NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (CN) – Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige harassed and intimidated the wife of the church’s former No. 2 official so badly he drove her from her South Texas home and into seclusion – where he found her again, the woman claims in court.
Plaintiff Monique Rathbun, 41, claims the “notorious multi-billion dollar cult” worked around the clock for three years to destroy her after her husband, once Scientology’s No. 2 man, spoke out against Miscavige.
Rathbun sued Miscavige, Steven Gregory Sloat, Monty Drake, the Religious Technology Center and the Church of Scientology in Comal County Court.
Comal County, north of San Antonio, is where Rathbun and her husband sought seclusion, which “was short-lived,” she says in the lawsuit.
Rathbun claims Miscavige targeted her through the church’s Office of Special Affairs (OSA), which “employs a cadre of lawyers, investigators, public relations personnel, and shady operatives to destroy anyone identified as an attacker of Scientology.”
She claims it all started after her husband, Mark Rathbun, fled the church in 2004, after 27 years on the inside.
In 2009 her husband spoke out “against Mr. Miscavige’s criminal mistreatment of Scientology clergy,” Rathbun says in the complaint.
Since then she says: “She has been harassed, insulted, surveilled, photographed, videotaped, defamed, and humiliated to such a degree as to shock the conscience of any decent, law-abiding person. She has been subjected to numerous, aggressive attempts to intimidate her. Each and all of the defendants have participated enthusiastically in this abuse, without regard to Mrs. Rathbun’s basic rights as a human being. She has been targeted at home, at work, and anywhere else that she happens to be.”
Rathbun says she has never been a member of the church and “did not join her husband in speaking out concerning Scientology issues.”
The couple met in 2005 and were married in 2010.
“In no way was she an ‘attacker’ of Scientology,” Rathbun says in the lawsuit. “Her only involvement was her marriage to a prominent former Scientologist.
“Nevertheless, Mrs. Rathbun was intentionally targeted by OSA merely because of her relationship with Mr. Rathbun. Under Scientology’s written policies and procedures, it is ‘fair game’ to threaten that which an enemy seeks to protect. To Scientology, Mr. Rathbun is an enemy, and his beloved wife is ‘that which he seeks to protect.’ Accordingly, OSA and its co-defendants have engaged in three years of ruthlessly aggressive misconduct against Mrs. Rathbun. This abusive campaign continues, unabated, today.”
Rathbun claims the abuse drove her husband from their home near Corpus Christi to a home near San Antonio, where the harassment continues.
“They moved to a more secluded residence in Comal County in hope of obtaining the ordinary privacy and tranquility to which they are entitled. Unfortunately, their respite was short-lived. The defendants have resumed their activities against Mrs. Rathbun in Comal County,” the complaint states.
A judge granted Rathbun a temporary restraining order on Aug. 16, according to Texas news reports. A hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 12.
Rathbun seeks actual and exemplary damages of more than $1 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and tortious interference with contract.
She is represented by Ray Jeffrey, with Jeffrey & Mitchell, of Bulverde, with assistance from The Wiegand Law Firm and Pulman, Capuccio, Pullen & Benson, both of San Antonio.
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