crimes

Scientology has a long, well-documented history of breaking the law.

More about crimes

Scientology's Crimes

Learn about allegations - and convictions - of criminal activity by Scientology organizations and executives.

Is Scientology Breaking the Law?

Is Scientology breaking the law? There's evidence that they are.

Affidavit of Margery Wakefield

April 13, 1990: Testimony tells the story of her experiences in Scientology.">Margery Wakefield's affidavit describes illicit activities, hearing plans to murder individuals, and false imprisonment by the Church of Scientology.

Guardian Office Memo Requests Update on Stealing Department of Justice Files

October 3, 1975: A Guardian's Office memo is sent to Richard Weigand requesting a compliance report on target 17 of GO 1361. (Target 17 directed the infiltration and theft of files relating to Scientology from the Tax Division or the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.) Weigand added a handwritten note to the memo that target 17 "is almost done" in Washington DC, but that six more weeks would be needed to complete the target at the Justice Department in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Police - Public Statement Regarding Eugene Ingram's Wiretapping

April 23, 1985: A public announcement by Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates disavowing any cooperation with Eugene Ingram, longtime Scientology agent, who claimed to have obtained a letter from the LAPD authorizing Ingram to eavesdrop on others.

crimes in the News

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January 8, 1983Scientology Spy Gets Four Years Miami Herald: Scientology Spy Gets Four Years
November 4, 1994Scientology Sued Over Insurance An insurance company has sued a branch of the Church of Scientology, alleging it was underpaid for a workers' compensation policy. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. claims in a lawsuit filed Monday that the church's Flag Service Organization owes $378,873 in premiums and fees assessed after an audit turned up employees who had been covered under the policy but were "not yet paid for."
January 21, 1993Scientology's Accusations Are Unfounded: Letters Please set the record straight for your readers. After monitoring CAN for more than a decade, Scientology has been able to find nothing that holds up under scrutiny on CAN's supposed criminality. If it had been paying a little less attention to the cult awareness movement and a little more attention to its own organization, maybe the Church of Scientology of Toronto and its officials would not have been found guilty of spying on government agencies up there. Maybe Mary Sue Hubbard, wife of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and several other top Scientology officials wouldn't have gone to prison for felony convictions here in the United States.
October 23, 1999Scientology's Finances Detailed The Church of Scientology, the secretive international organization that recently won a decades-long drive for federal tax exemption, counts assets of about $400 million and appears to take in nearly $300 million a year from counseling fees, book sales, investments and other sources, according to documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The documents show that the group spends heavily on legal fees, advertising and fund-raiser commissions, and is spending $114 million to preserve the writings and tapes of its deceased founder, L. Ron Hubbard, which it calls its scripture.
December 27, 1988Scientology: Still The Same Revenues and taxes are only two of the many issues that make Floridians uneasy about the secretive organization with headquarters in Clearwater's massive Fort Harrison Hotel. Over the years the Scientologists have been charged with a variety of bizarre crimes. In Canada, for instance, federal authorities are bringing the sect to trial for stealing 2,000 government documents. In Spain, 11 Scientologists are out on bail, facing the possibility of charges that include coercion and fraud.
December 14, 1999Scientology: white-collar crime club Knoxville News-Sentinel: Scientology: white-collar crime club
January 22, 1980Secret Ontario Documents Found in U.S. Cult's Files Confidential documents from various Ontario Government offices including an attorney-general's communications about police intelligence operations have been found in U. S. Church of Scientology files. The documents were part of the evidence submitted by federal attorneys in the Washington prosecution of U. S. leaders of the cult on charges of conspiring to steal government documents and obstruct justice by coverups and by kidnapping an informer.
May 10, 1982Sect to participate in hearing today? "During the hearing's first four days, 16 witnesses told stories that alleged the Church of Scientology is a world-wide operation that routinely engaged in covert criminal activity against government officials, ex-Scientologists and others considered 'enemies' of the sect."
September 22, 2001Sentencing in Trial Against Scientology After 7 months of trial, thousands of written pages, hundreds of people investigated and 12 Scientologists accused, the judge now has to decide whether the 12 members of Scientology are guilty of conspiracy, a crime for which the public prosecutor asked for three months in prison for each.
April 23, 1992She "Ran The Agents" The former head of Scientology’s Canadian intelligence network identified one of his underlings as being responsible for "running" agents the church had planted in several police and government agencies. Levman said defendant Jacqueline Matz "ran the agents" who got jobs in the mid-1970s with the RCMP, the OPP, Metro Police and the attorney-general’s office in order to pass information back to Scientology.
October 11, 1978Snakebitten Lawyer (brief mention of Scientology)
November 22, 1988Spain Seizes Scientology Leaders Police arrested 69 people in a raid on a hotel and accused 45 of them of fraud, illegal association and forgery for being members of the Church of Scientology. Among those held was Heber Jentzsch, 53, of Los Angeles, worldwide director of the faith, and two unidentified Americans, judicial sources said. In 1986 and again last June, Spain's Justice Ministry rejected a petition by the Church of Scientology for accreditation as a legitimate religious institution on the ground that the group's activities "negatively affect public health."
October 18, 1995Spying for the Psycho Sect News from Germany and the World: Spying for the Psycho Sect
November 23, 1998State Takes Middle Road Against Scientology The Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization Inc. was charged with abuse and/or neglect of a disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license. Though serious, the lawyers said, the charges carry less emotion than manslaughter and less of a stigma for Scientology than if church members faced individual charges that could put them in prison. Because the Scientology entity was charged corporately, no single person faces prosecution or punishment. "They probably determined that this is the charge that can be best proved, most easily proved, as opposed to manslaughter," said Michael Cheek, a veteran criminal defense lawyer in Clearwater.
September 26, 1996Suspect In Shooting Had Spent Time In Jail For Threats To Kill People Columbian : Suspect In Shooting Had Spent Time In Jail For Threats To Kill People
June 27, 2001Tass: Khabarovsk Sect Chief Convicted for Money Laundering Olga Ukhova, director of the regional Dianetics scientology centre, was sentenced to six years imprisonment conditionally for illegal entrepreneurship and money laundering.
January 21, 1994Teacher is Jailed for Sex Offences A schoolteacher was yesterday jailed for five years after he admitted sexually molesting teenage pupils. Mark Kent, 32, of Forest Row, East Sussex, committed a catalogue of offences against boys at Greenfields school in Forest Row, where he worked. Greenfields is a private school which states in its promotional literature that it employs the "educational techniques" of L Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology. The school denies that it is an offshoot of the church, but many of the teachers are members of the cult; and the majority of pupils come from Scientology families.
December 6, 1998The Life and Death of a Scientologist Within 17 days, McPherson - who'd spent most of her adult life and tens of thousands of dollars as a devotee of Hubbard's teachings - would be dead. The once-voluptuous 36-year-old - she stood 5 feet 9 and wore a size 12 dress - lost an estimated 40 to 50 pounds during the ordeal, dropping to 108, her bruised body pocked by insect bites and scabs. She was never seen by a licensed physician during that time.
January 23, 1980The Scientology Papers: Cult Harassment, Spying In Canada Documented New light has been shed on the Canadian operations of the controversial Church of Scientology by files made public by a U. S. District Court in Washington. The evidence refutes denials by Toronto cult leaders of information I reported more than five years ago in a series of articles based on internal cult documents and interviews with defectors. Other accounts since then of clandestine operations by the cult in Canada are also supported by the files, submitted in court after being seized in Los Angeles and Washington as part of a 2 1/2-year investigation by U. S. authorities. The trial resulted in jail sentences for nine leading U. S. Scientologists, who are out on bail pending another of many attempts to have documentary evidence used in the case ruled illegal.
January 25, 1980The Scientology Papers: Files Show Spy Reported Woman's Intimate Words In one file was a letter dated June, 1974, from Dick Weigand to Henning Heldt, two of the leaders sentenced last month to four years in prison. Included in a review of an operative's past activities for the cult was the observation: Conspired to entrap Mrs. Lovely (code name for Miss Cooper) into being arrested for a felony which she did not commit. She was arraigned for the crime.
May 6, 1991Time Magazine: Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam -- and aiming for the mainstream.
June 13, 2001Tom Cruise Sect Preys On Drugs Prisoners: Warning As Cult Targets British Jails Mirror: Tom Cruise Sect Preys On Drugs Prisoners: Warning As Cult Targets British Jails
November 27, 1980Two High-Ranking Members Of The Church Of Scientology Were Convicted On Burglary Charges Yesterday In What The Government Has Ca (brief mention of Scientology)
June 7, 2001Unorthodox Arrest: Church of scientology calls cops and has one of its harshest and most vocal critics jailed Now: Unorthodox Arrest: Church of scientology calls cops and has one of its harshest and most vocal critics jailed
December 8, 1999When Can A Church Be Accused Of A Crime? Lisa McPherson, 36, was a Scientologist who died after being under the church's care in Clearwater in 1995. The state has filed charges of abuse and practicing unlicensed medicine against the church's Flag Service Organization, or simply "Flag." McPherson died that Dec. 5 after 17 days at the church's Fort Harrison Hotel under the supervision of Scientologists. The state says she died of a pulmonary embolism, with dehydration and immobility as contributing factors. The state says her final days featured raving delusions and forced medication.

crimes in the News

DateTitlesort icon
April 13, 1990Affidavit of Margery Wakefield Testimony tells the story of her experiences in Scientology.">Margery Wakefield's affidavit describes illicit activities, hearing plans to murder individuals, and false imprisonment by the Church of Scientology.
October 3, 1975Guardian Office Memo Requests Update on Stealing Department of Justice Files A Guardian's Office memo is sent to Richard Weigand requesting a compliance report on target 17 of GO 1361. (Target 17 directed the infiltration and theft of files relating to Scientology from the Tax Division or the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.) Weigand added a handwritten note to the memo that target 17 "is almost done" in Washington DC, but that six more weeks would be needed to complete the target at the Justice Department in Los Angeles.
October 10, 1972Guardian's Office Weekly Report Directs Attacks on Paulette Cooper Scientology Guardian's Office Weekly Intelligent Report notes that Paulette Cooper is "still actively attacking Scientology" and lists three "handling" actions, including giving New York Scientologists orders to "attack her in as many ways as possible"; this item says that action has already been taken on "wide-scale exposure of PC's sex life."
April 23, 1985Los Angeles Police - Public Statement Regarding Eugene Ingram's Wiretapping A public announcement by Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates disavowing any cooperation with Eugene Ingram, longtime Scientology agent, who claimed to have obtained a letter from the LAPD authorizing Ingram to eavesdrop on others.
October 6, 1979Mary Sue Hubbard and 8 Other Scientology Executives Admit Massive Conspiracy Hubbard's wife Mary Sue and eight other Scientology executives signed a 282-page (plus exhibits) Stipulation of Evidence that detailed the government's case. That document details the burglaries, forgeries, conspiracies, to obstruct justice and other crimes committed.
October 6, 1976Michael Meisner Moves to a Scientology-Rented Apartment; Coverup Continues Michael Meisner moves into an apartment at 444 South Burlington Street in Los Angeles. The apartment was rented by Paul Poulon (Collections Officer for the Information Bureau); the Guardian's Office wanted to reduce expenses and it was cheaper for Meisner to hide out in an apartment than in hotel rooms. Meisner spends most of his days at local libraries doing research on the security of government buildings, in order to support one of the cover-up stories, _viz._, that he had entered various government buildings to do an expose on the lack of security. Cinty Raymond and Meisner meet approximately twice a week to discuss the ongoing cover-up.
September 28, 1976Mo Budlong writes to Richard Weigand, describing a plan for hiding Michael Meisner from his arrest warrant Mo Budlong writes to Richard Weigand, describing a plan for hiding Michael Meisner from his arrest warrant. This constitutes conspiracy, harboring a fugitive, and obstructing justice.
September 30, 1996Patrice Vic Trial Begins - Scientology Executive Charged with Manslaughter Trial begins in the death of Patrice Vic. Scientology executive Jean-Jacques Mazier is charged with manslaughter, and 22 other Scientologists also face charges.
August 3, 1980Scientologist Elizabeth Eagleton Wiegand, Senator Eagleton, Stephen E. Poludniak, St. Louis. Libby Wiegand, $220,000, company;, Scientologist Elizabeth Eagleton Wiegand, niece of Senator Eagleton, and her attorney Stephen E. Poludniak are arrested and charged with extortion and conspiracy in St. Louis. Libby Wiegand had threatened to publicize embarassing information about the senator unless he purchased $220,000 of her stock in a family company; he refused to purchase the stock because he believed the money would go to Scientology. Although Scientology denied any involvement at the time, they later linked it to a Guardian's Office operation in their IRS Form 1023 declaration.
September 21, 1975Scientologists Commended for Breaking into Government Offices Gregory Willardson writes a CSW (Completed Staff Work) to Jane Kember and requests commendations and awards for various staff members who had been involved in executing GO 1361 (which directed breaking into government offices and stealing documents), including Cindy Raymond.