How Some Things in ScienoWorld Never Change

A very fascinating, and I think smart, and good-hearted participant on a.r.s. posted about John H. Richardson’s 1993 “Catch of Rising Star” article in Premiere Magazine:

From: Astrid <Astrid7777777@yahoo.com>
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: The mother of all articles about Celebrity Scientology, from 1993
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2010 08:05:50 -0800 (PST)

http://www.rickross.com/reference/scientology/Scien12.html

It’s been a while since I read the above 1993 article from PREMIERE magazine about celebrity Scientology, yet it remains as the most insightful and chilling articles about the grip Scientology has over many stars.

One former celebrity member, Diana Canova, describes how she would get a “choking anger” any time Scientology was criticized. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much programmed into all scilons.

As the Scientology ship sinks in the age of the web, this article is a reminder of why many celebrities will NEVER wake up, even when on deck with icy water up to their chins. They will remain oblivious to the dirty tricks employed by the cult or even proud of them. This cult could dwindle into a celebrity cult with rich people, and celebrity worshippers.

I wonder how many new celebrity stories there have been, since 1993. Why haven’t they been told as they were here? Is it because Cruise/Travolta/Alley got so powerful?

The article describes why Scientology is the perfect fit for actors. They have fragile egos, and Hollywood careers can be all over the place. They need something to prop them up when they aren’t doing well. They need to be love bombed and surrounded with support. John Travolta talks about how fragile he was to criticism, as he would listen to it early in his career and it would get him down. Scientology wants success for all the actors in the cult, so it surrounds these fragile actors with people who want their success, for the sake of saving the planet.

Even if DM talks about Travolta behind his back, if that’s out of Travolta’s awareness, it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t seem to have hurt his career at all. Celebrity scientologists won’t care if DM beats his staff either, because it doesn’t affect them. Paul Haggis had a disconnection with his wife’s parents, so he was really in a different category. He had other issues as well.

By taking such a lead in activities for the cult, as Cruise, Travolta, and Alley have done, any criticism of the cult at all, is trying to tear them down as people, because they are Scientology.

Again, I don’t think Paul Haggis was spokesperson for any of their front groups, as Alley is for Narconon or Travolta helps the VMs and has done other things.

This article is also special for the Rathbun/Rinder quotes:
——————-

But they admit without hesitation that they still use private detectives to investigate their enemies, including Bowers–they even provided documentation of Scientology detectives secretly videotaping a sting operation against a hostile former church member. “I have no problem with that,” says Marty Rathbun, president of the church’s Religious Technology Center.

Scientology official Marty Rathbun denounces Behar as “a criminal of the lowest order” for referring people to the “kidnappers” at CAN.

Rathbun and Jentzsch responded by calling [Hana] Whitfield a CAN operative and an accomplice to a 30-year-old murder, a charge PREMIERE could find absolutely no evidence to support. “It’s totally bogus,” says Whitfield’s lawyer, her voice trembling with outrage. “They know it’s false.”

According to former members and press reports, the few who attain the highest level of instruction learn the following secret theology: 75 million years ago a tyrant named Xenu imprisoned other aliens near volcanoes on Earth and then nuked them, leaving their spirits, or “thetans,” to wander the planet and attach themselves to humans–to be purged through further courses. While Scientology officials dispute this account of their beliefs–spokesman Rinder calls it “garbage, completely untrue”–they refuse to provide a more accurate version, saying upper-level church beliefs are for insiders only.

I was the hostile former church member whose secret videotaping by Scientology in the cult’s “sting operation” Rathbun said he had no problem with. See this letter I wrote to Premiere:

THE GERALD ARMSTRONG CORPORATION
[former address]
San Anselmo, California 94960
Gerald Armstrong
President

FAX COMMUNICATION COVER SHEET

DATE: October 11, 1993
TO:  Letters Editor, Premiere
TELEPHONE:
FAX TELEPHONE:  (310) 820-3192
FROM: Gerald Armstrong
TELEPHONE: (415)[former no.]
FAX TELEPHONE:  (415) )[former no.]
PAGES INCLUDING COVER SHEET: 5
ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENT: Letter response to Miscavige response to Richardson Scientology article
INSTRUCTIONS: Have courage!

October 11, 1993
Letters Editor
PREMIERE
1990 South Bundy Drive, Suite 250
Los Angeles, CA 90025
By Fax: 310-820-3192

Dear Editor:

Word on the street is that the Scientology organization cut a deal with Premiere following John Richardson’s September article: print our fearless leader’s response and we won’t sue you or anyone who contributed to the article.  Rod Lurie of Los Angeles magazine, which did its own story this month on Scientologist Tom Cruise, tells me a Scientology lawyer tells him that the deal covers only Premiere; the contributors are hung out as fair game.

Those of us on the street who reject Scientology’s bullying would rather have heard that the organization had been told to stick it in its corporate ear, but we do understand why Premiere would agree to such a deal.  It judiciously eliminates the threat of litigation from this nation’s most threateningly litigious entity, and it gets to print David Miscavige’s response.  He not only proves Richardson’s point about the organization’s pervasive meanspiritedness, but evinces Scientology’s silliness.  Miscavige uses many too many words, and even too many numbers, for a simple two-page response.

But I shouldn’t criticize Mr. Miscavige’s style when his response was actually quite helpful to my cause.  He admits to knowing that Richardson “had unparalleled access to top [Scientology] officials, conducting four days of interviews.” Richardson tells me that the top officials the organization allowed him to interview are Mark Rathbun, Mike Rinder and Heber Jentzsch, and he tells me that these three, unsolicited, provided him with documents concerning me, which he has now provided to me.

Although I was introduced to John Richardson before his article appeared, he did not interview me, and I contributed not one of its, according to Mr. Miscavige, 8700 words. Nevertheless, just in case Richardson did consider interviewing me, Rathbun, Rinder and Jentzsch, in true Hubbardian spirit, gave him a couple of juicy, what the organization calls “dead agent documents,” to destroy my reputation beforehand.

Richardson states in his article that “they even provided documentation of Scientology detectives secretly videotaping a sting operation against a hostile former church member.  ‘I have no problem with that,’ says [Mark] Rathbun, president of the church’s Religious Technology Center.”  Judge Donald Londer in the Multnomah Superior Court in Portland, Oregon, where the organization first “broke” the videotape operation in 1985, had no problem with it either, but for a different reason. Londer, who viewed the videotapes in their entirety, not just Scientology’s edited bits, stated that they were illegally obtained, but allowed them into evidence because be found them “very, very damaging against Scientology.” The Jury in that case, polled after the trial, stated that the videotapes confirmed that, contrary to Scientology’s claim that by renaming its infamous Guardian’s Office in 1982 it had ended its dirty tricks against perceived enemies, its tricks were alive and kicking and just as dirty in 1985.

LAPD Chief Daryl Gates, on the other hand, had a huge problem with the videotape operation.  Scientology’s pet private investigator, Eugene M. Ingram, who, according to published reports, had been busted from the force for pimping and taking payoffs from drug dealers, paid an active LAPD officer Philip Rodriguez to sign a phony authorization for the videotaping and wire taps.  Rodriguez was suspended six months for his part in the operation, and Gates declared in a public statement:

“The (Rodriguez) letter purports to authorize Ingram to engage in electronic eavesdropping.  The letter, along with all purported authorization, is invalid and is NOT a correspondence from the Los Angeles Police Department.  The Los Angeles Police Department has not cooperated with Eugene Ingram.  It will be a cold day in hell when we do.”

In characteristic purported ignorance, Scientology’s top officials continue to this day to call this illegal operation “police-sanctioned,” and continue to use it to attack me, even though its use still only demonstrates that “fair game,” the organization’s doctrine of opportunistic hatred, with its gargantuan bag of tricks and dirt, is still flailing about in 1993.

The other document Miscavige’s minions provided Richardson was a two-page recitation of a dream I had in 1985.  I gave a copy of it to a friend and fellow writer, Dan Sherman, whom the organization was using to get close to me to set me up, and who participated in the videotape operation.  The organization used the dream in 1986 as an exhibit to a document filed under seal in the original case in which it sued me, labeling the dream “a sickening personal creative work” which demonstrated my “extremely aberrated activities.”

The dream was a dream, the recitation was true, and the language is starkly crude because that is what its literature called for.  But Rathbun, Rinder and Jentzsch did not provide the dream to Richardson for its literary value, but its value in destroying my character; for to the organization, if it suits its purposes, dreams are reality, and truth is whatever can be twisted therefrom.  As to the organization’s use of the dream in violation of a court order specifically sealing it, that is not even close to surprising.  Scientology’s leaders, pursuant to Hubbard’s orders, abuse the legal process every day of every year and hold our courts in constant contempt.

This organization has sued me four times, six times attempted to have me jailed on evidence it fabricated, and employed a pack of private investigators who harassed and assaulted me, threatened to put a bullet between my eyes, took a number of shots at framing me, filed perjured affidavits about me, ran into me with a car, and tried to involve me in a freeway “accident.”  All for daring to speak honestly and openly about my own experiences in my own life.  The organization this year has tried to have me jailed and has sued me, claiming $950,000 in damages, for nothing more than writing a letter to David Miscavige urging a peaceful resolution to Scientology’s conflicts. [ http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/writings/armstrong-ltr-1992-12-22.html ]

Miscavige says that it “is only the great ideas that generate controversy; it is only great thinkers who are the subject of sustained attacks.” I have been attacked by his organization for almost twelve years. I don’t think that’s great, and I don’t think my ideas merit all the attack. My message is simply this: honestly and openly repudiate fair game, or get out of the religion business.

I am a man who says that Scientology, as it is practiced and directed by its leaders, is not a religion, and it should not use the extraordinary protection our Constitution confers on religions to mask its antisocial nature and acts.  I am one of those critics John Richardson says the organization has targeted with its ugly smear attempts.  Premiere has given David Miscavige two pages to promote his organization’s religiosity and has thus escaped its litigiousness.   How about a half page for me and I won’t sue either.

Gerald Armstrong
San Anselmo, CA

[former address]
San Anselmo, CA 94960
(415) [former no.]

Days C/O Hub Law Office
[former address]
San Anselmo, CA 94960
(415) [former no.]
(fax ) [former no.]

Editor – I am a writer, philosopher and artist.  I presently work with San Anselmo attorney Ford Greene, who also represents me in my litigation with the Scientology organization.  I can provide documentation of any of my claims in this letter if you ask.

Holy Crowley, that was 17 years ago.

As an aside — as far as my reason for writing about this now is concerned — I have fully reversed my position regarding Scientology as it is practiced and directed by its leaders not being a religion. The most duplicitous, money-mad, destructive, dangerous, totalitarian cult imaginable can be a valid religion, as Scientology, with the US Government’s agreement, has long since proven. All that is necessary for any organization, no matter how commercial, wicked or criminal, to be accepted as a “religion” by the US is for the organization to itself determine it’s a religion.

When Richardson was researching his article for Premiere, Rathbun, Rinder and Jentzsch gave him a bunch of black PR about me; even though Richardson hadn’t interviewed me, and I hadn’t participated in his article in any way. This is preemptive fair game that Hubbard urged in scripture against Scientology’s victims. “To get wholly over to cause we must select targets, investigate and expose before they attack us.” HCOPL 25 February 1966 “Attacks on Scientology (Additional Pol Ltr).”

By preemptively attacking me, when I was not involved in Richardson’s piece, the cultists incited me to respond with my letter to Premiere to correct the record, or present my side of the controversies I knew the cultists had created. Scientology then used its “settlement contract” to punish me for responding to its attack, and successfully got a crooked or deranged California Superior Court Judge to go along with them.

See, e.g., my separate statement of disputed and undisputed facts in opposition to motion for summary adjudication of the twentieth cause of action (injunctive relief) of the second amended complaint in Scientology v. Armstrong, Marin County Superior Court, case no. 157680:

My separate statement quotes from Scientology’s separate statement in support of its motion for summary adjudication:

C. Armstrong Breached The Agreement By Discussing His Claimed Experiences In And Knowledge Of Scientology With Media Representatives In Violation Of Paragraph 7(D) Of The Agreement.
[…]
64. In October, 1993, Armstrong wrote a lengthy letter to the editor of Premiere Magazine in which he discussed his claimed Scientology experiences.

Plaintiff’s Evidence: 64. Armstrong letter to Premiere Magazine Exhibit 1GGG.

And my separate statement presents these facts in opposition to Scientology’s motion:

107. From the time Armstrong petitioned the Court of Appeal, Scientology has continued its fair game attacks on him without ceasing. These fair game attacks include, but are not limited to:
[…]
J. Providing documentation to Premiere magazine about Armstrong, including partial transcripts of the illegal Ingram videotaping of Armstrong and then using the settlement agreement to punish Armstrong for responding;
[Defendant’s Evidence] J.  Exhibit 1(Q), Article “Catch a Rising Star,” by John H. Richardson in Premiere, September, 1993, p. 88; Scientology’s motion for summary adjudication, at 8:18; Scientology’s evidence, Exhibit 1GGG, letter from Gerald Armstrong to Premiere.

From the opposition to Scientology’s motion for summary adjudication re injunctive relief that attorney Ford Greene wrote:

Scientology provided documents to Premiere Magazine regarding Armstrong including partial transcripts of the illegal Ingram videotaping of Armstrong and then using the settlement agreement to punish Armstrong for responding thereto. (Id. at ¶ 107, J)

From Scientology’s permanent injunction, currently in force:

6. Between 1992 and the present, Armstrong breached paragraph 7(D) of the Agreement by contacting media representatives, granting interviews and attempting to assist media representatives in the preparation for publication or  broadcast magazine articles, newspaper articles, books, radio and television programs, about or concerning the Church and/or other persons and entities referred to in paragraph 1 of the Agreement. These media representatives included:
[…]
*        Premiere Magazine: letter to the editor, in October, 1993 [Sep.St.No. 64]

From my opening brief in my appeal from the injunction:

D. Fair Game After Armstrong’s First Response

From the time GA petitioned the Court of Appeal, Scn has continued to fair game him without letup. These attacks include, but are not limited to: (SS 107A-L, CT 8495-503; CT 5913-4)
[…]
Providing documentation to Premiere magazine about GA, including partial transcripts of the illegal Ingram videotaping of him and then using the settlement agreement to punish GA for responding (Article “Catch a Rising Star, 9/93, CT 7672; GA letter, 10/11/93, CT 4811-4; CT 4524.48; Scn’s motion for summary adjudication of 20th cause of action, CT 4524.11; CT 9790)

How DM, Rathbun, et al. got my appeal dismissed is a crime that Rathbun could correct, except that he still executes Miscavige’s command intention in the Scientology v. Armstrong war. But that’s for a future date.

I’m telling my old Premiere story, another time, because it’s so like a current New Yorker  Magazine story. I was recently contacted by Lawrence Wright, who, it was reported a couple of months ago, has been writing a profile of Paul Haggis. Wright told me he had approached Scientology, which is practically a duty since Haggis’ departure from the cult is so dramatic and well-known, making his whole time as a Scientologist very relevant. And Scientology had given Wright a bunch of black PR on me.

Wright had never communicated with me prior to meeting with the Scientologists, and I’d had nothing to do with his project. I’ve never communicated to Paul Haggis that I’ve been aware of, although we could have things to talk about if we talked.

The Scientology spokesman telling Wright tales of Gerry Armstrong was Tommy Davis. It was Davis that Haggis had sent his 2009 Scientology resignation letter to. I liked what he wrote in his letter about underdogs. It felt that he was talking about the way I think about bullies and their victims.

I’ve got a number of things to write Davis about, now that I know he knows so much about me. But I’ll mention here one somewhat eye-popping mouthful of bullshit he plated as a true confection. It’s obvious that by presenting BS for consumption Davis was implying that he’s been fed it, found it tasty or at least workable, and has kept on eating it. This is a phenomenon that keeps some things in Scientology from ever changing.

Anyway, one of the tidbits Davis tried to get Wright to eat was the crap that I had posed nude in a newspaper. Davis apparently served it up with a photo of me sitting with a globe in my lap. Here’s the whole story,  with links to the subject newspaper article in the Marin Independent Journal, and to some earlier black PR from Scientology that included the posing-nude-in-a-newspaper BS.

Actually, I was wearing a pair of sensible and respectable black running shorts. They were the same pair I was wearing in this photo, also taken in Marin County during the same time period.

I addressed this particular load of BS to Mike Rinder when we met one in Marin in 1994. Rinder acknowledged that Scientology was black PRing me, and not dead agenting me, because it was false, but said to me, about as menacingly as he could dramatize, that they were going to keep right on black PRing me until I shut up.

Notice Rinder’s May 9, 1994 letter to Mirror Group Newspapers:

Gerald Armstrong:

Armstrong has not been to the property occupied by Golden Era Productions since November 1981, well prior to Golden Era Production ‘s establishment. He has not set foot in any Church of Scientology since December 1981.

By involving himself with Church of Scientology litigation, Mr. Armstrong is in violation of a legal agreement he made in 1986. Were the Mirror to call him as a witness, your client would become a party to that violation. However, your client would be advised not to rely on information from Mr. Armstrong. He has now distinguished himself by posing naked in a newspaper claiming that the solution to the national debt is for everyone in the United States to simply renounce money. He claims himself to be the “Founder of the Organization of United Renunciants.”

And see my letter to the Mirror Group Newspapers in response to Rinder’s lies.

The cultists then did the same thing they did with my letter in response to the black PR they provided Premiere. They used it in their motion for summary adjudication, and included it in their permanent injunction against me, which is currently, and unlawfully, in force.

See, e.g., my separate statement of disputed and undisputed facts in opposition to motion for summary adjudication of the twentieth cause of action (injunctive relief) of the second amended complaint in Scientology v. Armstrong, Marin County Superior Court, case no. 157680:

65. In May, 1994, Armstrong sent a letter to the Mirror Group newspapers, United Kingdom, in which he discussed his claimed Scientology experiences and offered to testify voluntarily on behalf of Mirror Group, should it become involved in litigation with CSI.
Plaintiff’s Evidence:
65. Armstrong letter to Mirror Group Newspaper, Exhibit 1HHH.

[…]

107. From the time Armstrong petitioned the Court of Appeal, Scientology has continued its fair game attacks on him without ceasing. These fair game attacks include, but are not limited to:
[…]
D. Scientology (CSI) director Michael Rinder on May 9, 1994, wrote a letter to the Mirror Newspaper Group in London, United Kingdom in which he stated that Armstrong “has now distinguished himself by posing naked in a newspaper;”
D. Exhibit 1(N), Letter from Michael Rinder, Church of Scientology International executive and director of plaintiff herein, to Mirror Group Newspapers in London, United Kingdom dated May 9, 1994, at p. 2.

From Scientology’s injunction:

6. Between 1992 and the present, Armstrong breached paragraph 7(D) of the Agreement by contacting media representatives, granting interviews and attempting to assist media representatives in the preparation for publication or  broadcast magazine articles, newspaper articles, books, radio and television programs, about or concerning the Church and/or other persons and entities referred to in paragraph 1 of the Agreement. These media representatives included:
[…]
*        Mirror-Group Newspapers: United Kingdom, in May, 1994 [Sep.St.No. 65]:

From my opening brief appealing the injunction:

D. Fair Game After Armstrong’s First Response
From the time GA petitioned the Court of Appeal, Scn has continued to fair game him without letup. These attacks include, but are not limited to: (SS 107A-L, CT 8495-503; CT 5913-4)

[…]

  • Scn director Michael Rinder wrote a letter to the Mirror Newspaper Group in London, United Kingdom in which he stated that GA “has now distinguished himself by posing naked in a newspaper” (Rinder letter, 5/9/94, CT 7524)
  • Scn President Heber Jentzsch wrote a letter, sent with documents about GA, to E! Television in which he stated that GA “has no relation to art or artists…except, of course, for the photo of himself, nude, hugging the globe (Jentzsch letter 8/5/93, CT 7693)

I wrote to Rinder this past April, and mentioned his threat that the cult was going to keep on black PRing me:

I wanted to communicate civilly, because it is important to me that something be done about the Scientology v. Armstrong, et al. war. Lies maintain the war. You remember, I’m sure, when I spoke to you about your black PR, saying to me that you — meaning you, Miscavige, Scientology, the attorneys, the PIs, et al. — were going to keep right on black PRing me until I shut up.

I was motivated to write Rinder by his post he titled “Where is Heber?” Rinder wrote that Tommy Davis, whom he calls “Teflon Tommy” has been caught in more lies than Baghdad Bob and looks more and more like a sleazy used car salesman. That very well may be, but they’re the same lies Teflon Mike, Teflon Heber, Teflon Marty and Teflon Davey have been telling for decades.

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