Marty Rathbun: Scientology's Attorney "Supervised" Destruction of Records in Lisa McPherson Death

For the last year or more, Mark Bunker has been releasing short excerpts from his upcoming Scientology documentary Knowledge Report, and yesterday, he released a doozy.

Bunker had told me that he'd interviewed former church executive Marty Rathbun, and in this excerpt, we see Rathbun addressing the kinds of things many have wanted him to talk about: what happened with Lisa McPherson, a parishioner who died in a Scientology hotel in 1995? I have a feeling his responses here will cause as much skepticism as anything else, but what he has to say about Scientology attorney Elliot Abelson should cause an uproar.

McPherson died after she was held for 17 days at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida following a mental breakdown. As Janet Reitman describes in rich detail in her 2011 book Inside Scientology, McPherson had been a dedicated Scientologist whose life had increasingly spun out of control. Her death became the church's biggest crisis to that point, leading to a criminal investigation and years of civil litigation.

Rathbun was one of the top church officials whose full time job between 1996 and 2000 was dealing with that crisis. (He later left the church in 2004.)

Rathbun has previously admitted to destroying evidence in the case. But in this video, he provides more detail, and implicates Abelson.

In another interview with Mark Bunker, former top church spokesman Mike Rinder had characterized Abelson as "just a name," an attorney whom private investigators could say they were working for as they performed operations for the church.

But in this account, Rathbun says Abelson was more of an actor, claiming that the attorney "supervised" the destruction of evidence, and in Abelson's own office on Hollywood Boulevard.

Bunker tells us he's on his way to Oklahoma for this weekend's big protest at the Narconon Arrowhead center. But he sure dropped a bomb on his way out of town!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lawsuit Filed Against Scientology's Oklahoma Drug Rehab

Jarrel Wade of the Tulsa World is reporting this morning that the parents of Hillary Holten have filed a lawsuit against Narconon Arrowhead, Scientology's flagship drug treatment center in eastern Oklahoma, where three patient deaths have occurred since last October. Holten, 21, died on April 11 after she had spent just two days at the facility.

Wade writes that Holten's parents accuse the Narconon center of accepting Holten as a patient without being able to adequately handle her medical condition, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which required daily medication.

Colin Henderson, another former patient at the center, says he left it when he could not get his blood pressure medicine while he was being treated -- Narconon's anti-drug approach even applies to prescription medicines, he claims, which can be risky for some patients.

Meanwhile, Narconon Arrowhead executive director Gary Smith has put out an open letter about the recent deaths. In it, he says that the Scientology teachings being utilized in Narconon treatment have been "completely secularized and contain no religious philosophy."

We're going to discuss that howler at more length soon.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scientology on the High Seas!

In November the Voice obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Atlantic and the Mediterranean on the yacht Apollo. Our documents cover the period from late 1968 through 1971, and this time we're looking at what was happening the week of August 19-25 during those years.

This week: Squirrels, rumors, hatting -- a Commodore's job is never done...


1969

August 23: Another LRH humblebrag

SESSIONS

I have C/Sed 1,912 sessions since the beginning of the Standard Dianetics Programme, I am told.

People were singing at renovations -- one not minor result!

There has been this year a tremendous lot of research development. Dianetics was made totally workable.

Last year was the Class VIII development.

There were 2 100-percent result programmes. They are inter-dependent. Between them, with earlier work, there are no barriers now to a totally sane and healthy society.

We have not done an institutional programme because we have no facilities to do it but we have the answers even there.

Tech is the theta thrust into the society. All new civilizations progressed on new technology.

In the main we face what is called a "cultural lag". The mental health field is stuck about 1450 AD. Dungeons, torture, illegal seizure, the "best" people. We are rolling at about 2050 AD. This time gap makes it nearly impossible for the society's witch doctors (untrained in logic or mathematics) to grasp what is going on. They lack even a purpose to make anyone well. Not even up to that. So we are impeded by a "cultural lag". By tying a bridge to medicine and healing we can overcome this to some degree.

Therefore the Standard Dianetics Programme was an enormous advance for us, not just in tech but in social advance.

So we are doing very well really.

LRH, COMMODORE


1970

August 19: LRH does a little Black PR

SQUIRRELS

Been hearing reports on a couple squirrels -- Bernie Green (in NY) and Jack Horner (in LA). They've been goofing it up for ages. Typical no case gain cases, up to their ears in undisclosed overts. They'd sell their grandma for a fast buck.

Horner is wildly opposed to organizations or systems of any kind. He has the trick of talking somebody off the third dynamic into the first dynamic. He shows them how the system is doing them in and how it should all be only for No. 1. B. Green evidently got that way as a Terrorist in the Middle East. Horner totally flipped when he ruined one too many women. The first dynamic and the fast buck and how all systems are bad seem to be a common denominator to these poor nuts.

...

Hope you're enjoying Liberty and the Port.

LRH, Commodore


1971

August 19: So many enemies

RUMOURS

Heavy and bunch of bunk rumours on the lines that the State Dept is "out to get us". The story behind it is we stepped on the tail, hard, of a vice consul who threatened us and stepped hard. So now he's screaming. Just before his removal we hope. We reported him to his superiors.

The world has in it sharks, disease, consuls, falling trees, CIA, car wrecks, State Depts, lightening and other natural threats. You learn to live with them and stay alive by being alert.

EXCHANGE

We lost $2,000 yesterday on exchange due to the US dollar flap. A higher exchange was reported available.

Be careful with Exchange rate.

LRH, COMMODORE

August 20

WHY HATTING

HCO P/L 29 Jul 71 Issue I WHY HATTING? is truer than I knew.

Musical Chairs in life is the mechanism below ARC Brks in Grade III! To unstabilize gives ARC Brks!

Whole staff can be put into a sad effect!

This is the mechanism govts use.

It's the basic tool of the socialist. If he can just unstabilize everyone he can kill them with degrade.

It's a basic tool of the insane to maintain their own stability by unstabilizing everyone else.

There's more to it, but its a major discovery that effects even the ARC Brk rud and affects the no case gain case.

So that's where I've been working lately in research and wow is it paying off!!!

It began when I assumed that the musical chairs we get in orgs was a social aberration not an admin error. From there it's been discovery all the way.

I'll have to write HCO Bs and P/Ls on it but wanted you to know the research line was making bulldozer progress.

...

LRH, COMMODORE

August 25

LIBERTY

Hope you had a nice liberty those that went and that you will have one, those going today.

All is calm in port.

Even the dollar stabilized.

Enjoy your day.

LRH, COMMODORE


Advance47Cover.jpg
More 1970s Awesomeness!

After L. Ron Hubbard had moved HQ from the yacht Apollo to the Florida coast, Advance! magazine was thrilling Scientologists with tales of "OT Phenomena." Those church members who had reached the higher levels of spiritual training shared their stories of superhuman powers with fellow dupes -- er, enthusiasts. This excerpt is from Issue 47, July/August 1977. (And another cover featuring a photo by the Commodore!)


A few weeks after returning from the AO, having completed full OT VII, I received a call from Leslie Bertarand, who had herself just returned from doing the full OT VII. We talked for a bit, and in the course of the conversation, she asked me how my love life was. "Funny you should mention that," I replied, "All my other dynamics are steadily flowering, but the second is completely zip."

She laughed and said, "Well, we're a couple of OT VIIs, and we should be able to create a 2D for you. I agreed, and she asked just exactly what I was looking for. I began seriously thinking about the actual specifics of my desired 2D, something I've never done before, and told Leslie my ideal scene.

Eight days later, I walked into the Mountain View Mission to do a Sunday service for them, and there my postulate stood, greeting people as they came in. I took one look and knew exactly who she was.

24 hours later, we were engaged. I've been looking for her for 25 years this lifetime alone, and all it took was OT VII and a superbly clean postulate.

Now that's what I call an OT win! -- Eric Barnes


Recently, my wife Nancy went to England for training. It's the first time I've been separated from her since we got together. Now I see that we're not separated at all. At first, I was kind of sad until I noticed that I was flying over on the airplane with her. Since then, our comm line has gotten increasingly better. I find that I can even carry on conversations with her to some degree, and almost always know what she's doing and where she is. It's very nice when she calls me or writes me and confirms that she was doing what I thought she was and that she did receive the comm that I gave her, and see the things that I saw with her! -- Joe Hochman


OT Romance! You wonder why you don't hear more about it. I mean, if you have the power to alter matter, time, and energy, just think of the dating applications!



See also:
"Tom Cruise worships David Miscavige like a god"
Scientology's president and the death of his son: our complete coverage
What Katie is saving Suri from: Scientology interrogation of kids
Scientology's new defections: Hubbard's granddaughter and Miscavige's dad
Scientology's disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Scientology crumbling: An entire mission defects as a group
Scientology leader David Miscavige's vanished wife: Where's Shelly?
Neil Gaiman, 7, Interviewed About Scientology by the BBC in 1968
The Master Screenplay: Scientology History from Several Different Eras
And a post that pulls together the best of our Scientology reporting

Please check out our Facebook author page for updates and schedules.


**********
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.

My Voice Nation Help
476 comments
SeaCricket
SeaCricket

Tony O. may be departing the VV, but that doesn't mean we can't keep talking about CO$.  If you've enjoyed the commenting community here and would like to stay informed and involved, here's a link to a google group started by some VV regulars.  Recommended that you create a new gmail account without any personally identifying information if you are concerned about revealing your identity.  Hope to see you there!

 

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!forum/Scientology-Rodeo-Watchers-From-the-Village-Voice 

 

Soother
Soother

As usual in these frantic frothings, we wait in vain for one shredded shred of hard evidence. 

 

Wouldn't you have stuffed a few strands of this allegedly shredded paper into your pocket?

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Tony, did you invent this - "Another LRH humblebrag"? Old man defined. It's freaking awesome!

Plutarch
Plutarch

Scientology lacks its identity

Gerome
Gerome

God, what the hell has happened to this place, it's like OSA Central.  70% of the posts would have your average reader more concerned about Rathbun than Scientology.   Hopefully readers will focus on what Tony Ortega has to say, and ignore the OSA commenters trashing "apostates."

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

 @DodoTheLaser Spot on word! From the urban dictionary, humblebrag: (1) Subtly letting others now about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or "woe is me" gloss. (2) When you, usually consciously, try to get away with bragging about yourself by couching it in a phony show of humility.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

 @ClamOnAHalfshell Let me try to explain it to you, my friend Clam.

Once you reach OT VIII it's truly a breath taking experience, you are at a total cause over matter, energy, space and time - you are a "baby OT" on top of the world. BUT, if you have overts or even misunderstood words you failed to look up, you might get an unfortunate divorce here and there, common cold, bad vision and a parking lot rape (it happened to OT VIII). You get the point.   

SvenBoogie
SvenBoogie

 @Gerome I'm surprised you would actually be as brash as to suggest self reflection to anyone, seeing as you clearly have none.

ClamOnAHalfshell
ClamOnAHalfshell

 @Gerome Really? We haven't had any OSAbots here in a while. We kind of play with them like cat toys.

SvenBoogie
SvenBoogie

 @Gerome As far as I can see, YOU are the only person who actually called him an apostate specifically, champ.

speakerguy
speakerguy

 @Gerome If you can't figure it out, people are commenting about Marty here because these are the comments that GO WITH AND ARTICLE ABOUT MARTY you fool.  This stuff stresses me out like bad drivers...nothing you can do about it, but it's so easy to get pissed anyway.

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @Gerome Let's see, we have a name we've never heard before telling us ( some of which helped start the GO/OSA) we sound like OSA ?  Has it ever occurred to you that we think that both the Co$ and the Indies SUCK.

 

Some of us can WALK and CHEW gum at the SAME time .

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @Gerome Gee, good thing most of us just started this thing yesterday and you came along in all of your earnestness to show us where we went astray.

 

Whew !

WhereIsSHE
WhereIsSHE

Gerome- People here who are expressing concern about Rathbun are people who are expressing concern about the spread of the unsavory practices of scientology (vs. attacking Marty just for the sake of trashing him, a la OSA black PR). I haven't seen one comment --let alone a slew of them--from  critical thinkers here which could be likened to "OSA commenters trashing 'apostates'".

 

The overarching concern is that the abusive policies, practices and tactics of the CoS/Hubbard/Miscavige come to an absolute end.

 

If people are willing to pay him to counsel them, so be it.

If he is aiming for something else (something many here consider may be a more sinister goal), then he is going to be called out about it here.

 

 

Gerome
Gerome

 @speakerguy 

 

And the article is about bringing down the cult, you fool.

Gerome
Gerome

 @Capt._Howdy 

 

And yet you support that nearly all of the negative posts here have been about an ex-scientologist (Rathbun) rather than the cult itself?

Gerome
Gerome

 @Capt._Howdy 

 

I'm not sure why I would be semi-defending Rathbun if I was OSA, that would be dumb.

Gerome
Gerome

 @Capt._Howdy 

 

Read the comments.  Most of them are obsessing about Rathbun.  Is that your target?

Gerome
Gerome

 @WhereIsSHE 

 

OK, once again back to the abuses, why would someone create a distraction that the FZ are committing abuses, that seems to be what you are doing.... what is your motivation for creating that distraction

speakerguy
speakerguy

 @Gerome You've made a nice go of it.  Why don't you run home now and maybe Marty will scratch you behind the ear and give you a tasty Milkbone.

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @Gerome  Oh wait you're trying to suggest I'm OSA ?

 

Ha Ha " Feel My Finger"  Kid.

worstcultever
worstcultever

 @Capt._Howdy   I don't think self-appointed hall monitor Gerome should be replied to as if he's sincere. 

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @Gerome Why would you be semi-defending Rathbun at all ? He's either a perpetuating the con or he's deluded, mumbo jumbo, meta-physical, miscreant.

SvenBoogie
SvenBoogie

 @Gerome  @ashura Even harder to imagine since, you know, she never said that. Remind me what exactly you've contributed to the dialog here so far again?

Gerome
Gerome

 @ashura  @Gerome 

 

Yes, but it's hard to describe.  The people that have been here for many years know every detail of every abuse.   So it is impossible to imagine that a commenter like kimobrien thinks the abuses of the cult are the same as the indies. 

ashura
ashura

 @Gerome  Perhaps, wouldn't it be better to comment about the abuses rather than complain ad nauseum about how others aren't commenting about the abuses?   

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @Gerome Well that's your opinion and you're entitled to it , but if you think you're going to come around here and put people's "ethics" in about how to be a "proper" scientology critic/Anon, you're sadly mistaken my friend. Goodnight.

Gerome
Gerome

 @Capt._Howdy 

 

Let's reboot.  I think the format of this discussion doesn't lend itself to listening.  One tends to respond too quickly (myself included).

 

I despise Scientology and it's abuses.  I also suspect there is a real risk that that there may be posters here that are trying to distract the newly interested public and press from this trove of information Tony has created.

 

The best way to distract people would be to create a myriad of other "criminals" just like Freedumb magazine has done for years.  And that seems like what is happening when we have an article where Rathbun is bashing Scientology, and the majority of posts are about what a jerk he is. It's simply counter-productive, and even suspicious.

Gerome
Gerome

 @ashura  @Capt._Howdy 

 

That being said, it is normal to suspect that those who derail the topic may be OSA.  It is really depressing to come upon a blog where the majority of people are focusing their ire on ex-scientologists, when there is so much work to be done to dismantle Scientology. 

ashura
ashura

 @Gerome  @Capt._Howdy 

 

Gerome, I haven't been posting here all that long. Maybe a few weeks at most. And from the regulars I see here, none of them seem associated with scien any longer (if they were) and others, like myself, are just scien watchers who were never in. It usually isn't too hard to figure out when there are "rogue" posters. Just sayin...

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @Gerome  Oh, so I'm chief of the anti-Marty brigade around here ? You're too silly for words kid. Goodnight and maybe go surf for some porn and take care of your "withholds".

Gerome
Gerome

 @Capt._Howdy 

 

OK, how many many people are currently imprisoned by the Indies?  And how super excited are the SCNs that you are focusing on Marty?

Capt._Howdy
Capt._Howdy

 @Gerome  Sure if you're " Michael Hobson "Independent Scientologist" . LOL

Gerome
Gerome

 @ashura  @Capt._Howdy 

 

That's fine, but when people become overly focused on Rathbun, it is rational to assume they are OSA

ashura
ashura

 @Gerome  @Capt._Howdy 

More like having a discussion about MR and the implications for what he is doing. Given that thread is on blog post about Marty, how is this obsessed?

 

The gentlemen doth protest too much, me thinks. 

 

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

 @DeckardCain  @Gerome  @WhereIsSHE Marty and the indies are not benign.  As Denise has pointed out, psychotic breaks are common whilst auditing. Do you think we should just cross our collective fingers that when it happens that whomever is around will do better than the Three Stooges act that happened at Flag with Lisa?

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

 @Gerome  @WhereIsSHE You can't be serious with that question.

 

Scientology's structure has evil built into its DNA.  Most of us don't give a shit what anyone believes but care when how they act put others' well-being at risk.

 

Auditing, regardless of where it is done, is a risky and dangerous practice.  Some of us believe it to be medical quackery dispensed by sadly ill-trained individuals.  

 

Others here also criticize Marty because he's a fucking criminal that deserves to be in prison.  He broke many wog laws while he was the mob enforcer and some of us like to see justice.

ashura
ashura

 @Gerome  @WhereIsSHE 

 

Like I said, if you you want to have a discussion about the abuses in scientology, make a comment about the abuses in scientology and then wait and see what others write so you can then respond. That's how it works.

 

Otherwise, you have made probably a dozen comments about how people are discussing Marty and not the abuses in the cult, which itself is just commenting on comments that are not about what you want to discuss...which is also rather absurd given the substance of your past comments.

ashura
ashura

 @Gerome  @WhereIsSHE 

 

Perhaps for others here who were in the cult and escaped and came to their senses, there is a real interest in the indies and maybe why it is that they don't reject scientology and all its trappings.

 

But otherwise, I think you are making a federal case out of non-issue.

 

SvenBoogie
SvenBoogie

 @Gerome  @ashura  @WhereIsSHE The only person it would even seem 'suspicious' to would be someone who is still unable to shake their clam programming, and can't comprehend the idea that someone could disagree with their view without there being some vast, organized, sinister conspiracy behind it. 

Gerome
Gerome

 @ashura  @WhereIsSHE 

 

I have read every thread, every post here for years.  The anti-indie vitriol, however, is unprecedented and suspicious for the "long-con." 

Gerome
Gerome

 @ashura  @WhereIsSHE 

 

Yes indeed, I think it is great that Marty is contributing to the demise of the corporation by his videotaped declaration.

ashura
ashura

 @Gerome  @WhereIsSHE 

Your complaint is unnecessary.

 

There are many different places on the web to have such discussions, including here.  If you want to discuss the abuses in this comment section, then by all means, jump right in and write something about it. I am sure you'll get responses.

 

Many here just so happen to be discussing Marty right now because 1) the blog post was about him and 2) Marty has written some posts on his blog that have struck a chord with people.

Just because people are discussing Marty right now doesn't mean they've dropped the ball or forgotten about the abuses (just go look at previous threads).

 

 

Gerome
Gerome

 @ashura  @WhereIsSHE 

 

Yes, but wouldn't it make sense to focus on the actual documented abuses, rather than the hypothetical ones?

ashura
ashura

 @Gerome  @WhereIsSHE There is genuine interest in what the FZ or indies are doing given everything we know about cults, mind control, and the the reality of who Hubbard was and what he created.

 

 

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...