The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 2: David Miscavige - 2011-09-28
One of Miscavige's more infamous Scientology-crippling blunders was his unwelcome intervention into the life of Lisa McPherson, which ultimately led to her death. As detailed in Janet Reitman's excellent book, Inside Scientology, corroborated accounts told of Miscavige arriving in Clearwater, Florida and voicing his frustration at the members moving "up the bridge" too slowly. He then took a personal interest in Lisa, supervising her auditing sessions and declaring her "Clear" despite the misgivings of, well, actual auditors. And Miscavige continued to be advised, from afar, of Lisa's supposed "care," all the way to her death. Although Miscavige's direct involvement would not fully emerge for years, his direct role in Scientology's single worst public relations disaster ranks high as a cause for Scientology's deterioration.