This is the third in the scientology HBO footbullet series. See the two previous posts.
My comments about are in blue. They follow reviewing the Freedom magazine pages about Alex Gibney and HBO.
Below is the introductory statement:
More than two years after Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright and HBO started working in secret on a film glorifying bitter, vengeful apostates expelled from the Church of Scientology for malfeasance, they continue to stonewall any offers to meet with Church officials. Furthermore, they won’t tell the Church any of their allegations, let alone allow for a fair and reasonable response.
Glorifying? I doubt it. I am sure that the vast majority of people who see my interview and wonder “is there something wrong with that guy that he didn’t wake up for 35 years?” It’s not as if I scaled Mt. Everest or won a gold medal at the Olympics. I doubt I will come across as too “glorious.” That is a scientology thing – basking in the glory of feigned status. They hand out gawdy trophies like candy and have idiotic statuses in order to “glorify” people.
The Church has documented evidence that Gibney’s sources are admitted perjurers, proven liars and professional anti-Scientologists whose living depends on their false claims against the Church.
Funny, I don’t think Jason Beghe or Paul Haggis’s living depends on their “false claims” against the church. I know mine certainly doesn’t. My work exposing the abuses of scientology is a labor of love, not my livelihood. If I had to live off what I have gotten in return for speaking the truth I would be residing in a “shoebox in t’middle of the road” (to quote Monty Python).
The Church repeatedly wrote to Alex Gibney but its correspondence was ignored. The Church is disclosing some of this correspondence here.
Why not all of it? And why not the correspondence from Alex Gibney or HBO? Or all the letters from the church attorneys?
Scientology has seen greater expansion over the past decade than in the previous 50 years combined. Its 11,000 Churches, missions and affiliated groups now brighten every part of the globe, while Scientology has opened 40 Ideal Churches spanning five continents since 2004 alone. Its humanitarian and social programs touch lives in 167 countries.
One word: bullshit.
Following are some excerpts from the church letters put up on the Freedom site. They are merely some points that interested me, not necessarily the most significant. Note of course that it is a “selection” and omits ANY communication FROM HBO and also omits ALL correspondence from the CHURCH LAWYERS, while bitterly complaining that lawyers respond to them rather than Alex Gibney.
November 14, 2014
As for your letter and statements:
“Various questions have been raised about the administration of the church,”
We cannot answer ambiguous charges. Please provide specific allegations, per your journalistic duties.
Your sources are unqualified and know nothing about the Church today given most of them were dismissed by the Church a decade or more ago.
Of course, they bitterly complain that they are “not being informed” about who the “sources” (interesting term for someone who is interviewed on camera) are nor any specifics about their “allegations” but of course, they absolutely KNOW they are unqualified and that they know nothing about the Church.
“I believe that some of these questions can be answered only by David Miscavige.”
Give us the questions and we will determine who can answer them. It is impossible that only Mr. Miscavige can answer them. In fact, it’s a ridiculous assertion. Please provide the questions and the Church will provide timely responses.
How is it “impossible”? David Miscavige physically assaulted me. Marty Rathbun witnessed it. There were 3 people in the room. Who is going to respond to that OTHER than David Miscavige? Jenny Linson? Monique Yingling?
December 16, 2014
This whole concocted story started with Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun, discredited sources for you and Lawrence Wright. Wright’s book is a compendium of lies threaded together with the psychotic ramblings of a bunch of obsessed anti-Scientologists kicked out of the Church years ago. The book itself is nothing less than an example of corrupt, unethical journalism. Compared to Wright’s book, Rolling Stone’s debacle is Pulitzer-worthy.
This is an interesting premise. I wonder how they reached the conclusion that “this whole concocted story started with Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun…”? Just curious as I was and am unaware of this “fact.”
Apparently we have taken on mythic powers – apparently people inside the church are told that “all the out tech” or “the problems with Narconon” or “crush regging” or anything else anyone ever complains about “started with Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun.” To misquote Mel Brooks famous line, “It’s good to be the SP.”
Make no mistake, I definitely want to push you into a corner. I have repeatedly told you that I will answer allegations and provide you documentary proof they are false. I absolutely intend on having you on record as being offered these documents and either ignoring them or having seen them. And if, after having seen them, you ignore these materials, then I will also have a record of that.
I reiterate again: meet with us and we will present you the information.
This exposes exactly why Miscavige cannot sign his name to these letters. He could not do his chest pounding, passive/aggressive schtick and then say “meet with us” as he will NEVER meet. So, he has to write the letters and hide behind someone else’s name. And for the record, Karin Pouw doesn’t have the required sociopathic traits to write such overtly antagonistic, bullying letters such as the above (and some quoted below).
December 16, 2014
As an example of Alex Gibney’s bias, one of his anti-Scientology sources, Mike Rinder, is his Facebook friend. Rinder was kicked out of the Church for severe malfeasance as an external affairs officer. We later learned he was part of a trio involved in the subornation of perjury, not to mention a documented wife abuser.
Oh dear. I am Facebook friends with Alex Gibney (and Lawrence Wright — they forgot to mention). And that is some sort of evidence that Alex Gibney is biased? He has more than 3200 friends and Larry has more than 4900… But this proves some sort of plot and conspiracy? Funny, “David Miscavige Leader of Scientology” has a Facebook page and the top of the “Likes” include Graham Berry, Sam Freeman and Scott Pilutik. OMG, call the President – oh, forgot, he hasn’t been seen for years and is locked away at the compound in San Jacinto.
As for the “kicked out of the Church for severe malfeasance as an external affairs officer” – I thought the church was railing about the importance of telling the truth. It’s endless allegations about how HBO/Alex Gibney are not telling the truth and how reprehensible this is, and scientology is dropping clangers like this.
For the record, when I escaped the church, in London, England, I was there in the capacity of “International Spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International.” Of this there can be no doubt as I had just appeared in John Sweeney’s BBC Panorama program and via satellite on Anderson Cooper’s CNN program as the church spokesman. I was also one of the 5 members of the Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology International. I escaped – I was not “kicked out for severe malfeasance.”
And the story of the “wife abuse” can be found here. It is an account of 7 people (my ex-wife included) being dispatched to a parking lot to spring a surprise “confrontation” on me. I did not go looking for her, she flew across the country with these others, had me followed, and then surrounded me, screaming obscenties and tried to prevent me from getting back into my car and leaving the area. The incident was recorded by the BBC. This is the “wife abuse” they are so fond of tossing out.
So let’s get this straight:
- HBO commissions a documentary based on a book by Lawrence Wright, who has this entire posse of anti-Scientologists that he used as sources on his Facebook page as friends.
- The filmmaker of HBO’s documentary, Alex Gibney, not only has Mike Rinder as a Facebook friend but follows him and others of this anti-Scientology posse, the sources, on Twitter.
- HBO is reportedly flying these and other zealots into Sundance to promote the film, and paying for their hotel and accommodations, according to rumors on the internet. Is this true?
Oh no, Twitter too! Captain Miscavige doesn’t even HAVE a Twitter page, so probably doesn’t really know what it is. Or is afraid that if he did he might get followers like me…
With this sort of reasoning, it is no wonder Miscavige is lording over a rapidly shrinking empire. He has reached the level of bona fide conspiracy theory nut.
And I find it interesting that on December 16 they write a letter that states that there is “rumor on the internet” that HBO is flying “zealots” to Sundance and paying their hotel “and accommodations.”
I was contacted by HBO by email on 16 December about making travel arrangements.
There was no “rumor on the internet” — this is a cover for the fact that scientology is accessing communications they should not be accessing and then trying to “make it overt” by asking for confirmation. It’s an old trick.
For the record, HBO is not flying me first class like Miscavige does for Monique Yingling. Nor springing for the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton. Miscavige pays Yingling millions of dollars, has her eat at the most expensive restaurants etc etc and he holds her out as an unbiased source of truth about scientology, speaking on his behalf. But if HBO pays for anyone to fly to see the premiere of the film they are in, this is somehow proof of bigotry?
As usual, the sauce for the goose is not for the gander.
December 24, 2014
I am writing you again as I have yet to receive a reply from you. Instead of answering my correspondence, you turned it over to your attorney to answer.
This one is pretty rich. HBO turned over the letters to their counsel? Hahahaha.
Sauce for the goose….
As stated in no fewer than ten letters to you and HBO, for us to know what is relevant you need to give us the questions, assertions and allegations. Stop with the guessing game. As we repeatedly have said, we have available volumes of documentary evidence, court rulings, facts and declarations signed under penalty of perjury.
Here, once again, Miscavige is exposed through his blustery attempts to bully: “Stop with the guessing game.” Pure Miscavige.
What is so amazing is the illogic within his own statements.
He KNOWS what it is that HBO should have, but he isn’t going to provide it to them because “they haven’t told him what they want.”
Which is it Captain Miscavige? Do you know? Or don’t you know? Why didn’t you just sent it all along? You have been talking about it now for more than a month….
That your approach “primarily has been to interview those individuals, who speak to their own personal experiences.”
How do you know these people are telling the truth about these so-called “personal experiences?” Couching something as a “personal experience” is not a license to lie. If any of them have a “personal experience” in the Church, then there are countless others who shared that experience and are certainly relevant. Cherry picking a small handful of bitter, hateful individuals without asking the Church to identify those who may have been involved in these “personal experiences” reflects your bias.
More illogic: They know HBO “cherry-picked” a small handful of “bitter, hateful individuals” so why are they acting so aggrieved that they have not been informed who the individuals are? How do you accuse someone of wrongdoing, stridently claim that this is the case, and then say “so you need to tell me what you did that was wrong.”
That “interviews with other persons who were eyewitnesses to the events these individuals describe are appropriate and would be valuable to the filmmaker.”
Once again, that is what we have been saying all along. We will give you “eyewitnesses” if we know what they are supposed to be eyewitnesses to. Give us the allegations. We have more people than you likely have room for. So get prepared.
More tough talk. But of course, not a one of them will agree to be interviewed. First and foremost, Captain Miscavige.
That “contrary to your assertion, Mr. Gibney did not ask Mr. Miscavige (nor the Pope, for that matter) to ‘defend the tenets of his faith.’”
With no disrespect to the Catholic Church, this characterization is entirely inaccurate. Mea Maxima Culpa dealt with numerous concluded legal cases. By contrast, we have won each and every legal case brought by your sources. In fact, at least five of them have state and/or federal court rulings against them.
Your analogy with the Catholic Church pedophile issue is offensive. You wanted the Pope to justify why priests committing crimes remained in the Church so long. Yet with us, you want Mr. Miscavige to answer for why he cleaned house by removing individuals who have confessed to crimes, are admitted liars, committed financial malfeasance, stole from the Church, committed acts of violence and engaged in other unacceptable behaviour. If anything, it’s the opposite.
Your sources were dismissed for cause and expelled. Why aren’t you asking them to defend their behaviour?
Amazing. If anyone cannot see through this virtual admission of guilt, they belong in the church of scientology.
What are you afraid of? We will be in New York after the holidays and will contact you.
The bully closes with another machismo challenge.
Interestingly, we know what HE is afraid of. Cameras. Reporters. Depositions. Lawsuits. The general public. “Unemployed bitter defrocked apostates on the fringes of the internet.” Martians. Germs. Luggage with wheels. Sharp pencils.
January 7, 2015
I am writing to you as once again you refuse to answer my letters and refer all my communications to your attorney.
You avoided the Church for two years and still refuse to provide us an opportunity to respond to allegations you will make in your film. Yet you have no problem with HBO picking up the entire travel and accommodations tab to send a professional anti-Scientologist like Mike Rinder to Sundance for your screenings. Of note, Rinder admitted that in a sworn deposition just yesterday. Two weeks ago we also deposed another of Wright’s principal sources, Marty Rathbun. Both depositions, under oath, contain incontrovertible evidence about the bias of your sources, not to mention their monetary incentives, which in accordance with journalistic standards you must disclose to viewers and film critics.
Fascinating. These depositions are NOT public. The transcript has not even been reviewed by me and signed. It was clear that the vast majority of questions had nothing to do with the Garcia case, but were attempts to get something that could be used in the footbullet circus in response to HBO. It is good to have confirmation of this. Especially in light of the Judge’s admonition that the discovery process was not be abused.
Had Wright checked with us, we would have provided ample information showing the pathological lies of people like Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun—as well as virtually every “source” Wright revealed to us when the book was published. The only reason not to tell us was to keep us from shredding their credibility.
Pathological lies? The lies he refers to are the ones on behalf of the church. Most specifically when asked on camera by John Sweeney of the BBC whether the “thumping Pope of scientology” (David Miscavige) had ever physically assaulted me. I lied. I said he had not. He had, numerous times. It was my job to protect the “good name” of David Miscavige and scientology at the time. It haunted me to lie like that. I escaped shortly thereafter.
We will be in New York next week to meet. We come with facts, judicial decisions and documents (you know, documents—as in that word documentary). And unlike Rinder, you don’t have to pay our airfare and accommodations. We aren’t in bed with you or Facebook friends.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay our airfare. We have PLENTY of money. Billions in fact. We don’t spend it on “humanitarian programs” but we spare no expense to fly people all over the country if Captain Miscavige’s reputation is being questioned.
What Slim Pickens is to B-52 pilots, David Miscavige is to PR practitioners.