Be Glad You Lost, Julie (November 9, 2003)

By Dan Garvin
9 November 2003

Source: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.scientology/msg/71f514f4e97f24231


In the summer of 1985, I had been in OSA Int for less than a year. I was in charge of external computerization for OSA, which meant I got to go all over the place setting up and taking care of anything that had a CPU and wasn’t inside OSA Int. Up in Portland, Oregon, the “Christo Trial” was getting going. There was already a Trial Unit of OSA Int, OSA US, local DSA and other staff and some volunteers. Some attorneys were also in Portland Earle Cooley was the main one I dealt with. Miscavige was there, as were Marty Rathbun, Mike Sutter, Lynn Farny, Ken Long, Karen Hollander, and many other names you’d recognize. Many famous SPs were there too. Somebody got a nice picture once of Gerry Armstrong flipping the bird at the camera as he was leaving the courtroom.

The Christo Trial was a damages suit by Julie Christofferson against the Church in Portland for, IIRC, fraud and emotional distress and a number of related torts. By that time she was Julie Titchbourne, but we still called the case Christo in OSA. After a while, I was called up from LA. There were two or three condominiums in the same building in downtown Portland, near the courthouse. One was Earle Cooley’s; one was the work and research area for the OSA Int execs and senior Legal personnel; I think there was a third one for the ASI/RTC personnel (at that time, Miscavige was still calling himself ED ASI, although he was just as much the boss of everything as he is now, at least as far as OSA was concerned). These condos were fairly luxurious. The lesser beings worked in the Trial Unit at the Celebrity Centre. I got to work in the OSA Int Condo, although I slept in a hotel some distance away.

The reason I was brought up is that they wanted transcripts of the proceedings loaded into computers on a daily basis so they could be searched by Cooley, Farny, Long, et al. At first, so I was told by one of the attorneys (probably Tim Bowles), we were not even supposed to have been given the transcripts. Only the attorneys were allowed to have them, for some reason. So our attorneys of course violated this order and gave the transcripts to me and to other personnel. But I got pretty crappy copies. I had miniature duplicates of the INCOMM computers set up in the condo. They were made by a company called WICAT, and they had a Unix-like proprietary operating system. We had one or two OCR – optical character recognition – machines set up. In those days, OCRing was pretty primitive (or prohibitively expensive), and these could only handle certain fonts, which had to be in very good condition. So the crappy and illicit copies we were getting had to be mostly typed in by hand, and for that there were about a half dozen personnel who had been doing that type of thing in LA.

Later they got permission to let us have copies of the transcripts, and the quality improved vastly. The other typists were sent home and I was pretty much running the whole computer show. I could OCR and correct everything by myself. We had huge rack-mount tape drives with twelve- or fourteen-inch reels, each holding 10 MB of data. I used these for backups and to transfer the data up to the computer in Earle Cooley’s condo. The information was loaded into a database that INCOMM called FAST, which was like SIR, or Source Information Retrieval, which is all the LRH issues (of all kinds, and advices too for those authorized) in a searchable database. FAST was the same system exactly, but for non-LRH material. OSA was inputting all the documents in all legal cases, and later added just about everything else as well. When a case was going on, everybody would rush to get it into FAST as soon as possible so the legal vultures could pick it over for anything they could use to win points the next day in court.

The Christofferson case is a fascinating story, but one I don’t know very well. What’s relevant to this post is, we lost. The jury awarded Julie Titchbourne something like $30 million. Nothing like this had ever happened before (so I was told and believed). The loss would set a precedent and all the other “frivolous” deep-pocket lawsuits against Scientology churches would fall like dominoes in favor of the enemy. We were crushed. I had not been in the courtroom once the whole time I was there, but I came down to hear the decision – and share in the victory. When I heard the award against us, I literally did not know what to do. I thought it was the end of the world, or pretty close. It was impossible and unthinkable. Our religion could be shut down by ambulance-chasing attorneys and professional victims. I wandered out of the courtroom in a daze. I went down to a park in town and just walked around. Everything seemed surreal. But I realized we would not just cave in. We would appeal. We would fight with every ounce of our strength, and when that was gone, we would still fight on. I started to feel a little better. All the same, it was unbelievable. After all, RTC and ASI were running things directly, and if anybody would make sure LRH legal tech was standardly applied, they would and still we lost. Man, there must be some heavy-duty corruption going on behind the scenes, to create such a miscarriage of justice! Well, we’d find that, too, and somehow we’d win. We had to. The survival of the world depended on it.

So I got tired of moping and headed back to the condo. The execs and OSA guys were there; I don’t remember which ones but probably most of the ones who normally worked or attended conferences there. Nobody was saying much; it looked like everybody else hadn’t finished moping yet. So I took a hint and resumed moping. Every once in a while somebody would wonder what the hell we were going to do, or what went wrong, and speculate about how bad it was going to be. After a while, the CO OSA Int, Mike Sutter, spoke up. He said  (paraphrasing), “I don’t care if she thinks she won. That bitch is never going to see one single cent. I’ll kill her first. I don’t care if I get the chair it’s worth it. It’s just one lifetime.

I froze. I wasn’t moving much to begin with, but I froze solid. I didn’t want to breathe. I forgot all about our immediate problems. My CO had just said he was going to murder Julie Titchbourne. He was absolutely serious. I was in shock. Sure, she deserved to die all SPs did. But you can’t actually do that that sort of thing. My thoughts raced. Please, I thought, please, somebody say something that will make this stop. I was trying to think what I could say. If I said the wrong thing, or said it the wrong way, I’d be out of there that night and getting sec checked the next day. But this was madness!

There was not a sound in the room. It seemed like ten minutes but was probably only one. Finally Miscavige spoke up. Here’s what he didn’t say: He didn’t say, “Sutter, you’re fucking crazy, we don’t kill people!” He didn’t say, “You’re joking, right?” He didn’t explain that Julie’s estate would still get the money or that killing a plaintiff would be a hundred times worse for the Church than paying her even the whole $30 million. He just said, “No, this is what we’re going to do.” And then launched what within a day or two became the Portland Crusade.

The Crusade, along with a lot of flanking actions and, according to Cooley, his own research in the database I’d put together for him, worked, and the Judge, Londer, eventually threw out the decision. Julie would have had to start from scratch, with much tighter restrictions on what was admissible as evidence. I guess they just gave up.

Julie deserved that money, or at least some compensation for being screwed over by Scientology. I’m sorry for my part in stopping her from getting paid. But, then again, if the Crusade and everything had failed and she had won in the end, I wonder if Sutter would ultimately have made good on his promise to murder her. Even if the estate still collected Julie’s money, it sure would have made other plaintiffs think twice about their own cases. It may be that Julie’s loss is the only reason she is alive today.

One thing I am absolutely certain of: When Mike Sutter said he would kill her, he meant it, absolutely and literally. He certainly was not reprimanded or corrected at the time by anyone for suggesting this, and if any action was taken against him later, it was nothing I ever heard about – nor did anybody ever pull me aside and say, “You know we would never actually do that, right?” or some such. In fact, a few months later he was promoted to RTC. He was still in RTC as late as 1995 or so. I don’t know if he has been seen in the last few years. That could mean a number of things. He could just have a post that never requires him to leave the Gold Base, or he could have gone to the RPF, or he could have been transferred somewhere else on some secret post or mission. Or, for all I know, he could have gone off to do the Hit Man Full Hat and Apprenticeship.

Hubbard’s Code of Honor says, near as I can recall, “Your honor and integrity are more important than your physical body.” Also, the third and fourth dynamics (the group Scientology, and all mankind) are more important than anyone’s first dynamic (self an SP’s life or the life of whatever hero murdered the SP). To the average Scientologist and perhaps the average SO member, this interpretation of those ideals may sound extreme, even beyond extreme. As one nears the top of the ladder, though, I think they’re pretty typical. What may not be typical is the willingness to actually go through with it, mainly because the repercussions on Scientology would be far worse than the consequences of not committing the murder.

Lurkers, those of you still in the COS this is a glimpse at a side of RTC that you don’t hear about at the International Events. Next time you’re watching David Miscavige spewing his glib, formulaic PR at you, try remembering that this is a man to whom murdering a plaintiff was apparently just another option, one that he ultimately rejected in favor of a better one, but one he seemed to have no fundamental objections to.

Dan Garvin

Notes

Declaration of William C. Walsh (February 8, 1994)

Timothy Bowles
Kendrick L. Moxon
BOWLES & MOXON
6255 Sunset Blvd., Suite 2000
Hollywood, CA 90028
(213) 953-3360

Jonathan W. Lubell
MORRISON COHEN SINGER & WEINSTEIN
750 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10022
(212) 735-8600

Attorneys for Plaintiff
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
INTERNATIONAL, a California Non-
Profit Religious Organization,Plaintiff,vs.

STEVEN FISHMAN and UWE GEERTZ,

Defendants.


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CASE NO.
CV 91-6426 HLH (Tx)

DECLARATION OF WILLIAM C. WALSH1

I, WILLIAM C. WALSH, declare and say:

1. I am over the age of eighteen and a citizen of the District of Columbia. I have personal knowledge of the matters set forth herein and, if called upon to do so, could and would competently testify thereto.

2. I have been an attorney admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia since 1976. I am admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court of the United States, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals

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for the D.C. Circuit.

3. I have represented several Churches of Scientology and various members of the Scientology religion since 1978, primarily in matters concerning the federal government, including access to government records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act, and expungement and correction of inaccurate and derogatory information in records regarding or relating to Scientology, its members or leaders maintained in government files. I have extensive experience in federal records access and correction issues and I am a recognized expert in this field. I have been consulted by clients around the world and have been sought out by the media and other access professionals as an authoritative spokesperson on access issues. I also am very familiar with the actions taken by the Church and Scientology parishioners to assert and protect their rights under the FOIA and Privacy Act record retention statutes and the United States Constitution.

4. I am familiar with a program written by L. Ron Hubbard called the Snow White Program. In this declaration I will describe this program and its history, and demonstrate that the characterization of this program by Robert Vaughn Young as having an “intelligence arm” which was directed at the ” enemies” of Mr. Hubbard is a mischaracterization which is contrary to judicial opinions on the purpose of the Snow White Program as written by Mr. Hubbard. Young also claims that the Snow White Program was based on what he calls the “Fair Game doctrines,” and attempts to portray this as a personal vendetta by Mr. Hubbard against his opponents. As will be shown in more detail below, this

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description is completely inaccurate.

5. While others in the past have also mischaracterized the Snow White Program to suit their own ends, the term “Snow White” in reality only refers to the program written by Mr. Hubbard in 1973 for the purpose of correcting and expunging the plethora of false governmental reports about the Church of Scientology, its leaders and members through strictly legal means. Moreover, contrary to Young’s statement that this program was aimed at Mr. Hubbard’s enemies, it was actually directed only at obtaining legal access to false information which was disseminated internationally, and which in turn led to adverse action against Mr. Hubbard and other Scientologists.

6. Mr. Hubbard wrote the Snow White Program because several countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea had denied entry to their ports to the ship Apollo, which at that time housed the Church’s senior ecclesiastical management bodies, as a result of false and derogatory reports concerning Scientology which were being distributed by certain government agencies and officials in England, the United States and other countries. Mr. Hubbard wanted to clear these files to ensure that accurate and unbiased information on Scientology was maintained and disseminated. This program did not remotely deal with or involve anything illegal whatsoever. Indeed, Mr. Hubbard expressly stated that the “Ideal Scene” he wished to achieve was: “All false and secret files of the nations of operating areas brought to view and legally expunged ….” (Emphasis added.)

7. In the course of my representation of the Church, I have I viewed hundreds of thousands of pages of records from the files

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of government agencies concerning the Scientology religion, the Church, Mr. Hubbard and Scientology leaders and members. These records contain overwhelming and unequivocal evidence that the concerns which led Mr. Hubbard to write the Snow White Program were completely justified. Indeed, subsequent Congressional Oversight Hearings confirmed that both Mr. Hubbard and the Church were targeted for discriminatory treatment and for illegal and politically motivated information gathering designed to stigmatize and set a group apart as somehow inherently suspect under the law.

8. For example, between 1969 and the first half of 1974, the Apollo frequently docked at ports in Portugal with no problems and good relations with the people and local governments. In July 1973 a rumor was first heard in the port of Oporto that the Apollo was a “CIA ship.” Although the rumor continued to surface in 1973 and 1974 in Portugal, the Apollo nonetheless continued to be welcome in Portuguese ports without major incident. On October 3, 1974, when the Apollo was docked at the port of Funchal on the island of Madeira, Portugal, it was attacked by a large crowd throwing rocks and shouting “CIA ship.” The local police and army stood by and watched, doing nothing to hold the crowd back. As a result some Church staff aboard the ship were injured and property was damaged or destroyed. Cars and motorcycles belonging to the Church and Church staff were thrown off the dock into the bay. The ship crew had to fight off the attackers with fire hoses while the ship made an emergency departure to escape the violence, without being able to take on food, fuel or water. The Apollo and her crew were forced to wait

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offshore for over a day while order was restored so she could return to load fuel, food and water and sail to a safe country.

9. Documents obtained from the U.S. State Department through the Freedom of Information act pursuant to the Snow White Program traced the “CIA ship” rumor to a State Department telex in April of 1972 sent to various European countries. Following the Snow White Program procedure of locating and expunging false reports and seeking redress for religious persecution, a suit was filed in Lisbon by the company that owned the Apollo, Operation Transport Corporation (“OTC”), against the government of Portugal seeking damages as a result of this riot. In June of 1985, the Administrative Court of Lisbon awarded damages to OTC finding that the riot in October of 1974 had been sparked by the CIA ship rumor, and that this rumor was false.

10. There have been countless other instances over the years where extremely damaging and completely false information has been circulated from one agency to another. This information inevitably impairs and impedes the religion’s growth because it bears another agency’s imprimatur and is relied upon to take adverse action against the Church. It has been through the application of the principles in the Snow White Program that the Church has used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover such information. For example, a letter circulated by Interpol in the 1960s falsely accused Mr. Hubbard of having been charged with drug smuggling. Other government documents made the false and absurd claim that the Church and its members used LSD and other drugs. Although the Church is renowned internationally for its

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strong anti-drug stance and its widespread efforts to overcome the effects of drug abuse, this information was disseminated by the Department of Labor as well as other agencies and relied upon by foreign governments to take adverse action against members of the religion.

11. Not only have government agencies disseminated false information concerning the Church, they have also engaged in other actions to impair and impede the religion. In some cases, these actions were conducted in collusion with or in reliance upon information supplied by civil litigants and their attorneys. In a few instances this involved infiltration of the Church. For example, in 1959, a captain of the Washington, D.C. Police Department induced his own daughter to infiltrate the Church, pretending to be pregnant. She was supposed to procure the assistance of the Church in obtaining an abortion, but was, of course, unsuccessful as the Church refused to condone this (at the time illegal) act.

12. Civil litigants and their attorneys have often worked closely with government agents to achieve their mutual ends to the detriment of the Church. For example in the early 1980s a Boston personal injury lawyer, Michael Flynn, formed a corporation to promote his business of suing the Church. Flynn Associates Management Corporation (“FAMCO”) was formed, in the words of a FAMCO document, to promote four basic goals: “1. Closing Scientology organizations (Churches) 2. Adverse media 3. Adverse public reaction 4. Federal and state attacks.” Documents later released to the Church pursuant to the FOIA and other access statutes demonstrate that Flynn and certain government

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officials cooperated in their “attacks,” sharing tactics, documents and witnesses.

13. Flynn was also involved in assisting Gerry Armstrong, a Flynn client and government informant, who plotted a take-over of the Church. Armstrong’s plan included planting phony documents that would then be seized in a raid by federal agents.

14. In numerous instances, false and derogatory information maintained in government files regarding the Church, Mr. Hubbard or Church leaders has been provided by disaffected Scientologists engaged in civil litigation with the Church who have a substantial monetary stake in convincing the government to rely on their false allegations to take adverse action against the Church. A recent example of this tactic is the false and derogatory allegations contained in a mailing by an organization calling itself “Factnet” which include unsupported accusations of murder and suicide. This mailing appears to be the same “mail survey” referred to by Graham Berry in his declaration dated January 3, 1994, filed in the Fishman case. Among other highly inflammatory and absurd and baseless allegations, the mailing states that the recognition as a bona fide nonprofit religious organization the Church of Scientology recently received after unprecedented IRS scrutiny of every aspect of its operations is being “challenged” by a coalition of “ex-members” who are undoubtedly attempting to convince the government to once again rely upon false information. Interestingly, this tactic may have run its course as recently evidenced by an order issued by Judge Manuel L. Real in Spurlock v. FBI, Case No. CV 91-5602-R (C.D. Cal.) dated January 31, 1994. In that order, Judge Real ordered

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the FBI to meet and communicate with plaintiff’s counsel to “determine what information in the records at issue in this case may constitute evidence that false statements were made by Joseph Yanny, Richard Aznaran and/or Vicki Aznaran” to the FBI.

15. The Church’s goal of correcting government files was not a matter of stopping “international criticism” by the Church, as is alleged by Robert Vaughn Young. On the contrary, I have personal knowledge based on my review of the records that the false information in government files on the Church resulted in substantial harm to the Church and its members and in severe violations of their rights. Indeed, there was a pattern and practice of maintaining and disseminating such information to the Church’s detriment.

16. Although the legal correction of this false information was the heart of the Snow White Program and its sole purpose as conceived by Mr. Hubbard, during the 1970s a handful of misguided individuals in the now defunct Guardian’s Office of the Church improperly applied the term “Snow White” to various illegal activities for which they were convicted. Moreover, the individuals who committed these crimes were subsequently removed from their positions on Church staff and the Guardian’s Office was disbanded by the current leadership of the Church because this unit was not following Church ethical and legal policies and was misusing and misinterpreting these policies. The true and only purpose of Snow White was the corrective purpose put forward by Mr. Hubbard as the Supreme Court of Ontario noted in a well-reasoned decision.

17. Justice Osler of the Supreme Court of Ontario, Canada,

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reviewed the Snow White Program in 1985 to determine whether an Ontario Provincial Police officer should be cross-examined regarding an affidavit he had filed, which characterized the Snow White Program as calling for illegal actions. In an opinion dated January 23, 1985, after reviewing the Snow White Program document and other related evidence, Justice Osler noted that:

“[I]t is not without significance that the affidavit of Fletcher Prouty, appearing in Volume 8A of the record at tab KK, makes it appear that he formed the conclusion, as a highly placed official of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States that since 1950 there has been a.definite campaign of harassment against this organization (Scientology) for nearly thirty years primarily by means of the dissemination of false and derogatory information around the world to create a climate in which adverse action would be taken against the Church and its members. Defense against this type of activity was, of course, the stated objective of the SNOW WHITE program.”

Decision of Supreme Court of Ontario, Osler, J., pp. 33-34. (Attached as Exhibit 1.)

18. Concluding that the document on its face called for actions to “legally” expunge files and that the word ” legally” appeared to have been purposely left out of the officer’s affidavit, Justice Osler ordered that the cross-examination of the officer go forward. Following the cross-examination, on February 7, 1985, Justice Osler issued a second opinion stating that while he did not believe that the officer’s

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mischaracterization of the Snow White Program rose to the level of a fraudulent misrepresentation, he did find that the officer had made “errors in judgment” in characterizing the program as calling for “illegal actions.”

19. The activities of the Church under the Snow White Program have consisted of filing Freedom of Information Act requests with Federal governmental agencies and public record requests at the state and local level, filing record inspection requests in foreign countries that provide citizen access to records, pursuing litigation to compel disclosure of significant records withheld by an agency, and the filing and prosecution of lawsuits such as a class action lawsuit in 1978 in the United States against a number of federal agencies for the purpose of expunging false reports on the Church, Mr. Hubbard, Scientology leaders and parishioners. Indeed, the Church’s requests have resulted in disclosing substantial numbers of records regarding activities specifically found to be improper by Congress.

20. Through its actions connected with the Snow White Program, the Church has become an acknowledged leader in the field of rights to access of information from government agencies. I have personal knowledge of most of these actions. The Church has obtained numerous precedents under the FOIA, paving the way for others who want to hold the government accountable for its actions through public record access. Some of these precedents include Church of Scientology of California v. Department of Army, 611 F.2d 738 (9th Cir.1979), Founding Church v. National Security Agency, 610 F.2d 824 (D.C.Cir. 1979), and, more recently, Church of Scientology of San Francisco v.

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IRS, 911 F.2d 560 (9th Cir.1993). Scientologists have also strengthened the rights of individuals to correct improper information in the files of agencies, where it is needed to protect their Constitutional rights. Smith v. Brady, 972 F.2d 1095 (9th Cir. 1992).

21. Indeed, the Church has been in the forefront of the FOIA since its passage in 1966 and has developed landmark decisions that benefit all who use the FOIA. The FOIA is the linchpin of the free flow of government information and one of the most important tools we have to ensure “an informed citizenry vital to the functioning of a democratic state.” NCRB v. Robbins, 437 U.S. 214 (1978). It is not something sinister but an essential tool of an informed citizenry and a precious right. The Church’s efforts as a result of the Snow White Program to support that right and to educate the public on the FOIA should be commended, not condemned, as they serve the public interest.

22. The Snow White Program concerned a series of legal actions to locate and correct false information in the files of government agencies. In that regard, the Church’s legal bureau, working with Church counsel, have successfully utilized the Freedom of Information Act and similar statutes around the world. If false and derogatory information is contained in such records, the Church seeks the cooperation of the agencies involved in expunging and/or correcting such reports. Litigation to obtain relief has become necessary only as a last resort. That is the totality of the Snow White Program as conceived by Mr. Hubbard

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and that is all that it has ever been — a proper and legal mechanism for the Church to protect its First Amendment rights.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this 8th day of February, 1994 at Los Angeles, California.

Signature William C. Walsh Declaration 02-08-1994

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Notes

  1. This document in PDF format.