What Really Happened

What Really Happened

Imagine this: Individuals formerly in charge of external legal affairs of the Church are removed from their positions of authority by the ecclesiastical leader of Scientology, Mr. David Miscavige. These people are guilty of gross malfeasance in the performance of their duties and they are in disgrace. They are demoted and stripped of any authority. They are given new positions, albeit in a substantially reduced capacity. Unhappy with their fall from power and unwilling to reform, they choose to turn their backs on friends and family and leave their religion.

Years later, broke, busted and bitter, they conspire to feed a stream of lies to a newspaper infamous for printing any allegation—no matter how unbelievable and unreliable—attacking the Church of Scientology, its leaders and members. They attempt to represent themselves as concerned “reformers” protesting abuse in the Church. Of course, their chosen forum—the S.P. Times—is a newspaper detested by Scientologists for having viciously attacked the religion for more than 25 years. The Times’ sources knew this as they themselves often dealt with the lies printed by the Times. Hence, anyone else but the Times would have well known the motivation of these sources wasn’t so-called “reform,” but a calculated move to spew their venom and “get back” at the person responsible for their removal. But then again, the Times is a publication that has never missed an opportunity to attack the Church, no matter the bias and prejudice of their sources, since none were more biased than the Times itself.

But that is not the complete story—far from it.

The full story of what motivated the Times’ three main sources, Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder and Tom DeVocht, is sinister and shocking. It involves their own sordid criminal conspiracy, never fully known by the Church and revealing the true character of the Times’ sources and their penchant for lying.

By way of background, numerous legal matters supposedly supervised by Rathbun and Rinder, who had operated as external legal affairs officers, were grossly mishandled, resulting in cases that should never have existed and extensive legal fees and costs to the Church that should never have been incurred. These matters were subsequently brought to peace by Mr. Miscavige. This led to extensive internal investigations initiated by Mr. Miscavige himself to clean house and get to the bottom of what could have brought about such disasters. Whereupon, those responsible staff were summarily removed from their positions of authority—including Rathbun and Rinder—both for repeated catastrophes of their own creation, and sabotaging the successful handling of the legal cases they supervised.

Although these individuals were removed from their posts in 2002, the internal investigation to uncover legal malfeasance and clean house continued as lingering questions remained through 2003 and 2004. In particular: who was the real source and cause of past legal disputes? This investigation then led to additional revelations of their wrongdoing.

In his own words, Rathbun admitted personal responsibility for “the magnitude of the harm visited upon Scientology, and thus mankind, through my losing ways,” causing the Church to spend—by his own calculation—over $43 million in parishioner funds to defend matters he had instigated improperly or had sabotaged through his own legal malfeasance without anyone’s knowledge.

His further admissions mirrored the findings of the internal investigation which led to his removal from post:

“I have a proven proclivity for creating some of the greatest catastrophes in Church history when allowed to have some leash.”

Separately, the internal investigation also revealed that Rinder was equally responsible for complicity in every instance of this legal malfeasance. This was revealed by Rathbun when he admitted in a public announcement to fellow staff:

“I recognize my actions have been unfounded and ignorant and destructive in the extreme. There is no conspiracy connected with this pattern of suppression, except a portion of it. That is Mike Rinder who has gone into tacit agreement with me on making nothing of situations, false reporting on them, and allowing them to expand until they explode on Chairman of the Board’s plate to handle.”

Given the extent of their destructive acts, there was no question as to why both of these individuals were removed from their positions of authority by Mr. Miscavige. They, along with their peers, knew full well that they would never hold such elevated positions again.

As the investigation continued to uncover further malfeasance, Rathbun’s permanent post removal was confirmed by his termination and demotion to a lower Church organization in December 2003. Once stripped of even a thin veneer of authority he had maintained by virtue of lower level Churches finally aware of his ecclesiastical crimes, he rapidly deteriorated into a psychotic state. It was most manifest in physical attacks on other staff and what otherwise was described as a “reign of terror.” In this, he was joined by Tom DeVocht, who subsequently confessed that: “Marty Rathbun and I were working together as close friends and beating up people” and, more revealing, that “Mike Rinder got beaten by Marty and I.”

Rathbun’s decision to join forces with DeVocht constituted a mystery that would only be cleared up years later. But for now, nobody could understand their relationship, since during their entire staff tenure they performed entirely different functions—Rathbun handling legal affairs, DeVocht supervising building renovations.

Nevertheless, when Mr. Miscavige returned to the Church location where they had instituted their self-proclaimed “reign of terror,” he uncovered their abuses and summarily put them to an end. Shortly thereafter, in February 2004, Rathbun deserted in disgrace for the second time. As for DeVocht, he never disclosed his dark secret—his unknown conspiracy with Rathbun. Indeed, as the investigation continued, he too suddenly deserted—leaving both the Church and his wife... albeit not without a “good luck” handshake from Rinder, soon discovered, but which Rinder refused to explain. Again, it was another mystery not to be cleared up for years.

Meanwhile, Rinder worked in various low-level positions and the investigation into legal botch-ups faded away as the Church moved forward in peace, embarking on new expansion plans.

Then suddenly, three years after Rathbun’s final desertion, it came to light that he had in fact slinked away with a dark, sinister secret.

The date was January 2007, when a staff member came forward with a lingering suspicion that Rathbun and Rinder had conspired to withhold vital information in a legal case. In particular, it was reported that every time Mr. Miscavige had ordered Rathbun and Rinder to investigate a particularly egregious act and why it had even occurred, they would wink at each other as soon as Mr. Miscavige left the room.

Although Rathbun was long gone, confronted with the facts, Rinder admitted he had indeed conspired with Rathbun. In essence, then, the very investigation Mr. Miscavige had repeatedly, and for years, ordered Rathbun and Rinder to conduct had always “dead ended” as they were themselves the culprits.

In consequence, Rinder was further demoted and informed he would be barred from ever holding any position of authority in the international ecclesiastical management structure. Shortly thereafter, now working in England where he had been transferred, and denied the power he so cherished, he too walked away in the dead of night.

However, certain mysteries still remained: The Rathbun-DeVocht relationship that motivated them to team up to beat up fellow staff who dared ask them about their unexplainable partnership. And another: The mysterious handshake from Rinder when DeVocht deserted—desertion being an act uniformly despised by Church members and grounds for automatic expulsion from the religion as mandated by ecclesiastic Justice Codes. Finally, why did DeVocht aid and abet Rathbun and Rinder as part of the S.P. Times attack?

The answer to these questions came in Rathbun’s shocking revelation to the S.P. Times. Rathbun revealed for the first time that he had destroyed evidence and that DeVocht was also directly involved in his criminal scheme to suborn perjury. Moreover, and for all intents and purposes, they formed an agreement in blood to never tell their superiors, in particular, Mr. Miscavige.

So, not only did this trio place the Church in jeopardy through obstruction of justice, but in so doing they incurred untold millions in legal expenses to defend their acts—thought to be instigated by others. While to make matters worse, it once again required the efforts of Mr. Miscavige to clean up their mess—distracting him from his ecclesiastic duties for six years. Moreover, he had to do it all while wholly in the dark as to what had really occurred and who the responsible parties were.

In that regard, these so-called legal affairs guys were, in actuality, the enemy within.

Coming clean to the Times, Rathbun admitted that he committed crimes on his own initiative without any direction to do so and that he specifically withheld these destructive actions from his seniors.

The S.P. Times well knew its three major sources were each involved in a conspiracy to lie. The S.P. Times also now knew that neither the Church nor its current leadership had any knowledge of their actions. Rathbun’s own damning utterances to the reporters provided clear evidence of the sources’ complete lack of character and credibility.

And what did the S.P. Times do when presented with allegations of wrongdoing by admitted liars and co-conspirators?

Rather than write a story focusing on the felonies committed by their sources and their wrongdoing, it made short shrift of these serious transgressions while eagerly listening as the sources spoon-fed them a new web of lies designed to attack the man who had removed them, Mr. David Miscavige, the man who they had lied to for nearly a decade to cover up their crimes.

Worse yet, when Church representatives confronted the Times reporters with unequivocal evidence that their sources were further lying about their concocted fairy tales of so-called “abuse”—that their sources were actually the ones committing the abuses they complained of, that they were removed from their positions of authority for committing those very abuses, and that the Times was being used as a vehicle to get back at the person who ended their reign of terror—the Times instead rushed to print their sources’ lies. Needless to say, it was nothing less than “damage control” to keep the Church from utterly discrediting their sources—not to mention exposing the Times’ utter lack of journalistic skill in failing to uncover their lies in 13 weeks of “investigation.”

After all, joining together to lie was the one thing Rathbun, Rinder and DeVocht had proven they were good at—and the Times, though conned, has never been known for humility.