“He instructed them to parrot his exact words and tone of voice when they were delivering one of his directives—to inform the captain what time to set sail, for instance, or to tell a member of the crew he was “a f------ a-------” if he had displeased him.”
>> True Information: The source of the claim is Gerald Armstrong, who used the above quoted phrase in a 1997 television program. The phrase was never used by Mr. Hubbard aboard the Apollo.
Mr. Starkey has written that “Mr. Hubbard never used foul language and in all the years that I worked with him, I never heard him use any of the four-letter curse words. When a staff member goofed or erred and endangered the vessel, he might be rightfully admonished—but never with profanities like Mr. Wright implies. These words were just not part of Mr. Hubbard’s eloquent vocabulary.”
Armstrong has been obsessively harassing Scientology churches and church members since leaving the Church in December 1981.
In August 1982, the Church sued Armstrong to try to get back the thousands of documents from L. Ron Hubbard’s personal archives he had stolen.
At the trial, Armstrong convinced the trial court judge, Paul Breckenridge, that he had stolen the documents because he feared for his safety. This resulted in a negative decision castigating the Church and L. Ron Hubbard.
Yet, in November and December 1984, Armstrong’s real frame of mind surfaced. The Church learned that Armstrong had been contacting current and former Church members trying to organize a coup to take over the Church. In November of 1984, the Church sought authorization from the Los Angeles Police Department to make videotapes of Armstrong’s meetings with Church dissidents, dubbed “the Loyalists.” The Church asked a Church member, “Joey,” to agree to pose as a “Loyalist” and to be videotaped while talking to Armstrong. At the very first meeting with “Joey,” Armstrong urged “Joey” to obtain copies of Church documents and publications so that he could forge documents in the same style. During these videotaped conversations, Armstrong made it clear that he wished to obtain the documents in order to make altered copies which could then be used to incriminate Church officials.
Armstrong let “Joey” know that part of his plan was to use the auspices of the Internal Revenue Service to attack the Church. Armstrong wanted “Joey” to plant the documents Armstrong would fabricate in the Church’s files so that Armstrong could tell a rogue unit of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Los Angeles office of the Internal Revenue Service that the CID should conduct a raid and find the “incriminating” documents. IRS CID agents enlisted the aid of Armstrong and used the fabrications of Armstrong and his supporting witnesses as an excuse for their investigation of the Church.
The videotapes obtained by “Joey” exposed the complete fraudulence of Armstrong’s trial evidence and defenses—for example that Armstrong’s state of mind justification defense was thoroughly fabricated. The videotape demonstrates that Armstrong’s claimed fear of Church retaliation was an outright fabrication which he used to avoid liability and to foster his master plan. The videotaped conversations between Armstrong and “Joey” also show that Armstrong had no basis in fact for his justification defense since he had no fear that anyone associated with the Church could or would harm him. Indeed, Armstrong’s only “fear” was that his conspiratorial plans would be discovered:
JOEY: Well, you’re not hiding!
JOEY: You’re not hiding.
ARMSTRONG: Fuck no!
JOEY: You’re not afraid, are you?
ARMSTRONG: No! And that’s why I’m in a fucking stronger position than they are!
JOEY: How’s that?
ARMSTRONG: Why, I’ll bring them to their knees!
In language that is particularly revealing with respect to the documents which he stole and later relied upon at trial, Armstrong reassured “Joey” that he would be able to create the needed documents “with relative ease” since he had done “it for a living.” Armstrong also told “Joey” that the CID had requested certain specific documents and information to set up execution of the raid and subsequent takeover. “Joey” met with Armstrong and provided him with samples of documents to obtain Armstrong’s reaction. That meeting was also videotaped:
JOEY: And I have a whole bunch of documents here and samples of different kinds. I can give you these.
ARMSTRONG: Good. (laughs) This is ah like a kid in the candy shop.
JOEY: I hope I got what you wanted here.
ARMSTRONG: Oh, so far we’re looking great.
JOEY: O.K., you want to take a look at them. I haven’t really studied them closely but maybe I can help you answer any questions, I need to know, like, what your strategy is regarding these type of things and what we are looking at doing.
ARMSTRONG: Well, I got a view, of course, from you, of course, that someone at least considered that I HELP was, you know, their Achilles heel, as it were (laughs). So we thought, “Shit, shouldn’t I get some I HELP materials?” So hence I asked. Now issues, I wanted to know number one, how they’re run off, what the type face is like. Are these like this? You know.
JOEY: These are the real McCoys.
ARMSTRONG: You see, because I think that during a part of this, we can simply create these, you know, I can create documents with relative ease you know, I did it for a living!
JOEY: (Laughs) Great, so what kind of stuff are we going to want to create and who’s going to get it?
ARMSTRONG: That’s what we need to talk about!
Armstrong also gave “Joey” instructions on how Armstrong intended to go about forging the new documents, based on his experience:
ARMSTRONG: So it seems to me that the use of the communication lines, I don’t know maybe you guys are using them, but it seems to me that you don’t have a way of printing anything to get an issue on the lines, used for anything. Right? I’m saying that I can do it. I can type those goddamn things and duplicate them and make them look exactly the same. You can’t, you would not be able to tell the difference. You know, maybe under a microscope you can tell the type faces you know, this one’s got a little crack on the T and this one doesn’t. You’d be able to tell that, and they will know, but that happens to be, that only happens to be one little tiny piece of it, you put out another issue the next day for a totally different purpose.
The Church revealed this scheme in a special edition of Freedom Magazine in 1985.
In December 1986, several Scientology churches settled outstanding litigation with Gerald Armstrong arising from Armstrong’s December 1981 theft of thousands of personal documents belonging to L. Ron Hubbard, the Founder of the Scientology religion, and Armstrong’s use of those documents to generate false media articles and to foment groundless civil litigation in several venues.
That settlement included the provisions that Armstrong would return all of the documents and cease his campaign of harassing Scientology churches and Scientologists.
Armstrong remained quiet until 1990 when he gave away his assets and embarked on a new round of harassing actions that have continued to this day. These have included voluntarily aiding adverse litigants and potential litigants, providing interviews to media in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Russia, addressing conventions and harassing individual Scientologists and Scientology churches.
After attempts to resolve matters short of litigation failed, the Church of Scientology International filed suit to enforce the settlement terms. In May 1992, after an evidentiary hearing, the Los Angeles County Superior Court entered a preliminary injunction ordering Armstrong to cease violating the terms of his settlement.
In October 1995, the Marin County Superior Court found that Armstrong had breached his settlement agreement 47 times by aiding 25 people and organizations with litigation interests adverse to Scientology churches, by providing interviews to 20 separate media organizations and by addressing a university class and a convention. The courted entered a permanent injunction against further breaches and ordered Armstrong to pay $300,000 in damages and $350,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs for a total of $650,000. Armstrong declared bankruptcy to avoid paying the judgment and ignored the injunction.
In June 1997, Armstrong was held in contempt of court for failing to abide by this judgment. The Marin County Superior Court ordered him to pay $1,000 and spend 2 days in jail. He fled California to escape the order and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
In February 1998, Armstrong was held in contempt of court again, this time for 13 separate violations of the injunction. These included 8 Internet publications, 4 media interviews to German and British televisions stations and 1 speech in Germany. He was fined $2,600 and ordered to spend 26 days in jail. As he ignored this order, another warrant for his arrest was issued.
In July 2001, Armstrong was held in contempt of court a third time, this time for having published 131 documents on the Internet, giving a radio interview and making a public speech. He was subsequently fined $1,000 and ordered to serve five days in jail.
In February of 2002, the Church was again forced to take action due to Armstrong’s continuing breaches of his settlement agreement and his flouting of the court’s authority by remaining out of California to avoid serving his contempt of court sentences.
On April 9, 2004, the Marin County Superior Court again upheld the 1986 settlement agreement and found Armstrong liable for breaching it by publishing 131 documents on the Internet. The court awarded the Church $500,000 in damages.
Having been a fugitive since 1997, Armstrong finally appeared for his contempt sentencing. The contempt orders were discharged with a sentence of five days in jail and a fine of $1,000. The Court of Appeal reversed this ruling holding that the contempt citations were improperly discharged. Thus, on October 9, 2007, the Court reinstated sentences of 28 days incarceration, a fine of $1,000. The Court issued a bench warrant for Armstrong’s arrest the same day.
In total, since 1992, Armstrong has been found by judges in two separate courts to have breached his settlement agreement 188 times and to have violated court orders enforcing the terms of the settlement 145 times. The Church has obtained a permanent injunction; two awards for damages, attorneys’ fees and costs totaling $1,150,000; and three contempt of court citations, for which Armstrong was fined $1,000 and ordered to spend a total of 28 days in jail.
Armstrong’s delusional state is illustrated by the fact that he once posted a message on the Internet concerning a letter he sent to Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. In the letter, he offered himself to Hussein as a hostage in the Iraqi war. “If either side failed to perform any part of the agreement, the other side could execute me,” he concluded.