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David Miscavige turns 58 today, and we’re celebrating with tales of birthdays past

On April 30 1960, a celestial spirit trillions of years old began a new meat-body lifetime by jumping into a newborn twin baby boy in Bucks County, Pennsylvania who was given the name David Miscavige. His sister was named Denise — she also turns 58 today — and their parents were Ron and Loretta. As Ron says in his recent memoir, Dave was a sweet little kid, and so he often wonders — what the hell happened?

Today, David Miscavige is the ruthless leader of a totalitarian organization so dedicated to his every whim, its members sacrifice what little they have to shower him with gifts.

We checked in with a couple of his former Sea Org subordinates to tell us about what Miscavige birthdays are like inside the secretive organization.

Amy Scobee: One year I was invited to go to the Officer’s Lounge on DM’s birthday. When he came in with his entourage, he told me that I could “feel his hair,” and he put his head towards me. I said, “No, that’s OK” (feeling completely awkward). Then he persisted, “No really, feel it, it feels totally natural.” Because I continued to hesitate, other people around him started feeling his hair saying, “Oh WOW, feels amazing!” I didn’t twig until much later that he must have just gotten hair plugs – which explains his full head of hair, compared to his mostly bald brother and father!


Marc Headley: Every April at the Int Base, the idea was that we would get something bigger and better for David Miscavige’s birthday than the year before. Even though he was independently wealthy and could buy himself whatever we wanted, for some reason it was important that folks that got paid less than 30 cents an hour all chip in and buy him something nice as well. This was not only true for the staff of Golden Era Productions. This was the same for all the staff of ASI, CST, RTC, CMO INT, FSO, FLB, CMO CW, Exec Strata, Freewinds, IAS, CMO Ship, CMO CW, CMO UK, CMO ANZO, CMO PAC, CMO IXU, CMO EUS, CLO WUS, CLOS EUS, etc. Basically, all Sea Org units around the world would pool their individual staff pay and they would each buy a gift for David Miscavige for his birthday.

The sort of gifts he received would invariably change, depending on his latest hobbies. Super expensive camera lenses, camera housings, shoes made in Italy, ultralight bicycle, suits, motorcycles, you name it. He was getting 30-40 of the best presents you could imagine ever getting, every year I was there. Now in RTC, they would usually get paid every week. In Gold, some weeks we would get only $20 or no pay at all instead of the $46.25 (this was the net of $50 after taxes) for our 120-hour work week. Until Dave’s birthday, the RTC folks (there were only 30 to 40 of them) would throw in their entire pay every single week for a few weeks. In Gold, they would try to get at least $5-$10 a week or so leading up until his birthday, and Treasury would make certain that those weeks the staff received their full pay allocation. It would usually be announced by the Port Captain Office at the start of April that “we are trying to get COB such and such, and this was all coordinated among the other orgs so that no org would get him the same thing.”

By the early 2000s, he had gotten so much stuff, there were storage units built next to one of his buildings to hold all the crap he had. He had at least 10 different vehicles, cameras galore, suits for days and any other highfalutin gift you could get out of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. One of David Miscavige’s favorite things to do was drive around the property and do “inspections,” a/k/a terrorize us. Some of these inspections could lead to a beat down or an RPF assignment for whoever was present for one of these inspections and that would almost always result in at least a bunch of us staying up all night to remedy something Dave found unworthy. Well for most of the time I was there he would travel around the base on his Yamaha TW200 motorcycle. In 1990 when I arrived at the base there were about 15 of these and he had a red & black one. One year a custom TW was made for him that was green and yellow (Dianetics colors). He drove this around for a few years until a super custom TW was made for him that was insane. It was Gold and even had a custom “COB” gas cap and all sorts of craziness. It took months to make and I am pretty sure there were little or no stock parts left on the thing by the time it was finished. The problem with this motorcycle was that you could hear him coming from 20 miles away. He had this thing where he liked to just “appear” and when you can hear his bike from anywhere on the property, the days of Dave being able to sneak up on you, unannounced, were over. He rode it a few times and then he just started showing up in a car.

I am not sure if this next gift was dreamt up out of the problem with the latest superbike or who actually thought of this gift. What we were told at a crew muster is that we would be getting him a golf cart for his birthday. But this was not just any golf cart, this was a golf cart limo. A stretch EZGO gold cart. Now the Int Base property is around 500 acres. There were lots of pedal bikes, lots of motorcycles, but only a few golf carts. I am not sure why no one else had golf carts. I remember maybe a handful of folks that rocked a golf cart.


[An EZ-GO stretch limo golf cart]

Anyway, the cart was made. It had a custom blue paint job, five rows of seats and it was the stupidest looking thing you ever saw. Dave Miscavige and the rest of the Lollipop Guild could ride on this thing at the same time and still have room for Dorothy and the rest of the gang. The best part is that it came with a super ghettotastic rain cover that snapped to the roof and ran all the way around the sides of the cart. It was also electric and completely quiet. You could barely hear it coming if you were standing right outside when it pulled up. Somehow life was so crazy at the Int Base that no one thought this was a bad idea and we all chipped in and paid for this monstrosity. Well, no surprise, we were told that there was some “legal” reason Dave Miscavige could not accept the cart as a birthday gift. Something about him not being able to directly benefit from a gift that a CSI corporation had paid for. The truth was he hated the cart and wanted nothing to do with it. He had no problem accepting the 7 series BMW ASI bought him as a gift, but this cart was “illegal” and he couldn’t accept it. It was the only time in my 15 years there that I had heard of him refusing a gift. The cart was re-gifted to the Port Captain Office and I just realized, I don’t think we ever got given our money back. I could have bought some toilet paper with that cash. Happy Birthday Dave!


Make your plans now!


Wow, we’re now less than two months out, and Chee Chalker is working hard to make sure things are going to run smoothly at this year’s HowdyCon in Chicago, June 21-23. As in past years, we’re looking forward to meeting readers of the Bunker, culminating in Saturday night’s main event.

The biggest difference this year is that our Saturday night event is separate from that evening’s dinner. Chee is setting up an inexpensive pizza dinner that you don’t need to pay for ahead of time, after which we’ll walk over to the theater where our event, hosted by Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte, will take place. Because it’s a separate event, we’re asking that you pay $10 each to get into the Saturday night event, which will help us recoup what the Bunker paid for the venue. (We have never made a penny on our HowdyCon meetups, we only try to break even.)

Please email your proprietor (tonyo94 AT gmail) in order to reserve your spot for Saturday night’s main event. Seating is limited, and we’re going to have some really interesting people on stage and they may make a few announcements that you don’t want to miss.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,100 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,703 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 246 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,309 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,083 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,857 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,203 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,697 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,737 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,449 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 975 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,064 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,204 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,524 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,499 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 855 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,157 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,263 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,666 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,538 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,120 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,625 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,869 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,978 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 30, 2018 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | 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 non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news


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