Documented attempts have been made by the anti-religious movement to “infiltrate” new religions for the purpose of stirring up trouble for those organizations and creating false defectors who could later be used as “witnesses” in civil suits. Extremists seek out candidates, often via the Internet, and either inspire them with hate propaganda to participate in such actions or turn their already-prejudiced viewpoints about religion to the extremist’s advantage.
Charlotte Kates claims to have been a Communist since junior high school. She currently touts programs the Communist Party worked on in early US history, as well as the Party’s social structure. Kates maintains that she is still a Communist though “not politically close to the current leaders of the CPUSA.” Yet, with that as her background, and in direct conflict with the anti-religious tenets of Communism, Kates “suddenly” decided to join the Church of Scientology.
Though it was not discovered until months later, Kates had been in touch with a anti-religious hate group prior to joining the religious organization. In fact, it was during the period just prior to her enrollment as a student in the Church, that the extremists she contacted were attempting to find new people who could infiltrate the same group that Kates then joined.
Those who schemed to try to find infiltrators wanted to place someone inside who could obtain documents from the organization, as well as gather information about the day-to-day workings of the church.
According to Kates, prior to her first visit to the Church, she set out to find a particular newsgroup where she understood religious antagonists met regularly. This newsgroup was not well known, but was a place where individuals could discuss ways to try to incite hatred against the Church, which included discussions on how to stop new people from joining, how to get someone “inside” and harassing current members until they left. More than one member of this extremist faction had the primary purpose of total destruction of the religion itself. Among the contacts Kates made within this group, and spoke with at length, is Arnaldo Lerma, an extremist known for conducting a hate campaign against the Church of Scientology, and who is closely associated with neo-Nazi leader, Willis Carto.
A short time after her initial contact with these extremists, Charlotte Kates applied for membership in the Church of Scientology. And while she was participating in religious services and doing volunteer work with other members of the group during the day, unknown to her fellow church members, at night she began to participate in chat room discussions with extremists intent on infiltrating and destroying that religion.
One of the extremists Kates claims to have communicated with during this period is Keith Henson. Henson, a convicted hate criminal, is well-known within this small faction for his obsessive desire to terrorize parishioners of Scientology. Though fully aware of Lerma’s and Henson’s animosity for the religion she had recently joined, Kate continued to maintain contact with these anti-religious extremists at night.
About five months after joining the Church of Scientology, Kates apparently decided she had gathered enough inside information about the religion and its members, as well as how the group operated, so she “left.” As her prize trophy, she took with her a list of names of Scientology parishioners.
Kates had acquired two key items the chat room plotters wanted – inside information and documents. Such lists have been used in the past to harass parishioners at their homes and businesses.
Now an avowed member of this group of anti-religious extremists, Kates participates in hate marches against Churches with the intention to interrupt church services. She appears to continue participating in Lerma’s underground chat channel and, earlier this year, Kates’ activities were found to involve the spreading of hate propaganda to a 15 year-old girl.
Kates was taken to task by this child’s father who found a message from Kates on the hard drive of his daughter’s computer which, according to the father:
“urges her to hate.” He told Kates “it clearly attempts to poison her and drive a wedge between her and us, her parents.” “I believe your actions may well be criminal, they certainly strike me as the action of an unbalanced personality.”
Kates has since ceased corresponding with that child, but whether her indiscriminate spread of hatred has reached other impressionable minors is unknown.