Marty Rathbun, the former high-ranking Scientology executive who is the subject of Louis Theroux’s new feature-length documentary, has accused the filmmakers of deception.
Rathbun, who was at one time right hand to the church’s leader David Miscavige and ‘audited’ Tom Cruise, says that Theroux and Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn used him as ‘bait’ with which to ‘incite the wrath of the Church of Scientology’.
Rathbun has been a vocal critic of Miscavige church since he left it in 2004, often using his blog Moving On Up A Little Higher as an outlet for his criticisms.
But in a post on the site, he’s savaged Theroux and Chinn, who was behind documentaries including ‘Man On Wire’ and ‘Searching For Sugar Man’.
“I found the film ‘My Scientology Movie’ to be saddening,” he said.
“Chinn assured me the project would be closely supervised by him from beginning to end so that it would primarily serve as a vehicle to portray my insights into the philosophical basis of Scientology learned from practicing it for nearly thirty years within the organization and another several years outside of Church of Scientology control.
“I wound up spending nearly one hundred hours on film explaining and demonstrating what Scientology is, its origins, its historical and philosophical context and its battles from both sides of the divide.
“That extended filming was interrupted repeatedly by Theroux’s recurring attempts to use me as bait to incite the wrath of the Church of Scientology. When Theroux persisted with those efforts, his and director John Dower’s promises that none of that horseplay would make it into the film began to ring hollow. At that point I expressed my intention to cease work on the project.
“When nearly two years later I saw the product, ‘My Scientology Movie’, which clearly referred to being Louis Theroux’s personal movie, I came to the conclusion that Mr. Chinn had regressed into a tabloid hack, Mr. Theroux remained the ass clown Chinn had represented he would not be, and Mr. Dower was a rimless zero – a lackey assigned to pretend to ‘direct’ while he did nothing more than provide plausible deniability that ‘My Scientology Movie’ was something other than the latest unoriginal Theroux-shtick vehicle aimed at clowning with scientology.
“Theroux went so far as to relocate to Los Angeles from London for an entire year, residing near to Scientology premises and regularly and loudly cavorting with Anti-Scientologists. When I pointed out to him his failure to provoke the Church of Scientology notwithstanding such extraordinary efforts, he acknowledged that that was his intent and that the effort had been made in vain.”
Rathbun became an independent Scientologist after he quit the church in 2004, but now considers himself to be ‘non-religious’.
However, operatives from the church have continued to harass him, notably being targeted by a group called the ‘Squirrel Busters’, who stalk and film him at his home.
Image credits: Madman Films/Rex Features