From here to Scientology: Worldwide leader David Miscavige's Philly-area roots - 2012-01-03
THE SOUTH Jersey suburb where David Miscavige grew up was utopian by design, a prefab paradise where footballs and fireflies floated over lush, green lawns and parents played pinochle long after the ice cubes melted in their cocktails.
Miscavige's middle-class Catholic upbringing in Willingboro, N.J., abruptly changed four decades ago when his childhood asthma led the family to another utopian vision - that of L. Ron Hubbard.
Miscavige, 51, a high-school dropout, today is the worldwide leader of the Church of Scientology, which Hubbard founded. The church says Miscavige has touched the lives of "billions" since his days as a young Scientology prodigy.
But some ex-members have alleged abuses under his command. Some have called Miscavige a dictator who isolates followers from their families and uses his fists to touch people's lives.