Scientology’s Family Values

Yahoo News 7, Australia

By Bryan Seymour

The Church of Scientology is run by a "sociopath" who physically and verbally abuses those around him. So says his father, who has written a book about his son and what really goes on inside the secretive group.

In Australia, it's sparked calls for them to pay tax and to stop tearing apart families.

Ron Miscavige joined Scientology in the 1960s, never dreaming his son David would one day run it.

“I think he saw a chance to seize power and being the aggressive individual that he is, he did it,” Ron said.

He adds that he believes Scientology a cult.

“It's brutal, it's inhumane, its nuts,” he said.

The 80 year old escaped four years ago and has written a book about his son titled Ruthless, in which he describes his son physically and verbally abusing the people around him.

“He's turned into that, I'm sorry buddy, it's something I cannot deny and I observed that,” Ron said.

“In my opinion, I don't know how you could call it a church,” he said.

He says Scientology's stars - including Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kate Ceberano - have to take responsibility for promoting a group that abuses people.

“There's no question about it that they should."

One of three children, David was nine years old, suffering acute asthma when his father took him to a Scientologist who did a session of ‘auditing’, or therapy, which he believed cured him.

“Forty five minutes later David walks out cheery, bright, I said, 'David?' He says, 'Man, I'm handled!' And that moment as far as I'm concerned was kind of an epiphany for him, I think he figured then I want to do this,” Ron said.

The Miscavige family joined up. Ron played trumpet and composed music for Scientology events and videos.

He remembers his young son as a "happy and lovable kid" who, by age 16 was assisting then leader and founder of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard.

Almost immediately, Ron noticed changes in his son.

“You know I think he just enjoyed nullifying people... he would dominate people by nullifying them… making nothing of them, nothing of them,” said Ron who recalls a verbal lashing at a Scientology Gala Even from his son in front of stunned guests and colleagues that lasted 55 minutes.

In the book, he claims his son’s personality change was like “Jekyll and Hyde” and that he is a "sociopath".

“Yes he dramatises those traits, there's no two ways about it.”

Shortly after joining Scientology, the Miscavige family moved to the group’s base in England. There they met their first Australians, Noel and Marion Barton and their children.

“I know, we lived next door to them when I took my family to England in 1972, they're lovely people, lovely,” Ron said.

Now living in Perth, these former Scientologists haven't seen their children in 35 years due to the policy of ‘Disconnection’ from family who leave.

“We would love to see you come to us, just arrive, just be here no matter how you felt,” said Marion, crying as she spoke.

Noel and Marion were initially happy in Scientology, but things got worse.

“Being almost forced to be very dedicated to what you were doing and any sort of trauma you experienced was considered just part of what you were doing,” said Noel.

“The way it's operating now, I would like to see that come to an end for sure,” he said.

They left in the early 1980's, but their children stayed and soon were forced to ‘Disconnect’ - the Scientology term to cut off anyone who leaves or criticises the group.

Now in their 80's they hope to see their family one last time before they die.

“You wonder why you could be so naïve,” Marion said through tears.

Asked what chance the Bartons have of seeing their children while David Miscavige is leader, Ron said: “Boy I hate to say this, not much of a chance.”

“And that really is the reason I wrote the book to maybe strike a body blow against that policy and maybe get people together again,” he said.

In his book Ron reveals after three decades life living under son's rule, it was becoming unbearable with appalling food and bizarre rituals.

“The food allocation was one dollar, per meal, per day.”

“You would go to the lake, there was a lake at the base, and you were allowed to take off your shoes, your wristwatch, maybe your wallet but you had to keep your full clothes on... and then you'd be thrown into the water."

“You're trying to make sense out of this? Let me tell you something, don't try, it's insane, if you realise it's insane, you’ve made sense out of it."

He claims he and others saw David hit, punch, slap and abuse people working for him and that they were often forced to work for days on end to finish major projects.

It's the religion that never sleeps, Ron says, and Scientology has been working overtime to discredit him. They've released a written statement and scores of video interviews with current Scientologists claiming that Ron violently beat his wife and children, that he's a racist and that he only wrote this book for the money. You can see a link to their statement below.

“Flat out lies, this is their modus operandi, this is how they operate,” Ron said.

It seems even the leader's father is ‘Fair Game’ - the term Scientology uses to describe its policy of destroying its critics reputations.

“They’ll say anything about me, I mean I can show you church policy where it says get evidence and if you can't get it, manufacture it… make it up!"

Ron and his wife Becky made a desperate escape from the sprawling California base his son commanded in 2012.

His son responded by paying Private investigators $500,000 to spy on Ron for a year. It was reported last year that in 2013 they watched him fumble for his phone at a shopping centre and thought he was having a heart attack.

The private investigators later told police they called Scientology and spoke to David Miscavige, who told them: “If he dies, he dies, don't intervene, don't do anything."

Asked how it feels as a dad to hear your son say that? "Devastating, that was terrible," Ron said.

Former celebrity Scientologists Leah Remini and Lisa Marie Presley have rallied to support Ron since leaving Scientology.

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