"I am constrained to remind you 
that we are not living in sixteenth 
century Spain."

- Attorney John W. Karr

9. Withered Limb of the Law

THE grand jury is a body of citizens (varying in number in  different states), summoned to enquire into charges against a suspected  criminal.

The procedure is of great antiquity, being the latter-day  descendant of the 11th century jury of presentment, later embodied as a  provision of the Magna Carta, issued in 1215.

The original purpose of such a jury was commendable and  necessary. It was designed to prevent a citizen from being unjustly persecuted  by a despotic government, and charged with a crime on the basis of insufficient  evidence, or at the whim of some official.

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Ironically, in our time the system has been subverted to  serve an opposite purpose. It has become the tool of despotic government. The  prosecutor controls the presentation of evidence to the jurors, whom he  prejudices against the accused. The latter's lawyer is not allowed to be  present. The proceedings are secret, and -professionally - the jurors hear  chiefly the prosecutor's side of the case. If they are persuaded, as they  usually are, that the evidence presented to them by the prosecutor is sufficient  to bring charges against the defendant, they secretly vote an indictment. The  foreman of the jury then writes "True Bill" across the back of the  legal document setting forth the allegations against the accused. He must then  stand trial.

Grand juries have recently come under heavy criticism, both  by the legal profession itself and by informed laymen, who view it as a rubber  stamp for the prosecutor. A number of States have abolished the procedure.

The experiences of the Scientologists who were subpoenaed to  appear before the Grand Jury sitting in Washington lend weight to the argument  that the panel no longer serves the ends of justice and ought to be reformed or  done away with altogether.

During the FBI raids on the Scientology churches in both  California and Washington, church employees who were not named in the warrants,  were served subpoenas to appear before the Grand Jury in Washington. All were  John Doe subpoenas, dated five days before the raids and were served only  because the persons receiving them happened to be on the premises. In short,  they were instruments of spite and reprisal.

In the case of Gregory Taylor in Washington, D.C., his name  was written onto a John Doe summons because he had attempted to photograph AUSA  Robert Ogren, who was sitting in his parked car near the scene of the raid.

After AUSA Banoun had used his considerable forensic skills  to convince the grand jurors that the Scientologists were an evil band of  conspirators who posed a threat to the

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various departments of Government, church witnesses appeared  before a kind of kangaroo court.

According to sworn statements made afterward, they were  jeered at, insulted, and booed by the members of the grand jury; and were  browbeaten by AUSA Banoun, who was in charge of the presentation.

During the proceedings on October 12, 1977, Attorney John  Karr, the church's legal counsel stationed himself outside the D.C. grand jury  room while several church members whom he represented were testifying. He  reported hearing "boos and hoots" inside the room.

Later Karr wrote AUSA Banoun a letter warning him that if  that kind of behaviour continued, he would bring the matter before Judge Bryant.

"I am very disturbed," he wrote, "about the  abuse my clients Janet Lawrence, Irene Mele, Peter Glickman and Henning Heldt  endured when they appeared before your grand jury on October 12, 1977. Examples  of that unconsciousable treatment include:

"When Janet Lawrence collapsed under your hectoring and  left the grand jury room in tears, one of the grand jurors exclaimed, 'Nice act,  baby.'

"On another occasion, Rev. Lawrence was booed by the  grand jury when she left the grand jury room to consult with counsel.

"You and Ms. Hetherton repeatedly interrupted my clients  during their attempts to invoke their constitutional privilege against  testifying; you refused to permit them to state the basis of their claim of  privilege in their own words; and most distressing of all, several of my clients  were asked if their invocation of a privilege meant that they were guilty of  criminal wrongdoing.

"I am constrained to remind you that we are not living in sixteenth  century Spain. Unless I receive concrete assurances

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from you that there will be no repetition of this kind of  harassment, I shall seek appropriate relief from Chief Judge Bryant . . - "

In his reply, Asst. U.S. Attorney Banoun, in a condescending  tone, denied the allegations. "I am somewhat surprised," he said  loffily, "that a member of the bar would make such charges, especially when  he was not present during the proceedings. There is no support whatsoever for  your claim that your clients were subjected to any 'harassment' or 'abuse'  during their October 12 appearance before the Grand Jury."

In spite of his flat denial that anything unseemly had occurred in the grand  jury room, however, AUSA Banoun went on to admit in his letter that "As Ms.  Lawrence was given a recess to regain her composure, one Grand Juror, apparently  expressing the frustration of the whole Grand jury, did mutter 'nice act.'  "

In a statement made under oath, the Rev. Peter Glickman, a  Scientology minister who appeared before the Grand Jury, reported that AUSA  Banoun constantly interrupted him as he attempted to answer the questions put to  him by the Government's counsel.

"Mr. Banoun kept trying to insinuate that by taking the  Fifth Amendment plea, I was protecting some guilty act or acts on my part or  others' parts, and he constantly tried to get me to admit that.

"Mr. Banoun told me that the only way the Grand Jury  could accept my Fifth Amendment plea was if I would admit that to answer his  questions truthfully would incriminate me. At that time, Mr. Banoun also refused  to let me make a statement before the Grand Jury."

One of the Scientology ministers who was handed a John Doe  subpoena on July 8, 1977 when he encountered FBI agents raiding Fifield Manor,  was the Rev. Arthur J. Maren,

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the church's Director of Public Relations.

He appeared before the Grand Jury three weeks later, but  declined to answer questions about the church or the members being investigated,  on the grounds that the inquiry violated the -priest-penitent relationship,  since he had heard the confessions of some of those individuals being  investigated. He also refused to testify because, he said, requiring him to give  evidence concerning the internal affairs of his church would force him to break  a vow taken at the time of his ordination in 1970.

He affirmed that the Code of Honor and the Code of a  Scientologist "which I have subscribed to and upon which is built the basic  mores of my group, Would in my judgment, forbid me to answer such questions upon  penalty of expulsion, of which the effect upon myself would be one of eternal  damnation. "

Maren did not plead the Fifth Amendment against  selfincrimination. and his associates say that he had no guilty knowledge that  would have aided the Grand Jury in their investigation of the allegedly stolen  documents.

He was taken before Judge Bryant, who said he had no  alternative to sentencing the minister to jail for civil contempt, since he had  not given an acceptable legal reason for refusing to testify.

Maren's lawyer appealed the contempt citation on First  Amendment grounds, and the National Council of Churches filed a friend-  of-the-court brief, arguing that Rev. Maren's refusal to answer questions about  the church's internal affairs was a "constitutional right."

The Counsel said that church workers should be exempt from  appearing before grand juries to answer such queries unless the Government could  prove that the religious worker had personal knowledge of a "probable"  crime; that such information was obtainable only from the church representative;  and that his testimony would be of "compelling and overriding societal  interest."

The brief asserted that "once church workers are used by

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the Government as an easy source of community information,  those to whom church missions are directed - people already in a large part  disaffected from society - will distrust and shun them as they do others they  believe to be part of the establishment."

(For the past six years, Rev. Maren had devoted himself to  the welfare and rehabilitation of criminals and drug abusers. "Not all  ministers of the Church could confront this sometimes spiritually trying  area," he said, "but I took it as part of my calling.")

The minister's attorneys made various unsuccessful legal  maneuvers to get him released from jail, all of them opposed by the Attorney  General's office. On September 8, 1977, Rev. Maren was again brought before the  Grand Jury and asked the same questions as before. On advice of his lawyers,  this time he invoked the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer. His legal  representatives asserted that by "taking the Fifth," he had purged  himself of contempt and should be released. The Government again objected to his  going free.

The opposing parties retired to Judge Bryant's chambers to  argue the matter. The Judge immediately agreed that Rev. Maren had the right to  invoke the Fifth Amendment and that he should be released.

But the Assistant U.S. Attorney at that point informed the  court and defense counsel for the first time that he would seek an immunity  order - the classical legal stratagem circumventing the provisions of the Fifth  Amendment. He had come prepared: he produced a letter of authorization signed by  the Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

Rev. Maren's attorneys asked for additional time to study the  proposed immunity order and to consult with their client. But to no avail; the  Government attorney was adamant. The judge reluctantly ordered the Scientology  minister to reappear before the Grand Jury a half hour after the order was  signed.

When Rev. Maren appeared once again before the Grand

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Jury, he tried to explain his position to the jurors. AUSA  Banoun, however, interrupted him and sent him from the room. Banoun addressed  the grand jurors in secret, then brought the Scientologist back. The latter once  more declined to answer the questions.

The Government counsel sought an immediate order or his  confinement. Maren's lawyers argued that he must be given at least five days'  notice, and Judge Bryant agreed. He rescheduled the hearing for September 14,  1977.

The church attorneys submitted to the court a memorandum of  law opposing the Government's request for an order of confinement. They rested  their argument on two claims: (1) their client had been subject to illegal  electronic surveillance by Government agents; and (2) his Sixth Amendment rights  had been denied him because he had not been given time to consult with his  lawyers following the expedited grant of immunity.

In response to the charge that Rev. Maren had been the  subject of illegal electronic surveillance, the Government submitted affidavits  from the principal officials concerned with the case, including AUSAs Henry  Schuelke and Raymond Banoun, and FBI Special Agent Robert Tittle, affirming that  all the data in their possession concerning the case, came from Michael Meisner  and other witnesses.

As further evidence, letters from the National Security  Agency, the Treasury Department, DEA, FBI, IRS and BATF were submitted, all of  them denying that these agencies had employed electronic surveillance against  Maren or his attorneys.

Thereupon, judge Bryant ruled in favor of the Government and  the minister was jailed once more for civil contempt.

Rev. Maren tried to make it clear that he would never break  his vow of silence and that therefore his confinement was punitive, not  coercive. In a forthright statement, he told of his deep dedication to his  religion, and how it came about.

"I have been a member of the Church of Scientology since

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1963," he said, "nearly 15 years (and almost half  of my life.) I joined the church after a two-year ordeal of drug usage and  degradation. Within months of joining the Church of Scientology and following  its precepts, I have discarded my former life. Quite simply, Scientology saved  my life.

"My dedication to the Church and its principles, and  more importantly, the beneficial results it obtains, is reflected in the hours I  put in as a staff member, which has been 16 to 18 hours a day, six to seven days  a week since 1967. My salary during this period has never been more than $85 per  week.
"I began training as a minister in 1964 and was ordained  in 1970. By 1969, 1 had attained the highest technical level of proficiency  available. (Class 8). Out of the millions of Scientologists around the world,  only a handful have worked directly with the founder of Scientology, L. Ron  Hubbard. I trained directly under him.
"I find it unthinkable that the Government might attempt  to involve the Founder of my religion in this controversy in some way.
"I am certain that, due to the fact that there is no  likelihood that I would testify, that I am not a proper candidate for any  further incarceration. It would be unreasonable and punitive.
"I would even be very pleased to answer questions from  your Honor to help you decide: is this man made of the kind of character that  another month, two months, six months or a year is going to change his position?
"I don't know why I was singled out. I came on the scene  [of the raid] and there I was.
"I honestly feel that it has been adequately  demonstrated that surely there is no substantial likelihood or even strong  possibility that I will testify."

Dr. Harold Kaufman, a practicing psychiatrist who interviewed  Rev. Maren in depth, confirmed the Scientologist's assertion that he would not  recant and testify regardless of how long he was kept in jail.

"He had already served 42 days in jail," said Dr. Kaufman,

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"and knew exactly what was in store for him. At the  time, based on my interviews and my evaluation of Rev. Maren's position and  psychological make-up, it seemed to me extremely unlikely that he would relent  and testify."

Dr. Kaufman interviewed the minister a second time three  months later. He found him even more resolute than he had been before. "He  displayed no signs of depression or anxiety. There was no pressured speech,  flight of ideas, or bizarre thoughts. His speech was clear and measured, he had  a balanced and rational view of his situation and showed a considerable reserve  of psychological strength."

In the course of Dr. Kaufman's second interview he found  several factors which had hardened Rev. Maren's resolution not to yield. He was  a person of considerable intelligence who understood exactly what his legal  position was." He seemed to have "a sophisticated understanding of why  the Government had proceeded as it did. He understood his predicament  precisely."

The minister had received considerable "positive  reinforcement" by the fact that his plight had not gone unnoticed in the  world at large. "His imprisonment in defense of his church has been widely  publicized both in and out of the church. His case had been written up in church  and other publications, most recently in a major syndicated Associated Press  article on his confinement, and Rev. Maren received considerable mail applauding  him for taking the position that he did. To many members of his church, he was a  hero and a martyr."

The psychiatrist found that the Scientologist's incarceration  merely confirmed his view about the need to endure adversity. "Both the  principles of his church and his own moral precepts require him to endure  misfortune and trouble and to strengthen himself as a result. He thinks his  situation is grossly unfair as a matter of justice, but he is determined to

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face up to it and meet the problem with all his strength."

Chief Judge William B. Bryant finally released Rev. Maren on  March 28, 1978. The Scientologist had been behind bars for eight long months. He  had committed no crime, but he had won a victory. The weight of injustice bore  upon him cruelly; but he had within him a sense of purpose that never yielded, a  gallant determination that faced and fought things through. The vindictive men  at the controls of the federal justice system had not been able to break his  spirit.

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