Where Is Scientology Leader’s Wife?- She Seems to Have Disappeared

Shelly Miscavige - wife of the leader of Scientology - might possibly be in danger.
The following story is by our correspondent Dianne Lipson. It deals with the curious disappearance – or absence in public of Shelly Miscavige – who is or was the wife of the leader of Scientology, David Miscavige. While we have not looked into this curious matter – the wife of the leader of Scientology disappearing from public sight is curious.  Frank Report makes no accusations or allegations -or judgment of Scientology. But we cannot help but wonder if Shelly Miscavige is the equivalent of Daniela of Nxivm, the woman Raniere confined to a room for two years. Dani was able to escape. One wonders is Shelly cannot escape.  


By Dianne Lipson

The Disappearance of Shelly Miscavige, Wife of Scientology Leader David Miscavige

Image result for David Miscavige:
David Miscavige (born April 30, 1960) is the leader of the Church of Scientology. His official title is Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), a corporation that controls the trademarks and copyrights of Dianetics and Scientology.


Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, has not been seen in public in over a decade.  Sometime in the summer of 2005, she disappeared from “Gold Base,” Scientology’s secretive administrative headquarters located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.
Since 2005, per Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker, Shelly’s only appearance in public was at her father’s funeral in 2007, where she was accompanied by a Scientology “minder.”
Gold Base aerial view from west.jpg
Gold Base [Golden Era Productions, Int Base, or Int) is the de facto international headquarters of the Church of Scientology, located north of San Jacinto, California, about 100 miles from Los Angeles. The heavily guarded compound comprises about 50 buildings surrounded by high fences topped with blades and watched around the clock by patrols, cameras and motion detectors. The property is bisected by a public road, which is closely monitored by the Church with cameras recording passing traffic.
At Tom Cruise’s lavish 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes, the actress and former dedicated Scientologist, Leah Remini, noticed that her friend Shelly was not with her husband, David, at the festivities.
In her book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Remini describes getting a series of non-answers to her insistent questions about why Shelly was not present at the “wedding of the century”.
Finally, Scientology spokesperson Tommy Davis told her, ” You don’t have the rank to be asking about Shelly Miscavige.”
Per News.Com.Au,  Leah was “outraged” to see David Miscavige and Laurisse Henley-Smith, Miscavige’s personal communicator (Scientology’s lingo for secretary) behaving at the wedding like they were “on a date.”
Upset at many things she observed  at the wedding, Leah called her mother later that night, ranting, “I think I saw David Miscavige’s assistant touching him inappropriately at the welcome dinner.”
Tony Ortega, journalist and proprietor of the anti-Scientology blog, The Underground Bunker has pieced together, from various sources, the events leading up to Shelly’s disappearance.
According to Shelly’s former assistant, Valerie Haney, interviewed by Ortega the Miscaviges’ marriage began to break down in 2004.
In 2005, David Miscavige went to Los Angeles to oversee a project, leaving his wife behind at Gold Base. This was highly unusual.  Shelly was a Scientology executive in her own right, and anywhere David Miscavige went, his wife was always at his side.
Knowing she was in serious trouble, and hoping to please her husband, she used the time to complete a couple of long-unfinished projects. She filled a series of vacant job posts, and she packed up David’s belongings for a planned renovation of their living quarters.
When David returned, eyewitnesses report that he had a “titanic meltdown” over what she had done, in particular that she had “touched his stuff.”
Shelly was driven away from Gold Base in tears shortly afterward, not seen again except for her father’s funeral. Prior to her disappearance, Shelly had confided sadly to Valerie that her sex life with David was almost non-existent. Shelly had been jealous of the way David treated his ‘personal communicator’ Laurisse Henley-Smith, asking Valerie ” ‘Are they fucking? Can you find out?”
Valerie herself later escaped Gold Base by hiding in the trunk of a stranger’s car.
From what he has gleaned from ex-members of Scientology, Ortega has determined the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige.
Shelly lives and works at a place Scientologists have dubbed Twin Peaks, a  small “super-secret compound near Lake Arrowhead in the mountains above Los Angeles . . . where L. Ron Hubbard’s works are stored so they can survive a nuclear holocaust.”
Gadfly anti-Scientology activist Angry Gay Pope has traveled to this compound.
Angry Gay Pope describes it: “The large number of visible light floodlights, infrared beams, motion sensors, cameras and motorbike mounted guards make escape nearly impossible even without the seven-foot-tall fence studded with razor spikes.”
After leaving Scientology, Leah Remini filed a missing person report on Shelly Miscavige with the LAPD.
Officers visited and spoke with Shelly. They told Leah that Shelly was fine and that she didn’t want to make a public statement. When Leah asked if Scientology officials were present at the interview, she was told, “that’s classified.”
You never know what will make the public demand action.
I maintain that the long-overdue arrest of Keith Raniere did not happen because of his financial or sexual crimes. Ultimately, he was arrested because of the visceral image of a young, pretty (white) woman with a brand upon her flesh, published in the New York Times.
[The New York Times story credited Frank Report with first breaking the branding story]
That image [of Sarah Edmondson] cut through the noise of the more complicated narratives of Raniere’s twisted philosophy, and the many accounts of his criminality.
It was a visual punch in the gut.
Image result for sarah edmondson new york times photo
There are many first-hand accounts of Scientology’s alleged abuses, particularly from those who staff the organization.
Marc Headley’s story of David Miscavige’s cruelty here:  http://www.scientology-cult.com/is-dm-vicious.html.
Debbie Cook’s imprisonment in a building at Gold Base dubbed “The Hole” here: https://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/ex-clearwater-scientology-officer-debbie-cook-testifies-she-was-put-in-the/1214690/.
But for all of these stories, there are always the naysayers. 
They say things like:
  •  Why did they accept this awful abuse?
  • Why didn’t they fight back?
  • Why didn’t they just leave?
  • I would never have put up with that.
  • I would have spoken my mind!
  • These people must be weak, stupid fools.
The naysayers do not understand the gradual, but powerful mental manipulation and indoctrination that characterizes high-control groups.
Or the threat of family disconnection, and for Gold Base staff members, the specter of being cast with little money and no friends into an outside world that they have been taught to fear.
The story of Shelly’s fate is uncomplicated. It requires no knowledge of Scientology policies  or cult dynamics to understand.
It is the tale of a powerful man with almost unlimited resources who shut away his “inconvenient” wife into a guarded compound in the middle of nowhere, perhaps for the rest of her life.

The branding story shocked the public and brought down a cult.

If Shelly Miscavige ever resurfaces, alive or dead, her story might have the same power.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Why not “look into it?” Wouldn’t that make more sense than accepting secondhand stories? This is a new kind of journalism, where no verification of information occurs.

  • Diane,

    I think you summed up the catalyst for Raniere’s downfall better than anyone…..

    “Ultimately, he was arrested because of the visceral image of a young, pretty (white) woman with a brand upon her flesh, published in the New York Times.”….


    The fact that it was a slow news week helped considerably……

    I have always wondered about the timing of the article and if it was decided by Frank or the journalist or the editor that the timing was right…

    …..Because the story caught like wildfire around the globe.

  • David Miscavige drinks every night with Laurissa Smith. David is having an affair and needed to get rid of Shelly because the church doesn’t believe in divorce. David is a very immature child with too much power. Sound familiar?

    • Scientology orders the divorces of their staff in the majority of breakups, rather than the couples choosing that option for themselves. Same with abortions. So sad, so sick.

  • The more I ponder the curious relationship between Scientology and the US government the more I am convinced that the US government has no intention of totally destroying NXIVM.
    Read the story.
    Police talk to Shelly Miscavige in a concentration camp behind razor wire in the presence of Scientology guards.

    “oh, no. I’m personally happy as a prisoner in a desert prison camp.”

    Yes, Shelly M. Keep your mouth shut, the dirty corrupt cops won’t help you.

    And the cops won’t talk about the circumstances of her imprisonment because it is “classified.”
    To top it off the US government tries to shove Scientology down the throats of the German and Russian nations as some kind of religion.

    Scientology in Germany

    Scientology in Russia

    The US government has no problem with bogus cults exploiting people.
    The US government has no problem with Scientology.
    The US government wants to hand NXIVM off to politically powerful people who will operate it in a more responsible,more discreet manner than Raniere.

    • To being with, have you thought through the problem of the position authorities would be put in, of dragging people like Shelly Miscavige out of compounds against their expressed wishes and desires? Go back and look at what happened with the debacle at the FLDS compound in Texas, for instance, to see how that plays out. The problem is that such facilities are allowed to create prison-like conditions to begin with, as essentially a national policy of laissez faire, hands-off treatment of religious groups; given that, there is little that local authorities and law enforcement can do.

      Hubbard deliberately chose to work the “religious angle,” as he called it, when he created Scientology out of Dianetics, because he knew that the religious classification provided more freedoms and protections – not only from taxes, but from regulators and law enforcement. For instance, the “e-meter” that they use was being challenged by the FDA as a fraudulent health device, and yet as soon as it became a “religious artifact” (Scientology actually started putting stickers to that effect on them) the government’s hands were tied based because of the First Amendment, and the way it gets interpreted in politics and associated law (such as the 1993 RFRA act).

      In the sort of thing that I think points to what we really have to fear more than supposed conspiracies, there’s an ideological trend that has outsized influence on politics at the moment, towards believing that government essentially shouldn’t have any power over anything religious, at all. The IRS has also been so hamstrung that they now have to grant religious status to almost any group that applies, as comedian and TV host John Oliver demonstrated, with video:

      John Oliver Starts Church To Take Advantage of Religious Tax Exemption Laws

      They IRS has also been effectively stripped of their powers to review and revoke the status of groups given religious exemption, and abusing it, through cynical legislative ruses such as eliminating the administrative positions that longstanding laws gave the only statutory power to revoke exemptions. And the State Department is required by political directives to support and defend any group that is considered a religion in the US, including objecting to crackdowns on them abroad.

      What’s really behind this is an effort by powerful religious groups, including dubious but popular ones like televangelism and prosperity gospel ministries that are very profitable for their leaders, to avoid any accountability. Those groups don’t want any crackdown on even their extreme fringes, for fear that it could spread to them, so they cynically push for blanket protection that gives cover to the worst actors as well.

      NXIVM was not a religion – fortunately, though I’m not sure why Raniere didn’t see the opportunities to exploit that angle, and realize that it would provide cover for abuses – and never had the national political and lobbying influence that Scientology does. So its only remaining protection is probably just the inertia in Albany over doing anything that would expose how local and state politicians had been co-opted by them.

      This is one of the examples where I think conspiracy-style theorizing actually distracts from addressing the real issues, which in this case are political – and, typically, non-partisan or bi-partisan. And conspiracy theorists themselves never seem to stop to consider whether, in at least some cases, they’re being distracted from what’s really going on, if not even played and manipulated.

    • Your German and Russian reference points are either from the Clinton/Obama timeframes or from an independent commission, not the official U.S. government position. During the current sane times, the U.S. lets other countries make their own decisions how they want to treat Scientology and other scams. But thanks for letting us know your insane screeds are still part of how you cope with your miserable life.

      • “During the current sane times, the U.S. lets other countries make their own decisions ”

        Don’t expect current US government policies to last.
        There is a Presidential election scheduled for next year and the old pro-Scientology policies could return as well as America’s Imperial desire to intervene in every country on earth.

        Do you expect Trump to be President forever?
        Scott, you are the one living in a dream world.
        I live in reality.

        • I don’t base official U.S. policy based on past administrations and independent commissions. No wonder you’re crazy, you think the worst case scenario is always the current policy. I never claimed Trump would President forever. Time to take your meds, Mr. Shadow.

      • The current administration is just continuing previous policy of chastising foreign governments for cracking down on Scientology and other cults, including supporting the false “religious freedom” claims of Russian scientologists jailed for actual financial frauds (which are virtually a sacrament of their “church”). At home they continue to let Scientology get away with illegal activities, including human trafficking, and abusing the very liberal religious worker visa system.

        • Do you have a link to Trump chastising foreign governments for cracking down on Scientology and other cults, or are you just making it up? If Scienology is trafficking humans, then provide the government the evidence and post it here. Stop complaining and do something constructive for a change. It worked for Frank with NXIVM.

  • Maybe Shelly Miscavige got on a DC-8 jet and flew off into the galaxy to visit with the Galactic Dictator Xenu.

    Note the use of jargon like “Spiritual Technology” much like NXIVM’s misuse of the word technology.
    Scientology like NXIVM has nothing to do with “technology”.
    Scientology’s religious crap is concealed with the word “technology” to give the criminal gang the veneer of respectability.

    Scientology not only has the support of brain dead Hollyweird actors like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, it has the support of a complicit corrupt American government that is trying to cram Scientology down the throats of foreign nations.

    The US Government is trying to strong arm Germany and Russia in particular to accept the criminal Scientology terrorist gang as a legitimate religion.

    “The German domestic intelligence service is constantly monitoring the organization (Scientology) and mention them in their annual review about anticonstitutional activities. The German government does not recognize Scientology as a religion; rather, it views it as an abusive business masquerading as a religion and believes that it pursues political goals that conflict with the values enshrined in the German constitution. This stance has been criticized, most notably by the U.S. government.[4][5]

    Scientology in Germany

    The same holds true in Russia where Scientology leaders are routinely arrested for illegal business and health care activities.
    And the meddling American government endeavors to protect and promote this evil cult.

    “In June 2017, leaders of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg were arrested, charged with “participation in an ‘extremist’ community, incitement of hatred, and illegal business activities.”

    “In September 2018, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom adopted the case of imprisoned Russian Scientologist Ivan Matsitsky, calling him a “prisoner of conscience.” Matsitsky had been imprisoned on June 5 2017 after a raid on a Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg. Matsitsky’s case was adopted along with that of another religious worker imprisoned in Russia, Jehovah’s Witness Dennis Christensen. On their imprisonment, Vice Chair of the USCIRF Kristina Arriaga stated “These two cases are examples of the Russian government ‘securitizing’ religion—targeting religious communities it considers illegitimate on the pretext that they pose a national security threat”

    Why does the US Government seek to protect and promote an evil corrupt cult?
    Because the US government wants to use Scientology as a geopolitical tool to destabilize foreign nations.

    • The government similarly “protects” groups, including cults, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses – as you note. It’s part of a largely ideologically-based domestic political strategy, pushed in the legislative branch as much as the executive, of allowing religious groups to operate without accountability, so that bigger players can avoid scrutiny over their practices and finances.

      The real strategy, such as it is, could be boiled down to distracting people with imaginary bogeymen like the Illuminati, while politicians and preachers pick their pockets. People fall for it, just like they fall for cults. And indeed, that was part of Raniere’s strategy, such as how he separated the Bronfman sisters from their money and then blamed it on their father’s supposed conspiratorial machinations.

      • You couldn’t be more wrong. The U.S. has this little piece of paper (parchment) called the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech, assembly, religion, etc., and therefore cults are not illegal. When cults commit real crimes, they are sometimes prosecuted, but since most people are more interested in the sensationalist cult aspect, the crimes often go unpunished. When you decide to wake up to these facts let me know and we can work together to get the government’s attention focused on the crimes that cults commit. Until then, have fun playing with Mr. Shadow.

        • I wasn’t referring to the Constitution, but how it is interpreted in the current political environment, and the laws and administrative directives that result from that point of view. Cults are almost never prosecuted, if they have religious status.

          If you’re familiar with cases like Scientology, such groups get away with things that no business, regular non-profit or private entity would be allowed to. Organizations with religious status – which is essentially now granted to all claimants without scrutiny, in a rubber-stamp process – are effectively almost immune from prosecution because of the barriers to investigation and indictment that the current environment confers.

          Among other things, for instance, there are no minimum wage or maximum hours provisions for religious workers, plus there are special visa provisions that allow religious groups to bring all the foreign workers that they want into the country, who are then sometimes effectively human trafficked by having their passports withheld and being threatened with deportation. The native and foreign workers can then be made to labor 120 hours a week and fed rice and beans, ending up in the same sort of sleep deprived and underfed state that contributed to the sort of conditioned compliance as the NXIVM slaves.

          • It doesn’t matter whether you were referring to the Constitution, because I was. The story as I understand it was Scientology harassed the government, particularly IRS officials, until they approved them as a religious organization. That was a big mistake in my opinion, but Scientology probably was able to dig up a lot of real dirt on them, since we are talking about the swamp.

          • Scott, it’s a complex story and probably not worth getting into too much here where it’s gotten rather buried.

            The exemption probably had more to do with Scientology’s nuisance tactics such as filing something over a thousand individual lawsuits, which used up IRS resources and caused them to cave. Businesses also give in to activist campaigns, such as boycotts, that are costing them money.

            Just to cite a couple of aspects, Scientology’s status is probably unconstitutional, but Congress has set up the system so that there is almost no way to challenge religious exemptions; for instance, the 4 positions that had the statutory authority to review them, were eliminated. The IRS has probably engaged in an unconstitutional establishment of religion by extending Scientology’s exemption to provide benefits given to no other group, but that effectively can’t be challenged under currently because no one has “standing” to challenge that privilege except Scientology or its members – the beneficiaries. It’s also probably not constitutional for the IRS to even be in the business of deciding what organizations qualify as religions, and yet their determinations for tax purposes end up being used as de facto establishments of privilege and protection by the rest of the government from law enforcement to the courts.

            I think the real scandal is how Scientology has deftly exploited the political cover intended to protect larger and more powerful – though, arguably, at least somewhat more socially beneficial – groups that financially exploit their members such as televangelists, and those seeking to shelter themselves from the consequences of sexual abuses such as evangelical and Catholic churches.

        • Do you really think that the government actually cares? And when you say government, is there a particular branch of government your referring to, to bring focus to cult crimes? How can there be change when law enforcers are criminals themselves. Most people don’t fight the “good” fight unless theres something in it for them. In my opinion.

          • The government includes “We the people,” and we should speak up to make those in government care. That’s what happened when the NYT published Edmondson’s scar. There are no such things as “cult crimes,” There are existing criminal statutes that NXIVM and other cults have been successfully prosecuted under. The branch responsible for law enforcement is the executive branch, and it can be at the local, state, and/or federal level. Your opinion is trash, because you gave up before the fight got started.

    • Shadowstate,

      “The US Government is trying to strong arm Germany and Russia in particular to accept the criminal Scientology terrorist gang as a legitimate religion”, where is your proof?

      I read the wiki article and there is nothing there.

  • I may, at times, question if you like to foment contention within the group of commentators BUT you were highly instrumental in bringing down NXIVM, now let’s hope you can do the same to Scientology.

    Scientology was created by a madman and is now ruled over by a maniacal, abusive tyrant named Miscavige.

    These groups are many. Est. 5000 in the USA and 3000 in Australia.

    • Frank doesn’t “like to foment contention within the group of commentators,” he allows free speech. It’s not Frank’s fault if some of the “commentators” refuse to have reasonable conversations. The number of groups may be many, but by far the largest one scamming people is Amway. Take down Amway and many other MLM scams will crater as well.

      • Sure, Frank encourages contention within the comments just by publishing them, especially the filth some on here spew.
        And get off the AMWAY kick. You irritate with your obsession. Get therapy and put it behind you so you can get on with life.

        • I agree, Frank should publish only my comments. I’ll get off “the AMWAY kick” when I draw my last brreath, or am successful, whichever comes first. Educating others about scams isn’t an obsession, it’s educating others so they don’t get scammed, and is very therapeutic. There is no greater good that I could do with my life.

  • Ortega banned me from making comments on his website today because I pushed back against the Libtards posting there. While Ortega has every right to do that, as he owns the website, it is yet another example of the lefties pushing their narrative. Thankfully, Frank is a conservative who does not fear Libtard comments, it only exposes them for what they are. Thanks, Frank. F*ck you, Ortega!

    • That is exactly how I perceive The Tony Ortega blog, if you don’t sing his praises and believe what he believes, you are ostracized there. He is the most egocentric “journalist” I have ever come across. And they all worship him… It’s ironic, he’s their David Miscavage.

      • I have written comments on Tony’s Ortega’s blog, directly disagreeing with Tony. I’ve had no repercussions because of it. I kept my comments civil. From my observation, what Tony does not tolerate is personal attacks on other commenters, or abusive comments.

    • My esteem for Tony Ortega and the Underground Bunker just skyrocketed!

      But now that Scott Johnson’s banned there and from Twitter he’ll, unfortunately, have more time to annoy FR readers.

      Hopefully, Frank will get so sick of editing more Schlock he’ll have to ban him here, too. Frank’s a very patient man but everyone has a limit.

      Great piece, Dianne.

      • Don’t jump into the fire Heidi! hahaha, I admit you have to be a real putz to get banned at TOs blog.

        my only point was I think the TO is an over sensitive , over censoring “blogger” that has a fan base that includes some that have vitriolic hate for anyone who dares say something against Tony the almighty, irregardless of Scott Johnson banning.

        Diane Lipson, is an example of a wonderful contributor at UB, however, if she was vocally conservative, she would not be welcomed over there. a perfect example of the crazy hate that happens there. IMO. 😉

        • You don’t have to be a real putz to be banned by Ortega, you just have to be a real conservative. I didn’t even say anything against Ortega, I merely pushed back on some Libtards who made comments there.

          • And the weird thing is, it is not a political website. But he lets his minions bully with abandon.

            You are correct, being more than slightly conservative or being a putz will get you banned by TO. You just happen to fit both categories.

      • “But now that Scott Johnson’s banned there and from Twitter ”

        Heidi, do you mean that Tony Ortega and Twitter don’t want to hear endless rants from Scott that Amway is a scam?
        I don’t believe it.

        • My “endless rants” are merely educating others about Amway and other MLM scams, whereas your endless Mack rants serve no known purpose, other than being part of your prescribed mental treatment plan.

    • Scott,

      You were banned for trying to sell your merchandise on Ortega’s website. . I.e. T-shirts, trucker hats, tiki torches, lawn jockeys, and cherubs carved from the finest of Amway bar soap.
      Not to mention the one of kind life sized porch monkey made from reclaimed plastic.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com


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