September 20, 2004
At the insistence of my sister, Fannie McPherson, the Estate of Lisa McPherson vigorously fought Scientology for nearly 8 years in seeking justice for the tragic death of her daughter, Lisa. The family of Lisa McPherson finally saw a change in Pinellas County in 2003 and 2004 when the new judge on the case said several times that he and the rest of the judges had talked about the case and wanted it to "go away." Strange, "go away" is the same phrase Scientology used to force Bob Minton to turn against us. Well, the writing was on the wall and the family was not getting any younger. Our oldest sister, Ann, had died in 2003. Ann was a good old Texas girl, one tough cookie, and now she was gone. Ann was the one who stirred things up and she was the one who found our lawyer, Ken Dandar.
The court forced us to go to the fifth and final mediation as demanded by Scientology. I decided to settle the case. It was time to move on. There is plenty of information on the Internet and in magazines and newspapers that will forever tell the story of how our niece died while in the "care" of Scientology. I truly believe that Fannie's goal has been met: tell the world what happened to Lisa and obtain justice from Scientology.
I and all of the family of Lisa owe a great deal of gratitude to many people. First and foremost, we wish to thank Ken Dandar. He and his brother Tom are very brave and withstood the onslaught of the persistent attacks of Scientology and its agents. No other attorneys would help us. Even after Ken had a quintuple coronary bypass, he was in court facing Scientology, three days following his hospital discharge. His wife, Lauren, and his daughter, Christina, also withstood the great pressure in facing Scientology, things I dare not mention here. Over these many years, I am amazed at how many people, including lawyers, told me and my sisters how lucky we were to have someone like Ken and his brother fighting for us, undaunted by the methods used by Scientology. Not even the Minton efforts of Scientology could stand against Ken. We thank Luke Lirot, Ken's attorney, for doing a great job in representing Ken and us in court.
If it were not for the courage of Jeff Jacobson in assisting the Clearwater police and state police in their investigation, the death of Lisa may have been forever swept under the rug. Thank you Jeff.
The one who really put it on the line was Jesse Prince, formerly Number 2 worldwide in all of Scientology. When he was being paid to assist Ken Dandar and then the Lisa McPherson Trust, it was easy for Jesse to stand up to his former associates. However, when Bob Minton turned on us and Jesse, everyone thought that Jesse would walk away due to the enormous financial pressure he faced. But to our delight, Jesse stood tall and did the right thing. He didn't run and hide. He risked everything he had for the truth, he stood tall for the cause of Lisa. Thank you Jesse and thank you Dee. Jesse now has a great job in banking!
There are so many other people to thank, like Patricia Greenway and Peter Alexander, a former Scientology Celebrity, in lending years of assistance and insight. Patricia, thank you for your intelligent insight and research. We must also thank Frank Oliver, former OSA, for his tireless work. Then there are the brave witnesses: Theresa Summers, Nancy Many, former OSA, and Bill Franks, former successor to Hubbard. Also, great thanks to Shirley Wilson, who was faithful to the end. Researchers, like Scott, Rob, Kady, Tilman, and others who want to remain anonymous, who were always there to help. Investigators, like Ray Emmons and Mike. A special thanks to Deanna Holmes, Jeff Jacobson, and Kristi Watcher, who put up web sites in honor of Lisa.
A very special thanks to Judge Susan Schaeffer, who worked tirelessly in reviewing the thousands and thousands of pages filed by Scientology in its attempt to get the case or our attorney thrown out. I understand that no judge works as hard as she does and I am glad that she had the smarts, courage, patience, and fortitude to work through this onslaught. Had she continued in the case, I am sure we would have seen a trial.
Now comes the most difficult task. We a very grateful for the generous financial support of Bob Minton. For that Bob, we thank you. However, we are very disturbed by the way Scientology was able to turn you against us. For that, and knowing how much that must have hurt you, we are waiting for you to ask us for our forgiveness, which we may consider, even though your actions forced us to settle the case. We truly wish you and your family the best. It is nearly impossible to find someone like you...the "you" that existed before Scientology finally succeeded in having you try to make the case "go away." We are distraught that Scientology still has you involved in litigation in St. Petersburg in its counterclaim in the Lisa case. The Lisa McPherson Trust was established by Bob. Many dedicated people worked there. The Trust helped many hundreds of individuals and families distraught over Scientology. It had a noble purpose, but it is now gone.
I pray for the people of Clearwater, since Scientology has overwhelmed their city. My prayer is that all who read about Lisa, including Scientologists, will evaluate Scientology for themselves. Lisa is the prime example. I pray that the good people of Clearwater will stand up and not be overwhelmed by Scientology's huge presence in their community. Shine the light of truth on Scientology. We found the truth and obtained justice against enormous odds. Don't be misled and strive to seek the truth for yourself. God bless all of you.
Lisa's maternal aunt