Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (2016) s03e05 Episode Script

Where is Shelly?

- Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes made it official with a Scientology-style wedding, exchanging vows in a royal fashion at a 15th-century castle in Bracciano, Italy.
- When David Miscavige's wife, Shelly, didn't show up at the Tom Cruise wedding of the century, it was a very, very strange state of affairs.
Leah was the only person who said something about that.
It set off a chain of events which ultimately led to Leah leaving Scientology, and it was also a very significant moment in the history of Scientology.
Because it changed a lot of the media focus about Scientology.
She's the First Lady of a controversial religion, but ten years ago, she disappeared from public view.
- Vanished from public sight This is Shelly Miscavige A decade ago, hasn't been seen since 2006.
Why is this now coming up again? Is it just continued questions? - Since she's left, a lot of high-ranking former members of Scientology who were in that inner circle that David and Shelly Miscavige ran at the very top, have left.
- Where is Shelly? - I am the writer of the textbooks of Scientology.
The aim and goal is to put man in a mental condition where he can solve his own problems.
- Without any Scientology organization, things are not gonna change on this planet.
- After years of slowly questioning Scientology - Leah Remini in her very public break with Scientology - Scientology, what they do, trying to destroy people, trying to destroy their families when they leave, they create a lot of people who are willing to fight against them.
- Scientology takes tax-free dollars and ruins people's lives.
- This is not the life that I want to live.
I wanted to end my life.
- Some people it takes a year.
Some people it takes ten years of just peeling that onion of how you were manipulated and made to think.
- This season, we really needed to focus on the reason why Scientology is able to do the things that they do.
It's because they have tax-exempt status.
- The people who have bravely come on and told their stories have not told those stories in vain.
They are having an impact.
- We're presenting our case to the world, to the FBI, to the IRS.
- The most important thing that has to be done is the persistent telling of the truth, and that's what you're doing.
- You have to continue to fight.
You have to continue to fight for what's right.
So after Tom Cruise's wedding, I was punished for asking where the leader's wife was.
I'm asking where Shelly Miscavige is, because I knew Shelly.
Because I considered Shelly a friend.
Look, I have correspondence from Shelly going back to 2003.
I mean, she would always write you back right away.
So I start writing Shelly letters again Going, "Hey, haven't heard from you," you know, and I'm never getting a response back, So it is really out of character for somebody like Shelly to not write me back.
As time went on, I started to see reports of other people leaving, other executives leaving and talking about abuse.
It was the moment where I was saying, "I don't want to be part of an organization" that is allegedly beating its members, holding them in this place called The Hole, and now I'm wondering, is Shelly dealing with this herself? After hearing nothing from Shelly after six years, I said, "This is enough.
" So I did what I felt I had to do, which was file a police report.
- ABC News confirming that Remini filed a missing person's report with the Los Angeles Police Department on the wife of the man who runs the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige.
Shelly has not been seen publicly in many years making her current whereabouts a source of feverish speculation among the church's many critics.
- So after the police's press release, Scientology issued an official response, and it is typical Scientology.
"Miss Remini also continues her obnoxious efforts" to harass the leader of the Church of Scientology and his wife with whom Miss Remini has been obsessed "and has stalked for years.
" Stalked.
It is amazing how Scientology takes literally anything and turns it into a victim statement.
- Scientology is probably the only organization that could put people forward, like Shelly Miscavige who was very visible in the Scientology community, then take them away, and then say we don't need to answer you where a human being is.
- Nobody outside of David Miscavige and his inner circle and Shelly Miscavige herself actually knows what happened.
- The last time I saw Shelly, she was walking to the passenger side of the car and I looked up at her and she was crying, and she looked at me and it was like she wasn't allowed to have me see her cry, and she wiped the tears, and then she got in the car and left, and that was the last time I ever saw her.
- She could be sick.
She could have died.
She may be being held against her will.
There is an almost unlimited number of theories.
All of those come about because Scientology has never explained it.
- The truth of the matter is, I'd love to leave it alone, but that's not who I am.
If I just let it go, then who's asking about Shelly, and is Shelly just forgotten? - You know, I've known Janice since 1973, and she and Shelly share a lot of the early life experiences.
Their focus in their life was devoted to L.
Ron Hubbard and nothing else.
Janice was one of the original Commodore's Messengers with Shelly on board the "Apollo.
" The Commodore's Messengers were teenagers hand-selected by L.
Ron Hubbard to be with him 24 hours a day.
He was grooming them to be the elite of the elite of Scientology.
Janice and Shelly were two of the original L.
Ron Hubbard Commodore's Messengers.
I too became an L.
Ron Hubbard Commodore's Messenger who worked directly with Hubbard.
- Mentally, she was raised to believe that L.
Ron Hubbard was the savior of mankind, and that was her surrogate father.
- Right.
- Hello.
- Hi.
- How are you? - Good, how are you? - Good, good to see you.
- Good to see you too.
- Thanks for doing this.
- You're welcome.
I'm Janice Gillham Grady, an original Commodore's Messenger for L.
Ron Hubbard with Shelly Miscavige.
- Probably the number one question we're asked - Where's Shelly? - Where's Shelly? So tell me how you guys know each other.
- I went to the ship in January of '68, and in 1970, Clarise showed up, Shelly's older sister.
So we already knew each other, and then a couple years later Shelly showed up, and she was, like, 12 years old.
We were Sea Org members.
We started off with having to wash dishes because we needed to work for our keep.
- And you're parents were Scientologists who were okay with you just putting you on a ship and not being your parents anymore.
- Yeah, they were proud of what we were doing, and we didn't know anything else.
- For dedicated Scientologists, having your child join the Sea Organization is the greatest honor that there is.
Children were turned over by their parents to the care of the Sea Organization exclusively.
Back then, you could send someone as young as 12 or even younger, and that's exactly what happened to Shelly.
- What were you thinking as children that you were doing? - We're here to save the planet.
We're helping people, making it a better world, and since the ship was too big for him to walk around to look for somebody, so Messengers were assigned to him to be his legs and run around the ship to find people and to carry dispatches.
- When Shelly came onto the ship and joined you guys and joined her sister, what was that like for her? - Well, she was much younger than the rest of us so she would get the easy stuff, hold the ashtray and, you know, put his coat on him or take it off.
She was a loner.
Didn't hang out with the girls as much as we all hung out.
You know, it's like the older sisters with the younger one hanging on.
We didn't have parents so we didn't even think of that as an issue for even Shelly, you know? That she didn't have a parent wasn't something we all discussed.
We just kind of lived with it.
It was part of our life to not have a parent.
You know, as a child on the ship without your parents And that was how it was for most of us Messengers The only parental type of attention that we got was from Hubbard himself because that's who we saw every day and related with.
We never talked about our parents.
It just didn't come in, and as you got older, you'd disconnect yourself more and more and more from them.
- Shelly stood out because of her sort of steely eyed intent of, "I am gonna serve L.
Ron Hubbard better than anybody else could serve L.
Ron Hubbard.
" - Shelly was a Messenger in training when we were on the ship.
She wasn't like a Junior Messenger or a Senior Messenger.
She was still learning.
But as time went by, I noticed her dedication grow more and more and more than the rest of us.
She was definitely by the book.
Too much by the book.
- But she learned that from L.
Ron Hubbard, right? - Yes, because that's what she grew is enforcing his orders.
As a parent now, I mean, when I watched my kids growing up, I would look at them and go, "Oh, what were my parents thinking, you know?" I could never have let my children at the age of 11 or 12 go and just be living on their own on a strange ship in a strange country with people I don't know who they are, but my parents viewed what we were doing made them proud because we were working for the man who was leading the way to saving the planet.
On the ship, our schooling was laid out by LRH.
We were never taught history, geography, science, you know, none of that stuff.
We'd have to do Student Hat and - Scientology courses.
- Scientology courses and ship courses as well.
There's times he treated us very well and there were times if you messed up You didn't want to mess up.
As new Messengers were coming and getting trained, they had to clean the existing Messengers' cabins and doing their laundry, and if they messed up on that, Hubbard had actually issued orders that those people were supposed to be locked in closets.
Also, Hubbard used to penalize the students with overboards.
The ship was probably three stories high, and they'd pick the person up and say, "Commit your sins and errors to the deep and hope you will rise a better thetan," and then they'd throw them over the side.
Watching people go over who were weak swimmers or afraid of heights, they were terrified.
I did watch people terrified screaming as they go, or someone having to jump in and pull them over to the side.
Did children go through these types of punishments? I'd have to say yes.
- Sea Org members are raised in an environment where physical and mental abuse is the norm.
Small, petty things like punching someone are irrelevant in the overall scheme of things.
It is seen as a sign of your dedication to accomplishing the aim of clearing the planet that justifies all things being done in order to achieve that aim.
One of the other Messengers told me that Hubbard had said to her, "I am treating you like the Hitler Youth" in that I want you away from your parents so the influence on you is based on me and the Sea Organization.
I don't want anything interfering with that in the way that you are raised.
- Well, that's how we were raised.
One year, it was Father's Day.
We didn't know when Father's Day was.
And he said, "Don't I get anything for Father's Day?" - So L.
Ron Hubbard takes these children and these girls, and he basically creates his own little family.
He takes away their parents, and those kids grow up to believe that L.
Ron Hubbard is their dad.
That's exactly how he wanted it.
- When my sister got married, she had commented and asked if our dad could come to the ship to give her away when she was getting married, and he felt a little insulted that she would even mention bringing her dad to the ship to give her away, so when she got married, he gave her away, and our real father didn't get to come.
One of the other Messengers showed me a dispatch that Hubbard had written to the guardian's office asking them to check into him adopting children from an orphanage around the age of 10 and 11 so that there are no parents influencing them, and that way, he can adopt them and train them into Messengers.
- It's so sick.
- Wow.
So sick.
Were you there to see the beginnings of the romance between Dave and Shelly? - Yeah, because, you know, we were There was a small group of us, probably 40, and then 60 adults, and a small group of Messengers.
Dave, you know, 16 years old, Shelly 16 years old, and maybe there's a handful of them at that age.
- Yeah.
- So maybe there's three girls for two guys.
- Right.
- And so that's kind of how that started off.
- To an outsider, it's a little hard to understand.
This is a very tiny world composed of tens or hundreds of people at the most who you associate with.
You can't have a friendship outside of that organization or that group of people.
Literally, you can't even maintain communication with people outside of that group.
- You know, we'd always joke, "Ah, Dave, you know, maybe Shelly and you would, you know, work out together.
" And then there was a point where the Messengers, we ended up in LA, and Shelly was still in Hemet, and Dave used to Every weekend or liberty that he had, he would either drive up to Hemet or Shelly would drive down so That they could see each other.
- What was he like then, David Miscavige? Charming? - A different person, yeah.
Very charming.
Personable.
We used to call him the kid.
Weddings that we had was always a nice escape from life, so we always enjoyed a good wedding and everyone partied and danced and that type of thing.
- Why do you think you are here and Shelly isn't? - She doesn't know anything else.
- Well, neither did you.
- Well, I didn't either, but you know what? I had a husband who came in when he was 21, so at least he had a little experience outside, and I had a brother outside, and I had a sister outside now.
I was the only one left in there, and slowly you peel the onion, and it comes off in layers, and some people it takes a year, some people it takes ten years of just peeling that onion of how you were manipulated and made to think.
- So you believe she's well? - I don't know.
She might be dead, I don't know.
But I - That's the point, nobody does know.
- Nobody knows, but I've heard rumors that she was sent to CST Church of Spiritual Technology, and I've heard that's where she is.
- Understand as a Scientologist, like, I didn't even know Gold existed, right? Like, I'm going through my Scientology career and I hear about this secret base called Golden Era Productions, you know, I didn't even know that existed.
Now I'm hearing another level of some crazy called CST.
- CST, or Church of Spiritual Technology, was established to "preserve" the writings and words of L.
Ron Hubbard for eternity, for future generations, for future planets.
They have engaged over many years in an extensive program of taking all the written and spoken words of L.
Ron Hubbard and putting them into indestructible form, literally.
Etched onto stainless steel plates, held in titanium containers filled with Argon gas, covered with tiles from the space shuttle to prevent them from ever burning up in an atomic explosion.
This is tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in this program digging underground vaults and storing the writings and words of L.
Ron Hubbard for the future.
The Church of Scientology drew on ancient techniques and pioneered new advances in archival technology to defy the elements and safeguard its most precious asset, it's religious technology.
Passion and perseverance fueled one of the world's youngest religions to take on humanity's oldest adversary, time itself.
- If it was me, I would have had Shelly dressed up all nice and smartly showing everybody on film and giving them a tour of that location, and it would be kind of like, "In your face.
"Here she is doing well, showing you all "what a great job she's doing with this team, this preserving the LRH technology.
" But they missed that opportunity.
I just hope that she is well, but if she is there and if she does want to leave, she has no way out, because that place is fenced in.
There's security guards, there's cameras, and she is a high-security risk.
- Tom DeVocht is a former Sea Org executive who became very close to Dave and Shelly Miscavige.
We hope that Tom has some insight into what might have happened to her and why.
So the reason that we wanted to speak to you was because we've spoken to a few other people about Shelly, and I know that towards the end of her tenure before she disappeared, you were one of the people that was very close to her, so we want to hear, like, your perspective about her.
What you know about her.
What did she know? What was it that caused her to be disappeared in the way that she is being disappeared? - Yeah, and I'm surprised it didn't happen way earlier, personally, but, I mean, "How did she last that long?" The first time I met Shelly, that I remember, I was in Clearwater, Florida.
I knew a bit about her because my little brother, Tony, he was under Shelly.
Tony told me he loved Shelly.
Shelly took him under her wing and seemed to really care about him.
- And what people should know is that it might not sound weird for somebody to be compassionate towards another human being, but this is not normal in the Sea Org to have empathy or compassion.
- But particularly under Miscavige or - Yes, and David Miscavige - Yeah, most everybody, I mean, so I thought, "Okay, compassionate person.
" - Yeah.
- I didn't get the relationship with Miscavige.
The relationship was more she COB assistant, not Shelly, my wife.
- In the case of Dave Miscavige and Shelly Miscavige, I mean, Dave Miscavige was sir, COB, and Shelly was sir, COB assistant.
There's just and you can't question Dave Miscavige, and you can't question Shelly Miscavige, but here's what's significant to this story is that Shelly Miscavige would be penalized for questioning David Miscavige, just as any Sea Org member would be penalized for questioning having the balls to question David Miscavige.
So that needs to be very clear, because you're sitting at home, a wife, going, "You know, hey, if my husband was the head of a corporation," a business, the President of the United States, when he got home, we wives, no, we'd be like, "Hey, what the you doing with this country? "You need to knock that off.
Like, I'm not down with that.
" And the same with a wife of a very powerful husband.
That is not the case here.
- As time went on and I started seeing the inner workings more and I started understanding the dynamics there, it's a whole different story, but this is when Miscavige was taking over.
Everybody was on a first-name basis to begin with that first event.
"Hey, Mike.
Hey, Mark and Dave," and, you know, and then each event it got more and more, "Yes, sir," and he told me, "I don't know why you think you work for Mark Yaeger; you work for me.
" and from an organizational perspective, that was a very wild, weird comment, but it said he's taken over and everybody and the organizational pattern.
He's the guy.
There were wild things that happened like the yelling and screaming, and throwing water and bringing in a fire hose and wetting the place down, just crazy stuff.
In retrospect, like right now I'm thinking, "Shelly was pretty quiet about all that, in fact.
" - She was not a participant.
She was a witness.
- She really wasn't.
- She was always standing, like, a few feet back, required to be there, and had the demeanor of, "I wish I wasn't here.
" - I saw Yaeger, Mark Yaeger, Mark Ingber, Guillome, , Ray Midoff, get the kicked out of them, and I don't mean this isn't a beating pulling heads together at a damn meeting or the throwing water at them.
He flipped the out.
Shelly was screaming at the top of her lungs, "Dave, stop!" It was horrific.
These are guys that were top dogs that got They were his favorite punching bags physically and mentally.
- Wow.
- A couple things that happened with Shelly that were interesting, and this is where I knew she is on the edge too like I was on the edge.
Building 50s RTC building, I was sent to Hemet to finish that building for them.
We were walking through the building, we're on the first floor, and we come around to this corner has a big vault built into the building.
Shelly's standing behind him and we're walking down to that corner and he stops, and he starts rubbing his head and he goes, "Shelly, what did we do with the gold?" - What? - "What did we do with the gold?" - Uh-huh.
- Did we bury it? What did we do with it?" and she, standing behind him, turns a little white and she goes, "I don't know what you're talking about.
" And he goes, "Damn it, did we bury it?" and you could tell something was wrong.
We finished the walk through.
Half an hour later, I get called up, "Come up to my office.
" And I get up there and she goes, "Tom, I'm afraid Dave is losing it.
" When she told me that, I felt relief.
- That she knew something.
- On one hand that I wasn't the only one that thought this.
- Right, so what happened in that moment? What did you say? - I went, "I understand.
" And then you could tell she was sure backpedaling like she was - She was scared that you might report her.
- Yeah, exactly.
She's in the same boat of, "Oh, , you know, this is a friend of Dave's, potentially ONN.
" On the other hand, I work for Dave so, yeah, I could turn her in too.
- Right.
- You, Mike, me, all the guys that got close to Miscavige at one point or another couldn't take it anymore.
She lasted forever, but nobody could stand it, you know what I mean? Really, if you look at the history of it, so many people dropped off.
She just kept going, kept going, and I say that because I had conversations with her where I knew she didn't think much differently than you and I did.
- What did she think? - I think that she knew the guy, David Miscavige, was a nut.
- Right.
- I really did think she knew that in her heart of hearts.
I bet you she did something to be forced to go away.
You have to decide, at some point, "I'm not doing this anymore.
" And at that point - She would do what? - Express that she disagrees.
I don't think Miscavige made her disappear.
I think she had a lot to do with it.
- I see what you're saying.
You're saying you think she disagreed with him and that's where she is where she is.
- Miscavige said he'd remove me, Mike, everybody else.
He didn't.
At some point, we went, "this.
" - Right.
- And he knew we were saying, "this," and I think Shelly probably did the same thing.
I think at some point she put her foot down and said, "I'm done.
I can't take it anymore.
" - And you think that's Her doing that resulted in her being - Hidden.
- Hidden.
- Shelly witnessed virtually everything good, bad, or indifferent that David Miscavige did 24 hours a day for years.
There is no way that Shelly is going somewhere unescorted.
She is too much of a liability to David Miscavige because of her name, because of what she knows, and because she is a potential threat as someone that could be subpoenaed, someone that could be contacted by law enforcement and give information that in extent and in depth nobody else has.
- I can't explain why she didn't crack earlier or disappear earlier or I think that maybe it had to be her belief in Hubbard.
- Yes, we know that she was very loyal to L.
Ron Hubbard because I think she considered L.
Ron Hubbard her father being that she was dropped off into the Sea Org so young.
- That could be.
- L.
Ron Hubbard raised her.
- Or she's just stupid.
And I don't mean it in a degrading way.
- No, no, no, we know that she's not stupid.
- And I'll tell you why I say that.
Norman Starkey.
This is a guy that everybody looked up to at one point because the was the captain of the "Apollo," the ship, and I talked to that guy one time and said, "You know what's going on, I mean, with David," and he goes, "I know, but I'm waiting for Hubbard to get back.
" - There was a lot of people there that believed that.
- So I really think that - Oh, my God.
- And this is, this is the guy, the toughest mother in the Sea Org.
- I just it, like, I never even considered this.
- Oh, , this is very real.
- Scientologists believe you live many lifetimes.
They also believe that L.
Ron Hubbard will return to finish his work in Scientology.
Part of that belief is based on the fact that L.
Ron Hubbard directed that houses be constructed for his return on various Scientology properties around the United States.
I believe that there are six of them that are being built to very detailed specifications for the accommodation of L.
Ron Hubbard in his next lifetime.
- They think he's coming back, and it's so easy to say, "You crazy mother.
" It's so easy to say, "You're crazy as.
" But at the end of the day, if you go back to the indoctrination of the thinking that L.
Ron Hubbard is the savior of mankind or that he's your father, you're gonna do everything to protect it.
They don't believe in David Miscavige, but they believe in L.
Ron Hubbard, and they're waiting for his return, and if she's alive and well, Shelly Miscavige believes that, I think.
- So these guys, Mark Yaeger, Mark Ingber, Guillome, Ray Midoff, these guys get that amount of abuse, they're still there, and I think it's that belief that Hubbard's coming back.
That's the only thing I can make of it - Yeah.
- And I think that Shelly might be the same thing.
She knows a lot more personal And much deeper secrets than we probably knew, and to have her around, she probably would talk, and that's what I mean.
Like her conversation with me about him losing it is a conversation she would have potentially with somebody that she confided, so he has to lock her away, I think, and not chance that; you know what I mean? She knows the whole thing is nuts.
- Yeah, and actually, I think that the fear of talking internally to other people like the Norman Starkeys and the Mark Yaeger who she has known, actually, for longer than Dave.
- Oh, yeah, I agree, totally internal.
She starts talking to those guys, it's gonna start a whole damn - Right, he's scared of a mutiny.
- A coup.
- Yeah, oh, yeah.
- He's scared he's scared if Shelly's - And if anybody could start that, that would be Shelly.
Truly.
- The only person potentially that could start it is Shelly.
- I agree, I agree.
- So not only does he have her separated from the world, right, from the Scientology world, but he has her David Miscavige has her separated from other Sea Org members, makes sense.
Why do you think that no one has done anything about this? - I think it's protected as a religion, and I think you can't The FBI said, "Okay, would you help us on a raid?" "Absolutely.
I would go in, "I'd tell you exactly where to look, "where to find them sleeping in their sleeping bags, everything else, and I think it's a waste of time," and she goes, "Everybody said that.
Everybody's told me the same thing.
Why?" and I said, "They're believers.
" "They are You're gonna walk in there "and nobody's gonna turn on you, but they're all gonna go, 'Hey, we're doing this of our own accord.
'" - No, but if they said, "We have reports that you've been beaten, that you're held against your will " - And nobody's gonna do that.
- No one will do that.
- The guys that would have done that have sat in front of you.
- Right.
- And that's it.
I mean, the guys that are in there, you're gonna get the occasional, you know, one that blows you out of there every once in a while, but it's when you're in there, it is that That's why it's a cult.
- Do you believe that if Shelly was somehow miraculously able to speak that she would tell the truth? Oh, yeah.
I think that if Shelly And who knows, maybe it'll happen.
Shelly is the type that would do it eventually, I think, except for that one belief in Hubbard, but yeah, I think if she got out of there, oh, she'd sit down with you on camera and go, "Oh, no, you have no clue, Leah.
Here's the deal.
" - Well, here's the thing, I wouldn't want Shelly to talk to me.
- You wouldn't want her to talk to you? - I'd want her to go to the FBI and finally shut it the down.
- Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Shelly has seen and heard so much that there is never a chance that David Miscavige will allow her to be in public, to be subpoenaed, because of what Shelly witnessed.
- I was told by someone that they had been contacted by a person who claimed he had been a part of a 24-hour-a-day watch, an armed team who had been located in two houses across the road from the entrance to the Church of Scientology.
Their assignment was to watch to make sure that Shelly Miscavige did not escape.
The only way to really find out anything further about it was to go and take a look for ourselves.
- This private investigator, Robert McClain, also said that he worked for Talon.
- Talon, is a security firm that is the go-to PI security firm that Scientology uses for all really sensitive matters, particularly those dealing with David Miscavige himself.
Yep, standing at the front with a camera.
- The fact that that guy jumped out when all we did was drive by the place supports what McClain said which was those two houses are where the Pis were to watch over the front entrance of CST.
- So over the years in Scientology, I've received many letters from senior executives of Scientology.
One of the letters from David Miscavige is interesting.
"You are a true friend, but I want you to know I very much consider you a personal friend.
" And then he describes what LRH says as a friend.
"'And they stand up for one, give him counsel, "help him in adversity, "safeguard his reputation, won't hear ill of him.
'" "Thank you for being a true friend of mine "and you can know that I have every intent of being the same to you.
" And he is right.
I am a good friend, and a good friend doesn't give up on a friend, so I'll continue to ask, "Where is Shelly?"