• by Ronald Miscavige, Dan Koon
  • Narrated by Harvey Betancourt
  • 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The only book to examine the origins of Scientology's current leader, Ruthless tells the revealing story of David Miscavige's childhood and his path to the head seat of the Church of Scientology, told through the eyes of his father. Ron Miscavige's personal, heartfelt story is a riveting insider's look at life within the world of Scientology.
The introduction of this audiobook is read by the author.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ruthlessly Honest ~ An Engrossing Read!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Even if you've never heard of Scientology, this book would be interesting. Because I was in Scientology, (for many years), I found this book especially fascinating. I believe Ron told his story as truthfully as possible, and in fact, it actually helped me remember some of the reasons I got into Scientology! However, I would never go back, because I know what he writes about is truthful, and what has happened within the group is so sad, and harmful.
I was in it in the 70's and 80's, and got services from a "field auditor". The group was wonderful, and definitely used the "tech" with good intentions. It was a great time!
I'm sorry for the reason Ron decided to write the book, but I'm glad he wrote it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, the author is my favorite character, and I have a lot of respect and affinity for him after hearing his story.

What does Harvey Betancourt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I almost always prefer to listen to the author, but I think Mr. Betancourt did a good job reading this one.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I think the title is perfect as it is.

Any additional comments?

I got out of Scientology because I saw the harmful things that were happening in the organization. I read and listen to information about the "church", because I was personally involved for many years, and I know many of the people talked about. I was especially interested in Ron's story, and I found it fascinating. If I met Ron, I'd give him a Big Hug!

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- susan rios

Straight from the heart. BOOM!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The author really comes from a place of humanity. The sincerity is generous. He isn't on some crusade or standing in some radical corner with a hidden agenda, so the memoir is trust able. Like Leah Remini's book was for me. People, just being people, tell the best stories with humility that is real to other people, just being people.

Mr. Miscavige had to make a tough choice of personal integrity, to share these truths and not sweep them under the rug to "keep the family name" status quo. In this, he sets a good example as a father. As a human.

As someone who was immersed in the entertainment industry for decades, I can say the fact that Mr. Miscavige was a charismatic and talented musician, and also very attractive, and he managed to keep that family together and that marriage together for so long, was a monumental accomplishment. It was not beneath him to knock on doors and sell products to put food on the table and provide for that brood. I believe they were Catholics.

He admits to smacking his wife and spanking his kids but I can tell you, in that time period, that was a norm. That was coal mining country and I spent time in W. Va. during that time. Every family lived like that. They fought, but they did not walk out or abandon their people. I think Mr. Miscavige had personal moral codes that transcended the ones laid out in the Scientology culture. And these were a matter of personal honor and personal integrity for him.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ron Miscavige. He didn't need a leave of absence from Humanity to explore Scientology. Humanity is bigger than Scientology. And I think any reasonable exploration of the ideas in Scientology, would need humanity to rest on, otherwise it becomes another man's inhumanity to man. Which is what that culture has become at this time.

What does Harvey Betancourt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Sound. I didn't have to use the voices in my head.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was really moved on every page.

Any additional comments?

His son is accusing him of writing the book to "make a buck" off him. His father though paved the way for his son's career. Apparently he lives like a rock star. The last time his father needed money, his son cut him a check for 100K. He could have gone back to his son for more money. So it is hard to think this was the purpose behind the book. Mr. Miscavige I think, did not want blood money. If he is making money, it is on his own back, he had to live that life. It mattered to a lot of people, including all of his kids, that he did live that life.

To think your father's meaning is all about you, is quite self absorbed if not narcissistic. His life has meaning of it's own, aside from his son. Real meaning, because his father has leaned largely on humanity, to survive. To provide. The story is really a success story. About person integrity. Infinite honor. Duty to mankind, all of them. Not just a select few in an exclusive membership.

Many people live their entire lives and never have to make a critical decision. This is a good story to know about, in the event you are pushed into a corner, to know it is always possible, to rise rise up and "do the right thing", against terrible forces compelling you in the other direction.

And when you make choices that are good for humanity, and you hold your ground on being humane, you make the world a better place for everyone. Even those who may be inconvenienced by truth.

This man has managed to live with grace and honor, dignity and humanity, among others who could not.

It is these beings that keep the porch light on, in this dark vast space called, the twilight zone.

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- Nurture Learners and Able Observers

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-03-2016
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio