Category Archives: David Miscavige

Monique Rathbun vs. David Miscavige by the numbers

There have been published reports that seventeen lawyers have appeared in the Comal County courtroom on the Scientology side of the aisle in the case of Monique Rathbun vs. David Miscavige, et al.  In fact, twenty-two lawyers have made official appearances and/or physical appearances in the case for Scientology Inc.

Many of those lawyers have made multiple flights to Comal County from New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., or driven from Dallas, Austin and San Antonio to attend hearings on behalf of Miscavige and his co-defendants.

For some perspective consider these facts:

  1. The Scientology lawyer roster was roughly half of that for the nine-year, $30,000,000+ Lisa McPherson litigation. That litigation involved upwards of a half dozen lawsuits.  David Miscavige on many occasions lamented that McPherson constituted the greatest public relations disaster in Scientology’s history (including that created by 11 top Scientology officials being jailed for conducting the largest domestic espionage campaign in history against the United States government). Principal lawyers in the McPherson matter are visibly directing the big name lawyers recruited by Scientology Inc. to front in Rathbun vs. Miscavige.
  2. The Rathbun v. Miscavige Scientology lawyer roster is about double that employed to deal with United States v Hubbard (the aforementioned government espionage case).  That litigation involved at least a dozen lawsuits. Principal lawyers in the U.S. v Hubbard matter are visibly directing the big name lawyers recruited by Scientology Inc. to front in Rathbun vs. Miscavige.
  3. Scientology and Miscavige employed roughly half the number of lawyers he has so far in Rathbun v Miscavige during the take down by over-litigation and intimidation against the largest and most feared agency of the United States government, the Internal Revenue Service. That matter included more than twenty-two hundred lawsuits. Principal lawyers in the Scientology Inc. v IRS matter are visibly directing the big name lawyers recruited by Scientology Inc. to front in Rathbun vs. Miscavige.

I have come to learn through life experience that oftentimes the magnitude of force one musters to intimidate and overwhelm can serve as a fairly accurate measuring stick of the degree of the organizer’s cowardice.

 

Cult Leader Personalities

The following is a list of personality characteristics of authoritarian personalities (which according to the article in which the list appears, most cult leaders display) from  the book “Captive Hearts, Captive Minds” by Madeleine Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich.

Traditional elements of authoritarian personalities include the following: 

-the tendency to hierarchy 

-the drive for power (and wealth) 

-hostility, hatred, prejudice 

– superficial judgments of people and events 

-a one-sided scale of values favoring the one in power 

-interpreting kindness as weakness 

-the tendency to use people and see others as inferior 

-a sadistic-masochistic tendency 

-incapability of being ultimately satisfied 

-paranoia 

The context for the list can be found at this link, Cult leader sociopathy.

Judge to Scientology…

Here is a balanced and accurate piece of journalism on yesterday’s proceedings in Monique Rathbun vs. David Miscavige, et al.:  The San Antonio Express News.

Scientology’s Power Doctrine

From Chapter 12, Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior:

The seventh lesson was explained and memorialized by L. Ron Hubbard in a thirteen-page policy letter entitled “The Responsibilities of Leaders.” It begins with a several-page essay summarizing the rise and fall of nineteenth-century South American liberator Simon Bolivar. Hubbard speaks of Bolivar in glowing terms: brave, dashing, and cunning.  He recounts how one of Bolivar’s many mistresses, Manuela Saenz, stood above all the rest. Hubbard then analyzes Bolivar’s failure to empower Saenz to use any means she deemed necessary to keep his enemies at bay, and how Saenz failed to demand or utilize such power. That, per Hubbard, was the reason that Bolivar and Saenz wound up dying in a ditch, penniless.

Among other things, Hubbard criticizes Saenz for the following faults:

…she never collected or forged or stole any document to bring down enemies…

…she never used a penny to buy a quick knife or even a solid piece of evidence…

…she was not ruthless enough to make up for his lack of ruthlessness…

…she never handed over any daughter of a family clamoring against her to Negro troops and then said, “Which over-verbal family is next?”

And so Bolivar and Saenz became victims of the petty jealousies and shortcomings of the mere mortals who surrounded the romantic couple. The policy letter concludes with three pages of Hubbard’s seven points about power to be learned from Bolivar’s life. They are offered as points one can only fully grasp if one has already learned well the six lessons of a veteran Sea Organization member, described earlier.  Those seven points about power deserve some attention here, for three reasons.

One is that Hubbard and his wife wound up living the Bolivar story Ron recounted as we shall see. Two, while adherence to the policy contributed to great strides for Scientology expansion, in Hubbard’s waning years the policy’s lessons had a backfire effect. Third, this one single writing would become the bible of his successors.  It would take precedence over all other of the thousands of pages of policy letters Hubbard had issued.

Here are Hubbard’s seven points concerning power:

One: …if you lead, you must either let them (those you lead) get on with it or lead them on with it actively.

Two: When the game or show is over, there must be a new game or a new show.  And if there isn’t, somebody else is jolly well going to start one, and if you won’t let anyone do it, the game will become getting you.

Three: If you have power, use it or delegate it or you sure won’t have it long.

Four: When you have people, use them or they will soon become most unhappy and you won’t have them anymore.

All very rational and sage so far.  But the final three points are a bit more complicated.

Five: When you move off a point of power, pay all your obligations on the nail, empower all your friends completely and move off with your pockets full of artillery, potential blackmail on every erstwhile rival, unlimited funds in your private account and the addresses of experienced assassins and go live in Bulgravia and bribe the police…Abandoning power utterly is dangerous indeed.

Then we graduate up to intrigue and believing that the ends must necessarily justify the means in dealing with any attempt to lessen a power.

Six: When you’re close to power get some delegated to you, enough to do your job and protect yourself and your interests, for you can be shot, fellow, shot, as the position near power is delicious but dangerous, dangerous always, open to the taunts of any enemy of the power who dare not boot the power but can boot you.  So to live at all in the shadow or employ of a power, you must yourself gather and USE enough power to hold your own – without just nattering (carpingly criticize) to the power to “kill Pete,” in straightforward or more suppressive veiled ways to him, as these wreck the power that supports yours.  He doesn’t have to know all the bad news, and if he’s a power really, he won’t ask all the time, “What are all those dead bodies doing at the door?”  And if you are clever, you never let it be thought HE killed them – that weakens you and also hurts the power source.  “Well, boss, about those dead bodies, nobody will suppose you did it.  She over there, those pink legs sticking out, didn’t like me.”  “Well,” he’ll say if he really is a power, “why are you bothering me with it if it’s done and you did it. Where’s my blue ink?”  Or “Skipper, three shore patrolmen will be along soon with your cook, Dober, and they’ll want to tell you he beat up Simson?”  “Who’s Simson?”  “He’s a clerk in the enemy office downtown.”  “Good. When they’ve done it, take Dober down to the dispensary for any treatment he needs.  Oh yes.  Raise his pay.”  Or “Sir, could I have the power to sign divisional orders?”  “Sure.”

And when one can develop that attitude and park one’s conscience when it comes to dealing with the “enemy” of the power one serves and from whom one derives his own power, the final point can be performed without a second thought.

Seven: And lastly and most important, for we all aren’t on the stage with our names in lights, always push power in the direction of anyone on whose power you depend.  It may be more money for the power or more ease or a snarling defense of the power to a critic or even the dull thud of one of his enemies in the dark or the glorious blaze of the whole enemy camp as a birthday surprise.

During my two years handling Hubbard’s communications to and from his messengers at the international Scientology headquarters, Hubbard withdrew further and further from the church.  I would soon learn the reason why, and play a central role in attempting to combat that reason.  As competing factions within the by-then sprawling international Scientology network vied for power in the larger-than-life vacuum left by Ron, he who adhered most exclusively and closely to the seven points of power from The Responsibilities of Leaders would emerge with all the power.

Wanted: Scientology Evidence

1.   Print editions of any Freedom magazines published since summer 2009 to the present.

2.  Any first hand witness to the following youtube channel and the video of our home – or any similar ones – depicted in the screen grab below:

115Bayshore

3.  Evidence of David Miscavige, Religious Technology Center (RTC), Church of Scientology International (CSI), and any of their agents ordering or executing the destruction of evidence since July 2013.

If you have access to such evidence, please contact me at rathbunmark@yahoo.com.

Scientology Armageddon

This is a preview of the last of three books on my 2014 schedule, reference:   2014 schedule.

Scientology Armageddon: What Led America’s Most Vengeful Cult to its End Times

In the final chapter of Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior I concluded that chronicling the Scientology years after L. Ron Hubbard passed would largely be pointless. I gave David Miscavige the benefit of the doubt by writing off much of his criminal and sociopathic behavior as being to some degree ingrained by his lifetime programming in Scientology ‘us vs. them’ mentality. While I haven’t changed my view of the causation of his behavior, I have come to recognize that Miscavige’s continuing conduct requires that the entire record be set straight.

We spent the better part of this last year attempting to move on and settle into quietly helping repair the lives of people debilitated by Scientology mental slavery on a one to one basis.  In that regard, I planned on completing two more books for the relatively small community of Scientology refugees; one deconstructing the subject for deeper understanding, and the other a recommended manual on graduating from the cult and moving on up a little higher.  And then I would be done with the subject.

However, the Scientology Inc. response to my magnanimous ways has been an abject demonstration of Scientology’s inability to process forgiveness.  Factually, Miscavige’s conduct since is even more bizarre and fascist than before granting him some space within which to reform his ways.  He quite apparently has decided to turn a simple, civilized request to be left alone into ground zero for Scientology’s Armageddon.

It would appear that there has been continuing regressive ethics change (a dwindling toward extreme depravity of moral level) on the part of Miscavige and his minions.  He continues to spend millions of tax free money to exact vengeance and attain impunity for his criminal ways without the slightest sign of remorse. As a result, a great deal of my time of late has been forced toward reconstructing events explaining Scientology Inc.’s institutionalized abuse of civil rights and abuse of the judicial system.  Doing so led to my recognition that the racketeering ways leading to Scientology Inc.’s depraved condition requires full airing. Accordingly, I have pulled from the pending (indefinitely) basket my in-progress manuscript of the follow-up book to Memoirs.   Its working title is Scientology Armageddon.  It provides an insider history of Scientology’s second, and apparent, last generation. It is now back on the production line scheduled for 2014 completion and publication. Among other topics it will chronicle in detail:

–          How David Miscavige’s psycho-sexual obsession with celebrity and the world’s biggest star dictated the destiny of Scientology’s second generation.  Including the full stories of Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Greta Van Susteren, et al.  That is made possible and necessary by Miscavige changing the rules to ‘no rules’.

–          The complete story of Scientology Inc’s efforts to capture the minds of Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Bono and David Beckham – including meddling so as to engineer match ups and splits between marriage partners.

–          How the world’s most powerful talent/entertainment agency (Creative Artists Agency) was covertly converted into a Scientology censorship vehicle. How it has intimidated and bribed major television networks at the direction of David Miscavige.

–          How Miscavige fraudulently transferred the trademarks and copyrights of Scientology from Hubbard to corporations he secretly and illicitly controlled – and why that makes enforcement of intellectual property rights in Scientology material impossible.

–          How David Miscavige attempted to sell out Scientology to Big Pharma (Pharmaceutical companies) while continuing to bilk adherents of hundreds of millions by positioning himself as the nemesis of Big Pharma.

–          How Miscavige defrauded the United States government, and all American taxpayers, to obtain tax exempt status for Scientology and why subsequent history requires that exemption be rescinded.

–          How Miscavige caused and then attempted to cover up the death of Lisa McPherson at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

–          The moral and cognitive breakdown that resulted in Miscavige’s near replay of Waco and/or Jonestown at Scientology headquarters. How that re-play was prevented by whistleblowers. And why that has resulted in Miscavige choosing the situs of the writing of this very book as ground zero for Scientology’s Armageddon.

Trained To Lie

The following issue was seized from church of Scientology files by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1977.  Since the eighties corporate Scientology has argued that it was unfair to talk about this issue because it was only ever held in practice in the Guardians Office (GO), which David Miscavige allegedly disbanded.

The Guardians Office Issue:

INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST TRAINING ROUTINE – TR L

Purpose: To train the student to give a false statement with good TR-1. To train the student to outflow false data effectively.

Position: Same as TR-1.

Commands: Part 1 “Tell me a lie”. Command given by coach. Part 2 interview type 2 WC by coach.

Training Stress: In Part 1 coach gives command, student originates a falsehood. Coach flunks for out TR 1 or TR 0. In Part 2 coach asks questions of the student on his background or a subject. Student gives untrue data of a plausible sort that the student backs up with further explanatory data upon the coach asking further questions. The coach flunks for out TR 0 and TR 1, and for student fumbling on question answers. The student should be coached on a gradient until he/she can lie facilely.

Short example:

Coach: Where do you come from?

Student: I come from the Housewives Committee on Drug Abuse.

Coach: But you said earlier that you were single.

Student: Well, actually I was married but am divorced. I have 2 kids in the suburbs where I am a housewife, in fact I’m a member of the P.T.A.

Coach: What town is it that you live in?

Student: West Brighton.

Coach: But there is no public school in West Brighton.

Student: I know, I send my children to school in Brighton, and that’s where I’m a P.T.A. member.

Coach: Oh, and who is the Chairman there?

etc.

Clearly, the drill is intended to produce convincing, professional liars.

Flash forward to 2013.   David Miscavige has stacked the very highest levels of Scientology Inc. with former Guardians Office personnel.

He disappeared his own wife and assistant Shelly, replacing her with Laurisse Henley-Smith Stuckenbrock, trained intelligence case office from Guardian’s Office Australia.

He appointed to President of RTC (Religious Technology Center) Warren McShane, intelligence trained Guardians Office case officer.  He told Warren to his face in my presence on more than one occasion that the only reason he continued to retain Warren was his lying ability; he needed an accomplished liar to front for him when it came to depositions seeking to break the wall of secrecy surrounding Miscavige’s hands on involvement with unlawful operations.

He appointed as head of the Office of Special Affairs (the body purportedly created to replace the GO with something more law-abiding) Linda Hamel, former high-level US Guardians Office intelligence case officer.

He appointed as head of the OSA Intelligence covert operations Neil O’Riley, former Guardians Office intelligence case officer.

He appointed as head of OSA Legal bureau Allan Cartwright, former Guardians Office operative.

There is ample recent indication that Scientology’s third generation – those second and third Scientology generation young people being raised to worship David Miscavige – are being groomed to be liars the likes of which put the old Guardians Office folks to shame.

Given RTC’s and CSI’s record of mendacity and given that virtually everyone on the chain of command between David Miscavige and the outside world are trained Guardians Office operatives, perhaps Training Routine – TR L ought to receive renewed circulation and discussion.

Scientology Intelligence Manual

The following is from Office of Special Affairs (OSA, dirty tricks and propaganda arm of Scientology) training manuals.  It is from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Thus, OSA folks follow it without alteration or deviation for fear of being branded a ‘squirrel’ (someone who alters Scientology ‘technology’) by the guarantor of Scientology ‘orthodoxy’ David Miscavige.  It is published here to give folks a heads up on how the Scientology organized crime syndicate operates against dissenters.

INTELLIGENCE ACTIONS, COVERT INTELLIGENCE, DATA COLLECTION 

by L. Ron Hubbard, 2 December 1969

A Case Officer runs agents who essentially are not known to the executive who is running the Case Officer.  The executive makes known to the Case Officer what he wants or can use.  This is sometimes developed from data already collected, given to the executive by the Case Officer.

        The Case Officer is also known as an “Operator” or an Intelligence Officer.  It is up to him to find agents and come to agreement with them.  He himself knows and pays them. The agent is told what is wanted, gets it or finds how it can be gotten or doesn’t exist.  He is paid for what he gets or documents or data.

        The Case Officer may “run” several agents.

        There is always a chance that not all the money gets to the agents and always a chance the data may be planted by the agent or the document forged.  These are the chances one takes and prevents them as he can.

          A covert operation can be arranged by a Case Officer, using agents but is normally on another set of lines so as to expose nothing of covert data collection by engaging on a covert operation.

        Essentially a covert operation is intended to embarrass, discredit or overthrow or remove an actual or possible opponent.

        It is a small war carried on without its true source being disclosed.

        Generally the operation is preceded by data collection to establish the target validity and to plan the operation. It follows all the rules of war but uses propaganda, psychological effect, surprise, shock, etc., to achieve its ends.

 

Ministry of Hate

Many years ago a story about Scientology in a major publication was titled ‘Ministry of Hate.’  At the time I responded with righteous indignation.  Having had many encounters with high level Scientologists over the past couple years, including very recently, I am coming around to seeing how spot on that ‘Ministry of Hate’ sobriquet in fact was, and is.  Scientologists are trained and conditioned to hate.  They are trained and conditioned to lie, defame, and spread hate against anyone who does not toe their white line; all with an air of overblown righteous indignation.  I witnessed one in person earlier this week.  Another one performed a perfect example of that recently on the Howard Stern show.  Listen to Kirstie Alley’s treatment of Leah Remini, beginning about 33:50:

First, Alley outright lies that Scientology does not ‘shun’ people.  Then she lies again stating that she has personally shunned Leah not because of what she has said, but because what she has ‘done’ and because of her ‘deeds.’  Then she falsely accuses Leah Remini of calling Scientology ‘hideous and evil.’  She calls Leah a ‘bigot’ and likens her words to someone saying ‘Jews are evil’ and ‘Jews are a cult.’ All of these accusations are defamatory and, quite frankly, hysterical.

This performance of bigotry, defamation and hate by Kirstie is not her natural personality.  She was trained and conditioned in Scientology to act in this immature, hateful fashion.

This is shameful.  Leah is due an apology, not only by Kirstie, but by the ministry that taught her to hate.

Reviews: Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior

There have been several reviews lodged at Amazon Books about Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior since an earlier post here on reviews.

The first half was very good and quite engaging. The second half spent far too much time on details in the the mid-80’s and seemed a bit self congratulatory over the authors actions that led to his rise in the church.

What we as outsiders really wanted to know was how people can get sucked into this cult and how those lucky few escape. I would find for instance, Katie Holmes’ story fascinating- though I’m guessing she’s not willing to take on Miscavige by opening up.

We can only hope that those within this “church” see the true Light.

–          Joanne M. Greene (New York)

I found Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior a great read. Although I had read the general history of LRH and Scientology in other books, this book had a lot of info I had not read before and it was surprising, touching, shocking, dismaying and thought-provoking through the twists and turns of the story.

It made me understand a lot more about how an intelligent person could get so deeply involved in Scientology, then Corporate Scientology. In this memoir you point out the traps, the rationalizations, and the cognitive dissonances as they occurred throughout your experiences within the church. It must have taken a lot to rebuild yourself after you left Scientology. Your insightful writing in the book and this blog shows that you did.

–          Kasey Briggs (Charleston, SC)

For those who either were involved in the corporate Church of Scientology or knew someone who was, this book catches and keeps your attention like good summer fiction while carrying with it important facts about the management and conduct of the church that were heretofore unrevealed.

Mr. Rathbun explains his own personal entrance and involvement in scientology while tracing his rise to the number 2 position in the church. To me, this was the most fascinating part of the read and helps explain how one could become so immersed in a cult with such a horrible reputation, and stay there despite inhumane treatment. Fascinating.

–          NoTeacherLeftStanding (Chesapeake Bay, USA)

The key to understanding this book is that its title is truthful: the author, while no longer a top official of the Church of Scientology, is — still — a Scientology Warrior. This is not of the “I-was-a-Scientologist-until-I-realized-it-is-phony” genre.

Rathbun is a true believer. He compares L. Ron Hubbard to the Buddha. His descriptions of Scientology’s teachings are supportive and sympathetic. He even seems to accept the Xenu story, suggesting that it is in essence consistent with Gnostic philosophy (which is true, though the same can be said more convincingly of Mormonism; in any event, Rathbun does not explain why the fact that it echoes a recurrently-popular idea over two thousand years old proves that it was a cosmic insight of L. Ron Hubbard). The books’ theme is that David Miscavige has perverted and largely destroyed a religion that could have brought wisdom and health to the world, mostly by defeating psychiatrists. Rathbun’s animus against them stems from his dislike of the psychiatrist who treated his brother, who was apparently psychotic; this is a principal subject of the book’s five introductory biographical chapters, which is, with all due respect, about three too many. They do explain, though, that like so many of the people who have joined and left Scientology Rathbun was a rootless child from a dysfunctional family who lacked education beyond High School.

Much of the book deals with Rathbun’s involvement in coordinating legal matters, mostly lawsuits against Hubbard and Scientology. Although he has no legal training his experience gave him a good understanding of litigation. His descriptions of law, procedure, and strategy, as well as of the kinds of debates and discussions that go on behind the scenes before and during trials, are accurate.

The book discusses a few of Scientology’s embarrassing episodes and acknowledges that they occurred with Hubbard’s knowledge and approval, and generally at his inspiration. But it presents them as unfortunate excesses committed as overreactions to nefarious acts of Scientology’s vicious and unprincipled “enemies,” including psychiatrists, law enforcement, and various state and federal government agencies. Rathbun tells us that he has seen documents proving that the psychiatrists, etc., did lots of bad things but that the documents couldn’t actually be revealed, you see, because even though they were stolen by Scientologists (one of those unfortunate excesses) to prove these things, revealing them would harm Scientology.

The book’s editors are Scientologist friends of Rathbun; his prose is clear and easily-read but a professional might have pointed out that it does not always recognize where real English stops and Scientology jargon begins. The proofreading is not perfect; there are, at least at the moment, a few typos and places where information is repeated, clearly inadvertently, but not enough to be bothersome.

–          Steve Harrison (Tuscon, Az)

An overall interesting book which started a little slow but picked up steam quickly and then maintained my interest until the end.

–          J.K. Kerlin (Durant, Ok)

It’s been roughly 3 weeks since I finished Marty’s latest book. I started on a Friday evening and finished the following morning. I made myself unavailable and unreachable until I reached the back cover.

The book answered all the nagging questions I had regarding what went wrong. Ironically, Hubbard said in an early lecture that every living thing carries the germ of its own demise. I believe Marty spots the germs Hubbard himself implanted – no pun intended.

But it also gave Marty’s very personal experience with how very right many core aspects of the subject are; and which kept him fighting the good fight. The parallels with my Scn-staff experience were many.

I had personally believed Hubbard missed or under-evaluated one axiom: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” . But its never just one datum that derails a subject.

Thanks Marty. And as I keep an eye on your blog – I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mosey. As tough as Marty is I have my doubts he could of weathered these last several years without you.

–          Dean J. Detheridge (Sydney, Australia)

This book is a must read for any looking for the inside story from one who was there.

The time line covered is one mans journey into and up to the upper management ranks, telling the story as it occurred for him.

It is an amazing account of what was going on behind the scenes in his personal, managerial and legal fields.

I have spent years digging into many areas covered in this book and find Marty’s telling of events to align with what I had independently found. It provides, fill in the blank pieces otherwise unavailable to any who were simply not there.

This is a valuable book to add to ones knowledge of the inner workings of Scientology’s management and legal arms and some of the real story of Ron Hubbard’s final days.

This is recommended reading for all who were there during those troubled times.

–          “Ann Howe” (USA)

Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior is a MUST READ for any current or former members of Scientology. Marty Rathbun goes into detail concerning the major legal situations that confronted Scientology in the 70s and 80s. Many of us in Scientology were told to ignore what was going on and were fed a public relations line about what we should think about the dirty and dark activities of Scientology. In this book we get the facts from a key player. The book is also an honest reflection on Marty’s many years in Scientology and, after time for examination, a clearer sense about L.Ron Hubbard, his life and technology. The information about LRH in his later years including his interview with one of the last people to live with LRH is page turning and enlightening.

–          Mark Fisher (Las Vegas)

For me, reading this book was a matter of stepping into a magical, parallel dimension. No other story I could compare it to as the writer’s life was so completely unique. Which has made the book unforgettable. To become aware of places or lives or situations I have never been or seen before, or conditions one is wholly unfamiliar with, is an expansion of livingness. The writer conveys this experience to the reader like a gentle wind. I found myself wanting to read it all over again.

–          Catherine (Las Vegas)

It takes Rathbun almost 50 pages to get to his first encounter with Scientology. On the one hand it is interesting to read about his background, so we know where he is coming from. But he does go into much unnecessary detail about his teenage basketball exploits and some other things as well. Rathbun spent his preteen/teen years in Laguna Beach California in the late 1960s to early 1970s and the area in that era is described far better in Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World. Rathbun is at times a good writer, but for a project such as this–a real book–as opposed to blog writing–I think he would have greatly benefited from a co-writer or editor experienced with the memoir/autobiography genre.

The experience of joining the Sea Org and what life is like there is described far better, far more compellingly, and much more interestingly in books like Marc Headley’s Blown for Good, Jefferson Hawkins’ Counterfeit Dreams, and John Duignan’s The Complex.

What “Memoirs” ends up being is a sort of (perhaps unintentional) attempt at a legal thriller. Much of the book is a fairly dull recounting of Rathbun’s role as organizer and coordinator of defending the COS against lawsuits. While not an attorney himself, Rathbun is put in charge of overseeing it all. But this is no “A Civil Action” or John Grisham novel. Much of it, as I said, makes for fairly dull reading.

Rathbun also spends a bit too much time trying to explain Scientology, and there is in my opinion too much space devoted to quotes from Hubbard, whether musings or Scientology “scripture”. That is not what I bought the book for.

But there are more than a few interesting passages, enough for me to give the book 3 stars. However I feel the book is a missed opportunity to get a really compelling behind-the-scenes look at the people and personalities that made up the top of the COS hierarchy. From the book: “I did not witness the Mission Holder’s conference first-hand, nor the Mayo-Nelson takedown. It would be years later before [I heard about it]…I was too busy fighting in the trenches, fighting the war…” Well, from reading the book, it seems that what Rathbun did in this war was deathly dull legal work, filing endless motions, that sort of thing. The COS spent millions defending lawsuits that they could have settled for a song, and Rathbun knows it. But he is powerless to change the strategy.

I was also expecting the book to be about Rathbun’s complete career in Scientology (the title suggests as much), yet the book ends upon the death of Hubbard. There is a short epilogue and Rathbun mentions that he has mostly written about his post-Hubbard Sea Org career elsewhere. I found this a bit odd; I suppose readers of Rathbun’s other two books won’t mind, but as I have not read them, I was left wanting less about his early, pre-Scientology life, less about the lawsuits, and more about the COS under Miscavige.

Rathbun himself is an interesting figure, no doubt. He comes across in interviews as soft-spoken, intelligent, and insightful. Yet he was a right-hand-man to the evil David Miscavige, and is pretty unapologetic about it all (only very recently, when he pretty much had to move away from his Texas apartment because he was being spied upon by the COS, did he say that it was sort of Karma what was being done to him).

–          Nytc7 (New York)