Skip to main content

Awaiting extradition to California from the Prescott, Arizona jail, Keith Henson is being denied visitation rights, contact with his lawyer, and medication he needs to control heart and blood pressure problems.

Scientology is the ugly worm at the core of this situation.

Keith Henson is an engineer, scientist, and Scientology critic. In 2000, he was moved to picket Scientology's armed compound at Gilman Hot Springs, just north of Hemet, California. A young woman returning from Bible class with her sister hit a skiploader sticking out on highway 79. The crew was working for the Scientology organization, left their vehicle sticking out on the dark highway, and Ashlee Shaner was decapitated in the resultant collision.

Mr. Henson wished to call attention to that incident, and did so by launching a series of legal pickets on that public highway that bisects the cult's compound.

What followed was an utter travesty of justice.
Mr. Henson has a history of teaching pyrotechnic safety.
In a book published in the '70s, 'The Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition,' he described how he and friends would go out into the desert and "blow things up" for fun.
And finally, the most absurd, he responded to a post on the Usenet group alt.religion.scientology that joked about sending in "Tom Cruise Missiles" with the cult compound as Ground Zero. Responded. The post did not originate from Keith. But this is the fodder Scientology lawyers had to work with.

In 2001, Mr. Henson was arrested and charged with numerous counts; terrorist threats, stalking, harassing Scientologists at the compound. In reality, all he did was walk on the highway shoulder carrying a sign with words on it.

Scientologists took the stand in court, weeping about how terrified they were of this lone man with a picket sign.
Mr. Henson, on the other hand, was not permitted to have a defence. The court featured a judge hand-picked by the cult. Scientology was not allowed to be mentioned, and Mr. Henson's witnesses, of whom I was one, were not permitted to give testimony.

One of Mr. Henson's witnesses was Frank Oliver, a man who used to work for Scientology's Office of Special Affairs. OSA is the intel and dirty tricks department of the church. Mr. Oliver's testimony was discarded as being "too old," yet passages from 'The Great Mambo Chicken" were admitted.

Mr. Henson was finally convicted of a misdemeanor charge, "interfering with a religion," and sentenced to nearly a year in the Riverside County jail. Following his sentencing, a cult representative told him that Scientology has such a presence and influence there, he would not survive his sentence. Mr. Henson chose to relocate to Canada and attempted to gain citizenship.

The cult pursued him there, their lies about Mr. Henson causing a dangerous confrontation in a shopping mall parking lot with amped-up SWAT officers in an armed encounter that still gives his companion nightmares.

He returned to the states, where he was recently picked up in Arizona, and is now awaiting extradition to Riverside County for a misdemeanor. This is extremely rare, and a waste of public money.
In a time where overcrowding in Riverside County jail has resulted in the early release of inmates, the county has gone all out to retrieve this 64 year old engineer.

His progress through the court system has been marred by "errors." Documents weren't sent. Documents have been sent to people not involved in the case, rather than his lawyer. A 'failure to appear' warrant, signed by the judge who later presided over his case, was issued in 2000, a year before his court case even began.

Mr. Henson's case is well documented here:
http://www.operatingthetan.com

Here, one can read court documents, transcripts, and personal accounts. If you have any doubts that this case stinks of Scientology involvement, this site will put those doubts to rest.

When Mr. Henson first arrived at the Prescott, Arizona jail, staff and officers were already reading printouts from Scientology hate site, religiousfreedomwatch.org.
http://religiousfreedomwatch.org/...

This website purports to champion religious rights, yet curiously, only attacks critics of Scientology. Indeed, it is run by Scientologist Joel Phillips, who refuses to discuss his site.

Currently, Mr. Henson is being held in Arizona, awaiting extradition to California. His lawyer is unable to communicate with him, his wife hasn't been able to visit him, and he is being denied the medication he needs to control his blood pressure and heart problems.

In the meantime, Scientologists posting anonymously through remailers to hide their identities have suggested that the rumor is being spread in Riverside that Mr. Henson is a pedophile. Here is an example from "Cyberiade," a particularly nasty piece of work, "So, Keith. How's the food in jail? I hear you are being kept alone because you are considered to be a pedophile.
Next stop for you is Riverside CA. See you there! :)"

Some of the lies being spread are that Keith has made terrorist threats (he hasn't) that he stalked and intimidated individual Scientologists, (he didn't) and that he is a child molester. This lovely piece of garbage was the result of an unpleasant divorce, the lie coming from his ex-wife, who later admitted it wasn't true in a written statement that Scientology conveniently overlooks. It is obvious that, should Keith be incarcerated in Riverside County, there is a good chance the cult will make good on its promise to see that he doesn't survive the experience. Withholding vital medications, rumors of pedophilia, denying him the right to attorney and wife are all indications that something ain't right!

It should be noted that the cult compound in Riverside County is the seat of Scientology power in California. The current head of the cult resides there, and it is home to Golden Era Studios, from whence those exploding volcano infomercials you see on late night cable are produced.

Keith's wife and friends are very concerned, and rightly so, about his plight. Curiously, nobody can seem to get the attention this case so rightly deserves. It needs scrutiny, as every step has involved lies, perjury, and insinuation that surely has no place in a fair, balanced judicial system.

California's current Attorney General used to belong to the L5 Society, a forward-looking group dedicated to promoting the idea of space colonies and related technology. Keith Henson was one of the founders.

There is a very real urgency to resolve this before something tragic happens. Keep in mind, all Mr. Henson did was exercise his Constitutional right to free speech by picketing a Scientology compound with a piece of cardboard with words on it. Words like, "Scientology Kills." I was carrying that sign on the very day that the daughter of a cult lawyer, Stacy Moxon, was sent down into a transformer vault at the Gilman Hot Springs compound and electrocuted. Ken Hoden, who later lied on the stand at Keith's trial, came out and invited my friend and I to breakfast in town as an effort to clear us away before any media arrived.

This Saturday, Keith's wife Arel will be a guest on the Vince Daniels radio program, broadcast from Riverside County. There is a webfeed available at vincedaniels.com

Scientology clearly has undue influence on the Riverside court system. This case needs to be investigated immediately, before anything "happens" to Mr. Henson. We are all very, very concerned for his safety and well-being in a prison system where Scientology's Criminon front group has a presence.

{edit} Paris Hilton got her sentenced reduced, poor little flower. Fans set up a petition which received some attention.
Please sign the following petition to free Keith Henson!
http://www.ipetitions.com/...

Originally posted to xenubarb on Wed May 16, 2007 at 09:02 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site