David Miscavige, chairman of the board of the Church of Scientology and his 80-year-old father are waging holy war over the dad’s explosive new book ‘Ruthless.’
Ex-Scientologist Ron Miscavige reveals his March 2012 escape from the church led his son to dispatch private detectives with a hit man’s arsenal of weapons in their car trunk to shadow him. The elder Miscavige draws a grim picture of life within the Church’s barbed wire California compound, and equates his son with a sociopath who rules by terror.
The controversy has irreversibly ruptured the first family of Scientology. Ron’s two daughters, both Scientology members, are now refusing to let him visit with his grandkids.
The Church characterizes the book as “half-truths and outright lies,” and went to unprecedented lengths to refute its allegations — granting ABC News a rare on-air interview with its lawyer, Monique Yingling.
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A four-paragraph Scientology statement ripped Ronald Miscavige for trying to turn a quick buck off his son’s high-profile position.
“Any father exploiting his son in this manner is a sad exercise in betrayal,” the statement said. “Scientologists worldwide love and respect Mr. David Miscavige for his tireless work on behalf of their religion.”
Ron raised his family in Scientology, and joined the Sea Organization (Sea Org) — the elite corps who help run the Church — in 1985.
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His son David was already close to the pinnacle of the Church hierarchy. When founder L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986, David presented himself to the thronging faithful as the new Chairman of the Board (COB) and Ecclesiastical Leader.
According to his father, David’s early priority was to turn celebrity Scientologists like Tom Cruise and John Travolta into public relations gold. Cruise was already a member when David made a point of visiting the Florida movie set where the megastar was preparing to shoot the 1990 movie “Days of Thunder” with Nicole Kidman.
According to the book, David came away obsessed with Cruise — who was still keeping his membership on the down low. The COB greeted Cruise with a royal reception when the actor returned the favor and visited Miscavige.
The two bonded, and Ron claims he was told they once allegedly staged a midnight race through Los Angeles in separate sports cars. In the years since, they’ve made a public show of being best friends.
David was even best man at Cruise’s blowout wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006. As COB, David poured millions of dollars into finishing construction of a secret compound located 100 miles east of Los Angeles.
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The Gold Base was a showcase of 50 buildings with menacing security: High fences topped with razor wire, its barbs unusually turned inward. The area is heavily patrolled, with guard towers and motion sensor cameras alerting security to any unusual movement.
The Church claims the extreme measures are in place to protect the millions of dollars of equipment housed in its state of the art media production studio.
The book, written with fellow Scientology defector/critic Dan Koon, claims the security is used to keep rank and file members corralled and roughed up at David’s whim.
Echoing published accounts of other escapees and court testimony, the book describes horrific scenes of groups of offenders held hostage for months — some for years — in “The Hole.” Alleged violators were designated as a “suppressive person,” forced to confess their sins to the group, and then attacked by screaming group members.
The Church insists that when David learned staff members were abusing others, he ordered it stopped.
Ron recounts a story heard first-hand that David once forced a group of Scientologists to play a horrific game of musical chairs. The desperate players threw each other around, tearing clothes and breaking chairs, as they fought for the last seat.
The Church claims the story is inflated, that David was merely making the point that personnel changes are like musical chairs.
The book further alleges David once interrogated a staff member in front of others by shouting questions while spitting on him. Another target was banished to live in a swamp, left to build his own lean-to, and restricted in a fenced-in area for a year.
The church denies both stories. source