After Miscavige joined the SeaOrg he went from the unstable, dysfunctional frying pan straight into the Hubbard fueled fire.
From Loretta and her fault finding, vocal disappointment in her husband, to LRH and his impossible ethics and expectations of all those around him, Miscavige simply exchanged one toxic environment for another.
Ron says he had not worked with Hubbard personally, “…but I have known a number of people who did—quite a few, in fact, including some of the original messengers who were with him on the Apollo. All have told me that he could be absolutely horrible to work with at times. Just a frothing, screaming madman when he was in a foul mood and things were not going well around him. David worked with him enough to witness these outbursts many, many times.”
—Ruthless, pg 160
Glimpses of Miscavige’s less than honest character appeared early in his Scientology career.
Having been assigned a mission at age 16 in Clearwater he used his energy in padding his successes rather than actually addressing the issues he’d been sent to correct.
This mission would be his first failure.
“David, just turned 16, was selected to do a mission locally at the base in Clearwater to straighten out an area that needed fixing. I am told by someone who was there at the time that David was criticized on that mission because he and the person he was working with were engaged in ‘stat pushing,’ an action that refers to statistics and has a bad reputation among Scientologists. Statistics are the numbers that reflect how something is doing administratively. Clever people, however, can learn to manipulate statistics to make themselves look good, and this is what Scientologists call stat pushing.”
In other words he lied to make himself look better.
This trait can still be seen today every time he stands before his audience and proudly announces all the magnificent (nonexistent) achievements Scientology has made. When he tells his followers that Scientology is growing by leaps and bounds, or that the whole world is welcoming their tech, he is simply doing what he’s always done, Stat Pushing.
By age 18 DM was working as a cameraman and “Project Operator” which gave the young man his first real taste of power. In Ruthless Ron Miscavige explains, “People have told me that this was the first time they noticed a vicious streak in him, when he sent nasty communications to people working for him.”
As time went on, Miscavige manipulated and maneuvered his way into close proximity to Hubbard. But herein lies the question; was David Miscavige dedicated to his Founder and the organization he’d created?
Or was he simply longing for a crown?
He knew full well that Scientology had not cured his asthma. He still had symptoms and although according to Ron they’d lessened in intensity there was a severe attack in 1981 that had him taken to the hospital. Knowing he still had his condition coupled with the fact that there was still obvious trouble between his parents in spite of the tech had to have been a huge factor in his decision making.
Even as he progressed through the ranks it is more than reasonable to believe that he could see the divide between what was being taught as truth and the realities around him.
David’s own health issue had not been cured and L. Ron Hubbard of all people was stricken with many health concerns.
Surely that the very Creator of the tech should benefit from it before all others?
Alas, the doctor could not heal himself.
In Chapter 28 of Jon Atack’s Let’s Sell These People A Piece of Blue Sky he writes “Hubbard’s health had deteriorated over the years. He continued to suffer from heavy colds, and chain-smoked three to four packs of cigarettes. In 1965, he was bedridden and thought he was going to die. This feeling recurred almost annually. Early in 1967 he was again bed-ridden, this time because of drug abuse. In 1972, he went into hiding in New York for almost a year, again very ill for much of this period. Shortly after his return to the ship at the end of 1973, he hurt himself badly in a motorcycle accident. He had suffered a heart attack in 1975, and the attendant embolism had forced him to take anti-coagulant drugs for a year. His bursitis had never ceased to plague him, and he was usually grossly overweight.”
David would have had to have been blind not to see Hubbard’s physical state.
Further, all the tech designed to address the reactive mind, the claims of happy, well adjusted Scientologists would have flown right out the window in the face of Hubbard’s temper and passive aggressive cruelty.
In Commodore’s Messengers by Janis Gillham Grady she recounts one memory of this particular form of abuse from her days aboard Apollo.
“The Commodore did joke with me sometimes and call me a ‘poor little waif’. At 13, and knowing nothing else, I did not grasp the hypocrisy of LRH heading up the Church of Scientology that taught about ethics and spiritual freedom, while my siblings and I were indentured servants contributing to the economics of himself and Scientology that was supposed to be ‘saving the planet’.”
This is sly emotional abuse. LRH created the environment these young people were trapped in, then he mocked them under the guise of the benign grandfather figure.
It shows his enjoyment of the control he held.
Young David was learning from a Master.
During the early 1980s as Hubbard hid from the government, the Law and the Press in his RV David methodically worked his way into the position of being one of the only people with access to him. Controlling access and communication to and from LRH and even orchestrating suspicion between Hubbard and those he’d originally trusted, the first blocks were set in place for the coup to come.
One notable example is described by Ron in connection with a woman named Dede Voegeding who was head of the Commodore’s Messengers.
“To ensure Dede’s safety, David or another man would drive her to the meeting location. Pat and David were old friends from David’s early days at the La Quinta base, and they renewed the friendship during these encounters. Shortly after David began accompanying Dede to these meetings, Hubbard removed her from her post as head of the CMO. Although she could not say for sure, Dede told author Janet Reitman, when interviewed for Janet’s book, that she believed Hubbard had been fed false information about her.”
Another mention of this can be found on the website scientology-cult.com “Dave and Pat were very chummy at these meetings and behind Dede’s back, DM managed to get Pat’s support in having LRH remove Dede from CO CMO Int and to replace her with Gale and post him as Special Ops directly under LRH/Pat and outside of CMO command. Dede was removed for several things which were all based off reports from DM to Pat Broeker and relayed to LRH.”
After Voegeding’s removal, Miscavige continued his shady manipulations of the people still connected to Hubbard.
The woman acting as head of Scientology’s international management, Gale, began noticing disconcerting changes in Miscavige’s demeanor. His attitude and actions became so offensive and worrisome that Gale asked, in typical Scientology fashion, that David be sec checked to discover and address whatever it was at the heart of his behavior. When David found out he not only outright refused to cooperate but he physically attacked Gale, body slamming her through a doorway then punching his fist right through a wall.
Gale, shocked by the violence of the attack upon her told Miscavige he was crazy.
For help, she turned to Pat Broeker who was a friend of David’s, attempting to contact him through the only available means of communication at the time, a public phone booth at a gas station.
One step ahead of her, DM raced to the phone booth with some of his cohorts.
Scientology-cult.com described the events that took place next “Miscavige got out a tire jack and went over the pay phone where Pat was waiting to call and smashed the public pay phone so it wouldn’t work. Needless to say this scared the crap out of Gale. Then he grabbed Gale and forced her into the van. The “group” of people proceeded to tell her (mostly DM while the rest watched) how bad she was. Literally over and over again. The support group for DM later told Gale they didn’t really know how bad she was, they just knew what DM had said. Gale was told she was no longer CO. Truthfully, Gale breathed a sigh of relief after recovering from being physically ill from being screamed at for about an hour about what she had done.”
Carefully and with a precision that belies any hint of either loyalty to his Founder or belief in his scripture, Miscavige removed his rivals one by one.
LRH died in 1986 and DM moved like a hurricane to secure the now vacant position of Leader.
The ashes of Hubbard’s discarded body were not even cold before DM was in charge and acting to ensure there would be no rivals to his claim.
He destroyed utterly Annie and Pat Broeker, the last two trusted companions Hubbard had, leaving them both crushed. Mary Sue Hubbard, stalwart wife of Scientology’s creator, who had languished in prison for her part in Operation Snow White, but never betrayed her husband, was forced into silent retirement.
These are not the actions of one dedicated to L. Ron Hubbard’s cause, nor are they the actions of one blinded by brainwashing or fanaticism.
David Miscavige in no way was acting in the best interest of Scientology, doing the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.
Rather the boy who had always nurtured an angry, violent, cruel streak within himself wanted unfettered power, control and wealth.
With the reins in his hands, no one would ever find fault, question or defy him. Indeed DM was the creator of the “SRA” or Severe Reality Adjustment which was his answer to anyone who dared even look at him askance.
Even the Hubbard children were not exempt from David Miscavige’s spleen.
Suzette Hubbard, who married two months after her father died, was in the SeaOrg when she became pregnant. During her pregnancy, Miscavige issued a new order declaring that no woman in the SeaOrg could be pregnant. After Suzette gave birth to LRH’s grandson, she was ordered to work in the laundry where she washed DM’s dirty clothes.
Newly married and now parents of a newborn son, Suzette and her husband spent family time together just as LRH had done with her as a child. Family time was something all SeaOrg members were granted under Hubbard’s tenure. As Marty Rathbun tells it “Then, an issue ordered by DM was put out that canceled Family Time for all S.O. members. Suzette vehemently protested the issue and challenged its validity. She was told that there was nothing that could be found written by LRH covering family time. Suzette responded stating that she LIVED IT, that her father spent a minimum of an hour a day with them at Saint Hill in addition to dinner time, that the church needs to find it. We did find ample documentation that LRH ordered and enforced family time for SO families. DM ordered the evidence withheld from Suzette.”
More lies and deception.
Unchallenged, freed from answering to anyone David Miscavige’s nightmare reign of chaos and fear had begun.