Scientology "Dark Ops" Program Exposed, Says Former Top Official

Categories: Scientology

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Former high-level Scientologist Marty Rathbun revealed fascinating material yesterday on his blog: he claims that it's evidence of a detailed "dark ops" program launched in 2006 by Scientology to destroy a woman named Tory Christman, who had left the organization several years earlier.

I know Christman well. In 1999 2001, I wrote a lengthy story about her defection, which had gained notoriety because she announced it in an online forum, where for months she had been doing battle with Scientology's critics. Her sudden about-face, followed by a frantic flight from agents of the church who pursued her across the country, was dramatic enough. But leaving Scientology was not Christman's only goal. She almost immediately became one of Scientology's most tireless critics.

That apparently didn't sit well with L. Ron Hubbard's wacky cabal.

Rathbun at one time was one of the highest-ranking members of the organization until he defected and, in the last couple of years, has become one of the most outspoken critics of current Scientology leader David Miscavige. While he was still working for Miscavige, Rathbun was in a position to oversee Scientology's storied operations against its critics. That may explain how he obtained the document he revealed yesterday, which begins "Eyes Only," reflecting Scientology's long history as a quasi-military organization.

What follows is reputedly a program outlined by Scientology's "Operation of Special Affairs," or OSA, the covert-operations wing of the church, which supplanted the earlier "Guardian's Office," which had been at the center of the notorious "Operation Snow White," a years-long infiltration of the U.S. federal government which resulted in the 1978 indictment of 11 top Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue Hubbard. Hubbard himself was named an unindicted co-conspirator.

Scientology has long insisted that the Guardian's Office was a rogue outfit operating without church oversight, and that although OSA has supplanted it, it doesn't practice the kinds of spy-novel operations that the GO was known for.

This document doesn't support that view.

It begins with a damning description of Christman, whose marriage split up when she left the church. Rathbun, before posting the document, gave Christman the opportunity to respond to its allegations, and her annotations highlight how the information in it is highly personal and, in most cases, exaggerated or outright mistaken.

What follows is then a step-by-step program for how to wreck Christman's life. Her husband, who is still in Scientology, will be used to call her employer to get her in trouble.

The document suggests that a Scientology operative "use one of his resources" to become a client of Christman's, and then to complain about her to get her in trouble with her boss.

The document also proposes to use Internet forums to post negative reviews of Christman's work to ruin her business reputation.

Another item suggests that Scientologists would pose as customers of Christman's employer and make false complaints about her work.

Another instruction suggests continuing the effort by one Scientologist to make online allegations that Christman had had a lesbian affair in college.

Another church initiative: "repeat the message that she is a crazy person taking anti-depressants." (Christman notes that she has never suffered from depression.)

At the end, the document summarizes its goal: "By 30 April 2006 Tory discredited with the media, dismissed as an attacker or totally restrained and muzzled."

Well, that didn't work. As Christman notes, her employer was not affected by the program, if it was ever carried out, and she was later laid off in 2009 for economic reasons, not for the quality of her work.

Christman also notes that the irony that she was herself an OSA volunteer before her defection (something noted in my story about her), and that she has known that Scientology has been making some kind of concerted effort to discredit her. But it's rare to get such an explicit view of how OSA operates. We're reaching out to Tory today to talk to her directly about this and will provide updates as we get them.

UPDATE: Tory has put her own video response to the unearthed memo on YouTube:


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle'
The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap


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16 comments
Jory
Jory

Mr.Ortega, great articles about Scientology; And now, don't you suppose you've used the word "cabal" enough? You have used it it literally each article.

Alan
Alan

You know, the Germans have made Scientology illegal on many levels in their nation. It is no longer a recognized religion at all to them. Maybe it is time America did the same.

Steve
Steve

Seems fairly believable to anyone familiar with Scientology and OSA. However, I'd like to know where Marty got this information. A scan of the actual memo or screen shot of the actual email would be pretty helpful here. Right now there's nothing that can be done with this information, as it could have just as easily been typed up in MS Word and posted to Marty's blog.

As of now nothing is verified at all, but Marty could easily fix that. Any chance of him providing this story in a more credible format or do we just have to take his word for it?

Tony O
Tony O

Actually, -1JackFerguson, the IRS deal began under the first Bush, in 1991, and by 1993, when it was finalized under Clinton, it had long been a done deal. There are details about this in my story about Larry Wollersheim. Link at the end of the post above.

Tony O.

-1jack ferguson
-1jack ferguson

We can all thank Bill Clinton for finally giving these creeps the tax exemption they now enjoy.

Byron
Byron

"Want to make a lot of money? Start a religion". Who said that?

Reminds me of a disgusting video which unfortunately stars Sandra Bullock (unfortunately because otherwise she is a great actress). The movie is called "A Fool and His Money". It's about precisely the kind of thing that Hubbard did. Start a religion to make a lot of money.

Marc Abian
Marc Abian

Your tax dollars support the organization that wrote the document discussed in this article.

Your. Tax. Dollars. Support. This. Cult.

Larry Brennan
Larry Brennan

I have a comment concerning this part of what you wrote:

"Scientology has long insisted that the Guardian's Office was a rogue outfit operating without church oversight, and that although OSA has supplanted it, it doesn't practice the kinds of spy-novel operations that the GO was known for".

In my opinion not only is it not true that the Guardian's Office was rouge operating without church oversite, but in many ways it got even worse after OSA and the International Finance Police took over from the Guardian's Office.

Here is a link to a posting I did on that exact topic some time ago that gives much information on same:

http://tinyurl.com/b75tck

Tory is one of the kindest and nicest people I know. She was only trying to get out the truth in order to help people. The dirty tricks used against Tory to try to stop her from getting out the truth are nothing new in scientology.

They are indeed scientology "scripture".

Anonymous
Anonymous

What a disgusting manipulative organization. Why is the US government letting them get away with all this? They did this with Paulette Cooper, Keith Henson, that former mayor of Clearwater, and countless others. How many more of these documents do they have, and on which people?

Torychristman
Torychristman

 Perhaps when they stop acting like a "cabal" he will.

Torychristman
Torychristman

 I asked a similar question. What he said to me is: "If you ever need me to verify it in court.........I will be there".

Torychristman
Torychristman

 Really? We were told David Miscavige himself, personally went in and "Handled the IRS". I know they were working on "Black PR" re the IRS, as they sent me downtown once (I only went once, and felt it was too creepy---but God knows how much more dirt they dug up). We were handing out flyers offering "Ten Thousand Dollars for any Wistleblowers" Soon after Davey boy announced: "THE WAR IS OVER". Temporarily---but I still say that will be what Totally brings them D O W N.

Torychristman
Torychristman

 I believe *this* (Scientology getting tax exemption when they are *really* a flat out business) WILL (just as it did for Al Capone) eventually do them in. Tick Tock, Tick Tock....time is on *our* side.

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