On this episode of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know, Ben Bowlin and Matt Frederick talk about the “single largest proven infiltration of the U.S. government” on record, Operation Snow White. This legitimate and real conspiracy was perpetrated by the Church of Scientology, and though several people involved were convicted and sent to prison, the Church maintains that they were acting of their own accord. The guys go over a quick history of the Church of Scientology, then dive into the operation itself. The founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, first started publishing books with the seeds of the principles of the Church as far back as 1938, but it was his Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health book, published in 1950, that really laid the foundation. By 1954, the Church of Scientology was incorporated in California and Arizona and granted tax-exempt status by the government.
As early as 1960, L. Ron Hubbard wanted the Church to infiltrate the government through legal means, such as having members get secretarial or security positions within various departments. He called it the “Snow White Program,” saying it was about correcting the misinformation put out about Scientology to deter membership. “But the question is, was it really about correcting ‘false government reports’ about the Church, its leader, and its members?” Ben asks. “Or was it just information they didn’t like?” Whatever the reason, the Guardian’s Office, which is the highest-level office in the Church and tasked with protecting the interests of the Church, decided to take matters into their own hands.
Through wire-tapping, breaking and entering, stealing official documents, and planting false documents, they hoped to erase any evidence of wrongdoing by the Church, L. Ron Hubbard, or any of their high-level members, as well as plant false information in order to make a mockery of American national security. While the U.S. was the prime target, this operation actually spanned 30 countries; documents were even stolen from INTERPOL. Eleven members of the Guardian’s Office, including L. Ron Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue, were convicted and sent to prison for five years. How did they do it? What’s their official message on this? Were they actually facing serious religious persecution that justifies this kind of action? And who else is capable of infiltrating the government to this degree? Ben and Matt get into all this and more on this episode of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know.
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