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Judge said targeted by church

Title: Judge said targeted by church
Date: Friday, 26 April 1985
Publisher: The Oregonian (Portland)
Author: Fred Leeson
Main source: link (47 KiB)

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A Portland judge who presided over a fraud trial involving the Church of Scientology in 1979 was the target of a covert operation by the church aimed at learning his attitudes about drug usage and sexual promiscuity, a former Scientologist testified Thursday.

Martin L. Samuels, former head of the church in Portland, also testified that he and other church officials lied in the 1979 trial and that one reluctant ex-Scientologist was paid either $5,000 or $7,000 to testify on behalf of the church.

Samuels also told a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury that Scientologists in the church's "worldwide" office received daily transcripts of the 1979 trial and tried to give orders to Scientology's trial attorney about how to attack witnesses and attorneys opposing the church.

Samuels' testimony Thursday took place in the retrial of the 1979 case in which a Portland woman, Julie Christofferson Titchbourne, alleges that she was defrauded by the church and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, during her involvement with Scientology in 1975 and 1976.

In his first full day on the stand, Samuels said the intelligence branch of Scientology devised a plan in 1979 to seek to learn the attitudes of Circuit Judge Robert P. Jones on several subjects before Jones presided over the first trial.

Samuels said Scientologists called Jones' home posing as a telephone survey company and attempted to elicit information from Jones' wife. He also said he received orders to put Jones under surveillance by two Scientologists.

"The point of their caper was to get his attitudes — his buttons — regarding sex, promiscuity and drugs, so we would know how best to present ourselves and how best to present Julie (Titchbourne) and any of her witnesses in the worst possible light," he said.

Earlier witnesses have identified "buttons" in Scientology jargon as subjects about which individuals care deeply or which cause emotional reactions when mentioned or "pushed."

Samuels also said the plan involved placing a court watcher in Jones' courtroom well in advance of the trial "to see what got his interest, what angered him, what amused him and to see how we could present our case."

At Samuels' first admission of committing perjury in 1979, Circuit Judge Donald H. Londer interrupted the trial to advise Samuels of his right not to incriminate himself.