FBI File No.: 62-1161511
Honorable Don Edwards
Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights
House Committee on the Judiciary
U. S. House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515
Dear Chairman Edwards:
Your letter of June 3, 1985, requesting FBI review of allegations made by Reverend John D. Standard III, Director, Office of Public Affairs, Church of Scientology International, concerning “a bizarre multi-agency plan to disrupt the Church of Scientology has been brought to my attention.
The FBI has received other inquiries on this subject. I want to stress that the FBI is not involved solely or in conjunction with other Federal agencies in any attempt to destroy the Church of Scientology. In those cases where a violation of Federal law falling within the FBI’s jurisdiction has occurred, the FBI investigates such situations with complete fairness to all parties involved. The facts are then presented to the appropriate United States Attorney’s office which determines the prospective merits of the case.
The particular allegations made by Reverend Standard are based on conversations recorded during “secret” videotaping of a former Church member, Gerry Armstrong, whom Reverend Standard alleges is a “government covert operative.”
Gerry Armstrong, a former church member, has been interviewed numerous times by various Federal investigators and attorneys in connection with pending litigation in this and other Federal investigations. Partial transcripts of Mr. Armstrong’s videotaped conversations have been provided by the Church as an exhibit to various pleadings filed in litigation with the Department of Justice, and they fail to substantiate claims of a counter-intelligence program directed against that group. Conversely, review of the unexpurgated transcripts of those videotaped meetings referred to by Reverend Standard conclusively negates any inference of government conspiracy.
I hope this will be of assistance to you.
William H. Webster
NOTE: Reverend John D. Standard III, Director, Office of Public Affairs, Church of Scientology International, wrote to Representative Rodino, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee alleging “a bizarre multi-agency plan to disrupt the Church of Scientology”, and requested Representative Don Edwards hold hearings on this matter. Representative Don Edwards requested the FBI review Reverend Standard’s allegations. Videotaped conversations of a former Church member, Gerry Armstrong allegedly establish the government-wide conspiracy and have been utilized as exhibits in various pleadings filed by the Church; however, the transcripts selectively omit a pertinent portion of the tape which conclusively negates any inference of government conspiracy. The context of this letter was taken, in part, from similar replies to congressional inquiries. This reply was coordinated with [?] Legal Counsel Division.
[Handwritten] Copies of the transcript of the videotaped conversations of former church member Gerry Armstrong were filed as an exhibit to a motion to vacate summary judgment entered on behalf of the defendants in Founding Church of Scientology v. Director FBI etc. (USDC, DOC, C.A. No. 78-0107). A review of these transcripts by DOJ attorneys and by SA [?] reveals several statements by Armstrong to the effect that the government is “not out to get” the Church of Scientology or any Scientologist. Copies of the full text are in possession of LCD and DOJ Federal Program Branch. 8/1/85