All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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«Somebody some day will say "this is illegal". By then be sure the orgs say what is legal or not.» — L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL, 4 January 1966, "LRH RELATIONSHIPS TO ORGS"
(Church of) Scientology
History in Toronto, Part One
SCIENTOLOGY HISTORY IN TORONTO, PART FOUR
I'm going to skip ahead to the trial on the 12 charges of the indictment, for two reasons: first, it is only fair to the persons declared not guilty, and second, the verdicts refer to the charges, so they should be in proximity.
The 11 defendants were committed for trial in 1990, but due to extensive legal arguments, the trial only began in April, 1992. For example, the defence objected because the jury was selected by computer. They said the juror ballots should be scrambled and chosen by hand. The judge ruled that a computer is a modern ballot box (that is, a container from which juror ballots are selected). The defence objected because there were no veterinarians on the jury. And so on.
All accused pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The trial lasted two months. With adjournments, it ended on June 25th, 1992. The most important ruling during the trial concerned the evidence to be used in support of the charges of theft of documents. Mr. Justice James Southey ruled that all of this evidence was protected as "confessional materials". The prosecution is appealing this ruling. Following Judge Southey's ruling, the prosecutor told the jury there was insufficient evidence to make a case, so there was a directed verdict of not guilty on the theft charges.
On the breach of trust charges, the defense admitted the spying, but claimed that it had been done without the knowledge of church officials by former members of the church who were testifying for the Crown (i.e. the prosecution) in exchange for immunity from prosecution. In addition to these witnesses, the trial heard from a female Ontario Provincial Police officer who had worked undercover for three years as a Scientologist, partly in the Guardian's Office. This undercover operation began after Ontario Government papers were found by the FBI in its raid on the Scientology headquarters in Los Angeles.
NOT GUILTY VERDICTS
On charges numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10, there was a directed verdict of not guilty, due to inadmissibility of evidence. These are the theft charges.
The Church of Scientology of Toronto was found not guilty on charges #6 (breach of trust, O.P.P.), #9 (breach of trust, Toronto Police), and #12 (breach of trust, R.C.M.P.). Jaqueline Matz was found not guilty on charges #6 and #9.
Marilyn Linda Belaire was found not guilty on charge #9.
The Church of Scientology of Toronto was found guilty on charges #7 (breach of trust, O.P.P.), and #11 (breach of trust, Attorney General).
Jaqueline Matz was found guilty on charges #7 and #11.
Janice Wheeler was found guilty on charge #11. Wheeler had sent copies of secret documents from the office of the Attorney General of Ontario to the Guardian's Office, and allowed a member of that office to go through ministry files in an unsuccessful attempt to find a file on Scientology.
Donald Bryan Whitmore was found guilty on charge #12 (R.C.M.P.). Whitmore was a Scientology plant who memorized information from R.C.M.P. files.
Sentences were pronounced on September 11th, 1992.
The Church of Scientology of Toronto was fined $100,000 on count #7, and $150,000 on count #11.
Jaqueline Matz was fined $2500 on count #7 and $2500 on count #11, with 60 days imprisonment if she defaults.
Janice Wheeler was fined $2000 or 30 days on count #11.
Donald Bryan Whitmore was fined $2000 on count #12.
The Church of Scientology of Toronto had submitted statements to the court showing that its liabilities exceeded its assets, and argued that it should receive only a nominal fine. Judge Southey rejected this argument, and also rejected a prosecution request that the fine be at least $1 million. He suggested that since the "mother" church in California had contributed to the $7 million cost of fighting the criminal charges through interest-free loans, they could pay a portion of the fine. He noted that the Church in Toronto is governed by three appointed directors, over whom the 7,000 parishoners have no control.
The judge rejected the contention that the church had shown remorse for its role, and suggested that in reality there was a continuing attempt to blame individuals within the church for illegal activities that had been carried out at the direction of senior Scientology officials. Meanwhile, outside the court, church officials distributed pre-printed statements declaring the sentence "an outrage and miscarriage of justice."
Judge Southey also said he was satisfied that the British-based Guardian's Office World Wide was "subject to the control of founder L. Ron Hubbard and his wife, Mary Sue Hubbard. He said that a heavy fine was necessary to deter any organization from placing "plants" in law-enforcement agencies.
Both Prosecution and Defence are appealing.
In reporting on the sentencing, I have liberally paraphrased from an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail by Thomas Claridge: "Church of Scientology fined $250,000 for espionage" (Sept. 12, 1992, page 1).