The Duke’s Master Spies
The news broke a few days ago that two long time PI’s for the Church of Scientology are suing the group after the church reneged on their lifetime commitment of employment. C’mon guys, these former L.A. cops are mere wogs. Their lifetimes are surely a drop in the bucket compared to the billion year commitment you get from all your Sea Org staff.
Attorneys for Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold said the church owes their clients for unpaid work, including casing the neighborhood of Ingleside on the Bay resident Mark “Marty” Rathbun, a former high-ranking church official.
Karin Pouw, a spokeswoman for the church based in California, said she had no comment because church attorneys had not had a chance to review the most recent lawsuit filing, received by the court clerk Thursday. It was filed in basic form, with few details, in July.
Rathbun defected from the church in 2004 and settled in the small bayside community where he began counseling other defectors, writing a blog criticizing the church, and fostering a movement of Scientologists who adhere to the philosophies of church founder L. Ron Hubbard but reject the practices of the organized church and its leadership.
For Ray Jeffrey, one of the attorneys for Marrick and Arnold, this is not his first brush with the church. He represented Debbie Cook, another former high-ranking church official who sent ripples through Scientology circles in a New Year’s Eve email to thousands of Scientologists criticizing aggressive fundraising practices and calling for changes.
The church sued her in San Antonio, where she lives. Jeffrey helped negotiate a settlement in which Cook gave up no money but agreed never to speak out against the church. Yet the settlement came only after a day of embarrassing court testimony from Cook, reported by the Tampa Bay Times, in which she detailed how church workers essentially were imprisoned and beaten.Jeffrey said Marrick, 52, of Colorado, and Arnold, 53, of California, approached him because of his work on the Cook case and the difficulty explaining the complexities of the inner workings of the church.
“If you go try to tell a lawyer about this who has no knowledge of it, it could take them months just to get the lay of the land,” Jeffrey said.
He is working with three other attorneys, including Tom Harrison, of Corpus Christi.
Joe Childs and Tom Tobin of the Tampa Bay Times reported on the lawsuit and have now done a lengthy interview with Marrick and Arnold who were hired in 1988 to spy on Pat Broeker, the man L. Ron Hubbard apparently chose as his successor to run Scientology. Marrick and Arnold spent nearly the next 25 years following Broeker everywhere he went.
Church officials painted Broeker as an errand boy for the late Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. They said he had made off with $1.8 million and a cache of critically important Hubbard records.
Follow Broeker, they said. Watch him every minute. Report back frequently.
The private eyes did. Beginning in 1988 and continuing for a quarter of a century, Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold tracked Broeker from a California apartment to a cowboy town in Wyoming and even to the Czech Republic.
They spied on his girlfriends, rifled through his garbage and listened to his phone calls.
After 14 months, high-ranking church leader Marty Rathbun told Marrick and Arnold they had performed so well, the church would have work for them for the rest of their careers.
They were “part of the family,” Rathbun told them.
The church started paying them a lump sum: $32,000 a month.
“We thought, ‘Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal,’ ” said Marrick.
And the checks kept coming until this summer, when the church stopped paying.
Now, Marrick and Arnold are suing Scientology, claiming the church and its leader David Miscavige violated their long-ago verbal deal.
In a three-hour interview with the Tampa Bay Times in the office of their Texas lawyer, Ray Jeffrey, the investigators shared details of their top-secret work. They told a rollicking tale of espionage and described the expense to which Scientology went to gather intelligence on real and perceived enemies.
The investigators’ lawyer says the church paid them between $10 million and $12 million. In addition to Broeker, they followed several other church targets, including a drug company executive who now is governor of Indiana — Mitch Daniels.
In addition to the print story, segments of Tobin and Childs’ video interview have been posted on the Tampa Bay Times website. In the video, the men explain that code names were used for all the parties involved. David Miscavige was named the Duke, which seemed to please him mightily.
This looks to be a case that will quickly settle but the cat is now out of the bag. After 25 years of following Broeker, the PI’s concluded he was a nice guy with nothing to hide and a far cry from how the Duke had him portrayed. 25 years of hounding a man because the Duke was worried about his throne.
If only someone could come up with a science of the mind that could help the poor, little Duke.