Additional FBI Records for Scientology Guardian Mary Sue Hubbard

R. M. Seibert filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 1319319-001
Status
Completed

Communications

From: R. M. Seibert

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records as per the instructions recently stated in the response I received for FOIPA Request No. 1319319-000:

Any additional information in the central records indices on, about or concerning Mary Sue Hubbard that was NOT included in the set of responsive documents previously released for a similar request forwarded to me free of charge as a duplicate disclosure for the FOIPA tracking number listed above.

Pertinent details for this search are the same as supplied in my prior request: Mary Sue Hubbard (née Whipp), Social Security No. 456-48-5525. Born June 17, 1931 and died in Los Angeles, CA on November 25, 2002. Death record: http://death-records.mooseroots.com/l/155103594/Mary-S-Hubbard

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest due to Mrs. Hubbard's criminal history of being indicted and sentenced for personally directing "Operation Snow White" in the 1970s; the world's largest covert infiltration of government agencies and private organizations by the Church of Scientology that was widely reported: http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/images/thecompiler-1977-22.pdf

Additionally, the requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Ms. R. M. Seibert

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Ms. Seibert,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov<http://www.fbi.gov>/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

A letter stating the request for reduced or waived fees has been rejected.

From: R. M. Seibert

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal of an adverse determination under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) dated February 23, 2015 for FOIPA Request Number 1319319-004.

This appeal concerns a fee waiver rejection I received on the basis that disclosure of the requested information is not in the public interest because it will not contribute to the public understanding of government actions and operations.

As stated in my initial letter, the subject of this FOIA request (Mary Sue Hubbard) personally directed "Operation Snow White" in the 1970s; the world's largest covert infiltration of government agencies and private organizations by the Church of Scientology. Although, to my own detriment, I originally cited a reference for supporting this statement with a typographical error in the URL I provided. I meant to reference this source as supporting evidence for my request of a fee waiver based on public interest: http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/images/thecompiler-1978-22.pdf

To further clarify the reason given above; the significance of Mrs. Hubbard’s criminal history to public interest should be clearly evident by the prior disclosure on this same subject, which your agency granted me free of charge, as per the earlier FOIA Request that my letter referenced (FOIPA No. 1319319-000 as seen here http://bit.ly/1cz4Ajp ).

Moreover, Mrs. Hubbard’s role as the leader of the Church of Scientology Guardian's Office was made infamous by this agency's 1979 raid on the church founded by her husband. At the time, it was the largest raid by a federal law enforcement agency on a private organization. Yet the FBI’s raid on Scientology organizations ultimately resulted in greatly reduced fines and sentencing on church executives (including the subject of my request). This perplexing outcome begs further public scrutiny since it held no bearing on a specialized tax-exempt status being granted by another government agency (frequently identified in the seized documents) barely a decade after the sentences were served by Mary Sue Hubbard and ten of her top ranking personnel.

The highly questionable nature of these historical facts underlying the original reason given for this request easily represents a prima facie justification for granting me a fee waiver within the statutory definition of public interest. However, I am also providing three additional reasons below (labeled A - C) to expound on why this request satisfies the requirements for a fee waiver on the basis of (1) contributing to the public's understanding of government operations and (2) my intended use of this material represents no commercial interest that I will personally benefit from. All of these reasons, individually and collectively, should more than justify classifying me under the third category of "all other requesters” as defined by the Department of Justice official guideline for fees and fee waivers under the Freedom of Information Act as amended by the OPEN Government Act of 2007 (see http://1.usa.gov/1HxdmKn ).

(A) The public interest aspect of these documents has already been acknowledged by the Church of Scientology and the IRS as part of their closing agreement, which agreement was predicated on, in large part, litigation brought by individual Scientologists to compel production of documents similar in nature to the ones sought here. As stated therein:

"WHEREAS, the Church signatories and individual Scientologists have initiated, supported and/or otherwise participated in litigation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the Service to disclose information withheld by the Service in response to FOIA requests about its treatment of Scientologists and Churches of Scientology (hereinafter ‘FOIA litigation’);”

If the documents sought there (and here) held no interest to the general public, there would be no basis for the IRS to settle with the Church of Scientology.

(B) The secret nature of that agreement, later published in the Wall Street Journal in 1997 (seen here http://bit.ly/1DZl8ca ), compounds the public interest component for all Scientology-related FOIA requests. The conditions by which a government agency and a religious organization settle a long-running dispute over FOIA requests made by the same religious entity with a twenty-five year history of filing over 100 vexatious FOIA lawsuits against numerous federal agencies (including the FBI) speaks naturally and quite directly to the public interest. This was borne out in subsequent articles, television programs, and documentaries speaking to the topic of the IRS's particular treatment of the Church of Scientology.

(C) Finally, I have no commercial interest in these documents whatsoever, as my only intent is to gather, release, and discuss subject matter in the public interest for further research and newsgathering purposes. As such, I am using the public domain publishing service at Muckrock.com because it furthers my stated intent. MuckRock News is strictly a non-commercial service dedicated for expanding the public’s knowledge on the FOIA-related issues I am pursuing as an independent researcher.

MuckRock's mission statement (seen here https://www.muckrock.com/about/ ) makes it abundantly clear that it is a newsgathering entity, not a commercial entity. As stated therein:

"MuckRock's unique form of investigative and accountability journalism has been recognized by the Sunlight Foundation, The Freedom of the Press Foundation, and hundreds of local and national news outlets for its groundbreaking work in areas such as government spending, surveillance, and public safety.

"In addition, MuckRock works with journalists to help conceive, pursue, and publish original stories on issues that matter with exclusive primary materials obtained via public records law.”

In sum, (1) I have clearly showed that my request, if met, would "contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government," for multiple reasons and (2) a revised adverse determination that I have a commercial interest in disclosure of this information is not applicable. Therefore, I have met the statutory requirements of 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii) for a fee waiver, and hereby appeal.

With confidence,

Ms. R. M. Seibert

From: OIP-NoReply

Please do not reply to this e-mail, as this account is not monitored. To ensure a prompt reply, please direct any inquiries to the contact information listed in the correspondence provided to you. Thank you.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: CRM FOIA

Please see the attached, which is this Office’s acknowledgement of your request. If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA/PA Unit at 202-616-0307 for further assistance.
Thank you,
FOIA/PA Unit
Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: OIP-NoReply

Please do not reply to this e-mail, as this account is not monitored. To ensure a prompt reply, please direct any inquiries to the contact information listed in the correspondence provided to you. Thank you.

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