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More about the goons Scientology sent to intimidate Marty Rathbun and Louis Theroux

SmithStithWe had to scramble yesterday evening to bring you some information about the latest Scientology ambush video that former church official Mark “Marty” Rathbun posted to the Internet.

Now, some hours later, a more complete — and more depressing — picture of what happened Saturday in Los Angeles is emerging, thanks to the eagle-eyed researchers at ESMB and our own sources in the church itself.

Marty Rathbun spent 27 years in Scientology and was at one time the second-most powerful executive in the worldwide organization. But he left in 2004 and vanished, then resurfaced in 2009 with a blog that was highly critical of his old boss, Scientology leader David Miscavige. Rathbun has been subjected to intense surveillance and dirty tricks ever since, which is entirely consistent with Scientology’s treatment of defectors throughout its history. Founder L. Ron Hubbard established in Scientology “scripture” that he wanted people who left and then criticized the church hunted down with the use of private investigators and attorneys and other operatives, and, if possible, to destroy their lives utterly.

Rathbun has been tougher to intimidate than some who have been subjected to this treatment, in part because when he was a top executive in the church, he oversaw such campaigns. He understands that the constant surveillance he’s put up with for the past five years is primarily intended to have a psychological effect on him.

But these most recent ambushes have been simply bizarre.

In October, Rathbun was waiting for a flight from Los Angeles to his home in Texas when three top-ranking current church executives showed up out of nowhere and berated him with strange accusations while filming him. Rathbun managed to pull out a camera of his own and took a blurry video of the ambush.


When we reported on that incident, Rathbun wouldn’t tell us why he had been in LA, though we suspected it had something to do with the Louis Theroux film.

There are two full-length feature films about Scientology making their ways to theaters. Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) recently wrapped up his HBO-produced, two-hour movie based on Lawrence Wright’s book Going Clear and got it accepted at next month’s Sundance Film Festival.

Footage is still being shot in the other project, a feature documentary being produced by Oscar-winner Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man), directed by John Dower, and featuring BBC broadcaster Louis Theroux.

On Saturday, Rathbun was at a studio where work on the film was being done, and he says that he and Theroux were leaving for the day when a pair of Scientologists, accompanied by a camera operator, showed up.

In the smartphone video Marty captured and then posted last night, you can see Theroux filming with his phone at about the one-minute mark. You also see the man doing the talking — identified as Scientologist Christopher Robin Smith — asking Marty about how much he’s being paid to “foster” a child. He also refers to Marty’s wife as “Moby,” but her name is Monique and she often goes by the nickname “Mosey.”


These are classic Scientology tactics. We’ve spoken to former church operatives who ran intimidation campaigns going back decades, and one of the things they say they were told to do was to hit targets with slightly wrong information. They tell us it was intentional for them to get a name wrong (Moby, instead of Mosey, for example) simply for the psychological effect it generates. And to mischaracterize the truth, again purely for the effect (Marty and Monique adopted a baby boy last year, and are not “fostering” him.)

Who were these aging goons who were sent to get under Marty Rathbun’s skin, and in full view of Louis Theroux as he’s making a movie about Scientology?

According to information retrieved by ESMB researchers Mary McConnell, Garry Scarff, and others, Randall Stith and Christopher Smith each had promising careers in Hollywood that have been subsumed by their loyalties to the Church of Scientology.

Smith was a comedian who managed to make a few appearances on the UK version of “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” the improv television show. McConnell posted this photo of him from those days in the early 1990s — Smith is the stocky fellow to the left…


He was married to Tamara Wilcox, a woman Variety called ‘The first lady of Improv’ when it reported her death in 1998.

Chris Smith’s credits don’t go much beyond his ‘Who’s Line Is It Anyway?’ appearances. In recent years, he’s been working out at Scientology’s International Base (also known as “Gold” for its audiovisual division, Golden Era Productions), writing scripts for Scientology events. He’s a “public” though, and not a Sea Org worker.

Randall Stith called himself a film producer in the mid 1990s when he created a page for himself hosted by Scientology. But his career also led him to working directly for the church as well — in his case, making anti-psychiatry documentaries for Citizens Commission for Human Rights (CCHR), Scientology’s rabidly anti-psychiatry front group. At IMDB, you can find a couple of credits for him on films such as 2008’s “Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging.”

Stith’s son, Toven, is part of an advertising film group that calls itself Captiv3. It put together a pretty wild Christmas video last year that we somehow missed. It stars Bodhi Elfman as one of the elves and also features cameos from Jenna Elfman, Nancy Cartwright, and John Travolta and Kelly Preston, and it was intended to benefit the LAPD’s Police Athletic League…


Meanwhile, we received this report on Chris Smith and Randy Stith from one of our best sources inside the church itself…

Chris Smith has been writing for Gold for many years now. He is second only to Dan Sherman [the person who works directly with Miscavige to write his bombastic event speeches]. Smith does most of their marketing scripts and new promos. He spends weekdays at Gold and weekends with his current wife in LA unless there’s a heavy deadline. Here’s the ironic part, since he was asking Marty Rathbun about his child — Smith adopted a child with his last wife, Tamara Wilcox. Their son is fully grown now. Chris and his deceased wife Tamara Wilcox founded the New York improv group Interplay. They moved out to LA around 1990 where they tried to make it in Hollywood and do a series centered around the group. That project failed and Wilcox died…and then he gradually went to work with Gold.

Randy Stith is an experienced line producer who was a member of a production team called the Association located in LA. Randy was hired by Gold to produce CCHR videos and other video projects. He has been on the church payroll for at least 8 years.

Both Chris and Randy have been involved in the church for over 30 years. And both gave up working in the “wog” world because Gold was willing to pay them well giving them steady work. Neither was ever in the Sea Org.

They clearly do not care that attacking Marty publicly ruins any reputation they have in Hollywood as they are guaranteed steady work. Since they are both on Gold payroll I’m sure the edict came down from Miscavige that his big guns needed to give Marty a run for his money.

It’s an indication of how desperate Miscaviage is, that he has to use his “best” talent to carry out such a demeaning and senseless attack. These guys are production talent being used as lackeys. Chris was an actor, so he was chosen for his ability to deliver his lines. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

These videos have many people asking, doesn’t Scientology understand how badly this strategy is backfiring? Former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder helped us answer that question previously. He says that there’s only one person these encounters are meant to please — Scientology leader David Miscavige.

UPDATE: Thanks to our tipster who found this gem, actor Jim Meskimen talking with Chris Smith about improv classes they were organizing. What they don’t mention is that they needed new courses organized after acting coach Milton Katselas, whose school had been such a haven for Scientology actors, had a falling out with the church.



Marc Headley talks about his ambush in glorious detail

Marc Headley, who lives in Colorado, has been in Los Angeles, where he helped a Danish television crew with a documentary about Scientology and ended up in his own bizarre ambush last week. While he was in LA, Marc also sat down with Jeffrey Augustine to give us more full picture of what happened…



Posted by Tony Ortega on December 15, 2014 at 07:00

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UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

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