Some Well-Deserved Skepticism of Tony Ortega’s Smugness Emerges at the Underground Bunker

tony ortega
Mr. Certainty on What it’s Like to Sue Scientology

…”those who speculated that Rathbun had secretly settled will be feeling justifiably smug today”.

– Tony Ortega

Underground Bunker posters “8675309” and “Peacemaker” asked some important questions in the Underground Bunker a couple of days ago which I believe shed some well-deserved skepticism on Ortega’s smugness campaign against Mark and Monique Rathbun since April of last year.

It’s always good to question a demagogue, or at least a person who gets routinely too big for his britches.

Here’s how you do it.

8675309 • 2 days ago
Question of curiosity for those Bunkerites with legal experience: With the Lemberger’s court case with COS being in Tel Aviv, Israel, is there any legal precedent or other statute in place between Israel and the United States that would legally compel Marty to surrender any communications, documents, confessions (even obtained via auditing which could be argued as subject to priest/penitent privileges), or other related information? Or would the information presented by the COS attorneys in this legal case have to be obtained by other methods (i.e., voluntary surrender to COS of those materials by Marty), such as that via a “settlement” or other loosely termed “gentleman’s agreement” between Marty and COB as is suspected by the ending of Monique’s court case with the COS?

From reading through the multitude of comments and Tony’s articles, Marty’s blogs, and other materials and articles, it doesn’t appear to me that there would be any direct motive that explains a legal reason Marty would have to voluntarily surrender those documents to the COS team (or an unexplained personal desire he may have to impact the outcome of their court case with the COS as demonstrated per Dani Lamberger’s email above) unless he was legally compelled to do so. It pretty much seems, as witnessed by his substantial change in character and motivations as noted in his attacks on this blog, Theroux and his team, and other “ASC” persons as he has declared openly, that he must be back in the folds of COS. I am just curious as to what role, if any, international law, treaties, or agreements between the US and Israel could possibly explain his complicity with COS? Thanks for any explanation or insights that may be offered!

Underground Bunker poster “Peacemaker” chimes in with some excellent questions.

PeaceMaker 8675309 • 2 days ago
8675309, before addressing your post, I’m going to bring up a related issue that I think raises an important angle that hasn’t been considered in the speculation so far, and that I want to put first for anyone who doesn’t read through the whole post. If Rathbun were working or cooperating with the CofS, why didn’t they at least issue something along the lines of a subpoena, even if it weren’t enforceable, to give him cover and plausible deniability for providing the information? Instead, what the attorney said in court “dead agented” Rathbun in the classic sense, undermining his credibility with Scientology’s perceived enemies.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the discussion on yesterday’s article or elsewhere, but I have posted that I remember that in 1996 in the Grady Ward civil case, Scientology got Finland to carry out a subpoena against the administrator of the penet anonymous remailer, which shows that they can find ways to reach across borders in discovery. IANAL, but it appears to me that this is governed by the The Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, more commonly referred to as the Hague Evidence Convention; there is also a relevant document to be found in google, Israeli Legal Practice Regarding Cross-Border Discovery Requests, that address very generally how they implement the Hague Evidence Convention. It does seem like Scientology would have a basis for subpoenaing information from Rathbun in the Israeli case, though I’m sure we’d all like to see some expert commentary on that from someone knowledgeable in the field of international law.

The other thing I’ve wondered about, is if Rathbun might have felt obligated to disclose the e-mail because of the threat it contained, under his construed (or perhaps mis-construed) responsibilities in his role as a therapist and possible mandatory reporter. The Keith Henson case from the same era, and the criminal charge over his “Tom Cruise Missile” remark, is a reminder that Scientology has actually been able to use the legal system to turn molehills into mountains of consequence for people around issues like that.

I certainly agree with many others that Rathbun ought to provide an accounting of the matter. But he seems to a curious character, and I don’t think it’s surprising that he’s responded indignantly – not only given his testy relationship with Tony, but particularly if it’s actually the case that the supposition about him is wrong. I suspect that given his nature, and that fact that this matter affects his reputation with communities more important to him than the Bunker, that he’ll respond but in his own due time in a place of his choosing.

It seems to me to be a bit of a meme here to expect that people owe us answers, so I’m going to stick my neck out a bit and say that I hope that proprietor Tony is being diligent about finding out anything he can regarding Rathbun’s involvement in the case through Lemberger and his attorneys or through other channels, and that work behind the scenes will be revealed in due time. Even if Rathbun provided an explanation, such as that he’d been subpoenaed, wouldn’t we want to verify that through another source and find out any additional available details?

p.s. I appreciate Tony’s post on this a little while ago, which is as thoughtful and compassionate as could be expected, and appropriately “iffy” about some of the things that we don’t or can’t know for certain.

Then Tony gets a might defensive…Watch out for the BANHAMMER, Peacemaker!

Tony Ortega Mod PeaceMaker • 2 days ago
Jesus. Try not to break too many vertebrae bending over backwards like that to find a way to absolve Marty.

PeaceMaker Tony Ortega • a day ago
Tony, thanks for the concern, I’m trying to stay safe and not overdo it 🙂

I do think mental gymnastics are good exercise from time to time. Folks seem to have gotten sedentary, and missed a couple of points of perspective. I enjoy a good stretch, and even having it reveal where my weaknesses are – that’s what makes us stronger, isn’t it?

I am curious, though, why do you think Scientology would have dead agented Rathbun in court, rather than providing him something like a subpoena as cover to retain some credibility?

The facts will condemn or absolve Rathbun – the conclusive ones that leave no reasonable room for “if.” Hopefully we will get them sooner rather than later. I’ve already saved the crow photo that Alonzo used today, which I will dutifully post if and when I think my time has come to eat it….

Then Tony walks back his year-long campaign against Marty and Monique Rathbun, buried in the comments section of his blog.

Tony Ortega Mod 8675309 • 2 days ago
It’s probably wrong to talk about Marty being “back in the fold.” Please remember that back in 2012, when the Headleys owed $43,000 in court costs to the church after the dismissal of their lawsuits, the church offered to erase that debt if the Headleys would agree to spy on critics. (“The Headleys agree to discuss with CSI and RTC all of their contacts with Marty Rathbun and any others involved in disparaging CSI and RTC, including any media contacts.”) The Headleys refused, and found a way to pay that $43,000 by selling a car, taking loans from friends, and even selling off a playground playset. It was a study in courage, as far as I was concerned.

Faced with a similar situation, Marty Rathbun chose the other option. So if he’s feeding information now to the church, such as Dani’s email, it means that he’s entered into an agreement with Miscavige, but not that he’s actually back in the Church of Scientology. I don’t think either one of them would want that.

We don’t know what Marty’s price was, or if he took money. We may never know. I can only wonder if he was told that the emails he turned over would never be used in such a public way. Someone must have really screwed up to do that. It would be interesting to know, when Ben-Shaul contacted Marty and got him to turn over the email what assurances he made, and whether he betrayed them. Again we may never know. But either way, it’s a sad end after all that Marty did for exposing Scientology’s crimes.

Notice Tony’s skepticism of his own demagogic point that I bolded above. Why doesn’t he write a full post about this? Doesn’t he owe that to Marty and Monique Rathbun?

8675309 Tony Ortega • 2 days ago
Thanks you very much for the clarification of my statement Tony. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that Marty was directly back within the rank and file membership of COS, but rather, trying to see if there was any way to explain his sharing of the material within a legal framework between the US and Israel. While seemingly things seem to point point to him cooperating (either directly or indirectly by the varied ways discussed) with the COS legal team, I didn’t know if there could be a legal explanation at hand, hence my question. I gladly stand corrected and give thanks to everyone for the added insight and discussion.

And then for some good, old guard context and history from Independent Scientology News…

Independent Scientology News Tony Ortega • 2 days ago
Re: Tony’s comment, “I can only wonder if he was told that the emails he turned over would never be used in such a public way” —

— I believe there may be some precedent for that scenario. As I recall (and it has been a very long time and I can’t find the links now), when former Scientologist, former FACTnet board member and critic Kim Baker signed two affidavits for the Church of Scientology during the mid-1990s Scientology vs. FACTnet case she did so after being promised or told that they would be used only in an emergency, if truly necessary, etc.. (As I recall, she understood they would’t be used unless the very existence of the church was at stake.) The Church of Scientology of course used them immediately. Rod Keller may recall better because he maintained ARS Week in Review at the time.

For general background, see:

Marty would be far from the first person to leave the Church of Scientology only to, if not return as a member, subsequently provide information to the church. If one reads the above-linked material about and from Kim, one will see similarities to what Marty said in his later years about critics.

For bunkerites who have swallowed Tony’s constant diet of red meat demagoguery about Mark and Monique Rathbun, true skepticism, I’m sure, is a little distasteful.

In this whole Scientology playground, our heroes can not be without fleas, and our villains can not be completely unredeemable, either, if you want to seek to live with the truth after Scientology.

Until you’ve walked in the shoes of someone who has had SquirrelBusters come after your family for years, and sued the Church of Scientology for longer, I think you should decide to keep asking questions, rather than looking to Tony Ortega to do your thinking for you.

These questions from “8675309” and “Peacemaker” are important to ask, and to think with. And that added context and history provided by “Independent Scientology News” is important to know.

Of course, you might be called “mentally ill” and a “disruptive troll” if you are too loud about it. But it’s better than acting like a fucking Scientologist again.

17 thoughts on “Some Well-Deserved Skepticism of Tony Ortega’s Smugness Emerges at the Underground Bunker”

  1. I’ve seen this “Ortega 3-step” before:

    1. Publish a shock horror story about how X did Y, with the innuendo that this means also did Z, A, B, C, D horrible things. The masses get riled up and start screaming like a virtual lynch mob.
    2. People question the logic. Ortega’s response: “Why are you carrying water for / covering up for X?!”
    3. Once the masses get a little too riled up – like April last year when the Bunkeroos were talking about trying to get Marty and Monique’s kid taken off them – Ortega admits quietly: “Well, of course there’s no EVIDENCE that X did Z, A, B, C or D. But Y is bad enough!”

    It is tabloid reporting. He’s a GREAT tabloid reporter and I hope that he helps bring Danny Masterson to justice. But it’s about riling up a response first and seeking hard evidence later. He’s always very careful not to make any ACTUAL claims that can’t be backed up with evidence – but the innuendo does its work, as red meat to the base.

    • Hi Doloras,
      I completely missed the comments where ‘Bunkeroos were talking about trying to get Mosey and Marty’s kid taken off them”
      Can you please link to those comments?
      If comments like those were made there are reprehensible.
      But the only person I saw even speaking about something like that was Marty
      And Marty doesn’t seem to understand that accusations are best served with a side of proof.

        • If we’re denying that Bunkeroos were yelling that Marty was crazy and no fit person to raise a child (erasing Monique’s existence altogether), then we’re at an impasse. To his credit, Tony deleted the really vicious stuff.

          • Having to wade through some of the nastiest people saying some of the nastiest things, just to find the most vicious things they say so you can prove to two of them that they actually said it – sounds like a waste of a perfectly good Tuesday afternoon to me.

            To the Marauding Bunkeroos Chee & Annoyed: If you’ve got something to contribute, please do.

            If not, you’re gone.



            • Omg….I love the use of the Marty phrase ‘you’re gone’
              What is that ….you are in his ‘valance’

              I admit, I don’t read all the comments (unlike the 13 comments here, Tony’s blog sometimes has thousands of comments) but I do read many of them. I did not see any negative comments about his child
              And Tony deleted the nasty ones… that is a good thing right? Proves Tony did the right thing…..for all we know those were OSA trolls who posted those comments
              But, just like Marty….you make allegations and don’t have the balls to prove them.
              Just make wild accusations and have your followers (the 3 or 4) back them up with ‘yea! I remember that! But I can’t remember who said it or what was said…..’

              • I never saw the comments, and never said that I did, Chee.

                But I do not doubt they were said by your fellow bunkerites because I have seen many comments – especially about Marty Rathbun – that were just as bad.

                And here we are again, Chee. With me talking about how nasty Bunkerites can be and you wanting me to prove it.

                You did see where I was called “mentally ill” by bunkerites over the last few days, right?

                Oh you didn’t see that? Because you don’t care. If you did see it, I really doubt that you would step in and try to get your fellow bunkerites to be more kind to Alanzo, right?

                Tribalism is a form of blindness. You have 20/20 vision on all the harm that was done to your own tribe, but are completely blind to the harm that your own tribe does.

  2. Also, I don’t think it’s too much to say that he just doesn’t like Mark Rathbun and is pleased to have an occasion to give him a smacking.

  3. Sorry to triple-comment. But Tony’s walk-back of the innuendo doesn’t make sense. He’s comparing Rathbun with the Headleys. The Headleys were on the receiving end of a negative court decision and thus owed the Co$. But by Ortega’s logic, the Rathbuns were going to slam-dunk defeat Co$. So why would Co$ have any leverage over them? He has to argue EITHER that the Rathbuns walked away from a million-dollar court win, OR that the Co$ put him under pressure and he caved. They can’t both be true.

      • Great! Since you agree with Doloras’ assessment, can you link to any comments from ‘Bunkeroos’ where the “getting their kid taken off them” was discussed?
        Because I missed that entire conspiracy.
        Btw…..that sounds like something the Co$ would be more likely to put together

  4. Alanzo, could you provide the links to these comments? I’d like to see them in context and disqus won’t let me load enough comments to find where these are.


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