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Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  2,844 ratings  ·  391 reviews
*Now a #1 New York Times bestseller*

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 Scientol
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published May 3rd 2016)
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Average rating 3.27  · 
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 ·  2,844 ratings  ·  391 reviews


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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Ron Miscavige left scientology and states in this book that the final straw for him to go ahead and write his story was the fact that his son David was still having him followed. He found out one day when he bent over and grabbed his shirt pocket to keep his cell phone from falling out that his son had told the people following him-to not interfere..if he dies he dies.
That's pretty hard as a parent to hear. What makes a child change so much that the parent doesn't even really know who they are
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Meg
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 50-in-16
No matter how bad things get, just remember: at least your dad never wrote a book about how you're a sociopath.
Taryn
For my whole life I have believed that, regardless of the hand we are dealt, each of us chooses how we play our cards.


2.5 Stars. This memoir sounded interesting because it's from the unique perspective of the father of David Miscavige, the leader of the controversial Church of Scientology. Ron Miscavige wrote this book after he discovered that his son had him followed and directed the private investigators not to intervene if Ron needed medical assistance. He is also upset that his daughters
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Char
DNF at 30%. I don't like this man and I don't like this book. I want to give it two stars, but maybe it gets better? I don't feel that's fair after listening to only 30%, so DNF it is.
Laurie Anderson
Scientology fascinates me. This book did not delve as deeply as I would have liked into what Mr. Miscavige probably knows about his son (the current leader of the cult), but it was nonetheless interesting.
Ashley
NB: I received a finished copy of this book as part of a marketing campaign, but that has not affected the content of my review.

This book was disappointing and pretty poorly written, but not worthless. There are far better books about Scientology out there, so don’t make this your first stop. But there are a few interesting glimmers here I haven’t read in any other Scientology books, so if the subject matter is something that really gets you going, you may want to check Ruthless out anyway.

The t
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Hester
Ruthless is more like Pointless.

I decided to read this book to see if I could gain any insight into the warped mind of angry midget David Miscavige, I thought maybe his father had some idea, though Poppa Miscavige never did share any real insight he most certainly left some clues that point straight back at him.

For a book supposedly about his relationship with his son, there wasn't much of one. Ron raised David until the age of 15 when David decided that since too many of his classmates do dru
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britt_brooke
I’m having trouble understanding why this was even published. Perhaps Mr. Miscavige needed to supplement his Exer-Genie income? 🤷🏼‍♀️ This could’ve been an intriguing article, but as a book, it was unbearably boring. There are plenty of other Scientology memoirs out there that are much better.
John Duignan
Ruthless, a review and critique

It has been said that the reading of a biography or memoir is so often more interesting for what the subject omits from the discussion than for what the author commits to on paper.

Isaacson’s 2011 Steve Jobs biography is a case in point. In interviews and discussions with Jobs, it was clear that the subject did not recognise his often abusive treatment of his staff, nor, as his body was being eaten away by the ever ravenous cancer, did he recognise his misplaced fa
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hagerle
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-book-club
3rd star added because I wasn't expecting full-color photos (or any photos) to be included.

Only rated 2 stars, because while it was interesting to learn about David's (& his siblings) early years, I disagreed with a major point of Ron's book. Namely, that Scientology was a sunny lollipop-filled paradise until David took over in the 1980's. IMO Scientology is & always has been an evil in the world & no amount of apologetics about LRH's personal life or the Church's failings will in some way "val
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Michelle
"Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me" authored by Ron Miscavige with Dan Koon offers a fascinating comprehensive insider view of the CoS (Church of Scientology) that only he can tell. Outlining his family history within the organization beginning in 1971, he clarifies David's cure from severe allergy and asthma attacks that required hospitalization, to his son's determination to serve LRH, and his calculated rise to power becoming the Chairman of the Board (CoB) following the d ...more
Melissa kelly
May 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with other readers this memoir isn't well written or what I refer to as having a point....

there isn't any like oh my God revelations or real harsh view of scientology. I believe his abuse at the hands of the church however the information he gives doesn't seem like he was an insider. its all second hand information or "a guy i knew said this". I don't think he was privy to scientology secrets so there isn't much true substance to the workings of the church other than his son doesn't care
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Nancy
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this account from David Miscavige's father fascinating. I also read Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape and enjoyed it, but Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me was more readable, in my opinion. JMH's book goes into more detail, which was interesting, but I remember getting a little confused/lost with all the details and names. Anyone who thinks Scientology is harmless and innocuous needs look no further than Ruthless: Scientology, My ...more
Erin
Apr 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mind numbingly boring. This book is supposed to be about how evil David Miscavige the leader of Scientology is. But really Ron his father is a pretty horrible person himself. Nothing is ever Ron's fault; his ex-wife was evil, he was arrested for attempted rape because people hate Scientology not because he tried to force himself on a girl. I didn't really learn anything from this book. If you're looking for a behind the scenes look at Scientology don't read this there are so many better books ou ...more
Megan
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ron Miscavige spends way too much time defending Scientology and justifying his own abusive behaviors. Besides that, the book is poorly written and doesn't provide any information about David Miscavige that can't be found elsewhere. Ron's granddaughter Jenna's book is much better.
Shay
Mar 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I gave this three stars because, according to Goodreads scale, that's "I like it." And I did like reading this, but mostly because I enjoyed being angry at Ron and his son, the monster known as David Miscavige.

Kind of spoiler-y ahead?

First of all, I received this free in exchange for an honest review - so here's some honesty: Ron Miscavige sucks. He spends SO MUCH of this book trying to push away blame for the way his son turned out. He also admits some more or less conman-esque habits (so
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Michael
May 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ultimately I'm not sure Ron Miscavige is really much more likable than his son.
John
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating information, although not particularly well-written.
Richard Lopez
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me intrigued from the moment I started it. I have seen some documentaries regarding Scientology and I have read so many articles relating to its practices but this book gave me new insight.
I don't think anyone will be able to read this book and not think of a cult. The way that the Church of Scientology is currently run is shocking and it surprises me that so many people have chosen to continue to follow its practices.
Ron Miscavige gives great insight as to how life as a member
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Sharon Skinner
May 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm fascinated by Scientology but cannot recommend this book - the writing is terrible and doesn't offer a lot of new information or insight other than the leader being a complete nut.
Brett Rohlwing
A bit meandering, and not as interesting as I hoped. Still, Mr. Miscavige is brave for speaking out on the abuses he has seen and experienced.
Erik Graff
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scientologists
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
I first learned about Scientology from an ad for 'Dianetics' in an old Science Fiction Book Club notice, it being listed along with more typical SF books, then by reading occasional articles appearing in major print media, maybe 'Time' or 'Newsweek'. Eventually I checked out a collection of L. Ron Hubbard's pulp fiction. I wasn't impressed by his writing, but I was impressed by the cult he founded, especially when contrasted with what the daughter of one of his SF colleagues told me of how he ca ...more
Amanda
*I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Ever since the first memoir I read by someone who'd escaped Scientology, this cult/"religion" has really fascinated me. It really baffles me that so many otherwise intelligent people get sucked into the trap of a greedy, overbearing cult. Ron Miscavige, in his memoir Ruthless helps address this, as well as revealing some other experiences and insights, in a casual, conversational tone.

Unlike the other e
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PacaLipstick Gramma
This is absolutely not a literary masterpiece. A whole lot of run on sentences, in serious need of editing, punctuation, and a lot less ego of Ron Miscavige. Not a whole lot about his son, David, except that he was vertically challenged, a tyrant, and evil.

Personally, I have never liked Tom Cruise or Kirstie Allie. (I don't know them personally!!!) It's just that in seeing them on tv, I always thought their egos were bigger than the public's perception of them. Maybe that's why they get along so
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Morgan
May 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
I enjoyed this book but it wasn't particularly well-written or all that interesting. As a palate cleanser after reading the Hamilton bio for like two months, however, being able to read this in a couple days was nice.

If you know a decent amount about Scientology, there's not much new in this book. I have a bit of an obsession with the crazy that is Scientology, so I'll read pretty much anything on the topic. Still, you're not going to find much in this book that sheds light on anything new, not
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Louise
Aug 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ron Miscavige tells how he had come to give 27 years of his life and his family to Scientology. Then he tells how he had escaped (you can’t just leave Gold Base) past the guards and the concertina wire that essentially imprison the Scientology staff. His voice in the book is thoughtful and friendly. In his late 70’s he is starting his life over with a forward looking attitude despite all he has been through.

The book is about Ron’s family and life in Scientology. There is some, but not much on Da
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Cadence
May 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Waaaaaaay too much defense of Scientology and not nearly enough compelling story telling...

Of the half-dozen books about Scientology that I've read, this one's by far the biggest snooze. Ron Sr's life is pretty damn ordinary. I agree with Peter Orvetti, do yourself a favor and skim the first third. Better yet... Go read Lawrence Wright's "Going Clear" or even Jenna Miscavige Hill's memoir instead.
Wendy
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruthless: Scientology

I got pulled into reading this book when I saw a recent interview with Ron Miscavige. I really didn't learn anymore out of the book than I did after seeing his interview though. I had read Jen Miscavige's book a few years ago so this book really didn't add anything that I didn't already know. I think Scientology is just a cult or just like a cult how it keeps family apart if they are not in Scientology with them.
Elyse
This was a scary book. To have your own son become such a monster and you never saw it coming. Yikes. Or you saw little things but didn't put it all together until many years later. Ron Miscavige had an in-depth view of David and what he became, a terrible human being. There was a little repetition and a lot of unnecessary information from Ron's life. But there was some stuff that was really interesting, a firsthand account of David's monstrosity, even to his own family.
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I don't like this man 1 23 May 07, 2016 04:50AM  
It is April 27 2016. Book is not out. 3 5-star votes? 1 16 Apr 27, 2016 12:58PM  

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Ron Miscavige is the estranged father of controversial Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige. He and his family joined Scientology in 1970, and he worked for The Sea Organization for almost 27 of those years before leaving the Church entirely in 2012. He is a Marine veteran and professional musician. Miscavige and his wife Becky live in Wisconsin. His granddaughter is author Jenna Miscavig ...more

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