Tom Cruise and Scientology: ‘Wife-Auditioning’ Process Detailed in New ‘Vanity Fair’ Article

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It looks like Tom Cruise had a bit of help finding love in 2004, shortly after his break-up from Penelope Cruz.

Before Cruise, now 50, hopped on Oprah Winfrey’s couch to declare his love for now ex-wife Katie Holmes, a “wife-auditioning” process was held by members of the Church of Scientology.

Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology head David Miscavige, led the top-secret search, according to a new report filed by Vanity Fair correspondent Maureen Orth.

So what did the “auditioning” process involve?

As Orth documents in the October 2012 issue of VF, which features Holmes on the cover, actresses who were already Scientology members were “called in” under the presumption that they were auditioning for a new training film.

The actresses were asked a number of questions, including “What do you think of Tom Cruise?”

Orth’s article centers on the short-lived relationship between Cruise and Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian-born, London-raised actress and Scientologist. Boniadi’s recent credits have included nine episodes of How I Met Your Mother (playing Neil Patrick Harris‘ love interest Nora in seasons six and seven) and small film roles in Iron Man and The Next Three Days. She was also on General Hospital playing nurse Leyla Mir from 2007 to 2009.

Orth writes in VF:

“Initially [Boniadi] was told only that she had been selected for a very important mission. In a month-long preparation in October 2004, she was audited every day, a process in which she told a high-ranking Scientology official her innermost secrets and every detail of her sex life.”

Boniadi was also told to “lose her braces, her red highlights, and her boyfriend.”

Following one month of “bliss,” Boniadi’s relationship with Cruise began to turn sour. One source revealed to Orth that Boniadi was constantly audited for anything she “said or did that Cruise found fault with.”

The actress also offended David Miscavige when she was entertaining him and his wife in Telluride. A spokesperson for the Scientology head has since declared to VF, “Mr. Miscavige doesn’t remember any girlfriend of anyone, in his entire life, insulting him.”

Orth notes that Cruise didn’t even break up with Boniadi himself, when the courtship supposedly fizzled by the third week of January 2005.

“Boniadi was told that Cruise ‘wants someone with her own power—like Nicole.’ When she asked why Cruise would not break up with her himself, she was told he was not to be disturbed.”

Things didn’t end there for Boniadi.

Boniadi later confided in a friend at a Scientology center in Florida, where she broke down and — against Scientology rules — revealed details about her relationship with the Mission Impossible actor.

The friend reported Boniadi, who was then punished with bathroom cleaning duties and was sent out to dig ditches in the middle of the night. Orth reports that Boniadi was also sent out to street corners to sell Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics.

Katie Holmes, 33, filed for for divorce from Cruise earlier this summer after six years of marriage. The Dawson’s Creek actress also won full custody of the couple’s 6-year-old daughter, Suri.

For more on Maureen Orth’s new report on Tom Cruise and Scientology, check out the October issue of Vanity Fair.