Affidavit — David M. Rice

Affidavit — David M. Rice
CASE # HEMO 14371
State vs Keith Henson

Original Date: Friday, November 17, 2000, 4:20 AM
Revision Date: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 11:22 AM

My name is David Rice. I am a citizen of the United States. My residence is indeterminate due to my employment as an international boat delivery captain: I am currently acquiring visas to work and live in French Polynesia.

I have never written an Affidavit before, so please excuse my form if it is improper.

This Affidavit is in regard to the State’s contention, based upon false claims made by spokespeople of the Scientology organization, that the civil and human rights activist Keith Henson took GPS (Longitude and Latitude) readings, or caused to have GPS readings taken, of various structures on the Scientology property at Gilman Springs, near Hemet, California. The activist Keith Henson was not a party to this event and deed, and had no knowledge of the deed prior to its occurrence.

To explain the issue to the Court and the Riverside District Attorney’s Office, I must explain a bit about myself and what lead me to take the GPS readings.

In 1983 I became a civil rights activist, working specifically on First Amendment issues (the right to free expression of religion, the separation of secular and sectarian powers, and free speech).

I also worked with other Amendment issues (the right to privacy, proper search and seizure, and a woman’s right to chose abortion and have access to contraception). I have been used as a consultant to the American Civil Liberties Union in various cases involving protecting a citizen’s religious freedom; I have been a consultant for newspaper reporters on various religious rights cases; I was a member of a religious rights organization called “Cultwatch Response” (now defunct); I was a member of the Orange County Pro-Choice Coalition (now defunct); I have financially supported civil rights organizations such as Americans United and the First Amendment Research Foundation. In my defense of civil rights, I have attended many pickets and protests.

In the late 1980s I protested the Ku Klux Klan / Aryan Nation in Los Angeles county (incidentally, I supported their right to demonstrate and speak their opinion, even while I protested and criticised their opinion); I protested Bush’s Oil War (“The Gulf War”); I protested in defense of farm workers in California; I protested several California Propositions that sought to limit Mexican emigrants access to education and social services; I placed my body between “Right to Life” activists and the girls and women they sought to prevent from acquiring medical services.

In 1996 my civil rights activism lead me to learn about the human rights abuses caused by and for the Scientology organization. The brutal homicide of Lisa McPherson caused me to expand my civil rights activism into the human rights arena. My human rights activism lead me to protest and picket a few Scientology businesses (called “Orgs” and “Missions” by the Scientology organization). My religion teaches that once one becomes aware of an injustice, it is one’s spiritual and civic duty to work to end that injustice.

As punishment for expressing my right and duty to protest Scientology’s crimes and human rights abuses, the Scientology organization harassed me in several ways. They sent out goons to stalk and harass me: the stalkers followed me to the residences of my friends; the stalkers visited my previous residences and harassed the people now living there; hate literature libeling me appeared. One Scientologist was sent to stalk me and did so by sitting in his car watching me every day for about three weeks— people I talked to told me he behaved mentally ill and “freaky” and that they were afraid of him. (Since my harassers never threatened me physically, I ignored them completely.)

The harassment I was subjected to by the Scientology organization was ideal confirmation to me that my human rights activism in protesting the Scientology organization’s crimes and human rights abuses was and is fully justified.

It is my emphatic conviction, belief, and guiding religious precept that threats of any kind are a gross violation of another’s human rights: it is never justified for any reason— I therefore refuse to engage in such behavior, nor do I sit quietly and tolerate such behavior. If Mr. Henson had ever engaged in such behavior in my presence or on the Internet, I would have soundly and aggressively castigate him for it: however, HE HAS NEVER DONE SO.

On May 17, 2000, sixteen-year-old Ashlee Shaner died on the road outside the Scientology organization’s property at Gilman Springs. Standard, sensible safety precautions could have easily prevented the death. In my opinion, Scientology Inc. is slightly responsible for that death. The human rights activist Keith Henson apparently agrees with me on this issue, as he has taken up the banner of the human right to life and has gone to the Scientology property to protest that death.

Let it be known that I do not have any relationship with the human rights activist Keith Henson; we have met three or four times while working in our human rights activism. However, I believe myself to be a very good judge of a person’s character: In my opinion, for anyone to assert that Mr. Henson has threatened anyone physically is absurd; it is farcical in the extreme; it is ludicrous to claim Mr. Henson would violate the law and another’s civil and human rights at the very time he was demonstrating in support and defense of those rights! It is blatantly obvious that Mr. Henson is protesting Scientology management’s crimes and human rights abuses in defense of Scientology members, not in opposition to them. The only “threat” he poses is his speaking the truth about the Scientology organization. Scientology Inc. fears the words on Mr. Henson’s picket signs, not imaginary threats they claim he has made.

In the past five years I have never seen any Internet message from anyone suggesting violence against Scientologists or Scientology Inc. In that same time period, there has been only one web page that threatened Scientologists: that web page showed evidence that it was created by Scientology Inc. itself as fodder in its political propaganda war against the civil and human rights activists who criticize Scientology Inc. [See UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Vs. Criminal No. 78-401 MARY SUE HUBBARD, et al. See also AFFIDAVIT OF PAULETTE COOPER, 4th day of March, 1985.]

When Scientology Inc. asserts they are subjected to abuse and threats on the Internet, they are asserting a falsehood. If it were true, I and many others would be working very hard opposing such behavior.

Via the Internet I heard that Mr. Henson had allegedly been subject to assault, battery, and various forms of other harassment at the hands of Scientology goons (such as his daughter allegedly being stalked and threatened). I had heard that Mr. Henson had allegedly been forced into the highway, and subjected to the threat of being run over by traffic, by agents of Scientology. Various other civil and human rights activists had reported that when Scientology agents believe they are being video or audio recorded, they cease or limit such abuse (this is important to remember when I address the GPS unit).

As such, on July 5 2000 I went to celebrate the birth of our Nation by protesting Scientology management’s human rights abuses in general, and the alleged criminal harassment of the civil and human rights activist Keith Henson in particular. I was also there to give my respects to Ashlee Shaner.

Since assault and abuse by Scientology agents appears to be mitigated by the presence of video and audio recording equipment, I wished to bring a tape recorder with me when I demonstrated against Scientology’s abuses. Unfortunately, I do not have a tape recorder, nor did I have the money to buy one. However, I do have a microphone, and I have a device that looks very similar to a tape recording machine: a hand-held GPS unit. I taped the plug of the microphone to the GPS case, and pinned the microphone to my hat: I made the GPS unit look like a tape recorder in the hopes of deterring assault, battery, and verbal abuse against my person.

When I arrived at the protest site, I was very pleased to see Mr. Henson there protesting (at the time I believed he had already gone back to his residence at Palo Alto). Mr. Henson was not being assaulted when I arrived; he was, however, being slightly annoyed by two Scientology agents assigned to stalk him: one walking in front of him, the other walking behind him. I parked my car, and I and another human rights activist got out and went to join Mr. Henson.

Unfortunately, the Scientology agents sent into the street to “handle” us appeared to know that my GPS unit was not a tape recorder: one or the other may have been familiar with hand-held GPS units and was not fooled.

Since I just happened to have a GPS unit with me, and since while there protesting I recalled the interest among the human rights community to know the accurate geographic location of the compound, I spent a few minutes using the GPS unit to take the Longitude and Latitude location of the area.

As such, the GPS readings were the result of a fluke: Mr. Henson had no knowledge of the event. As far as I know, he had no idea what I was doing, as he may not have been familiar with what a hand-held GPS unit looks like. Mr. Henson did say later that he thought that me and my GPS was “silly:” I agreed— taking the GPS readings was for my own amusement, which I shared with the civil and human rights community on the Internet. Only an imbecile or a madman would consider this a “threat.”

(Previously, on June 25 2000, Scientology management itself provided conclusive proof that they do not consider picketers and protesters physically threatening: they provided conclusive proof that they fear the words on the human rights activists’ protest signs, and do not fear the human rights activists themselves: I will explain below.)

Let the record also show that in my presence Keith Henson has never, by word or by deed or by implication, shown anything other than compassion and sympathy for Scientologists. He has never in my presence, nor on the Internet, threatened any Scientologist (individually or collectively) with violence. Mr. Henson is out there fighting for Scientologists’ rights, not against them: the Scientology organization realizes that fact, and is trying to silence his dissenting opinion of them via their deceptive claims of being “threatened” by him. Anyone who has monitored the situation will, in my opinion, see this to be blatantly apparent. Mister Henson is defending Scientologists against crimes and abuses committed against them by Scientology management, and is thus working for Scientologists, not against them.

In my opinion, Mister Keith Henson is a hero: I was very proud to meet him and shake his hand. His great courage in the face of astounding abuse and harassment at the hands of Scientology Inc. has been a vast inspiration to thousands of other human rights activists throughout the world. In my opinion, the State does not have a valid case against him.

If the State asserts that Scientology Inc. feels “threatened” by picketers and protesters (and presumably the recording of GPS Longitude and Latitude coordinates), the State need only consider the actions of Scientology management on June 25 2000. Also, if the State continues to refuse to see the fact that it is Keith Henson’s words Scientology Inc. fears and not his imaginary “threats,” Scientology management’s actions on June 25 2000 will correct the State’s false assertions.

On June 25 2000 I arrived at the “Golden Era” compound specifically to protest the avoidable death of Ashlee Shaner. When I arrived with a friend, we spent fifteen minutes at her tiny roadside memorial making Native American “prayer feathers” in her memory. We then picked up our protest signs and walked up the road. Unknown to us at the time, yet another young woman was dying on the “Golden Era” compound at that very moment (Stacy Moxon).

Scientology management came out and tried very hard to make us leave before news teams could arrive and see our protest signs and talk to us. It would have been a huge public relations injury to have two protesters protesting one death while yet another death was occuring.

Ken Hoden (from the Scientology’s so-called “public relations” department, The Office of Special Affairs) was sent out to talk us into GOING AWAY WITH HIM to a restaurant to have breakfast: he even said he would pay for the meal. When we declined, another woman was sent out and she, too, PLEADED with us to go with her somewhere for breakfast. (She also faked a knee injury to keep us from walking up the road to meet news crews when they arrived.)

These actions were not those of people who feared physical harm: they were the actions of people who feared the words on our protest signs, and our potential words to the news crews who were, unknown to us at the time, on their way to cover the latest death. In all, four people came out to “shoo” us away before news reporters arrived, even as Ms. Moxon’s body was still twitching in a power transformer vault. None of them gave any hint that they felt in any way physically threatened by us— their behavior showed the exact opposite! I ask the Court: if you believed or felt yourself to be physically threatened by someone, would you invite your perceived threatener out for breakfast?

I hereby swear that the foregoing is true and accurate under penalty of perjury of the laws of the Commonwealths of California and Hawai’i.