Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 16 08/11/96 by Rod Keller [email@example.com] copyright 1996
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 the articles. Many include an excerpt, and all include message IDs for the articles I cover. This may or may not be useful to you, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org It is archived at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://user1.i1.net/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html http://www.amazing.com/scientology/ars-summary.html http://users.aimnet.com/~jdiver/scieno.htm http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html #####
Scientologist John Travolta made news this week when he visited the
Celebrity Center in Hollywood this week. From the August 5th AP story:
"John Travolta, having a phenomenal year with the success of films like Phenomenon and Broken Arrow, turned out to celebrate Scientology, the religious group he credits for much of his success.
"Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, went to a Hollywood party Saturday night to mark the 27th anniversary of the Scientology Celebrity Centre International.
"'It's always been a safe haven for me in a town like Hollywood,' Travolta said. 'I have friends and I have knowledge here.'"
Scientologist/Actor Tom Cruise is the subject of a boycott and protest in
Germany this week. UPI and the AP released stories on August 8th
describing the boycott of the movie "Mission Impossible" by young members
of the Christian Democratic Union, the ruling political party. From the
"A youth organization appealed for a boycott today of Tom Cruise's new movie 'Mission Impossible,' because the American actor is a Scientologist. The call came after a leading politician said German authorities should put the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology under observation as an extremist group.
"German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government says the organization has aims that threaten democracy and is not a church but a business enterprise with some traits of organized crime.
"A youth organization belonging to Kohl's party said its members would go to movie theaters where the German-dubbed version of 'Mission Impossible' starts playing today, and pass out flyers alleging 'dangerous wheeling and dealings of the Scientology organization.' 'The tactic of Scientology is to connect it with the notion of success,' said Burkhard Remmers, head of the Christian Democratic Union Youth Organization in Lower Saxony state. 'That is aided by the many U.S. stars who go on publicity tours in Europe. But Scientology does not mean success.'
"Franz Riedl, a spokesman at Scientology's German headquarters in Hamburg, said the boycott call was 'a rebellion of midgets' and part of politicians' attempts 'to exploit Scientology's fame for their own careers.'"
"Young members of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union set up
stalls and placards outside cinemas Thursday, urging moviegoers to shun
Tom Cruise's latest film, 'Mission Impossible,' as it opened in Germany.
"The Junge Union claims the Church of Scientology, to which Cruise belongs and which is under official investigation in Germany, has a financial stake in the film.
"The church, described by one German church leader as 'fascistic and undemocratic,' has also lost an action in Bavarian courts in which it sought to prevent the state's education authority from distributing literature warning people away from Scientology."
The stories led Scientology's president Heber Jentzsch to deny the cult has any financial interest in the film.
"Heber Jentzsch said the proposed boycott of the movie is another example of the ruling CDU party's attempt to suppress art forms it disagrees with.
"'We didn't invest a dime in it,' Jentzsch told UPI Friday. 'They're expressing their own agenda. They're saying, 'We don't want anyone to watch anything that we don't put our seal of approval on.' That's not democracy -- that's totalitarianism.'"
And from Reuters, word that the U.S. government has come to Scientology's defense, urging Germans to see the film despite the boycott.
"The U.S. State Department said on Friday it had concerns about Germany's treatment of American Scientologists and urged Germans to see 'Mission: Impossible' despite calls there for its boycott.
"'I understand that there are some groups calling for a boycott of 'Mission: Impossible' starring Tom Cruise, because Tom Cruise apparently is affiliated with this religion,' State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said. 'And my only advice would be to German citizens, you ought to watch the film, it's a very good film,' Burns said. Burns said the State Department had expressed 'our unhappiness over the treatment of Scientologists in Germany' in its last three annual human rights reports and more recently in a letter to members of Congress."
Steve Fishman posted a report that the FBI contacted him about an
anonymous bomb threat complaint from Scientology.
"I met with Special Agent Junior Ortiz of the Miami FBI today at 5 PM. I invited Mr. Ortiz to my home in order to discuss an anonymous threat which the FBI received via a complaint filed by the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles. Agent Ortiz showed me a document which was sent through an anonymous remailer to email@example.com which stated that Dennis Erlich had threatened to blow up various Scientology buildings.
"According to the complaint, the Church of Scientology accused me of sending this anonymous remail to them because of my personal disagreement with Erlich. Agent Ortiz, whose telephone number in Miami is (305) 787-6610, asked me if I had sent the letter. I did not, and I told him. He also asked if, in my opinion, Dennis Erlich sent it. I told him that Dennis could not have sent it either.
"The e-mail 'warned' Scientology that Dennis Erlich was a 'close friend of Timothy McVeigh' (from the Oklahoma bombing) and a member of the Aryan militia. I told Agent Ortiz that Dennis may be a hypocritical 'reverend' and the father from Hell, but he is not a right-wing skinhead and there is no way Dennis would have sent it. The e-mail also 'warned' Scientology that Dennis was about to blow up some Scientology buildings.
"[T]his is a very obvious, transparent attempt to capitalize on the serious personal disagreement which Dennis and I have."
Dennis declined Steve's suggestion that they cooperate to find the source of the anonymous email.
"Just so you know, there is absolutely NF way that Fishman is going to drag me into bed with him and OSA by asking the FBI to demand info from anonymous remailers.
"Additionally you should know that this is not the first troll of this type. I did not say anything about another bogus 'warning' that OSA recently issued of me supposedly making bomb-threats. That one was the night before Cruise's premier of 'Mission Incomprehensible'.
"I'd advise you not to get your buns in an uproar. YABT (you are being trolled)"
A number of developments in the battle between German critics and
Scientology this week. First, a translation of an article from the
newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung of July 27, 1996
"The Munich lawyer of the Church of Scientology, Wilhelm Bluemel, has won through his claim for DM 30000 in damages (approx. US$ 20000) against the critic Renate Hartwig, the catholic publisher Weltbild-Verlag from Augsburg and the Heyne-Verlag (another publisher) in Munich. The court of appeal in Munich yesterday ruled against the appeal of the three defendants against a ruling of the court in Munich. According to Scientology, the legal quarrel started because of a claim in the book 'Scientology - I accuse' by Hartwig which stated that Bluemel was a conspirator of a murdering attempt against Mr. and Mrs. Hartwig. According to the lawyer the court felt that this was a severe hurting of Bluemel's personality."
Also, news from Bavaria, which has been distributing material critical of Scientology.
"The culture ministry of the state of Bavaria has won against scientology and may continue to distribute material critical about the cult. (Az: M 3 E 96.2692, VG Munchen)"
Tom Klemesrud, Scientology defendant and Internet provider for defendant
Dennis Erlich, posted his plan for discovery and depositions this week.
He plans to depose over 40 current and former Scientologists, including
the top level of Scientology's hierarchy. Among them:
"David Mayo. The first 'Keeper of the Tech' with the most senior technical position in Scientology. Filed lawsuit alleging he wrote parts of OT 4 and 5. Areas of knowledge: authorship, ownership, publication.
"Vicki Aznaran. Headed RTC from 1984-1988, ex-Scientologist. Areas of knowledge: authorship, ownership, publication, transfer, registration.
"Pat Broeker. Along with his wife, Annie Broeker, he cared for L. Ron Hubbard ('LRH') when he was in seclusion in the early 1980s. Areas of knowledge: authorship, publication, transfer, LRH's mental capacity, physical capacity, etc.
"David Miscavige. The current chairman of the board of RTC, he heads Scientology. He was the link between LRH and Scientology toward the end of Hubbard's life, while Hubbard was in seclusion. Miscavige notarized the 1982 agreement and arguably benefited most from the transfers of copyrights. Areas of knowledge: authorship, ownership, publication, transfer, registration, publication, security.
"Ray Mitoff. The most senior technical person in Scientology. Apparently participated in forging of documents alleged to have been authored by LRH. Areas of knowledge: authorship, publication.
"Mary Sue Hubbard. Still a Scientologist, she is the ex-wife of LRH who was jailed in the early 1980s. She is a beneficiary of the estate. Areas of knowledge: authorship, transfer, LRH's mental capacity, physical capacity, etc.
"Gerald Armstrong. Former LRH confidante, he was on the Apollo with LRH and was at one time his archivist. Personally witnessed and participated in LRH signature forging parties. Areas of knowledge: authorship, transfer, publication, LRH's mental capacity, physical capacity, etc.
"Norman F. Starkey. Executor of LRH's estate and one time head of Author Services, Inc. ('ASI'), the 'commercial' organization which oversaw the copyright registrations and through which LRH exercised control of Scientology. Areas of knowledge: authorship, ownership, transfer, mental/physical capacity of LRH, registration.
"Andre Taboyoyan. Has given a declaration regarding drug use by LRH toward the time of his death. Areas of knowledge: capacity.
"Joseph Yanny. Attorney and ex-outside counsel for Scientology. He was the original attorney in the Mayo case, in which authorship of 'advanced level' materials was at issue. Areas of knowledge: authorship, ownership, transfer, registration.
"Defendant Klemesrud perceives the need to obtain documents and verified responses relevant to the following areas at issue:
"Copyrights. Complete copies of the copyrighted works, and each and every revision thereof; each and every certificate of registration and recordation for these works. Correspondence between plaintiffs and the copyright office regarding relief from the deposit requirements for works claimed to contain trade secrets.
"Authorship. All documents evidencing the authorship of the works in question, including contracts or other documents, if any, evidencing the work-for-hire status of any author other than L. Ron Hubbard.
"Ownership/Transfer. Original contracts, including those between: L. Ron Hubbard and plaintiff RTC regarding the advanced technology; RTC and Norman Starkey (as executor of Hubbard's estate) concerning the 'properties'; BPI and Norman Starkey (as trustee of Author's Trust) pertaining to the 'works.' The notary public journal entries of David Miscavige made with respect to documents signed by L. Ron Hubbard in connection with the sale and/or transfer of works or rights at issue.
"Affirmative Defenses. Documents relevant to defendant's affirmative defenses, including those evidencing attempts by plaintiffs and/or their agents to remove the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup from the internet and/or to remove particular postings from alt.religion.scientology and/or other newsgroups. Documents containing plaintiffs' policies/procedures regarding applications for, and enforcement of, copyrights. Documents evidencing policies and/or plans to elicit Tom Klemesrud's cooperation in expelling Dennis Erlich from Klemesrud's Bulletin Board Service.
Tom also had a hearing with Judge Infante.
"Magistrate Infante refused to allow a protective order concerning the trade-secreted religion scripture at issue.
"The Scientologists didn't like the idea of producing any documents in the nature of how all these religion corporations were set up. They wanted to simply issue a 'bench memo' addressing on the formation of the corporations and transfers of trademarks, copyrights, assets, etc.
"No bench memo will be accepted. The documents will be produced and David Miscavige deposed unless Judge Whyte blocks this with a protective order."
Netcom, co-defendant with Tom Klemesrud and Dennis Erlich, settled with
Scientology this week with undisclosed terms.
"Netcom On-Line Communications Services Inc. announced it has settled the intellectual property dispute initiated by Religious Technology Center, the publishing wing of the Church of Scientology.
"RTC had brought a claim against Netcom, seeking to prohibited what is viewed as illegal postings of sacred church writings, some of which it claimed were protected under US copyright laws. Both parties agreed not to disclose specific details of the settlement.
"According to a statement, Netcom as set up a protocol on its company home page for handling future intellectual property disputes.
"'Subscribers who use these services from computers within the Netcom domain -- those computers whose hostname or address includes netcom.com -- are required to abide by Netcom's Terms and Conditions,' the protocol says. 'These terms include a prohibition from using Netcom services to unlawfully distribute the intellectual property of others, regardless of the format of the property.'"
Tom Klemesrud commented on the agreement.
"I wish Netcom well, and know that they would not come to an agreement that would compromised me interests in this case, and the interests of the Internet Community as a whole. We will open up this confidential agreement in order to defend this now--referred to as RTC & Bridge Publications v. Dennis Erlich and Tom Klemesrud (Support.COM).
"This confidential settlement was not as confidential as the Scientologists would suggest--for days before the San Jose Mercury News announced this, RTC Counsel Elliot Abelson called my attorney and told of this confidential settlement. My attorney Dan Leipold corresponded with Netcom Counsel concerning this settlement, and no information was forthcoming--except in today's newspaper. We would assume that the Officers of the Court would officially Notify use of the secret settlement. Prior to this, Netcom had not returned phone calls or correspondence to either Morrison and Foerster, or Hagenbaugh & Murphy concerning a joint discovery plan for a hearing scheduled before Magistrate Judge Edward A Infante. In fact, I understand that this confidential settlement was made with Magistrate Infante presiding in an ex parte secret court hearing, of which neither co-defendant were informed of."
Keith Henson reported on a settlement conference held with Scientology
defendant Grady Ward and Scientology's lawyers.
"Grady was in a settlement conference with CoS in front of Judge Infante. The Judge went out for lunch, and the CoS folks took advantage of him not being there to start verbally abusing Grady, trying to intimidate him. (They stated this in the elevator, where I was a witness to it.) Grady got so mad he walked out. When the Judge came back, the CoS folks told the Judge they were sorry for abusing Grady right there in the *Judge's chambers,* and Grady said he was too upset to continue the negotiations. So Judge Infante dismissed the lot of them.
"Mike Sutter--Miscavige's extension into the world tried in vain to get Grady to continue out in the hall and down in the lobby of the court house.
Hundreds of repeated articles continue to flood a.r.s, this time from
Internet provider LinkOnline. Efforts to cut off the spammer were posted
"As we cleaned up the last messages this am, we verified that the nntp posting host, now changed to an IP address, is still linkonline.net.
"We contacted them yesterday and did not receive a response, so I assume they are supporting this damage to Internet News and the abuse of the newsgroup.
"LinkOnline Network (LINKONLINE-DOM) 3333 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 950 Los Angeles, CA 90010 USA"
LinkOnline responded in a post to a.r.s.
"This message is in response to multiple requests as per our rules and regulations, spamming is against policy. The account previously mentioned will be terminated and is in process of being traced and terminated at this time.
"We appreciate your patience and hope to bring an end to this as soon as possible.
The London Evening Standard report on August 9th that a Scientologist
committed suicide when his attempts to leave the cult were met with
harassment from Scientologists.
"A man threw himself 200ft to his death after a religious cult refused to let him leave, an inquest heard. Richard Collins, 24, joined the Church of Scientology hoping to 'cleanse his body'.
"But when he tried to quit they bombarded his home and work with letters and phone calls in a last-ditch bid to make him stay. Days later he leapt off Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. The inquest ruled that Richard took his own life."
Arnie Lerma posted two documents from L. Ron Hubbard's naval career this
week. The first documents his expulsion from Australia.
"FROM NAVAL ATTACHE MELBOURNE DATE 13 FEB 42
"THE FOLLOWING FROM ALUSNA MELBOURNE Lafayette Ronald LIEUT. (JG) L.R. HUBBARD IVS USNR ORDERED RETURN VIA CHAUMONT AND REPORT TO COM 12. HE IS UNSATISFACTORY FOR ANY AVAILABLE ASSIGNMENT, HERE. VIA PRESIDENT COOLIDGE, A REPORT MAILED."
The second documents his unauthorized attack on an island belonging to Mexico.
"Serial 0487 15 July, 1943 From: Commander, Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific. To: Lieutenant Lafayette Ron Hubbard, D-V(S), U.S.N.R. Subject: Letter of Admonition.
"Reference: (a) Record of Proceedings of a Board of Investigation convened on board the U.S.S. PC 815 on June 30, 1943, by order of Commander, Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific.
"1. The facts and testimony contained in reference (a) indicate that on June 28, 1943, while serving as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. PC815, you:
"(a) Disregarded orders by having the vessel under your command conduct a gunnery practice without proper authority; and
"(b) Disregarded orders by anchoring in Mexican Territorial waters without proper authority.
"2. The above led to the receipt of a complaint against the vessel under your command from Mexican Authorities.
"3. Because of the short time that you have been in command and the exigencies of the service, this letter of admonition is written in lieu of other more drastic disciplinary action which would have been taken under normal and peacetime conditions."
A summary of a 1960 bulletin from Hubbard was posted this week in which he
claims to have increased the yield of crop plants using X-rays.
"[T]he HCO HORTICULTURAL BULLETIN OF 6 MAY 1960 sub-titled FIFTH DYNAMIC RESEARCH which tells of 'Dr. Hubbard's' horticultural experiments.
"The following warning appears: Please do not issue any details to the Press in your own area.
"The bulletin starts out by explaining that plants are the fifth dynamic in Scientology, which LRH has been researching. It continues with, 'Some of our recent developments in technology were discovered in plants by Dr. Hubbard. In studying life and life sources he made a fundamental discovery last fall that plants are the same order of life form as animals or humans. This opened the door widely to more understanding of life.'
"They claim this breakthrough will probably revolutionize the art of gardening. Speaking of mutating seeds by means of X-rays and other rays, the bulletin states his long line of research makes Dr. Hubbard a leading authority on 'atomic gardening'.
"One of Dr. Hubbard's amazing discoveries was that if you bombard seeds with X-rays their characteristics will be changed. By using this method he was able to grow tomato plants at Saint Hill Manor which produced five times as much fruit as an 'ordinary' tomato.
Wall Street Journal Ad
Scientology placed an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal this week.
"THE BOLDEST AND MOST DIRECT PRINCIPLES ON MANAGEMENT EVER WRITTEN
"[P]icture in the ad is a book entitled 'SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE' with the dust jacket blurb, 'Illustrated solutions to the business problems you face every day'. Then the dust jacket says, 'Based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard'.
"It's the consolidated wisdom of what works in business across the country.
"Every principle between its covers is at work today - producing results - in companies ranging from growing high-tech software firms to mammoth Fortune 500 firms.
"Among the fascinating answers you'll discover are:
"* An exact definition for good management that lets you know when you're 'right on the money' ... and when you are wavering.
"* How to chart your area's production week by week and make sure you take the correct actions to keep it on the upswing."