Blog: Scientology Financial Crime, Part 2: From Tax Evader to Mob Boss - 2018-04-08
This week, we continue our examination of Scientology's evolution from that of a self-help process, the origins of which were rooted in founder L. Ron Hubbard's pseudo-scientific epistle Dianetics, to that of a mafia-like Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO), essentially a criminal conglomerate couched as a "religion." In understanding Hubbard's motivations for wealth accumulation, it was clear from last week's examples that Hubbard's obsession with money was as much about funding the furtherance of his legacy as it was furthering Scientology. In continuing with our use of behavior within a given era to examine the evolution of Scientology's financial criminality, we now go from the era of Hubbard as tax evader, on to the transitional era of Hubbard as an established crime boss-like figure. Contemporary to Hubbard's transitional era is the seemingly inevitable rise of David Miscavige, from that of indispensable lieutenant to consigliere and in our final era, his eventual role as capo de tutti capi of Scientology.
From Tax Evader to Mob Boss
The loss of tax exemption in 1967 did nothing to impede Hubbard's (and thus Scientology's) abuse of the domestic tax regime, nor its rapacious quest for wealth. If anything, Hubbard's incorrigibility towards authority further entrenched Scientology's institutional disdain for any sort of regulatory oversight, a mindset that continues to this day. Hubbard's antipathy towards authority was not uncommon for the times; however, in combination with his demonstrably sociopathic personality, he began manifesting a variety of increasingly worrisome behavior. He was experiencing ever-increasing levels of paranoia that may have been compounded by undiagnosed mental health issues as well as ongoing experimentation with a variety of drugs. When coupled with his poor health in general, it's no wonder he demonstrated varying levels of irascibility and intransigence towards those around him as well as authority in any form. However, despite Hubbard's personal complexities, as well as Scientology's antagonistic, confrontational gestalt, the years from roughly 1965 to the late 1980s marked what many perceive as Scientology's "Golden Age."