Alpha Omega Labs
"The Triumph of Medical Science Over Politics & Greed"
From Inception to The FDA Raid to Our Escape from the U.S.
To Our Triumphal Reopening
"Men are not governed by justice, but by law or persuasion. When they refuse to be governed by law or persuasion, they have to be governed by force or FRAUD, or both."
hortly after I met Dr. Russell Jordan in 1990, I decided to put his formulas to the test by creating a direct sales company, Lifeline Sciences, Inc. Based in Lake Charles, the experiment was short-lived -- ultimately deriving its fate as much from my own oversights and unjustified propensity to trust as it did anything else. The project was underfunded for one thing. Also, I brought on partners who spent more time quarreling and arguing about what piece of the pie they were going to get, instead of working the business to make sure there was a real pie to argue about. In less than a year, it managed to run out of money and fade into oblivion. I lost out as did friends who had invested.
Not long thereafter I was approached by another businessman, Mr. Richard Ross of Watersmeet, Michigan. Even without my help, Ross had heard about a "zinc chloride and bloodroot formula that cured cancer" from somebody (if you can believe this) who started chatting with him while he was filling his car with gas at a service station.
I couldn't help but sense purpose in this happenstance . . . something I would later appreciate as "synchronicity."
Under meager funding from Richard, I created Lenex Laboratories and decided to call the new escharotic topical, HerbVeil 8. I can't tell you where the names came from, as I can Cansema®. They just popped in my head. The "Veil" part, at least subconsciously, most probably came from my understanding that I was working with formulas, in their many variations, that had been kept secret by so many people, for so many years. From 1992 to 1994, Cathryn (my wife) and I worked with Richard, we manufactured his products, used our printing company to produce all his literature, and shipped his products from my offices in Lake Charles. We did mailings, advertised in "The Spotlight" , and even ran an unsuccessful national ad campaign with "The Thrifty Nickel."
Richard Ross travelled to promote the product and did the hard part: he collected the money. One morning I got a call from our bank (then Calcasieu Marine Bank, since merged with Hibernia National Bank in Lake Charles) telling me that a check had bounced from our Lenex account. I knew that wasn't possible. We had more than enough in the account to cover the check. Further investigation revealed that Richard had written himself a $10,000 check without telling us, leaving us with well under $1,000. Here we were just getting started, and once again, unjustified trust was my undoing. However, now I was beginning to learn my lesson.
In 1994, Cathryn and I started Alpha Omega Laboratories. I wanted a name that would reflect my all-encompassing desire to find more "suppressed technology" products from the history of medicine that had been similarly kept under wraps. The name is also a reference to a passage from the Book of Revelations. Ours was to be the "beginning" and the "end" of medical research, and we would base our operation on three, simple, operating principles -- which we summarized on our introductory page throughout the entirety of our online existence:
A later incarnation, called Cansema® Tonic III, utilized a special extrusion method and consisted of aloe vera extract (for the acemannans), andrographic peniculata, graviola (Annona muricata), neem (Azadirachta indica A. Jus), chapparal (Larrea mexicata), and hydronium solution (another inventive product that would get me into trouble with the U.S. FDA).
The company was quite small at first.
We probably did no more than $200 to $300 per month. We did no advertising and survived primarily through word of mouth.
In early 1995 it became obvious to me that the internet was going to become a very big phenomenon in American business. Hypertext was a well-known development by the late '80's, and by 1992 I was using an advanced hypertext tool called HyperWriter by NTERGAID to author a complete compendium on herbal preparations I called "Herbapaedia." I was sold on hypertext as an authoring and communications concept long before the internet became commercial. So when the World Wide Web came along and Netscape Navigator was released in December, 1994, I was ready.
In March, 1995, I bought a book on HTML, learned the language (meager though it was), and that summer I created two websites: one for a food company I had founded in 1986 and was still running (Lumen Foods -- still operating as soybean.com -- which my wife sold in 2007) and one for Alpha Omega Labs. The first two domains were lumenfds.com and altcancer.com, respectively. I created an office in the Bahamas to handle both domestic and international sales calls and inquiries, and I used my office in Lake Charles to ship product. I manufactured virtually all our products initially.
As time progressed, so did the internet, the HTML language , the web user base, and its commercial viability, and so did Alpha Omega Labs. Over the next eight years I built the company to 350 products, many of them from unusual sources of information I gained from my worldwide travels. Basically, my work was derivative. The particulars came from others who trusted me to "pass on their knowledge." Numerous times the ability to convince my listener that I created Alpha Omega Labs opened the door to a new area of knowledge; and, like Paracelsus, my best information, the truest and most useful knowledge, came from places you would least expect to find something valuable. More times than not, the farther one reached away from organized medicine, the more valuable the information became -- even though you had to work harder to separate out the truly efficacious systems of thought and practice from the quackery. (And I use that word -- "quackery" -- in a very different sense than does organized medicine. My definition is simple and to the point: "quackery" is medical practice that doesn't meet Alpha Omega's three principles. If it isn't efficacious, isn't safe, or exists because of its ability to impose financial servitude on an unsuspecting public, than it's quackery. By that definition, the AMA, NCI, ACS, FDA, together with the pharmaceutical companies, have been perpetuators of the most aggregious, notorious schemes of quackery in recorded history).
It was as if God had so constructed the earth so that the best in life was invested in poorest and meanest of the earth, and the most misleading information was generated by the minions of the rich and powerful.
In 2002, a series of activities occurred which set our demise in motion. The first was a lawsuit -- Alpha Omega's first -- involving one of our products, H3O , for which the Texas plaintiff was claiming medical injury. The product had been used by Dr. Charles Smith, a surgeon and customer, during an operation to both clean the wound and help accelerate healing -- H3O does both beautifully -- on a female patient, a Ms. Sharon Lee. The operation had been performed by Dr. Smith at Parkview Regional Hospital in Dallas, where he was practicing.
Shortly after discovering that Dr. Smith had used a product that was not FDA-approved, Sharon Lee hired Texas lawyer, Peter Malouf, to begin sending demand letters due to an alleged injury. It was your typical "my client is injured, make me an offer" plaintiff lawyer's letter. We were able to determine from the claims made that it was virtually impossible for H3O to inflict the medical injury that the plaintiff was making. The product simply did not possess the chemical properties necessary to inflict the damage that was claimed. It would be like threatening a lawsuit against a maker of distilled water for inflicting a heart condition. It was more than obvious that what was driving the claim was the simple fact that the product was not FDA-approved -- (never mind that that it could never, for political as well as regulatory reasons, get FDA approval); the associated injury would have had to be caused by something else -- but since H3O was not FDA-approved, it was easier to simply claim that whatever injury took place was H3O's fault.
On June 10, 2002, I received a phone call from Paul Winniewski, my FDA attorney at Gronek & Armstrong. Apparently, Peter Malouf had found Paul's name mentioned in the November, 2001 issue of our online newsletter, The Ashwin. He then purchased product from our web site and traced our Lake Charles location from the shipping data on the package. Although he made it sound like we were trying to hide, the simple fact was that we chose not to be high profile. Every credit card we ever processed stated that "Herbologics' Ltd. / Lumen Foods" was the billing party. That's not exactly being secretive. Any search engine, even then, could be used to determine our exact location with just the billing information.
The jist of Paul's conversation was a repeat of Malouf's demand letter. "My client is injured. How much money are you willing to give me?"
I told Paul that the threat was outrageous. The product did not possess the properties necessary for the injury described to have been the result of using H3O. If a lawsuit resulted, I wanted my day in court. And, of course, a lawsuit was the result.
My resolve not to settle was rooted in my conviction that merchants had to make a stand against frivolous lawsuits. In this case, I was very familiar with H3O's characteristics and properties -- even though, at that point, we were sourcing it from its inventor, Steve Wurzburger, in Grass Valley, California. Among H3O's extraordinary properties is that it has a very low pH, and yet it is non-caustic, and non-toxic when made properly. [6b] I used the product in my hot tub, as a mouthwash, as a preservative, to heal wounds ... all with extraordinary benefits. (See sidebar for more information on H3O.) So when Sharon Lee and her attorneys filed a lawsuit making claims that were breathtakingly at odds with the known, provable properties of the product, again, I was nonplussed. My thinking was, "So, you want to file a lawsuit based on product claims that are at odds with properties of the product? Let's go the distance." I refused to pay and so did the insurance company with which I had my product liability policy.
I actually looked forward to my day in court.
What I didn't realize was that the filing of frivilous lawsuits had reached a point in its evolution in American commercial life such that facts bore little importance to the actual process. Shortly after we made our position clear, Peter Malouf initiated a public relations campaign to try and extort money from us. CBS-11 in Dallas, Texas, ran a TV news report that highlighted Malouf's position, making no attempt to call or email us or otherwise get "our side of the story."
Still, our position was firm. If Alpha Omega's was to live by its byline ("The Triumph of Medical Science Over Politics & Greed"), then we couldn't very well live by our principles if we succumbed to the demands of every pocket-picking plaintiff's lawyer. It would be one thing if we sold a product that was actually guilty of creating an injury. This is always a possibility and that's why we had a $1 million product liability policy. It was another to pay for a case you knew, beyond any doubt, was based on an untruthful claim.
With an hour of receiving this legal filing and examining the accompanying documents, I knew this case was frivolous -- actually, more so: it was clearly fraudulent. The "after" photograph showed perfect "cut" lines -- an outcome that could only be produced through a surgical procedure. Neither Cansema®, nor any other escharotic formulation ever produced in the history of man, would be capable of producing the outcome which the plaintiff in this case was attempting to claim.
The same "litigation dance" ensued: the demand letters, our refusal and that of our insurance company, and the expectation that we would have our day in court so that this kind of fraudulent activity could be shown for what it was.
On July 2, 2003, I got a phone call from a vendor in South Carolina who had received an unusual phone call from an associate in Colorado, claiming that U.S. Federal authorities were making inquiries there about our Bahamian office and our "banking activities" offshore. I was able to determine from the information given, that the source of the trouble was a former associate from Montana -- formerly a friend, and now an intractable nemesis....
The Copy Magic Sting OperationNo recounting of Alpha Omega's fate can rightly be told without digressing to a business relationship turned sour, dating back to 1987. Early in that year, I met a distributor for a direct sales company I helped found in 1984 named Consumer Express (later rechristened Nutrition Express), named George S. (Sylvester) Ackerson.  This meeting led to a financial brokerage agreement wherein I paid commissions to George to raise money for Lumen Foods' manufacturing operation -- still in business to this day. [7b] In 1989 I had two other businesses, both in commercial printing, wherein one made use of a color photocopier, set up in a "kiosk" at a local mall. George's edgy adventurism led him to use the photocopier to run a series of $100 bills, his impression of which led to a wild scheme to produce $300,000 in counterfeit U.S. currency. Having been a graphics designer, typesetter, and commercial printer for several years, I knew that the very idea was ludicrous: on technical merit alone. The "registration" -- that is, the ability to produce front and back images that are square -- was dreadful on this machine (a Canon CLC-100), making the end result quite unrealistic. Rather than tell my financial broker to "get lost," I attempted to let the machine itself dissuade him: I ran a 11" x 17" sheet of $100 bills through the machine -- something I knew would put an end to his fantasy. Instead, I had to contend with my business partner, a Mr. Carl Hubert, in the venture (dubbed Copy Magic), who used Ackerson's request as the basis for a scheme to eliminate me from our profitable enterprise: he called the U.S. Secret Service and helped them set up a sting operation. Despite repeated entreaties to repeat the photocopying of the bills, I deflected Carl Hubert's requests, only to relent late one night on December 19, 1989. I brought George with me (who was visiting from Texas) to the Prien Lake Mall, where our kiosk was located, and proceeded to make a photocopy to demonstrate to George (and to Carl) the impracticality of the very concept. What I didn't know was that Carl was not alone. The Secret Service agents he was working with were completely set up with surveillance equipment . . .
The legal result of this misadventure was a suspended prison sentence (i.e. I did no "time"), three years of "probation," and a "record" that would set the stage for my next encounter with U.S. Federal authorities, thirteen years later. But Carl Hubert did accomplish his business goal: as a result of the actions of the U.S. Government, our primary lender, Calcasieu Marine Bank (now Capital One), requested I sign the necessary legal documents making Hubert the sole owner of Copy Magic.
I did not oppose their request.
Still, precaution being the better part of wisdom, we began to explore moving our herbal business outside the U.S. in its entirely -- not just our office.
In late August, 2003, about nine years after Cathryn and I created Alpha Omega Labs, I found myself sitting in the law office of Michael Chebat, an attorney in Belize. I wasn't in Belize City just for legal advice. I was there to try to work out a deal with Providence Bank for the handling of my credit card transactions and to look into moving the entire Alpha Omega operation there. Michael was still busy when I came to his offices directly from the Belize City airport, so I went off to meet with my contacts at Providence. When I came back, Michael brought me into his conference room for our meeting.
I pulled out a $100 bill and told him I needed less than an hour of his time. In no more than five minutes time -- just long enough to tell Michael that I was an herbalist who was looking for a place to operate that wasn't so hostile to alternative medicine -- he interrupted my well planned speech.
"You understand, Mr. Caton, that Lisa Shoman, is my legal partner, right?" [Lisa Shoman was the Belizean ambassador to the United States at the time of the meeting.]
"Yes, I know that," I replied. "I read it on the internet." What I didn't add is that he was my first choice BECAUSE of this connection.
"And so you know that Lisa is currently Belize's ambassador to the United States, right?"
"Yes," I said, not knowing what to expect next.
Michael then took my business card and $100 bill and slowly slide it back across the table in my direction.
"I will refer you to another attorney who can help you."
Just around the corner from Michael Chabot's law office, not even a five minute walk, is the law office of Emil Arguelles. Michael let me call his law office and arrange a quick appointment. I was able to see him within an hour.
Upon being seated in his office, I went through the same routine. I handed Emil my business card and a $100 bill.
Again, I wasn't even five minutes into my speech, and probably more like three, when Emil interrupted me with something even more unexpected.
"Have you read this?" he said, tapping a small stack of papers on his desk.
"Have I what?" I replied, startled.
"The Patriot Act ... have you read the Patriot Act?"
"No, I haven't. Why? Should I?"
"You see, this is what I don't understand," he continued. "You Americans are seeing your civil rights disappear right in front of you. It's why so many of you are down here. Those of us here in Central America see it. We understand it because we have been on the blunt receiving end of the Monroe Doctrine for almost 200 years. What we don't understand is why YOU don't see it ... "
At that point I was perplexed, and not just because I thought this was an unusual way to begin a conversation ... in a foreign country ... in a new law office and with an attorney I had just met. Right away, I began thinking, "If I let this guy go on like this, is this billable time?" Immediately, I drew a line in the sand. I had come here with specific legal questions I wanted answered and I wasn't about to let this man distract me with some political discourse that did nothing to further answering legal questions to which I needed relevant answers. Emil graciously got the hint and answered all my questions. Not only that, he had his brother drive me all the way to San Ignacio (in Cayo District) to visit an herbalist he told me about -- for a modest $300. I got to spend time with the local herbal guru (Henry Guy), and even though I missed well-known fellow herbalist and author, Rosita Arvigo (she was lecturing in Europe at the time), I felt the time was very well spent.
On my final evening in Belize City (I stayed at the Princess Hotel, right on the beach), I thought back for a moment on my brief time with Emil. And for a moment, just a moment, I reflected on that famous quote from Thomas Jefferson, "A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will deserve neither and lose both." But again -- it was just a fleeting moment.
The next day, I returned to the U.S. feeling I was making solid progress in moving Alpha Omega Labs, once and for all, into safer offshore environs.
In looking back, I realize now that I should have done less talking and done more listening.
Wittingly or unwittingly, Emil Arguelles was trying to warn me, and I should have heeded his warning. I paid a heavy price for not listening and paying attention to such auspicious synchronicity.
September 17, 2003.
It is a date I will never forget. As much as I try, I can NEVER forget it. One year prior, a long time employee, Clifford Bertrand, came into my office with an unseeming piece of trivia.
"Do you know what today is?" he asked.
"I have no idea, but I'm sure you'll tell me," I said.
Clif was a proud Southerner, as well as a Civil War buff. I knew right away that I was going to hear about this or that naval battle or engagement on land, maybe the signing of a peace treaty. The funny thing was, I couldn't ever remember him coming to me before with a trivia question about a date before.
"The Battle of Antietam. September 17, 1862. The bloodiest day in U.S. history. Over 23,000 Americans died in just one day -- partly because both sides were American ... "
Clif went on and on, but I had already tuned him out. It wasn't important to me. Just like Emil's comments on the Patriot Act eleven months later. They weren't important to me, either.
I should have been listening.
September 17, 2003.
The morning was filled with a light, fall breeze, and when I opened our back door I could feel the dry air, a reprieve from the damp humidity that can make living in Southern Louisiana so uncomfortable throughout most of the year.
Cathryn and I had watched television downstairs that morning ... and had coffee ... and made love ... and talked about our goals for the day. Then she and our son, Myron, went to the gym while I stayed home to finish a web article I was composing.
At about 8:30 p.m. I heard the doorbell ring. I was upstairs in my study, so I ran downstairs to answer the back door. I was in my navy blue bathrobe and underwear -- and as I turned into the kitchen, I could see three agents at my back door.
I undid the bolt lock and opened the door. They appeared to me to be local police and since I had had false alarms before with our security company, I honestly thought that this may be a security issue.
"Are you Gregory James Caton?" asked the lead officer.
"Yes, I am ... "
"We're going to have to ask you to step outside."
At that moment agents descended from I don't know where, around the bushes, the side of the house... I don't even know how many there were -- perhaps a dozen, maybe more.
Almost immediately I was handcuffed with my hands behind my back and told that it was more for my own protection -- (one of the biggest lies in law enforcement.) At that point I asked for a copy of the Search Warrant and requested a call to my lawyer. I was handed two pieces of paper which identified my home as the location where a search would take place but not the Search Warrant itself. Again, I asked for a copy of the Search Warrant, and, again, I asked to call my attorney.
I was told that I had no right to call my attorney and when I asked why, I was told that I wasn't arrested. I was only being "detained."
Then I was brought into my own kitchen, and made to sit on one of our dining room chairs with two armed officers directly in front of me in the kitchen.
"I want to call my attorney!"
"When will I be able to call my attorney!"
"You're not arrested, you're only being detained. You don't have to call your attorney," came the robotic reply.
When I again raised the issue of seeing a Search Warrant, I was told that a case officer would be coming to my home soon and then I would be able to get a copy of the Search Warrant.
Suddenly another officer emerged from behind the downstairs bedroom that leads to the kitchen. "Do you have any guns in the house?" I thought the question was an odd one. When the raid first began, I overheard an officer ask me, "Where's the battery acid?" I got the distinct impression that the question was rhetorical. It was obvious that I wasn't expected to answer, nor was the question repeated. It was at that point that I realized that the FDA had used false information concerning one of my products, H3O -- the same one that was at the center of the Sharon Lee lawsuit -- as a basis for conducting their raid. I knew this because the manufacturer of the product, Steve Wurzburger (HPT Research), had told me that if improperly tested, one could get the idea that this product was battery acid because of its low pH and small sulphuric acid content. But now a line of query began that centered on weapons. Once again I said, "Before anything else goes on, I want to speak to my attorney."
Again, the robotic answer: "You're not entitled to an attorney." "You're a detainee."
How did they know that my wife and I had firearms? (In preparing for possible Y2K disturbances, my wife had purchased -- entirely legally and in her name -- a series of firearms and three crates of ammunition, which she added to firearms she had inherited from her grandfather. Two of the firearms had come from a local law enforcement officer, Keith Holland, who owned a gun shop on Kirkman Street in Lake Charles). My most immediate concern was that I didn't want to get caught making an untruthful statement to federal agents. That would mean prison time in and of itself.
Again, I asked to speak with my attorney.
Again, I was denied.
As the minutes passed, it became apparent to me that the law enforcement officials in my home were growing impatient, and made even more belligerent by the fact that I kept requesting the assistance of my legal counsel (Richard Moreno, whose office was well under a half mile from my home).
After a series of verbal exchanges, I finally revealed the location of my wife's "security vault" -- a built-in closet where she kept firearms and related security gear. Only then was I then granted the right to make a phone call to my attorney.
I was moved to the west end of my own dining room table, near a phone. At that point, a man came up to me and introduced himself. "My name is Don Dixon, and I'm the chief of the Lake Charles Police Department. If you don't tell us the location of any other weapons, we'll tear this house up, rip up the flooring and tear down the walls."
Shortly after this exchange, my wife and seven year old son, Myron, arrived back from the gym. As they got out of the car, our neighbor, Ann, in a stroke of enormous forethought, grabbed Myron and took him into their home. She knew how devastated he would be if he observed what was going on.
After about 20 minutes time, at which point the law enforcement officials felt they had gotten just about all the information they could extract from me, I was allowed to call my attorney. Richard immediately left his law office and came to the house. At about the same time, the assistant district attorney assigned to handle the case, Larry Regan, showed up, as well. Neither man was present for more than five minutes when it was announced that I was immediately being arrested for weapons charges, due to my "prior" federal offense. I was taken upstairs and allowed to charge from my bathrobe into street clothes.
As I was being lead outside, I could see the local news team waiting (KPLC) so they could gather "perp walk" fodder for the evening news. I was then put in a police car and driven to a holding cell at the federal courthouse, near downtown Lake Charles.
Life in a Louisiana parish jail, I am told, is fairly on par with many third world countries. (Those who have told me this should know. Anyone who has been to jail recently in any of the lower states from California to Florida knows what an abundance of jailed foreigners we have from Latin American countries. Many who end up in Louisiana are not exactly unqualified to make comparisons).
There are as many as 26 men crammed into a holding space, with three showers, three open stainless steel toilets, and a small locker for each man. At least that's how it is at CCC (Calcasieu Correctional Center -- and, by the way, it's pronounced: CAL" - kuh - shoo ).
Five days after being admitted to CCC, I was granted a "detainment hearing." I wasn't particularly concerned about the outcome. I felt confident that I would be allowed to go home. Even in the aftermath of the "counterfeiting" fiasco, more than thirteen years earlier, I was let out on my own recognizance upon entering a plea.
This time was different.
The prosecution insisted I was a flight risk using a concatenation of deliberately false statements concerning my character and intentions that were nothing short of pure fantasy. Agents told the judge I owned guns with the intention of shooting federal agents. They told the judge that I had not one, not two, but THREE passports -- that I was a pilot -- that I had just flown the previous month -- that I had a video tape of Branch Davidian fiasco in Waco sitting in my library (the implication being that I was another aspiring David Koresh) . . .
I asked my new criminal attorney, Lewis Unglesby, if they could get away with a whole hearing full of perjurious and misleading statements like that. He looked at me as if to say, "Where have you been?" and told me, in so many words, that this was standard procedure. [See entire Official Transcript of Detention Hearing.]
I was held for the next six weeks at "CCC" and then moved from Lake Charles to "LPCC" (Lafayette Parish Correctional Center) in Lafayette -- about 70 miles to the West. Only much later would I learn that the move to Lafayette was in my best interest. The federal judge I had been originally assigned, Judge Minaldi, was known to be very aggressive in handing out sentences that were longer than comparable cases before other judges. (In fact, in prison, her nickname is "Maximum Minaldi," and although the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines are supposed to make the meting out of sentences to defendents somewhat uniform, in practice, there can be considerable leeway -- and not in the downward direction.) In Lafayette, I was assigned Judge Tucker Melancon -- known to be comparatively more lenient; moreover, he was a personal friend of my defense lawyer and himself the estwhile survivor of male breast cancer.
I stayed at LPCC from October 24th, 2003 until May 27th, 2004.
During that time I was charged with "weapons" violations, which were later dropped and replaced by FDA charges and massive asset confiscation -- effectively taking properties away from my family that had nothing whatsoever to do with the herbal business. In fact, two of the three properties that the DOJ took from us were purchased years before the products mentioned in the pleading were ever introduced into trade. As inexperienced as I was in criminal law matters, my case was already manifesting all the signs of a total shakedown. First, there was the confiscation and destruction of about $500,000 in inventory at Alpha Omega Labs; then the confiscation of my wife's entire gun collection (worth about $15,000 -- including firearms from her grandfather, which was brought into our marriage); then there was the confiscation of books and cash from our home -- most of which went conveniently unreported; and then the confiscation of virtually all our remaining commercial real estate and one additional home we had purchased. Except for Lumen Foods and our personal home, there was little left when the Federal authorities finished with us.
Clearly, this had nothing to do with the administration of punishment for criminal activity. This was about the use of mafia-style tactics to obtain assets. (It is no wonder that former Federal Judge John Yoder, who helped the DOJ establish their Office of Asset Forfeiture, is now calling his creation a "monster."  ) With "weapons" charges, the Government could have gone for a longer prison sentence. But more than anything else they wanted money; they wanted assets; like pirates looting ships and islands throughout the Carribean, they just wanted to "come home" and celebrate the rapacious scooping up of stolen property using arguments that weren't simply mind-numbingly ludicrous, but whose underlying premises were knowingly fictitious -- mind-numbingly so.
During the "negotiations" -- a most unfit term for what was really taking place -- federal prosecutors made clear that if I did not cooperate with their scheme, they were going to imprison my wife, Cathryn. Later, I was told by not less than a half dozen attorneys, civil and criminal, that this is just standard operating procedure. We were also threatened with RICO charges and the use of massive government resources to prosecute their case. My attorneys' response? Standard operating procedure. My employees were threatened as well, as they would be brought in as "unindicted co-conspirators." My attorneys' response? Standard operating procedure. I was told that when they were finished, neither I, nor my family, would have much of any assets left. My attorneys' response? Standard operating procedure. When I inquired as to why so little content that was put forth by the prosecutor had any shred of truth to it, and, in fact, it would appear that any notion that there existed, anywhere in the known Universe, a Truth that was separate and apart from the desired theatrical outcome of the Prosecutor, my attorneys told me the same: standard operating procedure. (I understand now what Gore Vidal means when he says that when a U.S. Federal prosecutor enters a court of law, "perjury" is his native tongue.) 
Having my wife behind bars -- in the same state that I was -- would mean that our 7 year-old son could be orphaned and a ward of the state. Child stealing is a well-established U.S. Justice Department tactic. [9b] We could not allow that, so we made my brother-in-law, Neil, my son's guardian by filing the proper paperwork with the Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Court's office. We then sent our son off, 300 miles away, to live in a small farm community. He spent the first semester of his entire second grade with Neil, until we could be reasonably certain that federal agents would not come in the night and take Cathryn away, stealing Myron in the process. Frankly, we had no reason to believe that this is not what agents were planning to do, given their clearly stated intentions.
Synchronicities & The Search for MeaningAfter I arrived in Lafayette, I had to struggle initially with the pains of separation. In Lake Charles, Cathryn was a ten minute drive away. It was hard seeing her just once a week, separated by a sheet of thick glass, but at least it was manageable. And yet at the same time, my world was surrealistic. As Jordan Maxwell has noted, "You only know what the United States is about when you get into trouble." 
The most striking aspect of being imprisoned in a Louisiana prison jail isn't just its similarity to third world prison experience, it is the variance with the way that the U.S. media portrays prison life. Sure, there are the usual elements: the fights -- I got into two of them myself; the separation from any sense of the natural world (i.e. recreation, which would allow one to go outside was restricted to once or twice a month; cell windows were frosted so you could not see the outdoors; etc.), and the general discomfort associated with having roughly thirty grown men crammed into such close living quarters. But more than that there was the physiological effect that no medium short of the actual experience can accurately convey. One of the most common experience, unnaturally surrounded by nothing but concrete and steel structures, was the effect on the mind -- most particularly, one's memory. Inmates frequently refer to CRS (no, not Chinese Restaurant Syndrome -- in prison, it's Can't Remember Shit). You aren't simply removed from the world. You experience the sensation of being reincarnated into an entirely different existence.
The other universal experience concerns the nature of one's interaction with staff. Before I went to jail, and subsequently federal prison, I didn't know that large facilities existed where Americans brutalized other Americans so badly. There is the unmistakeable sense, with few exceptions, that one must have at least some sadistic tendencies to "hire on" as a deputy, counselor, or other staff position in this area of law enforcement. Or perhaps it is that law enforcement just naturally attracts people who enjoy making life miserable for other human beings. Even where it was quite clear that a certain policy was already being enforced, there were untold instances where staff members, in Lafayette it was primarily guards, went out of their way to make life even more onerous for the inmates. I met few individuals who were not completely heartless in the carrying out of their duties.
After four days of sleeping on a thin cotton mat over a concrete floor in one of the "holding cells," I was assigned to Lafayette's general population. Like many prisons, I would imagine, Lafayette had a nomenclature that conformed to its architecture. Specifically, there were five floors with six 26-man rooms on each floor. Floors were numbered one through five; cell blocks, A through F. Each cell block had thirteen cells, most holding two men; some, three. I was in the third cell block on the fourth floor, so, naturally, it was labelled "4C."
Within a couple of days of coming into prison, I noticed something odd: each door in the prison had its own name or label as well. The door leading into "4C" was labelled S-350. "What a coincidence," I thought. "The same number as my primary business postal box." 
Like many prisons in America, the inmate population is so overflowing that it exceeds the number of beds and other accommodations for which the prison was designed. Clearly, "4C" was designed for 26 people, and not one person more. Nonetheless, when I got there in October, 2003, it was overflowing so badly that there were wall-to-wall people sleeping on the floor in the common area outside the cells. If you had to urinate, you had to ask permission from one of the inmates who was lucky enough to have regular accommodations (for each cell had its own steel bedding area, with a mat on it; a stainless steel sink/toilet combination; and a small table). It could take you weeks to get a regular cell. In my case it took about four weeks.
The cells around "4C" had doors that were labelled as well -- two sets of them -- first, the cell block designation, running from 4C1 to 4C13 (one through thirteen), stenciled prominently above the door; and then there was a three digit number that may have represented a numbering of all cell doors in the building, stenciled prominently on a midpoint crossbar within the door itself. For cells 4C1 through 4C13, these numbers ran from 394 to 406 backwards, with the cell I was eventually assigned, "4C6," having a numbered designation of 400 -- even.
In the early morning hours following my assignment of cell 4C6 (door #400), I had a dream where I became "aware" that the cell I was assigned coincidentally matched my birthday (I was born on April 6, or 4/6), and the "C" corresponded by my last name. Hmmm, coincidence, perhaps, I mused inside my dream. And then I was "told" in the dream to remember "this sign," wherein the "sign" was what appeared to be a "three" with a horizontal line over it -- looking close to the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet.
At first, I had no idea what this meant, but I immediately made a decision to keep a "dream diary." Two days later it "hit me" while I was eating lunch what the "sign" was: it had nothing to do with Sanskrit at all. It was the "divided by" sign that any 7 year old learns in arithmetic, above the number "3". Sitting at a stainless steel table not far from my cell door, I stared at the 3-inch high numbers stenciled midway on my cell door. "Let's see," the thought entered my mind, "There is only one remaining post office box for your only other business: the one for Alpha Omega Labs -- P.O. Box 1200 in Lake Charles. Does not twelve-hundred 'divided by three' equal 400?"
I froze for a moment, if only to gather my thoughts.
A more favorable location. A more favorable judge -- who himself has a rare cancer. Both of my postal boxes. My birthday. My last name. Well, still -- it could mean nothing. The universe overflows, I thought to myself, with meaningless coincidences for which superstitious minds will attempt to attach unjustifiable significance.
But somewhere, somehow, a force was acting in the world that was not so ready to let me off the hook. Suddenly, I heard a voice -- faint, yet charged with a clear, intense, and unmistakeable intentionality, as if speaking into my conscious mind from another dimension . . .
"When you look for the coincidences ... the coincidences, in turn, will seek you out. Contained within those coincidences you will find your meaning, your purpose, and a mission for which you, and every other person, were chosen before birth. Each coincidence comprises the piece to a puzzle, and as you complete the puzzle you will see into the Will of God. You will see glimpses of the Unfolding of the Divine Script. In this you will attain True Knowledge."Lest the reader feel I ascribe to myself some delusional, self-appointed connection to the Divine, let me make clear my belief that such quiet whisperings are common in the lives of all men who are open to it. Since my early 20's, I had been greatly influenced by Richard Maurine Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness, which is filled with case studies of men who's major alterations in life are accompanied by such auditory encounters. Moreover, I caution the reader's temptation to assert that I would have "invented" this "advice." The fact is, I had only the vaguest recollection of Carl Jung's concept of "synchronicity." I was so ignorant about it that I then had Cathryn order several books on the topic, which she had shipped to the prison. (We were allowed to receive books from the outside, as long as they were not hardbound).
Up until this time, I had been spending most of my time in prayer and meditation; reading books (shipped from my own library), magazines and newspapers; recreating with occasional card games or chess; and writing letters home. After my "encounter," I began to focus more attention on seeking out and refining what the "Divine meaning" behind what had happened. Like a modern day Victor Frankl, I became determined to uncover the ultimate purpose for my travails, inspired by this Higher Intelligence . . . I was determined to transcend the conditions of my Auschwitz, gather the pieces of the underlying puzzle, and uncover its hidden meaning and purpose in my life. 
Inspired as I had been with personal affirmations , I went ahead and adopted new ones to reinvigorate myself and acquire a new direction. I then took an excerpt from these affirmations and ingraved them in the metal plating above my cell bed, so I would be staring at them whenever I laid down to rest. They read:
Weeks turned into months, as I awaited to see what the final charges from the Prosecutor's Office would be.
Finally, my wife got a call from my defense attorney, a date was set for my next hearing, May 25, 2004, more than 8 months since the date of my imprisonment.
Plea Agreement: A Study in Torture & CoercionOther notable figures have eloquently expressed in concrete terms how and why the modern "plea bargaining" process as perfected in the U.S. criminal justice system is an exercise in torture and coercion.  Although the plea bargaining process has been depicted in U.S. media as an unending source of leniency for hardened criminals and all manner of no-do-gooder, the reality is that, more times than not, the plea agreement short-circuits justice, allows prosecutors to hide unspeakable crimes of their own, and provides the veneer that not only is criminal justice fair AND efficient, but effective (after all, federal apologists like to brag that over 95% of all arrests end up in plea agreements). The truth is that it is difficult to conceive of a mechanism that would more perfectly act as a suppressor of truth and a determinant of real crime.
In federal prison, the saying goes: "There are two kinds of inmates. The ones who pled and the ones who wish they'd pled." I can say from personal experience that such common penal coinage does not grow from a rosebed of cynicism. It sprouts from the common experience of untold thousands of inmates. No one I spoke to in the entire time I was imprisoned would attempt to dispute the veracity of that adage: not those who committed real crimes, not those who are targeted for political reasons (a shockingly high percentage), and certainly not those who are railroaded by the U.S. Government's massive asset confiscation vacuum cleaner.
No words can begin to replicate the experience of coming to court (in this case, with my wife and attorney), being presented with a near one-inch thick stack of papers, and being told that you have 30 minutes to read everything, sign it, and "plead" before a federal judge -- especially when you've read a sufficient body of the text to know that the charges to which you are pleading are not only false, but are breathtakingly out of step with what you absolutely know to be true. Now, a good criminal attorney would come to his client beforehand and discuss the documents in advance. Perhaps he might argue with the prosecutor that there might be advantages to crafting the plea documents so that they at least "sounded" truthful. Unfortunately, the $50,000.00 I paid to Mr. Unglesby was, by all appearances, insufficient to have included this in his services. (In fact, I doubt that for all services rendered, Unglesby spent more than 25 hours on my case. I only met him five times -- and all interactions were themselves exercises in legal minimalism and social deconstructionism. His "bedside manner" was the worst of any professional whose services I ever retained. As I told my wife, "Did we have to hire the Marquis de Sade to represent me?")
The untruthful foundations for the plea agreement weren't simply irritating for their inaccuracies, it was the knowledge that even the prosecutor knew they weren't truthful. (When one of our attorneys asked the lead prosecutor how he could present such a ridiculous document, he replied, "You do your job or you lose your job!") As the plea hearing got underway I realized I was travelling through a surrealistic legal version of "Alice in Wonderland."
Judge:"Would you please explain to me in your own words what it is that you're here to do today."That should do it, I thought. Perhaps the judge will see that this process is coercive and somehow the process will shift to something actually factual. Maybe.
The Court: "Okay. But, now, you need to help me with this . . . Now I really need for you to help me with what you're actually saying . . . " (Transcript, p. 6, L. 1-11).Okay . . . well . . . up to this point, I had tried to be polite. That's important, right? I mean . . . I can't just stand here before the judge and say, "Listen, why can't we just be honest? You know this plea agreement is full of lies. I absolutely know it's full of lies. Is it that much trouble to come up with something that isn't fantasy?" -- (and I had signed it at that point, skimming through it just to hit the high points -- but I had not actually READ it through thoroughly. There was no time for that. The Courts don't think it's important for Defendants to actually read the plea agreements that the DOJ comes up with. I know for a fact that Lewis Unglesby didn't care.).
Author: "I understand, Your Honor. Well, there are accuracy issues in the pleas, but -- I'm sorry. Specifically, what do you want to know, Your Honor?" (Transcript, p. 6, L. 12-14; emphasis added).This is about are far as a defendant in a U.S. criminal case can go to telling a judge in a plea hearing that he's being coerced with a plea agreement that is -- to use vernacular well understood anywhere in America -- full of bullshit. Did the judge take the hint? Did he think, "The Defendant has just told me that the plea agreement isn't accurate. Maybe I should ask why he thinks its not accurate!"?
Of course not.
For the judge to be concerned about the accuracy of a plea agreement, facts have to matter. Truth must have meaning. In an out of control empire, like the U.S., the gravitational lines of power are warped around the desires of an executive branch that has completely subsumed the other two branches of government. All attempts at truthfulness are sucked into the prosecutor's blackhole -- something I still wasn't realizing.
Judge: "Now, Mr. Caton, have you had ample opportunity to discuss your case with Mr. Unglesby?"I'm not sure there is a way, in English, to more politely say to someone the Truth doesn't matter. But, hey, maybe we can use something stronger:
Author: "If this document said I must serve five years in prison because I improperly emptied a kitty litter box, I would be forced to sign that. I don't really have a choice in the matter . . . What this [plea agreement] says [is], it doesn't matter whether it's truth or not, I have to sign it." Transcript, p. 9, L. 15-18 and p. 10, L. 5-6; emphasis added).What ensued thereafter was a statement by the judge that he didn't think he could fairly accept my plea, followed by ramblings from my pseudo-defense lawyer, Lewis Unglesby, that was so at odds with my own knowledge of the facts and the underlying circumstanes, that I had to butt in and interrupt my own attorney's conversation with the judge:
Author: "I don't necessarily agree with that."I could tell that Judge Melancon was trying to do the right thing -- after all, he could have thrown the book at me for not being a good sport and just freely and willingly admitting to things that I knew were false. He was as polite as any judge could possibly be, but the hidden message of this latest instruction was the same: "Mr. Unglesby, you obviously haven't explained how this conviction mill works. You better grab a spare room in the back and explain to your client how things get done around here."
To this point, I made it clear to the Judge Melancon that there was no deliberate intention to defraud anyone; that my wife, son, even my employees had been threatened, so thereby I was forced to go along with the plea. I had done everything I could think of to make it clear on the record that coercion was part and parcel of what was going on, without actually coming out and saying that the plea was a completely bogus document. I attempted to fall just short of the line. I was powerless to voice my objection to what was going on in any other fashion. (Again, all of this can be read in the official plea transcript of that hearing.)
Apparently my objecting proved to be more than even Judge Melancon could tolerate. It was then that he interrupted the proceeding and had Unglesby take into a back area behind the courtroom and explain to me how the system "worked." Present at that brief meeting were Unglesby, Cathryn, and myself.
There was no recording equipment present, but from the recollection of my wife and I the meeting went something like this:
"Do you have any idea what you've just done!" Unglesby broke out steaming, just as soon as we had closed the door and sat down.
"How can you have me sign this?" I shot back. "Okay, so the prosecutor can lie all he wants to. But what about me? If I sign these documents -- and you and I both know they contain false information -- isn't that perjury on my part?"
"Who in the hell do you think you are?" Unglesby volleyed obliquely, ignoring my question, "There are Justice and FDA agents downstairs just hoping you screw this up so they can come back with more charges. They don't like this deal. They think you're coming out of this way too light. But hey, you want to fight the Federal Government, that's your business."
A short pause ensued. I said nothing. Neither did Cathryn.
"Governor Edwin Edwards was a good friend of mine," Unglesby continued, almost musing. "He had access to millions of dollars and he thought he could take these guys on, too. You saw what happened to him, didn't you!" 
Another pause ensued -- at which point, sitting there in my orange prison garb -- I was almost beyond words. I looked at Cathryn, knowing that one wrong move could mean her imprisonment and an uncertain future for my son. At issue, besides my disgust with the immorality of the entire process, was a series of yes-no questions that I, and all other federal inmates in my same position, must answer before a judge will accept a plea agreement.
"I tell you what, Lewis," I began bitterly, "I can't answer the questions without your input . . . because if I actually answer the questions that are on this piece of paper with what I KNOW to be the truth, there is no way this judge will accept my plea. So here . . . " [and I symbolically handed Unglesby the pen that was on the table] " . . . you take this pen and write 'Yes' and 'No' all the way down the plea agreement so I don't have to think about what I'm doing and that's how we'll get through this thing."
I almost expected Unglesby to pause and question my approach. But, by now, dear reader, you should know that's pure fantasy. Without skipping a beat, Unglesby proceeded to take the pen and write my answers all the way down the plea agreement. It was then -- and mind you, I can think of no more visceral words to convey how I felt in that moment -- that I felt like I was no more than a fecal turd floating around in Unglesby's toilet: that he could not move fast enough to hit the flush handle; that he could not move fast enough to get rid of me and move onto the next case.
There is no question in my mind that if Lewis Unglesby were asked today if we ever had the above conversation, or if the details provided are accurate, he would deny it. He has to. He cannot admit to what happened. But this recounting is completely accurate to the best of my and my wife's recollection.
Within the hour we were back in Melancon's courtroom, ready to make another go at the plea agreement. This time, we simply followed the script, which concluded with only one unexpected change in course: with the submission of our home as collateral, I was released "on bond" until the date of sentencing, which was set for August 24, 2006 -- three months hence.
Shortly after I was released on bond (which actually occurred on Thursday, May 27, 2004, because it took time to get the documents filed), a series of events occurred which I felt sure would cause the charges against me to be overturned -- irrespective of the plea. My conviction, however, was as rooted in my faith as it was my naivete.
First, Sue Gilliatt, the woman who had claimed that our Cansema® Salve had burned her nose off came out with a Sworn Affidavit, blaming her entire mishap on another defendent's product. Apparently, her attorney felt that with my plea agreement, he had a winable claim against my insurance company, so he could go after his next victim (Dan Raber). This had all the look and feel of a real estate broker who deliberately sells the same piece of real estate to two different parties. It smacked of fraud.
In July, I had Sue Gilliatt deposed so that we could get her story on the record. During that deposition, not only did Sue testify that she had used multiple products, not just Cansema®, but she admitted that H3O -- the product that was the basis of the Government's charge against me which she initiated -- was not even used. She never opened the bottle. She purchased the product on the advice of George Ackerson, who not only had worked for us but had been COOPERATING with the FDA, and, in fact, had never discussed this with me. If Gilliatt's testimony is true, it is clear that George was making outlandish claims in an attempt to, at the least, sully our reputation; or worse, was acting as a party to the set-up. In fact, Gilliatt claimed that because George's advice sounded fishy to her, she specifically and premeditatedly bought the product with the idea of initiating a lawsuit. In addition, Gilliatt claimed that whereas she had been diagnosed with cancer on her nose, she knew that she was cancer-free AFTER the use of Cansema® and the Dan Raber product. She wasn't suing because the product didn't get rid of her cancer, it was obvious she was suing because the product was not FDA-approved. All of this can be confirmed by reading her affidavit and her deposition. If she thought that Cansema® really "removed her nose," she would have taken a post-application photograph. Not one that was taken after surgical removal.
Global Preservatives). I also spent time writing the first draft of several chapters of Meditopia and preparing for September 24th, the date of my sentencing hearing.
Several things occurred during that summer which not only solidified my realization that my case was a travesty but that, in more general terms, I was witnessing a system in extreme dysfunction. First, I had a meeting with the man (Mr. Ron Helo) who would draft what is well-known as the PSI (Presentence Investigation) Report -- a process that any defendant who pleads or is found guilty must go through (and that is better than 98% of all people who federal agents arrest). The PSI report is a crucial document. The judge uses its findings to determine what the defendant's sentence will be. Present at that meeting were Mr. Helo, who was to prepare my PSI Report, Cathryn, and myself.
Very early in our meeting, Mr. Helo happened to mention -- as an aside -- that my charges were unusual. "They don't usually go after people for things like this," he mused. "You must have pissed off somebody in Washington." The very idea that the man who would author the sentencing report that would determine my future admitted that the political component of my case was glaring was itself nauseating.
Next, and far more surrealistic, were the "forfeiture meetings" that occurred both before and after my pleading. At every stage of the process there was an unmistakeable sense of urgency to find out WHERE I was "hiding" my assets. Not only did a lie detection "expert" (who stated that he worked for the Food & Drug Administration) administer three polygraph tests to me, but the prosecutor himself, Larry Regan, met with my attorney, Richard Moreno, Cathryn, and myself, to discuss what monies I could RAISE to resolve the issue of forfeiture.
The very idea that I had to go out and FIND money so that I could resolve a plea that insisted that I already HAD MADE A FORTUNE on illegal activity was itself proof that even the prosecutor didn't believe the "facts" that were attested to in his own plea agreement. This later meeting took place in July (2004) and came with an announcement that the prosecutor might have to file additional charges for Obstruction of Justice because I had sold off one of my buildings (the old Guth Dairy Complex on Hodges and interests in a business) within a few months of the proceeding (in December, 2003 to be exact). In doing so, "You cheated us out of whatever proceeds we could have gotten from that sale."
When I rebuted that the theft of inventory belonging to Alpha Omega Labs, Lumen Foods, and PreservX (representing all three of my related companies) on the part of the Department of Justice was so severe that I had to sell off these assets, no further mention of additional charges was made. (Hibernia National Bank, now Capital One Bank, had a blanket UCC-1 holding on my inventory as collateral security. I had to liquidate my other properties to pay off the loan because the Government had confiscated and destroyed the collateral security. The prosecutor already knew this, which is why he immediately broken off any further mention of obstruction of justice charges: he would have had to have realized that in his lust to uncover assets that didn't exist he was chastising me for not defrauding the bank so that his department could get their hands on more money.) Acting as if his job depended on gathering more assets from my case, Larry Regan looked at me intensely towards the end of the meeting and said, "Now if you could get Woodward (the man who purchased PreservX from my wife and I and created Global Preservatives) to L-E-N-D you $300,000, we could make this whole forfeiture matter go away."
I was flabbergasted . . . but my reply was swift:
"Larry, there is no way in the world -- given what you people have done -- that anybody is going to lend me any money at this point."
Well into 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice continued with its attempts to extort money from us for the "crimes" I was coerced to admit to, all to be paid by monies that had yet to materialize. Their extortion plot was quite simple: they did, in fact, go ahead and confiscate my remaining two commercial buildings and a residential house (on Prewitt Street in Lake Charles). They then proceeded to NOT liquidate the property, but rather left it for my wife and I to continue making payments on the commercial mortgage. In addition, they refused to pay the taxes on the property. Worst than that, they refused to even file their ownership with the parish clerk's office, so that the property tax people themselves did not know what legal remedy to take. (In 2005, Cathryn hired a former federal prosecutor, Rick Warren, to help unravel the forfeiture matter. He ended up telling her that he could not solve the problem, because the prosecutor had acted in a way that "isn't even authorized by their own manual" for forfeitures . . .)
Lewis Unglesby ended up being no more helpful on resolving the forfeiture matter than he had on anything else. Richard Moreno took in $22,000 in legal fees related to the forfeiture, accomplishing nothing, before Cathryn turned the spicket off. And then Rick Warren collected his $3,000 in legal fees for making a few phone calls. The worst of the bunch was Unglesby, who gave Cathryn every indication that he was working FOR the prosecutor -- and not at all for us. He even suggested that we should sell Lumen Foods and give the proceeds to the Government to put the matter to rest. Shortly after that, Cathryn sent Unglesby a taped telephone conversation where Larry Regan admitted that the proceeds from any sale of Lumen Foods was NOT part of the forfeiture (i.e. Cathryn could keep the money), just to prove that SHE knew that his advise had been worse than worthless. The only useful comment he made towards the end of the relationship (and one we believe to be true) was that "the prosecutor, and FDA and DOJ officials involved in your case still believe that your husband is hiding millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts." 
Of course, the money didn't exist. It never existed. But it was the desire of the prosecutor and those in his camp to believe that they must exist that fueled an extortion campaign that continued right up until Cathryn and I moved to Ecuador.
It was not long after that last asset forfeiture meeting that the Sue Gilliatt deposition took place. With the revelations concerning Sue Gilliatt's duplicity, the submission of hundreds of testimonial letters from satisfied customers we sent Unglesby -- of which only a small percentage was submitted to the Court, all using the very products that the FDA had objected to; an objection to two points of the sentencing enhancement by Unglesby (on deliberate intent, which was too patently obsurd for even Unglesby to allow to stand in the record); the presence of two end users who were willing and able to testify as to the effectiveness of the product -- one of whom, a medical doctor, would have testified that the product could NOT produce the injury to which the prosecutor alleged; and a judge, who I was sure was aware that that the plea agreement was, to put it mildly, deeply flawed, I was confident of a favorable outcome.
Such was not the case: although the nearly $1 million in fines that the prosecution requested were dropped to zero; and our "point reduction" request was granted; I was still sentenced to 33 months in prison, with no deviation from the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. (See Official Transcript of Sentencing Hearing.)
As the sentence was being read -- and this is not something that anyone who has been through the process can ever forget -- I stood in shock at the outcome. It was not so much that the outcome ran completely counter to what I felt my "inner guides" had been telling. It was not so much that the outcome would pose enormous hardships for myself and my family, or that the asset forfeiture had disgorged nearly my entire life's work -- and was now targetting assets that didn't exist: now or ever. It certainly wasn't an issue of reputation, because the people I catered to already knew that when it came to health care the U.S. Food & Drug Administration was little more than a crime syndicate, employed by the pharmaceutical companies. It wasn't even all that hurtful that my own attorney, Lewis Unglesby, went ahead and told the media that I was happy with the outcome (a bold-faced lie): at least he was consistent in working against the interests of his client.
What hurt more than anything was that evil had one the day, that orthodox medical sites would claim victory and, once again, claim that this was proof that online vendors of alternative health care products were nothing more than hucksters.
What hurt most was that Truth had effectively been railroaded and I had been powerless to stop it. Whatever was happening here, this was NOT a triumph of medical science over politics and greed. This was the triumph of the very kind of corruption that I had devoted thirteen years of my life to reform.
I was given 30 days before self-reporting to local penal authorities.
In An Empire
Out of Control
The vast majority of U.S. citizens have a "smiley face" opinion of their criminal justice system -- largely due to a spoon-fed diet of TV justice that does not remotely reflect the current state of the system today. At a time when civil rights are eroding by the day, every U.S. citizen should know that (and most of this I saw first hand, in my own case, and/or in the cases of those I reviewed while in prison):
Prosecutors may knowingly file charges against innocent persons for a crime that never occurred (Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Norton v. Liddell, 620 F.2d 1375 (1980)).
Prosecutors may knowingly offer perjured testimony (Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Jones v. Shankland, 800 F.2d 1310 (1987))
Prosecutors may knowingly use false testimony and suppress evidence (United States Supreme Court in Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976)).
Prosecutors may violate civil rights in initiating prosecution and presenting case (United States Supreme Court in Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976)).
Immunity extends to all activities closely associated with litigation or potential litigation (Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Davis v. Grusemeyer, 996 F.2d 617 (1993))
Prosecutors may file charges without any investigation (Eighth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Myers v. Morris, 810 F.2d 1337 (1986))
Prosecutors may file charges outside of their jurisdiction (Also, Eighth Circuit Federal Court of appeal in Myers v. Morris, 810 F.2d 1337 (1986))
Prosecutors can suppress exculpatory evidence (Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Henzel v. Gertstein, 608 F.2d 654 (1979))
Prosecutors are immune from lawsuit for conspiring with judges to determine the outcome of judicial proceedings (Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Ashelman v. Pope, 793 F.2d 1072 (1986)).
Interestingly, the preceding was taken from legal research conducted by the late James Kimball (see his websites, discoveryexperimental.com and liquid-deprenyl.com), who died in August, 2007, not long after escaping from a minimum security prison in Yahoo, Mississippi. (Kimball, who received a thirteen year sentence, for equally breathtakingly bogus charges meted out by the FDA, made his escape after not one, but two, assassination attempts made on his life while imprisoned. I received this information from two sources: an investigative journalist in New England and a member of Kimball's surviving family.)
In addition, I am able to add a few more revelations based on my eyewitness experience and those whose cases I examined while in Federal prison:
Prosecutors can and will confiscate nearly all liquidable assets from you before even filing a charge -- making it enormously difficult for you to defend yourself.
Create fabulous storyline fabrications to keep you behind bars on the pretense that you are a "flight risk".
Threaten your family members while you're in prison.
Will (and did in my case) have defendents plea to charges where the underlying "harm" could not possibly have occurred. It isn't a matter of whether or not the "crime" could have been committed by the defendant. In my case, my pleading included a victim by name (Sue Gilliatt) and the alleged product (H3O) wherein the alleged "event" could not possibly have occurred -- why? because Sue Gilliatt admitted under oath that she never even used the product. Even if she did, the product does not have the properties NECESSARY to have caused the damage. During my "sentencing" phase, the prosecution changed tactics and started pointing to Cansema® Salve as the cause of the damage -- based on claims concerning the chemical properties of zinc chloride that are patently untrue.
Background: The two civil cases that the U.S. Food & Drug Administraiton chose to use as justification for raiding and destroying the Alpha Omega Labs operation were both vexatious. In the "Texas Case," involving a woman named Sharon Lee, the claim was made that an osteopathic doctor named Dr. Charles Smith had used the Alpha Omega Labs' product, H3O and had been burned by the product. Not only did the occurrence not happen, but our H3O was not even CAPABLE of harming human tissue. It is non-corrosive and non-caustic. In fact, I have drunk the product at pure strength (pH 0). Not only is it non-corrosive, but at full strength, when mixed with an alkaline, it will not yield an exothermic reaction -- a chief characteristic of a true "strong acid."
As a result of my insurance company's refusal to pay Sharon Lee or her attorney, Peter Malouf, the latter ran to the FDA to see if he could get their assistance in winning his lawsuit. They were happy to oblige. In the end, Malouf and his client got $500,000 -- $67,500 from my insurance company, and the balance from the doctor and the hospital where her surgery had been performed.
The documents below concern three facets, all covered in this chapter:
The Criminal Case
The following links are documents, web sites, or articles related to the closing of Alpha Omega Labs:
KATC3 news report (Lafayette, La. / web link) -- Headline: "Internet medicine company head gets 33 months." As so many things in my case, the lies out of the prosecutor's office even on a news release this simple is staggering. First of all, the "Texas case" (Sharon Lee) involves a woman who never even used our salve. She used our H3O; see below. And we "made" $950,000? Well, actually we grossed that much over several years; gross sales and net profit are a little different, guys . . . oh, never mind. The Government? Understand Accounting 101? What could I possibly be thinking. As to Cansema® Salve -- it NEVER contained any sulphuric acid. . . EVER . . . The prosecutor's office can't even get the products straight. "Federal officials have said none of Alpha Omega's claims about its products had been substantiated through testing." Another incredible lie. H3O had extensive testing done by its manufacturer and was even EPA approved. As for Cansema® Salve -- the results of over 100 years of testing on zinc-chloride based escharotics in their effects in getting rid of skin cancer is not enough? Just who could possibly be that stupid. By the way, the dishonesty and corruption that oozes out of this document is just too rich. It needs to be save. If they take down the link above, here's the PDF file.
CBS 11 -- (PDF file: 6/30/04); "Herbal Remedy Maker Pleads Guilty to Fraud." This Dallas / Fort Smith had an enormous interest in the story from the start because of they worked closely with Plaintiff Attorney, Peter Malouf, to produce a false story about the dangers of H3O. I spoke to Ginger Allen myself -- twice -- and it was obvious that she and Malouf were coordinated in their activities.
Advertiser (PDF file: Lafayette, LA; 8/25/04) post sentencing news article -- "Company chief sentenced for selling fake cancer cure"
U.S. Dept. of Justice press release (PDF file: see pg. 3 of 13; 8/24/04). You have to compare the content of this news release with what really happened to get a full flavor of how fully invested the Dept. of Justice is in creating language to make things sound as bad as possible. The sheer audacity of the lies in this document was a huge motivator for me to get the "facts" out at all cost. If the people who composed this document -- or the portion pertaining to my case -- made a simple mistake, or accidentally got some information wrong -- that would be one thing. But there is no way that this information could have been generated without DOJJ people KNOWING that the information was false -- just as they could not have composed my pleading without knowing that key elements within the document could not have possibly have happened.
WAFB9 coverage in Baton Rouge, LA -- 8/25/04. Title: "Internet Medicine Co. Head Going to Jail." And then the headline: " ... The head of a Lake Charles company that sold alternative medicines over the Internet has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for defrauding customers and skirting federal health laws." ... The interesting thing is that the federal agents investigating my case knew good and well that I never once "defrauded" a customer. Again --- more fantasyland diatribes for the media.
Chris Gupta (PDF file: BB-style alternative web page). Interesting tidbits on the case in the aftermath of my sentencing.
Sue Gilliatt deposition (7/22/04)
WishTV (Indianapolis) -- "Herbal Nightmare - Part I" -- Interview given by Sue Gilliatt to the local media. Interestingly, in her deposition (p. 114-115), Sue Gilliatt says that she was misquoted in the interview.
Index of Medical Records (billing), and summary of treatment
Lumen Food Corp's Original Answer, First Amended Answer, and Special Exception filing -- Since even my family's food company was sued when my herbal company sold H3O to Dr. Charles Smith, D.O., who, in turn, was sued by a patient for using it.
Donald J. Coney, M.D. -- oral deposition -- Taken 1/29/04). I include this deposition so that those interested in the case can see just how easy it is to get mindless, "expert" testimony to excoriate a medical practitioner / defendent. Coney condemns Dr. Smith for having used "H3O" -- a proven non-caustic, non-corrosive cleaning agent -- as though every item a physician uses or touches (presumably even herbal or vitamin supplements) should go through all the rigors of FDA testing. A real 216-page journey through the labyrinth of the legally absurd -- and it gives you a greater feel for why medicine is so screwed up today.
For the next three files, all marked with 'green box icons,' you will need "e-Transcript PTX viewer software", since they are PTX files.
Andrew Armstrong deposition.
Sharon Lee deposition.
Wayne Snodgrass deposition.
First Supplemental Designation of Expert Witnesses -- Marked our retaining of Dr. Marland Dean Dulaney, Jr., a toxicology expert, to testify that H3O is non-corrosive, non-caustic and that the Plaintiff used a different product in its testing; the expected testimony of Homer Jacobs, M.D., an expert OB/GNY, who reported that "the post-operative complications experienced by the Plaintiff were in no way caused by the use of H3O on Plaintiff and that H3O did not cause or contribute to damages alleged by Plaintiff; Ernest P. Williams, on the skullduggery used by the Plaintiff including testing of a different H3O; Craig Johnson and/or Richard Danielson, on test results of our H3O that conflict with the "test results" produced by Malouf; lastly, my wife, Cathryn Caton, N.D., and myself.
Our Motion for Partial Summary Judgement
Our First Supplemental Response to Request for Disclosure
Our Second Supplemental Response to Request for Disclosure
Our Third Supplemental Response to Request for Disclosure
Our Fourth Supplemental Response to Request for Disclosure
Our Fifth Supplemental Response to Request for Disclosure
Objections to Request for Production -- produced after Plaintiff produced a ridiculous, onerous production request.
Original Third Party Action -- This was one action of which I wasn't supportive, simply because it wasn't the manufacturer's fault, either. All representations made by myself and the manufacturer were all true. Nonetheless, the attorneys were insistent.
Leave for Motion to File Third Party Action.
& Sound Clips
Related To My
The first court hearing after my arrest was the "detention hearing" [click for 64 page PDF file of the hearing]. This was my first lesson in the widespread acceptability of prosecutorial perjury. In fact, the number of false statements deliberately made under oath was so breathtaking, that I didn't think my objections would be found credible to my readers unless I included the actual audio recordings of the proceeding. What follows below are the instructions to install the FTR PlayerPlus V21 on your computer so you can hear the recordings, the executable download, then the sound files. Lastly, I include a separate file containing my comments on the proceeding -- which was only a precursor to the outrageousness of what was to follow.
FTR Instruction (WPD format)
FTR Player Plus (exe download)
Detention Hearing (9/23/04) -- Sound Clips: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
Arraignment Hearing (11/25/03) -- Sound Clips: 1, 2.
Criminal Complaint (9/17/03)
Order of Temporary Detention Pending Hearing Pursuant to Bail Reform Act (9/17/03)
Minutes of Court (The results of the travesty that was my Detention Hearing. End result: I was held indefinitely, awaiting revised charges). (9/23/03)
Order of Detention Pending Trial (What "clear and convincing evidence" a report like this provides is that truth has no bearing in a U.S. federal court. Items in the Comment section that were mind-numbingly false -- and the Prosecution knew it -- included my having "two active passports that he cannot locate," my having made statements that I "was prepared if the government came for me," along with statements during the hearing that were not included in this comment section, including my being a pilot and purchasing the guns to use on federal agents. Again -- and Gore Vidal said it best -- when a Federal Prosecutor enters a court of law, perjury is his native tongue. (9/23/03)
Witness List (Those who appeared at the Detention Hearing -- on my behalf and on U.S. Government's behalf) (9/23/03)
Transcript of the Preliminary Hearing Before the Honorable Alonzo P. Wilson (9/23/03)
Indictment (Contains the initial weapons charge, which was eventually dropped -- and the asset forfeiture connected with it which mysterious stayed even after the underlying charges were dropped) (10/25/03)
Defendant Information Relative to a Criminal Action in U.S. District Court (Repeats charge under which I am held, shows that the FDA matter is still looming, tells where I am being held, and the prosecutor, Larry J. Regan, who will continue on as the adversarial party on my journey in "Through the Federal Looking Glass" (10/15/03)
Grand Jury Rpt. (My case number is only one among the many . . . all in a day's work for a Federal grand jury . . . I will never know how many of these cases represent other human beings, who, like myself, never committed a real CRIME, but were railroaded by a process where Truth has no meaning and a hearing exists only to provide theater that the whims of the Executive branch do not reign supreme). (10/15/03)
Minute Entry (Order for me to appear for initial appearance and arraignment on November 13, 2003 before Magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill in Lafayette). (10/17/03)
Minute Entry (Assignment of my case to Judge Tucker L. Melancon) -- (10/22/03)
Transcript of the Preliminary Hearing before the Honorable Alonzo P. Wilson, U.S. Minute Entry (Cover sheet only) -- (10/15/03)
Motion and Order for Leave to Withdraw and Substitute (Richard D. Moreno and James B. Doyle, attorneys who worked for my on other case matters -- Moreno, especially and extensively -- bow out, leaving Lewis Unglesby, my criminal defense attorney, as sole counsel. This was done at Moreno's request, and was the appropriate thing to do at this point in the process) -- (10/27/03)
Minute Entry (My November 13th hearing is reset for November 25th, 2003). -- (10/30/03)
Order (Moreno and Doyle are granted their leave to withdraw) -- (10/31/03)
Minutes of Court (Indicates that I have been told what the charges are [we're still sitting with weapons charges at this point] and what the penalties may be. I continue to be held on breathtakingly false testimony and premises. Pre-trial conference, December 18, 2003; trial, January 20, 2004. -- (11/25/03)
Criminal Scheduling Order (A schedule is set for the trial, discovery, motions; instructions for trial are set; Unglesby files a request for discovery. So does the government. All of this nonsense is, of course, only going through the motions. Unglesby made it clear before he even knew what the charges would be that there would be no trial. No matter what the Government came up with, I did not have the resources to successfully fight it . . . or as I would tell Judge Melancon during my Plea Agreement, if they came up with felony charges because I improperly emptied out my cat's kitty litter box [absolutely absurd as this sounds], I would have to go along with a Plea Agreement.) -- (11/25/03)
Minute Entry (Motion filing deadline is set as December 10, 2003) -- (11/25/03)
United States' Request for Discovery (More "going through the motions" for a Trial that can and will never occur.) -- (12/02/03)
Motion for Continuance and Resetting the Trial Date (Unglesby moves for continuance between of scheduling conflict.) -- (12/11/03)
Joint Status Report (A joint status conference was held on December 9th and this document indicates the result) -- (12/10/03)
Order (Handwritten muck indicating that the trial will be reset within 30 days.) -- (12/17/03)
Joint Motion to Reset Trial Date (Trial date reset for January 20, 2004) -- (1/8/04)
Amended Criminal Scheduling Order (Here we go again. A revision of the previous order. -- (1/24/04)
Minute Entry (Motion filing deadline is set for February 13, 2004; trial later set for March 22, 2004) -- (1/30/04)
Joint Status Report (Once, again) -- (3/11/04)
Minutes of Court (Result includes call for pretrial conference) -- (3/17/04)
Memorandum of Conference (Discusses the results of the pretrial conference, held on March 17, 2004. Trial "of this matter is upset without date . . . ") -- (3/18/04)
Joint Motion to Set Plea Date (Date for guilty plea set for May 10, 2004. At this point, I have no idea what the exact charges will be, nor will I know until 30 minutes before I am supposed to sign and agree to the Plea) -- (4/14/04)
Order (Date for guilty plea ordered for May 26th, 2004) -- (4/15/04)
Minute Entry (Judge Tucker L. Melancon resets the time of the Plea on May 26th from 2 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.) -- (3/3/04)
The Plea Agreement's Bill of Information (5/25/04)
Waiver of Indictment (5/26/04)
Minutes of Court (5/26/04)
Reporter's Official Transcript of the Plea Hearing (PDF file, 73 pages). -- (5/26/04)
Affidavit of Understanding of Maximum Penalty and Constitutional Rights (5/26/04)
Affidavit of Understanding of Maximum Penalty and Constitutional Rights (5/26/04)
Elements of the Offense (5/26/04)
Elements of the Offense (Introduction of Unapproved New Drugs in Interstate Commerce) (5/26/04)
Rule 11(f) Factual Stipulation (5/26/04)
Agreement to Abandon Property (relates to all firearms Cathryn held in her possession and itemizes same) (5/26/04)
Agreement to Abandon Property (relates to the seizure and destruction of ALL Alpha Omega Labs products) (5/26/04)
Motion for Order of Forfeiture (5/26/04)
Consent Decree of Forfeiture (follows Motion for Order of Forfeiture, but has signatures of all parties, including Cathryn, acting both personally and corporately) (5/26/04)
Order of Forfeiture (where Judge Melancon signs off on the forfeiture of virtually all our remaining commercial property) (5/25/04)
Appearance & Compliance Bond (After surrendering virtually all remaining commercial real estate, plus all Cathryn's firearms, plus all Alpha Omega Labs' inventory and supplies, plus admitting to a bogus plea agreement ... then and only then was I allowed released on bond -- but only after submitting to a $75,000 property bond. (5/26/04)
Process Receipt & Return Included with attached Notice of Publication. When the Government takes your property, they let the world know. It's published. (5/25/04)
Agreement to Forfeit Property (Essence is this: if you don't show up when you're supposed to, we take possession of your wife's personal home. (5/27/04)
Order Setting Conditions of Release Sets for all the various opportunities under which the Government gets to take the house -- and, of course, it is surprisingly easy to cross any one of the many itemized stipulations. This is one opportunity I did not give them. (5/27/04)
Motion for Modification of Bail Restrictions (Having been granted a bond to be free while I am awaiting Sentencing on August 24, 2004, this Motion has to do with being granted permission to travel to Las Vegas to work a trade show for William Woodward, to whom I sold the assets of the PreservX project) -- (6/16/04)
Order (My bail restriction is modified. I am allowed to go to Las Vegas from July 11 to 17, 2004 to attend the IFT Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center where Global Preservatives was an exhibitor.) -- (6/30/04)
Motion for Temporary Modification of Bail Restrictions (Still on my temporary bond, awaiting sentencing, here I request to go to Las Vegas to attend the International Baking Exposition in Las Vegas [again, the Las Vegas Convention Center] from August 13 to 19, 2004). -- (8/9/04)
Order (The modification is granted) -- (8/11/04)
Objection to Pre-Sentence Investigative Report. This is Unglesby's 10-page argument, objecting to a 2 point "sentencing enhancement" submitted in the Pre-Sentence Investigative Report. I was granted the 2 point reduction, but even in reading this document, an intelligent person can tell that the Sue Gilliatt case, fully backed by the power, presence, and approval of the U.S. Government, was quite fraudulent. Were "convictions" at all cost of concern to the judiciary, this would have caused Judge Melancon pause. It didn't. But I was still appreciative for the 2 point reduction. (8/4/04)
Notice & Affidavit of Media Publication in connection with the confiscation of our assets. (8/16/04)
Government's Motion to Dismiss the Indictment Pursuant to Plea Agreement (Note that the draft reads as if this is the result of prosecutorial compassion, when in fact it was integral to the Plea Agreement) -- (8/25/04)
Minutes of Court This document specifies, essentially, that I am sentenced to 33 months in prison, but that my Bond will continue for 30 more days until I self-report. (8/24/04)
Order (The weapons-related indictment is dropped.) -- (8/25/04)
Judgment in a Criminal Case Again, specifies the Judgment in the case, along with where and when I am to self-report to prison. (9/9/04)
Motion of the United States for a Final Judgment of Forfeiture With this comes the attached Affidavit of Publication (8/16/04), along with Certification (8/15/04). (Motion filed 9/15/04)
Final Judgment of Forfeiture (9/17/04)
Reporter's Official Transcript of the Sentencing Hearing Before the Honorable Tucker L. Melancon (PDF file, 29 pages, 9/24/04).
Initial 2255 Filing; Supporting Memorandium; and Cover Sheet. (Outraged that I could have been sentenced to prison, despite the overwhelming presence of fraudulent acts on the part of the Sue Gilliatt and Sharon Lee camps, not to mention the bogus statements that formed the crux of my Plea Agreement -- where I even told the Judge Tucker as much, I looked for a way to do what Unglesby refused to do, even though I had specifically paid him to file an Appeal: namely, FILE MY APPEAL. Only, now I had to take a collateral route, since Unglesby's incompetence closed off all possibility I had of filing directly with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals with the deadline long past. This document, found above in three parts, is the result -- with help from another inmate in the prison.) All filed 4/13/05.
Order (The prosecutor is given 60 days to respond to my appeal.) (4/25/05)
Motion to Withdraw as Counsel (Unglesby hits the eject button. The Truth of the matter is that he was marginally engaged from the day he got his $50,000 up front). (5/9/05)
Government's Motion to Amend Final Judgement of Forfeiture (This document shows how truly disingenuous federal prosecutor's can be -- and increasingly are as a matter of course. Unglesby sent a letter to my prosecutor indicating that the property they wanted to confiscate had mortgages owing to Hibernia National Bank. In this document, the U.S. Government represents that they didn't know it existed and NOW they need to acknowledge its existence. This is the same kind of nauseating duplicity that ran through the entirety of the legal process against me.) (05/11/05)
Order (Withdrawn of Unglesby as Counsel: 5/12/05)
Amended Final Judgement of Forfeiture (5/13/05)
Answer of the United States to Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence Under 28 USC 2255 (Self-explanatory: The Government answers my 2255.) (6/22/05)
Petitioner's Response to Answer of the United States to Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentencing (My response to the Government's answer to my 2255.) (7/12/05)
Petitioner's Response to Answer of the United States to Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence Under 28 USC 2255 (7/14/05)
Order Setting Evidentiary Hearing and Appointing Counsel (My collateral approach to appeal included showing that Unglesby was clearly incompetent: he was paid to file an appeal and he ended up refusing to do so. Judge Hill decides to settle the issue with a Evidentiary Hearing. I am assigned a Public Defender, since the U.S. Government's shakedown of my assets has left me personally broke). (9/28/05)
Return of Service (Unglesby is subpoened to my Evidentiary Hearing, which is set for November 17, 2005. (10/12/05)
Order Resetting Evidentiary Hearing (My newly court appointed public defender, Wayne Blanchard, asks and gets a resetting of the Evidentiary Hearing. It is set one day back to November 18, 2005. I am to be pulled from Beaumont Low, and held back in Lafayette (LPCC), and in fact, this became my home again, from November 4, 2005 to January 11, 2006, as a result of the Evidentiary Hearing). (10/28/05)
Motion to Enroll Counsel (Wayne Blanchard requests to be enrolled as my counsel to facilitate my defense) (11/07/05)
Order on Motion to Enroll Counsel (Counsel enrolled) (11/09/05)
Summons (Lewis Unglesby is summoned to be at the November 18th Evidentiary Hearing) (11/15/05)
Minute Entry (The area of examination for the Evidentiary Hearing is narrowed as to whether or not Unglesby provided ineffective counsel at sentencing.) (11/16/05)
Prehearing Memorandum on Behalf of [Caton] (Closes with Blanchard arguing that the only way to equitably deal with the Sixth Amendment violations that occurred at my sentencing would be for my sentencing judge, Tucker Melancon, to resentence me without the enhancement points). (11/16/05)
Prehearing Memorandum (The Government responds to the minute entry issued on November 16, 2005. Jist: Unglesby did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel. Apparently, it isn't incompetent for an attorney to promise to file an appeal, take funds to cover same, based on this representation, and then say, in effect, "I have your money now, so why should I do anything further to assist you?" I met scores of people in prison -- some for 20 years or longer -- for much less.) (11/17/05)
Minutes of Court (Short version: I'm the judge. I've heard your arguments. Now I'll think about it.) (Evidentiary Hearing: 11/18/05)
Exhibit List (Blanchard provided 10 exhibits related to my/his arguments. The prosecutor provided none. This documents lists the names of the exhibits.) (11/18/05)
Magistrate's Report & Recommendation (This is Judge Hill's ruling in the aftermath of the Evidentiary Hearing, during which Cathryn and I had to endure listening to Unglesby lie not only about not recalling any discussion of appeal after the sentence, but how he thought we were perfectly happy with the outcome of the sentencing. One cannot read this document without realizing that the magistrate judge not only believes Unglesby's statements, but that the finds nothing reprehensible about his professional conduct.(11/23/05)
Caton's Objections to Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge (This is Wayne Blanchard's shot at objecting to Judge Hill's findings, written while I was imprisoned in Lafayette in December, 2005. Among its vital points: does it make sense for Unglesby to have been paid to file an appeal -- after all, other defense attorneys were doing so during this same period when Blakely issues were in question -- and find it not an act of ineffective counsel for him not to have done so. Nonetheless, I make the decision, based on differences of approach with Wayne Blanchard, that I will act 'pro se' on my appeal to the Fifth Circuit.) (12/09/05)
Judgment (The sentencing judge, Tucker Melancon, makes the magistrate's recommendation the final word on my appeal) (on Evidentiary Hearing: 12/13/05)
Motion to Withdrawn as Counsel of Record (The upshot of my disagreements with Wayne Blanchard is that he bows out as counsel -- which was the appropriate thing for him to do) (12/20/06)
Order (and, of course, Blanchard's Motion to Withdrawn as Counsel of Record is granted) (12/22/05)
Motion for Extension of Time to File Direct Appeal (It is next to impossible to file an appeal from a parish jail in Louisiana, so I file a handwritten Motion for an extension of time) (12/29/05)
Motion to Expedite ( . . . and while I was at it, I asked that the time allotted to rot away in Lafayette -- where the conditions were deplorable -- be truncated. Again -- a quick, handwritten Motion.) (12/29/05)
Transmittal Letter (1/3/06)
Certificate of Appealability (Self-explanatory). (Jan, 2006)
Order (My handwritten Motion requesting an extension of time on my appeal is granted) (1/3/06)
Certificate as to Appealability (Judge Tucker's finding: you have no basis for an appeal) (1/4/06)
Transmittal Letter (Fifth Circuit requests acknowledgement of transmittal of specified items) (1/31/06)
Notice of Appeal (I caught wind that I was going to be thrown in to the "Hole" (also called "SHU" .. (pronounced "shoe") -- stands for "Special Housing Unit" -- and, boy, do they make you feel Special) one day after I got back to Beaumont Low from Lafayette. So I signed a series of blank papers and had another inmate cover me on a series of documents which would require my signature, since I knew that the prison authorities would do everything possible to act as impediments in my appeal's process) (2/16/06)
Motion for Extension of Time To File Application For Certificate of Appealability (As stated above, this Motion for Extension of Time was filed on behalf by another inmate to preserve my appellate rights, because at the time I was in the "hole" and unable to act in any capacity whatsoever in going further with my appellate process) (2/16/06)
These are not even the entirety of the legal documents in this case. However, what you see above are important ones. What followed after February, 2006, largely related to my attempt to shorten my probation from three years to one -- something I had been promised from December, 2006 to June, 2007 by my Probation Officer, Jackie Fontenot --- a promise reneged only AFTER I had moved my family and our assets (what we had left) to Ecuador.
The QuackeryOne of the most aggregious purveyors of false information about therapeutic systems that do not bow to the god of all things orthodox is Stephen Barrett, publisher of an online "consumer protection" guide called Quackwatch. (I would take the time to enumerate the troubling facts behind this disinformation artist -- except that Tim Bolen has already done an excellent job.)
At The Heart
As one would expect, Mr. Barrett, wasted no time excoriating Cansema and me, personally, after my coerced plea. Mr. Barrett, of course, had spent no time to investigate or interview me, talk to any of the untold thousands of successful Cansema® users, or otherwise collect impartial information.
Like his compatriot, Dan Hurley, Mr. Barrett isn't concerned with any objective presentation of the truth. What he is interested in his truth, which just happens to correlate with the official position of the orthodox medical community.
When Barrett isn't suing people who disagree with his -- the official, "profit for orthodoxy at all cost" -- position, he is lambasting alternative products, methods, theories, and systems for which the medical industrial complex doesn't get a cut of the action.
One of the reasons I decided to release a video describing just how Cansema is made is to debunk this insidious quack.
As more and more people understand that escharotics is a highly effective way of treating cancer that has been suppressed for over 150 years, they will see, in other ways, just how riddled with self-serving lies the foundation of modern medicine is.
It is time the People plucked the feathers off this anti-empirical monstrosity.