FROM THE FILES OF THE FBI #74
STATEMENT BY FOUNDING CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
WASHINGTON, D.C. ----- January 5, 1963
The seizure of the property and records of our religious
organization, the Founding Church of Scientology, at the
instigation of the Food and Drug Administration of the U.S.
Department of Health, Education and Welfare, is a shocking example
of government bureaucracy gone mad.
It is a direct and frightening attack upon the Constitutional
rights of freedom of religion, freedom of press, and freedom of
Without any prior warning, or opportunity for officials of the
Church to appear in Court for a hearing, a large force of United
States Marshals entered Church premises and seized property and
pamphlets used in the religious work of the Church.
There is no criticism of the Court which issued the seizure
warrant, because it is not apparent from the warrant that the Court
was advised by the government department that the premises and
property of a church were to be entered and seized. Nor is it clear
that the United States Attorney's office was advised by the
Department officials that a church owned or possessed the property
and literature that was seized.
More than two months ago, the Food and Drug Administration
interfered with the delivery to the Church and its affiliated
organizations of the imported scientific instruments which are used
in connection with certain phases of the Church's religious
activities. Protest was made with the Baltimore office of the Food
and Drug Administration, and ample evidence was submitted showing
that the detention of the property was in violation of the law and
the Constitution of the United States. But up to this time the
Church and its attorney have received no administrative ruling,
which could be appealed either within the Department of Health,
Education and Welfare, or to the Courts.
Instead, there has been a subsequent seizure of property,
without notice or prior Court hearing for the Church, such as might
have occurred under Stalin or Khruschev in Russia.
If the legitimate work and activities of one religious
organization can be ruthlessly attacked and violated by one branch
of the United States Government, no other religious organization is
safe from similar or like illegal intrusion and attack. The
question directly raised is: "Are we in America today living under
a Godless government which intends ultimately to destroy all
religions and religious organizations?"
There is nothing in the so-called warrant that was issued to
indicate that the Court was informed ... as it should have been ...
that civil administrative proceedings were pending and had not been
decided. The facts are that the District Office of the Food and
Drug Administration in Chicago had previously ruled against the
seizure or detention of property such as was seized by request of
the same government agency in Washington on January 4th. And
previously another governmental agency, the Customs Bureau, had
made a definite ruling that is in direct conflict with the basic
contention of the Food and Drug Administration on which its seizure
of the Church's property was founded.
Necessarily all the facts will be given to the court, in the
hope and expectation that it will uphold the Constitutional rights
of freedom of religion and expression.
It is also hoped and expected that the Secretary of the
Department of Health, Education and Welfare ... who is of a
different religious faith than the members of the Church of
Scientology ... will give his own, personal consideration of the
facts of the pending case, which involves the Constitutional right
of freedom of religion. It is not too late yet to correct the
excesses of his subordinates, undoubtedly committed without
authorization from him