The Largest Infiltration of the US Government in History —- Operation Snow White
Spies have had their place in history ever since the beginning of city states, kingdoms, and empires, providing important intelligence about an adversary and enemy. Perhaps the golden age of spying occurred during the Cold War, where American and Soviet spies seemed to be behind every corner, listening in to every conversation and collecting every scrap of data that could be found. So it would be no surprise to learn that the largest infiltration of the United States Government occurred in the 1970’s. However, the source of the infiltration was not from the Soviet Union or any of the other communist bloc countries of the Cold War. Rather, the infiltration came from a most unexpected and unusual source; The Church of Scientology.
Formed in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the Church of Scientology had been under the suspicion of governments throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. The church was especially under close scrutiny by the US Government, who suspected the church was a cult which brainwashed and manipulated it members, and suspected the organization of tax fraud. In the late 1960’s a plan called “Operation Snow White” was drawn up by L. Ron’s wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, 2nd in command and head of the Guardian Office. The Guardian Office was a section of the church devoted to protecting the interests of the Scientology, especially against journalists, critics, and anyone who spoke out against the religion. Organized and planned by the Guardian Office, Operation Snow White called for the infiltration of various agencies in the US Government. Scientology members were to get jobs within these agencies, then use their positions to steal any government documents which portrayed the Church of Scientology in a negative light and to plant false information. Between 1973 and 1977, covert agents managed to infiltrate 136 government agencies, among them; the FBI, CIA, IRS, FDA, DEA, Coast Guard Intelligence, the Department of Justice, the Treasury Department, dozens of US Embassies, the American Medical Association, and the National Institute of Mental Health. In addition, they infiltrated foreign governments such as Canada and the UK, infiltrated numerous private agencies, and infiltrated other law enforcement agencies such as the LAPD, NYPD, Washington D.C. Police Department, and INTERPOL.
By 1977, the Church of Scientology had one of the largest spy networks across the globe, with around 5,000 secret agents infiltrating organizations across 30 countries. It was in that year that everything fell apart. It started when two agents, Gerald Wolfe and Michael Meisner were arrested in Justice Department offices with fake ID’s. The two tried cover story after cover story, but eventually spilled everything and turned state’s evidence for a plea bargain. On July 8th, 1977 the FBI raided Scientology centers in LA, Hollywood, and New York City. The Los Angeles raid alone lasted 21 hours and resulted in the filling of a 16 ton truck with documents and other evidence. The investigation revealed that the Church of Scientology had stolen 90,000 confidential documents, had wiretapped government officials on a number of occasions, and exposed almost all of the 5,000 agents that made up Scientology’s spy network. The investigation also revealed another program called “Operation Freakout”, a plan to frame journalist Paulette Cooper, who was critical of the church, with making false bomb threats in the hope of having her imprisoned or committed to a mental institution.
By 1978, the Scientology spy network had been completely dismantled. Mary Sue Hubbard and 11 other high ranking members of the Church of Scientology were indicted on charges of obstruction of justice, burglary, theft of documents, and theft of government property. All either were found guilty or pleaded guilty, and were charged with a 5 to 6 year prison sentence and $10,000 fine. L. Ron Hubbard was named as a co-conspirator, but was never charged as he spent the rest of his life in hiding ( a time when he wrote Battlefield Earth) avoiding various charges by the US government, French government, and numerous private lawsuits.
During WWII, L Ron Hubbard once led a 68 hour battle against two Japanese submarines which he claimed “definitely sunk, beyond doubt”. An analysis later concluded that there were never any submarines in the area. source
Stan Marsh: And best of all, I wrote that all the Scientologists should no longer have to pay money to belong.
Scientology President: What?
Stan: I realize that to really be a church, we can’t charge people for help.
President: What are you, stupid?! Then how do we make money from those people?!
Stan: …Well, it’s not about the money. It’s about the message, right?
President: Wait a minute, whoa, whoa! You don’t actually believe this crap, do you?? Dummy! Brainwashed alien souls?? E-meters and thetan levels?? Those people out there buy that crap, and I thought YOU were smart enough to see what was really going on!
Stan: But you said that there were–
President: What’s better than telling people a stupid story and having them believe you?! Having them PAY you for it, stupid!
Stan: But then, why me? Why do you need me to write something so badly?
President: Because if those people all think you’re the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard, then they’ll all buy your new writings, and you and I together will make three million dollars!
Stan: Three million dollars?
President: That’s how the scam works! But this is a scam on a global scale! Do you fucking get me now?!
The Sea Org is the elite organization within Scientology, the members of which serve as the primary movers and shakers of the religion. The Sea Org is a strict organization, forcing members to work 100 hour work weeks, discouraging marriage, and forcing female members to get an abortion if they become pregnant.
Founded in 1967 by L. Ron Hubbard, the Sea Org wears US Navy uniforms, and the members are given naval ranks. This was because of Hubbard’s service with the US Navy during World War II. He claimed that he held the rank of commodore, had served in all five theatres of World War II, and had been awarded numerous medals and decorations for valor in combat, and was seriously wounded. In reality he held the rank of Lieutenant, commanded a pair of PT Boats, served mostly stateside, never saw combat, and his service was best described as substandard. The highlights of his military career include him making false reports about sinking two Japanese submarines and creating an international incident after bombarding a Mexican island just for shits and giggles.
The Church of Scientology has long been a controversial institution among both the religious community and entertainment business. But the latest documentary from Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” explores the secrets of the organization through interviews with former high-ranking officials and former members in a way never seen before.
“By assuming unauthorized authority and attempting to perform duties for which he has no qualifications, he became the source of much trouble… This officer is not satisfactory for independent duty assignment. He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to think he has unusual ability in most lines.”
—US Naval Attache to Australia, report on Lt. Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’s fitness for command.
Founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard had many grandiose claims about his early life, that he could read and write by the age of 3, he was the youngest Eagle Scout in Boy Scout history, that he learned under mystics in India, magicians in China, and hung out with brigands in Tibet. In truth most of this was bullshit, as was his many military service claims. Hubbard liked to claim that he was a gallant US Navy officer, claiming that he served in all theaters of the war, had the rank of “Commodore of Corvette Squadrons”, was badly wounded, and was awarded twenty one medals and palms for his service.
Throughout Hubbard’s career he made such grand claims, and his supposed Naval service became such a central theme in Scientology that the elite organization within the church, the Sea Org, wears navy style uniforms.
Hubbard’s military records tell a different story, showing that through most of his World War II Naval career, he earned few medals, had the rank of Lieutenant, and spent most of his time either training or performing administrative duties, first in Australia, then later in the US. Hubbard only had two commands. His first command was the USS YP-42, a fishing trawler converted into a patrol boat, based out of Boston. Hubbard commanded the patrol boat barely two months before being relieved of duty after constantly arguing with senior officers.
In 1943, Hubbard took command of the USS PC-15, a subchaser which patrolled the Pacific Coast. On May 19th the PC-15 detected sonar readings of what could have possibly been an enemy submarine. Near Cape Lookout, Oregon, the area was known for sonar anomalies, but Hubbard insisted that the readings were an enemy submarine. Over the next two days, PC-15 dropped its armament of 35 depth charges at the sonar blip. He was joined by two blimps and several Coast Guard patrol vessels, which he took temporary command of. In an 18 page after action report, Hubbard claimed he sunk the Japanese submarine, claiming to have found wreckage, an oil slick, and claiming the blimps and patrol boats sighted the submarine. However, he took no samples of the wreckage or oil slick, and the reports of the blimps, and Coast Guard vessels did not substantiate his claims. The Navy concluded that no Japanese submarine was present at the incident, and that the sonar readings were merely an anomaly. After the war, Japanese records would confirm that Japanese subs never went near the area.
The PC-15 then headed south toward San Diego to participate in exercises. After the exercises, Hubbard decided to bombard an uninhabited American Island for shits and giggles. The PC-15 fired several rounds of 3-inch deck gun shells, as wells as opening fire with machine guns, rifles, and pistols. It turns out, the islands were not uninhabited islands, but the Coronado Islands belonging to Mexico, which were inhabited at the time by Mexican Navy personnel. The Mexican Government lodged a formal complaint, and Lt. Hubbard was relived of his command.
After World War II, Hubbard would go back to science fiction writing, spend some time with a famed rocket scientist to perform a series of sex magic rituals which involved masturbating on a sacred parchment in order to summon a goddess, and wrote diabetics, which became the foundation of Scientology. His commission in the US Navy was officially deactivated in 1950.
There’s a widespread belief that he’s going to return, and every Scientology church and his several residences and so on, they have his office ready for him. His sandals are at the shower door. He’s got his cigarettes on his desk. In his residence in the Scientology compound in southern California there’s a novel beside his bed, and they change his sheets on his bed daily and they set a table place for him for one at his dining room table. So there’s a sense that he might come back at any moment.
When you get to Operating Thetan Level No. 3, there’s a big discovery that you have in Scientology. It was the most closely held secret in the church until it was put out and dumped into a courtroom in the ‘80s and all the copyrighted secrets of the church became public knowledge. At that level, Hubbard reveals that we are all infested with space aliens that are called 'Body Thetans,’ and they’re really the sources of all of the problems and fears and things that we have in our lives, and if you can audit yourself and discover these Thetans and expel them, it’s akin to casting out demons that you can free yourself to ever higher levels of spiritual accomplishment.“
“Courage could be summed up in: one, being willing to cause something; and two, going ahead to achieve the effect one has postulated against any and all odds. There doesn’t happen to be any such thing as failure. There just doesn’t happen to be any such thing.
But of course, you all want to agree there’s such a thing as failure so that you can have a reason to fail so you won’t have to be cause. That’s another thing. But there isn’t any reason to fail. There’s no excuse for any failure that ever occurred anyplace in history, except this—except this: There was just not quite enough carry-through and push-through.” - L. Ron Hubbard, lecture 13 December 1952 - Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), available in the Philadelphia Doctorate Course lectures (#42)