AceShowbiz - Tom Cruise and John Travolta are two of the most famous members of the Church of Scientology, but they're reportedly not getting along well. According to a former security guard for the church, the two actors are bitter rivals who are competing for the favor of Scientology chief David Miscavige.
Brendan Tighe, who was a Scientologist for 30 years, claims he witnessed this rivalry. Speaking to Daily Mail, he says that Cruise and Travolta are vying for the official Number Two position under leader David Miscavige.
"Cruise is the only celeb with a direct line to Miscavige. Travolta and Kirstie [Alley] don't have that," Tighe says. "Travolta doesn't get anything free, no one is giving him absurd gifts like an airplane hangar, custom-made bikes, or over the top favors."
Cruise also received the Freedom Medal of Valor, the highest award in Scientology given to its most dedicated member, at a special gala in the U.K. in 2008. That reportedly caused Travolta to explode in jealousy. While Cruise receives the special treatment, Travolta felt he was the "favorite son" of leader Miscavige before the "Jack Reacher" actor came along, according to Tighe.
"It's no secret that Cruise and Travolta despised each other," Tighe dishes. "Travolta wasn't invited to Cruise's wedding with Katie Holmes, it told me everything. I can assure you Travolta doesn't recognize Cruise as a superior in any way. When Cruise got that medal Travolta was so p***ed off."
He adds, "The closest person Miscavige had ever said that about before was Travolta, he was told by Miscavige that he was he most dedicated Scientologist and had introduced more members than anyone, so it was like getting his title stripped, he was jealous."
But Travolta isn't the only one feeling the sentiment as Tighe reveals that Cruise receiving the medal got mixed reactions from members of the Church. "I'd say it's a 50/50 split whether Cruise is even respected in Scientology. When Cruise got the medal, the Office of Special Affairs [the spy unit of Scientology] was on high alert for any comments that were negative - it built up a lot of resentment within the ranks of Scientology, they didn't think he deserved it," Tighe shares.
Asked for comment on the story, the Church claims that the report "repeats unsubstantiated claims by an apostate who has a personal axe to grind."
Tighe, who previously worked at Scientology's global headquarters in Clearwater, Fla., was born in the Church along with his sister Natalie. Their mother Katie Paquette is still a high-ranking Scientology staff member today and their father Kevin Tighe was formerly a public Church member.
Tighe reveals he once was given the beating of his life for talking to celebrities. "My uncle has done several photo assignments with Travolta over the years. As Travolta only does auditing late at night, when I was doing security, he asked me my name, I told him, he said is Michael Tighe your uncle, I said yes. From then on, every night for weeks, we'd talk," he shares.
"I told the Scientology VIP president and Travolta's handler, as I wanted to follow protocol and let them know I had been speaking to celebrities. They said it was OK, but three weeks later, I'm in bed and suddenly got violently pulled out," he continues. "I was hauled in front of the security chief, who was livid that Vanity Fair had turned up without anyone knowing and were interviewing him and I got the blame for absolutely no reason, I didn't know what they were talking about. I felt it was punishment for daring to speak to a celebrity. I was given the beating of my life and punished for months."
Tighe quit his post as security guard in 2009 "after a succession of incidents with higher command" and eventually left the Church two years later. His father left in 2010, while his sister and mother are still members.