I’ve always believed that David Miscavige became the leader of the Church of Scientology by deceit and trickery, and I know that’s what many Independents also believe. But there are several protesters who say that DM was actually L. Ron Hubbard’s choice to take over the Church.
Aaron Saxton, former high-ranking Sea Org staffer and frequent commenter on this blog, made a reference to this, and I asked if he would write a more detailed article. Aaron was kind enough to oblige, and his article talks not only about LRH’s search for a successor but on how LRH felt about his wife, his use of drugs, and evidence that David Miscavige really is a true believer in Scientology – just as LRH planned. Here’s what Aaron wrote.
In the early 80’s indeed a power struggle occurred within Scientology.
Significant actions were taken by several persons to see the future of Scientology as LRH intended it, would continue.
In writing such an article it is easy to offend as often facts are thrown away so we may not see their true colors and let them speak for themselves – in the face of desired facts. As often with LRH being the subject to most Scientologists and ex-Scientologists, the idea that DM was to be the man to take the reins only seems a crime now, a quarter of a century after the fact.
But David Miscavige was not the only person involved in the takeover. And it should be pointed out to the reader now that LRH knew his life was coming to an end, and in fact did desire Scientology to be under the control of one man.
LRH had for 30 years tried to find a successor. Bill Robertson, David Mayo, Otto Roos and the like had all come and gone. No one fitted the bill for LRH, none of these men were ruthless enough to fill the boots that LRH would leave. A few people remained: Mark Yager, Marc Inger, Liz Ingber and Norman Starkey. The Broekers [Pat and Annie, who were LRH's personal assistants at the end of his life; Annie Broeker when on to marry and divorce Rathbun loyalist Jim Logan] did not come into the equation to LRH. It was true they were good colleagues, but they were in no way fit enough or had the fortitude that would be required to run a cult.
Of the men left, LRH had made the note that when a person passed their teens, they were effectively the same. Characteristics shined through as a teen. The Ingbers, Yager and Starkey were all class acts and capable of running enterprises. Possibly Marc Yager was the most dominant and powerful left along with Norman Starkey. True executives for what he required.
But they were never quite there.
LRH’s wife [Mary Sue Hubbard, or MSH] was not an option. She had not only gone to jail, but she had utterly failed in the GO [Guardian's Office, Scientology's internal secret police force and predecessor to today's Office of Special Affairs, or OSA] and although MSH was LRH’s wife, his history would show when revealed later that being a family member of LRH guaranteed you nothing.
Excluding his family from the equation, left these people.
However, one other man was showing the stuff LRH needed – it was David Miscavige. He was young and he was power hungry.
More so, he was developing and his abilities as a young man were gaining strength to strength. LRH had already made his decision who was to run the Church, but before he would hand the reins over he had to know if DM actually had the steel to see through some of the most ruthless actions that were required to running a cult – destruction of critics, whether they be friend or foe.
While it is the stuff of Mills and Boons to think LRH adored his wife, in reality we see the family torn at the edges – his three marriages, suicides (if not murder) of their own children, and last but not least, MSHs utter failure which nearly destroyed Scientology all together. This was unforgivable to a man who was now in he mindset of considering the future of mankind – children and wives were a far, far off second.
So was established the All-Clear Unit. DM was to see to its success. Ron’s communication lines had again and again been scrambled, and his messengers [staffers, usually young women, assigned to communicate LRH's intentions to subordinates] were failing. DM was to establish a true messenger unit with services to Ron and control his communication lines.
It was easy enough for MSH to go see Ron – after all, she too had influence and power and it was a simple task to get any number of Sea Org members to take her to see Ron. Failing this, all she would have to do is go see the police. She did neither.
Ron’s final years were painful ones. Suffering from medical illness that plagues all old men, he was on drugs to ease the pain and make his life more tolerable, and travel to a degree was out of the question.
But he did not want to see his children or MSH – as far as he was concerned they were part of the problem. LRH never did fathom how MSH managed to get things into such a state that the government of the United States almost managed to shut them down.
What separated DM from the rest was that he would do anything and make anyone do anything. More importantly, he seemed to know who to trust and was capable of allowing several people to follow individual orders that had a net result – yet no one individual really knew enough to cause destruction. LRH recognized this brilliance – he himself had this quality, and he could see DM would never give one person enough power to undermine him. LRH saw in DM what he wanted in his own sons but never received.
DM did not have to see MSH to get the Church away from her – her signatures, fingerprints and life were everywhere – all that he really had to do was lock her up and have papers forged. But Ron did not want that. He wanted Sue to give up the Church. There was the risk of the children going AWOL as had so many already that they may take the Church and abuse it. MSH could not run a Church, and she knew it, too. Also MSH could tangle LRH up in court and she did not desire that either. The best way was through her willing submission.
LRH requested MSH to sign over the final rights that would allow the crack team of DM, Norman Starkey and a key few others to change the Church forever.
But Ron had one final thing to do – instill into DM that it was all real, and give to him a final shocking incident that would send DM on a path that would ensure he would never waiver.
All Ron needed to do was to stop the medication and he would die. He knew this. Before dying he simply fed to DM what he needed to hear – that he was going to drop the body and go to another planet and spread Scientology there.
And drop the body he did.
From that moment on, Scientology rested in DMs hands. While management went through reshuffling to avoid the pitfalls of its previous failures, something else happened – no one else shared the same ruthlessness. Before long, DM was starting to run WDC [Watchdog Committee, which oversees other Church organizations] and CMO Int [Commodore's Messenger Organization International, an organization that ensures other Church orgs follow Management orders] on a bypass [going around the managers in charge and running the organizations himself].
Soon DM would start to use the same techniques Ron did to gain compliance – consequences that were too shocking to be endured. Just as LRH established the Messengers, DM would establish the RTC Reps to give him a direct reporting line. LRH in his heyday would have unlimited PIs [Private Investigators] on you, set you up for a fall with the police, or you would simply disappear. Or, if you were Sea Org, you were thrown into the RPF [Rehabilitation Project Force; Scientology's in-house punitive labor camp], separated from your family until you were ruined. When the Sea Org was at sea, one of LRHs favorites was to thrown you in the Bilge Pumps with no light, food or water for days.
And so DM started using the same techniques.
His executives, while not enjoying the punishment, did understand it. What was a punch compared to the consequence of Scientology failing? And if they learned a lesson from it, then was it all that bad?
The sad truth is that DM uses only what LRH lets him use – his technology.
DM has not released OT IX or X [the next Operating Thetan levels] because LRH made specifics on when they could be released – even though releasing the new levels would bring countless millions of dollars to the Church, DM stays true. Though DM could take all the money in Scientology and waste it all, he has not. Still the bank accounts brim with money and new orgs get built on top of forced donations.
LRH made a habit, too, of changing the technology when clear scientific evidence would appear that compromised the integrity of his work – he would change it. Where a new technology arose, LRH would employ it, and DM following in LRHs steps, kept up the same operating procedure. Even DMs executives tolerated and actively supported it. While we now hear the executives that left tried to defy DM, the truth is that they did not, and only chose to speak of the technical changes to Scientology as if DM had done it all himself. Nothing further could be from the truth.
DM is no angel. He is, however, the image of LRH.
One shudders to think what LRH would if he were alive and running the Church now. With the IRS off his back, with billions in the bank, what would LRH do other than impose his will over every human being he could?
A benevolent Church was never any Church LRH owned or ran – ever. Violence has been part and parcel with him since the onset and particularly in the early days of the SO – when DM was still running around as a little boy.
The only truly hard thing to grasp for the faithful few of Scientology is that Scientology today is how LRH would run it. LRH himself annually created new courses, wrote new lectures and revised his technology continuously. While I have never seen the Archives, I know factually that there was material LRH wrote that was not released to the public which it slowly is now. I know this because I have seen the hand written recovered LRH documents from the Los Angeles warehouses. Even a family member of mine has seen DMs own billion year contract he signed when just a boy.
If we did not have the internet today, it is doubtful the Church would be in such trouble as it is today. Without people being able to connect around the world it was very hard for critics to get a word in without swapping lawyers.
LRH envisioned such a mechanism like the internet to completely take over the world; as it turns out, it is working against his technology because his technology does not allow for one vital component most human beings have: The ability to think for themselves.
Do not be surprised if we soon see the re-incarnation of Ron here on Earth – the prophet returns, and I Imagine he may perhaps come as the son of a famous Scientologist, Sea Org member or Scientology celebrity. One thing is certain, he will not return as a woman, a red head ever again, or as Marty Rathbun’s friend.
If LRH was here today he would probably smack both Marty Rathbun and David Miscavige. They have both been very bad and while LRH likes people to be bad, it is only OK if they succeed in pulling off orders.
And none of them have done that.
As I used to say when I was in the Sea Org – “That’s a flunk.”
Aaron Saxton, June 2010