Scientology Critical Information Directory

This site is best viewed using a highly standards-compliant browser

Brower: 'A magnet for trouble'

Title: Brower: 'A magnet for trouble'
Date: Thursday, 29 May 1986
Publisher: Lawrence-Eagle-Tribune
Author: Susan Forrest
Main source: link (323 KiB)

Disclaimer: This archive is presented strictly in the public interest for research purposes. All the copyrights of materials reproduced here are the properties of their respective owners.

BOSTON — Harvey Brower, in his own words, is a magnet for trouble.

Once a lawyer, college professor and classical musician, the 49-year-old Brower now has a 45-year jail sentence hanging over his head.

"I seem to attract trouble like a magnet," he said after his arraignment in U.S. District Court on charges of defrauding the Church of Scientology.

Despite his trouble, Brower seemed unsinkable yesterday as he reeled off one-liners and chain-smoked cigarettes with an Eagle-Tribune reporter in the ninth-floor room of the U.S. District Court.

"I should have stuck to the drums," he said. "I wonder what my music teacher would say now."

Harvey Brower, a man who 15 years ago successfully represented New England crime boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca, is a study in contrasts.

He was a brilliant criminal lawyer, disbarred in 1979 from doing what he did best.

He chain-smokes cigarettes, but the brand he smokes is "True," the lowest tar and nicotine brand around.

He is known as fashion-conscious — wearing only tailor-made suits from big-name designers. Yet he wore to court a white and blue striped shirt and khaki pants with a stretch waist band in the back.

He once avoided the press after serving time in a Louisiana prison in 1979 for conspiring to help a client jump bail and flee to Mexico. Today, Brower calls himself a freelance magazine writer.

"Why are you hanging out with me?" Brower asked a reporter. "I'll probably give you a bad reputation."

But the son of a Revere bartender, who was valedictorian at New England Law School in 1961 and a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general, wasn't always known as a bad boy, according to his uncle, Benjamin Abrams.

"He had such a brilliant career, but he liked life in the fast lane, and that's what ruined him," said Abrams, 77, who remained at his nephew's side all day in court. "He is a compassionate and good-hearted man whose only problem is that he never grew up.

"He has such nice clothes at home," Abrams added. "I wish that he got dressed up today."

Brower replied, "They (the FBI) came to the house at 7:45 this morning and I didn't even have time to take a shower."

It was when he talked about his writing that Brower seemed most at ease yesterday. He said he is now working on a master's degree in creative writing and is writing a book based in part on his early days as a musician.

It is a book Brower calls half-fiction, half-fact.

"It's loosely based on real-life instances," he said. "I guess you could call it a fictionalized-fact situation."

As the conversation ended, Brower walked away, saying he had to report to the probation office on another floor of the courthouse.

He said he wanted to leave by the back entrance to avoid the crowd of cameramen waiting downtairs to converge on him. Cameras are not allowed in the Boston courthouse.

"Why should I go down there in that circus?" Brower asked.

"Because my photographer is down there and I don't want to go back to work and explain to my bosses why we couldn't get your picture."

Brower shrugged his shoulders and said, "OK, let's go and get your picture."

When the elevator door opened and the lights flashed everywhere, Brower smiled and said, "You owe me one for this, kid."

Then he silently pushed himself through the crowd and walked away.

[Picture / Caption: Harvey Brower wanted to leave the courthouse by the back to avoid media. As a favor to a reporter, he went out the front. As cameras flashed, Brower smiled and said, "You owe me one for this, kid."]