History and Historiography

The Sordid Legacy of Dr. King

Virtually all of history is a heel vs. heel match.

By Pedro Gonzalez, Chronicles

After he left the Church of Scientology, Hollywood screenwriter Paul Haggis recalled a discussion he had had with his fellow Scientologists. If great leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. can err, Haggis suggested to his zealous peers, so too can the cult’s leader, David Miscavige.

“How dare you compare a great man like David Miscavige to Martin Luther King!” a senior church official allegedly replied, to Haggis’ shock. Former parishioners have accused Miscavige and his followers of everything from moral hypocrisy to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.

Unfortunately for both Haggis and Scientologists, that means Miscavige has a few things in common with the Reverend Martin Luther King.

Hitherto unseen FBI surveillance records reviewed by King biographer David J. Garrow in 2019 surfaced shocking allegations about King’s personal life that are in stark contrast to his reputation as an icon of social justice and Christian morality. Apart from more graphic details about numerous extramarital affairs, these documents allege King participated in the rape and sexual abuse of a female parishioner by a fellow minister. “King looked on, laughed and offered advice,” during the rape, according to the files.

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