- Fair Game (Scientology)
The term Fair Game is used to describe various aggressive policies and practices carried out by the
Church of Scientologytowards people and groups it perceives as its enemies.
Predecessors of "Fair Game"
In written policies dating from as early as the mid-1950s,
Scientologyfounder L. Ron Hubbardtold his followers to take a punitive line towards perceived opponents. In 1955, he wrote "the law can be used very easily to harass ... The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage, rather than to win – if possible, of course, ruin [the target] utterly". [Hubbard, "The Scientologist - A Manual on the Dissemination of Material", reprinted in The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology volume 2, pp.151-171, 1979 printing]
His confidential "Manual of Justice" of 1959 advocated using private investigators, as critics were invariably "found to be members of the Communist Party or criminals, usually both. The smell of police or private detectives caused them to fly, to close down, to confess." [L. Ron Hubbard (1959) " [http://www.xenu.net/archive/go/man_just.htm Manual of Justice] ", page 5] In a very similar vein, he advised that "If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace." [L. Ron Hubbard, "Dept of Government Affairs", Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letter of
15 August 1960]
Fair Game Law
In 1965 Hubbard formulated the "Fair Game Law", which states how to deal with people who interfere with Scientology's activities. These problematic people, called suppressive persons, could be considered "fair game" for retaliation:
A Suppressive Person or Group becomes "fair game". By FAIR GAME is meant, may not be further protected by the codes and disciplines or the rights of a Scientologist. [L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letter 1 Mar 65 "Suppressive Acts - Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists - The Fair Game Law"
Later in December of that year, Hubbard reissued the Fair Game policy with additional clarifications to define the scope of Fair Game. He made it clear that the policy applied to non-Scientologists as well. He declared:
The homes, property, places and abodes of persons who have been active in attempting to: suppress Scientology or Scientologists are all beyond any protection of Scientology Ethics, unless absolved by later Ethics or an amnesty ... this Policy Letter extends to suppressive non-Scientology wives and husbands and parents, or other family members or hostile groups or even close friends. [Hubbard, [http://www.planetkc.com/sloth/sci/sp_rules.html HCOPL 23 December 1965, "Suppressive Acts - Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists - The Fair Game Law"] ]
Hubbard made it clear elsewhere in his writings that the policy would be applied to external organizations, including governments, that were guilty of having interfered with Scientology's activities. He told Scientologists:
Internal Revenue Service(in refusing the FCDC ["Founding Church of Scientology, Washington DC"] non-profit status) continues to act up or if the FDA does sue we can of course Comm Ev ["Committee of Evidence"] them and if found guilty, label and publish them as a Suppressive Group and fair game ... [N] one is fair game until he or she declares against us. [Hubbard, HCOPL 2 April 1965, "Administration outside Scientology"]
The policy was further extended in an October 1967 Policy Letter (HCOPL 18 Oct 67 Issue IV, Penalties for Lower Conditions), where Hubbard defined the "penalties" for an individual deemed to be in a "Condition of Enemy":
ENEMY — SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed. [HCOPL 18 October 67 Issue IV, "Penalties for Lower Conditions"]
When a man named Peter Goodwin in Hampshire, England purchased a high-level Scientology course for £250 and resold it to friends for £50, Hubbard personally issued an Ethics order which "withdrew any future help from Goodwin and his associates, (presumably for eternity), and threatened the most dire retaliations." [Vosper, Cyril. "The Mind Benders", Herts: Mayflower Books, 1973. p. 109]
An Ethics Order dating from
March 6 1968, issued by L. Ron Hubbard aboard his boat the Royal Scotsman, lists twelve scientologists who were accused of distributing altered versions of upper level technology. Hubbard writes "They are fair game. No amnesty may ever cover them. [...] Any Sea Org member contacting them is to use Auditing Process R2-45." [cite paper | author=L. Ron Hubbard | title=HCO ETHICS ORDER | date= 1968-03-06| version=No. 30 INT | publisher = Advanced Organisation Yacht Royal Scotman, via U.S. Dist. Court. S.D. of N.Y. | url=http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/hco-ethics-order-30.html | accessdate=2006-06-07] ["Racket Exposed", "The Auditor", issue 37, 1968. [http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/auditor37.html Excerpt] ]
Cancellation of the term "Fair Game"
In July 1968, Hubbard canceled HCOPL 18 Oct 67 Issue IV, "Penalties for Lower Conditions", replacing it with HCOPL 21 July 68, "Penalties for Lower Conditions". ["HCO Policy Letter Subject Index", page 215, issued 1976] This redefined the condition of Enemy as follows:
"Suppressive Person order. May not be communicated with by anyone except an Ethics Officer, Master at Arms, a Hearing Officer or a Board or Committee. May be restrained or imprisoned. May not be protected by any rules or laws of the group he sought to injure as he sought to destroy or bar fair practices for others. May not be trained or processed or admitted to any org." ["Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology"; Report by Sir John Foster, K.B.E., Q.C., M.P. Published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, December 1971, [http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/audit/foster07.html Chapter 7] (also referred to as the
In addition, in October that year, Hubbard issued HCOPL 21 Oct 68 "Cancellation of Fair Game", which said:
"The practice of declaring people FAIR GAME will cease. FAIR GAME may not appear on any Ethics Order. It causes bad public relations. This P/L does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP."
This letter states that it cancels only the use of the term "fair game" for its "bad PR" effect, and not the policy on the treatment of "suppressive persons" in question. Critical authors such as
Jon Atackand websites such as Operation Clambakeread the wording of HCOPL 21 Oct 68 to assert that the practices outlined in HCOPL 18 Oct 67 Issue IV, which were canceled by HCOPL 21 July 68, have been canceled in name only. [http://www.spaink.com/cos/essays/atack_general.html Jon Atack - General report on Scientology ] ] [ [http://www.xenu.net/fairgame-e.html Operation Clambake: Fair Game] ]
In 1976, Hubbard said in an affidavit that "Fair Game" was never intended to authorize harassment:
There was never any attempt or intent on my part by the writing of these policies (or any others for that fact), to authorise illegal or harassment type acts against anyone.
As soon as it became apparent to me that the concept of 'Fair Game' as described above was being misinterpreted by the uninformed, to mean the granting of a license to Scientologists for acts in violation of the law and/or other standards of decency, these policies were cancelled. [Hubbard, affidavit of
22 March 1976, quoted in David V Barrett, "The New Believers: A Survey of Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions", p. 464 (Octopus Publishing Group, 2003)]
Ongoing aggressive policy
The Church has retained an aggressive policy towards those it perceives as its enemies, [J. Gordon Melton, "The Church of Scientology",
Signature Books, 2000, p. 36] cite web | first = Douglas | last = Frantz | title = An Ultra-Aggressive Use of Investigators and the Courts | url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F01E3D71639F93AA35750C0A961958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all | work = New York Times| date = 1997-03-09| accessdate = 2008-04-01 ] and argued as late as 1985 that retributive action against "enemies of Scientology" should be considered a Constitutionally-protected "core practice" of Scientology. [http://www.lermanet2.com/reference/wollersheim.htm (courtesy link) Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California, Court of Appeal of the State of California, civ.no.B023193, 18 July 1989] Critics, as well as several judges and juries, have through their decisions or comments asserted that the tactics and penalties described in the October 1967 Policy Letter continued beyond both Hubbard's July 1968 Policy Letter canceling these penalties, and beyond his October 1968 order canceling the use of the term Fair Game.cite web | first = Robert W. | last = Welkos | coauthors = Sappell, Joel | title = On the Offensive Against an Array of Suspected Foes | url = http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-scientology062990x,0,138179,full.story | work = | publisher = Los Angeles Times| date = 1990-06-29| accessdate = 2007-11-14 | quote = Church spokesmen maintain that Hubbard rescinded the policy three years after it was written ... But various judges and juries have concluded that while the actual labeling of persons as "fair game" was abandoned, the harassment continued unabated.] [http://www.spaink.com/cos/essays/atack_general.html Jon Atack - General report on Scientology ] ] [http://www.xenu.net/archive/audit/latey.html Judgment by Mr. Justice Latey, Royal Courts of Justice 23rd July, 1984] ]
For example, Lord Justice Stephenson, in the judgement in "Church of Scientology of California" v. "Department of Health and Social Security"  , declined to order discovery in favour of the Church of Scientology on the grounds that there was a real risk of harassment of the persons named in the documents:
I have carefully considered the documents to which we have been referred and some to which we have not. I am satisfied by my consideration of the documents that there is a real risk that all three categories of documents may be misused, ie not for legitimate purposes of the action but for harassment of individual patients, informants and renegades named in them, not only by proceedings for defamation against them but by threats and blackmail, and that they may be distributed to those in other parts of this worldwide organisation who may misuse them in the same way.
I am thinking chiefly of the 'fair game law' against suppressive persons expounded in the HCO policy letter of 1 March 1965 and referred to in the particulars, and the policy letter of 21 October 1968 cancelling publication of the policy in the interests of public relations, but not the policy itself. ["CoS" v. "Department of Health and Social Security"  3 All ER 97]
Mr. Justice Latey stated in a 1984
London High Courtjudgment:
Deprival of property, injury by any means, trickery, suing, lying or destruction have been pursued throughout and to this day with the fullest possible vigour.
Court cases involving "Fair Game"
L. Gene Allard, 1976
In 1976, the Church was found legally liable for the malicious prosecution of an ex-Scientologist named L. Gene Allard who left Scientology in 1969 and was then charged with grand theft. The charge was dismissed, and Allard sued the Church. Exhibit 1 of the trial introduced into evidence the "Fair Game" policy statements, and Allard was awarded $50,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages. The Church argued on appeal that introduction of the "Fair Game" policy statements was prejudicial error and that allowing the judgment stand would constitute a violation of their free exercise of religion. The appellate court, however, found that the evidence was relevant, and that it "well supports the jury's implied conclusion... that those witnesses who were Scientologists or had been Scientologists were following the policy of the church and lying to, suing and attempting to destroy respondent." The court also noted: "The trial court gave appellant almost the entire trial within which to produce evidence that the fair game policy had been repealed. Appellant failed to do so, and the trial court thereafter permitted the admission of Exhibit 1 into evidence." [Allard v. Church of Scientology, 58 Cal.App.3d 439 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1976)]
Lawrence Wollersheim, 1980
In a long and contentious trial,
Lawrence Wollersheim, a former Scientologist, alleged that he had been harassed and his business nearly destroyed as a result of "fair game" measures. During appeals, the Church again claimed "Fair Game" was a "core practice" of Scientology and was thus constitutionally protected "religious expression" [Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology, 212 Cal. App. 3d 872 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1989)] . That claim was denied by the appellate court on July 18, 1989. After over 20 years of legal wrangling, the Church of Scientology paid Wollersheim the amount of the judgement, plus interest: $8,674,643. [cite news|first=Richard |last=Leiby |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A63143-2002May9 |title=Ex-Scientologist Collects $8.7 Million In 22-Year-Old Case |work= The Washington Post|page=A03 |date= 2002-05-10|accessdate=2006-06-13 ]
Jakob Anderson, 1981
In the March 11-16, 1981, Danish court case of Jakob Anderson vs The Church Of Scientology of Denmark, ex-Guardian's Office operative Vibeke Dammon testified that the Church did in fact practice Fair Game and had done so in Anderson's case, in an attempt to get Anderson committed to a psychiatric hospital.Fact|date=April 2008
Gerald Armstrong, 1984
In 1980, Scientologist and
Sea Orgofficer Gerry Armstrong was assigned to organize some of Hubbard's personal papers as the basis for a biography of Hubbard. Omar Garrison, a non-Scientologist known to be sympathetic to Scientology, was hired to write the biography. Both Armstrong and Garrison quickly realized that the papers reflected unfavorably on Hubbard, and revealed that many of Hubbard's claimed accomplishments were exaggerations or outright fabrications. Garrison abandoned the project, and a disillusioned Armstrong and his wife left the Church, retaining copies of the embarrassing materials as insurance against the expected harassment to come.cite web | first = Robert | last = Lindsey | title = Scientology chief got millions, ex-aides say | url = http://www.lermanet.com/scientologynews/nytimes/scientology-chief-got-millions-071184.html | work = | publisher = New York Times | date = 1984-07-11| accessdate = 2008-04-11 ] Armstrong was sued by the Church in 1982 for the theft of private documents. The "Fair Game" policy became an issue in court. Armstrong won the case, in part because the Judge ruled that Armstrong, as a Scientologist of long standing, knew that fair game was practiced, and had good reason to believe that possession of these papers would be necessary to defend himself against illegal persecution by the Church.cite web | first = Joel | last = Sappell | coauthors = Welkos, Robert W. | title = The Mind Behind the Religon | url = http://www.latimes.com/la-scientology062490,0,7104164,full.story | work = Los Angeles Times| date = 1990-06-24| accessdate = 2008-04-11 ] In a scathing decision, Judge Paul Breckenridge wrote:
In addition to violating and abusing its own members' civil-rights, the organization over the years with its "Fair Game" doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and the bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements ... In determining whether the defendant unreasonably invaded Mrs. Hubbard's privacy, the court is satisfied the invasion was slight, and the reasons and justification for the defendant's conduct manifest. Defendant was told by Scientology to get an attorney. He was declared an enemy by the Church. He believed, reasonably, that he was subject to "fair game." The only way he could defend himself, his integrity, and his wife was to take that which was available to him and place it in a safe harbor, to wit, his lawyer's custody. (Judge Paul Breckenridge, Los Angeles Superior Court, June 20, 1984)During the trial, the Church hired Frank K. Flynn, an adjunct professor of comparative religions, to write a report arguing that Fair Game was a "core practice" of Scientology and thus should be considered a constitutionally protected activity.Fact|date=April 2008
Operation Freakout, 1976
Operation Freakout, the cult of Scientology attempted to eliminate journalist and writer Paulette Cooper via having her imprisoned, killing her or pushing her to commit suicide, or having her committed to a mental institution as revenge for her publication in 1971 of a highly critical book, The Scandal of Scientology. The Federal Bureau of Investigationdiscovered documentary evidence of the plot and the preceding campaign of harassment during an investigation into the Church of Scientology in 1977, eventually leading to the Church compensating Cooper in an out-of-court settlement.
History of Fair Game in the UK
In the UK, targets of Fair Game and related harassment over the years have included ex-members, authors, journalists, broadcasters, the mental health profession, cult-monitoring groups, government and law enforcement.
Maurice William Johnson was a scientologist who resigned in June 1966 and successfully sued for his money back. He told a court that after leaving he had received over 100 abusive letters, many of them using violent language. An article in "The Auditor", a Scientology publication, was produced to the court, stating outright that Johnson was "fair game" and describing him as "an enemy of mankind, the planets and all life." [cite news|title=Scientology is slammed in court as "evil cult"|publisher=East Grinstead Observer|date=1968-06-13] [cite news|title=Scientology "brainwash': JP's comment as ex-student is cleared of theft|publisher=East Grinstead Courier|date=1968-06-13]
Documents seized by the
FBIin raids on the Church's US headquarters in July 1977 listed some operations against their British enemies. An agent had been sent to investigate Sir John Foster, author of the official UK Government inquiry into Scientology, in an attempt to link him to Paulette Cooper, author of The Scandal of Scientologyand victim of Operation Freakout. The documents showed that Lord Balniel, who had requested the official inquiry, was also a target. Hubbard had written, "get a detective on that lord's past to unearth the tit-bits". A memo from Jane Kember, the Church's Saint Hill-based "Guardian" (or worldwide head of intelligence) reported that agents had got hold of a Metropolitan Policereport on the Church. She asked for related documents so that a lawsuit against the police could be "mocked up".cite news|title=Snow White's dirty tricks|publisher=The Guardian|date=1980-02-07|last=Beresford|first=David]
According to a memo of
6 May 1971, Hubbard blamed the National Association for Mental Health (NAMH) and World Federation for Mental Healthfor attacks on Scientology and named Mary Appleby, secretary of the NAMH, as the ultimate source. Starting in 1969, the NAMH was the target of a mass infiltration campaign by Scientologistswho tried to take over key offices and change the organisation's policy on psychiatry. The large numbers of new membership applications just before a deadline raised the suspicion of the existing members and led to a mass explusion. The Church of Scientologysued unsuccessfully in an attempt to get their members reinstated. [cite book|author=Rolph, C. H.|title= Believe What You Like: What happened between the Scientologists and the National Association for Mental Health|date=1973|publisher=Andre Deutsch Limited|isbn=0-233-96375-8] Kenneth Robinson, a Minister for Health, had attributed Scientology's success to its targeting "the weak, the unbalanced, the immature, the rootless and mentally and emotionally unstable" and said its practices were "a potential menace to the personality and well-being of those so deluded as to become its followers". [cite news|title=Bid to Muzzle Us Fails|publisher=News of the World|date=1969-05-04|last=Warren|first=Robert] [David Lancashire "Largest Mental Health Institution" Becomes Storm Center in Britain" Iowa City Press-Citizen. 1968-09-11Online at http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/19680911-iowacitypresscitizen.html Retrieved on 2008-03-05] Scientology publications titled "Freedom Scientology", "Freedom and Scientology" and "Freedom" conducted a libel campaign against him, beginning in 1968. According to these newsletters, he was responsible for creating "death camps" to which innocent people were being kidnapped to be killed or maimed at will. Robinson successfully sued for libel, prompting a total retraction and substantial damages. ["Church of Scientology to pay libel damages to former Minister" The Times 1973-06-06Online at http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/19730606-thetimes.html Retrieved on 2008-05-03] Roy Walliswas the author of "The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology", first published in 1976. After the publication of the book, a Scientology agent visited Stirling University where Wallis was teaching and tried to get him to implicate himself in the drug scene. Subsequently, forged letters apparently from Wallis were sent to his colleagues implicating him in scandalous activities including a homosexual love affair. [Roy Wallis (1977) "The Moral Career of the Research Project" in Colin Bell and Howard Newby (Eds) "Doing Sociological Research" London: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 0029023505] [Stewart Lamont (1986) "Religion Inc.: The Church of Scientology" London: Harrap. ISBN 0-245-54334-1. page 87]
Russell Millerwrote a biography of L. Ron Hubbardentitled " Bare-Faced Messiah", which was published in 1987. He was spied on while researching the book in the USA, and his friends and business associates received visits from scientologists and private detectives. Attempts were made to frame him for the murder of a London private detective, the murder of singer Dean Reedin East Berlin and a fire in an aircraft factory. [Robert W. Welkos "Shudder into silence: The Church of Scientology doesn't take kindly to negative coverage" "The Quill", November/December 1991] cite news|title=See you in court|publisher=Punch|date=1988-02-19|last=Miller|first=Russell|pages=46] [cite news|title=Cult threatens to sue on book|publisher=Sunday Times|date=1987-11-01|last=Palmer|first=Richard] cite news|title=Hounded by the church of stars and hype|publisher=Sunday Times|date=1997-01-19|last=Driscoll|first=Margarette|coauthors=Haynes, Steven] Senior executives at publishers Michael Joseph, and at the Sunday Times, which serialised the book, received threatening phone calls and also a visit from private investigator Eugene Ingram, who worked for the Church. Another private investigator, Jarl Grieve Einar Cynewulf, told Sunday Times journalists that he had been offered "large sums of money" to find a link between Miller and the CIA. [cite news|title=Cult's private detective fires at journalists|publisher=Sunday Times|date=1987-11-08|last=Palmer|first=Richard] The Church unsuccessfully tried for an injunction against Miller and Penguin Books to stop the book being published; a move that the judge described as "both mischievous and misconceived".cite news|title=Scientologists In Dirty Campaign To Stop Book|publisher=Sunday Times|date=1987-10-18|pages=7]
In 1988, Scientology-connected group the
Citizens Commission on Human Rightsconducted a defamation campaign against Professor Sir Martin Roth, a Cambridge Universityprofessor of psychiatry. Material provided by the CCHR falsely alleged that experiments run by Professor Roth had damaged patients' brains with huge doses of LSD, led to more than 20 deaths in an Australian hospital, and maimed human subjects in Canada. The Newcastle Times, which had published an article based on the CCHR material, admitted the falsity of the allegations and paid substantial libel damages in 1990. ["Prof's Libel Victory Over LSD Claims" Northern Echo 1990-06-22Online at http://cosmedia.freewinds.cx/media/articles/nre220690.html Retrieved on 2008-05-03] Jon Atack, an ex-scientologist who left in 1983, wrote the book "" and the pamphlet "The Total Freedom Trap" as well as providing research for " Bare-Faced Messiah". He provided help to other members in leaving the organisation, as well as acting as an expert witness in various cases concerning Scientology. In response, Atack's home was repeatedly picketed by placard-carrying scientologists over the course of six days. Eugene Ingram, a private investigator employed by the Church, made visits to Atack, his elderly mother and other family and friends, spreading rumours that Atack would be going to prison. Scientologists also distributed leaflets entitled "The Truth about Jon Atack", implying that he was a drug dealer who only criticised Scientology for money. [Evening Argus "Victims Who Are Fair Game" 1994-04-12Online at http://cosmedia.freewinds.cx/media/articles/arg120494.html Retrieved on 2008-05-03] [cite news|title=Scientologists picket house|publisher=East Grinstead Courier|date=1994-03-18|last=Thompson|first=David]
Atack has complained of many additional forms of harassment. In 1991, he wrote, pairs of scientologists would arrive on his doorstep weekly to harangue him. [Jon Atack (1995) "Scientology: Religion or Intelligence Agency?" Online at http://home.snafu.de/tilman/j/berlin.html Accessed
2008-05-03] In a court filing, Atack wrote that scientologists had used their own publications and leaflets, a public meeting and a letter to the Sunday Times to spread rumours that he had been convicted for drug dealing and for "lewdness" and that he was guilty of other criminal activities including rape, attempted murder and kidnap. He also named an individual scientologist who apparently had made a frivolous complaint of child molestation to social services. [Jon Atack "Amended Particulars of Claim in Jonathan Caven-Atack vs. Church Of Scientology Religious Education College Inc. et al." Haywards Heath County Court, Case No. HH 402401 Online at http://www.religio.de/atack/hh402401.html Retrieved on 2008-03-05]
Atack eventually went bankrupt due to the cost of defending himself against legal action from the Church. ["Writer is quizzed by creditors" Nottingham Evening Post
1996-04-27Online at http://cosmedia.freewinds.cx/media/articles/nep270496.html Retrieved on 2008-05-03] He is not the only one to have been driven bankrupt. According to Baroness Sharplesspeaking in the House of Lords, a number of ex-scientologists "have been both threatened and harassed and a considerable number of them have been made bankrupt by the church." [cite news|title=Peer declares scientology membership|publisher=Press Association|date=1996-12-17|last=Evans|first=Andrew|url=|accessdate=]
During 1995, Beverley Ryall, a solicitor based in Chichester, was visited at midnight by a policewoman and by the head of the Church of Scientology's Bournemouth mission after a false tip-off that she was holding stolen documents in her house. She also reported a late night visit from Eugene Ingram. At that time Ryall was helping ex-scientologists in litigation against the Church. ["Victims Who Are Fair Game" Evening Argus
1994-04-12Online at http://cosmedia.freewinds.cx/media/articles/arg120494.html Retrieved on 2008-05-03] cite news|title=Cult Accused of Intimidation|publisher=Sunday Times|date=1994-04-03|last=Palmer|first=Richard] She told a local paper, "They have been harassing my clients and it is quite wrong. [...] They are just trying to intimidate me with Gestapo tactics." In response, a Scientology spokeswoman said that these allegations "are made by people who are lamenting and crying because they have a guilty conscience." [cite news|title=Cult Using Gestapo Tactics Says Woman|publisher=Chichester Observer|date=1994-04-07|last=Hewitt|first=Phil]
An American who moved to Britain, Bonnie Woods had been a member of the
Sea Organisationbut left Scientology in 1982. Since 1992, she and her husband Richard have run a telephone helpline for families affected by Scientology. Having been declared a Suppressive Person, she had her house picketed and her family were put under surveillance. Private investigator Eugene Ingram persuaded a creditor of Richard Woods' failed building firm to accept free help from scientologists to pursue her money. As a result, the family were bankrupted. [cite news|title=Scientology's Campaign Of Hate, By "Cult Busters"|publisher=The American|date=1998-03-06|last=Nicolova|first=Rossitsa|pages=5]
Having been a target of investigation by Eugene Ingram, Bonnie told a local paper, "The biggest concern I have is for my children. Obviously I worry about their safety. I can never let them answer the phone or the door." ["Escape route from Scientology has never been busier" "East Grinstead Courier"
1994-04-15] Scientologists spread leaflets around her East Grinsteadneighbourhood calling her a "hate campaigner". After six years of litigation, eventually reaching the High Court, the Church of Scientology admitted that the claims were lies and paid damages and costs. [cite news|title=Scientologists pay for libel|publisher=The Guardian|date=1999-06-09|last=Dyer|first=Clare|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/1999/jun/09/claredyer|accessdate=2008-05-03] ["Cult pays £155,000 over hate campaign" Daily Mail 1999-06-09] She told journalists that during the case she had been subjected to a "level of harassment that most people would find intolerable". [cite news|title=My victory joy after six year battle with cult|publisher=The Express|date=1999-06-09|last=Palmer|first=Richard]
In 1995 a campaigning group was formed, calling itself Families Under Scientology Stress, to bring together ex-members and concerned families. ["Making a FUSS over Scientology" Evening Echo, Bournemouth
1995-07-13] cite news|title=New pressure group under fire from cult|publisher=East Grinstead Courier|date=1995-07-14|last=Buss|first=Cathy|pages=4] Two members of FUSS, Richard and Judy Price of Tonbridge in Kent, were amongst those who received threats of legal action from the Church's solicitor, accusing them of planning "unlawful and tortuous acts" against the Church. The Prices told a local newspaper that they were suffering "harassment and intimidation" including unsolicited visitors to their house late at night. [cite news|title=We Live In Fear: Cult threatens legal action over defamation|publisher=Tonbridge Courier|date=1995-07-14|last=Gow|first=Sheila] The Church of Scientology spread a rumour to the press that Richard Price was an alcoholic, which he denied.
Twenty Twenty Televisionmade a documentary for national television called "Inside the Cult", using undercover filming, the Church of Scientology took out an abusive private prosecution against the reporter, producer and production company, which was eventually thrown out. [cite news|title=Scientologist's Court Case Thrown Out By Magistrates|publisher=UK Press Gazette |date=1995-09-25|last=Methven|first=Nicola|quote=City of London magistrates dismissed private prosecutions for theft brought by the Scientologists against Braund, producer Claudia Milne and Twenty Twenty Television as an abuse of process.] At around the same time, cars belonging to the team had their windows smashed in, and the reporter's mobile phone was cloned and used to run up huge bills. The staff said these events were part of a harassment campaign in response to their documentary, although no connection with Scientology was ever proven and the allegations were denied by the Church. [cite news|title=Scientology film team targeted by vandals|publisher=East Grinstead Observer|date=1995-07-16|last=Harrison|first=David]
Cult-monitoring organisations have also been targeted. The Church of Scientology released a dossier about the UK's
Cult Information Centrein 1997. This exposed personal financial details of its General Secretary, Ian Howarth and attempted to link him to a convicted criminal. Another dossier about FAIR ( Family Action Information Resource) held lurid allegations about the sex life of an ex-official.
Paul Bracchi was a journalist at local paper the
Evening Argusand later at the national Daily Mail. He revealed in 2007 that after writing a series of investigative articles on the Church for the Evening Argus, he was subjected to a "vicious smear campaign" that included defamatory leaflets, threatening letters and faxes and an attempt to find his ex-directory telephone number. One of his sources was a scientologist who was suspected of stealing documents. According to Bracchi, the man had been kidnapped and taken to Saint Hill Manor to be interrogated and subsequently received a written Suppressive Persondeclare, confirming that he was Fair Game. After that, he and his partner received anonymous death threats almost daily until they moved away. [cite news|title="Tom Cruise's Church of hate tried to destroy me"|publisher=Daily Mail|date=2007-05-19|last=Bracchi|first=Paul|url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=455886&in_page_id=1879|accessdate=2008-05-16]
In 1997, the makers of "Secret Lives: L. Ron Hubbard", a biographical television documentary, reported various forms of harassment. Private detective Eugene Ingram visited friends and associates of members of the team, spreading rumours that they were involved in crimes including money-laundering. A scientologist agent phoned friends of the director and producer, posing as a member of a survey organisation and thereby tricking the phone contacts into revealing their addresses. Those who did were visited by private detectives. It is not known how the agent obtained the numbers that the programme makers had dialled from their private phones. [cite news|title=Detective on trail of TV pair|publisher=Daily Telegraph|date=1997-11-20|last=Uttley|first=Tom|pages=14|url=http://cosmedia.freewinds.cx/media/articles/dtl201197.html|accessdate=2008-05-03] During the making of the programme, the crew said that they were trailed by private detectives in the United States and Canada as well as in England. [cite news|title=Why Channel 4 is haunted by Scientology|publisher=Independent on Sunday|date=1997-11-09|last=Blackhurst|first=Chris] A film crew calling itself "Freedom TV" made unannounced visits to the homes of the programme makers to film them. [cite news|title=Travolta begs Channel 4 not to attack Scientology|publisher=Independent on Sunday|date=1997-11-09|last=Blackhurst|first=Chris|url=|accessdate=]
When the BBC Panorama television programme visited the USA in 2007 to film a documentary about the Church, Scientology representatives followed them and repeatedly harangued them. Unknown men also trailed the team, one even appearing at the wedding of reporter John Sweeney. [cite news|title=Scientologists to BBC: what planet are you on?|publisher=The Sunday Times|date=2007-05-13|last=Swinford|first=Steven|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article1782050.ece |accessdate=2008-05-03] [BBC 1 (TV) The Heaven and Earth Show with Gloria Hunniford
2007-05-13] cite episode | title = Scientology and Me | episodelink= Scientology and Me | series = Panorama | serieslink = Panorama (TV series) | airdate = 2007-05-14] Sweeney later complained of being "chased round the streets of Los Angeles by sinister strangers [...] In LA, the moment our hire car left the airport we realised we were being followed by two cars. In our hotel a weird stranger spent every breakfast listening to us." [cite web | first = John | last = Sweeney | title = Row over Scientology video | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6650545.stm | work = | publisher = BBC News| date = 2007-05-14| accessdate = 2007-11-14 ]
=Ongoing use of "Fair Game"= Despite the ostensible cancellation of "Fair Game," the policy itself continues to present day. A series of court cases in England in the 1970s saw "Fair Game" being strongly criticised by senior judges, with (for instance) Lord Justice Goff citing it to highlight what he described as the Church's "deplorable means adopted to suppress inquiry or criticism." [Church of Scientology of California v. Kaufman (1973) RPC 635] Similarly, in other cases, Lord Justice Megaw discussed "Fair Game" at length and concluded that the plaintiffs (the Church) "are or have been protecting their secrets by deplorable means" and "do not come with clean hands to this court in asking the court to protect those secrets" [ [http://www.xenu.net/archive/audit/vosper.html Hubbard and another v Vosper and another] (1971)] , and Lord Justice Stephenson noted "the policy letter of 1st October 1968 cancelling publication of the policy in the interests of public relations, but not the policy itself." [ [http://www.xenu.net/archive/audit/dhss.html Church of Scientology of California v Department of Health and Social Security and others] (All England Law Reports (1979), vol. 3)]
It later emerged that "Fair Game" had actually continued in use until at least 1980, despite its cancellation, and there have been frequent allegations that it has remained in force since then. During the 1970s the
Guardian's Office(GO) of the Church of Scientology, headed by Hubbard's wife Mary Sue, conducted a wide-ranging and systematic series of espionage and intimidation operations against perceived enemies of Scientology. (See Operation Freakoutfor a noteworthy example.)
The doctrine of "Fair Game" was a central element of the GO's operational policies. The original "cancelled" Fair Game policy is listed as a reference for GO staff in its confidential "Intelligence Course", [Guardian Order, "Confidential - Intelligence Course", 9 September 1974, p.18] which was later entered into evidence in a US Federal court case in 1979. ["United States vs. Mary Sue Hubbard et al.", 493 F. Supp. 209, (D.D.C. 1979)] During the case Church lawyers admitted that the "Fair Game" policy had continued to be put into effect long after its supposed cancellation in 1968. Indeed, according to an "
American Lawyer" investigation, "Fair Game" tactics had been used to force the withdrawal of the presiding judge in an attempt to "throw" the case. [" [http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/media/am-lawyer-1980.html Scientology's War Against Judges] ", "American Lawyer", December 1980] As the US Government's attorneys put it,
"Defendants, through one of their attorneys, have stated that the fair game policy continued in effect well after the indictment in this case and the conviction of the first nine co-defendants. Defendants claim that the policy was abrogated by the Church's Board of Directors in late July or early August, 1980, only after the defendants' personal attack on Judge Richey." [Sentencing Memorandum of the United States of America, Mary Sue Hubbard et al, Criminal Case No. 78-401, 3 December 1979]
The abrogation mentioned above was issued in a policy letter of 22 July 1980, "Ethics, Cancellation of Fair Game, more about", issued by the Boards of Directors of the Churches of Scientology. However, this cancellation was itself cancelled in a subsequent HCO Policy Letter of 8 September 1983, "Cancellation of Issues on Suppressive Acts and PTSes", which cancelled a number of HCOPLs on the ground that they "were not written by the Founder [Hubbard] ". In two subsequent court cases the Church defended "Fair Game" as a "core practice of Scientology", and claimed that it was therefore protected as "religious expression". [Frank K. Flinn testimony in Church of Scientology of California, 1984, vol.23, pp.4032-4160] [Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California, Court of Appeal of the State of California, civ.no.B023193, 18 July 1989]
Since then, a number of ex-Scientologists who formerly held senior management positions in the Church have alleged that while working for the Church they saw "Fair Game" tactics continuing to be used. In 1994,
Vicky Aznaran, who had been the Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center(the Church's central management body), claimed in an affidavit that:Because of my position and the reports which regularly crossed my desk, I know that during my entire presidency of RTC "fair game" actions against enemies were daily routine. Apart from the legal tactics described below, the "fair game" activities included break-ins, libel, upsetting the companies of the enemy, espionage, harassment, misuse of confidential communications in the folders of community members and so forth. [Aznaran affidavit, quoted in Tom Voltz, " [http://www.lermanet.com/cisar/books/swoe13.htm Scientology with(out) an End] ", chapter 13]
Further policy modifications
The current policy on the handling of "suppressive persons" was promulgated in 1991. [HCO Policy Letter of 23 December 1965RB, revised 8 January 1991, "Suppressive Acts Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists"] It does not include the words "Fair Game", but sets out the type of acts considered to be "suppressive" and spells out how to deal with such situations. It concludes with this statement::Nothing in this policy letter shall ever or under any circumstances justify any violation of the laws of the land or intentional legal wrongs. Any such offense shall subject the offender to penalties prescribed by law as well as to ethics and justice actions.Critics have noted that this does not exclude the possibility of what might be termed "legal but unethical" actions such as the so-called "dead agenting" tactics of which the Church has often been accused. While the term "fair game" is not included in any publicly disclosed and current Church policy, critics of the Church have often charged that it continues to attack its perceived enemies relentlessly through any means possible. [http://www.lermanet.com/persecution/]
* Dead Agenting
Keeping Scientology Working
* [http://faq.scientology.org/page38b.htm Q. What does the term “fair game” refer to?] -- from the Church of Scientology's FAQ pages.
* Eric J. Ascalon: [http://www.lermanet.com/cos/aujurist.html "Dangerous Science: The Church of Scientology's Holy War against Critics"] , "American Jurist", November 1995, Vol. 9 No. 2
Robert Vaughn Young" [http://www.xenu.net/archive/go/legal/rvy.htm Affidavit regarding Fair Game] ", declaration in the case Church of Scientology International v. Steven Fishman and Uwe Geertz, 1994.
Stephen A. Kent, University of Alberta, [http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~skent/Linkedfiles/erlich_fairgamesta.htm Statement on Fair Game for the Dennis Erlich case] , February 1999
*Clare Dyer, [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,292357,00.html "Scientologists pay for libel"] , "
The Guardian", 9 June, 1999
*Fair Gamed Web Site, [http://www.fairgamed.org/ Some victims of Scientology's Fair Game Policy]
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