'I DON'T like bullies. Especially Fascist bullies.' Boston attorney Michael Flynn was referring to his arch-enemy, L. Ron Hubbard. He lay back in his leather armchair and swung his feet up on to the desk among the stacks of documents. One wall of the small room is stacked with books, in the corner a spiral staircase connects the floors of number 12 Union Wharf, Boston, where Flynn and his partners have their office. It is a low, long building constructed right on the side of the wharf and as we talked, yachts bobbed up and down beneath the window on the west side of Flynn's office. He is a talker. The self-assured and fluent tone, the machine-gun rattle of facts and ideas, betray the prize-winning law student who has become a prosperous lawyer and Scientology's greatest enemy.
As the sun streamed in through his window on that September afternoon, Flynn told me in his Boston Irish accent what had started him on his crusade against Hubbard and his church. 'This girl came to see me in 1979. They were doing awful things to her. Then they started doing awful things to me.' The girl was a former Scientologist and resident of Nevada named Lavenda van Schaick and the 'awful' things included attempts to get Flynn disbarred. Then there was the time when Flynn's private plane mysteriously acquired water in the fuel tanks and was forced to make an emergency landing. Flynn has no proof that the Scientologists were behind it. However, he has his suspicions. These are vehemently denied by the Church of Scientology's President, Heber Jentzsch: 'It's nonsense.' He told me that the Church of Scientology had conducted expensive investigations which showed that light aircraft of the type owned by Flynn were prone to condensation in the fuel tanks.
With the record in dealing with opponents of Scientology it was
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not surprising that Michael Flynn should believe that he was singled out for some attention. Several complaints against him were filed with the Massachusetts Bar Association and private investigators put onto the scent. For a while Scientologists rented a flat opposite his office at Union Wharf and observed the clients who came and went. It was at this time that certain documents were, says the Church of Scientology, 'retrieved' from Flynn's wastepaper dustbin. 'Horse manure,' says Flynn. They were stolen from this office.' The documents in question were shown to me in a 'Flynn File' kept by the Church of Scientology. They relate to the setting up in August 1980 of a company styled FAMCO (Flynn Associates Management Corporation), which the Church of Scientology alleges was a front to sell shares in the hope of raising money to finance litigation against the Church of Scientology. The aim, they say, was to break Scientology by lawsuits across the country and make a profit by so doing. Flynn points out that the documents concerned three different activities and were conflated by the Church of Scientology to make it look as if he was illegally raising money for litigation. All complaints against him to the Bar Association have been dismissed and he has countered by suing the Church of Scientology for making malicious complaints.
One undeniable fact is that Michael Flynn has sought to maximize his lawsuits against Scientology by extending the so-called 'class-action' to a series of individual lawsuits brought by disaffected Scientologists around the USA. The research, the witnesses, the previous pleadings undertaken by Flynn, were to be used as an anti-Scientology prosecution 'kit'. One document 'retrieved' puts it thus: 'It is projected that this activity will generate a chain-reaction in bringing former Scientologists out of the woodwork as well as generate massive publicity to assist in this endeavour. The purpose of this activity is to substitute individual actions for the class action which is currently pending in the Federal District Court of Boston and which inherently involves problems relating to jurisdiction, conflicts of laws, and damages.'
As viewed by the Church of Scientology this was 'genocide of a religion' and persecution of a religious organization through the courts in direct contradiction of the First Amendment to the US Constitution which guarantees separation of churches from State interference. From the Flynn side it was prudent marshalling of his resources and an attempt to ensure that the members of the Church of Scientology did not escape culpability by slipping from state to state through legal loopholes. He was determined that their frauds and crimes would
catch up with them. 'They can believe what they want,' protests Flynn. 'I have no axe to grind with their beliefs, but when their conduct becomes illegal and harms people then something has to be done. They can believe in thetans if they want, but they shouldn't be practising deceit in the street.'
Michael Flynn, as already mentioned, sees many parallels between The Nazis and the Scientologists. 'The whole thing is a house of cards, built on deceit. Most of us, if we screw up, are responsible. But not Hubbard. He thinks he has the right to lie. He has said that he has power which gives him the prerogative to lie, cheat and steal because he understands it better than the wimps of the world. It's there in his own handwriting.' Flynn acknowledges that there are many well-intentioned people who join Scientology. 'They are not brain-washed - it's just that they are deceived and don't want to look. Sure, you can have an interesting discussion with Heber Jentzsch about religious freedom, but it's got nothing to do with what's been going on for the past thirty years. If we believe absurdities, we commit atrocities,' 'Flynn continued, his rhetoric conjuring up a picture of the enemy he has never met, L. Ron Hubbard. 'He *is* like Hitler, a fanatical leader demanding obedience. There's the parallel.'
I put it to him that there would always be those who believed the earth was flat or that they were reincarnations of Pharaoh. 'Sure, there are people who change their attitudes because of faith. But LRH will tell you that faith has nothing to do with Scientology. It's about processes, the tech correctly followed.' It is a telling theological point, made by a lawyer, for Scientology does indeed not depend on the level of belief or of moral goodness; it says that if you follow certain procedures you are assured of spiritual progress. Flynn further argues that the animosity of ex-Scientologists who are his clients is not the pique of disaffected believers who have rebelled from their allegiances. 'A person who believes in Christianity or Islam has faith through a doctrinal structure. It has nothing to do with whether Mohammed had a degree in nuclear physics, but if you're living with someone who says he has - and you should believe what he says because he knows - and then you find his statements are all nonsense, as Gerry Armstrong did, then that's not a disaffected believer. That's a guy who has discovered a fraud.'
Flynn has found the Armstrong case to be a goldmine of material to substantiate his charges against Scientology. 'There are thousands of documents which prove that the guy is a complete flim-flam.' Armstrong was his client and formerly a Hubbard aide assigned to
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shred a mountain of documents relating to Hubbard's personal file when there was a threat in the wake of the FBI raid that more documents might be seized in an attempt to incriminate Hubbard himself. However, on Armstrong's initiative, many were kept back to assist in the biography which writer Omar Garrison was commissioned to produce on LRH, with Armstrong as his researcher. When he began to discover that many of the documents did not verify claims being made by the Church of Scientology about Hubbard's achievements, Armstrong suggested to his superiors that this was undermining the reputation of LRH, which he still held at that time in high esteem. But his warnings went unheeded and Armstrong soon became disaffected. He left Scientology, taking many documents with him which he claimed would help to vindicate him and defend himself against attacks from the Church of Scientology.
The church, in the person of Mary Sue Hubbard, sued for the return of these documents, accusing Armstrong of theft and invasion of privacy. Judge Paul Breckenridge could not pass up the opportunity to comment on the irony of Mary Sue's complaining about invasion of privacy when she had, as Guardian supremo, been responsible for invading the privacy of others.
As the case proceeded it became clear that Armstrong had collected some very damaging materials. Despite protestations that the culling of pc folders for damaging information had been discontinued after the overthrow of the black sheep among the Guardians, testimony was heard that Lyman Spurlock was still culling pc folders well into 1982. The judge ruled that Armstrong had been justified in retaining the documents and awarded costs against the Church of Scientology. He also directed that many of the incriminating documents should be kept under seal pending further litigation when they might be required as evidence. These included items described as: '4-E Hubbard handwriting admissions re: control over mankind and naval background; 5-0 Hubbard re: forcing Mayor to resign March 22 1978; 4-K Hubbard handwriting black magic incantations; 6-L Handwritten re: open up a total war on IRS Gestapo tactics.'
In his summing-up dated 20 June 1984, Judge Breckenridge said: 'In addition to violating and abusing its own members' civil rights, the organization [Church of Scientology] over the years with its Fair Game doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of the founder, LRH. The evidence portrays a man who
has been a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.'
Flynn sees the case, against which the Scientologists appealed, as representing a milestone in the decline of Scientology. The Church of Scientology's response was to redouble its attacks on Armstrong's credibility. It accused him of being incomplete in his research on Hubbard's naval career and mounted a covert operation to expose him as a Government agent. The *Freedom* newspaper, a Scientology publication which specializes in attacks on the IRS and psychiatry, in May 1985 printed a splash 'expose' of Armstrong as a Government intelligence operative who was involved not only with Flynn, but with the FBI and IRS in a plot against Scientology. They claimed this was a police sanctioned 'sting'. (The FBI had informed the authorities that they intended to gather evidence of criminal conspiracy against the Church of Scientology.) The expose consisted of a secretly video-taped conversation in Griffith Park, Los Angeles on 7 November 1984 between Armstrong and a Scientologist, code-named 'Joey', who claimed to be asking his help in setting up a dissident group. The transcript of the conversation reveals Armstrong telling Joey the names and telephone numbers of several FBI and Justice Department officials handling various investigations involving Scientology. It is no surprise that Armstrong knew these. During the lengthy court proceedings in which he was involved, it is likely that all the opposition team would have been in touch with Armstrong for access to his material, to assist their own cases against the Church of Scientology. However, *Freedom* presents this as evidence that he was working for these agencies. Much more damaging is the charge that Armstrong encouraged 'Joey' to plant false evidence on Scientology files and that he was skilled in this technique himself. Here is what *Freedom* prints (Vol. 17, No. 10 May 1985, US Edition):
G.A.: An organization's comm [communication] lines are of various kinds and I think you can use this fact - you know, realize what their comm lines are and plug into them...you see, because I think that during a part of this, we can simply create these, you know - I can create documents with relative ease. You know, I did it for a living!
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JOEY: Great, so what kind of stuff are we going to create and who's going to get it?
G.A.: That's what we need to talk about...
This charge is extremely damaging to Armstrong as a credible witness if true. Yes, IF TRUE, because I obtained a loan of a copy of the video taken in Griffith Park from the Church of Scientology and it contains *no such passage*. The transcript on page 18 of *Freedom* begins at time-code 23:16 on the video clock, which would reveal if it had been edited or not. Armstrong goes on to say: 'We have not discussed anything about the destruction of the tech, right?', which occurs at 23.50. *Freedom* prints this as 'We have not discussed that Scientology is bad ...' The video then continues at 24.12: 'It seems to me that you don't have a way of printing anything to get an issue on the lines, right? I'm saying I can do it! I can type those goddam things and duplicate them and make them look exactly the same!' All the intervening words in the *Freedom* transcript, some 400 words, do not occur at all on the video. Armstrong could be talking about fraud at 24.12 but he could be talking about sending a message, like the Dane Tops letter, which would appeal for support. Why did *Freedom* put in these passages, except perhaps to do a little false document insertion themselves?
One of the names mentioned to 'Joey' by Gerry Armstrong was an Assistant US Attorney named Brackett Denniston. According to *Freedom*, he was 'assigned' to investigate an attempt by Boston lawyer Michael Flynn to pass a two million dollar forged cheque on an account of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Denniston stone-walled the investigation into Flynn's involvement in the crime. To this day,' *Freedom* alleges, 'he has not followed up on the volumes of persuasive evidence given to him by church attorneys and their investigators exposing Flynn as one of the perpetrators of the crime.'
The 'evidence' in question was supplied by one Ala Tamimi from the United Arab Emirates, a proven con-man who is serving a prison sentence in Italy while four other countries are queuing to bring charges against him. Tamimi must have seemed like a gift from the gods to the Church of Scientology when he came forward to say that he could describe how Michael Flynn had conspired with him to pass the bogus cheque, which was not accepted by the Middle East Bank in New York when Tamimi and his brother Akil tried to pass it in early 1982. Widely thought to be an attempt by Church of Scientology officials to 'loot' Hubbard's cupboard, this allegation was used by Flynn as evidence in a probate case brought by Ronald DeWolf that
Hubbard was not alive or unable to manage his affairs. But Ala, dubbed 'The Prince of Fraud' by the *Boston* magazine of 22 October 1984, took the Church of Scientology for a ride by asking for an advance payment before he gave them his 'evidence'. Then he fled with $25,000 of org money while Flynn was left to answer the charges, which were widely publicized on 23 July 1984.
Flynn's response was to slap a very large lawsuit on those who had been involved and for good measure he threw in another against the *Boston Globe* for $10 million for defamation damages when they ran the story supplied by the Scientologists despite being advised that the allegations were false. 'Prior to 23 July I'd never heard of Ala Tamimi,' says Flynn. 'It's a frame-up. He's a con. They (Church of Scientology) are a con.' Currently Flynn is personally involved in a lawsuit for $141 million against Hubbard. The Church of Scientology boasts that despite his ubiquitous battle against the cult, Flynn has never won a case against the church. But he has not lost one either, and the reason that such a claim can be made is that so many of the cases drag on for years and even when decided, there is an immediate appeal.
This raises the question of how a prosperous lawyer can afford to pursue a campaign against the Church of Scientology without financial reward. The Scientologists are quick to supply an answer. They point to a donation of $135,000 in 1983 from the New York Community Trust to the Scientology Victims' Defence Fund, which is administered from Flynn's office. At first sight it looks peculiar. The Scientologists claim the source of the recommendation was an aide of Nelson Rockefeller who had clashed with them back in 1955 over the 'Siberia Bill'. Heber Jentzsch raged, 'The Rockefellers backed Adolph Hitler during the Second World War and continue this tradition in present time by backing straw men who attack religious men and churches. Let it be known that we will vindicate Mr Hubbard's good name regardless of how many Rockefeller mega-bucks are poured into the Fund.' These turn out to be weasel words when the donation is measured alongside the hundreds of others of a humanitarian nature handed out by the Trust, totalling $350 million. There is already ample evidence in this book to show that many people have been harmed by Scientology and surely Michael Flynn, whatever his motives, cannot be expected to go on year after year charging nothing for his services. Until auditing is given away free the Scientologists have little to complain about. Their attempts to discredit Flynn have been shown up time and again to be sleazy and inaccurate at the very least.
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Nor can they say that they have much more success in the courtrooms, as a review of outstanding cases reveals:
LAVENDA VAN SCHAICK, the girl whose case brought Michael Flynn into conflict with the Scientologists originally, brought a 'class action' on behalf of Scientology drop-outs alleging mind control, unlawful electronic surveillance and the leaking to the media of details of her private life obtained during auditing. The action was originally brought in December 1979 for $200 million but was settled out of court on 10 June 1985 for $150,000 just before it was due to go on trial before a jury in Boston. Church of Scientology President, Heber Jentzsch, said that the Judge, W. Arthur Garrity Jr., had forced the church to settle because he denied church motions to sequester the jury and to disqualify Van Schaick's lawyer, Michael Flynn, from the case. The bid to sequester was based upon reports of alleged phone-calls received by members of the jury which had awarded damages against the Church of Scientology in Portland, Oregon, earlier in the year (see below). The Church of Scientology attorney Harvey Silverglate filed a document with the court saying that Judge Garrity had libelled the church and its members and that they would not receive a fair trial in his court.
This was not the first time that Scientology had come into conflict with a judge assigned to one of its cases. In the mid-seventies the Guardians had hatched a plot to lure Federal judge Ben Krentzman, who was assigned to one of its Clearwater cases, onto a yacht stacked with prostitutes and film him in compromising situations. It did not happen, but a vicious campaign against the judges assigned to the trial of the eleven Guardians is outlined in an article in *The American Lawyer* of December 1980.
The first judge assigned to the case was DC District Court Judge George Hart Jr, who, back in 1976 in connection with one of the many Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suits filed by the Church of Scientology, had casually proposed that a deposition be taken from Hubbard. This led Church of Scientology officials to think that the Government had something on LRH and were setting a trap. This sparked off not only 'Operation Snow White', already mentioned, but clandestine operations against all judges involved in FOIA suits and all DC District judges, designed to dig the dirt on their backgrounds and look for possible 'buttons' (org-speak for vulnerable areas) which might be used to obtain recusal motions which would force the judge to back down from the case if the Church of Scientology thought it
was not going its way. Hart was the first victim of the recusal strategy. By telling him that he had been the target of such an illegal operation, Church of Scientology attorney Leonard Boudin effectively forced him to admit, 'I was afraid a jury would be prejudiced against the defendants because of their alleged threats against me.'
Hart stepped down and was replaced by Judge Louis Oberdorfer, who asked or any objections at the outset, whereupon the Church of Scientology reminded him he had worked for the tax division of the Justice Department in 1969 when it had ended the tax-exempt status of the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles. He stepped down on 5 February 1979 and was replaced by Judge Charles Richey. Intensive covert operations using private detectives with tape recorders swung into action and by the time the first nine defendants had been found guilty, the Scientologists were ready with their ammunition in the form of interviews which allegedly linked Richey in titillating detail with a prostitute at the motel at which he had stayed during the Los Angeles hearings. The story was leaked to the newspapers and five days later, on 23 July 1980, Judge Richey was admitted to hospital with exhaustion and pulmonary embolisms. Three down. In came Judge Aubrey Robinson. Richey's sentences against the 'DC 9' stood, but Robinson, too, was the target of a recusal motion on 5 September 1980. He survived to preside over the trial of the remaining two Guardians, Mo Budlong and Jane Kember.
There have been a variety of lawsuits brought by individuals against the Church of Scientology, among which are:
THE BATTLE OF WOUNDED KNEE: This was a lawsuit brought in October 1980 by Lawrence Stifler, a Boston marathon runner who had been obstructed as he was running by an over-zealous Scientology recruiter and had fallen, injuring his knee to the extent that he claimed he might never run again. His demand of $1.25 million damages was more modestly assessed by a jury in October 1984 as meriting $1,000 and medical expenses of $712.
TONJA BURDEN was twenty in April 1980 when she filed a $16 million suit alleging that she was used as slave labour by Hubbard in the CMO and was kidnapped after she escaped. This was the case which forced Hubbard to go into hiding from Gilman in 1980. The requested damages rose in 1985 to $45 million.
PAULETTE COOPER, as We Saw in Chapter 4, was up there among the
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chief enemies of Scientology and was high in the damages stakes with a suit for $55 million when Flynn became her attorney. In 1982 she participated as one of his star witnesses in the Clearwater hearings (at which the Church of Scientology declined to testify since it could only put its case at the conclusion). Flynn, she now says, persuaded her that she should name Hubbard in her suit since he would not appear and therefore she would win by default or because the Church of Scientology would pay up rather than produce Hubbard. But in a dramatic reconciliation with its old enemy in 1985 the Church of Scientology proudly announced that it had settled all cases for and against Ms Cooper and brandished an affidavit in which she says Flynn misled her into thinking Hubbard was still in charge of the Church of Scientology and had used her in a strategic campaign. In the elaborate game of bluff and counter-bluff, accusation and recusal, perhaps nothing should surprise the observer of Scientology. It would be nice to think this was a story of reconciliation, a truly religious story with a happy ending, but judging by the tactics adopted by the Church of Scientology to discredit Ms Cooper, I am inclined to think it is more likely the case of a psychologically battered woman throwing her towel into the ring.
HOMER SCHOMER was formerly Treasury Secretary of ASI (Author Services Inc.) and his lawsuit names Hubbard, ASI, and includes David Miscavige and Pat Broeker who had subjected him to a ten-hour 'Sec-Check' and threatened him that he would go to jail when he showed reluctance in doing his job. This was to prepare fictitious invoices for services rendered to ASI by Hubbard. In the period during which Schomer did this (March-November 1982) Hubbard's personal assets grew from $10 million to $44 million. Schomer's own suit is for a cool $226 million.
It is difficult to feel sympathy for the 'victims' of Scientology who ask for this extravagant level of damages when many of them are young, healthy people who have all their mental faculties (brain-washing notwithstanding). When maimed victims of criminal violence obtain a pittance in comparison with disaffected Scientologists it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that greed is at the back of their minds. In other words, they have acquired a little of the avarice of the man they once admired and now despise, LRH himself. Certainly the American system is very different from anything we are used to in Britain. Damages sought are far in excess of those which
are probable, on the aim-high-and-settle-for-lower principle. There is also the widespread practice of the lawyer getting a percentage 'cut' of the damages - in my view an extremely unjust practice, which possibly compromises the integrity of any lawyer operating on such a basis. One could argue that with these ludicrous sums the Church of Scientology is only getting a taste of its own medicine and that its extravagant claims are being taken at face-value. That valuation may mean paying through the nose. However, one case decided during 1985 excited the Scientologists to a fury of protest and even attracted sympathy from sources not normally associated with the Church of Scientology.
The case in question was brought first in 1977 in Portland, Oregon, by a young girl, JULIE CHRISTOFFERSON, who since that date has married and is known as Julie Christofferson Titchbourne. She was seventeen years old when she first took Scientology courses for nine months between 1975-6, during which time she completed a basic course and started, but did not finish, another one, and paid $3202 for books and materials. She left Scientology and was, with parental help, subsequently 'deprogrammed'. This led her to claim damages against the Church of Scientology because it had made fraudulent claims that it would improve her eyesight and raise her intelligence. The case seemed to set a precedent in that claims made by religious organizations could be considered subject to laws governing consumer goods.
At first the lawsuit asked for a modest $30,000 but this soon grew and Julie was awarded $2 million in damages in 1979. The Church of Scientology successfully appealed against the decision and a re-trial was ordered. Thus we reach a point in 1983 when Ms Christofferson, now claimant (Mrs) Titchbourne, made her eighth change in the damages sought. She asked for $43 million. The trial proceeded with attorney Garry McMurry representing her, and Earle Cooley for the Church of Scientology of California. Julie had added a request for damages against Hubbard himself to her suit.
The trial dragged on with sometimes weeks elapsing without Julie being mentioned in proceedings, the testimony being of a general nature relating to Hubbard, the RPF, the culling of pc folders and other examples of Church of Scientology misconduct. It soon became clear that it was the Church of Scientology itself which was on trial That made the case of more than passing interest.
On Friday, 17 May 1985 the jury announced its verdict - $39 million damages, of which $20 million were awarded against Hubbard personally. All hell broke loose. The Scientologists howled that this
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was an attempt to wipe out a religion, while McMurry rejoiced, 'The award will stand and be heard around the world.' He called the amount 'adequate for the harm that was intended'. Immediately thousands of Scientologists from all over America assembled in Oregon for peaceful protests against the decision which, before becoming final, still required the ruling of Judge Donald Londer on a motion by the Church of Scientology for a mistrial. Celebrities such as John Travolta flew into Oregon in his Lear jet to join in the carnival of dissent. Jazz pianist Chick Corea cancelled a concert to protest on behalf of his religion.
The question of whether Scientology was a religion was central to the arguments for a mistrial. Judge Londer ruled at the outset that it *was* a religion but told the jury that they could find that while some statements made by Scientology were religious, others were secular and therefore subject to penalties for deceit. McMurry had argued that it was the jury who should decide whether or not Scientology was a religion and his closing statement described it as a 'terrorist group' and Hubbard as a sociopath. It was clear that the jury had agreed with him and they had given their verdict on Scientology in no uncertain terms, but there were other factors to be considered. Many fair-minded people felt that the damages were in no way proportionate to the harm suffered by Julie Christofferson. Yet because of a previous ruling by the US Supreme Court it was not possible for the judge to reduce the damages awarded by the jury. A mistrial was the only route open to him to alter the massive sum, but proper grounds had to be shown. Such grounds were readily to hand, since during 1985 the issue of State encroachment upon religious rights had been the subject of considerable controversy in the USA. The Moral Majority had been active in drawing attention to instances such as abortion laws and the teaching of the Creation in schools, in which religion seemed to be losing its guarantees under the Constitution. It was therefore somewhat to the surprise, but delight, of the Scientologists to find themselves getting support from such quarters. The argument had been 'if the Scientologists can be sued today, it might be us tomorrow'.
On Tuesday, 16 July 1985 a breathless court awaited Judge Londer's ruling. First, he rejected objections by the Church of Scientology that jurors had perhaps been influenced prejudicially. He ruled out passion and prejudice as a factor. As the Scientologists' heads sank lower he addressed himself to the question of whether McMurry's closing speech had been improper, prejudicial and had influenced the jury. He continued: 'On the ground that the argument was improper in this
court's opinion, that it was prejudicial in this court's opinion - and I can go through, but I don't think there's any necessity to go through and talk about the RPF, the culling of files, all those things that were withdrawn under paragraph XVI and should have come in for one purpose only - the jury considered as a basis for the award of punitive damages. On that basis, given the very substance of being able to say that a court, to any party, is mandated to give a fair trial, there is no other conclusion that this court can reach: on that basis alone, a mistrial must be granted.' The applause from Scientologists within the court-room was deafening. But Judge Londer had one other ground to give them. His directive to the jury that they could determine which Church of Scientology courses were secular and which religious, amounted, he said, to a directed verdict and therefore a mistrial could be granted on that ground. The Scientologists were jubilant. Heber Jentzsch declared that the Church of Scientology was going to use it as a basis to have all the other cases dismissed.
A Church of Scientology advert in the *Oregon State Bar Bulletin* argues: 'If a Catholic prays for rain for his crops and God doesn't answer his prayer, can he then sue the Pope for fraudulent claims? The Pope is God's representative on earth, according to the Catholic religion. Is he therefore not liable to the courts of law? This, far-fetched as it may seem, is precisely the issue which has caused alarm around the country to combat those influences that are systematically eroding the protections of the First Amendment.' The advert, issued after the mistrial decision, continues: 'One's religious beliefs cannot be judged and regulated by the law; one's religion cannot be put on trial. To open the door to this collapse of Church and State is to open the door to the eradication of religious freedom and a veritable religious genocide.' In the post-euphoria of Portland and the rhetoric of freedom under the United States Constitution, it sounds very fine. With a good measure of irony, the Scientologists have now begun to turn the rhetoric of their opponents back into their faces.
My inquisitor from my Los Angeles visit, 'Rev' Ken Hoden, says of the Titchbourne claimant: 'Deprogrammers kidnapped her from the church and held her for five days. She was made into a mindless robot and fired at the church like a bullet. What you're looking at is a set-up.' Hoden is in no doubt that 'IRS operatives' were behind the anti-church campaign. Others had indulged in perjury, he claims, and had broken into church headquarters and stolen documents to use as models for forgeries which would incriminate the church. The huge irony in all these charges is that every one of them mirrors actual crimes proved
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to have been carried out by the church in the past. It is as if the Church of Scientology has created a shadow and then complained that it is being stalked by it.
The Portland case will be retried and it is likely that particular care will be taken by the attorneys for the pIaintiff to satisfy all the legal proprieties. Were it simply a matter of a religious sect on trial for its beliefs then it is likely that Scientology would eventually win public sympathy. But there is ample evidence of criminal wrong-doing by the Church of Scientology in recent years provided by the Guardians' trial and the glut of documents accumulated by Armstrong and evidence given during the case involving him, to suggest that what is at issue is anti-social conduct which no society could tolerate or exempt from legal sanction.
Nevertheless, the church has chalked up two verdicts around the world which it hails as establishing its status as a religion in countries previously hostile to its presence. In AUSTRALIA in October 1983 the High Court considered an appeal by the Church of the New Faith (Scientology's alter ego adopted when it was outlawed in 1965 in Victoria by the Psychological Practices Act). It was brought against the Commissioner for Payroll Tax, claiming tax-exemption as a religion. The Church of Scientology won that action and the judgment included the following sentences 'Church of Scientology is, for relevant purposes, a religion...the adherents accept the tenets of Scientology as relevant to determining their beliefs, their moral standards and their way of life.' Acknowledging that Scientology includes doctrines related to Eastern ones of reincarnation, the court turned its attention to the evidence of less attractive features of Scientology practices. Reference was made to some unusual features of membership and to the strong commercial emphasis in its practices. 'However incongruous or even offensive these features and this emphasis may seem...regardless of whether the members of the applicant are gullible or misled or whether the practices of Scientology are harmful or objectionable, the evidence, in our view, establishes that Scientology must, for all relevant purposes, be accepted as "a religion" in Victoria. That does not, of course, mean that the practices of the applicant or its rules are beyond the control of the law of the State or that the applicant or its rules are beyond its taxing powers.' The verdict is a purely legal one and clearly falls short of enthusiastic endorsement. However, the opponents of Scientology in Australia were not slow to hit back. A Select Committee of the South Australia legislature recommended in October 1985 to their parliament in Adelaide that the
Church of Scientology should be monitored for a year so that its financial practices could be assessed. If these were not satisfactory then legislation should be introduced which would strictly control the finances of 'spiritual organizations'. The Church of Scientology protested that this was State interference with religious freedoms and that the Committee had given undue stress in its report to the testimony of seven disaffected Scientologists among the two hundred and forty witnesses they had heard. Legislation is not planned but the report is a significant warning shot across the bows of 'Commodore' Hubbard's Navy that its future in Australia is not likely to be one of live-and-let-live.
In another case heard in GERMANY in June 1985 the District Court of Stuttgart acquitted a Scientology staff member on charges of disseminating his religion as a 'trade'. The judge stated 'the fact that services, activities etc. offered by a religious community are offered against a fee does not justify the conclusion that this constitutes the practice of trading; this at least does not apply when activities stand in direct relationship to the religion itself'. In welcoming the verdict, Heber Jentzsch said that he hoped the US courts and Government agencies would take note of this decision and warned if they did not 'we are for sure headed for a holocaust worse than what took place in Germany'.
In ENGLAND the Church of Scientology took a hammering in the Family Division of the Royal Courts of Justice in London on 23 July 1984. As mentioned in Chapter 1, Mr Justice Latey delivered a judgment in open court on a custody case involving two children. The issue became Scientology and its potentially harmful effect on the children if they were allowed to remain with their father, who was still a practising Scientologist. Dr John Clark came over from Boston to testify. The Scientologists themselves were not legally represented because they were not cited and admitted later they were 'caught napping'.
From the bench Mr Justice Latey delivered one of the most damaging attacks ever mounted in public on the Church of Scientology. He called Hubbard a 'charlatan' and described what he professed as 'a cynical lie'. The Church of Scientology was 'training for slavery' in its effect upon the young. His judgment included within it several HCOBs dealing with the more perfidious practices such as Fair Game, Red Box data, the Guardians' covert activities and training in how to lie. The Guardians' crimes and culling of pc folders were detailed, Justice
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Latey declared: 'I have searched and searched carefully for anything good, some redeeming feature, in Scientology. I can find nothing, unless it be such participation as there has been in the drug-abuse campaign.'
The judgment went far further than any previous published attack on the Church of Scientology and was privileged, having been delivered in court. The Fleet Street Press had a field-day and ran headlines picking out adjectives such as 'obnoxious', 'charlatan', 'like Hitler' to run alongside photographs of Hubbard. Whether the motive of the judge was to warn the public about the dangers of Scientology, he succeeded in creating immense adverse publicity for the Church of Scientology. Here is how he concluded:
'Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious. In my judgment it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based on lies and deceit and has as its real objective money and power for Mr Hubbard, his wife and those close to him at the top. It is sinister because it indulges its infamous practices both to its adherents who do not toe the line unquestioningly and to those outside who criticize or oppose it. It is dangerous because it is out to capture people, especially children and impressionable young people, and indoctrinate and brain-wash them so that they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living, and relationships with others.'
You can't get much more negative than that. It goes without saying that Mr Justice Latey did not award custody of the children to their Scientologist father.
The case resulted in an Appeal Court hearing in September 1984 before Lord Justice Dunn and Lord Justice Purchas with the father being supported by the Church of Scientology, which contended that the issue of Scientology had figured too prominently in the case. The Church supplied a document to me dated 16 October 1984 which purported to be 'a brief summary of the appeal court judgment'. I was somewhat surprised to read that Mr Justice Latey's judgment had apparently been 'inaccurate and unfair' in six respects. He had apparently been seen by the Appeal Court to have gone into unnecessary detail about Scientology, to have erred by giving judgment in open court and breached natural justice by condemning Scientology unheard. However, on going to the actual transcript of the Appeal Court judgment of Wednesday 19 September 1984, I found that it
had upheld Justice Latey *in every single respect*. The nearest it came to criticizing him was the following: 'it was, of course, a matter for the ...learned judge whether or not he gave judgment in open court. It was not necessary for him to have done so, and it was unfortunate that he gave as one of his reasons for doing so the protection of the public as well as the other reason, that is to say, the importance of the reasons for his decision being publicly known so as to avoid rumour and speculation. *I cannot say that he was wrong to do so*.' [my italics]
Lord Justice Dunn went on, 'The judge having made the findings which he did about the practice of Scientology, which were not challenged in this appeal and the judge having refused to accept the father's assurances, I can find no ground on which this court could interfere with the judgment and the appeal is dismissed.'
I have quoted this example at length to illustrate the misinterpretetion carried on by the Church of Scientology and the unreliability of the so-called documentation which is supplied in rebuttal of charges against it or in order to discredit its adversaries. Whether this is out of sheer stupidity, blind loyalty or wilful falsehood in this instance I cannot tell. But it would appear that to Scientologists, the decision of a court means what they want it to mean.
All the money which the Scientologists are spending worldwide on legal fees is still not stemming the tide. They are being forced into levels of spending in California said to run at $1.5 million per month. The adverse publicity has had its effect on 'stats' and income from fees is not rising to meet this. The haemorrhage in membership with the advent of the independents has also meant less income. On the other hand, cases like Armstrong's have resulted in a flow of new ammunition against the church and verdicts like that of the Portland jury have encouraged the opponents of the Church of Scientology to try their hand in court. The wagons are gathering in a circle. More and more Indians are gathering on the hills and there is no cavalry who look likely to come to the rescue of the beleaguered Scientologists.
Michael Flynn, when I left him, was eagerly looking forward to another case being opened in Toronto, Canada, against the Church of Scientology. Nineteen members and former members face a variety of charges from theft to possession of property obtained by crime and breach of trust. So far the Canadians have moved slowly. But it is whispered that more Guardians' sins will emerge from this trial. It results from the seizure of more than 250,000 documents from the Church of Scientology offices in downtown Toronto in March 1983 as the culmination of a nine-year investigation.
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However, the war in the courts has still not resulted in the annihilation of the Church of Scientology. It has cleverly fought back by using the freedom of religion issue as a new battlefield on which its troops take the higher ground of moral philosophy, Hubbard's generals have also turned their fire on a ferocious bear in the shape of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. Week after week *Freedom* magazine rails against the IRS. Infiltration by the Scientologists has only raised the determination of the IRS to bring the Church of Scientology to book. In September 1984 the United States' tax-court in Washington DC ruled that the Californian Church of Scientology was not entitled to a religion's freedom from taxation. The court said that it was operated for the private benefit of founder Hubbard. Though the ruling applies only to the Californian church and the Church of Scientology is appealing, if it stands it will almost certainly be applied by the IRS to all churches of Scientology throughout the USA. That would deal a crippling blow to their finances which would almost certainly put a tourniquet around the life-blood through which Scientology has survived so far - MONEY.
The death of Hubbard will undoubtedly have an effect on many of the lawsuits pending against the Church of Scientology, especially those which name Hubbard personally. In that respect, Hubbard could be said to be more use to his followers dead rather than alive. The bulk of the Portland award was against Hubbard personally and that clearly will not be an option open to future litigants against the church. The RTC will probably do everything in its power to distance the millions it inherited from Hubbard from the predators. It is therefore not on the deranged behaviour of Hubbard, the past crimes of his followers or on the mind-bending effects of the 'tech' upon which the battle will concentrate, but upon the bank accounts and back-taxes which the church can be forced to pay. It is this war of attrition that will eventually kill it off.
The preoccupation with money is documented in the church's Governing Policy formulated in 1972, which begins 'A. MAKE MONEY' and ends with 'MAKE MONEY, MAKE MORE MONEY, MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MORE MONEY'. Certainly Scientology is not alone in its stress on giving money as a means of grace. There are many forms of religion in the USA, such as some of the preachers of the "electronic church', who appeal for funds through their programmes, operating on the principle of the medieval indulgence seller, Tetzel, whose jingle was 'as soon as the coin in the coffer
rings, the soul from purgatory springs'. He had much in common with Hubbard in his ability to market his religion and make ordinary people think that money could buy them the love of God. But what made Hubbard unique was the fortune, largely tax exempt, which he generated through his book sales and money transferred from Church of Scientology accounts. It made him more than a wealthy preacher or affluent indulgence seller. He was in the tycoon class. Yet what poverty of spirit lurked in the shadow of the millionaire recluse. He founded a religion whose goal was to clear the planet and make people free in spirit and healthy in mind, yet there were few instances of the money being used for philanthropic purposes. It was siphoned off while the social programmes of Scientology (Narconon and the Citizens Commission for Human Rights) were, and still are, run by the slave labour of the org staffers who are paid measly pocket-money and have the RPF hanging over their heads if they dare disobey.
A pincer movement from lawyers and psychiatrists on the one hand and from the IRS on the other to squeeze the Church of Scientology money supply dry, could soon bring about the demise of the monster which Hubbard created in his own image, paranoid and schizophrenic. Its two faces, the young and idealistic recruits and the officer elite of the RTC, represent its disturbed personality. Its paranoid attacks on government and health agencies demonstrate its ultimate destructive nature. As the lawyers and the IRS men close in, the Scientologists may well be justified in saying, 'Just because we're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get us.' They are!
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