One of Miscavige's favorites, a Dalmatian/pit bull mix named Buster, went on a rampage one day and killed 10 peacocks on the property, and then the dog proudly laid out his kill for all to see. Buster also attacked various members of the staff -- sending one elderly woman to the emergency room -- before being transferred to another base, causing staffers to joke he had been sent to the dog equivalent of Scientology rehabilitation.(18)
The contrast with the other Sea Org members is stark. They eat in a mess hall, which features a meat-and-potatoes diet and a salad bar, except for occasional extended periods of rice and beans. The average cost per meal as of 2005 (according to Headley, who participated in the financial planning each week) was about 75 cents a head -- significantly less than what is spent per inmate in the California prison system.
When members join the Sea Org, they are issued two sets of pants, two shirts and a pair of shoes, which is their lifetime clothing allotment; anything else, they purchase themselves. Although the nominal pay for Sea Org members is $50 a week, many are fined for various infractions, so it's not unusual to be paid as little as $13 or $14.(19)
There are lavish exercise facilities at the base -- an Olympic-size pool, a golf course, basketball courts -- but they are rarely used. Few are permitted to have access to computers. Every personal phone call is listened to; every letter is inspected. Cultural touchstones common to most Americans are often lost on Sea Org members at Gold Base. They may not know the name of the president of the United States or be able to tell the difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. It's not as if there is no access to outside information; there is a big-screen television in the dining hall, and people can listen to the radio or subscribe to newspapers and magazines; however, news from the outside world begins to lose its relevance when people are outside of the wider society for extended periods of time. Many Sea Org members have not left the base for a decade.(20)
Cruise's renwed dedication to Scientology following his divorce from Kidman permanently changed the relationship between the Church and the Hollywood celebrity community. Miscavige and Cruise became closer than ever. The Church leader flew with Cruise in the Warner Bros. jet to a test screening of The Last Samurai in Arizona. In July 2004, Miscavige hosted a 42nd birthday party for Cruise aboard the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds. Musicians (including Miscavige's father) played songs from the actor's movies as clips played on giant screens. Cruise himself danced and sang "Old Time Rock and Roll," reprising his famous scene from Risky Business.(21)
Cruise later said of Miscavige: "I have never met a more competent, a more intelligent, a more compassionate being outside of what I have experienced from [studying L. Ron Hubbard]. And I've met the leaders of leaders. I've met them all."(22)
18th footnote: Interview with Marc Headley. Claire Headley, personal correspondence.
19th footnote: Dan Koon, personal correspondence. Interviews with Janela Webster, Daniel Montalvo and Sandy Kent Fullerr. Mike Rinder, Lana Mitchell, Mariette Lindstein and John Brousseau, personal communication. http://markrathbun.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/transcript_of_bryan_seymo...
21st footnote: Tony Ortega, 'Scientology's Cruise Ship as Prison," Runnin' Scared (blog) The Village Voice, Nov. 29, 2011. http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/11/valeska_paris_chris_g....
22nd footnote: 2004 International Association of Scientologists Freedom Medal of Valor Ceremony.