A.r.s Week in Review - 4/28/2002
Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 4
4/28/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
in the newsgroup before expiring them.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available. Subscriptions are
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Week in Review is archived at:
> Grady WardGrady Ward won an appeal against Scientology, in which the court found he
did not violate a settlement agreement. Grady had previously settled a
copyright violation case with Scientology.
"RTC had no right to execute on the judgment because Grady Ward did not
materially breach the settlement agreement. Ward reasonably assumed that
the $10,000 obligation was conditioned on his receiving an advance from
his book deal. Indeed, the plain language of the settlement agreement
suggests that the obligation is conditional. When the district court
determined that the obligation was unconditional, Ward promptly offered to
pay the full amount plus interest. In these circumstances, Ward's delay in
tendering the $10,000 is not a material breach of the agreement."
> IsraelThe Jerusalem Post reported on April 19th that Scientologists a Tel Aviv
hospital following an attack on Israeli citizens.
"Members of the Scientologists cult in Tel Aviv managed to get into the
public information center set up at Ichilov Hospital immediately after the
recent terrorist attack in Allenby Street, where they spoke to families of
the injured and gave out propaganda material on their cult. Shortly after
the attack, around 10 Scientologists mingled with a group of social
workers who were at the hospital to receive families of the injured.
Wearing shirts bearing the tag 'spiritual adviser Scientologist
volunteer,' they talked to the anxious relatives who had arrived at the
center, where entry was permitted only to the hospital medical staff and
relatives of the injured.
"The cult representatives distributed a booklet written by the founder of
the cult Ron Hubbard which promises its readers to help them reach 'the
path which leads to a much safer and happier life for you and for others.'
One of the most persistent volunteers even managed to find her way into
the emergency ward, where she was noticed by the hospital manager Gabi
Barbash and asked to leave.
"Ichilov Hospital said in reaction: 'The hospital does not allow entry to
activists of any cult. The members of the cult gained entry to the
information center without permission. They were thrown out of the
emergency ward as soon as it was discovered that they were carrying out
> Lisa McPhersonA transcript of the hearing last week in the Lisa McPherson case was
posted to a.r.s this week. In it, Bob Minton and Ken Dandar disagree about
payments made to the case and the existence of a secret agreement to
provide a large part of any settlement in the case to cult awareness
organizations. Some highlights from the first day of the testimony:
"MR. LIROT: We had intended to certainly seek testimony from Mr. Minton,
from Stacy Brooks, from Jesse Prince, from Michael Garko. We have a
witness that we would like to testify by telephone, Dan Leipold, Patricia
Greenway, Peter Alexander, Thomas Haverty, Frank Oliver. We may ask to
call Mr. Rosen. Ms. Liebreich. And then by telephone again, Mr.
"BY MR. ROSEN: Q. Mr. Minton, did you have any conversation with Kennan
Dandar which related to or lead to the - your issuance or causing to be
issued Exhibit 5?
"A. Mr. Dandar was somewhat reluctant to keep coming to me all the time
for money, so he suggested that I give him maybe a larger amount and,
therefore, minimize his calls on me for additional funds. He also said
that he had set up an account somewhere that he could hide this money from
Scientology. And so he asked me if I could find a way to get him some
money that he could make sure that Scientology would never know about.
"Q. Is this the first check which is a bank check drawn on the Bank of
Switzerland, and is that because Mr. Dandar wanted the check that way?
"A. He didn't specifically ask for any particular type of check. He pretty
much left it up to me as to how I could get that to him in a way where it
didn't appear to come from me. And that was based on his concerns about
what had been going on in the court case, the wrongful death case, about
my financial involvement in the case.
"Q. How was this check physically delivered to Mr. Dandar?
"A. I brought it down to Clearwater and called Mr. Dandar, told him I had
some funds that we had talked about. And he suggested that we meet
somewhere halfway in between his Tampa office and my office in downtown
Clearwater. So we met at the Bombay Bicycle Club which was on Gulf-to-Bay
just on the Tampa side of Route 19, on the Tampa side of the Clearwater.
"Q. And would you open the folder that is marked Exhibit 6, please, sir?
"A. That's a check for $250,000 payable to Ken Dandar issued by Union Bank
of Switzerland dated March 7th, 2002.
"Q. Okay. Now, prior to the delivery of this check to Mr. Dandar, were
there any - was there any conversation which led up to this between you
and Mr. Dandar?
"A. One of the principal things that Mr. Dandar had said to me at the time
was that he was going to not tell his trial team that he had money, and
that he would be telling them that I wasn't giving money at that stage and
he was financing out of his own personal retirement account this case. Mr.
Dandar would, if we were in private, he would say, you know, is Fred going
to do anything or not?
"Q. Fred meaning his pet name for you?
"A. Well, his pet name for the source of funds that didn't necessarily run
through his trust account.
"Q. But that source was you?
"A. That's correct.
"Q. Mr. Minton, let me turn to another subject then. Did you have any
discussion with Mr. Ken Dandar, on the subject of the proceeds to be had
from the wrongful death case?
"A. Yes, I did. At the time Scientology was making a big issue that Dell
Liebreich was a money grubbing whatever, just out for the money. And I
suggested to Mr. Dandar to deflate that argument that the Estate should
agree to donate a large part of the proceeds to an anticult organization
to fund a cult awareness type organization in the future.
"Q. Did there come a time after that that Mr. Dandar then reported back to
you on the subject of his discussion of this suggestion of yours with Ms.
A. He said that he had discussed the matter with Dell Liebreich and that
that is what they decided that they were going to do with the substantial
part of the proceeds of the wrongful death litigation.
"Q. Were going to be giving to some anticult group that you were
"A. One or a couple.
"Q. Mr. Minton, did you go on a radio show and announce this agreement
with the Estate to contribute the lion's share or a substantial amount of
the proceeds in the wrongful death case to an anticult group?
"A. Yes. This was about the time the Lisa McPherson Trust was being
"Q. Did you also then post on the Internet an announcement about this time
in the end of '99, beginning of 2000, of this agreement with the Estate to
donate all or a substantial part of the proceeds in the wrongful death
case to an anticult group?
"A. Yes, I did, specifically the Lisa McPherson Trust.
"Q. Did there then come a time later on in the year 2000 that there was
any conversation with Mr. Ken Dandar on the subject of this agreement for
the Estate to donate a substantial part of the proceeds to the Lisa
"A. He said this is going to be a huge issue in the wrongful death case
and we're going to have to backtrack big time on what you said. Basically
we have to say that's not really the case.
"Q. In other words, you have to say that the statements you made about
this agreement were untrue? As far as you were concerned they were true,
"A. They were true at that time and I was subsequently deposed about this.
Mr. Dandar was also somewhat concerned that - I think it was in like May
or June of 2000 - and Dandar was concerned that I had yet again reaffirmed
this agreement in a deposition.
"Q. Did Mr. Dandar express to you why it was necessary for you to
backtrack on the public disclosure of this agreement?
"A. He said because it looks bad for the case because it appears that
there's some improper business deal between the Estate and Bob Minton with
respect to the proceeds of this case.
"Q. Do you recognize this?
"A. It's an affidavit of Ken Dandar.
"Q. At no time is the Estate or the beneficiaries entered into any
informal or formal negotiations, discussions or agreements with Robert
Minton or any other third party concerning the disposition of any proceeds
realized from any litigation involving the Estate of Lisa McPherson.
That's Mr. Dandar's sworn affidavit on December 20th of the year 2000. To
your own personal knowledge, is that statement true or false?
"A. It's a false statement.
"BY MR. LIROT: Q. What happened, Mr. Minton? Why did you change your mind?
Have you sent e-mails to Mr. Dandar saying, we'll be behind you 100
percent. I don't like the Church. I don't like what it's done. I don't
like what happened to Lisa McPherson. Do you recall sending e-mails to
"A. I don't.
"Q. Mr. Minton, I want to find out what happened to you. A bold and long,
long-term challenger of the Church of Scientology, now you're going
around, you're telling people, I don't want to fund these cases. I need
you to dismiss these cases. To what do we owe this 180?
"A. Mr. Dandar.
"Q. Well, you haven't had any meetings with Mr. Dandar for quite some
time, have you?
"A. Since early February is not that far.
"Q. You had a lot of meetings with the Church of Scientology after early
February of this year, haven't you?
"A. I have.
Q. Can you tell me about those meetings?
"A. At the present time there's a confidentiality agreement in place
between my attorneys and the attorneys for the Church of Scientology and
I'm not at liberty to comment.
Q. Why is that? Why a confidentiality agreement? What is it that - what is
it that the Church of Scientology has presented to you to cause this
complete reversal of position on your part? Has the Church of Scientology
threatened you with bringing criminal charges for some of your business
practices involving the country of Nigeria?
"Q. Have you talked with Mr. Prince recently?
"A. Yes. He came to see Stacy Brooks and I at the Adams Mark Hotel on
Clearwater Beach and we had a rather extensive talk.
"Q. And did that talk involve Mr. Prince asking you or inviting you to go
and talk to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and provide some
level of protection to you?
A. There was a subsequent discussion where he brought that up, not
directly, but through his girlfriend who read a letter from Mr. Prince to
Ms. Brooks and I over the telephone in our office and Clearwater two,
maybe three nights ago. He said Bob, you know, I'm working with the FDLE.
He say they're going to be in the courtroom in Florida on Friday when you
testify. If you so much as dare tell a lie they're going to haul you off
to jail. He told Mr. Howie that the FBI was also going to be here.
"We had dinner at the restaurant in the Radisson Hotel. Mr. Prince was
drunk before he got to the hotel. He said, Minton, I am not going to let
you do this. I am not going to let you go down this road. And I will do
everything in my power to stop you. You've become a Scientologist and he
used some vulgar words in front of that. And then he started into the
story about how when he was in Scientology and he was in trouble one time
- that he went back to his room room while he was in California in the
desert compound there. That he went and got an AK-47 and a 45 caliber
pistol and came out and pointed it at the head of the Church of
Scientology, David Miscavige, Norman Starkey, Mike Rinder and one other
person whose name I can't remember. He said, you know, that you've never
done anything for me. I'm not going to let you go and do anything with
Scientology. These people have destroyed me twice when I've tried to
settle with them and I'm not going to let you go down this road. I'm not
going to let you do this. And I asked him to get up from the table and
walk out the front door of this hotel and that I never wanted to see him
"Q. Did you ever tell Mr. Dandar that if he did not dismiss the wrongful
death case that he would, quote, Have the blood and death of you, your
wife, and your two daughters on his hands?
"A. I did say that in the same conversation when I said we're both going
to be destroyed if we keep on this same course. I'm not anxious to get
destroyed here. And I think I made it really clear to Mr. Dandar that the
destruction was going to come about as a result of the lies that were
being told n this case and the unethical acts that he had asked people to
do in this case. That's what that was all about.
"Q. Do you remember telling him that Scientology had the goods on you and
that you had to have this case dismissed or it was going to cause your
"A. I said, For both of our sakes this case needs to be dropped.
"Q. Why? Why would the case have to be dismissed?
"A. Jonas had told me, You need to go down there to Florida and tell the
truth about these checks. Mr. Dandar made it clear to me that he had not
reported these checks to the Court. These were not from me. These were
from Fred, according to Mr. Dandar.
"Q. You gave him a great deal of money after that point in time. Why
wouldn't you hide that? If the goal was to hide the money, why wouldn't
you hide all the money?
"A. It wasn't my goal to hide the money. My goal was to give Mr. Dandar
the money. Mr. Dandar's goal was to try to hide the $500,000 check and the
"BY MR. ROSEN: Q. Did you have an understanding that the money that Mr.
Minton provided was a donation or a loan?
"MR. DANDAR: A. I think my letter spells it out as a donation.
Q. And you understood that that was money intended to be used for the
benefit of your client to use for expenses in the wrongful death case,
"A. That's right.
"Q. Mr. Dandar, Mr. Minton has testified that he's given you, between his
personal checks and the two bank checks, a total of $2,050,000; is that
"A. One for 500,000 and one for 250,000 from the Union Bank of
"Q. He's wrong about those?
"A. He's wrong about it, according to what he told me, yes.
Q. Sir, did you receive those two checks?
"A. Yes, I did.
"Q. Did you deposit them into your client trust account?
"THE WITNESS: Okay. No. Those two checks were deposited into my private
"Q. Did there come a time when there was an agreement reached between you
and Mr. Minton as to what these funds were that he was providing, a loan,
a gift, a donation?
"A. Well, they were loans because that's what his letter characterizes it
as, a non-recourse loan with no interest paid back according to the
"Q. A non-recourse loan to who?
"A. Well, to me and my firm.
"Q. A person loans you personally $100,000 and your only obligation to
repay it is if you win a case and then you will pay it out of your
contingency portion of the fee, right?
"A. That's right. It's for all of the money, some of which would go back
to Mr. Minton and 750 would go back to this unidentified third party.
"Q. It is your testimony that you had no strings on this money, it was a
personal loan to you, you could go out and buy a boat, do whatever you
wanted with it?
"A. It evolved. I put it into the bank. I put it into several accounts,
Dandar & Dandar, depending on how Mr. Minton wrote the check. I put it
into other accounts that made interest. I was trying to make some money on
this money so I wouldn't have to keep going back and telling Mr. Minton,
Well, do you want to give us some more money? Then I would transfer it to
the trust account and from the trust account to the operating account.
"Q. When Mr. Minton handed you this $500,000 check at the Bombay Bicycle
Club, did you ask him whose money this was?
"A. Yes. He said, I can't tell you.
Q. And when he sent you the $250,000, did you ask him whose money that
"A. Yes. He said it's the Fat Man in Switzerland. I said, Who's that? And
he said, I can't tell you.
"Q. Is the sole basis of your testimony that this money was not Mr.
Minton's, is the sole basis for that that you say that Mr. Minton admitted
to you it wasn't his money; is that it?
"A. There's two points; he told me it wasn't his money and it's not on his
"Q. Sir, I don't understand. How could a bank check be on somebody's
"A. Well, you know, I get bank checks, and you know what? My name is on
the check when it goes out to somebody. It's coming from me.
"Q. Well, I guess if that were the case then the name of the Fat Man would
have been on that check?
"A. That's right. I would know who that person is.
"It's not there, is it?
"Q. You said a moment ago, there was never any agreement to contribute the
monies to be recovered in the wrongful death case to a cult awareness
"A. Among the family members there was.
"Q. Was there ever an agreement between Dell Liebreich on the one hand and
her family and Mr. Minton on the other that a substantial amount, of the
recovery from the wrongful death case was going to be contributed to an
"A. No. There's been no agreement with Mr. Minton on disposition of funds
outside of trying to pay him back.
"Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Mr. Minton in which you told
him, Hey, we need to backtrack on these statements that you've been making
on the radio about the bulk of the recovery being paid to an anticult
"A. No, as you phrased the question. I told Mr. Minton he shouldn't be
making untrue public statements. He said to the bulk goes to the Lisa
McPherson Trust, that is an untrue statement.
"Q. Mr. Dandar, would you like this motion to turn, and would you like
your license to practice to turn on the integrity and veracity of that
answer? Should we make it easy for the Judge? Make it a one-issue case? Do
you want your license to turn on the integrity of the --
"MR. LIROT: Objection, argumentative.
"THE COURT: Sustained.
"MR. ROSEN: I'll withdraw the question,
"Your Honor. Nothing further."
> NorwayNettavisen reported on April 23rd that Scientology has come under
investigation in Norway for keeping personal records improperly.
"Datatilsynet is criticizing Scientology for violating the law about
personal information, and demands that Scientology changes their routines.
Datatilsynet is an official agency that tells who can and who can't store
information about people, and how the information must be stored and
otherwise dealt with. Datatilsynet inspected Co$ in March, and found that
they violated the law.
"Scientology is instructed to go through their internal control on how
they register and manage personal information. They are also instructed to
tell those who are registered, what the purpose for the registration is
and who is the receiver of the personal information. Scientology must also
tell their members it is voluntarily to give personal information.
Scientology must also be able to document that personal information is
treated confidentially and when personal information is to be send to USA,
Scientology must have consent from the registered party."
> Child ActorsThe San Francisco Chronicle reported on April 25th that the Mission Street
org in San Francisco is hosting a seminar for prospective child actors.
"The Church of Scientology is hosting a lecture on how to become a child
actor Saturday at its Mission Street storefront. The speaker is Lynsey
Bartilson of the sitcom 'Grounded for Life.' The talk is part of a plan to
attract more children to the site, which explains why a church is touting
getting kids into showbiz."
> Reed SlatkinThe Los Angeles Times reported on April 26th that Scientology minister
Reed Slatkin has surrendered to authorities in connection with a Ponzi
investment scheme he ran, losing hundreds of millions of dollars.
"Reed E. Slatkin, the money manager to Hollywood luminaries who admitted
to having lost $255 million during a 15-year fraud spree, was taken into
custody in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday to await months of
questioning by investigators. The co-founder of EarthLink Inc. agreed last
month to plead guilty to 15 counts of fraud, money laundering and
conspiracy. He returns to court Monday to enter his plea to charges
carrying a potential sentence of as many as 15 years.
"Slatkin, 53, of Santa Barbara, will try to win a lesser sentence by
helping prosecutors and bankruptcy lawyers seeking to identify additional
assets and defendants. An attorney for a creditors committee, Richard
Wynne, said he hopes to begin distributing 'significant' amounts of
recovered funds to investors by the end of the year. One unusual provision
of Slatkin's plea agreement allows him to request a lighter sentence
because of the 'psychological impact of his association with certain
individuals and/or groups,' a reference to his long involvement in
"Slatkin sat motionless, in an open-collared white shirt and sport coat,
his eyes downcast, until U.S. Magistrate Rosalyn M. Chapman called him
forward. She asked if he realized he was signing away his rights. 'Yes,
your honor,' Slatkin murmured, barely audible."
From the Santa Barbara News-Press on April 26th:
"Although he appeared uneasy or dejected during the proceedings, Mr.
Slatkin was calm and focused, his attorney said. 'This agreement and his
willingness to turn himself in confirm that he's committed to cooperating
with authorities to resolve this and accept responsibility for what he's
done,' Mr. Sun said. Federal authorities believe the sentence could range
from 12 to 15 years, while his defense attorney believes it could be much
"Although it would have been possible for Mr. Slatkin to enter his guilty
plea, post bail and be out of custody while he cooperated, federal
authorities wanted him behind bars, 'because of the enormity of what he
has done and because we consider him a flight risk,' said Assistant U.S.
Attorney Steven Olson, who is prosecuting the case with Jacqueline
"Along with answering questions from the Department of Justice and the
U.S. Trustee, the creditors' committee will likely submit questions for
Mr. Slatkin to answer. The committee has already aggressively investigated
Mr. Slatkin's operation, reviewing literally millions of pages of
documents in an attempt to track financial transactions and find any
The News-Press also reported on April 26th on the Internet web site
devoted to following details of the Slatkin case.
"Why are a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, a Canadian
journalist and a New York Web site designer so interested in Reed Slatkin?
The answer is Scientology. David Touretzky, the Carnegie Mellon scientist
and specialist in computer modeling of the brain, is an outspoken critic
of the church. The staunch advocate for First Amendment protections on
Internet content has knocked heads with the church for posting Scientology
texts and the church's training secrets on various sites.
"The Web site, http://www.Slatkinfraud.com, has evolved from its focus on
Scientology, posting reams of financial documents and court records.
However, last September the church sent a letter to Mr. Touretzky's
Internet service provider warning it that he was using their trademark
Excalibur-like cross without permission. After a series of letters from
the church's attorneys, the owners of the small company asked Mr.
Touretzky to move his Web site. He picked EarthLink as the new provider.
And he has since removed the Excalibur image from the Web site's opening
page. Mr. Touretzky described the move to the bigger Internet service
provider as a 'deliciously ironic' twist, because EarthLink was founded by
prominent Scientologist Sky Dayton, and Mr. Slatkin was one of the initial
"Mr. Touretzky, journalist Kady O'Malley of Ottawa, and New York Web
designer Scott Pilutik have amassed an impressive amount of documents to
support their assertions. There are more than 60 megabytes of information
on the site. The documents include dozens of newspaper articles, court
documents, exhibits and depositions, as well as lists of hundreds of
investors and businesses caught up in the bankruptcy.
"Digging up the documents and tracking down investors has been a reporting
challenge, said Ms. O'Malley, who also covers politics in Canada. While
she believes that well over half the investors are Scientologists, she
said it does not appear that a disproportionate number of Scientologists
made profits. 'It appears Reed decided who benefited based on those who
were close to him or who could either hurt him or help him,' she said."
> Xenu.netThe controversy over the efforts by Scientology to remove links to
Xenu.net from the search engine Google was the subject of an article in
the New York Times on April 22nd.
"Google, the company behind the popular Web search engine, has been
playing a complicated game recently that involves the Church of
Scientology and a controversial copyright law. Legal experts say the
episode highlights problems with the law that can make companies or
individuals liable for linking to sites they do not control. And it has
turned Google, whose business is built around a database of two billion
Web pages, into a quiet campaigner for the freedom to link.
"The church sent a complaint to Google last month, saying that its search
results for 'Scientology' included links to copyrighted church material
that appears on a Web site critical of the church. Under the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which was intended to make it easier for
copyright holders to fight piracy, the complaint meant that Google was
required to remove those links quickly or risk being sued for contributing
to copyright infringement.
"The site in question, Operation Clambake (www.xenu.net), is based in
Norway, beyond the reach of the United States copyright act. The site
portrays the church as a greedy cult that exploits its members and
harasses critics. Andreas Heldal-Lund, the site's owner, says the posting
of church materials, including some internal documents and pictures of
church leaders, is allowable under the 'fair use' provisions of
internationally recognized copyright law.
"The Google software judges the importance of a page in part by looking at
how many other pages link to it. Scientology's complaint set off a flurry
of linking to the critics' site, pushing it up two spots to No. 2 in the
search results for 'Scientology' - just below the church's official site."
From BBC News on April 25th:
"The Church of Scientology has taken its long-running battle against the
distribution of its material on internet sites - especially sites critical
of the church - to Google, one of the most popular search sites on the
internet. Google catalogues more than two billion pages on the internet,
but cyber civil libertarians cried foul when the site removed links to a
website called Operation Clambake, due to a legal challenge from the
Church of Scientology. The Operation Clambake site portrays the church as
a money-hungry cult."
Linux Journal published a letter on April 17th from Helena Kobrin, a
lawyer for Scientology, explaining their plans to continue complaining to
"We asked Scientology attorney Helena Kobrin if Google's new policy of
making DMCA takedown letters public and the resulting boost to the Google
standings of Scientology critic site Xenu.net would affect her firm's
decision to send future takedown letters. Here is her answer:
"'When we learn of infringements to those rights, we take appropriate
actions to protect them by writing to the infringer and, if a service
provider is involved, to the service provider. We take follow-up actions
as needed. It has nothing to do with search engines or criticism. Will we
stop doing our jobs because someone disagrees or puts our letters on the
Internet? No more so than I would stop in going after someone who breached
a contract or would fail to prosecute a murderer, a thief, or an embezzler
if I were a prosecutor or would back off on stopping someone from dumping
toxic waste if I were an environmental attorney merely because someone
criticized my actions."
> Sea Org StatsRoger Gonnet this week posted statistics from the Sea Org league of the
Birthday Game, in which advanced Scientology orgs compete for statistical
"Weekly Quarterly Cumulative
1. AOSHEU 110 AOSHEU 573 AOLA 3024
2. AOLA 95 AOLA 539 AOSHEU 2959
3. CCINT 46 ASHOD 431 CCINT 2644
4. ASHOD 43 CCINT 422 ASHOF 2552
5. AOSHUK 43 AOSHUK 335 ASHOD 2525
6. ASHOF 38 ASHOF 329 ASHUK 1913
7. SHF 25 AOSHANZO 308 AOSHANZO 1800
8. AOSHANZO 25 SHF 197 SHF 1327"