Tom Cruise's 2004 Birthday Bash aboard the Freewinds

Tom Cruise's Birthday Bash aboard the Freewinds

I'm sure BFG and others will tell the whole story of the famous Tom Cruise Birthday Party, but I can relate a few things.

This was July 2004, and it happened right after the "Maiden Voyage Anniversary Event" which is held every year on June 6 and lasts about three weeks. It's the annual celebration where all the fat cats of Scientology get to home and vacation and hobnob with DM. DM usually stays on for a week or two and has himself a little vacation.

The ship was virtually empty - most of the public had left. The Gold Musicians were still there, in fact, they had been assigned to the Freewinds decks for some infraction and were doing things like scrubbing the decks and the bilges. All of a sudden the orders came from DM that that would be this huge birthday party for Tom Cruise.

All of the Musicians equipment had already been sent back, and was in Miami. So there was a lot of panic, and the equipment was turned around and sent back to the ship. More equipment was purchased, including 8 big flatscreen TVs - each one to show a different Cruise movie during the celebration. The Musicians had no drummer at the time (Bert Drake had been RPFed and Charlie Rush was washing dishes in the Big Blue Building). For the Maiden Voyage events they had used Tommy Brechtline (of Rippingtons fame) so there was some rapid "handlings" done to get Tommy to cancel what he had going on and get his ass back down to the ship. The gal signer isn't Chaka Chan, it's an Alicia Keys backup singer who was "on lines" at CC at the time. She was gotten to the ship.

Of course, all this wasn't cheap. I heard that by the end, they spent over $150,000 of Church money putting on the party. I know it doesn't look like a $150,000 party. but...

As there was no one left on the ship, about 50 of the Freewinds crew were pressed into service as "partygoers."

The Musicians you can see are Chris Mayo on electric guitar, Ron Miscavige Sr. and Carl Leech on trumpets, Mc Henry Ellis on sax, Peter Schless on keyboard. and Tommy Brechtline on drums. Don't know who the dancers are - some LA Scientologists who do dance gigs for Gold.

The people in the "front row" are Laurisse (Lou) Stuckebrock, Shelly Miscavige, TC, DM, Barbara Ruiz (then ED Author Services, now on the RPF) and her husband Xavier Ruiz, an ASI Exec at the time.

In the background are the "fillers" - Freewinds crew.

I think the oddest thing is not how pathetically corny it is, but how the audience seems clueless as to how corny it is and are laughing and cheering hysterically, as if it was the greatest thing they had ever seen.

The "tighty whitey" T-shirt look is a favorite look with DM. I think he thinks it makes him look tough or manly or something. Yeah, maybe in a New Jersey shipyard in 1950. He forgot to fold a pack of unfiltered camels into the sleeve.

Fishdaddy

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