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>From: YKMQ22A@prodigy.com ( RALPH FUCETOLA)
>Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 11:14:48, -0500
>Subject: Tester Petition
>To Protect Nutrition from State Regulation
>To: Governor Whitman and the NJ Legislature
> On October 11, 1995 special agents of the Attorney General's office
>raided the New Life Healing Center in Ft. Lee.
> Since that day, eight members of the group have died, denied full
>access to the alternative modalities for which they banded together.
> The group formed a First Amendment private nutritional association
>(not dealing with the public) "to achieve and maintain a healthy
>status." Richard Tester, the Nutritionist who directs the Center,
>has been in Court ever since then, seeking to preserve the members'
>privacy right to access alternative modalities. His case is now
>before the Supreme Court of New Jersey and in September, 1998 the
>Court issued an Order permitting him to file a Petition for
>Certification with the State's highest court. If the Petition is
>accepted, this case will impact all our rights.
> There is no State law forcing Nutritionists to be licensed;
>Nutritionist is a common law profession of the common right. The
>Legislature has, on over a half dozen occasions in the past decade or
>so, refused to license Nutritionists. Governor Whitman, in 1995,
>vetoed a voluntary certification bill, as being unnecessary. We are
>urging the State legislature to investigate the Consumer Affairs
>Division of the Attorney Generals Office immediately in regard to the
>Case of Peter Veniero, Attorney General of New Jersey vs. Richard
>Tester and that action be taken accordingly. We feel our rights have
>been violated under "Common Law" (U.S. and NJ constitution,
>government official's oath of office) and that this case would never
>go to trial if Deputy Attorney General Harper had acted honestly and
>responsibly. A summary of the facts of the case and our grievances
>are as follows.
>The Division does not have the power it has sought to exercise
>against Nutritionists. The State's actions in this case have not been
>based upon the special circumstances of the Petitioners, but rather
>upon a misapplication of law and science. The rights and law
>asserted by Petitioners in this case have never before been so
>asserted before the New Jersey Supreme Court.
> After confiscating hundreds of member's personal files, twelve
>people were selected as unwilling participants in the State's case by
>Mr. Harper. There have followed numerous reports of "bullying
>tactics" by both Mr. Harper and Mr. Melchionda who led the
>investigation which included pressuring members to use words like
>"diagnose", "treat", "prescribe" (these words only apply to
>professions that are licensed in the State) to strengthen their
>"case". The Prosecution is obviously trying to build a case out of
>semantics by adhering only to the legal definition of words and
>ignoring the intended meaning of the witness. One member told Tester
>she asked Mr. Harper why you are pressuring us this way? He said we
>don't really have a case and need your help to build one against R.
>Tester. Also, Mr. Melchionda told members that R. Tester hurt a lot
>of people and is very dangerous and must be stopped thinking it would
>get them to cooperate better. The State has failed to produce any
>injured party or legal complain
>. Similar stories were echoed by the other eleven investigated
>members. Tester himself experienced similar tactics during his own
>deposition which lasted an exhaustive eight days. Since then most
>witnesses signed statements stating the Attorney General did not
>represent their interests. Several have appointed their own counsel,
>Mr. James Tamburro, to represent them.
> Mr. Harper persists. In his January 24th letter he threatened both
>the Defense and the Intervener's Attorneys with legal action if they
>remained in contact with the twelve witnesses citing a violation of
>the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC 4.2). Similar threats were
>made to the witnesses if they made contact with their own appointed
>Counsel or the Defendant. However; this amounts to bullying tactics
>and legal games as all sides have every right to communicate amongst
> Is this the best the citizens of New Jersey can expect from the
>highest prosecutors in the state? When the witnesses for the
>Prosecution declare that they are in fact witnesses for the Defense.
> Isn't it reasonable to assume that the case is weak at best rather
>than presuming the witnesses to be simple-minded, unable to grasp the
>issues and thus easily coerced by communication with the Defense? In
>fact they feel coerced and violated by the Prosecution, that is why
>they sought independent Counsel. They have a right to do so and the
>Deputy Attorney General is trying to deny them that right!
> And for what? To date the State has not produced one piece of
>compelling evidence or one reliable witness that would implicate the
>Defendant in wrongdoing. He has broken now laws. He has merely done
>an outstanding job counseling and guiding his members toward better
>health within the parameters of State law as supported by case law.
>Tester is hardly the snake-oil salesman the Prosecution is coloring
>him as. In fact within the confines of his field, his breadth of
>knowledge is unrivaled.
> It is a haunting fear that if a mere handful of people are allowed
>to "get away" with making their own decisions about how to deal with
>terminal illness, the governments of this world will collapse. And
>so, to conquer this fear Harper and his agents have taken to using
>terrorism in the form of legal tyranny because, as he likes to put it,
> "you don't have any rights when you are sick.." Domestic terrorism
>is no less real because it takes place by judicial or bureaucratic
>edicts rather than bullets and bombs. The only legitimate purpose of
>trials is to seek the truth, an elusive goal on the field as played.
>If state agents want to keep their bosses happy, let them regulate
>the naive public and leave educated consumers alone to pursue their
>own goals in private. The state agents must defend the
>Constitutional rights of all, as required by their oaths of office.
> The implication is that the residents of NJ can be held hostage by
>the whim of blackmailers and by a Deputy Attorney General who seems
>to have difficulty grasping the basic issues of the case or is
>perhaps so biased that he does not want to understand. Mr. Harper
>seems more interested in "winning the case" at any cost (and raising
>revenue for the State) than respecting the rights of the citizens he
>professes to represent and seeing that justice is served.
> We appeal to you to weight seriously the issues we have put before
>you and again urge you to launch a thorough investigation of the
>Division of Consumer Affairs immediately regarding this matter.
>Name Address Signature
>Copies to: Governor Christine Todd Whitman 125 W. State St., CN-001,
> Trenton, NJ 08624-0001
> tel 609-292-6000, fax 609-292-3454, email, http://www.state.nj.
> Senate Health Committee Chairperson
> Sen. John Sinagra, tel 908-819-7551, fax 908-819-7974
> Assembly Health Committee Chairperson
> Hon. Charolette VanderValk, tel 201-666-0881, fax 201-666-5255
>Please let us know (by email to firstname.lastname@example.org) that you have
>signed & sent this petition.
>Richard Tester needs citizen support to continue to fight for all our
>rights. Donations may be made to "New Life Defense Fund." c/o NLCH
>1032 Cumbermeade Rd, Ft. Lee, NJ 07024.
>All rights reserved -- UCC 1-207. ( 1998 [09/04/98]
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