Documentation of
Scientology's Love-Hate Relationship
with the Willis Carto, The Spotlight Newspaper and the "Institute for Historical Review">

Willis Carto and the "Institute for Historical Review" (IHR) he founded in 1978 are no strangers to dispute. The Los Angeles Times (May 15, 1994) described the IHR as a "revisionist think tank that critics call the spine of the international Holocaust denial movement." Although the Institute does not deny the Holocaust, according to its web pages, its publications have devoted "considerable attention to this issue because it plays such an enormously significant role in the cultural and political life of America and much of the world."

About the time of the above-mentioned LA Times' article, representatives from the Church of Scientology were heavily involved in condemning Germany for recognizing Scientology as a commercial, as opposed to religious, corporation (a position the US itself held prior to late 1993.) In 1995, Scientology's Freedom magazine [1] targeted Germany's chief of the Hamburg Task Force on Scientology, Ursula Caberta, side by side with Willis Carto, complete with Nazi sub-text and photos so close-in and blotched that facial characteristics and the tops of the subjects' heads were only vaguely discernible:

"According to information obtained by Freedom, Caberta's latest source is a U.S.-based editor for offensive hard-core pornography and co-worker of Willis Carto, modern-day Nazi and publisher of The Spotlight, a small but venomous anti-Semitic tabloid with offices in Washington, D.C. Carto, whose Hitleresque bent spans decades, was noted in the 1950s and 1960s for his attacks on the civil rights movement in America. He founded the Institute for Historical Review, an organization which promotes that the Holocaust never happened. ..." [Freedom magazine, published by "The Church of Scientology", Jan/Feb 1995 issue, article "Hatred in Germany" ]

This quote from "Freedom" magazine is significant in that the Scientology publication threw German citizen Caberta, American Willis Carto and his co-workers at "The Spotlight" and the IHR all in the same Nazi, anti-Semitic, Hitleresque, Holocaust-denying boat, for no other reason than Caberta allegedly receiving information from a co-worker of Carto's. Not surprisingly for those familiar with the press and public relations of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, there was no mention of former IHR director and employee for 14 years -- Thomas J. Marcellus, Scientologist.

About Twenty Years Earlier

On August 25, 1976, the "National Commission on Law Enforcement and Social Justice" (NCLE), sponsored by the "Church of Scientology," addressed a letter [2] to Mr. Bernard R. DeRemer, editor of the "Spotlight.", the publication Scientology was to later disparage. This letter begins, "Your paper, THE SPOTLIGHT, has come to our attention as being closely aligned with our own purposes."

The NCLE was a special project that offered to collaborate with "The Spotlight" to spread Scientology-oriented views, which it deemed to be compatible with "The Spotlight's." This particular letter included a set of enclosures that targeted Interpol. "The Spotlight" regarded Scientology's offer of compatibility in a positive light, and its staff, Carto included, were to be on good terms with top Scientology representatives, as well as rank-and-file Scientologists, for a period spanning almost two decades.

This is substantiated by the letters, some of which were on a first-name basis, which "The Spotlight" editors exchanged with Scientology officials, as opposed to its lawyers, up to several years after 1993. The Scientologists included officials at the local level, like Sue Taylor, Greg Layton and Alexander Jones, as well as names known to a large segment of the general public, such as Heber Jentzsch and Brian Anderson. [3]

The good relationship Willis Carto and his associates enjoyed with Scientology was also manifested by the many Scientologists who subscribed to "The Spotlight." In addition to subscribers and personal contact with high-level managers, the director of the "Institute for Historical Review," who worked with IHR almost since it was founded, was a long-term adherent of Hubbard doctrine who, as of 1999, still appeared to be involved in the practices and administration of Scientology. In 1993, Carto was evidently broadsided by Mr. Marcellus, whom he referred to as a "sleeper" for the management of Scientology [4], in a corporate coup.

Prior to the coup, according to Carto, Scientology received advertising and recruitment benefits from the interviews with Scientologists published by "The Spotlight." What "The Spotlight" got in return, it appears from the numerous letters of Scientologists who cancelled their subscriptions after articles critical of Scientology appeared, was a certain increase in circulation.

Subscription cancellations [5] started arriving late in 1993, about the time Scientology received tax exemption. Scientology no longer needed Carto, "The Spotlight," or the "Institute for Historical Review" in its fight against the IRS. By 1995, Scientology stopped using their former allies of Carto & Co. against the IRS and used them instead against other obstacles to popular acceptance and higher revenue.

  1. Alex Jones letter to Mike Piper of 14 July 1995
    • "FREEDOM" cover, Jan/Feb 1995
    • "FREEDOM" "Hatred in Germany" page 1
    • "FREEDOM" "Hatred in Germany" page 2
  2. NCLE letter of 25 August 1976 to SPOTLIGHT, pages 1, 2 & 3 (minus other enclosures)
  3. personal letters from Scientology officials
    • Sue Taylor handwritten letter of 3 November 1978 to Mr. Blahut, SPOTLIGHT editor, page 1, page 2 (mentions a visit from Brian Anderson
    • Greg Layton letter of 11 February 1980 to "Liberty Lobby" (minus enclosures)
    • -- articles critical of Scientology printed in SPOTLIGHT --
    • Heber Jentzsch letter of November 24, 1993 to SPOTLIGHT
    • Leisa Goodman letter of December 10, 1993 to SPOTLIGHT page 1, page 2
  4. Willis Carto form letter of December 11, 1993 notifying SPOTLIGHT subscribers "who have a unique knowledge of Scientology" of a turn in events. page 1, page 2
  5. 10 sample cancellation letters