Count 2: The covert intelligence operations that were initiated in 1994 through the "Greek Handling Program" by the "Office of Special Affairs International," directed by "Office of Special Affairs International" and which included operations against Greek Orthodox priest Father Alevizopoulos and other critics of Scientology in Greece, and infiltration of Greek government agencies.
Contrary to the course of events in France, where police investigations triggered more intelligence operations by the Scientologists, three police raids on June 9th, September 27th and November 6th of 1995 at a Scientology mission in Athens, Greece put at least a legal end to such activities.
At the beginning of the investigation by the police were several complaints, filed by members of the "Pan Hellenic Parents Association" (PEG). The PEG, a union of parents and relatives of cult members, had complained, among other things, that their children had disconnected from them due to the influence of the Scientology organization.
After a negative television documentary on Scientology by the "Teletora" television channel had been aired on May 5th, an investigating judge from the District Court in Athens ordered prosecutor Ioannis Angelis to start an investigation into the activities of Scientology's "Center of Applied Philosophy of Greece" (KEPHE).
Three raids were conducted during the next six months and the police seized about a truck load of material, consisting of Scientology "E-meters," "pc-folders," but also carbon files, computers and floppy discs with encrypted documents from the local "Office of Special Affairs."
Two types of OSA documents were of special interest for the prosecutor:
1. Internal reports that were exchanged between the European and U. S. headquarters of the Office of Special Affairs and the local mission in Athens.
2. Internal dossiers with private and sensible information on Scientology's perceived enemies within Greece.
On top of Scientology's enemies list at that time was Father Anthony Alevizopoulos, an Orthodox priest who was the head of the Synodic Commission on Cults and Para religions. As he was a public critic of Scientology and had contact with ex-Scientologists and parents of current Scientologists, he became a primary target of intelligence operations.
On April 13th, 1994 the so-called "Continents/Sectors Investigations Officer" of the "Office of Special Affairs International" in Los Angeles issued an overall "Greece ARM Handling Program" (ARM = Anti-religious movement) [Exh. No. 298], whose purpose was to investigate any Scientology critic in Greece, primarily Alevizopoulos, and to infiltrate and to intimidate the Greek government by exposing confidential documents to back off from observing Scientology's activities in that country:
"GREECE HANDLING PROGRAM
"In the last year the Greek Orthodox ARM activity in Greece has escalated to a level which warrants immediate attention. ...
"This coordinated multi-bureau program is now written so as to handle this situation. "PROGRAM PURPOSE:
"To get the ARM situation in Greece under control while PR activities are being created, allies are being made and legal is working out on getting the Church recognized as a religious group.
"1. Alevizopoulos and Seraphim [the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church] investigated with crimes exposed. ...
"3. Government comm lines created so as to be able to predict future government attack on religions. ...
"... 2. During the execution of this program, keep coordination in at all times with your DSA PR and with the different Invest, PR and legal terminals at OSA EU. ...
"... 18. Get Public Record Research done on Seraphim and Alevizopoulos. Get this fully researched, including listing the friends and opponents with their names and functions, from newspaper articles, brochures, debrief of visits etc. ...
"19. Get a criminal mind analysis done on Alevizopoulos.
"20. Get a PI to investigate Seraphim and Alevizopoulos as to their personal activities to find out any crimes they are involved in. Ensure that any connection with ARM terminals in Germany are well documented.
"... 23. Utilize the data gotten on invest lines to expose the criminal activities of Alevizopoulos and Seraphim.
"... 27. Set up lines in Greece into the ARM group so that we can identify those involved and work out individual handlings.
"28. In coordination with the Invest and Pred Chf OSA EU, get the Greek Intelligence (KYP) Report translated so it can be exposed and used internationally to embarrass the Greek government and those in the Orthodox Church who are behind this. ... "
A separate program to investigate Alevizopoulos was drawn up on December 20th, 1994 by the European headquarters of OSA in Copenhagen, Denmark [Exh. No. 299]:
"HANDLING PGM: L [Scientology's codename for Alevizopoulos]
"SITUATION: Currently there is a situation here in Athens where priest L was located as the key source to entheta ["entheta" = bad news] on Scn here in Greece. ...
"1. To effectively stop the flow of entheta to the Greek media.
"2. To stop the actions of L to a point where he does not longer create an effect on the Greek field. ... "VITAL TARGETS:
"... 4. Weekly reports and progres [sic] reports as needed to be written and given to the ED as well [as] OSA EU and OSA INT. ...
"... 4. Immediately get at least one or two guys into the L group and make them attend regularly his meetings. They are there only to observe and report in detail what was said, who was there, etc. Take exact notes. ...
"... 7. Find an investigative reporter who can go around and collect data about L. for a special news item, could be positioned in a way that he seems to do an invest on Scn and wants all pertinent data, while in truth he actually searches for other data ... !
"8. Do a full ODC ["Overt Data Collection"] on L. in a new unit of time. Find out everything from public records, i. e. about marriages, convictions, hospital attendance, connections to known criminals, ARM groups etc. be sure to stay legal with this. DO NOT BREAK ANY LAWS.
"9. This could include to observe him for a time period, scan through his garbage etc. be creative here but keep in mind that we must not give him anything that might enable him to attack us. ...
"22. Immediately get with Atty and file as many criminal suits as possible on already known crimes. i. e. slander of the Mission, LRH, Scn ... "
As it was written in the program, the operation was actually a renewed investigation into Alevizopoulos' life. Already in 1993 the Office of Special Affairs had compiled medical data about him and had constructed a "Psychiatric History" for future exploitation [Exh. No. 300].
Infiltrating the "Parents Association" and hiring private investigators in order to gather intelligence about Alevizopoulos had also been done before, as an internal report from December 7th, 1993 to Copenhagen shows [Exh. No. 301]:
"... THE INVEST HELPER ATTENED [sic] THE FIRST ARM MEETING OF L. THERE WERE MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE ATTENDING. L. ATTACKED SCIENTOLOGY AND MADE CLEAR THAT THIS IS HIS FIRST TARGET. HE SAID THAT THE NEXT MEETING WILL BE ATTENDED BY FEW PEOPLE WHICH HE WILL CHOOSE AMONG THE UNIVERSITY GRADUATES. HE SAID THAT NO RECORDING OF THE MEETINGS IS ALLOWED AND THE PRINTING MATERIAL OF THE SEMINAR WILL BE GIVEN OUT ONLY TO THE FEW SELECTED. HE ALSO MADE CLEAR THAT HE COOPERATES WITH SOME GERMAN TERMINALS AND BRAGGED THAT HE IS KNOWN TO THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT HIS ARM ACTIVITY.
"ON THE OTHER HAND TODAY I MADE A TWO PAGES REPORT ABOUT L FOR THE ATTY AND THE WOULD-BE-RECRUITED P. I. TO READ. I AM LOOKING FOR THE ATTY AS I WANT TO GO OVER THE INVEST FILE WITH HIM BUT I COULD NOT REACH HIM. I ALSO WANT TO CHECK WHETHER P. I. COLLECTED DATA WOULD BE ACCEPTED BY ANY COURT. ... "
The writer of this document had been the "Director of Special Affairs Greece (DSA GR) Ilias Gratsias. It was addressed to Marlies DeRjik, the "Deputy Commanding Officer for DSAs OSA Europe" (D/CO for DSAs OSA EU).
One month after the issuing of the second program, some legal and investigative aspects of the "Alevizopoulos-handling" were already in full swing, as two separate OSA-reports written on January 23rd, 1995 showed [Exh. No. 302]:
"... On the legal front I had a phone call with atty Kokorebas and we go for filing both the criminal suit against L and the civil suit for the new statues this week. On the criminal suit Mr. Alexiou [a muslim ally of the Scientologists] is willing to testify against L. I have a meeting with Mr. Alexiou's atty as he is also preparing some civil suits against L.
"... A group of people to attend L ARM lectures has been coordinated and on action every Monday. This will be continued as we get data about L movements. The PGM for handling L is in progress and many targets are done."
On May 7th, 1995, one month before the first raid, the situation on the "PR front" looked rather grim for the Greek Office of Special Affairs, but at least some good news about Alevizopoulos could be sent to the superiors in Copenhagen [Exh. No. 303]:
"... Mr. Alexiou had a very nice meeting with PRO O. C. [Public Relations Officer of the Orthodox Church] this week. The PRO agreed that L should be removed from post provided they will have data about his Nazi connection. He also said that L's wife is dying from cancer one of these days and L himself is in a pretty bad condition and will soon dye [sic] himself. This explains the forcefull [sic] attacks by L these days. He has nothing to loose anymore. He operates like a Kamikazi. He doesn't care about the consequences. ... He has lost the battle and he knows when he will be gone in a few weeks or months we will still be there. ... "
Alevizopoulos was not removed from his position within the Orthodox Church, but he was indeed terminally ill and died in early 1996. His wife passed away the following year.
When the raids finally happened the Scientologists and the Office of Special Affairs were caught on surprise. It did not prohibit them to follow standard policy not to cooperate with government authorities in case of an investigation and lie if called for, as following report from September 27th to OSA International and OSA Europe showed [Exh. No. 304]:
"... RE: REPORT ON PROSECUTOR RAID AT ATHENS MISSION;
"TODAY AT 10:55 AM THE PROSECUTOR AGGELIS [sic] IOANNIS, HIS ASSISTANT AND HE CAME WITH 4 SECURITY POLICE OFFICERS. ...
"... THEY THEN STARTED SEARCHING ON THE INVEST AND LITIGATION FILES. ... THEY ALSO TRIED OPEN A LOCKED DRAWER IN MY DESK WHICH CONTAINED A CONFIDENTIAL PACK AND ENCRYPTION CODES FOR TELEX USAGE, BUT COULDN'T GET INTO IT.
" ... AND HE ASKED ME IN A SECRET WAY IF I HAVE NOTICED ANYTHING ILLEGAL OR SHADY SINCE I HAVE BEEN A MEMBER. I SAID OF COURSE NOT, OTHERWISE I WOULD LEAVE. ...
"... HE ASKED ME ABOUT MY COMMUNICATION WITH THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL AFFAIRS AROUND THE WORLD. AND WHAT WAS THE REASON AND FREQUENCY OF THIS COMMUNICATION. I SAID, OF COURSE AS WE HAVE THE SAME PURPOSE TO HELP MAKE SCIENTOLOGY WELL KNOWN. HE ASKED ME IF I WRITE A REPORT TO COPENHAGEN ON A DAILY BASIS AND I ANSWERED WHENEVER I HAVE DATA USEFUL TO OSA IN COPENHAGEN I WRITE TO THEM. ...
"... HE ASKED ME ALSO IF I SENT INFORMATION ON RELIGIOUS AND MILITARY SUBJECTS TO OSA EU AND I SAID NO."
When it was clear, especially after the third raid that a criminal suit would follow, the Church of Scientology evidently stepped up its efforts to stop Angelis' investigation and an up-coming trial, which would expose the activities of the Office of Special Affairs.
First, two investigators from OSA International visited Angelis to persuade him to drop the charges against KEPHE. Both claimed to be former agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and one of them, Kevin P. Finnerty, did later some work for Scientology in Switzerland.
When this did not help, Scientology tried to get help from the U. S. government, and the State Department promptly tried to intervene in the judicial process: during a social gathering, the then ambassador for the U. S, Thomas Nails, told the members of the Greek Supreme Court who were present that the Greek justice should respect the freedom of religion of Scientology.
Despite all such means to stop the investigation and the legal procedure, Angelis finally started a criminal prosecution on June 17th, 1996 with a 100-page report about the activities of KEPHE [Exh. No. 305, Excerpt]. The report stated:
"... a) Files are maintained for certain people (members or non-members), the contents of which are kept secret and classified, even by those interested and concerned members.
"b) Many people are asked to sign the Statement of Law 1599/86 (also known as Law 104) that KEPHE has no responsibility in case they commit suicide. ...
"... d) The Center is employing Ethics Officers and Ethics Courts, to punish those who violate its Ethics Code.
"e) The family life of the members is monitored, for unknown reasons and orders are issued for ?handling.'
"f) The criminal or unethical actions of the members are recorded for unknown reasons, without precluding the possibility for the purpose of blackmailing them.
"g) Members are praised, in writing, for conducting unethical or criminal actions.
"The most important, however, is that the Center has a Department of Special Affairs or Office of Special Affairs, which conducts monitoring of people and reports their movements to unidentified centers abroad. "The court has started to investigate this case after complaints from parents, whose children joined KEPHE. Many of them - it is said to be over 4.000 - have collected signatures, asking the District authorities to shut the Center down. ...
"... On November 6,1995 a third investigation was conducted during which various folders and documents were seized. Some of these folders concerned those people who received courses in the Academy, as KEPHE says and others were about people unrelated to KEPHE functions, such as ?Archbishop Seraphim,' ?DISTINGUISHED CLERGYMEN,' ?L HANDLING PGM,' ?OUT ETHICS of clergymen,' ?DSA BASIC,' ?DAGUNAKI VICTORIA,' ?ADFI,' ?DIAMADIDIS Spyros,' ?BOSNACOUDIS Anthony,' ?ARMS,' ?ENTHETA REPORTERS,' ?THE PRIEST,' ?PRO OC,' ?PENTELI ARM,' ?SKY FLASH - TELETORA,' ?P. PROSECUTOR,' ?AMERICAN CONSULTANT,' ?GREECE RAID,' ?ANTI ARM,' ?MP's NIKOLOPOULOS.'
"... It must be noted that the documents and the rest of the seized evidence are the non-important ones of the KEPHE-association, since the important documents were sent abroad through post or by a special messenger and were kept in a place that was not detected by this investigation. This is clearly demonstrated by document, No. 00067, where OSA EU is demanding Ilias Gratsias, ... , and others
"a) to provide a safe address in order to send him sensible information,
"b) to consider the ?security' factor when sending his reports and, if necessary, change the real names, stated in the documents. ...
"From all the above real facts, for which no doubt exists, since they are proven through certain documents, it is clearly demonstrated, that the Civil Code Association under the name ?Centre of Applied Philosophy of Greece (KEPHE),' based in Athens (200 Patission Str.), not only has purposes different than those determined in its statutes, but also its actions, purpose and operation have become illegal and immoral and are against public order (Article 105, per 3 A.K.). Therefore, this report must be conveyed, alongside the attached and other relevant documents, to the Attiki Prefecture, in order to receive consideration in the ongoing Administrative and financial control. ...
"Finally, a copy of this report will be sent to the Supreme Court Prosecutor inform on the issue of the monitoring of political persons."
On December 20th 1996 the District Court issued its verdict and ordered the dissolution of KEPHE for its misrepresentation of its activities [Exh. No. 306]. About KEPHE's activities the court stated:
"... As a result from the above, the Association is exercising financial/for-profit business and depending on its interests, keeping a cover of either a philosophical association or as a religious identity.
"It is not an independent organization, but it is under a strict hierarchical structure of international level, under the control and supervision of foreign organizations and centers, something that contradicts the country's public order (Civil Code Article 33).
"... FOR THESE REASONS
"... Orders the dissolution/liquidation of the association with the name "CENTRE OF APPLIED PHILOSOPHY," based in Athens (200 Patission Str.)."
The Church of Scientology appealed that decision, but the Appeals Court of Athens later upheld the earlier ruling on December 19th, 1997. Scientology appealed again, this time to the Supreme Court, but withdrew it later, on May 11th, 1998 [Exh. No. 307] and the dissolution of KEPHE became final.
That did not stop the Scientologists to continue their operations, as right after the first verdict by the District Court, the Scientologists moved to incorporate a newly formed "religious corporation" on January 9th, 1997 [Exh. No. 308]. KEPHE had been a non-religious, philosophical association. The assets of KEPHE were subsequently, and illegally, transferred to the new corporation. The local authorities did not follow up these new illegalities.
Nevertheless the judicial ordeal for the Scientologists did not end with the KEPHE-trial, as 15 individual Scientology staff members, including the two directors of the Office of Special Affairs, Ilias Gratsias and Katherina Diamandara, had to face criminal charges for their monitoring and spying on their perceived enemies. On May 11th, 1999 the Appeals Court in Athens pronounced the defendants as guilty, issued a verdict condemning the past intelligence operations but did not order a sentence as no motion for such was presented by the prosecution [Exh. No. 309]:
"... In Athens and during the time period from May 15th, 1994 until September 17th, 1995 having done more than once, which constitutes a repetition of such an act they were willingly to commit, that is, with unified powers, with a bad intention, through a joined decision and combined operation, they offended others by insulting their honor, credibility and privacy.
"Specifically that was done by the President, Vice-President and members of the Board and other members of the association with the name of KEPHE.
"... They were involved in a coordinated and systematic monitoring and collection of information, related to the private, social, professional and public activities, to the philosophical, religious and political views, ... of public figures, of political and judicial authorities, of journalists, such as the Archbishop Seraphim, religious official Antoni Alevizopoulos, Supreme Court judge Ilias Spiropoulos, District Court judges Iannis Angelis and Georgios Gerakis, politicians Miltiadis Evert, Antonis Samaras, Andreas Lentaki, Kunalakis and journalists Victoria Dagounaki, Dimitri Rizos, Michalopoulos, etc. and the subsequent filing and indexing of the obtained information into individual files and dossiers, from which then later data was sent to foreign centers which collected such confidential information.
"By such insulting practice they were involved through a common will and through a joined decision, all of them being aware about the common perception by the general public on such insulting acts, about the moral and social standing of the above mentioned persons, a fact, that definitely violates their credibility, honor and privacy.
"Decided, published subsequently and publicly,
"Athens, May 11th, 1999.
The State Department obviously did not bother to review this verdict before it issued its Human Rights Report in 2000, in which it referred to it briefly under the chapter "Freedom of Religion" in Greece and stated erroneously that the 15 Scientologists were acquitted on charges and all they had done was to file press clippings.