Wife of Scientology Founder Jailed

Source: Globe and Mail
Date: January 8, 1983

Mary Sue Hubbard, whose husband founded the Church of Scientology, was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison for her role in directing a conspiracy to steal U.S. Government documents about the church.

U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson also fined the wife of L. Ron Hubbard $10,000 after telling her she had committed "not only a serious but a heinous offence." The judge said she could not accept Mrs. Hubbard's contention that she had violated the law because she believed the federal Government was harassing the church. "Your crime cannot be excused for perceived harassment," the judge said. "I must consider how your crime has affected your fellow citizens." Ten others who were previously convicted for their roles in the church conspiracy have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to six years.

After her conviction in 1979, Mrs. Hubbard received a conditional five-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine, pending appeals and an exhaustive study of her various medical complaints.

The conspiracy involved stealing documents from the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's office; bugging an IRS meeting which was discussing the church's tax-exempt status, and planting spies at the IRS and the Justice Department.

Church documents released by the court showed that Scientology leaders also plotted to infiltrate law firms, newspapers, medical organizations and other groups critical of the church.

Judge Johnson said that because of Mrs. Hubbard's medical condition, she would be sentenced under a law that would allow her release at any time her condition warranted it.

Mrs. Hubbard, 51, who said she retired from working for the church in 1981, expressed apologies to the judge for her actions, which she said had caused her "tremendous shame and embarrassment."