Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 4, Issue 48
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.
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
http://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/ http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on March 7th that the movie Battlefield
Earth may be delayed past its planned May debut.
"Inside sources tip that post-production of Battlefield Earth is not
coming together as fast - or as well - as John Travolta would like, and
that it could be a challenge for the film, based on the sci-fi epic by
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, to make its May 12 release date.
Perhaps it is the stress, or whatever, but we're told that John's weight
has ballooned. A lot."
The letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times this week included a
question directed at Scientology's sidewalk in downtown Clearwater.
"I would like to know who gave permission to tear up the sidewalks on both sides of the 200 block of N Osceola (at Drew Street) in Clearwater. The sidewalks were removed in December 1999, and it is now March. It is a very dangerous situation for pedestrians who are left to walk in the street. -- Gwen Waddell, Clearwater"
Other letters to the editor responded to the Times editorial on the Lisa McPherson criminal case, published last week.
"Isn't it about time that the St. Petersburg Times altered its policy of blatant and obviously biased Scientology bashing? You have been presented with overwhelming evidence of the wide-ranging beneficial effects of Scientology, yet despite this evidence, you refuse to print any data complimentary to Scientology. Instead you fixate on one tragic incident that happened years ago.
"You would be doing the public a service if, instead of continuing your decades-long and failing campaign against Scientology, you investigated the origins of the religious hate group that has recently set up in Clearwater. -- Larry Byrnes, Clearwater
"In this editorial the St. Petersburg Times continues its dedicated assault against the First Amendment. It makes freedom of speech a joke as it takes no responsibility for the truth. Medical examiner Joan Wood did take responsibility for the truth and is being reviled for it in this editorial. The First Amendment doesn't give the freedom to lie. It does say some definite things about freedom of religion though. -- Colleen Wilhite, Clearwater
"Notwithstanding the specific pathological circumstances which contributed to the death of Lisa McPherson, that she did not get proper and timely professional medical attention is an irrefutable fact. A further fact is that during her 17 days of physical agony, she was attended by persons with medical training sufficient for them to conclude that continued neglect could very well cause death.
"Why Dr. Joan Wood believes it is possible to torture the English meaning of the word 'accident' to mean 'died due to lack of proper medical attention' is an absurdity. Those responsible at bedside, as well as those supervising, and all others abetting this gross and depraved mistreatment of this young woman should be held criminally responsible for causing the death of a human being. No amount of distortion of the lexicon by Dr. Wood will change that fact. -- James A. O'Connor, Hudson
"The Church of Scientology is continuing to buy property and removing same from the tax rolls. It got to medical examiner Joan Wood the same way that it got to the IRS. Why are the Scientology people who are alleged to have committed crimes against the body of Lisa McPherson walking around uncharged? Downtown Clearwater will continue to die, in part, because visitors see the automatons filling the sidewalks and go elsewhere. City plans to develop downtown will be much appreciated by the Church of Scientology. -- Al Simard, Clearwater
"I am so glad that your newspaper continues to fight and shine the light of truth on the sci-fi group at the downtown Clearwater hotel. The group is so powerful it makes one sick and frankly afraid. -- Dan Mettee, Harbor Bluffs"
Leo J. Ryan Foundation
A conference hosted by the Leo J. Ryan Foundation will be held next week
in Stamford, Connecticut.
"The Leo J. Ryan Education Foundation, a national cult education and information organization headquartered in Bridgeport, will hold a three-day conference titled 'Human Rights in the New Millennium' on March 17, 18 and 19 at the Holiday Inn Select in Stamford, CT.
"Among the workshop topics are: Cults and the Internet; Potential Law-Breaking Activities of Cults and Other Extremist Organizations; How to Help a Loved One in a Mind Controlling Group; Status of Women and Children in Patriarchal, Shepherding, Bible-Based Cults; Altered States; Fronts and Finances: Following the Money Trail; Human Rights Versus Freedom of Religion; Millennial and Apocalyptic Cults; Unusual Rescues from High Control Groups.
Among the featured speakers will be: Deborah Layton, a former member of Jim Jones' People's Temple and author of 'Seductive Poison,' a book that helps readers understand the deceptive and destructive nature of cults. Robert Lifton, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and Director of the Center on Violence and Human Survival at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Dr. Lifton is the author of 'Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism,' a seminal study of American P.O.W.s during the Korean War. Steve Hassan, a former leader in the Unification Church, nationally respected exit counselor and author of the bestselling book 'Combating Cult Mind Control.' He will introduce his new book, 'Releasing the Bonds,' a practical guide for friends and family members trying to help loved ones trapped in or coming out of destructive groups. Bob Minton, whose struggles with Scientologists have been profiled on investigative programs such as 20/20, Dateline and A&E's Investigative Reports. He is founder of the recently created Lisa McPherson Trust in Clearwater, FL.
"For more information or to register call: 203-366-5500 or 203-338-9776."
Le Monde this week reported that Scientology has formed a commission to
denounce the French government for alleged persecution of cults.
"Three empty chairs on the first rank, with the name of their addresses: 'Alain Vivien, Jean Tiberi, Senator About'. On a platform, behind a red carpeted table, a sort of a Court composed of 'international experts'. The first 'Public inquiry commission on human rights abuses' was held on the Forum Grenelle in Paris, on March 3d, 2000. One after the other, the movements designed as 'cults' by the parliamentary report done in January 1996 come to the bar to complain against the 'cultural harassment' from the 'new inquisition': Rael, Sokka Gakai, the Family, the Raja Yoga, Horus and some less known others. The main indicted ones: The Interministerial Mission to struggle against Cults, presided by Alain Vivien, the Senator Nicolas About, author of a law project aimed at dangerous cults' dismantlement, and the National Union for the Defense of Family and Individual.
"Alain Vivien and Nicolas About had received some days before the meeting a convocation in these terms: 'The International Commission of Independent Experts is composed of a panel of independent international experts having been charged to examine the human rights violations in France. The Commission has been seized, by the Church of Scientology, of certain facts about you which could be contrary to Rights conferred by the International Conventions of Human Rights and french Constitution. The Commission wishes to hear you on the following violations.' Then came a number of grievances, like 'inciting to hate' or 'to discriminate against members of religious communities'."
Der Spiegel reported on March 4th that the German government will be
conducting a source code review of Windows 2000 out of concern that a
component of the software was created by a Scientologist. The report was
denied by Microsoft.
"The Federal Interior Ministry is examining an offer by software giant Microsoft to have the source code of its new Windows 2000 programs inspected. Microsoft apparently is afraid that without the official seal of approval from the German agency, its Windows program will not be installed and that private individuals would also hesitate to buy it. The suspicion is directed at the 'Diskeeper' program module, which was developed by a company belonging to Scientologist Craig Jensen. Experts think it possible that, with the help of Diskeeper, data on the hard drive of Windows 2000 computers would be accessible to unauthorized outside sources."
>From dpa on March 3rd:
"The Microsoft software company denied a report that they had offered to let the Federal Interior Ministry inspect the source code of its new Windows 2000 program. Windows 2000 became a topic of discussion because of possible entanglements with Scientology. 'We are having meetings with the Ministry. But there has been no offer from our side to have the source code inspected,' said Microsoft speaker Irene Nadler on Friday to the dpa. There was also said to have been no offer from Microsoft to let specialists from the Federal Office of Security in Information Technology (BSI) inspect the source code in the USA. Microsoft regards the source code of its commercial software products as an operational secret.
"Microsoft spokesman Kurt Braatz stated that the Executive Software company would have to be treated like any other company, regardless of its religion. 'There is no judgment in force in which Scientology is categorized as an organization hostile to the Constitution. We cannot exclude a valid offer from anyone based on religious, racist or other type of grounds from doing business with us.'"
Stuttgarter Zeitung reported on March 11th that Scientology has rented a furniture storefront for a ten day open house.
"Yesterday's opening exhibition was comparable to a Las Vegas show: Munich artist Waki Zoellner cut a red ribbon with an over-sized golden scissors accompanied by a swing band in red suits. Despite the mounted glossy photos of Scientologists from all over the world and countless book titles by Scientology founder Ron Hubbard, the messages were not light fare. 'Dianetics gives you a method,' said one for example, 'by which the recreative [sic] mind is addressed so that hidden negative experiences are discovered and their harmful effects on a person are deleted.'
"Critics accuse the controversial organization of pursuing mainly commercial interests. 'On neutral ground,' said Stuttgart Scientology spokesman Reinhard Egy, they wished to 'tear down obstacles' and show 'that we are not an elitist club.' The recreative energies can be detected via the e-meter: the subject holds two metal cans in his hands and the indicator on the gauge moves according to energy flows. Cost of the device: 5,000 marks.
"Scientology rented the vacant rooms of the furniture building on Friedrich Street for the length of the show. That way it can recruit without being disturbed in the middle of the city. In February of last year, the 'What is Scientology?' wandering exhibition triggered numerous protests because the organization rented the Cannstatt bingo hall from the city and aggressively recruited visitors. In the near vicinity of the actual presentations there are no loud opposing voices - the rooms are located in a private building. Therefore the city, which would like to forbid Scientology's recruitment downtown, has no recourse in regard to the banner hanging on the facade of the building."
Scientology critic Gregg Hagglund reported this week that Scientologist
Peter Ramsay has registered a company in the name of Gregg's small
"The Repugnant Mr. Ramsay has made a callous and cruel move to utterly destroy the temporal trappings of my Faith: the Temple of At'L'An. 'Temple of At'L'An' is a registered business name by my wife and I, since Dec of 1994. The name 'Temple of At'L'An' and its motto 'Integrity, Honesty, Compassion and Charity' are *my* 'original creative 'inventions' under copyright. Mr. Ramsay has incorporated an Ontario company and stolen my 'business' name and motto. Legally he can attempt to preclude my use of 'Temple of At'L'An' if I let matters stand.
"The Repugnant Mr. Ramsay is also seeking to Trademark 'Temple of At'L'An'. If successful this would be the 'lock' on the door and ruination of my Temple. I have determined to engage a Trademark and Copyright Attorney. I have been assured my extensive continuous prior use and 'original creation' of the word 'At'L'An' will result in Ramsay/Scientology losing in a Trademark Dispute. I could then preclude his abuse of our good name."
The Wichita Eagle reported on March 5th that Scientology celebrity Kirstie
Alley has opened a school behind the Wichita, Kansas mission.
"Wichita native Kirstie Alley for the opening of Lillie's Learning Place, a free tutoring center, named after Alley's daughter, that is open to people of all ages. The new center is at 3416 E. Oakland, behind the Church of Scientology Mission that Alley established five years ago in Wichita's College Hill neighborhood. Originally, Lillie's made its home in the mission's building.
"For Alley, as well as the nearly 700 members of the Scientology mission in Wichita, the area holds great value: Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard lived in the neighborhood in the 1950s and wrote some of his essays that would be part of what he called Study Technology -- ways to develop learning and comprehension.
"The ribbon-cutting ceremony was preceded by Education Expo 2000, a fair seeking volunteers for 51 Wichita nonprofit groups. The event was held at Wichita State University's Hughes Metropolitan Complex. Joining Alley and Najimy at the ceremony was actress Jenna Elfman, who stars in the 'Dharma and Greg' television series. Visitors also got to tour the two-story center, which includes study rooms and a library that includes basic reading texts by Hubbard, as well as classical literature."
The Los Angeles Times reported on March 4th that the Scientology's Women's
Auxiliary held a fundraiser this week.
"The Women's Auxiliary of the Church of Scientology is planning its second annual 'Evening of Fun and Revitalization' today at the La Canada Country Club. Lisa Malm is event coordinator and president of the auxiliary. Nancy Reitze is event co-chairwoman. The gala will include live and silent auctions, dinner, a diamond bar, door prizes and more. Proceeds go to social reform activities such as drug education, drug abuse programs, criminal rehabilitation and human rights issues."
Scientology brought two medical experts to Clearwater this week to counter
an editorial in the St. Petersburg Times. From the Times on March 7th:
"As prosecutors consider whether to proceed with criminal charges in the death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, the Church of Scientology on Monday presented two nationally known pathologists who said they have scientific evidence that the 1995 death was accidental. Drs. Michael M. Baden and Cyril H. Wecht also suggested their work is so conclusive the case should be dropped. Their primary conclusion: McPherson, 36, died suddenly and unpredictably of a blood clot in her left lung that originated from a knee bruise she suffered in a minor auto accident 17 days earlier.
"'This is Forensic Pathology 101,' said Baden, once part of O.J. Simpson's 'dream team' defense. 'This is not complicated.' "Wecht said the area behind McPherson's left knee, where the clot formed, is a common site for blood clots to develop. He said it traveled into McPherson's heart and lodged in her left lung. The doctors, hired two years ago by Scientology, also asserted there is no evidence that McPherson was dehydrated or malnourished.
"Baden and Wecht said they flew to Clearwater to respond to a recent St. Petersburg Times editorial about the case. In doing so, the two doctors provided insight into the size and scope of the church's defense team. Wecht said six additional forensic pathologists had independently reached the same conclusions he and Baden reached. But their words also seemed directed at the office of State Attorney Bernie McCabe. Wecht said McCabe's office would be 'irresponsible' and 'less than meticulous' to ignore the doctors' work. Doug Crow, one of McCabe's top assistants, said if someone wants to present information about the case, 'I don't think we'd ever refuse that type of information.' He said the office was continuing its review, but noted that Wood's revised autopsy 'still made a finding of severe dehydration.'
"Baden, a former chief medical examiner in New York City, has played roles in some of the country's most celebrated death cases. He participated in the re-autopsy of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. He led the 1979 congressional re-examination of evidence in the assassination of President Kennedy, and worked on the autopsies of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., actor John Belushi and former baseball manager Billy Martin. Wecht, a lawyer and the county coroner in Pittsburgh, also worked on the 1979 Kennedy assassination commission and is a frequent commentator on major death cases."
>From the Tampa Tribune on March 7th:
"Baden, former chief medical examiner for New York City, appeared at a news conference in downtown Clearwater along with Cyril Wecht, a renowned coroner and lawyer in Pittsburgh, to share their views about what killed Lisa McPherson. They, and six colleagues, have agreed McPherson, a Scientologist for 13 years, died from a blood clot that formed behind her left knee and traveled to her left pulmonary artery, cutting off her oxygen.
"Both men said the clot started to form after McPherson hit her left leg on the driver's side door in the car accident. They said she was physically healthy but would have died even if she was in the care of a hospital instead of at the Fort Harrison Hotel, the church's spiritual headquarters. Both men said they were not working for free for the church, but they would not disclose how much they were being paid. During Simpson's trial, Baden testified he was paid $1,500 a day instead of his customary $2,500 to $3,000 fee because of Simpson's dwindling financial resources. Wecht said Monday he was amused and offended by the suggestions that Scientology officials were paying the pair to say what the church wanted to hear. 'It is not a ploy or some kind of fictional ruse,' he said."
>From Tampa area TV news, on Fox-13:
"World-famous forensic pathologists were so upset by a local newspaper editorial, they came here to set the record straight, as they say. The editorial called for continued prosecution of the Church of Scientology for the death of Lisa McPherson. The Church of Scientology said it would hire pre-eminent experts in its defense, and these are two of the best. Dr. Michael Baden was chief medical examiner in New York City and was hired by the House of Representatives to review the Kennedy and King assassinations.
"DR. CYRIL WECHT: Unexpected, absolutely unpredictable and hence unavoidable deaths--
"DR. MICHAEL BADEN: Looking at the photographs and talking to Dr. Davis and looking at the microscopic slides, there is no evidence of malnutrition or dehydration.
"And at one point Dr. Joan Wood referred to numerous abrasions on McPherson as cockroach bites.
"DR. MICHAEL BADEN: Clearly they're not cockroach bites. I've seen a lot of them in New York City, in the Bronx, in my 40 years of doing this work. Um, they're scrape marks."
>From Channel 28:
"Well, the controversy surrounding the Church of Scientology and the death of one of its members continued today. Two medical experts spoke out in support of the church, claiming Lisa McPherson could not have been saved by anyone. Today, a pair of forensic pathologists came and argued in favor of the church and saying that instead of going by public opinion, medical science should be used in exactly explaining what happened to Lisa McPherson.
"DR. CYRIL WECHT: The fact of the matter is, with all due respect to Dr. Wood, she was wrong in her diagnoses.
"DR. MICHAEL BADEN: Malnutrition and dehydration are not present in Ms. McPherson. Looking at the photographs and talking to Dr. Davis and looking at the microscopic slides, there is no evidence of malnutrition or dehydration."
Stacy Young reported this week that Scientology was preparing papers to file in the Lisa McPherson criminal case.
"OSA called a mandatory meeting today of all FCCIs (FCCI is how they refer to Flag public pcs -- it stands for Flag Case Completion Intensive) to order them to sign an amicus brief stating that they have had great benefits from their Scientology auditing and that the state of Florida is discriminating against them by putting their 'religion' on trial. This is then going to be filed in the McPherson criminal case as a way to put pressure on the judge to dismiss the case."
>From the St. Petersburg Times on March 9th:
"A group of more than 200 Scientologists says the criminal prosecution against the Church of Scientology has hurt them personally, and they are asking a judge to dismiss the case. In affidavits filed Wednesday in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court, many church members said the criminal case stemming from the 1995 death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson has prompted their non-Scientologist relatives, friends and co-workers to question their involvement in the church, shun them, ridicule them or express concern about their safety.
"The affidavits include the statements of Scientologists from Clearwater and many other parts of the country. Mary DeMoss, former owner of a children's acting school in Clearwater, said several non-Scientologist parents pulled their children out of the school after the Lisa McPherson investigation began, saying they feared she would kidnap or brainwash them. DeMoss said the problem caused the school to close. Several Scientologist parents said their children had been ostracized in local schools, and one man complained the case had resulted in a rift between him and his 85-year-old mother, a Methodist. Another Scientologist, Kimberly Marchand, said her best friend of 14 years refused to attend her wedding at the Fort Harrison Hotel because she feared for her safety.
"One of Moxon and Kobrin's central points was that the Scientology staffers who kept McPherson at the Fort Harrison were engaged in an 'entirely religious' practice called the 'Introspection Rundown,' which was devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to calm a person in the throes of psychosis before administering Scientology counseling called 'auditing.' Moxon and Kobrin said prosecutors are attacking that practice, in effect forcing Scientologists to get psychiatric or psychological care, which is against their religion."
A transcript from a video of Mike McClaughry was posted to a.r.s this
week. Mike claims to have conducted dirty tricks operations in the
"My name is Mike McClaughry, I'm a Scientologist I got into Scientology in late 1968 and early 1969 I went on staff at the San francisco Org. I read all the various materials, for the intelligence bureau that you might see on the Internet, and I would have personal knowledge that the issues in those hat packs are correct and were the ones that were studied and were the ones that we used and applied in our daily work. My understand was that the issues were primarily from LRH, some of the issues had nobody's name on it, but, just by the way they were written I assumed they were from LRH.
One was called Intelligence, It's Role and another one, I don't even know if it even had a name, but it told us how to do Black Intelligence Operations. The basic idea was that intelligence was supposed to be correct information and form what was called an estimate of the situation. An estimate of the situation was not something something that was cast in stone or something that you could necessarily prove in court, but based on as much information about the enemy as you could acertain, you were supposed to be able to determine if there was a situation with the enemy that needed to be handled or Whether there was no situation.
"Basically you were supposed to be able to perform a prediction. Like in any war situation, you infiltrate the enemy, you determine its size its strength, what its next move is going to be, if he's gonna make one. The whole idea of the estimate of situation, which was the primary product of the intelligence unit, was to make a prediction. What's the enemy was going do? When? Where? What strength? Having made that prediction, then intelligence was supposed to handle the situation before it ever happened. And any time an attack came on the organization which was unpredicted it was considered an intelligence failure. All somebody has to do is criticize Scientology, and they would be considered an 'enemy', for instance if they wrote a book that was negative on it in any form, if they got on a TV show or radio show, you didn't even have to go that far they could just talking to their neighbors and we heard of it."
Protest / Revenge Summary
"Louise" protested in Canberra, Australia this week.
"There were three and a half of us in all. Two signs and four different types of flyers. We proceeded to 'borg corner' where Anna Dethridge likes to stand with her clipboard accosting passing people with her 'Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?' She saw me and my two co-picketers approaching with our signs and piles of leaflets. She turned her heels and ran back into the borg, returning soon after with hubby, Dean. She said that I was only there because I was upset about something I had 'lost.' She also said that I was going to lose something soon that began with a b and ends with an e. (My bike?) I laughed and said something like 'Oh now you're talking in riddles'.
"We picketed for about an hour, on the corner, outside the org and in the middle of the pedestrian mall. We kept trying to leave, but the public kept wanting to ask more questions and at least half of the leaflets I gave out were to people who approached me and asked for one. The others I gave out to people after asking 'Do you want to find out about Scientology's space alien scam?'"
Louise was visited by a Scientology private investigator this week.
"This morning I was visited by a Private Investigator representing the Church of Scientology. We discussed my motives for my actions in regards to the Church. He also visited two other critics in Canberra who wisely chose not to discuss anything with him. His name is Roger Middleton and he told me he was from Melbourne. He is a retired police officer in his fifties. Even though I was friendly to him, I am still reporting the incident to the police. I will also be reporting the four phone calls from the residence of the DSA."
"Realpch" reported a revenge picket at her home.
"Two of the kids told me that 'that guy' (otherwise known as the Loudmouth) was here. I thanked them and got my camera, but when I got outside, the Loudmouth was walking away down the street. The boys told me he was carrying some flyers, but I didn't see any picket sign. A few minutes later, there was another knock. 'He's back!' said the kids. And there he was, with his car and his picket sign. The kids told me, 'We called the cops!' and I went back in for my camera. When I got back outside, the Loudmouth was getting in his car with his picket sign. He uttered one menace: 'You'd better cut it out Peaches.'"
Sean Ostler protested twice this week in Salt Lake City.
"I arrived at 12:30 pm and noticed that the org looked like it was deserted. I started walking back and forth in front of the org. I picketed until 1 pm. I saw no activity within the org. No one came out to handle me. A couple of staffers came and went from the parking lot and I got dirty looks from the following individuals: Don Jarvis, Senior C/S SLC, Dana Rock, Course Supervisor SLC, Hazel Balken, C/S of the soon-to-be-defunct New Life Utah."
"I arrived at the Salt Lake org at 1 pm and saw that Deana was already there, sitting in her car. Deana and I began walking back and forth on the sidewalk in front of the org. With two of us picketing, we got a lot of response from people driving by. Almost everyone was looking at our signs and we got plenty of thumbs up, waves, smiles, laughs, shouts, and honks.
"There was absolutely no 'handling' from the org. About the only activity we witnessed was a staffer or two using the receptionist phone. At one point, Judy Steed, the ED, sat at the receptionist desk and watched us for about 10 minutes. I think all the response we were getting really had her in a snit. We decided to stop picketing at 2:30 because we were both kind of tired and because we had already accomplished so much that day. It was a very successful picket."
Vernon Cain protested at the Buffalo org this week.
"What a mess. Wood clad over the side window. Most all front and all of the side windows, one boarded over, are blocked with yellowing kaki colored paper wrinkled and buckled. Most of the second floor is abandoned while the third is nearly vacant while the entire top floor is clearly entirely abandoned. A short stout lady with dark hair came out to 'handle me' at least 5 times. She was either on the phone frantically waving her arms about or outside taking pictures of me and my two assistants.
"As I pulled my picket sign out of the trunk and turned to see a squad car slow as it passed I showed it to him, '$cientology UFO CULT' and he signaled with a thumbs up and smiled as I pointed to the main entrance a few car lengths ahead of my vehicle. The stout older lady with a perpetual cigarette and camera, came out to 'handle my objection' to $cientology. First she guffaws me and gives me the usual TR-Lie about the Hubbard Venus Story, Xenu, OTs, 75 million year old Hawaii, the chain locker, rat bastard lawyers, the OJ Dream Team, and then she spotted my sign's note about LISA. My sign says 'Don't ask why was LISA Killed?' She was beside herself with trying to get me to ack her jubilant enthusiasm over the press release about the corner's report. A squad car pulls up to be greeted by this stout woman running out to chatter and point to me. They start to tell me well it is OK if you picket back and forth but you can not talk while you are out here. You will have to be quiet or I will have to arrest you. I asked well, what about free speech? He starts to quote me the law about disturbances. I won't be causing any disturbances. May I picket? 'Sure' he said, 'Go ahead. But keep it down.'
"Several minutes later another squad car pulls up and stops, and again the stout woman juts over to the curb to chat. The officer begins to read me the riot act of sorts. He wants no trouble from the lady inside as a result of my actions. I agree the cult is a dangerous thing and I will be careful not to disturb them. Another squad car pulls up out front to be greeted by the stout one again leaping out to reach the curb first. This is the fourth squad car I have greeted and the third time she has called 911 to get them out on an emergency basis. 'You really can not talk while you are out here.' I ask about Free Speech and he cautions me of all the exact details of causing a public disturbance and he will take me in if I insist on causing continued public disturbances. But what about my using my picket chants. Picket Chants are OK. You can not yell into someone's face. OK Watch me I will do my thing for a minute here, '$cientology, Space Alien Cult! UFO SCAM! Hubbard Lied! Check it out see www.xenu.net!' I turned and asked how's that? They both smiled and showed thumbs up. I added what about like this, as a bus passed, I raised the sign and waved and raised my slogan a notch or two to counter the din of the diesel engines. The both nodded approval. The two officers ended with a note of support and drive off. As I went back by the main window to signal the end of my picket I noticed that the stout one was on the phone flaying about again."
"Cher" protested in Washington, DC this week.
"Merk and I arrived at Starbucks across from fcdc around 12:30pm today. Arnie was sitting there waiting for us. Bunnyann showed up next, followed immediately by zinj. Merk & I crossed the street to the b0rg and we were immediately met by Sylvia Stanard. First thing she said was, 'Arnie posted on ARS there would be multiple pickets this weekend, so I have been here all day waiting for you stupid people to get here.' Arnie and zinj went to the car to get more signs for everyone, and Bunny joined Merk and I.
"We started handing out flyers right away to anyone who would take one, telling people how $cientology was a greedy money grubbing cult. I had made a sign that was like a traffic warning sign, yellow, diamond shaped, with black trim and lettering, 'DANGER CULT ZONE' on one side and the UFO Cult warning sign on the other. It seemed to be a big hit with the passing traffic, as it attracted a lot of attention, with people rolling down their windows asking for flyers from their cars. Merk handed out lots of flyers and talked to lots of people, Arnie did his ever popular 'It's worse than you think' and 'NO OTS There' thing, handing out flyers, zinj pointed out the 'space cooties' quite a bit, Bunny handled car traffic. Today was the first time I was able to picket without my wheelchair.
"There was a Mayor's convention in DC this weekend, so we had a few people come by with 'Mayor' tags on their coats. Naturally, we made a point to look out for them. We were not handled much today for some reason. Thierry took my pic 3 times before he got it right. Sylvia came up to take my pic also, but it seems her batteries went dead."
Gregg Hagglund reported on a protest at the Toronto org.
"Picketers: 10am to 1pm - Artemis, AndroidCat, Gregg Hagglund and ex-Scns Mike Argue and Dave Palter. 2pm to 5pm - AndroidCat, DeepWog, Gregg Hagglund, ex-Scns Dave Palter and Nan Maclean. Flyer Count: 550+. Hired Duty Officer issues two cautions: Mike Argue cautioned that saying 'F---er' very loudly could get him a ticket for disturbing the peace. Dave Palter cautioned about 'unwanted spontaneous hugging' of a Co$ public. Hired Duty Officer opines Court Order needed to halt Co$ new aggressive 'Picket Chicken' efforts.
"As I approached the lot, who should be waiting for me, but the Repugnant Mr. Ramsay. He is standing about 15 feet in front of my car. He has a stare on him that sends chills up my spine. I become afraid. A possible lunatic fanatic with apparent self delusions of grandeur, charged with 'destroying utterly' an Enemy so as to protect the maundering of another madman who had proposed SPs and others, would be 'disposed of quietly and without sorrow'.
"52 Division answered the phone. I briefly introduce myself, the days plans and detail my current situation with Ramsay and my desire to avoid a violent confrontation. He looks away and then looks back at me, visibly impatient. I describe Ramsay and what he is doing. Should I back away and leave, I ask? No, I am advised. Unwise. Stay in the car, look relaxed and stay on the phone. A patrol car is being sent. Ramsay is becoming more agitated. Two squad cars park near my position. Two Officers, a man and a woman come to speak with me. The Officers agree, given my information is correct, Mr. Ramsay should be advised of the criteria of Criminal Harassment."
Phil Scott protested in San Francisco.
"I arrived about 12:10 and began picketing with my sign that has the wrong URL on it www.xenu.com instead of .net. About 12:15 Jeff Liss came by with two lady friends. He sets up his $500 tripod and then his $2.000 sony digital movie camera on top, and begins getting shots of me picketing. The ladies were handing out xenu fliers.
"We had no handlers, a few newbies came in, a couple listened to what I had to say. One lady said 'well they are treating ME fine' and I told her that they do that a the lower level orgs, but that it gets crazier and criminal at the top. We wrapped up a bit before 2pm. phr and I had lunch at the mexican place."
Tilman Hausherr reported being sued by two Scientologists for a post made
to a German newsgroup.
"Two german scientology organisations have sued me for a post I made in the german scientology newsgroup. However the lawsuit is only about $600 . This has to do with the fact that I did already sign a 'cease and desist' letter before, but declined to pay the legal costs associated with the letter, because IMO it wasn't libelous. This means that they can sue me only for the legal costs, which is these $600 plus the legal costs for these $600. The court has already hinted that it considers these costs to be too high, because in Germany legal costs are calculated differently than in the US, the 'worst' that can happen to me is that I have to pay about $800."
NOW magazine published a story on an article on Scientology in the Town
Crier magazine and the disappearance of Al Buttnor from the Toronto org.
"This week the church got some favourable spin, on the front-page, no less, of the Town Crier. Acting editor Ken Shular writes about clean-up efforts of the Church's 'drug-free marshals' in the Yonge and Isabella neighbourhood in the wake of two recent shootings at clubs in the area. The front-page colour photo of shiny, happy, garbage-bag totting scientologists also came compliments of the church.
"Shuler says he knows something about the church's controversial past. He was coming up on deadline and 'hard up' for a front-page story when it came walking right in the front door in the form of scientologist Tim Bewcyk. 'It's kind of a strange coincidence,' he says. 'I don't think they were expecting anything near the coverage they got. They just caught me on the right day.'
"In other Scientology news, Church spokesperson Al Buttnor, it seems, won't be fielding media calls for a while. He's disappeared. Buttnor, depending on who you talk to in the church, is either on vacation, on a special project, or on a sabbatical."