Bob Minton was a retired investment banker who became a vocal critic of the Church of Scientology in the 1990s. He spent millions of dollars to support lawsuits and campaigns against the controversial organization, but later switched sides and testified for the church in a high-profile case. He died unexpectedly in Ireland in 2010, at the age of 63. What was the cause of his death, and what led him to change his stance on Scientology?
How Bob Minton Became a Scientology Critic
According to Wikipedia, Minton became interested in Scientology after reading about its attacks on critics and internet free speech. He was concerned about the alleged violations of civil and human rights by the church, and decided to take action. He appeared on several news programs, such as Dateline NBC and A&E Investigative Reports, to expose the practices and policies of Scientology. He also donated about $10 million to various anti-Scientology causes, including the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case.
Lisa McPherson was a Scientologist who died in 1995 while in the care of church staff in Clearwater, Florida. Her family sued the church for negligence and wrongful death, and Minton became the main financier of their legal battle. He also set up an office next to the church facilities in Clearwater, and staged frequent protests and pickets. He offered a reward of $360,000 to anyone who would leave Scientology with enough information to cause the organization to lose its federal tax exemption. He also helped other former Scientologists, such as Vaughn and Stacy Young, who ran a cat sanctuary and were sued by the church for copyright infringement.
How Scientology Fought Back Against Bob Minton
The Church of Scientology did not take Minton’s criticism lightly. They hired private investigators to dig up dirt on his financial dealings, especially in Nigeria, where he had been involved in some controversial transactions. They also sent Scientology staff to monitor and harass him, and staged counter-protests and lawsuits. They accused him of fraud, perjury, racketeering, and hate crimes. They also secretly recorded him in meetings with two top Scientology leaders, Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, who later defected from the church and revealed the methods they used to subdue Minton.
How Bob Minton Switched Sides and Testified for Scientology
In 2002, Minton’s efforts unraveled. As the McPherson lawsuit dragged on in court and the judge pressed for a settlement, Minton faced allegations that he lied under oath about the depth of his involvement in the case. He also faced pressure from the Nigerian government, which was investigating his business activities. He was reportedly offered a deal by Scientology to drop the charges against him in exchange for his cooperation. In a shocking turnabout, Minton soon found himself testifying for the church and against the plaintiff’s attorney. He told the judge: “I just want some peace.”
Minton’s testimony was a major blow to the McPherson case, which was eventually settled out of court in 2004. Minton also recanted his previous statements about Scientology, and apologized for his actions. He said he had been misled by anti-Scientology activists, and that he had no personal knowledge of any wrongdoing by the church. He also said he had been manipulated by the media, and that he regretted the harm he had caused to Scientologists and their families.
How Bob Minton Died of a Heart Ailment in Ireland
According to paid obituaries in the New York Times and Nashville Tennessean, Minton died unexpectedly on January 20, 2010, in Ireland. Mark Bunker, a Scientology critic, said Minton’s companion Stacy Brooks told him Minton was diagnosed with a heart problem the day he died. He was 63 years old. He is survived by his four children and eight grandchildren.
Minton’s death was mourned by some of his former allies in the anti-Scientology movement, who remembered him as a courageous and generous man who stood up for what he believed in. They also expressed sadness and confusion over his change of heart, and speculated that he might have been coerced or blackmailed by Scientology. Some of his former enemies in the church, however, praised him for his honesty and integrity, and said he had seen the light and made amends.
Bob Minton’s cause of death was a heart ailment, but his life story was a complex and controversial one. He was a man who challenged a powerful organization, but also a man who changed his mind and betrayed his cause. He was a man who sought peace, but also a man who left behind a legacy of conflict. He was a man who died in Ireland, but also a man who left his mark on the world.