H. Keith Henson
2237 Munns Ave.
Oakville, ON, L6H 3M9
This is a second draft, still working on it, I have not put in all the suggestions, but if you see your's left out, email me, I might have missed it the first time. I really appreciate those who wrote with advice on this brief.
I am going to send an all paper version to the court (the judge can read it for background or not as she pleases) and generate a linked version--which is why all the URLs are left in it. They will be pulled before it is printed.
As before, suggestions are welcome.
The attachments are not quite half an inch thick. I really don't want to add much more, but if there are some that really should be there, suggest them, especially if it replaces one of these.
June 14, 2002
Amicus curia brief, for entry in the case file.
The Honourable Judge Schaeffer
315 Court Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Re the Lisa McPherson case and related
Dear Judge Schaeffer:
If there is a requirement to be formal, this is also a MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE
AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF IN THE MATTER OF DANDAR AND RELATED MATTERS.
My name has come up several times in the hearings you are conducting. I am one of two fugitives from Scientology's systematic abuse through the legal system who have escaped to Canada. To quote you (Vol 5, page 676) " . . . this hearing has certainly alerted me to the fact that there are issues to be resolved in abuse of process."
Scientology by policy engages in the systematic use of the legal system to punish its enemies--i.e., anyone who opposes them. This has been going on for decades and at least a hundred people have been crushed by their litigation.
You might already know that the transcripts of the hearings in front of you have been made available on the Internet. There is a good deal of interest in them--which has caused the site to be moved at least twice because of high traffic. The reason for the interest (besides the amazing switch in direction by Mr. Minton) is that this is a historical case where the real question is: Will the courts wake up to how Scientology is using them? (The betting is against it because judges have no way to make an organized response to the cult.)
In reading those transcripts I found that Mr. Minton was confused about which case he funded among the 11 or 12 cases Scientology brought against me or caused the state to bring against me. Mr. Minton funded only a criminal defense and not the copyright case.
None the less, it relates to the zoo in front of you. Because Mr. Minton paid for my legal defense in a Scientology criminal frame up in 1997 and gave me a small donation in 1998, that has been used as an excuse to abusively depose him 3 different times in my bankruptcy case and now to demand payment of over a million dollars from him because that is what they claim to have spent my many cases after the date Mr. Minton funded my defense. (Graham Berry, the lawyer who defended me, Scientology subsequently sued and attacked through the California Bar to the point he is now penniless and on public welfare.)
They also want over $300,000 from Mr. Minton in compensation for legal expenses against me they have not yet incurred! (The exact numbers can be found in Mr. Rosen's list discussed in the last few pages of Vol. 10 of Mr. Minton's testimony.)
In considering the oddities of the testimony you might want to keep in mind that Mr. Minton has been deposed several times in every Scientology case in the past few years no matter how remote. It is understandable that he finally reached the point where he is just trying to get out--though the possibility of something more sinister cannot be dismissed.. They also filed suits against Mr. Minton for over $10 million. Regardless of the merits of these suits they must be defended or defaulted. Defending them can be expected to eat up every dollar he has or could expect to earn for the rest of his life.
You have seen right in front of you how scientology has forced out the depth of funding available to their opponents. It is a good bet they have investigated you no less than Bob Minton.
Scientology's copyright case against me started with a letter I wrote to Federal Judge Whyte (Exhibit A) in the spring of 1996 where I quoted a Scientology instruction manual, NOTs 34 (Exhibit B) containing some of Scientology's "medical treatment policies" similar to those used to "treat" Lisa McPherson. I lost the case (mostly pro se against 20 top copyright lawyers). Judge Whyte was lambasted by the Wall Street Journal (Exhibit C):
"The Scientologists are merely doing their thing, but both cyberlitigants and First Amendment vigilantes ought to take a close look at Judge Whyte's reasoning. Mr. Henson is not trying to steal the profits from Scientology scriptures; his motive is to criticize what he believes is a corrupt and dangerous organization that practices coercive mind control and engages in medical quackery, in the process bilking vulnerable individuals for thousands of dollars and endangering their health. While admitting that the documents were copyrighted, he felt his postings would be covered under as 'fair comment and criticism,' a long-standing provision of copyright law.
"This, Judge Whyte held, didn't even require a jury to deliberate on Mr. Henson's motives. For one thing, his postings didn't include enough explicit criticism of the material, since he felt it was preposterous on its face. More basically, the judge found, the 'fair use' doctrine in its application is much stronger for already published material, and, of course, the posted scriptures had not been published by the owners of the copyright. You can criticize the texts of a public religion, that is, but a secret religion is immune.
"Judge Whyte, in short, has turned copyright law on its head. The purpose of the law is to encourage free speech, giving authors and artists comfort in knowing that others cannot misappropriate their works for their own profit. The essence of the matter before him, as anyone not blinded by a Pecksniffian literalness can see, is that the plaintiffs are using the law to muzzle their critics. In addition, the judge is in the process of morphing an already dubious tort case into a criminal matter through the contempt power--a threat to freedom of speech well recognized in the First Amendment community.
My concern is with this distortion of the legal system wrought by a cult willing to spend ten or a hundred dollars to punish their opponents a dollar. Near the end of Vol. 10 of Bob Minton's testimony Mr. Rosen is reported to have listed cases against their critics in which Scientology spent $34.95 million. I believe the real number (including private investigators and investigating, attacking, and trying to influence judges) is perhaps closer to $35 million *a year*. (See Exhibit K, American Lawyer, December, 1980, Scientology's War Against Judges.) Jesse Prince, should you get him on the stand, has a detailed knowledge of how Scientology influenced, or at least tried to influence, judges through the judges' friends and family.
Scientology spent at least ten million dollars (and continuing) destroying Mr. Berry. Prior to 1993 scientology was estimated to have spent $125 million trying to sue the IRS into submission. The estimate for how much scientology spent over 22 years delaying payment to Wallersheim is $140 million, or close to $7 million a year. They spent $20 to $50 million destroying the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), American Lawyer, June 1997 "Did Scientology Strike Back?" by Susan Hansen.
(Exhibit J), including payments to their Master's-degree-in-acting spy inside CAN, Jolie Steckart. (Jolie is also mentioned in the transcripts.) F.A.C.T.Net spent about $4 million defending and there are other cases such as Grady Ward.
Time Magazine spent over $10 million successfully defending their "Cult of Greed and Power" article (Exhibit D) to the Supreme Court. You can make your own estimate as to the multiplier Scientology spent, but as one example of abuse, Scientology deposed the article's author, Richard Behar, for 56 days.
By those standards, my legal battles with the cult are small potatoes. On Sept. 13, 2000, Mr. Rosen stated in a federal bankruptcy court that Scientology's RTC corporate shell had spent $2 million in legal fees on me. Eight hundred thousand of that was using the bankruptcy court as a punishment mechanism where the maximum possible recovery (had I been wealthy) was about $200,000. That was about 3-4 feet of filings ago, in both Bankruptcy and appeals to the Federal court so the number may be closer to $3 million by now. (I cannot reconcile this with the $1 million in Rosen's list.) At $3 million, they have spent about ten times year my gross income for the last 6 years.
When RTC was getting a court order to depose my daughter in 2000 (who had just turned 18) Judge March of the Central District of California said:
"'I don't think I've even seen a Chapter 13 docket that ran 34 pages in this district. I was amazed when we requested the docket from the Northern District of California and they faxed down 34 pages of their docket from the clerk's office, and I don't think I've ever seen a Chapter 13 case where so many people have had either 2004 exams or depositions taken. It's---it's absolutely amazing.' (p.20)
"'I think in light of the history of this case that is reflected in the docket of the N.D. of Cal, which I take judicial notice of, and is reflected in the motion, that there have been a lot of long contentious and duplicative discovery in depositions taken, and that therefore, it was appropriate to move this court for a protective order.'(p.24)
Judge March limited my daughter's deposition to one hour and awarded sanctions to my daughter of $1,000. Needless to say RTC appealed the decision. Replying to the appeal cost far more than the (never paid) sanction.
Being a former tax lawyer, you might appreciate the sweetheart deal Scientology obtained from the IRS in 1993 when they paid 1.2 percent of what they themselves estimated they owed and obtained tax deductions for "services" in violation of the law.
January 29, 2002 Judge Silverman in the Sklar appeal to the Ninth Circuit wrote:
" . . . . An IRS closing agreement cannot overrule Congress and the Supreme Court.
"If the IRS does, in fact, give preferential treatment to members of the Church of Scientology -- allowing them a special right to claim deductions that are contrary to law and rightly disallowed to everybody else -- then the proper course of action is a lawsuit to put a stop to *that* policy. The remedy is not to require the IRS to let others claim the improper deduction, too." (Exhibit E, paragraphs 24 and 24, page 14)
I have discussed such a lawsuit with one of the lawyers before your court. His estimate is that such a suit would cost $4 million (because Scientology would intervene) or perhaps more with no chance to recover of any of the cost. So the illegal "preferential treatment" for scientology--which greatly contributes to their cash flow and ability to abuse the legal system--is likely to remain the "law of the land."
As to how scientology got such "special consideration," this is in an article by Douglas Franz of the New York Times:
"The decision to negotiate with the church came after Fred T. Goldberg Jr., the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service at the time, had an unusual meeting with Miscavige in 1991. Scientology's own version of what occurred offers a remarkable account of how the church leader walked into IRS headquarters without an appointment and got in to see Goldberg, the nation's top tax official. Miscavige offered to call a halt to Scientology's suits against the IRS in exchange for tax exemptions." (Exhibit F, page 2)
In a remarkable precedent to the current situation with Mr. Minton, the heading on Exhibit F page 8 reads: THE UNUSUAL PEACE: AFTER A MEETING, A 180-DEGREE TURN. Page 10 reads: THE AFTERMATH: A FORMER ENEMY BECOMES AN ALLY. So if you wonder about Mr. Minton crumbling in the face of incessant scientology litigation, consider that even the IRS folded, after (it is believed) the commissioner was entrapped and blackmailed. Some of this is covered in Exhibit G:
On Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 09:28 am Patricia Greenway (who is often in your court) wrote:
"Another gentleman told us that a lady friend of his, used to work for the IRS as the secretary to Fred Goldberg. Yes, she was on staff and at her desk the day that DM blew past her to Mr. Goldberg's office. She was astounded that someone could enter that office without an appointment, as it had never been done before during her employment. There are a lot of other elements to this story, but once again, we cannot reveal them in a public forum....."
The full post is Exhibit H.
More can be found here in a letter (Exhibit I) from another of the lawyers, Graham Berry, who has been before you.
As I mentioned, Mr. Berry has been reduced to living on welfare by the cult's incessant attacks on him in retaliation for representing a number of clients, including me, against the cult. At least 3 judges who have ruled against him were later found to have close connections to the cult, in one case, the Judge's wife was *employed* by them.
I am sure you are well aware of the cult's efforts that finally succeeded in driving medical examiner Joan Wood from office. If it is not well known to you that she spent nearly a year in a mental ward after being forced from office there are people in your court ever day who could confirm this.
Scientology is willing to spend 10 or even 100 dollars to force an opponent to spend a dollar. Scientology is not the only example where large amounts of money have distorted justice. (The tobacco cases, OJ Simpson, and Microsoft come to mind.) The use of courts to economically destroy opponents was not an anticipated abuse of the legal system. To date the courts have found no way to control this abuse.
What seems to be the Scientology goal in the case before you is that the hearing be extended until the resources of the Lisa McPherson estate and Mr. Dandar are completely drained. So far it seems to be on track.
This brief is made under penalty of perjury in that where there are statements of fact in this document, they are (to the best of my knowledge) true.
PS, this brief was posted on the news group alt.religion.scientology with the exhibits hypertext linked. Since Scientology has a person assigned to read that news group (Rea Smith in Los Angeles) they can hardly claim not having notice of it.