Scientology cult entities, leader sued over harassment

The wife of a former senior executive of the Church of Scientology has filed a lawsuit against the cult’s controlling entities, cult leader David Miscavige, and two men believed to be working on behalf of the ‘church.’

In her lawsuit Monique Rathbun, wife of Mark “Marty” Rathbun, describes “three years of ruthlessly aggressive misconduct” by the church and its employees, alleging they have waged a campaign of surveillance, dirty tricks, intimidation and harassment.

Mark Rathbun left the Church of Scientology in 2004, and has been an outspoken critic since 2009, when he featured — along with former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder — in The Truth Rundown, a series of investigative reports on the Church of Scientology.1

Profile from The Truth Rundown

Profile from The Truth Rundown

In that report, high-ranking defectors tell of violence in Scientology’s top ranks.

Rathbun, who married Monique in 2010, now is an independent Scientologist or, in the church’s terms, a ‘squirrel’.2


Spies Sue The Cult

In September, 2012, two goons involved in the harassment of the Rathbuns sued the Church of Scientology for payments they said they had not received.

Two months later the lawsuit was dropped, likely because a settlement was reached out of court — following a pattern in other lawsuits between the cult and its critics.3

Restraining Order

Following Rathbun’s lawsuit, a Texas judge has issued a Temporary Restraining Order.

The Tampa Bay Times says

District Judge Bruce Boyer signed the restraining order Friday, legally preventing Miscavige and the other defendants from surveilling Monique Rathbun, threatening her, following her or contacting people she knows.

A hearing is scheduled for September. The suit also seeks damages of more than $1 million.

The paper also quotes the reaction of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw, who as usual makes about as much sense as L. Ron Hubbard did.

Read the Complaint
Read the Temporary Restraining Order

Notes:

  1. Published in the St. Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times
  2. In a 1990 series of reports on the cult, The Los Angeles Times explained:

    The Church of Scientology hates “squirrels.”

    That is the scornful word L. Ron Hubbard used to describe non-church members who offer his teachings, sometimes at cut-rate prices. Most are ex-Scientologists who say they believe in Hubbard’s gospel but left the church because its hierarchy was too oppressive.

    “We call them squirrels,” Hubbard once wrote, “because they are so nutty.”

    Hubbard contended that only church members are qualified to administer his self-improvement-type courses. Outsiders, he said, inevitably misapply the teachings, wreaking spiritual harm on their subjects.

    But those who have launched “independent” Scientology-style centers say Hubbard concocted this as an excuse to eliminate competition so he could charge exorbitant prices for his courses.

    As far back as 1965, Hubbard demonstrated his disdain for breakaway groups, ordering his followers to “tear up” the meetings of one such organization and “harass these persons in any possible way.”

    The intolerance still exists.

    Indeed, the Church of Scientology is known for its lengthy, ongoing history of hate- and harassment activitiesunethical behavior based on the policies of the cult’s nutty founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

  3. See also: Scientology’s Master Spies

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This post was last updated: May. 9, 2014