Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Update: Keith Henson Legal Support Fund

As of this morning, Extropy Institute has received donations in the amount of $5,089.00.

A check is being issued to Arel Lucas on behalf of Keith Henson today. Any further donations will be sent to Arel a week from now.

If there continues to be more donations, we will leave the support fund open to receive those donations for Keith.

Many thanks for your ongoing kindness and generosity.


More Henson notes

Okay, Keith is out of jail. He has been released from the Prescott jail on bond, pending his March 5 court date. A summary of events can be found here.

Disturbingly, it appears that he was mistreated by police and his jailers. He was told during the arrest that he had no right to an attorney and was put into solitary confinement in a poorly heated cell without adequate bedding. According to his laywer, Michael Kielsky, something "very political" is going on. "They gave him an extra blanket but then an hour later they took it away," he said, "this is a 66-year-old man with a heart problem."

Thankfully this case is getting a fair amount of attention, including the C|Net news article (cited above) getting cross-posted to the New York Times.

Also, R. U. Sirius has posted an interview he did with Henson back in 2003. Which reminds me, we also did an interview with Henson back in 2003 for Betterhumans.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Keith is out, on bond

Keith Henson has been released from the Prescott jail on bond, pending his March 5 court date. A summary of events can be found here.

Result of 5 February Hearing

At the hearing, Keith Henson's legal representation, Michael Kielsky, stated that they are fighting extradition and requested Keith's release. The presiding judge set a court date for March 5, 2007 at 1:30 pm in the Justice Court, and set the security at $7,500 cash or bond, with standard conditions.

Local Phoenix TV wishes interviews

One of us received a phone call from: Brandon Kline, KPNX Channel 12, who wishes to do interviews onsite or off camera. If you, Keith's supporters at the courthouse (or in the Phoenix area), are interested, please get in touch: (602) 694-1045.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Scheduled Court Appearance for Henson at 08:00, February 5

Tomorrow morning, February 5, 2007, 8:00 am, Keith is scheduled for the "Initial Appearance for Fugitive From Justice" Warrant, in the Superior Court.

The address is:

Superior Court of Yavapai County
120 South Cortez
Prescott, AZ 86303
Google Map

It would be helpful if people interested in this case showed up in court. If you know people in AZ who can get themselves down to the courthouse tomorrow morning and witness this process (** so they can report accurately **) on it -- please call them now and encourage them to take a vacation day tomorrow.

Arel Lucas's Apology

Posted at Arel Lucas's request:

...I want to apologize for a private communication that I didn't realize was going to become public on a blog. In the first fit of my anger and sorrow after seeing my beloved, sweet husband taken away in handcuffs (again!)--I screamed myself hoarse Friday night with no one here to hear me, and I'm still hoarse--I wrote someone that I hated this country and if I could get Keith out of jail couldn't wait to leave it. I had no idea (but I should have realized, even at 1 a.m.) that that emotional outburst would become part of the eternal Internet, and I apologize for my fit of rage. I promise to be careful from hereon about what I say and write both publicly and privately, since I'm clearly subject to being quoted without permission and out
of context--the context in this case being rage, fear, and extreme grief, since I don't know if I will ever see him again. The context also includes my sense of betrayal by a country in which I was taught as a child that there was freedom of speech and assembly and person, and that there were human rights upon which one could rely, and that evil would be punished, and that there was justice, etc. Keith's prosecution violated the principle of freedom of speech, since his only "crime" was picketing. Whenever there has been a formal assemblage of people trying to expose $cientology as a criminal syndicate, that assemblage has been destroyed by $cientology with no intervention from any authorities. Certainly neither $cientology's staff members nor targeted critics have had freedom of their persons
and property, as the record shows. So please forgive my outburst, and I ask for your understanding of its context. To the person who posted my fit of words on your blog, please post this apology also.

Points for the Media

The jail has a media contact person named Susan Quayle who will be at this number Monday morning, Arizona time.

Therefore if you're a media person, use this.

(928) 771-3286

Main points about his legal status:

  1. Keith was convicted of a misdemeanor offense in California. Can a person be extradited from Arizona for a misdemeanor conviction?
  2. Keith was convicted of "interfering with a religion", an offense which is (as far as I know), unique to California. Can a person be extradited from Arizona when he has not done anything that would be considered illegal in Arizona?
  3. The judge prohibited Keith from presenting a proper and complete defense. Will this fact be considered when a decision is made about extradition?

The Prescott Detention Center (928-771-3286) has a "Howard Keith Henson" in custody. He will appear in court on Monday. More information should be available at MST 1600 Monday, 05 February 2007 from the Detention Center or from the court.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Henson Legal Support Fund

We are providing Extropy Institute's website as a location to send
donations in support of Keith. You can locate the donation page here:
http://www.extropy.org or go directly here:

Many thanks,
Natasha Vita-More

Anti-Scientology activist Keith Henson taken into custody

Keith Henson, an outspoken anti-Scientology activist, was arrested last night and is currently being held at the Prescott Detention Center in Arizona. His wife, Arel Lucas, says he was taken into custody on a 6-year old bench warrant issued by a Riverside County judge.

Henson's troubles began in 2001 when he was convicted of "interfering with a religion", a misdemeanor under California law, for picketing outside Scientology's facility in Hemet, CA. He eventually fled to Canada after receiving a number of death threats. He was deported in 2005 after his asylum bid was rejected.

Lucas strongly suspects that the Church of Scientology is involved in Henson's current incarceration and fears for both his life and her own. The death threats have been constant since 2001. Scientology's power and reach has become considerable in recent years, leading to accusations that it is not so much a cult as it is an organized crime outfit that disguises itself as a religious organization.

In addition to his anti-Scientology activism, Henson is a pioneer in the transhumanist and cryonics movements. After receiving word of Henson's incarceration, the transhumanist community quickly mobilized. The Prescott Detention Center has been inundated with calls from concerned supporters. Various media outlets have been alerted (including BoingBoing), and a number of Websites have already been set up to raise awareness in support od Henson's cause (including Free Keith Henson). The Extropy Institute has set up fund to help Henson with mounting costs.

Learn more about Keith Henson and his plight here, here, and here.

The Report of Keith Henson's Arrest

This post appeared on the Extropy-Chat mailing-list at 0717 CST, Saturday, 3 February 2007. Email addresses and phone numbers have been removed from the text of this blog post.
I just got this very disturbing email from Arel. Please do what you can to help.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arel Lucas
Date: Feb 3, 2007 1:47 AM
Subject: Keith Taken into Custody

Writing to myself and bc'ing you all so as not to compromise anybody's
address. Don't think I've written any of you yet.

Amost too tired to type. Running as fast as I can since around 3 or
3:30 this afternoon when Keith was arrested in Prescott, AZ,
supposedly on the bench warrant issued by the judge in 2001 in
Riverside County.

I can barely think. I gave a nurse his blood pressure meds but
haven't heard anything except that the desk clerk told me he had been
booked and was in a single cell this evening. So I hope he's safe.

The death threats continued unabated, and his last safe house had been
visited by police, so we were seeking lawyers and talking about where
to go when. They stopped the car of the 2 I own that he usually
drives (he's still bankrupt and owns nothing).

I'm running on rage. I have nothing else to give me energy. With
grief or fear I'd break down. So I choose rage. Damned thing they
call a democracy here in this damned country, where he was arrested,
convicted and sentenced for picketing. Damned law enforcement that
lies, has no brains, will do $cientology's bidding. I may have made
some connections that will help him refuse extradition and have his
case in California reviewed here in Arizona. The police told me that
he can't have a lawyer at the hearing Monday morning, and I can't be
there. I was told by a couple of people that it's no good fighting
extradition, but when it's a matter of going into a
$cientology-controlled jail so they can fulfill their death threats,
I'll fight what I can.

The damned $cientologists have carried out *every other threat they've
made* against him *and* me. So I believe the death threats. Why
wouldn't I? I did an oral history with someone in Canada in which she
tells me of their murder of a friend of hers. I've seen the look on
their smug faces. I've been snarled at by Elliot Abelson, the garbage
Mafia lawyer who ran the trial in Hemet.

I can use all the advice and help I can get. I will follow him to
Riverside as soon as I have any clue he's on his way there. I will
make as big a stink as I can. I'm trying to reach press, have given
out my phone numbers to anyone who wants details. Please get press
involved. If my employers can't take the heat, they'll either fire me
or make me resign. The hell with them. I'll have reached the 2nd
tier of social security sometime in July. If I can hold out till then
I'll get a little more of a pittance.

So if you talk to me and I'm mad, well, yes I am. I hate this country
that arrests people for picketing and lets the terrorist
$cientologists run wild. If I can get him out of jail we'll leave
it--for good, if possible. I've lost faith in pretty much everyone
and everything--certainly democracy, justice, law enforcement--but
that was a long time ago. I'm used to it now. But I'm still mad.


Readers can verify the email's existence by checking the extropy-chat mailing list's archives.