Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 2, Issue 25 10/05/97 by Rod Keller [firstname.lastname@example.org] copyright 1997
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 informtion. 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 email@example.com It is archived at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html http://home.sol.no/heldal/CoS/archive/WIR/ http://www.i1.net/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html #####
"Misenla", "Nukewaster" and Neil Woods reported that Scientology has a new
folder on America Online. Scientologists have been flooding the group with
"[A] very, very, very dedicated group of scns have kicked in nearly 70 posts. These 67 posts have some from a total of *6* scns."
"261 posts from 9/29 to 10/1 (@17:45 EDT). My post yesterday querying the apparent copyright infringement dichotomy got bumped. Why, I don't know: possibly because of the limits AOL places on daily messages, or else Sermoner1 didn't like my question."
"As of 9:15 EDT the count in that folder was 362 posts. One must keep in mind that much of the posts are just cut and paste of Blubbard's quotes, nonetheless the push is on the get those numbers up by 2:00 P.M. Thursday."
"[T]he board incarnated in late September is already filled to capacity, so now there is Church of Scientology II."
Scientologist Josie Romero sued the New York branch of the Deutsche Bank,
it was announced this week, claiming religious discrimination.
"In her complaint, Ms. Romero alleges that a Vice-President of the DB Trader division of the German bank, on learning that she was a member of the Church of Scientology, made highly derogatory and offensive remarks about her religion. After Ms. Romero complained about his conduct, she was given almost no work to do. After repeatedly protesting to her superiors about her complete lack of work, Ms. Romero requested a transfer to another division of Deutsche Bank. Instead of granting her request, the bank put Ms. Romero on administrative leave for one month and then fired her. The bank asked her to sign away her right to sue or file a complaint over the manner of her dismissal, but she refused. The complaint alleges that the discrimination suffered by Ms. Romero is part of 'a pattern and practice of discrimination against the Church of Scientology and its members' and gives as examples the refusal of German branches of Deutsche Bank to open accounts for the Church of Scientology."
Lawrence Wollersheim warned that Factnet may be on the verge of closing
"Scientology has run Factnet out of its insurance money. They have again threatened that they are going to destroy us as they destroyed THE CULT AWARENESS NETWORK (CAN) and put Factnet's Director and or former directors into bankruptcy. They have filed a flurry of frivolous motions to further expedite the depletion of our legal funds."
German Life magazine's latest issue carries an article on the controversy
over Scientology in Germany.
"To explain the furious hostility between Germany and the Church of Scientology, German officials might point to the story of a young man from Braunschweig named Jurgen Behrndt.
"Shortly before his graduation from technical school in 1989, Behrndt received an offer of free career counseling in a brochure from an employment agent in Hamburg. But the man turned out to be a Scientologist recruiter, and instead of employment advice, he gave Behrndt a copy of the Scientologists' Bible, 'Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.' Then a woman from the Scientologists' Hamburg office began calling, Behrndt said, and pressuring him to take a 200-question personality test.
"He did, beginning a six-year membership with the group, an endless series of 'audits' of his mental health and classes to 'stabilize' his mind. 'When things went well, I paid evermore money out of my pocket,' Behrndt recalled. 'When things went poorly, I was insulted and rebuked.' In Behrndt's first year of membership, Scientology officials visited his parents with him seeking a DM 75,000 ($50,250) loan toward his activities. By the time he broke from the group in 1995, Behrndt had spent some DM 200,000 ($134,000), was unemployed and emotionally ravaged: 'Many days I saw no reason to even get up.'
"'We have to be more sensitive of these radical, undemocratic movements,' said the German embassy official. 'After all, we had a very bad experience with such a movement 60 years ago.' Hubbard's writings call for 'a civilization without insanity, without criminals, and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.' This contrasts wildly with the experience of Albert Anhut from the city of Hamburg: 'Friends of mine landed in the gutter, began to booze, and became very sick.' A 36-year-old graphic designer, Anhut says he lost DM 50,000 ($33,500) to Scientology in two years. 'They had easy play with me,' he lamented. 'You give money, work, and effort for something that turns out to be a deceitful, empty lie.'"
The German news magazine FOCUS reported on a new Scientology front group investigating companies under the guise of a human rights organization.
"The 'Oslo International Peace Committee' is concerned about 'human rights' and 'social peace and stability' in Germany. At the end of July the 'peace committee' wrote letters to several CEOs of German companies. The letters contained questions on how the companies deal with Scientology. The committee wants to know whether the companies refuse to do business with Scientologists or support anti-Scientology measures.
"The reason for their query is, according to the human rights activists: 'Important U.S. citizens - members of the Church of Scientology - who represent several thousand foreign companies' had contacted the committee because of the 'continuing discrimination' of Scientologists. The U.S. citizens wanted to prevent support of this discrimination by economical means. The letter sounds similar to recent Scientology attacks against Germany. This is no surprise: the head of the committee, Dan Viggo Bergtun, is mentioned in an article of the Scientology magazine 'Impact' as Norwegian 'lifetime member'. The Scientology newspaper 'Good News' commends Bergun's work as 'Honorary PRO' - i.e. honorary public relations officer.
"Especially impudent: in the letter Bergtun claims to be 'holder of the peace Nobel price medal'. However, according to the Nobel committee, neither he nor his organization have received this honor. When asked by FOCUS, Bergtun declared that, as a former member of the UN peace corps which received the prize in 1988, he had received the medal 'honorary'. The Nobel committee comment: 'Bullshit'."
Paulette Cooper continued posting her diary from the 1970s, when she was
harassed and framed by Scientology.
"It was also around that time that I became extremely afraid of going to prison and began having the recurring prison dreams which I am still plagued with to this day. Jay, who would always predict the worst happening, said that with a fingerprint, I had a 95% chance of conviction. He also felt that I had a small chance of a short prison sentence and I became frightened of physical and sexual dangers that would be harder to fight because of my small frame.
"My biggest fear, though, and the one that caused me the most anxiety was that the story of my indictment and arrest would leak out in the press, especially since the public doesn't generally know the difference between someone who's indicted and someone who's guilty. I was petrified for my career, which had been going along so beautifully. But certainly no editor would ever give an assignment to someone indicted for sending bomb threats to people she had exposed."
Scientology lawyers are attempting to remove offending documents from
Swedish web sites this week, including the parody OT9 document, written by
an American critic.
"[T]he law firm that represents the criminal organization of scientology here in Sweden (Dahlman & Magnusson) have contacted my ISP. I got in contact with the man that had harassed my ISP, and asked him what the reason was that he had called my ISP. He said that I had copyright protected material on my site, material that was owned by his client, the infamous RTC. I demanded that he should tell me exactly what material that was, and after some hesitation, he came up with the revolving/ turning Cross that I have on my main page, he also claimed that my page of OT IX is copyrighted by their client.
"My ISP have not threatened to pull the plug on me, and I must say that we have a very good communication going on between us. I therefore believe that the criminal cult will have great trouble in D/A-ing me in front of my ISP."
Mark Dallara reported on a radio appearance by Scientologist Brian
Anderson on a Tampa radio station this week.
"Local OSA tool Brian Anderson was a guest on the morning show of Thunder 105.5 (Tampa Bay station WTBT-FM) on Tuesday. Ron Diaz, formerly of the locally famous Ron&Ron show, talked to Anderson briefly about $cientology, and particularly the e-meter. But Anderson didn't bring the e-meter, perhaps anticipating the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the morning show personalities. Diaz was not pleased, and Anderson's visit was brief.
"To make matters worse for the cult mouthpiece, some Suppressive activist called up just before Anderson was to be in the studio, and talked with Diaz on the air about the fraudulent and criminal nature of $cientology. He mentioned a.r.s, the Internet, OSA, the Clearwater protests, and the clams' sign-hiding tactics. Towards the end of the segment with Anderson, Diaz mentioned the call, and asked Anderson about Operation Clambake and the December protest. Anderson denied knowledge of either. He claimed that he recognized the caller's voice, and said that the caller had invited some folks from Phoenix into town for the last picket. The folks from Phoenix, he said, had been involved in a shooting at the Phoenix org, and that that was an example of the type of hate crimes these deluded people promote. The caller, he said, was 'not all there'."
Robert Vaughn Young
Former Scientologist Robert Vaughn Young this week described attacks by
Scientology on an animal sanctuary he and his wife Stacy run in Seattle,
"One morning, our neighborhood awoke to find that someone had left a sheet of paper on every doorstep. It was anonymous but purported to be from a 'concerned neighbor' and said our cats were a nuisance and urged neighbors to complain to Animal Control and the city. (It should be noted that the WSCR cats are all kept indoors. Our three cats are allowed in and out and there are a number of other outdoor cats that belong to neighbors.)
"We soon identified the attack as coming from Scientology when a private investigator, David Lee, began to call around Seattle, using the same allegations that appeared in the anonymous flyer. He also told people he was investigating us for 'animal abuse,'. He said he was working for LA Private Investigator Eugene Ingram, widely known to work for Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon.
"After no complaints to the city in two years, they were pouring into city officials on a daily basis. Calls were made to various Seattle City offices, including Animal Control, from people who asked to 'remain anonymous.' According to officials we spoke with, the callers said the house was filthy and our cats were diseased with 'open sores.' Besides calling various agencies, they also called city council members to complain that the agencies were not acting fast enough against us, urging political pressure.
"Seattle Land Use visited and did an inspection. He had no objections to the state of the house or the grounds. The section of Seattle law being used says that a residence cannot have more than three small animals. So we were issued a citation, giving us 14 days to comply (get rid of the animals) or to respond. He would not tell us who had complained. The next day, Animal Control visited us, unannounced, saying they had received numerous complaints about animals with 'open sores' and 'filthy conditions' etc. The officer commented how clean it was, how it smelled very nice, that the cats were well-behaved and that he saw no abused animals, let alone any with 'open sores.' Despite the fact that the environment was completely contrary to the complaints, he gave us citations for having 10 extra unlicensed adult cats.
"[W]e also had a visit from two county mental health workers who asked for Stacy. They said they had a call from a 'concerned neighbor' (anonymous again) who said a Stacy was acting erratic, not eating and was 'collecting cats.' It was obvious that they were there to see if Stacy should be committed. We invited them in to see that the information they had been given was completely bogus. They too had been told the house was filthy and the cats unhealthy.
"Scientology learned that my wife and I may be key witnesses in a prominent homicide case (featured in Newsweek and other national media) in which the cult is the defendant. Scientology is terrified of a rumor that my wife and I were recently interviewed about them by '60 Minutes,' a hard-hitting investigative show that, with 30 million viewers, is the most-watched program on American TV. Scientology has apparently heard that the German federal government wants me to testify about the cult's crimes and abuses before a parliamentary body.
"As far as the animals themselves, we will protect them. They will not be abandoned and we will not give up our work. While dealing properly with the various citations, we will find a new location for them so that our work can legally continue."
Zenon Panoussis announced a setback in Sweden's Supreme Court this week,
followed by distribution of the NOTS materials near the courthouse.
"About a month ago I appealed to the supreme court against a (new) decision of the court of appeals to seal the OTs and NOTs. Today I received the ruling of the supreme court. It fits in half a line and reads 'the supreme court does not grant the appeal'. No motives, no explanation, no nothing. The only message conveyed to me by the lack of motives is 'we don't want to change the present interpretation of the law, but in just this particular case we don't want to abide by it either'.
"So I just faxed the courts that I will not take part in the cases any more and that they may now terminate them as they find fit. In practice this means that I will lose the civil case through summary judgment and that the semi-penal case in the court of appeals will get stuck."
"I spent some time yesterday afternoon distributing OTs and NOTs to passers-by in front of the Stockholm org. Those inside threw themselves on the phones, but didn't come out."
"Last night I wallpapered the pavement of Riddarolmsbron, a bridge in central Stockholm, with the same stuff. Incidentally the bridge has the court of appeals on one side and the supreme court on the other."
Neil Muspratt reported this week that a sign has been removed from the
side of the Brisbane, Australia org.
"The vertical blue-on-white SCIENTOLOGY sign, illuminated by fluorescent lights at night and visible for a block or two up Edward Street, was *gone* from the side of the building! The DIANETICS sign is still there. Check the pics on David Gerard's web site at <http://www.thingy.apana.org.au/~fun/scn/orgs/bris/>. The third and fourth shots show these signs on the side of the building last year.