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U.S. says Scientologists are still lying, cheating

Title: U.S. says Scientologists are still lying, cheating
Date: Saturday, 28 June 1980
Publisher: St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Author: Charles Stafford
Main source:

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WASHINGTON — The government said Friday that agents of the Church of Scientology are still up to their old tricks of lying and cheating.

The accusation was the latest round fired in the case of United States vs. Jane Kember and Morris Budlong. The two church leaders are scheduled for trial July 7 on charges involving theft of government documents.

Kember and Budlong were indicted with nine other Scientologists in 1978. The nine, including Mary Louise Hubbard, wife of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, were found guilty of one charge each by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey last Oct. 21 and have appealed. Kember and Budlong were later extradited from England to face trial.

Last week, attorneys filed a motion requesting that Richey be disqualified from hearing their case. Accompanying the motion was an affidavit by Budlong contending that Richey was prejudiced against Scientologists and basing this claim, in part, on statements made by court reporter and a deputy U.S. marshal.

FRIDAY, government attorneys filed papers opposing the motion. Their opposition was accompanied by affidavits from reporter Thomas Dourian and Marshal Charles Blandford denying the statements attributed to them. They named as the source for the statements two private detectives who pretended to be working for a foe of Scientology.

"The 'fair game doctrine' still reigns supreme in Scientology," government attorneys said in their opposition to the motion. "Defendants still believe that when it is in their interest to do so they can lie, cheat and trick. The methods used by these defendants and their organization, and the detectives whom they employed, is so reprehensible as to offend human decency."

The government said Budlong's allegations of prejudice on the part of Richey were based on hearsay, and in some cases "triple hearsay." Budlong, the statement said, did not claim prejudice against himself and Ms. Kember; nothing he had claimed was sufficient to disqualify the judge; and, in the case of Dourian and Blandford, the statements Budlong said they made "were never made."

Dourian said in his affidavit that he was first questioned by Fred Cain, a retired Washington police officer who identified himself as a private investigator with International Investigators Inc. Later, he met Richard L. Bast, president of International Investigators, and was questioned by him.

"Cain said he had been retained by a European industrialist whose daughter had been a Scientologist and had committed suicide," Dourian said. "Cain added that, among other things, he had been retained to create publicity that would embarrass the Scientologists."

This story is essentially the same ope that Bast told this reporter one day last winter when I had lunch with the two investigators at their invitation. They said then they were seeking information about foes of Scientology who might provide information that could be used to bring court suits against the church.

WHEN HE WAS asked Friday about the Dourian affidavit, Bast acknowledged that he was actually in the employ of "a lawyer who represents the church." He said he was hired to find out whether the Scientologists' constitutional rights were violated, and he proved that they were.

"I'm just a searcher for the truth," he said in defending the tactics he and Cain used. "I had to use subterfuges In my investigation in order to determine the truth. You have heard of the FBI's Operation Abecam. You might call this my Operation Sciscam."

Bast said Dourian was lying in his affidavit when he denied saying what the Budlong affidavit attributed to him.

"I have mountains of tapes," Bast said. "We have tape recordings that refute what Mr. Dourian says in his affidavit Well, I don't have custody of them now. The lawyer has them. My investigation is finished. It's up to the Lawyers now."

Budlong said in his affidavit that he had heard a number of tape recorded statements made by Dourian, a member of Richey's staff for nine years.

ON THE BASIS of these statements, Budlong said, he believed that Richey had called another federal judge and spread a rumor that there was some sort of plot by the Scientologists to discredit him, that the judge had initiated several private conversations with government attorneys prosecuting defendants in the earlier Scientology trial, that the judge's state of mind and biased attitude were substantially what the Scientology defendants claimed they were in an earlier motion that he disqualify himself, that Richey was prejudiced against the Scientology defendants, and that Dourian begged the judge not to take the Scientology case but "that all Judge Richey could on was the publicity."

Dourian said in his affidavit that he told Cain and Bast that Richey had been fair to the Scientologists and that he did not know of any private conversations with government attorneys. He said he never heard Richey spread any rumors among his colleagues about Scientologists and did not tell anyone that he had.

"I told Mr. Cain that I had bagged Judge Richey not to accept the Scientology case," he said. "Mr. Cain said, 'But all he could see was the publicity?' I shrugged, indicating that anything was possible."