If you watched the recent HBO documentary Going Clear, then you know the importance of the roles that Tom Cruise and John Travolta play within the Church of Scientology.
Sources have claimed that Cruise has been "brainwashed" by Scientology and relishes his role as the controversial religion's poster boy.
By contrast, Going Clear depicts Travolta as a victim of the church, held prisoner by an elaborate blackmail campaign orchestrated by COS chairman David Miscavige.
Now, in an interview that was recorded in 2010, but picked up by several media outlets today, Miscavige's former right-hand man, Marty Rathbun, discusses the volatile relationship between Travolta and Cruise, as well as the Miscavige's role in producing the Scientology-based box office bomb, Battlefield Earth:
According to Rathbun, Miscavige and Cruise both blamed Travolta for the movie's failure, and their desire to find a scapegoat nearly cost the actor dearly.
"It was that JT [Travolta] motherf--ker with all his out ethics," Miscavige reportedly railed after the movie tanked. "If I had anything to do with that thing, it never would've seen the light of day."
Miscavige then launched into a tirade about the specifics of Travolta's "out ethics" (beliefs or activities that are out of step with COS teachings)
Rathbun refuses to go into specifics about what the alleged crimes were, but based on the revelations in Going Clear and past rumors about Travolta's love life, we can assume that they related to his alleged homosexual affairs.
Witnesses have claimed that the COS has repeatedly threatened to out Travolta several times during his career.
While Rathbun offers no specifics on Travolta's perceived misdeeds, he does reveal that Cruise happily joined at least one conversation in which he and Miscavige eagerly trash-talked Travolta:
"[Miscavige] and Tom just sat there, nattering away full-tilt on what a criminal, out-ethics son of a bitch Travolta is," Rathbun says.
It's just the latest in a long line of startling revelations about the 50,000-member organization, and like so much of Going Clear, Rathbun's latest bombshell reminds us that for all its misconduct, the COS is made up primarily of victims.