The leader of the Church of Scientology beat staffers, forced a group of key executives to play musical chairs for their careers and allegedly encouraged purchase of “must have items” to prop up church coffers, according to an article Sunday that’s received little followup treatment by other news outlets.
In addition, the article says that one of the leader’s key lieutenants deliberately helped cover up the circumstances of a follower’s death in 1995.
David Miscavige, the Church’s “tanned,” “chiseled” leader, is portrayed in the report as an intense, pugilistic chief executive of a Church that’s run with the efficiency of a large multinational corporation. Four major former Scientology figures give a detailed account of the inside workings of the Church — which the French government has labeled as a “sect.”
Two former leading figures in the Church described an incident in which Miscavige forced top-ranking Church officials to play musical chairs for their careers. “Prove your devotion, Miscavige told them, by winning at musical chairs. Everyone else — losers, all of you — will be banished to Scientology outposts around the world,” the St. Petersburg Times Joe Childs and Thomas Tobin wrote. “If families are split up, too bad.”
He then purportedly had the church members play musical chairs to the sound of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The following day, they said, he slapped a church manager, threw him on the ground, and “delivered more blows.”
Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, the highest-ranking executives to leave the church, are quoted in the piece as speaking out for the first time. Also quoted is Amy Scobee, a prominent ex-church figure who helped created Scientology’s “celebrity network,” which “caters to the likes of John Travolta and Tom Cruise.”
In a followup article Monday, Rathbun admitted that he had a hand in covering up details related to a follower’s death. Rathbun said he reviewed entries in a daily log kept by the woman’s caretakers and found several troubling areas that might indicate neglect.