Declaration of Michael Rinder (January 1, 2014)

Declaration of Michael Rinder 1

My name is Michael Rinder. I am over the age of eighteen (18) years, of sound mind, and capable of making this declaration. The facts stated in this declaration are within my personal knowledge and are true and correct.

1. “In or about February 2007, while I was employed by church of Scientology International I was assigned by Captain David Miscavige to work with Tommy Davis – who was serving as church of Scientology International, s spokesperson at that time – to attempt to discourage the BBC and its correspondent John Sweeney from completing a documentary on Mr. Miscavige and Scientology. Over the several weeks of our project, Mr. Davis and I received almost daily micro-managing direction from Mr. Miscavige – in person when we were in Clearwater and then by phone, text messages and encrypted emails when in other locations. At the insistence of Miscavige, we arranged the engagement of several agents to surveil Mr.
Sweeney and his team all day, every day for several months during the project. We reported the movements of Sweeney and team to Miscavige almost daily, and sometimes several times per day. We did not retain nor consult with counsel in either the retention of agents nor in carrying
out our orders from Miscavige.

2. In late March 2007 I was sent to London England by David Miscavige. My assignment was to prevent the airing of the BBC Panorama  documentary on Mr. Miscavige and Scientology. Once the documentary was aired on 14 May 2007, Mr. Miscavige ordered me to make a formal complaint against the BBC to Ofcom (the UK regulator of media) and to produce a documentary smearing the BBC and its correspondent John Sweeney. I reported daily in writing to Mr. Miscavige on my activities for the entire time I was in England beginning at the end of March and until I finally walked away in early June. David Miscavige sent me daily, detailed written orders concerning the assignment by encrypted email as well as routine phone calls.

3. I received several corporeal punishments while in the United Kingdom on Miscavige’s orders including being punched by a Sea Org member. Miscavige’s written communications became progressively more abusive. When I was ordered by Miscavige to return to Scientology United Kingdom headquarters (where I had been staying) 50 miles south of London for more punishment I decided that I had had enough. I put a toothbrush and change of underwear in the only other possession I had at the time, a briefcase, and walked away from the Sea Org on the streets of London.

4. Several months later I noticed that a Blackberry communication device I had used during the BBC project was still in the briefcase. I took out the memory card, connected it to my computer and discovered that some of the text messages between myself and Mr. Miscavige noted above were on the screen. I printed a complete copy of the text.

5. Attached at exhibit 1 is a true and correct copy of the print out that I made of the contents of the memory card from the Blackberry device I used during the handling of the BBC. “Mike” and “Mike R” refers to me, Mike Rinder. “Tommy” and “TD” refer to Tommy Davis, Scientology’s spokesperson during that time period. Because Mr. Davis and I were both addressed in messages from Miscavige sent to my Blackberry phone, (and I was similarly addressed in messages sent to his blackberry and sometimes to both at the same time) the headings of many messages to and from Tommy read “Mike” in the heading. Many messages are repeated as new messages are added to the thread. Sometimes the headings note “cc: Tommy” , which indicates Tommy was supposed to be informed of that message. All messages from Tommy and me (noted in the heading as “Mike”) are to and from “Lou.”

6. “Lou” refers to Laurisse Henley-Smith Stuckenbrock. Lou held the post of COB Communicator. Her job was to shadow Miscavige everywhere he went, filter all communications to and from him and to relay Miscavige’s instructions as if they were her own on matters where Miscavige did not want to leave a paper trail of his involvement. The handling of the BBC was such a matter. The BBC was pressing to interview Mr. Miscavige. Tommy Davis and I were instructed to give the BBC the impression that Mr. Miscavige was far too important and busy to be concerned with the BBC. Yet, virtually every utterance we made to the BBC was dictated by Miscavige. Laurisse attempted to keep the messages in her voice, so as to protect the record from direct Miscavige involvement. But, because of the tremendous velocity and volume and franticness with which the micro management was occurring, she sometimes slipped and referred to Miscavige in the first person singular (“I”) and plural (“we”), as I shall note below.

7. Lou also carried Miscavige’s personal phones. She commonly had 3 phones with her at all times. Her “Nextel” for direct-connect walkie-talkie communications to anyone in the US with another “Nextel” phone, her “Blackberry” and Miscavige’s Blackberry. Miscavige used his blackberry to speak to Tom Cruise and other “important people” not in the Sea Org. He used Lou’s phones to speak with Sea Org members like me and Tommy Davis. When we called Miscavige, we called the “Lou Nextel” or the “Lou blackberry” and she would answer and then hand the phone to Miscavige.

8. Because the text messages are heavily laden with Scientology terminology and Miscavige invented acronyms, they are not easy to follow. I have chosen a number of sections relevant to the instant case and have highlighted them in the attached transcript. I will translate some of the nomenclature. The 39 pages of texts begins with page 39 and runs in reverse order. That is because, like email, the sequence of text message threads goes from the bottom-up. Notations concerning the highlighted portions of transcript:

9. a. Page 37, message from Mike to Lou, indicating that COB (Miscavige) was on the phone with me on the matter at hand the day before.

b. Page 34-35, message from Lou to Mike. This is clearly Miscavige dictation, putting him into third person by Laurisse. Laurisse does not have this level of authority, nor knowledge to deliver such a message as her own. This message is typical of Miscavige, wherein he jumps between addressing the recipient (in this case me) and addressing the subject of the communication (John Sweeney of the BBC). On two occasions in this communication alone Lou slips into the first person plural “we”, which refer to no one other than David Miscavige. Acronyms used in this passage:

Mecca: church of Scientology Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida.
Gold: Golden Era Productions, located at the International Scientology headquarters compound in Riverside County.
JT: John Travolta
UK: United Kingdom
CW: Clearwater, short for church of Scientology Flag Service Organization.
Narconon HQ: the headquarters of a drug rehabilitation network Scientology operates called Narconon
APS: A Scientology front group for infiltrating Scientology into public schools
FH: Fort Harrison hotel, the main building at the church of Scientology Flag Service Organization

c. Page 33, Lou to Mike R. This is in response to a report I made below in the thread giving the location of the BBC reporter at that very moment. Miscavige is ordering that “security is in” on a number of buildings, meaning all doors locked and guards on call vigilant to prevent any inside filming. Miscavige specifically mentions the RPF. That stands for Rehabilitation Project Force. It is a Sea Org operated prison designed for reeducation of doubting members.

d. Page 32, Lou to Mike R. This is another lengthy rant by Miscavige about how to deal with BBC reporter Sweeney. The first highlighted segment shows Lou slipping and putting Miscavige into the first person “I.” The second highlighted segment is a rant that is repeated throughout the messages – and throughout any given day – by Miscavige bemoaning how he micro-manages “everything” in the church. “Single hand” is a Scientology term which means for an executive to bypass the junior staff normally responsible for something and handle it directly himself.

e. Page 21-22, Lou to Mike R. Detailed orders and admonishments for dealing the BBC reporter.

f. Page 20, exchange between Lou and Tommy. We are being pressured to answer a lengthy text message while driving. Lou relays Miscavige’s  instruction to have Tommy tell me that I am a “CICS”. That is a Miscavige created acronym for “counter intentioned cock sucker.”

g. Page 19. Miscavige gives the “derivation” of the term CICS, and Tommy reports compliance that I have been told that and understand it.

h. Page 18, Lou to Mike R. Lou acknowledges that Tommy and I had just had a phone call with Miscavige, I am criticized for having “sucked him into every” OSA situation to handle himself for the past twenty years. Re-asserts the CICS label.

i. Pages 16-17. “Lou” acknowledges Miscavige orders by referring to “He told you…” then details specific orders on how to express allegations in an email to the BBC reporter. Repeatedly writes “YS”, which is a Miscavige created acronym for “you suck.”

j. Page 16. Lou to Mike Rinder and Tommy Davis. Relays that because of our lack of aggressive compliance, Miscavige threatens to hire an attorney to represent him to the BBC and will disown both me and Tommy.

k. Page 10. Lou to Mike R. “We are in LA now, are there any areas we should avoid? And is this guy’s body now many new (torn worn to wall) assholes?” “We” refers to Miscavige and Lou (who as Communicator is with him at all waking hours). Miscavige wants to know where the BBC team is precisely, knowing that we have teams of agents following them 24/7, so that Miscavige can avoid being spotted by the BBC. “Tearing new assholes” is a Miscavige coined, and oft used, phrase meaning a person is attacked so ruthlessly, that his flesh is torn (i.e. a new asshole). Miscavige wants to know whether we attacked Sweeney from the BBC in that fashion.

l. Page 9. Lou to Mike R. Once we report compliance that we did rip John Sweeney many “new assholes,” Miscavige wants to know whether we recorded the event, in keeping with his previous orders that we video tape all encounters with Sweeney. “CSMF” is a Miscavige coined, and oft used, acronym for “cock sucking mother fucker.”

m. Page 7. Lou to Mike R. Miscavige, knowing we know every movement of the BBC crew, wants to make sure we don’t blow our agents” cover by having Tommy go on the same flight to SFO (San Francisco) that Sweeney is on.

n. Page 6, Lou to Mike R. “Boss” refers to Miscavige. Message acknowledges that Miscavige is micro-managing the show – and has been doing the same for twenty years.

o. Page 3, This is Tommy’s “debrief to Miscavige that he is sharing with me by text as we were in two separate locations at that time. Highlighted portions demonstrates it is reported directly to Miscavige that the BBC is being kept “under surveillance”,  and we are reporting their movements.

10. In 2010 I was contacted by the FBI concerning an investigation they were conducting into David Miscavige and the church of Scientology centered on human trafficking. At their request, I turned over everything I had concerning my communications with Miscavige. I kept a copy for myself. I subsequently made another copy and gave to John Sweeney at the BBC.”

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed in Pinellas County, State of Florida, on the 1st day of January 2014.

Michael Rinder


  1. This document in PDF format.