A recent comment on this blog stated “Mike Rinder spent many years of his Scientology career ordering or exacting unethical tactics against critics of Scientology because that was his job”, and “I hope you were aware that this (harassment) was going to happen, because that is what Scientology’s OSA does to its enemies. It ain’t all DM. Ask Mike Rinder.” When I used to peruse the natter boards I saw plenty of comments demanding Mike Rinder confess his alleged sins to named and unnamed critics. While I am sure Mike will express whatever regrets he might have to whomever he believes deserves them – because I’ve seen him do so – it occurred to me a lot of folk have some pretty odd notions about the type of person Mike Rinder really is.
I have confessed in a number of public forums to inflicting physical violence upon Mike on two occasions, both during my final days at Abu COB prison.
Having recounted that nightmare on a number of occasions and having had a lot of time to reflect on those twisted times I came to recognize what a quality person Mike Rinder is and always has been.
Miscavige leaned on me hard for many years to treat Mike “as an SP.” That pressure was particularly intense when Mike would, in his inimitable style react in a nonchalant, collected fashion to Miscavige’s wild dramatizations while demanding some horrible fates be inflicted upon some person exercising his or her God given right to express disagreement with Miscavige abuses. That included members of the media and members of the general public.
Mike’s attitude of “why sweat it? People have opinions. I’ll express mine or the Church’s in response, and we’ll move on” triggered many a Miscavige psychotic break. It was what motivated the at least one dozen severe, criminal assault and batteries I witnessed Miscavige visit upon Mike. Realize, that is only what I witnessed with my own eyes. Mike conservatively estimates there were more than fifty such acts of violence, and I believe he is being very conservative as is Mike’s wont.
One thing struck me as very odd when I returned from two years of training on the ship after the IRS exemption and my 93 blow. At that time ARS was the big wave of attack being dealt with at OSA. Several times I heard Miscavige ranting at Rinder and/or Kurt Weiland about getting the PIs out on those posting on the board, especially those saying things about Miscavige in particular. Mike and Kurt both were reluctant to. I understood their reticence. Last time I was on external lines we pretty much reserved PIs for serious threats like hundred million dollar lawsuits, or potential IRS jeopardy assessments that could have literally resulted in all Chuches being shut down overnight. Our experience had been that when you started playing heavy handed with someone who was merely critical or expressing an opinion all you were likely to accomplish was creating a bigger situation. And it was that kind of “counter intention” that resulted in many of Mike’s punishments.
In a sort of way Mike Rinder was of service to those simply wanting to communicate. That included the media. In fact, for the past six months Miscavige has been squandering the capital of credibility and trust that Rinder was primarily responsible for gaining with the media over his many years of service. Miscavige and his minions are taking extraordinary measures to silence several media outlets from airing his crimes and are spending the credibility capital like drunken sailors on shore leave to do so.
Fact of that matter is that for all the abuse Mike Rinder took, if he had had his druthers and the Church had followed his lead rather than Miscavige’s on external lines, a hell of a lot of people today invested in exposing Miscavology for the tragedy it is would be out doing something more positive like promoting solutions to world hunger and global warming and the like.
In retrospect, for all the heat and abuse Mike took for counselling equanimity for 95% of Miscavige’s external FLAPS, Mike Rinder was right 95% of the time.
I am glad to count him as a very close friend.