Guy Adams provides details on a senior Scientology member’s letter to 12,000 followers attacking their leader’s “obsession” with money, in the LA Times:
A simmering conflict at the Church of Scientology has been made spectacularly public after a former member of the organisation’s clergy circulated a letter raising severe criticisms of both the management style and financial policies of its current leader, David Miscavige.
Debbie Cook’s email, which was sent to 12,000 fellow Scientologists shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day, alleges that Mr Miscavige has adopted a dictatorial leadership style which is at odds with the doctrines laid down by the church’s founder, the science fiction author, L Ron Hubbard.
She further claims that, since succeeding Hubbard after his death in 1986, Mr Miscavige has become obsessed with fundraising. His regime is now “hoarding” a cash reserve of more than a billion dollars, she claims, and has spent tens of millions more on a portfolio of large, “posh” buildings which largely sit empty.
Ms Cook’s criticisms strike a chord with many disaffected recent defectors from the church. But her highly respected status within the usually secretive world of Scientology may also give them weight among more active members.
The email, headlined “Keep Scientology Working” and littered with jargon, argues that many of the policies pursued Mr Miscavige are in direct conflict to the principles laid down by Hubbard when he created the movement in the 1960s and 1970s. In particular, she claims that “extreme” fundraising activities are now being “driven from within the very highest echelons of the Scientology structure”, in a way that is at odds with the organisation’s founding scriptures.
Although many current members have donated vast portions of their net worth to the church, Ms Cook claims that Hubbard never endorsed individual donations of over $75 for lifetime membership. The church’s founder also “never authorised the purchase of opulent buildings” by the leadership, she argues. Instead, he believed that all money raised by the organisation should immediately be used to spread its message…
[continues in the LA Times]