The Enemy Formula: Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior

Coming this month.

Preface to The Enemy Formula:

“Use the shotgun”, Kerry Riley advised in his thick Oklahoman drawl, “it’s better they be picking shards of glass out of their foreheads for a spell till the Sheriff arrives than to have corpses on your hands.” Kerry preferred that I use my double-barrel, over-under shot gun – “use the heavier buckshot, not that chicken-shit bird shot” – when the Mexican Mafia started surveiling my home in preparation for a drive by shooting. One of their offshoots had tagged my car port with their death sentence – three pitch fork prongs up, with stars above each one, signifying I am soon to arrive in one of three places: jail, the hospital or the morgue. That is how the lead investigator for the San Patricio County District Attorney’s Office interpreted it anyhow.  Until I helped deliver some hoods to jail, I would continue to guard my wife’s slumber at night, sitting in our carport with my shotgun across my knee.

The deputy chief of the local police department was puzzled by all this. He wanted to know what I’m doing in South Texas investigating gangs for Riley’s tri-county “conscience of the Coastal Bend” newspaper when I was once an international executive in Los Angeles. I reminded the man that I sort of made it my mission when the Crips nearly killed a six year old girl with a Russian assault rifle during a drive by shooting, and it seemed apparent that local law enforcement, including himself, were too intimidated to do anything effective about it.  He smirked as if unaffected by my swipe at his lack of courage and added, “a man with your history could do a lot better than this.” Without acknowledging the implication that he had looked into my past life – I replied, “you may be right on that score”.

I pulled away in my pick up truck, turned up Wyclef Jean’s cover of Knocking on Heaven’s Door and drove into the shadows of another steamy, gulf coast summer night: “I remember playing my guitar in the projects, a product of the environment, pour some liquor for those who passed away.”

“Good question” I thought, “what am doing in a place like this?” I contemplated the answer as I drove an isolated stretch of highway. I’m investigating gangs because they are the bullies in this county – shooting up innocent folk – that’s easy.  That’s what I do, that’s what I’ve always done. I’ve got to defend to the death in order to survive. “My dad taught me the American dream, baby, you can be anything you want to be, if I did it, y’all could do it.”

But, the cop’s unasked question nagged me, “how could you be here doing that when you are dead?”  If he had looked my name up on the Internet – as he obviously had –  a number of sites, including Wikipedia, listed me as deceased. But, I was breathing and creating chaos in San Pat county to boot.  That was after the Church of Scientology had effectively pronounced me dead. That’s what happens when you up and leave unannounced, even after twenty-seven years of service. Excommunicated – can’t speak to another living Scientologist, or any professional contact you may have made during that time. Those are the rules and I had agreed to play by the rules. So, yeah, I guess I am dead. “I feel a dark cloud coming over me, so poor, so dark, it feels like I’m knocking on heaven’s door.”

Then I thought about the “why South Texas?” part of the question.  Easy. It is the furthest point geographically in the contiguous US from the two main Scientology centers I worked at for almost three decades.  There is unlimited space, and plenty of uncorrupted coast line. After nearly a quarter century of fighting Scientology’s legal and public relations battles, all I was looking for was a little peace of mind. And I found where to get it. “Would someone take these guns away from here, take these guns from the street, Lord, I can’t shoot my brothers anymore.”

 As I pulled up to my little bungalow on the bay, I admitted to myself that I was certain only about the last answer, why South Texas. Then, the dichotomy hit me – if I came here for peace, what on earth am I doing at war again? I walked out onto the small deck behind the house and lit a menthol. I looked at the moon reflecting off the wind swept water, then at the stars. I felt melancholic, but did not know why. I was contemplating who I really was.  I found myself humming Clef’s tune, and singing lightly its final lyrics, “Please put down your heat, Oh Lord, To my brothers that’s on the corner, Oh God, Ay, get out quick or you too will be knocking on heaven’s door.”


79 responses to “The Enemy Formula: Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior

  1. Looks like another “gotta read it!” Marty. Tantalizing………

  2. Barbara Schwarz didn’t help with the whole “being dead” idea either. I haven’t thought about her in years. I don’t think we ever got an answer as to what pushed her over the edge, Scientology or something else.

  3. Available for preorder?

  4. martyrathbun09

    No, Sinar. Sorry.

  5. Wow, you had me at “Use the shotgun”!! this will be good! has my interest!

  6. “America is a dream.
    The poet says it was promises.
    The people say it is promises—that will come true.
    The people do not always say things out loud,
    Nor write them down on paper.
    The people often hold
    Great thoughts in their deepest hearts
    And sometimes only blunderingly express them,
    Haltingly and stumbling say them,
    And faultily put them into practice.
    The people do not always understand each other.
    But there is, somewhere there,
    Always the trying to understand,
    And the trying to say,
    “You are a man. Together we are building our land.”
    ― Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems

  7. Damn, Marty!

    Can’t wait to read it now.

  8. Thanks Marty

  9. Hey, youza writer! Nice job. 🙂

  10. Love the stylish, poetic bent Marty, very visual, just like being there.

  11. Whoa! That’s quite the ‘trailer’! If it’s all that well written I can see it “Coming to a theater near you” down the road.

    Can’t wait to get it and read it. And I don’t read much anymore except online.

  12. Nice, Marty!

  13. Awesome

  14. Grinning ear to ear.

  15. I’m definitely getting the book the moment it’s available but I’m with iamvalkov … anxious to see this made into a movie.


  16. gretchen dewire

    You are some talented writer man. I think you missed your calling. That was riveting

  17. Firebreathing Frog

    We loved your 2 first books here.
    Can’t wait for this one.
    Much love

  18. I am surely curious! Very funny that someone in the CofS declared you dead! But I found it:

    “Scn Exec says Marty Rathbun died of cancer .

    Today a friend of mine who is an executive at a certain Org told me
    that Marty Rathbun had died of cancer but they had no other information as of when or what happened, all they told me was that he had cancer and was FB’d (Fitness Board) out of the SO due to his terminal illness. ”

    I think someone has been lying to the Sea Org Execs!

    I am certain you all, all of his friends in the Sea Org whom worked side by side with Marty like a brother, for decades to free mankind, will be glad to know that Marty is NOT dead. I know you have a clean heart and clean intentions. Rejoice in the knowledge that Marty is alive, and Marty has his freedom! Freedom to make his OWN rules! Oh yeah, the ones that he choose!

    You have delivered one of your fellow man to the freedom for mankind you work daily to accomplish. Have a win! Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place! And to help free your fellow man! Thanks for leaving the gate at Int open!

  19. Seems like a great read, Marty! Looking forward to read it.

  20. Wow! I can’t wait!

  21. Reblogged this on My LRH.

  22. Ed Paulson

    And may we they never be the same. I’m lookin’ forward to the read. And the shoot out at that is likely to occur at that circular firing squad better known as the C of $.

  23. It’s going to be THE book to read this summer!!

  24. one of those who see

    I’m in. Wow! Wonderful writing! Can’t say you ain’t living Marty! Can’t wait for the book.

  25. You is a Writah! Sounds great!

  26. Loved it.

  27. threefeetback

    May Day!

  28. Nice writing, Marty!

  29. Sapere Aude

    This is going to be an incredible book and a mentally adventurous read. So natural, so true – looking forward to it. The story, how it is told and the details. I expect this will be one hot summer for all. Want to thank you for introducing me to a great song by someone I have never heard of. If you don’t mind – for all to enjoy.

  30. Looking forward to the read!

  31. Looks good brudda’!

    Just from the excerpt and some of your more recent posts this year, I can see that you have truly found your voice and honed your deeply engaging style to a keen edge.

    Congratulations in advance on another successful release.

  32. Marty, “Knocking On Heaven’s Door”. One of the most Dylanesque short songs ever written. It could not be done by anyone other than Bob Dylan (who presents no real vocal challenge to me if I should ever decide to take up music again). But here are the words to that song you mention. It is a song about a lawman that one day decides to lay his guns down and asks his mother for forgiveness for him having used them:

    Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan

    Mama, take this badge off of me
    I can’t use it anymore
    It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
    I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door
    Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door…..

    Mama, put my guns in the ground
    I can’t shoot them anymore.
    That long black cloud is coming down
    I feel like I’m knocking on heaven’s door
    Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door….

    Beautiful, haunting melody.

  33. Oooooo!! I can not wait for this one! The first sentence had me hooked. I love me some “good ol’ boy” stories. When will it be available?

  34. Paul Durand

    Great writing. I read it twice, wondering what this was about before I realized that this is an excerpt from your upcoming autobiography.

    Reading it I could almost hear Ennio Morricone’s music..… the episode that you describe could be out of a script for Clint Eastwood in a Sergio Leone movie…… except that is far from fiction, this really happened, and what you describe was really, really scary. Your prose reads really well.

    I like best the end: “if I came here for peace, what on earth am I doing at war again? ………..I felt melancholic, but did not know why. I was contemplating who I really was.”

    That’s a nice moment of introspection which contrasts with the tension before that. Also I know how these moments feel, I can relate. I’ve often asked myself this question: “if I came here for peace, why am I at war again..?” I guess we all long for the moment when the battles will come to an end, and when we can enjoy peace..

    I really look forward to reading this book….

  35. one of those who see

    Love Wyclef’s version of the song! Thanks.

  36. Damn, Marty! That is some of the best writing I have read coming off your trusty old typewriter.
    I remember you mentioning once on this blog that Miscavige once said to you, “You think you can write, but you can’t”. ……What will he think when you have a best seller and he is still drowning in “Sherman’s Lagoon”? I know. Who cares.
    As a writer you just keep getting better and better and better at your craft.
    Go for it.
    Can’t wait to read the book.

  37. I remember how sad I was when I learned that Marty had passed away. He was such a good guy. I remember playing computer games with him and the other LEC guys after hours and talking smack about Ali and Joe
    Frazier. And I remembered the speech he gave at Auditor’s Day at Flag in 1999 when DM in the person of Jenny Linson and Karen Hollander tried to pull me off the decks to do the speech and I refused and Marty had to do it. It was the best speech I ever saw given by an Int spokesperson. Such a warm smile, so unaffected. So, yeah, I was really sad when I read the news. Imagine my happiness when, a couple years after I had learned of Marty’s passing, Gabrielle told me that not only was Marty alive but he would like to say “Hi” sometime. What a wonderful day that was.
    David Miscavige is going to pay for that one of these days. That was no April Fool’s joke.

  38. Captivating.

  39. Kevin Tighe

  40. Kevin Tighe

  41. So Marty,

    Did you have fun writing this one?

  42. Nicely crafted, Marty.
    Looking forward to “the rest of the story.”

  43. Wow Marty, now I am really licking my chops!

  44. Dear Marty,
    I am re/reading both of your books now in a new unt of time.
    All that you have penned is the truth, looking foward to your next book.
    I had a shotgun during Vietnam, parkerised Ithica pump 12 ga. and various handguns. The Ithica served me well my M16 was made by the General Motors Hydramatic division ( stamped on its side) I didnt like it. Over under or coach gun still a formidal weapon but pumping a round with a pump shotgun is always an attention getter. Rock salt , darts, ammo to take prisoners,dead enemy do not talk .

  45. Summerwind

    Good writing Marty!
    If you stop living by the sword you won’t die by it.

  46. You mean he’s gonna die by having a typewriter fall on him?

  47. roger weller

    Marty, you definitely are a great writer. i know you loved to write.

  48. That is some powerful writing, Marty! Wow. Can’t wait to read more.

  49. Here’s a list of premature obituaries:

    You are in good company. Pura vida!

  50. Wendy Munro

    Marty, I loved especially the last two paragraphs – “Lord I can’t shoot my brothers any more”, and then facing the reality that you cannot get out of the battle so easily. The peace will come…and it will be a great personal victory for you because it will be hard won, and you will have earned it fair and square. Can’t wait for the book!

  51. Isn’t that an outness of magnitude; the concept of
    having a terminal illness so you get fitness boarded
    out of the SO. What part of that strikes a clapping
    seal as strange? Nothing!

  52. Dani Lemberger

    Marty, it’s a beautiful piece.
    Did they really say you was dead? Well, I too am lucky that hasn’t happened yet. And it is comforting to hear you say you’re a Scientology warrior. We have some more wars to fight, we’re moving forward, gaining power and victory is ours.
    At the end, the good guys always win. Especially if you’re a Scientologist.

  53. So I have to get the book to find out what’s this all about? Well ya!

  54. I beg to differ… I think his calling is with him alright…😊

  55. Very nicely done.

    Marty do me one favour wherever you go and whatever you do please don’t stop writing.


  56. PS for Marty,
    You join another writer who stated “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”—– Mark Twain

  57. Tom Gallagher

    We are spiritual beings. ‘Reincarnation’ , as a concept, is an attempt to explain our continuing persistent existence.

    Here’s a song played by a great, if not greatest, interpreter of this master-piece that in this moment I hold dear………

    Skip the ad.

  58. Joe Pendleton

    Looking forward to buying and reading the new book as soon as it is released. Sounds like it will be a real barnburner and a very instructive and fascinating one at that.

  59. Joe Pendleton

    One of the very best singers and one of the best songs – music by Richard Rodgers and the wonderful lyrics about living before by the great Larry Hart (it don’t get much better in the songwriting art than Rodgers & Hart).

  60. I know someone who had a fake death certificate made up and sent to the org by his wife so the org would leave him alone.

  61. Tossing people who served decades out on the street or dumping at them at bus stops with 500.00 cash has become part of “normal condition” for the Sea Org and Scientology community. Oh yeah, conditions are relative also.

  62. Lars, does that make on an enemy of the church? 🙂 I want to tell you a story, but leave out the lady’s name out of it. There was this lady, a public person at the org in NY I knew when I was going to the church a long time ago, she was older than me and was called in for a comm ev. She called back and said she had a heart attack and couldn’t make it. She never came back either. 🙂 So even way back before the internet, where one hears similar stories today, some of us were hip! 🙂

  63. Whata carrot, tantilizing! Look forward. Love, Midge

  64. Paul Durand

    Marty ,you write: “Then I thought about the “why South Texas?” part of the question. Easy. It is the furthest point geographically in the contiguous US from the two main Scientology centers I worked at for almost three decades. There is unlimited space, and plenty of uncorrupted coast line.”

    I had a similar experience, when I withdrew from the spiritual movement I was involved in. I got a place in the desert and spent much time there. I needed to be surrounded by nothing and no one that would remind me of this past. And I need to have some kind of physical nothingness around me which would serve me as a blank slate to redesign a new life, and to let a new me come to life.

    For a few years, I had a love affair with the desert. I took wonderful photographs of the rocks, the desert flowers, the stars at night. I felt free. I did not have to conform, to pretend, to abide, to follow, to obey blindly. I just had to enjoy my days, as they came.

    Such a refreshing change from the politics organizational life in a controversial, stressed spiritual movement. This was a perfect situation to let go of decades of conditioning, decades of forcing myself to function day after day in a way that was just me, to live my life in a manner that comes most naturally and is most meaningful to me. Rediscovering simple but important things like the freedom to design my schedule, freedom to see no one for days and even weeks, or freedom to see people if I felt like it.

    Looking back, I now see that these times laid the ground for reinventing a new life, which would not be about what others want me to do, but about how I feel is best for my life to become fulfilled.

    A parenthesis had been closed. The essential had remained intact. What needed to be left behind had been left behind. The next phase of my journey was starting. I wondered many times why this took so long, why change was such a slow process in my life,, why things that looked obvious looking back took me years to understand…

    I still wish these realizations would have taken just a few years rather than a few decades but that’s how it happened and I will probably never know why. All I can do is look forward, in the direction I have chosen, and enjoy teach breath, each moment that I am being gifted with.

    Wishing you the best in your journey.

  65. Wow Tom, she really does this song awesomely!

    In his own way, Neil Diamond did some songs back in the day this song called to my mind, but he did not have that intimate quality…. here’s one –

  66. I’ apologising that what I am going to say is a bit irrelevant to the current topic. It is not irrelevant to Scientology though, and it’s something that I would like to be known. So make it known if you want.

    I had another huge cog with VGIs regarding SCN a short while ago: Ever since I got involved with Dianetics and Scientology I have had numerous ‘wins’, ‘gains’, cognitions call it what you want. There were times that I felt like crying, not because I was getting sad, but because what I experienced reminded me of home –not my human home, but my home as a spirit, my ‘nature’. However, I have had huge loses too, some great amount of charge that I never managed to as-is. Ever since I got involved into this game I had been drawing in motivators like mad. There were times that my entire life went to hell. I experienced a kind of a mess-up that I hadn’t experienced before. I was reasonable (with the meaning of ‘reasonableness’ in Dianetics) to consider that I experienced all that because I was reading about implants and such restimulative stuff. Nevertheless, that never appeared during my sessions, as it had never happened. I never got restimulated by any implants more or less than what I dramatised prior to Scientology.

    When I reffer to ‘Scientology’ as group, I mean the vast majprity of Scientologists that I have met, their agreement, their reality. So, in Scientology, when you nutter it is because of ARCXs and overts, right? OK, fine, I also remember that datum that one would only abandon a group or other activity if he had overts against it, OK. But back then I wondered, “What if I joined the mafia, would I then need to commit overts against it to abandon it?”.

    To get to the point now: I have had an enormous amount of overts against all dynamics, and consequently an enormous amount of motivators as well -apparently- from all dynamics, not because I ever acted against Scientology, but because I acted as a Scientologist. And this is no petty thing that I’m telling you now.

    Although I had my wins, I thought and still think that LRH was a very kind man, and he indeed wanted to help, I think that Scientology at large is a piece of shit. This explains why the 4th dynamic hates it at large and why OTs get ‘ill’ and many other things, as well as my own motivators. I should had never enchanced (specially by promoting it) Scientology in any way. Scientology outside the COS, since it is alligned to greater or lesser degrees with the ideas of the COS, as I haven’t met many people who have realised WTF is going on in that implanter’s lair, can be extremely harmful too.

    I don’t give a damn if you think I am SP. I have personally met SPs that are pro-SCN without ever knowing what SCN is about. So, you can have your SCN all the way, till the end of the universe, and I will say my thing too, freely.

    Scientology must be as-ised. Because the majority experience it as implanter’s shit disguised as truth. Truth my behind. If it had anything to do with truth independents would be fighting eath other like this, nor churchies would be suppressed so they wouldn’t fight. Thetans are not wrong, there is something wrong with SCN, and it must be as-ised.

    Yes, it is better to have no SCN, than this evil thing.

    You can as-is your case by as-ising it. You don’t anything else.

  67. Heartbreaking, in a way, how true this quote from George Bernard Shaw is “Youth is wasted on the young.”

    And how wise we start becoming as we age 🙂

    OR how wise we start becoming as we let go of habitual patterns we were completely unaware of, until by some fortuitous event(s) help us become aware.

    A friend recently remarked how he was learning to live sober. Not only do we have to recognize our patterns, we have to learn to redirect our lives.

    IF it were easy, our world wouldn’t be in such chaos.

    Fortunately we are able to change the direction of our lives (our karma if you will) through direct observation and choice …

    When it happens is far less important THAN it happens.

  68. Don’t tease us, Marty. We’re already waiting impatiently for this book!

  69. Yeah, I never needed a teaser after reading your first book but to blatantly freeze attention units well I”ll have to get that ridge professionaly removed. Keep up your great work. Bill Dupree

  70. You won me Marty.
    and thx to Mosey 🙂

  71. At first I thought it was going to be a Louis L’Amour type fiction work with a Sherrif and shotguns. But quickly realized this is real life experience stuff in modern times. You mentioned the Mexican mafia guys targeting you a while back when you were explaining how Miscavige is not the enemy. I look forward to seeing how you get from the Enemy Formula to there are no enemies.

  72. Mary Rathernotsay

    When is the book coming out? What publisher?
    I am soooo happy that you’ve written a memoir!

  73. Bruce Pratt

    The price? Aye, that’s the question. Marty’s memoirs — probably priceless. :-).

    With the profound overtones of “beating swords into plowshares” (Isaiah 2:4 amongst other places), I have some ideas towards the physical exchange aspects.

  74. I love this. SUPER FRICKEN STRONG on the interest scale…

  75. Thank you for this brilliant article. Will now more stop by. Greetings from Cologne

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