Biased Journalism Vol. 2, issue 21

Copyright 1996 Shelley Thomson; all rights reserved.

Mail, articles and comment may be directed to Netiquette will be observed with all communication, except for the following: harassing or threatening mail will be posted to the net immediately.

Table of Contents for Biased Journalism.

Biased Journalism Volume 2, issue 21 October 30, 1996.


  1. The BAST Tapes: Paulette Cooper under fire
  2. Netcom Censors Biased Journalism at the Request of the church of scientology
  3. Roadblock: a Joe Horn essay
Read at your own risk. This is Biased Journalism!

1. The BAST Tapes: Paulette Cooper under fire

I Paulette Cooper: A brief history

The Washington Post, Saturday April 29, 1978 in an article by Ron Shaffer said:

HEADLINE: Author Critical of Scientology Harassed; Seized Scientology Data Seen To Indicate Author Was Framed

"In the fall of 1971, author Paulette Cooper wrote a book called "The Scandal of Scientology" and then, according to her publisher, friends, family and lawyers, the following things happened to her.

"She received repeated telephone calls from anonymous persons who threatened to kill her.

"Letters were posted on her neighbors' door telling them she had veneral disease and should be evicted.

"Her publisher was sued and harassed to the point that he withdrew the book from circulation.

"Officials of the Church of Scientology in New York City claimed they had received a bomb threat and the federal government subsequently indicted her for sending it. Then the government charged her with perjury for denying it...

"According to informed sources, FBI agents have found in church records evidence that the Scientologists framed Cooper by stealing her stationery and sending the bomb threat to themselves.

"The Scientologists deny they were involved in any such scheme. "It's totally ridiculous and typical of outrageous false statements that some people feel they need to pass on regarding the church," Greg Layton, a Church of Scientology spokesman, said.

"Federal agents, according to informed sources, have rushed the newly discovered evidence on the bomb threat to the FBI offices in New York City, and a new investigation has been started...

"Church critics have maintained Scientology is not a religion, but rather a business and should not enjoy tax-exemption, ruling that it was more a philosophy than a religion. Many of Cooper's suits with the Scientologists have been settled out of court, according to her lawyers, but a $15.4 million damage suit she brought against the Scientologists in New York is pending. She plans to press that suit in light of the new evidence received by the FBI, according to Rheingold.

"The pending suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court in 1972, accused the Church of Scientology of "intentional interference" with her constitutional freedom of speech and press. Cooper alleged that the organization had initimidated prospective publishers of her book and had subjected her to obscene telephone calls, threats and electronic surveillance..." [end exerpt]

In 1980 Paulette Cooper was contacted by private investigator Richard Bast. He claimed to be working for a wealthy Swiss national whose primary wish in life was to bring the cult of scientology to justice, so long as it could be done without revealing his role. Bast offered Cooper a job helping him research the nefarious activities of the cult. When she asked him why the employment contract had a clause allowing him to surveil her, Bast casually said it was routine for all of his operatives. Unsuspicious, Cooper signed.

Bast rented a hotel room for Cooper in the Washington Hilton; without her knowledge he wired it for sound and taped her every word. He also taped her visits to his office and conversations with her lawyer friend, the cheerfully cynical John Seffern. While the tapes were running, Bast engaged Cooper in leading conversations, encouraged her to use profanity, and suggested that she commit a variety of crimes. He made persistent but fruitless efforts to induce her to seduce FBI agents on tape and acquire illegal drugs.

After several weeks of effort the best Bast had come up with was an admission that Cooper had chiseled the court out of some free copies. Bast contacted Cooper's friend Seffern, whom he had also hired, and proposed that Seffern secretly tape Cooper. He offered Seffern a large sum of money ($10,000) and disclosed that he was really working for the church of scientology.

Seffern immediately warned Cooper, who was shocked and dismayed. They contacted the FBI and were told to try to get evidence that Bast was attempting entrapment. Seffern and Cooper prepared a tape of a faked conversation and mailed it to Bast, who never responded. "We weren't very good actors," Cooper said ruefully.

The surveillance was productive for the church. Bast obtained valuable intelligence which enabled the church to prepare a response to media exposes then in progress, including a 60 Minutes production and a Reader's Digest story. He gained information about the grand jury investigation of the phony bomb threat perpetrated by the church which had almost sent Cooper to prison. The investigation itself finally stalled, perhaps because the church had the benefit of inside information.

However, Bast got virtually nothing on Cooper herself. On tape she tells off-color jokes, candidly describes Seffern's pre-deposition coaching (do readers really think that lawyers tell their clients "answer every question as completely as possible, and be sure to leave nothing out?"), and admits chiseling the court out of some free photocopies. She plays along with Bast's farfetched conspiracy schemes, but never actually does anything to carry them out. Bast had surprisingly little to show for his time.

The church transcribed the best moments (from their viewpoint) and used them to support an affidavit. The affidavit was never used in a trial. In 1985 all of the Cooper-scientology lawsuits were settled. The documents went into storage, where they occupied five boxes. Nothing more was heard of them until 1996.

II Bast Transcripts - Cooper replies

The Bast documents consist of 30 to 40 sheets which were in an envelope with the court documents. We believe these exerpts represent extracts from a much larger body of material and were presented in the affidavit given by Richard Bast. An investigator obtained the documents for us; a trustworthy third party scanned them, and we interviewed Paulette Cooper about the contents. The following is the text and her comments.

1.  Infiltrating the Org

    [This begins in the middle of a conversation.  Paulette and
    Bast were discussing Dave Williams, a young man Bast hired to
    infiltrate the org and Paulette's worry that if he were deposed
    he would reveal that he had been hired by Bast.  Bast had told
    her that if the story ever came out, that would be the end of the
    money for the operation.  In actuality Williams was hired by
    Bast as part of the operation against Paulette.]
COOPER: I mean, in other words, he says you can take every single
        [thing] and comfortably lie about it.

[Paulette:  The above is a reference to what John Seffern taught me
 to do at a deposition.  John read through my earlier depositions and
 thought I gave away much too much information, and sat me down
 and showed me how to reveal nothing during a deposition.  

[Paulette:  By 'comfortably lying' it means that if you are asked,
 say, if you know that Reader's Digest is coming out with a story on
 scientology (which was happening) John said you can say that you
 don't know because you don't know until you've seen it.  That sort
 of thing.]

BAST:    Yeah.

COOPER : Ahmm, you know?

BAST:    Yeah.  Sure.

COOPER:  Did you ever speak to him?  "No"  He spoke to me. So, but,
         I'm worried about this kid and then--
[Paulette said:  I was concerned that if he was found out, he might
 be deposed and what I thought was a legitimate operation to bring
 down scientology would end because the father would withdraw the money
 offer and back out.  Dick said that is what he would do if his role
 ever came out.]

BAST :  Well, see the kid---she was ah, you know, kinda scared him
       'cause he says "Well, I don't want anything criminal on my re-
        cord.", you know, she's talking to him about criminal charges
        and I thought "the hell I don't want him quitting before he
        gets started."

[Actually Bast was unhappy because Paulette warned Williams to be
 careful not to do anything in his role as infiltrator that could
 result in criminal charges.  That part of the tape was not in our
 transcripts.  "Bast was mad that I even mentioned that there was
 some 'danger' in the operation," Cooper remembers.  In
 actuality, Paulette's warning the stooge not to commit any crimes
 must have been fairly frustrating to Bast. -ed]

[BJ:  Were you worried about specific crimes?  PC:  Criminal trespass.
 And, at some point I thought it was possible that Bast was going to
 have this kid deposit drugs in the org--the drugs Bast wanted me to
 get.  (Paulette never went through with this.)]

COOPER: Yeah, but if he's not going to be able to hold up in the rough

[Paulette thought the kid was a wimp.]

BAST:   Well, the lying we can take care of down the road.

[Bast is talking about the prospect of the kid being deposed.]

COOPER: If somebody is this uncomfortable at this level of, you know,
        I mean, it's not, it's not a matter of lying, it's a matter of
        is he going to be able to forget a lot?

BAST:   Well, it's the same thing, but ah, you know, the, the kid's a
        young kid.  What we want to do is get him started.  When it
        comes down the road, hey, we may even use your lawyer, you
        know, that's a sharpie in this---   [meaning Seffern]

COOPER: I know that John's okay.  [sadly] He's been disbarred.

[Paulette:  Technically John was suspended from practice in New York
 and was still able to practice in New Jersey.  As soon as the church
 found that out, from the deposition they took of him in my case, they
 sucessfully moved to have him suspended in New Jersey as well.  The
[BJ:  why was he suspended?  PC:  He tried a case free for an
 entire month and won for a woman who refused to pay him afterwards.
 He was holding $1500 in escrow for her expenses.  He was short of
 money and finally he used it to pay some bills.  She took him to
 the Bar Association and he was suspended in New York.  When
 scientology found out he could still practice in New Jersey they
 had him suspended there as well.]

BAST:   Well hell, how the hell can we use him if he's been disbarred?

COOPER: No, you see he hires cheap.  [Seffern was desperately broke.]

BAST:   I know, but how can we ah, we can only use him as an 

COOPER: That's right.

BAST:   like to train the kid for a deposition.

COOPER: That's what, that's what we'll do and---

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: John needs money.  In fact, before the deposition I give him a
        hundred bucks per day, he sits down, he cross examines me back.
        I'm so good now.

[Paulette:  Depositions were days and days of asking me about other
 anti-scientology and press activities; I was afraid if I said too
 much it would get people sued and harassed and stories pulled before
 they ran.]

BAST:   Oh, beautiful.

COOPER: And he does that kind of stuff.  He doesn't mind.

BAST:   Well then, well then, we could use him.  If he's been
        disbarred he can't go to the deposition with the kid, but, you
        know, he can train the kid then.

COOPER: Listen.  What he's doing is basically illegal.  He's training
        you how to, how to comfortably---

[BJ: Looks like some words were omitted here.  The sense of this
 statement doesn't agree with what Cooper said later; if you can't
 remember exactly what you said, give me a note as to what you meant.
 OTOH if you really said literally this, please explain your

[Paulette:  The transcripts often did not match the tape especially in
critical areas.  Still I think I was saying that I thought John
training people to forget things at depositions was basically illegal.
John would tell me how to avoid answering questions and giving out
information I didn't want to without lying outright but "comfortably"
because the answer was still partially true.]  

BAST:   He's training you how to commit perjury is what he's doing, but
        you know, hey, everybody does it.

COOPER: No, but within---

BAST:   So what the hell is new about that?

COOPER: But within the context of being comfortable.

[Once again Paulette refuses to follow Bast's lead.  He must have been

BAST:   Yeah.


BAST:   The goddamn Scientologists commit perjury all the time.

[Bast frequently used profanity, presumably in the hope of
 inducing Paulette to do the same.  Unfortunately this plan worked
 some of the time.]

COOPER: I know.

BAST:   And nobody does anything to them.

COOPER: It kills me that I would have problems emotionally, you know
        [if I] totally lie.

[Paulette:  The scientologists left "if I" out of the transcript. What
 I was saying was that I had trouble emotionally if I lied.  John was
 trying to help me comfortably tell half truths that gave out no
 information.  But it bothered me that my enemies were lying all the
 time in their depositions.]

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: But you see, if it's a direct question like "Did you ever re-
        ceive a letter from Mike Meisner?", then that's different, then
        "Yes.", because that you can't ah---

[Paulette:  Here I say that if the question is absolutely direct then
 I'm not going to lie about it.  Mike Meisner was the government
 informant on the case.]

BAST:   Say you lost the letter, huh? (laughs)

COOPER: But then, not only did you lose the letter, what did it say,
        Scientology?  What did it say about Scientology.  I don't say
        that's Scientology.  I'm not going to discuss Scientology.

BAST:   I don't remember.  I got the letter two weeks ago.  I get a lot
        of letters [unintelligible as both talking at same time].

[BJ:  what was this letter?  PC:  I don't recall.  I think I
 received a letter from Mike Meisner once--Nan was in touch with him,
 I recall--which was a secret,  and I probably didn't want to tell
 scientology anything about it.]

COOPER: I did a lot of the deposition.  They'd say "what did you
        discuss with him?"  So l'd say "His arthritis;"

[Paulette:  I think it meant to say 'I did a lot of depositions.'
 When asked what I discussed with someone, I'd always coyly say
 something totally irrelevant just to drive them crazy, like 'his
 arthritis.'  This could have been a reference to Gene Methvin,
 who was coming out with a Reader's Digest piece on scientology
 and had bad arthritis.  I was worried that scientology would
 find out about the article in advance and stop it.]

BAST:   Yeah.  Blow jobs.

COOPER: (laughs).  You know?  

BAST:   That for certain, if you said anything.

[PC: Bast was very gross and constantly making sexual references.
 I stupidly made a joke about sex at one point that might be on
 tape somewhere.  The context of the remark was, Bast was trying
 to get me to sleep with [deleted] and [deleted] of the FBI.]

COOPER: Completely obscure the "No."  I mean, that's somebody else. You
        know, and it's uh, "No. No, Miss Cooper.  We mean about Scien-
        tology.  I said "Oh, why didn't you ask?"  You know, I just
        stalled everything.  "Well, what did you discuss about Scien-
        tology?"  "I don't remember." [laughs]

[She is still thinking about the depositions.]

BAST:   Yeah.  That's all.

COOPER: Their lawyer---

Cooper: That weekend, Pennsylvania was declared a disaster in floods,
        you know, I mean, this is the kind of thing he has such
        terrible, terrible luck.  [John Seffern]

BAST:   Hum.

COOPER: And he's a wonderful friend.  [still trying to find
        a job for Seffern.]

BAST:   Well, he would be able then if we---What could he do for us.
        mean, you know, it's a shame that he's got these brains---

2.  The Infiltrator

[PC:  This segment is about training the kid to go into the org and
 training him to beat the E-meter, and borrowing Nan's meter.]

COOPER: (unintelligible)

BAST:   that they're kinda going to waste now.

COOPER: Yeah, and he's available quite inexpensively.  [Seffern]

BAST:   Like, what a hundred a day?

COOPER: Yeah, and loves to do things against Scientology.  And he's
        good too.

[Paulette:  John helped all of us for free who were having troubles
with scientology--me, Bob Kaufman, and he tried Bernie Green's suit
against scientology as well.]

BAST:   If you don't mind, can I have one?  [bums a cigarette]

COOPER: I would think so.

[Paulette:  I chain smoked in those days.]

BAST:   I what I 'm asking you what could we use him for?  I mean, 
        he's got all this knowledge of Scientology.  What, what could
        we use him for?

COOPER: Oh, I got a thought.  He could train the kid on the E-Meter,
[PC:  Bast wanted me to agree to work with him to get a kid in the
 org who could report back on what was happening and plant some drugs
 and call the police.]

[BJ:  Did you ever acquire an E-meter?  PC:  No, this was all garbage
 talk.  I wouldn't have had the courage to do it although I should
 have framed them for framing me.  The only way to keep Bast happy
 was to seem to go along with his schemes, which he suggested and set
 up.  It's called "entrapment."

[BJ:  What was Bast trying to get out of this conversation?

[PC:  He wanted to get tapes of me plotting to frame the church, to
 weaken the grand jury in New York.

[BJ:  What mood were you in?

[PC:  The same as I had been in for a few weeks: almost maniacally
 happy that scientology was being exposed bigtime from the papers
 being released; big stories I had been working on were coming out,
 and the Guardian's Office people had been arrested for their crimes
 against the government.  The grand jury in New York was looking into
 my frame up and documents had been found proving I was innocent.
 I wasn't thinking rationally.  
 --More imporantly, I was in a fury at the scientologists because I
 had just seen all of the papers about my frameup and the other
 harassment against me, some of which I hadn't even known.  The first
 I learned of Operation Freakout and all the channels was during this
 period.  I had just gone through hundreds of pages of what they had
 done to me and how joyful they were at my misery.  And I read of all
 the terrible things they did to other people who were my friends, and
 I wanted to get revenge.  WIth my perilous legal situation I never
 would have done anything, but I sure as hell enjoyed talking about
 And if someone doesn't believe I was entrapped, just think, if I
 had been the one to suggest the ideas, wouldn't they have produced
 transcripts of that?]

BAST:   Does he know the E-Meter, John?

COOPER: I think he does.

[Paulette:  John had been a scientologist way back and so was his
 estranged wife.]

BAST:   Oh, that would be beautiful.

COOPER: ---besides an E-Meter.

BAST:   How can we get an E-Meter?

COOPER: That's the trouble.

BAST:   Can we buy one?

COOPER: It costs three hundred and fifty dollars.

BAST:   I don't care.  Can we buy one?

COOPER: Yeah.  It costs about three fifty.

BAST:   Oh, where do we buy it?

COOPER: In the org.

COOPER: The kid can buy one, within a week after---'

COOPER: I, I, he'll be able to walk in there.  My, my picture is, you

BAST:   0, I see.  In other words anybody can walk in and buy an

[A page failed to scan, but it contains only idle chatter.]

[Paulette:  What we're discussing is that the kid can buy an E-meter
 at the org, and that we want to train him to beat one so he doesn't
 fail it.  I say John Seffern would be good and he could do the cross
 examination on the meter, as if they were testing the kid to see if
 he was a spy.]

3.  Drugs   

COOPER: Alright, now I tell you. what.  First of all I don't want any
        discussions of any of this over my phone.

BAST:   No.  Of course not.

COOPER: Until you do a sweep, for God's sake, I don't trust that phone--
BAST:   Yeah.

[BJ:  Did he ever do the sweep?]

[PC:  He did a "sweep" of my Washington hotel room, which is when he
 probably planted the bug.  I thought I saw something in his hand at
 the time.  This conversation must have taken place in Washington.]

COOPER: as far as I could throw it. Let me make a few calls back in
        New York to, to a couple of my kookiest friends and see if
        we can't get some LSD tablets also.

[BJ:  Explain this, please.

[PC:  I explained in my previous tape the absolute fury I was in when
 I discovered Operation Freakout, showing me that they had spent 5
 years trying to frame me.  I was spending months, 6 hours a day
 reading the terrible things they had done to me and others.  I
 wasn't thinking rationally and I wanted to get them the worst
 possible publicity so a drug raid *suggested by Bast* was a
 deliciously evil idea.  Can you blame me?  I didn't do it;
 I bullsh***ed about it.
 --Remember too that Dick Bast turned down most of what I offered to
 do which was work on more press stories (I was working on 26 stories
 at the time).]

[Paulette had more to say about Bast:  "Of course he didn't want me
 to do that (work on press stories).  All I knew was that nothing I
 did or said was right and this marine sergeant was a very
 intimidating man to me.  But when I discussed dishonest matters,
 suddenly we invariably got along and he was pleased with me.  This
 was part of the entrapment, of course, and he really was teriffic.
 John Seffern and I always agreed about that afterwards."]

[PC:  "I hate to think of these transcrips being discussed endlessly
 and archived to god knows when--but the fact remains that these
 were casual sessions I didn't know were taped:  dumb talk.  Garbage
 in, garbage out.  I wouldn't have done anything to jeopardize my
 legal situation or interfere with the Grand Jury in New York."]

[PC:  The drug idea came from Bast.  I played along to keep him

BAST:   Hey, that's beautiful.


BAST:   That's even better than just cocaine.

COOPER: And you couldn't get it---

BAST:   Hey, we'd go with cocaine and LSD.

COOPER: What a mixture of--

BAST:   How about preludin and some of the other things?

COOPER: Yeah, qualudes, amphetamines---

BAST:   Sure.

COOPER: Grass is nothing.

COOPER: Can I finish my point?  The point I wanted to make is that if
        they have any kind of police raid this gay friend of mine, his
        name is [deleted], could probably easily get us some, a couple
        of things if you might want to consider that leaving them
        there that might make much bigger headlines.

BAST:   Huh?

COOPER: Like cocaine.

BAST:   Oh,that is beautiful.  Oh, that's even better.

COOPER: Because he snorts with his friend.   

BAST:   Oh, that's, hey we could set 'em up then.  I mean its---

COOPER: Well, I think---

BAST:   A drug bust would be a much bigger thing.  We'd get the DEA in
        there.  We have friends at the DEA.

COOPER: [1 word unintelligible]. 

BAST:   So why don't you give some thought to that and knock out a
        little plan for that.  

[Paulette:  For Bast, "knock out a little plan" meant write up a
 proposal.  You can see him here trying to get me to make an actual
 step toward cimmitting a crime, which thank God I didn't do.]

BAST:   I mean, if, you know, we're gonna do it, we, who knows, maybe
        the serial number on what Dave got will check out.

[BJ:  What was this?
[PC:  Dave was the kid Bast hired to go into scientology.  He
 had gone in and found something he thought was stolen. I vaguely
 remember being annoyed at all this because it was so nothing and
 it wasn't going to expose scientology.  But Dick went on and on
 about it at various times like this.]

COOPER: Well, that's why I'm saying, if there's gonna be a raid in
        that area, Dave's gotta watch his finger prints on the thing
        and everything else.

(went into a brief discussion of how Dave handled
the equipment thought possibly stolan)

COOPER: And he had to wipe his---

BAST:   [about 6 words unintelligible]
COOPER: And I'm saying that in any, any depositing of any glassine
        envelope, he has to be sure there's no prints on it.

BAST:   Oh yeah.  Of course.  Sure.

COOPER: But I think, I think that can be arranged.

BAST:   Okay.  Beautiful.  In other words your friend can get the
        glassine envelopes and we can just [several words

COOPER: I know this guy has snorts coke, coke with his friend.

BAST:   Yeah.


BAST:   How tight are you with him?

COOPER: very. [1-2 words unintelligible] emergency to save his uncle from,

[Paulette:  I probably said something like 'he first called me in an
 emergency to save his uncle from scientology.'  Note:  I didn't do
 deprogrammings but I talked to people all over the world having
 problems and gave advice (free of course).   There was no Internet

COOPER: I'm the only person he's confessed his homosexuality to.

BAST:   Uh huh.

COOPER: He leads two completely different lives.

4.  Meeting in Bast's office:  How to do a Deposition

March 15, 1980  Cooper Bast Cain Seffern

[Paulette:  I think this occurred in Bast's office in Virginia.  Fred
 Cain was his assistant who mysteriously disappeared in the middle
 of the project.  I don't remember this period too well.  I have
 tried very hard to forget it.  Let's see;  Dick dressed in expensive
 suits, but Fred Cain was very relaxed.  Dick had a fabulously
 expensive house in Virginia surrounded by top Washington Senators,
 etc.  He had a little office and his wife used to tiptoe in and out.

[PC:  One day I saw the light on the VCR and asked him about it.  He
 said he was taping a program.  Of course these conversations were
 being videotapes as well as audiotaped.  They never turned over
 the videotapes, but I forget why.]

[PC:  Fred Cain was Bast's sidekick.  He disappeared around the time
 Bast tried to get John Seffern to secretly tape me.  Seffern tried
 to find him afterward to see if he would help us, but he could not
 locate him.]

COOPER: Okay, I just hope, I don't miss one of the days of depositions
        and they ask me questions on that and I say something
        different than I said last time.

[Paulette:  Because of all the lawsuits against me, when I did
 depositions I had to go through thousands of pages of other
 depositions to be sure I was consistent.  The above refers to past
 depos I might not be able to find--I think I was concerned about
 having only a day or two back in New York to be properly prepared to
 walk into a deposition.]

BAST:   Well, no, we don't want that.  Well, John's
        prepared you pretty well for that, I mean, you ow you're,

COOPER: See, I was going to bring the stuff down, but it's
        thousands of pages.  What I have to do is read
        through it because they trick you by asking you
        the same stuff.

BAST:   Oh, I see.

COOPER: And I have to be sure that I didn't say more or
        less last time than I'm going to say this time.

BAST:   Oh, I see, I gottcha.  Yeah.  Well, ya know, the
        least ya say the better off you are, you know.

[Paulette:  He's trying to help set a trap for a deposition where I
 don't mention him or his rich Swiss client or what I have been doing.
 He did a lot of this.]

BAST:   (continued)  Just answer the questions directly and ah...

COOPER: Sure, but I, ah I have to see, you know if I
        forgot, if I forgot something in the meantime,
        it's not good if I.. three months later...

[apparent time gap]

March 15, 1980 - Cooper Bast Cain Seffern

BAST:   I, I, I, I, I took a little credit  or that.  Not
        much credit...

COOPER: Well you can because I worked, ya know, I was the
        one who first approached 60 Minutes.

[Paulette:  Bast told me that he told his client that he had something
 to do with the 60 minutes show which had not yet aired but had been
 taped a long time earlier.]   

BAST:   Well, I told them that you're the main, you're
        the star of the show.  You're the main attraction
        on the show.

COOPER: I provided all the documents for them.  The people
        to interview, I told them.  They read me the script
        at the end.  I mean, ya know, what more can ah, I
        probably have more to do with that show, and oh are
        they going to cross-examine me on that show....

[Paulette:  I knew scientology would ask me about the show during
 depositions and I was afraid to tell them too much for fear that
 they would stop the show.]

BAST:   Who's going to cross-examine you.

COOPER: The ah, dep..., at the deposition.

BAST:   Christ, he oughta be helpful to you.

COOPER: No, Rick has nothing to do with it.  The civil suit
        in New York is I'm going to write up a list; they
        are going to ask me about 60 Minutes, Reader's
        Digest, the Detroit Daily News, the London Guardian,
        and so on and I decide in advance, I do this in all
        the depositions....(garbled talk about the coffee)....
        so I decide in advance what I'm going to tell them
        and memorize it...

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: So that I don't give them more information than
        I want them to have.

[PC:  I was not comfortable lying at a deposition and saying I don't
 remember if I did remember.  BUt I did not want to give scientology
 information on people that could be used to hurt them or on press
 activities that could be used to stop exposees.
 I developed a system whereby I would decide what I wanted to say
 and write it out before a deposition.  When the question was asked I
 would think of what I had memorizeed almost like an exam focusing on
 the answers, and give them the answers.  That's what I meant earlier
 when I said 'study for a deposition.'

[Paulette:  This is a reference to Rick Beiser, who was the main U.S.
 attorney at the time.  Bast was saying that he could help me with the
 New York deposition or something, probably hoping to get something
 against him to make the government back down from the case against
 Mary Sue Hubbard and the 11 scientologists.]

[BJ:  The church could have been terrified that you would give
 information to 60 Minutes.  They'd want to know whom you told 60
 Minutes to interview.  Did you give Bast the list?]
 [PC:  I don't remember what I told him.  I'm sure I told him what
 *I* said.  Incidentally scientology did name me in the 60 Minutes
 lawsuit later.]

 5.  Sex in Jail

March 15, 1980  Cooper Bast Cain Seffern

[Paulette:  Men are appalled by this but if that's all that
 happened to them after what they did to me and others, I
 think they got off easy.]

COOPER: Anyway, Spinelli, then tells me a very interesting

BAST:   Uh huh.

[PC:  Tom Spinelli was a private investigator working at first for the
 A.M.A. whom I tried to help with some cases.  I believe they used him
 to get to me.  Tom Spinelli called and told me that I would be
 getting a call from a legitimate and well known detective who needed
 help for his client.  Then Dick Bast called and told me the cover
 story he had concocted about the Swiss father whose daughter
 committed suicide; he wanted to give 425,000 to bring down

COOPER: It seems that...

BAST:   And you got this on tape?


[Paulette:  Dick was always hounding me to tape people.  Of course
 scientology wanted the tapes.  Dick would say he didn't want my
 interpretation of what people said but that he was a detective and
 he wanted to hear it and decide what they meant.  I had taping
 equipment on my phone since I was a writer/reporter but I didn't
 like to use it surreptitiously.  On the other hand I hated
 displeasing this former Marine sergeant.]

BAST:   This story he tells you, oh good...

COOPER: It seems that ah...
(Chit-chat about the coffee again.) 

COOPER: So, it seems that two of the defendants, Mitch
Hermann and Dick Wiegand, were put separately
from the others, and ended up in like a youth,
sorta like a youth reformatory place, with
really tough black kids....

BAST:   Oh, I see.

COOPER: And the two boys walk into the cell or the room that
        they're all in.  And the black kids say here comes white

BAST:  Really.

COOPER: Yeah.  So what we think and hope is that the boys
        were repeatedly raped.

[PC:  I was reporting what Spinelli told me.  I would have said that
 to Bast even if it wasn't true because he liked that kind of salty
 talk and wanted bad things about scientology to be reported to his
 client--he said.]

BAST:   No kidding.

COOPER: So he says, listen they're not so anxious to go behind bars

BAST:   Yeah, yeah that's right.  That's right. Where was this in the
        DC jail?

BAST:   No.  I think two of them were out in the midwest or
        something, I don't think, and you know....and part
        of the transportation went to ah...

[PC:  The government put two of the pasty faced scientology criminals
 who wrecked my life and so many others in with hardened criminals
 deliberately so they'd be raped and might talk and implicate the

BAST:   Oh I see, these are part of the ones that have been
        convicted that plead guilty.


BAST:   Yeah, OK.

COOPER: And so he says, they don't wanta go back to jail
        again.  He says so, what's he's doing, they're
        trying to prove that they're breaking their parole...

[PC:  Tom Spinelli, whom I had known for years in various anti
 scientology PI work, was working for the government privately on
 this job to check up on the scientology Guardian Office jailees
 to see if they broke their parole.]

BAST:   Oh I see, so they can lock 'em back up again and
        maybe to get 'em to turn....

COOPER: Or better.. yeah, either to lock them immediately,
        or say, ah, Okay look, we gottcha.  We're going to put you
        back in jail unless.

BAST:   Yeah

COOPER: You talk.  So I said look...

BAST:   Wow, that's somethin' that would really be dynamite
        for our client...


[Paulette:  Bast was forever berating me for not taping FBI agent Russ
 C, who was on my case in New York; he was the FBI agent in charge of
 the criminal investigation into the scientologists framing me.  The
 investigation started on October 12, 1977 and was still going on
 at this time.  Bast wanted me to tape Russ and give him the tape.
 I never did that, but scientology used this conversation to try to
 get Russ in trouble later.  They made a big song and dance to the
 FBI claiming Russ acted improperly in giving me information to
 use in a civil suit, but the FBI told them to stuff it.  Later
 scientology used this conversation to make charges that I was
 working with the FBI myself.]

COOPER: But I, what I was going to say is that I got the,
        a little bit of info, finally from Russ, who has
        not given me any help, you know.,.

BAST:   Yeah.  Yeah.  What did Russ have to say?

COOPER: He gave me A. Terry Milner's current address.

BAST:   No kidding.

COOPER: And better than that Bob Thomas

BAST:   Oh beautiful, beautiful.

COOPER: So we have located these people.

[PC:  These were two scientologists we were trying to locate for
 my civil suits on the dirty tricks scientology had done to me.]

BAST:   So what else did he have to say?  You have him on
        tape?  Russ.

COOPER: No.  Russ I told you I will not tape.  Because I
        have given him my absolute word that I not tape him.

[PC:  This is the third week of the project already and Bast is still
 carrying on that I should tape Russ.  I would usually say yes and then
 not do it because I had promised him I wouldn't.  Then Bast would bring
 it up again the next time we were all together.
 Some of this browbeating may be on the actual 40 hours of tapes but
 scientology did not turn over some of the emtrapment conversations, or
 presented them cut.  In 1980 I spent a great deal of time listening
 to tapes going over comments by Bast that referred to earlier statements
 that were not in the tapes they turned over.]

BAST:   Well, let, let John listen to 'em.  

[PC:  Bast figures if I won't give a tape of Russ to him I'll give it
 to John.  But it wasn't a matter of whom I trusted; I gave Russ my
 word that I wouldn't tape him.]

BAST:  (continued) In other words, you see, the thing that you don't
        understand is we don't want your interpretation of what -


BAST:   Somebody days Paulette.  Tape it and let John
        listen to it.

COOPER: All right.  I'll do that.  But anyway..,

[PC:  I'm trying to change the subject here.  The atmosphere between
 Dick and me was very bad by this point because he saw that I wasn't
 going to do what he wanted me to do.  I never taped Russ.  If I had,
 believe me the tape would have been transcribed and used.]

BAST:   I mean, you know, because John's a lawyer.  I don't
        want to listen to all of this stuff.


BAST:   I just don't want to rely on your interpretation.

COOPER: Okay.  I'll give it to John.
BAST:   In other words, you're  you're evaluating   <fweet!>
        it and you're not an evaluator.  You're a fact gatherer.

COOPER: He gave me two two phone numbers that we...

BAST:   Beautiful, no, no all I'm saying this is good. How long did 
        you talk with Russ?

[PC:  Bast is thrilled when he hears that the FBI agent did something
 he shouldn't.]

COOPER: Oh, just about ten, fifteen minutes that day, but

BAST:   What else did he have to say, about...

COOPER: Nothing.  I couldn't get any decent info from him.

[PC:  Bast wanted me to find out about the New York investigation so
 he could tell his client who would supposedly pay for a private
 investigator to help out in the case.]

COOPER: (continued) Only finally, I said, "Well, come on."  I said,
        "Arrange for me to be given an anonymous phone
        call with Terry Milner['s]  current address."

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: .. .and Bob Thomas' current address...

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: And he hesitated and then he said okay and...

BAST:   So what the hell was secret about that?

COOPER: Because the FBI is not supposed to give me info
        to give lawyers, in their investigation, that I
        can use to say take the deposition of somebody
        on a certain case.

6. Of Friendship and Photocopies

[PC:  This is an incredibly  boring transcript in which I make Bast
 happy by telling him that I didn't pay for all the documents I
 photocopied at the court.  (bear in mind that I had already spent
 hundreds of my own dollars on a machine to photocopy documents).
 Bast complained about the bills I was presenting him for photocopying
 the documents over the three week period that I worked for him.
 I thought Bast was upset over the money the photocopying was costing.
 Later I realized that what he was actually upset over was that 
 scientology was financing my getting more documents against them
 after which I would photocopy them on my home copier and send
 them to people.]

 [Paulette:  It is important to know my relationship with Nan at
 this time.  Nan has always been and still is a wonderfully supportive
 friend, especially during some of the very difficult times.  I have
 mentioned her on the net, but most people have not heard her name
 because she didn't do many major interviews.  She was Canadian and
 the American press was less interested; and she was a former
 scientologist while they preferred a journalist to interview.  

 [PC:  Nan does not believe in coercive deprogramming, which was being
 done by many people at the time.  Ted Patrick used to be called
 "Black Lightning" because of his ability to swoop down on a cult and
 get people out.  I think Children of God was his number one target.
 His own child had been taken, and I think he grabbed his kid first
 and then other parents came to him and asked him to save theirs, and
 eventually he made a business out of it.
[PC:  I had been in touch with Ted over the years but Nan saw him
 differently than I.  I felt that anyone who fought scientology,
 however he did it, couldn't be all bad.  Nan felt that Ted Patrick
 had become very bad; he was charging a lot of money and holding
 people against their will; he was hurting the reputation of

[PC:  I believe Nan was the one who had turned him in to the police--I
 know she gave evidence against him--and he had been arrested.  Even
 though she was one of my best friends ever, I was furious with
 her for hurting a fellow anti-cultist and sending a man with
 children to jail.   This was all happening around that time
 and our relationship in Washington became strained.  There was
 no way we were going to agree on this.  I told her that if she
 testified against Ted Patrick at his trial, that I would never
 talk to her again.  When she flew to California to testify
 against him and he went to jail, we cut off all communications for
 a few years.  Eventually we patched things up and are good friends
 again, although we never discuss Ted Patrick because we do not
 agree about that.]  

COOPER: You know, getting back to Nan and her stupid honesty.
        You know what I managed to cheat down my photocopy
        bill down to?  Get this...

BAST:   What's that?

COOPER: $89.50.

BAST:   Really?

COOPER: Now, Nan and I photocopied, I did three-quarters
        of what she did, okay.  That's the way it generally

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: She paying an $800 bill.

BAST:   Yeah, that's what she mentioned to me - $800 or
        something like that.

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: She said, "What was your photocopy bill?"

BAST:   Do you think Nan might turn you in?  I wonder if
        it's a good idea...

[BJ:  What could Nan turn you in for?]
[PC:  Theft of government services--which the scientologists did
 accuse me of after this tape.]

COOPER: I didn't tell her.

BAST:   .. .not to pay ah...

COOPER: I didn't tell her.

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: You know what I said.

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: I said, "It makes me sick to think about it, let's
        not discuss it."

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: So, she said again, you know..,

BAST:   I know but she, what if she, what if she finds
        out from them how much you paid.  I wonder if it's,
        it 's...

COOPER: She can't.  It's a court record.  Hey, there's no
        way she's gonna find out.

BAST:   Oh, she's not.

[BJ:  Ok, what's the deal here?
[PC:  I probably should have paid the government $600 for the
 photocopying but I paid them under $100.  I avoided the question of
 how much the photocopying cost me when Nan asked.]

COOPER: In fact, I made a point, on Friday...

BAST:   'Cause see, she'd, she'd turn ya in, ya know, for
        'defrauding the government or something'...

COOPER: I made a point last Friday.  I said, "I'm going
        up to the press room..,"

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: "... um to talk to Ken privately..."

[PC:  Ken Robinson, the Washington Post reporter I was friendly with.]

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: And then I went and paid.  I didn't want her next
        to me when she saw me writing out a check for
        $89.50... (garbled)

BAST:   Oh, I see, I see, 'cause she knew how much you,
        how much you got there...

COOPER: But she was watchin' very carefully yesterday.  So
        I made ah...

BAST:   Because you see that's, that'd be considered a
        fraud on the government.

COOPER: I know, but I made a point yesterday of being
        completely honest about it.  Ya know why?  It's
        only fifty pages.

BAST:   Oh, I see.  So you paid 'em for the fifty pages.

COOPER: Sure.  I said, "Why not?"  You know.

BAST:   Yeah, that's right.  Yeah,  well, ya know, that's
        pickayune stuff there ya know.  I'd, I'd, I, I
        would ju ya know...

COOPER: Well, why should we pay $800.

[Paulette had better projects in mind with Bast's client's money.]

BAST:   Well, yeah.

COOPER: See, if we can pay $89.50.  Right?

BAST:   Well, yeah, that kinda makes sense.

COOPER: Well, if they (garbled) it's because they trust me.

BAST:   But, I mean, but with Nan, I, I'd just as soon pay
        the full amount and not have, ya know, not be
        worried about her.

COOPER: Yeah.  Don't fool around with Nan.  Don't ah,
        everything has to be completely...

BAST:   Oh no, I know that, that's why I'm saying, I mean
        she's down there with ya, and ya know, she says
        she's friendly with those Court Clerks down there.
        She might ask 'em how much you paid.  That's why
        I would just as soon...

COOPER: No.  She's friendly with the, you see, I didn't pay
        to the Clerk.  I paid to the Finance Department.
        There's no way she would know.

BAST:   Does she know the Finan... who does she pay to?

COOPER: No, the Finance Department's, the same place.  You
        ring a bell, and hand them your bill and hand them your

BAST:   Oh, I see.

COOPER: And furthermore, I can say something...

BAST:   I mean really, those kind of expenses, I would
        suggest you not chisel on.  You do whatever you
        want to do, but ah...

COOPER: Don't worry.  She's not gonna, she's not gonna
        turn me in, on something like that.

BAST:   Damn, she turned in Ted Patrick.

COOPER: Yeah, but that's not ah...

BAST:   She said she'd turn in her own son.

COOPER: I know.  Now let me tell you though, what I did

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: Periodically, we need this guy named Bob Lyon...

BAST:   Who's he again, now?

COOPER: He's the Court Clerk.

BAST:   Oh yeah.  Okay.

COOPER: It's like when the press comes down and we need to
        have the paper filled in...

BAST:   Maybe you ought to take him out to dinner, ya know,
        or lunch or something...

COOPER: No.. no, ya know what I did, and he almost fell

BAST:   What?

COOPER: In fact, Nan, it allegedly came from both of us.

[BJ: It sounds like Nan didn't know about this.  Why not?  And who
 was the recipient?  Why was he important to you?
[Paulette:  Dick wanted me to cultivate court sources and stay
 friendly so I could get documents or whatever if I needed them.  I
 bought the liquor for him and planned to ask Nan to go 50-50 with
 me but hadn't told her yet.  I knew she was friendly with the court
 clerk also.]

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: Ah, a bottle of Chevas Regal, thanking him...

BAST:   Oh, really?

COOPER: ...he'd been so nice.  So I bought it at the train
        coming out.

BAST:   Yeah.  No kidding.

COOPER: And I got him a bottle, he was, he said...

BAST:   How much did that cost us?

COOPER: Sixteen dollars.  Cheap at half the price.

[BJ:  Did Bast actually pay this money?  Or did he stiff you?  Did he
 pay all the expenses you submitted?

[PC:  No.  He stiffed me for hundreds in expenses. I wanted to present
 him with a bill after I found out the truth about him but John
 thought it unwise.  Bast did pay my salary, though.]

BAST:   Yeah, yeah.  That's right.  Yeah, that's cheaper
        than a dinner.

COOPER: Exactly, and he said, "Oh, I can't accept a gift
        like this."  No one's around.  Now the important
        thing is that I wasn't coming back, so it didn't
        look like any kind of a bribe...

BAST:   Yeah, yeah...

COOPER: and I said, Nan and I are so grateful.

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: .. that you've gone out of your way on so many
        occasions that we absolute... ah...

BAST:   Did Nan pay for half of it?

COOPER: No, but she's going to.

BAST:   Oh, I see.  It only costs our client eight dollars

COOPER: Well, if we can collect from Nan.

BAST:   Yeah.  Right.

COOPER: So, she, to collect money from her isn't hard,

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: With all her honesty...

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: ..... to get ah, get a document from her.

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: You know, which you can ask her.  If you give her
        anything, it's, you might as well flush it down
        the toilet. 

[BJ:  Whoops!  What's this?

[PC:  Nan's files were not and are not in the best order.  If I gave
 her a document it could never be found again.  She meant well but
 just had too many things to do to find unfiled items and still
 does.  It's a joke between us.]

BAST:   So, Bob Lyons was happy with the ah.. Chevas Regal.

COOPER: Ecstatic.. .1 could call him up at any point and get

BAST:   Oh, beautiful.

COOPER: . . for sixteen dollars.

BAST:   Oh, beautiful.

COOPER: So that's, was a good move.

BAST: How old a guy is this Bob Lyons?  Is a younger man...

[By now the reader will have no trouble guessing what Bast has
 in mind, but he struck out again.]


BAST:   . . or older man?

COOPER: Like fifty-five.  Married, kids, blah...

BAST:   Oh, I see, yeah.

COOPER: . .I rememb. . .ya know, I mean, I don't care for the
        man, but I can get; never can tell when we need him,
        and he, he...

BAST:   That's right.  Hey, he's a good contact there.

COOPER: . . he works at the...

BAST:   . . a good contact.

COOPER: You know it, so that was urn..

EAST:   But he wasn't going to take it at first, until you


BAST:   look it only your...

COOPER: He's not allow to...

BAST:   Was Nan with you?


BAST:   Oh, so, you said look, it's just the three of us,
        nobody knows, take it.

COOPER: That's the point, nobody's here...

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: . . and I said, if you don't like Chevas Regal, ah..,

BAST:   We'll get you whatever you want.

COOPER: I said, no, I got it at the train station, so that
        he would know that I was the one in back of this
        whole thing...

BAST:   see that y're the, that Nan wouldn't take the...

COOPER: I, I carried it.

BAST:, you took all of the credit.

COOPER: But I said I got it at the train station.

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER: So I said you go and exchange it for whatever you
        like.  He says "Oh, I love this.?  You know...

BAST:   Beautiful.

COOPER: He was ecstatic.  So, it turned out to be for sixteen
        dollars and we may have made a life-long friend.

7.  60 Minutes

[Paulette:  I believe this conversation occurred when Dick Bast
 stepped out of his office one time when we were all there.]

COOPER:  I got a problem, I gotta study for those [colorful
         expletive] depositions, Tuesday.

[BJ:  Is this language typical for you?

[PC:  On the subject of scientology it was.  I used to become livid.
 Wouldn't you after having been deposed for more than 15 days by
 this point?]

[BJ:  Did Bast ever use similar words?

[PC:  Vile.]

SEFFERN:  You don't remember, you don't remember.

COOPER: And I tells ya (garbled) .. .I have to say something
        in each area.  But I sure as hell am not telling
        them that I discussed the frame-up with '60
        Minutes", because then they know it's gonna, that
        it could be on and they'll cause trouble.  So,
        you know what my thought is...

[Paulette:  I felt that I had to say something about every subject
 asked in a deposition.  Most depositions were taken up with trying
 to get information from me to use against others.  I worried about
 scientology finding out about the 60 Minutes show and stopping it.]

SEFFERN:  Why not.

COOPER: . .so nervous during the Mike Wallace interview,
        I don't remember what we discussed.

SEFFERN: I don't remember what we discussed, when it comes on,
         when the program comes on I'll be looking forward
         to it.  I'll, I'll find out...  [patiently coaching]

COOPER:  Just you know, know that I was too nervous to remember.

SEFFERN:   Yeah.

COOPER: But I am going to remember that I discussed personally with
        Mike Wallace, 'cause one would remember exactly what you
        discussed off-camera.  Okay.  The fact is, I could be very,
        ya know, kind of, well, I'd rather not say because it's
        negative to you Mr. Lubell.  Then he's gonna say what is it
        and then I would say, oh, he asked me how many types
        of Scientologists there and how many are active and
        then he asked if Lubell was handling it, and we
        both made a joke about your firm specializing in
        these types of freedom of the press.

[Paulette:  I am telling John that I plan to make the scientology
 lawyer, Jonathan Lubell, uncomfortable because he once won a major
 legal decision that a journalist's frame of mind was relevant to a
 story.  Mike Wallace and I discussed that.  I am saying that I will
 be sure to remember to say something about it when they ask me what
 Mike Wallace and I discussed.]

SEFFERN:   Nice.

COOPER: Which we did, incidentally.

[Paulette:  --discuss the fact that the scientology lawyer had
 successfully argued a case before the supreme court that was
 damaging to reporters.]

SEFFERN:  Good.  Let them sue Mike Wallace for that one, huh?

COOPER: I made a joke-

SEFFERN:  I'm so glad they brought in someone.

COOPER: has come to be, to know as referred in circles as [?]
        freedom of the press and

[PC:  Some word like "stifling" was probably omitted here, like 'your
 firm has come to be known as stifling freedom of the press,' which it
 had.  I was especially anxious to make Lubell uncomfortable because
 he had handled almost all my depositions--the worst one was one in
 which they had five male lawyers cross examine me while videotaping

COOPER:  I remember that Mike Wallace laughed.  You know?

SEFFERN: Uh hum.

COOPER:  That should put him on the spot.

SEFFERN: Should make him a little nervous.  It'll get him
         a lot of Nazi clients.

COOPER:  What?

SEFFERN: It'll get him a few new Nazi clients.  Well, you


SEFFERN: Well, all right, as I always said, I was willing
         to represent Scientology, it they pay me enough.

[BJ:  But that wasn't true, was it?  Didn't Seffern warn you when Bast
 offered him money to betray you?]

[PC:  Loyalty to an old friend is a different matter for a lawyer than
 representing someone whose ethics were questionable.  Look at Flynn
 representing a cult now?  Lawyers are lawyers.  John still says
 jokingly that as far as he's concerned, the worst thing about
 scientology is that he didn't come up with the idea.]

[PC: John Seffern is a lot softer than he comes across.  I think Bast
 heard this part of the tape and miscalculated--he thought because
 of John's comment above that for enough money John would betray me
 by secretly taping me and sabotaging my legal cases.]

[PC: Robert Kaufman introduced me to John around 1969 and I have been
 close friends with him and his s.o. ever since.  They made a bad
 mistake when they tried to turn him.  Since he was only earning $6 an
 hour at this time as a process server, because of his suspension,
 they figured he would do anything for money.]

8.  The FBI

March 15, 1980  Cooper Bast Cain Seffern

[PC:  Here we are in Bast's office discussing the New York FBI and
 grand jury cases being secretly conducted in New York in hopes of
 indicting and arresting the scientologists who framed me.]

BAST:     See, I find your whole case very strange, about why
          they're not doing anything.

SEFFERN:  They don't figure they have it.  I know what they're
          looking for, they're looking for an open and shut case, but
          I think they've got, they've got

BAST:     Nothing with the case.

COOPER:   No, I don't [?] think I' ll tell you what the problem is.
          They [?] stupidly, and that's where this guy can come in
          handily and create (2-3 words unintelligible).  They made a
          decision not to get scientologists on the 73 frameup but on
          the 76 Operation Freak-out.  And this is a terrible,
          terrible mistake.

[PC:  I wanted Bast to use a small portion of the money to hire a
 legal researcher for several outstanding suits including my New York
 grand jury situation because there were serious time problems on my
 1972 frameup.  These conversations took place in 1980.]

SEFFERN:  It's a frame-up again.

[PC:  John is referring to the Operation Freakout document and its
 similarity to the 1972-3 frameup.]

COOPER:   Because we can't prove that they ever did actually
          do anything about Operation Freak-out.  

[PC:  In order to prosecute someone you have to commit an act in
 furtherance of a crime.  The FBI could not establish whether the
 channels in Operation Freakout were carried out because no
 scientologist would talk.]

           We can only prove they did on 76.

[PC:  This was probably a typo because it should have said 1973.
 I'm saying here that I'd like this attorney to do some research
 over and above what these guys did and sit down and say, look
 unless you do something, we're going to sue the FBI and the U.S.
 attorney's office and bring in bad publicity to the effect that
 you wrongfully indicted) arrested this girl and haven't done
 anything.  That you're scared of the scientologists and so on.]

SEFFERN  But you have to tell 'em some place along the line.

COOPER:  You know who his good friend is Sticks, he just
         stepped down.

SEFFERN  They make me so god damned angry when they - when
         they can indict.

[PC:  Scientology successfully criminally framed me in 1973 and then
 the second plan was found in the Washington documents in 1976
 called Operation Freakout.  It appeared to be an extensionof the
 1973 frameup because a document said at one point that it had
 worked for all other channels.  But we don't know whether or
 not the '73 frameup was called Operation Freakout, and we
 could never prove the '76 attempt.]

9.  Bast copies Paulette's book

(Feb. 24, 1980)   Cain Williams Seffern Cooper
CAIN:   Here it is.

BAST:   Here it is.  Is, is this the one?

CAIN:   What's what she wants.

BAST:   Okay.  How many copies of that do you want?

COOPER: Oh God, you need a few.

BAST:   How many do you want?  You want three, four, five?  What?

COOPER: Yeah.  Let's do five.

BAST:   Airight.  Make five copies of that.

[PC:  The references are to my book.  I don't know why they
 cared about this.]

9.  Reader's Digest

SEFFERN: You are very articulate, and you're doing great.

BAST:    Yeah, and you're doing an exceptionally good job.

COOEPR:  Don't you think that I contributed some help 'cause we
         would have had one hell of a legal problem if they left it
         the way that guy wrote it.

[Paulette:  The scientologists obtained the Reader's Digest story in
 advance because I stupidly went along with Bast and taped the ]
 researcher calling me and reading me the story.  The Reader's Digest
 story ("Scientology:  Anatomy of a Frightening Cult") was the largest
 print expose of scientology since Life Magazine in 1968.  I was very
 excited about it and did a tremendous amount of work on it.]

BAST:   Exceptionally good job---exceptionally good job.

COOPER: There was stuff that was unsupportable, libelous, I've never
        in my life.

[Paulette:  I went through the final draft with them and made sure
 they could defend themselves on every point if sued.]

BAST:   Well, that's good.  What else did you find?

COOPER: Not only that, you could hear us rewriting sentences for

BAST:   And wrote the whole story for them.  Is what'you've done.

COOPER: Yeah.  And Gene Methvin gets 25 to 3500 dollars.

BAST:   I didn't hear Methvin on this tape here.

Cooper: Methvin's not--oh, right--

[Gene Methvin was the author of the story.  Paulette taped her
 discussion with the researcher, but she did not tape Methvin.]

BAST:   You got him written down

[PC:  I had to give Dick a time sheet of all the people I talked to
 on this project.]

COOPER: I know, I spoke to him that evening, but I just, you know--

BAST:   I didn't hear him on it.

COOPER: Didn't tape it or something, but that guy's gonna get between
        25 to 3500 dollars for an article like that, that's a--

BAST:   For Readers Digest and you're writing the whole story for him?


[PC:    That was an exaggeration.  I just wanted to please Bast.]

10.  Sex:  Male Talk

[Bast had hired John Seffern to work on the project, and they
 had some meetings in Washington to which Paulette was not invited.
 This is one of them.  Paulette advised us that their statements
 about her private life and activities are _untrue_.  From her
 perspective this tape consists of wishful thinking by John
 Seffern and dirty remarks by Richard Bast. -ed]

SEFFERN:  Well, I told her to record the FBI years ago.  First of all
          these two agents came to her originally--

BAST:     Yeah.

SEFFERN:  when this whole thing started.  First of all, she seduces
          one of them immediately.  Okay, that's funny.

BAST:     Oh, she did seduce him?

SEFFERN:  Oh, sure.

BAST:     Which one was that?

SEFFERN:  [deleted] The first guy that came in the door she seduced.
          I said "Fine, Paulette.  Now

BAST:     Gave him a blow job?


BAST:     Well, she tells me blowjobs are her speciality.

SEFFERN:  Now, I said "I want you to

BAST:     Oh, at that time [unintelligible].

SEFFERN:  [unintelligible] record."

BAST:     Yeah.

SEFFERN:  Son of a bitch.  "God knows why or how but you may someday
          need it."  "Oh no.  I couldn't do that."  "Paulette, you
          know, for Crissake---"  

BAST:     Is that this guy [deleted] that she's been talking to?

BAST:     Oh, that's the one she seduced.

SEFFERN:  He's on the case.  Paulette for Crissake, just do it for
          your own good.

BAST:     Yeah.

SEFFERN:  "Put it away."

BAST:     That's right.

SEFFERN:  "Give it to me, I don't care."

BAST:     That's right.  Yeah.  Sure.

SEFFERN:  "Give it to me.  It's for your own protection.  Look at the
          trouble you've got."

[Paulette had been indicted for the phony bomb threat forged by the
 church.  Seffern wanted to make sure she had leverage in case the
 FBI backed away from the investigation. -ed]

BAST:     While she was screwing him.  You mean record it?

SEFFERN:  Yeah.  [Lawyers!]

BAST:     Yeah.

SEFFERN:  "Well, record the whole thing, you know, you get the guy in

BAST:     Yeah.  So did she finally do it?

SEFFERN:  "Let him talk."

BAST:     That's right, of course, because--

SEFFERN:  "Let him talk."

BAST:     What she don't understand is she's got millions of dollars
          riding on that goddamn suit.

SEFFERN:  I couldn't convince her at the time and---

BAST:     Now the guy's not screwing her anymore, huh?

SEFFERN:  No, no.  Things aren't that way anyrnore, it's so hard, you
          know.  You want that guy to do anything.  Jesus, wouldn't
          that recording- - -

BAST:     So, she never recorded the guy, then?

SEFFERN:  Wouldn't that have been valuable?

BAST:     Yeah.

SEFFERN:  If she wants action in that thing, if something's not 
          going right or he pulls back--

BAST:     That's right.

SEFFERN:  wouldn't that be valuable?

11.  Conversation dated 2/20 : More about Dave Williams

COOPER: The next thing we know, one of the things Scientology
        does in any criminal case is to stretch it out for an
        eternity, with depositions and things like that  Now
        they [?] me, to date through something  like 14 1/2+
        days of depositions

[By the time Paulette settled her cases four years later she had been
 through 50 days of depositions. -ed]

(COOPER cont:) and just went to the judge to get more.  Now, you know,
         I can hold up under the stress, and I know the value 

BAST:   Well you see she's had alot of experience

COOPER: I know the value of I don't know, I don't remember,
        I don't think so, we say that now, 
        I don't know i and again never heard
        it before in my life, ahh you know; what worries me about
        this kid is that we get him into a situation

BAST:    He's gonna tell them the truth.  He won't lie, see.

COOPER:  And that's true, because then he's got ah, that he's been
         hired by you two, I think that he can fool a meter from here
         to kingdom come, he's gonna see me probably on 60 Minutes or
         at some point.

[BJ:  Who is this you are talking about?  Who can fool the meter-]
[PC:  The kid Bast and Cain hired, supposedly to get information on
 scientology.  I am concerned here that he will see me on 60 minutes
 and put two and two together, realize what he was involved with and
 reveal the project either during an E-meter test or in a deposition.
 Bast had repeatedly stated that if the project got found out, that
 would have been the end of it.]

BAST:    No, we'll make sure of that.

COOPER:  You get ah, you get ah---

BAST:    No, no, no we're gonna make sure, no we're gonna make sure
         when it comes on.  I already thought of that.

COOPER:  So I was training for like---

BAST:    That when "60 Minutes" comes on we're gonna have him doing
         something else, see---

COOPER:  Yeah.

BAST:    he won't be watching TV.

COOPER:  But even so, you see, and this is what worries me, we need
         somebody who not only can do the job through the beginning,
         you know, the right job---

BAST:    Yeah.

COOPER:  but then afterwards, they don't know from nothing---

BAST:    They have lapses of memory.  They don't---

COOPER:  Yeah, this is where Nan and I fight so badly.  She refuses to
         have lapses of memory.  The one thing we have compromised on
         is that on some things, during depositions, she says "I don't
         know.  You'll have to ask Paulette.  That's all.  Paulette
         told me."

BAST:    Who says that?  Nan does?

COOPER:  Right.  We've agreed to a semi-lie.  If she won't totally lie
         then she's to say---

BAST:    Then at least lie halfway.

COOPER:  That she is to say that ammm, for example, I'm in touch with
         Mike Meisner--

[Paulette:  Mike Meisner was a government informant, the scientologist
 who blew the whistle on their activities and led to the arrest of all
 the others.  He was a witness in protective custory and wasn't
 supposed to be in touch with Nan or me but secretly was.  We didn't
 want scientology to have any information about him or he would have
 been in danger.]

BAST:   Yeah.

COOPER:  amnun, arurum, no, but Paulette is--

BAST:    Yeah.

COOPER:  In other words, so that she, and then pass the buck, and then
         I say "I'm not in touch with him", 

[PC:  I doubt that Nan would agree with this.  Perhaps it was all
 talk for Bast's benefit.  But Nan and I probably argued about the
 morality of withholding information, with me taking the position that
 it's better not to hurt others and Nan taking the position that it's
 better to tell the entire truth.]

COOPER:  (continued) because as far as I'm concerned I have a very,
         I have a lawer friend who's extremely dishonest, and he, on
         the side, has trained me that when you are in touch with
         someone put up your finger, then we are in touch.  If we
         write letters, we're not in touch.

[PC: I'm referring to John Seffern here saying that he trained me that if I am asked in a deposition if I am in touch with someone, 'if you put your finger on the person then you are in touch. If you write letters you're not in touch.']

III Vendetta

The Richardson-Cooper feud is popularly traced to a dispute between Cooper and Judith Bradford which started in an AOL scientology chat room. A little checking showed us that that was not the case. Paulette Cooper's troubles began months earlier.

On July 26, 1995, her birthday, Paulette Cooper came out of retirement with a post to alt.religion.scientology.

Soon after the post Cooper received email from Keith Spurgeon, a long-time friend of Diane Richardson. Spurgeon and Cooper became friends; as Cooper perceived it, they were close friends. Cooper had a pent-up need to talk about her experiences with scientology and Spurgeon was a very good listener. Cooper told Spurgeon about her traumatic experiences of the 1980's and her devastating betrayal at the hands of Richard Bast. More than anything, she dreaded having the Bast tapes become public.

By late January or early February Paulette had signed onto an AOL scientology chat and had a tiff with Judith Bradford, an associate of Spurgeon's; Paulette remembers apologizing to Bradford in email on February 17, 1996. Bradford refused to accept the apology and continued to lambaste Cooper.

Meanwhile, Spurgeon obtained a copy of the Hubbard affidavit. He discussed it with other people without saying anything to Paulette.

The affidavit states in part:

"In pursuit of this strategy of winning by seeking default judgments, my attorney filed in my lawsuits sworn statements alleging that Mr. Hubbard was in control of Scientology's activities, and that he directed a campaign against me. However, I never had any real evidence or reason (other than the word of my lawyers) to believe that Mr. Hubbard was in control of the activities of the Church of Scientology, and my attorneys never presented me with any evidence that such was the case. It is clear to me, on the basis of my conversation with Mr. Flynn on this subject, that the allegations concerning Mr. Hubbard's control over day-to-day Scientology activities had no basis in fact, but were being made solely for strategic reasons in pursuit of a default judgment."

Paulette Cooper

Sworn to before me this 4th day of March, 1985.
Alda N. Boyrie, Notary Public

The affidavit was soon posted to alt.religion.scientology and Cooper was bitterly attacked. Diane Richardson accused Cooper of "selling out" for money and damaging other litigants' cases against the church. Cooper was shocked. ("I never had an argument with Diane on chat," she said. "I thought we were friends.")

Cooper, who had signed a settlement agreement which included a gag order, could say nothing in her own defense. An examination of the dates shows that the Hubbard affidavit was signed only four days after the settlement agreement. We believe that signing the affidavit was part of the settlement. There is no evidence that the affidavit harmed any other critics' cases.

Cooper cannot say whether she received any money in the settlement. [After looking at the record, our private view is that whatever she received, it probably wasn't enough.] Richardson, Spurgeon et al. argued that taking money from the church is a vile crime. We imagine that the church feels that way too.

Early in their acquaintance Cooper remembers telling Spurgeon how much she cherishes her unusually happy marriage. When we asked how the subject came up, Cooper said she might have volunteered the information. She indignantly dismissed the idea that Spurgeon may have been fishing for information about her vulnerabilities from the very beginning. She stated that she could not have been opped. She would have known. And besides, he was such a nice man.

Cooper's worst fears came true. Spurgeon posted item after item from the 1980's. Richardson and Bradford launched vitriolic personal attacks. Cooper and her friends pleaded for copies of the documents but were rebuffed. After torturing Cooper for several months and baiting public interest with innuendo, Richardson posted the Bast transcripts.

The flamewar took the regulars aback. The posted information showed Paulette Cooper to be the victim of a cruel deception: why should this be touted as evidence that _Cooper_ was the liar? And if some fifteen years ago Cooper did not pay for all her photocopies, so what? We could think of much worse behavior, some of which we had just seen on the newsgroup.

Secondarily, we began to wonder about the sequence of things. The common assumption is that Cooper told Spurgeon about the Bast tapes and Spurgeon told Richardson, who made a trip to Boston and obtained the court records. [Richardson taunted Coooper with this claim in private email.]

Nevertheless, the material posted represents a sizable investment of time and money. The court records occupy five file boxes. At $.50 per page, this represents a substantial sum. Copies of the tapes are available, but expensive. The time required to obtain these things from the court clerk must also be considered.

Did Spurgeon and Richardson really obtain all their documents from the court? Where are the receipts? How many hours did they spend in the courtroom? How many days, and on which days? When were the tape copies made, and where is the evidence that they were made by the court? We would like to see this cleared up because there was, after all, another possible source for those documents.

Supposing that Richardson and Spurgeon can prove that they acquired their tapes and documents from the court, we must then ask why they went to the trouble. There are few items of current interest in the posted documents. There are no great crimes or acts of deception (except by the church). Paulette Cooper is revealed as a victim on a scale most people can scarcely imagine. Why did Richardson and Spurgeon pick Cooper as a target?

Taking another look at the timeline:

Cooper's troubles started right after her ars post. No sparrow falls on usenet without coming to the attention of OSA, the church's intelligence arm, but the church did nothing to respond. Instead Cooper was contacted by Spurgeon. She told him all about her life and her deepest fears--particularly, that the humiliating and painful Bast episode would be dragged out on the net. Spurgeon secretly fed the information to Richardson, who used it to stage a public attack. They were joined by Judith Bradford, who picked a fight with Cooper after Spurgeon had made contact. The trio launched a campaign against Cooper, making plentiful use of innuendo and accusations unsuppored by fact.

--In other words, critic Cooper surfaced on the net, immediately ran into a covert op of the type the church is famous for, and became the target of a no-holds-barred character assassination. This was not a surprise to anyone who has followed the netwar. (It was a devastating shock to Paulette Cooper, who still does not believe that she could have been set up twice.)

Neverthelesss, we would like to leave room for the possibility that this episode was merely a coincidence.

We feel that this would be a good time for Spurgeon, Richardson and Bradford to stop their attack on Cooper; to apologize for their accusations, which went far beyond any basis in fact; and to provide objective evidence that they obtained all of their documents and tapes in the way they said they did.

Coincidence or OSA? We are waiting to see.


We could not help remembering a famous passage by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

"But the dog did nothing in the night."-- Dr. Watson
"Exactly." --Sherlock Holmes

2. CENSORED by the Church

In Volume 2, Issue 19 we published the order and memorandum written by Judge Leonie Brinkema, presiding over the Lerma case. Brinkema found Lerma guilty of five acts of copyright infringement. She fined him the statutory minimum, which came to a grand total of $2500. He was assessed no court costs or attorneys' fees.

Church attorneys moved to have the decision sealed. They obtained a sealing order from Judge Cacheris, telling him that the documents were not widely distributed. In fact, the documents flooded the net. In the interval between the announcement of the decision and the sealing order, we received at least four copies.

We sought legal advice before publishing the documents. Here is what we were told:

The sealing order applied to persons under the jurisdiction of the court, that is, to parties to the lawsuit and persons acting in concert and participation with the parties. It might conceviably apply to attorneys. It did not apply to us.

Judges' opinions are not copyrightable. Copyright issues did not arise in the situation.

With reference to trade secrets, the Memorandum contained only information which was in the public domain and had been available in books and articles for years.

We believe that the sentences to which the church objected are:

Scientologists believe that most human problems can be traced to lingering spirits of an extraterrestrial people massacred by their ruler, Xenu, over 75 million years ago. These spirits attach themselves by "clusters" to individuals in the contemporary world, causing spiritual harm and negatively influencing the lives of their hosts.

The texts at issue, the "Advanced Technology" or the "Operating Thetan" Documents ("OT Documents"), were written by founder Hubbard and allegedly provide a detailed program for warding off these evil influences through creation of "free zones."

The use of "free zone" in this context is not standard and probably represents an error by the hardworking Judge Brinkema, who noted in her opinion that the church's teachings were "incomprehensible."

We own three books which contain the information in the paragraph above, plus much more detailed descriptions of church lore and procedures. The material cannot reasonably be considered secret.

When Brinkema returned from vacation she promptly unsealed the decision and ordered that it remain unsealed, stating flatly that it contained no trade secrets.

Even if the Memorandum had contained trade secrets, we would have been free to publish it. Our copy was legally obtained, and we have never belonged to the church or signed any agreements with any scientology entity. We were under no obligation to protect the church's trade secrets.

It was lawful for us to publish and we did.

We were shocked and outraged when Netcom cancelled the issue.

We received the following communique from the Clam Desk <>:

From Thu Oct 10 00:32:54 1996
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 21:49:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: copyrite <>
Reply to:
Subject: confidential material


Dear Ms. Thomson:

We have received a complaint indicating that you have posted a court decision (memorandum opinion), now under seal, that was issued in the matter R.T.C. v. Lerma. As you know NETCOM was not involved in the matter which resulted in the decision, or in the motion to seal the memorandum opinion.

We have obtained a copy of the order providing that the memorandum opinion be sealed. The order states, "IT APPEARING that this language may be part of the trade secrets at issue in this case...IT IS ORDERED that the memorandum opinion be sealed." Therefore, it appears that the court has at least initially accepted R.T.C.'s argument that trade secrets are or are likely to be included in the opinion and therefore, the opinion should not be distributed publicly.

As you also know, NETCOM has a protocol in place, located on its Home Page at for responding to this type of complaint. We believe that the court order satisfies the requirements of this protocol and that NETCOM is therefore required to remove this posting. However, we want to make you aware of this decision and give you an opportunity to respond.

Please contact Barbara Shufro at Pillsbury Madison & Sutro at (415) 233-4562.

Netcom cancelled #20 too, but subsequently replaced it with an apology.

This time the Clam Desk said:

From Tue Oct 29 17:21:57 1996
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 16:11:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: DaveR <>
Subject: Usenet Posting
Dear Ms. Thomson:

We have received a complaint indicating that you have posted a court decision (memorandum opinion), now under seal, that was issued in a matter "R.T.C. V. Lerma." As you know, NETCOM was not involved in the matter which resulted in the decision, or in the motion to seal the memorandum opinion.

We have obtained a copy of the order providing that the memorandum opinion be sealed. The order states, "IT APPEARING that this language may be part of the trade secrets at issue in this case... IT IS ORDERED that the memorandum opinion be sealed." Therefore, it appears that the court has at least initially aaccepted R.T.C.'s argument that trade secrets are or are likely to be included in the opinion and therefore, the opinion should not be distributed publicly.

As you know, NETCOM has a protocol in place, located on its Home Page at for responding to this type of complaint. We believe that the court order satisfies the requirements of this protocol and that NETCOM is therefore required to remove this posting. However, we want to make you aware of this decision and give you an opportunity to respond.

If you have any questions, please contact


From Tue Oct 29 17:22:18 1996
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 16:20:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: DaveR <>
Subject: **Biased Journalism** V2no20 The Envelope, Please!
Dear Ms. Thomson,

The following article:

Subject: **Biased Journalism** V2no20 The Envelope, Please!

was cancelled erroneously today. The article has been restored, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Netcom On-Line Communication Services			      David Rehfeld
Core Computing Services
We quickly looked up the Terms of Service and noticed that there was no mention of trade secrets. The ToS described a procedure for dealing with copyright infringement complaints. The church had not alleged any copyright infringement in the Memorandum.

Last summer Netcom settled its lawsuit with the church in an agreement whose terms were not revealed. It now appears that the secret agreement contained a provision whereby Netcom agreed to cancel any post at the request of the church of scientology.

Apparently the destruction of Biased Journalism Volume 2 #19 was the first fruit of the secret agreement.

An insider at Netcom explained this to us as a "good faith agreement." Good faith with whom? Certainly not the subscriber!

Netcitizens rallied to our defense and immediately reposted Volume 2, no. 19. Our issue was placed on a large number of web sites. We are grateful for this support and help.

#19 was not replaced.

This week we reposted #19. The last time we looked it was still there. However, this does not resolve the issue. An internet service provider censored a subscriber's lawful speech, solely on the basis of a discreditable secret agreement which it made to save itself legal fees. It destroyed an issue of a cyberspace newspaper at the request of the church of scientology.

One wonders what other services Netcom agreed to perform for the church under the secret agreement. This should be a matter of concern to all subscribers.

We consider this censorship highly improper and a direct threat to freedom of speech in cyberspace.

You will hear more about this.

----Shelley Thomson

3. ROADBLOCKS by Joe Horn

We introduce a new columnist, net citizen Joe Horn. Here is what he says about himself:

[I am a retired LA Sheriff's Detective in my mid fifties, a Viet Nam Vet, widowed and have two fine college grad kids. An Army brat, I grew up in El Paso and Colorado Springs in the 40's and 50's, and after two tours I returned from Viet Nam in '68. I stayed in LA for work and school. I was an officer for over 20 years. When I I retired I moved to Arizona, and when my wife died I moved home to El Paso. I have a Batchelor's Degree in Western History and an MA in Cultural Anthro.]

Speaking of roadblocks, Saturday, Oct 12/96, the State Police had one set up, (8-10 officers and one Sgt.) stopping all traffic both ways on a desert mountain pass near El Paso.

[The location of the roadblock was in a hollow on a two lane highway off I-10. It is a road of light to medium use, depending on traffic. It was late in the afternoon, the sunlight was turning yellow, and the sky was that faded turquoise that precedes the touches of sunset coral we in the Southwest all know and love. The wind was hot and dry, as it can only be in the Chihuahuan desert. I was simply taking a short cut around El Paso to I-10 as I usually do.]

When I was stopped, a courteous, smiling officer (they were all jocular, like they were at a picnic, instead of a police roadblock/ checkpoint. One officer approached, hand on pistol and asked for my DL and insurance card, and did a visual search of my car. Per the courts, this was SUPPOSED to be a limited activity, re: DUI and I was not examined or questioned or examined re: my sobriety. I am an expert witness and there was NO interest in my sobriety or correct documentation. I was immediately angered and resentful of this State intrusion and violation of my rights, but I handed him the requested documents, and having checked my paperwork, he looks through the window at the back seat area and asks me "what's under the blanket?" I told him his search was going to have to be limited to what he could see as I was not granting a consent search beyond what he could see through the windows of my vehicle after illegally stopping me at this roadblock.

Illegal? Pull over there and talk to the nice officers, says he. Yes I said, stopping people for vehicle searches in the pretext of seeing their paperwork/DUI checks. Says he: the court said it's ok (in limited Roadblocks) as long as we stop everyone. Says I, the court is wrong and it's still unconstitutional, you do not have a warrant and I have broken no law. In my professional experience and opinion, the fact they did NOT ask for vehicle registration indicated they were fishing. The officer then calls his Sgt over, who takes over and warns me that this can become very unpleasant, and at this point, I show him my retired badge and ID, asking how unpleasant is that? He then says, "why didn't you say something, you coulda been gone by now"? I told him that I am a plain citizen and suggested he knows what he's doing is wrong and that it's a pure fishing expedition. He said: (and he really surprised me) "Hey, I'm just doing what I'm told, now get outta here". They cut me loose and I drove off, me keeping my lawfully possessed Ithaca M37 which was under the blanket.

My point is that this is out of control, and folks are going to start getting hurt in these little European-style (vere are your papers?) roadblocks, fishing for whatever they can find. If I didn't have masterbadge and I.D., I would have been illegally and unconstitutionally searched against my will. Very few people have a badge to get them out of something like this, and deferring to intimidation by armed authority, most will have their rights violated. My sense of the roadblock personnel was that excepting the Sgt., they didn't know they were wrong or didn't care. The average age of the officers was late 20's early 30's.

[Besides being for purposes beyond DUI enforcement, the roadblock was set up very poorly with little interest or experience in tactics evident. There was no "escape" lane, for safety in case someone decided to run the roadblock as is required by officer safety procedures, and the roadblock was set up down in a hollow or natural depression that would have allowed 2 or 3 trained riflemen to wipe out the entire group of officers.]

Now that they're going to start roadblocks/checkpoints for guns (in the name of the fraudulent DRUG WAR) around schools, and I assure you that, due to the lowered quality of modern police candidates, it will be in as high handed and unconstitutional a manner as they can manage. Many people, particularly those legislators who impotently submit or vote for more useless and unenforceable law, don't see or don't want to see what's happening to the Constitution or our human rights recognized by that Constitution, or the Police State being assembled right around the Constitution, in the name of the "War on Drugs" or for the "chirrun". It is more properly called the "War on the Constitution and US Citizens and it is for aggregating more power to the STATE.

The Police State is here and it's here now and if you don't strenuously object to these searches and roadblocks whether for DUI, Drivers License/Insurance/ guns/drugs, and drive your political reps nuts about it, sooner or later you will get the anal probe of an illegal search in the name of the "drug war" or for guns near schools. Of course those that like and feel safer with more unenforceable, useless law and more intrusion (with no effect on criminals, just the violation of honest citizens rights) may you be hoisted on your own petard, and soon.

As I waited in line to be searched in this desolate and remote desert location, I reflected on my extensive police and military training and experience and thought that these roadblocks are really quite vulnerable out there in the desert so far from backup. Quite vulnerable......It's going to get ugly one day when folks decide they've had enough. And if statists don't think it can happen here, just visualize a larger scale resentment of the "man" beyond Watts. Like the black minority, the white minority within the white majority has its limits in absorbing the abuses and effects of the ever intrusive Police State.

What really bothered me, (in spite of my extensive experience, training and familiarity with police operations) was my own barely repressible reaction of fear, anger, being trapped, resentment, mistrust, disrespect and intense dislike and the unfamiliar to me but powerful urge to immediately, actively and physically resist this infringement of my right of unrestricted and peaceful travel. Fortunately, no action was required because unlike most of my fellow citizens, I had a retired peace officer's badge. What about those that feel like that and do not have a getoutta jail/roadblock exit badge? I guess we'll soon find out when someone gets stopped and fights rather than have their rights violated or submit to abuse of power. It's no longer a matter of if this is going to happen, just a matter of when.


Joe Horn

Joe posted his account to a small usenet newsgroup. In return he received threats, including some from LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers). When we asked if we could print his story he thought about it carefully and then wrote, The hell with THEM. I have been through too much in my life to be intimidated by goons.

Readers may write to Joe through our email address:

[Biased Journalism is distributed free in cyberspace. To subscribe, send a message to with "subscribe" as the body of the message. Comments, article submissions and hot tips should be addressed to Solid mail, checks and donations go to S. Thomson, 236 Stanford S/C, Suite 142, Palo Alto, CA 94304. Separate issues of Biased Journalism are available via USA domestic mail at $5 apiece. Foreign rates on request. NEW: back issues of Biased Journalism are available on floppy disk at $2 per issue, minimum of four issues.]