UPDATE: LAPD CLOSES CASE WITHOUT BRIEFING LEAH REMINI ON HER MISSING-PERSON REPORT (See update below)
Leah Remini has taken a surprising new step, the Underground Bunker has learned.
After speaking with the Los Angeles Police Department, we have confirmed that on Wednesday Remini filed a missing-person report for Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly Miscavige, who has not been seen in public in six years.
As we reported when we broke the news July 8 of Remini’s departure from Scientology, one of the main reasons she began to question her involvement in the church was discovering at the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in November 2006 that Miscavige was there without his wife, who had disappeared without explanation. When Leah asked about it, then church spokesman Tommy Davis told her, “You don’t have the fucking rank to ask about Shelly.”
In other stories, we have explained that in late 2005 or early 2006, Shelly was transferred from Scientology’s International Base near Hemet, California to a secret compound near Lake Arrowhead in the mountains above Los Angeles. This compound, the headquarters of the Church of Spiritual Technology, is home to only a dozen or so Scientologists who are completely cut off from the outside world. We’ve been told that Shelly has been there for the past six years. But Miscavige and his attorneys have so far refused to publicly confirm her location there, and they have not produced her to confirm that she is in good health.
Now, Remini has put enormous pressure on the church to do just that by involving the LAPD.
Their job won’t be easy. Remini filed the report in Los Angeles, where Scientology’s international administrative headquarters are downtown, as well as many other church facilities. Before she vanished, however, Shelly Miscavige was living and working at the church’s international management headquarters on a 500-acre compound near Hemet, California, which is in Riverside County. The CST compound, where we believe Shelly is being held today, is near Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County. This jurisdictional jigsaw puzzle is complicated by the church’s relationship with law enforcement agencies, which includes a cozy friendship with Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, as well as a history of support from the Riverside County board of supervisors.
But Leah Remini’s involvement may prove a major shift in that calculus.
Our sources tell us that Remini has been dealing with an enormous reaction to the news of her defection. She’s been inundated with reactions from other church members who find themselves also having grave doubts about Scientology leader David Miscavige, and are also facing the ravages of Scientology’s toxic policy of “disconnection,” which tends to tear families apart.
Remini has been busy dealing with her family’s safety, the alleged abuses of Scientology’s Sea Org workers, the disconnection policy, as well as the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige and whether she has freedom of movement or has been convinced she is being punished for her own shortcomings.
We had previously been told that Remini had considered Shelly a friend, and we now have photographic evidence of it, obtained from our sources in the church…
The two were photographed at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre gala, circa 2005.
At another year’s CC gala, Shelly, left, and Leah Remini’s husband Angelo Pagán are seen with Barbara Ruiz.
Barbara and Shelly were close friends, and our sources tell us that Barbara may also be at the CST Headquarters near Lake Arrowhead.
And now we’ve also heard from our sources that Leah Remini is concerned about Barbara’s disappearance. We’re told that sometime last year, she contacted Barbara’s ex-husband, Javier Ruiz, who also worked at ASI but is no longer working for the church. Leah did not, however, get a satisfactory response about Barbara’s current whereabouts, and subsequently, Javier turned her in to Scientology ethics officers for asking about his ex-wife. We have previously made attempts to contact Javier Ruiz, with no luck.
Javier is currently married to Brittany Sierra Garrett, who was identified four years ago by former Scientology executive Jefferson Hawkins as one of Scientology’s “Facebook police,” who patrol the social media landscape, urging church members to de-friend anyone who has been “declared a suppressive person” — excommunicated by the church.
We have made another request for a statement from Leah Remini with her publicist, and if we hear back, we’ll let you know.
We’re looking forward to finding out if the LAPD has the rank to ask about Shelly Miscavige.
UPDATE: LAPD Officer Gregory Baek tells us that detectives have made contact with Shelly Miscavige and now consider the case closed and classified as “unfounded.”
(That news started filtering out a few hours ago, first with an unnamed LAPD source to the New York Daily News.)
But here’s the thing. Our sources tell us that Leah Remini, who filed the report earlier this week, had not been briefed by the LAPD and was told the case was still open late this afternoon.
We asked Officer Baek — Would the LAPD begin telling the press and public that the case was closed without briefing the person who made the missing-person report?
“That depends on the situation and the case, and the detective will decide which will get first,” he told us. “I don’t know exactly what happened.”
Well, that’s reassuring.
So the public still has no confirmation on where Shelly Miscavige is, what condition she’s in, and why she hasn’t been seen at church events in the last seven years.
And Leah Remini, as far as we know, has received no answers to her questions.
RESCHEDULED: Prepare For an Epochal Meeting of the Minds
Because of today’s breaking news, we’ve moved our special appearance by PZ Myers to tomorrow morning…
Pharyngula goes whole track! Has PZ Myers met his match in the genius of L. Ron Hubbard and biological evolution, Scientology style? Join us tomorrow morning to find out!
Narconon Arrowhead’s Medical Detox Shuts Down
Narconon Arrowhead, Scientology’s flagship drug rehab facility in Oklahoma, has been mired in investigations and lawsuits since three patients died in only nine months — the last was Stacy Murphy in July 2012. Publicity over her overdose death led to a new state law to increase regulation of the facility, and its executive director, Gary Smith, lost his counseling certification. Now, Jeanne LeFlore at the McAlester News-Capital is reporting that Narconon Arrowhead’s satellite medical detox facility in McAlester has shut down after its temporary permit expired. “The permit expired May 16 after Narconon Arrowhead failed to correct deficiencies found by the state during earlier inspections,” LeFlore writes. The facility had opened in 2011.
We turned to former Narconon Arrowhead president Luke Catton for his thoughts on the closure. He confirmed that Narconon — which is a non-medical program that uses Scientology training in place of drug counseling — had begun to experiment with separate facilities for medical detox.
“A couple of Narconon centers have tried this,” he tells us. “They can get $500 a day per patient or more. And when they opened that facility two years ago, they started relying heavily on that income. They could get people in who normally wouldn’t go to a Narconon, and it opened up a new line on insurance. Insurance policies will pay up to $1,000 a day for medical detox.”
The satellite medical detox facility’s closure, however, doesn’t affect the licensing of the main Narconon Arrowhead facility in Canadian, Oklahoma, he added. We’re still waiting to see if that will be affected by the new state law.
The Final Chapter in the Scott Campbell Saga
Karen de la Carriere, J. Swift, and Angry Gay Pope finish up this fascinating series on former Sea Org worker Scott Campbell…
Posted by Tony Ortega on August 8, 2013 at 07:00
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