Supplement No. 1
Report on the Rama Computer Cult


This supplement is prepared to provide additional information obtained since publication of the basic report in February, 1991.



In the past six months there has been some public awareness of the Rama cult and the activities of its members. Computer recruiters and contractors have become aware that there is a group, most of them previously living in California, who have falsified both their training and their experience, and who have given bogus references in order to obtain higher paying jobs. Information on this group has circulated informally within the industry. In July and August two computer industry employment newsletters , "Job Express" and "Consultant's and Contractor's Newsletter, both circulated widely in the New York area, published reports from recruiters who had been defrauded by the practices of this group. One of incidents reported was that NYNEX had retained a number of people from this cult who then proved to be unable to fulfill their contract. Within the industry they were beginning to be referred to as the "California Raisins".

On July 30th Newsday published a four page feature article on Frederick Lenz and his followers that has been widely circulated in the New York area also. The combined effect of the information circulating in the industry, the articles in the industry newsletter, and the Newsday article have made recruiters and contractors much more aware of this group and the problems they can create. Recruiters and contractors are now looking more closely at resumes for a variety of things that indicate further inquiry is required such as where they took their training, certain often used prior job references. (See Supplement 1 to the basic report for a profile of the cult members.) For example, Berkshire Systems International has been used by a number of cult members as a reference. Also LA Micro Systems has been used as a bogus reference.

Second hand information from those still in the group indicate that they have been led to believe that the Newsday article would have little or no effect since they have been taught that it exaggerated the conditions within the group. However, they have been quite concerned about the information that is circulating in the industry, both informally and by the industry newsletter, since this affects their employment, and, consequently, the income that Lenz can derive from his followers.


> Because of the publicity, and the industry awarness, group members have found it increasingly difficult to find jobs. This has placed considerable pressure upon group members, and upon Lenz. One member who actually has solid credentials and is a capable peformer, has found it increasingly difficult to get work and is now having trouble with his creditors that he never had before in attempting to keep up the affluent lifestyle that Lenz preaches and, at the same time, pay Lenz. In one case a group member has contacted his parents to see if there is some way they could ease the pressure on Lenz.

Lenz has reacted with increasing paranoia. He has variously talked about moving the group back to California, or the west coast, or of dispersing them throughout the country and holding his meetings with them only once a month. Recently exited members report they believe Lenz to be spending a substantial amount of time each month in California.

One tactic Lenz has devised to offset falling revenues is to sponsor trips to Europe for certain selected members. The members pay him $10,000 for the trip, in addition to their own expenses. The interesting aspect of this is that they pay him the money when they reach Europe, which for a group of twenty, would give him a way of moving up to $200,000 in cash out of the country without having to bother with currency controls.

In addition, Lenz has increased the monthly fee to $5,000 to ofset income from those who have left, and has been weeding out members of the group who have had trouble in meeting his financial demands. The effect of this on those eliminated from the group has usually been to cause them to redouble their efforts to regain acceptance since they fear terrible consequences. In one instance it has been reported that upon learning that three people in the group had AIDS, Lenz' assistant, at the conclusion of the last meeting, told them they could not come back anymore, that the best thing for them to do was to move to New Mexico and that if living became too painful to just "check out."

Departures from the Group

All of these pressures have led to an increase in the number of people leaving the group. However, the most stunning departure was that of Dr. Chris Marasco. Dr. Marasco, along with his sister Darla, were long time members of the group. Darla left the group in 1990. Dr. Marasco became Lenz personal physician and one of the most trusted members of the inner circle who doubtless has considerable detailed knowledge of the Lenz financial and other activities. Dr. Marasco has, apparently, resumed the practice of medicine in California although his current whereabouts is not known. So far as is known he has made no effort to contact any other ex-members. It may be some time, if ever, before he is willing to talk to any unofficial group. However, Marasco's help would be invaluable to any official agency investigating Lenz.


It has been learned that, until a few months ago, Lenz had a number of people working the campuses of colleges and universities in the New York area recruiting new members. This effort has been only partially successful. In March, it was learned that a number of the people who were members of the "security team" for Lenz had licenses to carry concealed weapons. This information was passed on to the Public Safety Department at SUNY, Purchase, where the Lenz group was meeting. The security personnel at SUNY checked the "security team" for weapons, but found none. However, apparently because of this effort, and possibly because the university authorities had passed on information on Lenz to other institutions, the recruiting effort was disbanded.


Tony Chester, who claimed to be a former student of Lenz but was more likely to have been one of his recuiters, has left White Plains where he was working part of the time in the data processing division of a major company and is now in California starting his own cult group closely patterned after that of Lenz. Tony was once of Christian minister from Oregon. He was the companion of Brenda Kerber, a member of the group who mysteriously dissappeared leaving behind all her identification and possessions. It has been learned from people leaving the group that Tony told them that, at the request of Frederick Lenz, he entered Kerber's apartment and, prior to reporting her dissappearance to the police, removed all papers and other material which might connect her with Lenz.

The "Debs", the group of women previously forced out of the main group, having moved to Seattle initially, now seem to be moving into Northern California. Christine Comaford has established her consulting firm in Sausalito and Karen Lever is believed to be working now in the Palo Alto area.


As the pressure has increased on Lenz, and the number and income of his followers has dropped, he has pressed harder for more money and has become increasingly erratic. This poses a greatly increasing danger to those members still with the group, and probably poses an increased danger to the security of financial or proprietary information of those employing group members. The dedicated members may be unable to resist the increasingly bizzare demands made by Lenz and may be led to do things with serious consequences. One person formerly associated with the group was heard to remark that he had paid no income taxe for three years. He said he thought it more imporant to pay Lenz.

It was increasing outside pressure that initially forced James Jones and the people's temple to move to Guiana, and then to drink the cyanide laced cool aid. There has been no indication, so far, that Lenz might do anything similar, but he does have sufficient control over some follower so that the possibility exists.

[Note: Details on sources and names will be made available, as indicated, to any bonfide governmental investigative agency or private security organization.]

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