ABC NIGHTLINE: INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY -- ILLUSTRATED INTERVIEW
[Martin Bashir] Why didn't you react by hitting back?
[Bruce Hines] That would mean I had just forfeited my hope for eternity.
[Martin Bashir] Your hope for eternity?
[Bruce Hines] Yeah, because it's drilled in, over and over and over again, that Scientology has the only route to freedom.
[Martin Bashir] So he has the power over eternity?
[Bruce Hines] Yes.
[Martin Bashir] The Church provided ABC with more than a dozen affidavits from current Scientologists, including some of the supposed victims, saying allegations that Miscavige struck subordinates are false and ridiculous.
He is not a man of violence.
Tommy Davis, Scientology spokesman, says these former staffers are bitter and disgruntled liars.
Q. Do you not accept that these individuals that have come out in public are making serious allegations about the leader's randomized acts of violence in different settings, in different places, to different individuals? The details of these attacks are worrying, because it's not three people in one room describing one event. These are randomized acts of violence.
[Tommy Davis] Well, they are made to seem that way. They are not independent.
[Martin Bashir] Tom De Vocht has described being personally hit.
[Tommy Davis] If he was personally hit, then why in his 20 years of marriage to his wife, did he never say anything to her about it? Why did Mike Rinder, who was married for 35 years, why has his wife made it very clear that never did he come home with any bruises, any marks, nor did he ever mention being attacked by Mr. Miscavige, struck or hit by him? In fact, Mike Rinder to the BBC stated repeatedly that allegations of his having been physically attacked by Mr. Miscavige are rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. *
[Mike Rinder] That is absolute rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.
[Martin Bashir] In 1998, you told the St. Petersburg Times, and I quote, "I have never known David Miscavige in 20 years to hit anyone." So, were you lying then, or are you lying now?
[Marty Rathbun] Then.
[Martin Bashir] Why did you speak to newspaper reporters and lie so blatantly?
[Marty Rathbun] Because at the time, I perceived that this guy was of the importance that we had to do that. If I told the truth to a newspaper reporter on something like that, I could have been expelled from Scientology forever.
[Martin Bashir] Davis says that not only has David Miscavige never been violent towards anyone, he says it was in fact Marty Rathbun himself who was the violent one.
[Tommy Davis] The only person I know of who was abusive and cruel was Marty Rathbun. He was an abusive, cruel and violent man.
[Marty Rathbun] I have admitted that I have engaged in stuff.
[Martin Bashir] You are the perpetrator of violence yourself within the organization.
[Marty Rathbun] It wasn't in my nature whatsoever.
[Martin Bashir] Rathbun admits that he was violent on many occasions --
but says it was because Miscavige urged him to be physical, an allegation the Church denies.
[Marty Rathbun] It's not an excuse, it's reality.
[Martin Bashir] Isn't it easier to blame Miscavige than take personal responsibility?
[Marty Rathbun] Easier? No, not at all.
Because he created an environment where he was getting others to do the same. And I broke down and I punched Mike Rinder pretty hard a couple of times.
[Martin Bashir] A man you've known for decades?
[Marty Rathbun] A man I'd known for decades. And that is precisely the thing. It made me feel terrible. It made me sick to my stomach.
[Martin Bashir] In affidavits provided by the Church, numerous current staff members describe seeing Rathbun attack Rinder and others, and call Rathbun "psychotic" --
and "a bully."
Mike Rinder corroborated to ABC News that he was a victim of abuse at the hands of Rathbun.
But violence, according to Bruce Hines, wasn't the only tool used to discipline staff.
* Testimony of Casey Kelley, City of Clearwater Commission Hearings Re: The Church of Scientology
MR. SHOEMAKER: And you have referred, also, I think, to bad information, bad news, that you don't talk about it?
MR. KELLEY: Right. They call it en theta. They use symbols — you just don't talk about bad news, things bad that happen. For example, when that lady Scientologist committed suicide, you didn't talk about that stuff. That was — that was just — it wasn't positive; it didn't have a purpose.
MR. SHOEMAKER: — you wouldn't talk about, as well as personal things?
MR. KELLEY: Right. You didn't talk about your Mom dying or you didn't talk about the Clearwater Sun, for example. I keep — I don't mean to keep picking on the Clearwater Sun.
MR. SHOEMAKER: No. I'm sure they're enjoying it. For instance, the RPF, you wouldn't talk about if somebody, a friend of yours —
MR. KELLEY: No.
MR. SHOEMAKER: — was in it?
MR. KELLEY: Oh, no.
Testimony of Ernest Hartwell, City of Clearwater Commission Hearings Re: The Church of Scientology
And then, in the meantime, too, they had started a program of forcing Dell and I against each other, which, I understand is a common practice with anybody they have trouble with in Scientology. The first thing they do is work the couple against each other. And they had started this and got it going pretty good. I got to where I wasn't quite believing what Dell said and she wasn't quite believing what I said.
Parman and Wolff each thought about leaving the church but couldn't tell the other. Such thoughts were taboo, and spouses were to file a "Knowledge Report'' if their partner violated the code. If a spouse didn't file a report and it came out during a confessional, he or she got in trouble, too.
Testimony of Adell Hartwell, City of Clearwater Commission Hearings Re: The Church of Scientology
Everybody spies on everybody. I was even afraid to speak to my daughter because she would write me up.... And they do this to keep everybody in line. They say it's for your -- their own good, because if the person does it -- knows they're caught, they won't do it again. So, you're really supposed to be doing it for their own good. But it is just spying on each other.
And I won't hesitate to put ethics in on someone else, you know, because I put it ruthlessly in on myself. And I think that I respect that in others.
Closely connected with this is the duty of Scientologists to inform on each other. This is done by means of "Knowledge Reports" to "Ethics", the department responsible for discipline. Very recently (this year, 1984) one such Report was sent to Ethics by the step-mother about one of her closest friends; and one such Report was sent by the Principal of the children's school about a part-time member of the staff and the parent of a child there.... Scientology must come first before family or friends. Much evidence has been given and not disputed of how it leads to alienation of one spouse from another, of alienation from children and from friends.
We're talking PT [present time] now. Whatever you had going in the past is whatever you had going in the past. Lines drawn right here and right now. You guys are going to all write up your O/Ws [sins] tonight. Before you leave and you'll get meter checked. And I want everybody straight -- on yourselves and anybody else that you know. And if you don't come clean and I find out something later on that P/L [policy letter] is enforced. You are guilty of anything that you didn't report on. Right per that P/L. We talk the same language?