A former Church of Scientology security guard has claimed there is an ongoing rivalry between two of its most famous members, Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Brendan Tighe, who was a scientologist for 30 years, told the Daily Mail the two stars have "furiously vied" for the Church's Number Two position, underneath leader David Miscavige.

But he says, "Cruise is the only celeb with a direct line to Miscavige. Travolta and Kirstie [Alley] don't have that."

Cruise was reportedly given the highest award in scientology in 2008 - the Freedom Medal of Valor, which is given to the Church's most dedicated member. According to Tighe, this made Travolta "explode in jealousy".

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"It's no secret that Cruise and Travolta despised each other. Travolta wasn't invited to Cruise's wedding with Katie Holmes, [which] told me everything. I can assure you Travolta doesn't recognise Cruise as a superior in any way. When Cruise got that medal Travolta was so pi**ed off," Tighe says.

"The closest person Miscavige had ever said that about before was Travolta, he was told by Miscavige that he was the most dedicated Scientologist and had introduced more members than anyone, so it was like getting his title stripped. He was jealous."

Tighe previously worked at Scientology's global headquarters in Clearwater, Florida and was born in the Church.

Tighe quit his job as a security guard in 2009 after "a succession of incidents with higher command" and left the Church two years later. His mother and sister are still members.