From: sta…@gte.net (Stacy Brooks Young)
Subject: A classic example of the fair game policy at work
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(Gerry Armstrong is my friend now that we are both out of Scientology, and I
have already told him this story. I have told him how sorry I am for my part in
trying to destroy him when I was still an OSA staff member. Ive told several
other people this story as well, and they have urged me to share it because it
is such a classic illustration of how far DM and his cronies are willing to go
to destroy their enemies.)
I was the managing editor of FREEDOM Magazine in the Spring of 1985, when Julie
Christofferssons lawsuit against the Church of Scientology was being retried. I
was also the main writer for the Office of Special Affairs, meaning that when DM
needed something special written, he called on me.
Julie Christoffersson had named Gerry Armstrong as a witness in her trial. DM
wanted to discredit Gerry because he was extremely concerned about the
information Gerry had. Gerry had been the LRH Archivist up until the end of
1981, and as such he had had access to all of LRHs personal papers. These
included documents which, I know from my own viewing of them at the beginning of
1982, provide incontrovertible evidence that LRH suffered from clinical paranoid
schizophrenia and manic depression from a very early age.
There were letters to his parents in which he exhibited wildly delusional
paranoia. There was a document, known during Gerrys trial as “the
Affirmations,” in which LRH clearly revealed himself to have delusions of
grandeur. There was another document, nicknamed “Blood Ritual,” in which LRH
described in grisly detail various methods of horrific sexual torture which he
wanted to inflict on his second wife, Sara, whom he had met when he was heavily
involved in black magic.
Gerry had been the first person in Scientology to see all of these documents. He
was critiquing many of the “About the Author” sections in the LRH books and
comparing the information in them to the documents he had in the archives. In
the fall of 1981 Norman Starkey, then directly under DM in Special Project,
which would soon become Author Services, Inc., received a report that the
information that was being published about LRHs life by Scientology was false,
according to the documents in the archives. It was clear that some of the
documents (such as Blood Ritual) could present public relations problems if they
were ever made public.
When Norman received this report he immediately ordered Gerry in for security
checking, since he was obviously disaffected and clearly critical of LRH, which
of course meant that he had overts and withholds against LRH which needed to be
“pulled.” Gerry got into such serious ethics trouble, in fact, that it made him
realize how deeply he had been defrauded by LRH and Scientology.
Gerry was working at the time with Omar Garrison, a writer who had been hired to
write a biography of LRH. Gerry had been systematically making copies of all the
archives materials and taking the copies to Omar for his biography research. By
the time he blew in November 1981, Gerry had photocopied the entire archive for
DM, Norman Starkey, Lyman Spurlock, Terri Gamboa, Vaughn and I all tried to get
Gerry to come back to Scientology and also to return the copies of the archives
materials. When it became apparent that Gerry was not going to do either, and it
became known that he had sent LRHs documents to anti-Scientology attorney
Michael Flynn, DM had the Church of Scientology of California file suit against
Gerry for theft of the documents. Because it looked like CSC might lack
standing, DM arranged for Mary Sue to intervene in the suit, because she had the
strongest claim on LRHs personal papers, since she was his wife.
I was part of the Gerry Armstrong Dead Agent Unit — the GA DA Unit for short.
Vaughn, myself, Andy Lenarcic, Ann Lenarcic, and a few others worked round the
clock to come up with evidence that would prove Armstrong was a “shoddy
researcher” and therefore was wrong in saying that the information being
published by the church about LRH was false.
We did everything we could to find evidence to back up claims LRH had made about
himself. We looked high and low for proof that on a shakedown cruise of the PC
815 during World War II, LRH really had sunk a submarine off the coast of Oregon
in 1942, for example. The evidence just did not exist. We tried to find evidence
that he had really graduated from George Washington University and that he had
studied nuclear physics at Princeton. It just wasnt true. We tried to prove
that he had been on an intelligence mission to break up Aleister Crowleys Ordo
Templer Orientis (OTO) when he went to Pasadena in 1946 and began dabbling in
black magic. There just wasnt any evidence.
CSCs and Mary Sues case againt Gerry was tried by Judge Paul Breckinridge in
the Spring of 1984. Michael Flynn was Gerrys attorney. He is a brilliant
lawyer, and he ate Mary Sue and the church for breakfast during that trial.
Flynns defense of Gerry was to show that Gerry had taken copies of the
documents knowing he would have to defend himself against the churchs fair game
tactics, the point being that he needed the documents to prove that the church
Flynn was so successful in his defense of Gerry that Judge Breckinridge issued a
now-famous decision in which he labeled L. Ron Hubbard a paranoid schizophrenic
and called the Chruch of Scientology an alter-ego of Hubbards insanity.
Scientology was able to get the documents sealed, and they remained sealed until
the case settled in 1986 (at which time they were returned to Scientolgy), but
Gerry dealt a crushing blow to LRHs credibility during that trial. Needless to
say, Gerry Armstrong became one of Scientologys most hated enemies from that
Then in the summer of 1984, Gerry testified in a child custody case in London,
the Latey case, which also resulted in a devastating decision against
Scientology. So DM was determined to discredit Gerry so that he would be useless
in any future litigation.
DM ordered an intelligence sting operation against Gerry. Gene Ingram got an
LAPD officer, Phillip Rodriguez, to sign off on a bogus authorization to
wiretap or videotape Gerry secretly. It was not actually authorized by the LAPD
and Rodriguez later got in trouble for it. Then Mike Rinder and Dave Kluge (one
of OSAs intelligence operatives at the time) both set up meetings with Gerry
Armstrong, pretending to be disaffected Scientologists who were considering
going to the authoritites with incriminating information about the church.
Mikes role was important because he was a high-level management staff member
whom Gerry knew very well. He met with Gerry and basically said he was extremely
dissatisfied with the way the church was being run and wondered if Gerry could
hook him up with anyone in the IRS or FBI. Gerry had, in fact, been contacted by
investigators from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, because at that time
the IRS was seriously investigating LRH and Scientology for criminal fraud. So
Gerry gave Mike the names of the agents he had spoken to.
But DM wanted more than this. DM wanted evidence that Gerry was a paid informant
of the IRS, because this would show the judge that Gerrys testimony was
tainted. The only problem was, Gerry wasnt a paid informant. So no matter how
Rinder and Kluge asked their questions, they couldnt get Gerry on videotape
saying he was being paid to attack the church. Rinder and Kluge asked him all
kinds of leading questions, trying in every way possible to get Gerry to say
what they had been ordered to get him to say. But to no avail.
So DM called me in and ordered me to edit the transcripts of the videotapes to
make it look like Gerry was admitting to being a paid informant, even though he
never had admitted any such thing. I was to edit out Rinders and Kluges
leading questions so it looked like Gerry was volunteering information, when in
fact all he was really doing was answering a hypothetical question that had been
posed to him.
I went through the transcripts and pulled the “best” parts I could find, doing
my best to comply with DMs orders to make Gerry look like a paid informant.
Privately I thought it was obvious, even after the editing, that Gerry was being
set up, but I dutifully turned in my doctored transcript to DM, who then turned
it over to Ted Horner, a Gold staff member in charge of film editing, to use my
edited transcript to do the final edit on the videotapes.
Then I went back to editing FREEDOM Magazine and my other normal duties and
thought no more about it.
One night about a month later I was called over to the OSA Int conference room
along with several other key OSA US staff. DM and Norman were both there,
looking extremely morose. DM told us that they had taken the videotape into
court and demanded to show it to the judge, saying it would prove conclusively
that Gerry Armstrong was a paid liar. The judge agreed to see the videotape in
camera (meaning in his chambers, not in open court). But the judge did not have
the reaction DM and the others had expected. After seeing the videotape, the
judge was enraged and told the Scientologists, “I have heard about these dirty
tactics that you use against your perceived enemies, but now that I have seen it
for myself I think you are much, much worse than I had ever imagined!” And
kicked them out of his chambers.
Now, you have to understand that in Scientology the “wilful suspension of
disbelief” is a way of life, so much so that no one, from DM on down, ever
admits for even a moment that everything that happens in there is nothing more
than play-acting. Everyone is so good at it that they fool themselves into
thinking they really believe what theyre pretending.
So it was with the GA videotapes. When DM ordered me to doctor the tapes he
never for a moment acted like he actually knew that he was ordering me to doctor
them. With a straight face he ordered me to edit the tapes to take out all the
irrelevant bits so it would be a concise record of Gerrys confession that he
was an informant. And when I edited them that was truly what I told myself I was
doing. Everyone joined in the delusion that we were simply tightening up the
And when DM told us about the judges reaction, he managed to sound absolutely
convinced that the reason the judge had reacted that way was that the judge was
biased against Scientology. DM put on a very convincing show of being totally
outraged at the judges reaction. Now, looking back on the experience, I think
it is possible that DM really is that deluded. I also think its entirely
possible that DM and the others at the very top know exactly what they are doing
and are simply manipulating all of the lower level staff into doing their dirty
work for them. To this day Im not really sure which it is.
I know that for myself, there was a part of me that wasnt surprised at all at
the judges reaction. In fact, there was a part of me that, even that night as I
listened to DMs performance, wondered it he was really that delusional.
But that part of me was buried deep beneath my Scientology persona. Certainly I
would never have voiced such thoughts. I just wanted to do what I was ordered to
do as quickly as possible so I could get some sleep and have maybe a few minutes
of privacy. That was all I cared about back then.
DM ordered me and the rest of the FREEDOM staff to turn the edited GA videotape
transcripts into a special edition of FREEDOM. If the judge wouldnt listen,
then we would take the issue to the people of Portland! That was what DM said.
So Andy Lenarcic, Tom Whittle and I spent the next several days putting together
the copy for this special edition of FREEDOM. When it was completed I had to fly
up to Portland and personally present the manuscript to DM for his approval. I
stood there in his condominium watching him read, hoping he would approve it the
first time through so I wouldnt have to fly back up with a revised version. To
my great relief, he signed off his approval and I was permitted to fly back to
I was then responsible for getting two million copies of that special edition of
FREEDOM printed and distributed to every doorstep in Portland, Oregon. Jonathan
Epstein, Finance Chief Int at the time, was the one who pulled the money out of
various corporations, including CSI, IAS, CS WUS and several other local outer
org accounts, to pay for this monstrous, ridiculous, useless project.
I doubt anyone in Portland ever read the damn special edition. I certainly
wouldnt have if Id found it on my doorstep. It certainly didnt help
Scientology win the Christo case, either. When the $30 million judgment came
down DM ordered every Scientologist on the planet up to Portland for the
now-famous Religious Freedom Crusade, in which thousands of Scientologists
marched through the streets of Portland demanding that the judge reverse the
jurys decision in the Christo case.
I have no idea what other pressure was brought to bear on that judge behind the
scenes. All I know is that DMs strategy worked. The judge finally declared a
mistrial in the Christoffersson trial, which served to confirm for DM and
Scientologists all over the world that if you use enough force and intimidation
you can get whatever you want.
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