Scientology Leader Gave ABC First-Ever Interview

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Miscavige: Well, yes, no, you wouldn't-- We don't ignore them. But my point is this: Scientology is there to help the able become more able. The guy who's going around, he's working, he's trying to make it, these people generally have something in their life that they would like to improve and, in any event, if you can increase that person's ability, the one who's chipping in, the one who's able, and bring him up higher, this sphere of influence that he affects in the world around him can be much greater, and he can get on and do better.

Koppel: Now, Mr. Miscavige, when you and I talked the first time, a few months ago, I said to you I was going to come after you on some of these issues. I am a cynic, by nature. I guess that's why I like being a reporter. What you have described to me there fits perfectly with the image that I have of Scientology. Namely, you're interested in folks who are producing. Another way of saying that is you're interested in folks who've got money and who can pay to work their way up the Scientology ladder.

Miscavige: Well, you see, that's where you miss the point, because in fact, you know, this subject of money comes up, but you've got the wrong issue there. The subject of money is, where's it going. You see, another part that isn't in that piece, the money in Scientology isn't going to me. It's not going to my colleagues. That's a fact. That's a fact. You can call up the IRS and find that fact out. They've audited our records and seen all of that, and none of that money is going anywhere. As a matter of fact, the officials in the church are paid far less and live far more frugal existences than any other church leader. Our money goes to social causes that we accept. You take these people. We are the largest social reform group in the world, do far more than any other church. For the last two years we have been voted the community outreach group of the year in Los Angeles.

Koppel: By whom?

Miscavige: By the local city council. The senate of California passed a resolution that's for our work with underprivileged children in California. We work on getting drug addicts off drugs. We support Narconon, which is a drug rehabilitation center using the drug rehabilitation technology of L. Ron Hubbard. There are 33 centers around the world. Over 100,000 people have been gotten off drugs. We sponsor educational programs. Several years ago in just-- Wait, in just one instance, we worked with--

Koppel: I don't want to minimize any of that--

Miscavige: But wait--

Koppel: But how does that make your group the-- How did you put it -- that you do more to help?--

Miscavige: Social reforms, helping people.

Koppel: Social reform--

Miscavige: Sure.

Koppel: …than any other group in the world. More than the Catholic Church, more than--

Miscavige: Well, no, more accurately is per size. And when you put it in that rate -- in other words, how big Scientology is compared to any others -- the amount that we do on that subject, there's not even anybody comparable.

Koppel: Okay. We've got to take a break, we'll continue our discussion with David Miscavige in a moment. ("Dianetics," sales worldwide 14.6 million, languages 22)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Koppel: During one of Forrest Sawyer's pieces a moment ago, we heard one of your colleagues talking about psychiatry, right?

Miscavige: Right.

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