People who might be unfamiliar with Gerry Armstrong should know that he is one of the bravest and most effective critics and whistleblowers of Scientology in its history. I believe that every Ex-Scientologist owes Gerry Armstrong a debt for what he went through to get us the vital biographical information on L Ron Hubbard that he did not want you to know.
Gerry was a Sea Org member who was assigned by L Ron Hubbard to help Omar Garrison write Hubbard’s biography. As part of this assignment, LRH gave him access to all of his biographical writings, journals, and other archival papers Hubbard had kept since he was a little boy.
While working on LRH’s biography, Armstrong noticed that some of Hubbard’s archival writings contradicted biographical information in the “About the Author” sections of the Scientology books that Hubbard had published since the early 1950’s. He went to the “Young Turks” who were running Scientology at that time – David Miscavige, Norman Starkey, Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun, et al.
Gerry told them that what he was finding in Hubbard’s own writings contradicted the biographies that Hubbard had written about himself and that he thought this needed to be corrected.
This exercise in moral courage was a pivot point in Gerry’s life. The rest is history. If you know how ruthless those fanatics can be, then you know how exciting the tale is. You can find out more about this tale at Gerry Armstrong’s website.
So it was a great honor for me to receive Gerry’s email yesterday in response to some of the comments on this blog.
Here’s Gerry’s Post:
Several people have been saying I want or am trying to get an apology or an “I’m sorry” from Rinder. Before that, several people claimed I wanted an apology from Mark Rathbun. People were also saying that Rathbun should apologize to me, and are now saying Rinder should apologize. Please be assured I am not seeking and do not want an apology from either of them.
I am not rejecting or refusing apologies from either of them, but apologies are not what is helpful, valuable or worth seeking. Because of the pervasiveness and persistence of this apology idea, I am happy to have the opportunity to clear it up on another forum.
Psychologist Steve Hassan recently wrote to me that he agreed Rinder can and should do more “in the realm of apologizing” to me and others. Because this was not my idea to be agreed with, or even, I believe, a good idea to pursue, I wrote to Hassan:
“Rinder apologizing would be nice. Or it could be more fair game.”
I do not want an apology. I have never sought or asked for an apology from him.
That Rinder should be apologizing to so many courageous folks [Hassan wrote] and has not apologized to any of them, is enough reason for you to withdraw the unmerited commendation for modeling you gave him. How on earth can a person who criminally persecuted good people, indeed committed and had others commit hate crimes against good people, and who remains unapologetic, conceivably be a model for anyone?
What I want is for Rinder to tell the truth that will set his victims free. My case is the most documented, developed and far-reaching, so he should start with me.
In the absence of him telling such truth, I want to let everyone know that he is not telling the truth and that he is keeping his victims unfree, unheard, unhealed.
Apologizing takes a few seconds per person. Or he could issue a group apology. And nothing changes.
If he tells the truth, something changes. Telling the truth can’t be done in seconds. In my case, the time, place, form and event over thirty-six years, seven lawsuits, countless covert ops, a sea of black propaganda, etc. could take a while. He conceivably would be moved to an apology if he began telling the truth, because the truth he madly clutches onto is the truth that would set his victims free.
I’ve been dealing with the apology realm dodge for many years, ever since Mark Rathbun, and then Rinder, started claiming they were free of cult control, and were now telling the truth and helping people. See this 2009 letter to Rathbun, “Apology not needed or wanted.”
“Some people have been saying that I wanted an apology from you, or you should apologize to me, or even that you’ll never apologize to me, for the fair game you perpetrated against me and got others to perpetrate against me while you were in the Scientology organization. I want to assure you and everyone else that I am not seeking or asking for an apology. In fact, an apology from you without you doing what you can to correct the wrongs you perpetrated and are ongoing could be yet another cruelty. With your apology plus a quarter I could make a local payphone call.
What needs attention and resolution are ongoing black PR, ongoing injustices, ongoing human rights violations, and the ongoing effects of other crimes, which you were involved in and can help resolve. I know that you know this.”
Local phone calls are now fifty cents. Apologies are sometimes a dime a dozen. The truth is so valuable it sets people free.
Please read my letter to Rathbun [above]. The same false imprisonment analogy I wrote him about applies equally to Rinder. Until he tells the truth that frees his victims, he is no model for anyone. Unless you want ex-members of cults to be unrepentant, unapologetic black propagandist abusers.
I also mention the IRS tax exemption crime in my letter to Rathbun:
“You will recall my August 14 letter, in which I requested your help to correct the black PR on me that you and Miscavige submitted to the IRS to get Scientology’s 1993 tax exemption. I mentioned in the letter that in January 1997, while living in San Anselmo, California, I discovered some of this black PR on the Internet, and that the discovery was so shocking that I felt I had to flee. I was also well aware at that time, of course, of Scientology’s leaders’ willful dishonesty, evil intentions toward me, and their propensity for physical violence, and I felt I had to be in a place, Canada, where I could more safely deal with this black PR and Scientology’s other attacks and threats. As you know, now twelve plus years later, time has proven me right. I also was painfully aware, obviously, that I could not get justice, or even reason, from the Marin Court Judge who’d issued the unlawful injunction and other unlawful orders and who had unlawfully denied me a fair trial, or any trial, Gary W. Thomas.
Throughout my adult life, I have been civil, and in fact consciously and automatically polite and courteous. In an earlier communication to you, I mentioned my need to communicate as I communicate, and to publish what I publish, to counter Scientology’s and Scientologists’ lies and black PR on me. I mentioned specifically the big lie to the IRS to get your tax exemption that all of you truly believe I’m psychotic. The very same abundance of my writings and other communications now also has to prove, and does prove, that I’m civil. I am as civil as anyone as defiant as I am could be. I defy you to find anyone as defiant as I am and more civil than I am. In fact, I defy you to find anyone who is, whether a defiant victim or not, as big a victim of Scientology persecution as I am, and more civil.”
Rinder very recently stated: “I attended numerous meetings at the IRS during the exemption process and I oversaw the collection and preparation of all the documents presented to the IRS.” He therefore oversaw the preparation and presentation to the IRS of every lie, every nasty piece of black propaganda. And he has never corrected it.
I have already stated both publicly and directly to Rinder what I want from him. I want him to debrief – the exact time, place, form and event – structured so it can be used in courts of law to correct injustices, in the IRS to challenge the Miscavige sect’s undeserved and unlawfully obtained tax exemption, and in the public arena to correct his black propaganda. This is nothing extraordinary. It is the bare minimum standard for decent human behavior, and he is completely able to rise to that standard.
See more about Gerry Armstrong
Gerry Armstrong’s Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/gerryarmstrong
Scientology Vs. Armstrong – A record of the legal actions that Scientology has taken against Gerry Armstrong: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/index.php
SuppressivePerson.org – A website library containing the Scientology “scriptures” commanding its members to “destroy utterly” critics of Scientology: http://suppressiveperson.org/
The Armstrong Op – A website detailing what is known about the fair game operations taken against Gerry Armstrong, probably the most fair-gamed critic in Scientology history: http://armstrong-op.gerryarmstrong.ca/