Lifting the Veil: Mike Rinder’s Violence Against Women

Rinder pushed, shoved and choked his way through women in a rising tide of violence that stretched back decades.

Mike Rinder, 1995
Mike Rinder, 1995

“Mike then came directly over to me, grabbed me by both arms and shoved me which nearly knocked me down.”

The above statement is exceedingly telling, because it does not come from Rinder’s former wife, Cathy, whom he assaulted in 2010 in exactly the above-stated manner—albeit he gripped Cathy’s arms for longer and with such force he cracked her shoulder and caused her permanent, debilitating damage.

Rather, the statement came years earlier from Amy Scobee—then a Church staffer, and now a part of the apostate “posse” Rinder rides with. She has also been one of the tabloid media’s hand-picked sources—one of those who corroborate each other’s stories. Then again, it’s even more telling in light of the fact that brutally grabbing women by the arms (which Rinder had done to his wife and then lied about to the police and press) is a standard Rinder modus operandi.

It’s even more telling in light of the fact that brutally grabbing women by the arms (which Rinder had done to his wife and then lied about to the police and press) is a standard Rinder modus operandi.

While Scobee appeared on a tabloid TV show to “corroborate” tales of Rinder being the target of abuse, she neglected—willfully—to tell the host that she, herself, had been attacked by none other than Rinder. While if only to compound lie upon lie, the host was provided with all pertinent details, but he too neglected—willfully—to ask about it.

By then, Rinder had already publicly admitted attacks on staffers. In 2009, a newspaper quoted Rinder’s recollection of “holding a church staffer against a wall by the collar and pressing into his throat.” Rinder further admitted he and an erstwhile Church colleague, Mark “Marty” Rathbun—who, like Rinder, was expelled from the religion—had hit others while on staff. “It wasn’t the only time that Marty or I was involved in some form of physical violence with people,” Rinder said.

A former female subordinate of Mike Rinder recounts his assault on her, in an affidavit in 2009.
One of Mike Rinder’s male victims of violence details Rinder’s assault in an affidavit in 2009.

With Rinder’s physical attacks a matter of public record, a veil was lifted on a well-hidden history of violence directed at women.

Consequently, women who had suffered his abuse in the past suddenly came forward to tell their firsthand accounts, recorded in sworn testimony and interviews. Here are but a few.


Three of Mike Rinder’s secretaries were victims of his abuse—including Marcy, who detailed in a 2009 affidavit how she felt Rinder’s rage when she had allegedly not provided him information correctly:

“He jumped up out of his chair, his eyes were wild-eyed and irrational. He clenched his fists, turned red in the face so his veins were showing….When he stormed toward me I knew he was going to hit me, so I put my hands over my face. He grabbed me by the shoulders in a very strong, tight and painful grip (squeezing my shoulders very hard) and began shaking me violently, toward him and away from him, back and forth rapidly, yelling that I was stupid…. He kept on shoving me back and forth and then, on a back shove, threw me against the wall hard enough that it hurt my ribcage, knocked the breath out of me and I bounced off the wall.

“I remember being completely beside myself, shaken up and breaking out into tears, caused both by the physical pain and the emotional distress I had been subjected to.”


Several years later, and well away from witnesses, another incident occurred to a staff member junior to Rinder—Kathy, a 5' 2" woman, 50 years old at the time. She managed to trigger Rinder’s rage because one of her staff had failed to record a TV news show he wanted. As detailed in her sworn declaration:

“Rinder stormed into the media monitoring unit and went into a rage….Rinder was furious and at that point—and without any provocation or verbal warning—he placed both his hands on an 8½" x 11" wooden clipboard he was carrying, did a half turn, swung and hit me on the side of my face with the clipboard, using the full force of his body….I developed a severe toothache. The pain became quite excruciating and I went to the dentist who took an x-ray of the tooth (a back molar) and found that it had been cracked and had to be removed.”


Then there was the case of another woman junior to Rinder who inexplicably left the Church’s religious order years ago, much to the dismay and surprise of those with whom she worked. Today, her reason is abundantly clear, as the following was submitted to the Church after she had read of Rinder’s other transgressions:

“I needed to get financial approval to purchase something but I was worried as I had been told in the past that Mike Rinder would not approve this type of request….I mentioned my concern to a colleague as to whether or not Rinder would approve the request, but I was advised to make the request and turn it in to Rinder anyway, which I did….

“He came out into the hallway, walked right up to me and physically slammed me against the wall. He used his right forearm up against my chest and moved toward my throat in a choking position, my head was pinned against the wall and I was desperately trying to get him to move his arm down by pulling down on his forearm with my two hands….

A former female subordinate of Mike Rinder recounts his assault on her, in an affidavit in 2009.
A former female subordinate of Mike Rinder recounts his assault on her, in an affidavit in 2009.

“Rinder never apologized for that incident, for slamming me against the wall, for upsetting me or anything. That was the beginning of my thinking about leaving.”

Rubbing salt into the wound, when Mike Rinder was asked by a reporter to comment on the aforementioned abuse, the newspaper nonchalantly published Rinder’s non-denial, which consisted of simply stating he didn’t “recall” the incident.

With accounts of Rinder’s violence brought to the fore, there was no escaping the facts.

In 2010, Rinder was asked by a TV host about “hitting people” while in the Church. “Absolutely I have,” Rinder replied. He was even more forthcoming in a later video interview—candidly admitting he had gotten violent, “like, you know, going after people or hitting them or shoving them around.”

By his admissions, however, Rinder was admitting that he was in fact the hand behind his own fallacious claims of violence in the Church. And so came the back-pedaling twist: After Rinder affirmed to a TV host in 2011 that he had beaten others up, he was quick to also claim: “I’ve never seen anybody who had an arm broken, or even a bruise.”

What Mike Rinder failed to mention is that he had assaulted his wife, bruising and gouging her—and although he may not have broken her arm, he did crack her shoulder, damage her nerves and disable her for life.

Mike Rinder’s then wife, Cathy, on April 23, 2010
Mike Rinder’s then wife, Cathy, on April 23, 2010, hours after Rinder’s assault that left her permanently impaired.