The apple couldn’t fall farther from the tree…
Scientology remains one of the most confounding and secretive religions in the world.
Since its inception in 1954, Scientology has often drawn international attention, from its high-profile members, to its under-publicized controversies and alleged scandals, to certain public officials and governments condemning it as a dangerous sect.
Founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is now headed by David Miscavige, the charismatic yet enigmatic figure titled the Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center. Though Miscavige’s family members such as his wife and niece have found their way into national headlines before, he’s now dealing with yet another relative who’s risking it all to out Scientology as a fraud.
A new book by one of David’s closest relatives is making headlines as Scientologists desperately try to halt its publication.
The Man Behind the Church
David Miscavige was born in raised in the greater Philadelphia area, but by the time he was a teenager, his family had joined Scientology and even moved to the church’s world headquarters at Silent Hill Manor in England where David quickly became known as a prodigy.
At 12, he became the youngest professional auditor, and at 16 he dropped out of high school to join Sea Org, Scientology’s most dedicated–even “paramilitary”–order. By 1980, around the age of 20, sources report that David had effectively taken control of the organization.
Trouble in the Family.
Though his constantly smiling face–quintessentially representative of Scientology’s positive message of self improvement–shows no sign of worry, David Miscavige’s personal life is marred by family members turned dissenters from the church.
His wife—who hasn’t been seen in public since 2007—has been the subject of much media coverage, especially after actress Leah Remini left the church only to claim that Shelly Miscavige is being kept against her will somewhere.
David’s older brother Ronald and niece Jenna, former members of Sea Org, both left Scientology in the 2000s. Jenna went on to publish the 2013 book Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology And My Harrowing Escape, which highly criticizes the church.
But in recent weeks, a different member of David Miscavige’s family is making headlines.