Ex-Scientology Member Marty Rathbun on the church's spying budget, the origins of auditing, and starting over at age 58.
Investigation Discovery Crime Feed - Exclusive: Ex-Scientologist Member Marty Rathbun on the church's spying budget, the origins of auditing, and starting over at age 58
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November 26, 2016 by Crime Feed Staff
Scientology, especially its celebrity members and scandalous media coverage, fascinates many of us. Whether it’s L. Ron Hubbard’s alleged occult roots or high-profile members’ outlandish behavior (see Tom Cruise on Oprah), it can be difficult to understand why someone would join in the first place.
To help demystify the organization,Crime Feed spoke to former Scientologist, Marty Rathbun. Rathbun left the Church of Scientology in 2004 after being a member for 27 years. During his time as a member he rose through the ranks, eventually serving as Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center. Rathbun’s story can help us understand why people are drawn to Scientology, what makes leaving feel impossible and why criticisms of the church often get buried.
For more about Rathbun’s membership and break from the organization, watch Investigation Discovery’s “Dangerous Persuasions” with ID Go and check out our interview with him below:
CF: I think everyone wonders about the Xenu mythology. What were your thoughts the first time you saw the Operating Thetan documents?
MR: To some degree I took it as parable or analogy and tried to glean the process underlying it. I don’t like to harp on this too much as it feeds Scientologists’ persecution complex. What they believe behind the four walls of their ‘churches’ is each individual’s prerogative. I am aware of nobody waking up from Scientology’s hold from people attacking their beliefs and mythologies. That is one reason I believe the ID piece might have more impact on current members; it is a straight ahead, factual narrative with no broadside against its beliefs and practices.
CF: You and other senior members have left the organization. Do you notice a crumbling of the senior structure or are new members prepped to take over the minute someone steps down?
MR: It is the latter. The system breeds a continual replacement of top management with uneducated, inexperienced enthusiastic youth. It systematically weeds out people as they mature and begin to question. Thus, each generation seems progressively less educated, ill-informed and unsophisticated than the last one. That is why it functions like a Byzantine bureaucracy.
CF: In addiction to recent television documentaries about Scientology, David Miscavige, the leader of the church, has been under scrutiny due to allegations that he was spending thousands to spy on his father. Do you think that’s an outrageous claim?
MR: I have estimated in the past that they were spending up to $25,000 a week on spying, stalking and harassment of me and my family. I think the media and FBI considered that too incredible to believe. Yet, the $10,000 dollar figure spent on Ron Miscavige [David’s father] comes from the private investigator who received the money; with no motivation to lie. So, I look at that new information as corroboration or validation of my original estimate of what they have spent attacking me and my family. They have been at it for more than six years. I invite you to do the math. Incidentally, if there were a way to revoke their tax exemption thoroughly investigating that magnitude of spending to spy and harass would be the only viable route.
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