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Scientology Church official quits

Title: Scientology Church official quits
Date: Tuesday, 29 July 1980
Publisher: Las Vegas Review Journal
Main source: link (262 KiB)

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The top spokesman for the Church of Scientology in Nevada, Arizona and Utah has defected from the church, causing considerable concern among Scientology officials.

Church officials are warned about her knowledge of dubious church activities, which may arouse the interest of the FBI.

Carol Garrity of Las Vegas has gone into seclusion and is shunning all direct contact with the church, a close friend of the former church official said. Garrity could not be reached for comment.

Church officials have confirmed Garrity left her post July 18, but said it was not known why. It is believed Garrity left the church after five years because a close friend became disenchanted and left.

She has retained the legal help of local attorney Kent Dawson and is seeking representation from Michael Flynn, a Boston attorney who has filed several suits on behalf of former Scientologists.

Last week, another source said, worried church officials came to Las Vegas and attempted to negotiate a censoring pact with Garrity's local attorney which provided that she would promptly get all the money she still had on account at the church in return for her silence.

Garrity turned down the offer.

Church officials are alarmed by Garrity's defection because she knows first-hand about several dubious tactics employed by the church against those it perceives as its enemies, the Review-Journal was told.

According to the source, she can testify the church has conducted spy operations against ex-Scientologists from Las Vegas and performed background checks on the Review-Journal's city editor and managing editor and the Donrey Media Group vice president. The Review-Journal is a Donrey publication.

The operations conducted against the dissidents were allegedly aimed at Eddie Walters and about 30 other former Scientologists in the Las Vegas area. Walters, who was at one time one of the most highly trained Scientologists in Las Vegas, left the church about two years ago with 14 other dissatisfied members.

The exodus prompted a major shakeup at the Vegas branch of the church.

The background checks of Review-Journal executives came after a negative article on the church was published two years ago, according to the source close to Garrity. The background of City Editor Sherman R. Frederick, the writer of the article, was conducted by local church information collectors.

After his background checked "clean," the church investigators conducted a background check on Managing Editor Mary Hausch and Donrey Vice President Fred Smith. They also showed "clean" backgrounds and the operations were filed and classified a "bust," the source said.

The Review-Journal subsequently published two other articles on the church, both of which were considered negative by the church.

Frederick has been labeled a "suppressive person" by the church, which means he "actively seeks to damage Scientology ... by suppressive acts," according to the source.

Church spokesman Vaughn Young of Los Angeles said the allegations regarding the spy operations were "not being denied" but will be addressed in a soon-to-be-filed court document.

Concerning the background investigations conducted on Review-Journal executives, Young said he could not confirm they took place.

But if they did, there was nothing wrong with them, he said.

"I do this all the time with everybody I work with. To me this is the same thing as you (a reporter) going to a morgue file. It is a very standard procedure," he said.