I began to recall being on the other side of the fence when Gerry Armstrong had to defend himself against Scientology style black ops for years. Scientology sued Jerry for absconding with 22 banker boxes of personal documents and artifacts of L Ron Hubbard. I’m not trying to retell the story of Jerry Armstrong here but ultimately, Scientology paid Jerry a settlement of $800.000 in exchange for his promise not to copy or discloses the content of the banker boxes he’d taken. What the hell was in those boxes? It’s a fascinating, well documented cock up of what happened when author Omar Garrison and his research assistant Gerry Armstrong verified L Ron’s actual education and military record history among other subjects. In a nutshell, too much of the information they were able to factually verify of L Ron’s past was contemptuously contrary to the yarn L Ron spun for his devout adherents and any other ear that could hear. Gerry Armstrong went on to violate his agreement with Scientology hundreds of times and is still perused by Scientology’s attach dog legal machine. I know something about this because I was present and informed about Jerry’s legal troubles with Scientology as they was happening. I recall being present when the conditions of the settlement agreement between Gerry Armstrong and Scientology (Which in effect included whatever was best for Author Services Inc, ASI) was negotiated.
From 1983 until the settlement in 1986, I would receive on a daily basis, usually sometime between 6-8 pm, intelligence reports generated by staff of Special Project Operations (ASI), OSA and RTC concerning secret and illegal operations by Scientology against Jerry, his lawyer Michael Flynn, and other plaintiffs represented by Michael Flynn’s firm. The operations against Jerry’s lawyer included having knowledge of someone putting water in the gas tank of an airplane piloted by Michael Flynn with his son on board. There was instant access into the lives of people who were deemed enemy’s Scientology through well paid and placed private investigators. These professionals sold their services to their Scientology paymasters because they had the latest modern bugging technology that was confirmed US CIA grade technology. Scientology was able to buy the services of ex-police, ex-FBI and other agency. Phone records were a fruitful source of information. Through illegally obtaining phone records Scientology always seemed to be a step ahead of their perceived enemies. ASI lead attorney was Earle Cooley. A big part of his job as legal council was to made sure we rode a fine line to separate church principles from the illegal activities sanctioned by the same principles.
There were years of board room meeting at ASI to figure out how to get rid of Jerry Armstrong, L Ron junior, David Mayo and a few other people who had devoted their lives in servitude to L Ron and his grand ideas. All of these devoted people turned out to be Suppressive Persons all along according to the instructions from L Ron via his publishing organization ASI. It was new management’s job to hunt them down and get them put in jail. Some may recall during the early to mid 1980’s L Ron got a bug up his ass and thought he had the power to have people criminally prosecuted for disobeying or being out of step with what he wanted. This is way past just having a stick up your ass, he really wanted this done and some people did get set up and went to jail. It was required protocol to hate and contribute to the destruction of men and women that I had never met or laid eyes on. We would be sitting in the board room at L Ron’s Author Services organization reading advice’s from L Ron calling for the heads of staff he felt offended him somehow. Listening to Miscavige and other staff figuring out ever clever ways to get rid of the people who were aggravating poor L Ron. As we sat there making up plans to attach the very same people who were at L Ron’s side doing everything in their power to do his will. L Ron never wavered when it came to annihilating the oldest and closest devote adherents he had. There is no retirement in the business of Scientology. Ron taught his prodigy to quickly and quietly get rid of the most loyal staff members without remorse.
There were banker boxes full of “advises” from L Ron spewing hate filled vitriol about Jerry. The information that Jerry provided to Russell Miller and Jon Attack about L Ron’s actual history did in fact exposed his underbelly and pulled back the curtains on his imaginary life he expected others to believe.
During the negotiations to settle with Jerry Armstrong the settlement was intentionally construed to make it too easy for anyone to claim Jerry had violated his agreement with Scientology. Those who were present knew this settlement, that still plagues Jerry today was not done in good faith. The actual intent of the settlement was to cause Jerry to be incarcerated for violation of his settlement agreement2 and that is exactly what has happened. The other factor is this; Jerry didn’t want to take any of Scientology’s money and he didn’t want to settle. He was in effect forced to settle by his own lawyer Michael Flynn. Michael Flynn and his whole family had been hounded by Scientology hired thugs and they were tired of it. Flynn was also the attorney of record for other ex-Scientologist in a civil class action lawsuit….you get the idea. We had them right where we wanted. Each person received a settlement but Jerry was the only hold out. We even knew about the deteriorating relationship between Jerry Armstrong and lawyer Michael Flynn because we were the ones causing the confusion. In the end Jerry was forced to settle or be attached by his own attorney who wanted out and had been working on contingency anyway. There are standard legal agreements a plaintiff makes with a lawyer who takes on a case on contingency. The rule and agreement that comes into play is the plaintiff will agree to settle the case if there a reasonable offer on the table. Jerry was obligated to accept the settlement. Someone can say that better than me but you get the idea, Jerry was forced to settle, then he was set up to violate the settlement whereby Scientology would recover its money times three and if possible get him arrested and put in jail.
After years of acting like I hated people I’d never met or seen with my eyes like Jerry Armstrong took some getting use to. Getting Jerry had been en grained in my mind. Even after being out of the cult for some years. I remember the first time I talked with Jerry years after I had left the cult. On a physical level I felt uncomfortable being around him or even engaging in personal or meaningful conversation. On a certain level I was afraid of Jerry and this made no sense. None of that changed the facts of how all of this made me feel emotionally. In L Ron’s alternative reality, it was considered a flaw to openly show or express emotion or empathy. We were all just ever replaceable characters in L Ron’s movie. Suffice to say I didn’t foster or encourage a speaking relationship with Jerry because I didn’t want to. The problem is this is how Scientology technology is designed to protect itself in the minds of its own.
Long before I testified in a court of law as an expert witness, Jerry had already been there doing that, the same as I would do later. The real truth is when I met Jerry I had not entirely overcome the misconceptions and false information I’d learned about him through the years. I was dismissive of Jerry and didn’t fully appreciate, let alone realize the personal sacrifice and contribution he made when he exposed L Ron for being the lying ass clown he was.
It was only after reading the Russell Miller book with fresh eyes that I finally better understanding and more fully appreciated the work Jerry did. Since I’ve read the books again with fresh eyes so much has changed. I know I was Jerry when I woke up from the spell and stopped lying for and protecting Scientology. That meant it was my turn to be persecuted by juvenile intelligence tactics, endlessly financed on behalf of dead L Ron. These days both Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder are Jerry too! No one owes or is obligated to me for anything and ultimately it may not matter what I think but I will say this. I don’t monitor Scientology activities anymore like I use to. That being said, It sure does make me smile when someone sends me something about Mike Rinder speaking out. He’s even been known to refer to Scientology as a cult. This is the guy who was the public face of Scientology for years! My heart goes out to him and his new family. These days Mike doesn’t mince words when tells people about Scientology, what a turnaround bless him. Marty Rathbun is probably the most knowledgeable person in existence when it comes to how Scientology plays ball in a law suit. From what I can tell he and his wife are progressing excellently with their lawsuit against Scientology, you have my blessing for that.
From Tony Ortega’s blog post of July 29, 2014:
Hana joined Scientology in 1965, became Clear number 60, then went to sea with L. Ron Hubbard, who made her captain of one of his ships. Increasingly disillusioned by what she saw of Hubbard up close, and especially after the material released in “OT 3,” she eventually left Scientology in 1984 and then became one of the most well known critics and intervention specialists. By 1991, she was probably the biggest “SP” on the planet, and the attention paid to her by the church’s private eyes proved it…
During her interview, Hana says, “I think that if Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder ever decide to talk about this, they will talk about some of the operations that were launched against us, because they were extensive.”
We talked to Rinder, who said that between 1986 and 1993, he wasn’t working with OSA except for a period regarding Gerry Armstrong and some other specific matters. In 1991, when Hana’s surveillance was so heavy, Rinder says he was working on the LRH Life Exhibition as LRH PPRO Int (personal public relations international) after a stint in the Rehabilitation Project Force, the Sea Org’s prison detail. He says he had no experience in or oversight of the operations against Hana and Jerry Whitfield.
“But I have no doubt that they underwent the same things that were done to Vaughn and Stacy Young, or Graham Berry, or others I am familiar with” he says. “Private eyes following them, calling in complaints against them, moving in next door, listening in on cordless phone calls, the whole thing,” Rinder says. 1
Gerry wrote Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder many times and asked them to debrief about the extensive operations that were launched against him. He has made no secret of what was wanted, and what it was for, but have published openly. From March 2014:
I am not asking Marty or Mike for a deep psycho-philosophical shift, when, for example, a person changes from lying as a pro-survival activity and way of life and starts to value and desire truth telling and that becomes a way of life. I am also not denying that such a shift could perhaps occur, or be related. I think testifying seventy-some days in Scientology litigations might have altered me psycho-philosophically, and certainly being M & M & every other Scientologist’s target for all these years has.
I believe, however, that the testimony or truth that Marty and Mike can provide me, which would assist in correcting injustices, can be provided in a couple of days. They know how to debrief, know how to tell the truth, and have always had the ability. The idea that Scientologists cannot tell the truth or do not know truth from lies is a ruse that some Scientologists use to escape responsibility and natural consequences for the bad acts they know they’ve committed against their victims, or are still committing.
Marty and Mike are at cause over their refusal to now assist the people they helped to damage or destroy by intimidation, litigation and defamation activities. Their condition or their place in their long or short path of waking, recovery and healing is not why they have not assisted their victims. They had the ability to assist people while inside Scientology and the Sea Org, and the idea that they have lost that ability since leaving is ridiculous. They also have the same reasons for refusing to assist their victims that they had while in the SO. They did not acquire a new set of reasons for doing what they had always done: something or anything other than assisting their victims, giving justice, telling the truth.
I am just requesting the narrow, relevant truth about a clear and active matter: Marty, Mike, Hubbard, Miscavige, et al. v. Armstrong & friends. Marty and Mike are two individuals with a great deal of information, who are now presenting as fighters for justice who have told the truth about their part in victimizing others. Since they have not told the truth, and do not seek justice, even in correcting injustices they perpetrated and can help correct, the logical conclusion is that they are “Loyalists” mispresenting themselves.2
See also this note that includes Rinder’s clarification of why, as Graham Berry wondered, he had “not done anything to assist redeem, or apologize, those others of us who were damaged and/or destroyed by OSA’s intimidation, litigation and defamation activities.” It’s his timelessness.3
February 17, 2014
Clayton C. Ruby, Esquire
Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan
11 Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5R 1B2
By: Canada Post
Dear Mr. Ruby:
In April 1985, during the trial of Julie Christofferson v. Scientology in Portland, Oregon, cult attorney John Peterson stated to the court that you, Mr. Ruby, were responsible for the unlawful video recording you dishonestly call “a police authorized video” in your 1992 letter to Ms. Yingling.1
If a corrupt police officer signed an unlawful note authorizing you to murder someone you hated – like me for example – would you call that a police authorized murder?
Peterson said that you hired Eugene Ingram, the Scientologists’ most notorious private investigator, and you ordered the unlawful video recording, not Peterson and not the Scientology cultists. Your PI Ingram threatened to assassinate me, threatened to put a bullet between my eyes, as I’m sure you know.
At first I thought Peterson was lying in the Portland court, hiding his own and the Scientologists’ complicity in the unlawful Armstrong operation, and using the fact that you were in Canada and outside subpoena range for the Christofferson trial. Because of my discovery yesterday of your letter to Ms. Yingling, however, I have had to reconsider your involvement. I now believe that you conspired with Peterson and the Scientologists.
If attorney Peterson is to be believed at all, then you paid the corrupt LAPD officer for the unlawful “authorizations” to eaves drop on, wiretap and record my attorney Michael Flynn and me.2
Peterson also stated that you alone as of April 1985 possessed the unlawful video recordings. So I have to conclude that you are responsible for the dishonest editing of the videos, for the dishonest transcripts, and for the black propaganda the videos have been used for all these years.
I do not believe that your one letter to Ms. Yingling is your only communication about your video recordings, or your only communication lying about and black PRing me or Flynn. I think your one letter that surfaced is but the tip of a monstrous criminal black propaganda berg.
I believe that as willing as you have been to do what you have done in service of the Scientology cult, there is almost no limit to what you would do to a person you want to victimize like me. You are a criminal defense attorney with many connections into the criminal underworld, and into criminals like Ingram to do your dirty work. The Scientology cult has long had associations with dangerous criminals, and has a practice of hiring psychopaths. I believe I am in more danger from you and your clients and cohorts than ever.
Your Scientologist clients have physically assaulted me on multiple occasions, terrorized me on the freeway, broken into my car and stolen valuable property, framed me and tried to have me prosecuted on false criminal charges, obtained unlawful jail sentences against me, forced me into bankruptcy, black PRed me around the world up to the top of governments, run covert ops on me, forged my signature over racist Internet postings, and even hired prominent people like you to destroy me. You are the enemy of good people, and the world should know it for everyone’s safety.
I understand that even the most criminal even murderous people deserve legal representation. I have no problem with that concept. I have a serious problem, however, with the lawyers who lie for their criminal clients.
You also can correct all this. But you can’t correct it with more lies, or hiring more thugs. You have to tell the truth and remedy the lies and black PR you’ve spread about me, Flynn and your Scientologist clients’ other enemies or victims.
- For videos, transcripts and related documents: http://armstrong-op.gerryarmstrong.ca/the-illegal-videos ↩
- See Peterson’s trial testimony in Christofferson. ↩
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.
- Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (pp. 255-64). ↩
- GA: I mentioned Rathbun’s Chapter 21, which he titles “The Juggernaut,” in a recent letter to Dan Sherman. http://gerryarmstrong.ca/archives/1082 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. ↩