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The FDA had conclusively proven its incompetence, not only by botching its mandate to destroy Scientology, but by taking so long to do it — and allowing Scientology to grow meteorically, both in the United States and around the world. Thus, the FDA was dismissed to do what it does best: harass vitamin salesmen, and give carte blanche to powerful drug companies well before completion of the product safety tests.

The weight of the mission soon fell on IRS shoulders — more specifically, on the shoulders of an attorney in the office of the IRS’ Chief Counsel, one Charlotte Murphy. A noteworthy fact is her attendance at meetings in the mid-1950s of the DC Medical Society’s Committee on Mental Health — along with the main sponsors of the Siberia Bill, along with the psychiatrist who had falsely “tipped” the FDA that the Church was involved in illegal drugs, and along with a number of leading psychiatrists who had been at the forefront of the attacks on Dianetics from day one. It is therefore not surprising that Murphy herself requested that she deal exclusively with any IRS matters regarding Scientology. Nor were her intentions surprising. She made them quite clear in a memo to the Director of the Washington Branch of the IRS in which she asked whether there were “any local statutes or ordinances available as tools to curtail or close down the operation.”

What followed was an all-out effort to harass the Church by denying tax-exempt status to various Scientology churches, and issuing federal tax liens against others. Information was provided to the post office to “support a charge of misrepresentation,” and later a host of other government agencies were forwarded blatantly ludicrous falsehoods on the order of: “LSD and perhaps other drugs are widely used by the members while assembled” and that the Church used “electric shock” on its parishioners in an “initiation ceremony” — fabrications that would have been laughable if not for the consequences.


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