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(This story, initially arise June 21, 2009, kicked off the Times’ Accuracy Rundown alternation on the Abbey of Scientology. The alternation led to abounding added belief over the abutting four years absolute activity central the church.)
The baton of the Abbey of Scientology strode into the allowance with a bang box and an announcement: Time for a bold of agreeable chairs.
David Miscavige had kept added than 30 assembly of his church’s controlling agents cooped up for weeks in a baby arrangement architecture alfresco Los Angeles, not absolution them leave except to grab a shower. They slept on the floor, their aliment carted in.
Their arrangement was to advance cardinal affairs for the church. But the baton besmirched their every abstraction and berated them as incompetents and enemies, of him and the church.
RELATED: How Scientology angled its city Clearwater brand in 3 years
Prove your devotion, Miscavige told them, by acceptable at agreeable chairs. Everyone abroad — losers, all of you — will be abandoned to Scientology outposts about the world. If families are aperture up, too bad.
To the music of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody they played through the night, affectation about a arrangement allowance in their Navy-style uniforms, developed men and women affronted over chairs.
The abutting evening, aboriginal in 2004, Miscavige aggregate the accumulation and out of boilerplate slapped a administrator declared Tom De Vocht, threw him to the arena and delivered added blows. De Vocht took the assault and the abasement in blackout — the way added admiral consistently took the leader’s attacks.
This annual comes from admiral who for decades were key abstracts in Scientology’s able close circle. Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, the astral admiral to leave the church, are speaking out for the aboriginal time.
Two added aloft admiral who defected additionally agreed to interviews with the St. Petersburg Times: De Vocht, who for years oversaw the church’s airy address in Clearwater, and Amy Scobee, who helped actualize Scientology’s celebrity network, which caters to the brand of John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
One by one, the four defectors absolved abroad from the alone activity they knew. That Rathbun and Rinder are speaking out is a beauteous changeabout because they were amid Miscavige’s abutting associates, Haldeman and Ehrlichman to his Nixon.
Now they accommodate an aberrant attending central the aerial alcove of the deeply controlled organization. They reveal:
Rathbun, Rinder and De Vocht accept that they, too, attacked their colleagues, to authenticate adherence to Miscavige and prove their mettle.
At the acme of the hierarchy, Miscavige commands such ability that managers chase his orders, about bizarre, with lemming-like obedience.
Rathbun, who Miscavige put in accusation of ambidextrous with the fallout from the case, admits that he ordered the abolition of incriminating evidence. He and others additionally acknowledge that Miscavige fabricated an awkward miscalculation on McPherson’s Scientology counseling.
That’s what the defectors are accomplishing to Miscavige, according to a aggregation of two abbey attorneys and two spokesmen.
Rathbun, Rinder, De Vocht and Scobee: All of them bootless at their jobs, bankrupt Sea Org rules and were ethically suspect, the aggregation said. Stack these four failures adjoin a man of Miscavige’s ability and it’s bright who is aboveboard and who is not.
“It’s not a catechism of they accept a adaptation and we accept a version. It’s that this never happened,” said Monique Yingling, a non-Scientologist advocate who has represented the abbey for added than 20 years. “There is a adventure here, and it’s not what you’ve been told.”
As the attorneys and spokesmen dedicated Miscavige and approved to discredit his detractors, they produced abstracts from the four defectors’ “ethics files” — confessions, contritions, laments that the abbey keeps to certificate their failures.
The abstracts brighten a apple of abbey amends outsiders rarely see. This belief arrangement keeps Scientologists appetite to aperture productive. It relies on the angle that at any accustomed time, every animal activity can be bargain to a accomplishment and aggregate — a group, a person, someone’s job or alliance — can be abstinent and placed in one of 12 “conditions.”
The lower altitude accommodate “Confusion,” “Treason” and “Enemy.” The accomplished activity is “Power,” followed by “Power Change” and “Affluence.”
Moving up the belief ladder requires that the accountable pen adventures or brooding memos declared “formulas,” which are said to bigger the alone as he or she examines what went wrong. These memos additionally can accord the abbey a accessible antecedent of accounting actual to use adjoin assembly who would about-face adjoin Scientology.
More abstracts are generated aback a actuality wants to leave, or “blow.”
In 1959, Hubbard wrote a activity advertence that a actuality leaves as a affectionate of blue-blooded activity aback he can’t advice himself from abasing the church. To absolve leaving, Hubbard believed, the actuality thinks up bad things to say about the church.
Anyone who leaves has committed “overts” (harmful acts) adjoin the abbey and is denial them. The abbey is answerable to accomplish such bodies arise clean, Hubbard said, because denial overts adjoin Scientology can advance to suicide or afterlife by disease. They allegation address bottomward their transgressions to abide in acceptable continuing aback they leave.
Yingling and Davis said the abbey doesn’t appetite application abstracts from belief files. But afterwards the four defectors batten out adjoin Miscavige, the advocate and abettor said they had no choice.
They produced abstracts assuming Scobee abandoned Sea Org rules on “romantic captivation alfresco of marriage.” Scobee said the abbey is exaggerating.
She accustomed actionable the rules by committing a animal act in a supervisor’s room, but acclaimed the man complex was her approaching husband. Addition certificate said she “started a relationship” with a man not her bedmate in 1988. Scobee said it was a non-Scientologist electrician who asked her to run abroad with him. She said she beneath and arise it to a administrator but was acclimatized anyway.
A certificate from July 2003 cited poor achievement and declared her unfit to appointment at the California base.
Scobee counters that the abbey kept her in positions of albatross for added than 20 years. She was pictured in a 1996 abbey annual as one of the “most proven” and “highly dedicated” arch admiral in Scientology.
“The point is, it doesn’t amount if I was God or if I was a awkward janitor,” Scobee said. “What I saw is what I saw.”
De Vocht was in a activity of “Treason” aback he authored a announcement in 2004 adage he fabricated a acreage accord in Clearwater that absent the abbey $1 million. In a 2002 letter to Miscavige, he accepted to abandonment $10 actor in abbey funds through decay and absurdity on two projects.
Asked about those documents, De Vocht said the writings in the belief formulas reflect the adulterated ability created by Miscavige, not reality. “You say whatever you accept to, to arise to be cooperative. It’s not a autonomous action. It’s a awning your a–, get with the affairs affair or you’re activity to get exhausted up.”
Praising Miscavige was allotment of the formula, De Vocht said. “He’s our pope, our leader, and he can’t do wrong… If you say, ‘I’ll do aggregate I can to get it right,’ again you can be okay. You don’t accept an advantage added than to bow bottomward and say, You’re appropriate and I’m wrong.”
The abbey says that Rinder, Scientology’s top abettor for decades, is an abiding liar. In its belief files, the abbey says, Rinder admits that he aria 43 times over the years.
“It was a absolute problem, Mike’s ability to lie….Obviously he had an affair with the truth,” said Davis, Rinder’s almsman as spokesman.
After abstinent Miscavige hit him or anyone else, Rinder is lying now, Yingling said. “He larboard because he was demoted… He is absinthian now and he has in his acerbity latched on to the one accusation he so angrily denied for so abounding years.”
Added Davis: “One of the things he was accepted for adage was, ‘Well, if I’m so bad, why accumulate allurement me to do things?’ You apperceive the acknowledgment to that question?… The ultimate acknowledgment to that catechism is ‘Mike, you apperceive what, you’re right. Why accumulate asking.’ And we chock-full asking. And again he larboard and cipher came for him.”
Like the added defectors, Rinder says he’s abiding he wrote whatever is in the belief files, but he says the admissions are meaningless, they were aloof whatever his superiors capital to hear. “All of these things were accounting to try and get into acceptable graces or back-scratch favor.”
Davis said Rinder has not been able to accord with his abatement from abettor for an all-embracing abbey to his current, accomplished job.
“Mike left. I anticipate we can all accede he is bitter,” Davis said. “This is a guy who ran with the big dogs in the alpine grass… it’s a actual agitative life. And now he is affairs cars, and it allegation be a hell of a shock.”
The abbey appear abundant pages of files it kept on Rathbun. Amid them: a 1994 letter that said he had completed a Accuracy Rundown — one of abounding types of confessionals — and acknowledgment for abrogation the abbey briefly the year before; three adventures for arresting and verbally abusing agents dozens of times; and abstracts area he admits that he amiss situations.
In a 2003 document, Rathbun writes a “public announcement” account two decades of flubs, including: authoritative himself out to be added important than he was, authoritative added appointment for Miscavige, mismanaging agents and messing up aloft assignments, including the church’s long-running action with the IRS.
Rathbun says he wrote what Miscavige capital to hear.
The abbey fabricated appropriate agenda of an affirmation anachronous June 6, 2009 — afterwards the Times asked the abbey about Rathbun — authored by a Sea Org affiliate whose name the abbey blacked out. She criticized Rathbun for actuality agitated and calumniating and arena a role in her family’s contempo accomplishment to wrest her out of Scientology.
Rathbun says yes, he approved to advice the family, because the woman accurate able doubts about abiding to Scientology.
Like De Vocht’s, abounding of Rathbun’s adventures are apparent by ample acclaim of Miscavige. He writes, for example, that the baton “single-handedly salvaged Scientology.”
Scientology’s all-embracing administration core lives and works on the church’s 500-acre admixture in the barren hills adverse Mount San Jacinto from Palm Springs.
Rathbun orchestrated a “reign of terror” there in 2002 and 2003, abbey assembly say, masquerading as an belief administrator while Miscavige was in Clearwater administration acknowledged and added matters. They say the baton alternate in backward 2003, arbitrarily demoted Rathbun and began to apple-pie up his mess.
Rathbun says he was abroad from the abject for about all of 2002 and 2003, administration lawsuits and added acute affairs at Miscavige’s behest. Aback he alternate to the abject in backward 2003, he said, it was Miscavige who had accustomed a “reign of terror.”
The abbey said Rathbun has aggrandized his accent in Scientology; they say that afterwards 1993, he never had a title.
But in a 1998 Scientology magazine, Rathbun is featured as the capital apostle at a aloft blow at Ruth Eckerd Anteroom abounding by 3,000 Scientologists. The annual said he was “inspector general” of the article answerable with attention Scientology. Also, the abbey provided the Times a cloister certificate from March 2000 that listed Rathbun as a “director” of the aforementioned entity.
If Rathbun’s albatross was as bound as the abbey says, the Times asked, how did he get bodies to abide to a administration of terror? Davis, the abbey spokesman, erupted.
“He’s the one who’s adage that Dave Miscavige exhausted these people,” Davis screamed. “And he’s adage that Dave Miscavige exhausted the exact aforementioned bodies that he beat. And that’s what pisses me off. Because this guy’s a f—— absurd and I don’t accept to explain how or why he became one or how it was allowable.
“The actuality is he’s adage David Miscavige did what he did… And now I’m accepting a little angry. Am I affronted at you? Not necessarily. But I’m g– d— pissed at Marty Rathbun. Because he knows that he was the administration of terror.”
Fall 1975. An accouterments calling itself the United Churches of Florida appear it would hire the Acropolis Harrison Auberge from the Southern Acreage Development Corp., a aggregation with affairs to buy the celebrated building.
No one — not alike attorneys for the abettor — could acquisition out annihilation about Southern Land. Not alike a buzz number.
When the auction bankrupt on Dec. 1, Southern paid $2.3 actor in banknote for the battleground property, area for 50 years locals captivated weddings, New Year’s bashes and borough events.
The newcomers promptly bankrupt the auberge to the public. Uniformed guards armed with baton and baton clubs patrolled the entrance.
On Jan. 28, 1976, a accessible relations aggregation from Los Angeles came to Clearwater and appear that the absolute client was the Abbey of Scientology of California.
The bamboozlement put a alarm into the asleep boondocks with attractive beaches. Clearwater Mayor Gabe Cazares was incensed by the group’s ambiguous and again heavy-handed tactics.
“The Acropolis Harrison has been actuality for a bisected aeon and now, for the aboriginal time, it is absolutely a fort,” he lamented. “It’s frightening.”
Locals grew afraid as they heard that Scientology was a band with a aggressive streak. It had sued the State Department, the Amends Department, the IRS, the CIA, the LAPD — any bureau that pried or denied its requests.
Why did Hubbard accept Clearwater? He had run the abbey for years from a ship, the Apollo, and capital a “land base.” He beatific scouts on a mission: Acquisition a big building, abreast a acceptable airport, in a balmy climate.
A acreage in Daytona Beach fabricated the abbreviate list. So did the Acropolis Harrison.
It was to be Scientology’s “flagship.” Hubbard beatific dispatches on how “Flag” should be run, aggregate from business affairs to the staff’s admonishment and dress. It would be “huge, chic and self-supporting,” Hubbard wrote, “a auberge of affection that puts the Waldorf Astoria to shame.”
Hubbard trademarked a adage for the hotel: “The friendliest abode in the accomplished world.”
He would die a decade later, but already the abutting bearing of abbey leaders was forming.
Hubbard declared it “fair game.” Those who seek to blow the church, he said, “may be beggared of acreage or afflicted by any bureau by any Scientologist afterwards any conduct of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or aria to or destroyed.”
Mayor Cazares aloft questions about the new accumulation inhabiting the Acropolis Harrison, calling it a band and trading lawsuits with the church. The Times and the Clearwater Sun investigated.
Scientologists followed Hubbard’s playbook and went afterwards enemies. They approved to anatomy Cazares in a affected arrest accident. They intercepted Times’ mail and falsely accused the paper’s chairman, Nelson Poynter, of actuality a CIA agent.
By the bounce of 1976, Hubbard — the “Commodore” — was acumen his eyes for the Acropolis Harrison. Scientologists from about the apple arrested in for continued stays. They spent bags on counseling declared “auditing,” which seeks to rid the hidden apperception of abrogating experiences, arch to “higher states of airy awareness.”
Mike Rinder, a 20-year-old Australian, ran the auberge telex, sending and accepting dispatches from Scientology outlets about the world.
David Miscavige, a 16-year-old from burghal Philadelphia, alone out of 10th brand on his altogether that April and came to appointment at the Acropolis Harrison. He tended the grounds, served aliment and took pictures for promotional brochures.
In no time, the assertive Miscavige was authoritative adults. In 1977, afterwards aloof 10 months in Clearwater, he was transferred to California, area he abutting the Commodore’s Messenger Organization, an admired accumulation of about 20 who took on “missions” assigned by Hubbard.
Late in 1978, Miscavige was put in accusation of the aggregation adjustment Hubbard’s home on a Southern California ranch. Amid the accumulation was a 21-year-old aloft academy basketball amateur who had abutting the abbey a year beforehand in Portland.
Thirty years later, Marty Rathbun says he can account the aboriginal time he laid eyes on the boyish boss, arrogant about, “barking out orders.” No mistaking David Miscavige.
In the mid 1970s, the IRS assassin a clerk-typist declared Gerald Bennett Wolfe. What they didn’t apperceive was that he was a Scientology bulb — cipher name “Silver.”
He bankrupt into an attorney’s arrangement at IRS address in Washington and affected government abstracts for months, with advice from the Guardian’s Office, the church’s backstairs intelligence arm.
The IRS had revoked Scientology’s tax absolution some 10 years earlier, adage it was a bartering enterprise. Scientology fought back, denial tax payments, unleashing its attorneys and application Silver to access the agency.
But his clandestine mission backfired. On July 8, 1977, the FBI raided Scientology address in Washington and L.A., abduction break-in tools, surveillance accessories and 48,000 documents.
In October 1979, Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue, who directed the Guardian’s Office, and 10 added Scientologists were bedevilled on accuse of conspiring to abduct government abstracts or arrest justice. Her husband, declared an unindicted co-conspirator, went into aloneness at his agronomical abreast La Quinta, Calif.
By then, two of the adolescent men from the adjustment detail were trusted aides to the self-exiled abbey founder. Rathbun delivered Hubbard’s mail and messages; Miscavige was his “action chief.”
In January 1981, Miscavige asked Rathbun to accompany him on a alley cruise to the Super Bowl. Driving eight-hour accouterment from L.A. to New Orleans, they got to apperceive anniversary added alternating the way.
Later that year, Hubbard gave Miscavige a analytical assignment: Resolve the collection of lawsuits and investigations that threatened the church. Miscavige chose Rathbun and three others to advice handle the job.
Rathbun says he spent six months prioritizing cases and developing strategy.
“I put calm units to handle cases, one in Clearwater, one in New York, one in Boston, one in Toronto,” he said. “They would acknowledgment to me. I was array of acceptable in accusation of the acknowledged operation.”
Miscavige, meanwhile, was administration of centralized rivals and architecture power. At age 21, he talked Hubbard’s wife into resigning.
It didn’t aching to accept Hubbard’s approval. His son had filed a accusation claiming that the aggregation administering Hubbard’s assets, headed by Miscavige, was siphoning his fortune. Hubbard responded with a acknowledgment advertence that he had “unequivocal aplomb in David Miscavige, who is a adept adherent Scientologist, a trusted accessory and a acceptable associate to me.”
Rinder, in turn, became a trusted accessory to the arising leader. Miscavige pulled his adolescence associate out of Clearwater to advice deliquesce the Guardian’s Office, the arm of Scientology that had baseborn the IRS files and committed added offenses.
He installed Rinder as arch of the new all-embracing Arrangement of Appropriate Affairs. Allotment of Rinder’s new job was to advance a revised anecdotal about Scientology: The church’s new leaders were afraid to apprentice of the Guardian Office’s bedraggled tricks. That was not, they said, what Scientology was all about.
On Jan. 27, 1986, bags of Scientologists aggregate at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, area a austere Miscavige delivered the news: The architect had confused on to a new akin of analysis that would be “done in an exoteric state… absolutely exoteric of the body.”
At 74, L. Ron Hubbard was dead.
Miscavige yielded the microphone to abbey advocate Earle Cooley, who did not acknowledgment Miscavige by name, but helped adhesive him as approaching leader. Cooley appear that Hubbard, who had died of a stroke, larboard the aggregate of his acreage to Scientology, giving final instructions that were “his ultimate announcement of his aplomb in the administration of the church.”
He larboard no absolute assumption plan, abrogation accessible the catechism of who would advance the church.
Months later, Miscavige, Rathbun and addition controlling took ascendancy of the Religious Technology Center, the RTC, which Hubbard created as the accomplished ecclesiastical anatomy in the church. They absolved the agents and pressured the arch of the arrangement to footfall down.
Miscavige became the RTC’s administrator of the board, a appellation he still holds. Rathbun took the baronial column of ambassador accepted for ethics.
The aftermost rivals for ascendancy of Scientology were Pat and Annie Broeker, who had assisted Hubbard in his aftermost years. The architect had animated them to “loyal officer” status, a college rank than Miscavige, a captain.
The Broekers additionally had aegis of Hubbard’s aftermost writings, the admired aerial levels of Scientology auditing that he wrote by duke while in seclusion. For a abbey that depends in ample allotment on auditing fees, the affidavit were a gold abundance not alone spiritually, but financially. Miscavige capital them.
Rathbun reveals what they did:
The day Pat Broeker and Miscavige flew cross-country to accommodated abbey attorneys in Washington, Rathbun positioned a aggregation of about 20 men alfresco the Broekers’ agronomical in Barstow, Calif.
During a layover in Chicago, Miscavige declared with the arresting for Rathbun to buzz the agronomical caretaker. Rathbun told her that Miscavige and Broeker had declared with a message: The FBI planned to arrest the agronomical in two hours. If they didn’t get Hubbard’s affidavit out, they ability be absent forever.
The woman let Rathbun and his guys in.
“It formed like a charm,” he said.
Miscavige’s acceleration was complete. At 26, he answered to no one in Scientology.
For Rathbun, the point of the adventure is that Miscavige maneuvered his way to the top, he was not the alleged one. But Scientologists accept he was anointed. “And aback they accept that, they’re accommodating to do about anything.”
It was a chat canicule afterwards accepting their easily on Hubbard’s aftermost writings that Rathbun says showed him that Miscavige saw himself not as a political climber but as a alleged leader.
Miscavige seemed in awe of his new responsibilities, so Rathbun approved to blade him up. “I said my basketball drillmaster in aerial academy had these adorning sayings. One, from Darrell Royal of the Texas Longhorns, ashore with me. He said, ‘I don’t anguish about allotment a leader. He’ll emerge.’”
“That’s apocryphal data!” Miscavige attempt back.
Said Rathbun: “He alone that so fast. Boy, aback I appropriate he was annihilation added than anointed, he jumped bottomward my throat.”
By the backward 1980s, the action with the IRS had quieted from the agrarian canicule of break-ins and indictments. But Miscavige was no beneath absorbed on accepting aback the church’s tax exemption, which he anticipation would legitimize Scientology.
The new strategy, according to Rathbun: Overwhelm the IRS. Force mistakes.
The abbey filed about 200 lawsuits adjoin the IRS, gluttonous abstracts to prove IRS aggravation and arduous the agency’s abnegation to admission tax exemptions to abbey entities.
Some 2,300 alone Scientologists additionally sued the agency, ambitious tax deductions for their contributions.
“Before you knew it, these simple little cookie-cutter suits… became absolute acknowledged cases,” Rathbun said.
Washington-based advocate William C. Walsh, who is now allowance the abbey aperture the defectors claims, shepherded abounding of those cases. “We capital to get to the basal of what we acquainted was discrimination,” he said. “And we got a lot of documents, affirmation that accepted it.”
“It’s fair to say that aback we started, there was a lot of disbelief on both abandon and suspicion,” Walsh said. “We had to allay that and prove who we were and what affectionate of bodies we were.”
Yingling teamed with Walsh, Miscavige and Rathbun on the case. She said the IRS analysis of Miscavige resulted in a book thicker than the FBI’s book on Dr. Martin Luther King. “I beggarly it was insane,” she said.
The abbey ratcheted up the burden with a adamant attack adjoin the IRS.
Armed with IRS annal acquired beneath the Freedom of Information Act, Scientology’s magazine, Freedom, featured belief on declared IRS abuses: abundant retreats on the taxpayers’ dime; ambience quotas on audits of alone Scientologists; targeting baby businesses for audits while politically affiliated corporations were overlooked.
Scientologists broadcast the annual on the advanced accomplish of the IRS architecture in Washington.
A accumulation declared the National Coalition of IRS Whistleblowers waged its own campaign. Unbeknownst to many, it was agilely created and financed by Scientology.
It was a cutting war, with Scientology accommodating to absorb whatever it took to best the federal agency. “I didn’t alike anticipate about money,” Rathbun said. “We did whatever we bare to do.”
They additionally knew the added ancillary was hurting. A announcement acquired by the abbey said the Scientology lawsuits had broke the IRS’s action account afore the year was up.
The abbey acclimated added abstracts it got from the IRS adjoin the agency.
In one, the Administration of Amends scolded the IRS for demography indefensible positions in cloister cases adjoin Scientology. The administration said it feared actuality “sucked down” with the IRS and tarnished.
Another announcement accurate a arrangement of 20 IRS admiral in the 1970s. They were aggravating to amount out how to acknowledge to a judge’s cardinal that Scientology met the agency’s analogue of a religion. The IRS’ solution? They talked about alteration the definition.
Rathbun calls it the “Final Solution” conference, a affair that approved the IRS bent adjoin Scientology. “We acclimated that (memo) I don’t apperceive how abounding times on them,” he said.
By 1991, Miscavige had developed abrupt with the acknowledged tussle. He was assured he could alone actuate the IRS to bend. That October, he and Rathbun absolved into IRS address in Washington and asked to accommodated with IRS Commissioner Fred Goldberg. They had no appointment.
Goldberg, who did not acknowledge to account requests for this story, did not see them that day, but he met with them a anniversary later.
Rathbun says that adverse to rumor, no bribes were paid, no extortion used. It was ceaseless alertness and chain — additional bags of lawsuits, accent annual accessories and full-page ads in USA Today criticizing the IRS.
“That was enough,” Rathbun said. “You didn’t charge blackmail.”
He and Miscavige able endlessly for their meeting. “I’m sitting there with three banker’s boxes of documents. He (Miscavige) has this 20-page accent to bear to these guys. And for every sentence, I’ve got two folders” of backup.
Miscavige presented the altercation that Scientology is a bona fide adoration — again offered an olive branch.
Rathbun recalls the basis of the leader’s words to the IRS:
Look, we can aloof about-face this off. This isn’t the purpose of the church. We’re aloof aggravating to avert ourselves. And this is the way we defend. We aggressively defend. If we can sit bottomward and absolutely accord with the merits, get to what we feel we are absolutely advantaged to, this all could be gone.
The two abandon took a break.
Rathbun remembered: “Out in the hallway, Goldberg comes up to me because he sees I’m the right-hand guy. He goes: ‘Does he beggarly it? We can absolutely about-face it off?’”
“And I said,” axis his duke for effect, “ ‘Like a faucet.’”
The two abandon started talks. Yingling said she warned abbey leaders to animate themselves, counseling that they acknowledgment every question, no amount how offensive.
Agents asked some doozies: about LSD admission rituals, whether assembly were attempt aback they got out of band and about training terrorists in Mexico. “We answered everything,” Yingling said, crediting Miscavige for insisting the abbey be open, honest and cooperative.
The aback and alternating lasted two years and resulted in this agreement: The abbey paid $12.5 million. The IRS alone its bent investigations. All awaiting cases were dropped.
On Oct. 8, 1993, some 10,000 abbey assembly aggregate in the Los Angeles Sports Arena to bless the leader’s announcement: The IRS had adequate the church’s tax exemption, legitimizing Scientology as a church, not a for-profit operation.
“The war is over,” Miscavige told the crowd. “This bureau everything.”
The bliss was short-lived. With the tax cases ended, cloister annal became public. Newspapers capital to apperceive why Miscavige and his wife calm fabricated about $100,000 while at the time best abbey staffers fabricated but $50 a week. Miscavige was furious, and got angrier still aback Rathbun argued it would be an bush story.
Shortly after, Miscavige’s wife, Michelle, came to Rathbun’s arrangement and, afterwards a word, removed the gold captain’s confined from his Sea Org uniform. Miscavige declared him an SP, a suppressive person, and Rathbun was affected to acknowledge his sins afore his own staff.
Rathbun was done. “I anticipation to myself: You apperceive what? That’s it. What am I accomplishing here?”
From the safe in his arrangement at the California abject he took three 1-ounce pieces of gold, account about $500 each, slipped on a adviser jacket, ate breakfast in the blend anteroom and collection east against Pensacola, to appointment a friend. Miscavige tracked him bottomward and abiding to accommodated in New Orleans.
“He begged me to arise back,” Rathbun recalled, abacus that Miscavige offered the allotment of a two-year appointment aboard the Freewinds, a Scientology cruise address area aggregation get the accomplished levels of counseling while sailing the Caribbean.
Rathbun said Miscavige told him:
You’ve formed hard, you adapted a reward. Go absorb time on the ship. Get yourself right, get in blow with what fabricated you adulation the abbey in the aboriginal place. Hone your skills, arise aback as the best accountant on the planet.
It was aloof what Rathbun bare to hear: “I couldn’t accept been added thankful.”
He came aboard the Freewinds backward in 1993. He formed odd jobs, devoured Hubbard’s writings and spent eight to 10 hours a day accepting counseling and training to be an auditor.
After two years at sea, he arise to Clearwater, to Flag, area the abbey bases its best auditors and offers aerial levels of training. But the affection of auditing had slipped. Rathbun’s arrangement was to advice accompany it aback up.
Late in the summer of 1995, a woman exited an auditing allowance at the Acropolis Harrison Hotel, aloft her accoutrements aloft her arch and shouted with contentment — a aperture of the all-quiet agreement on the auditing floor.
“Who’s that?” Rathbun asked a supervisor.
“That’s Lisa McPherson.
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