David Miscavige (known within the Church of Scientology as “DM”) had been at St Hill, England where he was training to be a Class IV auditor. In 1976, at the age of 16, he joined the Sea Org at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida and went directly into the Commodore Messengers Org or “CMO.” LRH has already left Clearwater for Washington DC at this time, so DM did not get to met him at this time.
DM did the introductory training for the CMO which is called the Estates Project Force or
“EPF.” Like any normal CMO recruit he moved up the ranks to running programs around the Flag Land Base. He did his first mission at the Flag Land Base with Art Web. But staff did not like how he treated them. Miscavige was determined to follow his Mission Orders to the letter and gave no consideration to the people he had to deal with or what the real situation was. He ended up with a failed mission. In about early 1977, Dave was sent "over the rainbow" to work with LRH in La Quinta, California also known as WHQ ( Winter Headquarters). Since there was no LRH Personal Communicator located with LRH in La Quinta, the messengers filtered all traffic to LRH. Dave, shortly after arrival was assigned to be the "Traffic Messenger" with all written traffic to LRH being filtered by him to remove or kick out any irrelevant particles or incomplete proposals. Though Dave was located two offices down from LRH's, he was not a main messenger and rarely did he stand watches directly with LRH. As far as standing watches and working with LRH as a messenger, Dave's status was Messenger I/T (in training) and later he became a Junior Messenger. Dave never stood enough watches and did not work with LRH enough to become a Senior Watch Messenger.
During this time period, Dave lived in the CMO men’s dorm with Pat Broeker, where they became very good friends. When Dave got in trouble and busted for a car accident and assigned to work on the grounds, it was at the same time Pat happened to have been busted, so the two of them were picking tomatoes together while going through correction programs.
Life at WHQ, was pretty laid back in the beginning days but as LRH got more involved in projects, the schedule would start to get tighter with less free time and more production demands. Civilian clothes were worn, we had lighter work schedules and regular liberty. The idea was not to attract attention, we needed to blend in and act like normal people. There was always concern of someone trying to serve LRH with a law suit, so we drilled on how to deal with such. The men let their hair grow and wore jeans most of the time to fit" in. It was a small group, in the summer most of us swam and just hung out at the pool during meal times or played ping pong. Evenings we would crowd into the small crew lounge and watch "soap". Our existence was to have a safe place for LRH to live - we were not involved in management though every now and then LRH would check on what was happening with the FSO and Flag Bureaux (FB) but most of his attention and traffic was concerning the WHQ base and editing his tapes and doing voice overs. Once things got settled at WHQ, LRH had a recruitment mission fired to get trained auditors from the field to join the SO and come train directly under him. LRH started working with these auditors until the FBI raid in LA, around mid '77, when LRH left with Pat, Claire and Dede for Reno and stayed there until it was "safe" for him to return.
Mary Sue Hubbard stayed at WHQ and took over running the base - as has been her habit each time she took command, she lightened schedules and would force people to go take their liberties. She was very good about staff moral and many times over the years would try and get LRH to lighten schedules.
Late '77, Mary Sue was sent to live in LA so LRH could feel safe returning to WHQ and not have to worry about any raids of the base because of Mary Sue being there.
In January '78, LRH returned to La Quinta and got into shooting training films for Scn. While LRH was gone,the messengers were training on various fields of Cine. Dave ended up Deputy/Camera Man and later became Camera Man. While doing this, he was also the Action Chief and would run missions when not shooting films (an evaluation done in the late ‘80s found that though DM bragged about having run a successful Action Bureaux, the eval found that the Action Bureaux in the late ‘80s had a better success rate than Dave - this eval never got approved as it would have made Dave look bad). He was a decent Mission Ops and there were many missionaries that liked working for him as he seemed to duplicate what his Missionaries were reporting or when they had trouble but he was always very determined to get things done on a "now" type basis.
Mary Sue was always a calming influence on LRH and when she was around him, he was not as moody, however, with her gone to LA he had major mood swings. Those that had not worked with him for long, had a hard time confronting these outbursts. It was during these rough days, though that Dave Miscavige was around LRH - so he never really experienced what LRH was like when he was not stressed out about his wife and others being tried and jailed.
During the year of '78, many people including some Messengers were being assigned to the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) as “List One R/Sers” meaning there was supposedly evidence that they harbored an evil purpose toward Scientology. Later the adjudicating criteria turned out to be false.
Anyway, during the shortage of messengers Dave stood a few watches with LRH but the majority of his time was spent behind the camera. He never had the status of being a Senior Messenger of the Watch and in fact did not spend very much time around LRH in his day to day work. Early ‘77 to mid ‘77 as Traffic Messenger, and Jan ‘78 to end of ‘78, he was mostly on the camera and not doing much in the way of watches with LRH. '79 Dave spent little time with LRH as he was "too busy" handling management traffic. So in all honestly Miscavige did not have much history of seeing how LRH dealt with orgs and missions on a long term. The time Dave did spend with LRH was one of the most tumultuous and upsetting periods of LRH's life.
In late ‘78, while making training films, we were out on location using a golf course for one of the films, this was at Gilman Hot Springs. It was found the place was up for sale, so LRH had it purchased with the intention of using it for summer headquarters and using LaQuinta properties for winter headquarters -- they were only about 90 minutes away from each other. Gilman Hot Springs became the Int/Gold Base outside of Hemet.
It was during this time we had a breach of security with some staff going to the press*
about the location of LRH making LRH very concerned about being served with legal papers.
1979 we moved from WHQ (La Quinta) to Summer Headquarters (now the Int/Gold Base). LRH was living in Hemet at an apartment complex called “X” so instead of messengers standing 6-hour watches creating lots of traffic to the complex, the messengers would stay at the apartments for a week and would replace each other every week. Dave and a few other messengers worked it out that the management traffic required too much of their time and they could not be gone for a week, so the rotation was shared between messengers like Claire, Janis, DR, Clarice, Marc and Shelly. Also not many messengers enjoyed going to X as LRH was in a very bad mood a lot of the time. Pat and Annie were living permanently at the apartment complex along with Kima and Michael and a few other staff like Lola and Bert, David Mayo, etc. The handling of LRH's management traffic for him was the start of the Watch Dog Committee or “WDC.”
In about '79 while Miscavige was Action Chief he coined the phrase "severe reality adjustment" also known as "SRA", which was in store for anyone who raised a question, was hesitant to comply or who just plain disagreed.
LRH would drive to the base, almost daily to shoot the training films, he also on occasion would meet Mary Sue there - the last time he saw her was at Bonnie View (LRH’s house at the base) where he took photos of her to document how she looked before going to prison and to say goodbye. Whenever they were apart, during the time periods I was with LRH, LRH and Mary Sue made it a point to write each other daily -- after he left in Jan 80, I don't know how often he wrote her. These letters were usually dictated to a messenger at a typewriter.
During the '79 time period, LRH also spent a lot of time in his audio recording studio set up at the apartments and worked on remixing his lectures and editing them. We would also sometimes go for drives where he would take photos of the scenery or go for walks in strip malls/supermarkets just to get out of the apartment.
Jan ‘80, LRH left again. It had already been worked out between the messengers that if LRH had to go, Pat and Annie would automatically go since they were the only messengers that were a couple, the rest were either married to staff at the base or single and did not wish to disappear for an unknown amount of time.
CMO moved to LA in Jan ‘80 to run international management. During this time Dave was Action Chief and also WDC Sea Org and started getting more cocky when dealing with other messengers.
We returned to the base at the end of summer. It was late 1980 when Dave had a major asthma attack. He was barely able to breath so Paul Grady took him to the hospital emergency room. Dave survived and when he came back he told Gale and Paul, that he had a huge realization when he was in the hospital: He said, "Power is assumed." Gale**
and Paul thought nothing of this. Dede Voegeding, was CO CMO at the time. Gale was D/CO CMO Internal. Anyway, he proceeded with his post as Action Ch. He also would usually drive Dede and Gale or Dede to meet with Pat Broeker at a secret location away from Gilman Hot Springs to LA. Since most of these meetings were at night, it was thought it would be safer to have a male with them, so Dave or Marc Yager would go. The meeting place was usually near the airport but sometimes in Riverside area.
Dave and Pat were very chummy on at these meetings and behind Dede's back, DM managed to get Pat's support in having LRH remove Dede from CO CMO Int and to replace her with Gale and post him as Special Ops directly under LRH/Pat and outside of CMO command. Dede was removed for several things which were all based off reports from DM to Pat Broeker and relayed to LRH.
Omar Garrison came out to Gilman (completely sanctioned) to interview a number of people for the LRH biography he was hired to write. Omar interviewed Dede for a number of hours where she pretty much gave a fairly detailed LRH history from 1971 forward. She was a little too specific as to how LRH had taken off at different periods; going to different locations with a few messengers (or others, Jim Din and Paul Preston to NY with him in 1972/73), etc. It was reported that Dede had told Omar where Hubbard was…but since she didn't have a clue where that was, that was certainly incorrect.
The other reasons for Dede's bust were 1) her attitude toward MSH; “too weak.” When LRH ordered Mary Sue removed as she needed to concentrate on her own legal defense, Dede wanted to remove her from post in such a way so Mary Sue could save-face. Dede argued with DM and Pat about their wanting to make an example of her and destroy her publicly. Dede disagreed – she was still Hubbard’s wife and she had also done time for following his orders. 2) the lowering of the prices based on a WDC eval. WDC did the eval that showed we were pricing ourselves into oblivion. Dave hated the fact that Dede didn’t want to cream Mary Sue. He was disgusting in his constant descriptions of what he wanted to do to her.
With the removal of Dede, DM started reporting directly to LRH through Pat and his traffic was no longer being seen by anyone else. This was the start of the destruction of the Mission Network and LRH getting reports through Pat from DM about their being external influences in the orgs. Mary Sue used to filter the bad news before it got to LRH or would get it addressed, instead with DM now directly involved in the church's legal matters, he was passing all the bad news onto LRH forcing him further into isolation.
Gale as the CO CMO and having to head up international management was too busy trying to work and didn't have time to spend hours chatting with Pat, when there were mail pick ups, she let DM meet with Pat without her a few times. Gale also went a few times but could sense a different attitude about herself. Gale sensed there was something happening. But being involved in the "work" of CO, she let DM go alone and lost the "comm-line" with the power! DM started getting very unruly and bossy and saying some very mean things about MSH and other messengers such as Melanie Murray who had worked very closely with LRH on his tech breakthroughs. Dave's mouth was also getting trashier and trashier to the point of being just outright vulgar when mentioning certain messengers or staff. During the removal of MSH and the GO execs he was extremely non-compassionate and downright cruel. Gale saw this and also his attitude toward her was changing. She got with David Mayo, who was the Snr CS Int and set it up for David to get DM in for a sec check to find out what was going on with him. Dave refused sec check and when Gale confronted him about this, he physically tackled her and knocked her over - through a door opening onto the floor and even put his fist in a wall. Gale was shocked and realized he was crazy and told him so. Gale decided she needed to get to Pat and let him know that DM was off his rocker and should be immediately removed from any power position. Gale knew she had to get to Pat that night.
She got - John Brouseau and had him drive her to the Riverside phone booth and sent the call out to Pat to have him call her at the Riverside phone booth so she could set up a meeting with him. John drove her there and she waited for Pat to return her call. Meanwhile DM was looking for Gale and found out she was on her way to contact Pat. He drove with Janadiar, Yager, Ingber, Marlowe in the famous black van (it had been LRH's van that he travelled in between the apartments in Hemet and the base which the messengers took over to do the runs to meet with Pat). DM sped into the gas station. Gale saw him get out of the drivers seat and go to the back of the van. Miscavige got out a tire jack and went over the pay phone where Pat was waiting to call and smashed the public pay phone so it wouldn't work. Needless to say this scared the crap out of Gale. Then he grabbed Gale and told her to get in the van. The "group" of people proceeded to tell her ( mostly DM while the rest watched) how bad she was. Literally over and over again. The support group for DM, later told Gale they didn't really know how bad she was, they just knew what DM had said. Gale was told she was no longer CO. Truthfully, Gale breathed a sigh of relief after recovering from being physically ill from being screamed at for about an hour about what she had done.
Gale was busted in Dec ‘81. DM announced that Gale was removed for false reporting to LRH about the international stats and had tried to make the reports look better than what was really going on***
. The Mission Network was crashed with DM doing Mission Holder Conferences, gang sec checking the Mission Holders and forming up the Finance Police who went out and destroyed this feeder line. It was totally contrary to all LRH policy and how LRH dealt with Mission Holders in the past. However, these orders which destroyed the Mission Network did come from LRH based off false reports that were being sent up by DM. DM, in order to remove Gale and her executives, which included Marc Yager as her D/CO, reported to LRH through Pat that they were covering up crashed stats and had been false reporting to him, making LRH feel he could not longer trust his Senior Messengers that had served him for years. DM was also reporting about how there were external influences affecting management and the orgs. DM had also reported to Pat that Gale had gone over the edge and was unstable mentally. With Gale removed, DM needed to get another CO CMO Int posted, though Marc Yager was a better exec and more respected, DM picked John Nelson who had been a Mission Ops under him for several years and later replaced DM as Action Chief CMO Int. DM's reason to not post Yager as CO CMO Int was because he was involved in covering up the crashed stats with Gale in the reports to LRH - there was no cover up, the crashed stats were a result of the destruction of the Mission Network.
With John Nelson talking over CO CMO Int, messengers from CMO Clearwater, who had never worked directly with LRH, were pulled up to CMO Int to start going on missions into the GO or fill missing posts at CMO Int where one by one, senior messengers were being removed based on reports from Dave to LRH, Annie and Pat. There was no recourse as all communication to LRH, Annie or Pat went through Dave.
After being comm eved, LRH using information from DM, then ordered Dede, who was already busted and on the decks, and her sister-in-law, Lois Reisdorf, who had been Chf Officer CMO Int, along with Gale and their husbands to Clearwater where they were to be posted as swampers in the estates orgs and never to be promoted - they were made to stand before all the crew and apologize for their actions. Their parents were to be offloaded out of the SO despite having been in Scn since the early 50s and the SO since the early 70s.
During this time period Senior Messengers who had been with LRH for years dating back to the ship were Claire and David Rossouw, Janis Gillham-Grady, Gale and Dede Voegeding, Lois Jory-Reisdorf, Clarice Barnet and Marc Yager. All had been targeted by Dave and removed from post and from being on LRH's lines -- several climbed back up while others continued to be mistreated but none were ever able to communicate directly with LRH again with all communications going through Dave to LRH, Annie and Pat.
Written by the Gang of Five