Friday, April 29, 2005

Reverend Doctor Miller Newton back in Bankruptcy Court

by Ray Bradbury and Mike Sherman dateline Tampa, Florida 04/29/05

[Click for video of Dr. Newton walking into federal courthouse in Tampa.] On April 29, 2005 a hearing was scheduled at 9:00 am at the Federal Courthouse in Tampa, Florida before Judge Glenn to determine if Virgil Miller Newton's (AKA Father Cassian Newton) final bankruptcy decree would be reopened. The case number is 01-9883-67, Chapter 7). Mr. Newton arrived at the courthouse at 8:30 am dressed in a "religious" outfit. As Mr. Newton approached the court house concerned citizens asked him two questions. 1. "Mr. Newton why haven't you offered an apology to your victim’s?" 2. "Mr. Newton what is the first and most important rule at Straight?" The second question referred to Straight's rule, the very first rule being "honesty."

The hearing was attended by Mr. Newton, his attorney Al (last name inaudible in court), Steven Meinger (Bankruptcy Trustee) and Herb Doncia (Bankruptcy Trustee). Judge Glenn was not in attendance, but the Clerk of the Court accepted motions and agreements between parties into the record on the judge's behalf, but made no rulings. An agreement was struck between Mr. Newton's attorney and the Bankruptcy Trustees to reopen the final bankruptcy decree. The “Foundation” will be added as a defendant in the case and be given 30 days to obtain legal representation. At the expiration of the 30-day time period to allow the “Foundation” to obtain legal counsel the clock would begin again. The bankruptcy trustees have agreed to wait another 60 days and then file an adversarial motion against the property--a move to take the property in question.

Mr. Newton came into the courtroom prior to the hearing, then left and only his attorney stood on his behalf before the court.

Related story: motion to reopen

[Bradbury and Sherman wrote this report and took the video. They are Straight survivors and are not associated with]

Friday, April 15, 2005

DFAF subsidiary member Father Cassian Newton AKA Reverend Doctor Virgil Miller Newton to be back in court Friday

This time it's in federal court on Friday April 29, 0900 before Judge Glen to hear a motion to reopen his bankruptcy case link1 link2

Monday, April 04, 2005

St. Pete Times: Bankruptcy court may be re-looking at Newton

In 1982 Straight - Sarasota closed while being investigated for criminal child abuse by the states attorney. The Sarasota states attorney announced that Straight counselors had admitted they had been trained to abuse kids at Straight - St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and that Miller Newton had overseen their training. This forced Pinellas County prosecutor James T. Russell to launch yet another investigation of Straight. But he is the man who personally brought the Straight concept to Pinellas County under the name The Seed. One of his assistant state attorneys was on the board of directors for Straight! Not surprisingly, Russell found nothing wrong at Straight. In fact for 17 years he never found anything wrong at Straight. But Miller Newton left in 1983 under a barrage of civil suits. He setup his own Straight-like chain outside New York City in New Jersey called KIDS. Curiously Straight operated in major metropolitan centers around the country, but there was never a Straight - New York City area leading Straight trackers to suspect that KIDS may have been Straight - greater NYC area.

All KIDS' expansion programs closed under allegations of child abuse. When KIDS of Southern California was closed by the state for criminal child abuse, Mel and Betty stepped in, took over Newton's clients and setup Straight of Southern California. But California closed Straight within a year for criminal child abuse. Neither Mel or Betty Sembler nor Miller Newton went to prison for their crimes. In 1989 CBS's West 57th Street did an expose on Newton's Kids of Bergen County, New Jersey. A judge studied KIDS of Bergen County and said it should not get a license. County prosecutors raided the place and took out several young clients. So Newton changed the name to KIDS of North Jersey and moved to Hudson County.

After he was sued out of existence over his New Jersey program, Miller Newton moved back to Madeira Beach, Florida, bought a second home across the street from his home and boat, changed his name to Father Cassian, created a religious foundation, filed bankruptcy and donated his second property to his foundation. Now Newton's creditors know about the home across the street valued at $300,000 and they want it. Will he ever be put in prison for his frauds; for his crimes against children. To the people of Madeira Beach. Lee Drury Deceasar was one who tried to speak for you. What are you citizens going to do now? Read now the latest by The St Pete Times.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Newton threatens to sue in federal court to keep his cupola.

Madeira Beach threatens to put him in jail as Mel and Betty keep him aboard their their ISMFDA. For 17 years Melvin and Betty Sembler operated one of the most destructive juvenile rehabilitation programs the world has ever seen--Straight, Inc. Over 40 former clients from Straight and its spin-offs have committed suicide. For what they let happen to 50,000 American kids this dynamic couple should be in prison. Through it all, however, no one has ever witnessed Mel or Betty personally abusing anyone. This can not be said of Reverend Doctor Virgil Miller Newton, the man they selected to be Straight's national clinical director.

In 1990 a jury in St. Petersburg ordered Straight to pay $721,000 for abusing Karen Norton. One of the counts was that Newton had personally thrown her against a wall. There have been many other charges personally made against Dr. Newton. He left Florida in the 1980s amidst mounting criminal investigations and civil suits against Straight. He moved outside New York City and established Kids of Bergen County. There was never a Straight-NYC. Some feel that Newton's Kids program satisfied that void. He expanded with centers in Texas, California and Utah. He lost control of a Canadian program he was trying to establish. In 1998 CBS' West 57th Street did an expose on abuse at Kids. Prosecutors raided his program and removed several teenagers turned adults. All the expansion programs closed for abusing children. A judge studied the program and said it should not be given a license until its problems were fixed. So Newton moved to Hudson County, changed name to Kids of North Jersey and kept on operating. Four of his counselors were convicted of assault. He settled with the federal government for $45,000 in return for not being prosecuted for 254 counts of insurance fraud. He and his team settled with two former clients for $11.5 million. He had convinced one girl that she had a sexual addiction and had refused to let her touch herself down there for more than three wipes after using the bathroom--more and she would be painfully restrained. The state of New Jersey revoked his license to receive Medicare. So he declared bankruptcy; changed his name to Father Cassian Newton; and moved back to Florida and Ambassador Melvin Sembler and his wife Betty invited him to join their International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse (ISMFDA), a subsidiary of Drug Free America Foundation (formerly Straight). Newton setup a church in the residential property across the street and placed a cupola atop it. There was a town meeting. The people don't want him to have a church in a residential section. The city allowed him to use it as a chapel, but the cupola had to go. Now he is in defiance of that order. Now the town says he might be faced with fines and could go to jail. Not hard to figure out Newton's response. He's threatening to go to federal court. It's a violation of his religious rights!

The Church of Scientology, abusive Christian boarding schools, sexually preying Catholic priests and Miller Newton are exactly what is wrong with the President's faith-based initiative. George Bush has seen the light and men of God like Miller Newton should not be subjected to state scrutiny if they operate social programs. George Bush is a fool on this issue. Melvin Sembler is a man with a past, yet George Bush sold him an ambassadorship. If the president can be wrong on issues like these, how can we trust him to be right on other issues. It is because of people like Miller Newton that churches and we mean ALL churches should lose their tax-exempt status. We hope Newton's cupola story goes all the way to the US Supreme Court so the nation can hear it. I can buy an ordination off the Internet in 15 minutes for $29.95 and become an ordained minister. Put a cupola upon my house. Declare it a church and demand tax exemption. Hell it's time we all did and we all stopped paying taxes in the name of religion so the government would not have $50 million to repair the causeway out to Melvin's exclusive ocean-side community or to buy him a $113 million monument to himself in Rome. Only then will the Congress, the courts and the president come to realize that religion no longer means what it meant when this great country of ours was founded. article

Related article The Miller Newton Story