“In 1988, there was no Internet, no cell phones. Things were a lot different then,” Arnold says. “We knew very little about Scientology and nothing about Pat Broeker.”
“We thought we were following a crook,” Marrick adds.
While Broeker lived on Scientology property, he was also driving it. His car was registered to Scientology’s printing arm, Bridge Publications. So the church, Marrick and Arnold say, authorized putting a tracking device on it, a magnetic device on its battery cable.
“We had a radio detection finder. It was crude, but it could give you the general direction he was in,” Marrick says.
They also had help. A man named John Brousseau worked at the ranch, and would tip them when Broeker came or went.
“Joe’s going to St. Louis” was code that Broeker had left the ranch. “Chicken’s in the coop” was the sign that he’d returned, they say.
“I remember that,” Brousseau says today. “I even went and attached the tracking device on his Ford Pickup. I wired it to the truck’s battery so they never had to change batteries in the unit. It was a little midnight work with a pen light.”
Brousseau is one of the most recent “Sea Org” workers to leave Scientology’s secretive International Base, east of Los Angeles. (We wrote a lengthy two-part story about him earlier this year.)
JB, as he’s known, says Broeker was unaware of the surveillance keeping a tight watch on him. “Not a clue. He was completely clueless. My surveillance would supplement theirs. And I reported directly to Miscavige,” Brousseau says.
“Miscavige was looking for some hidden information, hidden files, hidden money, or original Hubbard documents that Broeker was supposed to have,” he adds. “But I don’t think anything really came of all this searching.”
Broeker soon left the ranch and moved in with a woman who was a veterinarian in Paso Robles. (By then, he had split with Annie Broeker, who would live out the rest of her life at Scientology’s Int Base near Hemet until she was moved to a Hollywood apartment to die in secrecy in 2011.)
Marrick and Arnold say they looked for ways to get closer to Broeker in Paso Robles. They rented the house next door, and asked a young woman to live there. She didn’t work out, so they replaced her with another woman who would eventually became Arnold’s wife. With her in place, they installed sensors to keep watch on Broeker’s house.
Concerned about their operation attracting the attention of local law enforcement, they purchased a police radio scanner. While monitoring it, they noticed that it picked up private conversations that people nearby were having over the new invention of cordless telephones.
“Ding!” Marrick says, remembering how that discovery gave them an idea.
They checked the legality of it, and sure enough, not only was it legal to eavesdrop on cordless phone conversations, but the law also allowed the recording of such calls.
As part of their operation, Marrick’s father, “Big Paul,” was enlisted to befriend Broeker. Over time, they became close, and Big Paul was invited to the Broeker house. He gave Broeker’s girlfriend a gift of a cordless phone for Christmas in 1988.
Over the next year, Marrick and Arnold taped every conversation that Pat Broeker made over the phone. They still have the tapes, and listened to them again recently with their attorneys to prepare for their lawsuit.
“We’d been told he was a drunk and a thief. That was false. He’s a true believer in Scientology,” Marrick says. “He’s an introvert. He likes reading and studying.”
(If Marrick and Arnold were careful to keep their surveillance activities within the law, John Brousseau says the church itself wasn’t so concerned about legalities. While Broeker was still at Creston Ranch, he says, he installed a listening device that switched on whenever Broeker made or received a call on the ranch’s circuit. Brousseau listened in on those conversations, which were mostly between Broeker and his Paso Robles girlfriend. “I felt really weird listening to them,” he says. “But this wasn’t my own origination. I was told to do this stuff. Miscavige said, ‘This guy’s probably got shit hidden, and we need to track it down. We need to follow him.’ Miscavige absolutely knew what was going on.”)
Besides listening to Broeker’s conversations, Marrick and Arnold also paid sanitation workers to have his trash delivered to them. Sifting through it, they gathered more information about his habits and activities.
Marrick and Arnold were paying other informants. They were paying the rent on houses, cars, and they were paying teams of other investigators.
But then, the church wanted to know that it was getting its money’s worth.
In the spring of 1989, Miscavige planned a meeting with Broeker at Joshua’s Restaurant, a prominent establishment in Paso Robles at the time. Marrick and Arnold were told by Rathbun that Miscavige wanted to be followed, he wanted the meeting videotaped, and he wanted it to happen without his being able to detect that it was going on.
“Miscavige wanted to test our abilities,” Arnold says. “He wanted to make sure Broeker wouldn’t know that he was being followed.”
Marrick can vividly recall watching the discussion between the two men from a distance. “Pat leaped on the table. He was talking down at David and wagging his finger in his face. We could not hear what he was saying, though,” he says.
From the phone calls they were listening in on, Arnold added, they got the impression that Broeker had no fear of Miscavige.
After the meeting, Rathbun told them that Miscavige was unable to detect their presence. They had passed the test.
“After the test, Marty told us to take over the operation,” Marrick says.
“We were told that we would have jobs for life,” Arnold adds.
Following the test, they were called down to Los Angeles for a meeting with Rathbun at the Bonaventure Hotel. They were escorted to a room, where a woman was waiting with an e-meter. It was time for another interrogation, asking the same questions to find out if they harbored secret animosities against Miscavige, Rathbun, or the church.
After passing that test, Rathbun gave them four cashier’s checks for $8,000 each. It was their first week’s pay.
“Take over this thing,” he told them.
“We had to tell the others that the operation was over. But it really wasn’t,” Arnold says.
From now on, Marrick and Arnold were on their own. Only the two of them, Rathbun, and Miscavige would know that they were being paid to watch Broeker.
[Continued on page three]