David Miscavige & The Independent Movement, Part I

An anecdote on the Internet captures a quote reportedly made by David Miscavige to a trusted top lieutenant: “I wouldn’t mind [President George W.] Bush becoming our Constantine.”  (Constantine was Roman emperor from A.D. 306 to 337, and the first emperor to convert to Christianity, which set in motion the acceptability of Christianity throughout the Roman empire.)[1]

Bush didn’t become Scientology’s Constantine, of course.

Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X

Instead, Miscavige is on target to become Scientology’s Pope Leo X, the ruler of the Catholic Church from 1513 to 1521.[2]  Pope Leo X is primarily known for: (1) the sale of indulgences (basically, letting a sinner off the hook of doing amends in exchange for a payment of money) in order to fund the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica.[3] and (2) his failed handling of public protests against church abuses, most notably the sale of indulgences.[4] Pope Leo X presided over the splintering of the church into what would become a thousand pieces, what history refers to as The Reformation.    

The parallels between the behavior of the two religious leaders, and their circumstances, are striking.      

How did Pope Leo X deal with Martin Luther, a central figure in The Reformation, and others who followed Luther’s lead with public protests of their own?

Leo X attacked them publicly when they didn’t back off from their demands for reform.  Luther and his followers dug in, pressing more insistently for reform.  Leo X then excommunicated them.  Leo X’s actions, however, were not only ineffective, they made matters worse.  “Protest” (Protestant) churches began to spring up almost overnight, a universal Christian church never to be again.  The failure of Leo X’s policies is evidenced today by the existence of a reported 670 million Protestants.[5]

Both administrations – that of Leo X and that of David Miscavige – made similar mistakes.  They confused “apostasy” with “whistle blowing.”  They then attempted to “handle” the supposed apostates with force, then excommunication.

Whistleblowers versus Apostates

“If you wish to converse with me,” Voltaire[6] said, “define your terms.”  Here is how we define these terms:

Apostate: A person who has renounced a religion or faith.[7]

Whistleblower:  A person who raises a concern about alleged wrongdoing occurring in an organization or body of people. Usually this person would be from that same organization.[8]

Martin Luther
Martin Luther

Martin Luther was an ordained Christian priest and a professor of theology. He was not an apostate; he was a whistleblower.  He didn’t renounce his religion; he was thrown out of the church for reporting unethical situations and for persisting when those in power would not reform. Luther was a threat, not to the religion of Christianity, which he never abandoned throughout his life, but to the Papacy and its policy of using the threat of eternal damnation to stifle dissent and control parishioners, and to extract vast sums of money from them. 

After Luther was expelled, he started his own church.  He showed Christians how they didn’t need to put up with the arbitrary dictates of Pope Leo X to be forgiven of sins and earn everlasting life; they could appeal directly to God.  Millions joined that church and other “protest” (Protestant) churches that followed.  

The leaders of the growing independent movement in Scientology are former members of the church who consider themselves to be Scientologists.  They profess faith in the religion of Scientology and loyalty to LRH and his aims.  Many report that the David Miscavige administration has created an environment of physical and mental abuse within the organization, a climate of fear and intimidation.  They allege David Miscavige has suppressed those who dare to report or try to correct the unethical situations, altered tech, or LRH policy violations they witnessed.  One of the situations protested is the use of church resources to vigorously solicit funds from parishioners to build larger than currently needed, ornate churches in direct violation of LRH’s emphatic admonition against the practice. LRH states:        

If the Org slumps: Don’t engage in “fund raising” or “selling postcards” or borrowing money. Just make more income with Scientology. It’s a sign of very poor management to seek extraordinary solutions for finance outside Scientology.  It has always failed.  For Orgs as for pcs “Solve it With Scientology.”  Every time I myself have sought to solve finance or personnel in other ways than Scientology I have lost out.  So I can tell you from experience that Org solvency lies in More Scientology, not patented combs or fund raising Barbecues.

And,      

We own a tremendous amount of property. We own a tremendous amount of material, and so forth.  And it keeps growing. But that’s not important. When buildings get important to us, for God’s sake, some of you born revolutionists, will you please blow up central headquarters?  If someone had put some H.E. [high explosives] under the Vatican long ago, Catholicism might still be going.  Don’t get interested in real estate.  Don’t get interested in the masses of buildings, because that’s not important.

Many on the outside say they are publicly speaking out only after their attempts to reform the alleged arbitrary dictates and abuses of David Miscavige by internal action had been met with hostile responses, much like what occurred to Martin Luther when he tried to reform the abuses of Pope Leo X.Those independents believe that they are duty-bound to preserve the practice the religion as set down in books and lectures by LRH by continuing its practice outside of the formal organization if it has been altered and is no longer available in a pure form from within it. 
Martin Luther felt empowered to establish what he considered to be “ethical and standard” Christian churches, because he believed that the religion of Christianity was different than and superior to its then main organizational vehicle, the Catholic Church.  Many independent Scientologists draw a similar distinction exists.  And so does LRH. 

LRH’s Distinction Between the Religion
of Scientology & the Church of Scientology

LRH made it plain: the “religion of Scientology” is not necessarily the same as the “Church of Scientology:”             

“ . . . the terms ‘religion of Scientology’ and ‘Church of Scientology’ shall be co-terminal [11] only so long as churches of Scientology continue, in the opinion of… the Directors and Trustees [of CST] …, to espouse, propagate and practice the religion of Scientology.”[12] 

In fact, LRH gave CST the power to buy back the Scientology trademarks and advanced materials from RTC, and therefore, by extension, from CSI, putting both RTC and CSI out of business.  See here.  This is staggering, if you think about it. LRH did not implicitly trust Scientology in the hands of RTC, let alone CSI.  As currently constituted, however, David Miscavige controls CST, the entity LRH intended to hold RTC in check.  See here.                

The position of the whistleblowers is that they are standing up for the religion of Scientology, which they see being endangered by actions of the current administration of the Church of Scientology, the David Miscavige Administration.    

What is a Scientologist?

The conflicting views of the independents versus David Miscavige raise fundamental questions: What is a Scientologist?  Can one’s religion be taken away by decree?  Can David Miscavige, or any person or institution, simply declare that one is no longer a Scientologist, and is now an “apostate” (one who has left the religion)?           

According to the Tech Dictionary, one definition of a Scientologist is:  “one who betters the conditions of himself and the conditions of others by using Scientology technology.” 

Note that LRH does not say that a Scientologist is a person who is a member of any particular group.  Someone who purchases an LRH book from, say, Barnes & Noble, and uses the technology in the book to better conditions, but who never set foot in a Scientology organization, would, according to LRH, be a Scientologist.  Conversely, according to LRH, one could be a member of the Church and have many expensive statuses, but if he or she was not using Scientology tech to better conditions, one would not be a Scientologist, in LRH’s estimation.                

LRH provides additional guidance.  In the CSI bylaws, the Church’s expressed purpose is to espouse, present, propagate, etc. the religion of Scientology “to the end that any person desiring participation, or participating, in Scientology may derive the greatest possible good of increased awareness as an immortal spirit.” [13]

Whether a person desires “participation in Scientology” is clearly a personal decision, and not one that can be decreed by any authority.     

True, a person in a position of ecclesiastical power can excommunicate a member and decree that the person is no longer in good standing with the church.  David Miscavige has done that with respect to Marty Rathbun and other independents.  But, their embrace of the religion can never be taken from them; only they can reject the religion and become true apostates.            

Here is where we see David Miscavige making the same mistakes Pope Leo X made.  Leo X thought he owned Christianity, rather than just being a vehicle for its administration and expansion.  He thought he could “expel” Martin Luther from Christianity.  Luther and others believed that they could read and follow the Bible, that their Christianity derived from a direct line of communication to God, and that their faith resided in their hearts and their awareness, something no one could take from them without their agreement.  And they did not agree.            

Pope Leo X failed to duplicate the actual situation: that he was dealing with whistleblowers, not apostates.      

Leo X refused to acknowledge the unethical situations in which his church was involved.  Indeed, Leo X was too arrogant and all-powerful to entertain any sort of criticism from mere priests and  parishioners.  Instead, he attempted to characterize the whistleblowers as apostates, and excommunicated them, thinking he could “unmake” them as Christians and condemn them to eternal damnation.  But they continued in their faith.  The great and mighty Christian church, more powerful than Kings and Princes in its day, splintered.  Just as our Church is now splintering, with unprecedented numbers of recent OT VII and OVIII completions denouncing the Miscavige administration[14], declaring their loyalty to LRH, and vowing to continue as Scientologists, but outside of what they believe has become an off-policy church, with an out-ethics management.”            

In Part II, we will examine how LRH advised us to respond to the people who now consider themselves independent Scientologists, how the crisis created by the ever-increasing schism in the Church can be resolved.  In Part III, we will reveal how Corporate America has learned to successfully deal with whistleblowers.  It may not surprise you to learn how closely the corporate solution, which was evolved through trial and error, tracks LRH policy. 

We leave you for now with the following LRH quote, given in Ron’s Journal 1968:         

“We must CEASE to individuate, we must carry our message broadly to the world.”


St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica


[1]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I

[2]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Leo_X

[3]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Basilica

[4]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther

[5]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations_by_number_of_members   
 
[6]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire

[7]. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/apostate

[8]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower    

[9].  HCO PL 24 February 1964, Urgent, Org Programming  

[10]. The Genus of Scientology, Anatomy of the Human Mind Congress, 31 Dec 1960

[11]. Co-terminal: a form of coterminus: coextensive in scope or duration. Merriam-Webster’s 11 Collegiate Dictionary.  coextensive: being of equal extent or scope or duration. wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn.                                    

[12]. CST Bylaws, Article II, Definition of Terms, subparagraph f.

[13]. CSI Bylaws, Articles III, Purposes, Section 1.  

[14]. For an example, click here

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