23, 1999 Geoffrey Kerns was arrested at Brainard’s
Fur Farm in Snohomish Washington, along with four other
activists for allegedly participating in an impromptu
daylight raid during a protest at the mink farm. Eventually
charges against the activists were dismissed when the
government refused to reveal the identity of a key informant.
Despite these early warnings about the dangers of informants,
and later comments attesting to his supposed dedication
to the animal liberation movement Kerns subsequently
provided information to a Federal Grand Jury in Seattle
on March 10, 2004.
In the session he was shown pictures and identified
individuals as activists, revealed the name of someone
he suggested was in the car with him on the way to the
mink farm protest (at which Kerns was arrested for allegedly
freeing mink), stated that between fifteen and twenty
people participated in the mink release (only five people
were arrested), and gave the grand jury the name of
an activist he claims could reveal the identity of everyone
else who participated in freeing mink during the protest,
claiming that this activist told him "that [the
activist] drove to pick them up, ..knows who they are,"
and that any questions about the identies of the activists
who got away should be referred to this person.
Kerns went on to make it clear that he is no longer
a member of the animal liberation movement - in a large
part because he's become ostracized for stealing from
activists and their families. He indicates he's moved
on from animal rights and says, "I am trying to
be honest here, clear all this up, and move on with
my life. I am not involved with any animal rights group
right now. I am working for a medical company trying
to improve my life. I am giving you guys names..."
He does acknowledge that the information he's provided
makes him a snitch and expressed concern that word might
some day get out, stating "...if you do something
like what I am doing now, this is the general rules,
snitches get stitches."
GEOFFREY AARON KERNS
Global Telemedicine Technologies, Inc.
800 Hampton Drive
Venice, CA 90291
Office Line: (800) 606-0302
Work: (310) 820-4311
222 South Hoover Street
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Telephone: (213) 386-8208
AOL Instant Messenger: DeathToBadCinema
Geoff Kerns' Seattle grand jury testimony states:
AUSA: So it's your testimony that you don't
recall anyone involved? You don't recall any person involved
in any animal rights or anti-fur protest or activity--
GEOFF: I recall seeing a couple of people.
Just people that I recognized from L.A.
AUSA: Who did you see?
GEOFF: I saw [BLANK7]. S/he was at the protest.
And I don't remember specifically seeing them there but I
would imagine [BLANK8] was there.
AUSA: Who is that?
AUSA: Who else did you see that you knew?
GEOFF: I believe maybe [BLANK]. I think s/he
might have been there.
... AUSA: Ready to resume?
GEOFF: Actually, some of the questions that
you have asked, as of now, have brought some things up that
I didn't recall at first...
GEOFF: Yeah. See, at the hotel, there's one
other activist I can remember specifically. And that would
AUSA: What do you remember about [BLANK9]?
GEOFF: I just remember that s/he was there,
actually with [BLANK10].
GEOFF: If you could go over some of those
AUSA: Let's focus on, anyone else that you
recall being involved in the fur exchange protest?
GEOFF: [BLANK11]. S/he's also from Los Angeles.
AUSA: Anyone else?
GEOFF: [BLANK11], [BLANK7], again, [BLANK8],
AUSA: Do you remember any of them driving
up to the mink release with you?
GEOFF: I believe [BLANK1] might have been
in the car with me.
AUSA: You said you were in the back?
AUSA: Where was [BLANK1]?
GEOFF: If it was her/him, it was next to
AUSA: You knew her/him from Los Angeles,
GEOFF: I had met her/him a few times. S/he
was kind of a not friend.
AUSA: What did you talk to her/him about
on the way up to the protest?
GEOFF: Everybody was kind of silent. There
was music on in the car, I think.
AUSA: Do you recall that s/he was the [person]
next to you?
GEOFF: Not clearly. It might have been her/him.
I could say with a decent amount of certainty that it was
her/him, but I wouldn't want to bank a perjury charge on it.
... GEOFF: Look, I am trying to remember
these things. A lot of them are things that I intentionally
try to block out. I am trying to be honest here, clear all
this up, and move on with my life. I am not involved with
any animal rights group right now. I am working for a medical
company trying to improve my life. I am giving you guys names,
telling you, I mean.
JUROR: It just seems like you are protecting
these people. You are protecting certain individuals that
you shouldn't be. You are too bright for that.
GEOFF: I am telling you who was in the car
..GEOFF: And, I mean, I don’t do well
in jail. You know, I’m not the kind of person that can
go in there and deal with the fights and the bigotry and all
that. It’s not easy on me. I’m oh, God. And, I
mean, I am claustrophobic. It scares the shit out of me.
GEOFF: I have a belief about government
in general. I have a lot of beliefs. Believe me, I am not
talking to you guys because I want to see these people go
to prison. I am not talking to you because-- I am not talking
to you because I like you. I am not talking to you because
I trust you. I am not talking to you for any other reason
than if I don’t, I could go to prison.
AUSA: ...Is it because you’ve seen
them at a lot of meetings, therefore you trust them or--
GEOFF: Can they handle going to jail, have
they been to jail before, have they done a considerable amount
of time, are they willing to do something like that again.
Most people are going to rat people out, because they don’t
want to go to jail. Can they handle it.
AUSA: Is that why you want to get out? You
can’t handle it when things get tough?
GEOFF: I can’t handle jail. I can
handle being questioned. I can’t handle jail.
... GEOFF: I don't remember how other people
were dressed. I don't remember if anybody had a mask. Like
I said, I remember that [BLANK1] was in the car, and that
is it. I am trying to think about conversations I had with
JUROR: There was a protest going on as well
as the mink release?
JUROR: Do you know how many people were involved
in the mink release part?
GEOFF: I would estimate 15 or 20.
... GEOFF: ... [BLANK2] told me that s/he
had driven to pick those people up that had all run into the
woods and later caller her/him. So, I mean, if s/he had gotten
away with the rest of them, s/he I mean, I don't think s/he
would have done that. I mean.
... GEOFF: ... And it was the police or
the FBI that ended up arresting me. Seriously, there were
a lot of things I can't recall about it. I do know [BLANK2]
told me later on that s/he drove to pick them up. S/he knows
who they are.
... JUROR: Had you ever heard [BLANK2]'s
name before coming up here?
GEOFF: I think I heard her/his name. I think
[BLANK3] were friends of hers/his.
...JUROR: Are you active with animal rights
JUROR: You are not associated at all?
GEOFF: I have completely disassociated myself
from it. The only contact I have had with people regarding
or who are involved in the animal rights movement has been
through an arrest last July. It was for an old warrant. And
pertaining to this. And after some of the questions, as I
said, I was able to go back and clarify things.
...JUROR: And you said you disassociated
yourself with the whole animal rights. What’s the reason
GEOFF: There’s a number of reasons.
I was finding myself getting in a lot of trouble. That was
one thing. I didn’t want to destroy my life. I didn’t
want to do all this stuff, even though my ideals were so strong.
And, you know, I didn’t want to keep going through that.
A lot of the people I had met were not the kind of people
I liked associating with. On top of that, I burned a few bridges.
I stole things from an activist house in Utah. They trusted
me to be there, and I stole things from them. I was still--
I had stopped doing drugs and started drinking and falling
into a crowd that glamorized theft from the rich. And I betrayed
someone who was a good friend of mine. And I couldn’t
stand the torment of those people continually confronting
me about that. And I totally fucked that up.
AUSA: How do you justify breaking into another
activist’s home and stealing from them for the cause?
GEOFF: I don’t justify it. I don’t
justify it. I don’t pretend to. Breaking into an activist’s
home, that wasn’t related to the cause. That was because
I was fucked up. That was because I was going through a lot
of things and learning about you know, new philosophies on
how wonderful it is to shoplift and steal from the rich. And
I went and did it. I was an idiot. I screwed up and betrayed
people. There’s no justifying that. At the time, I justified
it by thinking, these people are rich. It’s okay to
take from them. I don’t have money. They do.
... GEOFF: ... As I said, wanted to really
start living my life and not just living unquestioning the
way that everyone taught me to. We were taught to spout off
statistics that we didn't know were true. We were taught to,
you know, embellish things to make things look more tragic
than they already were.
JUROR: And when you are saying that you were
taught things, who was teaching you? Who was giving you the
statistics and telling you what to say?
GEOFF: I mean, just everybody. Mainstream
animal rights groups, they don't say where they get their
statistics or anything like that. And, you know, people just
say, you know, if you make things seem more extreme than they
are, people aren't going to research it. They are going to
believe it. And I don't know. It's-- the whole thing. I mean,
you've got to understand, I have had all this stuff drilled
into my head all the time about, you know, don't snitch, don't
name names, don't say things. And you have to understand that
the vagueness and all that comes from a deep sense that I
am betraying people that I loved. This is so hard for me.
JUROR: That is the believable Geoffrey. That
is what we wanted to hear.
... GEOFF: ... I really don't remember her/
him driving up there. The only person I remember was [BLANK1],
and s/he was sitting next to me...
AUSA: Do you want a minute before we go on?
I have put a stack of pictures in front of you. And they are
labeled Grand Jury exhibits GK 1 through 13. Can you take
a look at each one? If you know who the person is, tell us
GEOFF: This one looks familiar. I don't know
who s/he is.
AUSA: Is that GK1?
GEOFF: This is the only one that looks familiar,
I don't know where I've seen him before. It was probably at
the protest. This one looks familiar. I might have seen him
in Salt Lake. GK5--
... AUSA: Do you know [BLANK3]?
GEOFF: No, I don't, not personally.
GEOFF: [BLANK4], GK9.
AUSA: That's the next one that looks familiar
GEOFF: Yeah. GK10 is [BLANK1]. GK11, I think,
is [BLANK5]. GK12 I don't know. So these are the only ones
that look familiar.
AUSA: Let me hand you three more exhibits...
Can you take a look at each set of pictures and tell us if
you recognize the person in that?
GEOFF: It could be [BLANK5]. I don't know
AUSA: There's four pictures. So take a look
at the four.
AUSA: I believe you told us earlier that
you recognized her/his build.
GEOFF: Definitely her/his build. I can't
recognize the face though.
AUSA: Which exhibit is it that you are talking
GEOFF: It's GK14.
AUSA: What about GK15 and 16?
GEOFF: 15, I don't really remember. Is that
AUSA: Who is [BLANK6]?
GEOFF: My old friend, [full name].
... AUSA: Would you look back at GK14 for
a minute. That's the one I think you thought was [BLANK5].
GEOFF: Could have been, yeah.
AUSA: Could you take a look and tell us if
you think it is?
GEOFF: I think so, based on the build, but
the face is really blurry.
AUSA: You believe it's [BLANK5] based on
what you can see?
GEOFF: Yeah. I think [BLANK5] wears glasses.
And based on the build, the lack of any fashion sense. That's
... AUSA: Are these people expecting to
hear from you as far as what you have said here to the Grand
GEOFF: [BLANK1] told me to talk to her/him
about it. I have not talked to her/him in the past couple
of weeks, but--
AUSA: But s/he asked you to tell her/him
what happened here. Are you planning to do that?
GEOFF: No. I was thinking about that last
... GEOFF: Which organization?
AUSA: The animal rights organization that
you were involved in.
GEOFF: I was involved in a number of them.
But in general, with activism movements such as that, if you
do something like what I am doing now, this is the general
rules, snitches get stitches.
AUSA: Then there are consequences for you?
GEOFF: If anybody finds out, yeah.
AUSA: For example.
GEOFF: I don't know. Get beaten. Get hurt
AUSA: Had you heard that before, had somebody
said if you do that, this is what's going to happen?
GEOFF: I mean, not specifically, not relating
to this. But in general, that like I said, snitches get stitches.
I mean, shit, I kicked this kid in the face for doing the
same thing in Long Island.
AUSA: So you do have some fear for your safety
because of what's happened here at the grand jury?
GEOFF: If anybody finds out, I don't know
what happens. If they do, yeah.
AUSA: If it's any consolation to you, you
haven't snitched on anyone.
GEOFF: I have talked about [BLANK5].
AUSA: No, you haven't. People showed you
pictures of [BLANK5]. And you said, yeah, that's [BLANK5].
And you said you heard s/he had picked up some people after
the mink release. We already had that information.
GEOFF: It's still snitching. The thing you
got to understand, you don't help them put people in jail.
And if they didn't have a use for it, for me coming up here
and doing that, then they wouldn't be bringing me up here.
... GEOFF: Right, but I picked her/him from
that. I am not trying to protect her/him. If s/he was driving
the car, why would I say s/he was not driving the car but
pick her/him out there?"
***NOTE: The identities of the individuals identified
or discussed by Geoffrey Kerns have been concealed for privacy
purposes and an absence of commentary should in no way be
perceived as accepting Geoffrey Kerns' testimony as being
remotely accurate or truthful.***