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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1519 comments
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. 

stella
stella

After you donate -- like I just did  -- as a reward for yourself, google David Miscavige and see the quotable quote that google has assigned to his ecclesiastical name!!!!!!  

 

I for one do not expect to see a church lawyer trying to yank Googles chain with a cease and desist-type letter as they did with VF.

skippress
skippress

Almost $3500 already! Tell everyone you know, folks. They'll give up Starbucks for a week or forego a movie if they must to help out this truly wonderful family.

mmmirele
mmmirele

It's worth noting, folks, that those of us here in the USA pay more in taxes because the cult of Scientology gets the coveted religious tax exemption. Yes, folks, you have a tax-exempt RELIGION asking people to spy for it. I can't even begin to express my anger. But I will say this, THANK YOU Marc and Claire for coming forward in the beginning and for continuing to come forward, because you're just proving over and over and over again what a scumbag organization Scientology is.

 

Pfffth.

V4Vacation
V4Vacation

Again and again the CoS just shows itself as being clueless and classless.

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

I believe the fact that the church just inadvertently publicly declared that they were after the rights to Marc's book just validated it's contents in a way that no other author could ever have hoped.

 

Marc, you should print this letter as the first page of your book and republish it.

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

This is great, and I am super proud of Marty today too. I guess I may have never really understood the depths of Miscavige's fear of Marty Rathbun. Oh, and here is to giving up my Taco's for a month in Marc and Claire's name. We appreciate that you guys have stood up to the abuses and continue to fight for what is right.

JeffersonHawkins35
JeffersonHawkins35

My admiration for Marc and Claire. They have once again demonstrated a level of courage and integrity that is inspiring. They can not be bought. And the cult has once again demonstrated publicly how despicable, scheming and vindictive they are.

V4Vacation
V4Vacation

I would love to see a digital version of Blown for Good on Amazon. I don't know what it takes for an author or publisher to produce that, but it would be great if they could figure that out. I'm sure there are a lot of new people who'd like to read it, but hard copies are somewhat hard to come by and too expensive. A digital version retailing for $10 would be a good source of supplementary income.

leeannewrites
leeannewrites

Few things have warmed my heart recently as much as watching the numbers climb on that donation site.  21 donations, $2,485 and counting!  Keep it up folks!  I am immensely enjoying know just how pissed off Miscavige is going to be when he realizes that not only did his slimy tactics not work, they resulted in an outpouring of support for Marc & Claire, and yet MORE bad publicity.

 

Woohoo!  Click that Donate button, people!

RadioPaul
RadioPaul

I am amazed it was such a small amount. I guess they did not want to list all the Dead Agent cost, PI's and illegal activities. But still 40K???? Are these lawyers Scientology slaves? Still, I am glad that is all it was.

 

So what the cult did here is validate what people have been saying for years, they bully their critics, buy them off, silence them and try to use them for Dead Agenting of others. I wonder how happy David Miscavge must be that this got leaked out.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

This is off topic, but HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAHAHAHAAAA (I can't stop laughing at this one):

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/lindsay-lohan-tom-cruise-wife-auditioning-vanity-fair_n_1861031.html

 

Lindsay Lohan Distances Herself From Tom Cruise Wife-Auditioning Expose

 

 

"Lindsay Lohan distanced herself from the Vanity Fair expose which alleges that the Church of Scientology auditioned women to be Tom Cruise's wife in 2004. The piece names the women who were approached to "audition" to be Cruise's partner, including Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi, Scarlett Johansson and Lohan."

 

YOU KNOW THINGS ARE BAD WHEN EVEN LINDSAY LOHAN SHUNS YOU.

skippress
skippress

I just let several thousand people know. Rock 'n roll, people, let's give them $100,000 and shove it up $cientology's evil butt. BTW, if you regularly post and don't donate something, anything when you could forget Starbucks for a week and give it to the Headleys, you're rotten. 

Brainslugged
Brainslugged

Thanks for the link to the Headleys' fundraising page. I figure they can have the money I'm saving by not going to Tom Cruise movies. I'm looking forward to seeing how quickly they raise the $43k. The cult makes me SO angry sometimes. At least it got me to FINALLY sign up for the new comment system though. I've been lurking for way too long.

Ags5
Ags5

aren't  there any brave attoneys out there who would love to take on this challenge and help the Headleys win under the other charges the judge recommended to them and try to get their money back?  Their kids do need their swingset back.  Scientology is evil and I believe it will back fire on the rest of this country someday if they do not get exposed because too many people of power (officials, politicians, gov't agencies and more) are sucked into it already and are protecting them.

PreferToBeAnon
PreferToBeAnon

The Headley's are quite remarkable! And Jason B is a pretty good mensch as well!

 

By the way, here is a re-post of my last entry since everyone abandoned that site.  That's synchronicity!

If either TC or the Co$ decide to sue (doubtful, but go with it), there is so much sworn testimony about the abuses already on the books -- a la Debbie Cook.  A big consideration might be the recent Headley court case as well.  I have not read the case or depositions, but I do know that Claire Headley was sourced in the VF article and who knows what she may have said under oath that is relevant. My point is this:  Over the past year or so, the body of testimony of abuse (in a legal sense) has expanded. The media is getting bolder; they are on safer ground and know they are finally getting the upper hand. Now if only the IRS feels the same way. There is a sea-change happening, so to speak.

I'm praying that this is the pantyhose snag that will eventually cause the whole fabric to splinter.

 

Also, it seems Marty has released the letter on his site as well.

ivanmapother
ivanmapother

The letterhead re-print is a little fuzzy on my screen. Is that Mangles or Mengele? No difference.

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

@stella He is a truly vile and nasty little weasel.

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

 @stella I didn't see the quote. Care to C&P here?

 

I did see his name was linked with Lisa McPherson which is reassuring.

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

 @skippress Can't find it now, but there is a major online media outlet for legal matters or lawyers that covered the controversial findings in the Headley Case.  Lawyers like the ones who would work for the likes of the mafia or scientology give the rest a bad name.   I was thinking that a lot of lawyers would be very interested in seeing what the scientology legal vultures are up to since the case was dismissed and how Miscavige is once again abusing the system.

 

Yes, I think quite a few of them would sure like to read that letter.  Do you know the online media outlet I'm thinking of here?

Jgg2012
Jgg2012

  Let's refuse to pay taxes until the Cult's tax-exempt status is revoked.

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

 @mmmirele Let's not forget asking the IRS to "look in" for them too.  And is it just me or do these "conditions" sound more than immoral but dance on the boundaries of legal/illegal?   

 

 

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

@dbloch7986 Yeah, they are really getting sloppy. Validating everything in advertisements and legal documents all while calling everyone else liars and apostates. The hypocrisy is boundless.

AussieCase
AussieCase

 @BurytheNuts Marty represents competition, and Hubbard hated it if anyone used his untested quack procedures.

StillGrace
StillGrace

 @V4Vacation I have a Kindle version of Marc Headley's book.  

"Counterfeit Dreams" by Jefferson Hawkins is also in my Kindle library, among other anti-scientology books.

It's a good sign that Amazon makes these books available on Kindles.

ChocolateVelvet
ChocolateVelvet

@V4Vacation I believe there is one available for kindle/kindle apps on Amazon. I bought my digital copy from iBooks.

BurytheNuts
BurytheNuts

@V4Vacation ? I have it on my kindle.

WhereIsSHE
WhereIsSHE

 @RadioPaul Actually, I am amazed it was so high. Not all costs are "taxable" (i.e. recoverable) against the non-prevailing party. Take a look: http://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/court-procedures/filing-procedures/bill-costs-handbook

 

I wonder whether the costs were objected to at all, because again, that seems a steep bill for the very specific cost items which are even permitted.

 

I wonder why the Headleys' counsel didn't seek court approval for the highly reasonable offer to pay in installments.

 

I wonder how any attorney could have authored (or at least signed) such a ridiculous "settlement offer" letter on behalf of the "church". First of all, the "demand" in the 1st condition/paragraph makes compliance with the "demand" in the 3rd paragraph a veritable impossibility. In other words, the demand is "disengage entirely" with us... but .... SPY and RAT and REPORT to us, which would, of course, be impossible if one had intentions of fulfilling the first obligations to disengage entirely.

 

I have never seen ANYTHING like this in all of my years of litigation experience.

There is just no way that these "conditions" were crafted by anyone who is capable of basic LOGIC. It is the height of complete and utter IMMATURITY and STUPIDITY, which is, perhaps, the "tell" of who obviously demanded it. (How on Earth would you be able to legally enforce the 3rd paragraph, without some sort of THREAT OF PUNISHMENT (a la sec checking) +RABID HENCHMEN FOLLOWER-ENFORCERS (a la those scientologists who cart other scientologists off to the Hole and treat them like garbage while they are there) being exerted?? I mean... there is no way to VERIFY compliance with that ridiculous demand!

 

I think it is GRAND that the Headleys all but told them to go F their stupid, immature, laughable, unenforceable demands.

Take THAT, you STUPID, IMMATURE, LAUGHABLE ANGRY, SCOTCH-GUZZLING DWARF.

deElizabethan
deElizabethan

 @DeckardCain  Plus she didn't say it wasn't true but that  "she had no involvement in the story whatsoever." The story as told to VF as I see it.

StillGrace
StillGrace

 @skippress I'm taking Brainslugged's idea and donating how much it would cost to take my entire family to see Tom Cruise's new movie.

Not that we would have gone anyway.  We have been boycotting his movies for four years now.  

WhereIsSHE
WhereIsSHE

@Ags5 They can't pursue those other claims, because the statute of limitations has run on all of them. The only way they are going to be made whole on the costs is for members of the caring public to donate to the fund.

jensting
jensting

 @ivanmapother <nods> I read "Mangles and Butchers"

 

The perfect law firm for the perfect religion for the US tax dollars to fund: the criminal organisation known as the "church" of $cientology and its brilliant legal strategy as thought out by David Miscavige.

notlkn4u
notlkn4u

Click news on the google search for DM.

stella
stella

 @dbloch7986 "I know he did it with [the reports of] Lisa Marie Presley, back in '95, when she was married to Michael Jackson, and I know he did it a number of times with Kirstie Alley. I saw and heard him,"

 

Actually an Amy Scobee quote from the VF article, but google attributes it to DM.  At the top of the search results....

V4Vacation
V4Vacation

@ChocolateVelvet Oh dang why haven't I seen it?? I'll go looking again. Thanks!

RadioPaul
RadioPaul

 @WhereIsSHE

I did not know that about the cost, I thought they could collect all cost. But I do take exception to you suggesting that Miscavige would drink something as fine as Scotch. I would think a low life like him would be hitting 20/20 or Wild Irish Rose. Ohhh maybe Thunder Bird. Let’s not give Scotch a bad name.

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

 @WhereIsSHE  @RadioPaul Seemed that way to me too.  And what exactly were they going to do with those "media contacts"?

 

Seems to me All the media outlets who covered the Headley case results, as well as all media persons the Headley's agreed to an interview should be stepping up right about now and exposing this cancerous threat and demand for all the world, and courts, and judges and lawyers and celebrities to see.    That way public will stop asking "well, why didn't you just report it to the authorities?  

 

This IS why.

WhereIsSHE
WhereIsSHE

 @RadioPaul  Believe me, I am only basing the scotch drinking on accounts I have read here and elsewhere. It pisses me off to no end that he is tapping into the world supply of good scotch. The Macallan (one of his choices, from what I've seen) deserves better than his wretched gullet!

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