Where is David Miscavige’s Wife?
Scientology is one of the most controversial ‘religions’ in the world. This is due in part because of their high-profile celebrity connections, their strange genesis (from the wicked imaginings of a Science Fiction writer — L. Ron Hubbard), their history of ‘shunning’ those that they deem suppressive to the belief system and the reputation of being an expensive religion for their disciples.
Scientology gained a lot of notoriety within their short fifty-year history with films based on their lure (Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master), documentaries about the inner workings of their organisation (Going Clear by Lawrence Wright) and some of the most famous people in the world propping up their public image or former members that are ‘exposing’ the truth behind the religion (actress Leah Remini’s more recent defection).
From their less than humble origins to their status as an official religion in the USA (according to the IRS), and outlawing the religion in countries such as Germany and France — Scientology has been shrouded in mystery, dodgy press and the church has arguably been damaging to many of their celebrities’ reputations (Tom Cruise’s image has certainly taken a hit).
But one mystery that has somewhat been swept under the rug is the disappearance of Shelly Miscavige, wife of the COB (Chairman of the Board) David Miscavige.
David Miscavige is the current leader of the church and has the designation of “Chairman of the Board” as well as “Captain of the Sea Org.” The Sea-Org was a literal Navy originally commanded by Hubbard himself which sailed the high-seas in the name of Scientology.
David Miscavige is a close personal friend to Tom Cruise. David was an original deputy to the late founder L. Ron Hubbard and had been working in the upper hierarchy of the Church since he was a teenager. David’s rise to the top of the church has been meteoric. From humble beginnings in Pennsylvania (where he maintains a thick Philly accent) to COB for Scientology. Although David’s reign as head of the church has seen the religion unquestionably rise and rise, and despite the numerous controversies Miscavige has been linked to (beatings, imprisonment, bullying, vulgar behaviour towards underlings) — the real hot question that remains unanswered as far Mr. Miscavige is concerned is — where is Shelly Miscavige — the leader’s wife.
Shelly was last seen publicly in August 2007 (some reports state 2006). Apparently, the week before Shelly’s disappearance, David went ballistic at his wife while she carried out late night administration on behalf of the church.
This occurred around late 2006. The last sighting by other members of the Church.
It was actress Leah Remini that brought the missing spouse to the forefront of public consciousness. Leah Remini is famous for her role as sassy Carrie Heffernan on the extremely popular sitcom the King of Queens. But Leah was also a devout Scientologist during her stint on King of Queens and her recent defection has seen her labelled as an enemy of the church.
Remini spent millions of her own money to fund the church (as well as $300,000 to leave the Church) and Leah had the inside ear of the church during her time within. Remini attended Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006 and it was there that she first noticed that the First Lady of Scientology was not in attendance at the Scientologist’ event of the century. She questioned where Shelly was, as amicably as possible, to David and was dressed down by church officials with the words “you don’t ever ask about Shelly.” Leah was taken to one side and severely remonstrated for asking the question about the missing wife.
“You do not ask about Shelly!”
Leah’s break from the church came soon after this incident and this has been extremely acrimonious. In 2013 Remini filed a missing person report for Shelly with the Los Angeles Police Department — which the LAPD decided not to pursue.
Rumour has it that Shelly’s initial transgression (and where the ‘split’ started) was for filling out job applications without David’s knowledge or permission (as reported by The New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright). Shelly was also concerned about David’s cold and hostile behaviour towards her and allegedly had stopped wearing his wedding ring (or so Shelly believed).
Misbehaving Scientologists have been known to allegedly get themselves locked up in “The Hole” — a group of buildings where people are held ‘captive’.
Scientology denies the existence of any holes.
Since her lack of whereabouts there has been rampant speculation and intrigue into where exactly Shelly is. David Miscavige’s own father Ron Miscavige gave an interview to Australia’s Sixty Minutes in 2019 where he was quoted as saying the following:
“Shelly, she’ll never be free… I know it’s difficult to believe, but the worst thing about this is that I’m telling you the truth… they don’t have a conscience and that lets them do it…”
When asked if she believed Shelly to be alive a stone-faced Leah Remini said:
“I hope so.”
Ron Miscavige left the church in 2012 and was subsequently shunned by his own son David since his departure. This is a common act in Scientology. Those that wish to leave the church will be deemed a ‘Suppressive Person’ by those within the church and all contact must cease immediately. This of course is a common trait of many “destructive cults”. The philosophy that — those that are not with us will therefore be deemed as against us. David has shunned his own father. And the rumour mill believes that Shelly has been forced away from both the church and the public eye in the same way David did to his own father Ron. Thereby Shelly is deemed a SP (a Suppressive Person).
The LAPD police have stated they will not pursue any missing persons enquiries into her disappearance deeming the missing persons report is “unfounded.”
The Hole is an unofficial nickname for the Scientology Gold Base. Located in the town of Hemet in Riverside County, California. It is two double wide trailers joined together with bars on the windows and guards on the door.
Mike Rinder (former international spokesperson of the church) was ‘imprisoned’ in the Hole for two years. Rinder claims that he was beaten by David Miscavige many many times. Rinder also claims that he has witnessed beatings from Miscavige hundreds of times. Mike Rinder was sent to the hole under the pretext of lengthy reflection.
The purpose of the Hole (which the church denies is a prison) was an intended place of both reflection and ‘figuring’ it out for residents. However, the claim is that the Hole is a prison and many people have been subject to imprisonment for over a decade. The Hole could very well be hiding the former Queen of Scientology — Shelly Miscavige.
In July 2012 the speculation was finally addressed by the Church where they wrote a letter to two UK newspapers stated that Shelly is fine and devotes most of her time to the church and cannot be deemed as “missing.”
A Match Made in Xenu
When David married Shelly in December 1982, Shelly viewed Miscavige as the reincarnation of Simon Bolivar. While Shelly herself viewed herself as Manuela Sáenz. The pedestal of which they placed themselves was a very strange and yet, very large one.
Shelly had been within the church since the age of 12. Supportive of her husband’s rapid rise within the Church, Shelly’s own mother had died in 1985 from three rifle shots to the chest and a superficial slash mark on her wrists — the death was deemed a suicide. A former Scientologist remarked to hear David Miscavige state that ‘the bitch got what she deserved’ when he mentioned his Mother-in-Law’s death.
The fall-out of Shelly’s mother’s unusual death and the preceding divorce from the church did not affect her status during this period. Shelly was closely involved in the Church’s relationship with the Church’s highest profile member, Tom Cruise.
Shelly helped audit (think Catholic confessional) Penelope Cruz when she first entered the Church of Scientology during her relationship with Tom Cruise. Shelly was involved in the Purification Rundown program endorsed by the church. After the Cruise-Cruz breakup Shelly was allegedly heavily involved in the pursuit to find Tom Cruise a new partner (which eventually lead to his relationship with Katie Holmes).
Shelly’s role within the Church was clearly not pedestrian. She was (or still is…) an active member with high profile relationships and rigorous programmes within Scientology.
So, where is Shelly?
Shelly had spent her whole life conveying orders and gathering intelligence for her husband. She and David had a respectful relationship towards one another in public. In the eyes of other Sea Org members Shelly was brittle and imperious. However; she was also one of the only members that openly challenged David Miscavige’s physical assaults against Scientology members. She may have strayed just a bit too close to the sun in challenging her husband.
“She’ll be out of sight and out of mind until the day she dies.”
A former Scientology member.
There’s very little concrete to go on beyond rampant speculation (and we all want to avoid any slander suits from the church). However, what we do know is that Scientology has (rightly or wrongly) been labelled a cult with a history of purging those that they deem to be enemies.
We know that allegations have been made that David Miscavige is a violent bully with further allegations of humiliating and degrading behaviour towards those beneath Mr. Miscavige. He is not adverse to violence, intimidation and ‘shutting people away’.
We know that a pseudo prison is operating in California and that members are given lengthy periods of ‘reflection.’ We know that David Miscavige’s wife has not (or barely) been seen since 2007 and we know that, despite LAPD’s lack of interest in the case, there have been demands by Miscavige’s own family to know where Shelly Miscavige is.
She is more than likely still alive. But what kind of life would that be if you are being heavily suppressed by a destructive cult. A morbidly punishing life.
Wherever she is… we should all wish her well.
In the words of Scientology: “WE STAND TALL.”
Going Clear by Lawrence Wright.