Harassment Diary

by Paulette Cooper, 1982

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

Part 9: Arrest

On May 9, 1973, I was indicted on three felony counts, two of sending two bomb threats through the mail, and one for perjury for denying doing it (and stating that I thought Meisler [[the NY Scientologist in charge of PR and me!]] had sent them to himself). Each count carried a possible 5 years (15 years in all) and a $5,000 fine ($15,000)

I will never forget the terrible humiliation of my arraignment on May 19th (when I pleaded not guilty), and of standing in that big courtroom with all those criminals, and then being marched downstairs past prisoners to be mug shotted, fingerprinted and arrested. (But the arrest was still better than I feared, because for the entire two previous months, I had been petrified every time I went down to my lobby that I might be arrested there in front of other tenants -- which would be especially humiliating after that embarrassing smear letter.)

I will also never forget how sick I felt when I opened up the envelope containing my indictment: "The United States of America vs. Paulette Marcia Cooper." My thought was "200 million people against me?" And I was sick when I thought of how hard I had worked when young to become an American citizen,[[*]] and how much it had always meant to me, only to have my government turn against an innocent person.

[[1997 Footnotes:]]

[[*]] I became an American citizen -- I originally came from Belgium -- two years after I arrived in America as part of an adoption/citizenship "package." I had studied hard to learn English (I only spoke French until I came to America) so I could answer questions about the USA in English at the hearing.

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