[David Miscavige] leads people by example and he shows, at the same time, the same caring that you see in him as a man. Ian Clarkson
The first time I actually met David Miscavige in real life—I’d corresponded with him in writing—but we were at Saint Hill and it was before doing a concert. And we were in an office that we were using. And he came walking around the corner and it was amazing because he immediately recognized me and then saw the rest of the band and recognized us and said, “Ah, it’s the Jive Aces,” came over, walked straight up to us, shook our hands, was so pleased to see us. And he has this amazing aura and presence, and it’s almost like, you know, the sunshine came in and it lit up the room, you know.
He is a spiritual man and I think like any spiritual leader you can feel that. But more than anyone else I’ve ever met, his presence was in the room in the most lovely way and he immediately was interested in what we were doing, immediately showing how caring he was about the individuals, the band, the musicians, what we were doing and everything. Amazing.
We were playing at the big charity concert that they hold every year at Saint Hill Manor and David Miscavige was there. And when we came off stage he came over and talked to us. And I play the ukulele and he really likes ukuleles and he was telling me about the fact that a particular guitar company in America now made ukuleles and made them with a koa wood, which is a particularly rare wood that is preferred for ukuleles if you can get it. And he said to me, “Would you like one?” And I was like, “Yeah, yeah of course!” you know, and it was just part of a polite conversation, you know.
And then the amazing thing was that just about Christmastime, I got a phone call and I was asked to come to Saint Hill, and so I drove to Saint Hill from where we were playing. And I went in, and I went into an office there and there was this big package which was itself beautifully wrapped. It was itself, it was like, a ribbon and oh, it was amazing. And I almost didn’t want to open it.
And I got there and I opened up this package and inside it was this beautiful koa wood ukulele. Top, you know, top of the range instrument, beautiful sound, and then—so not only that, not only that, because he actually promised that I would get it, and I got it before Christmas, in time for Christmas, but I then later found out that the company had only actually made thirty of these special ukuleles as collectors’ items, and they’re actually—they had all been sold.
So he basically had to make sure that I got what he had promised, he had made sure that they made another one for me. So I actually got my own special, custom koa ukulele, which to me just shows you that no matter whether it’s a top priority issue or something that he’s promised someone as a present, he goes against all odds to make it actually happen and true to his code actually deliver what he promises.
Having met in my job many leaders, politicians, royalty all over the world, he is the embodiment of what he’s leading. He’s the embodiment of Scientology in that he is caring, he applies it all the time. He knows who you are whether you’re a top executive or somebody that, who has just, you know, come into the Church that he’s visiting. He’s interested in you.
He’s not a man who just speaks, although his speeches are themselves, they’re like so articulate. But he’s a man that actually acts and does. And I think that’s just … you know, he’s like, in the old days he would have been the king that led the army onto the battlefield, not some guy sitting up on the hill watching and talking about it. He’s that sort of leader.
He’s fearless, he will confront what is actually happening in the world and do something about it. He will … he leads people by example and he shows, at the same time, the same caring that you see in him as a man. But he has this ability of spiritually being the size of the group that he’s leading. And thus he’s almost omnipresent in his leadership. So even when he’s not there—you talk to most Scientologists, be they staff, you know, parishioners—you talk to most Scientologists that have experienced the wonders of the Scientology philosophy and its counseling, anything, and they will tell you the same thing, that they would follow him. They would, you know, go to the ends of the Earth to help him, because they’ve seen for themselves what he’s done.