vanity-fair-scientology-230.jpgThe Church of Scientology has fired back against Vanity Fair for the cover story they published this month, which goes into dirty details about the religion and Tom Cruise's alleged auditions for a new partner.

Journalist Maureen Orth claims that Shelly Miscavige, wife of Scientology chief David Miscavige, and other Scientology officials auditioned dozen of young women for Cruise prior to his marriage to Katie Holmes, among them being Nazanin Boniadi. The article goes into details about Cruise and Boniadi's odd courtship, including how the actress was punished for violating her confidentiality agreement with the star after they split.

Attorney Jeffrey K. Riffer posted a scathing 8-page letter on the Church Of Scientology's website, slamming Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter and Orth, labeling her as "a bigot." The lengthy rant also contains threats of legal action, with Riffer writing, "The disgraceful allegations Vanity Fair apparently plan to publish about Mr. Miscavige are defamatory. If Vanity Fair goes forward with publication of such defamatory allegations, now that it is on notice that the story is false, the stain on its reputation will last long after any reader even remembers the article. The sting of the jury verdict will last longer still; far longer than any pleasure from racing to publish a poorly researched and sourced story."

"Scientology is a new religion and its beliefs not as well known as those of more ancient history," Riffer continues. "That does not excuse you or Ms. Orth for being ignorant. Rather, it demands you be even more sensitive to finding out what the true beliefs are of Scientology -- which can only be told by the religion itself. Just because you don't think you are bigoted doesn't mean you aren't. Bigotry and ignorance go hand in hand and you are definitely and willfully ignorant of the actual beliefs of Scientology and the activities of its Churches."

In response to the letter, Vanity Fair said in a statement to CNN, "We absolutely stand by Maureen Orth's story. Vanity Fair has never paid sources and never would."