Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 3, Issue 19
by Rod Keller email@example.com
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.
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A bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week,
asking the President ot criticize Germany for alleged discrimination
against religious minorities, including Scientology.
"Whereas the January 1998 interim report of the State Department's Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad specifically stated that, '[i]n Germany, members of the Church of Scientology and of a Christian charismatic church have been subject to intense scrutiny by the Enquete Commission there, and several members have suffered harassment, discrimination, and threats of violence';
"Whereas in February 1997, a United States Federal Immigration Judge granted a German woman asylum in the United States finding that she had a well-founded fear of persecution based on her religious beliefs if she returned to Germany;
"Whereas the 1997 and 1996 State Department Country Reports stated that 'major political parties exclude Scientologists from membership', and that 'the State of Bavaria screens applicants for state civil service positions for Scientology membership';
"Whereas the 1996 State Department Country Report stated that 'Business firms whose owners or executives are Scientologists may face boycotts and discrimination, sometimes with government approval,' and, the 1997 Country Report stated that 'so-called 'sect-filters', statements by individuals that they are not affiliated with Scientology , are used by some business and other organizations to discriminate against Scientologists in business and social dealings';
"Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress urges the Government of Germany to take necessary action to protect the right of freedom of religion or belief guaranteed to everyone in Germany by international human rights covenants to which Germany is a signatory; continues to hold the Government of Germany responsible for protecting the right of freedom of religion or belief of United States citizens, and for not barring such citizens from living, performing, doing business, or traveling in Germany because of their religious beliefs; and calls upon the President of the United States to assert the concern of the United States Government to the Government of Germany regarding government discrimination in Germany based on religion or belief."
Mark Dallara reported on a radio show in the Tampa area which features
members of Scientology's Citizen's Commission on Human Rights.
"The 'Citizen's Commission on Human Rights' has a leased radio show on
The host of the program is Dennis Clarke (I think he said he is the Chairman of the Executive Board of CCHR). The guest was John Lott, Jr., a law lecturer (not faculty) at the University of Chicago. The topic was gun control; Lott has written a book called 'More Guns, Less Crime'.
"Clarke pretty enthusiastically accepted this concept, and then slowly but surely turned the course of the conversation to crime in general, and somehow fumbled his way to a conclusion that psychiatric drugs not only cause all crime, but especially all mass murders. Mr. Lott is apparently not a Co$ dupe, because he wasn't buying what Clarke was selling. He rebutted by saying that yes, there are some anecdotal stories of mental health drugs causing tragic events, but there are also anecdotal stories of guns causing tragic events, and the proper way to evaluate the data is to look at the totality of the statistics and ask whether a thing does more harm than good. He even went so far as to say that the drugs in question save many more lives than they harm. At one point he mentioned that Lott's specialty was law and economics, so he could perhaps be excused if he wasn't aware of the great narco-psycho-conspiracy that was fueling the criminal activity in this country.
"He took a caller, some entheta fellow in Tampa. The caller began talking about the RPF and Lisa McPherson, but was rather abruptly cut off by Clarke. A woman in Virginia didn't get very far before Clarke decided that she, too, was a psych operative, and cut her off. He took one last caller, who started talking about the investigation into Lisa McPherson's death just before he, too, was dropped from the line."
"CCHR's radio $cieno, Dennis Clarke, was on the air again this evening, this time with Sheriff John MacDougal of Lee County. The conversation between MacDougal and Clarke covered a lot of ground, from partial-birth abortions, to gangs, to (surprise!) psyche drugs. After a mutual schmooze-fest, MacDougal left and Clarke starting rambling and spewing again.
"He only took two callers. The second caller, 'Ian from downtown Clearwater', said that MacDougal's message about abortion and drugs was very important, and that interested listeners could find a lot more information about all this on the internet at WWW.XENU.NET ... 'that's 'X'-'E'-'N'-'U', 'Xenu'...' Ol' Dennis apparently knew what THAT was about, because he cut the guy off, and muttered something about 'squirrelly little punks' before launching into another rambling diatribe about drugs, or something."
The St. Petersburg Times reported that Clearwater City Commissioners seem
to be less in control of the city than manager Mike Roberto.
"The commission appears to take its lead from City Manager Mike Roberto, considered an aggressive, outgoing leader with a seemingly endless stream of ideas. 'Mike Roberto has come in and he has taken over the reins of leadership and basically set forth the agenda,' said Dick Fitzgerald, a city commissioner from 1989 to 1995 who is still active in local politics. 'He is the one driving the train.' The five commissioners usually wait for Roberto to set the agenda for their meetings and do not appear to challenge him.
"Some commissioners have told him not to meet with Church of Scientology officials, but he did so anyway. 'They don't have any spine,' said Fred Thomas, a commissioner from 1993 to 1996 and founder of Pinch-A-Penny pool and patio supply chain. 'If I were (Roberto), I would want a meek, mild commission, too. It would be insanity not to want that.'"
Scientologists held a demonstration in Frankfurt this week to protest
alleged discrimination in Germany. From the Scientology press release:
"During a protest march which took place on August 10 in Frankfurt, and in which several thousand people of various faiths participated, representatives of both acknowledged and unacknowledged religious communities released an open letter in which they announced the establishment of an 'Interreligious Coalition for Religious Freedom' in Germany.
>From dpa newswire:
"Several thousand adherents of the Scientology organization have demonstrated for religious freedom in Frankfurt am Main on Monday after a European march. According to a statement by the police, there were about 6,500 people at the protest until evening. Representatives of Scientology said it was 8,000 people. At the demonstration, the participants demanded that all forms of religious discrimination be ended. Scientology brought up 19 notifications by governments and human rights organizations which they say confirmed a climate of intolerance in Germany. According to the Scientology statement, signers of the proclamation included several members of the European Parliament."
An editorial from Frankfurter Neue Presse:
"Yesterday in Frankfurt, several thousand persons demonstrated for 'religious freedom.' They were adherents of the Scientology church, the organization whose dangerous influence, as sect commissioners warn, has already begun to extend into politics, associations and businesses. Brainwashing, psychological terrorism, defamation, spying on citizens and commercial exploitation are trademarks of the fanatic salvation ideology of the psycho-sect. It mostly appears wearing silent soled shoes. Yesterday it marched boldly under the protective cover of the martyr of the Old Opera house in order to demand the right to 'religious freedom' for itself.
"Thousands of people have moved to Frankfurt involuntarily - people who left their country because of persecution for their beliefs. They left goods and possessions behind, and have suffered in body and spirit. To them, the Scientology demonstration is a cynical insult."
Online-Nachrichten der Hannoversche Allgemeinen Zeitung Magazin reported that Scientology has been distributing booklets on Psychiatry to German doctors and schools.
"According to Ingolf Christiansen, Scientology is pursuing a new strategy in that it is not advertising under its own name, but hidden behind a second organization. The leaflet targets people with alcohol and drug problems and advertises a detoxification 'sweat cure' in the Narconon clinic in Itzehoe. It is not just a matter of the questionable therapy, says Christiansen. Another goal is to 'clear' people in the Scientology sense. 'People go from one addiction to another.' The leafleting operation is part of Scientology's nationwide 'Crusade Week.' The organization cannot be described as a sect, said Christiansen, who is a member of the Parliament's Enquete Commission for 'So-Called Sects and Psycho-groups.' Scientology does not deal with matters of belief, but with world domination."
Scientology defendant Grady Ward posted a letter to Judge Fogel this week,
in which he argues that no settlement has been reached in his case. Grady
also reported on the status of his book contract with Bob Minton.
"I do not believe the plaintiff and I have concluded a settlement for the following reasons. The court now directs the plaintiff to 'forthwith shall provide defendant with written notice which reasonably describes the nature and identity of copyrighted works or other materials not identified in plaintiff's complaint or in other pleadings on file in this action.' This term is at variance to the explicit term articulated in the oral recitals that 'The precise form of that [list of plaintiff's copyrighted works not identified in the pleadings] is to worked out initially by the plaintiff and presented again to Mr. Ward for final approval.' In light of the refusal of the plaintiff to provide such a notice, as documented in the letter of Helena K. Kobrin: 'Our review of the matter confirms what we told you in court last week, namely that it is an impossible task...', I do not approve. This disapproval constitutes a rejection of any offer of settlement by plaintiff.
"While the plaintiff waffled on what they would do precisely in order to give good notice of their copyrighted works, they fully agreed with the court's statement that I would have final approval of their proposal. This approval clause is important because of its free speech implications. With the plaintiff's history of unlawful harassment, especially of writers, it takes on a special importance.
"Within the last day, Mr. Robert S. Minton has also indicated that he has terminated my book contract and will not be sending me further advances. Therefore, the plaintiff will not be entitled to $10,000.00, and all proposed settlement terms regarding the book with Mr. Minton are now void."
Former RTC executive Jesse Prince released an affidavit this week in
support of lawsuits involving FACTNet and Lawrence Wollersheim.
"In late 1991, my wife Monika became pregnant and although we were elated, she was ordered to abort the child. The reason for the abortion order is that Sea Org members were not allowed to have children. The order devastated both my wife and me. She got the abortion and afterwards she was not the same. She was devastated at the impact of what she did and that was when she told me she wanted to leave. We fled, with the organization close behind us, trying to find us. They finally did and convinced us to return so we could 'leave properly.' Once they had us again behind the barb wire and watched by security, my wife was threatened that if we did not sign certain papers, she would no longer be able to see her father and her sister, who were both in the Sea Organization.
"On or about April of 1983 I was present at a meeting, which took place in Los Angeles, California at a Scientology office called Author Services, Inc. (ASI). Present at the meeting was David Miscavige, then the chairman of the board of ASI, Vicki Aznaran then the Deputy Inspector General of Religious Technology Center, (RTC) and Lymon Spurlock, who was 'Director of Client Affairs' for ASI. There was concern that the IRS would obtain the hundreds of daily, weekly and monthly LRH orders written by Mr. Hubbard and distributed throughout Scientology. These orders were commonly referred to in Scientology as 'advices' to avoid the appearance that LRH was actually running Scientology. In fact, LRH was running Scientology. The principle concern expressed at this meeting was that the LRH orders or 'advices' would be used to name L. Ron Hubbard as the managing agent of Scientology.
"David Miscavige specifically stated that under his directive the LRH orders, or 'advices', were being collected and transferred by truck to a Riverside County recycling plant where the documents were to be 'pulped'. This method of destruction was considered to be better than shredding. I was also given instructions that I was in charge of purging the remainder of the Scientology organization of LRH orders.
"Several weeks after this first meeting I attended a second meeting. In attendance at the second meeting were David Miscavige, Lymon Spurlock, Vicki Aznaran, Norman Starkey and Marty Rathburn. David Miscavige stated that Scientology had been ordered by a court to produce various documents concerning a former Scientology member named Lawrence Wollersheim who had a lawsuit pending in Los Angeles against the Church of Scientology of California. The court had ordered Scientology to produce Mr. Wollersheim's entire 'preclear' (PC) file.
"Mr. Wollersheim's PC file was several thousand pages in length. Initially at this meeting it was decided that Mr. Wollersheim's PC file would be redacted and culled of any evidence or documentation which might assist Mr. Wollersheim in his lawsuit against CSC. Ultimately, approximately 50 pages were produced pursuant to the court order. Mr. Wollersheim's PC file was culled based on a direct order from David Miscavige. Later, I was informed that a second court order was issued to produce Mr. Wollersheim's entire file. Faced with the prospect of having to produce the entire file David Miscavige gave orders that the entire file simply be destroyed by being pulped.
"In early 1983 I attended a meeting at Scientology's ASI office in Los Angeles. In attendance at this meeting were David Miscavige, Lymon Spurlock, Vicki Aznaran, Patricia Brice and Edith Buchele. David Miscavige stated that Scientology was 'in trouble' concerning the copyright status of the many published materials of founder L Ron Hubbard. David Miscavige stated that Scientology had failed to register copyrights for thousands of pages of Scientology material written by Mr. Hubbard. David Miscavige specifically ordered Patricia Brice to begin the process of mass copyright registration filings for all of L. Ron Hubbard's materials. This order was given despite the fact that Mr. Miscavige was already aware that many of the materials in question were already in the public domain. Thus, I know from personal knowledge that in mid 1983 Scientology began a massive program to register Mr. Hubbard's material with the United State's Copyright office."
The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that Scientologist-operated
company Digital Lightwave has laid off a large number of employees.
"Digital Lightwave Inc. of Clearwater has laid off 55 workers, or about 20 percent of its staff. The telecommunications testing equipment maker recently settled shareholder lawsuits brought against it when the company admitted accounting errors and restated earnings this year. Steven Grant, chief financial officer, characterized the layoffs as a 'right-sizing' of the company, saying the layoffs came from all parts of Digital Lightwave. Its stock was unchanged Friday at $2.75 a share."
World Literacy Crusade
The Sacramento Bee carried a story on Scientology's World Literacy Crusade
"The program has been tutoring children and adults in Del Paso Heights for nearly 1 years and recently expanded its reach to the south-area neighborhood of Franklin Villa. 'Look at why there is crime, and it's because people can't work. They don't have the skills to learn,' said Mary Noel, president of the literacy and mentoring program. '(The program) is basically aimed at improving society.'
"World Literacy Crusade was founded by a Los Angeles-area minister after the 1992 South Central riots as a way to fight illiteracy among inner-city youths. It has since become an international movement with offices in five continents. Before tutoring began in Del Paso Heights, World Literacy Crusade was training tutors and doing community outreach in Sacramento. 'We were in the community asking whether they wanted us there: 'We have this to offer are you interested in it?',' said Noel.
"The program curriculum is based on 'study technology' designed by author and Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology, a religious philosophy, is based on the writings and research of the late Hubbard. No Scientology concepts are taught as part of the literacy program, said Noel. Hubbard's technology emphasizes overcoming roadblocks to learning such as not understanding various meanings associated with the same word. 'You can learn anything. The only reason you give up is because of misunderstood words,' said Noel. '(Often) you don't have the opportunity to identify what went wrong or are pushed on to the next level.'"
Pickets of Scientology locations this week. First, from Bruce Pettycrew in
"Today I walked from 4:30 to 5:15 PM, the height of the rush hour. It was 102 degrees, but a slight breeze and ice water make all the difference. I talked with three pedestrians and showed two of them the handout that the Co$ distributed in my neighborhood. Great PR Scienos, you appear as sympathetic as a stalker to the public at large."
"I stopped by after work again today. 45 minutes is about all I can do at 105 degrees and 30% humidity. About 20 cars responded with honks and waves or thumbs up, versus two birds and one 'fuck you'. There was a van with the license plate ARCKRC. (affinity,reality,communication-knowledge,responsibility,control) California plates. Upper Management visiting?"
>From Lori Ann Chauvette, Ron Newman and Dean O'Donnell on a picket in Boston:
"Bob called the police at some point while they were shouting in his face. Six cops came by to see what the ruckus was! They started talking to Bob and The Stallion about it, and after that ruckus died down I talked with the cop briefly about whether I should have called them before I did this. They said next time I should do that. Someone had told me that the Boston org is usually pretty quiet during pickets. They weren't this time because of the fact that Bob showed up. So I had this one woman in my face at some point trying to get me to go away, but obviously I wouldn't budge from there. What was even funnier was the fact that they had counter picketers holding up signs like 'Save the Whales' and 'God Bless The USA'."
"One of them said something like 'Ron Newman and Alfred E. Neuman - Separated at Birth?', with a picture of Alfred. Since I never announced that I was going to picket, and showed up late, I'm not sure how they managed to have that sign waiting for me."
"Bob had gone straight to the org and had started picketing about five minutes before we got there. He was surrounded by scienos, who were yelling at him. Bob's handlers kept shouting at him, and he shouted back. I didn't catch the full conversation, but heard Bob mention something about Miscavige taking it up the butt on a daily basis.
"One pleasant older man took the Xemu flyer, had a glance and responded with, 'Oh, that Xemu horseshit.' I offered the officers flyers, and while most turned them down, one did take them, pocketing them for later reading.
"As we walked away, we got a round of applause from the org. Usually we applaud back, but I have to admit, this time I was feeling a bit surly towards them. Across the street, we handed out some more flyers, and walked to the cafe for dinner."
>From Ted Mayett in Las Vegas:
"Arrived at 8:55am, left at 9:25am. Did a 30 minute picket at an org that was not even open for business yet. I had my shoulder bag with me. In the shoulder bag was that envelope from Sweden. In that envelope were my copy of the NOTs."
>From Keith Henson in San Jose:
"I put in a ten minute picket at the local mission two blocks from my house. Sure enough, as promised, they picketed my place shortly after noon. Got some photos and video tape of them picketing."
Thad Beier reported that Scientology complained to his Internet provider
to complain over the high use of Scientology's web site.
"The system administrator got a call from 'Ron' at the Church of Scientology International, complaining that I had been accessing their Scientology on-line pages too much. My ISP heard him out, as he recognizes their litigiousness, but thankfully called me to find out what was going on. I called 'Ron' back at the number specified (it was the Church of Scientology International main number) and explained that I was interested in researching Scientology, and that I found the pages useful. He said 'oh, okay. I was just concerned that you seemed be accessing them so much'. He said that his name was Ron Edison. I told him that he could find my name in the net-nanny list. I don't like them calling my ISP to complain, but it was a fairly harmless call in the end."