Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology vs. Vanity Fair Magazine

We’ve all heard the stories, but Tom Cruise is finally hitting back at claims that Scientology recruited women to be his girlfriend before “successfully” setting him up with now-ex-wife Katie Holmes. In a lengthy article featured in its October issue, Vanity Fair magazine claims to have secret details on the Church of Scientology and its mission to find the perfect girlfriend for its most famous fellower.

The mag cites unidentified sources who say Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian-born, London-raised actress and Scientologist was reportedly in line to marry the mega star before Katie came along. The little known actress was approached for a “special mission” in 2004 and was put through rigorous auditing — a process where subjects reveal their inner most thoughts — so the church could determine if she was a good match for Tom.

Nazanin was allegedly told to “lose her braces, her red highlights and her boyfriend” before meeting the superstar Scientologist. Tom reportedly dated Nazanin for nearly 3 months, but he began ignoring her after she reportedly disrespected Scientology chief David Miscavige. The Church then broke up their relationship and shipped her back to a center in Florida, where she was allegedly punished by cleaning bathroom tiles with acid, scrubbing toilets and digging ditches in the middle of the night.

A spokesperson for Scientology calls the VF report “hogwash.” The church insists the story has been around for years, spread by Anti-scientologists. Tom’s rep also released a statement branding the dish “Lies in a different font are still lies — designed to sell magazines.”

But a couple of unlikely sources have come out in support of the bombshell report: Former Scientologist Paul Haggis has spoken out in support of the Vanity Fair story in an email to Showbiz 411, claiming he “was deeply disturbed by how the highest ranking members of a church could so easily justify using one of their members; how they so callously punished her and then so effectively silenced her when it was done.”

Crash director Paul Haggis released a statement saying he not only knew Nazanin, but he also knew about the top secret mission.

“Naz was embarrassed by her unwitting involvement in this incident and never wanted it to come out, so I kept silent. However I was deeply disturbed by how the highest ranking members of a church could so easily justify using one of their members; how they so callously punished her and then so effectively silenced her when it was done. Naz quietly and privately resigned from the church a couple of years ago after several years of trying to handle this injustice internally, to no avail.”