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For years after he was expelled from Scientology, Mike Rinder had no visible means of support, failing at one job after another. Today he ekes out a living as a bigot and hatemonger-for-pay.
He has worked as a “consultant” for anti-Scientology litigation, at $175 an hour. Rinder has admitted under oath that he is on the payroll of attorneys filing frivolous lawsuits against the Church, including one case where they paid him $22,000. His latest scam is a shady house-flipping scheme with another anti-Scientologist.
While in the Church, Rinder was notorious for his misogyny and for lying to the leader of the Church. His severe malfeasance in an important Church legal case resulted in his removal from any position of responsibility and ultimately expulsion from the religion.
Rinder’s domestic abuse and violence is a matter of public record. He violently attacked his then-estranged wife.
Rinder has been peddling his lies to the media since 2009. Ironically, the very statements he makes today he repeatedly denied to the press earlier. In 1994 testimony, Rinder accurately described the shakedown strategy used by anti-Scientologists:
The tactic is as transparent as it is unconscionable—spread venom in the hope that the victims of the hate campaign will eventually be forced to buy their silence so the Church can get on with its real purpose of expanding the Scientology religion and helping more people.
Kicked out of the Church, Rinder adopted the same playbook he once decried: selling false stories about Scientology. In fact, it’s become his principal source of income as he consults for ambulance-chasing attorneys and their failed get-rich-quick schemes of suing the Church.
Tested in court, Rinder’s legal “help” has failed abysmally. In a deposition on January 6, 2015, he detailed an ill-fated moneymaking ploy in which he tried unsuccessfully to recruit plaintiffs for a civil lawsuit against the Church. That failed, just like other anti-Scientology cases he advised on.
Although Rinder refuses to admit it, the truth is he knows nothing of the Church today and its meteoric growth since he was expelled.
Rinder is a former external affairs staffer with the Church, gone for nearly a decade. He caused the Church myriad problems that took years and millions of dollars to correct. Ultimately, the ecclesiastical leader was forced to intervene to avert disaster and remove Mike Rinder from any position of responsibility. Today, as then, he refuses to accept accountability for his numerous fiascoes.
In a single moment of candor and clarity, after his removal and before his ultimate dismissal from the Church, Rinder wrote about his performance and lack of truthfulness:
Bottom line is that I have had a totally criminal moral code and operated with a totally criminal mind attitude that I have not fully confronted (even down to lying about lying and doing illegal things).
With the justifications I have had in place, telling the truth under certain circumstances was in my universe no different than telling a lie or withholding.
In a deposition of January 6, 2015, Rinder was forced to confirm, under oath, the validity of his handwritten statement, “My Honesty,” dated August 21, 2003, in which he admitted repeatedly lying to the leader of the Church:
It is a reflection on my cowardice and lack of integrity that I would do this [lie] and it’s just black and white wrong and a low-tone suppressive trait. I’ve done it many times with you and have always had some justification for it that I then didn’t really confront it for what it is. I finally confronted this for real.
In that same deposition, Rinder asserted the only person he lied to was the leader of the Church:
In other words, Rinder had lied to the leader of the religion so often he refused to even estimate whether it had been dozens or hundreds of times. It was countless times “even down to ‘lying about lying’ and doing illegal things” as Rinder himself stated.
In the same deposition, Rinder acknowledged under oath that statements he had made in declarations while in the Church were true:
The statements that Rinder acknowledged under oath on January 6, 2015, were truthful, and were made in court filings under penalty of perjury two dozen times over two decades beginning in April 1982. The statements cover a variety of subjects that directly contradict numerous allegations he now makes.
Scientology Scripture includes a comprehensive system of ethics that includes moral and ethical codes. The sole purpose of the Scientology system of ethics is to make it possible for auditing and training to occur and to enable Scientologists to apply Scientology technology and doctrine in their daily lives. The system includes ethical guidelines for both the individual and group. Severe violation of ethical guidelines may result in expulsion from the Church.
Mike Rinder’s domestic abuse and violence is a matter of public record. He violently attacked his then-estranged wife in Clearwater, Florida, when she, their daughter and Rinder’s brother approached him to offer their help. Rinder’s daughter described the scene she witnessed:
He then grabbed my mom’s arms and I guess there was a key or something he had in his hand, his car key, and he’s grabbing her arm so bad, she’s going, “Auh, auh, auh, stop, Mike, stop!” And he gouged her arm but not only that but he actually—I don’t know exactly technically what he did—but he pulled her arm out. So now years later every day she’s in pain, every single day. She had surgery and she’ll never have proper function of it… She’s a small woman, she’s pretty frail, meaning she has small bones and he was squeezing her and, and she’s going “stop, stop! It’s hurting!”
Photographic evidence and the paramedics’ report documented the injuries.
Rinder abused and harassed not only his family but his co-workers as well.
Rinder and several cohorts showed up with a camera crew at the Church’s religious retreat in Clearwater, claiming he was there to see his son. Recognizing his father’s sudden appearance as a media stunt, his son refused to see him. When Rinder would not leave, police issued a formal trespass citation.
Rinder had ignored his son for years. Despite knowing the young man had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, he made no attempt to contact his family during the crisis or help in any way.
When Rinder heard his son had survived against all odds, he saw this as a photo op and arrived with cameras rolling to demand to see him, asserting “[you] can stop saying I don’t want to see my kid, because now I’ve proven you won’t let me see my kid!”
His son’s response:
“During my cancer treatment he did not contact me once. I could have died. He wouldn't have even known. He's just forwarding his own agenda. It has nothing to do with me. It was definitely a stunt for media.”
In July 2010, Rinder tried to gain similar unauthorized entry to a Church in Australia, attempting to force his way inside, again with camera crew in tow. On this trip, paid for by Channel 7 TV Australia, Rinder tricked his way into his mother’s apartment in an assisted-living community when she was out of town with family. His mother was extremely upset when she returned to her home and saw he had riffled through her personal belongings in her absence. She was equally upset by his attacks on her family and her faith. She wrote to him numerous times trying to get him to see reason: “Michael, you are destroying everything that I am… I need a promise from you to desist from these actions… It is important for me… because there is not a lot of mileage left in this body.” Rinder never responded.
In 1998 while still in the Church, Rinder explained to ABC’s 20/20 the tactics of anti-Scientologists: “They sat in a room, they figured out what they were going to say, they wrote their bits, they passed them around, they made sure they were consistent. And yes, they were paid for that.”
Which is exactly and prophetically what Rinder and company attempt to do today.