Sharing this very personal message by Scientologist Wil Seabrook on the birthday of Scientology leader Mr. David Miscavige. This blog originally appeared on the website of STAND (Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination) and is republished with their permission.
About 15 years ago I was a new Scientologist and increasingly fascinated with everything my religion and our church had to offer. Being a singer and performer, I was invited to attend a week-long event for all the most active volunteers in our church who were helping their local churches and communities around the world with anti-drug, human rights and literacy campaigns, among other programs. It was a black-tie celebration of the year’s accomplishments and also a time to coordinate for the year ahead. I felt privileged to be there and to provide some of the entertainment for the guests.
Portions of the daily events were filmed to share with Scientologists all over the world. On one of those days, the leader of our religion, Mr. David Miscavige, spoke for more than an hour, updating us about our accomplishments as a group and setting the stage for what was to come. It was inspiring and professionally presented, as I had come to expect based on attending Church events in the past.
At some point the cameras stopped rolling, Mr. Miscavige casually rolled up his sleeves, and there was a palpable sense in the room that the conversation had suddenly become more intimate. The communication immediately shifted from a formal presentation to millions of parishioners around the world to a more personal conversation with the roughly 200 people in the room. I was excited, having never been part of a dialogue quite like this.
It turns out that we were about to hear an extraordinary update on a project involving tens of thousands of hours from Church staff all over the world. Mr. Miscavige began explaining the task he and his team had been working on for decades. L. Ron Hubbard had spent more than a quarter of a century codifying his research into the human mind and spirit. Mr. Miscavige had been tasked with fully organizing and presenting thousands of pages plus thousands of hours of recorded audio and video lectures to the world as the official Scripture of our religion, a project that ultimately culminated in the largest single audio release in history and two Guinness World Records for most published and most translated author for L. Ron Hubbard.
He described what it was like to walk into storage rooms the size of small warehouses to find handwritten notes, typed manuscripts, fragile, decades-old reel-to-reel recordings and various other correspondence that served to catalogue the most comprehensive study of the human mind and spirit ever undertaken. Based on his vivid description, to say it sounded daunting to organize that kind of stockpile into formally presented Scripture would be an epic understatement.
Mr. Miscavige is one of those rare people who seems to vibrate at a different frequency. His level of energy, attention and intention have to be experienced firsthand to be believed. His ability to capture and retain the attention of large audiences, to really communicate to them in a way that feels at once global and deeply personal, is extraordinary and a quality that makes me look forward to the international events our church puts on several times per year.
And yet here in this particular moment, for just a brief instant, I saw a single human being tasked with an almost superhuman charge. The reason I say that is because Scientology is not simply a philosophy, it’s something one applies to one’s life to achieve exact, measurable results. You might call it an engineering schematic for the human spirit. If it’s applied exactly as L. Ron Hubbard laid it out, the results are measurable and 100% predictable. This is true whether it’s being applied by a teenager in London or an elderly woman in Taiwan.
To paraphrase what Mr. Miscavige told us that day in this intimate setting, “It’s not enough that I think it’s what L. Ron Hubbard intended, it has to be exactly what he intended it to be.” What I understood him to mean was that there were an infinite number of wrong ways to collect four decades of invaluable research and materials and put them together for public consumption, but only a single correct way. It would be like an engineer giving the exact specifications by which a bridge should be built. If the math was 100% correct, the bridge would function as intended. If the math was off by even a little, the results could be catastrophic.
My personal affinity for this person—whom I finally, for a moment, saw as simply a man trying to help his fellow men and honor the commitments and dedication of his friend (the founder of our religion)—went through the roof as I realized the tremendous responsibility he was operating under.
I think I speak for many Scientologists when I say I feel like I won the lottery when I discovered Scientology. That I happened to be born in the right time and place to take advantage of all this extraordinary religion has to offer makes me incredibly grateful.
But in fact, I feel I won the lottery twice in that our founder was able to untangle a web of confusion surrounding the human mind and spirit never before untangled, and then his legacy was delivered into the hands of such an extraordinarily capable and faithful steward. That he was chosen by L. Ron Hubbard personally was, of course, no accident.
It’s human nature to want to put our own stamp on things. But one of Mr. Miscavige’s most extraordinary characteristics is his unfailing loyalty to the purity of Mr. Hubbard’s vision. He chooses at every opportunity to put the needs of the group (and beyond that, humankind) ahead of his own, while leading our religion into an era of unprecedented expansion and success, measured by the miracles experienced by millions around the world every day.
Others have done a far better job than I could listing out Mr. Miscavige’s accomplishments. I encourage you to visit www.davidmiscavige.org to experience more of his story. But it’s my privilege on behalf of Scientologists around the world to wish him a very happy birthday this April 30. I have known since I first heard him speak that our church was in the best possible hands. I am so grateful for his tireless dedication to our founder’s vision of what is possible for the human race.
If a rising tide lifts all boats, I feel profoundly fortunate to be carried by the tide of optimism, hope and competence embodied by the leader of my religion, Mr. David Miscavige.