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Finding your way after leaving the cult of Scientology

Texans act to limit CO$ harassment of Marty Rathbun

Last week the City Council of Ingleside on the Bay passed a city ordinance requiring “a permit to film by film crews within the City using the City as a set location.” (Reposted from the Ingleside Index)

 

Ordinance created in response to harassment of IOB resident

Squirrel Busters Productions

Squirrel Busters Productions

A film crew working under the name of Squirrel Busters Productions has been filming IOB resident Mark Rathbun on his property since April.

Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 3:29 pm | Updated: 3:53 pm, Wed Jun 29, 2011.

Amanda Torres | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 21, the City Council of Ingleside on the Bay passed a city ordinance requiring “a permit to film by film crews within the City using the City as a set location.”

The ordinance was created in response to a film crew working under the name of “Squirrel Busters Productions” that has been continually filming and harassing local resident Mark Rathbun since April.

Rathbun, a former official within the Church of Scientology, has spoken out against the religion in several interviews including The St. Petersburg Times, CBC Radio, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.  He also updates a blog meant to help other Scientologists who have left the church.

The beginning of the blog also marked the beginning of the harassment.

“It began in February 2009.  Within two weeks after I put my blog on the web, my blog got hacked,” said Rathbun.

He listed this and other activities against him in a blog post entitled “Open Letter to Residents of Ingleside on the Bay Texas,” written to explain the reasons behind the current filming situation.

According to documents obtained by the County Attorney’s office, “On April 18 four individuals donning blue shirts with the name ‘Squirrel Buster Productions,’ as well as a squirrel with Rathbun’s face superimposed on it under a strikeout symbol, and fitted with video cameras around their heads knocked on the door of Rathbun’s home, which was opened and promptly shut by him.  Rathbun reopened the door, holding his own camera to capture the event.

One of the men then introduced himself as John Allender and demanded that Rathbun show his “Meter” and “PC Folder.”  Rathbun asked the crew to leave the property, but the crew continued to film and taunt him.  Frustrated, Rathbun yanked a microphone away from a crewmember who asked for it back, which Rathbun eventually returned.

After the incident, the crew filed criminal mischief charges against Mr. Rathbun with the County Attorney’s office.

“We reviewed those charges,” said County Attorney David Aken, “Victims had gone to [Rathbun’s] property, filmed him, and were asked to leave.  They were slow to leave property, stood right at the edge of property and continued to provoke him.

“No San Patricio County jury would have convicted Mr. Rathbun of criminal mischief in those circumstances.”

“Before April, these were a lot more covert operations,” said Rathbun.

“It’s a pattern practice by these guys.  They take great pains to stay within technical legality.”

The film crews continue to stalk Rathbun.  Carol Regnier, owner of Bahia Marina, said that the crews asked to rent an apartment from her to keep an eye on him.

“I asked him, ‘Are you here to spy on one of my neighbors?’ They said that they were doing a documentary on a notorious figure in the neighborhood.”

The crews did not end up renting an apartment from Regnier but leased a house about a quarter mile from Rathbun.

On Monday morning, after the Open Letter was posted online, the Squirrel Busters filmed Rathbun and his house from a paddleboat in the canal behind his house.

Out of concern for Rathbun’s situation, Mayor Howard Gillespie proposed an ordinance requiring film crews to obtain a permit to film in the city, which was passed unanimously by the council.

While Rathbun is grateful to the City of the Ingleside on the Bay for their concern and help, he feels the ordinance would probably not be effective.

“$500 is like chump change to these guys.  And if they do violate the ordinance, they’ll get a different crew, a different identity.”

Regardless of the ordinance’s effectiveness, Rathbun says the ordinance is great in terms of community.

“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.”

 

For those of you who have not read Marty’s account of this encouraging development, here is a link: http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/strength-courage-and-wisdom/

Number of views:12479

3 Comments

Theo Sismanides  on June 30th, 2011

I am grateful to your city and the Mayor for protecting human rights and above all for your concern about a human being who is just telling some truths. I live in Greece and am Marty’s friend and share the same views with him about the church of Scientology. They have gone astray from the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard and Marty just says that. Thank you very much for all your care.

plainoldthetan  on June 30th, 2011

Well done, Davey. You’re upstat. Are you going to report this unofficial stat at the next illegal off-policy Int Event?

PlainOldThetan  on June 30th, 2011

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