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Scientologist Officials Ask LAPD for Help in Thwarting Prank on Tom Cruise: Report

Top Scientologist executives went to extreme lengths to prevent an internet troll from pranking high-profile member Tom Cruise, has learned.

Leaked documents from a former Scientologist executive revealed the extent to which the church went to stop a Florida college student’s prank on the actor during the 2006 Los Angeles premiere of Mission: Impossible 3.

The controversial church tried to restrict airspace over the premiere’s location — and even sought help from Los Angeles Police Department connections.

Stephen ‘Josh’ Schofield was a 21-year-old University of Central Florida student when he concocted a plan to prank Cruise.

Schofield implored online forums for $3,300 in donations and arranged for two banners to be flown over the Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where Cruise, his fans, and Hollywood A-listers were expected to gather for the premiere.

The banners were intended to poke fun at Cruise’s religion, particularly the “galactic overlord” Xenu from Scientology teachings.

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“One plane was going to carry a banner that said Hail Xenu,” Schofield told the Daily Mail. The second banner took a dig of then-newborn Suri Cruise and read, “The baby belongs to Xenu.”

Schofield’s plan never came to fruition though, thanks to a massive effort from Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs. In April 2006, members from the church’s “Watchdog Committee” sent a letter that warned of the student’s intent to “put up insulting banners.”

Both banners were described as “both anti-Scientology and anti-Tom Cruise.”

The letter ordered the church’s Director/Commanding Officer from the Office of Special Affairs to “find out everything you can about them and let me know at once.”

After Schofield’s personal information was discovered and shared, another letter was sent that detailed the group’s effort to stop him. Senior Scientologist Kiersten Caetano revealed extraordinary measures taken to “ensure that this flyover is killed.”

Caetano’s letter stated that the pilot hired for the prank had been tracked down and Robert Boyland, the head of security for the premiere, was contacted.

Boyland then met with VP of Paramount Security Services Scott Lachase, a former and ex-LAPD officer. Together they “contacted the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] regarding getting the airspace restricted.”

The FAA refused to shut down airspace without a “credible threat” and thus the church prepared a “pack” of information to beef up its complaint. Despite no threat of physical harm, Caetano claimed the prankster’s internet history should be taken “seriously.”

The church’s security division even reached out to ex-FBI agent Scott Nelson for advice — and then-chief Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis had a “brief” prepared for LAPD’s Ron Sanchez to “determine exactly what the police can do to stop this.”

Despite the church’s efforts, weather ultimately prevented the prank from happening. Karin Pouw, the church’s chief spokesperson, told the outlet she wasn’t aware of the event and couldn’t locate the documents in question.

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