Cruise, Travolta’s Church of Scientology chairman accused of violence

June 23rd, 2009 - 3:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Tom Cruise Washington, June 23 (ANI): Church of Scientology, the religion of many celebrities including Tom Cruise and John Travolta, has been defended against reports claiming one of its leading figures beat subordinates and promoted violence among senior officials.

Former executives of the church had alleged chairman David Miscavige, who was best man at Cruise and Katie Holmes’ wedding, repeatedly hit staff members.

Mike Rinder, who used to look after the church’s legal and media relations operations before resigning in 2007, claimed Miscavige struck him at several occasions.

“It was random and whimsical. It could be the look on your face. Or not answering a question quickly. But it always was a punishment,” Contactmusic quoted Rinder as saying.

Other former Scientology officials Marty Rathbun and Tom De Vocht also alleged Miscavige often instructed them to hit subordinates and both saw him attack church members.

But church leaders have denied the allegations in the St. Petersburg Times article in Florida, tagging them as “absolute and total lies”.

Spokesman Tommy Davis told the newspaper that an internal investigation discovered that Rathbun, not Miscavige, sparked violence before quitting the church five years ago. (ANI)

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