Tony Ortega’s book is intriguing, both in content and composition, and will be useful for all of us who stand against the Scientologists for all their victims. Paulette Cooper’s history with the Scientologists intersects with mine at a number of points, and we shared the fortune of being clients of the same almost famous Boston attorney at the same time, Michael Flynn. I read her book The Scandal of Scientology inside and outside the cult, and over the years I’ve learned a lot about the woman and the story. Unbreakable, (or Miss Lovely, or TUML, or however the book’s title will be abbreviated) has added a wealth of details that for me have led to a new and better understanding.
Although Ortega includes me in his acknowledgements, as a former Scientologist who “risked harassment and worse by merely picking up the phone,” I didn’t actually get a call from him or a fact-checker to check his facts about me. Because of the gargantuan, well known campaign by the Scientologists, and their wog collaborators, to rewrite my life and smear me around the world, I would think checking fact statements about me with me, as long as I have a phone or an e-address, would be de rigueur. If I can’t check facts about me before they’re published, I do what I sensibly can to correct any errors that I sensibly should. There is a book of these fact error messages by now. But then there are a lot of facts.
Ortega did contact me when I posted a letter to Cooper in February 2014, which was mainly about an affidavit she had executed for the Scientologists in March 1985.1 The affidavit has been the subject of considerable discussion over these thirty years, and Ortega has now provided more information concerning the circumstances when Cooper signed it. Perhaps I will write something separately about his treatment of the affidavit in the book, and about how the Scientologists used it against me, and against a lot of other people. Here I’m only commenting on the statements that are specifically about my history.
(Quoting from The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, pp. 330-338):
Two weeks after Barbara’s death, on July 24, 1984, a press conference in Los Angeles was held by the Church of Scientology in order to make a rather astounding claim. In charge of the conference were the president of the church— a man named Heber Jentzsch— a church attorney named John Peterson, the church’s spokesman, Robert Vaughn Young, and a private investigator named Eugene Ingram.
Ingram had been hired the year before to gather evidence about the forged L. Ron Hubbard $ 2 million check made out to “Aquil Abdulamiar” that two men had tried to cash at a bank in New York in 1982.
In January, Ingram had taken out ads in the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Boston Globe offering a reward of $100,000 for information that would lead to the conviction of the people who had tried to pass the bogus check. And now, the church was ready to reveal the results of its investigation. The culprit, they announced, was Paulette Cooper’s attorney, Mike Flynn.
Their evidence for this was a legal declaration signed by a forger serving time in a prison in Naples, Italy. Ingram, the church’s private eye, had gone to Naples to get the declaration from the man, Ala Fadili Al Tamimi, who claimed he had created the bogus check and had gone to the bank with his brother, pretending to be Aquil Abdulamiar.
This remains a problem for the Scientologists because Ingram, under Marty Rathbun’s direction, paid Tamimi to sign this sworn statement that all of them knew was false. The Scientologists paid the person actually guilty of the crime against their leader, which they claimed they were investigating, just to frame a person they all knew had nothing to do with that crime. They framed Flynn out of their hatred for him and their intention to destroy him. And he was simply a smart attorney who happened to have crossed paths with them, divined their number, and wasn’t shuddered into silence.
The Flynn frame is still a problem because it was committed by the supposed new breed of Sea Organs like Rathbun, after the Guardian’s Office had been taken over, and after the practice of framing Scientology opponents, as the GO did to Cooper, had supposedly been ended. Rathbun and his coconspirators did the same with me, framing me with crimes. He continues both frame-ups in his 2013 book Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] But the scheme, he claimed, had been masterminded by Flynn. Al Tamimi said that Flynn used connections he had at the Bank of New England to get a legitimate check out of the bank for Al Tamimi to create a counterfeit version of it. And now, the church had the lawyer dead to rights. It called for the arrest and conviction of Flynn.
But that didn’t happen.
Eventually, Al Tamimi would recant his story. Ingram, meanwhile, turned out to be a disgraced Los Angeles cop who had been fired for, among other things, being accused of running a prostitution ring on the side.
A few days after the press conference, a judge in Los Angeles, Paul Breckenridge, called the allegations against Flynn “garbage” as he dressed down Peterson, the church attorney, for even being involved in such a transparently bogus attempt to smear Flynn. It was desperate behavior, even by the standards of the Church of Scientology.
Breckenridge, of course, was the LA Superior Court Judge who presided at the Scientology v. Armstrong trial that had ended on June 8, 1984.2 On June 20, the judge issued his Memorandum of Intended Decision.3 This was converted into a Statement of Decision on July 20. Judgment was entered August 10, 1984.
Following the decision, my attorneys filed a motion for attorney fees, and the Scientologists filed an opposition, which they supported with, among other things, a declaration executed July 30 by cult attorney John Peterson. Exhibits Peterson attached to his declaration included: B., C. and D., the Scientologists’ standard dead agent documents on FAMCO (Flynn Associates Management Corporation); E. the May 5, 1984 declaration of Ala Fadili Al Tamimi; F. the March 5, 1984 declaration of George Edgerly.4
It was these exhibits, and, of course, Peterson’s declaration “authenticating” them, that Breckenridge called “garbage,” both because they constituted black propaganda and because of Peterson and the Scientologists’ gratuitous insertion of this crap into the record to smear and prejudice Flynn. Breckenridge specifically distinguished between Peterson’s comments to media or others and what he put in a declaration, which, of course, is made under penalty of perjury.
[Judge Breckenridge:] There is one last thing I want to mention, and that has to do with the declaration of John G. Peterson on this opposition to motion for attorneys’ fees.
As Mr. Peterson has indicated, he has become emotionally involved in this case, and it is rather abundantly clear. So some of his comments which have been reported in the newspapers — he can make whatever comments he wants to about the case or the court or anybody else. It doesn’t bother me, but when he puts in a declaration what really is just an argument as to why the motion should not be granted, it seems to me that it is totally unprofessional.
This attaching of these exhibits relating to Mr. Flynn, to me, is the worst kind of tactic. It is an effort to smear Mr. Flynn. For what purpose I don’t really know, gratuitous insults to inject into the file of this case some dirt, I suppose, for the obvious purpose of prejudicing Mr. Flynn or any court or any person who might review the record.
I read some of the exhibits dealing with Black Propaganda.
I got a letter from some woman about dead agenting. Said I was probably the subject of now being a dead agent myself, and I really couldn’t care less. But I think it is unfortunate that the flle has to be cluttered up with, I am going to say it right here, garbage of this type. I don’t think this should be a part of the public record.
I am going to order that the documents which purport to be exhibit B through F be separated from this declaration, be enclosed in a sealed envelope, and be ordered sealed and not to be opened except upon further order of any court that wants to review this matter. Nothing to do with this lawsuit. Nothing to do with these motions, and I think it is offensive and I am quite surprised. — Reporter’s Transcript of Proceedings, August 2, 19845
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] But by the summer of 1984, Scientology was frantic about Flynn. He had filed 20 lawsuits, and the church had filed 13 against him. Flynn had spent $ 400,000 of his own money in litigation, and it was beginning to pay off in greater press coverage and successes in court. Scientology was doing whatever it could to distract public attention from what was happening in courtrooms in Los Angeles and London.
A month before the press conference, on June 22, 1984, Judge Breckenridge announced a decision that Mike Flynn and many others thought might signal the beginning of the end of Scientology. That court decision was in the favor of a man named Gerry Armstrong, who was quickly supplanting Paulette Cooper as Scientology’s most feared and hated enemy.
I believe Breckenridge announced the Scientology v. Armstrong decision on June 20, 1984, and it was filed on June 22.3
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] Armstrong had grown up in Chilliwack, British Columbia and had first learned about Scientology from a friend in 1969, when he was 22. In 1971, he moved to Los Angeles to join the Sea Org. Before long, he was sailing with L. Ron Hubbard on the Apollo, and became a trusted aide to the “Commodore.”
After Hubbard moved back to land in Florida and then ended up in California, Armstrong was part of his “Household Unit,” making sure Hubbard’s quarters were up to his standards. While renovating one home at a 500-acre compound the church had purchased near Hemet, Armstrong discovered a collection of boxes that contained a huge trove of Hubbard’s original documents.
Although I was head of Hubbard’s Household Unit at Gilman Hot Springs (“D/CO HU SU”) at the time I discovered the boxes of his documents, the discovery was unrelated to renovating his house. The discovery was a result of a raid threat and a document shredding order at Gilman. I have written, spoken or testified about this, and it is described in the Armstrong 1 decision/judgment.
[Judge Breckenridge:] In January of 1980 there was an announcement of a possible raid to be made by the FBI or other law enforcement agencies of the property. Everyone on the property was required by Hubbard’s representatives, the Commodore’s Messengers, to go through all documents located on the property and “vet” or destroy anything which showed that Hubbard controlled Scientology organizations, retained financial control, or was issuing orders to people at Gilman Hot Springs.
A commercial paper shredder was rented and operated day and night for two weeks to destroy hundreds of thousands of pages of documents.
During the period of shredding, Brenda Black, the individual responsible for storage of Hubbard’s personal belongings at Gilman Hot Sprints, came to Defendant Armstrong with a box of documents and asked whether they were to be shredded. Defendant Armstrong reviewed the documents and found that they consisted of a wide variety of documents including Hubbard’s personal papers, diaries, and other writings from a time before he started Dianetics in 1950, together with documents belonging to third persons which had apparently been stolen by Hubbard or his agents. Defendant Armstrong took the documents from Ms. Black and placed them in a safe location on the property. He then searched for and located another twenty or more boxes containing similar materials, which were poorly maintained.
On January 8, 1980, Defendant Armstrong wrote a petition to Hubbard requesting his permission to perform the research for a biography to be done about his life. The petition states that Defendant Armstrong had located the subject materials and lists of a number of activities he wished to perform in connection with the biography research.
Hubbard approved the petition, and Defendant Armstrong became the L. Ron Hubbard Personal Relations Officer Researcher (PPRO Res) 7
In affirming the judgment, the California Court of Appeal also described how I discovered and came into possession of Hubbard’s documents:
In January 1980, fearing a raid by law enforcement agencies, Hubbard’s representatives ordered the shredding of all documents showing that Hubbard controlled Scientology organizations, finances, personnel, or the […] property at Gilman Hot Springs. In a two-week period, approximately one million pages were shredded pursuant to this order.
In the course of the inspection of documents for potential shredding, Armstrong reviewed a box containing Hubbard’s early personal letters, diaries, and other writings, which Armstrong preserved.
Thereafter, Armstrong petitioned for permission to conduct research for a planned biography of Hubbard, using his discovery of the boxed materials. Hubbard approved the petition, and Armstrong, who had discovered and preserved approximately 16 more boxes of similar materials, became the senior personal relations officer researcher. He subsequently moved the materials to the Church of Scientology Cedars Complex in Los Angeles.8
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] Everything from Hubbard’s baby booties to his teenage journals to some of his most private, intimate writing about his sex life were in the stacks of documents. Until Armstrong saved them, the boxes were going to be discarded in the renovation.
No. Until I saved them, Hubbard’s documents were at risk of being destroyed in the shredding party.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] On January 8, 1980, Armstrong wrote to Hubbard, asking permission to create a biographical archive from the papers. Hubbard agreed, and then the next month he went permanently into hiding.
Later that year, a professional writer named Omar Garrison was hired by the church to author a biography of Hubbard, and Armstrong began working with him closely, cataloging the documents for Garrison’s use.
I didn’t do much cataloging of Hubbard’s documents for Garrison, as in listing or enumerating them for him. There might have been some cataloging, but what I really and importantly did was copy the documents for Garrison and provide them to him.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] But as he did so, Armstrong was shocked to see how much Hubbard’s actual records contradicted the things Hubbard and the church said about his life and exploits. To his followers, Hubbard had been born an adventurer – he’d grown up on a massive Montana ranch owned by his grandfather and by four years old had become the blood brother to a local Indian tribe. He was the youngest Eagle Scout in the history of the Boy Scouts, he had traded ideas with eastern shamans and mystics during extensive travels to Asia in his teens, he was one of the first atomic scientists in the country after his distinguished college career, he’d set records as a daring glider aviator, he’d been a war hero who had survived being machine-gunned as the first casualty in the Pacific theater of World War II. He’d captained “corvettes” that had engaged and sunk Japanese submarines, and after the war he’d healed his serious combat wounds with a new method that became Dianetics. It was a heroic, larger-than-life account of a man who had lived enough for a dozen men.
And Gerry Armstrong knew that all of it was, to one extent or another, a fabrication. Hubbard’s own documents showed that he had lived a fascinating, varied life, and with many accomplishments to be proud of. But that’s not the story he told or the one promoted by the church. That worried Armstrong. He knew that Scientology made itself vulnerable by putting out claims about Hubbard that could be debunked by official records. In late 1981 and into 1982, he repeatedly went to his superiors, urging them to correct the record and to begin putting out information about Hubbard that actually matched what was in the documents.
Actually, I blew the cult on December 12, 1981. So I had no Scientology superiors after that date. In late 1981, I did communicate with several superiors multiple times about correcting Hubbard’s false claims and putting out documentable information. The last of these communications was a report on November 25, 1981 to Cirrus Slevin, the HCO Cope Officer CMO Int at Gilman. I also copied David Miscavige, who was then Special Project Project Ops, Terri Gamboa, who was Special Project In-Charge, and Norman Starkey, Special Project 2nd. Judge Breckenridge included an excerpt from this report in his decision. 9
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] Instead of acting on his advice, the organization excommunicated him, “declaring” him a “suppressive person” on February 18, 1982.
I’ve written and spoken a great deal about the Scientologists’ reactions to what, back in 1981, I told them I was wishing or hoping they’d do. From my perspective, the first seriously disconcerting thing that happened, after I suggested to the Special Project personnel that we correct our BS and tell the truth about Hubbard, was Miscavige sending Starkey to bully that idea out of me. This was in November 1981, and led to my meeting with Slevin and my report to her. Since then, the Scientologists and their collaborators have done decades more bullying and antisocial and criminal reacting, which included issuing SP Declares.
Marty Rathbun wrote about the Starkey incident in Memoirs:
After Miscavige busted Gerry’s direct superior, Laurel, Armstrong formally brought the matter of the potentially false representations to the attention of authorities in CMO International. Armstrong respectfully recommended that the church cease issuing any representations that it could not back up with documentation. The matter was referred to Miscavige, since he was responsible for L. Ron Hubbard’s defense. Rather than investigate Armstrong’s concerns, Miscavige sent Starkey to intimidate Armstrong into line, treating him as if he was imagining his concerns because his mind had been “infected” by the GO.
Rathbun also blogged about this in 2012:
Armstrong pointed out to L Ron Hubbard’s messengers that something had better be done about the representations the church was making. He based that concern on having worked tirelessly to provide David Miscavige’s Special Project (of which I was then the files man for) with material to prove the claims about Hubbard to be true, and coming up empty handed on many counts. David Miscavige’s handling for Armstrong’s origination was to send Norman F Starkey down to the Commodores Messenger Org International to give Armstrong a Severe Reality Adjustment (SRA – loud verbal brow beating) for being “disaffected.”
As was Miscavige’s habit, he continued to pursue Armstrong as the devil incarnate while at the same time taking Armstrong’s advice, just ignoring the source of it communicating as if it were his own. No more representations about LRH went out without my authorization – which was backed by an extensive fact-checking process.10
It could be said that instead of acting on my advice, Miscavige sent Norman Starkey to brow beat me into my place. But really, as Rathbun acknowledges, Miscavige did take my advice. Or at least Miscavige acted on some of what I had been specifically advising him and his staff about before I left the cult. The fact that I was right about something, and he had to take my advice for his own survival, however, almost certainly drove him more apoplectic that if I had been wrong in whatever he considered I was saying, or advising. This is a Scientology-wide condition that still drives Scientologists, and, naturally, their collaborators.
Hubbard, of course, was still running Scientology in 1981 and 1982. Miscavige probably did not report to him in November 1981about getting Starkey after me, or even report the concern among the Special Projectors about what I had provided Garrison. Miscavige also probably did not forward Hubbard my report to Slevin. Once I blew, however, Miscavige would have had to report to Hubbard because of the sensitivity of what I knew about Hubbard personally. Hubbard would have either ordered or approved issuing my SP Declare. He ordered the Scientologists’ war on me that still continues, and he directed it until his death.
So the truth is that: While to some extent having to act on [my] advice, the Scientologists under Hubbard made [me] an enemy, which they publicly announced by “declaring” [me] a “suppressive person” on February 18, 1982.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] In April, when he learned about the declaration, Armstrong knew what he was probably in for. Investigations, harassment, maybe even something worse. He trusted Garrison, and turned over boxes of the Hubbard documents to him.
This doesn’t sound right.
The Scientologists’ war on me is long, and scientists tell us attention spans are growing ever shorter. On the legal front, there are thirty-three years of litigation, multiple Scientology v. Armstrong v. Scientology cases, dozens of related cases, and sweeping judicial, government (IRS, DOJ, etc.) and human rights issues. There are clearly also parallel psychological issues in the Scientologists and their collaborators who have participated or supported the war over the years. The Scientologists and their collaborators have done their vertical worst to make the truth confusing beyond wog comprehension, and, by reduction, reinterpretation, willful lying, etc., to “create” a new reality, rewrite history.
Fortunately, the sequence of events is described in the Breckenridge decision.
1. I provide Hubbard documents to Omar Garrison pursuant to contract beginning in October 1980;
2. I leave the cult on December 12, 1981. I deliver the last of whatever documents I provided Garrison. I have no documents.
3. I drive to Canada and have a holiday. I return to California, get a place in Costa Mesa, get a job in a law firm, stay in touch with Garrison and help him out as sensible. I become aware of Scientology agents contacting friends and relatives, and I pick up surveillance.
4. In April 1982, the Scientologists steal sets of photos, I demand return, they tell me to get a lawyer.
5. I contact Mike Flynn. He flies me to meet him during the Clearwater Hearings.
6. I learn of the Scientologists’ second declare dated April 22.
7. In the summer, I go to Garrison and ask him for documents to send to Flynn and my California attorneys.
8. I start writing declarations providing my knowledge and experiences concerning Hubbard and the cult. 11
It wasn’t so much that I trusted Garrison, thus in 1980 and 1981 turned over boxes of Hubbard documents to him. Hubbard’s attorney wrote a contract that made me Garrison’s research assistant and directed me to provide him with Hubbard’s documents.
It could be said, actually, that in the summer of 1982, Garrison trusted [me] and gave boxes of the Hubbard documents to [me] to send to [my] attorneys, which I did. And then these documents became the subject of the Scientologists’ first lawsuit against me.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] He then copied about 10,000 of the documents for himself, and turned them over for safekeeping to his attorney.
The documents I obtained from Garrison and turned over to my attorneys in the summer of 1982 were a subset of the documents I provided Garrison in 1980 and 1981.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] He’d hired Michael Flynn.
That was at the time of the Clearwater Hearings in the beginning of May 1982.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] On August 2, 1982, Scientology and Mary Sue Hubbard filed suit against Armstrong, accusing him of theft, and asking for the return of the Hubbard archive.
On August 2, the Church of Scientology of California filed suit.
On November 18, 1982, Mary Sue Hubbard filed a complaint in intervention.
The Scientologists and their attorneys found it necessary for Mrs. Hubbard to intervene because I had shown after CSC filed its suit that it was not the owner of Hubbard’s documents and did not have legal standing to claim the documents. My claim to the documents was superior to CSC’s claim, and they needed Mrs. Hubbard to assert a privacy claim as Hubbard’s wife.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] Armstrong argued that he’d had to take the records as a form of insurance to guarantee his safety. Without them, he was afraid for his life.
With or without the documents, I feared the Scientologists and their collaborators. I still fear the Scientologists and their collaborators. Even an idiot can instill fear in a human target if the idiot charges. The Scientologists are not idiots. They willfully, analytically seek to instill fear in their targets. So they charge like clever criminals. They charge to win, and to get the public charging alongside them.
[L. Ron Hubbard:] NEVER BE INTERESTED IN CHARGES. DO, yourself, much MORE CHARGING and you will WIN. And the public, seeing that you won, will then have a communication line to the effect that Scientologists WIN. Don’t ever let them have any other thought than that Scientology takes all of its objectives.12
The Scientologists have given me no evidence that they intend anything but hate, destruction and death, as they have always intended. They are held in check by their own fear of prosecution or fear of an effective defense by their intended victims. They are not restrained by their scripture or consciences.
I went to Garrison and obtained the documents that I thought would prove that what I had been saying about Hubbard was true, and I sent them to my attorneys to make them safe and have them for my defense against the Scientologists’ attacks I knew were being mounted. Judge Breckenridge wrote in his decision:
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. He may have indulged in overkill, in the sense that he took voluminous materials, some of which appear only marginally relevant to his defense. But he was not a lawyer and cannot be held to that precise standard of judgment. Further, at the time that he was accumulating the material, he was terrified and undergoing severe emotional turmoil.
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.
Because the Scientologists are governed by command intention, they are always motivated by the cult head’s lust for revenge. Hubbard was a very vengeful man who wrote revenge into Scientology scripture, demanded its application, and apparently carried his vengeance to his death. Miscavige has demonstrated he can be every bit as vengeful. Even if the Hubbard documents I obtained from Garrison proved that Hubbard had lied, and I had told the truth, it did nothing to guarantee my safety, as far as my life went. It certainly helped guarantee my safety in the legal arena. My successes in court, and even in the media, however, only piqued the Scientologists’ vengeful spirits. It is reasonable that I would fear revenge and assassination, and that this fear would reasonably affect my thoughts and actions.
The same is true today. I have no actual defense against the Scientologists or their collaborators assassinating me. But I have made a record that will exist even if they do. Because they haven’t, I am able to communicate with them reasonably to suggest, or advise, that they end their era of revenge and do what is necessary to eliminate the fear they now cause in good wogs. The Scientologists have not acted on that suggestion.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] When Mary Sue filed the suit, she was still appealing her conviction in the Snow White Program prosecutions. But a few months later, those appeals ran out. On January 8, 1983, she was ordered to a federal prison in Kentucky to serve a 40-month sentence, but only a year later she was released.
In May 1984, the Armstrong lawsuit went to trial, and Judge Paul Breckenridge presided over four weeks of testimony. After deliberating for two weeks more, on June 22 he made one of the most devastating assessments of Scientology ever put to paper by a judge.
“The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and the bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. 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. At the same time it appears that he is charismatic and highly capable of motivating, organizing, controlling, manipulating, and inspiring his adherents. He has been referred to during this trial as a ‘genius,’ a ‘revered person,’ a man who was ‘viewed by his followers with awe.’ Obviously, he is and has been a very complex person, and that complexity is further reflected in his alter ego, the Church of Scientology. Notwithstanding protestations to the contrary, this court is satisfied that LRH runs the Church in all ways through the Sea Organization, his role of Commodore, and the Commodore’s Messengers. He has, of course, chosen to go into ‘seclusion,’ but he maintains contact and control through the top messengers. Seclusion has its light and dark side too. It adds to his mystique, and yet shields him from accountability and subpoena or service of summons,” the judge wrote.
As for Mary Sue, Breckenridge called her a “pathetic individual” who wanted the court to believe that Armstrong’s possession of her husband’s documents constituted a “mental rape” of her. Breckenridge pointed out that as Scientology’s “Guardian,” she had personally directed members of the Guardian’s Office to cull damaging information about church members from their confessional files for “internal security.” She really wasn’t in a position to complain about collecting private information about other people. And besides, he continued, Hubbard had clearly given Armstrong and Garrison permission to use his documents for the proposed biography.
When Breckenridge wrote about Mrs. Hubbard appearing pathetic, it was because of her treatment by Hubbard and his Messenger underlings. Her credibility or hypocrisy problem as a witness apparently (on the other hand) made her appear less pathetic, or less sympathetic, to the judge. When she had Guardian Order 121669 “Programme: Intelligence: Internal Security” issued, December 16, 1969, she signed as “CS-G,” “Commodore’s Staff Guardian.” It is obvious that Hubbard-the-Commodore authored the GO and had his wife sign it. The Guardian was then Jane Kember. Since January 1969, Mrs. Hubbard also had held the post of “Controller,” which is the post title Breckenridge used. Both as CS-G and Controller, which were the same post but for different organization arms, she was senior to the Guardian.
[Judge Breckenridge:] 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. In her testimony she expressed the feeling that defendant by delivering the documents, writings, letters to his attorneys, subjected her to mental rape. 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. The only other persons who were shown any of the documents were defendant’s attorneys, the Douglasses, the Dincalcis, and apparently some documents specifically affecting LRH’s son “Nibs,” were shown to “Nibs.” The Douglasses and Dincalcises were disaffected Scientologists who had a concern for their own safety and mental security, and were much in the same situation as defendant. They had not been declared as suppressive, but Scientology had their P.C. folders, as well as other confessions, and they were extremely apprehensive. They did not see very many of the documents, and it is not entirely clear which they saw. At any rate Mary Sue Hubbard did not appear to be so much distressed by this fact, as by the fact that Armstrong had given the documents to Michael Flynn, whom the Church considered its foremost lawyer-enemy. 5 However, just as the plaintiffs have First Amendment rights, the defendant has a Constitutional right to an attorney of his own choosing. In legal contemplation the fact that defendant selected Mr. Flynn rather than some other lawyer cannot by itself be tortious. 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. He may have indulged in overkill, in the sense that he took voluminous materials, some of which appear only marginally relevant to his defense. But he was not a lawyer and cannot be held to that precise standard of judgment. Further, at the time that he was accumulating the material, he was terrified and undergoing severe emotional turmoil. The court is satisfied that he did not unreasonably intrude upon Mrs. Hubbard’s privacy under the circumstances by in effect simply making his knowledge that of his attorneys. It is, of course, rather ironic that the person who authorized G.O. order 121669 should complain about an invasion of privacy. The practice of culling supposedly confidential “P.C. folders or files” to obtain information for purposes of intimidation and or harassment is repugnant and outrageous. The Guardian’s Office, which plaintiff headed, was no respector of anyone’s civil rights, particularly that of privacy. Plaintiff Mary Sue Hubbard’s cause of action for conversion must fail for the same reason as plaintiff Church. The documents were all together in Omar Garrison’s possession. There was no rational way the defendant could make any distinction.
I am aware that Ortega got Mary Sue Hubbard’s post title right at other points in the book; e.g., p. 221.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] It was a total victory for Armstrong, and assured that eventually, journalists and authors would have access to the documents that spelled out the uncomfortable realities of L. Ron Hubbard’s life.
Well, some of the documents and some of the uncomfortable realities anyway. There are still millions of words of uncomfortable realities spelled out in Hubbard’s documents that the Scientologists have not produced, but have hidden and lied about.
According to Jesse Prince last year, during the 1983-86 period, there were “banker boxes full” of orders from Hubbard “spewing hate filled vitriol” just about me. Each of those orders spells out an uncomfortable reality; uncomfortable, that is, for the Scientologists. Imagine how uncomfortable reality was for the target of Hubbard’s hate filled orders. That’s another story. Here, it’s enough to know that the uncomfortable realities of Hubbard’s life are far worse than what the biographical documents I possessed showed, far worse than we wogs think.
[The Unbreakable Miss Lovely:] From London, meanwhile, there was more bad news for the church. A child custody suit there had resulted in another judge denouncing Scientology. The case involved a Scientologist couple who had split up and were fighting over custody of their two young children. The mother and her new husband had left the church, the father had not. The mother and stepfather introduced a huge amount of material about Scientology, in part with the help of a man named Jon Atack who had recently left the church himself. Their goal was to convince Sir John Latey, Justice of the Old Bailey, that Scientology and its policies were so damaging, the father should not be awarded custody. After hearing testimony, Justice Latey agreed with them, and awarded the mother her children.
“Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious,” Latey wrote in his decision. “In my judgment it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based on lies and deceit and has as its real objective money and power for Mr. Hubbard, his wife and those close to him at the top. It is sinister because it indulges in infamous practices both to its adherents who do not toe the line unquestioningly, and to those who criticize or oppose it. It is dangerous because it is out to capture people, especially children and impressionable young people, and indoctrinate and brainwash them so that they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living and relationships with others.”
Latey made his decision public on July 23, 1984. The next day, Scientology held its press conference in Los Angeles accusing Mike Flynn of masterminding a fraud scheme against L. Ron Hubbard. Flynn said the timing wasn’t accidental: The church was doing its best to distract attention from the Breckenridge and Latey decisions, which each found Scientology to be rotten to its core.
When the New York Times reported on the church’s claims about Flynn in a September 3, 1984 story, Paulette Cooper denounced the accusations against her attorney. “Now they’re trying to do the same thing they did to me to Michael Flynn,” she told the newspaper.
In fact, Scientology had been trying to ruin Flynn for years, not only with the Al Tamimi declaration, but with multiple bar complaints and investigations and lawsuits. But at the same time, Flynn had not only attracted clients like Paulette Cooper and Gerry Armstrong and Ron DeWolf (L. Ron Hubbard Jr.), but also several others.
With the stunning Armstrong decision, Flynn seemed to have Scientology on the ropes, increasing the chances that Paulette would also benefit as Flynn handled several of her lawsuits from California to Boston. But that’s not how things turned out, because Paulette was becoming increasingly tired of being one of Mike Flynn’s famous clients.
I would have thought that the more famous clients Flynn had the better.
This requires more thought than I can give it right now. Cooper became Flynn’s client in 1981, and perhaps became one of his famous ones at the same time. I became his client in 1982, but I don’t think I have ever thought of myself as one of his famous clients. This does not sound like any real reason for what happened.
- See Plea to Paulette Cooper ↩
- See Armstrong 1 documents. ↩
- See Breckenridge Decision. ↩
- See Reporter’s Transcript of Proceedings, August 2, 1984 ↩
- See Breckenridge Decision. ↩
- From The Breckenridge Decision ↩
- See 283 Cal.Rptr. 917 ↩
- See Letter to Cirrus Slevin:
- See, e.g., this July 22, 1982 declaration for Van Schaick v. Scientology:
- From A Manual on the Dissemination of Material, L. Ron Hubbard. ↩