David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology, had a prominent role in the launch of the Scientology Network.
Miscavige, 57, made an on-camera appearance during the official launch of the TV platform on Monday evening.
“We’re not here to preach to you, to convince you or to convert you. No, we simply want to show you, because after all, the first principle of Scientology is that it’s only true if it is true to you. So, take a look and then decide for yourself,” he said from the atrium of Scientology’s Spiritual Center in Clearwater, Florida, according to multiple reports.
As a young man, Miscavige worked directly with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and eventually assumed control of the church following Hubbard’s death in 1986.
Miscavige, famously known as the publicity-shy Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center, seldom gives interviews.
Back in November 2006, Miscavige served as the best man in church member Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes.
News of the network launch was coincidentally followed by the announcement that Leah Remini‘s critical docuseries about the church, Scientology and the Aftermath, was renewed for a third season, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. Remini, a former parishioner of the controversial religious organization, has dedicated her career to exposing what she claims is a system of lies and abuse within the church.
The Church of Scientology has denied Remini’s claims and accused her of seeking publicity.
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In addition, Remini has been outspoken about Miscavige and his wife Shelly, whom she filed a missing persons report for in 2014 with the Los Angeles Police Department. Shelly’s disappearance from public view has long caused controversy, though Scientology has repeatedly stated she is not missing and the LAPD ruled the missing persons report filed by Remini was “unfounded.”