All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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WASHINGTON — The Clearwater branch of the Church of Scientology actively participated in a master plan of founder L. Ron Hubbard apparently aimed at taking over the world, internal cult documents reveal.
In Clearwater, the plan centered on removing from office political and and media figures considered "enemies" of the cult: former mayor Gabriel Cazares, Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney James Russell, Clearwater Sun Editor Ron Stuart and local broadcaster Bob Snyder.
But on a grander scale, Hubbard's scheme was to "obliterate" and otherwise take control of countless national and worldwide government and private agencies he perceived as foes, the documents show.
The goal of the assistant guardians, according to Hubbard's policy statements, is "to sweep aside opposition sufficiently to create a vacuum into which Scientology can expand."
In 1969, Hubbard wrote, "Our war has been forced to become to take over, absolutely the field of mental healing on this planet in all forms. Our total victory will come when we run his (the enemy's) organization, perform his functions and obtain his financing and appropriations."
Another memo to assistant guardians — one based in Clearwater and others around the country — outlined these Hubbard "targets":
* "Depopularizing the enemy, to the point of obliteration."
* "Taking over the control for allegiance of the heads or proprietors of all news mediums."
* "Taking over control or allegiance of key political figures."
* "Taking over control or allegiance of those who monitor international finance. . ."
* "Winning overwhelming public support."
Orders to assistant guardians at "The Flag," the Clearwater base for Scientology activity, list these specific orders connected with Hubbard's goals:
* Feb. 2, 1976: "Elections — ascertain who in Clearwater is running for Congress. . . .Cazares not to be elected mayor or Congress."
* Feb. 27, 1976: "Bob Snyder — it is about time some really bright ideas are cooked up for handling (him). See this is done."
* Sept. 9, 1976: "Clearwater: OPS (operations) to get rid of Stuart and possibly (former Sun general manager Al) Hutchison."
* March 4, 1976: "Pinellas County State Attorney — (it is) puzzling Russell would be antago(nistic). What he had going then."
This unclear reference to Russell apparently focused on a guardian's request for Russell's files on Scientology. He later was targeted as an enemy to be removed from office.
Documents indicate Hubbard ordered far-reaching espionage with the intent of glorifying Scientology by exposing its "enemies" in government agencies, including the Justice Department, the CIA, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the State Department and worldwide agencies such as Interpol, the international police agency.
"All defensive and support intelligence (activity) is done in a way to bring no liability to the (Scientology) organization. When Intelligence is clumsy and shortcuts its actions by illegal means or violence, it can have a Watergate (effect)," said a Hubbard policy dated June 8, 1975.
"There is no need for this sort of thing, actually. A 'suitable guise' (that is, planting covert agents) is not illegal."
Covert operations would be used to "render enemies harmless," so they would "want and reach for Scientology," Hubbard wrote in another statement.
Hubbard developed his "enemies" when he published "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" in 1950. The book offered a cure for nearly all of man's psychological ills as well as some physical ones. Many prestigious medical and psychological experts denounced it as "quackery."
Later, federal agencies became Hubbard enemies when he declared Scientology a religion and sought tax exemption for it.
Hubbard's top officers were informed to begin "collecting intelligence . . . so that we know our foes from our friends." Over the years, documents show, cryctography and elaborate Telex codings were used to keep top-level Hubbard communication out of "enemy hands."
A 1974 guardian order explained that codes should be used for:
* "Incriminating undercover or covert operations. Incriminating activities would include things like lobbying where it is inhibited in a non-profit corporation; also money deals that might provoke government tax offices."
* "Things we want unknown connected to the Church of Scientology: secret public relations (front groups).
* "Actions ot confidential corporate tax bodies, tax strategy, and occasionally names of accounts."
* "Admission to unpunished crimes andor incriminating data."
Hubbard's codes included phrases such as "the flower business" instead of "finances" and "immaculately duplicate" for "forge."
Hubbard also devised a code to mean, "don't answer me back, as I may be compromised by your reply."
Certain Telex codes were created specifically for communication with the base in Clearwater with names like "Taco Bill" substituting for former Mayor Gabriel Cazares and the initials "HES" for Sun reporters Steven Advokat and Mark Sableman.
Massive information and storage facilities, as well as numerous Telex devices, are still maintained in the former Bank of Clearwater building, purchased with the former Fort Harrison Hotel when Hubbard's "sea organization" came ashore in late 1975.
In testimony last September before a special county tax master, Scientology officials said all information storage banks and Telex machines are now used for "dissemination of religious documents."
Scientology spokesman said they would not comment on whether any of the 400 sea organization members in Clearwater participated in any Hubbard-ordered intelligence gathering. Members of the sea organization — recognizable by their nautical white shirts, black slacks and lanyards — are a group committed to serving the sect for a "billion years." They are described as a religious order akin to any traditional religious or fraternal order.
Contacted Monday night, local church spokesman Nancy Reitze issued a general statement, saying the guardians office "is merely one department in a 21-department church organizational structure. It is interesting, but we find that every time a U.S. government agency tries to take some retaliatory action against the church, it actually does nothing more than inspire church parishioners and staff to stronger dedication to achieve a better world for us all."
She said that since the FBI's raid on the Los Angeles-based church in 1977 — the basis of the conspiracy convictions of nine top guardians and officials — the church has enjoyed a tremendous growth period unequaled in its three-decade past. She accused the Clearwater Sun of "rumor-mongering against a group that tries to accomplish worthwhile ends . . . Maybe it is time to stop harping on past grudges but instead work toward the goal of a safer and more charitable world . . . This is our plan, our purpose, our goal and has always been."