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Scientology goes after Mike Rinder with a document he gave only to Marty Rathbun

[Former pals, Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun]

On Saturday, in anticipation of the L. Ron Hubbard birthday walking tour in Clearwater, we posted a letter from Scientology secretary Glen Stilo to show that the church was really panicking about the tour.

Specifically, Stilo demanded any records of city councilman Mark Bunker’s involvement (Bunker did show up and filmed the event), and his letter smeared participants Mike Rinder and Marc Headley with the usual distortions.

But Stilo also provided a surprise in that request that we decided to hold back so we could give it a story of its own.

In order to prove that Rinder was “bigoted” against the church, Stilo included a handwritten document that Rinder had sent to his then close friend Mark “Marty” Rathbun.

It’s a fascinating document, and it describes a humorous plot that we’ve written about before.


Rinder, Scientology’s former international spokesman, escaped from the Sea Org in 2007, and went public with his defection in the legendary 2009 project by the Tampa Bay Times, “The Truth Rundown.”

At that time, 2009, Rinder still considered himself a Scientologist (he doesn’t today), and was talking with other “independent” Scientologists about how to raise the profile of indies and make it uncomfortable for church leader David Miscavige.

He told us years ago that he and Robert Almblad came up with a scheme. There was a building for sale in downtown Clearwater. They dreamed up a plan to purchase it and turn it into the first independent Church of Scientology, right under Miscavige’s nose.

Miscavige, of course, could never put up with “apostates” doing such a thing, but even if Miscavige ended up buying the building, they might be able to turn a profit.

“At that time I still considered myself a Scientologist. This was sort of a win-win scenario. Either set up a center right next to the Clearwater Bank building for ‘independent Scientology,’ or if they swooped in and bought a place like they try to do with the Lisa McPherson Trust, then we would take the profit and use it to open up somewhere else,” Mike says.

At some point, Rinder spelled out the idea in a handwritten letter to Rathbun, another former top Scientology official who had ditched the church in 2004. In the letter, Rinder suggested that Rathbun, who lived in South Texas, move to Clearwater to join the plot.

Glen Stilo attached that letter in his records request this past week. It’s a fascinating look at an earlier period when Rinder still considered himself a Scientologist, but also it is yet another confirmation that Marty Rathbun, who at one time had been such a critic of David Miscavige, has not only become a go-to attack dog for the church, but that things given to him in private by other ex-church members are ending up in the hands of Miscavige and the church.

In this case, Rathbun made the letter public at his blog in October. When we checked with Rinder about it this week, he characterized it as a betrayal.

We first confirmed that Rathbun was leaking private communications to him in 2017, when Dani Lemberger revealed to us that a private email he had sent to Rathbun ended up in the hands of church attorneys who tried to use the email against Lemberger in his lawsuit against the church in Israel.

When we confronted Rathbun about it, he called us a name and didn’t deny it. And now, Mike Rinder tells us, a handwritten document he gave Rathbun has ended up in the hands of the church, which is trying to use it against Rinder.

For years, in the period between about 2009 and 2016, many former church members went to Marty Rathbun for aid and comfort after leaving the church. All of those people can now consider that anything they gave Rathbun in confidence is now in the hands of David Miscavige.

As for Rathbun’s long journey from chief Scientology critic to David Miscavige attack dog, please see our extensive history of that trajectory, “Memories of a Scientology warrior: Marty Rathbun’s curious career as church rebel.”

And also, our more recent thoughts about his turn when we put him on the Top 25 People Enabling Scientology at #18.


Here’s the document…

Mike Rinder's Devious Plan by Tony Ortega


Chynna and Billy have new digs!

Last September Danny Masterson made his first (and so far only) court appearance on the rape charges that have him facing 45 years to life in prison if convicted at trial. And part of the story that day was how things were delayed for hours because Danny had brought a large entourage with him in what was clearly a show of defiance.

Only a few of his group were actually allowed in the courtroom because of Covid rules, and one of them was his brother-in-law, actor Billy Baldwin, who is married to Chynna Phillips, the sister of Danny’s wife Bijou Phillips.

Ever since then we’ve been curious about Billy and Chynna, even though they aren’t Scientologists. Chynna, a born-again Christian, has an over-sharer YouTube channel, and she’s provided some helpful material on it, like the time she had Bijou on and they discussed Danny’s “Strong Island” macho personality.

One of the constant refrains from Chynna is that she and Billy are broke, and that they have been barely getting by during the pandemic, when acting prospects for Billy have been tough to come by.

But then just recently Chynna talked about how the couple had bought a new house, and she provided enough information that we were able to figure out what property they purchased on March 9.

It’s a swank Santa Barbara home that sold for $2.9 million, and records show the Baldwins took out a mortgage for $2.03 million of it. And as she showed her followers the property, Chynna revealed that they plan to do a lot of upgrading to it.



Must be nice to be so “broke.”


Leah Remini podcast: ‘Aftermath’ producer Aaron Saidman

Says Mike: “On this week’s episode, we talk to Aaron Saidman, co-founder of production company (IPC) that was brave enough to bring The Aftermath to air.Tune in for some behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the program, how it came about, the impact it had and how the people involved dealt with scientology and their Fair Game.” Listen to the episode right here…


Source Code

“I had a number of US Senators interested in this. As a matter of fact I had the senate dining room one day — I had lots of friends down there in those days, still would have if I went down and stuck my nose in. Every time I do, why they all say, ‘Hey, Ron! Where the hell have you been?’ you know. ‘What’s the matter, you mad at me?’ Something like that. I’d say, ‘Oh, I’ve been busy.’ And I had the senate dining room down there one noon, I remember, along about this period [in 1950]. And you could have heard a toothpick fall from one end of it to the other….I was telling them somebody had found the dynamic principle of existence and I was telling people what it was and so forth. And that place was jammed from one corner to the other with senators and so forth. The next thing you know the table outside of the perimeter of the table I was sitting at with three or four old senators and the table outside that went silent and the table outside that went silent and the table outside that went silent and the next thing you know there wasn’t anything happening in that dining room. The waiters were standing there, see. Darnedest thing you ever wanted to see, you know! And I said, ‘Gee!’ I said, ‘I’ve got a bear by the tail here, you know.’ That was actually before anything much had occurred. They had never heard of this book or anything.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 16, 1965



Avast, Ye Mateys

“The Apollo is to be in all respects ready for the sea and all port cycles closed by 5:00 PM 18 Mar 69. The civil ‘Nomarch’ of Corfu on irregular lines verbally has ordered our departure in 24 hours despite any unreadiness and without concluding our gyro or safety inspection. We have been given no reason. There may be a connection with the visit of US vessels last week which had a report via their naval attache that we made troops desert. There is no damage really as the AOSH Greece had not really opened and is being reopened at once in Denmark. The situation is under control. There is no danger.” — The Commodore, March 16, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“According to Capt. Bill Robertson, Planet Earth is in the process of being introduced again to the intergalactic community. In order to do that a World Government is needed. The model for the New Civilization and World Government planned for this planet (according to Hubbard and Bill Robertson) is the old Galactic Confederacy of which Earth was a part. Hubbard gave the name of the planets in that old Galactic Confederacy in his movie script ‘Revolt in the Stars.’ Galactic Confederation member stars: Sirius, Canopus, Alpha Centauri, Vega, Capella, Arcturus, Rigel, Procyon, Achernar, Beta Centauri, Altair, Betelgeuse, Acrux, Aldebaran, Pollux, Spica, Antares, Fomalhaut, Deneb, Regulus, and Sol.”


Past is Prologue

1996: In response to numerous requests by a.r.s posters for legally obtained copies of the NOTS processing levels, Scientology attorney Helena Kobrin has been again sending legal threats via email and Usenet. “The purpose of this posting is to inform you that on March 21, 1996 at 5:12 p.m., Judge Ronald M. Whyte of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued the following Temporary Restraining Order against Ward and SCAMIZDAT prohibiting them and anyone in active concert or participation with them from, among other things, acquiring, reproducing, displaying these materials. By this electronic communication, you are being formally placed on notice of the above order and its terms. As Ward and SCAMIZDAT have solicited copies of the NOTs materials, your attention is specifically called to the fact that the order specifically prohibits, among other things, the acquisition of the NOTs materials.”



Random Howdy

“Before today I considered Miscavige a cynical manipulating sociopath, and they’re a dime a dozen. Now he seems to be more the dangerously insane Idi Amin-style dictator. This doesn’t bode well for the future.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Next conf to set prelim, March 24.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to April 13.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Charged in Brooklyn federal court on Feb 4. Arraigned on Feb 9. Pretrial conference set for Apr 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.’ Petition for writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions to compel arbitration. June 7: Status conference.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 24.

Concluded litigation:
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
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.


SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] To help us get through the pandemic, L. Ron Hubbard’s words of Scientology wisdom
[TWO years ago] Miss America organization says it’s looking into Scientology’s use of Miss New York
[THREE years ago] Hey, IRS: You might want to look at this new photo Scientology posted of David Miscavige
[FOUR years ago] Understanding Marty Rathbun: For the first time, his full deposition of 2014
[FIVE years ago] Ron Miscavige book out in May: ‘Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me’
[SIX years ago] Mareka Brousseau on the degradations of Scientology’s Sea Org life
[SEVEN years ago] With Scientology’s ‘disconnection’ policy finally hitting the mainstream, here’s more to consider
[EIGHT years ago] Xenu the The Movie Star! When Scientology Almost Revealed Its Secrets on the Big Screen
[NINE years ago] Scientology on the High Seas: Hubbard Claims Victory Over the U.S. Navy


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 2,242 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,746 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,266 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,286 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,177 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,484 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,352 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,126 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,930 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,246 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,812 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,731 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,899 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,480 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,741 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,779 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,492 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,017 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 372 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,547 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,098 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,247 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,567 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,422 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,541 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,897 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,200 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,306 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,708 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,580 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,163 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,658 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,912 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,021 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 16, 2021 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, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), 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, 15 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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