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Scientologists allegedly did lots of customizing work for Tom Cruise

8

February

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While the Church of Scientology is under FBI investigation for allegations of human trafficking and unpaid labor, The Juice* found an interesting anecdote supporting some of the arguments as they relate to Tom Cruise. Yes, we're going to pick on Tom Cruise again. Hey, The New Yorker wrote it, not us.

Former Scientologist John Brosseau told the mag in its lengthy piece about the church (drawing largely on the 2009 St. Petersburg Times series "The Truth Rundown") that he did plenty of work for Cruise but barely made a dime. Brosseau, the former brother-in-law of church head David Miscavige, apparently worked on two motorcycles, an SUV and an airport hangar for the actor. It all started in 2005 at a Scientology compound in southern California when Miscavige showed Cruise a photo of a Harley-Davidson he owned.

"Cruise asked me, 'God, could you paint my bike like that?' I looked at Miscavige, and Miscavige agreed," Brosseau said. The New Yorker says Cruise then brought John a Honda Rune given to him by Steven Spielberg after War of the Worlds (featuring a custom paint job by the movie's set designer) and a Triumph. Brosseau disaasembled, nickel-plated, painted and reassembled each bike.

He also customized a Ford Excursion and a Burbank airport hangar Cruise maintains. How much did he get paid for this work?

"I was getting paid fifty dollars a week," Brosseau told the mag. "And I'm supposed to be working for the betterment of mankind."

Both Cruise's attorney and the church said that story was a fabrication, despite Brosseau having photos of the work. The lawyer said "the Church of Scientology has never expended any funds to the personal benefit of Mr. Cruise or provided him with free services." The church's Tommy Davis, the head of the L.A. Celebrity Centre International, said the work was done by contractors, and Brosseau was only an adviser.
 
"None of the Church staff involved were coerced in any way to assist Mr. Cruise," Davis said. "Church staff, and indeed Church members, hold Mr. Cruise in very high regard and are honored to assist him. Whatever small economic benefit Mr. Cruise may have received from the assistance of Church staff pales in comparison to the benefits the Church has received from Mr. Cruise’s many years of volunteer efforts for the Church."
 
The New Yorker points out that those same work crews, however, may have been unpaid. We don't have any proof of that, either way, but think how that poor production designer must have felt after reading his paint job was covered up.
 
[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 2:32pm]

    

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