Tom Cruise's Scientology 'Wife Auditions' Aren't So Different From Dating

Most of us were pretty creeped out with Vanity Fair's report about Tom Cruise, which claimed that the star had "auditioned" various women to be his next mate after his divorce from Nicole Kidman. Actresses who were Scientologists were supposedly called for what they thought would be an audition for a new training film, but unbeknownst to them, their mission was more impossible: Be Tom Cruise's next wife.

But some asked: Is this really any different from what most of us do to find a mate? Don't we "audition" people? Maybe even our church leaders -- much like Tom's Scientology leaders -- set us up with someone they think we might like. It's natural to want to find someone who shares our beliefs. So isn't Tom's auditioning process kind of like what we all do?


Let's look at the similarities and the (big!) differences. Reportedly, to find Tom's new Scientolo-Gal, the women weren't aware of what they were "auditioning" for. They were told it was a training film. So right off the bat, you've got lies. Some people do lie a bit at the beginning of their dating process -- about age, weight, height, how exactly "single" are you. So let's forgive this one.

Iranian-born actress Nazanin Boniadi was selected as the "winner" for what was described as a "hush hush mission." She was also then told to get rid of her braces, her red highlights, and her boyfriend. Okay, here are some big differences. Most of us don't need to get rid of everything in our life to date someone. And if you are told to get rid of things you cherish -- your pet, your child, your red highlights -- run, run, run!

Reportedly, Nazanin then went on a month-long "auditing" process that required confessing her innermost secrets. While most people do have an intense early courtship period where they confide all kinds of secrets to each other -- that's mutual. In this case, the confessions were one-sided.

Eventually, Nazanin passed all "tests" and moved in with Cruise. But unlike regular dating, where two people get to know each other, Tom and Nazanin only knew each other through the eyes of Scientology.

Even in arranged marriages, it's usually two families coming together and having an equal stake in how things turn out. In this case, Tom Cruise had all the power and Nazanin had none. In fact, reportedly one of the first things she was told upon learning her real mission was, "This is Mr. Cruise. We can't let him down."

This isn't dating. It's not being "set up" by someone through your family or church. Any person or organization that requires total subservience and which renders you voiceless and powerless isn't loving you. It's just controlling you.

But reportedly, no matter these bizarre beginnings, Nazanin fell in love with Cruise. And she was devastated and heartbroken by their split. In that way, their relationship was just like any other.

Do you think Tom Cruise's "auditioning" for wives is like dating?

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