Another Bad Day at Cult Rock.
We (my local attorney Jim Harr, Arel, Ida and I) were in the Hemet
court this morning waiting outside courtroom H2. (We had gone in and
were tossed out because things had not started yet.) We watched as
Mike Rinder, Warren McShane and Eliot Abelson came in through
security. They did not look happy. Abelson walked right over to me
and offered me a blue toothbrush with a narrow black ribbon or yarn
tied to it with words (best memory) "Here is a gift from me, you're
going to need it." I didn't take it. My wife was standing there and
asked "Why? Why would you do that?" Eliot snapped at Arel, "I am not
talking to you." He then said something to the effect "Don't get
Walker or you are going by-by” holding up his hand and making a tiny
wave with his fingers only. He then walked away.
This was an obvious threat, an attempt to intimidate me.
While this was going on Jim Harr was talking to Robert Schwartz, the
local assistant DA who prosecutes all the misdemeanors cases in Hemet.
When they finished talking, I reported the encounter with Abelson to
Jim who later relayed it to the judge. I was kind of mystified, but
Jim was not, since Walker was the other one of the two judges we might
be assigned to. Jim said he knew Judge Walker and trusted him. About
this time, Robert Schwartz found out that my case had been assigned to
Judge Walker in courtroom H3. (Was this an attempt to get me to ask
that Judge Walker not hear this case? Are they such fools as to think
I would follow what they say instead of my lawyer?)
We went in. The judge was not on the bench. Jim and Robert identified
themselves to the court clerk. Jim wanted the scientology attorneys
(Rosen, Abelson) who were going to help Robert identified, but before
that could be done Jim and Robert were called into the Judge Walker's
chambers. There was a *long* wait during which Eliot Abelson, Warren
McShane and Mike Rinder plus an OSA drone or two wondered out of the
courtroom. An ars lurker was in the courtroom. He came over and
introduced himself to us. Our lurker told a funny story about an
encounter with the gold base guards some time ago. I would recount it,
but it might make it easier for the clams to identify him.
Eventually Jim came out of the judge's chambers and took me outside.
It seems that the judge was aware of the First
Amendment/constitutional aspects of the case, and rather than have a
constitutional motion hit after a jury had been sworn in and the
state's case presented, he wanted the constitutional aspects fully
briefed in motions first. We called Graham (who had stayed over at
Ida's working on legal papers). Graham came over and after some
discussion outside the courthouse, we all agreed to do it the way the
judge wanted. Back in the court at 11 am, the three lawyers, went into
chambers for a *long* time. Eventually they all came out and Judge
Walker came out and took the bench. The judge spoke a while (see
Arel’s notes), Robert Schwartz spoke a little, and my attorneys said
about four words each. I lucked out. Judge Walker is intelligent,
concerned about constitutional arguments, right on top of the elements
of the case, and not the least bit intimidated by all these high priced
lawyers buzzing around.
The result was that the DA and my lawyers have to work out an agreement
on the facts of the case by Dec. 8, the picketing restrictions remain
on me. We got out of court about 11:45.
Everyone went off to Ida’s Entheta Café for lunch. About halfway
through lunch it started to rain hard, but the rain ended about 1:30.
Graham, Arel, JS and a foreign reporter went out to gold base and gave
them a solid 2-hour picket. Arel reports that the weather was perfect
for a picket, the clouds were beautiful and the birds were out in
force. As usual when they have had any warning, the place looked close
to deserted. They were running a few vehicles across the road. Graham
saw one with a driver and one passenger. The passenger hunkered down
in the back seat below the window level.
Graham noted that there was some low-level work going on at the
apartments, but that moving into them by the end of the year looks
On the way back Edwin Richardson followed them. Graham played with him
till he got Richardson alone side his car for a good view. Then
Richardson gave up and left.
While the rest were giving gold a good picket, I made up 100 of Arnie’s
horrifying “It’s worse than you think” flyers and put in over an hour
picketing at the corner of Florida and State Street. About 60 people
in cars took flyers. There was more support from the people driving by
this time compared to last time— and support was high last time.
Make up report from last Friday.
I flew down to LA, met Graham who had just flown in from Germany and
stayed at his house. Graham was jet lagged from the 15-hour trip.
Next morning at an unghodly hour we drove out to Hemet. We stopped
short of going into town to have Jim Harr get permission from the
judge to drive down Sanderson Road, which boarders the cult’s
property. When we got to court, Sandy Rosen was there. Because newly
introduced evidence was taking the case in an unexpected direction, we
asked for a continuance. It was denied, going to trial Monday. That
afternoon, ADA Robert Schwartz told Jim Harr that they were introducing
more new material from an uncorrected deposition taken Wednesday in my
bankruptcy case to authenticate my Usenet postings in the criminal case
in Hemet. Incidentally, Rosen made a plane reservation in front of me
at that deposition. I knew he flies first class, but I didn’t know he
takes two seats. Perhaps the second seat was for someone else.?
(ARSCC approved posting)
PS, we rented Bad Day at Black Rock and watched it two nights in a row. If you don't know this classic with Spencer Tracy in it, you should. The story is rather in tune with this news group. ************ Arel putting in my notes about the judge’s speech: “ . . . a constitutional issue that has to be addressed and resolved . . . . The constitutional issue cannot be avoided. . . . because of the extent of the constitutional issue would probably require addressing before we impanel a jury. . . evidentiary issues . . . with the agreement of the attorneys and with their assistance [we will decide the] constitutionality of this statute as it might be applied to the content of this case . . . . The speech issues then can and will be addressed . . . unconstitutionality impinging on the free speech of Mr. Henson . . . by December 8 a set of stipulated facts upon which we can proceed . . . which I would use in considering the constitutional issues that I would address. . . . [agreement] may not be possible . . . put it in writing [and if they can’t agree on something] tell me what it is [so I can] attempt to iron that out [in a] further evidentiary hearing [where we can] proceed to the constitutional . . . factual . . . we would then agree on a further briefing schedule. Mr. Henson initially has agreed to a further waiver plus a probably [further one than that]. The trial date of today’s date will be vacated, [The judge then asked for objections or comments from the assistant district attorney, Keith’s attorneys and Keith. Schwartz pointed out that in cases like this the defendant would] “normally waive 45 days” [and that 30 days would not be enough in this case. 45 days was stipulated The DA also wanted to know if the] status quo [would remain—that is, the restraining order, previous orders]. [The judge asked Harr and Berry if they agreed, and they did, and he asked Keith if he understood and agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial for that period. They all said yes. The judge said] Please be prepared to tell me what it is [that you can’t agree on] what you agree on. The statement of facts should be signed by the attorneys and Mr. Henson.”