So far when looking at the Church of Scientology we have looked at the stories of former Scientologists Marc Headley and Jesse Prince with respect to their time with both the organisation and the Sea Org along with the experiences of members of the media, namely John Sweeney and Paulette Cooper. We have also looked at a biography of L Ron Hubbard. There is one particular book however I’ve come across, that stands out purely due to who wrote it.
Ron Miscavige’s story is unique in that he is the father of the current leader of the Church of Scientology the chairman of the board, David Miscavige.
Imagine having someone write about their son, despite how powerful, rich or ‘succesful’ they have become, have gone too far a dark path.
Ruthless is as much David’s story as it is Ron’s. This is not the story of someone who grew up with Scientology or was persuaded to join, this is the story of a man looking out for his family and who introduced Scientology to the current leader to it in the first place.
In Ron’s book we learn of his early years in Mount Carmel in Pennsylvania in a working class neighbourhood, raising his family and his time as a Marine a salesman and musician. Ron tells us how with respect to his introduction to Scientology came about in helping with certain ailments and how it helped his son David with his severe asthma. Little would either of them know that this would change their fates from that point.
Ron is brutally honest in not just what he thinks of Scientology but how he thinks of himself. He admits to his shame that he was involved in some domestic violence with his ex-wife, David’s mother and that they were involved in many rows that David undoubtedly would have been made aware of when he grew up, although Ron’s children were given as good an upbringing as he could give them.
David would join the Sea Org and some years later Ron would join himself after they helped him out with some legal incident he had. Ron would see what his son would become.
Throughout the book I sensed a sadness in that the writer’s son would become the man who others has written about in respect to assaulting members of his staff and would stop at nothing to get what he wants and escape from the Sea Org as well as what he would later think of his own father.
As fascinating as it is, this is a tragic story of a father who has lost his son to what is perceived by many out there as a destructive cult. It has clearly broken his heart. Ron is however, grateful for the good things he has, namely his current family and those that have also distanced themselves from Scientology.
I have read a number of books by former Scientologists and it is interesting to see many write about the same time periods from their own perspective. For example there is talk of the flooding that Gold Base had in 1990 that Marc Headley also writes about in his book.
Ruthless is a book about a man who has lost his son to something really dark and sinister. Not only does he seen become something he does not want him to be but there is a sense of frustration that nothing can be done about it.
In spite of everything Ron forgives his son which he states at the end of the book.
[Silvertail Books, 2016]
[I have also added some more links in the comments about Rin Miscavige.]