Jan 14, 2023

Shelly Miscavige Found? Video Potentially Reveals Secret Scientology Base

Ryan Smith
January 11, 2023

A former Scientologist has reignited discussion about the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige, the rarely seen wife of the church's leader, David Miscavige.

Shelly Miscavige, who has not been seen in public since 2007, became the punchline in one of Jerrod Carmichael's jokes at the Golden Globe Awards on Tuesday. The comedian, who was hosting the show, suggested that Tom Cruise's returned trophies be exchanged for her "safe return."

Around the same time as the star-studded broadcast, Aaron Smith-Levin took to his Growing Up in Scientology YouTube channel to share resurfaced drone footage of what he described as one of the church's top secret bases in Twin Peaks, California.

"This is literally one of the most secretive Scientology bases in the world, and we can take a tour of it with drone footage. Incredible," said Smith-Levin, a former Scientologist, as he discussed the Google Earth footage, which was originally posted on YouTube channel Angry Thetan five years ago. The latter account has shared several Scientology-related clips.

"It has to piss David Miscavige off to no end that someone succeeded in flying a drone with cameras over one of their most secretive bases," said Smith-Levin, adding that non-Scientologist armed security guards oversee the base.

The security guards, Smith-Levin alleged, were said to have been put in place to "help keep Shelly from escaping" from the base. But he added, "I don't think Shelly wants to escape."

In the high-quality footage, a collection of buildings were shown dotted around a thick forest as part of a compound that Smith-Levin described as a CST (Church of Spiritual Technology) base, where he said Shelly Miscavige works.

Smith-Levin described CST as a "secretive Scientology organization whose role is to store [Scientology founder] L. Ron Hubbard's works in almost imperishable form in underground nuclear-proof vaults."

On its website, the church describes CST as "a California nonprofit religious corporation formed in 1982 to preserve and archive the Scientology scripture and so ensure its availability for all future generations. It is a Church in the Scientology religion."

Smith-Levin said that even the most prominent Scientologists are unaware of the mountainside compound, saying: "Any Sea Org member would absolutely kill to work at this base."

"Now just because Shelly Miscavige was sent here to work doesn't mean it wasn't also some kind of a penalty," he continued. "She was removed from her post as David Miscavige's assistant and sent to this base to work. It was really, like, kind of an effort to banish her from the base so that Miscavige wouldn't have to see her and wouldn't have to run into her."

A 2014 Vanity Fair article reported that Shelly Miscavige—whose real first name is Michele—rose through the ranks of the church alongside her husband to become "the First Lady of Scientology."

She became a member of the elite Scientology group the Sea Organization, which requires members to contractually commit to a billion years of service.

According to Vanity Fair, Shelly Miscavige allegedly fell out of favor after her botched reorganization project in 2006. She has not been publicly seen in the years since.

Her lawyers have said she was living in a private Church of Scientology residence, but actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini filed a missing person's report with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 2013. The LAPD confirmed at the time, in response to the missing persons claim, that they saw and spoke to Shelly Miscavige.

On November 10, 2022, Remini shared an update on her personal investigation into Shelly Miscavige's whereabouts and raised concerns about the LAPD investigation. In response, the LAPD said: "In 2014, Los Angeles Police Department detectives assigned to the Missing Persons Unit went to Shelly Miscavige's location and personally made contact with her and her attorney. Detectives found her to be alive and safe, and subsequently closed the missing persons investigation."

In her 2015 book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Remini said she tried to directly contact Shelly Miscavige, an old friend, but those efforts were thwarted by the church.

During a conversation with David Miscavige, Remini was allegedly told that Shelly Miscavige had to be kept away "because SPs [Suppressive Persons] are constantly trying to have her subpoenaed." In another conversation, Remini was told that Shelly Miscavige was on Gold Base, Scientology's 500-acre compound near Hemet, California.

While the mystery of Shelly Miscavige's whereabouts is unsolved, as well as why she hasn't been seen, Smith-Levin said that the footage shared on his YouTube channel on Tuesday will likely spark ire among those in the church.

"What we have seen here is something David Miscavige would definitely not want anyone to see," he said as the footage ended. "And any Scientologist would actually get in trouble for watching what you guys watched."

He continued: "Any Scientologist would even get in trouble if in an auditing session or in an ethics interview they admitted to having looked up the location of this base and having spent time touring it on Google Earth or on the YouTube drone footage."

"It really is incredible to believe that Scientology controls its members' thoughts, behaviors and actions in that way," he said.

Last year, Smith-Levin unsuccessfully ran for city council in Clearwater, Florida, which is referred to as the Church of Scientology's spiritual headquarters. The church has described Smith-Levin as a "man with no moral compass" who was expelled from the organization.

Newsweek has contacted Church of Scientology representatives for comment.

Update 1/11/23, 7:40 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to add the LAPD's November 2022 statement.


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