Operation Snow White was a criminal conspiracy by the Church of Scientology during the 1970s to purge unfavorable records about Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. This project included a series of infiltrations into and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of Scientology, carried out by Church members in more than 30 countries. It was one of the largest infiltrations of the United States government in history, with up to 5,000 covert agents.[3] This operation also exposed the Scientology plot 'Operation Freakout', because Operation Snow White was the case that initiated the U.S. government's investigation of the Church.

Under this program, Scientology operatives committed infiltration, wiretapping, and theft of documents in government offices, most notably those of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Eleven highly placed Church executives, including Mary Sue Hubbard (wife of founder L. Ron Hubbard and second-in-command of the organization), pleaded guilty and were convicted in federal court of obstructing justice, burglary of government offices, and theft of documents and government property. The case was United States v. Mary Sue Hubbard et al., 493 F.Supp. 209 (D.D.C. 1979).

Mary Sue Hubbard, Cindy Raymond, Gerald Bennett Wolfe, Henning Heldt, Duke Snider, Gregory Willardson, Richard Weigand, Mitchell Herman, Sharon Thomas, Jane Kember, and Mo Budlong, all high-ranking Scientologists, were convicted; prison sentences were as long as five years, though no defendant served that amount. L. Ron Hubbard was named by federal prosecutors as an "unindicted co-conspirator" and went into hiding for the rest of his life.

The Church has been reluctant to discuss the operation's details; typical statements by members and operatives are often vague comments saying that the Guardian's Office (GO) had been "infiltrated" and "set up" to fail in its mission to protect the Church, that those involved were "purged" from the Church, without detailing what actually happened (although it has been suggested many of those involved and "purged" remained in important positions of power within the church). Church spokespersons on the Internet and elsewhere have been known to claim that the operatives "had done nothing more serious than steal photocopier paper."

In 2009, Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis said that the jailed members of Guardians Org were declared "suppressive people" by the Church of Scientology and had to undergo rehabilitation in order to resume their upper level training in the church.

Operation Snow White extended to Canada and resulted in legal proceedings against the Church.

By 1990, all eleven defendants in Operation Snow White were free.

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L'opération Snow White est le nom de code d'une opération lancée par l'Église de scientologie au cours des années 1970 pour faire disparaitre les dossiers défavorables à la scientologie et à son fondateur L. Ron Hubbard. Ce projet incluait une série d'infiltrations et de vols de 136 organismes gouvernementaux, ambassades et consulats, ainsi que d'organismes privés critiques à l'égard de la Scientologie, réalisée par des membres de l'Église, dans plus de 30 pays.

Dans le cadre de ce programme, de nombreux membres de la Scientologie ont commis des infiltrations, des écoutes téléphoniques, et le vol de documents dans les bureaux du gouvernement, en particulier ceux de l'US Internal Revenue Service.

En 1977, les bureaux de Scientologie des deux côtes furent perquisitionnés par des agents du FBI cherchant des preuves de cette opération. À cette occasion ils découvrirent des dossiers que l'Église constituait sur ses ennemis potentiels, comme la journaliste Paulette Cooper, afin de les mettre hors d'état de lui nuire.

L'Office du gardien, l'organisation scientologue chargée de défendre les intérêts de l'Église de Scientologie, fut particulièrement impliquée dans cette affaire. Onze cadres haut placés de l'Église, dont Jane Kember, responsable de l'Office , Morris Budlong et Mary Sue Hubbard, épouse du fondateur L. Ron Hubbard qui était alors numéro 2 du mouvement, furent inculpés. Ils plaidèrent coupable ou furent reconnus comme tels par la Cour fédérale pour les délits d'obstruction à la justice, de cambriolage de bureaux du gouvernement, et de vol de documents et biens de l'État. Ils furent condamnés à des peines de 4 à 5 ans de prison, et à des amendes de 10 000 dollars. Hubbard fut mentionné, par le procureur fédéral, comme « coconspirateur non poursuivi », et aucun lien ne lui fut trouvé avec l'affaire.

À la suite de cette affaire, l'Office du gardien fut supprimé, et les scientologues impliqués dans l'affaire furent démis de leurs responsabilités dans l'organisation.