Scientology higher-up bashes their greedy fundraising in mass e-mail

Tom Cruise’s BFF, cult leader David Miscavige

This story is somewhat complicated for non-Scientology people to understand, but I’ll try to explain it as I’ve come to understand it. A very high-up member of the Scientology cult, a woman whose photo and editorials were featured in their magazine every month for years, has written a mass e-mail questioning the “religion’s” direction under leader David Miscavige. The thing that makes this letter different is that unlike other prominent Scientologists, like the Oscar winning director/writer Paul Haggis, the author isn’t defecting from Scientology or urging other members to leave. Author Debbie Cook is using the basic tenets of their religion, as laid out by founder L. Hubbard, to emphasize that Miscavige is abusing his position and violating the church’s teachings by squeezing money out of parishioners and hoarding it. Cook is appealing to true believers not to leave but to question their leadership. This signifies a potential civil war inside this very criminal cult, between the people who are devoted followers and the people who are abusing their power.

A woman named Debbie Cook dropped something of an atom bomb on the membership of the Church of Scientology last night, and as of this minute — about noon on New Year’s Day — her Facebook page is still going a bit crazy as her fellow church members deal with the fallout.

Cook was once a very high ranking executive in Scientology’s Sea Org. She led the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida, which made her one of the most important executives at the spiritual headquarters of the worldwide organization. Several years ago, she left that position and the Sea Org, but she is still a member of the church in good standing.

That will probably change after the e-mail she sent out, reportedly to 12,000 members of her religion, which condemns church leader David Miscavige for turning Scientology into little more than a money-hungry fundraising machine.

Some things to keep in mind as you read her message. (New to Scientology watching? Here’s an introduction to the religion.)

– Debbie is aware that her fellow church members are not used to hearing criticism of church management, and would automatically suspect that such a message would be sent from someone outside the church, or from a disaffected member who had been declared a “suppressive person” (excommunicated). So she stresses repeatedly that she is still a member in good standing, is writing only for her fellow church members, and does not want her message to be seen outside the church (a very naive notion).

– She, like many other longtime church members who have been leaving Scientology, is fed up with the intense pressure under leader David Miscavige to raise money from people who are already giving every penny they can. As we saw in the recent blockbuster series in the St. Petersburg Times, “The Money Machine,” even very loyal longtime members are simply becoming exhausted from constant pressure to donate large sums.

– What really makes this document unique is the way that Debbie appeals to her fellow church members by going to the “Source” — L. Ron Hubbard’s own words — to show how “out-ethics” (outside of policy) Miscavige is with his emphasis on fundraising.

– We are left with a lot of questions after reading this clearly heartfelt appeal by a longtime Scientologist who is alarmed at what her church has turned into: what will become of Debbie Cook? Will she be declared a suppressive person for raising these questions, and will her many friends be told to disconnect from her? Will her e-mail generate an actual discussion among longtime church members about these problems and foster even more defections to Marty Rathbun’s blog and the independence movement? Or, will Miscavige finally begin to see the light and start making critical changes to save Scientology from problems that seem to be splitting it apart?

[From The Village Voice]

In the past, we would be very concerned about Cook’s well being at this point, considering all the ways that Scientologists have harassed, followed and intimidated defectors, often to the point of “suicide.” The story has received a ton of international press, which protects Cook from immediate reprisal. High ranking former member Mark Rathbun writes that Cook is not in imminent danger and that we can expect to see Scientologists and Miscavige pitifully try and spin this. You can read her full letter on Rathbun’s blog, and he has more information about how the cult is trying to discredit her.

Personally I would love to see Tom Cruise’s little buddy Miscavige implode and/or step down. We’ve heard so many truly scary stories about what a abusive, mean, vindictive despot Miscavige can be. Cruise is probably still a member in good standing behind the scenes, but he’s had to keep absolutely quiet about it following his nearly career-killing antics supporting the cult in 2005.

Thanks to a member of anonymous for the tip! These photos are of Cruise and Miscavige at a Sci event several years ago and at Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes

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59 Responses to “Scientology higher-up bashes their greedy fundraising in mass e-mail”

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  1. Jackie says:

    the pic of tom sitting in the chair is CREEPY.

    • Kathy says:

      Agreed. That is one of the scarier pics I’ve seen lately. Esp with the young son in it. Ick.

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks says:

      Agreed, and it is hard to buy Tom’s good guy image – he doesn’t come across as genuine as say Brad Pitt or RDJ. I wonder if Conor has left the church as you never see the adopted kids papped nowadays.

    • Eve says:

      Everything about Scientology is creepy.

    • Thea says:

      I am with you on that. Tom has the look like I am the antichrist or something going on there. I dont think I will get that image out of my mind today. It gave me major woolies.

    • bluhare says:

      A throne? they’ve got him sitting on a THRONE?????

    • the original bellaluna says:

      I looks like a more disturbing version of the Adams Family portrait. Or that awful 2010 Kartrasians’ holiday card.

    • Tomky says:

      The most creepy angle of this story is that it has no substance.

  2. lucy2 says:

    EVERYTHING about this is creepy.
    That woman is lucky it’s so public, otherwise she probably would be at risk. Good for her for trying to stop him.

  3. Bite me says:

    Praise Xenu!!!!

  4. SolitaryAngel says:

    TC: The Little Emperor.

  5. MollyB says:

    I still can’t get over their goofy little code words for everything: “out-ethics” and “Sea Org”. They’re like little kids making a secret clubhouse.

    • Arvedia says:

      I just read “Inside Scientology” and realized the fancy words are more than childish. It’s all about creating a different reality for their members with these terms that only have meaning inside the cult. It’s where the brain-washing begins.

      • duncecap says:

        Once watched a bit of one of those expose type things on Youtube. One poor girl was talking about the auditing and the workload and bad food. All throughout sprinkled with scientology jargon. The interviewer had to stop her periodically to explain a few of the words and she didn’t seem to realize that no one in the outside world would instantly know the terms.

        Even the least harmful crap they pull on members is a pretty deep mind-f*ck.

      • Debby says:

        I finished that book last week. Made me want to wash it all out of my brain. I was also amazed that LR was able to convince anyone that his silly, not good enough for a science fiction story, ideas were a “religion”! I think even less of those who let it influence them/their thinking now that I’ve read it. The government should by all rights take away it’s “religious” status ASAP!

  6. Kimlee says:

    I agree theses photos are creepy especially the last one makes my skin crawl, it just shows how deep Tom is into this cult.

  7. Jackson says:

    That last pic is too funny – and creepy as others have said. Not to mention they all look like they’re wearing purple velvet suits. And I don’t care what anyone says, this Cook woman better watch her back.

  8. Seal Team 6 says:

    Miscavige heads a criminal syndicate that is no different than the Mafia, and in many ways is worse, because the Mafia doesn’t have tax-exempt status, and doesn’t have a facade like CoS.

    I have no idea why this guy and his org hasn’t been put up on RICO charges, as well as illegally transporting minors.

    Forced labor, forced abortions, money laundering, torture, wiretapping… the list goes son and on.

    Miscavige reminds me of Warren Jeffs in many ways.

    Read “Inside Scientology,” it gives a good overview of this.

    • ahoyhoy says:

      Lisa McPherson

      (And I thought South Park did a fantastic, brief, entertainingly animated summary of what these people actually believe. So much blood, sweat, and cash in the name of a terrible science fiction story.)

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      It sounds like a lot of people saw the same documentary I saw. Anyone up for scrubbing a garbage dumpster clean with a toothbrush, anyone? Revolting stuff. She needs to be careful.

  9. It is ME!! says:

    “Miscavige is abusing his position and violating the church’s teachings by squeezing money out of parishioners and hoarding it.”

    Ummmm, isn’t that what L. Ron himself did? Wasn’t that the whole point of L. Ron starting Scientology in the first place?

    Somebody help me out, I have been hit by the stupidz.

  10. clare says:

    Thanks, Celebitchy, for posting about this. The Village Voice has been posting about the co$ for quite some time. Bone-chilling how brainwashed the cult members become.
    IF the $cientology Robo-Bride, Katie Cruise, wanted to free herself and Suri from this madness, now seems like would be a good time.

  11. Lindy says:

    My take (as a scholar of religions). This is often something you see in religions that are growing or changing, or have been around for awhile and are experiencing some issues. In fact, it is such a predictable pattern with new religions or religious movements (including cults like scientology) that there are books and articles about the pattern, and conferences with academic who study NRM’s (new religious movements) and give presentations about it.

    The language this woman is using–appealing to the “source” texts, staking her claim as a good member who is speaking up in order to keep the movement on track, etc.–it’s all part of the classic pattern.

    I hope it helps take scientology down, though I doubt it will happen. That is one ugly, damaging, dangerous NRM.

    • Shannon says:

      Wow, I didn’t realize relious organization was so patterned. It doesn’t surprise me though; if I’ve learned anything from sociology it’s that human group behavior is remarkably predictable.

  12. Seal Team 6 says:

    The good news is that Scientology only has about 15-25,000 real members, as per both CoS insiders and The English (yes, that part was a joke). They don’t want people to think that, of course. They do, however, own a huge amount if real estate and hold alot of other assets.

  13. Deb says:

    When has Scientology not been a means of squeezing money out of people? Even Hubbard believed that real money could be made by starting a religion. He could sell his Dianetics stuff and not pay taxes.

  14. podzol says:

    Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen these photos before. Great coup, Celebitchy. That last picture is especially chilling. No wonder Cruise can afford all those amenities; it’s probably from syphoning all the money of those members into an account. Seriously, doesn’t RoboKatie ever feel guilty when she goes on these massive shopping sprees and pays with the Church’s checks?

  15. WOM says:

    Thanks v. much, Celebitchy, for continuing to write about Scientology. It’s really important that the misdeeds of this cult are widely broadcast, so people understand how evil they really are.

    • CeeCee says:

      agreed. It’s fun to bash the trash of Hollywood, but there is some serious immoral business going on with this and people need to be informed. Thanks CB.

  16. mssnarnd says:

    Does anyone know how much Tom Cruise donates to the “church” each year? What are Xenu’s tithings? The general rule of thumb is 10% of one’s salary. You think TC is coughing up the cash? Apparently, he couldn’t afford to pay for the work he had done on his motorcycles (or his renovated airplane hanger or Kat-bot’s customized SUV with eucalyptus paneling). How much of the MI4 dough is going to Miscavige’s cult?

  17. Princess Lizabeth says:

    Tom Cruise is really, really creepy. And, Miscavige has that same blue-steel look in his eyes as Cruise. Must be a Scientology thing…and scary at that.

    • the original bellaluna says:

      Soulless Scientology Eyes.

      • MacScore says:

        Right on, as usual, Bellaluna! Or, another way of looking at it, the photo is like the public image of the portrait of Dorian Gray. The hidden one, up in the attic, shows their true faces: riven by greed, hands wrung in search of more cash, and their pre-plastic-surgery visages revealing their true identities (with possible exception of son Connor, whom we have to assume is innocent of his father’s misdeeds).

  18. girlindisguise says:

    Miscavige looks like the devil in that photo and Tom and his kid look like junior slaves of satan.

  19. Snowwhite says:

    I’m wondering when the first Scientologists will hit this comment section defending Davey, slandering Debbie Cook and claiming not to be affiliated with Scientology at all, but merely being a “neutral observer”?

  20. Belle Epoch says:

    Didn’t Miscavige accompany Tiny Tom & Katie on their honeymoon?

    Lots of info out there about Miscavige being a violent monster.

  21. MoMo says:

    That last pic reminds me of Red Cloak’s Christmas orgy in Eyes Wide Shut-except instead of cloaks and masks, they’ve got purple suits. And wasn’t purple what the Heaven’s Gate people all wore for their mass suicide?

  22. sam says:

    Geez the language and abbreviations in the email remind me of Orwells’ 1984

  23. Nanea says:

    Sorry, but I don’t get how people seriously say oh, it’s just a religion when there’s sufficient proof it’s a greedy, creepy and criminal cult.

    Miscavige’s ideals are leaning towards fascism, they all have a very distorted perception of themselves, and those OTs think they’re above the law.

    I also don’t get how people are willingly supporting/funding this totalitarian sect by paying admission to watch Crazy Cruise acting a little less manic than in those infamous videos unearthed by the St. Petersburg Times a few years ago.

    • Seal Team 6 says:

      You’re my new best friend.

      Right on target!

      • Nanea says:

        Hey, thanks!
        *hands ST6 a Cruisemopolitan*
        (based on the tried and true recipe for Crackmopolitan)

    • Shannon says:

      Well to an atheist, most religions look pretty similar. And the majority are greedy and creepy in some way. I mean, Jesus was even the first zombie. I say that as someone raised Roman Catholic. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when you’re no longer religious, all religions seem equally strange and fantastical. Some are just more established than others so people see them as normal. But from an outsider’s perspective, it makes zero sense to say “why yes, I fully believe my savior rose to life after three days dead in a tomb, but you’re crazy if you think he buried gold tablets with his writings on them in New York.” (comparison is between the lore of traditional Christianity and Mormonism, for those unfamiliar). Aliens aren’t any less plausible. Also, rich people were officially allowed to pay for their sins to be absolved by the Catholic church for centuries. Frankly, it all looks like a racket from here. I mean no disrepect to believers by the way – I’m questioning the human institutions and their official policies and stories, not spirituality itself.

  24. Maya says:

    In the first photo he resembles Daniel Craig.
    Perhaps a biopic about Scientology, can include Craig playing this freakish Miscavige dude.
    If I had a surname like that, I’d change it (rhymes with miscarriage).

  25. duncecap says:

    Can anyone really be surprised by abuse of power by the most powerful in this cult? One of the basic tenants of this “religion” is that at the highest level you become something more than human– a new superior form of human being– WITH SUPERPOWERS.

    Tom Cruise is allegedly at that level. I wonder if he really thinks he has superpowers now? That would explain why he blissfully hangs from wires at the top of skyscrapers and whatnot. As a buck toothed closeted man-child with dyslexia, the thought of exceeding your limitations and being some kind of comicbook superbeing must be impossible to resist.

    I realize how stupid this all sounds, but this is the crap scientologists actually believe.

    If you’ve reached the highest levels of OT or whatever they call it, you’d justify horrible acts by knowing deep inside that you’re a god among men, and that human beings are slaves or pets to be managed or pitied at best.

  26. jamie says:

    there a bunch of freaking nut jobssssssssss!

  27. midnightmoon says:

    You wonder why the govmint doesn’t put a stop to the Sciento-shenanigans? Because it’s in cahoots-the more religious suppression by the ‘contractors’, the less ‘enforcement’ it has to do. Just look up ‘mind control’ and MK Ultra. But not before bedtime b/c you’ll never sleep well again. Ok, donning tinfoil hat so they know how to find me…

  28. Anne de Vries says:

    I hope she is taking very good care of her personal safety, both physically and mentally, and has a good safe support network.

    Otherwise I think she might ‘buckle under the strain’ and ‘commit suicide’..

    Thanks for continuing to write about the cult, Celebitchy. It needs the spotlight.

  29. ViloDeMenus says:

    Yeah, why hasn’t the government de-certified Co$ of it’s religious exemptions? This is a cult, has always been a cult, and abuses people out in Hemet, holding them prisoner at a re-education camp there under the worst conditions imaginable and no one is doing anything about it after years of complaints. Cruise is still an idiot and will die an idiot, he’s the poster boy for this nightmare group. I won’t watch anything he’s in, it’s just to bad there are people who support this idiots movies. He’s a huge financial supporter. His money pays for the torture some of these prisoners endure.

  30. Moi says:

    Debbie Cook should be afraid, very afraid. Especially since David Miscavige’s wife Michelle has been missing for years. Not sure why this psycho has not been properly investigated for her disappearance, but that’s another story.

    Scientology is a cult full of needy, crazy, and egomanic type people. I totally agree with ViloDeMenus’ comments that this “church” should not be able to have religious exemptions.

    Scientology tries to sell itself as a self-help, empowerment, educational-assist program/tool. As American as hot apple pie. However, by the time you see that the “pie” has been poisoned, it’s too late.

    I do not understand why there hasn’t been a huge expose about Scientology. If for nothing else, to expose their slave-labor tactics, imprisonment of people, missing people, and ridiculous million year + contract that followers sign (that charges them fees to break from the “church”).

    C r A z Y !!!!