Mitch Brisker was in the Church of Scientology for nearly 50 years, serving at one point as the director and creative executive of Scientology’s Golden Era Studios, where he made training films used internally within the organization.
He says he left the church in 2020 after realizing he could no longer endure the abuses of David Miscavige, the church’s leader. Brisker, who has written “The Big Lie: How I Made an Evil Cult Look Good,” spoke about his experience Monday on “CUOMO.”
“I didn’t understand for many, many years it was an evil cult,” Brisker said.
The Church of Scientology has come under great scrutiny in recent years as former high-profile members, including actress Leah Remini, break their silence about the inner workings of the church and its belief system.
One of, if not the most prominent member of the church, is actor Tom Cruise, whom Brisker believes is a both the face of the church and a victim.
“All of his marriages have been completely disintegrated by his quote-unquote friend, the leader of the church, David Miscavige; all of his ex-wives have been declared enemies of the church. He’s been completely estranged from his one biological offspring,” Brisker said. “I don’t know how that could happen without being victimized. … I don’t think people understand that a person can be put in a high level of privilege as a way of abusing.”
Earlier this year, Remini sued the church and Miscavige, alleging she was harassed, intimidated, surveilled and defamed.
Remini has been speaking out against Scientology since leaving the organization in 2013 after being a member for almost 35 years.
In July 2020, she started co-hosting the podcast “Scientology: Fair Game.”
Fair Game, as explained by Brisker, is the idea that the church actively works to discredit its so-called “enemies” to protect its reputation. The church disputes this characterization.
Brisker pointed to the case of Danny Masterson, a Scientologist who earlier this year was found guilty of raping two women at his home in the early 2000s.
“They’re not protecting Danny Masterson, they’re protecting Scientology … because Scientology teaches that … it’s the only hope for mankind and that it has the means, what it calls its technology, to actually reform a criminal and make a victim whole,” Brisker said.
“They have to make sure that the victims don’t speak out and they have to make sure that Danny … doesn’t fall into the justice system because in their belief, that would be the worst thing in the world because they have been taught and they believe that their technology, their methods can actually fix a guy like Danny and it never could, so they’re left with this horrible feeling that they have to cover up. It’s not that they’re covering up criminality, they’re covering up a failure of their beliefs.”
NewsNation affiliate KTLA contributed to this report.