"And, hardest of all, I do not know 
and cannot tell the names of 
my accusers."

- Plato: Trial of Socrates

3 "A Rough, Tough, Dirty Business"

SOMETIME during the night of March 8, 1971, a person or  persons unknown broke into the FBI resident agency in Media, Pennsylvania. The  loot taken by the burglars consisted of confidential files on individuals and  organizations that apparently had been targetted by the Bureau for surveillance  and harrassment.

The purloined dossiers were delivered anonymously to the  sensation-hungry media, where they were given wide circulation. Among the  documents were some which carried the designation Cointelpro, a term which,  until that time, was unknown outside the FBI. The acronym, which, it turned out, 

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was an abbreviation for Counterintelligence Program,  aroused the interest of an alert newsman (Carl Stern of NBC), who filed a  Freedom of Information lawsuit to compel the FBI to release other documents  compiled in the course of the Bureau's Cointelpro operations.

Caught in the glare of publicity, the FBI announced that for  "security reasons" it was terminating the Program as of April 27,  1971. The action came a decade and a half too late. Documents pried loose from  the Bureau in freedom-of-information suits disclosed what the Washington Post  accurately described as "an incredible pattern of abuse," extending  back over a period of 15 years.

The FBI's covert action - i.e., "dirty tricks"  -programmes against American citizens were, in fact, vigilante operations using  techniques adopted outright from wartime counterintelligence capers directed  against enemy agents and saboteurs. Hence the misnomer given the project.

Describing the kind of operations which had been used against  foreign intelligence agents, and later transferred to domestic targets, former  assistant FBI Director William C. Sullivan told the Senate Select Committee:

"This is a rough, tough, dirty business, and dangerous  ... No holds were barred."

The "dirty business" included unauthorized bugging  and wiretapping; mail opening; warrantless break-ins ("black bag  jobs"); anonymously mailing reprints of newspaper and magazine articles  (some of them planted in the press by the Bureau itself); disseminating  defamatory information regarding individuals, much of it false; encouraging  street warfare between violence-prone groups; contacting an employee with  derogatory information about a person to get the target fired; using the IRS to  harrass individuals and organizations by audit; and so on.

As one newspaper writer put it, "almost nothing - beyond  lack of imagination - appears to have limited the range of dirty tricks' used by  the FBI..."

The explanation offered by the Bureau for its illegal acts was

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that the agency found them to be necessary to protect  national security (a catch-all pleading invoked by all federal agencies to  justify their lawless conduct); and to prevent violence.

That too facile a rationale runs aground, however, on two  facts: the FBI targeted groups and individuals which did not remotely pose a  threat to national security; and many of the Cointelpro victims were non-violent  in both word and deed.

In the programme's later phases, it became clear that it was  being used against persons and organizations whose beliefs were repugnant to the  Bureau. In short, Cointelpro was J. Edgar Hoover's secret war against what he  considered "dangerous" ideas, or sometimes against individuals who  were unpopular with his friends and supporters.

What conceivable threat to national security or potential for  violence, for instance, was involved in the Cointelpro operation in which the  Bureau wrote an anonymous letter to the parents of a Michigan State University  co-ed, telling them that their daughter had "a serious infection,"  implying that she had contracted a veneral disease?

Or, the instance in which FBI agents in Madison, Wisconsin  "fingered" for Dane County police a co-ed who danced nude in a  production of Peter Pan, because they didn't like her political views? (The  memorandum covering the op notes with satisfaction: "Local charges were  brought against her.")

Of the 2,370 approved Cointel programmes that have been  disclosed so far, perhaps the saddest and most disgraceful of all was the  operation against the film actress Jean Seberg.

Documents obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of  Information Act reveal that in 1970, agents in the Bureau's Los Angeles  Division, with the approval of Washington headquarters, concocted a scheme to  ruin her reputation by spreading a rumor that she was pregnant by a Black  Panther leader.

At the time, Seberg was married to French Diplomat Romain  Gary.

The plot was initiated by the Special Agent in charge of the  FBI Los Angeles office with a request, dated April 27,1970 and

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submitted to the Director in Washington. It read:

"Bureau permission is requested to publicize the  pregnancy of Jean Seberg, well-known movie actress by (name deleted) Black  Panther (BPP) (deleted) by advising Hollywood "GossipColumnists" in  the Los Angeles area of the situation. It is felt that the possible publication  of Seberg's plight could cause her embarrassment and serve to cheapen her image  with the general public.

"'It is proposed that the following letter from a  fictitious person be sent to local columninists:

"I was just thinking about you and remembered I still  owe you a favor. So ---- I was in Paris last week and ran into Jean Seberg, who  was heavy with baby. I thought she and Romaine [sic] had gotten together again,  but she confided the child belonged to (deleted) of the Black Panthers, one  (deleted). The dear girl is getting around!

" 'Anyway, I thought you might get a scoop on the  others. Be good and I'll see you soon.


"Usual precautions would be taken by the Los Angeles  Division to preclude identification of the Bureau as the source of the letter if  approval is granted."

The agent making this proposal signed the document with his  initials, RWH. It was approved by his superiors, WGG and RMB. While the FBI has  refused to identify these agents, according to a source close to the activity,  the originator of the memorandum was Richard Wallace Held, later promoted to the  job of Inspector with the Bureau in Washington. The same informant identified  the special agent in charge as Wesley G. Grapp, now retired; and RMB as Richard  M. Bloesser, also retired, but then a supervisor over Squad #2 in the Los  Angeles office.

On information and belief (as the lawyers say) the Black  Panther leader named in the proposition was Raymond

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(Masia) Hewit. In a separate op, the FBI falsely identified  him as an undercover informant for the agency. The official letter was planted  in his car with the expectation that one of his fellow Panthers would find it  and assault him.

Days later, approval for the project came from the FBI  headquarters in Washington. The memorandum contained a note of caution.

"To protect the sensitive source of information from  possible compromise and to insure the success of your plan, Bureau feels it  would be better to wait approximately two additional months until Seberg's  pregnancy would be obvious to everyone."

The headquarters memorandum also added this note:

"Jean Seberg has been a financial supporter of the BBP  and should be neutralized. Her current pregnancy by (name deleted) while still  married affords an opportunity for such effort."

In terms of circulation, the FBI's black propaganda effort  met with notable success. On May 19, 1970, Los Angeles Times keyhole columnist  Joyce Haber included the defamatory tidbit in her day's reportage. Haber's  effusion was thereafter picked up and reprinted by Newsweek magazine, the  American Weekly, and a French publication called Minute.

The actress' French husband said that soon after reading the  false stories, his wife, who was then in the seventh month of her pregnancy; had  to be hospitalized. Three days later, she went into labor and gave birth to a  stillborn child, a white female.

The infant was placed in an open casket so that those who may  have believed the cruel canard could view the truth in its most tragic setting.

Romain Gary affirmed that he was the child's father, and said  that the shock of losing the child made the actress become psychotic. Every  year, on the anniversary of the incident, she attempted suicide.

Finally, on September 10, 1979, the denouement of the  harrowing events set in motion by the FBI, occurred. Jean

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Seberg died in the back seat of her car in Paris, of an  overdose of barbituates.

Gary tersely delivered the last summary of the case:

"Jean Seberg was destroyed by the FBI."

In a face-saving editorial, the Los Angeles Times deeply  regretted that that newspaper had carried the calumny, but took consolation in a  statement issued by FBI Director William H. Webster, to wit:

"The days when the FBI used derogatory information to  combat advocates of unpopular causes have long since passed. We are out of that  business forever."

No such consolation is to be found, however, in the final  report of the Senate Select Committee which investigated the Cointel operations.  The committee concluded:

"Cointelpro activities may continue today under the  rubric of 'investigation.'
"The word 'counterintelligence' had no fixed meaning  even before the programs were terminated. The Bureau witnesses agreed that there  is a large gray area between 'counterintelligence' and 'aggressive  investigation/ and that headquarters supervisors sometimes had difficulty in  deciding which should go on certain proposals.
"Aggressive investigation continues, and may be more  disruptive than covert action. An anonymous letter (Cointelpro) can be ignored  as the work of a crank; an overt approach by the Bureau ('investigation') is not  so easily dismissed. The line between information collection and harrassment can  be extremely thin." (Emphasis added.)

The Committee also notes that the memorandum officially  terminating the Cointel programmes contained a slippery proviso, which read:

"In exceptional circumstances where it is considered  counterintelligence [Cointel) action is warranted, recommendations should be  submitted to the Bureau under individual case caption to which it pertains.  These recommendations will be considered on an individual basis."

What this meant, quite simply, was that in future,

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Cointelpro-type operations would be buried in the Bureau's  500,000 case files, each one of which would have to be searched to turn up all  the Cointelpro actions.

When the Committee asked the FBI to provide it with a list of  any Cointelpro activities undertaken since the programmes were officially  abolished on April 28, 1971, the Bureau at first said that a review had  "failed to develop any information indicating post-termination Cointelpro  activity."

Afterward, however, the Bureau located and furnished to the  Committee two instances of such operations. Committee investigators discovered a  third instance on their, own. How many others have taken and are taking place,  is a matter of conjecture.

The fact is that, whatever public posture the Bureau may have  adopted officially, the agents involved in Cointelpro, almost to a man have  defended their despicable acts as proper and necessary. One Cointelpro unit  chief declared: "The Bureau people did not think that they were doing  anything wrong and most of us to this day do not think we were doing anything  wrong."

That was the feeling of Section Chief Goerge C. Moore as  well: "I thought I did something very important during those days. I have  no apologies to make for anything we did, really. "

In 1974, then-FBI Director Clarence Kelley commented on the  Cointel programmes thus:

"For the FBI to have done less under the circumstances  would have been an abdication of its responsibilities to the American  people."

When three top FBI officials were arraigned on April 21, 1978  for conspiring to violate the rights of citizens by authorizing break-ins, a  crowd of 750 FBI agents held a demonstration outside the Washington court,  indicating their support of a solidarity with the accused. Special Agent Patrick  Conner from the New York field office, which had carried out the alleged  break-ins into residences of innocent friends and relatives of the fugitives  they sought, told media representa-

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"Let this event today clearly reflect our personal  commitment and show the American people that our fight against those terrorists  was nothing more than our just and sworn duty."

It was, of course, much more than their "sworn  duty." It was a serious violation of the law.

But, as this and other post-Cointelpro events clearly show,  inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there has really been no change of  heart; merely a change of record-keeping.

Whether the Church of Scientology was formally a part of the  Cointelpro or not, many of the same techniques used by the FBI during the 15  years that those programmes were in operation, were also employed against  Scientologists.

During more than 20 years, the Bureau conducted a deliberate  smear campaign against the church, one which has had lasting effects. The agency  became an avid collector of unfavourable news stories and magazine articles  concerning Scientology and its founder. Enquiries from individuals, other  agencies and foreign governments were all provided with these materials and  referred to other sources of derogatory allegations.

To conceal the fact that the FBI was the source of the  slander, Hoover would introduce the libel with the statement that "No  investigation has been conducted by this Bureau concerning Hubbard [or  "Scientology"]. However, our files reveal that... There would then follow  a deadly selection of venemous gossip, rumour and false published reports from  the copious FBI files, but attributed to other founts.

Sometimes, the Director would close his letter with the  words: "I am enclosing some material which I thought you might like to  have."

The "material" referred to would be a packet of  black propaganda in the form of raw data accumulated by the Bureau.

Over the years, the defamatory reports thus generated by the  FBI began to percolate among other governmental agencies and departments which,  in turn, built their own files and

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became new centers for further diffusion of the falsehoods.  The exchange was a contagion that eventually spread to the remotest corner of  the world. (See chart on adjoining page.)

Internal memoranda clearly show that Hoover was aware that  the Church of Scientology was neither violence-prone nor subversive. His letters  to his own field offices contain such statements as the following (sent to the  Special Agent in Charge in San Francisco):

"Bufiles contain no information of a subversive nature  regarding captioned organization or its president, Lafayette Ron Hubbard."

To outside terminals, however, the Bureau sent  "confidential" information quoting informants as having asserted that  the church was involved in drugs, brainwashing, Communism, atheism and  materialism.

Reports of this kind were sent to, among others, the CIA, the  Alaskan State Police, the British Government, the White House, and to the legal  attache at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.

The Director's oft-repeated statement (in correspondence to  outsiders) that the Bureau had conducted no investigation of Hubbard or the  Scientologists was untrue.

As early as 1951, the FBI began an internal security  investigation of Hubbard and his organization. Documents reveal that  "contacts" inside the Chicago branch of the Hubbard Dianetics  Foundation (a precursor of the Church of Scientology) conducted a detailed  investigation and supplied the Bureau with details as to the business affairs,  office personnel, and procedures of various branches across the country. Later  the FBI planted undercover agents in the church to spy upon its members and  ministerial staff and to make regular reports to the agency.

One of these secret agents was named Chico Henderson, who  came to Los Angeles from Flint, Michigan, where he had worked as an undercover  sleuth for the Flint Police Depart-

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The web of intrigue and black propaganda. Lines, all emanating from  Washington, D.C. each illustrate a false report regarding the Church of  Scientology.

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ment. In a sworn statement, made after he discontinued his  work for the FBI, Henderson said he had been recruited for the job by FBI  Special Agent Jim Oppy. Agent Oppy was later to play an important role in the  Government's persecuting of the church.

Another "confidential informant" for the FBI was  Jack Graham, who was a member of the church. Beginning in 1973, Graham worked  for the Los Angeles office of the Bureau during the ensuing five years. His FBI  contact was Special Agent Robert Kilbane.

It is not known what inducement Agent Kilbane used to enlist  Graham's service as a spy in his church; but in an affidavit sworn to by Graham  in October 1977, he states:

"In Chicago in late 1974 or early months of 1975 I called FBI Agent Robert Kilbane in Los Angeles, seeking to make a deal to obtain  his assistance in a criminal case then pending against my father. Mr. Kilbane  referred me to the FBI agent in Chicago who, Kilbane said, may be able to help  me."

Graham said that later, "in the early months of 1976, I put my father ... in touch with Agent Tucci [of the Drug Enforcement Agency] and  the DEA, through Agent Tucci, sent my father to Mexico City pursuant to their  agreement."

While carrying out assignments for the FBI in Chicago, Graham  said that, upon the instructions of FBI Special Agent Robin Tomlin, he made an  illegal purchase of a semiautomatic pistol. He was then given $50 by Agent  Tomlin to illegally purchase a .38 caliber revolver. (The implication here is  that the FBI were having the illegal purchases made to entrap a suspect.)

Upon returning to Los Angeles on April 15, 1977, Graham  resumed contact with Agent Robert Kilbane. The G-man asked the informant to help  him find out if any members of the Church of Scientology were engaged in  unlawful activities.

Graham offered to induce a friend who had access to the  Church's Guardian Office to obtain documents for the FBI. Agent Kilbane told him  the Bureau was not interested in

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documents from the church because "we have a whole  storeroom full of them."

Instead, he told Graham that he did want the name of any  church member responsible for break-ins at U.S. Government installations to  steal official documents.

"I have no knowledge or information that in any way  supports Agent Kilbane's allegation of illegal activities on the part of members  of the Church of Scientology," Graham declared in a sworn statement made  March 3, 1978.

John Cole, another FBI snooper who was assigned to get a line  on the Scientologists, apparently jumbled his mission somewhere along the way,  and got his come-uppance at the scene. In 1971, he sued church members Terry  Milner and Henning Heldt who, he alleged, assaulted him in the church offices.  He had been there in search of confidential information, for which he assured  the two church executives, he was willing to pay.

When it came to pressing his suit in court, however, Cole had  a problem. On January 27, 1971, Moton B. Holt, Jr., his legal counsel, wrote to  the United States Attorney in Los Angeles:

"Confirming our conversation, I am attaching  interrogatories in subject action by which defendants seek to discover  information of Mr. Cole's prior activities which included undercover work,  special assignment and informant duties in various Governmental agencies,  including the Justice Department, Senator Eastland's Committee, the FBI, the  CIA, the C-11, and others. The FBI recommended that I contact your office with  respect to any suggestions you may have to avoid answering any of the propounded  questions in this area.
"Mr. Cole advises that the information is highly  confidential from the Government's viewpoint and disclosure of the same is not  in the interest of national security and, further, would endanger the lives of  at least four Government agents.
"I have various citations which could be used including the Internal Security Act, the Espionage and Censorship Act and

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various Departmental Orders."

Attorney Holt said that the judge hearing the case had  granted the defendants' motion to compel him to answer questions on the grounds  that such questions were material to show loss of earnings while Cole was  hospitalized. He added:

"Cole does not want to appeal due to the publicity  involved. The original story when the suit was filed was squelched by the  FBI." (Emphasis added.)

An intelligence report dated January 29, 1969 filed in the  Drug Enforcement Agency archives throws additional light on Cole's activities.  The document lists articles taken from church offices in Los Angeles. It is  captioned, "From: Cole -To: Slagel."

In 1974, Tom Johnson, FBI Special Agent in San Francisco,  tried over a period of several months to recruit a young Scientology student  named James Robert Welder to become an undercover operative in the church.

"He made it clear to me that if I was caught, they would  handle it. I asked, why me? They said we'll pay you money. All you have to do is give  us something that will hold up legally in court against Scientology."

Welder said he would think over the proposition. He was  contacted by Agent Johnson again three days later.

"I got a phone call and he said, this is Mr. Johnson. He  told me to go to Marchetti's, a bar across the street from work. He told me  someone would meet me there after work."

Johnson and another FBI agent met Welder in the parking lot  and drove him to a residential section about five miles from the bar. There they  parked on the side of the road.

"They asked me what I had decided, and I told them I was  willing to look at the deal they had."

The Agents offered Welder $800 a month, and pay for his study  courses in Scientology, as well as reimbursement for the money he had already  invested in his classes.

"I told him I'd like to think about it some more. He  said, 'We'll contact you in about a week.' "

Later, a man came to Welder's apartment, saying he had

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been sent by Agent Johnson to teach the youth karate.  "He said if I was involved with them I could have no weapon, so I ought to  be able to defend myself and that they'd be in the background. I had made no  agreement to cooperate; but he came over three days a week."

In the end, Welder decided against becoming a spy. "I  decided not to get involved. I wanted Scientology. I saw him [Johnson] on  October 3, 1974 at Sambo's and told him I wanted out, what did I have to do?

"He said, 'Nothing; just drop out.' He said if I tried  to prove anything against them, it wouldn't do any good. He asked me why I had  changed my mind. I said it was just a personal feeling."

Documents reveal that the FBI (as well as other federal  agencies) had secret operatives at work in virtually every branch of the Church  of Scientology. Material obtained under the Freedom of Information Act also  makes it clear that in some instances, church members were coerced into  supplying the agency with confidential information, by the threat of, or offer  of immunity from criminal prosecution on some charge unrelated to Scientology.

In addition to paid spies, spiteful rumour mongers, and  coerced informants, intelligence agencies of the Government made use of illegal  wiretapping and bugging in their warfevered assault on the Church of  Scientology.

The nature and extent of this global, electronic  eavesdropping will never be known. Many of the guilty weasels have been too  adroit at covering their tracks.

Judging from the documentary evidence available, however, the  coordinated efforts of the following agencies have been massive and widespread:  the National Security Agency, the U.S. Justice Department, FBI, FDA, CIA, IRS,  Bureau of Customs, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA, formerly the BNDD), the  Department of Defense, the Defense Intelligence Service, Interpol, U.S. State  Department, U.S. Post Office, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service,  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), Department of

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Labor; Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), the  Secret Service, and the police departments of 26 American cities, from New York  to Honolulu; from Montpelier, Vermont to Dallas, Texas.

In addition to these federal, state and local agencies,  Scientologists' legal representatives have called for a review of the  investigative files of law-enforcement and intelligence services in 41 foreign  countries.

The immense difficulty of recovering records of intrusions,  the majority of them illegal, on such a vast scale, augurs little success in the  undertaking.

Here at home, the case of the FBI is typical. Testimony  before the Senate Select Committee revealed that prior to 1960, the agency  maintained only rudimentary indicies in each of its field offices. There was no  central index; and the often-ambiguous files kept in the field offices  "were believed to be inadequate by Justice Department officials."

FBI spokesmen admitted to the Senate committee that even  after the Bureau had established a central index, ELSUR (electronics  surveillance), at their headquarters in Washington, overhears may not have been  recorded, logs have been destroyed, and voices not immediately identifiable,  have not been indexed, even though they were singled out later.

During the course of legal proceedings, ELSUR supervisor John  Smythe testified that the FBI central index includes only full names of persons  eavesdropped on, dates of the overhear, and the field office source of the  report. In other words, the integrity of the index depends upon the Bureau's  field offices sending to the central files the full names, or the first and  suspected surnames of the individuals being monitored. Agent Smythe conceded  that field offices do not always do that. (Almost certainly an understatement of  the situation.)

Smythe said that there is no topical listing in the  centralized ELSUR index, although such a listing is conveniently tucked away by  code name in the agency general index of investigations. Moreover, the index  does not list surveillance by telephone number, address, or case; nor does it  record surveil-

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lances conducted on telephones unless the full name of the  user is known.

He further testified that he would have no way of knowing  whether other agencies - state, local or otherwise - had provided the FBI with  information derived from their own electronic traps. At the same time, he said,  when FBI field offices request permission to make a "tap search," the  headquarters approval always includes the following advice:

"It is suggested that you contact any other federal  agencies to determine if they have conducted any electronic surveillance"  [of the same subject]. When other agencies do provide a field office with data  from their own wiretap files, only the field office keeps case files indicating  the source of the information. The FBI, like other federal intelligence  agencies, is careful to conceal its exchange of covertly obtained data with  other law-enforcement bodies including local police departments.
In an affidavit submitted to a U. S. District Court by a  lawyer representing an executive of the Church of Scientology, the attorney  notes that "The FBI Manual of Instruction provides that information may be  transmitted to a local law enforcement agency on blind memoranda,' which is  plain stationery with no identification of the FBI as the source . . . Moreover,  the FBI transmitted these 'blind memoranda' only if the local police agreed that  the Bureau's 'identity as source of the information must be kept strictly  confidential.' "

It is a common practice for information to be passed between  the various agencies by an informal "buddy" system, that is, in an  oral exchange between the agents concerned.

The Scientology attorney just quoted also observes:  "Because of the above described inadequacies of the records, and the proven  reluctance of the agencies to make thorough searches [of their files] and honest  disclosures, the case annuals are replete with instances of belated disclosures  after denials were accepted by the courts as complete and credible."

Illegal surveillance is often disguised in agency reports by attributing  the information to code names or to "confidential

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Another stratagem employed by federal agencies for disposing  of evidence of illegal eavesdropping is for agents to listen to tapes of the  intercepted conversations, from which they obtain investigative leads, and then  erase them.

Warrantless wiretapping is not an uncommon practice among  local police departments in the U.S., sometimes with the knowledge, and the  financial and technical help of the FBI.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act  reveal that police departments throughout the United States participated in the  federal conspiracy against the Church of Scientology. There is documented  evidence that police in New York, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Los Angeles and  Eureka, California engaged in surveillance of the church. At the same time, they  received from, and disseminated to, the federal agencies information obtained  from various sources.

It is, of course, difficult for a private citizen or group to  prove a wiretap or electronic intrusion conducted by law enforcement personnel.  It has been shown in testimony before Congressional investigative committees  that telephone companies cooperate with federal agencies such as the FBI and the  IRS in their unauthorized eavesdropping. A significant number of telephone  company security officers are former FBI special agents, still fiercely loyal to  the Bureau and, it may be fairly assumed, in complete accord with the practices  of their former colleagues.

Not long ago, the Ruff Times, a widely circulated newsletter  published by conservative economist Howard Ruff, reported that they had been  provided with a telephone number which, when dialed, would indicate whether the  subscriber's phone was tapped. The number was (213) 348-0003. A busy signal  would indicate that the caller's telephone was "tuned in." On the  other hand, a wavering, whistling sound signified that the phone from which the  call was being made was untapped.

Immediately after publication of this intelligence, the  telephone company installed an answering device at the number,

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on which a recorded voice declared:

"The number you have reached is for Pacific Telephone  internal use, and in no way will it determine if a telephone is being  wiretapped."

The busy signals, or the wavering, whistling sounds  previously encountered when the number was dialed, were now absent. The  telephone company did not disclose what "internal use" the number had.

During recent years, the telephone has become an instrument  of frustration and annoyance to many Scientologists. The nature,. extent and  frequency of the difficulties they have experienced reflect adversely on the  qualifications of the instructors who teach Government-run seminars in the use  of surveillance equipment. Curious noises on the line, disrupted service, verbal  encounters with unidentified individuals on the line, overhears of federal  agents talking to each other or "reporting in," - all these and other  contretemps make it plain that undercover operatives in the lower echelons are  in urgent need of additional training in intrusion techniques.

On occasion, the tapee has learned of his ghostly listeners  from official sources. For instance, Mrs. William Franks, a Scientologists,  affirmed under oath: "That on or about the 7th of August, 1975, DC  Metropolitan Policeman Bobby Condon called me on the telephone at the address of  the Founding Church of Scientology, 2125 S St., NW, Washington, D.C. The number  at which Condon called was 797-1204. During this communication, Condon asked me  to go to another phone, because the phone at which we were speaking was  wiretapped; however, he refused to elaborate further or name the source of the  tap or the source of his information of the tap."

In another sworn statement, John Taussig, a member of the  church's Gaurdian staff, reported that since May, 1974, he has on numerous  occasions noticed curious acoustic phenomena while using the telephone lines of  the legal office. He states that the most frequent and noticeable noises have  been mysterious clicking sounds. He has also on several occasions

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experienced interruptions which clearly did not originate in  his telephone or that of the party with whom he was conversing. He avers that  other staff members have complained to him or to other members of the legal  department of similar experiences.

At least two attorneys representing Scientology defendants in  a criminal case have been the subject of Government eavesdropping. One of the  lawyers, Philip Hirschkop, was overheard by the FBI on numerous occasions. The  FBI has admitted to the overhears in 1971, but the contents of these taps have  not been divulged, nor has an examination of the agents involved been conducted.

Another prominent attorney, who was representing Mary Sue  Hubbard, wife of Scientology's founder, was also "overheard." Benjamin  Civiletti, now U.S. Attorney General, admitted in a letter to attorney Leonard  B. Boudin that "various conversations to which you were a party were  overheard by the Bureau as a result of electronic surveillance of other  subjects."

The Government claimed that all except one of the monitored  conversations were classified, "but will be reviewed for possible  classification."

To date, neither the unclassified intercept, nor those to be  reviewed, have been revealed.

Sometimes, when the tin ear on the Scientologist lines  overheard something unfavorable to the Bureau, he hit the interference button.  That's what happened when Jon Christian Volz was dictating a news release to  Radio Station WTSB in North Carolina.

"An announcer from the station, Don Babson, had  previously said that he wanted to have my story. I made the call from a  telephone in the church's offices.
"Whilst I was dictating, the phone went dead. I called  back and the same thing happened. I called again, and this time Don Babson asked  if the phone I was calling from was tapped. I told him that this was a distinct  possibility and he said that in his experience he had had news items constantly  cut off whilst

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being relayed over the phone if those tapping the phone did  not want the message to be relayed."

After six unsuccessful attempts at unbroken communication,  Volz tried another telephone in the church office. After the second try on this  phone, he was able to read the full dispatch.

"On each attempt, my call was cut off at precisely the  same point in my dictating of the release. This happened whether I read the  release slowly or quickly, so was not after a uniform time period from the start  of the call.
"The call was cut off each time after I had read the  first six lines, which read as follows:
"'The FBI was forced last week in a Freedom of  Information suit to admit that they were involved in dirty tricks and  disinformation techniques against citizens and groups.
"What wasn't released was that the Defense Department  is also fully involved in this type of harrassment."

At that point, the hidden censor pulled the plug.

Appelate courts have recognized the near-impossibility of  proving illegal wiretaps by Government agents. For that reason, they have  generally held that a showing need not be more elaborate or even more specific  than a mere assertion of illegal surveillance. To require more, they have  correctly reasoned, would impose a minimal burden on the Government while  requiring a defendant to run a hopeless obstacle course in their struggle  against official concealment.

Furthermore, said the courts, the mere say-say of the  prosecutor that there has been no unlawful intrusion is not an adequate  response. A search of agency records is required.

In one case, involving two grand jury witnesses (who were not  even criminal defendants), the court observed:

"If we were to hold that a witness could make a 'claim'  only when he has found an electronic bug in his home, heard mysterious bleeps in  his telephone or rifled the files of the Justice Department, we would merely  succeed in encouraging the Government to improve its security as well as its  technol-

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Even if Government prosecutors must show that a search of  files in ten agencies (which seems to be the present minimum acceptable to  higher courts), the inadequate record-keeping and deliberate concealment by  federal agencies will always give the Government the edge in the matter of  illegal electronic surveilance.

Then, too, there remains the question of covertly obtained  information in the files of "friendly" foreign intelligence agencies. Such  files - and there are a great number of them - will always remain beyond the reach  of U. S. courts.

73 : : Playing Dirty

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