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Paul Haggis: Rathbun does what I feared, and outs ex-Scientologist we vowed to keep secret

[Paul Haggis and Marty Rathbun]

We heard from a lot of readers who were impressed by the candor and class exhibited by Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis in a piece he wrote for us that we published on Saturday.

In that piece, Haggis, who appeared last week in an explosive episode of A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, wanted us to have enough background to understand why the Church of Scientology’s reaction to that show had stunned him in one particular way.

Haggis explained that when he was leaving the church in 2009, he and former top-ranking church member Mark “Marty” Rathbun had worked out with another defector, actor Jason Beghe, some code names for their encrypted conversations in Hushmail to keep the church and its spies from learning who else they were talking to, which included several Scientologists who didn’t want their disaffection known.

Haggis adopted the name “Collero,” after a character from one of his television shows. Rathbun used the name “Lightning” after a musician he admired. Only the few people in these email conversations knew that they were using those handles.

But then, on Tuesday, when the episode of Leah Remini’s show aired, the Church of Scientology posted an attack on Haggis that quoted briefly from one of those secret emails he had sent Rathbun, and used those names, Collero and Lightning.



For Haggis, the conclusion was inescapable. Either Rathbun’s encrypted Hushmail account had been hacked and the emails stolen, or Rathbun had fed them voluntarily to the Church of Scientology.

We reminded readers that since Rathbun’s bizarre 180-turn regarding Scientology criticism, there was an earlier case involving another private email that Rathbun had turned over to the Church of Scientology — and we knew about that because it was the church’s own attorney, in a court hearing, who said that Rathbun had turned it over to him.

In that case, the email had been sent to Rathbun by an Israeli Scientologist, Dani Lemberger, in which he admitted to fantasizing about killing Scientology leader David Miscavige. Several years after sending that email, Lemberger was suing the church in Israel, and Scientology’s attorney there, Mattan Ben Shaul, a partner in a prestigious Tel Aviv firm, said during his cross-examination of Lemberger in a January court hearing that he had called up Rathbun and had obtained the potentially damaging email from him.

It would be extremely unusual — even potentially career-ending, our experts tell us — for a law partner here or in Israel to lie about such a transaction in front of a judge in an open court hearing. The chances that Ben Shaul would lie about talking to Rathbun and receiving the email from him in order to cover for the church stealing it from Rathbun are vanishingly small.

And now, Paul Haggis has come to the same conclusion about the church publicly outing the code names that he and Rathbun used:

A hack of encrypted emails is highly unlikely, which leaves us with the only other option. By blurting out information they could only get by reading our emails, by revealing the names Collero and Lightning, the church itself has announced that Marty is providing them confidential information and actively colluding with the church.

Haggis went on to make an open appeal to Rathbun directly…

At one point you took a courageous stand. It is hard for me to watch what you are doing now, knowing who you were, even for a brief time. If you ever decide to come clean, I will be here for you, as you were for me. And I protect my friends.

To our surprise, late Saturday night Rathbun responded at his blog, which had been inactive since August 31.

We ignored Rathbun’s personal attacks, told in his characteristic tortured syntax, and focused on how he responded to Haggis’s accusation that he had fed their secret emails to the church. (The church quoted a brief part of one email on its “Leah Remini — Aftermath: After Money” website, which attacks the show and the people on it, and which carries a copyright by the Church of Scientology International.)

In his response, Rathbun addressed that accusation in two different places:

“One would think Haggis has been raped and left for dead because one partial sentence of an email he authored made it onto a website that did not genuflect to his phony victimhood narrative.”


“The self-anointed king of transparency is squealing like a stuck pig over a sentence of an email authored by him seeing the light of day.”

Instead of denying that he was the church’s source for the email, or revealing that the email had been stolen from him in a hacking attack, Rathbun was ridiculing Haggis for complaining about his private, sensitive material being made public.

And worse: Rathbun decided to make the entire email public on his website, and it included one name of a recipient who was not Rathbun, Haggis, or Beghe.

In other words, Rathbun had just outed one of the disaffected Scientologists that in 2009 he and Haggis and Beghe were trying so hard to keep the church from knowing about.

“He appears to be doing exactly what I warned he would – revealing another friend’s involvement that we all swore to keep secret,” Haggis told us last night.

“And to those who still think he was hacked – if that was the case, you really don’t think Marty would even mention it?” Haggis added. “You or I – or frankly anyone – would be pretty upset to discover we’d been hacked and to see our private emails and confidential info being used on the web – by Scientology or anyone else. So what’s the logic to that defense? That Marty just doesn’t care?”

Yesterday morning we sent an email to Rathbun, pointing out that he had twice referred to Haggis’s email being made public by the church without denying that he was the source of it.

We asked him if he was being compensated for turning over private emails to the Church of Scientology. And we asked him if such payments were behind his decision, on August 19, to create a new limited liability corporation with his wife Monique, a corporation they named Wimoma LLC.

We’ll let you know if he gets back to us.

“People should read Marty’s rant,” says Mike Rinder, who was formerly very close to Rathbun after they both left the church and went public with accusations of abuse by its leader, David Miscavige, but who now is a target for Rathbun’s slickly-produced videos. “It’s just a stream of name-calling that would make Scientology’s Freedom magazine proud, while protesting, apparently without irony, about ad hominem attacks. Marty is his own worst enemy, following the well-worn path of Miscavige and Scientology. They constantly prove what they stand accused of by their actions in response. Marty actually recommends that if people don’t see things his way, their ‘only realistic hope’ is to partake in a few hundred hours of Scientology objective processing. That says it all. I wonder if [Scientology social media propagandist] John Alex Wood has taken over his blog?”

Rathbun has not responded to our multiple questions about just what his current relationship with the church is. Highlights from his videos are being used in ads that the church pays to air on YouTube and Twitter, but Rathbun has not acknowledged whether he is being paid for them.

Whatever that relationship, there’s no question that on his own website, Rathbun has taken a step that for years, he and his former friends promised never to do.

“I truly don’t understand how Marty can rationalize this betrayal,” Haggis says. “He personally swore to this person he would never reveal his identity, as did Jason and I. This is a sweet man who never went public and was afraid what would happen if he did, but he wanted to help by personally sharing the story of his harrowing escape from Scientology, one that quite literally left him scarred, with a gash on his face from the barbed wire he was forced to drive through. His story had a great impact on me, and I thought Marty. A year after confiding in us, he suffered a debilitating stroke. He and I remained in contact throughout his hospitalization and recovery. He lost his job and his marriage dissolved, and when he moved several years later I lost contact with him as well. The only thing this person ever asked of us was anonymity. Have a good sleep, Marty.”

Our previous coverage of Marty Rathbun…

March 9: As Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’ hits U.S., troubling news of co-star Marty Rathbun
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
July 24: Ray Jeffrey to judge: Order Rathbuns to turn over financial records and testify
Aug 29: LIVE FROM SAN ANTONIO: Will a former Scientology enforcer be compelled to testify?
Sept 13: Ford Greene responds to Marty Rathbun, and brings up a previous Scientology secret deal
Sept 23: Director Paul Haggis pens an open letter to Marty Rathbun after Scientology’s latest smear


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,884 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 30 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,093 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,867 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,641 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,987 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,481 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,521 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,233 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 759 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,848 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,988 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,308 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,283 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 639 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,941 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,048 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,450 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,323 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 904 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,409 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,653 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,762 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on September 25, 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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