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‘Going Clear’: Mike Rinder helps us understand a Scientology document that will creep you out

We have another screenshot from Alex Gibney’s new documentary as we count down the days until Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief airs on HBO Sunday at 8 pm. This time, we’re featuring former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder.

We’ve written extensively about Rinder in the past. We continue to get a steady stream of emails and comments about a series of video interviews we did with him in 2012 at his home in Florida. That piece contains a substantial amount about Rinder’s background and early years in Scientology, including his time on the yacht Apollo with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

If you want to catch up on Rinder’s role in Scientology, please read that piece. Today, however, we have something really amazing that we have been waiting a considerable time to spring on you. It’s a document we obtained some time ago that is as strange as it is rare — it’s a memo written by Scientology leader David Miscavige himself.

Our longtime readers know that we have heard plenty of Miscavige’s words during his interminably long stage extravaganzas at Scientology annual events. But written down communications? It’s not common to see a document written out by Miscavige himself. We often suspect that the letters written to HBO or Vanity Fair or other publications that go out under the name “Karin Pouw” have actually been drafted or heavily edited by Miscavige. But an internal letter that reveals how Miscavige thinks? This is a rare treat.

The letter was written in 2007, and it indicates that it was copied to Mike Rinder. We showed the document to Rinder recently, and he confirmed its authenticity. It was a letter written by Miscavige and copied to him, he says.


It’s a really strange document, filled with allusions and references to past events, and so we’re going to give it to you a few lines at a time, and we hope it gives you some idea of what it’s like to work for Scientology’s head honcho.

May 31, 2007

cc: MR


Dear Bob,

Thank you very much for your report.

Rinder explains that a Sea Org executive named Bob Keenan (“BK”) had sent Miscavige a daily report on May 30, and in this message, Miscavige is responding. He’s “cc’d” to Mike Rinder (“MR”), who was in London at the time, having come out of The Hole in Hemet to help handle BBC reporter John Sweeney. Sweeney had completed the first of two documentaries about the organization, “Scientology and Me,” which had aired on May 14. Rinder had been helping to surveil Sweeney while he was filming, and the church had also filed an official complaint about the documentary with Ofcom, the Office of Communications, a sort of government ombudsman for UK media. Scientology had also produced its own response video, which focused on the way Sweeney had exploded at Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis during filming.

Glad to hear the Ofcom complaint is complete and I look forward to seeing it after it is fully reviewed.

I’ll try to make it by to see that DVD as well.

Here, Miscavige reveals to Keenan that he hasn’t seen the response video yet himself, but he’s hoping for a good result from Ofcom after the church complained about Sweeney’s behavior.

What I’ve been trying to do is get the rest of the ACCs done (so I’m done all materials on the entire Guide Chart — a single-hand, meaning, the likes of that vampire that is occupying England who never was involved in a single ounce of it — sort of a good thing because who would ever want that on their whole track!). I’m continuing to get together the Maiden Voyage OT Summit events which will be held at Flag and I am doing all of the events.

Miscavige now explains what he’s been up to, which is to finish work on Scientology’s big new reveal that year, the “Basics,” of which the Advanced Clinical Courses (ACCs) was a part. Scientology relies on the written works of L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986, and Miscavige can’t technically come out with new material on his own. But several years earlier, he had a brainstorm. He had all of Hubbard’s early works re-edited and redesigned, claiming that there had been “transcription errors” which made the books hard to read. Removing thousands of semicolons, for example, was one of Miscavige’s bragging points. Rinder has told us previously that he was enlisted in this effort, working around the clock to help edit what would be put into the $3,000 package of books and lectures that every Scientologist was expected to purchase in multiple quantities. But here, Miscavige is complaining that ultimately, he had to do everything himself to get things done, and he’s denying that Rinder, “that vampire,” had ever been involved. And a good thing, he adds, because Rinder would have just messed things up, resulting in Scientologists then relying on faulty materials that could affect them through eternity (their “whole track”). Here’s our first sense that Miscavige is writing this letter and copying it to Rinder as a way to let him know that Miscavige considers him a traitor, and lets him know it not by addressing him directly, but in a very passive-aggressive way.

New initiatives would normally be revealed first to the wealthy donors who attend the summer “Maiden Voyage” celebration on Scientology’s private cruise ship the Freewinds, but because the Basics was such a huge collection of materials that had taken a couple of years to produce, Miscavige held Maiden Voyage that year, 2007, at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida — the town known as “Flag” to Scientology.

As for your comm on what happened, I don’t doubt for a second you wouldn’t have engaged in these things.

Rinder says he can’t remember what this response to Bob Keenan might have referred to.

When the Ofcom complaint is completed, how long do you think it will take for you to get MR on a plane to the furthest outreach of Western Australia? I’m not that unkind. I’m willing to give him 10 quid. He thinks I’ve been joking the whole time. What he doesn’t know (and I want you to know) is that I know exactly what he’s been up to for the last month and a half with his fellow workers in the ethics zone. You sent a message a few weeks ago on a place. It seemed about right. If he can’t earn a living on whatever job he gets, he can always sell his body. I could care less. You see, I really do know what he’s been up to. And, when you find out, you’re going to know what a 1.1 is to the extreme.

Here Miscavige continues to complain that Rinder has been betraying him — what Miscavige accused all of the executives he had imprisoned in The Hole — and explains to Keenan that Rinder only thinks he’s joking about sending him to some far-flung location like Western Australia. This is a reference to a strange incident that gets good play in Gibney’s film, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” game of musical chairs at The Hole, which had executives fighting for chairs so they could remain in the prison and not be shipped off to remote Scientology locations. In the film, Rinder explains that once the game was over, Miscavige didn’t send anyone anywhere — it was apparently just a psychological game intended to break down the inhabitants of The Hole like everything else. But here, Miscavige is saying he’s going to show Rinder that he wasn’t joking, and soon, after the Ofcom complaint is resolved, Rinder will be on a plane to some remote location and dumped to fend for himself. Once he’s there, Miscavige says Rinder can “sell his body,” if he needs to, and Rinder’s “covert hostility” (1.1 on the Scientology Tone Scale) will be revealed. He also seems to indicate that Keenan had already suggested some desolate place where Rinder might be dumped.

In the last few weeks, it has not been nice. Do you know that pimple you saw? Well, I popped it. We’re talking two guys buying X-rated movies and masturbating simultaneously in the same room with one being the husband and one being the wife, going through Dean and Deluca (a gourmet mail order catalog) catalogs as husband and wife and the bald-headed guy buying the other one cheese as a favor.

Rinder tells us that the “pimple” Miscavige is referring to here is The Hole, and specifically, two inhabitants of it who were constantly coming in for abuse, Sea Org executives Marc Yager and Guillaume Lesevre. Multiple people who were prisoners in the Hole tell us that Miscavige, for some reason, took particular delight in accusing Yager and Lesevre of being a homosexual couple (which wasn’t true, our witnesses say). Miscavige would refer to the balding Yager as “Cue Ball,” and the aging Frenchman Lesevre as “Cheese-Eater.” Miscavige was obsessed with outing Yager and Lesevre as gay, we’re told, and here he imagines them inhabiting male and female roles in their “relationship.”

We’re talking about the guy who was on the finance lines and refused to get you the finance issues, waiting for R to come back so he can be permanently appointed for the rest of the universe as the International Finance Dictator.

Here Miscavige is referring to another Sea Org executive in The Hole, Wendell Reynolds, who held the position of International Finance Director. Reynolds told Amy Scobee that he wasn’t interested in escaping from The Hole because no matter how bad it got, he had to stick it out until L. Ron Hubbard returned. Miscavige appears to know this, and belittles Reynolds for waiting for Ron (“R”) to show up and make Reynolds International Finance Dictator.

We’re talking about me finding out exactly what Mike was doing in 1982. We’re talking about Marc’s op. We’re talking about me knowing exactly what MR has been doing on his sympathizing for all the SPs who got nothing done.

More Miscavige griping about what a traitor Rinder and Yager are, and how Rinder’s problem is that he has sympathy for the other executives in The Hole, who are “SPs,” suppressive persons — Scientology jargon for evil people who must be expelled from the organization.

Right now you are living with a snake. The thing between me and you, buddy, is you don’t need to tell me all this other stuff. I know you know. And you know I know. And what he doesn’t know is we both know.

The really remarkable thing about Miscavige’s conspiratorial tone here is that he’s copied this to Rinder just to reinforce that he’s no longer in the “we both know” club.


This is excellent.

Miscavige is apparently happy with some feedback Keenan gave on the response video.


Looking forward to getting the final complaint.

Looking forward to working together and starting the next frontier. Man, wait until you see what I’ve got coming. And it’s going to keep coming and coming and coming and coming and coming. Do we really want this decadent crap around us who wanted to do everything to make sure it never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever would come? (And who, despite it all, couldn’t accomplish that?)

This is classic Miscavige. He’s about to reveal a $3,000 package of materials he wants every Scientologist to buy, but he’s already thinking of other initiatives that he’s going to throw at the membership. (And he did, everything from Super Power to GAT II to the constant pressure of the Ideal Org program.) But as always, he’s sure that his own lieutenants are incompetent and want to hold him back, or worse, are secretly working to sabotage him.

If you think I’m giving you free reign, well, interpret it as you wish…. Cheers mate.

Much love

In signing off with the usual Sea Org salutation, “much love,” Miscavige gives Keenan “free reign” to handle Rinder how he sees fit. Rinder tells us the message was very clear, and he didn’t wait around to find out what Miscavige and Keenan would cook up for him. A few days after he received this letter, he tells us, he made his escape, walking away from his post in London and wandering until he reached a train station. He’s never been tempted to go back.

UPDATE: Jefferson Hawkins put a comment on this story that we wanted everyone to see. So we’re adding it here…

If Scientologists had any clue what David Miscavige is really like, they would run for the nearest exit. This letter is just one small example of the crap he spews out constantly. We had to carefully preserve every one of his memos in large binders, and study them, “word clear” them, and so forth. Having to try to make sense of his rambling, illiterate, contradictory instructions was torture in itself. And it all had the same tone: I have to do everything, I am the only one doing anything, I am surrounded by Suppressives who are trying to sabotage everything I do. And the constant stream of sick sexual fantasies about what he imagined other people were doing.

Miscavige hates and despises everyone. He is paranoid to the extreme. Everyone is out to get him. That’s why he removed every major executive and put them in the Hole. They were all SPs. If he seems to favor someone, it is only so he has an audience to spew his venom to. But eventually he turns on anyone, and there is no more dangerous position than to be Miscavige’s temporary “friend” and confidante, as Keenan is in this example. He will inevitably turn on you.

I know people who spent years trying to get on Miscavige’s “good side,” only to realize that he doesn’t have one.


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Actual caption: “Please welcome to post our new staff member at Seattle Day Org, Class V Graduate Auditor Kenny Gagon!!! Kenny, who is currently on New OT VII, is on post now as an HGC Auditor in the Seattle Day HGC and is available to audit you, your family and/or your selectees all the way to Clear. Kenny has had a long and successful career as an Auditor to this point and with Golden Age of Tech II can take you up the Bridge faster and smoother than ever.”


Youth for Human Rights doing…something…in Querétaro, Mexico.


Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 23, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ


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