Los Angeles Times: Private investigator for Church of Scientology alleges he was paid by Church attorney to recant statement to police

(Note: The following summary was written by Tony Ortega and is reprinted from his blog)


Kim Christensen, the L.A. Times reporter who broke the story last year about Scientology leader David Miscavige hiring private investigators Dwayne and Daniel Powell to follow his own father, Ron Miscavige, after Ron escaped from Scientology in 2012, has an important update today that is on the newspaper’s front page.

The most striking thing in Christensen’s story last year was that the Powells told West Allis, Wisconsin police that they had been told by David Miscavige personally simply to stand by and let Ron die when they observed him having what they thought was a heart attack. “If he dies, he dies,” David reportedly told them.

Dwayne Powell later submitted a declaration that he had been misquoted by the police in their report of his interview, and that he did not talk to David Miscavige. The police in Wisconsin stood by their report.

Now, today, buried fairly deep in a lengthy story about Ron’s recent memoir, “Ruthless,” Christensen drops a small bomb.

Christensen obtained pay records showing that Powell was given $16,000 in five payments after his 2013 arrest and just before his submission of the declaration, even though he was no longer following Ron Miscavige.

The pay disbursements had come from notorious Scientology lawyer Kendrick Moxon. Would Moxon pay someone to say things in a declaration that the church wanted to hear?

Christensen doesn’t say it, but we’ve already proved that Moxon would do such a thing.

Back in 1999, we showed through documents that when a man named Robert Cipriano agreed to sign a false declaration accusing attorney Graham Berry of sexual improprieties in his past, Moxon arranged for Cipriano to get a job, rented him a place to live, and leased him a car.

Moxon, naturally, denied to the Times that his payments to Powell had anything to do with Powell issuing his declaration denying that he’d talked to Miscavige.

In the spring of 2015, just weeks before Powell signed the declaration, a Scientology attorney paid him at least $16,000 for “security” services in five payments, according to check stubs obtained by The Times. The checks were written on the trust account of Kendrick Moxon, a prominent Scientology attorney in Los Angeles, the records show.

Reached by phone, Powell confirmed the payments but would not comment on them.

But he did say that he had not worked for the church after giving up his Florida private investigator’s license in 2014, when he was indicted on a federal charge of possessing an illegal silencer. It was dismissed when he entered a pretrial diversion program.

Moxon told The Times in a written response that Powell performed “security and research services” for his firm last year.

“The relationship between this firm and any investigators I retain is privileged and confidential,” he wrote. “However, I can categorically state for the record that no payments were made to Mr. Powell for the testimony in his truthful declaration.”

But Powell told the Times that he was paid to write the declaration, which was written for him and which he signed in a meeting that took ten minutes.

So what have we learned? That Dwayne Powell did tell West Allis police that David Miscavige told him to stand by and watch Ron Miscavige die. (Ron actually wasn’t having a heart attack.) And that fact becoming public freaked out Scientology so much it paid Powell $16,000 to lie and claim that he’d said no such thing.

But once again, Moxon is busted by his own documents. And congratulations to the L.A. Times!


Excerpts from the Los Angeles Times story:

For more than a year, Powell told detectives, he and his son had followed Miscavige, eavesdropped on him and spied on his emails. They were paid $10,000 a week through an intermediary, he told police, explaining that David Miscavige was the “main client.”

On one outing, Powell told police, he saw Ron Miscavige clutch his chest while loading his car and thought he was having a heart attack. He called his go-between for instructions, and minutes later a man who identified himself as David Miscavige called back and told him that “if it was Ron’s time to die, to let him die and not intervene in any way,” a police report states…

…Police in that Milwaukee suburb stand by their account: “There is no confusion in the statements that were made by Dwayne and Daniel Powell,” Chief Patrick Mitchell said in an email.

Now, in the latest twist in the saga of church-sanctioned surveillance, Powell says he was paid thousands of dollars to sign the declaration after church attorneys summoned him to a meeting last year in Atlanta.

“The whole meeting took less than 10 minutes,” he said. “They said, ‘This is what this is, and this is what it’s for. Goodbye and good luck.’ ”

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