Or... "Through the Legal Looking Glass."
Yesterday, March 15th, I appeared in court in Chicago for a pre-trial hearing stemming from my arrest while videotaping an interview on the sidewalk in front of the Chicago Scientology Org. I knew it would be an interesting day but what happened in court was so outrageous that it made my mind spin as though I was freewheeling through a Xenu implant.
I expected to see Scientology attorneys in attendance but it was still a surprise to see that this little misdemeanor trespassing charge was big enough to merit the appearance of Elliot Abelson. They were bringing out the big guns. Flashes of his XENU TV appearances went through my head. There he was on Inside Edition, saying that the massive cockroach bites covering Lisa McPherson were simply mosquito bites.
I am very fortunate to have as my attorney, Stephen Komie. He is highly regarded and a Board Member of the Illinois State Bar Association:
In fact, Elliott Abelson was sitting within earshot as a bailiff walked by us in court and said to me of Komie, "You have the best attorney in the city."
When it was time for us to approach the bench, the prosecutor asked for more time to speak with her witnesses. I am not sure who she was referring to. The only person I saw there who was at the scene on the night in question was the arresting officer, who arrived after the two off-duty police officers put me in handcuffs. Later I saw several woman speaking to Elliott Abelson, and I assumed they were Scientologists from the Chicago org. Maybe they were there that night, but I don't know for sure.
A half hour or so later, we returned to the bench. The state asked for an increase in bail. The judge denied this motion saying that I appeared in court for this appearance and I didn't seem at risk of jumping bail. He also granted my motion to allow me to travel freely between my home in Florida and Chicago.
Then the prosecutor really shocked me by saying they were adding three charges against me:
1) creating a public disturbance
2) resisting arrest
3) battery against a police officer
Well, it's a good thing I have a top attorney because suddenly they upped the ante considerably. These charges are completely false and while I expected this behavior from the Scientologists, I was surprised to see that they could convince the state to press these lies. Of course, my video camera was rolling through the entire event and you could have seen and heard exactly what happened but that tape has gone missing while in the custody of the police.
My attorney then entered a protective order for the videotape, demanding that the evidence be preserved. The prosecutor claimed there was never any videotape in the camera.
With that, a court date was set for April 4th where I believe I am to be arraigned.
I have every faith that I will prevail since I am completely innocent.
Thanks for all your best wishes. We'll keep you updated.
The treatment of Mark Bunker in Chicago was one of the primary factors spurring me to become an active critic of Scientology. Now, I am determined to double my efforts. If OSA thinks they can silence Mark with this foul perversion of the justice system, let me assure them they are gravely mistaken. There will be *many* more videographers out there willing to rise up and give your sick cult the scrutiny it deserves. By attacking a journalist like Mark -- especially by instigating this trumped-up court case -- you have primed a *major* backlash against Scientology. Rest assured that as soon as I post this message, I will be writing to video and film producers all over the country to make them aware of how you have treated Mark. More copies of my press release, entitled "SCIENTOLOGY SPOKESMAN ADMITS TO CONFLICT WITH CHRISTIANITY," will be sent to major and minor news outlets. As God is my witness, you *will* rue this day.