My Stint as an Independent

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Marty Rathbun

My Stint as an Independent.

My immediate thought when I first saw Marty Rathbun’s website, which announced he was offering auditing services was, “Wow, Marty Rathbun is a squirrel!” My next thought was, “How could a guy who was so high up in RTC and had to fight for our religion have gone so far off the rails?” Because he was in such a high position, I thought that maybe I should check out what he was saying and why he was doing what he was doing.

The more I read, the more down tone I went. I was shocked and disgusted and at first doubtful that the full truth was being laid on the table. But because it affected my Church I read more.

Marty pulled no punches, constantly berating and harping against COB and continually making points to paint him as an SP. I never had any real contact with COB and as a result have nothing first hand to base a judgment on. Marty’s rants definitely influenced how I saw things. I had never felt bad about the Church before and I had always been very supportive. But, after reading all the bad news about things that Marty said were going on, I felt a bit betrayed.

That said, when I look back now, everything that Marty was saying was all one sided, but I didn’t spot that right away. I had always supported the Church and was now wondering, “what I should do if all of this is true? Should I just keep supporting the Church and hope these things went away? Should I join up with Marty and the people he was associated with?”

The Church has been through tough times in the past and always found its way and corrected itself, but Marty was talking about things that were now happening which I had no way of verifying, so I was left with many questions. I had never directly experienced nor witnessed any of what Marty and some of the people who were gravitating to him were expressing. Sure, I had some rough times and I had my own overts – which will always color your viewpoint and put you out ruds with your group – but anytime I ever found anything seriously off the rails, I or others in the Church were able to correct it.

I found that the more I read the more I started getting a helpless feeling that this time was different and that the Church was no longer capable of correcting itself. This is what Marty was really saying. I noticed that everything was focused on COB. Every little thing that was wrong, down to every stupid email sent out as by some green staff member, was being tagged to COB.

I started to believe it even though I had never experienced any of it myself, reading all this stuff made me feel really bad. I felt I owed my allegiance to the Church as this is what LRH created to carry Scientology into the world. However, for reasons I can’t fully explain, which I am dealing with, I abandoned my loyalty to the Church and quietly become an Independent. At first I was silent. I kept to myself and just read the websites with the negative things people said were going on in the Church. It did not dawn on me at the time that what I was reading truly was entheta and for it to persist, it had to contain lies. Looking back, a lot of what was being said was brutal natter containing a lot of suppressive generalities. But I was so convinced by this time I could not even spot the generalizations, nor that it always had an entheta twist.

I gradually began to communicate with people who I knew were out of the Church. One of the people I spoke with was Christie Collbran. She and her husband Chris were living in Florida where they bought a house. They had been in the Sea Org, routed out and were in some stage of paying off their freeloader debts, when they ended up getting declared after the Church learned that they were supporting Marty. I remember that Christie was extremely upset that her parents would no longer talk to her because they felt she had joined up with the worst kind of SPs. She had always been close to her family and now they were turning their backs on her as they felt she had betrayed them. This was long before she went on TV. I can’t imagine what they must now think.

Another person I got in comm with was Amy Scobee. It was through Amy that I heard a shit load of natter and stories that I knew were exaggerations, but I listened anyway. I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of a junior she must have been. Amy has always been good for the latest bit of gossip about other people, but you always have to double check the things she tells you. At one point Amy was boasting about how she was the big organizer of the people who left the Church. She said she was organizing a group of ex-Sea Org members as part of an attempt to take over the Church management and oust COB. Later she said she was the big organizer of the people who got interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times.

There was an attempt to take over the Church. Well, it was not an attempt, but more like a lot of discussion and plotting, but it was dead in the water when a few people like Larry Brennan refused to have anything to do with it because they were so south on the subject of Scientology. Amy mentioned the trips that Marty had been making to Denver to see Mike Rinder, who for the most part was just getting on with his life. Mike was living in Denver, working as a salesman at a Toyota dealership. He had a girlfriend, Teresa, who was running a business there while raising her boys. Mike no longer had any family who would talk to him. He was not making a lot of money due to the collapse of the car industry but he and Teresa thought about getting married. At one point Mike and Teresa were even living together but it didn’t work out. Mike had younger things on his mind.

Teresa was not happy at all with the phone calls and visits by Marty at first. She didn’t think all that much of Marty, and because he was arrogant and seemed to be just pushing Mike into something that would benefit himself. Mike had a love / hate relationship with Marty. He hated him but also tried to emulate him. Marty finally struck a deal with Mike to cooperate with the St. Petersburg Times. But before he would do so, Marty and the BBC flew into Denver sometime around August and convinced Mike to first be interviewed for a revenge show for John Sweeney.

The economy had all but ruined the automobile industry and Mike realized that he would have a real tough time getting anywhere long term trying to sell cars. Marty and Christie Collbran, helped arrange a job for Mike with Matt Argall in Clearwater.

Matt Argall has quite a history. Argall is one of the owners of Impulse Marketing, a telemarketing call center that was selling everything from acai berry products to money making schemes using the Internet. Argall had gotten involved with Marty soon after Marty announced on the Internet that he was open for business. Matt was one of the first people to go out to Texas to visit Marty and he promised to support Marty’s cause. So it was natural that he would put Mike Rinder on his payroll, to do his part for Marty to keep Rinder on the farm. Mike cut a lucrative deal with Matt Argall which paid him between $20,000 and $30,000 per month. The idea was that Mike, with all his big executive experience would help Matt boost sales at Impulse Marketing which, unbeknown to Mike, was having serious cash flow and client account problems. But this was going to be a huge jump in income for Mike, so h he was enticed to pack up everything in Denver and move to Clearwater. As soon as Mike signed up with Argall, Matt took him on an all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas to party with Matt and some of his drug taking friends. Work could wait.

Christie told me a little about the auditing that she had received in Texas from Marty and the situation with Chris, her husband. She talked about how good things were, things in general, but at home things really began to unravel soon after her first visit to Texas. Talk to anyone that knew them and you’ll hear that Chris Collbran had always been a bit of an inconsiderate asshole and Christie was always trying in one way or another to get him to get his ethics in. It seemed as though the auditing with Marty was going to help out on the 2D, but in the end it was the beginning of the end. Chris got more and more involved in doing drugs going out 2D (once again). One of them was Ashley, who had been working for Matt Argall and was part of his circle of party hard friends. Argall thinks nothing of whoring around in Las Vegas and other locales with strippers and so on, even though he has a son and a 2D. Chris had also decided that he no longer wanted anything to do with Scientology, even the Freezone brand.

So Christie finally had enough of Chris Collbran and decided to leave him. People don’t know this but Christie got married really young – the first time when she was 16. It didn’t last a year. Then she got married to Chris when she was 21. They had a son, Shane. Right after deciding to end it with Chris, Christie didn’t wait long, she moved straight in with Mike Rinder, who frankly is more than old enough to be her father.

Around the same time that arrangements were being made for Mike Rinder’s job with Matt Argall, Haydn James, who was an old friend of Marty’s, was running into trouble. He and Lucy got fired from their jobs. They had been working for a big dental office in Texas for some guy who was an OT 8. With no job on the horizon, Haydn too went to work for Matt Argall at Impulse Marketing. At first Matt thought that he had a big catch with Mike Rinder and Haydn James, both former executives. Haydn was his “Golden Boy” and Mike Rinder his “Bulldog” and thought that they would be the answer to the sagging sales at Impulse.

It didn’t last long.

Matt is a flamboyant character who loves to look the part of a high roller. He gets his hair done by Tito, who bleaches it and gets it to stand up, like a Mohawk. He drives fancy cars and Matt likes to think of himself as this genius deal maker. Everyone likes Matt because he has a lot of money that he likes to throw around. But the telemarketing business is a cut throat business. A company can go from making millions to dwindling down to a trickle, just by losing a couple of money making sales leads accounts. It took less than two months before the lucrative deals that Mike and Haydn made with Impulse Marketing began to unravel.

Haydn told me that both of them had been promised that they would be making all this money working for Matt at Impulse only to find out that the company was falling apart due to losing major sales account. With no producing accounts, there are no lists of leads to call which is death for a telemarketing company. Although they tried to hide it as best as possible, Haydn and Mike both felt betrayed by Matt. Mike had quit his job and closed out his apartment in Denver and completely relocated to Clearwater. Haydn did the same from Texas. It was even worse for Haydn as he had to move Lucy and their two daughters with him. Just when Haydn and Mike rented a big house together and were settling in, Matt’s house of cards at Impulse began to implode.

Matt had also employed “Clearwater Independent” Cathy Greenbaum, who nearly broke her neck recently in a fall over at Rinder’s house. (When I heard that Cathy had the accident and had to be carted off in an ambulance, I was worried that she had fallen off the wagon again, got drunk and fell.) Cathy was also the victim of Matt Argall’s grand plans to support the Independents. She too was made financial promises by Matt which didn’t pan out. The only one left now working for Matt is Tom DeVocht, who sold his furniture business in Winter Haven and moved to Palm Harbor, on the promises made by Matt of big money working with Impulse, which never materialized. Tom ended up having to take a job remodeling at Matt’s house.

I almost forgot – I was really surprised the day that Alison Andrus showed up on the scene out of the blue and I learned she had started a 2D with Tom DeVocht. I was thinking, what the hell happened to Ivan? Many years ago, Alison and Ivan created a big scandal when she and Ivan Obolensky, then the Captain AOLA, went out 2D and blew the Sea Org. Now all of the sudden, she arrived in Clearwater and was jumping in the sack with Tom. This all happened just as Ivan went to see Marty for some auditing. When I saw Alison and Tom together, I was like, “Whoa, what’s this all about?” I didn’t even know she and Tom knew each other. But then, the next thing I know, Ivan started a 2D with Mary Jo!

What got me to change and starting to really think about what I was doing and where this was all going with the Independents was when I saw all the crazy squirrels and Freezoners of all kinds gravitating to Marty’s blog and his Facebook as friends. I’ve seen enough squirrels in my day to know where this was headed. I was really turned off by this. Squirreling the tech is not what I had signed up for, yet Marty and the “Independents” were suddenly embracing it.

Luckily I ran into an old friend, a Scientologist who I respect and have known for about 15 years. We got talking about the Today Show. He told me he had seen Christie’s interview with Matt Lauer. He told me that he actually felt she was sincere when she stated that she still believed in Scientology. He pointed out that while she is sincerely professing her belief in Scientology, she is so entangled in justifying the cause of the Independents, that she can’t see the contradictions.

He pointed out that everything she’s making negative public statements about: the Church itself, the Sea Organization, and even the subject of disconnection are all part of the tech created by LRH. Assuming that some portion of what she is saying about the Church is accurate, her actions are still insane because she is trying to rectify something she thinks is wrong by committing suppressive acts. She is either a Scientologist whose stable datum is tech and policy, or she is a Scientologist in name only, who only wants to follow part of what is covered in tech and policy and violate the rest. Two wrongs don’t make a right and suppressive acts are suppressive acts because they are the actions found by LRH to be extremely harmful to Scientology and Scientologists.

The idea that you can commit these SP acts and have it only target the Church, but not somehow target also Scientology is just nuts. She is either just seriously duped or a fool or is calculatingly doing what she is doing.

You don’t commit suppressive acts (harmful and destructive acts) in the name of help and have it do anything but create chaos and confusion. If you want to destroy Scientology itself, you do the actions that are listed in the LRH policy on Suppressive Acts Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists, which is what Christie is doing.