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CAPEEM Takes On Distortion Of Hinduism
Admins permitting, I would like to start a thread on CAPEEM case since this is important. Please make this thread sticky.

Distortion of Hinduism irks US Indians
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New York: The latest review of social studies textbooks for middle schools in California has upset the Indian community, which has accused the board of education of spreading misleading information about Hinduism.

A group of parents, under the umbrella of the California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Material (CAPEEM), had filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in California against the California State Board of Education (CBE) last year.

The CBE reviews and adopts new textbooks every six years. The current review/adoption process for the sixth grade social studies textbooks started in 2005 and concluded in March 2006.

CAPEEM alleged that for decades the California public school system has presented "insufficient, inaccurate and misleading information" about Hinduism and India's history that has prejudiced the minds of young Americans. It sought that these issues must be addressed urgently.

Hindu parents in California say the proposed textbooks contain factually incorrect information about ancient India and Hinduism while repeating "derogatory, colonial-era clichés and perpetuating Euro-centric and Biblical views".

Rather than considering their viewpoints, the CBE solicited the advice of hostile academics "who carry political and ideological baggage against Hinduism and India and whose knowledge of ancient Indian history and Hinduism is both limited and prejudiced", according to information posted on CAPEEM's website.

CAPEEM scored a legal victory last year when a US states district court ruled that CAPEEM's lawsuit on the textbook adoption process can proceed and rejected the CBE's arguments that CAPEEM lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.

To take the case further and meet the legal expenses, CAPEEM is asking ethnic Indians here, particularly Hindus, to donate generously for the cause.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dear Friend,

CAPEEM's lawsuit against the officials of the State Board of Education has now moved into the Discovery phase. Prior to this, the Counsel for the officials of the State Board of Education (SBE) and the California Department of Education (CDE) responded to CAPEEM's complaint and denied CAPEEM's claims. The attorney for the officials of the SBE and CDE has been replaced. The defendants are now represented by the Office of the Attorney General of California. The change of attorney and the response to the complaint followed the court's denial of the Defendant's motion to dismiss CAPEEM's lawsuit.

During Discovery, CAPEEM will request documents from the SBE and CDE, and subpoena various interested parties so that CAPEEM can obtain documents and information necessary to strengthen its case. Discovery is a process that consumes time and resources. The SBE and CDE, and third parties such as Michael Witzel and James Heitzman, have already objected to CAPEEM's subpoena, and CAPEEM will likely seek judicial resolution of these objections.  CAPEEM expects its expenses to shoot up considerably during the discovery phase. During the process so far, CAPEEM has come across many facts critical to the case. CAPEEM is confident that the lawsuit will result in a positive portrayal of Hinduism and ancient Indic civilization in American schools and will highlight the deficient process employed by the SBE and CDE in the most recent textbook adoption process.
The lawsuit has reached this stage after victories in the earlier rounds due to the largesse of supporters like you. CAPEEM seeks your continued support and urges you to make a generous contribution in order to sustain the lawsuit through the subsequent phases .

To Donate:

<b>1. Write a check to CAPEEM and mail to: PO Box 280442  Northridge , CA 91328 </b>

2. Donate online to CAPEEM: Click here to donate online

or visit http://www.capeem.org and click on donate.

3. Write a check to HICAD and mail to: CAPEEM, PO Box 280442  Northridge , CA 91328
Please note that HICAD (Hindu International Council Against Defamation http://www.hicad.us)
is also raising funds for this lawsuit. HICAD is a tax-exempt (Tax-ID 22-3810334) non-profit organization.
California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials is a California based organization that has filed a lawsuit to achieve the fair representation of various religions in the History and Social Science textbooks of California. CAPEEM's application for 501©(3) status is in process.

Murali Menon
Director, California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials,
(310) 804-5126
Came in Email:
Please extend your fullest support to this organization.
Dear Friend,

Over five weeks ago, we sent you a message stating that CAPEEM's lawsuit to correct the derogatory representation of Hinduism in California's textbooks had been put on hold. As planned, CAPEEM will depose Michael Witzel, Stanley Wolpert, Charles Munger, Tom Adams, Ruth Green, James Heitzman and others depending on the situation. The lawsuit is a resource intensive process and requires a lot of energy as well as funds.

When we last sent you an appeal for funds, we needed $40,000 before the end of the hold period in order to take the lawsuit past the Discovery phase and another estimated $40,000 to take it to completion. Since we sent out that appeal, we have raised around $15,000. This is an encouraging sign, but it is still far from our immediate target of $40,000. We are keen not to dilute the lawsuit by dropping the deposition of certain witnesses and we urgently need to reach our goal of $40,000 before the hold period ends.

Please take some time to donate generously to CAPEEM so that the lawsuit stays on course.

You can donate to CAPEEM by writing a check in favor of CAPEEM and mailing it to:

PO Box 280442
Northridge, CA 91328

You can also donate online by going to http://www.capeem.org and clicking on the link to donate. CAPEEM is a 501©(3) tax exempt organization with tax ID 56-2565521.

Thank you,
Arvind Kumar
Director, California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials

CAPEEM's is a 501©(3) tax exempt organization with tax ID 56-2565521. If you do not wish to receive updates from CAPEEM, please reply to this email with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
This is **HUGE**
Way to go CAPEEM!!!

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles, California

15 Dec 2007

<b>Michael Newdow, the nation's leading attorney on Establishment Clause cases, has joined CAPEEM's legal team and will argue CAPEEM's lawsuit against California's officials. </b>The lawsuit objects to the derogatory descriptions of Hinduism and overwhelming doses of biblical indoctrination in history textbooks for sixth grade students. Newdow is known for filing the lawsuit challenging the words "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. He will work with CAPEEM's attorney Venkat Balasubramani.

"The process used to determine what religious materials should be placed in public school textbooks is highly problematic, inasmuch as it entangles government in determining religious 'truth,'" said Newdow about California's textbook adoption process.  "Moreover, the content that has been approved by the State Board of Education clearly violates not only the religion clauses of the federal Constitution, but Article IX, Section 8, of the California Constitution as well," he added. 

That provision states that "[no] sectarian or denominational doctrine [may] be taught, or instruction thereon be permitted, directly or indirectly, in any of the common schools of this State."

Newdow also stated that "the public schools are not to be used to as a stomping ground for those who hope to indoctrinate children with their preferred religious ideology."

California 's textbooks contain topics like the Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount, and the Parables of Jesus. The books quote chapter and verse from the Bible, propagate creationist claims, assign dates to paranormal events described in the Bible and Koran, and present the resurrection of Jesus as a historical fact. They also ask students to read the Bible and match pictures depicting biblical events with corresponding verses in the Bible along with instructions to the teacher to give more information about the event described in the verses.

A disparaging tone is consistently used in case of Hinduism thus making the books violate the principle that they cannot further one religion over another. The books attribute the origin of Hinduism to a group of White Supremacists called Aryans, a claim that presupposes the truth of biblical events and has been debunked by scientific and archaeological evidence.

Hindu parents participated in the textbook adoption process and used scientific arguments against these books. However, a letter to the State Board of Education written on the official letterhead of Harvard University opposed those who presented the scientific arguments and defended the textbooks containing the biblical claims. Michael Witzel, a Harvard University professor who has written for self-admitted eugenicist Roger Pearson's journal, coordinated his campaign to retain these textbooks with a religious group operating out of a church in Colorado . This information came to light when CAPEEM issued a subpoena to the Colorado based group.

Welcoming Newdow, Arvind Kumar , a Director of CAPEEM, pointed out that the dispute was in the interest of all Americans. "Mike is a great addition to our team as he is the leading authority on Establishment Clause issues.While discrimination against Hindus and our demand for equality is an important part of the lawsuit, this dispute is more than a Hindu dispute and one for all Americans. It is about efforts to establish doctrines in Abrahamic religions as facts and to brainwash impressionable students. We need to oppose the bible-thumpers and prevent California from becoming part of the bible-belt," he said.

For more information contact:

Arvind Kumar         

CAPEEM  is a 501©(3) tax exempt organization with tax ID 56-2565521. If you do not wish to receive updates from CAPEEM, please reply to this email with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.
<!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

26 Mar 2008

Los Angeles , California

Judge denies Motion for Summary Judgment against CAPEEM

California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials (CAPEEM) scored a major victory on Tuesday when Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr. of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of California rejected  the defendants' motion to dismiss CAPEEM's lawsuit to correct inaccuracies in sixth grade history textbooks. CAPEEM's complaint contends that the process to adopt the textbooks discriminated against Hindus and that the textbooks indulge in indoctrination of Abrahamic religions while using disparaging language against Hinduism.

The motion for summary judgment asking for the dismissal of the lawsuit was filed by the office of California 's Attorney General on behalf of the officials of the State Board of Education and the California Department of Education. Judge Damrell rejected the claim that an earlier ruling in a lawsuit filed in a state court by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) had definitively settled the issues raised by CAPEEM in its lawsuit.

The judge pointed out that the ruling in the HAF case strengthened CAPEEM's claim of discrimination against its members.  Judge Damrell noted, "<b>the superior court found in favor of the HAF plaintiffs on their state APA claim; arguably, this finding lends support to CAPEEM's claims in this case that defendants conducted the adoption process in a manner that was discriminatory</b>.

The judge also agreed with CAPEEM's claim that the issues in the two cases were different:  "<b>. . . Similarly, the superior court concluded the textbooks at issue there did not violate the state standards for content, as promulgated by defendants. This court could find defendants violated the Establishment Clause without reaching a judgment that is inconsistent with that of the superior court; this court could find that the underlying standards themselves violate the Establishment Clause</b>.

Reacting to the judgment, Arvind Kumar , a director of CAPEEM said, "<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>the arguments in the Defendants' motion posed the biggest challenge to us so far and we are happy to have won this victory. We can now focus our energies on our main claims in the lawsuit.</span>

CAPEEM's attorneys Venkat Balasubramani and Michael Newdow expressed satisfaction with the order. This was the third motion filed by the defendants against CAPEEM in attempts to seek summary dismissal of the lawsuit.

For more information contact:

Arvind Kumar

good news. <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Email from CAPEEM:
They deserve our admiration and encouragement and a few $ if you can spare.
A truly remarkable organization.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dear Friend,

Last month, the Discovery phase came to an end in CAPEEM's
lawsuit against the officials of the California Department of
Education (CDE) and members of the State Board of Education (SBE)
and we thought this would be a good time to give you an update on
the status of the case.

As you may recall, we first filed the lawsuit in March 2006
pointing out that SBE had adopted textbooks that not only
indoctrinated children with Abrahamic religions but also disparaged
Hinduism. In addition, CDE had used hostile advisers to advice them
on Hinduism had discriminated against Hindus during the adoption
process. The complaint was filed by Venkat Balasubramani, a Seattle
based attorney, and Mike Newdow, a Sacramento based attorney, joined
our legal team in late 2007.

Within a few months of filing our complaint, we had to overcome
two motions to dismiss our lawsuit. The Discovery Process began
towards the end of 2006 after the court ruled in our favor on the
second motion. We served a number of subpoenas to various parties
including textbook publishers, Hotmail, Dalit Freedom Network,
Michael Witzel, Stanley Wolpert, Charles Munger, Dalit Solidarity
Forum operating out of St. Alban's Church in New Jersey , and also
sought documents from the officials of CDE and SBE.

The subpoenas and discovery requests resulted in us obtaining
over 25,000 pages of documents. While we obtained several
incriminating documents, we had to file a motion to compel Michael
Witzel to part with documents he withheld. Witzel handed over many
documents before the scheduled hearing in court, but we did not
obtain his communications with third parties unrelated to the
dispute as the judge stated that they were not necessary for us to
make our case.

We appealed this ruling, and in July this year, the appeals
court reaffirmed the decision of the lower court and stated that we
had already been given most of what we had asked for. However,
Witzel turned over some more documents including an email uncovering
the fact that the CDE had conducted a secret meeting that was
previously unheard of. This meeting with anti-Hindu groups was in
addition to the secret meeting that CDE had conducted with Witzel
and others.

Among the documents that we received from other sources, we
found extensive links between churches and key people involved in
the adoption process. The counsel for CDE was in touch with her
pastor and other emails showed that the CDE staff acted to assign
arbitrary dates to biblical events. Curriculum Commissioner Charles
Munger reported his victory to a member of his religious group and
also gave detailed instructions to the counsel of CDE on how to
handle questions regarding the description of the crucifixion of

We also uncovered a link between Michael Witzel and Dalit
Freedom Network (DFN), a group that operates out of a church in
Colorado . Witzel coordinated his campaign with DFN and planned in
advance the details of what would be spoken at meetings. Witzel also
sent an email alerting DFN to the description of their organization
on Wikipedia and stated that whenever he erased the description, it
kept coming back. An office bearer of DFN followed up on this email
by saying that she did not want to "start being identified as a
missions organization" and wanted to know if they could edit it

In March this year, we informed you that the court had rejected
the defendants' motion to dismiss the case. In that motion, the
defendants had alleged that we had the same interests as the Hindu
American Foundation (HAF) and were in privity with them. We argued
that we represented different interests and that the nature of our
lawsuit was different from the HAF lawsuit.

After we sent you that message, there has been a tremendous
amount of activity in the lawsuit. The defendants filed a motion to
reconsider the judgment and the judge once again ruled in our favor
saying that the defendants had merely rehashed their arguments.

In the past few weeks, we conducted a number of depositions.
Among those whom we deposed were CDE staff member Tom Adams, former
Chair of SBE Ruth Green, Curriculum Commissioner Charles Munger,
Michael Witzel and other staff members of CDE. We also obtained a
signed statement from CDE's expert Stanley Wolpert. After carefully
reviewing the data in our possession, we decided not to depose James
Heitzman as we determined that despite his bias, he was not that
important and we would gain nothing new from deposing him. Moreover,
the defendants' attorneys agreed to let us use documents related to
Heitzman as evidence without additional identification from him.

On our side, a director of CAPEEM and two parents whose names we
submitted as representative parents were deposed. The defendants
also deposed their own expert Prof. Shiva Bajpai.

Finally, we filed a motion to compel the defendants to hand over
a few more documents that were withheld. We withdrew the motion
after they agreed to give us the documents we sought from them.

The resource intensive Discovery Process came to an end a few
days ago and it would not have been possible for us to successfully
complete this phase without your support. Last year at this time, we
were short of funds and appealed to you for your support after
putting the case on hold and entering into settlement talks.

This week, as the case enters the next phase, we will put
forward the names of our experts and turn in their reports. Although
the Discovery phase was the most expensive part of the lawsuit, the
remaining part of the lawsuit will also use up substantial
resources. We look forward to your renewed support and hope you will
donate liberally and help make this case a success.

You can donate to CAPEEM by writing a check in favor of CAPEEM
and mailing it to

PO Box 280442
Northridge , CA 91328

You can also donate online by going to http://www.capeem. org
and clicking on the link to donate. CAPEEM is a 501©(3) tax exempt
organization with tax ID 56-2565521.

Thank you,
Arvind Kumar
Director, California Parents for the Equalization of Educational
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dear Friend,

As we approach the end of the year, CAPEEM would like to appeal to your generosity and seek funds for the next phase of its lawsuit.

On December 12, the Expert Discovery phase came to an end in our lawsuit against the officials of the California Department of Education (CDE) and members of the State Board of Education (SBE).
During this phase that began in September this year, both CAPEEM and the Defendants presented expert statements. Prof. Joe Barnhart, an authority on Christianity, and Prof. Nathan Katz, an expert in religious studies, provided statements on behalf of CAPEEM. The Defendants provided statements from Luis Gonzalez-Reimann and Dr. Herbert Weissman who is a psychologist. Prof. Shiva Bajpai whose Historical Atlas of South Asia is the standard reference book on the history of the Indian subcontinent and Dr. Marlene Winell who is the author of Leaving the Fold submitted rebuttals to Gonzalez-Reimann and Dr. Weissman respectively.

While Prof. Barnhart's statement questioned the historicity of several biblical claims made in the textbook, Prof. Katz's report focused on castes among people in India who were not Hindus. Although Gonzalez-Reimann was the Defendants' expert, his report agreed with CAPEEM's claims on some points and he pointed out that the usage of the word 'Christ' in history books would amount to religious indoctrination. It must be noted that Romila Thapar, one of the opponents of our efforts to remove biblical indoctrination from textbooks, uses the word 'Christ' instead of the name Jesus in her book, and Gonzalez-Riemann's report can be seen as an attack on Romila Thapar's belief in the historicity of Jesus. Gonzalez-Reimann has also been used as an expert on DNA analysis, archaeology, Christian indoctrination and other topics despite having no qualification in these fields. He has challenged the findings of scientists published in leading journals in the field of genetics. Gonzalez-Reimann's description of Hinduism in his report also shows that his understanding of the topic is superficial.

During the Expert Discovery phase, Defendants filed two motions against us and took the deposition of Prof. Bajpai causing tremendous strain to our resources. At this point, we have completed most of the work related to technical issues, and the next few weeks should see summary judgment motions being filed by both sides. After the ruling on these motions, the case will go to trial.

The intensity of the process has drained us of our resources and we urgently require money to sustain our efforts in the coming weeks. While it is almost certain that the Defendants will file a motion for summary judgment, our decision to file such a pre-trial motion will depend on our ability to quickly raise sufficient money for the motion.

We hope that you will consider making a donation to CAPEEM so that we can not only fight off the motion that the Defendants are certain to file, but also have the resources to file our own summary judgment motion.
You can donate to CAPEEM by writing a check in favor of CAPEEM and mailing it to

PO Box 280442
Northridge, CA 91328

You can also donate online by going to http://www.capeem.org and clicking on the link to donate. CAPEEM is a 501©(3) tax exempt organization with tax ID 56-2565521.</b>

Thank you,
Arvind Kumar
Director, California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials
arvind @ capeem dot org

CAPEEM's is a 501©(3) tax exempt organization with tax ID 56-2565521. If you do not wish to receive updates from CAPEEM, please reply to this email with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.

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