The veil of secrecy surrounding Scientology is growing thinner by the day.
Shocking claims about private investigators, intimidation tactics and even lies under oath have emerged in new court documents, painting a picture of just how far church leader David Miscavige — the best pal of Tom Cruise — will supposedly go to keep control over the embattled institution.
This latest onslaught comes from an affidavit by former Scientologist Marty Rathbun, whose wife, Monique Rathbun, is suing Miscavige and several others for allegedly executing a detailed campaign of surveillance and harassment against her and her husband, as RadarOnline.com has previously reported.
When Miscavige responded to Monique’s lawsuit by saying he had no knowledge of the other defendants and had never conducted business in Texas, Rathbun, who served as Cruise’s personal auditor, felt compelled to respond with a lengthy affidavit revealing his version of the truth about Miscavige’s dealings.
“I served with Mr. Miscavige in Scientology’s Sea Organization for 27 years,” Rathbun explains in the documents.
“From 1982 to 2004, I answered directly to Mr. Miscavige … I was Mr. Miscavige’s second in command … In the history of Scientology, no other Church executive worked with Mr. Miscavige more closely, for a longer period of time, than I did.”
As for Miscavige, Rathbun says he has “unquestioned control of all of Scientology as its Sea Org Captain” since founder L. Ron Hubbard’s death in 1986.
One of Hubbard’s last directives to Miscavige, Rathbun claims, was to create “an intelligence, PR and legal network … that would protect Scientology’s spying and harassment operations by using buffer corporations and new levels of security.”
He also asked him to “by any means necessary, end the multitude of criminal and civil threats pending against Hubbard and Scientology,” Rathbun alleges. “And create a new corporate structure that would allow the Sea Org to operate as it always had, but with legal buffers in place that would prevent future ‘enemies’ from getting to Hubbard or other top Sea Org officers.”
Rathbun says that Miscavige succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination.
“Under Hubbard’s and Miscavige’s close supervision, I … effectively [continued] to silence potential critics and defectors without exposing Hubbard, Miscavige or the Scientology organizations to legal liability.”
Many former Scientologists, including Rathbun himself, have accused the church of harassment, but the church continues to deny their involvement and Miscavige’s specifically.
Rathbun claims that’s a lie.
Miscavige “ran the Scientology network as tightly as a naval captain runs a military vessel,” he states in court papers. “All the while we communicated to the world at large, including through our own false declarations, that Miscavige’s role was the same as that of any corporate board chairman.”
He claims, “I witnessed Miscavige’s control enforced without question from anyone … for the next 17 years. By the mid-1990s, Miscavige’s every utterance was ruthlessly enforced throughout all Scientology corporations. He regularly strode through Church of Scientology International’s California headquarters while barking verbal orders to anyone and everyone, from the janitors to managers responsible for Scientology management around the world.”
And in case they misheard him, Miscavige had employees follow him with tape recorders which were then handed to transcribers, Rathbun alleges. Those transcripts became memos and electronic alerts reminding employees to carry out Miscavige’s commands, he claims, and if they did not comply, they were punished.
Those outside of Miscavige’s control — Scientology defectors and critics — were the target of an entirely different surveillance program “carefully micromanaged” by Miscavige, Rathbun claims.
“Every evening I would receive an intelligence briefing in writing … summarizing reports from private investigators and Scientologists serving as undercover spies watching and interacting with Scientology critics,” Rathbun explains in the court papers.
Rathbun claims Miscavige then read the report and would instruct Rathbun to order “an operative or private investigator to find out something to do concerning the target of infiltration or investigation,” or sometimes just rant about the report’s subject.
Rathbun also claims he compiled his own morning briefings for Miscavige for 22 years detailing “media stories, investigations, legal cases, security breaches and potential security situations” having to do with the church, with the “highest priority” matters being those having to do with the Scientology commander himself.
Journalists, lawyers, or anyone else contacting the church about Miscavige would speak to a representative fully briefed by Rathbun and would be monitored by him throughout their contact with the church, heCLAIMS.
Now, Rathbun claims, Miscavige is trying to exert the same control over his wife’s lawsuit — and making up lies in the process.
Miscavige has claimed that he does not know his fellow defendants, two private investigators. But Rathbun insists in court papers that Miscavige has both known of and actively used both men’s services in Texas since the 1990s. In particular, he alleges they were used to investigate the family of Scientologist Lisa McPherson when she died under the church’s care.
Miscavige also told the court, “I have never availed myself of the privilege of conducting activities within the State of Texas … have not made any purposeful contacts with the State of Texas … and have not otherwise availed myself of the benefits and protection of Texas law.”
But Rathbun claims although Miscavige was on the base in California, he frequently directed surveillance campaigns in Texas and hired attorneys and private investigators there as well.
In all, Rathbun’s affidavit presents a never-before-seen picture of the extent of the figure’s power within the church.
Monique Rathbun’s case will have a temporary injunction hearing next Thursday.