David Miscavige


Obviously, the allegations of Tom Cruise’s ‘confidential’ auditing sessions being recorded back in 2001-2002, and the use these so-called “confidential” confessions by Scientology boss David Miscavige to entertain his entourage has caused the newswire to glow red hot. (The source of all this is Marty Rathbun’s blog.)

I just want to add a little background materials to this.

Recorded ‘confidential’ auditing sessions is something that made the news back in 1993, in an article titled, “Scientologists concealing cameras while counseling,” in the Tampa Tribune, on September 18th, 1993:

Church of Scientology officials are installing concealed cameras and microphones in at least 69 counseling rooms where church members reveal their innermost thoughts, a church spokesman confirms.

Also, the allegations of David Miscavige using parishioners’ private life to entertain people around him was also in the news in the early 90s, as reported in an article titled, “The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power,” in Time magazine, May 1991:

Screen star Travolta, 37, has long served as an unofficial Scientology spokesman, even though he told a magazine in 1983 that he was opposed to the church’s management. High-level defectors claim that Travolta has long feared that if he defected, details of his sexual life would be made public. . . . The church’s former head of security, Richard Aznaran, recalls Scientology ringleader Miscavige repeatedly joking to staffers about Travolta’s allegedly promiscuous homosexual behavior.

In, 2005, Billy Bush of Access Hollywood, questioned Tom Cruise regarding the controversy surrounding the Church of Scientology. Tom Cruise’s answer was:

Those are lies… you know… and… and really when you get down to it… It’s like there is people… you know… there is bigots… There is people that just want to hate, period, Billy.

Well, really when you get down to it, Tom Cruise — or any Church of Scientology member for that matter — would have been well-advised to not dismiss those former Scientologists who spoke out.

Related, from Scientology library: “Confidential preclear (PC) folder”, “Blackmail”.

“On Source”: Meaning to follow Scientology teachings exactly as L. Ron Hubbard intended it.

Exactly 27 years ago, the St. Petersburg Times published an article titled “A ‘new breed’ reported taking over Scientology,” relating the takeover of the Church of Scientology by a handful of young believers, whose stated rationale was to bring Scientology back “on Source” (following the “Operation Snow White” mess.)

Given the ongoing events surrounding Scientology, and the new breed of defectors who wish to bring back Scientology “on Source,” I thought it was an appropriate time to transcribe this old article here.

A ‘new breed’ reported taking over Scientology

By Robert Lindsey
January 7, 1983
© New York Times

Defections by older members and publicity given a legal battle over control of hundreds of millions of dollars are believed to be cutting into the membership of the Church of Scientology.

The church, which has a headquarters in Clearwater, is described by its leaders as a religion and by its critics as a highly profitable business with cult-like overtones.

The church claims a worldwide membership of 6-million, although former officials say the number of adherents is probably fewer than 700,000.

According to dissident members, former Scientology officials and allegations in court documents, the church is currently controlled by a cadre of former servants of the organization’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, whose 1950 book Dianetics became the cornerstone of its program. The takeover by these members, who are in their 20s, has led to the expulsion or resignation of more than 150 senior members in the past year.

FACED WITH the loss of millions of dollars in income, the expelled operators of several regional Scientology franchises have set up their own organizations based on Hubbard’s teachings.

Meanwhile, the oldest son of Hubbard, Ronald E. DeWolf, has contended in a lawsuit that his father is either dead or being held captive by the former servants. He is suing to gain control of his father’s estate, which he says is worth more than $100-million.

In interviews and affidavits, some former church officials and other dissident members have contended the church is a lucrative business enterprise that systematically suppresses dissent. And more than 20 suits have been brought against the church by former members, represented by Michael Flynn, a Boston lawyer.

Spokesmen for the church have denied the accusations, including assertions of fraud and contentions that the church does not represent a bona fide religion.

“It’s a con — it was a fraud from the beginning,” Gerald Armstrong, formerly a close aide to Hubbard and the church’s archivist, said of the organization. He said he left the church a year ago after gaining access to records that he asserted indicated a long pattern of deception and fraud.

ACCORDING TO estimates by some former church officials, the organization, much of whose income is tax-exempt. has assets of more than $300-million around the world, much of it in bank accounts in Switzerland and the Caribbean. And each week, the former members said, it takes in more than $2-million at more than 100 branches in this country and abroad.

Former officials estimate that the Clearwater facility alone takes in upwards of $1-million a week.

Much of the current strife in the organization, former members say, began in the spring of 1980, when, without warning, a number of new people appeared in the church’s upper echelons and began demanding more money and less independence from the regional franchise owners.

The majority of them were members of a group called the “Commodore Messenger Organization” This designation stemmed from a period in the 1970s when Hubbard ran the church from a 300-foot yacht, the Apollo, and referred to himself as the “Commodore.” Some Scientologists took their children to live with them on the ship, and older children were designated personal aides to hubbard.

ON THE SHIP, and later, when Hubbard moved the headquarters to a 500-acre resort called Gilman Hot Springs that the church bought in the desert near Palm Springs, Calif., the status of the teen-agers was raised.

According to the dissidents, they were taught to obey Hubbard explicitly, to mimic his voice and to inform on members who criticized him. Not long after moving to the desert facility, former church members say, Hubbard retreated increasingly into seclusion and usually saw only members of the messenger corps, who were granted the right to discipline adult church members.

Many of the former messengers are said to wear the naval uniform of an elite church branch called the “Sea Organization.” The dissident members say that a half-dozen or so of them appear to be controlling the church and its assets through the Religious Technology Center, a corporation established in January 1982.

“It’s like the Lord of the Flies,” said a former franchise holder who spoke with the understanding that he not be identified. “The children have taken over.”

THE CENTRAL figure in the corporation is David Miscavige, 22, who has told franchise holders that Hubbard had granted the corporation exclusive rights to the Scientology trademarks and the copyrights of his books.

According to the former officials, the new leadership group has demanded that franchise owners send their clients to the church-owned counseling centers rather than continuing to profit from them at the missions.

At an Oct. 17 meeting at the San Francisco Hilton, members of the new leadership group informed the franchise owners that the church had been reorganized “to make the whole structure impregnable, especially in regards to the IRS.”

According to a transcript of that meetings, one of the former messengers said, “The fact of the matter is you have a new breed of management in the church. They’re tough, they’re ruthless, they are on Source.” The term “Source” refers to the teachings of Hubbard.

According to a passage in this book, David Miscavige took over the leadership of the Church of Scientology in May 1981. So I will just leave this here:

St. Peterburg Times (April 3, 1980): “Former member details life aboard Scientology ship”

Miss Burden charges that Hubbard often ordered transgressors to spend time in the ship’s “chain lockers.”

“These lockers were small, smelly holes covered by grates where the chain for the anchor was stored,” Miss Burden says. “I saw one boy held in there for 30 nights, crying and begging to be released.”

In another case, Miss Burden says, she saw a young boy and girl “thrown in the chain lockers because of romantic involvments they had with other people. Hubbard fanatically prohibited involvment between the sexes. Married persons were allowed to see each other, but it was strictly controlled.”

[St. Peterburg Times (April 3, 1980): “Former member details life aboard Scientology ship”]

Scientology library, before May 1981… And keep in mind that more people have come out after April 1981 to speak out about Scientology during L. Ron Hubbard’s era (Disclaimer: more historical materials is added to the library on a daily basis, so by no mean near complete as of now.)

On August 30, Mark C. “Marty” Rathbun posted the following piece on his blog: “Scientific proof II”. At some point, he states:

From a true Scientologist’s perspective it is ridiculous to try to make Scientology prove itself through science

However, puzzingly, most of his post, including the title, is discourse to suggest that Scientology is scientifically sound.

But my interest is that on Marty Rathbun’s blog, there is this overall theme, that David Miscavige only gave Scientology a bad name. This of course, I find ridiculous, as the track record of crimes, abuses and deceit traces back all the way to the 50s. When I read this passage:

Miscavige’s first impulse when he reads this post will likely be to strut around the office ranting to his inner circle

I felt compelled to answer, so yesterday, I replied on his blog as follow:

“Miscavige’s first impulse when he reads this post will likely be to strut around the office ranting to his inner circle”

L. Ron Hubbard’s first impulse when he saw Jim Berry’s cartoon in 1977 (URL supplied below), was to order his crew to disenfranchise Jim Berry, so that he would stop “SP Scientology.”

http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/operation-funny-bone.html

Where was David Miscavige at the time?

Regarding Linde, he a real scientist, meaning that he his of the opinion that *ultimately*, any scientific theory must go through the validation/invalidation process of repeatable, quantifiable objective experiments, which always involves measuring things (or else there is absolutely *no use* for the theory.) Real scientists embrace debates and peer reviews. I doubt he would be pleased to have Hubbard compared to him. It boggles my mind to even see those two names mentioned on the same page.

My point, of course, was to illustrate that Scientology was already corrupt prior to David Miscavige. In my opinion, Scientology doctrines such as “Suppressive Person”, “stats”, etc. will invariably lead to a culture of abuses and arbitraries.

Previously, I had been pleasantly surprised that he did accept to publicize my commments on his blog (like here, here, here).

However, this time, it appears my reply didn’t make the cut. Today, in the comments section, he posted something which I feel explains why my reply wasn’t accepted. I quote him:

… I attempted to open discussion to anyone, giving some who have attacked Scientology generally the benefit of the doubt that they were simply misinformed. The responses you don’t see, and won’t anymore, are worse than distractions. They are attempts to discredit any positive spiritual experience people may have attained using Scientology. That is hate, not discussion. They are living proof that some who say they are in the Scientology protest business for the sole purpose of protecting fundamental human and civil rights are not being sincere. The latest was attacking me as ”blaming everything on Miscavige.” The implication is that Hubbard needs to be blamed. I cannot in good conscience, and will not, give Miscavige a pass on that score. …

Oh well. I will go through each of his points.

… I attempted to open discussion to anyone, giving some who have attacked Scientology generally the benefit of the doubt that they were simply misinformed …

Thanks for this, I really appreciated it (while it lasted.)

… The responses you don’t see, and won’t anymore, are worse than distractions. …

This answers well why my last reply wasn’t accepted for publication on your blog. I was wondering.

… They are attempts to discredit any positive spiritual experience people may have attained using Scientology. …

Not really. This was rather an attempt to show that many Scientology doctrines are at the root of pattern of crimes, abuses, deceit of organized Scientology. They act as natural selection to bring people like David Miscavige at the helm of organized Scientology. Prior to David Miscavige, it was the Guardian’s Office.

… That is hate, not discussion. …

There we go, associating critical analysis and dissent to “hate”… There is this French expression, “Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop,” which I found translate as follow: “Leopard cannot change its spots”, that is, critical analysis of Scientology is still perceived as “hate” to former Church of Scientology officer Mark Rathbun.

… They are living proof that some who say they are in the Scientology protest business for the sole purpose of protecting fundamental human and civil rights are not being sincere. …

I point at harmful Scientology doctrines, obviously, being sincere can’t be part of my character.

… The latest was attacking me as “blaming everything on Miscavige.” The implication is that Hubbard needs to be blamed. I cannot in good conscience, and will not, give Miscavige a pass on that score. …

So apparently, making a case that Scientology contains many harmful doctrines is to “give Miscavige a pass”… I started to assemble a web page on Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige back in October 2005. Does it look like I am attempting to give David Miscavige a free pass? To me, it rather looks like Mark Rathbun is attempting to give Scientology a free pass.

I will note that Paulette Cooper and countless others certainly deserve more than this kind of Scientology apologetics. In my opinion, they have never been totally vindicated, I wish they will be one day, as of now, it’s not going to come from Mark C. “Marty” Rathbun, this I can tell.

On July 30, 2009, the Seattle Times published a letter from Rev. Ann Pearce, who criticized a June 21st article reporting on the St. Petersburg Times’ “The Truth Rundown”.

According to the content of her letter, Rev. Ann Pearce would have us believe that the accounts of abuses by Scientology leader David Miscavige are not to be trusted, since the sources are from only four former members:

The article uncritically accepts as truth statements from a handful of former church staff without ever addressing their lack of credibility, their underlying motivations and the voluminous evidence proving their stories were false. These individuals lost their positions of authority within the church for incompetence and for serious misconduct. The sources named in the article plainly targeted the man who removed them, David Miscavige.

Rev. Anne Pearce’s letter drew many comments, including this one from myself – which I will make permanent here:

Although the St. Petersburg Times’ special report on the Church of Scientology chief David Miscavige represents a milestone, accounts of David Miscavige’s abuses were not new: Over decades, accounts of physical abuses have been brought to light by former members. As early as 1987, in a BBC’s Panorama report, former member Don Larson described how David Miscavige physically abused a Scientology Mission holder.

Rev. Ann Pearce’s reaction to the accounts of abuses in the St. Pete illustrates perfectly why the “outside” world is needed to bring accountability to the Church of Scientology management: Not only Scientology doesn’t have built-in mechanisms for rooting out abuses/wrongdoings/etc from within, it actually crowds out any such mechanism through Scientology’s “Suppressive Person” doctrine:

Any staff expressing the slightest doubt toward David Miscavige’s leadership would be deemed as damaging and potentially destructive toward Scientolology and its management (see HCOPL 23 December 1965 “SUPPRESSIVE ACTS”), declared “Suppressive” and thrown out with absolutely no regard to the validity if their concerns. As designed by L. Ron Hubbard.

In my answer, I mentioned Don Larson’s account off the top of my head. Looking a bit more into this, I found that accounts of abuse are found as early as 1984, as seen in an article from the now defunct Clearwater Sun, titled “Horror story told in sect suit” (transcript), and in which former Scientologist Howard D. Schomer recounts to the court:

David Miscavige, Pat Broeker and others took Schomer from his room on Oct. 28 1982, and interrogated him for more than 10 hours. He was denied food and water and accused of working for “enemies” of the sect.During the interrogation, called a “sec check,” David Miscavige spat tobacco juice in Schomer’s face and told him: “I’m going to fix you.” Miscavige told Schomer that if he did not “come clean,” Miscavige would see that Schomer “was thrown in jail by having ‘witnesses’ falsely accuse (Schomer) of having committed crimes.”

Let’s see: “having ‘witnesses’ falsely accuse”… Something to ponder when reading Rev. Ann Pearce’s letter to the Seattle Times, or the Church of Scientology’s official answer to the St. Petersburg Times’ special report.