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The documents obtained under the FOIA filled scores of filing cabinets and revealed a genuinely shocking parade of dirty tricks authored by those in the IRS who hoped for the Church’s destruction. They tell of IRS attempts to redefine the term “church,” expressly to disqualify Scientology from tax-exempt status. When that did not work, an even more incredible story unfolded: In an attempt to circumvent the absence of any wrongdoing on the Church’s part, rogue IRS employees engaged for years in a corrupt scheme of vast dimensions.

Directing this effort was the infamous Los Angeles branch of the IRS Criminal Investigations Division (CID), a unit whose abuses of the Church and countless other taxpayers eventually became the focus of extensive congressional hearings in 1989 and 1990, and ultimately led to substantial IRS reforms. Before that, however, the Los Angeles IRS CID, with the offices of the mother church of the Scientology religion nearby, held sway over certain key IRS matters relative to Scientology.

The CID plan called for nothing short of complete destruction of the Church. Yet even as attempts were made to infiltrate church premises and plots were hatched to forge and plant documents to later be “discovered” and used as evidence, Church attorneys and staff exposed all. Thus, in addition to concerns over growing public outrage resulting from this exposure, the CID now had to contend with another problem: It had spent several years investigating the Church at enormous cost to taxpayers, only to find no crimes committed.


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