Scientology admits violence, blames "Kingpin"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4th, 2009.
Scientology admits violence in management, blames "Kingpin" as more speak out
The Florida-based St. Petersburg Times has released a follow-up to their most recent expose on the abusive nature of Scientology management, specifically focusing on Tom Cruise's close friend and current leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige.  The Times printed testimonials from many prominent former Scientologists, including Marty Rathbun, who was auditor (Scientology counselor) to Tom Cruise and now outspoken ex-Scientologist celebrity Jason Beghe.  Rathbun and others alleged that Miscavige is violent and abusive, slapping and punching even his top staffers and forcing them to publicly confess their "crimes."
The first report by the St. Petersburg Times triggered a huge backlash from Scientology. In an attempt to destroy the credibility of those who spoke out, the Church provided the St. Petersburg Times with the defectors' financial and medical information and damaging allegations from their ex-wives. In some cases, the Church even admitted to releasing the defectors' "auditing files," which the Church officially regards as confidential, even going as far as to claim that they hold the same weight as confessionals done with a Catholic priest. 
The most recent issue of the Church's magazine "Freedom" contained transparent attempts at character assassination (a tactic known to the church as "dead agenting"), labeling the first four of the Times' interviewees with such names as "Conman" and "Adulteress." The article did not call them by their real names. 
Despite these character attacks and violations of privacy, the expose prompted many other ex-Scientologists to break their silence. The most recent article from the St. Petersburg Times features 11 more ex-Scientologists verifying previous accounts and telling more stories of abuse from within. Among them is Bruce Hines, former auditor to Nicole Kidman and Kirstie Alley. Hines says that he was physically beaten by Miscavige on multiple occasions. He also says he faced the harsh punishment of the euphemistically named Rehabilitation Project Force for not standing when Miscavige entered a room.
While the defectors identify Miscavige as the perpetrator of these acts of violence, the Church points fingers at Rathbun and other former Scientologists. Both sides, however, seem to agree that a culture of violence was fostered and accepted in upper Scientology management for years.
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