TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
(Privileged publication under California Civil Code section 47)
RE: THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY v. KEITH HENSON
This memorandum seeks to provide an accurate relatively succinct summary and guide through over eleven years of litigation involving Keith Henson, the Church of Scientology and several of its corporations and staff members. It is a tortuous and convoluted saga. Many of the events are either intertwined or interrelated. A comprehensive summary would require many dozens of pages and the contents of over 100 banker’s boxes of documents and files.
A. THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY IS AN AMERICAN TOTALITARIAN GROUP ENGAGED IN INTERNATIONAL PSYCHO-TERRORISM
“The [Commission] repeatedly pointed out that Scientology was classified in Germany as a corporate group with a totalitarian orientation. For historical reasons, Germany was vigilant towards violations of personal liberties. It was particularly sensitive to all forms of totalitarianism. Furthermore, the Scientology Organization was considered in the Federal Republic of Germany to be an extremist political movement, and that there was hard evidence to back that claim. … [t]he Scientology Organization is double-faced, especially in the United States: the light side, a socially adapted façade of Hollywood celebrities, glamour and wealth; and the dark side, a totalitarian structure internally, with exploitation of members and massive threats, persecution and intimidation of dissenters. … Scientology was exploiting the American legal system in an endeavour to overwhelm its critics with an avalanche of deliberately engineered law suits to silence them with the threat of financial ruin; for in the United States, all litigants have to meet their own costs even if they win. There are not many lawyers in the United States who are prepared to work against the organization for fear of the possible consequences. There was no government aid for the victims.” Final Report of the Enquete Commission on “So-called Sects and Psycho groups,” New Religious and ideological Communities and Psycho-Groups in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1998 [ISBN 3-930343-43-3] (the “Enquete Commission Report”), pages 230-232.
Scientology’s campaigns to “utterly destroy” those who criticize or oppose it are funded by the International Association of Scientologists (the “IAS”). The contributions to these Scientology campaigns to use the legal system to sue and destroy all that oppose it are exempt from income tax in the United States. The actor Tom Cruise is the biggest single contributor to these campaigns of personal destruction. He has donated many millions of dollars to the IAS. [See generally, the Enquete Commission Report, p.243.] “The Scientology Organization uses an internationally operating secret service that is well versed in the art of psychological warfare [or psycho-terror].” The Enquete Commission Report, p. 246, fn.298.
B. SCIENTOLOGY’S INTERNATIONAL PYSCHO-TERRORISM IS A TRANSNATIONAL PROBLEM
Some of the numerous examples of Scientology’s psycho-terrorism and abuse of the legal system have been litigated in the United States. For example, the Church of Scientology cases involving Mary Sue Hubbard, Jane Kember, Julie Christofferson, Michael Flynn, Gerald Armstrong, Lawrence Wollersheim and Lisa McPherson. Others have been litigated in Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The psycho-terror activities of the Scientology Organization frequently and concurrently target individual critics in different countries. These litigation and extra-litigation weapons often improperly strain and subvert the judicial and legal systems of a number of nations without any of them being aware, or willing to admit, that a tax-exempt American church is misusing the public courts and law enforcement for anti-social and
The Scientology church’s ‘War against the Internet’ is a good example of how Church of Scientology criminality, copyright fraud and frauds upon the courts can have simultaneous expensive and destructive trans-border impact. Keith Henson, the subject of this memorandum, is a victim of Scientology’s ‘War against the Internet.’ Keith Henson is now a high security inmate at the County jail in Riverside California. He is serving time after a jury trial for ‘interfering with a religion’ and misdemeanor terrorism. His crime: standing outside the armed Scientology international headquarters compound (on Highway 79 near Hemet, California) while carrying a picket sign with words on it. For example, “Cult Victims: Stacy Moxon Meyer, Ashlee Shaner, Lisa McPherson. The cult doesn’t care about lives. www.xenu.net”
[Note: When reading references to Highway 79, it is now Gilman Springs Road. The Church of Scientology had Highway 79 re-designated and changed to Sanderson Road, as part of a plan with Riverside County to close down public access to the public highway that bifurcate the Scientology base.
C. SCIENTOLOGY v. THE NET
Scientologists pay many hundreds of thousands of dollars to move up the Scientology ‘Bridge to Total Freedom’ which include ‘Operating Thetan’ or OT Levels I-VIII (the ‘OT levels’). The OT levels are copyrighted and secret within the church, until the requisite monies have been paid for their study. For example, to reach the level of OT III costs approx. $300,000.00. Until 1993 Scientology’s lawyers had been largely successful in stamping out any publication of the OT levels by claiming they were not only copyrighted but were also trade secrets.
On May 6, 1991 Time magazine published a cover story called ‘Scientology, Thriving Cult of Greed and Power.’ Included in the cover story was the allegation of former Scientologist Steven Fishman and his German born psychologist Dr. Uwe Geertz that Scientology had been involved in a fraudulent securities class action scam with Steven Fishman. Fishman was arrested after returning from Spain where he had delivered false Scientology corporate records. After he was arrested, Mr. Fishman claimed that Scientology then ordered him to murder Dr. Geertz and then commit suicide. In four separate cases, Scientology unsuccessfully sued Time Magazine, Dr. Geertz and Steven Fishman for defamation. During the Fishman/Geertz litigation, Steven Fishman and attorney Graham Berry filed a complete set of the OT levels in the United States Federal Court in Los Angeles and successfully resisted Scientology’s attempts to have the OT levels either sealed or removed from the record. The OT levels I-VIII were part of ‘the Fishman Declaration.’
Despite the best efforts of Scientology, the contents and attachments to the Fishman Declaration found their way onto the pages of the Washington Post. Scientology unsuccessfully sued the Washington Post for publishing the story of Xenu; the evil intergalactic overlord and antagonist of all Scientologists, whether they know it or not.
“Scientologists believe that most human problems can be traced to lingering spirits of an extraterrestrial people massacred by their ruler, Xenu, over 75 million years ago. These spirits attach themselves by “clusters” to individuals in the contemporary world, causing spiritual harm and negatively influencing the lives of their hosts.” Judge Leonie Brinkema, RTC. Lerma, Memorandum Opinion, October 4, 1996. RTC, or the Religious Technology Center, is the second most senior Church of Scientology corporation and it is responsible for protecting Scientology’s intellectual properties such as copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.
In late 1994 excerpts from the Fishman Declaration, and the attached OT I-VIII levels, were posted to the Internet and discussed on the Internet Usenet discussion group ‘alt. religion. scientology’ (the ‘ARS’ newsgroup). These included the OT III story of Xenu and the purported OT VIII references to Christianity being an evil mental implant and Jesus Christ being a pederast and “lover of young boys.” Scientology
considered this to be bad for business and public relations. Apparently, the influential ARS newsgroup is regularly read by over 100,000 people from around the world.
On January 11, 1995 Scientology in-house attorney Helena Kobrin tried to totally eliminate the ARS newsgroup with an attempted ‘rmgroup’ control message [remove group] alleging that the group only served to condone illegal copyright and trade secret violations. Although the Scientology attempt to remove the internet ARS newsgroup was unsuccessful it was effective in sparking an outraged backlash of public criticism against Scientology by free speech advocates.
Scientology then viciously retaliated against these free-speech advocates with platoons of expensive lawyers from across the United States and Europe. Scientology obtained court orders permitting them to raid the homes of certain critics and to seize their computers, computer records and documents. Accompanied by armed U.S. marshals, Scientology executives raided the homes of Dennis Erlich and Tom Klemensrud in Los Angeles, Arnaldo Lerma in Virginia, and Lawrence Wollersheim and Robert Penny in Colorado. Raids also took place in The Netherlands against Karin Spaink and in Sweden against Zenon Panoussis. The most popular anonymous remailer in the world was shut down in Finland. The U.S. internet providers Netcom and Digital Gateway, and the Dutch internet provider XS4ALL, were also sued. All of the cases were eventually settled, some in favor of the persons raided by Scientology and the U.S. marshals. It appeared that Scientology was not willing to litigate the defendant’s allegations of copyright fraud, L. Ron Hubbard Probate fraud and fraud upon the courts that were raised by several of the defense teams. Indeed, in the RTC v. Lerma case, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Hon. Leonie Brinkema opined that: “the court is now convinced that the primary motivation of RTC in suing Lerma, DGS and the Post is to stifle criticism of Scientology in general and to harass its critics.” Memorandum opinion, November 29, 1995.
Keith Henson was one of the free speech advocates who were sued in the Scientology v. The Net cases. Keith Henson had posted NOTS 34, an unpublished Scientology copyrighted document to the Internet. As we shall see, Keith Henson believed that the NOTS 34 document was evidence of the illegal and dangerous practice of medicine by the Church of Scientology, especially in association with NOTS 22 and NOTS 50. Several European courts have agreed. Initially, the Henson case was tried along with breach of copyright cases against Grady Ward and Dennis Erlich (a former Scientology minister who the Church ultimately paid approx. $5 million to avoid a trial and potential rulings as to Scientology copyright and probate fraud, and fraud upon the courts).
Other persons had posted NOTS 34 to the Internet before Henson and, like most of the Scientology copyrighted trade secret OT levels, the NOTS 34 document remains on the Internet to this day along with comment and opinion. Despite this, Scientology sued Henson because, as Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “[t]he purpose of the [law] suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway … will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, ruin him utterly.” The Scientologist: A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955).
“Keith Henson, a 5’9” tall, gray grandfather, [was] a Silicon Valley computer engineer. He [was] engaged in the research and development of computer hardware and software. As such, he is also a Netizen. On November 1, 1995, he saw wrong and has been since trying to right it. He observed the awesome might of the Scientology litigation juggernaught, engaged in its abhorrent anti-social Blitzkriegs and totalitarian objectives. He read of the frightening force of the cruel Scientology litigation monster, using perjury and deception, to persuade three federal judges to issue ex parte orders to raid and ransack the homes of its critics, to seize and strip their computers and to improperly take the computers, and the contents of those computers, into their own custody for review, analysis and, as it turned out, substantial destruction and damage. … Along with millions of people who had been outraged at such blatant abuse of the American legal system, Mr. Henson examined this so-called Church of Scientology which had previously been of no interest to him. He discovered a mafia-like international commercial enterprise maintaining the post-founding
pretense of religiosity in order to operate tax-free in countries where it was convenient to do so.” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998.
D. RTC v. HENSON (“Henson 1”)
“One of the alleged [Church of Scientology] trade secret documents Mr. Henson discovered was NOTS Series 34 (“The Sequence For Handling A Physical Condition”). NOTS 34 is a Scientology ‘process’ involving the use of the Church of Scientology’s E-meter to cure bodily illnesses.” Mr. Henson considered NOTS 34 to be yet another example of the Church of Scientology being involved in the unlawful practice of medicine and he posted it to the Internet ‘in order to aid the public interest by warning the public against an unobvious danger of harm established by a previous order. This order is an order issued by Judge Gesell in United States v. An Article or Device (Hubbard Electrometer, et al., 333 F. Supp. 357 (D.D.C. 1971) which “forbids the Church of Scientology and all related organizations from claiming to heal using an ‘E-Meter.’” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998.
“a. Auditing and Scientology: In his book ‘Dianetics,’ L. Ron Hubbard speaks of his method as a therapy. He starts with a description of ‘Dianetics’ from which he derives the Scientology therapy (called ‘auditing’); a therapy which he claims attenuates physical ailments. This creates the impression in the mind of the uninitiated that reader and potential customer that through Dianetics the Scientology Organization is able to cure such ailments and health disorders, whether real or subjective. ‘Auditing’ can therefore be considered as the core method of treatment for the Scientology Organization. … the use of ‘auditing’-a type of conditioning process when its purpose is to provide a cure-does involve an act of medical healing within the meaning of the Act on Non-medical Practitioners if one accepts the “impression theory” of the Federal Court of Justice. As auditors do not as a general rule have a license under the terms of the Act on Non-Medical Practitioners, the organization could be deemed to be in permanent breach of the law (cf. Chapter 22.214.171.124). In addition, it should be borne in mind that the use of auditing in the case of individuals unable to cope with psychological pressure may lead to health disorders, serious illnesses, and there may even be a risk of suicide.” and Psycho-Groups in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1998 [ISBN 3-930343-43-3]. The Enquete Commission Report, pages 256-257.
“The Scientology Organization, through its senior corporation Religious Technology Center [“RTC”], brought suit for alleged copyright infringement and trade secret violations against Mr. Henson … in the United States District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose) before Hon. Ronald M. Whyte. [For most of the case, Keith Henson acted as his own attorney.] Because the Henson I court found, on summary judgment, that Mr. Henson’s posting of NOTS Series 34 [a 2 page document] was accompanied by very limited commentary, it was only minimally transformative and, therefore, did not satisfy the statutory fair use defense. 17 U.S.C. §107. However, the court found that a question of fact existed as to willfulness and set the case for a jury trial on the issue of statutory damages.” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998.
The statutory damages phase of Henson I proceeded for three weeks in late May and June of 1998. Shortly before the statutory damages phase, Keith Henson retained Los Angeles attorney Graham Berry to represent him. Arrayed against Graham Berry were a small army of lawyers from four different law firms across the nation.
At the request of the Church of Scientology, Judge Whyte refused to permit Henson to make any mention of, or offer any evidence (documents or witnesses) as to the real motives and objectives of the Church in
accordance with the so-called Hubbard “Fair Game” Policy Letter. He ruled that “Fair Game” had been cancelled in 1968 and refused to receive briefing on how the policy was cancelled in name only and had continued through other recently-renewed copyrighted policies and practices dealing with such things as the "handling of Suppressive Persons" and other attacks and threats to Scientology. In fact, the 1968 Hubbard document canceling Fair Game expressly states that the cancellation “does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP” [a “Suppressive Person” or enemy of Scientology]. Furthermore, numerous U.S. federal and state court cases decided in the 1970s through the 1990s expressly held that the “Fair Game policy” and practices were still being applied by the Church of Scientology against its perceived enemies, and they permitted evidence and jury consideration of the resulting defense or motives of the Scientology enterprises. Despite these precedents, the Scientology lawyers have prevailed upon each of the judges, in the Henson cases, to exclude any mention of the vicious Scientology “Fair Game” and ‘Suppressive Person” policies of retribution and destruction.
The Scientologists also convinced Judge Whyte to limit the evidence Henson could introduce as to his motives and intent in posting NOTS series 34 and permitted extensive use of Henson’s videotaped deposition, not as an impeachment tool but in lieu of direct testimony. Observers commented that Judge Whyte was in Scientology’s pocket and openly speculated as to what the Church’s operatives had on the judge, his wife or his staff. Scientology attorney Samuel D. Rosen, Esq. even told Attorney Berry that he would “smash [his] face in if he mentioned the holocaust again” and still the Judge failed to reign in the Scientologists. Parenthetically it is noted Sam Rosen’s wife would later commence a criminal and other proceeding against him, alleging abuses and that he “had pushed her down a flight of stairs.” The jury found that Keith Henson had “willfully” breached the Scientology copyrights by posting NOTS 34 to the Internet and Judge Whyte imposed the statutory damages of $75,000.
Later, Scientology unsuccessfully sought $1.2 million in legal expenses against Graham Berry personally; arguing that he had personally caused it to use the services of 28 different lawyers from over six different law firms across the country to ensure that it would prevail at the three week hearing. Indeed, Scientology claimed it had spent over $1.8 million on this law suit against Mr. Henson, from which it received a judgment for statutory damages of $75,000 and, on September 18, 2001, court ordered legal fees and costs in the amount of $250,000.00 against the bankrupted Mr. Henson. Despite that, Judge Whyte’s written ruling on costs had condemned the litigation “as aggressive as the court sees” and described the Church’s legal fees and costs in the case as “excessive.”
The Wall Street Journal published a lead editorial on the Henson I case. It described Judge Whyte’s decisions as “turning copyright law on its head.” However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had already affirmed Judge Whyte’s ruling on summary judgment. It rejected Keith Henson’s argument “copyright law should not protect alleged criminal material [NOTS series 34] because this would be a violation of the First Amendment.” The Ninth Circuit held that “this argument fails [because the U.S. Supreme Court has already held] that the laws of the Copyright Act already embrace First Amendment concerns.”
E. HODEN v. HENSON (“Henson II”)
“In November 1995, the late Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist, was involved in a traffic accident [in the Scientology dominated City of Clearwater, Florida]. She stripped off her clothes and walked naked down the street saying “I wanted help. I wanted help.” She was taken to a psychiatric hospital and was removed, against medical advice, by Scientology staffers. Seventeen days later, after being kept on Scientology’s ‘introspection” or “isolation” rundown, she was dead. She had spat out food, banged violently on the walls of her room (cell) and hallucinated. She was covered with cockroach bites. The Coroner found that she had been deprived of water for at least her last five to ten days and died of a blood clot brought on by severe dehydration. The Clearwater Police [had] recommended that the Church of Scientology Flag Services Organization be indicted criminally (negligent homicide). Civil proceedings (wrongful death) [were]
pending. The mysterious deaths of Lisa McPherson, and other Scientologists, fueled media scrutiny, demonstrations and picketing. “Scientology Kills” became a picketing slogan.
Angered by Church of Scientology harassment against him, his family and friends, and the church’s “noisy investigation” tactics, Mr. Henson participated in some of the pickets of Scientology premises. Scientology then moved to put his “head on a pike.” On May 21, 1997, it obtained an ex parte restraining order against Mr. Henson in Riverside County (97-296710). These proceedings, which can be referred to as Henson II, were never served upon Mr. Henson who continued to join pickets, and to be a lonely picketer himself, in front of Scientology and its armed compound and base near Hemet, California.” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998.
F. BARTON v. HENSON (“Henson III”)
“On October 16, 1997, Senior Scientology official Rev. Glenn Barton filed an ex parte petition for [an] injunction prohibiting harassment. Barton v. Henson (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BS 047684) was assigned to Hon. James Bascue and can be referred to as Henson III. At [a] hearing on October 31, 1997, Mr. Henson was not represented by counsel and entered into a stipulation restricting his picketing activities in such as way that believed would permit Glenn Barton to enter and exit Scientology buildings while still enabling himself (Mr. Henson) to reach his audience. Indeed, Mr. Henson stated on the record that the 25-yard zone ‘sounded fair,’ so long as Mr. Barton was not chasing Mr. Henson. Scientology counsel assured the court that this would not occur. It did, despite the court’s concern that the stipulated order not restrict Mr. Henson’s ability ‘to exercise his First Amendment rights.” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998.
G. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA V. HENSON (“Henson IV”)
“On November 1, 1997, Mr. Henson, with a companion as a witness, peacefully picketed on public property near Scientology buildings. As the video-tape evidence demonstrates, this required constant vigilance because of continual attempts by Rev. Glenn Barton to ambush Mr. Henson by “popping out” of entrances of Scientology buildings, walking around the block to meet Mr. Henson and even hiding behind bushes, in an attempt to use the court’s stipulated order as a sword instead of its intended shield.
That same evening, Mr. Henson picketed at the Shrine Auditorium, off Shrine property, and beyond the court’s prescribed distance from Rev. Barton. Rev. Barton, who is also an L.A.P.D. chaplain, made a citizen’s arrest of Mr. Henson and he was turned over to the Los Angeles Police Department, charged with violating a restraining order [a misdemeanor violation], taken into custody, imprisoned and later released on bail.” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998.
Subsequently Keith Henson retained Los Angeles attorney Graham E. Berry to represent him and the case was eventually dismissed by the prosecution.
H. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA v. HENSON (“Henson V”)
“On November 26, 1997, Mr. Henson appeared for his arraignment on the criminal charge (Henson IV) arising from his arrest by [Scientology Rev.] Mr. Barton. Following the arraignment, Mr. Henson went to Hollywood and picketed the Scientology management high rise office building at the corner of Hollywood and Ivar where he was approached by Scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, Esq. on behalf of the Church of Scientology. Mr. Henson then left and picketed another Scientology building at 6700 Hollywood Boulevard. Twenty minutes later, Mr. Barton arrived with Elliot Abelson, Esq., and several private investigators. Mr. Henson retreated to allow Mr. Barton to enter [the building]. However, Mr. Barton pursued Mr. Henson and one of the Scientology private investigators (Edwin Richardson) placed Mr. Henson under citizen’s arrest, again alleging that the court’s order [issued by Judge Bascue] applied at times Mr. Barton was not clearly
entering or leaving buildings but actually pursuing Mr. Henson. When Mr. Henson said that was absurd and started to leave, he was jumped from behind, choked to near unconsciousness, his video camera and picket sign knocked to the ground, his car keys wrenched from his hand and investigator Richardson’s elbow shoved in his mouth. [Rev.] Mr. Barton and Elliot Abelson, Esq. then summoned the L.A.P.D., who again arrested Mr. Henson for violating the restraining order and committing a battery upon the investigator who jumped him. He was taken into police custody, incarcerated for a second time and subsequently released on bail.” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998.
Subsequently Keith Henson retained Los Angeles attorney Graham E. Berry to represent him and the case was eventually dismissed by the prosecution.
It is understood that following these two incidents (Henson IV and Henson V) Scientology Rev. Barton was discharged, or expelled, as a Los Angeles Police Department chaplain.
I. MURIEL JONES v. KEITH HENSON (“Henson VI”)
“On December 6, 1997, a picket and vigil for the late Lisa McPherson was planned to take place at Scientology’s large facility in Clearwater, Florida. Concerned that Mr. Henson might attend this picket, the Church of Scientology ensured that [Scientologist] Muriel Patricia Jones obtained an ex parte temporary injunction ordering Mr. Henson not only to stay away from Ms. Jones, but to also ‘stay at least 100 yards away from 14 designated Scientology buildings.’” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998. Mr. Henson did not attend the Clearwater picket as a result of the restraining order.
J. KENNETH HODEN v. KEITH HENSON (“Henson VII”)
“On January 5 and 6, 1998, Mr. Henson was required to be in Los Angeles before his arraignment upon the criminal charges constituting Henson IV and V [see above]. Although Scientology, and certainly Elliott Abelson, Esq. attempted to object to Mr. Henson’s release, in Henson IV on bail on his ‘own recognizance,’ he was bound over for a future appearance.
Mr. Henson decided he could not picket the Church of Scientology buildings in Los Angeles because [Rev.] Glenn Barton would likely be deployed to create or fabricate a violation of the restraining order and then execute another citizen’s arrest and temporary incarceration of Mr. Henson until bail could be obtained. Accordingly, Mr. Henson proceeded to Hemet, California where Scientology maintained its Gold base and notorious Rehabilitation Project Force Facility [a few miles out of Hemet at Gilman Hot Springs on CA Highway 79]. Fearful of picketing such a facility alone he hired a private investigator/retired police officer to accompany him.
At Hemet, Mr. Henson proceeded to walk down the public road near the main entrance to the Scientology base. About 50 yards from the main gate, Ken Hoden stopped in a car, got out and started abusing Mr. Henson for picketing the base. As Mr. Henson continued to walk down the road carrying his picket sign, Mr. Hoden walked beside him wanting to know why he was picketing Mr. Hoden’s ‘home.’ [Mr. Hoden] followed Mr. Henson for almost his entire picket along the public roadside [at Gilman Hot Springs]. Subsequently, Mr. Hoden got back in his car and left. Mr. Henson proceeded with his picket for a short time longer and then he left the vicinity of Scientology’s heavily armed and guarded desert base.
On January 14, 1998, Ken Hoden obtained an ex parte restraining order prohibiting Mr. Henson from approaching within 500 yards of the Church of Scientology International’s desert base at Hemet. Not only could Mr. Henson not bring his message to his chosen audience, but he could not even use the public highways near his chosen audience. Five hundred yards is the equivalent of five football fields or seven New
York City blocks. Mr. Henson [believed] that he [needed] to address Scientologists directly because they are the victims of brainwashing, blackmail, coercive indoctrination and a cult environment.
Mr. [Rev.] Hoden’s ex parte restraining order was obtained with a supporting declaration of Scientology attorney Kendrick L. Moxon, Esq. Mr. Moxon’s supporting declaration was full of … specific perjurious allegations intended to materially mislead the court into granting an unconstitutional temporary restraining order.” Hoden v. Henson, Riverside County Superior Court RIC 306884, Trial Brief, February 20, 1998.
Keith Henson retained Los Angeles attorney Graham E. Berry again, to successfully represent him at the hearing on the Hoden restraining order and a comprehensive legal brief was filed along with other evidence. On February 21, 1998, the Riverside Press Enterprise newspaper reported on the hearing on Mr. Henson’s Motion to Dismiss in Henson VII:
“A judge [Hon. Stephen D. Cunnison] ruled Friday that a frequent protester of the Church of Scientology cannot be blocked from going near its Golden Era film studios in Gilman Hot Springs or its studio manager. … Henson was exercising his rights to free speech and did not single out Hoden, he said. You don’t have a situation where [Henson] is stopping people. This is not an abortion clinic. He also said that Henson’s character [as alleged by Scientology] was not relevant. “I’m not going to let you turn this into a show,” said a frustrated Cunnison as he slammed on the bench thick volumes of documents submitted by Scientology representatives. Hoden’s attorney Kendrick Moxon, argued Henson is dangerous based on his numerous comments against Scientologists that have been posted on the Internet. He also cited Henson’s experience with explosives and cryonics, the practice of freezing bodies in the hopes that they can be brought back to life. … Henson, 55, of Palo Alto, said he never intended to harm anyone and was only voicing his views. He carried a sign that questioned whether Scientologists were to blame for the death of a woman in Florida [Lisa McPherson]. He hailed the judge’s ruling … as a victory for free speech. ‘It was a protected activity. They were trying to make it a personal attack, he said.’ After the hearing, Henson returned to Gilman Hot Springs to picket. … His attorney, Graham Berry, and a private investigator took photographs and videos. Hoden said. “I’m responsible for making sure someone doesn’t get hurt. I’m also concerned about having him around because it could cause an upset.”
During the post hearing picket of the Scientology Gilman facility, Rev. Ken Hoden (the “Base Captain”) and Scientology Public Relations executive Muriel Dufresne engaged Keith Henson and those with him in conversation and debate, all or which was peaceful and videotaped. Many of the Church of Scientology’s top management, including the ecclesiastical and corporate leader Captain David Miscavige, reside and work at the Gilman Hot Springs Scientology base. Subsequently, Rev. Hoden filed suit and testified, in all seriousness, that he had been terrorized by Mr. Henson’s picketing outside the base, as you will now see.
K. MR. HENSON ANGERED THE SCIENTOLOGY LEADERSHIP
On December 31, 1998, Mr. Henson further angered the Church of Scientology by filing a case against the IRS arguing that the 1993 Tax Settlement between that Church of Scientology and the IRS was not lawful and that he had constitutional standing to challenge it. Both the U.S. District Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. However, in Sklar, a Jewish tax exemption challenge, the Ninth Circuit seemed to reverse itself and stated that an individual should challenge the IRS-Scientology tax settlement agreement (which also provided that it would be a breach of the agreement if the IRS gave any other religion the same tax arrangements that it had agreed to give the Church of Scientology). In Sklar v. Commissioner, 282 F.3d 610, 612 n.3 (9th Cir. 2002), affg. T.C. Memo. 2000-118, the U.S. Court of Appeals said it is strongly inclined to the view that sec. 170 was not amended in 1993 to permit deductions for which the consideration is intangible religious benefits, and that Hernandez v. Commissioner, 490 U.S. 680, 702 (1989), is still
controlling. See also, http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/essays/irs.html
Similarly, Mr. Henson investigated and wrote upon some of the things Scientology had done to obtain its controversial tax exemption, how it was abusing the immigration and labor laws, how it was threatening the physical and mental safety and health of many of its staff members, and how homicides and suicides were sometimes the result. See, http://www.whyaretheydead.net
One of the issues Keith Henson unsuccessfully pressured authorities to investigate were the reports of over 150 scientology staff members being confined to the Scientology Rehabilitation Project Force (the “RPF”) in Los Angeles, some for five years and more. Former Scientologists have testified that the RPF is like a gulag and can constitute kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. There have been several German television documentary film crews which have shot footage at and over Gilman Hot Springs, in connection with reports and concerns of some German citizens being held there after “disconnecting” from their families in Germany. In fact, Mr. Henson wanted a ‘welfare check’ done on Ken Hoden, the chief witness in the criminal and civil case, because several ex-scientologists reported being with Mr. Hoden on Scientology’s concentration camp-like program called the Rehabilitation Project Force. It had also been reported by former Scientology staffers that Mr. Hoden was added to the contrived Henson cases, as a victim, at the last minute and as part of an ‘amends’ or punishment project. Apparently, Mr. Hoden, as the Gold Base Captain/Manager, had been assigned blame for the death of 21 year old staffer Stacy Moxon Meyer. She was electrocuted in an underground high voltage transformer. Her father is senior Scientology in-house lawyer Kendrick Moxon who has handled much of the Scientology litigation against, and "investigations of," Keith Henson.
Scientology private investigators also paid visits to the school premises of Mr. Henson’s daughter and caused both Mr. and Mrs. Henson to lose employment and to have employment problems. Incidentally, one of Scientology’s ‘dirty tricks’ was to cause police officers to be sent to his daughter Amber’s high school where she would be hauled out of class and questioned as to whether Mr. Henson had ever sexually molested his daughter. These events are consistent with the Church of Scientology’s copyrighted policies and practices for handling "suppressive persons," otherwise known as the “Fair Game Policy.”
In the Keith Henson bankruptcy case, Arel Lucas] testified … that there were fifteen or more instances of picketing [by scientologists] at her home and place of employment in 2000, “every day for a few weeks” or “all summer.”
L. PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA v. HENSON (“HENSON VIII”)
By the year 2000 Scientology’s litigation against Henson in the civil and bankruptcy courts had made it very difficult for him to obtain and keep regular employment. Particularly, after a Scientology private investigator had finished his “fair game” projects. Prevented from working, Mr. Henson went to stay with an 81-year-old friend and fellow anti-Scientology activist (Mrs. Ida Camburn) in Hemet, which is a few miles from the Scientology Gold Base at Gilman Hot Springs. He visited there from mid-May to mid-September, 2000. In a subsequent sworn statement, Mr. Henson explains why and what he did.
“From 1995 until the present time I have spent a significant portion of my time picketing against the Church of Scientology (as have hundreds of others). This has been a long on-going crusade of mine. I have picketed in numerous locations, exercised my First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and with upwards of 200 people. It was not until the year 2000, when I made a concerted effort to raise the awareness of others to the misguided and dangerous activities of the Church of Scientology that I began to picket heavily in the Hemet area. I was aware of many deaths, relating to the Church of Scientology, and wanted the people in the area to be aware of my belief in the church’s connection to those incidents. I carried picket
signs contradicting the dogma of Scientology, in an attempt to “unbrainwash” the persons who were under the drug-like influence of the cult’s dangerous doctrines. (They teach that people are infested with the spirits of murdered space aliens and that these imaginary spirits must be removed by a process totaling over $350,000). The entire time of my picketing in Hemet was limited to areas belonging to the public. At no time did I trespass onto Golden Era property. I spent most of my time walking between the two pedestrian tunnels in an attempt to get my signs seen by people inside the compound and walking under the road. As it was the heat of the summer. I seldom if ever ran out there (it was over 90 degrees most of the time). I never heckled them or yelled disgusting things. The few times I spoke with people over the fence, they called to me and I made notes about it in my reports on the Internet. Typically I was so far away and the traffic noise so high that communicating with them was next to impossible. (My reports totaling about 300 pages are available if the court wants to read them.) The [picket] signs had various statements like ‘Not one OT in Scientology or I would not be here’ (OTs are supposed to have god-like powers over ‘matter, energy, space and time’). Other signs were, ‘Scientology: The Church of Blackmail, Bribery and Fraud,’ Scientology: The church with a body count,’ or about the three woman who died at their hands, Lisa McPherson, Ashlee Shaner and Stacy Moxon Meyer. The last two died at Golden Era that spring, Stacy after I stopped picketing. The Church of Scientology is heavily guarded, gated, covered with surveillance equipment and fenced with razor wire and pointy spikes. There are at least six gates out there; I never did anything to block a gate. I did try to display signs to those inside and walking under the road. A good number of them hid from the signs. After a time a tarp was placed on the fence and a number of large trees placed over the tunnel in planters. … The windows of the buildings had been papered over to prevent people inside from seeing the protesting. … I wanted the people to snap out of the induced insanity of Scientology. After about July 1, 2000 Scientology had two private investigators walk with me every day. After the first day, when they drove me into the roadway, the police ordered them to stay back about 5-10 feet. At no time did I carry any weapon or do anything other than picket or talk to people who stopped. I would, at the end of each day, write a description of what had happened and post it on the Internet. At no time did I post anything that could be considered physical threats toward the Church or members of the Church. All of my Internet postings were made to a newsgroup, alt.religion.scientology where discussions regarding Scientology issues have been continuing for many years. While I have made it clear what I think about the dangerous scam of Scientology, at no time have I made a threat to harm any individual. I believe that the only one of the Plaintiffs mentioned in my reports prior to charges being filed is Ken Hoden. I have known him since he sued me in 1998 in an attempt to prevent me picketing then. As for claims of their fear of my ability to launch [Tom Cruise] missiles, missiles are closely controlled by a handful of governments, not to mention the least expensive of them costing a million dollars each and taking a substantial crew of trained people to service and launch them. Fearing missiles from an individual of modest means is not a reasonable fear. The book, The Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition, was about events in the 1970s and was done as a humorous compilation of docudrama events from numerous individuals. While I have some amateur knowledge, I am not an explosives expert, never having had any training, not even military training, nor did I own the cannon mentioned in the book. I would not say I hate Scientology, my feeling toward it and other high control cults is more like the impersonal feeling I have for dangerous diseases. I write professionally on this topic (memetics and evolutionary psychology). I do not want Scientologists to be paranoid; I want them out of the cult. (The leader is insanely paranoid but he was that way long before I became involved.) Seeing my picker signs has induced a number of Scientologists to leave. You can get rid of an organization without hurting the people in it. Hoden has no physical fear of me, or at least he has shown none in the several times we have interacted at close range. In fact, the first time he sued me in early 1998 his argument was that
I was a danger to myself out there picketing on the highway and should be placed under a restraining order for my own safety. There is a newspaper picture from 1998 that shows Hoden and me walking together.” Declaration of Keith Henson, July 8, 2002.
Previously there had only been a few short pickets of Gold Base. Indeed, Mr. Henson had only picketed it once in 1997 and twice in 1998. Now, Keith Henson was picketing the Gold Base much of the day on most days. The Church had to shield and protect the Scientology staffers from reading the messages on the picket signs, “thinking for themselves,” and perhaps deciding to leave the Scientology organization.
As a totalitarian organization using techniques of coercive indoctrination, Scientology could not permit Keith Henson to continue picketing on CA Highway 79 alongside the Gold Base. It did not matter how many civil rights he had on the public highway, Henson had to be stopped. The church, through its Office of Special Affairs, had considerable experience at this, most recently with the fabrication of evidence against Graham Berry, Esq., Mark Bunker and Jesse Prince and involving private investigators such as Eugene Ingram and David Lee. These crimes had been committed with the assistance of Scientology lawyers such as Kendrick Moxon, Helena Kobrin, Ava Paquette, Elliot Abelson and Samuel D. Rosen. Kendrick L. Moxon, Esq., had been previously named as an unindicted co-conspirator in US v. Hubbard and US v. Kember which involved the largest ever known criminal infiltration of the United States Government; by the Church of Scientology’s predecessor to the Office of Special Affairs. Among other things, Moxon had given manufactured evidence ("false handwriting exemplars") to the FBI. Elliot Abelson, Esq. was a former attorney for Mafiosi such as the Gambino crime family, and Eugene Ingram, a disgraced former LAPD officer, had been charged with impersonating a police officer.
The Church complained to the Riverside Sheriffs Department in Hemet. However, the records show that the Hemet Sheriff’s Department would not recommend a prosecution. Accordingly, the Church went over the Sheriff’s Department. It retained the former Riverside County Public Defender, the late Alan E. Oberstein, Esq. to set up a meeting with Riverside District Attorney Grover Trask (now "of counsel at Best, Best & Krieger in Riverside, CA).
In the meantime, after dark on May 17, 2000, Ashlee Shaner is killed when she drives into an unlit front end loader that is parked on Highway 79 outside the Gold base. The teenager was driving home after Bible Studies. Later Mr. Henson would post that he would picket the Gold base with a sign that read: ‘Is Ashlee Shaner the latest victim? The cult doesn’t care about lives. www.xenu.net
On May 24, 2000, an extraordinary thing happened. Former Riverside Public Defender Alan Oberstein, Esq. met with Riverside District Attorney Grover Trask to discuss the Church of Scientology’s request that Keith Henson be arrested and prosecuted for having the temerity to picket a Church of Scientology facility with critical messages that could cause a Scientologist such “doubt” that they may leave staff or the organization. Even more amazingly, Mr. Oberstein was accompanied by Gerald Feffer, Esq. from the very prominent Washington DC law firm of Williams & Connally. Gerald Feffer, Esq. was a former Department of Justice lawyer who, with Kendrick Moxon, had been honored at a Scientology rally ("The War Against the IRS is Over") for successfully reversing the position of the IRS on tax exemption for the Church of Scientology, just one year after the US Supreme Court had upheld the refusal of the IRS to grant tax-exempt status to the church. Gerald Feffer, Esq. also serves as a personal attorney to David Miscavige, the Chairman of the Board of the RTC and the ecclesiastical leader of Scientology. Later Williams & Connelly would provide the Riverside District Attorney with legal memoranda arguing for the prosecution of Mr. Henson. Indeed, on or about July 27, 2000, Scientology attorney Alan C. Oberstein wrote to the District Attorney enclosing selected postings that Mr. Henson made to the Internet (to the ARS use group). We know
this because Deputy District Attorney Schwarz permitted Graham Berry, Esq. to read the letter during one of the early hearings in the case and before Graham Berry withdrew to attend to his dying mother in New Zealand. As we shall see, scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, Esq. assisted Deputy District Attorney Robert Schwarz as a kind of unofficial pro-bono partner and the Scientology Office of Special Affairs assisted in the handling of the case and the trial.
Meanwhile, Mr. Henson was frequently picketing the Gold base and posting reports of what he did and saw to the ARS use group on the Internet. For example, on June 21, 2000 he posted a report of his June 20, 2000 picket saying, “they seem to be taking people from one side of the road to the other in vans, to avoid seeing me and the entire plaza and walkway under the road is almost unused. I saw a total of three using it all day, and I bet they got into trouble. My home and my wife’s place of business are picketed” [by Scientologists]
After Mr. Henson began picketing Gold base he would almost immediately be joined, and constantly followed, by Scientology private investigators Edwin Richardson and Frank Petty. Usually they had been with armed Scientology guards in the guardhouse at the main entrance. These two men with constantly on the heels of Mr. Henson whenever he was outside the Gold Base. Not only would they try and crowd him onto the highway and into the traffic but they would threaten him. Many of these threats were recorded but they were not allowed into evidence during the April 2002 trial. In one encounter, the two Scientology private investigators pressed Mr. Henson to give permission to allow his daughter Amber to travel to “Gold” to be interviewed by Scientology staffers and agents as to whether Mr. Henson had ever molested his daughter.
On July 2, 2000 Mr. Henson made an Internet post about being run into the highway by the two Scientology private investigators. “I profited from Bob’s [Bob Minton] experience. They threatened me, got in my face and started bull baiting [a scientology term taunting and pushing an opponent’s buttons] me (child molester etc. per www.parishioners.org) What they were really after was to bash themselves on my sign or get me to bash them and fall down like Howd. (sic) I wasn’t having any of it, so I jumped into the roadway. They spent the next ten minutes trying to bull bait as they chased me back and forth in the roadway while I flagged down about 20 cars and asked them to call the cops. If it were so rushed, it would have been funny like the three stooges. Every time I would talk to someone in a car, they would quit bothering me so they could tell the driver I was a mad bomber or child molester or both. As if this kind of DA [‘dead agent’-character attacks, another scientology term] would keep them from calling the cops.” On July 4, 2000 Mr. Henson posted … “Ken Hoden came by and warned me to stay off private property, but he knows that I have the right to walk on their property if required for safety. Incidentally, except for the west underpass, they seem to have given up trying to keep the Gold base staff inside. Many of them were out there looking at the spectacle of four police cars talking to the thugs [the two private investigators] and Ken Hoden.”
Much to the Scientologist’s chagrin, on this and many other calls, the Sheriffs found Henson to be acting lawfully and peacefully. At the same time Scientology leader David Miscavige was probably yelling at Ken Hoden to “make it go right.” [Get rid of Henson.] There have been numerous reports, some under penalty of perjury, that Captain David Miscavige often physically assaults scientology staffers who have annoyed him for some reason. Miscavige can also order staffers to the harsh confines, punishments and servitudes of the RPF. See, http://www.lermanet.com
On July 5, 2000 Mr. Henson posted about the results of such pressures within the Scientology organization by writing a joint Internet post with two other persons who had picketed Gold base with him that day. “LETTERS HOME. The crime syndicate had Ida’s son and grandson send two very odd e-mails to her. To say these were “Freaky” would be an understatement. It was as if a mad scientist had reincarnated Joseph Goebbels’ corpse just so it could write two more pieces of propaganda. The intent was to convince her to eject Keith from her abode. The propaganda called Keith a ‘full-time hater,’ which made one and all break out in roaring laughter. Ida had not heard from these
disconnected [another Scientology word] family members for some years, so it was quite pleasing to get email from them even if it looked like OSA was dictating over their shoulder. Note to family with disconnected members in Scientology: you want to hear from them? Come picket with me.”
On July 9, 2000 Mr. Henson made an Internet post. First, he quoted an earlier posting from some-one else. “bwarr <@pacbell.net> wrote: <Snip> > “I’ve already got the permit, and a Harpy Eagle. Bag limit, 2 scienos per day. If DM [David Miscavige] goes jogging in his pink bunny-suit, I’ll give him a 2 minute head start before I slip the eagle. Won’t do him any good…an 18 lb. eagle traveling at 40 mph will strike with great force, and their talons are bigger than a Kodiak bear’s. >” Second, he responds. “Oh Great. Now (*) [Scientology code for Hubbard and DM] has to watch for eagles as well as cruise missiles.”
On July 19, 2000 Mr. Henson picketed the Gold base and later made an Internet post about the death of a 21 year old female scientology staffer on the Gold base. She had been electrocuted in an underground high voltage transformer vault. “Report, the woman who died in the transformer vault is identified as Stacy Moxon Meyer, daughter of Kendrick Moxon [Scientology’s top in-house lawyer].”
The Church of Scientology has staffers monitoring all media and the Internet for any mention of Scientology. Obviously, they were waiting to pounce on any Internet posting that they considered actionable, or to try and stop anyone from posting negative information about the church. And Kendrick Moxon is intimately involved in the Church’s intimidation and harassment activities.
On the evening of July 19, 2000 Mr. Henson engaged in an evening picket of the Gold base (where Scientology religious staffers work 14 plus hours a day, six and seven days a week, for $50.00 per week pay. Among other things, they manufacture Scientology E-meters (a primitive lie detector). These are manufactured for less than $25.00 and sold to the captive audience of Scientologists for prices that can exceed $25,000.00.
Mr. Henson was picketing peacefully on the evening of July 19, 2000 when Riverside Deputy Sheriff Rowe arrived and arrested him. However, he was unarrested after Ken Hoden, the complainant, refused to sign the sheriff’s incident report under penalty of perjury. This was an irony because one of Scientology’s scriptures teaches that “the only way to control some-one is to lie to them.” During the July 19, 2000 arrest, Mr. Henson complained of illness (he suffers from high blood pressure). The Sheriffs Deputies called an ambulance and paramedics took his elevated blood pressure. The paramedics informed Mr. Henson that he would be beaten by the Sheriffs deputies if he did not get into the ambulance. He was driven in the ambulance to Moreno Valley where the hospital refused to treat him and he was left to his own devices as to how to travel the 30 miles back to where he was staying in Hemet. Subsequently the ambulance company and hospital mailed him a bill for $1,700.00.
On July 20, 2000 Officer Rowe made his Sheriff’s incident report (re 7/19/00 incident). Ken Hoden had alleged that Mr. Henson had made a “threat to use weapons of mass destruction.” [Dates of Internet posting (1997) and pickets (2000)]. On July 21, 2000 a further Sheriff’s Incident report is prepared by officers Greer and Moquin. It reports that Ken Hoden alleges that Keith Henson made a threat to “use weapons of mass destruction.” However, Officer Greer concluded that “[t]here does not appear to be any criminal intent or direct threat in this case.” Similarly, Officer Moquin reported that “[n]one of the messages that I reviewed contained any threat of mass destruction to any persons or organization by Keith Henson.” On July 22, 2000 Ken Hoden signed a declaration, under penalty of perjury, that Gold had been in fear of Henson’s “missile attack for more than a month.” This time the Sheriffs report is by Officer Carroll. It concerns a “Threat By Electronic Means.” Officer Carroll also obtains declarations from Scientology Private Investigators Richardson and Petty (unsigned). On July 23, 2000 Scientology private investigator signed another and different declaration. He stated that he
had been following within 5-10 feet of Mr. Henson’s picketing “to prevent harm.”
As you have read above, on July 27, 2000, Scientology attorney Alan C. Oberstein wrote to the District Attorney, referring to the May 24, 2000 meeting, and enclosing selected postings that Mr. Henson made to the Internet (to the ARS use group). It is argued that what is important is not objective reasonableness of any fear but only the subjective fear of the scientologists, whether reasonable or not. Apparently, only a few senior staffers were permitted to complain and they had been provided with information about the long out of print ‘Great Mambo Chicken’ [which mentions some Henson desert fireworks pranks in the early 1970s] and various Henson Internet postings. Scientology staffers are ordinarily forbidden to access such information and those with Internet access must use a scientology "net nanny" to filter out all information (true or false) that is negative or detrimental to the Church of Scientology.
Meanwhile, Scientology was attacking Mr. Henson, his family and his friends in other ways, and despite their claims that their “Fair Game Policy” had been cancelled. For example, Scientology also staged pickets outside the homes of Mr. Henson’s very elderly parents and his brother. They harassed neighbors and sent their private investigators to sit in their cars in front of neighbors’ houses and occupy precious parking spaces. They would post and distribute nasty flyers showing Mr. Henson in hand-cuffs (due to one of their contrived arrests) and labeling him as a child-molester; wrongly implying that Mr. Henson had actually been arrested as a child molester. They would ‘tail’ Mr. Henson and Arel Lucas where-ever they went. The Scientologists and their PIs would follow and photograph Mr. Henson’s teenage daughter Amber as she went about her business.
On July 22, 2000, Mr. Henson’s’ wife Arel Lucas traveled from Ontario Airport (near Riverside, CA) to the University at Redlands for their daughter Amber’s orientation. They were followed by Scientology private investigators (including Ed Richardson) so she called the Redlands Police who met them outside. Meanwhile, Mr. Henson drove to Redlands from nearby Hemet. He was also followed by Scientology private investigators (including Frank Petty). When they arrived at Redlands University they were met by three car loads of Scientology private investigators and agents. While the Hensons were talking outside with police officers, inside university administration officials were fielding strange calls for information relating to young Amber Henson. As soon as the Henson were able to register Amber they found a receptive attitude from school officials who had already been harassed by Church of Scientology operatives and a Request for Privacy shield was put around Amber Henson’s’ school records. Although the Scientology ‘investigators’ could not prevented from driving around city streets and neighborhoods, the police warned they would be arrested if entered University property. Such incidents are not unique in Church of Scientology matters. In the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case, during the hearing to disqualify Ken Dandar, Esq. as attorney for the Lisa McPherson estate, the judge expressed her horror in response to testimony that Church agents were following, harassing and confronting Robert (Bob) Minton’s’ two young daughters wherever they went.
For many days a large electronic surveillance RV was parked in view of 82 year old Ida Camburn’s home where Mr. Henson was staying. For months, there were several private investigators in white Ford Explorer SUVs parked near the Camburn house and cruising the adjacent streets, scaring the elderly residents of that desert ‘double-wide’ mobile home retirement community. As you read above, Scientology public relations executive Muriel Dufresne had confronted Mr. Henson outside the Gold base during an earlier picket. She also signed a statement that she was terrorized by Keith Henson’s Internet threat that he would attack the Gold base with [Tom] cruise missiles.” However, on July 28, 2000 Church of Scientology public relations executive Muriel Dufresne visited the Sierra Dawn Mobile Home Park neighbors of Ida Camburn and advised them that Mr. Henson is a child molester, killer and bomber and a danger to the community. On July 31, 2000 Muriel Dufresne was at it again.
She visited the Sierra Dawn Mobile Home Park and told the park manager that “You need to make Ida Camburn have Henson leave.” She then called the mobile home park manager every day with the same directive.
On August 8, 2000 Riverside Sheriffs Deputy Greer prepared an Incident Report on “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” The report concluded, “In reviewing the Internet postings I did not see any direct threat of violence towards the church or any personnel of the church.”
On August 10, 2000 the Church of Scientology’s campaign against Keith Henson intersected with their concurrent use of blackmail, bribery, perjury and corruption against Los Angeles attorney Graham E. Berry. While he was picketing "Gold base" (Golden Era Productions) scientology private investigator Edwin Richardson served Mr. Henson with a deposition subpoena to testify in the fabricated Michael Hurtado law suit Kendrick Moxon had filed against Graham Berry. Moxon and scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, Esq. dismissed the case just before trial when a judge deemed Mr. Moxon and Mr. Hurtado to be perpetuating a fraud upon the Los Angeles Superior Court. (Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs, its attorneys and private investigators had engaged in numerous interstate crimes in their various projects against Graham Berry.) And as you will later learn, Mr. Henson’s deposition in Los Angeles would be set for the same day as an unserved notice to appear in the Hemet criminal court and a pre-signed judge’s order for Henson to be arrested for failing to appear! You can read more of the matters involving Graham Berry, and Scientology generally, from these Internet URLs: http://www.lermanet.com/reference/Graham_Berry/criminalcomplaint.htm, http://www.holysmoke.org/gb/gb.htm
The Los Angeles Police Department investigated some of the Scientology conduct in the Berry cases and recommended prosecution. However, Scientology attorney and former Los Angeles Police Commission chairman Gerald Chaleff left his high paying partnership at the giant Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe law firm and became one of the most senior attorneys in the City Attorneys office just one week before the Los Angeles City Attorney and the Los Angeles District Attorney considered the LAPD recommendation to prosecute. The District Attorney’s chief assistant later informed Graham Berry that there would be no prosecution of the scientology attorneys and private investigators “for political reasons. One day I may be able to tell you the full story,” the then Deputy DA added. Parenthetically, it is noted that the Los Angeles County Sheriff is also a visible and active participant at various Scientology events and he has spoken in support of Scientology related projects such as the proposed and controversial Narconon drug facility in Leona Valley (near Los Angeles, CA). Reportedly, Sheriff Baca attempted to introduce Scientology management training programs into the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department. Apparently, the deputy sheriff’s union successfully blocked the Sheriff’s scientology training plan. The Hubbard College of Administration, another Scientology front-group, is also located in Los Angeles County. It is actively supported by Los Angeles City Council member Eric Garcetti, the son of the former Los Angeles District Attorney who refused to prosecute those involved in the scientology projects against Graham Berry, for “political reasons.” As a St. Petersburg Times editorial wrote, “This is like no other church that we know.”
On August 16, 2000 Scientology attorney Gerald Feffer, Esq. of the large and powerful Washington DC white-collar criminal defense law firm of Williams & Connelly, wrote to Riverside Deputy District Attorney Kevin Ruddy. Mr. Feffer referred to the prior meeting with District Attorney Travis and DDA Ruddy and sets forth factual and legal arguments as to why Mr. Henson should be arrested and prosecuted. On August 16, 2000 Deputy Sheriff made an unannounced visit to the Gold base and met with Ken Hoden who said that approx. 735 scientologists worked there. Deputy Greer asked to interview five of those workers about the threats from Henson. However, Ken Hoden responded that they had not notified all of the personnel because they did not want to cause mass fear. Later Deputy Greer signed a declaration, under penalty of perjury, that he had investigated the “reported crime of 11418.5 PC” and that ‘Per the District Attorney’s Office this case will be submitted for an arrest
warrant declaration.” California Penal Code section 11418.5 provides:
11418.5. (a) Any person who knowingly threatens to use a weapon of mass destruction, with the specific intent that the statement as defined in Section 225 of the Evidence Code or a statement made by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety, or for his or her immediate family's safety shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year or in the state prison for 3, 4, or 6 years, and by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).
In contrast to his August 8, 2000 report, Deputy Sheriff Greer wrote that on August 16, 2000 he “conducted interviews with five members of the Church of Scientology, who are assigned to the Golden Era Productions company. All five told [him] that they have been told about Henson and are afraid that he will carry out his threats to blow up the church of Golden Era Productions. All five told [Deputy Greer] that they have had to adjust bus schedules and work schedules due to the fear that Henson will 'lob a grenade or incendiary device' over the fence into the compound. They told [him] that there are approximately 100 employees at Golden Era who receive a page when Henson is at the property. Those paged are to keep the rest of the employees away from the road in front of Golden Era and the two tunnels that go under Highway 79 for fear Henson might blow them up. [Deputy Sheriff Greer felt] that the elements of the above section [P.C. 11418.5] have been met due to the fear of the victims and the fact that they have had to alter the business due to that fear.”
At the same time, Scientology had used a private investigator to plant a drug bush on former RTC deputy head Jesse Princes’ property in Clearwater, Florida. Jesse Prince had left scientology and become an active critic. Later, at trial, the fabrication of evidence was allowed to be presented, along with ‘Fair Game’ evidence, and Jesse Prince was acquitted (as was Mark Bunker in Illinois).
On August 24, 2000 Jesse Prince posted an internet use-groups account (alt.religion.scientology) of a Scientology Office of Special Affairs "mission" to Hong Kong to plant heroin on a former scientologist turned embarrassing critic, and then to arrange his arrest and inevitable execution for a drug crime. Keith Henson was deeply affected and outraged by the report. Jesse Prince’s former boss at the RTC, Vicki Aznaran had also left Scientology and was quoted as saying that “Scientology is a criminal organization day in and day out.” Time magazine, May 6, 1991, ‘Scientology, Thriving Cult of Greed and Power.’ See, http://www.xenu.net
Scientology was also attacking Keith Henson in his bankruptcy case and they filed a declaration complaining that Mr. Henson should be working instead of picketing. On August 25, 2000 Mr. Henson posted the Declaration to the Internet with his comment that, “RTC’s complaint about my income is much like that of a person who has killed their parents and then asks the court for mercy because they are an orphan. They (Scientologists under their direction) have done the best they could to make it hard for me to do consulting work. They have invaded the offices of one client, picketed two of my clients, and within the last month picketed my wife’s place of employment, trying to get her fired. … People under the control of RTC maintain a website www.parishioners.org which any prospective client or employer will find. The web site accuses me of vile crimes. They put up posters in my neighborhood, and near a client’s office. …”
Meanwhile, the Office of Special Affairs was trying to engineer an unnoticed arraignment of Mr.
Henson, an arrest of Mr. Henson for not appearing at the arraignment and a resulting denial of bail. An arraignment was set for September 15, 2000 on the crime of misdemeanor terrorism. It would later transpire that the court did not mail the notice to appear at the September 15, 2002 arraignment and a judge even signed an arrest warrant for his non-appearance prior to September 15, 2000. However, on September 11, 2000 Henson filed a motion regarding his deposition in the contrived [Scientology] Hurtado v. Berry case and OSA mistakenly thought that Henson had notice of the September 15 arraignment. On September 13, 2000, at a Henson bankruptcy hearing in San Jose, scientology attorney Helena Koran (of Moxon & Koran/OSA) introduced a printout of the court record regarding the September 15, 2000 arraignment, as part of a character attack upon Mr. Henson. Consequently, on September 14, 2000 Graham Berry was able to learn of the pending arraignment from Hemet Sheriff Deputy Tony Greer and Deputy District Attorney Tom Gage.
The September 15, 2000 Moxon/Abelson/Scientology deposition of Mr. Henson in the Hurt ado v. Berry case in Los Angeles was cancelled enabling Mr. Henson to appear, initially represented by Graham Berry, at the unnoticed arraignment in Hemet on the "terrorism" charges. In February 2007 it was learned that prior to September 15, 2000 a judge had pre-signed an arrest warrant in the scientology-related prosecution, expecting Henson not to appear at the arraignment because of notice not being mailed and Henson being in deposition in Los Angeles in another fabricated scientology law suit.
The scientology prosecution of Keith Hemet was handled by Deputy District Attorney Robert Schwartz. However, scientology in-house attorney Elliot Abelson, Esq. was almost always at his elbow and ear. Most of the DAs documents were clearly written by Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs. For example, an October 30 2001 motion to exclude virtually all material regarding scientology was a boiler-plate motion used by scientology’s attorneys in other cases. This motion in limine was granted and excluded all evidence regarding the Scientology Fair Game policy (enemies can be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed) and TR-L ( ‘training routine-lying’) and that Scientology witness are often trained to commit perjury by “drilling” the art of lying for hours on end. On January 30, 2001 another motion in limine was filed and later granted to prevent any mention of the deaths of Ashlee Shaner, Stacy Moxon Meyer and Lisa McPherson. During this period Elliot Abelson, Esq. was also running the criminal prosecution of Mark Bunker in Chicago. However, in that case the jury returned a not guilty verdict in 20 minutes, after hearing that a presumably bribed and corrupt Chicago cop had dragged a picketing Mark Bunker onto private property, accused him of trespassing, and stolen the videotape from his camera.
On January 12, 2001 Graham Berry filed what has been described as “an amazing declaration” in support of his motion to withdraw as Henson’s attorney; in order to be with his dying mother in New Zealand. Hemet criminal defense attorney James Harr, Esq. replaced Graham Berry and represented Mr. Henson at trial. On January 15, 2001 Deana Marie Holmes, Esq. requested the California Attorney General to investigate the Henson matters. However, the Attorney General took no action. A year later, on January 21, 2002, Graham Berry asked United States Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate and his office also refused to look into these and the related matters.
After becoming Mr. Henson’s attorney he also found himself subjected to what appeared to scientology “Fair Game” activities. For example, acts of minor vandalism occurred to his office and home premises. With a wife and six children, former U.S. Navy officer Harr became worried. The acts of vandalism ceased when he stopped representing Mr. Henson.
In mid-March the District Attorneys Office filed another nine motions in limine to exclude evidence from being given at the Henson trial. One was to exclude the Sheriffs initial reports that no crime had
been committed. The reports were “worthless” said the obviously OSA/Abelson written motion. Another motion excluded and disqualified every non-scientology witness from testifying. The court even excluded from evidence or mention by Mr. Henson’s defense, various videotapes showing Mr. Henson to have been picketing peacefully on the day(s) in question and on all other occasions. Mr. Henson’s attorney responded with an unsuccessful motion to disqualify the District Attorney’s office for its “naked collusion with organized crime,” conflicts of interest and bias. On April 9, 2001 Mr. Henson posted an open Internet letter to the District Attorney concerning “a conspiracy to set him up for failure to appear, by falsely entering information on the record indicating he had been served with a notice to appear that had, in fact, never been given to him, prior to appearing for the court hearing he had only discovered through an accident of Scientology attorney Helena Kobrin, Esq.” On April 11, 2000 Mr. Henson mailed a similar letter to the Riverside Sheriff’s department. Both the District Attorneys office and the Sheriffs Department ignored Mr. Henson’s reports and requests.
There are at least three judges who regularly sit at the Hemet branch of the Riverside County Superior Court. The Henson case bounced among them all and each quickly passed it along. In chambers one judge even said he would not handle the case because he was scared of the church. “What if my car breaks down one night on the Highway outside their property?” Eventually a retired judge, Hon. Robert H. Wallerstein, had to be used specifically for the People of the State of California v. Keith Henson misdemeanor terrorism case. After the trial was over it was learned that Judge Wallerstein and scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, Esq. had worked together in their younger days and that the Judge may have owed Elliot Abelson, Esq. a favor.
The Henson criminal trial started on April 19, 2000 with the selection of a 12 person jury. Scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, Esq. was with and counseling Deputy District Attorney Robert Schwarz. Other scientology attorneys and staffers were present and providing support services. Scientology attorney Samuel D. Rosen, Esq., of the New York office of the giant Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker law firm flew in, at a billing rate of over $500.00 per hour, two first class airline seats and five star hotel accommodation.
As you read above, on July 19, 2000 Mr. Henson was initially arrested and released; for making felony death threats in violation of California Penal Code section 422. However, the Henson trial proceeded on three misdemeanor charges: (1) Making terrorist death threats in breach of PC M422; (2) Making terrorist death threats in breach of PC 664/M422; and (3) Intimidating, threatening or oppressing some-one because of their race, religion or color. Seven witnesses testified at the trial: Scientology staffers Hilary Dezotell, Ken Hoden and Bruce Wagoner; two police officers (Detectives Greer and Deputy Rowe), and two others (Frank Petty and Wayne Hackerman). The core testimony of the three Scientology witnesses was: (1) Gold base was part of the Church of Scientology International and it produced and manufactured film and audio materials for the Churches of Scientology and Dianetics Centers around the world [it is also the location of senior international management executives including Captain David Miscavige]; (2) after Mr. Henson began picketing at Gold base they were given [by Scientology lawyers from “their church in Los Angeles”] certain Internet postings by Keith Henson, a patent he had registered for the construction of a space freight elevator and a copy of the Great Mambo Chicken book. From those materials they concluded that: that Mr. Henson had been involved in the development of cryonics and the exploration of space; Mr. Henson had had some amateur pyrotechnics experience in the early 1970s; that he had made Internet postings an some Internet [engineering] explosives chat group; that he had referred to ICBM missiles in several Internet postings; that he could design complex space transporters; and, that he wanted to bring-down the Church of Scientology, their religion. The materials had made them “feel frightened, because the man obviously knew something about missiles.” Sheriffs Detective Greer testified that his interviews with Mr. Henson had informed him that Mr. Henson knew that his picketing was disrupting activity at the Gold base and that Mr. Henson was engaged in psychological warfare to make the Church of Scientology paranoid. Sheriffs Deputy Greer testified that Mr. Henson was not threatening any physical injury to the scientologists but was using psychological means to make them paranoid.
In September, 2002, in a court filing in RTC v. Henson (Henson I, Section D above), that he believed that “Scientology (RTC) had grossly corrupted the [Hemet Superior Court/Judge Wallerstein] and the District Attorney’s office in Hemet from before [he] was arrested through trial and possibly into the appeal.” Mr. Henson further explains:
“I believe it involved outright fraud by the court itself. Judge Robert H. Wallerstein sealed parts of the transcript. And exhibit materials went missing in the appeal record without due process and in clear violation of the rules of the court. He apparently did so to cover up falsifying his minute order of April 19, 2001-which is in conflict with his ruling in open court that was publicly reported at the time and witnessed by a number of people including my lawyer, Mr. James Harr. The reason seems to have been to keep certain Scientology Office of Special Affairs policy documents out of the public record. Mr. Harr produced a declaration about the illegally sealed transcript and missing exhibits, but of course by not releasing the sealed part of the transcript of April 19, 2001, the Hemet court can claim it did not happen. I really don’t expect this court [Federal District Court Judge Whyte] to pay attention to Mr. Harrs declaration, but if the court were to suggest to Federal law enforcement agencies that the subject of Scientology’s perversion of justice in Riverside County deserves some attention, I am sure Mr. Harr (who was very unhappy about this abuse) would be pleased to co-operate with them.”
Mr. Henson was writing about his designated scientology expert witness Frank Oliver and his exhibit, a Scientology Intelligence Officers manual. All mention of both has been sealed and obliterated from the court record. Frank Oliver lives in Miami, Florida and is a former scientologist who had worked for the Church of Scientology Office of Special Affairs as an Intelligence Officer. In that capacity he has testified that he was posted to Los Angeles to “investigate” certain former scientologists and scientology critics. The "Intelligence Officers Hat Pack" is the Church of Scientology intelligence officers’ job description and job manual. A large portion of the "intelligence officer" material involves and describes conduct and techniques which are clearly illegal. The Judge would not let Frank Oliver testify. However, Frank Oliver had written a declaration and the Scientology "Intelligence Officers hat pack" was attached. The judge ordered these documents made part of the record [Exhibit 19] but after a break during the morning of April 19, 2001 he changed his mind. Although these documents had been made part of the court record they have now disappeared from the court’s files. The trial judge ordered the court reporter not to transcribe the related testimony. Why a self-proclaimed peaceful tax-exempt church uses “intelligence officers” who have engaged in criminal activities is an interesting issue in itself!
Mr. Henson would later write: “When I was charged by the State I was charged with three separate counts. My attorney brought numerous motions, but was restricted from presenting any evidence concerning the content of my signs. I was also precluded from discussing any of the facts (such as the deaths) that induced me to picket in that area, or Scientology’s vicious policies such as ‘fair game.’ My expert witness [former Scientology Intelligence Officer Frank Oliver] was precluded from testifying. As a result of these limitations I could not take the stand in my own defense. I was unable, through a limitation by the court, to show the Internet postings in their entirety. After two days of deliberation, the jury came back deadlocked on the first two counts, returning a verdict on count three. The verdict has been roundly condemned by free speech organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.” Declaration of Keith Henson, July 8, 2002.
On April 26, 2000 the jury found Keith Henson guilty of interfering with a religion and therefore violating California Penal Code section 422.6, which provides:
422.6. (a) No person, whether or not acting under color of law,
shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate,
interfere with, oppress, or threaten any other person in the free
exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States
because of the other person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation, or because he or she perceives that the other person has one or more of those characteristics.
(b) No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall
knowingly deface, damage, or destroy the real or personal property of
any other person for the purpose of intimidating or interfering with
the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to
the other person by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the
Constitution or laws of the United States, because of the other
person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin,
disability, gender, or sexual orientation, or because he or she
perceives that the other person has one or more of those
(c) Any person convicted of violating subdivision (a) or (b) shall
be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year,
or by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by
both that imprisonment and fine, and the court shall order the
defendant to perform a minimum of community service, not to exceed
400 hours, to be performed over a period not to exceed 350 days,
during a time other than his or her hours of employment or school
attendance. However, no person shall be convicted of violating
subdivision (a) based upon speech alone, except upon a showing that
the speech itself threatened violence against a specific person or
group of persons and that the defendant had the apparent ability to
carry out the threat. Emphasis added.
On July 20, 2001, in the case of The People v. Keith Henson, Mr. Henson was sentenced in abstentia on the misdemeanor terrorism conviction. After hearing from Church of Scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, Esq. Judge Wallerstein ordered Mr. Henson to serve 365 days of jail with no early release and no work furlough in county jail which shall be suspended on condition that the defendant would be placed on probation for 3 years, he would serve 180 days of straight time, pay a fine of $2,700.00, and submit to random searches of his property and cars with or without reasonable cause by any law enforcement or probation officer. He was also to stay away from Highway 79 and Golden Era productions. If he did not accept supervised probation he was to serve the full 365 days in the Riverside County jail.
Sometime after the case was concluded, Mr. Henson attempted to locate some of the jurors who had sat in his case. After substantial efforts he concluded that all but one had disappeared from the Hemet area. Just as surprising, soon after the Henson case was concluded, Deputy District Attorney Robert Schwarz resigned from the District Attorneys office and also appeared to vanish. After great difficulty, he was finally located in a remote area of a heartland state.
One October 2001 Internet article, "The Cruise Missile Crisis" by Larry Smith, commented that “if Keith Henson had limited his protests to shouting at the top of his lungs about Tom Cruise Missiles outside Scientology Headquarters, he probably would have been dismissed as a harmless kook. But once his words went out on the Net, they were enough to convince a jury that a penniless 58-year-old man was planning to deploy a piece of military hardware costing $600,000 and accessible only to top levels of the U.S. armed forces.”
Mr. Henson filed an appeal against conviction and sentence but it was dismissed after the Scientology lawyers successfully argued that Mr. Henson had “forfeited his right to appeal” under the Disentitlement doctrine. This was triggered when Mr. Henson failed to appear for sentencing and
sought refugee status in Canada. Mr. Henson explained his decision to seek Canadian refugee status in a declaration: “While awaiting sentencing I was invited to Canada to picket on May 12, 2002. While there, as a result of many threats posted by Scientology voices on the Internet, my host suggested I talk to an immigration lawyer about becoming a refugee. I was intending to return, but after talking to [a Canadian immigration attorney] who said (as subsequent events proved) I had a valid refugee claim due to my human rights being violated in a clearly corrupt process.” Declaration of Keith Henson, July 8, 2002.
Sometime after the conclusion of this case the power of the Church of Scientology to engage in the coercion, duress and punishment of its scientology-staff-witnesses was illustrated when several recently departed scientology staffer reported being with Rev. Ken Hoden in the Church of Scientology gulag-like prison called the ‘RPF’ (see Section K, paragraph 2 above). There are RPF facilities at Gilman Hot Springs, Los Angeles, Clearwater and Copenhagen (Denmark). Rev. Hoden was confined at the central Los Angeles RPF unit with approx. 175 other scientology prisoners. U.S. federal, state and local authorities refuse to investigate complaints and reports of such matters because the Church of Scientology is an IRS tax exempt religious organization with a terrible reputation of even retaliating against federal and state government and law enforcement officers.
Arel Lucas, Keith Henson’s wife, and others wrote to the California Attorney General complaining of the actions of the Riverside District Attorney in the Henson cases. They even traveled to Sacramento to meet with staff at the Attorney-General’s office. However, all contact in person or by telephone was refused. They were told that any complaints about the Riverside District Attorney should be addressed to the Riverside District Attorney himself. As for then Attorney General Bill Lockyer; there are a number of photographs of him meeting and socializing with Church of Scientology officials and high profile members, some of whom have been awarded contracts to handle the computer and date management needs of the State Governments of California and Florida. For example: E. Republic, the Center for Digital Government and Executive Software.
Continued at Section P below.
M. HILLARY DEZOTELL, KEN HODEN, BRUCE WAGONER V. HENSON (“Henson IX”)
The "Tom Cruise Missile" prosecution of Keith Henson was concluded on April 26, 2001. On July 30, 2001 Rev. Ken Hoden, Hillary Dezotell and Bruce Wagoner (the “Plaintiffs”) filed a limited civil case in Riverside County, CA. The case was later transferred to Hemet. Dezotell, Hoden & Wagoner v. Henson, Riverside County Case 009673. The plaintiffs claimed they were members of a Scientology religious order and employed at a Scientology religious facility, Golden Era Productions which is located at Gilman Hot Springs. Scientology staffers refer to it as "Gold Base." Later, the Plaintiffs would argue that Gold Base was a sound and film production studio.
The Plaintiffs claimed that on over 40 occasions between May 26 and September 3, 2000 Mr. Henson had picketed Gold Base. They alleged he had followed them, written down license plate numbers, taken photographs and had “stalked the entrance to their Church with anti-scientology signs that were derogatory, menacing and hate-filled. They claimed that Mr. Henson had threatened them with violence and they were afraid to go outside out of fear of Mr. Henson. The also claimed that Mr. Henson was a munitions expert and that he had used a Global Positioning System (“GPS”) device to plot the co-ordinates for the launch of a missile strike against Gold Base. It was “psychological warfare” they alleged, without any trace of irony. The Plaintiffs claimed ordinary damages and punitive for breach of human rights, intentional and emotional distress, attorney’s fees and a permanent injunction.
The attorneys for the three Scientology litigants (who had been the complainants in the criminal case just concluded) were represented by Joseph M. Wojcik, Esq., the son of one the Hemet judges, and Scientology in-house lawyer and trouble-shooter Elliot J. Abelson, Esq. Mr. Henson was represented by Hemet attorney Karen Novorr, Esq.
On June 14, 2002 the plaintiffs filed a successful summary adjudication of issues motion that eliminated the issue of liability at trial. The Church of Scientology successfully argued that the criminal jury’s conviction of misdemeanor terrorism compelled the judge, in the subsequent civil case, to rule that Keith Henson’s liability had already been established by the criminal jury under the legal doctrine of res judicata. On August 26, 2002 a private lawyer sitting as a temporary Judge (a judge Pro Tem) Barry A. Reimer, Esq. entered summary judgment in the case. Because the case was filed as a limited case this was permitted.
The same court/temporary judge/private attorney entered a final judgment in late October. In connection with his civil liability for picketing the Gold base and "terrorizing a religion," and in addition to the criminal sentence of one year in jail and three years of probation, Mr. Henson was ordered to pay the scientologists $75,000.00 in statutory civil penalties, scientology’s attorneys fees of $23, 666.65 and he (his attorney and his associates, who were not parties and had no notice) were permanently enjoined from ever being on Highway 79 near the Gold base and from ever picketing Gold base again.
Because a court in a limited case cannot issue a permanent injunction, Mr. Henson recently requested the Court to correct its judgment and delete the permanent injunction. The Church of Scientology has responded that its attorneys made a mistake when they filed the case as a limited case and that the permanent injunction should therefore remain in effect. Mr. Henson would never have consented to a judge pro tem had he known that the temporary judge would be able to issue a permanent injunction. He would have insisted the case be heard before a regular Hemet Superior Court judge (with the exception of Judge Wojcik, father of one of the Scientology attorneys).
Mr. Henson also filed an appeal against the court’s rulings in this case. The Church of Scientology attorneys persuaded the appeals court to dismiss the appeal on the grounds of "the fugitive disentitlement doctrine," because Mr. Henson had sought asylum and refugee status in Canada.
N. KEITH HENSON BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS (“Henson VIII” above)
The decision and orders entered in RTC v. Henson (“Henson I”), totaled over $325,000.00. In January 1998 Keith Henson had realized that any more than minimal fees and fines, after the loss of his primary client due to Scientology “Fair Game” harassment and the continuing Scientology harassment of prospective clients and employers, would cause the loss of his home and belongings to the Church of Scientology. He was aware that other Scientology critics had lost their computers, furniture, books and papers. Realizing the viciousness of his Scientology adversary, and facing the loss of his home and vehicle, Keith Henson (but not his wife Arel Lucas) filed a Chapter 13 (Re-organization) Bankruptcy Petition in the United State District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose) in 1998 [ In Re H. Keith Henson, Case No: 98-51326 ASW-7]. Nine years later the "no significant assets" bankruptcy proceedings are still continuing. It is not necessary to detail these proceedings herein, at lease for present purpose. However, in a February 7, 2003 opinion the Federal Bankruptcy Judge commented:
“[Mr. & Mrs. Henson] have maintained a modest, frugal lifestyle. … [The Church of Scientology] and its lawyers strike at [Keith Henson] with a force and with resources that far exceed those available to [Henson] (e.g. the four different law firms [one from New York] who represent and appear for Creditor in this Chapter 13 bankruptcy case) appearing to expend funds that significantly exceed those expended on any Chapter 13 case of which this court is aware, and far beyond the financial issues at stake. … the Court’s 30 volume file of this case with 490 docket entries shows that the [Church of Scientology] has been zealous in pursuit of a remedy, including zealous discovery, an unsuccessful motion to recuse the [judge], an unsuccessful motion to have the case dismissed under the fugitive disentitlement doctrine, an unsuccessful summary judgment motion, and numerous unsuccessful efforts to appeal, have writs issued, and have the District Court withdraw its reference of the case to the Bankruptcy Court.”
Indeed, New York lawyer Samuel D. Rosen, Esq. made numerous efforts to have San Jose Federal Judge Whyte [from RTC v. Henson, see Section D above] to intervene and take-over the case from the bankruptcy court.
In their litigation against Graham Berry, Esq. in Los Angeles, and the related bankruptcy proceedings, the Moxon & Kobrin law office [a scientology unit located within the Office of Special Affairs] prevented Graham Berry from realizing the equity in his home (for the benefit of his mortgage company) by blocking its sale until it went into foreclosure. They did the same thing in the Henson bankruptcy. The mortgaged Henson home in San Jose was valued at $325,000. It was held as a joint tenancy by Mr. Henson and his wife. However, Scientology brought suit against Mrs. Henson in order to either obtain or eliminate her one half interest in the family home. Obviously, with available Henson assets of so little value or equity, and their litigation expenses exceeding one million dollars, the Church of Scientology was not treating this as a business matter.
On April 26, 2006 the Federal District Court issued a written opinion in which it commented that “this is an unusual bankruptcy case – [the Church of Scientology] has filed more than 60 motions, has commenced at least 3 adversary proceedings, has made a motion to disqualify this Court, has filed 3 separate motions to regarding its objection to the sale of [the Henson house], and has filed numerous appeals from this Court’s orders. [The Church of Scientology] has also sought to have the [Henson] bankruptcy case dismissed from its inception. … [The Church] has usurped the Trustee’s role …”
Significantly, the Church is now trying to convince the Bankruptcy Court to make the anti-picketing injunction against Mr. Henson, his attorney and his associates permanent and non-dischargeable.
O. LISA MCPHERSON v. CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
In his September 2002 filing in the RTC v. Henson (‘Henson I”) case [where Scientology was trying to have Judge Whyte hold Mr. Henson in criminal contempt for inventing a non-existent NOTS 56 policy letter and posting the parody it to the Internet] Mr. Henson commented on what was happening to him and why:
“As to why RTC filed this action [for criminal and civil contempt] at this time? Scientology’s leaders were incensed that I had filed an amicus brief in the Lisa McPherson hearings [in Tampa, Florida]. Also RTC had just crushed Bob Minton, releasing legal resources [New York lawyer Samuel D. Rosen, Esq. of the giant Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker law firm and Kendrick L. Moxon, Esq.] that now appear in this court. Mr. Minton had spent close to ten million dollars in supporting opposition to Scientology’s excesses, including over two million on the wrongful death case [against Scientology] in Florida. Mr. Minton’s capitulation [blackmail?] has been the subject of thousands of recent postings on alt.religion.scientology. I quote an anon. posting of August 14, 2002 because the poster put the situation in a nutshell. ‘You should also look at the litigation that went on for years prior to this. Minton and Brooks were getting hit with dozens upon dozens of subpoenas. Every nook and cranny of their lives were being pried into during deposition. Tens of thousands of pages of depositions were being taken, much of it completely redundant and done solely to harass and intimidate. The judges in the various depositions were being controlled by the cult to an outstanding
degree and this in conjunction with the history of the cult’s manipulation of the justice system probably made Minton suspicious of the court system. Schaeffer was the first judge to cut through the cult’s [crap] ONCE she found out what was going on but it was too late by this time.’ During the course of 35 days of hearings in the Lisa McPherson matter (on an attempt to disqualify counsel [Ken Dandar, Esq.] for the Estate], it came to light that notes had been taken in New York meetings between Mr. Minton and Scientology attorneys, including Mr. Rosen. Judge Schaeffer ordered the notes of attorneys Rosen and Yingling [of Washington, DC] to be turned over to the court where they became Exhibits 185 and 191. … They relate to this case in a small way because Mr. Rosen wrote that they [Scientology] “expect to spend” $350, 000 on me beyond the million or so claimed as having already been spent. The actual number (projected from Mr. Rosen’s statement to the bankruptcy court Sept. 13, 2000) is probably closer to $3 million. In these notes Scientology claimed that Mr. Minton had caused them to spend $34,950,000 (believed to be about 30% of RTC’s legal expenses suing those they consider enemies in the last five years). They wanted him to derail the Lawrence Wollersheim case and the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case and to pay them back, threatening that they would keep him tied up in legal actions for the rest of his days. Many would call this extortion and obstruction of justice if Scientology attorneys were not involved.”
P. SENTENCING: PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA v. HENSON (“Henson VIII”)
“Howard Keith Henson is famous in the science and science fiction communities as a writer on life extension and cryonics, memetics and, most recently, as an activist against the Church of Scientology. Henson is a founding member of the L5 Society and a life member of the National Space Society. Henson is a critic of Scientology whose actions resulted from his being convicted under an obscure California law regarding the act of ‘interfering with a religion.’ Henson is currently residing in Canada, seeking refugee status based on his belief that his life would be threatened by Scientology if he returned to the United States to serve his sentence. The Church, on the other hand, has repeatedly declared that Henson is a criminal, a terrorist, and a fugitive from justice. … Henson’s supporters on alt.religion.scientology [have] made repeated charges that his trial was biased, unfair and a mockery of justice. Shortly after his arrival in Canada, Henson was arrested by Canadian authorities in an unusual fashion: at a public shopping mall, a squadron of armed officers surrounded and arrested him at gunpoint. Henson was unarmed when this occurred, and his is not known to have ever carried a firearm. The police later admitted they had received “a tip” from the Toronto branch of Scientology that a ‘dangerous fugitive’ was wanted in the United States. Following this incident, Henson was taken to maximum security prison near Toronto where he was held for 12 days before being released.” Keith Henson-Indopedia, the Indological knowledgebase (www.indopedia.org).
On September 18, 2005 a Canadian provincial newspaper, the Brantford Expositer, published an article by Susan Gamble. It was captioned “Scientology critic leaves country before deportation.” The article reported, in part, that:
“Keith Henson – the anti-Scientologist engineer who ran to Canada from foes in the U.S. – lost his fight to stay in this country last week. … He came to Canada in 2001 after being bankrupted by his fight – which cost the Scientologists $1.4 million – convicted of interfering with a religion and sentenced to the maximum of a year in jail. Henson chose to skip to Canada. The Scientologists, he says, labeled him a child molester and a self-proclaimed bomb expert, comparing him to bomber Timothy McVeigh, and says they hinted he wouldn’t survive jail. Scientologists.
Scientologists tipped off Toronto-area police about the “dangerous fugitive” in 2001 which led to a bizarre SWAT-like take-down at a mall where Henson was arrested in held in maximum security for 12 days. He’s been quietly living in Brantford, waiting for the results of his request to become a refugee here. … He fears what could happen to a vocally anti-Scientologist critic put in a California
jail. … He’s leaving behind a criminal case that began after a private investigator bumped Henson with his van. The P.I. had been following Henson and video-taping him. … Henson wouldn’t say where he was headed, although he admitted that Arizona was a good possibility due to the tough laws about bounty hunters. ‘I would fear bounty hunters.’”
However, it was the Arizona police which Mr. Henson would have to fear. After quietly living near Prescott for 18 months he was arrested in a stake-out and take-down by Prescott police officers who had spent over three months searching for Mr. Henson. Scientology operatives had informed the Prescott police that Henson was a dangerous terrorist bomber who was on the run from serious felony convictions in California.
On February 5, 2007, the New York Times published a report by Declan McCullogh. The report was captioned “’Tom Cruise’ missile jokester arrested” and included the following: “A Silicon Valley figure who fled the country after being convicted in part because of a Usenet joke about Tom Cruise and Scientology has been arrested in Arizona. Keith Henson, and engineer, writer and futurist was arrested Friday in Prescott, Ariz., where he has been living for the past few years, and now faces extradition to California. Henson originally fled to Canada after the 2001 conviction. The misdemeanor conviction … stems from a post that Henson made in the alt.religion.scientology Usenet newsgroup that joked about aiming a nuclear ‘Tom Cruise” missile at Scientologists, and Henson’s picketing of the group’s Golden Era Productions in Riverside, Calif. Michael Kielsky, Henson’s defense attorney, said … Henson was mistreated by police and jailers-including being told during the arrest that he had no right to an attorney and being held in solitary confinement in a poorly heated cell without adequate bedding. ‘My best information is that it’s very political,’ he aid. ‘They gave him an extra blanket and then an hour later they took it away—(this is) a 65-year –old man with a heart problem. … Henson’s family is concerned about what might happen to him in jail. ‘The Scientologists have made death threats to my father, “his daughter Amber Henson said in an e-mail message to CNET News.com. “My mom and I are going to do everything possible to make sure that they are not able to silently do away with him.
Although California counties rarely go interstate to seek the extradition of persons involved in misdemeanors, the County of Riverside turned on the full court-press for Mr. Henson, a 66 year old man with one misdemeanor conviction. Mr. Henson was extradited from Arizona and quickly transported back to the jail and court at Riverside, California where he was sentenced to 180 days in prison with 23 days credit for time served. He was directed to pay a $346.00 fine and also to pay restitution to his ‘victims’ (who had already received a $75,000.00 award in their civil law suit (See Section M above). Mr. Henson was also ordered to stay beyond 1,000 feet of any scientology property, not to “annoy or harass any member of the Church of Scientology” and “not to have any negative contact with any member of the Church of Scientology.”
When he was sentenced, Mr. Henson and his attorney were told by Riverside Deputy District Attorney Kloepfer that he would “be out in weeks due to overcrowding.” However, that has changed. Apparently, Mr. Henson must now serve the full six month term because the Penal Code provision he was convicted of implies a terrorist act and therefore Mr. Henson is deemed violent and dangerous and cannot be considered for early release.
Q. THE RIVERSIDE SHERIFF IS DENYING MR. HENSON HIS RIGHTS
Mr. Henson’s imprisonment is being aggravated by the continual failure of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to transport Mr. Henson to court appearances: for sentencing; for early release on bail; and for modification of the permanent injunction in the Hemet civil case (Henson XI, section M above). It appears that every time the court issues an order that Henson is to be transported for a
court appearance all record of the order disappears from the Riverside County jail files. Mr. Henson has been told by prison officers that he is one of the prisoners who are not to receive an early release and that the death of a prisoner only requires a one page report.
On March 7, 2007 Mr. Henson had filed a motion in the Hemet civil case (Section M above, Henson XI). The motion was to correct the judgment in connection with that “limited case” where the judge pro tem, a lawyer sitting as a volunteer judge, did not have power to grant the broad permanent injunction that he did. The motion was heard while Mr. Henson was serving his time in the Riverside jail. Despite a court order, the Riverside County Sheriff did not transport Mr. Henson to the hearing. The hearing was continued to July 19, 2007 and several days before that hearing Mr. Henson was informed by jail staff that he would not be transported to the hearing because the court order had disappeared from the Riverside County Jail computer records. On July 19. 2007, with Elliot Abelson, Esq. present at the motion hearing, and Mr. Henson sitting in jail a few miles away, the motion to correct the judgment was denied.
R. MR. HENSON IS AT RISK
On July 20, 2007, Mr. Henson’s wife Arel explained Mr. Henson’s horrifying plight at the Riverside County jail in Riverside, California.
“Keith is in such a bad situation that some of what is routinely done to
qualify as torture. He gets about 3-1/2 hours sleep a night because it's impossible to sleep until midnight due to the noise. At midnight the TVs are turned off, and the bright lights are off until 3:30 a.m., when it's pill call. I think Keith has succeeded in having his meds changed to the evening pill call, when they can't say he was asleep when they came by, and so they can't slip him meds that aren't his, as has been happening since the morning of the 10th. He usually wakes up around 3:30 a.m. anyway, with doors rattling, voices. By 4 a.m. it's breakfast time, and the bright lights are on again and remain on till midnight. He is now in a cell he estimates to be 8 x 10 feet, with a significant amount of that space taken up by a toilet and sink and a pillar that makes it impossible to convert this "observation" cell into a 2-man cell, as apparently all the rest of the cells on the 7th psychiatric/medical floor have been, including his old cell. He is being kept in solitary due to the death threats--they call him a "high profile" prisoner. The bed sags around 5 inches in the middle, there is no controller on the TV, and he is fortunate to get a guard to turn it off, since it seems to be set on Fox News. The only advantage to that is that it's the only way he has of telling time, since he's not allowed a clock or watch. Whereas before he had a window, the window of this cell is mostly covered over, so that there is only a slit for him to look out, high up. I doubt he has been taken to the exercise room more than the 3 times he reported earlier. He is supposed to be taken to the shower every day, but this doesn't happen. Sometimes when he is taken he is left in the shower beyond the time he knocks to get out. (They lock him in.) He estimates that this has happened several times that he is left in for an extra half hour. When he was first there he had a red wristband, probably indicating his "violent" status that prevents him from being released due to overcrowding. During this time they handcuffed him through a slot at the bottom of each door when taking him to and from rooms such as the visitor's room. This was such a painful procedure for him due to a nearly "frozen" shoulder a couple of years ago that he winced visibly when he got up from a squat after having both hands handcuffed together behind his back through such a slot when leaving the visiting room.
He is not a person who usually shows it when he is in pain. This was significant pain. It was bad enough that he didn't want visitors until they stopped wrenching his shoulder every time they moved him. Now that he has a white wristband I notice that as he leaves the visiting room he puts his hands together behind his back as if they were cuffed and shuffles away with his keeper, keeping as low and
non-threatening a profile as possible.
He still has a splinter in his finger that has been there since he went to jail here on May 8. He has ingrown toenails that have come back. He has two crushed discs in his back. Nevertheless he has not complained of pain, despite the fact that they keep telling him he has and giving him meds they say are Darvocet. I can't corroborate that latter from the descriptions he has given me. One type of pill
appears to have been Phenylgesic, an over-the-counter medication combining acetaminophen (Tylenol) and an antihistamine. The guards have suggested that he sleep on the floor, but it is so cold on that floor that he spent all day yesterday with a blanket wrapped around him even while sitting or standing. Despite the condition of the bed, he cannot bring himself to sleep on the floor because it's so cold. (This is with outside temperatures of over 100 degrees in Riverside, as far as I know.) When he places his mattress on the floor, the only possible orientation places it partially under the bed. When he lies on it, either his feet or his head are against the toilet.
There is no counter, chair, or desk as there was in his last cell. His toothbrush, toothpaste, and shaving things (he is not allowed dental floss) are on the floor along with his books, and he must write with the only stylus he is allowed--a 3" pencil--on the floor. He says he is afraid to complain about his conditions for fear there is a worse cell.
This is for a misdemeanor!” [Interfering with a religion]
S. SCIENTOLOGY SCRIPTURES MAY BE ILLEGAL AND SEDITIOUS
Many of Scientology’s copyrighted scriptures may also encourage unlawful conduct and be a threat to democracy, as the German government has so deemed. For example, in PR Series 18 Church of Scientology staffers are directed to invent whatever they wish to allege. Significantly, as recently as October 9, 2001, the Moxon & Kobrin law office wrote to a Netherlands resident threatening to enforce the Church of Scientology’s copyrights in connection with the very terms “Dead Agenting” and “Targets Defense” activities used by Moxon & Kobrin in their “investigations” and “handling” of critics such as Mr. Henson. The seditious contents of the “Targets Defense” document that the Moxon & Kobrin October 9, 2001, letter refers to include the “vital targets” of,
“T1 Depopularizing the enemy to a point of total obliteration; T2 Taking over the control or allegiance of the heads or the proprietors of all news media; T3 Taking over the control or allegiance of key political figures; T4 Taking over the control or allegiance of those who monitor international finance and shifting them to a less precarious finance standard.” emphasis added
Another Church of Scientology written policy directs Scientology lawyers to use the courts to harass and ruin people rather than to win.
“The purpose of the law suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway…would generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin utterly.” emphasis added
In mid-March 1955, Hubbard wrote:
“The DEFENSE of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to defend anything is to attack … it is an entirely moral duty to be punitive against outsiders who would stop the progress of this [Scientology] civilization.” emphasis added.
In another “sacred” Church of Scientology “scripture” entitled “Critics of Scientology” it is written and mandated:
“Now get this as a technical fact, not a hopeful idea. Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology, we have
found crimes for which that person or group could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts. Over and over we prove this. Politician A stands up on his hind legs in Parliament and brays for a condemnation of Scientology. When we look him over we find crimes-embezzled funds, moral lapses, a thirst for young boys - sordid stuff … We are slowly teaching the unholy a lesson. It is as follows: we are not a law enforcement agency but WE WILL BECOME INTERESTED IN THE CRIMES OF PEOPLE WHO SEEK TO STOP US. IF YOU OPPOSE SCIENTOLOGY WE PROMPTLY LOOK UP- AND WILL FIND AND EXPOSE -YOUR CRIMES. IF YOU LEAVE US ALONE WE WILL LEAVE YOU ALONE. IT’S VERY SIMPLE. EVEN A FOOL CAN GRASP THAT. AND DON’T UNDERESTIMATE OUR ABILITY TO CARRY IT OUT … THOSE WHO TRY TO MAKE OUR LIFE HARD FOR US ARE AT ONCE AT RISK.” emphasis added.
L. Ron Hubbard’s “Manual of Justice”, a “sacred” Church of Scientology “scripture” is even more explicit:
“People attack Scientology: I never forget it, always even the score …overt investigation of someone or something attacking us by an outside detective agency should be done more often and hang the expense … Hire them and damn the costs when you need to…the critic will sure shudder into silence … [Scientology] punishment is gruesome to see sometimes and in this instance there are people hiding in terror on Earth because they attacked us. There are men dead because they attacked us - for instance Dr. Joe Winter. There are men bankrupt because they attacked us - Purcell, Ridgeway, Seppos.” emphasis added.
There is a scientology scripture that can be loosely interpreted as explaining that the criminal accuses others of what the criminal is guilty of himself. Consequently, it is a cruel irony that the Scientology organization, that is deemed to be a totalitarian para-military psycho-terror group by Germany and some other European governments, should accuse Mr. Henson of terrorizing shills for that very same organization.
“Somebody some day will say ‘this is illegal.’ By then be sure [the Churches of Scientology] say what is legal or not.”
Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter 4 Jan. 1966.
* * * * * *
July 27, 2007
Graham E. Berry, Esq.
Attorney at Law
3384 McLaughlin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Telephone: (310) 745-3771
Keith Henson, American activist on the run in Canada, thinks the controversial Church of Scientology has made him fair game for dirty tricks. Looking back, maybe the joke about the "Tom Cruise Missile" wasn't such a good idea.
That online jest, made last year by Keith Henson, a peaceful if persistent critic of the controversial Church of Scientology, has led to his being found guilty of "intimidating a religion," and now on the run from the U.S., hiding out in plain sight in Oakville, a Toronto suburb, where he plans on claiming political-refugee status.
His case has shone a light on Scientology, a vaguely well-known organization founded by a middling science-fiction writer that maintains humans are tainted with the spirits of space aliens and that critics claim is simply a global scam to separate the needy from their money.
Like Waco and Jonestown, this case raises issues of how far freedom of religion goes and just how far a so-called religion can go to protect itself and its members from its dissidents.
"It's not that I care one way or the other about their beliefs," said Henson this week just after news of his flight hit the net. "If they want to believe in space cooties, galactic overlords or virgin birth, that's their problem. The problem is when they viciously violate my right to free speech." Keith Henson arrived at the place he calls Gold Base almost by accident.
Last May, the fifty-something computer engineer from Silicon Valley was passing through the small village of Hemet, California, east of Los Angeles, and decided to check out Scientology's Golden Era film studios. "They acted so guilty when I started picketing - papering over the windows, going undercover, buying thousands of plants to block the view - that I stayed."
For Henson, semiprofessional agitator and longtime Scientology foe, July 8, 2000, unfolded like many others: some picketing of Golden Era, then onto the internet to post his activities. For Henson and many anti-Scientologists, the internet is not just a means to get their word out but a symbol and catalyst of their fight. In 1995 when a Scientologist tried to shut down the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology because it had become a hangout for critics and ex-Scientologists who had a nasty habit, to current Scientologists, of posting top-secret - and, for Scientologists, very expensive to obtain - internal documents.
"I had a 25-year history of being concerned with human-rights problems, like civil rights and Vietnam," said Henson. Trying to shut down the newsgroup "was the wake-up call for all of us. Most of the people now involved came in then. It was like they were a gang of thugs riding into town and burning down the newspaper. It got the attention of a lot of people."
But that day, Henson went a bit further than usual, taking on a faux-Austin Powers tone, posting the GPS co-ordinates for various landmarks on Gold Base, and ending up with the now infamous threat: The Tom Cruise Missile that said the only way to "get clear of the Scientology mess is to 'destroy them utterly.'"
Across the country, in the slightly seedy town of Clearwater, Florida, none of this surprises Stacy Brooks. Brooks, head of the anti-Scientologist group The Lisa McPherson Trust, is sitting in a dingy office on the main street of Clearwater, which is ground zero to Scientology's push to grow and expand.
In 1975, after a number of years at sea battling the American IRS over tax matters, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard came aground in Clearwater. Since then, the group has bought up much of the private property of the town, in the hopes of founding the first Scientology community. "Most people are very afraid of Scientology and what they're doing," says Brooks. "Downtown Clearwater is a ghost town, because no one wants to be here. The Scientologists are very frightening."
As the head of the trust - named after a Scientologist who died in controversial circumstances while under the care of the organization - Brooks has seen both sides now. "I was in Scientology myself and had been at a really high level," she says, "and I know what a fraud it is."
She and her husband left the organization in 1989 - "or should I say we escaped" - but didn't start speaking out until 1993, after a 1991 Time magazine cover exposé shone a harsh light on the workings of Scientology, calling it "the cult of greed."
After Brooks met with two attorneys planning to sue Scientology, she says she became a target. Scientology "had parabolic mics on our windows, trying to get us evicted. They poisoned one of my cats. They sent people trying to commit us as insane. Scientology had us under surveillance, monitoring our conversations, going through our trash," she charges.
"I had no idea, even being in the church, what they were capable of doing. We were fair game." Brooks is not alone. In the past, Scientology has devoted not a small percentage of its vast resources to silence its critics; they use lawsuits, rumor and insult to harass or bankrupt.
In 1995, Freedom, a Scientology publication, called the Cult Awareness Network, a leading anti-Scientology group, "The Serpent of Hatred, Intolerance, Violence and Death" and its head, Cynthia Kisser, the "mother of the serpent." The publication alleged she had previously been a stripper, according to a 1999 article in the New Times L.A. alt-weekly. In 1996, CAN went bankrupt from lawsuits filed by Scientology, and is now controlled by the organization.
Richard Behar, the author of the Time story that blew the lid off many of Scientology's practices, described in a sidebar to that story the tricks he put up with. He alleges Scientology got a hold of his credit record, financial information and personal phone bill and had a watch on his New York apartment, and that "at least ten attorneys and six private detectives were unleashed by Scientology in an effort to threaten, harass and discredit me."
Stacy Brooks believes these are not isolated incidents, but the result of one of L. Ron Hubbard's earliest orders, called "fair game." In 1967, Hubbard issued the fair-game policy, which said that opponents "may be deprived of property or injured by any means, by any Scientologist. He may be tricked, sued, lied to, or destroyed utterly." In essence, the policy can be described as the best defense being a good offense. Brooks says fair game is a way to defend the organization from its critics by targeting those critics by any means necessary. "Never agree to an investigation of Scientology, only an investigation of the attackers," she says, reading from a pile of Hubbard directives she keeps by her desk. "Start feeding lurid blood, sex and crime tales to the press."
One of the best examples of how Scientology defends itself went down in Toronto in the mid 1980s. In 1977, the Ontario Medical Association - the group that governs the province's doctors - asked the College of Physicians and Surgeons to investigate whether the Scientologists' use of e-meters and personality tests - both core Scientology so-called technologies used to recruit and audit members - meant they were practicing medicine without a license. That kicked off a conflict that later saw the Toronto police raid the organization's downtown headquarters, cart off millions of pages of documents, and lay bare the Scientologists' campaign to fight the OMA and the Ontario government.
In March, 1983, three buses of cops raided the offices and, from the pile of documents, Scientology and 18 people were later charged with infiltrating two law firms, the College of Physicians, the OMA, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Metro Toronto Police, the Attorney General of Ontario and the RCMP. Almost ten years later, Scientology and some of the people were found guilty of some charges, and ordered to pay $250,000.
After losing in court, Scientology then went after a court officer. Scientology sued Casey Hill, the prosecutor, claiming he misled a judge and tampered with documents. The case was dismissed, and Hill sued for libel; in 1991, he won $2.1-million in damages, the largest libel award ever in Canada. "Scientology decided that Casey Hill was the enemy and it set out to destroy him," the court ruled. "It leveled false charges against him. It persecuted him on these charges. In summary, the evidence suggests that Scientology set upon a persistent course of character assassination over a period of seven years with the intention of destroying Casey Hill."
From her office in Clearwater, Stacy Brooks said, dryly, "It seems that Henson is in the process of being destroyed utterly," echoing the words of the Ontario judges, Keith Henson and L. Ron Hubbard. After posting his Tom Cruise Missile Threat, Henson logged off the net and picketed again the next day. His words would soon be turned back on him. Sources in Hemet speculate Scientology pressured the local district attorney into moving against Henson and prosecuting him because of his threat.
Two weeks later, a Scientologist tried a citizen's arrest on Henson while he was picketing. Finally, in September, 2000, he was arraigned on three charges, one of "intimidation/threat/oppress because of color/religion/gender"; one of terrorist threats, and one of attempt of a terrorist threat.
It was not the first time Henson's run-ins with the organization landed in a courtroom. In mid-1995, Henson posted six lines of Scientology text - one about how to communicate with plants and animals, another from a secret Scientology manual called NOTS 34 - and was later sued by the organization for copyright infringement. "I was successfully sued, at enormous cost to them," he points out, almost gleefully, over the phone. "I didn't spend hardly anything on it," he boasts, "I declared bankruptcy."
But he couldn't wiggle this time. On April 26, after a near-disaster of a defense - in which all of the passages that would indicate Henson's threat was little more than a sophomoric joke were barred - the jury found Henson guilty of the first indictment - intimidation - and hung on the other two counts.
On May 15, Henson came north to the Toronto suburban home of Gregg Hagglund, another anti-Scientologist, to - what else - do some picketing. Shortly thereafter, he decided to stay and skip out on sentencing. While the Hemet district attorney's office estimates that the sentence for his misdemeanor crime may amount to five years of parole, a fine, and maybe a year in the county jail, Henson says he faces harassment, or worse, from Scientology convicts in the system. Plus, he seems to relish the idea of trying to turn his strange case into an international incident.
"The point of this whole business is to expose Scientology so they reform internally, or have reform forced on it, or it is destroyed utterly. Not one stone left upon another and salt in the fields," he declares, with Hagglund whispering something unintelligible in his ear.
Since the verdict and the flight, pro-Scientology netizens - none of whom responded to repeated email contacts - have charged Henson with all manner of evil, from outright cowardice at not staying for sentencing, to child molestation, to homicide and driving around with the victim's frozen head in the trunk of his car.
"Similar to the Tim McVeighs of the world, he's a man who would blow himself up to make a point," said Ken Hoden, general manager of Golden Era. "It did come out during the trial that Henson has taught kids how to make pipe bombs; has an extensive history of setting off explosives similar to those that blew up the Oklahoma building; that he stalked church buses; intimidated church staff. And as a result of this, a jury of ten men and women found him guilty of a hate crime."
Henson denies the charges, and says his explosives days were years ago, when his family set off big bangs in the desert for fun. Hoden curtly denied the organization has a policy of "fair game," and says the church is the real victim of a hateful madman. "Just like there have been people who have attacked the Jews and the blacks, I don't think you can get a logical answer for his insanity." You think he's crazy? "Oh yes. And very dangerous, too."
It all started when L. Ron Hubbard, Second World War vet, pulp sci-fi writer, founder of Scientology, published Dianetics in 1950. Sometimes subtitled a "user's manual for the brain," Dianetics is a New-Agey type self-help manual wrapped around the crude psychotherapeutic theory called "auditing."
Using a Hubbard-designed "e-meter" - a crude lie detector that measures electrical resistance on the skin - subjects talk about their intimate life. Hubbard claimed that unhappiness was the result of "engrams" or mental aberrations that could be cleared with the help of the e-meter. In the early '60s, Hubbard declared that humans contain "thetans," the spirits of space aliens brought to earth about 75 million years ago by a galactic overlord named Xenu.
The drive to clear believers of thetans through auditing - and thus improve them individually and humanity in general - forms the basis of Scientology. To do that, Scientologists pay for hours and hours of increasingly expensive auditing and buy taped lectures from Hubbard, books, and other Scientology paraphernalia all to progress up the Hubbard-defined "bridge."
Although Hubbard died a virtual recluse in 1985, deemed a "pathological liar" by a California judge, the organization he founded now spans the globe, counts some of the world's biggest celebs as its adherents and spokespeople, and has its hands in a number of social and political pies. Scientology claims over eight million members in over 65 different countries around the globe, including famous faces like John Travolta - who, Time Magazine reported in 1991, cannot leave the church for fear of the information the church has on his sexual habits - Tom Cruise, Beck, and even Nancy Cartwright, the voice of noted iconoclast Bart Simpson. In addition to the church, Scientology owns or controls publishing houses that churn out the L. Ron oeuvre, organizations to reform and recruit drug addicts and criminals - Criminon and Narconon, not to be confused with Narcotics Anonymous - a multimillion-dollar film studio, and even the Cult Awareness Network, once a rabid critic of Hubbard's church, driven out of business by the church through lawsuits, and bought at bankruptcy auction by a Scientologist. The church has also bought much of the private property in Clearwater, Florida, in the aim of establishing the first all-Scientology city.
'Tom Cruise' missile jokester arrested
Story last modified Tue Feb 06 03:44:59 PST 2007
A Silicon Valley figure who fled the country after being convicted in part because of a Usenet joke about Tom Cruise and Scientology has been arrested in Arizona.
Keith Henson, an engineer, writer and futurist, was arrested Friday in Prescott, Ariz., where he has been living for the past few years, and now faces extradition to California. Henson originally fled to Canada after the 2001 conviction.
The misdemeanor conviction in California stems from a post that Henson made in the alt.religion.scientology Usenet newsgroup that joked about aiming a nuclear "Tom Cruise" missile at Scientologists, and Henson's picketing of the group's Golden Era Productions in Riverside, Calif.
Michael Kielsky, Henson's defense attorney, said Monday that his client will likely be released on Monday evening and is required to appear in court for a March 5 hearing.
Kielsky said that Henson was mistreated by police and jailers--including being told during the arrest that he had no right to an attorney and being held in solitary confinement in a poorly heated cell without adequate bedding. "My best information is that it's very political," he said. "They gave him an extra blanket but then an hour later they took it away--(this is) a 66-year-old man with a heart problem."
A message left with Sheila Polk, the Yavapai County Attorney, was not returned on Monday.
A brief flap that ensued over the amount of Henson's bond delayed the process. A judge initially set the amount at $7,500, but then increased it to $500,000 at the request of prosecutors, according to the Yavapai County Detention Center. After a telephone conference with the judge and attorneys on Monday afternoon, the bond was lowered to $5,000.
Henson's frequent encounters with Scientology, coupled with his lengthy resume of programming, electrical engineering and futurist accomplishments, have made him something of a legal cause celebre in technology circles.
Supporters have created a "Free Keith Henson" blog, posted a note from his wife, Arel Lucas, and are asking for donations to a legal defense fund. The fund was set up by members of the Extropy Institute, a nonprofit group that has been a gathering point for futurists and technologists since 1991.
Convicted of making threat to interfere with religion
Henson was convicted in 2001 under a California law (Sec. 422.6) that criminalizes any threat to interfere with someone else's "free exercise" of religion. One Usenet post that was introduced at his trial included jokes about sending a "Tom Cruise" missile against a Scientology compound (the actor is a prominent Scientologist). Picketing Scientology buildings and other "odd behavior" were also part of the charges, Deputy District Attorney Robert Schwarz said at the time.
Jeanne Roy, a deputy district attorney in Riverside County, Calif., said that the next step for her office is to see whether Henson shows up for his March 5 court date. If he does not, an Arizona warrant would be issued for his arrest. If he does, Roy said, another court date would be set to deal with extradition through a process known as a governor's warrant.
"That won't happen by March 5," Roy said. "It's usually a 30- to 90-day process, depending on the state, for that paperwork." If extradited to California, she said, Henson faces a year in jail or six months in jail and 3 years of probation.
When asked whether it's common for California to try to extradite someone on a misdemeanor conviction, Roy said: "It's not common, but it's not unusual either. We do it in some cases."
Henson's family is concerned about what might happen to him in jail. "The Scientologists have made death threats to my father," his daughter Amber Henson said in an e-mail message to CNET News.com. "My mom and I are going to do everything possible to make sure that they are not able to silently do away with him." (The Church of Scientology could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.)
Before his misdemeanor conviction, Henson had become embroiled in a civil lawsuit that Scientology filed against him.
It arose out of supposedly secret scriptures written by L. Ron Hubbard, the late science fiction author and founder of Scientology, which describe a galactic overlord named Xenu who is allegedly the source of all human evil. Since the early 1990s, Scientology has made a concerted effort to remove those documents from the Internet--including suing Henson--but they finally found a permanent legal home in the Netherlands.
Scientology's tactics, which critics say include cult-like retention practices and intimidation, have drawn fire in the past. A Time magazine cover story, for instance, concluded that "Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam." Xenu and Cruise were also satirized in a November 2005 episode of South Park.
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