On Thu, 05 Apr 2001 09:00:01 +0200, Tilman Hausherr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>It has been my observation that the Scientology UFO cult can do
>*anything* they want. The Cipriano declaration (about perjury etc) did
>not have any effect. The Tabayoyon declaration (stockpiling weapons) did
>not have any effect. The Armstrong trial (including an attempt to murder
>Armstrong) did not have any effect. The Stacy Moxon "accident" (about a
>scientologist who liked squirrels so much, LOL) did not have any effect.
>The imprisonment of Frank Notaro, Roxanne Friend, Marianne Coenan,
>Dee Rowe, Dorothy Geary and of course Lisa McPherson did not have any
>effect. And the Wager deposition (about perjury etc) will also not have
>The situation is this - scientology will continue to be allowed to
>commit crimes as long as these crimes aren't against the global general
>public. I'd compare this to the AUM cult. They were also allowed to
>commit all sort of crimes and the police knew about it but didn't bother
>(instead they were harassing a victim of AUM). This went on and on until
>they repeated their gas attack (which had been done before in a small
>city) on a *general* public in Tokyo.
>The only thing that can be done is to keep mentioning these crimes to
>the general public, so that more and more people are warned.
>Don't expect help by the FBI. The FBI isn't a law enforcement
>organisation. It is simply a branch of the government that is allowed to
>do activities against people it doesn't like. Sometimes this does
>include anti-crime activities, often not.
While I must agree regretfully with most of the points of your pessimistic assessment, I do not necessarily agree with what seems to be a call for inaction, not necessarily in your own post but in many others of the same general tone. In fact, I think this is the time not only for renewed but for intensified action, and I will explain why I think this. Even while these FBI complaints and complaints to other federal, state and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies only have a minimal likelihood of resulting in any sort of decisive action, even a minimal chance of success is enough to force the cult to resort to counter-intelligence and infiltration activities, at a vastly greater outlay of monetary and personnel expenses. And indeed, these reactions of the cult may indeed themselves result in the very law enforcement actions the cult is attempting to prevent. Lest you think this highly unlikely, do recall that this is exactly how they ended up in the Snow White mess. This has resulted in a permanent black mark affixed to the cult, and this does, indeed, go down on their record. I find your comparison to AUM particularly appropriate in some respects but not in others (which I'll go into later). That is to say, the cult is not likely to spark a serious agency-wide response without committing some genuinely dangerous action that simply rises above the level of what can be ignored. It is, indeed, entirely possible that as the cult shrinks, with the reasonable members leaving, that the organization will become increasingly radical with the leaving of those not fully committed to the cult's criminal program. This shrinking could cost the cult the moderating influence of needing to retain members, and a feeling of nothing left to lose. In tihs worst-case scenario, of a paranoid and violent terrorist attack of some kind, or the more likely alternative of resorting to the outright assassination of critics, it is of the utmost importance that the agency responsible for responding to the threat already have a vast store of data on this highly complex transnational entity. Outside of their own self-directed investigations, they need the benefits of the investigations of lay personnel in distributed locations. Then if the need ever arises for an agency-wide response, they will already have the information they need to make an informed response, rather than an ad hoc response based on "similar situations." (The important thing here is there are very few similar situations to Scientology, and therefore any such ad hoc response would tend to be fatally flawed.) That could save lives. Also, the mere fact that the agency does and is collecting information on the behvaior of the Scientology organization tends to keep them somewhat on their toes and reminds them, continually, that their every move is being watched. This increases the reservation and caution which has moderated Scientology's violent and criminal conduct in the past, at least generally preventing them from engaging in outright murder. Scientology has always (in an admittedly wonky way) weighed the benefits of their actions to the cult against their ramifications or likelihood of "flashing back" to the org. While this hasn't prevented even astoundingly criminal conspiracies, it has at least restrained them, generally, from outright murder, and even, in the majority of cases, from attempts at murder. Now back to the AUM analogy. The analogy fails at one point in comparison to the situation of the Japanese National Police Agency (NPA) with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Japanese national attitude toward police has generally hobbled the NPA from any serious ability to conduct national-level investigations and make rapid responses to developing situations. While the FBI faces similar inter-agency and internal rivalries, making low-level investigations difficult at times, when a true threat emerges, the FBI has often shown a remarkable ability to conduct efficient and top-flight investigation and law enforcment actions. When the FBI is truly up on a situation they are an impressive agency capable of decisive action mustering a formidable arsenal of experience and resources. These include informational resources. While these reports may, indeed, molder inside a "nut file" for years, when and if they are needed, they will be there. Patterns may develop in the information that aren't obvious or even perceptible to a decentralized group, and these patterns may prove critical. (Conversely, the FBI can indeed benefit from firsthand reports of personal knowledge from a variety of sources or even the Internet itself.) This does not obliterate the often just criticism that it is, indeed, a political agency which acts, much of the time, on political motivations, self-interest, and even, on too many occasions, as a repressive and even fascist institution engaged in the wanton violation of civil liberties and privacy rights, but this is not the issue that concerns us here (though it certainly concerns many of us in other contexts). The issue is that at its best, the FBI is simply one of the world's best and largest law enforcement agencies, and whatever else it might do, it has and will continue to protect society from genuinely dangerous groups, whatever its other missteps. While an agency like the BATF can easily be seen as a rogue agency which is rotten to the core, and essentially unncessary, this can not be said about the FBI, which is the backbone of the nation's ability to counteract domestic threats at the national level. This does not mean that we can expect immediate, or even any serious law-enforcement response to the cult's current level of criminal activity (unless I am grossly underestimating certain potentially embarrassing internal difficulties that could cause "loss of face" if not addressed). However, the somewhat moderating influence this scrutiny will cause the cult in its actions and even a slight level of restraint across the entire organization is by itself worth continuing to report these matters to the FBI. If anything, such activities should be increased. The FBI did not take action in Snow White without previously receiving massive quantities of information on the cult, and this informed their actions in the raids to guarantee they would be able to choose their locations and methods in order to get the "Red Box Data" without which the successful prosecution of Mary Sue Hubbard and other Snow White criminals would not have occurred. The sheer volume and distributed locations of these reports makes it entirely clear to the FBI that the behavior of the cult is systemic and international, and furthermore requires that at least one agent of the FBI be conversant enough with the materials to investigate, classify, and eventually file the documents in a useful manner. The FBI essentially keeps records in perpetuity. The historical usefulness of this can not be overstressed. Even if no other useful result of filing these reports were to occur than that they would be available through FOIA for future researchers and historians for decades, if not centuries, even if history were the only interested party, it would still be invaluable and indispensable to have done it. So while I share the pessimistic outlook that I doubt any wide-reaching or immediate result will occur as a result of these filings, they are still necessary. We will certainly not win with an attitude of despair, resignation, apathy or passivity. If it even restrains the cult's actions one iota on an effectively national scale, it could, combined with our other actions, prevent the slide into madness which befell the AUM cult. Naturally, if no such thing happens, we will not get the material satisfaction of knowing we prevented it. That will not mean that it was not worthwhile to do. Further, if we have not done everything within our power to inform the authorities, and a catastrophe does occur, we will not have to live with knowing that we knew, but did nothing. Hence, there is no possible result from filing these reports than a positive result, and the potentially negative results (of getting an "appears mental" scrawled on them at the time) are so minimal as to be beneath consideration. Therefore, in conclusion, from a cost-benefit analysis perspective, the filing of reports with the FBI and other national, state and federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies concerning illegal and criminal activities of the Scientology cult is a low-cost high-benefit activity which should be continued and expanded. ptsc