Scientology Crime Syndicate

======== Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: New Times LA: The Finger: HOLY HUBBARDITE!
From: Garry
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 19:39:32 -0700

From New Times L.A., October 14, The Finger (columnist)

"That's not church policy, for heaven's sake!" Scientology parson Andy Bagley says of a harassing letter he once penned. "That was just my Irish temperament."


The Finger loves the Church of Scientology. It really does. The hypersensitive followers of the late L. Ron Hubbard provide endless hours of distracting fun. Which was particularly true after a recent 'New Times' cover story by Ron Russell, a congratulatory pat on the back to Scientologists who used cunning and wit to do the Cult Awareness Network what Hubbardite John Travolta did to that kid Marvin in the back seat of the car in 'Pulp Fiction.'

See, the church had long hated the Cult Awareness Network, a bunch of busybodies always sticking their noses into Scientology's business, calling it a "dangerous, litigious cult." So some clever Scientology attorneys recruited a Christian kid to sue the Network over a failed deprogrogramming attempt that had little to do with CAN. The ploy worked, and the canny Scientology operatives managed not only to bankrupt CAN, but to take over it's assets and begin answering it's phones! Holy Psychogalvanometer, how's that for payback?!

But local Scientologists, many of whom to seem to have had their senses of humor removed after listening to Hubbard's 3,500 taped lectures, didn't see how the article made them out to be such shrewd operators.

Among the throng jamming The Finger's e-mail and filling it's mailbags was Rev. Andy Bagley, a longtime Church of Scientology minister and Executive Director of the New Cult Awareness Network. In his missive published in the September 30 New Times letters section, Bagley wrote that he was a WWII vet who had been around the block a few times and recognized "puffball journalism" when he saw it. Like others who called, e-mailed or wrote, Bagley didn't understand why Ron Russell hadn't put the old CAN in a harsher light. Instead, Bagley complained, it was Scientology that was made out to be a villain. "I recognize hatespeak (words like fringe, vanquish, assault, enemy, conspiracy) when I see it," he wrote.

Hold on there, Bagman! Decades of membership in L. Ron's church is supposed to give Scientologists like yourself the power to read minds, leave their bodies, and mentally heal all illnesses. Doesn't it also enable devotees to recognize sheer admiration when they read it?

Bagley must have missed New Time's esteem for the church's legal maneuvers that brought one of it's bitterest foes to it's knees. Bagley wrote that New Times had the new pro-Scientology CAN all wrong, that under his leadership the new CAN wages, "a daily fight to get people to overcome labels, generalities, and misconceptions, and treat each other with compassion and respect."

Could it be that Scientology doesn't deserve any admiration for it's ruthlessness? Has the new CAN gone all warm and fuzzy under the leadership of Rev. Bagley?

Eventually, The Finger learned that Rev. Bagley was just being modest. No wonder the venerable Bagmeister has been made the head honcho at the new CAN. Just get a load of the righteous ass-whipping he gave a poor Midwestern father more than three decades ago. The poppa had naively reported the Church of Scientology to police authorities when it tried to strong-arm him to pay $350 of his son's unpaid bills for "spiritual courses."

Wrote Rev. Bagley: "Rather than let my lawyers have all the fun, I will write to you this once and straighten you out. I have a great urge to beggar you to your last pair of socks, but I will curb the desire a little longer. If you had the wit of a DEMENTED SWINEHERD, you would have read those pieces of literature I so graciously had sent you... I AM AN EXPERT AT HARASSMENT, try me and find out. You are not smart enough. You haven't the funds to go through lengthy court battles. We have. Bigger men than you have done their best to stop us. They failed. So will you because you are A BLATANT MORON in comparison... I have never seen one person yet that resisted Scientology who didn't have a great deal to hide."

Bagley's letter showed up in a 1970 book, "The Scandal of Scientology," by Paulette Cooper, the first in a long line of authors who dared to suggest that Hubbard was a megalomaniac who had created a pyramid scheme and then called it a religion. But Cooper would later get hers (more on that below). Cooper writes that Bagley's letter ended on an "ominous note:"

"If you want to start a Donnybrook, Buddy, wail away; to use the argot of the streets I'll just start my people to work on you and then before long you will be broke, and out of a job and BROKEN IN HEALTH. Then I can have my nasty little chuckle about you and get back to work....You won't take long to finish off. I would estimate three weeks. Remember: I am not a mealy-mouthed psalm (sic) canting preacher. I am a minister of the Church of Scientology! I AM ABLE TO HEAL THE SICK AND I DO! But, I have other abilities, which include KNOWLEDGE OF MEN'S MINDS THAT I WILL USE TO CRUSH YOU TO YOUR KNEES. You or any other wretch that stands in our way."

Cooper notes that the letter ended with a P.S.: "Don't reply to this letter. If I want to get in touch with you, I'll be able to find you. Anywhere."

The father paid the bill.

Now that's some ministering to the afflicted! The Finger was anxious to ask Rev. Bagley about "his knowledge of men's minds" that he could use to crush people. It sounded a lot less strenuous and certainly cheaper than the Krav Maga (Israeli self-defense) classes The Finger's been taking to learn how to impale enemies.

But Rev. Bagley is so humble, he ducked this digit's calles for days. Then, just the other day, The Finger got Bagley on the phone just long enough to identify himself.

"Go away," said the Bagman before he hung up on me. Later, Bagley called back to say that, yes, he had written the letter in question. But refusing to take the credit he deserved, Bagley modestly downplayed the letter's spleen. He explained that he had been a young minister with a fire in his belly. "I have been hammered over that letter for a long time," Bagley told this appendage. "I wrote it in 1961. It has been used against me ever since. I have never written another one like it before or since," he said, putting it down to "losing his cool." He doesn't know how Pauletter Cooper got a hold of the letter to put in her book. "I do know that it has certainly been used against me hard and heavy."

But what about the letter's threats to unleash the powers of L. Ron Hubbard's CRACK SQUADS SPECIALIZING IN INTIMIDATION, INVESTIGATION, AND HARASSMENT? "That's not church policy, for heaven's sake!" replied the parson. "That was just my Irish temperament."

The old Cult Awareness Network got under the Church of Scientology's skin by continually saying that such threats and harassment were standard church policy. And who did it point to as one of the most obvious examples? Why, Pauletter Cooper, of course, the author who dared to print Bagley's letter and alot of other unflattering things in "The Scandal of Scientology."

After the book came out, Hubbard's wacky 'Guardians Office' went after Cooper in a campaign called 'OPERATION FREAKOUT'. Guardians Office operatives set out to vex Cooper so incessantly that she would either go insane or be sent or be sent to prison, and they nearly succeeded at both. Covert Scientology church agents managed to get Cooper indicted for threatening to bomb the church, and it took years for her to clear her name. Only after FBI agents found 'Operation Freakout' documents in a 1977 raid of the church (documents which laid out how the church planned to frame Cooper) were the charges against her dropped.

But those were the good old days. The Guardians Office has been replaced by the less wacky Office of Special Affairs. L. Ron himself has gone on to continue his research of the human mind without his human body, and the church has stopped doing such over-the-top stuff like breaking into IRS offices, for which 11 of Scientology's top members eventually went to prison.

At least Andy "Crusher" Bagley's running things at CAN. Onward, Hubbard soldier!

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