I recently caught wind of a whispering campaign wafting amongst independent Scientologists. The message warns true believers to stay away from Memoirs Of A Scientology Warrior. Apparently, some folks consider it a threat to orthodox, unchallengeable thought (belief).
For the benefit (or detriment, depending on one’s point of view) of those who might have had some of the campaign’s sentiment rub off on them, I am posting here some other points of view from people who have actually read the book. I pulled several of them from the comments section of the blog – recognizing that a lot of people either don’t read comments or only some of them. A few of the entries are reviews posted at the Amazon Books page for the book. I have included the names or handles of the authors they were posted under.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your impressions and thoughts.
If you have been a Scientologist, if someone close to you has been a Scientologist, if you have ever wondered about the Church of Scientology; read this book.
Top shelf. Anyone at all interested in the “cult” would be well served to read Rathbun’s history as he lays it out bare for all herein. Really good read and great writing skill.
This should be required reading, not only for those who have left the group, but for those who are still enjoying acceptance in the group. This read rings true, is entertaining and informative.
Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior offers it all…drama,suspense, but most of all truth! For those involved or not this books delivers so much insight into what happened, and what happens when a corrupt person takes the reigns of any corporation, whether it be a church, a tech company, whatever. I could not put this book down. For me personally my questions were answered and I could finally “let go”!! read it!
Loved this book. It reads like an action adventure story. Filled with a “what
next” adventure while giving the non-fiction back story on the inside workings
of the Church of Scientology from the only man who could tell it. We are blessed
that Mark/Marty is in a position and willing to share his story. I enjoyed and I
learned and more than once had tears rolling down my cheeks. What more could I ask for?
And, for the record, it is shocking for anyone Scientologist or just interested human being to discover the depth of depravity within the church.
I just finished your latest book. Masterpiece. Incredible food for thought, and absolutely a must- read for anyone who is it was immersed in Scientology. Thanks. I will write more later, but I had to say that it is awesome. Thanks for writing it.
I just read your book. First, Wow! What a journey. You do a wonderful job of walking a reader through your life and your experiences. Your writing style is clear and direct, and several times I was tempted to take a break and come here to comment because of the poignancy and impact of what you were describing. But I ended up reading the first half straight through last night, going to bed, and then finishing the book this morning.
I loved the description of your life leading up to Scientology — it will bug the hell out of the anti crowd, because you so beautifully answer the question “why do people become and stay interested in Scientology even after leaving?”: the question that Wright posed, but never answered. You describe your experiences so lucidly and authentically, that only the most hardcore cultists (in the anti crowd) will find it necessary to deny and fight it.
The details of the Colletto murder … wow. I had read the news reports years later and so was familiar with it from the media’s description, but hearing your first hand, detailed account was gripping.
At a certain point in the book, I knew you could have written tomes on what went down in the legal struggles of the 1980s — but I think you successfully found the right balance of the most salient and important points. I loved the entry of Cooley into the picture. I had really never heard about or understood the FAMCO/DOJ collusion and corruption theory — I had heard about Flynn of course, and was familiar with some of the cases. But I didn’t know it to the level of detail that you provide. I also didn’t realize that the videos of Armstrong were so extensive. I tried watching a couple of the ones with Mike Rinder (the ones I found online), but didn’t have the additional extensive background that you provide which puts it into better context. I do hope that someday, someone also provides all of the documentation you mention (that the G.O. found in the non-FOIA files), and really documents the battle that Hubbard and the early CoS was facing through the 50s-70s. There have been narratives, of course, but I’d really like to see the raw documents. I’ve already seen the FOIA FBI files from the 50s and 60s on Hubbard — if there are other AMA and APA documents which show collusion, wow, THAT is a story that needs telling (and documenting).
I wish there was more on Mary Sue — her steadfast loyalty was incredible. And the part about the lawyer noticing that “Scientologists are too honest” — it’s weirdly true. But maybe “naive” is a better word.
I think you take a fair and unbiased look at Hubbard — of course the fact that you can separate out the wheat from the chaff will drive both sides of the cultic-thinking crowd nuts. And I also appreciate your sharing your take on the OT levels — a view that I personally think is more consistent with the fundamentals of the subject.
I also appreciate that you gave us the verbatim words of Sarge — that helps a person understand the whole picture. (If you’re reading Sarge, thank you for sharing more details. I could tell that Ron was a real friend of yours and I’m sure he appreciated your being there.) Wright did attempt to take additional swipes at Ron through Sarge’s words, and I hope we hear more from Sarge on it someday.
Overall, Marty, your book was both a vindication of the workability of the subject of Scientology and also a poignant and honest representation of the failed organization and the brilliant imperfect man who started it all.
And you’re right — the extremists in both camps will hate it. But I reckon that those who can hew to the middle path will love it.
“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Thanks for bothering, Marty.
While grace shone upon me with a marvelous time in Panama with my Dad and friends, I had a chance to read your Memoirs.
Among other factors, it was a trip through an amusement park house of mirrors. Not me, but boy, the reflections were unmistakable.
Thank you for the opportunity to see something I would not have seen otherwise.
Brings me back to truth in this universe and my appreciation for your bother.
Truth is an absolute and as such does not lend itself to comparable magnitudes, which from this wonderful level of existence are usually essential for some understanding.
Your experience has aided me to separate LRH the man from his philosophy and the consequences of incorrect or inappropriate application, regardless of my agreement with your position, that of M2 or any other.
Dichotomies are a bitch. Fortunately they are much less so when one gets somewhat exterior to them and can identify them as such as opposed to individual terminals.
Oh, yeah, thank you my friend. Thank you and that powerhouse Mosey.
This book is a non stop roller coaster ride. What an amazing look into the bowels of the Scientology power beast. Here, saving the world can surely end up looking like cookoo land. I highly recommend reading this war time story of the “religion” that seeks destruction of critics.
But all Marty really wanted to do is help his brother and he ended up an intel operative and legal rat fighting cosmic bad guys for the “only hope for man”.
I know people love to hate Marty or put him up on some pedestal. But I gained an empathy for him by understanding the karmic forces that jettisoned him into cookoo land.
I applaud his intimate candor and sensitivity as a boy and cringed at the way he was rocketed, as a young man, into the hypnotic influence of cult mentality.
I recommend this book.
By far the best book by former #2 man in the Church of Scientology. Despite official scientology, those of us who were involved at various levels know full well that Marty Rathbun was a highly respected, feared and dedicated senior official in the Church.
He writes this memoir from his heart – pouring out his early years. The loss of his mother, his love of sports and his failed attempts to save his brother from a life time of psychiatric institutions.
Along the way, Marty reveals his thoughts about what happened to Hubbard. How he became a victim of his own philosophy. Why he created ultimately a draconian organization, intended to save him from those who might harm the organization only to find himself in the end virtually alone and afraid.
One is even left feeling sorry for the man who has become to many the nemesis of “true” scientology — David Miscavige. Himself a 2nd generation scientologist, DM is a man caught up through misplaced devotion and his own delusions in a web of intrigue, abject fear of everyone and an iron fist — made of diamonds he’s ensured are his to wear.
Definitely read this book. You’ll learn a great deal. I did and I’ve been following the unwrapping of the Church of Scientology for over 20 years after being a member for the prior 20.
Marty, I just finished reading “Memoirs…”, so your present blog post could not be more timely for me.
When I went Clear in ’92 I wanted to get on with Life and try out my new wings, but as I am sure you can guess, the reg had other things in mind for me – KTL/LOC, the Ls, blah, blah, blah…I was going stir crazy! After finally getting away from Flag and getting back into the real world, I really began to hate what I was starting to become. I find it incredibly embarrassing now to look back and see that I was turning into one of those self-satisfied, Homo Novus, I’m-better-than-Wogs type of Scientologists. And, yes, I suffered the humiliation – Thank God I had the presence of mind to be humiliated! And thank God that phase didn’t last long. It sure was the wake up call I needed to distance myself from the Church.
I particularly loved the last chapter of your book where you spell out the very danger of falling for the Crowley-esque super-ego trip and the demand that you MUST begin the battle against Xenu and the Body Snatchers. Thank God I escaped before I became assimilated by the Borg.
I see now why the M2 crowd and so many “better-than-human” Scientologists are pissed off at you. They enjoy their superiority complex too much. And I also see why you have renounced the label “Scientologist” for yourself.
Thank you for your excellent book and your thoughtful insights.
Having just finished “Memoirs” I can say you are in for a treat. It gets better and better. I love the attention to detail on the various legal incidents; names, dates – it’s all there, and the way they are all put in the right context. Ditto the dialogue towards the end with Sarge is verbatim, so there can be no misunderstanding or misinterpretation of exactly what was said and how.
Although completely impractical and probably discriminatory, it would be great if all contributors to this blog had read the 3 books as a pre-req to posting. It sure would make for an easier blog experience! I simply haven’t got the time to wade through 500+ comments, most of which would be null or invalid as already answered in the books.
There are so many things spelled out that make recent history understandable. Just a couple of examples from dozens I could have chosen – the authorship and background to Disconnection reinstated. Similarly, regarding the infamous 1982 Mission Holders Conference: “In fact, LRH had advised or approved of virtually everything that was uttered by Miscavige and his management boys at that conference. And when they returned Miscavige sent a recording of the entire conference to Hubbard. Hubbard listened to the whole proceeding. He was so thrilled with their performance that he highly commended Miscavige and his managers and ordered that a transcript of the entire event be prepared and distributed widely amongst Scientologists. His wishes were complied with…” (Page 197)
Best of all, the VERY recent activity on this very posting and elsewhere is discussed in a way that promotes better understanding of what’s really going on and the source of it. Great stuff.
I’ve put up some more shelves; ready for the next one!
I just finished reading “Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior”.
The book verified things I suspected were fact, set me straight on some “facts” which I had wrong and introduced me to some things I hadn’t expected at all.
I’m glad that I heeded the advice in chapter 15 of “What Is Wrong With Scientology” and have been studying diligently (more or less) the past few months. Things that would’ve shaken me up before didn’t.
It actually resolved some confusions and conflicts for me and restored some peace in my universe.
Considering what you experienced and how you handled yourself, I’d say you got the EP of Pro TRs on the Comm Course.
You are a hell of a writer to boot!
By the way, Marty, I just finished your book and really, really enjoyed it. You filled in a LOT of blanks for me about what went on during various periods. So a big thanks for taking the time to put it all down. Tony Ortega slammed it, which, having now read it, is about what I would expect from someone who refuses to experience any part of the subject subjectively but who depends on the experiences of those who do and did for his livelihood. I understand he is writing a book. I can tell right now it is going to be a piece of crap. The guy has been writing about Scn for 20 years and never opened Self Analysis. He should watch The Master and then do the window and wall process for as long as Freddie Quell.
I just finished your new book. Very well done in presenting your experiences telling your story. It is a story very worth telling.
I realized that I held a belief that Miscaviage had altered what LRH really intended and that that was the reason why things went off the rails. I really appreciate knowing that he was actually in his own mind trying to do what he thought best for LRH and Scn. And I am happy to discard that belief!
I especially enjoyed reading the epilogue. I think your book will contribute in no small way to help people with a new course of action. As Pai-chaing noted ‘….one that is different than before’.
I will raise my glass to a toast to that concept. I hope to meet you and Mosey one day. Meanwhile, thanks for carrying on with a different course which is a bit higher than before!
I just finished reading your book last week and have been thinking about it ever since. I can certainly see how LRH’s “fight fire with fire” strategy became the default “culture” throughout scientology. It was interesting to hear of the non-FOIA data regarding the tactics of the various government agencies arrayed against the C of S and LRH.
I for one am glad that you had the strength of character to get out of that situation and ultimately do the astonishing amount of good that you’ve done in just a handful of years. Whatever you’re doing, keep it up if its what you want. You’re a good man and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
As for this other political bullshit. I’ll say what I used to tell friends of mine on the ship when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with the orgs and scientology at the time – “It makes me tired just thinking about it”.
I also think that anyone hell bent on creating any kind of authoritarian organization would be well served to heed this observation from St, Thomas Aquinas – “The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.”
Marty, finished your book about 20 seconds ago. Wow! Brilliant concluding chapter/words and a book I’m sure that everyone who posts here has either read or will be reading soon. I won’t give any of it away to those who have not read it yet, except to say that your continuing journey has involved not only your willingness to risk the disapproval and possible abandonment of your allies, but also no small amount of intellectual honesty and intellectual courage. For an acknowledgement, here I will quote LRH – as was once said on R3R step 8 – “OK, Continue.”