UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
CHERYL LINDSEY SEELHOFF,
a married woman,
Plaintiff, Tacoma, Washington
PAT and SUE WELCH,
husband and wife,
Docket No. C97-5383FDB
September 3, 1998
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
BEFORE THE HONORABLE FRANKLIN D. BURGESS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE, and a Jury.
For the Plaintiff:
BARBARA J. DUFFY
GWENDOLYN PAYTON KLEIN
Lane Powell Spears Lubersky
1420 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4100
Seattle, Washington 98101-2338
For the Defendants:
RUDY R. LACHENMEIER
Lachenmeier, Enloe & Rall
9600 S.W. Capitol Highway
Portland, Oregon 97219
Court Reporter: Teri Hendrix
Union Station Courthouse, Room 3100
1717 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, Washington 98402
Proceedings recorded by mechanical stenography, transcript
produced by Reporter on computer.
Excerpt from transcripts Volume 4 September 3, 1998 Pages 684-920
How to use these documents.
A complete copy of the transcript are availble on an independent web site.
(Link provide by permission)
Documents can be ordered by writing to:
US District Court
Western District of Washington
P.O. Box 1935
Tacoma, Washington 98401
1 A. I'm at [address omitted by webmaster].
2 I understand, sir, that you're a teacher or you work in the
3 university system over there?
4 A. I'm at Grove City College. I'm assistant professor of
5 sociology and department chair.
6 Q. Did you accept a position with Mary Pride?
7 A. I believe, you know, it's been such a long time, but it was
8 in March that I think I actually accepted a position there.
9 Q. That would be March of 1994?
10 A. I believe so. I don't think I actually started there until
12 Q. I understand from your declaration that you worked there
13 sometimes on and off with Mary Pride. But can you tell me, what
14 were you hired to do in terms of the Pride publications? Tell
15 me what your job was.
16 A. Do you want the initial description or what actually ended
17 up being the case? That's actually very important.
18 Q. Then tell me about it.
19 A. Well, I was hired to be a research director, and what I
20 thought that that meant when I was hired was that I would do -
21 I would write articles and do original research on educational
22 issues and help her with Practical Homeschooling magazine and
23 with possible future startup publications. I think at that time
24 she was already thinking in terms of something like Home School
25 PC and things of this nature, as well as kind of do other
1 research that might come up, as needed, that the company would
2 require to accomplish various things.
3 If they were looking into a particular startup operation, I
4 might do research to find out what its feasibility would be,
5 what its cost might be, this sort of thing. So my impression
6 that I had when I was hired, I was hired basically as a
7 researcher and writer.
8 Q. When you were hired did you understand that you were going
9 to do any work for Mary Pride's publication Help for Growing
11 A. Not at all. As a matter of fact -- now, the timetable
12 escapes me completely. I was under the impression at the time
13 that Help, the last issue of Help was supposed to be out and
14 done before I even arrived there, that basically Help was going
15 to be a done deal, that its last issue would be distributed
16 before I even arrived in St. Louis in April.
17 And when I got there, she hadn't finished it yet. And I
18 can't remember when it was that she actually put out the last
19 issue. But, in other words, it was clear when I was hired that
20 Help wasn't even in their framework of reference at all for me.
21 And that it wasn't even supposed to exist by the end of that
23 And you got this impression from Mary Pride herself; is that
25 A. That's right. We didn't even really talk about Help when I
1 interviewed there. All our talk was about Practical
2 Homeschooling and all the research she wanted to get done and
3 this kind of thing.
4 Q. Okay. You said you were hired for one purpose and
5 eventually you took over another or your actual employment
6 involved another purpose. Can you tell me about that sort of
7 evolution or transition?
8 A. Sure. After I was hired, the -- first of all, I worked out
9 of her home instead of in a separate office, which was what I
10 had initially thought I was going to be doing. I was actually
11 working closely with Mary and Bill in an open space, probably 25
12 by 20 feet in their house, at a separate computer station there.
13 But the -- when I arrived there, it was clear that one of
14 the things that they were concerned about was building up
15 advertising for the fall issue, the back-to-school issue, which
16 they had hoped to have out by mid-July, if I remember correctly.
17 Q. That was the fall issue of Practical Homeschooling?
18 A. That's right. And I knew that I was writing a series of
19 articles on public education and business support for education
20 and so forth. And I did end up working on that pretty much
21 straightaway, and I also helped her do research for an article
22 on distance learning, college distance learning. That was
23 pretty much in the heart of what I was hired to do. At first
24 the advertising was -- this was a small company, you have to be
25 able to help with anything we need doing, from Xeroxing and
1 everything else. Which I understood. But at first I was under
2 the impression what I would be doing is helping to build a
3 database of potential advertisers for the company, people they
4 could later pursue as potential clients from a range of
5 magazines and sources.
6 But very quickly I was kind of brought into actually making
7 calls on people and talking to them about advertising, and
8 advertising sales became a significant part of what I did, and
9 kind of a growing part. It would ebb and flow depending on the
10 need, but kind of a growing part. And for some reason, maybe
11 the skills related to what I do as a sociologist, interviewing
12 and doing field research and things of this nature, I found I
13 could make a fairly good rapport with people fairly quickly, and
14 the advertising revenue grew fairly substantially as a result of
15 my pursuing that.
16 That began taking on a very large percentage of my time and
17 became something that became part of a lot of other things that
18 I did. For example, if I went to a conference to cover the
19 conference, I think a good example would be the National
20 Education Computing Conference or Mac World, I could no longer
21 focus on meeting people, interviewing people, attending
22 workshops, writing up the results of my research, but also
23 distributing ad packets and talking to people about advertising,
24 as well. I ended up with what I could best call as a dual role.
25 So that's kind of what happened after I had arrived that I had
1 not expected.
2 Q. And the advertising you were selling was both magazine
3 advertising and the advertising Mary Pride sold in her card
4 deck, is that right?
5 A. That's right, that's right.
6 Q. And so you worked there initially from about April of 1994
7 until about October of 1994, is that right?
8 A. Yeah, about October. In the declaration I think I said
9 October 194, which is the best recollection I have. I don't
10 remember being there after Halloween. That's the kind of marker
11 I have in my mind. I have no documentation about exactly when I
13 Q. How come you left in October of 1994?
14 A. Okay. The long reason or the short reason?
15 Q. Let's start with the short one.
16 A. Okay. The short reason is, first of all, I felt that the
17 job had become too much not what I wanted to do and was hired to
18 do and what my whole training is, namely a researcher and a
19 writer and a teacher. So that was the I think first thing.
20 The second reason was that when I was hired in the spring, I
21 made it clear that it was extremely important for me to finish
22 my doctoral dissertation. I couldn't afford to really begin
23 putting in extra hours until I completed my Ph.D., and then I
24 would be willing to put in extra hours as a salaried employee.
25 I thought we pretty much agreed, except for periodic needs, I
1 wouldn't be asked to work further hours. And I was asked to
2 work weekends and evenings, and often for reasons I didn't think
3 warranted that. I saw my doctoral work slipping away. That was
4 the second reason.
5 The third reason was Mary, in spite of the fact I had
6 increased revenues with advertising and everything, Mary asked
7 me to work part-time and admitted that part of the reason was
8 financial concerns and ability to pay me. I was offended by
9 that, because I couldn't figure why I was brought all the way to
10 St. Louis with a family and bought a house and took out a
11 mortgage on a house and was told several months later that they
12 weren't sure they could cover my salary.
13 Once it became a part-time position, it wasn't as big a
14 problem for me to walk away from it and do something else if I
15 had to. It wasn't as much of an income loss.
16 The fourth reason is that Mary is a very, very difficult
17 person to work with. She's an authoritarian and micromanages
18 things. I found it increasingly difficult to get along with her
19 personally. That's the fourth reason.
20 We couldn't get along, and I don't think that she could get
21 along with people very easily, but I found it impossible to do
22 so. To bring up objections or concerns about anything was kind
23 of a hairy deal.' And, you know, I have too much training to be
24 put in a position like that.
25 But I think the last reason was that the back-to-school
1 issue, which I believe it was originally supposed to be out in
2 July, I think the dates shifted a little bit, but it was
3 sometime in early to mid-July, ended up not coming out until
4 school had already started. And the Prides maintained there
5 were good, solid reasons for that, a lot of things came up. I
6 don't want to dispute that; their son was very ill and there
7 were a lot of problems.
8 On the other hand, I felt I had put my neck out, and this
9 was damaging to a number of the advertisers, because there was
10 income revenue loss associated with selling a curriculum
11 product, and having your ad appear in September rather than in
12 July is a humongous difference in terms of revenue to the
13 advertisers. I developed a personal relationship with most of
14 them. I had never worked on a commission basis, so I had never
15 been motivated to deal with them on that basis, and I was trying
16 to help the company.
17 And, you know, I was turning around and looking at a
18 Christmas issue coming up towards the end of the year, and I
19 felt there was good faith on the part of the company to get that
20 issue out on time. But I wasn't sure I had the level of
21 confidence anymore to tell the advertisers, yes, this issue can
22 be out 6 to 8 weeks before those sales.
23 I was concerned if the Christmas issue came out late, that
24 there would be a similar -- both the back-to-school and the
25 Christmas-type situation are both extremely time sensitive.
1 I got to understand these people's situations in the
2 advertising business fast enough to figure that out, that they
3 weren't just purchasing spacer but they were also purchasing
4 timing. And as I told them at the time I just didn't have
5 confidence. So if advertising was going to continue to be a big
6 part of my work, I didn't feel I could approach these people in
7 confidence unless I had seen a couple issues come out in a row
8 on time. We had an interaction about that, where I didn't -- I
9 wasn't happy with the outcome, and so I resigned.
10 Q. And was this in October of 1994?
11 A. Approximately.
12 Q. At some point you were asked to participate in the sale of
13 advertising for Help for Growing Families, is that right?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Okay. So in about the third or fourth week of July you were
16 asked to do that, to determine if there was an advertising
17 market for Help for Growing Families?
18 A. Pretty much. The approach was basically let's send out a
19 packet and try to sell and see if there is interest.
20 Q. And you were directed to do this by Mary Pride, is that
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. You said you were told to send out a packet to see if there
24 was interest. Who did you send this packet out to?
25 A. We put together a mailing list, and we utilized a range of
1 sources. First of all, there were our own existing advertisers
2 or people who were already in the advertising database that had
3 been approached before for Practical Homeschooling advertising
4 who appeared to have product lines or interests that would be
5 compatible with Help.
6 There was a lot of different magazines and card decks that
7 we looked at. Then of course there is the people that Bend in
8 products so that they can have them reviewed for the magazine or
9 the Big Book, which is periodically revised. All those things
10 are sources for advertisers.
11 Q. You said you looked at a lot of different magazines in
12 coming up with your mailing list. Was one of those magazines
13 that you looked at the Gentle Spirit magazine?
14 A. Yes, it was.
15 Q. Did you have conversations about reviving Help?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell me about, in general terms, tell me about the
18 conversations of reviving Help for Growing Families magazine.
19 A. She came up with it fairly quickly, pretty much out of the
20 blue. I had had nothing do with Help, and in a way that's not
21 really my area, you know. I did my doctoral dissertation on
22 public education, this sort of thing.
23 The whole thing about helping women with large families
24 manage their household and things is not central to what I do.
25 And the person that had really worked with Help and had edited
1 Help with Mary was a woman named Connie Seehigh (phonetic). And
2 she was brought into the conversations and really was far more
3 knowledgeable and had more to say about the feasibility of
4 reviving Help than me.
5 During all the conversations I really felt like I was
6 shooting in the dark, you know, is there a market for this, et
7 cetera, et cetera.
8 It was true what Mary believed was that Gentle Spirit had
9 shot itself in the foot, that Cheryl had shot herself in the
10 foot. That the situation, as it was becoming public in terms of
11 what had happened there, it was likely that Gentle Spirit would
12 not be able to survive, and that Mary herself couldn't feel that
13 she had any confidence in Gentle Spirit if it did survive
14 because, in a sense, you know -- very reasonable, I believe --
15 if you have a woman attempting to tell other women or help other
16 women do a good job in terms of honoring their husband and
17 mothering their children and in the middle of an affair she
18 doesn't seem to want to repent for.
19 Mary had promoted the ministry. And Help wasn't a big
20 moneymaker to her, she explained to me, and one of the reasons
21 she felt confident letting Help go was because there was this
22 other magazine meeting the needs of those ladies. With this one
23 appearing to be pretty much disappearing, pretty much on its
24 own, she felt maybe there was a need for this, because if Gentle
25 Spirit died, what would be there to meet the particular needs of
1 this person?
2 Mary, herself, I don't know if you're aware, her book which
3 she's probably best known for, more than her Big Book, is a book
4 called The Way Home. And in The Way Home Mary had strongly
5 encouraged women to have as many children as God sent, not to
6 use birth control, and adopt "family", and adopt a large role in
7 rejecting feminism and embracing a more traditional Christian
8 way of living a Christian life.
9 A lot of women were in fact changed by that. She had
10 letters and things from women that had stopped using birth
11 control because of her book, and maybe quit their jobs because
12 of her book, this kind of thing. I believe it is true she felt
13 she had a responsibility, and that she kind of explained it in
14 those terms to those people, that if they are going to be living
15 like that, they have to have the resources to help them with
16 what they need. So she -- the way she explained it at the time
17 was that she saw this gap emerging that she thought was a very
18 important gap, and by continuing to keep Help alive, she could
19 meet that need.
20 Q. By the way, you said in putting together this database of
21 potential advertisers that might sustain Help for Growing
22 Families, you looked at the Gentle Spirit magazine. Did Mary
23 Pride tell you to do that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And do you recall if you actually took the names of the
1 advertisers off of Gentle Spirit in order to compile your
2 database of potential Help advertisers?
3 A. Yes. They were not the only magazine or source, but I
4 definitely did.
5 Q. Okay. Do you remember which issue of Gentle Spirit you
6 looked at? Or was it multiple issues?
7 A. It was multiple issues. I recall Mary I don't think even
8 had the magazine, but we were in fact subscribers. Our pastor's
9 wife had bought us a gift subscription to Gentle Spirit, and so
10 I literally brought in I think four or five issues from our
12 Q. So did you actually send these advertisers a letter?
13 A. Well, Mary composed a letter and put my name on it, and I
14 approved it. And I think there was a packet, typical packet,
15 just kind of indicating what the rates would be and so forth.
16 And I believe that she -- then there was, you know, just the
17 standard mail sort kind of a thing. And the mailing went out,
18 as far as I remember a mailing went out.
19 And I went out under your name, is that right?
20 A. It went out under my name.
21 Q. Do you recall if your title on that document was advertising
22 sales manager?
23 A. That's right. As a matter of fact I remember that, partly
24 because it underscored how flexible my job description had
25 become. And it was something that I made a mental note of, this
1 was something I really didn't like, and I thought the thing was
2 going too far in terms of me becoming identified with
4 Q. Mr. Ayers, did you ever undertake to follow up on these
5 letters with a telephone call?
6 A. I'm certain that we did. We -- at that time there were days
7 when I would make 60 or 70 calls in a day and if there was a
8 push on or something like that. And it might be a mixture of
9 some research calls related to articles, and then calls
10 following up on requests for information from people, and then
11 calls following up on information we had sent to people cold. I
12 guess in sales talk you talk about hot calls and cold calls with
13 regards to that. I would be shocked if we didn't follow up on
14 that mailing with calls.
15 Q. Do you recall if any of the advertisers in this database
16 that you put together to assist you in reviving Help for Growing
17 Families were involved in one way or another in the home
18 schooling marketplace?
19 A. Tell me if I have got this wrong. Do you mean was there
20 some overlap?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Yeah, I think there was.
23 Q. Could you give me a sense of maybe the percentage of
25 A. Probably, if I was going to guess, it would be maybe 20 to
1 25 percent, something like that, would be either home schooling
2 market versus people selling products that wouldn't be as
3 directly home school focused. It would overlap the other
4 direction, too. We would have, for example, bread machine
5 makers interested in ads in the home schooling magazines.
6 Q. And vice versa, you would have home schooling people
7 interested in placing an ad in the Help for Growing Families,
9 A. Right. Because the understanding would be well over
10 three-quarters of the Help people were probably home schoolers.
11 Q. Mr. Ayers, when you followed up -- and I understand you may
12 not have a specific recollection -- but I think you said it was
13 more probable than not that you followed up on the letters that
14 were sent out to this sort of Help advertising base with a phone
15 call, is that right?
16 A. Yes. In fact, I would have to say if we didn't. I would
17 really be shocked to find out why we didn't. But it's -- in
18 other words, I think I remember sitting down and calling them
19 and asking them about Help and what they were interested in.
20 But I was calling so many people about so many different things
21 that I would have to say let's say about 99.5 percent. And I
22 think I even remember some such calls. But they don't stand out
23 in my mind, I was just on the phone so much.
24 Q. Mr. Ayers, I have in front of me, and unfortunately you
25 don't, a copy of a letter. It was one of the documents that was
1 produced just days ago from counsel for Mrs. Pride, and it
2 appears to be a form letter and there is handwriting on it that
3 says the actual date is 7-26-94.
4 And it's a form letter that starts out with "Want to make a
5 big splash with a small ad budget" and "Become a charter
6 advertiser in Mary Pride's new magazine, Help for Growing
8 Does that sound like the letter you recall having gone out
9 over your signatures? And I tell you it is signed "David Ayers,
10 advertising manager.,,
11 A. Yes, that is the letter we sent, I sent, mass sent,
13 Q. That Mary Pride instructed you to send?
14 A. That's right. She drafted it and then put my name on it to
15 send it.
16 Q. The date of July 26, 1994, do you have any reason to believe
17 this form letter did not go out on July 26, 1994?
18 A. Well, that would be roughly the right time period.
19 Q. And that's consistent with your memory of the third or
20 fourth week of July that you put this all together, is that
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Were you concerned at all about possibly interfering with
24 Gentle Spirit's advertising relationship with these people that
25 you were discussing this with?
1 A. I don't know what I thought of it in those terms. In other
2 words, I would have to say, yes, in the sense that I certainly
3 didn't want to call somebody up and say, drop this and come to
4 us instead or something like that, no.
5 Q. Why did you not want to say something like that, drop this
6 and come to us instead?
7 A. Well, you know, in a sense that's, to me, and I thought in
8 terms of our internal discussions at the time, that was not fair
10 To approach somebody, for example, a big curriculum
11 provider, let's say, or a great Christian book with a large
12 advertising budget and they are placing ads in a lot of places.
13 But even a small book with a smaller advertising budget, they
14 might be advertising with a small ad in three or four places and
15 a large ad in one.
16 To somebody that is advertising in Teaching Home and isn't
17 advertising with you and say would they like to advertise with
18 you, that's no different than selling a car, knowing a person is
19 going to be looking at Fords and Chyrslers and everything. But
20 to go to somebody and say could you drop this here and take it
21 up on the other side, that wouldn't be just soliciting
22 advertising normally, it would be also having an attack side to
23 it that I wouldn't be comfortable with.
24 Q. You said, and I may have misunderstood you, but you said you
25 sort of wore a bunch of different hats. One was to cultivate
1 advertising for Help and the other was an investigative role.
2 Tell me about your role with respect to the investigation
3 regarding Cheryl Lindsey. Why were you asked to do that?
4 A. Well, that's a good question. When the whole thing first
5 came to light, when Mary was first informed about what was
6 happening with Cheryl, and I believe that that was sometime in
7 mid or early July, I can't remember exactly, and I also, I
8 believe, although I can't recollect exactly, that that was as a
9 result of a fax from Sue Welch.
10 And I couldn't tell you what the content of the fax was or
11 anything. I kind of remember the fax coming through and there
12 being kind of general shock. And Mary at that point wanted to
13 know what was going on and I think partly didn't want to pass
14 along false information if she was asked about it, and partly
15 just felt that that would be a reasonable -- if looking into
16 this produced any information that seemed newsworthy, that that
17 might be a good topic for an article in home schooling about
18 that. Kind of an expose' article.
19 Q. I'm sorry, what did you say at the end there?
20 A. Kind of like an expose' article, something like that. A
21 journalistic piece on what happened, what really happened, this
22 sort of thing.
23 Q. To your knowledge had any of Mary Pride's publications ever
24 done this sort of expose' article in the past?
25 A. No, but she was looking to branch out in the types of pieces
1 she was doing, that was true.
2 In fact, initially one of my jobs was to produce a
3 three-article series, for example, on public education, which
4 would be more research oriented. In other words, I think she
5 wanted to get away from doing just how-to articles and get more
6 into Wagnerian and research articles and bring the magazine up a
7 notch and so it would continue to handle the practical stuff but
8 do other things. It was true one of the reasons I was hired,
9 she wanted to expand the types of stuff she was doing.
10 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Ayers, at any time you worked with Mary
11 Pride whether you contributed to or saw any articles in any of
12 her publications related to the personal lives of anybody?
13 A. No. The only exception would be the Gentle Spirit piece,
14 and that I only produced the notes for. We never did an article
15 on that. As you know, we approached that briefly in July, we
16 called Mike Boutot, representative of the Ohio conference. I
17 believe we talked to Joe Williams. I know we talked to Joe
18 Williams; I know we talked to Claude. I know we talked to Mike.
19 And I think one of Cheryl's sons. I placed a call to Gentle
20 Spirit and left a message on the answering machine.
21 And then we dropped that, thankfully. And then it got
22 picked up again in mid to late September, and that's when the
23 advertisers were more of a focus. And there was some notes
24 generated from that. And then I said I didn't want to work on
25 it. It was dropped at that point. There was never an article
1 published on that. You asked about contributing. That would be
2 my contribution, would be the notes that I produced of the
3 information that I generated from those two pretty short pieces
4 of investigation.
5 Q. Sorry, I was checking with the court reporter to make sure
6 we got that answer.
7 You said that you were asked to investigate the piece
8 shortly I don't want to put words in your mouth. I take it
9 you were asked by Mary Pride to investigate this issue shortly
10 after Mary Pride learned about it, and then again you were asked
11 to look into it in September of 1994, is that a fair statement?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. During your first go-round of investigations were you
14 still -- did you understand that you were doing that first
15 go-round for the purpose of writing an article?
16 A. I understood that we were at least collecting information to
17 find out if there was material there for an article and if it
18 would be feasible.
19 Q. Was this your idea to determine if there was material for an
21 A. No.
22 Q. I take it it was Mary's idea, is that right?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. Did she explain to you why she thought that would be a
25 worthwhile article?
1 A. Well, what were the reasons that I remember her giving? If
2 my recollection is correct, the main reason that I saw her
3 giving for that was that the -- I thought, anyway, that it had
4 something to do with making sure people that were in and around
5 the home school community and in the whole circle of
6 Christianity were not deceived about what was happening there,
7 and kind of let people know what really happened. I think this
8 was part of it. And I think part of it was just let's eliminate
9 rumors with kind of cold, hard fact.
10 Q. And that was your job, to get ahold of the cold, hard facts?
11 A. That's right. In terms of building material for kind of an
12 investigative journalistic article.
13 Q. And part of your effort to get ahold of the cold, hard facts
14 was to contact Pastor Joe Williams; is that right?
15 A. That's right. I can't remember how I got in touch with Joe.
16 I thought I remembered that there was actually kind of a
17 conference call or like a speakerphone thing. Because I thought
18 I remembered talking to Claude and Pastor Williams at the same
19 time. I can't remember if one of the sons was there or not.
20 Q. How many times did you talk to Pastor Williams?
21 A. That I can't recall. You know, I mean, I think there was
22 some going back on the phone just getting in touch with each
23 other and finding the time. But I wouldn't think more than a
24 couple times.
25 Q. You remember the term "fruits of repentance" being used, is
1 that right?
2 A. Well, let's put it this way, it rings a bell.
3 Q. Do you recall if Mary Pride undertook to publish the results
4 of your investigation on the Internet?
5 A. I didn't know if anything like that happened, I certainly
6 didn't know about it.
7 Q. Is that something you would have remembered?
8 A. If it had come to my attention, I would have.
9 Q. What would you have done if it had come to your attention?
10 A. I would have probably been a bit upset.
11 Q. Why is that?
12 A. Well, because, you know, an investigation, and just my own
13 sociological training was you do interviews and you check them
14 out and check them out and double-check them and cross-validate
15 and look for contradictions.
16 It's a bit of a road between interviewing people and
17 beginning to gather facts and putting them together with
18 confidence to make those facts public. There's a lot of
19 cross-checking and validating and information gathering that has
20 to be done before you do that, that's all my training,
21 particularly in something that sensitive.
22 I wouldn't go to one of my professors at NYU and say, you
23 know, I want to publish this or I want to defend this, unless I
24 had done my homework.
25 Q. Had you ever had the opportunity to do your homework, to
1 cross-check this information and validate it?
2 A. No, because it was very short. It was just a couple, maybe
3 two, three days of initial information gathering, some
4 conversations about it, and then the project got dropped, the
5 investigative project got dropped at that point.
6 Q. Do you recall Mary Pride ever discussing this topic,
7 overhearing her discussing this topic with anybody on the
8 telephone, the topic of Cheryl Lindsey and her relationship with
9 Rick Seelhoff?
10 A. I believe that after she got the facts, I believe that she
11 talked to Sue Welch briefly on the phone about it. I don't know
12 anything about the content.
13 THE COURT: Ms. Duffy, let's make that a stopping
14 point, and then we will take it up on the other side of the noon
16 With that, obviously you can be about getting a bite to eat
17 and have you back here ready to go at 1:30. Again, I remind you
18 not to discuss the case.
19 See you back at 1:30.
20 (Jury not present.)
21 THE COURT: All right, then we will be at recess until
22 the 1:30 hour. Anything else? It seems like -- well, I can't
23 tell from looking at this. We've quite a bit to go on
24 Mr. Ayers, and then we have Ms. Robinson and a few other things,
25 but let me have you do this. I think it may be time, at least,
1 you review as to what you want to present to me on the Seelhoff
2 issue. Remember that?
3 MS. DUFFY: I am sorry. The Rick Seelhoff issue, yes.
4 THE COURT: All right. Then we will be at recess until
5 then. If there's something we can take up before the 1:30 hour,
6 let her know.
7 MS. DeDOBBELAERE: Okay. I would like to address the
8 Court about our attempts to get all our witnesses here tomorrow.
9 Just so the Court may be aware, we may have trouble filling in
10 the entire day, since we thought -- I just want to address that
11 with the Court.
12 THE COURT: I don't know what to address. I thought we
13 discussed it yesterday about being ready to go. I would see
14 where we are when we get there.
15 MS. DeDOBBELAERE: I just want to give the Court a
16 head's up on a few things.
17 THE COURT: It sounds like you are saying you do not
18 have a witness available today.
19 MS. DeDOBBELAERE: We have a witness today and we think
20 we may have the day filled tomorrow, but I just wanted to give
21 the Court some things that were happening with the Northwest
22 Airlines strike and all that.
23 We are having witnesses fly
24 THE COURT: I Know about the strike.
25 MS. DeDOBBELAERE: We are having witnesses fly all over
1 the country and we are having a hard time changing their flights
2 to tomorrow. I think we will have most the day filled.
3 THE COURT: Okay. All right, we are in recess.
4 (Luncheon recess.)
5 THE CLERK: All rise, Court is now in session.
6 THE COURT: You may be seated.
7 Laurene is pointing me to one issue I hadn't heard before,
8 that seems to be some E-mail going back and forth between the
10 MS. DUFFY: Yes, Your Honor, these are exhibits that
11 will be addressed in the cross-examination of Rick Seelhoff
12 offered by the defendants.
13 THE COURT: Are they offered or are they used for a
14 particular purpose?
15 MS. DUFFY: We would object to their admissibility.
16 MR. LACHENMEIER: Following the Court's previous
17 instructions, I am going to ask him point blank: Did this occur
18 or didn't it occur. If he says no, then I will -
19 THE COURT: So that's impeachment?
20 MR. LACHENMEIER: Yes.
21 THE COURT: All right. There's no problem with that.
22 That's fair.
23 MR. LACHENMEIER: I didn't think there was a problem.
24 I am going to do it that way.
25 THE COURT: I thought about the other issue. I don't
1 know if we want to deal with that in particular, but in terms of
2 the going into the matter of not filing any income tax.
3 MR. LACHENMEIER: I am withdrawing that, Your
4 because I don't want to present appealable error for the other
5 side, and it's a close enough issue that I'm just going to stay
6 away from it.
7 THE COURT: All right. Then that's settled.
8 I believe my marking shows page 72 of David Ayers'
10 MS. DUFFY: Yes, that's where we are, Your Honor.
11 THE COURT: Okay, I believe we are ready.
12 (Jury present.)
13 BY MS. DUFFY:
14 Q. When did you -- you said earlier today that you had the
15 impression that, you know, the Gentle Spirit support base had
16 pretty much known about this topic at some point after, at least
17 after Mary Pride learned about it.
18 Can you give me a sense in time when you reached the
19 conclusion that people pretty much knew about this issue?
20 A. It would be approximately in August. Because I believe it's
21 by then that there was pretty much some chatter going on online.
22 And one of the realities about the home schooling movement that
23 I think a lot of people aren't fully aware of outside the
24 movement is the extent to which home schoolers are
25 electronically networked.
1 Far more than people can imagine. It's what gives the
2 movement a lot of its strength. So once I started seeing
3 postings on AOL, I knew, you know, that it would be disseminated
4 very rapidly.
5 Q. Did you get the impression that Mary Pride thought it was
6 important that people know about Cheryl Lindsey's relationship
7 with Rick Seelhoff?
8 A. I don't know if I would put it that way. She certainly
9 expressed openly that she thought it was important that people
10 know essentially where Cheryl was at.
11 Q. At some point the investigation sort of picked up again, do
12 you recall that?
13 A. Yes, I thought it was around the third week of September.
14 Q. Why do you think it was the third week of September?
15 A. There was a lot of things going on at that time that kind of
16 etched itself on my mind.
17 Q. Can you give me an idea of what sorts of things?
18 A. Well, it was around that time that I was asked to go
19 part-time, and also it was around that time that I think my wife
20 and I began really seriously considering whether I should pull
21 out, which is a difficult decision, because quitting a position
22 like that meant no unemployment and this kind of thing.
23 So there were those kinds of discussions going on. So it
24 was kind of a time of difficulty, heightened tension, financial
25 concerns for us as a family, this kind of thing. And increasing
1 conflict, I think, with Mary. And I remember, you know, I
2 remember that time period. I remember that September was a
3 particularly difficult time period, and it was kind of in the
4 middle of that time period that Mary kind of brought up doing
5 the investigative piece again.
6 Q. Do you know why she revisited that issue?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. Did she explain to you why she thought it was a good idea?
9 A. If I remember correctly, she gave me the same reasons that
10 she had the first time. And in this time I thought in the
11 second go-round she wanted to focus more on whether Cheryl had
12 acted deceitfully towards her advertisers.
13 Q. Okay. And it was in that second go-round that you put on
14 your investigator hat and contacted other Gentle Spirit
15 advertisers, is that right?
16 A.There was only two that I really remember talking to, in all
17 honesty. The one was a fellow named Green, I can't remember if
18 his first name was Robert or Richard. He was with a magazine
19 called Quit Ye Like Men. And nice fellow. The other was Phil
20 Lancaster. That was the one on my mind.
21 When Mary contacted me and asked me to get hold of Phil, it
22 was a big deal, because them and Phil didn't speak to each
23 other. Had to Hunt down Phil because he had moved to Rolla and
24 was difficult to reach. I believe Mr. Green had strongly
25 encouraged me to talk to Phil about his experience with Gentle
1 Spirit, and I managed to get ahold of Phil and we spoke.
2 Those are the two, both of the fellows were already aware of
3 the problems there, and indicated they wanted to pull out.
4 Q. Do you know whose idea it was for you to contact Robert
6 A. I don't remember. I mean, it was Mary's idea to contact
7 advertisers. And I don't remember if that kind of came out of
8 some interaction or whether she just suggested it. That I don't
10 Q. Did Mary give you an idea why it was she thought this
11 article about deception to advertisers was newsworthy?
12 A. No. I mean, she kind of picked that up, and it was -- you
13 know, she wanted to reopen the whole thing. Around the same
14 time, too, she began interacting with me about attempting to do
15 an interview with Cheryl or Richard, or both, and formulating
16 questions that she wanted them to answer, also. So she was
17 leading up to more of a full-scale, broader thing than just the
18 advertisers. And she wanted me to interview them.
19 Q. And by "them" you mean Cheryl Lindsey and Rick Seelhoff?
20 A. Cheryl and Richard, that's right.
21 Q. Did you undertake to set that interview up at all?
22 A. No. I mean, we interacted and Mary gave me a list of topics
23 that she wanted dealt with, and I kind of typed that up, and
24 then she critiqued it, and it went back and forth I guess a
25 couple of times. And in all honesty, the rooming there and some
1 of the things that I think she wanted me to go into, and stuff
2 like that, I just became uncomfortable with the whole thing.
3 Q. The list of topics, can you describe for me this list of
4 topics that you were sent just a few days ago by the Prides'
6 A. Well, it was essentially the kind of final fruits of my
7 discussions with Mary about this piece right before I sent her a
8 memo saying that I was just refusing to do it, I just didn't
9 want to do it, and she would have to -- in other words, I was
10 refusing. And I think it was basically the last round of our
11 discussions about that before she agreed to drop it. I insisted
12 she did.
13 Q. What were the topics that you were uncomfortable with asking
14 Cheryl Lindsey and Rick Seelhoff?
15 A. Well, it was really just the whole thing.
16 Q. Why were you uncomfortable with that?
17 A. First of all, I didn't like -- I certainly didn't want to
18 expand the calls to advertisers and things. I didn't see the
19 point. I felt that at that point, this was moving well into
20 September at this point, that the issue had been aired enough
21 online that we weren't really -- you know, no one was out there
22 being deceived about what was going on at this point.
23 I'm sure there were people that didn't know, but in terms of
24 the concerned community of folks surrounding Gentle Spirit and
25 the home schooling community, people that might attend Cheryl's
1 seminars at conferences and things like that, I felt the thing
2 had been pretty well aired.
3 And I felt some of the questions we were going into were
4 just too personal. I don't really remember what they were, I
5 just had the feeling -- it was one of these things, I can't
6 imagine sitting down and asking these questions. Now, I have
7 done social research with militant groups and things like that
8 where we have had to deal with some pretty hairy topics, and if
9 there was a purpose or a reason, I would be willing to delve
10 into all types of material in terms of information, but I guess
11 I was looking at the possibility of possibly at some point on
12 the phone or some other means sitting down with Cheryl and
13 Richard and going into the questions, delving into a range of
14 details of the particulars of what they were planning, what they
15 had done in the past, what they believed about different things,
16 and it was just something that I wasn't comfortable with.
17 Q. Okay. And you shared your concerns with Mary Pride, is that
19 A. Well, there was a point at which I actually contacted -- it
20 was very difficult. Because my wife and I talked about it
21 carefully beforehand, and because I felt that what I really
22 needed to do -- with Mary, I felt like unless you take a very
23 blunt approach and you just put your foot down, you're not going
24 to get through.
25 And so it was one of these situations where she had ordered
1 me to go forward with this article. I was very uncomfortable
2 with it. And I also -- I didn't believe that we were -- in
3 other words, you could say that it was an appropriate topic for
4 a home schooling magazine because we're dealing with a home
5 school leader. I wasn't sure our readers would want us dealing
6 with the topic.
7 And I didn't feel a small company like us could handle the
8 liabilities of doing that type of investigative piece. We
9 weren't set up for that. We weren't a Look or Newsweek or
10 National Globe that have reporters trained to do that kind of
11 investigative research, that know the laws pertaining to it and
12 so forth.
13 And frankly, I was afraid a lawsuit would emerge from that
14 kind of investigation. I wasn't concerned about myself but I
15 was concerned the company would end up getting wrapped up in
16 something like that. So the bottom line was I basically
17 communicated to Mary that I was going to refuse to do the
18 article. That I was strongly encouraging her not to do it. But
19 that if she ordered me to do it anyway, I would have to resign.
20 That's one of the reasons why that part of September stands out
21 in my mind, because I went in to work that morning not really
22 knowing if I would have a job at the end of the day.
23 Q. Did you resign from your work with Mary Pride in part
24 because of this situation involving Cheryl Lindsey?
25 A. Well, I resigned from my job at least in part because this
1 was the type of stuff I felt I was having to deal with and
2 shouldn't have to. Not because, you know, it was wrong for the
3 company to be exploring whether they should be doing a piece
4 like this or this kind of thing. The Christian community is
5 like any other communities, we have to air our dirty laundry and
6 talk about it openly. But just that in terms of having to deal
7 with everything so confrontationally, feel my job is on the line
8 every time I did, yes. In other words, it was part of the
10 Q. Did you have any conversations with Mary Pride on the issue
11 of legal liability?
12 A. Well, I certainly communicated to her a little bit about it.
13 I mean, in my initial interviews, that issue was raised right at
14 the beginning, even in July, by -- I can't remember who brought
15 it up in our conversation. I don't remember if it was Mike
16 Boutot or Joe Williams who brought up that issue.
17 Q. And what was the context of the legal liability that someone
18 was concerned about in your interview discussions?
19 A. Alls I remember about the whole discussion of legal
20 liability is just that, you know, this is someone who would do
21 that and might have motivation to do that because the magazine
22 is crashing and there is obviously going to be some real
23 financial problems associated with that.
24 That was what I remember of the context of that. Although I
25can't remember who brought up the issue. I don't remember