About Me

Mike-Rinder-photo-smI was raised a Scientologist from the age of 6.

By the time I was fifteen I had traveled from Australia with the rest of my family to L Ron Hubbards home in England twice – the first time in 1966 when my parents completed through Power Processing and the second time in 1969 when they did the Hubbard Standard Dianetics Course and through to OT 7.

 

The Sea Org

Shortly after I graduated high school in April 1973 I joined the Sea Org and by October of that year I was aboard the Apollo with L. Ron Hubbard.

I remained in the Sea Org until 2007 when I finally decided there was no way I could change the culture of violence and abuse that had become endemic under the “leadership” of David Miscavige.  I confronted a terrible choice – leave my wife of 31 years and two children born into the Sea Org (one on post at FSO and the other at Gold) or continue to facilitate the abuses of Miscavige.  After many years of anguished thought about the alternatives, I finally decided that things were not going to get better and to cut my losses by leaving.

During my time in the Sea Org I held numerous posts – from Communicator to Deputy Commodore’s Staff Captain.  In 1978 I moved into the Commodore’s Messenger Org.  I became the head of CMO CW in 1979 after a trip to La Quinta to train as a Watch Messenger working directly with LRH and a second trip to Gilman Hot Springs to complete the pilot Key To Life Course with 3 other CMO staff – the first completions of the Course anywhere. 

Representing the Church of Scientology in External Affairs

In 1981 I began what would become a lengthy history working on “external affairs” when I was sent on the first “Obs Mission” to the Guardian’s Office at World Wide (WW) at St Hill, followed by a long series of Sea Org Missions to disband the GO, both at WW and the USGO in Los Angeles. I subsequently held various posts in Special Project and then OSA – from Legal Aide to CO OSA US to CO OSA Int and WDC OSA.  During this time I also held other posts, LRH PPRO International, various other WDC posts and CO CMO Int. But the vast majority of time was in OSA. From the early 90’s I became the primary international spokesperson for the church.

Scientology Training

I have extensive Scientology administrative training – OEC, DSEC, and numerous hats and basic courses like PTS/SP,  Ethics Specialist etc. My tech training beyond HQS is limited to Read It Drill It Do It on the RPF in 1985 where because I was NOTs case level I learned to audit NOTs.  I started NOTs when it was first exported to the FSO in 1979, but after the early 90’s virtually the only time I was behind a meter was undergoing sec checks or FPRD.  

Speaking Out 

Since I first spoke out to the then St Petersburg Times in 2009, I have done all I could to bring about change to end the abuses within the church. The philosophy of Scientology is not the same as the organization and its practices.  There is much in the subject of Scientology that makes sense and is proven helpful to people.  Many things would find no disagreement amongst most. But there are also many things, especially in the “administrative technology” that are troubling if not harmful.  In theory, Scientology is intended to wake one up and make you happier and more able to communicate with the world around you. In practice within the church it accomplishes the polar opposite.  Scientologists within the church are cut off from observation and told what to think. 

Family Life

I have a daughter (Taryn) and a son (Benjamin) with my ex-wife Cathy in the Sea Org. I was divorced from Cathy after I left the Sea Org. My children disconnected from me as did my brother, sister and members of their family. My father (an “OT VIII”) was deceased long before I left the SO. My mother (also an OT VIII) disconnected from me,  and I was told by others (not my family) that she had passed on in late 2013. 

I now live in Palm Harbor, Florida with my wife Christie and our son Jack, born in April 2012.

Mike Rinder