I started researching and writing this a week ago.
I was amazed at how well the many little pieces fit
together to support the thesis that the DA’s office
in Riverside, or at least the little part over in
Hemet, was captured by the scientology litigation
machine. Here it is, still draft, but very close
to what I am submitting. (My lawyer is likely to
have a fit.)
DECLARATION OF KEITH HENSON
IN SUPPORT OF A MOTION TO DISQUALIFY
THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
FOR BIAS TOWARD SCIENTOLOGY
PEOPLE v. HENSON HEM014371
I, Keith Henson, declare: The information set forth in this declaration is known to me personally. If called upon to testify in court as to the truthfulness of the facts set forth in this declaration, I would do so. 0. Unless otherwise indicated, dates are in the year 2000. 1. I am the defendant in case HEM014371 before the Riverside Superior Court in Hemet, California and 7 or 8 other civil or criminal cases brought against me by Scientology or its proxies in the past six years. I have been an active critic of the abusive practices of the "Church" of Scientology since January 1995. I have been particularly concerned about Scientology’s illegal practice of medicine, illegal confinement, and corruption (usually blackmailing) of government officials, particularly law enforcement and the IRS. I have been sued in federal court (C-96-20271RMW for copyright violation) for exposing Scientology’s internal documents which are manuals describing criminal procedures, particularly the practice of medicine without a license. (Letter to Judge Whyte/NOTs 34 excerpt Exhibit A .) 2. I picketed the Scientology establishment known as Golden Era or the "Base" near Hemet in 1997 and at least twice in 1998. After a picket reported in the Riverside Press-Enterprise (Exhibit___) in early 1998, Kenneth Hoden, manager of the "Base," filed a civil case in Riverside and obtained a TRO to prevent me from picketing (RIC 306884). The case was dismissed as a non-suit by Judge Cunnison on an oral motion by Graham Berry invited from the bench after a hearing February 20, 1998. 3. On May 20, 2000, I read on the Internet of an "accident" in which a 16-year-old, Ashlee Shaner, had been killed in a collision with construction machinery that was being used on the "Base." I later carefully read the accident report, (Exhibit ___) which was in near perfect accord with my initial estimate of the cause. According to the report, a paving crew had been "asked" to work late by Scientology agents and the machinery was being moved after dark across Gilman Springs Road with no precautions such as flagmen or flares to protect motorists. Although the California Highway Patrol report recommended a manslaughter prosecution, to the best of my knowledge the Riverside District Attorney’s office has not acted on this recommendation in the 10 months since the victim’s death. 4. Because of this death and the likelihood that it would be ignored, I decided to picket again, even though the "Base" is a long way from my home near San Francisco. My first public posting about my intent to picket the "Base" was dated May 25. Other than the possibility that my private "IRC" (Internet Relay Chat) conversations were snooped, I cannot account for the timing of a May 24 meeting about me between Scientology attorney Alan C. Oberstein and a Hemet DDA. This meeting is revealed in a letter dated July 27, in the DA’s file on this case. (This letter was requested in discovery but was refused, though Graham Berry was permitted by DDA Schwarz to scan it and the Gerald Feffer letter mentioned below. Berry could testify about the letters.) I picketed the "Base" before and after Memorial day 2000. The response of the Scientologists was to hide from my signs as if they were guilty. I had time between consulting jobs and a place to stay in Hemet (with Ida Camburn) so I picketed the "Base" a number of times starting in June. I wrote detailed and often humorous reports about my picketing activities and posted them on the Internet in the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. Between May 3 and Sept. 2 my postings (when printed) are the size of a modest novel, 535 pages. 5. Subsequently (June 25, 2000) another young woman, Stacy Meyer, died at the "Base," electrocuted and charred beyond recognition in a transformer vault. I was familiar with Scientology’s practice of confining people in dangerous industrial locations such as chain lockers on ships. I contacted the Sheriff’s Department and was referred to Deputy Greer as the investigating officer. My phone bills show two calls to Mr. Greer’s number on June 26, two on June 27, and one each on June 28 and 29. After that date I was in Hemet making local calls. I delivered written background material to Deputy Greer once at a weapons range and at least once at the station. I put Deputy Greer in contact with Jesse Prince (of the Lisa McPherson trust, Clearwater, FL) and Mark Plummer who lives in Austin, Texas. Both are former executives of Scientology who are familiar with Scientology practices. I was in contact with both these people. Mr. Prince wrote to Deputy Greer on June 30 (Exhibit ___) answering questions Deputy Greer had posed. Both of them strongly recommended that the deputies obtain and read (with expert help) the victim’s "ethics" and personnel files. The experts knew these files would have details of previous episodes of punishment and confinement. About two weeks after Deputy Greer talked to Jesse Prince and Mark Plummer about "ethics" and personnel files, I asked Deputy Greer (in a telephone conversation in late July or early August of 2000) about the progress of the investigation . Deputy Greer told me that Scientology had refused access to the files of the victim and that the DA’s office was unwilling to assist sheriff deputies with subpoenas or search warrants. Deputy Greer indicated his frustration to me and expressed an opinion (rough paraphrase) that the case was a murder, but it would require that a defector leave Scientology for it to be solved. I have read the public material from the concurrent OSHA investigation and the coroner’s report. It is my strongly held opinion that the "official" story, that the 130-pound victim had pulled a 230-pound manhole lid off, placed a ladder two feet shorter than the vault depth and entered a live transformer vault over her concern for ground squirrels, was fabricated. A supervisor (the names are blacked out in the OSHA report), who had been pressed by the investigator as to why the victim was in the vault, had no idea at 2 p.m., but by 3:15 p.m. he "remembered" and related a vivid story of a conversation with the victim the previous evening about using a ladder to get into the vault and advising her this was unsafe (Exhibit ___). Also, the four handwritten reports (Exhibit ___) that are part of the OSHA report do not agree on fundamental facts about the relation of Stacy Moxon Meyer to ground squirrels: in some she is trapping them for release, in others she has one as a pet. It should be noted that ground squirrels make extremely poor pets and some of them in California carry bubonic plague. 6. I am convinced that the DA’s office, particularly DDA Tom Gage, and others in that office conspired with Scientology lawyers in a nearly successful attempt to have me arrested on videotape for failure to appear. (I believe Deputy Greer was involved reluctantly.) I believe there was no original intent to prosecute the extremely weak case before this court, or the even more ridiculous nuclear weapons charge on the arrest warrant but that the intent of Scientology and the DA’s office was to set me up to be arrested in front of a videocamera for failure to appear by placing me at a videotaped deposition and an *unnoticed* arraignment at the same time. This is in keeping with Scientology’s religious precept (Exhibit ____) that all who criticize Scientology or stand in its way are criminals even if they have to *make* them criminals. Scientology’s OSA (Office of Special Affairs) has in the past few years gone to great effort to set up criminal charges against me (two other times), Mark Bunker, and Bob Minton (three times), and, going back in time, Pedro Lerma in Spain, Gabe Cazares, former mayor of Clearwater, Florida and the author Paulette Cooper among others. The following are some of the points which lead me to intense suspicion of conspiracy in which Scientology lawyers set the date of deposition that was then used by the DA for setting an unnoticed arraignment date. (See timeline, Exhibit ___.) A. My original arrest in this case was on July 19 while picketing alone at the "Base," at which time I was interrogated, then "unarrested" by Sheriff Deputy Rowe. No notice to appear was given, nor were charges laid at that time. B. I complied with requests from Deputy Greer to speak with him without representation about this case on August 3 (at the sheriff station) and August 8 (at the home of Ida Camburn). Deputy Greer expressed a uniform low opinion of the charges. On August 3 that Greer taped my voluntary conversation while denying that he was doing so (see the transcript as entered in evidence by the Prosecution). C. The case record shows that deputy Greer’s report of Aug. 8 was submitted to the DA without recommendation. " . . . I did not see any direct threat of violence towards the church or any personnel of the church." On Aug, 16, Scientology attorney, Gerald Feffer (of Williams and Connally, Washington, D.C.) wrote to Deputy D.A. Kevin Ruddy. In his letter, (most likely faxed) Feffer refers to the prior meeting between them and sets forth factual and legal arguments that I should be arrested for extortion. That day Greer went to Golden Era "at the request of the DA’s Office." His declaration shows that he interviewed staff members selected by Hoden. This declaration was filed with his report of his investigation and on the following day, August 17, Deputy Greer signed an arrest warrant for 11418.5 PC (nuclear weapons threats). D. Despite the fact that the arrest warrant was written on August 17, filing was delayed to Sept. 1. I believe that the explanation of this delay lies in negotiations by a Scientology lawyer with me over the deposition date in Hurtado as described below. E. There was the thinnest of excuses for me to be deposed, at great expense and on videotape, in Hurtado v. Berry--a case solicited by Scientology lawyers and mostly used to tie up and wear down Berry. I have no first-hand and precious little second-hand knowledge about this case. After Sept. 15 I tried to set up another date for this deposition (which after a hearing before Judge Hart in Los Angeles Sept. 14 required a referee). The Scientology request to videotape was dropped by them immediately after the arraignment date passed (I also wanted to tape), and Scientology lawyer Ava Paquette had no interest in setting another deposition date. Hurtado v. Berry was recently dropped altogether a week before trial by Scientology lawyers. F. The deposition date on the subpoena (August 28) was a placeholder for negotiation about a later date. I had already been told by Scientology PI Frank Petty (see Aug.14 transcript, Exhibit ___), while he followed me during my picketing at the "Base," that they knew I would be unavailable that day because my daughter would be entering college the next day. (Not difficult since my daughter, my wife, and I had been followed to the University of Redlands on July 21 and anyone can find out the date of freshmen registration.) G. Further dates offered in a letter dated August 18 by Scientology attorney Ava Paquette were chosen so that there would be proper time for the District Attorney to file a notice to appear between my response to her letter and the scheduled deposition date. That is, if I agreed to any of the dates (Sept. 7, 14 or 15), notice could be alleged to have been properly filed 15 days before arraignment and deposition. To be sure that I would agree to a deposition date I was called almost every day from the 18th to the 25th of August, when I agreed to the date of Sept. 15. (Paquette letter Exhibit ___) H. There was great pressure from the Scientology lawyers to hold the deposition in San Jose. Eventually at my insistence (to reduce cost for Mr. Berry’s side) it was set for Los Angeles. There may be some significance in the trouble it would cause me to be arrested this far from Riverside County. (Night in jail etc.) I. The notice of arraignment was filed with the court on Sept. 1, with an arraignment date of Sept 15, several days after I agreed (on Aug. 25) to the deposition date of Sept. 15. Given the amount of communication known to have occurred between the DA’s office and Scientology lawyers, dating back to the meeting on May 24 described by Scientology attorney Alan C. Oberstein in his letter to a DDA dated July 27 (mentioned above), it seems unlikely the overlapping dates were a coincidence. J. Given the amount of pressure put on Deputy Greer, it seems odd that the notice of arraignment would have taken 15 days to file after he signed the arrest warrant but reasonable if coincidence for Sept. 15 was the object. K. The Court record shows that notice to appear was filed on September 1, and it also states that I was "released with a letter to appear" on that date. Not only was I not in custody, but I was not even in Riverside County on that date. Nor did I or my lawyer ever receive any notice to appear from the DA’s office in any form. L. My first inkling that I was scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 15 was the afternoon of Sept. 13, when I received several inches of motions from Scientology lawyers in my bankruptcy case in San Jose. Apparently, Scientology lawyers had read into an ambiguous statement about my lawyer Graham Berry (in a reply motion in Hurtado filed the previous day), that I had word of the arraignment. From Exhibit ___
Mr. Berry has been my counsel in this and a number of other matters since then, and is currently my counsel for surrender notice from the District Attorney in Riverside County on pending criminal charges involving purported threats of the use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction.The Scientology lawyers must have assumed that I had somehow found out about the arraignment in Hemet, and therefore referred to it in one of their motions as part of a character attack against me. This must have been an attempt to salvage something out of what they thought was a failed effort to set me up to be arrested on camera. This court’s computer records show that a printout was purchased (for 50 cents) on Sept. 12. A printout was entered in my bankruptcy case as character-attack material on Sept. 13. M. Since I had nothing which looked official except a computer printout from the court (and I know how easy those are to fake) I was uncertain if I had been charged in Hemet or not. I was scheduled to be in Los Angeles that evening to see Berry regarding a hearing the following day on the Hurtado deposition. The next morning on the way to court in the Hurtado matter, I contacted Deputy Greer on my cell phone. Greer was not informative, (Exhibit ___) but he gave me Tom Gage’s telephone number, and Berry began trying to contact the DA’s office. No answer was forthcoming from the DA’s office about my arraignment until the afternoon of the 14th, when it was finally disclosed to Berry that an arraignment was scheduled for the next day. . N. In that conversation with Berry, DDA Tom Gage (who signed the Notice to Appear) demonstrated a remarkable ability to make personal remarks about Berry during a telephone conversation on the afternoon of September 14, 2000, a conversation to which I listened and of which I took notes that I posted publicly as fast as I could (Exhibit___). What he repeated to Berry was scientology "dead agent" (character attack) material which he could only get from close contact with agents of Scientology. It matches accounts of Berry’s friends and relatives about defamatory letters about Berry circulated by Scientology. O. A copy of the letter ("released with a letter to appear") noted in the court’s computer record has not been located in the DA’s files, in spite of a request for it in discovery. This note is false because I was not in Hemet on Sept. 1, 2000, nor was I in custody. I am informed, however, that the notation in the computer records would have been enough "evidence" that I had notice for any judge to have issued a bench warrant for failure to appear. My best estimate of what would have happened if I had not accidentally found out about the arraignment is that a warrant would have been faxed to the deposition location in Los Angeles and I would have been arrested--on videotape for failure to appear. The vidoetape would have been posted on the Internet within hours. P. I never received a mail notice of the arraignment date. The post office is good about mapping my street address into my PO box. The DA’s office has never indicated that I was mailed notice. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the above is true and correct. Executed on March 12, 2001 at Palo Alto, California.