For the many years that I knew Shelly Miscavige, she was obsessed with fulfilling the role of Manuela Saenz to DM’s Simon Bolivar. It was a hauntingly out of valence life. Shelly made close associates of DM read biographies of Bolivar and Saenz. Shelly made all of RTC read such, instructing that they all ought to be playing the role of Saenz in one form or another. She even had certain celebrities reading her books implying they ought to be treating DM like Bolivar.
While Shelly could be extremely ruthless, just as the rest of us in the inner circle could be and were, her attempts to be Manuela were not all for the bad. I saw Shelly on a number of occasions object to Miscavige physically beating people, when it got out of hand. She was the only one who could get away with that. Had she not been there and said not loudly but firmly “Dave” while DM was psychotically kicking and/or punching somebody already down on the floor, I am sure there would have been some ER cases on DM’s hands. I attribute the lack of more physical disabilities incurred by staff to Shelly in that regard.
Toward the end of my career, Shelly sometimes came by my office after a particularly brutal DM espisode, plop down in the chair in front of my desk, and look up to me and say wistfully, “what are we going to do?” Because of the atmosphere of terror instilled prohibiting any sign of disaffection, I’d reply with an equally wistful, “hell, I don’t know.” Those little mutual shoulder shrugging moments – while signally ineffective – told me that Shelly was not DM, and even though I had once suspected it, she was not a source of his violent psychosis.
(look for Part II tomorrow)