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Richard Behar is an American investigative journalist who has written on the staffs of the magazines Forbes, Time and Fortune over a twenty-two year period from 1982-2004. His work has also appeared on CNN and PBS. As of July 2005, Behar coordinated Project Klebnikov, a global media alliance launched to investigate the Moscow murder of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov and related lines of inquiry. Since 2004, his freelance investigative reports have also appeared in BBC News, Forbes, FoxNews.com and Fast Company magazine.

Contents

Education and career

Behar was born in Manhattan, raised on Long Island, and is a 1982 graduate of University at Albany, SUNY. Before joining Time in 1989, he was a reporter and associate editor for Forbes magazine for six years. He has also worked at the New York Times as a researcher and writer. Behar reported extensively about organized crime and the business backgrounds of politicians for Time, for whom Behar wrote a widely acclaimed 1993 cover story on the World Trade Center bombing.

In 1991, he wrote "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", a Time cover story on Scientology.[1] The acclaimed article won several awards.[2] The Church of Scientology brought several lawsuits over the article, all of which were eventually dismissed.[2] While investigating the story, he experienced some of Scientology's Fair Game tactics:

I later learned, a copy of my personal credit report -- with detailed information about my bank accounts, home mortgage, credit-card payments, home address and Social Security number -- had been illegally retrieved from a national credit bureau called Trans Union. The sham company that received it, "Educational Funding Services" of Los Angeles, gave as its address a mail drop a few blocks from Scientology's headquarters. The owner of the mail drop is a private eye named Fred Wolfson, who admits that an Ingram associate retained him to retrieve credit reports on several individuals. Wolfson says he was told that Scientology's attorneys "had judgments against these people and were trying to collect on them." He says now, "These are vicious people. These are vipers." Ingram, through a lawyer, denies any involvement in the scam. ... After that, however, an attorney subpoenaed me, while another falsely suggested that I might own shares in a company I was reporting about that had been taken over by Scientologists (he also threatened to contact the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission). A close friend in Los Angeles received a disturbing telephone call from a Scientology staff member seeking data about me -- an indication that the cult may have illegally obtained my personal phone records. Two detectives contacted me, posing as a friend and a relative of a so-called cult victim, to elicit negative statements from me about Scientology. Some of my conversations with them were taped, transcribed and presented by the church in affidavits to TIME's lawyers as "proof" of my bias against Scientology.[1]

A 2003 report by Behar in Fortune explored Donald Rumsfeld's role in helping North Korea build its potential Nuclear weapon capacity, in an article entitled "Rummy’s North Korea Connection: What Did Donald Rumsfeld Know About ABB’s Deal to Build Nuclear Reactors There? And Why Won’t He Talk About It?" Behar is the only known journalist to have read the infamous "Phoenix Memo", the pre 9-11 FBI document that warned that Osama bin Laden supporters were enrolled in flight-training schools across the country.

In October, 2004, Behar left Time, Inc. to pursue book writing and various independent projects, including the launch of Project Klebnikov, a global media alliance investigating the July, 2004, murder of Paul Klebnikov, who was then the editor-in-chief of Forbes Russia. Behar also serves on the advisory committee of New York University's business journalism Master's program (BER).

In December 2008 he was commissioned by Random House to write a book about Bernard Madoff.[citation needed]

Recognition

Behar was included among the 100 best business journalists (the "100 luminaries") of the 20th century by the TJFR business journalism trade group.

In 1999, investigative columnist Jack Anderson called Behar "one of the most dogged of our watchdogs."[3]

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Awards

Behar has won more than 20 awards for his reporting, including:

  • Four awards in recognition of his 1991 story for Time about Scientology:
  1. Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished business and financial journalism (1992)[2]
  2. Conscience-in-Media Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (1992) "for singular commitment to the highest principles of journalism at notable personal cost"[2][4]
  3. Worth Bingham Prize (1992)[2]
  4. Leo J. Ryan Award[5][6]
  • George Polk Award (twice): One for his 1995 story about the strong-arm tactics used by the Allstate Insurance Co. against its own employees; a second Polk for a 2008 story about China's activities in sub-Saharan Africa [3]
  • Business Journalist of the Year Award from the City of London Corporation for exposes about counterfeiting in China and organized crime in Russia's aluminum industry [4]
  • Daniel Pearl Award for post-9/11 journalism [5]
  • Overseas Press Club Award (twice) for post-9/11 journalism in Pakistan, as well as China's activities in sub-Saharan Africa [7]
  • Jack Anderson Award (twice) for "Top Investigative Reporter of the Year" -- 1997 and 1999
  • National Headliner Award, as a member of the CNN Investigation Team, for "outstanding continuing coverage of attacks on America and their aftermath."
  • SAPA award (Society of Publishers in Asia) for best feature writing for an in-depth account of the royal family of Brunei
  • "Best of the Best" award in 2009 from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers
  • Fortune was awarded the National Magazine Award for public interest for two articles written by Behar on organized crime's influence in the garbage-hauling industry (1997) [6]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Richard Behar, "Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes: Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam -- and aiming for the mainstream", book rev. of "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power, Time Magazine, May 6, 1991: 50, rpt. in cs.cmu.edu, accessed May 11, 2007. [Part of "Special Report (cover story)".]
  2. ^ a b c d e "Judge dismisses Church of Scientology's $416 million lawsuit against TIME Magazine". Time Magazine press release via Business Wire. July 16, 1996. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1996_July_16/ai_18489022. Retrieved 2006-06-01. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Awards history at American Society of Journalists and Authors.
  5. ^ Behar, Richard (1992). "Richard Behar, acceptance speech, 1992 Leo J. Ryan award". (OLD) Cult Awareness Network conference, Los Angeles. http://www.lermanet.com/scientologyscandals/behar.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  6. ^ Henderson, Bob (1992-12-28). "Hubbard from Pinellas to Russia". St. Petersburg Times: p. 1. 
  7. ^ [2]

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Richard Behar is an investigative journalist who has written for leading magazines including Forbes, Time and Fortune over a twenty-two year period from 1982-2004. As of July, 2005, Behar coordinates Project Klebnikov, a global media alliance launched to investigate the murder of journalist Paul Klebnikov and related lines of inquiry.

Sourced

  • For the TIME story, at least 10 attorneys and six private detectives were unleashed by Scientology and its followers in an effort to threaten, harass and discredit me. Last Oct. 12, not long after I began this assignment, I planned to lunch with Eugene Ingram, the church's leading private eye and a former cop. Ingram, who was tossed off the Los Angeles police force In 1981 for alleged ties to prostitutes and drug dealers, had told me that he might be able to arrange a meeting with church boss David Miscavige. Just hours before the lunch, the church's "national trial counsel," Earle Cooley, called to inform me that I would be eating alone. Alone, perhaps, but not forgotten. By day's end, I later learned, a copy of my personal credit report -- with detailed information about my bank accounts, home mortgage, credit-card payments, home address and Social Security number -- had been illegally retrieved from a national credit bureau called Trans Union. The sham company that received it, "Educational Funding Services" of Los Angeles, gave as its address a mail drop a few blocks from Scientology's headquarters. The owner of the mail drop is a private eye named Fred Wolfson, who admits that an Ingram associate retained him to retrieve credit reports on several individuals. Wolfson says he was told that Scientology's attorneys "had judgments against these people and were trying to collect on them." He says now, "These are vicious people. These are vipers." Ingram, through a lawyer, denies any involvement in the scam. ––Richard Behar, The Thriving Cults of Greed and Power, Time Magazine, May 6, 1991, sidebar: "The Scientologists and Me".
  • I stand here before you in absolute awe of the fact that Congressman Ryan, Patricia's father, gave his life in an attempt to rescue victims from another dangerous cult. Looking at the politicians who serve in our Congress today, should make everyone realize what a rare man Leo Ryan was. I greatly admire him. ––Richard Behar, 1992 Conference, (OLD) Cult Awareness Network
  • What happens when bosses ignore memos from subordinates? The country is now learning the answer to that question in a most painful way. On July 10, 2001, an FBI agent in Phoenix [Arizona] wrote a memo raising serious concerns about Middle Eastern men attending U.S. flight schools. The memo never made its way up the chain of command, and no action was taken. ––Richard Behar, introd. to "FBI's 'Phoenix' memo Unmasked", Fortune [date?], [date accessed?]. (See (incomplete) list of Behar's Fortune articles in his section of his Publications [some defunct links].)

External Links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
  • RichardBehar.com - Richard Behar's official home page
  • Full text at Time Magazine Website - 'The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power', Richard Behar, Time Magazine (May 6, 1991)
  • ProjectKlebnikov.org - 'The global media alliance investigating the July 9th, 2004 murder of Paul Klebnikov, the editor-in-chief of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine'
  • Independent-Media.tv - 'Rummy's North Korea Connection', Richard Behar (April 28, 2003)
  • LermaNet.com - 'Leo Award Winner Richard Behar at CAN Conference 1992'
  • LermaNet.com - 'Stalked by Allstate: Being an agent for the giant insurer can be tough-- even terrifying. An extraordinary war between a company and its own troops is only getting fiercer.' Richard Behar (1995)
  • NewsBios.com - 'Richard Behar'
  • Acceptance Speech, for Leo J. Ryan award
  • "Fuzzy, but fervent", Forbes, November 18, 1985 - Richard Behar and Ralph King, Jr.,

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