Thanks to Bob Minton (SBY)
[18 Jan 1998]

We have been the target of their campaign of harassment and character assassination since we began speaking out in 1993, and it has been horrifying to discover firsthand what this terrorist organization masquerading as a "religion" is willing to do to silence its critics.

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From: sby@eskimo.com (Stacy Young)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Thanks to Bob Minton (SBY)
Date: 18 Jan 1998 06:52:39 GMT
Organization: Eskimo North (206) For-Ever
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Stacy Young here. I 'm sitting here in my office with several of the cats
whose lives were saved by Bob Minton.

There is Rachel, the black kitten with white feet who jumped onto my desk
on 60 Minutes and was the real star of the show. Someone found her when
she was less than a month old, sitting alone in the middle of a park,
close to death from an upper respiratory infection. She's healthy now and
very happy.

And there is Charlotte, who looks like one of the cows on the side of the
Ben and Jerry's ice cream truck. She and her sister Allison were thrown
out of a crack dealer's cadillac into the street when they were three
weeks old. Someone saw it happen and scooped them up before the oncoming
traffic ran over them. You'll never meet more affectionate cats than
Charlotte and Allison.

And Mufasa, a beautiful orange long-haired cat who was rescued from
another shelter when she was a kitten. She's Bob's favorite. She loves to
put her front paws around his neck and give him kisses all over his face.

There are a lot more cats who are safe and happy here at our beautiful
sanctuary thanks to the miraculous generosity and compassion of Bob
Minton. I will be forever grateful to this kind-hearted man who took pity
on the plight of these animals and saved their lives.

I am sickened (although not surprised) to see the lengths to which
Scientology is willing to go to try to destroy Bob Minton. I cannot stop
them from spreading their lies about him and his family. I wish I could,
but as long as they can hide behind their false cloak of religion no one
will be able to stop their terrorism. All I can really do to help him is
to stand up to Scientology's bully tactics myself, expose what they're
doing to us, and offer my help to other people who are being harmed by
this criminal organization.

I have spoken publicly in other arenas but never before on ars. Now it's
time.

Many of you know about Scientology's harassment of my husband Vaughn and
me from Vaughn's posts and others. But I want to tell my version. We have
been the target of their campaign of harassment and character
assassination since we began speaking out in 1993, and it has been
horrifying to discover firsthand what this terrorist organization
masquerading as a "religion" is willing to do to silence its critics.
Vaughn and I both held high positions when we were inside, but even in our
positions neither of us realized how utterly corrupt and vicious this
group really is. I have been face to face with their dark side now, and I
know that I have seen the face of pure, psychotic Evil.

The harassment of us increased dramatically this fall. Three things
happened that were probably what caused DM to order us taken out: 60
Minutes interviewed us, the German government asked Vaughn to testify
about Scientology, and we started helping Ken Dandar on the Lisa McPherson
case. Until then, the harassment had always been directed at slandering
and libeling us, breaking us financially, or threatening us in various
other ways but it was always an attack on us personally. But suddenly,
this fall, the target shifted to our sanctuary animals.

All of our neighbors in West Seattle had been very supportive of the
rescue work we were doing. They would bring stray cats and dogs to us and
ask us to help find homes for them, and we always did. Some of them even
adopted kittens from us. But this fall a man moved into an apartment right
down the street from us and immediately began complaining to our landlord
about our rescue work. Then our landlord's assistant began receiving calls
from someone who said he lived in our neighborhood but who would never
give his address and whose phone number was bogus. He falsely claimed that
he had been in our house and that it was filthy and the cats were all
sick. The landlord's assistant knew this was not true because she had been
in our house. She defended us to this man and let us know these calls were
coming in and that she was sure the man was a Scientologist.

Our neighbors and our landlord had weathered earlier onslaughts from
Scientology -- the whole neighborhood had been leafleted with a 15-page
smear about us, Eugene Ingram had gone door to door spreading lies about
us, and all the neighbors had stood by us when we were picketed.

Then an anonymous letter was left on all of our neighbors' doorsteps
asking them to complain to Animal Control about our rescue operation. Our
neighbors knew it was from Scientology and it only reconfirmed what they
already thought: that Scientology is a hateful organization. But we also
received an anonymous letter on our own doorstep, and ours contained a
direct threat against our rescued animals. At that point we began to be
very concerned for their safety.

When the anonymous letter campaign failed to influence our neighbors,
Scientology increased the pressure, and it soon became apparent that their
plan was to get us arrested for felony animal abuse and to get all of our
animals confiscated and killed. Our veterinarian was visited several times
by David Lee and told that we were under investigation for animal abuse,
that our animals were being kept in filthy conditions, etc, etc.
Fortunately our vet had been to our house a number of times to treat the
animals and knew Lee was lying. The vet thought there was no question that
Lee was trying to make a felony case against us to get us arrested. David
Lee visited many other people related to our animal work and tried to
spread the same lies, but no one believed him because they all know how
much we care about the animals and the degree of care we give them.

So Scientology increased the pressure even more. Animal Control, the
Department of Construction and Land Use, and Seattle City Council all
became the targets of a phone campaign against our sanctuary. They were
constantly being phoned about us, and even though Animal Control made
repeated visits to our sanctuary and repeatedly found that the reports
they were receiving were false, the phone campaign was successful in
bringing pressure to bear on the city so that they finally ordered us to
get rid of the cats.

This was disastrous for me. Getting rid of these cats would mean taking
them to the pound, where many of them would surely have been killed. We
are a sanctuary. This means that we take in many cats that would be killed
outright if they were taken to the pound. They are sick or injured, and
most shelters aren't set up to provide long-term care for a sick or
injured animal. I had nursed some of these cats for months. There was no
way I was going to risk having them killed.

Our only other option was to move, but where could we go? And what
landlord would rent to someone with a cat sanctuary? We searched high and
low for a place in an area that was zoned for what we were doing, but we
couldn't find anything.

I was exhausted from the stress of their constant harassment and frantic
with worry about what would happen to the cats. Then one night two women
showed up at our front door at about eight o'clock. I stepped outside to
see what they wanted and they both looked me up and down in a very
peculiar way.

"Are you Stacy Young?" the plump one asked in the tone of voice one uses
with a child. She handed me a business card that identified her as being
from the Department of Mental Health Services, Commitment Section.

"We've received some calls saying that you've lost quite a bit of weight
recently and that you've been -- well, uh -- collecting cats," the plump
woman told me, very gently, and instantly I realized what was happening.
Scientology was trying to have me committed.

I called Vaughn outside and told him what they had said. We looked at each
other in disbelief and then I turned to the women, who clearly were not
witnessing what they had expected to see.

"Do I look too skinny to you?" I asked them, holding my arms out. I am
definitely not underweight by any means. The women shook their heads,
frowning.

"And as for 'collecting cats,' let me take you inside and show you our cat
sanctuary," I said, and ushered them into the house. It was spotless, and
several very healthy cats lounged on a cat tree in the living room. The
two women muttered to each other that it certainly was clean, and the cats
looked just fine.

I told them all about our rescue work and the sanctuary, about finding
good homes for the cats once they were ready to be adopted, and then I
explained about Scientology's harassment campaign against us. The two
women were horrified, and extremely embarrassed about having come to our
house. They explained that the calls had been anonymous and the people
had clearly lied, saying I was crazy, that my house was filthy, that all
the cats were sick -- the same old story. They admitted that they had come
out to determine if I should be committed, and that they were ready to
begin the process even though they had received nothing but anonymous
calls.

They ended up apologizing to me as they left, but the incident left me
badly shaken. What frightened me was that Scientology could so easily
manipulate the mental health bureaucracy that these women had actually
been ready to commit me.

It was the last straw for me. The next day we had another surprise
inspection from Animal Control and another notice from the city. Then we
got a notice from our landlord, delivered apologetically by his assistant
who explained that he was now being sent notices by the city. The letter
said we had until the end of the month to get rid of all the cats. The end
of the month was two weeks away.

That night was when Vaughn posted his briefing to the net about what had
been going on. Scientology had finally found our vulnerability. We were
willing to put ourselves at risk but we couldn't risk the lives of the
animals. We were literally at the end of the line. We had no idea what we
were going to do. All I knew was that I was not going to surrender these
animals. I had made a commitment to save their lives and somehow I was
going to live up to that commitment.

And then a miracle happened. Bob Minton called. He called a few days after
Vaughn posted his briefing. Neither Vaughn nor I had ever met him or ever
even heard of him before. All he said was that he didn't feel Scientology
should be allowed to terrorize people the way they were doing to us and he
wanted to help us. What could he do to help, he wanted to know.

From time to time in my life things have been so bad that they couldn't go
anywhere but up, and this was one of those times. I told him the truth.

"What we need is a sanctuary for our animals," I said.

And Bob Minton replied, "Well, I can help you with that."

I had never met this guy before and knew nothing about him. But I knew
that I had nowhere else to go, and no one else to turn to, and no choice
but to believe this stranger who was offering to help us.

He never asked any questions, never questioned our motives, never asked
for any proof of who we were or what we were doing, never made any demands
of us at all. He just believed in us. He helped us find sanctuary for our
animals and put them out of the reach of the Scientologists.

He came to visit us after we moved to Vashon Island and we met him for the
first time. After a few days we had become great friends, and I am sure we
will be friends for a long time. Bob is a kind-hearted, generous,
down-to-earth person who is profoundly concerned about the harm
Scientology is doing to people. There is really nothing more to it than
that. Now Scientology is trying to destroy him because he has helped
people like Vaughn and me, and others who won't let Scientology's terror
tactics silence them. But he isn't going to stop trying to help people,
and I want to do the same thing.

I want to offer help to others the way Bob Minton offered help to us when
we desperately needed it. So I have this announcement to make to all
Scientology staff members, and especially to Sea Org members:

I know what it is like to be in there and to feel you have nowhere else to
go. I know how terrifying it is to think of what will happen to you if you
leave. But I want you to know this: I can offer you a safe place where you
can catch up on your sleep and you can talk to people who will understand
what you've been through and can help you get your life started again in
the real world. We will help you recover from this nightmare called
Scientology. Please call us, or contact us in whatever way you can.

Our phone number is 206-463-6809. Our address is 19731 Vashon Highway,
Vashon, WA 98070. My e-mail address is sby@eskimo.com. Vaughn's e-mail
address is writer@eskimo.com.

Stacy Young