DECLARATION OF MICHAEL RINDER1
My name is Michael Rinder, I am over the age of 21, and I have personal knowledge of the facts stated herein, which I declare are true and correct subject to the penalty for perjury.
1. I was raised in a Scientology family from the age of six. I joined church staff in April 1973 at the age of eighteen and remained a full time employee until June 2007.
2. For most of the time between 1982 and 2007 I was a senior official in the Church of Scientology International (CSI), the so-called mother church of Scientology. I was on the Board of Directors of CSI from its inception in 1982 until I left in 2007.
3. During the majority of the time between 1982 and 2007 I was the most senior official within CSI responsible for “external affairs”, meaning government and media relations, investigations and intelligence operations, as well as all litigation and contract matters. This function is performed by the Office of Special Affairs (“OSA”) and I was the head of OSA for most of this time.
4. I have read Defendant Church of Scientology International’s “Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s First Amended Petition” and attached affidavits of Allan Cartwright, David Lubow, John Allender, Richard Hirst, Monty Drake and Steven Sloat and I have also read Defendants Miscavige and RTC Special Appearances and requests for dismissal alleging this court does not have jurisdiction. I have relevant information concerning both of these efforts to dismiss this case. Miscavige and RTC Special Appearances and requests for dismissal alleging this court does not have jurisdiction. I have relevant information concerning both of these efforts to dismiss this case.
Miscavige and Me
5. Though a CSI employee, I answered directly to David Miscavige (the self-titled Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center or “COB RTC” or nowadays simply “COB”) and Religious Technology Center, either directly to Miscavige or through his representatives, primarily Mark (“Marty”) Rathbun and to a lesser extent Warren McShane and Mike Sutter. Even when there was someone who was administratively senior to me in CSI, they were senior in title only. RTC still directed my activities and I reported to one of the four named individuals above.
6. I have more than two decades of personal experience working for David Miscavige dealing with the most pressing “external affairs” matters — from negotiations with the IRS to dealing with “attackers” and responding to media and numerous lawsuits. Miscavige has always maintained personal and direct control over situations he felt threatened his position of authority and power within the church or would harm his image. To facilitate this without subjecting himself to liability, an elaborate corporate structure was put in place to shield his involvement in direct actions, particularly those that are unsavory or could generate damaging PR or could drag him into litigation.
7. I was selected by David Miscavige and brought to Los Angeles from Florida in April 1981 to participate in the purge of the “Guardian’s Office” which had been the arm of the church that had been responsible for “external affairs” but had been caught and prosecuted by the US Government for illegal acts. This in turn had engendered civil litigation which at the time was moving towards judgments against the church and threatened to drag Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard into civil and potentially criminal liability. Marty Rathbun was also part of this small group of people hand selected by Miscavige. OSA is heir to the role of the Guardian’s Office.
8. At Miscavige’s direction, extensive and elaborate methods were employed to shield Hubbard from liability. After Hubbard died in 1986 and Miscavige took over, similar methods were employed by Miscavige to shield himself from liability.
9. Miscavige is acutely aware of personal liability and carefully uses subterfuge to make it appear he has no connection to unsavory or potentially tortious or criminal activities. He talks on the phone or in person with no record to his trusted “lieutenants” about “sensitive matters” (such as anything relating to the “handling” of “attackers”, defined as anyone who threatens his position or the church through exposure in the media, on the internet or in. the legal arena). If written communication is required it is not signed by him and gives no indication who it was written by. At times Miscavige even writes about himself in the third person (e.g. “this would impact COB” rather than “this would impact me.”) This is a pattern developed by Hubbard. Other times Miscavige instructs his lieutenants to issue orders in their name. This happened hundreds if not thousands of times where I would relay Miscavige orders to underlings in various Churches of Scientology around the world in my name.
10. Miscavige compartmentalizes information — those who did not “need to know” were excluded from conversations or written orders. The majority of the time 1. worked under Miscavige, “sensitive” subjects, which included matters related to litigation, ongoing investigations or high level defectors were discussed ONLY with his most trusted juniors. On numerous occasions that meant only Marty Rathbun and me. He would tell others to leave the room, or he would step outside with us before discussing these matters. This was particularly the case when he wanted to discuss ongoing “investigations.”
11. The “Case Officers” (usually Neal O’Riley, Ben Shaw and Linda Hamel, all former Guardian Office members) who directed Pi’s and other operatives reported only to me, and I forwarded it to Miscavige, Rathbun, McShane and Sutter. The information they collected and activities they directed were kept segregated from even others in OSA. This is pursuant to the written policy of the church on how to conduct covert investigations and operations. (Some operations were so sensitive that Rathbun or McShane went directly to the Case Officers and I was not informed about what they were doing)
12. Miscavige received a daily report concerning every legal case, every media action and every investigation ongoing in the world. I prepared this briefing each day, entitled the “OSA DR” (Office of Special Affairs Daily Report) and it was sent to Marty Rathbun and David Miscavige via an encrypted email program. The report had no indication on it who it was written by or who it was addressed to. There was a separate “Investigations Report” that I compiled with very limited distribution including David Miscavige and Marty Rathbun. The “Invest Report” contained specifics of all ongoing activities of Private Investigators and intelligence operations working for the church against “attackers”. This was delivered in an unmarked, sealed envelope with no indication who it was from or who it was to and is labeled “Secret — Eyes Only.” On hundreds of occasions David Miscavige specifically commented upon, issued orders concerning, and even micro-managed the format of the OSA Daily Reports. When I was in a different location from Miscavige, he would call me on the phone every single day first thing to direct what was to be done about matters raised in the OSA Daily Report (it was the first thing he looked at before even getting dressed when he woke up in the morning) and he would call me again at the end of the day to ask if there was any other “significant news”. Some days, if there was an investigation or legal case or media matter that he was especially interested in, he would call me several times during the day. All staff in OSA knew that phone calls “from COB” were highest priority and any meetings or other matters were to be interrupted to take a “call from COB.” Staff in OSA Int saw me receive literally thousands of phone calls from “COB.” When we were in the same location, I would be summoned to his office several times each day.
13. Each and every OSA Daily Report and Intel or Invest Daily Report that was produced daily from 1981 to the present is filed both in electronic and hard copy form at OSA. It is long-standing, firm, unalterable Scientology policy that every report generated by OSA is faithfully and securely kept on file for eternity. The files are considered to be the mind of the organization.
Corporate Lines of Control — The Sea Organization
14. In addition to the compartmented information and sensitive matters not being put in writing, an elaborate corporate structure is in place on paper intended to insulate Miscavige and RTC from any civil or criminal liability. I helped establish this structure starting in 1981, creating the different corporations of Scientology including CST and RTC. This structure served three purposes: making a legally defensible structure that the IRS could ultimately grant tax exempt status to, creating an impenetrable corporate shield to limit liability to Hubbard (and subsequently Miscavige) and protecting assets from judgments by litigants by locating them in different corporate entities than those that were in direct contact with the public.
15. In fact, there is no corporate separation in the Scientology hierarchy because the entire structure of Scientology corporations is completely subservient to the Sea Organization (“Sea Org” or “SO”). And that is under the unquestioned authority of its supreme commander, Captain David Miscavige.
16. The Sea Org is a fraternity of the most dedicated members of Scientology. They pledge themselves to eternal service, signing a billion year “contract.” Sea Org members live in church facilities and have no life outside the church. The name derives from the late 1960’s when L. Ron Hubbard took his most dedicated and trusted followers to sea on a fleet of ships. Hubbard assumed the naval rank of Commodore and the naval traditions of rank and command structures became part and parcel of the leadership of Scientology.
17. Everyone in CSI and RTC and all other senior organizations of Scientology are members of the Sea Organization. I was a member of the Sea Organization from 1973 until 2007 and as all Sea Org members are required to do, I signed a billion year “contract”, committing myself to an eternity in service of Scientology and dedicating myself without question to the Sea Org strict and unquestioned code of conduct.
18. The real control of Scientology lays within the Sea Organization hierarachy. Every person in any position of authority in the international structure of Scientology is a Sea Org member. Every one of them is answerable to Miscavige. He uses a contrived title that makes him sound like a Board Chairman of a normal corporation. This is a deliberate ruse. He is really the most senior official of the Sea Org and as such has complete and unquestioned authority over every Sea Org member regardless of their “corporate position.”
19. When Hubbard died in 1986 and Miscavige took over to “follow in his footsteps” — Hubbard’s rank of Commodore was retired. Miscavige assumed the most senior rank of “Captain.” This bestows upon him ultimate “seniority of command” and authority over everyone else in the Sea Org (meaning every person in any position of authority in Scientology no matter their corporate position). Internally in Scientology, even members who are not in the Sea Org refer to him as “Captain Miscavige” and he is identified in church publications accordingly.
20. When this true “line of command and control” was brought up in litigation in the 1990’s by former Sea Org members, Miscavige went to extraordinary lengths to camouflage his control by appointing a number of other people to the rank of “Captain (brevet).” “Brevet” means “temporary.” In that way he was able to submit a declaration to the court claiming that because there were “other Captains” he was not in fact able to exercise sole control of the Sea Organization. That conclusion was false, though his assertion that there were “other Captains” was literally true but the other “Captains” were temporary and each understood Miscavige could take away their “rank” as quickly as he had bestowed it. And. he did so. After that declaration was filed he subsequently demoted every person he mentioned, not a single one of them retained the rank of Captain (brevet).
21. In Scientology, Corporate Boards are window-dressing. The members of the Board of CSI had no idea what their duties and responsibilities were. As the head of OSA and thus responsible for maintaining “corporate regularity” I would direct board minutes he put together and sent to the various board members of CSI and many different corporations for the “Directors” to sign. Many did not even read them. They understood they were merely a formality required for maintaining “corporate regularity” but it had nothing to do with their actual operations. Every member of every corporate board and all officers (including CSI and RTC) had signed undated resignations that could be activated by Miscavige at any time. So too have many of the corporate directors (myself included) signed false declarations asserting these corporations are real because as dedicated Sea Org members it is considered far more important to protect L. Ron Hubbard or David Miscavige than comply with “wog” (the Scientology term for non-Scientologists) laws which are considered worthy only of contempt.
22. I was directed by Miscavige personally on many, many different situations from lawsuits that he felt were important, to meeting with key media, to visiting with government officials, to directly running private investigators and intelligence operations. In each instance the level of micromanaging Miscavige engaged in is hard to believe.
Miscavige Connection to Texas
23. Out of literally dozens, if not hundreds of examples, I recount what happened with the Aznarans in 1994, primarily because they were Texas residents and the events took place in Dallas. Vicki Aznaran, like Mark Rathbun, was previously the “Inspector General” of Religious Technology Center. She was ousted by Miscavige and left the church and she and her husband filed suit against a number of church entities in 1988. Miscavige considered her a threat due to her knowledge of the power struggle he had been engaged in after the death of L. Ron Hubbard in 1986. Aznaran had taken sides against Miscavige and therefore she and her husband had become “enemies.”
24. In 1994 the Aznaran’s called the church and said they wanted to engage in settlement discussions to resolve their lawsuit.
25. Miscavige called me, told me in detail what he wanted done and sent me to meet with Richard Aznaran at Dallas-Fort Worth airport. I was instructed by Miscavige to secretly record the entire meeting so Miscavige could hear every word that was said. I covertly recorded my meeting with Mr. Aznaran as Miscavige had ordered.
26. When I returned to Los Angeles, Miscavige listened to the recording and then directed that I set up a settlement meeting with the Aznarans in Dallas. He gave me very explicit instructions. I was sent back to Dallas with Miscavige lieutenant, and RTC staff member, Mike Sutter and met with Richard and Vicki Aznaran in a suite in the Adolphus hotel in Dallas. Richard and Vicki were “represented” by Vicki’s sister as they were dissatisfied with the lawyer who had been representing them (Barry Van Sickle) and they wanted to be paid directly without Van Sickle getting anything.
27. I negotiated a settlement with the Aznaran’s over two days in Dallas. T was called by Miscavige at least every hour and bad to give detailed descriptions of everything that had transpired and then receive more detailed. direction from him on what was to be done. As has now become standard practice in all Scientology settlements, we were required to get the Aznarans to sign declarations that could be used to counter statements they had earlier made in the course of their lawsuit.
28. Sutter and I returned to Los Angeles. We worked in Miscavige’s office on the 11th floor of the Hollywood Guarantee Building (HGB) 1710 Ivar Ave. (which also carries the CSI address of 6331 Hollywood Blvd) in Hollywood putting declarations — favorable to Miscavige himself that Miscavige had dictated — into final form. We typed them up and submitted them to Miscavige for his approval. Miscavige then despatched me and Sutter back to Dallas to get these signed and to tell the Aznarans that if they wouldn’t shut them there was no deal and they would get no money.
28 . The Aznaran’s balked at signing the documents. Some modifications were made to things the Aznarans considered were too blatantly and provably false. Every change required approval from Miscavige via telephone. If he disagreed with the wording they wanted Miscavige dictated a different version to go back to them.
29. Miscavige was also directly and personally involved in other matters I am aware of related to Texas. Private Investigator Monty Drake was used to gather information on Dell Liebriech in Dallas Texas. Dell Liebriech was the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit filed in Florida on behalf of Lisa McPherson who had died under church care. Miscavige had been personally involved in the administration of Scientology counseling (auditing) to Ms. McPherson and was extremely concerned that he would be implicated in the case. He, Marty Rathbun and I essentially relocated to Florida from 1998 through 2002 to work almost exclusively on the case. Miscavige controlled every single aspect of it, primarily through Rathbun and me — from meeting with lawyers and experts to responding to protestors and making statements to the press. Not a single thing relating to the McPherson case was done that was not ordered by him. Not a single thing happened relating to that case that he was not immediately apprised of. Not a single utterance was made to the hundreds of media who repeatedly inquired of the church about the case without Miscavige either dictating the words to be spoken or authorizing them. All intelligence operations against the McPherson family and their lawyers were conducted only at the direction of or with prior approval of Miscavige.
30. From January 2004 off and on through 2007, I was incarcerated by direct order of David Miscavige in what he called “The Hole.” This was formerly the building on the church “international headquarters” property in Hemet known as the “Int Trailer” as it consisted of two double-wide trailers connected by a conference room. Myself and in excess of one hundred other Sea Org members were confined to this building for months on end by order of Miscavige. This included all the other former “Captains” of the Sea Org, including those from CST and IAS, entities the church alleges are NOT under the control of Miscavige and RTC but ARE manned by Sea Org members and thus do in fact answer to his ultimate authority.
31. We slept on the floor and ate all our meals within that building. It was literally turned into a prison, with. bars on the doors and windows and a 24 hour-a-day security officer guarding the only entrance. Warren McShane was assigned by Miscavige as the “Warden” of the “The Hole” and he reported directly to Miscavige about the personnel and activities in The Hole. The only person anyone incarcerated in the Hole could communicate with outside the Hole was “Mr. McShane.”
32. Virtually the only thing that happened in The Hole was efforts to extract “confessions” from people about their misdeeds and “evil intentions” towards Miscavige. This was done by “group pressure” — dozens of people screaming at you for hours on end, sometimes physical assaults, even torture, lack of sleep and food. I think everyone who was in the Hole eventually wrote self-incriminating “confessions” in an effort to prove to Miscavige that they no longer needed to be held prisoner. If the “confession” was not sufficiently contrite or dramatic, it would be rejected and the mental and physical torture would resume.
33. During some periods between 2004 and early 2006 The Hole and its occupants were temporarily reprieved for no apparent reason. But after a while, Miscavige changed his mind again and The Hole would be put back into operation. In early 2006 it became a permanent operation until I left it in March 2007.
34. Select people that Miscavige needed would be allowed OUT of The Hole to conduct specific activities for Captain Miscavige. On, a number of occasions I was released from The Hole to deal with the media. Angie Blankenship and Laurance Stumbke were allowed out of The Hole to work on specific building purchase and design matters for Miscavige. Once several people in The Hole were despatched to retrieve (a virtual kidnapping) Clark Morton who had escaped and fled to Las Vegas. Another time I and several others were temporarily reprieved by Miscavige and sent by him personally to “pick up” the IAS (International Association of Scientologists) executives including “Captain” Janet McLaughlin, and bring them to “The Hole.” Though Miscavige and the church claim the IAS is a completely separate and independent organization, it is manned exclusively by Sea Org members, all of whom must answer to Miscavige.
35. My last reprieve from The Hole was in late 2006 when I was personally ordered by Miscavige to assist Tommy Davis. Davis had been taken out of Celebrity Centre International (a church in Los Angeles) to work directly and only for Miscavige. He had become one of the “Miscavige henchmen” he always maintained to carry out his express wishes. No mind was paid to their corporate positions or functions, they all knew they were answerable to Miscavige and did his bidding. For many years, I had been in that position. Because Miscavige had put me and the President of CSI, Heber Jentzsch in The Hole, he had turned to Tommy Davis to deal with inquiries by BBC Panorama in pursuit of a story. But Tommy Davis was inexperienced with the media. Miscavige told me I was to work for Tommy as his “servant” and that I was to “lick his asshole.” But soon Miscavige was calling and texting me to report on what Tommy was doing. It was a standard pattern of Miscavige: for every “go-to guy” he had as part of his personal team of henchmen there was someone else who would report on the person directly to Miscavige. In earlier times I had done this with Mark Rathbun and he had done so with me.
36. Davis reported to Miscavige hourly, and sometimes more often, concerning the BBC. If it was not a phone call it was Blackberry text messages. Many times the messages from Miscavige were in the name of his “Communicator” (Laurisse “Lou” Stuckenbrock nee Henley-Smith his personal secretary who was with him every waking minute) — she would even speak to Davis and me on the phone saying the words that Miscavige was telling her to say (he could be heard saying it to her and then she would relay it).
My Escape and Subsequent Harassment
37. After finally having enough of Miscavige’s physical and mental abuse, and participating in the lies he was perpetrating on the world, I escaped in June 2007. As a result of this all my family was ordered to disown me and “disconnect” from me. My wife divorced me, my children, brother, sister and mother (my father is deceased) all shunned me and do so to this day.
38. After I spoke to the media in 2009 to confirm information they had been told by Marty Rathbun, I was stalked and surveiled by private investigators and representatives sent to my then-home town of Denver, Colorado. Miscavige’s personal attorney Monique Yingling and another attorney (Bill Walsh) from Washington DC, along with Tommy Davis and Jessica Feshbach were sent by Miscavige to attempt to ‘settle’ with me so that I would withdraw the corroboration I had provided for Mr. Rathbun’s interview with the St. Petersburg Times. They attempted to use the threat of me never seeing or hearing again front my mother, wife, siblings, and children to force me to cooperate with their demands not to talk to the media. When I refused to be intimidated or paid for silence about crimes I had myself witnessed, I became a public enemy of Miscavige and the church of Scientology in the same fashion as Marty Rathbun. I have been mentioned by defendants in this case on a number of occasions, usually characterized as Mark Rathbun’s associate or co-conspirator. My wife (Christie Collbran) and I have been subjected to a similar campaign of harassment to the Rathbuns as detailed below. Neither me nor my wife have ever sought to counsel anyone since leaving the church.
39. What I have done is respond to requests for information from the media, starting with speaking to reporters from the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times). I felt it was my obligation to make the truth about what goes on inside the church known. I have also been a witness for the FBI and other law enforcement officers who reached out to me and asked for my assistance in their investigations. As a result, the church has conducted a campaign of intimidation, spying, stalking and harassment against me and my wife and those I have worked with very similar to that conducted against the Rathbun. Clearly its purpose has only been to attempt to intimidate me into silence as David Miscavige and his church did not like what I disclosed about their methods and activities. Unlike Mr. Rathbun, I never attempted to nor purported to counsel former members or apply Scientology to them in any fashion since my departure. What Mr. Rathbun and I hold in common is that we spoke out about what we witnessed. As a result, the same tactics applied against Mr. Rathbun have been applied against me and my wife by RTC and CSI following their longstanding practice of attempting to silence and destroy “critics.”
40. Since 2009 me (and my wife) have been:
• Repeatedly followed and filmed by Private Investigators (including David Lubow),
• Harassed by “Squirrelbusters” (including Ed Bryan who was arrested while engaged in one of his efforts to harass me on a business trip to Miami),
• Had my garbage taken by church Pi’s,
• Had surveillance cameras trained on my house from neighboring homes and from a specially constructed “bird house” in a neighboring property,
• Had friends, people I have worked with and for and neighbors “noisily investigated,” by Private Investigators working for the church,
• Spies have been sent to try and inveigle themselves into our lives,
• A house within sight of our home became the headquarters for Private Investigators watching us 24 hours a day
• I have been “tailed” by up to 6 vehicles at a time driven by Private Investigators wearing masks when I was in Los Angeles to see the FBI,
• I was followed by at least 2 cars the entire trip when I drove from Tampa. Florida to Houston Texas,
• We have been met and hassled at airports after the church illegally accessed my travel plans,
• I have been followed to other cities by PI’s filming me including to Australia, England and Ireland as well as across the United States, My phone records have been illegally accessed resulting a letter from T-Mobile that they were conducting an internal investigation,
• Had phony postings about “Estate Sales” at my home put on Craigslist resulting in dozens of people knocking on my door starting at 6am on Saturday,
• My car was “keyed,”
• My wife and children have been followed to the supermarket, to the doctor and to the park,
• Numerous websites and publications containing false and defamatory statements about me and my wife have been distributed by the church.
41. This is all in accordance with the pattern and practice of the Church of Scientology. Attached hereto are two of the key issues that are the “operations manual” of the church and David Miscavige in dealing with anyone perceived as an “attacker.” The most important sections are excerpted from each but the complete writings are revelatory and are ironbound and unbending policy of the church. The first details the operating principle of finding out what the person is seeking to protect and threatening that in order to “restrain” the “attacker.” This is often, as noted, the person’s job, but also includes family, particularly immediate family that the person feels a need to protect. The second gives some examples about how one can create scenarios that will cost someone their job by manufacturing false evidence against them.
1. These persons can always lose their jobs. These jobs, permitting them power to destroy, are valuable to them. This is A POINT OF VULNERABILITY.
2 if the person’s job is also not valuable to him or if he cannot be made to cost his job, something can be found which he is seeking to protect and it can be threatened.
A. COUNTER ATTACK TO OBTAIN THE REMOVAL OF THE PERSON with a product of DISMISSED ATTACKER.
B. If on test, A is not feasible, SURVEY TO FIND WHAT THE PERSON CONSIDERS VALUABLE AND USE IT FOR RESTRAINT
Exhibit A 28 March 1972 COUNTER ATTACK TACTICS
Example: Gosh Porge is located as an antagonistic source in the Bureau of Mines.Study Bu of Mines. They frown on corrupt and bankrupt employees, it is carefully worked out by survey. Gosh Forge receives a check for 250 pounds from the Aluminium Company of America at his office for ‘Yip off and patents sent” and “his wife” runs up fur coat bills at Harrods who sue and “a man in Soho” wants his 1800 pounds gambling debt and “a mistress” calls his boss and demands the return of her diamonds “Gosh borrowed” and as it keeps up, even Gosh Porge’s best denials won’t prevent his being sacked.
And “Legal areas” like lawyers are a point of hit also.
Without consulting Legal Bu Bish Srnish is suing C of S for truckloads. Survey his attorneys covertly. One finds they detest “people from the City”, very prejudiced against money clauses. So City blokes start appearing on their lines for Bish Smish – will he win the suit? Broker wants to know can Bish Smish cover his margins? City bowler hat beats up lawyer with an umbrella because Bish Smish said he was going to get the lawyer to sue him over the “blocks of stock” Bish Smish swindled. Keep it up.
Soon he wont have any lawyer!
Exhibit B 28 March 1972 INTELLIGENCE PRINCIPLES
Miscavige “Enemy” Handlings
42. Anything that happens relating to “major attacks” on Scientology is micro-managed by Miscavige. Nobody else has the authority to call any shots on anything that could threaten his position. Thus, for example, in 2005 when the Los Angeles Times planned to do a story on Scientology, Miscavige directed every action, cleared all written correspondence (and wrote much of it even though it was sent out in my name), listened to recordings of the meetings I conducted with the reporters and spoke to me on the phone immediately before any meeting I had with them, dining the meeting and immediately after. I would routinely excuse myself from meetings with the media to debrief to Miscavige. Between 1997 and 2004 often if I was recording a media interview Marty Rathbun would be sent along so he could be on the phone reporting in to Miscavige while I was being interviewed. This happened dozens of times. The last thing I did in the church in 2007 was deal with BBC Panorama and Miscavige literally micro-managed minute-by-minute with text messages, phone calls and numerous encrypted emails.
43. The same pattern occurred with investigations into what were labeled “anti-Scientologists” like Bob Minton — who for a time was the single biggest thorn in Miscavige’s side. Minton is perhaps the closest recent example of someone Miscavige considered a similar sort of threat to his position and reputation as Marty Rathbun, though Minton was not of the same stature as he had never been an “inside?’ who worked directly with Miscavige for years. In. fact, he had never met Miscavige.
44. Nevertheless, because Minton publicly asserted Miscavige was involved in Lisa McPherson’s death and that he had physically abused his underlings, Miscavige micro-managed the activities of the church to put an end to Minton’s efforts. At various times Miscavige called me numerous times a day for updates on Minton. Otherwise it was daily for several years. For someone like Minton, or now Rathbun, Miscavige required detailed proposals from his underlings (myself, Rathbun, McShane or Sutter back then — whoever is filling our roles today) on the handlings to be taken. He in turn issued detailed orders and responses. All of this correspondence is maintained in a special department that maintains a complete, exact record, both electronically and hard copy of everything that is sent to or emanated from “COB.” These are considered to be the most important documents in the church and they are painstakingly filed and maintained. When I last saw them in 2007 there were literally hundreds or perhaps thousands of 3″ ring binders filled with “COB (written) Orders” and transcripts of his verbal orders, briefings, conferences, discussions and phone calls.
45. In 1999, Miscavige dispatched Marty Rathbun and me to both Boston and Los Angeles to meet with Minton. On both occasions he gave us special surreptitious recording devices so we could record the entire meeting and forward it to him.
46. When Minton began picketing the Church in Clearwater over the death of Lisa McPherson, Miscavige ordered pickets to be sent to his home in New Hampshire and also outside businesses he was engaged in. He also ordered pickets outside of Minton’s “Lisa McPherson Trust” office in Clearwater and at the homes of Minton associates including Mark Bunker. In my experience, the exclusive source of this sort of confrontation has been Miscavige. He ordered me personally to arrange a picket and march around the Clearwater Police Department and the St Petersburg Times in 1997 and was on the phone with me the entire two hours of the picket.
47. The “Squirrelbusters” attack that has been used to harass the Rathbuns in Texas was conceived and instituted by Miscavige in 1984 when be ordered “confrontations” by the original “Squirrelbusters” at David Mayo’s facility in Santa Barbara. This was the beginning of the hostile “confrontations” that continue to this day.
48. I was charged with the responsibility of locating people who would be willing to carry out such confrontations and harassment and brought in a man named Dennis Clark from Hawaii and a local Scientologist Jim Jackson, They in turn recruited others to join them. h reported on their activities daily, in person, to Vicki Aznaran in RTC who relayed the information to Miscavige. Clark and Jackson were instructed that if they were approached and questioned by anyone concerning their activities, including media or law enforcement officials, they were to claim that they were merely “parishioners” of Scientology who had “decid<xl on their own initiative” to protest Mr. Mayo’s activities.
49. In addition to the “confrontations” Miscavige personally ordered a full time investigation of Minton that would “find his buttons” and get him to stop complaining about Miscavige’s abuses and “stirring up trouble.” The investigator I assigned to this was David Lubow. I met with Lubow in Clearwater and briefed him (relaying specifically what Miscavige told me the investigator was to do). This included extensive surveillance of Minton and his family, investigating all neighbors and business contacts and being “in his face” at all times. Lubow’s reports were relayed by me to Miscavige as “Eyes Only” reports or when I was in the same location as him I verbally relayed them to his face.
2010 Texas Experience
50. In April 2010 I flew to Corpus Christi, Texas where I was met inside the terminal by 5 individuals dispatched by Captain Miscavige to attempt to intimidate me and prevent me from meeting an old friend, John Brousseau (“JB”). JB had recently escaped Miscavige’s guarded compound near Hemet, California and made his way to Mark and Monique Rathbun’s home near Corpus Christi. Like Rathbun,18 was an extremely high priority problem for Miscavige as he had worked closely with Miscavige and Tom Cruise. Miscavige spared no expense to try to prevent JB from connecting with Rathbun and me.
51. I had traveled to Corpus Christi with the express approval of the FBI (who paid my airfare) to determine whether JB was legitimate and to ask him to speak with the FBI.
52. I soon learned that there were many more than those 5 people despatched by private jet to Corpus Christi that day. In addition to those 5 Church spokesman Tommy Davis and three other church executives who at the time worked exclusively for Miscavige (Angie Blankenship, Laurance Stumbke and Bob Wright), Tom Cruise’s former assistant Michael Doven, Scientology actors Michael Roberts and Michael Duff, as well as several others from Miscavige’s personal entourage at the Hemet church high security base where he lives.
53. Nobody other than Miscavige has authority to order staff from different churches as well as public Scientologists, to get on a private plane and fly to Corpus Christi to try and prevent JB from meeting with Marty Rathbun and me. The Corpus Christi Airport Police and local FBI agents ultimately arrived on the scene to ensure I had safe passage to leave to meet with Marty Rathbun and JP, and subsequently accompany JB to meet with the FBI in San Antonio 3 days later.
54. Over the course of more than 20 years I knew the level of situation that Miscavige insisted he call the shots on: Any international media. Any legal case that might directly implicate or involve him. Any significant negotiations with major governments (US, UK, Spain) concerning tax exemption. Potential criminal prosecution in the United States. Anyone exposing his dirty laundry and threatening his PR or position. Marty Rathbun fits into virtually all of these categories. He has been interviewed by major international media. He has been a witness for legal cases and provided declarations. He was one of the key witnesses/informants for the FBI investigation. And he has more direct personal knowledge of the activities of David Miscavige than perhaps anyone else on earth. Thus, there is not a chance that any action would be taken concerning Marty Rathbun (or his wife) that was not either ordered by David Miscavige or sanctioned by him in response to a detailed proposal of action requested by him. Of that there is no doubt.
My name is Michael John Rinder. My date of birth is April 10th, 1955. My address is 808 Bentwood Ct, Palm Harbor, Florida.
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed in Pinellas County, State of Florida, on the 3rd day of December 2013.
I, VICKI J. AZNARAN, hereby declare as follows:1
I am over 18 years of age and a resident of the State of Texas. I have personal knowledge of the matters set forth
herein and, if called upon to do so, could and would competently testify thereto.
2. On May 4, 1994, my husband and I each executed a series of declarations under penalty of perjury addressing a variety of issues. Among those declarations are one of mine that demonstrates that perhaps the most common litigation ploy that is used against Churches of Scientology is for opponents to submit false, inflammatory and accusatory declarations which make wild accusations irrespective of their falsity, lack of relevance, or lack of first hand knowledge.
3. I am executing this declaration on May 19, 1994 because I am certain that litigation opponents of the Church will react to one or more of my other contemporaneously dated declarations in precisely the fashion I describe in the preceding paragraph. Someone who knows nothing whatsoever of what transpired or why my husband and I have executed the May  1994 declarations will accuse us of “selling out” or being “bought out” or being forced by the Church to swear to matters that are not true.
4. Whoever makes any of those allegations or any similar allegations has no factual basis to make such a claim and has no knowledge of any of the pertinent facts. Their allegations are lies. The fact that they would make such an allegation at all is merely corroboration of my declaration of this date that litigation opponents of the Church will “just allege it” even if they have no competent evidence or facts. It is merely more evidence that they engage in a pattern of just alleging anything which forwards their positions, regardless of their truth. The statements I have made in my declaration are factual-and true and people who played no part in my independent decision to sign this and my other May  1994 declarations know no facts to the contrary.
5. I have written this declaration as I know, both from my experience when a member of the Church, and since leaving the Church, that Church adversaries have routinely falsely alleged such actions against the Church. I also know both from my experience within the Church and from my experience since leaving, that these allegations are false and intended to incite prejudice against Scientology, which is then forced to defend itself and to attempt to overcome such charges.
I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, and under the laws of each individual state thereof, including the laws of the states of California and Texas, that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this 19th day of May, 1994 in Dallas, Texas.
- Document source: http://bernie.cncfamily.com/sc/Aznaran.htm ↩
I, VICKI J. AZNARAN, hereby declare as follows:1
2. From 1972 until 1987, I was a member of various Church of Scientology (“Church”) entities. During that time I held a number of important positions in the corporate and ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Church. I was also a devout believer in the religion of Scientology. In March of 1987, my husband Richard Aznaran and I left our positions with the Church and returned home to Texas from California. At the time we left, Richard and I voluntarily executed certain releases and waivers in full settlement of any and all disputes we had with the Church. In April of 1988, notwithstanding our execution of those releases and waivers, Richard and I filed a lawsuit against several Church entities and individuals in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
3. During the time I was a senior Church executive, I gained first hand knowledge of the manner in which some apostate former Church members had pursued civil claims against the Church, and obtained successful verdicts or judgments or favorable settlements notwithstanding the merits. The courts consistently allowed the Church’s adversaries leeway to introduce allegations without regard to the normal rules of procedure and evidence. At the time, this was a source of great concern to me, both as a Scientologist and a Church executive, particularly
since my staff duties included responsibilities regarding certain areas of litigation.
4. Thus, having participated in Scientology litigation both as a Church executive and as a litigant against the Church, I bring two distinct, but related, perspectives to this declaration from my personal knowledge and observation. First, at the time my husband and I brought our own suit I understood that the legal system could be used to pursue my position. Later, upon having sued various Scientology churches and having allied myself with other litigants and their counsel suing Scientology churches, I observed first hand the ways in which the legal system is successfully used by litigants and counsel opposing the Church.
5. The fundamental premise upon which the Church’s adversaries and their lawyers operate is the likelihood that courts and juries are willing to believe any allegation made against the Church by a former member, without regard to plausibility, contrary evidence or the true facts. That concept was most succinctly expressed, on videotape, by anti-Scientology litigant, Gerald Armstrong, when he stated that a lack of documents or evidence was no impediment to litigating against the Church when the litigant can “just allege it.” The active pursuit of that litigation approach has now led to the formation of a small group of disaffected Scientologists who are now employed by an even smaller number of attorneys who are making a practice of litigating against the Church. This stable of witnesses can be relied upon to furnish “corroboration” for any allegation which an attorney wishes to make against the Church in
pleadings at deposition, in affidavits, and ultimately in trial testimony.
6. The process of “just alleging it” begins with the complaint. For example, in the complaint which was filed on our behalf against the Church, there were numerous allegations which were either false or which we could not substantiate. When I was initially deposed in our case, I conceded that numerous portions of the complaint should not have been drafted by counsel in the fashion they were. Thus, for example, in deposition in June, 1988, I testified that the allegation in paragraph 7 of our complaint, that the “[Church] organizations were created solely for the purpose of making money from the sale of copyrights of the book Dianetics…” was not true. I testified that I did not create corporate structures within the Church and that I do not know where this allegation in paragraph 16 of our complaint came from.
7. There were several other improper or incorrect allegations which should not have appeared in the complaint that I had to acknowledge in deposition. As another example, the complaint alleged in paragraph 16 that I worked for Author Services, Inc., in managing the sales of copyright of the book Dianetics. In deposition I testified that I never worked for Author Services, Inc. and was not aware of any such sale of copyrights.
8. Paragraph 16 of the complaint included the allegation that I had been employed as a “missionaire” to remove assets of Defendant Church of Scientology of California to overseas trusts where they could not be accessed. This allegation was false, and
it was not an allegation that either my husband or I requested be included in the complaint. I was definitely not employed for that reason, and I have never claimed that I was.
9. It was also alleged in paragraph 16 of the complaint that I was employed as a “missionaire” to “set up sham corporate structures to evade prosecution generally.” This allegation is also false. I was never employed for that purpose. I had never even heard of that allegation until I read it in the filed complaint. I did not make that allegation, and I do not know where it came from.
10. Paragraph 12 of the complaint contains the false allegation that my husband and I were forced to “involuntarily abandon [our] identities, spouses, and loyalties…” My depostion testimony established that this was not the case. For example, my husband used to engage in his hobby of target shooting during his years in the Church. We had pets, including a German shepherd which my husband trained in his spare time. I took riding lessons. I also trained in karate, because I was interested in learning that discipline. These were all ways in which my husband and I expressed our individuality while on staff and demonstrate no abandonment, forced or otherwise, of our individual interests.
11. My husband and I both testified to numerous separate, factual errors in the complaint. Our attorney firm, Cummins & White, and later our subsequent counsel, Ford Greene, were aware of these errors to which we testified. Even though we asked them to, no attempt to file a corrected or amended complaint was ever made, nor did any such correction ever occur.
12. The abusive device most consistently utilized by litigants and counsel adverse to the Church occurs in connection with the filing of declarations or affidavits. It is common knowledge among the stable of disaffected ex-Scientologists who supply such sworn statements that the attorneys dictate the desired content of such testimony with the primary, often sole, purpose of presenting inflammatory accusations that prejudice the Church in the eyes of the court. In such declarations or affidavits, context, the truth, and relevance to the issues in the case are disregarded altogether. As time has passed and this technique has evolved, anti-Church litigants and their counsel have become more and more emboldened in making such declarations and affidavits because the tactic has proven to be so effective in poisoning courts and juries against the Church.
13. The most common and probably the most devastating manifestation of this tactic is the use of allegations concerning the so-called “Fair Game” policy of the Church. The term “Fair Game” has been misrepresented and repeatedly used by the Church’s litigation adversaries as a means to create prejudice against the Church. To accomplish that end, counsel fashions a declaration in which the witness identifies an ugly event — real, imagined, or just plain invented — and then alleges that it was a deliberate act which was committed by the Church. The idea is to create the false impression that the Church is committing acts of retribution in pursuit of “Fair Game.”
makes an allegation of a bad or harmful or harassing act that cannot be documented in a tangible form and then alleges that it was done by the Church pursuant to the Fair Game “policy”. By so doing, the declarant has put the Church in the impossible position of trying to prove a negative and trying to prove it without documentation. It becomes a matter of the declarant’s word against that of the Church, and by making the act alleged sufficiently despicable, the result is prejudice against the Church.
15. The Fair Game policy was a policy to forward Scientology’s belief that any attacks on Scientology by those seeking to destroy it were to be vigorously defended by legal means and never ignored. It was not a policy condoning or encouraging illegal or criminal activities. The policy was misinterpreted by others and was thus canceled. It has since been used by litigants over the years as a vehicle to give credibility to allegations to try to prejudice courts against Scientology. An event happens such as someone’s wife dies in a car accident, and the allegation is made that this is a murder committed by the Church pursuant to “Fair Game” policy. This technique is known to those who attack the Church and so they continue to use this term to try to prejudice the courts. These people feel comfortable making scandalous allegations, knowing that the Church does not have such a policy. I am unaware of any allegations of “Fair Game” being made by persons who have simply left the Church. Rather, the charges of Fair Game are invariably made by parties who have subsequently become involved in litigation with the Church and who have started working with
other anti-Scientology litigants familiar with this tactic.
16. It has been my experience that these litigants and lawyers become emboldened because the history of Scientology litigation demonstrates that virtually any charge leveled against the Church in litigation by an avowed enemy, no matter how outrageous or unfounded, will be accepted and believed. Based on my experience it is a matter of common knowledge that efforts by the Church to refute such prejudicial allegations have commonly not been believed in the courts.
17. Thus, it has become a routine practice of litigants to make accusations against the Church, including even false allegations of threats of murder, which would be summarily thrown out of court as unsupported and scandalous in other litigation. They do it because it works, and they do it by deliberately mischaracterizing the term “Fair Game”. They do it as an intentional means to destroy the reputation of the Church in the context of litigation so that they can win money or force the Church to settle.
18. The term “fair game” has become a catch phrase for those who attack the Church. When I was in the Church I never heard it referred to as a policy to be used, the only time it was discussed was in reference to litigation in which it was being alleged by Church adversaries. When I was in the Church, I knew that litigants opposing the Church were constantly making fair game allegations against us and that those allegations were nonsense. I also know the frustration those allegations caused because of the willingness of courts and juries to embrace them. From my experience in litigating against the Church, I can see
that nothing has changed in this regard. I also know from my experiences in suing the Church and from my association with other litigation adversaries of the Church that they know that “Fair Game” as they portray it is not Church policy. “Fair Game” exists only as a litigation tactic employed against the Church.
19. There are other things I have seen and experienced in anti-Scientology litigation that seem very unusual to me. There is a group or “team” of anti-Scientology witnesses who are being paid for their testimony, and based on my experience, this testimony is being altered and falsified, either by the witnesses themselves or the attorneys. For example, Graham Berry, counsel of record for a defendant in the case of CSI v. Fishman, filed numerous declarations from ex-Scientologists after the lawsuit was dismissed which had been purchased for many thousands of dollars. Mr. Berry told me that these payments were made possible because his client had insurance coverage.
20. In February of 1994, Mr. Berry called my husband and me and offered to hire us at the rate of $125 per hour for us to study materials in the Fishman case and to write declarations supporting issues Mr. Berry wished us to support in the Fishman case. Mr. Berry gave us an advance of $2,500, which we were expected to bill against services rendered. He told us that because his client in the Fishman case had insurance coverage, the insurance money enabled him to do this. He said he was able to get the insurance company to pay our salaries by naming us as “experts”, which also enabled the use our declarations without regard to whether we were actually witnesses to the events at issue in the Fishman case, which we were not.
21. Mr. Berry told us he had assembled a team of former Scientologists for use in litigation, all of whom were employed by him in the Fishman case as so-called experts. Although we were not eager to get involved in Fishman’s litigation, we agreed to do because the $2,500 advance by Mr. Berry was attractive. Mr. Berry sent us some documents from the court record in the Fishman case, which I read, since I was being paid $125 per hour to do so.
22. I know from subsequent conversations I have had that Andre Tabayoyon is similarly employed, as are Vaughn and Stacy Young and others, each paid to create declarations for Mr. Berry when he needs them. On the basis of my knowledge of the Church and the declarants, I can state that these individuals are not “experts’ in any recognized sense of the word as I understand it. They are nothing more than witnesses who are being paid to make sworn statements against the Church. More than just being paid, they are actually employed by Mr. Berry as a source of signed declarations of testimony or as a “source” of allegations, the need for such is decided by him.
23. Later in February 1994, Mr. Berry called us again. He said that the Church had dismissed the Fishman case and he needed declarations from us on an immediate basis for use in his motion to recover attorneys fees and costs. I thought this was odd, since it seemed to me that one would support such a motion with receipts, bills, invoices, and such. Even though it seemed senseless to provide declarations after the case was dismissed, I told him I would provide a declaration because he had already paid and I would rather have done this than return the money he
had paid us. He then told us what areas of testimony he wanted us to cover in the declarations. Accordingly, I transmitted to Mr. Berry’s firm a eight-page declaration which I had prepared on my word processor and signed on the last page bearing the date of February 24, 1994.
25. Passages inserted without my knowledge or authorization in the version of my declaration filed by Mr. Berry include statements that are untrue and/or about which I have no personal knowledge. Not only did I not make these statements, I never heard of them before. The following are some examples of these falsities:
a) In my declaration there are statements concerning “Project Quaker” which are false. In fact I have never heard of “Project Quaker,” and the statement in the version of my declaration Mr. Berry filed (paragraph 7) was not in the declaration I sent to Mr. Berry. It could not have been as I have never heard of “Project Quaker”;
b) The statements in the filed declaration concerning the death of Michelle Miscavige’s mother were added to without authorization by me. This included mention of the death of Heber Jentzsch’s wife which is not something I had ever spoken to Mr. Berry about, and I have no knowledge and never heard anything
that indicated there was anything unusual about Mr. Jentzsch’s wife death. She died of natural causes. The statement concerning Flo Barnett’s death were not put in context and were not meant to imply that there was any wrongdoing surrounding her death. In approximately September 1985, when I was the Deputy Inspector General of Religious Technology Center (“RTC”), I learned that Mary Florence Barnett, Mrs. Miscavige’s mother, had committed suicide. She had been involved with a group of disaffected former Scientologists who practiced altered versions of Scientology. I only know that after hearing about her death both David and Shelly Miscavige were very upset over the fact that Flo Barnett had killed herself. I also wish to make known that I have seen mention in an affidavit by Vaughn Young that David Miscavige ordered the matter “hushed up.” This was stated in the context of indicating wrongdoing on Mr. Miscavige’s part and insinuating he had some participation in the matter. A careful and literal reading of the statment shows that Mr. Young never actually says he knows Mr. Miscavige was involved in this suicide, or that there was any evidence of such, but by innuendo his statement still leaves this impression. To my knowledge there was never any order by David Miscavige or anyone else to keep the matter quiet. If any such order existed it would most likely have been given to me. And since I took actions to make the matter quite well known and
never heard anybody, let alone David Miscavige, ask for the matter to be hushed up, I know this statement and the innuendo to be false;
c) the entirety of paragraph 16 on page 10 of the declaration filed by Mr. Berry concerning L. Ron Hubbard and the IRS was written by someone other than me and was inserted into my declaration without my knowledge or authorization. This entire paragraph makes unfounded and outrageous allegations intended to create the impression that David Miscavige or any other Scientologist would want Mr. Hubbard to die in order to avoid supposed IRS problems. This is unthinkable to any Scientologist, and I never heard this or any similar statement made by anyone in the Church.
d) Paragraph 15 of the declaration claims that “Earle Cooley Esq. and others convinced the San Luis Obispo coroner not to do any autopsy on Hubbard’s body” implying there was something hidden or covered up about Mr. Hubbard’s death. This is false. It was not written by me and I know of no such thing. I was in a position to have knowledge of this matter and I know that Mr. Hubbard died of natural causes and the statement attributed to me is a complete fabrication.
e) There is also a statement made in paragraph 18 that Mike Rinder’s child received “Hubbard’s baby care technology.” The implication is that the child’s death had something to do with Scientology which I never believed to be the case. I did not make this statement and have no
information that this was the case.
f) In fact, paragraphs 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35A and 35B were not in the version of the declaration that I sent to Mr. Berry to be filed. He added them after the fact, and I never saw them before this declaration was filed and I never gave authorization for Mr. Berry to add any of these things to my declaration.
g) The statements concerning the Church of Scientology International (“CSI”) and whether the Time article concerned CSI, and the corporate structure of the Church (paragraph 20) were also not in the version I signed and sent to Mr. Berry. And again, I know the statement to be entirely false.
h) One other point I wish to clarify concerning the use of “End of Cycle.” There is nothing in Scientology writings which relates the term “End of Cycle” to connote murder or suicide. To my knowledge, this characterization of the term “End of Cycle” was invented by Steven Fishman. I have never heard this term used by the Church to mean “suicide” or “murder” and even though I am a disaffected ex-Scientologist, I know it to be a false allegation. Its only use is to smear the Church for litigation purposes as detailed earlier. I earlier verbally told Mr. Berry this when he first contacted me for this exact information.
consent. Mr. Berry never contacted me after he filed the manufactured 19 page version of my declaration. Had I not later obtained a copy of the declaration filed by Mr. Berry from another source, I never would have found out about any of these alterations.
I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, and under the laws of each individual state thereof, including the laws of the states of California and Texas, that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this 19th day of May, 1994 in Dallas, Texas.
VICKI J. AZNARAN
I, VICKI AZNARAN, hereby declare as follows:1
1. I am over 18 years of age and a resident of the State of Texas. I have personal knowledge of the matters set forth herein and, if called upon to do so, could and would competently testify thereto.
2. From 1972 until 1987, I was a member of various Church of Scientology (“Church”) entities. During that time I held a number of important positions in the corporate and ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Church, including President of Religious Technology Center (“RTC”) In March of 1987, my husband Richard Aznaran and I left our positions with the Church and returned home to Texas from California.
3. On April 1, 1988, Richard and I filed a lawsuit against several Church entities and individuals in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. We have now settled this case through direct negotiations with Church representatives. This declaration details how we were driven to settlement by the failure of our counsel to adequately litigate our lawsuit and how we were forced to negotiate settlement directly with representatives of the defendants due to our counsels’ failure to properly represent our interests when defendants earlier had expressed interests in settlement.
4. Our lawsuit was filed on April 1, 1988 by the firm of Cummins & White. The suit was finalized and prepared in a rush in an attempt to get it filed before it was barred by the statute of limitations.
5. Additionally, despite the fact that I then testified in
deposition about the inaccuracies in the complaint, my counsel did not amend my complaint to correct them. These uncorrected falsehoods placed us at a serious disadvantage as they enabled the defendants to seize upon these points to give the impression that we were changing our testimony and deliberately stating falsehoods.
6. Another defect in the complaint was the amount of money requested, $70,000,000. Seventy million was a highly inflated figure and in fact impaired efforts to settle as the amount was so high. Shortly after the suit was filed, I pointed the high amount out to counsel and was told that it could be adjusted later. It never was.
7. Another liability to the successful prosecution of our lawsuit was the fact that Cummins & White was disqualified from representing us in our case on September 6, 1988.
8. Not being versed in the law, my husband and I relied upon the representations of Barry Van Sickle and Cummins & White that Cummins & White could properly serve as our counsel. This was wrong. Nevertheless Cummins & White expended considerable time and effort to defend their position in this regard, an action which I now understand to have been fought more for their own self-interest than for the advance of my lawsuit. In September 1988 the District Court Judge disqualified Cummins & White as our counsel, specifically finding that Cummins & White was an extension of Yanny’s continuing and improper involvement in our case.
9. Because Cummins & White was disqualified, we were without an attorney in our case for several months and our case
was threatened with dismissal. We were forced to expend considerable effort to find new counsel and get him up to speed while the Church continued to litigate our case. To our detriment, and due to the urgency of having to find counsel in an already ongoing case, we were forced to obtain counsel without the necessary resources to adequately litigate the case.
10. Barry Van Sickle’s attempts to settle were very weak and ineffective. In June 1991 Mr. Van Sickle reported to us that he had an offer of $1,000,000 to settle our case and one other. The offered amount for our case was $200,000 which we rejected as being too low. It was a starting point but despite our efforts to get Mr. Van Sickle to do so, he never succeeded in getting a counter offer to us. Further, Mr. Van Sickle told us that we would have to fire our existing attorney, Ford Greene, as the Church supposedly refused to deal with him in settling the case. As a result we did fire Mr. Greene. Then when Mr. Van Sickle from Cummins & White failed to complete the settlement we were again left without an attorney for a time as Cummins & White had been ordered not to represent us in the case as covered earlier in this declaration.
11. After being without counsel for several months, and finding ourselves at a serious disadvantage in complex litigation with the Church defendants, we re-hired Ford Greene to be our counsel, based on an order from the Court.
12. It has been our experience that Greene seriously neglected our lawsuit and systematically worsened its posture until it became virtually impossible to salvage.
13. From approximately February 1989 onward Ford Greene was
attorney of record in our lawsuit against the Church. During that time he did virtually no offensive work on the case, and did nothing of substance to advance our litigation position. Before our case was ordered transferred to Dallas, Texas in August of 1992, Greene had only sent out two interrogatories and had did not even take one deposition despite having obtained two extensions of the discovery cut-off. Following the transfer order, Mr. Greene did nothing whatsoever to actually get the case files sent to Dallas, Texas. Meanwhile, no activity has taken place in our case.
14. While representing us, Greene was consistently late in filing papers and in several instances placed our case in serious jeopardy by failing to file needed papers. For example, in December 1990 he neglected.to oppose a major summary judgment motion which the defendants had filed. He also failed to timely file several mandatory pre-trial papers which could have interfered with our ability to effectively put on our case at trial.
15. It was reported to me by Barry Van Sickle that Mr. Green smoked marijuana when he was picked up at the airport by Rick Wynne, a Cummins & White attorney and driven to the office of Cummins & White.
16. Furthermore, Greene did not communicate with us regarding activities in our lawsuit and often could not be contacted for extended periods of time. It is my belief that at least one of these periods of non-communication was due to the fact that he had entered a drug rehabilitation program without even informing us that he intended to do so. Ford Greene did
nothing effective to settle our case. In fact, he told me he was worried about settling our case as my husband and I would no longer be witnesses for Gerry Armstrong who is a client of Ford Greene and involved in Scientology related litigation. Additionally, he attempted to bill us for work which he did not do.
17. In fact, Ford Greene solicited us to pay a monthly stipend to him for Gerry Armstrong so he could work on our case. Armstrong was precluded by an earlier agreement from working on Church litigation.
18. Furthermore, like Cummins & White, Greene was aware of the errors in the complaint and never prepared an amended complaint. In fact, he “developed” the case so that the defendants were able to accuse my husband and myself of engineering several contradictory versions of the underlying facts of the complaint. Thus Greene’s “management” of the complaint set us up so that we would be faced at trial with seemingly contradictory positions which would undermine our credibility.
19. Greene’s inactivity, neglect, mismanagement, and failure to communicate with us endangered our lawsuit. In our view, Mr. Greene’s failure to prosecute this case is tantamount to malpractice. Based upon this history, we developed the conviction that Greene would be unable to handle the trial. While we would have preferred to get rid of Greene completely, we hesitated to do so because we knew that it would be extremely difficult for new counsel to rapidly learn the facts of the case on the eve of the trial.
20. In an attempt to resolve this dilemma, we hired John Elstead to be our attorney with Ford Greene. Elstead was recommended to us by Margaret Singer, a psychologist whom we intended to use at trial. Like Greene, Elstead has also neglected to prosecute or advance our case.
21. My husband and I have always been willing to settle our lawsuit and, in fact, considered it likely that the case would end through settlement rather than trial. In the summer of 1991 John Elstead contacted counsel for the defendants to see if there was an interest in settlement. Rather than presenting an acceptable demand, indicative of a serious interest in settlement, Elstead demanded $3,300,000. This was rejected immediately by defendants who did not consider it a serious opening demand and did not treat it as a basis for negotiations.
22. In the late summer of 1992, after the case had been ordered transferred to Dallas, Elstead met with the General Counsel for the Church of Scientology International to discuss settlement. He got nowhere.
23. Seeing that the viability of our lawsuit had been seriously endangered through the neglect and malfeasance of our attorneys, my husband and I felt compelled to take matters into our own hands to resolve this litigation in our best interests. In January of 1994 I spoke directly with Mike Rinder, a senior executive of the Church of Scientology International concerning settling the lawsuit. In the course of discussing settlement with him in this and subsequent conversations, I came to realize that my attorneys had blocked possible settlement for several years. Consistently they failed to convey our true interest in
negotiating a satisfactory end to the litigation. Shortly thereafter, Graham Berry approached us to see if he could negotiate a settlement on our behalf, by falsely claiming he had been contacted by the church making settlement overtures. Desperate to resolve this matter, I told him to go ahead. Instead of making a serious offers, on February 16, 1994 Berry demanded $3,600,000 for the settlement of our case along with various threats that he was not authorized make. Again this was not a serious attempt to settle.
24. Finally I communicated directly with a representative of one of the Church of Scientology defendant organizations. It was only when my attorneys were no longer need that both sides were able to discover that our positions were not that far apart and settlement talks were feasible.
25. In sum, it has been my observation that the counsel which my husband and I have employed have not only prolonged the litigation of our lawsuit, but have mishandled the development of the case for trial, and interfered with the process of settlement. By their actions described above, my counsel appear to have consistently put their own interests above those of myself and my husband and have failed to adequately carry out their responsibilities as members of the Bar. I am convinced we would not have been able to resolve our case had we not done so directly with the Church.
I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, and under the laws of each individual state thereof, including the laws of the states of California and Texas, that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this 19th day of May, 1994 in Dallas, Texas.
VICKI J. AZNARAN
I, Vicki J. Aznaran, of Mesquite, Texas, U.S. Citizen, Passport No. 03197042, do herewith depose and swear:1
1. That from the approximate dates of 1984 until 1987 I held the positions of President and Chairman of the Board of Directors in the Scientology organization called the Religious Technology Center, INC, (RTC) which is now the senior governing entity of the International Church of Scientology, the Church of Scientology of California, and all affiliated organizations within the U.S., as well as senior governing entity for all foreign Scientology organizations and the civil associations of Scientology such as those called Dianetica or Narconon in Spain.
2. That despite efforts to cloak the fact, the true role of the Religious Technology Center, Inc. is that role explained above, and it holds this managerial position within the matrix of all of the interrelated organizations of Scientology: The Church of Scientology International, Inc., The Church of Scientology of California, Inc., The Church of Spiritual Technology, Inc., Authors Services, Inc., Missions International de Scientology, Inc., Religious Technology Center, Inc., Authors Family Trust, Asociacion Civil de Dianetica, Asociacion Civil de Narconon.
3. That these various organizations exist in this manner to provide an ” arm’s length” appearance in order to protect the current board of directors from actual legal culpability for any illegal acts committed by or through the churches of Scientology or any of their other affiliated organizations, as well as to confuse any issues, investigations or litigation which might expose the illicit actions of any individual Scientology orqanization or member thereof.
4. That as a former senior executive of this body, from 1984 until 1987, I have observed and have certain knowledge of the activities of RTC and of its finances as well as its manner of incorporation and related documents.
5. That during the period of my employment by the RTC I reported to David Miscavige, who was at that time Trustee of the corporation. Miscavige maintains absolute control over all officers and board members of this corporation, controlling these other members of the board of directors by fact of his possessing undated, signed resignations of each member, the holding of which gave and gives him complete control over each member of the board.
6. That also, to my certain knowledge, David Miscavige conceived, planned and ordered the implementation of the basic strategic and tactical actions of the church against those whom he considered to be causing legal or public relations conflicts against any church or against his personal and absolute control of Scientology. He also ordered the allocation of and made available funding for the financing of these actions, which included the declaring of those whom he considered to be his “enemies’ as Suppressive Persons, the implementation of the policies known as “Fair Game” against these persons once so declared, the infiltration of private and governmental environments which he deemed hostile to his absolute control over Scientology, the organization of vigilante groups within the organizations of Scientology to be used against those individuals whom he deemed to be his enemies.
7. That following Miscaviges’ orders, I transferred monies to Spain, and witnessed briefings by Miscavige to Heber Jentszch, who was in fact the “puppet” president of the church, but who actually is a .camouflage for Miscavige, concerning covert operations taking place in Spain against former Scientologists and concerninq false testimony and concerning the attempt to offset a rumored investigation by the spanish authorltles lnto the activities of Scientology in Spain, the very investigation which resulted in the surprise arrest of Jentszch himself in November of 1988. These operations included orders for investigations by the private detectives employed by the Scientology organizations to obtain information by any means possible to incarcerate the leaders of a reform movement who had not been silenced previously by Miscavige’s policies and declarations, with the express intent of obtaining their incarceration.
8. That during this same period and as part of these same operations, a plan was formulated to destroy the reform movement in europe by completely eliminating the leaders of this reform movement, William Robertson, John Caban and others, by any means possible. This included the infiltration of the reform group in Spain by covert agents of RTC, Kurt Weiland and William Knight, continued investigation and harassment by detectives employed by the scientology organizations in Spain and by recruiting others who would help to splinter the reform movement and to render it ineffective.
9. That additional orders were given to institute any action necessary including false denunciations, assaults by covert agents apparently in bad standing with the church, to infiltrate, offset and attack those leaders of the reform movement who were thought. to be responsible for reporting Scientology activities to the spanish authorities and undermining Miscaviqes intentions.
10. That the policies known as “Fair Game” are, as described in the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, ethics policies, and other organizational policies are in fact continued as originally written by Hubbard, and that it is the purpose of the RTC to see that all of his policies are followed exactly as intended. It was common knowledge that the “Cancellation of Fair Game” referred only to the use of the term, since it had obtained bad public relations for Scientology, and that the same tactics and actions which referred to those so-called Suppressive Persons were and are continued in effect.
11. That the organization known as the Guardian’s Office, while apparently abandoned, in fact was moved from the position as a separate organization or network, and incorporated within the organizational structure of Scientology, and all of the purposes and most of the Guardian personnel have remained the same. Again, the purpose of these changes were to obtain complete control by Miscavige over all Scientology organizations, and to obtain a more favorable image after Hubbard’s wife was found guilty of crimes as head of the Guardian’s Office.
12. Since my departure from the church my husband and I have been repeatedly threatened and harassed by members of Scientology, and we are now in fear for our safety.
Many of the statements made above contain information which has been testified. to by others and/or are matters of publlc record within other areas of litigation within the United States.
I swear under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Texas that the contents of this affidavit are true to the best of my knowledge and recollection.
Date 1 – 27 -92 Vicki J. Aznaran (signature)
Dallas County, Texas
- Document source: Document source: http://www.whyaretheydead.net/krasel/aff_va92.html ↩