Who is Keith Henson?
And why is Scientology after him?
Click photo for enlargement.
On 26 Apr 2001, Keith Henson was convicted of
"interfering with a religion", a misdemeanor
under California law, for picketing outside
heavily-armed, razor-wire enclosed base outside
At trial, the judge
threw out all Henson's witnesses, disallowed any
testimony about his reasons for picketing the cult,
and allowed the prosecution to present excerpts from
Henson's Internet postings out of context. The
Scientology witnesses also committed perjury which
Henson was not permitted to rebut.
Recent News - What's
Happening to Keith Henson NOW?18 Apr 2009: Since Henson's
release from Riverside County jail in September, 2007, he has
been scrupulously abiding by the terms of his probation and
avoiding anything related to Scientology criticism. Before he was
released from jail, Henson appealed his criminal conviction.
affirming the conviction was handed down this week. The appeal
was rejected as untimely. The appeal court gave no consideration
whatsoever to the
many serious questions raised about the adminstration of
justice during Henson's trial. These and related documents are
While Henson can appeal this decision further, cost is
prohibitive and such an appeal must be filed by early next
18 Jun 2007: Henson has been languishing in jail since he was
taken into custody on May 8. For the crimes of picketing on a
public highway, and responding to a joke in a usenet newsgroup,
Henson has already spent more time behind bars than
Hilton will spend in total for driving under the
influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%,
driving with a suspended license, driving 70 MPH in a 35 MPH
zone, and driving without headlights after dark.
Henson filed Notice of Appeal today. Please consider a
donation to Henson's defense. You can donate directly with the
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01 Jun 2007: Henson reports on the journey
from Arizona to California.
Henson appeared in California Court on May 30. Some details
here. You need to be logged in as "GUEST" to view this
26 May 2007: Henson is
in custody in California. No further information is available
at this time.
25 May 2007: In a recent blog
entry, the Electronic Frontier Foundation stated
concerns about the original verdict remain, and the sentence
given seems overly harsh given that the conviction was for a
single, nonviolent misdemeanor as part of protest
21 May 2007: Henson's Appeal
DENIEDHenson's appeal for stay
and review of the denial of the writ of habeas
corpus was denied.
Henson's attorney teleconferenced with the court this afternoon,
who rejected his arguments.
Henson will be extradited to Riverside County as soon as
practicable for Riverside County.
Readers who are unfamiliar with the history of this case may
wish to read
this article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, that
was written shortly after Henson was convicted in 2001.
21 May 2007: I apologize for not keeping this information more
current. Updates are in the works.
In the meantime, please listen to Arel Lucas
on Vince Daniels' radio program, and read the press release
that Henson supporters have been circulating recently.
Henson has decided to appeal the
decision last Friday.
Anonymous threatening messages continue to appear in
alt.religion.scientology. False claims suggesting that Henson is
and a terrorist
are supported with allegations that were subsequently recanted or
disproven, yet the statements are presented as fact.
Further scrutiny of the
bench warrant submitted with the
request for extradition has led me to update the recent
article questioning the strange documentation associated with
17 May 2007: A succinct
summary of Henson's situation was published yesterday.
about lost, misplaced, and otherwise strange incidents with court
16 May 2007: Henson is unable to communicate with his lawyer.
His wife Arel sent this report:
Keith has been unable to speak with his lawyer since last
Wednesday immediately following the hearing.
Whether it's a glitch in the Inmate Telephone system or
deliberate, I don't know, but his lawyer has tried everything he
knows how to do, called the Inmate Telephone number over and over
again to get his account set up, waiting up to half an hour on
hold, trying to give payment, etc. He is a 2-hour drive from
here, so that is a major problem. The way the system works, Keith
can call him but he cannot call Keith. And the system keeps
telling Keith his lawyer is not registered.
The way things are, he will not be able to speak with his
attorney until the hearing on Friday. I believe this is
15 May 2007: Riverside County radio personality
Vince Daniels announced
that Henson's wife Arel Lucas will be a guest on his show this
Saturday. Listen on-line by clicking the "Listen Live" link at
the top of his
If you have not signed the petition, please do so.
Henson's wife circulated this
update late yesterday. I have also added a page summarizing the
original charges, and the law Henson was convicted of
violating. This looks every bit as outrageous today as it did in
2000. Perhaps even moreso, given subsequent events.
12 May 2007: Numerous articles have been posted to the
newsgroup alt.religion.scientology recently, some of which
to discredit Henson and others which falsely
claim that Henson is a pedophile, implying that he will be
harmed if he is returned to California. Similar threats,
some of which are reproduced here, have been posted for several
The articles are all anonymous; they were posted either via
remailers or open
Joe Lynn, a long-time alt.religion.scientology participant who
posts as "Zinj", posted compelling evidence
that at least one of these came from someone working for the
Church of Scientology.
11 May 2007: Henson proposed another
way you can help, excerpted from a message from his wife,
10 May 2007: Are you wondering if you can help? In this
message from his wife Arel (edited at her request), Henson
asks that people see if any of the reporters who have done
stories on California prison overcrowding would be interested in
doing a story about how -- despite the overcrowding and
consequent release of felons -- the Governator has apparently
signed an extradition warrant to bring back a 64-year-old man
whose meds the citizens of California will have to pay
9 May 2007: Update
from Arel Lucas, Henson's wife (slightly edited), describes
the impact of the state's refusal to provide the documents
requested by Henson or his attorney yesterday.
8 May 2007: This package was
delivered to Henson and his attorney when they appeared for his
hearing. For unknown reasons,
the State of Arizona refused to provide these documents prior
to the hearing, claiming that they had been delivered to Henson's
attorney. They were not. The documents themselves indicate that
they were delivered to a "Brian Russo, Attorney for the
defendant". Yet the state's own
on-line docket identifies Henson's attorney
Henson is now in custody in Arizona awaiting an appearance for
an Extradition Hearing on May 9 at 9:00 am.
29 Apr 2007: Update
from Arel Lucas refers to extradition-related documents such
as the first
arrest warrant submitted to Arizona authorities by Riverside
County, dated Sept 15 2000 and ordered by Judge
This warrant raises several questions about Wallerstein and
the Riverside County court system.
- The warrant does not appear on the court docket, which can
be viewed online. After logging in here, proceed to
the docket here.
- The warrant, dated Sept 15 2000, claims Henson violated
(among others), California
Penal Code section 1320(A), failure to appear. The docket
shows Henson appeared before Judge Albert J. Wojcik on Sept 15
2000, and was released on his Own Recognizance.
- The warrant claims it was ordered by Judge Robert H.
Wallerstein, the same judge who prohibited Henson from mounting
a defense when his case did come to trial some seven months
message from Lucas also refers to a second
warrant submitted by Riverside County authorities, that is
little more than boilerplate.
In particular, the warrant omits the date of alleged failure to
appear, and the name of the ordering judge.
Curiously, both warrants bear the same Clerk's signature.
Digitally-enhanced versions of these and other documents can
be viewed here.
scans are also available.
6 Apr 2007: Motion
to unseal "informally" sealed parts of the "interfering with
a religion" trial record.
2 Mar 2007: Henson hearing postoned until May 8. Report from
his wife, Arel Lucas, includes
updated information on how to help.
6 Feb 2007: Henson out on bail! Report from his wife, Arel Lucas. Coverage of the unfolding
events grows. While I will have more full updates, the news is
being reported widely on Digg, and I recommend this page
of search results for updates on the latest, and the new
Henson blog for official information, news, and information
on how to help.
3 Feb 2007: Henson writes a report while in jail.
2 Feb 2007: HENSON ARRESTED IN ARIZONA!
MORE INFORMATIONAND LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
INFORMATION HERE. A message from
Henson's wife, Arel Lucas.
23 Sep 2005: A large update in legal documents is on the way.
Until that is done, here is a large, unsorted document dump is available.
16 Sep 2005: Keith Henson
departs Canada prior to deportation, his asylum bid having
been rejected. His current whereabouts are unknown.
26 Aug 2005: Attorney David L. Cook responds to the discussion
of his letter in this outraged threat
letter. Henson respods with this
email. Cook should be mindful that this is a much more mellow
than Kobrin got.
23 Aug 2005: Henson ran into difficulties getting people to
accept service as non parties. This
motion asks for 30 some odd people to be considered parties
for purposes of examining "extrinsic" fraud in Henson's criminal
16 Aug 2005: Robert K. Schwarz Interrogatory.
14 Aug 2005: Hoden Interrogatory.
14 Jul 2005: Henson's Motion for
The background is that the three "victims" extended the
incompetence and dishonesty of Henson's kangaroo court into a
civil case against him. Based entirely on the criminal case, the
scientology lawyers obtained a judgement in 2002 for almost
$100,000 against Henson.
After bringing the judgment into the bankruptcy court, they sat
on it for years. As part of the recent pressure on Henson which
included a PI assaulting him,
David L. Cook filed a motion to make the judgment
This was Henson's response. July 26, 2005 Judge Weissbrodt
granted him more time and power to investigate such matters as
Hoden testifying under duress.
2 Jul 2005: Henson's situation is covered in an article,
"Enemy of the Church," by the
NEW: Henson's bankruptcy trial
transcripts now available.
15 Oct 2004: Henson posts an account of ongoing settlement
negotiations in bankruptcy court.
23 Jul 2004: Henson notices Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Weissbrodt
of what he describes as "illegal or serious ethical
breaches" in his bankruptcy case, specifcally that U.S.
Trustee Susan Luce appears to prefer Scientology's interests over
another creditor, the IRS. It references
this decision by Henson's bankruptcy court. Incidentally,
there are two other decisions in this case available online which
I haven't previously linked to. One of 8 Jan 2002,
refusing to apply the fugitive disentitlement doctrine to
Henson's case, and the other, of 13 Feb 2003,
converting his Chapter 13 case to Chapter 7.
18 Jul 2004: Henson gives an update
on his situation, stating that the U.S. Trustee in his
bankruptcy is attempting to dismiss his bankruptcy, so that
Scientology can get the entirety of the proceeds of the sale of
Henson's house. Henson notes: What's amusing about this is that I
owe about $20K in income taxes that I couldn't pay in 1999-2001.
The US Trustee is insisting the case be dismissed. If they do get
the case dismissed, the cult gets money that the IRS has a claim
on. Makes you wonder who they are working for."
3 Jun 2004: Henson files a civil rights complaint
with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. The
DOJ responds, claiming to have
"carefully reviewed the information." However, they refer to the
judge in Henson's case (Wallerstein) as "Judge Walker." One would
suggest to DOJ Section Chief Albert N. Moskowitz that the next
time he lies about carefully reviewing a case, that he at least
get the judge's name right. This might give these form letter
blowoff lies more credibility. Henson's complaint serves as an
excellent introduction to anyone viewing this page for the first
20 Dec 2003: R.U. Sirius interviews Keith Henson in an article
on Meme Street," published in the Neofiles.
19 Nov 2003: Henson wins a surprising victory in bankruptcy
court, as the sale of his house goes through, at least opening
the possibility that Keith and Arel will see some of the
proceeds. Scientology has fought long and hard against this, and
even got a stay forbidding the sale from Scientology-friendly
Judge Ronald M. Whyte. In a peculiar twist, though, for some
reason, they failed to file this with the bankruptcy court,
allowing the sale to go through. It is possible the granting of
the stay by Whyte displayed such blatant favoritism that they
were worried about the repercussions of using it. It is also
possible that it was the result of simple incompetence. In either
case, the bankruptcy trustee and Arel Lucas have filed this
Emergency Motion to Vacate Nunc
Pro Tunc Order Granting Temporary Stay.
17 Nov 2003: Keith Henson
in this article by Simon Smith on the Betterhumans site.
10 Sep 2003: Keith Henson is interviewed
by POT-TV. Streaming media available here.
16 Jul 2003: Henson's bankruptcy case grinds on. Unsatisfied
with ruining Henson himself financially, they now revenge
themselves upon his wife Arel Lucas by attempting to connive her
exempt half of the Henson home owned in joint tenancy. Arel Lucas
replies pro se to their motion in this reply and describes the
situation in this
explanatory declaration. This kind of abuse of the courts is
no surprise from Scientology or Scientology lawyer Samuel D.
Rosen, a hulking ogre who threw his own wife down a flight of
stairs in a courthouse, according to the allegations reference in
his own lawsuit against Suffolk County
alleging an injunction on him following this criminal conduct
somehow violated his rights. I suppose this is what qualifies as
"good character" for the purposes of practicing law in
20 May 2003: Usenet poster Essle posts a draft of an article by Keith Henson which
is circulating. Importantly for this site, it notes Henson's
silence as of late but his continued well-being. That aside, look
for changes on this site in the near future.
9 Mar 2003: Henson posts a March
roundup of the latest events in his cases.
7 Feb 2003: The bankruptcy court issues an order which is effectively against Henson,
and converts his Chapter 13 bankruptcy to Chapter 7.
This Usenet thread debates the significance of this
21 Nov 2002: The cult
objects to Henson's
13 Nov 2002: Henson files a Notice
of Appeal in his civil case, which is properly served on plaintiffs.
29 Sep 2002: Henson's bankruptcy trial starts. Arel Henson
reports: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
4 Sep 2002: Scientology files a
motion for $100,000.00 in damages in their civil case.
26 Aug 2002: Transcript
of a hearing in Henson's civil
trial over the same matters which resulted in the "picket sign terrorism" trial.
26 Aug 2002: Henson files an ex
parte motion in his contempt hearing, which is partially
23 Aug 2002: Henson's article "Sex, Drugs and
Cults" is published by the Human Nature
16 Aug 2002: Henson's wife Arel Lucas posts this report and Keith Henson posts this report of a contempt hearing before
Judge Whyte over
22 Jul 2002: Ida J. Camburn reports that
largely due to Scientology's ranting
about Henson's amicus brief, it
has been accepted into evidence in the Lisa McPherson wrongful death
16 Jul 2002: Here's a general roundup of the last two weeks.
Keith's amicus curiae filing in
the Lisa McPherson
wrongful death case generates a bizarre response from Scientology's
lawyers. Hagglund and Henson file
for summary judgment in their small claims suit against the Toronto
police. Henson warns Hogan again
about the frivolousness of Scientology's
recent contempt motion in the original 1996 copyright
lawsuit that set the events covered in this page off.
Finally, Judge Weissbrodt in Henson's bankruptcy issues a
scathing response to an
outrageous Scientology filing which
actually goes so far as to accuse the Judge of abetting a
fugitive for making a ruling they don't like.
24 Jun 2001: The Electronic
Frontier Foundation issues this media release in support of Henson's
case, representing a major shift in the public view of this
travesty of justice.
See the Timeline for more
The Biggest Myth About Keith Henson
The myth is that Keith Henson made "bomb threats." If you
happen to be a journalist and happen to be talking to
Schwarz, ask him point-blank to state what Keith said that
constituted a threat of any kind. The legal definition of a
bomb threat is an unequivocal, unconditional threat that
leads to an immediate fear of harm. The only such "threat"
would be the posting of GPS
coordinates, and that was posted by David Rice. The
post is clearly tongue-in-cheek humor and was itself not
entered into evidence.
Henson's posts that were entered into evidence are here, though it should be noted that
the exhibits presented to the jury were redacted to the
point that the jury stated at a recess that they had great
difficulty telling who wrote what; and may have based their
considerations of Henson's actions on the words of other
The other "threat" was also a post made by another person,
who was clearly joking, made further down the thread by a
person not even responding directly to Henson. Here is
the thread as archived by Google.
More info about helping Keith Henson
Keith Henson is one of the most effective critics of
Scientology. He has litigated pro se against their
multimillion dollar litigation machine, and in some cases
he has won, and some he has lost. He has picketed them
perhaps more than any other single person. He has
criticized them on the Internet, in media interviews, and
even took the deposition of cult leader David
Now he is facing terrorism
charges in California, charges which stemmed from his
pickets at the secretive and
heavily-armed compound called Gold Base (or Golden Era
Studios) over the unusual deaths of a Scientologist,
Stacy Moxon Meyer, and a
non-Scientologist, Ashlee Shaner.
Meyer, the daughter of Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon,
adverse counsel in many lawsuits involving Henson, died in
a bizarre and gruesome accident in an underground electrical
vault. In a horrific irony, when Stacy Moxon Meyer was
dying underground in the electrical vault, picketers aboveground were
protesting the previous death of Ashlee Shaner in a
ghastly decapitation which occurred because Scientology was
moving construction equipment on the highway at night
without lights and in the wrong lane. In the Shaner case,
police recommended homicide charges, which were at the time
not acted on by the same DA who feels that picketing and
posting to Usenet is "terrorism."
Incidentally, the same people who claimed to have been
"terrorized" by the picketers offered to take them to lunch
on 25 June 2000, evidently to distract them from the death
scene being cleaned up in the electrical vault close by, a
point which did not seem significant until the death of
Meyer was reported later as having occurred at that exact
moment. (Henson was not present at this picket.)
As a result of these pickets and his posts to Usenet,
Henson eventually was charged with terrorism.
Henson is far from the only person framed by this cult in
either wholly fictional or grossly distorted crimes
involving outright frame-ups, entrapment or other abuses of
the legal system. Recently the St. Petersburg Times printed
this scathing editorial on Scientology abuses of the legal
But again and again, stories surface that set
Scientology apart. Not only does it have a penchant for
secrecy, it will spend virtually unlimited time and money
on pursuing, setting up and bringing down its
That's not like any church we know.