#3 Person Crippling Scientology - Marty Rathbun

Type4_PTS

Diamond Invictus SP
Here's the article from earlier today from the Village Voice:
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/09/marty_rathbun_top_25_crippling_scientology.php


There may be no greater outside threat to the continued existence of the Church of Scientology than a lone man who lives near Corpus Christi and who operates a blog he updates about once a day.
Mark "Marty" Rathbun is 54 years old and lives with his wife Monique in Ingleside on the Bay, Texas. Since April, Rathbun and his wife have been undergoing a daily siege by an intimidation squad sent to film them from just outside their house. It has been established now without any real doubt that this squad has been sent and is being directed by the Church of Scientology. Members of the squad have been flown in from around the country. They are being housed, equipped, fed, and if one whistleblowing videographer's testimony can be believed, paid well. The sheer cost of such an operation -- which includes the use of private investigators and local law firms -- has to be fairly staggering.

I don't really doubt Mike Rinder -- who until he defected in 2007 was the Church of Scientology's top spokesman and ran the office that would oversee such an operation -- when he says that the "Squirrel Busters" siege is proof that church leader David Miscavige fears nothing like he fears Rathbun and his blog.

And that's the one and only reason Rathbun is so high in this countdown.

Until now, we've listed in this countdown a lot of fascinating people who are dedicated to the fight to educate the public about the Church of Scientology -- academics, attorneys, journalists, ex-Scientologists, mask-wearing protesters, obsessive Internet researchers, and government officials. Every one of them has contributed to the current rotten state of affairs for Scientology, which is that it's getting increasingly more difficult for the church to find and recruit gullible young people when most of the general public has at least heard something about Scientology's odd beliefs and well-documented abuses.

But as we've learned again and again from former church members, the people who remain in the organization (even as it dwindles in size) are living in a kind of bubble, told to shut out criticism, told to mistrust the media, told even to ignore friends and family who raise questions about church leader David Miscavige.

If Miscavige is in a panic, the reason may be Rathbun's ability to reach deep inside that bubble with his writings in a way that most of us outside the church can't really hope to.

I have to give credit to Jason Beghe for helping me understand this. In 2009, when Rathbun began blogging, years after he'd left the organization in 2004, it seemed odd that, unlike other defectors, he proclaimed that he still believed in the philosophies of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. But Beghe explained to me that Rathbun wasn't writing for us journalists or other ex-Scientologists or for the legions at Anonymous -- Rathbun was targeting his longtime friends still in the church. And he had many friends.

Before he defected and then vanished, Rathbun had been the second-highest-ranking executive in Scientology. He has said that he worked directly with and only answered to church leader Miscavige. As the "Inspector General of Ethics" at the "Religious Technology Center" Rathbun was Scientology's fixer, the guy Miscavige trusted to take care of problems for the church. It was Rathbun, for example, who hired Eugene Ingram, a disgraced former cop and perhaps Scientology's most legendary thug. Rathbun also admitted to the St. Petersburg Times that he destroyed documents pertinent to the investigation into the death of Lisa McPherson. Rathbun is fully aware of the irony that today he is being victimized by the kind of intimidation and harassment that for years he dished out to the church's perceived enemies.

But Rathbun wasn't only Miscavige's enforcer. He was also one of the most respected auditors in an organization built around the belief that Hubbard's talking cure and odd e-meter device could bring some kind of spiritual salvation. Beghe told me about auditing with Rathbun, and how when he was entering or leaving the room where Rathbun counseled him, he'd often run into Rathbun's other celebrity client, Tom Cruise. It was only Rathbun, Beghe told me, who Miscavige trusted to bring Cruise back into the fold after the actor had spent nearly a decade out of the church.

Beghe himself was struggling with frustrations that were common among high-paying, longtime Scientologists, even if they were discouraged from airing their grievances. Miscavige had announced that there were errors and problems in the Hubbard materials that everyone in the church had been using for decades. After making corrections, he asked members to retrain on exorbitantly expensive materials, to redo levels that they'd spent years on. As Beghe puts it, he couldn't believe he was being asked to spend tens of thousands of dollars for supposed mistakes that the church itself had made. Beghe poured out those concerns to his auditor, Rathbun.

Today, Rathbun is making an appeal to the people who remain in the church, but who may be too afraid to tell anyone else their own frustrations and doubts. After all, people -- even terrified Scientologists -- do talk. And through such gossip they hear that Rathbun has a blog where he discusses Miscavige's changes to the tech. Fearful Scientologists who might not dare read the St. Petersburg Times or look at "Operation Clambake" or the Anonymous website WhyWeProtest find their way to Rathbun's blog. And there, they find a fellow Scientologist who understands their frustrations and beckons them to leave the church for a loose, independent movement of Hubbard adherents. We regularly see such church veterans declare their independence on Rathbun's blog in jargon-filled recitations of greivances about Miscavige and the official church.

For those who fear that Rathbun, by recruiting such defectors, is just creating some kind of mirror church, the truth is more prosaic. Even Rathbun admits that those coming out and auditing with him are not doing it to rocket up "the bridge" to Hubbard's legendary superhuman states, but simply to deal with the pain they are going through because of their disillusionment with the church.

"He's trying to give people a stepping stone out of the church. It's really hard to give up everything you were indoctrinated your entire life to believe," says Amy Scobee. "That was the missing link, I think, for people to leave."

Some time ago, I began thinking of Rathbun's blog and his independence movement as a kind of halfway house. Longtime Scientologists, some of whom were accustomed to paying thousands of dollars every month, have been leaving the church to spend time either at Rathbun's blog or visiting him in Ingleside on the Bay. They might get some counseling and give Rathbun a donation. (Michael Fairman said recently that after several days fishing and auditing with the Rathbuns, he donated $1,000, far less than what he was spending for similar treatment in the church.) And after such counseling to deal with the pain of leaving the church, they then move on, some going entirely out of Scientology altogether, as they get accustomed to living without the regimented structure, the constant "regging" (asking for money), and threats of disconnection and fair game (shunning and retaliation).

"People listen to me because I'm not attacking Hubbard, I'm not attacking the technology," Rathbun told me last week. "I have never tried to convince anybody to come see me. I've never tried to convince or sell somebody on continuing to try Scientology."

Amy Scobee tells me the same thing: "He doesn't try to push Scientology on us. We're not Scientologists at all."

It's the opposite of Miscavige's hard-sell approach. And it seems to be working. His recent arrest, he says, shocked many high-level, longtime Scientologists, and is only going to help him bring them out of the official church. And if they come to him, he says, he doesn't care if they want to continue to audit or not.

"I'm not dogmatic. I contend that the technology, applied rationally and sanely, can help you in your life. But really, it's all about freedom. Tony, I've had three referrals from psychoanalysts," he says, explaining that three former church members were recommended to him by therapists who wanted him to help their patients deal with the difficulties of leaving the church. Each of them, he says, he has only seen once, and he doesn't anticipate seeing them again.

It's certainly been a remarkable two years since Rathbun (with the surprising help of church critic Mark Bunker) started his blog.

"We thought Marty was dead. There was a lot of talk about it online," Amy Scobee told me recently. She says there was even a supposed death certificate being talked about since Rathbun had left the church in 2004 and had vanished. Then, in 2008, her husband Mat Pesch noticed that a MySpace page he hardly ever looked at had a message from someone who said he was an old friend who needed to remain nameless.

"That's either Marty or someone pretending to be Marty," he told her. Pesch and Rathbun had known each other since the late 1970s, when they joined the Sea Org. He had been the best man at their wedding.

"We asked him questions only Marty would know," Scobee says. When he answered them correctly, they were thrilled to learn that he was, in fact, alive. They went to see him for a five-day visit.

"We didn't know if he wanted to talk about Scientology," she says, admitting that they were somewhat apprehensive at first. "We practically didn't sleep. We talked and talked. I asked so many questions that I could finally get answers to. The things only he knew," she says.

"We just had a blast. We were fishing and talking for hours and hours. We told him about our stories of disconnection. That it was so devastating," she adds. "That had a huge impact on him. He was writing to us often after we went back home, that maybe he could do something about it, maybe force Miscavige to let our family get back together."

She declined that invitation. She was finished with Scientology, and the last thing she wanted was to be back in its "good graces" so it would lift its disconnection order.

After Scobee and Pesch visited, Jason Beghe went to Texas to spend time with Rathbun. And that's when, Rathbun has told me, he started to think beyond just helping a few people with their lingering problems with the church. In his words, he started "to think big." A few months later, he started blogging.

I asked Scobee if she agrees with Mike Rinder that David Miscavige fears nothing like he fears Rathbun and his blog.

"I think that is what David Miscavige thinks," she answered.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Yep, I would have Marty at #3 in my Top 25, too.
It's not that I think he's wonderful, great, saintly or any of that other BS that idiots like to throw around, it's just that he's actually doing something to cripple scientology.
 

Type4_PTS

Diamond Invictus SP
Yep, I would have Marty at #3 in my Top 25, too.
It's not that I think he's wonderful, great, saintly or any of that other BS that idiots like to throw around, it's just that he's actually doing something to cripple scientology.

No doubt he's done some good things to cripple the CoS. And while I don't mean to take away from the positive things he HAS done I believe a strong case could be made to put many others in front of him at the #3 spot.
 
Yep, I would have Marty at #3 in my Top 25, too.
It's not that I think he's wonderful, great, saintly or any of that other BS that idiots like to throw around, it's just that he's actually doing something to cripple scientology.

Don't quite share that viewpoint. It may be true, but what I see is just another game of oppterm being played. The church is crippling itself.


Mark A. Baker
 
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afaceinthecrowd

Gold Meritorious Patron
If you look at it as the #3 person crippling "Scientology" and not just the Cof$...yeah, I'd sure enough say Marty, "The Wannabee Texan", is #3.

Face :)
 

Mick Wenlock

Admin Emeritus (retired)
Yep, I would have Marty at #3 in my Top 25, too.
It's not that I think he's wonderful, great, saintly or any of that other BS that idiots like to throw around, it's just that he's actually doing something to cripple scientology.

Nope.

He is trying to preserve Scientology.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Oh, I understand completely how diverse opinions may be on the subject. I just expressed mine.

When the Top 25 series first started I made my own Top 5 and happen to agree with Tony O and those quoted in the article about Marty's role (I actually had him at #4 originally).

It doesn't matter whether you're a Martyfan or think he's a Moonbat; good/bad, he's doing something and generating more inspection and discussion than most.
 

Veda

Sponsor
Rathbun is supposed to be a kind of pied piper leading Scientologists out of the Scientology organization.

Most, who appear on his site, left on their own, unmotivated by Marty.

Many left years before Marty's Blog existed.

No matter, "Marty gets people out" is the mantra.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Nope.

He is trying to preserve Scientology.
I understand that, Mick, I really do.

It doesn't matter to me that he's trying to excise the cancer and save the patient. It really doesn't matter, the patient is forever crippled. There's no coming back from this one. Everything Marty does just draws more attention to the limp.

I have no problem with people practicing scientology if they so choose, I have a problem with criminal and abusive behaviour.
 

Veda

Sponsor
-snip-

I have no problem with people practicing scientology if they so choose, I have a problem with criminal and abusive behaviour.

Would lying about Hubbard and Hubbard's Scientology, especially when that lying is directed as newly outs, be abusive behavior?

For almost 60 years, people have been leaving the Scientology organization, and they managed to do so without being lied to.

I really don't believe that Marty wants to destroy the Scientology organization with its billion $ plus reserves and its vast real estate holdings. He wants to reclaim it. And why shouldn't he?

He's Hubbard's number one cheerleader outside of the Scientology Organization, and I'm sure RON would want his money and buildings reclaimed by in-Ethics and On-Source Scientologists.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
I agree with those who think Marty has helped cripple the Church of Scientology. I think "Church of Scientology" is where Ortega is coming from.

However, I never expected to see Tom Cruise below Marty on that list. I think Cruise is known throughout the entire galaxy as a Scientology crippler. Others I thought could have made the Top Five include Xenophon and Davis.

I think there are only two names left -- Miscavige and Hubbard. Anybody else possible in those two slots? Have we forgotten someone who's obvious?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's Hubbard at #2 and Miscavige at #1.

Some have argued against Hubbard making the list, since he's long gone. However, Xenu made #25 and Lisa McPherson made #10, so "living human being" is not a Village Voice requirement for the Top 25.

BTW, I am betting The People's Choice Award (chosen by readers' votes) will be Anonymous, who surely have stuffed the ballot boxes.

TG1
 

Infinite

Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller
..



jumptheshark.jpg
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Would lying about Hubbard and Hubbard's Scientology, especially when that lying is directed as newly outs, be abusive behavior?

For almost 60 years, people have been leaving the Scientology organization, and they managed to do so without being lied to.
Does he knowingly lie? Do you know that for sure? If he did, I'd think that was kinda abusive. I'd think the same of anyone who knowingly lied in order to control and manipulate people, even you.

Then again, I'm not discussing the Pros and Cons of Marty, I'm discussing the Top 25 People Crippling Scientology. Thanks for the update on the last 60 years, though.
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
Nope.

He is trying to preserve Scientology.



Fascinating conundrum.

Does Marty help or hurt Scientology the applied religious philosophy?

Firstly.....

Although I have been declared (by Marty) to be a "low-toned, nattering hater", in defiance of his Technical Proclamation of Condemnation, I nonetheless love Marty's whistle-blowing. Wait. A hater is not supposed to be able to do that, are they??

I had to wonder, what is the NET effect of Marty's blog-launched revelations about the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, Profligate Inurement, Corruption, Crush-Ponzi-Regging, OSA Ops, Gulag Imprisonment, Reverse Auditing and Fair Game? And what of modern Scientology as a mind-damaging "implant" as Marty so assuredly sermonizes?

What message do wogs get from all this?

Probably just this....

Scientology be so CRAZEeeeeee!

Well, I love that too.

I am doing pretty good for a hater, ya gotta admit.
 
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TG1

Angelic Poster
HH, I gotta say this out loud ...

There used to be a really clever guy over at Marty's called "OTDT" (not OTBT, who's the guy here and over on WWP). Anyway, OTDT disappeared months ago, but while he was there all he wrote were these hilarious j/d posts. He had an alterego (I think) called "Deep Fax." I was certain he/they was/were you.

TG1
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
I think Rathbun is a rallying point for people who were mostly out, afraid to speak and clinging to scientology - thanks it seems to Amy and Jason. The more people who speak out the better. What he intends to do when he gets rid of Misscabbage is another story. I don't like him, I don't trust him, but he is getting media attention as the "#2 of scientology who left" and that dubious status seems to carry some weight. At least it opens some doors and the truth can start marching through.
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
HH, I gotta say this out loud ...

There used to be a really clever guy over at Marty's called "OTDT" (not OTBT, who's the guy here and over on WWP). Anyway, OTDT disappeared months ago, but while he was there all he wrote were these hilarious j/d posts. He had an alterego (I think) called "Deep Fax." I was certain he/they was/were you.

TG1

lololol

Yeah, I saw OTDT's postings. Hilarious insightful, edgy satire!

When reading his spoofs, I often thought: "Dis motherfucker can write!"

I also wondered: "Who dat iz?"

"But it ain't me, babe. No, no, no, it ain't me babe. It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe."
 
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