ABC NIGHTLINE: INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY -- ILLUSTRATED INTERVIEW
[Martin Bashir] Bruce Hines says he was a high level auditor, a kind of therapeutic counselor.
[Mike Rinder] Hi, Wendy. Any messages.
[Martin Bashir] And supporting their allegations is Mike Rinder who for many years was Scientology's main spokesman. He's now speaking out against the Church, the same Church he defended to ABC News in 1998.
[Mike Rinder] I think that there isn't a person on this earth that could not benefit from the teachings of Scientology.
[Tommy Davis] [to John Sweeney] I'm not stopping here! You listen to me for a second!
[Martin Bashir] The Church's current spokesman is Tommy Davis, seen here on the left in an infamous 2007 exchange with a BBC reporter.
We met with him at Scientology's New York Church where he granted us a rare interview.
Q. Is Mr. Miscavige violent towards Scientologists, and has he been physically violent in the past?
[Tommy Davis] Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He has not. He is not, and it's not in his character, it's not in his nature. And that's not the kind of person he is.
[David Miscavige] One quality that has always set us apart is that we are unselfish.
Yes, we have an utter monopoly on workable solutions, but we share those solutions with anyone who reaches for them.
[Martin Bashir] This was David Miscavige in 2004.
[David Miscavige] It is my honor to present our first Freedom Medal of Valor to the most dedicated Scientologist I know.
[Martin Bashir] Presenting an award to the Church's biggest star, and his close friend, Tom Cruise.
But the private face of Miscavige, according to these former Scientologists, is quite different.
Q. Do you think David Miscavige should continue to be the figurehead of the Church of Scientology?
[Bruce Hines] No! I'll just say it outright. I consider him to be a sociopath.
[Marty Rathbun] I think the man is stark, staring mad.
[David Miscavige] Hello, my name is David Miscavige.
[Martin Bashir] Energetic and charismatic, David Miscavige quickly moved up the ranks after joining the Church, and became outright leader after Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's death --
[David Miscavige] Approximately two weeks ago, he completed all of his researches he had set out to do --
[Martin Bashir] -- which he announced in this 1986 video.
[David Miscavige] L. Ron Hubbard discarded the body he had used in this lifetime for 74 years, ten months, and 11 days. *
[Marty Rathbun] I was very much involved in litigation that was going on, in ongoing cases, but also the intelligence side of it.
[Martin Rathbun] Just a few years into his leadership, David Miscavige and Marty Rathbun were battling back against detractors --
and after this devastating article in Time Magazine --
which referred to Scientology as a thriving cult of greed and power, they decided to go on the offensive. Miscavige agreed to appear live on this broadcast in 1992. It remains his only television interview.
[Ted Koppel] There's a little bit of a problem in getting people to talk critically about the Church of Scientology because, quite frankly, they're scared.
[David Miscavige] Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Let me explain something to you. The most disingenuous thing is that you have those people. Now let's not give the American public the wrong impression --
[Martin Bashir] When you got to the studios, the Nightline studios, what was the atmosphere like?
[Marty Rathbun] It was pretty electric.
The last rivals for control of Scientology were Pat and Annie Broeker, who had assisted Hubbard in his last years. The founder had elevated them to "loyal officer" status, a higher rank than Miscavige, a captain.
The Broekers also had custody of Hubbard's last writings, the cherished upper levels of Scientology auditing that he wrote by hand while in seclusion. For a church that depends in large part on auditing fees, the papers were a gold mine not only spiritually, but financially. Miscavige wanted them.
Rathbun reveals what they did:
The day Pat Broeker and Miscavige flew cross-country to meet church lawyers in Washington, Rathbun positioned a team of about 20 men outside the Broekers' ranch in Barstow, Calif.
During a layover in Chicago, Miscavige called with the signal for Rathbun to phone the ranch caretaker. Rathbun told her that Miscavige and Broeker had called with a message: The FBI planned to raid the ranch in two hours. If they didn't get Hubbard's papers out, they might be lost forever.
The woman let Rathbun and his guys in.
"It worked like a charm," he said.
Miscavige's rise was complete. At 26, he answered to no one in Scientology.
Hubbard died in hiding in January, 1986. He had been in hiding for several years. Even though we were in weekly written communication with him at Author Services, Inc., it was our task to pretend we were not, to keep the authorities from knowing how to reach him. During this time, Hubbard's closest confidant was Pat Broeker who was living with him as his aide. When Hubbard died, a power struggle erupted between Broeker and Miscavige as to who would run Scientology. Miscavige won. Those on Broeker's side were purged. That included me. I was sent to a desert gulag for 14 months. Broeker's wife Annie gave in and arrived while I was there. She later escaped once and was captured and returned and kept under 24- hour guard. Pat disappeared and no one has heard of him since. It is not known if he is alive.
When it comes to the issue of deaths in Scientology, there are some important ones to use as a measure, starting with that of its founder, Hubbard, who died in January, 1986. I arrived at his secret ranch near San Luis Obispo, California, within hours of his death, well before the authorities. I went with Miscavige, attorney Earl Cooley, two private investigators and a few other key, selected staff. It was our collective task to take command of the situation. The greatest fear was that there would be a panic in the Church of Scientology if the circumstances of Hubbard's death were known. For example, while Hubbard's condition deteriorated in the final weeks, his personal physician (Dr. Gene Denk) was sent to Reno to gamble, leaving Hubbard with no medical attention. Or that Hubbard's primary source of Scientology help was a person who had taken LSD over 1000 times. Or that the story that Hubbard decided to "leave the body" (Scientology's way of saying "died") was dreamt up at the next morning to calm Scientologists. Or that the body was quickly disposed of to avoid any autopsy that would reveal "medicines" that he had been taking. Thus the actual truth of Hubbard's death has yet to be told.
Hubbard's son Quentin also died under mysterious circumstances in 1976. He had disappeared from his home in Clearwater, Florida, and was found unconscious in a car next to the Las Vegas airport. (Coroner's report is attached as Exhibit U. He died unidentified, as a "John Doe.") The engine of the car was on and a hose ran from the exhaust pipe (although it appeared to have fallen off when the authorities arrived) to the window, making it appear to be a suicide. But, like his father's death, there were a number of nagging questions. For example, Quentin was found unkempt with a beard stubble, a state that no one who knew Quentin could accept. (He was ultra-meticulous in his appearance.) Or that the license plate of the car was missing and found under a rock some distance away. Or that his wallet was gone, making identification impossible. Or that a near-empty bottle of liquor was found, as if he had been drinking, when Quentin did not. Or that there were needle marks on his arms, when he did not use drugs.
Another mysterious but key death was that of Flo Barnett,
Miscavige's mother-in-law. She died in 1985 of three shots to the chest
and one to the temple from a semi-automatic rifle. Two suicide notes
were found. Although she was only 5'3" tall (and weighed only 114
pounds), the examiner determined she shot herself three times in the
chest (with a rifle) before shooting herself through the head. (See
coroner's report attached as Exhibit V.) What the authorities didn't
know was that she had left Scientology and was associating with
apostates, to the anger of her son-in-law Miscavige.