Russell Miller’s book is finally going to be published in the U.S. apparently. An interview with Miller was posted on Tony Ortega’s blog this morning. I read the book last year. I actually thought I had read it back in the eighties when it was published. After all, I helped direct and coordinate the abusive litigation tactics that drove his U.S. publisher into dropping the project. When I read the book, I recognized that in fact I had never read it all those years back. It was lingering cult delusion that made me think I had. In the eighties I had only read summaries and ‘dead agent’ packs compiled by Office of Special Affairs. Even in the past couple years I have referred to Miller as a propagandist; that was before actually having read the book. What I found remarkable about the thorough read I did was how balanced and even-handed Miller was about L. Ron Hubbard. It is not a wholesale condemnation. While I don’t attest to the accuracy of all his facts, for the most part the book covers a lot of irrefutable history pretty accurately.
As Miller noted in his interview, the nature of the legal attacks upon the book, similar to the defenses in Rathbun v. Miscavige incidentally, revolve around strained (read invented) intellectual property rights theories. If the book were inherently dishonest there would have been claims based on defamation theories. But as we have noted previously, to Scientology the purpose of the suit is to not to win, but instead to harass.
Mr. Miller makes reference to a profanity-laced Scientology outburst about the book during the legal proceedings. The actual quotation is interesting. It is a quotation from the deposition of Norman F. Starkey, then executor of the estate of L. Ron Hubbard. It appears in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York Opinion:
2. Norman Starkey, the Executor of Hubbard’s estate who licensed plaintiff to exploit the Hubbard copyrights stated in his deposition: “That scum bag book is full of bullshit, man, and you know it. It is full of bullshit…. goddam, fucking bullshit.” (Gready Aff.Exh. A, p. 94.)
If you think that language is strong, you should have heard Miscavige’s reaction to Starkey nearly blowing millions of dollars of litigation fees on that one infantile, albeit honest, outburst. One of the most remarkable feats in the litigation was overcoming that clear evidence that the real Scientology complaint about Miller’s book was that it did not like the facts being aired, and not that it was suffering any harm by having copyrighted works quoted. But, again as Miller notes the U.S. legal system has some flaws, and Scientology has perfected the ruthless, if expensive, exploitation of them.
As to the man in the red sports car following Mr. Miller in Los Angeles, that in fact was the infamous Eugene M. Ingram. Ingram made so much Scientology money by his aggressive, noisy investigative tactics that he bought himself two shiny new sports cars (a Mitsubishi 3000GT and a Lotus Esprit), one with gold-plated mag hubs. In his inimitable style he wore loud, flashy Hawaiian shirts during his stake outs with those bright low riders. When I reported on the flap of Ingram being so easily and regularly made because of his audacious ways, David Miscavige ordered that Ingram be encouraged to be even more loud and noticeable, ‘it’s supposed to be a noisy investigation, isn’t it?’ Incidentally, that is what ‘ensuring the orthodox practice of the scriptures’ that Scientology lawyers are paid so much to repeat interminably is all about.
I apologize publicly to Mr. Miller for my involvement in the investigative tactics designed to shudder him into silence, and the unlawful abuse of legal process to block publication in the United States and cost his publishers inordinate sums in other countries.
I encourage people to purchase his book once available and read it. Not just because it will make me feel a bit better about my own efforts to suppress it, but because I believe it is essential reading for anyone involved with Scientology.