Just a few weeks ago, former Scientology executive Mark “Marty” Rathbun found himself confronted by three high-ranking church officials who ambushed him at a gate in the Los Angeles International Airport while carrying cameras and speaking bizarrely. The video Rathbun shot of the encounter got a lot of attention in the press as it captured the strange way Scientology has of dealing with former members.
And now it’s happened again. Last night, former Scientology “Sea Org” worker Marc Headley accompanied a television crew from Denmark as it surveyed the flood damage at Scientology’s secretive International Base east of Los Angeles. Headley tells us that a mudslide which had closed Gilman Springs Road (the road that bisects the 500 acre compound) has wiped out a whole section of the fence that not only keeps the public out of the facility, but also is intended to keep Scientologists at the base from getting out.
Headley and his wife Claire each had to plan meticulous and risky escapes in order to get away from their restrictive life on the base in 2005, and those escapes became the material for Headley’s 2009 book, Blown for Good. So yesterday, Headley was showing the Danish crew the places he describes in the book. And they were just about to wrap up and drive back to LA, he says, when a group of about ten Scientology Sea Org workers suddenly showed up with cameras and began berating Marc.
Headley tells us he had brought several high-quality cameras on the trip, but the ambush was so sudden, he only had time to get out his iPhone and record a couple of short videos.
Here’s what Marc sent us about the incident…
We left for the base in the early afternoon from Los Angeles. We arrived in two vehicles. The main production crew in a large SUV and on of the producers in another. We had a sound guy, camera operator and the two production executives and myself. There was also an ex-Scientologist from Denmark named Robert Dam. Robert left Scientology after 20 years and his wife and children left with him. He also wrote a book on his experiences that was published in Denmark in 2011.
The idea was that I would give them a tour of the base from the highway and if anybody came out to talk, Robert was going to ask them some questions. To add a tad bit of variety to our visit, the Int Base was recently flooded and most of the road on both far ends of the property had been covered with mud. As this happened a few days ago, the road through the middle of the property had been plowed and most of the mud was now on the sides of the highway where we had to walk. We walked towards the Int Base and I started showing them were everything was. First off we go to OGH or Old Gilman House. It is gone. Bulldozed. It is an empty dirt field with zero buildings anywhere near it. Everything in that area is GONE.
We then toured through the center of the property with no activity. As we were passing the main guard booth a van sped up to the main Golden Era administrative building and an old buddy of mine, Kevin McEnery jumped out and he had a camera in hand. He rushed into the building and as he did I said hello and waved to him. We walked all the way down to the luxury bungalows known as the “G Units” that were renovated for Tom Cruise in the early 1990s. In August 1990 there was a huge flash flood that damaged these units. And this time the mud made its way to this same area and huge section of the perimeter fence was missing! There was a small crew with two bulldozers that were moving mud and driving through the gaping hole in the perimeter fence. These crew were not Sea Org staff and appeared to have been hired to repair the mud damage.
As we approached the gate at the G units, we heard a voice talking out of the speaker box installed in the gate. It was Kevin Cataeno, the Int Base Security Chief. He said, ”Hey Marc, Did you tell them about all the money you took from the Church?” I laughed and told him, “Well, I told them everything and even said that you guys would talk about that if you got a chance.” No response. I entertained the bulldozer crew for a few minutes by talking into the speaker box, but got no response from the Sea Org security crew.
I posed for a few shots in front of the gaping hole in the perimeter fence and we headed back to the other end of the property where the cars were parked. So far we had only seen one person (Kevin) and a few people that hid in an electrical building as soon as they spotted us. This entire time, the Danish video crew was shooting all of this on HD video and documenting our entire trip.
As we made our way back to the middle of the property, we saw three people waiting for us. Kevin McEnery was there with his handheld camera, Jorgen Larsson from Security was there with an additional camera and a parabolic microphone set-up, and
Catherine Fraser is the Port Captain Gold. This is the Public Relations position within Sea Organization Units. Robert Dam walked up to talk to her and I hung back behind the Danish video crew. This was Robert’s big chance to ask some questions. Unfortunately, The Scientology folks would have none of it. Catherine walked around Robert and made her way over to me and started saying how I was not welcome there and that I “never held any high positions in Scientology.” How I had “owed them money and that I had never paid the money that I had owed them. “ It was right out of the “Squirrel Busters” confront manual.
She kept repeating these statements over and over again while the other two recorded this on camera. I laughed and explained to Robert that I used to work with Kevin McEnery and he was one of my best buds when I worked there 10 years ago. Kevin was visibly shaking while standing there with the camera. Catherine continued to say how I had never held any high positions in Scientology. It was sort of bizarre and she would not engage in a conversation whatsoever, she just kept repeating her statement over and over. Ironically, for most of the time she was at the Base at the same time I was, I was senior to her. Kevin and Jorgen the security guard and all of them called me “Sir.” Either way, as it was clear that she would not talk to Robert and she would not engage in a conversation with me or the Danish video crew – she retreated back into the main gate and was not interested in chanting her statements at me further.
We walked the final leg back to the vehicles and packed up all of the equipment. By this time it was completely dark and with rush hour there was a heavy stream of vehicles on the highway. As we were just about to drive off, several vehicles started pulling up behind us and across the highway from us. As soon as I alerted the Danish crew that we had company, there were many people coming up with video cameras and they were all yelling – at me.
Kevin McEnery – (Handheld Camera) Used to work for me when I was the Shoot Crew – he was my Chief Grip.
Amber O’Sullivan – My wife Claire Headley’s red headed cousin that used to be one of David Miscavige’s personal stewards – now head of the Cinematography Division In Golden Era Productions.
Eve Laws – Administrative gal from UK.
Catherine Fraser – Used to be married to Jeff Hawkins and is now the Public Relations Office for the Int Base.
Paul Sarkany – (Handheld Camera) Video Assist I/C. Used to work for me on shoot crew.
Jorgen – Security guard (never knew the guy that well)
John Stumbke – (Still Camera) Those of you who have read my book might remember Stumbke as the guy that rode around on a motorcycle in the middle of the night while a few of us ran ahead in the headlights. He is that guy.
In the most insane coincidence of the day, Robert, the ex-Scientology guy from Denmark, had previously told the video crew of some of his past horrible Scientology experiences. One of them being the time he was held at Clearwater, Florida and interrogated by a very angry RTC staff member. That RTC staff member’s name? The one and only John Stumbke.
The Danish crew really wanted to ask some questions and have a dialogue, but the Scientology posse insisted on delivering messages to me in their classic style. While they were yelling, I was showing them pictures of my kids and Claire, telling them about what a wonderful life we were living on the outside. I told them how all of them would be having such a wonderful time and be happy and not have to live in the hell that is the Int Base. Some of them were angrily yelling back, “WE ARE HAPPY!” Hearing this from John Stumbke was great as I know of at least one or two occasions when John escaped and was hunted down and brought back to the base and I am sure there are others who were at the base when this occurred.
Even better was, “HOW COME YOU NEVER PAID US THE $44,000 THE COURT ORDERED YOU TO PAY?” This got yelled at least 5-6 times. More, “You never held a high position in Scientology!” Did someone say that I did? I heard at least a few, “YOU ARE THE MEMBER OF A CYBER TERRORIST GROUP!”
All of this was taking place on the side of a busy unlit highway at night. Many of the Scientology folks were standing on the actual highway. The circus sideshow was meant for my benefit, and they seemed unconcerned that the Danish video crew was filming it all. Catherine made this point many times and insisted that they just wanted to give me a message.
If the message was that they still have a large stock of Kool-Aid on hand and are drinking their prescribed doses, I got the message loud and clear. I can only hope that I may have planted a few seeds of doubt in regards to any of them making a break to the outside world.
We traveled back to LA and from all accounts the Danish team seemed to have struck video gold and were very pleased with the day’s production. They got the entire end of the night interaction on video and all insisted that it was spectacular. They assured me that nothing like this has ever appeared on Danish TV and they are excited to finish their shooting.
Add this to the other two Scientology documentaries being produced and 2015 is shaping up quite nicely.
We just wanted to add that it’s a real treat to see that the ambush team brought up the money that the Headleys owed Scientology after losing their lawsuits against the church. After an appeal went against them, the Headleys were hit with a request for more then $40,000 from Scientology’s attorneys. The church graciously offered to forgive the debt if the Headleys agreed to turn over the copyright of Blown for Good and then spy for Scientology. Instead, Marc and Claire borrowed some money, sold a car and some equipment, and cashed out their savings. No way were they going to sell their souls to the organization they had finally escaped from. After we broke the news of the unholy deal Scientology had offered and about the Headleys going into hock to pay off the bill, our readers rallied and helped to raise all of the money the Headleys had paid and then some. It was our most satisfying moment ever at the Village Voice.
Hey, thanks for reminding us about it, Sea Orgers!
ADDITIONAL NOTE: For those folks who maybe weren’t around at the time and perhaps are susceptible to the disinfo being shouted at Headley in the video, it’s important to remember that the Headleys cashed out their savings, sold off a vehicle and even a playground swing set, and borrowed thousands from family in order to pay the $43,000 debt to Scientology before we ever made the church’s underhanded offer public, and before a fund to restore the Headleys was created. The Scientologists in the video are trying to create confusion by implying that the money raised for the Headleys was supposed to be paid to the church — that was never the case. The Headleys had paid Scientology before a dime was raised to make them whole.
Karen de la Carriere and your proprietor interviewed
Here’s the full interview (well, a portion in the middle seems to have been cut out) followed by an interview with Karen de la Carriere on the Truth Sentinel podcast. Your proprietor begins at about 15 minutes in, and Karen takes over at the 1 hour mark.
Posted by Tony Ortega on December 9, 2014 at 07:40
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