Walking Dead Star’s Father Accuses Scientology of “Brainwashing” Her in Damning New Interview

Vanity Fair/July 29, 2015

By Julie Miller

In Vanity Fair’s 2012 cover story about Scientology, contributing editor Maureen Orth reported how the organization labeled Nicole Kidman a Suppressive Person—someone “who could threaten the spiritual well-being of” Scientologists—towards the end of her marriage to Tom Cruise. When Cruise sued for divorce, Orth reported, the organization used Kidman’s S.P. classification to coax the couple’s two adopted children into alienating their mother. Now, in a new report that eerily mirrors that parental estrangement story line, former Scientology clergy member Joe Reaiche claims that the church “brainwashed” his four children, including Danny Masterson (That ’70s Show) and Alanna Masterson (The Walking Dead), into suddenly cutting him out of their lives.

Reaiche, who became a Scientologist when he was 20 years old, shares his story with the Daily Mail because, as he claims, Scientology is “a very deep and sordid abyss” and will be “until it loses its charity status or its tax-exempt status. Until then, what it does to families is absolute evil that’s allowed to persist.”

According to the report, Reaiche was “a fully qualified counselor and Operating Thetan (OT) 7—at the time the highest rank within the Sea Org—by the age of 23.” He estimates that he spent over $400,000 on courses with the organization, and joined the church’s clergy, called the Sea Org, after marrying fellow Scientologist Carole Masterson in 1984. Masterson had two young sons, Danny and Christopher, and Reaiche says that upon marrying, he raised both boys as his own, as well as his children with Masterson, Jordan and Alanna.

Reaiche says he began growing skeptical of the organization after a failed business venture.

“You begin to lose the faith and you start to see that you‘re buying the idea of being a supreme being but that’s not being delivered.” But it was not until 2005 that he cut ties with the organization because, as he tells it, he helped his son, who was having trouble in school, by applying Scientology’s “technology and techniques in my own way.“ Carole found the materials, photocopied them, and delivered them to the organization—which determined, according to Reaiche, that he had “traduced founder L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings and technologies.”

Six months after meeting with Scientology’s “court of ethics” about the incident, Reaiche received its verdict: “It accused me of all my crimes and said I was a suppressive person and the only person I could be in communication with is the International Justice Chief in California.”

“I immediately called my kids who were in Glendale, California, with their mother, no answer,” he says. “I called probably 20 times, no answer. I called all my friends; no answer.”

Over a decade later, Reaiche has come to terms with the estrangement.

“I love my kids,” he says. “Maybe I'll bump into them one day. They’re probably going to be shocked. But I’m just going to say, ‘I love you. I hope you do well. I’ll miss you for the rest of my life. I’ll always be your dad.‘”

“I can’t hoodwink them,” he continues. “I can’t kidnap them and I can’t convince them because they’re brainwashed.”

Alex Gibney’s damning new documentary about the church, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, features similar sad anecdotes from men and women who left the church and were subsequently shut out by family members.

When vanityfair.com reached out to the Church of Scientology for comment, the organization provided the following statement:

“Mr. Reaiche is a deadbeat dad exploiting his children. He was expelled a decade ago from the Church for involving Church members in his unethical financial dealings. He has had ample opportunities to resolve his personal relationships, but has instead used his one-time association with the Church to generate publicity. To find out the truth about Scientology and the global humanitarian programs the Church sponsors, see our website at www.scientology.org.”

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