UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Middle District of Florida
KENNAN G. DANDAR and DANDAR & DANDAR, P.,
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SERVICE ORGANIZATION, INC., et al.,
Civil Action No. 8:12-CV-2477-T-33EAJ
EXAMINATION UNDER OATH OF MARK “MARTY” RATHBUN 1
NOVEMBER 9, 2012
ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF (VIA TELEPHONE):
MR. KENNAN G. DANDAR
DANDAR & DANDAR, P.A.
5509 WEST GRAY STREET, SUITE 201
TAMPA, FLORIDA 33609
EXAMINATION UNDER OATH OF MARK “MARTY” RATHBUN, taken by KENNAN G. DANDAR, commencing at 10:59 a.m. on the 9th day of November, 2012, before WENDY A. LUND, a Certified Shorthand Reporter in and for the State of Texas, and also videotaped by Videographer, ART CARROLL, at the Offices of DepoTexas-Corpus Christi, 615 N. Upper Broadway, Suite 1450, Corpus Christi, Texas.
THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Okay. Today’s date is November the 9th, 2012. The time is approximately 10:59, and we’re now on the record.
MR. DANDAR: Okay. Swear in the witness, please.
MARK “MARTY” RATHBUN, having been first duly sworn, testified as follows:
EXAMINATION BY MR. DANDAR:
Q. Please state your full name.
A. Mark Charles Rathbun, also known as Marty.
Q. And what is your address?
A. It is 115 Bayshore Court, Ingleside on the Bay, Texas, 78362.
Q. Okay. Could you give us a — a description of your history with the Church of Scientology?
A. Well, I joined the Church of Scientology in 1977. I joined what’s called the C Organization, which is its priesthood, in January, 1978, and I served there until December 12th, 2004. From approximately 1982 until I left in December, 2004, I answered to nobody other than David Miscavige, who was effectively the Supreme Leader of all Scientology organizations.
Q. What was your title, if you had one, and I’m sure you did, in 2000 — uh, let’s say 2000 to 2004?
A. I was Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center. And the Inspector General is the second highest ecclesiastical position in all of the Scientology network, answers only to the Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center, which is David Miscavige.
Q. All right. So is it fair to say you worked hand in glove with David Miscavige?
A. Yes, on a daily basis.
Q. All right.
All right. I’m going to direct your attention now to the Lisa McPherson case.
Q. And let’s start off with Exhibit No. 1.2
A. All right.
Q. And just take a look at that. I think you’ll see it’s your blog or is that your website? I’m not sure how you call it, what you call it.
A. It’s a blog, yeah.
Q. Okay. And Exhibit No. 1, is that your writing that is contained in this entire article until you get to Mike Rinder’s comments section at the last page?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Okay. And, as you know, you’re under oath today, so I’ve got to ask you this question. Is everything that you wrote in this blog, Exhibit No. 1, true?
Q. Okay. Is it based upon personal knowledge?
Q. Okay. So let’s look at this for just a little bit.
A. All right.
Q. And go ahead.
A. No. I said all right. I’m sorry.
Q. I’m sorry. Okay. On the second page, which says “First order of business…”; you see that?
Q. Okay. A Republican political consultant by the name of Mary Repper was hired. Who decided to do that?
A. David Miscavige.
Q. And how did he know about Mary Repper?
A. Um, we had known about her because, you know, in the Church of Scientology, there’s this branch called Office of Special Affairs or OSA. I call it the — I think the best description of it is the, uh, dirty tricks and propaganda arm of the Churches of Scientology. It does all of their external facing business. OSA is constantly working on what’s called a power communication lines database, which is a computer database that culls from every source of information they can find, through going out and doing public record checks, through an intelligence network, through parishioner files, through counseling folders, through everything to find every connection they can find from a Scientologist or people hired by Scientology to people in positions of power in Scientology communities.
So in Clearwater, Florida, Mary Repper was known for years prior to any retention being done. In fact, she was the subject of a number of these OSA power communication database analyses, which showed she was one of the top movers and shakers in the Pinellas County community, who for many years leading up to around 2000, she was considered and labeled as a — somebody who was anti Scientology and was a key player in the community that had to be dealt with one way or another.
Q. All right. So — so was it you or David Miscavige or someone else that made the decision to meet with her and sway her to come over to the Scientology side, for lack of a better phrase?
A. Yeah. You know, he makes the decision on all these — any matter of that import, and particularly since he was there at the meeting, um, you know, he makes the deci — he makes the ultimate decision. I don’t recall exactly, precisely what led up to that, whether — I know Tom DeVocht was involved somehow because Tom DeVocht was the — it’s D-e-v-o-c-h t Tom DeVocht was the, um, the head of the Flag Land Base, the Clearwater operation. And, um, and he was responsible for putting all the buildings together and dealing with contracters, so he had a lot of contacts with the outside world, lawyers, real estate, uh, lawyers, that sort of thing. And Tom, I remember, had come across some communication line to Mary Repper, and it was in conjunction with Bennetta Slaughter, who was a Scientologist doing a bunch of PR activities in Clearwater on behalf of the church, and those two somehow came up with this communication line to Mary Repper. And, um, and we got a report back, Miscavige and I, from — from — from the both of them, from DeVocht and Slaughter, that Mary Repper wasn’t so — necessarily so antagonistic after all.
And so a meeting got set up for her to meet with Miscavige at the Hibiscus Restaurant, which is on the premises of Flag, Flag Land Base in Clearwater, and David Miscavige said by all means. You know, he felt he could, uh, personally sway her with his — with his charisma and make her an ally or friend of Scientology.
Q. And, in fact, that’s what he did do, correct?
A. Well, not exactly. What he did —
A. — what he did do was retained her at a — at a pretty hefty, uh, flat rate retainer. Um, she had a monthly retainer, as I recall, in the, um, thousands of dollars, you know, per month. I don’t remember.
Q. How much was it?
A. I don’t remember exactly what it was, Ken. I know it was several thousand dollars per month. And she was all too happy to have a, you know, a retainer like that. Um, so, um, why I say not exactly is because, you know, he was going to — you know, he characterized that he was going to win her over with his charisma, but I think he really won her over with his dollars.
Q. Okay. Now, one of the things she did, she was the campaign manager for the State Attorney in Pinellas County, Mr. McCabe; is that right?
Q. Okay. So she set up these dinners at her house, and the Scientology movie stars were invited to come and woo the politicians?
Q. Okay. So those — those Hollywood stars you name on Page 2 is Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Greta Van Sustern, and soap star, Michelle Stafford.
A. Yes. Correct.
Q. Were there any others?
A. Those are the ones I recall.
Q. Okay. All right. And you really did get the Pinellas County Sheriff and the Public Defender and the Mayors of Tampa and Clearwater to show up at these events?
A. Yes. In fact, the, uh, the sheriff, Rice was his name, was — was really Repper’s first major target because she was really tight with him and had been for decades. Um, and that was the first person she sort of won over to being friendly with Scientology.
A. And that was — that was directly. And everything at that time, you know, from ’96 through 2004, really, was directed first and foremost at getting rid of the McPherson criminal case, getting rid of the McPherson civil case, and patching up the bad public relations damage that it had done, so that’s why she was brought in.
- PDF format: 2012-11-09 Examination Under Oath (Mark C. Rathbun) ↩
- Exhibit 1 is a copy of Mark Rathbun’s August 3, 2011 blog article and Mike Rinder’s comment. ↩