Scientology Leader Paid PIs to Spy on Own Dad: Police

David Miscavige also reportedly told PI to let his dad die during a health scare
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2015 9:59 AM CDT
Scientology Leader Paid PIs to Spy on Own Dad: Police
A private investigator says he was hired by the Church of Scientology to spy on the church head's own dad.   (Timothy Lee)

On the heels of HBO's explosive Going Clear documentary, police records acquired by the Los Angeles Times reveal another bombshell about Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige: He allegedly had his own dad tailed by private investigators for a year and a half because he feared Ronald Miscavige Sr. would blab about church secrets. Documents indicate that the church ponied up $10,000 a week through an intermediary to two PIs who said they were told to keep an eye on the comings and goings of the elder Miscavige, who the Village Voice says reportedly defected from the church in 2012. The surveillance came to light when Dwayne S. Powell was arrested in West Allis, Wis., in July 2013, not far from Ronald Miscavige's town. Powell, busted with six firearms, a couple thousand rounds of ammo, a GPS tracking device, and a stun gun, first told cops he was house-hunting, the Times notes, citing the records.

Once at the police station, though, Powell announced he'd been hired by the church to keep an eye on Ronald "full time." One of the most damning anecdotes in the documents: an episode in which Powell thought the senior Miscavige was having a heart attack and called his intermediary for advice. Powell said a man IDing himself as David Miscavige called him back. "David told him that if it was Ron's time to die, to let him die and not intervene in any way," the records say. Miscavige's attorney issued a statement without much wiggle room to the Times: "Please be advised that Mr. Miscavige does not know Mr. Powell, has never heard of Mr. Powell, has never met Mr. Powell, has never spoken to Mr. Powell, never hired Mr. Powell, and never directed any investigations by Mr. Powell," the denial reads. (The only funny thing about Scientology these days? This SNL parody of its cheesy music video.)

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