• Mark Rathbun
    Former Confidant

    Mark Rathbun, former Scientologist and leader of the anti-Scientology faction, reveals the false premise used by Mike Rinder and Leah Remini for their TV episode with Aaron Smith-Levin—and exposes Smith-Levin’s “big lie” from firsthand knowledge.


    And so, Aaron begins this segment off with a big lie. He says, “I was in Scientology until two years ago.” Outright lie. He’s been out of Scientology since 2009, he’s been in communication with myself and Mike Rinder since 2009—eight years, acting as a mole and a spy in a Scientology company because it was paying him very well and he did not want to come a cropper with those people. So, he pretended like he was a Scientologist so he could continue to profit and get intelligence which made him important with his idol, Mike Rinder.

    The next thing he says is absolutely false. He says, “I’m this 16-year-old kid”—or however old he was—“and I’m going to this Scientology event. And I see David Miscavige talking about what happened with the IRS and how it was this big—30 years of persecution were overcome and it was proven that Scientology was entitled to exemption and exemption was gotten,” right.

    And he said, “I was watching it in awe, only to later find out that it was all bullshit.” Except the problem is, it wasn’t all bullshit. Virtually everything that was said there—in fact, the entire thing was backed up by documents, okay. Virtually everything that was said there was true, okay. Like David Miscavige or not, like Scientology or not, what Aaron Levin-Smith saw, that thing, that he said were the false representations that then lured him in and made this whole thing fraudulent to him, weren’t false in the first place; they were true. So, there’s no story. If that’s wrong, there’s no story. And I’m telling you it’s wrong. So, he wasn’t lured in through false representations.

    And then in order to, I guess, try to validate that they were false, they throw this chyron up, all in caps: “THE CHURCH OWED THE IRS MORE THAN $1 BILLION IN TAXES.” End of quote. Well, Mike Rinder knows that’s a lie. But Mike Rinder is just a bag of delusion now, so it doesn’t even register with him. It’s a “good line.”

    The fact of the matter is, we do know—is that Mike is laying these down. And I do know from firsthand knowledge that he does have knowledge that these are false premises. And we also know that he’s been doing nothing other than for eight years, being paid to act as an authority to produce such—manufacture such negativity about Scientology. That’s what he got paid for, that’s what Levin-Smith paid him for, that’s what Mike Bennitt paid him for, that’s what [Robert] Almblad paid him for, that’s what [Matt] Argall paid him for, that’s what the Garcias paid him for at $175 an hour and that’s what Leah’s paying him for.

    So you know what the—the emotional pleas, the false datums of Rinder and the emotional pleas by Leah get so thick that you lose sight of some of the—of the import of some of the things that Levin-Smith is saying. The whole thing is about how he was disconnected from his brother. Yet, if you listen to what he actually says, his brother disconnected from him. His brother got into the anti-Scientology environment and told Aaron and his mother, who were in Scientology, “I don’t want to ever hear from you guys again.” He disconnected from them.

    But you would never know that, or you would never get that impression, because of all the pile-on by Rinder and Remini.

    Again, for the second time in one episode, Leah is speaking to the mental state of somebody else who, if the story had any credibility, rightfully should have been there. In other words, the story is Levin-Smith and his mother were victimized by their brother being declared after, incidentally, their brother disconnecting from them, right—the former member who disconnected from them, right.

    So, this is how absurd it gets. So, Aaron is going to explain away why he disconnected from his father but didn’t really disconnect, because of course that would make him seem somehow less than virtuous. So he says, “I sent the letter but I never intended to disconnect.” Wait a second Aaron. That is impossible according to the narrative that Remini and Rinder have been busy piling on since before episode 1 and her cheesy book, and the 20/20 ABC show and the seven episodes that preceded you.

    They’ve described an East German level of control where you must do these things, and there’s no exceptions. But Aaron just—you know. So that he can continue to be painted as one of the good guys, he belies that entire narrative. He says, “Oh, yeah! You could just PR it and say ‘I’m disconnecting’ and not disconnect. That’s what I did with my dad.”

    Which really comes down to the whole point I’m making, or you know, I tried to make unsuccessfully in ASC [Anti-Scientology Cult] circles was: As much as you want to paint it this way, as much as you guys want to adopt these convenient narratives, as much as you want to marginalize and identify—identify and then marginalize people and create these black-and-white, no-exception sort of pictures of the world, just like any other controversy with Scientology: It. Ain’t. That. Simple. Okay.

    There’s exceptions to every rule, okay. There’s nuances in every situation. You’re not invited to examine those. And the last people on Earth who are going to ferret those out are Rinder and Remini. Because they don’t want to—they want it to be this black-and-white world. And so when Levin-Smith makes a bloop that, you know, ain’t that closely monitored, and “If I don’t wish to do something I don’t have to do it,” it just goes right by you, you know, because the pile-on is so heavy that you know, by this part in the series you’ve just lost all cognitive sensibility. It’s all this insensible appeal to emotion—“they’re bad,” “everything’s black and white,” “there’s no exceptions.”

    And this is a creation, this is a creation of Remini and Rinder. They have created that through this series. And that’s why I say, here we are on the second-to-last episode, I think, and virtually none of these stories—absent that backdrop, absent that conditioning, absent that brainwashing—none of these rise to the level of being a story that anybody would have any interest in hearing.