AHC: U.S. gov't goes hardcore against Church of Scientology regarding "Operation Snow White."

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by GeographyDude, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    And I mean, about as hardcore as you can go and still remain a democracy.

    Bonus Points if 'Scientology' leaders are exposed and humiliated and discredited, and membership actually declines.
     
  2. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Okay, simultaneously raids are good. And the FBI may not have realized at the time that . . . . . Scientology had been able to put together the largest infiltration of the government in U.S. history.

    That is, bigger than anything the Soviets were able to pull off.
     
  3. manav95 Well-Known Member

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    The Scientology lawyers don't bully the government and loses its tax exempt status.
     
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  4. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    I understand that 'Church of Scientology' never got tax-exempt status until the mid 1990s, and I think in large part because senior IRS officials had been bullied and harassed, and the head of the IRS wanted to protect his people. But there has to be a better way!
     
  5. WhiteDragon25 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps this could be the impetus for meeting the OP's challenge? The Soviets somehow get wind of Scientology's little stunt, and they decide to use it to mock the US government over it. Not tolerating being humiliated in such a manner, the FBI brings down the unholy sledgehammer on the 'Church' of Scientology and nails them against the wall for their numerous criminal activities, including kidnapping, slavery, human trafficking, espionage, sedition, tax fraud, and tax evasion, among countless other felonies.

    And good riddance, too, because Scientologists are scum.
     
  6. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    They certainly can be busted and busted hard on child labor. And I'm surprised and disappointed that they haven't been.

    But you know human nature as well as I do. If you go after them too hard or too 'unfairly' (the perception), it will engender sympathy. I mean, religions which are persecuted actually grow. Plus, the criminal cases kind of need to be hard and fast, or else the public will grow tired of them and feel that it's just too much.

    PS I certainly agree that 'Church' of Scientology is a nasty, petty, hierarchical, bullying organization. As well as scary and dangerous.
     
  7. WhiteDragon25 Well-Known Member

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    Scientology doesn't have the protection that Christianity or Islam have by being grandfathered in as a normal part of society: they're a New Age cult founded by a hack writer only ~20 years prior to their espionage plot here. They aren't going to be able to play the sympathy card when they're that young of a group, especially when the Republican Party is undergoing its transition to the party of reactionary WASP Christians they are today. The GOP would have a field day railing against the corrupt and insidious Cult of Scientology just in time for the 1980 elections with Reagan.

    Heh, that might end up being one of their few positive modern accomplishments.
     
  8. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    ah, but please notice that this is an example of how they could get sympathy. For example, I think of "New Age" as generally positive, as being open to new ideas, new experiences, new theories, as accepting differences in others and being at ease and comfortable with such differences, etc., etc., etc.

    And maybe Scientology is partially that (especially at the beginning when they're trying to recruit you!) but it's also mean, controlling, and so forth.
     
  9. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    A year prior to this, President Ford was very involved and very much in favor of ramping up effort and spending on a swine flu vaccine.

    But if first-year President Carter had written to his Attorney General, this is a serious matter and I want it taken seriously, if the Justice Department needs additional resources or additional personnel, please let me know.

    Well, it's often viewed as unseemly or questionable for a president to involve himself in legal matters.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  10. FillyofDelphi Kicked Banned

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    Would it be possible that they end up causing some collateral damage: for example, its revealed that their efforts to pentrate into the systems and purging the data causes the corruption of some more mundane and sympathetic records? That would allow people to argue that they actually did something that threatened national security/civitizen's rights and privacy
     
  11. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

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    Feds and hollywood would have an awful relationship in ttl, which would work out for the best. No DMCA or 1998 copyright extension.
     
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  12. jerseyguy Well-Known Member

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    This may set a precedent for law enforcement to deal with the more dangerous cults in the '80s and '90s. Hopefully the FBI ITTL would intervene before the People's Temple, Heaven's Gate, and the Branch Davidians become deadly.
     
  13. Kalvan Well-Known Member

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    The problem was that L. Ron Hubbard's writings show he was in Reagan's camp politically and economically. Reagan can say to Southern Evangelicals using state-funded religious schools to circumvent Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education that if Congress doesn't intervene to stop it, they could be next! Oh, and go spread the word on television and radio, will you?
     
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  14. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Yes, good point. People’s first reaction might be, hey, if they destroyed some IRS records, it means I’m not going to get a tax bill.

    Ah, but they may have destroyed records of some perfectly valid deductions and you may end up getting less of a refund and/or a letter saying you owe more!
     
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  15. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    POD 1: An agent spins him and cuffs him.
     
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  16. FillyofDelphi Kicked Banned

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    Or worse: its revealed they hit records that showed people actually paid their tactics, and suddenly tens of thousands of people are getting letters demanding back taxes they paid but the trail of it has disappeared. THAT would create a trail of lawsuits a league long that would likely bankrupt the organization.
     
  17. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Most likely is a very wealthy and powerful family gets pissed. Maybe the Hubbard crowd enrolls a daughter or son and filches a bank account or two as well. The Hunt brothers take on a vendetta instead of trying to corner the silver markets, the Koch brothers take a break from building a political organization to flatten the Scientologists. Perhaps several angry families of the 2% join forces? When a army of legislators, Attornys, detective agencies, LE agencies, news companies, & whatnot are finished Scientology is a cold ash swirled hole in the ground.

    The Hollywood Dan Brown version might be a ancient, powerful and hidden group, Templars anyone? Decides this upstart nonsense has reached its expiration date. When the dust settles the surviving Scientologists are confined to mental institutions, or haunting homeless shelters and LA tent camps.

    The Mario Puzo story would be the Corleones see a business opportunity & execute a hostile takeover.

    A London based investment company executes a corporate takeover. The Scientology leaders are fired by a 'Down Sizing' contractor & their jobs out sourced to a China based management company.

    The Frank Herbert version would be a secret government agency with a mandate to destroy organizations that have become to big for their pants pulls the rug out from under Scientology. (Bonus points to anyone who can name the agency & the novel/s it appeared in.)

    Flying saucers show up & burn the Scientology HQ to the ground. They mysteriously depart after removing a large unidentified object from the ruin.

    Scientologists screw around and open the door to Cthulhu. A sense of dread and horror haunts the former Scientology site, long after the Old Ones depart.

    A portal to a alternate time line opens and Temporal Police raid the Scientologists, packing them off on criminal charges we don't really understand.
     
  18. WhiteDragon25 Well-Known Member

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    You know, it might be possible to combine the above with this PoD below:

    An FBI agent takes a dim view to some random Scientologist loon showing up to shout at him and his colleagues, so he just up and arrests the loonie, in front of the 'church' representative's entourage, who panic and make a break for it; as other FBI agents chase after them, one of the runners uses his phone to call his superiors in the church that 'the FBI is on to them!'. This causes the superiors to panic as well and send out a scrub-order to all their agents currently carrying out Operation Snow White, causing the agents to panic as well and rush to complete whatever tasks they were midway through before making their getaway: this rush-job however results in a lot of sloppiness, as they fail to destroy some records that they were supposed to destroy - records that leave a paper trail right back to them - and destroying some records that they weren't supposed to destroy - namely, a not-insignificant number of IRS tax records.

    This sloppiness and the suspicious departure of a great many people from government offices all around the same time tips off the FBI who were just thinking they were dealing with one loud asshole: investigating the buildings that had sudden departures of supposed employees, they find several record rooms in disarray, and after cleaning up the mess and reorganizing it for proper examination, discover a number of documents are missing pages to them - most notably the ones referring to the Church of Scientology.

    The FBI also find that some IRS records are missing as well, and notify the IRS about the damage; the IRS is not amused about this news, and start their own internal investigation to see what the actual damages were to their tax records. Days later the American public gets letters in their mail informing them the loss of their tax filings means they won't be getting their tax returns on time. The public explodes in anger over the loss of their tax returns, and demand answers on why and who to blame.

    The FBI, meanwhile, having opened their own investigation on the Church of Scientology thanks to the botched scrub-order, are informed by the IRS about several discrepancies in the CoS's own tax filings - discrepancies that may indicate cross-state financial crimes - and set the FBI on several leads on prominent CoS offices.

    The media becomes a flurry of scandal reporting as the FBI raids Scientology's offices all over the country, and end up arresting numerous Church figures on charges of espionage and destruction of evidence. The GOP is initially opposed to this investigation, due to the CoS having given their support to Ronald Reagan's election campaign, but upon the discovery of the CoS's more insidious crimes - kidnapping, child slavery, human trafficking, brainwashing, among others - the GOP quickly changes their tune in order to salvage their chances of victory in the 1980 election, and become the most hardline supporters of the investigation.

    The entire circus still ends up damaging Reagan's election campaign, as he only wins the election with a significantly smaller margin than previously predicted before the 'Snow White' Investigation began. Scientology, meanwhile, undergoes complete collapse as the FBI systematically tears the organization apart, culminating in the arrest of L. Ron Hubbard himself, and his court trial ending in his sentencing for 30 years in prison for fraud and tax evasion, among other charges.

    With blood now in the water, the FBI and the rest of the Department of Justice start taking a closer look at similar organizations like the now-defunct 'Church' of Scientology, including the increasingly-popular Evangelical 'megachurches', and manage to nab a few of them for their own financial crimes as well. The rise of the megachurch is blunted as a consequence, and with that, the Republican Party's pivot to the Religious Right as well.

    Scientology's downfall would have far-reaching consequences for decades to come, but among the more notable ones, is that Tom Cruise never becomes a member of the 'Church', and so his rising Hollywood career remains unblemished by his humiliation on Oprah.
     
  19. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Most people reading this probably know that Scientologists will harass people mid or higher who quit, especially if they speak out against the damn organization.

    So, a mob boss's daughter joins Scientology. He's not crazy about it, but he figures that if that's what she wants to do, he's okay with it. She even moves up in the organization. Observing too many things first hand and too many broken promises, she decides to quit. She even wants to speak out for the sake of former friends still in the organization.

    The Scientologists do their usual method of following her around in white SUVs. They do not immediately realize that they're outclassed :cool: (I'm sorry, but this part kind of tickles me!)
     
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  20. Quintuplicate Well-Known Member

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    Did they have cell phones in 1977?