David Mayo, 1940-2017: Scientology's top technical wizard and target of 'Fair Game' - 2018-02-02
In the early 1980s Mayo had risen to become Scientology's Senior Case Supervisor International and founder L. Ron Hubbard's personal auditor, and Hubbard appeared to be grooming him to become his successor. By 1983, however, Mayo had been purged in a Scientology reorganization and he started a rival movement, the Church of the New Civilization, with its Advanced Ability Center in Santa Barbara, California. The AAC was shut down three years later under fierce attacks — legal and otherwise — by the Church of Scientology. After years more harassment under Scientology's notorious "Fair Game" doctrine, Mayo managed to work out a settlement with the church in 1996.
We had long telephone conversations with Mayo during our time at the Village Voice, and he told us that he was still traumatized over some of the things he'd experienced at the hands of Scientology's private investigators — including at one point the gruesome deaths of his cats. We had hoped that he would speak on the record for a story, but he told us he enjoyed his quiet life in New Zealand, and didn't want to disturb it.