Marty Rathbun in Germany: I Watched Tom Cruise Tell Bill Clinton to Influence Tony Blair for Scientology (UPDATED)

RathbunGermanTV.jpg
UPDATE: Andrew Morton provides much more detail about Scientology's attempt to gain tax breaks in the UK with the help of Bill Clinton's influence. Take a look at his informative article at The Morton Report.

After holding a press conference that was covered widely in Germany, former Scientology executive Marty Rathbun appeared last night on a television talk show that we hear is very popular there. Of all the things he talked about, one that seems to be getting the most buzz regards Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair.

Quick background for those just catching up: For 27 years, Marty Rathbun was a member of Scientology and reached its highest levels, becoming the second most powerful executive before leaving the organization in 2004. Two years ago, he began criticizing current church leader David Miscavige on a blog. And now, he's on a trip to Germany to meet with Ursula Caberta, a government official who, since 1992, has worked to curb Scientology's influence in that country.

Rathbun and Caberta appeared together on the Markus Lanz show, and that's when Rathbun was asked about Scientology's attempts to influence the U.S. government about Scientology's status in Germany, which he had mentioned at a press conference the day before.

Now that Rathbun is out of Scientology, he has confirmed to Caberta what she has long suspected -- that Scientology used its celebrities to influence the Clinton Adminstration and its State Department in particular to denounce Caberta's attempts to publicize Scientology's abuses.

Lanz asks Rathbun if it was true that Scientology tried to influence Clinton at the "highest levels."

Here's what I could get of Rathbun's answer, which has a German translator talking over him, so it was difficult to get it entirely right...

I witnessed the phone call. I was there when Tom Cruise made the phone call to Bill Clinton and spoke about contacting Blair to help the church with its charity status in the UK, and David Miscavige was there, who was very head of the church, and dangling in front of Tom Cruise the coveted International Association of Scientologists Freedom Medal which is a great honor to be given to a public member, if he pulled this off.

It's not news that the Clinton State Department went to bat for Scientology, condemning Germany's efforts, and it's also not news that Scientology tried to influence Clinton through its celebrities, such as John Travolta. But I can't remember Rathbun mentioning this before, that he personally witnessed Cruise getting the president on the phone to have him work on Tony Blair.

As for the mention of the IAS Freedom medal, that too has resonance -- because Miscavige did eventually give Cruise the IAS medal of valor, in 2004, and to prepare for that ceremony Miscavige had a special 9-minute video made of Cruise talking about his fervor as a Scientologist. That video was later leaked to the Internet in 2008, which changed the world of Scientology watching forever.

The Markus Lanz show, part 1:


Part 2:

I told Mike Rinder, the former Scientology spokesman, that another remarkable moment for me was during yesterday's press conference, when Rathbun seemed to become emotional talking about the moment when, he says, he was ordered by Miscavige to attack Rinder, his longtime friend. When he had Rinder by the lapels, he began to realize that he was in a situation that made no sense. Soon after, he left Scientology.

I asked Rinder if it surprised him to see Rathbun choked up about that.

"It did a bit," he said. "Because obviously we've talked about it many times. And it's been reported numerous times. The church always says that they came to my rescue and saved him from murdering me. It's such a fucking joke. Any tiny incident that they can grab hold of gets twisted into monster proportions."

But even if Rinder's life wasn't in danger, it was a key moment in their history, and it was interesting to see Rathbun struggle to speak about it.

I'm hoping to have a lengthy discussion with him about the trip when he returns.


The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

See all of our recent Scientology coverage at the Voice

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared

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
A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up
The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige
Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It?
Inside Inside Scientology -- An interview with author Janet Reitman
Scientology and the Nation of Islam -- Holy Doctrinal Mashup, Batman!
Scientologists -- How Many of Them Are There, Anyway?
Roger Weller's Wild Ride -- Scientology When it was Hip
The Marc Headley Infiltration -- A Scientology Spying Operation Revealed
Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology's Retaliation is "Scary and Pathetic"
An Interview with Nancy Many, Former Scientology Spy
The Paulien Lombard Confession -- A Scientology Spy Comes Clean
The Deputy Benjamin Ring Hard Sell -- Scientology wants your 401K
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology -- the whole series!
The Squirrel Busters Busted -- Unmasking the Scientology PI in Charge
Tommy Davis, Scientology spokesman, secretly recorded discussing 'disconnection'
Scientology internal document says its Office of Special Affairs will 'handle' the Village Voice



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47 comments
Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

Wake up people. It was Bill Clinton that ordered IRS / Goldberg to give Scientology FULL tax exemption, which by default gave the church WORLDWIDE Religion Status... or so the COS claims.Clinton has had VERY CLOSE relations with Scientology long before he even ran for President.So, you can pretty much bring the Whole Horrible Nightmare to Bill Clinton's doorstep...And Please Do.... Ring the Bell.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Something that comes across as odd (to me) in this 'Cruise and the State Department' story is that, at the time, Tom Cruise was very much silent about Scientology.  However, John Travolta was *very* active and well acquainted with the Clintons and known to have lobbied them on matters Scientology.

Tom may have signed the infamous 'letter' and been working behind the scenes, but, it was Travolta who actually went so far as to testify before Congress.

Why is it only Cruise that Rathbun chooses to mention?

scilonschools
scilonschools

Scientology opened their first uk office in Palace Gardens London UK in 1955, they have always made Political and Government Agency infiltration a Prime objective.There has never been an 'operation snow white' style FBI raid in the UK, raiding Scientology files stored there, with the UK being the original location of the Guardians Office (now OSA).and their fata base. (everything goes back there!!)With covert operations at many locations away from East Grinstead, the problem in the UK is far greater than some realise!!

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Too little, too late on the Clinton Blair revelation, Marty. This is old news.

Try telling the truth about how the church strong armed the IRS, got the cases closed and got that infamous tax-exempt status.

As well, you had an opportunity there to publicly confess and apologize to those key players  you harassed and fair gamed  back when you were in, when you were doing unto others that which you would not want others to do unto you.

But it's happening to you because Karma is a bi*ch and people do not forget the harm others do to them. Your man said  'clean hands make a happy living' and I think it's time you came clean.

mjm
mjm

I don't know about you guys, but after the Co$ gets wiped off the map, Kabbalah should be next. here's what Asshole Kutcher said in a magazine a few days ago:"I find the study of Jewish mysticism to be really interesting and a completely different world I never even knew existed. Kabbalah is the root of most modern religions. The meetings really set you on a positive path for the rest of the week." (this is the highest paid star on TV?)btw, Madonna and Demi Moore's hatchet woman (and Madge's alleged lover) Liz Rosenberg is close friends with Karen and Phillip Berg, the founders of the Kabbalah Center.

Hartley Patterson
Hartley Patterson

The concept of Tony Blair doing anything to help Scientology is absurd. He was a 'closet Catholic' while Prime Minister and avoided any involvement with religious affairs. Plus, the Charities Commission is an independent body with teeth, a model which Australia is now adopting but which the USA will not.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

It's good that Marty as an ex scientology official is telling the German media about the Clinton connection but these things were known about and on record years ago.  

I am glad that Marcus Lanz asked the right questions, although I don't Marty answered them all.

Ursula was one smart chick to set this up. Hopefully her office will be reopened now that it's been established that the religion was not being attacked. Her office handled abuses from the the policies and behaviors of Scientology and it's staff and that the religion itself had nothing to do with her erfforts.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

I wonder what kind of ramifications this will have at all, other than to enrage Scns and DM towards Rathbun even more.  I wonder if TC or any of his "people" would care or take action about a thing like this?  Big news for Scientology, especially in Europe, but probably a non-existent story for anyone planning to buy a ticket to the next Mission Impossible movie.

Schockenawd
Schockenawd

Marty looks like a college professor... all checked-shirted and stubbly-bearded.  Coincidental or well-planned?  I'm sure he's learned a thing or two about good PR, having spent years in the creation of bad PR for "apostates."  If he's sincere, maybe he should teach a college class, "The Psychology of Scientology," or some such.  It could be part of the required coursework for people getting their degrees in psychology at some prestigious college.  Sure, he'd be educating the next generation of psychologists, but he's done such a turnaround.  Surely Scn's disdain for all things psychologist wouldn't bother him anymore.

Endscientology
Endscientology

I wonder if the story of Malcolm X is lost on Rathbun, or if he's even bothered to pick up a book that wasn't sanctioned by LRH in some way.  Malcolm X finally woke up to the fact that the man he believed in was a liar and a con man, so why is it so hard for Rathbun to figure that out about LRH?  I guess at the end of the day, Rathbun's no different than any garden-variety religious zealot subscribing to cognitive dissonance.  

I guess we should all be happy he's spilling some beans although I'm not sure why no one is really paying attention.

Sheriff Buford T. Justice
Sheriff Buford T. Justice

INVESTIGATE THE PROPANE HOARDING

YT "angry gay pope twin peaks"

How many pounds of explosives does scientology have for its gold mine in AZ?

Come on...i want to know...

MarcAbian
MarcAbian

I find it shocking that a company whose executives went to prison in the 1970s for the largest infiltration ever of the US government would have the sympathetic ear of the US president a decade or so later.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Boy, the political stuff is the fascinating thing to Germans, about the celebrities using their influence over politicians. Here is Ursula trying to work to protect her country from this fascist cult, as she helps escapees, and tries to limit the cult's reach, but Americans (Scientology and government) react like they're being Nazis again.

That's quite an image, Miscavige dangling the medal before Cruise. Maybe that's how he hypnotizes the Cruiser?

Ursula was saying that it is scheissegal what these verrückten Scientologen believe, but it was their actions....something like that.

Wouldn't it have been funny if someone had drawn a mustache on the fish-mouth picture of Miscavige?

Marty sounds better with the German over-translation, although German can be a bit  "zealatous" sounding.

bulldog
bulldog

OMG! I bet DM and Tom Cruise are holding each other crying right now. :-P

Olivia Zero
Olivia Zero

The Rathbun tv appearance videos have very helpful english subtitles, courtesy of the anon Ackerland (because it's very hard to follow what's going on with the German translator speaking).  Just click on "cc" at the bottom of the video screen.

NCSP
NCSP

I am not a fan of Marty, but -- credit where credit is due -- he seems to be hitting it out of the park on this trip. Good for him!

scilonschools
scilonschools

Marty R use to Audit TC did he audit JT as well?

scilonschools
scilonschools

The Mail UK article on Cherie Blair 2 Sept 2011 says it all on the Blairs!!"Cherie Blair suffered a humiliating rebuke yesterday for allowing a cocaine smuggler to walk free from court.Sitting as a Crown court judge, she gave drug dealer Lee Williams a suspended sentence even though he had a kilogram of cocaine worth £145,600.Three Appeal Court judges expressed astonishment at what was described as a ‘startling’, ‘deficient’ and ‘unduly lenient’ sentence. "

MarkStark
MarkStark

The part about Miscavige dangling the freedom medal in front of Cruise isn't old, is it? I think it is one of Marty's better Cruise stories. Instead of merely showing how manipulative or violent Miscavige is, is shows how susceptible Cruise is to craving this kind of adulation.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I'd say the Church of SubGenius should hold an arm-wrestling contest between Ashton Kutcher and Tom Cruise with G.W.A.R. on hand to provide musical cues and the production crew from WWE to frame and market the event. Sounds like a Five-Star Pay-Per View Thriller!

As Fair Game™ will be in effect we can expect to see a lot of chairs smashed!

Next up—nude oil wrestling between the O.T.O. and Reclaiming, a HBO special, book and DVD.

Xenu
Xenu

LOLWUT?!?

I knew one person who wound up dead because of Scientology, another who was sued and hounded relentlessly for decades, and quite a few who ended up in labor camps.  That's why I'm here.

Having Ashton Kutcher as a member is not quite the same magnitude of offense.

robert
robert

They still could have had an effect on local councils, such as the city of London. Besides, Blair being Catholic doesn't mean that he can't be buffaloed in some way.  He generally was a sharp guy, I think, but who knows.

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

I'd prefer he taught a class on "The Psychology Of Scientology" in a penitentiary, where he could work on his *good behavior* quotient and perhaps obtain an early release before the entirety of his sentence is served.  

Xenu
Xenu

Marty would need a degree first.  Real Scientologists don't waste time in wog schools.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

This is not the story that will appear on "Entertainment Tonight." This is "Inside Baseball."

When the "Inside Scoop" on Tom Cruise and David Miscavige is the lead story on all the supermarket tabloids and syndicated afternoon gabfests, it's then that we'll all be watching the towers fall, and hard. It will be big, messy, cathartic. What Mr. Rathburn is doing in Germany now will not be appearing on the usual media outlets. But presenting the Squirrels as the good guys in the international tale will infuriate DM, resulting in yet another gob-smacking, foot-bulleting copy of "FreeDumb" rolling off the presses, another flank of high-level Scientologists tossing themselves overboard for good, another building in Clearwater going into foreclosure.

Watching Scientology crumble is like watching a Roadrunner cartoon in slow motion.

tingting
tingting

you must be related to Babble Schwartz

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

You know, I had seen the AGP Twin Peaks videos before and thought 'what is this Buford poster talking about?

So, a while back I wasted precious minutes looking up what you posted here on another occasion when I'd read another VV article where posted the same comment. 

Fact is, there is nothing in AGP's site and videos to suggest that the large propane tank you refer to has anything in it. Matter of fact, he states that they are empty and in ill repair. You can see that the tank is very old and rusted.

DMSTCC
DMSTCC

Perhaps Slick Willie likes the West coast spas?

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

It's just politics, baby. Money talks and legislation walks.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

I find that medal story hard to believe. Tom didn't need a medal as an impetus to be gung-ho enough to call the then-president. He was already gung-ho . He was already nuts.

bulldog
bulldog

Olivia Zero, thank you! I didn't know about the cc at the bottom of the video. Only thing is, it isn't working on my mobil. So I went to youtube and searched Rathbun and Caberta.

Click on video, turn phone sideways and CC will show up, click on that, and then press English.

Many thanks to AnonAckerland too, great job!

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Nice mention by Ursula of Vaughn Young.   She says Vaughn told her in  1994 that if  Miscavige wasn't stopped, Scientology would become the most fanatical organization of its kind.   Marty gives Ursula a number of compliments.      I'd have liked to have seen some apologies from Marty to Ursula, like for the airport greeting Ursula got in Tampa, by OSA volunteers, when Ursula came to visit LMT.  

Clarkle
Clarkle

I hope the US media picks up on this.  This is a big story and I'd love to learn whether Clinton actually spoke to Blair.  Just when think you've seen the seedy underbelly of this cult, stories like this appear. 

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Well, I don't actually believe the medal story, so I wasn't looking at that when I commented. But yes, it is new.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

But I brought the hood and the torch. I'm all dressed for the occasion and always had it in for that little Boy-Toy anyway.

I'm awaiting the publication of "Kabbalah for the Complete Idiot." I see it in the cards and the numerology is holding up.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Speaking only for myself, I don't see the point of enrolling in schools for Muggles.

Olivia Zero
Olivia Zero

@Mary: Thank you! Dear god, enough about the propane, already.

robert
robert

Or perhaps he got some hefty donations.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

And most legislation is bullshit, as you doubtless are already aware.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Watched the videos with captions on and sound off. While this is not new information [I've read a lot in the last two weeks] it's fantastic having this very public documentation in Germany from the second-in command, David Miscavige's right hand man. It's David Miscavige v. the world and there's a lot more to the world then there is to Miscavige, praise Eris.

NCSP
NCSP

Hopefully, those apologies happened in private.

Sid
Sid

Hey Heber how are you doing?   :-)

If you want to know what kind of reaction the British Government would have given to any attempt by Bill Clinton to persuade them to go easier on the CofS then you don't have to look very far.....

Simply look for "BBC Newsnight SLAYS the Church of Scientology" on Youtube. It's an interview with you Heber! Also on the show is David Mellor, a British Government Minister at the time.Take a look towards the end of Part 2 when Mr Mellor tells it like it is.

Scientia
Scientia

This was in 1996 when Britain was under a Conservative government. Labour swept into office one year later, strengthening the "special relationship" between Blair and Clinton that had supposedly begun three years prior.

Yeppir
Yeppir

Thank you for that.

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