Mark Rathbun : biography
Mark C. "Marty" Rathbun was Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), the organization that controls the copyrights and trademarks of the materials relating to Dianetics and Scientology. His role was to head the Inspector General Network, described by the Church of Scientology as "an independent investigatory and policing body whose function is to keep Scientology working by ensuring the pure and ethical use of Dianetics and Scientology technology." The post is one of the most senior management functions in the Church and its related organizations."", Religious Technology Center, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-18 Rathbun left the Church of Scientology in 2004 and is now an independent Scientologist.
Departure from the Church of Scientology
Rathbun left the Church of Scientology in 2004 and is now an independent Scientologist providing counselling and auditing services for other Scientologists who have cut their ties with the Church of Scientology. Also see Rathbun's comments at ., Mark Rathbun blog He emerged as a critical source in a 2009 St. Petersburg Times expose on the organization, stating that physical violence is a common occurrence within Scientology management, and that Miscavige regularly beats his staff, or orders staff to administer beatings to designated individuals – accusations which the Church of Scientology categorically denies. This reporting series by the St. Petersburg Times titled "Inside Scientology: The Truth Rundown" was recognized with honors including the 2010 Gold Medal for Public Service award from the Florida Society of News Editors, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Headliner Awards in the category of investigative reporting.
In late December 2009, his blog and email accounts were "hacked and hijacked." Rathbun restored his accounts shortly after.
According to his official biography, Rathbun became a Church staff member in 1978, and joined the RTC board in 1987. The biography also credits him with having played a major role in various Church victories, including the negotiation of the Church's tax exemption agreement with the Internal Revenue Service in 1993. In 1998, Florida newspaper the St. Petersburg Times described Rathbun as "top lieutenant" to Scientology leader David Miscavige.
In 1997, The New York Times reported that according to an internal Scientology publication, Rathbun and Miscavige jump-started stalled negotiations over Scientology's tax status when they made an unscheduled visit to I.R.S. Commissioner Fred T. Goldberg, Jr. at the Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington in October 1991. The Church of Scientology and Rathbun later denied that there had been an unscheduled meeting between Goldberg, Rathbun and Miscavige that day. The Church said that "While an internal publication of three years ago does recount Mr. Miscavige approaching the I.R.S., it never states he was granted an unscheduled meeting on demand." Rathbun, in a separate letter to the New York Times, explained that the first meeting he and Miscavige had with Goldberg and other I.R.S. officials was approximately one month after their impromptu visit to the I.R.S. building.
As a Scientology spokesman, Rathbun commented to the same newspaper on the involvement of celebrities in Scientology, saying that "Scientology works for these people, and they just want to give to others what works for them. We don't give them a badge and send them out. They do it on their own." When discussing reluctance among some established churches to collaborate with Scientology under the umbrella of an interfaith organization, he was also quoted as saying that "Bigotry is born out of ignorance."
Tom Cruise confessional files
In May 2010, Rathbun asserted that during his tenure as Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center, Scientology leader David Miscavige issued him orders that the auditing sessions of celebrity Scientology member, actor Tom Cruise, be secretly videotaped. Rathbun had himself been the individual responsible for performing auditing counseling with Cruise. Rathbun wrote on his blog that he had been tasked with auditing Cruise during the period in 2001 directly after he had separated from Nicole Kidman. Rathbun wrote, "I audited a number of intensives of confessionals on Tom Cruise from July through November 2001. ... By order of Miscavige many of those sessions were secretly recorded by a well-concealed video camera and voice recorder system built into the VIP auditing room at Celebrity Center International." Rathbun subsequently learned that transcripts of the videotapes of Cruise were brought to meetings where they would be discussed by top management of Scientology. Rathbun wrote that Miscavige would read out information from the reports about Cruise's auditing sessions, "While sipping scotch whiskey at the end of the night, Miscavige would read Tom’s overts and withholds ... joking and laughing about the content of Tom’s confessions."
The nature of what was discussed in the confessional sessions by Cruise was not revealed. Rathbun ceased the filming of Cruise in 2002, because he felt it was unethical. Rathbun left the organization in 2004, and since then has given counselling to former members of Scientology. In a post on his blog, Rathbun wrote a statement addressed to Cruise, "Wake up, Tom. It is not too late. Though, time is getting very, very short." , representatives for Cruise had not yet responded to the statements made by Rathbun.
Tony Ortega, Editor-in-Chief of The Village Voice, described the statements by Rathbun about the use of Cruise's confessional files as "some of the most damning statements against his former employer." Lynn Hayes of Beliefnet discussed the revelations by Rathbun, writing, "Religion in any form provides a solid structure that can offer comfort and security, and departure from that security can be frightening and painful. As humans we always have a choice, and it will be interesting to see how Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology manage this revelation." El Tiempo commented, "Although Tom Cruise is a staunch supporter and defender of Scientology, apparently other members of this doctrine do not profess the same devotion to the actor."
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