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John L. Smith, Barricade Books and the Anarchist Cookbook Connection

john-l-smith-barricade-books-anarchist-cookbook

By Steven Barket
Las Vegas, Nevada

I’ve previously detailed the relationship between John L. Smith and the publisher of several of his books, Barricade Books.

Barricade is a bit of a notorious book publisher. And by notorious, I really mean sleazy. Just take a look at some of the titles they’ve published: “Naked Came the Stranger,” which was purposefully written to be a bad book — a hoax by a group of writers trying to show how awful and debased and over-sexed American literature had become — “Ordeal” by Linda Lovelace (who you must remember was the star of the breakthrough pornographic movie in the mid-70s, “Deep Throat”, “The Sensuous Woman” by “J”, “Sex and the Single Girl” by Helen Gurley Brown, to name a handful.

But there’s one that’s really just over the top. It’s “The Anarchist Cookbook” by William Powell. First published in early 1970, it truly was a book that provided detailed information on how to create anarchy. It described how to make homemade explosives and other lethal weapons, how to make illicit drugs at home, how to create telecommunications devices, sabotage and survivalist techniques –- all kinds of mayhem. It has been called “the most disquieting ‘how-to’ book of contemporary times.”

Upon deeper review, it seems clear to me why John L. Smith went with this publisher. Sure Barricade Books focuses on memoirs, true crime stories and Mafia titles – certainly subject matter that can have a Vegas connection; but those kinds of books could have connections with almost any major city – New York, Chicago, Boston, L.A., Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, etc.

The connection is the late founder of Barricade Books, Lyle Stuart. (Stuart died in 2006 at the age of 83.) Stuart had a pretty deep connection with Las Vegas. He was part-owner of the original Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and he was a gambling authority, who wrote a number of books on gambling, and who also advised casinos on how to protect themselves from cheats and cons.

Stuart’s second wife, Carole Stuart, succeeded him in taking over Barricade Books at his death. The thing is, if I were Barricade Books, if I were Carole, I’d be staying far away from accepting any more books from John L. Smith. JLS already has been the source of a couple of multi-million dollar libel suits with the books he’s written: a $3.1 million libel suit for his book, “Running Scared: The Life and Treacherous Times of Las Vegas Casino King Steve Wynn” and a $15 million libel suit for his book, “Sharks in the Desert: The Founding Fathers and Current Kings of Las Vegas.”

If I’m Barricade Books, and I see a manuscript come in from John L. Smith, I’m returning to sender unopened. But that’s just me.

Of course, it’s a little bit of a comeuppance for Barricade, to be involved in a couple multi-million dollar lawsuits. It was Stuart who it appears took advantage of a young author named William Powell who brought him “The Anarchist Cookbook.” Powell was only 19 years old at the time he was shopping his manuscript around, and he was doing so without an agent. To quote Powell, “I submitted the manuscript directly to a number of publishers without the help or advice of an agent. Ultimately, it was accepted by Lyle Stuart Inc. and was published verbatim – without editing – in early 1970. Contrary to what is the normal custom, the copyright for the book was taken out in the name of the publisher rather than the author. I did not appreciate the significance of this at the time and would only come to understand it some years later when I requested that the book be taken out of print.”

Stuart essentially appropriated the copyright of the book without the author’s knowledge – just took over the copyright of the work of an author who was too young to know any better and who had no professional representation to look out for him.

So now that I think about it, maybe John L. Smith and Barricade Books are just the right match after all.

John L. Smith of the Las Vegas Review Journal – Litigation Exposed

john l smith las vegas review journal exposed

By Steven Barket
Las Vegas, Nevada

Money, money, money, money – MONEY!

That’s the way the O’Jay’s lyrics went at the beginning of their song called, “For the Love of Money” – repeated six times in a row. It was a catchy pop tune from back in the 70s and it seems to capture the core of what John L. Smith is all about: hanging onto that money!

How else would you explain it? This is a guy who gets paid a six-figure salary, had more than $200,000 in cash through various accounts, including retirement accounts, had a nice, pricey home that he lived in and could have used as an asset, yet opted to arrange for his daughter to go to the Ronald McDonald House for cancer treatment, which is set up for low-income families of little means who can’t afford costly medical procedures. Saving all his cash for what, his divorce?

Then, after getting hit with a $15 million libel suit, he files bankruptcy and stiffs other doctors and medical facilities who had helped treat his daughter. Nice.

Consider also, a few years back, the the lawsuit Smith slapped on the publisher of one of his books, “Running Scared: The Life and Treacherous Times of Las Vegas Casino King Steve Wynn.” The suit was filed to try to force the publisher, Barricade Books, to give an accounting of the sales of that book and show royalties that were due to be paid to him. Smith’s lawsuit claimed that the book was in its 15th printing and that Barricade had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars on the sales of the book. Smith thinks there’s somewhere north of $10,000 in royalties owed to him.

Hmmmm.

A quick Google search of the book shows it’s available for as low as $1.00 through eBay. You could also order it for $2.94 from Barnes & Noble, $3.59 from Overstock.com, $5.99 from Biblio … you get the idea. It’s not a high-dollar item. But I guess JLS wants to try to squeeze every penny out of the deal.

(By the way, the production of that book also generated a $3.1 million libel suit filed by Steve Wynn against the publisher, Barricade Books.)

Barricade Books may be one of the sleaziest book publishers out there. They say they are an independent publishing company specializing in non-fiction titles and featuring biography, memoirs, true crime and Mafia titles. They also seem to like to court controversy. Just check out a few of their juicier titles: “Naked Came the Stranger,” which was written to be bad, and full of sex, as something of a hoax by a group of writers trying to show how awful and debased American literature had become, “Ordeal” by Linda Lovelace, “The Sensuous Woman” by “J”, “Sex and the Single Girl” by Helen Gurley Brown, to name a handful.

Come to think of it, I guess Smith trying to squeeze as much as he can out of that deal with Barricade might be necessary for him now. Remember, the man who slapped a $15 million libel suit on him years ago, multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson, just became the new owner of the Las Vegas Review Journal, where John L. Smith works as a columnist.

If you’re John L. Smith, that’s got to make you a little nervous, don’t you think?

Ex-Metro Detective Thomas (Tom) Dillard Nailed in Jury’s Verdict

dillard court case TORN page 20 highlighted IMG_3995

It doesn’t get any more clear than this one damaging page that you see succinctly summing up the jury’s findings in the United States District Court, District of Nevada case brought by Howard L. Haupt, Plaintiff, versus Thomas D. Dillard, Defendant, case No. CV-S-90-121-PMP(RJJ).

Dillard is a former Metro detective who should have known better. The case brought by Haupt against Dillard hinged on a case that Haupt was charged with in which a 7-year-old boy was abducted from Whiskey Pete’s Casino and was subsequently found dead under a trailer on the casino grounds. Dillard was one of the detectives assigned to that case. Haupt was acquitted in the case but not before Dillard called the judge to try to influence the judge’s instructions to the jury before they began deliberation. The judge admitted that he felt intimidated by Dillard’s actions.

The summary document above is from Day 12 of the trial of Haupt v. Dillard — The Verdict — Page 20. Guilty on all four counts before the jury:
1. Violating Howard Haupt’s right to a fair criminal trial.
2. A finding in favor of the defendant for damages as a result of that violation.
3. Malicious or reckless disregard for Haupt’s right to a fair criminal trial.
4. Punitive damages as a result awarded to plaintiff Haupt for $1 million.

In anybody’s book, that’s a pretty substantial smack-down.

 

About Leveling the Playing Field …

Never in the history of mankind, have we been able to take advantage of the art of communication and leverage it on a very personal level.

Never before, have we, the people, had the power to publish and get our writing, photography, graphics, design, audio or video files distributed and seen by as many people as possible as effortlessly as we can now.

It is a powerful combination – the ability to create and disseminate information and make it available instantaneously to anyone in the world who is seeking it.

And where wrongs need to be righted, we have an unprecedented ability to level the playing field by telling our side of the story.

I am a specialist in Search Engine Relevance and online reputation management and correction — two potent forces that when combined can bring stunning results.

You notice I’ve mentioned Search Engine Relevance, not Search Engine Optimization. What’s the difference? Very simply put, relevancy ranking is the way by which search engines retrieve and rank those digital documents that are most likely to be relevant to the search terms you put in.

Karma

Steve-Barket-Las-Vegas-john-l-smith-mug-shot-side-by-sideWell, well, well. Can’t keep karma down, can you?

I’ve heard from someone very close to our friend, the Las Vegas Review Journal columnist, John L. Smith. Used to be close to him, anyway. Not so much anymore. This person is a female acquaintance who is alleged to be his former girlfriend, and who has sent a couple of very revealing emails to me. Let’s call her “Rachel” for ease of reference.

After spending quite a bit of time with him, Rachel came away feeling the same way about him as I do. To quote her, John L. Smith is “an unscrupulous liar and cheat and one day will get all the payback he deserves.”

Rachel went on to say that Smith would whine about me and say what a thorn in his side I was. (Good! I’m gettin’ to him.) And Rachel also confirmed that Smith was NOT the all-around great guy reporter and father of the year that he wants to try to portray in regards to his public image. (Surprise!)

Steven Barket’s Call for Full Attorney Transparency

What I’m asking for here, to me, is sort of a no-brainer, to put it in layman’s terms.

It’s something that attorneys ask for continually from their clients:

Transparency.

Hold nothing back, they’ll tell them. Get all the stuff out on the table that has to be dealt with, as bad as bad is, and we’ll formulate a plan to take care of it. That’s what attorneys want from their clients.

I expect nothing less from them.

Transparency.

I want full disclosure from attorneys. I want to know what they might be hiding away in their past that they don’t want the public to know or talk about. Go ahead and make me sign an NDA (a non-disclosure agreement) about the nasty stuff, and I will. But I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly.

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