David Miscavige’s last minute desperation to ban his father’s Scientology tell-all is in full swing. The Underground Bunker reports that the Church of Scientology leader is doing all he can to make sure the exposé written by his father, Ron Miscavige, doesn’t get out.
London publisher Silvertail Books has received a letter from David Miscavige’s attorneys threatening to sue for defamation if it publishes Ron’s book, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me. The letter from Johnson Solicitors revealed that U.S. publisher St. Martin’s Press was sent similar warnings.
“As you are no doubt aware, U.K. and Irish libel laws offer more extensive protection to individuals, and indeed religious organizations, than those in the U.S.,” the letter reads.
— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) March 17, 2016
Business Insider notes in its report that the U.K. amended its defamation laws that tend to favor plaintiffs, arguing that truth, opinion, and relevance also serve public interest.
“You are now on notice of the highly defamatory content of the subject book,” the letter continues, adding, “Accordingly, in the event that you proceed with the release of this book, in total disregard for the truth, our client will be left with no alternative but to seek the protection of UK/Irish defamation and other laws.”
A list of claims made in the book David Miscavige finds “malicious, false, misleading, and highly defamatory” include, among many, an allegation that he “seized power” from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard by “outmaneuvering rivals.” Other accusations shot down are that the “Gold Base” headquarters in Hemet, Calif., has “appalling conditions” and staff “were not permitted to leave.” Ron adds that church members were “subjected to deprivation and violence” while held in a prison-like area known as “the Hole,” and that the Scientology leader hired private detectives to trail his father.
The letter states that David Miscavige has had “no meaningful relationship” with his father since he was 16 years old, and implies that the church has been trying to convince St. Martin’s Press of Ron Miscavige’s “sinister background.”
An all-out effort by David is underway to smear his father’s reputation as to discredit claims made in his book that paint a bad picture of him.
Business Insider names another Scientology exposé that made similar charges against the church under Miscavige’s leadership. Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief was released in 2013 throughout the U.S. and Europe. Libel laws didn’t allow for the book to be released in Britain, but Silvertail announced it would finally be released there.
— Nine News Adelaide (@9NewsAdel) March 18, 2016
Silvertail Books publisher Humfrey Hunter tells the Hollywood Reporter that there are no plans to change the release of Ron Miscavige’s book on May 3 despite receiving a threatening letter from David.
“My plans for the book haven’t changed at all since I received the letter,” Hunter said. “Full legal due diligence has been carried out on the manuscript, and I am both confident in its integrity and very proud that Silvertail is publishing it. Ron’s story is an important one, and he is a brave man to be telling it.”
David Miscavige is waging war with his father over the release of his book. Several Scientology members have written books that shed light on the darker side of the religion. When actress Leah Remini released her book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, she was chastised. The book made several claims about some of Hollywood’s biggest stars known to be members of Scientology.
There’s a notable trend with the release of books railing against the Church of Scientology and its leader.
David’s father will appear this Friday night on ABC’s 20/20 to discuss the book and how he says his son became a draconian leader of the Scientology organization.