Scientology Perfidy

The following is an excerpt from Mark Bunker’s upcoming documentary ‘Knowledge Report’. It is an accurate vignette of the kind of perfidy that is common at the highest levels of corporate Scientology.  Recent events in the ‘independent’ field caused me to ask myself, borrowing a phrase from the immortal Yogi Berra, “Is this deja vu all over again?”

And for the rest of the story see, Miscavige Throws John Travolta Under The Bus.

46 responses to “Scientology Perfidy

  1. Dirk Niblick

    For any who missed it a couple years ago, here’s a classic video of Marty and Mike fishing and talking Battlefield Earth.

    More details about just how involved DM was… only to have “nothing to do with it” as soon as TC says he hates it.

  2. martyrathbun09

    Thanks for reminding me. I’ve added a link to the post for the rest of the story. Amazing what treasures have been buried throughout the history of this forum, eh?

  3. Communicator IC

    Off-topic, but I believe of interest to this community. Academic Paper on Independent Scientology – The Dwindling Spiral: The Dror Center Schism, the Cook Letter and Scientology’s Legitimation Crisis, by James R. Lewis [Forthcoming 2013 in Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 4:2. (Note that there will likely be minor differences between this draft and the final, published version.)]

    ESMB is the only place to date where I could find the draft article.

  4. In case you don’t know the word Perfidy ( I didn’t)
    Deceitfulness; untrustworthiness.
    treachery – treason – betrayal – disloyalty

  5. I loved the book, Battlefield Earth. I was really looking forward to the movie. I had high expectations. There were a lot of staff gathered into the same, small theatre with mostly empty seats. Word was already out to the general public, and they stayed away in droves.

    If my wife hadn’t been there holding me down, I would have walked out. What a P.O.S.

    I was furious that anyone could butcher a novel that badly.

    And now we know, “the rest of the sordid story.”

  6. It’s not exactly the form it will end up in the movie. This clip was made for an event in L.A. last week.

  7. No surprise that the little bully is also a coward. Thanks DM, for demonstrating the tone level of 1.1 for all to observe.

  8. I loved the book, too. After 20 minutes I walked out of the movie.

  9. Yeah Marty, I definetly seen a parallel with regards to the recent events in the new Milestone2. It seemed as though everyone was “aboard” and then when public outcry became to loud d/t certain rules and regs…Certain ppl denied knowledge of the so called rules and then “abandoned ship”. Though denouncing their participation….they apparently did make a statement as to “Why I decided to become a member of Milestone 2.” So…who is

  10. ….back pedaling? And why?

  11. Ditto -I was outspoken when asked about the movie. This didn’t make me popular within the community. The book was very entertaining. The movie simply sucks. It’s so bad, it doesn’t come on cable.

  12. I also loved the book. The movie removed the entire love story from what I recall. Lawrence Wright goes over this in his book ‘Going Clear’ and it’s the same story as yours.
    And yes this forum has been so full of information I can’t think of anything in Lawrence’s book I hadn’t yet read either from here or the links.

  13. Tom Gallagher


    I just did a marathon book read that I’ve only done a handful of times in this lifetime that includes DMSMH and FOT in the early to mid ’70s and that was your latest Warrior story.

    I found it riveting, enlightening, spellbinding and spiritually enlightening. I could go on with superlatives.

    Moreover, it flows like a smooth river to tell the inside story of the utter lunacy and insanity that emanates from the RCS tower of Babel. It presents, IMHO, a perfect balance to the brilliance of the workable and beneficial stuff Hubbard codified.

    In the next couple of days I’ll start your 2nd book and then the Sociopath Next Door; my summer reading list.

    Thanks and by the way, several friends who’ve never touched the subject have asked to borrow these books after reading the front and back covers.

    So goes word of mouth….

    All the best to you, yours and the many.

  14. Tom Gallagher

    Oh, plus, you’re an incredibly talented writer and author. My take is that college course didn’t spur or develop this penchant. You’re a natural.

  15. I thought Battlefield Earth with J.T. was better than Magnolia with T.C..

  16. LDW, sometimes a book is worth reading to me. Dianetics was worth reading. Battlefield Earth was not. But, I did see Battlefield Earth the movie and I did like it, but I have not met too many other people that think this and chances are someone could show up and say “Hey Lawrence. C’mon man. That movie was a bag!” I am used to it. But, DM’s professional opinion of the film course absurd and disrespecful to LRH. But being the ignorant moron that DM is some people have gotten used to this fact as well. 🙂

  17. Golly. I thought is just a polite way of saying “bull shit.” Hehe!

    I love the fishing video. These casual excerpts show a real experience of life in the Sea Org that cannot be otherwise understood. Two survivors who were meant to be destroyed – found heartily enjoying life and celebrating their survival with laughs and giggles. Oops… aren’t you supposed to be crying and gnashing your teeth during your descent into Hell? I guess you’d better review and word-clear your manuscript. NOT!

  18. Marty,

    As outlined in some earlier posts, I spent over a year working on this project from the viewpoint of getting Battlefield Earth books sold in around the country on the strength of the movie tie-in.

    We created a Battlefield Earth book signing tour with JT to 10 cities.

    We sold a lot of books before the movie came out. Fans loved JT… and he was so gracious with them. We did a Walmart store in Denton, Texas that started at 4pm. At 9am there was a line completely around the Walmart.

    We also saw the screening of the movie to the press and invitees prior to the official release. I was physically sick after seeing the movie.. just the disappointment of how badly botched it was. Makes total sense to me the Miscavige was micro managing it.

    Before the movie.. JT was at the top of his game with Pulp Fiction and other movies that followed. He had an offer from Barbara Streisand to sing with her in Vegas for some ungodly amount of money.

    Only to get sunk with the movie.. and then later trashed by Miscavige as you outline.

    If this story is not a microcosm of what Miscavige or indeed Scientology is like at present.. I can’t think of a better one.

    The crime is that is was probably one of Hubbard’s most popular books.. Even devout critics of Scientology would acknowledge that they thought the book was great.

    There was an entire LRH strategy to get his books made into movies and popularized. Suzie Watson Taylor championed this for years at ASI.. she was also never the same after the movie’s release and dropped her body a few years ago.

    It’s bad enough to screw this up.. I can almost forgive that. Put to shun responsibility as Miscavige has done and push the blame on Travolta, who donated his power and support to LRH to make this movie is beyond evil.

    If Travolta took 10 million for the movie, it was half what he was making per movie at the time. The fact that he was involved is what gave it a chance of getting made and having a studio like Warner Bros behind it.

    In the end.. maybe it’s best that it happened for me.. as it was the beginning of the end of my involvement. It took something of this magnitude to derail my blind faith.

    As a final aside, and maybe a parallel. You recently posted about the committee of 11. The fact is, that there would not be a platform for most of the independents if someone of your stature and experience had not stood up. None of the rest of us.. even if we had the balls to do so.. would have been given the credibility. Our statements would not have been picked up.

    Reminds me of Apple.. Jobs has the vision.. creates the product.. and then is ousted by a board of directors who “know what is best”. We saw how that ended up.

    It’s easy to throw JT under the bus after the fact. The BE movie would still be in some pending box in a minor studio had he not put his weight behind it.

    Maybe the two don’t relate.. but had them both in my mind.

    Thanks for continuing to be there…


  19. Grasshopper (Mark P)

    You guys have to do more of these videos. This one in particular is awesome.

  20. That is what Hubbard did to the GO, and his wife. Micro managed scenarios that involved others, then blamed them for the failed outcome.

  21. Great stuff, Marty. The above vid with you and Mike fishing and talking Battlefield Earth was one of my all time favorite posts on this blog.

    Couple of quick questions: When you said Miscavige micromanaged the movie, did he have some kind of official authority over the production? Were the notes he was making on the dailies actually being passed to and given weight by Roger Christian?

  22. Cooper Kessel

    Ditto that Les! I could not believe how you could take a nail biter like Battlefield Earth and fuck it up so totally. Now we know how! Micromanaged by a microperson.

  23. The year was 1982.
    I worked at Office of Special Affairs ~~ in those days called “Special Unit”.
    “Battlefield Earth” The book was just released and in teams of 10 we were to go to the big book store chains like B. Daltons, Waldenbooks and purchase copies to manipulate the ranking as a best Seller in the New York Times and others major publications.
    We were given cash. Then we took these books, handed them in and were sent out again to buy them again. The books were *recycled* to give the illusion of *hot sales.*
    Like much of the smoke and mirrors in the “Church” it was a dishonest thing to do and I am guilty of participating. I really truly was in the *tunnel* unable to see straight, well indoctrinated in the “greatest good.”
    Then the movie came out and Sea org members were forced to sit through it opening week 3x and more. To inflate the stats on a pretense. Many SO members, deprived of sleep, slept right through the movie, catching a couple of hours of much needed sleep.
    Marty, thanks for pointing out the schizophrenia of Miscavoge flip flops.

  24. Maybe someday Peter Jackson will take a crack at it. Probably, though, DM has buried it forever.

  25. Phil Bruemmer

    I also saw it with a bunch of staff in Stockholm. We’d made some production target or something and our reward was seeing this movie. I remember how excited we were to see this movie with John Travolta.
    I remember watching the film and it dawning on me with horror that it wasn’t going to get any better. It got worse. And it got worse.
    No one laughed and no one cried, we were, well, pieface (TM) would be a good description!
    I could never understand how that book made into a film, by and with John Travolta, could be such a disaster.
    Now we know.

  26. martyrathbun09

    Thanks a lot Tom.

  27. martyrathbun09

    Thanks for the clarification Mark.

  28. As an SO member and auditor at that time i never had the
    opportunity to see the movie as we used to joke around
    and say I was “special”. So what did i have to do after
    hours? Cull overts from PC folders of “bad” people.
    Seems i was spared the embarresment. Still have not
    seen the movie as i refuse to see any still-in-the-church
    movie stars’ films.
    When the indie field event happened my jaw dropped
    to my knees, and then I lost it when i saw a friend’s name
    in the 11. Now looking at it, I can see it was bound to
    happen if you look at the history of religions.

  29. Déjà vu…?

    Not for them I suspect… I’d say they’ve moved on a little and are thus only doing what they believe is right. It’s the higher bit they’ve not arrived at yet and thus the past is as present as can be without them seeing it.

    I’ll say this though… If anyone can graciously help them it will be you my friend. How you’ve kept that grace and patience this long I’ll never know but from whatever well you draw from I know a positive lessen will be offered.

    They are lucky to have you around… But at some point they’ll have to dig a little deeper themselves… Life is funny that way… Horses and water and all that.

    In the mean time thank you for carrying on Marty… You and all those who refuse to ignore truths and relay them to the rest of us are as valuable as the air we breath… Lord knows what the world would be like without those who hold their conscience and their ego in balance… I for one am immensely grateful to you all…😊

  30. martyrathbun09

    Thank you, but for the record you’re prejudiced because we are such close friends. Hey, this formulation you laid on us right here is powerful, “those who hold their conscience and their ego in balance”. Did that come from somewhere other than your brilliant mind?

  31. Nice one Karen. This is a perfect example of the kind of stat pushing madness that went on weekly in the orgs where I was on staff.

  32. Being professional

    Interesting to get the story behind Battlefield Earth. The PR I heard was that the book was close to JT’s heart and he eventually took on the project of making it into a film. Being the Hollywood professional he is, with a long history of successes, I was puzzled that he could make such an abysmal flop of a film.

    Forbidden Planet and 2001 are two of the most highly regarded scifi movies ever and both were made well before the era of cgi. In my opinion, BE suffered from an evident lack of industrial professionalism in its making. Much of the acting was of the high-toned point-making style that is characteristic of the Scn training films. No criticism of the Scn films here to the extent that they are effective training tools. But they lack the authenticity of good dramas and movies made outside of Golden Era Productions. I also recall that a scene of someone being implanted or brainwashed in BE was reminiscent of a scene portraying electric shock treatment in a Scn film about psychs that was shown at Saint Hill UK in about 1998. The private opinion a public Scientologist shared with me afterwards summed up the psych film perfectly – “a bit over the top!” While it made a point about the barbaric historical practices in psychiatry, it was hardly representative of everything that comes with the psych- prefix.

    There are perhaps some misguided ideas about professionalism in the Scientology world. LRH is portrayed in Scientology propaganda as being a professional in numerous different capacities. He said we have all been around for a long time and thus, by implication, have been and done lots of things in past lives which, presumably, can be recovered rather easily by doing or being those things again. This is a compelling philosophy but does not seem to be borne out in practice very often where the ease of recovering past life abilities is concerned. I would guess that many of his own competencies were developed in the 40+ years before he founded Scientology.

    It used to amuse me when we did Chinese school (group affirmations) on “being professional” at h.a.p.i (the Scottish CoS), as if that would somehow make it so. From my experience, not withstanding 3 years on staff, it takes years of training and practice to reach the higher echelons of a profession. This applies even when one has a talent for the subject. The professional level of ability attained in one discipline transfers easily enough to other proximate disciplines, but usually not to completely different ones.

    When I was a youngster, I wanted to become good at composing and playing music. Despite practicing daily for at least one hour over three years, even dragging a guitar with me around India for three months, I just did not have it in me and gave up in the end. Later on, when I went to college with the intention of getting the O-level in human biology needed to train in complementary medicine, I discovered that mathematics, physics and computer science where my natural subjects. I became professionally competent in these areas and others, but it took 25 years to get where I am now, and there is still plenty more to learn.

  33. Love the that you are fighting the “system” Marty. I hated almost all my time in the S.O. And it is about time that DM gets the boot. He hungers for power because he can’t reach the cookie jar. lol.

  34. I hadn’t thought about how easy it is to throw someone else under the bus as a survival method in that culture.

  35. Re your post above … I hear you. But apparently it’s a little too hard to confront.

  36. 😄

    You’re funny… My “mind” as it were is as simple as they come. As to where it came from…? Not sure… Is it not just another way of articulating one of the ultimate truths of life?

    Ego/conscience… Ying/Yang.., Emotion/intellect… Head/heart… Whatever model you prefer and putting semantics aside is life not a pleasure to the degree those two forces are in balance?

    No doubt you can expand on whatever wisdom within far better than I… Which I’ll thank you for in advance, without prejudice…😄

  37. martyrathbun09

    Thanks for restoring some equanimity in my space yesterday. The result is today’s post: Keep on truckin’ brother (slap), son (slap), brother (slap), son (slap), OK, OK! Brother AND Son!

  38. martyrathbun09

    JM – thanks for being around. Maybe I ought to just send emails to you rather than bother posting.

  39. No … eventually the confront will come up. After all, just remember what it was like (for everyone) four years ago. And remember that “…Up” never ends. 🙂

  40. martyrathbun09

    I hear ya – see latest, just posted post.

  41. plainoldthetan

    You were smarter than me. I stayed in the theater the whole time saying to myself “When is the Battlefield Earth I read in the book going to start?”

  42. Gern Gaschoen

    I walked out on BE when I saw it during the “pre-release to privileged SO staff”, straight into Ethics, as it was a definite out-Indicator to me that something was very, very wrong in the ‘secret’ upper management that had been involved in its production. That heads did not fly far and wide, and by that I mean little DM’s puny mug, well known for months prior to release as being deeply involved in this “heavy PR action”, was reason enough for me, at the time on SO schedules and duties, to question my continued involvement in that boat. I scurried off out as quickly as I could, and it started with that terrible, terrible movie. An utter abomination.

    That being said, I’ve held great hope for the reboot ethos that has been infecting Hollywood, and I’d sure like to see an underground, unauthorized independent reworking of the material. I think it could be done justice, alas it may require a generation or two before the cliche becomes sufficiently diluted to allow anyone to approach it without laughing their asses off at John Travolta, precipitously perched, peering down, upon the zeitgest of the Psychlo universe as he is, alas ..

  43. Entertainment Tonight needs to air that clip. Seriously.

  44. Hey, did you guys ever make a file on me? Ha ha! Oh, the irony! Honestly you two make great double-act show hosts. We gotta meet up sometime for a chat about old days.(Pre-1984). Best wishes. CJB.

  45. The film was crap because it had a crap script. End of.

  46. Congrats to Mike, Christy and family! Love to call.

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