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60 Minutes


December 22, 1985

An update of a story aired in 1980.  Mike Wallace enters the Scientology compound and finds an audience for his interview with Earl Cooley and Heber Jentzsch.

The show can be viewed at Anti-Cult's website.






Description of video in italics; VO=VOICEOVER of Mike Wallace

picture of "Dianetics" book

VO: It all began back in 1950 with the publication of the best selling book "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" by L. Ron Hubbard.

more L. Ron Hubbard books, poster of L. Ron Hubbard

VO: L. Ron Hubbard, previously a writer of pulp fiction, claimed to have discovered after years of research that man was unable to handle his own problems, that he needed help.

Scientology book, Scientology church

VO: Thus was born Scientology, a religion that says it can reveal to an individual a practical way to find himself, more fully to realize himself.

picture of L. Ron Hubbard, close-up of e-meter, demonstration of auditing

VO: Hubbard, a recluse who hasn’t been seen in years, invented something called the e-meter. Church ministers, or auditors, use the meter to measure an individual’s nervous responses, much in the way a lie detector does. Scientologists claim the e-meter can help locate their past unhappy experiences and by so doing blanch them out, help them to reach a state of Clear, of self-realization.

pictures of Scientology books; closeups of HCOPLs on Ethics, Justice, Financial Management

VO: And there are other teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, thousands of pages. Hubbard on Ethics, on Justice, on High Finance.

Scientology church

VO: Scientology has attracted, according to its own estimates, upwards of six million followers worldwide.

John Travolta

VO: People like actor John Travolta, who was interviewed by Pat Collins of CBS News.

TRAVOLTA: The, the recent practices that I have--that I have studied in Scientology have been invaluable to me.

COLLINS: Have you ever met Ron Hubbard?

TRAVOLTA: I’d love to; I’d be--I’d be honored, because I think he’s so brilliant.

VO: While Travolta isn’t the only Scientologist who has never seen Hubbard, hardly any Scientologists have ever seen him.

L. Ron Hubbard interview from 1966

VO: This 1966 interview produced by the Church of Scientology is one of the few glimpses anyone will ever get of the man.

L.RON HUBBARD: Man IS asleep. He IS hypnotized and Scientology reverts the process and you make him wake up and he gradually gets more and more alert and he's more and more wide awake and his IQ rises higher and higher and he's more and more capable of knowing what's going on about him.

Scientology church

VO: But according to the Scientologists, the U.S. Government early on began to harass L. Ron Hubbard and his church, and it is true that as early as the 1950s Scientology came under the scrutiny of various government agencies.

demonstration of auditing

VO: The Food and Drug Administration was skeptical about the use of the e-meter. The FDA considered it not a religious artifact but a medical device.

FBI document about L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology books, picture of L. Ron Hubbard

VO: And both the FBI and the IRS have over the years launched investigations into Scientology and into L. Ron Hubbard without any formal charges ever being brought against the man.

Omar Garrison

GARRISON: He has inspired hatred; some men have inspired love. And this is sad, because his most ardent ambition—he has, and he has told his followers to use this phrase; it’s his phrase—he wants to be known, and tears come to their eyes when they say it, he wants to be known as the friend of man.

VO: Author Omar Garrison, not himself a Scientologist, was commissioned by the church to write the Hubbard biography.

GARRISON: He wants to clear this planet of war, of crime, and of disease. And he sincerely believes that he has the formula for doing it.

Scientology books and literature, Scientology church

VO: Part of that formula has been to expose government scandals like the CIA’s germ warfare tests on unknowing subjects and to expose government invasions of privacy. But aside from the good works that Scientology has done, some former Scientologists describe a church that has become overzealous, sometimes almost paranoid about anyone perceived as an enemy.

Paulette Cooper giving a speech, Operation Freakout documents

VO: For instance, in 1980 we interviewed Paulette Cooper. She had written a book critical of Scientology, so to try to silence her, the so-called Guardian's Office of the Church cooked up a scheme to steal Cooper's stationary and make it appear that she had sent the church two bomb threats, a crime she did not commit.

COOPER: And as a result I was arrested. I was indicted on three counts. I faced up to 15 years in jail if I was convicted. The whole ordeal fighting these charges took eight months. It cost me $19,000 in legal fees. I went into such a depression, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't write. I went down to 83 pounds. Finally I took and passed a sodium pentathol, or truth serum, test and the government dropped the charges against me in 1975.

Operation Freakout documents--underlined words: "OPERATION FREAKOUT", "to get P.C. incarcerated", "she drops her attacks", "to hit her so hard", "’Graffiti Task Force’", "P.C.’s name", "subways or subway’s wall", "phone calls"

VO: Another church plot against Cooper was called Operation Freakout. Intended to get her placed in a mental institution until she stopped writing about Scientology. Church officials even launched a graffiti campaign against Cooper.

COOPER: They put my name up on walls in New York City where I live, with my phone number, so people would call me. They put my name on pornographic mailing lists, so that I would get all kinds of disgusting mail. You see, for years I was saying that these types of things were going on and people thought "Well, what is she talking about? This is a church." And finally, after 11 years I see that everything I said was true and that Scientology turned out to be worse than anything I ever said or even imagined.

VO: Paulette Cooper has since come to a legal settlement with the church.

Mike Wallace with two Scientology spokesmen

VO: In 1980 these two church spokesmen had told us that the kinds of things done to Paulette Cooper were committed by a small group of overzealous Scientologists.

Mike Wallace with Laurel Sullivan

VO: But, more recently, listen to what this woman said happened to her after she left Scientology and began to speak out.

SULLIVAN: I have been harassed. I have been sued twice. I have been followed. I have had people at my workplace try to get me fired, who were Scientologists. I have had private investigators go to my former employers and tell them I was a missing person and my parents were looking for me, to find my address.

VO: Laurel Sullivan was for eight years the personal public relations officer to L. Ron Hubbard himself. Because she so admired the man, she says, she ignored the negative aspects of Scientology.

SULLIVAN: I chose not to know things. There are things that don't quite add up, but when he tells you something, you believe it.

VO: Sullivan says that thousands of Scientologists are turning a blind eye to much of what goes on in Scientology.

SULLIVAN: They have chosen not to read the press about Scientology, if it's negative. They have chosen not to question themselves. They have chosen not to question, "Why am I here?".

Mike Wallace with Omar Garrison

VO: Even Omar Garrison, one time a Scientology sympathizer, has had second thoughts.

GARRISON: I think at the moment this--the organization, the cult-- is in the hands of the most fanatical followers, adherents of Mr. Hubbard, who you could equate with the, the followers of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Scientology church

VO: The current church leadership is located at the Scientology headquarters in Los Angeles. We wanted to know what they had to say.

Heber Jentzsch, Earl Cooley, Scientology videotape camera operators, large group of Scientologists sitting in the room

VO: And the Scientologists, although unhappy with our report in 1980, finally agreed to an interview. But this time, the Scientologists, convinced that we were out to attack their church, arranged with several of their videotape cameras to be trained on us at all times during the session. Church President, the Rev. Heber Jentzsch, had his attorney Earl Cooley sitting at his side throughout the interview, and almost 100 Scientologists were called in as witnesses.

JENTZSCH: Scientology is the only road to total freedom, whether you agree with it or not, that is the truth. And HE has outlined the way to do it.

WALLACE: The...only...road...to...total...freedom [slowly] (Jentzsch also says "total freedom" the same time Wallace does). That's the only road?

JENTZSCH: I said, the only road to TOTAL freedom.

WALLACE: Yes. What does that mean? "Only road to total freedom"?

JENTZSCH: Oh, is there some word there you don't understand?

WALLACE: I, I, I don't understand the concept. I mean--what kind of freedom are we talking about?

JENTZSCH: Spiritual freedom.

picture of L. Ron Hubbard

VO: And, as for the founder, L. Ron Hubbard?

Heber Jentzch on camera, display of awards received by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology literature

JENTZSCH: I think he's probably one of the greatest men that ever lived. I think that what you see and hear are--all through this place--are recognitions for what he has done in the area of drug rehabilitation, what he has done in areas of education, recognition of cities and mayors and governors and so forth and individuals whose lives have been changed.

Scientology books, the words "find or manufacture enough threat", "--always attack--", "--don’t ever defend--"

VO: But if Hubbard is a man of enlightenment, he is also a man who appears obsessed with his perceived enemies. "Attack the attacker," he writes. "If Scientology is attacked on some vulnerable point, always find or manufacture enough threat to cause them to sue for peace. Always attack, don't ever defend." According to former church members, it is writing like this that inspired bizarre plots like the ones against Paulette Cooper and numerous others.

Jentzsch and Cooley

VO: But when I put some of that to the Rev. Jentzsch, he accused us of coming to the defense of Scientology's enemies.

JENTZSCH: We say when Pearl Harbor happened, you'd be the first guy going over there to represent the Japanese ‘cause he probably bruised his knee when he killed all those Americans. You'd say, "Oh, don't attack the attacker--just going to wipe you out, you know. Just a bunch of poor Japanese bombing , they probably flew 3,000 miles off course." Mike Wallace. That's great. That's real great rhetoric.

VO: Then the Rev. Jentzsch turned to the scriptures to try to convince us that we were taking things out of context.

JENTZSCH: The Torah has said "If one comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first". But let’s go further; the Torah decrees, "If he comes to slay thee, forestall by slaying him". let’s go to Exodus 2, 11:14: "When Moses had grown up, he went out to his kinfolk and witnessed their toil. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. He struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand." Now I can just take it and turn it back to you and say "You're a Jew, how do you respond to this thing?" I don't think that's fair. I think that is a DESPICABLE activity by anyone to take it out of context. And I can go through the whole Bible and lift it out and make it look just as crazy, just as weird, as you're trying to do here. With millions and millions of word in print in a religion and you can take out two words or you can take out a sentence and you can somehow try to bring it down to that.

VO: In the course of reporting this story it became apparent to us that the Rev. Jentsch is persuaded that 60 Minutes itself somehow involved with others in a plot to destroy Scientology.

JENTZSCH: You may not like our religion. You may try to castigate it. You may try to denigrate it. You may try to bring down the image of Mr. Hubbard, but you cannot change what has happened in the hearts and minds of every single Scientologist who has had benefit from this man and what he has done.

VO: And--

JENTZSCH: We're here, you know, we're here for all the centuries to come, all the centuries to come. After 60 Minutes disappears and the electrons are erased off the tape, we'll still be here.


GARRISON: Everyone who has taken these courses has come out with a superego and with a truculent, if you will, a truculent view of anyone who dares disagree because the person who disagrees is perceived as what they call a suppressive person--

WALLACE: An enemy--

GARRISON: And must be dealt with as such.

WALLACE: And that's the gospel according to L. Ron Hubbard.

GARRISON: That's the dark side of Scientology.

Wallace and Garrison, pictures of L. Ron Hubbard

VO: Omar Garrison set out to write the Hubbard biography. According to church legend Hubbard is a man of extraordinary accomplishment. But Garrison says that he has learned there is less to Hubbard than has been painted over the years in church literature.

WALLACE: He fought in five theaters in World War II?

GARRISON: Not true.

WALLACE: He commanded a squadron of corvettes?

GARRISON: Not true.

WALLACE: He was crippled and blinded in war?

GARRISON: Not true.

WALLACE: He was the first casualty of the war?

GARRISON: Not true.

WALLACE: Flown home in the Secretary of the Navy's private plane?

GARRISON (chuckling): Not true.

Earl Cooley

COOLEY: Are you aware of the fact that there are more than one set of military records on Mr. Hubbard?

VO: Church attorney Earl Cooley says that the official military records on L. Ron Hubbard are actually fakes.

COOLEY: On--that his records, his military records, have been doctored? Are you aware of that?


COOLEY: By God knows whom.


VO: But there is more.

WALLACE: Is he an atomic or nuclear physicist?

GARRISON: Of course not.

WALLACE: Did he travel with Tibetan bandits?

GARRISON: I have no documentation and have never seen any in the extensive research that he did.


COOLEY: Legend, rumor grows up around any charismatic leader, any leader in the world and particularly any religious leader.

Cooley and Jentzsch

VO: Attorney Earl Cooper says that if anyone exaggerated the credentials of the founder, it was overzealous Scientologists and not the man himself.

COOLEY: And if he were to spend his time attempting to refute every allegation made against him, good and bad, he would have no time to write the technology and to develop the philosophy that has helped millions and millions of people.

picture of L. Ron Hubbard, Homer Shomar, Author Services, Inc. building

VO: And has made millions and millions of dollars for L. Ron Hubbard, according to this man, Homer Shomar, who testified in court that as treasurer of a company called Author Services, Inc. in Los Angeles, he secretly channeled a fortune into the private overseas bank accounts of L. Ron Hubbard.

SHOMAR: His weekly income went from about $200,000 to up over a million [dollars] per week.

WALLACE: L. Ron Hubbard himself was making a million dollars a week?

SHOMAR: That's correct.

WALLACE: In 1982?

SHOMAR: Right. And most of the money was coming out of the church.

VO: Shomar says the company he worked for billed the Church of Scientology for Hubbard's past research and that the money was then transferred into Swiss bank accounts. This despite public claims that Hubbard made only a paltry living from Scientology.

WALLACE: And you knew this for a fact because you took part in the switching, if you will, of these funds to Switzerland?

SHOMAR: Right. Plus we'd--I'd have the bank records set, you know, the transfer, you know, the transfer receipts from the bank that that money would be transferred.

Homer Shomar

VO: What about the credibility of Homer Shomar and the other former Scientologists who are now speaking out?

Jentzsch and Cooley

VO: The Scientologists claim that those former church members were purged from the church, in effect thrown out, after an internal power struggle. According to the church leaders they are all disgruntled and have personal gripes and so the church says, they are lying.

Laurel Sullivan, Homer Shomar, Omar Garrison

VO: But Sullivan, Shomar, Garrison and others have all been called as witnesses in court about their experiences with Scientology.

Jentzsch and Cooley

VO: And according to the Rev. Jentsch, the words of a California Superior Court Judge, Paul Breckenridge, who presided over one of those cases in which the Scientologists were embroiled.

Shomar, Garrison, Sullivan

VO: In that case the Scientologists did not testify to all they told us in this report. Still, Judge Breckenridge found Sullivan, Shomar and Garrison to be extremely persuasive, to be credible witnesses. And I read further from the judge's opinion.

Wallace, Cooley

WALLACE: "The organization is clearly schizophrenic and paranoid. And, this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder, LRH. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements."

Wallace, Cooley, Jentzsch

VO: The Rev. Jentsch says that he has investigated what was the basis for the judge's decision.

JENTZSCH: I traced back where that came from, this whole schizophrenia, paranoia concept that he has. It came from Interpol. At that time the president of Interpol was a former SS officer, Paul Dieckoff (spelling?). AND TO FIND THAT JUDGE BRECKENRIDGE QUOTED A NAZI SS OFFICER AS THE AUTHORITY on Scientology, I find unconscionable. You may support it. I can't support that in any way, shape or form.

Scientologists marching, singing "America the Beautiful"

VO: The church continues to protest it is misunderstood, the object of unfair attacks. Meantime, loyal Scientologists swear that they continue to find salvation in Hubbard’s philosophy, that man can help himself, that man can reach a state of Clear.

Scientology church; 60 Minutes logo with stopwatch

Transcript courtesy of Xenubat

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