A star and his leader (2004)
27 Images

Tom Cruise and Scientology

Tom Cruise and David Miscavige after a brunch at Scientology’'s Celebrity Centre in Hollywood about a year ago.

 (Church of Scientology)

The Church of Scientology’s Impact magazine published this photo showing Tom Cruise as he exchanges salutes with Scientology’s ecclesiastical leader David Miscavige, who presented the movie star with the church’s Freedom Medal of Valor in 2004 in Saint Hill, England.

 (Impact Magazine)
Scientology’s Impact magazine published a commemorative edition with extensive coverage of the church awarding its Freedom Medal of Valor to Tom Cruise. The magazine also reported that Cruise received a second award, the Platinum Meritorious, for his contributions to the church. (Impact Magazine)
Scientology’s Impact magazine published these photos of church leader David Miscavige awarding Tom Cruise the Freedom Medal of Valor in England in 2004. These are a few of the photos published by the magazine in a commemorative edition, which included a 14-page spread on the ceremony and Cruise’s contribution to the church. (Impact Magazine)
David Miscavige, chairman of the board of the Religious Technology Center, which holds the lucrative rights to the Dianetics and Scientology trademarks. This makes him the ultimate authority of the church. (Church of Scientology)
David Miscavige, whose image is projected on a large screen in New York’s Times Square, commemorates the opening of a new church in Manhattan in September 2004. (Church of Scientology)
An aerial view of the Church of Scientology facility at Gilman Hot Springs, Calif., a former resort the church has transformed into an international base of operations. The complex includes state-of-the-art audio and movie studios named Golden Era Productions, as well as management offices and manufacturing facilities for “e-meters,” electronic devices that measure spiritual clarity. Ex-members say a multimillion-dollar mansion on the property was built for the eventual return of late church founder, L. Ron Hubbard. (Don Kelsen / LAT)

In the past seven years, the church has poured at least $45 million into the former Gilman Hot Springs resort. In the foreground is the $18.5-million management building that includes a wing of offices for church leader David Miscavige.

 (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)

A close view of “Bonnie View,” a $9.4-million mansion that ex-members say was constructed for the expected return of late church founder L. Ron Hubbard. Church officials say the mansion is simply a museum to commemorate Hubbard'’s life and house most of his possessions.

 (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)
An aerial view of the 72,000-square-foot Golden Era Productions main studio building, known as “The Castle.” With three soundstages, the studio turns out a dozen films each year, along with other training and educational videos. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
The guest cottages at the Church of Scientology facility at Gilman Hot Springs, where Tom Cruise stayed during extended visits during the late 1980s and early 1990s, while studying Scientology. Church officials note that other visitors, including celebrities, also have used the cottages. (Don Kelsen / LAT)

Receptionist Charlotte Heldt at Golden Era Productions. The artwork behind her depicts Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom,” the church’'s path to enlightenment.

 (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)
On the set at Golden Era Productions, where Scientology films and training videos are produced for sale to church members around the world. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Tony Cifarelli, a church staffer at Golden Era Productions, monitoring machinery in the CD and DVD replication plant. The studio manufactures 10 million CDs each year that are later sold to church members around the world. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Mike Ogletree, the former drummer for the ‘80s rock group Simple Minds, mixes music with a voice recording at Golden Era Productions. The facilities include two voice restoration studios, where staffers work around the clock restoring the church’s archive of Hubbard’s 3,000 public lectures that date to the 1950s. (Don Kelsen / LAT)

Inside Golden Era Productions, staffers produce nearly all the printed materials for the church. Here, a foil is pressed onto a lecture binder cover that will be used for a CD of one of Hubbard’'s speeches that has been translated into German.

 (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)
Ron Clifford, a church staff member at Gilman Hot Springs, assembles an “e-meter,” a machine used by Scientologists to measure spiritual clarity. The facilities churn out 10,000 e-meters every year, according to the church. The machines are sold to church members for about $5,000 each. (Don Kelsen / LAT)

Hubbard invented the “e-meter” as a device that could measure the spiritual clarity of his followers.

 (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)
A bank of photo copiers at Golden Era Productions runs 24-7, printing Scientology materials with the words of Hubbard for adherents around the globe. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Inside a sound studio at Golden Era Productions, Sandy Wooderson monitors analog audiotape machines that produce cassette tapes of Hubbard’s lectures. The facility includes four multi-track recording facilities for music orchestration as well as film and video mixing. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Film editor Lily Estrada uses a loupe to inspect a Dianetics film at Golden Era Productions. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Staffers at Golden Era Productions, Roberto Assabi (left) and Pierluigi Naletto (right), translate Hubbard’s lectures into Italian as part of Scientology’s project to translate all of the church founder’s lectures into 15 languages. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Inside Golden Era Productions, church staffer Gary Press monitors machine temperatures in the motion picture processing lab. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Golden Era Productions music director Peter Schless watches a video monitor while scoring a Scientology production with assistant Neil Kunen (background). Schless co-wrote the 1982 hit “On the Wings of Love.” (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Makeup artists Aleah Chisholm (green shirt, left) and Mimica Price (green shirt, right) prepare actresses Ana Willoughby and Linda Sukkestad for a shoot, inside the makeup department at the Golden Era studio. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Mike Rinder, head of Scientology International’s Office of Special Affairs. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Tom Cruise gestures toward Matt Lauer during the telecast of NBC’s “Today Show” in June. The two clashed during the interview when Lauer began discussing antidepressants and Scientology. (Virginia Sherwood NBC / AP)