Five years ago this month -- on September 17, 2003 -- U.S. federal and local agents raided our manufacturing facility, warehouses, and even our home. They destroyed over 95% (roughly $500,000 worth) of our inventory, raw materials, and packaging; confiscated cash and library books from our home (only to later dramatically understate the total and claim that they "incinerated" our property because they couldn't find us); then worked with not less than two competitors (that we know of) to assist in the theft of our intellectual property.
After extracting a coerced plea, they threw me in prison for what would end up being approximately 30 months . . . during which they administered not one, but three, lie detector tests, because a former associate and a competitor told them I had millions of undeclared, untaxed dollars in Bahamian offshore bank accounts.
Money they desperately wanted.
Money that never existed.
No one who has not witnessed federal agents behaving like the mafia will quite grasp what all this means . . . (or, as author, Jordan Maxwell, says, "You don't know what America is about until you get into trouble . . . ")
"United States of America vs. Gregory James Caton" contains so many instances of "government agents violating the law in the feigned effort to enforce the law" that it is the subject of an upcoming book, Meditopia® -- so I will not belabor the point here. [ 1 ] (For those who are having trouble seeing the FDA for the crime syndicate it has become, I recommend a free viewing of We Become Silent: The Last Days of Health Freedom (2006), narrated by Dame Judi Dench, or Gary Null's Prescription for Disaster (2006).)
Those who have followed our story know that our laboratory is now in Ecuador -- a country that has freedoms in the area of health care that U.S. citizens can only dream of. Although we officially re-opened our online store on June 1st of this year, we are only now beginning to expand our line with our old formulas -- products that have been so successful in meeting consumer expectations that they are among the most trademark-violated in the short history of internet commerce.
Those who wish to follow our expanding product line need only to check periodically on the order form of our sister site (Ecuador Passion Fruit -- which makes concentrated essence and extracted seed oil from one of Ecuador's most popular fruits . . . as always just hit F5 to refresh.)
Recent re-releases include Cansema Tonic III, Lugol's Iodine, Bloodroot Paste, and QuikHeal Green.
Two developments this month are worth note.
First -- as presented on our current home page is the creation of a Compensation for Fake Product program to help what is most probably a victims' list now totalling in the thousands -- individuals who purchased products from suppliers using our trademarks, and in the case of one FDA informant whose goal was to co-opt our entire operation (George S. Ackerson), even our company name.
Critics will say it is a small gesture for the damage done -- or worse . . . but to do nothing is the worst option of all.
Our second major development is the announcement of our newest contract staff member, Carlos Tobar, M.D., who is an alternative / complementary medical practitioner in Guayaquil. Dr. Tobar is quite familiar with escharotic preparations, their properties, and alternative cancer practices in general. In addition, he is fluent in Spanish, English, and French. The inspiration for hiring Dr. Tobar and making his services available through Alpha Omega Labs is none other than Susan Gilliatt -- a straw injury case used by the FDA to justify the dismantlement of Alpha Omega Labs in the States.
After picking up a cool $800,000 from Alpha Omega Labs' product liability carrier, Sue Gilliatt moved on and attempted to shakedown a worthy competitor (Dan Raber) by claiming that the charges I had essentially plead to never happened -- more specifically and astonishingly, she claimed in a sworn affidavit that it was Dan Raber, solely, who was responsible for injuries she sustained to her nose. She signed this affidavit just three days after I plead to coerced FDA charges -- a plea that forced my insurance company to settle a case they were willing to take to court. (The problem is that the case was a complete con job -- in fact, the pictures she supplied to the media were taken AFTER she went through unnecessary surgery . . . something that the FDA will never tell the public.) [ 2 ] The case was publicized in a book by Dan Hurley -- whose misrepresentation of the facts is completely dismantled in Meditopia®. [ 3 ].
How is this relevant to getting PROPER medical advice? Or Dr. Tobar? The answer is simple --- if we provide access to medical doctors who aren't already predisposed to providing false and misleading information to consumers in favor of pharmaceutical drugs -- or colluding with greedy plaintiff attorneys who have no problem lying to the court or the media, then health care consumers will have a fighting chance in getting the care they need -- health care that's effective, inexpensive, and safe.
The public deserves a better shake from those who are supposed to protect them.
Dr. Tobar can be emailed at email@example.com.
And I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Caton --- Founder
Alpha Omega Labs
Plea Agreement: A Study in Torture & Coercion
Other 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. (See table at right). 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 Lewis Unglesby, my defense counsel, 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.
Judge: "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 it's 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 circumstances, 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 Melançon 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 Judge Melançon 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 Melançon could tolerate. It was then that he interrupted the proceeding and had Unglesby take me and my wife, Cathryn, into a back area behind the courtroom and explain to me how the system "worked."
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.
© 2001-2008 Alpha Omega Labs • Guayaquil, Ecuador • All rights reserved. This page posted : 19 Agosto 2008.