Scientology church faces new claims of harassment - 1988-12-22
The next year, the FBI raided church offices and seized hundreds of documents. Eleven church members were subsequently convicted of crimes. And the Church of Scientology promised that it had cleaned house. Such dirty tricks, said the church, were things of the past.
Consider, then, the more recent case of Charles O"Reilly, an aggressive California lawyer who was another thorn in the side of Scientology. O"Reilly represented some former Scientologists who were suing the church, and he refused to settle their cases. One client, who said the church nearly drove him insane, had won a $30-million verdict against the sect. Church executives were irate, one of their former lawyers recalled in sworn testimony.
So in the spring of 1987, top-ranking Scientologists and lawyers called a meeting at their headquarters on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles to talk over the O"Reilly matter. According to their former lawyer, Joseph Yanny, the Scientologists planned to steal confidential files on O"Reilly from the Betty Ford Center and other alcohol- and drug-treatment centers. Yanny said the Scientologists figured that such records could be used to blackmail O"Reilly.