The court reporter’s daily transcripts of the 1984 Scientology v. Armstrong trial in LA Superior Court have been on gerryarmstrong.org for some years, except for May 21 and May 31, which were volumes 16 and 22 respectively. All the documents I’ve had for this case, known as Armstrong 1, are available at: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/a1/index.php
The trial transcripts run from April 19 http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/a1/2466.php to June 8, 1984: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50k/legal/a1/2517.php
Caroline and I recently discovered the missing two trial transcript volumes and have now put up pdfs and ocred them as well as we reasonably could.
May 31 is particularly interesting because it contains the testimony of Scientology witnesses Robert Vaughn Young, who had been a long time PR in the Guardian’s Office, and Captain Thomas Moulton, who had served briefly with Hubbard in WW II on the PC 815.
I had gotten Young transferred to the Hubbard biography project, and we worked together in the Hubbard Archive for a month or so before I left the cult in December 1981. The Scientologists used Young in the trial to try to invalidate me as Hubbard’s researcher and my research that showed Hubbard was a liar. Because of Young’s claims of academic credentials and research skills, the judge, Paul G. Breckenridge, Jr., permitted my attorney Michael J. Flynn some latitude in cross- examining Young. I believe the Judge felt sorry for most of the Scientology witnesses, including Mary Sue Hubbard, and restrained Flynn from normal, more aggressive cross-examination. Judge Breckenridge wrote about Mrs. Hubbard in his decision:
LRH’s wife, Mary Sue Hubbard is also plaintiff herein. On the one hand she certainly appeared to be a pathetic individual. She was forced from her post as Controller, convicted and imprisoned as a felon, and deserted by her husband. On the other hand her credibility leaves much to be desired. She struck the familiar pose of not seeing, hearing, or knowing any evil. Yet she was the head of the Guardian Office for years and among other things, authored the infamous order “GO 121669” which directed culling of supposedly confidential P.C. files/folders for purposes of internal security.
Judge Breckenridge also mentioned Young in the decision:
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.
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.
Thereafter, Defendant Armstrong maintained friendly relations with Hubbard’s representatives by returning to the Archives offices and discussing the various categories of materials. In fact on February 24, 1982, Defendant Armstrong wrote to Vaughn Young, regarding certain materials Mr. Young was unable to locate for Omar Garrison.
At page 3848, Flynn questioned Young about a letter Young had written to me just a few days after I left the cult:
Q Did you after Mr. Armstrong left the church say that, “You are the best damned whatever researchist-archivist type I have met.”
A Yes. That was my conclusion after working with him for a month and a half.
Young stated in his letter:
Other than the mechanical part of wondering where a few things are, miss you. Still think you’re the best damned whatever-we-researchers/
archivists-types-are I’ve met.
It wasn’t easy for Young to then be given the task, before the judge, attorneys, wogs, Scientologists, and the world, of showing me to be the worst damned researcher/archivist he had ever met.
In 1989, he and his wife Stacy also left the cult, and we reconnected a bit later and became friends. He apologized for what he had done to help the Scientologists destroy me, although I never questioned him for details, or got him to execute a declaration about his knowledge of their legal and extralegal fair game campaign. He communicated that the shamefulness of using his talents for whom and for what all those cult years, particularly his ability to write and research, was painful to him. There were also other persons and situations that were cautioning him about me and my legal situation, so he never really opened up to me in a way that could be helpful legally to me.
Young did get into the Scientology problem as a writer and speaker, and did get involved in Scientology litigation as a witness on behalf of their victims or targets. Funnily, he executed a declaration in 1993 in the Scientology v. Fishman & Geertz case that identifies the fair game he didn’t participate in:
51. In fact, Fair Game did continue. Although the Guardian’s Office was “disbanded,” a new campaign was undertaken against Gerald Armstrong in 1981, a staff member who had fled with some of Hubbard’s files. Contrary to what Mr. Farny said, there were Fair Game actions taken against Armstrong after the GO was “disbanded.” I know because I sat in on those strategy meetings and was ordered by Hubbard as well as David Miscavige to “get Armstrong.” For example, Hubbard ordered a “reward” poster that would characterize Armstrong as a criminal. (I did not comply with the order, for which I was severely berated by Miscavige.)
57. […] Nor was the GO disbanded. It was taken over. It was renamed, in the same offices, had the same personnel and operated from the same policies from Hubbard. The person who oversaw the “disbanding” was David Miscavige, who directed the Fair Game actions on Armstrong from what was called “Special Project” which was, in fact, Author Services, Inc., where I was employed.
In the same declaration, Young also mentioned his experience reading the Hubbard archive and his part in my trial.
J. AUTHORIZED HUBBARD BIOGRAPHER AND ARCHIVIST.
89. In 1981, I was asked to go to a non-GO archives to gather information about the writing of a biography on Hubbard. The archives was operated by Gerry Armstrong and contained about 25 filing cabinets full of Hubbard’s personal papers and memorabilia. I worked there for several weeks and was the last person to see Armstrong before he disappeared. I thereby inherited the archives by default and continued to read Hubbard’s private papers, which gave me not only an entirely different view of the man than what we had been telling Scientologists but a view that no one else knew (at that time) besides Armstrong.
O. EXPERT WITNESS ABOUT THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY ON BEHALF OF THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY DURING THE ARMSTRONG TRAIL.
103. In 1984, after Gerry Armstrong was sued by the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige assigned me to do key research into Hubbard’s life to refute Armstrong’s claims that Hubbard had lied. With a team of full time people working for nearly two months (compared to Armstrong working by himself), we found additional information to challenge some points Armstrong had made. I was to testify as to what had been found.
Also somewhat humorously, Young quoted the most damning part of the Breckenridge decision, which he tried so hard to prevent. Or perhaps his testimony helped inspire it.
52. The use of Fair Game on Armstrong was confirmed in 1984 when California Superior Court Judge Paul Breckenridge, Jr., ruled against Scientology with an opinion that included a statement about the civil rights of members and Hubbard:
“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. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.”
Judge Breckenridge allowed Thomas Moulton to testify fairly freely on direct examination by Scientology attorney John Peterson, and Flynn let the examination proceed with negligible objections or interruptions. That was generally Flynn’s trial style, which was effective and exhibited and instilled confidence, as opposed to the Scientology attorneys who objected and interrupted almost obsessively, which was what their bullying but probably terrified cult clients demanded. Young had talked about Moulton earlier that day, obviously setting up his surprise courtroom appearance, and I’m sure both the judge and Flynn, and everyone else present, wanted to hear what Moulton had to say about Hubbard, the PC 815, etc.
One of the great ironies of the Armstrong 1 case, which is filled with irony, is that Judge Breckenridge had himself been in the US navy. I don’t think anyone on my side knew this, but doubtlessly the Scientologists knew because of the standard B1/OSA intel done on any judge on a Scientology-related case. This case was huge for the Scientologists, and Hubbard was personally involved and directing the litigation; so they would have dug up every incident and connection in the judge’s life, and passed on to the attorneys what might help them. Of course you can’t disqualify a judge because he had served in the US Navy.
Because of the way they proceeded, even with a bench trial and bringing in Moulton, the Scientologists probably thought Judge Breckenridge, being ex-navy, would respect and even sympathize with Ron the War Hero. It is more likely, however, that the judge, being ex-navy, saw Hubbard as Ron the Valor Thief, which, of course, he was. The judge then also had to see the Scientologists as doing their damnedest to defend a cowardly liar and fair game his legitimate debunkers. The record that the judge saw showed that while claiming unearned medals and heroism, and while faking medical conditions to avoid punishment and duty, Hubbard was also contemptuous of the US Navy and its command.
I can forget such things as Admiral Braistead. Such people are unworthy of my notice.
Toward the end of Moulton’s testimony, Judge Breckenridge also asked him some questions and made some comments or dicta that both showed the judge’s knowledge of naval matters and Moulton’s lack of knowledge of matters he had testified about. While maintaining good control of his courtroom, Judge Breckenridge also demonstrated kindness, understanding and a great sense of humor. Some of his comments or quips are priceless.
While Young was testifying, Mary Sue Hubbard’s attorney Barrett Litt questioned him about Hubbard’s time in China, in an obvious effort to support Hubbard and the Scientologists’ claims that he had spent considerable time there, studying, immersing himself in the culture, and absorbing the wisdom of the east.
[YOUNG] But along the way, we stumbled across someone else quite accidentally that we are still in the process of pursuing. There was a woman who had gone into the region from the Explorer’s Club during that early years, apparently during the very late ’20’s, that when she met with people back in the far regions they had made an account of the story of a young man from the West with bright red hair who had visited them.
THE COURT: Marco Polo?
To my knowledge, the Scientologists have never yet trotted out this little old lady from the Explorers Club. And the club states on its site that women were not admitted until 1981. Oops. http://www.explorers.org/index.php/about/history/history
Reading the transcript recently, having sat through Captain Moulton’s testimony, and because of what has happened and been learned in the almost 30 years since the trial, it is obvious to me the Scientologists had given Moulton a shore story. Probably, on behalf of Hubbard, because Hubbard was still alive during the trial, they had also given Moulton a sob story. His testimony revealed that Hubbard had been giving Moulton shore stories in 1942, the year before Hubbard asked him to be his Chief Officer on the PC 815.
Marty Rathbun devotes virtually his whole chapter 20 “The Tipping Point” in his 2013 book Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior, pages 241 to 253, to the Armstrong 1case and trial. His book in its entirety is yet another effort in the Scientologists’ long history of efforts to rewrite their cult or religion’s history, or at least have some of their lies accepted as true. Rathbun admits to many facts in that quest, and even discloses some new ones, as the cultists have done for decades. For all those new admissions and disclosures, some of which are about Armstrong 1, I am grateful.
I am also grateful for what he has not disclosed that morally or ethically he should have disclosed, and for the untruths he told in his book, even if some of them were cruel, and clearly serve the Scientologists’ antisocial command intention toward their victims. I dealt with the extremely cruel black PR in his book against the Suppressive Person class in an opening statement for a debate, which Rathbun rabbited from. (Scientology, not wog definition for vb. “rabbit.”) I will deal with the rest of Rathbun’s Memoirs separately, but just want to address here what he wrote about Captain Moulton, whose name Rathbun misspells throughout “Moulten:”
After weeks of Flynn’s attacks on the credibility of witnesses, unrelenting blows to the character of L. Ron Hubbard and decrying of Mary Sue and the Guardian’s Office’s crimes, we were prepared to deliver our own counter-blow. It was something that I, Miscavige, Starkey, and the rest of the legal team were convinced would throw question on the entire Flynn-Armstrong presentation. The star witness we had waiting in the wings would blow Armstrong’s and Flynn’s credibility out the water. He would just prove that L. Ron Hubbard had seen combat in World War II; he would also attest that Ron was a war hero.
Thomas Moulten had served on a naval vessel captained by Ron, which Ron had claimed had sunk two Japanese subs off the coast of Oregon during World War II, after two days of pitched, fevered battle. Moulten testified that regardless of official naval records determining that there were no subs and that Hubbard had led a wild goose chase, lobbing depth charges into empty water for two days, he had in fact seen oil bubbles rise to the surface – indicating subs had been struck.
There is no question Moulten was a decent man. And there is no doubt he thought very highly of Hubbard, even though he had neither seen nor heard from him since the war. However, much like Mary Sue before him, he was hoisted by his own petard as far as credibility was concerned. First, he sounded somewhat eccentric telling a story utterly contradicted by all available documentary evidence. And, like Mary Sue, he did not leave well enough alone. He testified that Ron had seen a lot of action previous to the alleged Oregon battle. He described how Ron had sustained torso bullet wounds by Japanese machine gun fire; even though there was no record anywhere of Ron ever having been fired upon. On cross examination, Flynn had a field day with the fact that Moulten’s only source of knowledge about Ron’s alleged stellar combat record was Ron himself. Flynn was able to paint a convincing picture of Moulten as just another person misled by Ron’s great story-telling skills.
[Rathbun’s Memoirs, pp 249,250)
To be hoist with, on or by one’s own petard, is to be hurt or destroyed by one’s own plot or device, of one’s own doing which one intended for another; to be “blown up by one’s own bomb.”
Captain Moulton wasn’t hoist by his own petard, because it wasn’t his plot or device, or bomb, to hurt or destroy me. He was the petard. Rathbun is using this idiom to shift the blame from who or what really was hoist by their own petard. Although shifting and avoiding responsibility or blame has been a standard communication and operating stratagem of Rathbun for years, and he is known for mixed metaphors and willful semantic dishonesty, as well as misused idioms, blaming his own petard — good old Captain Moulton — for blowing up Rathbun’s own plot, is doubly curvaceously ridiculous.
Rathbun actually identifies the plot and the plotters in the above quote. He calls the plot his and his fellow plotters’ “counter-blow.” They intended it to be their counter-blow to L. Ron Hubbard being shown over weeks of testimony and documentary evidence to be, as Rathbun even quotes in his book: virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements. Rathbun states that they believed their counter-blow “would blow Armstrong’s and Flynn’s credibility out the water.” That is petard talk. And the petard the plotters came up with was, Rathbun says, star witness Captain Moulton.
Moulton was not out to destroy Flynn and me, any more than any petard intends to destroy when it explodes. Rathbun and his coconspirators intended to destroy us, and Moulton was their petard. They used him for a corrupt purpose, to have a lie accepted as true. It is very likely that Hubbard used him for the same corrupt purpose in 1943 when he was Chief Officer on the PC 815. Hubbard certainly got him to accept Hubbard’s lies as true in 1942.
It was not that Moulton didn’t leave well enough alone. That is an idiom that means “to allow something to stay as it is because doing more would not improve it.” What he did was answer Flynn’s well-crafted and relevant questions on cross-examination. Moulton cannot seriously be considered blameworthy for not ending his testimony after his direct examination by Peterson. For the star witness petard to work, Rathbun and his coconspirators had to get him through cross-examination, and that meant he would have to lie. But, despite their obvious coaching, Moulton didn’t join their conspiracy. He didn’t lie, or lie well enough. Rathbun, et al. failed and were hoist by their own petard.