of Scientology's Harassment of Robert S. Minton and Colleagues
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.
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 the didn't
need to have the conversation because Mr. Minton already owned
the building, as of 3:45 that afternoon.
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.
6, 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
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.
12, 2000: Three Scientologists have letters
published in the St. Petersburg Times. The letters attack
Bob Minton and the LMT.
13-16, 2000: Scientologists picketed
the Minton house in Boston for three days in a row.
16, 2000: In a letter
to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times titled, "Scientology
has helped family, friends, business," Scientologist
J. Clouden of Largo, Florida, wrote:
would never ask Minton for help or advice on ethics. That
would be like asking Hitler about the Jewish religion."
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 passed his mug
shot around his neighborhood in Clearwater, Florida and posted
information on the Internet describing him as a criminal.
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
here for only one purpose, to harass Scientology"
and "Minton's Lisa McPherson center can only hurt
relations between the city and the church."
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:
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!"
to appear to be from a group of Nigerian freedom fighters,
the flier ended by inviting readers to "Visit our website."
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.
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.
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.
6, 2000: The St. Petersburg Times published a story titled
oddity can one town take?" written by Tom Tobin.
Marty Rathbun, a high-level Scientology spokesman, made the
following statements regarding Mr. Minton:
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."
20, 2000: A Scientologist, using the pseudonym Michael
Wallace, wrote an e-mail to Mark Bunker who at that time used
the email address email@example.com. Mark posted it to the
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".
had, in fact, arrived at work that day three hours late after
working extended hours the night before. After the first post,
the "Michael Wallace" wrote again and admitted that
he was being briefed on Mark's arrival time. The message
was intended to let Mr. Bunker know he was being watched.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
14, 2000: Stacy Brooks and another board member of the
Lisa McPherson Trust, Duncan Pierce, attended a hearing before
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.
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
2000: While Therese Minton was on vacation in England
with the children, they were followed by Scientology private
investigators wherever they went.
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.
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
8, 2000: Richard
Hurst, a Scientologist active in working with OSA, came
in to harass the members of the Lisa McPherson Trust.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
22, 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
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.
25, 2000: Ms. Caberta had asked if she could have a chance
to speak to U.S. Media
about the situation with Scientology in Germany. 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 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. She also discussed the fact that Scientology was
viewed as a fraudulent commercial enterprise in Germany, not
as a religion.
the reception, Scientologists were outside trying to disrupt
the gathering. 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
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, demanding that she let them in. One of
them finally slid a subpoena for deposition in the Lisa McPherson
wrongful death case under the door, although Ms. Caberta had
no involvement with that case whatsoever.
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,
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
went on to libel Mr. Minton regarding his business dealings
in Nigeria, stating,
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."
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."
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
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."
bottom of the flier was the following statement: "For
the facts, contact the Foundation for Religious Tolerance
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
has previously been arrested for assault against Scientologists
and has fired a shotgun at them."
along with members of his group has been restrained from
coming within ten feet of Church properties in Clearwater."
Prince, vice president of the Lisa McPherson Trust, was
recently arrested for cultivating marijuana at his home."
has previous arrests for driving under the influence,
disorderly conduct, and contributing to the sexual delinquency
of a child."
Bunker of the Lisa McPherson Trust was arrested in Chicago
earlier this year for criminal trespass at the Church
of Scientology of Chicago."
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
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."
also featured a mug shot of Jesse Prince from his August 2000
arrest. Several items were listed under his photograph as
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."
a photograph of Stacy Brooks were the following items:
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."
a photograph of Mark Bunker was the following information:
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."
bottom of the flier was the following statement:
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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."
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.
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:
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."
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
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."
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
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.