—The New Platform for Kidnapper Rick Ross

The verdict issued by the jury stated that Ross had “acted recklessly in a way that is so outrageous in character and so extreme as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

April 30, 2018

Kaila Hale-Stern

Dear Kaila,

Teresa Jusino wrote a piece for about NXIVM on 26 April and while I cannot comment on NIXVM, knowing nothing about them, I can speak about Rick Ross and the aspersions she cast against Scientologists—people she does not know.

Rick Ross was an active deprogrammer in the 1980s and 90s. He committed dozens of kidnappings against Christians and minors.

Ross now promotes himself as a “cult expert” which is a scam you perpetuated to your readership by pandering to a fraudster and convicted criminal.

The late Rev. Dean Kelley, Executive for Religious Liberty for the National Council of Churches, called deprogramming “protracted spiritual gang-rape” and “the most serious violation of our religious liberty in this generation.”

Rick Ross involvement in the Waco Branch Dividian massacre

Nancy Ammerman, a preeminent religious scholar, was one of the experts tasked by the Justice Department to evaluate the BATF’s (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and FBI’s handling of the Branch Davidians in the tragedy at Waco, Texas.

In her September 1993 report to the Justice and Treasury Departments, Dr. Ammerman singled out Ross and the now-defunct Cult Awareness Network, saying:

In their attempt to build a case against the Branch Davidians, BATF did interview persons who were former members of the group and at least one person who had ‘deprogrammed’ a group member. Mr. Rick Ross, who often works in conjunction with the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), has been quoted as saying that he was ‘consulted’ by the BATF. The Network and Mr. Ross have a direct ideological (and financial) interest in arousing suspicion and antagonism against what they call ‘cults.’ These same persons seem to have been major sources for the series of stories run by the Waco newspaper, beginning February 27. It seems clear that people within the ‘anti-cult’ community had targeted the Branch Davidians for attention. Although these people often call themselves ‘cult experts,’ they are certainly not recognized as such by the academic community.

Instead of providing factual data and constructive advice, which might have defused the Waco situation and saved lives, CAN and Ross exploited and inflamed tensions to further their own anti-religious agenda. In the end 82 men, women and two dozen children burned to their deaths.

Ross the deprogrammer

The kidnapping incident that led to the multimillion-dollar judgment against Ross took place on January 18, 1991. Jason Scott, an 18-year-old member of a Pentecostal Church, arrived at his family home in Bellevue, WA, and was jumped by three men hired by Ross. They wrestled him to the ground and dragged him inside.

The kidnapping team “handcuffed his wrists, tied his ankles with rope and gagged him from ear to ear with duct tape. He was finally thrown onto his stomach, his hands beneath him while one of the deprogrammers, weighing 300 pounds, sat on his back….”

After a few days the kidnappers, believing they had successfully “deprogrammed” Scott, took him to a local restaurant to “celebrate.” Scott fled, called the police, and was rescued.

Two of the deprogrammers were arrested that day. Rick Ross once again evaded criminal charges.

In 1994, Jason Scott sued Ross. The jury found Ross and the other defendants liable for civil rights violations and negligence. Jason Scott was awarded $875,000 in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages.

The verdict issued by the jury stated that Ross had “acted recklessly in a way that is so outrageous in character and so extreme as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

Rick Ross’ Criminal Activity

Public records show that Ross has been the subject of at least three arrests, including an attempted burglary, embezzlement of $100,000 worth of jewelry, and kidnapping. Two of these arrests resulted in convictions. In the third, Ross’ co-conspirators pleaded guilty to lesser charges while Ross evaded a guilty charge. Ross was sued civilly by the victim in the same kidnapping incident and was punished by the jury, ordered to pay over $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

Burglary: On December 22, 1974, 22-year-old Rick Ross and Jeffrey Nuzum attempting to commit burglary were caught in the act by Phoenix police and arrested. Ross pled guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and placed on probation for one year.

Grand Theft by Embezzlement: On July 23, 1975, Ross held up a jewelry store in Phoenix, Arizona, making off with approximately $100,000 in diamonds and “precious paraphernalia.” He had given the clerk a note threatening to detonate a bomb he brought into the store if the clerk didn’t hand over the diamonds.

Ross also confessed to the police that he had been plotting the crime for three months prior to the robbery and that during this time, he had associated with many criminals, bought and used stolen credit cards, and had also stolen furniture and appliances from model homes.

This is the man you call an “expert.”

You should be ashamed.

Edward Parkin
International Director STAND

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