After two days in the edit bay Miscavige had the OSA baby blue shock squad post a version of his take of the incident at my home on Monday. I commented on the link to it someone posted on this blog, words to the effect that I would go to court with his version – but I’ll also get all the footage from all four of his cameras before trial. Within minutes the “church” took their video edit down. But not before some members of Anonymous mirrored it and spread it far and wide.
Editor in Chief of the Village Voice Tony Ortega reported on the entire affair today, http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/04/when_scientolog.php#comments
UPDATE: Since been picked up by the Dail Mail in London: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1379274/Scientologist-Squirrel-busters-stalk-church-defector.html
While I suggest you read the entire story at the the link provided, and yes, please see the church’s edited version of affairs while you are at it, here is Mr. Ortega’s take on the church’s edit (that they broadcast and tried to squeeze back into the tube too late):
1. The Scientologists preface their video with a scene of Rathbun jawboning with employees at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida, a Scientology headquarters. The point here is to suggest that if Rathbun can show up and demand information at the doorstep of a major Scientology installation, then Scientology is in its rights to do the same to him. But that hardly explains why a church would send a goon squad to intimidate a former member at his home as a way to disrupt his private religious practices.
2. The video is consistent with what Rathbun had told me earlier. When Allender gives his name, you can see a look of recognition wash over Rathbun’s face. It dawns on him that Allender has traveled all the way from California to disrupt Rathbun’s auditing of Lori Hodgson, who had told him that Allender, while still in San Jose, had intimidated her about leaving Scientology. Enraged, Rathbun then pulls the microphone from Allender’s hand.
3. To me, the creepiest part of this video comes near the beginning, and is not seen or heard on Rathbun’s version. You hear Allender telling Rathbun that the reason the group is there is to check his equipment. It’s a taunt, meant to rattle Rathbun about the fact that he is not allowed by official Scientology rules to deliver Scientology auditing using Scientology equipment (an e-meter) outside of the purview of the “church.”
To understand how chilling that is, let me give you an analogy. Imagine that Rathbun had been a high-level member of a Baptist organization who has left over a doctrinal dispute. And say that individual Baptists who share his views also shun the organization and instead join him at his house to hold Bible study or prayer.
Can you imagine the spurned Baptist organization sending a goon squad of four camera-wielding men taunting Rathbun that he shouldn’t be holding Bible study without first making sure his “equipment” — his Bible, say — had been checked out and approved by the goons?
The mind boggles, doesn’t it?
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice.