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.
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
- Rathbun, Mark (2013-05-28). Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (pp. 193-194). Amazon Books. Kindle Edition. ↩
What follows is the subject defamatory statement that Grieboski published on February 29, 2007, and an analysis of the content to assist in understanding the facts and my claims against him:
Because we protect the rights of all people, we are continually under scrutiny by those who do not. I make this point because of the source you referenced who is striving to give credence to the belief that we are a front for Scientologists. We have repeatedly dealt with bad press from this person and I leave it to you good readers to determine whether or not his views are based on fact.
Gerald Armstrong is a former clerk in a Scientology organization. Armstrong intended to seize assets of the Church of Scientology. When attorneys of the Church discovered the plan, they obtained permission from the Los Angeles police to conduct an investigation into Armstrong’s plans. The investigation caught Armstrong on videotape stating that he intended to forge and then plant incriminating documents on Church premises, to be discovered in a subsequent raid. When challenged on how he would obtain proof of the allegations he intended to make, he responded that: “We don’t have to prove a god dam thing. We don’t have to prove shit. We just have to allege it.”
If that is not enough, Armstrong once posted a message on the Internet concerning a letter he sent to Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. In the letter, he offered himself to Hussein as a hostage in the Iraqi war. “If either side failed to perform any part of the agreement, the other side could execute me,” he concluded. Armstrong makes clear in his posting that he did not think the letter to Hussein was a joke, but was deadly serious. He quite proudly republishes it and other similar writings from time to time. There is much more I could say on the subject, but will leave it to the readers to research for themselves if they wish to discover the more sordid background of this “gentleman,” who currently has several outstanding warrants for his arrest.
1. Because we protect the rights of all people, we are continually under scrutiny by those who do not.
Grieboski implied that I do not protect the rights of people. This is baseless.
The “we” that he claimed protect the rights of all people are obviously himself, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy (IRPP) that he heads, and the other directors, officers, employees, representatives or agents of the IRPP.
I did not and do not protect the rights of people to suppress or destroy others’ human rights or the rights of people to commit torts or crimes against others. I have fought and do fight, however, for basic human rights for all people, and specialize in protecting the rights of the Scientologists’ victims.
The Scientologists specialize in, and are notorious for, suppressing and destroying basic human rights, both the rights of their own fellow Scientologists and the rights of those people who, like me, oppose this suppression and destruction. The Scientologists cloak their anti-human rights policies and practices and their widespread human rights violations with pretentious pro-human rights claims and campaigns and sham organizations such as “Youth for Human Rights” and “Artists for Human Rights.”
Grieboski supports the Scientologists’ suppression and destruction of their victims’ basic human rights, most egregiously these victims’ right to religious freedom. It is a willful and cruel lie that he and the IRPP protect the rights of all people. Even this one defamatory attack on me that I am responding to here demonstrates that he not only does not protect my human rights, and the rights of persons acting in concert with me, but actively collaborates with the Scientologists in the suppression and destruction of our human rights.
2. I make this point because of the source you referenced who is striving to give credence to the belief that we are a front for Scientologists.
I am not named in the NE Pennsylvania Media blog entry to which Grieboski was responding. It is clear, however, from reading what follows in his response that he is referring to me.
I do not believe that before Grieboski published his letter on the NE PA Media blog I ever strived to give credence to the belief that he and his Institute on Religion and Public Policy (IRPP) were a front for the Scientologists. In my open letter to him of October 25, 2004, I did accuse him of supporting the Scientology organization, of shilling for it or collaborating with it, indeed irresponsibly shilling for Scientology, but I did not then accuse him or the IRPP of being a front for the cult.
My 2004 open letter was, I believe, the only public statement I made about Grieboski and the IRPP’s relationship with the Scientologists prior to a second open letter that I wrote to him on May 11, 2009. http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/archives/3255 Although I sent both letters to him directly as well as posting them to my web site and Scientology-related forums, he did not reply to either letter.
This is some basic Wikipedia information on “fronts” as Grieboski is using the term:
A front organization is any entity set up by and controlled by another organization, such as intelligence agencies, organized crime groups, banned organizations, religious or political groups, advocacy groups, or corporations. Front organizations can act for the parent group without the actions being attributed to the parent group.
Front organizations that appear to be independent voluntary associations or charitable organizations are called front groups. In the business world, front organizations such as front companies or shell corporations are used to shield the parent company from legal liability. In international relations, a puppet state is a state which acts as a front (or surrogate) for another state.
The same Wikipedia article contains a section about Scientology fronts:
The Church of Scientology uses front groups either to promote their interests in politics or to make their group seem more legitimate. The FBI’s July 7, 1977 raids on the Church’s offices (following discovery of the Church’s Operation Snow White) turned up, among other documents, an undated memo entitled “PR General Categories of Data Needing Coding”. This memo listed what it called “Secret PR Front Groups,” which included the group APRL, “Alliance for the Preservation of Religious Liberty” (later renamed “Americans Preserving Religious Liberty”). The Cult Awareness Network (CAN) is considered by many to now be a front group for the Church of Scientology, which took the group over financially after bankrupting it in a series of lawsuits.
Time identified several other fronts for Scientology, including: the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), The Way to Happiness Foundation, Applied Scholastics, the Concerned Businessmen’s Association of America, and HealthMed Clinic. Seven years later the Boston Herald showed how Narconon and World Literacy Crusade are also fronting for Scientology. Other Scientology groups include Downtown Medical, Criminon and the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE).
Not long after I published my 2004 letter, as I explained in my 2009 letter to Grieboski, one of his former employees Daniel Chapman contacted me and told me that when Grieboski started the IRPP in 1999 he had been receiving $8,000 per month from the Scientologists. It is possible that the Scientologists paid to set up the IRPP, and that it was their front from its inception, but I had no way of knowing this when I wrote the 2004 letter.
On December 21, 2011, Mark (“Marty”)Rathbun published on his blog what purports to be a Scientology program order entitled “Grieboski Program” dated January 29, 2007, which lays out “targets,” or actions that Grieboski’s Scientologist handlers were to take, and get him to take, to more effectively use his contacts and communication lines to resolve the Scientologists’ identified problems in Europe and help get Scientology into Muslim countries.
I have added a few notes at the end of the program [link], which is otherwise as I received it, to explain some terms, acronyms, etc. I am familiar with such Scientology programs, and have no reason to doubt the Grieboski Program’s authenticity, even though this is an electronic (not printed) document, the program number and distribution list are not provided, and the Scientologists or “posts” to whom each target was assigned for execution are not identified. The program states that as of January 2007 the Scientologists were paying Grieboski “on a flat rate,” but that was “being changed to payment on a “by product” basis.”
I do not know whether the Scientologists were paying Grieboski a flat fee or had him on commission on February 29, 2008 when he published the letter containing the subject defamatory statement. I also know of no evidence that he and the Scientologists had ended their agency relationship before that date. The Scientologists acknowledge in the 2007 Grieboski Program that they were then running him, but wanted him “being run him for product” so they would get more return for the money they were paying him.
On December 21, 2011, Tony Ortega, Editor-in-Chief of The Village Voice, blogged about the Scientologists’ “leaked” Grieboski Program, and concluded that “the document is unequivocal [ ] that Grieboski had been, at least at that point in 2007, a paid agent for the church.” Ortega also wrote:
I just talked to Mike Rinder, formerly Scientology’s top spokesman and the executive director of OSA until he left the church in 2007. I asked him whether Grieboski really was on the church’s payroll.
“Yeah. I hired him,” Rinder told me.
“He was absolutely employed by the church, and it was because of his Catholic connections,” Rinder continued. “He had connection into the Vatican, and all of the Catholic countries where the church was having problems. Italy, France, Belgium. That’s why he was on the payroll. He’s a lobbyist. That’s what the guy is.”
Ortega wrote that he had tried to reach Grieboski about his agency relationship with the Scientologists, and received a reply, which stated in part:
In response to your question, THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy does not take nor has it ever taken funds from any religious institution or denomination
In a personal capacity aside from my work with THE INSTITUTE, I have advised a number of institutions – religious and non-religious – on policy issues. I have advised the Scientologists as I have numerous other groups.
In addition to operating the IRPP, Grieboski is also Chairman and CEO of the for-profit firm “Just Consulting,” and it is possible that he used this firm to receive and hide payments the Scientologists sent him. Just Consulting, which gives its address as 500 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, says about itself on its web site:
… just consulting is a dynamic, innovative and energetic comprehensive social justice consulting firm committed to the belief that people are more important than profit.
From social networking management to international mediation and conflict transformation; from business development to search engine optimization; from crisis management to governmental education; from political campaigns to ngo development; from public relations to image development, just consulting achieves and exceeds our clients’ goals with efficiency, ingenuity and integrity.
The Scientologists’ goals for me, as stated in their policies or “scriptures” and as demonstrated by their actions over thirty years, are to suppress and destroy my basic human rights, to silence me about my religious beliefs and experiences, to punish me for not being silenced, to degrade my image to beast level, and to just go all the way in and obliterate me. See scriptural policy letter from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard entitled “Battle Tactics,” dated 16 February 1969, revised and reissued 24 September 1987:
The defamatory statement, Grieboski’s “repeated” dealings about me, and his other actions over the years against me, were carried out by a man who either possessed or claimed to possess, and be internationally renowned for, extraordinary expertise in, and resources for, influencing or manipulating people’s minds and public opinion. He has Just Consulting say about his connections:
His extensive travels to every corner of the globe have allowed Joe to meet, interact with, and befriend leaders of business and industry, government, entertainment, advocacy, and other arenas, giving him one of Washington’s best and most sought after rolodexes.
Because of his agency relationship with the Scientologists, and with any pay arrangement, Grieboski was also, and remains, a “beneficiary” of the injunction that the Scientologists obtained against me in 1995 in the case of Scientology v. Armstrong, California Superior Court, Marin County, no. 157680.
Doubtlessly both the IRPP and Just Consulting are also beneficiaries of the Scientologists’ injunction.
This injunction prohibits me and “persons acting in concert” with me from expressing our religious beliefs or experiences regarding the Scientology religion to anyone anywhere. The injunction also prohibits us from discussing any of the myriad “Scientology affiliated Churches, organizations and entities, and their officers, directors, agents, representatives, employees, volunteers, successors, assigns and legal counsel,” which substantially comprise the global class known as “beneficiaries.” The injunction does not prohibit any of the beneficiaries, e.g., Mr. Grieboski as an agent or employee of one Scientology entity or another, from discussing me, as he has done in the subject defamatory statement. Even if Grieboski was not being paid by any Scientology entity when he published this statement, he was still a beneficiary as an unpaid “volunteer.”
The injunction prohibits me and persons acting in concert with me from assisting the class of persons or entities whose interests are adverse to any of the beneficiaries’ interests. In practical terms, these are persons or entities that the beneficiaries treat or handle as “enemies.” The class of persons or entities that comprise the beneficiaries’ “enemies” are those that the beneficiaries have damaged or victimized, those that seek to defend themselves or stand up for the beneficiaries’ victims, or those that oppose or threaten the beneficiaries’ ability or freedom to victimize others.
In Scientology scripture, and in the Scientologists’ common communications, their individual enemies are known as “Suppressive Persons” or “SPs.” Entities that the Scientologists target as enemies are known as “Suppressive Groups” or “SP Groups.” In his scripture, Hubbard called the treatment or handling of SPs and SP Groups “fair game.” Adherence to their Suppressive Person doctrine is universal among Scientologists, and motivates and justifies their victimization of SPs. For further information on the SP doctrine, see this web site that my wife Caroline Letkeman and I maintain to expose and oppose the doctrine and defend its victims: http://www.suppressiveperson.org/ See specifically: www.suppressiveperson.org/sp/archives/51
Scientology scripture and Scientologists applying their scripture vilify SPs as destructive, psychotic and criminal, the cause of all illness, accidents and bad conditions, and deserving no civil rights. Scientology scripture and Scientologists equate SPs with psychopathic mass murderers like Hitler, Stalin and Osama bin Laden. SPs, however, are simply those people who tell the truth about Hubbard, Scientology, Scientologists and their collaborators, despite being fair gamed for doing so. Some of the truth about Hubbard, et al. is ugly because these people and entities, who largely comprise the beneficiaries, have a long history of lying, fraud, fear mongering, extortion, harassment and human rights violations. SP groups are those that facilitate the truth being told, or which defend SPs or anyone else the Scientologists victimize.
Since Suppressive Persons are created and labeled in Scientology scripture, and their vilification and persecution is ordered in scripture, SPs comprise a persecuted religious class. It is a cruel irony that Grieboski and the IRPP claim to be standing up for persecuted religious classes such as the SP class, when they are actually supporting the persecutors. Grieboski, the IRPP, and likely Just Consulting, are beneficiaries of that persecution by court order, based on contract. Grieboski and his organizations stand up for the right and freedom of religious corporations to persecute individuals and suppress and destroy individual human rights as protected religious exercise.
The injunction’s prohibitions are in clear violation of international human rights charters, and unlawful by US and international law. The Scientologists obtained the injunction by unlawful means, and their actions, the prohibitions, and the beneficiaries’ efforts to enforce these unlawful prohibitions constitute violations of federal criminal statutes, specifically 18 U.S.C. §241 “Conspiracy against rights,” and 18 U.S.C. §242 “Deprivation of rights under color of law.” See, e.g., my 2004 complaint report to U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division:
Mark Rathbun, who “leaked” the Grieboski Program, was for many years, under current Scientology head David Miscavige, responsible for the Scientologists’ fair gaming of the SP class. In reality, fair game is more specifically directed against those SPs that Miscavige, et al. view as threats to their ability and freedom to operate, expand, and get away with their violations of human rights and criminal statutes. The Scientologists that Rathbun directed, and his replacement directs, handle designated SP targets on covert and overt intelligence, public relations and legal channels according to the Scientologists’ post function, orders, missions, operations and programs. Rathbun oversaw activities that resulted in the unlawful injunction and the efforts to enforce it, and he is knowledgeable about other torts and crimes committed against me over many years.
Over the last approximately three years, Rathbun has publicly and consistently claimed that he has split from Miscavige and certain Scientology related entities. Rathbun has been criticizing them for their antisocial actions against Scientologists, and in early 2009, he publicly offered to help people in my situation. I wanted his help to end and redress the beneficiaries’ ongoing injustices against me that he had helped perpetrate, e.g., the injunction. His testimony concerning his personal knowledge of actions taken against my attorneys and me to perpetrate those injustices would help end and redress them. I wrote Rathbun a series of letters requesting his offered help, but he has so far refused to help in any way. His treatment or handling of me instead of helping indicates that he and Miscavige still share the same malevolent intentions toward me and people acting in concert with me.
Rathbun was also responsible for many years, under Miscavige, for what Hubbard called in scripture “black propaganda” or “black PR” against me. Black PR is the Scientologists’ policy, technology and practice of defaming their designated SP targets to destroy their reputations, credibility, relationships, livelihoods and lives. Black PR is often covert, on hidden channels from hidden sources. Rathbun knows the facts and truth behind the Scientologists’ black PR against me, knows about programs to black PR me, and knows what individuals and entities received what black PR and when. This includes black PR on me that the Scientologists included in their submissions to the IRS to get tax exemption for the Scientology and Scientology-affiliated entities, http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/irs/index.html and black PR to the US Department of Justice, the State Department, and foreign governments.
I asked Rathbun for help correcting the Scientologists’ black PR on me and repairing the damage done, but he has refused to help. See, e.g., http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/archives/4235 Instead, he has continued to treat and handle me as an SP target, continued to black PR me, and encouraged his fellow Scientologists to black PR me. Grieboski’s defamatory statement about me is part of the Scientologists’ long black PR campaign against me, and uses specific points and language from that campaign.
Mike Rinder, who confirmed to Village Voice Editor Tony Ortega that he had hired Grieboski and that the Scientologists had him on their payroll, was also for many years involved in actions victimizing designated SPs, including illegal actions against me personally. Under Miscavige, and for much of that time under Rathbun, Rinder ran the intelligence, PR and legal bureaus and personnel around the world. Rinder was also an official representative and spokesperson of the Scientologists’ central organization for several years, and participated in the global black PR campaign against me. Like Rathbun, Rinder claims that he has left the Miscavige faction and that he wants justice for the people that Miscavige and his Scientologists have victimized. So far, however, Rinder has refused to help me, and still black PRs me.
3. We have repeatedly dealt with bad press from this person and I leave it to you good readers to determine whether or not his views are based on fact.
The “we” in this context, as Grieboski obviously intended, were he and the IRPP. For legal purposes in connection with the subject defamatory statement, this could include Just Consulting. I am clearly “this person.”
Grieboski did not identify the “bad press” supposedly from me that he claims to have repeatedly dealt with. What “press” from me existed, however, is generally what I had said or published about Hubbard, Scientology, Scientologists and their collaborators like Grieboski prior to February 29, 2008 when he posted his letter with the subject defamatory statement to the NE PA Media blog. Virtually everything I have said or published about Hubbard, et al. is “bad press” from the beneficiaries’ perspective, because it is the truth about them, which includes the ugly truth about their lying, fraud, human rights violations, etc.
The way the Scientologists have for thirty years dealt with the truth I have told about Hubbard, et al., has been to attack and black PR me as the source of that truth, and never to confront and respond to the truth being told. See, e.g., the Scientology policy known as “Attack the Attacker:” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_controversies Grieboski has followed the same policy with his publication of the subject defamatory statement. He did not identify the “bad press,” or the truth, from me, and although he said he was leaving the determination of the factual basis of my “views,” he did not even say what my “views” were. He simply attacked me with the black propaganda that his Scientologist handlers or paymasters provided him for that purpose.
Before Grieboski published the subject defamatory statement, I had told the truth about Hubbard, Scientology, Scientologists and their collaborators in over seventy days of oral testimony in depositions or trials, in dozens of sworn declarations or affidavits, and in thousands of essays, articles or comments. All such expressions by me include my religious beliefs, religious experiences and religious knowledge of Hubbard, Scientology, Scientologists and their collaborators, which are all connected and classed by religion.
The persons, offices or entities that Grieboski communicated or interacted with between 1999 and 2008, or up to the present time, in his repeated dealing with my statements, views or “bad press,” perhaps can only be identified with greater specificity in the discovery stage in a legal action against him, the IRPP, etc. The list he provided in his letter, however, of his claimed actions or accomplishments, would be sufficient to understand the range and global scope of people and entities with which he had dealt: US House and Senate Committees; the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; countless international parliamentary committees; numerous organizations including the United Nations, Council of Europe, and the European Union; the President of the United States; Tony Blair; the Panel of Experts for International Religious Freedom of the British Foreign Ministry; foreign heads of state and government officials; International Diplomats; and thousands of interested parties. Getting to these and more people and entities, and communicating with them once they’d been gotten to, is where Grieboski would have dealt with the “bad press” from me.
This astonishing list of people and entities that Grieboski admitted to have been dealing with also provides a basis for understanding the massiveness of what it will take to correct the black PR on me that he and his entities have been spreading about me, and to repair the damage their black PR campaign has done. I would expect that, unless Mr. Grieboski’s conscience is at some point shocked and he honestly undertakes to correct all the lies he has told and redress the damage he has done, I would be dealing with all the recipients of his black PR the rest of my life.
The list of person and entities identified in the Grieboski Program that he had been dealing with or his Scientologist handlers intended him to deal with is also quite substantial: individuals in the RCC and other major religions as well as political personalities; congressional allies (House and Senate); Belgian, French and German authorities; contacts to the top level of the RCC; the Belgian RCC and the government; rabid parliamentarians; upper strata officials of the Belgian national government; in France, the upper executive strata of the national government, the national Senate, the RCC and the Protestant Church; French government officials, Senate leaders and religious leaders; contacts in the German federal government and pertinent German states; German churches (RCC and Protestants); federal officials; state government officials; contacts in the ministerial strata of Poland’s national government and in the RCC; Polish government officials and RCC leaders; all member MPs around the world; Muslim countries; and in key Muslim countries, high level government officials, key legislators, religious leaders and top court judges.
The subject defamatory statement is the only act I know of in his repeated dealings with me and my my words. The rest of his repeated dealings, as far as my knowledge goes, were covert, pure black propaganda. I have not been able to find where Grieboski has openly and publicly black PRed any other person as he has black PRed me.
4. Gerald Armstrong is a former clerk in a Scientology organization.
This is a ridiculous bit of resumé black PR that the Scientologists and their collaborators have been generating for decades. The intention is to make nothing of my actual history and resumé in Scientology and so disparage the experiences and knowledge I acquired while occupying positions that were not just being a clerk. The June 1983 Penthouse, e.g., contained an interview with Heber Jentzsch, identified as “president of the church,” which included this exchange:
Penthouse: The allegation has been made that the Church of Scientology has hounded ex-members who have spoken out negatively about the church.
Jentzsch: Can you give me the names?
Penthouse: Gerald Armstrong is the first that comes to mind.
Jentzsch: Mr. Armstrong is my step-son-in-law; I know him quite well. He was a clerk, and he also drove a car. And that’s all he ever did. When he left, he sort of tried to raise his status.
Since the 1990s, the Scientologists have maintained Internet sites to black PR different sets of their targets and victims including me, and have used the same clerk claim, always presented as valuable knowledge that explains so much by first putting me in my place. This is from what I believe is the latest incarnation of one such site that the Scientologists call “Religious Freedom Watch:”
Gerald Armstrong is a former clerk in a Scientology church.In former days, Armstrong hatched a plot to seize the Church’s assets in collaboration with the Los Angeles IRS Criminal Investigation Division.
When the Church discovered this, its attorneys obtained permission from a Los Angeles police officer to conduct an investigation into Armstrong’s plans. The investigation caught Armstrong on videotape stating that he intended to forge and then plant incriminating documents on Church premises, to be discovered in a subsequent raid.
I wrote to head Scientologist David Miscavige on November 23, 2006 protesting being black PRed as an anti-religious extremist, when I am anything but, indicating some of the lies about me on hate sites under his control, and requesting that references to me be removed from those sites.
Neither Miscavige nor any other Scientologist responded to my letter and request.
On December 10, 2002, Graeme Wilson, the Scientologists’ Public Affairs Director UK & Ireland, sent to Mike Garde, head of Dialog Center Ireland, an e-mail and attachment, which contained the clerk claim in black PR on me generated for the purpose of attacking the July 23, 1984 judgment in the case of B & G (Wards) in the High Court of Justice Family Division, Royal Courts of Justice:
One of these “experts” was Gerald Armstrong. Armstrong worked for the Church as a clerk.
On May 24, 2011, a Russian website portal-credo.ru, which claims to be dedicated to news about religion, posted an interview with Alexei Danchenkov, identified as Church of Scientology of Moscow spokesman and editor-in-chief of “Right to Freedom,” which (unofficial translation) contained this exchange:
Church of Scientology of Moscow spokesman and editor-in-chief of “Right to Freedom”, Alexei Danchenkov: “Armstrong was invited to Russia as an expert on Scientology, but he left the church 30 years ago”
Interview by Valery Stepanov
Gerald Armstrong spoke a few days ago at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University in Moscow and he was presented as a former senior official of the Church of Scientology. Is his name familiar to you?
Aleksei Danchenkov: Actually, Gerald Armstrong was a former clerk of the Church of Scientology of California. He left the church in 1981, stealing more than 10,000 pages of documentation. He is currently wanted by the police of the United States on a number of charges for which he could face imprisonment and be required to pay fines for contempt of court.
On June 2, I posted a response to the portal-credo.ru interview, and specifically addressed the clerk attack line:
Mr. Danchenkov and his Scientologist accomplices are further implying, of course, that “clerk” is some unimportant, degraded position in Scientology, and that the Scientologists filling that position are necessarily prevented from acquiring any experiences or knowledge that could conceivably make them experts in anything.
The truth is that I successfully held several positions during my years in Scientology, and none were termed or described as “clerk.” Another truth is that in those actual positions and years I acquired a great deal of experience and knowledge. I have also acquired a great deal of experience and knowledge in the almost thirty years since I left Scientology. Throughout these post-Scientology years, I also was in many positions and had functions different from clerk; for example, as a Scientology target, victim and opponent, and as a witness, writer, speaker and researcher.
Along with certain God-given abilities, and the necessary willingness, of course, my honestly acquired, now forty-two years of experience and knowledge have, in fact, made me an expert on Scientology. My experience, knowledge and testimony is particularly expert regarding Scientology’s “Suppressive Person” doctrine, or “SP” doctrine, and regarding the doctrine’s application, which is commonly called “fair game.”
On December 9, 2011, a Scientologist or collaborator “J. Swift,” also identified to me as Jeffrey Augustine, posted on the Scientology-related “Operation Clambake Message Board” some resumé black PR:
Because Gerry is a high level critic, I had uncritically accepted for years that what he had written was the gospel truth. Imagine my shock, then, when I discovered that Gerry had instead offered the Critics Community his highly distorted version of events that is not congruent with the Court records or even former Apollo Crew:
For example, Gerry claims he was the Legal Officer and the Intelligence Officer on the Apollo. There were no such posts on the Apollo according to Karen#1 and Mike Rinder. Why has Gerry embellished his resume?
In the same thread, my wife Caroline, who then participated on that board, challenged “Swift’s” black PR on my post history:
For a malevolent purpose – to black PR Gerry as an embellisher of his resume — you assume or invent facts of which there is no evidence. Please identify where Karen [de la Carriere] and Mike Rinder stated that Gerry was not the legal officer or intelligence officer on the Apollo, or where they stated that there were no such posts on the ship. If they stated this to you orally, please say what exactly they stated, and when.
“Swift” refused to support his assertions, and Caroline nudged him:
In any case, you just made the factual claims that (1) “according to Karen#1 and Mike Rinder,” “there were no such posts on the Apollo” as “Legal Officer and Intelligence Officer,” and that (2) Gerry “embellished his resume.” You based the resume embellishment charge on the factual claim that Rinder and Karen had made a statement of fact that the posts Gerry had occupied and put on some — also so far unproduced by you — resume, never existed on the Apollo.
You should either provide a link to Karen and Rinder’s statements (they are awfully specific), or provide the statements, or acknowledge that they didn’t say what you say they said, or back pedal, or get them to back pedal. Feel free to back pedal all you want, and you’ve got quite a track of false claims of fact, lies and black PR to back pedal from.
Caroline requested twice more publicly that “Swift” support his assertions, and he did not, but added more black PR to his attack on both of us. “
I have testified about my Scientology organization positions or posts in many legal proceedings, and have identified and described them in sworn statements I have written. I have always told the truth about these posts to the best of my ability, none of which had the title “clerk.” I was indeed, at different times, the Deputy Legal Officer, the Legal Officer, the Intelligence Officer and the Public Relations Officer on the Scientology ship “Apollo.” I was also, at different times on board, Dishwasher, Storesman, Deck Project Force Member, Boats and Transport In-Charge, the Driver, and the Port Captain.
Still in Scientology, but on land after the “Apollo” period, my posts included, chronologically, Intelligence Officer, Mimeo Operator, Hubbard’s Deputy External Communications Aide, the Bosun in the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) Scientology’s penal and reprogramming camp, RPF Section Member, Hubbard’s Proofreader, Set Builder, Lighting Assistant, Props In-Charge, Location Scout, Cine Services Chief, Assistant Producer, RPF Section Member, RPF Master-at-Arms, Hubbard Renovations Purchaser, Hubbard Renovations In-Charge, Deputy Commanding Officer of the Hubbard Household Unit, Hubbard Biography Researcher and Archivist.
5. Armstrong intended to seize assets of the Church of Scientology.
This is false. I had no such intention, and having such an intention would have been ridiculous. I was in no position to seize any of the Scientologists’ assets. There were Scientologists that in 1984 claimed they wanted to seize organization assets because of criminal activities their leaders were involved in; and such reformers, if they were real, would have had standing to seize, or freeze, organization assets. The Scientologists invented such a group of claimed reformers, called the “Loyalists,” in order to run a covert operation against me to entrap me or commit other crimes against me, but their claimed intention of freezing assets was a lie.
I have written about this operation that the Scientologists ran on me in a number of declarations or articles, e.g., http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/decl-1994-02-20.html
6. When attorneys of the Church discovered the plan, they obtained permission from the Los Angeles police to conduct an investigation into Armstrong’s plans.
There was no such plan for the Scientologists’ attorneys to discover.
The Scientologists paid a corrupt LAPD Officer for an “authorization” for the Scientologists’ agents to phone tap and eavesdrop upon my attorney Michael J. Flynn, me and anyone else the Scientologists wanted to target. The Scientologists and their agents did illegally video record me, and used this “authorization” to justify their illegal activities. The LAPD Chief, however, on April 23, 1985, denounced any cooperation with the Scientologists’ agent, and declared their “purported authorizations directed to him, signed by any member of the Los Angeles Police Department, [ ] invalid and unauthorized.”
The Scientologists needed no permission to conduct an investigation into my plans. The “permission” they needed and purchased was to commit crimes against me, my attorney and others, which the Scientologists did. As the Chief of Police stated, whatever the Scientologists and their collaborators paid for as a permission was not a correspondence from the Los Angeles Police Department, was invalid and unauthorized, and therefore could not have been a permission from the Los Angeles police.
The Scientologists who contacted me to set me up in this operation claimed to be afraid for their lives, and for that reason they insisted they had to meet me in secret, and could not let me in on their plans. These Scientologists were lying about their fear obviously, because they were themselves the people they claimed to be afraid of.
7. The investigation caught Armstrong on videotape stating that he intended to forge and then plant incriminating documents on Church premises, to be discovered in a subsequent raid.
This is false. I have written or spoken many times over many years to counter this lie, and the rest of the black PR here about this covert and illegal intelligence operation. Also see this video made in Berlin, Germany on September 17, 2011, which describes this operation and certain other actions the Scientologists, particularly Rathbun and Rinder under Miscavige, took against me:
The Scientologists and their collaborators made the videotapes unlawfully, edited them, and for years have lied about what they did and what even the edited videos show. The Scientologists initiated a black PR letter writing campaign about the videos to government officials to get them to pressure the FBI. See, e.g., this letter dated August 6, 1985 from FBI Director William H. Webster to Don Edwards, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights in the House of Representatives:
Your letter of June 3, 1985, requesting FBI review of allegations made by Reverend John Standard III, Director, Office of Public Affairs, Church of Scientology International, concerning a “bizarre multi-agency plan to disrupt the Church of Scientology” has been brought to my attention.
The FBI has received other inquiries on this subject. I want to stress that the FBI is not involved solely or in conjunction with other Federal agencies in any attempt to destroy the Church of Scientology. In those cases where a violation of Federal law falling within the FBI’s jurisdiction has occurred, the FBI investigates such situations with complete fairness to all parties involved. The facts are then presented to the appropriate United States Attorney’s office which determines the prosecutive merits of the case.
The particular allegations made by Reverend Standard are based on conversations recorded during “secret” videotaping of a former Church member, Gerry Armstrong, whom Reverend Standard alleges is a “government covert operative.”
Gerry Armstrong, a former church member, has been interviewed numerous times by various Federal investigators and attorneys in connection with pending litigation in this and other Federal investigations. Partial transcripts of Mr. Armstrong’s videotaped conversations have been provided by the Church as exhibits to various pleadings filed in litigation with the Department of Justice, and they fail to substantiate claims of a counterintelligence program directed against that group. Conversely, review of the unexpurgated transcripts of those videotaped meetings referred to by Reverend Standard conclusively negates any inference of government conspiracy.
NOTE: Reverend John D. Standard III, Director, Office of Public Affairs, Church of Scientology International, wrote to Representative Rodino, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee alleging “a bizarre multi-agency plan to disrupt the Church of Scientology”, and requested Representative Don Edwards hold hearings on this matter. Representative Don Edwards requested the FBI review Reverend Standard’s allegations. Videotaped conversations of a former Church member, Gerry Armstrong allegedly establish the government-wide conspiracy and have been utilized as exhibits in various pleadings filed by the Church; however, the transcripts selectively omit a pertinent portion of the tape which conclusively negates any inference of government conspiracy. The context of this letter was taken, in part, from similar replies to congressional inquiries. This reply was coordinated with [blacked out] Legal Counsel Division.
[Handwritten] Copies of the transcript of the videotaped conversations of former church member Gerry Armstrong were filed as an exhibit to a motion to vacate summary judgment entered on behalf of the defendants in Founding Church of Scientology v. Director FBI etc. (USDC, DOC, CA No. 78-0107). A review of these transcripts by DOJ attorneys and by SA [blacked out] reveals several statements by Armstrong to the effect that the government is “not out to get” the Church of Scientology or any Scientologist. Copies of the full text are in possession of LCD and DOJ Federal Programs Branch. 8/1/85
8. When challenged on how he would obtain proof of the allegations he intended to make, he responded that: “We don’t have to prove a god dam thing. We don’t have to prove shit. We just have to allege it.”
This misrepresents what was going on when I said whatever I said, and misrepresents what I said. I have responded to this black propaganda many times, e.g., in my February 22, 1994 declaration, referred to above, which was in response to false statements about me made by Miscavige in a declaration he filed in the case of Scientology v. Fishman & Geertz, United States District Court for the Central District of California, Case No. CV 91-6425 HLH(Tx).:
Mr. Miscavige states that I advise one of his covert operatives to accuse the organization of various criminal acts and when I am told that no evidence exists to support those charges I respond to “just allege it.” (Miscavige Dec. p. 32, l. 5 – l. 8) “Better Basket” describes something of the context in which I make a statement differentiating between “allegations” and “proof.” The operative I’m talking to is Mike Rinder. Before this meeting I had already, on request of the “Loyalists,” provided them with a “bare bones” draft of a complaint. Complaints contain allegations. Complaints do not contain proof. Rinder, who had been represented to me as the Loyalists’ “best legal mind” couldn’t seem to get the distinction between allegations and proof in the complaint, and I was frustrated in our conversation because he seemed so dense. Now, of course, his denseness is fully understandable. He had to appear stupid and had to deny that there was any “proof” of the sort of allegations that would be made in a complaint because he knew he was being recorded on a videotape which was going to be used to attack, and if possible destroy me. Even what the organization has done to me alone (see, e.g., crimes listed by Judge Breckenridge and the list in paragraph 7 above) is enough for actual true-hearted reformers to bring a lawsuit to take control of the organization from the criminals now in charge.
9. If that is not enough, Armstrong once posted a message on the Internet concerning a letter he sent to Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. In the letter, he offered himself to Hussein as a hostage in the Iraqi war. “If either side failed to perform any part of the agreement, the other side could execute me,” he concluded. Armstrong makes clear in his posting that he did not think the letter to Hussein was a joke, but was deadly serious. He quite proudly republishes it and other similar writings from time to time.
Grieboski has written the entirety of the subject defamatory statement as if he had personal knowledge of what he was communicating. At no point did he identify another source for this knowledge and the fact assertions he made, or even hint that there was another source. As any perusal of the Scientologists’ attacks on me over many years would show, Grieboski got this black PR on me from them.
Obviously, he does not have personal knowledge of what he was talking about. According to his own statements, he was nine years old in Scranton, PA when the Scientologists were paying an LAPD officer for authorization to commit crimes against my attorney, me, etc. Grieboski was fifteen, and reportedly still in Scranton, when I wrote to Saddam Hussein in Iraq in an effort to avert the Gulf War and arrange a hostage swap.
Grieboski really was implying that he had researched the facts, and certainly had confirmed the veracity of everything he was saying. He was communicating as if he was a legitimate historian, knowledgeable about his subject because he had honestly examined the best evidence and studied the best, most reliable reports available.
His PR about himself is a man of great ability, honesty, integrity, courage, understanding and compassion. His single defamatory black PR statement about me belies his white self-PR and reveals a black PRing man of malice. His repeatedly, over years, dealing with me and my “bad press” with his black PR, without ever attempting to contact me or ever acknowledging the truth about his black PR’s victim, shows no conscience.
Clearly, his intention regarding a letter to Saddam Hussein, and other similar writings from time to time, was to portray me as mentally deranged or psychotic. If Grieboski could get his power list of people and entities that he dealt with to accept his portrayal of me as psychotic, they would grant no credence to whatever truth I might be saying, about my religious experiences and knowledge of the Scientology religion and his Scientologist clients or bosses and their collaborators.
The Scientologists have portrayed me as deranged or psychotic ever since I left Scientology, and have even emphatically pronounced me psychotic. In their submission to the IRS, on which their 1993 tax exemption was granted, they stated:
Our consistent view has been that the civil litigants are solely motivated by greed. The exception is Armstrong who we truly believe to be psychotic. During the 1980’s, the IRS used every single civil litigant against Scientology as an IRS witness. The government, however, has no business in taking sides in a religious or civil dispute. It is indeed ironic to note that once the Flynn civil litigation in the 80’s was settled, with the exception of Armstrong, we hear no more of their “horror stories” from these paragons of virtue claiming to be interested only in “principle” and “what is right.”
The Scientologists claim to know more about the mind than psychologists or psychiatrists, and to possess the only cure for psychosis, and for virtually every non-optimum mental health condition. It is helpful to view and consider the Scientologists’ labels for people, such as “psychotic,” in light of these claims of superior knowledge and technology of the mind. Indeed the Scientologists claim to have only “workable” mental technology. If the Scientologists truly believed that I am psychotic, their treatment or handling of me has been all the more unconscionable, as has Grieboski’s.
See, e.g., this black PR handout about me dated October 26, 1997 that the Scientologists distributed in Berlin, Germany:
“They searched the whole world for the leading speaker against Scientology and all they found is a fugitive from American Justice, who fled to Canada. His normal activities consist of conversations with the dead” said lawyer Elliot Abelson who represents the International Church of Scientology. “To present such a psychotic person as Gerry Armstrong as a reliable witness is a new low in the losing international campaign, which is organized by people with governmental backing, against the fundamental rights of the members of the Church of Scientology.”
See, e.g., this black PR post on July 11, 2004 to the Usenet group alt.religion.scientology (a.r.s.) from Scientologist agent “CL:”
Hey, Spacetraveler, do yourself a big favor: if you wouldn’t try to reason with a skunk turd, don’t try to reason with Gerry Armstrong.
He is a moron. He is a pathological liar. He is a professional victim. He is a whining, pathetic, pitiful, “poor me baby,” writhing, squirming, lying, amoral, thief. He is so psychotic that he believes, and tries to make everyone else believe, that he is God’s own perfection sent to this earth to explain to everyone who looks at him cross-eyed how utterly inferior and stupid they are not to recognize his own divinity and superiority, his unblemished perfection, his bleeding wounds of infinite and endless martyrdom.
I have dealt with, and had to live with, the Scientologists’ black PR about my writings in relation to Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War for many years. See, e.g. this post to a.r.s. on February 22, 1998: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/writings/saddam-bill-wgert-and-me.html#saddam
This is from my June 2, 2011 response to Russian Scientologist Alexei Danchenkov’s black PR, which shares material with Grieboski’s:
Scientology and Scientologists are driven to use whatever exists and whatever can be manufactured therefrom to show that their thoughts, words and actions against me are right, and completely justified, indeed necessary and honorable. One of their most important and often repeated pieces of “evidence” that I’m truly psychotic is my 1990 letter to Saddam.
The letter, obviously, is unrelated to Scientology. It could stand alone for consideration without reference to Scientology. Anyone could have written it without my history and present relationship with Scientology. The cult made the letter “relevant” in a lawsuit it filed and prosecuted improperly against me in the 1990’s. Once it obtained the letter in the legal proceeding, Scientology has used it in its black PR campaign.
I’ve just re-read the letter. It is grammatically solid, philosophically consistent, literary, and sincere. I was, of course, aware that there was little likelihood that Saddam would pay any attention, or even hear of my offer. I was, nevertheless, willing to make my life available if called for to avert or in relation to the coming war. Doubtlessly my offer on behalf of people who don’t participate in national negotiations could have been preferable to the wars that have since happened in Iraq.
The letter does not, however, evidence a personality disorder, legally, medically or societally, any more than any other understandable and sincere offer within a person’s capability in a tense situation evidences a personality disorder. Scientology’s leaders do not truly believe I’m psychotic, but clearly believe that their survival depends on getting others to believe I’m psychotic so that what I say won’t be believed.
In addition to black PRing me for writing Saddam Hussein to try to prevent war, Scientology also black PRs me for my writings about my plan for peacefully resolving the world’s economic problems. Scientologists have demonstrated that no matter what I say or do, no matter how unrelated to Scientology, no matter how enlightened, beneficial or even holy, they will attack it to attack me.
Yet, the attacks on me, and my associates, besides being hurtful, are irrelevant. It would not matter if I was truly psychotic, or truly evil, or the evilest person on earth, it is not right or lawful to try silence me about the Scientology religion and its religionists, by court order, by threat, or by any other means. And I am not such a person. http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/archives/5011
Because I have had to repeatedly deal with the black PR use the Scientologists and their collaborators have made of my offer to Saddam, and because I have had to confront what I had said and done that is being used for this purpose, I came to realize that I had simply offered to do as Jesus Christ declared in John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (King James Version) I didn’t have this verse or idea in mind when I offered myself as a hostage, or for execution. I did not even consider myself a Christian then, although I was clearly moving in that direction. Being willing to be imprisoned, tortured or killed to somehow prevent other deaths, destruction and great anguish was a certain step along the way. Laying down one’s life like that implied, until the moment of death, a willingness.
As with many difficult or scary things that a person might be willing to do or might volunteer for, I ended up not being called to do it, and not having to lay down my life. Obviously many others did lay down their lives in the Gulf Wars that followed. It is possible that many of those people were unwilling, I do not know. I really did try to reach Saddam, via my local newspaper at the time, a few other media contacts, and some top government or diplomatic people involved in the buildup to war. I did not go overboard, however, or harass or taunt Saddam, or stalk the guy. I reasoned that if God was going to have him accept my offer, or even receive it, or if someone in government or media was going to think my idea had merit, for purposes of détente, literature, or even commercial exploitation, I had done enough to make my willingness known.
When I have published, republished, or linked to the already-published text of my letter to Saddam, as I have done here, I really have not done so quite proudly as Grieboski says. Saying that I have done whatever I have done “quite proudly” implies that what I have done is immoral, and not something a moral person would do proudly, or publish proudly. There is no reason for me to not be proud of my what I had done, except pride itself. It was not immoral, nor deranged. I think I have published or linked to my letter, however, and even published whatever Grieboski has black PRed as “other similar writings,” more quite matter-of-factly than quite proudly. The black PR that the Scientologists and their collaborators like Grieboski have published about me really is immoral, and they really do publish it quite proudly.
Grieboski writes in his February 29, 2008 letter:
As a devout Roman Catholic, I can and do have my own opinions about other faiths, but as a human rights advocate, it is not my responsibility to judge the worth of the beliefs of others.
The Catholic Bible I found online contains slightly different language in John 15:13 than the KJV, but the meaning of the verse in both Bibles is the same. “No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=50 Although Grieboski says it to mock me and make me sound psychotic, he does acknowledge that I wasn’t joking in my letter to Saddam “but was deadly serious.” It is observable within the letter that although I was writing about deadly serious matters, about hate and death and war, and although I was serious in what I said, I did not lose a sense of humor. The Bible does not instruct Christians, Catholics or not, to mock or revile people who are willing to lay down their lives for others.
Scientologists can be expected to pervert and ridicule any Suppressive Person’s willingness to lay down his life, or his willingness to do almost any kind of good deed, or think or express any good idea. Scientologists can be expected to black PR and work to destroy the SP class, and never grant them a crumb of credence. See Scientology Policy Directive 28, “Suppressive Act – Dealing with a Declared Suppressive Person.”
Few people would expect a devout Catholic, however, to pervert and ridicule such a biblically recognized willingness, the willingness elevated by God above all other willingnesses. Fewer people would expect, or suspect, that a devout Catholic who is also a human rights advocate, and multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was participating in a campaign, in fact a criminal conspiracy, to black PR a known, already grossly persecuted member of the same persecuted minority religious class that Scientologists persecute.
That Grieboski is also a beneficiary in the Scientology v. Armstrong injunction, which unlawfully persecutes the same class, is added inescapable irony. See the biography for the IRPP’s Chairman of the Board:
Mr. Grieboski’s guiding principle for the Institute is that religious freedom is not simply a church-state issue, but involves the engagement of every segment of society to secure freedom of belief for each person.
Freedom of belief without freedom of expression, of course, is nothing to secure. And Grieboski is a contracted beneficiary in mass suppression and punishment of the freedom of expression regarding religion and undeniably religious beliefs, experiences, knowledge, scripture, entities and persons.
Grieboski’s IRPP COB bio continues, and, I believe it could be argued, quite proudly:
As a religious freedom and human rights expert, he has testified before the United States Congress, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and many other legislative and international bodies.
Mr. Grieboski has traveled to Kosovo, China, South Sudan, Darfur and countless other areas to investigate the status of religious freedom.
He currently serves as the Founder and Secretary-General of the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom; editorial board member of the China Law and Religion Monitor; board member of the Committee for a Responsible Defense; and as a member of the Panel of Experts on International Religious Freedom of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
He has lectured for the Close Up Foundation; the National Youth Leadership Forum on Defense, Intelligence, and Diplomacy; and the Washington Semester Program on Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University. Grieboski has also served as a faculty member of the Boston University Institute on Religion and World Affairs (IRWA) Seminar “Religion and Democracy.” Grieboski investigated a run for the United States House of Representatives in 2002.
Before founding the Institute, Mr. Grieboski worked as Director of the International Religious Liberty Program of the Center for Jewish and Christian Values.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service and a Master’s in National Security Studies from Georgetown University.
Specializations: National Security; Conventional and Non-Conventional Threats to Security; Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism; Human Rights Law; Conflict Management, Constitutional Law, International Organizations
10. There is much more I could say on the subject, but will leave it to the readers to research for themselves if they wish to discover the more sordid background of this “gentleman,” who currently has several outstanding warrants for his arrest.
I look forward to hearing much more from Grieboski on the subject, in a deposition on the subject or during examination on the subject at a trial of my claims against him, which include the subject and much more.
He did not really leave anything to the readers to research. He was telling them that the more sordid background is there and real, that the research of the already agreed upon sordid background was done, and that it was discovered to be more sordid. He let the readers know that if they wanted to discover the more sordid background that he had discovered through his research, well knock themselves out, but all the research has been done, the sordid background is more sordid.
The Scientologists used the same sordid adjective in their submission to the IRS, which also included the psychotic adjective quoted above, and which obtained for them their religious tax exemption in 1993:
Church of Scientology v. Gerald Armstrong:
We have included some background information here and an epilogue to the decision in question. That is because the Service has continuously thrust the Armstrong case at us, demanding an explanation. The Armstrong case decision was so inflammatory and intemperate that it was used to stigmatize the Church in the legal arena and make other outrageous decisions possible. As we shall demonstrate below, all this decision ever involved was Armstrong’s state of mind, which subsequently obtained evidence proved conclusively to be one sordid, sadomasochistic nightmare. Furthermore, Armstrong’s state of mind horror stories have fallen on deaf ears in recent litigation. Relying on Armstrong or the Armstrong decision is wholly unjustified.
This is the decision the Scientologists are referring to in their submission:
The decision, filed June 22, 1984 in Scientology v. Armstrong, Los Angeles Superior Court, case no. C 420153, became the judgment in the case on August 10, 1984, and was affirmed on appeal on July 29, 1991. http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/a1/3112.php
My state of mind is not and has never been a sordid, sado-masochistic nightmare. My background is not more sordid, or sordid at all, as backgrounds go. I thank God that my background and my life are as unsordid as they are.
The quotation marks around “gentleman” here are obviously sneer quotes, signifying that I am anything but a gentleman. A gentleman, as Grieboski was using the term, would be, e.g.: A well-mannered and considerate man with high standards of proper behavior. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gentleman With sneer quotes, Grieboski was saying that I am an ill-mannered and inconsiderate man of abysmal standards of behavior. With sneer quotes too, he has elevated himself to a height where his sneering at me is for everyone else’s good.
What warrants for my arrest were outstanding, if any, at the time Grieboski published his defamatory statement can only be determined by checking the records in the relevant jurisdictions. My belief is that there were not then several such outstanding warrants, and very well might have been none.
It is true that the beneficiaries have obtained jail sentences against me in California for discussing my religious beliefs, experiences and knowledge, and for assisting members of the SP class that the beneficiaries persecute, in violation of the injunction that unlawfully prohibits any such discussion and assistance. It is also true that the beneficiaries have obtained warrants to have me arrested because I have failed to serve these jail sentences. See, e.g., this bench warrant dated May 15, 1998: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/ga/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/warrant-1998-05-15.pdf
In 2004, the Marin Superior Court dispensed with the pending jail sentences against me. The Scientologists appealed, and got the jail sentences reinstated on October 5, 2007. Whether or not the Scientologists obtained several warrants for my arrest between that date and February 29, 2008 I do not know, but it seems impossible. Regardless, the jail sentences, fines and any such warrants for my arrest are unlawful and bring shame upon the beneficiaries, the California Courts, the US Government, and the California and US bars; and shame upon Grieboski for using this shameful crime against me to further injure me. Having such unlawful, shameful sentences against me, arrest warrants outstanding, and all the black PR about all this all around the world, although cruel and injurious, brings no shame whatsoever.
Regarding the 2004 ruling, see the record in Scientology v. Armstrong, Marin Superior Court No. CV 021632: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/a7/index.html and this record in the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Nos. A107100 and A107095, and California Supreme Court Case No. S139389: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/a7/appeal/index.html
I’m writing to ask you to rethink what you’re saying about the people who settled with Scientology. I’m, of course, one of those people, and I know a number of other people in that group very personally. I consequently know quite a bit about that group’s experience, and am able to discuss and defend them or us.
I don’t know how many people reading here know or know of Lawrence Wollersheim, but the above Scientology drill proved to be a complete waste of time. Lawrence would have none of it. Lawrence is the only person I know of in the history of litigation with Scientology that brought his case to court, won the case, got paid for his trouble and NEVER signed a confidential agreement with Scientology about anything period. Lawrence and his team (which I joined in 1998) kicked Scientology’s ass in the courts hands down. Anyone else that I know of has sold a piece of their soul for Scientology’s money by promising to keep quiet. Accepting Scientology’s money in this way in the end proves to be a sellout. By settling money for silence how can you warn others? It’s a selfish decision to know of something that actively hunts and preys on good people just like you and not warn them for money, not to mention the lifetime Scientology tether agreement is always around your neck.2
Some months ago, a longtime friend told me that you were talking smack about me, and the reason you gave for bad-mouthing me was that I had taken Scientology’s money in settlement. I’m hoping to get you to change this computation.
You’ll recall that I was asking you some years back, by e-mail and phone, for a declaration regarding your knowledge of Miscavige’s possession of my manuscript, artwork and other documents that were stolen from my car in 1984. You had told me, I believe in 1999, about Miscavige possessing these stolen materials and talking to you about them, and I was asking you for a declaration concerning that knowledge to help me defend myself in ongoing litigation, and even defend myself in life. A declaration providing your knowledge of Miscavige’s possession of my materials would also have been useful, of course, in any legal action to get my materials returned to me, which I continue to pursue. I mentioned what you had told me in a 2009 letter to Marty Rathbun3, who was obviously more personally involved and knowledgeable about the theft, the thieves, and what Miscavige did with my materials.
I remember too you telling me about how Miscavige used to humiliate Terri for loving me at one time, and you told me other things you had knowledge of. You knew inside that I was a major target of Scientology, and you knew of the attitude and communications about me, and something about the black PR and operations against me. Your knowledge of the Scientology v. Armstrong war in a declaration would have been legally helpful and morally supportive.
Marty Rathbun uses the same “reasoning” to not help me, even to not correct ongoing crimes against me that he perpetrated or participated in and could do something about. Since he began to communicate publicly after claiming to have left the Miscavige Scientology operation, I’ve written Rathbun several letters. He wrote back one nasty e-mail, refusing to help, and providing this “critical difference” between us as a reason: “You sold out twenty-three years ago – and are apparently still mad at yourself for the indelible taint it left. I will never sell out.”
Rathbun’s “logic” is, of course, the logic of sociopaths. Rathbun and his crew fair gamed my attorney Michael Flynn and fair gamed his clients, who were already Scientology victims. Rathbun, et al. insisted that Flynn have his clients sign the cult’s silence contracts, or the Scientologists would continue to fair game him and them. Scientology’s victims, having delivered what Rathbun, et al. wanted, then get attacked by the Scientologists, and in this case even some wogs, for “selling out.” It’s typical of sociopaths to victimize people and then blame their victims for the evil the sociopaths did to them. You, Jesse, were inside the cult, in a high position, and added your weight to the criminal pressure put on Flynn and his clients to sign your cult’s contracts. You were a party and beneficiary in these contracts.
From what I recall of your story, you also signed one or more of Scientology’s silence documents (didn’t we all?) and waited several years to speak out after you left the cult because of your fear that the cult would enforce these documents. You have also acknowledged that you took yourself out of the Scientology conflict for another several years, and have only recently rejoined the conflict. You took off those years, didn’t speak out, didn’t warn people, didn’t help the people asking for your help, and not because you were constrained by a contract, but because of the way you were apparently treated by people you’d helped in the 3 or so years you were speaking out and helping. It seems to me that makes your disparagement of Scientology’s victims for settling with the cult disingenuous, and something to be corrected.
Marty’s boast that he will never sell out is just so much BS. He sold out every day he was inside the cult, and he continues to sell out. Every Scientologist sells out. He knew way more than other Scientologists, and his sell-out is monstrous. He took money from Scientology, and you took money from Scientology. What went with your weekly wages was the agreement to not speak out, to not help Scientology’s victims, to not warn people, but to support their victimization.
Lawrence didn’t sign a settlement contract with the cult, but he has, nevertheless, removed himself from the Scientology conflict, doesn’t speak out, and to that degree doesn’t warn people. Even though he has other reasons than a silence contract to do so, he’s able to remove himself from the Scientology conflict, and to not speak out to warn people, because the cult paid him a great deal of money. I don’t see where not speaking out for one reason is necessarily or automatically morally superior to not speaking out for other reasons. I’m sure Lawrence would understand that and not object. He deserves to be away from the Scientology conflict, as much as any of us.
You portray Scientology’s victims that settled as taking the cult’s money for their silence, or selling out for money. You also say that the effect of the sellout is because the victims’ knowledge then can’t warn people about Scientology, which actively hunts and preys on good people. The fact is that all the people I know of who settled with Scientology had legal justiciable claims, and it was for the dismissal or removal of these legal claims that the cult paid the settling claimants. The silence conditions of the settlements were severable, and have become virtually meaningless and unenforceable. In any case, all of those settling victims could be subpoenaed, could testify, and their sworn testimony could be used to help other victims or warn people.
Scientology didn’t pay me for my silence. I wasn’t selling my silence. It paid me to dismiss my claims for 12 ½ years of fraud and abuse inside, and 5 years of fair game after leaving. Despite their claims, the cultists did not pay me to continue to be fair gamed the rest of my life. I wasn’t selling my torture. The contractual conditions that silence me, or render me in any way unable to defend myself and my class, are unlawful and lawfully unenforceable. That Scientology and Scientologists have had the California courts rule these unlawful conditions lawful is but another crime in the Scientologists’ global criminal conspiracy.
As a sort of aside, regarding warning people, the fact is that people, largely, in this part of the world, are warned, even Government. Maybe in Third World counties they haven’t been warned, and maybe lots of people haven’t got the warning. But in, for example, your Internet public, they’ve been warned. In the warning department, Scientology is a lot like cigarettes. Nobody has to warn people that they’re harmful or deadly. The question is, now that people have been for years fully warned about cigarettes, and people have been for years warned about Scientology, how do you combat the evils they’ve been warned about?
As you know, when you stopped being an expert witness in the McPherson case, Caroline was suggested by Bob Minton to replace you. Ken Dandar contacted her, asked her to testify, and flew her to Florida in early 2002 to be briefed, familiarize herself with the case, and prepare an expert declaration. She was presented with a non-disclosure agreement, and pressured by Lirot, Dandar and Patricia Greenway to sign. This was also despite the fact that she had agreed to work on the case and testify as an expert without remuneration of any kind. Because of the evil that such contracts do, as you’ve observed, and because of how the “agreement” was going to be applied, Caroline’s and my security would be compromised, so she didn’t sign and didn’t testify. It is my understanding that both you and Hana Whitfield signed such documents. The claimed fact that you had signed was used to pressure Caroline.
She was also being pressured, as part of the “agreement,” to stop communicating on the Internet, stop posting to alt.religion.scientology, and, consequently, of course, to not warn any of the people you’re concerned about who don’t know of Scientology and its active hunting and preying on good people. Caroline asked Dandar if he’d read what she had posted about Scientology or Lisa McPherson on the Internet, and he said he had not, and that he deferred to Ms. Greenway regarding Internet matters.
So, did you sign such a document? What was presented to Caroline to sign follows: mcpherson-silence-contract
I realize it’s hard to think with, and, of course, it flies in the face of your conviction that people who sign Scientology’s silence contracts are selfish and sellouts, but I am actually glad I signed the cult’s contract.4
I’ve written about the contract extensively, including the circumstances, my relationship to my attorney and to the 20 or so settling parties, my attorney’s representations, my reasoning, etc., so won’t rewrite it all here. To better understand what went down, I would suggest this 2004 declaration, particularly paragraphs 108 – 175: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/a8/complaint-rpt-doj-2004-02-16.html
The contract is evil, its purpose is evil, how Scientology and Scientologists have used it and still use it is evil. It’s true that I’ve had to take a bunch abuse for signing Scientology’s evil document – lawsuits, judgments, bankruptcy, injunction, fines, jail sentences, threats around the world, a sick black PR campaign, alienation of friends and colleagues, marginalization, loss of opportunities of many kinds, and even the deleterious psychological condition that long term abuse engenders. I have, nevertheless, been very grateful for the message and the courage to sign.
I was positioned as the dealbreaker in a “global” settlement, and my signing was to have fair game end against my attorneys, the other victims and myself. In fact Scientology was promising to end fair game against everyone else forever. It didn’t work out that way for me and for the everyone else, but the 20 victims and a bunch of attorneys could get away from the conflict, which I think they did to one degree or another. The cult, with my attorney’s participation, positioned me to be responsible for the whole settlement for a number of reasons, some of which are probably obvious.
But I’m actually glad about signing Scientology’s evil contract, and, of course, standing up to the cult’s campaign to enforce it, because it has provided such a very important lesson to the Scientologists. The massive effort to judicially enforce Scientology’s contract has shown, despite the cult’s apparent judicial triumphs, the contract’s utter lawful unenforceability.
The Scientology v. Armstrong case is practically the pinnacle of Scientology depravity, and it is an ongoing crime Scientologists still have to take care of. If I had not signed Scientology’s evil contract it would never have become a public document and warned millions of people about the sociopathic nature of Scientology, and how, even by contract, the cult generates an antisocial nature and anti-human rights actions in Scientologists.
Marty says I sold out and postulates an “indelible taint” onto me to justify not helping correct a serious injustice. I didn’t sell out. Any indelible taint is only in Marty’s mind.
I hope you’ll reconsider your poor view of Scientology’s victims who settle with the cult and stop talking about their experiences and knowledge. In terms of contributions, they’ve done a lot more than the thousands of victims who don’t even file claims that could settle, or don’t even consider themselves victims. In any case, I don’t think it’s right to classify and put down that group of victims for what amounts to more victimization.
I could still use your help with a declaration about my stolen materials, etc.
- Document source: ↩
- See http://princejesse53.blogspot.com/2011/04/finale-here-it-is-for-you-now.html ↩
- GA’s July 7, 2009 letter to Mark Rathbun ↩
- “Mutual Release and Settlement Agreement”: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/a1/mutual-release-1986.html ↩