The Church of Scientology has a persecution complex. It apparently was born with it.
The church was founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. A biographical sketch supplied by the church states that Hubbard devised the basic doctrine of his religion while recovering from World War II injuries in a naval hospital.
It recounts that Hubbard explained his theories in a 1950 book entitled Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and then, in response to grassroots demand for more information, founded the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation.
The biography continues:
"The United States Government at this time attempted to monopolize all his researches and force him to work on a project 'to make man more suggestible' and when he was unwilling, tried to blackmail him by ordering him back to active duty to perform this function. Having many friends he was able to instantly resign from the Navy and escape this trap. The government never forgave him for this and soon began vicious, covert international attacks upon his work, all of which were proven false and baseless, which were to last 27 years and finally culminated in the government being sued for $750-million for conspiracy."
You won't find that story in any government history books. Attempts to learn from the Navy whether any of Hubbard's story is accurate were unsuccessful.
Queried about the church biography's description of Hubbard's career, a Navy spokesman said:
"His service record contains no entry indicating that he was injured as a result of action against the enemy. Injuries he may have suffered during World War II, if any, would be filed in his medical record. Under the Privacy Act, information contained in a person's medical record may be released only with the written consent of that individual.
"He was a patient at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Oakland, Calif., from Sept. 5, 1945 to Dec. 4, 1945. The reason for his hospitalization is not releasable under the Privacy Act for the reasons I have already stated.
"Lt. Hubbard was a naval reservist on inactive duty from Feb. 17, 1946 until Oct. 30, 1950. On 30 Oct. 1950 his resignation from the Naval Reserve was accepted. There is no evidence on record of an attempt to recall him to active duty."
In any case, a high level of tension has existed between the church and the government for at least the past 16 years.
This tension, this belief of Hubbard that he and his religion are targets of a government campaign of persecution, has produced the dark side of Scientology. It gained recent national publicity when a group of church leaders, including the founder's wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, were accused of conspiring to steal government documents and obstruct justice.
The manifestations of the dark side of Scientology are a series of policies issued by Hubbard, as commodore of the church, over a number of years.
Basic to the dark side of Scientology is this definition, written by Hubbard in his dictionary entitled Modern Management Technology Defined: "Truth is what is true for you."
One of the most controversial of Hubbard's dictums was the "Fair Game Law." Under this 1965 law, a suppressive person (SPs in Scientology jargon) "one that actively seeks to suppress or damage Scientology or a Scientologist by suppressive acts" -- should be designated "fair game."
The punishment: "May 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."
Mention that policy to a Scientologist today and he will tell you that it was canceled by Hubbard in 1968. But Hubbard's cancellation said this:
"The practice of declaring people fair game will cease. Fair game may not appear on any Ethics Order. It causes bad public relations.
"This P/L (policy letter) does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP (suppressive person)."
In 1966, Hubbard advised church officials that the way to respond to attacks was to attack the attacker. He wrote:
"This is the correct procedure:
"(1) Spot who is attacking us.
"(2) Start investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies.
"(3) Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them.
"(4) Start feeding lurid, blood, sex, crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press.
"Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way."
Meanwhile, he said, "to get wholly over to cause we must select targets, investigate and expose before they attack us."
Hubbard directed that the courts be used as an avenue of attack. In a 1955 publication, he stated: "... We do not want Scientology to be reported in the press, anywhere else than on the religious page of newspapers. It is destructive of word of mouth to permit the public presses to express their biased and badly reported sensationalism. Therefore we should be very alert to sue for slander at the slightest chance so as to discourage the public presses from mentioning Scientology."
In a publication entitled Ability, the commodore said: "... The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly."
In 1963, the church issued its "Five Press Policies," and one of them instructed members on how to handle a reporter.
"He wants a story," it said. "The only way to handle him are to eject him or to give him a story that he thinks is a story. There are no half-way measures ...
"The rules of newspaper writing today are very exact. And this is probably a far better analysis of the rules than he has, so you could surely win.
"To be printed, a story must contain one or more of these things:
"(1) Harm (Blood, violence, damage, death, scandal).
"(4) Big names.
"(5) The story must be written to invalidate something.
"(6) The story must contain a controversy.
"(7) A story must contain two opposing forces ..."
Hubbard devised a technique of using anonymous or covert methods to destroy an enemy's reputation. He called the tactic "Black Propaganda."
Instruction in its use is contained in a Hubbard policy letter of 1971 reprinted in a volume entitled The Management Series.
"The most involved employment of PR (public relations) is its covert use in destroying the repute of individuals and groups," he wrote. "More correctly, this is technically called BLACK PROPAGANDA. Basically, it is an intelligence technique."
Hubbard created the Guardian Office to protect the church from attack. Mary Sue Hubbard gave the office its goal. "The primary function of the Guardian Office," she said in a Guardian Order of Oct. 19, 1974, "is: To sweep aside opposition sufficiently to create a vacuum into which Scientology can expand."
Orders setting out programs for operatives in the Guardian Office were manifestations of Hubbard's policies.
Oct. 21, 1974: "SITUATION: The IRS (Internal Revenue Service), despite extensive legal and PR handling, is persisting in its attack upon the C of S and LRH ...
"IDEAL SCENE: IRS with no false reports in their files on Scientology, uninterested in Scientology taxes, other than as a routine matter, doing their jobs and busy elsewhere with the usual red tape of a bureaucracy, with the psychotics located and their influence eliminated ...
"PLAN: Finance, PR, and legal continue their actions while B4 enters the arena and gets every single false report in every single IRS file. Once the data has been revealed, the lies can be corrected, the SPs isolated and handled, further PR and legal actions initiated and the IRS attack turned off."
The order directed that agents, "trustworthy and well grooved," immediately infiltrate IRS offices in Washington, Los Angeles and London and obtain copies of the documents.
June 27, 1975: "Info must find the who back of these IRS attacks and document it for exposure plus all other items of interest. It could be IRS and the government is attacking any vocal group to pave the way for some coup by the government. Evidence as to the why of these attacks must be gotten, powerful enough to destroy the attackers when eventually used or revealed."
This order was from Hubbard, who said that somewhere in IRS was "an insane individual with insane plans" who was operating a "false reports factory." He wanted that person found.
Sept. 16, 1976: "Operation Cat." The order said, "The idea is to make a mockery and hold up to ridicule the computer, the security services and authority in relation to FOI (freedom of information.)" The goal: "To plant grossly false information in governmental agencies, especially security services files, for later public retrieval and ridiculing exposure."
Operations like these were not limited to the IRS, or even to government. Documents released by a federal court in Washington show that they were also employed against public officials and private citizens on the Florida Suncoast.
On July 21, 1976, one of the strangest of many strange orders was issued. It was entitled "Operation Bulldozer Leak."
It began: "MAJOR TARGET: To effectively spread the rumor that will lead Government, media, and individual SPs to conclude that LRH has no control of the C of S and no legal liability for church activity."
One is left to wonder how it ended, and where the 68-year-old spiritual leader of Scientology now resides, and what policies he will promulgate next.