April 11, 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
I have reviewed your letter claiming to respond to my March 28 letter. I received it April 8, after I sent my most recent correspondence. I do hope that you have received that letter. If not, please let me know immediately and I will, again, resend it. I hope even more that I will receive a substantive response.
Your late in coming correspondence seems a piece of a two party strategy. First, to expedite the publishing of the knowingly false “memoir” to generate undeserved sales by tricking the public into buying something that is not as advertised, while slow walking confronting the lies that are at the heart of the book in the hope that you can run out the clock and publish without confronting the evidence of falsity. The strategy is obvious, flawed and will backfire. Since publication of the book was first announced for August, this race to publish in May in the face of the gale force wind proof that the book is replete with lies cannot be reconciled with the obligation to tell the truth. Why the rush?
What your letter should have said was:
The presentation in New York to our top legal officers and outside counsel raised concerns about the reliability of the book and the author. Frankly, we are not prepared to risk our reputation by publishing without further careful fact checking. While we understand that placing the documents in a sealed envelope was intended to preserve a litigation position, we are more interested in making sure that what we publish is true and not worrying how close to the edge of the First Amendment protections we can come. I’d like to come to your office and review page by page all the materials you presented and, most especially the new hand written materials that I have not seen which reflect Ron’s reports of his day by day activities. I also will take you up on your offer to listen to the tape because my high end publisher clients certainly don’t wish to be in league with virulent racists or anti-Semites. Of course we will delay publication until we are satisfied that we know the book is accurate.
Instead you sent a farrago of cavils, name calling, false assertions and intentional eliding of the clear issues. Let me dispose of your points.
The “preliminary matter” of how we got the book. No, we didn’t steal it nor did “Deep-Throat” provide it in a darkened garage. (I haven’t seen that movie recently either. Just one of the points of life, like Mark Furman’s lying and racism, that I recall unaided.) A person who was given the manuscript without any requirement of confidentiality who recognized from his or her own experience that it was filled with lies delivered it to us. Here dies your note of “irony.”
Second, the claim that the Church was slow to present its evidence that the publishers intended to present a lie strewn book. This raises the illogical and counter intuitive proposition that the victims of falsehoods have the initial burden of uncovering the falsehoods pre-publication and rushing to the publisher to show the publisher where it is about to go wrong. This exactly flips the burden of fact checking from the publisher to the consumers and those to be maligned by the lies and could not possibly be presented by a lawyer of your accomplishment seriously. As such, I reject it completely.
Third, you suggest that when the dismissive Ms. Frost offered us an audience on short notice 2600 nautical miles from my place of residence I should have cancelled personal and professional obligations and immediately appeared in her office as summoned. Really? For the same reason you could not personally attend a meeting on a date selected by others, I could not. Instead as adults do, we selected a time that could be accommodated, albeit on an inconvenient basis, and honored the express arbitrary time limits imposed by Ms. Frost. Review the correspondence arranging the meeting again, or the notes made by the stenographer at the meeting, and see whether you see a hint or intimation that we were welcome to spend as much time as we wished to present. I think you will see our audience was for 90 minutes only and we used every second of it shaping our presentation to meet Ms. Frost’s imperative. I know for sure because I kept my eye fixed to the clock visible above Ms. Frost’s right shoulder.
Fourth, you suggest that rather than deliver each of the dozens and dozens of documents for independent study which demonstrated over and over that the publishers were on the road to publishing a pack of lies and were in league with a wife-beating, child abusing, rape harboring, racist, and anti-Semite, we merely “purported” to read the documents containing the smoking guns. You have that wrong in many ways.
First, unless you perceive me, Eric Lieberman, and Monique Yingling as some kind of a wandering band of improvisational actors who “trod the boards” like characters out of Huckleberry Finn and pretend to read documents while actually only making it up, this bit of pettifoggery is a complete non-starter. Not once in the 90 minute meeting—and check with the stenographer—did any of the three accomplished lawyers present ask to see a single document. Nor Kelli did you, present only on the phone, prod anybody to do so. What was asked both before and at the meeting was that we surrender physical possession of the documents proving falsity and reckless disregard of the truth should the book be published. I rejected that demand then and do so again.
That brings me to what we have repeatedly offered and indeed why I requested the meeting and flew to New York for the meeting with the chief legal officers of St. Martins and Macmillan and their distinguished outside counsel. You and your colleagues may have your way with the documents and other evidence. You and the fact checkers for the publishers, if they have any, are entirely welcome to come to my office and review the materials as slowly as you’d like. We won’t impose a 90 minute deadline nor even insist that a stenographer be present. The only restriction is that we will not surrender possession of the documents for we fear that no matter what the truth, your clients are committed to rushing the publication of the book because they need the money. So, rather than elide that offer any further, address it. Will you or will you not review systematically the documents we offered? If not, and if your clients are in fact interested in the truth, why not?
Let me also address this canard of a “smear campaign” against Ron Miscavige. For it to be a “smear,” it would have to be false. What we are saying about Ron, his book, his character and conduct are not “smears.” Rather, they are the truth. He is lying about what he knows about his son David. He has no percipient knowledge of his son’s ascent in the Church over the many long years of David’s service to the Church and its Founder, because he was thousands of miles away. He did brutally and repeatedly beat his wife and daughters and he has continued to lie about it. He did excuse and harbor his incestual rapist son who, like him, was arrested for a sex crime.
(And please, take it from me, a former federal prosecutor, do not equate a dismissal or a plea of “guilty withhold findings” with “innocence.” The first two are legal conclusions, the other a statement of fact. Ron and Ronnie may enjoy a salutary legal conclusion but that doesn’t change the facts.) Ron was not “imprisoned.” Ron was not “starved.” He had time off. He didn’t “escape.” He drove the car his son David gifted him with to a new life enabled by David’s donating to him what represented virtually all of his inheritance from the woman Ron regularly beat. And on top of that he paid Ron’s medical insurance premiums annually. Some “escape.”
What is true is that Ron was transformed from an itinerant, hard drinking abuser into a world traveling trumpet player who benefitted enormously from the grace of his son. And so now, in a pure money play and a final confirmation of his character, Ron offers provable lies in exchange for cash. And what makes this uniquely unseemly situation even worse is the willingness of fancy New York publishers to line their pockets knowing with whom and with what they are dealing. As a wise lawyer once asked, “at long last, have you no sense of decency?”
Let me end as I began. The Church has previously and once again urges your clients to review the mountain of evidence demonstrating that they are rushing to sell to the public a book that is not what it claims to be. It is not a “memoir.” It is a work of fiction. Poorly written and plagiarized certainly, but still a work of fiction. You and the publishers have the means at hand to confirm that it is fiction by the careful review of the evidence available and that we again and again offer for review. And yet, you refuse. It is hard to understand why.
However, so there is no question, please feel free to call me at my office and we can arrange for a time for you and any of your colleagues to come and study the evidence. All that we ask is that you hold off publishing until all the lies in the book have been removed. The likely result we are confident of is that there will not be a book to sell.
I do hope to hear from you to learn that your clients will delay publication. This will signal that they wish to pursue the path of truth and not avarice. The truth will set them free and spare a fraud on the marketplace.!
All rights are reserved.
Bert H. Deixler