Dear young rocker, season two is a raw, honest, strange and entertaining story about finding yourself in your early 20s and a lifelong relationship with music. It's hosted by me, Chelsea Erson, and it's executive produced by Jake Brennan of Disgraced Land. Dear Young Rocker comes to you from WLS Productions and I Heart Radio.
Listen to Dear Young Rocker on the I Heart radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
How did the world's greatest entrepreneurs find their way to such prominent positions of success? I'm Jeff Rosenthal and in Order The Hustle, my podcast from My Heart Radio, I sit down to chat with the cultural innovators and Magnate's Shaping Our Future from the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement to the former CEO of Twitter. Join us each week as we discuss the insights and critical advice that shaped all of their lives. Listen to the Art of the Hustle on the radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Hi, this is Leah Remini and I am joined by Mike Rinder. Hi, everybody. It's Leah and Mike, back once again with another edition of Scientology Fair Game podcast. And today, we are really happy to have Ron Miscavige as our featured guest. Ron, for any of you who may not know, is the father of the current leader of Scientology, David Miscavige. He is a long, long term friend of mine and actually my whole family since the 1970s.
Ron left Scientology in 2011. He was in the Sea Organization with me at Golden Era Productions. He has subsequently spoken out about the abuses that he witnessed.
He wrote a best selling book called Ruthless, and he has a lot of things to talk about with us that we didn't get a chance to speak with him about when he appeared on the aftermath. So we have an opportunity today to speak in much greater depth about a whole range of things. And I'm really happy you're with us today, Ron. Thanks so much.
I'm very I listen, I'm very happy to be with both of you because you're both dear friends and I appreciate your friendship and you're getting me on the show. But by the way, Mike, just to add, in addition to that book that I wrote, which, you know, was an exposé, I also have a podcast that I do, which is called The Real Ron Miscavige Dotcom. And I have over 90 interviews I've done with people who have been abused by the church and subjected to fair game and all kinds of stuff like that.
So I just want to add that to it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, and me actually. Yeah, I did want to. I know.
So now we're returning the favor. Ron, this is a a like a podcast roundabout. Good. OK, so where do you want to begin, because like you mentioned, Mike, the story has so many levels to it and so many possibilities to get into. But do you want to just start with the what we've been discussing, which is fair game policy, a fair game and what happened to the leader's father?
There's just no one immune to the policy and practices of fair game. Absolutely right, and for those who didn't see the aftermath and the episode with Ron, let me just give a very brief recap. Ron was living his life up there in Wisconsin and a police officer knocked on his door and said, Are you run, Moscovitch? And it turns out that they had arrested two private investigators and that the investigators had been charged with investigating Ron and following him and determining what he was up to.
And that in the course of this, it came out that when the investigators were watching him, at one point Ron was in the parking lot of a supermarket and he had his phone in his shirt pocket and it leaned over. The phone had started falling out. He'd grab for it. And the investigators who were observing him thought that he was grabbing his at his heart and was having a heart attack. And they called in and reported this as it was happening.
And they informed the police that David Miscavige run. Son came on the phone and instructed them that if it was runs time to die, let him die, do not interfere. This became quite a scandal when that information got out, but that was really all we covered in the aftermath show.
And there is a lot more to this story about the fair game tactics that were employed against Ron and Becky that I'd like to sort of cover here, because we have now an opportunity to go into more depth. Ron, is there anything you want to add to just that part of the story?
Well, yeah, I could tell you this part of the story that when the cops knocked on my door and they said, you know, you've been being followed by people from the Church of Scientology. And it shocked me. I mean, I thought, what the hell? You know? So then they invited me to come to the police station. And this was actually a moment, I got to tell you that, because it was a bit of not more than a bit of a shock.
It was a hell of a shock. I went into the police station and by the way, the arresting officer, whose name is Nick Pye, and he's a very good friend of mine at this point, as well as the West Dallas police. But we went over to the garage where they had the police cars and I brought my car in which I was instructed to do because they're going to check in the wheel wells to see if there was any.
What is that tracking device called a GPS? Right. And they investigated under one wheel and they said, here, look at this. There were scratches where they took it off because it's very highly magnetized. And if you grab it and pull it downwards, you scratch the metal. And they said, yeah, there was a GPS in here, but it's been taken out. And Nick Pye said to me, listen, do you have any idea why they were following you?
I said, Well, look, you know, I'm the father of the chairman of the Board of Scientology. I could be considered like a sensitive particle that I might cause problems, but I have no intention of causing problems. I just want to live my life. And I shouldn't you know, maybe maybe David's concerned about my health. And Nick, who, by the way, just as a person, he looks like a linebacker who could bench press about 400 pounds.
And it turns out he can bench press 400 pounds. And he this big hulk of a guy with the soft spoken voice kind of look the other way. And you look back at me and he said, listen, he says, I hate like hell to tell you this, but I'm going to tell you because you should know it when you read all these and you come out and you hand whatever to your heart they were following you and they were watching you from this blacked out car.
They called in a guy, got a guy by the name of Greg on the phone. And Greg says, Wait, I'll have somebody get in touch with you. A couple minutes later, a person got on, identified himself as David Miscavige, and he said, listen, if it is time to die, let him die, don't intervene, don't do anything. And when they told me that that that was like a kind of a blow to my universe, because, look, I'm this guy's father.
I can remember the day he was born, him and his sister, his twin sister. And it's a moment in the person's life where you have just an on limited love for this new being who starting out in life.
And for me to have this wonderful relationship when when I was a little kid, we got along great to have it turned into this. It was like right out of the book. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he went from. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and it's hard for me even to accept that today, to be honest with you, Michael. So that's that's about all we're could add to that. And then the other thing is just when you have, I guess, three billion dollars and you don't know what the hell to do with your money, you can do things like this to the private.
Investigators went across the street from my house that was for sale and he was casing it, looking through the windows with the intention of buying it so that they could just spy on me from the windows in the house. It was just an accident, but you had no idea that you were being followed. You had no idea you were being surveilled, but you were aware because you were in the sea organization and employee of Scientology. Why? And because people ask me this all the time.
And I know they asked Mike, why didn't you think that was going to happen? You know, the policy of Fair Game, you know what the tactics are. Why did you think you would be excluded from that?
Well, I don't know if I thought it was excluded more than I was thinking. I haven't found anybody who was following me yet. So I kind of dismissed it from my mind that, well well, maybe I'm just going to be let to get on with life.
You know, listen, when you think about it, what how would you feel if your own father said, let Leah die? That that's that's a big change up. I mean, good for I shake it, you know, to live one life, having a person that you love and you you as a little kid anyway, wanted to see him succeed and get over his asthma and shit like that. For that to happen.
As I say, it was a blow. But still, I thought maybe there's some love there and I'll just be allowed to get on with my life. That's all I want. Once I found them, then I caught other people who had been following me and I'd confront them. I'd just go over to the car and, you know, just say, what the hell are you following me for? And then they drive off and I try not backed off and don't shit like that.
You know that. Of course.
But what my answer to this question, when people ask me and and Mike, please chime in if you want, but my answer has always been, well, when we learn pretty early on in Scientology, the US against them mentality, we are told and we learn that the people who oppose Scientology or speak out against Scientology are the are like they liken it to Hitler and Dillinger.
And so you imagine that the monsters that are against Scientology, I mean, Mike isn't one of the polisi. The people who do this abhor the light and we are the light and we're saving mankind. And so the them is never those speaking the truth in our minds.
Right. I mean, I think that's what's most shocking, right?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you are conditioned to think of suppressive people, which is the Scientology term for enemies of Scientology and people who are to be destroyed and silenced as being, you know, like Dr. Evil or some horrendous person.
And you don't ever think that you're that right.
But suddenly when you're on the receiving end of these fair game tactics, you realize that's what they're now, the category that you've been put into by them. It's like they're doing to put you in that category, you to put yourself in that category. Right?
So Mike Oza stands for the Office of Special Affairs, and that is the Department of Scientology that you were ahead of and worked for, which is the group that goes out and actively tries to destroy those exposing Scientology, correct?
That's absolutely correct. And so this is a very normal practice to literally buy a house like run smartly. Just said, you know, they have three billion dollars at their disposal.
So they just hired private eyes to to sit in front of Ron and Becky's house to scare them. They they have the money to put is on every car that they want followed.
And they will literally buy a house, mike a house just to spy on people. Sure.
I mean, Leah, remember Sierra Westermann, the private investigator slash spy who lived across the street from me in Tarpon Springs. And then there was another woman called Heather McAdoo, who was another private investigator and spy who also lived in a house across the street. Well, hang on.
They didn't just live in a house across the street from you by happenstance, right? That wasn't just coincidence.
Yeah, that house across the street was was gutted because I lived there. There was no coincidence about it at all. But what is interesting is that both Sarah Westermann and Heather McAdoo, those two spy private investigators, were girlfriends of Dwayne Powell, the private investigator who was arrested for following Ron Miscavige. And the reason that they got arrested was because when the report that there was suspicious people look. The dark around there happened the police showed up, asked to search the car and found the trunks full of weapons and illegal silencers, and that's what they actually got arrested for, right?
Run. Oh, yeah. As a matter of fact, I'll tell you, Dwayne was kind of going around the house, looking in the windows, and a neighbor called the cops and she said, listen, I think there's a drug dealer out here. So that's what she told them. And maybe he's trying to go for some some action. So then when Nick Pick came out and he caught the guy and he said, what are you doing here?
And he said, why am I breaking the law? I might do something, doing something unlawful. So, Nick, question a little more. And he says, that's it, you're under arrest. And then, well, he says, can I look in your car? And the guy said, sure. Now, when he went in the car in the trunk, they found five license plates from different states. They found five handguns, a stun gun, two rifles, one fitted up with a silencer.
And that was the reason they arrested him because. Oh, and by the way, two thousand rounds of ammunition. So you can't drive around in Wisconsin with a silencer on a rifle. Two thousand rounds of ammunition and the cops stop you and say, oh, OK, you're probably just going to target shooting. So he was brought in and questioned. And finally he was brought up before a court on the in the eastern part of Wisconsin and actually given a five year probationary period where if he didn't behave himself, he'd get the can.
So he got that probationary thing because there's a lawyer that the church handled from Chicago that came up. And I guess he pleaded for some type of plea bargaining with that. So we got him five years probation and all the data that they had in his computer was taken and downloaded by the West Dallas police. And then about a year after this happening, the church hired a guy from Madison. And I knew the guy's name and I mentioned it to a person I knew here.
And he says, oh, Ronnie, that guy's a real crook. This lawyer came to the West Dallas police and try to get them to turn over all the information that they downloaded from Duane Paul's computer, which in there would be the daily reports that they sent on me because they watched me from eight o'clock in the morning till eight o'clock at night. All these reports would be in there and the West Dallas police was about ready to do it. And there's a guy by the name of Ricky Hankins who's an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent who was in on the interview, by the way.
Just slip this in now, if you want to hear that interview of the cops questioning Daniel Powell and Duane Powell, it's on my website. And you can hear the entire interview. Just go to the real Ron Miscavige dot com. It is God damn interesting. I got great. Great.
Yeah, but because this was a father and son team, this is a father and son team. Yeah.
And then also, if I, if I if I should add, like Mike again, this is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars if not lelliott.
Yes. They were paying the tax money. Yeah. They were paying them ten thousand dollars a week to follow me. Ten grand. Right.
This is a church with Tax-Exempt Status. Right. Whatever happened to them. So they just got off five years probation. Do they still work for Scientology or I mean what was the result of all of this nonsense and wasted money?
Actually, I don't know what happened after that because what happened is I'm sure he lost a job. You don't get caught following the father of the chairman of the board caught with your pants down and they say, oh, that's OK. Listen, you have no idea.
But he never but that the police ever ask him, what were you doing with the silencer? Were you planning on killing this man? I mean, what was that? They ask him these questions and it was all OK.
Yeah. And all of those questions are in my interview and you'll see how they approached it, because, look, you know, a cop picks up a guy who has a silencer on a rifle. That's that's no minor thing.
And two thousand rounds of ammunition secretly following somebody. I mean, for God's sake, I mean, that's as bad as you can get. Well, this lawyer got him five years probation and.
Well, what you mean is Scientology paid lawyer, right? I mean, obviously. But now.
So what happened with the what was the answer to the question of what were you planning to do to this man? What was the answer to that?
The answer was all they were doing was following me because the the chairman of the board wanted to know what he was up to and they had to send reports in from 8:00 in the morning till eight o'clock at night or later if I was still out. But that's right.
Which makes no sense because they could. If your son wanted to know what you and Beck, you've been up to, he can call you and I would have told him a matter of fact, I did call to speak to him when they called them. And I said, listen, and David wouldn't answer the phone. I had an attorney answer the phone and we spoke for a while. I said, listen, just get these guys off my back.
I don't want to be followed by people. I mean, it's just terrible. And then what was their response to that, the lawyers for Scientology?
Well, basically, it was well, you know, you knew the score when you joined up Ronnie.
No, I didn't. Listen, if when I was joining Scientology, they said to me, now we can promise you superhuman powers and to be able to do this and do that. But also, if you ever leave and we're a little pissed off at you, we can have people follow you around twenty four hours a day, declare your fair game, cut off your family for you, because I lost my family and my grandchildren, my daughters, my grandchildren and great grandchildren by those kids I never saw.
I still have Jenna and my son Ronnie very much in touch with and friendly with. But if they would have told me all these things and I said, wait a minute, you're going to do that to me. Yeah. Excuse me. I'll take a pass on this man. No, there is no exception. You talk about vindication on steroids. If you're talking about the Church of Scientology, you have that. If if you're talking about no compassion for your fellow man, that's prevalent.
And in all the other religions I've ever looked at or studied, that is one of the most common things, the most common denominator of other religions. Compassion. I could say more about it, but I know that one thing is preached by all the other religions right now.
Well, this is not a religion. This is a cult.
I know. Yeah. How did the world's greatest entrepreneurs find their way to such prominent positions of success? I'm Jeff Rosenthal and in The Art of the Hustle, my podcast from I Heart Radio, I sit down and chat with cultural innovators and magnates. My friends I've met through my work as the co-founder of Summit Guest, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Patrice Cullors, former CEO of Twitter. Dick Costolo, leading global conservation scientists in some Jayan and thought leaders like Tim Ferriss and Simon Sinek.
Join us each week as we discuss successes, failures, milestone events and, of course, the insights and critical advice that shaped all of their lives out of the hustle. A podcast created to inspire the entrepreneurs shaping our future.
Listen to the Art of the Hustle on the radio app Apple podcasts, wherever you get your podcasts. You down with black hair, you down with abolishing the prison industrial complex, you down with puppies, who is in jail with Puppy? You'd be surprised where the comedy group Obama's other daughters.
And we're inviting you to come kick it with us on our podcast called You Down.
We're bringing you the same fun vibe we served during our improv shows in L.A., only in podcast form. Check in with us as we discuss everything going on in the culture and have the nerve to give our UN expert opinions to a lucky listener. Whether it's embarrassing hair stories or comedy fails, we might even talk about ghost.
Listen to you down on the radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you get your pocket, you download.
So what's happening today, I mean, are they still following you or are they still harassing you? I mean, to bring you up to date, I mean, they didn't just stop there on. They almost did. They posted, which is what they do for everyone who lives as they try to put your confessions that you you know, your sins, so to speak, and Scientology. And some of it is so out of context because a lot of it is, you know, forced out of you to say in a counseling session in Scientology, they they make you believe that you live past lies and that you're you're you're sometimes offering up information that is so insane and so ridiculous.
And even you think that when you're saying it right, Mike, like when you're in session and you're like, well, I don't know.
I guess I was a man who was like a caveman. Oh, yeah. But that that reads. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're going to take that. Yeah. And so you often see things that are so insane only to get out of the auditing session that you're in, which is that sort of the Scientology counseling session is.
And then they release those things out of context and create hate websites on everybody. And they put these things up as something that you did and said.
And some of it is, like I said, it's partially true, mixed in with untruths, mixed in with admitted data. That's very important. Am I right, Mike? Yeah, absolutely.
It's all slanted toward making the person that they are going after, al discriminately, a criminal, a liar, a unreliable source of information and an all around scum bucket.
And that's and that's, again, under the directives of fair game. Yes. This is what you do.
You want to create the impression in anybody that comes across this person that they shouldn't trust them, that they should think that they are a low life. And that's what all of these things are done. I mean, Ronnie has a dozen or more websites and you are rels and, you know, articles.
He has the most he has the most out of any of us, actually. Yeah. Hi. I'm the honorary president of the they they did five hundred variations of my name. Like, who is Ron Miscavige.
Who is Ronnie Miscavige. Who is Paul. You name it. Five hundred. OK, that's more than anybody else I don't know about combined but yeah.
Well I'm just interested in in hearing a bit more Ron, about the fact that I remember talking to you back in whenever that was a couple of years ago about, look, Ron, why don't we get and see if we can get all the records from the police and because they're going to be incredible information contained in there about what was going on and documented and OK, you mentioned this lawyer that came in, but there was basically a massive cover up that occurred to get all of the documents and all of the records from this arrest, from the interview, from everything except for that one audio tape basically suppressed and and not properly suppressed either.
OK, well, here's the thing. When that attorney came in and spoke to the chief of police, he didn't tell them that there was this judgment against this Powell by a superior court to him because he came in, I guess, from Madison, which was a lower court then this court that actually tried D'Wayne. He didn't tell that the chief of police and the chief was going to give it to him until Rikki Hankins told him, hey, listen, we have a judgment against this guy.
So now what happened then is I went to the police and I asked to see if I could get a copy of it, and they said I could. All I had to do is pay so many cents a page. And then a couple of days later, they said, well, listen, we no longer have this. This is what the sheriff's department in this other town. So now I went there to the sheriff's department, waited around, finally found somebody who said, OK, I'll search the records, the microfilm, you know, because I don't think they had hard copies there.
And after quite a bit of time to come out and say, listen, we don't have this, so I don't know what the hell happened to it. I don't know if the church was able to get through to get it, which I doubt it because they.
Oh, I know. You mean you think they would have been able to get getting it.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Ronnie, look, you. You just have to know who to contact and hire the local and have the right connections. No, you're right, Mike.
Evidence that would directly link your son to these actions because he always claims he has nothing to do with anything when it blows up. He has absolutely no involvement in anything at all.
But when it comes to the reality of things he is directly involved in when it came to you, I know for a fact he was involved in that daily.
Yeah, you're right. And I you know, I just maybe had a little bit of a different mindset there for a while at that time. Anyway, it's not that way now. But don't forget, Mike, I used to go out on these blow drills and try to bring people back. I was on the side of the captor, you know, rather than being the captured. So I guess some of that shit didn't wear off yet when that happened.
So I kind of felt, well, you know, it wouldn't be different with me, but it wasn't right.
And a blow drill just for everybody who doesn't know a blow drill is something that is a policy and Scientology directive and the sea organization.
What to do when somebody leaves without being told that they could leave. So no means an unscheduled departure. And so when you're being abused and you're tired of the abuse, you're not going to ask your captors, hey, can I leave? The answer will be no. They are highly secured locations where the Sea Org members are housed.
And you can't just come and go as you please, especially now. But there was a time when it was a little bit looser and people like Ron was trusted to have a vehicle. You are able to come and go, but that's a whole other story because you don't know. You don't have anywhere to go. And your Scientology friends and family are called immediately, which is part of the drill. And they they are told not to accept you if you show up at their doorstep.
And so there's just that that's like a whole other episode, like it deserves some attention. But Mike, I also you're saying that David Miscavige, David Miscavige knows everything that's being done. And and we should talk about that for a moment, because Mike used to tell me that every morning you would be received by David Miscavige when you were in the Sea Org, and he would be sitting there in his robe being served his coffee and his breakfast and his freshly his fresh juice or whatever.
And he would ask you, what's happening?
Right now, the first question was, was actually has anyone blown right?
That was literally the first question every morning as he sat there with his camel and his coffee. Has anyone blown camel being a camel cigarette? Not a camel animal has anyone alone. And then what are the flaps?
What are the flaps are there.
And it would be me and Marty Rathbun who would have to gather together everything that might have happened in the last 12 hours.
What's a flap like? A flap is a situation that is out of control or something that requires attention because it'll be a public relations or a legal problem.
I say, OK, so he asked what the flaps are after he knows who's flown and what are the repercussions to him possibly or Scientology.
Then what happens then it's so what the fuck is being done about it? Has this guy been found yet? You better get everybody onto it. If it's someone important, then he really does get very, very intimately involved.
Like that's why he said if it's wrong, then that's a big deal. If it's me, that's a big deal. Tom divorc. That's a big deal. People that are very connected to or intimately associated with him in some fashion are what the big his big focus is always on.
He's worried that those people have information about him personally.
No, no. He knows that he he knows that you have information about him personally that could put him in prison.
Correct. He's worried that that that may get into the wrong hands.
So what is that what's the what is the mandate? It is like get them. Destroy them. What is that? What does he say? What does he dictate it?
It depends on who the person is and the circumstances, obviously. But generally the idea is first try and get the person back like inside our perimeter and under our control.
Again, this is for a Sea Org member. Yes, yes. A seal, OK.
Now, Mike, could I just say something on that exact point that. Right. You just mentioned and I think it's pertinent when finally somebody came to Wisconsin to get me, it was Greg Will here. And what's your name, pal? Mary Ann Powell right now. Ronnie, who are they?
Greg Will here is like an enforcer for CLB He goes out on CBS, chairman of the board, chairman of the board.
You know, son Miscavige as an example, when this friend of mine, Fernando Gamboa, and his wife, Terry Blue, escaped in the 90s, Greg was out there questioning him and he'd try to get people back. What they told me is, listen, if you come back, you can go to flag, you'll have your own flag. It's like land base in California. That's in Clearwater spiritual headquarters. I'll have my own apartment. I'll have cooking facilities.
I can play in a band. I can maybe teach the young people how to sell because I'm good at teaching people how to enlighten. And they painted this picture. And the truth of it is, if I acceded to this, I'd be put separate from my wife and being a security check for the rest of my life, meaning I'd be interrogated on Scientology, interrogated and.
Yeah, and truthfully, look, when I left, all I wanted to do was get on with my life.
That's all I wanted to do. Right, right, right. I am sorry for the interruption, but I wanted to add that to it. Yes.
OK, so they try to get you back under their roof so they can control you and control really they just don't want you speaking.
Right. OK, so. So then what happens.
And if that fails, then it is find out exactly what they are doing every moment of the day.
Who are they in contact with? Because the first thing and the first worry is that they're going to go to the FBI or a law enforcement agency and we got to know whether they turned bad or not. So we have to find out if they're going to law enforcement or they're talking to the media.
And if that's the case, then all sorts of things get put into play. Then the lawyer let us start and the threats and people coming to the door and that sort of stuff. The next step after that is to figure out what it is that we can use to restrain the person and effectively blackmail them. From doing anything that we don't want to have done and that comes into the directives that were written by L. Ron Hubbard about find what the person's buttons are and threaten them and by buttons means the things they are seeking to protect, like their family, their friends, their jobs, their job.
Whatever it is, their reputation, whatever that may be, then you figure out how to effectively threaten that on three channels, three different ways to threaten that, which is a three different means of using that information to restrain them from doing anything that we don't want them to do.
Right. That's the long and the short of it, and just as a note, yeah, go ahead, Greg will here, Greg.
Well, as you may recall, there was the person that chased Claire Headley all the way to Kansas City.
And Claire Headley is another one who escaped from the gold base in Riverside County. Yep.
Yep. Right. Yep. Founder of the bus station and blah, blah, blah, blah. Right now.
He would have taken her had she not said, I'm going to scream if you don't if you touch me. Absolutely. Because they were in the middle of a bus depot and he was trying to grab her and put her in the van.
Right. And there have been people who have been literally just grabbed and shoved into the back of a van and driven back to the gold property. Right.
The guy who used to be and I can't think of his name, Klok Morton, that happened to him. Clark Morton escaped the gold base. He went to Las Vegas. Four guys in a van was sent to pick him up, and they literally picked him up on the street in Vegas, shoved him into the back of the van and drove him back to the gold base.
And is he still there? I, I, I believe, although I don't know for sure, but I believe.
My name is Langston Kerman, and I love black people. I love them short. I love them tall. I love them thick. I forgive them when their booties are small. The only thing I love more than black people are the conspiracy theories that black people come up with.
So I, along with the beautiful oppressors that I heart, radio and big money players have a brand new podcast called My Mama Told Me where each week me and a special guests will explore all of the deep and twisted conspiracies that the white man doesn't want us to know about. We'll talk silly conspiracies. We'll talk crazy conspiracies. We'll talk those conspiracies. You learned from your uncle who used to wear jean shorts when he went swimming at the public pool, anything from baby urine as an acme treatment to lotion being a tool for government mind control and sterilization.
Ladies and gentlemen, I don't want to be your president, but if you want to hear where the president is hiding that AIDS vaccine, then listen to my mama told me available on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or anywhere else that pods are cast. What if we reimagine the word citizen not as a weapon to divide us, but as a verb, inviting us all to wield our collective power pretty dull Ponte in this time of pandemic and revolution, you may find yourself frustrated at high levels of corruption and inequality, at our inability to get basic things done at the persistence of systemic racism.
You are not alone. I'm Baratunde Thurston. I've produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House and screamed way too much at my screen.
Now I've made a show for us. In it we highlight people mobilizing their communities, having an impact on some of the biggest challenges we face. We offer you ways to get involved and we remind you that we, the people, have the collective power to change how our society works and for whom. Listen to how a citizen with Baratunde on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcast.
OK, let's talk about for a moment to a little bit more about this, you know, you're the father of the of the head of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, and people would think that, you know, you guys have a relationship that is of a father and son.
And which brings me to my next thing. Your daughter in law, Shelly Miscavige, who is David Miscavige, his wife, who has not been seen in public for how long now?
How long has it been? About 2004. I think she disappeared or five years. Right.
So still, nobody knows if Shelly is alive or dead. You don't have a relationship, Ron. We could pick up the phone and see if your daughter in law is OK. You can't even speak to your own son.
You won't take your calls because that's part of the policy of Scientology, that if you leave and speak out, you are considered an enemy, someone to be disconnected from. And so they are following that policy.
And you don't have a relationship with Shelly. You you have no idea what Shelly is.
As a matter of fact, when you are in the Sea Org and still an upstanding Scientologist, since your remember, you couldn't even ask about Shelly when you were in the.
You're right. And I'll tell you, just to back off what you said a moment ago, that they were afraid that I'd go and discuss this with the public or like what I'm doing now. Listen, they're the ones who made me do it right to just say, hey, wait a minute, you can't do this to me. They took my family away from me. And that's the reason I wrote the book. That's the reason I do the podcast.
You don't need to justify your doing the right thing, Ron. You don't need to justify it. Why, I don't know if you're messing with me now. What do you mean? Meaning you're saying the reason you're saying like almost it sounds like a lot of times we go, look, I had no choice. You guys forced me to like it. You know, justification is needed for leaving Scientology I.
Yeah, no, no, I got it. You did. What I'm saying is that what I'm saying is that particular situation, the way they treated me, is the reason that I decided, hey, wait a minute. What are you doing? What the fuck is this?
OK. I wasn't going to do it, but I wrote a book and, you know, turned out good. Number one bestseller. A lot of people read it and they shoot themselves in the foot with a shotgun, not a twenty two, because I think they create these things and then they complain about it. They create their own, they're creating their own downfall.
Now why was it hands off. And Mike, you can answer this to please. You've known Shelley Mike since she was what, 12 years old.
Yes. OK, you so what.
Explain to our listeners the difference between a normal situation in a normal church that you would be able to say, hey, where's my friend Shelley? Where's my daughter in law, Shelley? Like for me, even as a parishioner, where is Shelley, the leader's wife? Why is this so not done in Scientology?
Tell me what happens. What's the mentality?
The mentality is that if you're not in a position to know something that may be even maybe something that could cause bad public relations or a situation, then you are not also allowed to ask about it.
I mean, the best way I can think of explaining this is to say, look, if you were a guy in North Korea and suddenly Kim Jong un's wife, if he had one, vanished, do you think you're going to stand up and start shouting, hey, what happened to where is she?
But no, let's not but let's not take an exaggerated situation. You're sitting at the table with your dictator and you just go, hey, where are you?
I haven't seen your wife. Is she OK? Things good. What happens?
You get the icy stare, huh?
If you if here is exactly what would happen. Yeah.
Dave would get up from the table, he would walk out, you would be left sitting there wondering what the fuck was going on. The next thing is Greg will here or someone like him would show up. You would be dragged off literally by guys dragging.
You sat in an auditing room, quote unquote, Scientology interrogation room, and you would be interrogated as to what are your evil intentions? What are your your what have you done? That's bad. Why are you now being critical of the decisions of the chairman of the board?
You would become instantly a pariah and would be interrogated until you admitted to something that would explain why it was and would have to be pretty heinous to explain why you are asking a question like that.
And in many cases you would make up something to get out of that situation. Absolutely.
And so then you would be demoted, Mike, right. You would be ripped of your title, then you would be put on the deck, so to speak, where you'd be pulling weeds or but you would be punished severely for asking such a question because you didn't have the rank to ask such a question.
And who are you to be concerned about my wife or a senior executive of Scientology who's senior to you? We have no right to ask.
And by the way, the same attitude is applied to Ron Miscavige, the father of David Miscavige and the father in law to Shelly.
That's right. He has no right to ask where his daughter in law is.
He has no right to ask that. And he would be punished for asking.
And Sea Org members know that. That's why people don't ask.
Well, I'll tell you something to back up. Go back up what you just said. My birthday is January 19th. Shelly's birthday is January 18th. OK, so I would always send her a birthday present on the eighteenth and I would get an answer the next day, you know, thanking me for it. Nice acknowledgment. Around that year, 2004, 2005, I sent her a birthday present. I didn't get an answer for about three or four days.
And it was a real stilted communication, like, gee, I am so happy you sent me this gift I like. It very much, you know, like something a little kid would write. Right, right. I thought to myself, jeez, this is not Shelley. But I know in my mind I shouldn't ask what's up? How come I didn't get an answer for three or four days? I am telling you, this is so conditioned into the minds of that cult.
The backup with Mike said, you just don't do it. You just don't do it. Well, look, you guys, you know that I experienced that as a parishioner because I had a relationship with Shelley, I depended on Shelley a lot in the church. When I ran into problems, I would go to Shelley.
Same thing. I would get almost an immediate thank you back like messenger to my house, hand delivered to my house. Right. And Shelley took a lot of time and thinking about what she wrote. She was very caught up in manners and, you know, love that whole thing, which is very unlike a Sea Org member, I should say, or Scientologists who are not concerned with manners or compassion or empathy.
I don't know. Shelley was different in that way. But and so then I asked and for that punished for as a parishioner at my own expense, being interrogated and punished for asking simply where Shelley was. We still don't have an answer to that question.
Ron, do you have any ideas if she's alive, if there's anything you can do, are you allowed to file a missing person, A, you know, welfare check or a missing persons report? Can you do anything?
Because I've tried lya, I don't know what to do and I have no idea whether she's alive or dead. But the truth of it, I, I hope she's alive and well.
What would happen, Ron, if you picked up the phone and, you know, there's reports of where she might be. What if you called that place and just asked for her instead?
It's her father in law? Well, I could do that. I could do know what would happen. I wouldn't get through it. Hang on a second. They put me on hold and like when I was in New York a couple of years ago doing an interview for the Australian team, I called Bjorg where? And I said, I'd like to speak to David Miscavige. They hang on a second. They put me on hold and it just the music kept on playing.
They wouldn't I never came back.
The mic is a legal letter saying what I'm saying, do not contact us. We have no interest in speaking with you.
We would treat this as harassment, report you to the authorities and they would say, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
They continue to use the resources they don't pay for without because they don't pay taxes. So interesting.
But the other thing I want to talk about is when when Ron, you wrote your book because I wanted to talk about your book for a moment.
Lisa Marie Presley, who's a celebrity Scientologist, helped you to encourage you to write the book or what's Lisa's connection to you in the book?
Well, Lisa is the one who got the story about David saying if it is time to die, let him die, don't intervene, OK? She is the one who got the attorney that told his story to, I guess, TMG. And then it was it was picked up by a lot of reports. So that was her role.
And then when she was at Flag, she wanted to talk to David about how come he's making my daughter's disconnect from me. And she went in the room and then Denise and Laurie came in and then he just danishes my daughter and Laurie is my daughter. And they kind of snapped. And as a matter of fact, Lisa was there with her husband and I guess she's divorced from now. And he said, Denise look like David with the wig on snapping out.
And it was just she couldn't believe her ears, what she was saying about me and, you know, about Ronnie and things.
And we were meaning your daughters came into the room and were were yelling at Lisa for yelling while yelling and yelling, you know, they weren't asking any goddamn thing.
They were just yelling. And then he was pounding on the desk with their hand and screaming what I don't know.
And what. Well, I have no idea exactly because I wasn't there. But what the fuck is just my floor? There's no good blah, blah, blah, and just invectives at me to try to discredit me in her eyes. And she couldn't believe this. And she ended up just taking her whole family and leaving the flag land base at that point. The next day, they just took off. Yep. This is the hell with it. I'm out of here.
I don't know. I've been basically out of touch with her for years now. And I sent her a couple text and wish her well. And she said, yeah, I'm doing well. And I don't even know if she went back to the church or she's still out. I'm literally out of communication with her.
Well, no, Lisa's out of communication with everybody. I mean, Lisa Marie Presley was when we when I was thinking about leaving, we were discussing that together. Lisa was telling me not to go into Scientology because I kept telling her they want me to come in. They want me to be interrogated. You know, I'm looking at Mike and Marty and what they're doing and what they're saying. I'm looking at what's happening with Debbie Cook and is Amy Scobee, former executives.
I said this is just this is insane. What's happening with what Scientology if these abuses were happening and are happening, you know, we have to do something. And I was telling Scientology that I was looking on the Internet and doing all these things that I shouldn't be doing.
And they called me in for interrogation.
And I have texts from Lisa saying, don't do it, don't go in, fuck them, fuck. Then we should go. We should go and talk about this to the public. And they're criminals and they are destroying families and they're hurting people and abusing people.
But in fact, she told me stories about Arthur Hubbard, L. Ron Hubbard son, whom she's been best friends with most of her life.
Yeah. Told stories of abuse to Lisa when he was on the ship with his father here.
Just horrific stories of abuse, which Lisa then went and told her best friend, John Travolta, saying, look, you know, this is this is this has got to stop.
I mean, they were abusing Arthur as a kid. They're still doing these things. They're abusing their staff.
And you want to know what John Travolta said. I don't care, it's helped me, Scientology has helped me and that John Travolta and most celebrities and I was one of them, didn't want to hear it because we would get punished for it.
Yep. And we weren't ready to leave all that we had ever known. Right. Because if you go to talk to your own mother, your own wife, your own husband, they will tell you I'm going to report you to Scientology or I'm going to divorce you or I'm taking our kids and leaving. You can't be looking at those things. So there's great repercussions to this.
But Lisa then egged me on. She was like, you need to write a book, you need to. And then I was writing my book and she's like, you better be going after these motherfuckers for what they're doing to people. And I said, Lisa, my book is about my life and my book is is hopefully going to help people much trying to get anyone.
Yeah, I'm trying to just tell the truth. I mean, if in the end something good comes out of it, where Scientology is taken to task for what they're doing, great.
But she was pushing not only me. Yeah.
But everybody that I know who left to do something right, speak out, write a book, do a television show. And then Lisa goes, Mia on, everybody stop taking my call.
Stop taking very close friends of hers who needed her and some really, really desperate times.
Now, like you could you could chime in at any time that they have information on her that she thinks will destroy her life or destroy the custody of a, you know, her custody battle with her ex-husband.
Yeah, I think you're exactly right. Yeah. Yeah, I've been I'm almost 100 per cent certain of that, Lisa.
That is exactly what I was saying earlier. Find the buttons and threaten what is valuable.
So that's what's funny to me. When you see or hear about abusive behavior and I don't give a shit and let him die and shut that cunt up.
And I'm sorry for my language, but that is the talk of a real Scientologist. These words are coming out of the mouth of David Miscavige and his staff.
Shut that motherfucker up. I hope that motherfucker dies. That piece of shit that this that twat that and that is Scientology for real.
Everything you see of Laura Prepon of the world and that other what's the other one's name on The Handmaid's Tale? Elisabeth Moss.
Elisabeth Moss. I don't I love everybody. Don't forget, you know, Bodey Alphin, Jenna Elfman, you know, all these bullshit celebrities, all of this is put on.
How do I know? Because I was one of those bullshit celebrities. And the truth is, I was a fucking crazy person and I was celebrated for being that person. I was celebrated for hating people and wishing them dead. I was celebrated for calling them names and being bigoted. I was celebrated for these things by Scientology, Scientologists, Sea Org members, Scientology parishioners. They so what you're seeing is the real deal. Yeah.
From the celebrities. Yeah. Yeah. I don't Keres from John Travolta, one of the nicest guys in the world. Tom Cruise is another lunatic.
So what you're seeing is just PR. And when you see them come undone, that's the real person, that's Scientology. Yeah, anything that's when all that social shit falls off, it explodes. What's there? Yeah.
And exposes, in a way, who we really who we were, who we all were.
Yeah. I was arrogant. I gotta tell you right now. I thought I had a superior attitude because I knew what the common wogs didn't know. I mean that that was the attitude. Yeah. Arrogance is one of the common denominators. Also pure unadulterated arrogance.
Oh yeah. Well, you create a separate entity of yourself. You've become a like another person is created anyway. Ron, we've asked you this on the aftermath, but I'll ask you again for this podcast.
Ultimately, what is your hope for the future with Scientology and even your son? I mean, you often talk about him, but you you have to go back pretty far. You know, you go from, like, knowing this little boy with asthma, you know, from from from what?
Philly, but but South Jersey, just across the river itself.
But you skip over a, I don't know, 40 years.
But what is it that you ultimately want to see happen with with your relationship with with your son and Scientology? Do you want criminal charges to be brought against that? I mean, what is it that you hope?
Well, I'd like to see David. Pay whatever price is due for his actions, whatever that may be, I don't dwell upon it about him going to prison or any shit like that, I, I rather spend my time doing something effective in putting him in a more amenable state of mind with the people I interview and exposing the way they are. And as far as the Church of Scientology is concerned, there were times when I thought it may be able to be salvaged because there was little bits of truth here in there.
It's like, sure, in a room, in a room full of furniture and everything. Maybe there's an ashtray on the table that's valuable or there's a picture on the wall. It's valuable.
And if these things like the communications that you learn about this, that's a valuable piece of data and it shows a certain things. And if they would have stuck to that only they may have ended up being one of the better self-help groups. But when you take the fact that you got all this money and greed comes in and like this British philosopher who said that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. They're so corrupted with their power that there's there's no turning around.
They've fallen down an elevator shaft and there's no parachute. And it's just how long it takes them to get to the bottom because they're paying the price. Now, as far as I'm concerned, would nobody I mean, unless you live in a cave or you've never been on the Internet, you would not go into a Scientology. Org. I mean.
Oh, Toto, do you think there's any hope for reconciliation with your family? Maybe not, David Persay, but but the rest of your family, your daughter, your grandchildren.
I'll tell you as time goes by that hope in my heart grows slimmer. I hate to say that, Leah, but that's the truth of it, because I thought at one point we'd be able to reconcile them, thinking that I committed over it. And that's the reason I blew with the fact that my life turned out to be an untenable thing for me to handle. And I don't know if they would ever come to that conclusion on me. But with David, I think it's there's no hope with David of reconciling.
But I hate to be so down on it because emotionally in life, I'm a pretty yes. Hopeful person and I try to do things effectively and help people. I look, I have a forward philosophy that I told Mike about many years ago. It's simply this helps someone help something. And I try to live by that philosophy. I don't always. But just doing that, I feel better. I guess maybe it's a self gratification thing, but when I help somebody, I feel better than being helped or like when I feed the birds, you know, I'm helping something or polish my car.
And that's my simple philosophy. But as far as getting reconciled with David, I. I don't see it happening. Leigh, I hate to say that because as you mentioned earlier, I know those wonderful old days when he was a little kid and we had a lot of love for each other and just I enjoyed his company as a child and as a little friend. And what it's turned into now is something that I would have never even dreamt of happening.
So that's my final words on that. Well, Ron, listen, I, I, I hold out hope that that your family comes back to you and, you know, listen, we all we all saw the light and people would never think Mike Rinder would leave the Sea Org or Scientology.
People thought I would never leave Scientology and my family. And so, you know, that is our hope for you, that you have your family back.
And I thank you for your continued support and for your continuing to fight for the same thing that we're all in it together. So thank you for all the work that you do, Mike.
Thank you so much, Ron, for taking the time today. It's always a pleasure to talk to you and be well and keep up the good work.
We love you. And thank you to you all for listening. Will, we'll see you next time. Well, no, you won't see us.
You'll hear us say, hey, hey, you'll hear us next time. Until then, good. See you next Thursday, Mike.
What if you can learn from one of the world's most inspiring women now you can introducing Senecas 100 women to hear a new podcast brought to you by Seneca Women and I Heart Radio in celebration of the 100th anniversary of American women getting the vote. We're bringing you the voices of a hundred groundbreaking and history making women. You need to hear women of the past, the present and women who are right now designing our future. Women who've broken barriers in outer space on the Supreme Court and on the playing fields.
Through one hundred episodes, you'll get insight into not just what these women accomplished, but how they think about the world. You'll hear about their setbacks, their successes and what they learned along the way. I'm Kim Mazzarelli, co-founder of Seneca Women and co-author of the best selling book Fast Forward. Listen to Senecas 100 Women to hear on the radio app Apple podcasts forever. You get your podcasts. My name is Langston Kaminen, I'm a black man who loves conspiracy theories, that's why I, along with the beautiful oppressor's that I heart radio and big money players have a brand new podcast called My Mama Told Me where each week me and a special guest will explore all the twisted conspiracies that the white man is keeping secret.
So listen to my mama told me available on the radio app, Apple podcast or anywhere else that pods are cached.