By RICHARD LEIBY
Sun Staff Writer
WASHINGTON-June and Jodie were Scientology spies-and apparently pretty good ones.
They obtained jobs with The Clearwater Sun and the Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, filed comprehensive reports about the sect's purported " enemies"' and, when necessary, spread scandalous rumors to discredit their employers.
But somehow., June and Jodie became "blown agents." In the tightly knit Scientology espionage network, that designation meant trouble.
Once a spy was unmasked, top sect officers began to worry. And federal court documents released Monday show that when these two spies came in from the cold, the heat was put on Mary Sue Hubbard, wife of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
June Phillips worked for The Clearwater Sun advertising department from Dec. 12, WT,- until sometime in November 1976. Jodie, (last name unknown), worked for the chamber's tourism bureau for several months during the same period. It seems they had been unmasked before. Both had conducted sect espionage against the American Medical Association in 1974 . and - had been discovered as Scientologists.
"Guardians"' feared that if Ms. Phillips and Jodie were not given identities, "this could be a bad situation for the Church, and if not handled could potentially lead to a grand jury investigation of the Church," according to a
report dated May 12, 1977.
The matter came to the attention of Mrs. Hubbard, who
asked her guardians "What are the liabilities here?"
Ms. Phillips and Jodie, who the FBI said worked at the
chamber under the name Wanda Martin, were considered unmasked after reporters discovered they were
sect members and lived in the same apartment in the Clearwater area.
Because their identities could be traced through Social
Security numbers back to the AMA, to a top-level spy
named Mike Meisner - an unmasked agent providing information to the government about sect crimes -- the
entire "scene" was ordered investigated. Guardians
believed that could widen the grand jury investigation,
which eventually indicted 11 sect leaders in 1978
According to documents, it was ordered that "'all or as many dangling strings of June and Jodie-particularly those leading to (the Church of Scientology)-- be cut."
A guardian, Cindy Raymond,. wrote that the first priority would be: "June and Jodie (have) gotten new IDs, new appearance and are made absolutely unlocatable."
This ruse included locating Ms. Phillips's tax, Social Security and other records at the Sun, where she worked in the advertising department and as a newsroom clerk.
"See if we can get Soc. Sec. number altered at the Sun," Mrs. Raymond wrote. She added, "Handle all connections into (organizations) --- records, persons who might be questioned, etc."
Ms. Phillips apparently was one of two spies working at the Sun, compiling information about editors' and reporters' backgrounds and stealing notes and financial files. The other spy is identified in sect documents.as Molly Gillian, who worked in the library under the guise of doing academic research.
Jodie's duties at the chamber where Executive Director James Parker says she was a volunteer, included gathering general information sect officials could use in their campaigns against city officials.
At one point, documents show, the spy was to circulate a "rumor"' that United Churches of Florida, the Scientology front group, was not connected with Scientology.
The FBI indicated in May 1977 that it was seeking for questioning both Ms. Phillips and a "Wanda Martin," apparently Jodie, who also had held jobs at U.S. Home Corp., the Clearwater-Dunedin-Largo Board of Realtors and the St. Petersburg Times.
It is unknown whether the spies ever were found by the FBI or charged.
However, Mrs. Hubbard, Mrs. Raymond and Meisner were among the nine Scientologists found guilty last month of criminal conspiracy against several federal agencies.
The documents being released now by U.S. District Court here were the basis for the convictions.
Webmaster Notes: The pattern described above should be compared to the strange events surrounding Scientology, Bob Minton, the LMT and the Lisa Mcpherson case. Scientology can not change. "We will never do that" (change) said Mike Rinder to this webmaster. in December 1995.
More Articles by reporter Richard Leiby
Memoirs of a Scientology Guardian - Gary Weber's Story Nov 6, 2003