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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A telex sent in April 1987 to Scientology's Melbourne Office of Special Affairs from its Australian-New Zealand headquarters tracks the church's defensive strategy in response to an investigation by the former television program 'Willesee'.
The program was looking at a woman's claim that her trip into the Russell Street headquarters had almost cost her $43,000.
The telex spelt out a seven-step program for defusing the story. One course of action was to loudly brand the investigation a "set up".
"(The) Church has exposed CIA-style experimantation (sic) in Australia at Chelmsford. Could be they want to get revenge on us by sending in a plant. FBI has been proven to infiltrate the church dozens of times because we were opposed to their mind control activities," the telex says.
"Go on about the fantastic effectiveness of Scientology and the spiritual gains," it advises. "Have somebody in ministerial garb."
It then suggests courses of action in the church's 'Manual of Justice'. "Investigate the reporter, not the show," it says.
Insight has obtained a copy of the 'Manual of Justice'. It is a disturbing document first issued by the church's late founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in 1959 and reissued in Australia in 1981.
Buried in the pages of jargon is advice from Hubbard: "People attack Scientology; I never forget it, always even the score."
On dealing with the media, the manual uses the example of a "bad magazine article", and advises first a request for a retraction. Second, "hire a private detective of a national-type firm to investigate the writer".
"Get any criminal or communist background the man has. (Because all subversive activities foolishly use criminals . . .)."
It advises that the church threaten litigation, then "use the data you got from the detective . . . to write the author of the article a very tantalising letter . . . Just tell him we know something very interesting about him and wouldn't he like to come in and talk about it . . . He'll sure shudder into silence."
Although the manual is more than 39 years old, the telex indicates that in 1987, the formula it prescribes was still being recommended to deal with the media in Melbourne.
Last July, the British 'Sunday Times' revealed a Scientology "dirty tricks campaign" that also smacks of the Hubbard formula for dealing with inquiries.
The paper reported that the church had paid private detectives more than $100,000 to organise a worldwide campaign against one of its reporters, Russell Miller, who wrote 'Bare Faced Messiah', an unauthorised biography of Hubbard.
It claimed that documents revealed that for three years, Miller had been followed around the world by investigators, spying in him and trying to discredit him by giving false information to police.