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The Rathbun >> Rinder >> DeVocht Conspiracy
and how it led to their downfall

“Individuals with criminal minds tend to band together since the presence of other criminals about them tends to prove their own distorted ideas of man in general.”

L. Ron Hubbard

As is well known, liars are cowards and cowards are liars. In fact, it’s a specific part of the Scientology Scripture as contained in its ethics and justice codes.

So it is that while lying is despised in society as a whole, it’s actually considered criminal within the religion of Scientology.

However, there is a type of lie that is considered criminal by everybody, because it represents conduct that tears at the very fabric of justice and civilized society.

By definition, a lie is “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive.” When one lies, it has consequences. When one is known to be a liar, one soon finds himself shunned by friends and associates.

But perjury is much more serious. It means “the willful giving of false testimony under oath.” It’s a criminal offense. And when one is caught committing perjury, one goes to jail. In fact the penalty is intentionally harsh so as to serve as a deterrent for those who may not possess the moral integrity to be honest or truthful. Those convicted of perjury serve up to five years in prison doing hard time.

But actually, there is an even worse type of criminal liar. That’s the person who not only tells untruths to law enforcement and the courts, but also gets others to do so as well. It’s called suborning perjury and it means “to induce a witness to give false testimony.”

People who are suborners of perjury are much rarer than the cowardly liar or criminal perjurer. That’s because it takes a great deal of persuasion to get another to lie to authorities. One typically hears of this sort of crime—suborning perjury—perpetrated by thugs, since it’s always an attempt to get others to lie to protect the real criminal. That’s why it also carries a sentence of five years in jail.

Here is the person who not only intimidates others to lie, but who looks at evidence of the truth and, as if out of an old gangster movie, tells his posse to “lose ‘em”—that is,  get rid of it.
All of which begs the question: Is there any greater form of dishonesty? Actually, there is. It’s called obstruction of justice, which means “an attempt to interfere with the administration of the courts, the judicial system or law enforcement officers, including threatening witnesses, hiding or destroying evidence.”

Here is the person who not only intimidates others to lie, but who looks at evidence of the truth and, as if out of an old gangster movie, tells his posse to “lose ‘em”—that is, get rid of it. Of course, this too is a crime, yet another five years in jail, but by now what does it matter to the criminal who has long since passed the point of any self-respect and considers laws are written for “suckers.” Meaning, honest people.

More to the point here: A person who would commit perjury, who would suborn perjury and who would obstruct justice is a person with the ethics of a gutter rat—a person who could tell a lie with a straight face to his “friends” and feel no remorse “unless I was caught,” a person who could see others being falsely accused of what he had done and keep silent while “lots of people go down and remain in turmoil while I go unrecognized as the source of it and survive.”

If you’ve never seen this face of evil and have
no desire to do so in the future, then be forewarned to avoid the self-proclaimed “Posse”: Marty “Kingpin” Rathbun, Mike “Corroborator” Rinder, and Tom “Con Man” DeVocht.

And if you’ve never seen this face of evil and have no desire to do so in the future, then be forewarned to avoid the self-proclaimed “Posse”: Marty “Kingpin” Rathbun, Mike “Corroborator” Rinder, and Tom “Con Man” DeVocht. Because all you’ve just read is their case history, the statements in quotes are their exact words.

And here’s what they did:

  • 1993: The Church is at peace, having ended its 40-year conflict with the IRS, been exonerated and recognized as a fully tax-exempt religious institution. With this and other external conflicts ended, the Church turns its attention to religious and humanitarian programs.

  • One month later, while the Church and its parishioners were still celebrating victory, Rathbun has a mental breakdown. It is assumed the years of external battles took their toll on him emotionally. He is given a two-year sabbatical in the Caribbean, with no work responsibilities whatsoever.

(Not for another decade, when he had his second mental breakdown, would he admit that the first breakdown wasn’t owing to the “stresses of war” but, rather, because the war was over when he actually had no desire for peace. As he himself phrased it, he only knew how to fight and was a “fish out of water” when it came to any constructive activity. But, as noted, that Rathbun confession wouldn’t come for another 10 years—in 2003.)

  • 1995: The Church continues at peace and has entered a new era of expansion. But then, an accidental tragedy occurs. All concerned witnesses are interviewed by the police and the investigation discovers no wrongdoing.

  • 1997: It is discovered that the witnesses interviewed by police were not truthful. Specifically, they had failed to inform authorities that the individual in question was actually psychotic. Moreover, the records detailing the psychosis were either lost or destroyed.

  • Longstanding policy by the religion’s Founder expressly prohibits psychotics from being allowed on Church premises. Immediate internal investigations are ordered to find out:

    • Who had allowed the psychotic on Church premises.

    • Who had coordinated the witnesses to lie, since they had all told the same untruthful story.

    • And who had lost or destroyed the missing evidence.

    • Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder are assigned to investigate, and report their findings. Consequently:

    • More than a dozen staff members are removed or dismissed, for allowing a psychotic on Church premises.

    • Two senior executives are removed and assigned janitorial duties for allowing the psychotic onto Church premises.

    • Two additional Church executives are removed and dismissed for destroying evidence.

    • Church Counsel representing the witnesses is fired for supposedly coaching those witnesses to lie.

      (These findings are not what really happened, nor were those removed the actual perpetrators. Not for 10 years would the real truth concerning the above events be discovered.)

  • 1997: New Church Counsel are hired and all witnesses are reinterviewed by law enforcement to provide truthful testimony. They are granted immunity from prosecution.

  • 1997–1998: The local newspaper, the S.P. Times, has long held a vendetta against the Scientology religion, and waged a decades-long campaign to not only drive the Church out of town, but also destroy it entirely. With the revelations that witnesses had been untruthful, the S.P. Times has a field day.

All of this is made possible for the fact that once one tells a lie, nothing one says is believed.

And so ensued 129 articles and 15 editorials, totaling some 30 newspaper pages and more than 4,000 column inches, urging criminal charges against the Church. The Times’ allegations are bizarre in the extreme.

All articles are authored by reporter Tom Tobin and his editor Joe Childs.

The Church spokesman responsible for answering S.P. Times enquiries is Mike Rinder.

  • 1998: The S.P. Times coverage reaches a fever pitch. The Times makes a mockery of Rinder’s responses. Finally, the Times reaches out to interview the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, Mr. David Miscavige. Rinder recommends he not grant the interview, but Mr. Miscavige nonetheless consents anyway. Moreover, he offers the Times complete and open access to the Church in Clearwater, Los Angeles and International Headquarters. It’s his first interview in six years and results in a fair and balanced Sunday edition cover story profiling him. Accordingly, after years of contentious relationship, open channels with the S.P. Times and Scientology are established for the first time in history if for no other reason (unbeknownst to Mr. Miscavige at this time) that all previous communications with the S.P. Times by Rinder and Rathbun were the opposite of “open” and cordial.
  • 1998: Notwithstanding the foregoing, the one-year barrage of S.P. Times editorializing has had its effect, and the State brings criminal charges against the Church itself. Such charges are unprecedented and inexplicable. Moreover, it sets off an international wave of anti-Scientology press.

  • 1998–2000: Due to the serious ramifications of these charges to the Church, Mr. Miscavige is forced to relocate from Los Angeles to Clearwater and personally handle the matter. The tragedy is finally ruled an accident and the State drops all charges against the Church.

  • 2000–2002: Notwithstanding dismissal of criminal charges, a civil action proceeds.

In addition to the Church itself, an attempt is made to make Rathbun, Rinder and Mr. Miscavige defendants. Mr. Miscavige is in Los Angeles attending to preparations for the Church’s Millennium (2000) New Year’s celebration. Rathbun and Rinder are the legal affairs staff responsible for handling the hearing. They attend to court arguments, whereupon they are dismissed from the case, but Mr. Miscavige is not, becoming a defendant.

  • 2002: In a two-month hearing, an anti-Scientologist testifies against Mr. Miscavige. He accuses him of:

    • Personally destroying missing evidence in the case.

    • Coaching the witness to lie.

    • Destroying evidence ordered produced by the Court.

He points to a previous court ruling in another case Rinder had defended, ruling that Mr. Miscavige had destroyed evidence. While that decision had been overturned, the same charge of destruction of that very evidence was once again being made. Moreover, this anti-Scientologist claimed that he witnessed the destruction of evidence by the ecclesiastical leader.

The anti-Scientologist argument was simple. Since Mr. Miscavige had destroyed evidence in another case, he would have been the one to destroy it in this case.

The hearing drags on for months. Mr. Miscavige repeatedly tells Rinder and Rathbun that he knows nothing of the missing evidence and certainly never ordered it destroyed (even if somebody else did).

Rinder and Rathbun are smug and do nothing about it. Their excuse is that the evidence is gone, no matter who did it, and how could they possibly have a way of responding to the charges?

Mr. Miscavige becomes convinced that Rinder and Rathbun must have destroyed the evidence. He orders an investigation by others to get to the bottom of it.

Rathbun was upset because the final remaining case was over and there were no more battles to fight. As he stated, “I only know how to fight. It’s all I’ve ever done.”

As it turns out, Rinder and Rathbun had not destroyed the evidence Mr. Miscavige had long been accused of destroying. In fact, all allegedly destroyed evidence—seven feet of it—was found, within one hour of the request, in pristine condition, in Rinder’s storage in Los Angeles.

Rinder was in possession of the evidence the whole time and had sat on it to the point of court rulings holding Mr. Miscavige responsible for ordering the evidence destroyed when, in fact, said evidence was sitting right in Rinder’s office. Rinder’s only excuse: He “didn’t know” the evidence was there. However, it was also clear: He never even looked.

  • 2002: It’s the beginning of the end for Rinder and Rathbun. Mr. Miscavige orders further investigation for the missing evidence in the current case. He has all storage in Clearwater searched, literally millions of linear feet of paper. It’s not found. Rinder and Rathbun quickly blame another staff member. Who knows? At this point nobody cares about their excuses.

  • 2002: With the hearing concluded, both Rinder and Rathbun are removed, for incompetence. Mr. Miscavige tells them he’s getting to the bottom of this case one way or the other—and their involvement in it. More to the point, from 2002 onward, neither was to ever serve in an executive capacity again.

  • 2003: With Mr. Miscavige opening new Churches around the world, Rinder, Rathbun and—mysteriously at the time—DeVocht team up and begin what is later described as a “reign of terror” in Miscavige’s absence.

Upon his return, Mr. Miscavige takes immediate disciplinary action, dismissing Rathbun entirely and posting him in a lower-level Church.

  • 2004: With Rinder and Rathbun now posted in low-level positions, in lower-level Churches, Mr. Miscavige orders their peers to get to the bottom of their conspiracy. As he points out, both men had botched every legal case they had handled and for some reason had become so derelict of duty they were too lazy to even look for evidence. It made no sense.

  • 2004: No sooner had Mr. Miscavige departed again than Rathbun had a complete breakdown, beating Rinder to a pulp before five men rushed in to stop Rathbun from killing Rinder.

  • 2004: Rathbun promptly blows and is next discovered drunk in a ditch. Once again it is assumed (erroneously) that external wars had caused his mental breakdown.

He would finally admit that in both 1993 (his first blow) and now, he was upset because the final remaining case was over and there were no more battles to fight. As he stated, “I only know how to fight. It’s all I’ve ever done.”

Rathbun claims he’s a “warrior” and that he’ll be back when the next war starts. He’s informed there won’t be any further wars.

He swears he’ll prove his competence by helping people, whereupon he’s next heard, literally, asking where his 9mm gun is. He is written off as the psychotic he is.

  • 2005: Tom DeVocht, in charge of Church construction projects, is discovered to have signed millions of dollars in unauthorized work orders. He too, with this discovery, promptly blows. The only person he speaks to before leaving is Rinder, who later tells colleagues that he shook DeVocht’s hand as a parting message. Shook his hand? Leaving staff and the Church’s religious order is not only despised by all Scientologists, it’s cause for automatic expulsion from the religion.

Why would Rinder shake DeVocht’s hand? Rinder provided no answer. But it remained a mystery nobody forgot, repeatedly probing to get to the bottom of it.

  • 2006–2007: With the Church once again at peace, and all external legal battles having long since been terminated, investigations have dead-ended as to how the last case concerning the accidental tragedy could have even occurred. That’s when another legal staffer involved in defending the case confesses something he must get off his chest. Namely, that every time Mr. Miscavige would ask Rathbun and Rinder to investigate why witnesses had lied, and why evidence had gone missing, Rinder and Rathbun would wink at each other as soon as Mr. Miscavige left the room. Rathbun has long since been gone, but Rinder is confronted with the report.

He finally admits that both he and Rathbun knew the entire time what happened to the evidence discovered in Los Angeles. In fact, he and Rathbun were the ones who put it there—and said nothing about it while Mr. Miscavige was being accused of having destroyed it.

Rinder makes another stunning admission: that it was Rathbun himself who had violated Church policy and ordered the psychotic onto Church premises, overriding all other staff who had refused to do so, since it was an obvious violation of the Church Founder’s policy.

Finally Rinder admits that he had conspired with Rathbun to point the finger at others who, once dismissed for their supposed misconduct, would no longer be around to expose Rathbun as the culprit. Rinder and Rathbun had let dozens go down or be dismissed—ordering their dismissal—to cover up that they, Rinder and Rathbun, were the actual perpetrators.

(As for the real reason they covered up who had allowed a psychotic on Church premises, it was because both Rinder and Rathbun knew they would be dismissed from the Church for violating the Founder’s policy on psychotics not being allowed on Church premises. And that was all in addition to a possible 10 years in jail for destroying evidence and suborning perjury, in forcing every witness to not be truthful. As for why Rathbun would allow a psychotic on Church premises, in contravention of the Founder’s specific policies, that would only be discovered years later. Specifically, it was Rathbun’s familial history of insanity—never revealed by him, although required on his application for Church staff—which prompted him to act irrationally in allowing a psychotic on Church premises in a misguided effort to attempt more than was done during his upbringing when his mother and both brothers were institutionalized.)

This was all Rinder admitted to in 2007—although, two years later, both he and Rathbun would finally confess to something even more startling.

For Rinder was a man who lived for the glory of walking in the shadow of power, and his fall in disgrace was more than he could tolerate.

Nevertheless, Rinder’s fate was sealed and he knew it. He would never again hold an executive position in any capacity and should he not complete an ecclesiastic ethics program, he would be transferred to a local Church parish to service parishioners and regain a sense of the Church’s religious mission.


  • 2007: Rinder is in England, serving in an assistant capacity to Church spokespersons. Having completed a particular media assignment, he requests approval to return to the Church’s International Headquarters. He is told to remain in England for the time being and is reminded his “services” are not needed and maybe he can do something in England that would demonstrate his value should he be allowed to return. He says he will do so. Whereupon, he blows without so much as a word.

For here was a man who lived for the glory of walking in the shadow of power, and his fall in disgrace was more than he could tolerate. Over the preceding five years, he’d been given dozens of opportunities to reform and always thought he’d be given another. Finally realizing he’d have to earn his own way back up, he instead left his colleagues, his wife of 35 years, his children.

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