Local News

Sep 9, 2013 5:58 PM by Janine Reyes

Former Ingleside by the Bay Resident Suing Church of Scientology

INGLESIDE ON THE BAY -- You may have heard of the Church of Scientology. Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley and Lisa Marie Presley are just a few famous names tied into the church. Now, a lawsuit underway against the church filed in Comal County has some strong ties to Ingleside on the Bay.

The court granted a temporary restraining order to the woman suing the church. She claims for 199 days Scientology operatives harassed her at her home in the Coastal Bend.

Part of that alleged harassment is caught on this video, posted on YouTube. "What do you have to say about that Marty, how about that," asks a man with a camera strapped to his head. "I don't have anything to say to an unidentified punk who comes with 4 people to my door," Rathbun responds.

The Rathbuns say the video, shot in April 2011, was the first of many visits involving people who claim to be associated with the Church of Scientology. Some incidents are referenced in a lawsuit filed against the Church of Scientology, it's leader David Miscavige, Steven Gregory Sloat and Monty Drake in Comal County.

Marty Rathbun used to be a top leader for the church.

He says leaving led to the harassment caught in the YouTube video and worse. In that video, the men at his front door are wearing shirts that say "Squirrelbusters" and Marty's face is pasted on a squirrel body.

"Come on Marty, got anything to say," they ask him, "you can't even defend yourself on this can you," one man says.

But the lawsuit filed in Comal County claims Marty is not the only one those people harassed. Mrs. Rathbun says in her affidavit that Scientologists and people associated with them would try and aggressively interrogate her in front of her Ingleside on the Bay home. The San Patricio County Sheriff's Department does confirm filing at least ten reports and responding to numerous other calls.

It got so bad, the Rathbuns moved last December. They claim Scientologists followed them to their new home in Comal County.

The lawsuit is centered around Mrs. Rathbun, who has never been a Scientologist.

Last month, the court granted a temporary restraining order, agreeing that "threatened injury to the plaintiff outweighs any possible harm to the defendants."

The suit claims she became a target by association and that Scientologists who moved across the street from their Ingleside on the Bay home "publicly admitted" their "full time job was to make their lives a living hell."

It details allegations that Rathbun is "not even a woman, but a man who has had a secret sex-change operation" and tells of the Church of Scientology "trying to embarrass her" by "sending a sex toy to her workplace."

The Rathbuns claim David Miscavige, who leads the church, is behind all the harassment. They're asking he testify in court.

"They're trying to silence me," Rathbun told our cameras late last year as he and his wife packed up a moving truck to get away.

Until they do silence him, Rathbun worries those scenes will continue to play out wherever he lives.

We did make several calls to the Church of Scientology today. They called back to ask why we're running the story before issuing a short statement via email, "There is no merit to the allegations and we are looking forward to prevailing in court."

On Thursday, a jury will consider granting a Temporary Injunction against the Church of Scientology. Mrs. Rathbun is suing for damages but no amount has been mentioned.

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