New details are emerging about the Church of Scientology and how they allegedly spied of another member who left the organization. In an exclusive report, the LA Times says David Miscavige, 54, who is currently the head of the church, is accused of hiring two detectives to spy on his own father. The newspaper obtained police records that allegedly indicate the church paid two detectives – a father and son – $10,000 a week through an intermediary.
Miscavige reportedly feared his now 79-year-old father, Ronald Miscavige, Sr. who recently parted ways with the church some time ago, would reveal secrets about inner workings of the world of Scientology.
The details were uncovered after Florida private eye Dwayne S. Powell, now 43, was arrested in July 2013 near Milwaukee. Inside a rented SUV, Powell allegedly was carrying two rifles, four handguns and 2,000 rounds of ammunition – and a homemade silencer, the report continued. When he was reportedly approached by police, Powell claimed he was house hunting. After being arrested for suspicion of obstruction, he divulged information about how he was hired to do “full-time” surveillance of Miscavige’s father.
Powell was apparently conducting this surveillance with his 21-year-old son who corroborated his father’s story. Powell went on to say during his interview with police that he and his son would comb through Miscavige’s trash, photograph is every move and even tracked him allegedly with a GPS device on his car. That device reportedly linked to an iPad that read out his location. There were instances where Powell said the elder Miscavige would go to the library to read his e-mail and he would be standing close behind taking pictures of the screen, The Times said.
“The episode, detailed in documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times, is the latest in a decades-long series of allegations that the church has intimidated, harassed or abused current and former members, at times going to great lengths to dissuade them from discussing their experiences or knowledge of the secretive religion,” The Times says.
The church and David Miscavige deny these claims and any connection to Powell.
Michael Lee Hertzberg, David Miscavige’s attorney, sent an e-mail to The Times saying:
“Please be advised that Mr. Miscavige does not know Mr. Powell, has never heard of Mr. Powell, has never met Mr. Powell, has never spoken to Mr. Powell, never hired Mr. Powell and never directed any investigations by Mr. Powell.”
According to police documents, Powell counters that claim by Hertzberg and spoke to police about an alleged incident where he followed the elder Miscavige where he observed the father clenching his chest in a parking lot. Powell thought there was a health emergency so he phoned David Miscavige for guidance and was told that if it was his father’s time to die, then let him die.
The Times did ask Hertzberg about this incident, but they were not able to get an answer.
As for the charge against Powell, the LA Times said he was indicted in 2014 for possessing an illegal silencer, but it was dismissed when he was allowed to enter into a pre-trial diversion program.
Read the full LA Times report here.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons