Mark Rathbun: The Juggernaut (May 28, 2013)


Chapter Twenty-One


Juggernaut:   in colloquial English usage is a literal or metaphorical force regarded as mercilessly destructive and unstoppable.   – Wikipedia

For all of his alleged faults, L. Ron Hubbard was a keen observer and writer on the human condition. He once noted that “the bank follows the line of attack.”   “Bank” is Scientologese for the reactive mind, the stimulus-response portion of the mind that seeks destruction of others for survival of self.   With the devastating strike upon Ron and Scientology delivered in Los Angeles, all roads to L. Ron Hubbard’s bunker led through Flynn and Armstrong. It seemed that anyone with a score to settle was drawn like a magnet to the duo. Those combined forces took on the appearance of an overwhelming juggernaut.

The DOJ duplicated Flynn’s latest legal tactic: ask courts in Scientology litigation to order the church to produce L. Ron Hubbard as the “managing agent” of the mother church. Flynn assisted the DOJ to procure sworn declarations from his growing stable of former high-level official witnesses in support of the move.

David Mayo, the expelled former auditor to L. Ron Hubbard and erstwhile top technical authority in Scientology, had created a thriving Scientology splinter operation in Santa Barbara, California. Former high-level messengers – including two former Commanding Officers of CMO Int (Commodore’s Messenger Organization International) served as executives of his operation.   Until the Armstrong affair, they had steered clear of the L. Ron Hubbard-bashing Flynn/ FAMCO circles. But by 1984 they were supplying declarations to the DOJ and Flynn in support of their motions to compel Hubbard into depositions in lawsuits across the country.

Breckenridge’s Armstrong case decision, bolstered by a dozen declarations by former Hubbard messengers and aides, made the allegation of Hubbard’s “managing agent” status virtually uncontestable. Miscavige and Broeker were clearly established as the last links to Hubbard, but they could not provide countering declarations because it would subject them to depositions – which would lead Hubbard’s enemies directly to him.

Worse, the Breckenridge decision destroyed any chance of winning, in courts across the U.S., our vast array of pending motions to dismiss Flynn’s lawsuits on the basis of First Amendment rights to freedom of religion. The twenty-one-page Breckenridge indictment was devastating to our three years of expensive efforts at positioning much of the Flynn litigation for pre-trial dismissal.

Worse still, the decision pumped new life into what we thought by then to be criminal investigations losing steam. The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) had been actively investigating the church, as well as LRH, Pat and Ann Broeker, David Miscavige and other church officials as named targets for criminal charges. Until the Breckenridge decision we had kept the CID somewhat at bay through litigation combatting their summons power, and a team of lawyers attempting to negotiate with IRS counsel and DOJ officials. But our intelligence lines were reporting that the LA-based CID group was once again gearing up to indict Hubbard and his aides.

The Ontario Provincial Police had, after their March, 1983 raid, steered clear of targeting Hubbard. Now they were reconsidering, in light of the outcome of the Armstrong case.

Our intelligence network reported that Gerry Armstrong was feeling drunk with power, given the sudden attention he’d received and his new importance in the anti-Scientology community. It seemed Armstrong and Flynn had worked their way up to being the axle to which all anti-Scientology spokes were linked. Per reports, Armstrong was talking of bringing all Scientology’s enemies together in a concerted effort to take over the church. The man who had prevailed in his case because of his alleged “fear for his life” was beating his chest and promising to take the very life of our church, and convert all its assets to outside control.

Our only shot at staving off indictments against LRH across North America, and of keeping him out of the couple of dozen pending lawsuits was to take out the axle and so depower its spokes. It was this desperate state of affairs that drew me directly into the shadowy world of intelligence. Throughout his litigation Armstrong had remained in periodic communication with a Scientologist who knew a thing or two about intelligence. Dan Sherman had published a number of spy novels, and had struck up an acquaintance with Armstrong. Armstrong looked up to Sherman and envied his literary success and intelligence acumen. Armstrong believed that Sherman – like so many other Scientologists during the tumultuous early eighties – was disaffected with the church and no longer considered himself a member. In fact, Sherman was cultivating a friendship with Armstrong in order to glean intelligence from him about the enemy camp. Up through the trial their communications were infrequent and mundane.   All that changed when Armstrong became an overnight anti-Scientology sensation. Because of Armstrong’s newly won stardom, Sherman began giving him more face time. Armstrong began sharing some of the details of his activities as a coordination point for all camps inimical to the church, from the Ontario Provincial Police, to the IRS CID, to the DOJ, to the Mayo splinter movement. Armstrong asked Sherman to see whether he could locate some church insiders who might aid in a take-over coup inside the church.

Gene Ingram and I concocted a rather elaborate game plan.   Gene would tap one of his old LAPD comrades to obtain written permission to covertly video record conversations with Gerry Armstrong. Technically, it was a lawfully given permission since we had a witness attesting that Armstrong was suggesting taking over and destroying the church by questionable means.

Gene obtained a recreational vehicle which had a wide rear window with reflective coating, making it one-way vision. A high-powered camera could record what was going on outside without being seen. We planned to record meetings with Armstrong to obtain evidence showing that not only was he not afraid for his life, he in fact was a well-backed aggressor and an operative of government agencies out to get Scientology. After taking circuitous routes to lose any possible tails, Sherman and I met Ingram in the RV in Long Beach. We worked out every detail of Sherman’s cover. We would bring in a former GO operative and have Sherman introduce him to Armstrong as a church insider, plotting the overthrow of the Miscavige regime and willing to play ball with Armstrong, Flynn and their government allies. That would hopefully prompt Armstrong to repeat and elaborate on some of the provocative takeover and take-down ideas he had alluded to in earlier conversations.

The chosen venue for the meetings was Griffith Park, inside LAPD jurisdiction and with plenty of opportunities for positioning the RV to capture the action. Sherman met with Armstrong and whetted his appetite. He told him he had made contact with an ally who had a number of well-placed contacts, currently on staff in the church. He told Armstrong he could only be identified by his first name, Joey, for security purposes. Joey was formerly of the Guardian’s Office and was connected to a number of former GO people who were bitter about being ousted by Miscavige, and sympathetic to Armstrong and the Mayo splinter movement.   Armstrong was visibly overjoyed at this opportunity gratuitously falling into his lap.

Sherman arranged a meeting between Armstrong and Joey to take place on a park bench in Griffith Park. Joey wore an audio wire which transmitted the conversation back to the RV, parked a hundred yards away and video recording the event. Armstrong and Joey both wore sunglasses; both attempted to look as nonchalant as could be, as they introduced themselves.

Joey explained that there was serious disaffection within the church, and a forming cabal of veteran staff ready to take out Miscavige and the current management. He called this cell the Loyalists. Armstrong was clearly excited, and believed Joey’s cover – no doubt because of Sherman’s story-telling skills and credibility with Armstrong.

Armstrong shared with Joey the master plan, which he represented as his brainchild, along with Michael Flynn. He explained that the plan was backed by the Ontario Provincial Police, the DOJ and the IRS. Flynn would prepare a lawsuit on behalf of the Loyalists, asking the Attorney General of California to take the church into receivership on their behalf. The DOJ, FBI, and IRS would conduct a raid on church premises to get fresh evidence of illegalities, in support of the Loyalist action. The raid would be coordinated to coincide with the filing of the receivership action.   The public relations fallout and the possible arrests of leaders would all but cripple the church.

Joey played his role well, feigning fear and nervousness that Armstrong could make good on the government back-up. In order to prove his representations, Armstrong opened a notebook and started naming his government contacts, representing that each was briefed, coordinated and ready to roll with the plan. He cited the following agents as close personal friends and in constant contact and coordination with him and with Flynn:

Al Ristuccia – Los Angeles office of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division

Al Lipkin –  Los Angeles office of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division

Richard Greenberg – U.S. Department of Justice, lead counsel in defending civil litigation brought by the church against DOJ, FBI and IRS

Tom Doughty – DOJ associate of Greenberg

Al Ciampini – Ontario Provincial Police

Armstrong provided Joey with phone numbers for each, including home numbers for some – and urged Joey to get in touch with his team members from these agencies.

Over time, Armstrong told Joey that the IRS CID was the most active government participant, and served as the main coordination point between agencies. He told Joey the CID agents had been briefed about Joey and the Loyalists, and were excited and supportive. The CID would grant them informant status, offer immunity for any crimes they might commit in assisting the government, and had even talked of providing safe houses for insiders. Armstrong then asked   Joey to get his contacts to go into church files and find evidence of illegalities, so that the IRS and DOJ would know where to search. Joey then brought into the mix someone whom Gerry had known from his Sea Org days.   Mike Rinder was a Commodore’s Messenger who had once worked directly with Ron.   He was then heading up the U.S. branch of the Office of Special Affairs.   Joey introduced Mike to Gerry.   Mike reported to Gerry that the files were relatively clean – there were no big smoking-gun documents being created after the 1977 FBI raids. At this point Armstrong’s macho bravado provided what would be our greatest defense against the indictments being issued against Hubbard, Miscavige, et al.   Armstrong suggested that the Loyalists create evidence of illegalities and plant them in church files for the IRS and DOJ to find in a raid, and use against church officials.

All of Armstrong’s representations about government conspiracies to take down church leadership and close down the operation were duly recorded.

David Miscavige was ecstatic with the results. He had me make a presentation of the evidence to a team of criminal lawyers, assembled to represent L. Ron Hubbard, Miscavige, Pat Broker and Lyman Spurlock (Hubbard’s accountant at ASI) to prevent IRS CID indictments and convictions – the potential charges we took most seriously. These attorneys – most from white-shoe Washington, D.C. law firms – were scaring the hell out of Miscavige. They were suggesting the IRS CID case was so serious that they recommended working a deal with the IRS for Miscavige and Spurlock to do time in halfway houses, so as to prevent indictment of Hubbard.   At the root of the IRS CID case was the evidence of millions of dollars of church monies being funneled to Hubbard through fraudulent means. And at the heart of the case would be the infamous MCCS taped conference in which church attorneys and staff acknowledged the fraudulent nature of the transfers.

My presentation horrified the team of criminal attorneys. They were hired because of their conservative, Reagan administration contacts. They did not want anything to do with such an aggressive investigative move.   They were concerned about the propriety of the means Ingram and I had utilized to obtain the evidence, and thought it would reflect badly on their own reputations. One attorney who represented Miscavige personally took me aside, though. He said he did not know how to use it at the moment, but that the evidence I had obtained would ultimately save the day for Hubbard, Miscavige and the church.   Gerald Feffer was the former Assistant Deputy Attorney General for taxation during the Carter administration. He was becoming a dean of white-collar criminal case dismissal prior to indictment. He would become a senior partner in the venerable D.C. law firm Williams & Connally.   Gerry told me to work with some of our more aggressive civil counsel to figure out a way to make the information public, and he would use it to make the IRS criminal case go away.

Another disclosure from the Griffith Park meetings cut to the quick with both Miscavige and me. Armstrong had told Joey that another Department of Justice player was in on the grand plan to close down Scientology: Bracket Deniston III. Armstrong said that Deniston was not investigating to find out who attempted to pass Hubbard’s check, and he was not investigating the evidence we had provided to him.   Instead Deniston was out to nail our investigator, Gene Ingram. Deniston had represented to Armstrong that he was setting traps to nail Ingram and the church for attempting to frame Flynn with purchased evidence.

This was particularly disconcerting, given events in the check investigation while all this Armstrong business was going down.   After I had been ordered out of Boston by Deniston, I had been lured back in by a man being prosecuted by his office. Larry Reservitz had been charged in a case very similar to the one involving LRH’s check. One of Reservitz’s connections who had access to Bank of New England records had used his access to fraudulently transfer money from random accounts to Reservitz. While under indictment, Reservitz reached out to me for the $ 10,000 reward we had previously advertised in the New York Times, claiming he had inside information on the Hubbard case and could identify the inside man at BNE. We had a number of phone calls and several meetings attempting to negotiate the deal. The jockeying was due to my suspicion that Reservitz was shaking us down, and I was searching for facts that would indicate he knew what he was talking about. Reservitz was continually attempting to characterize my questioning as an attempt to make the deal an exchange of cash for handing us Flynn.

In the meantime, Robert Mueller, Denniston’s superior and head of the Boston U.S. DOJ office fraud division, had flown to Italy to visit Ala Tamimi. He bought Tamimi’s retraction of his original statement in exchange for dropping a number of outstanding indictments the DOJ had pending against Tamimi for a variety of fraudulent schemes he had previously executed. I attempted to confront Mueller with what we had learned, but he refused to meet with me. Deniston outright denied that any visit or deal had been carried out by Mueller. In either event, Tamimi’s retraction caused Miscavige to turn up the heat to get me to turn up fresh evidence of Flynn’s involvement in the crime.

I was caught between a rock and a hard spot. Miscavige wanted Flynn at any cost.   Yet I felt that Reservitz might be attempting to frame me for attempting to frame Flynn.   I walked a tight rope between pursuing the investigation to Miscavige’s required degree of aggressiveness, and not stepping over the line with Reservitz. I even visited the Boston FBI agent in charge of the Hubbard check investigation, Jim Burleigh.   I pointedly accused Burleigh of having covertly made a deal with Reservitz to attempt to sting me.   Burleigh brought in another FBI agent to witness his categorical denial that the FBI or DOJ had made a deal with Reservitz: “We would never cooperate with the likes of Larry Reservitz.” Deniston likewise denied that Reservitz was working for the DOJ.   Still, I had my suspicions, particularly when we learned Deniston had become pals with Armstrong and Flynn.

With the sharks circling in and our waning confidence in our civil lawyers (having their heads handed to them in the Armstrong case) and criminal lawyers (advising Miscavige that he resign himself to doing time, at least in a halfway house), Miscavige ordered I find a new breed of lawyer. He wanted someone tough as nails, not some nervous Nellie.   He wanted someone who could figuratively kick Flynn’s butt in court, and scare the hell out of his DOJ and IRS backers. After an exhaustive nationwide search and many candidates eliminated, I thought we had finally found our man – in, of all places, Boston.

Earle Cooley was bigger than life.   He was a big, red-haired knock-off of L. Ron Hubbard himself. His gravelly voice was commanding. His wit was sharp. He was perennially listed in The Best Trial Lawyers in America.   He could spin a yarn that charmed judges and juries and took easy, great pleasure in viciously destroying witnesses on cross examination.   After I had interviewed Earle and reported to Miscavige, I arranged for us to watch Earle in action.   Miscavige and I flew out to Boston to see Earle perform in a high-profile art theft trial. We saw him decimate a seasoned criminal government informant so thoroughly on cross examination that the fellow, in a trademark Cooley expression, “didn’t know whether to shit or wind his watch.” Earle’s client – whom the government had dead to rights, and who was as unsympathetic a defendant as could be – was acquitted by the jury.   We had found the horse for the course.

Earle was like a breath of fresh air to Miscavige.   He took a similar black-and-white view of matters – we are right and good, the enemy is wrong and bad. Miscavige had long since lost his patience and his tolerance for our teams of civil lawyers and the civil-rights-experienced civil-rights-experienced opinion leaders among them. He referred to them as the “pointy heads,” short for “pointy-headed intellectuals.”   To him, our only problem was our counsels’ timid, second-guessing, defensive frames of mind.   And Earle reinforced that view.   Cooley attended a few civil litigation conferences with our other counsel. He ruffled their feathers by readily agreeing with Miscavige’s simplistic sum-up of what was wrong and the solution to it, aggression. The existing lawyers’ nervous objections and eye-rolling reactions to Earle’s sermons only reinforced Miscavige’s view.   “They are nothing but a pack of pussies,” he regularly groused to me; “what we need is for Earle to sink his teeth into those Flynn witnesses and that’ll be the end of this nonsense.”

Miscavige was nothing if not resilient. While never giving a hint that the overridingly important goal was the attainment of All Clear, by late 1984 it was quite evident to all involved that we were fighting an entirely different battle now. It was a fight for survival. We were desperately staving off the barbarians storming the walls of whatever compound L. Ron Hubbard might reside behind. It was evident too that Hubbard himself might have quit fighting – we no longer received any dispatches from him about the legal front. He was only sporadically sending ASI advices concerning his personal business, and to the church about Scientology matters. Miscavige had a team feverishly marketing Hubbard’s new science fiction books, the Mission Earth series. He was putting just as much pressure on church marketing folks to market Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, the broad public re-release of the 1950 book that had launched the entire movement.   All titles were making it back onto the New York Times bestseller lists.   So the incongruity created another level of cognitive dissonance. How could government officials across the continent be so feverishly pursuing a man who was so wildly popular with the public at large?   It would be years before I would find out that the sales were given a mighty boost by teams of Scientologists sent out to bookstores to buy them in bulk.   In the meantime, Miscavige was adept at keeping me and the troops motivated, inferring that we were buying Ron time to bail out the church’s disastrous public image and to complete his final researches at the highest levels of Scientology.

With Miscavige’s solving of the “why” behind our failures to attain an All Clear – i.e., the outside lawyers’ blatant counter-intention to Hubbard’s advices on using the enemies’ tactics against them, only more cleverly and more aggressively – our defeat-battered hopes were rehabilitated. Earle Cooley, the great Scientology hope, would soon be unleashed.


  1. Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (pp. 255-64).
  2. GA: I mentioned Rathbun’s Chapter 21, which he titles “The Juggernaut,” in a recent letter to Dan Sherman. The whole chapter is Rathbun’s spin on the Armstrong Op, or more specifically the 1984 Griffith Park videotaping part of the op. The operation, which was clearly concocted to use or misuse the videos for nefarious purposes after the videotaping, still continues. Rathbun’s book shows the op continues by continuing it. Even though he calls it a memoir, and recounts different events or incidents in his Scientology career that appear unrelated to the op, the whole book is his spin on it. The book is also a fantastic late act, one more contemptuous fair game nastiness in the same old sick op.

    Most importantly at this time, Rathbun’s spin, and his facts propelling it, are virtually identical to the spin and facts the Miscavige Scientologists give to their description of these events in their black propaganda publications, in their filings in their legal proceedings, in their submissions to the IRS, or to governments and people around the world. The difference is that Rathbun says Miscavige ran and runs it all, and Miscavige and his corporate underlings either do not say or say the same thing.

GA Letter to IRS (March 8, 1997)


Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
5045 E. Butler Ave
Fresno, CA 93888

Re:     Gerald D. Armstrong
SS# 265-81-2049
Tax Year 1994

Dear Sir/Madam:

I apologize for not writing you by your, I believe it was, January 8, 1997 deadline, and for not writing you before today, a good two months late. My reasons are stated in this letter, which will also serve as my response, at least for now, to your question about my 1994 tax return.

I explained in my earlier communications that I did not have possession of nor access to all my records from 1994, and, as further explained below, I still do not. Moreover, because of events which have transpired since I last wrote you, I now do not even have possession of your demands and other correspondence. Nevertheless, I understand what you asked for, and I will provide that information herein.

My history since approximately 1984 is quite well known to certain people in the IRS, and I would request that my records and history with the Service be retrieved and examined in order to put my 1994 taxes, as well as my present situation, in a context, beyond what I am able to provide in this letter, which will make them understandable. I would direct your attention particularly to my submission in April, 1990 concerning my 1987 tax return. I have had what in human terms is understandably called an odd life.

I have been a target of Scientology ever since 1981 when I left the organization, which has its own very well known and even longer history with the IRS. My history with Scientology became part of the Scientology vs. IRS war as a result of the first lawsuit in which the organization sued me in 1982, LA Superior Court No. C 420153. That case went to trial in 1984 and resulted in the famous and globally cited “Breckenridge decision.”2

By 1993 Scientology had sued me four times and carried out a world wide “black propaganda” campaign against me. “Black propaganda” or “black PR” is Scientology’s term, used by its former leader L. Ron Hubbard in organization directives – or as Scientology insists they be called, “scriptures” – for its policy and practice of character assassination, the destruction of a target’s reputation and credibility by lies and covert operations.

Scientology’s attacks on me, and its other targets, are pursuant to its basic, and infamous, policy Hubbard termed fair game,” its doctrine of opportunistic hatred, which has been judicially condemned since the 1970’s. See, e.g., appellate opinions in Scientology v. Allard, Wollersheim v. Scientology, Scientology v. Armstrong (1991), Scientology v. Yanny (2 cases), US v. Hubbard, US v. Heldt, US v. Zolin. The purpose underlying all of the organization’s legal actions against me was and is to silence me and destroy me financially, emotionally and in any other way possible, since I am “fair game.”

Along life’s path, but certainly by 1993, it had become clear to me that I had been given a role by God, both in persevering through the years of unholy persecution by Scientology, and participating in His Resolution of this “church’s” global war on its innocent victims and equally innocent critics, and on religion itself. This is what my calling, my life and my job became. All my activities, every day, were devoted to that job, or doing what was essential to the support of that job. Although I am professionally, inter alia, a writer, artist and philosopher, and have other commercially intended projects, I have curtailed or shelved all of these activities, except as they are needed for my Scientology job, until the conflict and threat have been reduced or eliminated.

From 1991 through 1995, the activity which consumed much of my time, and in relationship to which I received, as you know, some remuneration, was in assisting sole practitioner, attorney Ford Greene. It is clear that God led me to Mr. Greene, who was through those years one of perhaps only a half dozen attorneys around the world involved in seeking redress through the legal system for people victimized by Scientology.

Mr. Greene is himself a target of fair game, one of the central mechanisms of which is a heavily financed and aggressive litigation machine, complete with bad private investigators and corrupt attorneys. Working in a justice system already compromised by and beholden to the kind of money Scientology has to spend, this litigation machine has been extremely effective in L. Ron Hubbard’s stated policy of “us[ing] the law to harass,” and in the resulting denial of due process and justice to its victims.

I did whatever I could to help Mr. Greene survive and keep helping cult victims, and he defended me in the three lawsuits Scientology brought against me while working with him. One of these lawsuits’ goals, which I believe is illegal, was to prevent my continuing to work with him. I also did whatever else I could to defend other targets of fair game, at some risk. Because of an order Scientology was able to obtain from a Marin County judge, whose rulings I believe are illegal and indicate malfeasance, it became impossible in 1995 for me to continue to work with Mr. Greene.


Although I had become a renunciant in August 1990, and sometime thereafter understood that whatever I received in truth came from God, I continued to believe that the company I had created, The Gerald Armstrong Corporation (“TGAC” – pronounced “Teegeeack) was a great idea, with seriously commercial potential. But Scientology sued TGAC as well three times through 1993, attacked it with its black PR nastiness, and intimidated other people associated with it. My associates who had become TGAC’s major shareholders as a result of my renunciation returned their shares to me, my two other directors resigned, and I had no choice but to allow the corporation to be suspended. I continued to do my job as guided by God in the form of an independent contractor.

In the fall of 1993 I, and the rest of the world, received the unexpected and alarming news that the IRS had surrendered in its many year war with Scientology, granting tax exemption to the organization’s various components. With this capitulation, the IRS – and, by extension, the US Government – effectively abandoned the people being attacked and victimized by Scientology.

These people were left by the US to defend themselves against the very organization which had brought the nation, by whatever legal or illegal means, to its knees. That’s really when it became impossible for me to step away from what God had called me for, which only with Him would be possible. If the world’s remaining superpower had surrendered in the war against evil, Who else was there to prevent evil’s ultimate triumph; and who but those He guided would He use for the job?

My 1994 tax return reflects what funds I received for that work, and the expenses incurred in performing that work. I may have filled out the form then thinking that I could still make TGAC work, I’m not sure. My expenses include the sort of thing anyone else doing this work would have, such as rent, utilities, telephone, gas, oil, paper, photocopies, travel expenses, and so forth; as well as expenses for maintaining my shelved projects, which only I can do. I have receipts for all these expenses, but, as I’ve said, I am not able to get to these records. I will make at least one change in the return when I’m able to get to my records, expensing my car use by mileage rather than by gas and oil receipts.

Using the same judge who ordered that I could not assist Mr. Greene in his Scientology litigation practice, the organization obtained a liquidated damages “award” and drove me into bankruptcy in early 1995. It then brought a bogus lawsuit in the Bankruptcy Court in an effort to seize my art, writings, and any other assets. Although defending myself in that litigation, and really over my head procedurally, and emotionally, I was finally successful at trial in 1996 in preventing Scientology’s hoped for wholesale seizure.

The organization was also able to get the Marin County judge to issue an order which prevents me from saying one word about Scientology or my 28 years of experiences in relation to it to anyone except my immediate family, prevents me from


responding to any attack on me by Scientology, either in court filings or in its black PR publications, and prevents me from assisting its victims. If I do communicate about Scientology, even to respond to its attacks, or in any way assist anyone it designates an “enemy,” in addition to being subject to a $50 thousand liquidated damages penalty per utterance, I can be jailed. Although this sounds unbelievable, it is completely and tragically true. Scientology has attempted at least a dozen times through the years to have me prosecuted and jailed on its false or manufactured charges.

I believe that this judge’s orders are illegal, against public policy, obstructive of justice, and in violation of the constitutional rights to due process, free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom from slavery. The basis for these orders is not that I ever libeled or slandered Scientology, or said one untrue word in or out of court about it or my experiences. The basis for the orders is a December 1986 “settlement agreement” which was part of the “settlement” of my first case with Scientology.3

The organization obtained my signature on this “settlement agreement,” which is itself and on its face illegal, obstructive of justice and in violation of basic “inalienable” rights, by fraud, duress and the vitiation of my attorney Michael Flynn. Scientology’s outrageous fair gaming of Mr. Flynn from 1980 through 1986 is widely known, and includes suing him or his law firm more than a dozen times, stealing documents from his office, threatening his family, making bogus bar complaints, framing him with the forgery of a $2 million check, paying known felons to attack him, and black PRing him around the world.

The fraud was Scientology’s promise that with the signing of this “agreement” it would end all fair game activities against me and everyone else. The threat was that if I didn’t sign, everyone, myself included, would continue to be fair gamed. The vitiation manifested in November/December, 1986 when Mr. Flynn, by then so desperate to have the personal attacks on him end, went along with whatever the organization wanted, and essentially acted in the “settlement,” not as my attorney, but as Scientology’s agent. Although expressing to me, when pressuring me to sign the unconscionable “agreement,” how the cult had ruined his marriage and his life, thus making me responsible for ending the attacks and threat to him, he also stated, also to get me to sign, that the various prohibitions, the threat of judicial enforcement, the liquidated damages provision, the obstruction of justice, the conceivably total exposure, were “not worth the paper they’re printed on.” He stated to me, “You can’t sign away your constitutional rights.” “It (the “agreement”) is unenforceable.”

Mr. Flynn’s representations about the unenforceability of the “agreement” sounded completely reasonable because it was inconceivable to me that such a “contract,” so completely one-sided in favor of a dangerous cult with a known criminal history, and violating so many basic rights, could, in the US and pursuant to its Constitution, possibly be legally enforceable. It was also inconceivable that Mr. Flynn


would sign a similar “contract” with Scientology which would prevent him from assisting, me if the organization attacked me in the future. But he did, and the cult did.


In, I believe it was, the last week of 1996 or the first week of 1997, I obtained an internet account and began to read the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology and check out various Scientology related web sites. One of my first discoveries was a person’s web page containing a large portion of Scientology’s IRS Form 1023 submission from 1992. Included in that portion is a section concerning me and the Breckenridge decision. The statements about me were factually, and in substance and conclusion, false. They are a repetition of the black PR Scientology had spread about me around the world since the “settlement”.

The 1023 response also contained black PR on other individuals; e.g., my attorneys Michael Flynn and Toby Plevin, my friends Lawrence Wollersheim and Laurel Sullivan, and other Scientology “enemies” Gene Allard and attorney Charlie O’Reilly.

I was shocked, hurt and frightened by what I read. It suddenly made understandable why Scientology had attacked me so violently for so many years, and it made it clear that the organization was going to continue the attack, and that I was in more danger than I had already imagined. The organization used its fair game attack on me to obtain its tax exemption, and to retain its tax exemption, with perhaps untaxed billions at stake, must continue the attack and destroy me.

Being a net novice I didn’t know to bookmark the site at that time, and wasn’t able to find it again until a few days ago. I think that, along with the way all of this saga has unfolded, is proof of God’s Sense of Timing.

In the next few days after the 1023 shock, however, I made some additional discoveries, which, among other things caused me to not write you earlier. I learned that Tax Analysts had brought an action against the IRS alleging improprieties in the procedures the Service had followed in dealing with Scientology’s tax exemption. I learned that the IRS itself had distributed a promotional statement about Scientology on behalf of the organization, I believe to governments in other countries. I also learned that the US State Department had publicly defended Scientology’s practices against critics in Germany, and had criticized the German government for its efforts to restrain Scientology’s abuses.

I recalled some letters I had recently seen from one or another Scientology OSA operative to the IRS’s James McGovern. The Office of Special Affairs, is the organization arm which took over the Guardian’s Office (“GO”) functions in 1982. It continues the GO legal, PR and intelligence bureaus, the organization’s fair game channels. 11 GO personnel, including Mary Sue Hubbard, I’m sure you recall, received federal jail sentences for offenses stemming from the GO’s burglarizing of IRS offices in


Washington, D.C., not to mention the penetration of more than a hundred other state or federal offices, in the 1970’s. The sentencing memorandum in the plea-bargained US v. Scientology case also is a good primer on fair game.

The operative letters to Mr.McGovern were principally an attack on the Cult Awareness Network, an organization with the mission of educating the public about dangerous groups like Scientology, a cult which was ultimately able, with its litigation machine and unknown other factors, to drive CAN into bankruptcy. The operative also took the opportunity in his letters to attack me for my economic theories, in an effort it is clear to cause me even more problems with the IRS than the ones the organization had already caused me. It was revealing when I first read these letters, and more so now, that the OSA writer, with the approval of the approvers, used the friendly salutation, “Dear Jim.”

My economic theories are no threat to the IRS, nor to the United States, but are intended and designed to save the US, and the rest of the world for that matter, from economic and social disaster which flow from avoidable stupidity. These ideas have been perverted and attacked by David Miscavige and his agents in various black PR libels. It is situations like and including this organization’s use of its great monetary wealth for unarguably evil purposes, and this great country’s sale of Lady Justice to any high roller, which make my economic ideas timely and utterly workable.

There were other facts I couldn’t ignore; like recent unjustifiable rulings in Scientology’s favor in key state and federal cases; and glimpses of a something different from mutually wary relationship between organization people and Justice Department people. There has been much voicing since 1993 of the bet that some organization someone had something on someone in some government connected position of power and authority.

There has also been some speculation for some time of perhaps in a working relationship, perhaps in a framework of not unacceptable mutual wariness, between Scientology’s intelligence apparatus and a piece of the US intelligence “community.” There was a recent mention of OSA documents suggesting some such relationship being found by Greek government personnel in a raid on the organization in perhaps Athens. Scientology had even hired a “former” military intelligence colonel as an “expert witness” in its litigation against me.

I have known ever since I was posted as the Intelligence Officer on board the organization’s flagship with the Hubbards in 1974 and 1975 that Scientology’s quintessence, what time is devoted to in the places where “wog world” decisions are made, is the activity of intelligence. Hubbard as idol, the “technology,” legal or PR are all preempted by the intelligence game. There are things a cult might possess that a government more than likely would not; e.g., a litigation machine which was taking litigation where it had never gone before, and for sure where no JD litigator dared to tread; its own private court reporter firm; a lot of people’s innermost personal secrets; yet


another computer system and data base; instant mobilization in any country; plenty of foreigners to cross any border; well hatted money launderers; fanatics. It is not inconceivable that a cultic intelligence partner might pay its own way, or even pay to deliver its product for free. Conjecture, which has been around for a long time, as you can imagine, goes far beyond that.

It is not conjecture, however, but certain fact that the IRS had not contacted me to verify Scientology’s statements about me in its 1023 response. It was also certain that the IRS had ample knowledge of Scientology’s history of lying and obstruction of justice to justify, after decades of legal battles, probably millions in legal costs, and, I believe, an unbroken string of important legal victories in the Service’s favor, a telephone call. My guess, given the other known facts, is that none of the other people the organization black PRed in the 1023 response were called as well.

Scientology’s 1023 black PR should also be viewed along with the fact that the organization held at least three of its targets therein gagged with its “contracts.” On the threat of $50 thousand in liquidated damages and legal prosecution, we – Mike Flynn, Laurel Sullivan and I – were prohibited from telling the IRS the truth even if we were contacted. These “contracts” require that we “not assist or advise anyone, including [ ] governmental agencies contemplating any claim or engaged in litigation or involved in or contemplating any activity adverse to the interests of [Scientology, its personnel, agents or lawyers].” (E.g., Armstrong “settlement agreement” at para. 10, p. 1.3) The “settlement agreements” also require that we say not one word to anyone, “other than members of [our] immediate family.” (Id. para. 7H, pp. 10, 11).3

I have been “successful” in my litigations at least in getting “governmental organ[s] or entit[ies]” specifically excluded from the Marin Superior Court order enjoining me from “assisting” anyone (else) against Scientology. I cannot, of course, assist the government against Scientology or its personnel, agents or lawyers without communicating about them; although the organization insists that I must. I am risking criminal prosecution and jail by sending you this communication. Mr. Flynn and Ms. Sullivan are still “prohibited” from assisting the government at all.

There was the fact of David Miscavige’s public admission, or boast, that he had walked unannounced into former IRS Commissioner Goldberg’s office in Washington and arranged the “settlement” which resulted in Scientology’s tax exemption. And there were the facts that this “settlement” is secret, and that the IRS is opposing efforts to bring the secret settlement to light.


As I mentioned above, what Scientology, under David Miscavige’s direction, had written about me in its 1023 response was frightening; and I knew that although I had to communicate something like this letter to someone I couldn’t do so until I was a lot safer than I then was.


While in the process of getting safer before communicating, as God’s Timetable would have it I was served with a subpoena for the production of documents by defendant Grady Ward in the case of Scientology v. Ward, USDC Nor. Cal. No. C-96-20207 RMW. Organization attorney Andrew Wilson immediately wrote me threatening prosecution if I responded to Mr. Ward’s subpoena. Since such prosecution would be at the gavel of the Marin County judge who had given Scientology the illegal orders enjoining me, and who had studiously ignored all my evidence in opposition, the threat of conviction, incarceration or worse was very real.

I did, however, respond to Mr. Ward’s subpoena by sending the original of the declaration which accompanies this letter, along with my production of documents, to the presiding judge in that  case. I have not included those exhibits here, but they are available. In this declaration I refer to the IRS’s 1993 ruling and provide a number of details which I have not provided in this letter.

It would have been silly to write to you about my 1994 tax year, for which, I trust you’re now certain, I do not owe any taxes or penalties, and  pretend that my real and actual situation with the IRS didn’t exist. Nor could I communicate this situation to the very people in the US Government who appeared to be assisting Scientology in its persecution of me and other innocent targets, unless, as I said, I first made myself somewhat safer. I thus packed a bag of clothes, left my home in San Anselmo and am in Canada.

I have since learned that Scientology did in fact obtain an order to show cause re contempt from the Marin judge for my response to Mr. Ward’s subpoena. I have also received some warnings to not let myself be jailed by Scientology because of what the organization might have happen to me while in custody. And thus, being in Canada but still in danger, I am communicating to you in this manner; and I hope that you, or someone to whom your seniors in the IRS direct this communication, will communicate back to me.

In 1984 Los Angeles CID agents Al Ristuccia and Al Lipkin made a real offer of the federal witness protection program to Scientology’s targets who claimed to be in danger. Today it is altogether possible that there are people in the Fed from whom the organization’s designated targets now need protection. I hope that you and your seniors take this possibility very seriously.

It is clear that a deal was cut between Scientology and the IRS. Whatever the deal was probably involved, and involves, other parts of the US Government. Whatever the deal was, both sides are now implicated in an evil deal. The IRS and the other federal participants in the deal knew the policies, practices, history and character of the organization with whom they were dealing. The black PR on me in the 1023 response alone is sufficient proof that the policies, practices, history and character remain unchanged.


If there has been assistance to Scientology, someone in the US having declared it a “religion,” there is a violation of the separation of church and state. Where there is collusion, there is a state church. As fantastic as that might sound, it is not impossible, nor untrue. When secret deals are made with a known destructive and power hungry cult, there is more than an appearance of impropriety. There are many people who pray that Scientology has not been embraced by power hungry government players.

There are obvious secular things involved here – huge sums of money, laws, levels of lawyers, statements and decisions made and not made, and so forth. But there are also non-secular things – like God, faith and truth, the terrible nothingness of evil and its wake, forgiveness and grace. Evil deals, like Scientology’s evil “settlement agreement” with me, are made to be broken. That is God’s message to His Children through His Son: the contracts with evil are broken; stand up, be free and speak your peace.

Because God has moved me to break my deal with evil, I am viewed as a threat by Scientology leader Miscavige. Because of what I now know I am indeed a threat to his organization’s untaxed wealth, its power and stature. I will also be viewed as a threat by IRS people or other US agency people who have made their own unholy deal, and want that deal and the relationship it makes protected.

Back in 1984, at a time of great stress and under terrible attack and manipulation by Scientology I helped the IRS against the organization. It wasn’t because I was being operated by the IRS, as Scientology asserts in its black PR packs, nor even that the IRS asked that I do anything, other than offer protection to people who had the courage to come forward to talk to them. I did whatever I did because of my faith in God, and my knowledge that Scientology, under the same management as today, is dangerous and hurts people. I thought that the IRS, as indeed it can, could act to restrain, through its legal powers, the danger and hurt.

I may not have done the best job, although that conclusion cannot honestly be reached, because my job, for reasons contained in this letter, is not finished yet. I may also have quit prematurely in December, 1986, leaving the IRS in the lurch, but that was for the very reason I had helped the Service: to save both Scientology’s victims and the victimizers from the effects of fair game. And in any case God is merciful about all that.

I’m sure the IRS at one time wished I didn’t have such a foul mouth, and there certainly have been times I’ve wished the same. I thank God, however, not only because I’ve also been saved from that, but because He used all my raunch for His purposes. Nevertheless, my profanities have nothing to do with Scientology’s black PR, other than being its fodder. Nor do they have anything to do with the IRS’s decision, or anyone else’s decision to give the organization its tax exempt status, and, by extension, its religious status. The IRS and the US must not avoid being courageous now because of embarrassment for having been chicken in the past.


The IRS, and US Government leaders are now protecting the bad guys just because the bad guys are the bad guys. The people who con, threaten and hurt are given, not only tax exemption to enable yet more conning, threatening and hurting, but support. This can be corrected, the deal can be broken.

I would like to receive back a communication from the IRS that honest people have read and understood this letter. I would ask that the recipient pass it on to the people as high in the IRS and in other parts of the US Government as it should honestly go. I would hope that my concern for my safety be respected, and I would also hope that the concerned people would signal their concern. I would rather, because all of us for peace and safety depend on the US Government, that we be on the same side. Obviously this whole matter will become public in one way or another, and I would hope that when that happens we will be on the same side.

I do not have an address or phone number at which I am safe, and to which anyone can communicate. If anyone in the IRS wants to communicate to me before I have a safe place, have a message posted to alt.religion.scientology, which I will try to monitor. Make the subject line “Re Midian.” Say whatever you want. No one else will know to watch for the message.

Thank you for this opportunity. May we all make wise decisions.

Yours sincerely,

Gerald Armstrong


Letter from Los Angeles County DA to Ken Hoden (April 25, 1986)


(213) 974-7437


April 25, 1986

Rev. Ken Hoden
Rev. Kathleen Gorgon
Rev. Heber Jentzsch
Mr. John Peterson
Mr. David Butterworth
Church of Scientology
1301 N. Catalina
Los Angeles, California 90012


In re S.I.D. CASE NO. C85-0054

In your letters dated May 1 and July 19, 1985, you asked that this office investigate your allegations that:

1. Chief Daryl Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department, Agents Al Lipkin and Al Ristuccia of the Internal Revenue Service, Gerald Armstrong, and Michael Flynn have committed the crime of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

2. Internal Revenue Service Agents Al Lipkin and Al Ristuccia additionally “aided and directed” the commission by Gerald Armstrong of violations of Penal Code Sections 182 (Conspiracy), 134 (Preparing False Evidence), and 653f (Solicitation of the commission of certain crimes).

3. Gerald Armstrong additionally prepared false documentary evidence in violation of Penal Code Section 134; committed extortion in violation of Penal Code Section 518; and solicited commission of the crimes of burglary, receiving stolen property, and forgery, in violation of Penal Code Section 653f.

Rev. Ken Hoden,et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Two

4. Michael Flynn additionally aided Gerald Armstrong in his violations of Penal Code Section 182,  conspiracy, and Penal Code Section 653f, solicitation of burglary, receiving stolen property, and forgery.

Following his receipt of your letters, Steven A. Sowders, Head of the Special Investigations Division, met personally with Rev. Jentzsch and Rev. Hoden to discuss your complaint. I have since reviewed the voluminous materials you submitted in support of your charges, and I have spoken at length on the telephone and in person with church members John Peterson and David Butterworth. In our several conversations, I informed both Mr. Butterworth and Mr. Peterson that in order intelligently to evaluate the Church of Scientology’s allegations, I would need further information. In addition to the documents already
provided, I asked them to provide me with:

(1) A complete description of the events to which the submitted documents relate, including:

(a) the time, date, and place of each event;
(b) the names of all persons present;
(c) the circumstances in which the event occurred;
(d) the name of each speaker and identifying information about him.

(2) A description of the manner in which the recording or other source information was obtained.

(3) A statement from the person who obtained the recording or other data, identifying him, describing the manner in which he obtained it, and setting forth the manner in which he could authenticate any recording and any transcript involved.

(4) An explanation of the relevance of the conversations and other materials cited to the allegations of criminal conduct.

I further requested that they furnish any other evidence they might have in support of the Church of Scientology’s allegations. I particularly requested documentation setting forth the specific facts in support of the allegations recited above. I asked that they provide the date, time, and place of each alleged event, and the name, address, and telephone number of each witness.

Rev. Ken Heden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Three

In response, I received from Mr. John Peterson a letter dated September 27, 1985, which letter I discussed on October 3, 1985, with Mr. Butterworth. Thereafter, following many attempts on my part to schedule a meeting with either Mr. Peterson or Mr. Butterworth or both of them, on December 10, 1985, they came to my office and conferred with Investigator Alan Tomich and me.

In that meeting, I reiterated my need to know the date, time, and place of each alleged event, and the name, address, and telephone number of each witness. I further asked whether the Church of Scientology had any additional evidence in support of its allegations. Messrs. Peterson and Butterworth responded that they had submitted to this office all the evidence that they had.

I explained to them that, in order to decide whether a prosecutable crime had been committed, we had to interview those persons who had observed the events that were alleged to constitute the criminal conduct; and that in order to interview those persons we needed to know who they were and where we could find them. In response, Mr. Peterson repeated the suggestion he made in his letter of September 27, 1985, that we interview Eugene Ingram, who had videotaped certain events which, Mr. Peterson said, were the basis of his allegations. He declined, however, to identify, beyond the name “Joey,” the persons other than Gerald Armstrong who appear on the tapes. It was my understanding that Messrs. Peterson and Butterworth intended to review the matter and that they would subsequently forward the requested witness information to me. Their response was a letter dated December 15, 1985, which contained a witness list comprised of the names of the persons the Church of Scientology has accused plus another I.R.S. agent and two police officers. He furnished no further information.

I responded to Mr. Peterson in a letter dated January 16, 1986, in which I summarized our December 10 meeting. In it, I also asked Mr. Peterson to permit Investigator Tomich to interview Mr. Eugene Ingram (whom Mr. Peterson, as an attorney, apparently represents), and I again requested that Mr. Peterson supply us with the information outlined above.

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Four

In response, I received from Mr. Peterson a letter dated March 18, 1986. In it, he denied that he and Mr. Butterworth had intended, after the December 10 meeting, to provide further information, and he declared that we had received all the data he felt we needed.

It appears, then, that no further evidence in support of your allegations is forthcoming; and based on Mr. Peterson’s statement on December 10, 1985, that I had understood and accurately summarized the evidence the Church of Scientology had submitted, it appears that the assertions of fact described below constitute in its entirety the evidence in support of your allegations of criminal conduct.

Allegation 1:

That Chief Daryl Gates conspired to obstruct justice.


The allegation of “planting a ‘wire tap’ on Michael Flynn” was referred to Chief Gates [1] by Assistant City Attorney Lewis N. Unger on April 17, 1985. [2] On April 23, 1985, Chief Gates publicly rebuked Officer Phillip Rodriguez and Investigator Eugene Ingram for video taping Gerald Armstrong. Within hours, Investigators Lipkin and Ristuccia were seen, apparently by Rev. Heber Jentzch, [3] leaving Parker Center. There has allegedly  been no effort to do anything about “Mr. Armstrong’s crimes.”[4] Chief Gates also initiated an investigation “into the police officer and private investigator” (July 19 letter, p. 6).

Allegation 2:

That Internal Revenue Service Agents Al Lipkin and Al Ristuccia conspired with Gates, Armstrong, and Flynn to obstruct justice and that they “aided and directed” Gerald Armstrong in the commission of violations of Penal Code Sections 182, 134, and 653f.


John G. Peterson declared under penalty of perjury [5] that “Armstrong showed he was being used by the Internal Revenue Service to gather information.” In support of that declaration, Mr. Peterson included “excerpts from the videotape” which indicated that “GA” mentioned Al Ristuccia and gave Al Lipkin’s telephone number to “J”.

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Five

Agents Lipkin and Ristuccia visited Officer Phillip Rodriguez and allegedly attempted to “strong arm” him. Agents Lipkin and Ristuccia stated that, on April 18, 1985, they interviewed Rodriguez, who admitted signing an authorization letter. The agents considered Rodriguez evasive and sought police assistance
in obtaining his cooperation. The agents were seen leaving Parker Center on April 23, 1985. [6]

Armstrong told ” J” that he had told Lipkin some people might want to talk to him, [7] and that he had told Lipkin to go after Peterson.

Allegation 3:

That Gerald Armstrong conspired with Michael Flynn, Daryl Gates, Al Lipkin, and Al Ristuccia to obstruct justice; prepared false documentary evidence; committed extortion; and solicited the commission of the crimes of burglary (Penal Code Section 459), receiving stolen property (Penal Code Section 496), and forgery (Penal Code Section 470), in violation of Penal Code Section 653f.


John Peterson declared that Armstrong conspired with a “church…staff member,” was “used by… the Internal Revenue Service to gather information,” “explained to the conspirators plans for attacking the  church…and…Hubbard,” and had a videotaped conversation with “J” which demonstrates his involvement with the government. [9]

“GA” told “J” to type the completed staff work on the policy and bring it in, that “issues can be created,” but he was “not really saying create incrimination (sic) evidence-but just to write about the speculation.” He also said, “They can never tell where the issue came from.” He wanted the lawsuits to end so that he could get his “global settlement.” [10]

Armstrong told ” J” about a “good-looker” named Carol. He said “the way to the man’s mind is through his cock” and “that’s definitely the way to get to the top.” He wrote a note which reads in part, “Establish available route for holding the cock of someone in ASI/WDC/etc.”[11]

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Six

Armstrong allegedly wrote and handed over to someone on November 9, 1984, a “shopping list” of information which he asked a “church member to purloin.” “GA” told “J” “something should be done so that they can capitalize on getting stuff…into writing and…unstabilizing the whole PI, attorney apparatus.” He asked if “J” could get money to Peterson and told “J” to check the finance records. He said, “if we can get anything on Ingram (or) Peterson (or) finance records (or) other PI’s (or) operation ‘X’…, it’s all vital.”

Armstrong asked for specifics on payments to Ingram, and told “J” he should find what payments went to attorneys.

The handwritten list read in part, “1. Plan on Van Schaick…4. Anything on Hubbard or Don/ 5. Anything on upcoming legal battle… 8. Get me an original of an LRH Ed (current) or other issue type which could be from Hubbard. 8a. Same for WDC. Create one, get it distributed and get an assessment. Any partial that gives UP or ORG.”[12]

He also told ” J” he had given one “fanatic” document “to the Feds” and was giving them another. [13]

Armstrong told ” J” on November 9, 1984, that he could type “things and duplicate them and make them look exactly the same” and that “we could set up a press and…produce issues…” He thought, “shouldn’t I get some I HELP materials (?)”. He wanted to know “how they’re run off, what the type face is like…, – because we can simply create these;… – I can create documents with relative ease ….”

“J” suggested changing some documents. “GA” responded that “a lot of things can be done”, but he did not propose to “be stuffing things into their comm basket.” He later commented that something could be pasted and photocopied. [14]

Allegation 4:

That Michael F Flynn conspired to obstruct justice, and aided Gerald Armstrong in the crimes of conspiracy (Penal Code Section 182) and solicitation of burglary, receiving stolen property, and forgery (Penal Code Section 653f).

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Seven


In April, 1985, Flynn contacted the United States Attorney in Boston, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Los Angeles Police Department. Flynn’s attorney, Raul Martinez then made allegedly false accusations of wire tapping.

Flynn told the Los Angeles Police Department that “Cooley” had had a video recording and a letter signed by Officer Rodriguez authorizing such a recording. By letter, Attorney Raul Martinez, representing Mr. Flynn, asked the City Attorney to investigate. The City Attorney forwarded the letter to Chief Gates. [15]

John Peterson declared under penalty of perjury that evidence indicated that Michael Flynn was directing Gerald Armstrong in order to steal documents, plot forgeries, steal legal strategies, implement a plot to seduce and blackmail a Scientologist, and conspire to suborn perjury. [16]

The “Van Schaick” case, referred to in Armstrong’s “shopping list”, was settled by Attorney Flynn.

* * *

As Mr. Peterson has noted, I have spent a considerable amount of time reviewing and comprehending the materials you have submitted to this office. For the reasons set forth below, I do not find that those materials contain sufficient evidence of the commission of any of the alleged crimes to justify the further investigation of those allegations.

At the outset, I should like to point out the following regarding Mr. Peterson’s letter dated September 27, 1985 and my subsequent communications with him. 1) Mr. Peterson told me that “the interviews took place in Griffith Park during… November, 1984.” He has not otherwise responded to my request for a complete description of the events to which the documents related, including times, dates, places, names, circumstances, and identifying information, (See Request #1, above.)

2) Mr. Peterson told me that “tapes are not in dispute” and that details of the taping should be sought from Gene Ingram.

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Eight

But when Investigator Tomich sought to follow his advice, Mr. Peterson asserted he was Mr. Ingram’s attorney, and he refused to permit Investigator Tomich to interview him.

In his letter of March 18, 1986, Mr. Peterson refused further to respond to my requests for a description of the manner in which recordings and other source information were obtained; and for a statement from the person who obtained the information (some of it apparently recorded, some of it apparently from other sources) identifying that person and describing the acquisition of the information, documents, or tape, and the manner in which it could be authenticated (proved to be what it purports to be). (See Requests Nos. 2 and 3, above.)

3) He submitted ” data on the background of Jerry Armstrong” and the other documents referred to in the footnotes to this letter, in which he highlighted those portions he considered relevant to the allegations. He has not otherwise explained the relevance of the submitted materials to the allegations of criminal conduct. (See Request #4, above.)

4) He told me that the individuals speaking on the video tapes are “responsible witnesses who can be produced if necessary.” Beyond submitting a list of the names of the persons you have accused and three of their associates, he has not otherwise responded to my requests that he document the specific facts which prove the commission of the crimes alleged, including the particular details about each event and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the witnesses (See the paragraph following request #4, above).

* * *

A conspiracy to obstruct justice is an agreement between two or more persons to do an act or omit to do an act, as the result of which justice or the due administration of the laws is obstructed or perverted. To convict a person of that crime the prosecution must prove that he made such an agreement with the specific intent to commit or omit the necessary act and that, while he was a member of the conspiracy, he or a co-conspirator committed an overt act in furtherance of the object within the prosecuting jurisdiction (in our case, Los Angeles County).

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Nine

Assuming that the factual allegations are true, and that Daryl Gates did receive from Michael Flynn a wiretapping complaint; did rebuke Officer Rodriguez and Investigator Ingram; and did initiate an investigation into possible criminal conduct by Rodriguez and Ingram; that Gerald Armstrong did have the above described conversations with “Joey” about Al Lipkin and Al Ristuccia; that Lipkin and Ristuccia did interview Rodriguez, did consider him evasive, did seek Los Angeles Police Department assistance in obtaining Rodriguez’s cooperation, and did visit Parker Center on April 23, 1985; that Armstrong told “Joey” to type staff work in order to create issues and that he did all the other things alleged (talked to “Joey” about “Carol,” told “Joey” that “they” should destablilize the “PI, attorney apparatus,” told “Joey” to check financial records, wrote and delivered the “shopping list,” and gave documents “to the Feds”) and that Michael Flynn both personally and through his attorney contacted the United States Attorney, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Los Angeles Police Department to complain about the tape recording, the actions of Officer Rodriguez, and other matters; and that he settled the “Van Schaick” case; we are unable to find in any of those allegations any evidence which would support an allegation that Chief Gates, Agent Lipkin, Agent Ristuccia, Mr. Armstrong, or Attorney Flynn agreed with anyone to commit or omit any act which might pervert or obstruct justice or the due administration of the laws.

No factual details (time, place circumstances, names of witnesses, etc.) have been submitted to support many of the conclusions that have been alleged. Thus there is no evidence that “there has been no effort to do anything about” crimes allegedly committed by Mr. Armstrong; that the Internal Revenue Service Agents attempted to “strongarm” Officer Rodriguez; that Mr. Armstrong conspired with a church staff member and explained to the conspirators his plans for attacking the church and Mr. Hubbard; that Mr. Armstrong wrote a “shopping list” of information and asked someone to “purloin” it; or that Michael Flynn made false accusations of wiretapping.

Therefore, the evidence of which we have been apprised of a conspiracy to obstruct justice is insufficient to warrant further investigation by this office.

To convict a person of the crime of preparation of false documentary evidence, the prosecution must prove that he in fact

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Ten

made the document, that it was false, and that he intended it to be produced as true for a deceitful purpose in a proceeding authorized by law.

Even assuming that it can be proved by competent, admissible evidence that Gerald Armstrong told “Joey” to type staff work and that “issues can be created,” that “they can never tell where the issue came from,” and that he wanted the lawsuits to end so that he could get his “global settlement”; that Armstrong wrote and gave to someone the “shopping list”; that he told “Joey” he wanted to get “stuff…into writing” and to “unstabliz(e)” the “apparatus”; that he said getting records was “vital”; that he said he could type and duplicate things and create documents and set up a press and produce issues, that he wanted to know about a type face, that a lot of things could be done and that something could be pasted and photocopied; none of this, taken alone, constitutes evidence that Mr. Armstrong in fact created a single false document or that he intended that such a document be produced for any purpose in any legal proceeding.

Further, in the documents submitted to us, Mr. Armstrong is quoted as stating that he was not advocating the creation of incriminating evidence and that he did not propose to “be stuffing things into their comm baskets.”

We are aware of no other evidence which might lend criminal significance to the statements of Mr. Armstrong. We can find, therefore, no basis for a further investigation of the allegation that Penal Code Section 134 has been violated.

Extortion (Penal Code Section 518) is the obtaining of property from another with his consent, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear. The fear may be induced by a threat to injure a person or property, or to accuse the victim or a relative of crime, or to impute to any of them a deformity, disgrace, or crime, or to expose a secret affecting any of them. Penal Code Section 524 makes it a felony to attempt to commit extortion.

Assuming that it can be proved that Gerald Armstrong expressed the views alleged regarding the “way to the man’s mind” and that he wrote the note referring to “ASI” and “WDC”, that does not appear to us to be evidence that he or anyone obtained or

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Eleven

attempted to obtain property from anyone by means of any threat. We therefore find no basis for further investigation of the allegation that Gerald Armstrong committed extortion.

The solicitation of another person to commit or join in the commission of burglary, receiving stolen property, or forgery is a felony, the proof of whose commission requires the testimony of two witnesses or of one witness plus evidence of corroborating circumstances. To convict a person of solicitation,
the prosecution must prove that he asked another person to commit a crime with the specific intent that it be committed.

The solicitation of burglary requires a request that one enter a building or other specific place (See Penal Code Section 459) intending to commit larceny or a felony; the solicitation of receiving stolen property requires a request that one receive property that one knows has been stolen; the solicitation of forgery, a request that one, with the intent to defraud, sign without authority another’s name or counterfeit his handwriting, or make any of the false documents specified in Penal Code Section 470, or knowingly utter such falsified document, signature, or handwriting.

Assuming that the allegations are true that Gerald Armstrong told “Joey” to type staff work, that “issues can be created.” that “something should be done so that they can capitalize on getting stuff into writing,” that “if we can get anything on Ingram (or) Peterson (or) finance records…, it’s all vital,” and that “Joey” should find what payments went to attorneys; and, further assuming it to be true that Armstrong gave “Joey” a list which specified “plan” or “anything” ” on” certain matters and stated “get me an original …issue type”; that he told “Joey” he had given and would give documents “to the Feds,” that he could duplicate things and create documents, and that something could be pasted and photocopied; these allegations nonetheless do not constitute evidence that Mr.  Armstrong, with the requisite intent, asked anyone to commit the crime of burglary, receiving stolen property, or forgery. We therefore find no basis for further investigation of the allegation that Gerald Armstrong violated Penal Code section 653f.

A person aids and abets the commission of a crime if, with knowledge of the perpetrator’s unlawful purpose and with the intent to encourage or facilitate the commission of the crime, he aids, promotes, or instigates its commission.

Rev. Ken Hoden, et al.
April 25, 1986
Page Twelve

The documents submitted to us indicate that Gerald Armstrong gave “Joey” Al Lipkin’s telephone number, that he told ” Joey” that he had told Lipkin some people might want to talk to him, that he told “Joey” that he had told Lipkin to go after Peterson, and that he mentioned Al Ristuccia to “Joey”. The  allegations regarding Michael Flynn are described above.

None of those allegations is itself evidence of any unlawful connection between those men and Mr. Armstrong. Further, since we have been presented with no significant evidence of any unlawful conduct on the part of Mr. Armstrong, we do not find that there is sufficient evidence to warrant further investigation
of the allegations that Al Lipkin, Al Ristuccia, or Michael Flynn aided and abetted the commission of any crime.

In addition to the lack of evidence set forth above, it must also be noted that, lacking knowledge of the manner in which the video tape recordings were obtained, we do not know whether their acquisition violated either United States or California law. If it violated federal law, material thus acquired even
if relevant – which it does not appear to be -might be inadmissible in evidence.

For all of the reasons described above, we have concluded that there is no evidence in support of the allegations of criminal conduct on the part of Daryl Gates, Al Lipkin, Al Ristuccia , Gerald Armstrong, and Michael Flynn. Accordingly, we shall take no further action in this matter, and our file is closed.

Very truly yours,

IRA REINER District Attorney
Assistant District Attorney

By [signed]
Deputy District Attorney


c: Chief Daryl Gates, L.A.P.D.
Ron Townsend, I.R.S.
Al Lipkin, I.R.S.
Al Ristuccia, I.R.S.
Gerald Armstrong
Michael Flynn

[page break]


1. This is set forth in a document entitled “6. Obstruction of Justice”.

2. See Exhibit 7 attached to “6. Obstruction of Justice.”

3. See Exhibit 11 attached to “6. Obstruction of Justice.”

4. See Number 1, above.

5. See document entitled “5. Conspiracy.”

6. See Number 1, above.

7. See document entitled “2. Soliciting… .”

8. See document entitled “1. Soliciting… .”

9. See Number 5, above.

10. See document entitled “4. Preparation of False Documentary Evidence.”

11. See document entitled “3. Extortion.”

12. See document entitled “1. Soliciting… .”

13. See Exhibit 1 page 16.

14. See document entitled “2. Soliciting… .”

15. See Number 1, above.

16. See Number 5, above.

17. See Number 8, above.

18. During our December 10 meeting, Messrs. Peterson and Butterworth identified “J” as “Joey”.


  1. This letter in PDF format.

Letter from John G. Peterson to LA DA (October 24, 1985)

(213) 659-9965


October 24, 1985

Robert Jorgensen
Assistant Head Special Investigations
LA District Attorney’s Office
210 W. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: Violations of California Criminal Statutes by Gerald Armstrong, Michael Flynn, Al Lipkin, Al Ristuccia, and Daryl Gates1

Dear Mr. Jorgensen,

I have not received a response from you to my letter of a month ago. Additionally, I have not received a call from you from last week, when I was attempting to ascertain the true facts behind the Police Department’s intention to call you as their witness in the Board of Rights on police officer Phillip Rodriguez.

Unfortunately, I am forming an impression that you have not taken our complaint seriously, as it was originally lodged with the District Attorney three months ago.

We have sent you more than adequate documentation of crimes conceived and perpetrated by Mr. Armstrong, and resultant cover-up actions done by IRS agents and the Chief of Police of Los Angeles. We are awaiting investigation of this matter by the District Attorney’s office as the crimes involved are serious and ongoing.

I am sending you with this letter an affidavit from a Boston Church of Scientology staff member who was interrupted and harassed by Gerald Armstrong on Sunday, October 13, 1985.2 Armstrong impersonated an FBI officer during this encounter. A complaint3  has been lodged with the Boston FBI office and is being followed up by that office right now.

You will recall from our complaint that Armstrong has sought the shelter of more than one government agency in the midst of his conspiracy to destroy a religion. He is a) continuing to do that; b) continuing his pattern of harassment against the Church of Scientology.

I really think that your office has had adequate time to review the original complaint and the subsequent materials I sent. The Church of Scientology has an admirable record in prevention of crime, combating drug abuse, and championing the cause of freedom. It fully deserves the support of all law enforcement agencies.

Let us now move forward without delay into the investigation of the charges the Church of Scientology has lodged with your office. And please be so kind as to respond to the complaint we lodged with your office a month ago and inform us of the actions you are taking in this matter.

Very truly yours,

[Signed] John Peterson

John Peterson
Attorney at Law

cc: Ira Reiner
District Attorney

cc: Stephen Sowders
Special Investigations
Office of the District Attorney


  1. This document in PDF format.
  2. See Affidavit of Mitra Hall ( October 17, 1985).
  3. See FBI Complaint filed against GA by Scientologist Mitra Hall.

Declaration of Michael Flynn (September 24, 1985)


I, MICHAEL J. FLYNN, swear under the pains and penalties of perjury that the following is true and correct.

1) I am the attorney for Gerald Armstrong. In April-June 1984, I appeared for Mr. Armstrong as trial counsel in the case of Church of Scientology and Mary Sue Hubbard v. Gerald Armstrong, Los Angeles Superior Court.

2) During the Armstrong trial, extensive evidence was introduced, both documentary and testimonial, relating to the fraudulent and criminal conduct of L. Ron Hubbard in connection with his relationship with the Church of Scientology. This conduct began in the 1950’s and continued at least up until November 1982 as established by the evidence in the trial.

3) There was also extensive evidence in the Armstrong trial relating to L. Ron Hubbard’s background, which for the most part, had been completely falsified by the Church and by L. Ron Hubbard with respect to Hubbard’s professional, educational, health, military career and marital background qualifications and credentials. Literally thousands of documents in the form of hundreds of exhibits supported an overwhelming testimonial record that Hubbard was in fact, a “pathological liar” as eventually ruled by the Trial Court, and that he had in fact, manipulated and absconded with Church funds.

4) During the trial, specific issues arose relating to the “MCCS Mission” which was a Scientology/Hubbard program to conceal Hubbard’s control of Scientology, shield him from liability, shield him from the fact that millions of dollars of Church funds had been funnelled to him, and to perpetuate this fraud in the future without Hubbard incurring liability for it. Although the Court actually sealed the “MCCS” tapes containing such evidence, there was evidence relating to Hubbard’s control of Church funds in the trial itself and in an affidavit of Gerald Armstrong that had previously been filed in the case of Burden v. Church of Scientology. This affidavit specifically relates to the MCCS Mission. The affidavit is not under seal and has never been under seal. This affidavit specifically quotes from the MCCS tapes which are under seal. In one of the tapes as set forth in the Armstrong affidavit, the highest legal official of the Church of Scientology is quoted as saying that Hubbard’s taking 2.1 million dollars of Church funds “was a classic case of inurement, if not fraud.” The tapes also reveal, as set forth in the Armstrong affidavit, that throughout the history of the Church, while it was holding itself out as an entirely legitimate, separate and distinct religious corporate entity,


5) As a result of the foregoing evidence and an abundance of additional extremely detailed evidence, for the most part supported by documents including cancelled checks, Swiss bank account numbers, correspondence and miscellaneous other documents, it became obvious that Hubbard had in fact, engaged in criminal and fraudulent conduct with respect to his control of the Church of Scientology. Much of this evidence and the conclusions about Hubbard’s conduct were reported extensively in the media in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the St. Petersburg Times, the Clearwater Sun and additional publications. It is my assumption that as a result of this extensive media coverage, at some time after the Armstrong trial, and after the Court had issued its findings of fact, the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS began an investigation. After the Armstrong trial, I was contacted by several investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division of the Los Angeles office of the Internal Revenue Service.
6) I was first contacted by Mr. Al Lipkin, Mr.Daniel Rocha, and Mr. Al Restuccia of the C.I.D. These gentlemen informed me that they were conducting an

investigation in connection with the Church of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard and they sought my cooperation. I told them that I would give them my full cooperation and provide copies of any documents, affidavits, exhibits, etc. which were not under seal and which related to the Church of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. I also told them that my clients, which included numerous former high level Scientologists, including Gerald Armstrong, William Franks, Laurel Sullivan, Howard Schomer, and others would give their full cooperation in connection with the investigation of the C.I.D. Mr. Lipkin and either Mr. Ristuccia or Mr. Rocha came to my office and spent several days examining documents relative to this subject. They thereafter contacted many of my clients.



7) At no time did Mr. Restuccia, Mr. Lipkin, Mr. Rocha or any other member of the C.I.D., or for that matter any other state or federal agency ever provide any information to me as to the course of their investigation, the evidence that they had collected, their conclusions, or anything else. In fact, Mr. Restuccia, Mr. Rocha and Mr. Lipkin conducted themselves with the utmost professional courtesy and discretion, and never disclosed any information to me of any nature or description during the course of their investigation.

8) Subsequently, pursuant to its written policies,


including the “Fair Game Doctrine,” “Attack the Attacker” and its “Black Propaganda” policies, the Church of Scientology engaged in a world-wide smear campaign, through press conferences, news releases, and publication of its Freedom magazine claiming that myself and several of my clients including Gerald Armstrong were in a massive conspiracy with the IRS, the FBI, the United States Government, the Canadian Government, the United States Attorney’s Office, and sundry others to destroy freedom of religion in America. These claims are absurd on their face. Among the more specific and ridiculous allegations of Hubbard and Scientology are that C.I.D. agents offered or promised various benefits to myself and my clients in exchange for manufacturing evidence and in effect framing L. Ron Hubbard and his Church. Suffice it to say that these allegations are completely unfounded, totally false and have no basis in fact or reality. Indeed, the allegations themselves reflect the paranoid condition of both Hubbard and the Church which was noted by the trial judge in the Armstrong. The judge specifically ruled that the  Church and Hubbard were “paranoid and schizophrenic,” were actually utilizing the “Fair Game Doctrine” right up to the time of the trial to “destroy” Hubbard’s perceived enemies, and that it had engaged in forms of blackmail and extortion.

9) Upon information and belief, the present campaign of the Church of Scientology alleging the conspiracy between


myself and various governmental agencies, is simply an effort to divert the ever-increasing compendium of legal decisions which have reached the same conclusions as the court in the Armstrong case with regard to the background and activities of Hubbard and his Church. In order to avoid civil and criminal sanctions for their past conduct, Hubbard is now engaging in his classic Black propaganda campaign to attack and discredit those who are engaged in litigation against him. In fact, there is no truth in the absurd claims of him and his agents.

Signed under the pains and penalties of perjury this 24th day of September, 1985 under the laws of California, Massachusetts, and Florida.

[signed Michael J. Flynn]



  1. This document in PDF format.

Scientology’s edited version of the illegal videos (narrated by Heber Jentzsch) (ca. mid 1985)


  1. Heber Jentzsch: “In July 1985, the video transcript was presented to several congressmen and queries were forwarded to the IRS.”

Freedom: (May 1985)


Freedom (May 1985)

  • IRS Strategic Plan Exposed1
  • Videotapes of Federal Informant Reveal Bizarre Plot to Destroy Church
  • Agencies in Turmoil As Conspiracy Exposed: Freedom’s expose of the Armstrong videotapes has created an uproar in a number of government agencies and departments


  1. This document in image format. This document in PDF format.