(Note: This was originally posted on Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker and is reposted here for archival purposes.)
Contributor Jeffrey Augustine has taken a close look at Scientology’s over-the-top attacks on Ron Miscavige for this piece today. We think you’re going to find that he unearthed some really eye-opening stuff!
On May 3, Ron Miscavige published a book about his son, Scientology leader David Miscavige. Titled Ruthless, the book is an unsparing account of how Ron watched his son take over Scientology and became a pitiless dictator.
David struck back with a typical Scientology “Fair Game” retaliation scheme. In this case, it was in the form of an anonymous smear website attacking his own father, as well as a concerted effort to market that website in online ads and in emails. Here at the Bunker, we’ve already looked at some of the claims being made on that website.
After my own close look at that material the church has thrown at Ron Miscavige, one thing stood out to me: The glaring contradictions between what David Miscavige said under oath in a 1994 court declaration, and what’s being said about him in the church’s attacks on his father.
In 1994, David Miscavige gave a sworn declaration in a lawsuit that grew out of the 1991 TIME magazine cover story that called Scientology “a thriving cult of greed and power.” The person who wrote that story was Richard Behar, who, like other journalists, described David Miscavige as the man who ran Scientology with an iron fist, and controlled everything down to the smallest detail.
In his court declaration, Miscavige denied that he exerted that level of control:
Since March of 1987, I have been Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center (“RTC”), a California non-profit religious corporation recognized as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. RTC is not part of Church management, nor is it involved in the daily affairs of various Church of Scientology organizations or missions. RTC ensures that the trademarks of Dianetics and Scientology, and the technology they represent, are properly used around the world. It exists to see that Dianetics and Scientology technology is safeguarded, is in good hands, and is properly used.
This is the typical line that the church usually takes: That David Miscavige is the “ecclesiastical leader” of Scientology, the chairman of the board of the Religious Technology Center (COB of RTC) and is not involved in the Church of Scientology and its day to day activities — and certainly not in its notorious retaliatory schemes against the church’s perceived enemies.
But here’s the irony. David Miscavige and Scientology are so anxious to discredit David’s father Ron on its smear website about him, the church has provided video testimony from workers at the International Base — also known as “Gold Base” for Golden Era Productions, the studios at the base where Scientology music and videos are produced — as a way to claim that Ron was not the person he describes in his book. But the unintended consequence of that is, many of these base workers have provided testimony that completely contradicts what David Miscavige said in that 1994 court declaration!
Statements from the executives and musicians who are featured at the smear website claim that David Miscavige is intimately involved in the daily affairs of the most detailed activities inside Scientology. These executives speak of David Miscavige being involved in the minute details of planning and building kitchens, studios, apartment complexes, and even the laundry rooms.
Remember, Miscavige claimed in his court declaration that his only job was to safeguard Scientology technology from his perch at RTC. So what is he doing planning kitchens and designing apartments at Gold Base?
Here, listen to Jennifer Alpers, Director of Domestic Services at Golden Era Productions: “So in 2005, Mr. Miscavige directed the redesign and replanning of our kitchen. And he had the vision that it would be a model kitchen.”
In a video at the smear website, Jennifer Alpers takes us on a tour of the Church of Scientology’s Golden Era kitchen. And here’s what she has to say:
It was Ron’s son, Mr. David Miscavige, who made sure that the planning and design was done for the kitchen and dining room and everything taken care of so we have a state-of-the-art kitchen and an exquisite dining room facility. Ron was able to use and enjoy both facilities and knew that his own son was behind the entire thing. For Ron to badmouth him in any way is outrageous considering what he did for Ron and all of the staff living at Golden Era Productions to ensure we have the nicest environment possible to live and work…
Alpers further elaborates David Miscavige’s involvement in the daily affairs of the church…
Ron [Miscavige] lived in the most beautiful staff apartment facility that I have seen. This facility was again established and put here by Ron’s son. And by this I mean he oversaw the design of the rooms and the buildings down to every single detail. The apartment complex for the staff includes a separate laundry and dry cleaning plant which washes all of the bed and table linens for the staff and does all of the dry cleaning on site. Ron never had to wash his own sheets or towels. He was provided with a laundromat in his apartment building and given all of the supplies to care for his room. While Ron was given all of this, thanks to his son who he now thinks he can criticize, Ron didn’t do his part to keep his room clean…About 4-5 years ago, once again Ron’s son made sure that Golden Era Productions got a new fleet of cars and vans for the property.
Let’s take another look at that 1994 declaration by David Miscavige. Repeatedly, he talks about how disconnected he is from the daily management of the church itself: “In the course of my duties I travel widely. I often appear at Church events and briefings which serve to keep Scientologists around the world aware of the widespread application of Mr. Hubbard’s writings. In all such appearances, my position as Chairman of the Board of RTC is known, as is its distinction from actual Church management officials of CSI.”
Over at the Ron Miscavige smear site, however, the people at Gold Base sure seem to have a hard time keeping that distinction in mind. For example, there’s this testimony from Chris Maio, a Golden Era guitarist…
“At Golden Era Productions…we were even given the most beautiful and professional studio in the world to use to create musical scores in, by Mr. (David) Miscavige, who made sure that every detail of the studio — the equipment, the designs, the renovations, and even down to little audio technical details — was perfect for us to produce in. No other leader that I am aware of personally goes down to those details to make sure staffs have everything they need to do their jobs.”
Whoops. And back to David in his 1994 declaration: “Neither RTC nor I has any corporate authority over any Scientology church, including [the Church of Scientology International]. CSI is the Mother Church of the Scientology religion and has been since its inception in 1981. As such, CSI is responsible for the activities commensurate with such a role, including the ecclesiastical management of Churches, dissemination and propagation of the faith and defense of its activities, including external and legal affairs. All of the foregoing facts were submitted to and thoroughly reviewed by the Internal Revenue Service prior to the recent recognition of the tax-exempt status of CSI, RTC and a host of other Church corporations and entities.”
Did you get that? Miscavige is acknowledging here in his declaration that his “shore story” about being a lofty ecclesiastical figure with no involvement in the daily details of church management was crucial to Scientology getting tax exempt status from the IRS in 1993.
So maybe the IRS ought to take a look at the Ron Miscavige smear site, where it would find these statements about how involved David Miscavige really is, like this one from Eve Stumbke, Deputy CEO for Golden Era Productions…
Eve Stumbke…works with Mr. [David] Miscavige in maintaining the spectacular condition of Golden Era Productions, from the kitchen area and staff housing, to recreational areas and film production facilities… “To give you some idea, you should know that we have the most beautiful and breathtaking facilities for the staff. This includes a full dining facility and state of the art kitchen, where fresh & organic food is prepared for the staff daily. We have stunning 5-star accommodations with full laundry & dry cleaning facilities. The Music Studio where Ron worked is truly state of the art with nowhere like it in the industry. We have state-of-the-art exercise facilities, including a swimming pool, football field, tennis court, volley ball courts, golf course, par course and a fully decked out gym. And you should know, this was ALL put here by the leader of our religion, Mr. David Miscavige specifically for the staff that work at Golden Era Productions.”
Once again, let’s take a look at the language from Miscavige’s 1994 declaration, where he continued to insist that he and RTC simply have nothing to do with managing church facilities: “RTC was formed with the specific purpose of seeing that the religion of Scientology was kept pure and true to the source materials of the religion. In fact, a major reason for its formation was to have such a Church organization that performed these functions in a capacity entirely separate from the actual management of the various Churches and Missions of Scientology. Not only is RTC not involved in the management of the international hierarchy of Scientology churches, but its very existence and performance of its true functions depends on the fact that it is NOT part of Church management.”
For such an above-it-all religious leader focusing on the “purity” of Scientology teachings, Mr. Miscavige sure seems to roll up his sleeves when it comes to new churches being built. At the Ron Miscavige smear site, Ciara Rogers, Scientology’s “International Landlord,” provides this glowing account of her boss and his involvement in Scientology’s “Ideal Org” program…
Mr. [David] Miscavige looked at it as something that could be achieved and he actually laid out the exact strategy and organization within the Landlord Office to achieve this. So the genius of what Mr. Miscavige has actually laid out in the strategy is that he was looking at how do we…how can every parishioner in every local area and field and zone, how are they able to obtain and get an Ideal Church of Scientology for themselves. And how is that even possible? If all of them were to individually try and do it themselves it would be impossible. It wouldn’t be possible to get it done. And it really was Mr. Miscavige who, you know, came up with the entire, you know, layout of how are we going to actually achieve this, and he’s directed that…that we are, you know, in correspondence with those parishioners and that they are creating their own Ideal Churches of Scientology. So, through the planning, through the design, and through everything that the International Landlord Office is…is doing and accomplishing, you know, those parishioners know that their Ideal Church of Scientology is going to be for their town and exactly as they want and as L. Ron Hubbard intended. He then came up with what is that organization that needs to go in place and how do we establish a machine at a global level to achieve, you know, getting every single Ideal Church of Scientology completed. And, you know, he apprenticed and trained myself and many others on exactly how that process is done and how…how we can actually achieve it to the standards that L. Ron Hubbard has already set in those policy letters.
OK, you may be asking, perhaps David Miscavige’s job has changed since he made that 1994 court declaration. Perhaps in 1994, Miscavige saw himself as a philosophical leader who was divorced from the details of church management, but that over time he has become more hands-on.
Once again, however, the Ron Miscavige smear website delivers some pure gold. Rick Cruzen, another Golden Era musician, describes how, in 1990, after an epic 100-year flood damaged Gold Base (something that was described as a significant turning point in Ron’s book), David Miscavige rolled up his sleeves and oversaw every detail of rebuilding…
At this critical juncture, Mr. David Miscavige intervened to restore the entire property, so that it would never happen again. This included a full-scale drainage system, silt basins and reinforcement of the nearby river levee, as well as complete planning of all production facilities and full training of the staff as experts at flood, earthquake and fire prevention. At the completion of the training program, he awarded the staff with a huge party. And subsequently, based on his planning, the property was built into one of the most valuable, functional and beautiful studio facilities in the world, safe from any natural disaster.
Hang on a minute. David Miscavige did all that detail work in 1990, four years before the 1994 court declaration in which Miscavige claimed he was only an ecclesiastical leader and had nothing to do with daily management? Wow. That’s some admission, and on Scientology’s own smear website.
We really have to thank Scientology for making all this so plain with its attack on Ron Miscavige. We’ve learned that David Miscavige will say one thing in court, but that his own employees say something very different about him now that Ron Miscavige’s book has exposed him as a tyrant.
We can only wonder if, when they were putting together this attack on Ron, they realized what interesting evidence they were supplying the IRS.
Now, will the IRS pay it any mind?