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[Attorney Ray Jeffrey; Marty and Monique Rathbun]

One of our court watchers in Texas stumbled on a stunning document: On July 5, Monique Rathbun’s former attorneys filed a petition in a San Antonio court, asking for an order to compel their former clients, Monique and Mark “Marty” Rathbun, to submit to depositions and turn over detailed financial records. The attorneys — Ray Jeffrey, Elliott Cappuccio, and Marc Wiegand — requested a July 25 hearing, but court records show it’s been set for August 29. We’ve put in a call to Jeffrey to find out more.

We sent a message to the Rathbuns asking for comment, but we did not receive a response.

Monique hired the three attorneys to represent her in a harassment lawsuit she filed against the Church of Scientology in August 2013. Monique alleged that she had suffered outrageous abuse because her husband, a former top Scientology official, had decided in 2009 to begin publicly criticizing his former boss, church leader David Miscavige. (Monique herself was never a member of the church.) In retaliation for Marty’s statements at his website, Miscavige had the Rathbuns followed, photographed, and harassed with pranks and intimidation, Monique alleged. She believed the church went so far as to have an adult toy mailed to her place of work, and had flowers sent to her female co-worker with a romantic message that was supposedly from Monique. On smear websites operated by Scientology, she said in her legal complaint, “They have even alleged that I am not even a woman, but a man who has had a secret sex-change operation. So, I have even had my womanhood questioned as part of this sick campaign to inflict maximum emotional distress on me.”

Characteristically, the church pursued an aggressive strategy in court, throwing up roadblocks against the lawsuit including petitioning to have Monique’s attorneys disqualified. “Miscavige is not only attempting to deprive Monique of representation, in his inimitable style he is attempting to destroy her lawyers by having a court of law brand them as ‘unethical and immoral’,” Marty Rathbun wrote at his blog about the disqualification motion. “We hope we can direct a measure of your good wishes, intentions and prayers toward the only three lawyers in the state of Texas who are willing to put their careers on the line to right wrongs they just won’t cotton to happening in their great state.”

“Hot, Blue, and Righteous,” he called them.


Monique’s attorneys won that round and several more that came later, including a huge victory at the Texas Third Court of Appeals in November 2015. At that point, one of our legal experts told us, the Rathbuns were really in the driver’s seat and within a year might be “inflicting real pain” on the Church of Scientology — and perhaps could get David Miscavige into a witness chair. But then, just two months later, Monique Rathbun mysteriously fired her entire legal team “without cause,” suggesting that they had done nothing wrong. Later, however, she complained in a court pleading that the attorneys had disregarded her intentions, had written the original complaint poorly, and had advised her that there was little money in the lawsuit. Ray Jeffrey and Elliott Cappuccio each denied those allegations in public statements.

A few months after firing her attorneys, Monique dropped the lawsuit entirely, and again blamed her former attorneys. At his website, Marty Rathbun responded to speculation about why his wife had dropped the lawsuit by denying that a settlement had been worked out with the church. (If some kind of agreement involving compensation had been reached, Monique’s former attorneys would be entitled to a percentage.)

Four months later, in September 2016, Marty Rathbun began a series of attacks at his website — not against David Miscavige, but now against a fellow former church member (David’s father Ron Miscavige) and against filmmaker Louis Theroux, who had included Marty in his 2015 documentary, My Scientology Movie. Rathbun also attacked this website and former church members Chris Shelton and Karen de la Carriere. In January, a Scientology attorney in Israel said in open court that Rathbun had supplied the church with a private email by another former church member, Dani Lemberger, for use in litigation against Lemberger. Then, in June, Rathbun began putting out a series of videos attacking other former friends who had criticized David Miscavige, including Mike Rinder, Tom DeVocht, Amy Scobee, John Brousseau, and also Paul Haggis and Leah Remini.

Marty Rathbun’s shocking U-turn — and Monique’s complete silence — has fueled a lot of speculation online, with many people wondering what was motivating Rathbun to turn on his former friends.

And now, Monique’s former attorneys want to get some answers.


[Elliott Cappuccio, talking with Marty Rathbun in court in 2013; Marc Wiegand]

In their petition, the attorneys have informed the Bexar County District Court that they anticipate filing a lawsuit, so they want the court to order the Rathbuns to submit to depositions and answer under oath whether they have been paid off.

“The subject matter of the anticipated action is whether anything of value has been or will be, directly or indirectly, paid to or received by the Rathbuns in connection with their claims. Petitioners have a financial interest in any such settlement for their fees and expenses incurred on behalf of the Rathbuns,” the court petition reads.

The petition adds that although there’s reason to believe the attorneys have a case against the Rathbuns, it’s prudent to question them first and examine their financial records before actually filing a lawsuit.

“There is significant circumstantial evidence to indicate that Petitioners may have causes of action against the Rathbuns. However, it is a serious undertaking for attorneys to take legal action against former clients, and Petitioners have an obligation, under Rule 13 TRCP, to make a reasonable inquiry that the anticipated suit is well grounded.”

So the attorneys have asked for the court to order both Monique and Marty to be questioned, separately, under oath, and for them to turn over a laundry list of financial records. Here’s just a glimpse of it…


The Church of Scientology is mentioned in two of the numbered items…

“19. All documents containing any communications between you and the Church of Scientology, its members, affiliates, agents, attorneys, or anyone acting in concert with them for the last three years.”

“36. All documents containing any communications with any employee, agent, attorney, or member of the Church of Scientology or its affiliated organizations for the past three years.”

According to the filing, the petition was submitted to the 288th Civil District Court of Bexar County, which is presided over by Judge Solomon J. Casseb III. However, the last time we were in that courthouse, on the Debbie Cook matter in 2012, we learned that a case like this is assigned a judge the morning it is heard. So we may have to wait until August 29 to find out who’s going to hear it.

Wow. It’s time to buckle your seat belts.

Here is the petition that the attorneys filed in court on July 5…


And the proposed order to take Marty Rathbun’s deposition, with the list of demands for financial records…


And the same for Monique Rathbun…


Previous Marty Rathbun coverage:

March 14: Memories of a Scientology warrior: Marty Rathbun’s curious career as church rebel
June 9: Thanks for the slick videos, Marty Rathbun. Here’s a not very slick one for you.
June 14: Marty Rathbun tries to rewrite the record on Scientology spying. But we have the dox.
June 15: Marty Rathbun, Victoria Britton has a question for you about Scientology and judges
June 16: Marty Rathbun’s project becomes clear: Someone’s worried about Scientology & the IRS
June 17: Paul Haggis: Marty Rathbun is using private info I gave him against Lawrence Wright
June 20: John Brousseau: Marty Rathbun is putting words in my mouth about the FBI’s Scientology probe
June 29: HowdyCon: Aussie journalist Steve Cannane’s response to Marty Rathbun


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,821 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,578 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,924 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,418 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,458 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,170 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 696 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,785 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,925 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,245 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,220 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 576 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,878 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 985 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,387 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,260 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 841 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,346 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,590 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,699 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 24, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

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 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


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