STATEMENT BY David James NEIL
STATEMENT IN THE
MATTER OF: Srila Prabhupada
David James NEIL states:
My full name is David James NEIL. I
do not wish to disclose my personal residential address, but I can be contacted
at via my mobile telephone ((0402
relates to the examination of a cassette tape that I performed on behalf of ISKCON,
through their representative, David, in or about February 2000, although I believed
it to be later that same year, I have only ever had one meeting with David, whose
surname I do not know and that one meeting was the only meeting involving any
persons from ISKCON.
I recall that David approached me and
asked if it would be possible for me to examine a segment of audio from a cassette
tape that was in his possession and provide some form of analysis/enhancement
so as to enable the speech to be clarified. At the time I was operating my own
business, trading as "The Refinery."
The initial discussion with David was
over the telephone and some time later, David brought the audiocassette tape to
the studio. During the course of our discussions at the studio, it was mentioned
that there had been some discussion in one of the Pro-audio threads on the worid-wide-web,
which I think was the Sonic Users Group.
Questions had been raised with regards
to spectrographic analysis being the most accurate system of assessment available
in todays market. There was also discussion as to the positive or negative artefacts
generated by heavy digital filtering and its impact with regards to spectrographic
Once the audiocassette tape was in my
possession and over the next 30 minutes to one (1) hour, an examination of the
tape was conducted. This consisted
of a pass using a combination of Sonic Solutions Denoising, multi frequency filtering
and some digital filters and frequency-based compression from a Penny and Giles
PP10 digital processor.
My assessment of what appeared to be
said on the audiocassette tape and I recall the particular section of the tape,
which David was interested in, contained the words: "The swelling is going
down" or words to that effect. The words: .. ."It's going down"
were quite clear, however the balance of that sentence was not, due to the quality
of the sound recording.
At the time this assessment was carried
out, to the best of my knowledge, we were basically one of two commercial business's
carrying out this type of work in Brisbane. The other business was the Police
Departments audio forensic unit and I believe some of the University's also have
I believe that in the publication "Not
that I am Poisoned" I have been quoted as saying that I had
performed audio forensic work previously for the Australian Federal Police. This
is a false statement, as I have never conducted any audio forensic work for them.
Over the many years that I had been
in business (4 years), being self employed trading as "The Refinerey"
and employment with the ABC, my ex partner and I had worked with some private
investigators who were ex Federal Police, who never directly employed the Refinery.
I remember making a statement to David
from ISKCON during the course of my assessment of the subject audio cassette tape
that would have implied this to be the case. This however was in fact incorrect
and I accept responsibility for the inaccuracy. I had
been offered and I had accepted an offer to read the draft copy of "Not
that I am Poisoned" prior to its publication. However,
I did not receive and I was not given the opportunity to peruse the draft copy,
otherwise this error would have been amended prior to publication.
It is something that I regret immensely,
but due to my emotional and mental state at the time, caused as a result of the
pressures of being faced with losing everything. This was due to a situation caused
by an ex partner, after I had spent years of building what has been recognised
in the music industry as an extremely qualified business, I was highly unstable.
A fact that can be verified by others unfortunately.
Beyond what I have previously stated,
my recollections of this particular job are extremely vague, due to the fact as
already mentioned. I was in the middle of trying to save my business from going
under and was under immense mental and emotional pressure.
I was asked by David whether I would
be comfortable with being quoted in a book that was soon to be published, which
I now know as "Not that I am Poisoned" and it was agreed that
I would be willing to be quoted. This was on the provision that I was given to
the opportunity to check the details of the article before it was published.
With regards to my credentials, I
have no official training in forensic audio studies. I have worked
on numerous audio enhancement type projects during the course of running my own
business over the past years. I have been approached and asked on many occasions
to appear as an "Expert Witness," if it were necessary. On
all occasions I have declined, as I realise that while I have a fair amount of
practical experience, I am in no way qualified to speak as a qualified expert
witness, due to the lack of certified accreditation.
I apologise to all concerned with this
issue and hope that the truth will some day be ascertained. I
have read this statement that has been compiled from information I have freely
provided and consisting of four pages. The contents are true and correct to the
best of my knowledge and belief.
Signed: David James Neil
Saksi Gopal das
Subject: Dave update - Dave who??
Date: 24. Jan. 2001
Dear PADA pamho agt SP
When we received a request by an iskcon burra babu (isKcon boss man) to read the official "report" on the poison issue, we agreed. Instead of receiving official reports by investigative agencies (with sign.seal and signature) as insinuated, a book entitled "NOT that I am POISONED" was delivered to my mail-box.
The book (according to its source) claims to have been compiled by Deva Gaura Hari das (David Hooper), produced with the help of Tirtharaja das (TKG) and from the confrontational style and abusive language, we would speculate that Deva Amrita (women are toilets) is its author. The group calls itself the "The gbc ministry for the protection of iskcon."
Being very busy, we have not yet started reading the book. But just a random
flicking of its pages brought us to "The Refinery" report. Found
in the fifth chapter captioned; "will o' the whispers," the report is
forwarded as a refutation of the forensic work of analyst Jack Mitchell.
The book tells us that Dave (??) the engineer from 'The Refinery" says; (quote) "Jack Mitchell's method of analysis is currently being questioned within the audio industry. He explained that there is no doubt that the spectrum empirically represents the sounds, but there is increasing doubt that it is a reliable indicator of what words are being spoken, due to the large variation in pronunciation between different speakers." (unquote). In other words; Mr Jack Mitchell doesn't know what he's talking about and the word "poison" is a fabrication.
To give "The Refinery" and its engineer "Dave" some
credibility, the book claims they have (quote) "done extensive audio forensic
work for many different organizations, including the Australian Federal Police"
We noticed the book did not present us with copies of receipts of transactions with the laboratory, so we decided to investigate for ourselves. Mister Jeffery Hurrell of the Australian Federal Police (audio investigations dept:) informed us that they had their own audio forensic studios with some of the finest engineers in the country.
So who was "The Refinery.?" Our next step was to contact its engineer Dave (??). It was then we smelt a rat. No one could put us in contact with "The Refinery." We tried the telephone directories, white, yellow and pink pages. We contacted the Telephone exchange. We tried every sound studio in town until finally we came up with a name;" The Refinery Mastering." This company was being run from 3/21 Ennogra Terrace....a tiny unit in a Brisbane suburb. We tried the telephone (07) 33673777 it had been disconnected, the "company" had closed down. Our next port of call was the Registrar of Companies.....Guess what???? That's right...no company by that name has ever been registered, what to speak of worked with the Federal Police. We haven't even started reading the book yet...
Dandavats & pranams SGd
Saksi Gopal das
Subject: Dave update - Sound Lab
Date: 26. Jan. 2001
"SOUND LAB UPDATE" CONTROVERY CONTINUES
Dear PADA pamho agt SP
In a recent article on PADA we expressed our concerns that a sound studio called "The Refinery" (mentioned in the gbc produced book "NOT that I am POISONED) did not actually exist. After attempting to contact its engineer Dave ( who according to the book; is an authority on audio forensics), and finding the company dissolved and its engineer/owner untraceable, we checked the Registrar of Companies and discovered that no forensic laboratory of that name had ever registered as a company.
Acting under advice from professional investigators, we searched the registry for "business names" and came up with the following:- Business Name: The Refinery Mastering. Nature of Business: Music production - mastering & editing service. Registered under the partnership of: David James Neil (born 1964) & Anne Ferguson Baker. The Business Name was registered in June of ' 96 and dissolved in October of 2000.
So we must admit that a business and its owner/ engineer (David Neil) did exist, even if only for four years. And further investigation into its authenticity revealed a single line advert in the redundant issue of the "Yellow Pages." However, there is no public declaration of Mr. Neil's credentials. We are aware that his business dealt with music production and editing, but this work can hardly classify him as an "Audio Forensic Scientist." Our concerns lie with Mr. Neil's credentials, since he refutes the findings of Mr. Jack Mitchell who has been active in the field of audio forensics for thirty-six years (Mr. Neil's age), a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania (further studies at the Univ. of New Mexico), a teacher in public school and College. An editor/arranger/orchestrator, who boasts a 99% success rate with regard to forensic work.
Who is David James Neil? Why did the "gbc ministry for the protection of iskcon" choose this man? What are his credentials? Which university did he graduate from, and in what field? What exactly has he accomplished in the field of forensic science? Does he possess a receipt and description of the work done for the gbc? Did he actually say what the book says he did? When looking at the one-line-advert (with no credentials and/or job description) placed by "The Refinery Mastering" in the redundant "Yellow Pages," we wondered why the "gbc ministry......., had not chosen a more advertised expert from the large and impressive list of contending tenderers. One can't help but draw comparisons (and suspicions) between the uncaring shoddiness of this episode and that of the medical administration which resulted in "The Final Lesson."
We managed to secure the mobile phone number of Mr. Neil (0402421843). On our first attempt to speak with him; his voice message identified the contact as "The Refinery Mastering," we disconnected knowing that the call would leave our phone number as an "unanswered call."........he did not respond. We waited until the following morning before calling again....his voice message had changed, he was now simply "Dave." His business dissolved three months ago, still he continued to use the business name on his voice message yet after one call from us it was changed. Is this coincidence? We left our message and phone number......still he has not replied. Before dispatching this article we tried again....he does not answer his phone, nor does he reply to our request. Today is a public holiday, phone numbers can't be changed. If tomorrow tells us his line has been disconnected or the number changed.....we have a runner. A private investigator will be employed to track him down and take statements.
Dandavats & pranams SGd
Saksi Gopal das
Subject: Dave update - FORENSICS
Date: 01. Feb. 2001
MUSIC v FORENSICS - Dave update
Dear PADA pamho agtSP
For those PADA readers following our report on the book; "NOT that I am POISONED" and the "forensic scientist" called Dave, who was hired by "the ministry for the protection of iskcon," to refute the work of Mr. Jack Mitchell (audio forensic examiner) here is the update:
After several attempts to contact "Dave" and failing, we handed over
our woes to professionals. Within a day, we received this report::
(1) Mr. David James Neil had no qualifications in the field of forensic science, his only claim to audio work was experience in the music industry.
(2) He had no idea where the "link" to his having worked for/with the Australian Federal Police came from, since he can't remember having said this (our own research finds this recommendation to be a total fabrication by the "ministry for the protection of iskcon" since it was they whom published this nonsense).
(3) He (Dave) claimed that although he did say some areas of audio science were debatable, he never implied (as the book would have us believe) that Mr. Jack Mitchell's methods were under question (page 75 para 4).
(4) Mr. "Dave" Neil expressed his concern; that the book had been published using words attributed to him without him ever signing a transcript prior to its publication.
(5) Mr. "Dave" Neil's studio (The Refinery Mastering) never carried "state of the art equipment" necessary for audio forensics.
(6) Mr. Neil told our investigator, "The quality of the tape brought to me was not too good. What I heard AT THE TIME was "The swelling is going down" (unquote). Yet the book tells us, " I COULD CLEARLY HEAR [....]... "THE SWELLING IS GOING DOWN, THE SWELLING IS GOING DOWN" (page 75 para 1).
Mr Neil's actual "job description" and "cost" for the iskcon ministry is not yet to hand, but we intend to secure these details for files, dossiers and notification.
So, although this behaviour may be considered by some to be no more than 'argumentum ad experto publico relationonem, ' and not a serious felony, aspiring devotees of the Lord abhor this misrepresentation, misquotation and duplicity. If this is the ethos of iskcon's protectors; what in the name of God is is..con? Since we personally know and share many fond memories with the producer of this book (NOT that I am POISONED), and can vouch for his sagacity, our only intent in doing this expose; was to make him and others acknowledge the poisonous oozings from the head of the iskcon serpent ...destroying even the best attempts at self-realization. iskcon claims to be the incarnation of Sri Krsna, but for those immune to the propaganda contaminant ...it is the most sinister and unsettled of all denominations, with the largest variety of tickets to hell.
Dandavats & pranams SGd