Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Amol Rajan: A marriage that was not exactly made in heaven

Poor Tom Cruise is in another spot of bother over his religious beliefs. According to a report in the latest Vanity Fair, the Church of Scientology is said to have held auditions to find him a wife after his divorce from Nicole Kidman. This is pre-Katie Holmes, and the scheme was led by Shelly Miscavige, whose husband, David, is the church's leader and possibly Cruise's best friend.

At this point I should say that the church vehemently denies the allegations, in case their well-funded litigation department resurrects L Ron Hubbard from the dead and sends a cosmic army to the skies above London to teleport me away to a realm full of sinners.

Back to the story: apparently the scheme was so secret that the women who auditioned, all of them church members, were told they were being tested for a training video. Nazanin Boniadi, a British actress born in Iran, was eventually selected, dating Cruise for several months after flying to New York, where she picked up a sense that an arranged marriage was coming.

Naturally, it being Tom Cruise whom she was copping off with, she fell in love. He was charm personified – until he wasn't. First he allegedly said, "I've never felt this way before"; but later he became frustrated by her reserve, and apparently told her he "wants someone with her own power – like Nicole".

After she confided in a friend about the problems, she was allegedly punished by being made to scrub toilets with a toothbrush, dig ditches in the middle of the night, and clean bathroom tiles with acid.

Scientology has received a lot of media coverage and opprobrium. One aspect of it that hasn't been noticed, however, concerns events in the 1820s. An early church leader, who happened to be a convicted fraudster, was directed to a bunch of gold plates near New York by an angel. From engravings on the thin metallic pages he translated a sacred text: the Book of Mormon.

Oops! I've jumbled up my cults, sorry, religions. That absurd narrative belongs to Mormonism, not Scientology. What's the difference between them? One lands Cruise in trouble for getting his mates to plan an arranged marriage. The other qualifies Mitt Romney for special praise at last week's Republican Party convention in Tampa.

When you next hear the Church of Scientology getting stick for its weird practices, ask yourself: is it really any weirder than any other church? The metaphysical claims of religion about the origins of our cosmos and species are always wrong. Being sponsored by the star of Top Gun has no bearing on that fact.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before