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The father of Scientology leader David Miscavige has written a book about his son provocatively titled Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me – and David Miscavige has threatened to sue over the book, which its U.K. publisher says details the younger Miscavige's "brutal approach to running the organization." In the first excerpts from an interview Ron Miscavige did with ABC, he talks about his estranged son's childhood and says he "wasn't always that way."
"When he was a kid, I am telling you, he was a lovable kid," Ron Miscavige, who introduced David and other family members to Scientology in the '60s, tells ABC's 20/20 in an interview airing this Friday in advance of the memoir, due out May 3.
According to the publisher's description of the book, the elder Miscavige opens up about his son's rise to prominence within the controversial church, which counts celebrities including Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley among its members. As a young man, Miscavige worked directly with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and eventually assumed control of the church following Hubbard's death in 1986.
Ron, who admits his son grew up in a dysfunctional household, says David began getting into fistfights in the first grade and grappled with severe asthma attacks.
"He enjoyed having a fight," he says. "And I'm sure he instigated it ... He's a tough kid. I mean, for his size, he's like a stick of dynamite." Ron also said that young David had a tendency to complain about other people: "He would come home and start complaining about somebody and I would say, 'Hey, come on, you're like Little Bad News, what the hell is this?' ... and then he would knock it off."
Although David Miscavige has not commented on the book directly, Monique Yingling, an attorney representing the church, spoke to 20/20 and called Ron Miscavige's book "a literary forgery."
"On a personal level, I think he [David] is probably very, very sad that his father would do this," she also said.
"There seems to be no explanation except that his father is trying to make a buck off his name," she continued. "So I think there's that level of sadness and I'm sure a sense of betrayal."
Attorneys working on behalf of the Scientology leader contacted Silvertail Books, which is publishing his father's memoir in London, threatening to sue if the book is published next month.
"You are now on notice of the highly defamatory content of the subject book," according the letter, which was first published by noted Scientology reporter Tony Ortega.
"In the event that you proceed ... our client will be left with no alternative but to seek the protection of UK/Irish defamation and other laws. Accordingly, even at this late stage, we would urge you to reconsider your decision to proceed ... [with] what clearly will be a totally unjustified, premeditated attack on our client's reputation and character."
The letter reportedly indicated that the U.S. publisher, St. Martin's Press, received a similar letter.
Silvertail Books publisher Humfrey Hunter told The Hollywood Reporter that the book is still expected to be released on schedule.
"My plans for the book haven't changed at all since I received the letter. Full legal due diligence has been carried out on the manuscript and I am both confident in its integrity and very proud that Silvertail is publishing it. Ron's story is an important one, and he is a brave man to be telling it."
Scientology Leader David Miscavige's Father Writes Memoir About Son, Get's Sued by Church
David Miscavige has threatened to sue over the book
That being said I am fully aware that my circle of people I know well enough to know what books they would or would not read dont account for a large percentage of the worlds populace.
like a spandex onesie.
Missing-person reports have been filed with the Los Angeles Police Department concerning Miscavige. At least two such reports have been filed; one is reported by Lawrence Wright, though he does not state who submitted it, while another was filed in August 2013 by the actress Leah Remini. Detective Gus Villanueva, in response to the missing person report, said: "The LAPD has classified the report as unfounded, indicating that Shelly is not missing." In August 2013, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that detectives met with her in person following a missing-persons report filed by actress Remini. The Church of Scientology will not comment on Miscavige's location, though its former spokesman Tommy Davis said he knew her whereabouts and refused to reveal her location. In July 2012, responding to press accounts of speculation on Miscavige's whereabouts, two UK newspapers were informed by lawyers indicating they represented Mrs. Miscavige "that she is not missing and devotes her time to the work of the Church of Scientology." Former members of the Sea Org have said that they believe Miscavige is at the compound of the Church of Spiritual Technology – a Scientology corporation – at Running Springs in San Bernardino County, California. According to Noriyuki Matsumaru, who worked for David Miscavige as a finance officer in the Religious Technology Center, her husband sent her a sweater and gloves for Christmas one year.
I did not know his father might have given him the idea, ColdWisdom, you did a lot of research on this subject according your OP, have you ever heard of this?
Ewww. I applaud you on that metaphor. I love unique metaphors, and that one is about as unique as it gets.
like a spandex onesie.
Scientology leader David Miscavige is FINALLY pictured with wife Shelly who has not been seen in public since 2007 and was reported missing by Leah Remini in photo released by father Ron
- Scientology leader David Miscavige and his wife Shelly are seen together in a newly released photo
- The picture was shared by David's father Ron Miscavige and also shows his brother Ron Jr., his sister Lori and their children
- Shelly has not been seen in public since 2007 and in 2013 her friend Leah Remini filed a missing-person report
- Shelly spoke with members of the Los Angeles Police Department at that point and said she was not missing
- A 2014 report claimed Shelly was sent away to a secret Church facility in 2006 after making executive decisions behind her husband David's back
A never-before-seen photo released by the father of David Miscavige shows the controversial Scientology leader posing with his family - including his wife Shelly who has been reported missing multiple times over the past few years.
Ron Miscavige appeared on Good Morning America Monday to promote his upcoming book about the Church, Ruthless, and shared a family photo with his wife, children and grandchildren from when they were all still members of Scientology.
Since that time Ron and his wife have left the Church, as has his oldest son Ron Miscavige Jr. and his family.
Everyone else remains in Scientology including Shelly, who was the subject of a 2013 missing-person report filed by her friend Leah Remini after she had not been seen in several years.