The father of Scientology leader David Miscavige told us why he left the church he calls a 'cult' (and showed us his family photo album) - 2016-06-04
Miscavige's reign atop Scientology has been turbulent. The church successfully gained tax-exempt status in the US when the IRS accepted it was a religion — saving it millions of dollars. And Miscavige brought Tom Cruise, the world's most famous actor, into his fold.
But Scientology has also been beset by scandal: Miscavige's wife, Shelly, disappeared from public view in 2006 and has not been seen in public since. Some of Scientology's most famous adherents, like actress Leah Rimini, and writer/director Paul Haggis, have publicly split with the church. Dozens of former Scientologists have fled the church's vast "Gold Base" HQ in Gilman Hot Springs, California, claiming they were coerced and abused for years inside its fences. And a book and an HBO documentary, both titled "Going Clear," painted a brutal picture of intimidation, beatings, imprisonment, and exploitation of Scientology workers. (The church regards these stories as false claims made by disgruntled former members who have personal axes to grind, or unaddressed mental issues.)