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Scientology leader branded 'toxic and violent'


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I found this in google, I hope it hasn't been posted before;


Scientology leader branded 'violent and toxic'

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Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 22/09/2011

Reporter: Steve Cannane

Former St George rugby league captain Chris Guider has spoken out about his time working with Scientology's worldwide leader, David Miscavige.

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A former captain of the St George rugby league team has spoken out about his time working with the worldwide head of the Church of Scientology.

Chris Guider walked away from a promising football career at the age of 24 to work full-time with the church.

Now in an exclusive interview with Lateline, Chris Guider describes Scientology's leader David Miscavige as a violent and toxic individual.

The Church of Scientology has denied his claims.

Steve Cannane reports.

STEVE CANNANE, REPORTER: At the age of 24, Chris Guider was at the top of his game. He was the captain of St George and held a unique record.

ROY MASTERS, FORMER ST GEORGE COACH: Chris Guider had a record that will never be surpassed in rugby league insofar as he played in three grand finals for the one club on the one day: first grade, second grade and under-23s.

STEVE CANNANE: In 1986, he won the Dragons' player of the year award. Then, the player known for his darting runs from dummy half took off and never came back.

ROY MASTERS: At the end of 1986 he announced that he was leaving. We knew he was interested in the Church of Scientology and many of us assumed that that had become his full-time calling.

CHRIS GUIDER, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: I was basically told by the head of the organisation that I was attached to at that time that I had to give away the rugby league.

STEVE CANNANE: Walking away from his rugby league career was a big sacrifice.

CHRIS GUIDER: Very difficult. I'd played 17 years, I'd played since I was a little kid and I loved playing for the team that I was playing for.

STEVE CANNANE: Chris Guider started working full-time at the Church of Scientology in Sydney.

Two and half years later, he headed to the US. Within a month, he was working closely with the Church of Scientology's leader David Miscavige in what's been called his honour guard, the RTC.

CHRIS GUIDER: I would go through the day looking for people that weren't following policy properly or weren't in the right space they were supposed to be or the right area they were supposed to be in and then handling those people so they got back to what they was supposed to be doing. And I'd report directly to Miscavige on what I did that day.

STEVE CANNANE: David Miscavige became the leader of the Church of Scientology soon after the death of its founder, L Ron Hubbard, in 1986.

Miscavige was active in recruiting Tom Cruise to Scientology and was best man at his wedding.

But Chris Guider thinks David Miscavige is not the kind of person who should be the head of a religious movement.

CHRIS GUIDER: He's a violent individual. He is. And there are accounts of him being physical with people. I've seen him physically beat one staff member, Mark Fisher, who was formerly an executive in RTC and worked very closely with Miscavige for a lot of years. And I witnessed him beating him.

STEVE CANNANE: David Miscavige was not available to respond to these allegations. He's done only one television interview in his 25 years as head of the church.

DAVID MISCAVIAGE, CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY LEADER (archive footage, ABC Nightline, 1992): From my perspective, the person getting harassed is myself and the church.

STEVE CANNANE: The Church of Scientology in the US turned down Lateline's request for an interview. In an email, a spokeswoman claimed the allegations were a lie and attached two sworn declarations from Scientologists Mark Yager and Mark Ingber, who claimed that David Miscavige did not hit Mark Fisher.

But Mark Fisher told the St Petersburg Times Miscavige did beat him.

MARK FISHER, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: He was pulling on my hair and he was punching at me and kicking at me and this went on for two or three minutes. And when he finally stopped and calmed down, I stood up and I reached behind my head and my head was bleeding.

STEVE CANNANE: At least four former Scientologists have claimed publicly that David Miscavige also hit them.

The Church of Scientology in the US said in an email to Lateline a small group of anti-Scientologists were feeding stories to the tabloid press to generate controversy. The church describes them a posse of lunatics led by a media whore.

But Chris Guider says David Miscavige is a violent man. He says at one point he was instructed by the church leader to hit a colleague who was editing a Scientology promotional video.

CHRIS GUIDER: He was standing behind the person who was editing the property and telling him how he was doing this wrong and that wrong and screaming at him.

In the ethics officer role you have this little - basically it's a riding crop, it's just a little baton, and it's just meant to be a symbol of authority that the ethics office has. Well, anyway, Miscavige told me to beat the guy with the stick. I looked at him and I refused to do that. He took that very, very severely on me because I didn't just do what he wanted me to do.

STEVE CANNANE: In a statement, the Church of Scientology in the US described Chris Guider's allegations as delusional. The church provided copies of three sworn declarations from current Scientologists who deny the incident took place, including Chris Guider's ex-wife and the editor involved, Gary Wiese.

Lateline has tried to contact Gary Wiese, but he has not returned our calls. The church says our attempt to contact Gary Wiese to test his written denial has been inappropriate.

It's common practice for the Church of Scientology to issue blanket denials of allegations made against them. When Anderson Cooper raised allegations of violence against David Miscavige on CNN, the four ex-wives of the accusers claimed their former husbands were lying.

EX-WIFE OF ACCUSER (March 2010): We've been together all our lives. It's utterly ridiculous and it isn't true.

STEVE CANNANE: In the Church of Scientology's internal justice system, making a public statement against Scientology or Scientologists is considered the worst of all crimes.

CHRIS GUIDER: That's church policy. They're not supposed to admit to anything. So, anybody you interview, they won't admit that they've done something wrong or it's not that way. They'll go after you, the reporter, they'll go after whoever's putting the program together, they'll go after the individual - that's how it works.

STEVE CANNANE: And you saw that happening when you were working in David Miscavige's office?

CHRIS GUIDER: Oh, yeah. Yeah, RTC would run that. There were executives in RTC that were on the phones to attorneys telling them what to do and how to handle former members of the church.

STEVE CANNANE: Chris Guider says he was eventually punished for the incident in the edit suite by being sent here, to the Rehabilitation Project Force, or RPF, in Dundas in suburban Sydney.

The Church of Scientology in the US disputes this, saying he went voluntarily to the RPF for, "... long-term negligence in fulfilling his religious duties and his repeated violations of Church scriptures."

The Church of Scientology says the RPF is a voluntary religious retreat. Defectors describe it as a punitive re-education camp.

CHRIS GUIDER: It's like prison, except it's worse because you don't have television, you don't have visitor rights, you can't read the newspaper, you can't read books, you can't listen to music.

STEVE CANNANE: Former Scientologists say those sent to the RPF are forced to wear black, do hard labour and eat basic meals like rice and beans. They say they're not allowed to talk to others except those on the RPF.

Chris Guider says he did two and a half years at the RPF in Dundas. He says the church seized his passport and his credit card and paid him as little as $2 a week. He has made a formal complaint to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Church of Scientology in Sydney refused Lateline's request for an interview about the RPF in Dundas. In a statement they said, "The Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) is a voluntary religious program of spiritual rehabilitation offered to provide a "second chance" to those who have failed to fulfil their ecclesiastical responsibilities.

“The program does not include luxuries, to motivate the individual to improve himself and get through the program to once again be a capable and contributing member of the group ... The property is open to the street with free access to and from the property."

The church says they don't understand why someone who spoke positively about Scientology in a newspaper article in 2008 can now be so negative about it.

For Chris Guider, one good thing came out of his time in the RPF; he met his wife Valeska. They've since left the church and have a baby boy.

CHRIS GUIDER: I found out that the leader of the church right now, David Miscavige, is basically a very toxic person. It's not about people's lives and helping other people, of being a beneficial program for other people. It's not about that. It's about control and it's about getting money. And that's - I disagree with that. And that's not what interested me in the first place, that's not what got me to quit my football career.

STEVE CANNANE: Steve Cannane, Lateline.

TONY JONES: Well to read the statements from the Church of Scientology in Australia and the US in full, head to our website where we also have links to some of the sworn declarations made by current Scientologists.

Read the statement by the Church of Scientology International

Read the statement by the Church of Scientology Australia, New Zealand and Oceania

Read the sworn declaration by Scientologist Catherine Fraser (edited for legal reasons)

Read the sworn declaration by Scientologist Mark Ingber

Read the sworn declaration by Scientologist Gary Wiese

Do you have a comment or a story idea? Get in touch with the Lateline team by clicking here.


Patron Meritorious
Yet another example of an accomplished person with a great future in hand who follows the LIE ! Sounds like he escaped to a decent life. Hip, Hip, Hooray.
Thanks for the data Vittorio