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David Miscavige

David Miscavige
Miscavige in 2011
Born (1960-04-30) April 30, 1960
Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States
Nationality American
Religion Scientology
Spouse(s) Michele Miscavige
Relatives Jenna Miscavige Hill
Website .org.rtcdavidmiscavige
Church Church of Scientology
Offices held
Captain of the Sea Org
Title Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center

David Miscavige (;[1] born April 30, 1960) is the leader of the Church of Scientology.[2] His official title is Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center (RTC), a corporation that controls the trademarks and copyrights of Dianetics and Scientology.

Miscavige was a deputy to church founder Commodore's messenger") while he was a teenager.[3] He rose to a leadership position by the early 1980s and was named Chairman of the Board of RTC in 1987.[4] Official church biographies describe Miscavige as "the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion"[3][5][6] and celebrate his accomplishments, including obtaining recognition as a tax-favored charity by the US Internal Revenue Service, issuing restored and corrected editions of the works of L. Ron Hubbard and undertaking a program of new or remodeled churches and related facilities.

Since he assumed his leadership position, there have been a number of allegations made against David Miscavige. These include claims of forced separation of family members, coercive fundraising practices, harassment of journalists and church critics, and humiliation of church staff members, including physical assaults upon them by Miscavige.[7][8] Miscavige and church spokespersons deny the majority of these claims, often criticizing the credibility of those who bring them.[9][10][11][7][8]


  • Early life 1
  • Leadership in Scientology 2
    • Relationship with IRS 2.1
    • Current role in Scientology 2.2
  • Media coverage and criticism 3
  • Family and personal life 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

David Miscavige was born in 1960 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia area[12] to the Roman Catholic Polish-Italian family of Ronald and Loretta Miscavige,[13] the youngest of their four children. Miscavige was raised in Willingboro Township, New Jersey.[6][14] He attended high school at Marple Newtown. As a child, he suffered from asthma and severe allergies. He played baseball and football.[12] His father, a trumpet player, became interested in Scientology, and he sent Miscavige to see a Scientologist. According to both father and son, a 45-minute Dianetics session cured his ailments.

The family joined Scientology in 1971 and eventually moved to the church's world headquarters in [10] The church also commissioned an independent review of the St. Petersburg Times‍ '​s reporting, but have not, to date, released those findings.[70][70][70][71]

"Inside Scientology: The Truth Rundown" was recognized with journalistic honors, including the 2010 Gold Medal for Public Service award from the Florida Society of News Editors.[72][73][74][75] The series was cited as a basis for subsequent journalistic investigations, including a weeklong series hosted on the CNN network by Anderson Cooper.

Though he and the Scientology organization have been the subject of much press attention, Miscavige has rarely spoken directly to the press. Exceptions include a televised 1992 interview by Ted Koppel of ABC News,[1] a 1998 newspaper interview with the St. Petersburg Times,[59] and a 1998 appearance in an A&E Investigative Reports installment called "Inside Scientology."[76]

Family and personal life

Miscavige is married to fellow Sea Org member San Jacinto, California".[60] In July 2012, responding to press accounts of speculation on Shelly Miscavige's whereabouts, two UK newspapers were informed by lawyers, indicating they represented Shelly Miscavige, "that she is not missing and devotes her time to the work of the Church of Scientology."[79][80] Similarly, in August 2013, the Los Angeles Police Department met with Shelly Miscavige in person following a missing-persons report filed by actress Leah Remini.[81] The LAPD declined to answer questions about the details of the report.[82]

David Miscavige's older brother Ronald Miscavige, Jr. served as an executive in the Sea Org for a time,[27] but left the Church of Scientology in 2000.[83] David's twin sister, Denise Licciardi, was hired by major Scientology donor Bryan Zwan as a top executive for the

  • Church of Scientology David Miscavige Page.
  • Religious Technology Center, Official biography of Miscavige.
  • "Interview with Scientology Leader". A 1992 televised interview with David Miscavige in Nightline.
  • "The Man Behind Scientology". A 1998 interview with David Miscavige in the St. Petersburg Times.
  • "The Truth Rundown." Investigative reports and interviews about Scientology, largely focused on Miscavige, St. Petersburg Times, June–August 2009.
Church of Scientology official

External links

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  4. ^ Young, Robert Vaughn (November–December 1993). "Scientology from inside out". Quill magazine 81 (9). 
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  6. ^ a b c d e f Zellner, William W.; Richard T. Schaefer (2007). "David Miscavige". In William W. Zellner. Extraordinary Groups: An Examination of Unconventional Lifestyles (8th ed.). Worth Publishers. pp. 285–286.  
  7. ^ a b c d e Joe Childs, Thomas C. Tobin (June 23, 2009). "The Truth Run Down".  
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  10. ^ a b Joe Childs, Thomas C. Tobin (June 23, 2009). "A letter from David Miscavige".  
  11. ^ a b c Hoffman, Claire (December 18, 2005). "Tom Cruise and Scientology".  
  12. ^ a b Nark, J. (January 3, 2012). "From here to Scientology: Worldwide leader David Miscavige's Philly-area roots.". McClatchy - Tribune Business News. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Thomas C. Tobin (October 25, 1998). "The man behind Scientology, part 2".  
  14. ^ Nark, Jason. "From here to Scientology: Worldwide leader David Miscavige's Philly-area roots", The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 3, 2012. Accessed April 9, 2013. "Miscavige's middle-class Catholic upbringing in Willingboro, N.J., abruptly changed four decades ago when his childhood asthma led the family to another utopian vision - that of L. Ron Hubbard."
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  30. ^ Reitman, Janet. Inside Scientology. 
  31. ^ a b c d e Frantz, Douglas (March 9, 1997). "Scientology's Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt".  
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  33. ^ a b Reitman, Janet (March 9, 2006). "Inside Scientology".  
  34. ^ Streeter, Michael (2008). Behind Closed Doors. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. p. 230.  
  35. ^ Frenschkowski, Marco (January 1, 2010). "Researching Scientology: Some Observations on Recent Literature, English and German". Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review (Academic Publishing) 1 (1): 36–37.  
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  37. ^ "St. Petersburg Times: The man behind Scientology". Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  38. ^ Payne, Will (December 20, 2013). "Squirrel Busters, sex toys sent to work and secret cameras trained on their home: Paranoid ex-Scientology leader and wife claim their lives are a living hell". Daily Mail UK (London). Retrieved January 30, 2014. At the same time that Rathbun has been waging his hate campaign, the Church is currently experiencing its greatest period of expansion ever with the opening of 38 new ideal Churches of Scientology in major metropolitan areas and cultural centers internationally and the opening last month of our new spiritual headquarters in Florida. 
  39. ^ Payne, Will (January 20, 2014). """The Church of Scientology Responds to "The Tip of the Spear. Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2014. More than 30 new Ideal Churches opening in major cities throughout the United States and around the world. This year those new Churches opened in Hamburg, Germany; Florence, Kentucky; Sacramento, Orange County, San Jose and Los Gatos, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Buffalo, New York; Padova, Italy; and our first in the Middle East, in Tel Aviv, Israel. 
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  42. ^ "Scoop: Scientologists not anti-gay, official says - Entertainment - The Scoop -". Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  43. ^ "Founding Church of Scientology, Washington D.C., Ribbon Cutting". YouTube. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  44. ^ Kalman, Matthew (November 11, 2012). "Scientology comes to Israel". The Independent (London). Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  45. ^ Boyle, Louise (August 28, 2013). "Scientology heads to Harlem: Religious group puts down roots in new areas to". Daily Mail UK (London). Retrieved January 30, 2014. Centers are planned for Cape Town, Durban and Harare in South Africa, Toronto and Montreal in Canada; Bogotá in Colombia; Caracas in Venezuela, Copenhagen in Denmark; Sydney, Australia; Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Manchester, England - among many other large cities. 
  46. ^ "Scientology Expands Its Presence in Washington | Local News". Washingtonian. September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  47. ^ Zeller, Shawn (September 24, 2012). "Solons Salute Scientologists". CQ Weekly. 
  48. ^ a b Coleman, Ashley (November 15, 2013). "'"New 377,000-square-foot Scientology building has entire floor where members can get 'super powers. Daily Mail UK (London). Retrieved January 30, 2014. The $145million Flag Building is a massive seven-story, 377,000-square-foot complex and the tallest building in Clearwater, which is the 'spiritual headquarters' of the 59-year-old religion. 
  49. ^ Stacy, Mitch (September 23, 2007). "Fla. town comes to terms with status as Scientology mecca". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  50. ^ Eric Goldschein (January 12, 2012). "The Scientology Building Where Members Will Receive 'Infinite Power' Is Finally About To Open - Business Insider". Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  51. ^ Farley, Robert (June 6, 2006). "Scientology nearly ready to unveil Super Power". St. Petersburg Times.
  52. ^ "Cornerstone Newsletter", Church of Scientology Religious Trust, undated but published 2007
  53. ^ Brassfield, Mike (March 21, 2009). "Scientology church gives Clearwater's Fort Harrison Hotel a $40M makeover - Tampa Bay Times". Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  54. ^ Joe Childs; Charlie Frago (November 17, 2013). "Stars come out for dedication of Scientology's 'Super Power' building in Clearwater". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  55. ^ "Church of Scientology Dedicates $145 Million ‘Super Power’ Building". ABC News. November 18, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  56. ^ a b ABC News. "Scientology Leader Gave ABC First-Ever Interview". ABC News. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
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  58. ^ Garcia, Wayne (July 7, 1994). "Church of Scientology settles suit with PR firm". St. Petersburg Times. 
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  65. ^ "Scientology: A History of Violence; Students Charged in Bullying Case (Transcript)". Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees (CNN). March 30, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  66. ^ "Cruise-Biograf Andrew Morton hat keine Angst vor Klagen". Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
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  71. ^ Urban, Hugh B. (March 17, 2010). "The Rundown Truth: Scientology Changes Strategy in War with Media".  
  72. ^ Sentinel Staff Report (June 18, 2010). "Orlando Sentinel wins 17 awards from Florida Society of News Editors". Orlando Sentinel (Florida: Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  73. ^ Florida Society of News Editors (June 18, 2010). "FSNE Gold Medal for Public Service". FSNE 2010 Journalism Awards (Florida: Retrieved June 18, 2010. Inside Scientology – The St. Petersburg Times reporting on the Church of Scientology is in the finest traditions of American journalism. The reporting by Joseph Childs and Thomas Tobin stands out for the ways in which it held accountable the powerful. 
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  77. ^ Wright, Lawrence (2013). Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 303.  
  78. ^ Wright, Lawrence (February 14, 2011). "The Apostate". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 6, 2013. According to Rinder and Brousseau, in June, 2006, while Miscavige was away from the Gold Base, his wife, Shelly, filled several job vacancies without her husband's permission. She disappeared soon after. Her current status is unknown. Tommy Davis told me, 'I definitely know where she is,' but he won’t disclose where that is. 
  79. ^ "Mrs Shelly Miscavige". London: Telegraph. July 31, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
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See also

Miscavige is a firearms enthusiast who enjoys skeet shooting.[11] In the 1998 St. Petersburg Times interview he named playing the piano, underwater photography, and trail biking as being among his hobbies.[32]

Miscavige is close to actor Tom Cruise[11] and served as best man at Cruise's wedding to Katie Holmes.[90]

David's father, Ronald Miscavige Sr., was a longtime Scientologist who left the Church in 2012. In July 2013, Wisconsin police confronted Dwayne S. Powell after a suspicious person report. Powell said he had been hired at $10,000 a week to conduct full-time surveillance on the elder Miscavige for Scientology, which he said he had been doing for over a year. Los Angeles Times reporter Kim Christensen reports that David Miscavige and the church deny any connection to Powell in an email to The Times. Gary Soter, a church attorney, stated that the allegations were "blatantly false."[87][88] Powell told police that on one occasion, he witnessed what he believed to be Ronald Sr. undergoing cardiac arrest. According to Powell, after immediately reporting the perceived emergency to his superiors, he received a call for further instructions from a man who identified himself as David Miscavige. According to the police report, Powell was instructed to not intervene in any way. Church spokesperson Karin Pouw asserted in an email that "no such conversation with Mr. Miscavige ever took place."[88][87][89]

[86] An issue of the church's [68][67][61][7] Church representatives have consistently denied such accusations, insisting that the allegations come from apostates motivated by bitterness or attempting to extract money from the church.

Similar charges have been reported in previous years.[62] In a 1995 interview for ITV, Stacy Young, Miscavige's former secretary and the ex-wife of Hubbard's former public relations spokesman, Robert Vaughn Young, had previously asserted that Miscavige emotionally tormented staff members on a regular basis. "His viciousness and his cruelty to staff was unlike anything that I had ever experienced in my life," she said. "He just loved to degrade the staff."[63] In an incident also witnessed and supported by Amy Scobee,[64] Jeff Hawkins, a former marketing guru for Scientology, claimed to have attended a meeting where Miscavige "jumped up on the conference room table, like with his feet right on the conference room table, launched himself across the table at me—I was standing—battered my face, and then shoved me down on the floor."[65] Church executive David Bloomberg confirmed that there was a physical confrontation during the meeting but stated that it was Hawkins who became belligerent and attacked Miscavige. In the confrontation Hawkins fell out of his chair and ended up putting a scissor lock on Miscavige's legs. Bloomberg stated "Mr. Miscavige did not touch Jeff Hawkins."[64] In January 2008 the German newspaper Schwäbische Zeitung reported about claims of sexual harassment by Miscavige.[66]

Tobin and Childs have continued to report on Miscavige in subsequent years. In 2009, the St. Petersburg Times published a series titled "The Truth Rundown," which featured allegations by former high-ranking executives of Scientology that Miscavige had repeatedly humiliated and physically beaten his staff, and had confined church members in degrading conditions in a Scientology-owned property known as "The Hole."[7][33] The series included interviews with Mike Rinder, former official spokesperson for Scientology and director of the Church's Office of Special Affairs, and Mark Rathbun, the former Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center. Rinder has said that he was physically assaulted by Miscavige on about 50 occasions.[7] These allegations have been supported by other former Scientologists: Lawrence Wright, author of Going Clear, interviewed twelve individuals who reported having been personally attacked by Miscavige and twenty-one people who say they have witnessed such attacks.[60] The Church of Scientology denies all of these reports.[61]

In 1998, the St Petersburg Times published "The man behind Scientology", a story based on six hours of interviews with Miscavige. In this first-ever newspaper interview, Miscavige talks about his rise to leadership, creating peace and resolving conflicts, and Scientology in Clearwater. The reporters, Tom Tobin and Joe Childs, said of Miscavige that he was "not only the founder's protege and trusted aide, he is to Scientologists what the pope is to Catholics – a leader who sets the tone, establishes goals and ensures that Hubbard's practices and teachings are followed with precision."[59]

Since assuming his leadership role, Miscavige has been faced with press accounts regarding alleged illegal and unethical practices of the Church of Scientology or by Miscavige himself. A 1991 Time magazine cover story on the church described Miscavige as "ringleader" of a "hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner."[5] Miscavige stated on Nightline that the publication of the article resulted from a request by Eli Lilly, because of "the damage we had caused to their killer drug Prozac."[56] According to a 1994 article in Regardies magazine by journalist Patrick J. Kiger, Eli Lilly's advertising agency Hill & Knowlton, who is owned by the British conglomerate The WPP Group, was pressured by Eli Lilly to drop the Church of Scientology as a client just before the Time article was published.[57] After the publication of the Time article, Miscavige stated that "Eli Lilly ordered a reprint of 750,000 copies of Time magazine before it came out."[56] The Church filed a suit against Lilly, J. Walter Thompson, Hill and Knowlton and both agencies' parent group, WPP. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.[58]

Media coverage and criticism

One of the largest projects of Miscavige's career is the Flag Building, also called the "Super Power Building", which is described as the spiritual headquarters for the Scientology religion.[48][49] It is the largest of Scientology's properties in Clearwater, Florida. The 377,000 square foot structure[50] is reportedly outfitted with custom-built equipment designed to administer the perception-enhancing "Super Power Rundown" to high-level Scientologists.[51][52] The building was scheduled for completion in 2003, but underwent ten years of delays and re-designs as the Church completed two other major construction and restoration projects in the same area ahead of it, the Fort Harrison Hotel and the Oak Cove Hotel.[53] Miscavige inaugurated the Flag Building on November 17, 2013.[54][55]

The Flag Building[48] in Clearwater, Florida is one of Miscavige's flagship projects. The building contains a Sea Org museum and training facilities.

Miscavige initiated a strategy in 2003 to build new or revamped Churches of Scientology, called "Ideal Orgs", in every major city in the world. Since then, thirty-eight[38][39] new or remodeled Churches have been opened including facilities in Madrid, New York, London, Berlin,[40] Mexico City,[41] Rome,[42] Washington, DC,[43] Tel Aviv,[44] and Kaohsiung, Taiwan.[45] In 2012, David Miscavige also opened the Church of Scientology's "National Affairs Office" in Washington D.C., which he declared to be "An office designed to give back to a United States government that steadfastly guaranteed our religious rights, the very freedom that allows us to do what we are doing today."[46] The Church of Scientology says the National Affairs Office was built "to oversee programs around the country and the world dealing with human rights, drug addiction, literacy and disaster response."[47]

Among Miscavige's initiatives is a long-term project of issuing unreleased and corrected editions of Hubbard's books and restoring L. Ron Hubbard lectures, including translating many works into other languages.

Miscavige is portrayed within Scientology as "a servant of Hubbard's message, not an agent in his own right."[36] Miscavige uses church publications as well as professionally produced videos of gala events, at which he acts as master of ceremonies, to communicate with Scientologists worldwide.[32] As the Religious Technology Center's Chairman of the Board, his primary task is to "preserve, maintain and protect" the Scientology religion.[37]

As Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center, David Miscavige works primarily from Scientology's Gold Base near Hemet, California.[15][33][34] Scientologists often refer to him as "DM", or "C.O.B.", for chairman of the board.[22][35] In their 2007 book, Extraordinary Groups: An Examination of Unconventional Lifestyles, W. W. Zellner and Richard T. Schaefer noted that "David Miscavige has been the driving force behind the Church of Scientology for the past two decades" and that "Miscavige's biography and speeches are second only to Hubbard in dominating the official Scientology Web site. [...] He is acknowledged as the ultimate ecclesiastical authority regarding the standard and pure application of L. Ron Hubbard's religious theories."[6]

Current role in Scientology

To announce the settlement with the IRS, Miscavige gathered a reported 10,000 members of Scientology in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, where he delivered a two-and-a-half-hour address and proclaimed, "The war is over!"[6][31] The crowd gave Miscavige an ovation that lasted more than ten minutes.[32]

[31] Senior Scientology officials and the IRS later issued a statement that the ruling was based on a two-year inquiry and voluminous documents that showed the church was qualified for the exemptions.[31][6] In 1991 Miscavige, together with

Relationship with IRS

[30][29] When L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986, Miscavige announced the death to Scientologists at the

In October 1982, Miscavige required Scientology Missions to enter new trademark usage contracts which established stricter policies on the use of Scientology materials.[22][23] Over the two years following the formation of the RTC, Miscavige and his RTC team replaced most of Scientology's upper and middle management.[24] A number of those ousted attempted to establish breakaway organizations, such as the Advanced Ability Center led by David Mayo, a former RTC board member who had also been Hubbard's personal auditor.[24][25] The Advanced Ability Center closed in 1984, two years after opening.[24]

[20] The case was dismissed on June 27, 1983.[21], of which Miscavige was the Chairman of the Board. In the same document L. Ron Hubbard called David Miscavige a "trusted associate" and "good friend" who had kept Hubbard's affairs in good order. A judge ruled the statement was authentic.Author Services Inc., Hubbard's estranged son, accused Miscavige of embezzling from and manipulating his father. Hubbard denied this in a written statement, saying that his business affairs were being well managed by Ronald DeWolf case, probate In a 1982 [18] to repurchase all of RTC's intellectual property rights.option was created at the same time with an Church of Spiritual Technology The [3] He established the [15] In 1982, Miscavige set up a new organizational structure to release Hubbard from personal liability and to handle the Scientology founder's personal wealth through a corporate entity outside of the Scientology organization.

In 1977, Miscavige worked directly under L. Ron Hubbard as a cameraman for Scientology training films, in Watchdog Committee and the All Clear Unit, with the task of handling the various legal claims against Hubbard. After the Guardian's Office's criminal involvement in Operation Snow White, he persuaded Mary Sue Hubbard to resign from the Guardian's Office (GO), and purged several top GO officials through ethics proceedings.[18] The St. Petersburg Times, in a 1998 article "The Man Behind Scientology," says: "During two heated encounters, Miscavige persuaded Mary Sue Hubbard to resign. Together they composed a letter to Scientologists confirming her decision -- all without ever talking to L. Ron Hubbard."[13] She subsequently changed her mind, believing that she had been tricked.[19] Despite this, Miscavige claims he and Mary Sue Hubbard remained friends thereafter.[20]

L. Ron Hubbard, science fiction author and founder of Scientology, appointed Miscavige as an assistant and groomed him for leadership.

Leadership in Scientology


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