Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 3, Issue 22
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
Mark Dallara spoke to Clearwater's City Council this week to oppose a
proposed deal with Scientology. The deal would have required the city to
inform Scientology when records were requested about them.
"Gabe got up first, and gave them a copy of a Clearwater Sun front-page article about Scientology's plot to take over the city. He spoke against any agreement which allowed Scientology to dictate law enforcement administration or turned city officials into informers. The city attorney pointed out that CPD had sole discretion over the records, but Gabe's second point seemed to be well-taken.
"Then I spoke. I pointed out that $cientology's push to purge police files is simply a continuation of the Snow White programs, and that the GO was never really destroyed, just rearranged and renamed, and as active as ever. I mentioned the 'informer' provision, and argued that it accorded preferential status to an organization that claims religious status, and (given $cientology's campaign of harassment) would surely have a chilling effect on the public's right to access the records in question. I asked the city attorney whether the gag order provision would prevent CPD from warning people about the informer provision. She and the outside counsel didn't interpret it that way, so the initial answer is that people COULD be warned that their public records request would get them targeted by the cult of greed and power. I tried to get City Manager Mike Roberto to comment on the issue ('since you've deemed it appropriate to meet with top officials of this syndicate...'), but he deferred to the city attorney, and offered no input on the matter."
The proposal was rejected, but if Scientology agrees to drop the informer clause, the agreement could be put into place. From the St. Petersburg Times:
"City commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to reject a settlement that would have ended a four-year legal battle with the Church of Scientology. The deal concerned a federal lawsuit between the city and the church over the future of 40 boxes of intelligence files on Scientology gathered by Clearwater police for 13 years in the 1980s and 1990s. It would have required police to conduct a 'good faith' search of the files and destroy any records it deemed unnecessary. But the deal fell apart over an unusual provision that would have required the police to notify the church's lawyers immediately by phone or fax when anyone requested the records that remained.
"According to both sides, the provision was inserted so the church might have the chance to take legal action when anyone asked for the records. Church officials insist the records violate the privacy rights of Scientologists under the U.S. and Florida constitutions. City Attorney Pam Akin told commissioners that notifying the church when someone sought the records was 'something that we would not otherwise do.' That's why Commissioner J.B. Johnson objected. He said it sounded like the church was being given an unfair advantage that the city would not grant to any other entity. Commissioner Bob Clark said the provision 'could be perceived as an avenue of intimidation' by the church and an unnecessary burden on the city."
Stacy Young reported that Kenny Lipton has died.
"I am deeply saddened to announce that Kenny Lipton died today after a long battle with lung cancer. Kenny was a long-time Sea Org member and Commodore's Messenger. He left Scientology several years ago and made a new life for himself, a good life, in Las Vegas. He was surrounded by family and friends when he passed away. All of us who considered him our friend will miss him very much."
Focus Magazine recently published an article on former Scientologists who
continue to practice auditing.
"After 14 years on the bridge, which is the way to sanity in the controversial Scientology organization, 32-year old Raidar Tavarez had had enough of the steadily increasing social pressure and the increasing prices for new courses. He left the sect and lost his chance to reach the unvulnerableness promised by the highest grades of enlivenment. Still, Tavarez does not say a word against the obscure teachings of the founder, L. Ron Hubbard: These teachings are superior to all other known therapies.
"Together with other ex-scientologists, he now tries to practice Hubbard pure. Whether it is just a circle of friends like the group around Tavarez or the registered association with the name Free Zone, situated in Bavaria - a continuously increasing number of ex-members become a serious threat to the self-named Church of Scientology. All these ex-members have one thing in common: They refuse the cult as totalitarian but stick to Hubbard's teachings because they find something very precious in his philosophy and techniques as the Swiss Ex-Scientologist Silvie S. says, who has a Counseling Center in Walchwil, a place where numerous adherents of Hubbard from the southwest of Germany meet.
"Members of the Free Zone acquired the rights to a book published in 1934 written by the German-Argentinean A. Nordenholz and bearing the title: Scientologie. Therefore people of the Free Zone own the copyright for the German writing of the sect's name. Tavarez, who published his experiences within the Hubbard cult in a book called Enslaved Souls, thinks that it is absolutely possible that the Free Zone will soon have the right to call themselves Church of the reformed Scientologie."
Reports on the status of Scientology in Switzerland this week. From News
"The Consulting Security Commission (KSK) is not issuing Scientology an 'operator's license.' However, they will not be put under observation by the federal police because the 'church' today does not present an imminent danger to the internal security of Switzerland. The advisory organ of the Swiss Federal Justice and Police Department (EJPD) for Matters of State Security presented a report in Berne, which it had required from a work group under the direction of Federal Police Chief Urs von Daeniken. The main reason for the report was the accusations against Scientology because of its financial practices.
"According to the report, here in Switzerland there are a maximum of 4,000 active members of Scientology. It has centers in the cantons of Zurich, Berne, Lucerne, Basel, St. Gallen, Tessin, Waadt and Geneva - primarily in the cities of Zurich and Lausanne. According to the report, the movement stagnated in Switzerland about 15 years ago."
>From Basler Zeitung:
"In Basel, the Scientologists, as it appears on some Saturday afternoons, are omnipresent: the sect aggressively recruits new members on Barfuesser Place and elsewhere with the help of so-called 'personality tests.' Several passers-by are annoyed by acquisition methods of this sort so that they want to proceed against Scientology with the help of the legislature: there is currently a proposed law on the floor in the canton of Basel City which would prohibit importunate recruitment methods - so far, this type of proposal is one of a kind in Switzerland.
"A federal work group under the direction of Urs von Daeniken, Chief of the Federal Police researched this issue, and came to the following conclusion: 'That there are no tangible references at hand which show that Scientology is trying to intrude into the Swiss state structure speaks for the postponement of preventive police surveillance.' Nevertheless numerous members are under enormous pressure to attain new services, devices and books, and the organization exhibits a totalitarian structure, but 'the authorities and consumer protection agencies will devote their attention to these aspects; they do not fall with the in the the legal purview of the state security organ.'
"Recent literature from Scientology also exists in Switzerland which proves the intention to take over control of society. An excerpt from a Scientology document states, 'Switzerland is the first cleared country on this planet. Switzerland is the country in which Scientology and LRH technology can bloom and thrive in all areas of life.' The work group, under the direction of Urs von Daeniken judged these kind of documents to contain little threat."
Focus carried commentary this week on the U.S. reaction to Germany's
position on Scientology.
"In the Capitol in Washington, members of the House are devoting themselves in quick succession to a theme which is unpleasant for Germany: impairment of religious freedom in Europe. In contrast to German newspaper reports, Congress is preparing an unaltered resolution of protest. It accuses Germany of discrimination against religious minorities and would have President Clinton 'express the concern of the United States to the German government about state discrimination on religious or denominational grounds.'
"The Americans received a hefty impetus from the results of the Enquete Commission's 'So-Called Sects and Psycho-groups' of the German Parliament. Apparently, the Commission even had to state that 'no danger for state and society' results from these minorities in its final report in mid-June, 1998 as appeasement. An expert opinion would permit no other significance. Several days before the publication of the final report, Scientologists, a rabbi and theologians from the USA wrote an open letter to Commission Chairperson Ortrun Schatzle (CDU) to express sharp criticism about the methodology of the Enquete. Internal documents from the Commission which had found their way into their hands, said the Americans, conclusively proved that certain religious minorities were being pushed to the fringes of society. Besides that, they said, the Commission from Bonn had disregarded an elementary principle of state rights - the right of the accused to be able to directly hear and suitably defend themselves against charges brought against them.
"Actually, this finding of harmlessness in the Bonn Commission's report clouds a double stupidity. In spite of generally calling off the alarm, it recommends that observation of 'sects' be continued by states. The Federal Administrative Office is supposed to collect data, and a new federal foundation is supposed to finance all kinds of investigations. The 'sects' persecutors from the officially acknowledged churches may hope for funding from Bonn."
Gerry Armstrong reported that his case against Scientology in Nevada has
"The dismissal was on a narrow jurisdictional issue. It had nothing to do with the merits of the case. I have lost none of my legal claims against $cientology and will not lose any of those claims or years to come. I am not completely unhappy about the dismissal for reasons which I will go into in a later post. Nobody should be perturbed or even slightly concerned about this ruling. It is a blip on the inexorable long march to Justice."
Jesse Prince reported on his recent deposition with Scientology in the
"Scientology was deposing me, supposedly concerning the declaration I had filed in the FACTNet case, but in fact I had been asked very few questions that related in any way to the FACTNet copyright case. Most of the deposition had concerned my personal history, much of which had been culled from my pc folders. It was obvious to me that they were using the deposition to gather intelligence information about me, which they would then use to discredit me.
"The issues before the magistrate were twofold. One was a letter which Lawrence Wollersheim's attorney Dan Leipold had sent to Scientology attorney Samuel Rosen, in which Dan promised to turn the entire transcript of my deposition over to Ken Dandar, the attorney for Lisa McPherson's estate, if Rosen dared to bring up any information from my confidential pc folders. The other issue was the length of time Scientology would be allowed to keep me in deposition. Dan and my attorney Ford Greene wanted to limit the amount of time they could keep me; Scientology wanted unlimited access to me.
"I hear Samuel Rosen say: 'Your honor, the witness they are bringing into this case, Jesse Prince, was second in command of the Church of Scientology. He signed a confidential non-discolosure agreement not to divulge any information he obtained as a result of his being second in command of Scientology.' Rosen continued to do his best to persuade the magistrate not to allow Dan to send the deposition transcript to the McPherson case (the outcome was that the magistrate told Dan not to send the transcripts without getting his OK first, and, by the way, we convinced the magistrate not to allow them to depose me past noon of the following day). But I sat there stunned that I had just heard Scientology admit, on the record, that I was second in command of Scientology."
Cinefantastique carried an interview with the writer of the episode of the
TV show 'Millennium' which contained a parody of Scientology.
"Though Morgan's target with Selfosophy would appear to be Scientology, his actual intent was to spoof the self-help movement, personified by such relentless promoters as Tony Robbins. The episode's satire did not escape the notice of the Church of Scientology. Some of the episode's references clearly spoofed Scientology practices, and when Church officials read a copy of the script, they complained to Fox. Glen Morgan and James Wong spent several hours at the Scientology Celebrity Center in Los Angeles, trying to iron out differences. Morgan made a number of rewrites and changes including renaming his fictional group from 'Selftologists' to 'Selfosophists.' Morgan was purposefully vague in discussing the experience, but he said he wrote his feelings about it into some of Jose Chung's dialogue, such as: 'Look, you can believe whatever you want to believe in, and if it helps you, more power to you. If I should think you're bunch of idiots, that should be my right to say so.'
"'It seemed like a very simple freedom of speech issue,' Morgan added. 'You take free speech for granted until certain people are threatening you, whether it be legally or otherwise, to shut up. And it isn't until that happens that you go, 'How much am I willing to stand up for this?'"
Bob Minton reported harassment, pickets and letters from Scientology this
week, with PIs following him in various cities.
"Another letter to Therese arrived on Friday, again asking for a meeting so scientology could attempt to further divide Therese and me - perhaps even turn her into another Rosa Erlich. But Therese did not and will not bite that poison apple, Rinder.
"Today (Sunday) scientology picketed and passed out flyers in front of my former home on Beacon Hill in Boston to friends, neighbors, and parents of my children's classmates, so that information about the break-up of their parents' marriage - and who should be blamed for it - was there for all to see, even my 10- and 12-year-old daughters. As scientology has stalked Therese and the girls to Europe, followed the kids to a neighbor's house and stalked me all over the US-it certainly was no surprise to scientology that Therese and the girls were in New Hampshire this morning. Scientology picketers showed up there for the little girls to see.
"My son Rob, who was mentioned on the Dateline show, seems to be working in some capacity for scientology - along with his mother - to discredit me in media circles. It is a concerted effort. Further, he is trying to help turn Therese against me - only to be told by Therese never to contact her again."
Grady Ward reported on an incident in the Denver airport.
"Expecting the usual scientology pickets that have been dogging Bob throughout his flights, he and Stacy decide to do something about it this time and perhaps have some fun. Unbeknownst to the prospective cult picketers hanging at the gate waiting for the flight from San Francisco to arrive, Bob and Stacy are carrying a large art portfolio containing several complete picket signs with sticks. Stacy readies her video camera, Bob the picket sign prominently displaying full color scientology trademark logos with HUBBARD'S THIRD REICH caption, they *rush* the four would-be cult picketers waving the sign and using the latest wrinkle of suppressive verbal tech. The four cult protesters literally *ran away* when outdone with their *own* 'tech.' Bob and Stacy and Jesse then calmly walk toward the train that will take them to baggage claim. The moment B/S/J got off their train at the huge baggage claim hall, the picket signs are once again readied and Bob Minton and Jesse Prince clear their throat for more 'verbal tech'. The cult members *take off running* up the stairs to get away from the fearsome B/S/J suppression."
Stacy Young reported more details on the harassment.
"Jesse and I took a short drive for some morning coffee at Starbuck's and quickly realized we were being followed. We decided to confirm our suspicion by taking a circuitous route and, sure enough, we confirmed without a shadow of a doubt that we had tail. There were two different cars on us, and wherever we went one or the other was always behind us.
"Two days later Jesse was falsely detained by two private investigators at four in the morning as he returned to his hotel. As he pulled into the parking lot, they pulled up behind him so that he couldn't move his car and handed him another threatening letter. Jesse lost his temper at them, and one of the PI's responded by screaming at Jesse, 'You black motherfucker! I'm going to blow your damn head off!' Jesse just watched the guy spit and stammer, and then he chased him to the highway in his red convertible Mustang.
"Jesse made it to Denver in time for Jesse to be deposed in the FACTNet case in a grueling three-day confrontation with Scientology attorney Samuel Rosen. Also attending were Ford Greene, representing Jesse, Dan Leipold, representing Lawrence Wollersheim, Lawrence himself (who is also named in the suit as an individual), and, sitting on Rosen's side of the table for Scientology, Mike Rinder and RTC staff member Allan Cartwright. Jesse was senior to both of these Scientology operatives when he was in RTC, so it was fascinating to observe these two as they reacted to Jesse's testimony. I have never seen anyone treated with more contempt, discourtesy and blatant racism than Jesse was by Sam Rosen in that deposition. To Jesse's credit, he maintained his composure throughout the deposition and never once rose to Rosen's bait.
"One night while we were all in Denver, Scientology sent a call girl in on Jesse to try to entrap him. The woman stole a $100 bill that Jesse put on the table to pay for the drink he had bought her in the bar of the hotel where we were staying. Oddly, Scientology also hired a gay man to try to entrap Jesse. Anyone who knows Jesse Prince at all can tell you that he has never had any interest and probably never will have any interest in anything but women. Jesse didn't fall for either of Scientology's attempts to entrap him.
"As soon as Ford, Dan and I left and Jesse was alone in Boulder, the PIs descended upon him in force. Jesse told me that one day the PIs were following him in such a harassive way that he was forced to call the police four times. The police ordered a female PI to leave Jesse alone and watched to make sure she didn't follow Jesse as he drove away. But when he arrived at the house where he was staying, the very same female PI was waiting for him, laughing, in front of the house.
"They have picketed not only our flights. Bob was in Seattle from Tuesday, August 24, until Thursday, August 26, when we both flew to San Francisco. While he was in Seattle the Scientologists picketed the hotel where we were staying in downtown Seattle and my cat sanctuary on Vashon Island. The hotel security ran them off at the hotel, and Vashon's local sheriff ordered them off the island when he discovered them on Vashon. On Wednesday, August 25, my assistant at the sanctuary reported to me that she had received two telephone death threats. I spoke to the FBI agents at great length, briefing them on the full implications of Jesse's knowledge of Scientology's crimes and assuring them that the Scientology leadership is perfectly capable of murdering Jesse to keep his knowledge from ever surfacing. To my knowledge, the FBI has had Jesse under surveillance protection ever since and is keeping detailed records of all the Scientology tails they are able to ascertain."
>From Mike Rinder's letter to Mrs. Minton:
"I've written you two previous letters but have received no reply. I imagine that by this time you have probably become aware that some of the things I said in my earlier letters have now proven true. As a matter of fact, I can show you a great deal of information supporting the statements in those letters. I believe there is much more information that you do not have concerning the activities of Bob and the people he has gotten hooked up with. Clearly, Bob's involvement with Stacy Young and others has not had a positive effect on your family. While I am sure you have been told various lies about me and the Church of Scientology, you have no downside in hearing what information I have to offer. I would like the opportunity to speak with you face to face."
Keith Henson posted descriptions of his pickets in the bay area.
"San Jose, 4:55 to 5:35 pm. This stared out as really dull, ignored, little activity at the org, few in or out. Then a woman pulled in with two kids and parked in one of the front spaces. I walked down and she just *stared* at my sign for minutes, first at the space cooties side and then at the OT cog. One of her kids went in, and when the kid could not resolve whatever, she went in. One of the kids had a Freewinds tee shirt. She left and another woman came in. First time a woman has given me the finger. She also parked in the front and spoke sharply me me that my sign was nonsense. I told her I had the data from an OT8, an would an OT8 lie? Totally frustrated and waving her hands in the air, she also left after a few minutes.
"John M, the local body router wondered out about 5 minutes before I left. I saw him talking to five folks at once. This was way too much to pass up, so I made a U turn and came back, slowing and yelling to the assembly of 5 plus John that scientology is a nasty woman killing cult. Needless to say John was completely freaked out, and started yelling at me. I offered the crowd a Xenu flyer and John reached inside the car and grabbed it. I let him have it, pulled up a little and one of the group got a flyer from me, another one gave the tickets back to John, they split, and I split with John making threats to have me put in jail if I bothered him recruiting raw meat again.
"This put me home about 6:10 where I had another picketer. This one was not very talkative, so while carrying a Lisa sign I stayed with him and read him Grady's report on Bob, Stacy and Jesse, and then the Xenu flyer."
"Friday, short picket Palo Alto mission, about noon. This time two people went in so I did not have to tell them they had been picketed. I got very deep in something I was doing and did not get home till late. Found that I had missed a picket.
"Sat. San Jose, split picket. 10:05 to 10:30 am and 4:10 to 5:10 pm. 37 cars early, 42 late. I cost them a few today. A couple took a xenu leaflet, but they had already decided against it. Two single guys in cars who had been there a few times took Xenu leaflets and said they would check scn out on the net. They won't be back. One guy came with a friend who thought the whole thing was nutty. They left with a leaflet. I have been alternating between the $360 sign and the OT 8 cog/space cooties sign."
>From Deana Holmes in Salt Lake City:
"I had my Lisa sign. I got out there at precisely 6:36 p.m. Traffic was heavy. I began to picket. It's about 20 steps from the north corner of the bOrg building to the south corner. Back and forth, back and forth. There was no action in the bOrg lobby. A little boy, blonde, about age 6, appeared to be reading in there. Phil came out to talk to me. I asked him right off if he was a Scientologist. He said he was. He said he had decided to come out here to ask me to leave. I said, very sweetly, 'No,' and continued picketing. He followed along with me and we chatted about quite a number of things. Phil is a thinnish guy with a greying beard. He says he's been in Scn for 24 years and he is an OT VIII."
"Today I had my new binder with information in it about Lisa McPherson. I have a copy of the logs, of a couple of the news stories, a chronology Jeff put up on the website, and a copy of the first page of OTIII from Dr. Dave Touretzky's web page. I arrived at the bOrg just before 5:30 p.m. So I'm picketing along and noticing the cars and the people looking at my sign, when guess who should drive up? It was Phil, our OTVIII handler. Phil's full name is Phillip Earl Parke. I believe he has been hatted to handle me. I gave Phil a copy of the False Data Stripping flyer, and noted that I had a copy of the first page of OTIII in Hubbard's handwriting in my binder. Phil was a bit unhappy about that. He thought it could restimulate people."
>From Sue Mullaney, in Minneapolis:
"I had my usual sign with 'Scientology: Space Alien Scam' on one side and 'Does the Bridge really cost $360,000?' on the other side. Chris had a big sign with the message 'Scientology $360,000 Space Cootie Scam' on one side and on the other side it had LRH's college grades (calculus--D; English, Short Stories--B; Physics--D; Nuclear Physics--F).
"A woman comes out of the org, carrying a camera; I responded by pulling my camera out of my bag. She started giving the third degree to Chris, wanting to know what he was doing there, etc. Chris told her that he was 'Bob Minton' but she didn't buy that, nor did she believe it when he told her he was 'Vaughn Young' or any of the other names he gave her. This woman starts getting all enturbulated and kept demanding that Chris give his full name and show her his ID! Of course he wouldn't, and she kept going on and on about how she wasn't afraid to give her full name so why should he be, that she was sure if they investigated him they'd find out about his criminal past, and that if he was going to stand outside and protest, he should 'either give me your full name or get the fuck out of here!'
"As far as response from the general wog public went, it was pretty favorable. People seemed to like our signs, especially Chris' 'Space Cootie' sign. I heard a few people say 'It's about time people did something like this!'. I think I gave out between 15-25 Xemu flyers--I probably could have handed out more but I got sidetracked by all the Scienos that came out to 'handle' us. A few people came up to me and asked me for one of my flyers.
>From Ted Mayett in Las Vegas:
"A small picket just ended at the big org here. There were 2 ot's out there, Holly Roubles - the #3 that likes screaming 'fuck-you' in the street. And Val Garcia - #5. Neither one of them ever spoke a word to me. Holly gave me an obligatory sneer once and then went inside. Val was sitting in the passenger seat of a car waiting. Eventually Val and the car and all the people are gone, and it is just me on an empty street picketing."
>From Bruce Pettycrew in Mesa, Arizona:
"Today Kathy and I were joined by Jeff Jacobsen and a new person, 'Richard', who is an ARS lurker from Phoenix. We arrived at about 9:20, and were greeted at the site. He battened onto me and proceeded immediately to tell me that I should be picketing 'the psychs' over a tragic murder/suicide in Gilbert, a nearby town. He blamed the deaths on 'psych drugs'. When Kathy overheard him, she pointed out that a friend and the father of the young woman who killed her child and husband were baffled, and that nothing about psychiatric treatment was mentioned in the newspaper account. My handler then back-peddled and offered to bet me $5 that 'psych drugs' were involved.
"Ginny Gleason (ex-OSA spokeszombie for the site) visited the org during our picket - she did not come out to say 'Hi'."
Kristi Wachter reported on Scientology's revenge pickets at her home.
"After my Wednesday mid-day pickets in Los Angeles, I returned home to San Francisco to learn that I had been picketed. According to a gentleman who lives in my building, two Scientology representatives were picketing my apartment building at 1 pm on Wednesday. They were distributing fliers which read: 'Your neighbor, Kristi Wachter, is a religious bigot.' It had a photo of me. Nowhere on the flier does it say what 'church' I picketed. No information is given about who is responsible for the flier.
"Friday, I picketed again, and I was picketed again, by the same two guys (a 'very pleasant' black gentleman and a 'kind of dumpy' white gentleman), according to the gentleman in my building. Saturday, I picketed again, and I was picketed again. This time, though, the white gentleman was joined by a lady Scientologist named Leslie. It doesn't sound like there have been any fliers since Wednesday."