Letter from Scientologist to Senator Lawton Chiles (ca. May 10, 1985)

FBI File No.: 62-116151-71

Senator Lawton Chiles
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

[return address redacted]

I am writing to you because I am concerned about several government agencies violating the rights of American citizens. There have been several media reports of the FBI and the IRS violating the constitutional rights of certain groups and individuals.

For example certain people involved in Central American activities have been harassed by the IRS and FBI. Also the Church of Scientology has been targeted by the IRS and the FBI for counter-intelligence actions strikingly similar to those that were done to several pple and groups in the 1960’s and 1970’s including Rev. Martin Luther King.

The plot which was recently revealed in Portland case to take over the Church of Scientology is an appalling act which violates the American standard of the separation of church and state. This plot involved an ex staff member who was backed by the IRC Criminal Investigational Division to disrupt the Church and take over the management and assets.

As my representative in the Senate, I am asking you to investigate this criminality in the government and help to restore the constitutional rights of your citizens.

Sincerely yours,

[name redacted]


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Letter from Scientologist to Congressman Bilirakis (May 10, 1985)

FBI File No.: 62-116151-71
May 10, 1985
Congressman Bilirakis
1100 Cleveland Street
Clearwater, Fla. 33515
Dear Mr. Bilirakis:
A certain matter has come to my attention which I think is important enough to bring to your attention. There is a very real threat to the constitutional rights of every American citizen, including yourself. Specifically there are internal intelligence operations being conducted right now by the IRS and the FBI with cooperation from certain Department of Justice terminals.
For a fact, the New York Times recently reported harassment by the FBI and IRS of various citizens and groups involved in Central American activities. Outright allegations have surfaced that federal undercover agents are engaging in COINTELPRO which are the exact same operations that the FBI engaged in and said it stopped in 1971.
Another fact is that the Church of Scientology has released video tapes made during an undercover sting operation. The subject of the video tape is how a former Church employee, who is now a government agent, is planning, as part of a multi-agency plan, to disrupt the Church of Scientology internally and then oust current Church management, replacing them with persons under the control of the government agents involved. This is the truth, and when you see the tapes you will believe it too.
For the above reason I request that you support a call for hearings into government domestic intelligence operations. You and I cannot afford to sit back and have our constitutional rights taken away from us. Also, I request that you write the IRS and the FBI demanding an explanation of the cases above and a full accounting of their domestic intelligence activities including their actions in present time.
I believe in American rights and I believe you do also. Please let me know what you are going to do in this matter.
[name redacted]
cc: Paula Hawkins, Wash., D.C., Lawton Chiles, U.S. Senate



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Letter from Scientologist to Senator Lawton Chiles (May 10, 1985)

FBI File No.: 62-116151-71
Lawton Chiles
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
10 May 1985
Dear Sir:
I am writing to you as I find the recent data come to light in the video tape by the Church of Scientology regarding the FBI and IRS etc getting together and plotting to DISRUPT it from within to be totally and absolutely against the very foundation and principles and Constitution of this country. It is shocking that U.S. Government agencies could still be doing such in such a wide, multiple agency enterprise. I feel you must look into this yourself and then demand that a full scale investigation be done. Where there are indications like this actual criminality regarding constitutional rights of ours there must be more as well and I think a full investigation would find evidence of much more long term dishonesty than this It is VITAL for this to be done.
I remember some time in the early 70’s the FBI got its hands slapped for Counter-Intelligence programs such as this more recent one on the Church of Scientology. They promised to be good boys. Obviously this was a total lie. They need to have these current dishonesties found out about and HANDLED now. If this is not done forget about justice from the FBI and IRS, forget about honesty. It’s up to us, the people. I’m counting on you Mr. Chiles to do your job. See that video on the Church of Scientology sting operation on these guys. This really shows it. Then decide for yourself.
Thank you,
[name redacted]


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Freedom: (May 1985)


Freedom (May 1985)

  • IRS Strategic Plan Exposed1
  • Videotapes of Federal Informant Reveal Bizarre Plot to Destroy Church
  • Agencies in Turmoil As Conspiracy Exposed: Freedom’s expose of the Armstrong videotapes has created an uproar in a number of government agencies and departments


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OSA Press Release (April 23, 1985)

Source  “PR Newswire”
Author  Kenneth Hoden
Date  April 23rd, 19851

LOS  ANGELES,  April  23/PRN  –  Videotapes  made  of  a  church  “sting”  operation
revealed  today  a  bizarre,  multigovernment-agency  “Cointelpro”  plot  designed  to  take
over the control, property and assets of the Church of Scientology, the church reported

The  operation,  which  the  church  said  was  approved  by  a  Los  Angeles  police  officer,
allegedly  involved  agents  of  the  Los  Angeles  Internal  Revenue  Service  criminal
investigation division.

Church  attorney  John  Peterson  said  Cointelpro  is  an  “unconstitutional  FBI
counterintelligence program that created a public outcry and was supposedly cancelled in
the 1970s, but is still obviously very much alive and in operation in the United States

The videotapes – already filed in evidence in a Federal court here and shown today at a
Los Angeles news conference – disclosed, according to Peterson, “that special agents of
the  IRS  criminal  investigation  division  (CID)  conspired  with  a  government  operative,
Gerry Armstrong, in an illegal and covert-intelligence plot in violation of constitutional
rights and freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

The church said the conspiracy was brought to light when a private investigator, working
under  the  supervision  of  a  church  attorney,  obtained  written  permission  from  a  Los
Angeles  police  officer  to  videotape  clandestine  meetings  between  Armstrong  and  a
church staff member.

According to the church, the investigator taped the meetings, which took place in Los
Angeles’ Griffith Park, to document the Cointelpro operation being planned against the

Peterson said the government agencies and individual officials identified by Armstrong in
the videotapes include:

– Alan P. Lipkin and Alfonse V. Ristuccia, agents of the criminal investigation division of
the Los Angeles IRS office;

– Richard Greenberg, assistant U.S. attorney in Washington;
– Thomas Doughty, special assistant U.S. attorney for the FBI in Washington;

– Brackett Denniston III, assistant U.S. attorney in Boston;

– the Florida State Attorney General’s office; and

– Al Ciampini, detective sergeant of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Peterson said the intricacies  of  this  “lawless conspiracy” were spelled out in detail by
Armstrong,  former  church  clerk  turned  federal  witness/government  informant,  during
secret  meetings  he  had  with  two  members  of  the  Church  of  Scientology  –  “Joey”  and
“Mike”  –  who  pretended  to  Armstrong  that  they  were  dissatisfied  with  current  church
leadership and wished to “improve matters internally.”

In  the  videotapes,  Peterson  alleged,  Armstrong  is  seen  carrying  out  orders  from  the
government  agencies  and  his  Boston  lawyer,  Michael  Flynn,  who  were  “directing  and
supervising  him  in  their  carefully  orchestrated,  covert-intelligence  plan  to  overthrow
current church leadership and seize the church’s sizable property and assets.”

Armstrong’s secret meetings with the “Loyalists” – the fictitious group of which Joey and
Mike  were  supposedly  members  –  which  were  videotaped  without  Armstrong’s
knowledge, unfolded what Peterson termed “the government-Flynn plans” to:

“- Create and plant forged documents in church files;

– Steal attorney-client privileged information from the church;

– Suborn perjury to cover up the conspiracy; and

– Engineer the filing of a suit written by Flynn, based on false allegations, which was
designed to obtain a receivership of all properties and assets of the church.”

Peterson  said  the  existence  of  such  a  “shameless  and  shocking”  conspiracy  involving
Flynn,  Armstrong  and  government  agencies  and  officials  is  corroborated  and  detailed
over and over again in the videotapes.

“The evidence in these tapes,” Peterson said, “confirms that the government conspired
with  Flynn,  secretly  protecting  and  aiding  him  both  to  obtain  information  about  the
church and to exert legal pressure against the church through an outrageously abusive and
harassive series of suits that now total more than a billion dollars.”

As Armstrong revealed in the videotapes, his goal was “global settlement” of all of the
Flynn-contrived  lawsuits  against  the  church.  The  method  for  achieving  this,  he  said,
would be through the new church leaders, who would take over after the Flynn-drafted
suit for the Loyalists was successful in ousting the current church executives.
Peterson pointed out that the Flynn-inspired lawsuit, if successful, would have allowed
the  government  to  manipulate  the  church  from  the  top  while  seizing  its  property  and
assets. The suit was never filed, Peterson added, and the government scheme to infiltrate
and overturn the management of the church was successfully thwarted.

He said the videotapes make it clear that while Armstrong was exchanging information
regularly with his lawyer, Michael Flynn, he was at the same time attempting to cover up
Flynn’s involvement in the conspiracy.

In  Armstrong’s  own  words:  “By  the  way,  I’ll  never  admit  that  anything  comes  from
Michael (Flynn), including any complaints which I may have drafted … But I’m telling
you, he’s behind it 100 percent, absolutely behind it.

Contact – Rev. Ken Hoden of the Church of Scientology, 213-666-3424


Freedom Special Edition: Late Breaking News (April/May 1985)


Freedom (April/May 1985)

  • Videotapes of Federal Informant Reveal Bizarre Government Plot to Destroy Church1 2
  • Agencies in turmoil as conspiracy exposed: Freedom’s expose of the Armstrong videotapes has created an uproar in a number of government agencies and departments
  • COINTELPRO Alive and Well in America


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  2. This document in PDF format.