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Scientology’s Master Spies

[Pat Broeker in January, 1986, telling Scientologists at the Palladium in Los Angeles that L. Ron Hubbard had reached new heights of research before leaving his body voluntarily to work elsewhere in the galaxy. Two years later, the surveillance of Broeker by his rival, David Miscavige, began.]


In 1990, Marrick and Arnold received an odd instruction: they were not to read the Los Angeles Times. That year, Times reporters Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos had produced a major series exposing the secrets of Scientology.

“It’s all ‘Black PR,’ they told us,” Arnold remembers. So naturally, they ran to get copies. “The L.A. Times called Pat Broeker the ultimate spy or something. And I remember saying, ‘Paul, we’re not tracking an errand boy, we’re watching 007.'”

Increasingly, their own lives were resembling a Bond movie.


“Over the years, we had to develop more elaborate second lives,” Marrick says.

“We had to have cover stories,” Arnold adds.

Arnold pretended to be a real estate appraiser. Marrick repaired windshields, and made sure always to have his equipment with him. But mostly, they were listening as Broeker was negotiating his exit from Scientology with church attorneys over his cordless phone.

Ray Jeffrey listened to the tapes with his clients. He says what struck him were conversations that Broeker was having with Gerald Feffer, a well-known Washington DC lawyer. In Feffer’s negotiations with Broeker, the issue was surprisingly small time and strange. Broeker wanted an old pickup truck, and he wanted Hubbard’s parrot.

“Broeker said he was in communications with Hubbard, who wanted the bird,” Jeffrey says. (Hubbard had died three years earlier.) “And this big attorney was negotiating over the truck and the parrot.”

Another church attorney had lengthy discussions with Broeker about leaving the country, they say.

And when Marrick and Arnold heard that, they began looking into the possibility of finding new jobs in law enforcement.

“Marty went ballistic,” Arnold says. “He said, we’ll take better care of you than law enforcement will.”

Rathbun confirms that, on Miscavige’s orders, he told the two ex-cops that they were better off working for the church than going back to their old jobs. Even if Broeker went overseas and the operation ended, they were assured, they had jobs with Scientology.

So they listened as Broeker planned first to go to Ireland, and then to Australia. But then the deal fell through.

Instead, Broeker packed up and headed east.

“One day he was planting tomatoes in his yard, the next day a U-Haul truck showed up,” Arnold says. A slow speed chase ensued, and they followed as Broeker drove into New Mexico.

Arnold says that raised alarms with the church. “They thought he was going to the vault.”

One of Scientology’s most secretive organizations, the Church of Spiritual Technology, places vaults in various places where Hubbard’s writings and lectures can be etched on steel plates and sealed in titanium containers to survive a nuclear holocaust. At the New Mexico vault, near the town of Trementina, there is also a large residence, known as an “LRH House,” where a reincarnated Hubbard might take up living on his return to Earth.

But Broeker didn’t go to Trementina. Instead, he turned north and went to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to join his family. He arrived on Christmas Eve, 1989.

(A call was placed recently to Broeker’s brother-in-law in Cheyenne, but when Pat was asked for, his brother-in-law said he was sick of reporters calling and angrily asked not to be called again.)

Unable to repeat the same setup they had in Paso Robles, Marrick and Arnold kept watch on the Broeker house from a nearby park, using spotting scopes.

Over the next several years, until 1993, they kept watch as Broeker began working at a hospital as a cardiac technician while studying medicine. Marrick and Arnold hired a hospital greeter to tip them on Broeker’s activities.

Broeker, they say, met a new girlfriend who was also a technician.

Then, one day, he vanished.

Marrick and Arnold caught a break, however, when they found in his girlfriend’s trash a tissue with a Council Bluffs, Iowa address scribbled on it. Sure enough, Broeker was there.

“24 years of surveillance is part science, and it’s also an art,” Marrick says.

For the first two years he was living in Iowa, Broeker studied medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha. But then he stopped, and Broeker began to make contact with other former Scientologists and outside critics of the organization as his trash indicated that he was experimenting with encryption software, Arnold says.

They say that it particularly alarmed the church that Broeker was reaching out to a man named Robert Vaughn Young, who had been Scientology’s top spokesman until his defection. (Young died of cancer in 2003.)

At one point, Broeker and Young met by passing a note in a Barnes & Noble bookstore and then took separate routes to an Applebee’s restaurant. Arnold took a seat at the table next to them, and eavesdropped as they talked about Miscavige.

“Our job was to gather information but be completely invisible,” Marrick says. “We never harassed anybody.”

Broeker also arranged a meeting at a hotel with some of Scientology’s biggest critics of the time -– businessman Bob Minton, ex-Scientologist Jesse Prince, and Robert Vaughn Young.

Marrick and Arnold were asked to do other assignments as well. At one point, they were sent to Indiana to gather information on several Eli Lilly and Company executives. (Scientology virulently opposes pharmaceutical companies that manufacture psychiatric drugs.)

One of those executives was Mitch Daniels, who is today Indiana’s governor.

“All we were told was that he was a lobbyist for Dan Quayle,” Arnold says.

“They’d tell us very little about why they wanted us to do this,” Marrick adds.

That job only lasted a couple of weeks, during which they took out memberships at a tanning salon owned by the wife of one of the Eli Lilly executives, hoping to hear some gossip about the company.

(Daniels declined to comment through his press secretary about the allegation that he was followed by Scientology.)

After he left Iowa, Broeker spent some time in Colorado before moving to the Czech Republic.

Broeker settled in the town of Brno, about 80 miles north of Vienna. Marrick and Arnold stayed in the US, but continued to keep watch on Broeker for the 10 years he was in Europe, from 1998 to 2007.

“We had to set up an entire organization in the Czech Republic. We hired an interpreter to hire a team out there. Then we hired another team to watch the first team to make sure they were getting true information,” Marrick says.

Those teams of private eyes found that, once again, Broeker was living modestly. “Broeker went to school there and taught English. So we hired a student to take his classes and record them,” Arnold says.

On Christmas Eve, 2007, Broeker returned to the United States, but Marrick and Arnold say they wouldn’t provide any more information about his current whereabouts.

“He doesn’t live in the Czech Republic anymore. We’re going to leave it at that,” Marrick says.


Each day at 3 pm, when it was possible for them to do so, Marrick and Arnold would call in a report to Marty Rathbun at the international base on a special telephone that was only for that purpose. But after a point in 1993, Rathbun no longer answered it.

They learned many years later that Rathbun had temporarily “blown” Scientology — church jargon for defecting. Although Rathbun soon returned and remained in the church until 2004, he was never again put on The Broeker Operation.

Marrick and Arnold say that for the rest of the time, some 15 years, they reported to another Miscavige lieutenant, a woman named Linda Hamel, who is the president of the church’s Office of Special Affairs. (Her code name was simply “L,” the two men say.)

But sometimes, when they called the base on the dedicated line for their daily report, they would speak with a deep-voiced man who never identified himself.

“What do you have?” he’d ask.

Later, they saw video of David Miscavige giving presentations at Scientology events, and can now say that’s who they were talking to.

“Scientology leader David Miscavige had no contact with the investigators, never met them nor talked to them nor directed them,” Scientology’s spokeswoman, Karin Pouw, told the Tampa Bay Times in a statement, and claimed that Marrick and Arnold instead worked for church attorneys.

Marrick and Arnold deny that. Says their attorney, Ray Jeffrey: “In 25 years, they never had a substantive conversation with any attorney for the church.”

According to Jeffrey, Marrick and Arnold were getting paid annually about $250,000 each over the life of the project. But out of that money, they say, they had to pay all of the operation’s expenses — flights, rental houses, rental cars, teams of other investigators, sanitation workers, and many informants.

“We’re not wealthy, by any means,” Arnold insists.

In 1988, they had formed a partnership, Select Investigations (they incorporated in October, 1991). They received cashier’s checks — about $40,000 each month, divided into checks that were always under $10,000 each, for tax reasons — through 2001.

But Marrick and Arnold were traveling so much in the job, they were having a hard time getting the checks deposited. Marrick says their solution was to open a new account at a Los Angeles bank, and then take a stack of deposit slips to the church, asking them to deposit their pay.

From 2001 to 2007, the church did just that, and Marrick recently confirmed with his banker that during that time, the church deposited their pay in cash — about $40,000 a month, all in greenbacks.

Scientology is tax exempt, but that image, of a church carrying stacks of money to deposit for an ongoing spying campaign, seems hard to justify as a religious purpose.

In 2008, Marrick says, the church went back to paying in checks made out to Select Investigations.

[Continued on page four]


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