David Miscavige is the leader of the Church of Scientology (COS). Warren Jeffs is the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS).
The churches have no doctrines in common, so why do I think there are parallels between the two leaders?
I was doing some research, for a novel I’m writing, and got sidetracked. It happens. I went from religions of the Middle East Circa 1000 BC to current religions.
While reading up on the Church of Scientology, I noticed something. Something that caused me to go back to some research I’d done on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints three-four years ago.
The two sects have no doctrines in common, in fact it is hard to find sects further apart in beliefs (feel free to comment if you’ve got some). What they do have in common is the changes that occurred when the leadership passed away after a period where the leadership wasn’t in effective control.
Rulon Jeffs was an early leader of the FLDS. He set the most of the original patterns that the FLDS followed for years, and was a beloved leader, often referred to as “Uncle Rulon” by his followers.
Rulon Jeffs suffered a long illness. During that period, his son, Warren Jeffs claimed to be passing on his fathers orders. When his father died, Warren took over.
L. Ron Hubbard
In both cases, the new leader had been in effective control for years, before the old leader died. In both cases the old leader didn’t tell anyone else who he wanted to take over, and didn’t leave written instructions, or at least any written instructions that we found…
There was only the new leader’s statements.
We don’t know that the new leaders of either sect were really the old leader’s choice. It would have been fairly easy for either Jeffs or Miscavige to have pulled a hostile takeover. And in both cases questions have been raised about whether a hostile takeover did happen.
And we probably will never, ever know. But it is curious that there was nothing in writing, especially since both sects have a religious attachment to the written word.
Sunday January 6, 2013