Public Policy (January 25, 2015)

by Gerry Armstrong 1

Caroline on ESMB: Gerry concluded some time ago that the key to the IRS decision and its cancellation is the “public policy” issue, or actually public policy violations issue. This explains why neither Rathbun nor Rinder have told the truth about their fair gaming of Gerry, Mike Flynn, etc., and have not told the truth about false statements to and dealings with the IRS. From the Introduction to the Armstrong Operation: […]

Wildcat on ESMB: This is good information, thank you! Can you provide a link or clarification about the “public policy” issue? I’m not sure what that is, but am very interested to know more.

Public policy. That principle of the law which holds that no subject can lawfully do that which has a tendency to be injurious to the public or against the public good. The principles under which the freedom of contract or private dealings is restricted by law for the good of the community. The term “policy,” as applied to a statute, regulation, rule of law, course of action, or the like, refers to its probable effect, tendency, or object, considered with reference to the social or political well-being of the state. Thus, certain classes of acts are said to be “against public policy,” when the law refuses to enforce or recognize them, on the ground that they have a mischievous tendency, so as to be injurious to the interests of the state, apart from illegality or immorality. — Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition

To see how “public policy” fits into the Scientologists’ IRS scheme, start with the September 1984 judgment in Church of Scientology of California v. Commissioner of IRS.2

The US was very aware of the Scientologists’ public policy violations against government, organizations and individuals because of the documents seized in the 1977 FBI raids, and because of testimony of Exscientologists. A broad statement reflecting the US’s knowledge of such public policy violations is provided in the December 1980 Sentencing Memorandum in the US v. Jane Kember & Mo Budlong case.

Thus, as the evidence shows, these defendants orchestrated an elaborate cover-up, beginning in June 1976 and continuing through   June 1977 and, no doubt, thereafter.  In fact, a significant part of the defense they presented at trial — their attack on the integrity and reliability of Michael Meisner — was foreshadowed in the “obstruction documents.”  They presented this Court with a shabby attempt at impeaching Meisner’s credibility by claiming that he stole money from the Church — the same false claim they made against another former Scientologist who had the courage to expose their crimes and thus fell victim to their fair game doctrine. Allard v. Church of Scientology of California, 58 Cal. App. 3d 439, 129 Cal. Rprtr. 797 (Ct. App, 1976), cert. denied, 97 S. Ct. 1101 (1977).

[…]

Other Crimes Committed by These Defendants

The defendants’ contention that they committed the crimes of which they stand convicted in order to protect their Church from Government harassment collapses when one reviews a sample of the remaining documents seized by the FBI during the execution of the two Los Angeles search warrants.  If anything, these documents establish beyond doubt that the defendants, their convicted co-defendants, and their unindicted co-conspirators, as well as their organization, considered themselves above the law.  They believed that they had carte blanche to violate the rights of others, frame critics in order to destroy them, burglarize private and public offices and steal documents outlining the strategy of individuals and organizations that the Church had sued. These suits were filed by the Church for the sole purpose of financially bankrupting its critics and in order to create an atmosphere of fear so that critics would shy away from exercising the First Amendment rights secured them by the Constitution. [ ] The defendants and their cohorts launched vicious smear campaigns, spreading falsehoods against those they perceived to be enemies of Scientology in order to discredit them and, in some instances, to cause them to lose their employment. Their targets included, among others, The American Medical Association (AMA) which had branded Scientology’s practice of “dianetics” as “quackery”; the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which sought to respond to private citizens’ inquiries about the courses offered by Scientology, newspapers which merely sought to report the news and inform the public, law firms which represented individuals and organizations against whom Scientology initiated law suits (often for the sole purpose of harassment); private citizens who attempted to exercise their First Amendment rights to criticize an organization whose tactics they condemned; and public officials who sought to carry out the duties for which they were elected or appointed in a fair and even-handed manner. To these defendants and their associates, however, anyone who did not agree with them was considered to be an enemy against whom the so-called “fair game doctrine” could be invoked. [cite]  That doctrine provides that anyone perceived to be an enemy of Scientology or a “suppressive person”  “[m]ay be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without discipline of the Scientologist.  [He m]ay be tricked, sued, lied to, or destroyed.” [cite] This policy, together with the actions of these defendants who represent the very top leadership of the Church of Scientology, bring into question their claim that their Church prohibited the commission of illegal acts.

[…]

Conclusion

The above recitation of evidence establishes beyond dispute the massive and insidious nature of the crimes these two defendants engaged in over the years.  It also puts to rest their protestation, articulated by Mary Sue Hubbard from the witness stand, that they only burglarized Government offices and stole Government documents because of some imaginary Governmental harassment campaign against them.

The brazen and persistent burglaries and thefts directed against the United States Government were but one minor aspect of the defendants’ wanton assault upon the laws of this country.  The well-orchestrated campaign to thwart the federal Grand Jury investigation by destroying evidence, giving false evidence in response to a Grand Jury subpoena, harboring a fugitive, kidnapping a crucial witness, preparing an elaborate cover-up story, and assisting in the giving of false statements under oath shows the contempt which these defendants had for the judicial system of this country.  Their total disregard for the laws is further made clear by the criminal campaigns of vilification, burglaries and thefts which they carried out against private and public individuals    and organizations, carefully documented in minute detail.  One can   only wonder about the crimes set forth in the documents secreted in their “Red Box” data.  That these defendants were willing to frame their critics to the point of giving false testimony under oath against them, and having them arrested and indicted speaks legion for their disdain for the rule of law.  Indeed, they arrogantly placed themselves above the law meting out their personal brand of punishment to those “guilty” of opposing their selfish aims.

The crimes committed by these defendants is of a breadth and scope previously unheard.  No building, office, desk, or files was safe from their snooping and prying.  No individual or organization was free from their despicable scheming and warped minds. The tools of their trade were miniature transmitters, lock picks, secret codes, forged credentials, and any other devices they found necessary to carry out their heinous schemes.  It is interesting to note that the Founder of their organization, unindicted co-conspirator L. Ron Hubbard, wrote in his dictionary entitled “Modern Management Technology Defined” that “truth is what is true for you,” and “illegal” is that which is “contrary to statistics or policy” and not pursuant to Scientology’s “approved program.”  Thus, with the Founder-Commodore’s blessings they could wantonly commit crimes as long as it was in the interest of Scientology.

These defendants rewarded criminal activities that ended in success and sternly rebuked those that failed.  The standards of human conduct embodied in such practices represent no less than the absolute perversion of any known ethical value system.  In view of this, it defies the imagination that these defendants have the unmitigated audacity to seek to defend their actions in the name of “religion.”  That these defendants now attempt to hide behind the sacred principles of freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the right to privacy — which principles they repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to violate with impunity — adds insult to the injuries which they have inflicted on every element of society.

These defendants, their co-conspirators, their organization, and any other individual or group that might consider committing similar crimes, must be given a clear and convincing message: criminal activities of the types engaged in here shall not be tolerated by our society.3

In July 1987, the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals affirmed the Tax Court’s 1984 judgment in CSC v. Commissioner. Because the Ninth Circuit affirmed on the ground of inurement to L. Ron Hubbard, it did not address the public policy issue.

We conclude that the Church failed to establish that “no part of the net earnings … inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual….” 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3). Because we may affirm the Tax Court on this ground, we do not reach the questions of whether the Church operated for a substantial commercial purpose or whether it violated public policy. 4

Because the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Tax Court judgment only on the ground of inurement, it did not mean that the IRS could ignore the other grounds for denial of tax exemption if the Scientologists cured their inurement problem. Hubbard’s death solved inurement. The Scientologists solved their public policy problem by committing more public policy violations against the people who were already victims of the Scientologists’ public policy violations. For corrupt reasons, the US abetted the Scientologists, indeed required such public policy violations.

The Scientologists’ strategy, as has long been known, became to blame their Guardian’s Office for everything off-public policy the Scientologists had been caught doing, disband the GO as a rogue operation, and swear that public policy violations were no longer committed or permitted. The Scientologists, of course, first under Hubbard and then under Miscavige, continued violating public policy unabated, and probably even escalated public policy violating by having the GO to scapegoat.

The blaming of the GO, and the smearing of the Scientologists’ public policy violation victims by association with the GO, is a key theme in the Scientologists’ negotiated submissions to the IRS upon which tax exemption was granted in 1993. The Scientologists, and the IRS, had to deal with the public policy issue that is so prominent in the 1984 Tax Court judgment. These submissions, negotiated to demonstrate that public policy violations had ended with the GO, are actually irrefutable, and astonishing, proof that Scientologists continued violating public policy, directed by the very top leadership of Scientology. 5

There are, naturally, many years of evidence of the Scientologists’ public policy-violating activities since their exemption-reaping submissions. Their actions against me in violation of public policy started during the Hubbard regime and have not stopped throughout the Miscavige regime. In significant part, the Scientologists’ actions targeting me as an SP or enemy comprise a conspiracy against rights (18 USC 241), which clearly is against public policy. The Scientologists’ public policy violations in targeting me in their submissions to the IRS are stunning. In negotiating with the Scientologists to file this material targeting me, by requiring or permitting this material to be filed, and by interference of any kind against me on behalf of the Scientologists ever since, the US has been participating in their criminal conspiracy, and vice versa.

Although in his 2013 book Memoirs Mark Rathbun did not confront his participation in the Scientology-IRS conspiracy, which defrauded Americans and criminally prejudiced the SP class, he did disclose a number of things that are useful in examining certain of the Scientologists’ fact statements in their IRS submissions. Comparing the public policy sections of these submissions with the US’s knowledge of public policy violations as shown in the 1980 US v. Kember sentencing memorandum, and analyzing both fact sets with what Rathbun has disclosed or what is known from other sources, would be a logical next step.

 Notes

GA Letter to Jesse Prince (November 14, 2014)

Dear Jesse:

In my November 9 communication1, I mentioned that I would deal later with fact errors about me in your article,2 and I’m doing so now. I excerpted the section of the article that concerns me, and commented where I thought correction or clarification was needed.

JP: 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.

What I had to defend against was war. It is understandable that the Scientologists waged Scientology style war; but because it is solely Scientologists, and their mercenaries, of course, who are waging it, and all in the cause of Scientology and in application of Scientology scriptural directives, it is proper to call what I had to defend against “war,” the Scientologists’ war on me.

Black ops are an essential option and channel in the Scientologists’ war machine. Again, because the Scientologists are the entities running the black ops, they’re properly Scientology black ops, rather than Scientology style black ops. If the Catholic Church has a war machine, and its black ops department got a writer’s finger prints on a sheet of paper and sent a threat letter to the Pope to get her falsely charged criminally, that would be a Scientology style black op. Or if the Catholic Church’s black ops department, with the Pope’s blessing and guidance, trained and drilled a priest to get close to some guy by pretending to be friendly, truthful and loving but really being an enemy, lying to the guy, covertly hostile to him and working for his destruction; then the priest and the Pope’s other agents covertly and unlawfully videotape their victim and pay a crooked cop for a license to do so; then the Pope and the whole Catholic Church hierarchy lie about their priest’s and their victim’s actions and words and even bear false witness against him in legal proceedings around the world; then the whole Catholic Church hierarchy conspires to frame the guy and have him criminally prosecuted; and then the whole Catholic Church hierarchy get their parishioners to join in the hate, the lies and the framing; that would be a Scientology style black op.

I am still the victim of the Scientologists’ black ops, which comprise an aspect of the war they wage on different fronts and channels. Certain aspects are very visible, so are not really black ops, even though the visible parts are targets on programs that contain black ops department targets as well. The Scientologists’ legal operations in their war on me are largely visible, even if their black and invisible ops might determine judicial outcomes; e.g., judge-, witness-, jury-, attorney-tampering. Much of what I had to defend against, and spent my time defending against during the years you were part of the Scientologists’ war effort, was their lawfare machine. Despite being in the throes of litigation, of course, someone doesn’t have to lose the awareness that Scientologists comprise an intelligence cult and always have black ops targeting people, certainly their adversaries in the legal arena.

In any case, you were in the Scientology hierarchy during some of the years when I defended against the actions of the Scientologists and their collaborators in their war on me. This would be the 1980’s into the early 1990’s.

JP: Scientology sued Jerry for absconding with 22 banker boxes of personal documents and artifacts of L Ron Hubbard.

No. I did not abscond as you describe it. I did abscond, in that I blew, I deserted –from post, from serving Hubbard, from the Sea Org, and from Scientology. To abscond is to depart in a sudden and secret manner, which I did. I absconded because, if I had not absconded but let my seniors know I was planning to leave, the Scientologists would have locked me up, and would have Lisa McPhersoned me. Although I absconded, I did not, however, abscond with 22 banker boxes of Hubbard materials. I did not abscond with any Hubbard materials, certainly not the materials that became central to the Scientologists’ initial lawsuit against me.

I absconded on December 12, 1981 with my wife Jocelyn. I obtained the documents that were the subject of the first Scientology v. Armstrong suit in late spring, early summer 1982. I obtained them from Omar Garrison, legally and with his permission, for the purpose of sending them to my attorneys for safety and for my defense in the war I knew the Scientologists were bringing to me. The Scientologists filed their suit on August 2, 1982.

The Scientologists did not sue me for absconding with 22 banker boxes of Hubbard materials. They sued me for the actions I took while on post in Hubbard’s Personal PR Bureau as his Archivist/Researcher and as the “research assistant” identified in the contract between AOSH Pubs DK and Omar Garrison for Garrison to write Hubbard’s biography. I provided materials from Hubbard’s personal archive and from other sources to Garrison in 1980 and 1981 pursuant to this contract, which had been negotiated and written by Hubbard’s personal attorney Alan Wertheimer. The Scientologists sued me for “conversion,” claiming that while working with Hubbard’s materials inside the cult, I converted them to my own use. The Scientologists even claimed that I converted to my own use the “xerographic and photographic paper and chemicals,” which I had purchased and consumed making copies of biographical materials for Garrison.

The Scientologists, using CSC as the plaintiff, also falsely claimed in their complaint that the documents in Hubbard’s archive were CSC’s personal property, not that they were Hubbard’s. On that false basis, the Scientologists could claim that CSC never gave me permission to provide anything to Garrison. I was able to show by Garrison’s contract, by my communications back and forth with Hubbard, and by other evidence, that I had the necessary permissions to provide Garrison Hubbard’s materials. And I was able to show that I had Garrison’s permission to provide some of these materials to my attorneys.

The Scientologists know all this, and know what the judge at my trial in LA Superior Court in 1984 specifically ruled about the chain of possession of the subject documents and my permissions to do with them what I did.

Judge Breckenridge: The court has found the facts essentially as set forth in defendant’s trial brief, which as modified, is attached as an appendix to this memorandum. In addition the court finds that while working for L.R. Hubbard (hereinafter referred to as LRH), the defendant also had an informal employer-employee relationship with plaintiff Church, but had permission and authority from plaintiffs and LRH to provide Omar Garrison with every document or object that was made available to Mr. Garrison, and further, had permission from Omar Garrison to take and deliver to his attorneys the documents and materials which were subsequently delivered to them and thenceforth into the custody of the County Clerk.3

That judgment was affirmed on appeal in 1991.4 The Scientologists and their collaborators continue to lie about my lawful possession of Hubbard’s materials, and get others to lie for them. Marty Rathbun, who, under cult head David Miscavige, ran the Scientology v. Armstrong litigation, and who knows the judgment in the case very well, continued this lie in his 2013 book Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.

MR: Armstrong became increasingly paranoid under pressure and finally got spooked enough to go to Flynn for help. Armstrong also brought with him several boxes of biography archives he had lifted from the church; documents that demonstrated to him that Hubbard’s personal biography, promoted by the church, was full of holes. Memoirs (p. 193)

To “lift” as Rathbun is using the term here means to steal, or pilfer. If there had been 22 bankers boxes, or even one banker’s box, they all would have required lifting as in raising them to a higher position, even if I had lifted them from a shelf above my head. Lord knows, I have lifted many bankers boxes, including bankers boxes of what could be called “biography archives.” Rathbun knows, bemoaningly perhaps, but without a doubt, that I did not lift Hubbard’s documents as the Scientologists claimed. Rathbun also knows that the LA Superior Court adjudged that I did not lift, as in steal or pilfer, the subject documents. Rathbun knowingly serves Miscavige’s purposes by forwarding this lie he knows is a lie. You are serving Miscavige’s purposes by forwarding this lie; probably, I would hope, without knowing it is a lie.

Lawrence Wright did the same thing in his 2011 article in The New Yorker, stating as fact that while in the cult working on the Hubbard biography I had copied the subject documents “without permission” and that the Miller, Atack and Corydon books “all rely on stolen materials,” referring to the materials that had come out through my litigation. In The New Yorker, Wright repeated the Scientologists’ relentless black PR line despite my providing him and the fact checking crew the facts well before publication. I requested that the magazine correct these false statements, which are defamation per se, and I showed by showers of facts and docs that Wright was wrong. I had an enormously wondrous exchange with The New Yorker’s general counsel, and came away with one heck of a story, but the magazine, despite knowing they were wrong, and with no evidence, just kept on proclaiming they were right. It had to be I’d run into an agenda item.

You don’t have to go the way of The New Yorker, however. It is weird when you consider that this is such an important point in people’s psyches that some with no clue write about it, and so do writers who do have a clue. I correct the record when it’s possible, but the Scientologists and their knowing and unknowing collaborators just keep the black PR coming.

JP: 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.

But you are retelling my story here, and again, I had not taken banker boxes. As far as I am concerned, the Scientologists paid me to dismiss my legal claims, my causes of action, against them before trial of these claims, then set in March 1987. My causes of action were for fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel, breach of contract, and tortious interference with contract. These arose from my 12 ½ years as a Scientologist victim of Hubbard and his cultists inside his Scientology cult, and from my 5 years as their wog victim of their fair game policy and actions after I left their cult. My dismissal of my claims was lawful for the Scientologists to settle with me.

The Scientologists and their collaborators claim in their attacks that what they paid me for was my agreement, on penalty of $50,000 per utterance, to maintain total silence about my experiences or knowledge relating to Scientology, Hubbard, orgs, groups, related entities, directors, officers, employees, volunteers, attorneys, etc., etc. Because Scientology is both a religion and a criminal conspiracy against rights, this is, clearly, to anyone with a clue, unlawful. It lawfully impermissibly violates the US Constitution, US laws, and international human rights charters. Therefore, these conditions cannot be what the Scientologists paid for.

The Scientologists could, probably lawfully, pay me whatever they wanted for any reason. The reason, however, could be unlawful, or unlawful in part. A litigation party could lawfully pay an opposing party to dismiss his legal claims; but that party could not, for example, pay another party, lawfully, to assassinate someone, a third party, as a condition of settlement. If such a contractual arrangement is lawful, the party who failed to execute the assassination contract could be punished for breach of contract. A very similar fact and legal situation exists in the Scientology v. Armstrong case.

JP: 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.

Yes, I have violated the Scientologists’ condition that compels that I be completely silent about my now 45+ years of Scientology-related experiences and knowledge. I have violated that condition hundreds of thousands of times. I have even disclosed the content of the documents that were the subject of the Scientology v. Armstrong case, and I have copied documents that had once been in the case. But the key terms in the condition that I constantly violate are my experiences and knowledge, which cannot be but religious. And yes, I am still pursued and attacked by the Scientologists and their collaborators.

JP: 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.

As I wrote earlier, I was not present when the conditions of the Scientologists’ contract were negotiated. The existence and nature of negotiation is a factor in establishing a contract’s unconscionability. Mike Flynn presented the contract to me as a done deal. There was then no further negotiation regarding the conditions that I objected to and knew were impossible to comply with because Flynn stated that those conditions were “unenforceable,” “not worth the paper they’re printed on.” This was reasonable, and I am only more certain after all these years and throughout the Scientologists’ efforts to enforce their conditions that it is true.

JP: 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.

This is what I would like to interview you about.

In whatever communications I’ve had with you since you left the cult, this is the first time you’ve mentioned your involvement to that degree in the war on me. I’m surprised by that.

JP: 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.

This became the subject of a case the Scientologists brought against Flynn in US District Court in LA. I believe it was dismissed as part of the December 1986 “global settlement.” I don’t recall Rathbun mentioning the airplane case in his Memoirs. Your knowledge could be helpful.

JP: 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.

These ASI board room meetings are important, because the universal crime in Scientology is the conspiracy against rights. ASI, Hubbard’s personal for-profit company, was directing Scientology Church employees to get rid of people.

ASI board room meetings were, of course, after the “disbanding” of the Guardian’s Office. The Scientologists blamed all of their myriad public policy violations on the GO, in all sorts of legal filings, but most importantly in the submission to the IRS on which their 1993 tax exemption is based. You were doing at ASI exactly what the GO did in their war room meetings – figure out how to get rid of knowledgeable people who told the truth about Hubbard, Scientology and Scientologists.

JP: 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.

Now is a great time to make those bankers boxes known about, in as much detail as you can recall. There’s another volume: Ron the Vitriologist.

JP: 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 agreement 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.

That’s not really true. I was willing to settle with the Scientologists. I have no problem with taking their money. The Scientologists did not know what I would be receiving to dismiss my claims. They paid a lump sum to Flynn and he distributed it to his clients as agreed between him and us. I had no compulsion to not settle and instead to force a trial of my claims. I had already exposed Hubbard and the Scientologists. The amount that the Scientologists paid me to avoid a trial was reasonable, and I have never complained about that sum. I was not, however, willing to never discuss my experiences or knowledge, nor to be the Scientologists’ punching bag with no right to defend myself. I knew the Scientologists’ contract was unconscionably one-sided, and I considered it another act of fair game, not a sincere effort to end the conflict between us. I would urge you to listen to my discussion of the settlement in Berlin in 2011:

JP: 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.

No, this isn’t the way it was. You Scientologists didn’t really have me where you wanted me. You didn’t know which way I’d go. I was not bound by any rule of contingency fee agreements that obligated me to settle, and nothing relating to this concept came up in my discussions with Mike Flynn or anyone else at the time of the settlement. As I said, the reasonable monetary offer to settle the case I had known and accepted. The impossible, unconscionable, unconstitutional and unlawful, but severable, conditions that the Scientologists have been judicially enforcing against me I had not known about. There was no deteriorating relationship between Flynn and me that I was even slightly aware of. What you were doing, and knew others were doing, to cause what you believe was a deteriorating relationship between Flynn and me is very relevant in a number of contexts. The remaining Scientologists and their collaborators still do not have me right where they want. They all need to stop wanting to have me where I won’t be.

JP: 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.

I was under mind-altering duress to sign the Scientologists’ settlement agreement, but not from the contingency nature of Flynn’s and my attorney-client relationship. Again, the video I think best explains the situation and the pressures at the time of the settlement.

JP: 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.

That was the 1980’s. Now I’m dealing with what the Scientologists have done and are doing in retaliation for what I did then. This is where you can help.

JP: 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.

The work I’m doing now is what is important. The war did not end when Hubbard was exposed as a liar, and it is in the war, in which you participated, that your testimony of times, places, forms and events is wanted.

JP: 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.

Rathbun and Rinder still support the Miscavige Scientologists in their war on me, and people connected to me. Rathbun and Rinder need to shift their misplaced allegiance from that most unjust cause to their victims.

Please correct the fact errors about me I’ve pointed out in your article. And I look forward to debriefing you about your Scientology v. Armstrong war stories, experiences and knowledge.

Thank you.

Notes

GA Letter to Jesse Prince (November 9, 2014)

Dear Jesse:

Great to read you’re feeling good.

There are a few fact errors in what you’ve written about the Scientology v. Armstrong litigation and war,1which I will deal with later.

Just now, I am writing to ask from you essentially what I have been asking from Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder for the past few years:

  1. Communicate to me;
  2. Debrief to me and my legal representatives;
  3. Execute declarations that contain facts elicited in the debrief;
  4. Make themselves available to testify in any legal proceedings to correct the injustices or situations they helped make.

You will recall telling me about Miscavige and Rathbun claiming that they possessed the materials stolen from the trunk of my car by their agents in 1984. There was a briefcase and about 300 pages of original writing and artwork.

I asked you a number of times for a declaration with the facts you knew concerning these materials and you always ignored my requests, and after some point more than a decade ago had treated me quite inimically.

I wrote to Rathbun about these stolen materials, and he too has ignored my communications. See, e.g., http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/archives/3304

You now write that you were present and informed about my legal troubles with Scientology as they were happening. I would like to obtain from you the details you recall from that period.

You write that you were present when the conditions of the Scientology v. Armstrong “settlement agreement” were negotiated. I was not present during that negotiation, and your information could be helpful in correcting the crime this “settlement agreement” and similar ones perpetuate.

To understand what happened prior to and during the “settlement” from my perspective, and its effect since 1986, please see the video of my discussion in Berlin in 2011:

You write that from 1983 through 1986, you would receive on a daily basis intelligence reports generated by ASI staff, OSA and RTC concerning secret and illegal operations by Scientology against me, my lawyer Michael Flynn, and other plaintiffs he represented.

This material is very relevant right now in the issue of the Scientologists’ tax exemption, and in US and international court proceedings. You perhaps were not aware that Rathbun and Rinder continue the frame-ups of Flynn and me in Rathbun’s 2013 book, which Rinder edited, and they continue their black propaganda against their fair game victims, and SPs generally. In that way, they are very much not me, as you say.

Your details about these daily intel reports about ops against Flynn and me, and related knowledge you have about the Scientologists’ war on us could be legally and historically helpful

You write:

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.

It is not clear exactly what you are saying about the Flynn plane incident being an operation. To my knowledge you have not testified regarding your knowledge of ops or fair game against Flynn or me, and this could be helpful.

I’d have thought I had been clear by now, but I go by Gerry. It’s Gerald, legally, but I’ve gone by Gerry-with-a-G since elementary school.

You write that you attended years of board room meetings at ASI to figure out how to get rid of me, and a few others. You mention that Hubbard sent communications (“advices”) ordering people such as me, and presumably including me, attacked, set up, jailed, annihilated, etc. Your details concerning both Hubbard and Miscavige’s participation in such fair game activities could be helpful.

You write that there were banker boxes full of Hubbard advices “spewing hate filled vitriol about” me. I have known that this must be the case, because I know how Hubbard worked and how his Scientologists still work. This is the first time, however, that someone who actually viewed some of the mass of material about me has described it, even in very general terms. I would like to get from you the details necessary to identify these materials for legal purposes.

Please let me know if you are willing to debrief to me about your experiences and knowledge relating to Mike Flynn and me that you acquired while inside the Scientology cult.

Thanks.

Gerry Armstrong

Notes

Jesse Prince: The Future is Here and I’m Feeling Good. (November 7, 2014)

[…]1

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.

Notes

L. Ron Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard

Mark Rathbun: on Pat Broeker (May 28, 2013)

In the middle of the trial1 I received a phone call from Pat Broeker; it was the only time we would speak before Hubbard’s death. It was extraordinary that someone physically present with L. Ron Hubbard would find the case of such import that he found it appropriate to talk to the man on the ground about it. Pat gave me a rallying pep talk right out of the Knute Rockne story. I don’t know exactly what Pat had been briefed on, but it was clear that the view from the top was that it was all a matter of mustering greater intention than the enemy. “Come on, get those attorneys in their pitching for LRH! It is not a matter of they can’t do it. They just think they can’t do it. Your job is to get them to realize that they can.”

The talk went on for several minutes, with no interest whatsoever expressed for my view of the affair, or the facts of the matter. I only had time to acknowledge now and then, when Pat would pause momentarily with a “You know what I mean?” Though Pat was inspiring, I was scarcely in need of any inspiration on the subject of coaching and inspiring attorneys.

Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (p. 249).

Notes

  1. Rathbun is referring to the trial in Scientology v. Armstrong, that resulted in the Breckenridge Decision.

Mark Rathbun: on John G. Peterson (May 28, 2013)

Hubbard had sent a memo to our unit, advising that we develop what he called a “punitive defense.” Hubbard reasoned that if Flynn and company could take a bunch of false plaintiffs and use the litigation process to inflict vast expense and chaos within the church, well, we could just as easily use the process more effectively in the same wise against Flynn. The end product of the punitive defense was to make the process too painful for any plaintiff to carry on.

We hired a coordinating attorney in Los Angeles named John Peterson. John had an amiable personality which helped get more recalcitrant attorneys to cooperate with our plans. John and I played an effective good guy/bad guy routine. I would rough up our attorneys with over-the-top demands for aggressive action, then John would follow up by hearing their objections, expressing his understanding of their concerns and then more gently obtaining their agreement to compromise and do something far more aggressive than they normally would do.

We had an office built for John within the complex. He worked for us full time, until his untimely death in 1987. John was in constant communication with our lawyers across the country. John and I worked out several tactical plans to inconvenience Flynn and his co-counsel. We forced him into a series of errors over the next several months. We overloaded him with paper, hearings and depositions. The FAMCO boys started missing filing deadlines, and not properly preparing witnesses we were deposing daily. Within months we had reversed the tide of the litigation; FAMCO finding itself in the state of disarray as we had been when we entered the war. By the end of summer we had chipped away at a number of cases, with portions being dismissed. More importantly, we had Flynn’s back against the wall, defending two contempt
proceedings for misrepresentations to courts, which we had flustered him into. Finally, in August, Flynn was held in contempt by a judge in a remote jurisdiction.

Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (pp 191-2).

Notes

Mark Rathbun: The Juggernaut (May 28, 2013)

 

Chapter Twenty-One

THE JUGGERNAUT  1 2

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.

Notes

  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. 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.

Mark Rathbun: Earle Cooley was bigger than life… (May 28, 2013)

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 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.”

Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (p. 262-3).

Notes

Mark Rathbun: The Battle of Portland (May 28, 2013)

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
THE BATTLE OF PORTLAND

Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration. — Niccolo Machiavelli

Everything hung in the balance at the spring, 1985 trial of Julie Christofferson-Titchbourne vs Church of Scientology. This was the very case that my brother’s friend had tried to tell me about in 1977 in Portland, when he was making an effort to get me out of Scientology. Christofferson was a young woman who had taken a simple Communication Course. It was the very Communication Course that I had taken, at the same Portland mission I’d attended.

Christofferson had, however — according to her — an experience completely opposite to my own in taking the course. She and her Flynn-allied attorney Garry McMurry claimed that she was defrauded into taking the course in the first place, by false representations about L. Ron Hubbard’s credentials and Scientology’s scientific guarantees to bring her health, joy and happiness. According to the lawsuit, the course hypnotized Christofferson and the mission subsequently used that hypnotic state to turn her against her family. The case had originally gone to trial in 1977, and a Multnomah County jury had returned a verdict in her favor for more than two million dollars.

In 1982, the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for new trial. The appeals court decision was one of our first major religious recognitions. While Miscavige took full credit for the victory with L. Ron Hubbard, in fact he had served as little more than a nuisance to its accomplishment. The case had already been argued and was pending decision when Miscavige’s Special Project came on the All Clear scene in 1981. His then-deputy Starkey had attempted to intervene in the matter, and wound up blowing off the attorney who would ultimately win the great precedent, Charles Merten.

Merten refused to re-try the case because of his disgust with the church’s new order. But he had already briefed and argued the appeal of the 1979 verdict, so there was no way for the Special Project to mess that up. Had it not been for the original Christofferson case appeals court decision, we likely would not have attained several of the more minor — but useful in their cumulative effect — religious recognition precedents we did wind up achieving through the perilous fight for an All Clear.

A new trial lawyer had been retained in Portland to try the case. Ted Runstein was a personable, seasoned and successful trial attorney. He was, however, demoted to ride shotgun to Earle Cooley and keep his mouth shut as local counsel after saying something for which Miscavige never forgave him. Runstein had suggested that “the jury needs to hear from some real Scientologists from the witness stand.” Miscavige replied that we have plenty of Scientologists on our witness list. Runstein countered, “Those are all Sea Org staff; I am talking about having them hear from Scientologist parishioners who live and work in the same community as the jurors — real Scientologists.” Miscavige snapped, “Sea Org members are real Scientologists, public Scientologists are dilettantes.” Miscavige ruminated on this affront by Runstein throughout the trial, calling him a “theetie-weetie, airy-fairy idiot” behind his back.

So when Earle Cooley rolled into town he had free rein.

David Miscavige, as the chairman of the board of Author Services, would spend the next several weeks in Portland supervising and dictating every last detail of the trial. He was going to show me, the dozens of other attorneys he categorized as “defensive losers,” and the entire OSA network how a trial was conducted, Scientology style. No more counter-intention from lawyers who knew best. He had a soul mate in Earle, so that in his view L. Ron Hubbard’s slash-and-burn policies with respect to detractors and attackers would run into no internal interference. David Miscavige would prove to Ron once again why he needed him to ramrod his intentions through. Hubbard himself was apparently incommunicado, as evidenced by little to no dispatch traffic arriving — which made Miscavige’s two-month, full-time battle of Portland stint possible.

We rented a number of units at a downtown condominium, walking distance from the courthouse. One unit was inhabited by Earle, his long-time mistress Jeannie and their fourteen-year-old son. Another one-bedroom unit was occupied by Miscavige and me. Another was reserved for a couple of Office of Special Affairs staff, and served as a document preparation area and repository. We had a dozen more staff working out of the offices of the mission, which were only a few blocks away. One more condo unit was occupied by Earle’s partner and protégé, Harry Manion.

Harry would prove pivotal to the case, though he did very little speaking in court. Harry was in his early thirties. A big, strapping man — if overweight, like Earle — with a boyish face and an infectious smile and personality. Harry was the archetypal hale fellow well met. He had a glib, friendly word for everyone he encountered, and a natural ability to make people feel comfortable and light. Harry had something else going for him. He was a former college and minor-league professional baseball player, and that really meant something to the judge.

Judge Don Londer was respected by many locally. But because he was Jewish, he was not really accepted into Portland’s traditionally WASP judicial circles. Londer consider himself an old jock, often reminiscing about his boxing career during his younger days in the Navy. He was also a decent, considerate man. However, he was not very bright. In the condo we used to joke that maybe he had his lights knocked out one too many times during his boxing career. But because Harry was a real professional athlete, in Londer’s eyes Harry could do no wrong. Harry struck up a relationship gradually by arriving a little early to court, and thus “bumping into” the judge regularly. The latter always wanted to hear jock war stories from Harry. Harry was the son Don Londer wished he had fathered.

In Miscavige’s view, the Christofferson case was the perfect test case. Christofferson had only ever had a few months engagement with Scientology. She had spent a total of $3,000 on auditing and courses. She had not been harassed by the Guardian’s Office. The court of appeals had already ruled that she could make no case for infliction of emotional distress/outrageous conduct.

Her only remaining cause of action was for fraud. The court of appeal had even narrowed the issue to whether the representations made to her were motivated by sincerely-held religious belief.

In retrospect, it was probably the stupidest move imaginable to not settle the case before trial, for those very reasons. Christofferson claimed fraud primarily based on alleged false representations about L. Ron Hubbard’s pre-Scientology credentials. These were the very issues aired in the Armstrong case, which had made an All Clear all but unattainable. By going to trial, we were affording a woman — who effectively had no damages to claim — a worldwide platform to replay the Armstrong inquisition all over again. Except this time Flynn’s stable of witnesses was bolstered by the former Executive Director of International Scientology, Bill Franks, and the former head of the organization Christofferson had interacted with — the Scientology Mission of Portland, Martin Samuels.

Samuels had been the owner of the Portland mission when both Christofferson and I were parishioners there. He was the owner of the Portland mission when the first Chistofferson trial played out. Samuels had joined the Flynn camp shortly after being expelled, during Miscavige’s mission holder purges of 1982. Samuels testified in the first Christofferson trial on behalf of the church. In the second trial we knew that he would testify that the mother church had not only run every single detail of the trial, but even forced Samuels to lie on the witness stand. And thus Christofferson II was rather a cinch for the Flynn camp to hit the mother church with a sizable judgment (something that had not occurred in the first trial).

But Miscavige — and thus we — looked at it in the simplistic, black-and-white, good-vs.-evil worldview of L. Ron Hubbard. This was our big opportunity to play it all over again. In our view, the 1979 Chistofferson verdict had been what motivated Flynn and FAMCO in the first place.

All of the testimony in the Armstrong trial (including that of Armstrong and Laurel Sullivan) came pouring into the record. More horror stories were added by Samuels and Franks, and by a host of other witnesses. Miscavige and I directed a couple dozen staff, frenetically working through each and every night to provide Earle with material to discredit each witness on cross examination. While direct examination was still in progress, I, Miscavige and several other staff would pore over the real-time transcripts being relayed from court, marking them up for every bit of discrediting documentation we had available in a massive file room at the mission. When the court day ended, we would huddle with Cooley and outline the preps required for the cross exam the next morning. The crews stayed up until 1 or 2 every night, putting the material together and getting final ok from me and Miscavige. Then we would sleep for two to three hours, wake up at 4 a.m. and prepare to meet Earle in his condo at 5 a.m. We would spend the next three hours briefing him on details about how each witness had lied, exaggerated, and twisted the truth or was somehow morally reprehensible. We liberally used material from the ethics records from their days in the church, even copying internal reports to use on cross. This went on for weeks. We continually engaged in echo-chamber, confidence-reinforcing sessions, reviewing how Earle had so thoroughly destroyed each witness’ credibility.

There were external indicia to support our overconfidence. Earle Cooley brutalized the plaintiff’s witnesses on cross examination. So dramatic were his cross exams, that each day Earle was up, the courtroom was packed with local lawyers. They had no interest in the case itself, but Earle’s cross examinations were so dramatic that word had spread through the legal community that Cooley was the best show in town. They were there only to watch a master of their own trade at work. What we were blind to was the cumulative impression that so much manhandling conveyed.

We received a wake-up call of sorts in the middle of the plaintiff’s case, but collectively chose not to heed it. We had planned to enter the covert Armstrong-Griffith-Park surveillance tapes into evidence during the cross examination of Armstrong. Earle set up Armstrong masterfully, leading him to deny that he had ever talked to anyone about taking over the church, orchestrating federal raids, and least of all manufacturing and planting documents in church files. Then Earle started quoting Armstrong from transcripts of the surveillance tapes, clearly demonstrating he was lying from the witness stand. The warning we did not heed came in the form of Judge Londer’s reaction to the courtroom spectacle. In chambers he loudly chastised the church’s behavior in being involved in such cloak-and-dagger activity to begin with. Londer, who clearly did not think much of Chistofferson’s case based on comments he had made up to that point in the trial, was more disgusted with the secret video-taping than the lies they revealed. Had we not been so thoroughly in the throes of a thought-stopping, alternate-reality creation, we might have given thought to how the jury felt about the aggressive, “gotcha” manner we were using with all the plaintiffs witnesses.

Even though it backfired in the case at hand, getting the Armstrong surveillance videos on the public record would serve as a major step in dealing with the more serious government threats of criminal indictments then still extant. The stakes were far higher than merely the Chistofferson case, and there was a great deal of tension in getting the tapes put on the record. We did not want to submit the producer, private eye Gene Ingram, to cross-examination, for fear that he would be forced to disclose anything about the increasing number of operations he was privy to. In the course of coordinating the transportation of the tapes to Portland and into the hands of church coordination attorney John Peterson, Miscavige insisted upon bypassing me and speaking directly to Ingram — something he had not done up to that point in time. I advised him that was a bad idea, should Ingram or he ever be subject to deposition.

I picked up the phone to make the call to Ingram, and Miscavige came flying at me — tackling me into a sofa and attempting to wrestle the phone from my hand. I would not relinquish my grip even though he was strangling me. I threw my chest out to buck Miscavige from me. He violently stabbed his fist into my chest and said menacingly, “Don’t you ever cross me,
motherfucker! I’ll have you declared [excommunicated] in a heartbeat if you ever fuck with me again.” I looked Miscavige in the eye for a moment and considered the weight of that statement. For four years no one on planet earth could communicate to L. Ron Hubbard but through Miscavige — not even his wife. Miscavige was the recipient of personal communications on a weekly basis from Hubbard — but for the extended periods the latter went incommunicado entirely. He was right, he could have me declared in a heartbeat, and all I’d fought for to date would have been for naught. I handed him the phone. He had established himself — much as he had done with Mary Sue Hubbard — as boss buffalo.

So dramatic were Earle Cooley’s cross examinations that we were all swept into the sweet oblivion of the drama of it all. We heard from Judge Londer, through Harry, and we heard from dozens of lawyers who attended as spectators and students: Earle Cooley was magnificent. Earle huddled us up in the condo one evening over beers.

“Have you guys ever heard of Percy Foreman?” Earle asked us.

We all replied that we had not.

“Foreman was one of the premier trial lawyers in American history. He once defended a woman who was up for a murder rap in Miami. The government brought a bunch of scumbag convicts in to bolster their case against her. Foreman demonstrated on cross examination that the testimony was obviously paid for. When he saw the jury understood that, he surprised everyone. After the case in chief, he rested the defense without calling a single witness. He wanted those cross examinations fresh on their minds when they went to deliberate.”

“Brilliant!” exclaimed Miscavige. “We don’t want to serve up our people to McMurry anyway.”

“Exactly,” Earle replied, “sending in Runstein and his ‘real Scientologists’ would be like sending sheep to slaughter.”

“You’re fucking-A right, Earle!” Miscavige proclaimed, as final authorization of the strategy.

And so Earle Cooley shocked the judge, the plaintiff’s team, and all who were watching when he announced the next morning in open court that the defense would call no witnesses, and rested. Judge Londer thought it was a great idea. He didn’t want to sit for another several weeks on this case. And he agreed with Earle that the plaintiff had never made a case worth a hill of beans. It was judge Londer’s nonchalant manner of dealing with jury instructions that helped set us up for the shock of our lives. Londer told Earle and Harry to relax on their stressed arguments to attempt strict control of the jury before their deliberations began. He said, “Hey, what has she got, three grand in damages? The jury isn’t stupid.” And so, with the judge’s assessment of the merits, we were optimistic — albeit nervous — as we awaited the verdict.

Nobody was prepared for the result. On a Friday afternoon the jury awarded Christofferson $39 million. That not only buried any idea of an All Clear, it put the church’s very future at risk. Earle Cooley wasn’t sure why he did it, but he asked the judge to hold off on recording the verdict for a few days. The judge wasn’t sure why either, but he granted Earle’s request.

Miscavige had flown back to Los Angeles after closing arguments. Cooley left that night for Las Vegas to blow off steam and to try to deaden the devastating loss with a weekend of amnesiainducing recreation. In a way, I was left alone holding the bag at the scene of the crime. Early Saturday morning I met with two associates of our local counsel in their Portland office. We frantically traded ideas for challenging the verdict before the case went up to the court of appeals for the two-to-three-year appellate process. One of the associates was a cheery, bright British woman. She came up with a wild idea. Since the verdict had not yet been recorded, we could still make a motion concerning the case before the lower court. That court retained jurisdiction until such time as the verdict was recorded.

We reckoned that since there were motions brought by our side continuously, against prejudicial matter being entered into evidence throughout the trial, and since those motions had been consistently denied, there was no way to challenge rulings already made along the way. However, what if we brought a motion for mistrial based on what was put before the jury during closing arguments? That was the one small window of trial history we had not already brought legal challenges to. With Cooley incommunicado, we got busy dissecting the transcript of the closing arguments to find something, anything we could hang our mistrial motion on. We noted some particularly prejudicial statements that plaintiff’s counsel had made, and drafted a motion for mistrial on the basis that the statements were so outrageous and prejudicial as to have potentially caused the jury to act on passion and prejudice, rather than on the evidence presented over several weeks of trial.

When Cooley returned at the end of the weekend, he thought the motion was brilliant. We filed it early the following week. Harry Manion artfully used his weeks of informal credibility-and-sympathy- building with judge Londer to obtain his agreement to set a hearing for a few weeks down the road, to consider the motion. Londer would not and did not ever record the jury’s verdict.

Miscavige returned to Portland and we had a conference in Cooley’s condo with a couple of legal staff. Miscavige was distraught and desperate. He talked of moving L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology management to a South American country in order to assure the church’s future survival. We discussed how with a 39-million-dollar judgment being publicized internationally, the three dozen similar FAMCO suits heading toward trial, and the DOJ and IRS champing at the bit to clean up anything remaining after the damage was done, the United States was about the least safe territory in the world for Scientology.

Miscavige railed about the stupidity of Judge Londer, how he continued to allow the trial to go out of control while reassuring us that the worst-case scenario was a few thousand dollars in damages. He ruminated how a mighty institution like Scientology could be brought to its knees by a group of degraded “wogs” (non-Scientologists) from a cow town. His own characterization prompted a lightning bolt from the blue.

“I got it!” he exclaimed. “We’ll take over this shit-hole town. I’ll bring in one hundred thousand Scientologists from around the world and we’ll surround that courthouse and make this town comply. We’ll overwhelm them. We’ll overwhelm not only the judge but every other criminal judge he talks to in his town.”

The battle of Portland had only just begun. We called in every Public Relations officer assigned to every church of Scientology in the world (several dozen) and gave them orders to call every person who had ever taken a service at each local church and order them to get to Portland for the biggest, most important event and contribution they would ever make to Scientology. Ken Hoden was pulled out of mothballs and put in charge of the “religious freedom crusade.” Hoden had been the Guardian’s Office person in charge of external affairs in Portland during the original Christofferson case appeal. Miscavige and Starkey had busted him and relegated him to backlines PR work in Los Angeles back in 1981, when they decided he had screwed up the appeal of the original case (the result of which was ultimately the vacating of the original two million-dollar judgment, and Scientology’s strongest religious recognition to date). But now Hoden was integral — he was the only one who knew the ropes in Portland, as well as all allies of the church and public officials in the Portland area. Hoden was instructed to wear a religious “dog collar” shirt and coat at all times in public. He would be the spokesman and he would position all utterances along the line that the Christofferson judgment was the worst assault on religious freedom in the United States in modern times.

Within days, several hundred Scientologists had shown up in Portland. Hoden organized them up, made signs and began regular marches around the courthouse. The trademark chant of the crusade echoed down the streets of Portland:

Hoden: “What do we want?”
The crowd: “Religious freedom!”
Hoden: “When do we want it?”
The crowd: “Now!”

Initially, the protesters came across as angry, in compliance with Miscavige’s orders to intimidate the city into compliance. As Miscavige was back in LA, and there was no allowance
for discussion of mitigation of his ideas, instead Hoden discussed with me the need to tone it down and create a far less threatening and far more dignified presentation. I told Ken he was right, and told him follow his instincts, just learn to report to Starkey and Miscavige in the language they liked to hear. That was to emphasize, in briefing them, how loud you were, how numerous you were, and how shocked and awed the public watching was — while taking a slightly different approach in conducting affairs on the ground. It was an art I had come to learn out of necessity, to avert many church catastrophes over the years.

Ken got the knack of how to play shock absorber to the brass — and did a masterful job in controlling the masses in a fashion that had maximum impact. Over the next week, thousands of Scientologists showed up and the regular protest marches easily surrounded the entire block the courthouse occupied, with parishioners marching in ranks of several abreast. Hoden took care to brief each arriving Scientologist on the importance of being polite and friendly, cleaning up after themselves and generally creating a good impression of “regular Scientologists.”

We wound up having two hearings before judge Londer, separated by several weeks. As much as the crusaders were creating the impression we wished they would, Londer could not wrap his wits around the constitutional arguments we were making. In one chambers meeting with counsel, he uttered something which, despite the public relations gains we were making with the “religious freedom campaign,” flagged our hopes of success. Earle Cooley had made a lengthy presentation, backed by citations to court case precedents. Londer had seized on one particular case that Cooley cited, buoying our attorneys’ hopes that he might understand and adopt our position. After a back-and-forth conversation about its parallels to the case at hand, Londer shocked them all by saying, “Wait a second. That was a court of appeals decision; this isn’t a court of appeals.” Of course, all legal precedent is created by opinions rendered by courts of appeal, and these are binding law for the lower courts to apply and follow. Londer’s statement belied a challenged cognitive capacity. As Earle Cooley put it, “Oh my God, we’re in the hands of the Philistines!”

We kept orchestrating Harry’s having “chance” encounters with Judge Londer, hoping to divine where he stood and hoping that he might begin to understand this case was not only important to the church and Earle, but to Harry’s future. Try as he might, Harry would come back from his meetings befuddled. His refrain was that Londer was as dumb as a sack of rocks, and he couldn’t tell whether anything we were presenting was getting through.

On the afternoon prior to the final hearing and the announcement of decision on the mistrial motion, Earle, Harry and I sat in Earle’s hotel room in Portland preparing our arguments. We had a last-minute brief to file, and had purposely waited until mid afternoon, when we knew Londer took a break. That way, when Harry was bringing the brief into the clerk, Londer might see him and invite him into his chambers for a chat. That went like clockwork. Earle and I beseeched Harry to call in any chips he might have with Londer. Earle told Harry to tell him outright that Londer needed to do this for Harry. Harry reported back that he had schmoozed with Londer, but that it wasn’t appropriate under the circumstances — open chambers doors — to make his ultimate personal pitch. However, Londer had invited Harry to come to his home that evening to meet his wife, since it might be the last time they would see one another. Harry had not committed, out of concern for doing something that would smell of impropriety and could come back to haunt us.

Earle and I discussed the matter in some detail. He explained the downsides of a visit — if it were ever found out it could raise the ugly specter of the decades of GO improprieties we were attempting to live down. “On balance,” Earle said, “this is up to the client. You need to brief the boss [Miscavige] and I’ll trust his instincts.” I called Miscavige and briefed him on all that had transpired. He said, “What is your hesitance? It’s a no brainer. Of course he sees Londer, and he does whatever he has to do to get the product.” I told Earle the verdict. Earle told me, “Okay, now it’s between me and Harry. I’m going to protect you and Dave. Leave it to me.”

Earle did report that Harry had gone to Londer’s home. He did not give particulars beyond saying that Londer was thrilled with the visit. He gave no guarantee of any particular outcome, “But,” Earle added, “tell Dave to relax.” And then Earle told me an anecdotal aphorism he would repeat several times to Dave and me over the next couple of years. He said, “Here is my only test of friendship. I know you are going to testify tomorrow in front a grand jury investigating me.

Do I sleep tonight…or don’t I?”

Even though Earle said he would sleep well that night, I did not. Of secondary importance was my own life. I was so thoroughly invested in the crusade to protect LRH and Scientology that the possible impact on them loomed larger than my own spiritual death — which would be a virtual certainty if we did not win. As I had learned by then on Hubbard’s lines of operation, there had to be a head on a pike after a catastrophe of this magnitude. And I had been around Miscavige long enough to know that regardless of his having micro-managed every move in the trial, down to strangling me the first time I attempted to counter him, it would not be Miscavige’s head on this particular pike.

The next morning, the Multnomah County Courthouse was surrounded by Scientologists. The hallways and wide stairways inside were packed with Scientologists, from the front door,
through the lobby, up to the third-floor courtroom of Judge Londer. Londer gave a touching soliloquy about how well the “real Scientologists” who had descended upon Portland had
conducted themselves. He said he might not have been so gracious and polite had his own religion been compared to botulism soup, as plaintiff’s counsel had done to the jury. He found
such conduct to be extremely prejudicial, and in violation of his own orders — having already determined that Scientology was a religion. The judge granted the mistrial motion, wiping out in one breath the $39,000,000 judgment.

After having survived a nuclear explosion by, among other things, successfully defrauding the court as to L. Ron Hubbard’s inaccessibility (Ron had been a named defendant, but we managed to get through the entire trial without the issue of his personal liability ever being adjudicated), Ron had two handwritten messages relayed to Miscavige. The first was a short note to the “real Scientologists,” the crusaders, commending them for having pulled off a feat of historical proportions by influencing the winning of the mistrial motion. The second consisted of two words and a single letter, sprawled across a full page in Ron’s signature style. It read, “Earle, congratulations! — R” The “R” stood for Ron, a signatory he had used for years on internal church dispatches.

Two months later, at our annual Sea Org Day celebration, Miscavige and I would be awarded special medals of honor, of a type never before issued by Ron. We had slipped on a banana peel and somehow managed to fall on a fur rug.

Notes