Two leaders in Britain still to face U.S. court in conspiracy case
by John Marshall
January 1, 1980
Testimony before a U.S. District Court in Washington said FBI raids on offices of the Church of Scientology in 1977 were specifically in search of evidence of conspiracies to steal government documents and obstruct justice.
The FBI agents found it, the court was told.
As reported yesterday in the first of this series of accounts of the subsequent court proceedings, much of the evidence was in the reports of the cult's spies planted in jobs in strategic offices, and in the files that they stole.
Thousands of seized documents that helped convict nine U.S. Scientologists named as conspirators also gave the court evidence of other crimes and clandestine activities. They also pointed outside the United States -- to the United Kingdom and to Canada.
From Canada there were, among other things, confidential documents from ministerial levels of the Ontario Government.
From the cult's world headquarters in England were communications and orders from Jane Kember and Mo Budlong. They now are appealing extradition orders won by U.S. federal prosecutors about a month ago.
The two are charged with conspiracy to illegally obtain government documents, to obstruct justice and to perform illegal electronic surveillance. (A vital meeting of tax investigators discussing the legal affairs of the wealthy cult was tapped.)
Documentary evidence -- some of which, including Canadian material, was filed with the trial court when Scientologists fought to have the 1977 FBI raids in Los Angeles and Washington declared illegal -- showed the two Britons were participants in, or privy to, orders for a number of criminal conspiracy programs of the international church.
One program was called "Safe U.S." and a copy of it, marked with FBI number 3298 and initialled on every page by agent W.R.S., contributed to the prosecutors' 282-page stipulation of evidence that led to the plea - bargained conviction of the nine U.S. Scientology leaders. (One more who turned informer has yet to be tried.)
The 25-point Safe U.S. program, signed by two of the U.S. conspirators "for Jane," directed Guardians in California, the District of Columbia, Florida and New York to plant agents in federal and state attorneys' offices. It was dated Nov. 18, 1975.
The goal, the four-page document said, was to "obtain data on their intended actions toward Scientology, LRH/MSH (the Hubbards)."
Point 5 ordered: "Place a separate agent into the IRS Office of International Operations (OIO) as this office has a case in preparation or investigation action going on LRH personally for income-tax evasion or something similar."
Guardians were told: "Determine what agency near LRH would serve any federal governmental subpoena ... work out a project to receive immediate intelligence from the office ... and get it done."
They were also told, the court learned, to get or keep spies working on various individuals, including writers, who had been critical of Scientology or who might plan attacks on it.
One Guardian directorate was told to "place a very secure agent into the AMA Chicago headquarters in the best position to obtain data on their intended actions towards us."
(Other documents filed with the court indicated agents had been planted with the American Medical Association, in a number of Government offices and in other private agencies.)
One item in the massive documentation filed by prosecutors was numbered 354 in a 525-page inventory given to U.S. District Judge Charles Richey. Dated Oct. 12, 1973, it was a letter with Mr. Budlong's name on it to a U.S. Guardian.
It was about an operation against the American Cancer Society code named "Smoke". (The prosecutors also filed a number of the church's codes with the courts.) The operation was "to see how much ACS has been doing against Sc ... indications fairly active ...
"At this time we have operatives in their national headquarters (N.Y.) and in the following states: Massachusetts, Nevada, Cal. -- which should provide ample information."
A message to Mr. Budlong in April, 1973, was about the need "to infiltrate more agents into target organization," the central bureau of the Better Business Bureau, and also said the Guardians should "begin program of infiltration into major drug concerns" and "sue ... as many groups as possible."
In evidence Box C8 (the court documents were kept in large cardboard cartons) was an April, 1973, letter from Mary Sue Hubbard, wife of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. She has been sentenced to a maximum five years in prison for her role in the conspiracy. Mr. Hubbard was one of 23 named as unindicted co-conspirators.
The rambling communication suggested the Scientologists might get the drug industry on their side if they could help somehow in getting drugs made more available in the United States, as they have been elsewhere in the world.
Mr. Budlong was told by another U.S. Guardian that an agent had been planted on the staff of a member of the Co-Ordinating Conference on Health Organizations. Many binders of CCHO documents were found in the Scientologists' possession, the court heard.
The Kember and Budlong names were included with those of four convicted U.S. conspirators on a key piece of the federal evidence. It consisted of four single-spaced foolscap sheets outlining "Program Snow White".
The document was dated March 27, 1976, and said the program was aimed at making Mr. Hubbard free to visit "all western nations ... without threat."
This was to be done, all top Guardian offices and those in local organizations were told, by locating and obtaining "all false and secret files on Scientology, LRH, Dianetics (and other Scn names) that cannot be obtained" by legal means.
In a message of Nov. 1, 1974 (FBI number 6131 in the court files) the British leaders were told: "Today we gained access to the top-level IRS planning conference on what to do about Scientology. This was done electronically."
The resulting tapes, the U.S. Guardians reported to their superiors, were poor, but they were able to send along a summary of the U.S. tax agency's plans for litigation against the cult.
In addition to documentation on codes, chains of commands and operations, the U.S. attorneys filed documents specifying the duties of Scientology officials.
Miss Kember, working at the cult's world headquarters in England, is Guardian World Wide. Mr. Budlong is Deputy Guardian Intelligence World Wide.
Evidence before the U.S. court indicated the two British citizens were the highest-ranking Guardians after Mrs. Hubbard, who holds the titles of Controller of the church and Commodore Staff Guardian. Her husband is called Commodore.
One document was a log of orders sent around the world from Mr. Budlong on World Guardian Kember's behalf on Feb. 18, 1977.
Sandwiched between orders to the Deputy Assistant Guardian Australia and the Deputy Guardian Intelligence United Kingdom was one to Deputy Guardian Information Canada.
Entitled "Shell Game", it ordered the Canadian officials to locate whoever inherited the papers of Dr. Brock Chisholm, the controversial psychiatrist who had directed the World Health Organization and who died in Victoria in 1971.
"Using a suitable guise," someone was to go through the papers and copy anything related to Scientology or Mr. Hubbard.
Current members of the World Federation of Mental Health were to be checked "in any way suitable" to see whether they might have any such documents. "If files are discovered, obtain them," the order said.
The Canadian references were either in inquiries and reports by U.S. Guardians, in some cases to Mr. Hubbard, or in communications from Canadian Guardians reporting and sending documents to their next-in-line superiors, then in the United States.
There were reports of Canadian Guardians harassing the McLean family of Sutton, Ont. (Eric and Nan McLean, their two sons and a daughter-in-law had all defected from Scientology.)
A U.S. Deputy Guardian with the name or code name Flavian referred in a March 24, 1975, directive to an "outstanding order" against the McLeans dated Feb. 2, 1973, not long after the defection.
He said that the Canadian Guardian unit, called B4, "is trying to discredit McLean to his next-door neighbors but the only possible beneficial result of that action that would help us is if McLean is ridden out of town on a rail, and 'the public' are notoriously apathetic about doing this even when the 'proof' (sic) is exposed, much less what B4 Canada are doing."
The court document showed Flavian to be critical of the ineffectiveness of the handling of the McLeans' case and called for a survey of the whole operation.
Another document, an entry dated May 5, 1973, in a log seized by the FBI, noted that an agent had been planted in the McLean household and that he should look for weaknesses in family relationships and see whether he could take action so that "this crowd ... would start to break up."
Part of the prosecution submissions to the grand jury that indicted the U.S. Scientology leaders and the subsequent trial were weekly reports seized from Scientology files. Any one report covered many items, and along with those directly related to the U.S. conspiracy charges were others, including a number of references to the McLeans, particularly in relation to visits by Mrs. McLean and her son, John, to Florida.
Guardian agents reported at various dates in 1976 how the two Canadians were covertly followed from one city to another and how their hotel was "staked out". According to the evidence, some cult agents found in advance who the McLeans were going to visit who might be influenced by them against Scientology. Other agents, Guardian leaders were told, went ahead of the McLeans and took action to reduce their effectiveness.
Mrs. McLean was also referred to in the prosecuting attorneys' sentencing brief to Judge Richey last November. It involved what church documents called the "bono letter op."
The state's brief quoted an "eyes only" Scientology report: "This was a letter incriminating Canadian entheta (meaning critical) reporter (Mark) Bonokoski (Toronto Sun) that was taken off the CW (Clearwater) Sun comm lines by June.
"This letter pinpoints June as an operative ... it was sent to Canada for use where Canada made it public, thus pinpointing June as the area and most probably the one who would have taken the letter. June was pulled out of the (Clearwater) Sun and sent to LA because it was thought that there was an ongoing postal investigation on the letter, i.e., tampering with the U.S. mails."
The letter had been sent to a reporter at the Clearwater paper. It referred to Mrs. McLean. The Toronto Scientologists used it in a lawsuit against her and Mr. Bonokoski.
The court files also included reports from the agent in the Clearwater Sun and her superiors' weekly summaries reporting on the activities of reporter John Marshall in Clearwater, on assignment for The Globe and Mail.
One, dated April 1, 1976, noted the information had been Telexed to world headquarters and to Canada.
There were also reports on exchanges of information between the Globe reporter and Clearwater Sun reporters, including, a daily report said, "info on the Canadian B & E episode." (The California journalists had received information about the conviction in October, 1975, in Toronto of two men, Michael Chornopesky and Allen Coulson, on a charge of possession of burglary tools. They were Guardians in the Toronto church.)
A separate document in the court file contains a notation, "Chornopesky at WW."
One 13-page document seized by the FBI and submitted to the trial judge was a 1970 year-end report to the Hubbards with a copy to Miss Kember in England. It was from "Bob, D/G US" and headed: "U.S. Guardian Office Wins in 1970."
A number of the wins were in Canada. They included: "Penetrated Toronto mental health hospital and established an agent as director of volunteers."
And: "Successfully maintained clandestine operation against Canadian MHA (Mental Health Association) involving clandestine monitoring of files. Maintained continuous third-party actions between Canadian MHA and the Canadian Government."
(Prosecuting attorneys said that to "third party" someone is Scientology jargon for covert action not implicating the cult that will confuse and disrupt some individual or agency and that sometimes will damage their relations with some other person or agency.)
There also was a letter from a Toronto intelligence office, "Tinkerbell", to a superior in the Eastern U.S. Guardian office called "Twinkletoes".
It commented: "Re third-party letters (groovy!!!) what a way to shake them up." Tinkerbell's letter accompanied a pack of materials from files kept by someone in Canada in the mental health field.