Father of Scientology Leader David Miscavige Hints His Son Is a Sociopath

In 'Ruthless,' released on Tuesday, Ron Misavige attacks his son's leadership of the church.
Courtesy of St. Martin's Press

One of the most provocative claims in the new memoir released Tuesday from the estranged father of Scientology leader David Miscavige is that he might fit the definition of a sociopath. 

Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me by Ron Miscavige (St. Martin’s Press, May 3) has been one of most anticipated and hyped books of the year. ABC’s 20/20 devoted an entire hour to the book and Scientology has been fiercely attacking Ron Miscavige (himself a former Scientologist) and his credibility.

Before the book was published, the church threatened to sue Ron and the publisher in England for libel (where the laws make such a case easier to win). But the book still made it to shelves. 

The book is full of details about David Miscavige’s leadership, the control the religion has over its members who live at its Gold Base compound in Hemet, Calif., and how Ron had to “escape” to get away from there. But one of the most shocking parts is Ron’s suggestion that his son is a sociopath. In an excerpt published by Esquire, Ron Miscavige references Harvard psychologist Martha Stout’s 2005 book The Sociopath Next Door to suggest his son meets the definition. 

Miscavige does not come out directly and call his son a sociopath; rather, he writes: “I will leave you to draw your own conclusions about why I mention Stout's book in this chapter.”

Ron Miscavige also uses Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s own writings against his son, particularly a 1953 essay on “toxic personalities.” Ron goes through five points Hubbard makes about negative personality traits — among them “sexually repressed or perverted,” “misfortune [of others] is either ridiculous, a mere trifle, or that the person deserves it,” and “anything that another person can do is without real value … or can be done better by someone." He points out in the book how his son David fits each one.

Read Esquire’s full excerpt here.  

The Church of Scientology has come out strongly against the book. Read it's statement to Esquire below.

Ronald Miscavige is seeking to make money on the name of his famous son. David Miscavige has taken care of his father throughout his life, both financially and by helping him in even the most dire circumstances.

Ronald Miscavige was nowhere around when David Miscavige ascended to the leadership of the Church of Scientology, mentored by and working directly with the religion's founder L. Ron Hubbard, and entrusted by him with the future of the Church.

Any father exploiting his son in this manner is a sad exercise in betrayal.

Mr. David Miscavige's far-reaching vision and unrelenting dedication has brought the Church of Scientology to where it is today, guaranteeing its future for generations to come. Scientologists worldwide love and respect Mr. David Miscavige for his tireless work on behalf of their religion.

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