Harassment Diary

by Paulette Cooper, 1982

My 1997 editorial comments are enclosed in [[double square brackets]].

Part 6: The Bomb Threat Letters

The night before the main Grand Jury, which was around April, I finally saw the two letters for the first time. They were actually a relief, because they were so foolish and grossly ungrammatical that it was obviously not my style. The first letter was also a very unsubtle attempt to look like me, so that it became immediately obvious that someone was trying to implicate me, either to get me, or send Scientology bomb threats on their own without any risk to themselves by trying to make it look like my doing. (1)

The first letter started "these damned books they are closing in on me" immediately establishing that the person who wrote that was either someone writing books, or someone with wall-to-wall bookcases in their apartment, which was also true about me. It also said "I hurt -- my operation" and this planted the first seeds of suspicion -- later to become an obsession -- about Nibs (L. Ron Hubbard Jr.) And again there was that wrong reference to me that had appeared in the smear letter to the building "my tongue is swollen."

The second letter, allegedly received Dec. 13th (although it mysteriously never went through the mails, and suspiciously the only fingerprints on the envelope were Meisler's we were later to learn) planted the first seeds of suspicion about my close friend Bob Kaufman, who had also written an anti- scientology book My lawyers were later to become highly suspicious of him, especially because he had had a nervous breakdown after being in scientology and had been institutionalized. The letter sounded like him (2) but this one sounded "more like Meisler, because it said that "Hitler - Hubbard - Meisler must be destroyed." (I felt that the only person foolish enough to put 'Meisler in with Hitler, or with his counterpart, Hubbard, had to be Meisler himself.


(1) Gordon [[the U.S. Prosecutor against me on this case]] paid me the dubious compliment of saying he thought I did it because the letters were so stupid that they must have been written by an intelligent person, and he didn't think Meisler was too bright. Gordon also had some other things to say to my lawyers that added to my sense of frustration and rage over what was going on. When my lawyers pointed out that I had no motive to send bomb threats since I was then doing extremely well against Meisler and Sci in my NY suit, [[line missing which I think said "Gordon said that people who send bomb threats are crazy so they"]] don't need any motive. When we pointed out that I would hardly write a letter to a building I had just moved into to try to get myself kicked out, and because of the "swollen tongue" the two seemed to be written by the same person Gordon told my lawyers that people who send bomb threats are disturbed and therefore might do anything. When we later pointed out that I would never send anonymous letter to my parents to hurt them, especially one that said I wasn't a good writer when they were supporting me, we got the same argument.

The government also thought they were brilliant in concluding that the writer of the letters was Jewish. But they kept ignoring my lawyers when they pointed out that so was Meisler -- and if it was a frameup of me, it would be made to look like a Jewish person.

(2) The letter sounded like Kaufman because it started off "James" and Bob was the only one to call Jim Meisler "James." It also referred to "a exploding volcano" which is an important image in Scientology, and was discussed in Bob Kaufman's book. But I didn't think Bob would say "a exploding," and anyway, he's very bright and surely knew that volcanos erupt and not explode.

[[Prosecutors often go after cases they think will bring them publicity, even if they have evidence that the person is innocent. After the FBI raided Scientology and found the documents about me, and the story of the frame-up appeared in the newspapers, a friend of mine, Dr. Stephen Barrett, who is very active in anti-quack areas - indeed, he has an interesting web site up in this area now - sent the prosecutor, John Gordon the newsstories about the frame-up, and wrote him the following:

7/5/ 78

Dear Mr. Gordon:

Our records indicate you were the prosecuting attorney in the criminal case against Paulette Cooper, one of the few people in America who had the courage to speak out against Scientology.

We assume you will be hearing more about this matter as it unfolds. Meanwhile, you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.


Stephen Barrett, M.D.]]

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