Scientology leader’s father slams son as ‘military strongman’ living large while followers slave away
Actor Tom Cruise and Scientology head David Miscavige - ( Tom Cruise Facebook/Church of Scientology)

The father of the leader of the Church of Scientology ripped into his own son for living high on the hog while followers of the cult-like religion eke out a meager existence, often giving back their earnings to buy presents for the church leader.

In aa article for the The Daily Beast taken from his book Ruthless, Ron Miscavige admits that he is still a believer in the church, but says that his son, David Miscavige, is "wrecking" the religion

"David has well-appointed apartments or living facilities in all of Scientology’s major centers: the headquarters in Hemet, Los Angeles, Clearwater, St. Hill in England and aboard the Freewinds," the elder Miscavige writes. "As I have mentioned, he has only the highest quality food served at every meal. At the Hemet base, he had an exercise facility built that only he and certain celebrities such as Tom Cruise are allowed to use."

Miscavige notes that, along with the religious organization picking up the tab for all of his son's expenses -- including a fleet of vehicles, motorcycles and expensive hand-tailored suits -- followers are are expected to lavish gifts on him on his birthday as well as on holidays.

"Rank-and-file Sea Org members receive a standard allowance of $50 a week for incidentals. Many weeks, however, this amount is reduced because of financial pressures, sometimes to zero. During some years we were paid nothing throughout most of the year—except when it was time to shell out for David’s Christmas or birthday presents," he explained. "Still, after the weekly staff meeting at which everyone lines up to collect their pay, someone is there to take 30 or 40 percent of their pittance to help buy COB [chairman of the board] a new camera or high-end mountain bike or high-tech gadget. The same thing happens at Christmas when different organizations try to outdo one another to express their gratitude."

Miscavige also slapped down publicity from the church showing all the amenities that come from joining the church's Sea Org -- at the hefty price of committing for a billion years.

"You can bet that church public relations executives will counter what I write by showing the beautiful facilities at the Gold base—the soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, running path with exercise stations, the nine-hole golf course, Olympic-size swimming pool, the landscaping with manicured lawns and tended flower beds and functional but beautiful architecture. And they would be right: the facilities at Gold are first rate," he wrote. "Of course, staff members work in the production spaces for as long as 24 hours a day and rarely, if ever, get to enjoy the recreational facilities"

"There is a world of difference between what I found workable in the actual philosophy of Scientology and how David has twisted it to his own ends. How did it come to this? How did a young boy who was an affectionate, happy, bright kid with a great sense of humor and a desire to help others grow into a man who surrounds himself only with people who suck up to him and lives a lavish lifestyle while those who work for him live no better than medieval serfs? What is the catalyst for such an unfortunate transformation?"

"I have concluded that it is the acquisition of power," he added. "Some who come into positions of power may be able to remain whole and true to themselves, but my son David has demonstrated beyond doubt that he is not one of them."

Watch David Miscavige below address a Scientology gathering via YouTube: