"There are men dead because they attacked us...There are men

bankrupt because they attacked us, " wrote L. Ron Hubbard, the late

founder of the Church of Scientology in his Manual of Justice. And

concerning those who write critical articles on Scientology, the

Hubbard Communications Office instructed: "Hire a private detective of

a national-type firm to investigate the writer, not the magazine, and

get any criminal or Communist background the man has...Have your

lawyers or solicitors write the magazine threatening a suit."

Acting on those words, the Church of Scientology has harassed many

writers over the years who have written negative stories about the

church. Some of the writers, such as Paulette Cooper, a New York

journalist who wrote a book titled The Scandal of Scientology in 1971,

were apparently deemed "Suppressive Persons" under a church policy

rule called "Fair Game." Mandated by Hubbard on Oct. 18, 1967, the

rule stated that a Suppressive Person "may be deprived of property or

injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of

the Scientologists." To Silence Cooper the sect framed her, stealing

some of her stationary and making it appear as though she had sent them

two bomb threats. As a result she was indicted on three counts and had

to spend about $19, 000 in legal fees, and about five years defending

herself from all types of harassment, including death threats. She

finally was cleared of all criminal charges, and the FBI, after seizing

church documents, found numerous documents detailing an elaborate plan

to "freak-out" Cooper.

During the 1960s and 1970s Scientology sued and threatened many

individuals and groups perceived to be threats, especially government

agencies. But after Boston attorney Michael Flynn began filing

multiple lawsuits against the sect in behalf of former members

claiming abuse, Scientology began to settle some of the suits in what

leaders in 1986 called a quest for peace with its critics. (Hubbard

had previously rescinded part of his "Fair Game" doctrine due to the

bad publicity it was causing.)

But has Scientology really been trying to achieve peace with its

enemies since 1986? The evidence suggest that it has not. Instead,

litigation appears to be on the increase.

In March, at the Eastern Regional Cult Awareness Network (CAN)

conference in Washington, D.C., former Clearwater Florida mayor Gabe

Cazares was publicly served with a lawsuit just after he gave an anti-

Scientology presentation. The suit is the latest in a series of legal

actions Cazares has faced since he rallied Clearwater community leaders

against Scientology after the sect bought a local hotel in the 1970s

under the name "United Churches of Florida" and moved into town.

Scientology's previous suit against Cazares for libel was dismissed

in 1977, and two other suits against him were dropped when Cazares

filed a countersuit against the sect, forcing the sides to an

out-of-court agreement. Cazares said the new suit alleges that he

failed to live up to his previous agreement not to speak out against

Scientology. But Cazares said his involvement with CAN does not fall

under the agreement's terms.

Attempts to silence writers also continue. Last year, trying to

block publication of the book Bare Faced Messiah: The True Story of L.

Ron Hubbard, the church sued former London Times reporter Russell

Miller. Concurrent with the suit, police questioned him as a suspect in

the murder of a South London private detective. Miller, who was

cleared of any wrong doing in the case, said police received an

anonymous tip from someone who used an extensive knowledge of his work

and private life to frame him. While the Church of Scientology has not

been linked to the alleged frame-up by police, Miller suspects that's

what happened.

After Miller won the case allowing publication of the book, private

investigators showed up in England attempting to link him to the death

of Dean Reed, a former American pop singer who defected to the

Communist bloc. Miller was again cleared of all wrong doing in the

case. The church has denied sending private investigators to

investigate Miller.

In the U.S. an intriguing battle continues in the wake of last

year's publication of L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? by Brent

Corydon and Hubbard's estranged son, L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.. According to

the St. Petersburg Times, "Scientologists have been so determined to

stop publication...that they filed four lawsuits against the author"

and his publisher. One of the suits sought to remove the name of L.

Ron Hubbard, Jr., who now goes by the name of Ronald DeWolf, as

co-author of the book.

Corydon has countered that he began the project as a ghost writer to

DeWolf before the sect paid the late founder's son money not to

continue the project. DeWold sued Corydon, but so far the

lawsuit has not been successful.

To this date, Scientology has won only one of the suits. This

pertained to the book's cover on which publisher Lyle Stuart had

planned to print a volcano with Hubbard's head coming out of the

top. It was meant as a parody of the volcano on the front of Hubbard's

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which serves as primary

reading for the sect.

Not wanting the sect to block publication of the book, the company

rushed it into print without an index. Its front cover contains a most

unusual message to the buyer: "This is not the jacket we planned for

this book. We have been forced to use this makeshift design in order

to safeguard our tight to ship MESSIAH OR MADMAN? to the public. We

consider it our duty to make this important book available to you as

soon as possible - despite the ongoing legal harassment we are

suffering. The contents of [this book] justify the enormous legal and

personal problems that we have gone through. We are convinced that

this book must not be supressed at any cost."

- William M. Alnor

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