The jury in the Keith Henson case decided to award Scientology $75,000 this week.
"THE COURT: HAS THE JURY REACHED A VERDICT?
"THE WITNESS: YES, WE HAVE.
"THE COURT: WOULD YOU HAND IT TO MS. AYALA, PLEASE?
"THE CLERK: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY, HEARKEN TO YOUR VERDICT FOR IT WILL STAND RECORDED IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT OF THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE MATTER OF C-96-20271, RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER VERSUS H. KEITH HENSON.
"QUESTION ONE, DO YOU FIND THAT DEFENDANT H. KEITH HENSON'S INFRINGEMENT OF THE COPYRIGHT IN PLAINTIFF RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER'S WORK WAS WILLFUL? YES.
"QUESTION TWO, WHAT AMOUNT OF DAMAGES DO YOU AWARD TO PLAINTIFF RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER AGAINST DEFENDANT H. KEITH HENSON? $75,000."
During the proceedings, Scientology's lawyer threatened Graham Berry in off-the-record conversation.
"AS THE JURY WAS LEAVING THE COURTROOM AND THE JUDGE WAS LEAVING THE COURTROOM, MR. ROSEN CAME OVER TO ME AND AUDIBLY SAID, 'IF YOU MENTION THE HOLOCAUST ONCE MORE AT SIDEBAR, I'M GOING TO SMASH YOUR HEAD.'
"MR. ROSEN: ABSOLUTELY FALSE.
"MR. BERRY: THEN YOU SAID YOU'D BREAK MY HEAD,
"MR. ROSEN: I SAID TO MR. BERRY, QUIETLY AFTER THE JURY AND YOUR HONOR WERE OUT, I SAID 'AT SIDEBAR TODAY IS THE SECOND TIME YOU HAVE MADE A JOKE OR AN INAPPROPRIATE COMMENT ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST. I AM JEWISH. I TAKE THAT OFFENSIVELY. IF YOU DO IT AGAIN, I WILL BE IN YOUR FACE.' THAT'S WHAT I SAID TO HIM, AND I MEAN IT. WE HAVE A HISTORY WITH MR. BERRY. HE IS AS MUCH AN ANTI-SEMITE AS HIS CLIENT IS AN ANTI-SCIENTOLOGIST, AND I'VE JUST HAD ENOUGH OF IT. I DON'T HAVE TO BE INSULTED AND HAVE THIS --
"THE COURT: I'VE HAD ENOUGH. FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, IF YOU ARE GOING TO SPEAK TO ONE ANOTHER, I'LL JUST ORDER YOU NOT TO SPEAK TO ONE ANOTHER EXCEPT SPECIFICALLY WITH REFERENCE TO ISSUES IN THIS CASE. AND IF YOU WANT TO TALK WITH THE OTHER ONE ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE, YOU CAN MAKE AN ARRANGEMENT AND DO IT IN MY PRESENCE. THIS IS THE KIND OF CONDUCT THAT SHOULD NOT GO ON BETWEEN COUNSEL. I WASN'T THERE. I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE A JUDGMENT ON WHO SAID WHAT TO WHOM."
Graham Berry posted to discuss the case.
"I direct my criticism at the Court which totally gutted Mr. Henson's ability to introduce an effective defense. A court which inexplicably excluded almost all of the most relevant evidence as to Keith Henson's state of mind when he posted the Nots 34 document to the internet. Effectively, since he had no exhibits or witnesses, 98% of his case was excluded! The same court which allowed scientology to just smear and smear Mr. Henson's character. A court which is also ignoring the flagrant abuse of the legal system by scientology. A court which is refusing to even hear of the flagrant out of court attacks on the litigants actually before it. A court which appears not to have read any of the American Lawyer articles on scientology litigation including 'Scientology's War Against The Judges.'
"This was a very hollow victory for scientology. Their legal expenses during this five day damages hearing as to the appropriate amount of statutory damages were probably in excess of $30,000 per day. Soon, when the cult makes it's application for prevailing party costs and attorney's fees, we will learn the staggering cost of the cults massive over-litigation of this case.
"Mr. Henson will now sue the cult and several of it's representatives for assault and battery,etc. He will also sue the LAPD and Barton for civil rights violations. As for Keith Henson, it is my honor to be his attorney."
The San Jose Mercury News published an article on the case.
"A Palo Alto engineer will pay a stiff price for thumbing his nose at the Church of Scientology by publishing its teachings on the Internet. After less than a day of deliberations, a San Jose federal jury this week ordered Keith Henson to pay $75,000 to the Religious Technology Center, a wing of the Scientology organization, for deliberately violating copyright laws. The verdict came after a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte. Henson, who has warned that the case could have a chilling effect on free speech on the Internet, may face further penalties for putting the church's published works on-line. Under federal copyright laws, Henson can be ordered to pay the technology center's legal fees and costs, which could add thousands of dollars to the judgment.
"Henson has always maintained that he posted the material to alert the public to church positions that amounted to 'medical and legal abuses.' Henson and other church critics posted transcripts of the trial on various web sites the past week to highlight what was transpiring in Whyte's courtroom. Those postings might land Henson in further hot water with the judge: The Internet postings include a substantial portion of Henson's testimony that took place in closed session because it involved discussion of the secret church documents. Whyte ordered the transcripts sealed, but they have wound up on the Web. Henson said the material was placed online inadvertently and he apologized for the mistake. But church officials may seek further sanctions.
"Despite the jury's verdict, Henson remained unapologetic Wednesday. 'It is amazing the trouble you can get into for trying to warn the public about health hazards,' Henson said. 'This (trial) was about saying it's proper to use copyright (laws) to prevent public discussion of criminal activity. This was just a loss of a battle in a larger war.'"
Graham Berry responded to the issue that Keith placed the sealed portion of the transcript on the Internet.
"Plaintiff had arranged for a daily transcript to be produced and delivered to it the same day. During each day of the proceedings, plaintiff had between five and ten attorneys present in the Courtroom, from four different law firms, who were all obviously working on the case. It would seem reasonable to conclude that the Monday, May 11, 1998 transcript was received by plaintiffs' attorneys early in the evening on Monday, May 11, 1998. It also seems reasonable to conclude that those same attorneys combed through the transcript in preparation for closing argument the next day. They must have noticed, what I am advised, is the absence of any indication upon the transcript that a portion of it is sealed, the absence of a separate portion of the transcript, containing the sealed portion, the absence of a separate diskette containing the sealed portion, and generally the existence of a transcript in a form totally inconsistent with the Court's Order. Clearly, a mistake was made by the Court Reporter, turning out a document in haste, to satisfy your client's demands.
"Clearly, RTC should have brought the matter to the Court's attention on the morning of Tuesday, May 12, 1998. It did not. Instead, I was standing near Mr. Rosen when he asked the Court Reporter whether anyone other than the defendant, Mr. Henson, was purchasing copies of the diskettes containing the transcript of the days proceedings. Mr. Rosen was told that they weren't. Clearly, he was either: (a) wondering who had initiated the posting process in connection with the previous three days of testimony during the trial; or (b) he was deliberately failing to advise the Court Reporter of her oversight, in the hope that the defendant would proceed with an unwitting publication of the entire transcript. Thus, the very real possibility exists that Mr. Rosen actually entrapped and triggered the publication complained of.
"Our client will shortly be filing against Rev. Barton and Scientology Investigator Edwin Richardson for assault and battery, and against the Church of Scientology, its Rev. Barton, Scientology Investigator, Edwin Richardson, and the Los Angeles Police Department for civil rights violations arising from the two false arrests of Mr. Henson and the dismissal of the two criminal complaints against Mr. Henson."
The sealed transcripts continue to be available on the web.
Grady Ward announced this week that he has settled all lawsuits with Scientology.
"The terms were agreed upon in the court of District Judge Fogel and will be gone into in detail after they have been reduced to writing in the next 14 days as ordered by the Judge. Important concepts in the settlement included no erosion of the right of Grady Ward to 'fair use' material and other rights associated with the First Amendment and no admission of wrong-doing by either party.
"As part of the settlement, Ward will agree to dismiss his RICO counterclaim. Scientology will dismiss all three of their lawsuits against Ward in the suit alleging copyright infringement, their adversary action in Ward's bankruptcy, and their third suit moving to withdraw the bankruptcy reference to district court. While Ward will pay scientology money as part of the settlement, he fully agreed with the final settlement terms as composed in front of Judge Fogel and worked on by both parties and the Judge for several hours."
"The plaintiff is supposed to give me a their final draft of the settlement offer and hopefully it will match my draft so that we will have a full meeting of minds. As usual, my first amendment rights are foremost in my mind; money is important, but somewhat less of a material issue to me than my rights to lawfully speak out and if necessary criticize a criminal cult."
Downtown Clearwater, Florida is preparing for the construction of the Super Power building. City officials want Scientology to provide more parking spaces for the center. From the St. Petersburg Times:
"The reaction in the community was a mixture of admiration for the project, angst about the air of permanence it will lend to a church that has often been at odds with the city, and questions about such key issues as parking and how much control city officials will have over the project. Despite its massive size -- a 300,000-square-foot building and a 3,500-seat auditorium linked to the Fort Harrison Hotel -- city commissioners probably will have no direct say over how the project is carried out.
"In a version of the church's plans released last summer, the southeast corner of Franklin Street and S Garden Avenue was to be the site of a parking garage. However, the latest plans call for the auditorium at that site. The church has released no specific plans for a replacement parking site, but is seeking to amass more land along Franklin and Court streets. Asked whether the church planned to buy the block for parking, Scientology spokesman Brian Anderson said: 'It's always a possibility. It's nothing set in concrete at this point.'
"According to a parking study commissioned by Scientology in August, a strict reading of the city code would require the church to develop 900 new parking spaces for the auditorium and 1,705 for the adjacent office and training building. But the study also noted that the code allows for some 'flexibility.' It concluded that several factors will lessen the need for new spaces. It said the building and auditorium would not be used at the same time and could share parking. It said on-street spaces could be used. It argued that hundreds of Scientology staffers would ride to the new building on the church buses that pick them up from communal living quarters in other areas of Clearwater. It also suggested that the church initiate a program to encourage staff and visiting students to ride bicycles to the building. Another option, according to the study, would be for the church to pay the city $4,500 per space in lieu of new parking facilities."
From a Times editorial:
"If the Church of Scientology builds its 300,000 square-foot building and 3,500-seat auditorium, as it says it will, the church will have accomplished something city leaders have so far failed to do: formulate, refine and execute a complex development plan. For that, even Scientology's harshest critics would have to give grudging credit to the church.
"Can both sides -- Scientology and the city -- work together for the benefit of all downtown on parking and other issues that are sure to come up? To be a trusted partner in downtown planning, the church should do two things: open the veil of secrecy it wraps around all of its activities and stop its irresponsible attacks on police Chief Sid Klein. Scientology bashers, on the other hand, should admit two facts: the Church of Scientology is here to stay, and it is in the city's best interest not to abandon downtown but to put money and effort into its redevelopment.
"The church says the new buildings will bring 3,000 to 5,000 parishioners a week to downtown Clearwater and double the staff size to 2,000. Even if those numbers are exaggerated, it is almost certain that more Scientologists would be coming to downtown. It is the beginning of a promising plan, and Clearwater residents should eagerly await details. The Scientology office/counseling building will take two years to complete, church officials say."
Mark Dallara reports on the new offices of the Scientologist-operated company Digital Lightwave.
"Construction of DIGL's new offices in eastern Pinellas County are proceeding apace. If you head south over the Bayside Bridge, you can see the framework of the three- or four-story building on the right. Heading west on Roosevelt from the southern end of the bridge, there is an entrance to the lot with the new building, and a sign by the road proclaims that the site is going to be the home of 'Digital Lightwave Center'."
Karsten Lorenzen reported this week that a Danish TV station has agreed to stop airing Scientology commercials.
"A Danish TV station Dancom TV launched a dissemination series about Scientology. He was phoned down with complaints, and when I talked with him today for 20 min. he finally agreed to stop the series of programmes. Then I talked to him about making another programme, telling the truth about CO$ and he accepted that we should make such a programme, to be sent within the next 2 months. He seemed shocked when I told him about RPF and, of course, Lisa McPherson. It was here he realized that he should not admire them because of their big money machine, on the contrary he should work to inform about this vicious sect."
Catarina Pamnell reported on a Scientology cleaning company that is attracting media attention.
"A full page article in Danish daily paper Fri Aktuelt discusses how unemployed people have been sent by the employment agency to work in cleaning companies run by scientologists, without knowing about the scientology connection. Some people who used to work for theses companies claim that they found the scientology ties did influence the way these companies operated, and that they would have preferred to be informed before taking the job.
"Danish scientology PR Anette Refstrup compares the German treatment of scientology companies to the treatment of Jews during WWII, and adds that the job seekers should consider it a gift to be introduced to a religion that has brought so many good things to scientologists."
More items from the FBI files of L. Ron Hubbard were posted this week, including a 1953 report on his arrest following the Philadelphia Lectures.
"The Investigative Division has referred information which was received from the Philadelphia Office on 1-19-53 that [BLACKED OUT SEVERAL LINES] with two Marshals while they were attempting to serve a bench warrant on L. Ron Hubbard while Hubbard was lecturing in a building [BLACKED OUT LINE] of the Association of Scientologists of which Hubbard is the founder. [BLACKED OUT TWO LINES] Bureau files were negative on the Association of Scientologists; however, they were replete with information concerning one Lafayette Ron Hubbard, who appears to be identical with the individual arrested by the U.S. Marshals [BLACKED OUT] Information in Bureau files reveals that Hubbard had been director of several organizations interested in Dianetics (mental Health) and the preservation of science, culture and the people in the event of atomic war.
"Hubbard was also reported as the subject of alleged kidnaping [sic] violation of his wife and daughter in Los Angeles, California, during 1951 in connection with a family dispute. Prosecution was declined by the U.S. Attorney and no investigation was conducted in connection with this matter; a newspaper item reflected that Mrs. Hubbard in filing suit for divorce indicated that her husband was 'hopelessly insane.'"
Also posted were some letters from Hubbard to the FBI in 1955 regarding 'attacks' on the Scientology organization in Phoenix, Arizona.
"Information has just been received here that one of the major contributing factors in the attack upon and collapse of the Hubbard Assn. of Scientologists in Phoenix Arizona was an accountant. Named 'Jerry' Rahn this accountant first came to the organization in March volunteering to assist in accounting and income tax matters. A tax return was given him for filing with the IRS. This tax return was then reported by the IRS as never having been filed and was then filed again by registered mail.
"He pretended to discover many omissions and cast a serious shadow on the organization directors except Balknap [sic]. Many rumors were started by this Rahn which had no foundation in fact. Finally Rahn brought into the picture a Mr. Brewer reputed to be from the IRS. Before employees in several visits Mr. Brewer alleged that I, while a director, was actually engaged in some dark and underhanded activity and had used the organization as a blind and that I was in serious trouble with the IRS which, in consulting the main office, is apparently not the case, there being no reason for it.
"The introduction of a strange accountant against the wishes of the absent treasurer and the interjection of a supposed IRS agent - who may very well be an IRS agent in Phoenix - and the rumors and threats made by these men, it can be seen that this contributing factor was important. The attack made by psychiatrists using evidently Communist connected personnel on the Elizabeth NJ Foundation in 1950 and 51 and the attack made on the Wichita Foundation in 1952 all ended on the same note of reports to IRS and much rumor concerning what the IRS would do.
"Thus we have a continued parallelism in these attacks on Dianetics and Scientology in accountancy. Accountancy was a target in 1950, 1951 and 1955 by accountants strange to the organization or of suspicious circumstance. There might have been some parallelism in the public relations department if the organization now maintained one for the 1950 and 51 public relations man, Charles Leonard, registered positive on Communism in the police check at Wichita in or around April of 1951, possibly May."
"It is not uncommon in the past five years to have judges and attorneys mad-dogged at about what a terrible person I am and how foul is Scientology. Persons never named or available step in, spread violent tales and accusations and vanish. This mad-dogging has evidently been done at this County Attorney to prompt such a foolish action. This makes the third civil official in that area to off half-cocked about Scientology. When it is all done and Scientology has been neatly ruined by the newspapers in the area and when all the charges have been quashed there is no on from whom any recompense can be drawn. 'It was all a mistake'.
"In 1950 the Dianetics Foundations were violently attacked and discredited. The 200 Foundation employees, when screened, yielded 35 Communist-connected persons. That done the commotion stopped. After three quiet years in the Phoenix area we forwarded to the Defense Department data on brain-washing. Instantly we became the subject of violence. Four people were seized by psychiatrists in that area to date and to this day so far as I know are still being held, their sanity shattered.
"Psychiatrists as far north as Seattle have said they were 'out to get every Scientologist.' People in suspicious condition were sent from one place in Southern California to be 'treated by Scientology' for insanity and yet we have no interest in treating anyone, especially the insane. All manner of defamatory rumors have been scattered around about me, questioning even my sanity which is fortunately a matter of good record with the Navy as by statement 'having no psychotic or neurotic symptoms whatsoever.'"
This week's articles on Scientology in Germany, first from dpa:
"The US government wants to prevent a law which would have provided for automatic economic sanctions against countries with restricted religious freedom. The State Department regards this process as counter-productive, said a high official in Washington on Tuesday. Theoretically, Germany could also be affected by the legislation being brought before congress this week because of its politics concerning the Scientology organization.
"The so-called Wolf-Spectre Law would assign a commissioner for religious freedom who would judge the situation in individual countries. If he should decide that religious persecution is taking place, sanctions would result. The Clinton administration does not go along with such an automatic procedure, said the official. If the proposed legislation receive a majority of the vote in congress, State Secretary Madeleine Albright would recommend to the President that he veto the bill."
From Berliner Morgenpost:
"Police Director Otto D. states that he is unjustly being labeled a member of the Scientology sect. Since Wednesday he may neither pursue his teaching assignment at the professional school for administration and legal rights nor at the police school. After the publication of the anonymous accusation he has to give up his leading position on the police board of directors, and take a different assignment.
"'One has to ask the question as to whether a man's life's work can be destroyed on the basis of an anonymous letter, just because the Office of Constitutional Protection refuses to reveal any actual facts.' The attorney and his client are both of the opinion that a conspiracy lies behind the accusations. The Administrative Court will, presumably, hear D's appeal to his present release from duties in August."
"Jour" reported on the continued picketing in the San Francisco/San Jose area this week.
"Tuesday, May 11, I did a quick 10-minute solo picket at around 12:30 at the San Francisco org today. It rained all morning, sometimes quite heavily. I had a nice big umbrella that actually covered my whole sign. I did get to hand out a few fliers, and had a conversation with someone in the cafe across the street who asked about my sign."
"Wednesday, May 13. Two pickets: Mountain View and San Jose, CA lunchtime, 20 minutes each. I put in two quick solo pickets today in the South Bay. My thoughts are with you, Keith. First, I went over to the Mountain View org. It's in a shabby little strip mall that's perpendicular to the street. The sign between the building and the street says 'Dianetics', not $cientology.
"Next, I went over to the San Jose org. I was completely ignored. There was no sprinkler tech."
Catarina Pamnell reported this week that the Swedish government is considering the issue of the availability of the NOTS materials. The NOTS are still available from the Parliament.
"The Constitutional Committee of the Swedish Parliament, which is supposed to review whether the acts of the Government agree with the Constitution, has last week held a meeting where the Government sealing of their NOTs. According to the press statement on the Parliament web site, [they] found that the Government had been applying valid law. The Left party and the Green party did file reservations, as they say the Government has changed it's view on confidentiality following pressure from foreign powers. The findings still has to be discussed in Parliament, which will be done on May 27."
Scientologists in Germany and Switzerland protested this week, according to the dpa news service.
"Swiss Scientologists demonstrated in from of the German consulate in Basel and in front of the regional Ministry of the Interior of the southern German state of Baden Wurttemberg in Stuttgart against 'spying on Swiss citizens' by the country's secret service. They demanded the release of all information which pertains to Swiss citizens. In Basel there were about 70 people, in Stuttgart, according to the police estimates, there were about 50 Scientology adherents on the street.
"The cause of the protest was the arrest of a member of the Baden-Wurttemberg regional secret service in Basel in April. The agent, who was charged with political espionage, had been gathering information in Switzerland about the Scientology scene under a false name. The man was later released on bail from the detention facilities. Scientology now maintains that there is evidence that the regional office of the secret service in Baden-Wurttemberg has stored data on thousands of Swiss which contains 'intimate, private details.' According to Stuttgart, the information was obtained using 'illegal spy operations.'
A.r.s. Week in Review is put together by Rod Keller ©
This collection is organised for WWW by Andreas Heldal-Lund.
Only edits done by me is replacing word encapsuled in * or _ with bold and underscore, and made links into HTML.