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.


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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22 Responses to David Miscavige & The Independent Movement, Part I

  1. FredKrueger says:

    The psychotic is absolutely unable to share others view. (LRH) from the book APA Advanced procedures and axioms).

  2. Pascal Dorion says:

    More important than the Reform movement was the Catholic counter-reform and the glorious recuperation of it’s mission with St Ignatius of Loyola and the formation of the Jesuit Order. Would something similar be possible within CoS? Sure the independent field has it’s market, as congregations exist within the Roman Church. “A place for all and all in their place.” Augustus Cesar.

    • admin says:

      Interesting concept. Doubt it, though. More like Reform Scientology of 1966, with a modern twist, probably. (See comment below for an explanation of the term, Reform Scientology of 1966.) In our case, Miscavige has dug in to hold onto power at the risk of Scientology and its institutions. A monopoly of Scientology doesn’t work; will never work. He will either stop the madness and put the interests of the Church ahead of his own or life will discipline him. Probably in the form of government intervention. Some where along the way, prominent Scientologists and Sea Org members have to ask themselves do we want to solve this with Scientology and fix it ourselves or let governments come in and fix it. We see the former happening, with perhaps a little dose of the latter. CST needs to step up and wear its hat. We see the independent movement taking hold and a settlement occuring between the two factions, with RTC the odd man out.

      DM and the Miscavige Administration made a crucial mistake that it has yet to correct: it went “all in,” to borrow a gambling phrase and pressured top executive to sign what appear to be false affidavits. In the PR world, a gimmick like this can buy time – but usually at the expense of credibility. But if the story does fade away, which it is not — see, the New Yorker magazine stories, e.g. — then you’re screwed. Credibility is totally shot. Plus, you’re left hanging high and dry for legal actions, which become not only indefensible, but impossible to entertain. Because, in the legal arena, those affidavits will come back to bite them in the ass. In the legal arena, the end result is not he-said, she-said. A judge or jury will make a decision. Perjury, obstruction of justice, etc. In other words, DM and the affiants cannot, repeat cannot, submit to depositions.

      As a narly prosecutor once said about a legal proceeding, “In this case, I don’t need evidence. I just need a jury.”

      Notice also that, by the same reasoning, RTC cannot afford to engage in litigation to protect the trademarks and Advanced Materials against the use of them by the so-called independents.

      DM’s strategy only “works” in a PR arena. If you call “working” having your name dragged through the mud and being fearful of criminal actions.

      Truth is the only thing that can penetrate 16-inch armor plate, as we quote LRH on the Home page.

      Thanks for your comment, Pascal.

      • Pascal Dorion says:

        True, the only sustainable monopoly is one of competence. CoS has lost it’s authority in the application of Tech a long time ago and hence the flourishing indie movement. CoS could get that back if a proper Qual were present. CST should have that role. But DM is probably unable to tolerate a bright CST around him missing his WHs.

        • admin says:

          As intended by LRH, the ultimate safeguard is CST, particularly the CST trustees who were required to be continually receiving enhancement and moving up the bridge. Unfortunately, they were not hatted regarding, or ever permitted to wear, their CST trustee hats, and gave signed undated resignations to Miscavige, effectively deferring their positions to him.

          • Pascal Dorion says:

            What are the quals for the various hats of the 3 orgs mentioned?

          • admin says:

            Sorry, don’t understand your question. Do you mean qualifications? If so, please refer to the bylaws of each corporation, which you can access through the following links: CST, RTC, and CSI.

      • Two small typos in your excellent reply here, my friend:
        Para 1, ‘discipline’ is mis-spelt.
        Para 2 starts with the phrase ‘DM and the Miscavige’! WTF, mate? Please clarify.
        More importantly, can you very kindly elaborate on what you mean by your phrase ‘More like Reform Scientology of 1966, with a modern twist, probably.’?
        Many thanks and kind regards, Robin

        • admin says:

          DM and the Miscavige Administration is what it should have been. Thanks. Will make the corrections.

          Reform Scientology is referenced in the Admin Dictionary. You can find more about this on the Internet. Sorry I don’t have a link to hand. Here’s a paraphrase: in the era of the British and Australian bans of Scientology (free ingress and egress) and New Zealand’s threatened investigation, LRH commissioned a very large survey of the general public in order to gain a further understanding of their reality on Scientology. Based on the results of that survey, he canceled the fair game policy, sec checks, and disconnection. Upon learning about the self-corrective measures taken by Scientology, the New Zealand government called off its investigation.

          Miscavige re-introduced the policies that LRH had determined had so alienated the public, taking them to a whole new level. Naturally, we have alienated the general public all over again — and brought on governmental investigations and inquiries.

  3. Pascal Dorion says:

    Says one must be a Class VIII auditor after 10 years of Trustee duty in CST. I doubt anyone has that qual. Any legal way of enforcing these quals?

    • admin says:

      None of the trustees have maintained their study commitments. But our investigation reveals that they don’t even know about them and, in any event, post production demands made the duty impossible to fulfill.

      Legally? Yes, of course. The law is being violated. There is a remedy. There are practical considerations, though. First, let’s get the word out. We believe that most Scientologists will not set by and allow flagrant violation’s of LRH’s will.

  4. Chuck Beatty says:

    I’d like to see the faithful independent and freezone Scientologists to someday be reunited with official Scientology so as to partake in the accumulated wealth of the official movement, to which in MOST cases, the independent Scientologists (particularly the ones who’ve exploded all over the internet in recent years) were former decades long staff in the Sea Org and long term parishioners who contributed decades of their lives to official Scientology’s wealth accumulation these last several decades.

    I think the official movement needs to learn from the good principled actions of the independents, and somehow make it one big Scientology again, and let all share the wealth as a movement, and do something more genuinely positive than what official Scientology’s various charades of “good” actions.

    People who were official Scientologists, but who today are excommunicated but practice Scientology more sanely than official Scientologists to me DESERVE to be benefiting by any wealth accumulated by the official movement.

    If I were in official Scientology’s driver’s seat, I’d declare an unconditional International Amnesty immediately, and clean ALL ethics files, wholesale, across the boards.

    And I’d really make Exec Strata responsive to the whole independent and freezone fields’ pilot actions of the last couple decades, and adopt the saner actions of the independents and freezone, as official Scientology’s new direction.

    I contend that the freezone and independent Scientologists are really doing volunteer piloting of how the official movement should reform.

    And I think the official Scientology should reabsorb all Scientologists and REFORM along the directions the freezone has taken, and allow independents carry on as they are carrying on, and HELP them in whatever way the independents request help!

    The huge amount of wealth that Scientology’s accumulated ought to be shared to do good works for real.

    Chuck Beatty
    ex Sea Org (1975-2003)

    • I have had the pleasure of knowing Chuck Beatty since the heady days of 1976 at Flag in Clearwater. I have been enormously impressed by his good faith, and his incredible hard work and persistence in the cause of Scientology. His personal integrity and intelligence have placed him as one of the most trusted terminals in the independent field – and quite rightly so.
      I fully support and agree with Chuck’s programme of points as listed in his letter above. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that his sanity in this matter would entitle Chuck to become one of the directors of the boards to be appointed. I for one would certainly like to see his name on the list. His loyalty to the cause entitles him to that respect.
      Warmest regards, Robin

  5. Overall, this article of yours is one of the best things I have ever read on Scientology. The historical perspective into which you place current and recent events is breath-takingly accurate and apposite, really helpful.
    I’m astonished that David Miscavige – whom I knew as a 14-year-old kid at St Hill in the mid-70s – even knows who Constantine was!! But I’ll take your word for it!
    Your comparison with Leo X is brilliant, and your exposition of the similarities truly first-class as a piece of intellectual/academic writing – VWD!!
    I would add one comment of my own: you will recall that the early Christian church was effectively hijacked by Paul after the death of Christ, leading to the monster we know as the Catholic Church these days. I believe there are definite similarities with the way in which the Church of Scientology has been hijacked by Miscavige after the death of LRH.
    Thanks again for an outstanding piece of writing, my friend.
    Warmest regards, Robin

    • admin says:

      Yes, the entire story of Christianity is very fascinating and there are probably many more parallels that we’ll never know about because of the lack of historical records, mainly due to all the censorship. It would be said if the same thing happened to some of the stories of Scientology and of LRH. Let’s not do that again. We can handle the truth. We got into Scientology to learn the tools to handle more and more, not to have someone else think for us and tell us what we can and cannot read, tell us who is lying and who isn’t, etc.

      BTW, we plan to address the matter of censorship by the Miscavige administration. We have a little image designed for it. “Censorship, Protecting Reality,” which is what it boils down to when the true functions of Dept 20 (Office of Special Affairs) are collapsed — identification — with a self-determined individual’s obligation to be informed and in ARC with the general public. (A = affinity, R = reality, C = communication, and together they equate to U, understanding.) One is designed to keep the entheta and B.S. (if you will) off org lines, the other is necessary for Scientolgists to wear their hats in Keeping Scientology Working and in expanding the religion. We have to be real (“R”) to the public in order to communicate (“C”) and for understanding to occur.

      Individuals – including those who make up the general public, can perceive. Individuals can natively pervade or permeate a space without entering it, and tell when something is wrong. Couple that with a basic mistrust of organized religion, which, based on history, is a merited on an analytical level. There is also a reactive (unconscious) element to this. Getting burned at the stake for nattering about the sale of indulgences, or having ones limbs be stretched on a rack while being de-gutted by Torquemada for being declared a heretic, are examples.

      The fascinating irony is that Scientologists who have gone public with the abuses are matching the public R (reality) and thus C (communication) is occurring in a true sense.

  6. GLH says:

    Chuck I would second that about amnesty and ante you one up for what Dart Smohen wrote in his story on ESMB while on ship with Ron and his amnesty. Dart burned his ethics file!!! lol a great story.

  7. Vulindleyla says:

    I’m a first-timer on this blog and want to say thank you for providing this forum. I have been trying to resolve various issues in my mind regarding external influence on the church and blatant disregard of policies critical to our expansion. I have not been able to justify how these things could have been overlooked, despite the reports I’ve been writing since ’92. Reading this site has provided references I would not otherwise have seen, and introduced me to the notion that I am far from alone on spotting them. Such a relief to see that other people see it, too. I no longer feel like an only-one! I’ll monitor this blog very religiously – no pun intended.

  8. Ed Rhett says:

    I was a NED student in the late 1970’s. I was never allowed to finish the course and co-audit. I blame Miscavage. If you can get rid of Miscavage, you will have made a good start in reforming the church and delivering Scientology tech to the millions of people who would like Scientology (but do not like Miscavage at all).

  9. James Lawson, Jr. says:

    Yes, DM has kept the truth buried. Even the many intelligent people of goodwill who oppose DM’s abuses really do not understand what the Real Situation and the Real Why are.

    THIS site is the first one to GO DEEP, beyond HE&R, blame, and finger pointing, into illuminating the Real Why.

    The sit is NOT that “The Church exists.” That is a moronic Situation Analysis. Attacking the Church is a no-win proposition.

    The sit is, as this site correctly identified, that one-man-rule continued after LRH’s death, in contradiction to his intentions. If the church was overseen by the seven boards, as LRH specified, there would not be a situation.


    • admin says:

      Agreed, James. Attacking the Church or staff or donors is a no-win situation, even counter-productive.

      We postulate that responsible staff and senior Scientologists will eventually get the data and awareness of the situation and then wear their hats to fix things.

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