Good afternoon, Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Jeffords. Thank you for this opportunity to testify before this Committee today.
Daily, we all are faced with choices. My choice today is to present to you factual information that I hope will assist you. The alternative for me would be to leave it for someone else. My past personal experience indicates my choice to present information to you will unfortunately lead to retaliation against me and my family.
For the last few years, I have been living a somewhat captive existence, held hostage by members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (“SHAC”), an animal rights activist/terrorist group. As you have heard, SHAC is an underground group that uses fear and terror to force their viewpoint upon others. I am a NASDAQ Market Maker, lawfully working in the State of Oklahoma making a market in the common stock of many companies. I have been targeted by SHAC because of my job. I am a market maker, that is I am continually prepared to buy or sell shares of these companies thereby providing a liquid ready market for those who desire to buy or sell shares. Huntingdon Life Sciences also known as Life Sciences Research, Inc., (Ticker Symbol -LSRI) is a contract research organization that performs testing on animals and is one of the companies I make a market in.
Beginning roughly about (3 1/2) three and one half years ago, my employer, Legacy Trading, became the TARGET, the proverbial Bull’s Eye for SHAC. This Bull’s eye on my back and on my life is solely due to the fact I have been and remain the only market maker in Life Sciences Research Inc. (LSRI). SHAC launched an all out terrorist attack on too many other Market Makers. Merril Lynch, Charles Schwab, Goldman Sachs to name a few. They were terrorized by “SHAC’s direct action campaigns” specifically to influence and control the market in Life Sciences Research, LSRI. “Drop LSRI or else!!!” I am the only hold out of dozens of market makers who all capitulated to SHAC’s demands and dropped; that is ceased trading LSRI stock. Viewing me as the sole provider of a market for LSRI, SHAC launched a campaign of sheer terror on me and my family, destroying our privacy, causing dramatic changes in our daily lives now and I’m sorry to say forever.
SHAC’s attempts to force me to stop trading the LSRI stock included local, national and international harassment, intimidation and terror. Personal information of my family, Names’ address’s social security numbers home phone numbers as well as those of nineteen of my neighbors, placed on the SHAC site. “Run him out of town, tell him to drop the stock, or we will publish credit card, medical and other personal information about you.” Daily thousands of obscene and threatening phone calls, to home and office at all hours, day or night; outright slander calling me a “child pornographer” in the media and all over the internet. When these threats and actions did not work, SHAC moved to far more dangerous and insidious tactics. Describing me as the “dreaded Legacy.” SHAC brought their crimes of terror to my home, office and family. One day I awoke to find that SHAC had been in my yard. They spray-painted large messages like “Puppy Killer” “Drop HLS” all over the entire house. They wrote “Skip is a murderer.” “Nine Million Dead” on my garage door. In addition to defacing my home, they cut all lines of communication. The next day, the SHAC website bragged that this was the beginning; more “direct action” will come if you don’t drop LSRI!!”
On four occasions Legacy’s office has been terrorized. The criminals have shattered the front office windows, incendiary devices thrown in, red paint over everything in the office including computers, furniture, the floors and walls. Office equipment was sabotaged and spray-painted messages were left for me to know that I suffered this felony for exercising my right to make a living. “DROP HLS quit making a market!!!”
If tactics like this were not enough, SHAC also targeted my relatives and even my 90-year-old mother. In December of 2004, my mother came under attack. SHAC posted MY MOTHER’S name, her address at her assisted living residence and her phone number on the internet with specific instructions to have her put pressure on me as I spoke and visited with her frequently. I quote the SHAC website when I tell you that SHAC members were instructed to “send her sex toys, have an undertaker arrive to pick up her ‘dead body,’ and call her collect in the middle of the night, pretend to be a friend of Skip’s; ask for his cell number in order to place it on the Internet.”
The SHAC torment of my family did not stop with my Mother. My family has been targeted and terrorized in neighboring states with SHAC action tactics. I have chosen only to tell you of just a few of the harrowing traumatic events I’ve gone through and go through at the hands of SHAC.
It is difficult to describe the emotions that accompany actions such as I described. I feel violated, vulnerable, angry, and gravely frightened for my family. This is precisely SHAC’s goal – to leverage your love of your family, your value of safety, your pursuit of life removing my freedoms to advance their beliefs.
Because I go to work each day as a Market Maker. It is apparent for most people facing this dilemma the decision is simple drop LSRI/ drop Huntingdon Life Sciences.
Well I did not, and I do not intend to. I fundamentally believe in the rights that we all receive as Americans. The right to liberty and privacy. The right to participate in government and even the right to disagree with government. The right to free speech. These are all sacred opportunities that we must not take for granted nor use against others. The healthy exercise of free speech should not hold others captive or force them to do anything.
SHAC inexcusably promotes the lives of animals over the lives of the humans they target. I do not confuse SHAC’s tactics with a noble cause nor should anyone else. Huntingdon is a company that performs a role in the world of developing technology. But more importantly, they perform a lawful function, as do I. Respectfully I ask what would you do if your mother, brother, sister, niece, nephew just went to work and were fanatically terrorized. I urge this Committee to simply evaluate the consequences of such unchecked activism. Please do not allow people to force their causes, ideas or opinions upon others using fear, intimidation, threats of crimes, and criminal acts. I thank you for the opportunity to be heard, and I am happy to answer any questions.