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Stop Picking on Scientology! Double-Fisted Wisdom from 1977

McGroryKilpatrickFriday afternoon, we shared with you the comedy stylings of The Good Liars, who handed out fliers in Times Square asking people please to stop searching for Shelly Miscavige, who is not missing.

In a similar spirit, we wanted to jump on that theme with both feet, and offer David Miscavige’s outfit even more succor. After all, not everyone is thrilled that the Church of Scientology perennially finds itself the subject of government investigations, complex lawsuits, denunciations by defectors, and constant pestering by nattering nabobs of negativism (i.e., reporters).

Well, it’s time to atone. And boy, do we have some righteous payback!

One of our readers recently picked up a copy of George Malko’s 1970 book, Scientology: The Now Religion, and she found that it contained several newspaper clippings of the era. Two of them were opinion columns from the summer of 1977, which we had never seen before.

Ah, the summer of 1977. For those who need a refresher, the Church of Scientology, since 1973, had been infiltrating government offices around the world in a highly coordinated operation with the cute name of Snow White. The point of burglarizing documents from the U.S. Justice Department and the IRS and the FBI and bugging the offices of the IRS was so that Scientology could obtain and destroy negative information about the church and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. In ensuing years, as the totality of the espionage and sabotage operation became known, it turned out to be (and still is) the largest infiltration of the US government in history. Eleven Scientology executives eventually were convicted and sentenced, including Mary Sue Hubbard, wife to the big man himself.

But at the time, not everyone was happy that the FBI was picking on Scientology. There was Mary McGrory, for example, a liberal columnist who had won a Pulitzer for her writing about Watergate a couple of years earlier. Let loose, Mary!

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MaryMcGroryColumn

FBI should forget about those E-men

WASHINGTON — The FBI seems determined to protect us from the Church of Scientology.

You can go out on the street and ask twenty people if the Scientologists have been bothering them. They’ll all say no.

Government agencies often try to save us from things we never noticed. The Civil Rights Commission, for instance, put out a report the other day saying that Mary Tyler Moore should not call her boss “Mr. Grant.” Her deference is said to diminish all women.

The CIA, we discover, spent our money looking for the cure for hypertension…Why? Many people develop hypertension from finding out things like that. Also the CIA was trying to find the formula for a “permanent high.” Teen-agers can handle that sort of experiment, and are, in fact, not encouraged to.

So the FBI is not alone in doing something for which there is no popular demand — or as far as anyone can see, any particular need.

It is engaged in trying to protect us from the Church of Scientology, apparently, because it is there.

The church has always excited the unfriendly interest of the government, nobody is entirely sure why. What started the FDA, the first federal agency to enlist in the 20-year crusade, was a “Dianetic” device called an “E-Meter,” which Scientologists believe helps clear the soul of painful past experiences — as Macbeth said, “to cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon the soul.”

Whatever their beliefs, the Scientologists are tough in practice. They strike back when the feds start pushing them around. The FBI may have met its match.

The FBI acquires documents about them. They acquire documents about the FBI. The present engagement is over whether they get them by fair means (the Freedom of Information Act), which they claim, or foul (surreptitious entry) as the FBI is charging. That’s a means to which the bureau has resorted itself in times past.

Now the Scientologists have picked up another FBI trick, or so says the FBI. They have infiltrated the FBI, and the bureau does not believe that turnabout is fair play.

The FBI apparently doesn’t even know how many of the E-Men are masquerading as G-Men. It’s awfully embarrassing.

The FBI has done a great deal of infiltrating in their day: the Communist party, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the Socialist Labor party. The Scientologists are the first group to turn the tables.

How do you go about finding out if a G-Man is really an E-Man? You’d need someone who is versed in the theology of Scientology, which is not taught at Fordham, the alma mater of many of the real G-Men. You could hardly call in the whole crew and say “Will anyone who believes that all men are basically good step forward?” In spite of what the FBI has been doing to them, the Scientologists hold to the tenet that people are really nice deep down, once they’ve been metered.

The conscientious supervisor might try it on a face-to-face basis. “O’Brien, do you consider yourself a spirit?” Scientologists think that that’s what a person is all about.

The bureau may not really think that the Scientologists are doing a Viet Cong number on them. But they have to say something if they want to keep the haul of 23,000 documents they got in a big, spectacular, three-location July raid on Scientology churches in Washington and Los Angeles, complete with chain-saws, crowbars and sledgehammers.

A federal judge, who is obviously insensitive to the Scientology menace, said that the raid was illegal, and that the papers had to be given back.

So it may have been desperation that was speaking when a Justice Department attorney decided that the agents had read enough of the documents to find out that the FBI is being spied on from within.

You’d think they had enough papers at the J. Edgar Hoover Memorial Building to keep them busy until well into the next century without the Scientology files. Unfortunately, the E-Men, like the G-Men are compulsive collectors. Nothing but escalation, with one side searching for stolen files and the other for proof of harassment, is in sight.

Plainly, intervention is needed. Cyrus Vance has tried, by jet, to stop a religious war in the Middle East. Let him try to end one on his doorstep. He could do it by taxi.

For openers, he could take Clarence Kelley aside and tell him that the Scientologists, despite their combative and litigatious nature, are not a danger to the Republic, that they do not kidnap or coerce their members, do not mug people on the streets, plot with the Soviets or even harbor ill thoughts of the FBI, although by this time, they have good reason.

If the people in the bureau think the Scientologists are ripping off the faithful by using their E-Meters, let them pause and consider the cost of psychiatry. If they think that E-Metering is dangerous, what about snake-handling?

Kelley should call the men in and tell them to forget the Scientologists and go out and find Jimmy Hoffa’s kidnapers.

 
And now, from the right side of the aisle, conservative columnist James J. Kilpatrick unloads the other barrel…

 
KilpatrickColumn

Picking on the Scientologists

A small army of FBI agents played another game of gangbusters last month with the Church of Scientology. By apparent actual count, 134 agents burst into three church offices in Washington and California. They hauled away tons of stuff. Now church leaders are fighting back.

Speaking simply as a taxpayer, I would say hooray for these scrappy reverends. They have sued the FBI, and they have just published a large book of documents having to do with the government’s long campaign of harassment against them. Church lawyers pried the documents loose from a reluctant government by means of the Freedom of Information Act. The act seldom has been put to more revealing use.

If the Scientologists’ story were not so terrifying, it would have its comic aspects. But the story in fact is terrifying. Over a period of 23 years, commencing in 1954, the federal government has thrown its whole massive weight into a malicious persecution of this religious sect. A dozen different agencies have participated in the attack. Millions upon millions of tax dollars have been wasted. No statistician could compute the man hours of costly time that have been frittered away in blundering pursuit of these devotees.

For the record, I am as skeptical of the Scientologists — and as tolerant of their ideas — as I am of every other organized religion. Scientology may be a racket, as the government persistently contends, but this has never been proved as a matter of law. These people believe they have found a path to man’s peace of mind; they profess to have founded an establishment of religion. And if church leaders seek rich converts, and milk them for large contributions, what else is new?

The story begins in 1954, when the United States Air Force, of all outfits, launched an investigation of Scientology in the area of Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado. The USAF Office of Special Investigation had some notion that the disciples were Communists, homosexuals, or either, or both. So began the harassment.

In 1958, the Secret Service got into the act. It appears the church had mentioned the name of Richard Nixon in some publication. Mr. Nixon was then vice president. The Secret Service dispatched a couple of muscle men to throw their weight around.

In 1959, the Food and Drug Administration began an attack that would go on for years. Why the FDA, you may ask? A fair question. The Scientologists use a simple skin galvanometer, which they call an E-meter, as an aid in their metaphysical healing programs. The FDA said the E-meter was a quack medical device, hence unlawful. So agents of the FDA, disguised as prospective members, began infiltrating and snooping and detecting and writing long single-spaced reports.

In 1960, the United States Army moved up some troops. The Scientologists’ book includes a photostat of one Army Intelligence report. If that report is a fair sample of the intelligence of Army Intelligence, God help the American Republic.

In 1961, the Air Force renewed its forays. In 1962, the FDA and the Bureau of Customs gave the church a hard time. In January of 1963, two huge vans, escorted by motorcycle police, rolled up to church headquarters in Washington. Government agents seized three tons of material, including 5,000 books, 20,000 pamphlets and 65 of the devilish E-meters. It took 10 years of costly litigation before the courts held the raid an unconstitutional abuse of power.

In 1967 the Labor Department harassed the church by denying work permits to visiting ministers from abroad. The CIA checked in. The Post Office brought up its legions of postal inspectors, sniffing for mail fraud. The FBI kept surveilling away. The Immigration and Naturalization Service joined the fun. So, too, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the National Security Agency. They must have fallen over each other.

Finally the government having lost at every turn, threw the Internal Revenue Service into the breach. The IRS prepared whole pages of instruction for its agents’ manual, dealing with special audits and investigations. The IRS now has 33 lineal feet of files on the sect, and all the government has for its trouble is a series of court rulings to the effect that Scientology is indeed a church as a matter of law.

Who’s crazy? I ask you, seriously, now, who’s nuts? These meter-reading reverends? Or the government’s klutzes who trample the First Amendment under foot?

 
Now that’s telling ’em.

So let’s catch back up to the present day, and see what this brave, persecuted band of brothers and sisters is up to as it pursues expansion on new orders of magnitude.

Speaking of which, get a load of this new building project planned for Scientology’s Los Angeles headquarters!

 
PACFlier

Here’s the message that came with this flier, which tells you how you can become a part of this project with a small donation…

 

Dear Friend,

A dream is coming true here at PAC – the entire Base is being made Ideal as LRH intended since it was originally established 38 years ago. This started with the opening of the Ideal LA Org and the Ideal ASHO, Ideal AOLA and Ideal Hollywood Test Center are all now under renovations!

With Golden Age of Tech Phase II just on the horizon, we are preparing for a whole new level of Bridge Flow and delivery, meaning floods of Scientologists moving up the Bridge to OT and trained auditors.

I am writing to you as your help is needed for a crucial component of this Ideal PAC Base. This is the new PAC Auditorium which is being established to house all events on the PAC Base. It has been a long time coming and is an integral part to the Base where we will be holding Graduations, Seminars, World Tours, Conventions, community gatherings and huge 4th dynamic salvage campaign events to salvage Los Angeles.

This facility is being put in place through the contributions of Scientologists and we are contacting all those who have travelled up the Bridge here in PAC to be the first to contribute. As an Alumni of our Base, it is only appropriate to ask you to make a donation to the status of “PAC Alumni” which is $5,000.

This is a whole new era for PAC as we establish a fully Ideal Base to prepare for the unprecedented boom coming with Golden Age of Tech Phase II and I thank you in advance for acting to make this future a reality.

Yours Truly,

Valerie Page
PAC Uniform I/C

 
And what does an expanded, ideal headquarters need more than the soothing sounds of music? Find your inner rock star this Wednesday!

 
MusicSuccess

 
Hey, you Internet geeks, there’s this thing called YouTube, and you ought to be using it to boom your stats!

 
CommerceFlier1CommerceFlier2CommerceFlier3

 
Aris Gregorian is ready to clear the planet!

 
Gregorian

 
Thanks again to our great tipsters for sending in such good stuff!

Link of Note: Skip Press writes about his memories of Karen Black at the Morton Report.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on August 11, 2013 at 07:00

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