THE GUARDIAN'S OFFICE 1974-1980
"We had to establish a militant and protective organization that could shield the church so that it could proceed peacefully with its principal aims and functions, without becoming embroiled in the constant skirmishing with those who wanted to annihilate us," a top ranking church official told me.
- OMAR GARRISON, Playing Dirty
The Guardian Unguarded
There is no more ethical group on this planet than ourselves.
- L. RON HUBBARD in "Keeping Scientology Working," 1965
The Office of the Guardian was created by Hubbard in a Policy Letter of March 1, 1966. He gave this as the Guardian's purpose:
TO HELP LRH ENFORCE AND ISSUE POLICY, TO SAFEGUARD SCIENTOLOGY ORGS, SCIENTOLOGISTS AND SCIENTOLOGY AND TO ENGAGE IN LONG TERM PROMOTION. 1
In the Policy Letter, Hubbard spoke of the Guardian's role in the collection of information, so "one can predict which way cats are going to jump." The eventual downfall of the Guardian came through her use of methods which showed precisely where certain cats planned to jump.
Hubbard kept the job in the family by appointing his wife, Mary Sue (right, in 1976), as the first Guardian. After Hubbard took to the seas, Mary Sue joined him, and in January 1969, a new Guardian, Jane Kember, was appointed. However, Mary Sue retained control of the Guardian's Office with the creation of the Controller's Committee, which served as an interface between Hubbard and the GO. Mary Sue Hubbard was appointed as the Controller "for life" by her husband. 2
The headquarters of the Guardian's Office were at Saint Hill in England. This was GO World Wide, or GOWW. In Hubbard's management system, the continents differ from those of the geographers': along with many of its occupants, Hubbard conceived the United Kingdom as a continent, quite distinct from Europe. America was divided in two, not at the isthmus of Panama, nor even along the Mason-Dixon line, but approximately at the Mississippi River. The Continental offices were: U.K., East U.S., West U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and Africa ("Latam" has been added since). The GO had Continental offices in each, run by a Deputy Guardian. These in turn had deputies in every Scientology Org, called Assistant Guardians. The Guardian's Office had six Bureaus: Legal, Public Relations, Information (initially called Intelligence), Social Coordination, Service (for GO staff training and auditing), and Finance. At GO World Wide there was a Deputy Guardian dealing with each of these functions.
The Guardian's Office was administratively autonomous, taking orders only from Hubbard or from the Controller, who in turn took orders only from her husband. Usually GO staff did not belong to the Sea Org, and signed five-year rather than billion-year contracts. Hubbard generated a powerful rivalry between the Sea Org and the Guardian's Office.
The Guardian's Office image within the Church was of an efficient, devoted group which dealt with threats to Scientology. They would counter bad press articles (often by suing for libel), defend against government enquiries, and promote Scientology through its good works. These good works were monitored by the Social Coordination Bureau (SOCO). They included "Narconon," a drug rehabilitation program; the Effective Education Association, Apple and Delphi Schools; and various anti-psychiatry campaigns.
Because Hubbard insisted there was a conspiracy against Scientology, the GO investigated and attacked the "conspirators" tirelessly. By the 1970s, the GO had lined itself up against its "enemies," principally the entire psychiatric profession and civil governments. They produced a newsletter called "Freedom," reminiscent of Fascist and Communist propaganda in its overblown language.
On a day-to-day basis the Finance Bureau of the GO oversaw the management of money within the Church. Each Org was supposed to have an Assistant Guardian for Finance who would scrupulously monitor all payments to and from the Org. Local Assistant Guardians would deal with bad press, and make sure no one who had received psychiatric treatment, or had a criminal record, found their way onto Scientology courses without first doing lengthy "eligibility programs." These usually consisted of reading several Hubbard books over a six-month period, and writing testimonials to show that they had applied Hubbard's teachings to their lives. Such people would also have to waive the right to refunds of any type from Scientology.
Most Church members knew little or nothing about Branch One of the GO Bureau of Information commonly referred to as "B-1." They gathered information about Hubbard's "enemies." The Information Bureau's Collections Department had two sections: Overt and Covert data collection. B-1 also housed an Operations section, which should more properly have been called the Dirty Tricks Department. B-1 was so self-contained that only the top executives in the other Guardian's Office Bureaus were privy to their activities. B-I was Hubbard's private CIA, keeping tab on friend and foe alike. They also maintained comprehensive files on all Scientologists, compiled from the supposedly confidential records of confessional sessions. At times Hubbard maintained daily, and even hourly, contact with B-1, sending and receiving double-coded telex messages. 3
The Guardian's Office was the most powerful group within the Church. Following Hubbard's rigid Policy, they could not believe in defense: "The DEFENSE Of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to defend anything is to ATTACK." The GO attacked ruthlessly and relentlessly. 4
During 1968, while they were filing suits against all and sundry for libel, one of the major targets in England was the National Association of Mental Health (NAMH). Several trails crossed there. Lord Balniel, who first raised the question of Scientology in Parliament, and Kenneth Robinson, the Health Minister who invoked the Aliens Act, were both highly involved with the NAMH. Further, the NAMH was a public body which had an influence upon the practice of psychiatry. So through their campaign against the NAMH the GO thought they could kill several birds with one stone.
In November 1968, Hubbard issued a peculiar Executive Directive called "The War" where he triumphantly announced: "You may not realize it ... but there is only one small group that has hammered Dianetics and Scientology for eighteen years. The press attacks, the public upsets you receive ... were generated by this one group ... Last year we isolated a dozen men at the top. This year we found the organization these used and all its connections over the world .... Psychiatry and 'Mental Health' was chosen as a vehicle to undermine and destroy the West! And we stood in their way." 5
The Church of Scientology dropped thirty-eight complaints in Britain, and told the press this was "in celebration of the fact that we now know who is behind the attacks on Scientology in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Britain." It was an "international group" that had just moved its headquarters to Britain. 6
In December, a group calling itself the Executive Committee of the Church of Scientology went to the National Association of Mental Health's offices in London, and demanded a meeting with the Board of Directors. Being told that the NAMH was governed by a Council of Management, none of whom was in the building, the Scientologists deposited a list of questions, and departed.
Many of the questions were loaded. For instance: "Why do your directors want to ban an American writer from England?" and "Besides the human rights of English Scientologists, who else's human rights were you attempting to restrict or abolish?"
The "American writer" was presumably not unconnected with the Scientology Church; Hubbard had been labelled an undesirable alien and denied re-entry to Britain only a few months before. The Council must have been perplexed by the tenor of the questions. What on earth were the Scientologists suggesting? But then, the Council had not seen LRH Executive Directive 55, "The War," and they probably did not know that they were perhaps the most important channel for the "World Bank Conspiracy," as Hubbard had dubbed it.
In February 1969, shortly after Hubbard's announcement that Scientologists were to develop their image as "the people who are cleaning up the field of mental healing," the NAMH was offered a settlement in a pending suit. A few days later, the Scientologists started a series of demonstrations outside the NAMH's offices. They marched with catchy slogans such as "Psychiatrists Make Good Butchers" on their banners. 7
Then came Hubbard's bizarre secret directive "Zones of Action," 8 instructing the takeover of Smersh and psychiatry. After a pause of several months, the Guardian's Office took heed of Hubbard's order, and orchestrated the takeover of the National Association of Mental Health. The plan was simple, as NAMH membership was open to the public. The NAMH was governed by a Council, elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. Time was a little tight, but five weeks before the meeting, Scientologists started joining the Association in droves. The plan was a little too simple. The NAMH noticed the sudden explosion of applications, from ten or so a month to over two hundred. They also noticed that many of the Postal Orders paying the subscription bore the stamp either of the East Grinstead or London's Tottenham Court Road Post Office, the locations of the two principal English Scientology Orgs.
Five days before the election, the new Scientologist members nominated eight of their number for the Council of Management, among them a Deputy Guardian. Just two days before the vote, the NAMH demanded the resignation of 302 new members.
The Guardian's Office responded by seeking an injunction to prevent the Annual General Meeting. After elaborate proceedings, Justice Megarry eventually ruled against the Scientologists. C.H. Rolph, in his well researched book about the attempted takeover, Believe What You Like, described a later tactic. In November 1970, the Scientologists offered a deed of covenant to the NAMH of £20,000 a year for seven years, if the NAMH would discontinue its support for shock therapy, resign its membership of the World Federation of Mental Health, and support a Scientology Bill of Rights for mental patients. The NAMH was to "make no public announcement of any sort" if it accepted the covenant. The offer was rejected. Soon afterwards the NAMH received a copy of an article detailing nineteen of its alleged shortcomings. To take up the story from Rolph: "among the latter being the sad story of a house for mentally confused old ladies in which the luckless residents were punished for misbehavior by being made to scrub floors. The grounds of this sinister place were patrolled . . . by men with shotguns; though it did not say specifically that their task was to shoot down any of the aged occupants caught running away."
Mary Sue Hubbard's deputy, Guardian Jane Kember, was a fanatical Scientologist. It is worth quoting one of her Scientology Success Stories. It was written in 1966, before the GO really gathered steam.
Before Scientology I couldn't have a baby, having miscarriage after miscarriage. I have recently had twin boys, after training and processing in Scientology. Before Scientology I had kidney trouble. I have no kidney trouble now. Before Scientology I had skin trouble, chronic indigestion, was very nervous, very unhappy, highly critical of all around me, felt inferior, inadequate and unable to cope with life. Now the skin troubles have gone and the chronic indigestion. I am no longer nervous, feel happy, have lost my inferiority complex and feel no need to criticize others. 9
No wonder Kember later ran the Guardian's Office with steely and unswerving devotion.
In 1971, Alexis, Ron's twenty-one-year-old daughter by his second marriage, attempted to find him. Ron sent instructions to Jane Kember to deal with what he saw as a potential embarrassment. Alexis is undoubtedly Hubbard's daughter, but he had lost all paternal feeling for her, and had dropped contact with her after his divorce from her mother in 1951.
On Hubbard's instructions, two GO agents visited Alexis, and read a letter to her. Kember had followed her orders exactly. The letter had been typed on a "non-general-use" typewriter, which is to say the typewriter was used solely for this letter and then ditched. 10
The letter that Hubbard sent to Kember for her to relay to Alexis came to light in the Armstrong case. Hubbard's description of events, as given in the letter, is manifestly different from the facts. He claimed that Sara had been his secretary in Georgia, at the end of 1948. In July 1949, she had arrived in New Jersey, where Hubbard was supposedly working on a film script, flat broke and pregnant. Hubbard referred to Sara's involvement with Jack Parsons, and claimed to be unsure who she had lived with in Pasadena. He further claimed that Sara had tried to take the Los Angeles Dianetic Foundation as part of a divorce settlement. Hubbard said that Sara could not obtain such a settlement, because legally they had not been married. 11
The wording is crucial. Hubbard did not deny his marriage to Sara, simply its legality. He was technically correct, the marriage, being bigamous was illegal, but that was hardly the fault of either Alexis or Sara.
Under Jane Kember's direction, the Guardian's Office ran scores of operations, many illegal, many more simply immoral. She irrefutably received her orders from the Hubbards. Written orders survive.
In 1976, the GO was determined to silence all opposition in the City of Clearwater. Mayor Cazares was its chief target. A GO agent, posing as a reporter, interviewed the mayor when he was on a visit to Washington, DC. The "reporter" introduced Cazares to Sharon Thomas, another GO agent. She offered to show Cazares the sights of Washington. While they were driving, they ran into a pedestrian. Sharon Thomas drove on. The mayor did not know that the "victim" of the accident was yet another GO agent, Michael Meisner. 12
The GO was sure that it could use Cazares' failure to report the accident to its advantage. The next day an internal dispatch gloated that Cazares' political career was finished. That same day, Hubbard sent a dispatch asking whether the Miami Cubans could be persuaded that Cazares supported Castro. 13
The GO initiated "Operation Italian Fog" which was to bribe officials to put forged documents into Mexican records showing that Cazares had been married twenty-five years before. The Scientologists could then accuse him of bigamy.
To gain information for an inside story, an editor at the Clearwater Sun enrolled on the Communication Course in the Tampa Org. The staff at the Sun did not know that their every move was being leaked to the GO by agent June Phillips. The Scientologists saw the editor's move as "infiltration" and Phillips reported that the editor was traumatized when a suit was filed against him and the Sun for a quarter of a million dollars. The Scientologists charged that he had caused their members "extreme mental anguish, suffering and humiliation."
"Op Yellow," launched in April 1976, was to consist of sending an anonymous letter to Clearwater businesses congratulating the mayor for his Christian hostility to Scientology, and for keeping the Miami Jews out and the Clearwater negroes where they belonged.
After the publication of her book The Scandal of Scientology, in 1971, Paulette Cooper became a major target for harassment. Distribution of her book was severely restricted through a series of court actions in different states, and even different countries. Cooper simply did not have the legal or financial resources to defend against all of these actions. As a result of a GO Op she was indicted for making a bomb threat against the Church of Scientology. The GO wanted to finish her off for good. Operation Freakout was intended to put Cooper either into prison or into a mental hospital.
A U.S. Court Sentencing Memorandum gave this description of Operation Freakout:
In its initial form Operation Freakout had three different plans. The first required a woman to imitate Paulette Cooper's voice and make telephone threats to Arab Consulates in New York. The second scheme involved mailing a threatening letter to an Arab Consulate in such a fashion that it would appear to have been done by Paulette Cooper. Finally, a Scientology field staff member was to impersonate Paulette Cooper at a laundry and threaten the President and the then Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. A second Scientologist would thereafter advise the FBI of the threat.
Two additional plans to Operation Freakout were added on April 13, 1976. The fourth plan called for Scientology field staff members who had ingratiated themselves with Cooper to gather information from Cooper, so that Scientology could assess the success of the first three plans. The fifth plan was for a Scientologist to warn an Arab Consulate by telephone that Paulette Cooper had been talking about bombing them.
The sixth and final part of Operation Freakout called for Scientologists to obtain Paulette Cooper's fingerprints on a blank piece of paper, type a threatening letter to Kissinger on that paper, and mail it. 14
GO operations were burgeoning. Operation Devil's Wop was an attack on an Arizona senator who had supported anti-cult groups. The Clearwater Chamber of Commerce had been infiltrated. Agents had been inside the American Psychiatric Association for several years. The GO had penetrated anti-cult groups and newspapers, and was beginning to move into U.S. government agencies, including the Coast Guard.
However, the vehement application of Fair Game, and the use of the law to harass were making trouble for Hubbard. Those on the receiving end wanted Hubbard himself to testify in court, which had to be avoided at all costs. Elaborate precautions were taken to prevent process servers from reaching Hubbard. His location was kept secret, and his retinue was ready to whisk him away at a moments notice. In May 1976, Hubbard fled, shrouded in secrecy, from Washington, DC, to Culver City, a suburb of Los Angeles. With him were only his wife and a few dedicated Sea Org staff. His new location was codenamed Astra, and it maintained contact with, and control of, Scientology through telex links to Church management in Clearwater, and to the Guardian's Office in Los Angeles.
In June 1976, the GO received the first blow against its elaborate and highly successful Intelligence machine. A GO agent who had infiltrated the IRS was arrested. For a month the GO carried on with their Ops, confidently believing that the agent's connections would never be traced.
Mayor Cazares was running as a congressional candidate. As a part of "Op Keller" his opponent was offered supposedly damaging information about Cazares. When the opponent declined the offer, a letter signed "Sharon T" was mailed to politicians and newspapers in Florida. It sought to implicate Cazares in the fake hit-and-run "accident" staged in Washington. To cover the exits, an anonymous letter was sent to Cazares' opponent, Bill Young, saying the "Sharon T" letter was Cazares' work, and that he would claim it had been a dirty trick on Young's part! Young turned the letter over to the FBI.
In July, the GO instituted "Operation Bulldozer Leak" which was supposed to convince the press and governments that Hubbard was no longer involved in the management of the Church. Hubbard moved to a hacienda in La Quinta, near Palm Springs in California. The hacienda was codenamed Rifle. About him he assembled the Controller's staff (Mary Sue's assistants), a few chosen teenage Commodore's Messengers, and his Household Unit. For a while, they took a vacation from Scientology, fulfilling the pretense of Hubbard's lack of control. There were no Scientology books at the hacienda, and the speaking of Scientologese was briefly forbidden. While the Commodore fiddled, the Guardian's Office was beginning to burn.
Hubbard had been in such a rush to leave Florida that he had left part of his gun collection behind. Shortly after "Op Bulldozer Leak" the Assistant Guardian for Flag [Clearwater] reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had discovered some of Hubbard's guns, which had been mislaid in the flight from Dunedin.
One of the guns was a Mauser machine-pistol, which should have been registered. Somehow the GO managed to avert prosecution. But on the day the report on Hubbard's guns was made, the FBI issued a warrant for the arrest of one Michael Meisner. The FBI was beginning to make the necessary connections.
Additional sources: C.H. Rolph, Believe What You Like (André Deutsch, London 1973); St. Petersburg Times, "Scientology."
1. Organization Executive Course, vol. 7 pp. 494ff
2. Organization Executive Course, vol. 7, p. 503
3. Interview with former Hubbard telex encoder
4. Technical Bulletins of Dianetics & Scientology vol. 2, p. 157
5. Hubbard Executive Directive 55, "The War," 29 November 1968.
6. Rolph p.63; Daily Telegraph, 26 November 1968
7. Organization Executive Course, vol. 7, p. 521; Rolph, pp. 102 & 52f
8. Sea Org Executive Directive 26 March 1969
9. Auditor 15, p.7
10. Sara Hollister to Paulette Cooper, 1972; vol. 12 of transcript of Church of Scientology of California vs. Gerald Armstrong, Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, case no. C 420153, p.1940
11. Armstrong exhibit 500-4L, Armstrong vol. 12, pp. 1946ff
12. Sentencing memorandum in U.S.A. vs. Jane Kember, District Court DC, criminal case no., 78-401, p.25
13. St. Petersburg Times, "Scientology," p.9
14. U.S.A. vs. Kember, p.23