Declaration of Gerald Armstrong

Armstrong 1

1. I am the defendant and cross-complainant in the case of Church of Scientology of California v. Armstrong, Case No. 420153.

2. I am making this Declaration to support a motion to have plaintiff deliver to me my "auditing" and "ethics" files, now in its or a connected organization’s possession.

3. During the process of "auditing" in Scientology, a person being "audited," hereafter referred to as "penitent, " communicates to the clergyman, counselor, or therapist, hereafter referred to as "auditor," his innermost thoughts and relates incidents from his life which are emotionally charged, embarrassing or for which he could be blackmailed. The auditor writes down what the penitent says in "auditing reports." The auditor demands and records details such as time and place when an incident occurred, who was present, who knew about the incident, their relationship to the penitent and their address or general location. These "auditing reports" form, along with the auditor’s notes and instructions made after the auditing sessions, the penitent’s auditing files. My auditing files are from approximately one thousand hours of auditing and total over two feet in height. These are the files, along with my "ethics" files, and any copies, notes or excerpts from these files, that I seek to have delivered to me.

4. When I became involved with Scientology, and when I joined the Sea Organization, I did so in part because of the promises made to me that auditing reports and statements made during auditing were to be absolutely confidential between


auditor and penitent. I was told that these statements were treated like the confessions of Catholics to their priests, that they would never be passed on to others and would not be used against the penitent. I was never told of use of auditing information by the hierarchy of Scientology against penitents, nor of the fact that the hierarchy and the intelligence bureau personnel of Scientology had complete access to auditing files. My learning of the actual use to which auditing information is put was a major factor in my leaving the organization. The fact that the organization refuses to turn over my personal records by claiming they are "protected" by the "clergyman-penitent privilege" which they have for decades ignored and abused, is a situation designed by Scientology to bring about my emotional disintegration.

5. I seek the delivery to me of my personal auditing and ethics files for a number of reasons. They are my property because they are my statements made as a penitent. As such, they are protected by the "clergyman-penitent privilege." Yet, I cannot exert the privilege, and stop the organization’s use of these files as long as they remain in Scientology’s possession.

I seek an understanding from these records of what happened to me during my thirteen years of involvement with Scientology. There are aspects of the mind control by Hubbard and the organization which as yet elude me. I worked over eleven years, virtually without pay and doing things as directed by Hubbard and the organization that no sane person would do. I feel that my auditing records will shed a great deal of light on this subject. My emotional stability I feel was damaged by


Scientology, both while inside and by the attacks on me after leaving, and the continued possession of my personal auditing records and violation of my rights does not allow any emotional healing. The organization or Hubbard and his agents will use the information from my personal auditing files against me, both in and out of the legal arena. I seek to prevent Hubbard and the organization from this abusive action. Hubbard and the organization have labelled me their "enemy" and a "suppressive person" (or one of the 2 1/2 percent most evil people in the world). They do not consider me a friend, and their motivation for retaining my  personal auditing files is not friendship or interest in my welfare. They actively seek my destruction.

6. During my years of involvement with Hubbard and Scientology I learned by direct observation how the organization uses penitents’ "confidential" auditing information.. While working in the Guardian’s Office and L. Ron Hubbard’s Communications Bureau, I coded and decoded telexes which contained such information gleaned from auditing files. The information came from the Guardian’s Office (or Intelligence Bureau), and without the knowledge of the penitents. The transmitted information dealt mainly with the penitents’ sexual activities, their family, drug use, criminal activity in their past, " buttons" (things which could be used to exert control over the penitents), and things for which the penitents could be blackmailed. In 1980 and 1981 I learned from Guardian’s Office operatives that because of its social unacceptability and legal problems they could no longer use auditing information directly. Instead, they gleaned the information from auditing files then


sought out "third parties" or created "third parties" who could provide the same information. Since the auditing reports contained the time and place where incidents occurred, and who was present or knew about the incident, this was relatively easy to do. In 1980 I was asked by a GO operative to "verify" information taken from the auditing files of Tonja Burden, a young girl then considered an "enemy" of Scientology. The operative knew details from Ms. Burden’s "confidential" files and related these to me to see if I could be the "third party" to "provide" the information in a declaration or as a witness.

7. A number of times during my involvement with Scientology I was ordered, either by Intelligence Bureau personnel or Hubbard’s personal agents, to cull usable information from penitents’ auditing files. The  information culled was written or typed into lists and kept by the GO or Hubbard’s agents separate from the auditing files. This was standard practice with anyone who requested to leave or did leave the organization or was considered in any way a "threat." Undoubtedly it has already occurred with my "confidential" files. The classes of information I was ordered to extract from auditing reports were: anything concerning the penitents’ sexual activities, including time, place, form, event and names and addresses of all sexual partners; any involvement with drugs, including time, place, form, event and names of anyone else involved; any criminal activities with complete details; anything for which the penitents could be blackmailed; any  information on family members, friends, associates, connections. In short, the information sought by the GO and Hubbard’s personal agents was


intelligence data exactly like that sought and used by the KGB or the Gestapo.

8. Only in 1982, after leaving Hubbard’s personal staff and the Sea Organization did I find that the practices regarding the use of "confidential" auditing files for intelligence purposes existed as written policy long before I joined the Sea Organization. In a Guardian’s Order dated December 16, 1969, entitled PROGRAMME: INTELLIGENCE: INTERNAL SECURITY, Mary Sue Hubbard, then directly responsible to L. Ron Hubbard, wrote:


1. This Programme is to be done by the Asst. Guardian or the D/A/Guardian for Intelligence, if this post is held separately.

2. To establish intelligence files on all such persons found to be infiltrators, double agents, and disaffected staff members, Scientologists and relatives of Scientologists.


1. To make full use of all files on the organization to effect your major target. These include personnel files, Ethics files, Dead files, Central files, training files, processing files and requests for refunds.

2. To assemble full data by investigation of each person located for possible use in case of attack or for use in preventing any attack and to keep files of such." (GO 121689 MSH, attached hereto as Attachment 1.)


If I had known of this policy and practice in 1969 I would never have become involved with Scientology.

9. The public statement by Hubbard and the Scientology organizations is that the purpose of auditing is to free individuals. Yet the real use to which auditing is put is to entrap and control individuals. Many of the people in Scientology are Hubbard’s unwitting dupes; they believe that, to some degree at least, their participation in the covert and illegal use of confidential auditing files has something to do with freeing individuals. Hubbard’s personal writings during the period of his creation of Dianetics and Scientology, however, reveal a completely different and very non-altruistic motivation.  In these writings, now under seal in the Court, Hubbard wrote that he would control this sector of the Universe, that all men will bow down to his will, and that he has the right to use men’s minds. There are approximately two hundred pages of such writings presently under seal. These reveal Hubbard’s intent to control people, his utter disregard for individuals’ rights and his meglomania. The illegal use to which he and his organization have put and do put penitents’ statements, made in confidence, fit with the pattern of Hubbard’s life and his mental state as shown in the sealed documents.

10. Hubbard’s and Scientology’s attorneys are knowing or unknowing participants in the illegal use of "confidential" penitents’ files. Plaintiff’s attorney, Karl Kohlweck, in refusing to produce my "ethics" file stated:

". . . ‘ethics’ files of parishioners of the Church of Scientology contain information


derived from confidential communications between the parishioners and ministers of the Church. Plaintiff Church of Scientology of California asserts the priest-penitent privilege with respect to the contents of such files." (Response to Defendant’s First Request for Production of Documents attached hereto as Attachment 2.)

Besides being ludicrous–the "Church" asserting the privilege for the penitent when the penitent himself is requesting the files–it is a clear example of obstruction of justice and abuse of the justice system. In my deposition of August 18, 1982, Mr. Kohlweck asked a series of questions which began:

"Q      Mr. Armstrong, isn’t it a fact that during December of 1977 there was dispatch concerning you, that you were approved for duty at the S. U. or Special Unit, provided you were not ever to be on C.M.O. or Commodore Staff Guardian lines nor at any time on G.O. lines, Guardian’s Office lines, or any position senior to Messenger? Are you aware of such a dispatch?" (Deposition of Gerald Armstrong taken August 18, 1982, p.208, attached hereto as Attachment 3.)

The " dispatch" Mr. Kohlweck appears to know in such detail I know to be from my "ethics" file. From not only this instance, but from a very long experience with Scientology, it is clear to me that the priest-penitent privilege means nothing to Hubbard or


the Scientologists he controls, other than as a vehicle to prevent the penitent from exerting his privilege, and at the same time selectively using the information from the files not relinquished to the penitent because they are "privileged." It is the penitent’s privilege; it most certainly is not the organization’s. It is just this sort of convoluted perversion of the law and the individual’s rights which has been Hubbard’s modus operandi for more than thirty years.

11. My attorney has written CSC, requesting delivery to me of my " auditing" files and "ethics" files. The organization has not even responded, yet they have claimed these files are protected by the priest-penitent privilege. Evidence Code Section 1033 states:

Privilege of Penitent: "Subject to Section 912, a penitent, whether or not a party, has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, a penitential communication if he claims the privilege."

Section 912 deals with waiver of privilege. I do not waive the privilege, and in fact insist upon it. The only way I can exert the privilege and prevent CSC or Hubbard from disclosing my "penitential communications" is to have the "auditing" and "ethics" files, and all copies delivered to me. Yet CSC and Hubbard refuse, claiming "priest-penitent" privilege, which is my privilege, not theirs.

12. Hubbard has set the organization’s policy regarding lawsuits:

"The law can be used very easily to harass,


and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly." (Level " 0? Checksheet by L. Ron Hubbard, attached hereto as Attachment 4.)

It is very clear that the refusal to deliver to me my "auditing" and " ethics" files, which have no possible legal use to Hubbard or the organization, is simply harassment. Hubbard’s directed harassment of me has put me "on the thin edge" as he intended. I am deeply disturbed by the abuses and harassment by Hubbard and the people he controls and their desire to ruin me utterly.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this 18th day of December 1983 at Costa Mesa, California.