Mark Rathbun on Blackmail, Smear Campaign by Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, Tony Ortega

Mark Rathbun relates how, after he refused to commit to the ASC (Anti-Scientology Cult), Leah Remini, Mike Rinder and Tony Ortega retaliated with a blackmail threat and smear campaign.


I do a couple of essays from time to time on my blog, which are sort of neutral on the subject of Scientology.

So, I do a few, and boy, I tell you, the troika [Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, Tony Ortega] starts going crazy, okay. Tony Ortega starts a smear campaign and he runs it for six months, nonstop on me and my family, alright. They attempted to infiltrate my family, okay. They attempted to drive wedges between my wife and me. When that failed, they literally took up a collection to hire private eyes to spy and harass us. And when that failed, they attempted to blackmail me. I literally received a blackmail threat that said, “If you keep talking about the ASC [Anti-Scientology Cult], if you keep giving—if you keep talking about the other side of the story or about our laundry, we’re going to expose all of the crimes that you failed to disclose about your Scientology experience when you were in Scientology.”

You know, and I laughed at that, because, unlike them, I’m the one person that’s life has been an open book, and there’s nothing I’ve ever held back, right. So, go ahead. My response was, “Make my day.” Okay. Didn’t hear anything for several months, until the day before—literally, the day before Leah Remini’s January 2017 20/20 special, right.

What they did was, they took—what happened was, I hear from ABC 20/20, asking me, “Hey, do you know a guy named Sergio?” I said, “No, I never heard of the guy in my life.” Simultaneously I get an email from Tony Ortega saying, Sergio Plame or Lame or whoever this guy is, “says that he got raped by an adult male when he was a teenager in Scientology and that you found out about it and covered it up,” okay.

So, I got what was going down—this was the payback on the blackmail. They literally made it up, okay. So I looked up this Sergio guy—he’d been going on for three to four months in the ASC troll farm, right. I mean, on its face, I mean, the guy was so incredible, that he would say stuff one day that three days later he would absolutely contradict. I mean, his lack of credibility was just apparent on what he was saying with no refutation. It was that bad.

So, Tony Ortega, as he’s waiting for my response, blogs, “Watch 20/20 tomorrow. There’s going to be explosive, and I mean explosive, stuff.” And it was clear to me it was going to be the Sergio Lan coverup, right. So, I wrote back to 20/20, said, “I never heard of this guy in my life, but now I’ve heard from Tony Ortega and I understand what’s going on. He’s running his same op that he runs all the time.”

Mike Rinder’s explained it to me. Tony will run anything, because he’s got nothing to lose, because he’s a nobody, with a blog, okay. Scientology and nobody else is going to waste their time suing a guy who can never make good on whatever damage he does in the first place and, you know, can blog from a shopping cart in an alley as well as he can from wherever he’s—whatever apartment he’s living in now, okay. So, he’s literally got immunity from that respect to libel, okay.

And what he’ll do is, he’ll put out the sleaziest, most criminal innuendo, right, with different grains of—little grains of truth mixed in, and keep repeating it enough, with the intention the tabloids at some point will start to pick it up; with the intention that, he’ll keep feeding the tabloid; with the intention that ultimately, in this degraded age of infotainment and clickbait news, the “legitimate” media will pick up on it.

And that’s the only reason the blackmail didn’t run—because I called ABC out on it. But they literally, I mean, that’s how far they went. They blackmailed me; I told them “bring it.” They had nothing to bring, so they literally manufactured something. They literally manufactured accusations of criminal conduct that never happened, that were so—that were so unfounded that no media would run with it, but came within an inch of having it broadcast nationally.

Now, take my experience and you get a better perspective of the ASC and the troika vis-à-vis Scientology, which they do the same gig, day in and day out, over a seven-year period.