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Shoemaker: Scientology infiltration was deep

Title: Shoemaker: Scientology infiltration was deep
Date: Tuesday, 15 January 1980
Publisher: St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Author: Deborah Blum
Main source: news.google.com

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CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology's infiltration of Clearwater government apparently went deeper than church files released by the federal government show, City Manager Tony Shoemaker said Monday.

He based that conclusion on a list of documents returned to the church after FBI agents raided a Scientology building in California. Shoemaker said the list included files on City Commissioner Karleen De Blaker, Clearwater Police Chief Frank Daniels and "Clearwater government."

But a federal court ordered the Justice Department to return close to 40 percent of the documents seized In the 1977 raid, Shoemaker said.

"Much information on Scientologists' actions in Clearwater is just no longer available to us," he added.

THE CHURCH opened a major headquarters in Clearwater in 1975.

Shoemaker and Daniels spent a day in Washington D.C. last week studying Scientology files held by the Justice Department. The research was done at the City Commission's request.

The city manager asked Justice Department officials to send copies of nearly 100 documents to Clearwater so citizens can also study them. He also brought back a copy of the catalog of files still held by the government — and those returned.

THE FEDERAL government released more than 38,000 church documents in November following the conviction of nine Scientologists for conspiracy to steal from the government and obstruct justice.

Included in those files were scattered details of plans to "control" Clearwater, such as attempts to damage the reputations of local officials and reporters who were considered enemies of the church.

Many documents that didn't refer directly to the government's case were returned to the church, Shoemaker said, but the Justice Department kept a list of the returned files. A number of documents once again in the church's possession refer directly to Clearwater, he added.