Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me by Ronald Miscavige

Ruthless by Ron MiscavigeYou have to wonder how much longer David Miscavige can hold onto power. The leader of Scientology has been ripped by his own niece, slammed in a no-holds-barred screed by actress Leah Remini, and is now a favorite punching bag of former church executive Mark Rathburn. And they all tell the same story: Sea Org members (supposedly Scientology’s clergy) kept in virtual slavery, slavish devotion to Tom Cruise, and a religion that doesn’t even pass the smell test most other religions manage to nail on a mere glance. Christians have built hospitals and universities. Jews foster a culture of hard work and innovation. Muslims are yuge on charity. Even atheists meet this test. What do they do? SCIENCE!

But Jenna Miscavige Hill, Remini, and Rathburn see Scientology as not even a cult. It’s a scam to them. What is their work, according to these three disgruntled former members? They sell repackaged L. Ron Hubbard writings, buy lots of real estate, and spend most of their time shaking down the faithful for money they don’t have to spend. Hmm…

Then there’s Ron Miscavige, David Miscavige’s father. Unlike Hill, Remini, and Rathburn, Miscavige is still a believer in Scientology, if somewhat pragmatic about it. In Ruthless, he traces the philosophy’s origins to earlier and even unrelated movements. Unlike many, he says he has actually been helped by Scientology and applauds those who go outside the church. He even admits that L. Ron Hubbard was more Professor Harold Hill than Jesus Christ or Buddha. But he was a jovial snake oil salesman who believed quite a bit of what he preached. His son…

It’s a hard thing to hear when someone calls their son a sociopath. Ron Miscavige, who wound up in the Sea Org’s concentration camp-like Gold Base, tries to understand his son, whom he describes as abusive and self-centered. He claims Scientology and auditing cured David Miscavige of his childhood asthma. But the church the elder Miscavige joined in the late 1960s is not even a shell of itself today, according to him.

So Ron Miscavige believes in what L. Ron Hubbard was selling (with a healthy dose of skepticism and giving credit to others), but when it comes to the organization run by the fruit of his loins? That’s a great big “Nope.”

Leave a Reply