All hail Tom Cruise — the new supreme leader of the Church of Scientology!
In a desperate bid to keep the big-screen superstar inside the controversial religion, Scientology boss David Miscavige has decided to share his position with best pal Tom!
What’s more, high-ranking Scientology insiders tell The National ENQUIRER exclusively that the Church will celebrate Tom’s ascension with a bang — literally.
It plans to spend a bundle to blast the 53-year-old action hero into space on a Virgin Galactic ship!
“Tom will become the new grand poobah for the Church of Scientology, right alongside David Miscavige,” divulged a Scientology insider. “It’s all very hush-hush at this point, but Tom will essentially share the same rank as David, whose official title is Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center.
“[RTC is] the corporation that controls the trademarks and copyrights of Dianetics and Scientology.”
Tom will become co-chairman with Miscavige, and also share the ranking of level “OT IX” — or “Operating Thetan IX,” said the insider.
“Thetans, in Scientology doctrine, are the alien life forms that inhabit human beings. Tom will be bumped up alongside Miscavige to OT IX and, ultimately, one day become OT X!” said the source.
“This is a super-secret level that will give Tom immortality, and automatically add 60 years to his lifespan!”
But Tom, whose latest blockbuster, “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” has grossed nearly $680 million worldwide, won’t give up his movie career.
“He’s already shooting the second film in the ‘Jack Reacher’ series, and he has plans to do ‘Mission: Impossible 6,’ as well as ‘Top Gun 2,’ ” said the source, who added, “Tom will take a much more active role in the Church, becoming its public figurehead!”
To celebrate, Scientology plans to buy its top celebrity disciple a $250,000 seat on the first Virgin Galactic space flight open to the public!
A slew of celebrities have already booked travel on Virgin’s SpaceShip Two, including Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Russell Brand, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Lance Bass and Justin Bieber.
“Tom is absolutely thrilled,” said the source. Also, according to the insider, when Tom rockets into outer space, he’ll come closest to “feeling the spirit of Xenu.”
Xenu was the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy” some 75 million years ago who brought billions of his people to Earth in DC-8-like spacecraft before they were killed with hydrogen bombs, according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Meanwhile, Tom’s climb up the Scientology ladder is no surprise to him. According to author Lawrence Wright’s book, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and The Prison of Belief,” Tom has long believed he’s the third-ranking member of the Church.
He once told a Scientologist girlfriend, “You don’t get it. It goes like this. First, there’s LRH (L. Ron Hubbard). “Then, there’s COB (Chairman of the Board David Miscavige). Then there’s me.”
That girlfriend, Nazanin Boniadi, reportedly was auditioned as a potential “Mrs. Tom Cruise” before he wed Katie Holmes.
Tom remains single after three divorces, and plans to relocate near the Scientology headquarters in Clearwater, Fla., according to recent reports.
And he’s dumping scads of real estate. Tom sold his 2.5-acre Los Angeles home for nearly $11.4 million, and his two Big Apple properties are for sale: a townhouse for $28 million, and a condo for $3 million.
Last fall, he also listed his 298-acre ranch near Telluride, Colo., for $59 million. As for moving to Florida, fellow Scientologist John Travolta “loves his life there and inspired Tom,” said the source. “He’s ready to go.”
As The ENQUIRER reported, Tom had been considering leaving Scientology — with the help of celebrity defector Lisa Marie Presley — to reunite with daughter Suri, 9.
“Tom hadn’t seen Suri regularly since the Church labeled both her and her mom, his ex-wife Katie Holmes, as ‘Suppressive Persons,’ ” disclosed a source.
But since then, “the Church made Tom an offer he couldn’t refuse — making him head of the whole shebang!”