This brief excerpt from a two day depo on 9-18 and 19 shows the extent to which
Scientology has already won the wrongful death case (see pages 0222-0224 in
particular [Minton, deponent, Beach, Court]) IMHO:
MR. MERRETT: I'm going to object for
9 relevance and the scope of the July 19th order. This is a
10 posting about a charity run in Clearwater. Doesn't mention
11 any witnesses; doesn't mention any payments; doesn't mention
12 any pressures.
13 THE COURT: What's the materiality of that?
14 MR. MOXON: It's -- the Lisa McPherson Trust
15 came to try -- intimidated people from the church who were
16 putting on a charity run. Many of whom were witnesses in
17 this case. It's part of their whole thing to cause the --
18 you know, infect the jury pool and get the media that were
19 there to criticize the race and to intimidate Scientologists
20 participating in it.
21 MR. MERRETT: Can we get the names of the
23 THE COURT: I'm going to let it be answered.
24 MR. MERRETT: Your Honor, I just wonder, as a
25 matter of record, because I think counsel is just making
1 this up, if we could just get the name of the witnesses who
2 were intimidated. That should be easy.
3 THE COURT: Do you have the names?
4 MR. MOXON: People who were intimidated?
5 THE COURT: Yes.
6 MR. MERRETT: The witnesses.
7 MR. MOXON: There's over 200 witnesses on the
8 witness --
9 MR. MERRETT: Which of --
10 MR. MOXON: -- list.
11 MR. MERRETT: -- them were intimidated --
12 MR. MOXON: There were --
13 MR. MERRETT: -- in this race, is what I want
14 to know, your Honor.
15 THE COURT: Well, if it's to show a pattern
16 of conduct by people involved with the trust insofar as
17 creating bad publicity of the defendant, I'm going to allow
18 it to be inquired into.
19 MR. MOXON: Okay.
20 MR. MERRETT: But -- but -- but that's going
21 to be done on counsel's representation, without him being
22 required to tell us who these witnesses are, who were
23 supposedly intimidated.
24 THE COURT: That's correct.
25 MR. MERRETT: Okay. But we can assume he'll
1 be accountable for that --
2 THE COURT: I --
3 MR. MERRETT: -- representation later.
4 THE COURT: -- don't know what you can
6 (Defendant's Exhibit Number 21 marked for identification.)
7 BY MR. MOXON:
8 Q I've marked as Exhibit Number 21 a posting to the
9 Internet dated July 26th, 1998 concerning an incident at
10 your home where you say you shot a shotgun over the heads of
11 OSA employees, you say. Is this your posting?
12 MR. MERRETT: Same objection, your Honor.
13 This is in New Hampshire. Now, how many of these people, I
14 wonder, were witnesses?
15 THE COURT: Overruled.
16 MR. MERRETT: If I can just ask your Honor,
17 so when I deal with this, litigating it, what -- what is the
18 relevance with respect to witnesses and payments or pressure
19 to an incident that happened 2000 miles away --
20 THE COURT: Well, it --
21 MR. MERRETT: -- with nobody who's identified
22 as a witness?
23 THE COURT: It tends to show the motive of
24 Mr. Minton, both on behalf of himself and on behalf of the
25 trust, and the bad blood he has; his involvement in this
1 case --
2 It's hard to distinguish the trust, Mr. Minton and
3 the plaintiff in this case. They're so intertwined, as a
4 matter of fact, it almost appears that Lisa McPherson has
5 been overshadowed by the activities of the trust and
6 Mr. Minton in pursuing this case against the Scientologists.
7 That's the way it appears to me.
8 MR. MERRETT: Well, I have to object at this
9 point, because you've obviously been fed some kind of
10 information that's not a matter of record.
11 THE COURT: All I know is what I've heard
12 here in these depositions. I have no interest in the --
13 Scientology; I have no interest in Mr. Minton; I have no
14 interest in the trust. All I know is what I've been hearing
15 in this and what I've been reading from the motions and what
16 you've told me what the orders have been, both of you. And
17 that's the way it appears to me.
18 MR. MOXON: Well, if --
19 MR. MERRETT: Well, she's still dead. She
20 still died in their hotel. Mr. Minton wasn't there. He's
21 not a witness to the case.
22 THE COURT: I'm just --
23 MR. MERRETT: His loathing for Scientology is
24 not a material issue.
25 THE COURT: I'm just telling you how it
1 appears it's developing to me; that Mr. Minton and the trust
2 seem to have as great a interest in the outcome of this case
3 as the estate of Lisa McPherson has. Just from all the
4 activities and goings-on. And I only judge that based on
5 what I've heard.
6 MR. MERRETT: Well, there certainly has been
7 no evidence of any financial interest on their part.
8 THE COURT: Doesn't necessarily need to be a
9 financial interest. But everybody is actively -- Mr. Minton
10 and the trust and the estate seem to be actively pursuing
11 this case against the Scientologists.
12 And I'm just basing it on what I've heard. I've
13 made no independent investigation.
14 MR. MERRETT: I -- I -- I'm -- well --
15 THE COURT: I mean, you haven't been here for
16 every deposition, have you?
17 MR. MERRETT: No, I haven't.
18 But I would renew my objection with respect to the
19 scope of the order that we're here on, the one that
20 Mr. Moxon claims to be sailing under --
21 THE COURT: Okay.
22 MR. MERRETT: -- which restricts it to
23 evidence of payments to or pressures upon witnesses.
24 THE COURT: Well, I'm enlarging it to that
25 extent, where I think this is all material.
1 THE DEPONENT: I would point out that as of
2 this date, the Lisa McPherson Trust was at least 18 months
3 away from existing.