A registration in the California corporation database shows a 1977 incorporation date for Alliance for the Preservation of Religious Liberty.


Company name Alliance For The Preservation Of Religious Liberty
Address 1399 Ninth Ave Ste 100
San Diego
Status FTB Suspended
Company number C0792978
Company type Domestic Nonprofit
Jurisdiction CA
Incorporation Date 17th March 1977
Last Statement Filed 11th February 1980


It was apparently renamed Americans Preserving Religious Liberty in 1982, but there is also some evidence pointing to that this organization may have actually been founded much earlier than 1977. (New Religious Movements Collection; Box-folder 1:44 APRL ca. 1973-1994)

Joey Peter Moore wrote an article for Pepperdine Law Review (Vol 7 Issue 3, April 15, 1980) entitled: Piercing the Religious Veil of the So-Called Cults.

His cite #277 says:

The Children of God, the Founding Church of Scientology, and the Unification Church formed the Alliance for the Preservation of Religious Liberty(APRL).

Note: it also mentions a connection between Synanon and Jim Jones People’s Temple.

Stephen Kent’s work, for some time has been the only really definitive example of documenting the fact that the Church of Scientology is who founded this group, in concert with Unification Church president Neil Salonen and one of it’s New York office officials Kathy (aka Cathy, Kathie) Lowery.

Neil Albert Salonen – outside a Superior Court in 1979


Stephen’s article (together with Theresa Krebs) is titled: When Scholars Know Sin – Alternative Religions and Their Academic Supporters, published in Skeptic Magazine in 1998 (Vol. 6, No. 3). Both a plain text version and the original article in PDF form are available online.

Stephen tells us:

Perhaps the first informational “front” group was APRL, which initially stood for the Alliance for the Preservation of Religious Liberty and later became Americans Preserving Religious Libert.

Cite: (APRL [Americans Preserving Religious Liberty] Newsletter, “New Name, Same Organization,” (Oakland, CA; APRL January 1982)).

Note: Stephen also tracks the APRL evolution towards a “new” front group –

APRL appears to have ceased operations in the early 1980s, but soon another Scientology information front organization was up and running — Friends of Freedom, under the directorship of Reverend George Robertson of the controversial fundamentalist Christian Ministry Bible Speaks (MacSherry, 1992, 16). Bible Speaks acquired considerable notoriety when a former member successfully sued the founder for $6.6 million for unduly influencing her to donate large sums of money to the group (New York Times, 1986, 45).

Stephen talks about the exact document that blew the lid off this APRL front group –

Beginning in late 1976, APRL was active in the United States in efforts to counteract criticisms leveled against a number of groups calling themselves “new religions.”

The often claimed relationship between APRL and Scientology finally was established by a document uncovered in the FBI raid against Scientology offices in Los Angeles and Washington , D.C. on July 7, 1977 . Many of the confiscated documents came from Scientology’s Guardian Office, which was dedicated to handling public relations (sometimes through illegal means).

One undated memo entitled “PR General Categories of Data Needing Coding” contained a list of what it called “Secret PR Front Groups.” Leading the list was “APRL, Alliance for the Preservation of Religious Liberty” (FBI, 1977, 97, 104).

The full cite for that memo is of interest here –

Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Cedars, L.A. Inventories, Evidence #10042: PR General Categories of Data Needing Coding,” [documents obtained during FBI search of Cindy Raymond’s office, from black metal four drawer file cabinet designated as 2M], 8 July 1977, 97, 104; Clinton MacSherry, “Divine Intervention,” City Paper [Baltimore, Maryland], 15 May 1992, 16.

Former scientologist Arnie Lerma helpfully archived the full text of this memo (starts on page 80 of PDF).


Arnie mentions that the memo was introduced as evidence in the court case after the FBI raid on the Church, which was: United States of America v. Mary Sue Hubbard, et al.; United States District Court for the District of Columbia (D.C. Criminal No. 78-401).

You can clearly see that the Church of Scientology, more specifically it’s Guardian’s Office, was going to a lot of trouble to hide the fact that they were behind the APRL.


I have dug up further documentation of this, that I found as part of documents submitted to the May 1982 Clearwater Commission Hearings.

On page 32 of a PDF detailing exhibits 12-25 – is exhibit 19, which is a Guardian Order (#234)  dated 17 September 1976.




Key excerpts –

To ensure that coding is done correctly, with the correct subjects coded and overcoding avoided, the following steps are laid down:

Codes are used for the following general headings:

1. Incriminating, undercover or disinformation, covert operations and the like. Incriminating activities would include things like lobbying where this is inhibited in non profit corporations, also money deals that might provoke government tax offices.

2. Things that we want unknown as connected to the C of S secret PR and BI front groups.

I worked in the External Communication division of the second highest management organization in scientology, from 1978 to 1983 and the Guardian’s Office telex traffic was indeed encrypted, I used to see it every day.

As you can see, point 2 is the heading that the APRL front group would fall under as needing any information about it to be “coded”, because they were running it out of Bureau 1 (intelligence operations).After all, the FBI raided the Guardian’s Office intelligence files, not their “PR” ones, which is how any of these documents are now available, but the fact remains that the covert operation crossed into an overt PR action.

Note: This is actually a no-no in scientologys’ policies, you’re not supposed to cross “PR” (public relations) with Intelligence actions, but they did it anyway apparently. That goes to show you that the WILL do that when they have no other choice. It has been observed by some of our readers that we are perhaps currently witnessing that very thing happening right now in the current “media blitz’ about Scientology – an intelligence operation that has crossed into PR.

Back in the 1970’s, Scientology was clearly running a quite large-scale intelligence operation where Guardian’s office “handers” were actually acting as the “senior” over a number of cults, including Synanon as well as the Unification Church.

Long time researcher and expose author Paul Morantz wrote

Synanon board of director minutes referenced guidance from the Scientology notorious Gaurdian’s Office in the 70’s. Scientology was also said to have been a moving force behind APRL, a short lived alliance of groups many targeted as destructive.

This makes perfect sense to me, because I have already well-begun documenting the intelligence community connections between L. Ron Hubbard (scientology) and Frank Buchman (MRA) and their use in “anti-communist” cult front group creations with both British and American intelligence communities, and a key point being that Buchman’s organization recruited the founder of the Unification Church in Korea – Sun Moon. The parallels in all four organizations are simply astounding. (Synanon, MRA, Unification Church and Scientology).

See –


Apparently, a woman named Young Oon Kim was selected to get things really going in the U.S., and in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, she was spending quite a bit of time in the San Francisco Bay area, particularly the Haight-Ashbury district, where the likes of George Hunter White, Alan Jolyon West, and Willis Harman were all engaged in similar deep cover mind control experimentation projects.

As it turns out, this was also apparently when the name “Unification Church” was proposed.

When the church first started in the Bay Area, there were two missionaries, Mr. Sang Ik Choi and Miss Young Oon Kim […] But in the seven-day workshop following, they have Miss Kim’s approach, which is entirely theological. At that time, of course, the name “Unification Church” is introduced.

Source: Lifestyle: Conversations with members of the Unification Church; 1982; edited by Richard Quebedeaux.

On page 9 of that same source, the time period of this is narrowed to prior to 1970 –

Kim was active in 1970 – page 9 of pdf

Hugh Spurgin: I would like to begin by mentioning briefly Nora’s and m y experience. Nora and I were married in Korea in 1970 in one of the mass weddings performed by Rev. and Mrs. Moon, the “777” wedding.

[…] we were engaged and married before Rev. Moon came to America to live. Our engagement was based on consultation with Dr. Young Oon Kim who was at that time one of the missionary leaders of the Unification Church in America

In the same source (page 198) Stillson Judah, then professor emeritus of the history of religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, was interviewed and revealed that he was not only a member of the APRL, but its vice-chairman  –

Stillson Judah: That’s right. I know it and I am greatly worried about it. Once you make a law it’s not going to affect only one religion or two religions. It is going to affect the religious liberty of all religions and this is one of the reasons why I joined APRL (Association for the Protection of Religious Liberties) and for some years was its vice chairman. I worked very hard because I felt that our religious freedom was really being greatly jeopardized by some of the protests that were being made by the media.

Another document that I dug up details some more names related to this APRL, this one is actually from a partial list of items that had been seized during the FBI raid on scientology, and were in the process of being “returned” to the Church.


It says:

Two page memo dated 5 April 1977 re APRL Meeting on 4 April, attended by Pastor LUKE, President of Freedom of Religion Committee; Barry Fischer, HK lawyer; Ralph Wood, APRL President; Cathy Lowery, Unification Church

I don’t think I have seen anyone prove the scientology connection by tracking its president, Ralph Wood, so I’ll do it.

Ralph Wood is listed as completing the Dianetic Internship at the scientology’s Celebrity Center in 1976 The Auditor magazine #120; he’s also as a reverend having performed a marriage in August of 1978 on page 7 of The Auditor #153.

Auditor 120 (click to see highlighted detail)


Auditor 153 (click to see highlighted detail)


Contrast those to this news article falling right in the middle of the time period between the two items – notice how the APRL appears to be this “independent” organization.

York Daily Record – 1 June 1977



My husband Mike McClaughry was the Assistant Guardian B-1 of the San Francisco Church of Scientology, but he never knew anything about this APRL organization, meaning it must have been quite a secret that the Church was behind it.

So much so, that not even he was told about it even though it clearly affected things in his area (where the Unification Church was). Because Mike knew that Jimmy was in favor of working with the Moonies, Mike believes that this APRL was indeed a Guardian’s Office B-1 intelligence operation, probably overseen by Jimmy Mulligan who was the 3rd top guy in Scientology at that time,

So, this relationship with the Unification Church goes all the way to the top of Scientology management, and worse, through a guy who himself has a number of questionable connections tying him directly into covert CIA/DEA operations going on at that time, not to mention his close relationship with his deputy Terry Milner’s “communicator” Grace-Marie Haddy and her deep connections into the whole MKULTRA LSD experimentation at Stanford Research Institute and the Grateful Dead.

University Texas-Austin 1958 – Jimmy Mulligan


The shore story for scientology’s involvement was “concern about deprogramming” – but if you know Jimmy, that ain’t the whole story.

The other name that FBI document mentioned as meeting with Ralph Wood, was Cathy Lowery (not sure what the correct spelling of her first name is).

Cathy is mentioned in the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph (11 June 1978) as having been a “Moonie” since 1975, and an “official” out of moonie headquarters in New York. The article is titled: Investigation of Pseudo-Religious Cults


That article also details the recruitment technique of the moonies, as well as their quest for recognition as a “religious” organization.

We would look for people who were bright and intelligent,” she said. “We’d start a friendly conversation asking where the person was from and what were his interests.

During the conversation, we’d work in the ideals of young people living together in a community of love. We didn’t talk at all about Moon or religion until later“.

[…] a March 29, 1976 letter approved the Unification Church as a “duly constituted religious organization”.


A February 18, 1979 article from the Cincinatti Enquirer shows when the Unification Church clearly took Scientology’s advice (through the APRL) and began using media and lawsuits to “get its way” – a long term Hubbard-dictated practice forming part of its arsenal towards “shuddering into silence” its critics.

Until 1977 we turned the other cheek,” says Cathy Lowery, an official at the Unification Church’s home office in New York. “Reverend Moon has told us to be more aggressive. Now we’re going to litigate.


An LA Times article from a couple months earlier (CHURCH PRESIDENT’S VIEW “Moonies’ Say Deprogramming Wanes; March 11, 1978) referred to her as Kathie Lowrey, further confusing things as to her name, but there were some interesting points to excerpt from that article as well.

[…] commission of the National Council of Churches declared last June that Moon’s church was not a Christian Church and that many of its teachings are incompatible with Christianity. Moon is seen as a new messiah for a “new age” by members. Salonen, president of the U.S. church since 1972, was in Southern California this week as part of a national tour visiting local churches, including the Los Angeles second-floor office and church at 635 S. Olive St. About 70 full-time missionaries are in this area and live communally at facilities in Burbank, East Los Angeles and Pasadena, spokeswoman Kathie Lowrey said. “Moonies,” once quite visible selling flowers on streetcorners, are a slowly vanishing breed, Salonen indicated. “We have a major effort under way to change our financial base,” he said.

The 32-year-old president of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church in the United States says deprogramming “is basically dead,” al least as far as his organization is concerned. In the last seven months, Neil A. Salonen of New York said in an interview, he had heard of only three suspected cases of Unification Church members, often called “Moonies,” being deprogrammed.

[…] Ted Patrick, a man often associated with the practice, faces charges of false imprisonment in Beverly Hills Municipal Court in connection with attempts to deprogram young members of a Santa Barbara religious group, Brotherhood of the Sun. His trial was continued Monday to April 12. Salonen said as many as eight to 10 deprogramming attempts a month were made on Moon’s followers before last August. “We found that about 50 made their way eventually back to our church,” Salonen said. He credited public opinion and court decisions with slowing down the deprogramming. Last December the California Supreme Court refused to review a state Court of Appeal decision that a conservatorship statute could not be used to take adult sons and daughters out of religious groups and into the custody of their parents. (Ralph C. Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer who heads the Los Angeles-based Alliance for the Preservation of Religious Liberty, declared in a separate interview that he would not say that deprogramming is “dead,” but that its frequency “very definitely has slowed down.” Wood said he believes that the Unification Church practice of filing suits against captors or would-be captors has been effective in reducing the practice.) A survey conducted within the Unification Church late last year indicated that 75 of the full-time missionaries the core members arc 21 to 29 years old, 15 of them are 18 to 20 years old. Of the Unification Church’s more than 30,000 members; about 7,000 are considered full-time.


Hey, Hey, the gang’s all here in that article – Salonen, Lowery, Wood, but still…no one has any clue its scientology! Even as late as 1979, publications like Mother Jones magazine were still trying to deny that connection.

And the moonies weren’t tellin’ either.

Researched and written by –

Virginia McClaughry


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


All that Spy Stuff, Historical Research


, , , , , , ,