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Linda Hight, who worked with Mike Rinder for a decade, says the only way to approach Rinder is to assume that anything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. “Mike Rinder is like the Bermuda Triangle, where you don’t know which is the sky and which is the ocean, and was he lying then or is he lying now? He doesn’t know…There is no truth with Mike Rinder. It was like working on quicksand.”
The 10 years that I worked with Mike Rinder were positively ghastly is about the nicest thing I can say about them. And for a staff member to say that about someone they worked for is so unusual, because the one thing that Scientology is known for internally and outside is our mutual respect for each other, our communication skills, our joy at doing a valuable job to the best of our ability. And Mike Rinder was the only person and remains the only person that I have ever encountered in this position who seemed to be utterly opposed and opposite to that way of operating.
Mike Rinder had a terrible time dealing with women in a professional setting. The thing that was peculiar about that was that it was 10 times worse for the women than it was for the men. It’s not that he was pleasant to the men or complimented them, but it was very, very mild compared to the treatment that the women got in those meetings.
He picked on the women and I don’t mean just picked on them. I had a colleague who—I don’t know how she survived it. And he even later once admitted in one moment of clarity that he had been very hard on her. That was about as far as he would go—“Yeah, I guess I was pretty hard on her.” But he definitely dealt with women in a different way than he did with men. He was bad with all people, in my observation, but much, much worse with women.
There is no real Mike Rinder. Mike Rinder is like the Bermuda Triangle where you don’t know which is the sky and which is the ocean and was he lying then, is he lying now? He doesn’t know, he’s got truth and fiction so mushed together in his morphing tales. If you watch his stories grow and change and evolve and I think, ’Wait a minute, that’s not what he was saying before. Now he’s saying that, what in the-?’ There is no truth with Mike Rinder. And that’s one of the main reasons it was so confusing and so upsetting to work around him, because things were always different. It was like working on quicksand.
I think the only way to approach Mike Rinder is to assume that anything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. There would be no other way to deal with what he says. The only thing that I’ve ever read where I think he had a moment of some kind of self-revelation, that he probably backed away from very rapidly, was on some occasion before he left the Church he wrote about himself. And he wrote about his own lying and how it didn’t really matter to him if it was a lie or not and that he’d gotten so used to lying that he’d even lie about lying.
Mike Rinder is an utterly false person in my estimation. Everything about him is false—what he says, what he does, what he said and what he did. His estimation of other people was false, his estimation of himself was false. I think he built a false world around himself, and it only lasted until it didn’t work anymore and then he was kicked out so he had to go out and build another false world. “False” is what I think of when I think of Mike Rinder—unable to carry on a civil conversation with any other human being, unable to say “thank you,” “good job,” “I’m sorry,” “you were right”—anything remotely like a decent human being would be.
He was just an underling but still keeping up this pretense of being an “executive” and being someone “important.” This is the ultimate meritocracy in Scientology—you earn your position and you keep your position by your merits, by what you do, not because of any other reason. But he was continually pushing himself as some super important person when he actually wasn’t and was quite despised.
And it’s simply another effort to make himself now—reinvent himself as something he never was. And if it weren’t so serious and so offensive, it would be laughable. When we hear what he’s claiming he was and claiming he did and claiming what happened to him…We worked right next to the man for a decade—I did, and other people for far longer than that and he was never any of those things. He was a miserable human being whose biggest accomplishment in his own eyes was how miserable could he make the people around him. Especially the people who were doing the most work. Those were the ones he really went after.