On Sun, 06 Oct 2002 23:05:29 GMT, [email protected] (Keith Henson) wrote:
>On Tue, 01 Oct 2002 04:59:58 GMT, [email protected] (Keith Henson)
>>On Mon, 30 Sep 2002 01:22:27 GMT, [email protected] (Keith Henson)
>>>Deja Vu--Bankruptcy Trial: Day One
>>Block 2, Camino Real
>Block 3, Camino Real (degraded from national highway)
Block 4, Camino Venganza
Even fewer notes today. I get up early and start phoning. I am thinking as fast and hard as I can, making as many contacts as I can remember. The attorney who saw me through the 2004 examinations is not available. At least he gets back to me. And when I try to call again, unexpectedly he's right there and calls back. I call Jim Harr in Hemet, other attorneys. Those who are willing can't because they must be in court. And those who won't, well to paraphrase Dante, Who would have thought that OSA had undone so many?
When I call the number given me by my former attorney, I reach, not the lawyer he recommended, but a very sympathetic office staffer. She tells me she may have someone for me. I've brought my phone charger and have plugged it into an outlet in the main hall of the third floor, where the bankruptcy court is located. I know I will wear the battery down with all this phoning if I don't recharge it. I try to concentrate on Peter McWilliams's *Life 101*, which normally would be an easy task. There are so many similarities between John-Roger's scam and Hubbard's that I wonder who ripped off whom and when (same quote about founding a religion as a money-making enterprise, the use of "mock up" a mental state, etc.).
But, as I had feared, I am called into the courtroom before anyone calls back. There were only arguments before now, sometime after 10:30. I explain to the judge at his urging, from the central podium (because there is an unused microphone there), that I'm awaiting a call from an attorney's office at that very moment. Vision in my right eye is a little fuzzy, and it bothers me.
The judge gives me special leave to carry my cell phone to the witness stand and leave it on. To my great relief, it rings not long after Rosen has started in on me again.
(Cast: The Usual Suspects, in alpha order-Bright, Fishface, Fuzzhead, Kobrin, McShame, Rosen, Seid as devil's advocates; innocent bystanders--3 court clerks, Judge Weissbrodt, his clerk, Keith's attorney Zlotoff & yours truly.)
The judge instructs me that, if it is "a personal call," I am to get rid of the caller. But it *is* my new friend at the unknown law office (I don't remember what she said when she answered). I get up from the witness stand and walk slowly out of the courtroom, leaving the judge to deal with the protocol.
I sit at the bench right next to the door and talk with this woman, who was instantly friendly when I told her who the Adversary is. I said my husband is bankrupt and pursued by $-ologists because he tried to expose them through their own copyrighted material. Her response: "He must be a really good guy." Mine: "He is." When I tell her he is a refugee in Canada, she asks, "They chased him out of his own country?!?" Yes.
So she has been hauling butt to try to get me a lawyer pronto. She is apologetic but will not speculate whether they are afraid of $-ology or just busy, but she has tried 4, I think she says, and no one will take my case. I'm very disappointed. But I hear a voice besides hers on the phone, and she tells me to hang on and then puts me on hold. I don't know what's going on, but I seem to have every possible appendage crossed, including the hair I have left.
A clerk comes out to see what I'm up to. I look at her but then have to acknowledge that I'm still here. The woman on the phone has someone for me. She seems quite satisfied with herself, as well she should be. She tells me I must call him on his cell phone to schedule his arrival. She says he is "on his way to San Jose."
Do you know the way to San Jose? Oh I certainly hope so!
I'm not going to tell you his name. He's making a special appearance, and no doubt OSA is working on it at this very moment, and of course they have his name, but no point in making it easier for them. I call, reach him immediately, and he is pleasant and professional. Will meet me at 12:30 in the cafeteria downstairs. I'm so grateful I don't even ask any questions. He describes himself to me, and I tell him of the little cheap fake roses I wear (Die Weisse Rose and the red rose for love), but not why. He doesn't seem to understand me. Maybe it's just all too silly for him.
Anyway, I return to the courtroom. When the ongoing battle takes a break, the judge wants to know what's up. I tell him I am to meet my attorney in (by this time) about an hour, an he will represent me for the line of questioning about our home that is currently not to be pursued.
We manage to get through the time between then and 12:30. The judge excuses us until 1:45. He asks me if that will be enough. It won't be enough, of course, to bring my attorney anywhere near up to speed, so I ask Zlotoff to come & try to help.
My new attorney is sitting alone at a table and we instantly recognize one another. I hear music, perhaps the theme from "Gone with the Wind." OK, no but I'm very glad to see him. My knight in shining armor who will not, I hope, turn into Rhett Butler.
I sit down across from him at the little square table and he places his tray with a somewhat unfinished but also neglected lunch on the next table over to give me room. I'm carrying a shopping bag with a large binder (1997 financial records) and my big Lexis-Nexis bag that was a present when I left Pillsbury Winthrop. He is very nattily dressed, his well-chosen suit, shirt and tie enhancing the color of his eyes and hair. He is just as professional as he sounded, very down to earth and to the point. What is happening and why? Who the hell are you and why are you here, but politely. I try to squash 6 years into a sticky verbal ball the size and shape of a chestnut burr. "So to satisfy his ego he's going down and taking you with him."
It's a rhetorical question. I can't tell if it's also a test question. ("Do you really love and support this man?") I know he is sizing me up. Same here. He lets me know in no uncertain terms what he thinks of heroes and martyrs. Reminds me of relatives and former friends. Well, I don't need for my knight to be a partisan of my cause. Just to defend me here and now from the ravening, salivating Rosen.
Zlotoff arrives and is very helpful. The two lawyers can understand one another better than either can dig this weird old woman. Mine wants to know how I'm doing. I tell him. "But will you be able to keep it together this afternoon?" Yes. Zlotoff says I've "been very good." I rejoice as if Santa has just come down the chimney and given me my heart's desire. Because I feel as if I've given away the moon, stars and am about to reveal the hundred sacred names at just one more twist of the screw.
I ask them some questions. They pooh-pooh my ideas. Oh well. I tried. They assure me that the effort to take the proceeds of my last asset away from me should not be successful. (If only they could *promise*!)
Zlotoff excuses himself and leaves. I ask some financial questions. Do I have any more questions? I do want to know the time because I can't find the only clock-like entity I have left, my old Nokia phone. (My watch disintegrated and was lost earlier this year.) I can't think of any, but I will have to use the bathroom before we return to the courtroom. All right, why don't we leave now?
The same pride of OSA and their agents is sunning themselves near the revolving doors, waiting until the last possible nicotine fit has passed. All I can figure is that Kobrin can't afford smokes. After all, it prevents lung cancer, doesn't it (Hubbard)? Rosen walks up to my attorney and extends his huge paw. My attorney is not a big man but he is not cowed. He strides past me to accept the proffered greeting and introduces himself as Rosen just has. I carry my luggage through the doors, put it on the x-ray machine belt and pass through the portal of hell-uh, security.
So back at the ranch we are knee-deep in buffalo chips, as the old saying is bowdlerized. The afternoon's inquisition, interrupted by crisp and polite objections from my brand-new attorney, escalates into a shouting match when I bring up the reason why I did not know some of my husband's affairs at 2004 examination. I say that once it was clear that our friends, family, employers and fellow employees would be picketed, harassed and persecuted by OSA we ceased for a time to share information about employers and other matters. Rosen is immediately on the defensive. He wants to know who started the picketing ("But Mommy, he started it!").
I must answer this ridiculous question, so I say it is my belief that Keith picketed $-ology before they picketed him and our friends, family, etc. Rosen fires back, "You picketed the home of 1,000 people, did you not!?!"
This is a reference to the fact that I have many times picketed the global headquarters of $-ology at Gilman Hot Springs, California, near Riverside on what used to be Highway 79 but is now a downgraded road that bisects the hundreds of acres in that facility. I attempt to point out for the record that this is a heavily armed paramilitary compound, that this fortress contains at any one time no more (by the "Church's" own testimony) than 735 people, and that, again by their own testimony (at Keith's Hemet trial), no more than 14 people live there, including McShame (sitting on the Group W bench wearing a patented $-ology grin).
Funny. While writing up an account of the Tuesday war, I realized that the courtroom contained 14 people. The same number said to actually reside at "Gold" (Golden Era Productions, claimed for the first time to be a "church" instead of a media production studio for the purpose of convicting Keith last year). I feel as if I'm in a Douglas Adams universe and keep stumbling on the number 42. (I wish I were. I'd scramble for Sevorbeupstry.)
I essay some more truth telling. "The rest are bused in. I haven't picketed their homes." He asks if I've been inside. I say no, there are armed guards at the entrance who kept me out. Sometime during this afternoon (I think it was this afternoon and not yesterday), the judge's clerk leaves the courtroom and returns with a woman who sits on the back bench watching.
Rosen asks me if I think this building in which we are arguing is a paramilitary compound. There are armed guards here. I say no, but the judge has had it. It is clear that nothing useful is being accomplished (has it ever been in this trial?). Rosen finishes cross-examination. Zlotoff has or does he not have re-cross? My notes don't show. I think he did have some clarifying questions based on Rosen's interrogation. I am at last freed from the stake, er, the witness box.
There is some technical stuff relating to the closing statements on the motion to dismiss or convert Keith's Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The judge limits statements to 45 minutes. "It's not going to be longer," the judge insists. Finally the court is adjourned at around 5 pm.
As the judge is getting his things ready and having these last words with us, we are all standing around since everyone must stand when His Honor comes in or leaves, by American protocol. I have left the witness box but am standing approximately in front of the judge's clerk in the jury box. Suddenly I notice that Rosen has crossed the room and is standing right next to me. When I see this
"Don't stand Don't stand so Don't stand so close to me"
I take two steps sideways to get away from him. When I notice again, he is standing next to me again. I once more take two steps away, winding up at the end of the jury box and much nearer the judge's bench. I wish I could sing like Sting. Especially now. I do not make the steps small gestures. I look pointedly at Rosen, then take two big steps. And again. But I say nothing, and I experience nothing from him. (I don't ride in elevators with him. I don't go out a door he is holding. I keep away from him. He is, after all, the man who threatened Graham Berry that he would "break your face in." For a long time after that I referred to Rosen as "Mr. Break Your Face In.")
When the judge leaves, Zlotoff asks Rosen, "So we're done tomorrow?"
Without missing a beat, Rosen says, "You're welcome." It's an old joke, but it's interesting to see that Rosen does have some vestige of being able to laugh at himself. He gives the appearance of taking himself extremely seriously, throwing his considerable weight around like the proverbial 500-lb gorilla. My impression is that privately he really doesn't like himself.
I can't hate him while having these thoughts. Which is just as well. Right now, the light is filtering down through the trees and the neighbor's cat is walking around outside my window. "Love is all there is."