What do lawyers, leaflets and libel have in common? SPOTLIGHT gives a twofold answer: Scientology and the IRS.
On page 10 of the June 8, 2000 issue, "An Interesting Exchange of Letters" was reproduced for The SPOTLIGHT's readers:
"The first [letter] is from Samuel D. Rosen, an attorney representing organizations associated with the Scientology religion. It is addressed to Liberty Lobby, Inc., the publisher of The SPOTLIGHT. The second letter is a reply to Rosen from Vince Ryan, chairman of Liberty Lobby. Should Rosen choose to reply, we will gladly run Rosen's reply in a future issue of The SPOTLIGHT."
LAW OFFICES OF PAUL, HASTINGS, JANOFSKY & WALKER LLP A LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP INCLUDING PROFESSIONAL CORPORATIONS 399 PARK AVENUE NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10022-4697 TELEPHONE (212) 318-6000 FACSIMILE (212) 319-4090 INTERNET www.phjw.com
May 17, 2000
Liberty Lobby, Inc. Publisher
Mr. Andrew Arnold Editor-In-Chief
300 Independence Ave.
S.E. Washington, D.C. 20003
Our Firm serves as litigation counsel to several of the U.S. organizations within the Scientology religion. Our clients have forwarded to us copies of several issues of SPOTLIGHT, including historical ones going back to 1996 and current ones (e.g., April 3, 2000), all of which contain false and defamatory "facts" about the Scientology religion and its leadership. Indeed, it appears that for at least 4 years, SPOTLIGHT has been waging something of a campaign of libelous attacks upon our clients. This must end now.
While our clients certainly do not desire litigation, they will not shirk from their obligation to vigorously pursue it when necessary to right injustices practiced against them. If litigation is what you want, continue on the irresponsible journalistic path you have been pursing. If not, we invite your attorney to contact the undersigned to discuss ways in which SPOTLIGHT may continue to serve its readers by publishing newsworthy articles which do not run afoul of defamation laws.
Very truly yours,
Samuel D. Rosen
300 INDEPENDENCE AVE., SE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20003
May 23, 2000
Samuel D. Rosen Law Offices of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP 399 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10022-4697
Dear Mr. Rosen:
We are shocked at your letter of May 17. The firm policy of The SPOTLIGHT is to print only facts and to correct all errors. It is definitely not our policy to deliberately print errors or "smears," and this is attested by our record which is arguably controversial but not malicious.
It is true that we have mentioned Scientology and some of its allied organizations and associated personnel, but to our knowledge we have not printed anything untrue. Hopefully, this exchange will lead to the establishment of a firm factual foundation so that we may subsequently avoid publishing errors.
To my recollection, the only persons we have mentioned who, are associated with Scientology are Tom Marcellus, Greg Raven, Lawrence Heller, David Miscavige and L. Ron Hubbard. Perhaps there are others. Please cite what specific errors we have printed regarding these gentlemen. We will check our facts and, if you are correct, we will, I assure you, print a retraction or retractions.
Although we are justly critical of some of the actions of the above-mentioned persons, again I state that we: have no desire to defame anyone.
Our attorney, Mark Lane, is a well known defamation attorney who has argued leading cases before the United States Supreme Court. He would make the same request of you that we do; please provide us with a statement as to any allegation which you believe to be untrue.
I look forward to receiving your specific allegations of errors we have made.
P.S. In the meantime, please ask your agent, Mr. Matt Bratschi, to refrain from passing out hate literature in and around our neighborhood where we have been located for 37 years. Many former Scientologists have alleged that your clients have a history of perpetrating "dirty tricks" like this against perceived foes. Your Influence Counts ... USE IT!
To clarify, Mr. Matt Bratschi frequently operates from the Washington, D.C. Church of Scientology and is apparently engaged, among other things, in helping to neutralize dissent in accordance with the policies of L. Ron Hubbard. In the flyer mentioned in "The Spotlight," the "Americans against Neo-Naziism" actively solicit whistleblowers to inform on Liberty Lobby to, of all people, the Internal Revenue Service, as follows:
"LIBERTY LOBBY: SPREADING HATE AND PREJUDICE Why is this group receiving non-profit tax benefits while spreading neo-nazi politics? For some years, Liberty Lobby has been operating at 300 Independence Avenue and publishing The Spotlight magazine, a mouthpiece for the anti-Semitic and racist views of Willis Carto. Liberty Lobby's building also houses two other groups with very similar board of directors -- the Government Education Foundation and Foundation for Economic Liberty. The Foundation for Economic Liberty is 501c3 tax exempt organization and donations made to it are tax deductible. Contributions are made to the Foundation for Economic Liberty and according to court records are used to support the Spotlight and Liberty Lobby.
Who is Willis Carto really?
According to an online guide of Holocaust Denial spokespersons, some infamous quotes by Carto include: [...] Time for Action
It is time to speak up.
Make your voice heard by writing to the IRS about Liberty Lobby's secret group, the Foundation for Economic Liberty, deceptively gaining the benefits of tax exempt charitable organizations. Ask what is being done about Liberty Lobby and possible tax fraud documented in court records.
Write to: District Director IRS [...]
AMERICANS AGAINST NEO-NAZIISM PO BOX 222 ARLINGTON, VA 22210"