Conversation with David Miscavige
February 14, 1992
first on-camera interview with David Miscavige
is conducted by Ted Koppel who spent more
than a half a year wooing DM for the show.
appearance was spurred by the Time
Magazine cover story on Scientology.
Conversation with David Miscavige
ACTOR: [TV commercial] You've heard about Dianetics,
the number-one self-help best-seller by L. Ron
KOPPEL: [voice-over] You've seen the commercials-
ACTOR: [TV commercial] Are you using your mind
to the fullest?
[voice-over] -touting the benefits of the Church
ACTOR: [TV commercial] Clear away your negative
feelings and unblock your true potential.
ACTOR: [TV commercial] Dianetics? It's amazing.
[voice-over] Stars such as John Travolta and Tom
Cruise say that Scientology has changed their
lives, but critics charge fraud, that the Church
of Scientology is nothing but a scam to take millions
from unsuspecting believers. Tonight, we'll take
you inside the Church of Scientology, as we bring
you the first-ever interview with David Miscavige,
the head of the church.
This is ABC News Nightline. Reporting from Washington,
Some of you may recall that last May Time magazine
did a cover story on the Church of Scientology.
To say that the leaders of that church did not
like the story would be a case of wretched understatement.
As you will hear in a moment from my colleague,
Forrest Sawyer, the Scientologists launched a
multi-million-dollar campaign to counter the impact
of that Time story. It was during that general
period and in that context that we got in touch
with the man who now runs the church, David Miscavige,
to discuss his appearance on Nightline. The process
has taken nine months. Mr. Miscavige tells us
that he has never done an interview before. And
I think it's also fair to say that he and the
men and women who run the Scientology organization
are somewhat leery of the media. The Church of
Scientology, for reasons that we will also be
presenting, does not generally get a very favorable
press. David Miscavige is described in one article
as "...ruthless, with a volatile temper,"
in another as being "...so paranoid that
he keeps plastic wrap over his glass of water."
I was pleasantly surprised, then, when Mr. Miscavige
first came to my office a few months back. He
came alone, without any staff, and we had an amiable,
if intense, conversation. I believe he even accepted
a cup of coffee without plastic wrap. We'll let
you make up your own mind about David Miscavige.
We do have some things to tell you, however, about
the Church of Scientology. Here is the first of
two reports from Nightline correspondent Forrest
SAWYER, ABC News: [voice-over] After decades of
seeing church officials arrested, after hundreds
of lawsuits with critics and defectors, the Scientology
business is now booming. Led by a 31-year-old
high-school dropout who seized control of the
church 10 years ago and charted an aggressive
campaign to make Scientology a household word.
MISCAVIGE: [October, 1990] Tonight's event is
being televised around the world, to every continent
on the globe.
ACTOR: [TV Commercial] Let's take a look inside
the human mind.
ACTOR: [TV Commercial] Are you using your mind
to the fullest?
[voice-over] The church's rapid growth is built
on selling one single message: "Scientology
has uncovered the secret of human potential."
The Scientologists have built their own TV and
MISCAVIGE: You can't be back in the dark ages
of mass communication and be heard in this world
[voice-over] Radio broadcasts are prepared, audiotapes
reproduced by the thousands on high-speed copiers,
original music created, all of this to encourage
more people to join the movement, and join they
do. The church says it now has centers in over
70 countries, with more on the way. [on camera]
Church leaders say this place, 520 acres south
of Los Angeles, a place they call "Gold,"
is a sign of their rapid expansion. It is here
where top church officials are planning the future.
[voice-over] "Gold" is run by people
who believe so strongly they've signed billion-year
contracts with the church, a kind of priesthood,
dressed in uniforms, working over 13 hours a day,
earning just $30 a week. The church says these
men and women are only the most dedicated of eight
million members worldwide. Church of Scientology
president Heber Jentzsch. [interviewing] How do
you get to call them members?
JENTZSCH, President, Church of Scientology: Because
they joined and they came in and they studied
They took one course, maybe.
JENTZSCH: Well, that's how valuable the course
is. Eight million people, yes, over a period of
the last- since 1954.
[voice-over] Critics say the actual figure is
closer to 100,000, but unquestionably, thousands
of people, including well-known celebrities, do
swear by what they call "a technology of
COREA, Jazz Pianist: And this really directly
affects my relationship with people, with individuals
around me, with my loved ones, and also with audiences.
[voice-over] Psychological techniques they say
help them feel better and act more effectively.
And there's a promise of something more.
ROSE, Defector: From the very beginning, there
was an air of mystery, there was an air of somewhere
up this path there was something extremely potent
and very sort of seductive and attractive.
[voice-over] The introduction begins when you
walk into a Scientology center. Problems in your
life? Take a personality test. "Evaluators"
are ready to tell you what's wrong. [on camera]
In fact, the counselors are operating from a script
that tells them exactly what to say. For instance,
"You are capable and overt as a person, but
probably not to the degree that you should be
or would like to be." And the script always
ends the same:
SCIENTOLOGY "EVALUATOR": That you are
capable and overt, meaning open, as a person-
SCIENTOLOGY "EVALUATOR": Just not to
the degree that you feel that you could be or
should be, and this is where Dianetics can help
[voice-over] The script tells the evaluators to
sell hard: "The more resistive" - meaning
resistant - "or argumentative he is, the
more the points should be slammed home."
And it works. Students often spend thousands of
dollars to take more and more courses and counseling
called "auditing." They find problem
areas by using an "E-meter," which Scientologists
claim can read thoughts, or by modeling with play-dough.
The goal is to become what they call "clear,"
free of the influence of negative past experiences.
For all the praise of Scientology from church
members, there are equally vocal critics. This
past spring, Time magazine published a cover story
on the church, calling it "the cult of greed
and power." Reporter Richard Behar.
BEHAR, "Time" Magazine: People feel
good, they talk about their problems, just like
somebody going into therapy might feel good talking
about their problems. But this all seems to have
an ulterior motive, and to lead into this extremely
high-priced one-on-one counseling and "auditing."
[voice-over] Dentist John Finucane liked the sales
pitch he heard, and ended up spending over $42,000
JOHN FINUCANE, Defector: They've tried to milk
every penny they can out of any asset that I have,
whether it's a credit card, whether it's my home,
whether it's from a friend, whether it's from
family. If I can get a hold of money anywhere,
they would like to have that money.
[voice-over] Two years ago, Finucane responded
to a newsletter from Sterling Management, a church-related
consultant to health professionals. He says they
helped his practice, but also led him into Scientology,
and kept pushing for even more money. Finucane
says they charged $8,500 to his credit cards without
permission. When they began phoning for more,
he turned on his tape recorder.[audio tape]
FINUCANE: So basically I don't even have enough
money for that, just to even get to the point
where I can do my auditing.
Well, you have quite a bit, though, John. I mean,
you know, I don't think buying more is your problem.
Your problem is your wife.
[voice-over] Because Finucane's wife opposed the
church, they declared him a "PTS," potential
FINUCANE: They said, well, you either need to
shape things up or "disconnect," as
they say, which- they won't ever say divorce,
they just say "disconnect."
[voice-over] Ken Rose says he had to choose between
the church and his children. He says he was told
to sign a paper agreeing to waive his parental
rights, or see his sons thrown out of Scientology
ROSE: On what is probably the darkest day of my
life, I spent several hours with them and their
mother, with them, at one point, literally on
their knees sobbing for me to sign this paper
so that they could keep going to school.
[voice-over] Defectors claim the church tears
families apart every day. Roxanne Friend brought
her brother into the church. She says he ended
up helping to kidnap her.
FRIEND, Defector: They put me in a little apartment.
They had a guard at the front door and a guard
at the back door, and I was not allowed to leave.
There was no telephone and no means of communication
with the outside world.
[voice-over] Friend claims she was held to convince
her not to see a non-Scientologist doctor when
she felt sick.
FRIEND: And be told, "Yeah, you are ill,
but then, no, we just need to audit you. Give
us, you know, $6,000, $12,000, and we'll audit
you and you'll be flying again." That's a
direct quote. "We'll get you flying again."
[voice-over] Today, Roxanne has incurable cancer,
which she says could have been treated if diagnosed
earlier. She spent over $80,000 on Scientology,
and has almost nothing left, and no medical insurance.
She blames the church.
FRIEND: You're going to have a sense of anxiety
or desperation to do whatever it takes to sign
your life away, your money and your mortgage and
Church officials deny these charges made by what
they call "a handful of disgruntled people,"
many of whom they say are pursuing lawsuits in
order to squeeze the church for money. The defectors'
response? There are hundreds of others who are
simply afraid to speak out. Why they may be afraid
and what the church really believes in our next
report, a few minutes from now.
In fact, when we come back, we'll be bringing
you part two of Forrest Sawyer's report and the
first-ever interview with the head of the Church
of Scientology, David Miscavige.
What exactly does the Church of Scientology believe,
and what can happen to those who criticize those
beliefs? Once again, here's Nightline correspondent
RON HUBBARD, Author "Dianetics": 
I've slept with bandits in Mongolia and I've hunted
with pygmies in the Philippines. As a matter of
fact, I have studied 21 different primitive races,
including the white race.
[voice-over] Scientology's founder was a man with
an imagination. L. Ron Hubbard wrote pulp science
fiction for a penny a word and, critics claim,
manufactured his own life history as well. He
called himself an explorer and a war hero, the
man who discovered the keys to the universe and
used them to heal his own war injuries. Critics
say Hubbard's claims were so fanciful that one
California Superior Court judge declared Hubbard
to be "...virtually a pathological liar."
JENTZSCH: These are a bunch of people who never
caused anything in their lives to begin with,
and who I would say are jealous of a man who brought
a technology of religion to this world the like
of which has never been seen before, and it works.
[voice-over] In 1950, Hubbard turned away from
pulp novels with a new book that would change
everything. It was, Hubbard said, the "true
science of the mind," and it sold millions.
When psychiatrists challenged his claims that
Dianetics could heal illnesses and increase intelligence,
Scientologists fought back.
JENTZSCH: Psychiatry is Russian and Nazi. Remember,
it's an import. It's like bringing the bonic-the
bubonic plague into America, as far as I'm concerned.
They are not American, and we are. And they can
go back to where they came from.
[voice-over] Hubbard said psychiatry was part
of a vast conspiracy to destroy his newly formed
church and control mankind. Recent Scientology
films still attack psychiatrists as potential
[Scientology film] And with each little swing,
a manageable and composed individual, one, two,
[voice-over] Hubbard also announced he had gone
beyond psychiatry, by literally traveling in space
to Venus and Mars, and to a distant radiation
HUBBARD: I was up in the Van Allen Belt. This
is factual. And I don't know why they're scared
of the Van Allen Belt, because it's simply hot.
You'd be surprised how warm space is.
[voice-over] Hubbard said he had discovered secrets
of the universe so powerful they could only be
heard by Scientologists who had spent hundreds
of hours studying his programs. Anyone else would
be struck dead by the knowledge. He told stories
of how, 75 million years ago, an evil tyrant collected
beings on other planets to be stored in volcanoes
HUBBARD: Boxed them up in boxes, threw them into
space planes. DC-8 airplane is the exact copy
of the space plane of that day. No difference,
except the DC-8 had fans, propellers on it, and
the space plane didn't.
[voice-over] As this film depicts, the spirits'
bodies were destroyed by hydrogen bombs, and today
their troubled spirits are attached to human bodies
by the thousands. Called "body thetans",
they cause endless problems. Only Scientology
knows how to shake them loose.
FRIEND: You talk to them, and when you find out
who they are and what they are, what they're doing
and what's making them stick around you, then
they blow. And so you pay a lot of money- I mean,
you have lots of body thetans, so this process
takes lots of time.
Scientologists today consider these sacred writings,
the story of how mankind's problems evolved millions
of years ago on other planets, and so they need
to be kept secret. Defectors claim there is another
reason for secrecy.
ROSE: I really think that instead of handing out
personality tests on the street, they handed out
a story that said, you know, "What's really
plaguing you is that you're encrusted with little
spirits and these spirits are suffering from an
incident that took place 75 million years ago,
and if you come on into our church we'll cure
you of this," I think that there would be
a high rate of people saying, "No thanks."
[voice-over] L. Ron Hubbard died in 1985, leaving
behind a church embroiled in controversy. The
IRS has been in hot pursuit for years, defectors
are suing for millions of dollars in damages,
and critics are loudly claiming the church is
running a huge con game. Once again, the church
is fighting back.
BEHAR: I've done a lot of investigative stories
in my career, and this thing- this thing takes
[voice- over] When Richard Behar published a critical
story in Time magazine in May, the church mounted
a $3-million campaign in USA Today, accusing the
magazine of being manipulated by drug companies
the church opposes. Behar claims they went even
BEHAR: I have evidence that they've gotten hold
of my personal phone records. They've called up
friends, neighbors, a former colleague. I've gotten
a visit to my apartment building which I believe
is connected to the story.
[voice-over] It is, critics claim, part of a policy
called "fair game," in which enemies
"May be tricked sued, or lied to, or destroyed."
The church acknowledges some of its officials,
including Hubbard's own wife, did harass people
years ago, but they were convicted, and the practice
has stopped. Defectors say it still goes on.
AZNARAN: They hire private detectives to harass
people. They run covert operations. You name it,
they have never quit doing it. It would like--they
would have to quit being Scientology if they quit
[voice-over] Vicki Aznaran is a former high-ranking
church official who lost a power struggle with
David Miscavige over control of the church after
Hubbard's death. She is presently suing the church
and claims she heard Miscavige order attacks on
AZNARAN: He said that we will use public people--we'll
send them out to the dissidents' homes, have them-
their homes broken into, have them beaten, have
things stolen from them, slash their tires, break
their car windows, whatever. And this was carried
out and was being carried out at the time I left.
[voice-over] Church officials vigorously deny
all the charges, and call these critics nothing
more than guppies trying to annoy a whale.
JENTZSCH: You look at this. We get hit, we expand,
we get hit, we expand, we get hit, we expand,
we get hit, we expand. I mean, I don't want to
say the obvious. You hit us, we'll grow.
[voice- over] Scientology, they say, is growing
by leaps and bounds, and for critics and church
defectors, that is precisely the problem. This
is Forrest Sawyer for Nightline.
Joining us live tonight is David Miscavige, whose
formal title is chairman of the board of the Religious
Technology Center, the organization which manages
Dianetics and Scientology. Mr. Miscavige took
over as the head of Scientology in 1987 following
the death of the church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
You've been sitting here very patiently for the
first 15 minutes. It's your turn. We're going
to take a short segment here to talk, and then
we'll take a break, and then we've got the rest
of the program to talk. Where would you like to
pick up on what many in our audience, I suspect,
have seen for the first time about the Church
MISCAVIGE, Church of Scientology: Yeah, well,
I think--you know, I guess the first thing I would
like to take up is the fact that the intro piece--there's
no question that there's some controversy surrounding
Scientology, but if you want to look at what the
real controversy is, there's been stories like
this one that we saw here for the past 40 years,
and yet during that time period Scientology's
continued to grow, in fact, it's 25 times larger
today than it was in 1980. I would just like to
take up a few of the falsehoods that are in there,
because I think this explains a lot why you have
the controversy. I don't know that Scientology
lends itself so well to the press. In this instance,
we did agree that we would have your correspondents
come in, and in fact, he did have unlimited access
to the church, but then you get a piece like this.
For instance, something that isn't mentioned in
there is that every single detractor on there
is part of a religious hate group called Cult
Awareness Network and their sister group called
American Family Foundation. Now, I don't know
if you've heard of these people, but it's the
same as the KKK would be with the blacks. I think
if you interviewed a neo-Nazi and asked them to
talk about the Jews, you would get a similar result
to what you have here. The thing I find disingenuous
is that it's not commented upon, and yet, in fact,
your correspondent Forrest and Deanna Lee were
aware of this fact, and not only that, that is
the source of where they- they received these
people to talk to. They didn't find them randomly-
Well, if I may just interrupt for a moment, you
realize there's a little bit of a problem in getting
people to talk critically about the Scientology
because, quite frankly, they're scared.
MISCAVIGE: Oh, no, no, no, no.
Well, I'm telling you-
MISCAVIGE: No, no, no, no. Let me tell you-
-I'm telling you people are scared.
MISCAVIGE: -let me explain something to you. The
most disingenuous thing is that you have those
people. Now, let's not give the American public
the wrong impression, that these are people that
randomly were pulled in from around the world
and that they decided to talk against Scientology.
Those people aren't scared and they've been loudly
speaking in the press. You showed me a book you
had before this show that has many detractors,
same ones, so they're not really frightened. That's
a good story-
Actually, that wasn't a book, it was a collection
MISCAVIGE: -let me finish.
-that has been written about you and the church.
MISCAVIGE: But the same people were quoted.
No. What I was saying is the reason, perhaps,
that we only hear from those folks is that there
are a lot of other people who might be considered
detractors of the church, and they, who do not
belong to any organization are, quite frankly,
afraid to come out and speak publicly.
MISCAVIGE: Well, I'm sorry, no, I'm sorry, that
story doesn't hold water, because I'll tell you,
from my perspective, the person getting harassed
is myself and the church. Let me give you an example.
We did make access possible for Forrest. That
isn't to say that he took advantage of it, Ted.
For instance, the subject of money comes up, it
comes up routinely, and I'm sure we might bring
it up later on in this show, but I in fact had
the highest contributors of Scientology gathered
up so that Forrest could interview them, to ask
them why they gave money to the church and how
much they had, and believe me, it's larger figures
than these people are talking about. He told me
he didn't have time. I said, "Please, I mean,
they're here." He said, "No, I don't
have time, I don't want to see 'em." I offered
for him to go down to our church headquarters
in Clearwater, Florida, where 2,000 parishioners
are there at any given time from all over the
world. In other words, he would get a cross-selection
of people from Germany, England, California, Florida,
Spain, Italy, you name it. Didn't want to go,
didn't have time. So to represent also that this
is what the church puts forth isn't so. Here's
what I find wrong and here's what I find the common
mistake the media makes. I can give you a hundred
thousand Scientologists who will say unbelievably
positive things about their church to every one
you add on there, and I not only am upset about
those people not being interviewed, they are,
too. And the funny thing about it and why you
find this not really being that one who speaks
in the media is because not just myself, any Scientologist,
will open up a paper, will watch this program,
they're probably laughing right now, saying, "That
isn't Scientology. " That's what makes media.
Media is controversy, I understand that, and if
you really looked at the big picture of what's
happening in Scientology, it isn't really controversial,
certainly to a Scientologist.
Okay. We are going to have to take a break.
MISCAVIGE: Very good.
I hope you understand that there's a little bit
of a paradox in your saying, you know, "We're
not going to get a chance to listen to what Scientology
is really about"; we have with us, after
all, since you were courteous enough to join us-
MISCAVIGE: Oh, absolutely, I'm just trying- I'm
just trying to correct this, that's all.
-I understand, and we're going to be spending
the rest of this hour, in which I'll have a chance
to talk to you and you can clear up some of the
misconceptions we have.
We'll continue our discussion in a moment.["Dianetics,"
a best-seller for a record 100 consecutive weeks
We return now to A Conversation with David Miscavige.
Once again, Ted Koppel.
I'd like to begin, Mr. Miscavige, with, I guess,
the kind of broad question that perhaps folks
at home may be asking themselves right now, but
let me be the guinea pig for a moment. See if
you can explain to me why I would want to be a
MISCAVIGE: Because you care about yourself and
life itself. Scientology,the word means study
of life, study of knowledge, and that's where
it is, it takes up all areas of life itself, things
that are integral and maxims that are related
to life and very existence. Let me give you an
example, it's better if I take that, because it
is such a broad-ranging subject covering so many
different areas, the subject of communication.
This is something that major breakthroughs exist
in Scientology, being able to communicate in the
world around you. And I think everybody would
agree that this is an important subject. Well,
there's an actual formula for communication which
can be understood. You can drill on this formula
of communication, and learn to drill, but moreover,
take the person who has trouble communicating,
has- well, for some reason he can't, anxiety,
I'll tell you what. Let's stick with me, okay?
So far in life I haven't had a whole lot of trouble
communicating. Now see if you can communicate
to me what it is that you're going to be able
to do for me that makes me a better communicator.
MISCAVIGE: Well, I don't- in Scientology you don't
do anything for somebody else. Scientology is
something that requires somebody's active participation.
Then, fine, I-
MISCAVIGE: It certainly- let me explain something-
-I want to participate, I want to be active completely.
We are looking theoretically-
MISCAVIGE: What in your life, Ted- what in your
life do you not feel is right, that you would
I feel perfectly comfortable with my life. I like
my job, I'm happy with my family, I love my wife,
I'm healthy. I'm perfectly content, that's why
I'm asking you what is it you can do for me?
MISCAVIGE: Well- well, number one, I would never
try to talk you into that Scientology's for you.
You see, that's the funny thing about this, as
if I'm now going to give a sales pitch to you
on Scientology. Believe me, Scientology's valuable
enough that it doesn't require any sales pitch,
but let's look at it this way, then, what Scientology
does. If you look out across the world today,
you could say that if you take a person who's
healthy, doing well, like yourself, you'd say
that that person is normal, not a crazy, not somebody
who's psychotic, you look at a wall and they call
it an elephant. Would you agree with me on that?
So far I've got no problem.
MISCAVIGE: Okay. And you can see people below
that, and crazy people, criminals, that I think
society in general will look at and say, "That
breed of person hasn't something quite right because
they're not up to this level of personality."
You can understand that. Well, we in Scientology
are not- you see, all past attempts have been
to bring man up to somebody's standard of what's
normal. What we are trying to do in Scientology
is take somebody from this higher level and move
them up to greater ability. You see, we're interested
What about those folks "down there"?
MISCAVIGE: -well, yes, no, you wouldn't- we don't
ignore them, but my point is this. Scientology
is there to help the able become more able. The
guy who's going around, he's working, he's trying
to make it, these people generally have something
in their life that they would like to improve
and, in any event, if you can increase that person's
ability, the one who's chipping in, the one who's
able, and bring him up higher, this sphere of
influence that he affects in the world around
him can be much greater and he can get on and
Now, Mr. Miscavige, when you and I talked the
first time, a few months ago, I said to you I
was going to come after you on some of these issues.
I am a cynic, by nature. I guess that's why I
like being a reporter. What you have described
to me there fits perfectly with the image that
I have of Scientology, namely you're interested
in folks who are producing. Another way of saying
that is you're interested in folks who've got
money and who can pay to work their way up the
MISCAVIGE: Well, you see, that's where you miss
the point, because in fact, you know, this subject
of money comes up, but you've got the wrong issue
there. The subject of money is, where's it going.
You see, another part that isn't in that piece,
the money in Scientology isn't going to me, it's
not going to my colleagues. That's a fact. That's
a fact. You can call up the IRS and find that
fact out. They've audited our records and seen
all of that, and none of that money is going anywhere.
As a matter of fact, the officials in the church
arepaid far less and live far more frugal existences
than any other church leader. Our money goes to
social causes that we accept. You take these people,
we are the largest social reform group in the
world, do far more than any other church. For
the last two years we have been voted the community
outreach group of the year in Los Angeles.
MISCAVIGE: By the local city council. The senate
of California passed a resolution that's for our
work with underprivileged children in California.
We work on getting drug addicts off drugs. We
support Narconon, which is a drug rehabilitation
center using the drug rehabilitation technology
of L. Ron Hubbard. There are 33 centers around
the world. Over 100,000 people have been gotten
off drugs. We sponsor educational programs. Several
years ago in just- wait, in just one instance,
we worked with-
I don't want to minimize any of that-
MISCAVIGE: -but wait-
-but how does that make your group the- how did
you put it, that you do more to help-
MISCAVIGE: -social reforms, helping people.
-than any other group in the world. More than
the Catholic Church, more than-
MISCAVIGE: Well, no, more accurately is per size,
and when you put it in that rate, in other words,
how big Scientology is compared to any others,
the amount that we do on that subject, there's
not even anybody comparable.
Okay. We've got to take a break, we'll continue
our discussion with David Miscavige in a moment.["Dianetics,"
sales worldwide 14.6 million, languages 22]
A Conversation with David Miscavige now continues.
Here again, Ted Koppel.
During one of Forrest Sawyer's pieces a moment
ago, we heard one of your colleagues talking about
You guys are deaf on psychiatry. The criticism
that was made was that this is foreign to the
United States. He referred to its origin in Nazism
and Communism. And that your religion, Scientology,
is an "American" religion. Fair enough
MISCAVIGE: Well, American- of the mind. Yeah.
What does that do for Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism,
Buddhism, Taoism and all the other isms that also
MISCAVIGE: Oh, I think-
-originate in this country?
MISCAVIGE: -well, no, that isn't really the point.
The point there is this, that those people, the
Fascists, the Communists, have used psychiatry
to further their ends. That's just a fact. I mean,
you want to look at the studies that brought about
the Holocaust of the Jews, that the Nazis justified
killing the Jews, they were done at the Max Planck
Institute of Psychiatry in Leipzig, Germany, and
that justified the killing of six million people.
If you look at the report that even Forrest Sawyer
did on mental institutions in Russia, several
months ago he did this, you saw that that was
a tool of the state. That's the point he's making
there. But let me tell you what our real problem
is. Number one, understand this. Psychiatry, psychology,
that comes from the word psyche. Psyche means
soul. These people have preempted the field of
religion, not just Scientology, every other religion.
They right now practice and preach the fact that
man is an animal, and I guess that is where philosophically
we're at odds with them. But to understand what
this war is, this is not something that we started.
In fact, 22 days after Dianetics: The Modern Science
of Mental Health came out, the attacks from the
American Psychiatric Association started. This
was the first popular book on the mind ever in
existence, it was running up the best-seller list,
it was popular with the people. I have the letter
sent out by the man who was in the American Psychiatric
Association asking for ad hominum reviews on the
subject of Dianetics. These people absolutely
felt that we were cutting across their vested
interests, and the lengths with which they have
gone to destroy Scientology and Dianetics and
L. Ron Hubbard is absolutely mind- boggling. They
attempted to do so through the 1950s. First they
tried to attack L. Ron Hubbard's credibility,
then they recruited the American Medical Association
and the Food and Drug Administration, and they
then proceeded to infiltrate our organization.
MISCAVIGE: No, no, let me finish-
-may I stop you just for a moment, because, you
know, when you talk about undermining L. Ron Hubbard's
credibility, and again, I have no idea whether
that video and the tape that we heard-
MISCAVIGE: -yeah, but why don't touch on that-
-that we heard was representative of L. Ron Hubbard,
but when I hear about a man talking about having
been taken out to the Van Allen space radiation
belt of space ships that were essentially the
same thing as the DC-8, I've got to tell you,
I mean, if we're talking about this man's credibility,
that certainly raises some questions in my mind
about his credibility.
MISCAVIGE: Okay. Well, let me ask you, have you
read any books on Dianetics or Scientology?
I've been reading little else over the last two
MISCAVIGE: You see, here-
I must confess, I'm not a student of-
MISCAVIGE: -but you haven't read Dianetics or
any books on Scientology -
You're absolutely right.
MISCAVIGE: -okay, fine. Then that's why you would
make a comment like that. I mean, let's not joke
around here. That bit that Forrest did there pulled
out of context items- and let's not forget something
else, by the way. I told Forrest Sawyer, and I
was open about this the whole time, I have been
in communication with Nightline numerous times
- I said, "Forrest, if something comes up,
you want to bring me up an allegation, you confront
me it before this so I can do away with this garbage
and not have to do it on the program." "Dave,
I promise you I'll do it." Numerous calls
have been put in to him. I have never heard it
from him, I never heard about these. To do that
is take anything out of context. Ted, when I talk
MISCAVIGE: -no, but let me just give you an analogy-
-you know that there are going to be a lot of
folks out there, and I'm sure there are a lot
of Scientologists, and I don't want to offend
anyone who truly believes this, but there are
a lot of people out there who will look at that,
you say it was taken out of context. Take a minute,
if you would, and see if you can put it into context
for us so that it does not sound ridiculous, because,
quite frankly, the way it sounded there, it sounded
MISCAVIGE: Okay. Well, let me tell you- let me
ask you to do this, then, I want you to take the
Catholic Church and take right now and explain
to me, to make sense that the Virgin Mary was
a virgin, scientifically impossible, unless we're
talking about something- okay, I'll be like you,
I'll be the cynic, if we're talking about artificial
insemination, how could that be, if you're talking
about going out to heaven - except we have a space
shuttle going out there, we have the Apollo going
out there, you do that. I'm not here-
MISCAVIGE: -I'm not here to talk-
-let me do it, and you're- you were a Catholic
as a child, right?
So you know full well that those issues are questions
of faith. Are you telling me that what we have
heard L. Ron Hubbard say on this broadcast this
evening, that they, to Scientologists, are issues
of faith? If that's what you tell me, then that's
MISCAVIGE: No, no. As a matter of fact-
Then it doesn't have to be explained logically.
MISCAVIGE: -[crosstalk] -talk about the Van Allen
Belt or whatever is that that forms no part of
current Scientology, none whatsoever.
But what did he mean when he was talking about
MISCAVIGE: Well, you know, quite frankly, this
tape here, he's talking about the origins of the
universe, and I think you're going to find that
in any, any, any religion, and I think you can
make the same mockery of it, I think it's offensive
that you're doing it here, because I don't think
you'd do it somewhere else.
I'm not mocking it. I'm asking you a question,
and you know, you turn it around and ask me about
Catholicism, I say we're talking about areas of
MISCAVIGE: Well, it's not even a matter of faith,
because Scientology is about you, yourself and
what you do. You're bringing up something that
isn't part of current Scientology, that isn't
something that Scientologists study, that is part
of some tape taken from, I have no idea, and asking
me about it and asking me to put it in context.
That I can't do.
All right. So this has nothing to do with your
MISCAVIGE: If you read any books on Scien- no.
Van Allen Belt? Absolutely not. Nothing.
All right. Okay. We're going to continue our discussion
in just a moment.
And we're back once again with David Miscavige.
I'm going to let you get to the point you want
to get to, but I was astonished, during the break
you told me you had never heard that tape before,
the L. Ron Hubbard tape.
MISCAVIGE: No, I'd never heard that. No. I'm not-
I mean, it may exist here, but I haven't heard
it. I mean, I don't know if you understand, there
are 6,000 lectures by Mr. Hubbard. There are over
20 million words of printed words in Scientology,
and all of these have been made available in Scientology,
so if it is there, we'll find it. I don't think
anything's being hidden, either. I just personally
haven't heard that tape, no.
Okay. Now, you wanted to get back to the issue
of the psychiatrists.
And let me, if I may, by way of introduction to
that, I did not interrupt you before, but you
were talking about the use of psychiatry in Nazi
Germany, the use of psychiatry in the Soviet Union.
I would argue, and I think most psychiatrists
in this country would argue, that what we're talking
about here was the misuse of psychiatry in both
MISCAVIGE: Well, okay. And if we're talking about
the misuse, fine. In any event, I think any use
that ends up killing people is a misuse, and I
think that's a hell of a record to have. But let
me get back to where I was, because it does tie
in. You say the misuse, but I don't know if you're
aware that there was a plan in 1955 in this country,
Ted, to repeat what was done in Russia. There
was going to be a Siberia, U.S.A. set up on a
million acres in Alaska to send mental patients.
They were going to lessen the commitment laws,
you could basically get into an argument with
somebody and be sent up there. This sounds very
odd. Nobody's ever heard about it. That's in no
small part thanks to the Church of Scientology.
I must say, though, that when that bill was killed
in Congress, the war was on with psychiatry where
they declared war on us, and I want you to understand
Let me just ask you to be specific on that. You
are talking about a bill having been brought into
Congress for the setting aside of a million acres
MISCAVIGE: You got it.
MISCAVIGE: To send a mental health center.
-To send mental health patients. What was- who
was the sponsor of that bill? What was the bill
number? I mean, we'd- I'm sure we're going to
MISCAVIGE: Well, I have a copy of it and if you
want it I can give it to you. All of these documents-
I would. Let me see it.
MISCAVIGE: -all of these documents were made available
to Forrest. If they're not on here, I don't know
why, but I do have them and I will make it available
Okay. Now, was that bill ever voted on? Did it
ever come out of committee?
MISCAVIGE: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
It was a major, major, major flap for the psychiatrists
when it got voted down, because then the slogan
around the country began, "Siberia U.S.A.,"
and it was really the first time that psychiatry
had been denigrated publicly, that they weren't
the science that they had been promoting themselves
to be. And they took it upon themselves then to
start dealing with anybody who would oppose them.
They definitely saw Dianetics and Scientology
as opposing them, not only in terms of their brutal
treatments, such as electric shock and prefrontal
lobotomy, which are specific things that we're
against, but also for the fact of the people that
were going to Dianetics and Scientology and not
there. They went to the Food and Drug Administration,
they went to the American Medical Association,
they arranged an informant to go into our headquarters
here in Washington, D.C., and infiltratethe organization
over the next five years. I have documents on
this, too. They wanted tto get somebody in the
church to recommend medical treatment, couldn't
get them to do it, walk in and say, "I want
to be cured medically." People wouldn't do
it. They finally went so far as getting the head
of the D.C. morals- the moral department of the
D.C. police to send his daughter in as an informant,
pregnant, to get an abortion, to ask the church
to do it, a frame job. The church didn't go for
it. They did then raid the church.
When you say "they," you're talking
about who now?
MISCAVIGE: I am talking- this is- the APA, AMA,
Food and Drug Administration. These people were
all coordinated doing these activities, and it
went on for five years, Ted, and you have to understand,
we only find this out recently. They then proceed
to raid our church. Now, the following takes place.
They killed one of our executive directors. They
literally murdered- the Food and Drug Administration
hired an informant to go into our organization
in Seattle, Washington, his wife was there. He
wasn't for Scientology, she was. They said, "Great,
report on her and report on Scientology. "
He proceeded to do so. Several weeks later, murdered
the head of our organization. The Food and Drug
Administration never told us that it was their
informant. Instead- wait- instead, they got with
the D.C.- I mean, with the Seattle police, and
went undercover in the organization on the homicide
investigation to rifle our files. At that same
time - and here's where the media comes in - a
man interviewed L. Ron Hubbard for The Saturday
Evening Post. He came out with an unbelievably
bad article in that magazine. Of course, Scientology
said, "You're part of this Food and Drug
Administration thing," and of course, he
said, "Oh, excuse me, you just sound like
the fringe," which is very easy to say. What
do I find out 20 years later through the Freedom
of Information Act? I find out that this man,
a man named James Phelan, had been- well, The
Saturday Evening Post had been written to by the
Food and Drug Administration to get a discrediting
article written on Mr. Hubbard and Scientology
to help their case against us, that this man then
went and interviewed Mr. Hubbard. He interviewed
him for two days. Mr. Hubbard provided him with
tapes and transcripts. The man came back here
to the United States, Mr. Hubbard was in England,
and provided those transcripts to the Food and
Drug Administration for their case a full week
before he ever wrote his article.
We have got to take another break. We'll continue
our discussion in a moment.
Mr. Miscavige, I must admit, I'm curious. You
have been the head of the Church of Scientology
now for what, a little over 10 years?
MISCAVIGE: Not really the head there, but certainly
a senior Scientologist, yes, Ted.
Okay. During all that time- you just told me again,
earlier this evening, you have not done any interviews.
(A), tell me why, and (B), why now?
MISCAVIGE: Why now? Okay. Why not. Let me tell
you something, I once added up all the press that
had been written about me before the first reporter
called trying to speak to me, and from around
the world, it stacked up to four and a half feet.
By then it was myth and legend. And then only
on one or two occasions can I think of that somebody
has asked to speak to me, but never to interview
me, it was always, "I want to ask you about
some allegations." And to that degree, I'm
not interested. I gave you the story about this
reporter. Quite frankly, from my view, a lot of
the people who have written stories on Scientology
are doing it from a certain pitch, they already
have their story somewhat made up, they've already
made up their mind. It's a waste of my time, I
have to be honest. Why now? It's live.
Okay. It is live. As you know, initially, I mean,
MISCAVIGE: And you asked.
-that's- well, we certainly did. We asked, and
we have been talking to each other now-
MISCAVIGE: Sure, absolutely.
-and negotiating now for about nine months.
MISCAVIGE: That really has never happened, Ted.
Initially, we wanted you to come on because you
folks were really upset about that cover story
that Time magazine did.
Now, a lot of people have been upset by stories
in the press about them. Certainly a cover story
has more impact than just any old story in a magazine,
and Time is a big magazine, but one might argue
that your response to it, your reaction to it,
was huge. I think Forrest said you spent $3 million
in USA Today alone, with some of those full-page
ads, double-truck ads, that you ran. Didn't you
also run some TV ads and radio ads on that?
MISCAVIGE: No, nothing on Time. And by the way,
when you say the $3 million, that- there was an
advertising campaign. You have to understand,
the first three weeks of it were about the Time
magazine and correcting the falsehoods on it.
MISCAVIGE: That was a campaign that ran for 12
weeks. The rest of it was attempting to inform
the public of what Scientology was.
All right. Now, I told you, we've got to take
a break in exactly one minute, so I may have to
cut you short if you go longer on this-
-but why were you so- what was it about the Time
magazine story that so upset you?
MISCAVIGE: Because it wasn't reporting on anything,
it was an attempt to cause something. Richard
Behar is a hater.
MISCAVIGE: Behar, he had done an article on Scientology
three years earlier in conjunction with the Internal
Revenue Service, the man was on record on two
occasions attempting to get Scientologists kidnapped.
That is an illegal act. When you get somebody
like that doing an article, you're not too interested.
All right. Let's leave that hanging in the air,
and I promise we'll come back to it-
-I think both you and Mr. Behar deserve more on
that subject. I'll be back in a moment.
A Conversation with David Miscavige now continues.
Here again, Ted Koppel.
As you can see, our hour is up, but (A), the opportunity
to talk to Mr. Miscavige is such a rare one, and
(B), we really do have some issues that have been
left hanging, that we're going to go a few minutes
over our allotted time. You made the charge a
moment ago that Mr. Behar at Time magazine, the
reporter who wrote the cover story for Time, that
he had, what, conspired with someone to try to
get someone from Scientology kidnapped?
MISCAVIGE: No, no, he was- he had written an original
article and some people had called him up and
he was telling them to kidnap Scientologists out.
He was telling them to kidnap Scientologists.
MISCAVIGE: Yes, and get them forcibly deprogrammed
which, according to Ted Patrick, who was the father
MISCAVIGE: -it always includes kidnapping, usually
assault and battery and certainly with the intent
to commit a felony.
All right. Now, kidnapping, as you well know,
is a federal crime in this country.
MISCAVIGE: Well, let me tell you something, there
is one person who he used in that article that
was- to be asked of him to infiltrate at our church
in New Jersey. He didn't quote this in his article.
I didn't find out until actually about a month
ago, and the person has just been arrested. As
a matter of fact, four people from this same group
I mentioned at the beginning of this show have
just been put under arrest last week for forcible
kidnapping of persons from another faith. You
have to understand something, Ted. These people
that he aligns with, this Cult Awareness Network,
which every one of these people are a part of
Although I told you during a break that my producer
told me in earpiece right after it, I was going
to leave it alone, that all of those people maintain
they are not in that cult awareness group
MISCAVIGE: Well, no, they don't, because I'll
tell you right now, I spoke to- well, that's just
not the case. But in any event-
Can we stay on Mr. Behar for a moment?
Because you have made what is really a very serious
charge, and that he was involved-
MISCAVIGE: Oh, he admits to it.
-that he was involved in kid- I'm sure he doesn't
admit to being-
MISCAVIGE: No, he admits to wanting to get a Scientologist
-to being involved in kidnapping. That would be
a very serious admission, as you well know.
MISCAVIGE: He absolutely admits to wanting to
get a Scientologist kidnapped, that's in your
So why didn't you bring charges against him?
MISCAVIGE: He didn't succeed. He didn't succeed.
Our point is this- Ted, Ted, you're missing the
As I said to you before, there is such a thing
as attempted rape, attempted murder, attempted
kidnapping. It's also a crime.
MISCAVIGE: Yeah, but they didn't make it. They
didn't make it. I mean, the point is this.
That doesn't matter. It's still a crime.
MISCAVIGE: Okay. The person would have to bring
charges. I think you're really missing the issue,
Ted, because my point is this. That man represents
himself as an objective reporter. Here he is on
record a full three years before he wrote this
article, stating that he felt Scientologists should
be kidnapped to change their religion. Second
of all, let's look at this article, and let's
not fool ourselves. It wasn't an objective piece,
it was done at the behest of Eli Lilly. They were
upset because of the damage we had caused to their
killer drug Prozac. They set up that article,
they used their advertising dollar to force it
to run, and that's the facts.
All right. Now, if that is the fact, you're a
careful man, I'm sure that you have evidence of
MISCAVIGE: Well, here's what I do have of that.
I do have a man here in Washington, D.C. named
Duffy Wall, another one named Walter Moore, these
are lobbyists for Eli Lilly. We have Burson Morstellar,
the PR firm for Eli Lilly. The reason I'm saying
this, you have to understand, this isn't my charge,
I'm telling you what they say. After that article
came out, they were around town here saying, "We
caused that article on Scientology on behalf of
Eli Lilly to help them out."
You have affidavits to that?
MISCAVIGE: Let me tell you what else I have.
You have affidavits?
MISCAVIGE: From them? Of course not. You think
they'd admit it?
Well, I mean, you're-
MISCAVIGE: But they're the ones who said it.
-you're saying they said it, I'm trying-
MISCAVIGE: Let me tell you what I do have.
MISCAVIGE: I go one step further. I then later
found out - and you didn't know this - that Eli
Lilly ordered a reprint of 750,000 copies of Time
magazine before it came out, reported in The Washington
Post. But most importantly, here's what I do have.
I put in a call to the people, the advertising
firms, who set this up. I called up JWT, J. Walter
Thompson, in New York. I spoke to the CEO. He
said he would look into it and get back to me.
He never did. I called up a man over in England
who owns all these advertising and PR conglomerates
for Eli Lilly, a man named Martin Sorrell. Ted,
I asked him 10 times on the phone to deny that
he had set this up on their behalf. He wouldn't
MISCAVIGE: We put in a call to Eli Lilly. Their
response was, "We can neither confirm nor
deny." This is a pretty heavy allegation
I'm making. I'm only making it because what I
heard from their people, and they won't deny it,
so for you to challenge me on it, you have to
understand, they're not challenging me on it,
and furthermore, our story that came out in USA
Today covers this entire matter. They haven't
called me once to correct any fact in it.
When you say your story, you mean your advertisement.
MISCAVIGE: Well, there was actually an insert
in there that laid out the entire way that that
Let us get back, during the few minutes we have
left in this broadcast, to discussing Scientology
a little, and I made a suggestion at the beginning
of this program, or near the beginning of the
program that, in order to progress within your
church, it costs money. Right? If I'm poor, how
far can I progress?
MISCAVIGE: Pretty far.
MISCAVIGE: Well, I'll tell you this, by the time
you started getting anywhere near the top, I guarantee
you, you wouldn't be poor anymore, because generally
people in Scientology do better if they honestly
But let us assume there are some folks out there
who are just poor. They don't have any money-
MISCAVIGE: You know, I don't-
-they don't have any friends or relatives who
have money. Is this the right religion for them?
MISCAVIGE: Oh, absolutely. This is the right religion
for anybody. In Scientology, you're dealing with
yourself, you see- here, we have this in common
with all religions of earth. All religions of
earth try to help man to be better, and to cause
him spiritual improvement. Now, most- in the Judeo-Christian
society, they say if you have faith and you live
your life that you'll achieve spiritual salvation
in the afterlife. We believe in spiritual salvation,
but in the here and now. And that's what we deal
I think both Judaism and Christianity, or the
proponents of those two religions, would argue
with you that they certainly set forth quite a
number of rules and recommendations and-
MISCAVIGE: Oh, in the now, no, I'm not disputing
that. I'm not- I am not-
-and precepts for this world also.
MISCAVIGE: -I am not trying to badmouth any other
religion, and Ted, I would never do that. All
I'm saying is that they have their way. What's
different in Scientology is how we approach it.
There are higher levels of awareness as a spiritual
being, and that's what we're dealing with in Scientology.
Now, for me to talk to you about this and for
you to have a reality on it, I don't think I'm
going to get that and I'll tell you why. You don't
have a reality on it. You see, Scientology is
a very personal thing. You ask why somebody would
do it. I'm not making the claims for the church,
Ted. Millions of Scientologists around the world
are making that claim. You ask them, they are
happier, they do feel they're more able, they
do do better in life, they know it has helped
them. They say it. You can't take that away, and
just like I wouldn't take that away from any other
religion, when somebody then comes about and says
that Scientology doesn't do that, are they telling
me I don't have my own feelings?
No, I'm just asking you, and it strikes me as
a reasonable question, but if you can't answer
it, you can't answer it. But there must be a way
of explaining, without going into any of the innermost
secrets of the Church of Scientology - and I understand,
your church has some secrets - there has to be
a way of explaining what it is you do that's different.
MISCAVIGE: What is it that we do? That's not very
difficult at all. We approach it on a one-on-one
basis. There is absolutely a technology of Scientology.
There's a philosophy which covers the subject
of life. I started talking about communication
earlier on. Well, of course, it covers interpersonal
relationships, a million subjects. I don't have
enough time all night to go into them. But separately,
there is a technology that's applied to you as
an individual, actual one-on-one counseling where
you- you look- well, number one, you have to understand
the first premise. You are a spiritual being.
You look, you find out more about yourself, who
you are, where you are, where you have been. A
man who can look back and do that is a very courageous
individual. A lot of that includes looking back
on your own past and areas where you went astray.
That's similar to other religions.
It's also similar to psychiatry.
MISCAVIGE: Listen, I'm not similar to psychiatry
at all. I brought one piece of paper here because
I knew this was going to come up. This is psychology,
which covers the subject of religion. It's called
"Religiosity and Pre-Oedipal Fixation"-
Let me stop you one second. I just want to tell
any members of our audience who may just have
joined us and not have been with us, my guest
is David Miscavige. You are now the head of the
Church of Scientology.
Right. Okay. Please.
MISCAVIGE: This is what they say about religion.
They say abstract- religious-
Who is this again?
MISCAVIGE: This is out of the Journal of Genetic
Psychology, this is March 1985, and I want you
to understand why I don't like being compared
to these people, because I'm in a completely separate
realm. "Religious belief and observance derive
from pre-Oedipal oral and anal drives, according
to psychoanalytic theory, specifically belief
in deity and such concepts as the afterlife are
consonant with oral needs for nurturance from
an omnipotent benefactor, coupled with the denial
of death. Observance of ritual and particularly
church attendance is a function of the anal need
for regular activity and the anal compulsive need
for regularity and repetitiveness." This
is an offense to any religion. I am not like these
people. We deal with the spirit, they say man's
a body, we separate right there. We're interested
in bringing persons to a higher plane, they deal
with the neurotics. They want to bring them up
and tell him how to solve his problems; in Scientology,
Ted, we want to bring the individual up to a higher
level ability so that he's more intelligent, he
has better reaction time, he's more able and intelligent
so that he can handle his life better. Now you've
Explain to me - and again, going back to the pieces
that we saw before and, by necessity, even though
we ended up doing 15 minutes on these pieces,
you end up compressing things.
And I don't want to lead people astray. Talk to
me for a moment about the E-meters. Those are
those handles that you see people holding in the
pictures, and they are dealing now with an auditor,
an auditor is the person who- this is the one-to-
MISCAVIGE: Well, here's what happens.
MISCAVIGE: It could be me and you sitting across
from each other, maybe [crosstalk].
Okay, let's say I'm holding the E- meter. What
are you doing and what is that E-meter doing?
What is it capable of doing?
MISCAVIGE: Okay, what it is capable of doing is
registering what's bothering you. It is a guide,
it doesn't tell you anything, it doesn't yell
out. Well, it's a meter there, and it sends a
little electrical flow through your body. You're
holding something there, very tiny, you cannot
feel it. It shows a reaction. What does that reaction
mean? That reaction just says there's a reaction.
You thought something about it, or something that
has some form of mental energy.
A reaction to what, your saying words, and it's
almost like free association, or- I mean, what
am I reacting to?
MISCAVIGE: Listen, stop comparing it to psychotherapy,
because it isn't.
No, no, I'm just asking. What am I-
MISCAVIGE: It is so- and by the way- okay, there
are a million things you could do, but you take
up an individual subject of a person's life. I'll
bring up the subject of communication; if that
isn't you, fine. People do have problems with
this subject. Very specific questions are asked,
the person answers them. He looks, answers the
question, answers it, to handle areas of upset
that are upsetting him. He knows when they are
no longer upsetting him. He finds out finally
for himself why they're upsetting him, and they
no longer do. That is what's happening.
What I'm still a little bit lost on is, presumably
you and I could do that-
MISCAVIGE: Oh, absolutely.
-right now, right?
MISCAVIGE: Well, you'd have to want to participate.
Fine, and- but why do we need that piece of equipment?
MISCAVIGE: Oh, because it's far more accurate.
I mean, originally in Dianetics and Scientology,
there was no meter, and you would look at a person-
Okay. So what is the E-meter-
MISCAVIGE: -and you'd look at a person, I will
-because I'm looking at a needle sweeping across
an arc, right?
MISCAVIGE: -okay, you would look at the person
and hear something similar. I can see your face
flush, or I can see you cry, or I can see you
smile. You can observe people, right? Well, not
many people have an ability to do that, and plus,
that is pretty crude. What this does is, when
there's an area of upset, it registers. That's
all it does. When the area of upset no longer
exists, it doesn't register. That's all it does.
It is strictly a guide.
And what is the auditor- what is the auditor doing?
MISCAVIGE: The communication is taking place between
you and I. You see, we're in there together. I'm
asking something about you. You are interested
in finding out something about yourself. I'm there
to help you find that. But I'll tell you, here's
where else we differ from psychotherapy, psychology.
Those people would tell you, "This is your
problem." That's a pretty arrogant position
to take, for that person to tell you what's going
on, considering every individual on this planet
is different. Scientology, we show you a way to
find out for yourself. And do you know who knows
when you've found out? You do. And if this still
doesn't make sense to you, that's because you
haven't done it. I can't be more clear. First
principle in Scientology, by the way, Ted, you
should understand is, in studying the subject
or practicing it, never, ever, ever believe it
just because we say it's so. Only once you have
experienced it yourself and you find this concept
to be true should you then consider it to be true.
Could you, just on the most basic level - I mean,
you say originally it was done without the E-meter
anyway - could you, on the most basic level, do
it with me right now?
MISCAVIGE: Oh, absolutely not, because we're not
in an environment here that is conducive to all
the elements of auditing.
Why- I mean, I'm perfectly comfortable here.
MISCAVIGE: Well, here's why, because you're the
interviewer here on the program.
MISCAVIGE: And you're the one who's in charge
here on the program, and you're interested in
doing a program. That instantly throws out the
first three rudiments to doing this, it's not
Okay. Fair enough.
MISCAVIGE: -as a matter of fact-
No, I buy that. That's fair enough. One of the
other- if you're not going to use the E-meter,
though, Forrest also showed some of the people
working with what, plasticine clay?
MISCAVIGE: Oh, yeah. You know, I mean, there's
a sort of misconception that comes out. That's
part of the study technology of Scientology.
MISCAVIGE: There's a study technology developed
by L. Ron Hubbard. He isolated the three barriers
to study. You see, there's a technology that helps
you study any subject. One of those is not having
the mass in front of you. I'll give you an example.
Not having the what?
MISCAVIGE: The mass of an object that you're studying
in front of you. A good example, here we are in
the studio and we have cameras all over the place.
Imagine you were going to school when you were
15 and you're studying up on cameras and you've
never seen one, okay? You wouldn't really quite
understand it too well. It'd be better if you
had the camera there that you could do it with.
Taking something more crude than that, where we're
not talking about electronics, any given area
of study, the ability to demonstrate in clay a
concept in the paragraph allows you to gain a
greater understanding of that subject. This is
something that he asked me about in the intro.
There was a piece on it. But generally what people
do is, they'll be studying materials and then
they will see if they really understand it by
demonstrating it in this clay, and if they can
make a three- dimensional figure of it, it often
serves to clarify that concept and also show whether
they understand it or not. And it's part of a
study program, it's not a process of Scientology,
we're not looking to make people better with this.
It's strictly a way of studying.
Why is it necessary, in order to progress, I mean,
some of the sums that are charged, and I literally
don't have them- it's not something I've tucked
away in my memory, but we're talking about, in
some instances, to move from one level to the
next level, $7,000, $10,000, $15,000, huge sums.
MISCAVIGE: Yeah, well, okay, number one, we certainly
do have a different donation system than other
churches, although not all other churches.
MISCAVIGE: Yeah, absolutely.
You call it a donation.
MISCAVIGE: Oh, absolutely, because there's people
there who are donating to the church, period.
I understand, but are there people there who are
making that progress- I mean, what, again, to
get back to the person who doesn't have any money,
what does he or she do?
MISCAVIGE: He trains in the subject of Scientology,
and then audits somebody else, and he can be audited
by that person, and that's free. You see, people
like to pull out the sexy part, I'd like to point
out, Ted. The people that are complaining about
it in your intro, the one girl there that was
complaining about it, a girl named Vicki Aznaran,
which, by the way, this is a girl who was kicked
out for trying to bring criminals into the church,
something she didn't mention.
I think what- I mean, you say a "girl,"
I think we're talking about a grown woman, right?
MISCAVIGE: A grown woman, excuse me.
Yeah. I mean, and-
MISCAVIGE: A lady, Vicki Aznaran.
-and you and she were at one point-
MISCAVIGE: I know.
-at one point rivals for the leadership of the-
MISCAVIGE: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I have
no idea where Forrest got that from. Absolutely
not. She violated the mores and codes of the group.
She was removed for it. I was a trustee of that
corporation. She knows it. The words she said
to me is, "I have no future in Scientology.
" She wanted to bring bad boys into Scientology,
her words. Now-
What you have just done is one of two things,
and I'm not in a position to judge which it is.
Either you have made an accurate charge against
someone or, what a number of your critics and
a number of the pieces that have been written
about the Church of Scientology suggest is that
when you have a critic before you, you destroy
MISCAVIGE: Yeah? Well, let me tell you, that's
easy to say-
You smear them.
MISCAVIGE: -that's easy for the person to say,
but she's the one on that program smearing me,
and let me tell you something else, this subject
did come out before, Forrest did have it, I showed
her deposition testimony, she admitted in there
that that is what she was trying to do. She admitted
that's why she was pulled out. The fact that Forrest
didn't put that in there is extremely disingenuous.
I'm not making any new charge against her, and
let's not also forget the fact that she is trying
get $70 million out of the church, and I think
that explains 70 million reasons why she would
make up something like that. I'm trying to get
nothing from her.
Has she sued the church?
For $70 million.
MISCAVIGE: For $70 million.
Where does that case stand right now?
MISCAVIGE: The case'll drag on for years, it's
just been dragging on and on.
Then it's still in the court system.
MISCAVIGE: Absolutely. Absolutely. But on the
subject here, I mean, they bring that out. Ted,
it's simple for people to say that, except I'm
not out there leveling charges out of the blue
against people. In fact, you've got to look at
it this way. You've seen the amount of attacks
leveled against my church. I haven't even bothered
to come out to defend myself until this point,
and I'm not even here to defend myself. But if
somebody makes a move like that and they say something,
and they have an ulterior motive, I think it should
be explained. It's that simple. You had another
example on there, a Roxanne Friend. This is a
horrifying story. This girl was ill. I feel for
MISCAVIGE: Another woman on there, excuse me,
excuse me. I don't mean to say that in a demeaning
way, I'm sorry. She has a horrifying story of
having an illness of cancer, and the word in there
is that we didn't sent her to a church.
To a doctor.
MISCAVIGE: To a doctor, excuse me. In fact, she's
been to a doctor 220 times while she was in Scientology.
In fact, when we sent her out of the church we
asked her to please go to a medical doctor and
see if something was wrong.
The charge, as I recall it, Mr. Miscavige, is
that with many of these people, not just with-
MISCAVIGE: No, no, let me finish this one. Let
me finish this one becauseit's important.
-not just with Ms. Friend, I'll let you get back
to it in just a second, the charge is that you
inevitably - I don't mean you personally, I mean
the church - send people who complain of some
illness to a doctor, but a doctor who is also
MISCAVIGE: I don't know where you got it, it's
invented, I never heard it in my life.
So it's- so if someone- well-
MISCAVIGE: First time I heard it.
-it's not the first time, because you've read
the L.A. Times series, and it was in the L.A.
MISCAVIGE: Oh, if it was in the L.A. Times series,
I didn't read that. Believe me, I don't read a
report on Scientology from the L.A. Times to find
out what it is, so I did not read that in detail.
No, but you've got to understand what your critics
MISCAVIGE: This is not so.
-about you, right?
MISCAVIGE: It's just not so. Not so at all. Just
absolutely not so.
Any Scientologist who wants to go to an outside
doctor, no problem?
MISCAVIGE: Anybody he wants. It's just an outrageous
charge, I have no idea where it came from.
Okay. The- what do you call the folks who are
up at the higher level of your church, the ones
in the uniforms? What is that-
MISCAVIGE: Staff members, Sea-Org members of the
Sea-Org? What does that stand for?
MISCAVIGE: Sea Organization. Originally-
MISCAVIGE: Yes, from the sea.
MISCAVIGE: Yeah. Sure. Absolutely. From the ocean.
What does that mean?
MISCAVIGE: Well, originally this group of people
were based on ships at sea, and that's where the
term Sea Organization came from.
That was at a time when all kinds of folks were
going after L. Ron Hubbard and he moved his operation
out to sea?
MISCAVIGE: Not because all kinds of folks were
going after L. Ron Hubbard.
Well, I mean, the IRS was going after him, weren't
they, at that time?
MISCAVIGE: Well, let me tell you, I mean, you
know, I went through these earlier, you want to
talk about them, it had nothing- there was no
cause-and-effect relationship to L. Ron Hubbard
being at sea and these people going after him
and therefore he was leaving. But you want to
bring out all sorts of faults. Ted, let's be accurate
here. There have been attacks leveled against
Scientology. They uniformly get reported by the
media. The net result doesn't. Let me just go
through them. I mentioned the Food and Drug Administration.
They tried this case for six years, they lost.
It was headline press when it came out. They lost
the case, full religious recognition of the church.
They passed their information to Australia. There
was a full inquiry down there. In 1982, the court
ruled in our favor and issued an apology stating
that this was an embarrassing chapter in the history
of that country. You talk about the attacks here.
The real story is this, Ted. A new organization,
there are new ideas in Scientology. These get
attacked. It's not the first time in the history
of the world that this has happened. This has
happened to many other groups. This happened to
Christianity. Bring it up forward to another religion,
Mormonism, it happened to them. It happened to
us. The attacks on us, though, I will say, in
the last 40 years, are unprecedented and unrelenting,
not even rivaled by any other group during that
time period, and yet the Church of Scientology
has survived throughout that entire time period,
and grown and continue to grown- to grow. That
is the real story of Scientology and the only
way that can occur is if you have something beneficial
to offer people, and Scientology does. You can
talk about all of this, I can debate with you
about that, you can go speak to a Scientologist
which we made available to Nightline and ask them
what it has done for them, and they do applaud
it. The people who are detractors, anybody has
critics. That's fine, and I don't- and I have
to tell you, I don't mind somebody criticizing
a valid fact in Scientology, Ted. I'll be the
first one to deal with it. People within the church,
there's various complaints here and there, little
ones, I always investigate them.
Can you understand-
MISCAVIGE: But wait, but what upsets me-
-can you understand what- go ahead.
MISCAVIGE: -is when one of these critics brings
this up and your reporter doesn't mention the
fact that they are suing, or the fact that they
were removed- and I've shown deposition testimony.
You see, it's out of the realm of what I'm saying,
the fact that another man wanted to kidnap Scientologists,
and I showed the documents to your reporter, and
he doesn't put them in. My complaint isn't that
the people said them. My complaint is that the
reporter didn't give the motive, and he should
have. He had it available to him and did not show
it, it makes it seem like these people are objective.
You want to go around and check out the controversy
it's created in the media because, Ted, like I
said at the beginning of the show, there are 100,000
Scientologists for every one detractor, and when
you just show those people, well, they've picked
up the lines, they're coordinated, they find all
little buttons to press and they all say the same
ones, and they're frightened. They're on the show.
I spoke to Roxanne Friend over Christmas. I feel
sorry for her, but you know what she said to me,
Ted? She asked me at the end of our conversation,
"Dave, please tell me, is it ever possible
for me to come back to Scientology? " That's
the real story, and that isn't on there.
For every minute that we've spent in the report
at the beginning, we have spent roughly five minutes
now with you and me talking. I mean, you are,
after all- we've gone almost an hour and a half
MISCAVIGE: Very well, and I appreciate it. That's
-aren't you capable of responding? I mean, you
keep saying, "Why don't you go talk to the
Scientologists?" You're the head Scientologist.
MISCAVIGE: Well, you have to understand this,
if you want to understand what benefits people
in Scientology, I can give you my own personal
thing, but what I am not going to do here is tell
you- I am not going to make claims for other people.
What I'm telling you is the best evidence is the
successes of Scientology. Do you want to hear
MISCAVIGE: I came to Scientology, I was a young
man, I had an acute case of asthma, I had been
to doctor after doctor, nothing could cure it.
My father heard of Dianetics and Scientology,
took me to an individual. I was with him for an
hour, I used exactly what anybody can read in
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
That asthma disappeared for three years. I say
three years because I'm not going to tell you
it went away forever. After that, it came up again
and I dealt with it, and I don't have it now.
I do five miles a day. I just don't have that.
Is that the greatest thing it's done for me? No,
but at that point I certainly knew- I certainly
knew it was something beneficial. I knew it. It's
a personal story. What it has done for me since
then is just fabulous, but that is my own personal
story. That is what the story is of Scientology.
The successes are endless, Ted. You see, we talk
about these- and that's why I was concerned about
such an intro piece. The story- 100,000 people
off drugs, that's help, that's good, I can give
you these statistics.
You were talking before about Narconon, right?
Narconon operated in Oklahoma, correct? The state
of Oklahoma said illegitimate group, tossed you
MISCAVIGE: Well, there you go, now we're going
to bring up a new allegation. The state of Oklahoma-
Well, isn't it true?
MISCAVIGE: -no, they didn't, they didn't toss
it out. It's still there and that's in the court
system. In fact, what happened, Ted, is that various
doctors came in to testify. The leading drug rehabilitation
experts in the country came in to testify-
Well, who was-
MISCAVIGE: -let me finish.
-who was opposing it? Who was trying to get it
MISCAVIGE: The psychiatrists. The mental health
board. The leading doctors across the country,
Forrest Tannen, another gentleman whose name doesn't
come to mind right now, testified in behalf. All
the testimony on the efficacy of Narconon program
was all in favor of it. Studies have been done,
governmental studies in Spain, in Sweden, found
Narconon to be the most effective drug rehabilitation
program in those countries. One man came in, a
psychiatrist, he made statements about the program,
that man was also on record as stating - and it's
a man named Dr. Gellian West - out at UCLA, he
stated that living a drug-free existence is an
antiquated position in today's society. The judge
in that case ruled that having that man talk about
our drug rehabilitation program is similar to
asking Saddam Hussein to report on the treatment
of the Kuwaitis in Kuwait.
So why is it still in the court system?
MISCAVIGE: The mental health ward is the one who
ruled on it, and we couldn't understand the findings
because all the testimony was positive. Both health
inspections they passed, and then at the last
minute these mental health people denied it-
MISCAVIGE: hang on, I gave you the story, though.
You want to know?
MISCAVIGE: Just like the FDA, just like that,
we get a level playing field, Ted, it always comes
out. You're bringing up Narconon now, but you
No, you brought it up, that's why I raised it.
MISCAVIGE: -well, I didn't bring up the Oklahoma
MISCAVIGE: And you brought that up.
That is correct.
MISCAVIGE: You want- you know, if you- I could
have been on here two years ago and you would
have brought something up, and it's over now.
There have been these cases, but in the end, we
come out on top, and I'm telling you, Ted, there
are a group of people on this planet who find
us to be a threat to their existence, and they
will do everything in their power to stop us.
And that is the mental health field. I didn't
pick a war with them. You can ask them if they
feel this way, and they will tell you that.
One last quick area I want to go into. Explain
to me what a "clear" is.
MISCAVIGE: Okay. Well, the first book, Dianetics,
talks about the mind. And the subject of the mind,
well, you have a mind, and I did this with you
before, but anybody can see what their mind is.
Their mind is composed of pictures. Close your
eyes, look at a cat, and you'll see a cat. And
those pictures you're seeing are your mind. There's
your- there are parts of this mind. If you use
your analytical mind, which you do your thinking
with, which is very analytical, a perfect computer
is a good analogy. And there is a reactive mind,
and this is the mind that kicks in during any
moments of trauma, stress, unconsciousness. It
is recording a series of pictures of these incidents.
Unknown to the individual, at a later time, these
incidents that are traumatic can come back and
affect the person, affect his rationality, affect
his happiness. This is where you find the cause
of a person acting the way he doesn't want to.
MISCAVIGE: A clear is-
MISCAVIGE: -a clear is eradicating that reactive
mind, so the person no longer has matters like
that not affecting him.
Clears don't get colds.
MISCAVIGE: Well, I don't know that clears don't
get colds, but-
L. Ron Hubbard said clears don't get colds.
MISCAVIGE: -back in 1951, L. Ron Hubbard, I believe,
said in that book that- postulating that a clear
wouldn't get a cold, so again, you're taking a
line out of context.
So clears do get colds.
MISCAVIGE: I guess one could.
Okay. In the few seconds that we've got left -
we've got about 45 seconds left - we've heard
a lot from you and I understand there's a lot
more to be said, but why is all of this a religion?
And you're speaking now to a great many people
out there who have a different concept of religion.
MISCAVIGE: Yeah, well, unfortunately, we've talked
about a lot of allegations, and it's tough to
describe a subject when you're dealing- when you
get hit with a litany of accusations at the beginning
you're trying to deal with them. Why Scientology
is a religion? Religion is about the spirit, and
Scientology deals with the spirit. We are in the
tradition of the much older religions, Buddhism,
Hinduism, helping the person as a spiritual being
improve himself. That is what religion is about.
That is why this is a religion. It doesn't fall
into any other field.
And on that note, David Miscavige, let me thank
you. I appreciate very much your joining us.
MISCAVIGE: Okay. Thank you.
Sunday, on This Week with David Brinkley, the
New Hampshire primary, with Democratic presidential
contenders Bill Clinton and Tom Harkin, and President
Bush's campaign chairman, Robert Teeter. That's
our report for tonight. I'm Ted Koppel in Washington.
For all of us here at ABC News, good night.
courtesy of Xenubat