Gawker: The St. Petersburg Times is running a massive report on Scientology, focusing on leader David Miscavige and high-ranking defectors spilling on him. Revealed: Miscavige's sadistic temper. Like when he made staffers play 'violent' musical chairs, scored to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Scientology sat down with St. Petersburg Times reporters for 25 hours trying to debunk the defectors' tales of Miscavige. They even went to far to prepare them binders of the private confessions and ethics files - yeah, ethics files - of former members. One commenter writes in on their website: "As a former Scientologist of 20 years, its sad to see that the chruch would stoop to using members confessionals against them. How can anyone trust anything they say if they violate their own teachings."
tampabay.com: On May 13, the Times asked to interview Miscavige, in person or by phone, and renewed the request repeatedly the past five weeks. Church officials said Miscavige's schedule would not permit an interview before July.
At 5:50 p.m. Saturday, Miscavige e-mailed the Times to protest the newspaper's decision to publish instead of waiting until he was available. His letter said he would produce information "annihilating the credibility'' of the defectors.
What triggered Miscavige's outbursts? The victims usually had no clue. "If it wasn't the answer he wanted to hear, he'd lose it," De Vocht said. "If it was contrary to how he thought, he'd lose it. If he found it to be smart aleck, or it was a better answer than he had, he would lose it."
Rathbun and Rinder list the executives they saw Miscavige attack:
• Marc Yager: At least 20 times.
• Guillaume Lesevre: At least 10 times.
• Ray Mithoff: Rathbun said Miscavige "would regularly hit this guy open-handed upside the head real hard and jar him. Or grab him by the neck and throw him on the floor."
• Norman Starkey: "Right in the parking lot, (Miscavige) just beat the living f--- out of him, got him on the ground and then started kicking him when he was down,'' Rathbun said.
• He said he saw Rinder "get beat up at least a dozen times just in those last four years … some of them were pretty gruesome."
• Said Rinder: "Yager was like a punching bag. So was I."
• He added: "The issue wasn't the physical pain of it. The issue was the humiliation and the domination. ... It's the fact that the domination you're getting — hit in the face, kicked — and you can't do anything about it. If you did try, you'd be attacking the COB.
• "It was random and whimsical. It could be the look on your face. Or not answering a question quickly. But it always was a punishment.''
• Scobee said Miscavige never laid a hand on her or any other woman, but she witnessed many attacks, including the time the leader choked Rinder until his face turned purple. Rinder confirmed that account.
• De Vocht estimated that from 2003 to 2005, he saw Miscavige strike staffers as many as 100 times.
Rathbun, Rinder and De Vocht admit that they, in turn, hit others. In January 2004, Rathbun pummeled Rinder and had to be pried off by several church staffers.
"Yes, that incident happened," Rinder said. "It wasn't the only time that Marty or I was involved in some form of physical violence with people."
He recalled holding a church staffer against a wall by the collar and pressing into his throat.
Rathbun said he attacked many people, many times, including throwing Lesevre across a table, boxing Starkey's ears, and tackling Yager down a flight of stairs — all, he said, on Miscavige's orders. He said he threw another staffer against the hood of a cab at Los Angeles International Airport. As a crowd gathered to watch, he cocked his fist and told him to improve his attitude.
De Vocht said he "punched a couple of guys" during one of many sessions where managers confessed their wrongdoings to their peers, a gathering that got raucous and physical. Embarrassed about it now, he says he easily rationalized it then: "If I don't attack I'm going to be attacked. It's a survival instinct in a weird situation that no one should be in."
The four defectors each said the leader established a culture that encouraged physical violence.
Scientology: The Truth Rundown
Part 1 of 3 in a special report on the Church of Scientology
Update: truthrundown.org URL
The URL shortcut, truthrundown.org that was purchased by tampabay.com for their on going Scientology special report expired and was bought and mothballed by an unknown entity.
Domain Name:TRUTHRUNDOWN.ORGThe following URL-shortcut, truthrundown.shows.it has been setup to replace the above defunct link to ensure a recoginizable transition and ease of reaching tampabay's continuing coverage of David Miscavage and Scientology.
Created On:21-Jun-2009 19:36:04 UTC
Last Updated On:08-Jul-2010 04:50:04 UTC
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