Henry Kissinger Telecons on Scientology

R. M. Seibert filed this request with the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking # 46542
Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

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:

A copy of any transcripts from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's telephone calls (aka "telcons") that mention L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology or Dianetics. Proof of death is not required as Mr. Hubbard's passing was widely reported: http://nyti.ms/1FQ0NqY

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest due to approximately 260 State Department Cables from 1973-1977 publicly released online via the National Archives that specifically mentions Scientology in relation to the organization's vexatious FOIA campaign against multiple government agencies: http://bit.ly/1G2GHJu

Nineteen of those cables reflect that Kissinger initiated the message or was personally mentioned by name in regards to the Church of Scientology's FOIA campaign and subsequent lawsuits. Once such cable, dated 28-Jul-1976, captures Mr. Kissinger making the following remark on page 9: (Ref: http://bit.ly/1G2GHJu )

"IN 4TH OF SERIES ON FOIA, ...MENTIONS CAL-BASED CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY KEEPS GOVT BUSY WITH REQUESTS FOR RECORDS THAT MIGHT CONCERN IT, HAS INITIATED 1500 FOI REQUESTS, FILED 15 LAWSUITS. NOTES DOJ OFFICIAL LINE THAT REQUESTS FROM FOREIGN NATLS SHOULD BE HONORED; CIA, DOS OFFICIALS SAY ACCEPTING SUCH REQUESTS. KISSINGER"

By 1977, the statistics quoted by Mr. Kissinger had grown to 2,000 FOIA requests filed by the Church of Scientology and over 20 lawsuits: http://bit.ly/1FfkPdP

These FOIA lawsuits, including one for 40 million dollars where Kissinger was a named Defendant (see http://bit.ly/1EqYjjF ), established widely cited case law precedents that impacts public interest to this day. As such, the release of materials I am requesting would aid in the public's historical understanding of how the government operates and responds when faced with an onslaught of contentious FOIA requests from vigorous filers.

Furthermore, a vast number of Kissinger's telecons from the 1970s have already been released under a past FOIA to the National Security Archives of George Washington University. However, these materials are not fully open to public scrutiny like the National Archives collection of State Department cables due to accessibility being limited to a subscription-based library service (ProQuest) that is only carried by certain educational institutions. (Ref: http://nyti.ms/1AMeUsa )

The requested documents I am seeking 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: Department of State

The request has been forwarded from one agency to another agency or department for further review or follow up.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on March 5, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Request

Your query has been forwarded to the FOIA Requester Status mailbox for reply.

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Seibert,

Your organization has a substantial number of requests. The Department of State keeps track of requests by case numbers. In the future when you request a status on a case please provide the case number in the subject line of your message. This will not only make it easier to find your case, it will facilitate a quick answer to your inquiry. Due to the fact you have not provided case numbers in your requests replying to your e-mails will take more time.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or have any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov

U.S. Department of State
FOIA Requester Service Center
(202) 261-8484
foiastatus@state.gov

In accordance with Executive Order 12958, this message is UNCLASSIFIED

From: MuckRock

Hello -

No tracking number has been assigned for this request. Please advise.

Thank you.

From: FOIA Status

Ms. R.M. Seibert-According to our “Freedoms Data Base System” and the assigned case control number F-2015-05168 this case number has been closed since 4/1/2015. Our response letter was also mailed on 4/1/2015.
Regards,
Katrina
FOIA Requester Service Center

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

This FOIA request has been forwarded to your office for processing. Confirmation of receipt and an estimated date of completion would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

From: David Fort

Dear Ms. R.M. Seibeit

I am in receipt of your request for records pertaining to Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger's telecons and your desire to see any and all
transcripts that mention L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology or Dianetics. The
series of telecons is arranged chronologically by date between 1973-1976.

In order to be better able to assist you in locating any potential records
I am wondering if you have specific dates or additional information that I
can then use to better search these files.

I thank you for your help and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

David Fort

National Archives and Records Administration
Deputy Director of the FOIA/MDR Division
David.Fort@nara.gov
301-837-0627

From: R. M. Seibert

Dear Mr. Fort;

Thank you for your inquiry on the details of my FOIA request regarding Henry Kissinger Telecons on Scientology. Unfortunately, I am interested in all potential telecon transcripts that match the search criteria I specified and dated 1973-1976.

If this presents too broad of a search to reasonably handle, we could limit this request to the years 1973-74 and then I could file a second request for the years 1975-76. Would that help?

Sincerely,

Ms. R. M. Seibert

From: David Fort

Muckrock requester,

Thanks for your response. We will conduct a review of the boxes to see if
there are any records relating to your topics.

Sincerely,

David Fort

National Archives and Records Administration
Deputy Director of the FOIA/MDR Division
David.Fort@nara.gov
301-837-0627

From: National Archives and Records Administration

A no responsive documents response.

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