HARASSMENT DIARY, by Paulette Cooper (1982)
Part 1: My Background

My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed in [[double square brackets]].


[[The following, for my lawyers, attempts to put a number of disparate
probably relevant events in chronological sequence. An attempt has
been made to focus on the emotions and feelings that the different crises caused.]]

I was born in Auschwitz.... around the same time that my
parents died there. I was sent to various orphanages in Belgium,
along with my older sister Susy. She was adopted by a Belgian Aunt
and Uncle when I was 4-1/2, and I was adopted by the Coopers. I came
to America at 6 (I became a U.S. citizen at 8), weighing only 36
pounds. (1)

In the summer of 1959, I returned to Belgium and saw my sister
again for the first time since childhood. This was extremely
upsetting to me, especially since she was living under such horrible
conditions. I was also extremely upset after being shown a photograph
of my dead parents. In addition, I was also distressed to see that
the members of my family who had survived the concentration camps (17
out of 22 had been killed), were living in abject poverty, and some
didn't seem to be mentally all there after their concentration camp
experiences. On top of it, they all kept trying to convince me to
return to live in Belgium. And it also didn't help that my sister
told me that I was responsible for my mother's death. It seems that
because she was pregnant with me, she was unable to get away and was
thus taken by the Germans. This whole visit precipitated some guilts
and depressions that ultimately lead me into therapy in 1962 with
Dr. Stanley Cath of Belmont, Massachusetts. (2)

I went to Brandeis and graduated in 3 years (not counting 6
months out for an appendectomy) with Honors in Psychology. (3) I
started off to get a Ph.D in psychology at Columbia University, but
hated it there and ultimately got a Masters Degree in Psychology on a
part-time basis.

Simultaneously, I joined the real world, got a job
psychoanalyzing television commercials, followed by two jobs writing
them for ad agencies. While in advertising I sold my first three
articles -- to Cosmopolitan, TV tuide, and The Washington Post -- and
left advertising to become a full-time freelance writer in 1968.

[[Footnotes:]]

(1) Although my parents were dead, the people in the orphanage never
told me this. They foolishly told me they were away and would come
and get me one day. This left me wondering what I had done that was
so awful that they would desert me, a problem compounded by the fact
that my 'family only visited me once in 6 years, while the other kids
all had family, and in some cases even parents, who had put them in
the home because they were too poor or disturbed as a result of the
war to care for them.

(2) It didn't help that I was quite lost and did poorly in college my
first year (although from the second on, I was always Dean's List.)
In addition, my parents had been very-overprotective and controlling,
giving me no freedom, and I didn't know what to do with freedom when I
had it. In addition, I developed a huge crush on a really nasty s-o-b
who liked to shower me with affection and then distance himself
immediately afterwards.

I was also constantly being contacted by my Belgian family and sister
who wanted me to live there. My mother recently also told me that I
told her at the time that I wanted to go into therapy because I was
getting very anxious and depressed and having bad dreams because
living in the college dormitory reminded me of living in the
orphanages During this period...I also resaw my sister again in 1962
which was disasterous.

(3) Most of my 2 years of therapy with Dr. Stanley Cath of Belmont
Massachusetts centeresd on trying to alleviate the guilt, depression
etc., of the earlier years and their more recent effect on me (mostly
by making me fear desertion to such a degree that I'm afraid to get
close to people), trying to show me that my relationships with men
(such as the one mentioned above) were very superficial and ultimately
self-destructive, trying to handle strongly ambivalent feelings toward
my over-protective parents, and helping me to

[[NOTE: Line fell too low and can't be read. Probably something to do
with gaining a sense of self or whatever.]]

[[How Scientology and I both started to square off against each other,
and why I didn't back down.]]


HARASSMENT DIARY, by Paulette Cooper (1982)
Part 2: Why I Got Involved
My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed in [[double square brackets]].


In the summer of 1968, an early boyfriend who had become a
Scientologis after I dated him tried to get me to join. I took a
weekend course, and decided to investigate it further. I had already
established myself as a gutsy writer around this time by successfully
stowing away for a week on an ocean liner. But I had no idea what I
was about to take on. Most people were scared to talk to me, some
told me about death threats, harassment, etc., and written material
had completely disappeared from libraries. I finally found some
information in court cases and a Government tribunal[[*]], and
published my first article on Scientology in December of 1969 in
England. I also received my first death threat that same month.

While I was writing "The Scandal of Scientology" in 1969-1970,
I knew I'd have problems with them later. (1) Scientology also offered
to give me another book to write which would make a lot of money if I
would back off of this one, i.e., tried to buy me off. But I knew
that everything I said in the book was accurate -- and it still is --
and that they were in bad need of exposure. I also felt that they
were a Nazi-like organization, and kept thinking that if more people
in Germany had spoken out in the '30's, my parents and millions of
others would have lived. But despite this outward show of courage, I
was already becoming afraid and anxious in 1970 and 1971 since there
was already some harassment (following, phone calls, Scientology
spies, libelous state- ments, 4 frivolous lawsuits etc. When in 1972
I found the remains of a phone tap, I sued them in New York --
foolishly thinking that that would make them leave me alone.

I probably would have gone on to other things after my book
came out (especially since all 4 of the books published under my name
care out within a year or two of that period), but I began getting
phone calls and letters from people who badly needed help, and who had
been totally destroyed by this cult, as former members, their families
or critics. I tried to help them -- there was no one else to except
Nan McClean in Canada who was to become my close friend and
confidente, but she didn't speak out publiclv until 1973 I also tried
to work with the press and various agencies to help them get
information on Scientology.

It was in the summer of 1972 -- a few months after I had sued
them -- that they first decided to frame me. (This I learned years
later from their own documents which were seized by the FBI in 1977
and will hereafter he known a the Washington documents) Their object
was to destroy my credibility by trying to get me institutionalized
(which they hoped to do by either driving me insane, or, later in
1976, by having someone pose as me and act insane publicly), or get me
incarcerated, which would also obviously destroy my credibility and
curtail my activities.

In the summer of 1972, I had an operation for fibroid tumors
and was seriously ill. I recuperated that summer at my parent's home,
although I was constantly complaining about the pain from the
operation. I was kept partially distracted that summer by the arrival
of L. Ron Hubbard Jr, known as Nibs, the son of the founder of
Scientology. Nibs had turned against his father, testified at court
case against Scientology, and I ghostwrote a 50 page expose for him
(called "1 1/10 of 1%.)[[**]]

[[Footnotes:]]

(1) I expected perhaps a rough year, but nothing unbearable and
nothing longer than that. Little did I realize what I was dealing
with -- or they with me!




[[1997 Footnotes:]]

[[*]] This was the Australian Inquiry. I obtained the first copy of
it in the United States, tipped off to it by an attorney in the
Justice Department.

[[**]] Unfortunately, Nibs never paid me my half, which was the start
of my lifelong love for him :-). I believe this article I ghostwrote
was translated into German and appeared in the introduction to the
German version of Bob Kaufman's book "Inside Scientology." Most or
all of it appeared later under various articles Nibs wrote about his
earlier years with his father.

[[It was always my opinion that my stationery was stolen not by Jerry,
but by the Scientologist I describe below. The FBI later insisted
that their inside information was that it was Jerry. Since I didn't
know him yet when this happened, perhaps he was outside or she brought
him the stationery in some way. If anyone has any information on
this, out of curiosity i'd like to know.]]


HARASSMENT DIARY, by Paulette Cooper (1982)
Part 3: The Gun Incident
My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed in [[double square brackets]].




The really horrible harassment started around October of that
year, when I received the most incredibly vile anonymous smear letter
based on lies of the type typically made by Scientology of their
enemies (prostitute, thief, sexual pervert), and some gross
distortions of information known to the former boyfriend who had tried
to get me into Scientology in 1968.

From around October to December 15th (when I was later to
move), there was also a tremendous amount of personal harassment. I
was getting a number of obscene calls (only when I saw the Washington
documents years later did I learn that the Scientologists had put my
name and phone number on walls, graffiti style), nuisance calls (one
day as many as 11, which obviously made it hard to write, people
visitng my apartment late at night trying to get in, etc. I was
starting to get quite frightened.

My distant cousin Joy slept at her boyfriend's apartment a
couple of blocks away, but kept her things at my apartment and dropped
by after work each day. On December 6th, a mysterious girl named
Margie Shepherd came by with a petition for me to sign supporting the
United Farm Workers. I gave her a small check. She stayed about a
half hour. (Joy and her boyfriend were there part of the time) and
asked me for a drink of water. She wasn't alone very long, and I didn
t realize the significance of the following until more than a year
later. But when Joy came over to my place after work, she would write
her mother in California on airmail stationery. I never looked at the
blank stationery itself, but was always annoyed that she would keep it
on the coffee table. So after she left each day, I would toss her
coffee table items on her couch. Margie was sitting next to that
table.

Anyway, I had begn [[SIC]] to realize that because of the
Scientology harassment I needed to move to a safer place. I lived on
the ground floor of a brown- stone in a building without a doorman.
Although I really couldn't afford to do it yet, I decided to extend
myself and move to the building which had always been my dream
apartment building (where I still live to this day.)

By this time, I was already starting to go into a bad time
emotionally because of the smear letter, the harassing calls, the
inexplicable attempts by people to get into my apartment, etc. My
relationship with my boyfriend of the past few years, Bob.... was also
getting rocky. Although it had been serious until around October, Bob
did not like the harassment that was going on, and especially the fact
that I was letting it get to me.

On December 19th, 4 days after I secretly moved here, and Joy
took over the old apartment (but hadn't put her name on the door yet),
a young black man came to my door (then Joy's but he wouldn't have
known that and Joy, like me then, was a slender short-haired mostly
brunette). He rang the bell as if checking if someone was home. A
black man in that neighborhood was highly unusual, but Joy was still
not suspicious when a second black man came by, about 15 minutes
later, and rang "my" bell holding flowers. When Joy opened the door,
he unwrapped the "flowers"--which were just a few twigs on top to hide
a gun.

He put the gun at her head, cocked the trigger, and the gun
was either empty or misfired. He then began choking her, but she
managed to break away and start screaming so he fled. The attack was
reported to the police (who commented on its mysteriousness). When I
heard about it later, I was almost as frightened about it as Joy was
(although incredibly, Bob didn't understand why I should be upset over
it.)


HARASSMENT DIARY, by Paulette Cooper (1982)

Part 4: Horrible Smear Letter Arrives

My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed in [[double square brackets]]


It was soon after Joy's attack that I received a visit from two FBI agents, although this
didn't upset me at that time. They told me that James Meisler (Public Relations Scientologist
in New York whose job it was to handle me) had received bomb threats. Did I have
any idea who might have done it? Since the FBI told me Meisler named me as a
suspect, I figured he was behind it. After all, Scientology had enough sincere
enemies that had he really received threats, he would have been worried and named
some likely possibilities. I felt his motivation might be that he had come off looking
bad in a couple of interview in which I was quoted along with him. I felt he was
therefore trying to obtain sympathy to make up for the points he lost with incompetence.

At that visit, I also agreed to be fingerprinted when the FBI asked me. Things were
generally quiet for about a month after that, probably because Scientology didn't know
I had moved. However, I was a little worried when I got a second visit from the same
FBI agents and learned that they had gone; to Bob [[...]] [[my boyfrend]] and Joy's
boyfriend asking if I was the type to send bomb threats. On February 4th or 9th of
1973, a horrible anonymous letter was sent to about half the residents of my new
building (or about 300 people) urging them; to get me kicked out, saying I had venereal
disease, had sexually molested a 2 year old baby girl, etc.

The only thing they got right about me was my age -- which was the last thing I wanted known --
and there was also an incorrect reference to my having a "swollen tongue." I had a cracked
tongue when I was a young child, which doctors believed came from vitamin deficienciency in
the orphanage. (1) Obviously, I was terribly upset by that letter. I had dreamed for years of
moving into this building, and was petrified that I would be kicked out. Furthermore, I was
horribly embarrassed, especially when I heard people talking in the elevator about the new
girl with VD! On that same day, I also received a second brief visit from Margie
Shepherd again, before she disappeared permanently from my life allegedly to go to Boston.
With her that day was a very sweet girl named Paula Tyler, who told me a sad story about
coming from California and being raped while hitch- hiking.
Could I help her get an apartment in this building from some absent tenant at a reduced rate?
I did, and later, her so called platonic friend, a very friendly asexual type bdy named Jerry Levin
moved in upstairs with her. Jerry and Paul dropped by to visit each day, and along with
my girlfriend in the building (a writer named Barbara), we all became quite friendly.

[[Footnotes:]] (1) I knew it was Scientology for a few reasons. First, only they would make
up something as horrible as VD. Secondly, the sexually molested 2 year old baby girl was a
reference to one of their own male "ministers" who had done that--and they were the only
ones who knew that I knew the age of that girl since I had left that out of my book. Third,
the letter said I had just returned from the Europe, but in fact had returned from the Caribbean.
But they had wrongly told some people I was in Eurone at that time. the trigger, and the
gun was either empty or misfired. He then began choking her, but she managed to break away and escape.


HARASSMENT DIARY, by Paulette Cooper (1982)
Part 5:  My First Grand Jury
My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed in [[double square brackets]].


In the middle of February I was subpoenaed to appear before a
Grand Jury.  I was excited, and flattered, thinking that the
government was gathering evidence on Meisler's reporting false bomb
threats, and wanted to know some- thing about the crazy group he
belonged to, or the origins of our "feud".  Thus I figured I was being
called as an expert witness or something and didn't even show up with
an attorney.

Bob S [[boyfriend]] was a criminal lawyer, however, and he
advised me not to open my mouth without a lawyer until I was sure that
I was not the "target" of the investigation.  At that Grand Jury, to
my amazement, Gordon said that I was the target of the investigation.
And I almost dropped dead when he told me that if I was convicted, I
could get 15 years!  I think it was at that moment that my nightmare
really started.  (John Gordon was the Assistant U.S. Attourney.)

Petrified, I started looking for lawyers -- none of whom
wanted less than a $5,000 retainer!  They would call Gordon and hear
that the government had some "very serious evidence" against me -- but
no one would tell us what the evidence was.  They wouldn't even tell
us when the two supposed bomb threats allegedly received by Meisler
were mailed, and I had traveled enough as a travel writer that I might
have been able to immediately prove I couldn't have sent them.  I was
very upset over having to hire an expensive lawyer to defend myself on
something I knew nothing about.  And then each lawyer started throwing
out terms like "indicted" (based on letters I hadn't seen, mailed on
dates I didn't know, based on evidence the Government wouldn't tell
me), and I don't know which was greater: my rage at the injustice, or
my panic at the possible consequences.

I retained a prestigious criminal form of former AUSAs,
Morrison, Paul, Stillman & Bailey (the last no relation), paid I
believe 1/2 of the $5,000 retainer (the rest was loaned to me by my
parents) and worked primarily with a sanguinary sonofabitch named Jay.
Even before the next Grand Jury, Jay suggested I take a lie detector
test, and being so naive in those days as to think lie detectors
worked, I agreed.  They chose one of the most prestig- ious firms in
the country, Richard Arthur.  But the test came out inconclusive and
the examiner felt that because of my sensitivity to the shades of
mean- ings of different words (as a writer), that I fell into the
category of people who cannot and should not be tested on lie
detectors. (1)

[[Footnotes:]]

(1) I didn't successfully pass the control test first, which was to
look at a pink piece of paper that had a blue border and say "yes"
that it was pink.  I still noted the blue, and so registered lying
when I said "yes" it was pink


HARASSMENT DIARY, by Paulette Cooper (1982) Part 6: The Bomb Threat Letters

My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed because the letters were so stupid that they must have been
written by an intelligent person, and he didn't think Meisler was too bright. Gordon also had
some other things to say to my lawyers frustration and rage over what was going on. When my
lawyers pointed that added to my sense of out that I had no motive to send bomb threats since
I was then Meisler and Sci in my NY suit, [[line missing which I think said doing extremely
well against "Gordon said that people who send bomb threats are crazy so they"]] we pointed
out that I would hardly write a letter to a building I don't need any motive. When had just
moved into to try to get myself kicked out, and because of the seemed to be written by the
same person Gordon told my lawyers "swollen tongue" the two that people who send bomb
threats are disturbed and therefore might later pointed out that I would never send anonymous
letter to my do anything. When we parents to hurt them, especially one that said I wasn't a
good writer when me, we got the same argument. The government also thought they they
were supporting were brilliant in concluding that the writer of the letters was Jewish.

 


HARASSMENT DIARY, by Paulette Cooper (1982) Part 6: The Bomb Threat Letters
My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed in [[double square brackets]].

The night before the main Grand Jury, which was around April, I finally saw the two letters
for the first time. They were actually a relief, because they were so foolish and grossly
ungrammatical that it was obviously not my style. The first letter was also a very unsubtle
attempt to look like me, so that it became immediately obvious that someone was trying to
implicate me, either to get me, or send Scientology bomb threats on their own without any
risk to themselves by trying to make it look like my doing.

(1) The first letter started "these damned books they are closing in on me"
immediately establishing that the person who wrote
that was either someone writing books, or someone with wall-to-wall bookcases in their
apartment, which was also true about me. It also said "I hurt -- my operation" and this planted
the first seeds of suspicion -- later to become an obsession -- about Nibs (L. Ron Hubbard Jr.)
And again there was that wrong reference to me that had appeared in the smear letter to the
building "my tongue is swollen." The second letter, allegedly received Dec. 13th (although it
mysteriously never went through the mails, and suspiciously the only fingerprints on the
envelope were Meisler's we were later to learn) planted the first seeds of suspicion about my
close friend Bob Kaufman, who had also written an anti- scientology book My lawyers were
later to become highly suspicious of him, especially because he had had a nervous breakdown
after being in scientology and had been institutionalized. The letter sounded like him

(2) but this one sounded "more like Meisler, because it said that "Hitler - Hubbard - Meisler must be
destroyed." (I felt that the only person foolish enough to put 'Meisler in with Hitler, or with his
counterpart, Hubbard, had to be Meisler himself

 

[[Footnotes:]] (1) Gordon paid me the
dubious compliment of saying he thought I did it because the letters were so stupid that they
must have been written by an intelligent person, and he didn't think Meisler was too bright.
Gordon also had some other things to say to my lawyers that added to my sense of frustration
and rage over what was going on. When my lawyers pointed out that I had no motive to send
bomb threats since I was then doing extremely well against Meisler and Sci in my NY suit,
[[line missing which I think said "Gordon said that people who send bomb threats are crazy so
they"]] don't need any motive. When we pointed out that I would hardly write a letter to a
building I had just moved into to try to get myself kicked out, and because of the "swollen tongue"
the two seemed to be written by the same person Gordon told my lawyers that people who
send bomb threats are disturbed and therefore might do anything. When we later pointed out
that I would never send anonymous letter to my parents to hurt them, especially one that said
I wasn't a good writer when they were supporting me, we got the same argument. The
government also thought they were brilliant in concluding that the writer of the letters was
Jewish. But they kept ignoring my lawyers when they pointed out that so was Meisler --
and if it was a frameup of me, it would be made to look like a Jewish person. (2) The letter
sounded like Kaufman because it started off "James" and Bob was the only one to call Jim Meisler
"James." It also referred to "a exploding volcano" which is an important image in Scientology,
and was discussed in Bob Kaufman's book. But I didn't think Bob would say "a exploding,"
and anyway, he's very bright and surely knew that volcanos erupt and not explode. usly not
my style. The first letter was also a very unsubtle attempt to look like me, so that it became immediately obvious.


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