Scientology Crime Syndicate

Subject: Erlich - pretrial
From: inFormer@informer.org (Rev Dennis Erlich)
Date: 23 Apr 1999 10:59:32 PDT

Faithful Reader,

Yesterday was my pretrial conference in San Jose. Federal judge Ronald Whyte presided. It was scheduled for 2pm but didn't begin until after 3 because a jury was deliberating a criminal case in Whyte's court and needed questions answered by the judge.

Whyte had issued 2 rulings on which my lawyers briefed me in the corridor outside the courtroom, beforehand. The scienos didn't find out about the rulings until the very end of the pretrial, and so had not yet turned a whiter shade of pale.

Before Whyte were both sides' motions in limine (requests to prevent certain types of evidence and witnesses from being presented at trial). The scienos wanted all my witnesses removed. They wanted any discussion of ars, of scn history, doctrine, practice and beliefs to be prevented. We had asked that material they had collected to Dead Agent and Black PR me and my witnesses from a confessional setting be banned from trial.

Whyte first talked four about a half hour straight. He said he had not carefully and completely read all the motions before him, but in the interest of forewarning the attorneys about how he was thinking the trial would go, he would go over the motions and tell us his preliminary thoughts on each of them.

He implied that he might be able to rule on some of the motions before the trial, but would use the first day of trial to sort out the details of who and what would be admitted in evidence and how the trial would go.

The scienos asked Whyte to exclude " ... any reference to the practices or beliefs of Scientology, its history, the background or meaning of the copyrighted texts, Erlich's own involvement with Scientology, and any testimony by any witness that has any relationship to Scientology."

Whyte indicated he needed to know how the texts were used in scn and would welcome testimony, evidence or witnesses to that end.

He made it clear that he was not going to use the trial to judge the merit or fraudulent nature of scn.

"1. Evidence Relating to Consumer Fraud"

Whyte said he would not be deciding if scn was fraudulent, but that he would welcome evidence and testimony regarding how the text at issue in the case is used and in what context.

"2. Evidence Relating to Alt.Religion.Scientology."

Whyte said he would need to see the ongoing discussions in order to determine the context of the alleged posts and the threads in which they allegedly occurred.

"3. Evidence Regarding Suppression of Criticism."

Since some of the material deals with Fair Game and treatment of Espees, Whyte's invitation for evidence and testimony about how the texts are used in the cult covers this.

"4. Evidence of Scientology's Newsworthiness."

While Whyte clearly indicated he didn't want the trial turned into a circus, he is not going to bar such evidence from trial as is required to show my purpose and use of the quoting.

"Testimony regarding the Scientology policy known as Verbal Tech,"

Whyte will not bar evidence or testimony that shows the context and use of such a policy in the cult.

Rosen then droned on for about a half hour, trying to show Whyte the errors in his thinking.

Harold McElhinny from MoFo filed with the court an equipment list he would be bringing to trial, and Rosen jumped out of his seat as if to object, but Whyte made is clear that such objections would not be welcome as it was a standard form filed with the court; boilerplate text about easels, laptops, etc.

Harold asked the court to set a date for when the OT material and NOTs material had to be refiled - not under seal - and bedlam ensued at the scieno table.

Apparently someone had forgotten to bring the new order to their attention. Whyte had unsealed the case and ordered to refile all their sealed filings, unsealed.

Whyte lifted the 1997 protective order sealing the material in this case (the court file) because it was based on the bogus trade secret claims made by the scienos at that time. He also opted to maintain an open and public courtroom throughout the trial and declare the exhibits containing the courses at issue are not confidential at trial.

Since the scienos abandoned their trade secret claim in order to avoid a jury trial, those materials Whyte said " ... are not 'truly confidential ...'" and that "... defendant's evidence indicates that at least some of the materials have nonetheless entered the public domain via the Internet, and thereby probably lost any trade secret or confidential status."

Whyte said "... it has become apparent that it would be very difficult for RTC to successfully claim any trade secret in the documents at issue."

In another order he bifurcated the case into a court trial on the scienos' copyright claims, and a jury trial (not yet scheduled) for my counter-claims.

Whyte also gave a clear indication that he wanted the case to settle before trial and ordered us to a settlement conference in front of Judge Fogel next Thursday. And he would, by that same day, be able to tell us if the trial was going to go forward on May 4th so we could inform all the witnesses that they'd be testifying.

Whyte also denied the scienos' motion to close the courtroom and trial to the public.

On a sadder note, based on the theory that it would have been gathered eventually in discovery anyway, Whyte intends to allow the admission of evidence allegedly gleaned during the unconstitutional 7-hour raid the scienos perpetrated on me in February 1995, despite the fact it was obtained illegally.

According to Whyte illegal search and seizure prohibitions in the Bill of Rights do not apply in civil cases.

So much for what they taught us in school about the law protecting us, eh kids?

Rev Dennis Erlich * * the inFormer * *

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