Tom Cruise recently took late night show host James Corden skydiving. The two men skydived to promote Cruise’s monster box office film Mission Impossible – Fallout. In the video, Cruise showcased his expert skydiving skills while Corden nervously fumbled his way through his first jump in which he was attached to a master skydiver with 7,000 jumps. Cruise’s landing was picture perfect as he glided effortlessly to the ground. James Corden, on the other hand, skidded to a rather abrupt stop and then did a face plant.
If anyone could use Tom Cruise’s help with a parachute right now it is Scientology leader David Miscavige, a man who finds himself in a sudden, calamitous, and unexpected free fall in the Colombian media. Miscavige appears to be headed straight down for a face plant in Colombia.
Despite decades of Scientology “safepointing” itself in Colombia, no one in Colombia is coming to Miscavige’s defense as he is being pilloried in the media for having received a medal from a retired Colombian police general who had no authority to award the medal.
Never one for modesty, Miscavige went fullblown Messiah in this bizarre award ceremony and had the general give him the medal for, “saving humanity from violence, evil, terrorism, drug dealings and all the negative factors that threaten it.” This screenshot from davidmiscavige.org tells the story of Miscavige’s runaway ego:
David Miscavige is a certifiable megalomaniac. He actually believes that he has personally saved humanity from “violence, evil, terrorism, drug dealings and all the negative factors that threaten it.” Moreover, he wanted a medal given to him at a special ceremony in recognition of his having saved humanity. This is the delusional state in which Mr. Miscavige exists.
The basis of Miscavige’s medal is a ridiculous claim the Church of Scientology’s has been making for many years now. Specifically, Scientology claims that its efforts in distributing millions of copies of The Way to Happiness brought peace and calm to Colombia and therefore paved the way for the 2016 peace treaty between the Colombian government and FARC rebels that ended a 50 year civil war in Colombia. This claim so ridiculous that it deserves nothing but scorn. Here is the claim for Scientology’s own website:
Two things to note in this story:
1. The event at which Miscavige received his medal for saving humanity took place in Bridgetown, Barbados and not in Colombia. This is the first indication that the presentation of the medal was not authorized by the Colombian government; had it been authorized the event would have taken place dockside in the Port of Cartagena where the fifty-year old Freewinds frequently docks and/or goes into drydock for repairs.
2. Aside from the retired police General Carlos Ramiro Mena Bravo, there were no Colombian government, military, or police officials at the Barbados event. The absence of Colombian officials also indicates that this was not an authorized event. The retired General Mena has been rebuked for wearing his uniform without permission and displaying the Colombian flag and other state symbols without permission. Retired generals are not allowed to do these things without explicit permission as they no longer hold office and are civilians.
When David Miscavige opened the Bogota Ideal Org on July 15, 2015 there were several Colombian officials who spoke at the event and participated in the rope pull:
DAVID MISCAVIGE — FALLOUT
Now that David Miscavige is in a free fall in the Colombian media, he suddenly has no friends or allies in the Colombian government — and indeed who would come forward to defend the man given his grandiose Messianic claims? Even Colonel Ricardo Antonio Prado, long the face of the Colombian National Police in Scientology PR and at its events, including events held on the Freewinds, has not appeared anywhere to defend Miscavige:
Miscavige has no defenders and is instead receiving his just and due comeuppance in a barrage of negative headlines. These headlines are translated via Google:
Translation via Google: Controversy for awarding leader of Scientology — The ceremony was held in Barbados, for “saving humanity from violence (…)”.
As portions of this translated article from El Espectaror makes clear, David Miscavige — in his perpetual quest for self-glorification — has gotten a retired Colombian general into trouble:
David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology have badly embarrassed themselves in Colombia. However, as of the date of publication of this article, Scientology has not issued a press release stating that David Miscavige would return this unauthorized and unsanctioned medal.
As this story continues to unfold, we’re wondering how many chartered planes full of Scientology lawyers bearing suitcases full of cash David Miscavige is flying down to Colombia in an attempt make the medal legitimate. On the other hand, no amount of money and lawyers is going to persuade anyone in Colombia to legitimize Miscavige’s claims to have saved humanity.Nevertheless, David Miscavige plays for keeps. In our view, he has no intention of giving up his fake medal and it will remain on his vanity website.
In our opinion, the entire matter reeks of a caper between a retired general and Scientology. There has been a claim put forward that the general authorized the medal while he was still in office in December 2017 but that Miscavige was not available to receive his medal for saving humanity and instead waited six months. This claim to legitimacy rings false. Miscavige charters a private jet when he travels. It would be nothing for him to fly from Tampa to Cartagena for an officially-sanctioned ceremony and award when the general was still in office. Instead, Miscavige waited six months to receive the award in an unsanctioned ceremony in Barbados at the end of the 30th Maiden Voyage cruise of the Freewinds.
General Mena Bravo surely must have known there would be blowback from the Colombian government and people for him giving an official award to an American cult leader. This is why, in our view, Mena played a game in which he technically authorized the award when he was in office but then waited until he was retired to award it. Mena broke the rules by wearing his uniform and using the Colombian flag, but so what? He is well established in Colombia and will likely receive a slap on the hand for this bit of capering. Alternately, if this story doesn’t die a quick death in the Colombian media, whatever Scientology paid Mena Bravo for this caper may be discovered and publicized. This is a calculated risk Mena chose to take.
When Pope Francis visited Colombia in September 2017, he was greeted in Bogota by President Juan Manual Santos and the First Lady. Thousands of people lined the streets for the Holy Father’s procession. There was no seedy ceremony in Barbados with a retired police general.
This is how a true global ecclesiastical leader is welcomed in Colombia: