[Source: Internet anonymous post]


The Sunday Times  3rd of April 1994
UK Newspaper

by Richard Palmer

Police are investigating complaints that private investigators 
employed by the Church of Scientology, the cult created by L. 
Ron Hubbard, have intimidated witnesses and plaintiffs in 
forthcoming court cases.

The cult, which claims to have 300,000 members in Britain and 8m 
worldwide, has attempted to undermine its critics after coming under 
severe financial pressure in this country. It is anxious to protect 
its funds which are set to be drained further by a series of expensive 
civil actions brought by former members.

Some of them are seeking damages or the return of thousands of pounds 
from the cult, which uses controversial techniques to recruit people.

The cult's response has been to target those taking legal action 
and others who are helping them, accusing them of conducting a 
vendetta against their religion. Last week police in East Grinstead, 
West Sussex, set a file to the Crown Prosecution Service after 
incidents during six days of demonstrations by scientologists 
outside the house of one witness, Jon Atack.

Atack, a former scientologist, has devoted the last 10 years to 
helping victims of the cult, which was branded corrupt, sinister, 
dangerous and immoral by a British judge in 1984. At present he is 
acting as an expert witness in 80 cases, including libel actions and 
criminal conspiracy cases.

Atack, who claims that at least 80 scientologists have committed 
suicide, knows more about the cult than most people, but he was not 
prepared for the ferocity of the onslaught of the past few weeks.

In an attempt to discredit him, scientology representatives distributed 
defamatory leaflets to his neighbours, accused him of being a drug 
dealer and told members of his family that he was going to prison.

He has also learned that someone has obtained confidential details of 
his bank statements. "I am frankly in fear of my life and I am 
frightened for my children," he said. "This has ruined my health and 
left me with very little money for 10 years now, but I am determined 
I will fight them to the death."

He is not the only victim. Sussex police are investigating complaints 
from Beverley Ryall, a solicitor in Chichester representing several 
former scientologists who are trying to retrieve subscriptions. 
She was woken at home at 12.15am two weeks ago by two unidentified 
officials from the cult's Bournemouth organisation who falsely accused 
her of possessing stolen documents. "These are intimidation tactics. 
They just want to make me feel bad about criticising them and 
representing former members," she said.

Gary Fry, 26, from Blandford, Dorset, was also visited. He left 
scientology two years ago and has helped others wanting to leave the 
cult's Bournemouth mission since he won back the #22,000 [British 
pounds] he paid out in fees over a two month period. Martin Francis, 
from Bristol, who left only a few weeks ago, was also harassed.

Much of the harrassment has been carried out by Eugene Ingram, an 
American private detective flown in from Los Angeles by the cult's 
head office in the United States, to target Atack and others involved 
in legal actions against the cult. Ingram, according to statements 
given under oath by a key Witness in an American court case, has 
boasted of "turning" a Los Angeles judge by setting him up with a 
prostitute and videotaping them having sex. Gary Scarff, a former 
member of the cult's paramilitary Office of Special Affairs, has 
testified that Ingram was also involved in a conspiracy to murder 
an opponent of scientology. The allegations are the subject of 
American police inquiries.

In 1987, Ingram was involved in a campaign to try to discredit and 
prevent publication of an unflattering biography of Hubbard, a 
science fiction writer, by Russell Miller, a Sunday Times journalist. 
Miller was harrassed for months and an attempt was made to frame him 
for murder.

Last week Ingram said he was investigating Atack as part of a criminal 
inquiry. One interviewee was even led to believe that Ingram was an FBI 
agent. "I am astonished that the police cannot protect a British subject 
from such an undesirable alien," said Atack.

When he was finally traced to a hotel in East Grinstead, Ingram was 
characteristically hostile: he even complained about being telephoned 
at his hotel. "I have never done anything illegal," he said, "I don't 
intimidate. I cannot discuss the nature of my business in this country, 
which is confidential to the client."

The complaints about the behaviour of scientology representatives have 
followed a series of financial and legal setbacks for the cult. In the 
last few weeks, it has been forced to pull out of two high-profile court 
cases and lost a third in the United States, where a court ordered it to 
pay $2.5m damages to a former member who complained of false 
and alleged that scientology had ruined his business and his mental 

However, Sheila Chaleff, the cult's spokeswoman, insisted it was the 
scientologists who were being harassed: "Enough is enough. They just 
want the freedom to be able to practise their religion in peace," 
she said.


*NOTE: The claims of 8 million "Scientologists" are greatly exaggerated, 
       but after 40 years of operation, it is well likely that worldwide
       mailing lists amount to this number.  Anyone who buys a book or
       service gets a 6 month free membership, so this is likely the
       figure quoted.

       My liberal estimate is 100,000 actually working in Orgs and
       missions, with around 400,000 others who may align themselves
       to the cult by continuing services OCCASIONALLY.

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