|David Miscavige Speaks ...
In six hours of interviews, Miscavige discussed and defended the organization he has led since age 26.
Story by THOMAS C. TOBIN | Photos by ROBIN DONINA SERNE
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 25, 1998
About fears Scientology plans to take over Clearwater:
Oddly enough one thing that we have never attempted to do ... is to promote Scientologists moving to Clearwater. That was never part of the planning. Ever."
About what should happen next in Clearwater:
I do think we have to put the past behind us, and thats why I felt a dialogue should be opened. To take a bigger step.
About Scientologys neighbors in rural Southern California:
Were not a mystery to them ... They come here, they dont leave hypnotized. They come here, they dont see a bunch of, quote, cult members. ... They speak to (Scientologists). You cant fake friendliness. You either are or you arent. Its just that simple.
About the millions of dollars Scientology spent to fight the IRS:
It was ridiculous. It was like opening a faucet. And of course internally were thinking this is nuts. But on the other hand it looked like if we didnt do it. ... I dont think wed be here right now.
About Scientologys protest last December against Clearwater Police:
I think there was a great deal of frustration ... I do think Scientologists feel that theyve been persecuted down there and I think theyre right. I do think they feel theyve been singled out and I think theyre right.
About the unexplained death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson:
Heres what I do know. No Scientologist -- no Scientologist -- is involved in attempting to do in another Scientologist.
I think some people who hate Scientology were thrilled when Lisa McPherson died because they thought they had some way to get us ... and I think thats despicable.
Whos being called murderers? The Church of Scientology. Well, youre looking at me and if you actually believe that I would like Lisa McPherson to die, I dont think you believe that. I cant even imagine you thinking that. But thats the impression that gets passed around then.
If they had the evidence ... that somebody actually did her in, theyd have filed a prosecution. I mean I just dont believe this is how any other incident would be treated in Clearwater. I just dont believe it.
About the infighting that threatened Scientology in the early 1980s:
It was more on the brink than I think people realize. It was more on the brink than I realized at the time.
And how much the IRS fight strained the church:
Things were very grim in 1990 and I dont think a lot of Scientologists knew that. I know they didnt know it. We kept it to ourselves. It was terrible.
About why Scientology hasnt been more open:
Number one, when you are under siege -- and there have been periods when we have been under siege -- of course you have a tendency to just clam up and reach in.
About Scientology wanting peace and also wanting to defend itself:
If you want to know what an ultimate goal would be, of course it would be utter peace. Thats misconception one, that we like the war. Thats misconception one.
About his energy level:
Ive sort of noticed that if Im tired the other guys probably really tired ... From the second Im awake, I am on. Im on.
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