This is a wonderful first person account of one man's fight for his rights and insistence on telling the truth.
Update 2011: Contrary to the update below, Sean Dix discloses information as evidence that an attempt on his life was made in 2009 using fluoride poisoning.
Published here in 2003, we have an update which is somewhat more sober. The article below was sent by Stephanie Ramage who chronicled Dix's story.
In another life, Sean Dix was a dreamer, a New York entrepreneur, an innovator who held U.S. Patent 5,435,330. These days, he is known as the man who threatened to kill Ted Turner over a CNN segment that mocked his invention.
On April 17, Dix was in U.S. District Court to accept his punishment. It had been almost a year since he was first arrested -- a year filled with clanging cell doors, lousy jail food, and the time to pore through philosophy books, biographies, novels.
Usually, there's a predictable rhythm to sentencings -- the prosecution arguing for more time, the defense arguing for less and the defendant sitting at the trial table chastened, asking for mercy and seeking redemption.
But in the year he's waited for this day, Sean Dix, inventor of floss rings, has come to no such revelation. He remains convinced he is the victim of a media conspiracy, one that has been engineered with brutal and merciless efficiency.
In fact, while the judge and the attorneys argued over his punishment, Dix appeared to be back at trial, part of a play he'd been rehearsing in his cell, still trying to prove his innocence, still struggling to tell the world how good his product is and how much damage CNN did in so carelessly dismissing it.
The wound inflicted by CNN might be nearly five years old, but it's clear Dix feels it like this morning. And while his body may be weakened by 20 pounds lost in jail, his resolve is as strong as ever. He'll be back. He made that clear in court.
"I willed this to happen," Dix told U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper in a rambling, sometimes incoherent 20-minute screed read before the judge sentenced him. "I will not rest ... until CNN has made me whole."
What that will take only Dix knows. What isn't in question is when this all began -- June 12, 1996, the day Dix eagerly anticipated a story about his invention, a pair of plastic rings "designed to civilize the way we floss," according to the instructions. Floss rings are intended for those with eczema (like Dix), arthritis or any condition that makes gripping dental floss difficult. By snapping floss onto the rings and slipping them onto your index fingers, you'd have a pain-free flossing session.
Selling for two bucks a pop, the rings gained good reviews from the New York Times, Forbes FYI and Bloomberg. But after the CNN segment aired, Dix's $9,000 contract with CVS pharmacies dried up and potential investors disappeared. Dix demanded satisfaction. He got a letter from CNN reporter Jeanne Moos saying she was sorry his business was tanking. Not enough. When his phone calls went unreturned, he started faxing -- 6,000 in one four-day span in the summer of 1998. Still nothing, but Dix wouldn't let up.
Dix upped the stakes on April 18, 2000, faxing a message that finally got the attention he'd been demanding. "It is with full knowledge of the law that I'm telling you that if you do not make restitution I will attempt to kill Ted Turner, and if he is unreachable in his ivory tower then I only need to kill one CNN employee and it will be on your hands."
Which brings us to last Tuesday. Dressed in a roomy navy blue sport coat, Dix stood before Judge Cooper having already served 12 months. Prosecutors hoped to bump up the time Dix could serve, increase it beyond the sentencing guidelines. After all, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Alley argued, Dix had continued to send letters to CNN while he was in jail -- a clear violation of a court order.
Dix said those letters were meant to press his case, despite the fact he was convicted last December. He wanted the prosecution to bring up the letters in court, because, in his mind, it showed that people are on his side and that he was victimized by a flawed justice system.
And judging by last week's proceedings, people are on his side -- if he would only shut his mouth long enough for them to help him.
A case in point: Stephanie Ramage, the former Creative Loafing staffer who chronicled Dix's story. Subpoenaed because Dix called her one recent night and allegedly said: "Stephanie, I never forget people who screw me over. I become very focused on them," Ramage pleaded with Cooper to order counseling for Dix.
And even Cooper himself seemed to have sympathy for the inventor. He denied the government's request that Dix be sentenced to extra time.
Still, Dix, caught in a play rehearsed behind bars, never showed any signs that he might rethink his quixotic quest.
He told Ramage he would "make people take responsibility" for what has happened to him, she testified.
Compared to what CNN did to him, he said, his actions were justified. "I do not apologize for the tactics," he continued, urging Cooper to release him and "initiate an investigation into CNN."
Before sentencing Dix to 15 months -- a punishment that will have him out of prison in a month, after time served -- Cooper had some fatherly advice for the 33-year-old.
"I hate to see you spend the prime of your youth in jail," Cooper said to Dix. "You need to know when to let things go and move on with your life." As part of Dix's sentence, Cooper warned him that if he contacted CNN or Ramage, his probation would be revoked and he'd get three years in prison.
Instead of listening, Dix argued with Cooper that his accusers perjured themselves at his trial. The words, as a testy exchange with Alley earlier in the hearing suggested, never touched him.
"If it was a true threat, I would express remorse," Dix said.
"You refuse to accept the verdict?"
"It's not over for you?" Alley asked.
"Yes. That's true," Dix replied.
In court, Dix made it clear that his saga has reached only a mid-point in its arc.
Truth passes through three stages, he said, quoting the 19th Century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. First it is ignored. Then it is vigorously opposed -- the current stage of his battle against CNN -- and finally people decide it is self-evident. "I believe I will get to the final stage," Dix said.
Had he read further, he would have also seen Schopenhauer's Theory of Pessimism: that the will creates reality, and even if Dix meets its demands, his quest, as everything else, will end in disappointment.
In the early 90's while working as a diamond setter in the jewelry business, a severe case of eczema on my hands inspired me to invent a device allowing me to floss without wrapping floss around my fingers. FlossRings were invented. I then invented the first Sterilized Floss Segments to be compatible with the FlossRings, much like the Razor and Razor Blade Concept. I was a piece worker in a factory and was insufficiently funded so I decided to approach established companies like Johnson & Johnson to adopt this venture. J&J was initially interested but began dealing with me in an unethical manner.
I ended negotiations with J&J which they were not too happy with. I went to other Oral Care Manufacturers ultimately meeting with similar consequences. Surprisingly, J&J came back two months later and again engaged me in confidentiality agreements only this time they concluded their studies early and then decided not to make any further progress. While other companies simply refused for various reasons J&J initially responded favorably only to begin down a path of criminal activity which ultimately includes CNN, AOL Time Warner and the U.S. Government and continues even as this is being written. I will reference laws "word for word" throughout this document for you to determine if the actions that have been taken against me are properly defined by the laws that I refer to, and for you to decide on the merits of the measures which I have undertaken in response. I will also include quotes in this brief that I believe are relevant to the circumstances.
The first law that I believe that has been violated may or may not be clear at first but I believe that after reading the whole brief you might very well conclude that the preponderance of evidence is met, beyond a reasonable doubt and that the laws that are referred to have been violated to say the least.
The first law I believe to have been violated against my company and me is found in Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 13, Section 241 under "Conspiracy against Rights".
"If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured-
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
The essence of that law in my opinion is that the ability to exercise and enjoy your rights and privileges shall not be illegally infringed upon without severe consequences. The right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness are to be protected in that order, and vice versa for without the protection to exercise your right to pursue Happiness you would not have true Liberty, and without true Liberty what is Life.
If we are to set the standard of mandatory legal protection at life threatening situations only while eliminating the need for mandatory legal protection in the exercising of ones rights then we will inevitably see an increase in life threatening situations as the quality of life will be reduced to a point where no recourse short of vigilant self defense will preserve ones quality of life. Aside from my own opinions let me recite to you to the relevant portion of the "Declaration of Independence" dated July 4, 1776 which is the foundational concept of the United States of America.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men,...That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it."
From that declaration arose the common belief and understanding that individual rights are to be protected even if it means altering or abolishing this government if or when it seeks to deprive individuals of their secured rights and freedoms. The founding fathers of this country risked their lives to defend those beliefs. The Bill of Rights was to follow and I will refer to that in the following pages. Having stated that let's get back to the brief and see how this comes into focus.
In Nov. of 1995, I left my 11 year job as a diamond setter to build Dix Preventive Products Inc. To generate publicity I sent out press releases and Forbes FYI was the first to pick up on it. Shortly thereafter, I got a review in the Boston Globe and those two articles garnered a meeting with CVS which prompted CVS to order them. When word got out that I had shelf space at CVS product brokers from all over the country began calling wanting to represent the FlossRings. Soon I had N.A.G.M.R. (National Association of General Merchandise Representatives) product brokers in every region of the U.S. promoting FlossRings. I learned from the ADA that there was a dental museum opening in Baltimore so I gave them a call and sent some samples. A few months later they decided to place the FlossRings in the "Dentistry in Transformation" section in the Museum based on their merits and potential future impact on the public's oral health. The FlossRings were scheduled to be placed in CVS by mid-April of 1996. Additionally, the FlossRings were to be inaugurated into the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry in late June of 1996. To stimulate press coverage, I sent out a Video News Release (instructional Video) and Bloomberg News picked up the story and did a fair, and accurate news piece on their morning show a few weeks before the CNN piece aired. The response was huge with interested investors calling, and more product brokers calling seeking to represent me; a buzz of potential was in the air.
I was in Michigan dealing with K-Mart when CNN called and decided to do a story. I was excited as anybody would be. This was the big break that I needed to solidify commitments from financial backers, retail buyers, and get the word out to the public. I spoke with Linda Djerejian of CNN and she scheduled to film the meeting I had coming up with Drug Guild (A drug wholesaler). I met Linda in the Drug Guild parking lot and we talked a little and then filmed portions of my meeting.
Linda then wanted to schedule another meeting with reporter, Jeanne Moos, in my home. I agreed and the next meeting began at a local CVS store where they took some footage of the FlossRings on the shelf and then it was off to my house for the completion of the footage. Jeanne Moos and her film crew wrapped up the shooting. In a parting comment Jeanne Moos said, "You realize that a piece like this can make you or break you". It didn't register that she must have said that to emphasize the latter because the FlossRings were going into a Museum based on their merits which is normally a rewarding experience. I called CNN to find out when the piece would air and was told that they had to bring the FlossRings to some regular dentists for an opinion and then it would air. I called again in a few weeks and was told when the piece would air. I called again the day the piece was to air and thanked Linda for the exposure that would soon take place. To which Linda replied "Don't thank me yet .You might not like the piece"!!.
June 12, 1996 at around 9:00 PM the piece began airing. I had previously called all of my friends, family, retail buyers , product brokers, venture capitalists, potential financial backers, and people in the Dental Trade (ADA) etc. So I was fully aware of how many people were watching this supposed "Olympic Moment" which turned out to be a trivializing and factually incorrect piece. The lead in's to the piece included CNN anchors making such statements as " Believe it or not it's the Stuff Dreams are made of for one man at least,.. Dental Floss we'll look into the mind of Innovation struggling to change the World's floss habits. When we continue." The piece was then led in by two anchors whose opening statements immediately went south with "Give a guy enough rope and well, you know the rest of that one"
"Well, now there ought to be a line about giving a guy enough floss. . . Just enough to give him ideas". Then the piece began with an analogy of the Mission Impossible Sweepstakes held by Kellogs CornPops as the reason most inventions never see the light of day. The FlossRings were taken to "Dentists" for a review and the first dentist (Dr. Reskakis) is shown fumbling with the FlossRings using what is at least an 18 inch piece of floss when the FlossRing package clearly says to use 5 inches. Then the second dentist (Dr. Mindell) says "now I have 5 inches here and I can't get it to the back of my mouth" before he even tries which suggests that the piece was choreographed. Linda Djerejian of CNN then prompts the second dentist (Dr. Mindell) by saying "So you don't see these sweeping the nation ?" to which Dr. Mindell says, "No, they're not going to sweep the nation". The piece finishes with the Mission Impossible theme playing on that cheap sound chip from the box of Kellogs CornPops and Jeanne Moos saying "he's a man with a mission... try playing that on your FlossRings". The innuendo was a little to hard to miss.
I wouldn't mind anybody giving their own opinion and then standing by it so if they are proven wrong, they will know they were wrong and no one else. I do have a problem with CNN manufacturing a negative opinion from a third party professional and then airing it as spontaneous and unbiased. Basically, what I later found out by doing a little bit of investigating was that CNN prompted the dentists to use 18 inches which is the wrong size piece of floss and then didn't provide them with a package which any consumer would have had the opportunity to do before buying them.
This fraudulent deception put the dentists in the position to pan a product that they had not even been allowed to investigate as would the average consumer shopping at CVS. The further prompting by CNN to the dentists regarding the FlossRings "not sweeping the nation" can only be considered malicious realizing that CNN is the only one that knows that the Dentists are using the FlossRings improperly at CNN's instruction or maybe they did know and were in on it? The act of conspiring to manufacture false information and communicate it with the intent to damage a person or corporations property, intellectual or otherwise is a felony under Title 18 Chapter 65 Section 1365 "Tampering with Consumer Products" and I will quote the Federal Criminal Law Handbook with the most relevant parts of that law. Specifically
Subsection (b) "Whoever, with intent to cause injury to the business of any person, taints any consumer product or renders materially false or misleading the labeling of, or container for, a consumer product, if such consumer product affects interstate or foreign commerce, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
Subsection (c) 1. "Whoever knowingly communicates false information that a consumer product has been tainted, if such product or the results of such communication affect interstate or foreign commerce, and if such tainting, had it occurred, would create a risk of death or bodily injury to another person, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
2. As used in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the term "communicates false information" means communicates information that is false and that the communicator knows is false, under circumstances in which the information may reasonably be expected to be believed.
Subsection (e) "Whoever is a party to a conspiracy of two or more persons to commit an offense under subsection (a) of this section, if any of the parties intentionally engages in any conduct in furtherance of such offense, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both".
1. (A) The term "consumer product"means- any "food", "drug", "device", or "cosmetic", as those terms are respectively defined in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321); or (b) Any article, product, or commodity which is customarily produced or distributed for consumption by individuals, or use by individuals for purposes of personal care or in the performance of services ordinarily rendered within the household, and which is designed to be consumed or expended in the course of such consumption or use.
Getting back to the story. The fallout was immediate and specific. My product broker network resigned in less than two weeks, all previously interested financial backers disappeared and a few months later CVS discontinued the FlossRings. I called the dentists out of curiosity, I wanted to know why the first dentist shown had an 18 inch piece of floss and the second dentist had the right size piece but still couldn't use it.
I spoke with Dr. Reskakis who explained that Linda Djerejian had instructed him to use 18 inches and that he had not been given a package to read the instructions. Dr. Reskakis provided me with letters confirming this along with offering the fact that his partner Dr. Mindell is Jeanne Moos's dentist. I approached CNN giving them the benefit of doubt that a mistake had been made even when it had become obvious that it was not.
Jeanne Moos stood behind her story stating that the dentists did see the instructions despite what Dr. Reskakis told me. Thankfully I taped our conversation in which Dr. Reskakis states no less than eight times that he was not given a package and did not see the instructions. Upon seeing the instructions after I sent him a package he thought that his initial review was premature and that the FlossRings were very useful.
I tried to appeal to CNN's sense of morality stating that the FlossRings were placed in the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry only two weeks after the CNN piece aired which CNN knew months before they aired the piece. If their piece hurt my business, which it most certainly did, and if they didn't do it on purpose, then why wouldn't they do a retraction or another story that reflected the facts? Needless to say, CNN stonewalled straight for the next year. This was not the only thing on my mind during that time as one might think, but trying to get distribution with no sales force is almost impossible. Without financial backing, which disappeared after the news piece, it was impossible to pay for a sales force or get another one to work on commission. Meeting with potential investors I had to discuss the CNN piece as my fiduciary duty concerning disclosure of good news as well as bad news that would materially affect the company. Word spreads pretty fast in the retail world and with no sales force, few retailers were confident in giving me shelf space. CNN was not the only factor in this uphill battle, but it was the "tip of the iceberg" and it was in full view of the public.
In February of 1997 I was told by one of Ted Turners secretaries to send a package to "Ed Turner" who, I was told, was Ted Turner's brother who normally reviewed things of this nature. I sent a Fed-Ex package on 2/26/97 but received no response. When I followed up I was directed around in circles again for another year.
Finally, in 1998, I was told by Blaine Sergew, one of Ted Turners secretaries, that I should send a complete package and Ted Turner would personally review and resolve the matter. I thought persistence had finally paid off. I sent a package and followed up a few weeks later only to be told that they never received it and that I should send another package. I did, this time Fed-Ex, and again I was told they had never received it and this time they transferred me to security where I was told "Don't you get it ? We don't care".
That was the "straw that broke the camel's back". Realizing I was financially unable to sue and unable to resolve this with CNN in an amicable manner, I decided to get this into a court for the purposes of public scrutiny. Allow me to add here a quote that I feel is relevant to the situation. "In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law . . . That would lead to anarchy. An individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law." -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
With that being my frame of mind for the Govt's refusal to apply the "equal protection under the law" of the Fourteenth Amendment to enforce the obvious violation of the "Consumer Products Tampering Laws" and even more basically my right to the pursuit of the American Dream, I loaded up my fax machine with the letters provided by the dentist that CNN had requested and then denied receiving and began faxing them to all of CNN's fax lines. Before I finished sending some 6,000 faxes, Tom Johnson's secretary contacted me stating that they found the package and that they would be in touch within a week. They never did get back to me and again stonewalled stating they could absorb my faxing and that they would not press charges which would give me a platform to expose them with.
Frustrated, I continued to call CNN asking what it would take to get into court so that we could discuss this in a civilized manner. The head of CNN security or so he said, Thomas McCormick, threatened to have me "lost in an Atlanta Prison" stating that this would "never come to trial" which I thought clearly overstepped the boundaries of our conversation and which I taped for posterity. That statement from Thomas McCormick of CNN was a form of intimidation that was clearly meant to oppress any attempt at justice and would fall under the "Conspiracy against Rights" law. I called CNN's head of security "Dwight Ellison" to inform him of the threat made by Thomas McCormick and he simply stated that they were not going to give me a platform; end of story. That did have an affect on me and I backed off for a while because up until that point I still believed that at some point they would realize that what they had done was wrong and that it would be in their best interest to correct it.
Shortly thereafter, a guy I knew in high school Adam Wong appeared on my doorstep after having almost no contact for some ten years except for passing him in the street. He seemed insistent on having lunch with me and I agreed although I really had no desire to. He is one of the people that everyone has in their life that they are happy to have lost contact with.
He began discussing drugs and guns and telling me stories to get my "opinion" and it was all very staged, but I was stuck like a deer in the headlights as to how to end this conversation without being rude so I humored him for the duration of his inquisition and then we parted. The next day an older man got on the elevator in my apartment who I had never seen before and pointing to the emergency telephone said, "there should be a sign that reads....No guns allowed."
I nodded in agreement not knowing what the hell he was talking about until it hit me, that this was a set up. I tried to find Adam to ask him who had sent him but I could not find him. Weeks later I got a call from Adam and when I asked him if we could get together he refused vehemently although just a few weeks earlier he wanted to have lunch with me as if it were the most important event of his life. He asked me if I wanted to buy guns to which I said "No" and it was then more clear than ever that this was a set up.
I said that I could stop by his work to talk with him and he responded "if you do, I'll shoot you", "you know I'll shoot you" and then the conversation ended. I immediately called the 13th Precinct and after beginning to explain the story I was put on hold, when the officer got back on he said there was nothing he could do and that it sounded as if "I was in over my head and that I could get hurt" and that "I should leave it alone".
That scared me more than Adam's comments because I was providing the police with information to at least find out why this guy would make such a statement and they did not want to do anything. That was one of the most "loneliest feelings" I had ever had in my life. Whenever there was a car accident at the 14th St. and 3rd Ave. intersection that I can see from my window or someone was calling for help I would stop whatever I was doing even if it was to jump out of bed at three in the morning to call 911 for an ambulance or police, knowing that it was people who you don't know who might one day have to call for you when or if you need help. If they keep the 911 tapes I swear on my life you will hear me quite a few times reporting an accident and leaving my name and phone number as they routinely request. Aside from the fact that the Policeman's Benevolent Society along with the Fireman's Fund routinely call me asking for donations which I have supported even being poorer than one could imagine, to have a response like what I got made me feel physically sick and betrayed.
A month or so passed and one morning I got an unexpected visit from the F.B.I. who wanted to speak to me about the CNN faxing campaign that I had undertaken several months ago. We went for a walk in a nearby park where Thomas Swink opened his briefcase to display a yellow legal pad and his gun in a holster in his briefcase. He asked me for my side of the story and I told him. Even though I thought it odd that his gun was in plain view, I will say this in his defense he was put up to it, his heart was not in the intimidation that he was sent to perform. He knew what he was doing was wrong and he appeared to be doing what he was told to by warning me that if I faxed CNN again they would be back to arrest me. Before we parted I asked him to wait while I got him a package of information regarding what my company was about etc. He did not seem enthusiastic about reading it. A few days later I decided to call the F.B.I. to confirm that Thomas Swink was actually with the F.B.I. and I was referred to another Thomas who when I began introducing myself did not know who I was.
This really made me nervous until I learned that this Thomas was from the N.Y. office and that the other Thomas (Swink) was in Atlanta. We both had a few laughs and then I began to explain the situation about Adam and he said it sounds "like something we would do....maybe you're being investigated....and you should be careful of who you speak to and what you say." Now this made no sense that the F.B.I. would condone using someone I knew in high school to set me up by offering to sell me guns and then threatening to "shoot me" when I wanted to meet with him to ask him who had put him up to this. This was way over the line and I felt compelled to get this whole matter into court for the purpose of public scrutiny again.
Enter the ex Johnson & Johnson employee whose name I will leave out for the time being because I do not want to compromise him as a source of information until such time as a formal investigation is opened. My uncle owns a bakery and from time to time customers come in and somehow the topic of conversation includes me and I occasionally get a call from my uncle who wants to introduce me to a lawyer who may be able to help etc. So my uncle tells me about this guy who used to work for J&J who has come in recently and that he would like me to meet. I often visit my uncle and so it was not to long that I was there when this ex J&J employee comes in. We strike up a conversation and I explain that I'm planning to protest this whole matter in front of CNN in the not to distant future. He cautions me and tells me about how J&J has successfully kept the Ethicon Suture Scandal largely under wraps right up till now.
For those of you who don't know about that let me explain, about the same time that I was showing J&J my new Sterilized Floss Segments back in 1994 they were engaged in serious damage control over the release of several million packages of un-sterilized sutures that had caused at least one death, several amputations, and virulent infections that have severely compromised the health of unsuspecting patients who came into their local hospitals for what they thought would be adequate health care. They never informed the doctors until the F.D.A. issued a warning that if they didn't recall the sutures that they would make them recall them. A complete lapse of judgement on both the part of J&J, and the F.D.A. left doctors and patients in complete darkness about the source of these virulent infections.
If you want to read more about it do a Google search on "Ethicon Suture Victim" and it might make you take a deep breath the next time you need any kind of medical treatment that might require sutures. The thought that such a reputable company would leave everyone in the dark on such a serious matter is truly scary and reeks of corruption the likes of which should be unheard of in this day and age. In any case I began to see why J&J might have been so arrogant and unethical when I was showing them the first Sterilized Floss Segments because their floss wasn't sterilized and they were in the middle of covering up a scandal that goes directly to the heart of their companies foundation which is sutures. In any case this ex. J&J employee may be a genuine coincidence or he may have been sent to discourage me by telling me stories of such injustices that were still un-resolved, I will elaborate more on that in a minute or two.
In an attempt to bring Thomas McCormick's threat about being lost in prison along with everything else to light for the obvious reason of trying to right this wrong, I decided to protest in front of CNN in October of 1999. To make a long story short I was thrown down a flight of stairs and arrested for 24 hours. The trial was postponed three times because CNN failed to show and the case was dismissed. I could not believe the length with which CNN was willing to go in an effort to hide their dirty laundry, instead of just giving credit where credit is due. I then contacted this ex. J&J employee to talk with him about possibly testifying against J&J and he refused stating that he had to much to lose. In a forty five minute conversation that I recorded he made several telling statements that I would like to include here. Obviously I can't transcribe the whole thing but the way he is talking to me it's as if he is a new friend of mine who is just giving me some worldly advice as he stated "I don't want to plant thoughts in your head", "Sean, people have been whacked for less and it can be made to look like an accident, it could be made to look like a suicide." Now I'm going to include a few more high points and like I said he is not talking to me as if these threats are directed at me but rather as someone in the know who is just passing along some worldly advice. Please remember at this point I have already had a guy from high school pop up out of thin air and directly threaten me, along with CNN's Thomas McCormick who strongly alluded to having me lost in prison
Later in the conversation I say "You believe, you really believe that they (J&J) would do something like that. The ex J&J employee replies.. "Fuck yeah, are you kidding me, you gonna fuck with these people for two or three hundred million dollars and you don't think they're gonna get pissed. My friend, my friend let me tell you something, they will fuckin kill you for that, you're dealing with a very, very big company...there's no such thing as ethical behavior. These people will whack you, you will get in your car one day, start it up, drive down the road and your brake lines will be cut, or you'll get fuckin poisoned in a restaurant by mercury, or it's like the CIA these are not nice people." I responded "Then why haven't they done it already ...." He responds by laughing ... "How do you know, you haven't hurt them...you hurt somebody enough and they gonna hurt you back. You have to worry about your family, your retributions. You know they can break into your apartment, rifle your apartment and steal all your documentation." I responded .. "They haven't done that.." To which he responded ... "Yet..Yet .. I hope you got all your documentation stored in a safety deposit box." I then referred to the threat made by CNN's Thomas McCormick stating that although it was a threat it was not a death threat (not wanting to acknowledge that myself at the time) to which he responded "people get raped in jail, people get beat up, people get stabbed, your cell could be set on fire, you could be poisoned, they could give you AIDS, they could put a botulism into your food, jail is a death sentence if your not wanted there." "People get killed for a thousand dollars, Sean in New York City, you fuck with hundreds of millions of dollars you think your gonna make friends, your gonna make a lot of enemies." "I'm not trying to discourage you, just be careful I'm trying to bring reality into perspective because I don't think you see it all."
The conversation ended shortly there after because my tape ran out but as I said he could be just some guy who was giving me his thoughts on the subject or he could have been sent by J&J to plant the seeds of "Terror" and discouragement in my mind. It has happened before, at least with Adam. There is no doubt in my mind so it is entirely possible that this ex J&J employee was offering a little more than just worldly advice.
All of this was quite disturbing as you can well imagine to a guy who from humble beginnings was simply trying to live the American Dream by being a productive citizen.
After calling CNN again on a friday in March of 2000 I told them that if they didn't respond as they had previously agreed after the last faxing campaign that I would begin sending embarassing faxes on the following Monday. On Monday it became clear that again they has left me no choice and I apologized in advance for the vile faxes that were to come.
I began sending humiliating faxes to Ted Turner including challenging him to a televised boxing match as he once did with Rupert Murdoch, in an attempt to have him file a law suit so that I could counter sue pro-se. If you are wondering why I didn't just file pro-se myself, realize that CNN committed a felony on air and the Government wasn't doing their job there so if Ted had filed a suit it would have guaranteed me an opportunity to counter sue. I was almost out of ideas on how to bring CNN into court to document all of this when I wrote several letters to the Anti-Trust Dept..beginning on April 6, 2000. They basically refused to do anything responding with such a quickness that it was obvious that they were telling me don't even waste your time.
Unfortunately Ted Turner did not take action against my faxing campaign, but CNN did send a detective on April 10, 2000 to try and persuade me to stop the faxing or CNN was going to "throw the book" at me. I told the detective to "bring it on". I had been trying to get into court since 1998, what did I have to do threaten to kill him? The light bulb clicked in my head and then I said, "He should die, if he were here, I'd rip his throat out." I explained that I would get into court even if I had to technically break the law to do so. I was expecting him to arrest me right there, but he left. Realizing that he must have told CNN what had happened because CNN sent him, I thought they would press charges, but they didn't.
After two letters faxed and two rejections received from the Anti-Trust Dept. I sent a final letter to Joel Klein the head of the Anti-Trust division on April 12, 2000 and to quote myself in the letter I stated, "I want my day in court even if I have to break the law so that a judge will hear my side of the story." I received no reply to this final letter to the Anti-Trust Dept. Further infuriated with the fact that I had by now been threatened once by inference, once directly, and a third time in the form of worldly advice I realized that I could not live under this cloud of intimidation. I hope at this point you begin to see my reference to the law "Conspiracy against Rights" from the beginning of this brief starting to take shape.
So, on April 18, 2000 I wrote a letter explaining the whole story and then included a death threat against Ted Turner or any CNN employee, but ended the letter with the last sentence stating, "let us let a Federal court observe the conditions that have led us to this impasse". Thus undermining the threat with the real intention of getting into court, I sent that fax to CNN, Channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and the Associated Press.
In addition I sent an E-Mail to the editor of Prevailing Winds an alternative news magazine describing the fax I had just sent with the intention of generating a court appearance. That E-mail was "Exculpatory" in nature in that it described the "death threat" as a tool to get into court. For that reason the E-Mail was not given to me before or during the trial to explain what should have been obvious in my fax. I would not see that piece of evidence until several months after being wrongfully convicted and completing my jail sentence and being released when it was really useful please excuse my sarcasm.
Thirty hours later, on April 19, 2000, the detective showed up with two other officers and told me I "finally got my day in court". I was arrested and asked to carry my own computer downstairs, a true sign of securing a potentially dangerous person. I was brought to Central Booking, I stayed there for a week before being sent to the V.C.B.C. (a prison barge) in the Bronx where I stayed for another week. I was then shipped to the M.C.C. (Federal holding facility) where I stayed for another week before being shipped to Oklahoma D.C. (another Federal holding facility) where I stayed for another week. I was then shipped to Atlanta U.S.P. (United States Penitentiary) for a few days before being arraigned at the Federal Court House on May 19, 2000. From there I was transferred to the A.C.D.C. (Atlanta Correctional Detention Center) where I awaited trial.
The court appointed a psychiatrist (Dr. Dave Davis) who, during his evaluation confirmed the threat made by Thomas McCormick of CNN, that I could get lost in the Atlanta prison system among other intentionally discouraging statements. His evaluation was more of an interrogation/intimidation than anything else. This was throughly discouraging as I expected him to understand my predicament. I thought as a doctor he would understand the right to defend oneself and because of his complete lack of objectivity I found it necessary to file a complaint against him. I contacted the American Psychiatric Association who sent me the necessary paperwork and the "The Principles of Medical Ethics" with "Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry." In that code book of ethics I found the following to be relevant to my situation Section 3.
"A physician shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to the best interests of the patient."
1. It would seem self-evident that a psychiatrist who is a law-breaker might be ethically unsuited to practice his/her profession. When such illegal activities bear directly upon his/her practice, this would obviously be the case.
However, in other instances, illegal activities such as those concerning the right to protest social injustices might not bear on either the image of the psychiatrist or the ability of the specific psychiatrist to treat his/her patient ethically and well. While no committee or board could offer prior assurance that any illegal activity would not be considered unethical, it is conceivable that an individual could violate a law without being guilty of professionally unethical behavior. Physicians lose no right of citizenship on entry into the profession of medicine."
Now realizing that Dr. Davis understood from his professional experience that I was not a true threat and that I had basically used that letter as a tool to raise the consciousness of the courts to the injustices that had been fostered upon me I believed I would have received anything but the absolute abuse of his psychotherapeutic power but I did not.
In addition to the rights of citizenship described in, "The Principles of Medical Ethics" I would like to add, "The Necessity Defense" as found in the Model Penal Code. The following is an essay on this defense taken in part from the Criminal Law Bulletin by Mathew Lippman.
"The judiciary was obligated to apply a principle such as necessity which is found in every code of laws divine or human, and has from time immemorial been in-grafted into the common law of the country from which our jurisprudence is borrowed. Where such rules or principles exist and have invariably and on all occasions governed courts in the administration of criminal justice, they become as much a part of the law, and are as obligatory on a court as the statute which it may be called upon to expound".
continued > > > to The Model Penal Code