Walter Loebenberg and Miller Newton to be deposed
an editorial by Wesley M. Fager (c) Feb. 19, 2004

  According to records filed with the Sixth Circuit last Friday Ray Bradbury has subpoenaed former Straight Foundation president Walter Loebenberg and former Straight national clinical director Miller Newton for depositions in his suit with Ambassador Sembler, AO. [See Newton 1, Newton 2] Not much had been happening in this case as far as we can tell since August 26, 2003, the day Judge Walt Logan signed an Order for an Expedited and Expanded Discovery requiring Ray Bradbury to produce documents more quickly than in normal cases. But a review of the docket shows that Sembler may have backed off his accelerated schedule to burn Mr. Bradbury.

What possible significance could Walt Loebenberg and Miller Newton have in this case? Well, in his Verified Complaint Sembler portrays Bradbury to the court as an extortionist who has sought to embarrass Mel Sembler by using methods which "serve no legitimate purpose." Mr. Sembler could be right. But Bradbury doesn't see it that way. He says that Mel Sembler has caused him undue mental distress in a quack drug rehabilitation scam that has harmed tens of thousands of kids like himself. He claims that what he did by advertising for sale on eBay and elsewhere a penile pump (which Sembler has readily admitted to being the original owner) has elevated public awareness to the issue of the quack drug rehabilitation philosophy promulgated by Mel Sembler; and that, therefore, what he has done does serve a legitimate purpose. At least that is how we read it at The Oakton Institute. So Bradbury might be right. Sembler says the issue is about the embarrassment caused over his medical device. Bradbury says the issue has nothing to do with the pump per se; it is about saving kids from further harm by a wacko treatment therapy. And that is what the adversarial system is all about. Two parties do not see eye-to-eye on some issue and one party, or both, seek court relief from the other.

Seems to us that in order for Ray Bradbury to prove he is not an extortionists but rather a human rights activist, he needs to show the court that there is legitimate purpose in what he has done. To that end it is necessary for Mr. Bradbury to talk to Mel's good friend Walter Loebenberg who was president of Straight Straight Foundation, the public education arm of Straight, and who continues to play an active role in Straight under its new name--DFAF. And that is why Ray Bradbury needs to depose Reverend Doctor Doctor Miller Newton, Straight's former national clinical director, who, after recently paying over $11 million dollars in damages to former clients of his own Straight-based nightmare in New Jersey, has resorted to calling himself Father Cassian. In 1988 California authorities closed Newton's Kids program in California for abusing children. But Sembler stepped in and took over Newton's young clientele until state authorities had to step in and close Straight-Southern California for criminal child abuse. Was Kids and Straight one in the same? Or in other words, has Straight really closed.

Bradbury has hundreds of former clients prepared to testify if need be and he can easily have ten expert witnesses--take your pick. One wonders who else will be deposed in this trial. Jim Hartz, Judge Edith Sullivan and her husband Dr. Donald Sullivan, James T. Russell, George Bush (take your pick), Bernadine Braithwaite, Helen Peterman, Dr. George Ross, Joy Margolis, former state senator Dr. Robert Melby, Dr. Fred Collins, Dr. Mel Riddile, Dr. Hugh Burns, Wesley Fager . . . Jeb and Columba Bush. Yes the governor of Florida himself. In 1988 Mel Sembler told George Bush I that he would give him a lot of money if in return he would make Sembler the ambassador to Australia and if in return he would make a TV commercial for Straight out of the Oval Office. Two requests Bush I readily agreed to. Subsequently the Semblers helped George Bush I's son Jeb Bush become governor of Florida. The catch? Jeb and his wife Columba joined the Advisory Board for Straight under its latest name--DFAF. It looks like this guy Mel Sembler is prepared to bring everyone embarrassment to cover his backside if he has to. In fact the latest rumor I heard was that George Bush II originally offered Sembler the ambassadorship to France but Mel told him he wanted to go to Italy because he was going to try to get the Pope to join Straight's Advisory Board.

Seems to us that Bradbury probably reserves the right to bring up one more issue that will require him to depose various people. Straight, Inc. is a terribly destructive place. In order to protect the owners from what they did there are indications that pressure was put on government officials to work with Sembler. There is evidence that people vied for government positions where they could possibly affect investigations of Sembler and Straight. There is evidence of collusion between government officials and Sembler and Straight. And it is evident that Mel Sembler has used the court system as an instrument of business policy at Straight and perhaps even beyond. Is his latest suit just another meritless SLAPP suit to silence yet another of his many detractors. This current case is not about a medical device at all. It never was. It is about the continuing coverup of a very dark rehabilitation enterprise. Bill Clinton was almost brought down with a semen-stained dress. It's a damn shame it took a penile pump to bring to light the plight of American kids caught up in a bogus treatment program!