of Scientology's Harassment of Robert S. Minton and Colleagues
1999: A long-term Scientology spy was uncovered after
having been sent in on FACTNet, Mr. Minton, Jesse Prince,
and Stacy Brooks.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
12, 1999: Dateline ran a follow-up story about Mr. Minton
in which Scientology spokesperson Mike Rinder made the following
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."
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:
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
signed "Free Speech & Religious Freedom Committee
of The Parishioners of The Church of Scientology of Colorado."
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.