In this series featuring the Old Guard Ex-Scientologist critics who Mike Rinder has fair-gamed, we turn to one Arnaldo Lerma. His Lermanet.com, was one of the websites I POURED over in 1999/2000 when I was waking up from Scientology.
I am very grateful to Arnaldo for his courage in getting that website up in the early days of the Internet, keeping it up, and enduring the legal actions and fair game that the Church of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs – led by Mike Rinder – waged against him.
Here is a great interview with Arnie, videoed by videographer by Burt Leahy:
And in this Quora post, Arnie Lerma lists SOME the fair game actions taken against him.
And here’s a video by Mark Bunker showing Arnie Lerma getting served legal papers – originated by Mike Rinder as head of OSA – while working at the Lisa McPherson Trust in the 1990’s.
I’ve never met Arnie in person, but I have communicated with him over the Internet quite a bit.
I owe him a great deal. I would think that many Ex-Scientologists do, too – maybe even including Mike Rinder?
Possibly something for Mike Rinder to think about.
Here’s his donate button, Mike.
Hey Mike! Maybe you can send some of that Season 2 money his way.
17 thoughts on “Arnie Lerma, Whose Seminal Website Lermanet.com, Got Many People Out of Scientology, Details the Fair Game Actions Waged Against Him”
Just came across your site. At least Mike Rinder uses his own name. What’s yours?
This is the first time I used my own name as a critic of Scientology. Note the date.
Scientology – ThroughTheDoor
Good to meet you Pauline. Have you been around long criticizing Scientology on the Internet?
As I said, I have just come across your site. I don’t criticize Scientology, I just find it an interesting topic, like I find all religions/cults. You and Virginia constantly criticize others for criticizing, but you do a pretty good job yourselves. Mike Rinder admits the wrongs he did in the past and I think he is doing a pretty good of trying to make up for it. There are always two sides to every story, perhaps you should remember that, instead of trying to extract your pound of flesh.
I have written extensively and supportively about Mike Rinder’s efforts to make up for his past. Over and over. On his blog, and on my blog, and I even told him to his face in Clearwater while shaking his hand.
There is one area, though, where Mike has not done a very good job of making up for his past, and that is in addressing the live human beings who came before him as critics of Scientology who he tried to “destroy utterly” when he was heading the office of special affairs.
One guy – Steven Hassan – was on Season One of Scientology and the Aftermath and you could see how powerful it was to Mr Hassan to have one of his former tormentors recognize him. Mike can do that for everyone he tried to destroy. Think of how good of a job he would be doing for making up for his past, then.
I really had no idea that Mike and Karen had their own “volunteer PR” ready to post a scripted “on-policy” comment that looks so much like a church/OSA line it could have come from Miscavige himself. I am truly baffled. It even has a pre-emptive dig at Virginia!
And do you post under your “true identity”? If not, why not?
There is evidence that Mike Rinder was running at least two OSA operatives in on the Lisa McPherson Trust assigned as “infiltrators” and paid 1000 a week out of the Flag Service Organization account.
“We asked Pesch if OSA ever told him what the money was used for. He said they told him vague things about medical experts and attorneys.
But then, for two or three weeks, someone screwed up, and Pesch found that FSO was being billed directly for a couple of OSA operatives. The OSA employees were being paid $1,000 a week each, and Pesch paid that from FSO accounts for two or three weeks until the error was discovered. “It caused a huge flap,” Pesch says when the error came to light. Quickly, OSA took back the billing on the two operatives.
We asked him what the two operatives were doing, according to the paperwork he saw.
Pesch says the two people very clearly described as infiltrators of the Lisa McPherson Trust.”
“Mike Rinder admits the wrongs he did in the past and I think he is doing a pretty good of trying to make up for it.”
I believe that was a backhanded reference to this:
Rinder: “So, let me set the record straight in case that is the impression that is created: I apologize to anyone I hurt, and I am truly sad that I was that person. The only thing I feel I can do about it let that be know, but more importantly, try to make good going forward.”
Make good going forward? By doing a generic weak apology and NOT addressing the people who have specifically asked him about the black ops he ran on them?
Doesn’t sound much like “making good” to me, plus, as I recall this was Rinder’s attempt to try and deflect deserved criticism for why he won’t detail what he has done to people and apologize SPECIFICALLY to those people that he does know about.
I remain unimpressed.
I am impressed! thanks for that link.
Here’s a bit more about why I am unimpressed with Rinder’s blanket apology –
I read every thing you guys throw my way.
I’m learning so much. We may not always agree but I appreciate it:)
What does Rinder’s mug say, if that is really Mike?
I was as shocked as anyone to hear the news. It is very sad.
Lermanet.com was a staple on my way out of Scn, and for that I am grateful for Arnie’s efforts.
I never knew him, never spoke to him or exchanged emails. I know his story and the work he produced.
Clearly, this man was distressed and in turmoil.
Undoubtedly, the ACM will lay the blame on Scn’s doorstep, ignoring other relevant information which may explain his actions. Certainly his experiences with the church did not help. And I understand how one can become consumed by it. Nothing good comes of it.
I hope he has found peace.
The first time I interacted with Arnie was on ARS, where I was posting as Poopsy Charmichael. I had just posted this complex mathematical equation to evaluate how to prove that the Church was lying about the number of Scientologists in the world (at that time they had an accurate count of orgs and missions in the back of each book and on their website) and Arnie popped in to ask if he could “web my comment”, which meant that he was asking my permission to place it on Lermanet.com.
It certainly got Mike Rinder’s attention as the head of OSA. Within a month the Church had “opened” THOUSANDS of fake Dianetics groups, and filled their website with these fake groups, which made my mathematical formula appear to not work any more.
I felt like I’d hit the Big Time as a critic of Scientology. And at that time – I had. Marty, Mike and Dave had almost every news outlet shuddered into silence in reporting on Scientology, and Lermanet.com, besides Xenu.net, was pretty much the only property on the web about Scientology. Arnie had withstood raids of his home, seizures of his computers, withering depositions and lawsuits, and all kinds of fair game to keep his website up and operating.
Funnily enough, Mike Rinder has never mentioned anything about doing anything like that since hitting the Internet in 2009. He’s never mentioned anything about my and so many other Ex-Scientologist’s efforts that he worked to suppress as the head of OSA.
So far, I can think of Mike acknowledging fair gaming 2 ex Scientologists as the head of OSA for 22 years:
I think that’s pretty f**king pathetic.
I just did a search of Lermanet.com to try to find it and only got one hit on “Poopsy”
Dated 30 March 2001, here it is:
Responding to Mark Plummer (Warrior) and LawrieW, I wrote:
I do have to admit – I’m quite proud of that.
Arnie is sadly not the first critic to commit self-murder. Off the top of my head, I can think of Ken Ogger “the Pilot”, and the Anonymous activist known as Rorschach. Not all the blame can be put at the door of the cult, but I think we can safely say: fighting a cult is corrosive to the soul.
Yes. Also Shawn Lonsdale.
ARNALDO LERMA WAS AND IS A LIAR, THEIF,USED AND ABUSED WOMEN ….LAST BUT NOT LEAST HE ATTEMPTED TO MURDER ME HIS LAST WIFE GINGER SUGERMAN HE ALSO ABUSED HIS LAST WIFE MAUREEN AND TOLD OTHERS SHE WAS CRAZY ALL DESIGNED LIES….BY ARNIE LERMA
i wonder if Arnie Lerma was “lying” the night before his shooting when he begged Sylvanie, Georgia PD for help with his out of control, dish breaking, screaming like a banshee, methamphetamine addicted, wife that had recently spent time in a mental hospital – that had access to her own gun? The same Widow that has had TWO HUSBANDS, A SISTER, SON AND NEPHEW all ‘commit suicide” …
Still want to sling mud, Ginger?
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