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Group unethical church trial told

Title: Group unethical church trial told
Date: Tuesday, 2 June 1992
Publisher: Toronto Star (Canada)
Main source:

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A Scientologist sent to investigate the head office of the church branch allegedly responsible for dirty tricks and spying says he was sickened by what he saw.

"I was disgusted. I was sickened to my bones," Norman Starkey, 48, of Los Angeles testified yesterday.

Starkey was a defence witness at the jury trial of the Toronto branch of the Church of Scientology and five of its members on breach of trust charges.

The charges are in connection with agents infiltrating the RCMP, OPP, Metro police and the provincial attorney- general's office between April, 1974, and November, 1976.

The ethics in the headquarters of the Guardian's Office, in East Grinstead, England, were "atrocious" when he visited in 1981, Starkey told defence lawyer Marlys Edwardh in Ontario Court, general division.

The man in charge of the office's legal department admitted to having extramarital affairs with two employees, Starkey said. This is completely against church rules, he added.

There were no pictures displayed of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, as is customary in all church organizations, he said. Instead were photos of Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, who controlled the Guardian's Office, he said.

In addition the legal bureau at the office, besieged by lawsuits, was a scene of mass confusion, said Starkey, executor of a $26 million trust fund that L. Ron Hubbard set up before his death in 1986.

In 1981, Starkey said he was sent to the world headquarters of the Guardian's Office, because Hubbard needed some information on lawsuits in which the founder might be involved.

Starkey had trouble getting information from the office, even when the office was told Hubbard himself was the one who wanted to know, Starkey testified.

Starkey "eventually got a few scrappy pieces of information," but it became clear that the office was solely concerned with criminal cases against its own members, he said. That's when he was sent to investigate the world headquarters of the church arm, he said.

Starkey said he was "shocked" to discover some papers describing "atrocious programs," which court has heard were outlines by the Guardian's Office of a "dirty tricks" campaign.

The trial, before Mr. Justice James Southey, is expected to last until the end of the month.

Copyright 1992 Toronto Star, All Rights Reserved.