Scientology is ominous.
Established in the 1950s, Scientology was created initially to be a form of therapy called Dianetics by a science fiction author named L. Ron Hubbard. After the organization was sued and he lost all of his money, Hubbard decided to turn his ideas into a religion called the Church of Scientology. The teachings are based on the idea that all humans have an immortal spirit that lives in a physical body until it dies then moves on to the next one. Ok, sounds a lot like reincarnation.
Here’s the kicker — before being humans, our spirits were in the bodies of ancient aliens, and our bodies were evolved from clams. So that’s basically the gist of it.
The mounds of files that were uncovered revealed one of the largest infiltrations in US history. In 1967, the IRS removed Scientology’s tax exemption. The government had discovered that the organization was commercially benefitting Hubbard, mostly through real estate. It is in the direct teachings that any opposition of Scientology is “fair game” for getting rid of them by any means possible; thus, Operation Snow White was born and headed by the Scientology Guardian’s Office. The order from Hubbard himself called for the “removal and correction of erroneous Scientology files.” This meant that the agents were meant to conceal unflattering beliefs, like that all other religions were false memories planted by the alien god Xenu.
Two agents who helped spearhead Operation Snow White were Michael Meisner and Gerald Wolfe, who got jobs as typists at the DC IRS office in 1973. The department that they specifically worked in was the one that dealt with religious tax exemptions. You see where this was going. They started copying files to give to the church, but they worked their way up to forgery, falsifying documentation, and breaking into government buildings to steal more documents. The church became worried that Meisner was going to go to the police, so they locked him in a facility in California where he was under 24-hour surveillance.
However, Meisner managed to escape 3 months later and went straight to the FBI with everything he knew. 156 agents raided the LA office of Scientology where they found 48,000 documents detailing all of their plans along with high-tech spy equipment. One document stated that an agent bugged an IRS meeting where they were talking about the Church of Scientology’s tax exemption status. Another revealed that agents had infiltrated the Coast Guard Intelligence Agency, the Drug Enforcement Association, the American Medical Association, as well as created branches in over 30 countries. Around the world, authorities have determined that the Church of Scientology had up to 5,000 agents in governments and organizations.
The Guardian’s Office didn’t stop at tax exemption. They attempted hundreds of other conspiracies, like framing a journalist who had written expose on the Church for fabricated bomb threats and the mayor of Clearwater, FL for murder as well as less sinister ones like getting the government to organize a press conference with a cat.
Though the Church of Scientology has claimed that they have changed their ways, they have celebrity spokespeople like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, who aren’t exactly great character witnesses.