Educational DVDs and Videos




Douglas M. Brooks, Esq.
Flo Conway
John Crawford, Ph.D.
Ford Greene, Esq.
Robert Rivas, Esq.
Jim Siegelman
Past Board Members


Douglas M. Brooks, Esq.

Douglas Brooks is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School (J.D.) and a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the American Bar Association (member, Forum Committee on Franchising), and the American Trial Lawyers Association (member, Mandatory Arbitration Committee).

He has appeared in courts across the country, from the U.S. Virgin Islands to California. Mr. Brooks specializes in class action litigation, including cases that involve multi-level marketing and business opportunity scams, as well as securities fraud, antitrust, consumer protection and defective products.

Brooks was one of the attorneys responsible for the landmark decision in Webster v. Omnitrition International, Inc., 79 F.3d 776 (9th Cir. 1996). In this decision the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that in order to avoid being a pyramid scheme, a multi-level marketing firm must not only have, but enforce rules ensuring that the firm's products are retailed to actual consumers who are not members of the marketing plan.

Brooks has provided testimony to the Federal Trade Commission urging the adoption of regulations requiring full disclosure by multi-level marketing companies.

Mr. Brooks has defended the Ross Institute pro bono in two lawsuits.

In one case, an organization called the "Gentle Wind Project" sued the Ross Institute after the Ross Institute Web site added links to another site which made adverse comments concerning the group. This lawsuit was subsequently dismissed.

Mr. Brooks is also one of the team of attorneys representing the Ross Institute in an ongoing case filed against it by "NXIVM." The Second Circuit has since rejected a request for an injunction and affirmed that the Ross Institute has the right to publish critical articles about NXIVM despite copyright, trade secret and confidentiality claims regarding some quoted material.

Mr. Brooks has worked pro bono for a number of non-profit organizations involved in the effort to educate and protect consumers from deceptive and fraudulent MLM schemes. Since 1995 he has submitted extensive comments to the Federal Trade Commission in rule-making proceedings regarding the need for disclosure and conduct regulation of the MLM industry.


Flo Conway

Flo Conway completed her master's and doctoral work in communication at the University of Oregon, where she pioneered one of the first interdisciplinary programs in communication, drawing upon the social sciences, cybernetics, systems theory and theoretical biology. Conway worked at The Saturday Evening Post and has presented papers before the American Psychological Association and the International Communication Association. Conway and Jim Siegelman are co-authors of the seminal work about cults, Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change, and the groundbreaking book about fundamentalist extremism, Holy Terror: The Fundamentalist War on America's Freedoms in Religion, Politics and Our Private Lives.

Conway and Siegelman have testified in Washington at joint U. S. House-Senate hearings on cults and their dangers. They have lectured at more than 40 colleges and universities, and their analysis and commentary have been featured on "Good Morning America," the "Today" show, "The Tonight Show," "Prime Time Live," "20/20," "48 Hours," "Larry King," and other radio and television programs in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Articles by or about them have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, People, Playboy, Science Digest and Yahoo! Internet Life. Their work has been cited in publications as varied as Time, Forbes, Psychology Today, Ladies Home Journal, GQ, and been reprinted in Europe, Japan and Latin America.

Conway and Siegelman received the Leo J. Ryan Award, from the national educational foundation named for the U.S. Congressman who gave his life in Jonestown, Guyana, for their "extraordinary courage, tenacity and perseverance in the battle against tyranny over the mind of man."


John Crawford, Ph.D.

John Crawford, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. He received his doctorate from the University of Southern California.

His research focus as a scholar has included the management of conflict and negotiation in interpersonal and organizational contexts and the cult phenomenon through a study of recruitment and retention techniques.

As an expert consultant Crawford's work has included conflict management, negotiation and communication styles.

John Crawford is the author of the book "Communication Discovery: A Functional Perspective."

He is a member of the International Communication Association and past chairman of Communication and Law for the Western Speech Communication Association.


Ford Greene, Esq.

Ford Greene, Esq. is a practicing attorney in California, who has specialized in cult related litigation for more than twenty years. Greene is a graduate of the New College of California School of Law and is a member of the bar for the State of California.

Greene litigated and won the landmark appellate court decision, Molko v. Holy Spirit Association (1988) 46 Cal.3d 1092. In this decision the California Supreme Court held that the First Amendment does not bar civil causes of action for fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and restitution when a cult uses deception, which subsequently leads to an unsuspecting individual's exposure to thought reform techniques that cause suffering and damages.

In 1998 Greene won a $1.6 million jury verdict in Bertolucci v. Ananda against The Church of Self Realization led by Swami Kiyananda in California for fraud, coercion and sexual exploitation.

The Trial Lawyers for Public Justice named Greene a finalist for its 2003 Trial Lawyer of the Year award. He was chosen by the Washington-based organization for his 22-year legal battle against the Church of Scientology, which resulted in a $8.6 million settlement, paid to a former member for personal injuries.

Greene's experience with cults began in late 1974. He went to a camp run by Rev. Moon's Unification Church to rescue one of his younger sisters, but was instead recruited. Eight months later he walked out.

Before entering law school Greene assisted families through interventions, helping to free others from the Moon organization. His work was the subject of a book Moon Webs, which became the basis for the feature film "Ticket to Heaven."


Robert Rivas, Esq.

Robert Rivas, Esq. is a graduate of the University of Florida. He first worked as a reporter for The Miami Herald. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer, spent three years as a foreign correspondent in Central America, and then served as the deputy metropolitan editor of The Palm Beach Post.

Mr. Rivas later entered Nova law school and graduated summa cum laude. He first practiced law in the First Amendment practice group at the national law firm Holland & Knight, and later established the Palm Beach County-based firm of Rivas & Rivas. The firm moved to Tallahassee and became The Rivas Law Firm in September 2000.

In 2004 the Rivas Law Firm merged with Sachs Sax & Klein, based in Palm Beach County, and Mr. Rivas opened the firm's Tallahassee office. Today the firm is known as Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. Robert Rivas practices primarily in general civil litigation, especially First Amendment and other civil rights law, and in appeals.

In 2001 Rivas represented the Ross Institute pro bono concerning a lawsuit filed by "Pure Bride Ministries" claiming defamation regarding the listing of the then Florida-based ministry within the Ross Institute database. This lawsuit was subsequently dismissed.

In 1998 Mr. Rivas won the Fifteenth Circuit Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service award, primarily for his representation of the plaintiffs in Krischer v. McIver, a landmark case on whether a dying patient has a constitutional right to obtain his physician's assistance in his death. An activist in the right-to-die movement, Mr. Rivas is counsel to Final Exit Network and the Hemlock Society of Florida.

Rivas served as chair of the 20th Annual Florida Bar Media Law Conference in 1993 and as the chair of the Bar's Media and Communications Law Committee in 1997-98. He was a member of Class 16 of Leadership Florida in 1997-98 and was inducted into the Independent Florida Alligator "Hall of Fame" in 1998. He is AV rated (the highest possible rating for ethics and competence) by Martindale-Hubbell.


Jim Siegelman

Jim Siegelman, graduated from Harvard University with honors in philosophy. He was awarded the Fiske Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge. Siegelman and Flo Conway are co-authors of the seminal work about cults, Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change, and the groundbreaking book about fundamentalist extremism, Holy Terror: The Fundamentalist War on America's Freedoms in Religion, Politics and Our Private Lives.

Conway and Siegelman have testified in Washington at joint U. S. House-Senate hearings on cults and their dangers. They have lectured at more than 40 colleges and universities, and their analysis and commentary have been featured on "Good Morning America," the "Today" show, "The Tonight Show," "Prime Time Live," "20/20," "48 Hours," "Larry King," and other radio and television programs in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Articles by or about them have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, People, Playboy, Science Digest and Yahoo! Internet Life. Their work has been cited in publications as varied as Time, Forbes, Psychology Today, Ladies Home Journal, GQ, and been reprinted in Europe, Japan and Latin America.

Conway and Siegelman received the Leo J. Ryan Award, from the national educational foundation named for the U.S. Congressman who gave his life in Jonestown, Guyana, for their "extraordinary courage, tenacity and perseverance in the battle against tyranny over the mind of man."


Past Board Members

Margaret Singer, Ph.D.

 

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