Scientologists' downfall began with phony IDs - 1980-01-09
The scope of it was astonishing. For at least two years, Guardians of the Church of Scientology operated an espionage system that spanned America.
They were heavily involved on the Florida Suncoast in 1976 and early "77: Defaming the mayor of Clearwater, seeking to gag The St. Petersburg Times, the Clearwater Sun, and a stubborn radio talk show host, infiltrating an attorney's office and stealing files, framing schemes to embarrass St. Petersburg police.
But that was just one scene in a panorama.
Church documents released by a federal court in Washington show that the Guardian network linked Clearwater with Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and it was as busy as a beehive in honeysuckle season.
But the end was coming...