Denise Gentile, the twin sister of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was reportedly arrested in January for possession of marijuana. The charges are making news as Gentile's pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 25.
"The church does not discuss Mr. Miscavige's family as it would be inappropriate to do so," spokeswoman Karin Pouw told The Tampa Bay Times.
Gentile was arrested in January after police staked out a suspected drug house; she was seen leaving the house and was pulled over by police. When authorities searched her vehicle, they found nine cigars containing marijuana. She told police she did not know how the cigars had gotten in her car and apparently showed physical signs of intoxication.
Gentile blew a 0.119 and 0.124, which is significantly higher than the .08 legal limit at which Florida allows citizens to drive. She was arrested, charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, DUI, and failure to yield.
Her brother, a leader of the Scientologist church, gives her a high profile and makes her more subject to scorn by the church, which prohibits the use of any drugs.
"The single most destructive element present in our current culture is drugs," founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote.
"Drugs are usually taken to escape from unwanted emotions, pains or sensations," the church's website states. "In Scientology, the real reason for these unwanted conditions are located and handled so that the individual no longer needs or desires drugs. Drugs dull people and make them less aware. Scientology's aim is to make people brighter and more aware."
Gentile was reportedly high up the ladder in the Scientologist church. She was an "Operating Thetan VI," two levels shy of the Bridge to Total Freedom.
She "summarily denies any allegation that she received contraband from anyone,' lawyer Jo Ann Palchak told the Times. The Times' research "contains numerous inaccuracies which are shocking, hurtful and defamatory," Palchak added, though she did not say which facts were wrong.