I just can't seem to get it through my tattered mind that they can basically do pretty much anything they want. I'm reminded of a quotation that I saw recently in the *New York Times*, that "What we have in the United States is a legal system. What we need is a justice system."
It was the usual gang: Kobrin, Rosen, Darlene (?), McShame, with the addition of 2 people, one of whom I think I've never seen before. When I came into the hallway, he was sitting with his back to the elevators, one arm slung over the arm of the bench. I didn't realize he belonged to the $-ology party until I saw him go inside the courtroom & sit next to the woman I believe to be Darlene (OSA).
There was also a young man who might have been the same person who tried to have me arrested when I picketed in Mountain View (OSA). The older man was wearing a grey suit, was short for a man (possibly shorter than I am at 5'6"), had a beard and a mustache with sideburns. He was carrying a briefcase and consulted basically with OSA.
The younger man was tall, wearing a dark suit (one of the hottest days this summer), blue shirt, and patterned gold tie), blondish hair, clean-shaven, Nordic features, elongated face. Probably around 5'10" or 6'. Shorter than Rosen, though, and quite slender. But then Darlene is the only one of the staffers who seems to eat well enough to have any flesh on her bones.
[I believe Darline's husband has a wog job. HKH]
When Kobrin sits, particularly in the plush leather chairs on the other side of the bar, she sits heavily, as if her knees won't bend. She falls into the chair. Her shoulders are stooped. When she glances at me, I can't tell if it's hatred, envy, fear, appeal or just a pervasive exhaustion. She is gaunt. Rosen's bearded face is not getting any better looking, but his hourly rate has gone up (as he will testify later) to $615.
The luggage consists of 2 banker's boxes, a fat briefcase (Rosen's), and an accordion file. The dark-suited young man totes it and makes rushes at it when they can't find something.
There is also an unknown person who comes and sits in the back row not far from me. He nods his head to me, but I can't recognize him. I don't know whether that's my CSS (cumulative stress syndrome) or I really have never met him. I feel like a fugitive from "Memento."
This is 3 hearings (3--count 'em--3) in one. The first 2 are regarding Keith's bankruptcy. $-ology wants all their San Jose proceedings moved into Judge Whyte's federal court and keeps whining that Judge Weissbrodt (in the bankruptcy court) isn't treating them fairly. This is obviously because he has gotten a clue, whereas Judge Whyte has a clue but doesn't want it.
The 3rd is Keith's contempt hearing for asking people to find NOTs 56 (his, of course, since no one outside this courtroom--and not me either--believes that it exists as an "authentic" $-ology document not recently created) and for pointing people to sites where they could find NOTs 34 with commentary.
(I found 411 using Google when I looked earlier this afternoon, and I testified as much over Rosen's objections that it was "irrelevant," and the judge agreed, though allowing the testimony).
Everyone was confused about whether Keith's bankruptcy attorney was going to represent him for the contempt charges, including the attorney, Stanley Zlotoff. He said he would just "monitor" the proceedings. Since that wasn't what I had understood from Keith, I left the courtroom during one of Rosen's rant-whines and called Keith, who asked to speak with Stan at the first opportunity.
The judge takes first the motion to "withdraw reference," that is, to move the bankruptcy proceeding into Whyte's court. He reminds Rosen that he has already rejected this plea. Rosen requests that the court reconsider the ruling. He whines endlessly in his booming voice, sounding and looking like a belligerent two-year-old on steroids. Judge Weissbrodt is biased against them, he complains.
Whyte is apparently offended by their claim that the other federal judge is "aiding and abetting" Keith by ruling that he may seek the protection of the bankruptcy court and may answer interrogatories instead of being compelled to appear for deposition (in the US). Rosen rehashes all the history (from $-ology's point of view), including the fact that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied their request to recuse Weissbrodt, and so on ad infinitem.
Rant, whine, boom.
The dark-suited OSA leaves, returns to the courtroom, and Darlene (?) gives him something. McShame is in the 1st row taking notes.
"I don't mean to put you on the spot," Rosen says to Whyte. Oh, of course not. Whyte argues Weissbrodt's point of view. Rosen: "I recognize that the court has the broadest possible discretion to regulate discovery . . . but the one thing that rule 26 would not stand is . . . [to] assist him [Henson] in maintaining his refugee status . . . . For a federal judicial officer to make an accommodation [of this sort] . . . is obscene."
So Rosen thinks Weissbrodt is obscene. Interesting. Rosen then objects to a footnote in Weissbrodt's April 22 (2002) opinion that he finds particularly offensive, rants on about how "to exercise discretion . . . to protect a fugitive . . . [is the] most compelling part . . . ." Finally Whyte interrupts. This part is about the interrogatories versus deposition.
"Isn't that a matter of discretion?"
Rosen: "No, it's a matter of law." Hm. Rosen is teaching the judge.
Well, I doubt the judge makes $615 an hour, and that's what counts, isn't it, Rosen?
Rosen: "If someone is a fugitive . . . the law does not permit him to seek the benefits of the law . . . ." He cites the Hemet ruling refusing the right of appeal to Keith. "I don't believe it's a matter of discretion."
Now Rosen begins to rant, "I believe to a moral certainty that the trial will not come off." He accuses Weissbrodt of wasting his precious time. He claims that the fact that the hearing on the sale of the house is set for October 10, after the trial date, proves the judge's duplicity. Finally Whyte is fed up and somewhere in all those folds of fat Rosen senses this.
The judge gives Keith's attorney his turn. Quietly, he states that "Nothing [in Weissbrodt's behavior] rises to any level of bias" in favor of Henson or against RTC. He cites several blows to his defense of Keith, including Weissbrodt's granting of several in-limine motions that completely obliterated exhibits offered by him.
He points out that he has been appearing before Judge Weissbrodt since he was first on the bench and says, "It's really painful to see RTC trample on his reputation." He points out that it was RTC's insistence on years of discovery, days and days of deposition of people at increasing remove from relevancy that delayed the trial, not anything he or Keith had done.
Rosen has to have the last word, and Whyte permits it.
Despite the fact that Keith's attorney has clearly pronounced Judge Weissbrodt's name correctly as "Wyssbrote," Rosen continues to pronounce it "Wyssbrought," as if he hasn't heard, doesn't care, or would prefer to insult the other judge.
(The judge's name means "white bread" in German, probably a reference to his family's having been "upper crust" who would have eaten white bread instead of the peasant bread made of whole-grain flours. Since whole-grain flours spoiled more quickly and easily than the white flour that had all but the starch removed, the upper classes ate bread made from white flour that could be stored without spoilage.)
I continue to be astonished at the ease with which Rosen can interrupt, override or speak to the judge as if he were on the bench with him. He interrupts Whyte: "My point is . . . " blah, rant, whine.
Whyte's voice is thin and reedy and does not penetrate the courtroom like Rosen's. Rosen, why couldn't you have been a basso profundo. You would have sung good opera. Better than these lies, this pretense.
Arguing on behalf of Kobrin, he says that someone during the bankruptcy proceedings "accused me of--excuse me--said I was a scientologist." I doubt that was a slip. It may have been a slap.
Finally, Judge Whyte catches an inconsistency in Rosen's argument for Kobrin with his previous argument for withdrawal of reference. He asks, "Wouldn't that go a little bit against your thing that Judge Weissbrodt is against you?" (A hint of sarcasm here)?
Finally, Whyte has had enough. He goes on to the motion for intervention by Kobrin. Early on in the bankruptcy proceedings (1999), there was a revelation that Kobrin is a $-ology staffer. At that point, Weissbrodt asked how much of her work was done for $-ology. When she had to admit that it was more than 1/3, the judge claimed that she was basically an in-house attorney (subsequently referring to her as "quasi-in-house"), and excluded her from depositions and proceedings in which any confidential facts were exposed about Keith, me, his friends, employers, etc., subsequent to a protective order he had issued.
Now Kobrin is claiming that Weissbrodt's April 22, 2002 ruling reveals a prejudice against her due to her "religion." Going to the podium for herself, she complains in a flat, thin voice, trying to sound pained, that her grandfather's profession was taken away from him in [Nazi] Germany because he was a Jew. Now, she claims, although she wouldn't go so far as say her profession is being taken away from her, she says that her rights have been violated.
Whyte asks her a question. Rosen comes forward to answer for her. There they are again, role-reversed Jack Spratt & Mrs. Spratt. She is a small, tired woman whose face is dark with fatigue and illness. He is a huge man miraculously still alive despite his clear weight problem, stress and obvious lack of exercise.
Kobrin argues weakly about Judge Weissbrodt's behavior, "It's not acceptable." It's the strongest thing she can say. "It upset me." "It's just too strange." In contrast with Rosen's swaggering insults, her protests sound like a sick damsel in distress backing against a cave wall when a puppy dog barks at her.
Whyte asks, "Do you think it would be in my power to issue an order" regarding Judge Weissbrodt's exclusion of Kobrin? She seems confused. "I suppose you could."
In answer, Keith's attorney says he can't believe what he's hearing. He hands up the very order that Rosen denied existed, which Rosen protests he didn't sign and which he says "has nothing to do with the issue." Annoyed at this outburst, Whyte says, "Let me look at it."
There is a conference between Darlene (?) and the man I hadn't seen before.
When Keith's attorney finishes his quiet objections, which include the fact that the exclusion related to discovery, which has ended, and that Kobrin has access to all documents admitted in the case at this point, Rosen has to seize the last word once again.
"Quasi" is an insult. Rosen, of course, hasn't taken any other cases that anybody has found in 2 years. His argument for Kobrin is that equating all $-ology is like equating the Catholic diocese of San Jose with one in Louisiana. Of course he isn't going to cite the court decision that encompassed all $-ology shams under the Miscavige roof.
"This is the smoking pistol," he rants, that proves Weissbrodt's prejudice against scientology. He claims that $-ology refused to provide interrogatories because Weissbrodt's ruling that they would suffice was offensive. But, he claims, "I don't mean to be pejorative." Right.
When Whyte attempts to go on to the contempt hearing, I draw Stan's attention to the fact that he and Keith need to confer. Whyte grants a 5-minute recess for the cell phone call.
When we reconvene, Keith's attorney asks for a continuation on the grounds that the attorney Keith had hired couldn't be there on this date and that he doesn't know anything about the case. The judge denies his request.
Well, this is where I fall down the rabbit hole again. Whyte says that there had "not been sufficient showing" that Keith had tried to come up with an attorney. Then not even the stupid $-ology contingent could keep straight which NOTs was what, and it degraded into something that sounded and looked as if the entire hearing was being run through a travesty engine.
Nevertheless, Whyte says, "The facts are fairly clear." Hm. Which facts, your honor. Whose?
Rosen calls McShame. "Reverend" Warren McShane takes the stand, sworn in (recall TR-L), and says that he is president of RTC. He claims that a NOTS 56 was written by Hubbard and sent out on 20 Feb. 1984, shortly after the "theft" of the previous 55 NOTs in Denmark. (Subsequently those NOTs were copyrighted, McShane said.)
The OSA who is possibly from Mountain View hands around folders. They are supposedly showing the "original" NOTs 56 to the judge and to Keith's attorney. They also hand around exhibits 13 and 14, said to be postings redacted by them regarding or about NOTs 34. The judge's folder is not actually handed to the judge but waved ostentatiously as available.
Here in Wonderland, Keith's attorney becomes understandably thoroughly confused. NOTs 34, NOTs 56? What are these things and why are they flying around the room like a pack of cards? Rosen attempts to clarify. Kobrin attempts to clarify. The judge attempts to clarify. The cards are still flying around the room. Alice keeps getting larger and smaller.
Well . . .
Darlene is gone, and so is the dark-suited keeper of the documents. Afraid to catch pneumonia in case some word or words of a NOTs should surface--the way everybody fled during the copyright trial when Berry used 2 words together from NOTs 34?
After some fumbling and correction, Rosen asks McShane what he hopes to accomplish by the contempt charges. McShame says that is something that "would stop Mr. Henson from doing what he's doing. . . . When we got the permanent injunction [we thought we were rid of him] . . . but he goes on and he's just on and on and on . . . to stop him from harassing us."
Prompted by another of Rosen's questions, McShane says, "I thought our battle was over in 1998." Yes, you did, didn't you? You thought he had been crushed. But he keeps raising his head like a strong kitten who refuses to be drowned and keeps sticking his head out of the sack. You will not drown him, you bullies.
Both the judge and Rosen deny getting a copy of Keith's NOTs 56. They say it would have been sent to Hogan, and that Rosen saw Leslie Holmes, who would have given it to him.
At this point, a yellow lined sheet goes from Kobrin to the beard in back.
Cross-examination: Keith's attorney asks, with the judge's help, what their expense is, what damage Keith's action has caused. McShane answers, "Well, we're here." He continues, "Our job specialty is to protect our scriptures . . . [until "parishioners" are] prepared to receive and understand them. . . . [Having them out in the world causes] a lot of misunderstanding of what the scripture means *and the ridicule that goes along with it*" [emphasis mine]. "I can't tell you how much work that goes into it [protecting the "scriptures" of the sacred Ron, written by David Mayo et al.]"
When Zlotoff asks what they must be protected against, Rosen finally interrupts the flailing McShane ("There are splinter movements out there, free-zoners . . . ") to object that they are not seeking damages. He points out that the issue is whether Keith was violating the judge's injunction.
Zlotoff asks what the NOTs are, and McShane explains the name and the "purpose" in auditing. He also claims that NOTs 56 was "authored by Mr. Hubbard" and that the reason, as Zlotoff points out, that no NOTs higher than 55 were mentioned in a previous case was that they were not "part of the case."
Zlotoff asks if I can be given a copy of NOTS 56 to compare with what I had researched on the Internet this afternoon--Keith's copy. Suddenly a metronome flicks on and the entire courtroom except for Zlotoff and Whyte (and me) begins shaking their heads in unison, back and forth, back and forth. Zlotoff backs down. He has completed his cross-examination.
For attorney's fees, Rosen takes the stand and is "sworn in." (For a man whom I have seen to lie again and again, this is ironic, somehow, and more Alice in Wonderland proceedings.) He testifies as to a summary he says he has handed in to Judge Whyte, or will hand in.
Here is what I wrote down from the summary as given in testimony: June, July and August have all actually been billed. As Rosen points out later while on the stand, he (on behalf of Paul, Hastings, but handling all this himself) makes out a single bill for all Henson matters. Therefore he has subtracted all but the contempt-related charges for these months. He says this is also true for the projected bill for September, which he itemizes.
June $5,073.75 (with no disbursements--too much trouble to break out, he says)
July $615 (with no disbursements)
August ($8,148.75 (disbursed $3,750, "mostly air fare," hotel, etc.)
September: Sept. 18, 6 hours $3,690; 19th $4,305, with disbursement of air fare $1500), 20th $2,460 (today);
21st (travel time back to New York) $1230,
which doesn't all count against the contempt charges because some is bankruptcy related. He says he has charged 1/2 contempt, 1/2 bankruptcy for the purposes of this proceeding. Otherwise, the charges are lumped together as "Henson," just as the "Henson" drill is blamed on Keith's "threats." $350 hotel bill alone.) The total is $31,272.50.
He testifies that he charges $615 an hour. Kobrin is questioning him, according to a script, it appears. She speaks tonelessly and in a thin voice that is only audible because enhanced by the microphone on the podium. Did anyone else help him in preparing for these proceedings? Yes, he says, Moxon & Kobrin, and Thomas Hogan's law firm in San Jose (around $2,000 worth), but since he did the major work (he "reviewed and edited" Moxon & Kobrin's work), they are only asking for his charges.
When Zlotoff cross-examines, Rosen confesses, "I expected him [Henson] not to appear." Zlotoff then asks why, since he is so expensive, a lesser employee of the firm ("190 partners," according to Rosen) could not have handled this case. Rosen replies that the reason is "*the education curve in getting even somebody from my own firm*" to understand the case.
(Emphasis mine. And Keith is supposed to not only find an attorney who dares to handle $-ology--turned down for this case by everyone he called in San Jose [insert #?]--but also pay for and climb up that steep "education curve" from Canada?) "I handle all this myself because the learning curve to take someone else to participate . . . it would cost the company far more."
So apparently the "Church" has him handle all their cases because the "learning curve" is expensive, while destroying all attorneys who understand $-ology from the other side, because they are aware from their own experience how steep that "learning curve" is obviously a priority.
As soon as he gets off the stand, Rosen is ready to sum up, ignoring Zlotoff, despite the fact that Zlotoff had said he wanted to call me to testify.
Zlotoff objects and is allowed to present his case. After I have affirmed my intention to "tell the truth, the whole truth," Zlotoff asks me if I had seen Keith's NOTS 56. Yes, I looked it up on the Internet. I ask if I can be allowed to say why Keith didn't have a copy of his own work. The judge says that it's hearsay, echoing Rosen's objection. I say it is my own knowledge, that he did not take his computer or much in the way of papers with him to Canada--of course he needed to call for a copy of his own work.
I expect that Zlotoff and Whyte and everybody will have Keith's exhibits that he sent me in email, URLs for NOTs 56 and 34. I testify that I found some 23,000 results on Google using the words "NOTS 34" but 411 using that phrase with quotation marks. I have notes on each of Keith's exhibits except #9, which I couldn't get to in my allotted half hour on a library computer, but to my disappointment they do not have copies and no one knows what I'm talking about. The travesty engine again.
When Zlotoff finishes and Rosen comes forward to cross-examine, Whyte says quietly, "Take it easy." When Rosen says, "Was Your Honor talking to me?" Whyte repeats his admonition. Rosen answers as quietly, "OK," and proceeds to not be as nasty as at depositions I have had with him.
He wants to know why, if I'm a librarian as I testified, I couldn't find Keith's file on his computer. I say that he didn't remember the title of the file and wasn't even sure that he had kept a copy or only posted it. I forgot to say that it could also have been on diskette, etc. Finding anything among the hundreds, perhaps thousands of files on the computer that I hope survive the truck ride to Canada is difficult if not impossible. Keith usually uses a "grep" type command and often gets hundreds of results with which I have no patience and for which I have had no time while working, commuting and packing and sorting, but I don't say this for the sake of brevity. I'm not even sure that Keith asked me to try.
Rosen wants to know about the NOTs 56 I saw this afternoon. What did it say? I say it looked like nonsense to me, as all the NOTs do. He persists. Can I remember words or phrases? Yes, I remember "BTs" and "clusters" and "auditing" and "reading" and so on. But can't I even remember one sentence? Well, not to quote. But I do remember, to the increasing discomfort of the $-ologists in the courtroom, that it seemed to have to do with reading BTs and auditing BTs and clusters when symptoms include hysterical laughter and other physical symptoms.
I do not look at Rosen or anyone else as I search my stress-tossed memory for what I just saw a couple of hours before: one particular stretch I remember but cannot quote is whether the BTs were on, in, beside or somewhere else in relation to the body being audited. When I finish speaking--Rosen realizes the judge will not let him interrupt, since this is crucial to the case--Rosen stops me and immediately declares cross-examination over.
Summing up, Rosen declares that they are hoping that some "confluence" of charges against Keith will cause him to stop. He delivers his peroration in an unnaturally (for Rosen) quiet voice and in a deferential manner. Whyte has seemed to grow in stature and annoyance as the hearing has ground on to its close at over 2-1/2 hours in length. When I was in the witness box I saw him up close for the first time. He is as thin as I believed him to be from the back of the room. Although tall, he seemed huddled in the far corner of the judge's box, his face dark and lined, with visible veins in the temples and cheeks.
He listened to me and spoke with me in a quiet voice. He neither interrupted nor seemed disrespectful of me. I respected him and listened to what he had to say, and only appealed to him and pleaded with him to be allowed to tell truths not otherwise available. He had turned down my amicus brief attempting to inform him of the circumstances of Keith's flight to Canada and requesting that he rethink his decision not to let Keith appear by telephone or some other means than in person. Unlike the $-ologists, I do respect judges, the law, the courts. I just no longer believe in their efficacy to combat the poison that $-ology has introduced into the American legal system.
While I respect Whyte as a judge and as a person, I believe that he is running from them and deferring to them.
Rosen's main argument is that Judge Whyte should grant them what they are asking for, since it is not much--only $31,000 (!) in legal fees which he argues they won't be able to collect anyway (then why . . . ?). In his suddenly small voice, he claims that the bankruptcy will disallow their collection of these fees. Zlotoff and he have a brief discussion over their disagreement about whether the RTC debts would be collectible if Keith's bankruptcy were to be converted to Chapter 7 instead of the current Chapter 13 (under which they are dischargeable, without doubt). Oh gosh, the poor babies won't get anything.
Whyte asks whether merely pointing to a commentary site would be a violation of the injunction. Oh gee, judge, that's a good question. I was just asking myself that question this morning, Rosen laughs nervously, allowing his voice to boom a little in hearty good fellowship. He backs into the injunction, which I hope has thorns.
I find it interesting that McShamed has remained on the other side of the bar all this time, as if he were an attorney and not just a witness. He sits at the lawyer's table, taking notes, and remains there till the end, whereas I have returned to the middle bench, not the back as before, retrieving my water bottle and notes. Or at least I think I retrieved my water bottle. (I lost it sometime during the day.)
Whyte promises to rule soon in a strong voice and posture. Then, as if in an afterthought, he requests the still closed folder purporting to contain NOTS 56: "Could I uh look quickly at NOTS 56?" They rush to give him the folder. I have been trying to get away myself and don't see, but I assume he hands it back. He leaves. I need to retrieve Keith's car before the parking gets expensive. But I will not go down in the same elevator or through a door held by $-ology staffers or agents.
McShamed & the dark blue OSA suit go down ahead of me, and Zlotoff joins them. Zlotoff and they realize I will not ride with them, hanging back as I am in the elevator lobby, so they allow the door to close. They are gone by the time I reach the security guards on the first level, but I see that McShame and Kobrin & Rosen are having a little confab sitting on a balustrade to the right of the doors of the courtroom building. I don't notice, but Rosen is probably smoking and that is why they are talking outside in the open (anti-smoking laws in California). They take note of me, but I don't stop.
I guess I should have asked the guards for directions: "Pardon me, but how do I get back to the real universe, the one I was accustomed to before 1997?"
Thanks for the report Arel. I agree with the New York Times We do need a Justice system. I make note that each time the court room is used those are tax dollars paid by the public paying for this organization with religious license to be heard in their efforts to intimidate and harass and ultimately silence any and all critics.The $6.l5 an hour salary for Rosen is all paid with the cults tax free dollars. I can agree that it is indeed painful to see RTC trample on Judge Weissbrodt's reputation. It does not surprise me. I have been in the Hemet Court room and witnessed first hand the "legal"system at work . My best to Keith and to you Arel.
Ida J. Camburn
"The litigants and their lawyers are supposed to want justice, but in reality , there is no justice, either in or out of court. In fact, the word can not be defined..in the last analysis, most jury trials are contests between the rich and the poor. Crimianl cases, however, practically always have the poor on trial" Clarence Seward Darrow