TAR­GETED BY SCIEN­TOL­OGY

Mariah and Her Bil­lion­aire Beau:

In Touch (USA) - - News flash -

Big-name stars have long been Scien­tol­ogy’s pride and joy. From Tom Cruise and Kirstie Al­ley to John Tra­volta and Kelly Pre­ston, celebs have raised the con­tro­ver­sial church’s pro­file — and filled its cof­fers — for decades. “With­out these wealthy mem­bers,” Scien­tol­ogy expert and critic Tony Ortega tells In Touch, “Scien­tol­ogy dies.”

Now church leader David Mis­cav­ige wants to add another pow­er­house to Scien­tol­ogy’s sta­ble of A-list stars: Mariah Carey. The singer’s fi­ancé, bil­lion­aire Aus­tralian busi­ness­man James Packer, was in­volved in the re­li­gion for years after forg­ing a friend­ship with Tom Cruise, 53, more than a decade ago. Although James, 48, later stepped away from the faith, Scien­tol­ogy is once again tar­get­ing him — and his bride-to-be — for re­cruit­ment. “It ap­pears that David Mis­cav­ige is do­ing what­ever it takes to get the very wealthy James back into Scien­tol­ogy,” Ortega tells In Touch ex­clu­sively. Adds a former Scien­tol­o­gist: “Scien­tol­ogy would bend over back­wards to get James back into its fold — es­pe­cially since he’s mar­ry­ing Mariah. The church needs fol­low­ers, and Mariah, with her world­wide ap­peal, would bring them so much at­ten­tion.”

The church needs all the help it can get. It took a num­ber of se­vere hits over the last year with the re­lease of HBO’S scathing Going Clear doc­u­men­tary as well as tell-all books by ex-mem­bers Leah Rem­ini and David’s fa­ther, Ron Mis­cav­ige. “If they can get James back, I think they’d be pretty con­fi­dent that Mariah will fol­low,” ex­plains the former Scien­tol­o­gist. But Mariah, 47, is a tough mark. “From what sources close to Mariah have told me, she wants noth­ing to do with Scien­tol­ogy,” says Ortega. “And she doesn’t want James in­volved with it ei­ther.”

But Scien­tol­ogy has a plan. “David is us­ing ac­tress Anne Archer’s son, Tommy Davis, to do it,” ex­plains Ortega of the re­li­gion’s plot to lure in James, who’s worth an es­ti­mated $3.9 bil­lion. ( Mariah’s for­tune is up­wards of $520 mil­lion.) “For many years, Tommy had been the spokesper­son for the church un­til he abruptly left his job and moved out of LA with his wife and set­tled in Austin, Texas.” But ear­lier this year, says Ortega, “Tommy and his wife sud­denly moved back to LA and be­gan work­ing for a com­pany James owns, Con­sol­i­dated Press Hold­ings, which con­trols in­vest­ments in a sub­sidiary film com­pany, Rat­pac En­ter­tain­ment — which is owned by Packer and Mariah’s close friend Brett Rat­ner.”

That’s only part of it. “At the same time [ he moved], Tommy

The con­tro­ver­sial re­li­gion launches an elab­o­rate plan to con­vert Mariah Carey and her fi­ancé

brought his best friend, Michael Doven — who had been Tom Cruise’s as­sis­tant for years — into the pic­ture and in­tro­duced him to James,” ex­plains Ortega, adding that the church had used Michael to watch Tom dur­ing the early years when he was mar­ried to Ni­cole Kid­man. “This is a clear sig­nal to me that Mis­cav­ige is do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to get Packer back into the church.”

Mis­cav­ige may even en­list Tom’s help, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing James’ his­tory with the ac­tor. “He be­lieved in me when other peo­ple didn’t. I’m very grateful,” James said of the Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble star in 2013. After James lost $365 mil­lion of his fam­ily’s for­tune in an ill-fated in­vest­ment and his first mar­riage crum­bled, he hit a low point in 2002. “I be­came de­pressed and was emo­tion­ally ex­hausted,” he ex­plained. “I felt iso­lated, I felt like a fail­ure, and it was not a great time in my life. Tom reached out to me, and it was a sur­real thing. I had met him only once or twice. He was in Aus­tralia and we got to­gether,” James added. “I think that he could tell that I was in pain.”

But after years of tak­ing “help­ful” Scien­tol­ogy cour­ses, James took a step back around 2008. Now the church is con­vinced it can get him back. “They have a chance, es­pe­cially if they get Tom to help,” says the former Scien­tol­o­gist. “I don’t think he’d have an is­sue with it.” But the chances of Mariah join­ing the re­li­gion, says Ortega, “are slim to none.” ◼

JAMES WAS A BE­LIEVER

Mariah’s fi­ancé, James, ad­mit­ted in 2006 that he spent sev­eral hours a week ded­i­cated to the study of Scien­tol­ogy. “I think it has been very good for me. It has been help­ful,” he said, be­fore ul­ti­mately not join­ing the re­li­gion, which is led by David Mis­cav­ige (in­set).

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