On Tuesday, we examined the complete history of Mark “Marty” Rathbun’s website, “Moving On Up a Little Higher,” looking for some clues for what led the former top Church of Scientology official to go from one of church leader David Miscavige’s most vocal and effective critics to give up that role so completely.
Today, we have another piece of that puzzle which shows Rathbun in full “warrior” mode as he battled Scientology attorney Bert Deixler during a deposition taken in San Antonio on December 22, 2014.
If you read our article Tuesday, you know that December 2014 was a very interesting time in Rathbun’s journey. Earlier that month, he had been filming with Louis Theroux in Los Angeles when they were ambushed by Scientology operatives who tried to intimidate Rathbun about the adoption of a child the year before. That confrontation became the climactic scene in Theroux’s film now playing in theaters, My Scientology Movie.
So just a couple of weeks after that encounter, Rathbun was sitting down with a church attorney that he partly held responsible for that harassment.
We have previously posted two short video segments from the deposition. Today, we finally have the entire transcript of the battle between Rathbun and Deixler, as well as the videos we posted earlier.
Another important thing to keep in mind: This deposition had nothing to do with his wife Monique’s lawsuit, which she had filed in August 2013 over harassment she and her husband had experienced for years at the hands of Scientology private investigators. That lawsuit was on hold at the time because, in May 2014, the church had appealed a lower court decision and so things were in stasis as the Texas Third Court of Appeals took more than a year to reach a decision, in November 2015.
The deposition was being taken for another case — the federal fraud lawsuit filed in January 2013 in Tampa by a California couple, Luis and Rocio Garcia. The Garcias wanted a federal judge to hear their allegations that they’d been lied to and defrauded when they turned over hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the church. But Scientology attorneys insisted that the Garcias had signed multiple contracts that required them to submit all grievances to Scientology’s internal arbitration procedures.
Rathbun had filed a declaration in that lawsuit, saying that those contracts and the arbitration procedure itself were shams that he had helped design while he was a church executive in order to keep Scientologists from getting justice.
Church attorneys wanted to grill Rathbun about those claims, and so they set up the deposition to take place at the offices of George Spencer, the local San Antonio attorney who had worked for Scientology on a number of matters. They brought in Deixler from California to do the questioning.
Meanwhile, on the phone was Ted Babbitt, who represented the Garcias in their lawsuit. Rathbun did not bring his own attorney, which we thought was strange, because remember, at the time he and his wife Monique were being represented by a powerful trio of attorneys in Monique’s lawsuit — Ray Jeffrey, Marc Wiegand, and Elliott Cappuccio. Why weren’t any of them there?
We asked Ray Jeffrey about that, and he told us that they were unaware that the deposition was taking place.
Rathbun had not told his own attorneys that he was sitting down, for the first time since he had left the church a decade earlier, to be questioned by a Scientology attorney.
There are some really fascinating skirmishes in this thing, and we have pulled out numerous interesting passages — and we’re not done, we’re still going through it ourselves. And we’ll be interested to see what you find in these transcripts.
When this deposition occurs, it’s a little more than a year before Monique will fire her legal team and then, a few months later, dismiss the lawsuit. At this point, in December 2014 with the suit on hold at the appeals court, is there some hint of dissatisfaction with the case?
Let us know what you see in these fascinating battles between Scientology’s warrior and its chief questioner.
The first 49 minutes of the deposition are covered in the first video…
Some exchanges that occur during this first videotaped portion…
Deixler: Mr. Miscavige was once your friend, correct?
Rathbun: So I thought.
Deixler: OK. And a good friend of yours, correct?
Rathbun: So I thought.
Deixler: And a person who — who assisted you in your career; is that also true?
Rathbun: Not necessarily. No. Everything is about — there’s no — David Miscavige doesn’t assist anybody without a motivation, and it’s always — so it’s really a one-way flow. I actually helped him with his career.
Deixler: You helped him but he didn’t help you?
Deixler: But you — so you don’t have any ill will toward him, correct?
Deixler: OK. You never, for example, likened him to Adolf Hitler, true?
Rathbun: Well, that’s two different questions. Just your intonation makes it sound like it’s two different things. And the answer to likening him to Adolf Hitler — Absolutely. Yes.
Rathbun: I have. But that doesn’t connote hate or dislike. It just — it just is what it is.
Deixler: And what does that mean, sir?
Rathbun: You don’t — you didn’t understand what I said?
Deixler: Right. That’s what I asked.
Rathbun: Well, you probably ought to read it back. I — I can’t — I just said what I said.
Rathbun: Pretty simple English.
Deixler: How about Joseph Stalin? Did you liken him to Joseph Stalin?
Rathbun: Yeah. Yes.
Deixler: Did you liken him to Ayatollah Khomeini?
Deixler: And — and what do you mean by those comparisons of Mr. Miscavige if it doesn’t mean you dislike him?
Rathbun: What — what it means is, is there’s parallels in their behavior that are — that are very direct.
Deixler: When did you observe that Mr. Miscavige was to be likened to Adolph Hitler?
Rathbun: On and off between 1982 and 2004. More intensively between 2000 and 2004; and even more intensively in 2003 and 2004.
Rathbun: …I think sometimes I represented myself as the head of the legal department of the Church of Scientology, either of California or International, because we created a new corporation to try to shed the liabilities of the Mother Church.
Deixler: I see. You were the head of the legal department. Are you a lawyer, sir?
Deixler: OK. Do you have any training, go to law school?
Deixler: No? Graduated from college?
Deixler: When did you become the head of the legal department?
Rathbun: Well, I’ve just told you, it morphed over time. For all intents and purposes, really, January ’82.
Deixler: January 1982 you became the head of the legal department of one organization associated with the Church of Scientology?
Rathbun: Not really. I became the top person concerning legal, and litigation, and intelligence, and PR for all of Scientology as of approximately January of 1982.
Deixler: I see. Tell me what your responsibilities were in connection with the legal litigation duties that you had as the head of legal — of legal affairs.
Rathbun: Well, it was the — primarily it was to get L. Ron Hubbard the all clear, and it was to dispense with — see to the end of two outstanding Grand Juries that were looking in to his connection to criminal activity in — one in Tampa and one in New York — and to get rid of about three dozen lawsuits that either named him or were part of this group of suits that did name him. That was duty No. 1. That was always the top, top priority. Duty No. 2 was to create this new organization to try to shed the legacy of the guardian’s office, which had been the previous legal department, whose leaders had gone to jail, including Ron Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, for acts they had committed in harassing opponents. That was the second priority. And then three was to ferret out people who were in Scientology that had been guard — guardian’s office members who might, by the fact of remaining on staff within OSA and going with that transition, might create liability; either legal liability or PR liability in the future. Scientology was ferreting out and Miscavige called it disbanding the guardian’s office. And those were the three major objectives of that job.
Deixler: Did you think there was something unethical, improper or dishonest about the structure of the organization in which you were working during the time that you were a member of the Church?
Rathbun: It’s a difficult question because you justify everything so much, you know, at the time. You know, otherwise you wouldn’t do it. But, yeah, I mean, yeah, absolutely, it was intended to — to, but, you know, at the time I — it was — you — it was just sort of intuitive. But I know it now after all this time has passed and I’ve done all of my study and I know all of the facts that I know now that, yeah, I think it was unethical and immoral.
Deixler: Did you think you were acting unethically?
Rathbun: At that time, no, because I was under the ethics system that — and this is the Scientology ethics system in a — in a nutshell. If it forwards L. Ron Hubbard in Scientology, it’s good. If it doesn’t, it’s bad. And so I had — I was part of that ethics system and, therefore, it seemed ethical at that time.
Deixler: OK. Did you think you had to be completely honest in order to do well in life and to set an example for others?
Rathbun: I mean, yeah, on a certain level.
Deixler: Was that one of the precepts by which you lived your life during the time you were in the Church of Scientology?
Rathbun: No. I don’t believe a precept. I’ve just — that kind of sums up my — my feelings, though.
Deixler: OK. So you were living an honest, ethical life during the time you were with the Church of Scientology; is that fair?
Deixler: You weren’t living a honest and ethical life at the time you were in the Church of Scientology, correct?
Deixler: Well, which is it?
Rathbun: Well, it’s not one of the two.
Deixler: Explain to me what your view is —
Rathbun: You’re not listening to me.
Deixler: — of your honesty.
Rathbun: You’re — I don’t think you’re really listening to me. Because I just told you that at the time — and I’ll repeat it again. At the time it seemed ethical because I was abiding by the Scientology ethics system. In the broader scheme of things, knowing all of the facts I know today, it was not really ethical.
Deixler hands Rathbun a hand-written letter dated November 30, 1993 that was written by Rathbun, and Deixler says he’s going to ask Rathbun to read it into the record. Rathbun says he’s not willing to do that. Babbitt asks for a copy of the letter and they argue over it, with Rathbun leaving the room as they take a break.
More portions, not from the videotaped segments…
After coming back from the break, instead of returning to the 1993 document, Deixler continues with Rathbun’s employment history. They talk about Rathbun being on the ship Freewinds from Nov 93 to summer 95. Then Rathbun was RTC rep at Flag, technically as a “trainee.”
Deixler: What happened in 1996? What position did you then assume?
Rathbun: Well, by the end of ’95, I was not a trainee anymore. I was handling the cover up of the Lisa McPherson case which was a legal intelligence PR job directly from Miscavige. And I was doing a number of — a number of security things for him. I was putting people — I was interrogating people on the lie detector that he designated particularly. And I was — and I was retraining all of the top, highest technical people in Scientology. So it’s — it’s a — this is all before the end of ’95. It’s during that, quote/unquote, trainee period. It evolved into something much bigger.
Deixler: You said the cover up of McPherson. Was the McPherson case the case in which you have acknowledged that you ordered the destruction of documents?
Rathbun: At the behest of David Miscavige, yeah.
Deixler: So — so the answer is, you ordered the destruction of documents, correct?
Rathbun: I forwarded the order to destroy any evidence that might link David Miscavige to the case.
Deixler: And to whom did you give the order to destroy evidence?
Rathbun: Well, actually I — I sort of assented to general counsel’s advice to get done, and I said, Go ahead. Lose them. But Elliot Abelson had pretty much made the legal determination that the evidence should be destroyed.
Deixler: Mr. Abelson told you to destroy evidence?
Rathbun: Mr. Abelson said this material should be gotten rid of.
Deixler: Well, tell me where were you at the time?
Rathbun: In the legal office at office of special affairs where you’ve been many times, I’m sure, in the general counsel office.
Deixler: With Mr. Abelson?
Rathbun: With Mr. Abelson.
Deixler: Just the two of you or were other people present?
Rathbun: And Mr. Farny was in and out.
Rathbun: He said, This should be gotten rid of.
Deixler: When you say “this” to what are you referring?
Rathbun: A series of documents…Which were reports on the last day of Lisa McPherson’s life.
Deixler: OK. And so did you have those documents with you at the time?
Rathbun: They were in the room.
Deixler: OK. At the time you were ordering the destruction of these documents, did you think you were acting truthfully?
Rathbun: Truthfully. I — I don’t understand the question…I was acting ethically pursuant to Scientology’s ethics codes.
Deixler: And explain to me what part of the ethics code instructed you that it was appropriate to destroy evidence in a criminal proceeding.
Rathbun: It’s throughout the code. If you read that book, it’s throughout it. That ultimately if it’s good for Scientology, it’s good. If it’s bad for Scientology, it’s evil. Period.
Deixler: So it is correct that your view of the ethics system of Scientology permitted obstruction of justice; is that right?
Rathbun: Absolutely. Yes.
Deixler: OK. And you yourself engaged in the obstruction of justice, correct?
Rathbun: As an agent of Scientology, yes.
Deixler: And that obstruction of justice included lying under oath, correct?
Rathbun: I don’t recall lying under oath. But if I thought about it, I might be able to find an instance of it for Scientology.
Deixler: Did you lie under oath in declarations?
Deixler: Did you lie under oath in affidavits?
Deixler: Did you lie under oath in depositions?
Rathbun: I don’t recall lying under oath in depo — in a deposition.
Deixler: Did you lie under oath in court testimony?
Rathbun: Not that I recall.
Deixler: And the lies that you did tell under oath, be it in an affidavit or deposition, you did that because you thought it would advance the interests that you were advocating at the time; is that true?
Rathbun: It would advance Scientology. You see, I’ll — I’ll say it again. The ethics system is really — it’s very complex and convoluted to somebody who wants to argue for or against it. But the simplicity really is this: If it’s good for Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard, it’s good. If it’s bad for them, it’s evil.
Deixler: Are you no longer a — what you described as an independent Scientologist or the head of an independent Scientology movement?
Deixler: You — you don’t do that anymore?
Deixler: When did that stop?
Rathbun: Probably — Well, you say head of an independent Scientology movement. I — I was never — I never considered myself the head of an independent Scientology movement.
Deixler: Did you ever represent yourself to have that capacity?
Rathbun: I don’t believe so.
Deixler: Uh-huh. Do you regard yourself as an independent Scientologist who’s in competition with the Church of Scientology?
Deixler: Did you ever think you were in competition with the Church of Scientology?
Deixler: Do you know whether Judge Waldrip disagreed with that opinion?
Deixler: Do you know who Judge Waldrip is?
Deixler: And do you know whether Judge Waldrip concluded that the services that you had offered were in competition with the Church of Scientology?
Rathbun: No. He concluded that you alleged that. See, the — Ted, this is what I was talking about. This is a big fishing expedition for the — my wife’s lawsuit that’s in front of Judge Waldrip in New Braunfels, Texas.
Deixler: Mr. Rathbun —
Rathbun: He’s arguing with me about what the Judge has found in that case. He’s trying to take discovery in another case.
Deixler answers that he’s trying to show that Rathbun has many motives to provide a declaration that is “littered with falsity.” Marty says Bert has mischaracterized the issue about commercial competition. Deixler gets back to Rathbun’s history, and asks him about 1995 to 2004. In 1997, Rathbun was made Inspector General of Ethics in the RTC.
Deixler: And tell me what your responsibilities were as the inspector general of RTC in 1997?
Rathbun: In ’97, I had to handle Kirstie Alley’s divorce, I had to handle Lisa Marie Presley’s blow up with the Greta Sus- — van Sut- — I mean, all of this celebrity — Miscavige had me on all of this celebrity dirty laundry and keep — and John Travolta’s dirty laundry and — and keeping it from going public.
Rathbun: That was one of the main things he had me on. Security. Having setting up a system where Miscavige virtually never went anywhere off of Scientology premise without hired outside special forces or — or highly-trained former PD, armed PD people.
Rathbun: That was another big priority. The —
Deixler: What else did you do?
Rathbun: There was doing the — putting together drills for this whole reconfiguration of the way Scientology is applied that he had me primarily over. There was — and then he got me — he — he had me, from time to time, involved in the copyright litigation, which was the big thing then. There was Internet-related copyright litigation. Scientology was suing people who had disclosed upper-level material on the Internet.
Rathbun talks about blowing out of the Hole and then his then-wife Anne talking him into coming back. He went to Clearwater and was working at the mill. But Miscavige never saw him, despite his requests to see him.
Deixler: Mr. Rathbun, isn’t it true that repeatedly during your time at the Church of Scientology you tried to make amends with Mr. Miscavige, he was uninterested in that and, to this day, you harbor animosity toward him and you are seeking to hurt the Church of Scientology —
Rathbun: No. That’s what these guys are told by Miscavige.
Deixler confronts Rathbun with a document he wrote around that time. It contains a phrase by Rathbun admitting that he had only a “facade” of being important, and they argue over the meaning of it. Rathbun says he was just writing what he was told to.
So now to what he’s been doing since leaving Scientology. Rathbun on him about his involvement in litigation.
Rathbun: I did a declaration in the Headley case. I did a declaration in the Garcia case. And I don’t know. It’s — You know, you can tell me if you’ve got other ones. I don’t — it’s not a big deal to me. If somebody asks me for facts that I’m aware of that sort out an injustice, I’ll do them.
Deixler: Did you assist your wife in connection with her litigation?
Rathbun: Of course.
Deixler: Did you assist Mr. Montalvo in connection with his litigation?
Deixler: Did you assist Mr. Lindstein in connection with his litigation?
Deixler: Anybody else that you’ve assisted —
Rathbun: Contrary —
Deixler: — in a case —
Rathbun: Contrary —
Deixler: — adverse —
Rathbun: — to your perjured affidavits you’ve submitted in my wife’s case, the answer is no. You literally make this stuff up. No. I did not assist those people. I — I advised Daniel Montalvo over and over again that he had no idea what he was getting into with you people and that he didn’t have the resources; and as much as I liked his attorney, he didn’t have the resources to take you people on and your — your policy-driven, use the court’s for harassment.
Then they talk about how Rathbun got involved with the Garcia lawsuit, and that he tried to warn Luis about the pitfalls of litigation.
Deixler: Did you express to Mr. Garcia in effect your view that there was a policy called “Fair game”?
Rathbun: Well, we — he knew that.
Rathbun: That was a given.
Deixler: That — that there was a policy?
Rathbun: He had seen that in — in effect, yeah. You guys have taken surveillance photos of his wife with me. Photoshopped it and try — and posted it up to try to create an interim effect about how you guys are everywhere. Dude, hey, don’t — don’t — don’t squint at me.
Deixler: Is —
Rathbun: You guys spent —
Deixler: Is the —
Rathbun: You know, you — Do you know right as we’re speaking right now that house that you took that surveillance photo from, you’re still paying $1,500 in rent for it and will continue to through the end of the year 2015. Right now, just what I know of, you, the Church of Scientology, has been spending for a 25 year, for two years, $1,500 a month. They got another 1 year to go on that. They’ve got another house what — which is three hours away from where I live. OK? At the same time they’re paying it — for a year they’ve been paying for another house $3,400 a month all the way through this year and I haven’t been here — there that entire year. You people are spending $5,000 a month to watch places I used to be. OK? And — and Luis had tasted some of this obsessive — obsessive harassment, obsessive obsession with me and anyone connected with me, and so he already knew all of that.
Deixler: I see. So is there a fair game policy in the scripture of the Church? Yes or a no?
Deixler: OK. And continues to this day as far as you know?
Rathbun: Oh, absolutely.
Rathbun: I’m the chief recipient of it.
Deixler: OK. And you’ve never — you’ve never testified that there in fact was no fair game policy?
Rathbun: Oh, yeah, I have. It’s a word game. I played the word game.
Deixler: I see.
Rathbun: Because you don’t — you want to say because, oh, I never said, We no longer declare people fair game but the policies for treating SP’s remain the same.
Deixler: I see.
Rathbun: And that means may be sued, lied to, tricked, cheated or destroyed without any discipline for the Scientologist who does so.
And so — and so it’s — it’s a — a word game; and I played it effectively when I was in, but — but it is a word game.
They finally get to the arbitration agreement. Rathbun describes the general environment circa 1998 and 2002 that it would have been done, and Deixler is trying to pin him down on specifics.
Now generally about Scientology justice.
Deixler: From — from ’87 to ’90 you were running the justice system?
Rathbun: I built the justice system.
Deixler: You were running the justice system?
Rathbun: I built the justice system.
Deixler: And my question’s a little bit different.
Rathbun: And I said, No. I built the justice system.
Rathbun: I was the last port of call. They could always petition to me. You’ll see through all of this — this — these policy things, the books that you put into evidence, they all say, you know, ultimately petition to Ron. Ron was dead for six years — you know, ten years, whatever it was, six — four years, and I was — he set — one of the things he said was RTC was the last port of call. So people could petition me. So I was the supreme court of your — you know, one man supreme court of that justice system.
Deixler: And — and from ’87 to ’90 you built the justice system, correct?
Rathbun: Rebuilt it, yeah.
Deixler: Rebuilt it. And after ’90 you didn’t run the system, did you?
Rathbun: Right. And it just deteriorated. As everything does in Scientology if it’s not run with a firm iron glove from the top.
Deixler asks him about the Garcia case and conversations with Luis before he filed his suit. Then more about developing the arbitration clause in the contract.
Rathbun: You need to understand, this — this arbitration clause and this thing in creating an unfair thing is like nothing compared to the stuff that goes down day in and day out, and it — it’s like it’s the — was a super low priority compared to the stuff I had to handle.
Deixler: Sure. I understand. You were very, very important at the Church during the time you were there, correct?
Rathbun: That’s your characterization. I didn’t say that. I mean, if you think catering to Tom Cruise for three months and not being able to talk to anybody or handle any post functions because Dave is so infatuated with Tom Cruise, if you think that’s important, then you could characterize it that way.
Deixler: Is Exhibit No. —
Rathbun: I think — I think it’s obsessive. I think it’s — I think it’s aberrated and obsessive.
Deixler is still questioning about declarations he’d written and why, from more than a year earlier. And Rathbun had said he’d seen claims made by Miscavige from alerts he gets online.
Deixler: Okay. You say you get alerts. What — what kind of alerts do you get?
Rathbun: Google alerts. Scient- —
Deixler: For what?
Rathbun: Scientology. Miscavige. I don’t know. I don’t know how the thing’s rigged, but they come up. Don’t you get Google alerts?
Deixler: And you have —
Rathbun: News alerts. Media alerts.
Deixler: And you — and you have programmed your computer system so that you receive alerts regarding Mr. Miscavige and the Church of Scientology?
Rathbun: At one time I did. I don’t now.
Deixler: When did you stop?
Rathbun: I don’t know.
Deixler: Why did you stop?
Rathbun: A long, long time ago. Because I have no interest in your — in your gig.
Deixler: No —
Rathbun: I have no interest —
Deixler: No interest?
Rathbun: — in these kind of mind games.
Rathbun: I told you a general sort of way I deal with this stuff. I’m so done with you people I can’t tell you. I mean, you follow me to Los Angeles. You start bringing my one-year-old child into this. You people are despicable. I don’t want to hear about you anymore.
Deixler: Right. Well, I —
Rathbun: I mean, I really — I really want to be — I really want to be done with you. And don’t act like it’s just your client. Because you’ve done unethical and immoral things to try to harm me and my wife.
Rathbun: OK? And — and — and —
Deixler: Mr. Rathbun.
Rathbun: And so it’s not that formal, Bert. I just don’t want anything to do with you people.
Deixler: I — I —
Rathbun: And you have hacked my computer on a number of occasions.
Deixler: All right. Mr. Rathbun, let’s try to focus our energy and attention on the matters in the case.
Now they’re arguing over whether Rathbun was still the Inspector General when he was in the Hole in February 2004. Marty is explaining that you still had your post even as you were in there.
Deixler: Weren’t you — to use your term — in “The Hole” starting in February of ’04?
Rathbun: Nobody took me off post.
Deixler: So you —
Rathbun: In fact to this day, Mr. Deixler, there’s nothing. If you want to — if you want to get into all of the Scientology policy, you know, you must follow L. Ron Hubbard to the tee, I don’t have a dismissal order. I don’t have a — a personnel order that takes me off post. I was never called for a comment. I was permanently posted. You’re required to have a comment in order to take somebody off post. I could be the president of RTC at this moment, for all I know, because nobody’s informed me that I was taken off the board of RTC which I served on for almost twenty years.
Deixler: I see. Do you think you are a member of the board of RTC?
Deixler: Do you think when you were — to use your phrase — in “The Hole” starting in February of 2004 —
Rathbun: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. “The Hole” —
Deixler: — that you —
Rathbun: “The Hole” had nothing to do with posts or being off post.
Deixler: Would let me finish.
Rathbun: Everybody in the Hole — everybody — I can anticipate your questions. You’re taking all day to — to try to — to try to wrangle and play word games with me. Everybody in “The Hole” had their posts. Okay? Nobody had a — I already told you. Nobody had a personnel order taking them off post. One day you’re nobody. The next day you’ve got a — you’re responsible for everything that happens under the — the auspice of the inspector general. So, no.
Deixler: So, Mr. Rathbun —
Rathbun: So — so —
Deixler: — here’s —
Rathbun: So I was —
Deixler: Here’s —
Rathbun: So all of this —
Deixler: Here’s —
Rathbun: — bullshit that you got from these guys about how I was demoted and taken off post never happened.
Rathbun: I escaped your — your criminal organization —
Rathbun: — that has made you so wealthy. I escaped physically.
Deixler: Right. You finished?
Deixler: OK. So here’s the way it has to run hence forward or we’re going to adjourn. I will call the Judge and we’ll —
Rathbun: Go ahead.
Deixler: — and we’ll have the —
Rathbun: Be my guest. Because I’m not going to take directions and orders from you. This is all part of the squirrel buster stuff. You all want to get in my head. You all want to push buttons. It’s garbage. I’ve — you’ve asked me questions. You’ve hectored me. You’ve asked me questions that I’ve answered — asked and answered five, six times, over and over and over. I suggest you conduct yourself in a moral and ethical fashion and let’s proceed.
Deixler: Mr. Rathbun, the way the deposition is going to run is, I’m going to ask you questions, and you’re going to allow me to complete my question. You’re then going to give a responsive answer. If you don’t —
Rathbun: Just for the record, this guy over here is shaking his head and smirking and — and making guffaws.
Deixler: Right. If you don’t —
Rathbun: It’s — it’s a little bit of a — a little bit of a bull bait as they say in Scientology.
Deixler: If you don’t — Who is “this guy,” Mr. Rathbun?
Rathbun: Ben Shaw from Flag Service Organization.
Deixler: Do — Doing no such thing.
Rathbun: — who from 1998 to 2004 worked directly for David Miscavige on the Lisa McPherson case.
Deixler: Tell me what specifically you were doing while you were in “The Hole” as the inspector general?
Rathbun: I told you between the 4th — the 3rd of February 2004 when I got on my motorcycle, four days after — three or four days after being put in “The Hole,” until today as a matter of fact, I’ve been — I’ve been really just putting ethics in on David Miscavige, which is a duty of the inspector general of RTC. You certainly aren’t, Ben. You’re a coward. Every one of you little punks is a coward.
Deixler: And how were you putting ethics in from “The Hole” for a man who you had no communication with?
Rathbun: I didn’t tell you that I did it in “The Hole.” I told you when I decided to escape “The Hole” and from there on forward.
Deixler: So after December of 2004; is that what you’re talking about?
Rathbun: No. After the 3rd — No. I went in “The Hole” three days or four days before the 2nd of February 2004. I lasted three to four days in “The Hole.”
Rathbun: I escaped. I went back to Clearwater.
There’s lots of squabbling, and it’s just that Rathbun had said he ran OSA from 87 to 04, and Deixler is trying to get him to admit that wasn’t true because of periods when he was in the Hole, etc.
Then they talk about refunds, and Rathbun is saying the requests would accumulate, and then Miscavige would approve a couple of millions in refunds and hundreds of people would get their money back. Then they would accumulate again.
Rathbun: You know, I’m looking out for the best interest of the Church. I’m trying to —
Rathbun: — prevent lawsuits. I’m trying to prevent a run on the bank. I’m trying to — you know, I’m trying to prevent bad publicity.
Deixler: Did you think you were acting honestly in connection with the work that you were doing here regarding refunds?
Rathbun: I always tried to.
Deixler: OK. So this —
Rathbun: I always tried to in spite of this. In spite of the — the heavy doses of mind control and — and — and — and cult devotion that are required and exacted through — through penalties and rewards, I really try — I did really I tried to.
Deixler: Mr. Miscavige was controlling your mind?
Rathbun: I didn’t say that.
Deixler: Who was controlling your mind?
Rathbun: Scientology. Scientology. Scientology is very adept at controlling people. One of the first things they do is they teach you to — they put you through a number of focus drills that get you to the position where you agree to comfortably be controlled and —
Deixler: Over what period of time do you think your mind was being controlled, sir?
Rathbun: And I’m not finished. I’m not finished with my answer.
Deixler: Okay. Let me give you a fresh question. During what period of time do you think your mind was controlled?
Rathbun: Oh, your mind is controlled from the moment you get in Scientology until — till the day you finally decide you understand the mechanisms that — that are done there.
Deixler: So sometime — you began Scientology in about — in the late ’70s?
Rathbun: Yeah. I was trying to explain this to you, but you cut me off.
Deixler: So from the late ’70s until 2004 you believe your mind was being controlled by the religion —
Rathbun: To some —
Deixler: — or some person?
Rathbun: See, that’s part of — that’s part of what Scientology is. It’s all about control. And then I — and you cut me off when I was explaining to you, one of the first things you learn is to comfortably accept control. And the longer you’re in, you get certain benefits from these exercises that help you to focus more. But part of it is twofold: One is accepting — being accepting of control; and the other part of it is, is, adopting that mores that I told you about — that if it’s good for Scientology, it’s good; and if it’s bad for Scientology, it’s evil. And those — and through those two functions that control becomes deeper and deeper and deeper, and so it’s — you know, I don’t know what the exact point is where you’re under control, but it’s pretty soon; it’s pretty early on in the — in the trip that there’s a tremendous amount of control exerted on a Scientologist.
Deixler: Your mind was being controlled from the time you began until the time you left; that’s your position —
Rathbun: Yeah. To one —
Deixler: — correct?
Rathbun: To one extent or another.
Deixler: And now your mind is not controlled?
Deixler: Now, you’re a free, independent thinker, correct?
Rathbun: Pretty much.
Deixler: OK. Then let’s continue on with our examination of your declaration if we can.
Rathbun then says they worked on the arbitration clause because it had not worked in Portland with the Kristofferson case and then with Wollersheim.
There’s ore detail about how the clause would have been worked out.
Deixler is trying to catch him in a contradiction about how Hubbard said to pay money out but Hubbard really didn’t want that.
Rathbun: From the day you walk in there till the day you leave, there’s this cognitive dissonance that’s set up. It’s like he says, you know, the first policy is to be friendly to the environment and the people in it, and God Bless — you know, the greatest thing you can do is to forgive; and he sets up an intelligence network with file cabinets filled with policies about destroying people by any means necessary. You want me reconcile that?….And he lectures on and on and on and you’re — you’re listening to all of this stuff. It’s coming from the — the — this source (the oracle) that that proves Scientology is greater than psychiatry and religion, which he — he says — talks about in the disjunctive religion. He talks about in this disjunctive, disjunctive from Scientology. And so you — you kept trying to talk to me about central — the central policy. This was a central policy: If you’re dissatisfied, you get your money back.
Deixler: How do you reconcile what you’ve just said was a central policy with what you have previously described as Mr. Hubbard’s policy to not return money? How —
Rathbun: It wasn’t —
Deixler: How —
Rathbun: It wasn’t not to return money. I never said that. You’re — you’re altering my testimony. I said there was a very hard line of policy about not spending, deduct — disbursements, spending. Hell on disbursements and spending. I mean, he had a whole system on how to put people off for months and months and months and not pay people. He actually advises the financial department to not pay people. Even after they threaten suit, don’t pay them, to keep your bills down and keep your disbursements down. It’s a — it’s a general thing, not — not necessarily particularly a refund. All disbursements including, but not limited to, refunds, I suppose.
The next portion is covered in the second video…
Deixler: And — and what in particular is what you describe as fair game? Is it the whole policy or just some section of it?
Rathbun: Fair game. SP Order. Fair game. That indicates that SP order equals fair game. SP Order. Fair game. Enemy. They all mean the same thing. A equals A equals A. Enemy. SP Order, period. Fair game, period. And then he defines it: May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
Deixler: And as of the time that you submitted this document to federal court, did you believe that that was still an operative policy of the Church of Scientology?
Rathbun: I didn’t believe it. I was living it.
Rathbun: Like I live it to this day.
Deixler: Earlier today we were om Exhibit No. 1 and Mr. Babbitt said he didn’t have a copy and so we’ve made that available to him.
Ted Babbitt: I — I’ve got it now.
Deixler: OK. Would you read for us — I apologize for saying this, and don’t take it as a personal criticism, but I find your handwriting extremely difficult to — to read. Could you read the — just the first page to us so we can get a flavor of this.
Rathbun: Well, I’ll just explain what this document is first.
Deixler: I’d like you to read it and then you — then if I have any questions or Mr. Babbitt does you can talk about it. But would you read into the record —
Rathbun: Well, this is the — this is an intern — this is an internal Scientology record. This is part of a liability formula. Okay? And if you are perceived to have acted in a treasonous fashion, you get — you have to come up through the ethics conditions, through liability, and there’s a number of control — remember, the word “control” — techniques that are used to make you thoroughly loyal to the organization. The first step of the liability formula is find out who are your friends. Okay? And on the ship, Greg Wilhere who was assigned to supervise me and watch me when I was doing my sabbatical and going through my re- — my reaffirmation, my thought reformation, caused me to write this document to satisfy the first step of the liability formula. So to try to —
Deixler: I move to strike all of that as nonresponsive. Would you read, please, Exhibit No. 1, the first page, into the record.
Rathbun: And so none of the things that I read here should be taken literally; because they’re done for the purpose of — of escaping further degradation and punishment within Scientology.
Deixler: You were lying at the time you wrote it?
Rathbun: Did I say that?
Deixler: I’m asking you.
Rathbun: Did I say that?
Deixler: Were you lying at the time you wrote this letter?
Rathbun: Lying about what?
Deixler: About the substance of the letter.
Rathbun: I just gave you the context of the letter and you moved to strike it. Do you want the context or do you not want the context?
Deixler: Can you answer my question yes or no?
Rathbun: No. I’m not going —
Deixler: Were you lying or not?
Rathbun: I’m not going to — I’m not going to play this game with you. I’m not going to play this game with you. I explained the context of it. You moved to strike it and now you’re wanting to get more context.
Rathbun: I’ve given —
Deixler: I’m not asking for context.
Rathbun: I’ve give — I’ve —
Deixler: I’m asking for —
Rathbun: I’ve given you —
Deixler: — your judgment, sir.
Rathbun: I’ve given you the context and — and that’s that.
Deixler: Okay. Were you —
Rathbun: So, yeah, the whole thing is false in that this is not a sincere communication. This is something that was elicited pursuant to a mind control technique in Scientology that you have to do — go through these degrading and demeaning things and obsequious actions in order to be trusted again.
Deixler: And you —
Rathbun: And so —
Deixler: — at the time you wrote —
Rathbun: And so that’s the context —
Deixler: — it you knew —
Rathbun: — of this letter.
Deixler: — it was false and insincere, correct? Is that correct, sir?
Rathbun: You know, you asked me this question. Like I told you, when you’re back then and there and you’re subjecting to this and participating in it, it’s a meaningless question.
Deixler: At the time you wrote it, did you believe it was true? Yes or no? Yes or a no?
Rathbun: It’s not a yes or no question.
Deixler: At the time you wrote Exhibit 1, did you believe what you said in this letter was true?
Deixler: Either yes or a no?
Rathbun: No. No.
Deixler: OK. Thank you. Now, please read into the record page No. 1 of Exhibit 1.
Rathbun: “Dear sir, here — ”
Deixler: Well, it starts at a date. What is the date, sir?
Rathbun: 30 November ’93, which was about 17 to 20 days after me meeting Miscavige in New Orleans where he capitulated and offered me this reward and offered — and assigned me Kha-Khan status.
Deixler: What — what was the reward?
Rathbun: It was to train as a Scientology auditor and go all the way up the Scientology bridge to all of their higher levels.
Deixler: On the ship —
Rathbun: On the ship —
Deixler: — in the Caribbean?
Rathbun: — without any other distractions, and also b deemed Kha-Khan, which is an ethics status, which really — which you are relieved of the death penalty ten times over.
Deixler: Okay. You had — had you blown from — from the Church?
Rathbun: I had blown from the Church. I was — and had been gone for nine days.
Rathbun: And we went through this. And he called me in San Antonio and we met in New Orleans.
Deixler: And is the act of blowing from the Church as a member of the Sea Org something that is a suppressive act?
Rathbun: According to Scientology, yes.
Deixler: So that the opportunity existed for you to be declared a suppressive person; is that true?
Rathbun: Not really.
Rathbun: Because Miscavige had — was too afraid that I might screw up the exemption and that’s why I got the red carpet treatment.
Deixler: Oh, I see. Okay. Why don’t you read into the record this — this letter that you wrote on 30 November in 1993.
Rathbun: Do I —
Deixler: It was to Mr. Miscavige; am I correct?
Rathbun: Do I have to read this whole letter?
Deixler: No. I’m going to have you read the first page.
Deixler: Maybe half of the second page.
Rathbun: “Here is the letter I told you I was going to write. First of all, I wanted to thank you for all of the things you did as a friend, period. I know you first as a friend, period. We didn’t really know each other before the 1980 Super Bowl trip, period. I don’t even remember how it was that you came to invite me or I invited myself. Alls I know is the next thing I know we’re at the Beaumont truck stop waffling waffles — wolfing waffles — wolfing waffles and plotting the rest of the drive strategy.”
Deixler: Keep going. Just finish the second page. That’s —
Rathbun: “I guess I was — ”
Deixler: — what I want you to read.
Rathbun: “I guess I was sort of driven to New Orleans this year toward the location of that pleasure moment.”
Deixler: And read the next paragraph, if you would.
Rathbun: “In any event, I realize in getting OW’s cleared that you have always been a great friend; and I haven’t even acknowledged that fact or recognized it because of my built up withholds. Wherever we took a break — ” OK. So that’s the first two pages.
Deixler: So O, slash, W, what does that stand for?
Rathbun: It’s overts and withholds. It’s a — it’s a mind control technique of putting the person out of fact. You’re required to disclose every errant thought or action that you’ve ever done and the end product of it is, is, that you believe you — you — you really sort of — now that you know everything and that I’m the mea culpa you — you — you sort of balance scrape to get yourself back in. Thus, you do a liability formula —
Rathbun: — and — and state who your friends are.
Deixler: And so this letter that — this letter you wrote to Mr. Miscavige on the 30th of November 1993, you wrote it even though you didn’t believe sincerely what you were writing, correct?
Rathbun: Well, no. When you — See, you didn’t listen to me. When you write those OW’s — if I right now made you, and you agreed to do it, confess everything that you had any embarrassment about, any doubt about, any shortcoming, any dishonest, immoral, unethical stuff that you’ve done, made you confess it all, everything, disclose to me everything, you would be in an obsequious sort of frame of mind and — and — and compliant frame of mind; and that is the frame of mind that I was in when I did it. So — so your question — that — that’s my answer to your question.
Deixler: Well, I think actually your example is inconsistent, so let me explore it. You told me a moment ago that Exhibit 1 is insincere, that this isn’t actually how you felt.
Rathbun: So we’re going to whipsaw. We’re going to play whipsaw games.
Deixler: Well, which is it? Was it true or was it false at the time you wrote it?
Rathbun: I just told you. I — I have no way — better way to explain it.
Deixler: Was it true or false, sir?
Rathbun: I was in — I was in an obsequious, propitiative frame of mind by design, by the design of the technology, and it was sincere — I was a — sincerely in a state of weakened emotional capacity and that was my state of mind.
Deixler: Whether you were strong emotionally or weak emotionally, the substance of what you wrote on 30 November 1993 was what you honestly believed isn’t that true?
Rathbun: Do — did I — did we go to a truck stop in Beaumont. That’s true. OK.
Deixler: Did you regard Mr. Miscavige as your friend?
Rathbun: At that time? At that moment?
Rathbun: After having submitted to all of that mind control, I did.
HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.
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Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.
The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield