Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 3, Issue 43
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 Associated Press reported this week that Heber Jentzsch, president of
the Church of Scientology International, predicts growth and acceptance in
"The Los Angeles-based church created by late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard has been persistent in attempts to become recognized as a legitimate religion, said the Rev. Heber Jentzsch, president of Church of Scientology International. 'There is a shift,' he said. 'Scientology has become visible. It will happen in the next five years, maybe 10 years.'
"'It's not been easy. But we never thought of withdrawing,' Jentzsch said from the church's European headquarters in Copenhagen. 'Any new religion, any new ideas will be fought. There is an old guard that is threatened by anything that is new.' Jentzsch said much of the problem stems from misinformation that remains from U.S. investigations into the church in the 1960s and 1970s. He also rejected reports that people who want to leave the church are harassed."
El Pais reported this week that a Spanish prosecutor will ask for Heber
Jentzsch to be jailed. The article was translated into English using the
"Jose Antonio Hernandez, Madrid the Church of the Scientology will be put under in a opinion for the first time in Spain. From the 1 of June and to September, the Hearing of Madrid will judge by 12 crimes to 18 leaders and followers of the organization, among them its world-wide leader, the North American Heber Jentzsch. This one faces a fiscal request of 30 years of prison by diverse crimes. The Church of the Scientology settled down in Spain in 1968 to expand the doctrine of its founder, Ronald Hubbard, and with the purpose of catching people with problems to put under them a vortex of expensive short courses (up to 50) with the promise to purify its spirits and to heal its evils.
"The 18 defendants, in their majority leaders of Dianetics Spain and of the centers of Narconon chemical decontamination, will have to respond before the Room Fourth of the Provincial Hearing of a total of 12 crimes: illicit association, against the freedom and security in the work, against the public health, fraud to Property, threats, professional intrusismo, usurpation of functions, illegal halting, injuries, denounce false, you compel and crime simulation. Between the processings they are the president of Dianetics, Arturo Reguera; its ex-presidents Enrique Ayuso, Antonia Navarro and Montserrat Eyrie, and the leaders of this organization Carmen Munoz, Victory of Blas and Enrique Coll, in addition to other leaders of Narconon.
"The public prosecutor compares to the Scientology 'with a sect' that disguises itself 'of church' with the double objective to elude to the state treasury and to use to the others 'to make and to make money'. 'Its lack of scruples is of such degree that many of their illicit activities even appear regulated' in a lack of ethical code that contains humiliating punishments for the violators.
"Angel P.I. was one of victim it describes the public prosecutor. To this man, the desprogramadores detected a susceptible psychological problem to him of cures if it were put under one of the courses. With the 110,000 pesetas that paid they made him take substances that took to him to be hospitalized with diabetic comma. Also the public prosecutor in his writing attacks of accusation the methods used by the Scientology in his centers of attention drug addicts. In addition to being detrimental for the health, he maintains the public prosecutor, 'those techniques lacked all scientific rigor'.
"It also counts the case of Ana G. R., that fell under the networks of the Scientology victim of a strong depression after separating of its husband. The woman invested all her savings in the courses and, as they did not let request money to him, she had to sell his jewels, their floor and the premises, that is to say, all its properties. In Denmark they forced it to make 'exhausting domestic tasks' nonfree of shouts and threats. The woman, assures the public prosecutor, finished 'vomiting blood'. The organization soon transferred it to Barcelona and ended up expelling it when it did not have left nor centimo."
>From Hannoversche Allgemeine:
"The 'El Pais' newspaper reported, on Saturday, that starting June 1, proceedings against 18 leading members and adherents of the organization will be initiated before a court in Madrid. Included among those members is Heber Jentzsch, the Scientology President from the USA, for whom the state attorney's office is asking 30 years in prison. In the indictment, Scientology is described as an 'extremely dangerous organization' which more resembles 'a sect' than a church. The state attorney posted a total of twelve charges to the accounts of the accused. Among the charges are tax evasion and formation of an illegal association.
"Adherents of the organization are alleged to have been financially exploited and subjected to 'brainwashing.' Also stated was that in the treatment of drug addicts, Scientology had applied methods which are detrimental to health and which have no scientific basis."
El Pais reported this week that a Spanish prosecutor will ask for Heber Jentzsch to be jailed. The article was translated into English using the Babelfish software.
I added the original article to my collection of spanish articles (I don't know how long it will be available through El Pais online - search is only possible one week backward):
-> Index page with spanish articles
German news wire dpa reported this week that officials in the government
have been tracking a decline in Scientology membership in Germany.
"According to expert Ursula Caberta, the Scientology organization is continuing to lose members in Germany. 'The sect has lost significant influence, primarily in northern Germany; the number of people leaving is increasing,' said Caberta in a meeting with the dpa. For years Caberta, the Scientology commissioner in the Hamburg government, has been one of the most ardent critics of the controversial organization.
"'Our information campaign has born fruit,' said Caberta. The Scientology center on the Hamburg Steindamm which was long considered to be particularly successful is said to have big financial problems. Part of that is due to financially well-to-do members having left the organization. 'There continue to be demands from people who have left to get their money back,' said Caberta. That includes the owner of the Hamburg Scientology building, a businessman from Itzehoe, who is now demanding the rent. How much of a decline in membership Scientology has suffered in Germany cannot be calculated, said Caberta. In the past year she estimated the number of active Scientologists nationwide to be more than 10,000."
The Holsteinischer Courier published an article this week on Scientology activity in the Schleswig-Holstein region.
"A sect spokesperson has announced increased activity in Schleswig-Holstein, and the Hamburg governmental authorities believe they have found a strong financial backer of Scientology in Neumuenster. Ursula Caberta, the director of the government Work Group on Scientology, described the financier as a 'man from the real estate sector,' who had formerly been employed in printing establishments. He has not yet publicly announced his connection to Scientology, but has been with it for years.
"According to a newspaper report, a Scientology spokesperson had announced that activity would be increased in Schleswig-Holstein, because this is said to be the only German state in which the sect is not under surveillance by Constitutional Security. 'It looks to me like things are being blown out of proportion in an apparent effort to divert attention from the fact that Scientology finds itself in a desolate condition,' said Interior Minister Ekkehard Wienholtz (SPD), alluding to the sect's decreasing membership. He has not had any indications of increased activity, said the Minister in Kiel. Gerd Kuehl of the Mittelholstein Businessman's Association is not aware of any Scientologist in Neumuenster's commerce. 'We have no knowledge and no suspicion of anything like that,' Kuehl told the Courier."
Tages-Anzeiger reports that Scientology's plans to open a new Swiss
location have angered local residents.
"The news that the Scientologists wanted to found a new center on Albisrieden spread through the quarter like wildfire. Negotiations are actually underway with both real estate owners. When the other renters on the property - from photographers to commercial businessmen - coincidentally caught wind of the deal, they lodged a protest. Besides verbal intervention, four parties requested, in a letter, that the property owner 'urgently desist from [going through with] the new planned rental arrangement.' Individuals made no secret of the fact that they would rather move out rather than work in a 'Scientology building.'
"The Scientologists would like to rent a good 1,000 square meters to establish training spaces and offices which have, up to now, been located at 141 Badener Street. The lessor would like to make the stipulation that no pedestrians would be accosted in front of or in the building, but the renters are skeptical. The Scientologists had also initially made that promise on Badener Street, said a businessman, and not kept it. However, the Scientologists will not have anything to do with that. 'We have not yet decided upon a site; we will hardly accept stipulations,' said Scientology spokesperson Juerg Stettler."
The 1998 Boston Herald series on Scientology has won the an award in the
New England Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest.
"Joseph Mallia won a first-place investigative reporting award for 'Scientology Unmasked,' a five-part series on the Church of Scientology's activities in New England. The series described how Scientologists targeted black families for recruitment, and how the church's Narconon anti-drug group deceptively got $ 1 million from local school boards and businesses to give lectures in public and private schools."
NewTimesLA published an article this week on Scientology Celebrity Billy
Sheehan and his band Niacin.
"Niacin? A band named after a vitamin? That's the name of bassist Billy 'Mr. Big' Sheehan's prog-rock trio, which played Thursday night at the Key Club for a crowd mostly comprised of metal-heads and NAMM conventioneers. Scientologist Sheehan is shilling for Scientology's Purification Rundown -- a detox program designed by L. Ron Hubbard -- which Sheehan has admitted to undergoing. Per Scientology literature and other sources, the Purif costs approximately $1500, and those who undergo the treatment take increasing amounts of vitamins and minerals -- including niacin -- while sweating for hours in a sauna at a Scientology center during the course of four to six weeks."
Deana Holmes reported on a solo protest in Salt Lake City.
"A new, larger, Help Wanted sign in the right side of the double doors. I was annoyed because I was sure that they weren't telling people the truth about how much money they could make per week. So I whipped around the block, and came back to picket. The new sign says that if a person is interested, s/he needs to contact Jude Steed, who is the personnel procurement officer.
"I always like to let the bOrg people know I'm there, so I walk back and forth in front of the classroom window at least once to make sure that they know I'm Back. I had a guy come up to me and want to know more about my sign. He was Asian, he had good English, and after I gave him a flyer, he proceeded to whip out a pen and scribble the urls from my signs onto the flyer. (I was handing out 'Death of A Scientologist.') Not too long after that, a young couple with a baby drove up. One of them had a pink Dianetics flyer. They wanted to know what I was doing, as a red-headed young woman from the bOrg was standing at the door and trying to get them to come in without talking to me, or taking my flyer. I gave the husband the flyer, I told him strongly, 'They're going to try and take it from you, don't give it up!' and then, finally said, 'Remember this URL for the Internet: w-w-w dot x-e-n-u dot n-e-t.' Finally, after 45 minutes or so, I decided that I decided to give up the picketing for today."
Keith Henson protested at the San Jose org.
"12:25 to 1:25, half hour longer than intended. 28 cars in the lot. After about 25 minutes Marcus came out, took pictures of my signs and tried to 'handle' me. Topic of most interest to him was the IRS suit. He indicated that IRS agents will be all over me for suing to get a review of the deal the IRS cut with scientology (which violates the law as determined by the Supreme Court in Hernandez.) Otherwise, he tried to cave me in by talking about all the weird things I have done over the years."
Kristi Wachter reported on a protest in San Francisco.
"I picketed solo for maybe 20 minutes before Phr arrived. Perhaps 10 minutes after he got there, Administrati came, and then around 12:25 Peaches showed up. One reason for picketing today was the occasion of the OT Power Tour. I don't actually know what that entails, but I would guess that OTs were visiting the San Francisco org to encourage everyone to hurry on up the Bridge[tm]. I saw at least 3 or 4 Sea Orgers - I think they were all different than the ones I saw two weeks ago. There were also a LOT more publics."
An appeals court reversed the decision of Judge Shook and sent the case
back to the lower court. The court ruled that an improper standard was
applied in determining that Scientology is responsible for the judgment
collected against the Church of Scientology of California, which has since
"This case concerns the proper test to be applied by a trial court in deciding whether to grant a post-trial motion to add an alleged alter ego as an additional judgment debtor. Appellant contends that the proper test is the normal preponderance of the evidence burden of proof that applies generally to fact-finding proceedings in a trial court. Respondent contends that the proper test is the substantial evidence test normally applied only by an appellate or other reviewing court. Section 115 identifies three possible burdens of proof applicable to fact-finding proceedings: preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing proof, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Section 115 specifies that '[e]xcept as otherwise provided by law, the burden of proof requires proof by a preponderance of the evidence.' The law does not otherwise provide, and preponderance of the evidence is therefore the test which must be applied. The substantial evidence text has no application in this context.
"The judgments against the Church of Scientology International ('CSI') and Religious Technology Center ('RTC') are reversed. This matter is remanded for further consideration of plaintiff's motion to add these parties to the judgment by evaluating the evidence according to the preponderance of the evidence burden of proof in a manner consistent with this opinion. Each side to bear their own costs on appeal."
Star magazine reports that Scientology celebrity Anne Archer will be
involved in a series of ads to promote membership.
"'Fatal Attraction' actress Anne Archer is preparing a commercial blitz promoting Scientology. She's set to star in a series of inspirational commercials to spread the word and recruit new members for the organization. If the ads are well received, fellow Scientologists John Travolta and Kirstie Alley will film their own spots."
Garry Scarff reported an incident in Los Angeles with Scientology security
"I started walking down L. Ron Hubbard Way. I observed on my right a bike security officer riding towards me. I heard the guard come up behind me on his bike and slowly follow me. I turned around and said 'hello'. The guard asked if he could help me and I declined. He answered with 'what do you want, then?' I told him it was none of his business which he replied with calling L. Ron Hubbard Way 'private property'. I told the guard, 'No, the sidewalk and street are city property'. Then, stepping into the grass, I said 'This is Scientology property', and after hacking and spitting, told the guard, 'and this is snot I'm spitting on your grass.' I then started walking again. The guard decided to ride his bike around and in front of me, then while with his head turned to watch me, he slowed his bike down to deliberately attempt to impede my path. I responded my grabbing his bike and shoving it away from me causing the bike & guard to fall on the grass. I then slowly walked back to the hospital for my medical appointment, and then to the LAPD to report the incident."