These articles cover the time period from March 1983 to April, 1997.
Lots of juicy stuff about just what the local Scientology tentacle was getting up to during those times. There's also a couple of opinion columns, by Michael Valpy (Globe columnist) and Al Buttnor, loveable Scientology OSA type person.
I typed these in over the long weekend on a computer where the 'w' key had some unhandled keyboard thetan clusters. So if you see any spelling mistakes, please let me know. I've tried to preserve the original spelling mistakes from the original stories, but otherwise all transcription mistakes are mine.
Oh, and stay tuned for a nifty announcement from the Canadian branch of the
ARSCC in the next few weeks.
Globe and Mail, Saturday, March 5, 1983, P.5 Warrants for search contested by church by William Nellis Scientologists are going to the Supreme Court of Ontario Monday morning seeking to quash a search warrant used by more than 100 Ontario Provincial Police officers to cart off about 800 boxes packed with Church of Scientology of Toronto materials.
Clayton Ruby, hired yesterday by the organization, said that a basic right of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is at issue.
"Can they (the police) take property, and then keep secret the means by which they take it? I don't think so, and I've asked the Supreme Court to rule on it."
Because he was refused a copy of the search warrant, Mr. Ruby also filed a motion demanding that all evidence taken by the OPP be [ALMOST ILLEGIBLE, PROBABLY IS: sealed while the motion to dismiss] the warrant was dealt with, and an additional motion to "compel someone to give us access to the warrant."
"Without the warrant, we can't proceed with the motion to quash," Mr.
On Thursday, the officers, some armed with sledgehammers and fire extinguishers, raided the Scientologists' building at Yonge and St.
Mary streets seeking evidence in their two-year investigation into tax exemptions claimed by the organization and the marketing of courses.
(The Church of Scientology, which says it has an active membership of about 5,000 in Metro Toronto, is not recognized as a church in Ontario and cannot perform marriages.)
Working through the night, the officers filled about 800 boxes with Scientology materials, including books, cassette tapes, financial documents and "about 100 personal files," Nicole Crellin, a Scientology spokesman, said. The last officers left the building about 11 a.m. yesterday.
Earl Smith, vice-president of the Toronto organization, said the most damaging loss was the personal files.
"They are like confessions in other churches. Counsellors use these files to help the person they are working with to overcome their problems."
Mr. Smith also questioned the use of force to break into three rooms.
"There were plenty of people here who would have gladly unlocked the doors if the officers asked."
Mr. Ruby said that officers told members of Scientology that they had
been told by the Crown Law Office not to leave a copy of the search warrant.
Globe and Mail, Friday, March 11, 1983, P.5 Stall police, destroy evidence is Scientology plan, PCs say by Kevin Cox Officials of the Church of Scientology have a system to destroy evidence and stall any police search at their headquarters in Toronto, says a statement by Attorney-General Roy McMurtry and Solicitor-General George Taylor.
The actions of the 100 Ontario Provincial Police officers who raided the church's headquarters on Yonge Street on March 3 ith sledge hammers and fire extinguishers were defended in the statement, which accuses church officials and lawyers of spreading disinformation about the raid.
The allegations about a system to destroy evidence were angrily denied by church president Caroline Charbonneau last night.
No charges have been laid after the raid, which police say was conducted as part of a two-year investigation into tax exemptions and the cost of courses at the church.
Mrs. Charbonneau said in an interview that police and the two Cabinet ministers responsible for the raid have "selectively grab-bagged information about Scientology to slide around the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."
The ministers' statement says [ILLEGIBLE] preparation and planning went into the raid, where over 250,000 documents were seized.
Seventy-six of those were ordered sealed by Mr. Justice Allen Linden of the Ontario Supreme Court earlier this week because they may be privileged under the freedom of religion clauses of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The statement says that the Scientologists had conducted drills and had written instructions and a warning system to alert officials about what to do in the event of a police search and how to stall it.
It also says that the centre had written instructions on how to dispose of sensitive or "Z" materials by shredding or vetting the documents.
Police believe the "Z" materials are the equivalent of sensitive "Red Box" materials in the United States, which were in portable files which could be quickly removed.
The church guardian's office, a special area set aside for those church members who shield church leaders from external attack, was fortified by steel doors, locked doors, a buzz code system and had shredders, according to the statement.
The statement adds that six locked doors on the third floor of the Scientology building were "forced open by police to prevent obstruction or the destruction of evidence through movement of files and operation of shredders. The building was otherwise undamaged."
Mrs. Charbonneau said the church only has one "small, antiquated"
shredder and has no written instructions or warning system about police raids. She added that Scientology members are told to cooperate with police in the event of a search.
Mrs. Charbonneau said the steel doors to the guardian's office were never locked and were merely fire exits and the only door that was smashed by officers was plate glass.
The statement by the two Cabinet minsters also accuses Clayton Ruby, the lawyer acting for Scientology, of spreading misinformation about the provincial policy towards search warrants.
Mr. Ruby had stated that Judge Linden had ruled that the Attorney-General's office was acting "unlawfully" in refusing to allow law enforcement officers to let him see the search warrant and the 1000 pages of supporting information used in the raid.
The statement says that Judge Linden didn't say the province had acted "unlawfully" and that the Attorney-General and Crown law officers have not instructed police officers not to show citizens search warrants.
But Mr. Ruby said last night that he was not allowed to see the search
warrant the day after the raid.
Globe and Mail, Thursday, March 24, 1983, P.1 100 officers raid Scientology centre by William Nellis and Michael Kieran More than 100 Ontario Provincial Police officers, some armed with sledgehammers and fire extinguishers, raided the Church of Scientology offices in Toronto yesterday.
OPP Inspector Phil Caney said police, armed with a two-day search warrant, were seeking evidence in their two-year investigation into tax exemptions claimed by the Scientologists.
(The Church of Scientology, which says it has an active membership of about 5,000 in Metro Toronto, is not recognized as a church in Ontario and cannot perform marriages.)
Police said they were also investigating the marketing of courses by the organization.
"I can't comment any further than that," Insp. Caney told reporters in front of the building at Yonge and St. Mary streets that houses the Scientologists' offices. No arrests were expected to be made at this time, he added.
The policemen went to the building in three buses. Asked why so many officers were used, Insp. Caney said they were needed to search the seven floors and about 75 offices for evidence.
He said some of the officers had fire extinguishers in case someone tried to burn documents.
Brenda Macklam, 24, the organization's executive secretary, said the Church of Scientology leases three floors and a ground-floor reading room-bookstore. The second and third floors are used by the Toronto branch and the fourth floor houses the national office.
Nicole Crellin, the organization's public relations spokesman, said police started entering the building about 2:30 p.m. On the third floor, officers "busted through one glass door and another door inside an office" with a sledgehammer. She said no one had been hurt.
Insp. Caney said he "could not comment at this time" about the broken doors, but a spokesman for the Solicitor-General's Ministry confirmed that "some doors were busted."
"They're going through everything," Scott Carmichael, a staff member, said in a telephone interview.
"It's all very confusing. They're even packing away books. I've been on several floors and the police are just duplicating their efforts,"
said Mr. Carmichael, who added that the telephone conversation was being monitored by a police officer.
"I was in a room near the reception centre (on the second floor) when I heard a loud noise," Mr. Carmichael said. "I thought it was a bomb.
Then I saw all these officers walking into the room.
"It was wall-to-wall police. It was a bad scene." At this point, he said police told him to hang up.
Miss Crellin said that the Scientologists' lawyer, Toby Belman, was in the building observing as police packed books and papers into cartons.
She said Caroline Charbonneau, the Scientologists' Toronto president, was "shattered by the experience."
Mick McCoy, executive director of the Scientologists' Ontario office, said in an interview that he was shocked by the police action, which he described as unwarranted.
"The Church of Scientology has not engaged in any illegal or fraudulent activities. We're as above board as any other church."
Mrs. Macklam said in an interview she was sitting at her desk "when suddenly about 50 police officers came running in. I asked what was going on and they told me not to move, not to touch anything."
Mrs. Macklam said she asked to see, and was shown, a search warrant but was not allowed to touch it. The police officers searched her purse and lunch bag, and took some papers she described as "various policy letters written by L. Ron Hubbard (the founder of Scientology)."
Asked how she could tell the letters were authentic - in light of recent allegations by Mr. Hubbard's son, Ronald DeWolf, that the organization's founder died two years ago - Mrs. Macklam said: "He has a certain style of writing . . . . You can tell by whether it makes sense or not. The man has a lot of common sense."
Mrs. Macklam said she was particularly upset because the officers were seizing files containing records of counselling sessions conducted at the building.
"I don't know why they would take the confidential counselling files.
They just contain personal information about peoples' emotional problems."
Globe and Mail, Friday, November 11, 1983, P. A18 Toronto lawyer cites Australian decision on Scientology status by Jock Ferguson A recent decision by the highest court in Australia that Scientology is a religion is a victory "for all those concerned with their own freedom of religion," the Church of Scientology in Toronto says.
With the ruling by the High Court on Oct 22, Australia joins the United States, Britain, and France, among others, as countries that recognize Scientology as a religion.
According to Clayton Ruby, the lawyer for the Church of Scientology in Toronto, "the arguments (that Scientology is not a religion) rejected so completely in Australia are precisely the arguments that Mr. (Roy) McMurtry (the Attorney-General of Ontario) has been trying to use in Ontario."
The Toronto organization, which is under investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police, has moved to quash search warrants used for a police raid on its Yonge Street premises on March 3, 1983.
The police have been investigating the organization's financial activities, including income-tax payments, the cost of its courses and the activities of its guardian office in alleged break-ins and theft, according to Crown attorney Casey Hill, who is heading the two-year-old investigation.
Caroline Charbonneau, the president and executive director of the Church of Scientology in Toronto, said yesterday that the organization has about 5,000 members in Southern Ontario and that its membership has grown slightly since the police raid.
The Church of Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard in the late 1950s and is based on his writings.
In the Australian decision, copies of which were handed out at a news conference called by the Church of Scientology, the five-member high court ruled "that Scientology is, for relevant purposes, a religion .
. . . The ideas of Scientology . . . involve belief in the supernatural and are concerned with man's place in the universe and his relation to things supernatural."
The court's decision said that "on the criteria used in this case by (a lower court ruling denying religious status to the Scientologists), early Christianity would not have been considered religious."
The judges said the church's business practices - the target of the Ontario police investigation - were no reason to disqualify it as a religion.
"Commercialism is so characteristic of organized religion that is it absurd to regard it as disqualifying . . . . The amassing of wealth by organized religions often means that the leaders live richly (sometimes in palaces) even though many of the believers live in poverty. Many religions have been notorious for corrupt trafficking in relics, other sacred objects, and religious offices, as well as for condoning 'sin' in advance, for money.
"The greatest organized religions are big businesses. They engage in large-scale real estate investment, money dealing and other commercial ventures. In country after country, religious tax exemption has led to enormous wealth for religious bodies."
Mr. Hill said in an interview that the Crown has asked for a delay in the
suit to quash the warrants until early next year because it will take at least
two weeks to hear the motion. The motion is scheduled to be heard over three
days later this month.
Globe and Mail, Wednesday, June 13, 1984, P. M3 Scientology claim called a ploy The Church of Scientology of Toronto is contesting a search warrant that wasused to raid its headquarters last year because it wants to shield itself from proper police investigation, a Supreme Court of Ontario judge was told [ILLEGIBLE] [ILLEGIBLE] that the church should not be allowed to invoke a priest-and-penitent privilege because "here the priest is the target of the investigation."
Ms Wein said Canadian courts have never recognized a priest-and-penitent privilege similar to the lawyer-client relationship that allows a lawyer to maintain confidentiality in his communications with his client.
The Ontario Provincial Police used a search warrant to seize more than 200,000 documents from the church last year. [ILLEGIBLE] confessional records. They have been sealed by court order while the church has sought to have the warrant quashed.
The church argues that the court should recognize the confidentiality of the priest-and-penitent relationship and order the confessional files returned to it.
Ms Wein said that even if the court does decide that such a privilege should be recognized under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms' guarantee of religious freedom, this should not be extended to the church while it is the target of a [ILLEGIBLE] criminal acts.
"The search for truth is of the highest importance," she said.
The search warrant said that the OPP was seeking evidence that the church
was involved in consumer and tax fraud and conspiracy to commit indictable
Globe and Mail, Saturday, June 23, 1984, P. A19 Search writ valid, Scientology told The Church of Scientology of Torontohas so far failed to quash a search warrant that was used to raid its headquarters.
Lawyers for the church, claiming religious privilege, had argued that documents seized by the Ontario Provincial Police when they raided the church in March, 1983, should be returned and the warrant used by the police should be quashed.
Mr. Justice John Osler of the Ontario Supreme Court said yesterday that no priest-penitent privilege exists that would give grounds for quashing the warrant. He made the ruling without determining whether Scientology is a religion or a church.
The police seized more than 200,000 documents, including about 750 folders containing records of what the church claims are its equivalent of confessions.
More than 100 members of the OPP, some with sledge hammers and fire extinguishers, took part in the raid. They spent two days trucking documents and church artifacts away from the church's Yonge Street building.
The police said they were seeking evidence of consumer and tax fraud and conspiracy to commit indictable offences.
The confessional material and about 6,000 other documents, hich the church claims are protected by lawyer-client privilege, were ordered sealed shortly after the raid by court order. They will remain sealed until the hearing before Judge Osler resumes on Oct. 1 while the church contests the warrant on other legal grounds.
The church's lawyers argued that Canadian law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms' guarantee of religious freedom gave the church grounds for the warrant to be quashed. They asked Judge Osler to rule that a priest-penitent privilege exists in law, that a church should be searched with greater caution and consideration than other places, and that Scientology's members cannot commit a fraud while engaged in the sincere practice of their faith.
Judge Osler said in his ruling that "in this jurisdiction the almost universal practice has been to state, or to assume, that no (priest-penitent) privilege exists, but in a pragmatic way to press counsel not to pursue questions that would result in compelling a priest or minister of religion to breach a confidence, or to decline to compel persons claiming such privilege to answer.
"As I find no privilege attaches to such communications when both parties are in a recognized priest-penitent relationship, the alleged religious character of Scientology is of no relevance and I do not propose to investigate it."
He ruled that the information given by the police to obtain the search warrant contained nothing to compel Chief Provincial Court Judge Frederick Hayes, who issued the warrant, to attach any conditions to it that would have caused the police to use "greater care and sensitivity" during the two-day search.
The police alleged that the church and several employees defrauded the public by making fraudulent representations about several church courses and a device called an E-Meter, which the church claims is used in its confessional.
"It really, really is a significant ruling," said Crown counsel Casey Hill in an interview. He said the ruling explored new areas of Canadian law.
Clayton Ruby, one of the lawyers representing the church, said in an interview that "the time ot consider an appeal is at the end of the hearing when we will know, among other things, whether these particular files will be ordered returned on traditional search and seizure grounds.
"Meanwhile, the confidences of our parishioners are protected by a sealing
order (Judge Osler) was good enough to give us."
Globe and Mail, Friday, August 3, 1984, P. M5 Chiropractor urged Scientology class, woman complains CP A woman who obtained a $5,000 loan for Church of Scientology courses recommended by her chiropractor has filed a complaint against him with a chiropractic licencing body.
Margaret Lilbourne, 45, of Brantford, Ont., has written a letter to the Ontario Board of Directors of Chiropractic that says her chiropractor, Robert Shackleton, received a commission of 12 to 15 per cent on courses in which she enrolled at the Kitchener branch of the Church of Scientology.
"I don't think (Mr. Shackleton) should be talking to his patients (about joining the Church of Scientology), considering what I know now," Mrs. Lilbourne said in an interview. "He is a good chiropractor.
I trusted him implicitly."
Stanislaw Stolarski, executive director of the chiropractic board, said Mrs. Lilbourne's complaint, which he received on Monday, will be reviewed and the board will decide within two months to call a disciplinary hearing.
"This type of problem has never come to our attention before," he said in an interview. "This is unusual and very unique. Policy may have to be developed [ILLEGIBLE] Mrs. Lilbourne, who said her gross income averaged $154 a week when she signed for the courses on May 24, said she decided to withdraw from the courses in July.
In her letter to the board, Mrs. Lilbourne said that after she asked for a refund for the courses, she felt "harrassed and threatened" by people at the centre and once asked a friend and two police officers to accompany her there.
Mrs. Lilbourne said members of the Church of Scientology, who interviewed her using an E-meter - described as an emotion-measuring device - asked her why she quit and wanted the names of those who helped her change her mind about the courses.
She said she got phone calls and visits from members, who persisted in finding out who was behind her decision.
Mrs. Lilbourne received a $4,673.50 cheque on July 18 from the Church of Scientology after the Kitchener-Waterloo Record inquired about her case. The refund did not include the part of the course that she had taken.
"That's fine and dandy if I got my money," she said. "But what about other people who don't know what to do or who don't have friends to tell them?"
Earl Smith, vice-president at the [ILLEGIBLE] in Toronto, said members are
paid 15 per cent in cash or credit for each dollar their recruits spend on
courses and 12 per cent of what they spend on counselling for as long as they
remain mentor to the recruits.
Globe and Mail, Friday, August 30, 1984, P. M5 Scientology papers released by police while case pending by Lorne Slotnick Documents seized last year from the Church of Scientology have been released by the Ontario Provincial Police even though a court is to hear argument this fall on whether the documents are privileged, according to a lawyer for the church.
Clayton Ruby, the lawyer, said several documents containing information protected by solicitor-client privilege were given by police to an official of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. That official is considering a request that the controversial church be allowed to perform marriages.
"They (the police) are simply ignoring solicitor-client privilege and making a mockery of the courts," Mr. Ruby says in an letter sent this week to Ontario Solicitor-General George Taylor.
The letter says the police action violates the Criminal Code and asks the minister to investigate and discipline the officers involved.
It is Mr. Ruby's second recent complaint about the OPP's handling of documents seized in a massive raid on the church's Yonge Street headquarters last year.
Last week, Mr. Ruby asked Mr. Taylor to investigate the opening of 147 confessional files previously ordered sealed by a Supreme Court of Ontario judge.
"I've never heard of anybody being treated this way except for the Church of Scientology," Mr. Ruby said. No charges have been laid as a result of last year's raid.
Mr. Ruby said yesterday that the documents released by the police are mainly discussions inside the church about legal advice, and as such, they are privileged. He said one of the documents has already been declared privileged by the courts. The rest will be the subject of a hearing in October.
He said that in hundreds of searches, police give a "solemn undertaking" that they will guard documents if there is an argument over whether they are privileged.
This is the first case he has heard of where that undertaking was broken, he added. "People are entitled to have their communications with their counsel kept confidential.
"It's quite unheard of," he added. "What's the point of going to court on the issue of privilege if the police have already spread the documents? It really escapes me."
He said he has no idea whether anyone else was given the documents, since he found out the Consumer Ministry official had them only because she mentioned them in a letter on the marriage issue to the lawyer representing the church.
A spokesman for the Solicitor-General Ministry said he had no knowledge of
Mr. Ruby's complaints and that the minister was not in his office yesterday.
Globe and Mail, Saturday, September 1, 1984, P. A16 Scientologists' lawyer accuses official of bias Court action begun by Lorne Slotnick An Ontario Government official who is to decide whether the Church of Scientology should be allowed to perform marriages is biased and should disqualify herself, says a lawyer for the Scientologists.
Charles Campbell, in a letter to Rosemarie Drapkin, the Ontario deputy registrar general, cites a series of actions which he says can only mean "your mind is made up."
Mr. Campbell says Mrs. Drapkin, after a delay of more than a year, has suddenly given him less than two weeks to reply to a list of 143 documents on which she will base her decision. He also says the choice of documents ignores numerous reports favourable to the Scientologists' position and that most of the documents fall outside the criteria laid don in the province's Marriages Act.
Some of those documents, Mr. Campbell says, are among those seized from the church in a police raid over a year ago, and which Scientology lawyers say have been improperly released to Mrs. Drapkin.
Mr. Campbell has begun a court action to prevent Mrs. Drapkin, of the Consumer and Commercial Relations Ministry, from using the documents, and yesterday morning a Supreme Court of Ontario judge ordered Mrs.
Drapkin not to make a decision on the application to perform marriages until the court resolves the question of her status.
No date has been set yet for the full hearing on the allegation that Mrs. Drapkin is biased.
A court has yet to hear arguments about whether the seized documents are protected by solicitor-client privilege, but Clayton Ruby, another Scientology lawyer, complained earlier this week in a letter to Solicitor-General George Taylor that they have nevertheless been given to the Consumer Ministry.
A spokesman for Mr. Taylor said yesterday that the minister has asked for a report from police on Mr. Ruby's complaints about the handling of documents, but the minister has not received the information yet.
Kim Twohig, a lawyer with the Attorney-General's ministry, said Mrs.
Drapkin got the seized documents with a court order in July, and that it was not legally necessarily to notify the Scientologists of the procedure.
Ms Twohig agreed that one of the documents given to Mrs. Drapkin had
already been ruled privileged, but said "it as due to misunderstanding . . . .
The police never said 'we're not supposed to show you this.'"
Globe and Mail, Tuesday, September 18, 1984, P. M3 Motion of contempt launched by church The Church of Scientology of Toronto is asking the Supreme Court of Ontario to find a Crown prosecutor and a lawyer with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations in contempt of court.
Morris Manning, a lawyer acting for the church, said in an interview yesterday that he has filed a motion asking for S. Casey Hill, a prosecutor with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, and Jerome Cooper, a lawyer with the Consumer Ministry to be jailed or fined.
The motion claims that Mr. Cooper misled Mr. Justice Jean-Charles Sirois of the Supreme Court of Ontario into releasing to the Consumer Ministry documents seized by the Ontario Provincial Police in a raid on the church's headquarters.
The motion says that Judge Sirois was not told that many of the documents had been ordered sealed by another Ontario Supreme Court judge while the church contests the legality of the search warrant used by the OPP in the raid last year.
The motion claims Mr. Hill, who represented the Attorney-General during the search warrant hearings, "aided and abetted in the misleading of Mr. Justice Sirois."
A yearing on the motion has been set for Jan. 17.
Rev. Earl Smith, president of the church, said the church was never notified that the Consumer Ministry had appeared before Judge Sirois and obtained permission to examine all the documents seized by the police.
He said the church only discovered that the ministry was examining them when the ministry referred to them in letters after the church applied to be allowed to perform marriages.
The church claims that some of the documents seized by the OPP are the
church's equivalent of confessional records and that others are covered by
Globe and Mail, Saturday, December 8, 1984, P. M3 Church's contempt motion dismissed by court by Murray Campbell A Supreme Court of Ontario judge has dismissed a motion by the Church of Scientology of Toronto that two Ontario Government lawyers be cited for criminal contempt of court.
Mr. Justice John Cromarty ruled yesterday that lawyers for the Church failed to provide evidence that Casey Hill, a Crown attorney, and Jerome Cooper, a lawyer with the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, disobeyed court orders dealing with the confidentiality of Church documents.
Judge Cromarty ordered the Church to pay the costs the two men incurred in hiring lawyer J. J. Robinette.
He also severely criticized the Church's lawyers for pressing their case without giving the Government an adequate opportunity to explain its position.
The church had alleged that Mr. Hill and Mr. Cooper had violated a system set up to protect the confidentiality of files seized in a March, 1983 police raid on the Church's Yonge Street headquarters.
The Ontario Provincial Police seized about 250,000 documents as part of an investigation into allegations of fraudulent Church activities.
No charges have yet been laid.
The Church gained several court orders sealing many of the seized documents while arguments about their confidentiality were heard. But last August, it discovered that another Ontario civil servant had gained access to documents the Church alleged should have been subject to the sealing orders.
Rosemarie Drapkin, Ontario's deputy registrar-general, was granted access to the documents on July 30 by Mr. Justice Jean-Charles Sirois of the Supreme Court of Ontario as part of her investigation into an application by the Church that it be allowed to perform marriages.
The Church as not informed of the court hearing at which Mrs. Drapkin was given permission to see the documents. Nor was Judge Sirois informed that Mr. Justice John Osler had ordered earlier in the summer that documents the Church was claiming were privileged communications should remain sealed. The Church alleged that Mrs. Drapkin had access to 89 documents held by the OPP, including one hich Judge Osler had already ruled was confidential and should remain sealed.
But Judge Cromarty said yesterday in a 67-page judgement that there was no evidence that the documents seen by Mrs. Drapkin were ever placed under a seal.
He noted the possibility of an innocent explanation of how Mrs.
Drapkin gained access to documents identical to those placed under seal, saying that the system approved by the Church to seal documents made it impossible to match contents of files.
He said in his judgement that neither Clayton Ruby nor Michael Code, the two Church lawyers involved in the sealing process, had first-hand knowledge of how it worked "and not one of the numerous Scientologists who were engaged in that activity, and who, unlike the police, knew what documents were claimed to be privileged and were copied, was called to give evidence about any of the 89 documents. That is a most eloquent omission."
He noted that there may have been multiple copies of certain documents in the Church files at the time of the raid and that the copies given to Mrs. Drapkin may have come from police copies of documents made before claims of privilege concerning them were heard by the courts.
In awarding costs against the Church, Judge Cromarty criticized Mr.
Ruby, who "totally failed to continue the very proper course of conduct which had been adopted" in earlier consultations about the documents.
He said Mr. Ruby chose to interrupt his good relationship with Mr.
Hill and not to seek an innocent explanation for the Drapkin papers.
He criticized Mr. Ruby for sending a "vicious letter" to Solicitor-General George Taylor over the issue and for sending another letter that was "replete with inaccuracies."
Cathia Riley, the Church's director of legal affairs, said yesterday that the judgement did not surprise her and that having to pay court costs "is the price of freedom."
Mrs. Riley said the Church wanted to prove that citizens had a right to access to the courts to protect the integrity of court orders.
Morris Manning, a Church lawyer, argued that awarding costs against the Church would be viewed as punishment for bringing the application against the two Government lawyers and would deter other from launching similar suits.
Yesterday's judgement clears the way for a resumption of hearings into the attempt by the Church to quash the search warrant used in the 1983 OPP raid.
In addition, the two sides will appear in court on Dec. 18 to determine
whether the OPP can retain possession of the 900 boxes of documents even
though no charges have been laid.
Globe and Mail, Wednesday, December 19, 1984, P. M2 Charge details withheld in Scientology case by Murray Campbell More than 21 months after a massive police raid, charges have been laid involving the Church of Scientology of Toronto but the nature of the charges and the names of those accused are not yet known.
Casey Hill, a lawyer with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General, told the Supreme Court of Ontario that a justice of the peace had signed various summonses and warrants yesterday but that they had not been served on those charged.
Mr. Hill disclosed the charges during a hearing yesterday intended to hear a motion allowing the OPP to retain possession of about 250,000 documents seized in a March, 1983 raid. The original court order allowing the OPP to keep the documents had expired earlier this month and church lawyers had planned to argue that police could not retain them unless charges were laid.
More than 100 OPP officers, some armed with sledge hammers and fire extinguishers, raided the church's Yonge Street headquarters as part of an investigation into tax exemptions claimed by the church. The police alleged that the church and several employees defrauded the public with representations about several church courses.
Mr. Hill stunned the church's lawyers when he announced that the warrants and summonses had been signed yesterday morning by justice of the peace William Turtle.
ALthough the charges have been signed by the justice of the peace, only certain OPP officers, Mr. Hill, Mr. Justice John Osler and lawyer Clayton Ruby know what is contained in them. Mr. Ruby was allowed to read the information sworn by the OPP that forms the basis of the charges after he promised not to inform anybody - including his clients, the Church of Scientology. He will be released from his undertaking when the first warrant has been served, which Mr. Hill said would be by tomorrow afternoon.
The OPP said last night that information on the charges would be released today.
"This is utterly unprecedented," Mr. Ruby said yesterday after the highly unusual court hearing adjourned for the day. "It's so unprecedented it makes me laugh."
Earl Smith, president of the Church of Scientology of Toronto, said "this is really bizarre. It's so secret - we're the clients and we can't even find out what's going on.
"This reminds me of Nazi Germany," he added.
The process of laying the charges began on Dec. 1 when OPP Detective-Sergeant Albert Clampini swore a nine-page document that contained allegations about the church in front of Mr. Turtle at the Toronto (Don) Jail.
The information was sworn just one day before a court order allowing the OPP to retain the 900 boxes of documents was set to expire.
Mr. Turtle held a private pre-inquiry hearing, involving Det-Sgt.
Clampini and Crown attorney Douglas Hunt, on Dec. 5 to 7 and Dec. 10.
The OPP officer was summoned by the justice of the peace yesterday morning and told the various summonses and warrants have been signed.
Det-Sgt. Clampini testified about the charges yesterday after Judge Osler ordered that he not be asked about the nature of the charges and any individuals named.
He said about 75 per cent of the estimated 250,000 documents seized in the police raid would be required to support the charges in court but that this did not include about 75 boxes of material sealed under various court orders while the court hears claims from the church that the material is confidential because it involves legal or religious matters.
Mr. Hill said the charges relate to allegations contained in documents filed by the OPP to secure the search warrant used to raid the church's offices.
Earlier yesterday, the church failed in its bid to have Mr. Hill disqualified from representing the government in hearings about the fate of the documents or a related attempt by the church to quash the OPP search warrant.
The church argued that Mr. Hill had a conflict of interest because of a libel suit he is pressing against the church, its lawyer, Morris Manning, and three news organizations, including The Globe and Mail.
The libel action results from a press conference held outside Osgoode Hall last September by Mr. Manning at which he announced the commencement of contempt-of-court proceedings against Mr. Hill over an alleged breach of court orders sealing some of the seized documents.
The church motion to cite Mr. Hill and another lawyer for criminal contempt as dismissed earlier this month by a Supreme Court of Ontario judge.
Mr. Ruby charged that because Mr. Hill is suing Mr. Manning and the church for $800,000, he would have a "pecuniary interest" in harming the reputation of the church before the libel case went to trial.
Judge Osler said the issue gave him "considerable difficulty" but he,
nevertheless, rejected the allegation of conflict. But Mr. Hill voluntarily
withdrew himself from any role in advising the OPP or representing the Crown
at any criminal trial involving the church.
Globe and Mail, Thursday, December 20, 1984, P. M1 19 people charged in Scientology case Police, provincial employees included by Murray Campbell The 19 people charged in connection with an investigation of the Church of Scientology of Toronto include employees of the Ontario Provincial Police, Metro Toronto Police, the RCMP and the Ministry of the Attorney General, according to information the OPP has sworn before a justice of the peace.
And the alleged stolen documents the church is charged with possessing include photocopies of files belonging to legal firms, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Ontario Medical Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Metro Toronto Police, the RCMP, and the OPP.
Ontario Attorney-General Roy McMurtry, asked yesterday whether the charges involving Metro and OPP documents indicated a lack of proper security at those organizations said: "It's impossible to police every employee. We try to maintain a high level of security, and I think we succeed."
Mr. McMurtry added there is no cause for public alarm; documents such as personal health records and sensitive police information remain well protected.
The OPP began serving summonses yesterday on the church and the 19 individuals for a series of charges - theft over $200, possession of stolen documents and breach of trust.
But the OPP is refusing to release until today the names of those charged, an unusual action that appears to break with common law tradition. The OPP says not all have been served with their summonses, and a spokesman for hte Attorney-General's ministry said it believes a Supreme Court of Ontario order prohibiting publication of the names until the summonses have been served is still in effect.
The charges are the culination of four years of work by a special unit within the OPP's anti-rackets brnach, although the church has been watched by the force since 1974 as part of its monitoring of cults.
The 19 people were ordered to appear in Provincial Court on Jan. 14 to answer the allegations, which in most cases date from the mid-1970s.
Earl Smith, president of the church in Toronto, received the summons on behalf of the church.
Mr. Smith said the 19 individuals charged were members of the church's Guardian office an autonomous unit responsible for church security that arose worldwide after 1966 and which was disbanded in 1980.
He said the Guardian office was often in conflict with official church policy.
"I'm confident that the Church of Scientology as a religious entity is going to come out of this all right," he said yesterday.
Clayton Ruby, a lawyer for the church, said that although the charges do not contain any allegations of commercial gain by the church, which police earlier said was the focus of their investigation, they are nevertheless serious.
"It's less serious than it might be if it was a commercial operation, if someone was doing something here for gain, but it's not true to say that they are minor," Mr. Ruby said.
Cathia Riley, Director of the church's legal affairs, said none of the 19 individuals is currently a church employee, but about half are still members.
The charges come 21 months after a massive OPP raid in which about 250,000 church documents were seized. The OPP said at the time that they were seeking evidence as part of an investigation into tax exemptions claimed by the church and into the marketing of courses by the church.
OPP Detective-Inspector Douglas Ormsby, who has co-ordinated the investigation since last May, said yesterday the charges were worth the time and money spent on the investigation. He said the penalties provided in the Criminal Code - 10 years for theft over $200 and for possession of stolen documents, five years for breach of trust - indicate the seriousness of the charges.
But he agreed that the charges did not reflect statements made by the OPP in 1983.
"We were always looking at this particular area (in which the charges were laid)," he said. "The other set didn't prove fruitful."
Det-Insp. Ormsby said that as far as he knew no other sets of charges were forthcoming.
Mrs. Riley said the people charged were "renegades" whose "overzealous" activities conflicted with the church's policy. She said they ceased to be church employees two years before the March, 1983, raid.
Mrs. Riley said she believes the charges are a retaliation for the church's role in exposing the activities of various U.S. and Canadian agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency.
She charged that Canadian authorities have been manipulated by the U.S. Government to press an investigation because of the embarrassment the church's exposés have caused.
Word of the charges came on Tuesday when Casey Hill, a lawyer with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General, told the Supreme Court of Ontario that a justice of the peace had signed various summonses and warrants earlier in the day.
Mr. Hill disclosed the charges during a hearing intended to hear a motion allowing the OPP to retain possession of the 250,000 documents seized in its raid. The original court orders allowing the OPP to keep the documents had expired earlier this month and church lawyers had planned to argue that police could not retain them unless charges were laid.
Mr. Ruby said he will not seek the return of church documents not needed as
evidence when the case resumes this morning. He said another motion to quash
the OPP search warrant because of what the church alleges are violations of
the Charter of Rights and Freedoms will still be fought.
Globe and Mail, Thursday, December 20, 1984, P. M5 Scientology probe took over 2 years by Murray Campbell ALthough the Ontario Provincial Police had been observing the activities of certain unrecognized religions - or cults - since 1974, its investigation of the Church of Scientology intensified with the formation in 1980 of a special unit of its anti-rackets squad.
Project 20 spent more than two years investigating the church before it mounted a massive raid on its Toronto headquarters on March 3, 1983.
More than 100 OPP officers, some armed with sledgehammers and fire extinguishers, entered the Yonge Street building at 2:30 that afternoon and spent the night searching offices on six floors. They removed about 250,000 documents in about 900 boxes before leaving at 11 a.m. the next day.
The church is recognized in Australia, the United States, Britain and France and in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Yukon, but it is not allowed to perform marriages - a chief element for recognition - in Ontario. The church says it has about 6,500 members in Metro Toronto.
The OPP had got the search warrant needed for the raid by filing with Chief Provincial Court Judge Frederick Hayes a 1,000-page document - called "the most detailed document of its kind ever prepared in Canada" - making allegations about the church's activities. This document alone took five months to prepare with the assistance of the Ministry of the Attorney-General.
In a joint statement issued at the time, Attorney-General Roy McMurtry and Solicitor-General George Taylor said: "The search and seizure of documents was an integral part of an extensive police investigation .
. . into alleged offences of tax fraud, consumer fraud and conspiracy to commit indictable offences when perceived necessary in the interests of the Church of Scientology."
The statement said the OPP investigation was helped by Revenue Canada and, in the United States, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. District Attorney offices in Florida and Washington.
Six locked doors on the building's third floor were forced open with sledgehammers "to prevent obstruction or the destruction of evidence through movement of files and operation of shredders," the ministers' statement said.
"Before leaving, the OPP officers cleaned ashtrays and removed their garbage and vacuumed the premises."
In the days following the raid, lawyers for the church sought successfully to see the search warrant and to seal certain boxes of material for which a claim of privilege was to be made.
Various court orders sealing some of the documents have been made since
then, and the original church motion to quash the search warrant used in the
raid is still before the court.
Globe and Mail, Friday, December 21, 1984, P. M4 OPP pressed to identify 19 charged in Scientology probe by Murray Campbell Lawyers with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General say they will press the Ontario Provincial Police to release the names of 19 individuals charged in connection with an investigation into the Church of Scientology of Toronto.
All day yesterday, the OPP refused to release the names of the accused because they said not all of them had been served with a summons requiring them to appear in court next month. The OPP had promised on Wednesday that the names would be released in a press release yesterday.
The 19 former minor officials of the church, as well as the church itself, were charged on Tuesday with theft over $200, possession of stolen documents and breach of trust.
The summonses required them to appear in Provincial Court on Jan. 14 but they were not arrested. There are also some warrants for the arrest of some individuals although it is not clear how many.
The charges were laid as a result of information sworn in front of a justice of the peace by OPP Detective-Sergeant ALbert Clampini on Dec.
1. According to this information, among the 19 charged are employees of the OPP, Metro Toronto Police, the RCMP and the Ministry of the Attorney-General.
The documents mentioned in the information include photocopies of files belonging to the ministry, legal firms, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Ontario Medical Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Metro Police, the RCMP, and the OPP. the OPP and the ministry had been refusing to disclose the names because they said they were subject to a court order prohibiting publication issued Tuesday by Mr. Justice John Osler of the Supreme Court of Ontario.
Bruce MacDougall, a lawyer representing The Globe and Mail, said in an interview that withholding from the public the names of accused served with a summons contravenes the common law. He said that any document signed by a justice of the peace as a public official becomes a public document once it is executed.
He quoted Mr. Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada who in a 1982 judgement upheld the maxim "where there is no publicity, there is no justice."
The charges came to light on Tuesday when Casey Hill, the Crown lawyer who has handled the Scientology investigation, told the Supreme Court that a justice of the peace had signed various summonses and warrants earlier in the day.
Mr. Hill was attending a hearing on a motion to allow the OPP to retain possession of the 250,000 documents seized in a police raid on the Church of Scientology's headquarters in March, 1983. The original court orders allowing the OPP to hold the documents expired Dec. 2 and the church's lawyers had planned to argue that police could not retain them unless charges were laid.
Judge Osler allowed Clayton Ruby, a Church lawyer, to see the information that forms the basis of the charges on the condition that he not tell his clients. Mr. Ruby was released from his undertaking when the first summons was served.
The church released a copy of the OPP document on Wednesday with the name of the accused blacked out. Mr. Ruby has refused to divulge the names.
On Wednesday and yesterday, the police and the ministry said they could not release the names until they were released from Judge Osler's order.
But the court reporter at the hearing said yesterday that a review of the transcript showed clearly that there as no order from Judge Osler, only an undertaking by Mr. Ruby.
Mr. Hill promised reporters twice yesterday that he would raise the matter of the release of the names of the accused with Judge Osler but did not do so. When asked why not after court adjourned until Jan. 14, he replied: "Oh jeez, I forgot about it."
Asked what recourse reporters had to obtain the names without his aid in rescinding any court orders, he said: "I assume the Globe has lawyers."
Albin Kostecka, a justice of the peace in the records office at Old City Hall in Toronto, said yesterday that he could not release the names of those accused served with summonses because he had received no affidavits that they had been served.
The OPP said yesterday that 14 summonses had been served.
Late yesterday, Judge Osler met Mr. Hill, Crown attorney Bonnie Wein and church lawyer Michael Code in his chamber at Osgoode Hall. Carol McCall, a lawyer representing The Globe, and Brian Rogers, representing the Toronto Star, were allowed to attend and received Mr.
Hill's assurance that he would telephone the OPP to let them know that the names could now be released.
He said the manner in which the names are released was entirely up to the
Globe and Mail, Saturday, December 22, 1984, P. M3 Names released in Scientology case List includes 2 OPP employees Those charged were members of a special unit The husband of a former president of the Church of Scientology of Toronto and two employees of the Ontario Provincial Police are among the 19 people charged as a result of a four-year OPP anti-rackets investigation.
After a three-day delay, the OPP released yesterday the names of 14 members or former members of the church charged on Tuesday with one of more of three charges - theft over $200, possession of stolen documents and breach of trust.
The OPP said it could release the names of only the 14 people who had been served with summonses to appear in Provincial COurt on Jan. 14.
But late yesterday, the records office at Old City Hall in Toronto released the information sword on Dec. 1 by an OPP officer before a justice of the peace, which contains all 19 names. This document is the basis for the charges laid this week. The church itself faces 17 charges.
Paul Charbonneau, 34, the husband of Caroline Charbonneau, who served as the church's president for a year several years ago, is charged with possession of stolen documents, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
Church spokesman Nicole Crelling said yesterday that Mrs. Charbonneau is now working at the church's Los Angeles office while Mr.
Charbonneau remains in Toronto.
Charged on all three counts are: Janice Wheeler, 35, of Kitchener, Ont., identified as an employee of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General; Jaan Joot, of Toronto; Jacqueline Matz, 37, of Toronto; an Marilyn Belaire, 34, identified as an employee of Metro Toronto Police.
Charged with theft and breach of trust are: Donna Cavanaugh and Cynthia Bake, identified as OPP employees; Donald Whitmore, 29, of Thornhill, Ont., identified as an RCMP employee; and Jacqueline Carmichael, 42, of Toronto.
Also charged are: Janet Elsie Wilkens, 27, of Toronto; Anne Marie Walsh, 33, of Toronto; Nancy Troiani, 29, of Toronto; Nanna Anderson, 38, of Toronto; Kathleen Lepp of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.; Susan Lemieux, 34, of Toronto; Ernest Lehmann, 29, of Pickering, Ont.;
Michael Symington, Clara Schneider and John Bradley.
Most of the charges date from events in the mid-1970s. It is not known whether those of the accused identified as being affiliated with an organization are still employed there or what position they held.
The church says all those charged were members of its autonomous Guardian unit, which as created in 1966 to deal with security and public relations issues. The unit was disbanded in 1980 because it conflicted with church policy, according to church officials. About half those charged remain members of the church.
The documents mentioned in the information sworn before the justice of the peace include photocopies of files belonging to the Ministry of the Attorney-General, legal firms, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Metro Police, the RCMP and the OPP.
The OPP and the Attorney-General's Mistry had been refusing to disclose the names because they said they were subjedt to a court order prohibiting publication that was issued Tuesday by Mr. Justice John Osler of the Supreme Court of Ontario.
Lawyers representing The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star argued in Judge Osler's chambers on Thursday that the names should be released in the public interest.
Crown attorney Bonnie Wein said yesterday that she informed the OPP early yesterday morning that the court order banning publication was no longer in effect. The names were released less than three hours later.
The charges came to light on Tuesday when Casey Hill, the Crown lawyer who has handled the Scientology investigation, told the Supreme Court that a justice of the peace had signed various summonses and warrants earlier in the day.
Mr. Hill was attending a hearing on a motion to allow the OPP to retain possession of the 250,000 documents seized in a police raid - involving 100 officers, some armed with sledge hammers and fire extinguishers - on the church's Toronto Toronto headquarters in March, 1983.
The OPP said at the time that the raid was part of a two-year investigation into tax exemptions claimed by the church and into allegations of fraud in connnection with certain courses offered by the church.
The original court orders allowing the OPP to hold the documents expired on Dec. 2 and the church's lawyers had planned to argue that police could not retian them unless charges were laid.
A Supreme Court hearing on the fate of thousands of documents not needed as evidence in these charges is expected to resume on Jan. 14.
The church is also continuing a legal battle to quash the search warrant
used by the OPP in the 1983 raid.
Globe and Mail, Tuesday, January 15, 1985, P. M5 Crown attorney is predicting long trial in Scientology case Defendants answer summonses by Murray Campbell A Crown attorney says he expects a lengthy trial for the Church of Scientology of Toronto and 16 members and former members charged as a result of a four-year police anti-rackets investigation.
Douglas Hunt said yesterday that it is likely that those charged will stand trial together. Sixteen of the 19 people originally charged - about about a dozen lawyers - crowded into provincial court at Toronto's Old City Hall yesterday to answer summonses served last month.
Three people did not appear in court, and Mr. Hunt said that there are warrants outstanding against them.
The accused face one or more of three charges - theft over $200, possessions of stolen documents, and breach of trust. The church itself faces 17 charges.
The charges arise from an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police that culminated in a massive police raid on the church's Toronto headquarters in March, 1983.
Those charged will appear in court Feb. 28 to have a date set for their trial.
Mr. Hunt said it is possible they could waive the right a preliminary hearing and elect trial in provincial court, county court or the Supreme Court of Ontario.
Mr. Hunt said he expected the trial to last at least three weeks but probably longer.
Most of the charges date from events in the mid-1970s. The church says all those charged were members of its autonomous Guardian unit, which was created in 1966 to deal with security and public relations issues.
The unit as disbanded in 1980 because it conflicted with church policy, according to church officials. About half those charged remain members of the church.
According to information sworn by the OPP last month, the documents involved in the charges include photocopies of files belonging to the Ministry of the Attorney General, legal firms, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Metro Toronto Police, the RCMP and the OPP.
The OPP information says that some of the people charged were employees of the three police forces and the Attorney-General's Ministry. Mr. Hunt said yesterday that those individuals worked as office clerks.
Unaffected by the criminal charges under way is the continuing battle by the church to quash the search warrant used by the OPP nearly two years ago.
Lawyers for the church and the Crown appeared in the Supreme Court of Ontario yesterday to resume the arguments in front of Mr. Justice John Osler that began last June.
If the church is successful in quashing the search warrant, the charges filed last month would be thrown into doubt because the documents needed as evidence would have to be returned to the church.
Yesterday, church lawyer Mendel Green argued that the information sworn by
the OPP before Chief Provincial Court Judge Frederick Hayes nearly two years
ago deliberately misrepresented facts about the church. Judge Hayes used this
information to grant the OPP the search warrant used to raid the church's
Globe and Mail, Wednesday, June 19, 1985, P. M1 Seizure of Scientology papers ruled to have been done legally by Kirk Makin The search warrants that authorized the largest seizure of documents in Canadian history were issued legally, a Supreme Court of Ontario judge ruled yesterday.
Mr. Justice John Osler brought a trial of the Church of Scientology and several of its officials on theft-of-document charges one step nearer with his declaration that about two million documents seized by 100 policemen during a 20-hour raid in 1983 were legally seized.
But church officials immediately announced they will appeal the decision because of a proposition within the judgement that defence counsel Clayton Ruby called "completely novel and unheard of in any free country."
The proposition concerned whether the search warrants were sufficiently specific to preclude a fishing expedition by the police.
(The general principle in such cases is that police must search and then seize - not seize and then search.)
Mr. Ruby said the judge broke dangerously new legal ground in deciding that, although the police could not fully analyze the material they seized, the seizure was nevertheless legal because it was conducted in good faith and irrelevant material has since been returned.
"It's really quite incongruous. For the first time in any free country, it is all right for them to seize first," Mr. Ruby said. "The church feels this is a serious erosion not only of their religious liberty but that of all Canadians."
In his judgement, Judge Osler first affimed that "the description of what is to be searched for must not be so broad and vague as to give the search officers carte blanche to rummage through the premises of the target."
He then allowed that "quite obviously, no detailed analysis of the search material could be made under those circumstances in such a way as to afford the officers complete certainty that what they were searching came within the authorized description."
In fact, some documents are still being analyzed, he said.
Despite that, he said he was "satisfied that the rule of search first and then seize has been and is being followed as well as it can reasonably can be in the circumstances."
Judge Osler noted the material that was laid before the judge who authorized the search warrants amounted to about 1,000 pages and detailed a range of relevant dates and classes of documents to be seized.
About 30 per cent of the church's internal documents were carted away during the raid, which followed a 10-year investigation of its services and taxation status.
"Their inability to retain this material obviously might cause grave difficulty to the occupants of the office in carrying on their daily legitimate activities," Judge Osler observed. "On the other hand, the continued presence for days, weeks and possibly even months of a large number of searchers in the office would cause even greater disruption."
Mr. Ruby remarked wryly tha the did not recall the church members being asked which option they would prefer.
Judge Osler also rejected arguments that a search of the house of church member Michael Zaharia was illegal. Church lawyers argued it was based on pure speculation that documents had been moved there in a panic after word of the impending raid was leaked to the church.
This argument and several others might affect the weight that can be given to evidence at the trial and can be made before the trial judge, Judge Osler said.
Michael Code, another lawyer for the church, said in an interview that the prosecution has now assembled the documents it intends to use at trial.
They amount to just one box of a total of 850 that were seized, which proves the church's point about the raid having been a fishing expedition, he said.
In his decision yesterday, Judge Osler also rejected several other arguments relating to imprecision in the applications for the warrants and the inability of the judge who issued the warrants to understand arcane language in church documents.
"The argument that the arcane language may well mean something quite other
than what appears on its face almost amounts to an assertion that because it
speaks in strange tongues, the church must be immune from investigation," the
judge said. "Such an argument lacks the element of reality."
Globe and Mail, Saturday, September 6, 1986, P. A10 Scientology wins battle over access to documents by Drew Fagan The Church of Scientology has won a major victory in its long-standing court battle to protect the confidentiality of church documents seized by police.
Mr. Justice Samuel Hughes of the Ontario Supreme Court noted yesterday that the church was not informed of an application by an Ontario civil servant for access to some of the documents. He set aside the court order authorizing their release.
"The ruling means that the Constitution will no longer permit the Attorney-General's office to go behind the backs of a party to get secret access to that person's documents in a secret judicial hearing," church lawyer Clayton Ruby said after the decision.
Tom Marshall, the lawyer for the Ontario official, had conceded in court that the judge who alloewd his client to see the documents had no opportunity to consider the full background to the case, although not through the fault of any crown attorney.
He said he would not oppose a decision that the order be set aside.
Judge Hughes said the issue of whether the civil servant had a legal interest in the documents had needed to be adjudicated but was not.
"In the interests of justice, the Church of Scientology - whose property was in [ILLEGIBLE] and which had been a party to the proceedings sealing up the documents - should have been served" with notice of the application, the judge concluded.
The church launched a battery of legal challenges in the wake of the Ontario Provincial Police raid on its Yonge Street headquarters in 1983.
More than a million documents were seized as part of an investigation into allegations of fraudulent church activities. Charges of possession of stolen goods and breach of trust were later laid.
The church won a number of court orders sealing many of the documents while arguments about the propriety of the seizure were heard.
But the church learned in August, 1984, that the Ontario official had gained access to documents - some of which the church said should have been subject to the sealing orders.
Rosemary Drapkin, Ontario's deputy registrar-general, had been granted access to the documents in the preceding month as part of her investigation into an application by the church that it be allowed to perform marriages.
The church was not informed of the court hearing before Mr. Justice Jean-Charles Sirois.
As well, the judge was not told that Mr. Justice John Osler had already ordered that documents the church claimed were privileged communications remain sealed, and was considering whether all the documents should be returned.
Since then, most of the documents have been ordered returned by Judge Osler after a finding that the church's protections against unreasonable seach and seizure under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated.
Mr. Ruby and Morris Manning, another church lawyer, said after the hearing
that the clear implication of Judge Hughes' decision was that the Church's
Charter right to fundamental justice had been denied.
Globe and Mail, Tuesday, July 26, 1988, P. A1 Scientology church offers to aid poor if charges dropped by Peter Moon In what may be an unprecedented legal manoeuvre, the Church of Scientology of Toronto has offered to make substantial cash donations to community agencies working with the elderly and the poor if criminal charges against it are dropped.
The offer was made yesterday in a letter written by the church's lawyer, Clayton Ruby, and delivered to Ontario Attorney-General Ian Scott's office.
The church is charged with several counts of theft by church members of photocopies of confidential documents from Ontario Government offices while some of them were working for Government agencies. The documents all referred to the Church of Scientology.
The charges resulted from the largest police raid in Canadian history.
One hundred police officers seized about two million documents in a 20-hour raid on the organization's headquarters on Yonge Street, near Bloor Street, in 1983. The raid followed a long investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police into the church's activities, a probe that included the use of undercover officers within the church.
In addition to the church, 15 of its members were subsequently charged with offences alleging the theft of photocopied documents. Four have pleaded guilty and received absolute or conditional discharges. The others are awaiting trial. The church's offer does not insist that charges against its members be dropped.
The church waged a long, complicated challenge to the validity of the OPP search warrant until last year, when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal seeking to quash the warrant.
A preliminary hearing into the charges against the church, begun in March, is to resume for two weeks in NOvember and to continue next February.
Cathia Riley, director of the office of special affairs for the Church of Scientology in Canada, said in an interview that the church has already spent $3-million challenging the warrant and fighting the charges.
She said it faces at least another $1-million in legal costs if the province insists on pursuing the charges against the church and its members.
Mr. Ruby said in an interview that he believes the province has spent at least $15-million in legal and investigative costs.
Mrs. Riley said the church's offer to make charitable donations if charges are dropped "is not a case of trying to buy off" the prosecution, but an acknowledgement of the church's moral and ethical responsibility to the community because of the actions of some of its members.
"The church feels it has made amdends," Mrs. Riley said. "We've done good works in the community. It's time no that somebody takes a look at what this church is doing."
Mrs. Riley said the church has been working with drug addicts, mental patients, the elderly, children and others with special needs. She said it has donated both money and the time of its members to community projects.
In his letter to Mr. Scott, Mr. Ruby said a church has never been prosecuted on criminal charges in Canada or the United States.
"The prosecution of this church pits your Government against a particular religion," Mr. Ruby wrote. "This is constitutionally impermissible."
"In the United States, similarly, there has never been a criminal prosecution of a church. No doubt this is deliberate. The American Constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion is similar in scope and purpose to our own. In that respect, the development of religious freedom in both countries has similar roots."
Mr. Ruby said in an interview that his letter to Mr. Scott is an attempt to head off what would ultimately be a constitutional dilemma for the Attorney-General, who is pursuing a prosecution begun by former attorney-general Roy McMurtry.
"I think it's inappropriate for the state to be criminally prosecuting a church, as opposed to individuals who committed criminal acts," he said. "I have no difficulty with that, constitutionally, whether they are members of a church or executives of a church of the Pope.
"But when you start taking on the institution of a church directly, I think you raise problems of a constitutional dimension that are very troubling.
"So I'm trying to find a way around that by putting together an over-all accommodation that brings into it consideration of the needs of the Crown . . . and the needs of the public and the needs of this church, and the constitutional needs of the country.
"It is inappropriate for this kind of constitutional clash to take place. If it does, the courts will resolve it, but it is inappropriate for it to take place."
In the letter to Mr. Scott, Mr. Ruby wrote that "the charges against the church arise out of what is, practically speaking, ancient history. These acts are alleged to have occurred 12 to 15 years ago and the last illegal act allegedly to have taken place as long ago as 1976.
"Moreover, when the prosecution began, the principal focus of the then attorney-general's concern was the theft of confidential information by the Guardian's Office of the church. (The Guardians were a secretive division of the church supposed to be responsible for public and other external relations.) In the interval, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled . . . that the theft of confidential information is no longer a criminal offence.
"Thus the main thrust of the Crown's concern was directed to a problem that . . . now forms no part of the criminal law and should no longer be the subject matter of a criminal prosecution.
"This change in the law in itself warrants careful consideration by you in determining whether continuation of this prosecution is now justified. . . .
"The (church) will make substantial contributions to worthy community agencies, unconnected with it, who work to assist the needy and the homeless. We would like to have your views on what would be the appropriate amounts; those views will be given great weight.
"This (church), though it has broken no criminal law, does not seek refuge in any legal vacuum. We seek to rely on no technicality.
"But the constitutional dilemma created by this prosecution cries out for steps which will avoid a confrontation between your government and religion. We think these steps meet that need and thus serve the best interest for the administration of justice."
The Church of Scientology was founded in the 1960s by U.S. science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986. It now claims seven million members in several countries. In Canada, there are 22,000 members ith 8,000 of them in the Toronto area, Mrs. Riley said.
For many years, the Guardian's Office was a key group within the worldwide church. The office was headed by Mr. Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue. In 1983, she was sentenced to four years in jail after pleading guilty to directing a conspiracy to steal U.S. government documents about the church.
The conspiracy involved stealing documents from the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's office, bugging an IRS meeting at which the church's tax-exempt status was discussed, and planting spies in the IRS and Justice Department.
Mrs. Riley said the Guardian's Office was a secretive group that operated without any control from the main church. But she said the church accepts moral and ethical responsibility for the excesses of members of the Guardian's Office, which has since been disbanded.
She also said there is no precedent for charging a church in Canada with a criminal offence.
She said the Unitarian Church has counselled its members to break the Immigration Act to help refugees, but neither its members nor the church have been charged.
And if a Jehovah's Witness member is charged with failing to provide medical care for a child, she said, the church itself is not charged.
"It is not fair to continue prosecuting the Church of Scientology.
What the Crown wants is the church found guilty for the actions of some
individuals. That would only serve to harm the present-day practitioners and
the religion itself. We question what the motives are of the Crown in pursuing
Globe and Mail, Wednesday, July 27, 1988, P. A1 Scientology charges secular, Scott contends by John Allemang Ontario Attorney-General Ian Scott has rejected a suggestion by the lawyer for the Church of Scientology of Toronto tha the Government is infringing on a religion with its criminal prosecution of the church.
In a letter sent to Mr. Scott and handed out at a news conference held yesterday by the church, lawyer Clayton Ruby said: "The prosecution of this church pits your Government against a particular religion. This is constitutionally impermissible."
Mr. Scott told reporters at Queen's Park: "The Court of Appeal has already dealt with that point by saying that if any institution in our state that is incorporated or that is individual commits what they call secular crimes, that is, breaches the Criminal Code, they are liable to prosecution. The issue to which he (Mr. Ruby) refers has already been decided."
The church and some church members are charged in relation to the theft from Ontario Government offices of photocopies of confidential documents related to Scientology. Some of the church members were working for Government agencies at the time.
Mr. Scott was more guarded in his response to the unusual offer by the church to contribute money and manpower to community services in Toronto as a way of resolving the court case, which Mr. Ruby says has cost the church $3-million and the Government $15-million.
Although he called the request unusual and unprecedented, Mr. Scott did not reject it out of hand. He said his officials would be replying to Mr. Ruby today.
Cathia Riley, a spokesman for the church, would not put a figure on the amount the church was prepared to contribute, but she did not rule out a figure in the millions.
The church has estimated that it will need at least $1-million more to fight the charges it faces.
Ms Riley said the church has spent $50,000 on similar programs over the past year.
Brian Prideaux, an official of the Anglican Church of Canada who works with other faiths, said in relation to Mr. Ruby's statement that "no religious group should be exempt from the laws of society."
Without referring to the merits of the particular case, he said that "the Government has every right to prosecute the church."
He added that it would be up to the Government of Ontario "to prove that these actions were undertaken on behalf of the church."
Katherine Swinton, a professor of law at the University of Toronto, said that "it is undoubted that they can prosecute religious groups under the Charter of Rights." The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of conscience and religion, but makes that freedom subject to what are called reasonable limits.
Although the Church of Scientology refers to itself as a church, and is accepted by some theologians as one, the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial relations does not recognize marriages performed by the church.
A ministry spokesman said an application by the church to perform marriages
has been neither accepted nor rejected.
Globe and Mail, Thursday, July 28, 1988, P. A13 Charities cool to Scientologists' offer Agencies disclaim knowledge of reason they were named by John Allemang The Church of Scientology's offer to help community social agencies, if the Ontario Attorney-General drops criminal charges against the church, is meeting some resistance from the groups the church proposes to help.
"Why would they name us?" asked surprised Kyle Rae, executive director of the 519 Church Community Centre, which was mentioned as a possible beneficiary of the offer. "It's bizarre. We've had no contact with them and no reason to pursue their support."
The church, charged with theft of photocopied confidential documents from Ontario Government offices, has offered 3,000 hours of community service and an unspecified sum of money to atone for the actions of its members.
On Tuesday, Cathia Riley, a church spokesman, did not rule out a contribution in the millions, but she said yesterday that a sum of that magnitude was not realistic.
In a letter to Attorney-General Ian Scott, Clayton Ruby, lawyer for the church, said the church was willing to undertake the complete renovation of an inner-city community centre such as 519 Church.
Ms Riley added that the church as interested in helping Jessie's Centre for Teenagers, Foodshare and the Stop 103 food bank.
Mr. Rae said 519 Church was an odd choice to propose for renovation because it is about to build an extension to its building. He added, "Frankly, I wouldn't want those people anywhere near the centre."
The centre is popular with Toronto's gay community, and one user said:
"I know that the Church of Scientology people discriminate against gays. They test people's personalities with that meter of theirs, but they believe that gay people don't have personalities."
Ms Riley said that homosexuality "doesn't even come into it."
"There's no question about it on any test."
At Foodshare, executive director Richard Yampolsky said he would be happy to take any money that came his way as the result of a court decision.
But, he added, "If they hope to extricate themselves from a case by paying guilt money, we would not accept it."
He said the offer of money would "put the poor in an awkward situation as being part of a legal argument between church and state."
The Church of Scientology has offered to help Jessie's in the past, but was turned down. June Callwood, a spokesman for Jessie's, said the church had proposed 1½ years ago that its members repair a house that Jessie's owns on Madison Avenue.
Ms Callwood said Jessie's board of directors discussed the offer seriously before turning it down.
"Our clients are teen-agers," she said. "We worried that they (the Scientologists) might try to proselytize."
Ms Callwood said, however, that an offer of money would be "a different situation."
The Church of Scientology already has made donations of food to Stop 103, a "fairly small amount," said the food bank's director, Rev. Rick Myer.
He said he would welcome Scientology volunteers "if they came here just as a caring person and we knew there wasn't any effort to proselytize."
The church's offer also seems to have left Mr. Scott less than enthusiastic. In a letter to Mr. Ruby, the Attorney-General has rejected arguments that it is constitutionally impermissible to flie criminal charges against a church.
Mr. Scott's letter did not deal with the church's offer of community service. Instead he advised Mr. Ruby that he was free to speak to the Crown attorney about resolving the suit.
"We would like the case to return back to the forum in which it should be
conducted," a spokesman for Mr. Scott said.
Globe and Mail, Friday, July 29, 1988, P. A13 Scott attacked over Scientology case by John Allemang A Presbyterian minister and professor of religious studies has called Ontario Attorney-General Ian Scott an atheist and compared the prosecution of the Church of Scientology to Nazi attacks on the Jews.
Speaking yesterday at a press conference organized by the Church of Scientology, Rev. Herbert Richardson said Mr. Scott intends to eliminate the Church of Scientology by involving it and its leadership in criminal proceedings.
The Church of Scientology and some of its members are charged with theft in connection with photocopies of confidential documents taken from Government offices.
In a wide-ranging and impassioned denunciation, Mr. Richardson, a professor at St. Michael's College, also suggested that the Government used agents provocateurs to create a case against the church. He likened the criminal charges to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.
"The way you try to limit and destroy churches," he added, "is that you go after the leadership and the leadership structure. That's exactly the focus of these attacks by Mr. Scott."
An aide to Mr. Scott said that he did not wish to answer Mr.
Richardson's criticisms. He added that Mr. Scott is a Roman Catholic and maintains close ties with St. Michael's College, of which he is a graduate.
Cathia Riley, spokesman for the Church of Scientology, said that "Mr.
Richardson's analogies aren't necessarily our views." But she said she agreed with him on the subject of religious freedom.
The press conference yesterday was part of the Church of Scientology's efforts to describe the prosecution as an unprecedented involvement of the state in religious affairs. Mr. Scott has denied this, saying the Court of Appeal distinguishes breaches of the Criminal Code as secular crimes that can leave an institution open for prosecution.
Mr. Richardson said "the Attorney-General has no power to know or judge in these matters." He said that the church acknowledged a moral responsibility for the action of its members, but not a legal responsibility.
Russell Miller, a British journalist, said in an interview that Scientology exhibits the behaviour of a cult and not the behaviour of a church.
He is the author of The Bare-Faced Messiah, a critical biography of Scientology's founder, L.
Ron Hubbard. The Church of Scientology has brought
lawsuits involving the book in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, and
Australia. The suits do not dispute the veracity of the book, Mr. Miller said,
but instead charge him with breach of copyright or breach of confidence.
Globe and Mail, Friday, October 12, 1988, P. A16 Church lawyer alleges ministry bias by Kirk Makin Ontario Premier David Peterson has been asked to appoint independent lawyers to prosecute the Church of Scientology, after allegations that the Attorney-General's Ministry is caught in a conflict of interest.
Lawyers for the church also asked the provincial auditor yesterday to examine the propriety of the ministry's having financed a civil suit launched by one of its own lawyers against the church and several media outlets.
Lawyers Clayton Ruby and Marlys Edwardh told a news conference the ministry has actively hidden the fact that it is paying for Crown counsel Casey Hill's libel suit.
The lawsuit, launched in 1984, has cost at least $47,000 so far. a Ministry memo acquired under freedom of information legislation indicates Mr. Casey Hill will reimburse the ministry only if he wins his lawsuit.
In another memo distributed at the news conference, a senior ministry official discussed charging the bills to "some general fund within the ministry that should not be identified with the offices where these individuals work."
The church lawyers said the "secret" financing of the suit creates an intolerable conflict of interest which renders the ministry incapable of continuing the criminal prosecution.
"There has never been a case where an attorney-general's office had a financial stake in a lawsuit against anyone else they were prosecuting," Mr. Ruby said yesterday. "Not in Ontario, not in Canada, not anywhere. It is just not done. It is a shocking situation.
"It is important that somebody prosecuting does not have any animus, any bias, or any interest in hurting or destroying the accused."
Mr. Ruby said the Crown office faces numerous discretionary decisions during a criminal case. Hoever, its impartiality is tainted by the appearance that it now has something at stake in the outcome of these cases.
Mr. Hill previously helped prosecute the Church of Scientology for theft of photocopied documents from Ontario government ministries.
Several of its members also face charges in connection with the alleged thefts. The charges are at the preliminary hearing stage.
"The whole object of the thing is to have a free ride," Mr. Ruby said yesterday. "If they win, there is a windfall. If they lose, the taxpayers will pay. Why shouldn't they be like anyone else?"
In a letter to Attorney-General Ian Scott released yesterday, Mr. Ruby wrote: "You cannot sue and prosecute at the same time. It creates not merely the appearance of bias, but actual bias."
Mr. Ruby told reporters that Mr. Hill has refused, during examinations for
discovery in the lawsuit, to answer questions about the financing of his case.
Globe and Mail, Friday, November 25, 1988, P. A3 Scientologists protest charges against church by Deborah Wilson About 35 members of the Church of Scientology held a demonstration outside the Ontario Legislature yesterday to protest against criminal charges against the church.
The church and some of its members are charged with theft of photocopied confidential documents from Ontario government offices.
The Toronto protesters displayed a banner that said, "Real criminals go 'Scott'-free," a reference to Attorney-General Ian Scott and several former senior church members who have been given immunity in the case in return for their testimony against the church, according to spokesman Earl Smith.
Mr. Smith said the group objects to what he described as unprecedented plans to prosecute a church rather than individuals.
"We're really trying to get Mr. Scott and Mr. Peterson to understand that when you prosecute a church, you're prosecuting a religion," Mr.
Smith told reporters. He said church members have recently been holding protests about once a week to try to persuade the Ontario government to reconsider the idea of charging the church itself.
"Charging the whole church with the actions of a few people is wrong,"
he said. "No church in the history of the English-speaking world has ever been charged criminally or prosecuted."
Mr. Smith said a church offer last July to donate members' time and money to community social agencies, if charges against the church were dropped, was part of that effort to draw attention to the situation.
"That's all over with," Mr. Smith said of the offer.
Mr. Smith said bias against the church by the Ministry of the Attorney-General was to blame for the charges. He said the impression of bias in the ministry is supported by a confidential memo, obtained by the church under freedom-of-information legislation, that revealed the ministry is paying costs of a civil suit by one of its own lawyers against the church and several media outlets.
"The Attorney-General's office gives immunity to the people we kick out,
expel from the church, for actions that we felt were going against church
policy," Mr. Smith said. "They're more or less the directors in the case.
They're getting away while the junior members are being prosecuted."
Globe and Mail, Friday, April 21, 1989, P. A10 Scientologists lose privacy appeal Canadian Press The Church of Scientology lost another round yesterday in a long-running legal effort to keep religious confessions out of the hands of police and prosecutors.
The Supreme Court of Canada, in a decision released without comment, refused leave to appeal for the church and 120 members who wanted to overturn an Ontario Court of Appeal judgement that went against them last December.
The decision means the appeal judgement will stand, and police will not be required to return written confessions the church had argued were confidential communications between priest and penitent.
The issue arose when Ontario Provincial Police, acting on warrants alleging possible tax fraud, raided the Toronto premises of the church and the home of one member in 1983, seizing more than 850 boxes of files, books, correspondence, and other documents.
A variety of charges, including theft, possession of stolen property and breach of trust, were later laid against the church and several members.
The charges relate in part to the theft of confidential documents from Ontario government offices.
Church lawyers initially tried to quash the search warrants and have all the material returned.
After the courts rejected that effort, the lawyers argued on narrower grounds that some 2,000 documents consisting of religious confessions should be returned.
The court decisions so far have centered on pre-trial issues such as the proper rules for issuing search warrants and detaining property during police investigations.
Four of 19 people charged have pleaded guilty and received absolute or conditional discharges.
Trials have not yet been held for 15 others and for the church itself.
The Church of Scientology, founded by
the late American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, claims seven million
members in several countries, including 22,000 members in Canada.
Globe and Mail, Saturday, September 22, 1990, P. A7 Church to stand trial Scientologists face theft charges The Church of Scientology of Toronto and nine of its members have been ordered to stand trial in a marathon case that began with the seizure of documents in a police raid in 1983.
Judge William Babe of the Ontario Court's Provincial Division ordered the church and the nine members yesterday to stand trial on 11 counts of theft and breach of trust after preliminary hearing that lasted more than two years. They are set to appear in court on Oct. 11 to set a date for the trial.
Clayton Ruby, lawyer for the church, has filed an application with the Ontario Court's General Division asking that the case be dropped because of an unreasonable delay in proceeding with the charges, which were first laid in 1984. Mr. Ruby has also asked that the committal to trial be quashed because a religion and all of its members should not be forced to stand trial as a corporation.
The charges are related to the alleged theft of photocopied confidential documents from Ontario government and private offices.
The church, which claims seven million members world-wide and 7,000 in
Southern Ontario, says such a prosecution of a church threatens the freedom of
Globe and Mail, Monday, June 17, 1991, P. A7 Freedom of religion to be tested in court Michael Valpy The proceedings against the Church of Scientology and certain members of its flock began with a police raid on its Yonge Street offices March 3, 1983.
It was not until 1984 that police laid charges - 11 counts of theft and breach of trust against the church and nine of its members. Keep this fact in mind: The church as a corporation was charged, as well as its adherents.
The charges relate to theft of photocopied documents from private and provincial government offices.
The preliminary hearing began in 1988. It was 1990, more than two years later, before it ended - with the church and its members committed for jury trial.
The road to justice in the Scientology case is still not a freeway.
The courts now have to rule whether charging the church violates the Charter's guarantee of freedom of religion - a fascinating issue that will be argued in Toronto today.
Unfortunately, it is a debate that is not going to be heard. At the request of both defence and Crown counsel, a judge has banned publication of arguments in advance of the jury trial. Maybe our grandchildren will be able to tell us the final outcome.
In the past in Canada, all sorts of people have been charged with committing offences in the course of folloing the precepts of their particular faith or sect. Hoever, the church to which they belong was not charged.
For example, Jehovah's Witnesses, as a religious organization, forbid blood transfusions even when it is known that death might result.
People who are Jehovah's Witnesses have been charged with negligently risking the lives of individuals in their care by refusing to allow them to have blood transfusions. But the religious organization that counsels this behaviour has not been charged.
Similarly, individual Witnesses were prosecuted during the Second World War for resisting conscription. But, again, there were no proceedings against the organization that counselled and advocated resistance.
Mormons - or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - have been charged ith polygamy. But the church has never been charged with advocating it. And, indeed, there are Mormon sects that continue today to counsel polygamy.
Moreover, there are mainstream Christian churches that have advocated civil disobedience against laws and regulations deemed to be unjust.
Members of those churches have risked prosecution. No one in officialdom has moved to charge and prosecute the churches.
What makes the issue to intriguing is that, on the face of it, if the court says it is okay to prosecute a church as a corporation, is the door then thrown open for the courts to begin decreeing what are acceptable and unacceptable tenets of faith?
On the other hand, are there no limits to Canadian toleration of organizations that advocate illegal acts - alleged child abuse among so-called satanic cults, for example - in the name of religious belief?
Or is Canadian society happy to tolerate the existence of organizations - calling themselves religious - that are believed to psychologically assault people?
Which leads us to the next question, of whether we accept that some organization is capable of directing individuals to do wrong.
And if we start talking about the sorts of limits we want on religious organizations, is there an implication here that the courts are being asked to decide what is a bona fide religion?
The legal, social and moral ramifications of the case undoubtedly are more complicated and of much greater profundity than I've outlined here.
But they certainly underscore a truth. In a country where there are fewer
and fewer common histories - hence, fewer tribal rules - Canadians
increasingly are looking to the law and courts to be the carriers and
determiners of common values.
Globe and Mail, Saturday, October 5, 1991, P. A9 Lawyer awarded $1.6-million for libel Decision against Church of Scientology largest of its kind in Canada by Thomas Claridge A senior Ontario Crown attorney has become the recipient of the largest libel award in Canadian history.
An Ontario Court jury deliberated only about six hours before concluding that Casey Hill should receive a total of $1.6-million in general, aggravated, and punitive damages from the Church of Scientology and Toronto lawyer Morris Manning.
Financed by the Ontario government, the lawsuit was launched in 1984 after Mr. Hill and another government lawyer were cleared of criminal contempt charges initiated by the church. The charges involved allegations that the two lawyers helped get a court order that permitted Ontario's registrar general to see church documents that a judge had ordered sealed after they were seized in a 1983 police raid on Scientology's Toronto offices.
The lawsuit initially named as additional defendants Canada's two television networks and The Globe and Mail. They reported on a press conference at which Mr. Manning, representing the church, disclosed the contempt proceedings. The media defendants reached an 11th-hour settlement, terms of which included an apology read in court and payment of $50,000 toward Mr. Hill's legal costs.
Sources close to the case said negotiations toward a similar settlement covering the church and Mr. Manning foundered with the parties only $5,000 apart - with Mr. Hill's lawyers seeking $180,000 and the defendants offering $175,000.
The main issues in the five-week trial, before Mr. Justice Douglas Carruthers of the court's General Division and a six-member jury, were whether Mr. Hill had been defamed and, if so, the appropriate award for damage to his reputation. Financial losses were not alleged.
In the jury award Thursday, the church and Mr. Manning were made jointly responsible for $300,000 in general damages for pain, suffering and loss of reputation. The church alone was held liable for $500,000 in aggravated damages and $800,000 in punitive damages.
In addition to the $1.6-million, the defendants face paying Mr. Hill's legal bills and interest on the $1.6-million that will run from Sept.
17, 1984, the day Mr. Manning held his press conference.
The level of interest charges and costs will be set by Judge Carruthers. The pre-judgement interest alone is likely to exceed $2-million.
The highest previous jury award in a Canadian libel action was made in 1984, when CTV was ordered to pay a total of $933,000 in damages to Walker Bros. Quarries Ltd. in connection with a W5 episode that suggested the company was allowing a quarry near Thorold, Ont., to be used as a storage site for toxic wastes. Two years later, the Ontario Court of Appeal quashed the award as unreasonable but upheld an award of $25,000 to the company's president.
The highest libel award upheld on appeal was one of $135,000 to Gerald Snyder, a former Montreal councillor who sued the Montreal Gazette over an article published in 1975. Pre-judgement interest over the case's 13-year history pushed the final cost to the Gazette to nearly $310,000. The next highest award on record was $125,000, won by Richard Vogel, a former British Columbia deputy attorney-general, against the CBC in 1982.
In announcing plans to appeal the case, the church yesterday denounced the outcome as a "travesty of justice." Rev. Heber Jentzsch, international president of the Los Angeles-based sect, said the jury was "incited into such an action by the court keeping out and refusing to allow church counsel to enter defence evidence of the fact that Hill's legal fees were paid by the province, and secondly the fact that the confessional materials between a parishioner and his minister were broached."
Rev. Earl Smith, vice-president of the Church of Scientology of Toronto, said an appeal would be filed as soon as possible.
Under terms of a 1988 agreement, the government committed itself to
reimburse Mr. Hill for costs incurred in pressing the libel action and the
plaintiff gave an undertaking to reimburse the government in the event of an
out-of-court settlement or a court award in his favour.
Globe and Mail, Thursday, March 12, 1992, P. A13 Scientology libel loss confirmed Judge rejects request to reduce $1.6-million award to Crown lawyer by Thomas Claridge Canada's costliest libel loss became even costlier yesterday when an Ontario Court judge not only confirmed a $1.6-million jury award but tacked on legal fees and about $560,000 in interest.
In a written decision, Mr. Justice Douglas Carruthers rejected arguments by lawyers for the Toronto-based Church of Scientology and lawyer Morris Manning that he should reduce the jury award to S. Casey Hill on the grounds that it was unreasonably high.
Judge Carruthers of the Ontario Court's General Division said he did not consider the fact that the lawyers now wanted him to fix the damages as amounting to a defence consent "to take the case from the jury and proceed on my own."
Noting that both defendants had initially sought a jury trial and resisted motions by Mr. Hill's lawyers to discharge the jury, the judge said that with the verdict "now in hand, there has been a complete change in the parties' respective views of the jury's participation in the trial."
The judge also observed that the jury award was made despite the fact he had not advised the jurors that they could award damages on a "substantial" basis.
He also dismissed a motion by the Scientology organization to dissolve an injunction made after the trial that prohibited any repetition of the libel.
Observing that the jury had decided that an $800,000 award of punitive damages was needed to punish the organization for defaming Mr. Hill, a senior Crown lawyer, Judge Carruthers said that within 24 hours of the verdict the organization had "republished the libel" in a news release announcing plans for an appeal.
Explaining his decision to issue the injunction, the judge said it was "reasonable to conclude that no amount awarded on account of punitive damages would have prevented or will prevent the Church of Scientology from publishing defamatory statements about the plaintiff."
The libel action, underwritten by the Ontario government, was launched in 1984 after Mr. Hill and another government lawyer were cleared of criminal contempt charges laid by the Church of Scientology. The charges dealt with a court order that permitted Ontario's Registrar-General to peruse Scientology documents that a judge had ordered sealed after they were seized in a 1983 police raid on the organization's Toronto headquarters.
The lawsuit initially named The Globe and Mail and Canada's to television networks as co-defendants, on ground they had reported on a news conference at which Mr. Manning, representing the Church of Scientology, disclosed the contempt proceedings. The media defendants reached an 11th-hour settlement, terms of which included an apology read in court and payment of $50,000 toward Mr. Hill's legal costs.
In his decision, Judge Carruthers said he learned after the trial that the Scientology organization had also been offered an out-of-court settlement involving payment of $50,000 in damages and $85,000 toward the plaintiff's legal bills.
"As matters now stand, it would not be rational to think otherwise than that the defendants would have been well advised to have accepted the offer to settle."
Under the terms of a 1988 agreement, the government committed itself to reimburse Mr. Hill for costs incurred in pressing the libel action, and the lawyer gave an undertaking to reimburse the government in the event of either an out-of-court settlement or an award in his favour.
The highest previous libel award in a Canadian libel action came in 1984, when the CTV Television Network was ordered to pay $933,000 in damages to Walker Bros. Quarries Ltd. in connection with an episode on the program W5 dealing with a company quarry near Thorold, Ont., and toxic wastes. That trial was also presided over by Judge Carruthers.
In 1986, The Ontario Court of Appeal quashed the award as unreasonable but
refused to substitute its own award, instead ordering a new trial, which has
not yet taken place.
Globe and Mail, Wednesday, April 22, 1992, P. A13 Ruby outlines case for Scientologists Defence lawyer suggests from people accused as breach-of-trust trial opens by Thomas Claridge The successful prosecution of senior members of the Church of Scientology in the United States was held out yesterday as a basis for acquitting five Scientologists and the Toronto affiliate of criminal breach-of-trust charges.
In an opening address to an Ontario Court jury, defence lawyer Clayton Ruby said the Ontario and U.S. charges both involved improper activities during the 1970s by the organization's Guardian's Office.
The office was under the direction of Mary Sue Hubbard, wife of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Mr. Ruby said that in the United States, authorities had alleged that Mrs. Hubbard and 10 senior members of the British-based Guardian's Office Worldwide were involved in a conspiracy to steal U.S.
government documents about Scientology. (All were convicted. Mrs.
Hubbard was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $10,000 [U.S.] for her role in the conspiracy.)
But the lawyer told the jury that the Ontario charges were laid against the Toronto organization itself and individuals ho did not hold senior positions in the Guardian's Office.
At one point, drawing criticism from Mr. Justice James Southey for delivering what "sounds like a sermon on Scientology," Mr. Ruby used organizational charts to underline assertions that until the early 1980s, the Toronto organization had no control over operations of the Guardian's Office.
Earlier, prosecutor James Stewart said his star witness will be the man who was once the senior Guardian's Office official for Canada.
Bryan Levman, who is expected to testify today, was described by Mr.
Stewart as a man who became interested in Scientology as a 20-year-old student, and quickly rose through the ranks to become deputy guardian for Canada.
"He was in a position to tell you what was going on," the Crown prosecutor said.
He said Mr. Levman will tell the trial that he left the position after a trip to Britain to discuss differences with the Guardian's Office Worldwide, then run by Mrs. Hubbard. Although Mr. Levman continued as a Scientologist in good standing, he was drummed out of the organization in February, 1982.
Mr. Stewart said he expects the witness to describe how the organization decided to infiltrate the Ontario Provincial Police in 1974. He said four other former Guardian's Office officials will provide similar evidence on espionage activities within the RCMP, Metropolitan Toronto Police and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General.
One of the four, Emile Gilbert, was described by the prosecutor as a former Roman Catholic Seminarian who turned to Scientology and eventually joined the Guardian's Office in Toronto, marrying one of its officers. He, too, was later expelled from the organization.
Mr. Stewart said that the jury will hear evidence that infiltration of the Attorney-General's Ministry involved two Scientology "plants" who worked together on obtaining information from government files.
Another proposed Crown witness, Metro Police Sergeant Barbara Taylor, is expected to describe her role in a police counterintelligence operation. Mr. Stewart said that as an undercover officer, she joined the organization and wound up being hired by the Guardian's Office intelligence bureau.
Mr. Ruby, who is representing the Toronto organization along with law partner Marlys Edwardh, told the jurors they would find themselves standing "between church and state" on ground "that has been fought over for centuries."
Although making no attempt to minimize the illegal activities, which he described several times as crimes, the lawyer suggested the wrong people were on trial.
He said that under the organization's arrangement, "the Guardian's Office could give orders to the Church of Scientology, Toronto, but the Church of Scientology, Toronto, could never give an order to anyone in the Guardian's Office, no matter how low or how high."
Mr. Ruby said evidence at the trial will show not only that all instructions for the espionage activities came from the Guardian's Office but that all the information was all kept in the office, which could not be entered by organization members except in the company of a Guardian's Office member.
Describing the key prosecution witnesses as all "confessed liars and criminals," the lawyer said all had received special training in how to lie and had agreed to become Crown witnesses only on being guaranteed immunity from prosecution.
He suggested that anyone "willing to lie, steal and cheat for the Guardian's Office Worldwide" would be just as willing to lie in the witness box.
The trial is expected to last about two months.
Globe and Mail, Friday, June 26, 1992, P. A4 Scientology church convicted on 2 counts by Thomas Claridge An Ontario Court jury found the Church of Scientology of Toronto and three of its members guilty of breach-of-trust charges stemming from infiltration of the Ontario government and three police forces in the 1970s.
The jury found the organization guilty on two counts and not guilty on three others, and acquitted two individuals. Mr. Justice James Southey of the court's General Division set aside Aug. 12 and 13 for sentencing.
The criminal charges followed a raid on the Toronto Scientology headquarters in 1983 that resulted in the seizure of thousands of documents. Although the Church of Scientology and nine members were committed to trial in the fall of 1990 on theft as well as breach-of-trust charges, the Crown abandoned the theft prosecutions after a ruling by Judge Southey that most of the seizures were unlawful.
The theft charges wound up being heard yesterday morning by a second jury, empanelled simply to hear prosecutor James Stewart say that in view of the judge's ruling he could not produce sufficient evidence to prove the allegations. The jury retired briefly before returning acquittals on the theft counts.
The unusual procedure was apparently adopted as a means of preserving the Crown's right to appeal Judge Southey's ruling, which was based on a finding that virtually all the seized documents were protected as confessional materials.
The breach-of-trust charges were based on evidence, not challenged by the defence, that members of the Scientology organization's Guardian's Office infiltrated the government, RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police and Metro Toronto Police in order to learn whether the organization was being investigated. The charges did not include any indication of the information being put to any particular use.
The jury heard evidence from former Scientologists that the infiltration led to elaborate spying activities, and that at one point the OPP sent its own spy into the Guardian's Office.
Rev. Earl Smith, president of the Toronto Scientology organization, said last night that he regarded the jury verdicts as "really a victory." Noting that the organization had been found guilty on only two of 12 charges on which it had been committed, Mr. Smith added:
"ANd we're going to appeal that."
The two-month trial was preceded by months of legal arguments based on the length of time taken for the matter to reach trial and assertions that the prosecution of the organization as well as the individuals was an abuse of process. Similar arguments are likely to be aired when the matter reaches the Ontario Court of Appeal.
The defence team, headed by Toronto lawyer Clayton
Ruby, acknowledged the spying activities but contended that they had been
carried out primarily by former Scientologists who were testifying for the
Crown in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He also asserted that the Toronto organization had
no control over, or even knowledge of, the illegal activities.
Globe and Mail, Thursday, August 13, 1992, P. A13 Prosecution seeks $1-million fine in Scientology case by Thomas Claridge A Crown prosecutor suggested yesterday that the Church of Scientology of Toronto should be fined at least $1-million and three of its members should be jailed for breaches of trust involving infiltration of the Ontario government and three police forces in the 1970s.
Prosecutor James Stewart made the proposals in a brief opening statement at a sentencing hearing before Mr. Justice James Southey of the Ontario Court's General Division.
He suggested jail terms of six months for Jacqueline Matz as a senior member of the organization's Guardian's Office, and sentences of 30 to 90 days for Janice Wheeler and Donald Whitmore, who worked as Scientology operatives in the Ontario Attorney-General's ministry and the RCMP.
The proposals brought an angry response from Scientology lawyers, who argued that any fine should be nominal, and produced unaudited financial statements showing that the Toronto body was already deeply in debt, in large part because of the prosecution.
Lawyers Clayton Ruby and Marlys Edwardh told Judge Southey the organization had acted quickly as soon as it learned of the illegal Guardian's Office activities, launching an "Amends" program that required community service work by former Guardian's Office members for charitable organizations not connected with the Scientology operation.
Describing the proposed $1-million fine as a penalty designed to "crush, to destroy," Mr. Ruby said its imposition would amount to a violation of both the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Magna Carta of 1215.
The financial statements showed the Toronto group's assets as having shrunk to about $3.5-million from $5.4-million in 1991, while its liabilities had risen to nearly $9.6-million from about $8.2-million.
Most of the deterioration appeared to be as the result of legal expenses.
Noting that the organization had been found guilty of only two of the 12 charges it faced when the trial opened, Mr. Ruby argued that any fine would have to be paid by the 7,000 adherents, only 300 of hom are "active members." He said the operation's only real asset is its building at 696 Yonge St., recently appraised at $6-million.
The hearing is expected to end today.
Globe and Mail, Friday, August 14, 1992, P. A11 Scientology sentencing adjourned overnight by Thomas Claridge Sentencing of the Church of Scientology of Toronto and three members was adjourned overnight yesterday when a defence lawyer challenged Crown assertions that the court should ignore the organization's claims of being poor.
Lawyer Marlys Edwardh said she needed the time to obtain copies of court ruling she said establish that fines against corporations should relate to the size and wealth of the corporation charged, rather than on its relationship to other corporations.
Although granting the adjournment, Mr. Justice James Southey of the Ontario Court's General Division expressed skepticism that close legal precedents would be found and said he wanted to pass judgement today.
Crown lawyer James Stewart's contention that Scientology could pay the $1-million fine he had recommended was based in part on testimony at a pre-trial hearing and the fact that financial statements showing the Toronto organization with liabilities of nearly $9.6-million and assets of only $3.5-million had not been audited.
Mr. Stewart cited testimony at the earlier hearing as confirming that the U.S.-based parent Church of Scientology helped defray costs associated with the 7½-year legal battle that ended in June with a jury finding the Toronto organization and members Jacqueline Matz, Janice Wheeler and Donald Whitmore guilty of criminal breach of trust.
All the convictions related to espionage activities by Scientology's Guardian's Office in the 1970's that involved infiltration of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Attorney-General's ministry by Scientology operatives.
Although the offence carries a maximum penalty of five years in penitentiary, Mr. Stewart acknowledged a fine was the only possible penalty for a corporation and the relatively minor roles played by the individual accused did not justify long prison terms.
In the end, he suggested Mrs. Matz be given a prison term of three to six months and the other two accused be fined or jailed for up to 90 days. He acknowledged four co-accused had earlier been fined or given discharges after entering guilty pleas.
Mr. Stewart cited a press release issued on the day of the jury verdict as showing the organization is trying to minimize the significance of the verdict "to the greatest extent possible."
The release announced plans to appeal the verdict and noted the organization had been convicted on only two of 12 charges to which it had been committed to trial.
The Crown lawyer suggested a nominal fine would only reinforce the myth
that Scientology was
not responsible for the criminal activities of its members.
Globe and Mail, Saturday, September 12, 1992, P. A1 Church of Scientology fined $250,000 for espionage Judge rejects jail sentences for individuals who infiltrated government in '70s by Thomas Claridge The Church of Scientology of Toronto was fined $250,000 yesterday for criminal breaches of trust involving espionage activities nearly 20 years ago within two police forces and the Ontario Attorney-General's Ministry.
The sentencing judge rejected a prosecutor's call for the imposition of jail terms on individual participants in the activities. Instead, he levelled fines totalling $9,000.
Mr. Justice James Southey of the Ontario Court's General Division said a jury's verdict that the church was guilty of two counts of breach of trust reflected a finding that the "directing minds of the church"
were involved in the illegal activities and a rejection of defence arguments that the church and its Guardian's Office were separate entities.
Although admitting the financial statements submitted by the church showed that its liabilities exceed its assets, Judge Southey rejected defence arguments that he should levy only a nominal fine. He suggested at least part of the $250,000 could be paid by "the mother church," the Church of Scientology of California.
Evidence at the trial showed the U.S. parent incorporated the Toronto church in 1969 and contributed, through interest-free loans, toward the $7-million cost of fighting the criminal charges. One Crown witness described the 1969 incorporation as designed to minimize the parent church's exposure to lawsuits.
Noting that the Toronto church is run by three appointed directors over whom the 7,000 parishioners had no control, the judge described its structure as "completely undemocratic."
ALthough describing both the defence call for a nominal fine and the Crown's proposal for a fine of at least $1-million as "extreme and unsupportable," Judge Southey saved most of his criticism for the defence position.
Rejecting a contention that the church had shown remorse for its role in the affair, the judge 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 said he was satisfied the British-based Guardian's Office World Wide was "subject to the control of founder L. Ron Hubbard and his wife, Mary Sue Hubbard." He specifically refused to make any finding as to the extent that Mr. Hubbard, who died in 1986, "directed or controlled the Guardian's Office World Wide."
Although acknowledging the Guardian's Office was disbanded in 1983, the judge noted this was after incriminating documents had been seized by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and The Globe and Mail had published an article in 1980 disclosing the fact that some of the documents had originated within the Ontario Government.
Judge Southey also rejected defence arguments that a heavy fine was not necessary in the absence of evidence of similar infiltration by other religious groups.
Describing general deterrence as the principal factor to be applied in sentencing, he said there was a need to deter any organization that might contemplate placing "plants" in law-enforcement agencies. "It is not only religious bodies that need to be deterred."
He did agree with the defence lawyer that the fine should take into account the fact that the Toronto church had been incorporated as a non-profit organization, that the activities were not carried out for personal or financial gain and that the activities did not lead to any significant interference with the administration of justice and had long since stopped.
The church was fined $150,000 in connection with infiltration of the Attorney-General's Ministry in 1974 and 1975 during which Scientologist Janice Wheeler sent copies of some secret documents to the Guardian's Office and allowed a member of the office to go through ministry files in an unsuccessful attempt to find a file on Scientology.
The remaining $100,000 was in connection with similar activities in 1976 by a Scientology operative within the Ontario Provincial Police.
Jacqueline Matz, a former member of the Toronto Guardian's Office, was ordered by pay a $5,000 fine at the rate of $200 a month for 25 months. Ms. Wheeler and Donald Whitmore, described as a Scientology plant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Ottawa who memorized information from RCMP files, were each fined $2,000.
Outside the court, church representatives distributed preprinted statements declaring the sentence "an outrage and miscarriage of justice."
Rev. Earl Smith renewed criticism of the Crown's decision to grant immunity from prosecution to former Guardian's Office officials who agreed to testify for the prosecution. He said that while those people had gone free, the justice system had punished "innocent Scientologists for acts they neither condoned or knew about."
He said it was the first time in the English-speaking world that a religion had been put on trial for criminal offences.
"Never before has a church been tried for the alleged actions of a handful of former officials."
In a similar vein, the Coalition for Religious Freedom and Justice said the
fine formed "a precedent for all time that money given in good faith for
charitable purposes can be hijacked by the state through legislation." The
coalition describes itself as an ad-hoc group comprising about 25 clergy from
several Christian denominations.
Globe and Mail, Thursday, September 12, 1992, P. A15 BACKGROUNDER / Globe article triggered investigation by OPP into organization's activities Illegal acts might have gone undetected, judge says by Thomas Claridge TORONTO - A judge who yesterday fined the Church of Scientology of Toronto $250,000 for espionage activities carried out in the 1970s suggested the criminal acts might have gone undetected were it not for a Globe and Mail article published in 1980.
Mr. Justice James Southey of the Ontario Court's General Division said the article triggered an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police that included counterespionage activities and led to a massive raid in 1983 and the laying of charges in December of 1984.
The 2,310-word article by John Marshall was part of a series dealing with the Church of Scientology published in January of 1980. The Globe reporter had spent a week poring over documents seized by the U.S.
Federal Bureau of Investigation in raids on the Washington and Los Angeles offices of Scientology in 1977.
Among the 33,000 documents released in December of 1979 after the conviction and sentencing of nine senior U.S. Scientologists, Mr.
Marshall had found confidential memos from several Ontario government offices.
One letter the reporter discovered was "from an RCMP officer in Ottawa to the Ontario Provincial Police fraud squad in Toronto, which was investigating complaints by parents of a teen-aged member of the cult.
The letter had an OPP stamp indicating it had been received March 3, 1979."
Although the FBI and OPP raids on Scientology were similar in scope, the prosecutions that resulted were sharply different. The U.S.
prosecutions were only of individuals and let to guilty pleas that minimized the adverse publicity. Ontario prosecutors decided to attempt the more difficult task of prosecuting both individual participants and the Toronto church for criminal breaches of trust.
In doing so, the Crown had to rely heavily on testimony of former senior Guardian's Office officials, some of whom had been thrown out of the church because of their involvement.
Evidence at the trial showed the espionage work was prompted by a widely held belief in Scientology's hierarchy that governments were out to destroy the new religious organization.
The illegal activities in Ontario have directly or indirectly cost Scientology about $10-million in fines, legal fees, and jury awards.
In addition to $7-million the Toronto church hsa spent fighting the criminal charges and the $250,000 fine imposed yesterday, the church was hit by a $1.6-million libel award and substantial costs last fall in connection with a private contempt-of-court prosecution of two Crown lawyers.
The successful plaintiff, Casey Hill, had been assigned to head up an investigation of Scientology and other religious cults and was involved in drafting the search warrant used to raid Scientology's Toronto headquarters in March of 1983.
Despite the costliness of the legal battles, the church is appealing both
the libel and breach-of-trust verdicts.
Globe and Mail, Friday, September 25, 1992, P. A29 Putting a church on trial by Al Buttnor There is a significant story behind the recent trial of the Church of Scientology of Toronto, which ended in the church's conviction on charges of criminal breach of trust and a fine of $250,000.
This prosecution - in a case that has been going on for nine years, based on events almost two decades old - represents the first time in the English-speaking world that a religious organization has been put on trial by the state for acts committed by some of its members. It sets a frightening precedent for all Canadians who value religious freedom.
When the judicial system can, by convicting and fining a church, punish every innocent member of a faith with a criminal taint because of the acts of a small minority of members, every religious group is in danger.
There is also a broader fundamental principle here. A church corporation is a legal fiction. It is something made up to provide a structure that houses the religious community. Unlike General Motors, a church does not have owners and shareholders, only members and individual parishioners.
The legal structure is established only to organize and provide facilities for the practice of religion. Many churches and religious organizations do not even take steps to incorporate.
The prosecution of this corporate body of a church pits the government, with its massive resources, against one particular religion and its individual parishioners. The impact is felt not by the corporate structure of that church, but by its parishioners and adherents to the faith. This inevitably brings the parishioners into disrepute in the community, disparages their faith and encourages intolerance of it. This is not just.
Until early in this century, the Mormon Church advocated bigamy among its members and performed bigamous marriages. The church was never prosecuted, but its members were.
Jehovah's Witnesses forbid the use of blood transfusions even in cases where they know that death will result, yet no one has ever charged the Watch Tower Society, although numerous individuals have been charged. During the Second World War, Jehovah's Witnesses advocated refusing to cooperate with the draft. They organized resistance to it among the members and members were jailed, but the church was never prosecuted.
In British Columbia, the Sons of Freedom Doukhobor Church ordered members to burn down their own and other people's property. The individuals were prosecuted, but not the entire church.
Today, we are seeing startling revelations concerning the criminal conduct of some clergy of various mainstream religions, and the long-term neglect by those organizations to deal with this conduct.
Despite the seriousness of these acts, none of the churches involved has been charged.
That churches have not been prosecuted for the actions of their members or officials appears to have reflected a fundamental policy choice rather than a legal impediment to the actual laying of charge.
This policy has changed with the Church of Scientology of Toronto - and, in light of the examples given, a double standard may even have been created.
The only way an organization can be punished under the criminal law is through a fine. But with a church, who pays this? The innocent members. This places a severe fiscal penalty on people whose sole "crime" is the enjoyment of their faith. This drains the resources of the religious community as well as its vitality.
The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General has spent a reported $15-million worth of taxpayers' money over the past nine years to pursue this case. The ministry ignored the offers of senior church executives to help in the prosecution of those individuals who were actually responsible for the crimes committed.
The ministry and the Ontario Provincial Police went to the extent of violating the constitutional rights of the Church of Scientology in conducting their 1983 raid against the church. The Ontario Court of Justice found the manner of search and seizure "unlawful" and said the police officers involved did not act in "good faith".
This kind of effort and money is never spent on criminal prosecutions - not murder, not rape, not embezzlement. There was something unique about this case, a case against a church.
The bottom line is that we live in a country that has enshrined the concept of religious freedom for all in the law, through the constitutional Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But paper is not enough, and the social reality is different. Concepts of religion vary from person to person. Prejudice exists against new religious ideas, and the system, comfortable in its old ways, attacks those who dare think they have a better idea.
All religious groups, whether new or old, need to be wary and alert and willing to fight for their rights. We have. We hope society's resources will be put to better use than targeting well-meaning organizations and their innocent members who have had the integrity to right their own internal affairs.
-------------------------------------------------- Al Buttnor is
public-relations spokesman for the Church of Scientology of Toronto.
Globe and Mail, Thursday, November 26, 1992, P. A10 Scientologists' offices mortgaged, court told Church accused of trying to make Toronto operation judgement-proof by Thomas Claridge The Church of Scientology was accused yesterday of having tried to make its Toronto incorporation judgement-proof in the wake of a jury's record $1.6-million libel award.
The accusation was made before a judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal by Robert Armstrong, the Toronto lawyer who represented Casey Hill, the senior Ontario Crown attorney who won what stands as by far the largest libel award in Canadian history.
Mr. Armstrong told Madam Justice Hilda McKinlay that the sect's Los Angeles-based international office was apparently responsible for more than $6-million in mortgages placed on the Yonge Street offices of the Church of Scientology of Toronto within weeks of the jury making the award on Oct. 3, 1991.
Noting that the building had recently been appraised at $6-million, the lawyer asserted that the mortgaging, ostensibly to pay legal fees associated with the libel case and a pending criminal trial, encumbered the Toronto organization's assets "to the extent that there is essentially nothing left."
Mr. Armstrong said he first learned of the mortgages only in August when he read news reports on a sentencing hearing held after a jury found the Church of Scientology of Toronto and three individuals guilty of criminal breaches of trust in connection with espionage activities against police forces and the Ontario government.
The lawyer said that when he investigated the matter he discovered that one of the mortgages, for about $3.1-million, was for legal bills from the firm of TOronto lawyer Clayton Ruby, $2.1-million of which he said "was money that was not paid or owed at the time."
Asserting that Mr. Ruby was the perosn who first proposed that Casey Hill be accused of criminal contempt, a proposal that led to fellow lawyer MOrris Manning uttering words that the jury found libelous, Mr.
Armstrong said the lawyer who started it all and was a key defence witness in the libel trial was being paid ahead of Mr. Hill.
"There is a certain bitter irony in this," he told the judge.
Asserting that the Yonge Street property was essentially debt-free before the libel trial, the lawyer said three mortgages now registered against it total about $10-million.
Judge McKinlay was told that all the mortgages involved loans made by Scientology organizations.
Mr. Armstrong's comments were made in the course of asking the judge to require payment of the $1.6-million to his client or into the court pending an appeal that is not expected to be heard before spring.
Kitchener lawyer Marc Somerville, representing the Church of Scientology, suggested his client should be required only to preserve the status quo, by not permitting any further encumbrances on the property and agreeing not to sell it.
He described the libel award as "the largest libel judgement in Canada by a multiple of five."
Judge McKinlay said the suggestion of preserving the status quo would be reasonable "if the horse hadn't already escaped from the barn."
Mr. Somerville said the international Scientology organization "is not going to stop having a church in Toronto," adding that there was "no indication it will not pay any judgement finally determined in this matter."
But when he acknowledged that the case would in all likelihood wind up before the Supreme Court of Canada, Judge McKinlay said she could see the matter taking another five or six years and Mr. Hill then having to start a fresh legal action to determine the validity of the mortgages.
The hearing continues today.
Globe and Mail, Friday, December 11, 1992, P. A20 Scientologists agree to settlement Church to discharge mortgages, pay defamed lawyer's legal costs by Thomas Claridge Concerns that the Church of Scientology had made its Toronto incorporation judgement-proof to dodge a record libel award against it have been relieved by an out-of-court settlement approved by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Under terms of the settlement, the Toronto organization must give government lawyer S. Casey Hill $29,350 toward legal costs he incurred to fight its appeal of a $1.6-million Ontario Court award for libelling him.
The Toronto Scientologists must also pay another $300,000 into court as security against Mr. Hill's legal bills in fighting the appeal.
Both payments are to be made by Dec. 31.
In addition, the Church of Scientology has been given until Tuesday to discharge a $2.8-million (U.S.) mortgage against the Yonge Street headquarters of the Church of Scientology of Toronto, registered within weeks of the jury making the libel award in October, 1991. The mortgage was in favour fo the Scientology International Reserves Trust.
Another term of the settlement calls for the Churhc of Scientology to give Mr. Hill's lawyers papers permitting him to discharge another mortgage on the property, for $3,147,453.78 in Canadian funds, in the event a final judgement remains unpaid 30 days after it is obtained.
A court order that sets out the terms notes that lawyers for the Church of Scientology have given assurances that it "intends to pay the full amount of any final judgement which may be awarded in favour of S. Casey Hill in this matter and as a matter of good faith, but without in any way admitting the invalidity of certain mortgages referred to in this order."
The order was signed by Madam Justice Hilda McKinlay, who presided at a Nov. 25 hearing during which Mr. Hill's lawyer, Robert Armstrong, accused Scientology's international office of trying to make the Toronto organization judgement-proof by registering mortgages worth more than the Yonge Street property's value.
Noting that the building had recently been appraised at $6-million, the lawyer asserted that the mortgaging, ostensibly to pay legal fees associated with the libel case and a criminal trial, encumbered the Toronto organization's assets "to the extent that there is essentially nothing left."
Judge McKinlay was told that the mortgages involved loans by Scientology organizations.
Kitchener lawyer Marc Somerville, representing the Church of Scientology, described the
award as "the largest libel judgement in Canada by a multiple of five."
Globe and Mail, Saturday, April 19, 1997, P. A9 Court rejects Scientology's religious-freedom argument by Thomas Claridge The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld the 1992 conviction of the Church of Scientology of Toronto and one of its officers on two counts of criminal breach of trust stemming from covert operations of its Guardian's Office more than 20 years ago.
In a 143-page ruling released late yesterday, a three-judge panel rejected arguments by Scientology lawyers that incorporated non-profit religious associations should not be held liable for unauthorized criminal acts committed by individuals within their ranks.
Although agreeing that the liability infringed guarantees of religious freedom in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the court held that the infringement was permissible under Section 1 of the Charter as a reasonable limit in a free and democratic society.
Speaking for the court, Mr. Justice Marc Rosenberg concluded that there was no possible "reformulation of corporate criminal liability that will not infringe" the guarantee of religious freedom. "The mere prosecution of the church will stigmatize the parishioners and members and divert funds from religious purposes to defence of the charge.
"Even if the prosecution were limited to the acts of the board of directors, it would infringe freedom of religion since the liability would still be imposed on the corporation on a vicarious basis. The 'innocent' parishioners would be required to fund the defence, and church property would be at risk if the church were convicted and a fine imposed."
Judge Rosenberg said the objective of applying criminal liability to religious corporations "relates to a fundamental tenet of our society, namely that no person is above or beyond the law."
He went on to observe that imposing criminal liability on the corporation for acts of its managers was also needed "to protect vulnerable persons within the hierarchy. . . . To relieve the corporation of liability when the managers have abused their positions to benefit the corporation would aggravate the powerlessness of the victims."
He noted that the breaches of trust victimized "large, powerful institutions such as the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of the Attorney-General," whose offices had been infiltrated by church agents in the mid-1970s. "In another case, however, the victims could be the parishioners or members themselves."
Judge Rosenberg said that if courts adopted a lower standard of criminal liability for religious corporations, "this would necessarily invite inquiry" into whether their religious goals "were genuine or a mere sham to take advantage of the preferential treatment."
In upholding a $250,000 fine imposed by Mr. Justice James Southey of the Ontario Court's General Division, Judge Rosenberg said the offences "represented a deliberate attempt to undermine the effectiveness of the law-enforcement agencies.
"This was not simply an intelligence-gathering exercise. The appellant had planted its agents in these agencies so that they would be able to anticipate and counter the efforts of these agencies to enforce the law."
Beyond that, he said, the offences "represented the execution of a carefully conceived plan," and the agents had been given special instructions to assist them in carrying out their activity. The agents themselves "were not acting for personal gain but under the belief instilled by the appellant that these acts were necessary to protect their church."
He also agreed with Judge Southey that the church had "at no time admitted responsibility for these offences or expressed remorse for its involvement." It had stopped the activity only because the risk of discovery was putting it in jeopardy.
A significant fine "was appropriate to encourage compliance by other entities who might otherwise adopt a similar strategy and attempt to subvert the public service and interfere with the administration of justice."
The main issue raised on behalf of Jacqueline Matz, the church official who was responsible for supervising agents planted in various government agencies and other organizations, was that her lawyer should have been able to address the jury after the Crown made its closing submissions. In its ruling, the court said the issue is currently before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Last night, Rev. Al Buttnor, director of public affairs for Scientology in Toronto, said the church was pleased by the court pointing out that the church had "removed and expelled over 15-20 years ago those who were responsible for the acts that underlie this case" and had taken steps to ensure that this type of conduct would never be repeated.
"We are pleased," Mr. Buttnor said, "that the court has clearly acknowledged that the past is not the present, and recognized that current church officials and members are clearly distinct from the renegades who were thrown out of the church by 1983, before any hint of prosecution."
------------------------------------------------------------------ -- Scientology's gate is down. -- http://www.total.net/~wulfen/scn/ http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Spa/8412/ 'It's doubtful anyone would heed a failed businessman with his own "religion" and other failed sci-fi interests.' -Dorsai666 (Toronto Scientologist) http://www.deja.com/%5BST_rn=ps%5D/getdoc.xp?AN=668780006&fmt=text ------------------------------------------------------------------