Well, so much for those idiotic tabloid reports about Tom Cruise losing his religion. The folks over at ESMB spotted a photograph posted Saturday on Instagram that shows Tom in London and wearing his Freedom Medal of Valor.
He’s posing with Ruddy Rodriguez, who was Miss Venezuela World in 1985, has worked in Venezualan telenovelas since then, and has been a Scientologist since 1997.
According to the caption on the photo, posted by Ruddy’s manager, he took the picture in London where there was a “spectacular celebration.”
This is the weekend of the annual celebrations of the International Association of Scientologists in East Grinstead, England. On Friday night the IAS had its gala. On Saturday it held its Patron’s Ball for the church’s big donors.
And it looks like Tom Cruise attended one or both of those celebrations.
But what’s really stunning to see in the photograph is not just that Tom is at a Scientology event, but that he’s wearing the medal (or a new version of it) that is such a legendary artifact of its own.
We’ve told the story many times here: What the public didn’t hear at the time was that between 1995 and 2000, Cruise got away from Scientology. After he and Nicole Kidman broke up at the end of 2000, Scientology leader David Miscavige then made it job one to get Cruise back into the fold. That job fell to Marty Rathbun, who audited Cruise and turned him into a zealous church member again.
To reward Tom for his renewed dedication, Miscavige had the medal made to give Tom at the IAS gala in October 2004 — ten years ago.
Normally, Miscavige hands out a few Freedom Medals for Scientologists who have been chosen for recognition. But Miscavige had a special, larger medal made for Tom and called it the Freedom Medal of Valor.
This is the first time we’ve seen a photo of him wearing it since — we can’t help wondering if there was a special 10-year celebration for Tom at one of the events this weekend.
(Additional: In 2012, Cruise was spotted at the IAS Patron’s Ball wearing the medal, according to a British press report at the time. So, most likely this photo, which was posted Saturday afternoon, showed Tom at his hotel about to go to that evening’s Patron’s Ball and Rodriguez’s manager corralled him for the photo before the drive over to East Grinstead. As far as we know this is still the first actual photograph of Tom made public showing him with the medal since he first received it ten years ago. And here’s what Roger Friedman had to say about it over at Showbiz 411: “Cruise is wearing the same Freedom Medal of Valor award he got 10 years ago right before he met Katie Holmes. This means that nothing that’s happened since then — ridicule over the couch jumping, Katie Holmes, losing his marriage and Suri, etc — has ever sunk in. Not even the Miscavige Clinic for the Criminally Insane on General Hospital.”)
Sunday Funnies: Scientology repurposes the ‘Think Different’ Apple ad
Scientology leader David Miscavige seems to dig the atmospherics in the Apple commercials. But at least Scientology’s have been somewhat original, if generally nonsensical.
But now, the folks in Detroit who are trying to raise money for a new “Ideal Org” have gone one step further and straight up ripped off the iconic 1997 “Think Different” Apple ad, in this case the version featuring the voice of Steve Jobs.
And the result is something to behold. They’ve simply inserted scenes from one of Scientology’s typically goofy fundraising parties into the ad, and some of the juxtapositions are amazing. Enjoy!
Moving on with more of our weekly helping of Sunday Funnies, which help give us a weekly snapshot of how things are going inside the church.
Hey, look, Tess is on board!
The Valley org will be able to service 1,400 people at the same time! Oh, how cute.
“You will discover things about the history of OT on this planet that you were never supposed to know.”
“I want to see the Aims of Scientology come to fruition in my lifetime.”
Yet another person paying for the elusive nirvana of “I am me.”
If you haven’t already read our story about Scientology’s marriage counseling, you really must.
Hey, party at the Celebrity Centre…
Yo, Philly, we don’t buy that opening statement for a minute.
Poor Santa Barbara, can’t get any financial love from that wealthy couple that went to the local university.
So, Eve and David, if the current org isn’t spreading Scientology, why does a new building change things?
Another org goes begging for staff in all sorts of posts.
Get a load of all these hero[e]s!
This next letter is great. Note that 2.5 years after Sacramento’s Ideal Org opened up, it has the space for delivering “standard LRH tech.” And if you were to bring someone by (subtext: no one goes there, ever) they might actually have a roaring good time.
Toronto org is changing the world…
And finally, ooh, it’s some kind of Scottish scavenger hunt. Fun!
Thanks again to our great tipsters!
Posted by Tony Ortega on October 18, 2014 at 23:20
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