Mark Rathbun

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Mark C. "Marty" Rathbun
Mark Rathbun.jpg
Mark Rathbun
Born United States
Occupation former Inspector General, Religious Technology Center (RTC)
Spouse(s) Anne Joasem (divorced);[1] Monique "Mosey" Rathbun (present)[2]
Website
www.markrathbun.wordpress.com

Mark C. "Marty" Rathbun is a former senior executive of the Church of Scientology, who last held the post of Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), the organization that is responsible for the protection and enforcement of all Dianetics and Scientology copyrights and trademarks.[3]

As the lead inspector overseeing the Inspector General Network at the international level, his official duties as described by RTC were to investigate and correct "instances in which departure from a standard, policy or ethic could betray an organization’s service to its constituent public."[4] The post is widely acknowledged as one of the most senior management functions in the hierarchy of the Church and its related organizations.[5] Rathbun left the Church of Scientology in 2004 and is now an independent Scientologist.

Scientology

According to his official biography, Rathbun became a Church staff member in 1978, and joined the RTC board in 1987. The biography also credits him with having played a major role in various Church victories, including the negotiation of the Church's tax exemption agreement with the Internal Revenue Service in 1993.[3] In 1998, Florida newspaper the St. Petersburg Times described Rathbun as "top lieutenant" to Scientology leader David Miscavige.[6]

In 1997, The New York Times reported that according to an internal Scientology publication, Rathbun and Miscavige jump-started stalled negotiations over Scientology's tax status when they made an unscheduled visit to I.R.S. Commissioner Fred T. Goldberg, Jr. at the Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington in October 1991.[7] The Church of Scientology and Rathbun later denied that there had been an unscheduled meeting between Goldberg, Rathbun and Miscavige that day.[8] The Church said that "While an internal publication of three years ago does recount Mr. Miscavige approaching the I.R.S., it never states he was granted an unscheduled meeting on demand."[8] Rathbun, in a separate letter to the New York Times, explained that the first meeting he and Miscavige had with Goldberg and other I.R.S. officials was approximately one month after their impromptu visit to the I.R.S. building.[8]

As a Scientology spokesman, Rathbun commented to the same newspaper on the involvement of celebrities in Scientology, saying that "Scientology works for these people, and they just want to give to others what works for them. We don't give them a badge and send them out. They do it on their own."[9] When discussing reluctance among some established churches to collaborate with Scientology under the umbrella of an interfaith organization, he was also quoted as saying that "Bigotry is born out of ignorance."[9]

Tom Cruise confessional files

In May 2010, Rathbun asserted that during his tenure as Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center, Scientology leader David Miscavige issued him orders that the auditing sessions of celebrity Scientology member, actor Tom Cruise, be secretly videotaped.[10][11][12] Rathbun had himself been the individual responsible for performing auditing counseling with Cruise.[10] Rathbun wrote on his blog that he had been tasked with auditing Cruise during the period in 2001 directly after he had separated from Nicole Kidman.[13] Rathbun wrote, "I audited a number of intensives of confessionals on Tom Cruise from July through November 2001. ... By order of Miscavige many of those sessions were secretly recorded by a well-concealed video camera and voice recorder system built into the VIP auditing room at Celebrity Center International."[10][11] Rathbun subsequently learned that transcripts of the videotapes of Cruise were brought to meetings where they would be discussed by top management of Scientology.[11][14] Rathbun wrote that Miscavige would read out information from the reports about Cruise's auditing sessions, "While sipping scotch whiskey at the end of the night, Miscavige would read Tom’s overts and withholds ... joking and laughing about the content of Tom’s confessions."[10][11]

The nature of what was discussed in the confessional sessions by Cruise was not revealed.[15][16][17] Rathbun ceased the filming of Cruise in 2002, because he felt it was unethical.[12] Rathbun left the organization in 2004, and since then has given counselling to former members of Scientology.[11][13] In a post on his blog, Rathbun wrote a statement addressed to Cruise, "Wake up, Tom. It is not too late. Though, time is getting very, very short."[10][11] As of May 9, 2010, representatives for Cruise had not yet responded to the statements made by Rathbun.[11][13][14]

Tony Ortega, Editor-in-Chief of The Village Voice, described the statements by Rathbun about the use of Cruise's confessional files as "some of the most damning statements against his former employer."[10] Lynn Hayes of Beliefnet discussed the revelations by Rathbun, writing, "Religion in any form provides a solid structure that can offer comfort and security, and departure from that security can be frightening and painful. As humans we always have a choice, and it will be interesting to see how Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology manage this revelation."[18] El Tiempo commented, "Although Tom Cruise is a staunch supporter and defender of Scientology, apparently other members of this doctrine do not profess the same devotion to the actor."[19]

Departure from the Church of Scientology

Rathbun left the Church of Scientology in 2004 and is now an independent Scientologist providing counselling and auditing services for other Scientologists who have cut their ties with the Church of Scientology.[20][21] He emerged as a critical source in a 2009 St. Petersburg Times expose on the organization, stating that physical violence is a common occurrence within Scientology management, and that Miscavige regularly beats his staff, or orders staff to administer beatings to designated individuals – accusations which the Church of Scientology categorically denies.[22] This reporting series by the St. Petersburg Times titled "Inside Scientology: The Truth Rundown" was recognized with honors including the 2010 Gold Medal for Public Service award from the Florida Society of News Editors,[23][24] and was a finalist for the 2010 National Headliner Awards in the category of investigative reporting.[25][26]

In late December 2009, his blog and email accounts were "hacked and hijacked."[27] Rathbun restored his accounts shortly after.[28]

Documentary Scientologists at War

A one-hour feature on Mark Rathbun titled Scientologists at War directed by Joseph Martin and produced by Danielle Clark and Michael Simkin was broadcast on June 17, 2013, on British Channel Four.[29] The program was part of Channel 4′s First Cut series, which features the work of up-and-coming talent in documentary film making. [30]

The feature, a rare insider view of the Church of Scientology, investigated the pressure tactics used by the "Squirrel Busters" affiliated to the organization to discredit and silence members who leave the church. It highlighted the story of Mark Rathbun, his role in Scientology, his fall out with Scientology leader David Miscavige, his attempts to further the cause of an independent Scientology movement, his confrontations with the "Squirrel Busters" and the repurcussions on his family life.

On November 10, 2013, The Passionate Eye, an investigative TV series rebroadcast the program as a premiere in Canada on CBC Television.[31]

References

  1. ^ "Ex-members spar with Scientology over beating allegations". CNN. 2010-03-30. 
  2. ^ "First Independent Scientologist Wedding". Moving On Up a Little Higher. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Mark Rathbun Inspector General Religious Technology Center". Religious Technology Center. Archived from the original on 2005-09-04. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  4. ^ "Protecting the Advanced Technology: Inspector General Network". Religious Technology Center. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Matters of RTC concern", Religious Technology Center, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-18
  6. ^ Tobin, Thomas C. (1998-10-25). "The Man Behind Scientology". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  7. ^ Frantz, Douglas (1997-03-09). "Scientology's Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  8. ^ a b c Frantz, Douglas (1997-03-19). "Scientology Denies an Account Of an Impromptu I.R.S. Meeting". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  9. ^ a b Frantz, Douglas (1998-02-13). "Scientology's Star Roster Enhances Image". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Ortega, Tony (May 7, 2010). "Scientology - Tom Cruise Was Secretly Videotaped So Scientology Leader David Miscavige Could Regale Party Guests?". The Village Voice: Runnin' Scared (Village Voice Media). Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Tom Cruise's confessions mocked at Scientology parties". MSN NZ (MSN New Zealand Ltd). May 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  12. ^ a b "'Tom Cruise afgeluisterd binnen Scientology Kerk'". De Telegraaf (in Dutch) (Telegraaf Media Groep). May 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  13. ^ a b c "Tom Cruise heimlich bei Scientology-Beichte gefilmt?". Klatsch-Tratsch.De (in German). May 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  14. ^ a b ninemsn staff. "Tom Cruise 'ridiculed at Scientology parties'". ninemsn (PBL Media & Microsoft). Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  15. ^ "Tom Cruise's confessionals 'mocked by Scientologists'". The West Australian (West Australian Newspapers Limited). May 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  16. ^ "Heidi Klum et Seal sont toujours aussi gnangnan... Les candidates de Miss USA en tenue légère...". 20 minutes (in French) (Schibsted and Ouest France Group). May 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  17. ^ "¿Traicionado por la cienciología?". minutouno.com (in Spanish) (www.minutouno.com.ar). May 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  18. ^ Hayes, Lynn (May 10, 2010). "Tom Cruise betrayed by Scientology leader". Beliefnet (beliefnet.com). Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  19. ^ "Tom Cruise, burlado por la Cienciología". El Tiempo (in Spanish) (www.tiempo.hn). May 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  20. ^ Sweeney, John (September 26, 2010). "Mr Shouty and Cruise: the rematch". Sunday Times.  Also see Rathbun's comments at his blog.
  21. ^ About page, Mark Rathbun blog
  22. ^ "Scientology: The Truth Rundown". St. Petersburg Times. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  23. ^ Sentinel Staff Report (June 18, 2010). "Orlando Sentinel wins 17 awards from Florida Society of News Editors". Orlando Sentinel (Florida: www.orlandosentinel.com). Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  24. ^ Florida Society of News Editors (June 18, 2010). "FSNE Gold Medal for Public Service". FSNE 2010 Journalism Awards (Florida: fsne.org). Retrieved 2010-06-18. "Inside Scientology - The St. Petersburg Times reporting on the Church of Scientology is in the finest traditions of American journalism. The reporting by Joseph Childs and Thomas Tobin stands out for the ways in which it held accountable the powerful." 
  25. ^ "Winners of 76th Annual National Headliner Awards". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). March 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25. [dead link]
  26. ^ "Print Division - Daily Newspapers and News Syndicates - Writing & Reporting". National Headliner Awards (www.nationalheadlinerawards.com). 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  27. ^ Ortega, Tony (Dec 30, 2009). "Ex-Scientology Official Scrambles As His Blog Gets Hacked". Village Voice. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  28. ^ Rathbun, Marty (January 13, 2010). "Latest OSA cyber terrorism backfires again". Village Voice. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  29. ^ "Channel 4: Scientologists at War". Channel 4. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  30. ^ Ortega, Tony (June 17, 2013). "Tonight on Channel 4: "Scientologists at War"". The Underground Bunker. Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  31. ^ "CBC The Passionate Eye - Scientologists at War". Cbc.ca. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 

Further reading

External links