"Joker" (2019)

Earlier this year, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix and his family opened up about the death of River Phoenix, in the early morning of Halloween, 1993.

Seven years after his iconic role as Chris Chambers in Stand By Me, River was making a name for himself as more than just a talented child actor—starring in a slate of movies in the early '90s, including My Own Private Idaho alongside Keanu Reaves. But as America was getting to know him, he was apparently getting to know the dark depths of Hollywood in his private life.

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CULTURE

Kirstie Alley's Awful Tweets (Still) Point to Everything Broken in American Politics

Her thoughts on billionaires, socialism, and impeachment betray a complete disinterest in understanding the topics she discusses

Update 3/24/2020: Kirstie Alley has kept her streak of awful going. Taking to Twitter last night, Alley praised Donald Trump's "recent decorum, sincerity, & care," and his "willingness to solve problems." This despite the fact that Trump's delayed response to the COVID-19 pandemic has sent US infection rates on a trajectory that exceeds Italy's terrifying model, and shortly after news that an Arizona couple had poisoned themselves trying to take advantage of the unproven "cure" that Trump has recklessly touted in his press conferences.

The tweet also comes amid a newly opened debate about whether the country should return to business as usual before the pandemic has run its course—allowing the healthcare system to be overwhelmed, and many thousands or millions to die in a misguided effort to prop up the foundering stock market. As Trump put it, "Our country wasn't built to be shut down."


When Kirstie Alley, star of Cheers and Look Who's Talking, was last in headlines, she was explaining how she had traded a cocaine habit for a flower addiction.

It's actually a really sweet story, but whatever is in those flowers must be pretty great stuff and seems to have overwhelmed any awareness of our cultural moment or political realities, because she has since been feeling herself on Twitter in a way that is truly remarkable. The latest entry in the saga arrived around the time the impeachment vote was announced on Wednesday night, when Donald Trump officially became the third president in US history to be impeached. If you want to say that impeachment may not be the right political move, or that other articles of impeachment would have been more effective, there are valid arguments to make. But Alley's take is not one of them.

Alley adopted a sage tone to declare it a "dangerous precedent" and let the world know that "it's gonna be a bumpy decade," as if allowing a president to exchange political help for military aid would not be a dangerous precedent, as if the coming years could somehow be anything but "bumpy" to the point of terrifying division and chaos. What world has she been living in? Does she not realize that the US is currently more divided than at any time since the Civil War? That every Republican lawmaker is beholden to a Trump-adoring constituency in a way that precludes any criticism of his petulant whims, racism, or corruption?

This is not the first time Alley has tweeted regrettable opinions about Trump and the Republican Party. She actually endorsed him in 2016 before walking back that endorsement after the Access Hollywood "grab them by the pussy" tape came out. So maybe she has an ulterior motive in criticizing the Democrats for finally standing up to this absurd regime. More importantly, when she talks about the dire backlash that's headed our way, what does she think that will look like? Will Republicans no longer allow a Democratic president to appoint a Supreme Court justice? Will they redraw maps to cling to power? Or adopt obstructionist tactics with the explicit goal of ensuring that the next Democrat in power only serves a single term? Or maybe they'll just track down a petty personal scandal to build an impeachment case on. That would be so crazy...

In case you don't feel like clicking those links, I'll just let you and Kirstie Alley know that all those things have already happened. And the process of avoiding craven political retaliation from the Republicans would be literally indistinguishable from letting them do whatever they want. So… nice try.


But Alley has other opinions, too. On Monday she also wanted the world to know that she is staunchly anti-socialist. So much so that she recently compared the term "democratic socialist" to "gentle nazi." Strange, then, that the handful of Democratic Socialist countries in Europe are listed as full democracies, according to the Democratic Index. This is in contrast to America's "flawed democracy." And really, all the countries rated "full democracies" incorporate more socialist-leaning policies than the US—like single-payer health care, or fully socialized medicine, just as an example. Is it possible that Kirstie Alley doesn't know what she's talking about? Did she grow up in an era that poisoned her mind with trickle-down, free market, American exceptionalism, domino effect Cold War propaganda? Is she maybe…a boomer?

Democracy Index

The reality is that, whatever the issues with its implementation, the underlying ethos of socialism is fundamentally more democratic than that of capitalism. Under true capitalism—and to a lesser extent America's dilute form—owners necessarily control everything from work to speech to political power. You have rights to the extent that you can own things, and the right to ownership is the only one that's fundamental. Under true socialism—and to a lesser extent the dilute form found in Scandinavia—workers are in control of their work and the nation's wealth belongs to the will and the needs of its citizens.

In other words, a Democratic Socialist is far from the contradiction Alley lays out in "gentle Nazi." So as long as we're in agreement that Nazis are fundamentally violent and bad, maybe we can get on the same team with standing up to the politician who has made them feel welcome in America? And if we aren't going to impeach him for creating concentration camps at the border and deporting tens of thousands of people to face death and sexual assault as a result of violence that we export to our southern neighbors, can we at least hold him accountable when he tries to cheat his way through reelection? No? That's a bad precedent?

concentration camp

The truth is that the truly bad precedents in our politics stretch back decades. Since at least the days of Newt Gingrich, the GOP has adopted the approach of pushing as far right as they possibly can while labelling taxes, regulations, social services, and critiques of expanding wealth inequality as "Socialism." In response, Clintonist Democrats have tacked toward the center on economic issues, running away from any accusation of radicalism or a desire for dramatic change.

The result has been that the political left in America has spent decades slowly eroding while the "center" has shifted further and further toward the economic right—toward favoring ownership above all else. And while those economic right policies are not really all that popular with Americans today, the regressive social agenda that the GOP has attached to it has a vocal, enthusiastic core of straight white support—one that makes plenty of room for figures like Donald Trump, Steve King, David Duke, and real, live, non-gentle Nazis.

Now Millennials are faced with being the first generation of Americans since the New Deal who have worse prospects for the future than their parents. And Kirstie Alley apparently sees nothing wrong with that. While many of us are waking up to a potential for economic progress and wondering if the socialist boogeyman was all that scary to begin with, Kirstie just wants to go back to the civil politics that brought all of this on—back to a time when the idea of a more equitable distribution of wealth was not even on the table.

Peter Daou

Fortunately, not everyone is so rigid in their mindset. Alley's thoughts on socialism were prompted by an interaction with Hillary-Clinton-advisor-turned-darling-of-the-far-left Peter Daou, who had offered a challenge to Twitter at large: justify the existence of billionaires. Come up with a reason why any individual should own so much money. So much power. Money rules our lives—our politics, our press, our legal system—so what could possibly justify one person having such immense sway over all those sectors? The power to buy legislation, kill negative news stories, and get away with any crime you want to commit. Who deserves that?

Alley had a lazy and thoughtless response ready to go: all you have to do is come up with something really nifty! If enough people want to give you money for it, you deserve to have dominion over the world! The follow up was even less compelling, but I want to dig in on this idea. Don't get me wrong, people who create great products and services deserve reward and recognition. Of all the world's ultra-wealthy people, the small group of successful creators are the ones who most nearly deserve what they have. But a billion of dollars?

Let's say you invent a cool video game that everyone likes? Well, now you have enough money that you can blast your awesome opinions about race and sexuality as loudly as you want. Good for you, Notch! Though you might want to spread your wings and buy up some media companies like some other billionaires have done. If you do that, you can basically just run for president and everyone will have to take you seriously! All because of that video game you came up with, Notch. Or the money you illegally inherited from your dad, Donald. Or that emerald mine in Africa, Elon. Makes a lot of sense.

young elon Definitely looks like a kid who deserves even more money

It would be easy and petty to run through Kirstie Alley's acting credits as though the legacy of Veronica's Closet precludes her from doing some background reading before involving herself in politics. I don't think that actors of any stripe—or anyone else with a platform, an audience, and a message—should be excluded from a conversation on the basis of benign things they've done for money. That isn't why Kirstie Alley is out of her depth here.

You can make movies about talking babies and even be a Scientologist and still have important things to say—though maybe not about psychiatry. You also don't need to have three degrees in political science to have a valid opinion on current events. But if you really think that creating a thing that people want is so inherently good as to justify the wild excesses of unrestrained capitalism, you should at least be willing to read The Lorax to get a sense of where that leads.

TV

Cover-ups, Tax Fraud, and the Church of Scientology: Leah Remini Spotlights Danny Masterson's Accusers

Four women have filed a lawsuit against actor and Scientologist Danny Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its creepy, enigmatic leader, David Miscavige.

We're familiar with the Catholic Church's abusive priests, child-abusing Jehovah's Witnesses in the UK, and fundamentalist Mormon sects condoning child brides.

Now, it seems that the closest likeness the Church of Scientology has to a legitimate religious organization is a shameful history of sexual abuse. This week, Leah Remini's controversial, Emmy-winning A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath ended with a two-hour finale featuring four women's stories of sexual assault by actor and Scientologist Danny Masterson (That 70's Show)—and how the Church of Scientology systematically covered it up.

Two weeks before the finale aired, Huffington Post contributor Yashar Ali broke the news that the organization was accused of "stalking, intimidation, and conspiracy stemming from rape allegations." Four women have filed lawsuits against Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its enigmatic leader, David Miscavige. In 2017, Remini and co-host Mike Rinder (a former high-ranking official within the church), reportedly agreed to postpone the special as to not interfere with the LAPD's investigation. However, after nearly two years, Ali criticized that the investigation "inexplicably stalled" despite "overwhelming evidence."

As such, Remini's interviews with two of the accusers were a call to action. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, the special included Marie Bobette Ríales, who dated Masterson in 2002 and alleges that Masterson repeatedly drugged her and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious. A second woman, Crissie Bixler, appeared in a pre-filmed interview from 2017 recounting her abusive relationship with the actor in the '90s. She described him as "controlling and violent." She detailed a 2001 incident in which she blacked out during dinner with Masterson. "Last thing I remember is getting up from the restaurant to go home. Complete blackout," Bixler said. "The next day when I woke up the back of my head hurt, and I thought I'd fallen. I thought I was poisoned. I didn't know where I was. He was downstairs sitting at his desk... I went downstairs and asked what happened. He just kind of chuckled. I said, 'I'm in a lot of pain.' I was ripped. I was injured. He started laughing. He said, 'Oh, I had sex with you last night.' I said, 'Was I unconscious?' He said, 'Yeah.'"

The two remaining plaintiffs in the lawsuit prefer to remain anonymous. As for Ríales, she says she was inspired to come forward after hearing about the backlash against Bixler's allegations after she reported the abuse to the Church of Scientology. "I knew a lot of things were wrong in our relationship," Ríales said. "Never once did it occur to me that he was doing this to other girls."

The common thread throughout the women's stories of abuse is the Church's invalidation of the alleged victims. Bixler says she reported the incident to an ethics officer within the organization but was told, "It's not rape if you've been in a consensual relationship."

Furthermore, stories of sexual abuse have shadowed the organization for years. The finale of Scientology and the Aftermath also featured former scientologists who allege they were abused as children and forced to interact with their abuser for years afterwards. One man recounted having to "audit" (scientology's form of rudimentary talk therapy) a grown man who confessed to molesting a 5-month-old child—he was barely a teenager at the time. "When I was 13 I had to audit an older man," Joey Chiat said. "Here's a 13-year-old kid asking a 50-year old man, 'What fingers did you use?'...Very specific questions that we were trained to ask him." These accusers highlight Scientology's internal policies that discourage members from reporting abuse to law enforcement.

DailySportX

Of course, the organization has denied the allegations for years. When The Daily Beast reached out for a comment, a spokesperson replied, "The Church adamantly denies that it ever ignores any allegations of criminal behavior, especially at the expense of alleged victims. What is being stated is utterly untrue. This has nothing to do with religion. This story is being manipulated to push a bigoted agenda." A lawyer for the Church of Scientology was more accusatory of Leah Remini, telling EW that the recent lawsuit is "baseless" and a "dishonest and hallucinatory publicity stunt." The statement continued to call Remini's show "full of lies, distortions, and exhortations generating hate and bigotry" and that any further allegations she makes are "absolutely untrue, part of her paranoia, and unworthy of further comment."

Masterson has also denied all allegations, telling USA Today, "I'm not going to fight my ex-girlfriend in the media like she's been baiting me to do for more than two years. I will beat her in court — and look forward to it because the public will finally be able learn the truth and see how I've been railroaded by this woman."

'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' (Season 3 Trailer) | Premieres on November 27 | A&E youtu.be

After leaving Scientology in 2013, Leah Remini has been fiercely outspoken against the abuses, manipulations, and toxicity of the "church." The three-season arc of Scientology and the Aftermath has been a call to action: Strip the organization of its tax exempt status. It's clear that revoking Scientology's religious exemption is the first step to curbing its menacing hold over people's faith, finances, and psyches. A Change.org petition for the IRS Commissioner to investigate the organization has nearly 20,000 signatures. It lists 11 reasons why Scientology disqualifies for the exception, including, "Scientology's internal cover-ups of child sexual abuse and rape as described by the victims of the sexual abuse and rape."

As for former members, Remini has used her show to reinforce the message: "It's not about me. It's about the people who are willing to speak out, good people who are willing to file lawsuits or speak to us on camera or speak to the Tampa Bay Times or go on CNN. Many people have left who did blog posts and YouTube videos way before me. These are the heroes."

CULTURE

Charles Manson Could Never: Five Cults That Put a Spell On Hollywood

These cults had some of Hollywood's brightest stars in their shadowy grips.

Celebrities are not known for their ordinary lifestyles.

In fact, sometimes it can seem like they're a different species of human, living elite existences of wealth and opulence that none of us average Joes can imagine, let alone attain. Maybe that's why people are so obsessed with the idea that our favorite celebrities are actually members of ancient, mysterious cults.

Actually, it seems that real-life cults are typically comprised of people who want to be in this celebrity culture, or who are otherwise seeking escape or meaning in their lives. On the 50th anniversary of the Manson murders, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood brought a leader of one such cult—Charles Manson—back to the public's consciousness (if he ever left).

Manson was a wannabe folk singer as well as a psychopath, and the specter of Hollywood held power over him in the same way he held power over the women he led.

That said, here are five of the most notorious cults with connections to Hollywood and celebrities. As for the first two, whether they're actually real (or just manifestations of the public's dreams of tapping into whatever mysterious powers celebrities possess) is up to you to decide.

Image via The Wrap

Illuminati

The Illuminati is by far the most famous celebrity cult. Its members apparently include Beyoncé, Madonna, and Katy Perry, as well as a multitude of world leaders and very rich people. Conspiracy theorists believe that the illuminati is seeking world domination and wants to establish a totalitarian "New World Order."

The Illuminati was real at one point. In 18th century Bavaria, Adam Weishaupt created a society called the Order of Illuminati in order to escape the confines of the Christian church. His society was stamped out by a government crackdown on cults, but many believe it still exists today, forming a subterranean, diamond-lined web that controls the motions of our ordinary lives.

The modern-day perception of the Illuminati originated in the 1960s, with the help of LSD, counter-culture, and a book called the Principia Discordia that preached civil disobedience through jokes, hoaxes, and misinformation. In this spirit, a man named Robert Anton Wilson wrote letters to Playboy claiming to be speaking on behalf of a secret society called the Order of the Illuminati, and the idea caught fire, gaining more traction with the rise of the Internet age. Today, everyone from the Founding Fathers to Rihanna has been accused of being a part of this peculiar organization. (Rihanna, for her part, has embraced her Illuminati membership, even calling herself 'Princess of the Illuminati').

Lizard People

The Illuminati theory is closely tied to an even stranger one—the idea that famous people are secretly intelligent lizards from the moon who are masquerading around Earth disguised as humans. If that sounds insane, it's true, and people do believe it—around 12 million Americans, according to some (admittedly questionable) polls.

The lizard people idea originated with New Age philosopher and TV presenter David Icke, who claims that world leaders like George W. Bush and Barack Obama are secretly all scaly aliens. Other purportedly reptilian people include Bob Hope, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry, and Queen Elizabeth (or, should we say, Elizardbeth?)

Like the Illuminati, lizard people want world domination. According to the theory, these lizard people have been on Earth since ancient times, and they've been breeding with people for centuries—so in all likelihood, you too may have a few drops of lizard blood flowing through your veins.

Image via punkee.com

Scientology

There is nothing that tabloids love more than Tom Cruise and his belief in scientology. Unlike the Illuminati and the lizard people cult, scientology is very real and very present in Hollywood. So what is this strange form of worship?

Scientology was actually founded by science fiction writer Ron L. Hubbard, and among other things, it proposes that man is an immortal being with a divine purpose that can be attained through enlightenment. It's also been called a malicious commercial enterprise and a cult by critics, so there's a bit of a contradiction there. Celebrity scientologists include John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Juliette Lewis, Elizabeth Moss, Laura Prepon, and more, and the cult is still going strong in the Hollywood hills.

Self-Realization Fellowship

This group is very much still alive and well. It was founded in the 1920s by the guru Paramahansa Yogananda, who eventually gained followers in luminaries such as Elvis Presley and George Harrison. Before joining the Manson family, Leslie van Houten also spent time in Yogananda's Mount Washington ashram.

According to Yogananda, the fellowship's central practice—called Kriya Yoga—was originally given to Manu, the first man on Earth, according to Hindu scripture. Their temple on Sunset Boulevard is the oldest in America, and dozens of others are in operation around the world. While not known as a malicious cult, the Self-Realization Fellowship deifies Yogananada as Christ reincarnated, and its sacred lessons are kept super-secret from the public, so it's hard to know what actually goes on in there.

NXIVM

This very real, very ugly cult was only recently disbanded by law enforcement, after the founder of NXIVM was accused of sex trafficking and child abuse, and members have testified about a culture of lies, deceit, and violence.

The cult was led by Keith Raniere, with Smallville star Allison Mack as his right hand woman. According to reports, members of the cult were branded with Raniere and Mack's initials, referred to as "slaves," and subjected to corporal punishment at the hands of their leaders.

The cult found its footing in the wellness industry, which is very popular in Hollywood (and is arguably a cult in and of itself). It drew members in by promising to help them find more meaning and joy in their lives. Many of its members were very wealthy, and when money failed to satisfy them, they began turning to spirituality and wellness as ways of improving themselves.

The wellness industry and cults go hand in hand, because both often request large sums of money and promise that various levels of suffering are required in order to achieve the promised results. Still, Raniere and Mack's cult obviously spiraled way too far into darkness and corruption to continue masquerading as a healing force—and they'll face the jail time to prove it.


Image via Medium

Clearly, celebrity status and fame do not equal happiness—if they did, celebrities wouldn't be pulled into these cults so easily (and they wouldn't overdose on drugs so often, either). Still, for those of us on the outside, it's so easy to fall for the mystique of Hollywood, with its glorious parties and its brilliant stars, glorified to godlike levels by their fans and the media.

In the surrealistic circus of Los Angeles, ecstasy often blurs into suffering, and so it was, is, or may be with these cults. In this world, power breeds corruption, beauty equals pain, and metamorphoses towards greatness quickly become awful mutations. In the shadow of these truths, it's easy to understand why suspicious minds have crafted illusions like the Illuminati in order to explain why the world's elite are the way they are and to feel some semblance of power over humanity's mysterious actions. Now, is the real cult here a secret conspiracy of the rich and famous—or is it simply advanced capitalism? Well, just remember, comrades: A cult leader has no power without his followers.

david miscavige dad scientology expose Ron Miscavige Pens Scientology Exposé On Creepy Son’s Rise To Power

Ron Miscavige has written an exposé on life inside Scientology, and his creepy son, David Miscavige’s rise to power.

Oh, this is going to be good!

Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, promises to offer "a riveting insider's look" at the controversial “church” leader and organization.

Tom Cruise And David Miscavige’s Super Creepy Scientology Bromance

Ruthless and revealing david miscavige dad scientology expose

According to The Hollywood Reporter the publisher, St. Martin's Press, says the memoir will be:

The only book to examine the origins of Scientology’s current leader, RUTHLESS tells the revealing story of David Miscavige’s childhood and his path to the head seat of the Church of Scientology told through the eyes of his father.

Ron Miscavige’s personal, heartfelt story is a riveting insider’s look at life within the world of Scientology.

Family tradition david miscavige dad scientology expose

This isn’t the first exposé by a Miscavige family member—David’s niece, Jenna, released her own version of events back in 2013.

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Titled, Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape, Jenna's book painted a sorry and disturbing picture of her life within Scientology’s elite order, Sea Org, and claimed “church” officials attempted to break-up her marriage.

The Miscaviges joined Scientology back in 1971, after the then-11-year-old David underwent a 45-minute Dianetics session which, he claims, miraculously cured his asthma and severe allergies.

Church Of Scientology Accused Of Bullying And Intimidating A Clearwater Cinema

The family moved to the organization’s world headquarters in Great Britain, and David quickly rose through the ranks—conducting auditing sessions by age 12, and entering the esteemed ranks of Sea Org by the tender age of 16.

Miscavige exodus david miscavige dad scientology expose

The other Miscaviges eventually became disillusioned with life inside Scientology however—David’s brother, Ron Jr. left the “church” in 2000, his daughter, Jenna, quit in 2005, and Ron Sr. exited in 2012.

Laura Prepon’s Scientology Interview Is Suitably Batshit Fucking Crazy

Not surprisingly, given Scientology’s well documented treatment of defectors (who are branded “suppressive persons” or SPs after leaving the organization) Ron Sr. and his son David have had a somewhat contentious relationship since his exit.

How contentious? Well, how about your son allegedly hiring a private investigator to spy on you for 18 months?

Keeping an eye on dad david miscavige dad scientology expose

Ron Sr. claims he was forced to file a suspicious person report with local cops in 2013, after becoming aware that a strange man had been following his every move for over a year.

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Police subsequently apprehended the man, Dwayne S. Powell, and he alleged he was being paid $10,000 a week by the “church” to conduct full time surveillance on Ron Sr.

The police report states that Powell was found in possession of several guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and a silencer.

Powell went on to claim that while witnessing Ron Sr. undergo what he believed to be a heart attack, he called David Miscavige, and was ordered to not intervene or assist in any way.

Juliette Lewis Defends Scientology, Says Tom Cruise Is Victim Of Big Pharma

Scientology flaks branded Powell’s claims as "blatantly false”, because, duh! Scientology.

Shelly Miscavige mystery david miscavige dad scientology expose

Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, hits stores May 3—no word yet on whether it will address the mystery surrounding the disappearance of David Miscavige’s wife.

Did Kirstie Alley Cut Off Maksim Chmerkovskiy Because Of Scientology?

Michelle Diane “Shelly” Miscavige has not been seen in public since August 2007.

Multiple reports claim Shelly disappeared after having "filled several job vacancies without her husband's permission.”

Scientology flaks have denied the reports, because, duh! Scientology—and claim, “she is not missing and devotes her time to the work of the Church of Scientology."

Oh, that totally clears that up then.

For more entertainment, world, music and pop culture updates and news, follow Max Page on Twitter

WHAT'S TRENDING

Tom Cruise and David Miscavige’s Super Creepy Scientology Bromance

Cruise's bromance with Scientology leader David Miscavige is every bit as bizarre and creepy as you would imagine.

Like, super super, spying on your best friend, kinda creepy.

Ron Miscavige Pens Scientology Exposé On Creepy Son's Rise To Power

The Daily Mail spoke with a bunch of former Scientologists—including ex-head of security Gary Morehead; Miscavige's former-personal chef, Sinar Parman; ex-Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder; and L.Ron Hubbard's great grandson, Jamie DeWolf.

Between them they offer up a fascinating glimpse into the tight-knit relationship of Cruise and the 55-year-old “church" leader.

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The two have been firm friends for the past three decades—Miscavige acted as Cruise's best man when he married Nicole Kidman, and then again, when he wed Katie Holmes—and, it seems they're pretty much inseparable during the extended periods of time Cruise spends hunkered down at Gold Base, Scientology's International headquarters, in Riverside County, California.

So, how do the two men while away the hours, when they're free from the seemingly endless tedium of Scientology dictates? Well, according to Parman, Miscavige (who he refers to as “DM") and Cruise like to engage in some kind of testosterone-fueled, macho man competitive bromance, complete with their own weird language.

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“DM and Tom would socialize all the time," Parman says. “They would just hang around with each other in the evenings, go out to the lounge where there's more comfortable chairs. DM's got this huge cigar humidor in the lounge, which is just a pretense for Cruise. They'd be smoking away.

“I offered DM a cigar when Cruise wasn't there and he said, 'I don't even like those things, you can still smell them three days later.'

“It was a bromance—cigar-smoking, playing tennis, doing exercise together, out macho-ing each other. He even got DM parachuting with him, there's a big place in Perris, CA where they did it. It was who could outdo the other.

Laura Prepon's Scientology Interview Is Suitably Batshit Fucking Crazy

“Tom would come out with all this stuff. He would talk to DM in this crazy way, his mannerisms were just unreal, all this tech speak," Parman continues. “He would speak like the inner culture of Scientology, that's the way you speak if you're a complete Sci fanatic. He would pride himself on speaking in those buzz words."

Then there are the boys trips to Vegas, where the two like to blow off steam by gambling at the tables….often winning BIG.

Leah Remini Talks Scientology Craziness—Difficulty Of Getting The Hell Out

“They'd go out gambling because I saw the big rolls of cash that were sitting on the table up at the Officers' Lounge in the Star of California," Morehead shares. “I knew that they had just come back [from Vegas] and I asked about what was all that cash, and was told by Tom's steward, 'Yes, that's what Dave and Tom brought back, they just won that.'

“There were two rolls—really huge fat rolls—so fat you couldn't hold them in your hands. A significant amount of cash, as they were $100 bills.

John Travolta Defends 'Beautiful' Church Of Scientology

“I understood it to be about thirty or forty thousand dollars each. I was told that one was Dave's and one was Tom's and it was what they won in Vegas. I was shocked they even went. It was shortly after Days of Thunder.

“Dave would go and have fun with Tom, it was really odd. I thought, 'It's gambling, you know, here we are in a church, that's weird.' But if anyone can break the rules, Number One and Two can. It's a real bromance between them. They do everything together—exercise and cigar smoke together."

Juliette Lewis Defends Scientology, Says Tom Cruise Is Victim Of Big Pharma

They are so close in fact—and this is where it gets really creepy—that Miscavige appears to be unable to deal with not knowing what's going on with Cruise at all and every single minute—and, to that aim, Morehead claims the church leader ordered him to rig up a secret camera in Cruise “auditing room" so he could spy on his bromance buddy.

“I know that there were two camera systems for Cruise—one was a camera he did know about‚—a JVC camera on a tripod—which made him believe that was it," Morehead says.

Did Kirstie Alley Cut Off Maksim Chmerkovskiy Because Of Scientology?

“But I had to set up a second camera in Tom's auditing room. That was for Dave's own personal entertainment although it was meant to be for the purpose of being professionally critiqued.

“It was Dave's little secret to look inside people's little sessions. If Tom ever wanted that tape, Dave would still have the other one.

“I started installing these secret surveillance systems—hidden camera systems where Tom and other staff had no idea they were being watched, recorded and reported.

Leah Remini's Book Offers Tantalizing Glimpse Into Tom Cruise's Bizarre Life

“Dave started discovering that you could view these cameras from anywhere as long as you had a modem. So we would set up these systems to survey our own staff and he could watch them from anywhere."

Hubbard's great-grandson, who is now a stand-up comedian, backs-up Morehead's claims, and adds a sinister twist to why Miscavige would be filming his best buddy.

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“They watch Cruise like a hawk, there's no doubt, they have all his records, they know his secrets. They know all of it."

For more entertainment, world, music and pop culture updates and news, follow Max Page on Twitter.