Uploaded on Jul 4, 2010
This video series is an unabridged deposition in the Lisa McPherson wrongful death lawsuit against Scientology in 2000. This deposition is described in the first and second sections as an "emergency" because Young is suffering from terminal prostate cancer.
The result is a fascinating view inside the Scientology organization at all levels, from one of its most trusted officers.
Robert Vaughn Young (or RVY as he was known online in circles critical of Scientology) was a high ranking church official and eventual whistleblower. He was married to Stacy Brooks Young (now known as Stacy Brooks), but the pair divorced in the years following their exit from Scientology.
Of his years with the Church, RVY said:
I have held nearly every type of position at every echelon. I have worked at the local, the regional, the national and the international levels. I have been a Scientology representative and spokesman before governmental bodies, the media and the courts. I have trained others on how to handle the media and governmental agencies. I have been the most senior public relations executive for Scientology world wide. I worked for years at the echelon that handles critics, "enemies," the media, judges, the courts and the government. I have been privy to documents and tactics of the most secret nature, including illegalities committed by Scientology executives and the means of cover-up.
He was a national spokesman for the church.
RVY edited L. Ron Hubbard's ten-volume Mission Earth series. Young said that Hubbard had written the main text of the series, but that he had ghostwritten the introduction of each volume, as well as other writings in Hubbard's name.
After leaving the Church of Scientology in 1989, Young became prominent as an expert in court cases regarding Scientology such as CSI v. Fishman and Geertz, BPI v. FACTNet, the Lisa McPherson civil trial,, cited by the press, and as an Internet-based critic of the organization. His ex-wife, Stacy Brooks, was a member of the Lisa McPherson Trust. This frequently resulted in tension with his former organization.
Young was diagnosed with prostate cancer on November 23, 1999 and turned his energies to Phoenix5, a non-profit organization that runs a website on the disease. He died on June 15, 2003.
I did video work for Phoenix5, in addition to anti-cult video editing, in the time leading up to RVY's death; I was honored to have a chance to know him personally, even meeting him for a four hour lunch not long before he died. It was a long and intimate discussion, and at the risk of being indiscreet, I would like to address a point that - at the time - reputed Scientologists were gleefully parrotting about his marriage.
Despite the black PR, RVY said that the breakup of his marriage to Stacy Brooks was not precipitated by Bob Minton; he loved Stacy, he said, wanted her to be happy, and considered Bob Minton a friend. Bob stole nothing from him, he told me; inside a cult, people have a commonality that can form the basis of a lasting relationship.
Once that commonality is gone, one can find that the basis itself is in doubt. People are different outside of a cult than they are inside of it, and maybe something that worked in captivity doesn't work in the wild. That's my metaphor, not his.
That's all the insight he gave me, but it's enough.
I didn't know Robert Vaughn Young very well, but I was grateful for the time and talks we did have. When our lunch was over, I sat in my car and literally wept for half and hour, because I had barely gotten to know this dynamic, fascinating man, and he was likely to be dead in a few weeks.
In fact, nearly a decade later, I'm weeping as I type this.
I didn't know him well, and I didn't know him long, but he left his mark on me - the good ones always do - and I will always miss him.
Rest in peace, RVY. We'll take it from here.
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