This article was originally webbed at thehill.com, and contained a link to Ex-member Gary Weber's apology for the deceitful actions he undertook on behalf of Scientology, while he was a member.
January 20, 2004
Scientologists finds no dirt on new ‘Source’;
Rich Leiby took over the “Reliable Source” column in The Washington Post last week. We’re lucky to have him.
Leiby was an inspired choice. He is not only a fine reporter and writer, which is what a successful column requires, but a genuinely courageous journalistic player. Any reporter who has ever written critically about Scientology will know what we mean: Scientologists brook no criticism without retaliation, some of it intelligently evil.
Editors are afraid of their gattling-like lawsuits and the white-shoe lawyers who are their running dogs or because they are afraid they’ll find the family toy poodle crammed in their mailbox. Years ago, Leiby, as a young Clearwater, Fla., newspaper reporter, went up against Scientology and its movable conspiracy. Scientologists secretly chased after him, investigated his personal life, investigated his girlfriends and tried to smear and intimidate him. They did the same thing to the mayor of Clearwater, Gabe Cazares, who had criticized them for moving their headquarters into Clearwater (which they now dominate, by the way).
photo courtesy of david ignatius, the washington post
The Post’s new “Reliable Source” columnist, Richard Leiby, in Umm Qasr, southern Iraq, in March 2003.
The other day, a former Scientologist operative named Gary Weber, who admits that more than 20 years ago he labored to destroy them, made to Leiby and to Cazares a surprising public apology. Weber apologizes on the Internet here.
Leiby told us he admired Weber for coming forward after all these years. “I accept his apology, but I regret that this group investigated the young ladies I was dating back then. The dispiriting thing is that Scientology operatives found no dirt on me when I was 22, footloose and fancy-free. Was I so boring?”
What the Scientologists did to Cazares was proved later by the FBI through documents seized in a raid on Scientology offices. Scientologists “roped” Cazares in a sting involving a half-dozen people following a scripted scenario.
In Washington for a conference, he was fed drinks in a hotel bar by Scientology agents who purposefully befriended him. One, an attractive young woman, offered to drive him to his hotel. She pulled into Rock Creek Park in the dark. Suddenly a supposedly homeless man stepped out in front of the car. The woman’s car struck him and the horrified mayor, looking back, saw the man collapse and roll to the side of the road. The woman sped away, telling a distraught Cazares she was afraid to stop. Cazares caught a plane home.
The spate of anonymous phone calls to Florida news media saying the mayor was “with a woman not his wife” in a hit-and-run accident in Washington began the next day. The “homeless man,” a young Scientology undercover operative, like Weber the apologizer, had been wearing a long, dirty overcoat outfitted with football pads and knee protectors beneath, the FBI later learned.
Cazares is now 83 and sharp as a tack. “Do you think some of these folks are evil, Gabe?” we asked. “Evil is too mild a word,” he said.
Note by webmaster of Lermanet.com: The Picket Truck Incident
"During the 1997 pickets of Clearwater, I had rented a rather large U-Haul moving van, and placed plastic signage all over this huge truck. The rental and signage expenses were made possible by the generosity of Robert Minton.
Intimately familiar with scientology's nature, I expected to have an accident 'staged' to disrupt my peaceful effort to publicize a few quotations from US Federal Judges, I arranged to have a close friend, and Ex-member of Scientology, Captain Scott Mayer ride in the passengers seat of the Picket Truck, as it came to be called. Later that morning of the first day, it was Scott Mayer, that calling out a warning, that kept me from hitting a staged by scientology "homeless person" who had veered 15 feet away out of the crosswalk to try and get hit by the truck while I was turning left onto Ft Harrisson Street in front of Scientology in Clearwater. Anyone who has driven one of those long U-haul trucks knows you cannot see anything at the ground level next to the passenger side. And I did wonder at the time, why this fellow was wearing a long trench coat, and did note that he sure seemed to have huge shoulders...for a homeless man... " Arnie Lerma
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