REAL STORY ABOUT JOHN FASHANU'S SO CALLED PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
by George Noah
Monday 27 August
The man with
many identities, his links with the Scientology organization, his
recruitment of John Fashanu & his intrigues with the Nigerian
government in his bid to destroy Bob Minton.
David Lee (aka
Robert Clarke aka Ron Christopher), whose real name is David Lebeau,
is a private investigator who has worked for the Scientology organization
for at least eight years.
For the purpose
of this report, we shall refer to the investigator as David Lee. After
he was handed the project of destroying, Bob Minton, the retired American
investment banker, the Scientology organization is hell bent on destroying,
Lee's first task was to research into Minton's past to find out where
he could be vulnerable. Lee soon found out that Minton's company once
did a debt buy back operation for the Central Bank of Nigeria between
1988 - 1993. The private investigator/cum Scientology agent immediately
went to work with the hope of digging up something unpleasant about Minton.
For three years he compiled a dossier on Minton. These were the years
Fashanu was later to claim, he spent his own money investigating those
who looted Nigeria's treasury!
Lee and Elliot Abelson
The fact is
that Lee personally compiled the ''Fashanu Report'' and equally
placed John Fashanu on his payroll and not the other way round as
the former footballer has been suggesting.
especially from another Scientologist,
Chief Rilwanu Lukman, who
claims to be a devout Muslim, Lee recruited Fashanu to spearhead
the assault on Minton.
interviewed Fashanu on the debt buy back deal are unanimous in their views
that Fashanu could not hold any intelligent discussion on the report he
claims he put together.
Lee who is Fashanu's boss, is extremely cagey about being identified
as a Scientologist, lest his cover is revealed.
was why both men failed to appear at the public
forum on the debt buy back deals organized by the Nigerian
Democratic Movement at Howard University, Washington DC, two months
Lee hiding behind a mask
They both claimed
to have been advised not to appear by their lawyers! Yet both men had
craved media attention for the debt buy back scheme. Lee was always at
the background whilst Fashanu hopped from one media house to another.
Indeed, Lee was aware that former Scientology members were to attend the
public forum. Hence his decision to abscond. As for Fashanu, he must have
succumbed to his cerebral deficiencies and had decided not to embarrass
himself or his paymasters.
Having recruited Fashanu, thought to be an ideal candidate for the job
at the time, Lee devised a media plan in April this year, to give the
''Fashanu Report'' the required publicity blitz. He prepared a question
and answer document and both men went to work. Within two weeks, the media
began to take interest. The Nigerian debt buyback scheme soon became headline
news in several London publications including; Africa Confidential, The
Times, The Voice, New Nation and The Mirror. Shortly after, the Nigerian
media followed suit.
that Fashanu was placed under surveillance. Fashanu on the other
hand tried to outwit Lee by acquiring new fixed network and mobile
phones to make discreet telephone calls.
It is believed
that Fashanu had considered quitting the project, due to the scrutiny
of his credibility and his motives, but he appears incapable of
doing so, because of the dossier Lee has on him.
Sometime in May,
Lee shocked Professor Bolaji Aluko in his Howard University office by
playing back a conversation Fashanu had with Ned Nwoko, a member of the
House of Representatives.
Lee was at
that time on the verge of abandoning Fashanu because the ex footballer
was becoming a liability. He felt it was a high wire strategy to
pin all his three year work on a man whose credibility was being
eroded by the day and confided in Aluko that Fashanu could not
be trusted. He said Fashanu was like a lose cannon.
Professor Bolaji Aluko
Fashanu had approached
the Abachas with the aim of extorting money from them claiming the ''Fashanu
Report'' had information that showed they stole Nigeria's money. The Abachas
wanted Fashanu to substantiate his claims, but the former footballer never
went past that stage because he never had that information in the first
instance. Fashanu had also ''recruited'' Ned Nwoko as someone from the
Presidency who could facilitate the prosecution of Minton. Lee was
to find out from his secret taping of Fashanu and Nwoko, that Nwoko was
on his own and was not working for the Presidency.
Sensing that the Fashanu angle had outlived its usefulness, and that the
ex footballer was more of a liability than an asset, Lee began work on
plan B. In June when President Obasanjo went to Switzerland, Lee and his
group were on his trail.
With the help
of Lukman, Lee was able to meet Obasanjo for about 30 minutes.
Lee later said he was so surprised about the lack of security around
Obasanjo. ''They (security agents) did not even frisk me before
I met the President'' Lee later told Aluko.
It was during
the meeting with Obasanjo that Lee brought up the Minton issue.
After that meeting,
Nigeria at attempted to press charges against Minton. But it is believed
the government is reconsidering its move because independent lawyers have
counseled that Minton has no case to answer. One source said several lawyers
had rummaged through the ''Fashanu Report'' and thought the country could
end up with eggs on its face if the case was taken any further.
Another inside source said the government was advised that the ''Fashanu
Report'' did not prove Minton had committed any offence and that the whole
controversy was being spearheaded by the Scientology organization in its
bid to embarrass Minton. They also proffered the following advise; that
the Nigerian Senate had claimed in its report that the debt buy back deal
in question was transparently executed and that the companies Lee and
his group claimed was owned by Minton in defrauding Nigeria was actually
owned 100 per cent by the Central Bank of Nigeria; that Minton's debt
buy back scheme had saved Nigeria about $5 billion and that Nigeria had
demonstrated financial engineering in reducing its debt at the expense
of the nation's creditors.
Lee on stake-out
officials have gone cold in their liaison with Lee and Fashanu,
having realized Lee's motives, the futility of the case against
Minton, and that Lee is a man of various identities.
Lee attempted to see Obasanjo in London last week through the Nigeria
High Commission, but was given a cold shoulder. It is believed that
Lee has returned to the drawing board to devise another method of
attack against Minton.
From 1993 onwards,
Lee ensured that Minton lost his privacy. Lee and his group virtually
kept tabs on Minton's telephone conversations and travel itinerary. They
compiled a list of all those who knew Minton and approached them with
the aim of gathering incriminating information about him. They tailed
Minton's daughters, wife, father and mother whether they were in the United
States or abroad. It was a sophisticated surveillance activity. The Scientology
organization did not spare a dime in ensuring that they trailed their
public enemy number one and his family. The idea was to intimidate and
But that approach
failed, because Minton vowed that he would continue to expose the
totalitarian nature of Scientology and to continue the funding for
the civil case instituted against the cult organization for the
death in custody of one of their former members, named Lisa McPherson.
organization stand to lose a whopping $100 million if they lose
the case. Hence the need to force Minton to abandon the funding
for that litigation by all means necessary.
1998, Lee and his agents broke into the London West End offices of Minton's
business partner, Jeffrey Schmidt and photocopied all the documents
they found. The bulk of the documents found is what we now know as the
''Fashanu Report''. Lee and Fashanu have declined to include Schmidt or
Selwyn Lewis, the two other business partners of Minton in the debt buyback
scheme. This is because Minton is the only target. The ''Fashanu Report''
is about 150 pages thick. On the face of it, it looks impressive but the
document on its own does not prove any criminal act perpetrated by Minton.
It only demonstrates that someone had taken great pains to do some investigation
and gather confidential documents.
Lee came up with the $6 billion debt buy back scam to generate interest
in his project. But no such money was involved in the debt buy back
deal. Indeed, the Central bank employed $1.1 billion to buy back over
$4 billion of Nigeria's debt.
and Lee hopped from one media house to another, telling those
who cared to listen that they had uncovered about 6 billion dollars
of Nigeria's money looted from the treasury.
Fashanu swore that
his revelations had led to the freezing of some bank accounts in Europe,
to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. To date he and Lee has
failed to provide details of such accounts that had been frozen and where
they had been frozen. Not a single name has been linked to accounts that
have been frozen through the Lee/Fashanu crusade. Not one. Lee even claimed
Minton's accounts had been frozen, but has declined to substantiate his
claims. Minton on the other hand had called the duo liars, insisting they
were in fantasy island.
Back to David Lee and his background. Lee's base of operations has been
in Los Angeles in Scientology-owned offices. Notionally, he work for Omega
Legal Services, or Omega Legal Investigations, in Cedar Ridge, Colorado,
where anyone can be a private investigator no license is required.
The business in Cedar Ridge is owned by a man named George Bacon. This
"business," however, is only someone's house with a phone line
The first time
David Lee surfaced working for Scientology was in 1992, when he
befriended a group of high-level Scientology executives who had
recently left the organization.
were Terri and Fernando Gamboa, Janice and Paul Grady, Mark Fisher,
and several others. They all settled in Las Vegas and started a
mortgage company together. These people knew him as David Lebeau.
Gamboa weds Gerry Armstrong
He was sent in to
keep tabs on them to make sure they didn't cause any trouble for the organization.
These people knew he was a plant because of certain questions he asked
and the way he behaved generally, but they never let on to him that they
knew. Their thinking was that it was better to know who was being run
in on them, thereby being able to control the situation, than to blow
his cover and risk having another person sent in that they might not spot.
Lebeau kept especially close tabs on Terri Gamboa, who had been the highest-ranking
executive and knew the most about Scientology's underhand activities.
He went so far as to travel with Terri and Fernando to Australia when
they went there on a vacation. Lebeau was reportedly in Las Vegas with
these people for two years.
Ben Shaw & David Lee
He next appeared
in Seattle, Washington, in charge of a surveillance team that was
set up under the control of Scientology intelligence officer Ben
Shaw in Los Angeles.
From 1994 until
1998 David Lee ran this team, whose job was to monitor and report
on the activities of two former-Scientologists-turned-critics, Stacy
and Vaughn Young. (Stacy's name is now Brooks).
Under Lee's direction,
activities against the Youngs were calculated to destroy their reputations,
get them put in prison, and get Stacy incarcerated in a mental institution.
The Young's' trash was stolen repeatedly, as evidenced by many phone calls
from local businesses advising them that their trash envelopes with
their names on them, were overflowing in the garbage cans.
Stacy and Vaughn
Lee and Eugene Ingram, another Scientology-hired private investigator,
went door-to-door in the Young's' neighborhood, spreading negative
stories about them and passing out photographs.
"newsletter" was placed on the doorsteps of everyone in
the Young's' neighborhood. This "newsletter" contained
negative reports accusing the Young's' of pornography, child abuse
One of the men on
the surveillance team later quit in disgust and contacted Bob Minton to
tell him what the team had done. He said they had parabolic microphones
on the Youngs' house twenty-four hours a day so that they could tape record
all of their conversations. The tapes were sent down every day to Ben
The Youngs were in the process of establishing a sanctuary for lost and
abandoned cats. David Lee's team targeted these animals for destruction
as a way of forcing the Youngs to stop their public criticism of Scientology.
In the summer
of 1997 Stacy Young was interviewed by the popular American 60
Minutes TV programme for an expose about Scientology.
attorneys sent her a threatening letter telling her to withdraw
her permission to allow 60 Minutes to use her interview on the show.
Stacy refused to
do so. At the same time, Vaughn testified before the state government
in Hamburg, Germany, about his knowledge of Scientology's criminal activities.
In retaliation for the Youngs' actions, Scientology ordered David Lee
and his team to launch an all-out assault to have them arrested on criminal
animal abuse charges.
Two Scientology operatives under David Lee's direction moved into an apartment
next door to the Youngs and began going door to door in the neighborhood
complaining about diseased cats and filthy conditions. The neighbors knew
these complaints were false and did nothing about them. Lee organized
a phone campaign against the Youngs to Animal Control, which began coming
to the Youngs' house nearly every day to inspect, based on these anonymous
phone complaints. The house was always impeccably clean and the rescued
cats were healthy and clean. Then anonymous calls were made to the City
Council and Mayor's offices.
Stacy's dog, Maggie
David Lee visited
the Youngs' veterinarian and told him the animals at the Youngs
were diseased and filthy. The veterinarian made regular house calls
to the sanctuary, so he knew Lee's reports were false.
Next Lee left
anonymous letters on the doorsteps of all the Youngs' neighbors
warning the neighbors they better complain to the authorities about
the Youngs' filthy, diseased animals.
David Lee had his
team make anonymous calls to the county mental health department, complaining
that Stacy Young was crazy and needed to be incarcerated. One evening
two officials from the commitment division arrived at the Youngs' house
in white coats to take her away. Fortunately Stacy was able to convince
them that she was sane, and went on the explain that the anonymous calls
they had received were part of an orchestrated campaign by David Lee,
working for Scientology, to keep her from speaking out about Scientology.
Lee had people picketing the Youngs' house, but all the neighbors would
come and chase the picketers away. Finally David Lee began targeting the
Youngs' landlord, who lived in the neighborhood. Lee called the landlord
threatening to have him arrested for violations of the local city ordinances.
The landlord told the Youngs they would have to move the sanctuary elsewhere.
Just as David
Lee thought he had been successful in driving the Youngs into silence
about Scientology, Robert Minton contacted them and offered to help
them purchase another house where they could safely care for their
moved to Vashon, an island in Puget Sound a half hour from Seattle.
Lee took his team
to Vashon and launched a new assault on the Youngs there. He circulated
false "public health warnings" about the Youngs' filthy, diseased
cats, telling people they could catch AIDS from the animals. He approached
the county storage facility, which was next door to the Youngs' house,
and asked to be allowed to set up surveillance equipment on the Youngs.
The county refused. While Vaughn Young was in Germany to testify again
about Scientology, David Lee had the Youngs' dog kidnapped, presumably
with the intention of killing him. Fortunately, the dog was able to escape
but was nearly dead when neighbors found him. All his teeth had been kicked
out by what the vet thought must have been a big boot, and his back was
severely hurt as if he had jumped out of a moving car or truck.
It was discovered
in late 1998, that Lee was the case officer for a deep undercover
agent (Laura Terepin aka Jolie Steckart).
was provided with a false identity and operated under an assumed
name when she first volunteered to work for the Cult Awareness Network
(CAN) in 1990.
CAN was sued out
of existence by Scientology in 1997. In early 1998, she volunteered to
work for another anti-cult group, FACTNET which was also being sued by
Scientology. But while she was at FACTNET Minton hired an investigator
who uncovered Jolie and her more-than-eight-year undercover operation
against the anti-cult community which was in 1998 being orchestrated by
David Lee. She has not been seen since.
Lee's campaign against Minton has been the most pervasive anyone familiar
with Scientology's methods has ever seen. David Lee has been assigned
to supervise a campaign to destroy Minton since at least October 1997,
when he directed a Scientology operative named Mary Frances Newey to go
to Nashville, Tennessee, to begin doing a background check on Minton.
bumbled the job, asking about Bob's father, Robert Minton Sr., by
But a few days
later, the same operative called Minton and told him that Scientology
was prepared to start attacking him on several fronts unless he
stopped giving financial support to Scientology's enemies.
The areas of possible
attack she listed to Minton were family, children, his ex-wife, his ex-business
partners, his state and federal taxes, his mental health, drugs, and paying
picketers. Of course, Minton informed her he had no intention of backing
away because of her threats.
At the end of November, Minton was in Seattle to visit the Youngs after
they moved into the house he had bought for them. While there he discovered
that on the morning the house closed, Lee had visited the real estate
agent who had taken care of the transaction. Lee admitted to the realtor
that he had trespassed on the property, just "having a look around."
In mid-December Therese Minton arrived at the house in New Hampshire and
found a dead cat on the doorstep, courtesy of Lee. In January 1998
Lee launched a flurry of picketing and leafleting in Boston against Minton.
The first leaflet, distributed under cover of darkness in Minton's Beacon
Hill neighborhood, was titled "HATRED HIDDEN BEHIND FREE SPEECH"
and was signed the Church of Scientology.
The day after, Lee's partner Eugene Ingram was making phone calls
to Minton's friends and associates saying he was investigating Minton
for conspiracy to commit extortion.
The same day,
Minton found out that Lee had called his father to drive a wedge
On January 8, 1998,
David Lee visited Minton's mother, uncle, aunt, and his two brothers
at their places of business, to do his usual job. Meanwhile, Lee's group
of undercover leafleters returned to Minton's neighborhood in the middle
of the night with a new leaflet: NEIGHBOR PAYS TO CREATE HATRED AGAINST
RELIGIOUS GROUP. This leaflet accused Minton of funding pornographers,
sado-masochists, and neo-Nazis. Later in January, Lee surfaced in Los
Angeles, having tracked down a former employee of Minton living there.
Lee told the former associate that he was contacting everyone he could
find who had worked with Minton. Again, Lee did the usual.
By March 5, a private investigator calling himself Ron Christopher offered
a large sum of money to a former business associate of Minton in
return for information about Minton. There is reason to believe that Ron
Christopher is a pseudonym for David Lee. This same private investigator
identified himself as being with Financial Researchers when he made calls
to several of Minton's friends and associates asking questions about him.
On August 24, 1998, a group of people picketed the office building of
a former associate of Minton's, Bob Smith, who had been quoted in the
New York Times giving a favorable report about Minton's character. Private
investigator Lee was undoubtedly the source of the information about
where Bob Smith could be found, at the Turan Corporation, a company Smith
and Minton had founded together.
Later in August David Lee contacted Minton's son to do what he knows best.
A few days later, Lee directed an event in Minton's Beacon Hill neighborhood
during which leaflets were passed out to friends, neighbors, and parents
of his children's classmates, primarily intended to upset his children
about their father.
home in Sandown
people with picket signs showed up in New Hampshire holding picket
signs again intended to upset Minton's children.
David Lee's counterpart in England, Peter Franks, continued the
coordinated campaign to destroy Minton's family by visiting Therese
Minton's friends and family there.
Franks said Lee
would visit every neighbor in Boston, as well as the Minton children's
teachers, administrators and parents of their friends.
In October 1998, Lee coordinated with Franks to see that a 14-page pack
of discrediting materials was delivered to Minton's former partner, Jeff
Schmidt, and the Nigerian Minister of Finance in Washington, D.C., during
the IMF meeting there. This was the beginning of the campaign to use Nigeria
to go after Minton. Shortly after that IMF meeting, as earlier stated,
someone burgled the London office of Minton's former partner, Jeff Schmidt.
Based on the Greenland Holding information contained in the Scientology
written Fashanu Report released in April 2000 by John Fashanu, the data
from Jeff Schmidt's office was stolen by someone working for Franks and
Lee and included in the Fashanu Report.
Peter Franks has had numerous meetings and phone calls with Jeff Schmidt
and Selwyn Lewis since early 1998 and conducted a serious campaign of
harassment directed at Jeff and his wife which forced them to leave England
for Brunei (where Jeff's wife is from). Lee has continued to work in co-ordination
with Peter Franks on the non existent $6 billion debt buy back scheme
that would turn the Nigerian Government against Minton.
But it appears the government now has a better appreciation of these intrigues.
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