GO Memo

Date: February 12, 1976
One week after Scientology threatened to sue the St. Petersburg Times for libel, Duke Snider, deputy deputy guardian U.S., writes Henning Heldt, deputy guardian U.S., that he had come up with an excellent defence should anyone accuse the church of trying to silence The Times. "There are 3 papers here, the CW Sun, St. Pete Times, Tampa Tribune," he said. "The CW Sun and St. Pete Times printed the most stuff. Tampa ran a lesser amount but still some entheta (translation: unfavorable publicity). "When we sent out the letters threatening libel we did not have time to get around to the Tribune, they had printed less, but still some entheta and we wanted to go over their articles more carefully." Just that day, he said, his office was preparing to send a letter to the Tribune threatening a suit, but then his plan came to mind. "So with the Tribune (Tampa)," Snider said, "we do not threaten any action but just let PR (public relations) handle. As a defence we then point to them and say 'We didn't threaten them or try to shut them up, it's just those who are completely unreasonable or unfair and despite all our best efforts will not stop printing falsehoods that require us to take recourse to legal action'."