Scientology watchers around the world are watching keenly for any news out of Germany as today Marty Rathbun made his first public remarks there in the presence of Ursula Caberta.
Quick background: Rathbun was once the second-most powerful executive in Scientology. He left the church in 2004 and has been criticizing Scientology leader David Miscavige on his blog since 2009. Caberta, meanwhile, has been leading an official German government effort to curb Scientology in that country since 1992.
As Rathbun explains in the video above (which he just posted himself), even though he still practices Scientology independently, there’s a good reason he’s now willing to help Caberta in her efforts.
We’ll keep an eye on further developments. Over at the Anonymous website, Why We Protest, there’s a steady stream of reports about a Scientology protest outside the building where Rathbun’s press conference took place, and more observations being posted by the minute.
My quick transcription of what Rathbun says in the video…
Rathbun: Well, to the first part, I came here because I was invited by Mrs. Caberta to give facts about the top, highest levels of the church of Scientology. And, the second part of your question, yes, I still practice Scientology, and one of the things that I learned from talking to Mrs. Caberta was, is that she’s had the same observation I have: there’s been a tremendous proliferation of people leaving the organization because they’re getting educated that they don’t need the organization, that it’s not a monopoly. Miscavige is not the pope. He doesn’t have a beeline to God, who’s giving him new scriptures that’s going to take them to higher levels. And people are understanding that more. But, the thing we agreed on is this: there’s this whole phenomenon happening where people are using Scientology in what we call the independent field, away from the church, unauthorized by the church. And, no matter, you know this is, it’s not organized. It’s also known as the Free Zone, in Europe. It’s not, there’s no organization to it. And the interesting thing is, is that, all the people that I have encountered or come in contact with who left the organization to use Scientology on a one-to-one basis all agree on certain things. And Mrs. Caberta told me she studied the Free Zone in Germany and in Europe and came to the same conclusion, and that is this: Everyone you find outside of the church who continues to use Scientology, left Scientology because they don’t agree with people being forcibly disconnected from their families. They don’t agree with people being put into extremely painful financial situations. They don’t agree with people who have a different opinion being attacked, being harassed, and being hounded. They don’t agree on virtually all of the things that the Ministry, through Mrs. Caberta, investigate, which are the abuses of Scientology.
Rathbun: So, that’s why this is not unusual that we’re sitting here together.
More video from Germany. Hamburg’s Anonymous crew posted this portion of the press conference, in which Rathbun talks about the latter days of his time in Scientology and the increasing incidents of violence under the leadership of David Miscavige…
And now a question-and-answer segment…
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church’s HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church’s other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord
See all of our recent Scientology coverage at the Voice
Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin’ Scared
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
Scientology and the Nation of Islam — Holy Doctrinal Mashup, Batman!
Scientologists — How Many of Them Are There, Anyway?
Roger Weller’s Wild Ride — Scientology When it was Hip
The Marc Headley Infiltration — A Scientology Spying Operation Revealed
Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology’s Retaliation is “Scary and Pathetic”
An Interview with Nancy Many, Former Scientology Spy
The Paulien Lombard Confession — A Scientology Spy Comes Clean
The Deputy Benjamin Ring Hard Sell — Scientology wants your 401K
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology — the whole series!
The Squirrel Busters Busted — Unmasking the Scientology PI in Charge
Tommy Davis, Scientology spokesman, secretly recorded discussing ‘disconnection’
Scientology internal document says its Office of Special Affairs will ‘handle’ the Village Voice