FBI: Letter from Director William N. Webster to Chairman, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights Don Edwards

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.

[…]

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

FBI: Letter from Assistant Director William M. Baker to [?]

The Christofferson v. Church of Scientology case was resolved in a civil court and did not involve an investigation by the FBI; therefore, it is not appropriate for us to comment regarding it.

In response to your other observations, I want to emphasize that the FBI is not involved in any attempt to destroy the Church. In those cases where a violation of Federal law falling within the FBI’s jurisdiction has occurred, we always strive to investigate 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 prosecutive merits of the case.

The videotape you referenced was provided by the Church as an exhibit to various pleadings filed in litigation with the Department of Justice, and it fails to substantiate claims of a counterintelligence program directed against that group.

FBI: Letter from Assistant Director William N. Baker to Senator Alan Cranston

The film referenced by [?] has been provided by the Church of Scientology as an exhibit to various pleadings filed in litigation with the Department of Justice, and it fails to substantiate claims of a counterintelligence program directed against this group.

 

FBI: Letter from Assistant Director William M. Baker to Senator Slade Gorton

The videotape referenced in the material you enclosed on this subject has been provided by the Church as an exhibit to various pleadings filed in litigation with the Department of Justice, and it fails to substantiate claims of a counter-intelligence program directed against that group.

[…]

NOTE: Senator Gorton wrote to Mr. Brady regarding alleged undercover Government activities directed against the Church of Scientology. Similar reply has been given in response to other inquiries regarding this matter. That reply was coordinated with [?] CID, and SA [?] LCD, who advised that the videotape referenced was made by the Church of Scientology itself. Transcripts of it which were provided by the Church as exhibits to various pleadings filed in litigation wit the Department of Justice fail to substantiate the claim of a counter intelligence program directed against them.

FBI: Letter from Director William H. Webster to Senator Lawton Chiles

The videotape referenced by many of those who wrote to you on this subject has been provided by the Church as exhibits to various pleadings filed in litigation with the Department of Justice, and it fails to substantiate claims of a counterintelligence program directed against that group.

[…]

NOTE: Senator Chiles wrote to Judge Webster on behalf of 28 of his constituents seeking information concerning allegations that the Federal Government was attempting to discredit and disrupt the management of the Church of Scientology. Reply coordinated with SA [?] CID, and SA [?] LCD, who advised that the videotape referenced by many of the constituents was made by the Church of Scientology itself. Transcripts of it which were provided by the Church as exhibits to various pleadings filed in litigation with the Department of Justice fail to substantiate the claims of a counterintelligence program directed against them.

FBI: Letter from [?] to Congressman Bilirakis

FBI: Letter from [?] to Senator Lawton Chiles

Date approximated.

FBI: Letter from [?] to Senator Lawton Chiles

FBI: Letter from [?] to Congressman Bilirakis

FBI: Letter from [?] to Senator Lawton Chiles