Former Scientologists Level Accusations

Tom De Vocht, who left the Church in 2005 after 28 years, recounted this event to ABC News, saying David Miscavige hit him, knocked him to the ground and kicked him a number of times. According to Rathbun, Mike Rinder was also a victim of numerous attacks by Miscavige.

"I saw him ... attack him while he was sitting in a chair and hitting him upside the head," said Rathbun. "And then -- in -- and then wrestling him around the neck and ... throwing him to the ground... I saw at least a dozen times, this happen."

Amy Scobee says she also witnessed Miscavige attack Rinder.

"David came right behind him, just out of the blue ... and grabbed him ... around the neck, and was throttling, squeezing hard to the point where David's face was shaking, and arms were shaking that he was squeezing so hard," said Scobee.

Mike Rinder, who left the Church in 2007, corroborated these specific incidents and told ABC News he was the victim of repeated acts of random violence at the hands of Miscavige.

Bruce Hines said he himself was physically struck by Miscavige.

"I had been called up from Los Angeles ... I was kind of in trouble," said Hines. "So I'm sitting there at my desk and so I hear his voice booming out in the hallway ... He said, 'Where is that mother f*****?' ... And he just walked up and he hit me on the side of the head. It was a ... he didn't have a closed fist. But it was an open hand. But it was ... it definitely hurt and it definitely knocked me back."

Why didn't Hines react by hitting back?

"So say I did that. He hits me and I just go bam. And, you know, sock him in the jaw or something. That would mean, um, I had just forfeited my hope for eternity," said Hines. "... Because it's drilled in over and over and over again, that Scientology has the only route to freedom."

So Miscavige has the power over eternity?


'I Broke Down'

The Church provided ABC more than a dozen affidavits from current Scientologists, including some of the supposed victims, saying allegations that Miscavige struck subordinates are "false and ridiculous" ... he "is not a man violence." Tommy Davis, Scientology's spokesman, says the former staffers are bitter and disgruntled liars.

Nightline: ... Tom De Vocht has described being personally hit ...

Davis: Tom De Vocht, if he was personally hit, then why in his 20 years of marriage to his wife did he never say anything to her about it? ... Why did Mike Rinder, who was married for 35 years, why has his wife made it very clear that never did he come home with any bruises, any marks, nor did he ever mention ever being attacked by Mr. Miscavige, struck or hit by him? ... The fact of the matter is, is both Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun are on record as having denied those exact allegations. ... Mike Rinder to the BBC stated repeatedly allegations of his ... his having been physically attacked by Mr. Miscavige are, "Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish!"

In 1998, Rathbun told the St. Petersburg Times, "I have never known David Miscavige in 20 years to hit anyone."

Nightline: "So, were you lying then, or are you lying now?"

"Then," Rathbun insisted. "Because at the time, I perceived that this guy was -- of the importance that we had to do that. ... If I told the truth [at the time] to a newspaper reporter on something like that ... I could have been expelled from Scientology forever."

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