Cult of Scientology Crimes in Canada
“Between 1974 and 1976, Scientologists secured employment with government agencies perceived to be enemies of the Church, and signed oaths of secrecy as public officials. In breach of their oaths of office, they then took copies of confidential documents from the agencies that employed them and provided them to the Church of Scientology of Toronto. The appellant, Jacqueline Matz, was a “Case Officer” and “Director of Operations”, and was responsible for supervising the agents who had been planted in the various government agencies and other organizations.”
The Crown v. Church of Scientology of Toronto was a 1992 Canadian case in which seven members were convicted and the Church of Scientology became the only Canadian religious organization to be convicted for breaching the public trust. The Church of Scientology was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.
Investigation into the Church of Scientology’s activities in Ontario was begun when stolen documents from public and private agencies as well as information on other covert activities in Canada turned up as part of the evidence collected in the Operation Snow White case in the U.S.
It was during this case that the events that spawned the case of Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto occurred. The Church of Scientology held a press conference on courthouse steps and had someone, in a barrister’s gown, read from a speech prepared by the Church of Scientology in which they wanted to press charges against a Crown attorney who, they alleged, “had misled a judge and had breached orders sealing certain documents belonging to Scientology”.
The case was appealed in 1996 before the Court of Appeal for Ontario by the Church of Scientology and one of the individual defendants, Jacqueline Matz. The appellants advanced numerous grounds of appeal, some of which were abandoned at the hearing, and the remainder of which were rejected by the Court (1996 CanLII 1650 (ON C.A.)).
In Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto, Justice Casey Hill, at that time a Crown attorney involved in the R. v. Church of Scientology of Toronto case, sued and won CAD$1,600,000 for libel, the largest libel damage award in Canadian history. During the case, it was shown that a file had been kept on him as an “Enemy Canada.” In their decision (1995), the Supreme Court of Canada found:
“In this case, there was ample evidence upon which the jury could properly base their finding of aggravated damages. The existence of the file on Casey Hill under the designation “Enemy Canada” was evidence of the malicious intention of Scientology to “neutralize” him. The press conference was organized in such a manner as to ensure the widest possible dissemination of the libel. Scientology continued with the contempt proceedings although it knew its allegations were false. In its motion to remove Hill from the search warrant proceedings, it implied that he was not trustworthy and might act in those proceedings in a manner that would benefit him in his libel action. It pleaded justification or truth of its statement when it knew it to be false. It subjected Hill to a demeaning cross-examination and, in its address to the jury, depicted Hill as a manipulative actor.”
Lying, malicious conspiracy, baseless defamation, stealing, becoming the only religious group in Canada to ever be convicted for breaching the public trust, and being on the losing end of the largest libel damage award in Canadian history. How very churchly of the cult…
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