Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 4, Issue 20
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
Scandal magazine Star reported this week that Scientology celebrity
Kirstie Alley is using Scientology courses to teach her fiancee.
"The twice-divorced 'Veronica's Closet' star gave a lecture on how to have a successful marriage at a Scientology retreat in Clearwater, Fla. - and hubby-to-be Wilder was front and center, says an insider. 'Kirstie talked about how to ensure that a Scientologist has a happy and health marriage,' reveals an insider. 'She stressed that a Scientologist should marry another Scientologist, because it lessens the risk of divorce.
"'Kirstie's talk lasted for only about 30 minutes but she unveiled some offbeat Scientology theories about what makes a marriage work. One of her main points was the importance of not having a 'communication lag.' 'That's if you and your mate are asked the same question, but take a different amount of time to answer it. Kirstie seems to place a lot of importance on that.' She added that even if a marriage is in trouble, it can be 'processed' back to happiness through the teachings of Scientology.
"'This is why we're spending so much time in Clearwater this summer. We're taking courses to improve our personal values and prepare for marriage.' Wilder, 35 , signed up for an entry-level Scientology course at 44-year-old Kirstie's urging."
Another scandal magasine, the Globe, reports that Alley and Wilder have separated, and that her fellow Scientology celebrities have offered marital advice.
"Kirstie Alley has walked out on her kinky younger lover James Wilder and the two secret dungeons he has in his Hollywood Hills mansion that would make the Marquis de Sade blush, say sources. And now insiders say pals John Travolta and Tom Cruise are urging the 'Veronica's Closet' star to go back to her prior life with ex-hubby Parker Stevenson.
"Sources who have visited 36-year-old Wilder's four-bedroom, four-bath villa reveal it 'looks like a vampire's den.' But the most bizarre rooms are the two chambers hidden in the basement, says a pal who visited the kinky pleasure palace. 'One is a torture chamber where James stores his collection of weapons including guns, axes, knives, machetes and chain saws. The other room is a secret parlor complete with handcuffs.'"
NEWS Magazine published an article on August 5 on Free Zone former
Scientologists in Austria.
"Ratten is an idyllic spot in Steyermark. Ralph Hilton's house is even more idyllic on the side of a hill down from the village. And if everything goes according to the plan of the Englishman who immigrated to Austria two years ago, a new Scientology center will be established here in the next few weeks. However, the name 'Scientology' will probably not come up: Ralph Hilton is a 'Squirrel' - that is how the official Church of Scientology describes its apostate members.
"'We would like to train and spread the true technology of Scientology without being subject to the pressure and control of the Church,' explained Hilton. 'Our offerings are many times cheaper than those which Scientology Austria charges.' Scientology spokesman Andreas Boeck strongly doubts the success the success of the dumping program: 'Anybody who turns away from the church will not make any spiritual progress.'
"Heidrun Beer, Hilton's Scientology comrade, has obtained for her 'Spiritual Research Workgroup,' another 'splinter group' from the 'mother church,' the internet address of www.scientology.at. She obtained this before Scientology was able to. She will not have to wait long before she is sued, and Beer has already been declared to be a 'Suppressive Person,' which includes being an enemy and an obstacle to spiritual freedom. What enrages Boeck: 'If one would like to use the word 'sect' in connection with Scientology, then he should use it on these people who think that they are leasing truth even though they have removed themselves from Hubbard's teachings.' Boeck's warning: 'It is not our style to publicly discuss mistakes of former members, but that depends upon their continued behavior.'"
An affidavit was posted to a.r.s this week by Robert Cipriano, and filed
in a libel lawsuit by attorney Graham Berry against Scientology attorney
Kendrick Moxon. Some highlights:
"As of July 12th 1999, a certain set of circumstances and events have transpired that have caused me to write this Declaration. The events surround the introduction of Church Of Scientology private investigators, attorneys, officials and followers into my life since May 4th 1994. The circumstances and events surround 'threats', 'bribery', 'intimidation', 'duress', 'dead agenting', 'fair game', 'black propaganda', 'slander', and 'witness tampering'.
"Since May 4th 1994, my personal and professional life have been destroyed due to the acts of The Church Of Scientology and their Office Of Special Affairs, including the acts of their lawyers, Mr. Kendrick Moxon of Moxon & Kobrin, Mr. Sandy Rosen of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker and numerous officials and followers including: Kendrick Moxon, Esq.; Gary Soter, Esq.; Steven Hayes, Esq.; Timothy Bowles, Esq.; Elliot Abelson, Esq.; John Ryan; Eugene Ingram; Judy Ross; Ken Long; Isadore Chait; Rev. Glenn Barton; Michael Rinder; David Miscavige; Erla Hawkins and Joanne Weaton.
"On May 4th 1994, I was paid a visit by a Mr. Eugene Ingram and his female accessory at my home. Mr. Ingram presented himself as a Los Angeles Police Detective and presented a Detective's Shield upon addressing me at my apartment door. I was under the impression that I was going to be arrested by both of them for the May's Landing, New Jersey, criminal charge, as I had not surrendered to the New Jersey legal system. Upon entrance into my apartment, Mr. Ingram immediately established that he was aware of my situation in New Jersey and stated that, 'You should be careful and be very helpful to me!' It was a natural presumption for me to conclude that if I did not assist him in any all manners that he would arrest me and take me to New Jersey before I could retain legal representation.
"He asked me what I knew about Mr. Berry's gay lifestyle. I stated that I knew he lived a gay lifestyle; that he had numerous male partners who were young 'boy next door' types. Mr. Ingram started to ask seriously deranged questions. For example: 'You saw Graham Berry with underage boys - 12 year olds, right?' 'Graham was a cocaine addict, right?' and 'Graham Berry was a really sick faggot, right?'
"On May 5th 1994, Mr. Ingram visited me at my office at 245 Park Avenue, where he presented a Declaration that had numerous exaggerated statements and fabrications. He took my basic statements and painted a different picture than I had presented the day before. I told him that this was not what I had said, and he instantaneously became furious and belligerent with me again, because I dared to challenge him on the ages of the males involved with Mr. Berry. He said, 'The next time you open your door at home it is not going to be me, but New Jersey, now sign it.' I signed it and asked him if he was going back to Los Angeles and he said yes, he would be going back to Los Angeles after he spoke with Troy Glick.
"On or about March 26th 1998, Mr. Moxon and I talked about my re-entering the work force. Mr. Moxon suggested Earthlink Network, Inc., in Pasadena. Earthlink Network is a Church Of Scientology company. Mr. Moxon contacted Mr. Sky Dayton, Chairman of Earthlink, who referred him to Mr. George Williams, Director of Dial-Up Sales. An interview was arranged, and I was hired March 27th 1998, even though they were not hiring at that time. Earthlink created a new sales management position for a girl named Jennifer so they could move her up creating an opening for me in the sales department.
"Mr. Hamra said, 'The Church of Scientology now had a database of information on every subscriber which included names, credit card info., credit reports, telephone info., computer info., who had referred them to Earthlink and who were their previous ISP providers.' Mr. Hamra told me about the 'other Earthlink building' which was next door on New York Avenue in Pasadena. Mr. Hamra told me that the other building was high security and is where Earthlink and the Church of Scientology did all the monitoring of the internet. Mr. Hamra was always very interested in my testimony in Berry v. Cipriano. It became clear to me that he was reporting what I was saying to other in Scientology. I received many incoming sales calls while at Earthlink from individuals who would ask, 'Are you a bunch of Scientologists?' We were trained to never admit that we were involved with the Church Of Scientology.
"Mr. Moxon prepared me to answer questions in my Deposition scheduled for July 1st and 2nd 1998. Mr. Moxon told me to lie about the ages of Mr. Berry's intimate relationships, and to antagonize him and get Mr. Berry to say things he might normally not say. Mr. Moxon told me to get Mr. Berry 'pissed off' at the Deposition. Mr. Rosen told me he thought I was the best witness he had ever had and I should think about being a professional witness around the country.
"In early January 1999, I was called to a meeting at Mr. Moxon's office where Mr. Ingram was waiting for me. I learned from Mr. Ingram, in front of Mr. Moxon, that he and a group of Scientologists had plastered Mr. Berry's neighborhood with hate flyers, advising everyone in his neighborhood that Mr. Berry was a pedophile. Mr. Ingram also told me about having spies and operatives in a gay nightclub called Numbers in Los Angeles. He also told me, that there was a young man named Mr. Hurtado who Mr. Ingram had found who would say that he went home with Mr. Berry and a couple underage boys one night. Further that Mr. Berry drugged the boys and had sex with them in front of Mr. Hurtado. Mr. Ingram also stated that Mr. Berry was exchanging legal services for sex with this Mr. Hurtado person and that Mr. Ingram was going to file a Bar Complaint."
The movie Bowfinger opened in U.S. theaters this week, including a parody
of Scientology, the Mind Head cult. Favorable reviews were posted to a.r.s
from newspapers across the country. From the Village Voice:
"Bowfinger, the character Steve Martin plays in the new comedy of the same name, is a particularly contemporary figure--the ridiculously persistent independent filmmaker. Like the overreaching Heather of The Blair Witch Project and the dogged subject of the upcoming doc American Movie, untalented Bobby Bowfinger hustles his way towards Sundance like a vine spiraling to catch the sun.
"Toward the end, director Frank Oz moves the show up to Griffith Observatory for the manic Chubby Rain climax, but Bowfinger itself never hits a note of high hilarity. The genially mediocre direction blunts whatever bite the script might have had. Oz and Martin are mischievous in sending up Scientology but, as a Hollywood satire, Bowfinger doesn't begin to approach Albert Brooks's The Muse, which opens in two weeks."
>From the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel:
"Steve Martin has the kind of wide-faced grin that suggests he's been up to something naughty, but he isn't going to tell you about it. At the moment, he's dodging questions about Bowfinger, his new comedy, which opens Friday. Martin plays Bobby Bowfinger, a small-time, bankrupt, aspiring movie director. In a last desperate bid for fame, he schemes to fool audiences into thinking that Kit Ramsey, the biggest action star in movies, is starring in the director's new film 'Chubby Rain,' a science-fiction low-budgeter.
"The film has its Hollywood movie star involved with a controlling religious group led by Terence Stamp. The man of action doesn't make a move without consulting its leaders. Is the movie really referring to Scientology, the religion followed by such box-office heavyweights as Tom Cruise and John Travolta? 'Scientology?' Martin says, grinning. 'That's just one of the thousands of things amidst the melting pot that is Hollywood. You don't hear the word in the movie, do you? It's not there. But some of the leaders of Scientology have seen the movie. They laughed. They showed a sense of humor about it.'"
Letters to the editor in the St. Petersburg Times continue to support
Clearwater's controversial city manager, Mike Roberto. The supportive
letters seem to be part of a campaign by local Scientologists. Web sites
listed below are the "Scientologists On-Line" pages of the letter writers.
"A good many letters have been printed recently in the Times in support of Clearwater City Manager Michael Roberto. The names of some of the authors of these fulsome praises seemed familiar to me, so I did a little checking and found a large number of them came from Church of Scientology members. Since Scientology members would not be undertaking a letter-writing campaign without official management sanction, this can only mean that Roberto has received their official benediction.
"Robert Peterson, St. Petersburg
"I have lived in Clearwater since 1988, and it wasn't until City Manager Michael Roberto came on the scene that I actually started to see Clearwater showing signs of coming alive. He may have made some blunders, but no one is going to bat 100 percent. I can accept some mistakes as along as improvement goes with it. He seems to be accomplishing much more than the last city manager. Instead of attacking him, let's support him so he has no distractions.
"Herb Zerden, Clearwater
"I object to the Times' negative reporting on City Manager Mike Roberto. For some reason, the paper chooses to emphasize the negative aspects of the people and institutions in our city while ignoring the positive. In the case of Mike Roberto, there are many positive aspects. In his short tenure as city manager, he has brought about tangible improvements in our infrastructure and employment base while uniting many of the factions that formerly crippled efforts at change. There are many citizens in this city who believe in Mike Roberto's vision. We are weary of the Times' negative journalism. Progress, consensus, positive change and unity are vital to Clearwater's future; Mike Roberto forwards these things. Back his vision for Clearwater's future, don't push it back into its stultified past.
"Ellen Edmondson, Clearwater
"I am disappointed about the Times' recent negative articles on Mike Roberto. As city manager for Clearwater he has done more for this city than any other public official I am aware of. Whether it be beautification, attracting business or simply bringing the citizens of the community together, he needs to be recognized for his tremendous contributions.
"Matt Feshbach, Clearwater
"I am not surprised the Times is knocking our city manager. He's the first guy to come along in quite a while who was forward thinking and didn't try to keep Clearwater in the 1950s. He has accomplished a lot with what he had to contend with. I've seen the Times on a regular basis try to negate any positive action that really tried to forward the city. The paper talks as if it has the best interests of the city in mind, but having lived here for 12 years, I've seen it be on the wrong side of the fence too often. It's almost a given for me, whoever you support is the exact opposite of what we need. I'm for Roberto.
"Marlo Kimmel, Clearwater
Taz reported on August 9th that Scientology organized a protest against
the World Psychiatric Congress meeting in Hamburg.
"1,500 adherents of the 'Commission for Violations of Psychiatry against Human Rights,' which was founded by Scientologists, demonstrated in Hamburg against the World Psychiatric Congress, which was taking place at the time in the CCH [Hamburg Convention Center].
"'Strap them in and fry their brains, woe to him who dares complain,' they chanted and 'We are not crazy about electroshock.' Using the U.S. model, the demonstrators carried placards or wore t-shirts with the slogan 'Psychiatry Kills.' The procession was led by a coach with coffins. A giant needle was meant to bring attention to the use of psycho-pharmaceuticals. Speakers strongly denounced countless people being held daily against their will in psychiatric institutions and being sedated with pharmaceuticals. Even children were alleged to be pumped full of medication."
>From Hamburger Abendblatt on August 7th:
"The Work Group on Scientology of the Hamburg Interior agency gave warning on the Scientology Organizations's 'Commission for Violations of Psychiatry against Human Rights' (KVPM). The group addresses grievances and human rights violations in psychiatry. On Saturday the Commission has called for a demonstration from Hachmannplatz to the CCH [Hamburg Convention Center]. The occasion is the 11th World Psychiatric Congress.
"'The KVPM wants to make its way into the CCH and demand that the congress participants sign a resolution,' said Ursula Caberta of the WG Scientology. She presumed that anybody who does not sign will be photographed and presented by Scientology in a negative light. 'Guests of our city will be publicly ridiculed,' said Ursula Caberta. Therefore Hamburg's Scientology opponents will be on station during the demonstration with information booths on the Moorweide and will talk about the activities of the organization. Among them will be two high-ranking former members from the USA. Husband and wife Hana and Jerry Whitfield have traveled from Florida for the occasion. The 58 year old woman was in Scientology for 20 years. 'Many are not able to understand what pulls people into this kind of organization,' she said. Her explanation: it is like falling in love and then from love comes blindness to reality. That is how she accounts for years of headache, deep depression and suicidal tendencies."
Nuernberger Nachrichten reported on August 6th that the Sect Commissioner in Fuerth is warning against Scientology front groups.
"Scientology is out looking for children in the area: to lure them in, tutoring courses are used which are being offered by the newly founded institution, 'Help' (help with education and learning problems) in Fuerth. Concealed behind the institute is the 'Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE)', the department, according to the Federal Assembly's Enquete Commissioner, which is responsible in the psycho-concern for education and training. 'Help' is directed by Fuerth businessman Andreas Weigmann, who is listed in internal Scientology catalogs as a highly decorated member.
"Sect experts state that the only goals of these organizations are to spread the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard among the people, to recruit new members and to make money.
"According to Ludwig Lanzhammer, sect commissioner of the Catholic city church in Nuernberg, 'Anybody who drops their child off at 'Help' for tutoring has delivered him to the Scientologists.' And that is said to be particularly dangerous because they are tuned in to detecting emergency situations and then shamelessly exploiting them. Former members report that children, once in the clutches of Scientology, have their ongoing relations to their parents encumbered if the parents have not already been gotten to. Children are taught that the work for the organization, which is striving for world domination, gets first priority.
"Scientology apparently also has absolute priority with Andreas Weigmann, the Fuerth businessman. Documents available to our newspaper show that the jeweler has been taking expensive courses for years for the L. Ron Hubbard prescribed 'Way to Happiness' in preparation for becoming an immortal superman, called a 'Thetan.' He is even listed as a 'Patron Meritorious' on the Scientology honor roll. This title is granted to those who have donated at least $250,000."
Grady Ward posted to a.r.s a court filing, opposing Scientology's demand
for compensation for a hearing they claim Grady canceled at the last
"Contrary to the false allegation of RTC, Grady Ward did not cancel the hearing scheduled in the court of Chief Magistrate Edward A. Infante scheduled for July 12, 1999 and was in fact ready to proceed telephonically, if permitted by the court, or by written statement for the record.
"Underscoring the frivolous nature of this motion, RTC misstates several events while at the same time did not bother to conduct any sort of investigation that would have avoided this fresh burden to the court and to the IFP defendant, neglected to inform the court that they, not Grady Ward, is the only party to have been sanctioned in this litigation, and have been engaging in a systematic pattern of economic harassment of Grady Ward including a fraud on the court assisted by attorney Samuel D. Rosen.
"Grady Ward did not cancel the hearing scheduled for July 12, 1999 in the court of Judge Infante, even though he discovered on Sunday, July 11, 1999 as he was beginning the six hour trip to San Jose, California from his home that his automobile had become unreliable. Grady Ward then promptly informed the court both by leaving a phone message for the courtroom deputy Ms. Andrea Hollis that the hearing should go ahead without his physical presence. Rather than canceling, Grady Ward requested to attend telephonically."
Scientology's Gold Base near Hemet, California was host to the opening of
a new movie studio, according to an article in the Press-Enterprise on
"The promise of a free dinner in an estate-like atmosphere, plus live entertainment, were enough to entice Barbara Moke to spend her Saturday evening behind the gates of Church of Scientology's newest film studio. Moke, a volunteer at the Hemet Police Department, said her office received an invitation to the opening of The Castle, the sprawling film studio operated by Golden Era Productions in Gilman Hot Springs. 'This is the perfect place for party, ' she said, while partaking of the buffet dinner on The Castle grounds.
"To celebrate the opening of the $7 million studio, Golden Era threw a party, and invited roughly 900 area leaders and members of the public to attend. The exterior of the 35mm film studio is designed to resemble a Scottish castle, complete with turrets and battlements. Political leaders from the San Jacinto Valley joined Michael Rinder, a board member of the Church of Scientology International, in cutting the bright red ribbon tied across the stage at the front of the Castle. Several local officials praised the church for its involvement in community activities. 'I would like to say on behalf of the city of Hemet, Golden Era Productions has really been a partner of ours,' said Hemet City Councilwoman Robin Lowe.
"Films with titles like 'The Solo Auditor' and 'The History of the E-Meter,' are designed to teach members how to apply the principles of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Tour guides escorted people into the audition and dressing rooms, and into the massive soundstage. After the tour, guests were invited to mingle on the grounds, and be entertained by Celtic Gold, an Irish dance troupe, and the Golden Era Musicians."
Andreas Heldal-Lund spoke at a convention in Oslo this week on the topic
"The lecture took 2 hours and there were about 3-40 people attending. I started with some disclaimers and a couple examples of how Hubbard portrayed his adolescence years, his grandfathers ranch and being the first Eagle Scout. Then went on to his writer career and OTO. Explained the basic concepts of Dianetics and went on with how CoS was started and BT's etc.
"There were no Scientologists who identified themselves during the lecture, but I suspect the guy on row two who tried to 'secretly' film the event represented them somehow. There were some interesting questions after worth, but no critical ones directed at me or my lecture. When I was packing up my gear I was informed that the Scientologists was outside giving out some information. They were 3 or 4, I was so happy when I recognized Matthias Fosse, the Information Secretary for CoS in Oslo (OSA). They were giving out this glossy 126 pages brochure about Hubbard with 3 sheets of paper about me and some rebuttal of claims they assumed I had made in the lecture.
"Page 1 was titled 'Real heathens does not like religions - How a heathen becomes an 'expert in religion' over night'. Starts off with claiming criticism of religion is the same as intolerance, which efficiently shows their true face and lack of tolerance themselves. The page is signed by Matthias and he goes on claiming I do not find any good things about religion, which is just silly.
"They also included two pages from issue two of ASI Magazine with an interview with Dave Wolverton. But maybe even funnier was my initial post to ARS announcing this lecture. Matthias removed half of my signature line which included the URL's to Clambake and my personal home page and the end quote. But he forgot to remove the URL from the From header, revealing the www.xenu.net address. Great to see OSA spreading this for me at their cost!"
Protest / Regenge Summary
Deana Holmes reported a visit to her home by Scientologists this week.
"I wasn't at home this evening, but I had a neighbor waiting up for me when I got home. She wanted to tell me that I had had visitors. Apparently a man and a woman showed up. The man hung out by the street, while the woman came up to my neighbor's apartment and knocked. My neighbor S. identified her as one of my picketers from last year. The woman said she was from the Church of $cientology. S. got very unhappy at this point and said that it was none of her business whether or not I lived next door or not, but that the Co$ had been told not to come on the property and that she should not be there. S. ran the woman off."
"Mr. Smith" and "Fier" protested at the Canberra org this week.
"I met Hemi at the library across the road from the org. He brought the signs, and some flyers, while I had the 'space alien scam', and 'Insane cult' ones. Armed with signs and flyers, we took to walking up and down in front of the org, dishing out flyers here and there. Took about 15 or so minutes until the clams appeared, and I think they were surprised that we were there.
"I was shadowed by this one guy constantly, who kept engaging me in conversation. I was also lectured on the evils of the Psych's, how they created all the drugs, and the problems of drugs, and how drugs never help anything. I was criticized constantly about my lack of knowledge of the tech involved, and how I could have the nerve to picket a group that does so much good.
"After about an hour and a bit of the picket I drifted to the corner of the interchange, and stood there for rest of the picket, surrounded by 3 or 4 clams. By this stage, they had there own signs, and used them to try and cover mine, but I kept moving it, until I got sick of it, and lent on it for a while."
"Signs: Scientology: Church of the Holy Lawsuit' and 'L. Ron Hubbard was CONVICTED of FRAUD. Scientology hates free speech! and Scientology is a bait-and-switch SCAM.
"About 5 times the clammies told us that they had called the police, that because we didn't have a 'registration' to picket, that the police were going to tell us to stop. I was laughing a bit as I repeatedly explained we did not need any such 'registration', that the police had already told me they would be driving past a bit (for OUR safety) and that we were free to picket as much as we wanted. We received an excellent response from the majority of the public walking past. Several stopped to chat, explaining their experiences with this cult, or congratulating us that someone was doing something about them. One fellow whom I'd been talking happily to, was given the heavy verbal clam treatment by a female staff member. She kept asking him 'So, how many people have YOU gotten off drugs?' 'How many people have you helped lately?' and irrelevant questions like that.
"I placed my sign against the bus info column on the corner to change the tape, and alas! Some skummy bugger stole it while I was distracted. I did stomp up into the Org, and search around a bit, asking for my sign. Around 1:30pm we decided to leave, and I just *knew* they were going to follow us, but patiently asked them not to. 2 of them did, with their inferior signs and all. We then rang the police, explaining the situation. The police said, that after we told them once more to stop, then if they didn't, a squad car would come along and basically give these harassing clams a reality check/ good talking to. I told the clams the situation, and with a few sarcastic 'Oh, I am SOOO Scared!!' remarks, they left, and we parted ways."
The San Jose Mercury News reported this week that Scientology collected
school supplies for underprivileged children
"The Church of Scientology is teaming up with the Bayshore Community Resource Center in East Palo Alto to launch a back-to-school supplies drive to benefit underprivileged children in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. The drive, which runs through Sept. 5, is for school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, three-ring binders, paper, pens, glue and backpacks for boys and girls of all ages. Drop-offs may be made at the Bayshore Community Resource Center, 2277 University Ave., East Palo Alto, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or at any Bay Area Church of Scientology."
NOW Magazine reported on the close ties between Scientology and the film
"Screen star John Travolta, Scientology's most famous promoter, has embarked on a film adaptation of Battlefield Earth, the doomsday sci-fi thriller penned by the church's messianic founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Travolta's name is sure to bring box-office success and raise the profile of Scientology, not to mention boost the sale of Hubbard's books. He's recently been voted the number-one box-office attraction in the world. It'll be a much-needed publicity boon for a church under siege both here and abroad for the cult-like hold it's been accused of exerting on its followers and for harassing those who publicly criticize Scientology.
"He says there's no connection between Battlefield the sci-fi novel and the controversial self-improvement religion. Not surprisingly, that's not how critics, among them longtime former members of the church who have read the book, see it. To them, Battlefield -- and indeed, every part of Scientology -- is steeped in Hubbard's otherworldly notions of humans as an endangered species occupying a planet on the precipice of doom. A reading of Battlefield, a 1,000-page epic written by Hubbard in 1980, uncovers the threads of Scientology's teachings.
"'Giant, gas-breathing' invaders known as Psychlos (code for psychologists and psychiatrists) have taken over Earth, and Hubbard lays blame for the decay of western civilization squarely on their shoulders. In Battlefield, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler -- Hubbard's alter ego -- enlists the aid of a band of tough Scots 'in a final, daring challenge to the invisible Psychlo power.' Hubbard's fascination with science fiction and fantasy didn't confine itself to the telling of apocalyptic tales. It extended to the roots of the church's otherworldly teaching, most unusually in Scientology's legend of Xenu, a tyrant who is supposed to have ruled the world some 75 million years ago. It was Xenu, the legend goes, who unleashed the evil spirits that attached themselves to humans and haunt us to this day.
"'Every religion has a cosmology, a creation mythology,' says Al Buttnor of Scientology in Toronto. 'In Christianity, you have 'God created the world in seven days.' In Scientology, it's clear where Mr. Hubbard stands. Unquestionably, there have been other societies before us and other societies in the universe. I don't think we're alone.'
"Amid the other hoopla surrounding Battlefield, Author Services, Inc. (ASI), the Hollywood, California-based arm of the church that owns the rights to all Hubbard's works, has just launched ASI Magazine, a tabloid-size periodical devoted to promoting Hubbard's non-fiction works. ASI sold the rights to to Battlefield to Franchise Pictures. ASI is coy about whether film royalties will go to the church. A fax response sent to NOW from ASI director of public affairs Hugh Wilhere avoids any mention of royalties. But the fax goes on to state that ASI 'is donating its share of the profits from the film to charitable organizations that direct drug education and drug rehabilitation programs around the world.' Scientology itself runs drug rehab clinics, the best known of which is Narconon."