Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 4, Issue 19
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
Scientology poured the foundation for the new Super Power building in
downtown Clearwater this week.
"The Church of Scientology and its contractor, Beers Construction Co. of Tampa, have coordinated an 18-hour task that will involve more than 500 construction workers, 130 mixing trucks, 1,200 truckloads of high-strength concrete from six area plants, and 24 off-duty police officers to handle the traffic. Although the church staged a glitzy groundbreaking in November and workers have been excavating the site since, the foundation is the largest and most tangible evidence that the long-planned building is under way. The project has gone through several design changes over the years, and brochures mailed recently to Scientology members indicate the church is still raising money to pay for the $45-million structure."
Esotera reported on August 1st that the Association for Mental Healing has
taken a stance against Scientology.
"According to a decision by the umbrella Association for Mental Healing (Dachverband Geistige Heilen, DGH), membership in the DGH is not compatible with membership in Scientology or the application of Scientology practices. All the board members distanced themselves from Scientology connections and practices in the same way in writing in order to counter any contrary imputations. Meanwhile, a corresponding statement has also been presented by all current association members.
"Future members will sign it on the application contract. Several critics, however, doubt the effectiveness of such statements. In response to that, DGH chairman Dr. Bernhard Firgau stated that Scientologists who deny their membership have to undergo considerable sanctions from their own organization."
Sueddeutsche Zeitung published an article on August 6th on the World Psychiatric Association meeting in Hamburg, and Scientology's response.
"The mega-meeting is organized every three years by the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), to which a total of 110 national associations belong. It is the first time the international psychiatric elite have met in Germany. For Wolfgang Gaebel, the Director of the Psychiatric Clinic at the University of Duesseldorf, who made preparations for the Congress, this a 'a clear signal that despite the systematic abuse of psychiatry during the National Socialistic era, Germany has been internationally accepted.'
"A 'Commission for Violations of Psychiatry against Human Rights' (KVPM) called for a demonstration in Hamburg over the weekend. The Hamburg Interior agency warned, however, 'They are not backed up by any human rights movement, but by the Scientology Organization.'"
>From Hamburger Morgenpost on August 6th:
"The 'Work Group on Scientology' of the Hamburg Interior Agency has warned of disturbances at the World Psychiatry Congress by sect members. The organization wants to raise sentiment against the event with a leafleting operation, explained the Scientology Commissioner, Ursula Caberta, yesterday as the Congress was opening.
"The organizer of the counter-demonstration was the so-called 'Commission for Violations of Psychiatry against Human Rights' - an association founded by Scientology members, according to Caberta. In its own statement, Scientology said the distribution of leaflets was to support the protest of 'various human rights associations' against the World Congress. 300,000 copies of a special edition of Scientology's 'Freiheit' magazine were to be distributed among the people, said the Hamburg speaker of the psycho-sect, Frank Busch.
"Insiders judge the activity by the sect as an attempt to recruit new members. Apparently Scientology is strongly on the defensive financially and personnel-wise. The group's sales are said to be the lowest in years. In Hamburg, former Scientology fortress, the number of members has plummeted down to about one thousand."
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Scientology's mission in Baltimore has closed its doors.
"It appears the Scn Mission of Baltimore, 4551 College Ave., Ellicott City MD has closed. It is no longer listed on Scn's missions locator page. It was hardly an active mission, located in a private residence in a very rural location, so its demise is certainly not surprising."
Protest / Revenge Summary
Following a protest in Canberra, Australia last week, Scientology began a harassment campaign against Louise Cook.
"One or more scientologists have been lurking around her house; Her neighbours and friends have been called, and given completely false, libelous information about her, for example that she was institutionalized and was on psych drugs regularly. Her family have had phone calls to their unlisted number, and a hand delivered letter from a scientologist she was once involved with, was left in their letterbox, urging Louise's parents to call him, but including a mobile number of the church. He has also, despite years of complete neglect and uncouthness suddenly become concerned about his son, and is whining to Louise's friends and relatives that he is concerned about his son.
"Louise is understandably scared for her young family, and what this church may do next. She is therefore, basically leaving the battlefield. She has altered her priorities, away from exposing this church and it's illegal actions, into other areas of life."
"Wynot" and "Ethercat" protested twice at the Atlanta org this week.
"Dr. Quincy, an out-of-state agitator was able to join us a bit before 2:00. After introductions and a little small-talk, we began our picket. We carried the usual signs, several Xenu flyers, and Dr. Quincy brought a handsome, inflatable Xenu. The picket began quietly enough. Susan came out after about 5 minutes, but only took a couple pictures before fleeing inside without having said a word. About 15 minutes in another woman, whom we did not recognize, came out with another camera. She seemed intent on capturing a likeness of our guest picketer, but only got a picture of a camera taking a picture of her!"
"After about 30 minutes, we went to have lunch at the St. Louis Bread Co, and who should walk in right behind us but Susan. We thought she might be coming to join us for lunch, but she just bought a drink and used the phone there. As we sat inside and ate, I noticed people with signs milling around on the street in front of the org. Grabbed the vidcam, and began filming through the window. Soon Susan came out from the org and talked to the teenagers (all guys) with makeshift signs, along with another kinda greasy looking scn we had seen there before, and we realized they were there to counter picket us! Too late!
"Well, with the counter picketers gone, Dr. Quincy and I together spontaneously decided to put in another 5-10 minute surprise return picket, which resounded in a lot of evil sounding laughter and rubbing of hands on our part. Susan was out in a flash, hounding Dr. Quincy about crimes, telling about mine and wynot's crimes, etc."
"Since Dr. Quincy had to fly back to the continent, we decided to have a little going away picket for her. Bubbles came out immediately, taking pictures of the pavement, and trying to take a picture of the good Doctor, who snapped pictures of her in return. We handed out a couple flyers to people from the sandwich shop, who were wondering why we were picketing."
Per Lundquist reported a protest in Stockholm.
"It was only two picketers, myself and another critic Lennart. I had prepared myself with 150 copies of the Xenu leaflet. Lennart had made a few big yellow posters. The corner we chose is pretty crowded with a few big shopping malls nearby. We started distributing the leaflets on different sides of the street, the public reaction was friendly as usual. Within minutes this little old lady appeared with a bunch of pro scientology flyers starting to distribute as well. After a moment I spotted this guy taking pictures of me repeatedly in the crowd.
"A third scieno (sea org dressed) appeared, this guy was trying to usual scieno tactics trying to stand in my way all the time asking a whole bunch of stupid questions. Why are you doing this? Because it's a pretty well paid job! Who organizes these pickets? ARSCC! How long are you gonna stay? Until we run out of leaflets!
"Within two hours Lennart and I was out of leaflets and we split up. As I left I saw this trashcan full of Scientology leaflets, I could not resist to take a photo of it, it looks like the trashlady from Copenhagen needs to visit the Stockholm org as well.
Kristi Wachter protested this week in San Francisco.
Date: Saturday, August 7, 1999; Start and End Times: 12:10 - 2:00 pm; (plus 50 minutes walking to and from the org, which is time spent handing out fliers and practicing wave tech); Picketers: Kristi Wachter, phr; 16 Lisa fliers, 32 Rodney, 17 Judges on Scn, 100 Mint/Law.
"Although we had no official handlers today - I didn't even see anyone come out and take pictures of us - I noticed a little more static than usual from the public Scientologists coming and going from the org. Just after I arrived, a gentleman rode up on a bicycle and began locking it to a lamppost in front of the org. I offered him a flier and he asked me when was the last time I did something right. I told him I was doing something right at the moment, and asked him if he was a Scientologist. He declined to answer, but went into the org. Phr and I both got the 'how much are they paying you?' line from a gentleman in a van; I told him 'Not a thing.' When I asked him who would be paying me and why, he declined to answer (but said something about 'what a way to make a living' as he drove off). I also had a gentleman flip me off and say 'fuck you'; a lady say 'you're lying' (when I mentioned the criminal charges in Spain, she had no further comments); and a lady whom I offered a flier - she said 'You don't want to talk to me. You need to stop slandering us.' I told her I wasn't slandering Scientology, and she said, 'I know you don't think so, but it is. You haven't found out for yourself what Scientology is about.' I told her she didn't know what she was talking about, that I had done some auditing and that I had read Dianetics cover to cover. She said 'Thank you for telling me that.'
"Apparently I just missed Craig's revenge picket; I got home at around 3:15 and he reportedly split shortly before that. It was apparently just him and his 'Don't criticize what you don't understand' sign. He kindly left a flier for me."
MSNBC reported this week that when Congressman Sonny Bono attempted to
leave Scientology, he called on the FBI for protection.
"Sonny did try to break away from Scientology, Mary Bono told Bardach in taped interviews, and they made it very difficult for him. But the situation was even worse than the article indicated, according to the source, who says that in desperation Bono asked for help from the FBI. The FBI does not comment on such matters. It was a bad, situation, says the source. Imagine if a member of Congress has to resort to that. What does it say for the ordinary citizen. The insider also says that George magazine got hold of the explosive information, but too late to make it into the article. I've got to hand it to John [F. Kennedy Jr.], says the source. He may have been a novice publisher, but he was completely fearless about taking on the church."
A Very Strange Trip
The Daily University Star from Southwest Texas State University published
a review of A Very Strange Trip, billed as a collaboration between L. Ron
Hubbard and Dave Wolverton.
"'A Very Strange Trip' is an adventure story, something that would agree with most children. But if you are looking for anything profound, you won't be happy. The characters seem to lack the three-dimensional qualities that provoke a reader's attention span and keep them fresh in the reader's mind long after the story ends.
"As the story moves forward, it becomes apparent there is not a steady rise in excitement like most novels, but a constant cavalcade of close calls. The occasional sex acts with multiple native American women makes you wonder just what audience Wolverton had in mind when he wrote this book. On one hand, it's perfect for a kid ready to make the leap from Hardyboy stories to something grander. But then the main character gets into a foursome on page 73, and you can't help but wonder.
"'A Very Strange Trip' was originally a shorter tale penned by L. Ron Hubbard, the man famous for science fiction sagas like 'Battlefield Earth' and 'The Mission Earth' dekalogy. Some might also recognize the name Hubbard as the originator of Scientology, the religion that has recently sprouted up among Hollywood's elite. Wolverton and Hubbard became associated with each other in 1987 when Wolverton won the L. Ron Hubbard Gold Award for the Writers of the Future story of the year. Wolverton shares credit for the story on the the cover of the book, with Hubbard's name at almost twice the size.
"'A Very Strange Trip' is a happy story that does not demand too much intelligence to understand, nor does it rely on historical accuracy to make the story authentic. It is a fitting tribute to Hubbard whom many believe to be a science fiction god. He helped take the genre out of the serious and drab into the playful and satirical."
Peace Bell Peace Bell
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Scientology participated in the
delivery of the World Peace Bell to Cincinnati, Ohio.
"The 33-ton bronze bell, said to be the largest swinging bell in the
world, completed a journey that began in December when it was cast in
Nantes, France. A crowd estimated at about 2,000, including nearly 500
people who were aboard the Belle, the newest BB Riverboats excursion
craft, cheered as the bell came into view.
"Representatives of four river cities--Mayor Roxanne Qualls of Cincinnati, Mayor Tom Guidugli of Newport, Mayor Tom Wiethorn of Bellevue and Covington City Commissioners Butch Callery and Jerry Bamberger--presented a joint proclamation naming Sunday as World Peace Bell Day in all the cities. Mary Harrill, who lives in downtown Cincinnati and is involved with Talent 2000, a group that promotes arts among children, led a group of kids and adults with flags and signs proclaiming 'The Church of Scientology Supports Peace.' The church is a major supporter of the Talent 2000 program. 'We approached the (Millennium Monument Co.) people about working with them on the bell's arrival,' Ms. Harrill said. 'This is really a wonderful demonstration of peace. We think children, arts and peace make a great combination.'"