news

Shelly Miscavige is the 'Queen of Scientology'. She hasn't been seen for years.

For over three decades, David and Shelly Miscavige have led the notorious Church of Scientology.

The couple, who first met in the most rigid arm of the Church of Scientology, the Sea Org, became the King and Queen of the church in 1986 when Scientology founder L. Rob Hubbard passed away.

For years, Shelly was David’s right-hand woman – she was his wife, his assistant, the first lady of Scientology and she even acted as a handler to one of Scientology’s biggest names, Tom Cruise.

But for more than 13 years, Shelly Miscavige has not been seen publicly.

Suspicions began to rise within the church in 2006 when Shelly was nowhere to be seen at the wedding of actor Tom Cruise and his partner at the time, Katie Holmes.

Throughout her time in the church, Shelly always appeared at David’s side. But at Scientology’s so-called “wedding of the century”, she was nowhere to be seen.

Leah Remini, a former Scientologist who has actively spoken out against the church for years, was one of the first people to raise questions about Shelly’s absence from the $3 million destination wedding.

david miscavige
Scientology leader David Miscavige. Image: Getty.

When Remini questioned other Scientology members about where Shelly was at the wedding, she was "punished for asking where the leader's wife was" and told to mind her own business.

It was Shelly's absence from the wedding and the church's subsequent reaction that ultimately led to Remini's decision to leave the church.

Upon departing from the church in 2013, Remini filed a missing persons report for Shelley.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Los Angeles Police Department soon responded, confirming that they had made contact with Shelly and subsequently closed the missing persons case.

But despite the police department's response, Remini was not satisfied.

"There's still answers that I need," the actress said in a 2016 special about Shelly.

"I do not know that she is alive. I do not know that she's not being held against her will."

leah remini
Leah Remini has been outspoken about her experiences with the Church of Scientology. Image: Getty.

On tonight's episode of 60 Minutes, reporter Tara Brown will sit down with Remini to investigate the sudden disappearance of the Queen of Scientology.

"I don't know. 'Shelly is fine and she's alive'... that's the PR line," Remini told Brown. "I don't [believe that]."

Brown will also interview David Miscavige's father, Ron Miscavige, who departed Scientology back in 2012.

Despite being David's own father, Ron has no idea about where his daughter-in-law is.

"Shelly, she'll never be free," Ron said in the 60 Minutes interview.

"These are pretty bad people, but they don't have a conscience and that lets them do it."

Many people believe Shelly initially disappeared from the church following a disagreement with her husband.

In documentary Scientology and the Aftermath, Leah Remini shares her experience with Scientology. Watch the trailer below.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to multiple sources who spoke to Vanity Fair, David asked Shelly to reorganise the Sea Org leadership structure back in 2006.

The project was reportedly a huge source of tension between the couple with David rejecting every single draft his wife presented on the matter.

Eventually, Shelly released her plans without David's seal of approval.

Not long after, Shelly's former personal assistant Valerie Haney saw Shelly for the last time.

In documentary Scientology and the Aftermath, Remini interviewed Haney, who said she last saw Shelly crying and entering a vehicle outside Gold Base, Scientology's international headquarters in California.

“What [Miscavige] is doing with his wife, hiding her and not having her anywhere around, I don’t get it. That is heartless to me,” she said.

In recent years, former Scientology members and journalists alike have speculated about the whereabouts of Shelly.

While some believe she's being housed at one of the church's tightly controlled bases, others believe she may be dead.

In response to the 60 Minutes feature, the Church of Scientology referred Mamamia to two blog posts.

Both posts, which can be read in full here and here, accused Channel Nine and 60 Minutes of staging scenes and manipulating facts.

"[Tara] Brown used ambush interviews, bogus phone calls, drone and helicopter flights over Church facilities. She even trespassed on Church properties, with a camera crew, of course, to create the illusion of 'news'.

"They find the best and most constructive people and institutions to denigrate, and then pass off fiction and salacious gossip as truth. They could not more clearly demonstrate their contempt for the subjects of their shows and for their viewing audience."

60 Minutes airs tonight at 8.30pm on Channel Nine. 

00:00 / ???