Officially known as the Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center, David Miscavige is best known as the leader of the controversial Church of Scientology. He assumed the position after the death of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. He has since maintained the role amidst numerous controversies and allegations.
The controversies, mysteries, and allegations against Miscavige which range from the harassment of church critics to instigating the separation of several families among other things has, however, not hindered the church from expanding her horizons across the globe under his leadership. This has left people looking into how he gained the experience to achieve what he has so far.
Working as Ron Hubbard’s Assistant Laid the Foundation for David to Lead the Church
As you would soon learn, David Miscavige’s journey to becoming the leader of the Church of Scientology began when he was a kid although it was when he served as an assistant to the founder of the church that he took his first significant step towards becoming its leader. This happened in 1976.
In the said year, Miscavige left his home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania for Clearwater in Florida where he joined Sea Org, one of Ron Hubbard’s establishments. The next year, he started working as Hubbard’s assistant. By 1979, he became the leader of the Commodore’s Messenger Organization (CMO), a subgroup of the church whose responsibility is mainly to enforce Hubbard’s rules and regulations in each of the Scientology organizations.
In 1980, David Miscavige started working as Ron Hubbard’s representative as the latter scarcely appeared at public functions. By implication, he also became the head of almost all the groups and organizations in the Scientology order.
He Assumed Complete Leadership of the Church When its Founder Died
In 1982, David Miscavage established the Religious Technology Center and the Author Services Inc. to handle Scientology’s assets and income respectively. Following Hubbard’s death in 1986, he assumed complete leadership of the Scientology religion, serving as the ultimate custodian of the church’s beliefs and practices.
In 2003, Miscavage set out to establish and renovate branches of the church in major cities of the world. He has so far succeeded in doing so in about sixty-five cities across the U.S, U.K, Germany, Taiwan, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. He later launched the Scientology Network in March 2018 through which he aims to communicate with billions of followers across the globe.
So far in his over three-decade leadership of the church, Miscavige has landed into numerous controversies including allegations of physical assault, cruelty and oppression, illegal surveillance and imprisonment, among other unethical practices.
David Miscavige’s Family Abandoned the Catholic Church Because of Him
David Miscavige was born a twin on April 30, 1960, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. The American of Polish-Italian descent spent his early years alongside his twin sister Denise Licciardi, older brother Ronald Miscavige Jr., and his other sister Lori Miscavige Vernuelle in their Catholic home in Willingboro Township, New Jersey.
Growing up, David played football and baseball although he suffered from asthma and other serious allergies. Having found no cure in orthodox medicine, his father consulted a Scientologist whose 45-minute Dianetics session cured all of his sicknesses. David’s family consequently left the Catholic church for the Church of Scientology in 1971. They became so devoted to the religion that they relocated to Saint Hill Manor, England, residing inside the church’s headquarters.
David’s interest in Scientology grew so rapidly that by the next year at the age of 12, he began conducting auditing sessions, becoming the youngest ever to professionally carry out Scientology auditing. His family, however, returned to Pennsylvania after a few years and he enrolled at Marple Newtown in Delaware County for his high school education.
Several Members of the Miscavige Family are Now Critics of Scientology
David’s father, Ronald Miscavige, was the one who introduced his son to Scientology while he sought to cure his son’s ailments. Miscavige Sr. remained a devotee of the Scientology religion from 1970 to 2012.
After he left the church, he co-authored the book, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, with Dan Koon. The book, which was published in May 2016, contained an expository narration of his 42-year experience in the religion. It also chronicled the rise of his son in the church’s leadership as well as his estranged relationship with him after he abandoned the religion.
Although Ronald Miscavige does not regret leading his son into the religion, he is not happy that it has cost him his family as he has no relationship with David and his two daughters; Lori and Denise.
Long before Ronald had left the church, his first son Ronnie had left Scientology many years earlier. Ronald Miscavige Jr. left in 2000 and his daughter Jenna Miscavige Hill followed in 2005. She has since become a fierce critic of the church, co-founding a website that offers support to people still in Scientology.
David Miscavige’s Wife Hasn’t Been Seen in Public Since August 2007
David Miscavige married Michelle Diane, a fellow Sea Org member now popularly known as Shelly Miscavige. Shelly remained a devoted Scientologist and Miscavige’s assistant until she stopped making public appearances in 2005. Shelly last appeared in public at her father’s funeral in August 2007, stirring up rumors of disappearance.
To date, her whereabouts have been fraught in mystery and dark controversies. While some believe she may have defected from the religion and eloped, others feel the church must have detained her somewhere in one of their facilities, possibly in “The Hole”, an alleged place of incarceration and torment for offending members.
Even after actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini filed a missing person complaint at the Los Angeles Police Department on behalf of Shelly, no tangible information emerged from the investigations. Moreover, different spokespersons of the Church of Scientology have severally dismissed claims of her disappearance with excuses ranging from her choosing to live a private life to her devoting her time to the service of the church.
Meanwhile, several sources have reported that David Miscavage apparently had no romantic relationship with his wife. They have no children.