The daughter-in-law of opera superstar Placido Domingo is speaking out about her former life in the Church of Scientology. In an interview with DailyMailTV, British-born Samantha “Sam” Domingo, 51, detailed her experiences with Scientology celebrities and shared how the church manipulates family and personal relationships to its advantage.
Some of the allegations Domingo makes during her interview include how the church turned Nicole Kidman’s against her, how John Travolta tried using a Scientology technique to bring his dead son back to life, and how Jada Pinkett Smith worked as a Scientology recruiter while publicly denying any affiliation to the group.
Domingo, along with her daughters Paloma, 22, Victoria, 20, Daniela, 17, and ex-husband Plácido Jr., have long since separated from the church. But by the time they left, her father-in-law had paid out more than $2 million for the family to participate in various Scientology events and training programs. Although she claimed he secretly hated the organization, Placido, Sr. feared being cut off from his two sons who were active Scientologists, and their families.
“Placido paid $200,000 just for a Founding Patron Card for me and Placi – it’s just a card, it’s worthless,” she said.
During a 2012 speaking engagement in Dublin, Ireland, Domingo said there some good things she’d found “in the technology of Scientology,” But that in her 20 years with the group her experience was mostly negative.
She initially had concerns about leaving the group and speaking out. “I suddenly realized that I’m no longer afraid of these idiots and all they can do to me is ex-communicate me and I actually don’t care anymore,” Domingo said. “That’s all the ammunition I needed. No one was going to keep me quiet about what Scientology does to people’s lives.”
The Church of Scientology denies all of Domingo’s claims.
Here’s what you need to know about Sam Domingo and her split from the Church of Scientology.
1. Domingo Had Access to Scientology Celebrities through Her First Husband
Domingo was introduced to Scientology through a friend in 1987 and stayed with the church for 22 years. As a loyal follower, Domingo signed a billion-year contract to work for the group’s “Sea Org,” the highest echelon of Scientology’s members.
Domingo said that while she finds the organization to be manipulative, she was impressed by the “really good people” who are attracted to Scientology.”That was the initial attraction,” she explained.
After becoming more involved in Scientology and moving up the organization’s ladder, she started dating and eventually married church officer Mike Gomes. Working in the president’s office, Gomes had regular access to celebrity Scientologists. When Domingo became pregnant, she immediately reported to the Ethics Committee, thinking they would give her lighter work duties.
Domingo alleges church leaders accused her of getting pregnant so that her husband would leave Sea Org. She claims she was pressured to have an abortion.
“Mike and I divorced shortly after that, I never saw him again. My divorce papers arrived through the internal mail system, via the Office of Special Affairs, which is like the Scientology spy unit.”
2. Domingo Spoke out after Seeing a Scientology Promo Featuring Isabella Cruise
Domingo, who has been a thorn in the Church of Scientology’s side for many years, said she was compelled to speak out after seeing actors Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s daughter, Isabella Cruise, 26, featured in a promotional Scientology message talking about how her father and the church helped her “find a missing piece.” Isabella has trained as a Scientology counselor know as an “auditor.”
“I became that annoying girl in the org who would just talk endlessly about how incredible training is and how phenomenal the internship is,” Isabella in an email to Scientology members in Great Britain.
“This IS what I had been searching for. The missing piece. Suddenly everything began to make sense,” she said.
Tom Cruise is an outspoken Scientology supporter and children Isabella and Connor are also involved. Kidman is no longer affiliated with the church.
Domingo said that she initially kept quiet about Isabella and her brother Connor, 24, out of loyalty to the church and to Cruise, but now feels differently. “Isabella’s being used for PR, she’s Tom Cruise’s kid, it’s not fair what they’re doing to her and Connor. They have no choice but to be the poster kids of Scientology now,” she said.
“A Suppressive Person (SP) is a person who seeks to suppress other people in their vicinity. A Suppressive Person will goof up or vilify any effort to help anybody and particularly knife with violence anything calculated to make human beings more powerful or more intelligent” the church’s website says.
In the 2015 documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, former Scientologist Marty Rathbun supports Domingo’s claim, saying that the church “re-educated” Connor and Isabella so that Cruise could retain custody after their divorce.
“They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it’s my job to love them,” Kidman said.
3. Domingo Claims John Travolta Attempted to Resurrect His Dead Son
Domingo claimed that actors John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston attempted to raise their 16-year-old son Jett from the dead by performing a “Bring Back to Life Assist” after he suffered a fatal seizure in January 2009.
“John Travolta did a ‘Bring Back to Life’ assist while Jett was in the ambulance, it’s where you order the Thetan (spirit) to get back into the body, saying, ‘I command you to get into the body now,’” she said.
Scientologists believe when Thetan leaves the body, it moves on to find another. ‘When you lose a child in Scientology, you believe that the spirit – Thetan – has left that physical body and will find another one,” she explained.
After Jett’s death, Domingo claims Preston was regularly being audited at the Scientology Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida with the hope of Jett’s Thetan returning.
“In the case of Kelly, she got pregnant [a few] months later and [the couple’s third child] Ben was born just over a year and a half after Jett’s death. She will believe the Thetan of Jett is in Ben.”
4. Domingo Says Jada Pinkett Smith Was a Scientology Recruiter
Actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith say they’re not involved with the Church of Scientology, but Domingo tells another story.
“They deny they’ve ever been in it – they lie. [Pinkett Smith] was a recruiter,” Domingo said.
“Jada was always around Celebrity Centre, doing her own thing with Kelly Preston in the President’s Office. They were like the Stepford Wives of Scientology,” Domingo recalled.
Domingo shared that Daphne Wayans and then-husband Keenan had been recruited by Jada.
“Daphne told me that Jada had introduced them to Scientology, Daphne was really excited telling me all this, but that’s what Jada did – she was charged with getting people into Scientology and I’m sure she’d be getting a commission for it.”
Domingo claims the church approached Will Smith for a $1 million to help fund the opening of a new school. The school idea never came to fruition and the Smiths eventually opened their own school.
5. Sam Domingo’s Ex-Husband Placido Domingo, Jr., Is Also a Scientology Critic
Samantha Domingo met second husband Placido Domingo, Jr. and his half-brother Jose at the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles. At the time, Placido and Jose were active church members.
The couple divorced in 2008 as Placido, Jr. was still involved with Scientology and Samantha became more critical. He eventually left in 2009 but half-brother Jose remains an active church member.
A 2011 article in The Telegraph revealed that Sam’s ex-husband, Placido Domingo, Jr. left Scientology after church leaders told him to “disconnect,” or stop communicating with Sam after she began openly criticizing the church.
When Domingo, Jr. parted ways with the church after 20 years, he discovered that his Scientologist friends were told to unfriend him on Facebook. After leaving, he claimed the organization also published confidential information he’d divulged during Scientology confession sessions known as “audits.”
“It’s an outrage. It’s penitent-privilege information. Imagine if they did that to Tom Cruise or John Travolta. My God,” he said.