April 15, 2016
VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL ONLY
Kelli Sager, Esq.
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
865 South Figueroa Street, Suite 2400
Los Angeles, California 90017-2566
Re: Macmillan and St. Martin’s Publishing
Well, you certainly shot the messenger in your April 13, 2016 letter! Unfortunately for your clients the message escaped unscathed. With full warning that they are publishing lies rather than pausing, reflecting and verifying the truth, they have chosen to gun the engine and race through the many red lights warning them not to proceed. History teaches that the injury will be suffered not by the speed but the sudden stop.
Let me recapitulate the “bid and asked” regarding the mountain of evidence your clients feel is best addressed by a “don’t ask/don’t tell policy.” Your Stalin era like rewriting of history is not sustainable when compared to the verifiable truth.
First, when my client became aware of the proposed book and its authors, your clients were repeatedly informed that each of the authors were subject to strict and fully enforceable confidentiality agreements. And your clients ignored the warning.
You seem obsessed with the idea that somehow my clients had a duty to come forward and report sooner the many lies and infirmities contained in the book. You don’t recite, however, any pre-publication attempt to fact check with anybody at the Church. Why not if truth is important? Here is what actually happened: When my client first learned from a person who was familiar with what was reported to be the text of the book that portions he or she reviewed were false, my client made efforts to obtain lawfully the manuscript. Indeed, they specifically requested an opportunity to review the manuscript which they learned had not yet been printed by the publisher’s printer. Your clients refused. Why?
This obdurate refusal caused my client to seek to obtain the book lawfully and to review it. When the review revealed a veritable googleplex of errors, I promptly sought to meet with your clients to demonstrate the errors and why the purveyor of the errors was completely untrustworthy for reasons of his background and character. And so an audience was granted with a strict time limit.
What your false history slights is the substance of the meeting and the disclosures that are both independently verifiable and remain subject to verification simply by your getting into your car and traveling the 12.3 miles from your office to mine. Hell, if Mohammed chooses not to come to the mountain, I am prepared to bring the mountain to you and add the mileage to the 2600 nautical miles I have already traversed in the presentation of the truth. Of course, if publication will not be delayed what is the point of presenting again the evidence already revealed plus the additional material that your clients have actively ignored despite my invitation?
While I know the stenographer and your clients made copious notes, and I ask them to preserve those notes as part of the litigation hold which I hereby request, let me remind you of the highlights of the meeting and why the point you raise about my client not “providing” the documents is, as Justice Scalia would say, so much “apple sauce.” The meeting began after the procedural discussion about recordation methods with a demonstration by a clearly displayed multi-colored chart illustrating why Ron Miscavige could not know what he purports to know because he was located thousands of miles away from his son David during David’s long period of service to his Church and to its Founder. In addition the chart demonstrated that the work assignments of each showed that Ron had no involvement in Church policy making. He was a trumpet player performing around the world at Church related functions.
To prove the point, we showed one by one numerous photographs of Ron with trumpet or on days off in trumpetless repose, in international and domestic destinations ranging from Buffalo to the east to San Jose to the west, from England to Curacao internationally and many, many points in between. What question possibly remains about where he was or what he was doing or whether he could know what he purports to know? But, if there is such a question we have offered you access to his Day Timers which demonstrate on a daily basis why Ron’s “memoir” is, again in a Justice Scalia phrase, “jiggery-pokery.”1 Or more simply, IT IS A LIE!
But there was more. The nonsense about the “real estate scam” attendant to building the magnificent “Ideal Orgs” and the surreptitious transfer of ownership from the congregants to some Church organization other than the local Church that built it was disproved with thirteen, count 'em thirteen, separate recorded deeds accessible from County Clerks offices around the country. They were held up by Ms. Yingling and nobody asked that they be held a bit closer to facilitate reading. Your colleagues “got it” completely. They just have chosen to ignore it.
What further review of documents is needed to demonstrate that Ron was perfectly able to have personal effects such as photographs in the room he and his then wife shared beyond a photograph of that room with, wait for it, their personal effects displayed including a collection of framed photographs? The picture which your clients and partner carefully studied proved beyond peradventure that Ron’s claim is a flat lie.
But there was more. The nonsensical assertion that there were no marriages at Gold base was disposed of in two incontestable ways. First, publicly filed marriage certificate after publicly filed marriage certificate displayed and read from and the “kill shot,” photographs of Ron presiding at marriage ceremonies on the Gold base. Really, what else needs to be said about whether that is a lie or not? But, as offered repeatedly, come by and see the photos and marriage certificates for yourself.
What about proof that Ron abused his daughters and his wife and harbored his namesake son Ronnie to have raped his sisters? Surely you recall my own reading of affidavits of the women. Want to see those in print just to check my reading skills? No problem, come on by.
I was particularly taken with the presentation in the meeting of what the actual “source” material was for some of the language and anecdotes Ron recited in his book. I couldn’t help but notice the particularly feverish writing that Ms. Frost undertook as Mr. Lieberman recited, literally chapter and verse of the “questioned” work and then recited from the infringed source. I would have thought that a publisher, no matter how deep its insurance coverage for copyright infringement, would have leaped at the need to run to ground the obvious plagiarism festooning the book. And yet, the print date was expedited and the publication date advanced. Indeed, there has been no follow up request to check
Mr. Lieberman’s citations. Of course that’s unnecessary since the cited sources are well known and reviewable either by a quick internet search or by investing in the purchase of two of the leading accounts of purported histories of the Church.
While I could go on and on in recounting the details of the 90 minute, “hard stop” meeting, you were present by phone and know what was said and what was and was not asked. I know that you appreciate why I view the harping on the need for copies of documents that you have been free to review but have chosen not to as only a litigation position and completely unrelated to the obligation of a publisher to tell the truth. And so, it appears that your clients have chosen the path of lying for money and hoping they can sneak by with a First Amendment defense. If the Blake Shelton case decided by Judge Snyder on Monday teaches anything, it is that sometimes doubling down on lies and hoping the First Amendment will ride to the rescue is not such a good legal bet. I will leave to your clients and ultimately to a jury to decide whether such a bet meets the morals of the marketplace or rather reflects conduct that is malicious, oppressive and fraudulent. Were I you, I’d not take that bet.
All rights are reserved.
Bert H. Deixler
1Let me put to rest the suggestion that we had the Day Timer or the racist tape when we met in New York. We didn't. After the meeting and through today we continue to look for evidence that demonstrates the lies Ron has recited. We informed you of our locating this incriminating evidence almost immediately after we found it. And it apparently is irrelevant to you because you have declined my offer to review it.