Scientology Crime Syndicate

"Joel J. Hanes" wrote:


John A. Lee's study on non-medical healing practices, reported to the Committee for the Healing Arts of the Province of Ontario:

"The "Church" used the same techniques for dealing with us as it instructs its members to use against any alleged opponent or apostate, the so-called "Suppressive Persons" techniques... In our case this involved scurrilous press releases accusing at least one member of the Committee on the Healing Arts of personal "crimes" and impugning the motives of the whole Committee.

In 1970, the Ontario Committee on the Healing Arts pronounced:

"... the Committee concluded ... that scientologists do purport to heal. ... With no other group in the healing arts did the Committee encounter the uncooperative attitude evinced by the Church of Scientology. ... the public authorities in Ontario ... should keep the activities of Scientology under constant scrutiny."

Oct 1975:
Michael Chornopesky and Allen Coulson, members of Scientology's Guardian's Office in Toronto, plead guilty to possession of burglary tools, after having been found in a locked section of a downtown Toronto office building in April 1974. Chornopesky testified that the two intended to enter a particular law office in the building. First offenders, they were given suspended sentences.

The Toronto Globe and Mail publishes a series of reports on the contents of documents siezed by the FBI in a massive 1977 raid of US Scientology offices in Los Angeles and Washington DC:

- Confidential documents from various Ontario Government offices, including an attorney-general's communication about police intelligence operations.

- Documents stolen from the U.S. government, including tax records of prominent individuals.

- Plans to harass Canadian ex-Scientologists Eric and Nan MacLean, and their family.

- Records of the bound-and-gagged imprisonment, by Scientology, of member Michael Meisner.

- Reports that Scientology operatives had "penetrated Toronto mental health hospital and established an agent as director of volunteers."

- Many reports of Scientology having agents in Better Business Bureau offices, and of the acquisition of BBB documents critical of the cult's business practices.

- A report summarizing the contents of US and Canadian Better Business Bureau files on Scientology.

- A report mentioning an aborted breaking-and-entering attempt in Toronto

[ http://www.rickross.com/reference/canada3.html ]

The Ontario Provincial Police begins an investigation, "Project 20". Two undercover officers infiltrate the Toronto church.

March 1983:
Armed with warrants based on over 1000 pages of police testimony, more than one hundred Ontario Provincial Police raid the premises of The Church of Scientology of Toronto and of Michael P. Zaharia. Some 850 boxes containing about 39,000 files and books, or about 2,000,000 documents, statements and tapes were removed in a massive, two-day search.

Over the next six years, a complex mass of litigation ensues, in which Scientology challenges the validity of the warrants, the charges, and the value of the stolen documents, and claims sacerdotal privilege of priest/penitent confidentiality for much of the seized documentation.

Scientology also sets out to destroy the reputation of Casey Hill, the Crown Attorney who is preparing the case for the prosecution. Hill is identified as "Enemy Canada", and a dossier on him is begun.

Sept 1984
Scientology lawyer Morris Manning appears in his barrister's robes at a press conference on the steps of the Appeal Court building, and alleges that Casey Hill has misled a Supreme Court judge and has breached the court order sealing the seized documents. A motion for contempt based on these allegations is filed with the court.

Within ten days, Scientology learns that at least some of its allegations are untrue. It continues to press them for seven years.

December 1984:
CosT and a number of individuals are formally charged with various criminal offenses. Eventually 19 persons (CoST + 18 individuals) are charged or summonsed.

December 1985:
Nanna Anderson pleads guilty to stealing documents from the Ontario Medical Association, at the behest of the Church of Scientology, between November 1976 and March 1983.

In a bizarre move, CoST offers to donate "possibly millions" of dollars to charities if the government will drop charges against the Church itself. Scientology makes no similar offer to protect the individual members charged with committing crimes on its behalf.

September 1990:
The accused Scientologists, and the Church of Scientology of Toronto, are indicted on charges of theft and/or possession of stolen documents, and of Breach of Trust by Public Officer. (disclosing to unauthorized persons information coming to his knowledge or possession by reason of his office)

February, 1991.
Attorney General for the Province of Ontario Howard Hampton files an additional preferred indictment against CoST and ten members. The indictment charges the defendants with infiltrating, stealing documents, or Breach of Trust at the following organizations between April 1975 and Jan 1978:

1. Fasken & Calvin [law firm].
2. Goodman & Goodman [law firm].
3. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario [medical governing body].
4. Ontario Medical Association.
5. Canadian Mental Health Association.
6. Ontario Provincial Police.
7. Metropolitan Toronto Police.
8. Attorney General of Ontario.
9. Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Indicted were the Church of Scientology Toronto as an organization, Jaqueline Matz, Paul Charbonneau, Janet Wilkens, Anne Walsh, Clara Schneider, Ernest Lehmann, Marilyn Belaire, Jaan Joot, Janice Wheeler and Donald Whitmore

Persons named but not charged in this preferred indictment were: Cynthia Bake, Donna Cavanaugh, Jaqueline Carmichael, John Bradley, Kathleen Lepp, Michael Symington, Nancy Troiani, Nanna Anderson, and Susan Lemieux.

October 1991
A jury finds Church of Scientology Toronto guilty of aggravated libel against Hon. Casey Hill. Awards against the Church of Scientology Toronto are $300,000 in damages, $500,000 in aggravated damages, and $800,000 in punitive damages, for a total of $1.6 million, the largest libel judgment in Canadian history. Hill is also awarded $300,000 in damages from Scientology lawyer Morris Manning. An immediate appeal is filed.

The day after the jury's verdict, Scientology republishes the libel in a press release delivered to the media.

December 1991
Mr. Justice James Southey rules that all documents seized in the 1983 raid are "confessional materials" and are thus inadmissible as evidence. Without this evidence, the none of the theft charges can be prosecuted, and they receive directed verdicts of not guilty.

June 1992
(Which court?) Guilty verdicts on the charges of Breach of Public Trust: Jaqueline Matz is found guilty on two counts, and fined $5,000. Janice Wheeler is found guilty on one count, and fined $2,000. Donald Whitmore is found guilty on one count, and fined $2,000. The Church of Scientology of Toronto is found guilty on two counts, and fined $250,000.

March 1992
Mr. Justice Douglas Carruthers rules that Scientology must pay Casey Hill pre-judgment interest at the rate of 10% from 1985, effectively adding $500,000 more to the award.

When a lawyer for Mr. Hill, Robert Armstrong, attempts to collect, he finds that the Church's offices, with an appraised value of $6 million, have been mortgaged to the Church of Scientology of California. The cash from the mortgages has ostensibly been used to pay legal fees. Scientology, which owed $1 million to the law firm of Clayton Ruby, has paid them $3.1 million. [ Armstrong asserts that the church's property was essentially debt-free before the trial, but within weeks it had three mortgages registered against it for $10 million. ]

May 1994
The Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously upholds Casey Hill's libel judgment against CoST.

July 1995
The Supreme Court in Canada affirms Hill's libel judgment against CoST. The ruling reads, in part:

"Scientology continued its attack against Casey Hill throughout the trial of this action, both in the presence of the jury and in its absence. More than once, it reiterated the libel even though it knew that these allegations were false. ...

"In summary, every aspect of this case demonstrates the very real and persistent malice of Scientology. ...

"Scientology's behavior throughout can only be characterized as recklessly high-handed, supremely arrogant and contumacious. There seems to have been a continuing conscious effort on Scientology's part to intensify and perpetuate its attack on Casey Hill without any regard for the truth of its allegations. ...

"There can be no doubt that the conduct of Scientology in the publication of the injurious false statement pertaining to its 'enemy' was malicious. Its publication was carefully planned and carried out in a manner which ensured its widest possible dissemination in the most damaging manner imaginable. ... Scientology's actions from the time of publication, throughout the trial, and after the trial decision was rendered constituted a continuing attempt at character assassination by means of a statement which it knew to be false. It was such outrageous conduct that it cried out for the imposition of punitive damages.

Scientology finally pays Casey Hill, including interest. Seven of the ten existing Scientology organizations in Ontario are subsequently closed.

Sept 1996
Court of Appeal for Ontario upholds 1992 criminal conviction of Church of Scientology Toronto for Breach of Public Trust.

Sept 1999
Revenue Canada reveals that it has refused Scientology's petition to be recognized as a Charity for Religious Purposes.


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