Apr 27, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: 'It was like a scene out of Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible.' How estranged father of Scientology leader David Miscavige escaped from the Church is revealed in the memoir his son is trying to BAN

Martin Gould 
Dailymail.com
April 26, 2016

  • Ron Miscavige, 80, left Scientology in 2012 after 41 years
  • Marine veteran will reveal details of why he left Scientology, its inner workings and the role of his son David Miscavige in book 'Ruthless' 
  • The UK and US publishers of the book have received a letter from David Miscavige's legal team threatening to sue his father
  • Scientology claims the book contains 'malicious, false, misleading and highly defamatory allegations
  • Allegations include that David Miscavige lives in lavish conditions while Church staff live in poor conditions and his management style is erratic and abusive
  • Ron and his wife Becky, who is 21 years younger than him, were broke and now live in a tiny single-story brick home in Milwaukee suburb 

 
The UK version of the book published by Silvertail
David Miscavige, the Scientology leader who was Tom Cruise’s best man at two of his weddings, is engaged in a new war with his own father over a new book, Daily Mail Online has learned exclusively.

Ron Miscavige's highly anticipated memoir, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, will hit stores next week and is expected to tell of his regret for creating the unyielding man who has ruled Scientology with an iron fist for three decades.

Marine veteran Miscavige, 80, is expected to reveal details of Scientology’s inner workings and how his son changed from a delightful child to a 'ruthless' leader in the book.

And the battle against Ron Miscavige and the book - by his own son - has already begun.

Tony Ortega,who runs the ant-Scientology website The Underground Bunker has obtained a copy of a letter from the Church of Scientology demanding that that the book not be published by Silvertail Books in Great Britain.

Ortega says that US publisher St. Martin's Press has also received a copy of the letter.

Scientology claims the book contains 'malicious, false, misleading and highly defamatory allegations relating to David Miscavige' including:

David Miscavige was never officially appointed to be L. Ron Hubbard’s successor but rather seized power by out-maneuvering his rivals.That Gold Base is surrounded by spiked fencing pointing inwards;That working and living conditions at Gold Base were appalling and staff were not permitted to leave.That David Miscaige created “The Hole” as a means of punishing Sea Org members and that people were subjected to deprivation and violence while detained in “The Hole”That David Miscavige lives in lavish conditions whille Church staff live in poor conditions.That David Miscavige's management style is erratic and abusive.That Miscavige hired private detectives to carry out surveillance on Ron Miscavige.

'Furthermore,' the letter continues, ' the summary of the book on your website is equally outragous and defamatory with your allegations of our client’s “brutal approach to running the organisation today: and the disastrous effects that his leadership has had on countless numbers of Scientologists and their families.'

David Miscavige, who was Tom Cruise’s best man at two of his weddings, is set to lay bare the inner working of the Church led by his son David Miscavige

The letter also claims David Miscavige has not had any 'meaningful' relationship with his father since he left home at 16.

The bid to gag publication was rejected by Silvertail Books.

Publisher Humfrey Hunter told Daily Mail Online: ‘Ron’s story, Ruthless, shines a vital new light on the inner workings of the Church of Scientology and it is clearly in the public interest for his book to be published in the UK - as well as the rest of the world.

'He is a brave man to have written a book like this and Silvertail is proud to be helping him get it out to as many readers as possible. We are not changing plans: Silvertail Books will publish Ruthless on May 3.'

If Ron hadn’t allowed his son to drop out of high school on his 16th birthday to join the church full-time, the ultra-ambitious David may never have caught founder L. Ron Hubbard’s eye, and may not have been able to position himself to take command when he was just 26 after Hubbard’s 1986 death.

‘When he got absolute control, he went absolutely bonkers,’ David Miscavige’s former number two, Mark 'Marty' Rathbun said.

This could be bloody, [David] Miscavige won’t take this without a monumental fight.

Ruthless will be released May 3. The highlight of Ron’s pre-launch publicity tour will be an interview on ABC’s 20/20 on Friday.

The book was originally to be titled 'If He Dies, He Dies,' after a comment David allegedly made about his father when he thought he might be having a heart attack.

‘This could be bloody, [David] Miscavige won’t take this without a monumental fight, one of the church leader’s former assistants told Daily Mail Online. ‘But don’t expect Ron to cave in. This book has been in the pipeline over three years and he can’t wait for his moment to come.

‘It’s going to be gnarly and messy — all out war. The whole might of the Church could come down on Ron, I hope he knows what he’s let himself in for.'

The book is co-written by Dan Koon, a former high-ranking member of the church who has become one of David Miscavige’s leading critics. Unlike many people who have deserted the church, Koon believes in Hubbard’s original teachings but believes Miscavige has led the church down a dangerous path.

Koon, who, now calls himself an ‘independent scientologist,’ says the church should get back to its roots and blames Miscavige for ‘misleading’ the church. ‘The most important target is to reform the church and put in a new management structure,’ Koon says on aYouTube talk.

‘The Scientology that a lot of us knew in the 60s and 70s has been lost and replaced by a much less friendly…a much more authoritarian and dictatorial ‘Scientology,’ that is really much more akin to what goes on in North Korea,’ he said.

‘That is not what Scientology really is.’

Ron Miscavige, with his wife Becky, awaits the release of his book on May 3. The highlight of Ron’s pre-launch publicity tour will be an appearance on ABC’s 20/20 on Friday, April 29

The book’s release piles more pressure on David Miscavige, 55, and the entire Scientology movement which has been reeling from a series of revelations about its methods. The HBO documentary Going Clear won three Emmys last year for its account of misconduct and abuse and allegations that David Miscavige is power-hungry, violent and paranoid.

Recent high profile defections have included Lisa Marie Presley as well as King of Queens actress Leah Remini and Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis who have both condemned Miscavige’s autocratic rule.

Cruise’s former wives, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, have also cut ties with the church. Miscavige was the best man for Tom at both weddings.

But other celebrities including Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley, actors John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Anne Archer, Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss and Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren remain committed Scientologists.

After she left, Remini made a report to Los Angeles Police that Miscavige’s wife Shelly, who has not been seen in public for nearly nine years, was missing. The LAPD investigated and eventually said they had found her and she did not want to make a statement.

But now it’s Miscavige’s own father who is expected to turn against him in the most public way. According to one critic, Ruthless — which is subtitled ‘Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me’ — could be a ‘nail in the coffin for Scientology.’

Ron Miscavige left Scientology in 2012 after 41 years. Broke, he and his second wife Becky were reduced to moving in with his other son, Ron Jr., in Virginia. Ron and Becky, who is 21 years younger than him, now live in a tiny 1,100 sq. ft. single-story brick home on a busy street in a Milwaukee suburb.

According to public records they bought the home in 2013 for $84,000.

His first wife, Loretta, David’s mother, died in 2005, 15 years after they divorced.

‘It’s going to be gnarly and messy — all out war. The whole might of the Church could come down on Ron, I hope he knows what he’s let himself in for,' a former Church leader told Daily Mail Online

Ron Miscavige would not come to the door when Daily Mail Online knocked. His wife said he could not speak due to contractual restrictions.

Tony Ortega, who runs the anti-Scientology website The Underground Bunker and knows Ron, believes the book will go into details about Ron and Becky’s escape from Scientology — with details that could be straight out of a Tom Cruise movie.

Ortega agrees that this book could be one of Scientology’s biggest blows because Ron was so well loved by the whole organization. Even after he left, church staff revered him.

Ron introduced his first wife and four children to Scientology in the 1970s as he was trying to find a cure for David’s asthma.

‘He liked that instead of discussing heaven, hell and sin, it promised breakthroughs in relationships and marriages, careers, communication, and physical and emotional well-being,’ Ron’s granddaughter Jenna Miscagive Hill wrote in Beyond Belief, her own 2013 memoir about leaving the church.

The highlight of Ron’s pre-launch publicity tour will be an appearance on ABC’s 20/20 on Friday, April 29.. The book was originally to be titled If He Dies, He Dies, after a comment David allegedly made about his father when he thought he might be having a heart attack

‘He also liked that there was a Utopian quality to Scientology. It held a point of view that man is essentially good and in charge of his own spiritual salvation.’

The entire family left its home in Willingboro, New Jersey, to join Scientology. They initially went to England for training. They all stayed in the church for more than quarter of a century until Ron Jr. quit in 2000. David’s twin Denise and younger sister Lori are still understood to be Scientologists.

Hubbard soon saw Miscavige’s potential and he rapidly rose through the church ranks. When he officially took over leadership, a year after Hubbard’s death, he was just 26.

‘This book could not be any worse for Miscavige,’ Ortega told Daily Mail Online. ‘Ron was the one who watched his son turn into what he is today.

‘It’s one thing for me to write a book about Scientology’s dirty tricks, but it’s another thing if Ron Miscavige does it.

'So many in Scientology still admire and like him. He was a trumpet player, the musical leader, he’s associated with fun times. Scientology loves events with music and he was the bandleader so he was always around.

‘My understanding is that the book will be mainly about how David grew from a fun-loving little boy to the ruthless dictator that he now is.’

Ortega said he looks forward to reading how Ron and Becky Miscavige got out of Scientology’s international headquarters in Hemet, California.

'There are fences with razor wire, 24-hour security, heavily watched gates, people have to come up with creative ways to get out. His wife escaped with him, it’s remarkable. For him to escape, things must have been very bad.’

‘All the stories are remarkable of people’s escapes, it’s all very dramatic. It’s like a scene out of Mission Impossible for people to get out.

Rathbun, the former No. 2 at the Church, reveals one of his Scientology jobs was to break up Cruise and Kidman’s marriage and make sure the Top Gun actor got custody of their two adopted children.

He claims he personally saw David abuse his father.

‘While David Miscavige habitually abused Ron physically and mentally to keep him in line, he also occasionally confided in him,’ Rathbun, who left the church in 2004, wrote on his blog Moving On Up A Little Higher.

‘Ron has a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of the base and the inner workings of David’s mind. Ron and Becky resisted months of pressure and bizarre attempts to break and control them.’

Ron Miscavigem here with his wife Becky. Ron's book was originally to be titled If He Dies, He Dies, after a comment David allegedly made about his father when he thought he might be having a heart attack

A private detective who was arrested for stalking Ron Miscavige claimed to police that he was put on the job by David, who paid him $10,000 a week. After his arrest Dwayne Powell said David Miscavige wanted him to survey his father 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ruthless is not Ron’s first stab at writing. In 2013 he wrote True Confessions of a Kid about his own childhood in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania and followed it up the following year with a collection of short stories, Hideout For Midgets On The Lam.

His granddaughter Jenna Miscavige Hill — David’s niece — wrote the New York Times bestseller Beyond Belief about her life inside Scientology and her harrowing escape in 2013.

Scientology has a record of discrediting its detractors and Ortega believes the church will almost certainly bring up Ron’s 1985 arrest for attempted rape. He was never charged.

‘Expect Scientology to attempt to “dead agent” Ron by smearing him,’ Ortega said. ‘One possible method will be by bringing up Ron’s 1985 arrest for attempted rape — an incident that the Philadelphia Inquirer dug into three years ago and found that the case involved a torn blouse and an iffy accusation.

‘But expect Scientology to make Ron sound like a fiend.’

The working title for the book was If He Dies, He Dies, which referred to an incident in 2013 involving Powell and his son Daniel.

The PIs were watching Ron one day when he hunched over and grabbed his chest. They thought he was in pain, although he was actually just fumbling with his phone.

MORE...'To my loved one in Scientology...Call me': Parents erect $8,000 billboard in desperate plea to reach their children who have been 'lost' to the controversial churchEXCLUSIVE: A sprawling English estate fit for a king...of Hollywood! Tom Cruise set to pull up stakes and move to Saint Hill Manor, the former home of founder L. Ron Hubbard at Church of Scientology UK headquarters

Fearing that he was having a heart attack, Dwayne Powell told police they called their Scientology contact and within two minutes a man identifying himself as David Miscavige called back. ‘David told him that if it was Ron's time to die, to let him die and not intervene in any way,’ according to the police report.

Dwayne Powell was arrested by local and found to have two rifles, four handguns, 2,000 rounds of ammunition and a homemade silencer along with two computers, binoculars and a GPS device in his rented SUV. He had a folded knife in his pocket.

Ruthless is not Ron’s first stab at writing. In 2013 he wrote True Confessions of a Kid about his own childhood in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania and Miscavige also wrote a collection of short stories, Hideout For Midgets On The Lam

He was charged in federal court with having an unlicensed silencer but the case was dropped.

After his arrest Powell told cops he had been hired by the Church of Scientology to conduct full-time surveillance on Ron Miscavige, according to police reports.

Detective Nicholas Pye, who interviewed Powell said he asked if he was a hit man and whether the guns were to kill Ron Miscavige, but the PI said they were sport guns.

‘He explained that Ron and his younger wife, Becky, left the church and David is worried that they will divulge details about the church's activities and that their job was to know who Ron talked to, emailed with, where he went, what he did, etc.,’ Pye wrote in his report.

However, The Church of Scientology told the Los Angeles Times that Miscavige had nothing to do with any surveillance on his father and said he did not know either of the Powells.

'Mr. Miscavige has always taken care of his father and continues to do so. Beyond that, as a matter of policy, neither the Church nor Mr. Miscavige comments on members of his family,’ Scientology spokeswoman Karen Pouw wrote.

Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me by Ron Miscavige and Dan Koon, published by St Martin's Press in the USA and Silvertail Books in the UK will be available on Amazon.com on May 3 andAmazon.co.uk on the same day

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3558075/It-like-scene-Tom-Cruise-s-Mission-Impossible-estranged-father-Scientology-leader-David-Miscavige-escaped-Church-revealed-memoir-son-trying-BAN.html
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