Scientology Spied on Leader's Father, Police Report Says
According to the report, the church paid two detectives $10,000 a week to tail Miscavige's father.
The Church of Scientology hired private detectives to spy on the elderly father of church leader David Miscavige after the man left the church, according to police records obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
The police report contains allegations the church paid two detectives $10,000 a week for 18 months from 2012 to 2013 to tail Miscavige's father, who had only recently left the organization, because Miscavige feared he would divulge details about Scientology's nefarious inner workings.
The police records stem from the July 2013 arrest of private detective Dwayne S. Powell, who was taken into custody near Milwaukee while allegedly in possession of two rifles, four handguns, 2,000 rounds of ammunition and a homemade silencer in his rented SUV.
Police had initially approached Powell in response to a call about a suspicious person in the neighborhood. He was then placed under arrest on suspicion of obstruction. Police claim they found a folding knife in Powell's pocket during the arrest along with a flashlight and private investigator credentials.
Powell initially declined to name his employer during the arrest, but back at the station, he reportedly told police he was hired by the Church of Scientology, via an intermediary, to conduct full-time surveillance on Ronald Miscavige Sr., now 79, who lived in a nearby town.
Powell then described in detail the extent to which he and his son, also a private investigator, followed the elder Miscavige's every move: searching his garbage, photographing him wherever he went, tracking him with a GPS device attached to his car, reading his emails over his shoulder at the library, eavesdropping on his conversations at restaurants and more.
Powell described one incident during which he witnessed the elder Miscavige clutch his chest in a parking lot. Powell said he thought the man was having a heart attack, but when he phoned in for instructions on how to handle the situation, David Miscavige himself called back, telling Powell that if "it was Ron's time to die, to let him die."
Powell, who was later indicted for possession of an illegal silencer in connection with this case, denied he was hired as a hit man to kill Miscavige's father. The indictment was later dismissed after Powell reached an agreement with prosecutors to enter a diversion program.
The Church of Scientology has adamantly denied the claims in Powell's report.
David Miscavige's attorney told the Times, "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."