The Queen v. Church of Scientology of Toronto, et al.
This is a criminal case brought in the Ontario Court (Criminal Division) in Canada, pursuant to an indictment rendered in 1991. The factual circumstances related to this case begin in 1977.
Note: Many thanks go to "x," who posted the relevant documents and commentary in a series of carefully researched and written messages on alt.religion.scientology which describe these proceedings in exhaustive detail, with references to the Canadian law reports containing reported opinions, and to Sister Clara, for reposting the messages, compiled on this web site in a single document. Most of the hyperlinks on this page jump to that document.
- In 1977 the Toronto Globe and Mail reported that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario would be seeking an investigation of scientology on the grounds that its members had been practising medicine without a license. The Church of Scientology of Toronto sued the newspaper for libel and slander and lost. The decision is reported at 19 Ontario Reports 62.
- At or about that time the Church of Scientology of Toronto decided to infiltrate the offices of the Ontario Medical Association. A scientology member, Nanna Anderson was instructed to take documents and give them to another scientology member to be copied, then returned to the files.
- In 1983, The Ontario Branch of the Provincial Police, Anti-Rackets branch, swore out an information before a criminal court judge and obtained a warrant to search the premises of the Church of Scientology of Toronto. The information accused the Church of Scientology of Toronto, L.Ron Hubbard, Mary Sue Hubbard and numerous scientology officials of tax fraud, criminal fraud and deceit in the sale of courses and E-Meters, and conspiracy to effect an unlawful purpose, i.e., the use of the Guardian Office to commit indictable offenses including theft and breaking and entering. Thousands of documents were seized, including numerous "pre-clear folders."
- In March and April, 1983, the Church of Scientology of Toronto and Michael P. Zaharia (whose premises had also been searched) filed motions to quash the search warrants, based upon Canada's constitution Act, including the Charter or Rights and Freedoms. The court ordered the documents detained, and the pre-clear folders sealed pending adjudication of the question whether they were subject to the "priest-penitent" privilege. These proceedings, which commenced in 1984, resulted in seven reported rulings by various Canadian courts on the search and seizure issues alone.
- In 1984, another information was sworn, charging the Church of Scientology and eleven individuals, as well as numerous "unindicted co-conspirators, with infiltrating or victimizing numerous organizations including Canadian and Ontario medical and mental health organizations, the Ontario and Toronto Police, the Attorney General of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The subsequent 1991 indictment on these charges forms the case in chief, i.e., The Queen v. Church of Scientology of Toronto, et. al.
- Numerous pre-trial proceedings ensued from this indictment, which resulted in a number of reported decisions.
- In 1985, Nanna Anderson, the scientologist, who was charged in the indictment with stealing documents from the Ontario Medical Association at the request of church officials, pleaded guilty, and the judge discharged her because she had "suffered enough."
- In 1986, a number of other defendants sought to enter guilty pleas. In doing so, it was apparently necessary for them to make representations to the court taking the pleas concerning certain co-defendants who were not pleading guilty. The attorney for the Church of Scientology and attorneys for the other defendants then sought to enjoin the Crown Prosecutor and the defendants from mentioning the names of the other defendants, and directing the media not to report the names. The judge ruled against the Church of Scientology and the other defendants on this point, stating that they lacked standing to make the motion and the court lacked jurisdiction to grant it, but stayed the order to allow an appeal. On appeal, it was ruled that the trial court had the power to order a publication ban against the media, and such an order was ultimately granted. "X," the poster who summarized these rulings, commented with respect to this particular aspect of the case that "Publication bans and deals in which the accused promise not to mention the role of Scientology eliminate [the deterrence of similar crimes}. to this day  many of the general public think that only 3 persons were convicted in the Scientology trials. By 1988, four of the accused had pled guilty and had received absolute discharges."
- The pre-trial proceedings resulted in a number of preliminary adjudications on the validity of the search warrant, the applicability of attorney-client and priest-penitent privilege, etc. On appeal, the Appeal Court upheld all of the pre-trial rulings with the exception of the ruling that certain materials had to be returned to the Church of Scientology.
- At the trial commencing in 1992, all remaining defendants pleaded not guilty. Among the contested issues was the composition of the jury pool and the admissibility of numerous documents seized in the raid on scientology's offices. The trial featured former scientologists who testified on behalf of the Crown, and a police undercover officer who infiltrated the Church after an FBI raid on the Los Angeles office of the organization turned up documents belonging to the Ontario government. Bryan Levman, who was a member of the Guardian Offices, testified that at a briefing in England in 1973 he was shown a secret policy directive from L.Ron Hubbard by Jane Kember head of the Guardian Office Worldwide, which outlined the manner in which the office should deal with the enemies of scientology, including such actions as breaking and entering the offices of enemy organizations, and having scientologists get a job within target organizations. Kember herself, who was convicted and did time on charges in the United States in connection with the Snow White conspiracy testified on behalf of the defense, claiming that the Guardian Office engaged in illegal acts against the direct orders of L.Ron Hubbard. David Miscavige, head of the Church of Scientology, testified that in 1981 he was shocked to learn that the Guardian's Office committed crimes, and that he and other colleagues had endeavored to get Mary Sue Hubbard to step down as the head of the Guardian office.
- The trial resulted in split verdicts. The theft charges were dismissed due to inadmissibility of documents; the Church of Scientology of Toronto was found guilty on charges of breach of trust, and several of the individual defendants were found guilty on various charges. At the sentencing in 1992, The Church of Scientology of Toronto argued that it should receive a nominal fine, pleading poverty. The Judge sentenced the Church pay at $250,000 fine, noting that the Church of Scientology "mother" church in California had paid $7million toward the cost of defending the criminal charges through interest-free loans. As reported by "x," the compiler of this information, who stated that he was paraphrasing from an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail, the judge "rejected the convention that the church had shown remorse for its role, and suggested that in reality there was a continuing attempt to blame individuals within the church for illegal activities that had been carried out at the direction of senior scientology officials." The judge also said that "he was satisfied that the British-based Guardian's Office World Wide was 'subject to the control of founder L.Ron Hubbard and his wife, Mary Sue Hubbard,'" and that a heavy fine was necessary to deter the conduct of placing plants in law-enforcement agencies.
- In September 1992, the Church of Scientology of Toronto announced that it had filed suit against the Ontario Provincial Police and the attorney General of Ontario for illegal and unconstitutional search and seizure in connection with the execution of the search warrant on its headquarters in March 1983.
- The defamation case, Hill v. Manning (181k file), arose out of the same circumstances as this prosecution. As set forth at some length in the opinion of Canada's highest court, the lawyers representing the Church of Scientology of Toronto brought contempt charges against the Crown Prosecutor, Casey Hill, claiming that Hill misled a judge and breached a court order sealing certain of the documents seized in the raid on the church's headquarters. Hill sued, and was awarded a total of $1.6 million in damages against the church and its attorney, Morris Manning. The award was upheld by the Supreme Court in Canada. The judgment, with interest, was paid in full in September 1995.
- The above suit by the Church of Scientology of Toronto against the Ontario Provincial Police is the last proceeding mentioned by "x," but the story does not end there. A message posted on alt.religion.scientology in September 1996, quoting a news report, states that the church and one of the convicted defendants have filed appeals from their convictions for breach of trust, on the ground that the jury pool, limited by law to citizens of Canada, was not representative of the community.