Police Interview: Aaron Smith-Levin Admits Hacking Plot
Suspect Aaron Smith-Levin interviewed by a police detective, where he admits to a conspiracy to hack Church of Scientology computers.
Excerpt of February 11, 2019, interview
DET. RL: Okay. So, you brought it up, the “USB thing.”
DET. RL: Tell me what is—what’s the USB thing and what do you know about this whole....
ASL: Well, to be perfectly honest? Because the Church of Scientology is involved in this—because it’s not Cinjin [suspect], it’s not Cinjin making this report. He doesn’t give a fuck.
ASL: Oh, the USB thing was his idea. So, but because the Church of Scientology is behind this, I would—I’m the kind of guy who’s willing to say anything to anybody—I’m not willing to play chicken with the Church on this. So I—I mean, look, there’s some underhanded shit going on here. I’m pro-cooperation, a hundred percent, but the Church will do anything they can to try to fuck me and I don’t actually—I don’t actually know what the accusations are.
DET. RL: The complaint is a USB—that there was a talk, there was talk—I don’t know, semantics, but there was talk of putting a USB into the computer—computer hacking—remotely accessing Church computers.
ASL: Oh, yeah. Not remotely accessing. I mean, it was—again, like you said, it gets into semantics, I’m not a computer guy. But it was how to get the statistics. It was how to get the true membership numbers, the true enrollment numbers, the true courses completed, auditing hours and income stats. And, yeah. So that’s why Zyanya [witness] brought Cinjin to the table.
ASL: And, yeah. He’s like, “I can, I can get on course, I could get access to a computer and,” you know, he’s like, “I can figure out which computer has Internet access and what the OS [operating system] is and everything like that.” So, Zyanya was there, Cinjin was there and it was a conversation that happened and nothing ever happened. There was never any follow-up and literally nothing ever happened.
DET. RL: So after that first throwing it out there that Cinjin did no....
ASL: Yeah. And I was interested. I wasn’t like, “That’s a bad idea.” I don’t really honestly give a fuck. But it was a conversation.
DET. RL: Okay. You didn’t actively try and follow through with Cinjin?
ASL: I mean...
DET. RL: Did you text message him and say, “Hey, you ready to do this?” Anything like that?
ASL: Yeah. Yeah. It was a conversation. I mean, I was interested if it was possible, he thought it was possible. Yeah, I mean, honestly I’m....
DET. RL: Yeah.
ASL: But you know, was it bait? Maybe. I mean, at this point, why the fuck wouldn’t these guys be doing this? You know.
ASL: You have Cinjin, who doesn’t really give a shit about any of this, he’s just doing what the fuck someone’s asking him to do. I mean, honestly.
DET. RL: What who’s asking him to do?
DET. RL: Someone?
ASL: He doesn’t actually give a fuck. He doesn’t give really a fuck about Scientology. He doesn’t really give a fuck about anti-Scientology. In fact, if you ask me, he gives more of a fuck about anti-Scientology. I mean me, me, him and Zyanya, spent a lot of time chatting and he fucking hates Scientology.
DET. RL: Who was going to get, I mean, who was going to get a program written for this USB or who had the hack—who had the hacking capability to be able to do this remotely?
ASL: There was someone I spoke to about it, because I thought this sounds like something that could actually work—but I think that gets into a part where I’m not gonna do the Church of Scientology a favor of commenting at this point. Honestly. No, I mean truly—no disrespect, honestly.
DET. RL: Yeah. I mean you’re here voluntarily. If you don’t want to talk about something, we won’t talk about it.
DET. RL: Fine. Okay. And so officially, as far as I’m concerned, what I’m getting from you is officially your statement is the whole USB idea and everything else was brought up by Cinjin.
ASL: The USB part was. So, the idea was like, okay, how do we do something effective? What would be effective. And this other friend—who I’m sure he’s already named, but I’m not gonna name him—I said, “Hey,” it was actually, the other friend was like, “Okay, how do we do this?” And I was like, “Okay, well I do have this friend named Cinjin, who is you know, he’s dying to take down Scientology and he has access. So let me ask him how he thinks we could do this.” And he’s like, “Well, we could…” and then he mentioned the computers and the internet-capable computers versus the non-internet-capable computers, and then there was a conversation about, “Okay, well, in order to do this, you have to know the operating system of what the computer is.” So, then Cinjin was like, “Okay, I will go in and try to figure out the operating system.” And so he is like, “How do I do that?” So I asked my friend, “How do you figure out the operating system?” And he said, “Just take a picture of the damn screen and I’ll see if I can figure out how to figure out the operating system.” That is exactly where the entire thing ended. Because Cinjin could never make it back into the [Church’s] Belleair Mission.
DET. RL: Last thing I’m going to ask you: I’ve talked with both Cinjin and Morgan [witness]. Both of them have come in here. Both of them took what we call CVSA, Computer Voice Stress Analysis.
ASL: What’s that do?
DET. RL: Lie detector. It’s a new version of a lie detector. It basically measures, it measures stress in your voice, answering questions and so forth. Would you be willing to take one?
ASL: Because the Church is involved with this? Definitely not.
DET. RL: Okay.