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MONIQUE RATHBUN’S TESTIMONY: Day One Finishes in Her Temporary Injunction Hearing

Monique_Rathbun_CourtDay One just ended in the temporary injunction hearing of Monique Rathbun’s harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige.

We live-blogged the first half of the day’s session, which included opening statements by attorneys on both sides. But then Judge Dib Waldrip called for a ban on recording devices during Monique’s testimony in the afternoon, so we had to quit live-blogging and went back to pen-and-paper tech. It was old school time!

Monique gave two hours and twenty minutes of testimony guided by her attorney, Ray Jeffrey, and after a short break, she then was cross-examined by Church of Scientology International’s San Antonio lawyer, Les Strieber, for another hour or so.

In her direct testimony, Monique described the peaceful and happy life she and Mark “Marty” Rathbun were living in Ingleside on the Bay, Texas until, in 2009, Marty decided to begin speaking critically of his former employer, Miscavige. Over the next four years, the Rathbuns were surveilled, photographed, and harassed, and Monique says she can’t take it anymore. Under cross-examination, the church attempted to portray her as a public figure who has joined her husband’s fight against the church — in other words, if she got hit back by the church, she deserved it.

The Underground Bunker even got a starring role in the cross-examination, and we could only beam with pride.

We have copious notes about the session, and we have now installed ourselves at our new favorite location to put together these notes for you. Hey, if you’re in the neighborhood, join us here at the Pour Haus in downtown New Braunfels….


Since there’s so much to tell you, we’re going to post our story in bunches, so keep hitting refresh and we’ll try to get everything down in a reasonable time. So here we go!

We learned that Monique Rathbun was born in 1972 in the Bronx, and lived there until she moved to Long Island at 10. She graduated in high school in 1990, worked for a time, then obtained an associate degree at a college where she played for the basketball team, took classes full time, and still managed to work a 40-hour job on the weekends.

Her first husband eventually got a job transfer to Texas, so that’s what brought her to the state. But then she was divorced in 2004. The following year, she met Marty Rathbun through, and before long they were living together in Houston. On a business trip to Corpus Christi, however, they fell in love with the town and decided to move there. That’s when they rented the house in Ingleside on the Bay. She described an idyllic existence as they fished, took walks on the beach with their dog Chiquita, and generally loved living in a place so close to the water.

Monique had never had anything to do with Scientology, but she knew something about Marty’s involvement in it. She also knew that he’d left his old life so far behind when he left the church in 2004, there were online reports that he was dead. But then, through MySpace, Marty made contact with an old friend, Mat Pesch. In 2008, Mat and his wife, another former Scientology executive, Amy Scobee, came to visit them. Monique says Marty became angry when they told him what had happened in Scientology after he left — Amy has told us that her stories about how her mother had been harassed through Scientology’s toxic policy of “disconnection” particularly incensed Rathbun. Word started to get around that Marty had resurfaced. His next visitor was the actor Jason Beghe, who had just made his own very public defection that March.

“That was the first time that Mark audited someone in my presence,” Monique testified, saying that until Beghe’s arrival, Marty lacked the “leads” he needed for his e-meter. But Beghe brought some with him, so Marty audited his old friend.

“Um, meters and leads?” Judge Waldrip interrupted at this point, and there was a knowing giggle around the courtroom.

Oh boy, this guy really doesn’t know what he’s in for, does he!

(OK, time to take a swig. Part 2 coming shortly…)

While he was in the church, Marty had not just been the second-highest executive, working directly with Miscavige, he had also been one of the church’s most respected auditors. As she said in Channel 4’s documentary, Scientologists at War, Monique said that auditing again really transformed Marty and made him seem more alive. Do more of that! she told him.

So Rathbun began letting it be known that he was auditing again, but now for other “independents” who had left the church itself. Soon people from around the world were coming to their house to get auditing, and Rathbun also, in 2009, began his blog, which was severely critical of Miscavige and the church.

He had warned her that as soon as he resurfaced, reporters would come calling. And sure enough, as soon as Marty began posting items on the Internet, Joe Childs and Tom Tobin of the St. Petersburg Times came calling. (The result was Tobin and Child’s amazing 2009 blockbuster, “The Truth Rundown,” which, for our money, is still the single greatest investigative expose of the church in any form since the 1990 Los Angeles Times series.)

Anyway, it wasn’t just reporters who came calling. So did the church’s Office of Special Affairs. In her testimony, Monique now began describing the years of harassment that she and her husband went through.

The first thing, she remembers, was an article in the church’s propaganda magazine, Freedom, which was a reaction to the St. Pete Times series. Freedom‘s article, she said, included a photograph of their house in Ingleside on the Bay. And the reason it had such an effect on her, she explained, was that because of the way the cars were parked in the photo, she knew it could only have been taken while Marty was out of town.

And the idea of Scientology operatives casing her house while she was home alone seriously affected her, Monique testified.

“They’ve got people watching me and my house when Marty is out of town,” Monique said, and the emotion in her voice was unmistakable.

And then the e-mails started. Monique began getting messages sent from hushmail accounts telling her she should leave Marty, that he is evil, that they could help her out if she wanted to get away.

At her job — she works in the health field — she received a “dead agent pack” about Marty. It’s a classic Office of Special Affairs tactic. An envelope, hand delivered and not mailed, with packets of information about Marty that was culled from his supposedly confidential confessional files while he was a member of the church.

“They were trying to get me to leave him,” she said.

Throughout her testimony, CSI’s attorney Les Strieber frequently stood to object, either complaining that Ray Jeffrey’s questions were leading or that he was asking for hearsay. Judge Waldrip sustained some of his objections, and overruled others. But at about this point, there was some confusing back and forth between the attorneys, and Waldrip surprised us by suddenly reeling off a summary of the last twenty minutes of Monique’s testimony.

This guy is really paying attention, we realized.

(Time for a drink. Part 3 coming shortly.)

An example of an objection — at this point, Ray Jeffrey asked if Monique knew who was behind the church’s surveillance. Yeah, she said, it was Dave Lubow, a private investigator who worked for church attorney Eliot Abelson…


Oh wow, the attorneys for the church were up at the bench for a conference like they were sprinting. So Ray then asked Monique if she was concerned to hear that her family members were starting to get visits by church operatives. Yes, she said, like my father, who was visited by…


After some additional Scientology attorney agita, the judge allowed Monique to continue. She explained that her father had just gone through a heart transplant, and the last thing he needed was harassment by church private eyes.

Meanwhile anonymous smear websites started showing up. Monique found out about them when an old high school friend called her and asked, have you Googled your name lately?

OBJECTION! “Google is hearsay,” Les Striebel said, and we wondered if they could have hired Saul Goodman instead. At least Saul’s clothes would have been better than Les’s objections.

“GOOGLE IS HEARSAY” — I think we have a new meme, like “Buy the Ducati.”

Anyway, Monique did Google her name, and she was stunned to see what someone (cough, cough) had posted online about her.

“I was really a man. I’d had a sex operation, which is why we couldn’t have a baby,” she testified, saying that false accusations that she’d had a sex change were included in the anonymous smear websites. But then, she revealed that at least part of those accusations referred to something that was true, and that we had not heard before…

“And at that time, we were trying to have a baby, and I wondered, how did they know so much about us?”

At that moment, we were embarrassed and ashamed to be in the courtroom.

(Part 4 coming!)

Now, it was time for a “dramatic change,” in their harassment, Ray Jeffrey said, in a classic bit of understatement…



Ah, that fateful day. The Squirrel Busters make their first appearance on a cul-de-sac in Ingleside on the Bay.

Every day. Four to six people, getting in their faces outside their home, yelling at them that they were “squirrels” as they tried to walk their dog. Speeding to catch up to them in a golf cart.

Jeffrey shows a short segment of video from that first day, with John Allender with a camera strapped to his forehead.

One hundred and ninety nine days. Every day. Sometimes up to TWENTY encounters in a single day.

“How are you doing, Mr. Squirrel?” Joanne Wheaton screeches in one segment.

And how, Jeffrey asked, did Monique know they were from the Church of Scientology?


But Judge Waldrip allowed her answer. Monique explained that one day, she’d talked to the Squirrel Busters. What was it going to take to get them to stop coming to their house? Marty has to stop talking about the church, she was told.

It was the blog. Because Marty Rathbun was writing a blog about Scientology, church members from around the country had been flown in, a house had been leased, and day after day the Squirrel Busters were disrupting their lives.

They were from the church. There was no question.

(And remember, in the morning session, CSI’s attorney, Les Strieber, had admitted that the church surveilled the Rathbuns because they were challenging Scientology’s orthodoxy! At one point, Ray Jeffrey said that Strieber had admitted that the church had sent the Squirrel Busters, but Strieber shook his head, laughing and said he’d admitted no such thing.)

Jeffrey then began asking Monique about one Squirrel Buster in particular, a guy she could only describe as “sleazy,” who would knock on her door and ask to talk to her only when Marty was out of town.

“I was very scared. One, that they knew he was gone, and that they always knew what we were doing,” she said. “Obviously, he was the there to let me know that they knew I was alone.”

Jeffrey: “Was he there to talk to you about the trademarks of Scientology?”

No, Monique answered, and there was a wave of laughter around the courtroom. (Earlier, CSI’s attorney, Strieber, had tried to justify the church’s surveillance of the Rathbun’s by implying that they had violated the church’s trademarks somehow.) Trademarks. Sheesh. Does the church really think this is still 1994?

(Part 5 soon!)

Ray Jeffrey then put up a slide showing that the Squirrel Busters had leased a house that gave them a direct view of the Rathbun house. They had later leased another house just down their block. And they had inquired about three other properties surrounding them.

Monique said that one of them would have given them a direct view of their bedroom window.

Jeffrey then showed more footage of the Squirrel Busters, bringing her attention in particular to Ralph Gomez, a local former cop who she described as their muscle. At some point, she testified, he had called her a bitch.

And how did it make her feel, with the Squirrel Busters outside her home, filming every day for 199 days?

“Like I feel today. Nauseous. Shaking.”

One day, she got a sex toy in the mail at her work. After she’d had a day off, she came in and it was sitting on her desk, in a Fedex box.

Then, another day she was out of the office, some flowers arrived for a receptionist, and they included a note with a suggestive message, supposedly from Monique.

“How do you explain something like that to your coworkers and your peers? How do you do that?” she asked.

At some point, Marty and Monique escaped the madness of the Squirrel Busters with a trip to Arizona. (Marty had been to LA, and Monique met him in Prescott, Arizona.) They had a week of escape, and Monique was happy to finally be away from the madness. Then they went to the Phoenix airport to fly home, and suddenly they were surrounded by church operatives, with Jim Lynch getting in her face, asking her questions about her father..

“It crossed a line for me,” Monique said, and we only wish we could convey the contempt in the sound of her voice.

“Jim Lynch was standing there, asking whether my dad had hypnotized me to get Mark to attack the church.”

At this point, we feel some dread in reporting, Strieber objected, saying that there was no proof that Jim Lynch worked for the church.

Oh, Les.

We had half a thought of leaping over the railing and grabbing Les Strieber by the collar and shoving his face into the nearest laptop computer with the following words from Jim Lynch…

I’m a reporter writing a profile of ex-Village Voice editor Tony Ortega for Freedom Magazine which is sponsored by the Church of Scientology.

…which appeared in this article published by the Atlantic magazine, which has been around since the Buchanan administration.

OK, after that, we need a drink.

(Part 6 soon!)

Another way the Rathbuns escaped the Squirrel Busters was a short trip to Germany. And while they were in Hamburg to meet Ursula Caberta, they made a side trip to Berlin. And while they were touring the former wall separating east and west, Monique realized they were being followed.

Then, as they made their way into the subway system, wherever they looked, Scientology magazines that had a photo on the back of Marty had been propped up in their way.


Next, Ray asked Mosey about the house down the block.

After 199 days, the Squirrel Busters had finally left in September 2011, and through most of 2012 they were feeling that they were living in relative peace. There were still drive-bys performed by private eyes who photographed the license plates of their visitors, but there was much less harassment. Still, the church always seemed to know when they had visitors or when they came and went.

We visited the Rathbuns in November, 2012 — when Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold made their trip to Ingleside on the Bay — and we were there when Marty discovered that a private investigator was hiding out in a house down at the end of the block.

It was then that the Rathbuns discovered that very sophisticated cameras had been set up in the house, attached to a laptop computer, and the cameras appeared to be recording what was happening at the Rathbun house, sending that info somewhere over a network.

At that point, Monique said, she knew they needed to move. She just couldn’t take it, not after seemingly outlasting the Squirrel Busters. Here someone was watching their every move and beaming it to someone — and Marty assumed it was Miscavige himself.

In the fall of 2012 they decided to move. They then went to great lengths, Monique said, to find a place in secret. They considered several locations around the country before finally settling on a rental house in Bulverde, Texas. It was perfect, they thought. Secluded, surrounded by forest. There would be no Squirrel Buster nonsense at this house. So on December 1, they moved.

They did still experience some surveillance. Some clumsy following by private eyes when they went to the movies, for example. But in general, the situation was much better. They could relax. (Marty’s blog, meanwhile, was much less strident.)

Then, one day recently, they discovered that a camera had been placed on a tree behind their house, aimed right at them. It had an antenna, which told them that once again, images of their house were being beamed over a network.

Monique said that her first reaction was that they had to move again. “We gotta go. I even started looking for another place. But then, I thought, you can’t keep running. At some point you just know you have the right to live your life,” she said.

And that, Ray said, is why she filed the first lawsuit in her life. (Earlier, the Scientology attorneys had said that Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder are part of a “cabal” that is involved in 15 lawsuits against the church. But Jeffrey pointed out that Monique Rathbun is the plaintiff here, and she’s never sued anyone, ever.)

So then Ray asked Monique to try to quantify all the sleepless nights she’s had, all the hours lost to worry, and the value of what she’s lost to the harassment in her life. Each time, she said she couldn’t add it all up.

So what are you asking for in this lawsuit, Ray asked?

“I’m asking to not let it happen anymore. To stop it,” she said, about the harassment. And that’s how her direct testimony ended..

(Next, the cross-examination!)

Les Strieber did not have an easy job.

Monique Rathbun had been credible, she’d been emotional, she had almost been fragile on the witness stand. If Strieber came on too strong, it would not go well.

So he was cautious.

What do you do for a living? (She’s a regional manager for a health company.) Does she work with her husband? (No.) Does she help him with his blog? (Only approving comments when he’s out of town.) Does the blog earn them money? (Some donations.) Does Marty make money from auditing? (“Some people pay, some people don’t.”)

What is auditing? Les asked, and Judge Waldrip asked for clarification on the word “preclear.” (Remember, Les only first heard about Scientology two weeks ago.)

Is it Scientology that Marty is doing? (He’s auditing people, using the e-meter.) Is he calibrating the e-meter? (I don’t know.) You’ve never been a member of the church? (Correct.) Have you studied the Scientology religion? (She’s learned about auditing.) You’ve been a preclear? (Yes.)

Strieber then asked them about their wedding in 2010, performed by Mike Rinder at the first Indie Scientologist summer gathering. Wasn’t it a Scientology ceremony — the first indie wedding, according to a posting on the Internet? Monique didn’t take the bait. It was a wedding, get over it. (At least that was our interpretation of her answer.)

He then asked her about doing some auditing of her own. Who trained her? (Her husband.)

Maybe the strangest question of the day: “You were using my client’s material to do indie Scientology?”

Les’s query, and what the hell he was getting at, was so obscure, there was some back and forth between the judge and the attorneys, and then Monique pointed out that she hadn’t done any auditing since they moved to Texas last year, and you could feel the air go out of Les’s strategy.

Is there any evidence that the Church of Scientology International ever trespassed on your property? (No.) Have you seen any photos from the camera that was mounted behind your house? (No.) Do you know if that camera ever took any photos of you inside your house? (No.) Did the Squirrel Busters every trespass on your property? (No.) After they left in September 2011, did anyone else ever trespass on your property? (No.) Did you ever see any photos taken by the cameras in the house on your block in Ingleside on the Bay? (No.)

At this point, however, Les asked if after the Squirrel Busters had left, there were consequences for people who visited them, and Monique said yes, there were. And she got in that people who visited them were then questioned by Jim Lynch or other church agents. We think Les walked into that one a bit.

And then it happened again. Previously, when Jeffrey was questioning her, he had tried to ask her about harassment of her father, but Strieber had objected, calling it hearsay. But now, on his own cross-examination, Strieber had opened the door by asking about harassment that people she knew were getting after the Squirrel Busters had left, and she said yes, in December 2012, her father had been harassed — something she had not been able to get in when Jeffrey was questioning her.

That’s months after the Squirrel Busters had disappeared, and when her father was still recovering from a heart transplant. Again, Les seemed to walk into that one.

(One more section coming — have patience!)

More from Les: Were you ever physically assaulted? (No.) Do you believe that people should have the right of free expression?

At this point, a reporter I won’t name leaned over and said to me, “Oh, here comes the irony.”

Does Marty write on his blog every day? (No.) Is the blog available for people to read every day? (Yes.) Is the majority of what he writes anti-Scientology, or anti-Church of Scientology? (No.) Is there anti-Scientology material on the blog? (Yes.)

Are you on the blog? Huh? Are there pictures of you on the blog? (Yes.)

At this point, the Scientology team put up Marty’s blog on a big screen in the courtroom. Les pointed to a link on Marty’s blog that said, “News about Monique.” He asked his colleague, Lamont Jefferson, to click on it.

And it led to…



At this point, when Les Strieber then began hyperventilating about what the hell “The Underground Bunker” was, and who this Ortega character was, frankly, we were so busy grinning like we’d swallowed Les Strieber’s tie we forgot to write anything down.

Right there, in a Texas courtroom, the Church of Scientology was trying to make it look like Monique Rathbun was some kind of evil collaborator because your proprietor was so darned quick to get a story up about her lawsuit and beat the rest of the world’s press.

Hell, here we thought we deserved an everlovin’ PRIZE or something, and Les Strieber is trying to make it look like we done something low-down and dirty!

We will swear on a stack of Bibles, this was Les Strieber’s next question for Monique Rathbun…

“Are you picking a fight with the Church of Scientology?”

Please, please, we beg Observer or one of our other talented shoop artists, will you please make a poster out of that? We are still reeling from that moment in court.

So then Les Strieber tried to establish that Monique Rathbun is a media whore who deserves everything the church has thrown at her. Rock Center! Channel 4! Interviewed by Ortega of the Village Voice! ORTEGA INTERVIEWED HER IN HER OWN HOME!!!

Wasn’t she quoted in Texas Monthly! (Um, no.) Didn’t her husband write three anti-Scientology books? (They were critical.)

Wouldn’t you say that with his blog, and his interviews, and his books, that your husband is a public figure? (Yes.) Aren’t you also a public figure? (No.)

Since when did this become a defamation trial, Les?

Strieber then showed a couple of videos taken by the Rathbuns, when they confronted the Squirrel Busters. The first, in July 2012, was a fun little moment. When a neighbor had asked one of the Squirrel Busters what they actually believed, they couldn’t give her a decent answer. So Marty and Monique copied out of a book the “Creed of Scientology” and handed out copies to the Squirrel Busters. (Comedy gold.) Later, Monique got in the face of Ed Bryan, a Squirrel Buster who had showed up wearing a T-Shirt that referred to Marty getting arrested on his wedding night in New Orleans (a favorite Scientology hobby horse).

The point here that Les seemed to be going after was that Monique was giving the Squirrel Busters as good as she was getting, and essentially, this was just a religious debate, and one that was covered by first amendment freedoms. Monique seemed nonplussed by the questioning.

Strieber then showed a video made by Marty in October 2012, which he directed at OSA employees, telling them they should rebel and bring him information. When Streiber tried to bore into Monique about it, Ray Jeffrey pointed out that Marty wasn’t a party in the lawsuit, and Strieber had to back off.

He then started to ask about Daniel Montalvo, a young Sea Org employee who defected and carried out with him some hard disks with Scientology information. But again, Monique deflected it skillfully. She never received any disks or information from anyone.

It felt like a fishing expedition.

So he asked about the sex toy. Oh boy. But his question was very simple: Did she have any evidence about who mailed it to her? (No.) And the flowers sent to her co-worker, did she know who sent it? (No.)

He then brought her back to her question to the Squirrel Busters — how to make the harassment stop. Did she think about her husband continuing to abuse the trademarks of the church on his blog?

Oh, Les. Again, this isn’t 1994. Enough with the trademark silliness. IT’S ALL RIGHT FOR BLOGGERS TO TALK ABOUT THE CHURCH. Hell, we do it every day, home boy.

Wasn’t it obvious, from the blog, that Marty dislikes David Miscavige? (Sure.)

“Is that what this fight is about?” he asked.

Well, we have to say, that was one strange way for Les Strieber to finish off his cross-examination.

So at the end, the other parties (RTC/Miscavige, the other defendants) “reserved” their right to question her further, and Ray Jeffrey reserved his right to do re-direct.

Judge Waldrip’s next big headache was figuring out what we’ll be doing tomorrow. After a full day on the temporary injunction, he has agreed to hear the church’s disqualify motion at the beginning of tomorrow’s session — and he said it might take up the entire day.

So the rest of the temporary injunction hearing — with witnesses like Bert Leahy and Mike Rinder, might not happen for weeks. Yikes.

Tomorrow, however, we’ll see if the church can convince Waldrip that Ray Jeffrey should be kicked off the case because of the Marty Rathbun affidavit.

We’ll see you first thing in the morning for more live-blogging, and opening statements in court should begin at 10 am local time (11 am New York, 8 am Pacific.)

Until then!


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 12, 2013 at 18:40

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  • Could it be that David of Squirrelcult wants to make sure he will be a martyr in case he loses control over his minions?

  • sister wendy

    omigod, Xenu! What next!?

  • KJP in Portland

    LISA McPHERSON is smiling from wherever she may be today πŸ™‚

  • I checked YouTube for “Scientology” with the filter set to “24h”.
    They flooded YouTube right before the court case with a series called “What is Scientology”.
    Amazingly there are no views since 17 hours. I also did not click on any to not push their stats up. If I pushed it the stats would be more than 1,000,000,000 times any previous minute. Unprecedented expansion, LOL.
    Views up from 0 to 1. And Scientologists won’t click anything, because they could get into trouble for using YouTube. Oh Davey….

    • Seannie5

      I also twitter searched scientology yesterday while waiting for Tony to update and there were loads of ‘what is Scientology’ tweets. Funnily enough, I was looking at the official Sci twitter accounts and for a religion that boasts about having millions of members and constant global expansion, they have very few followers on these accounts. A few thousand if they are lucky. Wouldn’t they have millions if they were as beloved as they profess.
      Once again, the way they talk Sci up does not match reality or facts!

    • Del Ling

      It’s funny if you compare it to a “1 week” filter. There has been a lot of not scilon-sanctioned videos lately. Those videos seem to have hits though, funny how the Internet works.

  • DodoTheLaser

    Thank you very much Tony! Have a good breakfast and lunch! It’s on me. And keep on rocking!

    For new visitors who appreciates this blog – there is a donate button in the upper left corner.
    Please support The Underground Bunker. Anything helps, no matter how little.

  • I’d say that went well. Given that the Co$ lawyer stated that the CSI front of the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology was behind the harassment of Monique and that it shouldn’t be too hard to establish that David “he is NOT insane!” Miscavige is in control of the CSI, it’s all sewn up. Until Monique gets to sue for damages and gets to go in front of a jury and explain that she didn’t appreciate the websites, the hate-mail, the packages at work, etc etc.
    Of course, the whole matter of the “calibrated e-meter” and the trademarks and so on and so forth is best resolved by the ecclesiastic head of the Co$ – which we’ve just been reminded is Mr Miscavige. That’s handy!

  • Del Ling

    Beautiful reporting, interesting case! I might go potato chips, beer and auto-refreshing webpage this evening to follow the drama.

    You really seem to have rubbed the small guy the wrong way Tony, since a lawyer had a talking point dedicated to the Bunker. Maybe people here are right, downie is the “pope” himself. πŸ™‚

    I wonder if the CSI laywer has been “set up” with talking points that he doesn’t fully understand, or if he’s privy to the full tactic and what the questions actually entail. The “church” sure seems to dangle a bone in front of the judge. Burn CSI, give Monique some money, but leave the mini-me alone.

  • DodoTheLaser

    There will be a Friday Graduation at Flag today. Will COB attend and share more wins?

    • Whoknew


  • Whoknew

    Anyone who was there: was the courtroom full? Room for any more fascinated readers?

    • EnthralledObserver

      I obviously wasn’t there (Aussie) but I believe Tony said early in his reporting that the small courtroom was getting pretty cosy.

      • Whoknew

        Man, so tempting. I could be there pretty quickly and stay for drinks after. If I blow off my date. What to do what to do.

        • EnthralledObserver

          Do it!!!!! I shall live vicariously through you. πŸ˜‰

          • Whoknew

            OR I suppose I could tell date over dinner how much I gave up to be with him, and make a new convert. Then attend the main trial with no karma stalking me.

            • EnthralledObserver

              Heck… take him with you… what more exciting date could there be??? πŸ˜‰

            • Whoknew

              I know, right? It’s only date two. We haven’t had “the talk” yet. That does tend to scare them. πŸ˜‰

    • I guess it had more people than in any Ideal Morgue.

      • DodoTheLaser

        I bet it did. Good one!

  • Theo Sismanides

    Tony, after this expect the RSBs (=Reporters’ Squirrel Busters) at your door! LOL!!!! GO, TONY!

    • DodoTheLaser

      Good morning, Theo!

      • Theo Sismanides

        Hi Dodo! Don’t know what’s the time there but wishing you all the best. Big moments, really!

        • DodoTheLaser

          Thank you, same for you. History in the making, indeed.

          • Theo Sismanides

            Yes. Do you have any idea in how many hours the 2nd day hearings start? I would like to know so I can follow up Tony.

            • DodoTheLaser

              In about 6 hours from now. Around 4pm in Greece.
              Not 100%, but close.

            • Nevermore

              Good, should be back from the doctor’s by then!

            • Whoknew

              O. We should be sleeping then.

            • DodoTheLaser

              Tony will probably start at 7 am, as usual, which is less than 3 hours from now.
              Around noon in Greece. The whole court thing, day 2, starts in about 6 hours.

            • Theo Sismanides

              wow, thanks Dodo!

            • DodoTheLaser

              You are very welcome, Theo!

            • Unit G-Xenu’s Other Fist

              Dammit. So, yet another sleepless night!

              Oh well, I have Abe’s Exodus to hold me over till then πŸ˜‰

            • EnthralledObserver

              I think it might be in about 5 hours, Theo… from memory. Tony did say in this last post somewhere.

    • Robert Eckert

      Tony has been subjected to severe harassment for a very long time already. He just doesn’t talk about it.

      • Whoknew

        Now I have a fantasy of Tony being on the stand. Can you imagine?

        Or if he got a big settlement that’d be so deserved.

  • Nevermore

    β€œAre you picking a fight with the Church of Scientology?”

    Our second new meme of the day??

  • Dear David,
    Dear David’s minions,

    we know that you are reading this chat. Why don’t you ever leave a comment for us?
    I am happy to read your copyright and trademark justifications and discuss them.
    I am happy to hear you directly telling your point of view regarding orthodoxy and why your Operation Squirrel Buster does not affect other unimportant people. Why just Marty and Monique? It is not clear to me. On one side the argument is that Marty is unimportant, but on the other side he is very important. So what is he?
    David, you can change my mind. I am open minded. This is why you tore my family into pieces. So I am definitely open minded! I studied both sides. I was an insider. I left because of my overts – I could not continue committing overts by supporting disconnection, fair game, lies and posh buildings. What is your view on that?
    So far you just read and print these pages, but you never tell us that you don’t like our comments
    or that our comments are factually wrong. You avoid any confrontation, even though you teach communication and confrontation. Did you ever pass Grade 0? What is the EP of Grade 0?
    David, while you read this. Please remember: According to KRC and ARCU there is no control when there is no communication.
    So you find that most blogs are entirely out of your control. You try to use force rather than understanding. Ron said that the highest control can be achieved by mutual agreement.

    I’d say 95% or more of these people here are against you. But this is because “YOU” are pulling it in by not taking part in these blogs.
    We are just filling our data gaps as we do not get the data from you (ref: PTS/SP course). So do something and be a good example (ref: Way to Happiness).

    Please communicate with us.



  • pluvo
    • Whoknew

      YES! Thank you! I mean. I was just going to get some sleep. Now this juiciness.

      • pluvo


    • Whoknew

      Col. Sanders + Ricky Gervaise…yes.

      • DodoTheLaser

        They really meant it when they said – “Don’t mess with Texas”.

        • Whoknew

          Was it you who wondered if Davey would discuss recent wins at Flag today? I found one: Ray said Mosey was terrified of the defendants and realized she and Marty could run but they could not hide. I’m sure he’ll use that somewhere, sometime as an SP admission of failure.

          • DodoTheLaser

            Yeah, thanks! It must be PTS/SP Tech GAT Phase 2 version of shattering suppression.
            Works like a charm, except in Texas.

  • 0tessa

    Strieber forgot to ask Monique if she had the right rank.

    • DodoTheLaser

      Hahaha! It sure worked with Leah Remini!

  • Vistaril

    Mike Bennitt comes up trumps:

    • DodoTheLaser

      Good quality. Thank you.

  • 0tessa

    Tony: just paid you your dinner for tonight.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      He is gonna need weeks of dinners. Maybe we should start sending packed lunches and care packages.

      • 0tessa

        That sounds more like harassing …

        • Nevermore

          Just food 0tessa, no dildos!

          • elar aitch

            Aaahhh….Scientology: where the jokes just write themselves

          • dagobarbz

            What’s a good way to send tacos through the mail?

            • marti

              If the tacos are for DM, the sewer system.

  • Del Ling

    IF, and that’s a big if, DM is ordered to appear by the judge, does anyone have any thoughts on what he’ll do?
    Can (would) he be ordered to take the stand, or a deposition?

    Is he going to do as the old guy did and run abroad, hide somewhere “off the lines” or will he man up *giggle* and take the stand?

    Personally I actually think he’d never be able to handle going into hiding since he’s to dependent on the attention of the events.

    Of course it’s hypothetical, and they’ll fight in any and every way to avoid it, pay anything etc.

    • Candygram

      I think he’ll do his normal schtick and ask for word clears of all nouns and verbs.

  • DodoTheLaser

    Speaking of…

    • 0tessa

      Is that the judge himself? Great.

    • Nevermore

      Don’t want to upset anyone from the northern parts of the US, but those Southern accents are reeeeeeeaaaaaaaallllllyyyyyy nice!

    • elar aitch


      • DodoTheLaser

        Thanks muchly.

  • DodoTheLaser


    • i-Betty


      • DodoTheLaser


  • Krew13

    I’m beginning to think Les is a double agent who’s there to make the Sciloons and Miscmidget looks as bad as possible. Surely no lawyer could be that fucking stupid to keep saying things that not only can be proved false but make him and his client sound clinically retarded?! His objections and questions make Lionel Hutz look like a legal mastermind. In fact, are we sure Lionel Hutz hasn’t come to life as a real person and now calls himself Les Strieber?

    Don’t be surprised if he or Lamont say something like this today.

  • chris

    Tony, I am riveted. Your blog is better than a suspense movie. Thank you for your diligence is exposing the cult and its secrets. I really hope this trial brings the cult to its knees and if there is a God, maybe the IRS will its tax free status. It isn’t a religion, but a money making cult that serves no other purpose than to extort money from unsuspecting people. Keep it up!

  • Horseradishes

    Hi all, following from London…. So, it’s restarting at 2pm British Summer Time and 3pm mainland Europe summer time, I think?

    • elar aitch

      I’m still catching up and posting

    • Eivol Ekdal

      I expect Tony will put up a main post to kick off today at about Noon BST.

  • Jeb Burton

    FYI, just got my Tampa Bay Times out of the driveway. Story is not on the front page, below the fold on the front of the local section B. Probably will be a big article on Sunday if history repeats itself.

  • Eivol Ekdal

    In the meantime get caught up with yesterdays court video here …

    • DodoTheLaser

      Thank you.

    • Krew13

      I wish someone would kick seven shades of shit out of the Sciloon lawyers.

      • Candygram

        I think the correct term is now “Scilawyerists.”

    • theoracle

      Great contribution. 3:00 a.m. I played it in our media room to 27 people who had various interests in this case in our local community. Yes, they were all here at 3:00 a.m.. Same feedback from all. Domestic terrorists. Some equaled David Miscavige with Charles Manson. Four of these are in high level positions in various government. I mean, it’s over. Checkmate.

      • elar aitch

        What community is that Oracle (if you can say)?

        • theoracle

          Las Vegas, where they are still figuring out this domestic terrorism case. (OJ got busted here,) All over this domestic terrorism case. Unions want to know everything. Insurance agents too! The last thing they want is some Casino to go down, It’s a mess here right now, the F.B.I. all over it. If you don’t turn on your car signal here to make a turn, five cops on you. They have to keep it clean for tourists. That is how everyone lives. Kill a cop program? It becomes real personal. F.B.I. task force down in here deep. Every surveillance unit on my home has been uncovered. It’s very real to the people here. They KNOW.

          • Candygram

            Are you saying you were being surveiled or just that you’ve made sure your home security is doing all it can do?

      • Sunny Sands

        That’s astonishing, great job!

  • Jeb Burton

    Great reporting Tony. Was kind of disappointed that there was really nothing new that we learned about though. I was kind of hoping for some sort of blockbuster, knockout blow. But so far, it seems to be going well.

    • DodoTheLaser

      Really, Jeb?

      • Jeb Burton

        I mean as far as her testimony. I think we knew most of that. The tactics and maneuvering were fascinating though.

        • DodoTheLaser

          Ok. Also, the real human pain. I’ve met Monique. I don’t blame you though.
          Just watch any video where she talks, you will get the idea.

          Celtic Frost – Winter (Requiem)

    • elar aitch

      you are a tough sell Jeb.

  • dagobarbz

    The magazines in the subway is a nice touch. /me salutes

  • dagobarbz

    Mosey’s suit is another Karmanic Konvergence. I don’t think anyone could have prevailed in such a suit back in the late 90s. The cult still wielded a good bit of stick, and Scientology’s court tactics were still taking people by surprise, e.g. Keith Henson’s case in Riverside County CA.

    It is said, “What goes around comes around.” It’s coming around now, and I’m glad we have a team of crack reporters on the ground there to record another step forward in Scientology, Inc.’s demise.

    While Mosey’s harassment is extreme, I would point out that the stupid cult would do this to some degree to any known ex-member who speaks out. A clever ex could set up a scenario in which cult harassment was well recorded as evidence in the next case. And the next case. And the next case.

    I would love it if the ex-members brought Scientology down the same way they pwned the IRS…hundreds of lawsuits. And the cult losing each one, bleeding money every time, because really. This behavior is indefensible.

    • DodoTheLaser

      So very true.

    • This court case is extremely important!
      It is the groundwork for the Narconon case.
      If Monique can show that all is being controlled by Miscavige, then the cult will fall soon.
      The IRS will revoke the tax exempt status.
      This case is huge!

      This is not just about harassment. Operation Freakout was far worse than Operation Squirrel Busters.
      Operation Freakout decimated the cult membership. But Operation Squirrel Busters is the creme dela creme. It can entirely bring down the cult. And David Miscavige pulled it in – he is an idiot!

    • 1subgenius

      And there is federal law that makes any harassment because of the exercise of a constitutional right, a crime. But the feds don’t know easy convictions when they see them.

    • elar aitch

      The time is right for some John Grisham to write that bestseller airport novel about the young broke lawyer taking down the cult. The story is mostly written

  • Gregory Nietsky

    Greetings folks from “jozi” (Johanesburg / South Africa)

    i haz the popcornz give me the lulz !!!!

    Girlfriend worked for the (not) scientology school summerhill not far from here it was (not) scientology i repeat it was (not) scientology only started by a scientologist [who bragged about going to USA to get best of the best and advancing on the bridge to nowhere ….].

    kids and her are out of that mess … and yeah its lame and cheesy to put LRH on all material and insist on “study” courses and giving staff LRH books as gifts …

    suspect the only benifit is the kids learn to use a dictionary and know the importance of words.

    on another note the new “headquarters” think its labled africa AO is on a hill overlooking a prision perhaps the “esteamed leader” could come do time here and have access to his ecclesiastic duties ….

    ironically when im in the “kyalami” office i view this blog via a wireless router installed on there roof … the place was built as a “Castle” with 30+ rooms and lived in by the “hermit” that built it did do service as a hotel for a while before it got repurposed …

    • Gregory Nietsky

      just a side note as much as im seen the antics of this group with much comedic entertainement there is a human tradgedy every time one of these or … [insert religion/cults name] mess with peoples lives so as much as im enjoing the smack down of these foolz [in mr T accent] i wish the victims well.

    • elar aitch

      welcome Gregory

      • Gregory Nietsky

        Thx been lurking here for way too long thought id give my 0.02c with a 0.02c discount

    • Eclipse-girl

      Welcome. another long day awaits most of us. Pull up a seat and get comfy.

  • 0tessa

    I was not at all impressed by Miscavige’s consiglieri. Rumpole would have done a much better job. But then, he would, no doubt, have defended Monique!

    • i-Betty

      Ahh, Rumpole. What a barrister! Dirty Fists would turn tail and flee at the sight of that majestic grey wig.

  • i-Betty

    Good morning, everyone. I don’t know what to do first. I’ve read Tony’s report on Mosey’s testimony, I’ve clicked Vistaril and Eivol Ekdal’s link below taking me to Michael Bennitt’s video footage of proceedings, I have the beginnings of a migraine from too many hours spent staring at my screen since proceedings started yesterday…I am suffering EXTREME REPORTING OVERLOAD and it’s fantastic!

    The screen is spinning so I can’t go into too much detail, but the photo of the pint! I like to think I bought you that, Tony (although I think rather a lot of people donated for that pint – and a lot more – yesterday) πŸ˜€

    Observer’s mad shoop skillz got a mention, and the resulting shoop is beyond my wildest dreams!

    Some of the best and sharpest reporting I’ve ever seen. It has been several years (I can actually remember the last time) since I was on the edge of my seat like I have been these past 30 hours. I know we care deeply about the subject matter, but even so, the reporting from Tony has been on a different level.

    A simple thank you is all I can offer, and the promise of another decent meal while you’re in Texas. And a simple thank you to my Bunker friends, without whom this exciting period in the demise of a dangerous cult wouldn’t be nearly so much fun.

    Love you all, and now I’m going back to bed πŸ™‚ xxx

    PS. Mosey, you did so, so well. We always knew you would hold your head up high, but I think we’re all touched by Tony’s description of your occasional vulnerability whilst giving your testimony – it serves to remind us that this is a very human story. Day two should be a little easier for you, I hope. xxx

    • 0tessa

      Rest well.

      • i-Betty

        Thanks love, but you know what it’s like. I posted that, then got sucked into your comment about Rumpole of the Bailey, and the next time I look up 3 hours will have passed and I will have replied to 50% of the comments here πŸ˜›

        No, I’m going to bed right now. See you in a few hours πŸ™‚

  • deanblair

    I am so looking forward to day 2. Thank you for the most excellent reporting Tony. What is happening here in Texas is unprecedented. It makes me feel very proud to be a Texan.

  • Gregory Nietsky

    just have to say it [newbie privilege] it seems like TO will clear the planet not the OT’s … clear it of the em pesky wabits er scientologists ….

    • 1subgenius

      good one

  • elar aitch

    Wonder whether Tony and others will be able to finish off day 2 with some coldies, watching LMP play tonight.

    • Artoo45

      I just missed her here in Sausalito last weekend. Go pack the house with SPliciousness and make her sing an encore of “So Long.”

  • 0tessa

    Big, very good, article in national newspaper in The Netherlands!
    Also, in Belgium, it is still possible Scientology officially will be declared a criminal organization. Court case still going on.

    • RMycroft

      The Belgium case has been running since the 90s. If anything ever comes of it, that’d be good, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Bella Legosi

      Oh boy I hope the staff kept that article away from Little Boots! I bet that office got some angry phone calls from $cientology reps demanding they remove it too!

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Late start today?

    • WhereIsSHE

      it appears so=(!
      we are so spoiled, aren’t we?!

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        I got up early this morning to have a power breakfast! Now, let me don my tinfoil hat. I wonder if this means there might be a deal in the works? After that wretched performance yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised.

        • WhereIsSHE

          While the smoke signals were apparent (the defendants are very anxious to settle this case, and are willing to shell out some big bucks, but only if RTC and DM are not included as parties to the case or the settlement), I would be cautious to jump to any conclusions.
          It’s early in Texas, and Tony had quite the long day, yesterday!

          (I’m still impatient, though! Been checking the site since 7am, natch!)

    • Suiram

      It’s currently 7:22am CST and I don’t think the hearing started yesterday until 9am. I was already at work and getting settled in when I stumbled across the live feed, so it wasn’t earlier than 8:30am CST.

    • 1subgenius

      “We’ll see you first thing in the morning for more live-blogging, and opening statements in court should begin at 10 am local time (11 am New York, 8 am Pacific.)”

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Thanks. I saw that but didn’t think it meant he wouldn’t begin a new thread until then. Not like he’s Busy or anything πŸ™‚

        • Observer

          I hope he’s sleeping in.

          • 1subgenius

            Sorry to repeat:
            I heard he got schlit-faced and went to the local water park.


            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Hey I see they have a Newsroom! Okay then.

            • 1subgenius

              Thanks to Michael (I think) for the original reference.
              I have a new favorite euphemism.
              You gotta be schlittin’ me.
              Schlitterbahn. Really?

            • Captain Howdy

              He got schlitz-faced?

            • 1subgenius

              Too easy. Too obvious. Not topical enough.
              Other than that, yeah.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            Wot?! How can he sleep at a time like this?! I hope so too, but I doubt it. Wayyyyy too much going on. I just hope his batteries got fully charged.

        • 1subgenius

          I don’t take it to mean that, but just sayin’….

  • 1subgenius

    I sure hope this judge is enjoying this, because he will (most likely) never ever have a more interesting, important case than this. Once in a lifetime.

    And since we’re waiting for more shit to hit the fan:

    • Gregory Nietsky

      LOL until he has to sue em for the “operations” against him ….

      • 1subgenius

        not gun hapn

    • Robert Eckert

      Tony still sleeping in, need more musical interludes. Haven’t put on the Steely Dan lately.

      • 1subgenius

        Something new. Had just wondered out loud “What’s up with Lene Lovich?” Next day my housemate tells me he, and some other homies did an album long distance with a guy named Judge Smith, who I never heard of. Lo and behold Lene Lovich is on it. Pretty catchy tune.
        Dedicated to the judge in this case, who has cool facial hair.

        • Artoo45

          She’s one in a million people . . .

          • 1subgenius

            I see what you did there.
            Damn, you’re good.

  • *YOU GIRL ROCK!* I have tears in my eyes reading about the brave Rathbuns and Tony’s great journalism. Keep it up!

    • Mooser

      “reading about the brave Rathbuns”

      Yup, that must be one tortous row to hoe. I mean what if they end up proving that the “tech” is no good? Why shouldn’t the outcome be “a plague on both of your houses, COS and indies.

      And my goodness, what if the judge has a basic knowledge of electricity, or some ‘friend of the court’ sends in a brief on exactly what “auditing” is. BTW, not that it would matter in Texas, does Marty charge for auditing? I hope not. As a parlor game, it’s quite amusing (You should see me and my Triplett 650, I’ve got an act which could go on Ed Sullivan) but as therapy….

      Me, I’m not in favor of harassment ( I once was forced to file for a restraining order myself, when my neighbor suddenly developed the delusion he owned part of my property.) but it’s hard to see any heroes in this. Oh, wait, I forgot about Tony Ortega!

  • filosofa

    Mornin’ all. Squeezing in my Tony O fix in between work demands. Monique – you are a STAR! Tony – you are a STAR! Bunkerite commenters – you are all STARS!

    Don’t know if this has already been posted:

  • Krew13

    I don’t want to go all conspiracy theory but I have a genuine fear that the Sciloons may try and threaten and intimidate the judge into having things go their way. It was a sweet moment yesterday when he denied their request to have their motion heard first. Would Sciloons be so nuts as to fair game a sitting judge?

    Watching the video footage at the part where Jeffrey mentions the billion dollar contracts, I was just trying to imagine what the judge was thinking, given he has to maintain a sober demeanour. He must’ve thought “What the holy monkeyfucking tapdancing hell?!”

    • Eclipse-girl

      you mean Billion YEAR contracts?

      I like this judge too. I wouldn’t put anything past CSI, IAS or OSA. But since there is a history of such tactics others will be watching for it. It will be made public

      • 1subgenius

        Works either way I suppose.

        • Eclipse-girl

          You are right. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

      • Krew13

        Oh yeah, hadn’t realized I typed dollars! Ironic slip, as billion dollars is precisely what the COS makes from their slaves.

    • Unit G-Xenu’s Other Fist

      Stranger things have happened Krew. And I still wouldn’t put it past them.

    • RMycroft

      Fair Game a judge? It wouldn’t be the first time.

      Scientology’s War Against Judges December 1, 1980, James B. Stewart Jr., American Lawyer

    • Bella Legosi

      I wonder how Judges react to harassment and dog poisonings in Texas? hmmmmm KenMox the Dog Killing Attorney WAS there soooooo…………

  • Theo Sismanides

    This is a double celebration: for Anti’s and Indies! I want to thank Marty, Monique and Mike for what they are doing. I don’t see Indies even discussing things. I see Anti’s being a more vivid group! Though I am not with the anti-Scientologists at all, I cannot but congratulate them today for their interest in Scientology, even in this way, with TONY ORTEGA and his outstanding reporting thru this blog leading the way! Where are the indies?

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      The Indies are in southeast Asia.

    • Whoknew

      It’s interesting how Jeffries is discussing Hubbard and Snow White and how OSA was created to continue bad activities, but with better protection against liability. Apparently the Rathbuns are okay with him using this info…unsure if all Indies would be?

    • I guess you can find more Indies on Mike Rinder’s blog.
      Tony Ortega has no Scientology background and therefore is less cautious mentioning stories that are harder to confront for Indies.
      Eg. Marty was a pure “Independent Scientology” blog. But when he drifted away from Scientology the tension rose and the rumor was that they told each other to not visit Marty’s page anymore.
      Besides this, there are many Indies here as well … just a few less than on Mike’s blog.
      And that is understandable. Who would visit pages that are critical of your founder. Some can deal with it, but some cannot.
      To confront Tony’s page as an Indie you have to clearly differentiate between the working Technology, the evil Technology and Hubbard himself – otherwise you drown.

    • Winston Bell

      Hopefully they’re busy realizing that going indie is but one plateau on the return road to sober, lucid sanity. If not… Well hey; we’re here today to cheer on Monique so that discussion can be had later. After cake.

  • Eivol Ekdal