Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 4, Issue 39
by Rod Keller
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors, whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles in the newsgroup before expiring them.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at
The text of a bill introduced in the U.S. House and Senate was posted to
a.r.s this week, which criticizes Germany for treatment of religious
minorities including Scientology.
"Mr. SALMON (for himself, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. GILMAN, Ms. MILLENDER-MCDONALD, Mr. SCARBOROUGH, Mr. WYNN, Mr. MALONEY of Connecticut, Mr. ROTHMAN, Mr. FOLEY, Mr. SHERMAN, Mr. ROGAN, Mr. PASTOR, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Mr. EVANS, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. NEY, Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi, Mr. METCALF, Mr. SMITH of Washington, Mr. DAVIS of Virginia, Mr. FORD, Mr. BECERRA, Mr. ENGEL, Ms. BROWN of Florida, Mr. SABO, Mr. ABERCROMBIE, Mr. FORBES, Mr. HILLIARD, Mr. WELLER, Mr. HORN, Ms. PRYCE of Ohio, Mrs. MEEK of Florida, Mr. TOWNS, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. CHABOT, Mr. CUMMINGS, Mr. OWENS, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Ms. WATERS, Mrs. CAPPS, Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut, Mr. JACKSON of Illinois, Mr. MEEKS of New York, Mrs. CLAYTON, Mr. PASCRELL, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, and Mr. WATT of North Carolina) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations
"Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to government discrimination in Germany based on religion or belief. Whereas government discrimination in Germany against individuals and groups based on religion or belief violates Germany's obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Helsinki Accords; Whereas the 1993 through 1998 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Germany have disclosed acts of Federal, State, and local government discrimination in Germany against members of minority religious groups, including Charismatic Christians, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Scientologists;
"Whereas State Department Human Rights Reports on Germany have also disclosed acts of government discrimination against American citizens because of their religious beliefs; Whereas State Department Human Rights Reports on Germany have disclosed discrimination based on religion or belief in Germany in such forms as exclusion from government employment and political parties; the use of 'sect-filters' by government, businesses, sports clubs, and other organizations; government-approved boycotts and discrimination against businesses; and the prevention of artists from performing or displaying their works;
"Whereas in 1997, a United States immigration court judge granted a German woman asylum in the United States, finding that she had a well-founded fear of persecution based on her religious beliefs if she returned to Germany: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives urges the Government of Germany to uphold its commitments to 'take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination against individuals or communities on the grounds of religion or belief' and 'foster a climate of mutual tolerance and respect between believers of different communities' as required by the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe's Vienna Concluding Document of 1989; urges the Government of Germany to enter into a constructive dialogue with minority groups subject to government discrimination based on religion or belief; continues to hold the Government of Germany responsible for protecting the right of freedom of religion or belief of United States citizens who are living, performing, doing business, or traveling in Germany; and calls upon the President to assert the concern of the United States Government to the Government of Germany regarding government discrimination in Germany based on religion or belief."
"Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I rise to submit a resolution concerning religious discrimination in Germany with my colleague, the distinguished Senator from Louisiana, Ms. Landrieu. The resolution urges the German government to eliminate religious discrimination within its country because I believe, as a matter of general government policy, no religion or belief should be discriminated against. Anytime the government collects or allows businesses to collect and use information that marks an individual as being different, it is discriminatory and it is wrong.
"[A] minority group that has been subject to significant discrimination in Germany is the Church of Scientology and its members. The documentation of discrimination against both Americans and Germans based solely on their Church membership seems irrefutable. I especially find the growing governmental use and sponsorship of 'sect-filters' disturbing. Nonetheless, in spite of all this evidence and documentation, the German Government seems to believe the State Department has revised its views as to the existence of religious discrimination in their country. I have also seen media reports that characterized the 1998 Report as effectively ending earlier State Department criticism of Germany for its treatment of Scientologists. I cannot believe these characterizations of the Human Rights Report are an accurate representation of the position of the State Department on these matters. Clearly, the matter of religious discrimination and persecution in Germany needs to be reviewed and the position of the State Department clarified."
Anton Hein reports that the Amsterdam, Netherlands org is moving.
"AT5, Amsterdam's local TV station, reports in its teletext online newspaper that the Amsterdam Church of Scientology is moving to a former police office. The new building is said to be larger than the old one, and the 'chapel' is said to be 'nicer.' Teletext reports that the church employs some 70 people. It also says the Amsterdam location is the only Scientology church in Holland. The move will take place at the end of January."
Saarbruecker Zeitung reported on December 27th on the harm caused to
individuals involved in Scientology.
"When Ute Paul joined the organization in 1988, she was what one would call a successful woman: she was regarded as an excellent cook and ran a busy, well-known restaurant in Saarbruecken. Her son Peter, who was 27 years old, lived in Frankfurt, and was a Scientologist at that time, told Ute, 'In three weeks they had helped him break his habit of smoking hash.' What she was yet more impressed by was how confident Peter suddenly was of himself.
"What followed was typical for joining a psychosect: auditing, which psychologists describe as coerced hypnosis and brainwashing; training drills; hours at a time in the sauna to allegedly purge body and spirit - along with that, Ute broke out and got red blotches on her skin because she had consumed high doses of vitamin B3 (niacin). Naturally, thousands of marks had to be paid for these courses and treatments. In doing that [spending money] Ute soon made contact with the international level of management: by her first year she had already spent ten days on a luxury liner in the Caribbean which is the highest cadre-smith in Scientology; she said, 'I was made to feel like I was one of the best, one of the few who could save our planet.'
"Up to that point, Ute had paid Scientology 160,000 marks [approx. $120,000] - within a twelve-month period. Course after course followed from that point on; Ute traveled to England where she was supposed to obtain the state of 'clear' - the first of the high training grades and desired goal for everyone who joins Scientology. Cost: about 120,000 marks. Ute said that to do that, she had cashed in her life insurance, which she had been saving for old age. She was told it would be worth her while to go up the next highest steps so as not to backslide. Therefore she immediately transferred another 120,000 marks to the organization to become an 'operating thetan.' But Ute had to wait four years before she started. In the meantime she was taken for a total of 65,000 marks in preparatory courses. Ute said, 'I sold my restaurant and cashed in another life insurance policy.'
"Her great disillusionment came to her in the Scientology center in English East Grinstead, which is about 30 kilometers south of London. Ute was auditing Scientology staff there: 'They stole candy and money from each other - and went to the rest rooms to sneak drinks out of flasks.' Drinking alcohol is regarded as 'unethical' in the organization. Even the people in management were not able to afford toothpaste or a trip to the barber: 'They wore shoes which had holes in them and owned only a solitary uniform which they had to wash and let hang overnight to dry.' She had also been a physical and mental 'wreck' after she left in 1997, said Ute. Starved, suicidal and broke.
"Ute has managed to pull herself back up. She runs a simple, but nicely decorated corner place in Saarland. She did not want to go to the welfare office: 'I was ashamed.' Ute will probably have to work for the rest of her life because she has spent all her savings. Her 38 year old son has also managed to leave the sect. He is getting training at a computer company."
Suedwest Presse reported on December 29th that Scientology is smaller in Germany than has been assumed.
"The number of Scientology adherents is, according to a statement by Helmut Rannacher, considerably lower than at first presumed. The influence of the organization was also said to be less than was formerly feared, the chief of Baden-Wuerttemberg Constitutional Security said yesterday. In spite of that, Rannacher supports the continued surveillance of Scientologists by his office. The goal of the organization, he said, was 'a different political system in the middle and long range.'
"According to Rannacher's statement, Scientology has 5,000 to 6,000 members nationwide, about 1,200 of whom are in Baden-Wuerttemberg. As late as the early 1990's it was assumed that there were about 30,000 adherents in Germany. Besides Hamburg and Berlin, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria are regarded as strongholds of the Scientologists. Nevertheless, Rannacher believes it is still necessary to keep Scientology under surveillance because of its extremist objectives. 'If we stop, the dams would break again,' said Rannacher, 'a halt to the surveillance by Constitutional Security would bring Scientology to take the offensive once more.'"
A report on those who monitor Scientology published by Neue Westfaelische on December 28th:
"They work on the eighth floor of the Duesseldorf Interior Ministry, use a special elevator, and they do not have name plates on their office doors. In contrast, Hartwig Moeller, chief of the department for three months, is in the public eye. 'We want to get away from the spy image,' said the 55 year old lawyer, 'the best protection for our democracy is well-informed citizens.' Therefore Constitutional Security diligently publishes brochures on the extreme left and the radical right fronts, writes about foreign extremists, and is using the internet more and more to this end. 'A million accesses this year,' rejoices Moeller and grins, 'the groups we have always had under surveillance are the ones who like to call up our reports.'
"Constitutional Security agents watch the PDS, as they do the Kurdish PKK and the Scientology Organization. Things could change with the latter in the coming year. 'We will check whether expenses and returns are duly proportionate there.'"
Freie Presse reported on December 28th that a Scientologist has been denied in his application to a new Scientology Information Office in Zwickau.
"After the Zwickau CDU and the Buendnis/Greens, the city administration also reacted, on Tuesday, to the official application by Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer for the position in the planned Scientology Information Office. 'I personally perceived your offer as a joint disparagement of the city council, the administration and Zwickau's community politics,' wrote Health and Social Mayor Pia Findeiss in her written response to Fliegerbauer, the business manager of the Osterstein Castle Management Association.
"Pia Findeiss reminded Fliegerbauer of the objective of the planned establishment. Its first mission is to inform citizens about the machinations of the sect. The city council's decision came about primarily because Zwickau's reputation is suffering more and more at the hands of the Scientology Organization. The application by Kurt Fliegerbauer was rated by the CDU and Buendnis 90 as 'impudence and provocation' and 'a degree of audacity which could hardly be surpassed.'"
Focus reported on December 27th that the U.S. State Department has come to the defense of Scientology when they failed to obtain permits for renovating their new headquarters in Hamburg.
"The Scientology sect moved into the domicile in November, after they had to give up their old haunt because of a notice to vacate issued as a result of the millions owed in back rent. According to findings by Hamburg security officials, the well-to-do Scientology boss, David Miscavige, was personally involved in the purchase of the building by the Waterfront Real Estate Management Association. One real, small problem remains for the psycho-sect - the permit for building alteration. Because no application had been submitted to the planning review office in the mid-Hamburg district which has jurisdiction over the building, a staff member from that office visited the Scientology center to get a quick look at the construction work in process, and to notify the Scientology association of a deadline to submit the necessary documents. The sect reacted promptly. Only 48 hours after the visit, Michael Budig paid a visit to Ursula Caberta, the Scientology Commissioner of the Hamburg Senate, to gather information on the conflict. Budig does not have anything to do with the sect; he works as a speaker for politics and commerce at the American general consulate in Hamburg. The diplomatic representatives had been instructed by the State Department in Washington to look into the case.
"The consulate evasively stated that they had the duty to inquire as to problems of U.S. citizens. As Budig told Caberta, however, the only one who had approached him besides the State Department was Gisela Hackenjos, the President of Scientology Hamburg. And, as far as Budig knew, she did not carry an American passport. This was not the first time the United States has taken sides for Scientology. In the mid-1990s, for instance, the USA applied to the OSCE for condemnation of Germany for alleged human rights violations. And in a report by the Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress, Germany was chastised for alleged persecution of Scientologists."
Grady Ward reported that Bob Minton will not be held in contempt of court
in Grady's bankruptcy case.
"On December 27, 1999 a judge in Massachusetts summarily DENIED RTC's motion to hold Robert S. Minton in contempt and to compel him to further testify in the Grady Ward case. The judge apparently showed little regard for the cult motion since the DENIAL was a hastily-written longhand message on the side of the moving papers."
Jeff Jacobsen reported a new construction permit at Scientology's Gold
Base near Hemet, California.
"Following was listed in Sunday Press Enterprise--business section. Building Permit - Golden Era Productions l9750 Highway 79--Gilman Hot Springs. Convert patio to office space. $560,475."
Los Angeles' New Times published letters to the editor this week in
response to last week's feature article on the dirty tricks of
Scientology's private investigators and lawyers.
"I just wanted to congratulate New Times on its continuing coverage of the scam that is Scientology. I'm glad to see, after living my entire life in Los Angeles, that there is finally a publication with the gusto to expose that crack religion for the lies and deception it truly is. Bravo! And may the hits keep on coming. - M.K. O'Connell
"'Double Crossed' is exemplary of a new breed of journalistic censorship. Utilizing only those allegations that fit a predetermined 'story' and ignoring facts and evidence provided to you refuting your theme, created your intended result. This is dishonest journalism, it is extremely irresponsible, and it is indeed an act of censorship by a biased press, by filtering out conflicting evidence provided to you.
For example, you repeatedly asserted in your article that I declined to answer questions posed to me failing to tell your readers that I told you I was bound by an attorney-client privilege not to reveal information provided to me by Robert Cipriano, but that if you would get me a waiver of that privilege, I could answer every question posed. But I provided you with a taped interview with Cipriano that was already public, made shortly after he hired me to defend him in the defamation suit filed against him by Graham Berry, in which he confirmed literally every allegation made in the 1994 declaration and which declaration your article asserted was inaccurate. Indeed, Cipriano contradicted the claims you published with a sworn declaration authenticating the transcript of that interview a matter you also chose to ignore in your zeal to publish phony 'allegations,' without telling your readers that they were later refuted by Cipriano. - Kendrick L. Moxon
"Editor's note: Ortega's story did in fact include Moxon's protestation that he was bound by attorney-client privilege not to answer some questions, and it also pointed out Graham Berry's personal and professional problems. The story made clear that Berry's and Cipriano's veracity was in question, but that documents tend to corroborate some of Cipriano's allegations about Moxon.
"New Times has done it again with Ortega's brilliant expos of the Church of Scientology's appalling array of vile actions against attorney Graham Berry and Robert Cipriano. As a former member of the Scientology cult and a former Cult Awareness Network staff member, I will attest that I and many others have also been the target of Scientology's fair game policy. What is truly chilling is that the Department of Justice, the IRS, various states' attorneys, and other government agencies do nothing to stop this phony church. They get away with it by using tax-exempt funds, and their brainwashed followers including John Travolta, Chick Corea, and Greta Van Susteren all go along with it. - Jim Beebe"
Arnie Lerma reported that photos of the New Year's event in Los Angeles
released by Scientology had been doctored by adding spectators to the
audience. The photos were then removed from Scientology's web site.
"'Freedom' magazine has essentially admitted the FAKED photos by pulling them off their website! http://www.lermanet.com/PhotoLIES.htm"
>From Roland Rashleigh-Berry:
"It is clear that those seats were only half full and they have used photographic techniques to make it seem more full. One I spotted was right at the bottom of the photo in the middle but very slightly to the left. You will see a man wearing a white jacket with a woman to his left and a man clapping to his right. The man is looking back in this direction. These people are too small for the position they are in because we can see women behind them who are much taller. They are almost next to themselves in the row behind them. And if you have them spotted you will see it is a whole section of them repeated. The fake section is the one on the far left. You will see a man in a colourful shirt to the left and in front of the man looking back. That has been repeated. In front of the man looking back is a man with a black jacket and white shirt next to a woman in a black dress. They are both repeated in the fake section on the left BUT THE MAN HAS HIS HEAD MISSING. There are two girls two rows behind the man looking back. They are repeated as well. There is a black man next to a white girl just behind them. They are repeated as well as a whole swarm of people behind them. Take a look at the woman wearing a red sweater. She is repeated as well as other people around her."
"Birdie" reported the impression of people who attended the event.
"I have spoken to some people (staff, family members) who attended the Dec 28th event. One person said it was a major disappointment. They went expecting to really be impressed with news of the future and what scientology was planning in the millennium and instead found it boring! Another person told me that what the event was advertised to be was not what it ended up being and it was mostly a history of the 'wins' scientology has had through the past 50 years. These people are very devoted scientologists but even they felt they had been let down."
Vernon Cain continued his protests at the Hawaii org this week, with daily
"Soon after I arrived one of the minions came out to lean against a parking meter to smoke a cigarette. I just kept trying to open a communication with him. He did respond with a 'I'm doing OK' to one of my how's it goings that I would offer him from time to time. He did hear my picket patter of 'Space Alien Cult, Just another UFO Cult, and Space Alien SCAM!, mixed in with Bait-and-Switch Scam and sometimes Don't Ask about Xemu! His reaction as to 'Stare me down' and watch me with his 'Death Stare' even while taking in another drag on his smoke."
"The occupants took notice right away. They entered the 'take no notice' mode. The obvious leaning back and taking a stretch or just kicking back to chat seems a little too overt. Soon a small crowd of clams congregated at my side as I passed the door. A rather tall young gentleman that I thought came from inside stepped out of the crowd and stopped to ask me what I was protesting. Not knowing if he was a bOrg Clam I asked are you a $cientologist or connected in any way with the 'church' of $cientology. 'No, I just want to know what you're doing here.' I stated that I had concerns about a SCAM being offered by this organization for $360K and that the SCAM involved not telling you about Xemu the Space Alien until you had spent over $300K and by that time it would be too late to save you. As I did this the 'painter guy' came out and demonstrated his OSA Training. He went into attack mode.
"The painter pushed his way in and took over the conversation asking the same question over and over. 'Who told you this' 'Who is paying you to picket' 'Where did you hear this' I asked him if he was OTIII yet? I told the young man, who looks like he is in his late teens or early twenties, the information about the Space Aliens was a SCAM because it the materials written by the author of all of those books in the window states in the Upper Level Materials that these billions of Space Aliens were brought to Earth 75Million Yrs ago and blew up in volcanoes. One of the sites according to the sci-fi author was Hawaii. Well the news to the Clams is that Hawaii didn't exist 75M Yrs ago. Sorry but these people in this building have been SCAMMED.
"I had to motion to the exec and painter to let me pass as the painter just kept on and this could turn ugly. I got a little worried there for a minute since I was doing another solo picket. I marched on now with a little tremble in my voice that I worked off by repeating my purpose aloud for passersby to hear. As I made my turn to come back around I noticed that the three men had gone back inside to talk and had pulled the doors shut. I kept on back and forth for the next hour. When ever someone came by I would lower my voice and chat or get them to smile at me or wave back. I was beginning to enjoy my brisk walking and occasional chats with potential customers of the bOrg."
"I arrived at the Hawaii bOrg on Bethel Street at about 17:05 HST. As I arrived the doors were pulled closed by the Asian Public Exec as he and two cohorts split off to the neighborhoods with stacks of fliers. I started marching briskly back and forth. I got several thumbs up and one fella and his girl friend stopped traffic to shout out the window that they were happy to see me doing such a great job of spreading the word of the SCAM. I got handled today by the usual ignore and hiding. The public people got on the phone as soon as I arrived and spent most of the time on the phones drumming up sales or calling me in to their superiors.
"The $cientologist visitors are very coy about being $cientologists. I ask point blank to all that stop to ask me questions 'Are you a $cientologist?' and then 'Are you connected in any way to this organization over there' as I point at the bOrg facility. Every time the answer today, and since my arrival, was no to both questions. One of these cookie cutter 'non-$cientologists' fell for my not so clever leverage. I explained the Costs a Mint line and that the Bait and Switch begins at around 40-50 Thousand where the 'reactive mind' was the source of all of your problems to now it is 'Dead Space Aliens' but I continued, so I am not arguing the indefensible 'religious' belief line here (pointing to my sign's line 'NOT ABOUT RELIGION' 'ABOUT ABUSE') if you read OTIII you will learn about Xemu and his merry bands of renegades. I said that I wouldn't be out here if there was a even a single OT here, ever in $cientology. He couldn't take it anymore and he put his arm around his mom and proudly announced well here is an OT!! His mother charged in close to me and began to shout 'You don't realize the magnitude of what you are doing. You will 'pull in' a massive problem of enormous magnitude. You have no idea of the damage you have done here!! People die for having done less' I responded with Lady I know exactly what I am doing here. You have been SCAMMED and don't realize the SCAM."
"I think the 'heavy' OSA has arrived. Tonight I met a not so tall late forties early fifties guy with all gray hair and with a medium build. I would estimate about 130-150Lbs. He started out with the usual; What is going on here? Followed by the ever predictable; Who is paying you? Followed by What government is putting you up to this? And several other machine-gun series of questions.
"'Are you a $cientologist?, No.' I proceeded to give him the full spiel, Look here, See this 'Don't ask the Dwarf why he isn't OT' Well as a $cientologist if you did ask the Dwarf that question you probably would loose your head. Not to mention that anybody that dares to suggest that the Dwarf is a 'NO Case Gain Case' is usually immediately routed out as a SP. The gray 'heavy' OSA guy took the conversation around as he continued to fish for how long I would be around here. When he asked what do I get out of doing this I replied that I am a modern Freedom Fighter."
"The Christmas tree is gone as are the Christmas decorations. Out comes this nearly 2.5 foot tall Volcano Island model. When the very nice Blonde Public Exec spotted my big grin she smiled and I gave her the requisite salute, 'Don't forget when you get to OTIII there was no Hawaii 75 Mil Yrs ago.' She smiled again as she sort of presented with a gesture the Volcano as her defense shield sort of like saying that I since I had my OTIII in full restim this presentation to me would cause me to succumb to sleepless nights or perhaps I would linger briefly with pneumonia before passing on."
"Anti-Reg" posted a letter he received in response to his request for a
refund from Scientology.
"I heard from [deleted] that you sent in a letter requesting a return of payments from the Church. Naturally this was a bit of a shock to me and it is a terrible loss. I consider you a friend and I have a lot of ARC for you and it would be quite a loss to have you no longer in the Church and not be able to stay in comm. I could tell from your letter that you have run into some SP's who have coached you on how to write this letter. I am sure that you are feeling a lot of pressure about this or you would never do it.
"I also know that you have been PTS before and I want to remind you how overwhelming it felt then. It is my overt of omission that I never insisted that you do the PTS/SP course. All that is happening is that you have gone PTS again. If you have gotten some squirrels or SPs on your lines then there is PTSness there too. This can cause roller coaster -- a slump in gains. The door is not shut. And I would still like to help you. You are important to me."
>From his reply:
"I have come to the conclusion that the Church of Scientology is not what it claims to be. It is an organization that purports to possess the path to total spiritual freedom but in reality possesses only a moderately workable self-help ideology. I am aware of the contents of the advanced levels and the alleged galactic holocaust that is the basis for OT levels 3 through 7. Not only is it historically unlikely that this event ever took place, but there is no geological evidence to support it. I have read OT 3 and the fact that I am sleeping well, that I have not contracted pneumonia, and that I have not 'free wheeled' to my death completely negates its validity.
"The behavior of the Church of Scientology as an organization is also highly questionable. The sleazy, hard-sell, psychologically manipulative sales and fund-raising tactics utilized by the registrars of the church's organizations and (especially) the IAS. The practice of extracting huge sums of money from members and encouraging members to incur debt far beyond their means. The involuntary confinement and death of Lisa McPherson. The RPF's affront to basic human rights. The legal and social harassment of critics and ex-members who dare to exercise their right to free speech. The documents I have seen that indicate the church's gross misrepresentation of Hubbard's military, educational, familial, marital, and philosophical backgrounds. The criminal activities of Operation Snow White.
"I am not saying that there is no value in Scientology, because there is. The material on the Student Hat, for example, is revolutionary in the field of education. But it is apparent to me that the Church of Scientology (and especially its management) is severely in need of reform. As a courtesy to them, you might want to let [deleted] know that if they do not comply with my refund requests, I will begin picketing (for starters)."
The Toronto Sun reported that The Brothers restaurant has been asked to
leave the building they have been renting from Scientology.
"The popular deli has operated for decades just south of the intersection, in the building now owned by the Church of Scientology. Owned by brothers Peter Sfendeles, 59, and Angelo Sfyndilis, 62, the two men will close their doors for the last time on March 4, although their lease actually expires at the end of this month. It's been owned by Peter and Angelo since August 1979 -- only months before the Scientologists bought the building, says Peter.
"But the landlord told Peter and Angelo more than a year ago that their lease wouldn't be renewed, since Scientology needs the space, says Angelo. 'I don't feel very good about it. I'm really sad about it because it has been here a long time, I think since 1954 actually -- same place same location, different owners.' A tearful Angelo said the decision not to renew their lease has left him with few options personally. 'Because to start again all over, at my age, is a little bit hard.'"
Employment Law Weekly reported on December 29th that a Texas veterinarian
has agreed to pay damages to employees who resisted Scientology in the
"An Arlington, Texas veterinary clinic agreed earlier this month to pay $150,000 to six employees who claimed in a suit backed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the company unlawfully pressured employees to subscribe to beliefs of the Church of Scientology. EEOC alleged that I-20 Animal Medical Center violated religious discrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complaint charged that I-20 subjected non-scientologist employees to disparate treatment, failed to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs of non-scientologist employees, and retaliated against workers who opposed what they believed were unlawful employment practices.
"I-20 intentionally pressured employees to 'conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Church of Scientology and to participate in religious activities, including, but not limited to, religiously-influenced course-work.' In addition, EEOC claimed, I-20 required employees to participate in religious activities in order to be promoted to or retain management positions. I-20 refused to excuse employees from religious activities, EEOC said, and disregarded worker objections to the imposition of Scientology. Employees who refused to participate in religious functions or otherwise resisted religious pressures were subjected to discipline, the complaint charged, including assignment to lesser tasks and termination.
"I-20 also agreed that it will not condition pay raises, promotions, or other job benefits on employee compliance with employer-imposed religious teachings, and will not use religiously-influenced training material. The company will also train employees on the requirements and provisions of Title VII and post a notice outlining complaint procedures on the company bulletin board. Under the terms of the settlement, I-20 will remove all documents related to charges of religious discrimination from employee personnel files."