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Old 02-13-2006, 11:53 AM   #1
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Jack Thompson writes letter to Bono to buy GTA

Enemy number one of video gamers everywhere seems to be wanting to talk to Bono. For those of you who don't know Jack Thomspon is completely crazy who attempts to sue anyone who disagrees with him, calls video games death simulators, and belives that responablity is not that of parents but of the video game companys. If you do a little google on him you'll find out how crazy he is.


http://www.ps3today.com/Blogs/News/hqs/blr_1839.aspx

Jack Thompson's Open Letter To Bono
08 Feb 2006 01:20 | Webmaster | Gaming
PS3Today.com | Read & Add Comments (64) | Link to this article

In an open letter addressed to the U2 vocalist Bono, Jack urges a "fellow brother in Jesus Christ" not to proceed in a buyout of Take-Two and its GTA franchise. We are looking forward to read Bono’s reply to this, if he will reply at all that is…

Re: Your Possible Purchase of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
Dear Bono:

I write you as a fellow brother in Jesus Christ, appreciative of your bold witness to the transforming truth of the Gospel, in both your words and your deeds. You daily "fight the good fight," serving Him as salt and as light in an unbelieving world. You inspire other Christians to confront the "culture of death" that surrounds us all, and I thank you. Because of what you do, it is easier for me to do what I have been called to do.

I write to encourage you, respectfully and in a spirit of brotherly love, not to purchase Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. It is reported in the New York Post and in the San Francisco Chronicle that your Elevation Partners is engaged in talks to do just that. See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...DGU9GJD7D1.DTL

Allow me to provide some of the reasons why I make this fervent suggestion:

1. I appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes twice last year on behalf of two Alabama police officers and a dispatcher killed by a teen who trained on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to kill them. We are now proceeding toward trial in our wrongful death action on their families' behalf, buoyed by three affidavits sworn to by experts who have testified before the US Congress as to this copycatting phenomenon that the American Psychological Association in August 2005 says is now irrefutably proven.

Thus, if you buy Take-Two and its Grand Theft Auto franchise, you will be buying a Mature-rated murder simulator marketed and sold to teen that has been linked by law enforcement officials to numerous, specific, provable copycat killings around the country. I have appeared on roughly 70 national television programs, including NBC's Today show eight times, recounting the causation of these copycat events. More such events are on the way. Take-Two, whoever owns it, will have to deal with those pigeons when they come home to roost in the months and years ahead. Indeed, the most recent such incident tying Take-Two to murder was found in the 18-year-old Jacob Robida who went from carving up homosexuals in a "gay bar" in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to a "sucide by cop" shoot-out in Gassville, Texas. Three lay dead. Robida was an obsessive gamer, whose games included, according to detectives in Massachusetts, the Grand Theft Auto games whose scenarios he replicated precisely.

In fact, the above-noted Chronicle editorial which encourages you not to buy Take-Two mentions the Oakland, California, gang called the "Nutcases," which used Take-Two Grand Theft Auto III as a carjacking and murder simulator. The older gang members trained the younger ones with the Take-Two game in order to both show how to carjack and to get "pumped up" to carjack. Said one perpetrator in jail: "We played the game by day and lived the game by night."

I could cite to you dozens of similar incidents that tie GTA to murder. Is this what you want to own, along with all its coming liabilities, both legal and spiritual?

2. Take-Two has, in its most recent 10-K disclosure statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, lied to the investment community about the nature of its potential liabilities. For example, here we are proceeding toward trial in Alabama, most likely in January 2007, and yet Take-Two has told the investment community in its January 31, 2006, 10-K that our Alabama wrongful death action is utterly without merit. That is a lie, and a provable lie. Take-Two, therefore, is lying to the same SEC that busted it for fraudulent accounting practices, to the tune of $8 million in 2005, for "parking violations" in misstating the number of games it had sold. The SEC is also investigating Take-Two for insider trading. Are you relying upon Take-Two's own assessment of the validity of those federal investigations?

Secondly, Take-Two has agreed to indemnify all other corporate defendants in the Alabama case for any verdict amounts against them. Did the Take-Two principals with whom your Elevation Partners is negotiating disclose that? Those co-defendants whose verdicts Take-Two has promised to reimburse include Wal-Mart and GameStop (who sold the Mature-rated games to a minor) and also Sony. Take-Two has agreed to this remarkable indemnification plan in a state-Alabama-that the Wall Street Journal reports has the highest verdicts against corporate defendants in the nation. Why are the verdicts so high? Because Alabama has a wrongful death statute, held constitutional, which grants money damages to bereaved plaintiffs not actual damages but solely punitive damages that are to be high enough to make sure that the corporate defendants will never do what they did again. Do you think a jury in Alabama, in the town in which their cops, with whom the townsfolk were on a first-name basis, are going to cut a break for the company that trained their killer how to kill them more efficiently. Alabamians are proud to say they are "the buckle of the Bible Belt." They don't like companies that facilitate the murder of cops.

Did Take-Two tell Elevation Partners about the real dangers to the very survival of Take-Two because of the Alabama suit? Did they also tell Elevation fully about the multiplicity of current fraud and also criminal investigations of Take-Two that are currently in full-swing? I am working with those investigations. You all need to talk to me to find out what a real danger is that they pose to Take-Two, despite the fraudulent assertions in the recent 10-K that they are all "without merit." That is akin to saying that AIDS poses no threat to life. Ridiculous.

The market knows that they have merit, which is precisely why Take-Two stock has plummeted.

3. Sony and Take-Two designed the GTA: Vice City game to utilize the PS2's Dual Shock controller, which sends a visceral jolt back into the hands of the player each time he kills. Thus, the entire system is a biofeedback, operant conditioning system which desensitizes the user to the act of killing. Skinner would be proud. It is right out of his playbook.

As you know, Elevation Partners has a strong relationship with Pandemic Studios, which designed Full Spectrum Command/Full Spectrum Warrior for the US Department of Defense at the Institute for Creative Technologies at USC. The primary purpose of this virtual reality simulator is to "suppress the inhibition to kill of new recruits." If you doubt that, then please contact Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, retired Army Ranger, former professor at West Point, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and identified by President Clinton as "the one man America should listen to as to why Columbine happened" through his www.killology.com. Three hundred or more days a year Grossman addresses police and military personnel about the psychological cost of killing and how virtual reality is used to get people to kill. I have addressed the American Bar Association with Col. Grossman, on the same stage, twice. He and I are brothers in Christ and brothers on this issue.

How, then, can Take-Two claim that its killing simulators do not desensitize teens to the act of killing when the video game industry, especially your partner, Pandemic, takes taxpayer dollars from the DOD to design games that do just that, biofeedback controls and all?

You recently shared the cover of Time with Microsoft's Bill Gates as two of its "Persons of the Year." Good for all three of you. I assume you think Gates a man of intellect. Here is what he said recently on 60 Minutes: "These action games transport you to a world you think is real." Exactly. That is why they are dangerous.

Brain scan studies at Harvard University, Indiana University, Michigan State University, and elsewhere prove that teens process these killing games in a different part of the brain than do adults, which is why copycatting is far more likely to occur by them. I was even portrayed in a Law and Order: SVU episode last year called "Game" in which teens were copycatting the Grand Theft Auto games in killing women by running over them with cars and then stomping them to death, as the 60 Minutes story itself showed. Thus, even Hollywood knows of the murderous power of the GTA game franchise you are negotiating to buy.

4. Take-Two is set to release in 2006 a game called Bully. This is a Columbine simulator that allows a student in a virtual school, whose slogan is "Dog Eat Dog," to bludgeon his classmates and teachers with bats to "settle scores." Every expert on bullying who is aware of the content of this game has called on Take-Two not to release, so sure are they that Bully will spawn more school violence. Is that what you want to be affiliated with?

Take-Two has lied to the public about what is actually in this game, which lie is proven by the images in screenshots which I have been provided by an industry source. I can hear Take-Two saying to you, Bono, if I were to show you these clandestine screenshots, "Who are you going to believe, Bono; us or your lying eyes?"

5. The Apostle Paul tells us in the Bible (2 Corinthians) that believers must not be "unequally yoked" to unbelievers. You, a devout Christian, cannot be yoked to these Mature-rated murder simulators fraudulently, deceptively, and aggressively marketed to children. It will serve as a refutation of your Christian twitness, which is precisely what even the secular-minded San Francisco Chronicle has identified as the incongruity of your being yoked with such an enterprise.

If you want to believe Take-Two that it does not want kids to buy these Mature-rated killing games, then why does Take-Two have its lawyers in court rooms across America alleging that children have a "First Amendment right" to buy these Mature-rated games? Hmmm? As Forrest Gump might say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

One of the plaintiffs in our 60 Minutes-reported Alabama case is Steve Strickland, an ordained Methodist minister. Bono, you need to talk to him and to me about the incredible evil that Take-Two has knowingly dumped into the lives of young people. Steve lost his brother to the virtual-to-reality mayhem caused by Take-Two. The bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell, has explained in his book Blink why the killing video games lead boys to kill in "the blink of an eye." Jesus himself warned: "If any of you should cause one of these little ones to stumble, then it would be better for you that a millstone be tied around your neck and that you be cast into the uttermost depths of the sea."

Unless you, Bono, and your Elevation Partners plan to buy Take-Two for the purpose of incinerating the Grand Theft Auto games and the other murder simulator titles that Take-Two owns, such as Manhunt, which caused a hammer-bludgeoning death in Leicester, England and which has been banned for sale even to adults in Australia and New Zealand, then you will be tying a millstone around your own neck.

+++++

Bono, I could go on, as there is much more to tell you, but you get the idea. We need to meet. You need to hear what I know and what Take-Two will not tell you and the others at Elevation Partners about what their true liabilities are. There is a reason that Take-Two's CEO Paul Eibeler was voted by MarketWatch "The Worst American CEO in 2005." Paul Eibeler is a liar who got caught lying to the world in the "Hot Coffee" mod scandal." Take-Two buries in its aforementioned 10-K, in Section 7, that there might be more "Hot Coffee" material in other Take-Two games that are already out there. Did Take-Two tell you that?

I prepped Senator Hillary Clinton for her July 2005 news conference on the Hot Coffee matter. I convinced her that what I and others were saying about Take-Two was true. She went with it, and three days later the ESRB proved to the world that I had told her the truth. The US House of Representatives voted 355-21 to condemn and investigate Take-Two for its fraud. That FTC investigation is in full swing, and yet Take-Two tells the world in its 10-K that the multiplicity of shareholder derivative actions based on this proven fraud are baseless. Even King Canute had the sense not to order the tide not to come in. Take-Two's tide will come in, and it will drown Elevation Partners.

Bono, whom are you going to believe as you make a decision whether to buy Take-Two? Are you going to believe the liars who got caught lying, or are you going to believe a fellow believer in Christ who has been targeted for actual harm by Take-Two and its dissembling Philadelphia lawyers at Blank Rome?

Let me tell you about that, in conclusion. I received yesterday a letter from the Justice Department informing me that it has opened a criminal investigation of the efforts, involving Take-Two and its giant Philadelphia law firm, Blank Rome, to violate criminal statute 18 USC 241 in order to harass me into silence about Take-Two.

I could fill another ten pages with descriptions of the criminal activity by Take-Two and Blank Rome toward me, but I can tell you about all that if and when we meet.

I am trying to keep you, dear brother, from being run over by a careening bus. I do this to help you. A brother in Christ has now warned you. Now, do the right thing, in His powerful name I pray.

In Jesus Christ, Jack Thompson
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:11 PM   #2
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Any word if Bono's company baught Take Two yet?
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:43 PM   #3
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It's not really Bono's company, it is an investment venture shared amongst several partners DBA "Elevation Partners". They, like most other companies and investment franchises throughout the world are formed with the intent to make a profit. Althought this Jack Thompson has seemingly done his homework and quotes some alarming data, I Feel he should be directing his letter to Elevation Partners as an enterprise and not trying to corner Bono the individual. I wish him luck. I highly doubt Elevation would take heed to his views and base their investment decision thereon.
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:57 PM   #4
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I think he should convince them to back out of it.
Bono doesn't need all the grief it would bring.

Imagine doing another church tour in middle America to get support for debt relief/AIDS funding for Africa and having to deal with the fact that his business venture produces Grand Theft Auto. He'd have a huge political problem. He'd be made to look like a hypocrite, actually a very shrewd move by Thompson.
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2DMfan

Imagine doing another church tour in middle America to get support for debt relief/AIDS funding for Africa and having to deal with the fact that his business venture produces Grand Theft Auto. He'd have a huge political problem. He'd be made to look like a hypocrite, actually a very shrewd move by Thompson.
How so? I always understood the basic argument behind the existence of GTA to be it's just a game and it's a free country so adults can play whatever they want. DATA = democracy, accountability, and transparency. What's more democratic and transparent than letting people do whatever the fuck they want?

(This isn't my personal view, I think the game is disgusting)
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


How so? I always understood the basic argument behind the existence of GTA to be it's just a game and it's a free country so adults can play whatever they want. DATA = democracy, accountability, and transparency. What's more democratic and transparent than letting people do whatever the fuck they want?

(This isn't my personal view, I think the game is disgusting)
Yes, the argument for GTA is a free speech issue, essentially.

Something normally you'd think Bono would be all for.

My point is, he could have a poltical problem with (if it's made to look like) one hand asking for American's money to go to Africa, while his other hand is taking money for a game that kills cops.

And the point further, is those who are against Bono's views will use this against him, this is the political 'game' he is playing with.

There are a lot of people who just want Bono to "shut the fuck up" and "stop telling us how to spend our tax money." They could be just waiting for the opportunity to start tearing at his credibility. It's politics, of course.

He should just save himself the trouble, don't ya think?

Actually when the PMRC and others had the big issue with ICe T and the song 'Cop Killer' I think Bonon took the side of free speech/no censorship.

This is not the same Bono. He is more careful, he's more results oriented than just trying to be an idealist.
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:29 AM   #7
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Just wanted to add, we could talk all day about the game itself, I personally defend the game on the merits of free speech can't be divided into parts. It's either free or it's not.

That said, my concern in the posts is for Bono and his credibility as an activist for the DATA issues. I fully support him and things like this issue are just uneccessary to his cause.
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Old 02-14-2006, 01:08 AM   #8
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I still don't understand how people blame a game for all of this stuff.

This is just parents/teachers/friends/families not wanting to admit their child is a sheep who can't tell the difference between right and wrong.

My brother is a huge video game nerd. Plays all of these games that involve killing people with all sorts of ways.

But when their was a fly in the house, my brother felt bad for it and wouldn't let my mom or anyone kill it.

These individuals are messed up.

Wanna know what the goddamn problem with GTA is? YOU! The Consumer! Thats right! The influencable sheep.

But because their are so many idiots who do not understand this, if Bono's company gets the game, he will get unneeded critism for what he is doing. Its not that its free speech. Yes, the game developers should do what they want, but people will never accept their idiot son attacked police officers because he has slight mental issues. Bono just won't need this in his quest for justice!

I will never believe that these games influence people or cause problems. Want proof? How about the (ahem, hundreds of)millions of kids NOT shooting cops and running around bashing people and stealing cars.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:18 AM   #9
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I see nothing wrong with venting frustration and anger in a video game rather than acting like an idiot in real life.

I love GTA and I've been playing it since the first disc came out for PS.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:27 AM   #10
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Elevation Partners just officially became a pain in the ass for Bono.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:30 AM   #11
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the kid "trained to kill policemen" on GTA

you're right, last time i checked my ps2 controller was very similar to an automatic weapon
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:37 PM   #12
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I am a huge teen gamer and I think that what Thompson is doing is insulting. He just tries to blame videogames on every single teen shooting in the country. There are already warning labels in place on videogames and all stores are suppose to check ID or get fined if they don't. Parents and store owners have to take responsibilty for the teen gamers. I know that if Bono doesn't do exactly what Thompson wants, then he'll become the target of his crazy rants. But I think that if Bono wants to buy Take-Two then he shouldn't let this guy affect his decisions.
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:49 PM   #13
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Another crackpot Christian. They're like roaches. Bono would be wise to crumple the letter and shitcan it.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:07 PM   #14
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I'm not taking Thompsons side on this (I think the guy is a fool) but as an avid video game player I feel the industry does need a little bit of a shake-down in terms of violence in video games and sex in games. I mean although it's true that freedom of speech is a huge importance for our society, there's a difference between saying something because you SHOULD and saying something because you CAN. Stuff like the "Hot Coffee" mod should not have ever been put in a video game, in my opinion. That's where I think the games are going down the toilet, when stuff like that, adding nothing to the gameplay of the actual game, is put in the programming just to cause controversy or just to be perverted for the sake of perversion. Yes I conceed Jack is a moron, and needs to shut up but I agree with some of what is being criticized about the industry when store salesmen/women will sell a 'M' rated game to a minor. It's true that it is the parents job to teach their kids "right and wrong" but beyond that, there are just some things (running over hookers, beating old grandmas with baseball bats, taking drugs as powerups) that a young child should JUST NOT be exposed to, parental guidance or not all my humble opinion of course.

Seeing as this is a U2 forum however, Bono is the man! Buy whatever you want Bono!
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:54 PM   #15
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Business is business, people. Get over it.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:30 PM   #16
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anyone takes away my GTA and i will be mighty pissed.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by xana dew
Another crackpot Christian. They're like roaches. Bono would be wise to crumple the letter and shitcan it.

Beautifully put! I agree!


Quote:
Business is business, people. Get over it.

I also agree with this!
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:45 PM   #18
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Bono to buy TakeTwo Co?

Not sure where to put this, but I was wondering if anyone heard about Bono's Company Elevation thinking about buying out Take Two corp...the company that makes Grand Theft Auto and all...

I hope he does, to save the company from going under.

anyone have more info on this?
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:51 PM   #19
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All I've read on it is what you've posted - that was about the gist of the newsbite.
I hope they go for it, the Grand Theft Auto games are fantastic.
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:57 PM   #20
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speaking of GTA, the game needs some U2 songs in there
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