David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology, published a picture of his father in Nazi uniform days before the elder Miscavige is set to publish an exposé on his son and the church.
Ronald Miscavige’s book, slated to be released on May 3, is entitled “Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me” and is meant to reveal new information about the secretive sect and the ascent of David Miscavige to its leadership.
In an apparent bid to discredit the elder Miscavige, 80, the Church of Scientology published a photo of him dressed in a black suit with a paper armband on the right sleeve with a swastika drawn on it, the US tabloid TMZ reported on Friday. It is not clear from the report when the photo was taken.
The church also sent several letters to the book’s publisher claiming that Ronald Miscavige was a racist who would casually use the N-word.
Scientology — Leader's Father Snapped in Nazi Uniform … Son Disowns Him https://t.co/5G9exCesIe
— TMZ (@TMZ) April 30, 2016
A representative for the church told TMZ, “The behavior exhibited in this photo and described in the letters is an anathema to David Miscavige and was what compelled him to try to find a way to keep his father in check.”
The church leader has disowned his father, the report said.
The church also claimed the elder Miscavige liked to sing the line, “There is a n***** in the alley with a hard-on, spread the lard on, rub it in,” to the tune of the “National Emblem March,” according to the report.
Ronald Miscavige told ABC News’ 20/20 on Thursday that he had to “escape” from the Church of Scientology, which has been led by his son since its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, died in 1986.
For him, that included a physical decamping from the 500-acre Scientology compound known as the “Gold Base,” located two hours east of Los Angeles, in Hemet, California.
“You can’t leave. You think you can just walk out? No. You will be stopped,” he told ABC.
The elder Miscavige, who produced music for the church, described in the interview how, over a few months, he conditioned the compound’s guards into letting him drive across the street to the local music store every Sunday.
One Sunday, Miscavige said, with his wife in the car, “I drove out slowly so it wouldn’t arouse suspicion. When I turned left, I put my foot right to the floorboard… I knew we were free. I knew they couldn’t catch us.”
During the interview, the church leader’s father described how his son had gone from a “lovable kid” in 1976 to a “ruthless” leader after joining the “Sea Org” in Scientology’s spiritual headquarters, the Flag Land Base, in Clearwater, Florida. The “Sea Org” has been described as the “clergy” of the Scientology Church.
In a written statement to ABC, the Church of Scientology accused Ronald Miscavige of “seeking to make money on the name of his famous son” by publishing the expose.
“Ronald Miscavige was nowhere around when David Miscavige ascended to the leadership of the Church of Scientology,” the statement said.