Anti-Cultist Aide Opens Patrick Defense
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Jul 29. 1980: ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 - 1986) pg. SD_A2

Anti-Cultist Aide Opens Patrick Defense

By Jack Jones

Defense attorneys in the Ted Patrick kidnap-conspiracy trial began to argue their case Monday, but quickly ran into a problem when their first witness testified he had helped Patrick deprogram several cultists held against their wills.

Superior Court Judge Norbert Ehrenfreund immediately sent the jurors out of the courtroom and, at the suggestion of Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Richard Huffman, appointed a lawyer to represent Robert Gregg, 25, a Patrick aide.

Huffman apparently felt the witness' testimony bordered on self-incrimination.

Gregg said he once belonged to Guru Maharaj Ji's Divine Light Mission, but was deprogrammed by Patrick after being held captive for eight days.

The day Patrick dissuaded him from his belief in that sect, Gregg said, "was the happiest day of my life." Several persons in the audience applauded. The trial has been closely watched by both Scientologists and supporters of Patrick since it began July 9.

On trial for the alleged kidnaping of 24-year-old Scientologist Paula Dain and holding her for 38 days are Patrick, Dr. Jack Dain, the young woman's father, and Mary Ann Dain, her stepmother.

On trial with them on the charges, which include false imprisonment and conspiracy, are Patrick aides Sondra Jack and James Roe.

The defense attorneys expect to conclude their presentation today.

On Monday, they once again attempted to introduce the jurors to some of the anti-Scientology material read by the Dains in an effort to establish how their states of mind had been affected and why they wanted to get her away from the organization.

Ehrenfreund, as he had before, denied the motion to let the jury hear or see the material. "However good or bad the motive was, that is not a defense in this state to the crimes of kidnaping or false imprisonment," he said.

Defense attorney Patrick Wall, over the objections of Huffman, cited other cases in an effort to get the Judge to rescind his earlier ruling against any defense based on a belief that removing the young woman forcibly was necessary.

"Mr. Huffman would have us believe," Wall argued, "That a parent, if he showed up in Guyana the day before the mass suicide and tried to get his child out, would be guilty of kidnaping."

Nevertheless, after looking over all the anti-Scientology material said to have affected the Dains' view, Ehrenfreund declined to allow the jury to see it.