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When Scientology is caught spying, it always pretends it was the victim

[Scientology kids protesting the Snow White prosecution in 1978, Denver Post photo]

Yesterday, Chris Owen gave us a wonderful dive into Scientology’s history as an intelligence agency. We thought we’d follow up with a fun document today that helps illustrate what he’s talking about.

If Scientology’s history of spying is known for one thing it’s the incredible Snow White Program that became the biggest infiltration of the US government in its history. Scientology put moles in government offices, bugged government meetings, and stole documents by the yard from 1974 to 1977. But then one of its chief spies, Michael Meisner, switched sides and became an FBI witness, leading to what was then the largest raid in the FBI’s history, on July 8, 1977, with agents entering Scientology properties in Los Angeles and Washington.

Scientology immediately went to court to suppress the tens of thousands of documents taken in the raid, and also waged war in the press, trying to convince columnists that it was the government in the wrong (and having some success).

But then, in April 1978, the Washington Post finally revealed some of what was in the material gathered in the raid, and it was stunning. Evidence that Scientology had not only been infiltrating and burglarizing government offices, but that it had set up elaborate operations to try and ruin a journalist named Paulette Cooper, and had also tried to destroy Gabe Cazares, the mayor of Clearwater, Florida, with a bizarre fake hit-and-run accident designed to ruin his career.

It was shocking material, and as the rest of the media followed the story, marked a major and permanent change in the way the press and public perceived Scientology and its potential for causing harm.


A few days later, on May 1, one of Scientology’s chief spies, “Rev.” Arte Maren, put out a stunning press release, sarcastically admitting that Scientology had been spying on the government — but that it was the good kind of spying, to catch government out for being dishonest.

It’s a classic of Scientology propaganda, the kind of thing that makes you realize, no matter how red-handedly they get caught, Scientology will never admit to wrongdoing, never give an inch, and never stop operating the way it always has. (For proof of that, see today how it tries to portray itself as a victim of the “bigotry” of Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, who have consistently laid out today the same kinds of abuses and controversies the church was involved in 40 years ago.)

Maren went on to be named an unindicted co-conspirator in the prosecution that saw 11 top Scientology officials convicted of conspiracy and sent to prison, including Mary Sue Hubbard, wife of the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who was also named an unindicted co-conspirator.

But here’s how Maren and Scientology reacted when the Post revealed how a church was creating elaborate plans to destroy people…


Ministry of Public Relations
San Francisco
Church of Scientology of California
414 Mason Street Room 400
San Francisco, California 94102

For Immediate Release
May 1, 1978

For Further Information:
Rev. Patrick Lufkin

(415) 391-2436

The Church of Scientology today announced that it has been “spying” on the government for years. “They call it spying,” said Rev. Arthur J. Maren, national spokesman for the Church, “but we call it reform action which is exactly what it is. We have been involved in exposing government illegalities and coverups for years,” Maren said, “and this is a legitimate and traditional function of the church.”


Maren said that the Church has been running a program called “Snow White” which was the major target of the 134 agent raid of Scientology churches in Los Angeles and Washington, DC last July 8th. Maren explained that the Church kept the program confidential “as we did not want to embarrass government agencies and congressional committees.”

Maren went on to state that “Apparently some dishonest bureaucrats found the Snow White program upsetting. The purpose of the program is, and always has been to bring about political reform, defense of individual liberty and securing individual privacy with freedom from corrupt or dishonest officials.”

“When these corrupt officials start using press such as the Washington Post for smear campaigns to try and invalidate the traditional reform role of the Church we decided that we have to go public. As religion columnist William Willoughby of the Washington Star observed, “‘Scientology is a religion that doesn’t turn the other cheek.'”

Among the accomplishments and activism of the Snow White program are:

— “Documentation of the existence of Interpol as a private French based intelligence operation which the US Treasury and Justice Departments support. Interpol membership includes Communist bloc countries which can receive transmission via Interpol of FBI and American law enforcment file information.

— “Documentation of Nazi control of Interpol during WWII and the continued presence of Nazi SS officers and collaborators in key executive positions in Interpol.

— “Documentation of J. Edgar Hoover’s correspondence with top Nazi officials until the days before Pearl Harbor.

— “Publication of 200 pages of “For Official Use Only” IRS documents as the IRS Papers which revealed policies unknown to the public including IRS handling of sensitive cases and use of jeopardy assessment.

— “Exposure of conditions of more than 8,000 Blacks confined in South African “mental institutions” sanctioned by the government in which inmate patients were used as cheap labor and forced to live in sub-human conditions.

— “Pioneering in the use of the Freedom of Information Act and assisting other groups and individuals to obtain their files under the FOIA. Over 100,000 documents have been obtained and over 23 FOI lawsuits against federal agencies setting precedents for others.

— “Filing a lawsuit for $750 million dollars against federal agencies including the Justice Department, the National Security Agence and Interpol for planned harassment conspiracy campaigns.


— “Exposure of the harassment and institutionalization of a civilian designer who exposed deficiencies in the F-111 fighter plane program.


“Certain dishonest government officials who fear exposure have been feeding the press for years a concerted misinformation campaign on the Church of Scientology in an attempt to divert our Snow White program from its reform objectives,” Maren continued. “But we are not attacking the government — only those government employees who are the enemies of honest government. These corrupt officials claim we are attacking our enemies when the fact is we are attacking the common enemies of the people and the Constitution. As a church which believes that man is basically good and devotes itself to helping others, we have no enemies. Dishonest officials have enemies born of their own fear of exposure, and as dedicated reformers, people such as Nixon consider us enemies, which is why we were on the Nixon enemies list. Such attacks are only efforts to distract and divert attention from what we are investigating and exposing,” said Maren.


Rev. Maren announced the formation of a massive open “spy network” of honest citizens which will expose and publicize illegal government activities. The national group, named American Citizens for Honesty in Government (ACHG), was formed by Maren following his recent imprisonment for 8 months for refusal to cooperate with a grand jury conducting a “witch hunt into religion.”

“Government has had its chance to clean house after Watergate,” Maren commented, “but fell far short of any significant reforms. Now it’s up to the people to restore integrity to American government.” Maren called on every honest government employee to turn over to the ACHG Ethics Commission information on illegal government activities and dishonest officials. “We will investigate, document, expose and publish what we find,” Maren said.


American Citizens for Honesty in Government is making public the first revelations in its government cleanup campaign. These facts have not been previously publicly disclosed:

“Employees of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who used to work for the CIA and can be viewed as CIA-loyal. (Some of these are currently no longer with the DEA):

Washington, D.C., DEA offices:

John Bacon, James Baker, Stanley Bergmen, Thomas Briggs, Elias Chaves, Lucian Conein, Louis Davis, Wilfred Deac, Wesley Kychman, James K. Fitzpatrick, Charles Frost, Vernon Goertz, Yichun Ho, Richard Kodakoff, James Ludlum, Thomas McPaul, Leon Meuwisser, William Munson, Hugh Murray, Peter Niblo, George Oakay, Stephen Rodgers, David Schermon, Paul Seema, Christopher Thompson, Nick Zapata

DEA-CIA agents in other cities in the US:

Michael Brom, Miami; Patrick C. Gregory, San Diego; Michael Grimes, Dallas; Charles G. James, Norfolk; Cornell James McGeehan, Baltimore; Robert J. McGuire, Miami; James R. Montage, Deeming, New Mexico; Michael A. Powers, New York; John L. Price, Wilmington, Delaware; Thomas R. Russo, Baltimore; David R. Wiser, Albuquerque; Thomas Tripodi, Baltimore

The group is also making public information on Interpol agents involved in drug smuggling.


“Interpol agent, Augusto Cortez Quiroga of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, runs cocaine, and has raided cocaine laboratories and taken cocaine and sold it.

“Robert Para of Chochabamba, Bolivia, used to be head of Bolivian Interpol, and is a major drug trafficker. He uses Brazil as a main base of operations.

The group also made other revelations.

“The FBI is currently conducting an under-cover investigation of minority businesses in Los Angeles. No level of business is excluded as long as it is minority run and opreated including a simple soul food restaurant in Hollywood.

“A Chicano legal defense fund group in Los Angeles has an FBI infiltrator in it who earlier worked with Chicano groups in San Francisco.

“A principle supporter and founder of the so-called Citizens Legal Defense Fund for the FBI, Marvin Liebman, used to be a member of the Communist Party and the Young Communist League.

“We are,” Maren said, grass roots vigilantes spying out the forces of evil. The media calls it investigative reporting. Dishonest officials with criminal acts to hid call it a ‘threat to national security.'”

Maren recently posted this photo of himself from his spy days at the Guardian’s Office, Scientology’s spy wing in those days…


Here he is more recently, third from the left, receiving a certificate for completing a course aboard Scientology’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds


Today, Maren sells a book, “The Natural Laws of Management: The Admin Scale,” which he says is “based in part on the works of L. Ron Hubbard.”

We wonder if any of his current clients ever ask him about his Snow White days.



HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles

This year’s HowdyCon is in Los Angeles. People tend to come in starting on Thursday, and that evening we will have a casual get-together at a watering hole. We have something in mind, but for now we’re not giving out information about it.

Friday night we will be having an event in a theater (like we did on Saturday night last year in Chicago). There will not be a charge to attend this event, but if you want to attend, you need to RSVP with your proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail.

On Saturday, we are joining forces with Janis Gillham Grady, who is having a reunion in honor of the late Bill Franks. Originally, we thought this event might take place in Riverside, but instead it’s in the Los Angeles area. If you wish to attend the reunion, you will need to RSVP with Janis (janisgrady AT gmail), and there will be a small contribution she’s asking for in order to help cover her costs.

HOTEL: Janis tells us she’s worked out a deal with Hampton Inn and Suites, at 7501 North Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, (818) 768-1106. We have a $159 nightly rate for June 19 to 22. Note: You need to ask for the “family reunion” special rate.



Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Spinning cars, self-healing cuts — more ‘OT’ ghost stories from Scientologists
[TWO years ago] DOX: Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s nutty scheme to strong-arm America’s psychologists
[THREE years ago] Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’ premieres at Tribeca: Our on-scene report
[FOUR years ago] Scientology hit with another federal lawsuit over refunds — but with a twist
[FIVE years ago] The rising business star, his mother, and Scientology’s attempt to rip them apart
[SIX years ago] Hysterical Hyper-Sight, and Other Lost Concepts of Dianetics
[SEVEN years ago] One Year Ago Today: Did the Squirrel Busters Mark the Beginning of the End of Scientology?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,420 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,549 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,053 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,533 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 596 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 484 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,791 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,659 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,433 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,207 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,553 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,119 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,039 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,206 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,787 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,048 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,087 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,799 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,325 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,414 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,554 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,874 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,730 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,849 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,205 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,507 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,613 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,015 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,887 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,470 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,965 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,219 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,328 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 18, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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