Monday November 19th 1984 - Clearwater Sun (Florida) Author George Wayne Shelor:
It was just before midnight, May 28, 1984, when the orders were issued. Confidentially.
"Mission information: ... recent reports from contacts made with Homer he is likely to go over to the enemy camp. He is thinking of turning against us completely.
"Mission purpose: To prevent Homer from going over to the enemy camp and get him moving back onto The Bridge.
"Vital Targets: ... Stay in close comm (communication) with MSN OPS (mission operations). Do not implement any decisions without having them cleared. Do whatever is needed to achieve the MSN (mission) purpose."
The mission—as described in an internal Church of Scientology directive marked "Confidential"—was a sect operation to stop a defected high-ranking Scientology official from testifying against the Clearwater-based organization in court.
The mission failed.
And "Homer," actually Howard D. Schomer, eventually testified against the Church of Scientology in California Superior Court. The result of that trial was a far-reaching condemnation of Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
The sect orders and affiliated documents, copies of which the Clearwater Sun has obtained and verified as authentic, are, in ways, similar to internal sect papers seized in government raids in past years.
They are written in sect jargon and codes and specify the drills, briefings, targets and parameters of the "mission." The documents relating to Schomer neither order nor imply any illegal activities.
But it is clear, from the language of the documents, that the Church of Scientology will go to great lengths to keep its secrets secret.
Homer Schomer fled the Church of Scientology in December 1982, after 13 years as a valued and influential member.
"I was frightened because I didn't know what was happening and terrified of what they could do to me," Schomer said of his defection during an interview with he Sun last week.
Schomer, 49, had for years been a member of Hubbard's elite "Sea Org," and by early 1982 had become the treasury secretary of the sect's Author Services Inc., a for-profit organization created and controlled by Hubbard, according to court documents.
As treasury secretary, Schomer said he was responsible for bank accounts, audits of Hubbard's assets, financial records and the monitoring of investments.
And in a multimillion dollar suit he recently filed against Hubbard, ASI and others, Schomer claims he discovered in the course of his duties that Hubbard and ASI "skimmed millions of dollars from the
Scientology Organizations," "laundered" money through a law firm, and that Hubbard "diverted over 100 million dollars from Scientology organizations to bank accounts controlled by him."
Schomer said he became disillusioned with the organization, and after much thought, left the Church of Scientology.
At about the same time—in late 1982—another former high-ranking official was preparing to defend himself in court on theft charges brought by the sect which claimed he had stolen papers and documents belonging to Hubbard.
Gerald Armstrong, the sect's former archivist, who had been part of a Hubbard biography project, also had become fearful and fled the organization.
When he did, he took with him thousands of letters, photographs and assorted documents which he believed showed Hubbard and his organization were not what they claimed to be.
And on the afternoon of May 28, 1984, Armstrong called Schomer in Boulder, Colo, and asked if he would testify at his Los Angeles trial.
"Armstrong called me on Monday (to ask me to testify) but I didn't give him any encouragement ... I was still in a state of fear," Schomer recalled of his first contact with Armstrong about the trial, which had already entered its third week.
"I had signed, under pressure, a document at ASI stating I would reveal nothing about what I knew, and I wasn't sure how binding it actually was. So I hadn't made up my mind of what to do."
Schomer said be spoke to no one about Armstrong's call, and was at a loss to explain the timing of a visit two days later by Scientologists from Clearwater.
Milt and Laura Wolfe, close friends of Schomer, were the "mission personnel" assigned to travel from Clearwater to Boulder to keep Schomer from "being a witness in the Armstrong case," according to the internal directive.
The orders sending the Wolfes to Colorado were issued at 11:24 p.m. on Monday, May 28, just hours after Armstrong called Schomer. The Wolfes arrived Wednesday.
"During the trial when it appeared that Homer Schomer might be called as defense witness, the Church engaged in a somewhat sophisticated effort to supress his testimony," noted Superior Court Judge Paul G. Breckenridge at the conclusion of the trial. "It is not clear how the Church became aware of defense intentions to call Mr. Schomer as a witness, but it is abundantly clear they sought to entice him back into the fold and prevent his testimony."
"When they (the Wolfes) first arrived, they didn't even mention my going to 'the enemy camp,'" Schomer said. "But during our talks things came up about my feelings about Hubbard. And their philosophy was:
'What difference does it make what he's done or what he's doing. Look what he's I done for mankind,' meaning the technology he has supposedly developed.
"And I asked how they could explain his psychotic behavior, irrational orders and his skimming money off the church, which they probably weren't aware of anyway since they weren't in ASI.
"Anyway, as friends they really couldn't pressure me," Schomer said of the Wolfes' low-key approach. "They were just trying to use the friendship approach."
Schomer said he struggled with his conscience for three days, talking with his friends and mulling over his reasons for leaving the world-wide sect. He was unable to make a decision until he received a phone call Friday, June 1.
"I was in the other room when the phone rang and Milt answered it for me," Schomer recalled. "The party asked to speak to Homer and Milt asked who was calling."
The caller identified himself as Michael Flynn. Flynn was Armstrong's lawyer and a Boston attorney who represented a number of former Scientologists. As such, had been declared an "enemy" of the Church of Scientology.
"I decided to go public after talking with Flynn," Schomer said. "I started thinking that I'd better come out to protect myself ... I wanted to make things known that I knew but others didn't.
"I felt I was a respected entity in the Scientology world and that it would mean something, or at least put a question in the minds of other Scientologists."
Schomer appeared at the Armstrong trial and testified to "the credibility of Hubbard and to his control of everything for as long as I knew him."
"There wasn't anything he wasn't involved with ... he signed everything from the menu of the day to financial planning orders," he recalled of his years aboard Hubbard's boat, the Apollo.
"The same thing was still occurring when I left ASI in 1982 ... I still received weekly communications from him. And the PR (public relations) thing about his resigning in 1966 was just balderdash. Hubbard was in control."
Scientology officials refused last week to entertain specific questions about the document and operation, nor would they let a Sun reporter speak with the Wolfes.
Instead, sect spokesman Michael O'Brien said in a letter that "what occurred was that Milt and Laura went to Homer's house to try to salvage that spiritual being. But rather than accepting their help, and while they were guests in his home, Homer went into their personal belongings and stole their private property.
"His motive was to make a quick dollar if he could."
Schomer's fears of retribution, and those of others who have spoken out against Scientology, were not without valid grounds, according the Judge Breckenridge.
In his ruling—which exonorated Armstrong of theft and invasion of privacy charges—Breckenridge called Schomer's testimony "credible (and) extremely persuasive."
"In all critical and important matters (his) testimony was precise, accurate and rang true. Each of these persons (former Scientologists, including Schomer) literally gave years of his ... life in support of a man, LRH (Hubbard), and his ideas," Breckenridge continued.
"Each has manifested a waste and loss or frustration which is incapable of description. Each has broken with the movement ... but is still bound by the knowledge that the church has in its possession his or her most inner thoughts and confessions ... and that the church or its minions is fully capable of intimidation or other physical or psychological abuse if it suits their ends.
"The record is replete with evidence of such abuse."
[Reproduction of Church of Scientology confidential document:]
To : CO OSA INT
From : T/QUAL SEC OSA INT
Via : DCO ALL CLEAR OSA INT
CC : T/QUAL SEC OSA INT
Re : HOMER SHOMER SALVAGE MSNCONFIDENTIALHOMER SHOMER SALVAGE MISSION
MSN PERSONNEL : MILT AND LAURA WOLFE
MSN OPS : KLAUS
PER THE RECENT REPORTS FROM CONTACTS MADE WITH HOMER HE IS LIKELY TO GO OVER TO THE ENEMY CAMP. HE HAS ALREADY BEEN CONTACTED IN REGARDS TO WITNESS IN THE ARMSTRONG CASE. HE IS THINKING OF TURNING US COMPLETELY. SEE DEBRIEF ON PHONECALL FOR FULL DATA.
MISSION PURPOSE: TO PREVENT HOMER FROM GOING OVER TO THE ENEMY CAMP AND GET HIM MOVING BACK ONTO THE BRIDGE.MAJOR TARGET: TO CLEAN HOMER UP WITH STANDARD TECH (AUDITING AND ETHICS AS NEEDED) AND GET HIM GOING ON A PGM WHICH WILL GET HIM BACK ONTO THE BRIDGE.
1. ACCEPT FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS PROJECT.
2. STUDY THE DEBRIEFS ON HOMER SO YOU HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING WHERE THE GUY IS AT.
3. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CERTAINTY ON PR SERIES 18 AND THE PL ON ETHICS JUSTICE AND TIE DYNAMICS.
4. WORK OUT YOUR APPROACH AND DRILL AS NEEDED. GET IT CLEARED BY MSN OPS.
5. DO THE MSN IN CLAY.
6. SET FINAL BRIEFING.
7. GET OPS AND DISAGREEMENT CHECK.
Page one of a two-page Church of Scientology document.