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by Joshua A. Ridless
Friday, Jun. 18, 2010 at 6:04 AM
The face of Evil
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I was a highly-positioned staff member of the Church of Scientology for many years and most people would be shocked to discover the extent of my positive contributions. After some 25 years on staff, however, including a span of approximately 20 years in Scientology's international headquarters in Gilman Hot Springs, I decided to leave staff due to the unethical practices of David Miscavige, the self-appointed dictator of the Church. Specifically, on four separate occasions Miscavige physically assaulted and violently battered individuals in my presence, sending a strong message that anyone in the room was likely to be next, especially me. Once he picked up a large, heavy glass ashtray and threatened to strike me with it. The standoff lasted about 60 seconds, him fuming, ashtray in hand stating he was going to hit me with it. Me, standing on the other side of the conference table, incredulous, alarmed, having no clue why or even what I had done wrong. Prior to that, he had walked in holding one of my "submissions," a legal-size manila folder about 2" thick with paper, wrapped with strong rubber bands, weighing about as much as a ream of paper, and threw it at me hard. Another time he threw a submission at one of my staff.
Twice in my presence, he ordered his female assistant, Laurisse "Lou" Stuckenbrock (a black belt) to physically strike a junior staff member saying, "Hit him in the face! Go over there right now and punch him in the face. Hit him as hard as you want. Do it! If he moves or resists in any way, it'll be my turn." And he laughed (sadism). Lou did in fact go over to the individual and twice feigned a punch making the victim flinch. Lou was later ordered by Miscavige to divorce her husband, Uwe Stuckenbrock, when he was sent to the RPF or Rehabilitation Project Force. This under Miscavige is not a place for rehabilitation which should take months at most. Miscavige uses it as a "jail" and people are there for five and six years. Uwe was kept there five years, until he died from Multiple Sclerosis in October, 2008. To my knowledge, Lou never even visited him a single time. Today, there is evidence that Lou is having an affair with Miscavige who is now estranged from his wife, Shelly. There are even damning photos from Rebel008.
The four assaults I witnessed where David Miscavige actually attacked someone were against Mike Rinder, Mark Yager, Guillaume Leserve and Ray Mithhoff (four of the highest-ranking officers of the Church of Scientology). In the case of Mike Rinder, he and I were standing shoulder to shoulder when Mike was attacked. Miscavige didn't like a minor edit that Mike had made to a video we were working on. Suddenly Miscavige just went off: he lunged, grabbed Mike's head with both hands and bashed his head into solid cherry-wood paneling three times putting his whole body into the effort. Mike has since departed from the Church. Violent physical abuse is just the tip of a dark iceberg.
When the St Petersburg Times came out with stories of assault from four ex-staff including Miscavige's two top lieutenants, Tommy Davis (cursing whack-job mouthpiece for David Miscavige) said none of it was true. To put his words in perspective, little Tommy was never even at Int during those years. So how would he know? Adding insult to injury, Davis also tried to shift the blame onto the witnesses themselves (Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder), saying they were the ones who did the assaulting.
In response, the St Pete Times did another article in which 11 more people came forward and corroborated these and other assaults. Since then, more have come forward, such as this one who also witnessed David Miscavige assaulting Jeff Hawkins. Truth be told, there are many more people still in the wings who for one reason or another have not come forward yet, but they will.
To be clear, this website is not an attack on Scientology. It is an attack on criminality. I use Scientology every day. I'm using it now to bring about a higher level of understanding. There is no justification for crime; that is the philosophic reality that underlies law. Crimes are always unnecessary and highly irrational.
Strangely, in the case of "Chairman" Miscavige, it is not only he who justifies his behavior. Many Scientologists support or at least overlook his actions "whatever they are." Unfortunately, that in itself is gangland mentality. "The boss had to kill Pete. Too bad for Pete." Giving anyone carte blanche to do "whatever" is gross irresponsibility. When group members condone unethical practices, they open the door to group destruction because crimes do not stay hidden. One of the primary objectives of Scientology is to bring people into better communication. Secrets stop that from happening.
It is no generality to say that Scientology’s reputation is a disgrace. According to Gallup poll Scientology is regarded as the world’s number one most disliked religion, ranked below even atheists. And why are opinions statistically so negative?
Unethical practices are what make a religion into a cult. Physical abuse, forced abortions, breaking up families, civil and human rights violations... along with Miscavige's adversarial policy of belligerence toward anyone who refuses to worship him... these are why Scientology is considered a cult. Miscavige proclaimed in 1993 "the war is over." What he did next was create an even bigger and nastier war with non-Scientologists so that today Scientology is the target of a legion of bloggers and websites. Miscavige thinks that's "just the Internet." He even stated recently that he "does not like the Internet." Well, the Internet isn't "just the Internet" it's the world. It's the world in better communication. Scientology’s long-standing reputation as a cult is not just the result of “bigotry and hate” as alleged by the Church (though certainly bigotry and hate exist) but of internal criminality, arrogance and hostility.
Scientology is neither all bad nor all good. Like anything else, Scientology is a mixture of good and bad. If Scientology ceased all criminal practices its reputation would improve drastically. Short of that, no public relations actions, no marketing campaigns, no big buildings are ever going to do anything.
L. Ron Hubbard made it the job of every Scientologist to stamp out unethical practices. But what do you do when the man at the top is corrupt and organization tries to cover it up? If you take action against him, you face potential banishment. Yet many individuals have decided to step forward and do the right thing even though it meant saying goodbye forever to family and friends.
Crimes are impossible to hide forever even when covered up. Therefore every crime enacted by someone in a position of trust strikes at the very heart of the movement. Assault and battery, extortion, unlawful restraint, theft and a host of civil and human rights violations blind the world from seeing anything good in Scientology.
When an organization condones crime, it forfeits integrity and reputation. Assertions to the contrary are perceived as whitewash and mockery. There is no criticism here of Scientology’s beliefs. People are entitled to believe what they want. The only thing we condemn is criminality.
This website is an independent effort written by individuals who have experienced the best and the worst of Scientology. The point is not to sit in judgment, it is to bring insight. Most people know nothing about Scientology. Some are familiar with one side or the other. Few know both sides really well. Critics don’t really understand the good of Scientology. Scientologists don’t understand the bad.
Read on. You will learn a lot. Sure, maybe if Miscavige were a Washington politician or a corporate CEO, we could dismiss such peccadilloes as “human nature.” But it’s much more serious than that. Let’s put it in context.
When a group of former Int Base staff recently spoke out against Miscavige’s violence and abuse in a series of articles in the St. Petersburg Times, the Church’s response was to attack and vilify those former staffers. One in particular they branded ‘The Adultress,” stating that she had repeated extramarital affairs.
Specifics? None. Proof? None. Just a sanctimonious assertion that she had “violated fundamental rules of the Scientology religious order.”
Now let’s look at David Miscavige.
1. According to former insiders, Miscavige’s wife Shelly became suspicious of the close relationship between him and his “Communicator,” Laurisse Henley-Smith. Shortly after this, Shelley Miscavige disappeared from the Int Base. She was no longer present at meetings, and her post title, “COB Assistant,” disappeared from internal dispatches. She is thought to be on an intense behavior modification program at a remote, confidential location.
2. Following Shelly’s disappearance, Laurisse became Miscavige’s constant companion. She accompanied Miscavige to Tom Cruise’s wedding, and attended a Del Mar race with Dave, Tom and Katie, where she was photographed with her hand possessively on his shoulder.
3. At a gathering of Scientology celebrities, one celeb observed Laurisse patting Miscavige affectionately on the butt. Laurisse didn’t know she was being observed. Being a conscientious Scientologist, the celeb wrote a Knowledge Report on the incident. The handling? The celeb was ordered to Flag for Sec Checking and Ethics interviews (read “behavior modification”) to find out why she was “critical of COB.”
4. On long flights aboard Tom Cruise’s personal jet, witnesses observed Dave and Laurisse retiring to Tom’s bedroom cabin for hours on end. The cabin’s only feature? A bed.
Let’s add to this the fact that Miscavige ordered Laurisse to divorce her husband, Uwe Stuckenbrock, and Uwe was sent to the Los Angeles RPF, despite the fact that he was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Uwe, abandoned and forgotten by Laurisse and subject to stress and hard labor, spent years on the RPF, and eventually died there.
Laurisse is the daughter of prominent New Zealand Scientologist Eunice Henley-Smith. Someone should tip off Eunice as to what is happening with her daughter.
In addition to destroying his own marriage, and that of Laurisse and Uwe, Miscavige has ordered literally hundreds of Sea Org Members to separate from and divorce their spouses. This has not only included RTC couples, but also hundreds of other Int Base couples.
His campaign against marriage and families has affected hundreds.
LRH said in HCO PL 3 March 1966:
“It is interesting that a review of faltering orgs that got into trouble in their areas each one had a bad sex entanglement high on staff.
“A review of actions of orgs and attacks over the last fifteen years makes it stand out sharply that an org which is mixed up sexually in the higher echelons will not be effective, will have low statistics and can’t defend itself on the public front.”
OSA, I know you read these posts. When, when, when, are you actually going to do something honest and effective? Are you going to continue to lie for and cover up for this guy, or are you actually going to do what you are supposed to do, protect the Church of Scientology?
Laurisse, if you read this, just think about this: When will you end up on a “behavior modification program” in a remote confidential location, with a new hot little honey acting as Miscavige’s “Communicator”? Wake up.
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by Joshua A. Ridless
Friday, Jun. 18, 2010 at 6:04 AM
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