Letter to Piers Vellacott,
Managing Director, Raw TV Ltd.
April 9, 2015
Mr. Piers Vellacott
Raw TV Ltd.
Dear Mr. Vellacott:
This concerns an upcoming episode of Dangerous Persuasions. As I am sure you are well aware, the episode entitled “A Scientologist’s Escape,” produced by Raw TV and featuring anti-Scientologist Marty Rathbun, is scheduled to air April 15, 2015.
After several unproductive contacts with Discovery Channel in the United States, I was ultimately referred to your assistant, with whom I spoke today. She confirmed that you are the person to speak to about this program, but said you are out of the country and unable to address this until after the program airs next week. Given the timing of the broadcast, that is unacceptable and is not going to work. It is my intent to correct any false and potentially defamatory content in the film before it airs so the program is balanced and accurate.
No one contacted the Church for any corroboration of Rathbun’s claims. For the past six years, Rathbun has been on a media campaign against the Scientology religion—a campaign that relies on provably false allegations against his former religion. One of his principal false reports is that he “escaped” from Scientology. The facts say otherwise. Rathbun spent his last year in the Church as a handyman in a Church carpentry mill in Florida. He has publicly affirmed that one day in December 2004, he packed a bag, walked out the front door, spent the day in a bar watching a ballgame, and then got on a bus out of the city. For him to describe this as an “escape” is totally inaccurate and prejudicial to the Church.
Rathbun’s veracity has been challenged judicially and by the media. He was criticized by a respected Florida State Court Judge for making false claims about the judge, under penalty of perjury, in court papers in 2012. Rathbun has also been challenged on the air by two network television reporters for his admitted lies. Further, in June 2009 he disclosed for the first time that he had suborned witnesses to lie to law enforcement and that he had destroyed documents in a legal proceeding. This past December, he admitted to having lied in declarations filed under penalty of perjury. I have documents, sworn statements and court documents supporting all of this and more.
Given Rathbun’s history of lies, there is every reason to suspect that the stories he is telling you are just as dishonest. You would be doing your viewers a grave disservice if you were to fail to have your staff familiarize themselves with this material so the program you air can be properly vetted before broadcast to ensure its fairness and accuracy.
I am requesting that you provide us with the allegations Rathbun is making in your program and give us an opportunity to furnish documented evidence in response.