Scientology Critical Information Directory

This site is best viewed using a highly standards-compliant browser

Mike Rinder

Former Current high-ranking scientologist.

There have been rumors for months now that Mike Rinder "blew" the Church of Scientology. In Scientology jargon, "to blow" means he left without asking permission and without going through the complicated procedures required by the Church. Some of these procedures require that he writes down his "crimes," that he signs away his right to speak out against the Church of Scientology, etc.

Between July 17, 2008 and July 28, 2008, his bio page on the Church of Scientology's web site was removed. As of July 28, 2008, Google still has a cached version of the web page on its server. As of July 31, 2008, Yahoo still has a cached version of the web page on its server. His name is also no longer listed on the bios page as of August 11, 2008 (here is a cached version dated July 15, 2008.)

Below are selected excerpts, visit the library for more materials on Mike Rinder. Of interest, Mike Rinder's last interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper: “Scientology an me: The aftermath.” It has been said that he left the Church of Scientology following this interview.

Search the library for "Mike Rinder"...

St. Petersburg Times (June 23, 2009): "Leaving the Church of Scientology: a huge step"
[...] Rinder picked up his briefcase and headed for the subway. He knew the route well. Go to Victoria Station, catch a train to East Grinstead, in Sussex. He had made the trip many times.

But not this day. He exited the subway before reaching Victoria, walked up to street level and toured one of his favorite cities.

A few days later he called Tom De Vocht, saying he was flying into Orlando. Could Tom pick him up?

De Vocht hadn't seen his old friend since he left the church two years earlier. On the way to De Vocht's apartment, they stopped at Kohl's to get Rinder something to wear.

Rinder stayed a few days, then went to Virginia. He wrote the church, saying he wanted to talk to his wife and also wanted his stuff, except his motorcycle and bicycle. Give them to his kids, he wrote.

He did not talk to his wife.

Soon a FedEx package arrived, including a check for $5,000, to cover the motorcycle "and everything else,'' Rinder said. The only items not sent were family photos.

Rinder and his wife, Cathy, divorced after 35 years. A Sea Org member for 35 years, Cathy Rinder called her ex-husband's allegation that Miscavige struck him on some 50 occasions "outrageous.''

"I slept with Mike,'' she said, "and I would have seen it.''

The Rinders have two adult children, both Sea Org members. Since he left the church in 2007, Rinder has had no contact with them and didn't know their 24-year-old son battled cancer the past 18 months. [...]

Radar (March 17, 2008): "Cult Friction" by John Cook
[...] One Scientologist who has apparently forsaken his superpowers is Mike Rinder, formerly head of the Office of Special Affairs and chief spokesman for Scientology. In what many ex-members describe as a significant black eye for the Church, Rinder blew last summer and now lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. Rinder was one of the most powerful men in the organization; it was his Australian baritone that proclaimed on ABC's 20/20 in 1998: "Every few thousand years a man comes along who is so extraordinary he changes the course of history, and L. Ron Hubbard is one of those men."

"Rinder leaving Scientology is like Goebbels leaving the Nazis," says Beatty, who speculates that Rinder couldn't put up with Miscavige any longer. Miscavige is notorious, former Scientologists say, for mistreating and screaming at underlings. [...]

The Today Show (Nov. 2005): An inside look at Scientology, Katie Couric interview with Michael Rinder

Michael Rinder wants people to believe that the Xenu story is not the point of Scientology, even though this is the story the long time members are taught at OT3 level, on their way to OT8, after having paid many hundreds of thousands to the "Church"...

KATIE COURIC: I know that according to my research, L. Ron Hubbard, the father of Scientology, claimed that humans are immortal spiritual beings composed of body, mind and spirit. But he also claimed that 75 million years ago, an evil galactic ruler named Xenu killed billions of his people by sending them to Earth in space planes. You can understand why some people might feel this is, at best, pretty unconventional and I guess at worst just plain out there. Right?

MICHAEL RINDER: I can understand that certainly, Katie. That just has no, no basis in reality. This is one of those things that get spread around one of those old stories that--

KATIE COURIC: So he never--

MICHAEL RINDER: --is run around--

KATIE COURIC: He never wrote about that?

MICHAEL RINDER: No. Not--not in those terms. There is an alteration and twisting of things; and the real point about Scientology is that you can find out what Scientology is by going into any church, by reading any one of these books, getting them. We try and make them as available as possible so that people can see what Scientology is. You won't find anything like that in any of these materials at all.

Robert Vaughn Young (Feb. 2000): Open Letter to Mike Rinder from Robert Vaughn Young

I do hope that when you hear about what I'm doing that you think it is valuable. It will mean that you have some shred of true decency, compassion and humanity left in you.

Robert Vaughn Young (Feb. 2000): Open Letter #2 to Mike Rinder re Cancer from Robert Vaughn Young

So get that message, Rinder. Attack a cancer patient for having cancer or their supporters for supporting them or blame anyone for that condition and you will hear from me on behalf of a very large and growing population.

Mike Rinder: Executive Director, Office of Special Affairs International

Mike Rinder is the Executive Director of the Church of Scientology International’s Office of Special Affairs. This division of the Church oversees corporate, legal and public relations matters and coordinates these for all Churches of Scientology around the world.
Scientology cult: "Scientology's Dictator"
[...] The four assaults I witnessed were against Mike Rinder, Mark Yager, Guillaume Leserve and Ray Mithhoff (four of the highest-ranking officers of the Church of Scientology). In the case of Mike Rinder, he and I were standing shoulder to shoulder when Mike was attacked. Miscavige didn't like a minor edit that Mike had made to a video we were working on. Suddenly Miscavige just went off: he lunged, grabbed Mike's head with both hands and bashed his head into solid cherry-wood paneling three times putting his whole body into the effort. Mike has since departed from the Church. Violent physical abuse is just the tip of a dark iceberg. [...]
Rolling Stone (Feb. 2006): "Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman
Rinder has fielded questions on Scientology's beliefs for years. When I ask him whether there is any validity to the Xenu story, he gets red-faced, almost going into a tirade. "It is not a story, it is an auditing level," he says, neither confirming nor denying that this theology exists.

Marc Headley (February 2006): "Int Base horror stories"

[...] Well I have personally seen [David Miscavige] beat the living shit out of [Mike Rinder] at least 10 times over the course of a year. That was only the times I saw it. I can tell you that there were probably another 10X that behind closed doors. Other people that I have seen him punch/slap and or throw to the ground: Marc Yager, Mark Ingber, Ray Mitoff, Rick Cruzen, Jeff Hawkins, Jason Bennick, G. Lesevre. One time a girl from the Film Area was told to run Yager down in her car — and she complied — she drove after him and to get out of the way he jumped over a wall and broke his friggin ankle!!! I kid you not. This actually happened. [...]

The Lisa McPherson Clause: Scientology Moving to Secure Its 'Right' to Kill Again

JEANNETTE-MEYERS: Rest and relaxation sounds like a wonderful idea. But the records say that two days into her stay she was spitting out food and vomiting, four days into her stay she was ashen faced and feverish, and then she became violent, striking the attendants, hallucinating, thinking that she's L. Ron Hubbard, being too weak to stand, soiling herself, crying, babbling, breaking things. At that point, isn't it clear that it's not working?

RINDER: What's not working?

St. Petersburg Times (Jul. 2002): "How Scientology turned its biggest critic" by Deborah O'Neil

In the middle of 2001, Scientology changed its strategy, Minton said, and came after him through the legal system.

This spring, Minton decided it was time to settle his differences with Scientology.

At noon on Saturday, March 16, Minton picked up the phone and called Mike Rinder at the Church of Scientology International in Los Angeles. "There was a gun aimed at me," Minton said. "Mr. Rinder is the man who had his finger on the trigger."

Affidavit of Vicki Aznaran (7 March 1994)

18. Mike Rinder, a member of the CMO International and his wife, Kathy, had a newborn baby in Clearwater, Florida in the early eighties. Mike Rinder was in Gilman Hot Springs, California at the time. This baby died when only a few days old. The baby had received Hubbard's baby care technology. After the baby died, Rinder asked to receive some time off to go to be with his wife and family.

When Miscavige was told of this, he responded that time off was "bullshit" and Rinder did not need time off, he just needed to work as his stats ("statistics") were down. Besides the baby would get another body and there was nothing to be so upset about.

Scientology's Secret Service: The Office of Special Affairs (1983 to present)

Its head is Mike Rinder (right), a longtime Scientologist and ally of David Miscavige. In the early 1980s he helped to push through the dismemberment of the GO (coyly described as "a series of projects designed to reorganize the legal and public affairs representation of the Church"). He was rewarded in 1985 with the job of looking after all Church legal and public affairs in the United States, a role extended in 1987 to cover external Church affairs internationally as head of OSA International (OSA Int. for short).