Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology leader’s father signs a book deal, for ‘IF HE DIES, HE DIES’

RonMiscavigeSrRon Miscavige Sr., 79, the father to reclusive Scientology leader David Miscavige, 55, has signed a deal with major publisher St. Martin’s Press to issue his book about his son and Scientology titled “If He Dies, He Dies.”

The title is a reference to a now infamous story that came out in the Los Angeles Times this April about the arrest of two private investigators in Wisconsin who told police they were being paid $10,000 a week by David Miscavige to surveil his father, and had been doing so for more than a year.

At one point while they were watching Ron in a Walmart parking lot, he clutched at his chest and the private eyes believed he was having a heart attack (he was actually fumbling with his phone). When they called their handlers for advice, the private eyes say David Miscavige himself came on the line and told them to do nothing — if it was Ron’s time to die, then so be it.

It was a stark moment that confirmed what other longtime former Scientology members have said about Miscavige and his ruthless style of running the 63-year-old organization. And this won’t be the first book taking a hard look at him that comes from his own family. In 2013, Miscavige’s niece, Jenna Miscavige Hill, painted her own harrowing portrait of the man in her memoir, Beyond Belief.

Ron has reportedly been working on his book for several years. When the private investigators, Dwayne and Daniel Powell, spilled their guts in lengthy taped police interviews (Dwayne was facing a serious ten-year charge for possession of an illegal silencer at the time), one of the things they claimed was that Ron had been paid off by the church to keep him from completing his book.

In the 1970s Ron introduced his adolescent son to Scientology looking for a cure for David’s asthma. The entire family then joined and went to England for more training. Eventually, David became the movement’s leader as its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, went into seclusion in 1980 and then died in 1986. Ron, meanwhile, played trumpet at Scientology events, and was living at Scientology’s secretive international base near Hemet, California when he made a dramatic escape — we broke that story in July 2012.


After living with his son Ronnie Jr. in Virginia for a while, Ron Sr. then moved to Wisconsin to be closer to his wife’s family. According to the Powells, the church purchased him a home there, in another apparent attempt to keep him quiet. In the meantime, Ron sold exercise equipment (pictured) and put out a couple of self-published books of early family memories.

But then in 2013 the Powells were arrested and Ron learned that his son had him under surveillance by heavily armed men. And he learned about what his son said about his apparent “heart attack.”

Now, Ron has signed a book deal, and we hear he’s hoping it comes out as soon as next spring. We sure look forward to reading it.

In the meantime, expect Scientology to attempt to “dead agent” Ron by smearing him. One possible method will be by bringing up Ron’s 1985 arrest for attempted rape — an incident that Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jason Nark dug into three years ago and found that the case involved a torn blouse and an iffy accusation. But expect Scientology to make Ron sound like a fiend.

He also might want to make sure he’s not being tailed.


We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our upcoming appearances (and check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour)…

July 12: Washington DC, Center for Inquiry (with Paulette Cooper)

July 14: Hartford, MARK TWAIN HOUSE (with Tom Tomorrow)

July 17: Denver, The Secular Hub, 7 pm (with Chris Shelton)

July 20: Dallas, Times Ten Cellar, 7 pm (with Robert Wilonsky)

July 22: Houston, Fox and Hound, 11470 Westheimer Road, sponsored by Humanists of Houston

July 24: San Antonio, Folc Restaurant, 6 pm

July 25: Austin

July 29: Paris (with Jonny Jacobsen)

August 4: London, Conway Hall, (with John Sweeney)

August 24: Boston, Boston Skeptics in the Pub, 7 pm

Sept 15: Arizona State University

Sept 23: Cleveland

Sept 24: Minneapolis

Sept 27: Portland

Sept 28: Seattle

Sept 30: Vancouver, BC


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 30, 2015 at 16:10

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

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email