Marty Rathbun - A Squirrel on a Journey to Nowhere

This is the story of a squirrel—one who, over time, has become increasingly erratic. He is a powder keg primed to explode. His name: Marty Rathbun. 

Burly, unkempt and middle-aged, he runs a small cult in South Texas. Rathbun delivers so-called counseling sessions to a small band of down-and-out followers. A former external affairs officer of the Church of Scientology who was removed more than nine years ago for gross malfeasance, Rathbun left the Church for good in 2004 only to surface five years later to attack it  in the pages of a small-time Florida paper. In wild, unsubstantiated claims, he blamed Church staffers for physical abuse, yet confessed to that same physical abuse. Today, Rathbun continues to attack his former Church. Why? It’s because he can’t work and he has burned through his savings. Rather than rebuild his life, Rathbun—broke and bitter—seeks solace from the company of like-minded losers, themselves failures in life. 

The beginning of Marty Rathbun’s journey to nowhere began on that fateful day in 2004 when his pent-up resentments and rage finally boiled over. 

Rathbun leapt on a motorcycle and roared off into the California darkness, deserting his position and his friends and colleagues at the Church of Scientology. 

Contrary to later claims that he would make to media outlets eager to spread his lies, Rathbun never held an ecclesiastical management position in the Church. He was an external affairs staffer—one who repeatedly faced justice within the Church for malfeasance, incompetence, and, indeed, what became a pattern of irrational behavior.  

He said so himself when he wrote: “I have proven a proclivity for creating some of the greatest catastrophes in Church history when allowed to have some leash. If told to go iron out some line at some org, [organization] I would be hesitant and unconfident. You invested in me and I haven’t been paying back on the investment. The more I try the more harm I…do. The biggest source of cross-orders and chaos and counter policy is from me.” 

Rathbun’s ineptitude and gross dereliction of duty caused untold damage to the Church. His work on external legal lines created and exacerbated disasters that wasted untold sums.  In his own words he said:

“Each and every time on major situations, COB [Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center] has had to intervene to clean up wars I had exacerbated. For example, left to my own devices in handling IRS litigation, the end result would undoubtedly have been no exemption, a billion-dollar tax bill, and possible shutting down of the Church. I have developed a slick false PR technique of positioning myself as having been integral in handling threats during and after the fact, when they are actually terminatedly handled by COB. By calculation I have lost the Church 43 million dollars on losses and expenses that could have been avoided.”

On a personal level, Rathbun mentally and physically abused fellow staffers, callously fostering what he himself described as an “atmosphere of hate.”    

So when he jumped on that motorcycle, yes, Marty Rathbun had plenty of reasons to leave the Church. 

But, in typical and psychotic fashion, he didn’t get far.

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