The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:16 am

Foundation Funds Provide Assist to Celebrated Teacher Escalante

The Scientology movement's Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education has befriended one of America's most celebrated teachers, Jaime Escalante of Garfield High School.

Escalante is the East Los Angeles teacher profiled in the hit 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," which chronicled his success in teaching advanced calculus to barrio students.

During the last few years, the foundation has provided Escalante with tens of thousands of dollars for computers, audiovisual aids, tutors and scholarships. In addition, the foundation has solicited contributions from major corporations to help Escalante's Garfield High mathematics program grow in size and sophistication.

In fact, the foundation has been Escalante's primary benefactor.

He is now teaming up with the foundation to develop a series of 12 educational videos for distribution by the Public Broadcasting System. Called "Futures," the series is intended to motivate students by showing them the relevancy of math in the workplace. The foundation's president will be the executive producer, while Escalante will be host of the series.

Escalante says he was unaware of the foundation's links to Scientology. "No, no," he said, "they (foundation officials) never mentioned that name." But, he added, it makes no difference.

"From my point of view," he said, "I really don't mind what they are. The only thing I care about is that they help my students, my kids. That's my main goal."

The foundation, for its part, has not been reticent about publicizing its support of Escalante. Its promotional literature regularly includes photographs of Escalante in his classroom or standing side-by-side with beaming foundation executives.
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:16 am

Part 5: The Making of a Best-Selling Author

Costly Strategy Continues to Turn Out Bestsellers

Call it one of the most remarkable success stories in modern publishing history.

Since late 1985, at least 20 books by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard have become bestsellers.

In March of 1988, nearly four decades after its initial publication, Hubbard's "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" was No. 1 on virtually every best-seller list in the country -- including the New York Times.

Ten hardcover science fiction novels Hubbard completed before his death four years ago also became bestsellers, four of them simultaneously on some lists.

The selling of L. Ron Hubbard was envisioned, planned and executed by members of the Church of Scientology, who say that worldwide sales of Hubbard's books have topped 93 million. The sales have been fueled by a radio and TV advertising blitz virtually unprecedented in book circles, and has put on the map a Los Angeles publishing firm that eight years ago did not even exist.

In some cases, sales of Hubbard's books apparently got an extra boost from Scientology followers and employees of the publishing firm. Showing up at major book outlets like B. Dalton and Waldenbooks, they purchased armloads of Hubbard's works, according to former employees.

As a writer, Hubbard was extremely prolific. He wrote short stories. He wrote books. He wrote screenplays. And, for more than 30 years, he wrote thousands of directives and scores of personal improvement courses that form the doctrine of Scientology.

The promotion of Hubbard's books is part of a costly and calculated campaign by the movement to gain respect, influence and, ultimately, new members. In the process, Hubbard's followers hope to refurbish his controversial image and position him as one of the world's great humanitarians and thinkers.

Hubbard's writings have become a means by which to spread his name in a society that often equates celebrity with credibility. It is not with whimsy that the church often calls its spiritual father "New York Times best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard."

The church once summed up the strategy in a letter recruiting Scientologists for Hubbard's public relations team, an operation that thrives despite his death. Sign up now, the letter urged, and "make Ron the most acclaimed and widely known author of all time."

But apparently Hubbard's followers have not trusted sales of his books entirely to the fickle winds of the marketplace.

Sheldon McArthur, former manager of B. Dalton Booksellers on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, said, "Whenever the sales seem to slacken and a (Hubbard) book goes off the bestsellers list, give it a week and we'll get these people coming in buying 50 to 100 to 200 copies at a crack -- cash only."

After Hubbard's first novel, a Western adventure called "Buckskin Brigades," was re-released in 1987, the book "just sat there," recalled McArthur, whose store was across from a Scientology center.

"Then, in one week, it was gone," he said. "We started getting calls asking, 'You got 'Buckskin Brigades?' " I said, 'Sure, we got them.' 'You got a hundred of them?' 'Sure,' I said, 'here's a case.' "

Gary Hamel, B. Dalton's former manager at Santa Monica Place, had similar experiences. He said that "10 people would come in at a time and buy quantities of them and they would pay cash."

Hamel also speculated that some copies of a Hubbard science fiction novel were sold more than once.

He said that while he was working at the B. Dalton in Hollywood, some books shipped by Hubbard's publishing house arrived with B. Dalton price stickers already on them. He said this indicated to him that the books had been purchased at one of the chain's outlets, then returned to the publishing house and shipped out for resale before anyone thought to remove the stickers.

"We would order more books and ... they'd come back with our sticker as if they were bought by the publisher," Hamel said.

Hubbard's U.S. publisher is Bridge Publications Inc., founded and controlled by Scientologists -- something that Bridge does not publicize. Company officials refused to be interviewed about book sales or any facet of the firm's operations.

But former employees alleged in interviews with The Times that Bridge encouraged and, at times, bankrolled the book-buying scheme.

Mike Gonzales, a non-church member who worked in accounts receivable, said one supervisor gave him hundreds of dollars for weekend forays into bookstores.

In one month alone, he said, he bought and returned to Bridge 43 books in Hubbard's "Mission Earth" science fiction series. And, according to Gonzales, he was not alone.

"We had 15 to 20 people going all over L.A.," he said.

During a shopping spree at B. Dalton in the Glendale Galleria, Gonzales said, he bumped into three Bridge co-workers.

"There we were, four people in line buying 'Buckskin Brigades,' and (the clerk) blurted out, 'You know why they do that? To get on the bestsellers list!' "

Corinda Carford, who was Bridge's sales manager for the East Coast, said she was instructed by two superiors to go to bookstores and buy Hubbard's books if sales were sluggish.

"They would tell me to go and count the books and ... if it looks like they're not selling, go and buy some books," Carford recalled. She said she was troubled by the request and bought only four copies of one Hubbard paperback.

Carford said Bridge executives also asked her in late 1988 and again in early 1989 to obtain the names of bookstores whose sales are the basis for the New York Times bestseller list.

"It happened more than once," she said. " ... My orders for the week were to find the New York Times' reporting stores anywhere in the East so they could send people into the stores to buy (Hubbard's) books."

Carford said she questioned several bookstore operators but they refused to cooperate.

"That is confidential information," she said.

Carford said she left Bridge after a pay dispute and now works for another publishing firm.

Another former Bridge employee, salesman Tom Fudge, said a supervisor once handed him a list of booksellers purportedly monitored by the New York Times. He said he was instructed to promise each one that Hubbard's books would "sell well" if they stocked more copies.

"I was told that they (Bridge) had Scientologists who would go out to specific stores and buy copies of the books," Fudge said.

An attorney who represents Bridge and Scientology denied that the publishing firm possessed a list of bookstores the New York Times uses to determine bestsellers.

"The list does not exist," insisted Boston lawyer Earle Cooley, who characterized the former employees as "disgruntled" and "antagonistic" toward Bridge and Scientology.

Adam Clymer, a New York Times executive, said the newspaper has examined the sales patterns of Hubbard's books. In a two-year span, Hubbard logged 14 consecutive books on the New York Times list.

Clymer said that, while the books have been sold in sufficient numbers to justify their bestseller status, "we don't know to whom they were sold."

He said the newspaper uncovered no instances in which vast quantities of books were being sold to single individuals.

Science fiction and self-improvement books have always been big sellers in America, and Hubbard's works have long had a strong following.

But Bridge learned quickly that to make him a best-selling author in the 1980s, it had to aggressively market his writings, especially within the bookselling industry.

As part of its campaign Bridge has purchased full-page ads on the cover of Publishers Weekly, an important trade magazine.

For a time, the firm was enticing book distributors to place large orders by offering them free television sets and VCRs.

Marcia Dursi, director of book operations for ARA Services in Maryland, which distributes paperbacks to supermarkets and airports, said she was offered a TV for the employee lunchroom.

"I don't have to be bribed," Dursi said she responded.

Former Bridge consultant Robert Erdmann said that, while other publishers offer incentives, he stopped the practice at Bridge because "it could be perceived as influence peddling."

Erdmann, a non-Scientologist, was an industry veteran hired by Bridge to help make inroads in the competitive publishing world.

Because the Scientologists at Bridge "did what we told them to do," Erdmann said, "Dianetics" is no longer "the passion fruit of the Pacific that people in the Midwest are afraid to eat."

When it was first published in 1950, "Dianetics" rode bestseller lists for several months before sales dwindled. But it has remained the bedrock -- "Book One" -- of Hubbard's Scientology movement.

In "Dianetics," Hubbard said that memories of painful physical and emotional experiences accumulate in a specific region of the mind, causing illness and mental problems. Hubbard said that, once these experiences have been purged through cathartic procedures he developed, a person can achieve superior health and intelligence.

So revered is the book that Hubbard scrapped the conventional calendar and renumbered the years beginning with the date of its publication. To Scientologists, 1990 is "40 AD" (After Dianetics).

From the outset, the Scientology movement has made the book the centerpiece of its campaign to generate broad interest in Hubbard's writings.

In the last few years, millions of dollars have been spent on "Dianetics" advertising to reach a targeted audience of young professionals who want to improve their lives and careers.

The ads have appeared on television, radio, billboards and bus stops.

"Dianetics" has been a sponsor of the California Angels and Los Angeles Rams games on radio. Race cars in world-class competitions such as the Indianapolis 500 have sported "Dianetics" decals. In New York City recently, 160 billboards promoting Hubbard were purchased in subway stations.

Next month, in what may be the Scientology movement's biggest promotion yet for the book, Dianetics will be a sponsor of Turner Broadcasting System's 1990 Goodwill Games, an Olympics-style event bringing together 2,500 athletes from more than 50 countries for two weeks in Seattle.

Among other things, there will be Dianetics commercials during the internationally televised competition and Dianetics signboards at sporting venues. Goodwill Games spokesman Bob Dickinson said that Dianetics and 12 other sponsors -- including Pepsi, Sony and Anheuser-Busch -- have paid "lots and lots of money" for the exposure, but he would not provide a specific figure.

"It is safe to say it is in excess of several million dollars," Dickinson said.

Word of the sponsorship has triggered more than 100 complaints from disaffected Scientologists and critics of the church to TBS, the Atlanta-based cable network owned by media entrepreneur Ted Turner. Most have accused the network of providing a global forum for the Church of Scientology.

But Dickinson said that Dianetics, not Scientology, is the event's sponsor and that "we really don't make any value judgment in terms of the product of the sponsors. They have a right to advertise." He added that Dianetics for years has been buying air time on TBS.

Although Dianetics advertisements never mention Scientology, the book's promotion is a key component of the church's efforts to win new converts. Scientology literature calls the strategy the "Dianetics route." The idea is to attract readers to Dianetics seminars and then enroll them in Scientology courses.

Given the success of the Dianetics campaign, Bridge now seems confident that the public will clamor for Hubbard's Scientology writings.

Hubbard books that for decades had no audience outside Scientology are scheduled to be mass-marketed into the next century, complete with costly promotional campaigns as big as that for "Dianetics."

One of them, Hubbard's 1955 "Fundamentals of Thought," has "Scientology" splashed across its cover, the first test of whether Hubbard's image has been so greatly improved that the public is finally ready to accept his religion.

Even long-forgotten science fiction that Hubbard wrote back in the 1930s will be dusted off, dressed in eye-grabbing covers and pushed as though it were written today.

In recent months, billboards have appeared along Los Angeles freeways and such well-traveled thoroughfares as Sunset Boulevard.

With the sea as a backdrop, they show a smiling Hubbard of earlier years, the wind tousling his red hair. Below his robust image is the phrase: "22 national bestsellers and more to come ... "

The selling of the late L. Ron Hubbard has only begun.
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:17 am

Part 6: Attack the Attacker

On the Offensive Against an Array of Suspected Foes

"Never treat a war like a skirmish. Treat all skirmishes like wars."

-- L. Ron Hubbard

The Church of Scientology does not turn the other cheek.

Ministers mingle with private detectives. "Sacred scriptures" counsel the virtues of combativeness. Parishioners double as paralegals for litigious church attorneys.

Consider the passage that a prominent Scientology minister selected from the religion's scriptures, authored by the late L. Ron Hubbard, to inspire the faithful during a gala church event.

"People attack Scientology," the minister quoted Hubbard as saying. "I never forget it; always even the score."

The crowd cheered.

As far back as 1959, Hubbard warned that illness and even death can befall those seeking to impede Scientology, known within the church as "suppressive persons."

"Literally, it kills them," Hubbard wrote, "and if you don't believe me I can show you the long death list."

He told the story of an electrician who bilked the organization. "Within a few weeks," Hubbard said, "he contracted TB."

Scientology seems committed not only to fighting back, but to chilling potential opposition. For years, the church has been accused of employing psychological warfare, dirty tricks and harassment-by-lawsuit to silence its adversaries.

The church has spent millions to investigate and sue writers, government officials, disaffected ex-members and others loosely defined as "enemies."

Teams of private detectives have been dispatched to the far corners of the world to spy on critics and rummage through their personal lives -- and trash cans -- for information to discredit them.

During one investigation, headed by a former Los Angeles police sergeant, the church paid tens of thousands of dollars to reputed organized crime figures and con men for information linking a leading church opponent to a crime that it turned out he did not commit.

Early last year, an American Scientologist was arrested in Spain for possessing dossiers containing confidential information on a member of Parliament and a Madrid judge who is oversaw a fraud and tax evasion probe of the church. The dossiers included personal bank records and family photographs, according to press accounts.

Before a British author's critical biography of Hubbard was even released two years ago in Europe, the church had him and his publisher tied up in a London court for alleged copyright infringement. The writer speculated that Scientology sympathizers had somehow managed to obtain pre-publication proofs of the book.

Scientology spokesmen insist that the organization is doing nothing illegal or unethical, and is merely exercising its constitutional rights with vigor.

They argue that Scientology has been targeted by hostile government and private forces -- including the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, the press, psychiatrists and unscrupulous attorneys -- that have persecuted the church since its founding three decades ago.

As a matter of self-preservation, lamented Scientology attorney Earle C. Cooley, the church has been forced to fight back and then has been unfairly chastised for its aggressiveness.

"When we were attacked at Pearl Harbor we didn't just sit back and defend there," Cooley declared. "We tried to get out on the offensive as quickly as possible.... To sit back and ward off the blows is ridiculous."

Underlying the church's aggressive response to criticism is a belief that anyone who attacks Scientology is a criminal of some sort. "We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts," Hubbard wrote back in 1967. "Over and over we prove this."

When Scientology takes the offensive, L. Ron Hubbard's writings provide the inspiration. Here is a sampling of what Hubbard wrote:

"The purpose of the (lawsuit) is to harass and discourage rather than win."

"If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace.... Don't ever defend. Always attack."

"We do not want Scientology to be reported in the press, anywhere else than on the religious pages of newspapers.... Therefore, we should be very alert to sue for slander at the slightest chance so as to discourage the public presses from mentioning Scientology."

"NEVER agree to an investigation of Scientology. Only agree to an investigation of the attackers.... Start feeding lurid, blood, sex crime, actual evidence on the attack to the press. Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way."

Obedience to these rules is not discretionary. They are scripture and, as such, have guided a succession of church leaders in their responses to perceived attacks.

Ironically, Hubbard's doctrinal dictums have often served only to escalate conflicts and reinforce the cultish image the church has been trying to shake.

In the early 1970s, British lawmaker Sir John Foster offered a seemingly timeless observation on Scientology in a report to his government.

He wrote that "anyone whose attitude is such as Mr. Hubbard displays in his writings cannot be too surprised if the world treats him with suspicion rather than affection."

Defeating its antagonists is considered so vital to the religion's survival that the church has a unit whose mandate is to bring "hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology."

Called the Office of Special Affairs, its duties include developing legal strategy and countering outside threats.

Its predecessor was the Guardian Office, whose members became so overzealous that Hubbard's wife and 10 other Scientologists were jailed for bugging and burglarizing U.S. government agencies in the 1970s.

Now, Scientology spokesmen say, attorneys are hired to handle conflicts with church adversaries to ensure that history does not repeat itself. The attorneys, they say, employ private detectives to help prepare court cases -- a role that, in the past, would have been filled by Scientologists from the Guardian Office.

But some former Scientologists contend that the private detectives have simply replaced church members as agents of intimidation. The detectives are especially valued because they insulate the church from deceptive and potentially embarrassing investigative tactics that the church in fact endorses, according to this view.

One of the first private detectives hired by the church was Richard Bast of Washington, D.C.

In 1980, he investigated the sex life of U.S. District Judge James Richey, who was presiding over the criminal trial of Hubbard's wife and the 10 other Scientologists. Richey had issued rulings unfavorable to them.

Bast's investigators found a prostitute at the Brentwood Holiday Inn who claimed that Richey had purchased her services while staying at the hotel during trips to Los Angeles. Bast's men gave her a lie detector test and videotaped her account.

That and other information obtained by Bast's investigators was leaked to columnist Jack Anderson, and appeared in newspapers across the country. Soon after, Richey resigned from the case, citing health reasons.

In 1982, Bast surfaced again, this time in Clearwater, Fla., where the church's secretive methods of operating had stirred community anxiety.

Bast's detectives, posing as emissaries of a wealthy European industrialist, lured some of the community's most prominent businessmen aboard a luxurious yacht. Their pitch: the industrialist wanted to invest $100 million in Clearwater's decaying downtown.

But there was a catch, recalled developer Alan Bomstein, one of the businessmen being wooed. The emissaries said their boss was dismayed by the conflict between Clearwater and Scientology, and wanted the businessmen to help quash a public inquiry into the church's activities.

When the businessmen refused, Bomstein said, the emissaries vanished. Two years later, Bast revealed the deception in a court declaration. He said the undercover operation was necessary to learn whether Clearwater's elite were conspiring to run the church out of town.

More recently, Scientology investigations have been run by former Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Eugene Ingram, who was fired by the department in 1981 for allegedly running a house of prostitution and alerting a drug dealer of a planned raid. (In a later jury trial, Ingram was acquitted of all criminal charges.)

When he needs help, Ingram has sometimes turned to former LAPD colleagues.

Ex-officer Al Bei, for example, played a key role in a 1984 investigation of David Mayo, an influential Scientology defector who had opened a rival church near Santa Barbara. Scientologists believed Mayo was using stolen Hubbard teachings.

Bei and other investigators questioned local businessmen, handing out business cards that said, "Special Agent, Task Force on White Collar Crime."

Their questions suggested -- falsely -- that Mayo was linked to international terrorism and drug smuggling, according to court records. At a local bank, Bei tried without success to obtain Mayo's banking records and implied that Mayo was engaged in money laundering, an executive of the bank said.

The investigators rented an office directly above Mayo's facility and leaned from the windows to photograph everyone who entered.

Mayo eventually obtained a court order barring Ingram Investigations and church members from going near Mayo or his facility. The judge said the investigation amounted to "harassment."

On another occasion, Bei surfaced on a quiet residential street in Burbank, where he questioned neighbors of two highly critical former Scientologists, Fred and Valerie Stansfield. The Stansfields had established a competing center in their home to provide Scientology courses.

One of the neighbors said in a declaration that Bei attempted to "slander" the Stansfields with such questions as: "Did you know that Valerie told someone that she had pinworms two years ago?"

Los Angeles police officer Philip Rodriguez is another who has assisted Ingram in Scientology investigations.

In late 1984, he provided Ingram with a letter on plain stationery saying Ingram was authorized to covertly videotape a hostile former member suspected by church authorities of plotting illegal acts against the church.

Although the letter was written without official police department approval, Rodriguez's action lent an air of legitimacy to the investigation. In fact, when church officials disclosed its results, they described the operation as "LAPD sanctioned" -- a characterization that Police Chief Daryl F. Gates angrily disputed.

Rodriguez was suspended for six months for his role in the affair.

And when the clandestine videotapes were introduced in an Oregon court to discredit testimony by the former member, the presiding judge said: "I think they are devastating against the church.... It (the investigation) borders on entrapment more than it does on anything else."

Another former LAPD officer, Charles Stapleton, worked part time for Ingram while teaching law at Los Angeles City College.

"Gene is a very thorough investigator," Stapleton said in an interview. "He is determined to do the finest job he possibly can and he will employ whatever methods or tactics are necessary to do that job."

Stapleton said he "bailed out" after Ingram asked him to tap telephones.

"Who's going to know?" he quoted Ingram as saying.

"I will know," Stapleton said he replied.

"I was told that if I didn't want to do it, he knew somebody who would," Stapleton said, adding that he did not know whether any telephones had, in fact, been monitored.

Ingram denied ever asking Stapleton to tap telephones.

"I've never done it and I've never asked anyone to do it," Ingram said. "It's just not worth it. It's a crime. You're going to get caught, so why do it?"

Ingram also said that he has not harassed anyone during his probes. He describes himself simply as "aggressive."

"People who claim that I have conducted an improper investigation against them probably have so many things to hide," said Ingram.

Church lawyer Cooley backed the investigator, saying: "I know of no impropriety that has ever been engaged in by Mr. Ingram or any other (private investigator) for the church. Mr. Ingram has done nothing wrong."

Last year, Ingram and his colleagues surfaced in the small town of Newkirk, Okla., to investigate city officials and the local newspaper publisher. The publisher has been crusading against a controversial Scientology-backed drug treatment program called Narconon.

At the core of the dispute is a contention by publisher Bob Lobsinger that Narconon concealed its Scientology connection when it leased an abandoned school outside town to build the "world's largest" drug rehabilitation center.

Lobsinger's weekly newspaper has written about Scientology's troubled past, and published internal documents on the drug program. In the process, he has helped rally community opposition.

Fighting back, Scientology attorneys in September mailed an "open letter" to many of Newkirk's 2,500 residents announcing that Ingram had been hired to investigate Narconon's adversaries. The letter said that "a few local individuals have sought to create intolerance by broadsiding the Churches of Scientology in stridently uncomplimentary terms."

After arriving in town, Ingram tracked down the mayor's 12-year-old son at the local public library, handed him a business card and told the boy to have his father call, Lobsinger said. "It was just a subtle bit of intimidation," he said. "It certainly did not do the mother much good. She was very unnerved."

Lobsinger said investigators also camped out at the local courthouse, where they searched public records for "dirt" on prominent local citizens.

"They were checking up on the banker, the president of the school board, the president of the Chamber of Commerce and, of course, the mayor and his family, and me," Lobsinger said.

Newkirk Mayor Garry Bilger, who opposed the drug treatment program, said a man he believes was a church member tried to coax him into disclosing personal information. Bilger said the man showed up without an appointment and claimed that he was helping his daughter with a report on small-town government for a class at a nearby high school.

"He wanted to interview me and take pictures around the office but I didn't allow that," the mayor recalled. "Finally, I said, 'Are you with Scientology or Narconon?' He said, 'I don't know about those people.' But he did, because he got outta there in a hurry."

Before the man left, he gave Bilger the name of his daughter. The mayor then checked with the school system and was told that no such girl was enrolled.

"They have a standard pattern," Bilger said of the Scientologists. "They try to be very aggressive. They try to intimidate. This is not the kind of atmosphere we need in the Newkirk community.... This tells me they are far from being harmless."

Scientology critics contend that one church writing, above all others, has guided the organization and its operatives when they fight back. It is called the Fair Game Law.

Written by Hubbard in the mid-1960s, it states that anyone who impedes Scientology is "fair game" and can "be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."

Church spokesmen maintain that Hubbard rescinded the policy three years after it was written because its meaning had been twisted. What Hubbard actually meant, according to the spokesmen, was that Scientology will not protect ex-members from people in the outside world who try to trick, sue or destroy them.

But various judges and juries have concluded that while the actual labeling of persons as "fair game" was abandoned, the harassment continued unabated.

For example, a Los Angeles jury in 1986 said that Scientologists had employed fair game tactics against disaffected member Larry Wollersheim, driving him to the brink of financial and mental collapse. He was awarded $30 million. In July, the state Court of Appeal reduced the amount to $2.5 million but refused to overturn the case.

Wrote Justice Earl Johnson Jr.: "Scientology leaders made the deliberate decision to ruin Wollersheim economically and possibly psychologically.... Such conduct is too outrageous to be protected under the Constitution and too unworthy to be privileged under the law of torts."

In a recent lawsuit, former Scientology attorney Joseph Yanny alleged that the church and its agents had implemented or plotted a broad array of fair-game measures against him and other critics, including intensive surveillance and dirty tricks.

Earlier this year, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded Yanny $154,000 in legal fees that he said the church had refused to pay.

Among other things, Yanny said in his lawsuit that he attended a 1987 meeting at which top church officials and three private detectives discussed blackmailing Los Angeles attorney Charles O'Reilly, who won the multimillion-dollar jury award for Wollersheim.

According to Yanny, the plan was to steal O'Reilly's medical records from the Betty Ford Clinic near Palm Springs, then exchange them for a promise from O'Reilly that he would "ease off" during the appeal process.

Yanny, who later had a bitter break with Scientology, said he objected and the idea was dropped. The church denies such a discussion ever took place.

"There is not a scintilla of independent evidence that Yanny's counsel was ever sought for any illegal or fraudulent purpose," church attorneys argued in court papers.

Numerous other church detractors have said in court documents and interviews that they, too, were victims of fair game tactics even after the policy supposedly was abandoned.

John G. Clark, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said he once criticized the church during testimony before the Vermont legislature. Scientology "agents" retaliated, Clark alleged in a 1985 lawsuit, by trying to destroy his reputation and career.

He said in the lawsuit that they filed groundless complaints against him with government agencies, posed as clients to infiltrate his office, dug through his trash, implied that he slept with female patients and offered a $25,000 reward for information that would put him in jail.

"My sin," Clark said in an interview, "was publicly saying this is a dangerous and harmful cult. They did a good job of showing I'm right."

Scientologists, for their part, have described Clark as a "professional deprogrammer," who in court cases has diagnosed members of religious sects as mentally ill without conducting direct examinations of them. They have branded his professional work as fraudulent and his psychiatric theories as "childish and nonsensical."

In the words of one Scientology spokesman: "It's a crime that he's walking on the street right now."

In 1988, the church paid Clark an undisclosed sum to drop his lawsuit. In exchange for the money, Clark agreed never again to publicly criticize Scientology.

On the opposite coast, psychiatrist Louis (Jolly) West, who formerly directed UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute, said he also has felt the wrath of Scientology.

West, an expert on thought control techniques, said his problems began in 1980 after he published a psychiatric textbook that called Scientology a cult.

West said Scientology attempted to get him fired by writing letters to university officials suggesting that he is a CIA-backed fascist who has advocated genocide and castration of minorities to curb crime.

He said Scientologists once managed to get inside a downtown Los Angeles banquet room before guests arrived for a dinner celebrating the Neuropsychiatric Institute's 25th anniversary. On each plate, West said, was placed "an obscenely vicious diatribe" against him and the institute -- neatly tied with a pink ribbon.

So consumed are some Scientologists by their zeal to punish foes that they have violated the confidentiality of one of the religion's most sacred practices, according to a number of former members.

These former members accuse others in the church of culling confessional folders for information that can be used to embarrass, discredit or blackmail hostile defectors -- a practice once called "repugnant and outrageous" by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. Some of these former members say they themselves took part in the practice.

The confidential folders contain the parishioners' most intimate secrets, disclosed during one-on-one counseling sessions that are supposed to help devotees unburden their spirits. The church retains the folders even after a member leaves.

Last year, former church attorney Yanny said in a sworn declaration that he was fed information from confessional folders to help him question former members during pretrial proceedings. Yanny said he complained but was informed by two Scientology executives that it was "standard practice."

Church executives have steadfastly denied that the confidentiality of the folders has been breached. They maintain that "auditors" -- Scientologists who counsel other members -- must abide by a code of conduct in which they promise never to divulge secrets revealed to them "for punishment or personal gain."

"And that trust," the code states, "is sacred and never to be betrayed."

Often, those who buck the church say their lives are suddenly troubled by unexplained and untraceable events, ranging from hang-up telephone calls to the mysterious deaths of pets.

Los Angeles attorney Leta Schlosser, for one, said someone developed "an unusual interest" in her car trunk while she was part of the legal team in the Wollersheim suit against Scientology. She said it was broken into at least seven times.

She said her co-counsel, O'Reilly, discovered a tape recorder, wired to his telephone line, hidden beneath some bushes outside his home.

Then there is the British author, Russell Miller. After his biography of Hubbard was published, an anonymous caller to police implicated him in the unsolved ax-slaying of a South London private eye.

Miller was interrogated by two detectives, who concluded that he was innocent. Det. Sgt. Malcolm Davidson of Scotland Yard told the Los Angeles Times that the caller "caused us to waste a lot of time investigating" and "caused Mr. Miller some embarrassment."

There is no evidence that ties the church to any of these incidents, and Scientology officials deny involvement in clandestine harassment or illegal activities. They suggest that church foes may themselves be responsible as part of an effort to discredit Scientology.

Today, the Scientology movement is engaged in a sweeping effort to gain influence across a broad swath of society, from schools to businesses, in hopes of winning converts and creating a hospitable environment for church expansion.

And Hubbard's followers apparently consider his theology of combat an important component.

In 1987, they elevated to high doctrine a warning he wrote two decades ago in a Scientology newspaper, addressed to "people who seek to stop us."

"If you oppose Scientology we promptly look up -- and will find and expose -- your crimes," he wrote. "If you leave us alone we will leave you alone. It's very simple. Even a fool can grasp that.

"And don't underrate our ability to carry it out.... Those who try to make life difficult for us are at once at risk."
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:17 am

Suits, Protests Fuel a Campaign Against Psychiatry

As part of its strategy, the movement created a nationwide uproar over the drug Ritalin, used to treat hyperactive children.

In recent years, a national debate flared over Ritalin, a drug used for more than three decades to treat hyperactivity in children.

Across the country, multimillion-dollar lawsuits were filed by parents who contended that their children had been harmed by the drug.

Major news organizations -- including The Times -- devoted extensive coverage to whether youngsters were being turned into emotionally disturbed addicts by psychiatrists and pediatricians who prescribed Ritalin.

Protests were staged at psychiatric conferences, with airplanes trailing banners that read, "Psychs, Stop Drugging Our Kids," and children on the ground carrying placards that pleaded, "Love Me, Don't Drug Me."

In 1988, the clamor reached a point where 12 U.S. congressmen demanded answers from the Food and Drug Administration and three other federal agencies about the safety of Ritalin. The FDA assured the legislators that the drug is "safe and effective if it is used as recommended."

The Ritalin controversy seemed to emerge out of nowhere. It frightened parents, put doctors on the defensive and suddenly called into question the judgment of school administrators who authorize the drug's use to calm disruptive, hyperactive children.

The uproar over Ritalin was triggered almost single-handedly by the Scientology movement.

In its fight against Ritalin, Scientology was pursuing a broader agenda. For years, it has been attempting to discredit the psychiatric profession, which has long been critical of the self-help techniques developed by the late L. Ron Hubbard and practiced by the church.

The church has spelled out the strategy in its newspaper, "Scientology Today."

"While alerting parents and teachers to the dangers of Ritalin," the newspaper stated, "the real target of the campaign is the psychiatric profession itself.... And as public awareness continues to increase, we will no doubt begin to see the blame for all drug abuse and related crime move onto the correct target -- psychiatry."

The contempt Scientologists hold for the psychiatric profession is rooted in Hubbard's writings, which constitute the church's doctrines. He once wrote, for example, that if psychiatrists "had the power to torture and kill everyone, they would do so.... Recognize them for what they are; psychotic criminals -- and handle them accordingly."

Hubbard's hatred of psychiatry dated back to the 1950 publication of his best-selling book "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health." It was immediately criticized by prominent mental health professionals as a worthless form of psychotherapy.

Hubbard used his church as a pulpit to attack psychiatrists as evil people, bent on enslaving mankind through drugs, electroshock therapy and lobotomies. He convinced his followers that psychiatrists were also intent on destroying their religion.

A church spokesman said that psychiatrists are "busy attempting to destroy Scientology because if Scientology has its voice heard, it will most assuredly remove them from the positions of power that they occupy in our society."

Scientologists call Ritalin a "chemical straitjacket" leading to delinquency, violence and even suicide. They claim that it is being used to indiscriminately drug hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren each day. Medical professionals say the Scientology claims cannot be supported and are causing undue panic.

Known generically as methylphenidate hydrochloride, Ritalin is intended for youngsters afflicted with "attention deficit disorder," more commonly known as hyperactivity. It is a central nervous system stimulant that, paradoxically, produces calmer behavior in young people. The government classifies it as a controlled substance.

FDA statistics show that between 600,000 and 700,000 people (70% of them children or adolescents) are being treated with Ritalin. Between 1980 and 1987, the latest period for which statistics are available, the FDA received 492 complaints of serious problems resulting from the drug. The agency said this level of complaints indicates the drug is safe.

Medical experts agree that some doctors may be too quick to prescribe Ritalin as the sole treatment for problems that warrant a more moderate or creative approach. But, they add, the drug itself is not to blame.

Scientologists have waged their war against Ritalin and psychiatry through the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization formed by the church in 1969 to investigate mental health abuses.

Its members often wear shirts reading "Psychiatry Kills" and "Psychbusters." They have recently broadened their campaign against psychiatric drugs to include Prozac, the nation's top selling anti-depressant, with 1989 sales estimated at $350 million.

Throughout the world, the commission has consistently fought against electroshock therapy and lobotomies, practices that Scientologists believe are barbarous and should be banned.

In the U.S., the commission has encouraged parents to file lawsuits against doctors who have prescribed Ritalin to their children and then has provided nationwide publicity for the suits.

The commission's president is veteran Scientologist Dennis Clarke. Although he is not a doctor, Clarke has positioned himself as the country's most quoted Ritalin expert. In public appearances, Clarke cites a litany of alarming statistics, some of which are exaggerated, unsubstantiated or impossible to verify.

Some medical experts agree that the use of Ritalin in the schools has grown dramatically over the last two decades, but not to the level claimed by Clarke.

For example, Clarke has maintained that in Minneapolis, 20% of children under 10 attending mostly white schools in 1987 were on Ritalin and the percentage was double that in predominantly black schools.

"If they are saying that is the statistic in Minneapolis, they are lying," said Vi Blosberg, manager of health services in the 39,000-student district. She said that fewer than 1% of students districtwide were taking Ritalin or other drugs used to control hyperactivity during the year in question.

Using its statistics, the Citizens Commission in late 1987 lobbied the congressional Republican Study Committee to push Congress for an investigation of Ritalin.

Its campaign attracted the attention of Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-N.C.), who is on the House Education and Labor Committee.

Ballenger's legislative director, Ashley McArthur, said she met with the Citizens Commission because the statistics about Ritalin abuse "caught our attention." She said Ballenger and 11 congressional colleagues sent letters to four federal agencies, including the FDA, requesting reports on Ritalin usage and safety.

McArthur said she later learned that Scientologists were behind the Citizens Commission and that some of the information they provided did not "add up."

"Once we knew their whole organization was run by Scientologists, it put a whole different perspective on it," McArthur said. "I think they'll try to use any group they can."

A recent Scientology publication said the anti-Ritalin effort was "one of (the commission's) major campaigns in the 1980s."

"Hundreds of newspaper articles and countless hours of radio and television shows on this issue resulted in thousands of parents around the world contacting (the commission) to learn more about the damage psychiatrists are creating on today's children," the article stated.

"The campaign against Ritalin brought wide acceptance of the fact that (the commission) and the Scientologists are the ones effectively doing something about the problems of psychiatric drugging," the publication added.
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:18 am

A Lawyer Learns What It's Like to Fight the Church

Joseph Yanny represented the movement until a falling out. Now he says lengthy litigation and mysterious harassment indicate he's become "Public Enemy No. 1."

Los Angeles attorney Joseph Yanny was driving through rural Ohio in the pre-dawn hours in 1988 when he was pulled over by police, who had received a tip that he was carrying a cache of cocaine and guns in his rental car.

A telephone caller had supplied authorities in Ohio with Yanny's name, the car's description and license number, and the route he would be traveling to his sister's house after a rock concert by one of his clients, the Grateful Dead.

Yanny was frisked and the vehicle was searched. No drugs or firearms were found, and he was released.

Police later concluded that the tipster had given a false name, leading them to speculate that Yanny had been set up for harassment.

And Yanny, though he can't prove it, is certain he knows by whom: his former client, the Church of Scientology.

"I am," he said with some pride, "probably Public Enemy No. 1 as far as they are concerned."

Today, Yanny and Scientology are locked in bitter litigation. Their dispute illustrates how battles with the Church of Scientology often degenerate into nasty, costly wars of retribution and endurance.

Yanny worked for the church from 1983 to 1987, earning, by his estimate, $1.8 million in legal fees.

His chief job was to represent Scientology in a suit it brought against a former top church executive accused of conspiring to steal the church's secret teachings. In 1986, Yanny scored a major victory for the church during a pretrial hearing.

But then Yanny and Scientology had a falling out. He says he severed ties because he disagreed with the tactics the group uses against its critics. Scientology says Yanny was dismissed because his performance was "inadequate." They call him an "anti-church demagogue."

Scientology lawyers sued Yanny, accusing him of switching allegiances and of violating the canons of his profession. They say he fed confidential church information to former members locked in legal battles with Scientology. He denies the accusation.

They further accused him of submitting "extremely inflated" bills and of working while intoxicated, an allegation that was subsequently dropped.

Since the litigation began, Yanny says, he and his friends have been the target of harassment.

He says that his Century City law firm was burglarized four times and that Scientology-related documents turned up missing; that he has been spied upon by a church "plant" working as a secretary in his office; and that private investigators have camped outside his Hermosa Beach residence and shadowed him when he left.

Jon J. Gaw, a Riverside-area private investigator who has handled a number of Scientology-related probes in recent years, said in a deposition that he used as many as "seven or eight" investigators to conduct surveillance of Yanny between June, 1988 and March, 1989. Two of his operatives took up residence on a nearby street, Gaw said, and tailed Yanny whenever he ventured outside.

Gaw said he later learned that private detectives for another agency hired by Scientology lawyers had been spying on Yanny at the same time. That agency employed a woman to live next door to him.

The woman, Michelle Washburn, said in a deposition that she was hired by Al Bei, a former Los Angeles police officer who has worked as a private investigator on Scientology-related cases.

She said Bei instructed her to take notes on Yanny's "comings and goings." She also sat by her window photographing everyone who visited him. She said she regularly gave Bei the film and her notes. Bei declined to comment.

In Bellaire, Ohio, police who searched Yanny's rental car for drugs and guns later discovered that a team of out-of-state private investigators in four vehicles had been tailing the attorney.

Police Capt. Robert Wallace said one of the private detectives he questioned initially tried to mislead officers, claiming the detectives were there to subpoena someone in a neighboring town.

Wallace said the private detective then said he had been hired to follow Yanny by Williams & Connelly, a prominent Washington, D.C., law firm that represents Scientology on tax issues. An attorney who handles Scientology matters at the firm declined comment when questioned by The Times recently. In a published report in late 1988, however, he said he had no knowledge of the episode.

Yanny, for his part, is pursuing a strategy that is reminiscent of the take-no-prisoners tactics of the church.

He and his anti-Scientology allies have submitted sworn court declarations designed to discredit the church.

Earlier this year, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury agreed that Yanny had not submitted inflated bills to the church and awarded him $154,000 in damages. The judge who presided over the case is now weighing whether Yanny should be allowed to assist individuals in litigation against his former client, the church.

Yanny said he initially agreed to be one of Scientology's lawyers because he thought the controversial church was being denied its day in court.

"There came a point where I was rudely awakened that Scientology wanted their day in court," Yanny said, "but they wanted to assure nobody else got them."
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:18 am

The Battle with the I.R.S.: Neither Side Blinks in a Lengthy Feud

Among its many adversaries, the Church of Scientology's longest-running feud has been with the Internal Revenue Service. So far, neither combatant has blinked.

Over the past three decades, the IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of various Scientology organizations, accusing them of operating in a commercial manner and of financially benefiting private individuals. From the late 1960s through mid-1970s, IRS agents classified Scientology as a "tax resister" and "subversive," a characterization later deemed improper by a judge.

In 1984, the IRS's Los Angeles office launched a far-ranging criminal investigation into allegations by high-level Scientology defectors that the movement's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, had skimmed millions of dollars from the church.

The probe was dropped after Hubbard's death in 1986. A Justice Department source told The Times that, with the primary target gone, the point was moot. But church executives say the IRS had no case because the allegations were untrue.

Scientology, for its part, has brought numerous lawsuits against the IRS, accusing the agency of everything from harassment to illegally withholding public records. In the 1970s, overzealous Scientologists went so far as to bug an IRS office in Washington, D.C. -- a crime that led to their imprisonment.

More recently, through a group called the National Coalition of IRS Whistleblowers, Scientologists have embarrassed the very branch within the agency that initiated the criminal investigation of Hubbard.

The coalition, founded in the mid-1980s by the Church of Scientology's Freedom magazine, helped fuel a 1989 congressional inquiry into alleged wrongdoing by the former chief of the IRS's Criminal Investigations Division in Los Angeles and other agency officials.

Based on public records and leaked IRS memos, the coalition disclosed that the former Los Angeles supervisor and several colleagues bought property from an El Monte firm being audited by the IRS. Soon after, the audit was dropped with a finding that the firm owed no money. The supervisor has denied acting improperly.

The whistle-blowers coalition, whose members also include past and present IRS employees, provided the information to a House subcommittee, which was investigating the IRS at the time. The allegations received nationwide exposure during later hearings by the subcommittee, prompting a promise from IRS Commissioner Fred T. Goldberg toughen ethical standards in the agency.

The coalition's spokeswoman, Scientologist Lisa Lashaway, also appeared on NBC's "Today" show with a subcommittee member, where the two criticized the conduct of the IRS unit.

Although Scientologists do much of the legwork for the coalition, its president and chief point man is retired IRS agent Paul DesFosses, a non-Scientologist who left the IRS in 1984 after a stormy relationship with the agency.

"They've given us a lot of support," DesFosses said of the Scientologists in a recent interview. "That's understandable because people who are under attack by the IRS are suddenly very concerned with IRS abuse."

Despite his close working relationship with Scientology, DesFosses said church members never told him that Hubbard was under criminal investigation by the IRS when they offered to organize and assist his whistle-blowers group.

"No, I wasn't aware of it," DesFosses said when informed by The Times. "I would be very surprised to learn that."
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Re: The Scientology Story, by Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:19 am

The Battle with the "Squirrels": When the Doctrine Leaves the Church

The Church of Scientology hates "squirrels."

That is the scornful word L. Ron Hubbard used to describe non-church members who offer his teachings, sometimes at cut-rate prices. Most are ex-Scientologists who say they believe in Hubbard's gospel but left the church because its hierarchy was too oppressive.

"We call them squirrels," Hubbard once wrote, "because they are so nutty."

Hubbard contended that only church members are qualified to administer his self-improvement-type courses. Outsiders, he said, inevitably misapply the teachings, wreaking spiritual harm on their subjects.

But those who have launched "independent" Scientology-style centers say Hubbard concocted this as an excuse to eliminate competition so he could charge exorbitant prices for his courses.

As far back as 1965, Hubbard demonstrated his disdain for breakaway groups, ordering his followers to "tear up" the meetings of one such organization and "harass these persons in any possible way."

The intolerance still exists.

In 1988, the California Association of Dianetic Auditors -- the oldest Scientology splinter group in existence -- said it uncovered a scheme by more than 100 Scientologists to secretly infiltrate the association and seize control of its board of directors.

The association's then-vice president, Jana Moreillon, said she discovered the infiltration after scanning some Scientology publications. There, she found the names of many of her group's newest members listed among Scientologists who had just completed church training.

Moreillon said the association eventually purged or denied membership to 116 suspected Scientologists.

In recent years, a shadowy group of church members dubbed the "Minutemen" crashed meetings of independent Scientologists. They heckled speakers, screamed obscenities and threw eggs. Los Angeles police officers had to be summoned by the owner of a Chinatown restaurant to evict militant Scientologists who disrupted a fund-raising dinner held there by breakaway church members.

The church has denied any direct involvement in the raids. But a former top Scientology official said in a recent court declaration that the harassment campaign was ordered by church executives.
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