Scientology spies coming forward to spill their guts, then and now: A key example from the past - 2018-02-06
In our book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper, we spent some time talking about a Massachusetts man named Robert Dardano who volunteered for Scientology's "Guardian's Office." Dardano's testimony was key for understanding how Scientology continued to spy on Paulette in the mid-1970s, even after she had managed to escape the church's attempt to frame her on federal charges in 1973. Now, historian Chris Owen has written about additional details from the Dardano story, based on Dardano's sworn testimony and other documents. After Chris's piece, we have a brief update on the item for you.
Robert Louis Dardano, a Boston Scientologist who joined the Guardian's Office in 1974, lived in a rented house near Boston with several other GO volunteers who called themselves "Eric's 11" after the code name that one of them used. He initially worked as a volunteer for the Overt Data Collections (ODC) section of the Boston office of the GO, alongside four or five other people. As the name suggests, ODC was responsible for obtaining information overtly - essentially material that was in the public domain. Dardano and his colleagues used public libraries to obtain public records on individuals who were influential in public life in Boston and might become valued allies or troublesome enemies. They included people such as Boston's Mayor Kevin White, the heads of Boston banks, members of Congress and the Massachusetts Senate, owners of the TV and radio stations in Boston, and local judges and lawyers. The ODC volunteers looked for information on what ties their targets had and what groups they were connected to, such as which Boards of Directors they sat on and whether they had interests in media outlets.