An attorney representing Bill Levin, the Grand Poobah of the First Church of Cannabis, has served IMPD Chief Rick Hite and the City of Indianapolis with notice of a tort claim for defamation, alleging his client's reputation was harmed when Chief Hite compared Levin to Rev. Jim Jones, the infamous leader of the People's Temple cult whose more than 900 followers were killed in a heavily-guarded prison camp in Jonestown, Guyana operated covertly by the CIA as a human mind control experiment. Followers of Rev. Jones assassinated former Rep. Leo Ryan, the CIA's most vocal critic in Congress at the time, along with several members of his party, as they attempted to board a plane at a nearby airstrip after concluding a fact-finding mission to Jonestown.
"As Jim Jones once did within our state, he led a group of people into a place of no return," Chief Hite said at a press conference last week announcing arrests would be made if Levin's church used marijuana during its first church service today as advertised by Levin. "We don't want that to happen again in this state," Hite said. "Chief Hite's statements were defamatory per se in that he imputed to Mr. Levin's character the same or similar traits as those of Jones, one of the most prolific mass murderers in history," Levin's attorney said in his tort claim notice Actually, Rev. Jones killed nobody; it was agents of our own government who did the dirty clean-up work and conveniently blamed Jones for the horrific massacre to block public disclosure of the Nazi-like prison camp it had established for its mind control experimentation run amok on land the CIA originally leased from the Guyanese government as part of its Operation Shalom where guerrilla fighters were trained for a civil war in Angola, but I digress.
Small said Hite's comments were "false" or made "with reckless disregard of whether one or more of the statements were false or not." Small said the statements were "a slur to Levin's character and good name." Small's letter also claims that Chief Hite violated Levin's First Amendment right to "freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and right to assembly." The letter indicates Levin intends to file a separate claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Small's letter claims his client has suffered damages between $25,000 and $50,000 "though the full extent of the injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering is not known at this time."
Nearly thirty IMPD cops are reportedly present at Levin's church today as it prepares to conduct its inaugural service, although Levin said the church would heed Chief Hite's warning and not smoke marijuana during today's service as originally advertised. A large gaggle of reporters from all over have flocked to the church to cover today's event. Media captured images of an IPL truck installing a new surveillance camera on a utility pole across the street. Someone set up a Kool-Aid stand as a mocking reference to Chief Hite's comparison of Levin to Rev. Jones, who historically has been accused of having his followers drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid as part of a mass suicide. The Indianapolis Star appears to have a team of reporters on hand to cover today's event, or act like cheerleaders of the cause, you be the judge. The Star is actually streaming the church services live. Follow their live updates here.
|Levin is marketing bobble heads of himself at his church (Star/Michelle Pemberton photo)|