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Religion or Intelligence Agency?

The view from the lion's den.
(Part 2 of 2)

By Jon Atack

This paper was delivered at the Dialog Centre
International conference in Berlin, October 1995.

[Continued from Part 1]

In short, ten years before the FBI raids, Hubbard openly admitted knowledge that "professional intelligence agents" - not private detectives, but "professional intelligence agents" - had been used to steal files. He also clearly stated the major target for Scientology: psychiatry. In a secret 1969 memorandum, Hubbard said "Our war has been forced to become 'To take over absolutely the field of mental healing on this planet in all forms.'"(52) Following Hubbard's orders, the GO infiltrated psychiatric associations and hospitals, tried to take over the British National Association of Mental Health and launched an all out war upon psychiatrists.

During the Second World War, Hubbard had spent a week in training as an "intelligence officer". Although, he saw no action in intelligence, he created a mystique around the notion.(53) With the Guardian's Office he created the largest personal intelligence agency in the history of mankind. In fact, few countries can boast intelligence agencies as large or as effective. Like a child with a new and very dangerous toy, Hubbard set about training his spies. The secret document in which Hubbard stated his aim to take over "mental healing" was concerned with explaining the intelligence functions of the GO.

The Guardian's Office Bureau which spearheaded the assault upon Hubbard's critics, was first known as the Intelligence Bureau. This was later changed to the more innocent sounding Information Bureau. The Bureau consisted of two departments:

  • Branch One, or B-1, dealth with "covert data collection" and "covert operations".
  • Branch Two dealth with "overt data collection", meaning material in the public record such as media reports and credit ratings.

Hubbard's abrupt start to the memorandum, shows an understanding of fundamental espionage technique:

"A Case Officer runs agents who essentially are not known to the executive who is running the Case Officer." He continued, "The Case Officer is also known as an 'Operator' or an Intelligence Officer. It is up to him to find agents and come to agreement with them. He himself knows and pays them. The agent is told what is wanted, gets it or finds how it can be gotten or doesn't exist [sic]. He is paid for what he gets or documents or data. The Case Officer may 'run' several agents ... In using such data or documents as are furnished, there is a danger of exposing the source of them or the agent so one usually falsifies the source(54) ... This is essentially covert data collection."
Covert data collection means illegally entering bank accounts, computer records, phone records and government records and the theft of medical or psychiatric records or psychotherapy notes.(55) It has also meant searching through critics' garbage and tampering with their mail. In 1993, Lawrence Wollersheim managed to grab an envelope from a Scientology private investigator which demonstrated conclusively that his mail had been tampered with. There have been many reports of garbagee raids in the 1990s. It is sensible to shred or burn copies of bills and personal papers. Sensitive communication is best done through encrypted e-mail.

Hackers have shown that virtually no data held in a computer database is truly private. Scientologists have demonstrated great technical proficiency in their attempts to close down the computer Internet alt.religion.scientology newsgroup. With former scientologists, documentary evidence and testimony demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hubbard and his wife both ordered the use of scientologists' supposedly confidential confessional folders. During a Scientology session, the "auditor" keeps a written record of the subject's utterances. Anything scandalous should be reported to the Ethics Section and from there it would find its way to the Intelligence section. Nowadays, prospective employees are asked to fill in a 110 question "Life history". This is not held to be confidential by Scientology management. It includes the demand:

"Make a chronological list of the names of all persons with whom you have had sexual relationships and what you engaged in. Approximate the number of times you carried on any kind of activity, and note any perversions you engaged in. Be as complete as you can."(56)
It is understandable that very few former members dare to speak out.

Active covert data collection is done by putting spies next to an opponent. I have lost count of those employed against me over the years. In 1993, the former head of Investigation in the UK told me that four agents were active against me with another in training. Usually I am approached by someone with a touching story, who claims to be a confused former scientologist. I've spent probably hundreds of hours trying to help such people, who turn out to be reporting back to Scientology. For spying purposes, telephones have been preferred because it is easy to tape record a conversation without the target's knowledge. Where it has proved impossible to put somebody next to a target, then a "listening post" might be put next to one of the target's friends, carefully picking up and reporting every crumb of information. By creating a web of contacts and monitoring phone records, bank accounts and computer records, it is easy to maintain a picture of the target's life, so that weaknesses can be exploited.

A major aspect of data collection is the so called "roll-back technology" whereby connections between individuals are noted.(57) Scientology delights in publishing far-fetched conspiracy accounts, but this information has another purpose: to create division between friends and co-workers. Rumour campaigns - "third partying" or "black propaganda" - are basic techniques. A common smear has been the assertion that an individual is a child molester. In 1994, a scientologist confidently asserted to a clergyman that I was a rapist and attempted murderer. Author Russell Miller was twice investigated for false accusations of murder in the 1980s.

Data, whether obtained "overtly" or "covertly", would be fed onto a "time-track" or chronology of the individual. Copies of documents which might compromise Scientology would be kept away from public offices. The "time-track" was kept short and fronted a file of publically available material so that if there should be a police raid, nothing of significance would be found.

In the secret 1969 memorandum, Hubbard went on to describe the other function of B-1:

"A covert operation can be arranged by a Case Officer, using agents but is normally on another set of lines so as to expose nothing of covert data collection by engaging on a covert operation. Essentially a covert operation is intended to embarass, discredit or overthrow or remove an actual or possible opponent. It is a small war carried on without its true source being disclosed ... It follows all the rules of war but uses propaganda psychological effect surprise shock, etc. to achieve its ends ... To fight a covert operation or to do one needs channels, contacts, direct planned campaigns with known objectives ... Covert operations are weak in that they fade out on exposure.

Thus a covert operation has to lead to an overt operation to succeed. One sees this in guerilla actions. They begin with propaganda, get stronger by covert political persons found 'in place' or planted in the government ... and then move into terrorism, bombings, etc., and then into active guerilla warfare and then into formal war." (58)

The most usual form of covert operation in Scientology has been the anonymous tip-off. Because such tip-offs are anonymous, it is hard to prove that they emanate from Scientology. However, tax authorities have confirmed that they received such a report about me from a scientologist. Another scientologist reported me to the police, asserting that I am a kidnapper. Others reported me to the Data Protection Agency. I have also been the subject of anonymous reports to various government agencies and authorities.

Scientology spies were trained using a role play drill called "Training Routine Lying", in accordance with Hubbard's Fair Game Law. This document, called "TR-L" was read into the record by Mr Justice Latey in a child custody case in London in 1984. It was also exhibited during the trial of the Guardian's Office staff in the United States.

Steven Fishman, who claims to have been a Scientology agent prior to his conviction for stock fraud, has alleged that he introduced a practice called "bingoing the psychs". He would go to a public library and tear the order forms for information from magazines. Then he would check every item and send the form off, but with a psychiatrist's name on. The psychiatrist would receive a flood of junk mail.(59)

More severe covert operations have included framing journalist Paulette Cooper for a bomb threat, spiking opponents with LSD, death threats, and a fake hit-and-run accident in an attempt to discredit a Florida mayor. Former agent Garry Scarff has alleged in sworn testimony that he was ordered to murder two opponents of Scientology.(60) Steven Fishman has alleged that he blew up an opponent's car.(61)

The GO Intelligence Training Course runs to about 800 pages and included sections on burglary, phone-tapping and breaking and entering. Contrary to public statements, much of the material in the course was written by Hubbard himself. On the reading list for intelligence agents are many books including Sun Tzu's Art of War, which a 1990s head of the UK Investigation Bureau told me is the current key text, and books about the Nazi spymaster Reinhard Gehlen.(62)

David Miscavige has asserted that he closed down the Guardian's Office in 1983. Eight hundred of the 1,100 staff were supposedly dismissed,(63) but a surprising number of B-1 trainees continued to work for Scientology after the supposed closure. For example, Brian Andrus, an unindicted co-conspirator in the conviction of the eleven GO staff in the U.S., and labelled as a kidnapper and accused of false imprisonment in court documents, moved to Scientology's governing organization, the Religious Technology Center after leaving the GO. No less than six UK B-1 agents have continued in employment, one of them even heading the UK "Church" for a period in the 1990s. The former head of B-1 Europe moved to head a Scientology Way to Happiness Campaign. Three of those imprisoned in the U.S. are now Patrons - the highest ranking membership - of the International Association of Scientologists.(64)

Some of the functions of the GO Information Bureau were taken up by the new Office of Special Affairs Investigation Department ("Invest"), others were given to Private Investigators working under the direction of Scientology lawyers. Only the Washington, D.C., and Toronto cells of the GO were prosecuted. Court records and the testimony of former agents shows that cells were active in London, Boston, Clearwater and Las Vegas.

A former B-1 operative has alleged that every Scientology organization throughout the world had a B-1 cell. If this is true, then tens of national espionage networks remained undetected. In the 1990s, information has come to light which suggests that Hubbard's "scriptures" regarding infiltration and subversion are still being followed.

  • In Denmark, Scientology spies were convicted for theft of documents.
  • In Finland, the president dismissed his scientologist bodyguard.
  • In Germany, political parties have banned scientologists from membership, because of the infiltration policy.
  • In France, a journalist has asserted that at least one presidential aide has colluded with Scientology in an attempt to close down an Inquiry.(65)
  • In Albania, scientologists were ousted in 1993, after what appeared to be a take-over plan.
In the Manual of Justice, circulated internally since 1959, Hubbard wrote:
"Overt investigation of someone or something attacking us by an outside detective agency should be done more often and hang the expense. It's very effective ... Detectives cost dozens of dollars or pounds. They save thousands."
Since 1983, the use of private detectives has increased considerably. Scientology employs several firms. The best known private detective is Eugene Ingram.(66) Ingram is a former Los Angeles policeman, who is wanted in Oklahoma for carrying a gun without a permit and in Florida for impersonating a police officer. Ingram is employed by Scientology's in-house law firm, Bowles and Moxon. He has been doing investigation "with a yell" for a dozen years.
  • I have been followed in the U.S. by Ingram and by other Scientology hired private investigators.
  • Ingram visited England to use his own special brand of investigation in 1994.
  • He called on several members of my family, unannounced, and set about doing "noisy investigation".
  • He accused my 77-year-old mother of growing marijuana plants, and told her that I would soon go to prison.
  • He threatened one of my brothers, saying that Scientology would not only close me down, but would also deal with anyone who supported me.
  • He asserted that Scientology would spend whatever was necessary to silence me.

Denying any personal affiliation to Scientology, he claimed to be a Christian by religion. It has been alleged that Ingram also privately boasts that his employment by Scientology has proved so lucrative that it has enabled him to buy a resort village in Mexico.

After Ingram left England, some of the weird stories he had dredged up appeared in anonymous scandal sheets. I have been the subject of at least 15 such publications, and have grown weary at the presumption on the part of those who've read this nonsense that I will answer each detail of this elaborate character assassination. As Hubbard put it, "Anyone proposing an investigation ... must receive this reply ... 'We welcome an investigation into ... whoever is attacking us ... as we have begun one ourselves and find shocking evidence.'"(67) This simple trick can be surprisingly effective at deflecting criticism of Scientology rather than responding to it. I am currently sueing Scientology and several of its members for malicious falsehood.

The best known organs of Scientology are its Freedom newsletter and Membership News, supposedly the journal of a "reformed" Cult Awareness Network [WARNING: the CAN is now owned by Scientology after Scn drove it into bankruptcy through Lawsuits... (Jeta)]. The attempt is to use the printed word to implant suggestions about opponents in the minds of the public. The phrases used have been carefully surveyed for maximum impact,(68) and headquarters issues lists of phrases to be used in print and in interviews. Scientology has programmed phrases to describe Hubbard, his teachings and its critics.

So, for several years opponents have been accused of spouting "Goebbels like propaganda". Opponents are routinely called "hate campaigners". Two English clergymen were extremely surprised to be labelled "Nazis" in letters to the press. These simplistic propaganda techniques can be remarkably effective. Scientologists assert that they are being "persecuted" in the same way that the Jews were during the holocaust. They obviously view open public debate as "persecution" and have no comprehension of the nature of the holocaust. As a professor of German history and Judaic studies pointed out in a letter to the New York Times it "insults the memory of Holocaust victims to be so used by Scientology propagandists ... Nazi persecution meant torture and death for victims."(69)

Having investigated and published inflated, inaccurate and even invented stories about a critic as broadly as possible, Scientology may then resort to civil litigation. It may also attempt to initiate criminal proceedings. In a recent English case, magistrates found the Church of Scientology guilty of "abuse of process" in just such an attempt.(70) I was the subject of a spurious copyright raid by the police in 1994. The raid was initiated by head of Scientology in the UK Sheila Chaleff. No charges were brought. More recently, Scientology has failed to prevent the distribution of its once secret "upper level" or "Operating Thetan" material through the Internet. The raids on U.S. critics have nonetheless been deeply upsetting to those attacked.

In 1990, the attempt to prevent publication of my book, A Piece of Blue Sky, in the U.S. failed. Scientology made no complaint about the accuracy of the book, indeed no such complaint has ever been made to me, but wanted to ban it for use of Hubbard quotations.

In 1993, discovering that life history letters that I had been requested to write by Guardian's Office officials in confidence had been circulated, I brought a Breach of Confidence suit in England. This was the beginning of a series of disasters. My lawyers did not tell me that I was eligible for state legal aid. Before seeing the documents, a barrister approved an affirmation in which I said that I had hundreds of client letters which might be relevant to the issue of damages. The barrister then looked at the documents and decided that only about 40 were relevant. Scientology managed to get a ruling that I had withheld evidence. My case was dismissed without trial, and Scientology began to claim that I had lied in an affirmation, because I had said I had disclosed all relevant documents. This led to Scientology publishing an edition of Freedom labelling me a "chronic liar". Because I had not known I could receive legal aid, costs of over 16,000 pounds were awarded against me.

Meanwhile, suits were brought against me by the headmistress of a Scientology school and by Scientology's Narconon. Both of these suits were for libel, which cannot be state aided in England. I borrowed an enormous amount of money, confident that the English legal system would vindicate me. The headmistress asserted that I had libelled her in a paragraph of my book, A Piece of Blue Sky. She asserted that I had failed to produce notes of an interview. There were no such notes. The easiest course would have been to claim that they had existed but had been destroyed. Instead, I told the truth. The judge ruled that I had failed to disclose documents, and my defense was struck.(71) There was no trial, no evidence was considered, but a ruling was entered in the scientologist's favour. As a consequence, I was bankrupted, which means that all of my assets have been seized, and that for the next three years, I will probably be in the hands of the Scientology appointed Trustee in Bankruptcy. As Hubbard said, "the law can be used very easily to harass".(72) Lord Wolfe, heading an Inquiry into the English justice system, has said that in reality whoever has the most money wins.

Scientology relies upon concerted attacks. Strategies usually include at least three attacks placed close together. This is to cause maximum stress. I came to the point where it was hard to keep up with the scandal sheets, the overlapping legal actions and the Scientology picketers marching up and down outside my house waving placards.(73) In the midst of this, I was subjected to a police raid and a tax investigation.

Shortly before my bankruptcy in May, two more suits were brought against me, which seek to prevent me from distributing Scientology documents. These suits are pending, as is my own countersuit for malicious falsehood. In the U.S., individual scientologists and Sterling Management brought 54 suits against the Cult Awareness Network and its members. [Again: WARNING: the CAN is now owned by Scientology after Scn drove it into bankruptcy through Lawsuits... (Jeta)]. To date, 53 of these suits have been withdrawn or dismissed, but the stress of litigation is difficult to deal with.(74) Thankfully, most european litigation has gone against Scientology this year, and significant rulings have been obtained in the U.S. in the last two months.(75) In Canada, the Supreme Court upheld previous rulings in lawyer Casey Hill's libel suit against Scientology. The Court ruled

". . . every aspect of this case demonstrates the very real and persistent malice of Scientology . . . Scientology's behaviour throughout can only be characterized as recklessly high-handed, supremely arrogant and contumacious. There seems to have been a continuing conscious effort on Scientology's part to intensify and perpetuate its attack on Casey Hill without any regard for the truth of its allegations."
Scientology was forced to pay $3 million to Hill at the beginning of September.

Hubbard led his followers to believe that his teachings were the focus of a conspiracy of more than global proportions. The conspiracy is the work of aliens, according to secret teachings.(76) Scientologists are the "soldiers of light" reincarnated over the quadrillenia to fight the menace of the "priests and psychs", the Suppressive Persons who control the world. Scientologists have to infiltrate themselves into positions of power, report what they discover and use their influence for the benefit of Scientology. Scientology is still engaged in a Hubbard plot to take over "mental healing", because this is the centre of the conspiracy. In the 1950s, Hubbard wrote reports to the communist activities branch of the FBI.(77) By the 1960s, he was talking privately about a fascist conspiracy.(78)

An example of the use of non-staff scientologists to perform operations came with the creation, post Guardian's Office, of the Minutemen in Los Angeles. Minutemen were used to harass former members who were trying to practise Scientology without a license from Hubbard. Meetings were raided and participants subjected to loud verbal abuse. One former member had her windows pelted with eggs and her doorstep covered with maggots.(79)

In the 1980s, a document was issued for scientologists to fill in called the Power Comm[unication] Lines Survey.(80) In this scientologists were asked to name anyone of influence within their circle of acquaintances. Such contacts included "opinion leaders" in the fields of media, legal, financial, entertainment and politics. The current life history questionnaire asks similar questions, including information relating to government agencies and national secrets. Scientology has a high powered computer network - called INCOMM - which is quite capable of performing state of the art data analysis and comparison.

In summary, according to his "religious scripture" all critics of Scientology are criminal, and under the Fair Game law have no human rights. Over the years, the Hubbard intelligence strategy has used scientologists or private investigators for:

  1. Overt data collection - material in the public record.
  2. Covert data collection, by theft of material and the use of spies.
  3. Noisy investigation.
    The foregoing would be used to create a life history or "time-track" which would be used to assess weakpoints.
  4. Vehement publication of scandals whether real or imagined, and street demonstrations.
  5. Covert operations - anonymous tip-offs and smear campaigns.
  6. Litigation.

Very few people can stand up to such an assault. My own life has been savaged by Scientology. I am bankrupt. My wife and I separated after 19 years together last year. I have had to leave my home, and have lost daily contact with my two young children. My health has suffered. A few months ago, I reluctantly responded to the latest in a long line of Scientology offers of settlement, willing for the first time to offer my silence in return for a cessation of hostilities and the payment of compensation. The offer by return was that they would leave me alone if I would give them the rights to my published work, my unique collection of Scientology papers and my permanent silence.(81)

So the fight continues. We are none of us powerless in this struggle. Anyone who is concerned that such an organization can act in such a way can complain to the authorities and inform others of the true nature of Scientology. Only through a grass roots campaign will Scientology's injustices be ended. I entreat anyone who is concerned to join in the debate on the Internet, where Scientology has become one of the busiest newsgroups, because of its perceived disdain for free speech.

Through the battle on the Internet, in the alt.scientology.religion newsgroup, this perfidious organization will continue to be exposed. Hopefully, its members will be freed from the black enchantment of their indoctrination. Hopefully, the immoral and disgraceful tactics of Scientology will be exposed for what they are, an attempt to stifle free speech and to destroy critics, and ultimately an insane plot to take-over the world. And, hopefully, through the support and encouragement of good people, my own arduous struggle will come to a happy conclusion.


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Footnotes: [Continued from Part 1]

52. Hubbard, Confidential, Intelligence Actions, Covert Intelligence Data Collection, 2 December 1969. The passage continues "That was not the original purpose. The original purpose was to clear Earth."

53. See also Hubbard Science of Survival, 1951. Scientology hired Fletcher Prouty to substantiate Hubbard's allusions. Prouty claimed that files had been tampered with. His most significant evidence was the use of the code number "16" on Hubbard's orders. In fact, the code indicated that Hubbard was a member of the Naval Reserve as documents within his navy file, and comparison with other Navy Reserve officers files readily demonstrates..

54. This policy was followed during the Washington breakins with the leak of the DeFeo report, where the Scientology agent pretended to be a Justice Department employee. See A Piece of Blue Sky, p.233.

55. Hermann Brendel, To: Info Branch 1 Directors, 10 June 1974: "Covert data collection ... i.e. penetration, plants, covert interviews using covers etc. etc. For example if an agent had obtained a document in the Fuhrer's bunker in Berlin in 1945 by shooting it out with the SS, blowing up a bridge and escaping in a helicopter he would have been on a Collections cycle. He got data. The method is irrelevant." My emphasis.

56. Question 96, Life History Questions - revision, Church of Scientology International, 1994.

57. Guardian Order 1150, Re: Information Bureau Statistic, 7 May 1974. "Connections" is a major statistic of the Information Bureau.

58. Hubbard, Confidential, Intelligence Actions, Covert Intelligence Data Collection, op cit.

59. Fishmann, Lonesome Squirrel, unpublished manuscript.

60. In Church of Scientology v. Geertz and Fishman, US Central District of California, CV-91 6426 HLH(Tx), deposition testimony.

61. Lonesome Squirrel, op cit.

62. Hubbard, Flag Order 2191, Intelligence Book List, 15 November 1969 lists the following: Col. B.V. Nikitine The Fatal Years, Hodge, London 1938; Curt Reiss Total Espionage, Putnam, US, 1941; Eric D. Butler Dialectics, Communist Instrument for World Conquest, Australian League of Rights, Melbourne; Eric D. Butler Red Pattern of World Conquest, New Times, Canada; Christopher Felix The Spy and his Masters, Secker & Warburg, London, 1963. Sefton Delmar's Black Boomerang was also recommended reading.

63. Miscavige Declaration, p.24.

64. Mary Sue Hubbard, Henning Heldt & Duke Snider, Impact 53, pp.38-39.

65. Serge Faubert, Une Secte au couer de la Republique, L'Evenement du Jeudi, 25 February - 3 March 1993. See also Faubert's book of the same title, Calmann-Levy, 1993.

66. Numerous others have included J.J. Gaw, Donald William Cooper, Douglas Brian Reynolds, Tin Goose and John Ingram.

67. Hubbard, HCOPL, Attacks on Scientology (Additional Pol Ltr), 25 February 1966.

68. Hubbard called the technique "positioning".

69. Professor Elliot Neaman, University of San Francisco, NY Times, 26 December 1994.

70. In a case brought against 20/20 television and heard by City of London magistrates. Reported in the UK Press Gazette, 25 September 1995.

71. The judge also accepted the argument that I should have exhibited two advertisements under the heading of "distribution" of the book, even though neither named headmistress Margaret Hodkin.

72. Hubbard, The Scientologist - A Manual on the Dissemination of Material, March 1955, Ability 1, reprinted in the Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, first edition, volume 2, quotation from p.157.

73. See Sunday Times, London, 6 April 1994 and Evening Argus, Brighton, 12 April 1994 for more detail.

74. CAN has also had at least one countersuit dismissed, see CAN news, May 1995.

75. Rulings in cases involving F.A.C.T.NET inc, the Washington Post and Arnie Lerma.

76. e.g., Hubbard, The Role of Earth, which describes the Fourth and Fifth Invader forces, supposedly resident on Venus and Mars, or the Section III Operating Thetan course. Hubbard also spoke of the "Markabians" prompting defector William Robertson ("Captain Bill") to create an enormous volume of material asserting that aliens had landed in Switzerland and were liaising with Transcendental Meditation to take over the world. Robertson's followers call themselves the Free Zone.

77. A Piece of Blue Sky, pp.117-118, Hubbard letter to the FBI, 3 March 1951. Hubbard, HCO Information Letter, Communism & Scientology, 8 May 1961. Hubbard, LRHED 55 INT, The War, 29 November 1968, reprinted in Wallis, op cit.

78. Hubbard, Zones of Action, op cit. Hubbard's obsession with conspiracy is worthy of a book in its own right. He called the plot the Tenyaka Memorial after the 19th century Japanese plan for world conquest, see Concering Intelligence, op cit.

79. Thea Greenburg, reported in BBC Panorama The Road to Total Freedom?, 1987.

80. Heber Jentzsch, Power Comm Lines Survey, Church of Scientology International, 1988. Also Jentzsch, Communication Lines to the World Survey, CSI, 1988.

81. In November 1994, I met with representatives of the Church of Scientology International and the Religious Technology Center along with Peter Hodkin, the scientologist lawyer who has represented all of the scientologists litigants. The representatives of CSI and RTC has authority to settle on behalf of all litigants, including headmistress Margaret Hodkin and Narconon. Curiously, Narconon is sueing me for asserting that it is a front group for Scientology.

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