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FIND A BETTER BASKET

A Literary Work Created and Written
by
GERALD ARMSTRONG

 

 

 

FIND A BETTER BASKET
Copyright © 1994 Gerald Armstrong
All Rights Reserved

Contact:
The Gerald Armstrong Corporation
[former address]

 


 

Copyright © 1994 Gerald Armstrong
© 1994 Gerald Armstrong

 

 

FIND A BETTER BASKET

    I, Gerald Armstrong, declare:

    1. I am making this declaration in response to allegations

made by Scientology organization leaders, attorneys and agents in

court proceedings and public media around the world concerning a

1984 organization intelligence operation targeting me, which has

been called the "Armstrong Operation." I am copyrighting this

document prior to its use in court because it will, in addition

to putting the organization's allegations into a proper context,

form an outline for a screenplay I am writing. It is my story.

    2. After I left the organization at the end of 1981, the

organization intelligence bureau assigned Dan Sherman, a Los

Angeles spy story writer and intel operative, to get close to me

and become my friend, which he did. I had been the intelligence

officer on board the "Apollo" with the organization's founder and

supreme leader L. Ron Hubbard, had studied his intelligence

policies and Guardian's Office [1] intelligence materials, had an


[1] The Guardian's Office ("GO"), headed from 1966 to 1981 by
Mary Sue Hubbard, who reported to and was controlled by L. Ron
Hubbard, consisted of five bureaus: Intelligence, Public
Relations, Legal, Finance and Social Coordination (front groups).
The GO was responsible for hiding its money and its actual
command lines, defending the organization against attacks and for
eliminating all opposition to its progress. Hubbard patterned
its intelligence bureau, B-1, and the organization's total
espionage mentality on the work of Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler's spy
master. On Hubbard's orders, after the conviction of 11 top GO
intelligence personnel, including Mary Sue, for criminal
activities against the US Government, Scientology's second major
arm of power, the Sea Organization, in a 1981 putsch took control
of the GO's functions and subsequently renamed the GO arm the
Office of Special Affairs, "OSA."

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appreciation for that literary genre, and I was myself a writer,

so Sherman and I had a real basis for a real friendship.

    3. Sherman told me he was no longer involved in

Scientology, wanted nothing to do with it, saw it as a personal

waste of time, and also saw that its leaders were ruthless and

dangerous, and claimed to be afraid of them finding out that he

was friends with me. Sometime in 1982 or 1983 he told me that he

was still in communication in a limited way with some of his old

friends still in the organization. He described these friends as

smart, reasonable and not fanatics. They were still

Scientologists and worked on staff, but felt that organization

leaders were criminals. Having no allegiance to these leaders,

Sherman's friends would occasionally tell him about conditions

inside and their desire to end the organization's criminal

activities. They said the conditions inside were oppressive and

chaotic and they were at risk even talking to him because sec

checks [2] were rampant.

    4. During the 1984 trial of the organization's case

against me, Church of Scientology of California and Mary Sue

Hubbard v. Gerald Armstrong, Los Angles Superior Court no. C

420153 ("Armstrong I"), Sherman told me that one of these

friends, whom he called "Joey," had told him that there was an


[2] Sec checks are accusatory interrogations using Hubbard's
electropsychometer or E-Meter as a lie detector. Sec checks
could be brutal, could go on for many hours or days, could
involve several people asking questions, threatening and
badgering, and could have disastrous results for the interrogee.

2

 

actual group inside the organization who were dedicated to

reforming it because management had become suppressive. They

called themselves the "Loyalists," claiming to be " loyal" to the

preservation of the ideals of Scientology, "what worked." They

also recognized that its leaders were criminal, crazy, dangerous,

and not dedicated to those ideals but were acting to destroy

them. The "Loyalists" wanted to take control in a well-planned,

effective and peaceful action before some tragedy happened. They

claimed to know of criminal activities and a key part of their

plan was the documenting of these activities.

    5. Sherman said they were 35 in number, or at least there

were 35 who knew they were "Loyalists," all smart, reasonable and

not fanatics. Some of them were his old friends from B-1. Such

persons tended to be smart, reasonable and often were not

fanatics. The people whom I knew to be, including Hubbard, the

organization leaders, prided themselves on their recognition of

unreasonableness as a virtue, and maintained an abiding

fanaticism to justify their abuses and keep their positions of

power. Sherman was smart and gave every appearance of being

reasonable and unfanatical. He said the Loyalists knew he was in

communication with me and wanted to talk with me but were afraid

for their lives. This was not surprising to me because I knew

from my own experiences that the organization had a brutal side

and its leaders were dangerous, armed and desperate. Thus the

first communications with the Loyalists were a few messages

relayed by Sherman. They said that I had a proven record against

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the organization, that my integrity had been unshakable and they

wanted my help.

    6. A few days after the Armstrong I trial ended, Joey,

who, I later learned, was actually one David Kluge, made the

first direct contact with me, a phone call to my home in Costa

Mesa, California. He said the Loyalists knew I wanted my pc

folders,[3] that my folders were being moved on a certain day and

that I could get them if I wanted. I told Kluge that even though

the folders were mine the organization would claim, if it was

discovered I had them, that I was accepting stolen property, so I

had to decline his offer. I was also already booked, on the same

day the Loyalists said they would get me my pc folders, to fly to

London to testify in a child custody case [4] involving


[3] Pc folders, also called preclear or auditing files or
folders, contain the record of processes run and questions asked
by the auditor (psycho- therapist), E-Meter reads, and answers
given and statements made by the preclear (or patient) during
Scientology auditing (or psychotherapy) sessions. It was well
known that I had opposed and exposed the organ- ization's misuse of
information divulged by the organization's "preclears" (what were
essentially psychotherapist-patient confidences) in auditing. I
had been attempting to get the organization to deliver to me my
pc folders throughout the Armstrong I litigation, and the misuse
of auditing information was an issue in the Armstrong I trial.
Judge Paul G. Breckenridge, Jr. stated in his decision following
the 30-day Armstrong I trial: "[Mary Sue Hubbard] was the head
of the Guardian Office for years and among other things, authored
the infamous order 'GO 121669' which directed culling of
supposedly confidential P.C. files/folders for the purposes of
internal security." "The practice of culling supposedly
confidential 'P.C. folders or files' to obtain information for
purposes of intimidation and/or harassment is repugnant and
outrageous. The Guardian's Office, which plaintiff [Mary Sue
Hubbard] headed, was no respector of anyone's civil rights,
particularly that of privacy."

[4] This Royal Courts of Justice case, known as Re: B and G
Wards
resulted in a Judgment on July 23,
1984 issued by Justice Latey in favor of the non-Scientologist
parent. The Judgment, which was upheld on appeal, contained a
scathing condemnation of organization policies and practices.

4

 

Scientology, and I told Kluge that I couldn't change my plans.

    7. When I returned from the UK, where, incidentally, I had

been harassed by a pack of English private investigators working

for the organization, Kluge reestablished contact, and I

communicated with him or Sherman several times over the next few

months. I was happy to be in communication with them, because

I'm happy to be in communication with anyone, and my relationship

with the Loyalists, who were admitted Scientologists, seemed a

spark of hope in the seemingly hopeless and threatening

Scientology situation.

    8. I have believed and stated that when Scientologists

have the freedom to communicate to the people their leaders label

"enemies," Scientology will cease to have enemies. The

organization's leaders prohibit their minions from communicating

with me, thus I am their enemy. This prohibition is enforced

with severe "ethics" punishment, which could easily include

"declaring" the person who dared to communicate with me a

"suppressive" person, thus making him the target of the

organization's philosophy and practice of opportunistic hatred

Hubbard called "fair game."

    9. I had lost my law office job because of the Armstrong I

trial, which really ran from April into June, 1984, and I did not

get another job for some months, so had considerable time on my


5

 

hands in the fall of 1984 to meet with Sherman and the Loyalists

and do some of the things they wanted. I had begun to draw and

write seriously during this period, and some of my writings

concerned the Scientology battle and the Loyalists. My situation

with the organization and the Loyalists was bizarre and

psychologically traumatic, and this is reflected in my writings

of the period. Thanks to, I believe, my growing faith in God I

was given the gift of a healthy sense of humor and that too is a

facet of my communications and writings during the period.

    10. In late July, 1984 the organization fed to the media

the story, and filed papers in various court cases, including

Armstrong I, charging, that Michael Flynn, who had fought the

organization's fair game tactics for five years, who had been my

friend and attorney for two years and had just successfully

defended me in the Armstrong I trial, was behind a plot to cash

a forged check for $2,000,000.00 on one of Hubbard's accounts at

the Bank of New England. Sherman and Kluge communicated that the

Loyalists knew Flynn was not involved, and that the organization

leaders knew Flynn was uninvolved but were framing him with the

forgery. The Loyalists said that they were working inside the

organization to acquire the proof of the frame-up, and that when

they proved Flynn's innocence they would be in a position to

effectuate the reforms they sought. This was fine with me,

because I fully believed that Flynn was innocent, and that the

organization was framing him just to be able to attack him to

eliminate the threat he represented to its antisocial practices

6

 

and nature.

    11. Over the next few months Sherman and Kluge communicated

with me regularly about the Loyalists' progress in documenting

the truth about the Flynn frame-up. They claimed that all staff

were searched before they could leave OSA or management offices,

so it was hard to get any documents out. Nevertheless, on a

couple of occasions Sherman and Joey gave me a page or two that

had been smuggled out. I learned that a US Attorney in Boston

had become involved in the investigation of the frame-up, and I

passed whatever I got from the Loyalists to him through Flynn.

    12. One of the ideas which developed with the Loyalists in

the early fall of 1984 was the possible filing of a lawsuit to

take control of the organization from the "criminals." I saw

this as an idea with merit, and could be the effective action the

Loyalists said they were looking for to avert a major

organization tragedy. I told Flynn what they wanted and he

drafted a "bare bones" complaint which I passed to them.

Sherman, Kluge and I discussed the lawsuit concept on several

occasions, both of them asking me for my ideas and I helped as I

could within the limits of my knowledge, ability and imagination.

    13. The Loyalists then began discussing with me finding a

financial "backer" for their lawsuit, basing this need on the

likelihood that the bringing of the suit would freeze

organization accounts, and the Loyalists would need operating

capital. They claimed that the leaders had lots of money they

had skimmed from the organization and squirreled away in their

7

 

own bank accounts, and the Loyalists were all staff members and

thus broke. I couldn't help them with money, and knew of no one

who might finance whatever they did, so they said that, because I

understood the situation so well, and had a proven record, they

wanted me to talk to and encourage some prospective backers with

whom they were in touch. One day I got a call from Kluge, asking

me to fly to Las Vegas to meet with such a person, a "rich

Scientologist" who had been mistreated by the organization and

was aligned with the Loyalists on their goal of reformation.

Although on Kluge's instructions I purchased a plane ticket, I

called off the trip before leaving because my lawyers warned me

that I could be walking into a trap.

    14. There were many times during this period when I

considered the possibility that I was walking into a trap. The

thought arose in all my meetings with Kluge, and later with Mike

Rinder, the second Loyalist I would meet. Their communications

often didn't jibe with what they or Sherman had said on earlier

occasions, and sometimes they said things which were downright

stupid. I had no way of originating a communication to them, had

no telephone numbers, no locations, no names, and no idea what

any of them did. They had my address, phone number, knew exactly

what I did, and could call me any time they wanted. They told me

almost nothing, and wanted to know everything I knew. They

claimed I had to be kept in the dark because of their fear for

their lives, and for that reason I went along with their, even to

me, strange behavior.

8

 

    15. Because of their fear for their lives they depended on

secrecy, duplicity and intelligence procedures and goals.

Although I had been in intelligence in the organization and had

the essential quality for the field; i.e., native intelligence, I

had, after leaving the organization, come to the conclusion that

Scientology's brand of intelligence; i.e., the secret world of

data, duplicity, stealth, hidden intentions and hidden

identities, was ineffective, unhealthy, unholy, and not my choice

for how I would make my way through life and deal with my

problems. Even inside the organization, which is an

intelligence-based group, I had urged those who were in positions

to do something about it to open up, stop lying, disclose its

leaders, divulge its secrets; because I felt that its lies,

secrets, and secret orders from its secret leaders would only

bring upon it more problems. After leaving the organization, a

factor in my life which led to my faith in openness and freedom

as opposed to secrecy and leverage, was all the testifying I did,

in trial in Armstrong I and in B & G Wards, and in many days of

depositions in several more Scientology-related cases. Also I

knew that the organization's leaders, who had an undeniable

determination to harm me, possessed my pc folders which contained

every embarrassing incident or thought in my life, and my lives

back umpteen impossibillion years. These facts had resulted in a

tendency in me at times during this period to not care what

happened to me and to act a little wild and silly.

    16. Sometime during 1984 it came to me that what I was

9

 

following, and what was a far superior technology and faith than

intelligence, or perhaps perfect intelligence, was guidance. I

had been given, before and after my asking, a desire to know my

Creator, and I believe I received during this period some of His

communications to me. Hubbard in his writings put no faith in

his Creator, but put it in something of his own making, an

intelligence apparatus in which he was the secret leader with

secret bank accounts, secret communication lines, secret codes,

secret intentions, and secret lawyers to keep them all secret. I

had come to know God a little, and understood that no matter how

scary things got I was in hands in which I was in no real danger.

I could be shot, my body could be destroyed, I could be defamed

and ruined, and I would still be in no real danger. And things

did get scary for me in my dealings with Sherman and the

Loyalists during this period. I picked up surveillance on a

number of occasions, and there was the nagging strangeness of the

Loyalists' communications and the movie-like quality of this play

in which I was being played with. I still retained my intellect

and acted with good sense most of the time, but a shift was

occurring in my mind and soul. I began to walk deliberately into

danger, but I was also new at this approach to life, and as yet a

little foolhardy and undisciplined, and these facts too are

reflected in my writings and actions of the period.

    17. Sherman's and Kluge's interest was intelligence and

they didn't want to hear much of my philosophy of guidance,

courage and openness, so I turned my mind to the intelligence

10

 

game, and as always happens when I turn my mind to any subject, I

had ideas. Some of these ideas I communicated to the Loyalists,

some I wrote down, some were only funny. Our meetings had a

secretive, spy story feel to them, partly because of the danger

the Loyalists said they were in and the danger I was in anyone

would say, partly because of the subject matter we discussed, and

partly because of the settings in which we met. Sherman insisted

that I couldn't come to his home, so we met on many occasions in

the bird sanctuary in Griffith Park. My first meeting with Kluge

was in a cemetery in Glendale. I met him two more times in early

November at different locations in Griffith Park, and then met

with Rinder two times in late November at two more locations in

the park.

    18. Sherman told me around October, 1984 that the Loyalists

had found a potential backer, a woman named Rene, another "rich

Scientologist," who he said had been horribly hurt by the

organization. He said he knew her personally and considered her

a good and trusted friend. He said that she owned a publishing

company which printed calendars, that he had told her about my

artwork and writing, and that she wanted to see some of my

materials for possible publication. Following our first meeting

in Griffith Park Kluge took me to the Sheraton Grand Hotel in

downtown Los Angeles to meet her. I took along a file of some of

my work and left it with her. In my meeting with her she wanted

to know my perspective on the lawsuit idea and my thoughts on

removing the organization's criminal leadership.

11

 

    19. While claiming that the Loyalists wanted to take legal

action to bring about a safe transfer of power, both Sherman and

Kluge also claimed that they didn't know anything about legal

matters, nor any of the organization's litigations, and that

there were other people higher up in the Loyalist network who

were trained in legal, stayed abreast of the organization's

litigation battles, and had an understanding of the Loyalists'

legal options and an overview of their plan which Sherman and

Kluge didn't have. Coupled with their claimed need to keep me in

the dark for fear of their lives, their assertions of ignorance

of legal matters caused considerable frustration in me and in our

communications. As a result, I requested in a number of

communications to speak to their "best legal mind."

    20. Finally the Loyalists said that their legal expert

would meet me and a rendezvous was set up, again in Griffith

Park. The "legal expert" turned out to be Mike Rinder, a person

I had known in the organization, who had held various lower level

administrative posts. Rinder, it turned out, also professed

ignorance of legal concepts, and my meetings and communications

with him were even more frustrating.

    21. Some time after my last meeting with Rinder, which

occurred November 30, 1984, I received a phone call from Kluge,

advising me that the Loyalists did not trust me and would not be

communicating with me again. I then wrote them my final

communication, a copy of which is appended hereto as Exhibit [A],

and gave it to Sherman to give to them.

12

 

    22. During my cross-examination in the spring, 1985 trial

of Julie Christofferson v. Scientology, Circuit Court of the

State of Oregon, Multnomah County, No. A7704-05184, the

organization broke the fact that Sherman, Kluge and Rinder had

been covert operatives, the Loyalists were invented, and that my

meetings with Kluge and Rinder had been videotaped. The

organization called the whole more than two year affair the

"Armstrong Operation." Organization lawyers, Earle Cooley and

John Peterson, claimed the Armstrong operation had

been authorized by the Los Angeles Police Department, and they

produced a letter dated November 7, 1984, a copy of which is

appended hereto as Exhibit [B], signed by an officer

Phillip Rodriguez, directing organization private investigator Eugene M.

Ingram to electronically eavesdrop on me and Michael Flynn.

    23. On April 23, 1985, Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F.

Gates issued a public statement, a copy of which is appended

hereto as Exhibit [C], denying that the Rodriguez letter was a

correspondence from the Los Angeles Police Department, denying

that the Los Angeles Police Department had cooperated with

Ingram, and stating emphatically that all purported

authorizations directed to Ingram by any member of the Los

Angeles Police Department are invalid and unauthorized. On

information and belief, the officer, Phillip Rodriguez, who

signed Ingram's letter was paid $10,000.00 for his signature.

Also on information and belief, following a Los Angeles Police

Department Internal Affairs Division investigation and a Police

13

 

Department Board of Rights, Officer Rodriguez was suspended from

the Los Angeles Police Force. Eugene Ingram had himself some

years before been drummed out of the Los Angeles Police

Department. He is reputed to have been busted for pandering and

taking payoffs from drug dealers. He is a liar and a bully who

has been involved in organization intelligence operations against

its perceived enemies for many years. During the period I was

involved with the Loyalists Ingram called me at my home and

threatened to put a bullet between my eyes.

    24. Initially the presiding judge in the Christofferson

trial Donald F. Londer refused to admit the tapes because they

had been obtained illegally. Then he viewed them in chambers and

when he returned to the bench stated that "the tapes are

devastating, very devastating to the church." Then he admitted them

into evidence.

    25. Despite Judge Londer's ruling and comments, and despite

Chief Gates' repudiation of the Rodriguez "authorization," the

organization has continued in press and courts around the world

to claim that the videotape operation was "police- sanctioned."

The organization has continued to claim that I originated the

"plot to overthrow " church" management" and that I initiated the

contact with the organization members, who merely played along

with my plan while remaining "loyal" to the organization. It

also has continued to claim that the videotapes show me plotting

to forge documents and seed them in organization files to be

found in a raid, show me creating "sham lawsuits," show me urging

14

 

the Loyalists to not prove anything but "just allege it," and

show me seeking to take control of the organization. The

videotapes show none of those things. The tapes show that in the

fall of 1984, during the reign of the organization's present

supreme leader David Miscavige (DM), the fair game doctrine was

alive and as unfair as ever. The tapes show a mean-spirited,

mendacious and malevolent organization using well-drilled

operatives and electronic gadgetry to attempt, unsuccessfully, to

set up an unwitting, funny, sometimes silly, clearly helpful, at

times foul-mouthed, but otherwise ordinary human male.

    26. The organization's refusal to stop telling these lies

is not surprising, however, because its leaders have put so many

of their eggs in their dirty tricks basket. These leaders are

unbalanced and in a very precarious situation. Having lied about

the Armstrong Operation in so many courts and publications and to

so many people, including their own followers, these leaders risk

their positions of power, and in their minds their very lives, if

they ever admit the breadth of those lies. Yet it is in the

acknowledgement of the truth behind those lies where ultimately

their safety will be found.

    27. It has not ceased to be embarrassing to me whenever the

organization trots out the Armstrong videotapes, because I do say

some silly and raunchy things. But the organization has never

been able to embarrass me into silence and it won't now.

    28. The Scientology legal war has almost run its course.

The organization's leaders can never rewrite all history.

15

 

Scientologists of good will everywhere can be free.

    I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the

State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

    Executed at San Anselmo, California, on February 20, 1994.

 

[signed]
GERALD ARMSTRONG

Copyright © 1994 Gerry Armstrong

16

 

 


Exhibit [A]
Letter to the Loyalists

Exhibit [B]
Rodriguez " Authorization"

Exhibit [C]
Police Chief Daryl Gates Public Announcement

 

 

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