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Mark Rathbun

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Mark Rathbun
Mark Rathbun.jpg
Mark Rathbun
Born1957 (age 64–65)
Known forFormer Inspector General, Religious Technology Center (RTC)
Spouse(s)Anne Joasem (divorced)[1]
Monique "Mosey" Rathbun (present)[2]

Mark C. "Marty" Rathbun (born 1957) 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 inspector general, Rathbun led the RTC's international Inspector General Network, collectively responsible for internal maintenance and consistency of Scientology's practices and procedures in its organizations, and for ensuring perfect adherence to all Church policies as attributed to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.[4]

Rathbun left the Church of Scientology in 2004 and became an independent Scientologist, but now considers himself non-religious.[5]

Scientology career

According to his official biography, Rathbun became a Church of Scientology 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 (IRS) in 1993.[3] In 1998, Florida newspaper the Tampa Bay 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 IRS 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 [IRS], 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 IRS officials was approximately one month after their impromptu visit to the IRS 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 confessionals

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. Rathbun had himself been the individual responsible for performing auditing counseling with Cruise.[10][11] Rathbun wrote on his blog that he had been charged with auditing Cruise during the period in 2001 directly after he had separated from Nicole Kidman.[12] 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] Rathbun subsequently learned that transcripts of the videotapes of Cruise were brought to meetings where they would be discussed by top management of Scientology.[10][13] Rathbun wrote that Miscavige would read out information from the reports about Cruise's auditing sessions: "While sipping scotch whisky 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]

The nature of what was discussed in the confessional sessions by Cruise was not revealed.[14][15][16] Rathbun ceased the filming of Cruise in 2002, because he felt it was unethical.[11] Rathbun left the organization in 2004, and since then has given counselling to former members of Scientology.[10][12] 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] As of May 9, 2010, representatives for Cruise had not yet responded to the statements made by Rathbun.[10][12][13]

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."[17] 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."[18]

Departure from the Church of Scientology

Rathbun left the Church of Scientology in 2004 and now offers counselling and auditing services for other Scientologists who have cut their ties with the Church.[19][20] Initially, he considered himself an independent Scientologist, but now considers himself non-religious.[5]

Rathbun emerged as a critical source in a 2009 St. Petersburg Times exposé 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.[21] 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,[22][23] and was a finalist for the 2010 National Headliner Awards in the category of investigative reporting.[24][25]

In December 2018, Jezebel reported that Rathbun had appeared in videos criticising ex-Scientologist Leah Remini and suggested he had rejoined Scientology.[26]

Media appearances

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.[27]

On November 10, 2013, The Passionate Eye, an investigative TV series rebroadcast the program as a premiere in Canada on CBC Television, describing it as an investigation into "the pressure tactics used to discredit and silence members who leave the church."[28]

Videographer Bert Leahy reported being paid $2,000 a week to help document the "Squirrel Busters" activities.[29]

Going Clear

Rathbun was a participant in the 2015 documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. In that film, Rathbun alleged the church had wiretapped celebrity Nicole Kidman.[30]

My Scientology Movie

Rathbun featured in Louis Theroux's 2015 documentary film My Scientology Movie where he recreated incidents within the church he and other ex-Scientologists had witnessed. After the filming of My Scientology Movie, Rathbun criticized Theroux for what he described as "morally bankrupt tactics" in the production of the documentary, and withdrew his support from its promotion.[31] Rathbun claimed that Theroux deliberately attempted to provoke the Scientologists filmed for the film, and over-dramatized the scenes recreating alleged abuses that had taken place in the Church.[32]

Legal issues

Harassment claims

In 2013, Mark Rathbun's wife Monique, a non-Scientologist, filed suit against the Church of Scientology, alleging four years of harassment by the church.[33] The suit was withdrawn in May 2016, Monique saying, "My husband and I have effectively achieved the primary purpose that the lawsuit was originally intended to serve by our own independent efforts".[34] In October 2014, Rathbun filmed an encounter which showed three members of the church's top management abusing him at Los Angeles International Airport.[35]


  1. ^ "Ex-members spar with Scientology over beating allegations". CNN. 2010-03-30. Archived from the original on 2012-02-09.
  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. ^ Lewis, James R. (2017-01-05). Handbook of Scientology. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-33054-2.
  5. ^ a b "Scientology Whistleblower Tells All, Admits to Secretly Recording Tom Cruise". David Pakman Show. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  6. ^ Tobin, Thomas C. (1998-10-25). "The Man Behind Scientology". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  7. ^ Frantz, Douglas (1997-03-09). "Scientology's Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt". The 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". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  9. ^ a b Frantz, Douglas (1998-02-13). "Scientology's Star Roster Enhances Image". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b "Tom Cruise afgeluisterd binnen Scientology Kerk". De Telegraaf (in Dutch). Telegraaf Media Groep. May 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  12. ^ a b c "Tom Cruise heimlich bei Scientology-Beichte gefilmt?". Klatsch-Tratsch.De (in German). May 9, 2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  13. ^ a b ninemsn staff. "Tom Cruise 'ridiculed at Scientology parties'". ninemsn. PBL Media & Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  14. ^ "Tom Cruise's confessionals 'mocked by Scientologists'". The West Australian. West Australian Newspapers Limited. May 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "¿Traicionado por la cienciología?". (in Spanish). May 21, 2010. Archived from the original on May 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  17. ^ Hayes, Lynn (May 10, 2010). "Tom Cruise betrayed by Scientology leader". Beliefnet. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  18. ^ "Tom Cruise, burlado por la Cienciología". El Tiempo (in Spanish). May 10, 2010. Archived from the original on March 9, 2011. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  19. ^ Sweeney, John (September 26, 2010). "Mr Shouty and Cruise: the rematch". Sunday Times. Also see Rathbun's comments at his blog.
  20. ^ About page, Mark Rathbun blog
  21. ^ "Scientology: The Truth Rundown". St. Petersburg Times. 2009-07-21. Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  22. ^ Sentinel Staff Report (June 18, 2010). "Orlando Sentinel wins 17 awards from Florida Society of News Editors". Orlando Sentinel. Florida: Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  23. ^ "2010 FSNE Awards list". 2010-06-24. Archived from the original on 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2022-08-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  24. ^ "Winners of 76th Annual National Headliner Awards". The New York Times. March 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  25. ^ "Print Division - Daily Newspapers and News Syndicates - Writing & Reporting". National Headliner Awards. Press Club of Atlantic City. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  26. ^ Merlan, Anna (December 20, 2018). "Scientology Attorney Demands Jezebel Remove Our Story on Shelly Miscavige's Alleged Disappearance". Jezebel.
  27. ^ "Scientologists at War - Channel 4". 2013-06-13. Archived from the original on 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2022-08-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  28. ^ "Scientologists at War - The Passionate Eye". 2016-01-13. Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2022-08-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  29. ^ Collette, Mark (2011-08-06). "Former Scientology film crew member describes surveillance activities in Ingleside on the Bay". Corpus Christi Caller Times. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
  30. ^ Marlow Stern (26 January 2015). "Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Claims the Church Split Up Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2020-09-03.
  31. ^ Carroll, Rory (21 April 2017). "Subject of Scientology film: Louis Theroux used 'morally bankrupt tactics'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  32. ^ Rathbun, Marty. "Louris Theroux's Scientology Movie". Marty Rathbun's Blog. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  33. ^ McCormack, John (January 22, 2014). "Judge to Scientology: Leader must testify in Texas case". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  34. ^ Wray, Dianna (May 25, 2016). "Another Scientology Lawsuit Meets a Strange, Abrupt End in Texas". Houston Press.
  35. ^ Mintz, Zoe (October 21, 2014). "Top Scientology Leaders Caught In Videotaped Verbal Assault At LAX". International Business Times. Retrieved May 27, 2015.

Further reading

External links