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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The founder and spiritual leader of the Church of Scientology diverted millions of dollars in church funds into his own personal accounts, it was reported Sunday.
L. Ron Hubbard, the reclusive leader of the Clearwater-based church, used a "dummy" foreign corporation as a funnel for the funds, the St. Petersburg Times said in a copyright story.
Church officials denied the charges.
But the newspaper said court files in the United States and Canada show Hubbard collected money worldwide through the Religious Research Foundation.
The documents depict RRF as a corporation established for Scientologists outside of the United States to help Hubbard, but is used by Hubbard as a profit-making device.
The charges were part of the 1,000 pages of information Canadian authorities used to obtain search warrants for a raid on the church's Toronto offices in March.
No criminal charges have been brought as a result of the raid, but Canadian officials said they are pursuing the investigation.
A former Scientology employee, who worked for Hubbard but later became disenchanted with the church and left, said payments were made from RRF to Hubbard's personal accounts without the knowledge of other church officials.
"Hubbard had total control of RRF and received several million dollars directly from this corporation, which is made up of Scientology funds," said Gerry Armstrong in an affidavit filed in federal court in Tampa.
Armstrong told the newspaper the RRF allowed Hubbard and the church to skirt the Internal Revenue Service.
Scientology officials maintain the church is a non-profit religious organization and that Hubbard has not profited personally from the church. They declined to discuss the RRF.
A church attorney labeled Armstrong's charges as "third-hand hearsay."
Hubbard's whereabouts are not known. Recently, Hubbard's estranged son claimed his father was dead or disabled. But church officials maintain their leader is alive.