News Release from Wind of Changes:
On January 3, 2006 we received the great news that Senior District Judge Gene Carter granted our “Motion for Summary Judgment” on the Gentle Wind Project’s RICO (racketeering) claim — the only Federal claim that remained in GWP’s lawsuit against us.
(Plaintiffs filing the lawsuit were GWP leaders: John “Tubby” Miller, Mary “Moe” Miller, Carol “Max” Miller, Shelbourne “Shelly” Miller, Pam Ranheim, and Joan Carreiro of Durham NH and Kittery ME).
This important Order granting our MSJ – which also provides a quick summary of the lawsuit facts – can be read on “Wind of Changes,” the website for former members of GWP: http://www.windofchanges.org
Judge Carter further ordered that GWP’s lawsuit Counts III through VII (the state claims, such as defamation) be dismissed from Federal Court.
A large victory was also granted to Ian Mander of New Zealand Cult List, one of our many co-defendants originally sued by GWP leaders. (Other co-defendants included Rick Ross, Steve Gamble, Ivan Fraser, and Steve Hassan.) Judge Carter dismissed GWP’s claims against Mander, and denied their motion for default judgment against him. Ian Mander won this judgment without spending a dime on defense.
The entire GWP lawsuit has now been dismissed.
The Millers could refile in state court, but that would mean starting all over again. It would also put our Counterclaims into motion. http://www.windofchanges.org/Counterclaims.html
Tubby and Moe Miller et al could also appeal the decision to a higher court if they feel that the Judge is incorrect.
We are learning that it is quite rare to have an MSJ granted. Such a decision would generally mean that a Judge is very certain of the correctness of his opinion.
If the purpose of the Millers’ lawsuit was to silence us, it was a waste of their time and vast amounts of donors’ money. As Carl Starrett, the moderator of the Gentle Wind Victims’ Forum stated, “GWP must have spent several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees and they came up empty.” http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/gentlewindvictims/
In addition to the positive results for us, this is an extremely important decision for anyone who believes in an individual’s right to speak freely about personal experiences, and to share information of public importance through the Internet without fear of being intimidated, sued, silenced, and harmed financially.
We are very grateful for your support and encouragement throughout this two-year process.
Jim Bergin and Judy Garvey
207-374-2437 / 374-3608
- Updated, Jan. 7, 2006