Lee/David Lebeau/Rob Clarke
THE REAL STORY ABOUT JOHN FASHANU'S SO
CALLED PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
by George Noah
Monday 27 August 2000
man with many identities, his links with the Scientology organization,
his recruitment of John Fashanu & his intrigues with
the Nigerian government in his bid to destroy Bob Minton.
David Lee (aka Robert Clarke aka Ron Christopher), whose real name is
David Lebeau, is a private investigator who has worked for the
Scientology organization for at least eight years. For the purpose of
this report, we shall refer to the investigator as David Lee. After he
was handed the project of destroying, Bob Minton, the retired American
investment banker, the Scientology organization is hell bent on
destroying, Lee's first task was to research into Minton's past to
find out where he could be vulnerable. Lee soon found out that
Minton's company once did a debt buy back operation for the Central
Bank of Nigeria between 1988 - 1993. The private investigator/cum
Scientology agent immediately went to work with the hope of digging up
something unpleasant about Minton. For three years he compiled a
dossier on Minton. These were the years Fashanu was later to claim, he
spent his own money investigating those who looted Nigeria's treasury!
and Elliot Abelson
The fact is that Lee personally compiled the ''Fashanu Report'' and
equally placed John Fashanu on his payroll and not the other way round
as the former footballer has been suggesting.
especially from another Scientologist, Chief Rilwanu
claims to be a devout Muslim, Lee recruited Fashanu to spearhead the
assault on Minton. Journalists who interviewed Fashanu on the debt buy
back deal are unanimous in their views that Fashanu could not hold any
intelligent discussion on the report he claims he put together.
who is Fashanu's boss, is extremely cagey about being identified as a
Scientologist, lest his cover is revealed.
behind an "Arnie Lerma" Mask
was why both men failed to appear at the
public forum on the debt buy back deals
organized by the Nigerian Democratic Movement at Howard University,
Washington DC, two months ago. They both claimed to have
been advised not to appear by their lawyers! Yet both men had
craved media attention for the debt buy back scheme. Lee was always
at the background whilst Fashanu hopped from one media house to
another. Indeed, Lee was aware that former Scientology members
were to attend the public forum. Hence his decision to abscond.
As for Fashanu, he must have succumbed to his cerebral deficiencies
and had decided not to embarrass himself or his paymasters.
Having recruited Fashanu, thought to be an ideal candidate for the job
at the time, Lee devised a media plan in April this year, to give the
''Fashanu Report'' the required publicity blitz. He prepared a
question and answer document and both men went to work. Within two
weeks, the media began to take interest. The Nigerian debt buyback
scheme soon became headline news in several London publications
including; Africa Confidential, The Times, The Voice, New Nation and
The Mirror. Shortly after, the Nigerian media followed suit.
Lee ensured that Fashanu was placed under surveillance. Fashanu on the
other hand tried to outwit Lee by acquiring new fixed network and
mobile phones to make discreet telephone calls.
It is believed that
Fashanu had considered quitting the project, due to the scrutiny of
his credibility and his motives, but he appears incapable of doing so,
because of the dossier Lee has on him.
Sometime in May, Lee shocked
Professor Bolaji Aluko in his Howard University office by playing back
a conversation Fashanu had with Ned Nwoko, a member of the House of
Professor Bolaji Aluko
Lee was at that time on the verge of abandoning
Fashanu because the ex footballer was becoming a liability. He felt it
was a high wire strategy to pin all his three year work on a man whose
credibility was being eroded by the day and confided in Aluko that
Fashanu could not be trusted. He said Fashanu was like a lose
cannon. Fashanu had approached the Abachas with the aim of extorting
money from them claiming the ''Fashanu Report'' had information that
showed they stole Nigeria's money. The Abachas wanted Fashanu to
substantiate his claims, but the former footballer never went past
that stage because he never had that information in the first
instance. Fashanu had also ''recruited'' Ned Nwoko as someone from the
Presidency who could facilitate the prosecution of Minton. Lee
was to find out from his secret taping of Fashanu and Nwoko, that
Nwoko was on his own and was not working for the Presidency.
Sensing that the Fashanu angle had outlived its usefulness, and that
the ex footballer was more of a liability than an asset, Lee began
work on plan B. In June when President Obasanjo went to Switzerland,
Lee and his group were on his trail.
| With the help of Lukman,
Lee was able to meet Obasanjo for about 30 minutes. Lee later said he
was so surprised about the lack of security around Obasanjo. ''They
(security agents) did not even frisk me before I met the President''
Lee later told Aluko.
It was during the meeting with
Obasanjo that Lee brought up the Minton issue. After that meeting,
Nigeria at attempted to press charges against Minton. But it is
believed the government is reconsidering its move because independent
lawyers have counseled that Minton has no case to answer. One source
said several lawyers had rummaged through the ''Fashanu Report'' and
thought the country could end up with eggs on its face if the case was
taken any further.
Another inside source said the government was advised that the
''Fashanu Report'' did not prove Minton had committed any offence and
that the whole controversy was being spearheaded by the Scientology organization
in its bid to embarrass Minton. They also proffered the
following advise; that the Nigerian Senate had claimed in its report
that the debt buy back deal in question was transparently executed and
that the companies Lee and his group claimed was owned by Minton in
defrauding Nigeria was actually owned 100 per cent by the Central Bank
of Nigeria; that Minton's debt buy back scheme had saved Nigeria about
$5 billion and that Nigeria had demonstrated financial engineering in
reducing its debt at the expense of the nation's creditors.
Lee on stake-out
Nigerian government officials have gone cold in their liaison with Lee
and Fashanu, having realized Lee's motives, the futility of the
case against Minton, and that Lee is a man of various
Sources said Lee attempted to see Obasanjo in London last
week through the Nigeria High Commission, but was given a cold
shoulder. It is believed that Lee has returned to the drawing board to
devise another method of attack against Minton.
From 1993 onwards, Lee ensured that Minton lost his privacy. Lee and
his group virtually kept tabs on Minton's telephone conversations and
travel itinerary. They compiled a list of all those who knew Minton
and approached them with the aim of gathering incriminating
information about him. They tailed Minton's daughters, wife, father
and mother whether they were in the United States or abroad. It was a
sophisticated surveillance activity. The Scientology organization did
not spare a dime in ensuring that they trailed their public enemy
number one and his family. The idea was to intimidate and overwhelm
| But that approach failed, because Minton vowed that he would
continue to expose the totalitarian nature of Scientology and to
continue the funding for the civil case instituted against the cult organization
for the death in custody of one of their former members,
named Lisa McPherson.
The Scientology organization stand to lose a
whopping $100 million if they lose the case. Hence the need to force
Minton to abandon the funding for that litigation by all means
In 1998, Lee and his agents broke into the London West End offices of
Minton's business partner, Jeffrey Schmidt and photocopied all
the documents they found. The bulk of the documents found is what we
now know as the ''Fashanu Report''. Lee and Fashanu have declined to
include Schmidt or Selwyn Lewis, the two other business partners of
Minton in the debt buyback scheme. This is because Minton is the only
target. The ''Fashanu Report'' is about 150 pages thick. On the face
of it, it looks impressive but the document on its own does not prove
any criminal act perpetrated by Minton. It only demonstrates that
someone had taken great pains to do some investigation and gather
Lee came up with the $6 billion debt buy back scam to generate
interest in his project. But no such money was involved in the debt
buy back deal. Indeed, the Central bank employed $1.1 billion to buy
back over $4 billion of Nigeria's debt.
But Fashanu and
Lee hopped from one media house to another, telling those who
cared to listen that they had uncovered about 6 billion dollars of
Nigeria's money looted from the treasury. Fashanu swore that his
revelations had led to the freezing of some bank accounts in Europe,
to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. To date he and Lee has
failed to provide details of such accounts that had been frozen and
where they had been frozen. Not a single name has been linked to
accounts that have been frozen through the Lee/Fashanu crusade. Not
one. Lee even claimed Minton's accounts had been frozen, but has
declined to substantiate his claims. Minton on the other hand had
called the duo liars, insisting they were in fantasy island.
Back to David Lee and his background. Lee's base of operations has
been in Los Angeles in Scientology-owned offices. Notionally, he work
for Omega Legal Services, or Omega Legal Investigations, in Cedar
Ridge, Colorado, where anyone can be a private investigator no
license is required. The business in Cedar Ridge is owned by a man
named George Bacon. This "business," however, is only
someone's house with a phone line in it.
The first time David Lee surfaced working for Scientology was in 1992,
when he befriended a group of high-level Scientology executives who
had recently left the organization.
Their names were Terri and
Fernando Gamboa, Janice and Paul Grady, Mark Fisher, and several
others. They all settled in Las Vegas and started a mortgage company
together. These people knew him as David Lebeau.
Gamboa weds Gerry Armstrong
He was sent in to
keep tabs on them to make sure they didn't cause any trouble for the organization. These people knew he was a plant because of certain
questions he asked and the way he behaved generally, but they never
let on to him that they knew. Their thinking was that it was better to
know who was being run in on them, thereby being able to control the
situation, than to blow his cover and risk having another person sent
in that they might not spot.
Lebeau kept especially close tabs on Terri Gamboa, who had been the
highest-ranking executive and knew the most about Scientology's
underhand activities. He went so far as to travel with Terri and
Fernando to Australia when they went there on a vacation. Lebeau was
reportedly in Las Vegas with these people for two years.
Shaw & David Lee
| He next
appeared in Seattle, Washington, in charge of a surveillance team that
was set up under the control of Scientology intelligence officer Ben
Shaw in Los Angeles.
From 1994 until 1998 David Lee ran this team,
whose job was to monitor and report on the activities of two
former-Scientologists-turned-critics, Stacy and Vaughn Young. (Stacy's
name is now Brooks).
Under Lee's direction, activities against the Youngs were calculated
to destroy their reputations, get them put in prison, and get Stacy
incarcerated in a mental institution. The Young's' trash was stolen
repeatedly, as evidenced by many phone calls from local businesses
advising them that their trash envelopes with their names on
them, were overflowing in the garbage cans.
Stacy and Vaughn
| Both David Lee and Eugene
Ingram, another Scientology-hired private investigator, went
door-to-door in the Young's' neighborhood, spreading negative stories
about them and passing out photographs.
"newsletter" was placed on the doorsteps of everyone in the Young's'
neighborhood. This "newsletter" contained negative
reports accusing the Young's' of pornography, child abuse and more.
One of the men on the surveillance team later quit in disgust and
contacted Bob Minton to tell him what the team had done. He said they
had parabolic microphones on the Youngs' house twenty-four hours a day
so that they could tape record all of their conversations. The tapes
were sent down every day to Ben Shaw.
The Youngs were in the process of establishing a sanctuary for lost
and abandoned cats. David Lee's team targeted these animals for
destruction as a way of forcing the Youngs to stop their public
criticism of Scientology.
| In the summer of 1997 Stacy Young was
interviewed by the popular American 60 Minutes TV programme for
an expose about Scientology.
60 Minutes on CAN
Scientology attorneys sent her a
threatening letter telling her to withdraw her permission to allow 60
Minutes to use her interview on the show. Stacy refused to do so. At
the same time, Vaughn testified before the state government in
Hamburg, Germany, about his knowledge of Scientology's criminal
activities. In retaliation for the Youngs' actions, Scientology
ordered David Lee and his team to launch an all-out assault to have
them arrested on criminal animal abuse charges.
Two Scientology operatives under David Lee's direction moved into an
apartment next door to the Youngs and began going door to door in the neighborhood
complaining about diseased cats and filthy conditions.
The neighbors knew these complaints were false and did nothing about
them. Lee organized a phone campaign against the Youngs to Animal
Control, which began coming to the Youngs' house nearly every day to
inspect, based on these anonymous phone complaints. The house was
always impeccably clean and the rescued cats were healthy and clean.
Then anonymous calls were made to the City Council and Mayor's
David Lee visited the Youngs' veterinarian and told him the animals at
the Youngs were diseased and filthy. The veterinarian made regular
house calls to the sanctuary, so he knew Lee's reports were false.
Next Lee left anonymous letters on the doorsteps of all the Youngs' neighbors
warning the neighbors they better complain to the
authorities about the Youngs' filthy, diseased animals.
David Lee had his team make anonymous calls to the county mental
health department, complaining that Stacy Young was crazy and needed
to be incarcerated. One evening two officials from the commitment
division arrived at the Youngs' house in white coats to take her away.
Fortunately Stacy was able to convince them that she was sane, and
went on the explain that the anonymous calls they had received were
part of an orchestrated campaign by David Lee, working for
Scientology, to keep her from speaking out about Scientology.
Lee had people picketing the Youngs' house, but all the neighbors would come and chase the picketers away. Finally David Lee began
targeting the Youngs' landlord, who lived in the neighborhood. Lee
called the landlord threatening to have him arrested for violations of
the local city ordinances. The landlord told the Youngs they would
have to move the sanctuary elsewhere.
Just as David Lee thought he had been successful in driving the Youngs
into silence about Scientology, Robert Minton contacted them and
offered to help them purchase another house where they could safely
care for their rescued animals.
The Youngs moved to Vashon, an island in Puget Sound a half hour from
Seattle. Lee took his team to Vashon and launched a new assault
on the Youngs there. He circulated false "public health
warnings" about the Youngs' filthy, diseased cats, telling people
they could catch AIDS from the animals. He approached the county
storage facility, which was next door to the Youngs' house, and asked
to be allowed to set up surveillance equipment on the Youngs. The
county refused. While Vaughn Young was in Germany to testify again
about Scientology, David Lee had the Youngs' dog kidnapped, presumably
with the intention of killing him. Fortunately, the dog was able to
escape but was nearly dead when neighbors found him. All his teeth
had been kicked out by what the vet thought must have been a big boot,
and his back was severely hurt as if he had jumped out of a moving car
It was discovered in late 1998, that Lee was the case officer
for a deep undercover agent (Laura Terepin aka Jolie Steckart).
Steckart was provided with a false identity and operated under an
assumed name when she first volunteered to work for the Cult Awareness
Network (CAN) in 1990. CAN was sued out of existence by Scientology in
1997. In early 1998, she volunteered to work for another anti-cult
group, FACTNET which was also being sued by Scientology. But while she
was at FACTNET Minton hired an investigator who uncovered Jolie and
her more-than-eight-year undercover operation against the anti-cult
community which was in 1998 being orchestrated by David Lee. She has
not been seen since.
Lee's campaign against Minton has been the most pervasive anyone
familiar with Scientology's methods has ever seen. David Lee has been
assigned to supervise a campaign to destroy Minton since at least
October 1997, when he directed a Scientology operative named Mary
Frances Newey to go to Nashville, Tennessee, to begin doing a
background check on Minton. This woman bumbled the job, asking about
Bob's father, Robert Minton Sr., by mistake.
But a few days later, the same operative called Minton and told him
that Scientology was prepared to start attacking him on several fronts
unless he stopped giving financial support to Scientology's enemies.
The areas of possible attack she listed to Minton were family,
children, his ex-wife, his ex-business partners, his state and federal
taxes, his mental health, drugs, and paying picketers. Of course,
Minton informed her he had no intention of backing away because of her
At the end of November, Minton was in Seattle to visit the Youngs
after they moved into the house he had bought for them. While there he
discovered that on the morning the house closed, Lee had visited
the real estate agent who had taken care of the transaction. Lee
admitted to the realtor that he had trespassed on the property, just
"having a look around."
In mid-December Therese Minton arrived at the house in New Hampshire
and found a dead cat on the doorstep, courtesy of Lee. In
January 1998 Lee launched a flurry of picketing and leafleting in
Boston against Minton. The first leaflet, distributed under cover of
darkness in Minton's Beacon Hill neighborhood, was titled
"HATRED HIDDEN BEHIND FREE SPEECH" and was signed the Church
| The day after, Lee's partner Eugene Ingram was making
phone calls to Minton's friends and associates saying he was
investigating Minton for conspiracy to commit extortion.
The same day,
Minton found out that Lee had called his father to drive a wedge
On January 8, 1998, David Lee visited Minton's mother, uncle,
aunt, and his two brothers at their places of business, to do his
usual job. Meanwhile, Lee's group of undercover leafleters returned to
Minton's neighborhood in the middle of the night with a new leaflet: NEIGHBOR
PAYS TO CREATE HATRED AGAINST RELIGIOUS GROUP. This leaflet
accused Minton of funding pornographers, sado-masochists, and
neo-Nazis. Later in January, Lee surfaced in Los Angeles, having
tracked down a former employee of Minton living there. Lee told the
former associate that he was contacting everyone he could find who had
worked with Minton. Again, Lee did the usual.
By March 5, a private investigator calling himself Ron Christopher
offered a large sum of money to a former business associate of Minton
in return for information about Minton. There is reason to believe
that Ron Christopher is a pseudonym for David Lee. This same private
investigator identified himself as being with Financial Researchers
when he made calls to several of Minton's friends and associates
asking questions about him. On August 24, 1998, a group of people
picketed the office building of a former associate of Minton's, Bob
Smith, who had been quoted in the New York Times giving a favorable report about Minton's character. Private investigator Lee was
undoubtedly the source of the information about where Bob Smith could
be found, at the Turan Corporation, a company Smith and Minton had
Later in August David Lee contacted Minton's son to do what he knows
best. A few days later, Lee directed an event in Minton's Beacon
Hill neighborhood during which leaflets were passed out to friends, neighbors, and parents of his children's classmates, primarily
intended to upset his children about their father.
home in Sandown
| That evening people
with picket signs showed up in New Hampshire holding picket signs
again intended to upset Minton's children.
In September, David Lee's
counterpart in England, Peter Franks, continued the coordinated
campaign to destroy Minton's family by visiting Therese Minton's
friends and family there. Franks said Lee would visit every neighbor in Boston, as well as the Minton children's teachers, administrators
and parents of their friends.
In October 1998, Lee coordinated with Franks to see that a 14-page
pack of discrediting materials was delivered to Minton's former
partner, Jeff Schmidt, and the Nigerian Minister of Finance in
Washington, D.C., during the IMF meeting there. This was the beginning
of the campaign to use Nigeria to go after Minton. Shortly after
that IMF meeting, as earlier stated, someone burgled the London office
of Minton's former partner, Jeff Schmidt. Based on the Greenland
Holding information contained in the Scientology written Fashanu
Report released in April 2000 by John Fashanu, the data from Jeff
Schmidt's office was stolen by someone working for Franks and Lee and
included in the Fashanu Report.
Peter Franks has had numerous meetings and phone calls with Jeff
Schmidt and Selwyn Lewis since early 1998 and conducted a serious
campaign of harassment directed at Jeff and his wife which forced them
to leave England for Brunei (where Jeff's wife is from). Lee has
continued to work in co-ordination with Peter Franks on the non
existent $6 billion debt buy back scheme that would turn the Nigerian
Government against Minton.
But it appears the government now has a better appreciation of these
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