This is the first in a series of videos by Gerry Armstrong, the most fair-gamed person in Scientology history, to Mike Rinder. This one is dated February 18th, 2018.
Here’s the 2nd, dated Feb 18th, 2018
Video Number 3, dated February 23rd, 2018
Video Number 4, dated February 25, 2018
Video Number 5, dated February 25, 2018
Video Number 6, dated February 26, 2018
67 thoughts on “Mike Rinder Needs to Come Clean About What He Did to Gerry Armstrong & Others As Head of the Office of Special Affairs”
Gerry Armstrong breaks my heart.
I’m not sure why he needs to keep the label on himself as a current victim. I see him more as an avenging angel. Armstrong reminds me of the Nazi hunters who scoured South America for war criminals.
This series by Gerry Armstrong destroys all claims that antiscientology “crimes” can be equated to Scientology (literal) crimes. There is no equivalence.
God Bless you Gerry, may you find peace, whether or not Marty Rinder tells his whole story.
Who is equating them?
I watched as much as I could of the first video, maybe half of it. (I’m not big at watching videos, remember?)
While I think Gerry took a great deal of risk taking on the church, (in the days when doing so drew orders of magnitude higher fair-gaming than does now) in the pursuit of creating greater transparency about LRH’s past, I also see him now engaged in a dogged pursuit over something that might not have that great of a pay off for him.
Back in the day, Gerry was trying to tell the truth and because of it, he ran afoul of a monstrous organization that didn’t want that truth to see the light of day.
But what I see here is that he’s still spending a tremendous amount of effort for what? To have one guy, Mike Rinder, say “I’m sorry”? Admittedly, I didn’t watch more than about half of the first video, so maybe I completely missed that Gerry is wanting something else. (That might be an argument for editing—joke)
Will it make Gerry’s life suddenly better if he did receive such an apology? If so, I think Gerry may be assigning too much power over his own happiness to someone or something that is outside his sphere of control.
Gerry is a tremendously courageous guy, and because of him, I know things about LRH that I wouldn’t have known had Gerry not acted towards getting the truth out. But he’s also a bit of a tragic figure as well. I hope he is able to find peace and resolution in his life, whether or not Mike Rinder does what Gerry would like him to do.
Couldn’t you say that about all Ex-Scientologists who have been fairgamed and abused by Scientology?
“You can’t control what David Miscavige does, so I hope you are able to find peace and resolutions in your lives. See ya!”
Just because Mike Rinder is part of the anti-Scientology tribe now, you’re willing to overlook his biggest crimes. This is called tribal blindness – able to see all the crimes of the enemy tribe, but not so easy to see the crimes of your own tribe.
I’m not accusing you of outright tribal blindness on an absolute scale – but I am accusing you of a little bit of it right here in this particular comment.
Am I completely off-base?
“Just because Mike Rinder is part of the anti-Scientology tribe now, you’re willing to overlook his biggest crimes.”
I’m getting a wee bit confused here. I thought that after the disbandment of the Guardian Office the CoS has ceased using illegal forms of intimidation. That’s not to say that the CoS has stopped harassing their critics, but I understand that since the 80s they’ve mostly stayed within the bound of legality (though not within the bounds of morality) when engaging in harassment. It is my impression that our propertier shares the same view as well:
Am I misreading something? If not, what is this talk of Rinder’s crimes against Armstrong? I thought that most if not all of the Fair Gaming of Armstrong occured post-GO and even post-Hubbard. If the the timeline I’m positing is indeed correct, how am I to square our propertier’s previous statements with his apparent approval of Armstrong’s accusations against Rinder?
Just to be clear, I’m not trying to defend Rinder. If there’s credible evidence to suggest that he has committed crimes (or even merely unethical acts that are still legal) against Armstrong, he should address this issue by either coming clean (if he is guilty of what Armstrong accuses him of) or alternatively explain why Armstrong is wrong (if that’s actually the case). Since this video series is quite long, it would be of help if someone was to tell me in which specific video/s the evidence of Rinder’s crimes is presented. So far I’m only past the first video, in which the only concrete accusation against Rinder was that he spread lies about Armstrong. This kind of act is definitely unethical but I’m not quite sure if it can be called a crime, a term I would usually reserve for felonies. The spread of lies might have opened Rinder to a civil suit, but not a criminal prosecution.
Whether there have been crimes committed by the Church of Scientology has not been established. Plenty of accusations, even lots of investigations with no charges being filed.
That’s the position of the proprietor.
There is a lot of history here, even before my time. The investigation into the prosecutable crimes of Scientology is far from over. In fact, some people hypothesize that the whole Marty and Mike show has been one bombastic All Clear Unit for David Miscavige that seeks to distract one and all off of the crimes that can be prosecuted and onto the ones that can’t.
Art of War and all that.
Pull in attacks at your strongest places (human trafficking, etc). Distract from attacks on your weakest places (murder, such as Flo Barnett et al).
It’s only one hypothesis for what we are seeing here. It has a few holes. 🙂
“Whether there have been crimes committed by the Church of Scientology has not been established. Plenty of accusations, even lots of investigations with no charges being filed.
“That’s the position of the proprietor.”
Fair enough, I stand corrected. I’ll soon watch the rest of these videos to see what crimes Armstrong is talking about. I did not see any evidence of crimes in the first part of the series, but I’m assuming that the more serious accusations are unveiled in the succeeding videos
Everyone has their own paths to follow, in Scientology, when they’re leaving it, and afterward.
Mike Rinder is doing what he feels he can do. It is a lot compared to most ex-scn, myself included.
It does make sense that he likely has a lot of information that may help people in legal actions against the church.
But I can also see a guy who has a young family that is trying to create a new life for himself after spending most of his life in the cult. Does he want to sit down and do this extensive debriefing just because Gerry wants him to do this? Wouldn’t that open Rinder up to extensive legal jeopardy, which the church would then use to show how it was Rinder all along that was doing all this bad shit and it’s all him and not them? Of course they would.
Rinder doesn’t have enough years ahead of him to yoke himself to the problems he would have for decades to come, after letting that genii out of the bottle.
If Gerry Armstrong wants to get the details, let him find a lawyer and call in Rinder to get deposed. I’m sure Rinder would be more forthcoming from the position he is in now than when he was head of OSA.
Personally, I don’t belong to any ex-Scn tribe. You should know this about me, Alanzo, from some of the back and forth we’ve had over the years on various blogs.
But I like to see myself as pragmatic in this regard. And the pragmatic me sees very little upside for Rinder, personally, to do what Gerry would like him to do. And I also see hella downside for Rinder.
He is on his own path, not Gerry’s, yours or mine.
Mike Rinder lies about his own past every single day to avoid the consequences of it.
And so many Exes just love him for it.
And for those exes whose lives he did his best to ruin utterly – they just need to shut up. Mike was brainwashed and had no choice to do what he did, or to live the life he woke up every day deciding to.
Brainwashing absolves you of everything. So do, I guess, the very unpleasant consequences of telling the truth to the people you’ve harmed.
Oh! He was brainwashed??
But wait – is it still the brainwashing that makes him lie everyday about his own past, or is it the unpleasant consequences he would face for finally telling the truth about it?
The “Poor Mike” crowd is really strange. If David Miscavige left Scientology and got on tv and started talking about all the brainwashing and the Scientology, would they eventually start to say he didn’t have to make reparations to those he harmed too?
Why is DM the only bad guy now?
Didn’t mike physically do more, directly, to harm people than dm? Remember what lrh said: staff members should not need orders. Mikes hat pack told him what his hat was and he wore it self determinately as the head of osa for 22 years.
You say that “He is on his own path, not Gerry’s, yours or mine.”
This completely nullifies mikes social responsibility for the harm he caused to others – because he’s on his own path.
What does that even mean?
And what about people who never harmed anyone in Scientology and never would? When mike harmed them for speaking out and warning others, why do you abandon their need for justice and take sides with mikes need to have a happy prosperous life with his new family?
Why can’t you support both?
I’ll tell you why: because Mike will not let you. Mike’s own irresponsibility to the people he harmed leaves you with no choice but to abandon mikes victims too.
How can you settle for that?
How can you ask anyone else to settle for that?
Alanzo: “But wait – is it still the brainwashing that makes him lie everyday about his own past, or is it the unpleasant consequences he would face for finally telling the truth about it?”
I say it’s neither – it’s his lack of personal integrity in how he operates, both on his blog and on the Aftermath series. On Aftermath, he made no protest to Leah’s and others’ exaggerations or downright lies (or just plain ignorance) intended to make any aspect of Scientology look as bad as possible.
On the blog, he condones all manner of inaccuracies about the tech (when, I’m quite sure, he knows better) and sits quietly and turns a blind eye to gross exaggerations and speculations about Hubbard (even though Hubbard’s actual outpoints would be enough for his purposes). At the same time, he’s quick to correct anything a little too positive that gets posted — or at least mock the poster if he can’t deny the truth of the post.
In other words, he’s a slick PR operative and does anything he can, whether honest or not, to support the purpose of taking down the church.
Or else the purpose is the one Marty says it is — profit. Personally, I don’t discount this, as it would explain, better than anything else I know of, Mike’s tireless “dedication,” considering the lack of integrity he’s shown himself to be capable of.
Could be, Marildi.
Mike Rinder definitely employs a strategy of rhetoric over the truth.
Mike Rinder knows that Shelly Miscavige is not “missing” and never has been. Mike was there, working directly with David Miscavige, when DM and Shelly separated, or got a divorce, and she went off to work at Lake Arrowhead. But Mike, knowing this, still runs the “Where’s Shelly?” campaign because it puts DM on the backfoot rhetorically. It’s difficult for him to say anything about it. And it makes him look like he murdered her or something and covered it up when Mike knows nothing even close to that happened.
Even Leah Remini does not know that Shelly is not missing and never has been. Mike has never told her.
Get that. Get the kind of PR personality you would have to be to never tell your co-star of 2 seasons that her good friend is not missing and never has been. Leah’s distress over Shelly benefits Mike, so he says and does nothing about it.
The second example of Mike Rinder’s PR over the truth strategy is how he is being defined by Tony Ortega whenever Tony quotes him in an article: “Former Scientology Spokesman” or “Former Scientology Official”. Tony never identifies Mike Rinder as the former head of the Office of Special Affairs for 22 years, the dirty tricks arm of the Church of Scientology. Nothing like that is ever used to describe Mike any more.
PR rhetoric over the truth. Revising history through “compartmentalization”. Plausible deniability over factual circumstances.
That’s Mike Rinder.
And Tony Ortega, obviously. Why add Tony into all this? Because Tony knows all this, too.
Good post. I don’t know that Leah was good friends with Shelly as much as she used the episode of asking about Shelly in order to make herself right with regard to the church’s handling of it —and is still making herself right and the church wrong about Shelly. But what you said about Mike’s response to her misinterpretations is the perfect example of the kind of thing I was saying about him. Insidious!
Here’s a good example of how insidious and snide Mike can be in order to accomplish making nothing of any post or poster that he sees as operating counter to his agenda: https://www.mikerindersblog.org/two-main-types-of-ex-scientologists/#comment-212001
Here’s the last part of the whole exchange:
March 5, 2018 at 11:11 am
I find it amazing that a comments section that is full of insults, name-calling, nasty remarks and untruths about Scientologists, whether in the Church or not doesn’t draw the same level of approbation that you level at me for rather a minor remark compared to what is written on here.
I don’t think Scientologists are really going to worry about what commenters here write about them and their religion. That ship has long since sailed.
Mike Rinder says
March 5, 2018 at 1:45 pm
Why single you out?
Random luck I guess.
Your comments fascinate me and I want you to keep commenting. Scientologists don’t read this blog. People “under the radar” do, a lot of them, and I think your attitude and approach is very enlightening and probably helps some see where their heads have been at and hopefully, with some distance, see that this is neither pleasant nor healthy.
You make the point that just leaving the organization is not enough. You’ve got to change your mindset. And that is a valuable lesson to learn. It’s why I try to highlight some of the things you say.
You are a great example for all to see.
I really DO appreciate you taking the time to comment as I think it’s valuable.
You missed this one:
And this one:
LOL! Mike Rinder accusing someone of arrogance and condescension!
Right — there are so many examples. But nothing is said in response to the posts that are completely over the top yet push the agenda.
You have to understand: Mike Rinder was beaten up by David Miscavige more than 50 times.
That’s some powerful revenge motivation, right there.
Alanzo, you are missing the point I’ve been trying to make.
Let me restate it: I think it is unfair to single out Rinder as The Guy. To expect him to basically take the brunt of all responsibility for the entirety of all the bad shit OSA and the GO did. Yet that’s what would happen if he did the extensive debrief you and Gerry seem to be demanding of him.
If he were to do so, the church would disavow all its responsibility and hang it on that “rogue element Mike Rinder that we kicked out when we uncovered how awful he was.”
Did he do bad shit when he was doing his post? Evidently. Should he be criminally liable for it? If you think so,’press charges.
Should he be financially libel for it? If you think so, sue him in civil court.
A more productive line would be to sue the church and depose Rinder. That is how you will get him to fess up.
I’m sorry that we are not communicating here, John Doe.
I’m sorry JD, but I have to say it as I see it here.
This is a complete misstatement of what’s being asked of Mike Rinder by Gerry Armstrong.
You’re just making excuses for Mike Rinder. This is tribalism at its worst.
Talk about “Blame the victim!”
Fair ‘nuff. I don’t have the time nor the inclination to watch Gerry’s videos and trying to read his latest post he wrote to clarify that he wasn’t asking for an apology was confusing as to who was saying what. I think Gerry would benefit having a good editor.
Okay, so I guess I don’t understand what Gerry is asking. What I thought he was asking was for Rinder to sit down and do a lengthy debrief about all the fair-gaming he was involved with on each and every recipient of such and then those victims would be able to use that in court if they so desired.
Is that at all close?
I’m also sorry we don’t seem to be communicating, which for us is a first. I still think it is incredibly naive to think that Rinder’s confession could happen, especially by means of “open letters” on blog posts.
I don’t understand how you seem to think I am “blaming the victim”. How exactly am I blaming Gerry for the fair gaming he has suffered?
Do you see, at all, what I am saying as far as there being very little upside to Rinder doing what (I think) Gerry is asking?
Of course there is no upside for Mike Rinder in debriefing Gerry for the abuse that Mike Rinder ran on him. There was no upside for Gerry to have been abused for so many years by Mike Rinder. Compare the years of fair game that Gerry received from Mike Rinder to the few hours it will take Mike Rinder to debrief him.
Question: Why should there be upside for Mike Rinder in anything related to his abuse of anyone?
There shouldn’t be. He should not get away with abusing people.
No one should.
I don’t get what’s so hard about this: Abusers don’t get protection. Victims get protection. Abusers are made to repair their abuse. Victims get those reparations.
Isn’t that the definition of evening the scales of justice that we are all familiar with in this civilization?
Why are you so worried about whether Mike Rinder might be put out by this?
Mike wrote a blog post back in 2014, four years ago this month, titled “The Black Bag Department.” Here’s an excerpt relevant to this discussion (emphasis in caps is mine):
There are quite a number of these “outside professionals” that are ostensibly hired by lawyers, but in reality are run directly by church staff EITHER IN RTC OR OSA….
“Gene Ingram is the godfather of Scientology PI’s in the Miscavige era. He was put out to pasture many years ago after a number of incidents where he was accused of impersonating a police officer and other shady actions. I think there was even an arrest warrant issued for him in Tampa. INGRAM SET UP THE GERRY ARMSTRONG OPERATION…”
The fact that some of these “outside professionals” were run not only by OSA but by RTC is one thing that tells us Mike wasn’t necessarily even aware of everything that went on with regard to fair gaming when he was the head of OSA.
You posted some comments on that thread including this one:
March 17, 2014 at 10:18 am
Names, resources, command lines, relationships, specific projects worked on.
Thank you, Mike.
Way to go.
Not too long ago I posted here an excerpt of a similar forthcoming of data by Mike in an exchange he had with some posters on his blog (or maybe I just posted a link to that exchange). There again, if memory serves, you were impressed with Mike’s detailing of many things. Now I get that you have pretty much taken the opposite stance. If so, why is that?
Because it doesn’t continue. His biggest victims, like Gerry Armstrong, continue to flap in the wind.
Mike Rinder applies the Bean Theory of PR Cult Recovery – spend just those beans that will return to you more beans back.
But that isn’t how this works if you are really doing it.
Mike isn’t really doing it.
In that post by Rinder, he also mentions Russ Andrews, who was one of the PI’s assigned to harass us back in around 2003 or so (which we proved some years back) and he mentions Dave Lubow, also assigned to harass us practically right from the beginning of our leaving the church and exposing the six-month check, even his office was in the Spokane area. That is proven in this post:
If you recall in my Sting post*, Rinder specifically made it clear on video that he knew that the reports from the PI’s go to OSA Int, and Rathbun said in his affidavit that Rinder prepared him a summary, as head of OSA, and Rathbun was in charge of briefing Miscavige.
I have asked Rinder twice to reveal what he knows about things done to us, and not only has he not replied, he even goes so far as to portray us as crazy at his blog.
I don’t want an apology from him either. Nor am I interested in suing him. Mike and I want a public accounting. Nothing more, nothing less, of what HE knows.
And he does know something.
*Sting post here –
Russ Andrews was also used to harass me in 2001.
He knows everything.
thanks for this Marildi. It was helpful to me.
I don’t care at all about the few hours or days Mike Rinder would have to spend on Gerry’s confession project. That is irrelevant to what I’m saying.
I’m not defending any of Rinder’s actions while he was on staff that involved fair gaming people.
I am opposed to stupid ideas, leading to unintended consequences. If Mike Rinder did this confession process that Gerry seems to be asking for, this would be a golden apple dropped into the hand of the church and its legion of lawyers. It would markedly strengthen their hand. It would mean Rinder would be unilaterally disarming, which is a stupid thing to do when you have the church as a foe.
Alanzo, how many times have you been accused of being an OSA agent just because you expressed an idea that was not in line with the group think on some blog or what the blog owner thought? Well similarly, you seem to be wanting to paint me with the colors of Team Rinder and that just isn’t accurate. I don’t always agree with Rinder or his followers and comment on his blog accordingly.
We just disagree. I see Mike Rinder attempting to make amends via his blog and now TV show. He’s doing something. It seems to me that in your and Gerry’s opinion, it ain’t shit and Rinder’s efforts seem to be acting almost like an insult to you.
I’ve rarely seen you offer much praise for his efforts, mostly just criticism. (In all fairness, maybe his show is as awful as you say. I’ve only seen one episode of it.). But I have to say,it comes across to me like there might be some resentment that Rinder is this Johnny-come-lately scn critique who has somehow monetized it into a well-paying TV gig.
Well let’s be pragmatic here: that show is getting the word out about the church. If it were to engage in dehumanizing people that choose to believe in the milder philosophy and practices of scn, well I join your voice in criticism of that. But it is undeniable that the show is reaching A LOT of people.
As far as denying justice to victims, I will say it yet again: in our society, the way to get justice or retribution or compensation for someone having wronged you is to bring criminal or civil complaint. I believe that option is open to Gerry. It costs a fuck of a lot of money to do this which in itself isn’t right, but that is the way it’s set up right now.
Now before I go, I would offer this: are you familiar with the truth and reconciliation commission that was done in South Africa following the dismantling of apartheid? It’s worth a google. This is a model for something I would like to see happen for the victims of the church’s aggression towards its critics in the decades passed. I think it is something that would help and dovetails into what Gerry seems to be asking for. It could be scaled down or up, depending on who would want to participate.
John Doe wrote:
Certainly. This is a vid I did for Mike and Leah in March of last year:
Very little progress has been made since then.
You have to realize, I have been asking Mike Rinder for this type of information since 2009/2010 when Mike first appeared on the internet.
This is not my first rodeo.
Thanks for your other comments. I may get back to them at another time.
When the Nazi hierarchy tried to claim “Hitler made me do it,” they were executed for war crimes. Brainwashing, undue influence, and other claims were set aside because we are all responsible for our own actions. This includes Mike Rinder, me, and every other sentient being.
Dave made me do it is NOT a valid argument.
Welcome to AlanzosBlog, JP!
John Doe: “But what I see here is that he’s still spending a tremendous amount of effort for what? To have one guy, Mike Rinder, say ‘I’m sorry”?
It might say more about Gerry, and others who are expending a lot of effort in this pursusit, than it does about Mike not saying “I’m sorry.'”
I’m no big fan of Mike’s but I think he has already said he’s sorry, probably numerous times. I guess people want him to publicly chastise himself, which may say something about them, too. To my way of thinking, at a certain point it’s up to the individual to decide how he wants to work out his karma.
None of this is about anyone saying “I’m sorry”.
Gerry Armstrong has written a guest post here which I will publish.
Apologies, “I’m sorry”, complete red herring.
Okay. I only watched one of the videos and was quoting John Doe.
In that case, “saying ‘I’m sorry'” should have been “making amends.” I still don’t think it’s anybody else’s place to be judge and jury over whether he has done enough.
Those who have been harmed by Mike Rinder certainly have a say whether Mike Rinder has done enough for them.
See Gerry’s post tomorrow.
Looking forward. I still don’t know the specifics of how he was harmed, or how others were harmed by Mike specifically. Have really only heard how Mike was responsible because he was head of OSA. That does make him responsible, in a sense, but only to a certain extent.
With regard to that video of Marty’s, included in one of Gerry’s videos, where Marty mentions Mike not ever giving specifics of what horrific things were done by OSA when Mike was over it – I’ve commented before that what I think Marty is saying in that video is that although Mike is continuously accusing the church of all kinds of horrific things, he hasn’t specfied what they were – and the implication is that he doesn’t have any horrific examples to give (except of course those that occurred during the days of the GO, which I don’t think Mike was ever part of).
“Have really only heard how Mike was responsible because he was head of the IAS. “
You mean OSA right?
Tony Ortega likes to revise history and call Mike “The Former Scientology Spokesman”. Mike himself always talks about all the COMPARTMENTALIZATION. Both of these are dodges. Pretty sick ones, too.
Read here what Mike’s role was in reporting to David Miscavige about Fair Game done to critics: https://alanzosblog.com/more-on-scientologys-office-of-special-affairs-by-mike-rinder/
Bottom of the page from Marty’s Affidavit.
After reading that, tell me that Mike Rinder was only “the former Scientology spokesman” and it all was so compartmentalized.
Yes, I meant OSA. (I just now edited it to correct it.)
If compartmentalization was the way it was, I don’t see why it’s a dodge. You seem to be making an assertion here with emotional force – the fallacy called Appeal to Emotion.
If you read the link I gave you, you would have seen that Mike Rinder was at the top of all the compartments. People below him were in compartments – maybe. But Mike was above all the compartments, running the OSA programs against critics and reporting compliance to David Miscavige on all of them.
That was an appeal to read the link I gave you.
“Above them” doesn’t prove he knew all that was going on. It would even violate Simon Bolivar for him to be told everything.
Another thing Mike has pointed out is that some things were intentionally kept from him so that he could truthfully say (especially under oath) that he knew nothing about them.
Either you (along with many others) are guilty of wanting to see it all in a negative light – basically projecting the negatives – or I’m guilty of not wanting to see the negative, but that doesn’t indicate as true.
I do appreciate it that you have a blog where people can give their honest views without being attacked!
Hi marildi! – Above you said “. . . at a certain point it’s up to the individual . . .” I agree.
Hi, Richard! Glad you joined the discussion.
I’m kind of working backwards on this topic, just now watching the videos. At about 9:30 in video 2 Gerry says in 1994 Rinder threatened to fair game him “forever” until Gerry shut up. Such a threat from a Mafia type organization would be unsettling and intimidating to say the least.
In video 3 Rinder was true to his word and the fair gaming got worse, similar to what happened to Paulette Cooper including attempts to drive him insane. At about 9:10 the clip of Rinder in the car (speaking to a film maker in 2011) is shown where Rinder says Gerry is “seeing things . . . and is a bit of a fruitcake.” I can’t blame Gerry for wanting to bring his plight back for inspection in “present time”. I ended off on video 3.
Yes. It’s been very clear to pretty much anyone who has been out as long as I have that Mike Rinder did not stop fair gaming Gerry Armstrong when Mike Rinder “ got out” of Scientology and onto the internet in 2009. All the way up to today.
It’s really despicable behavior. And Mike Rinder needs to step up and do something about it.
Specifically, what did Mike do to Gerry after he got out?
Alanzo says Mike got out of scn and onto the internet in 2009. The film clip was in 2011. Maybe when Mike became a “public personality” on the internet he didn’t want Gerry popping up and discrediting him so he portrayed Gerry as a nut case. I only know as much about the story as I’ve read and watched here.
John Doe – Above you wrote, “I’m not much on watching videos”. You probably know this but maybe someone else doesn’t. The settings tool can be used to speed up playback if desired.
Thanks Richard. That is helpful information.
I don’t utterly condemn him for it, but Gerry Armstrong was apparently not innocent of similar tactics to those of the IAS. As an example, in the book “Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior,” Marty describes a meeting between Gerry and various supposedly disaffected church members or former members who, while secretely taping the meeting, were feigning interest in a plan of Gerry’s and a number of high government agents (listed out on the tape) to execute a takeover of the church. Gerry wanted church members to go into church files and find evidence of illegalities. Mike Rinder, who was one of those at the meeting, stated that there really wasn’t any illegalities – at which point Gerry suggested that they (quoting from the book) “CREATE evidence of illegalities and plant them in files for the IRS and DoJ to find in a raid and use against church officials.”
That is an example of the “dirty tricks” type of mentality that Gerry himself was guilty of, according to Marty. But again, I don’t seriously condemn him because I’m sure he thought what he was doing was the greatest good – just like Mike Rinder did.
This is not what happened. It is Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun and David Miscavige’s story of what happened after editing the videos to make it look like this. The videos are all on the Internet. They are even on this blog.
Watch the unedited originals and see what they say.
What videos? Marty was talkling about an audio tape recording.
Hey, Al, I don’t appreciate it that you send me off to watch a bunch of videos and don’t bother to respond directly to my actual comment about an actual taped recording. Seems like a brush-off type of tactic. Correct me if I’m wrong.
The videos are the originals, Marildi. Marty Mike and Dave, along with the LAPD, were recording and videoing these conversations in Griffith Park. The link I gave you are your recordings. Or Marty’s recordings. But these haven’t been edited. Marty’s were.
No one was claiming that the church wasn’t running operations of its own. Marty went into all that, too. But he said it was Gerry who came up with the idea of “locating some church insiders who might aid in a take-over coup inside the church” (p. 257 of the Amazon Kindle edition of Marty’s book). And it was Gerry who suggested they “CREATE evidence of illegalities and plant them in files for the IRS and DoJ to find in a raid and use against church officials” (also on p. 257). As I say, such tactics are comparable to some of OSA’s.
The videos you linked add up to a couple hours or more of viewing, which I’m not into. On top of it, on youtube all five are labelled either “Day Three” “or Day Four”– indicating, apparently, that there were other meetings on a least a couple other days. So Marty could have been talking about a recording on one of those other days.
In any case, are you saying that the videos you linked disprove what I quoted from Marty’s book? If so, then you or Gerry should point out specifically where in the five videos this can be found. If not, I guess you were taking a turn at throwing a Red Herring. 🙂
Here’s what Stacy Brooks said about these videos in 1998 on ARS:
Subject: A classic example of the fair game policy at work
From: sta…@gte.net (Stacy Brooks Young)
Date: 9/24/98 1:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time
(Gerry Armstrong is my friend now that we are both out of Scientology, and I
have already told him this story. I have told him how sorry I am for my part in
trying to destroy him when I was still an OSA staff member. I’ve told several
other people this story as well, and they have urged me to share it because it
is such a classic illustration of how far DM and his cronies are willing to go
to destroy their enemies.)
I was the managing editor of FREEDOM Magazine in the Spring of 1985, when Julie
Christoffersson’s lawsuit against the Church of Scientology was being retried.
I was also the main writer for the Office of Special Affairs, meaning that when
DM needed something special written, he called on me.
Julie Christoffersson had named Gerry Armstrong as a witness in her trial. DM
wanted to discredit Gerry because he was extremely concerned about the
information Gerry had. Gerry had been the LRH Archivist up until the end of
1981, and as such he had had access to all of LRH’s personal papers. These
included documents which, I know from my own viewing of them at the beginning
of 1982, provide incontrovertible evidence that LRH suffered from clinical
paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression from a very early age.
There were letters to his parents in which he exhibited wildly delusional
paranoia. There was a document, known during Gerry’s trial as “the
Affirmations,” in which LRH clearly revealed himself to have delusions of
grandeur. There was another document, nicknamed “Blood Ritual,” in which LRH
described in grisly detail various methods of horrific sexual torture which he
wanted to inflict on his second wife, Sara, whom he had met when he was heavily
involved in black magic.
Gerry had been the first person in Scientology to see all of these documents.
He was critiquing many of the “About the Author” sections in the LRH books and
comparing the information in them to the documents he had in the archives. In
the fall of 1981 Norman Starkey, then directly under DM in Special Project,
which would soon become Author Services, Inc., received a report that the
information that was being published about LRH’s life by Scientology was false,
according to the documents in the archives. It was clear that some of the
documents (such as Blood Ritual) could present public relations problems if
they were ever made public.
When Norman received this report he immediately ordered Gerry in for security
checking, since he was obviously disaffected and clearly critical of LRH, which
of course meant that he had overts and withholds against LRH which needed to be
“pulled.” Gerry got into such serious ethics trouble, in fact, that it made him
realize how deeply he had been defrauded by LRH and Scientology.
Gerry was working at the time with Omar Garrison, a writer who had been hired
to write a biography of LRH. Gerry had been systematically making copies of all
the archives materials and taking the copies to Omar for his biography
research. By the time he blew in November 1981, Gerry had photocopied the
entire archive for Omar.
DM, Norman Starkey, Lyman Spurlock, Terri Gamboa, Vaughn and I all tried to get
Gerry to come back to Scientology and also to return the copies of the archives
materials. When it became apparent that Gerry was not going to do either, and
it became known that he had sent LRH’s documents to anti-Scientology attorney
Michael Flynn, DM had the Church of Scientology of California file suit against
Gerry for theft of the documents. Because it looked like CSC might lack
standing, DM arranged for Mary Sue to intervene in the suit, because she had
the strongest claim on LRH’s personal papers, since she was his wife.
I was part of the Gerry Armstrong Dead Agent Unit — the GA DA Unit for short.
Vaughn, myself, Andy Lenarcic, Ann Lenarcic, and a few others worked round the
clock to come up with evidence that would prove Armstrong was a “shoddy
researcher” and therefore was wrong in saying that the information being
published by the church about LRH was false.
We did everything we could to find evidence to back up claims LRH had made
about himself. We looked high and low for proof that on a shakedown cruise of
the PC 815 during World War II, LRH really had sunk a submarine off the coast
of Oregon in 1942, for example. The evidence just did not exist. We tried to
find evidence that he had really graduated from George Washington University
and that he had studied nuclear physics at Princeton. It just wasn’t true. We
tried to prove that he had been on an intelligence mission to break up Aleister
Crowley’s Ordo Templer Orientis (OTO) when he went to Pasadena in 1946 and
began dabbling in black magic. There just wasn’t any evidence.
CSC’s and Mary Sue’s case againt Gerry was tried by Judge Paul Breckinridge in
the Spring of 1984. Michael Flynn was Gerry’s attorney. He is a brilliant
lawyer, and he ate Mary Sue and the church for breakfast during that trial.
Flynn’s defense of Gerry was to show that Gerry had taken copies of the
documents knowing he would have to defend himself against the church’s fair
game tactics, the point being that he needed the documents to prove that the
church was lying.
Flynn was so successful in his defense of Gerry that Judge Breckinridge issued
a now-famous decision in which he labeled L. Ron Hubbard a paranoid
schizophrenic and called the Chruch of Scientology an alter-ego of Hubbard’s
insanity. Scientology was able to get the documents sealed, and they remained
sealed until the case settled in 1986 (at which time they were returned to
Scientolgy), but Gerry dealt a crushing blow to LRH’s credibility during that
trial. Needless to say, Gerry Armstrong became one of Scientology’s most hated
enemies from that time on.
Then in the summer of 1984, Gerry testified in a child custody case in London,
the Latey case, which also resulted in a devastating decision against
Scientology. So DM was determined to discredit Gerry so that he would be
useless in any future litigation.
DM ordered an intelligence sting operation against Gerry. Gene Ingram got an
LAPD officer, Phillip Rodriguez, to sign off on a bogus authorization to
wiretap or videotape Gerry secretly. It was not actually authorized by the LAPD
and Rodriguez later got in trouble for it. Then Mike Rinder and Dave Kluge (one
of OSA’s intelligence operatives at the time) both set up meetings with Gerry
Armstrong, pretending to be disaffected Scientologists who were considering
going to the authoritites with incriminating information about the church.
Mike’s role was important because he was a high-level management staff member
whom Gerry knew very well. He met with Gerry and basically said he was
extremely dissatisfied with the way the church was being run and wondered if
Gerry could hook him up with anyone in the IRS or FBI. Gerry had, in fact, been
contacted by investigators from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division,
because at that time the IRS was seriously investigating LRH and Scientology
for criminal fraud. So Gerry gave Mike the names of the agents he had spoken
But DM wanted more than this. DM wanted evidence that Gerry was a paid
informant of the IRS, because this would show the judge that Gerry’s testimony
was tainted. The only problem was, Gerry wasn’t a paid informant. So no matter
how Rinder and Kluge asked their questions, they couldn’t get Gerry on
videotape saying he was being paid to attack the church. Rinder and Kluge asked
him all kinds of leading questions, trying in every way possible to get Gerry
to say what they had been ordered to get him to say. But to no avail.
So DM called me in and ordered me to edit the transcripts of the videotapes to
make it look like Gerry was admitting to being a paid informant, even though he
never had admitted any such thing. I was to edit out Rinder’s and Kluge’s
leading questions so it looked like Gerry was volunteering information, when in
fact all he was really doing was answering a hypothetical question that had
been posed to him.
I went through the transcripts and pulled the “best” parts I could find, doing
my best to comply with DM’s orders to make Gerry look like a paid informant.
Privately I thought it was obvious, even after the editing, that Gerry was
being set up, but I dutifully turned in my doctored transcript to DM, who then
turned it over to Ted Horner, a Gold staff member in charge of film editing, to
use my edited transcript to do the final edit on the videotapes.
Then I went back to editing FREEDOM Magazine and my other normal duties and
thought no more about it.
One night about a month later I was called over to the OSA Int conference room
along with several other key OSA US staff. DM and Norman were both there,
looking extremely morose. DM told us that they had taken the videotape into
court and demanded to show it to the judge, saying it would prove conclusively
that Gerry Armstrong was a paid liar. The judge agreed to see the videotape in
camera (meaning in his chambers, not in open court). But the judge did not have
the reaction DM and the others had expected. After seeing the videotape, the
judge was enraged and told the Scientologists, “I have heard about these dirty
tactics that you use against your perceived enemies, but now that I have seen
it for myself I think you are much, much worse than I had ever imagined!” And
kicked them out of his chambers.
Now, you have to understand that in Scientology the “wilful suspension of
disbelief” is a way of life, so much so that no one, from DM on down, ever
admits for even a moment that everything that happens in there is nothing more
than play-acting. Everyone is so good at it that they fool themselves into
thinking they really believe what they’re pretending.
So it was with the GA videotapes. When DM ordered me to doctor the tapes he
never for a moment acted like he actually knew that he was ordering me to
doctor them. With a straight face he ordered me to edit the tapes to take out
all the irrelevant bits so it would be a concise record of Gerry’s confession
that he was an informant. And when I edited them that was truly what I told
myself I was doing. Everyone joined in the delusion that we were simply
tightening up the videotape.
And when DM told us about the judge’s reaction, he managed to sound absolutely
convinced that the reason the judge had reacted that way was that the judge was
biased against Scientology. DM put on a very convincing show of being totally
outraged at the judge’s reaction. Now, looking back on the experience, I think
it is possible that DM really is that deluded. I also think it’s entirely
possible that DM and the others at the very top know exactly what they are
doing and are simply manipulating all of the lower level staff into doing their
dirty work for them. To this day I’m not really sure which it is.
I know that for myself, there was a part of me that wasn’t surprised at all at
the judge’s reaction. In fact, there was a part of me that, even that night as
I listened to DM’s performance, wondered it he was really that delusional.
But that part of me was buried deep beneath my Scientology persona. Certainly I
would never have voiced such thoughts. I just wanted to do what I was ordered
to do as quickly as possible so I could get some sleep and have maybe a few
minutes of privacy. That was all I cared about back then.
DM ordered me and the rest of the FREEDOM staff to turn the edited GA videotape
transcripts into a special edition of FREEDOM. If the judge wouldn’t listen,
then we would take the issue to the people of Portland! That was what DM said.
So Andy Lenarcic, Tom Whittle and I spent the next several days putting
together the copy for this special edition of FREEDOM. When it was completed I
had to fly up to Portland and personally present the manuscript to DM for his
approval. I stood there in his condominium watching him read, hoping he would
approve it the first time through so I wouldn’t have to fly back up with a
revised version. To my great relief, he signed off his approval and I was
permitted to fly back to Los Angeles.
I was then responsible for getting two million copies of that special edition
of FREEDOM printed and distributed to every doorstep in Portland, Oregon.
Jonathan Epstein, Finance Chief Int at the time, was the one who pulled the
money out of various corporations, including CSI, IAS, CS WUS and several other
local outer org accounts, to pay for this monstrous, ridiculous, useless
I doubt anyone in Portland ever read the damn special edition. I certainly
wouldn’t have if I’d found it on my doorstep. It certainly didn’t help
Scientology win the Christo case, either. When the $30 million judgment came
down DM ordered every Scientologist on the planet up to Portland for the
now-famous Religious Freedom Crusade, in which thousands of Scientologists
marched through the streets of Portland demanding that the judge reverse the
jury’s decision in the Christo case.
I have no idea what other pressure was brought to bear on that judge behind the
scenes. All I know is that DM’s strategy worked. The judge finally declared a
mistrial in the Christoffersson trial, which served to confirm for DM and
Scientologists all over the world that if you use enough force and intimidation
you can get whatever you want.
First of all, here’s the link to Stacy’s post in case anyone needs it.
Second of all, I finally finished up watching the five videos that Alanzo had posted some time back. I have to agree with Marildi on her point of that videos, while definitely nice documentary evidence, they are a PAIN IN THE ASS to parse.
That said, there were definitely some interesting points in those videos. I posted some things I found that relate to the discussions here, and will shed further light. Videos are cued, key parts are also typed, now you two can take a look at things with that under your hat.
The Church of Scientology Sting Operation on Gerry Armstrong circa 1984 – Who was stinging who?
Good job of research, Virginia, and a lot of work!
I like how you summed up the whole thing at the end:
“What to make of the sting versus sting going on here?
“You be the judge.”
Great summation – “sting versus sting.”
Excellent blog post there, V.
Thanks guys, I’m so glad this is helping.
I made some additions and adjustments, like adding an easier to find version of the Rathbun affidavit where he specifically says that HE directed all the black ops etc., – (PDF here)
Point 26 of his affidavit –
(26) “For more than 20 years, the Office of Special Affairs (“OSA”) of the Church of Scientology International answered to me. Under the close supervision of Mr. Miscavige, I directed OSA’s extensive, ongoing security, intelligence, “black ops”, public relations, and criminal and civil legal matters.
And I pulled out a relevant excerpt where he talks about Rinder submitting summaries of the PI reports every night, etc’, plus I made it clear for everybody what was the date of the affidavit – September 4, 2013. (it irks me when you can’t easily find little things like that, lol)
See it all here –
What an interesting read above by Stacy about the inner machinations of the CoS and an excellent Sting summary by Virginia.
This is from the AA Twelve Step Program.
(step) 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
The vast majority of scn-ists never did and still don’t harm anyone. Some knowingly and willingly did and some did so under the influence of the cult mindset. Making amends can be done in various ways.
Some people want justice, some people want revenge, and some people just let it go. Everyone has a hobby horse. Mine is promoting the perils of overpopulation. The Pope won’t listen and still prohibits artificial birth control.
Human caused mass extinction is a possibility and I keep *The Zombie Survival Guide* by Max Brooks as a ready reference.
Max has some good advice, some of which might apply to the CoS and some Scientologists, or at least as represented by some militant anti Scientologists.
*Top 10 Lessons For Surviving A Zombie Attack”
1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut theirs off.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes and short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The Zombie might be gone, but the threat lives on.
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