Mark Rathbun: on Michael Flynn, Geoffrey Shervell and Gerry Armstrong (May 28, 2013)

Sure enough, right in alignment with Sun Tzu’s Art of War – which was a Hubbard-recommended read , Flynn became very resourceful once we had his back against the river. Just as it appeared he could not keep up with the mountain of paper under which our now-coordinated team was burying him, he was saved by an angel of sorts. Wayne B. Hollingsworth, recently-resigned Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston, came on board. Hollingsworth, though not well-heeled after years of government work, outfitted Flynn’s offices with the latest in computer equipment. He brought on more attorneys and support staff. And all of these new troops apparently were not asking for a dime to devote their next several years to the FAMCO plan (or, as we suspected, they were being paid by some vested interest that was inimical to Scientology). Flynn also received a windfall, care of the fruits of Miscavige’s enemy-making proclivities. Gerry Armstrong, the archivist whom Miscavige and Starkey nearly hung for trying to protect Hubbard and the church against the very claims Flynn had been making , had made contact with Flynn. We knew this because for several months Miscavige had been directly supervising surveillance of Armstrong, through a former GO intel staff member named Geoff Shervell. Shervell utilized teams of private eyes to shadow Armstrong everywhere. Shervell reported directly to Miscavige through all those months, just as I had on litigation matters from our Special Unit. On more than one occasion, Shervell groused to me about the incessant, obsessive pressure Miscavige put on him, demanding to know Armstrong’s every move. He said, “Marty, he knows we’re on him, which kind of defeats the purpose of the surveillance .” Thinking for a moment, Geoff added, “Unless the purpose is to drive him crazy.”

Armstrong became increasingly paranoid under pressure and finally got spooked enough to go to Flynn for help. Armstrong also brought with him several boxes of biography archives he had lifted from the church; documents that demonstrated to him that Hubbard’s personal biography, promoted by the church, was full of holes. I did not connect the dots until years later, but Miscavige had essentially chased Armstrong right into the enemy camp. In September, 1982, all I knew was that Shervell had evidence of Armstrong lifting the documents, and I had direct, urgent orders from Miscavige to sue Armstrong back to the stone ages. We sued, and obtained an injunction which impounded the files with the Los Angeles Superior Court pending trial (which would occur years later). But that did not stop Armstrong from – in fact it drove him to – writing long, detailed declarations claiming L. Ron Hubbard was a fraud and that the church would stop at nothing to prevent him from proving so. Flynn now had a fresh, inside witness who knew Hubbard’s personal archives better than anybody on Ron’s side. 1

Notes

  1. Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (pp. 193-194). Amazon Books. Kindle Edition.