From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Dec 12 21:02:33 2001 Timeline of Scientology's Harassment of Robert S. Minton and Colleagues
Robert Minton began his career in international banking upon his graduation from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1971. In 1980, Mr. Minton pioneered an entrepreneurial investment banking activity that in time created a worldwide market for trading debt instruments of developing countries. He remained in this field until his retirement in early 1993.
After his retirement, Mr. Minton became an avid enthusiast of the rapidly expanding technological field of the Internet. A staunch advocate of free speech, he joined an Internet organization called the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), whose purpose was to keep its members apprised of developments that might affect free speech rights on the Internet.
In January 1995, Mr. Minton read in the EFF newsletter about an incident that was causing serious alarm in the Internet community. An attorney named Helena Kobrin had attempted to shut down an Internet newsgroup, alt.religion.scientology or ARS, because some of its participants were criticizing her client - the Church of Scientology. Mr. Minton had never heard of Scientology before, but he became curious, as did many other Internet enthusiasts, about what kind of an organization would be concerned enough about criticism to take such a drastic measure. He searched the Internet and quickly found that there was a substantial amount of information that detailed a widespread pattern of fraud and abuse by Scientology. As he learned more, Mr. Minton became increasingly disturbed about this organization that was violating the rights of its adherents, seemingly without anyone in a position of authority in the United States trying to do anything to stop it.
Mr. Minton made contact with other free speech advocates on the Internet who had also become alarmed by Scientology's attempt to shut down ARS. He met a number of former Scientology adherents who recounted experiences that further confirmed his concerns. By October 1995, Mr. Minton was motivated to protest publicly against Scientology's human rights violations, hoping thereby to bring attention to the dangers of this organization. In March 1996, he traveled from his Boston home to Clearwater, Florida, where he joined others for a peaceful protest against Scientology's criminal fraud and abuse. For the first time, Mr. Minton saw young children dressed in uniforms, staring blankly as they marched en masse through the streets of downtown Clearwater. He was appalled by what he saw, and the experience had a severe impact on him. With his first public protest in Clearwater, he now came to the attention of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs.
Referred to by its acronym, OSA, this is the branch of Scientology that is responsible for dealing with individuals who criticize Scientology. Over the years, OSA (or its predecessor, the Guardian's Office, or GO) has done away with a long list of Scientology critics, utilizing identical tactics each time. OSA's methods include harassment of the individual and his or her family and associates, causing the individual legal problems in whatever ways possible, isolating the individual from family and friends, and, where possible by either legal or illegal means, causing the individual to be arrested, tried and convicted of criminal acts. By bringing about a criminal conviction, Scientology would, of course, be able to discredit the critic and thereby neutralize his or her effectiveness.
In 1980, a number of high-ranking Scientologists were themselves convicted of criminal conduct as a result of illegal actions taken to silence critics. Thousands of documents were seized from OSA's forerunner, the Guardian's Office, that revealed how far Scientology was willing to go to neutralize anyone who dared to criticize it. The documents showed that Scientology operatives launched painstakingly detailed projects to cause a number of individuals to be arrested on false criminal charges. Some of these projects were successful and some were not, but the pattern of conduct was clear. After these documents were made public, the Scientology leadership under the current head, David Miscavige, announced that the criminal conduct had been limited to a small number of "renegade" Scientologists, all of whom had been dismissed. Shortly afterward, the Guardian's Office was disbanded amidst much fanfare that the "criminals" had been purged. However, the Office of Special Affairs replaced the Guardian's Office, and evidence reveals that the same tactics have continued uninterrupted to this day. Mr. Minton would soon discover how relentless OSA can be.
In March 1996 during his return to Boston, Mr. Minton posted a message on ARS offering $360,000 - the cost of Scientology's so-called "Bridge to Total Freedom" - to anyone with evidence that would lead to the revocation of Scientology's tax exemption. Although no one ever came forward with the requested information, his message caught the attention of Scientologists who watched the newsgroup. Mr. Minton also provided financial assistance to several Scientology critics, including Grady Ward, Keith Henson, Lawrence Wollersheim and Arnaldo Lerma, who had become targets of Scientology's infamous "Fair Game" practices, in which anyone who is identified as an "enemy" can be tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed for the good of Scientology. Mr. Minton felt that it was unfair for Scientology to use the full force of its wealth and power to destroy its critics and wanted to try to level the playing field.
In the fall of 1997, Mr. Minton offered financial assistance to two other former Scientologists, Stacy and Vaughn Young. (Stacy and Vaughn were divorced in 1999 and Stacy reverted to her maiden name, Brooks. This is how she will be identified in this narrative.) CBS's 60 Minutes had interviewed Stacy for a program that was to be highly critical of Scientology. Vaughn had been invited to testify about Scientology's abuse before a court in Hamburg, Germany. In an effort to frighten the Youngs into pulling out of the program and the testimony, Scientology mounted an intensive campaign of harassment and intimidation against them, bringing in a team of private investigators with orders to destroy them financially and force them to call off the program and testimony. Mr. Minton heard about their struggle and contacted them. Because of his financial assistance, the Youngs were able to survive the harassment. Subsequently, the 60 Minutes segment aired on December 27, 1997, and Vaughn Young traveled to Germany to testify later that fall.
Mr. Minton's unexpected interference with Scientology's plans to silence the Youngs seems to have been the last straw. Within days of his first contact with the Youngs, OSA had launched its first attack in a relentless campaign of harassment and intimidation that continues to this day. What follows is a history of the lengths to which Scientology has gone to neutralize Mr. Minton as a critic of Scientology.
Scientology is waging a war of psychological terrorism against Mr. Minton, designed to isolate him from all his friends, his family and any other potential supporters who fear that the wrath of Scientology will befall them like it has Mr. Minton's former business partner Jeff Schmidt. These high-pressure mafia-like tactics are calculated to destroy Mr. Minton in accordance with the Fair Game policies of Scientology. This campaign against him is directed by David Miscavige, the head of Scientology, and executed by the Office of Special Affairs.
The Lisa McPherson case continues to be Scientology's main legal and public relations problem. Mr. Minton has provided funding for this case, and from the very beginning of his involvement, Scientology has cried foul. According to the New York Times, his support of this case has angered them more than anything else he has done. Additionally, Scientology does not want the Lisa McPherson Trust or Mr. Minton in Clearwater because they have become a focal point in the community for opposition to this cult and because they have helped many people to leave Scientology successfully.
These actions against Mr. Minton are part of a 50-year campaign by Scientology to covertly stifle freedom of association and free speech when that speech is focused on Scientology's policies and practices that deprive its members and critics of their inalienable rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. We take our rights for granted in our society, but it is a little known fact that we have absolutely no rights under our Constitution unless we are willing to stand up and affirmatively assert them. Unfortunately, this is the price that a litigious cult like Scientology forces us to pay, because they are so willing to strip their members and critics of as many of our rights as we will cede them. With enough support, we will not cede them any of our rights.
January 27, 1996: Mr. Minton wrote a letter to New Hampshire Senators Robert Smith and Judd Gregg. It was a heartfelt plea to his senators to do something about the abuse of the legal system that Scientology was perpetrating on its critics. The homes of two critics had just been raided after Scientology had obtained writs of seizure under false pretenses. Mr. Minton had learned of the abuse on the Internet.
September 16, 1997: Mr. Minton received a telephone call from Elliott Abelson, one of Scientology's attorneys, inquiring about his health after the Clearwater protest he had attended in March. Mr. Minton had visited the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital after his return to Boston. Clearly, Mr. Abelson wanted Mr. Minton to know that he knew about the visit, thereby letting Mr. Minton know, for the first time, that he was under surveillance by Scientology. Mr. Abelson made subtle threats at retaliation if Mr. Minton did not stop helping Scientology's critics.
October 10, 1997: Mr. Minton received a call from a relative in Nashville, Tennessee, informing him that a woman named Mary Frances Newey was in town doing a "background check" on him. The contact number Mary Frances left was the telephone number for the Scientology organization in Boston.
October 14, 1997: Mr. Minton received a call himself from Mary Frances Newey. She threatened that Scientology was prepared to attack him in a number of areas if he didn't stop lending his support to critics of Scientology. She told him he would be attacked in the following areas: family, children, ex-wife, ex-business partners, state and federal taxes.
October 15, 1997: Mr. Minton's 10- and 12-year-old daughters were followed on October 15th and 17th as they walked from their house to a neighbor's house for carpool.
October 1997: Mr. Minton contacted two former Scientologists, Vaughn and Stacy Young, after Vaughn Young posted a message on the Internet detailing harassment they had been subjected to by Scientology. In the post he described how their cat sanctuary was about to be shut down as a result of this harassment. Through anonymous telephone calls, Scientology operatives had nearly succeeded in having the Youngs evicted from their house and their rescued cats confiscated and killed. Mr. Minton's eleventh-hour intervention allowed the animals to be saved. Scientology had mounted its harassment campaign against the Youngs in an attempt to stop a 60 Minutes expose about Scientology in which Stacy was interviewed, and to keep Vaughn from testifying in Germany about Scientology's long-term pattern of illegal conduct. Mr. Minton's intervention made it possible for the 60 Minutes interview to air on December 27, 1997, and for the German testimony to go forward.
November 18, 1997: Mr. Minton received a threatening letter from Scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, in which Mr. Abelson accused Mr. Minton of "fostering a climate of hatred in Clearwater which endangers our staff and parishioners who work and live there." He also accused Mr. Minton of financing individuals who were committing "hate crimes," and of "going out of your way to foment their irrational hatred." Mr. Abelson went on to state that "Association with lawbreakers such as these, combined with the monetary demands that inevitably accompany their involvement in litigation or similar fertile areas for attempts of extortion, make your actions of interest to the prosecutors to whom such conduct has been referred." He further advised Mr. Minton: "My client holds you, your associates and backers, financial or otherwise, personally responsible for any and all damages it has suffered or will continue to suffer as a result of your tortuous officious intermeddling in Church litigation. The Church will not tolerate such conduct." He ended the letter by demanding that Mr. Minton "immediately withdraw all financial support for such matters" and warned him that "you and those you are financing have crossed the threshold of legality." In the letter, Abelson accused Mr. Minton of funding the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case. Although he had not done so until then, Mr. Minton thought this was a good idea and soon thereafter contacted Ken Dandar, attorney for Lisa McPherson's estate, to offer financial assistance.
November 18, 1997: Mr. Minton's elderly mother in Nashville, Tennessee, received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as "Dan Wallace" of "East Coast Newspapers" in Boston. (Subsequent investigation revealed that no such organization existed.) The man said he was doing a story on her son Bob Minton, focusing on how he had accumulated so much wealth in his international banking business. The man asked her if she knew someone named "Mr. Stokes." This was the name of an attorney with the Boston law firm of Bingham, Dana and Gould who had established a company for Mr. Minton in the 1980s. Bingham, Dana and Gould had also represented the Boston Globe when it published a series of articles about Michael Flynn, an attorney who, in the late 1970s and early '80s, had successfully litigated against Scientology on behalf of a number of former high-level Scientologists who all claimed to have been defrauded and abused. Scientologists had broken into the Boston Globe offices to try to stop the publication of these articles, and this had been reported as part of the series. Because Stokes was the president of the German-American Chamber of Commerce in Boston, Scientology was convinced, albeit erroneously, that he was in some way involved with Mr. Minton's current activities with regard to Scientology. The Scientology leadership was sure that the German government was in charge of the "global conspiracy" to destroy Scientology, and equally sure that Mr. Minton was under orders from Germany to go after Scientology. The man claiming to be "Dan Wallace" asked Mr. Minton's mother if she knew of Mr. Minton's "link to Germany," alluding to Stokes' German connection. Mr. Minton's mother told the man that he needed to be asking her son about all of these things. She asked for his telephone number, but he gave her a false number that did not even have a Boston area code.
December 5, 1997: Mr. Minton was in Clearwater participating in the annual peaceful protest in memory of Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died an unnecessary and gruesome death after being incarcerated in Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater for nearly three weeks. While he was in Clearwater, Scientologists picketed Mr. Minton's Beacon Hill home in Boston for the first time, during his daughter's birthday party. Fliers handed out by the Scientologists had a photograph of Mr. Minton and stated: "The face of religious bigotry: Your neighbor, Robert Minton is not all that he seems. This week he is leading a KKK-style rally against peaceful members of a religion. When he's not stirring up hatred in the streets, Minton is poisoning the Internet by filling it full of religious bigotry and intolerance." (NY TIMES 12-21-97.) This was the first of many fliers the Scientologists would distribute in an effort to characterize Mr. Minton as a religious bigot and hate monger to his friends and neighbors. The campaign to discredit him had begun.
December 9, 1997: The Boston Globe printed an article entitled "Gifts of cash fuel battle of principle," by Diego Ribadeneira. The article stated, "Church officials acknowledged that they have conducted their own investigation into Minton's funding practices. Kurt Weiland, then head of Scientology's Los Angeles-based Office of Special Affairs International (OSA Int), was quoted saying, "This is an extremely shady character because he covertly engages in a campaign to harm our religion. It's immoral and quite frankly perverse." Frank Ofman, a member of Scientology's Boston branch of OSA, was quoted in the article explaining that Scientologists distributed the leaflets to "highlight Minton's bias."
December 9, 1997: The Naples, Florida, Daily News published an article by Leslie Miller entitled "Retired banker, Scientologists take aim at each other." The article stated, "Church members say the millionaire is using 'KKK-style' tactics to discredit the church," and "Members of the Church of Scientology have paid for private investigators to dig into Minton's private life and threatened to sue him in six states. They call it chasing a rat out of his hole." Kendrick Moxon, a long-term Guardian's Office and OSA operative named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the 1980 criminal case against Scientology, was sent to law school in the mid-1980s at Scientology's expense. Now an attorney charged with carrying out much of the legal harassment against Scientology critics, Moxon was quoted saying, "Who is behind this guy? The man is going to be sued because he has committed torts all over the country and I want to know why is he trying to destroy religion and create chaos." OSA head Kurt Weiland falsely accused Minton of "covertly funding, and in this way, manipulating litigation."
December 15, 1997: Mr. Minton's wife Therese found a dead cat on the doorstep of the Mintons' New Hampshire farmhouse. This was clearly placed there by OSA, a reference to Mr. Minton's assistance to the Youngs' cat sanctuary in Seattle.
December 15, 1997: From this date, Mr. Minton's home in Boston was picketed two or three times per week until the end of February 1998. On the days when he was not picketed, Mr. Minton's Boston neighborhood was leafleted with fliers characterizing him as a religious bigot and hate monger.
December 19, 1997: Mr. Minton appeared on a show about Scientology on "Greater Boston with Emily Rooney" on WGBH. He talked about his experience in a mental institution at age sixteen. Later the Scientologists took the video of the show to his mother and used it as a way to spend three hours interviewing her about Mr. Minton. They also took the video to his father.
December 21, 1997: The New York Times published an article titled "Boston man wages costly fight with Scientology," written by Douglas Frantz. Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder was quoted saying, "Sometimes it requires aggressive litigation and investigation to uncover the depths of the nefarious plots that have been attempted to destroy Scientology. The people that we know of whom Minton has funded have expressed their intentions to destroy the Church of Scientology, not merely to criticize. If he wants to fund it, fine. He will have to live with the bigotry he foments and be accountable for the harm he enables to occur [sic]." The article stated, "In a letter to Minton last month, a church lawyer demanded that he stop financing opponents of Scientology and warned that his actions had 'crossed the threshold of legality.'" Mr. Minton's former business associate, Robert Smith, spoke favorably about Mr. Minton, saying: "He's a man of principle and a very tenacious person." Later Mr. Smith would be forced to sever all communications with Mr. Minton to avoid becoming a target of Scientology's relentless harassment himself. Over the next two years, Scientology would systematically target all of Mr. Minton's former friends. The purpose was to isolate him so that there would be no one to whom he could turn for help.
December 23, 1997: The St. Petersburg Times published an article entitled "Scientology-sponsored suit against opponent," written by Lucy Morgan and Thomas Tobin. The article stated, "Scientology has blasted Robert S. Minton Jr. for donating more than $1.25 million to its critics, calling his actions 'nefarious' and underhanded. The church contends he is illegally interfering with lawsuits involving Scientology." It went on to say that attorneys and top officials for Scientology say ' Minton's motives are 'sordid' " Describing the people Mr. Minton had helped, Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder said, "These people are a pack of criminals." Mr. Rinder also accused Mr. Minton of trying to extort $80 billion from Scientology by his involvement with the Lisa McPherson lawsuit.
December 1997: A private investigator working for Scientology tracked down Mr. Minton's former secretary, Dorothy Cronin, and asked her if she knew of any affairs Mr. Minton had had that might have produced a "love child."
December 1997: Scientology private investigators contacted Mr. Minton's first wife Fran and his son, Rob, from that marriage. Mr. Minton and his son had been estranged for several years, and the Scientology operatives exacerbated this estrangement by characterizing his father's financial assistance of Scientology critics as a slap in the face to his son. This was extremely upsetting to Mr. Minton and served to further estrange father and son.
December 1997: Mr. Minton joined the Board of Directors of FACTNet, a corporation founded by former Scientologists Lawrence Wollersheim and Robert Penney. The main activity of the Colorado-based organization was providing information about Scientology on the Internet via its website, www.factnet.org. When Mr. Minton joined the board, Scientology had already targeted FACTNet for destruction. Falsely claiming that FACTNet was a threat to Scientology's income, attorneys for Scientology had convinced a Denver judge to grant a writ of seizure. Armed with the writ, Scientology operatives had raided the FACTNet offices and seized all of the computers. Scientology had then filed suit against FACTNet for copyright violations, allegations that would later prove to be unfounded after a costly legal battle that ultimately resulted in settlement. Because it was clear that Scientology had targeted FACTNet for destruction through costly legal harassment, Mr. Minton agreed to help fund FACTNet's defense. When Scientology learned that Mr. Minton had joined the board, Mr. Minton received a series of telephone calls in which he was threatened about "what would happen" to him if he joined this "hate group." Mr. Minton refused to resign, however, and the campaign against him intensified.
January 3, 1998: An OSA operative called Mr. Minton's father for the purpose of further alienating him from his son. He played a recording of a segment of Mr. Minton's appearance on the television program "Public Eye," in which Mr. Minton had discussed the abuse to which he and his mother had been subjected when he was growing up.
January 6, 1998: Mr. Minton's Beacon Hill neighborhood was leafleted with a flier that featured a large photo of Mr. Minton and the title, "Hatred Hidden Behind Free Speech." The following is the text of the flier: "The face of religious bigotry: Your neighbor, Robert Minton of 39 West Cedar Street, is not all that he seems. He is leading a KKK-style attack against peaceful members of a religion. When he is not stirring up hatred in the streets, Minton is poisoning the Internet by filling it full of religious bigotry and intolerance. Minton's hatred puts families at risk." At the bottom of the flier was a copyright notice by the Church of Scientology of Boston. This was one of many fliers designed to characterize Mr. Minton's outspoken criticism of Scientology's fraud and abuse of its adherents as "religious bigotry and intolerance."
January 7, 1998: Long-time Scientology private investigator Eugene Ingram began contacting Mr. Minton's former business associates in New York and Boston, saying he was investigating Mr. Minton for "conspiracy to commit extortion." Calls to these people continued for months and resulted in many of Mr. Minton's associates severing their ties with him.
January 8, 1998: Scientology private investigator David Lee, who had previously been in Seattle heading up an intense harassment campaign against the Youngs, visited and interviewed Mr. Minton's mother, father, two brothers, an aunt and his uncle in Nashville, Tennessee, over the course of a week.
January 8, 1998: Boston area Scientologists distributed a new leaflet in Mr. Minton's Beacon Hill neighborhood with a photo of Mr. Minton attached. The title of the flier was "Neighbor Pays to Create Hatred Against Religious Group." The flier accused Mr. Minton of paying "over $1.25 million to individuals who are engaged in a campaign to create hatred against members of the Church of Scientology," and went on to explain that "the Church sponsors many successful tutoring, drug rehabilitation and criminal reform projects and is active in the community to better the lives of all citizens " The flier ended with a plea to Mr. Minton's neighbors to "join us in condemning the bigots for hire scheme of Mr. Minton." At the bottom of the flier was the following statement: "This is written as a public service of STAND (Scientologists Taking Action for Non-Discrimination)."
January 23, 1998: Scientology private investigators and OSA operatives launched a campaign to harass and intimidate Mr. Minton's friends and former business associates not only in the United States but also in England, Turkey, Brazil, Nigeria, Switzerland, South Africa and Hong Kong. This campaign would continue over the next three years and would result in further isolating Mr. Minton from his friends and associates.
January 26, 1998: Scientologists handed out fliers in Mr. Minton's neighborhood in Boston and around his country home in Sandown, New Hampshire, claiming, among other things, that Mr. Minton "has a history of psychiatric problems." The fliers were again signed by STAND (Scientologists Taking Action for Non-Discrimination). The flier distributed to Mr. Minton's neighbors in New Hampshire stated: "Robert Minton, of 137 Fremont Road, Sandown, NH has given $1.25 million to complete strangers to destroy a religion while his mother lives on social security. He even put a lien on her house and charged her 10% interest as the price of the loan. Why is he so mean and cheap to his own family while showering riches on religious bigots to fund their hate campaigns?" It went on to say: "Like many hate mongers, he has a history of psychiatric problems. But a troubled past is no excuse for leading KKK-style rallies and spreading poison on the internet about a peaceful religion known for its helpful literacy and drug rehabilitation programs. What's your game, Robert Minton?" At the bottom of the flier, again, was the following: "This is written as a public service of STAND (Scientologists Taking Action for Non-Discrimination)."
January 27, 1998: Mr. Minton met with the United Nations Human Rights and Religious Freedom Chief about Scientology's abuse of its adherents and intimidation of critics. He spoke to the U.N. official about Scientology's strategy to throw a smokescreen over its illegal activities in France and Germany by accusing the governments of those countries of religious discrimination. Scientology found out about the meeting and launched a campaign to discredit Mr. Minton with the United Nations. However, Mr. Minton's meeting was successful in educating the U.N. official about Scientology's criminal activities. In the U.N.'s June 1998 report on Religious Freedom, Scientology's attempts to portray their troubles in Germany as religious persecution were described as hysteria.
January - April 1998: For a period of four months, Scientology private investigators repeatedly visited Mr. Minton's former banking associates in England, showing a detailed "psychiatric evaluation" of Mr. Minton that concluded he was likely to burst into a Scientology organization and "kill twenty-five Scientologists."
February 9, 1998: A Scientology operative dressed as a minister distributed fliers on Beacon Hill attacking Mr. Minton as a religious bigot. Others held up a banner calling Mr. Minton a religious bigot.
February 25, 1998: Mr. Minton was featured in The Daily Free Press, an independent newspaper at Boston University. The article was entitled "Activist speaks against Church of Scientology."
February 1998: A new flier was handed out in Mr. Minton's neighborhood in Boston. It featured a photograph of Mr. Minton and several others peacefully protesting Scientology in Clearwater, Florida. Under the photo was the caption: "Mr. Minton associating with an accused child molester." The text of the flier was clearly intended to upset Mr. Minton's family and turn his neighbors against him. Under the heading "Facts about Robert Minton" were the following libelous statements: " Mr. Minton vacations in luxury while charging his mother (who lives on social security) interest on a loan when he has millions of dollars at his disposal; Mr. Minton exploited the people of third world countries, manipulating their debt to make millions for himself and the rulers in power; Mr. Minton refuses to help his own son with a loan to purchase a house, yet forked over $1.5 million to fund the members of a known hate group in a campaign to create intolerance and hatred; Mr. Minton acts like a bully to anyone he can manipulate with his money. His second wife left him rather than put up with his brutal beatings; Mr. Minton buys people with his money and is financially supporting a ring which includes wife beaters, child molesters and a pornography editor." By now Scientology was publishing outrageous lies about Mr. Minton, apparently in an attempt to goad him into filing suit against them. However, several experienced attorneys advised Mr. Minton not to sue as Scientology would use the litigation to further harass him and exhaust his financial resources, ultimately forcing him to cease his outspoken criticism of them.
February 1998: While Mr. Minton was vacationing with his family on the French Caribbean island of St. Bart's, Scientology operatives flew to the island and passed out fliers in the town and on the beach where Mr. Minton and his family were relaxing. The flier contained a number of scurrilous charges, including a claim that Mr. Minton associated with "accused child molesters."
February 1998: Scientology operatives followed Mr. Minton throughout Clearwater, Florida, while he was with a film crew shooting a documentary about his activism against Scientology for SAT-1 German TV.
February 1998: Mr. Minton drove to Connecticut to assist Stacy Brooks, who was helping Leslie White, a young woman who had been driven to the brink of a nervous breakdown by her experience in Scientology. A Scientology operative tried to change the woman's mind about leaving Scientology, telling her that both Stacy Brooks and Robert Minton had been sent from another planet to destroy Scientology. As ludicrous as this statement was, it soon became clear that Scientologists were being seriously indoctrinated to believe it. Word came back from several sources that Scientologists now believed that they were "off-planet people" sent to Earth to eradicate Scientology.
March 14, 1998: While Mr. Minton was in Los Angeles for a peaceful protest of Scientology headquarters, Boston Scientologists distributed libelous fliers about him throughout Beacon Hill. It was the largest number of fliers they had ever handed out about him.
March 16, 1998: Scientology private investigator David Lee visited Mr. Minton's father-in-law in England to "ask some questions" about his son-in-law.
March 16, 1998: A Scientology private investigator spoke by telephone to a friend of Mr. Minton's family in England, explaining that Mr. Minton was being investigated because of his "psychological profile."
April 19, 1998: Mr. Minton delivered a speech to the Cult Information Service (CIS) Conference in Newark, New Jersey, in which he detailed the harassment he had been subjected to by Scientology in their efforts to silence him and frighten him away. The title of the speech was "Battling Scientology's attack on free speech."
April 19, 1998: 12 million Germans watched the SAT-1 documentary about Mr. Minton's commitment to stopping Scientology's criminal activities.
May 3, 1998: Scientology private investigator David Lee, operating in Toronto under the pseudonym Ron Christopher, contacted a number of Mr. Minton's former business associates. He claimed to be working for a non-existent company called "Financial Researchers," conducting a fraud investigation of Mr. Minton. He offered to pay one of Mr. Minton's former employees USD $35,000 if he would sign a false statement that Mr. Minton had committed criminal fraud. This was the third such offer; the first two were made by another Scientology private investigator, Peter Franks, in England. Franks was apparently working with Lee on Lee's assignment to destroy Mr. Minton.
May 1998: A family asked Stacy Brooks to fly to New Orleans to talk to their daughter about her experiences in Scientology. After hearing about Stacy's experiences, the young woman decided to leave Scientology. She informed her superior in New York that she did not intend to return. That night, New Orleans police surrounded the family's house, responding to an anonymous report that a young woman had been kidnapped. The young woman explained to the police that she had made her own decision to leave Scientology, but that Scientology did not want her to leave. The young woman was very happy to return to her family and her old life. Stacy then flew to Washington, D.C., for an interview about Scientology with a Swedish television director. When she arrived in D.C., long-time OSA operative Sylvia Stannard was at the gate to meet her. She accused Stacy of kidnapping and "forcibly deprogramming" the young woman in New Orleans. Stannard told Stacy, "I'm not going to let you kidnap anyone in my town." Stacy asked Stannard how she knew what flight she was arriving on, but Stannard refused to answer.
Mr. Minton arrived in D.C. the next day, and for the next several days Mr. Minton and Stacy were followed wherever they went in Washington. One night while they were having dinner in a restaurant with another friend, OSA operative Matt Braschi suddenly appeared at their table with a camera, taking photos of the three of them and being extremely offensive. One afternoon while Stacy was having lunch with the Swedish television crew, several OSA operatives surrounded their table and became so loud and threatening that Stacy had to have the hotel security personnel escort the Scientologists out of the building.
May 1998 - December 1999: Beginning with Ms. Brooks' arrival in D.C. in May 1998, Scientology began meeting both Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks at the airport wherever they traveled. Sometimes the Scientologists would appear with picket signs, such as in the Columbus, Ohio, airport and the Denver, Colorado, airport, meeting Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks at their gates and following them through the airport with picket signs. This continued until the end of 1999, when Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks began to call the airport security to alert them of their arrival, so that security personnel could keep the Scientologists away from them. Although the harassment has stopped, Scientology still keeps them under surveillance and knows when and where they are traveling at all times.
May - July 1998: Mr. Minton had a series of three meetings, totaling 15 hours, with two of the top leaders of Scientology. He hoped to enter into a dialogue about ending Scientology's criminal conduct, including fraud, practicing medicine without a license, child abuse, and human rights violations. He met with Mike Rinder, the head of OSA International, and Marty Rathbun, head of the Religious Technology Center (RTC) and second in command of Scientology under its dictator, David Miscavige. Unfortunately, the Scientologists had no interest in discussing their criminal conduct. Their interest was solely to convince Mr. Minton to stop providing funds to Scientology critics. They told Mr. Minton point blank that if he would quit giving financial support to critics, Scientology would stop harassing and intimidating Mr. Minton and his friends and family. At the end of the third meeting, Mr. Minton made it clear that he would not stop his financial support until Scientology ceased destroying people's lives through fraud and criminal abuse. In response, the Scientologists intensified their campaign against him.
June 16, 1998: Dateline NBC aired a 35-minute segment on Mr. Minton and his work to expose Scientology's abuse and deception called "The Crusader." Scientology tried to stop the show by presenting Dateline executives with information intended to discredit Mr. Minton, but they were unsuccessful.
July 9, 1998: The Boston Globe published a large article titled "The Improbable Crusade of Robert Minton," which included information about the harassment he was being subjected to.
July 18, 1998: Former Scientologist Jesse Prince contacted Mr. Minton via email at his FACTNet address after hearing about the Dateline show. Stacy Brooks, also a board member of FACTNet, saw the email and contacted Mr. Prince immediately. She and Mr. Prince had known each other in Scientology for many years but had not had any contact since they had left nearly a decade earlier. Mr. Prince met her in Columbus, Ohio, and they discussed the work she and Mr. Minton were doing to bring an end to Scientology's criminal activities. Mr. Prince had been a high-level executive in Scientology and had extensive information about Scientology's criminal conduct. He offered to assist them in their work.
July 19, 1998: The next day, Mike Rinder called Mr. Minton in New Hampshire and asked him if Jesse Prince was on Mr. Minton's payroll. Coming as it did immediately after Mr. Prince's initial meeting with Ms. Brooks, Mr. Rinder's telephone call was clearly intended to let Mr. Minton know Scientology had them under surveillance.
July 24, 1998: Jesse Prince received a letter from Scientology attorney Elliot Abelson threatening legal action against him if he provided any "information respecting alleged events that came to your attention in your capacity as an employee of a Church of Scientology" to "attorneys who are in litigation against the Church of Scientology entities."
July 25, 1998: Several Scientologists trespassed on Mr. Minton's property in New Hampshire as he and Ms. Brooks were swimming in the pool. The Scientologists loudly hurled profanities down the hill at Ms. Brooks and were extremely threatening. Mr. Minton ordered them off his property. They got in their car and left, but then almost immediately drove back onto his property, got out and began to approach him again. Mr. Minton fired two shots over their heads with his shotgun to let them know he was serious about ordering them off his property. This did cause the Scientologists to leave immediately. Scientology would later falsely claim that Mr. Minton aimed the gun at them and attempted to shoot them, citing this as "proof" of Mr. Minton's "violent nature." However, although the Scientologists attempted to have Mr. Minton arrested for this incident, the police determined that he had done nothing wrong in firing the shotgun as a warning to the trespassers.
July 26, 1998: While Mr. Minton's wife Therese was vacationing in England with the Mintons' two daughters, a letter from Mike Rinder was hand-delivered to her. The letter attempted to elicit her help in convincing Mr. Minton to stop his work to end Scientology's criminal activities. Rinder wrote, "I am certain you are unaware of the real activities and nature of the people Mr. Minton is involved with, and I do not believe you would want your family engaged in these matters if you knew the character of these people or their agenda with respect to the 'Minton money.' He went on to say, "While Mr. Minton claims that [Scientology] has sought to upset his family, in truth it is his activities that are the source of the turmoil that now surrounds his life and yours. It comes about as a result of his relationship with a group of morally bankrupt individuals who are taking money from him while they are engaged in unethical and even criminal activities." Attempting to get Therese to persuade Mr. Minton to meet with the Scientologists, Rinder concluded by saying, "Courts have found several of this group of low-lifes [sic] guilty of violating [Scientology's] rights and yet Mr. Minton gives them money to continue. A couple of them are wife abusers and child molesters. None are fit to be in the presence of you or your children, yet Mr. Minton is playing Santa Claus to them with your money. Mr. Minton's irresponsible, if not outright malicious acts, are damaging my church [sic] and individual Scientologists are well as you and your children. I believe a face-to-face meeting between us would be helpful. This is a serious matter. What is occurring is causing a great deal of damage. If you were aware of all the facts, I am sure you would not support what is happening. You can contact me at 213-960-3500 or 213-960-3508 (fax). I look forward to hearing from you." This letter was upsetting to Mrs. Minton and had the effect of alienating her from Mr. Minton.
July 28, 1998: An article appeared in the local New Hampshire newspaper, the Union Leader Correspondent, entitled "Sandown Police: Shots Fired in Spat with Protesters." This article focused on the July 25 trespassing incident at Mr. Minton's house. Scientology operatives Gerard Renna and Kevin Hall were both quoted. Renna said he was "tired of Minton going on Dateline and spreading lies," that he was "fed up" with it. Hall lied about the trespassing incident, claiming that Scientology protesters "knocked on Minton's door to tell him they were protesting, Minton told them to leave; they did, and he then allegedly fired the shots into the air."
July 30, 1998: Scientology began distributing fliers about Mr. Minton three to four times a week during public meetings at the town hall in Sandown, New Hampshire. This continued for several weeks.
July 30, 1998: Fliers were distributed at a local supermarket in Sandown.
July 1998: Scientology continued to monitor the travel of the Minton family and photograph Mr. Minton's wife and children in England during their summer vacation.
July 30, 1998: Mike Rinder sent Therese Minton a second letter discussing the shotgun incident and asking to have a face-to-face meeting.
July 31, 1998: Mr. Minton was interviewed for an article in the Rockingham, New Hampshire News entitled "Local man helps many leave Scientology; Church says he distorts the Truth" by Lara Bricker. Referring to Boston Scientology spokesman Kevin Hall, the article said "he wants to know why the Sandown summer resident is on a crusade to reform the church and why he is 'spreading lies'" and "trying to destroy the church."
July 1998: Mr. Minton was on a radio show on Boston's WRKO. Before the show Scientologists entered the station's offices to protest their exclusion from the broadcast. The producer later said the Scientologists' behavior was extremely inappropriate, aggressively demanding to be put on the air.
August 1998: The Scientologists informed Mr. Minton that they knew his wife and children had flown from England to Spain in early August 1998. This was clearly done to let him know that they were being followed.
August 1998: Five Scientologists picketed the home of Jesse Prince's father in Memphis, Tennessee. They held picket signs that said, "Tell your son to leave my church alone." Mr. Prince's father also received a number of telephone calls from Scientology private investigators telling him his son was a criminal.
August 3, 1998: The St. Petersburg Times, which is the paper that is distributed in Clearwater, ran an article entitled "Millionaire's bizarre feud with Scientology escalates" which reported on the trespassing incident in New Hampshire. It was later learned that OSA had fed the newspaper a false version of what had happened; this seemed to account for the biased headline.
August 8, 1998: The St. Petersburg Times ran a more in-depth article about the trespassing case entitled "Millionaire not charged in Scientology case." The article said "Police in Sandown, N.H., have concluded that millionaire Robert S. Minton was not firing at four Scientologists at who picketed his house July 25, and will not file charges against him." Mr. Minton would later learn that Scientologists had pressured the Massachusetts state attorney's office to prosecute Mr. Minton for the incident, but they were not successful. The article quoted the Sandown police chief confirmed that no charges would be filed. "We've gone through everything and from where the Scientologist were when the shots were fired, Minton was firing in the opposite direction, " Police Chief Scott Currier said Friday. "He was not shooting at them." The article went on to say "Police also confirmed that Minton was using bird shot that would not have penetrated the vehicle the Scientologists were in, Currier said. Minton said he fired warning shots after the Scientologists trespassed at his 200-acre estate and yelled obscenities at a guest in his pool." It concluded: "Minton says he has spent more then $2-million to help finance opposition to Scientology, providing shelter and money for some former members. He also is helping finance lawsuits, including one filed on behalf of Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died in Clearwater under mysterious circumstances."
August 14, 1998: The Rockingham, New Hampshire News published a letter to the editor from Boston Scientology OSA operative Frank Ofman in which he accused Mr. Minton of being mentally unstable. Ofman twisted the facts not only of the trespassing incident but also of Mr. Minton's personal history to paint a picture of Mr. Minton as irrational and dangerous, in an obvious effort to discredit him. He wrote: "Robert Minton of Sandown apparently shot at peaceful Church of Scientology parishioners without rational reasons - he claims he has been emotionally damaged by his brutal involuntarily incarceration into a psychiatric institution at the age of 16. What led to Minton's involuntary commitment is not commonly known, but the residual hostility within him is very evident Minton stated on several occasions the irreparable damage psychiatry has had on his youth and his overall depression in life. Perhaps this is a similar story to that of the recent Capitol Hill gunman, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., who also had a long history of emotional problems before his frenzied shooting. Who can tell what really set Minton off to fire a shotgun at peaceful Church parishioners who were merely asserting their freedom of speech? Did he just take on the colors of the psychiatric enemies he was trying to fight? It was fortunate that the skilled police officers of Sandown arrived early enough on the scene to handcuff Mr. Minton and protect him against himself and others ." It was later learned that the newspaper published the letter only after intense pressure from Scientology, including threats to sue over its previous news report on Mr. Minton.
August 24, 1998: Scientologists picketed the Turan Corporation in Boston. Robert Smith, the head of Turan, was Mr. Minton's former business associate and had been quoted in the New York Times in December 1997 saying, "He's a man of principle and a very tenacious person."
Now he became a target himself for his support of Mr. Minton. Scientologists passed out fliers headlined "Turan Corp. Connection to the Religious Bigotry of Robert S. Minton," in which they sought to smear Smith by linking him to Mr. Minton. The flier stated: "Robert Minton, a man with links to Turan Corporation's Robert Smith, has blatantly lied to the American public and media about our church, its members, its goals and actions. We refuse to allow our religion to be smeared and maligned any longer. Minton has held himself out on national television and to the press to be an upstanding citizen, but he is using his many millions of dollars to force his bigoted views onto our church and its parishioners to 'reform it' He promotes an agenda of bigotry."
In one of the first indications that Scientology was investigating Mr. Minton's work in Nigeria, the flier stated: "Minton and Smith did business in Nigeria. Minton made a lot of his money, he says, by helping the country's dictatorial leadership to successfully default on multi-million dollar loans. Everyone with the inside knowledge benefited but as events and statistics show, the people suffered. While millions were siphoned off in 'commissions,' and lenders had to write off huge losses, the leaders of the country completely ignored the human suffering and misery of its citizens. Is this how a man of principal acts?" The flier was signed: "By the Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee of the Parishioners of the Church of Scientology of Boston."
August 26, 1998: Therese Minton received her third letter from Rinder, saying he wanted to speak with her about Mr. Minton. Still hoping to convince her to meet with him, he wrote, "I imagine that by this time you have probably become aware that some of the things I said in my earlier letters have now proven true. As a matter of fact, I can show you a great deal of information supporting the statements in those letters. I believe there is much more information that you do not have concerning the activities of Mr. Minton and the people he has gotten hooked up with. Clearly, Mr. Minton's involvement with Stacy Young and others has not had a positive effect on your family. While I am sure you have been told various lies about me and the Church of Scientology, you have no downside in hearing what information I have to offer. I would like the opportunity to speak with you face to face. You can call (213 960 3500) or fax me (213 960 3508)."
August 30, 1998: Scientology picketed and passed out fliers in front of Mr. Minton's home on Beacon Hill in Boston. Scientologists carried picket signs clearly intended for Therese and the children to see. Mr. Minton and Therese had separated, and he had been seeing Stacy Brooks. Some of the signs described Ms. Brooks as a vamp destroying the Minton family by breaking up their marriage, and another sign implored Mr. Minton not to destroy the lives of his children. The fliers were passed out to friends, neighbors, and parents of the Minton children's classmates.
August 31, 1998: Scientologists again picketed Mr. Minton's home in Boston, and passed out fliers referring to Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks as adulterers. The Scientologists also picketed Mr. Minton's home in New Hampshire, where his daughters were staying with him. They held up signs that were obviously intended to upset Mr. Minton's daughters.
September 2, 1998: Eight Scientologists greeted Mr. Minton and Jesse Prince at their gate as they arrived at the Boston airport. The Scientologists created such a disturbance at baggage claim that four state troopers were required to restore order. After both sides were questioned the troopers told the Scientologists that had they known that they were demonstrating in the airport they would have been arrested, since FAA regulations prohibit such unlawful assembly at the airport.
September 1998: Mr. Minton and Stacy were stalked through Chinatown in San Francisco by OSA operatives who videotaped them as they walked. They called the police, but when the officer heard that Scientology was involved he called his superior, who came to the scene and apologized, saying there was nothing he could do because the San Francisco Police Department could not afford a lawsuit from Scientology.
September 5, 1998: A large group of Scientologists picketed Therese Minton and the Mintons' two daughters in front of their house in Boston.
September 6, 1998: Two Scientologists, Maureen O'Keefe and Joe Stover, picketed Mr. Minton's house in New Hampshire. The Sandown police arrived and ordered the Scientologists to leave, telling them they were creating a hazard on the road.
September 7, 1998: Scientologists picketed Mr. Minton's home in New Hampshire again, but it was done in a car, with the picket signs held out of the car windows.
September 8, 1998: Scientologists again picketed the Minton house in Boston. Several friends of the Mintons' daughters were given fliers about Mr. Minton.
September 10, 1998: Scientologists came up to Mr. Minton's house in New Hampshire again to hold picket signs out of the car windows as they drove back and forth past the house.
September 10, 1998: Mr. Minton drove Jesse Prince down to Boston from New Hampshire to take him to the airport. They stopped at the Boston Scientology center to picket, and two Boston Scientologists, Frank Ofman and Kevin Hall, began assaulting Mr. Minton both verbally and physically. Frank Ofman in particular was screaming at Mr. Minton and pushing him repeatedly. Finally Ofman grabbed Mr. Minton's picket sign and broke the stick. Mr. Minton tossed the broken end of the stick at Ofman in disgust and then called the police. But when the police came the Scientologists showed them a video in which Ofman's assault of Mr. Minton was missing and the only thing on the tape was Mr. Minton tossing the broken piece at Ofman. Under pressure from the Scientologists, the police then handcuffed Mr. Minton and arrested him for battery. Scientology immediately posted the arrest photos on the Internet and announced that Mr. Minton was a criminal. However, on December 16, the judge dismissed the charges, directing Mr. Minton to fax a notice to the Boston Scientology center before he picketed for the next three months. Although the charges were dismissed, Scientology continued to portray Mr. Minton as a criminal who had been "arrested for assault."
September 10, 1998: One aspect of Kevin Hall's verbal assault of Mr. Minton in front of the Boston Scientology center was particularly disturbing. At the time, Mr. Minton had had several sessions with a Cambridge psychologist named Terry Real. Dr. Real was counseling both Mr. Minton and his wife Therese, who were separating. Kevin Hall repeated statements that Mr. Minton had made to his therapist and to no one else. The only conclusion that Mr. Minton could draw was that Scientology had put pressure on Dr. Real to reveal confidential information from his sessions. Within days of that incident, Dr. Real called Therese Minton and abruptly informed her that he would no longer see either her or Mr. Minton. He refused to give a reason and hung up quickly. Kevin Hall also verbally assaulted Jesse Prince with information from his auditing sessions in Scientology. Scientology claims that this information is kept confidential; however, when someone leaves Scientology their auditing files are culled for embarrassing and upsetting information so that it can be used to harass the person. Mr. Prince's auditing files were last known to be in Gilman Hot Springs, California.
September 12, 1998: Several Scientologist met Mr. Prince with picket signs at his gate at the Minneapolis airport. As he walked through the airport the Scientologists shouted obscenities at him.
September 12, 1998: Atlanta Scientology OSA operative Diane Stein called Stacy Brooks' mother in Atlanta. She told her that her daughter was part of a "hate group" and that she was involved in illegal activities.
September 15, 1998: A group of Scientologists went to the office of Dr. Abernathy, a psychiatrist Mr. Minton had been seeing at Massachusetts General Hospital. They confronted Dr. Abernathy and demanded to speak to him about Mr. Minton.
September 23, 1998: Four Scientology operatives picketed Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks in the Columbus, Ohio, airport as they went to their gate. Mr. Minton called airport security and informed them of the FAA regulation against unlawful assembly in an airport, and the picketers were escorted out.
September 23, 1998: When Stacy Brooks arrived at her home in Seattle she was greeted by three Scientologists picketing her home. One of the signs read: "Bob Minton was arrested for assault on September 10 in Boston."
September 28, 1998: Peter Franks, a British private investigator hired by Scientology, spread the word to many of Therese Minton's friends in England and to Mr. Minton's former business partner, Jeff Schmidt, that Therese, the Mintons' two daughters, and Mr. Schmidt were going to be followed in order to bring pressure on Mr. Minton to stop his activities concerning Scientology.
Mr. Schmidt's office had been picketed and leafleted at this point for several weeks, as had his home, while his wife and children were there. Franks threatened to go after Mr. Schmidt's clients, one of which was the Nigerian government. Franks said they would arrange picketing of the Nigerian delegation to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington, D. C., which was set for October 4-8 the next month. Franks promised that Mr. Schmidt would be caught in a web of an IRS tax investigation of Mr. Minton and in his own problems with the Inland Revenue Service, England's equivalent of the IRS. Franks said that unless Mr. Schmidt did something to help Scientology go after Mr. Minton, he would have serious trouble on his hands, since the seven-year statute of limitations had not yet run out on the activities he and Mr. Minton were engaged in together (their partnership ended in 1993.)
Franks also said that all of Therese's neighbors would be visited in Boston, and the "whole ugly scene" would be laid out for all to hear. The children's schools would be targeted for the same campaign, which would include teachers, administrators and parents, to paint Mr. Minton as a pariah. He let it be known that he expected Therese and Jeff to pressure Mr. Minton into quitting the work he was doing concerning Scientology.
September 28, 1998: Two New Hampshire newspapers contacted Mr. Minton to ask him about a flier that had been distributed to every resident in Sandown over the previous few days. The title of the flier was "The Truth About Robert Minton, Leader of an Anti-Religious Hate Group." The flier characterized Mr. Minton as irrational, unstable and violent, deliberately twisting the facts of the trespassing incident and of the incident that led to Mr. Minton's arrest in Boston, charges that were later dismissed after Mr. Minton's attorney made it clear to the judge that Scientology had set him up for a false arrest.
Clearly intended to isolate Mr. Minton from his neighbors in Sandown by frightening them, the flier stated: "When his hatemongering against our parishioners was give prominence in the Boston media, our church was repeatedly vandalized. We said then that he was a trigger's width from an outburst of psychotic violence. His violence struck recently." The flier then gave an outrageously false and exaggerated account of the incident that had led to Mr. Minton's false arrest in Boston: "Reeking of alcohol, Minton turned up outside a Church of Scientology on 10/9/98 carrying picket signs and started abusing staff and parishioners. When two Scientologists tried to stop him, he thrust his sign into the face of one, knocking off his glasses. He finally smashed a stick over the head of the second, who was taken to the hospital." The flier ended by saying "Mr. Minton has paid to create an atmosphere of intolerance against our religion. His religious bigotry, hatred and violence must stop." It was signed by "Free Speech and Religious Freedom Committee of the Parishioners of the Church of Scientology."
September 29, 1998: Scientology private investigator Peter Franks told Jeff Schmidt that Scientology would take care of all divorce matters between Therese and Mr. Minton.
September 1998: Two of Stacy Brooks' sisters were picketed at their homes, one in Atlanta and one in Duluth, Minnesota. Fliers about her were handed out in both neighborhoods. One flier stated: "Please tell Stacy to tell Mr. Minton that he should stop spending his money to hurt the Church of Scientology." The picketers couldn't get a single person to take one of their fliers other then the copy Stacy's sister took to send to Stacy.
September 1998: A flier was pushed through the mail slot at Stacy Brooks' mother's house in Atlanta. The title was "Robert S. Minton & Stacy Brooks Young -- The truth behind the lies." The flier said, in part: "Robert Minton and Stacy Young have blatantly lied to the American public and media about our Church, its members, its goals and actions. We refuse to allow our religion to be smeared and maligned any longer . Minton made a lot of his money, he says, by helping Nigeria and other third world country's dictatorial leadership to successfully default on multimillion-dollar loans. Everyone with the inside knowledge benefited but, as events and statistics show, while millions are siphoned off in "commissions" and lenders had to write off huge losses, the leaders of Nigeria completely ignored the human suffering and misery of its citizens. Is this how men of principle act?" This flier was signed "Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee of the Parishioners of the Church of Scientology of Georgia."
September 1998: Virtually the same flier was distributed in San Francisco, signed "Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee of the Parishioners of the Church of Scientology of San Francisco."
October 2, 1998: Maureen O'Keefe, then head of OSA in Boston, wrote Therese Minton a letter in an attempt to befriend her and gain her trust so that she would turn against Mr. Minton. In the letter O'Keefe denied that the Minton children had been followed or harassed in any way and described a meeting between Mr. Minton and her that was a complete fabrication, saying, "On August 13, 1998, your husband tried to force his way into the Church of Scientology in Boston. I stopped him. He told me, with more hate than I hope your children ever experience, that he intended to destroy Scientology. At that moment, I decided that I would no longer sit back and listen to his vicious lies about my religion and my friends and I were going to do everything I legally could to stop him from interfering with my Constitutional Right to practice the religion of my choice. I made this very clear to him that day. It is a promise I intend to keep."
October 5, 1998: Peter Franks, Scientology's British private investigator, had a letter hand-delivered to Mr. Minton's former business partner Jeff Schmidt while Mr. Scmidt was attending the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington, D.C. The letter was obviously sent in an attempt to convince Mr. Schmidt to turn against Mr. Minton and work with Franks. Mr. Schmidt did not reply.
October 3, 1998: Jesse Prince and Stacy Brooks were on their way to New Hampshire to help Mr. Minton celebrate his birthday. They were standing in line at their gate at the Seattle, Washington, airport, when two DEA agents pulled them out of the line and began to search their carry-on bags. Another agent with a German shepherd that appeared to be a drug dog stood nearby. One of the agents opened Ms. Brooks' computer case and discovered a draft of an affidavit she had brought with her to review on the airplane. When he saw it, the agent suddenly looked at her and asked, "Are you an attorney?" Ms. Brooks replied that she was a consultant to several attorneys on the subject of Scientology, and that the kind of harassment that she and Mr. Prince were being subjected to by the two DEA agents at that moment was part of a pattern of harassment to which she had been subjected for the past five years. When she said this, the two agents suddenly closed the bags they had been searching, stood up, apologized for having bothered them, and quickly left the terminal.
October 9, 1998: Peter Franks sent a flier to a New Hampshire company in which Mr. Minton and Jeff Schmidt had substantial investments. The title of the flier was "What is Jeffrey Schmidt's connection to the religious bigotry of Robert S. Minton?" It then went on to repeat many of the same lies of previous fliers, except this one was tailor-made to target Mr. Schmidt. It stated, "Robert Minton, a wealthy American with past business ties to Jeffrey Schmidt of Hillsleigh International Ltd., has blatantly lied to the public and media about our Church, the Church of Scientology, its members, its goals and actions . Minton and Jeffrey Schmidt made a lot of money through Mr. Schmidt's contacts, by helping the dictatorial leadership of Nigeria and other third world countries to successfully default on multimillion pound loans. Those who had the inside knowledge benefited in the debt trading business but, as events and statistics show, while millions of pounds were siphoned off in "commissions" and lenders had to write off huge losses, the leaders of Nigeria ignored the human suffering and misery of its citizens. Is this how men of principle act?" It was signed "Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee of the Parishioners of the Church of Scientology." The owners were so upset by the flier that they called Jeff Schmidt to tell him he must find a way to buy out Mr. Minton's interest in the company.
October 9, 1998: British private investigator Peter Franks had a fourteen-page package of scurrilous material delivered to the Nigerian Minister of Finance while the minister was attending the IMF conference in Washington D.C. A copy of the package was also delivered to Jeff Schmidt at the conference. The theme of the material was that Mr. Minton, Jeff and their other partner, Selwyn Lewis, had profited from the economic woes of Nigeria. The intent of the material was clearly to discourage the Nigerian government from doing business with Mr. Schmidt. It was also clear that Franks was sending Mr. Schmidt a message about what would happen to him if he continued to support Mr. Minton.
October 12, 1998: Jesse Prince and Stacy Brooks were met by two OSA operatives, Gerard Renna and Maureen O' Keefe, as they arrived at their gate at the Boston airport. The Scientologists said they wanted to engage in some "real communication" to try to "resolve our differences." However, the presence of the two operatives made it clear that Mr. Prince and Ms. Brooks were under surveillance.
October 1998: Fliers were distributed about Mr. Minton calling him the leader of an anti-religious hate group. Titled "The Truth about Robert S. Minton, Leader of an Anti-Religious Hate Group," the flier portrayed Mr. Minton as a man of violence with a history of psychiatric instability. The shotgun incident was now described as "violence" against "Scientologists engaged in a peaceful demonstration." The incident in Boston was described in grossly exaggerated terms to characterize Mr. Minton as dangerous.
The flier ended by saying, "Mr. Minton of Sandown, New Hampshire has paid to create an atmosphere of intolerance against our religion. His religious bigotry, hatred and violence must stop." It was signed by the "Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee of the Parishioners of the Church of Scientology."
November 3, 1998: Stacy Brooks arrived at her home on Vashon Island after a trip to find six Scientologists waiting for her with picket signs. They blocked her from going down her driveway, screaming obscenities at her and lunging at her car in a threatening way. She remained quiet and did not react, and after several minutes they backed away so that she could get home.
November 8, 1998: As Ms. Brooks drove out of her driveway on Vashon Island to run an errand, she encountered several Scientology picketers waiting for her on the side of the road. One of the picketers ran over to Stacy's van and thrust a flier at the window. The title was "Creating Hatred and Bigotry - Would you give your money to someone who is " and it then went on to list several unsavory types of people, including "an accused child molester a former pornography editor a member of an anti-Semitic group run by the most influential neo-Nazi in the world a group which has been involved in kidnapping for hire and which went bankrupt following a multimillion dollar verdict for civil rights violations under the anti-KKK laws."
The intent of the fliers was to characterize Scientology critics as criminals and perverts, and to identify Mr. Minton as the kind of person who would support that kind of individual. The flier accused him of launching a "$2 million-plus anti-religious hate campaign against members of the Church of Scientology." It then repeated the "evidence" of Mr. Minton's violent nature, distorting both incidents beyond recognition: "In July 1998, Minton fired a shotgun at several Scientologists who had been protesting on public property against his actions," and "In September, Minton violently struck a Scientologist with a stick outside the Church of Scientology in Boston and was arrested. He is currently facing felony charges for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon over this incident." These statements were flagrant lies. The flier was signed "Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee of the Church of Scientology of Washington State."
November 14, 1998: Multiple felony charges were filed against the Flag Service Organization of the Church of Scientology in Clearwater. This case was State of Florida v. FSO regarding Lisa McPherson's death at the hands of Scientology. The Scientology leadership considered Mr. Minton responsible for much of the attention that had been brought to Lisa McPherson's death.
November 16, 1998: Boston Scientology operative Gerard Renna met Mr. Minton and Jesse at their gate at the Boston airport as they prepared to leave for England to meet with Jeff Schmidt, Mr. Minton's former partner. Again, the message was: "We know where you are all the time."
November 27, 1998: Mr. Minton received an email newsletter from the "Friends of Religious Liberty." Again the trespassing incident was recounted, but now the story was unrecognizable from the original, with the Scientologists playing the role of innocent victims: "In July 1998, Mr. Minton fired a shotgun at three Scientologists who were on the road in front of his house (in a peaceful demonstration protesting his hate campaign)." The incident in front of the Boston Scientology center was also repeated, and that story was also unrecognizable from the truth. Now Mr. Minton was depicted as a raging monster, with the poor Scientologists the innocent victims of his violence: "The following day, reeking of alcohol, Minton and Prince turned up outside the Church of Scientology in Boston carrying picket signs and started harassing staff and parishioners. When two Scientologists tried to stop him, Minton thrust his sign into the face of one, knocking his glasses off. He finally smashed a stick over the head of the second, who was taken to the hospital. Minton was arrested and arraigned on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Boston and is currently facing trial." There were new lies too; Stacy Brooks was reported to have received "scream therapy" at the "Wellspring deprogramming/brainwashing center in Ohio."
December 3, 1998: Stacy Brooks and Jesse Prince were guests on WFLA talk radio, the public radio station in Clearwater, Florida, during Lisa McPherson Memorial Week. They talked about their own experiences while in Scientology at the highest levels of management, including being incarcerated in Scientology's political prison camp, known as the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF).
December 14, 1998: Mr. Minton's attorney Stephen Jonas made it clear to Boston Municipal Judge Hershfang that it was Scientology that had been at fault rather than Mr. Minton in the September 10 incident with Frank Ofman involving the broken picket sign. The judge dismissed the charges against Mr. Minton. Under pressure from the Scientologists, however, the court made a provision that Mr. Minton must notify Scientology an hour before picketing in front of the Scientology center in Boston. By 4:45pm that same afternoon, Scientology officials were already in touch with Boston police, falsely alleging that Mr. Minton had picketed the Scientology center unannounced.
December 14, 1998: Mr. Minton appeared on Arts and Entertainment Channel (A&E) Investigative Reports, on a program entitled "Inside Scientology." Mike Rinder from OSA was the spokesman for Scientology.
December 16, 1998: Frank Ofman sent a letter to the Massachusetts district attorney's office with an ex-parte copy to Judge Hershfang. The letter complained that Mr. Minton had already violated the dismissal agreement by dropping off his "agents" to picket the Scientology center in Boston. Since the judge received a copy of this letter, he summoned the district attorney and Mr. Minton's attorney Stephen Jonas to his office, where he learned that Mr. Minton had not violated the dismissal agreement at all. Afterwards the district attorney berated the Scientologists for their "provocative acts." After the hearing, Scientologists picketed Therese Minton at her home on Beacon Hill with signs announcing Mr. Minton's relationship with Stacy Brooks. The picket was timed to coincide with the Minton girls' arrival home from school.
December 17, 1998: The same two Scientology operatives, Frank Ofman and Kevin Hall, videotaped Mr. Minton as he picketed the Scientology center in Boston, both trying to provoke Mr. Minton into saying that he hit Frank Ofman first during the September 10 incident. Both Ofman and Hall said the same thing repeatedly to Mr. Minton. Hall would say, "Come on Bob, why won't you just admit that you hit Frank first?" Mr. Minton would laugh and say, "I can't admit to something that never happened." Then Hall would say, "Come on, Bob, you should apologize to Frank for hitting him and then lying about it." Their attempt to put an "admission" on videotape was unsuccessful, however.
December 20, 1998: Scientologists led by Maureen O'Keefe had a truckload of food delivered to the Sandown Food Pantry. This was done after the Scientologists found out that their fliers about Mr. Minton had turned many of the people in town against Scientology.
December 21, 1998: In a move designed purely for harassment, Kevin Hall and three other Scientologists, including Mary Frances Newey with a video camera, drove up to Mr. Minton's house in New Hampshire and waited until he and Ms. Brooks came out the front door. Then they drove by, yelling, "Merry Christmas, Bob and Stacy!" with Mary Frances videotaping them in the driveway.
December 21, 1998: KFI radio in LA did a live show with Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks about Scientology.
December 22, 1998: While walking back to the house after some shopping, Therese Minton noticed that there were fliers on cars and doorsteps all over Beacon Hill. Upon arriving at her house with the girls, She found a handful of fliers on her doorstep that were clearly aimed at Therese and the children, their friends, neighbors and acquaintances in Boston. The flier had a photograph of Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks and was titled "We Call It Adultery." It ended: "Minton has spent over $2 million of his family's wealth creating hatred and bigotry towards members of our religion. Minton's behavior is socially obnoxious and morally impaired." The flier was signed: "Friends of Religious Freedom."
December 23, 1998: Mr. Minton was a guest on the Los Angeles public radio station KFI on "The John and Ken Show." Scientologist John Carmichael was the other guest.
December 24, 1998: At 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, several Boston Scientologists, including Kevin Hall, drove by Mr. Minton's house in New Hampshire shouting "Merry Christmas!" at the top of their lungs. The Scientologists folded some of their fliers into paper airplanes and threw them at Mr. Minton's door.
December 26, 1998: All the residents of Sandown, New Hampshire received an "Open Letter to Sandown Residents" from Maureen O'Keefe of the Boston Scientology center. With a large American flag at the top of the page, the letter purported to be from the "Committee on Constitutional Rights." The letter was full of lies and innuendo about Mr. Minton and was clearly calculated to turn the town of Sandown against him. The letter is a good example of how Scientology accuses a critic of spreading lies and hatred simply because the critic is exposing Scientology's illegal activities and its violations of civil and human rights. Anything critical of Scientology is denounced as lies and hate-mongering. As explained in the introduction, a critic must be identified as a criminal. If he or she does not already have a criminal record, then a criminal record must be created or invented. O'Keefe slipped a veiled threat into the closing of her letter when she said, "Our message to him is quite simple: 'You leave us alone. We'll leave you alone.'" This overt reference to one of Scientology's infamous "Fair Game" policies was clearly intended to warn Mr. Minton to back off. Attached to O'Keefe's open letter was a "fact sheet" consisting of a by-now familiar litany of lies about several critics of Scientology. Also included in the "fact sheet" were repetitions of the same two incidents involving Mr. Minton. Rather than trespassing, the Scientologists had now been on "public property": "In July 1998, Minton fired a shotgun at several Scientologists who had been protesting on public property against his actions," and "In September 1998, Minton violently struck a Scientologist with a stick outside of the Church of Scientology in Boston and was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon." There was no mention that the charges were dismissed, and no mention that the violence was committed by a Scientologist who broke Mr. Minton's picket sign, not by Mr. Minton. In a typical example of Scientology's deliberate role reversal, O'Keefe ended her letter by saying, "We support religious freedom and tolerance and call for an end to the lies and hate."
December 27, 1998: Mr. Minton was a guest on KFUO Radio, part of the nationwide Christian Radio Jubilee Network in Detroit. Don Matzat, host of Issues, Etc, interviewed him. The title of the program was "Scientology - Religious Mafia?"
December 28, 1998: While Mr. Prince was visiting Ms. Brooks at her home on Vashon Island, Scientologists distributed a flier about Mr. Prince in Ms. Brooks' neighborhood. The flier featured a photograph of Mr. Prince and was titled, "The Face of Religious Bigotry." It accused Mr. Prince of buying drugs and being paid "thousands of dollars" to attack Scientology. Mr. Prince had recently visited Mr. Minton in New Hampshire. After a day of clearing underbrush in Mr. Minton's 200 acres of woods, Mr. Minton and Mr. Prince were on their way back to the house carrying axes when a group of Scientologists drove by Mr. Minton's house with picket signs. This incident had now been transformed in the flier into another example of Mr. Minton's violence. The flier was signed, "From the Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee Church of Scientology, Seattle."
January 1999: A long-term Scientology spy was uncovered after having been sent in on FACTNet, Mr. Minton, Jesse Prince, and Stacy Brooks.
January - February 1999: As directors of FACTNet, Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks were involved in settlement negotiations with high-level Scientologists Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder for a period of two months. The main purpose of the settlement discussions from the Scientology perspective was to persuade Mr. Minton to sign an agreement to stop funding litigation and cut off money to people fighting Scientology. Once again, the Scientologists said that if Mr. Minton would quit giving financial and litigation support to others, they would leave Mr. Minton and his friends and family alone. In negotiations on this matter, Mr. Minton said he intended to continue to support the McPherson case. The Scientologists said they would not cease their harassment of him unless ALL support was cut, especially the McPherson case. No agreement was reached between Mr. Minton and the Scientologists, although a settlement was concluded in the FACTNet case. True to their word, the Scientologists continued the campaign to destroy Mr. Minton.
February 12, 1999: Mr. Minton delivered a speech entitled "A Warning on the Evils of Scientology" at the Leo J. Ryan Educational Foundation conference in Stamford, Connecticut.
March 1999: Scientology turned its full attention on Jeff Schmidt, Mr. Minton's former business partner, harassing him relentlessly to get him to put pressure on Mr. Minton to stop exposing Scientology's criminal conduct.
March 12, 1999: Several Scientologists picketed the home of Jesse Prince's father in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Prince Sr. called the police, who ordered the picketers to leave.
April 1999: A Danish television station asked Jesse Prince to fly to Copenhagen to be interviewed for a documentary about Scientology. Aaron Mason, a member of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs in Los Angeles, sent the station manager a large pack of materials designed to portray Mr. Prince as an immoral and dangerous criminal. Mr. Prince was in Copenhagen for approximately two weeks, and he was followed by Scientology operatives throughout his stay.
July 1999: While Mr. Minton was conducting peaceful protests against Scientology in Clearwater, Scientology operatives let him know by remarks made to him that they knew his wife and children were in Spain. Three times during his family's visit to Spain, a Scientology operative photographed them.
July 1999: Scientology operatives broke into Jeff Schmidt's London office and photocopied extensive files. Mr. Schmidt was later told by a Scientology private investigator that if he could not convince Mr. Minton to end his opposition to Scientology, all of the files would be turned over to the Inland Revenue and the Nigerian media. Mr. Schmidt called Mr. Minton and begged him to stop criticizing Scientology. Mr. Minton tried to convince Mr. Schmidt to go to the authorities and report Scientology's conduct as blackmail, but Mr. Schmidt was frightened of what the Scientologists would do to him and his family, and he refused.
August 1999: A Scientology private investigator from Denver, Colorado, visited the mother of Jesse Prince's daughter and attempted to induce her to sign a derogatory statement about Mr. Prince. The man told her that Mr. Prince had sexually abused her many years before, and that she should press charges against him for it. Only when the woman threatened to call the police did the man agree to leave.
August 18, 1999: An email was sent to Mr. Minton under the pseudonym "Alberto Rafallo." The sender accused Mr. Minton of illegally controlling the litigation that attorneys Dan Leipold and Ken Dandar were conducting, based on the funding that Mr. Minton had provided for lawsuits whose clients these attorneys represented. This was the first indication that Scientology would begin to attack Mr. Minton directly for the funding he was providing to various litigation efforts. (In fact, Mr. Minton has never attempted to exert any control whatsoever over any of the litigation for which he has provided funds. Yet Scientology has characterized his funding of the suits as an effort on his part to capitalize on religious bigotry and hate mongering. None of Scientology's attorneys has ever made it clear how Mr. Minton could possibly be making money from his efforts to end Scientology's criminal conduct. To date, he has spent several million dollars with no expectation of ever getting any of his money back.) "Alberto Raffallo" apparently hoped to frighten Mr. Minton into responding by threatening to post his information to the Internet. Mr. Minton never responded to him, and the information was never posted.
August 26-27, 1999: Mr. Minton and Stacy Brooks had dinner at the Palm Restaurant in Philadelphia with Ken Dandar, the attorney for the Lisa McPherson estate in the wrongful death case brought against Scientology's Clearwater arm. Several Scientologists surrounded the table during dinner in an attempt to harass them, and the next morning six Scientologists picketed outside the hotel where they were staying.
September 1999: The same Scientology private investigator that had followed Jesse Prince in Denver followed him from Boulder, Colorado, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The man checked into the same hotel where Mr. Prince was staying. Later, surveillance photographs of Mr. Prince and a friend were posted on the Internet. A number of Mr. Prince's former business contacts reported that they had been visited by a Scientology private investigator attempting to discredit Mr. Prince.
September 17, 1999: Therese Minton received an anonymous letter informing her that Mr. Minton had been in Philadelphia with Stacy Brooks. Also included in the envelope was a copy of a post made by former Scientologist Charlotte Kates on ARS. The subject was "An Evening at the Palm," dated 08/27/99. The post was included as evidence that Mr. Minton was in Philadelphia.
October 1999: An old friend of Jesse Prince called him to let him know that a Scientology private investigator had contacted him and offered him $10,000 to act as a go-between so that a settlement between Scientology and Mr. Prince could be reached.
October 15-27, 1999: Ms. Brooks tried to lease office space in downtown Clearwater in preparation for opening the Lisa McPherson Trust, Inc. but was refused by every office building. On October 21, MKV Realty, the company that owns the Sun Trust Building at 601 Cleveland Avenue, became the first to refuse. The owner would not to return telephone calls, and the manager would not say why the lease had been refused. Mr. Minton was prepared to pay the full amount of the first year's lease in advance, but this did not resolve the problem. Because no legitimate reason was forthcoming, Ms. Brooks suspected that Scientology was trying to stop her from leasing any space, but she had no proof. One of the realtors finally admitted to her that he had received information about the principles of the Lisa McPherson Trust, including information that Mr. Minton had been convicted of assault and battery with a deadly weapon stemming from an incident in September 1998 in which he caused serious bodily harm to a Scientologist in Boston. This was patently false and information was sent to the realtor to correct this. However, he still refused to lease to the Lisa Trust. He then admitted that Scientology had contacted him and threatened to put pressure on all of the other tenants to move out if he leased space to the Lisa McPherson Trust.
October 19-20, 1999: Mr. Minton received telephone calls from several people who lived in his Boston neighborhood. They said they had received a letter from Scientology that read as follows: "If you have any dealings with Mr. Minton of 137 Fremont Rd., Sandown, New Hampshire, please be aware of his activities on the internet. This sort of behavior by Mr. Minton has occurred repeatedly and he has acted out some of his expressions in the form of violence at various times. He appears to be incapable of controlling himself; thus you are being alerted."
October 25, 1999: Mr. Minton received telephone calls from five different people in Sandown, New Hampshire, from different parts of town, telling him they had received the same letter that was sent out in Boston the preceding week.
October 26, 1999: The two schools that Mr. Minton's daughters attended in Boston received the same letter that Scientology had mailed out in Boston and Sandown.
October 26, 1999: Mr. Minton received a four-page newsletter from Scientology in his mailbox. It was called "Clear Body Clear Mind" and appeared to be a promotional mailing for a Scientology procedure called the Purification Rundown. This was mailed from the Dianetics Center of Massachusetts.
October 30, 1999: A Halloween flier was put on Mr. Minton's and other mailboxes on Fremont Road in Sandown, New Hampshire. The flier featured a photograph of Mr. Minton and a headline that read: "Trick or Treaters Beware!"
October 31, 1999: Mr. Minton arrived at the Tampa International Airport and was met by two Scientologists, who shouted at him, "Bob, what are you doing in our town? Get out of our town!" He and Ms. Brooks were then followed from the airport to Clearwater, and to their hotel. Richard Howd was one of the Scientologists who followed Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks from the airport to their hotel. Mr. Minton stopped the car near the entrance to the hotel and got out to confront the Scientologists. While Mr. Minton spoke to the woman who was driving the car, Mr. Howd held a video camera inches from Mr. Minton's face. He continued to do this throughout the conversation, until Mr. Minton got back into his car. That evening Mr. Minton picketed in front of the Fort Harrison Hotel, and again Richard Howd was there, keeping a video camera inches from his face as he walked back and forth picketing. Ms. Brooks was also there, videotaping so that there would be a record of what happened, as the presence of Mr. Howd was a disturbing signal that the harassment against Mr. Minton was escalating. Finally, as Mr. Minton rounded the corner of the building, two Scientologists blocked Ms. Brooks so that she could not follow with her camera. Richard Howd pushed Mr. Minton while he was sure he was not being videotaped. At this point Mr. Minton decided to call the police. He began to cross the street and pulled out his cell phone to call, but Richard Howd followed Mr. Minton across the street, holding the video camera close to Mr. Minton's ear. Mr. Minton turned around and told Howd to get away from him, thrusting his sign at him defensively. The sign grazed Howd's eyebrow. Immediately Howd fell to the ground, moaning as if he were in extreme pain. The police arrived and the Scientologists showed them the videotape of Mr. Minton thrusting his sign at Howd as he crossed the street. Because there was no videotape of Howd's earlier assault on Mr. Minton, the Scientologists were able to convince the police to arrest Mr. Minton. He was handcuffed and taken to the Pinellas County Jail, arrested for battery. Scientology immediately began to send Mr. Minton's mug shot to his friends and neighbors in an effort to identify him as a criminal. (Mr. Minton went to trial in March 2000 and was acquitted after the jury heard evidence that made it clear Mr. Minton had been set up by Scientology. However, Scientology has continued to this day to use this incident to harass Mr. Minton.)
November 1999: Jesse Prince accepted an invitation from the German Secret Service to meet with them in Mannheim so that they could interview him about Scientology. Mr. Prince was there for three days and was followed by Scientology operatives constantly while he was there. One evening, two Scientology operatives attempted to force Mr. Prince into a car with them. Mr. Prince was forced to run into a crowd to escape. Before he left Germany Mr. Prince met with an editor of the German magazine Der Spiegel for an interview about child abuse in Scientology's Sea Organization. On his return to the United States Mr. Prince had a layover in Amsterdam. A Scientology private investigator followed him to an Internet café there and watched him as he sent an email to Mr. Minton. Later, Scientology falsely reported in the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case that Mr. Prince had been seen smoking marijuana in the café.
November 1, 1999: Mr. Minton had decided to buy a building in downtown Clearwater for the Lisa McPherson Trust, since Scientology had successfully blocked him from leasing office space in any of the office buildings downtown. The morning after Mr. Minton's arrest, Scott Brauer, the owner of the property at 33 North Fort Harrison Avenue, was giving Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks a tour of his building when suddenly seven Scientologists burst into the room and began screaming at Mr. Brauer, "Don't do business with this man! He's a criminal! He was arrested last night for assaulting a Scientologist!" Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks had already told Mr. Brauer what happened the night before. Mr. Brauer ordered the Scientologists out of the building, informing them that they were trespassing. They then began picketing the building and taking photographs of Mr. Brauer's clients as they arrived. Mr. Brauer then called the police, who came in and introduced themselves to Mr. Minton and thanked him for taking a stand against Scientology. When Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks left the building, the Scientologists followed them to their car in the parking lot across the street and surrounded the car in a menacing manner. They blocked them from leaving the parking lot until the manager of the parking lot called the police.
November 4, 1999: An anonymous flier showing the mug shot from Mr. Minton's Clearwater arrest was sent to over 4,000 Sandown, New Hampshire, residents, Mr. Minton's friends and family in Boston and England, parents of Mr. Minton's daughters' classmates and the schools of Mr. Minton's two daughters. A private detective visited the twelve houses in the small English village where Mr. Minton's father-in-law lived, informing everyone in the village about Mr. Minton's arrest in Clearwater.
November 6, 1999: Mr. Minton was served with a temporary restraining order, enjoining him from coming within 150 yards of the 18 Scientology buildings in Clearwater, and also enjoining him from coming within 150 yards of any individual Scientologist. Because there are so many Scientologists in Clearwater, this effectively barred Mr. Minton from Clearwater.
November 20, 1999: A private investigator hired by Scientology contacted the father of Leslie White in New Canaan, Connecticut. Ms. Brooks and Mr. Minton had both stayed with the White family in February 1998 to help Leslie, who had just left Scientology and was close to having a nervous breakdown. The private investigator falsely stated to Leslie's father that he had been hired by Therese Minton and wanted to know what Leslie's father knew about Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks' relationship. The investigator told Mr. White that Mr. Minton was "bipolar" and needed to be on medication on a daily basis for his "mental imbalance." The private investigator also called Leslie's mother and Leslie herself; unsuccessfully attempting to convince them to talk to him about Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks.
November 23, 1999: Another anonymous flier was placed in the mailboxes of Mr. Minton's Sandown, New Hampshire, neighborhood. The flier was a copy of a web page Scientology had created on the Internet showing the mug shot from Mr. Minton's October 31 arrest in Clearwater and painting a grossly distorted picture of what had happened.
November 1999: Mr. Minton entered into a contract to buy the office building at 33 North Fort Harrison Avenue. The owner, Scott Brauer, told Mr. Minton that a Scientologist came and sat in the reception room of the building for hours with a signed offer to buy the building for substantially more than Mr. Minton's contract. Mr. Minton was contacted by another property owner in Clearwater who told him that it was impossible to rent office space to tenants in Clearwater because of harassment from Scientology. Every time anyone tried to lease a space, Scientology operatives would intimidate the potential client until they gave up in fear. In this way, this property owner explained, Scientology was forcing the prices of all property in Clearwater down to rock bottom, at which point they would buy it all up themselves. With regard to Mr. Minton in particular, a property owner informed him that a member of the City Commissioner's office made calls to all the property owners in Clearwater warning them not to sell property to Mr. Minton. One property owner said she got 40 calls in one day telling her not to do business with Minton or his co-workers. Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks were provided with a photocopy of a fax that had been sent naming three people with whom the property owner was not to have any dealings. The three people were Robert Minton, Stacy Brooks and Jesse Prince.
December 3, 1999: Judge Thomas Penick issued a temporary injunction prohibiting Mr. Minton from coming within ten feet of any Scientologist or Scientology property in downtown Clearwater.
December 12, 1999: Dateline ran a follow-up story about Mr. Minton in which Scientology spokesperson Mike Rinder made the following statements: "Bob Minton falls into a category similar to those anti-Semites who are out to make it seem like there is something wrong with being a Jew," and later: "I don't know what motivates this guy, I don't know what. But on the other hand if you ask me do I know what motivated Timothy McVey to go blow up a building, I don't know either."
December 1999: A flier was distributed in the Boulder, Colorado, neighborhood in which Jesse Prince was living. The flier's title was "Jesse Prince: The Face of Religious Bigotry," and it had a photograph of Mr. Prince from a recent arrest. The Boulder police had received an anonymous call that Mr. Prince was driving while intoxicated, and based on this he had been arrested. The text of the flier accused Mr. Prince of being part of an anti-religious hate group and of physically threatening Scientologists. It also stated: "Prince is closely associated with and financially supported by a religious bigot named Robert Minton, who has a long history of mental problems and psychiatric treatment. Together they have threatened individuals with axes and sledgehammers and threw rocks at these people and property. Prince and Minton regularly show up drunk and disorderly in front of church premises just to cause trouble. Minton has discharged a shotgun at our people, an incident under investigation by law enforcement. Prince has recently been arrested for drunk driving in Boulder and Minton faces trial this December for assault and battery when he attacked another individual with a stick and beat him across the face. Next time you see this man Prince (or his sidekick Minton), recognize the face of religious bigotry." It was signed "Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee of The Parishioners of The Church of Scientology of Colorado."
December 10, 1999: The Tampa Tribune published a favorable piece by columnist Rick Berry about Mr. Minton and the Lisa McPherson Trust entitled "Bob Minton: Will he rouse the gorilla?" In it, Berry congratulated Mr. Minton for standing up to Scientology, the "gorilla" in downtown Clearwater.
January 5, 2000: Mr. Minton signed the closing papers on the property at 33 North Fort Harrison Avenue. The owner, Scott Brauer, told Mr. Minton that over the weekend he had repeatedly received telephone calls from Ben Shaw, the head of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs in Clearwater, trying to convince him to pull out of the deal with Mr. Minton. Mr. Brauer said Shaw offered him twice the money Mr. Minton was paying and also offered to indemnify him against litigation should Mr. Minton sue him for breach of contract. Fortunately, Mr. Brauer was an ethical man and refused Shaw's offers. "I have to look at myself in the mirror every morning," he said.
January 5, 2000: Scott Brauer received a telephone call from Mike Roberto, then Clearwater's City Manager. Roberto told him that he was calling because he had heard about the property deal with Mr. Minton and wondered if Mr. Brauer realized how much trouble it would bring to downtown Clearwater if the deal with Minton went through. Mr. Brauer said that he felt that Roberto was trying to strong-arm him, and he said it seemed to him that Roberto was calling to put pressure on him to back out of the sale. Mr. Brauer told him they didn't need to have the conversation because Mr. Minton already owned the building, as of 3:45 that afternoon.
January 6, 2000: The owners of Ottavio's, an Italian restaurant two doors down the street from 33 North Fort Harrison Avenue, brought wine and bruschetta to the celebration party at the Lisa McPherson Trust after the closing. The next day, Scientologists came to the restaurant and warned them not to do business with Mr. Minton or the Lisa McPherson Trust. The owner refused to be intimidated and told the Scientologists he was "running a business, not a nursery school playground." Soon thereafter, a restaurant patron let the owners know that word had gone out to Scientologists to boycott Ottavio's until they agreed to stop doing business with the LMT.
January 13-16, 2000: Scientologists picketed the Minton house in Boston for three days in a row.
January 16, 2000: In a letter to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times titled, "Scientology has helped family, friends, business," Scientologist Patrick J. Clouden of Largo, Florida, wrote: "I would never ask Minton for help or advice on ethics. That would be like asking Hitler about the Jewish religion."
January 25, 2000: Mark Bunker, the LMT's multi-media coordinator, was arrested in Chicago for criminal trespassing as he stood on a public sidewalk to film two dentists who were requesting their money back from the Scientology organization in downtown Chicago. Mr. Bunker was filming the dentists outside the entrance when two off-duty Chicago police officers hired by Scientology burst out of the building, grabbed his camera from him and handcuffed him. Mr. Bunker was taken to jail, booked, and charged with criminal trespassing despite two eyewitnesses who swore he was standing on the public sidewalk. Mr. Bunker would later be acquitted, but not before Scientology posted his mug shot on the Internet and described him as a criminal.
January 30, 2000: The Atlanta Journal/Constitution published an article by Jean Marbella titled "A Private War: Millionaire spends big bucks in battle against Scientology" (a reprint from a Baltimore Sun article of January 19, 2000). Scientology spokesperson Mike Rinder was quoted as saying the following regarding the LMT: "They're here for only one purpose, to harass Scientology" and "Minton's Lisa McPherson center can only hurt relations between the city and the church."
January 2000: A flier was distributed in Mr. Minton's Boston neighborhood with the headline: "New revelations in secret debt buy back scheme by Boston resident Robert S. Minton." The text of the flier included a quote from an article in a British magazine called "Business Age," as follows: "Between 1987 and 1993, a complex fraud was carried out by a clique of international debt traders in cahoots with corrupt Nigerian officials and was conducted under the pretense of executing the official Nigerian debt conversion program so as to fill their own pockets at the expense of unsuspected debt holders, financial institutions and Nigerian creditors. Documents show that a Mr. Rasheed was the key CBN official who worked directly with Mr. Minton and the Abacha family in both BuyBack schemes now under investigation." The flier had photographs of Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, Mr. Rasheed, and Mr. Minton. It concluded by saying, "The British Financial Services Authority and the Home Office are now launching their own investigations into the actions of the London banks and financial institutions. And the U.S. Authorities? Minton: Return our money now!" Designed to appear to be from a group of Nigerian freedom fighters, the flier ended by inviting readers to "Visit our website."
January 2000: Jesse Prince, in Clearwater to find a place to live so that he could work for the Lisa McPherson Trust, was followed by a man who was later identified as a Scientology private investigator. The man made lewd gestures at Mr. Prince when Mr. Prince pulled up next to him in his car. The man then got behind Mr. Prince and began to follow him in his car, speeding up and slowing down, in a threatening way. Mr. Prince went to the Largo, Florida, police department and filed a complaint with Officer Des Jardins. Officer Jardins was able to identify the man as a private investigator working for Scientology, although he would not give Mr. Prince the man's name. The man's car was rented from Enterprise, where all of Scientology's private investigators rent their cars.
February 2000: Therese Minton was being sponsored by another Beacon Hill couple for membership in the Longwood Tennis Club. Scientology sent a package of discrediting material not only to the couple who was sponsoring her, but also to each member of the membership committee. As a result, she was turned down for membership.
February 1, 2000: A German documentary filmmaker and his cameraman came to Clearwater to interview German Scientologist Gottfried Helmwein. They asked LMT Producer Mark Bunker to film them arriving at Helmwein's house and knocking on his door. Mr. Bunker, standing on a public sidewalk, was in the process of shooting this footage when a man who would later be identified as Richard Bernard ran out of Helmwein's house and attacked him with a hammer. Mr. Bunker was able to capture the incident on camera. Immediately after the incident, Bernard ran back into the house and Mr. Bunker called the police. Two police officers arrived shortly, and became hostile to Mr. Bunker after he identified himself as an employee of the Lisa McPherson Trust. Both officers refused to view the footage of the hammer assault. One of the officers indicated that he intended to arrest Mr. Bunker for recording the assault without getting the assailant's permission. Neither officer made any attempt to locate the assailant, Bernard. It was only when a police sergeant arrived that the officers agreed not to arrest Mr. Bunker and located Bernard. However, Bernard gave a false name and date of birth and was never asked for any identification by the officer. No charges were ever brought against him for the hammer incident. It was later discovered that at the time of the assault against Mr. Bunker, Bernard was in violation of his probation on a cocaine trafficking charge. He was apprehended and served a year in prison.
February 6, 2000: The St. Petersburg Times published a story titled "How much oddity can one town take?" written by Tom Tobin. Marty Rathbun, a high-level Scientology spokesman, made the following statements regarding Mr. Minton: "I worry about this guy because he is deranged"; "Frankly, I'm afraid for people's lives"; "It seems the more he is ignored, the more that he flies off the handle."
February 20, 2000: An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com wrote the following post on ARS harassing Mark Bunker: "LOL Hey Fat Man. LMT business hours are said to start at 9 oclock AM that is. You have no business showing up 3 hours late for work. Does Minton know you are that late? And if you are really an employee of the LMT, then get yourself an email like firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Bunker had, in fact, arrived at work that day three hours late. The message was intended to let Mr. Bunker know he was being watched.
February 2000: LMT staff member Jesse Prince met a man in a pool hall where Jesse and his fiance had gone to play pool. He introduced himself as Rinsey Trinidad and invited Mr. Prince to go outside with him to smoke marijuana. What Mr. Prince did not know at the time was that the man, whose real name was Barry Gaston, was a private investigator hired by Scientology to befriend Jesse and set him up on drug-buying charges.
March 18, 2000: Mr. Minton delivered a speech at the Leo J. Ryan's Education Foundation conference in which he gave a brief overview of the history of Scientology in Clearwater from the beginning in 1975 up until the present time.
April 2000: John Fashanu, a retired British soccer player from Nigeria, released an investigative report that contained allegations that Mr. Minton was involved in the theft of billions of dollars from the Nigerian government and that he was involved in a massive money-laundering scheme. Several articles appeared in England and Nigeria in which the media quoted from this so-called Fashanu Report. Although Fashanu claimed it had taken him three years to compile the information, in fact it later came out that Scientology private investigators had provided Fashanu with the completed report. Most of the documents appeared to have come from a break-in of the office of Mr. Minton's former partner, Jeff Schmidt.
May 23, 2000: After a two-day jury trial, Mr. Minton was found not guilty of battery in the criminal misdemeanor case of Howd v. Minton. Mr. Minton's attorney, Denis deVlaming, was able to show the jury that Mr. Minton had been set up for the arrest and that Richard Howd had been following Scientology's "fair game" directives which require that anyone who is critical of Scientology must be labeled a criminal, even if the evidence must be manufactured. A juror was quoted in the paper the next day saying that the reason they had found Mr. Minton not guilty was that "It was a set-up."
June 1, 2000: High-level Scientology spokesperson Marty Rathbun made several statements about Mr. Minton and the Lisa McPherson Trust that were quoted in article in the St. Petersburg Times entitled "Scientology foe sets up office close to church." When asked how he felt about the Lisa McPherson Trust opening its doors so close to Scientology, Rathbun said, "These guys are nobodies. They bring absolutely nothing to this community." He compared the situation to the Ku Klux Klan opening an office on North Greenwood, a Clearwater neighborhood with mostly black residents. "The reason they're here is to harass people," Rathbun said. "They know better than anyone that any existing Scientologist isn't interested in their information." On Tuesday, the church had offered to buy the building out from under Minton, but the seller, CPA Scott Brauer, declined. Rathbun said that some of Minton's followers, including Stacy Brooks, were no longer in Scientology because they could not measure up to Scientology's level of ethics. Rathbun also accused Minton and his staff of being in Clearwater to violently "deprogram" Scientologists.
June 2, 2000: Customs officials detained Jesse Prince and Mark Bunker as they arrived at the Leipzig, Germany, airport. Mr. Prince and Mr. Bunker were there to attend a ceremony at which Mr. Minton was to receive an award (see entry for June 3 below). The customs officials thoroughly searched Mr. Bunker's luggage, even going so far as to open up every blank video cassette that Mr. Bunker had brought to film the ceremony. Mr. Bunker was then allowed to go, but Mr. Prince was detained for much longer while agents minutely searched all of his luggage and his person. As they informed Mr. Prince that he was free to go, one of the agents explained that they had received an anonymous tip that Mr. Prince and possibly Mr. Bunker were carrying illegal drugs. Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks were at the airport to meet Mr. Prince and Mr. Bunker. Mr. Minton saw a man videotaping Ms. Brooks and him. He approached the man, who admitted that had been hired by Scientology to videotape them. He suggested that Mr. Minton could also obtain a copy of the videotape for the right price.
June 3, 2000: Mr. Minton went to Leipzig, Germany, to receive the Alternative Charlemagne Award from the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom. The committee honored Mr. Minton with the award in appreciation "of his involvement, led by his courage and sense of civil duty, on behalf of the victims of Scientology; of his efforts towards human rights and freedom of expression in the USA; and as an expression of our support for the American people in putting human rights violations by the totalitarian Scientology to an end." Mr. Minton delivered a moving acceptance speech for this award, and an interpreter delivered it in German for the German audience. Scientology operatives followed Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks throughout their stay in Leipzig and later when they visited Ursula Caberta in Hamburg. Ms. Caberta was the head of a task force on Scientology that was part of the Hamburg government. The police had to be called after one Scientology private investigator followed Mr. Minton, Ms. Brooks and Ms. Caberta in a harassing manner. During dinner at a restaurant in Hamburg, Hamburg police officers identified the people at a table next to Mr. Minton, Ms. Brooks and Ms. Caberta as Scientology operatives sent to listen in on their conversation.
June 8, 2000: Scientology private investigator Eugene Ingram visited LMT staffer Jeff Jacobsen's former neighbor in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ingram inquired about the sources of Mr. Jacobsen's income and other personal information. Ingram also visited the tenants of a rental house in Scottsdale owned by Mr. Jacobsen.
June 11, 2000: Mr. Minton participated in a debate at Howard University in Washington, D.C., concerning the accusations made against him in the Fashanu Report. The Nigerian Democratic at the Howard University in Washington, D.C. The Nigerian Democratic Movement requested this debate. Minton explained the debt buyback in detail and answered in-depth questions from the public and media regarding his dealings with Nigeria. John Fashanu the supposed author of the report accusing Minton of money laundering did not show up for the debate.
June 14, 2000: Stacy Brooks and another board member of the Lisa McPherson Trust, Duncan Pierce, attended a hearing before the House International Relations Committee in Washington, D.C. The hearing was orchestrated entirely by Scientology. The audience was composed entirely of Scientologists except for the members of the LMT, who were surrounded by OSA operatives during the hearing. The panel of witnesses included several people known to be apologists for Scientology and two Scientologists. The purpose of the hearing was to convince the committee that the U.S. Congress should bring economic sanctions against France, Germany, Belgium and Austria for the position those countries had taken against Scientology. Scientology was portrayed as being victimized by religious discrimination in these countries. No testimony was presented to counter these charges. The Lisa McPherson Trust had contacted Rep. Gilman's office prior to the hearing to offer additional witnesses, but the offer was denied. Out of approximately fifty committee members, only about fifteen attended. The hearing did not result in sanctions against the European countries.
June 18, 2000: Thirty-year Scientologist Tory Bezazian contacted Stacy Brooks at the Lisa McPherson Trust and asked for help in escaping from Scientology. She called from Los Angeles, very distraught about leaving Scientology and afraid that Scientology operatives would harass her once they learned that she had decided to leave. Ms. Brooks invited her to come to Clearwater where the Lisa McPherson Trust would be able to offer her some protection from the Scientologists while she collected her thoughts. Ms. Bezazian agreed to fly to Clearwater. When she arrived at the airport she was met by Janet Weiland, a high-level Scientology operative in the Office of Special Affairs International. Weiland followed Ms. Bezazian through the airport, holding onto her suitcase and refusing to return it. Ms. Bezazian was frightened but spoke to Ms. Brooks via cell phone until she was able to get into her seat on the plane, where Weiland was unable to reach her. Ms. Bezazian was met at the Chicago airport by her husband Harold Bezazian, also a long-time Scientologist, who begged her not to go to Clearwater and not to leave Scientology. Ms. Bezazian told her husband that she wanted to speak to the people at the Lisa McPherson Trust and got on her plane to Tampa.
Ms. Brooks, Mr. Minton and Jesse Prince went to the airport to meet Ms. Bezazian. It was nearly two in the morning, but when they arrived at Ms. Bezazian's gate they found four Scientology operatives there waiting for the plane. One of the Scientologists was Dennis Clarke, a long-time Scientology operative who was also head of Scientology's anti-psychiatry front group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Another was Charlie Earls, a long-time member of the intelligence branch of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs. A woman named Cathy True was also there. True was also in the Office of Special Affairs. She was known to Ms. Brooks as the person sent by Scientology to threaten people who no longer want to be in Scientology, particularly those who want money refunded. The fourth Scientologist was a woman named Penny Jones. She had been a friend of Ms. Bezazian's. When Ms. Bezazian came into the terminal Jones immediately pulled her aside and insisted on speaking to her.
Two Tampa police officers were there to ensure that Ms. Bezazian was not forced to go with the Scientologists against her will. Ms. Brooks asked one of the officers to assist Ms. Bezazian, but he informed her that he could do nothing unless Ms. Bezazian stated that she did not want to go with Jones. Jones spent several minutes trying to talk Ms. Bezazian into leaving with her. While this conversation was occurring, Charlie Earls approached the police officers and began to give them false information about Mr. Minton, Ms. Brooks and Mr. Prince, saying they were wanted by the police. The police officer ordered Earls to show him copies of arrest warrants or be quiet. Finally Ms. Bezazian said in a loud voice, "Penny, I want to talk to these people. I want to go with them." The two police officers immediately ordered the Scientologists to back away and moved in close to Ms. Bezazian and Ms. Brooks, flanking them on both sides. They announced loudly, "This is police business! Everyone stay out of the way!" and escorted Ms. Bezazian, Mr. Minton, Mr. Prince and Ms. Brooks out of the airport and to their car.
That night Ms. Bezazian stayed in a room at the Hyatt Westshore, a hotel near the airport. Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks also stayed at the hotel so that Ms. Bezazian would not be alone. They were up all night, because Ms. Bezazian wanted to talk to them. Early the next morning, Scientologists began knocking on her door, trying to convince her to leave with them. She felt harassed by them and it was necessary to have staff of the Lisa McPherson Trust at the hotel all day the next day to protect her.
June 23, 2000: An English translation of a letter from the Nigerian High Commissioner in London, Prince Bola Ajibola, to a prosecutor in Geneva, Switzerland, General Bernard Bertossa, appeared anonymously on the Internet. In it, Prince Ajibola accused Mr. Minton of money-laundering and fraud against the Nigerian government and asked Bertossa to press criminal charges against Mr. Minton. Clearly, Prince Ajibola's complaint was based on the Fashanu Report.
June 23, 2000: Ursula Caberta, head of the Hamburg government's task force on Scientology, came to Clearwater on vacation to visit her friends, Mr. Minton, Ms. Brooks, and others at the Lisa McPherson Trust. Upon her arrival at Tampa International Airport, approximately forty Scientologists materialized as Ms. Caberta entered the terminal and began shouting at her, "Nazi go home!" The Scientologists surrounded Ms. Caberta and Ms. Brooks, who guided Ms. Caberta through the hostile crowd and protected her until the airport police arrived and forced the Scientologists away. The police then escorted Ms. Caberta, Ms. Brooks and Mr. Minton through the airport and into the adjoining police station. The police stayed with Ms. Caberta and Ms. Brooks while Mr. Minton got the car, and the police then escorted the two women to the car to make sure they would be safe. Ms. Brooks had intended that Ms. Caberta would be a guest at her home during her vacation. However, Tory Bezazian, a thirty-year Scientologist, had just left Scientology and was under the care of the Lisa McPherson Trust to protect her from being harassed by Scientologists. She had been staying at a hotel in Tampa, but there was so much harassment from Scientology at the hotel that it was decided she would safer at the home of Ms. Brooks. As a Scientologist, Ms. Bezazian had been indoctrinated to believe that Ms. Caberta was an evil, dangerous person, so Ms. Bezazian was afraid to be in the same house with her. Therefore, a hotel had been reserved for Ms. Caberta. When she was taken to her hotel to check in, however, it was discovered that someone had canceled her reservation and another hotel had to be found late that night.
June 25, 2000: Ms. Caberta wanted to speak to U.S. media about the situation with Scientology in Germany, because Scientology was harassing her in Germany and trying to get her government superiors to fire her, and she wanted the truth to be known in the U.S. Therefore, the Lisa McPherson Trust invited several local media to their offices and held a reception at which Ms. Caberta discussed the fact that Scientology was viewed as a fraudulent commercial enterprise in Germany, not as a religion, and that many Scientologists had been found to be committing criminal fraud in Germany. During this reception, Scientologists were outside trying to disrupt the gathering, and when Ms. Caberta left later that day, she was served at her hotel with a subpoena to appear for a deposition in the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case, a legal proceeding in which Ms. Caberta had no involvement whatsoever.
June 2000: While Therese Minton was on vacation in England with the children, they were followed by Scientology private investigators wherever they went.
July 7, 2000: Long-time Scientologist and former top-management-level staff member Dan Feeley came into the Lisa McPherson Trust and demanded to have an appointment with the president, Stacy Brooks. They had worked together and been friends when she was still in Scientology.
July 8, 2000: Long-time Scientologist and head of its front group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) Dennis Clarke came to the back door of the Lisa McPherson Trust and made harassing comments to the staff of the Lisa McPherson Trust.
July 8, 2000: Richard Hurst, a Scientologist active in working with OSA, came in to harass the members of the Lisa McPherson Trust.
July 9, 2000: Long-time Scientologist and former Guardian's Office staff member Steve Sigal came to the front door of the Lisa McPherson Trust and said he wanted to talk to the president, Stacy Brooks. He and Stacy had worked together in the Guardian's Office and had been good friends. She spoke to him long enough to ascertain that he was there to harass her, at which point she called the police and had a trespass warning issued against him. He did not return.
July 13, 2000: Several Scientologists, including T. C. Applebaum, Mary DeMoss, Herb Zerden and Cat Jordan, came into the reception of the Lisa McPherson Trust and began to create a disturbance, yelling obscenities at the staff and refusing to leave despite repeated requests by the president, Stacy Brooks, to do so. When she informed them that she was going to call the police, they left the building but remained on the sidewalk, continuing to hurl insults at the staff.
July 22, 2000: Ursula Caberta, head of the Scientology task force of the Hamburg, Germany, government, and a friend of Mr. Minton, Stacy Brooks and the LMT staff, came to Clearwater on vacation, having never visited Florida before. Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks went to the airport to meet her, along with several other LMT staff. When Ms. Caberta walked into the terminal, approximately forty Scientologists materialized out of the crowd and began yelling, "Nazi, go home!" and other epithets at Ms. Caberta. They also approached her in a menacing way, necessitating an escort through the airport by the Tampa airport police. Scientologists followed Ms. Caberta through the airport, making it necessary for the police to surround her to keep her safe. The police escorted Ms. Caberta, Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks to their car to ensure their safety.
July 23, 2000: Dennis Clarke, a long-time Scientologist and the head of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a Scientology front group, assaulted several individuals while they were peacefully protesting in Clearwater. Several battery complaints were filed against Clark with the Clearwater Police, but no charges were ever brought against him.
July 25, 2000: Ursula Caberta had asked if she could have a chance to speak to the U.S. media while she was in Clearwater, because Scientology was putting pressure on the German government to back away from its stance on Scientology. Ms. Caberta had been the target of a harassment campaign in Hamburg, and she wanted to set the record straight in the United States. The LMT invited the local media to talk to Ms. Caberta, and a few came to meet her for an informal discussion. Ms. Caberta spoke about the criminal activities of individual Scientologists in Germany, including a woman named Antje Victore who had obtained asylum in the United States after presenting false documents to a federal judge in Tampa.
Numerous Scientologists were videotaping all the people coming and going into the Lisa McPherson Trust. Michael Krotz, a licensed private investigator handling security for the LMT, went to the parking garage across the street to investigate a report of a disturbance. Upon entering the third floor of the parking garage, Krotz encountered Scientologist Dennis Clark. Clark assaulted Krotz and Krotz caught this incident on videotape. Clark then departed the area. Officers at the scene refused to take a report of the incident so Krotz later went to the Clearwater Police Department, accompanied by a witness to the incident, and filed a battery complaint. Despite videotaped evidence of assault, the State Attorney refused to prosecute Clark.
July 26, 2000: After Ms. Caberta spoke to the media in Clearwater, she was besieged in her hotel, the Belleview Biltmore, by Scientologists. While having dinner with Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks in the hotel dining room, two Scientologists interrupted them and began to harass Ms. Caberta, telling her that she should go back to Germany. Scientologists stationed themselves outside her hotel room door so that she could not leave her room without running a gauntlet of harassive Scientologists. The next day, two people presented themselves as off-duty plain-clothes police officers to the desk clerks of the hotel. In fact, these two men were Daniel Otero, a Scientology private investigator, and Robert Bossard, a process server working for Scientology. Believing them to be police officers, the hotel clerk directed them to Ms. Caberta's room. There, Otero, Bossard and several Scientologists began to harass Caberta, yelling and pounding on her hotel door and sliding subpoenas for deposition in the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case, in which Ms. Caberta had no involvement, under the door.
July 2000: While Ms. Caberta was in Florida with Mr. Minton and the LMT, Scientologists in Hamburg staged protests against the Hamburg government calculated to cause Ms. Caberta to lose her job. Scientologists passed out fliers in front of the building where Ms. Caberta's superiors had their offices. The headline of the flier was, "Down with official camaraderie with white-collar criminals!" The text of the flier said, among other things, "For weeks Caberta, with the approval of her employers and under the label of the Interior Agency, has been openly fraternizing with big-time American swindler, Bob Minton. Joint appearances before the television cameras publicly honoring and paying homage to the international criminal (with the full seal of approval of Caberta's office as a department director of the Hamburg Interior Agency - of course) are only facets of a marriage carried out in public between the international money Mafia and the Hamburg office." The flier went on to libel Mr. Minton regarding his business dealings in Nigeria, stating, "The Republic of Nigeria, having suffered losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars, has just at the end of June, had the Attorney General's office charge Minton with fraud, falsifications of records and money-laundering, with the Nigerian people as victims. There are demands for his bank accounts to be confiscated and for Minton's Mafia system of fraud spread across Europe in covert companies, middlemen and criminals to be exposed." This was all false, but at the time Mr. Minton could not determine the truth of the situation. The flier was signed, "Legally responsible person ("V.I.S.D.P."): Frank Busch, c/o Scientology Church Hamburg, Inc."
August 2000: Mr. Minton had invested in a film based on a screenplay by former Scientologist Peter Alexander. The film was about a con artist who started a cult to make money. Although there was no mention of Scientology in the film, Scientology began handing out inflammatory fliers about Mr. Minton in Tampa, Florida, where the film was being made. One flier had a photograph of a malnourished Nigerian child in the arms of a nurse. Underneath the photograph was a quote attributed to "Robert Minton, rogue financier" that said: "I've never been to Nigeria It was just a business deal." The text of the flier charged that "If Robert Minton is providing money that is financing this film, that money comes from the mouths of starving Nigerian children. The government of Nigeria brought criminal charges against Minton on June 23rd for fraud, forgery of financial documents, and the laundering of money. Minton is charged with skimming millions of dollars off financial transactions in dealing with the former dictatorship of Nigeria which led to the loss of some $6 billion to the Nigerian economy. The new democratic government of Nigeria is taking steps to recover this money and deal with the perpetrators of this fraud against their people . Blood Money is financing this propaganda." At the bottom of the flier was the following statement: "For the facts, contact the Foundation for Religious Tolerance (727) 448-1960."
August 11, 2000: At 8:00 in the morning a SWAT team of 12 Largo police officers burst into LMT staffer Jesse Prince's house with instructions to search for drugs and drug paraphernalia, clearly expecting to find evidence that Jesse was a major drug dealer. They found no drugs and no paraphernalia in the house; however, they did find one small marijuana plant growing out of the dead roots of another plant in the back yard. Based on this Jesse was arrested for felony drug cultivation and spent the day in jail. (The charge was later downgraded to misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Mr. Prince stood trial on this charge in March 2001. Three Scientology private investigators testified under oath that they were hired to set Mr. Prince up on drug charges. The trial resulted in a hung jury, 5-1 for acquittal. The jurors were quoted in the media saying they felt Mr. Prince was set up. The judge called a mistrial, and the prosecutor dropped the charges against him.)
August 17, 2000: At a Clearwater City Commission meeting, Mary DeMoss announced that the "Foundation for Religious Tolerance" was opening a branch in Clearwater. This "foundation" was in fact a front group for Scientology. Mary DeMoss claimed that the purpose of the organization was to bring all the religions in Clearwater together. In fact, the organization consisted of one person, Mary DeMoss, and her orders were to carry out projects calculated to destroy the reputation of the Lisa McPherson Trust and cause the people of Clearwater not to want to have anything to do with it. The Foundation for Religious Tolerance has also created a web site called Bigot Watch on which defamatory information about members of the LMT is displayed.
August 27, 2000: Nigeria Today, an on-line newsletter, reported that the Nigerian government had "gone cold" in its acceptance of the Fashanu Report and the charges filed against Mr. Minton. The article stated that a detailed inspection of the report revealed no evidence that Mr. Minton committed any crime at all. In fact, the article disclosed, the true author of the report was likely Scientology private investigator David Lee.
August 29, 2000: Mary Demoss and two male Scientologists burst into the Lisa McPherson Trust reception area and began speaking loudly to the staff in a harassing manner. After being asked to leave repeatedly, they refused to leave the premises until they were physically pushed out of the door. They continued to yell outside of the building. It was so disruptive that Ms. Brooks called the police. By the time the police arrived, the Scientologists had left. Ms. Brooks explained to the officers what had happened and asked if they would like to see the security video of what had happened in reception. Neither officer was interested. One of them, Officer Connelly, was extremely rude and made it clear that he had nothing but contempt for the Lisa McPherson Trust. She again asked him to watch the videotape and he snapped, "No, I don't want to see it." Both officers left, having refused to make an information report on the incident.
August 31, 2000: Richard Hurst, a Scientologist who worked with Mary DeMoss to harass the Lisa McPherson Trust, appeared on the movie set of "The Profit," a film that Mr. Minton had financed, to hand out a 27-page packet of discrediting materials on Mr. Minton. Tab A stated: "Robert Minton of the Lisa McPherson Trust and a financier has had a penal complaint brought against him by Nigerian authorities for money laundering, forgery of financial documents and fraud." Tab B stated: "Minton has previously been arrested for assault against Scientologists and has fired a shotgun at them." Tab C stated: "Minton along with members of his group has been restrained from coming within ten feet of Church properties in Clearwater." Tab D stated: "Jesse Prince, vice president of the Lisa McPherson Trust, was recently arrested for cultivating marijuana at his home." Tab E stated: "Prince has previous arrests for driving under the influence, disorderly conduct, and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a child." Tab F stated: "Mark Bunker of the Lisa McPherson Trust was arrested in Chicago earlier this year for criminal trespass at the Church of Scientology of Chicago."
September 2000: Fliers featuring the mug shot from Mr. Minton's Clearwater battery arrest were stuffed into local mailboxes near the Lisa McPherson Trust. Several items were listed under the photograph: "Twice arrested for assault; Penal complaint filed by the government of Nigeria for charges of fraud, the laundering of money and forgery of financial documents; Finances harassment of members of the Church of Scientology; Profiled by NBC Dateline as potentially violent." The flier also featured a mug shot of Jesse Prince from his August 2000 arrest. Several items were listed under his photograph as well: "Arrested for cultivation of marijuana in Clearwater; Outstanding arrest warrant in Colorado for violating probation; Multiple arrests for a variety of criminal activity - indecent exposure, contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor, drunk driving." Underneath a photograph of Stacy Brooks were the following items: "President of an organization that was enjoined from approaching Church property in Clearwater; Abandoned her husband for Bob Minton; Has attempted to extort the Church of Scientology." Under a photograph of Mark Bunker was the following information: "Arrested for criminal trespass; Was enjoined by a Pinellas County judge to stay away from Church properties in Clearwater; Harasses individuals by videotaping them and placing the tape on the Internet." At the bottom of the flier was the following statement: "These individual and their criminal behavior have no business in front of a Church or harassing decent people for their religious faith. THEY ARE ALL BEING PAID BY MINTON TO DO THIS!!"
September 15, 2000: As Mr. Minton began a peaceful protest in front of the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, long-time OSA operative Joe Neal ran out of the hotel and rammed Mr. Minton in the chest with a camera, knocking Mr. Minton to the ground. Several other protesters had to pull Neal off of Mr. Minton to keep him from being further assaulted. Mr. Minton was injured so badly that he had to go to the emergency room of Morton Plant Hospital to receive oxygen. His ribs were badly bruised and his injuries made it impossible for him to attend a scheduled deposition the following Monday. Scientology tried to get the court to find Mr. Minton in contempt for not appearing for his deposition.
October 10, 2000: Patrick Jost, a former investigator for the U.S. Treasury Department wrote an extensive affidavit in which he detailed Mr. Minton's business dealings in Nigeria. The affidavit made it clear that Mr. Minton's activities were completely legitimate and that the Fashanu Report was a compilation of lies and innuendo with no substance.
October 17, 2000: A group of rock bands scheduled a concert to benefit the Lisa McPherson Trust. After the announcement of the concert, Mary DeMoss and her Foundation for Religious Tolerance mailed a letter and flier to residents of Clearwater and surrounding towns.
October 28, 2000: Mary DeMoss's Scientology front group, the Foundation for Religious Tolerance, left a flier outside the LMT offices and distributed it throughout Clearwater. In the flier the concert to benefit the Lisa McPherson Trust was identified as a "hate group" and the announced host, Jamie Kennedy, was characterized as an unsavory character. Jamie Kennedy, a performance artist from northern California, is the great-grandson of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and was identifying himself as such in the promotion for the concert.
November 2, 2000: The Foundation for Religious Tolerance distributed a two-page letter throughout Clearwater linking LMT President Stacy Brooks to the benefit concert in a vulgar way.
November 30, 2000: Mary Demoss came into the Lisa McPherson Trust with color photocopies of an article from the magazine "Business Age." The article was entitled "Nigerian Nemesis" and was a libelous article about Mr. Minton and his business dealings with the Nigerian Government.
October 29, 2000: An article appeared in the London Sunday Express with a photograph of Mr. Minton next to one of Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha. The article falsely claimed that the CIA had identified Mr. Minton as being the mastermind behind a $4 billion money-laundering scheme that was being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office of the British government.
November 1, 2000: Mary DeMoss wrote a letter to the Pinellas County Department of Consumer Protection to tell the agency that people who made donations to the Lisa McPherson Trust were being defrauded because the Lisa McPherson Trust was a for-profit company.
November 1, 2000: Scientologist Robert Magness wrote a letter to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times in which he said the following about Mr. Minton: "He really wants only to destroy a group that in verifiable fact has helped hundred of thousands, if not millions of people to live happier more ethical lives."
November 30, 2000: Judge Penick issued a second temporary injunction. Among other things, it enjoined both sides from harassing each other in any way. That evening, Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks were having dinner at a restaurant in Tampa with Lisa McPherson's family members, who were in town to confer with Ken Dandar, the attorney for the wrongful death case. Suddenly a private investigator appeared at Ms. Brooks' side and thrust a copy of the new injunction in her face. Ms. Brooks was frightened by the way in which the man was behaving and asked him how he knew where to find her. The man replied that there were OSA operatives in the restaurant who told him where she was. He gave her a photograph of herself that he had been given by another OSA operative, Judy Ross. He then apologized to Ms. Brooks for interrupting her dinner and told her he had been ordered specifically to serve her during dinner so that it would upset her.
December 1, 2000: Scientologist Larry Byrnes wrote a letter to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times in which he said the following about Mr. Minton: "So why does the Times give Robert Minton all this ink? Could it be that you are merely a propaganda mouthpiece for the psychiatric/pharmaceutical cartel that is turning our children into drugged zombies through their label-and-drug-children program? Since Scientology is the only effective opposition to their plans and has highly effective methods of helping children to lead drug-free lives, this cartel is inevitably found to be backing people like Minton."
December 2, 2000: Diane Stein, Director of Community Affairs for the Church of Scientology of Atlanta, wrote a reply to an article in the Baltimore Sun titled "Millionaire builds center in crusade to stop Church of Scientology." Her letter stated: "Minton's sole purpose in being in Clearwater is to spread hate, lies and bigotry against the community of 10,000 Scientologists who live and work there."
December 22, 2000: Therese Minton received a notice from the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles. An anonymous complaint had been received that she was garaging a car with New Hampshire license plates.
December 2000: Mary DeMoss delivered copies of an obscure magazine called "Business Age" to the Lisa McPherson Trust, although she had been told previously that she would be considered to be trespassing if she came into the building again. There was an article in the magazine titled "Nigerian Nemesis," in which Mr. Minton was accused of orchestrating a billion-dollar buy-back scheme to defraud the Nigerian government. Attempts to locate the editorial offices of this magazine were unsuccessful, nor could the publisher be found.
January 23, 2001: A flier with the headline "The World Bank and the Nigerian secret debt buy-back schemes" was distributed to the businesses in downtown Clearwater. From the text of the flier it was apparent that Scientology's private investigators had been working hard to track down evidence against Mr. Minton. It was equally clear that they had been unsuccessful in finding anything against him. However, Scientology insisted on spinning an ever-more-complex tale to try to implicate him in a criminal situation. The flier began with this statement: "In two complex frauds, involving over US$ 6 billion in Nigerian funds between the years 1987-1998, Nigerian officials and American banker Robert Minton filled their own pockets at the expense of unsuspecting debt holders, financial institutions and Nigerian creditors. Minton defended his criminal actions by claiming that he had the tacit approval of the IMF and World Bank." Photographs of Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, Robert Minton and another man, Caio Koch-Weser, were also featured on the flier. The text went on to explain why this man's photograph was included: "Mr. Caio Koch-Weser headed the African desk of the World Bank at the time. His appointment as Managing Director of the IMF was vetoed by the US early in 2000; he is currently the Deputy Finance Minister of Germany . If Minton is right it would catapult the World Bank into the midst of an explosive situation because one of the biggest deals Minton carried out was with the Paris Club of creditors with lost billions of dollars. The Scheme itself was kept secret with debt holders, financial institutions and Nigerian creditors not being informed by Mr. Minton that he was buying the debts with Nigerian funds." It ended with an invitation to "Visit the Internet."
February 25, 2001: On the eve of the opening of a new Scientology center in Battle Creek, Michigan, the Battle Creek Enquirer published a story called "Church's teaching spark a bitter debate." The writer, Matt Galnor, had called Stacy Brooks for comment and had included her statements in the article. Scientology spokesperson John Carmichael was asked to respond and made the following response, which was also published: "I've heard what Stacy says and she lies through her teeth . It really exasperates me because it's so far from the truth." Carmichael accused the Lisa McPherson Trust of being a "hate group" and added, "I think anyone who makes a career out of harming a good group that helps people is evil."
March 1, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.com titled "What Has Become of Minton." The text of the message was as follows: "What has become of Minton since he was found guilty of criminal contempt, fined and placed on a lengthy six month probation by Judge Penick? It didn't go so well for Minton, as according to historical precedent the judge put the big head on a pike to make it clear that the henchmen of the big head on the pike had better pay attention. I believe I heard it reported that during the contempt hearing the Judge had said that he wanted to make sure that he was punishing the right person. Well, obviously, the judge must have found that Minton was the right person to punish. Clearly, then, Minton is a liability to the bigots and thus his disappearing from the scene. Which raises the question: Has Stacy also punished Minton? Now everyone knows that Stacy feels that LMT has serious PR problems because of the criminal activity of Prince, Minton and other RICO associates of LMT. Minton, LMT and its employees have been hit with sanctions at least 9 times in the past two months. Quite a flappy record for LMT and Stacy's concept of LMT's pristine PR. So, is she making Bob do hard time, as a means of rehabilitating him? This observer thinks the answer is yes."
March 15, 2001: Jesse Prince, Stacy Brooks and Robert Minton traveled to Paris for a hearing concerning lawsuits that each of them had filed against Scientology in France. The suits were for libelous statements that had been published in the French version of Scientology's propaganda magazine, Freedom. After the hearing, Mr. Prince returned to the United States alone, while Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks continued on to the United States. Upon his arrival at Dulles International Airport, Mr. Prince found that several customs agents were waiting for him as he entered customs. The agents detained Mr. Prince, broke the lock on his suitcase and searched his luggage, had him empty out his pockets, and brought in a German shepherd to sniff him for drugs. Mr. Prince was able to find out from the agents that they had received an anonymous tip that he was carrying illegal drugs into the country. The agents were able to ascertain that the tip they had received was false. Mr. Prince had a substantial amount of cash in his jacket pocket, although less than the $10,000 limit that would require him to report it on arrival in the United States. Despite the fact that he was not required to report the money, Mr. Prince was taken into a back room and detained for more than an hour while the agents counted and recounted the money and questioned him about why he had it. Mr. Prince patiently explained that he was in the habit of carrying cash when he traveled. Unable to find any reason to detain Mr. Prince any longer, the agents finally released him. This was the third time Mr. Prince had been detained based on anonymous tips that he was carrying drugs.
March 27, 2001: Mr. Minton had filed a libel suit against Scientology in Germany for publishing false and defamatory statements in the German equivalent of their Freedom Magazine, known as Freiheit, about his business dealings in Nigeria. A Berlin court found Scientology guilty of libel and ordered them to cease and desist publication of these libelous statements, with a heavy fine if they violated the judge's order.
March 30, 2001: The Scientology attorney firm of Moxon and Kobrin sent a letter to Lisa McPherson Trust attorney John Merrett accusing the LMT of violating the injunction when a film crew from Madrid came to Clearwater to do a documentary about Scientology. The letter said, in part, "The sum and substance of the complaint is that reporters from Madrid have been coming and going from the LMT in attempted disguise while harassing the church, violating Florida law, and violating the injunction, in addition to similar violations of law in Madrid. LMT's agent from Madrid admitted to the police that he had a camera in his bag and was caught on videotape by a security camera attempting to infiltrate the Church in Florida with his hidden camera. Such conduct violates F.S.A. SS 934.03 - in addition to the injunction entered against your clients. The purpose of the letter is to give you and your clients an opportunity to explain their conduct - in short, to provide reasons why these acts are not further contempt arising out of this new apparent violation of the court's order." In fact, the LMT had no connection to this Spanish film crew whatsoever.
April 12, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name firstname.lastname@example.org posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology (ARS) titled "Nigeria provides UK with documents/Minton." The text of the message was as follows: " I thought that the exposure of Minton's participation in the looting of Nigeria which began a year ago and has been reported in dozens of international news media since was widely known. Obviously it is not known to you. Try and read up on it as there were many posts about this on ARS. Minton's weak attempts to sue for libel have utterly failed (which he knew they would) and the Nigerians are moving in on him closer and closer. And Robert Minton is the guy who posts now and then on this newsgroup, who deserted his wife and kids for paid mistress, and who runs a for-profit company under the all too obvious guise of a "Trust" in Florida, and who is currently under probation. He is being watched by everyone all the time because if he makes one wrong move he goes into the slammer. And that is very likely why he is currently in hiding: he does not want to be caught doing something rash or illegal. A "hot head on the edge" is what Hockenberry from NBC/Dateline said about him."
April 20, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology in which he characterized Mr. Minton as "insane" and twisted his involvement in the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case as a sordid investment scheme: "Ken Dandar is the Tampa ambulance chaser who has been paid well over a million dollars by Mr. Minton. In return Dandar was to tell bald faced lies at every turn and even file them in court. Minton's now extinguished dream of a payout was the motivation for this litigation investment scheme. Minton's private paid group of deadbeats is designated the LMT. They have been paid over a million dollars. Their role in Minton's investment scheme was to try to create hate and violence . Why all of this? Mr. Minton is insane. Has been all this life. His insanity has slowed but has not stopped the emergence of the truth. At this point, Minton's attorney Ken Dandar has collapsed the civil case "beyond the point of no return". (That means Minton won't ever see one red cent from his litigation investment scheme. Instead he will pay out millions for a fight against truth he could never win.) Dandar and Minton tell lies and that is the reason the case is now a disaster and is blowing up in their faces. Yesterday Dandar & Merrett appeared in Court. (Both are total sleazebag attorneys - if you get a chance, you should really see them in person some day if they're around long enough.) The lies ended with the Judge's Order to turn over an audiotape that has been kept hidden by the Minton attorneys for years but is now available as a public record document with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The tape proves that Minton attorneys told bald faced lies in the civil litigation . At Minton's direction, Dandar went to degraded depths to fabricate and manufacture lies to prevent this tape from coming out and has done so for 3 years. The Judge saw through it all and ordered the tape be turned over. It's a slow process getting the truth out and the liars exposed, but it's taking place and Mr. Minton is ending up paying for it."
April 21, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology titled "Bob Minton -- Beyond the point of no return and paying for it." The text of the message was as follows: "Thank you for this overview which puts everything into an understandable perspective. Your reference to Minton and Dandar as insane and being bald face liars is yet an understatement. They are calculating crooks and I hope the laws of the land will catch up to them. Minton is currently under probation and as soon as he violates the law it will mean that he broke the probation regulations and will have to go in front of the judge again, and that will mean jail time for him. Minton needs to re-pay the church. And I don't mean just attorney fees and costs for the senseless litigation but punitive damages like $10-50 million with which the church could expand their delivery facilities even further. And while at it, he could be made to pay $1-2 million to the City of Clearwater for the overwork he caused them."
April 26, 2001: Jesse Prince received an anonymous fax at the Lisa McPherson Trust that indicated a man named David Amos might be willing to provide information to Mr. Prince about harassment of Mr. Prince by Scientology operatives. Mr. Prince was able to reach Mr. Amos by telephone. Mr. Amos agreed to meet with Mr. Prince in Memphis, Tennessee. That night, Mr. Prince drove to Memphis, accompanied by Patrick Jost, a former Treasury Department investigator who was working with the Lisa McPherson Trust to document Scientology's criminal conduct. Mr. Jost felt that Mr. Prince should not meet with Mr. Amos alone.
April 27, 2001: Mr. Amos agreed to meet with Mr. Prince alone while Mr. Jost watched them from his car less than twenty feet away. Mr. Amos told Mr. Prince that he had worked as a private investigator for Scientology from the fall of 1998 until the winter of 2000. He said that Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon had told him that Mr. Prince and Mr. Minton were involved in a child slavery ring and that Scientology was trying to expose them to rescue the children. Mr. Amos said he felt that Moxon had told him this story in order to motivate him to commit illegal acts to try to catch Mr. Prince. Mr. Amos admitted to Mr. Prince that he had illegally wiretapped the telephone in Mr. Prince's Chicago apartment at the end of 1998. He also admitted that he had passed on information obtained via this illegal wiretap to his Scientology handlers. Mr. Amos also said that he had set up illegal surveillance equipment to monitor Mr. Prince, Ms. Brooks and Mark Bunker in their homes in Clearwater, Florida. Mr. Amos reluctantly agreed to show Mr. Prince where the surveillance equipment had been set up. However, he later refused to travel to Clearwater because he was afraid of what the Scientologists would do to him if they found out. A report of this meeting was sent to the FBI in Florida.
May 7, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist used the name firstname.lastname@example.org to post a message in response to something LMT staffer Mark Bunker had posted. "Hey Bunker, from what you're saying you admit to breaking the law. It appears what you declined to do was to simply "Follow The Law". That is the now famous statement your boss Mr. Minton declared out loud with a bullhorn during one of his foolish pickets which landed him with a criminal record and Probation for the next 6 months with the Salvation Army. The only deceptive and abusive practices being perpetrated in Clearwater are coming from the LMT and your antics around town with police and security personnel trying to create incidents that you can capture on video tape for another one of your hate filled conspiracy videos."
May 7, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology in which he implied that Mr. Minton had something to do with the disappearance of Joan Woods, the medical examiner who initially reported that Lisa McPherson had died from severe dehydration but changed her autopsy report five years later, under pressure from Scientology. Her action in changing the autopsy report forced the State of Florida to drop their charges against Scientology. The post was titled "Joan Wood mission" and stated: "Check Minton's backyard. It wouldn't be the first time a dead body has turned up there. Minton had the most to lose when Wood came out and told the truth of what really happened."
May 9, 2001: Gerard Renna, Director of Special Affairs in Boston, wrote a letter to J. Scott Currier, the police chief in Sandown, New Hampshire, where Mr. Minton lives. The purpose of the letter was clearly to cause the police officer to become alarmed about the possibility that Mr. Minton might pose a threat to the safety of the Sandown townspeople: "Enclosed please find a copy of the Judgment issued against Mr. Minton on February 21, 2001 for willfully violating a Court injunction that required Mr. Minton to stay at least ten feet away from Church property and Church members at our religious retreat in Florida. As Mr. Minton is known to have guns, I have also enclosed a copy of his six-month probation order for your information. If you have any questions, you may contact me at the address below or by calling my office at (617) 266-3841."
May 15, 2001: Mark Bunker attended the grand opening of "Gaslight Alley." This was a project to renovate an alley in Clearwater that is right next to a Scientology building. Mr. Bunker attended in order to document on videotape the fact that Scientology was in control of the entire project. An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology in which Mark Bunker was portrayed as a hate monger simply for being present at the event: "Bunker purposely missed reporting on the fantastic event. Great food, great people (over 300), repeated validation to the Church of Scientology by the Who's Who of Clearwater. This also shows how Bunker is so pathetically biased and filled with revenge and hate toward virtually all members of the community outside the LMT doors. And accordingly, the LMT presence was despised although everyone tried the best they could to ignore Bunker who stuck out like a dead cat at a wedding. Bunker squirmed into a little corner and stood up with his Mintoncam held to his face during the entire grand opening event, truly offensive to all in attendance as he scowled out across the gathering. The man is just plain rude. No wonder he is despised by the police from coast to coast. He just looks angry all of the time and dresses like a pig. One visitor looked at him and remarked "What is that -- Nazi youth?" The other responded, "You have it right except the youth part."
May 17, 2001: Ben Shaw wrote a letter to the Salvation Army Correctional Services alleging that Mr. Minton violated his probation by helping aid a fleeing criminal (Keith Henson). The text of the letter was as follows:
"Robert S. Minton is currently on probation under your auspices after his conviction for criminal contempt for his violation of an injunction issued by the Honorable Thomas Penick. Mr. Minton was convicted February 21, 2001 for his violation of that injunction following a week of hearings on an Order to Show Cause issued by Judge Penick. One of the terms of his probation is: "You will live and remain at liberty without violating any law or any injunction (temporary of permanent) entered by the Court. A conviction in a court of law shall not be necessary in order for such a violation to constitute a violation of your probation." One of Mr. Minton's associates, a member of the Advisory Board of the Lisa McPherson Trust, a for-profit company of which Mr. Minton is the Chairman of the Board, is H. Keith Henson. Mr. Henson was also a respondent in the hearing on the Orders to Show Cause before Judge Penick, but was acquitted. However, in a separate action in criminal court in Riverside County, California, on April 26, 2001, Mr. Henson was found guilty following a jury trial of a violation of Section 422.6 of the California Penal Code, also known as the California hate crime law, for his actions which were found to be interfering, with threat of force, with the free exercise of the Scientology religion. (Tab A) On the day of his conviction Mr. Henson and his wife picketed the court house with a sign displaying the phone number of the Lisa McPherson Trust in Clearwater. (Tab B) His association with Mr. Minton and the Trust is undisputed. Mr. Henson was ordered to report to sentencing on May 16, 2001. Instead he fled to Canada. A warrant has been issued for his arrest for this most recent breach of California law (failure to appear). (Tab C) On the same day, when questioned in an Internet newsgroup as to whether he had assisted Mr. Henson to evade justice "after the fact", your probationer, Mr. Minton, placed a posting on the newsgroup bragging that, "I helped him (Henson) escape BEFORE the Fact". (Tab D) And in another posting which Mr. Minton directed to Mr. Henson, he asked, "You have enough money up there in Canada? If not, just let me know." (Tab E) Aiding and abetting the commission of a crime is a violation of California Penal Code S 312, All persons concerned in the commission of a crime, whether it be felony or misdemeanor, and whether they directly commit that act constituting the offense, or aid and abet in the commission, or, not being present, have advised and encouraged its commission, and all persons counseling, advising or encouraging children under the age of fourteen years, lunatics or idiots, to commit any crime, or who, by fraud, contrivance, or force, occasion the drunkenness of another for the purpose of causing him to commit any crime, or who, by threats, menaces, command, or coercion, compel another to commit any crime, are principals in any crime so committed." (Tab F) Mr. Minton therefore appears to be in violation of the terms of his probation. I assume that you will take appropriate actions in dealing with his matter."
Mr. Minton's attorney, Bruce Howie, filed a motion for an order to show cause before Judge Penick as a result of this letter.
May 18, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name firstname.lastname@example.org posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology titled "The Cult of Minton Strikes Back" in which he characterized Mr. Minton as unstable and irrational: "I make some posts containing facts about Mr. Minton and the defenders arise with shining swords ready to do battle against any who dare to attack their king. They defend him when he shoots at (oh, sorry, "over") peaceful protesters, they defend him when he dumps his wife and kids for the woman he's been having an affair with, they defend him when he is arrested for assault and they defend him when he accuses some innocent woman of being a whore and a spy (well, at least less of them defended him over that one). It seems an obviously unstable and irrational individual who is currently on psychiatric medication can do no wrong when he is paying your rent."
May 18, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology titled "Brooks PR is very bad" in which he reproduced a column that had appeared in a local community newspaper called "Clearwater Countryside Citizen Publications." The man who wrote the column was found to have strong business connections with Scientologists in Clearwater. He wrote, in part: "I try not to get overly excited about what people say or do to win political elections or influence other people's decisions. I accept that people, whose only concern is to see that their viewpoints prevail, often distort the truth . That said, two things did upset me last month. The first was when a lawyer by the name of John Merrett, representing a group that is critical of the Church of Scientology, started a brouhaha when the Citizens for a Better Clearwater began selling bricks to be used to beautify the Gas Light Alley on Cleveland Street. Individuals purchased bricks with their names and/or sayings on them be laid in that alley. The problem around the group Mr. Merrett represents insisted on being able to purchase bricks with names and/or sayings on them that would be used to inflame emotions and further their own political agenda. Mr. Merrett, on behalf of the group, threatened to sue the city and the Citizens For A Better Clearwater if they did not allow his group to purchase bricks. Citizens For A Better Clearwater agreed to allow the brick purchases and that should have been that. Later, in an article in the St. Petersburg Times, Mr. Merrett says he was glad that the issue was resolved, but is also quoted as saying, "although it would have been nice to see them squirm." If that statement does not outrage you as much as it does me, it should. I don't pretend to know anything about the group Mr. Merrett represents, nor do I care about their feud with Scientology. This is between them. However, when citizens of Clearwater, whose only agenda is to try and do good for the community, are brought into the dispute because " it would be nice to seem them squirm" that is something else entirely. If the group continues to employ Mr. Merrett as their attorney I will understand them a lot better, and I am sure the citizens of Clearwater will as well."
May 22, 2001:Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks were served with subpoenas in the Mike McLaughry v. David Morse case at Mr. Minton's gate as he arrived from Boston at the Tampa airport. How did the process server know when and through what gate Mr. Minton would arrive?
May 22, 2001: Mr. Minton was served another subpoena for deposition, this time in the Dell Leibreich case. He was served at the Lisa McPherson Trust as he went to his car.
May 24, 2001: Gerard Renna, Director of Special Affairs for Boston, wrote a letter to the FBI in Boston with cc's to the Boston Police Hate Crime Unit and the Chief of Police of Sandown, New Hampshire, where Mr. Minton lives. The letter stated the following:
Over the years we have been informing your agency concerning hate crimes against our Church by Mr. Robert S. Minton Jr. and associates. Minton, is currently on probation after his conviction for criminal contempt for his violation of an injunction issued by a Florida Judge. It will probably be no great surprise to find that one of Minton's associates Keith Henson on April 26, 2001, was found guilty following a jury trial of a violation of Section 422.6 of the California Penal Code, also known as the California Hate Crime Law, for his actions which were found to be interfering, with threat of force, with the free exercise of the Scientology religion. Henson fled the country before sentencing and currently has a warrant out for his arrest. Minton is making known on the Internet that he is assisting Henson to evade justice and bragging in his posting, "I helped him (Henson) escape before the fact". I am enclosing a letter sent to Minton's probation officer regarding violation of his probation by assisting Henson. I further would like to inform you that Minton lives in New Hampshire and Boston and that it is likely, due to his arrogance for the law, that he might harbor this fugitive of the United States at his home. I am deeply concerned with the attached Internet posting by Minton to an anti-Scientology Internet news group, "BTW (by the way) Keith, that missile codes are safe but in case anything happens to us I'll PGP them below for the ARSCC team (passphrase of - 05-11-2001 will apply): "and posted the PGP key. I would not have taken this so seriously except that when you put this all together it shows continue pattern of increase violence by these individuals towards Scientology and there blatant disregard for the law. There has been a good deal of assistance by government and police agencies to protect our Constitutional rights by those who wish to hard our religion. Thank you for your consideration."
May 24, 2001: The judge in Jesse Prince's trial for marijuana possession declared a mistrial after the jury deadlocked 5-1 for acquittal. After a two-day trial, the jurors felt Mr. Prince had been set up by four Scientology private investigators in an effort to turn him into a criminal.
May 25, 2001: The day after the judge declared a mistrial, the prosecutor announced that the charges were being dropped against him and the State would not retry the case.
May 25, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name firstname.lastname@example.org posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology titled "The LMT - What Assholes!" in which he stated: "The LMT led by the notorious Bob Minton arrived in Clearwater a year ago. Within days they were snubbed forever by the community because of their rude and crude behavior. They were noticed as a hate group that practiced incredibly bad manners. Each one of them did so under Minton's direction: Brooks attacked the city government. (Now they are attacking the State); Bunker attacked the Police; Jacobsen attacked the people who were trying to beautify downtown; and Prince attacked the parishioners of the Church with profane harassment. The LMT is nothing more than a foul smell in town these days. I don't know who is the bigger asshole. Minton or the LMT collectively."
May 25, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology titled "The Jesse Prince Retrial" in which he stated: "The only guarantee we're going to get out of Mr. Minton and his LMT is more lies. That's a fact. Minton portrays himself, Jesse Prince and the rest of the LMT as poor victims in society. What he can't seem to reconcile is that he and the rest of the LMTers break the law and are held accountable because they are not capable of controlling themselves. Minton, the CEO of the LMT, was just convicted for breaking the law in Florida for his belligerent conduct of harassment. Keith Henson, an LMT Advisor, was just convicted on the California Hate Crime statute for his harassment. Minton lies. He has a huge multi-million dollar investment in litigation against the COS and he's burned that he's on probation and Prince is prosecuted for his illegal drug use. Minton places the blame elsewhere but he fails to see himself as the perfect example of a religious bigot unable to control himself. He's sick and so are the rest of the bigots at the LMT. You're facing the music for your own actions Minton. Why don't you just grow up or go away."
June 5, 2001: Connie T. Dugan, head of the Salvation Army Correctional Services, responded to Scientologist Ben Shaw's letter in which he accused Mr. Minton of violating his probation. Ms. Dugan explained that there would be no violation unless Mr. Minton was actually charged with a crime by the police department or state attorney's office or if Judge Penick found that he was in violation of the injunction.
June 6, 2001: Jeff Jacobsen was followed by a Scientology private investigator. Jeff turned off to a side road to see if the car would follow him and it did. Jeff then turned on another side road and stopped. The car following Jeff stopped, backed up in the road and drove in the opposite direction upon seeing Jeff pull over. The plate number was A60 SPV and was leased from Ford Credit Title. This was one of approximately fifty reports Mr. Jacobsen made about specific instances of being followed in Clearwater.
June 13, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name Public Anonymous Account (firstname.lastname@example.org) posted a message titled "LMT Accomplishments of 2000-2001." He listed a number of things, as follows: "1. They have aided many known felons. 2. They have helped many convicted felons elude justice. 3. They have likely committed other unpublicized crimes that they are unwilling to admit. 4. They have slandered charitable organizations. 5. They have promoted hate, intolerance and bigotry. 6. They have tastelessly set up shop near the homes of those they despise, akin to a Nazi establishing camp in Israel. 7. They have promoted illegal drug use and abuse, and spoken out against charitable organizations opposed to such abuse. 8. They have lied outrageously about crimes committed by their constituents and those they aid in vain attempts to mask their fundamentally criminal nature."
June 15, 2001: In the FSO v. Dell Leibreich case, Judge W. Douglas Baird found Mr. Minton in contempt of court for failure to appear for a deposition that had been scheduled for March 1, 2001, in response to a subpoena served on February 9, 2001. He was further "ordered and adjudged that he shall appear and respond to said subpoena and that he shall produce all non- privileged documents and a privilege log of all purported privileged documents at the commencement of deposition. Failure to comply will result in a fine of $1000 per day until such time that he complies or until such time that he shall be incarcerated for failure to appear."
June 16, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name Bremenium posted a message on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology titled "LMT Hall of Infamy-Online." He listed all the web sites where Scientologists have posted scurrilous material about Mr. Minton and the staff of the LMT:
Brooks, Stacy Finding the Fact and Order Concerning Deposition http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdFFORM2a.html Failure to appeals against this order http://www.bigotwatch.net/11circuit.html http://www.bigotwatch.net/Lazzara1.html Hit with sanctions for contempt http://www.bigotwatch.net/BMSanctions1.html
Bunker, Mark Criminal History http://www.bigotwatch.net/mb.html
LMT, Inc. Legal Losses http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJM01.html http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJM03.html http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJM05.html http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJM06.html Contempt and Sanctions http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdFFORM3a.html Witness tampering, intimidation and improper payments to witnesses http://www.bigotwatch.net/CounterClaim1.html More Sanctions for Contempt http://www.bigotwatch.net/BMSanctions3.html
Minton, Mr. Minton Criminal History http://www.bigotwatch.net/rm.html Found Guilty - Fined and given 6-months probation http://www.bigotwatch.net/Guilty!.html Sunday Express article regarding Nigerian debt payback scheme http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd11.html Nigerian Complaint Against Minton http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd13.html Business Age Feature Article About Minton's Debt Buy Back Schemes http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd14.html LMT, Inc. Legal Losses http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJM01.html http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJM03.html http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJM05.html http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJM06.html Findings of Fact and Order- contempt & sanctions http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdFFORM1a.html Order to Show Cause Regarding Contempt http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdOSC1a.html Order on Motion to compel Robert Minton to Answer Questions http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdBsnOrd1a.html More Sanctions for contempt http://www.bigotwatch.net/BMSanctions3.html Mr. Minton Minton arrested in Boston (Documentation) http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd01.html (Video) http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html Mr. Minton Minton attempts to incite a confrontation (Video) http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html Mr. Minton Minton attacks Scientologist in Clearwater (Video) http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html Mr. Minton Minton slow motion battery (Video) http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html Minton loses it! (Video) http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html Dateline interview (Video) http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html Minton Harasses Clearwater Police (Video) http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html Minton threatens process server (Video) http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html
Prince, Jesse Criminal History http://www.bigotwatch.net/jp.html Arrest affidavit for cultivation of Marijuana http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd05.html Prince arrested for drunken driving http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd06.html Prince Disorderly Conduct http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd07.html Articles on Jesse Prince's Marijuana Arrest http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd08.html http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd08a.html Drug charge against Prince http://www.bigotwatch.net/prdJPDA01.html Prince Arrested for Statutory Rape http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd09.html Prince Search Warrant http://www.bigotwatch.net/prd12.html Kiss your mama with that mouth? http://www.bigotwatch.net/footage.html
June 18, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com posted a message titled "Minton found in Contempt of Court - Again." The text of the message was as follows:
"Bigotwatch says it all. Another Judge has found Minton in contempt of court.
"Just as the LMT is condemned in Clearwater, Florida, the United States and Europe for their obnoxious criminal conduct, harassment and practice of religious bigotry, so is Mr. Minton found in Contempt of Court once again for violating Court Orders. Not only has Minton been found in Contempt again, this time he has been ordered to pay $1000 a day should he continue his utter refusal to uphold the laws of the land.
"When will these guys ever learn that crime doesn't pay and to just tell the truth? Of course they have filthy dirty laundry but that does not excuse their constant refusal to follow the law. Minton is already in the hole over $1,000,000 for this type of conduct along with his other $5,000,000 investments in hatred flushing down the toilet. Why doesn't Mr. Minton just FOLLOW THE LAW?? It's quite apparent that he and the rest of the LMT staff are unable to tell the truth, the recent Prince trial proved that. (LMT Executive Director refused to take the stand in his own defense because he would have to either perjure himself or admit to continuous illegal drug use for years.)"
June 22, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name firstname.lastname@example.org posted a message titled "Judge ends LMT charade in civil lawsuit." The text of the message was as follows:
"The Judge presiding over Minton's McPherson civil lawsuit has ruled a death blow to the case. With an unprecedented 49 page Order, Judge Frank Quesada has ruled into fact and law and once and for all, based on mountains of uncontroverted evidence, that Lisa McPherson loved Scientology and never wanted to leave it. Minton's blood thirsty LMT ratbags have been defanged as their poisonous venom spews into their faces.
"The direct testimony of every family member of Lisa, her friends and every expert witness that Minton put forward, such as Prince and Vaughn Young, and his hired gun psychiatrists, was used by the Judge to clearly show that the bogus and deceitful lies told, repeatedly and spread by Minton, his pack of criminals at the LMT and his attorney's have never had any basis in fact. Instead, the exact opposite was found. Everything that was said bad about the Church and Scientologist's help for Lisa was false as it was only intended to support a lawsuit based on knowingly told lies.
"The Judge also delivered the final blow to Jesse Prince's career (as if he ever had one as he never got off the starting block short of making a quarter of a million dollars in blood money from his master Minton) when he ruled his testimony is not only inadmissible but didn't even say what he claimed it to say.
"Somebody needs to post it."
June 26, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com posted a message titled "Minton Suppressing of Free Speech; What's really going on inside Minton's bunker." The text of the message was as follows:
"Minton and Brooks do not allow for the truth inside or outside of the LMT as it discredits all of the lies they have told in the civil litigation. Minton is the SP of free speech inside and outside of the LMT.
"Brooks, Bunker and Jacobsen have been asked repeatedly on this newsgroup to tell us and show us what is actually going on in the McPherson case litigation. They could easily walk a few blocks from their bunker to the courthouse and get some documents from the court file and post them but they don't. Minton won't allow it.
"Minton finally responded yesterday from pressure by critics who questioned why Jacobsen only has the First Amended Complaint on his page vs. the actual 5th Amended Complaint. (BTW what does Jacobsen do all day with himself?) Minton responded by trying to blow another smoke screen over this newsgroup by claiming an ongoing "frustration with Ken Dandar" which prevents him or the LMT from obtaining public record court documents.
"So why does Minton really refuse to allow his organization to post the court documents. Minton claims that Ken Dandar prefers to keep the documents off the Internet because Scientology makes a stink and hammers him in court and he hates that. The real reason is that Minton hasn't won anything in his case and has been hammered continuously as the lies embedded in Dandar's allegations and motions have been exposed and proven false one after the other. Minton, Brooks and Dandar have lost so heavily that Minton must now pay out millions in damages, fees and costs as the case disintegrates and Minton is ordered to pay $1000 a day in sanctions for avoiding deposition to answer questions that reveal he is running the case as an investment scam. The proof is all contained in court documents readily available as public records.
"Minton, Brooks, Prince, Bunker & Jacobsen simply don't have any way to put a favorable spin on the way the McPherson case has gone for them since the biggest lies from the criminal case and the case itself was thrown out a year ago. All of their lies just cannot withstand the truth. This is something that Minton won't tell you about as he is psychotic on the subject of the truth.
"Minton complains '50% of the bullshit of every hearing in the civil case' is about him. It is actually more like 100% because the other 50% Minton won't admit to are the lies he has told.
"It is left up to Bigotwatch to bring you the facts, while Minton pays dearly another month's salary to the staff in his bunker - Brooks, Prince, Bunker, Jacobsen, Summers et.al - to continue to suppress the truth.
"See the latest addition at www.bigotwatch.net/publicrecorddocuments.html displaying the recent summary judgment dismissing the plaintiffs' false imprisonment claim in the McPherson civil litigation.
"While others whine, cry and lie, Bigotwatch gives you the facts and documents to back them up.
June 26, 2001: Mr. Minton's new probation officer, under pressure from Scientology, ordered Mr. Minton to register all of his guns. Mr. Minton informed her that New Hampshire does not have a provision to register weapons beyond the initial ownership papers, but she persisted in her demand. Mr. Minton turned over ownership of the guns to Ms. Brooks until his probation was terminated on August 20, 2001.
August 2, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name firstname.lastname@example.org (Dexterrr) posted a message in which he detailed Mr. Minton's psychiatric history and included a child psychologist his children had seen. The text of the message follows:
"Minton has been under extensive psychiatric care throughout his life. He has been seen for treatment by at least five psychs.
"Madison Sanatorium: In about 1963 Minton was sent to this mental facility after a violent falling out with his father. It is not known what psychs treated him at this sanatorium.
"Doctor Saeger: Minton and his then wife, Cynthia Wharton, saw him in NYC at a mental clinic circa 1977/78. Minton was diagnosed with bi-polar personality disorder and was taking drugs to treat it.
"Jennifer Rathbun: Mass General and McLeans associated. She is a child psych. Her husband is a psych at Harvard.
"Doctor Robert Abernethy: Mass General psychiatrist most recently treating Minton in Boston. Studied and worked at Eric Lindemann Center where he was the director of their Freedom Trail Clinic.
"Doctor Terrence Real: Trendy psych in Cambridge; expert on Prozac and on male depression.
"The insane sometimes don't know what they're doing."
July 8, 2001: Bruce Howie filed a motion for an order to show cause and motion for modification and in camera review or early termination of probation. This was regarding the Injunction and the following harassment faced by Mr. Minton at the hands of the Scientology: 1) the sending of a letter written by a representative of the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization to Mr. Minton's probation officer, with copies to the court and Mr. Minton's counsel documenting alleging that there was a violation by Mr. Minton of his probation; 2) the sending of a letter by an employee of the Church of Scientology of Boston to a New Hampshire police department, forwarding copies of the injunction and that terms of Mr. Minton's probation; and 3) the sending of a letter, by the same employee of the Church of Scientology of Boston, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, submitting information about an apparent probation violation of the conditions of Mr. Minton's probation."
July 18, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name email@example.com posted the following message to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology:
"Why would the LMT allow evidence of their involvement (direct supervision) of illegal electronic surveillance of law enforcement officers get into the hands of the police? A few months ago two Spanish El Mundo TV reporters were sponsored by the LMT while in Clearwater to film a show. The reporters obviously conducted their business in and out of the LMT while in Clearwater.
"They covertly made an audio and video record of two Clearwater Police Officers warning them they would be conducting illegal surveillance if the bag they were carrying concealed a hidden recorder. The denied it, yet the illegal tape was aired recently on Spanish TV, thereby exposing and documenting the crime. (a felony under Fla stat 934.01)
"The Clearwater police already issued a warning to Bunker when he openly video and audio taped a police officer without his permission. This time it was done covertly and denying it at the same time.
"And from what I hear the same police officer who warned Bunker has the tape of the Spanish show which clearly shows the El Mundo journalists coming in and out of the LMT and then covertly recording the police. (They couldn't even get in the Church to commit the crime so they just did it on the police! What idiots!)
"And this police officer is apparently the one who has the case.
"Can't wait for the fireworks!
"The LMT criminal record is growing. Who's going to pay the bill to defend this one?
"P.S. This sounds like a violation of the injunction too - El Mundo reporters acting in participation with the LMT.
August 07, 2001: An anonymous Scientologist using the name firstname.lastname@example.org posted the following message to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology:
"I've got one question for Bob Minton's Trust:
"What is Mark Bunker, Jeff Jacobsen and Jesse Prince even doing now to earn their daily bread from the almighty Minton since they can't even talk to a Scientologist in Clearwater anymore let alone picket in front of the Fort Harrison, anywhere along the coveted Watterson Avenue or surprise anyone without permission from the Clearwater Police?
"from picketing, protesting, and/or demonstrating in the areas designated in BLUE (which is greatly expanded from the prior "no picket" zone)...and from engaging in any of the aforementioned activities within ten feet of any entrance or exit actually used frequently on a daily basis to all Church property that is not expressly included in the prohibited zones
"Lawful picketing means "not contrary to or forbidden by law", provided that at all times while picketing, all persons bound by this injunction shall comply with the anti-noise provisions of this injunction.
"from coming within ten (10) feet of any member of the Church.
"from blocking the path of any member of any motor vehicle of the Church
"from physically or by any other means inhibiting any Church member, any member of the general public, or any motor vehicle, from entering or leaving any Church properties that are listed in the schedule of properties...
"from making loud and raucous noise such as, but not limited to, yelling, shouting, whistling or singing (whether by natural or amplified voice), or by the employment of any mechanical device such as a horn, whistle, or other noisemaker that creates a loud and raucous noise that can be heard inside any of the Church properties that are listed in the schedule of properties
"a "loud and raucous noise" is any sound which because of its volume level, duration, and character, annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, health, peace or safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensibilities.
"from entering upon any of the Church properties that are listed in the schedule of properties...
"from committing any acts of harassment or violence against any member of the Church, including, without limitation, any UNSOLICITED physical, verbal or written contact with any Church staff or parishioner.
"must notify Clearwater Police Department at least one hour in advance of the demonstrations/event and inform the Clearwater Police Department of their/its intentions.
"Any violation hereof shall constitute contempt of court, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment."
August __, 2001: Scientology attorney Sandy Rosen sent a letter to Stacy Brooks putting her on notice that the Lisa McPherson Trust was enjoined under an earlier injunction of FACTNet, a corporation of which both she and Mr. Minton had been on the board of directors.
August 15, 2001: Stacy Brooks was deposed as the corporate representative of the Lisa McPherson Trust. Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon asked many questions that were outside the scope of the deposition, including a number of questions about Ms. Brooks' personal life. Moxon also demanded documents regarding the people who had come to the Lisa McPherson Trust for help. Ms. Brooks refused to turn over any of the documents to Scientology as it would be a violation of privacy.
August 23, 2001: Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon filed a Motion ________ requesting that Judge Schafer put Mr. Minton and Ms. Brooks in jail until they produced all the records Scientology had demanded. These records included all the records of the people the Lisa McPherson Trust had helped.
August 26, 2001: Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon filed an Opposition to [Lisa McPherson Trust staffer] Teresa Summers' Motion to Quash or for Protective Order in which he tried to get the court to force Ms. Summers to turn over documents about certain people who had contacted the Lisa McPherson Trust for help.
August 28, 2001: Information was received that Scientologists were obtaining information about Mr. Minton's wife and children by regularly stealing the trash at the house in Boston.