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Ford Greene responds to Marty Rathbun, and brings up a previous Scientology secret deal

[Ford Greene]

We heard this week from Ford Greene, the California lawyer who was involved in important litigation against the Church of Scientology and who also recently appeared on a special 2-hour episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. He’s also the former two-time mayor of San Anselmo, California.

Ford wanted to share a couple of items with us in regards to the things that Mark “Marty” Rathbun said about him in a short video segment that was posted to YouTube on August 20.

It was one of dozens of short videos Rathbun has posted to his blog and his YouTube channel, many of them critiquing Remini’s show, including the episode that featured Ford Greene. Rathbun ridiculed Greene, saying that what Remini said about him was exaggerated. Greene was one of several attorneys involved in Lawrence Wollersheim’s epic legal saga, for example, but Rathbun says that Greene must have been pretty unimportant, because Rathbun was personally involved in Wollersheim negotiations and didn’t see the California attorney.

“I’ve never met Ford Greene in my life,” Rathbun says.

But as with so much of what Rathbun has been putting in these videos that he’s been posting since June, much of what he’s saying is easily disproven, often by what he himself has said in the past.


In this case, Greene told us, he has a document to show that Rathbun is all wet.

On June 15, 1989, a woman named Vicki Aznaran sat for a sworn deposition in her lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. Aznaran had left the church in 1988 from her position as Inspector General at the Religious Technology Center — a job that subsequently became Rathbun’s. She and her husband Richard Aznaran filed a lawsuit in 1988, seeking $20 million in damages.

Litigation by such a formerly high-ranking official was a major problem for the church, and Scientology’s legal team threw everything they had at the couple. But in a show of defiance, Aznaran’s attorney, Ford Greene, showed up for Vicki’s deposition wearing shorts, sandals, and a shirt that read “Cult Buster.”

Reading a transcript of the deposition, it was pretty obvious that Greene’s attire really got under the skin of Scientology’s attorney, Earle Cooley, as well as the rest of his team. And at one point, when the two sides were trading barbs, one member of the church’s entourage spoke up. It was Marty Rathbun…


Well, so much for Rathbun’s claim that he never met Ford Greene.

But Ford also brought up the Aznaran case because he thought it might help provide some illumination on another Rathbun-related matter.

“In the spring of 1991, the Aznarans fired me, choosing to represent themselves,” Greene tells us. Eventually, the Aznarans settled with the church on their own, and a condition of that agreement, Ford says, was that “the Aznarans were required to burn their lawyer for their fees…Sound familiar?”

He’s referring, of course, to speculation that the Rathbuns — Marty and his wife Monique — cut a similar deal with the church after firing their own attorneys last year.

After Marty Rathbun assumed Vicki Aznaran’s former position of Inspector General, he served as David Miscavige’s enforcer before he left the church in 2004. He then began speaking out against Miscavige in 2009, and in 2013 his wife Monique Rathbun filed a harassment lawsuit against Miscavige and the church, hiring Texas attorneys Ray Jeffrey, Elliott Cappuccio, and Marc Wiegand. Despite a string of successes in the case, the Rathbuns fired their attorneys last year, and Monique subsequently dropped her lawsuit. In a San Antonio court last month, Jeffrey told a district judge that he and his colleagues suspect that the Rathbuns have some kind of secret agreement with the church that required them to drop their suit and badmouth their former attorneys, and to leave them out of any compensation.

Rathbun himself, at his blog, denied that there was a “settlement” with the church, but otherwise he and his wife have left a lot of questions unanswered about why they fired their legal team and then walked away from a winning lawsuit.

But Greene suggests that Rathbun could be simply repeating history, and that Marty would have learned all about settling directly with the church when he observed the Aznarans doing it in the 1990s.

“Marty used the same Scientology tactic he employed as RTC Inspector General against me to cut the same type of deal for himself,” he says.

But Mike Rinder tells us that the analogy is not perfect. In 1994, the Aznarans approached Rinder, then a top Scientology official in his own right, and Rathbun wasn’t involved in those settlement talks, he tells us.

“They did not do any deal with Marty — they disliked him,” Rinder says.

But the parallel does intrigue Ray Jeffrey, who reminded us that Rinder actually detailed quite a lot about the Aznaran settlement in a sworn declaration he made in 2013. (In Monique Rathbun’s lawsuit, as a matter of fact.)

We thought it was really interesting to look at what Rinder said in that declaration not only to see how Scientology leader David Miscavige micromanages such agreements behind the scenes, but also in light of what happened to the Rathbun lawsuit. Here’s the full portion from Rinder’s declaration on the Aznarans…

I was directed by Miscavige personally on many, many different situations from lawsuits that he felt were important, to meeting with key media, to visiting with government officials, to directly running private investigations and intelligence operations. In each instance the level of micromanaging Miscavige engaged in is hard to believe.

Miscavige Connection to Texas
Out of literally dozens, if not hundreds of examples, I recount what happened with the Aznarans in 1994, primarily because they were Texas residents and the events took place in Dallas. Vicki Aznaran, like Mark Rathbun, was previously the “Inspector General” of Religious Technology Center. She was ousted by Miscavige and left the church and she and her husband filed suit against a number of church entities in 1988. Miscavige considered her a threat due to her knowledge of the power struggle he had been engaged in after the death of L. Ron Hubbard in 1986. Aznaran had taken sides against Miscavige and therefore she and her husband had become “enemies.”

In 1994 the Aznarans called the church and said they wanted to engage in settlement discussions to resolve their lawsuit.

Miscavige called me, told me in detail what he wanted done and sent me to meet with Richard Aznaran at Dallas-Fort Worth airport. I was instructed by Miscavige to secretly record the entire meeting so Miscavige could hear every word that was said. I covertly recorded my meeting with Mr. Aznaran as Miscavige had ordered.

When I returned to Los Angeles, Miscavige listened to the recording and then directed that I set up a settlement meeting with the Aznarans in Dallas. He gave me very explicit instructions. I was sent back to Dallas with Miscavige lieutenant, and RTC staff member, Mike Sutter and met with Richard and Vicki Aznaran in a suite in the Adolphus hotel in Dallas. Richard and Vicki were “represented” by Vicki’s sister as they were dissatisfied with the lawyer who had been representing them (Barry Van Sickle) and they wanted to be paid directly without Van Sickle getting anything.

I negotiated a settlement with the Aznarans over two days in Dallas. I was called by Miscavige at least every hour and had to give detailed descriptions of everything that had transpired and then received more detailed direction from him on what was to be done. As has now become standard practice in all Scientology settlements, we were required to get the Aznarans to sign declarations that could be used to counter statements they had earlier made in the course of their lawsuit.

Sutter and I returned to Los Angeles. We worked in Miscavige’s office on the 11th floor of the Hollywood Guarantee Building (HGB) 1710 Ivar Ave. (which also carries the CSI address of 6331 Hollywood Blvd) in Hollywood putting declarations — favorable to Miscavige himself that Miscavige had dictated — into final form. We typed them up and submitted them to Miscavige for his approval. Miscavige then despatched me and Sutter back to Dallas to get these signed and to tell the Aznarans that if they wouldn’t sign them there was no deal and they would get no money.

The Aznarans balked at signing the documents. Some modifications were made to things the Aznarans considered were too blatantly and provably false. Every change required approval from Miscavige via telephone. If he disagreed with the wording the wanted Miscavige dictated a different version to back to them.

Emphasis ours. And it does make you think.

Is Rathbun’s shocking turnaround the result of a similar deal, worked out in detail by Miscavige in the same manner as the Aznaran agreement? We don’t know.

Recently, footage from Rathbun’s videos has been showing up in Scientology’s paid web advertisements. We sent an email to Rathbun, asking him if he was receiving compensation for that. He didn’t respond.


The petition filed by Ray Jeffrey and his colleagues asking the court to order the Rathbuns to sit for depositions and turn over financial information was denied by the San Antonio court on a technicality. They can refile it in San Patricio County, where the Rathbuns live.

Whether they’re compelled to testify or not, it would be nice to get some more answers about what’s going from the Rathbuns.

And in the meantime, we thank Ford Greene for checking in.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,872 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,081 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,855 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,629 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,975 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,469 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,509 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,221 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 747 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,836 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,976 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,296 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,271 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 627 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,929 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,036 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,438 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,311 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 892 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,397 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,641 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,750 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on September 13, 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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