GREY MATTER: Episode 53 – Former executive of Scientology Mike Rinder speaks out about the cult-like institution

Last Updated: November 29, 2022By

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In this episode Constitutional Lawyer Leighton Grey and Mike Rinder have a conversation attempting to explain as clearly as possible, what exactly scientology is, some of the experiences he had as a former Executive of the Scientology organization, and what he had to face to escape from the grips of the organization.


Michael John Rinder, born 10 April 1955, is an Australian-American former senior executive of the Church of Scientology International. From 1982 to 2007, Rinder served on the board of directors of the CSI and also held the post of executive director of its Office of Special Affairs, overseeing the corporate, legal and public relations matters of Scientology at the international level. Rinder left Scientology in 2007. Ever since then, he has spoken about the physical and mental abuse inflicted upon staff members by Chairman of Scientology, David Miscavige and by Rinder himself before his departure from the cult and explained how abuse was embedded into the culture of Scientology.


From 2016 to 2019, he co-hosted the A&E documentary series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”. In 2020, he and Remini reunited to launch the podcast Scientology: Fair Game. In September 2022, he published a memoir named A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology. Rinder has said that he was living in The Hole for over two years “when he was suddenly pulled from his prison and sent on a mission to London to defend the Church against John Sweeney’s film”, Scientology and Me, in March 2007. Michael defended Scientology leader David Miscavige, but Miscavige was unhappy that Rinder was unable to stop the documentary from being shown. As a result, Rinder “was to report to the church’s facility in Sussex, and dig ditches” and then was to be allowed to return to the United States. After leaving Scientology, Michael relocated to Denver, Colorado and initially didn’t intend to speak out against the organization and in 2009, when St. Petersburg Times asked Rinder for an interview, he declined. However, a month later, two Washington-based Scientology lawyers went to his home unannounced, informed Mr. Rinder that they knew about the newspaper’s visit and asked what he had revealed. Rinder and Grey take a deeper look at the Scientology organization and some of the outrageous claims that were made to entice it’s followers into the cult-like institution, how the celebrity endorsed consortium established its presence in the mainstream consciousness.


To find more from Mike Rinder you can visit:


This episode’s recommended reading


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