By Robert Vaughn Young more
20 February 2000
An Open Letter to Mike Rinder
Sunday, February 20, 2000
It's a very early Sunday morning in Cincinnati. I finished
three posts yesterday that I will put onto ARS and this will
wrap it up for me.
I'm making this an "open letter" not for the benefit of
people on ARS. Except for Stacy and Jesse, they haven't got a
clue as to who you are and what really goes on. No, I'm doing
this "open" so it can be found more easily by your staff,
especially those who know me and the topics I'll mention.
Otherwise, it would just be excerpted, sent to DM and that would
be the end of that.
You and I go back a long way, Mike. And until a moment in
Tampa during my testimony, I always considered us to be
basically friends. You don't understand my side, but I
understand yours because I've been there. That's why I know that
while I might have you asked how things or the family were, you
had to "keep your hat on."
In that regard, I've never held the harassment against you
personally. Besides, I figured that there is some of it you
actually don't know about because you never ordered it and the
PIs don't report it to you. Besides, it's your job. You're
supposed to make life miserable for us "suppressives," right? So
to the degree that I've been there, I never held it personally
But there was a moment in my testimony when it changed. It
was the closing hour of the last day. Weinberg was doing is
"re-cross" and I was sick and in pain and having trouble
following the questions and asked for a break. Weinberg pushed
it saying he had only a little bit more and I said I really have
to break and you shook your head (one of those
I-can-t-believe-it-shakes) and laughed and I called you on it.
It should be on the record. And then we finally took the break.
That was when it changed, when you decided to mock my condition.
That's when I realized that you really are gone.
Then afterwards, we passed each other in that drug store
downstairs. I would have normally said hello but not this time,
so we just passed each other. As we did, I was tempted to turn
around and tell you privately what I've said here, that you had
crossed a line and I'm sorry for you, but I decided no, it's no
use and he'd probably just file a declaration that I had made
threatening remarks and go to the judge for a hearing. At the
very least, you'd make a report and I wanted it to just be
between us, but that was impossible. But I was left with wanting
to tell you and so I was left with having to write this letter.
Don't get me wrong. It wasn't that what you said made me feel
worse about my condition. It merely made me feel worse about
yours. I've come to grips with my situation. You have yet to
It's one thing when a couple of professionals go at it. They
understand the turf. It's not personal. That's why I've
understood your side of it. But it is another when you cross the
I may have made a lot of comments about your professional
conduct, but I've never slighted you personally. I guess I
always wanted to pretend that it was possible that we could sit
down some time over coffee and chat, if nothing else about how
kids grow up and life moves on. I knew you couldn't and
wouldn't. It all has to be reported and you can't afford to
relax around some "SP," can you? But that was okay with me. I
wanted you to know that it was possible, that even though you
couldn't be that way, I could.
Well, I was wrong. You really were one of those people who
high-fived when you heard about the cancer and you really are
glad that I'm dying. I'm sorry about that, Mike. I'm sorry that
I was really wrong about you, that I thought that underneath it
all, we were really friends.
It also teaches me that none of this will get through to you.
It might some day, but not now.
It reminds me of a woman I was speaking to on the phone a few
years ago. I don't recall who she was or how she found me but
she called me to talk to me about her daughter (I think it was)
who was in Scientology and she (the mother) was concerned. Well,
I answered her questions as well as I could (always tempered
with the caution that I have another plant being run in on me)
until there was one question she asked. No one had ever asked me
this one and it really rocked me back on my heels.
"When you were in there," she said, "was there anything
anyone could have said to you that would have changed your
The question really rocked me. I went silent and thought
about it for a few seconds and then the answer hit me even more.
"No," I answered. "I'm sorry to say this but there is nothing
anyone could have told me or said to me that would have changed
my mind. There might be something that someone can say to your
daughter, but for me then, no."
That was a stunning realization. I wasn't able to explain to
her why. I just left it there.
It was true. After all, being in Dept 20 PR and having to
deal with all the criticism, I had read everything starting with
the Australian inquiry back in the 60s which was probably the
first real serious "organized" assault. I read the books by
Paulette Cooper and the rest. Like you, I read every newspaper
article and the accounts of defectors. Even after the FBI raid
of 1977, I managed to read the seized Intell files. Those were
the worst. What I read there made me sick. I had no idea how far
over the edge B1 had gone. Attacking the "enemy" was one thing
but what they were doing was another. It was like being a
soldier in a war and finding that some of your fellows have
taken to killing women and children. Even in war, it crosses the
line. That's how I felt when I read those files finally one day.
We (collectively) had really crossed the line. Yet even then, I
didn't change my mind. I haven't thought about it that much, as
to why I didn't. Maybe I thought they didn't represent us. Maybe
I explained it away as being overly zealous. After all, I
believed in what I was doing. These guys just went over the edge
and now we were all paying the price so let's get thing back on
the rails and get on with it.
So I did. I parked it and got on with it and continued for
another 11 or so years and in the process, I continued to look
the other way. That's how one moves up the ranks, isn't it? It's
not how well you apply policy, but how well you can look the
I don't know, Mike. Maybe I would have gotten to the point
that I would have laughed at some "SP's" cancer. It turns my
stomach to think I would have, but maybe I might have. I really
don't know. I just know I never did get to that point when I
really made it personal, when I really took on a former "friend"
and really tried to degrade that "friend" personally. The
closest I came was Gerry Armstrong, when I was called to testify
against him. They really wanted me to come after him but I
wouldn't. I tried to couch my testimony as they wanted it, that
Gerry hadn't done certain research, but I wasn't able to use the
language that they wanted because, as little as I knew him, I
liked him and it didn't matter what he was doing or saying, that
didn't change my personal feelings about him.
But it did for you and I have to call you on it, even though
I know it won't reach you.
And something that just occurred today, Sunday. The girl that
Dept 20 sent in on Stacy at the car wash. One of her lines was
how Stacy was killing me, a clear reference to the cancer and a
clear attempt to hit some button on her. You really have no
scruples at all, do you Mike. I'm sure you gave DM a woodie on
that one but all you prove is how low into the slime you really
Little things like that show it is worse in there now than it
ever was under Mary Sue, when it comes to the equivalent of
wartime atrocities. B1 went over the edge because of the
pressure and there has been more pressure these past years than
there ever was back then. You've got DM breathing down your
neck, not to mention Marty. He's a hatchet man from way back but
he broke once and he might break again. In fact, I think there
is a better chance of Marty coming to his senses and taking off
There's another thing that's different now. You've got the
threat of the Internet, and I don't mean ARS. (By the way, I
have to compliment you professionally on how you guys finally
figured out what to do about ARS with people like Enzo and
various goons and shills and double agents. Not bad at all. The
problem is that ARS is still there and still works. You've
reduced its effectiveness but you haven't stopped it.)
What I mean by a threat is that any staff member or even a
public can go onto the Net and get things that you can't
control. Back in the "old days" we could control what the
members and staff knew. When there was an entheta article in
Philadelphia or East Grinstead, it could be contained. Now the
damned things get thrown on the Net, not to mention court
rulings and videos! It used to be that Dept. 20 was the only
ones who knew about the entheta stories or adverse court
rulings. Now they are right there for anyone to find, thanks to
the Net. And nearly every public library has a connection to the
World Wide Web so one of your staff or a public can walk in and
log on and do a search and bingo, there it is. (And for the
record, a good record of ARS is kept at <http://www.deja.com>,
just to make your work even more enjoyable. — smile)
So you've got a chronic worry. It won't go away. Even this
message and all of mine are preserved and my middle name is
unique enough to allow an easy search. So you can't control any
more what your staff and public comes to know. You can put
secret little programs into their computers, but even that takes
a chance. Some may not like being told what they can't read.
I have told Jesse time and again — and this last trip I said
it several times — I am SOOOO glad that I am not a PR in there
now. Lawdy, what a headache! And to have DM screaming the way he
can scream. I can only imagine what he is like now that he has
been named as a defendant in the McPherson case. We know that
your ass is on the line and what your orders are. That's what it
was like when LRH was being named and why B1 went over the edge
and why you and your "B1" have done the same.
So the only question remaining is, who will be your Michael
Who will finally say, I've had enough of this shit, and talk
to the authorities? Hey, it might not even be in the US! You're
already in deep kaw-kaw in Belgium and France, not to mention
Germany. And from what I hear, you ain't exactly winning friends
in Russia. Oh, and don't forget Greece and Spain.
And meanwhile, what's DM's #1 priority? Why, DM, of course!
If he is served, all hell will break loose.
And THAT is why I don't envy you at all! I know what working
with him is like. If anyone brings you to your senses, it will
be David Miscavige.
Frankly, I don't think I'll be alive when that happens. I'd
like to be. I'd like to see it happen. I just know that there is
nothing I can say to you that will reach you. The only one who
can change your mind is you and the only one who can prompt that
is DM. He is personally responsible for more top staff leaving
than anyone or anything else. Make a list in your head some
time. You'll even know of some that none of us know about. It's
just a matter of time before it is you. I hope it is sooner,
rather than later.
In the meantime, I really am closing this out. I know you
won't believe me and there is no reason for you to believe me,
given the world of suspicion that you have to live in. But I'm
retiring, as I said in the "hello & goodbye" post. And I really
am looking forward to my new effort. I know what it is that I'm
going to do. I just declined to spell it out in the post because
I need to work out some details and they might change. No, it
doesn't mean it is some "secret" (laugh) although you'll think
that and be working diligently to find out. That's fine. Work
away. What you might find out now is what you'll hear about
later, hopefully, if I do this right. It's all in the direction
of cancer education and has nothing to do with you guys. If you
want to spend more IAS money there, go for it. And yeah, there
are various ways that you can work to drag me back in, if you
want to. But you're going to be chasing another dead end. (No
pun intended. — laugh) I have better things to do now, things
that I find more inspiring than playing stink finger with RTC.
And as I said, you'll see or hear about my efforts in my new
enterprise, or at least I hope so. There's a lot to be done in
the field of educating men about prostate cancer and I just
happen to have the skills, the initiative and the qualifications
for what I want to do. (No, I haven't written any "scholarly"
articles or have any degrees nor have I had a "peer review. — ROFL) You see, the only credential one needs to have to speak
about living with cancer is cancer. It helps to have some
writing skills and PR skills to know what to do with the
experience and I have a little there. (smile) That's why my new
enterprise excites me so much. I merely decided to use what I
have — including the cancer — to make a contribution that I can
be proud of.
So if you ever change your mind and want someone to talk to,
you can call me. You'll know where I am. Just check the last
surveillance report. (laugh) My only function will be to lend a
sympathetic ear. But you'll have to apologize to me for the
personal shit. That's for your benefit, Mike, not mine.
Otherwise, I'm out of the loop now. I'm off to fight a cancer
for which there is no known cure.
I do hope that when you hear about what I'm doing that you
think it is valuable. It will mean that you have some shred of
true decency, compassion and humanity left in you.
Robert Vaughn Young
Open Letter #2 to Mike
Rinder re Cancer from Robert Vaughn Young