Fact vs Fiction
A Correction of Falsehoods Contained in the May 6, 1991 Issue of TIME Magazine
Published by The Church of Scientology International
Facts and Documentation Concerning TIME Magazine's Article
on the Church of Scientology
(The hardcopy of this booklet, containing all the documents related to what [was] reported, can be ordered [from] The Church of Scientology International)
[Links have been added]
Richard Behar's article in Time magazine is a lesson in how to manipulate and manufacture "facts", through omission and innuendo, to create a completely false picture — in this case, a picture of the Church of Scientology which simply has no basis in reality.
Behar has a long history of bias and antagonism against the Church. In 1986 he wrote an article in Forbes magazine that was a hatchet job. It is not surprising that Behar has written another unflattering article about Scientology. That he would, however, rely upon a convicted felon and another man whose actions a judge recently found to be "injurious" to Scientologists as his primary sources for the story is unjustifiable. Unsubstantiated charges made by these men are used by Behar as the basis for wildly sensational generalities about Scientology.
But an attentive reader, one who does not get caught up in Behar's web of lies and deception, will notice the incongruity of an article that has nothing positive to say about a group whose membership is growing by leaps and bounds every year, and which has a proven record of helping people and communities around the world.
The Church has millions of members, many of whom are active volunteers helping the less fortunate members of society. They are active in civic groups, professional organizations and neighborhood groups, improving conditions in communities by application of Scientology principles.
The Church combats drug addiction effectively; it has gotten over 100,000 people off of drugs and has taken on the leadership role in the Lead The Way To A Drug-Free USA campaign.
The Church is a vital force in education. Scientologists have taught some 1.5 million children in South Africa how to read and learn, based on the educational technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard.
Here in the U.S., the Church organizes or sponsors campaigns for the rights of the mentally ill, for the care of the elderly and for relief work.
What vested interests does a story serve that does not mention anything about the good works of the Church?
There are many allegations contained in Behar's story that are so outlandish and without merit that it is difficult to document all of them. Statements and charges like "Mafia-like" are interwoven with negatives like "Cult of Greed" or allegations of death threats or beatings. Nothing even resembling such allegations ever happened.
In this documentation we therefore address a sampling of the numerous substantive falsehoods contained in Richard Behar's story. The article is so thoroughly fallacious that one would have to literally create volumes to rectify all the lies and mischaracterizations created by Behar.
The enclosed materials, however, will open your eyes to the fact that this hatchet job on the Church of Scientology in Time magazine is serving an evil hidden agenda.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Time attempts to tar the Church with the crimes of Steven Fishman, and forwards the completely outrageous and false charge that Fishman was "ordered" by the Church to kill his psychiatrist and commit suicide. These are demonstrable falsehoods for which Fishman is currently serving time in a federal prison.
TRUE INFORMATION: Fishman committed mail fraud starting in 1983 for which he was indicted on 11 counts in September 1988. When indicted, Fishman tried to blame the Church of Scientology for his prior criminal activities. Evidence shows, however, that his association with the Church was insignificant and occurred after he engaged in mail fraud.
Fishman pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and to a charge of obstruction of justice and is now serving a five year sentence in federal prison. The charge of obstruction of justice resulted from Fishman's attempt to frame the Church of Scientology. Fishman had claimed that the Church had made threatening phone calls to, among others, his psychiatrist — the same psychiatrist that Time now claims Fishman was "ordered" to kill. The FBI investigated Fishman's complaint, finding that Fishman himself had in fact paid an associate to make the phone calls for him in an effort to set up the Church.
Fishman was given a stiff sentence as the judge found that his attempts to try to shift the blame for his actions demonstrated that he had not learned to take responsibility for them.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Businessmen Ken Gerbino and Michael Baybak are attacked on the basis of their membership in the Scientology religion. Relying principally on the claims of one William Jordan and some of his associates, Richard Behar attacks Gerbino's and Baybak's business judgment and professional ethics in connection with several companies. These allegations serve as the principal basis for smearing the entire religion as a financial scam.
TRUE INFORMATION: Behar's side of the story is blatantly false throughout, as the following facts, obtained from public documents, show.
William Jordan is a former president of Athena Gold Corporation.
In 1987, a large investment group of up to two dozen mining industry professionals provided major funding to Athena Gold Corporation. The group included Michael Baybak and Ken Gerbino, two businessmen who are members of the Church of Scientology.
During the year following this investment, Jordan demonstrated incompetence in his management of the company. He ran it as a private enterprise rather than as a public company by putting company monies through his own private company bank accounts. He refused to report on expenditures made and failed to establish plans and budgets for the company. When pressed to show records to the board, Jordan stole them and secreted them along with other company property.
The board of directors filed suit on Jordan to recover its records and property. The court ordered Jordan to return the company's records and funds which he illegally took and to cease any interference with the lawful operation of the company.
Jordan has worked with Richard Behar for close to a year and has advertised to the business community the fact that Behar was planning to do a "scandalous expose" on Baybak and Gerbino, implying illegal business dealings on their part.
This and other actions put Jordan in violation of an earlier court injunction against him. In April 1991, the officers of Athena brought a contempt hearing against Jordan.
In the hearing, Judge Adams said of Jordan:
"However, it is obvious that Mr. Jordan, and by his own admission as well as demonstrated otherwise in this hearing and at the hearing in August of 1988, has engaged in an undermining campaign to disparage and undermine and counter the efforts of Athena Gold, Inc., and its parent corporation." The judge also said of Jordan, "… it is obvious to me that his conduct is injurious."
The judge consequently modified the injunction against Jordan to prevent him from further harassing or disparaging Athena Gold or its personnel.
Completely omitted from Behar's article is the fact that Jordan today remains, through a holding company, Athena Gold's largest shareholder. Jordan controls an estimated 13% of Athena stock, while Baybak and Gerbino combined own only 10%.
Not one mention was made in the article of any of these facts, nor of the court findings against Jordan, although the data was made known to Behar — all of which thoroughly discredits Jordan as a source of trustworthy information. Instead, Baybak and Gerbino, who played minor roles in the conflict between Athena and Jordan, are selected as targets, solely on the basis of their religion, in order to carry out Behar' s smear on the Church.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Throughout Behar's article runs the unsubstantiated and false allegation that Scientology's leaders are intent on pocketing large sums of money and that Scientology is operated for their financial benefit. Behar does not give any specifics to be refuted, only broadbrush generalities like "greed," "squeezing millions," and the like. His implication at the end of the article that "Scientology managers" will continue to make millions is supported by no source or fact, because it is of Behar's own manufacture.
TRUE INFORMATION: No executives of any Church of Scientology are motivated by a desire to earn large sums of money for themselves. Rather, their primary purpose is to make the Scientology religion known to the people of the world and to make their church grow.
Even at the highest levels of the Church structure, Scientology executives receive salaries that are significantly lower than those of the leaders of other religious organizations. These executives are all very dedicated Scientologists who work an average of 15 hours a day, usually seven days a week. None of them own homes. Instead, they live in apartments that are no larger than 315 square feet. All high-level Scientology executives share communal dining arrangements with numerous other staff members. Most of them do not even own a car. They devote their abilities and energy to the expansion of the religion.
It is for these reasons that Behar was unable to name a single specific case of a Scientology executive enriching himself. To make up for this complete lack of substantiation in the article, he resorted to misrepresentations such as the statement that one Church, the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST), listed $503 million in income in one recent year in a court filing. The only court filing CST has made concerning its financial condition for any year is in the Court of Claims in Washington, D.C.. Nowhere in that file are there any figures even remotely in the same ballpark as that made up by Behar. This is just a bald-faced lie.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: In Behar's article, he alleges that Scientology is "the thriving cult of greed and power" and that it "poses as a religion but is really a ruthless global scam." Scientology is likened to the Mafia and accused of being criminal in nature.
TRUE INFORMATION: In just over 35 years since the incorporation of the first Church of Scientology, the Church has grown to more than 600 churches and missions in over 50 countries around the world. In the past four years alone, almost 200 new churches and missions have opened internationally.
Behar claims that Scientology "poses" as a religion. He ignores volumes of court documents. Scientology has been upheld as a bona fide religion by courts in virtually every major country around the world. For example:
The IRS stipulated before the United States Tax Court, "Scientology is and at all relevant times was a religion within the purview of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States."
The United States District Court of the Central District of California stated similarly, "This Court finds that the Church of Scientology is a religion within the meaning of the First Amendment. The beliefs and ideas of Scientology address ultimate concerns — the nature of the person and the individual's relationship to the universe."
Furthermore, in 1983 after an extensive examination of the activities of the Church of Scientology and an analysis of other religions, the High Court of Australia wrote, "The conclusion that [Scientology] is a religious institution entitled to tax exemption is irresistible."
Overseas in 1985, a district court in Stuttgart, Germany found that, "… this Church is a salvation religion which deals with the human soul and the riddles of life…. Its purpose in this world is … to help man in his [striving] for spiritual freedom and to completely free him from problems and burdens to reach total freedom … and experience the existence of a Supreme Being…."
Behar also claims that Scientology is a "ruthless global scam." Such an allegation is belied by the continuous and rapid expansion of Scientology membership over the years. Such expansion is only possible because individuals get real results from applying Scientology principles in their lives. Personal success stories concerning the benefits attained from Scientology would fill many hundreds of file cabinets.
Behar's article tries to portray the Church and its members as being criminal in intent and activity. The truth is, Scientologists as a group are probably the most law-abiding citizens on earth. Scientologists around the world actively and routinely work in cooperation with law enforcement officials to help reduce crime and create a safe environment.
For example, a common-sense moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard, The Way to Happiness, is used as the basis of many community campaigns that reduce crime and drug abuse in schools and gang-ridden communities. Church-sponsored programs in many neighborhoods have brought community officials and residents together to effectively combat crime.
Through a highly successful criminal rehabilitation program called Criminon (meaning "no crime"), Scientologists are bringing about true reform, resulting in a drastic reduction of the 60% to 80% recidivism rate of criminals.
Behar's article omits the information on the dozens of community service programs conducted by Scientologists that are improving conditions around the world and which have been acknowledged by community officials.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar states that he conducted a thorough and intensive investigation into Scientology. He also claims that Church officials refused to be interviewed for the Time magazine article.
TRUE INFORMATION: Behar's claims are false.
Behar claimed to have conducted 150 interviews and reviewed hundreds of court records and internal Scientology documents. This so-called "research" was clearly done with pre-determined bias, and with one purpose in mind: to discredit. Not one of these interviews was conducted with individuals who had positive statements to make about Scientology. Even though the intent of his interviews was only to dig up dirt, his tactics did not work on some people, who in fact did relate their positive stories about Scientology. Behar hadn't expected this, having selectively chosen his targets for interview, but he nonetheless ignored any positive information provided by these people.
Behar claims that no one in the Church would do an interview with him, carefully omitting that it was the Church that first approached him and he denied he was doing an article on the Church. Behar also omits that he did a hatchet job on the Church in 1986 for Forbes magazine and that the current Time article is a rehash of that 1986 piece. In that 1986 article Behar confidently predicted that the Church would disintegrate within months. No one, least of all Behar, can dispute that he was wrong.
Time itself originally denied that Behar was doing this story. When it was confirmed by reports coming in from Church parishioners that Behar was in fact proceeding with another hatchet job, the Church contacted Time and asked that another, unbiased reporter be put on the story and that we would talk to them. Time refused this request and left Behar to carry on his smear campaign.
In 1982, when Time published its last story on Scientology, the President of the Church of Scientology International granted Time a four hour interview. In the article that resulted, only seven words from the interview were quoted. In spite of this, the Church was prepared to deal with any other Time reporter who did not have an already proven record of unbending bias against the Church.
Even so, volumes of written materials were presented to Time documenting the positive activities of Scientology and disproving the allegations made by Behar. These were ignored.
Behar's assertion of having thoroughly researched this article is disproven by his well-documented history of malice towards Scientology. This is made obvious by the following examples:
On May 26, 1987 Behar spoke to a private investigator. During the conversation Behar called Scientology a scam and referred the investigator to known antagonists and anti-Scientology publications as the sole sources of information about Scientology. Most telling of all though was his response to a request for balanced information on Scientology. Behar insisted that he had never come across any positive information concerning the Church. He utterly ignored the fact that he had been supplied with volumes of positive information on the Church when he was preparing his 1986 Forbes article. Behar sought out those few people he knew would reflect his own bias against Scientology.
Behar did "interview" a few Scientologists. The Church learned of this when it received calls from members who reported that they had been contacted by Behar who, under the guise of an interview, had made ominous statements to the effect that the Church was out to infiltrate and take over these individuals' companies. Although it was disputed by each person interviewed and was clearly contradicted by the actual facts of the matter, his unsubstantiated, false accusations appeared in the Time article nonetheless.
A typical example was an interview Behar did on October 17, 1990 with Scientologist Tom Wright. Behar questioned Wright in such a way as to leave him in no doubt that he was anti-Scientology and completely uninterested in the positive experiences that Wright had had as a result of his Church membership. Behar also ignored statements from Wright refuting Behar's false allegations. None of Wright' s positive information about Scientology was included in the article.
Behar's November 8, 1990 interview of Charles Jeannel was another example of his underhanded tactics and intent to smear the Church. Behar attempted to turn Jeannel against Scientologist Ken Gerbino by claiming that there was a problem between the two during a prior business relationship. Despite Jeannel's assertion that he had no problem with Gerbino, Behar insisted that there had been fraudulent dealings on Gerbino's part and made vigorous attempts to get Jeannel to agree.
Behar made similar accusations to Jeannel about the Church and refused to listen to any data that Jeannel had to the contrary.
Further substantiating his assertions of there being nothing at all positive about Scientology, Behar even went so far as to recommend the practice of "deprogramming," a method of physically kidnapping people and forcing them to give up their religious beliefs.
Who would want to subject themselves to insult and invective by someone who holds such bigoted views towards their religion and who recommends that a criminal activity such as deprogramming be employed?
Behar also fails to mention that Church counsel Earle Cooley, in a meeting with Time associate counsel Robert P. Marshall, provided Time with irrefutable documentation of Behar's bias, as well as with three thick packs of media articles and letters from community officials, covering the extensive community work done by the Church in the United States. The materials documented that the Church has been active for years in anti-crime and anti-drug campaigns, in providing assistance to the needy and that these community service programs have been acknowledged and very much appreciated by city, county and state officials.
However, true to his style and in keeping with his long-term plan to deny the existence of anything positive about Scientology, not one mention of the Church's many community contributions appeared in Behar's article.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar makes the statement that, "Psychiatrists say these [Scientology counselling] sessions can produce a drugged-like, mind-controlled euphoria…."
TRUE INFORMATION: This is a bizarre and rather ironic allegation considering Scientology counselling raises one's awareness as attested to by thousands of people all over the world, and in light of the facts that:
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENTS: Behar's article includes several false statements about L. Ron Hubbard, including the following:
TRUE INFORMATION: Contrary to Behar's statement, L. Ron Hubbard was one of the early Science Fiction Greats. As such, Mr. Hubbard was in the company of other great authors of science fiction, such as Heinlein, Van Vogt and Asimov.
The popularity of Hubbard's works has continued through the decades to this day. His books regularly receive rave reviews, appear repeatedly on best seller lists around the world, and are in great demand. Over 98 million of his works have been sold. They have been translated into 31 languages and published in 88 countries. Many prestigious literary awards have been bestowed on L. Ron Hubbard, both in America and overseas, for his accomplishments as a writer.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar falsely portrays the tax-exempt status of Scientology. He first brings up a 1967 lRS ruling which he states "stripped Scientology's mother church of its tax-exempt status." Behar later represents that the Scientology religion has no tax-exempt status, by stating that a 1988 U.S. Supreme Court decision "upheld the revocation of [Scientology's] tax-exempt status."
TRUE INFORMATION: The 1967 IRS ruling cited by Behar concerning the Church of Scientology of California was invalidated by the IRS itself and has been meaningless for nearly 25 years. That Church also has not been the mother church of Scientology for a decade.
Following extensive examination of various Church records in the early-mid 1970's, the IRS officially recognized the tax-exempt status of 14 Churches of Scientology in 1975. These same Churches are recognized to this day as exempt by the IRS.
Indeed, in early 1991 the IRS completed an extensive examination of the Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C. and left its tax-exempt status fully intact.
The 1988 Supreme Court decision cited by Behar simply declined review of a lower court decision in a case that involved the exempt status of one Church of Scientology corporation for three tax years. In the IRS's own words, "That opinion has no binding effect upon any other individual Church of Scientology organization…. The case only involved the years 1970, 1971 and 1972…. The opinion has no binding effect upon any other individual Church of Scientology organization."
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar falsely asserts that a mid-1980's IRS investigation "proved" that Mr. Hubbard and the Church were guilty of crimes, and that indictment of Mr. Hubbard was being sought in late 1985 but that he died before prosecution could occur. Behar implies strongly throughout the article that the Church continues to be under IRS investigation for (unspecified) crimes.
TRUE INFORMATION: Behar claims that the IRS alleged that L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, "skimmed" $200 million from the Church. Although the IRS is clearly intent on destroying Scientology and has spread numerous false reports concerning it, they have never made this claim to our knowledge. The IRS audited Mr. Hubbard's tax returns every year for the last ten years of his life. In each year Mr. Hubbard ended up with either no additional tax owed or getting a refund. Furthermore, L. Ron Hubbard willed nearly the entirety of his estate to the Scientology religion. Behar's allegations are unfounded and despicable.
Moreover, the criminal investigation referred to in the article was rejected by the Department of Justice in late 1986 as being unfounded, not, as Behar claims, on the basis of Mr. Hubbard's death. In fact, the IRS's file had remained open after Mr. Hubbard's death in January 1986, and did not close until November 1986, after the rejection of the case by the Department of Justice.
Behar has long acted as a stalking-horse for the IRS. In October 1986 he attempted to revive the ill-fated IRS criminal investigation. At that time Behar wrote in Forbes magazine that, "…an IRS criminal investigation is gathering momentum in Los Angeles…," at the very time the Department of Justice had completed its review and rejected the IRS's proposal in its entirety. Not only was the investigation not "gathering momentum in Los Angeles" in October of 1986, it was not even in the IRS's hands and had not been for a year. Later, evidence surfaced disclosing why Behar would write such falsehoods. He was friendly with Al Lipkin, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agent in charge of the investigation, and he was attempting to influence the Department of Justice's decision on the case.
In a conversation with Octavio Pena, a New Jersey private investigator retained by the Jordache Jeans company, Behar acknowledged his relationship with Al Lipkin.
In March of 1987, the Chief of the Los Angeles IRS CID confirmed in writing that the CID was neither conducting nor considering a criminal investigation of entities, of ficers or individuals employed by any Church of Scientology.
To add injury to insult, the LA office of the IRS CID was cited by Congress in 1990 for practicing widespread corruption during the very period of their trumped-up investigation of Scientology and their conspiring with Behar.
Thus for obvious reasons, Behar omits why certain factions within the IRS would attack Scientology. The true facts are that the Church of Scientology is at the forefront of exposing the IRS's abuses against American citizens and in taking effective action to reform the failing tax system. The Church has worked with Congress and the Treasury Department's Inspector General in bringing about oversight of the IRS to protect the rights of Americans. Time makes no mention of Church of Scientology International's publications entitled the "Guide to the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights" and "Freedom of Information Act Handbook," simple how-to guides to prevent IRS abuse of taxpayers and to enable citizens to find out what data their government maintains about them.
The Church has helped to form and actively supports the Citizens for an Alternative Tax System (CATS), whose objective is the replacement of the income tax system with a national sales tax that is both fairer and less bureaucratic than the current system, and which will make the IRS obsolete. This campaign is taking the U.S. by storm. Noted columnist Pat Buchanan ran a widely syndicated column supporting CATS in April 1991.
There are those in the IRS who do not want this kind of reform and attack the Church in retaliation. Behar is the man who does the agency's dirty work.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar claims that the fact that the Church and individual Scientologists are prosecuting 71 suits against the Internal Revenue Service evidences an intent to harass the lRS. He then mixes that with a statement that the Department of Justice is somehow afraid of Scientology because of such a proclivity to sue.
TRUE INFORMATION: All 71 suits filed and pending against the IRS are completely meritorious. Most of them are suits brought under the Freedom of Information Act asking the courts' assistance to enjoin the IRS to comply with the law and disclose their files. The strength of the claims is confirmed by the fact that the IRS has attempted to dismiss all suits pending and such attempts have been rejected by courts across the land. In fact, one U.S. Federal District Court Judge ruled in April 1991 that the IRS's attempt to dismiss two such suits was done for the "sole purpose…to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation." The court fined the IRS $300 for those tactics. In another recent case a Scientologist couple was awarded $13,972 by a U.S. Federal District Court Judge because the IRS's actions were "not substantially justified." These are just three examples of numerous similarly favorable rulings obtained by Scientologists and the Church against the IRS in the past year. These court rulings belie the charges of Behar.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: In reference to a 1971 court decision, Behar alleged that, "Hubbard responded by going fully religious, seeking First Amendment protection for Scientology's strange rites," implying that Scientology was not a religion prior to that point.
TRUE INFORMATION: This allegation is patently false. Scientology has been a religion since the incorporation of the first Church in 1954. The religious nature of Scientology has been the subject of many articles by its founder since that time.
Behar completely twisted the facts concerning the 1971 U.S. District Court decision which held that Scientology "is a bona fide religion and that the auditing practice of Scientology and accounts of it are religious doctrine."
The U.S. District Court based its ruling on the findings of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Circuit that had fully evaluated the Scientology religion two years earlier and found it to be bona fide in every respect. The court stated, "On the record as a whole, we find that appellants have made out a prima facie case that the Founding Church of Scientology is a religion. It is incorporated as such in the District of Columbia. It has ministers, who are licensed as such, with legal authority to marry and to bury. lts fundamental writings contain a general account of man and his nature comparable rable in scope, if not in content, to those of some recognized religions."
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar's article portrays the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) as a "front group " and "financial scam" and contends that CCHR's exposure of the life-threatening dangers of psychiatric drugs such as Prozac is based on "scant evidence."
TRUE INFORMATION: For over 20 years, CCHR, which is sponsored by the Church of Scientology, has been documenting the abuses inflicted on the public by unethical psychiatrists and their damaging practices. The evidence gathered by CCHR of the dangers of Prozac is strong and is mounting daily.
Over 14,000 adverse reactions resulting from the use of Prozac have been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since Prozac's release on the market at the end of 1987. Such reactions include delirium, hallucinations, convulsions, permanently crippling nervous disorders, violent hostility and aggressions, psychosis and suicide. (By comparison, Valium, a drug acknowledged to be widely abused and the cause of medication dependency, has been the subject of less than 7,000 adverse reaction reports in twenty years.)
In 1990 alone, CCHR's office in Los Angeles received over ten thousand calls from people who reported being damaged by Prozac, or whose family members committed suicide either while on the drug or while coming off the drug. Some had killed people, some had maimed themselves, and others were suffering from nightmares about killing their own children and themselves. Many of these individuals reported that they had been presented with the false hope that the drug would have a beneficial effect, such as assisting in weight loss, relieving of physical pain or optical pressure, combatting a smoking habit, or simply serving as a "pick me up."
Furthermore, over 50 Prozac-related personal injury lawsuits have been filed to date by victims of the drug against its manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Co., for nearly $1 billion in damages. Because of the growing number of cases of harm caused by Prozac, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America recently created a Prozac litigation section just to provide assistance to attorneys who are having to prepare Prozac-related suits for people damaged by the drug. According to the March 1991 issue of Texas Lawyer, plaintiffs' attorneys say that because the abuse cases are so numerous and widespread, Prozac could become the next Dalkon Shield.
Lilly's history of promoting and selling dangerous drugs, despite voluminous evidence of such dangers, is well documented. Throughout the 1980's, Lilly attempted to downplay reports it received of numerous deaths associated with its drug Oraflex, claiming that scientific studies showed that the drug was "safe and effective."
In 1985, however, Lilly pled guilty to 10 charges of failing to report deaths and illnesses linked to the drug, and 15 counts of failing to properly label Oraflex packages regarding dangerous side effects associated with the drug, including death. Oraflex was subsequently taken off the market.
Mounting evidence indicates it is only a matter of time before Prozac is similarly removed from the market in order to protect the public. Behar's attempt to discredit CCHR for being in the vanguard of bringing Prozac's harms to public notice is telling of his own unsavory intentions.
Additionally, Church researchers have found that certain members of Time magazine's board of directors share other board memberships with Eli Lilly board members.
This, coupled with the fact that Eli Lilly's stock value plummeted after CCHR's exposure of the dangers of Prozac, explains why Time magazine would be so intent on discrediting CCHR's exposure of the dangers of Prozac.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar uses the Cult Awareness Network's executive director as a source of false statements about Scientology and its expansion for his article.
TRUE INFORMATION: The Cult Awareness Network (CAN) is a group with executives and members who have proven criminal backgrounds and affiliations.
The last president of CAN, Michael Rokos, resigned in late 1990 amid public exposure of his criminal record. Rokos was convicted in 1982 for soliciting lewdness, i.e., making a perverted sexual proposition to an undercover policeman. Rokos resisted arrest and also gave a false name to the police.
Despite incontrovertible documentation of the incident, Rokos first vehemently denied the occurrence and made wild legal threats against those who exposed it. Cynthia Kisser, the current executive director of CAN quoted by Behar in his article, also denied and tried to downplay the incident to avoid further public embarassment.
The Maryland State Police, however, confirmed the story and Rokos resigned both from his position as volunteer chaplain with the Maryland State Police and from his position as president of CAN.
CAN serves as a networking and referral service for the "deprogramming" racket. The group spreads or creates derogatory and sensational information about targeted religious groups, manufacturing fear among the families of individuals associated with these religions.
CAN encourages individuals to pay tens of thousands of dollars to kidnap family members, hold them against their will, and physically and mentally harass them until they are forced to denounce their religious beliefs.
Members of the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Christian Science Church, Disciples of Christ, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Amish have been among such targeted religions.
Ted Patrick, the recognized "father of deprogramming" and founder of the movement, is a felon who has been convicted and jailed multiple times. Charges against Patrick include battery and sexual battery, assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, abduction, possession of cocaine and violation of parole. Patrick has been a guest of honor at CAN gatherings as recently as 1990. In March l991 Patrick came under criminal charges again in the state of Washington for another unsuccessful "deprogramming" attempt.
In January 1991, Richard Behar slipped and revealed his own sympathies with the pratice of deprograming. In response to being told that a certain individual was a member of the Church of Scientology, he stated, "There are a lot of these anti-cult groups that recommend — I don't mean to suggest it because I don't want to be in a position to suggest it, you know — they deprogram people."
It is revealing of Behar's allegiances that he failed to use any credible source of information on Scientology in preparation of his article. Instead, he included among his sources a group that is best known for its anti-religious stance and practices, and then he attempts to pass off the results to Time magazine readers as a believable story.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar portrays former Church attorney Joseph Yanny as an expert on the Church of Scientology. The Time article attempts to put the Church on trial using false claims that were specifically excluded from the litigation with Yanny by the trial judge, e.g., that Yanny was asked to steal records for the Church, and was the subject of Church "harassment", including death threats and burglaries.
TRUE INFORMATION: Yanny is a former attorney for the Church who was found to be taking LSD when Scientology executives investigated why Yanny was unable to maintain an acceptable level of performance and professional conduct.
After leaving Church employ, Yanny proceeded to break attorney-client confidences. In subsequent litigation with Yanny concerning his breach of contractual agreement, Superior Court Judge Cardenas found that Yanny showed "a ready willingness to disregard legal and ethical responsibilities owed to his former clients."
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: The Time article forwards claims by the parents of Noah Lottick that the Church was to blame for Noah's suicide.
TRUE INFORMATION: The Church was saddened to hear of Noah Lottick's tragic death. However, the claims raised against it are baseless. Noah Lottick had merely attended basic courses in the Church. His real upset before his suicide was with his parents. Noah wrote a letter to his parents about two weeks prior to his suicide. In it, he blamed them for mistreating him all his life and never letting him grow up on his own. Throughout his life, Noah frequently had fights with his parents.
Noah Lottick's father had been institutionalized at age 24 and started taking the psychiatric drug Thorazine at that time. The father was trying to likewise put Noah into the hands of psychiatrists against Noah's will.
About a week before his suicide, Noah was also upset with his father for telling the dean of a college they were visiting that Noah was a repressed homosexual.
Noah Lottick had only recently turned to the Church for help but too late. In fact, the Lotticks never, ever suggested the Church had anything to do with their son's death until Richard Behar promised them prominence in the pages of Time. Such manipulation of aggrieved parents is unconscionable.
Behar's spurious accusation that the Church was in some way to blame for Noah's tragic suicide was completely fabricated and contrary to existing evidence.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar quotes former Church executive Vicki Aznaran who likens the Church to Jim and Tammy Bakker, thus insinuating that a misuse of Church funds exists.
TRUE INFORMATION: Aznaran is not a credible source. She is currently pressing a groundless lawsuit against the Church seeking $70 million. Aznaran was removed from any position of authority in the Church due to unethical conduct, by those she now accuses of wrongdoing.
Ms. Aznaran's statements in the Time article are not only false, but are contradicted by her earlier sworn representations made to the IRS. Jim and Tammy Bakker were accused of using church funds for their personal benefit. On August 30,1985, Vicki Aznaran attested to the Internal Revenue Service that there was no basis for the agency to have a concern that any individual staff member made personal profit from the Church' s activities.
What Behar doesn't mention is that Vicki Aznaran did not leave her position in the Church. She was removed by Church trustees for violation of corporate responsibilities as a board member and for partaking in a failed power push by non-board and non-staff members over control of church funds. Her parting words were, "I've ruined my career in Scientology." And she was right. If anything of what Aznaran said were true, she would in essence be talking about what she did as a board member.
TIME MAGAZINE STATEMENT: Behar wrote in his article, "Last August [Roots] author Alex Haley was the keynote speaker at [the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America's] annual awards banquet in Los Angeles. Says Haley, 'I didn't know much about that group going in. I'm a Methodist.' Ignorance about Scientology can be embarrassing…. "
Behar's statement, especially being set within a wholly negative article on Scientology, implies that Haley's experience with the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America or with Scientology was in some way embarrassing or negative for him.
TRUE INFORMATION: In a conversation with Mr. Haley, subsequent to and concerning publication of the Time magazine article, Haley confirmed that his experience at the event was wholly positive and that he "would come back and speak tomorrow as far as that's concerned…. My concern about that piece would be if it said, or if it overtly implied anything that was other than positive from my point of view. Because there was nothing other than positive."
Dalkon Shield: An intrauterine birth control device which caused severe adverse reactions for users, many of whom filed lawsuits as a result; eventually this avalanche of litigation drove the manufacturer into bankruptcy.