Tad Reeves: More Scenes from the Life of a Scientologist

Categories: Scientology

TadIntro.jpg
A Volunteer Minister's work is never done
Greetings, fellow Scientology watchers! How good and snug it feels to be back in our underground bunker, where we keep a vigilant eye on all things L. Ron Hubbard-related. After a week away, we're back with a new set of supplies, lots of reading material, and plenty of food for the cats. We should be set for several weeks without interruption.

We have several really major stories cooking for the next couple of weeks, but for now we thought we might pick up where we left off -- with the intriguing Tad Reeves, DC-area Scientologist.

As I reported last week, I stumbled across a smart and diverting blog post by the young father and ardent Scientologist, who pondered big questions about the nature of church founders and how their words are preserved.

But blogging isn't the only thing Tad Reeves has given the world. The avid mountain biker and doting dad is also a talented photographer, as his numerous Flickr albums will attest.

Most interesting for our purposes, however, is the album he compiled of photos that he titled "Scientology Church & Activities in DC."

We've selected the 9 photos we thought were most interesting, or that might help us understand Tad's journey as a Scientologist. Each of them carries a caption that Tad himself wrote, and we'll offer a few additional words where we can explain or clarify things.

We've tried to reach out to Tad himself for further help on what's in his snapshots, but so far we haven't heard back. We called the DC org -- the founding church of Scientology, established in 1955 -- where Tad seemed to indicate that he worked. But the person we talked to there said Tad wasn't a staffer. So we've sent him an e-mail through one of the blogs he runs, "Scientology Parent."

While we wait to hear from Tad, we expect that our perspicacious commenters, as usual, will provide the lion's share of useful information about what's going on. I look forward to your thoughts on the following images...

Update: I noticed after the fact that Tad's Flickr doesn't contain a creative commons license. So I'm going to keep up our descriptions of his photos, but with links, so please go look at them yourself and then come back here to discuss them.

PHOTO 1: Goofy happy Tad holding his baby girl and her certificate.

Mackenzie is a lifetime International Association of Scientologists member! As dad points out, she doesn't look thrilled, but you just know her inner thetan is jumping for joy. Anyone in our audience happen to know what it costs to make your child a lifetime IAS member? We're just curious.

PHOTO 2: A lovely photo of the Washington DC org at night.

Love this shot. A really lovely photo of the DC org. Of course, it's interesting that Tad describes this as the "Holidays." As we've noted before, Scientology believes that Jesus Christ is just a "figment of the imagination" as their spokeswoman Karin Pouw once put it to me (or, more specifically, part of the massive R6 implant Xenu put into the brains of our thetan ancestors 75 million years ago). So I've always found it...um, quaint...that Scientology puts on the outer trappings of Christian churches as winter approaches.

PHOTO 3: Tad wearing a rain coat with his daughter peeking out from inside.

Come on, this is just cute as hell. One thing certainly comes through in Tad's Flickr albums: he really seems to love being a young dad. In this case, he's manning the Volunteer Ministers tent on the DC mall, and advertising, we suppose, that the church is ready to send its volunteers to the site of disasters around the world. Isn't that selfless of them?

PHOTO 4: Mom, Dad, and baby celebrating.

Another shot of the whole family celebrating Mackenzie's lifetime IAS status. You know what they say about the family that prays together...

PHOTO 5: The family with a medal winner!

More celebration of Mackenzie being made a lifetime member of something she probably doesn't understand too well yet. And what an endorsement -- a Medal of Freedom winner! Commenters, help us out with a couple of things here. Anyone know much about Mary Shuttleworth, or what it takes to win one of those medals? And be nice.

PHOTO 6: Three youngsters outside a Washington Nationals game.

Tad posted a short video of these youngsters handing out materials outside a Washington Nationals game. Their T-shirts say "Youth for Human Rights International." Is that another CCHR front group?

PHOTO 7: Baby Denali's first PC folder.

I guess this is very cute if you're an active Scientologist. If you're not -- if you're a former Scientologist or just an avid Scientology watcher, like us -- then this is maybe one of the saddest things ever. Tad and his wife apparently have another addition to the family, a boy named Denali, and at just a few days old, a new PC ("pre-clear") folder is created for him, ostensibly to later record all of his worst fears and traumas. Having just reported a story about Placido Domingo Jr., who told us the contents of his supposedly confidential folder were recently used to smear him publicly, well, I figure this photo has some pretty creepy vibes, doesn't it?

PHOTO 8: A shiny trophy for LRH's b-day!

In his album, Tad makes reference to a "birthday game" a couple of times. I'm assuming this has something to do with L. Ron Hubbard's birthday, March 13, which is a Scientology holy day. Perhaps our commenters can fill us in on what the "birthday game" is and why it would call for such an amazing trophy.

Update: Award-winning commenter Pam Ellis answers our question about the "Birthday Game" with an explanation from Scientology itself:

"Birthday Game: A yearly competition participated in by Missions, Scientology Organizations and Advanced Organizations. The purpose of the game is expansion, and its points are earned each week based on the trends of the statistics. The Birthday Game started in 1974 when L. Ron Hubbard was asked what he wanted for his birthday and his answer was '5X the stats!' The result was one of the biggest booms in Scientology to that date, and the Birthday Game has since become a tradition."

PHOTO 9: Denali immortalized on the wall!

And finally, we see that Tad's son Denali has literally become a poster boy for lifetime membership in the IAS. Actually, he's a "Centennial Patron," whatever that is.

So that's a glimpse into the life of Tad Reeves and his family. One thing's for sure: he is very happy about being a Scientologist, and I can respect that.



tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO

Click here to see all recent Scientology coverage at the Voice

Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle'
The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up
The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige
Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It?
Inside Inside Scientology -- An interview with author Janet Reitman
Scientology and the Nation of Islam -- Holy Doctrinal Mashup, Batman!
Scientologists -- How Many of Them Are There, Anyway?
Roger Weller's Wild Ride -- Scientology When it was Hip
The Marc Headley Infiltration -- A Scientology Spying Operation Revealed
Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology's Retaliation is "Scary and Pathetic"
An Interview with Nancy Many, Former Scientology Spy

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21 comments
Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry

Just wait until someone who shouldn't have seen Denali's folder threatens to tell his peers that he picks his nose and wets the bed.

Scilonschools
Scilonschools

One thing stood out to me was the founding date of the DC org, 1955, this was the same year (i believe) that Scientology set up in London at Brunswick House, 83 Palace Gardens Terrace, London .It was early days for LRH and his org, trans-Atlantic travel wasn't as easy as it is today, he certainly looked to set up those early offices next to the 'Seat of Powers', he clearly had greater goals of political influance than most Cults.Usually they want to get as far away from public eye as possible, where they can contain or control their recruits!!!!

candace6
candace6

Scientology "security check"  (and doesn't every "religion" need a security check) for children:

What has somebody told you not to tell? Have you ever decided you did not like some member of your family? Have you ever taken something belonging to somebody else and never given it back? Have you ever pretended to be sick (ill)? Have you ever made yourself sick (ill), or hurt yourself to make somebody sorry? Have you even wanted something every much, but never told anybody about it? Have you ever gotten yourself dirty on purpose?

 These kids won't go to college, they won't be allowed to associate with non-Scientologists, their whole lives will be dedicated to one purpose:  Make money for Scientology.  How sad.

dagobarbz
dagobarbz

Washington DC org won the Birthday Game this year. It's some kind of contest for who can sell the most copies of Dianetics, at its core. The lovely Kim Belotte, perjurer and accuser of SP Anon Sparrow, received the award (and a simply spiffing silk jacket) at one of their big Events, where she got another chance to wear her prom dress.http://i.imgur.com/TRNFz.jpg

I imagine the staff were awarded with some little gold colored plastic trinkets as a token of DM's esteem.

Rutilio Grande
Rutilio Grande

Here is some info on Mary Shuttleworth. She is a South African Scientologist and totally committed. Her specialty is the Applied Scholastics front group. 

She founded Shuttleworth Academy Mary's Schoolhouse in the heart of cult-occupied Los Angeles. 

She has now become the head of another front group aimed at young people, Youth For Human Rights International. She flies around the world meeting with Ministers of Education and other exploitable useful idiots.

She managed to get on a Human Rights Panel at the University of Chicago School of Social Work with the city's LGBT Liaison (and the cult demands that gay people undergo 7 - 10 hours of ex-gay cult therapy for three or more weeks) and a psychologist working on AIDS, whom she is committed to destroying per David Miscavige's Global Obliteration of Psychiatry campaign.

Last year the Catholic Chaplain at Manhattanville College near NYC was manipulated by OSA director and head of the NYC org, the Rev. John "I smell pussy" Carmichael into sponsoring the launch of Mary's Annual YHRI World Tour. 

Manhattanville is now a non-denominational institution, but it was founded by nuns and Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus still sit on the Board.

Guest
Guest

Is Manhattanville still connected with this or sponsoring this?

Kirialax
Kirialax

A really sweet, well-intentioned family. It is indeed sad. I pray they will gradually move closer and closer to understanding the full truth.

All I can think of when I see pictures of this lovely family is, "Total spiritual freedom for a family of three - only $1,500,000."

adhocrat
adhocrat

current IAS costs are $500 for a 1 year membership, $5K for a lifetime membership

Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene

Thads kids sure are cute but when they are old enough and decide not to pursue Scientology, as good Scientologists Thad and his wife will have to disown and disconnect from them.  Can you really respect that?

dagobarbz
dagobarbz

Oh, they'll be working in the Sea Org before they're mature enough to think for themselves.

For Scientology, Mark Miglio
For Scientology, Mark Miglio

Thanks for the nice photos, Tony.

Oh, BTW ----- "PC folders" are to be held confidential at all times ---- violations will be handled by the church Ethics Officers.  (There are many ways to get data on people who have in some way attacked us without violating this rule.)

Lifetime membership was a voluntary donation of 4g's last time I looked.

Freedom Medal winners  usually have opened up new areas (locations, businesses, governments) for Scientology.  

The Birthday Game is a competition between Scientology organizations to see which org will expand the most as a gift to Ron Hubbard for his birthday -- March 13th.

Marry Shuttleworth started Youth for Human Rights International ---- an international organization that young people join to help get their governments to support and promote Human Rights.

Scientologists want all people to have a nice Christmas (or whatever is their similar celebration).  Christmas is a special time for non-Christian Scientologists because, it seems to me, that it means so much to other people, and all Scientologists of any religion, as a time of affection for all people.

 

candace6
candace6

"Confidential at all times"?  Did you type that with a straight face?  Placido Domingo Jr. and others would beg to differ. 

dagobarbz
dagobarbz

So explain how a baby can be a Freedom Medal winner. The only things I can figure is, either daddy dumped a lot of money on DM's head, or the kid has learned to fill its diaper with gold.

Leoryan78
Leoryan78

The baby didn't win it; it was given to Mary Shuttleworth.

Sid
Sid

 Let's talk about Scientology and Human Rights shall we Mark?

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.Scientology: Some people are SPs, some are Degraded Beings. Some should be "discarded quietly and without sorrow". Some are born gay and 1.1 on the tone scale. I could go on...

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this DeclarationScientology: See Article 1.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.Scientology: ...unless you're in the RPF.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.Scientology:...unless you've signed the Billion Year Contract, then your ass is grass and we're the lawnmower.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.Scientology: ...unless you're in the RPF.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.Scientology: Which law are we talking about? Wog law? You must be kidding, we insist on resolving disputes using Scientology justice (the winner in any dispute is the thetan who has the highest IAS status).

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.Scientology: This does not apply to SPs.....oh and fair game has been cancelled. Honestly, it really has. (Unless you're an SP naturally).

Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.Scientology: ....there's that Wog law again! And by the way, when it comes to Wog law we'll kick your ass so hard you won't try that crap again!

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.Scientology: ...unless you're in the RPF. Which is voluntary. Honestly. Where's Heber? Where's Shelley Miscavige?

Article 10.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.Scientology: ....ha ha ha ha. Very funny, now - let's talk about your IAS status again before your comm ev reconvenes and we find you guilty of ethics violations.

Anyone else care to run with this?

For Scientology, Mark Miglio
For Scientology, Mark Miglio

I makes me sad Sid, to see how twisted a story you have on Scientology.  Please think about this: Your spin will inhibit the spiritual evolution that is well underway in today's world.   Be a good guy and do your due diligent research more thoroughly.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Thank you for those explanations, and welcome back, Mark!

Pam Ellis
Pam Ellis

Seeing pics of ardent supporters of scientology ( with children) just makes me sad.  This man obviously wants to give of himself to better the world, and scientology is using that to make money for the likes of Miscavige.

To answer about the "Birthday Game" mentioned on page 9...basically...the game is a way for the cult to really push for bigger stats by having Orgs and missions compete against each other.

From scientology itself:"Birthday Game: A yearly competition participated in by Missions, Scientology Organizations and Advanced Organizations. The purpose of the game is expansion, and its points are earned each week based on the trends of the statistics. The Birthday Game started in 1974 when L. Ron Hubbard was asked what he wanted for his birthday and his answer was "5X the stats!" The result was one of the biggest booms in Scientology to that date, and the Birthday Game has since become a tradition."

choocho
choocho

Have these people ever heard of the selling of indulgences? That "commendation" for merely donating money sounds a lot like that. Even the Catholic Church stopped doing that a long time ago.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

There is so much /facepalm in Tad's photos, I dont even know where to begin...  

But so glad to have you back in the basement errr... bunker, where you belong Tony! :)

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Tad, Wife & Child as the "Ward" & "June" Cleaver of $cientology? Or, "Father Knows Best" ?

The $cientology PR Machine never sleeps.

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