Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 2, Issue 39 01/18/98 by Rod Keller [email@example.com] copyright 1998
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 firstname.lastname@example.org It is archived at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html http://home.sol.no/heldal/CoS/archive/WIR/ http://www.i1.net/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html #####
Bruce Pettigrew reported that Scientology tried but failed to get a
restraining order against his continued pickets at the Mesa, Arizona org.
"As regular readers know, I have been picketing the CoS org in Mesa, AZ almost weekly for the last 6 months or so, since the appearance of the 'ARS Bigots' web page that was set up by Russell Shaw, a local member. These pickets have always been peaceful, just walking with a sign and talking to anyone passing by.
"I have just discovered from friends that the Church <spit!> of Scientology of Arizona, represented by Dennis I. Wilenchik, has tried to get a restraining order issued against me. The order was NOT granted, however, and there will apparently be a hearing, at which I can present THE ENTIRE CONTENT OF 'THE ARS BIGOTS' WEB PAGES as part of my defense. I will, of course, try to get the media involved as well. And the ACLU."
An unpublished letter to the St. Petersburg Times from Cynthia Kisser was
posted this week. The letter was written in response to an article in the
Times about the lawsuits from Scientology that destroyed CAN. Cynthia was
the Executive Director of the old Cult Awareness Network.
"The real Cult Awareness Network never agreed to allow Scientologists as members as a result of the litigation by Scientologists. CAN toughened its local membership requirements, rather than softening them, after Scientologists began suing the local chapters to force the chapters to let them become members. No Scientologist ever won a single lawsuit over membership in CAN at either the local or national level, and CAN never modified its policies after the litigation against it by Scientologists began, and never let any Scientologists join as members who had previously been denied membership. CAN won every one one of the membership lawsuits, or the Scientologists withdrew them themselves before trial. As a face-saving tactic Scientology has made such a claim that CAN did reform its membership policies as a result of all the litigation
"Early in the litigation wars by Scientologists, a state trial court judge in California did order that CAN let eight Scientologists attend one CAN meeting being held in California, issuing a temporary injunction, while their discrimination suit over being denied attendance at this one meeting was pending. This was not a suit over membership rights, but over alleged discrimination in terms of being able to attend a private meeting, and the temporary injunction did not in any way establish any legal case law that was binding in future cases. The eight Scientologists withdrew their lawsuits over CAN's objection (as CAN wanted the chance to present its case to the court) once the eight attended the conference but before the case could be heard on its merits.
"I am very proud that CAN was able to make case law supporting the rights of private associations to control their own membership and admittance to attendance at their private meetings. The protection by CAN through case law in federal and California courts of the freedom of association rights of private organizations reflects the true spirit of the true CAN's work, and is a legacy which Scientology cannot erase, only try to undercut by misrepresenting the truth and hoping that legitimate media repeat this misinformation."
The St. Petersburg Times ran an editorial cartoon on the recently revealed
agreement between the IRS and Scientology.
"In today's (Sunday, January 11, 1998) St. Petersburg Times, there is a cartoon on the editorial page by the Palm Beach Post's Don Wright. It depicts a number of business-suited IRS agents with stupid grins and zombie-hypnotized-freaked-out eyes. They are all staring out at the reader, and each has one in a succession of lines:
"'Suddenly, in my mind's eye, I felt at one with them. Almost child-like. It surrounds us. It is within us. But it is never beyond us. There's a glow!'
"The caption of the cartoon is: 'IRS officials conclude tax negotiations with the Church of Scientology.'"
Lawrence Wollersheim reported that Factnet has filed with the court in
Denver to put their copyright violation suit from Scientology on hold,
pending an appeal in Lawrence's personal lawsuit.
"Factnet has just filed the enclosed motion asking the Denver court to stay all proceedings in the Denver copyright case until the California Appellate Court rules the fraud issues surrounding Scientology's sham corporate structure. This appellate ruling is critical to the Denver case as you will see from the motion. This appellate ruling is also critical to the IRS Scientology non-profit status.
"Defendants, LAWRENCE WOLLERSHEIM and FACTNet, Inc. request that this Court stay this action in its entirety pending the resolution of the appeal currently pending in the Second District Court of Appeal of the State of California. Clear and convincing circumstances justify this stay in that: The pending appeal will decide factual issues between the parties relevant to the following affirmative defenses in this matter. [That] Plaintiff BPI's agents conducted the seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 11 of the Colorado Constitution [and] BPI is barred from introducing evidence obtained as a result of an unlawful search and seizure.
"The matter on appeal holds two Scientology entities, Church of Scientology International and Religious Technology Center liable for a judgment in excess of $6 million to Mr. Wollersheim. Defendants contend that the purpose of this lawsuit is not to vindicate any legitimate copyright claims of the plaintiff, but rather to exhaust the ability of Mr. Wollersheim and FACTNet to defend the within action so Scientology can seize Mr. Wollersheim's judgment, consistent with its policy of 'Not One Thin Dime to Wollersheim.'"
Martin Ottmann posted figures of the Gross Income and reserves of several
of Scientology's orgs.
"Weekly average Gross Income (GI) of the Advanced Organization in Los
1986 - 1988: 500,000 US $
1992: 250,000 US $
1996: 100,000 US $
"Weekly average GI of the American Saint Hill organization in Los Angeles
1975: 50,000 US $
1982: 20,000 - 40,000 US $
"Weekly average GI of the Advanced Organization in Copenhagen (AOSH EU &
1980s: 20,000 - 200,000 US $
"Weekly average GI of the Flag Service Organization (FSO):
1977: 400,000 US $
1985: 1,000,000 US $
1989: 1,700,000 US $
1992: 1,500,000 US $
"Sea Org Reserves (SOR) at Kreditbank Luxembourg:
1982: 120,000,000 US $
1986: 250,000,000 US $
"IAS-Reserves at Kreditbank Luxembourg:
1986: 30,000,000 US $"
Martin also posted an announcement that membership is the International Association of Scientologists will be going up in price.
"For 13 years, since the beginning of the IAS, membership fees for both annual and lifetime membership have remained at the same level. Throughout this same period, the costs to provide communications, events and other benefits of membership have markedly increased. At the same time, the past three years have seen a tremendous increase in the number of requests for grants from the IAS, particularly for western Europe, where numerous grants have been made in an effort to achieve religious freedom for all Scientologists.
"To carry on our purpose of ensuring the future of this planet, adjustments in membership fees have become necessary. Accordingly, IAS membership dues will increase, effective midnight, on 28 February 1998. Annual membership dues will increase from US $ 300 to US $ 450 or the equivalent in local currency. Lifetime membership dues will increase from US $ 2,000 to US $ 3,000 or the equivalent in local currency.
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Bob Minton was deposed by Scientology this week in the Lisa McPherson
civil case. Scientology is attempting to find ulterior motives for Bob's
financial contributions to the case.
"[I] Survived deposition yesterday - cult has tail between legs. But there is a confidentiality agreement and depo sealed.
"[A] New 'Freedom' glossy entitled 'Freedom of Speech At Risk In Cyberspace' passed out on Beacon Hill tonight. It's another in the fine line of Freedom Magazine's Special Issues."
Grady Ward reports that Scientology is trying to depose Bob again, in Grady's bankruptcy proceedings.
"I have been served with an inch and a half of paper demanding that Robert S. Minton be deposed in my *bankruptcy* case. The recent filings accuse him of being a co-conspirator to infringe the cult's alleged copyrights. They accuse him of extortion."
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Keith Henson posted the police reports from his two arrests while
picketing Scientology locations.
"WE MET WITH THE VICT WHO STATED THAT HE IS A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY. THE DEFT OPPOSES THE VIEWS OF THE CHURCH AND THERE FOR EXPRESS HIS OPINIONS BY PROTESTING IN FRONT OF THE LOCATIONS THAT THE VICT IS GOING TO BE AT. THE VICT STATED THAT THE DEFT HAS BECOME SUCH A PROBLEM PROTESTING THAT A RESTRAINING ORDER HAD TO BE OBTAINED TO KEEP THE DEFT AWAY FROM THE VICT, FOR THE VICT'S SAFETY. THE VICT STATED THAT THE DEF WAS TAKEN TO COURT, WERE A RESTRAINING ORDER WAS ISSUED BY THE LA SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE ON OCTOBER 31, 1997 (CASE # B5047684). THE DEF WAS SERVED WITH THE RESTRAINING ORDER BY THE COURT. THE RESTRAINING ORDER STATES THAT THE DEFT SHALL NOT COME WITHIN 25 YARDS OF THE DEFT ON NOVEMBER 1, 1997. TODAY WHILE THE VICT WAS ENTERING THE SHRINE AUDITORIUM TO ATTEND A CHURCH MEETING THE DEFT CAME WITH IN THE STATED DISTANCE ON THE COURT ORDER. THE DEFT WAS THEN WARNED BY THE WITNESS AT WHICH TIME HE DID NOT COMPLY. THE VICT THEN CALLED POLICE.
"WE INTERVIEWED THE WITNESS WHO STATED THAT THE DEFT WAS IN FRONT OF THE SHIRE AUDITORIUM. WHEN THE VICT WAS ENTERING THE SHRINE AUDITORIUM THE DEFT CAME WITHIN 60 FEET OF THE VICT, AT THAT TIME THE DEFT WAS WARNED BY THE WITNESS THAT HE WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE COURT ORDER. THE DEFT CONTINUED TO COME CLOSER TO THE VICT AT WHICH TIME THE DEFT WAS AGAIN WARNED BY THE WIT THAT HE WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE COURT ORDER. THE DEFD REPLIED TO THE WITNESS STATEMENT BY STATING 'I DON'T CARE, TAKE ME!'. THE POLICE WERE THEN SUMMONED WHEN THE DEFT WOULD NOT COMPLY TO THE REQUEST OF THE WITNESS.
"THE VICT REQUESTED THAT OFFICERS MAKE A CITZ ARREST FOR VIOLATION OF A COURT ORDER. OFFICERS THEN TOOK THE DEFT INTO CUSTODY AND TRANSPORTED HIM TO SOUTHWEST STATION."
Keith described his arraignment hearings and subsequent pickets of Scientology locations.
"On advice of counsel, I plead not guilty, request a jury trial, and don't waive time for a speedy trial. Judge Chalfant sets Feb 10 as the trial date, and orders an appearance by me or my attorney on Jan 12, a week from today. I get a copy of the arrest report to take to my attorney. I ask Judge Chalfant if he might be willing to modify the 100 yards automatic restraining order so I could picket. I get weasel words but the answer is essentially no.
"When I leave the court Abelson is waiting in the hall. He wants to know where I'm going and I ask if he want to know so they can get Glenn Barton there to citizen's arrest me again? No, he says, Glenn will stay where he is but *he* is on call to go wherever I show up. They have a $500 dollar/hr. lawyer tracking me like a cheap gumshoe."
[second arraignment] "The Judge assigns the case to Div 47 of the courts Feb. 2 for a pretrial hearing. It is only later that I remember that date is already taken by a hearing in Judge Bascue's court. Strangely he did not set a trial date, nor did he ask me about waiving time or asking for a jury. The prosecutor fills out another protective order keeping me 100 yds from Barton. I ask if this precludes me from picketing any place where Barton might show up. The Judge gets *really* stern and warns me that there is a much more serious level of the penal code for violating this kind of protective order. In other words, I have no right to peacefully picket anywhere Barton might show up.
"Judge Rhodes asks the city attorney if she has any objection to O.R. (released 'on recognizance' or no bail) status for me being continued? He then make a comment that I showed up for this hearing, and adds that he will ignore her if she does object. Elliot comes up and wants to speak to the judge about the O.R. The Judge has Elliot's number and cuts him off. Firmly!
[picket at Hemet] "Drove north to the edge of the cult's property and with my picket sign in hand we walked toward the main gate--keeping a sharp eye out for Barton--in case he had followed me. Very shortly it was apparent (from people running about inside the fences) that we were causing a major stir in the clam bed. When we were about 50 yards from the main gate, a guy who identified himself as Ken Hoaten came out of the gate in a car and stopped right in front of us. He jumped out all indignant that his 'home' should be picketed.
"We kept walking and he tagged along, getting quite abusive as we passed the main gate, yelling that it was illegal to walk along the road because of the traffic. He wanted to know what he had done to deserve being picketed. We stayed calm and he quit yelling after we had crossed to the north side of the road and started back. At one point a truck load of scns going west pointed their vehicle right toward us on the road shoulder, but turned away when they saw we would not jump out of the way.
"Just as we were starting to pull out, another truck full of scns with a large video camera came zooming up from the main gate. We went on through Gold Base to the west, and as far as we could tell, they did not follow.
"Wednesday I got a call from a female 'Southwest Airlines agent' asking me why I did not fly out of Burbank the previous day. I told the 'agent' I had flown out of Ontario because I had been out that direction. It was fully a day before I realized the call was a trick by the clams, who were trying to find out where I was or had been. To check, I called SWA, talked to a senior customer service person in Oklahoma City. She told me that SWA would *never* do something like that, and gave me a number to report the incident. I did and a report is now in the hands of the SWA security people who are concerned (even if they can't do much about it) about the possibility that scientology operatives are impersonating Southwest Airlines agents.
"I mentioned the previous 'bomb threat' business where scientologist lawyer Thomas R. Hogan swore under oath that I had made bomb threats in an airport but will not say who he talked to at SWA. I suspect Hogan will now get a phone call."
Graham Berry reported that he is now representing Keith in the criminal cases.
"I entered a general appearance in three of the Henson cases. To vacate the restraining order in Barton v.Henson; To defend him in the two breach of restraining order cases; To advise in regard to the litigation he might file against both the Church and the City for the violations of his civil rights--particularly potent because of Barton's' status as an L.A.P.D. Chaplain whose actions exposed the City to substantial Section 1983 liability.
"Berry, the assistant city attorney and the judge then retired to the judges chambers where the case(s) could be discussed outside of the earshot of the scientology representatives such as Howie and Elliott. Indeed, judicial officers informed Berry that Elliott Abelson had been such a persistent pest that he had been cautioned. Berry opened by commenting that 'all is not what it appears on the court papers!' The Court seemed surprised and sympathetic when apprised of the salient facts and obvious abuse of the judicial system and its orders.
"The two Municipal Court cases were consolidated, bail stood and the cases were continued to February 22 for a pre-trial conference. Outside the courtroom I told Abelson that we would be subpoenaing DM to testify at the Henson trial. Abelson responded that the church was concerned about my vodka drinking.
"Abelson: You do drink vodka don't you? I remember from our dinner together some years ago.
"Berry: And I also drink scotch, white wine, red wine and whatever else might be appropriate for the occasion.
"Abelson: Well Graham, we are very concerned about your safety. Wouldn't it be terrible if you were to have an accident, after you had been drinking vodka?
"Berry: I deliberately maintain such a high profile to discourage accidents."
Scientology has obtained, but not yet served, a restraining order preventing Keith from picketing the Hemet compound.
"[I]t seem that CoS *did* get a TRO January 14 against me in Riverside Superior court which keeps me at a distance of 500 feet from the cult's compound where I picketed (along with a retired policeman) a week ago. They are supposed to be serving me today using the Federal Marshals according to Abelson. Thanks, wgert, for the heads up on this one. From how flustered Abelson was, you might have screwed up their timing."
Finally, Keith picketed Scientology locations in Northern California.
"Since me showing up at a scn org seem to result in a TRO being issued, I figured I would try for some more. I put in short pickets at both San Jose and Mt. View. San Jose had a fair number of people, Mt. View org didn't show much activity. But they definitely knew they had been picketed."
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Swedish TV aired a program on Scientology this week, including an
interview with Birgitta Dagnell.
"Saturday 10th of January, Swedish channel 3 aired a program about the church. The program consisted of 1: the reporters (recorded) attempts to get the culties to agree to an interview. That failed, as he refused to promise them that no critics would be present. 2: an interview with Bid, that as far as I am concerned was the better part of the show. 3: a very personal interpretation of the Xenu story, complete with a drooling mad Xenu dressed up in aluminum space suit."
Skeptic Magazine published a letter from Scientology president Heber
Jentzsch, in reply to an earlier letter from comedian Steve Allen.
"You make several different claims of harassment and telephone threats and 'similar offenses' that are continuing to be perpetuated by individual Scientologists. If you have any such instances which are documented, then send them to me. And speaking of harassment, Cynthia Kisser attempted to silence me & the church regarding her perpetration of violent deprogrammings. The fact that she deprogrammed her own sister and then went on to conduct other assaults has been proved to be true by the Federal Court in Chicago, Illinois, supported by the verdict of a jury.
"I have admired your humor and your humanitarian goals since I first came here to California 35 years ago. I would hope that you would continue your wit and your talents to the enhancement of freedom of choice, not to be drawn into the melee of anti-religious bigotry by those who claim no religion is qualified or sacred."
Neal Hamel reported that Scientology has acquired the old phone number of
Priscilla Coates, who was active in the Cult Awareness Network and has
been active against Scientology for many years.
"Priscilla Coates used to have the phone number: (818) 845-4354 She has changed her number since moving a short while ago. However, the scienos have acquired her old phone number. If you call that number now you will get the scieno CAN scam.
"Here is a hint to the scienos. Priscilla did not answer the phone the way you are doing now."