I’m Eric Lieberman. I’m an attorney. I live and work in New York. I’m with the venerable firm of Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky and Lieberman. Our… our firm has been fairly unique and my work has been fairly unique over the years. It involves a great deal of defending constitutional rights, civil liberties, religious freedom rights, freedom of speech, etc.
We began representing the Church of Scientology, and actually L. Ron Hubbard himself, forty, thirty-nine, forty years ago. I became involved in it shortly thereafter, became much more involved in the early ’80s when I met David Miscavige in… in my office in New York. I’ve developed a close professional and personal relationship with a lot of people in the Church and especially Mr. Miscavige, whom I consider not just a client, but a dear friend.
David Miscavige joined the Scientology religious order called the Sea Org when he was sixteen years old. He moved down to Clearwater, Florida. And for the next ten years he assumed a greater and more important role in the ecclesiastical leadership of the Church, working closely with L. Ron Hubbard, closely and increasingly.
So that by the early to mid 1980’s he had assumed a position second only to Mr. Hubbard. Now in the book Ron Miscavige makes the claim and writes for page after page about how his son, in effect assumed this leadership through some sort of illegitimate action, that it was contrary to the wishes of Mr. Hubbard, etc. The only problem we have here, is that for those ten years Ron Miscavige was nowhere to be found.
David Miscavige was mainly working with the Church in Florida and then in California throughout this entire period and Ron Miscavige was back in Darby, Pennsylvania. I’m pulling out a chart we prepared which we presented to ABC. I didn’t memorize the chart. I’ll just read off a few things from it because it shows the impossibility of Ron Miscavige being able to write a memoir about his relationship with David Miscavige during the period of time where David Miscavige moved up through the ecclesiastical ranks of Scientology and became the successor to L. Ron Hubbard.
So that the chart shows that in ’78, ’79 David Miscavige left Clearwater and went to La Quinta in California working with
L. Ron Hubbard. And what it shows is Ron Miscavige is living in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, with his wife and with some of his other daughter… his daughters. Moving down the chart we see that in ’81 David Miscavige moved to Gilman Hot Springs, continuing to work with L. Ron Hubbard. And where’s Ron? He’s still back in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. And what’s he doing?
He’s still playing the trumpet in a few gigs that he could find. He’s selling pots and pans and he’s living this terrible life of beating his wife, beating his children. The chart further thr—, shows that through 1982 David Miscavige was appointed a trustee of RTC, that he became… he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Author Services in 1982 which was the literary agency for L. Ron Hubbard.
So David Miscavige had a direct relationship with L. Ron Hubbard involving the publication of Scientology scriptures and also other works of L. Ron Hubbard. And this continued right on through the passing of L. Ron Hubbard in 1986… in early 1986. And on the other side of this chart we see Ron Miscavige is still back in Pennsylvania. Still selling pots and pans and still beating his wife.
When Mr. Hubbard died, David Miscavige conducted L. Ron Hubbard’s funeral and he became Chairman of the Board of RTC in 1987.
Middle of 1985 Ron Miscavige was arrested in Pennsylvania for attempted rape. He called his son David and desperately asked for help. His son helped him obtain legal counsel and ultimately the charges were dropped. But David Miscavige strongly insisted and importuned his father, you have to change your life. You have to become, you have to move into the religious life because what you’ve been doing is just unacceptable. It’s immoral, etc. And Ron Miscavige agreed and he joined the Sea Org. He says in his book “reluctantly” and I guess maybe that was true.
And then he moved eventually out to California as a member of the Sea Organization. But that doesn’t mean that he knew anything more or had anything more to do with his son’s work as the ecclesiastical leader of the Church of Scientology and the Scientology religion. What Ron did was he played the trumpet. And the second part of this chart shows quite dramatically that they were doing entirely different things, that David Miscavige was not even in the Golden Era base in California for much of the time that his father was there. In 1989 through 1994, for example, I’m just reading this chart because I unfortunately didn’t memorize everything in it, but it’s all available to ABC News, Mr. David Miscavige was primarily in Washington, D.C., dealing with various official and governmental issues relating to the expansion and protection of the Scientology religion.
From 1995 to 1997 he was away from the… from the Golden Era facilities for at least half the year. In 1988 to 2004 he was primarily living in Clearwater, Florida. Again, dealing with… with important issues relating to the defense, the expansion and the dissemination of the Scientology religion. In 2005 through 2006 he was away from those, from the Golden Era Studios for at least seventy-five percent of the time. And this continues. Throughout this entire period of time, what is it, twelve, nineteen years, maybe twenty-three years, Ron Miscavige was a member of the band. That’s what he did. That’s—there’s nothing wrong with that. Music is very important, it’s very important in the Scientology religion, it’s… he was a part of this band. I’m not going to go into in this discussion what role he played in that band, but if this is a memoir, as it claims, a memoir of Ron Miscavige’s years in Scientology, it should be a memoir about the band and the boys in the band that he played with.
There are a number of huge falsehoods in this book.
Perhaps the most glaringly and obviously false—and it sets the tone for the book and for everything that follows—is Ron Miscavige’s claim that he was the moral beacon for his family, for his son and that he provided this great moral guidance and only after Mr. David Miscavige moved away into Scientology did that great moral leadership fade away.
Now we’ve presented voluminous materials to ABC. I’m not going to review them all here. I assume, and strongly hope, that they will present that in the course of whatever broadcast they make. But those materials show that Ron Miscavige was a monster, a moral monster. He, for many years, beat his wife, his children. He threw dishes and, and other objects at them, he terrified them, he tied his daughter up and forced her to fall over and break her teeth.
He apologized, was an apologist and an enabler for an elder son who engaged in the most dreadful kind of… of sexual assaults upon his daughters. And this is—and he, he engaged in serial acts of, of infidelity and of affairs and of running around, etc. This was the opposite of moral leadership. Now why, why do we make a big deal about this? Well, the big deal about it is that one, it shows the complete falsity of the opening premise of the book, of… of a man who claims to have been this great moral compass.
And it also has a lot to do with the problems that Ron Miscavige has had, the… the hatred that he has from people in his… from his daughters, dating back throughout their entire life, which is also a major premise of the book.
So you look at this book and this book is about his raising his children as a moral exemplar while he beat the hell out of them and his wife. And then this book is about the periods when his son was becoming the ecclesiastical leader of the Church, about which he knew nothing. He wasn’t even there. And then it’s about the subsequent period when he joined the Sea Org, which… in which he writes about his son and his son’s activities, but he knew nothing about them. He had nothing to do with them. Where did he get it from?
Well, what he did was he picked up some stuff from internet postings by people who either were involved in schismatic activities with the Church ten or fifteen years ago or… even more so, with people who were involved in… in the Church thirty-five years ago, thirty-three years ago, who claim that they should have been the people who should have assumed the leadership of the Church of Scientology after Mr. Hubbard and not Mr. Miscavige. And they claim that that’s what Mr. Hubbard wanted. But they have no basis for that other than their own self-interested claim. There’s nothing in writing. There’s no––but what do we have?
We have documented statements by L. Ron Hubbard, tapes by L. Ron Hubbard, affidavits by L. Ron Hubbard say… saying, David Miscavige has assumed an essential position of leadership in this Church. He is my good friend and I call upon all of you to… to trust him because he is the person who has taken over the mantle and will continue to do so.
There is this story about the actions of David, alleged actions of David Miscavige while he was conducting these various activities creating the great expansion of the Scientology religion and its obtaining its tax exemption, its recognition throughout the world as a bona fide emerging religion, and Ron had nothing to do. Ron played music. He arranged music. Sometimes he didn’t really do anything. But he had nothing, zero to do with the ecclesiastical development, management, strategies, expansion, etc., of the Scientology religion.
But what Ron Miscavige does, to make up his book, is he takes passages, sometimes direct plagiarism, sometimes exaggerated paraphrasing, which is just so improbable that he ever would have written it. Now I can give you a few examples of that if you wish.
There are so many of them I’ll give you a few that I think pretty dramatically show that he didn’t write them and he probably doesn’t even understand them. For example, he writes in trying to explain his view of Scientology, he says, “In 2006 Harvard psychologist Martha Stout published the result of decades of study of toxic personalities called the Sociopath Next Door”. And then he goes on to explain what the renowned Martha Stout has to say about that. Now it turns out that this is taken directly from materials published on the Internet by others. For example there’s a statement on the Internet, “The Socio… Sociopath Next Door is a remarkable book that I just finished. It is interesting to read what other scholars of human behavior have to say on the subject, particularly psychologist Stout in her widely recognized book, The Sociopath Next Door.”
This is published by other people on the Internet, and all of a sudden Ron Miscavige’s… he doesn’t even say he read it, he just refers to it. Then, even more remarkable he writes, and of course when I say, “he writes,” these are in earlier drafts of the book. We don’t know exactly what the final version is or what chapter it is, so I… I won’t give you the chapter number. He says, “Scientologists hold up L. Ron Hubbard as the source of everything in Scientology.”
And then he says, “In 19th century America, something called ‘The New Thought Movement’ sprang up” and refers to a bunch of authors and books that were published in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, quote this is Ron’s words, “By the likes of Napoleon Hill, William Atkinson, Charles Haanel, William Wattles, Frank Channing, Mary Baker Eddy… ” This was all taken again from the Internet. Do you think Ron Miscavige wrote… read a single one of these books?
Do you think he could explain them? He just took them from what others had published on the Internet, and it’s all irrelevant anyway, because it has nothing to do with the reality of what people go into Scientology for, what they get out of it, what it means to them, how it helps their lives, and how it helps them achieve what to a Scientologist is salvation.
Well we have this diary of his during the period of about seven or eight years while he was in the Sea Org. In the 2000’s. And every day there’s an entry, virtually every day. And every day there’s an entry about the band. About his music, about what he’s doing for the band, etc. And what, what music he’s working on. There are also entries about whether he’s feeling well or not, whether he had to go to the doctor for something, what he was cooking that night, his exercise machines, what exercises he was doing, etc.
All the kinds of things that go on in a person’s normal life. There was nothing, not on a single page that I saw, and I looked through those… those diaries looking for it. There’s nothing about what his son was doing vis-a-vis Scientology. What his son was doing vis-a-vis the ecclesiastical issues of the Church, the expansion of the Church, the legal issues that the Church might face, the… the publications it was making. Nothing! Because that wasn’t what he was there for, that wasn’t his job, he was not competent to be involved in that sort of thing. He knew he wasn’t competent to be involved in that sort of thing, so did his son. That’s not what their relationship w… It does show the occasions where, “Had dinner with Dave,” had dinner with a few people with him, had a good time,” etc. Normal kinds of father-son things that had nothing to do with either… were doing in their professional lives. It just wasn’t there.
Nor was there anything there about the kinds of things he complains about in the book. “Oh, the food was terrible!” he says in the book. “It was slop. They paid a dollar a day for it." We’ve shown… what a lie that is. I mean, the… the food is farm to table. It’s all organic, etc. We… we’ve provided all that information. But there’s no...he doesn’t complain about the food. He doesn’t complain about the things he says. He complain… he doesn’t complain that “Oh my god I could never leave.” In fact, he li… he lived for most of the time he was in the Sea Org, he lived in the town of Hemet and drove to work every day and drove back in a car that his son had given him as a birthday gift.
Then later he did move onto the actual, physical facility. And every day got into his car and drove across the road because at the Golden Era Studios where he was living and where the studios were, were on oppo… different sides of a major highway. Most people walked back and forth under the highway, there was a tunnel that they would walk through.
But Ron was kind of old and so he preferred to get into his car every day, turn on the key, drive through the gate, drive down the road, drive over to where the studio was, do his work, come back, get back into his car at night, or later, or whatever, go back across the road. If he had to go get gas, he’d get gas or whatever and come back. It’s fantasy. It’s fantasy. And the… th… the diary shows that, shows that.
He’s a member of the band. He developed music, played music at various Scientology events and as music on Scientology religious videos which are a very important part of the religion, training films, all sorts of things. But it was all the music end. It was scoring, developing, playing the music, working with the people in the band. And really nothing else. That was his official function and that’s what he worked at every day that he was in the Sea Org. That was his job, period. Nothing else.