• Marion Pouw


    Longtime Family Friend

    My name is Marion Pouw and I’ve been a staff member for over forty years.

    I’ve been a long term friend of the Miscavige family. I first met them in 1972 when they came to the United Kingdom for religious services. I worked at the organization there. And it also just happens that my former husband was a musician. And whilst Ron was in the UK, he formed a band and so my hus… my former husband was part of that.

    One day I was at the Miscavige family home and I heard this ruckus, this loud ruckus coming from the kitchen. So I went back there and I saw Ron pushing very heavily Loretta against the kitchen sink. And no one else from the family were around but there was a mutual friend of ours which was Quentin McDougal and he end… he was the one that broke it up. I mean, at the time I was stunned that he would even touch a woman. I mean, you just don’t do… you don’t hit women.

    I was informed that Ron's brother, Red, that's David's uncle, had passed away and David at the time was doing a major Scientology event abroad, and he wasn't able to go to his uncle's funeral. But he wanted to make sure that everything was, you know, well taken care of for Ron.

    I went along to help, and in the course of doing so got Ron a suit that he wanted and I got Becky, got her all ready to go. David paid for everything, I was making… taking care of the arrangements, the flights, the travel, you know, the car rental. Everything.

    So whilst I was there, I pressed his shirts, ironed his clothes, polished his shoes, did all manner of things, did the laundry and made sure that he looked perfect for the occasions that he was you know, attending to.

    I found out that Ron had forgotten to buy any flowers for his brother's funeral. David then arranged and paid for this HUGE arrangement to be there at the… the wake and at the funeral. In fact I actually brought Becky over and Ron over and I said, these are the flowers that David got for you, from… you know, from… from you and Becky and I want to make sure that you see them so you know they're from you. Because people ask about those sort of things. Those flowers were so gorgeous that the family ended up taking them back to the house after the funeral.

    There was a meal that was put on in a… in a local restaurant and had authentic Polish food, so we all went there and there were the cousins and friends of the family. In fact even Ronnie, that’s Ron’s eldest son and his wife were there as well. Anyway, everyone interacted and they were all reminiscing different things about Red and the old stories and whatever. And one of the cousins told me this specific story about how David had sent this huge Polish authentic food basket to Red, and how he invited all his kids, the cousins over to share it with him. They said that Red really respected David and the position that he held in the Church and over the years how much care and… and… and kindness that he’d shown Red. And there was definitely a lot of, back from Red towards David as well.

    I mean the cousins said the same thing about him, their cousin, David, and how much they respected him as well. But I never forgot that because it was a, a very unique, you know, and special thing that they conveyed to me.

    We also went out, Ron went out on sightseeing. I mean he had a great time when he was there. He went out sightseeing, he took – I went with and showed us all different places of Mount Carmel that I’d never seen and his old haunts. We went to Polish places, he pulled out this, actually pulled out this pocket trumpet, and he told me that this was a—and he was tell people that this was a… a trumpet that he got from his son David and tell them all about it, but he’d always be playing it so he did that in all the different places we went to.

    He had a really great time when he was there. Before I left, the cousins specifically came to me and they asked me to bring back some gifts that they’d gotten specifically for David, and asked if I would forward it… those gifts to him. And I said, “yes I would.” And obviously I… I did.

    And then, I actually had correspondence, like we… I remained in… in touch with the… the cousins, you know we exchanged gifts and e-mails after that time. They considered me now part of their family as well.

    Well, when Ron left in the end of March 2012 from Golden Era Productions, I was frankly stunned. And not a word to anyone, just upped and left. And as a friend, I was actually a bit concerned about that. We had no phone number, we had no way of contacting him.

    Becky had mentioned going to her mother’s house in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

    So in April, myself and Greg who--Greg’s another close family friend of Ron’s, flew out to Whitewater, to the mother’s home. And we arrived there, we knocked on the door and Ron answered and he invited us in. He was happy to see us.

    So we went into the house. He… him and Becky both started telling us about the last two weeks of their lives. When they arrived, you know, it was like something like out of the Hoarders TV show. There was, the mother’s elderly and there was like furnishings and clothing and just like stuff everywhere and they were doing this project, sort of clean up the house, because you couldn’t even make your way to the kitchen it was, there was so much stuff.

    Over the course of the… that week, what happened is the mother’s house got flooded, really badly. And I offered you know, to assist him, I said “do you need some help with something?” and he said, yeah there would be something you could help me with which was to do laundry because all the rugs had gotten flooded, the… the mother’s clothes had gotten soaking wet. So myself and Greg, both actually did laundry. We did the laundry. We laundered those items for him. And they really did appreciate that assistance because obviously they were a… it was a disaster that they were dealing with.

    I told Ron that there was an apartment set up for him in Florida and that all of his belongings had been shipped there. He would be able to see his daughters and his grandchildren. The complex had a…a…a…a gym, like he liked to exercise. It has a swimming pool. It’s beautiful. And I… he… I remember him saying to me, “Hey, Marion, did you send my… my, send my Tumi luggage?” So he was, he was interested in the setup that had been provided for him, you know, this housing and this apartment—had a kitchen and he liked to cook and, you know, it was like perfect.

    Becky was definitely in favor of them moving to Clearwater. I mean, she brought this up to me several times, because she knew he’d be… be near the children, he’d be next to the grandchildren, be able to see them. She also told me that he was drinking, Ron was drinking and that he was getting upset with her at the slightest little thing, and she wanted help, she actually wanted help to defuse him. Ron, on the other hand, he was procrastinating “Yes, I’ll come,” “I’ll not go.” This went back and forth, back and forth. You know. And then the last time, I spoke to him, he said “Listen, I’m going to call you guys back.” Well, I never heard anything, so I went back to Los Angeles.

    I next heard from Ron in January of 2013. He called my cell phone and he goes, “Hey, hi Marion, this is Ron,” as if no time had passed. And he asked me, he said, “I’ve sent… I sent a letter to David and did you read it?” I go, “I didn’t read it. I don’t get his mail. I mean, this is… that’s not communication to me. I don’t deal with that.” 

    “Well, I sent him a letter, you know, a week or so ago and I haven’t heard anything. And I’d like to hear back on that letter and I would appreciate if you could check in to make sure that it arrived to him and that he got it.” So I said, “Yes, of course, I’ll do that. I'll… I’ll pass that on.” So and then we ended the call.

    Well, I then, after this phone call with Ron asking about the letter, I did follow up to find out if the letter had arrived, and it had. And then I had an opportunity to read it. And in that letter, he asked to have his belongings sent out to him. Well, these were still in Florida. We still had the apartment there for him in the hopes that he would go. And so, I then flew to Florida and I packed up all his stuff. We’re talking some 35 to almost 40 boxes of his personal belongings, which I inventoried and then palletted, went on two pallets. And which were sent out to Virginia because now he is living with Ronnie, his elder son. He'd moved from Whitewater.

    It cost the Church two-thousand dollars to ship it, which we paid. And I shipped it off.

    The next time I heard from Ron was in March of 2013 when we spoke on the phone. And the first thing I took up with him was this letter that he sent to David. And I said, “It… it was hostile. This was a nasty letter that you sent and that’s not what a father sends to a son.” And Ron’s response to me was “No that’s on me not on him.” I said “okay good.” I said, “You should send him a kind letter.” And Ron told me, “I’ll do that.” He also brought up to me, like he wanted to move back to Whitewater from Virginia.

    And the reason why he wanted to move back was… he wan… he said he wanted to have nothing to do with his granddaughter Jenna, who’s the daughter of Ronnie, his older son. And the thing he specifically said was, “Coz she was being hostile to the Church and he wanted to have nothing to do with that.” So, I said “okay,” and I… I understood that… I said, “I understand. That’s a good reason to move away.” At that point he also said “Marion, you know, Becky and I are not connected to any people that are hostile to the family.” I said “Alright, fair enough.” So that was the end of that call.

    The next time I heard from Ron was he’d sent me an e-mail asking for other things that he’d left behind. And so I went and found those things, I got them all boxed up, cost another thousand dollars. And that was the last time I heard from him.

    I find the fact that he references me as a “top henchman” both offensive and insulting. I mean we’re talking a forty-year relationship, a… a close family friend that’s gone out of her way for… and cared for him. And to now depict that relationship in that manner—a friend doesn’t say that about a friend, ever. No matter the circumstances, you just don’t say that. And I find it very insulting and such a gross misrepresentation of the relationship that… that I had with him. He was a friend—he’s not a friend now—but he was a very close friend. I was family. And frankly, I was stunned.

    That he is now concocting a story, and making… and basically using the name David Miscavige to profiteer and extort, and sell a book, a “memoir” which is so not the truth of this man, and what he as a son has done for a father. If I, as a daughter, had done that much for my father I would be so pr… I never did. I just never did. And what he's done for his father is so beyond. So, no, I mean, this is like, this is despicable, really despicable.

    David Miscavige in 1972, when he arrived at Saint Hill, he became a legend. I mean, everybody on staff were talking about him, even public. And I’ll tell you why. First of all, he was a twelve-year-old boy and he was studying in the course rooms there. Most kids were out playing around, but not him. He was studying in the course room and he was doing… we did many courses, but there’s one specific course that we all talked about that he did, which is this one called becoming superliterate. And it’s a very intense course where you look up hundreds of words; you define them.

    And as a nineteen-year-old, I remember thinking, my God, I don’t think I could even get through that course. It… it was a tough course, but he got through it. He then b…became an auditor. He got trained as a ca…an auditor and started taking public parishioners in…in…in for counseling. And there’s a specific thing that I remember that occurred and I never for… I have never forgotten this.

    He was—I happened to be in the same place and he was standing in front of a, an elderly woman and he told her, “I’m taking you in for your counseling.” And she looked at him and she goes, “No, you’re not.” Because he was like this kid. And he says, “Yes, I am.” And he got her to stand up and they proceeded and off they went. Well, when she came out from her counseling session, she said, “I don’t want anyone else to be my auditor; I want him.” He became… he was…he had to be her auditor. It was like such a…a…a difference from what she said before and after.

    He was such an excellent auditor that public… at that age—it was, it’s a… it was unheard of. Like, that’s never happened before and it has never happened since. He was very focused on his Scientology studies. You could tell that he knew where he wanted to go and what he was going to do. And because of that, he was very loved by all the staff there. And to this day, if you ask anyone, just like me, “Well, do you remember him in 1972 and 1974 and ’75,” they absolutely remember him.

    There is a through-line between when he was a twelve-year-old and what he is now. And it’s this very focused, lasered dedication and he definitely had that no nonsense—like, this was not––he wasn’t just doing his studies as a part-time activity. No. He was doing his studies with a absolute purpose. And that same purpose and that same dedication towards th… the religion of Scientology and the materials and the scriptures is what you see today, but obviously on a way, way bigger scale, like far greater.

    I’d never met anyone like that, like certainly not a twelve-year-old. And I’ve never met anyone, other than Mr. Hubbard, as David Miscavige, with that same intensity and that same dedication. I mean, he… it’s through—it’s in his bones. It’s in his… it's in… it’s in him. It’s not like something that, you know, it's a pretense. No. This is the… this is the man.

    And I always… I remember reading something that the Founder said about him. And he said, “Thank God we have D.M.,” meaning thank God we have David Miscavige. And I say the exact same thing because without him, Scientology would not be where it is today.

    He’s the most hard-working person I have ever, ever seen. He works harder than anyone else. I swear I have never seen someone that has been so dedicated and diligent towards what he does.

    This man wakes up every day and the first thing he thinks about is the Scientology religion and the parishioners and what needs to get done, to get the job done. It’s not about him. It’s not about his concerns. Never has been. He’s the type of person that would go, “Hey, you guys, you go out.” And, you know, if a job's well done or something, major accomplishments occurred, he’s always the one that’s rewarding the staff. He’s always the one that says, “You go out.” And m… meanwhile, he stays behind and he’s working. And I’m like, “Hey, there’s something wrong with this picture. You’re the one that should be going out, not us.” But no. He… he… he always has put his duty and… and his dedication to the religion first and foremost.