Scientology Goon Squads Face Fines After Texas Town Rallies To Marty Rathbun's Cause

Last week we reported that Marty Rathbun, former high official in Scientology, had written an open letter to his neighbors in little Ingleside on the Bay, Texas, explaining that he's under constant surveillance by Scientology goon squads. That was punctuated by a sad and hilarious video Rathbun took of Scientology's klutzy crew filming his house from a listing paddle boat in the canal behind his backyard.

Yesterday, the Ingleside Index reported that Ingleside's mayor proposed a ban on film crews filming in the city without the city's permission, and the rest of the council passed it unanimously. Talk about quick government action!

Now, whether it's enforceable or not, we'll have to see. Scientology historically loves nothing more than a legal fight...

Rathbun himself told the Index that the $500 fine imposed by the ordinance would be "chump change" to the Scientology squads. But still, if it was at least some validation he was looking for, Rathbun certainly has that now, knowing that his Texas neighbors don't look kindly on outsiders carrying cameras pestering people on their own property.

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Said Rathbun to the paper: "It really is heartening to me. Throughout the years, I haven't been close to many people because of what I was involved in. In the last weeks, I've made lots of friends by having to educate people about who I am and what I was involved in, and they have been very supportive." | @VoiceTonyO

Click here to see all recent Scientology coverage at the Voice
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle' The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8 Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It? Inside Inside Scientology -- An interview with author Janet Reitman

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