The Church of Scientology has endured decades of scandal based on allegations of abuse, mind control, and other cult-like tactics. Perhaps no controversy has sparked more suspicion than the sudden disappearance of a church leader’s wife. Where is Shelly? In, 60 Minutes Australia travels to the US to track down Shelly Miscavige and uncover the possible motivations behind her 13-year absence from public or private view.
The church is notoriously aggressive in response to critics or under the glare of the press. Remini and others provide valuable context to the film and help advance the investigation into Miscavige’s whereabouts.
At the center of the mystery is the mysterious leader of the church, David Miscavige. A prophet to some, and a ruthless and bloodthirsty dictator to others, Miscavige assumed leadership in the church in the early 1980s. As the film investigates, we hear harrowing stories from former church members. They testify to severe beatings and the expulsion of members who unwisely disobeyed or questioned the leader’s strict orders. Is this the level of punishment that the leader’s wife received? Is it something more dangerous than that? Or did Shelley Miscavige fall off the social map by choice?
“This may be the biggest conspiracy ever practiced on the public,” admitted an emotional Ron Miscavige, David’s estranged father, and vocal critic.
The documentary crew travels from Los Angeles to Clearwater, Florida to find new clues and the ultimate solution to a twisted mystery. Along the way, they explore the financial value of Scientology’s operations, including the benefits they receive from their tax-free status and the structure they have built to ensure continued financial viability.
In pulse-pounding fashion, where’s Shelly? Follows the twists and turns of a real-life mystery that’s equal parts surreal, cryptic and haunted.