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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 18: Mark ‘Marty’ Rathbun

In 2011 we spent the month of August counting down a list of the “Top 25 People Crippling Scientology.” Nine years later, Scientology is still hurting, but church leader David Miscavige learned long ago that paid membership was only one resource that kept him in business. He also relies on a small army of enablers, some paid, some not, who help him stay in business even though they aren’t Scientologists themselves. So we thought we’d recognize them with this countdown.

Nine years ago, former top Scientology enforcer Mark “Marty” Rathbun wrote a fiery article that was typical of his blog at that time.

In that piece which he posted on June 20, 2011, Marty wrote about how Tiziano Lugli, a former Scientologist, had been betrayed by someone he had considered a close friend, a motivational speaker and major Scientology donor named Grant Cardone.

Cardone made the status of IAS Gold Meritorious by donating $1,000,000 to [Scientology leader David] Miscavige’s war fund. The same fund that enables my home to be surveilled 24/7 for the past two years, for Mike [Rinder] and I to be followed and harassed by teams of PI’s and OT Ambassadors (high level Scientologists) everywhere we go with the intent of suppressing FACTS about Miscavige’s felonies becoming public. It is now funding the active harassment and intimidation of my PCs and pre-OTs. Grant’s grants are funding the active suppression of the freedom of religion, the freedom of association, and the freedom of speech right here on American soil.


Rathbun, who titled his article “Grant Cardone – Turnaround or Turncoat King?” was particularly incensed that Cardone had turned his back on Lugli simply because Tiziano had decided to leave Scientology.

Cardone screwed a very close friend of mine for having the courage to stand out of line to do something about the wholesale abuses of Miscavige and his cult. Tiziano Lugli’s story is by now well know to those who frequent this blog. It was told in summary in the following post. Tiziano considered Cardone a friend. After the church spent weeks flying around the world attempting to splinter Tiziano’s family, Tiziano attempted to have one last word with this friends to tell his side of the story before he was excommunicated and the DISCONNECTION policy was put into full force. Cardone was one of those who DISCONNECTED on the orders of David Miscavige before Tiziano was even declared. There apparently is nothing Cardone won’t do for David Miscavige.

We cite this piece because we want to remind you who Marty Rathbun was in 2011. At the time, he was not only a top former Scientology official who had dedicated himself to exposing David Miscavige’s abuses, we told our readers at the Village Voice that Rathbun’s blog was the single greatest threat to Miscavige’s ongoing tenure as leader of the Scientology movement, and we meant it.

Rathbun not only exposed Miscavige day after day, he also fiercely defended his close friends, like Lugli and Rinder, who like him were risking their livelihoods to take on Scientology’s legendary retaliation machine, and each of them paid for it with years of hellacious treatment by Scientology’s private investigators.

Today, nine years later, Marty Rathbun makes videos slandering Mike Rinder and Leah Remini and the people who have appeared on Leah’s television show in a garish display that makes Cardone’s turncoat betrayal pale in comparison.

Incredibly, there are still a few former Scientologists who defend Rathbun and promote the ludicrous notion that Rathbun is exploring some “middle path” between the Church of Scientology on the one hand and the “anti-Scientology cult” on the other. If you’re still laboring under that delusion, we’d ask you once again to review that piece written by Rathbun about how he and Tiziano Lugli and Mike Rinder were so righteously fighting the outrageous freedom-hating troops corralled by David Miscavige.

Marty Rathbun now makes videos filled with lies that slime Leah Remini and Mike Rinder and your proprietor and others that are then used by David Miscavige in Scientology’s social media feeds.

When we asked Rathbun if he was being paid for the use of his videos, he didn’t answer us.

But he really didn’t need to. We’d already caught him red-handed when we discovered that he had passed along an email sent to him in confidence by another former Church of Scientology member, Dani Lemberger, to Scientology attorneys so they could use it against Lemberger in a court case.

Rathbun, in other words, was working as an active agent for Scientology, and again, he had no excuse for it when we tried to get him to explain himself. (And just think of all the material he was able to turn over to Miscavige in 2016 after ex-Scientologists had been trusting him with their secrets for almost a decade.)

Marty Rathbun is probably not a member of the Church of Scientology today, but there’s simply no question that he’s working for Miscavige. For how much? We don’t know.

Marty himself claimed in 2011 that he had no price…

The cult has two weapons and two weapons only: a) harassment to a degree unprecedented in a civilized society, and b) money to buy the victim of “a” when he is put into an amenable frame of mind. Just so everybody knows, as Miscavige just won’t seem to get it through his head, I will never fold to any pressure no matter how intense, and I am not for sale – at any price.

That’s truly an amazing passage considering what ensued, isn’t it?


So, we are asked again and again, what the hell happened to Marty Rathbun?

We have already traced the lengthy arc of Marty’s transformation from critic to lapdog in a piece that reviewed the entire history of his blog. Please, if you truly want to understand how Rathbun got from there to here, you need to review that history. One of the most important pieces of that narrative, of course, is that in 2013 Marty’s wife Monique Rathbun filed a harassment lawsuit against Miscavige and the church that, by 2015, had resulted in a major appellate decision and in a state, Texas, that hadn’t spent decades as a doormat to Scientology like California and Florida. After that appellate decision, our experts told us, Monique’s lawsuit was about to visit major pain on Scientology and might even have put David Miscavige in a witness chair. But then, early in 2016, without any explanation or visible reason, Monique fired her entire legal team and then dismissed the lawsuit while slandering her attorneys in court papers, and Marty called down holy hell on anyone who dared to ask them what the hell they were the thinking.

And the questions and the speculating have never stopped, so last year we wrote a challenge for those putting together theories about Rathbun’s fall which we think still stands up. Here it is, in its entirety…

I know it’s been a while so people are going to forget some of what happened. And people are going to speculate, there’s no stopping it. So, OK, if you’re going to guess about what happened to the Rathbuns, just keep in mind that your theory has to account for these facts:

1. When the lawsuit was going, they had strong court protection against further harassment by Scientology, and that protection would have stayed in place as long as it took the judge to make a decision about a permanent injunction. (So, “they quit because they couldn’t handle the harassment” is bullshit.)

2. By the time Monique fired the attorneys, their adoption of a child was already permanent. Miscavige could not have done anything about it. As far as shielding the child, please keep in mind that Mike Rinder, Tom DeVocht, John Brousseau and Mareka Backus, the Headleys and others all have had young children while going through intense Scientology harassment and none of them caved.

3. The reason the blackmail idea is weak is that, again, the Rathbuns were under court protection, and if Miscavige privately told Marty he had dark material from his past to use against him, that would have got Miscavige and his team in a WORLD of hurt in court. Miscavige isn’t dumb enough to risk that. Forget the blackmail theory. It doesn’t work.

4. Please keep in mind who Marty was. He was once the #2 guy in a worldwide organization who was not used to playing nice with others. Look at his blog. It drove him crazy that other indies didn’t simply agree with what he was saying all the time. Imagine what he was like with his own attorneys. If you want to explain why Marty did what he did, please stop trying to find a “reasonable” explanation that would make sense if YOU were in his shoes. You weren’t. It was Marty Rathbun, the chosen one who was electroshocked as a fetus and went exterior on a basketball court before he even had heard of Scientology.

5. Stop giving Louis Theroux so much credit. By the time Marty filmed “My Scientology Movie,” he had already made some key steps to his flip/flop (some of which I can’t go into yet). Yes, in the movie you are getting a hint at what he’s going through, but the movie didn’t CAUSE his transformation. Just keep that in mind.

6. Adding one more: This wasn’t just a case of the Rathbuns giving up on a lawsuit. They actively harmed their own attorneys, who had spent three years working for them for free. And not only did they prevent them from getting any compensation for their work, they submitted documents BLAMING the attorneys for things the attorneys did not do. This was not just walking away from a lawsuit. It also included harming the people who had worked so hard for them, for years. So make sure to figure that into your calculation. OK, now, theorize all you want.

The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology

3: The judges
4: The LAPD

5: The dirty tricks private eyes
6: The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
7: The litigators
8: The ghost private eyes
9: The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office
10: Political shills
11: Gary Soter
12: The city of Clearwater, Florida
13: Google and other tech titans
14: The Los Angeles Times
15: Jeffrey Riffer
16: James Packer
17: Louis Farrakhan
18: Mark “Marty” Rathbun
19: Wally Pope
20: Gensler
21: Parents who subscribe to ABCMouse
22: Graham Norton and other celebrity strokers
23: The apologist academics
24: Rebecca Dobkin and other low-level PI grunts
25: DirecTV and filmmakers buffing Dave’s channel


Source Code

“One court in Virginia, they proved conclusively that Scientology was a healing science, because it cured things, and actually brought people into court to show that they had been cured of something by Scientology, which proved it was a healing cience, and gave some, and I don’t even think though they had the nerve to call the auditor in and sentence him. I think he remains unsentenced to this day. It was just too much nonsense, you see. In other words, they can go clear around the line. That proves we’re a healing subject, you see. Wild business. Look the length and breadth of the land, I don’t think they could have found anybody who’d been healed by anything on medicine. But they were proving our cases for us.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 29, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone


“We are getting into the nooks and crannies of LRH’s mind. Few have done that before.”


Random Howdy

“After the horrorshow called Jonestown and the government-led debacle at Waco, no one has to wonder at the government’s reluctance to revisit Cultland. The only reason they got involved with FLDS was because of the rampant pedophilia. And even with that righteous justification, the Feds got all kinds of shit from the religious right wing in this country.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Arraignment scheduled for September 18.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing is set for August 27 in White Plains, NY, but attorneys are asking it be moved back. Jeffrey’s is set for October 24.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 in Los Angeles
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Motion for reconsideration denied on August 11
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Sept 4 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales, Masterson demurrer), Oct 7-19 (motions to compel arbitration)
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach bankruptcy appeal: Oral arguments were heard on March 11 in Jacksonville
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021. Plaintiffs granted permission to file changes to amended complaint by Sept 4.


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Another legal fight brewing over Scientology’s refusal to return future payments
[TWO years ago] Some countries force Scientology to open the books: Here’s one report on how bad business is
[THREE years ago] LIVE FROM SAN ANTONIO: Will a former Scientology enforcer be compelled to testify?
[FOUR years ago] A Scientologist on the ballot: OC candidate keeping mum about his anti-psych work
[FIVE years ago] Louisiana congressman posts Narconon pic, then yanks it after we point out Scientology link
[SIX years ago] Scientology yesterday and today: Reports from Mark Bunker and Dennis Erlich
[SEVEN years ago] What the Daily News Left Out of its Story on Scientology in Harlem
[EIGHT years ago] Court Testimony: Narconon Intentionally Deceived a Florida Drug Court About Its Licensing
[NINE years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 15: Andreas Heldal-Lund


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,044 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,548 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,068 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,088 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 979 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,286 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,154 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,928 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,732 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,048 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,614 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,533 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,701 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,282 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,543 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,581 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,294 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,819 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,349 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,909 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,049 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,369 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,224 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,343 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,699 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,002 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,108 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,510 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,382 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,965 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,460 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,714 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,823 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 29, 2020 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2019 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2019), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | Shelly Miscavige, 14 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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