When we see or hear his words, it tends to be in speeches that he gives to other Scientologists at church events. We also suspect that he often writes some of the public pronouncements that Scientology puts out under the name of its international spokeswoman, Karin Pouw. But words for public consumption under Miscavige’s own signature are very rare, and tend only to occur in court declarations. As far as we can tell, the last one he made was in 1999.
And that’s why we think it’s a pretty big deal that this week, Miscavige submitted a declaration in the lawsuit filed August 16 by Monique Rathbun, a lawsuit which alleges that Miscavige and Scientology have orchestrated a four-year harassment campaign against her simply because she is married to Mark “Marty” Rathbun, who was once Miscavige’s top lieutenant before he became an outspoken critic of the church.
Miscavige this week denied that he has anything to do with the state of Texas or the allegations in the lawsuit, and his attorneys argue that for that reason, he should be dismissed from it. And we have the docs.
When Monique filed the lawsuit on August 16, she was granted a temporary restraining order against Miscavige and the other defendants that prohibits any electronic surveillance or tailing of her. That restraining order was extended to September 12, when there will be a two-day temporary injunction evidentiary hearing during which Monique’s attorney Ray Jeffrey will offer testimony to support the allegations that the Rathbuns have been followed, photographed, and subjected to intimidation attempts.
But Miscavige and the Religious Technology Center — Scientology’s controlling entity — on Thursday filed special appearances, and asked to be let out of the lawsuit. In each case, attorney Lamont A. Jefferson of the San Antonio firm Haynes and Boone argued that Miscavige and RTC have nothing to do with the state of Texas, and that Miscavige doesn’t know Monty Drake and Steven Gregory Sloat, two of the other defendants in the lawsuit. (Drake is a Dallas private investigator, and Sloat is a former U.S. Marshal.) Before we take a closer look at some of the language in those appearances, here’s the text of the declaration by Miscavige that was submitted with his special appearance…
Declaration of David Miscavige in Support of Special Appearance
My name is David Miscavige, my date of birth is April 30, 1960, and my address is 1710 Ivar Ave. Los Angeles, California 90028.
1. I am, and since 1987 have been, the Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center (“RTC”). RTC is a religious non-profit California corporation that is tax exempt under IRC § 501(c)(3) and a church of the Scientology religion. RTC is located at 1710 Ivar Ave., Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA.
2. I am the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.
3. I am a resident of California. I have a California driver’s license and I am registered to vote and have been periodically summoned for jury duty in California. I have never had a Texas driver’s license and have never been registered to vote or eligible for jury duty in Texas.
4. I have never been a resident of the State of Texas. I have never had an office in Texas nor have I ever had a Texas telephone number. I have never had a Texas bank account and have never owned real property in Texas.
5. I do not have any employees, servants, or agents in Texas and I have never committed a tort in whole or in part in Texas. I also have not contracted by mail, or otherwise, with a Texas resident where either party is to perform the contract in whole or in part in the State of Texas. I have never recruited a Texas resident, directly or through an intermediary located in Texas, for employment inside or outside of Texas.
6. I have never availed myself of the privilege of conducting activities within the State of Texas. I have not made any purposeful contacts with the State of Texas seeking any benefit, advantage, or profit, and have not otherwise availed myself of the benefits and protection of Texas law.
7. I have been in Texas once in the last 25 years. In April 2009 I traveled to Texas to officiate at the opening of the new Church of Scientology of Dallas. I was in Dallas for two days.
8. Prior to learning of this lawsuit, I had never heard of nor did I have any knowledge of Defendants Mr. Sloat and Mr. Drake. I was not involved in the hiring, directing, instructing or communicating with Mr. Sloat, Mr. Drake, or anyone else relating to the allegations in this lawsuit.
I declare under the penalties of perjury of the states of Texas and California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed in the United States of America, state of California on the 28th day of August, 2013.
[DOX: Special Appearance of David Miscavige; Declaration of David Miscavige; Special Appearance of RTC; Declaration of Warren McShane]
We don’t know with any certainty what evidence Monique Rathbun and Ray Jeffrey will offer to counter Miscavige’s attempt to get out of the lawsuit. But just from our own reporting, we can’t help thinking he’s set himself up for some potential hurt with this document.
For example, when Miscavige says he has “conducted no activities” in Texas, we’ve talked personally with two men who told us the opposite.
Their names are Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold, and last fall we interviewed them about the 24 years they spent following one man, Pat Broeker, as master spies for the Church of Scientology. During the time they were employed by the church, from 1988 to 2012, they claim to have received their instructions directly from David Miscavige or his direct lieutenants, RTC employees Marty Rathbun or Linda Hamel.
And in 2009, they told us, one of the operations they did for Miscavige and RTC took place in Texas.
By that time, Marty Rathbun had left the church and had started up a blog that was highly critical of Miscavige. So Marrick and Arnold, in addition to their constant task of keeping tabs on Broeker, were asked to go to South Texas and surveil Rathbun, coming up with a way that the church could keep tabs on Marty 24 hours a day.
We spent a full day with Marrick and Arnold, and hours later they did an interview with reporters for the Tampa Bay Times. Later that night, we received a phone call from Ray Jeffrey (who represented them in their breach of contract lawsuit with the church, filed after they were let go from their jobs). The church, Ray told us, wanted to negotiate a settlement. Later, we learned that the lawsuit had been settled, but no terms were divulged. It wasn’t hard to conclude, however, that Marrick and Arnold had been paid a very large sum, and that in return they were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which the church usually requires.
But that non-disclosure agreement would not necessarily prevent Marrick and Arnold from being subpoenaed and brought in to testify in this lawsuit. And if they do, they could directly impeach Miscavige’s sworn statement that he never conducted activities in Texas.
Just for fun, we looked up the penalty for perjury in Texas, and as a Class A misdemeanor, it’s up to a year in jail and a fine of $4,000.
As for the special appearance document itself, it wouldn’t be a Scientology pleading without at least one statement beyond the pale. And here it is, as David Miscavige’s attorney explains that although the Rathbuns are alleging that the church sent the Squirrel Busters to follow and harass them for 199 days, a sex toy was mailed to Monique’s business to embarrass her, a harassing note was sent to another woman in her office with Monique’s name on it to humiliate her, and cameras were set up to watch the Rathbuns’ every move, it is Miscavige who is being harassed…
Mr. Miscavige has no connection to Texas; the petition fails to allege that Mr. Miscavige committed any wrongful acts in the state. Nevertheless, the Plaintiff has attempted to insert Mr. Miscavige into this Texas litigation in what can only be viewed as rank harassment. The plaintiff’s harassment of Mr. Miscavige, the head of a religion, through the Texas courts is an attack on religious freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Texas and the Constitution of the United States. Litigants bent on extorting settlements should not be allowed to so easily and blithely compel the personal participation of ecclesiastical leaders.
In other words, the entirely predictable Scientology legal circus has begun.
Posted by Tony Ortega on September 1, 2013 at 07:00
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