Talk about commitment. A former Church of Scientology investigator was required to contract himself to a group linked with the organization for one billion years, according to documents recently posted to whistleblower website Wikileaks.
Of course, the employee was completely lucid when he made the promise to the CoS-related group known as the Sea Organization, but just in case, his employment contract contained the following recital:
I, Frank Oliver DO HEREBY AGREE to enter into employment with the Sea Organization and, being of sound mind, do fully realize and agree to abide by its purpose which is to get ETHICS IN on this PLANET AND THE UNIVERSE and, fully and without reservations, subscribe to the discipline, mores and conditions of this group and pledge to abide by them.
THEREFORE, I CONTRACT MYSELF TO THE SEA ORGANIZATION FOR THE NEXT BILLION YEARS.
The Reg has so far been unable to confirm the authenticity of the 208 pages of documents, but if legit, they're likely to cause a stir within the CoS. For more than a decade, lawyers for the ultra secret organization. have excelled at getting embarrassing material removed from online forums, usually on the grounds that internal documents quoted in them violate CoS copyright and trade secret protections.
But recent events suggest the legal eagles may not be so successful this time around.
Last month, attorneys for Bank of Julius Baer raised similar concerns in arguing why Wikileaks should be shut down for posting documents that included confidential information about some of the bank's customers. They suffered a stunning defeat when the US federal judge hearing the case said the First Amendment probably barred their request. A few days later Julius Baer dropped the suit.
Wikileaks has gone to great lengths to decentralize its website operations so opponents can't easily shut them down. More than a half dozen domain names, including Wikileaks.org, Wikileaks.be and Wikileaks.cx lead to the same site, providing a fair amount of redundancy in the event any one of them is disabled. And the site's Sweden-based host, PRQ has plenty of experience providing bullet-proof service.
Wikileaks' CoS package purports to contain memos and other documents Oliver received while working in the Office of Special Affairs, which performs public relations damage control for the CoS. They read like a cross between Sun Tzu's Art of War and a Richard Nixon strategy memo on dealing with a hostile press.
"Never treat a war like a skirmish," the documents advise. "Treat all skirmishes like wars."
According to a Manual of Justice CoS officials responding to negative magazine articles should "hire a private detective of a national-type firm to investigate the writer, not the magazine, and get any criminal or Communist background the man has." The officials should then use the information to "write a very tantalizing letter" and ask the reporter to come in for a meeting.
"If he comes, ask him to sign a confession of collusion and slander - people at that level often will, just to commit suicide - and publish it in a paid ad in a paper if you get it," the manual, which was purportedly written by CoS founder L. Ron Hubbard states. "Chances are he won't arrive. But he'll sure shudder into silence."
At one point, the documents provide instructions, along with frequent flyer phone numbers for major airlines, so investigators can obtain the travel itineraries of enemies by calling pretending to inquire about their current status. At another, they name some 7,000 organizations and individuals who are "suppressive persons and suppressive groups."
"The purpose of the Department of Special Affairs is to accomplish total acceptance of Scientology and its Founder throughout the area," the documents explain. "Finally, the Department of Special Affairs takes responsibility for cleaning up the rotten spots of society in order to create a safer and saner environment for Scientology expansion and for all mankind." ®