The day after emailing my comments and corrigenda (below) to HarperCollins and Steve Cannane, I emailed him again because I had just received the paper edition he had sent me:
Fair Game has arrived. Thanks very much.
Further to my fact correction of the book, please also see this recent correction of Jon Atack/Tony Ortega’s fact errors relevant to areas you discuss in Fair Game: http://gerryarmstrong.ca/archives/1832
Cannane emailed me and said he is on assignment, and when he’s back he will go through my suggested corrections and cross check and then come back to me with what changes he will make.
I haven’t heard back from HarperCollins.
Then I thought that my research, fact-checking, and commentary — essentially, from my perspective, my book review — could be educational and helpful for the book’s readers. Just keeping the record straight, to the degree I can, is in the public interest, and here it is a good personal defensive action against the Scientologists’ anticipated attacks coming out of Fair Game. So I’m posting:
October 24, 2016
HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Limited
Level 13, 201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Via email: [e-mail address removed] Please forward to the proper persons.
cc Steve Cannane [e-mail address removed]
Dear HarperCollins Publishers:
Below are some corrections and comments I have after reading the Kindle version of Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia by Steve Cannane.
Excerpts from the book are red. Other quotes from other sources are blue or green.
Some items concern me personally, some concern L. Ron Hubbard’s or Scientology’s history, and some items are just typos or similar that caught my eye and I thought the publisher and the author would appreciate knowing about.
I am disappointed that Mr. Cannane did not ask me to at least read the chapters or sections that deal with my litigation or me. My perusal would have helped both of us and obviated these post-publication corrections.
Fair Game was written and published in the middle of what the Scientologists call a black propaganda or black PR campaign against me that involves individuals Mr. Cannane used to fact-check the book. He did interview me briefly in 2015, and he asked me for certain information or materials, which I happily provided. I was available throughout his project.
You are advertising the book as “investigative journalism at its very best.” You say it is “Based on years of interviews and research [by] Walkley Award-winning journalist Steve Cannane.” The Walkleys are for “excellence in journalism.” When I queried Mr. Cannane why he had not asked me to fact-check the statements about me, he said he thought he was working from reliable sources. This cannot be an acceptable standard or practice for independent investigative journalism.
I am very aware that the Scientologists and the many other people serving their interests hate me remorselessly. The black PR campaign against me includes the message that people shouldn’t communicated with me or write about me. God only knows what hateful things have been concocted to justify this cowardly approach and make it sound sensible. As is obvious, going along with it has led to more problems than it purports to solve, including the problem here of an ostensibly sympathetic journalist forwarding the Scientologists’ black PR.
A number of authors and publishers have participated in this black PR campaign over the past several years. In some instances this entailed insensitive or spiteful treatment when I reasonably sought correction of fact errors and even defamatory statements. Writers and publishers’ handling of my communications, facts, history, complaints and rights is such a fascinating phenomenon, as well as troubling, and so copious, that I hope to turn it all into a book.
Please tell me what you are willing to do regarding the fact errors indicated below, for which I have also supplied corrections with supporting evidence.
Kindle Locations are indicated “(KL ___)”
A. Four years later, after conducting over 200 interviews, and spending countless days pouring over documents, files and transcripts, I finally managed to pull the story together. (KL 104)
B. Eventually I got written responses from Scientology’s lawyers to the key allegations. This meant it was impossible to test their claims in an interview setting. The former Scientologists I spoke to were willing to have their claims tested and for me to follow up and further scrutinise their claims in subsequent interviews. (KL 120)
I was willing, but there was no follow up. I was also willing to scrutinize the claims about me, or about anything, but I was not asked.
C. The RPF at Dundas deprived Sea Org members of their liberties. They were not allowed to talk, unless someone from outside the RPF addressed them. (KL 214)
This could be true in Australia; but I doubt it. It creates a completely impossible situation. How could RPF members even audit their twins? The published policy and the practice, which was enforceable, was that an RPF member could not talk to a regular crew member, i.e., anyone outside the RPF, unless that person first originated a communication to the RPF member. This sounds like a misunderstanding by the author.
D. L. RON HUBBARD WAS not built to withstand the sweat and swelter of a Brisbane summer. His ruddy complexion was susceptible to sunburn; his eyes were sensitive to bright sunlight. Raised in the northern states of Montana and Washington he was not used to the heat and humidity that hit him when he arrived in Brisbane in January 1942.1 (KL 457)
Obviously this is speculation for literary purposes. There are, however, important facts that have been overlooked, which, if included, could have yielded a different conclusion.
- He had traveled by ship through the Panama Canal as a child;
- He had spent time in the Philippines and Guam and been in Hawaii, Japan and China;
- He had crossed the equator at least twice;
- He had taken the 4-master schooner Doris Hamlin from Baltimore into the Caribbean;
- He had spent time in Puerto Rico searching for gold, etc.;
- He had spent some years in Washington, DC, including two at George Washington University;
- He had spent considerable time in New York City;
- The summers in NYC and DC are sometimes very hot and very humid;
- In his April 18, 1941 “Application for Commission in U.S. Naval Reserve,” in the section “Other information concerning qualifications,” he writes “Piloting knowledge of Caribbean;”
- The letters supporting his application(s) contain similar claims:
March 25, 1941 Commander W.E. McCain: “He has also piloted in the harbors of the Caribbean Sea.
June 4, 1941, Commander Lucius C. Dunn: “The subject applicant appears to possess qualifications for assignment to the Public Relations Branch or Foreign Intelligence Branch with special reference to his familiarity with countries of the Caribbean area.
May 1, 1941, Washington State Representative Robert Ford: “He is well known in many parts of the world and has considerable influence in the Caribbean and Alaska.”
(I realize that Hubbard probably wrote this letter for Ford to sign.)
- In his June 10 1942 “Request for Sea Duty,” (after Australia) under “Qualifications,” Hubbard wrote: “Have commanded expedition vessels in the Caribbean Sea and Alaska waters and can pilot vessels in harbors of these areas;”and he wrote: “I hereby volunteer for patrol torpedo boats or general patrol craft, particularly in the Caribbean Area, the people, customs and language of which I know and of which I possess piloting knowledge.”
- He only later came up with the “tropical sunlight” injury excuse;
- In his 1946 Affirmations he wrote:
“By hypnosis I must be convinced as follows: […](g) That my eyes (which I used as an excuse to get out of school) are perfect and do not pain me ever.”
“Your health is wonderful. You need but 6 hours sleep. Your eyes are fine.”
“Your eyes are getting progressively better. They became bad when you used them as an excuse to escape the naval academy.”
- Russell Miller provides some background to this last affirmation in Bare-Faced Messiah: “During his first semester at Swavely, Ron went to a doctor complaining of eye-strain and was sent to the Naval Hospital for tests. These revealed him to be so short-sighted that he stood no chance of passing the medical requirements for entry to Annapolis.”
E. Hubbard wasn’t meant to end up in Australia. A junior Lieutenant serving on the USS President Polk, his ship was diverted to Queensland after Japanese forces took Manila. (KL 457)
The Polk was a transport ship, and Hubbard’s navy record reflects that he was not crew but “detached” to “take passage.” Upon arrival in the Philippines he was to report for active duty.
November 24, 1941
3. If found physically qualified, you will further proceed and report to the Commandant, Third Naval District, New York, New York, on November 24, 1941, for temporary active duty under instruction. Upon completion of the course of instruction, on or about December 19, 1941, when directed by the Commandant, Third Naval District, you will be detached; proceed to San Francisco, California, and report to the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District, on January 8, 1942, for further temporary active duty awaiting arrival of the S.S. PRESIDENT JACKSON. When directed by the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District, you will be detached; take passage to Cavite, P.I., via the S.S. PRESIDENT JACKSON, departing January 9, 1942. Upon arrival in Cavite, P.I., you will further proceed and report to the Commandant, Sixteenth Naval District, for active duty.
November 26, 1941
1. Paragraph 3 of reference (a) is hereby modified in that upon arrival in San Francisco, California, you will report to the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District, on January 8, 1942, for further temporary active duty awaiting arrival of the S.S. PRESIDENT HARRISON. When directed by the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District, you will be detached; take passage to Cavite, P. I., via the PRESIDENT HARRISON, departing January 9, 1942. Upon arrival in Cavite, P. I., you will further proceed and report to the Commandant, Sixteenth Naval District, for active duty.
December 9, 1941
Subject: Orders of November 24, 1941, further modified.
1. Your orders of November 24, 1941, are so far further modified that you are hereby detached from temporary duty under instruction in the Third Naval District; will proceed without delay to San Francisco, Calif., and report to the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District, for temporary duty pending such transportation as the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District may designate to Manila, P.I., and upon arrival carry out the remainder of the above mentioned orders.
December 17, 1941
1. Reported. You will further proceed to the S.S. President Polk for passage to Manila, P.I., and upon arrival proceed and report as directed in basic orders.
January 16, 1941
1. Detached from transport this date under verbal orders to Commander Caussey, USN, Melbourne.
F. The rest of Hubbard’s war was equally inglorious. He was withdrawn from his only command after waging a 55-hour battle with what he claimed were two Japanese submarines but actually turned out to be a magnetic deposit off the Oregon coast, and for shelling a Mexican island for gunnery practice. (KL 532)
It was not Hubbard’s only command. He commanded two ships, the YP 422 on the Atlantic coast and the PC 815 on the Pacific coast.
He did not lose command of the 815 because of the Cape Lookout incident with the claimed Japanese submarines. He did lose his command after Cape Lookout, but the implication here is that he lost command in part because of the incident, which is wrong.
It is also probably wrong to say that whatever Hubbard had the 815 attack “actually turned out to be a magnetic deposit.” Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher actually stated in a letter following the battle report: “There is a known magnetic deposit in the area in which depth charges were dropped.”
One of the Scientologists’ standard actions in response to a critical publication is to dissect it for any fact errors, no matter how small, and then publish what they call “false report corrections” or “dead agent documents” to impugn the accuracy of the publication and trash its author. The Scientologists have far greater resources for investigative purposes than I have, or anyone else on the critical side of the Scientology conflict has. They will love dead agenting the error about Hubbard’s “only command.”
G. In his report on these incidents, Rear Admiral Braisted, Commander of the Fleet Operational Trainer Command, Pacific, said: ‘Consider this officer lacking in the essential qualities of judgement, leadership and cooperation. He acts without forethought as to probable results … Not considered qualified for command or promotion at this time. Recommend duty on a large vessel where he can be properly supervised.’ (KL 532)
Admiral Braisted’s report contains no mention of the Cape Lookout incident. Nor is there any mention in the record of the Board of Investigation that led to Hubbard’s removal from command. The cover page provides the B of I’s purpose:
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS of a BOARD OF INVESTIGATION
Convened on board the U.S.S. PC 815
By order of Commander, Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific
to inquire into and report upon the circumstances attending the firing of three shots from the U.S.S. PC 815, and the anchoring of that vessel in the vicinity of the Middle Coronados Islands on 28 June 1943.
H. Prouty was commissioned to write an authorised biography of Hubbard and contributed articles to Scientology’s Freedom magazine. (KL 542)
May I ask, what is the source for this?
I. The original copy of the statement was provided during a court case in 1984. It was in Hubbard’s handwriting. 29 (KL 603)
This sounds weird. The Scientology v. Armstrong case has already been mentioned in the notes.
6. Testimony of Thomas S Moulton, Church of Scientology v Armstrong, 21 May 1984. (KL 6644)
This makes it sound as if a different case is being referred to, especially because the note is to Atack’s book, and he states:
During the Scientologists’ case against Gerry Armstrong in 1984, the original of this peculiar statement was produced. 4 It is in Hubbard’s handwriting.
Also, the unchallenged trial transcript that has been available on my site for several years.
The same could be said about the earlier reference to the Scientology v. Armstrong case where Capt. Thomas Moulton is quoted:
Captain Thomas Moulton later testified in court that Hubbard claimed he made an epic journey from Java after disembarking from the US Destroyer the Edsall, ‘He had been landed, so he told me, in Java … and had made his way across the land to Soerabaja [Surabaya], and that is when the place was occupied. When the Japanese came in, he took off into the hills and lived up in the jungle for some time until he made an escape from there.’ 6 Hubbard, as Moulton told it, was machine-gunned while trying to out-fox the Japanese in the Javanese jungle. ‘In the back, in the area of the kidneys, I believe on the right side,’ the Captain recalled, ‘I know that he told me he had made his escape eventually to Australia. I don’t know just when it was. Apparently he and another chap sailed a life raft, I believe, to near Australia where they were picked up by a British or Australian destroyer.’ 7 (KL 492)
At least in this instance the name of the case is provided in the notes. But the notes are strangely inconsistent:
6. Testimony of Thomas S Moulton, Church of Scientology v Armstrong, 21 May 1984. (KL 6644)
7. ibid. (KL 6646)
8. Kima Douglas in vol. 25, p. 4459 court transcript of Church of Scientology of California v Gerald Armstrong, Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, case no. C 420153. Kima was asked by the Judge if Hubbard had any bullet wounds in his back. Her reply was, ‘No, sir.’ (KL 6646)
J. Some of the answers can be found in excerpts from Hubbard’s private journals, which came to light during the 1984 court case brought by the Church of Scientology of California against former Hubbard archivist Gerry Armstrong. (KL 654)
The case would properly be called a “1982 case.” The trial was in 1984.
It would be more accurate, especially given what follows, to write:
Some of the answers can be found in Hubbard’s private journals, which came to light during the 1984 trial in a court case brought by the Church of Scientology of California against former Hubbard archivist Gerry Armstrong.
Or, if mentioning excerpts is important:
Some of the answers can be found in Hubbard’s private journals, which came to light when excerpts from them went into evidence (or were read into the record) during the 1984 trial in a court case brought by the Church of Scientology of California against former Hubbard archivist Gerry Armstrong.
The plaintiffs in the case, by the way, were Church of Scientology of California and Mary Sue Hubbard.
Again, it sounds weird that after quoting the Moulton testimony and taking up the London Sunday Times affair the case is named as if it had not been mentioned earlier, and this is a different case.
K. The documents, commonly referred to as the ‘Affirmations’, were part of an archive compiled by Gerry Armstrong for a planned biography of Hubbard. Armstrong was a member of the Sea Org, but fell out of favour with Scientology’s hierarchy when he wrote a report detailing the contradictions in Hubbard’s personal history. (KL 656)
The use of the conjunction “but” here implies that I was a Sea Org member, and then, when I wrote a report, I was no longer a SO member. This is not true. It does not convey the relevant facts necessary to understand the sequence of events and outcome.
Also, what report, singular, is being talked about? I wrote several communications, which could be called reports that detailed contradictions.
“Fell out of favour” is a pretty limp cliché to describe what happened. I have provided detailed sworn testimony about the relevant events, and have also spoken about them many times.
It should be pointed out that there cannot be contradictions in a person’s personal history, because that is the actual history, i.e., the truth. The relevant contradictions were between Hubbard’s personal history, i.e., what was true, and what he said was his personal history or what the Scientologists were saying was his personal history.
L. Armstrong transferred a copy of the documents, including the ‘Affirmations’, to his lawyer and the Church of Scientology unsuccessfully sued for what they saw as the theft of private papers. (KL 658)
This falsely implies that upon falling out of favor, while in the Sea Org, I sent, or transferred from Hubbard’s archive, all the documents in the archive to my lawyer.
This is similar to the black propaganda attacks by the Scientologists and their collaborators, and journalists who should and did know better.
This completely omits the existence of Omar Garrison. That is just plain wrong. Garrison is mentioned in a note as author of the book Playing Dirty. But his more important role as commissioned Hubbard biographer is omitted.
Garrison as biographer is often omitted by the Scientologists and their collaborators to give some sort of credence to the false charge that I stole Hubbard’s documents and sent them to my lawyer.
In a WW II history, an analogy would something like, “Chamberlain was a Prime Minister of the UK who met with the German leader and promised peace. Chamberlain sent an armed Expeditionary Force of almost four hundred thousand men with tanks and artillery to within a hundred miles of Germany, some of them right to the German border.” The isolated facts are correct, but the omission of Hitler’s invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland creates a false impression.
There is no excuse here for using a few isolated facts to create a wrong impression because I have been very clear in the sequence of events regarding the subject documents, because I made myself available for fact-checking, because this issue was the subject of the Scientology and Mary Sue Hubbard v. Armstrong lawsuit, because the judge ruled on the issue in his judgment after trial, because there is such an awareness of the judgment it is quoted in Fair Game, and because there was time enough and space enough in the book to include the truth.
The court has found the facts essentially as set forth in defendant’s trial brief, which as modified, is attached as an appendix to this memorandum. In addition the court finds that while working for L.R. Hubbard (hereinafter referred to as LRH), the defendant also had an informal employer-employee relationship with plaintiff Church, but had permission and authority from plaintiffs and LRH to provide Omar Garrison with every document or object that was made available to Mr. Garrison, and further, had permission from Omar Garrison to take and deliver to his attorneys the documents and materials which were subsequently delivered to them and thenceforth into the custody of the County Clerk.
While defendant has asserted various theories of defense, the basic thrust of his testimony is that he did what he did, because he believed that his life, physical and mental well being, as well as that of his wife were threatened because the organization was aware of what he knew about the life of LRH, the secret machinations and financial activities of the Church, and his dedication to the truth. He believed that the only way he could defend himself, physically as well as from harassing lawsuits, was to take from Omar Garrison those materials which would support and corroborate everything that he had been saying within the Church about LRH and the Church, or refute the allegations made against him in the April 22 Suppressive Person Declare. He believed that the only way he could be sure that the documents would remain secure for his future use was to send them to his attorneys, and that to protect himself, he had to go public so as to minimize the risk that LRH, the Church, or any of their agents would do him physical harm.
The evidence is clear and the court finds that defendant and Omar Garrison had permission to utilize these documents for the purpose of Garrison’s proposed biography.
In June of 1980 Defendant Armstrong became involved in the selection of a writer for the Hubbard biography. Defendant Armstrong learned that Hubbard had approved of a biography proposal prepared by Omar Garrison, a writer who was not a member of Scientology. Defendant Armstrong had meetings with Mr. Garrison regarding the writing of the biography and what documentation and assistance would be made available to him. As understood by Mr. Garrison, Defendant Armstrong represented Hubbard in these discussions.
Mr. Garrison was advised that the research material he would have at his disposal were Hubbard’s personal archives. Mr. Garrison would only undertake a writing of the biography if the materials provided to him were from Hubbard’s personal archives, and only if his manuscript was subject to the approval of Hubbard himself.
In October of 1980 Mr. Garrison came to Los Angeles and was toured through the Hubbard archives materials that Defendant Armstrong had assembled up to that time. This was an Important “selling point” in obtaining Mr. Garrison’s agreement to write the biography. On October 30, 1980, an agreement was entered into between Ralston-Pilot, ncv. F/S/O Omar V. Garrison, and AOSH DK Publications of Copenhagen, Denmark, for the writing of a biography of Hubbard.
Paragraph 10B of the agreement states that:
” Publisher shall use its best efforts to provide Author with an office, an officer assistant and/or research assistant, office supplies and any needed archival and interview materials in connection with the writing of the Work.”
The “research assistant” provided to Mr. Garrison was Defendant Armstrong.
From November of 1980 through 1981, Defendant Armstrong worked closely with Mr. Garrison, assembling Hubbard’s archives into logical categories, copying them and arranging the copies of the Archives materials into bound volumes. Defendant Armstrong made two copies of almost all documents copied for Mr. Garrison – one for Mr. Garrison and the other to remain in Hubbard Archives for reference or recopying. Defendant Armstrong created approximately 400 binders of documents. The vast majority of the documents for Mr. Garrison came from Hubbard’s personal Archives, of which Defendant Armstrong was in charge. Materials which came from other Archives, such as the Controller Archives, were provided to Defendant Armstrong by Scientology staff members who had these documents in their care.
The Organization wished to determine what materials Defendant Armstrong had provided to Omar Garrison. Defendant Armstrong was struck by the realization that the Organization would not work with him to correct the numerous fraudulent representations made to followers of Scientology and the public about L. Ron Hubbard and the Organization itself. Defendant Armstrong, who, for twelve years of his life, had placed his complete and full trust in Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard and the Scientology Organization, saw that his trust had no meaning and that the massive frauds perpetrated about Hubbard’s past, credentials, and accomplishments would continue to be spread.
In December of 1981 Defendant Armstrong made the decision to leave the Church of Scientology. In order to continue in his commitment to Hubbard and Mr. Garrison in the biography project, he copied a large quantity of documents, which Mr. Garrison had requested or which would be useful to him for the biography. Defendant Armstrong delivered all of this material to Mr. Garrison the date he left the SEA Organization and kept nothing in his possession.
From his extensive knowledge of the covert and intelligence operations carried out by the Church of Scientology of California against its enemies (suppressive persons), Defendant Armstrong became terrified and feared that his life and the life of his wife were in danger, and he also feared he would be the target of costly and harassing lawsuits.
In addition, Mr. Garrison became afraid for the security of the documents and believed that the intelligence network of the Church of Scientology would break and enter his home to retrieve them. Thus, Defendant Armstrong made copies of certain documents for Mr. Garrison and maintained them in a separate location.
It was thereafter, in the summer of 1982, that Defendant Armstrong asked Mr. Garrison for copies of documents to use in his defense and sent the documents to his attorneys, Michael Flynn and Contos & Bunch. http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/a1/BreckenridgeDecision.pdf
As is clear, I did not send documents to my lawyers because I fell out of favor. I did not even have any lawyers when I “fell out of favor.”
I obtained certain documents from Garrison some seven or eight months after I left the cult, when I knew I had become fair game. Since Fair Game is the title of the book, and presumably is what the book is about, that is the reason, with as much detail as appropriate, which should have been given for my sending Garrison’s documents to my lawyers. The trial judge also cited to fair game as the precipitant and justification for my actions.
From the evidence presented to this court in 1984, at the very least, similar conclusions can be drawn. In addition to violating and abusing its own members civil rights, the organization over the years with its “Fair Game” doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies.
In determining whether the defendant unreasonably invaded Mrs. Hubbard’s privacy, the court is satisfied the invasion was slight, and the reasons and justification for defendant’s conduct manifest. Defendant was told by Scientology to get an attorney. He was declared an enemy by the Church. He believed, reasonably, that he was subject to “fair game.” The only way he could defend himself, his integrity, and his wife was to take that which was available to him and place it in a safe harbor, to wit, his lawyer’s custody.
Defendant Armstrong was unaware of said Suppressive Person Declare until April of 1982. At that time a revised Declare was issued on April 22, 1982. Said Declare charged Defendant Armstrong with 18 different “Crimes and High Crimes and Suppressive Acts Against the Church.” The charges included theft, juggling accounts, obtaining loans on money under false pretenses, promulgating false information about the Church, its founder, and members, and other untruthful allegations designed to make Defendant Armstrong an appropriate subject of the Scientology “Fair Game Doctrine.” Said Doctrine allows any suppressive person to be “tricked, cheated, lied to, sued, or destroyed.”
I did not send, as stated in Fair Game, all the Hubbard archive documents to my lawyers. I obtained from Garrison what I thought I would need to defend myself and my wife from fair game and sent those documents to my lawyers. In volume, those documents comprised perhaps one fifth of what I provided Garrison, and one twentieth of the documents I assembled in the Hubbard archive.
It cannot be known what the Scientologists saw. It can be known what they said, or what they said they saw. But the writer also knows that they are organizationally gargantuan liars. E.g.:
It is hard to know when the Church of Scientology is telling the truth. I have come across evidence of Scientology officials being punished when critical stories have been published even when it’s not been their fault. With that in mind a statement from a Scientology official has all the credibility of a statement coming from the press office of the North Korean President Kim Jong-un. It might be true, but there are often good reasons why it might be a pack of lies. (KL 126)
As a journalist, what disturbs me about Scientology is the abuse of power that comes from the top: the forced abortions; the human trafficking; the underpaid and overworked staff; the families torn apart; the lies; the rips-offs; and the trauma experienced by its followers. (KL 147)
The truth is that Scientologists have lied repeatedly and have never corrected their lies about the issue of the provenance and chain of custody of the subject documents in their legal cases against me and in their black PR campaigns. This issue was specifically litigated at length, and the court’s decision became the judgment, which was affirmed on appeal.
To affirm what the Scientologists say they saw as if they really saw it — the theft of private papers — discounts or ignores the extensive litigation which, had it been used, would have brought the issue to proper conclusion, at least for Fair Game’s readers. To accept the Scientologists’ view in this matter puts me in a disadvantaged position, and renders the litigated facts virtually meaningless.
M. After hearing extracts from the ‘Affirmations’ and other evidence while presiding over the Armstrong case, Judge Paul Breckenridge of the Los Angeles Superior Court wrote, ‘The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements.’ 50 (KL 678)
50. Decision of Judge Paul G Breckenridge Jnr, Church of Scientology of California v Gerald Armstrong, Superior Court of the State of California, 1984. (KL 6708)
Although the note identifies the decision in my case, it does not provide a url to the pdf of the decision, which would have been the best evidence. (Supra.) Other urls are provided in the book, so this omission was not a matter of universal style.
N. Gerry Armstrong is one of the few people to have read Excalibur. Before becoming one of Scientology’s most trenchant critics, Armstrong worked as an archivist for the Church of Scientology. While researching an official biography of Hubbard in the 1980s, Armstrong came across the manuscript. He discovered it was happy gas, not a near-death experience, that inspired Excalibur. ‘Hubbard had a couple of teeth extracted,’ says Armstrong, ‘and it was while under the effect of nitrous oxide that he came up with Excalibur.’ 13 (KL 730)
My post title was “LRH Personal Archivist/Biography Researcher.” The Scientology cult had its own archivists.
From the 1984 judgment in my case:
The vast majority of the documents for Mr. Garrison came from Hubbard’s personal Archives, of which Defendant Armstrong was in charge. Materials which came from other Archives, such as the Controller Archives, were provided to Defendant Armstrong by Scientology staff members who had these documents in their care.
It was not until late 1981 that Plaintiff was to provide a person to assist on the biography project by providing Mr. Garrison with “Guardian Office” materials, otherwise described as technical materials relating to the operation of Scientology. The individual appointed for this task was Vaughn Young. Controller Archives and Guardian Office Archives had no connection to the Hubbard Archives, which Defendant Armstrong created and maintained as Hubbard’s personal materials.
Just a few pages earlier in Fair Game, my posting or relationship with Hubbard was correct:
Some of the answers can be found in excerpts from Hubbard’s private journals, which came to light during the 1984 court case brought by the Church of Scientology of California against former Hubbard archivist Gerry Armstrong. (KL 654)
This was an issue in the Scientologists’ lawsuit against me, and it was sufficiently important that the court ruled on it in my trial and included the ruling in the judgment. It has also been an issue in years of subsequent black propaganda from the Scientologists.
It also sounds weird to introduce me again and describe my function as archivist again as if it was the first time in the book.
I think “trenchant” here is complimentary. If so, then it was known that my side-checking – for free – could have been vigorously effective, keenly articulate; and therefore useful.
O. By 1974, Portugal was one of the few countries in the Mediterranean where the Apollo was still welcome, but that was about to change. (KL 3152)
Portugal is not in the Mediterranean. See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mediterranean_countries
Although Portugal could be said to have a Mediterranean climate, and the Portuguese are similar to the people of different countries in the Med; e.g., Italians, Greeks, Spanish, the country is on the Atlantic. It would be proper to write that, e.g., “By 1974, Portugal was one of the few countries in Europe where the Apollo was still welcome…”
P. The punishments on the RPF were harsh. Those undergoing rehabilitation were forced to wear black boiler suits, given leftovers for dinner and ordered to run everywhere. They had no free time and were segregated from the rest of the Sea Org. Once put on the RPF, Sea Org members were not allowed to initiate conversations and were forced to do the worst jobs, such as cleaning out the ship’s bilges. 27 Gerry Armstrong recalls being forced to sleep in ‘a roach-infested, filthy and unventilated cargo hold’. 28 Sea Org members could be sent to the RPF for real or imagined indiscretions. 29 As a result, the RPF created a culture of fear and unchallenged obedience to Hubbard. At one point, around a third of the ship was undergoing rehabilitation. 30 (KL 3222)
27. Jon Atack, Let’s Sell These People a Piece of Blue Sky (2nd edn), Richard Woods, Worthing, 2013, pp. 325– 326. (KL 7601)
28. ibid. (KL 7601)
29. According to Glenn Samuels, auditor on the Apollo, in Janet Reitman, Inside Scientology, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2011, p. 105. (KL 7602)
30. Jon Atack, op. cit., p. 236. (KL 7604)
I was never in the RPF on the “Apollo.” This is written as if I was forced to endure the ship RPF conditions. I was on board, and I observed the RPF, its members and people being assigned, but I was not assigned myself.
Atack writes in A Piece of Blue Sky:
Life in the Sea Org was already fairly grueling, but the Rehabilitation Project Force went several steps further. Gerry Armstrong, who spent over two years on the RPF, has given this description24:
It was essentially a prison to which crew who were considered non-producers, security risks, or just wanted to leave the Sea Org, were assigned. Hubbard’s RPF policies established the conditions. RPF members were segregated and not allowed to communicate to anyone else. They had their own spaces and were not allowed in normal crew areas of the ship. They ate after normal crew had eaten, and only whatever was left over from the crew meal. Their berthing was the worst on board, in a roach-infested, filthy and unventilated cargo hold. They wore black boiler suits, even in the hottest weather. They were required to run everywhere. Discipline was harsh and bizarre, with running laps of the ship assigned for the slightest infraction like failing to address a senior with “Sir.” Work was hard and the schedule rigid with seven hours sleep time from lights out to lights on, short meal breaks, no liberties and no free time… When one young woman ordered into the RPF took the assignment too lightly, Hubbard created the RPF’s RPF and assigned her to it, an even more degrading experience, cut off even from the RPF, kept under guard, forced to clean the ship’s bilges, and allowed even less sleep.
Atack’s note 24 oddly reads:
“24. 24 Affidavit, March 1986, pp. ff.”
Atack does not provide who the author of the affidavit is or what case it was written for and filed in. The affidavit has been available on my site for almost fourteen years. http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/affi-1986-03-19.html
I spent twenty-five months on the RPF while in the Sea Org. Seventeen months were in Clearwater, Florida and eight months were in the RPF in La Quinta and Gilman Hot Springs, California.
I am named in the acknowledgements as one of the people who provided the writer “with so many leads and so much information.” This makes it sound as if I am the source or fact-checker of the information about me in the book.
I have thirty-five years of experience dealing with the Scientologists and their collaborators’ black PR efforts to portray me as a liar and embellisher of my status and experiences. I have always been scrupulous in my facts, and my awareness of the Scientologists and their collaborators’ intentions and efforts has made me exceptionally rigorous. That is also why I have when possible sought to make a record of my effort to correct erroneous fact statements about me. See, e.g., this 2011 attack from Jeffrey Augustine involving Karen de la Carriere and Mike Rinder, which falsely accused me of embellishing my resume.
For example, Gerry claims he was the Legal Officer and the Intelligence Officer on the Apollo. There were no such posts on the Apollo according to Karen#1 and Mike Rinder. Why has Gerry embellished his resume?
I was the Legal Officer and the Intelligence Officer on the “Apollo,” and neither Augustine, de la Carriere nor Rinder have ever acknowledged the truth.
Q. While the purchases were done undercover, the renovations were not. The sight of a group of serious-looking young men and women in naval uniforms scrubbing old buildings raised the suspicions of local mayor, Gabriel Cazares. ‘I am discomfited by the increasing visibility of security personnel, armed with billy clubs and mace, employed by the United Churches of Florida,’ he said in a public statement. (KL 3244)
While the security guards were to some degree uniformed, I believe the Sea Org personnel doing the renovations were specifically not in any uniform but in civvies, and were not permitted to display any Sea Org or Scientology insignia or uniforms. Although I was not in Clearwater during this stage, I was in Daytona Beach and was involved in the typing and printing of Hubbard’s orders for the renovations and setting up of the Clearwater base.
R. On 28 April 1973, Hubbard issued a secret order titled ‘Snow White Program’. At the time, he was concerned about the growing number of countries who were denying him entry. 42 Hubbard believed he was a victim of false intelligence reports spread by American and English authorities and issued an order that he wanted ‘all false and secret files of the nations of operating areas brought to view and legally expunged’. 43 It wasn’t long before illegal means were used to expunge secret files. Hubbard tasked the Guardian’s Office, under the stewardship of his wife Mary Sue, to achieve his order. (KL 3267)
It cannot be known what concerned Hubbard or what he believed. It can be known what he wrote.
I believe that what concerned Hubbard was that the files on him and on Scientology contained accurate, damning reports, not false reports. He had, however, to say these were false reports in order to justify his orders to expunge them and to get his agents in the GO to execute his orders.
S. They burgled the Office of the Deputy Attorney-General of the United States, Harold Tyler, a former judge who had put away former Tammany Hall leader and onetime Democratic kingmaker Carmine DeSapio. 76 (KL 3400)
75. United States of America v Mary Sue Hubbard et al. Stipulation of Evidence. (KL 7619)
76. ibid. (KL 7620)
I only mention this because it sounds suspiciously like this NY Times obit, which isn’t cited:
Over the next 13 years, Judge Tyler presided over hundreds of cases, big and small. He was the judge who sentenced Carmine G. DeSapio, the former Tammany Hall leader and onetime Democratic kingmaker, to prison after his bribery conspiracy conviction in 1969.
T. Rosa hoovered up documents with all the courage and efficiency of Meisner and Woolfe in Operation Snow White. (KL 3591)
U. Guider was given the hard sell. Reaiche told him how Scientology had helped his rugby league career. Steve Stevens introduced him to the idea of a ‘Suppressive Person’, or SP – antisocial personalities who, according to Hubbard, could affect an individual’s wellbeing. (KL 4258)
SPs are not antisocial personalities. That is the Scientologists’ black PR. It is like saying “Reinhard Schulze introduced him to the idea of a ‘Hebrew,’ or Jew – vermin who, according to Hitler, could affect a person’s wellbeing.” Jews are not vermin, and SPs are not antisocial personalities. See this response to Mark Rathbun’s use of the same black PR equation: http://gerryarmstrong.ca/archives/826
V. He underwent the ‘Purification Rundown’, a detoxification program involving intense exercise, lengthy stints in the sauna and high doses of niacin and other vitamins. Hubbard developed the course while on the Apollo as a means of dealing with Sea Org members who were suffering from acid flashbacks brought on by previous LSD use. (KL 4306)
No. The “Purif” was originally the “Sweatout Program,” which Hubbard “developed” in 1978 at the La Quinta base. He left the “Apollo” in 1975. No source is provided for this fact.
I also doubt the LSD flashbacks story.
What Hubbard wrote in 1977, also at La Quinta but just before the FBI raid in July, provides a pretty good picture of his observation of TWO cases, i.e., two Sea Org personnel at the La Quinta base who had taken LSD:
HUBBARD COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex
HCO BULLETIN OF 31 MAY 1977
YEARS AFTER THEY HAVE
“COME OFF OF” LSD
Characteristics of persons who have been on it from examination of 2 cases:
1) They are disassociated—meaning they are separate from anything they are doing.
2) Whatever occurs has nothing to do with him.
3) Not responsible for their own action or anything else and it doesn’t occur to them that they ever should be.
4) Their emotions are shut off to a greater or lesser extent.
5) Consequences mean little or nothing to them.
6) They are stupid.
7) Normal actions that another can do easily get mucked up by them.
8) They are unpleasant to associate with.
9) They are de-humanized and can be vicious or irrationally cruel.
Apparently they have become a sort of a vegetable or a zombie to a greater or lesser degree.
Has anyone ever seen two persons with those qualities and concluded it was LSD that caused their condition? And when they had sweated and taken their vitamins all those qualities would disappear?
W. Soon after Miscavige arrived, Terri found out just how ruthless he could be. She had been sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) for defending her then husband, Gerry Armstrong, who had been placed on the RPF. (KL 4455)
No. Hubbard assigned Terri and me to the RPF in Clearwater on the same date. The order states:
FLAG CONDITIONS ORDER 4517
1 July 1976
By order of the Commodore, GERRY ARMSTRONG and TERRI ARMSTRONG are assigned to the RPF, effective on return.
They may have a Comm Ev if desired. The Charges would be:
- NEGLECT OF DUTY
- CASE ON POST
LRH Pers Comm
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
During my trial in 1984, I testified about Hubbard’s telex message to LRH Personal Communicator Ken Urquhart that ordered Terri’s and my RPF assignment and provided his grounds:
A Then during the last couple of days of my being locked up, I was joined by my wife at the time, Terri. And the last couple of days we were both locked up.
We were brought a Telex which was from Hubbard which he had sent to GOUS, and it was shown to us and read to us, and it said that we were ordered returned to Clearwater. Hubbard ordered us returned, so we went sent or we were actually accompanied by a B-1 — B-1 is the intelligence bureau, and Dick Weigand assigned one of the B-1 agents to accompany us, and we were flown back to Clearwater, Florida.
Upon our arrival in Clearwater, we were taken to what is called the bank building, to LRH’s personal communicator who at that time was Ken Urquhart, and he showed us and read us a Telex which he had received from Hubbard in which it said that Terri and Gerry are assigned to the RPF, and so I spent the next 17 months in RPF.
Q [By attorney Michael Flynn] What was the grounds for your being assigned to the RPF?
A The way it read was, “Gerry attacked the Guardian’s office, and Terri went into agreement with him.”
X. Hubbard had callously separated Yvonne from her children when they very young. (KL 4802)
when they were very young.
Y. Her father, Phil Spickler, had worked with L. Ron Hubbard at the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, DC, and set up a Scientology mission in the Bay area of San Francisco. (KL 5343)
The usual term is the “San Francisco Bay Area.”
San Francisco, the city, is on the San Francisco Bay.
Spickler had a franchise or mission in Palo Alto in the “South Bay.”
Z. Hines was assigned to haul Kidman back in and get her on track. He had previously had success turning around opera singer Julia McGinnis who had been planning to leave Scientology. (KL 5531)
AA. The Scientologists eventually dropped the case when Packer’s legal team dug in for a long fight and started requesting Scientology policy documents as part of the discovery phase of the trial. (KL 6013)
Although I have no familiarity with Australian law, my understanding is that the discovery phase would precede the trial. So it would be accurate to say, e.g., “The Scientologists eventually dropped the case when Packer’s legal team dug in for a long fight and started requesting Scientology policy documents as part of the discovery phase of the proceeding.”
Or more simply, “The Scientologists eventually dropped the case when Packer’s legal team dug in for a long fight and started requesting Scientology policy documents as part of the discovery phase.”
BB. Mark O’Brien was a fierce legal advocate who had received a crash course in Scientology courtesy of the defamation trial. (KL 6015)
If the plaintiffs dismissed the case in the discovery phase, and if discovery precedes the trial, then it would be accurate to write, e.g., “Mark O’Brien was a fierce legal advocate who had received a crash course in Scientology courtesy of the defamation case.”
CC. He and 60 Minutes producer Anthony McClellan had travelled to London, New York and Los Angeles to gather information, find potential witnesses and get legal advice in preparation for the trial. (KL 6016)
This appears to confirm that the trial had not started; therefore the discovery phase, during which the Scientologists dropped the case, was pre-trial.
DD. The old Guardian’s Office acted autonomously from the Church of Scientology. It operated in secret and was accountable only to itself. Mike Rinder says when the Office of Special Affairs (OSA) was set up things changed. The church hierarchy made sure it closely monitored OSA’s activities and there was a basic rule for any new operation: It was do not do anything illegal. Don’t engage in illegal activities. Don’t do anything without lawyer signoff and authorisation. Don’t go trying to frame people for stupid shit – hit and runs and that kind of nutty stuff – honestly at that point I was aghast. I was stunned I couldn’t believe that anybody would do that stuff, it was beyond comprehension to me. 9 (KL 6253)
This is the current Scientology shore story. I told the writer and have published many unrebutted statements that Mike Rinder still serves Miscavige’s purposes in the most important way, toward his victims, including me. The Guardian’s Office was not autonomous from any Church of Scientology, including CSC, the mother church, or CSI, the second mother church.
Following Hubbard’s creation of the GO in 1966, GO staff comprised the most important directors of the various Scientology corporations. Hubbard ran the GO, and he was not at all autonomous from the Scientology cult. He ran the GO through his wife, and she was not one whit autonomous from the Scientology cult. He ran the Sea Org through his personal staff, which included his wife. The Sea Org was not autonomous from the rest of the cult. The GO was part of the Scientology org, manning up much of Department 20 on every org board. The GO had separate functions and communication lines from other parts of the cult. But every other part of the cult also had separate functions and communication lines.
It is true that the cult hierarchy under Hubbard changed following the conviction and imprisonment of the GO personnel charged by the US Department of Justice as a result of the FBI raids. The cult hierarchy under Hubbard and the names of their offices had, of course, changed many times since Scientology was organized. It is true that the corporate structure changed and the name “GO” was dropped from the org board. It is also true that certain of the GO’s functions were renamed OSA, which replaced the GO on the Scientology org board. Certain other previously GO functions were assumed by RTC. And Miscavige runs the whole thing, the “Church of Scientology,” the Scientology enterprise, the Miscavige sect, no matter whatever it is called.
Actually, much more autonomy for RTC was built into the cult’s organizational structure and modus operandi than what the GO had. The same level of secrecy of plans and activities existed with OSA as with the GO.
In any moral or significant way, “things” did not change when existing functions and personnel were named OSA. It is a Scientology shore story, i.e., a lie, that they did.
“Don’t do anything illegal” had been the publicized policy for the GO since its creation, and the published policy for all of Scientology back to its organization. Hubbard states, e.g., in HCO PL 16 February 1969 “Battle Tactics:” “Nothing in this paper advocates physical violence or invites the physical destruction of persons.” In HCO PL 1 September 1965 “Legal Aspects of Sign-Ups:” To have a boom, you have to keep your nose clean…” GO 732 WW 20 April 1973 “Snow White Program:” “All false and secret files of the nations of operating areas brought to view and legally [ital mine] expunged and OTC, “Apollo” and LRH free to frequent all western ports and nations without threat and all required ports open and free.” Also see, e.g., this November 21, 2009 letter from Australian Scientologist Mario Cardile to Senator Chris Evans: “In the thirty years I’ve been in the Scientology religion I have been invaluably helped by the knowledge and application of the principles and spiritual philosophy and spiritual technology it has provided me. Incidentally, an unequivocal principle of Scientology is to obey the laws of the land.” https://whyweprotest.net/threads/letter-from-the-office-of-aussie-senator-chris-evans.51218/
The cult also has a parallel rule, “Never lie in PR.” Yet PRs like Rinder lied their asses off. The crime-committing Scientologists gave their public rule of doing nothing illegal the same lip service as the lie-telling PRs gave their never lie rule.
To justify his own criminal actions, Mark Rathbun even acknowledges the truth on this issue in his 2013 book Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior, which Rinder edited.
On the one hand, I had to direct a very aggressive, offensive defense, while at the same time avoiding any action that would establish evidence that might contradict the assertion that L. Ron Hubbard and the church were aghast at GO atrocities, and that any violation of the law whatsoever, under whatever circumstances was prohibited by church policy. On several occasions we engaged in acts which, if not criminally prosecutable, certainly would subject us to civil liability if discovered. For one, Miscavige instructed me to never allow damning evidence to be produced in civil litigation discovery. On several occasions during the early eighties, we conducted massive shredding parties after catching wind that there might be a DOJ or IRS raid (much like the Canadian mop-up described in the previous chapter). When I balked at the idea of destroying evidence, Miscavige accused me of being a GO-influenced idiot. “Don’t you get it that LRH was pissed that the GO got caught?” he asked impatiently. “I was there when the raid went down and he was first informed.” He described the scene in some detail – Ron in his bathrobe at the Rifle house in La Quinta, being told of the simultaneous raids on church premises in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. in July, 1977. “He was in shock – shock that they were so stupid as to get caught. Read his dispatches, damn it. It is clear.” Reading the entire body of Hubbard’s writings about Mary Sue, the GO and the criminal case, it was rather clear.
After that I never thought twice about destroying evidence. I had no problem with running intelligence agents in on enemies, provided they did nothing that could get us into trouble. L. Ron Hubbard was the source of any power we might have. He was the only power worthy of defense, since his power was exclusively directed at clearing the planet of war, insanity and criminality. Therefore, all future warlike, insane and criminal behavior on our part was justified
Rinder personally participated in and directed criminal acts against me. See for example, my introduction to the Armstrong Op http://armstrong-op.gerryarmstrong.ca/about ; see also documents relating to Rinder’s part in it: http://armstrong-op.gerryarmstrong.ca/archives/19 . He knows about his criminal acts, and knows that I have confronted him on his refusal to tell the truth about them. Although the book is about “fair game,” and Rinder is a major contributor to the book, there is no mention of his fair game against his victims. There is no evidence he was asked about such actions, no challenge to his assertion or intimation that he and the new regime did not engage in illegal activities, and no question of his aghastness.