When the grand niece of famous American inventor Thomas Alva Edison, Jean Farrel, died in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1985, her death began one of the most bizarre chain of events in Swiss and American legal history.
Ms Farrel had been a strong supporter of Willis Carto, publisher of the Populist Spotlight, a Washington-based weekly paper that had become increasingly unpopular in certain circles because of its outspoken and often acerbic articles on current political and economic subjects.
Mr. Carto was also the treasurer of the Legion for the Survival of Freedom, founded in 1952 as a non-profit Texas-based corporation.
In 1980, The Legion created the Institute for Historical Review, an historical revisionist entity that published a reputable journal, gave academic seminars and owned a large historical book sales company called the Noontide Press.
The IHR Journal contained articles of considerable historical interest by reputable historians and academics and had a respectable circulation.
Ms Farrel was well acquainted with, and supported, the work of the IHR and was a personal friend of Carto and his wife, Elizabeth, visiting with them in 1984.
Upon Ms Farrel’s death in 1985, her will was challenged by a friend and Carto had to engage in extensive litigation with Swiss attorneys with the result that by 1990 the Farrel bequest to the IHR of $7 million was reduced to $3 million.
The estate settlement was processed through the Swiss courts without challenge.
Running both the Spotlight newspaper and the IHR proved to be too much of a burden for Carto and he duly hired a staff to run the IHR which consisted of the IHR Journal and the Noontide Press book outlet.
In addition to Tom Marcellus, hired in 1982 as office manager, Carto also hired Ted O’Keefe as Editor of the Journal in 1990 and Mark E. Weber as staff writer and researcher in 1991. In order to develop an Internet connection, Marcellus recommended one Greg Raven, a computer specialist, who was hired in 1992.
Carto had disbursed portions of the Farrel bequest to various historical revisionists, including $5 thousand to French revisionist Robert Faurisson, and also invested in Sun Radio of Clearwater, Florida, that had 200 radio stations available for revisionist program broadcasts.
In September of 1993, the staff of the IHR, through their California attorney, William Hulsy, conducted a coup against Carto, in essence rigging the board of directors, forcing Carto out as treasurer and installing themselves as the sole operators of the non-profit organization and during the course of which Mr. Raven threatened Mrs. Carto with a loaded pistol while screaming threats to shoot her.
This coup was heralded by the seizure of the IHR offices and records, a police raid on the Carto’s San Diego home.
Frantic attempts were made by the new owners to locate and seize for their own use the purported $14 million that they repeatedly stated was hidden in various Swiss bank accounts and safe deposit boxes along with untold millions in gold bars, diamonds and other valuables.
The new leaders of the IHR repeatedly attempted to force Swiss authorities to both have the Cartos arrested for concealing huge sums of money and to locate and surrender to them the purported Count of Monte Cristo hoards of precious metal and gems.
A through investigation by the Swiss authorities disclosed that there were no accounts in any Swiss bank for the Cartos and equally, no safe deposit boxes filled with treasure were ever located. In 1993, California real estate developer, Andrew E. Allen also became affiliated with the IHR, becoming a director and financial supporter.
In 1994, the new leadership of the IHR liquidated the entire stock of the Noontide Press, realizing $6 hundred thousand in total profits.
This turmoil resulted in numerous lawsuits being filed by both parties and it was eventually decided by a local California court that while Ms. Farrel doubtlessly wished to give her money to Carto for the furtherance of his organizations, she erred in naming the Legion for Survival of Freedom as the entity and not the Carto family as such.
For this reason, the court ruled that the IHR was entitled to the Farrel money.
By now, of course, the $3 million inheritance had grown to a $10 million judgment against Carto with the specter of untold fictional millions of dollars in gold and jewels still hidden in various alleged secret bank deposit boxes.
The judgment was rendered in spite of repeated statements of Swiss authorities that their investigations showed clearly that the Farrel estate had been properly probated in the Swiss courts, that there was only $3 million intended for, and paid to, the Legion and that there were no Swiss safe deposit boxes stuffed with millions in treasure.
As a result of these punitive actions, the Cartos were forced into bankruptcy and there was the spectacle of the allegedly revisionist IHR management seizing and obliterating the Spotlight as a newspaper.
In the course of demolishing the Spotlight, attorneys for the IHR also seized incoming subscriptions from readers as well as payment for books and magazines offered for sale by a branch of the newspaper.
These moneys should, by law, have either been returned to the senders or the subscriptions and purchases honored by the IHR which now controlled the holdings of the Spotlight.
Their refusal to do so, in spite of the law, is resulting in a multi-million dollar class action suit being filed against the attorneys for the IHR.
By their actions, the rebel employees of the IHR have succeeded in destroying not only the publishing programs of the once-respected revisionist organization but also silencing the outspoken Spotlight and driving the Cartos into bankruptcy with the attendant loss of their home of many years.
This entire sorry spectacle appears on the surface to be a classic example of greed and treachery but a careful investigation into all the aspects of it has disclosed a number of factors that heretofore have been carefully hidden from public view.
To look beyond the obvious negative human character flaws, it is necessary to examine what else has motivated the pseudo-intellectual wrecking crew.
Let us consider the activities of the late Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, who passed to his well-deserved reward in January of 1986.
L. Ron Hubbard, as he preferred to be known, was born in 1911. Early on, he displayed a flare for inventiveness that led him into a career as a prolific writer of very bad science fiction. The same creative streak in his duplicitous nature also gave birth to reams of completely fictional accounts of his invented worldwide adventures.
In 1951, Hubbard, whose science fiction writings were not overly rewarding, developed what he called 'Dianetics', a pseudo-science that a year later developed into 'Scientology.' This was based on the entertaining, though thoroughly groundless, thesis that the true, inner self was actually a 'Thetan' a highly developed creature that had evolved over millions of years.
Hubbard, who once told an admiring friend that the best way to make large amounts of money was to found a religion, declared that a box he designed called an 'e-meter' could assist credulous and often dimwitted individuals into divesting themselves of various impedimenta such as sexual frustrations and imagined barriers to success such as chronic acne, flatulence and, most important, their money.
It cost the eager seeker after truth a great deal of hard cash, paid to Hubbard’s minions, to become “clear” of their burdens of unconscious life and rise to the supreme level of a “cleared Thetan.”
Hubbard waxed very fat, economically and physically, and kicked. Or rather was kicked out of a number of countries who found his band of dimwitted fanatics socially destructive and completely unproductive.
The great guru then bought an old boat, loaded it up with a crew of trusting converts, many of whom were very attractive and very young women, and set sail to conquer the world.
The world was not ready for the Scientologist fanatics and a bloated and seriously disturbed Hubbard was chased out of a number of countries until he eventually returned to the United States. Because of his bizarre activities, (Hubbard had spent some time in the Langley-Porter Clinic’s psychiatric unit in San Francisco before undertaking his elevation to the Thetan elite. This sojourn left Hubbard with a pathological hatred of psychiatrists), the FBI had developed considerable interest in the failed science fiction Messiah.
There is some humor in this because in earlier times, Hubbard spent a good deal of his time writing letters to the Bureau, denouncing anyone who annoyed him (and there were many) as Communist spies. His wife, and other Scientologists who had penetrated into the Federal bureaucracy, had been arrested and imprisoned for breaking into government offices and stealing reams of documents intended to blackmail officialdom into recognizing his weird cult as a legitimate church.
By now a raging, incoherent and terrified paranoid, Hubbard hid out in California until felled by a fatal stroke.
With the charred remains of the Great Thetan Leader dumped into the Pacific Ocean from the stern of a chartered sardine boat, his disciples went on with the Master’s work which consisted of attempts to convert anyone with fiscal liquidity to their cult and to secretly infiltrate many of their more fanatic members into various businesses and agencies as possible.
Secret and confidential information flowed from the budding Thetans into the headquarters of Scientology in Los Angeles and this information was quickly put into massive computer data banks. And it was utilized to pressure, and often blackmail, government officials, bankers and other entities into assisting the Scientologists to gain credibility and, more important, money.
This background material is necessary to explain the reasons that lie behind the seizure of the financially successful IHR. In the pre-coup days, the IHR Journal had a paid circulation of over 7,000 subscribers, a figure that has dropped to a low of 228 in 2002.
Mr. Marcellus, as noted above, was made office manager of the IHR under Mr. Carto. Mr. Marcellus, who was a prime mover in the coup, was, and is, an acknowledged member of Scientology. After the seizure of the IHR, Marcellus went on to head an important computer control arm of Scientology. Not a revisionist, Marcellus published a primer on computers from which he is still receiving royalties.
Mr. Greg Raven, hereinafter called President Raven after the title given him by Mr. O’Keefe, was also not a revisionist and was brought onto the staff of the IHR by Marcellus as a computer systems expert. President Raven has also published two books but not books dealing with historical revisionism. His published materials deal with the repair of elderly Volkswagens. Like Marcellus, President Raven is also an active Scientologist. When President Raven is not engaged in libeling people he dislikes on the Internet, he spends most of his time on the same Internet, tracking down space aliens known to be living in the Northern Hemisphere. This piece of astounding information is found in an official court deposition along with other interesting sidelights on the President’s activities.
President Raven has discussed his weird beliefs publically on the Internet. Anyone wishing to do so can read the following strange admissions at President Raven’s very own confessional booth at: www.geocities.com/gnraven
This is a verbatim copy of some of the saner of his public confessions.
"Virtually no one on the Internet has ever asked, “Who is this person who calls himself 'email@example.com'?” In response to the underwhelming curiosity, I am happy to to supply this background information. Before the beginning, there was this turtle. And the turtle was alone. And he looked around, and he saw his neighbor, which was his mother. And he lay down upon his neighbor, and behold! she bore him in tears an oak tree, which grew all day and then fell over — like a bridge. And lo! underneath this bridge there came a catfish. And he was very big. And he was walking. And he was the biggest he had seen. And the fiery balls of this catfish — one representing the sun, the other the moon — whirled cold and lonely through the black hole of space. For some reason, these insignificant lumps came together to form the first union, our Sun, the heating system. And about this glowing gasbag rotated the Earth, a cat’s eye among maggies, blinking in astonishment across the face of time.
The Earth was covered with a molten scum of rocks, which bobbed like rats. Later when there was less heat, the oceans and the sewers began to simmer with a rich protein stew, and the mountains moved in to protect them. Life as we know it was already in progress. Animals without backbones hid from each other or fell down. Clamosaurs and oysterettes appeared as appetizers. Then came the giant sponges, sucking up ten percent of all life (except for the Giant Sea Orphans and Jungle Bunnies, which scared everybody).
Hundreds of years later in the Late Devouring Period, fish became obnoxious. Trilobites, chiggerbites, and mosquitos collided aimlessly in the dense gas. Finally, tiny edible plants sprang up in rows, giving birth to generations of insecticides, and other small dying creatures. A short while later, I was born in Hollywood, California. My proper title is His Excellency President for Life, LLD, PhD, BVD, LSD, APD, Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Specific — but you may call me Field Marshall Dr. Al-Hadji Raven for short. Like most people my height, I have lead a dull but meaningless life since childhood, when I was kidnapped by Indians and turned into an Alien. If you must speak with me, keep in mind that I am still having some difficulties with your Earth languages and customs. Now, at this point you're probably asking yourself, “Is he still running that old Macintosh SE/30 with 8 megabites of RAM and that worthless Seagate hard drive, or is he running a dual-processor 500 mHz G4 with 1.5 gigabites of RAM under Mac OS X, two 40 gig ATA hard drives and a 4.7 gigabyte DVD-RAM backup, with three CD-ROM players?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all the excitement I kinda forgot myself. So I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, “Do you feel lucky?” Well, do you, punk?…
For reasons best known to himself, President Raven has recently announced that he has not only found Jesus as his Savior but is resigning as President of the IHR to give tennis lessons!
Pity the poor, but entirely sane, Cartos, and the dwindling and deluded and trusting supporters of the IHR, who have fallen into the hands of an admitted Space Alien, President-for-Life and Imperial Field Marshal Raven. Mr. Mark E. Weber, hereinafter called Director Weber after the title given him by Mr. O’Keefe, is not a Scientologist and unlike his associates, has never written or published any books at all. Now that President Raven has become a poster boy for Thorazine, Weber has been elevated to the vacated title of President-for-Life. Perhaps if his sane supporters, both of them, wait long enough, they will be enriched with a Weber website proclaiming the new Emperor a valid replacement for God.
The credulous wishing to give money to these lunatics would be better off burning the cash in a barbecue pit in their back yard. They would get about as much use out of the flaming bills as they would by furthering the Greater Los Angeles Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
Mr. Ted O’Keefe, known as Editor O’Keefe, is not a Scientologist but does have serious psychological problems that cause him to sleep naked in his closet while in the fetal position. He is under the care of a doctor and was recently discharged from his duties by the President and Director. This resulted in a most interesting newsletter being sent out by the former Editor. It is reprinted here in its entirety because of the very clear exposition of the activities, and especially the non-activities, of the leadership of the pirated IHR.
When the legal wars between Carto and the IHR were at their height, I was approached, in May of 2001, by millionaire California real estate developer Andrew E. Allen of Belvedere, California. Mr. Allen who was a former member of the IHR board and a heavy financial supporter of that entity, requested my aid in assisting with a reasonable settlement between both of the battling parties.
Mr. Allen’s faxes relating to this settlement offer are attached. Also attached are the prompt and signed responses of Willis Carto. It should be evident to anyone with a third grade education that Carto was more than willing to enter into substantive and reasonable negotiations.
The next documents of interest are the official responses of the IHR to my efforts.
President Raven and Director Weber immediately created and published a series of attacks on myself that have no basis whatsoever in truth and naturally, the negotiations collapsed as the irrational IHR leadership wished.
Throughout the long and very expensive legal wars conducted both by the IHR and Carto, the former group has informed their badly shrinking membership that if only Carto would pay them the money the courts had ordered, the IHR would, like the legendary Phoenix, rise from the ashes of fiscal disaster and burst forth upon an astonished and thrilled world.
They certainly raised money and gained support from the gullible and the trusting on this thesis but, in fact, like so many of the other strained and frantic pronouncements of President Raven and Director Weber, there is no truth whatsoever to it.
Official government documents I have obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and which are included here show very clearly that very large sums of money have come into the hands of President Raven and Director Weber. These moneys disclosed in these and other documents available, are in excess of a million dollars!
But this information has never been revealed to the trusting supporters of the IHR who are still asked to contribute “tax free” dollars to the struggling but hopeful leadership.
That such huge sums of cash have come into the IHR’s coffers is beyond doubt but the question is: What happened to this Niagara of cash?
Instead of being used, as the IHR leadership claims, for the publication of important books, the regular production of a vibrant and informative journal and the production of seminal intellectual conferences, the money has, according to the documents and various court depositions, vanished into the pockets of President Raven and Director Weber.
For example, loyal contributors to the IHR might be interested in the very expensive home purchased by President Raven as well as his equally expensive German sports car.
Documents show clearly that at least some of the income was spent on salaries for former President Field Marshal Raven and Director, now President-for-Life Weber but further queries show that a large amount of money was paid by the IHR to lawyers for their continued, and futile, attempts to get money out of the now-bankrupt Carto, Mr. Allen was being repaid for his $200 thousand loan to the IHR and the rest was channeled into the coffers of the Scientology cult.
Former President Raven is clearly following the precepts of his late Messiah who stated that if one really wants to get rich, one should form a religion.
P.T. Barnum, another buncombe artist in the same stripe as the late L. Ron Hubbard, once said that there was a sucker born every minute. In these combined beliefs, at least, both of these “elevated Thetans” were dead on.