Former Scientology leader: Church spent $30M to cover up death

New allegations come from court deposition

CLEARWATER - Scientology's former number two in-charge has been an outspoken critic of the Church on national television. Now Marty Rathbun is bringing new allegations saying the Church spent $30-million dollars covering up one of the biggest scandals in Scientology history -- the 1995 death of Lisa McPherson.

"The last three days of her life those notes are missing and Marty Rathmun under oath says that's because he was ordered to destroy them," said Tampa attorney Ken Dander.

Rathbun gave these statements  for a federal lawsuit to a local attorney, Ken Dandar, who sat down with us. He represented Lisa McPherson's family after she died. The former Church member's death was shrouded in suspicion. She died after 17-days at the Fort Harrison Hotel under Scientology care and an autopsy showed McPherson was severely dehydrated.

Criminal charges against the church were dropped when the Pinellas County Medical Examiner Joan Wood changed her cause of death from undetermined to accidental.

Rathbun, who now lives in Texas,says Scientology courted Wood's attorney persuading her to change her mind. He says the Church gifted him perks like "over-the-top" cufflinks, "50-yardline super bowl tickets" and "personal-face time" with star John Travolta. The St. Petersburg attorney, Jeff Goodis, tells me by phone the allegations are absolutely false and he had nothing to do with Wood's ruling.

The allegations don't stop there. Rathmun also says the Church reached out to influence several well-respected Pinellas County Judges in the McPherson trial.

"He's alleging that David Miscaviage, the quote unquote, Supreme Leader of Scientology with him as his number one assistant and Mike Rinder as his number one or two assistant told their attorneys to go and meet with these Judges and get this McPherson case over with," said Dandar.

Dandar says the Church is targeting him trying to prevent him from taking clients who file suits against Scientology and threatening his livelihood.

A Church of Scientology spokesperson did not respond to phone calls and an email asking for comment.

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