some other info turns up about Lafayette Morehouse. (which is a cynical organizational name meant to confuse people with other decent entities named Morehouse and Lafayette. Victor Baranco was such a cynical s.o.b).
But they were involved, and appear to have lost cases involved in the anti-SLAPP legislation.
It looks like More University tried to so a Scientology style libel-chill lawsuit againt the SF Chronicle, and they lost. The case seems to get cited a lot.
The deeper you dig with Victor Baranco and all of his offshoots, the more it stinks, and it stinks very badly.
One has to wonder, do these other offshoots like OneTaste and Trellis House have the proper permits for group living for profit, zoning laws, etc? That is what seems to have started the problems for Victor Baranco.
NOTE: Notice how someone denied that Victor Baranco was prosecuted for drugs? Well, they were misleading people. Notice the ugly deception attempted again and again?
The document below states that Victor Baranco and "his wife Cynthia were the subject of an LSD drug prosecution in Hawaii."
There were also prostitution and other drug allegations alluded to below.
Those original San Francisco Chronicle articles would be interesting to read.
One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to smell a foul stink, and the perverse philosophy, organizational structure and methods of Victor Baranco are being promoted by these offshoot groups.
"In addition, the articles characterized Victor Baranco, the founder of More, as a "reclusive guru" and accurately reported that he and his wife Cynthia were the subject of an LSD drug prosecution in Hawaii. The articles also reported the allegations of a former student, Alan Steele, who said that More coerced students into prostitution and provided them with LSD and other illegal drugs."
California Anti-SLAPP Project
Morehouse v. Chronicle Publishing I
LAFAYETTE MOREHOUSE, INC., et al., Plaintiffs/Appellants,
The CHRONICLE PUBLISHING COMPANY et al., Defendants/Respondents.
California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5.
Aug. 9, 1995.
This appeal arises from the trial court's decision to dismiss a libel complaint filed by More University and several affiliated persons and entities, against the company which publishes the San Francisco Chronicle and several of its reporters.
More University was founded in the late 1960's as an outgrowth of the alternative living experiments of the time. Located near Lafayette, [FN2] the university describes itself as a "unique" institution, which was established to "expand the physical, spiritual, and intellectual capacities" of its students, while maintaining "tolerance for all apparent alien encounters." The university offers courses in a variety of traditional disciplines such as art, music, and philosophy. However, the university also offers somewhat unique degrees in the areas of "sensuality," "lifestyles," and "communication." Students studying in these latter disciplines take courses in areas such as "niceness & meanness," "teasing," "sensuality," and "mutual pleasurable stimulation of the human nervous system." Through study and course work (both in class and at home), students can obtain advanced degrees in these fields, such as a Ph.D. in "sensuality."
In early 1992, persons living on the More University property permitted a large number of homeless to live in tents on the site. This influx caused a corresponding increase of complaints from neighbors who alleged they were subjected to the annoying and sometimes criminal behavior of these new residents. Store owners experienced a sharp increase in the number of aggressive panhandlers and persons harassing their customers. Homeowners reported cases of public urination and public intoxication. Other homeowners complained of an increase in litter and petty crime. A local police lieutenant reported a "significant" increase in the number of problems related to the More University property including felony assaults, panhandling, and abandoned vehicles in residential and commercial areas.
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors responded to these and other complaints by holding a series of public hearings beginning in May 1992, to discuss whether this use of the More University property violated local health, land use, or other governmental regulations. As a result of those hearings, the board of supervisors determined that permits were needed since the activities violated local zoning laws. When More University officials refused to comply with the permit process or to cease the challenged activity, the county filed an action in state court to enjoin the alleged violations. More and various related entities responded by filing their own civil rights suit in federal court alleging the county's enforcement action violated their right to free expression and privacy.
Beginning in June 1992, the San Francisco Chronicle published a series of articles which described the dispute we have set forth above. The articles reported the influx of homeless living at the More University site and the corresponding increase in complaints from neighbors. The articles also discussed the board hearings which were held to discuss the problem, the county's enforcement action, and the university's complaint in federal court.
The reporters who wrote the articles sometimes used colorful language in describing the dispute and the parties, e.g., characterizing More as a "sensuality school" and stating that it offered a "unique course in carnal knowledge."
In addition, the articles characterized Victor Baranco, the founder of More, as a "reclusive guru" and accurately reported that he and his wife Cynthia were the subject of an LSD drug prosecution in Hawaii. The articles also reported the allegations of a former student, Alan Steele, who said that More coerced students into prostitution and provided them with LSD and other illegal drugs. Furthermore, the article accurately reported that More had filed a libel suit against Steele arising from his allegations.
More and various other persons and entities who were mentioned in the articles filed a complaint against the Chronicle and the reporters who wrote them. [FN3] As eventually amended, the complaint alleged seven causes of action, however, only one of them is relevant on the present appeal. More alleged that the newspaper articles were libelous.
The Chronicle responded to the complaint by filing a special motion to strike under section 425.16. [FN4] Consistent with the language in that section, the Chronicle argued that More could not establish there was a probability it would prevail on the complaint because, among other things, the articles were neither false nor defamatory. After hearing and argument, the trial court agreed and granted the special motion to strike, ruling that More had failed to present proof of falsity.
More then asked the court to reconsider its ruling, and it filed numerous declarations in support of its request. After argument, the court denied the motion, finding that More had failed to present evidence of falsity, and that it had not presented a prima facie case of actual malice. This appeal followed.