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Ex-Scientologist tells of pilfering OPP files

Title: Ex-Scientologist tells of pilfering OPP files
Date: Friday, 1 May 1992
Publisher: Toronto Star (Canada)
Author: Wendy Darroch
Main source: link (43 KiB)

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A former Scientologist says she lied to get a job with Ontario Provincial Police so she could steal secret documents for her church.

Kathy Smith said she joined the Church of Scientology in 1972 and spent nine months in southern England learning church policy.

Later, she was recruited by the Guardian's Office, an inner council of the church, to infiltrate the police force, court was told yesterday.

Smith was testifying at the trial of five Scientologists and their church on charges of criminal breach of trust in connection with the infiltration of police and government offices between 1974 and 1976.

On her OPP job application, Smith said, she indicated she had been working as a nanny in England while she had actually been training as a Scientologist.

When hired, Smith had to give an OPP oath of secrecy concerning confidentiality of documents. "I did not intend to honor the oath," Smith told crown counsel James Stewart.

For 2½ years Smith, then in her early 20s, worked as a mail clerk with the OPP at their Toronto headquarters and a Harbord St. office.

"I would take files I thought would be of interest to the church. I would put them in a straw bag I carried in the summer and give them to my case officer, who would go off and then return them within an hour," she said.

"Other times I would photocopy the documents and hand them over (to the church)."

During this time, Smith had access to what was known at the church as the "garden." This was a secret room where the stolen documents were filed.

She went there in evenings and on Sundays to file papers and to practise with other agents how to handle "worst-case scenarios" if they were caught stealing documents.

The trial is continuing before Mr. Justice James Southey.

Smith was expelled from the church in 1983.