Scientology to Marc and Claire Headley: Spy For Us and We'll Forget the $43K You Owe

Categories: Scientology

MarcClaireHeadley2.JPG
Marc and Claire Headley
The Voice has obtained a remarkable document -- a letter from Scientology's attorneys which explains how the church would agree to forgive almost $43,000 in court costs if Marc and Claire Headley agree to turn over information about former Scientology executive Marty Rathbun and "others involved in disparaging" the church, "including any media contacts."

In July, we reported that the Headleys lost in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after a lower court had dismissed their 2009 lawsuits against the church. In a lengthy and detailed decision, federal appellate judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain found that as longtime members of Scientology's hardcore "Sea Org," the Headleys had certainly endured hardships -- Claire claimed that she had been forced to have two abortions in order to keep up with the Sea Org's 100-hour weeks while paid pennies an hour -- but Scientology had not violated human trafficking laws.

After that court victory, Scientology was entitled to court costs, and the Headleys received three bills totaling $42,852.06. As a matter of procedure, they say, their attorney asked the church to waive those costs.

They were stunned when they got the church's response, explaining what it wanted in order to make that debt go away.

The letter, from attorney Robert Mangels of the Los Angeles law firm Jeffer Mangels Butler and Mitchell, listed three conditions under which the Church of Scientology International and the Religious Technology Center -- two of the church's controlling entities -- would agree to cancel the debt.

First, the letter says, "The Headleys agree to a full and permanent disengagement between themselves on one hand and CSI/RTC on the other hand. This would include no further anti-scientology activity under any circumstances at any time, including media or internet postings disparaging Scientology or scientologists."

That would be a difficult condition for the Headleys, who have been outspoken critics of the church since they left Scientology's International Base east of Los Angeles in 2005. Marc Headley in particular has been vocal, writing a book about their life at the base and dramatic escape, titled Blown For Good.

Which brings us to the church's second condition, as explained in the letter from Mangels: "The Headleys will turn over to CSI/RTC all rights to the 'Blown for Good Book'."

But it's the third condition which really surprised the Headleys...

"The Headleys agree to discuss with CSI and RTC all of their contacts with Marty Rathbun and any others involved in disparaging CSI and RTC, including any media contacts."

The Headleys tell me they have no interest in becoming informants for Scientology in its struggles against Rathbun, who was the second-highest ranking executive in the church before his 2004 defection. Rathbun is now associated with a breakaway independence movement that is challenging David Miscavige's leadership of Scientology. Last year, we reported that Miscavige went to surprising lengths to surveil Rathbun, planting an intimidation squad outside his house for five months. There's little question that Scientology expends enormous resources to follow Rathbun and watch those who go to visit him in his South Texas home.

Marc Headley says that his attorney responded to the Mangels letter with another offer, asking to pay the debt in four monthly payments of about $10,000 each.

He says the church answered with a verbal offer that they would accept such a payment plan, but only if the Headleys met "some or all" of the three conditions in their letter. (I've sent requests for comment both to Scientology's media office and to Robert Mangels about the letter.)

Uninterested in any of the conditions, Marc says it was obvious they would have to pay immediately. And the church was wasting no time making that point clear.

"We got a letter from the IRS today. They sent us a confirmation letter of the information we had asked for in a phone query. But we never called the IRS. We never inquired about anything. So, they're already poking around in our companies," Headley told me recently when I first asked him about the letter.

Headley told me he really only had one option. "We're just going to pay it."

I asked him how he would manage it. "I sold my van. We're selling the kids' swing set," he said. "I also sold a ton of my tools and equipment. And I wiped out my savings for the new kid."

(Claire is pregnant with their third child.)

The Headleys paid Scientology the money by cashier's check last week, on August 31.

This week, Scientology is reeling from a report in Vanity Fair magazine which alleges that in 2004, actresses were "auditioned" to become Tom Cruise's third wife before he eventually married Katie Holmes in 2006. The Headleys are named as sources in that story.

In a letter to NBC that was posted on one of the church's websites, Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw notes that the Headleys paid their debt, and then asks, "did Vanity Fair pay Mr. Headley for his 'cooperation' in 'corroborating' its tabloid story or was there some other quid pro quo?"

Marc Headley says the accusation is ludicrous. While it's true that several years ago he was paid by a British tabloid for stories shortly after he first left Scientology, what he told Vanity Fair is virtually the same thing he's been telling other journalists for years, including material that was already in his own book, Blown for Good. (I asked Vanity Fair for a statement and their executive director of public relations, Beth Kseniak, responded: "Vanity Fair has never paid sources and never would.")

Headley tells me it wasn't easy, but he and Claire managed to scrape together the money on their own.

Jason Beghe, the actor and former Scientologist who recently managed to pay off his own legal debt to the church, tells me that he's leading an effort to raise money to replace what the Headleys just spent.

"The Church of Scientology needs 40 grand like I need more hair on my back," he says. "I convinced Marc that people are going to want to help out. There's no reason he should suffer further. The rest of us should share the burden. I'm putting the first grand in that thing."

That thing being a fund started by Headley.

And here's a copy of Scientology's letter to the Headleys...


HeadleyLetter.png


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.


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1521 comments
jayzeee66
jayzeee66

My brother is a Clearwater Scientologist.  I was warned by his Scientologist step-daughter that he'd had me declared, Fair Game.  I was warned he was out to destroy me.  After ensuring he was out of earshot, his Clearwater girlfriend warned me, "He's trying to kill you."  His ex-wife, Caroline's "disconnect" was covered in a Tampa news story called, "The Unperson." 

Apparently, I've been framed for some of the worst crimes a person can be accused of and made the subject of extensive and varied character defamation.  I've been stalked and harassed and can't get a job or a lawyer.  I also recently learned that I've been the subject of a brainwashing experiment that apparently is connected to Scientology as well.  I've written about it on my blog, Communication By Symbol.  They're trying to bury me.  Please, visit my blog and get the rest of the story.

John Paul Zoccali

jayzeee66
jayzeee66

My brother is a Clearwater Scientologist.  I was warned by his Scientologist step-daughter that he'd had me declared, Fair Game.  I was warned he was out to destroy me.  After ensuring he was out of earshot, his Clearwater girlfriend warned me, "He's trying to kill you."  His ex-wife, Caroline's "disconnect" was covered in a Tampa news story called, "The Unperson." 

Apparently, I've been framed for some of the worst crimes a person can be accused of and made the subject of extensive and varied character defamation.  I've been stalked and harassed and can't get a job or a lawyer.  I also recently learned that I've been the subject of a brainwashing experiment that apparently is connected to Scientology as well.  I've written about it on my blog, Communication By Symbol.  They're trying to bury me.  Please, visit my blog and get the rest of the story:

Objective_Guy
Objective_Guy

I'm not fan of scientology, but if you decided to use the legal system to file a frivilous lawsuit simply because you are emotional and upset, then you should be required to pay the other side's legal bills.  You know as well as I that if the shoe was on the other foot, the Headleys would be asking the Co$ to caugh up that cash.

It's unfortunate that Headley waited too long to file his claims for assualt, battery, and false inprisonment.  But just because your legit claims are time-barred does not make it right to abuse the legal system and file "slave labor" claims for work that you know that was voluntarily performed. 

Specifically, Headley admitted under oath in deposition that he voluntarily chose to do the work.  And yet, here he is seeking repayment for work he voluntarily performed with no material expectation of compensation.  I'm sure he NOW regrets doing this labor.  But just because you regret something NOW does not change the past.  

By doing this, it paints the picture that all ex-scienos are a bunch of delusional liars who are trying to get rich off their own stupidity.  It hurts the the credibility of other ex-scienos who may have legitimate claims and may discourage such claims from being filed. 

ShineALight
ShineALight

An amazing week for stories here at the VV.  Hats off to you Tony, your cultivation of amazing sources over the past few years is really paying off.  Maybe we'll have to start a petition to get you to list yourself on next years 'Top 20 people crippling Scientology'.   Hell at this rate it may well be the 'Top 20 people who ended Scientology'.

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

Over 10k! 

Sweet.

 

Is that the sound of gnashing tiny teeth I hear in the background????

 

 

StillGrace
StillGrace

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Jason Beghe's soon-to-be-a-classic remark:

" ... Scientology needs 40 grand like I need more hair on my back."

That's right up there with "Show me a mother-f**king clear!"

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

For every  Marc Headley you help,  there are hundreds and thousands of people he has already turned to help.   For every scientology human rights abuse and crime you hear about, there are hundreds and thousands of horrors that have gone untold.   For every scientology death and suicide and disappearance,  there are hundreds if not thousands we may never know about.

 

I would add to what Syndy Fagen said about "this is what love looks like".   When it comes right down to it, Syndy,  isn't this what we all  thought scientology was all about?  The fact that all of us, some from decades apart,  are now here showing up with the real thing,  I think I'd even go so far as say that this is what real Super Power looks like, without the oiliness. 

sugarplumfairy32
sugarplumfairy32

Lol.. David miscabbage just left a great message with his donation.. Still laughing..

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @ShineALight "Hell at this rate it may well be the 'Top 20 people who ended Scientology'."

Your lips to Xenu's ears. 

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

 @StillGrace 

Actually I thought of suggesting I would double my donation if he waxed his back and then sent us a picture ;)

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

 @BurytheNuts Holy Crap.  I mean, holy crappola.  Yes,  those two letters side by side tell the real story of what scientology is like.   I've not heard of these two law firms before, although I realize there are several more in house firms regulars, like Moxon and Yingling. 

 

There is no way an attorney would write either letter.  Do either of these law firms knowing what is going under on their letterhead?  Sounds like  Miscavige's speech writer, Sherman,  spewed this and the attorney signed his soul away. 

 

Let's see, there's a claim that one of Vanity Fair's staff is Also employed by Miscavige and has been for 8 years.   Also, something about the "grassy-knoll of the internet"  which we've heard before from the sci compound.   Threats as green as bile if VF publishes.   And of course,  how many new square feet Miscavige now owns.  He Has to keep adding feet to with his now incessant barrage of footbullets.

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

 @BurytheNuts That letter from the church is the one I was reading earlier. It shows his true colors as an arrogant, self-important prick. How befitting.

 

They complain about leading questions that are fraught with tabloid gossip and yet counter with what they would consider an acceptable question:

 

“How have you managed to organize the largest ongoing Churchexpansion project of any religion today, with millions of square feet of Church facilities under construction or renovation and new Churches opening on a monthly basis?”

 

In a separate letter the church asks it's own leading question, implying that Vanity Fair paid for Mr. and Mrs. Headley's legal costs.

 

It's like an angry child, only with bigger words and more money.

leeannewrites
leeannewrites

 @sugarplumfairy32 BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  That's friggen awesome!

 

For those who don't want to go search for it, here's what he said:

 

"I'm sorry I sic'd those litigating hacks on you. My bad."

 

LOL!

The_Mole_on_DMs_Ass
The_Mole_on_DMs_Ass

 @dbloch7986  @BurytheNuts "His duties are herculean and accomplishments monumental. He is not a “thirdwheel” to anything or anyone." lol the butthurt squeeks of a bruised ego.

Jgg2012
Jgg2012

"How have you managed to organize the largest ongoing Churchexpansion project of any religion today, with millions of square feet of Church facilities under construction or renovation and new Churches opening on a monthly basis?”

 

With our tax dollars.

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

 @dbloch7986 That letter could not be more fawning to the little dick head.

I think he wrote it himself.

And then he danced around the room singing...i am pretty,....oh so pretty...

tetloj
tetloj

 @PoisonIvy  @BurytheNuts  @dbloch7986  @TheHoleDoesNotExist I understand the skimming part. All of these lovely dox and vids that people post and much of it I can't bear to watch or read as it threatens to suck the intelligence right out of me. Thank goodness for (and kudos) to those who go that extra ile and let me enjoy the lulz vicariously. And a comment on your intelligence too that you can make clever and pertinent observations in the afterglow of such dross [shudders]

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @BurytheNuts  @dbloch7986  @TheHoleDoesNotExist I had skimmed the letter before and thought it came of as ranting and crazy.  Now, reading it in its entirety, I think I was understating radically.  This reads like a drunken rant.  Just a disjointed, repetitive and nonsensical screed filled with generalities and non-sequitors and ad hominem attacks...very idiosyncratic turns of phrase (like Miscavige's public speeches!) clearly written by someone with a mediocre grasp of basic English grammar but an eagerness to show off all the impressive vocabulary words that he's "cleared" in the dictionary...I'm sure everyone who has read it agrees, so no need to go on.  

 

...but another thing I noticed during this second, more in-depth read.  As others have pointed out, Miscavige is mostly concerned about the personal insults to Miscavige The Great here, than he is about the subject of the article, Tom Cruise.  Clearly it is Tom who looks the worst in the article, given he is the better known of the two (hard for DM to imagine, but true.)  Miscavige is not defending Tom! Instead, he seems to be trying to distance himself from Tom, by - for example - "helpfully" providing their respective travel itineraries to prove that they didn't hang out together as much as everyone says they did.  He seems to imply that he is too busy and too important to hang out with his former BFF.  

 

"He is not a “thirdwheel” to anything or anyone."

 

My spidey sense is telling me that DM is definitely in the first stages of throwing Tom under the bus.

 

Do I hear an implosion rumbling in the distance?

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

 @dbloch7986  @TheHoleDoesNotExist 

Oh Derek, tip of the iceberg. I can find so many weird inconsistencies and red herrings in that letter it makes my head hurt.

The complaint that Maureen leaves nothing more than a "by the way" voicemail, and then contradicts that same assertion (when it suddenly benefits him to wank about tabloid journalism), bitching about the list of questions she submitted to get answered and how they were "frat house".

Oh this is just a treasure trove of what you should never put in a letter to the Editor of Vanity Fair.

 

Jgg2012
Jgg2012

  This will be just like to Debbie Cook case.  They will sue, discovery requests for David Miscavige to be deposed will be made, and the Church will drop their case.  Scientology has an achilles heel--it's called David Miscavige.

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @Jgg2012 

I am so hopping mad at the IRS.  From the Headley's:

 

"We got a letter from the IRS today. They sent us a confirmation letter of the information we had asked for in a phone query. But we never called the IRS. We never inquired about anything. So, they're already poking around in our companies," 

 

I know, they were probably tricked by CO$.  But I'm still furious.  If Goldberg hadn't caved, this cabal might have been shut down years ago.

jensting
jensting

 @DeckardCain  @BurytheNuts  @dbloch7986 Yup. Makes me wonder, which is likely to get the best result: subpoena David Miscavige or subpoena Shelley Miscavige? One i ultimately responsible for everything and is a known idiot in an unscripted environment, and the other?!?

Not to say that the well prepared anti-Co$ litigant should not cover all their bases by trying to depose both, I'm just wondering which is ultimately the source of the most leverage...

PoisonIvy
PoisonIvy

 @dbloch7986  @DeckardCain  @BurytheNuts This is the problem of being a totalitarian despot who surrounds your self entirely with "yes" people.  There's no one who can say, "Um, David...this approach hasn't worked for the past couple years...maybe we should try something different."  But you know what they say about insanity - same actions expecting different results.  

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

 @DeckardCain  @BurytheNuts Scientology's policy is "Never Defend Always Attack". And that is why they ignore everything in the letter and instead engage in ad hominem attacks against everyone involved in the creation of the article.

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

 @DeckardCain  @dbloch7986 I agree. By page two it became a DM lovefest to himself and his typical BS expanding, blah, blah, blah.

And I lost count at use of the phrase "religious bigot".

 

I say go ahead and sue ass hat.....Because I am sure Graydon Carter is beyond prepared for the onslaught.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

 @BurytheNuts  @dbloch7986 It's strange that a letter meant to refute the claims made in the article doesn't really attack the statements.  The threat of a lawsuit at the end has the feel of a very weak and limp handshake.  It doesn't have a lot of teeth.

 

Most of this letter is about the OMGFUCKINGGREATSUPREEEMEROOLAH Miscavige.  If this letter was meant as a legal threat, it lost that focus after the first paragraph.

 

I'd LOVE it if they actually sued.  Then we can crack open the vault of seekrits and also have Shelley subpoenaed.  

PeggyToo
PeggyToo

 @SallySock  

Sally, if you did Shelly, I LOVE YOU.  That was the best....'don't tell my husband.'

 

sugarplumfairy32
sugarplumfairy32

@leeannewrites @MrsLibnish too funny.. kudos, l. ron hubtard, whoever you may be..

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