Scientology Critical Information Directory

This site is best viewed using a highly standards-compliant browser

Canadian police raid church for documents in fraud investigation

Title: Canadian police raid church for documents in fraud investigation
Date: Thursday, 3 March 1983
Publisher: Associated Press
Main source:

Disclaimer: This archive is presented strictly in the public interest for research purposes. All the copyrights of materials reproduced here are the properties of their respective owners.

TORONTO — More than 100 police officers swept through the offices of a Church of Scientology building Thursday seizing documents as possible evidence in an investigation of fraud against the federal and Ontario governments.

Inspector Phil Caney said the two-year investigation centers on a non-profit tax exemption obtained by Scientology "by alleged misrepresentations."

Ontario Provincial Police also are investigating consumer fraud in the marketing of courses and alleged conspiracy to commit indictable offenses "where perceived necessary to protect the interests of Scientology, " Caney said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the investigation, prompted two years ago by public complaints.

"This is a large search and we're taking many documents," he said when asked why such an unusually large number of police officers converged on the building.

He also declined to elaborate on specifics of the investigation, saying that "the courts may ultimately be the forum of one or more criminal prosecutions."

In a statement released later Thursday, Caroline Charbonneau, Toronto president of the church, said Scientologists were "surprised at this current attack on our religion as our posture has been to assist governments ... "

She said "dissidents" expelled by the church in recent years and members of the psychiatric community may have been behind the raid.

"Some years ago, we performed a major reform within the church to clean out members who had violated church policy," said Miss Charbonneau. "We have found that these people have in turn gone to governments and complained about acts they themselves committed in violation of those church policies.

"These dissidents are currently in litigation in the U.S. and losing their cases as the church continues to prevail in the courts."

She said psychiatrists have "raised a hue and cry against our religion and our reforms and we cannot help but wonder if they do not lie in the background in this incident. We will conduct our own investigation into this psychiatric aspect ... "

Scientology, which claims at least 5 million members in North America, was founded in the 1950s by writer L. Ron Hubbard. The church uses group encounter methods and employs a type of lie-detector test to determine psychological weak points. Its analysis, called dianetics, is designed to rid students of past suffering.

In the United States, the church has had a running battle with the Internal Revenue Service over its tax-exempt status.