GA letter to Mark Rathbun about the IRS deal, Monique Yingling and villainy (June 8, 2015)

8 June 2015

Dear Mark:

As you well know, I have beseeched you fairly determinedly for several years to step up and tell what you know from your time in the Sea Org about fair gaming me, and people close to me, particularly Michael Flynn. Where your actions and information are extremely important is in the matter of what was done that violated public policy to obtain Scientology’s IRS tax exemption. This undeserved exemption has allowed the Scientologists to further violate public policy, and good people’s rights, with virtual impunity.

As you know, I have shown over and over that your failure to tell the truth about fair game actions against me and others and the false statements in the submissions to the IRS serves David Miscavige’s antisocial purposes, to the detriment of good people everywhere. If you are for real, and not a covert agent for Miscavige, which is not beyond the Scientologists’ desires or capability, then your failure to tell the truth about fair gaming me and others and about the IRS deal is also to your detriment, and your wife’s detriment.

Alex Gibney has taken up the call to get the IRS to revoke the Scientologists’ undeserved tax exemption, and I am grateful for what he is doing. He did not, however, really address the public policy violations, in which you participated to get the tax exemption, and I wrote to him, as you also know, to urge you to address and tell the truth about this issue. I have now posted that letter: http://gerryarmstrong.ca/archives/1488

I have read the attacks on Gibney, on his Going Clear documentary, and on his sources, by the Scientologists and Scientology’s lawyers — Monique Yingling, Eric Lieberman and William Walsh – all of whom participated in the public policy violations that netted the undeserved 1993 tax exemption.

Eerily reminiscent of your years of black PR on me, that in the SO I was but a clerk and drove a car, Yingling writes about you in her February 27, 2015 letter to HBO’s attorney Jay Ward Brown:

Gibney’s crediting his sleazy source, Marty Rathbun, with a major role in the negotiations with the IRS is misplaced: I personally attended every one of the dozens of meetings; Rathbun was little more than a bag carrier, and a poor one at that.

In your interview in 2009 with the Tampa Bay Times, you said that you were tasked with implementing strategies to try to overwhelm the IRS and “very much involved in coordinating and coming up with strategies and then executing a lot of that between the late ’80s and the early ’90s” to obtain tax exemption. You said that you and primarily Miscavige “were literally commuting to Washington D.C. almost every week,” you would “see the IRS, present the answers to [the IRS’s] set of questions, get another set of questions, go back to L.A., get the information together [ ] for two years.” http://armstrong-op.gerryarmstrong.ca/about

In Going Clear, you say about the actions to obtain the tax exemption:

Being Miscavige’s right hand man, I was in charge of all those efforts. We were not only suing them in every possible jurisdiction there was. We were investigating the IRS for crimes generally, or things that would offend the public.

I am accepting that your duties and actions were not just being Yingling or Miscavige’s bag carrier, and that she is lying. I know she lies about other things concerning the 1993 IRS, and I assume that, although she does not use my name, she is lying about me when she writes in the same February 27 letter:

An IRS criminal agent was caught on tape conspiring with apostate Scientologists to use the powers of the IRS to help them plant false documents in the Church to overthrow legitimate Church management.

You are very familiar with such lies and black PR about me, because for years you manufactured and disseminated them and made others disseminate them. You included similar or slightly differently twisted black PR and lies about me in the answers to the IRS’s questions that you carried to Washington on your weekly trips from LA.

For more than twenty years while inside the cult, you hated me and sought to destroy me. You made others hate and seek to destroy me, and spent millions of dollars of Scientologists’ money on attorneys, PIs and programs to destroy me. You did all this evil for no legitimate reason. You invented reasons, and made others accept your reasons. Clearly you carried that hatred and desire to destroy me with you when you supposedly left the cult. You carried that hatred and evil purpose into your Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior, and past the point when you claimed you had jettisoned your allegiance to L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.

You can go right on hating me as irrationally and baselessly as you want, and I can do nothing about it. Obviously you hate my appeals to your reason, humanity or conscience. But your refusal to tell the truth about fair gaming me and others, and your refusal to tell the truth about the crimes you committed and the lies you told to obtain undeserved tax exemption for the Scientology cult prejudices and hurts many people beyond me. A reading of the attacks on Gibney by the Scientologists and their attorneys shows that you are prejudicing and hurting him as well, if he is for real.

Suing the IRS, even 2400 lawsuits, is not unlawful. Investigating the IRS for their crimes is not unlawful. Even vilifying or black PRing IRS agents is not unlawful. But framing Michael Flynn was unlawful, and framing me was unlawful. Lying in your submissions to the IRS was unlawful. The IRS’s requiring these lies, which IRS and DOJ officials knew were lies, in your submissions to justify granting tax exemption to have the lawsuits end and to have the Scientologists’ investigating and vilifying of US officials end, was unlawful. It was also cowardly and disgraceful. Actual crimes against wogs and against society are what you have not talked about, which is also cowardly and disgraceful.

Accepting the possibility that you are not simply executing Miscavige’s orders or command intention, and it is a psychological issue that prevents you from correcting the evils you perpetrated against me and others, which you could correct by communicating with me and telling the truth, consider taking to heart this message about true contrition by George Simon, PhD.
http://counsellingresource.com/features/2009/08/10/regret-sorrow-and-true-contrition/

As you know, I have defended myself over the years by telling the truth, including telling it publicly. In fact, my telling the truth is the real reason you and your fellow Scientologists have hated me and sought to destroy me for decades. People telling the truth, of course, is an illegitimate reason for hating and destroying them. People telling the truth motivates criminals to hate and seek to destroy them. Telling the truth is what defines a Suppressive Person to Scientologists.

I will hold off on posting this publicly for the moment to give you another golden opportunity — to do what Simon says, not shed a tear, not mouth words, but make amends, repair the damage inflicted on the lives of others, initiate a plan of action to accomplish these ends, start to do things differently. Maybe your prideful ego will be literally crushed and torn asunder by the weight of your guilt and shame. So be it. That’s a blessing from God that not every irresponsible person accepts, or even understands. You owe it to everyone, including yourself.

Sincerely,

Gerry Armstrong

GA Letter to Clayton C. Ruby (1) (February 17, 2014)

February 17, 2014

Clayton C. Ruby, Esquire
Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan
11 Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5R 1B2
By: Canada Post
Fax 416-964-8305
Email ruby@rubyshiller.com
Dear Mr. Ruby:

There is another point concerning the Scientologists’ unlawful covert operation against me that you refer to in your letter to Ms. Yingling1, and your perverse defamation of me.

You wrote that an October 1984 entry in Sergeant Ciampini’s diary stated that Michael Flynn called Ciampini and said that he has 30 – 35 people inside the cult who are going to take physical control and turn over all documents to IRS CID for their investigation.

The people inside the Scientology cult were not Flynn’s. They were your people. They were your clients. To lay your covert agents on Flynn is conscienceless beyond belief.

Here’s what I wrote about your covert agents in a 1994 declaration:

4. During the 1984 trial of the organization’s case against me, Church of Scientology of California and Mary Sue Hubbard v. Gerald Armstrong, Los Angeles Superior Court no. C420153 (“Armstrong I“), Sherman told me that one of these friends, whom he called “Joey,” had told him that there was an actual group inside the organization who were dedicated to reforming it because management had become suppressive. They called themselves the “Loyalists,” claiming to be “loyal” to the preservation of the ideals of Scientology, “what worked.” They also recognized that its leaders were criminal, crazy, dangerous, and not dedicated to those ideals but were acting to destroy them. The “Loyalists” wanted to take control in a well-planned, effective and peaceful action before some tragedy happened. They claimed to know of criminal activities and a key part of their plan was the documenting of these activities.

5. Sherman said they were 35 in number, or at least there were 35 who knew they were “Loyalists,” all smart, reasonable and not fanatics. Some of them were his old friends from B-1. Such persons tended to be smart, reasonable and often were not fanatics. The people whom I knew to be, including Hubbard, the organization leaders, prided themselves on their recognition of unreasonableness as a virtue, and maintained an abiding fanaticism to justify their abuses and keep their positions of power. Sherman was smart and gave every appearance of being reasonable and unfanatical. He said the Loyalists knew he was in communication with me and wanted to talk with me but were afraid for their lives. This was not surprising to me because I knew from my own experiences that the organization had a brutal side and its leaders were dangerous, armed and desperate. Thus the first communications with the Loyalists were a few messages relayed by Sherman. They said that I had a proven record against the organization, that my integrity had been unshakable and they wanted my help.2

They were not Flynn’s 35 people, or my 35 people. They were your 35 people, your criminal client’s people. You lied for the Scientologists, and to the detriment of the Scientologists victims around the world, and everyone else around the world. You lied and hurt people unlawfully for money. And people are still being hurt by you.

Please fix it now.

Yours importunately,

Gerry Armstrong

Notes

GA Letter to Clayton C. Ruby (2) (February 17, 2004)

February 17, 2014

Clayton C. Ruby, Esquire
Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan

11 Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5R 1B2
By: Canada Post

Fax 416-964-8305
Email ruby@rubyshiller.com

Dear Mr. Ruby:

In April 1985, during the trial of Julie Christofferson v. Scientology in Portland, Oregon, cult attorney John Peterson stated to the court that you, Mr. Ruby, were responsible for the unlawful video recording you dishonestly call “a police authorized video” in your 1992 letter to Ms. Yingling.1

If a corrupt police officer signed an unlawful note authorizing you to murder someone you hated – like me for example – would you call that a police authorized murder?

Peterson said that you hired Eugene Ingram, the Scientologists’ most notorious private investigator, and you ordered the unlawful video recording, not Peterson and not the Scientology cultists. Your PI Ingram threatened to assassinate me, threatened to put a bullet between my eyes, as I’m sure you know.

At first I thought Peterson was lying in the Portland court, hiding his own and the Scientologists’ complicity in the unlawful Armstrong operation, and using the fact that you were in Canada and outside subpoena range for the Christofferson trial. Because of my discovery yesterday of your letter to Ms. Yingling, however, I have had to reconsider your involvement. I now believe that you conspired with Peterson and the Scientologists.

If attorney Peterson is to be believed at all, then you paid the corrupt LAPD officer for the unlawful “authorizations” to eaves drop on, wiretap and record my attorney Michael Flynn and me.2

Peterson also stated that you alone as of April 1985 possessed the unlawful video recordings. So I have to conclude that you are responsible for the dishonest editing of the videos, for the dishonest transcripts, and for the black propaganda the videos have been used for all these years.

I do not believe that your one letter to Ms. Yingling is your only communication about your video recordings, or your only communication lying about and black PRing me or Flynn. I think your one letter that surfaced is but the tip of a monstrous criminal black propaganda berg.

I believe that as willing as you have been to do what you have done in service of the Scientology cult, there is almost no limit to what you would do to a person you want to victimize like me. You are a criminal defense attorney with many connections into the criminal underworld, and into criminals like Ingram to do your dirty work. The Scientology cult has long had associations with dangerous criminals, and has a practice of hiring psychopaths. I believe I am in more danger from you and your clients and cohorts than ever.

Your Scientologist clients have physically assaulted me on multiple occasions, terrorized me on the freeway, broken into my car and stolen valuable property, framed me and tried to have me prosecuted on false criminal charges, obtained unlawful jail sentences against me, forced me into bankruptcy, black PRed me around the world up to the top of governments, run covert ops on me, forged my signature over racist Internet postings, and even hired prominent people like you to destroy me. You are the enemy of good people, and the world should know it for everyone’s safety.

I understand that even the most criminal even murderous people deserve legal representation. I have no problem with that concept. I have a serious problem, however, with the lawyers who lie for their criminal clients.

You also can correct all this. But you can’t correct it with more lies, or hiring more thugs. You have to tell the truth and remedy the lies and black PR you’ve spread about me, Flynn and your Scientologist clients’ other enemies or victims.

Yours genuinely,

Gerry Armstrong

Notes

  1. For videos, transcripts and related documents: http://armstrong-op.gerryarmstrong.ca/the-illegal-videos
  2. See Peterson’s trial testimony in Christofferson.

GA Letter to Clayton Ruby: Defamation claim and demand for remedy (February 16, 2014)

http://gerryarmstrong.ca/archives/1069

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: on All Clear, Joey Deciccio, and the Flynn problem (May 28, 2013)

One of the most memorable encounters occurred after one of Ingram’s associates located a New York mafioso named Joey Deciccio, who claimed to have the information and power to bring Flynn’s FAMCO scheme to a halt in an instant. Geoff Shervell went to Atlantic City , New Jersey to meet Deciccio, to determine whether he was for real. He called in to ASI to debrief so that Miscavige could be in on it. Shervell said that Deciccio claimed to know the holder of enormous, accumulated gambling debts of Flynn. Deciccio was in a position to buy the debt, at which point he would effectively own Flynn. Miscavige was under so much pressure to produce an “all clear” for Hubbard that he had me booked on the next available flight to Philadelphia, to meet with Deciccio myself.

I took the redeye and was sleepless and wired on coffee when my flight arrived at 6:00 the next morning. I was picked up by a long, stretch red Lincoln limo, courtesy of Deciccio. I was barely able to stay awake during the long drive to Atlantic City. I met Shervell in a casino. He was electrified with excitement at the prospect of the danger of the folks we were dealing with, along with the hope we might be able to attain instant All Clear.

Deciccio and an associate greeted us. Both were archetypical Hollywood mobsters. Deciccio was middle-aged, with a grey pompadour, an open gaudy shirt and even gaudier gold pendant and chain across his white-haired, tanned chest. He wore a polyester suit, gold sunglasses, and talked like a seasoned wise guy. He was charming and friendly, but rough cut. His sidekick was a six-foot-four, three-hundred -pound refrigerator with no neck, introduced as Hank Lamotta. Joey said we needed to go up to their hotel room to discuss the business at hand. We took the elevator far up the hotel tower. We were led into a room and sat around a small round table overlooking the Atlantic City boardwalk. Hank immediately closed the drapes.

“Look , this Flynn bastard is in some bad kind of trouble. Seems he’s addicted to playing the numbers and ponies,” Deciccio started in. “I can get his debt transferred to me for a discount. Then Flynn has to play by Brooklyn rules.” Deciccio paused for effect.

“What are the Brooklyn rules?” I asked. Deciccio traded grins and chuckles with Hank. Hank never sat down. Aside from the grin on cue, he just stood behind my chair with a menacing look on his face and his arms crossed – apparently to add some fear to the mix.

“Well , the first level is when a guy don’t pay his debt, he gets a visit from some of our boys. They hold him by his feet and dangle his head in the sewer till the rats start gnawing on his face. Usually that brings out the entrepreneur in him and he finds a way to start paying down.”

“What if that doesn’t work?”

“Well, then we up the ante. We start by taking a finger , starting with the finger that has a rock on it.”

“What’s next if that doesn’t work?”

“We take the rest of his fucking fingers,” Deciccio boomed , as if frustrated that my questioning was ruining the effect of his rehearsed intimidation play.

“Well , I don’t see how that makes the Flynn problem go away.”

“That’s easy. Rather than exercise the Brooklyn rules for the collection of the debt, we do them to make the litigation go away.”

“ There is a problem with all this. We will not engage in or condone any illegal acts.”

“Well, too late for that, pal. We had a deal.”

“You can’t have a deal, because I am the only one who is authorized to make any deals.” Suddenly, from behind me Hank’s ham of a hand slammed the small table, THWAPP! “This is bullshit!” yelled Hank. “Oh, no, now you’ve done it,” Deciccio said, as Hank stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

“You really screwed the pooch, pal,” Deciccio said to me with a great deal of concern.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“He’s gone to get his gun.”

Deciccio and I looked one another in the eye for thirty seconds. Then we heard a key in the door and Hank lumbered back in. I turned and looked Hank in the eye as he stormed toward me. I reckoned if I made a move to resist him, the laws of physics would not be in my favor. So I decided to simply confront the situation I was in – do nothing else but face it as comfortably as I could. Hank stopped in front of me and looked down while biting his lower lip, as if restraining himself from beating me to a pulp. Once it was clear that I was not retreating and they were not killing, the discussion resumed between Deciccio and me. Now it was more civil, and Deciccio retreated by appealing to my sense of fairness. After a while it became evident to Deciccio that they misestimated their encounter and played the wrong hand . He started making a pitch for the future.

“Listen, stay in touch, maybe we can come up with some more legally acceptable ways of doing business.” Hank was assigned to drive Geoff and I back to New York La Guardia airport. Now that the intimidation game was over, Hank was a big old pussycat. We talked sports and politics all the way back and punctuated our trip with a pleasant lunch stop.1

Notes

  1. Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (p. 224-226). Amazon Books. Kindle Edition.

Mark Rathbun: on the Check Forgery Frame Ads (May 28, 2013)

When the DOJ utilized the Flynn tactic of seeking L. Ron Hubbard’s deposition and then asking to win by default when the church failed to produce him, it only reinforced our view that Flynn and the DOJ were in league. When I met with the Boston DOJ office attorney responsible for the check investigation, our suspicions of a grand conspiracy became virtually irrefutable fact, in our minds. Bracket Badger Denniston III was the Assistant US Attorney
in the fraud division who was assigned the case. Denniston was a snooty, thirty-something, conservative blue-blood. He treated me with cool disdain. Denniston never shared a single detail of his own alleged investigation. He listened to the results of our investigation with disinterest, and when I detailed Flynn or DOJ connections with the Bank of New England he merely smirked condescendingly.

When we had exhausted all leads and run into a stone wall with the DOJ, mild-mannered Geoff Shervell came up with an audacious idea. We would place a full page ad in the New York Times, offering a ten-thousand-dollar reward for information leading to the conviction of the masterminds behind the attempted passing of the forged $ 2 million L. Ron Hubbard check. Miscavige loved the idea and green-lighted the project. Within days of the ad’s publication, Ingram, the contact point named in the ad, received a call from a woman in Boston.1

Notes

  1. Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (p. 222). Amazon Books. Kindle Edition.

Mark Rathbun: on mounting the offensive against Flynn and FAMCO (May 28, 2013)

In early May, 1982 I was busily mounting the offensive against Flynn and his FAMCO scheme to bankrupt and destroy Scientology. Up to that point in time, several people had served as buffers between me and David Miscavige. All that changed one morning when Miscavige called me over to his offices at Hubbard’s newly-formed personal services corporation, Author Services Incorporated (ASI). Miscavige was the chairman of its board. As such he was recognized as the most senior and powerful person in the Scientology hierarchy. It was understood by then that all communication to or from L. Ron Hubbard went through Miscavige’s hands. I hopped into the small Japanese car that came with the job of Special Unit Litigation Director and sped over to see Miscavige. I brought Geoff Shervell with me. Geoff was my opposite number for the intelligence/ investigation function of the church. He was a short, portly fellow from New Zealand. He was handsome and friendly in looks and manner. Geoff had worked at the Guardian’s Office Worldwide in England for years. The Special Project had investigated him thoroughly and concluded that he had not engaged in any illegal acts while in the Guardian’s Office. His amiable demeanor and his training and understanding of intelligence had resulted in Miscavige tapping him to run all intelligence for the church. Up to that day Shervell had been reporting directly to Miscavige.

[…]

Miscavige seemed somberly unnerved, an attitude he rarely showed to anyone. He wore a dirty blonde mustache and glasses then. He stood about five feet, five inches, solidly built. He looked at me with piercing, intense blue eyes. “Marty, Geoff’s a nice guy, but he doesn’t have the confront for this job.” With that succinct statement, Miscavige put the intelligence function, and Geoff, under my supervision. “Does the GO have any PIs you can trust?” “I haven’t worked with any, sir.” “Well, you need to find a PI that has a pair of balls and won’t be compromised.” “Ok, I’ll get right on it.” “Look, somebody tried to pass a forged check on LRH’s account at Bank of New England. Some Arab guy named Aquil Abdul Amiar shows up at Middle East Bank in New York City with an LRH check with a forged signature. The check is from LRH’s account at BNE. BNE calls us and we tell them LRH never signed any check made out to any Arab, and no check for two million dollars to anybody . They stopped payment. We keep LRH’s check registers. There are no checks missing. We write all of LRH’s checks and submit them to him for signature. He signs them. We mail them and every one of them is accounted for. Norman can show you all that.” I looked at Norman. Norman gave a serious nod back. Miscavige continued, “We asked BNE for more particulars. BNE won’t give any. We have Sherman Lenske (LRH’s corporate and finance attorney ) call MEB and BNE and nobody will cooperate with him. BNE says they want to hear from LRH directly. We have all the proper powers of attorney on his accounts, but they won’t recognize them. They tell us the FBI is investigating. And the FBI won’t tell Sherman anything either. This whole thing smells . These fucking bankers are supposed to be working for LRH, and it looks like they are doing the work of Flynn and the FBI. You need to get a PI onto this and get to the bottom of it.” “Yes, sir.” “Okay, Norman , show him the documents we have, like the POA (power of attorney) and all. Marty, you report direct to me on this . Tell the finance people this is top priority if they give you any flack on the PIs.” “Yes, sir.” “Nobody in the GO or Special Unit or anywhere else needs to know about this, get it?” “Yes, sir.”  1

Notes

  1. Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (p. 216-218). Amazon Books. Kindle Edition.

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

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

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

Notes

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