Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 3, Issue 28
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
The Australian published an article, posted to a.r.s this week on efforts
to stop mental harm by cults.
"An official committee of federal, State and Territory governments' top legal advisers has recommended that 'significant emotional harm' inflicted by religious groups be classified as a criminal offense. 'Freedom of religion is not freedom, for example, to defraud, nor is it freedom to cause significant psychological or psychiatric harm to any person,' the committee says in its report to the nation's attorneys-general.
"It notes the Church of Scientology had argued the activities of religious groups should not be singled out in the definition of criminal harm. 'It is concerned that the criminal offense proposed (in the proposed national criminal code) catches the causing of significant psychological harm to people, accompanied with criminal intention. 'If a religious organisation does that, it, like anyone else, should be guilty of the appropriate criminal offense.'"
Factnet released a report on Scientology celebrities this week. Some
"Scientology's celebrities are compensated richly for endorsements. John Travolta alone has had in excess of $100,000 of free services in compensation, commissions of up to 10% for bringing people into Scientology, free luxury accommodations and carte blanc use of the finest Scientology facilities and properties. Scientology's current leader David Miscavige learned that Tom Cruise had a fantasy of running through a field of tall wheat grass with Kidman. So, Miscavige ordered a section of Scientology's desert compound in Gilman Hot Springs to be plowed under and planted with wheat. At a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, and through the slave labor of cult members who work all day and all night for weeks, a field of tall wheat grass is grown in the desert so that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman may run though it.
"Scientology arranged Tom Cruise's entire divorce from Mimi Rogers for no charge. The cult knows Cruise is dyslectic and has difficulty reading and so 'convinced' him to let them handle his bookkeeping and the divorce from Mimi Rogers. Orchestrating this divorce was important to Scientology because Rogers was disaffected from Scientology; thus it was in Scientology's interest to distance Cruise from her. In managing the divorce for Cruise, Scientology still had enough influence over Mimi Rogers to convince her to accept a relatively paltry $10 million for the settlement.
"Tom Cruise became psychotic during a secret Scientology initiation in which one is told that rather than being one person, one is composed of thousands of aliens from all over the universe fighting for control of your body. After completing this initiation, known as OT III, Tom appeared sickly with black circles under his eyes and pasty skin. He said he wanted to be away from Scientology for good. He just wanted to go back to Hollywood and his home and be left alone by Scientology. This would not happen; David Miscavige ordered Cruise could not be let go. Scientology worked on Cruise day and night until he finally returned to Scientology."
Reuters and the Associated Press reported that key documents have
disappeared from French government offices in Scientology-related matters.
"A French lawyer pressing fraud charges against the Church of Scientology said on Wednesday that important documents in the case had gone missing and appealed to the Justice Ministry to find out what had happened to them. Olivier Morice, representing plaintiffs who charge that scientologists illegally posed as doctors, said 1-1/2 volumes were missing from the 10-volume mass of evidence.
"'These are very important documents because they are the last documents that would allow us to send the scientologists to trial or not,' Morice told French television. 'A possibility is that an attempted infiltration by Scientology which, using completely inadmissible methods, may have had these documents disappear.'"
"Just days after hundreds of legal documents on the Church of Scientology disappeared from a Paris court, computer files have now vanished from a government task force on sects, news reports said Thursday. Task force members feel the two events aren't a coincidence, but signs that French sects have declared an all-out war on attempts to investigate them."
Keith Henson posted his appeal of his $75,000 judgment by Scientology.
"Defendant believed that the Court's temporary restraining order (if applied to him) was a violation of his First Amendment rights to discuss the criminal activities of the cult of Scientology with examples. This was his intent in posting NOTS 34 on March 30, 1996. By March 13, 1996, Defendant had begun to understand what NOTS 34 was all about. At the damages hearing, he explained his understanding. As part of that understanding he believed that NOTS 34 involved the use of an E-meter. He saw no reference in the NOTS 34 document recommending a Scientologist seek medical attention along with or in place of auditing with an E-meter. He had also acquired information that had led him to believe that Scientology E-meter processing could lead to dangerous physical conditions, even death.
"Defendant testified at length as to his good faith and reasonable belief that NOTS 34 constituted the unlawful practice of medicine in violation of a district court injunction issued at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. Thus, he had a reasonable belief that his infringement disclosed illegal activity and he further testified at length that he believed he was legally justified by some paramount public interest superseding copyright law. Defendant testified that he believed that copyrights could not be used to conceal criminal activity. Consequently, the jury's verdict is against the weight of evidence and should be overturned.
"The court rejected all evidence as to defendant's information or belief that the Church of Scientology was a criminal cult guilty of other crimes as being irrelevant and highly prejudicial. It prevented Defendant from showing that Plaintiff's selective enforcement of its claimed copyrights were really an application of Scientology's 'fair game' doctrine against Defendant. Moreover, it declined to allow Defendant's counsel to show that Plaintiff's representations regarding fair game were false as shown by the authorities cited by Defendant."
David Alexander reported an attempt by Scientology to buy his silence this
My personal P.I., Ted Banas, sent an associate, Monte Drake, to deliver a $10,000.00 check to me today. To get the $10,000.00, all I had to do was to sign an agreement that I would never again say anything 'not-good' about Scientology. The agreement stated the purpose of the money was to purchase my silence, but that I could never discuss this to anyone. I didn't learn the amount of the check until I got to the restaurant. The insulting amount, plus the suppressive agreement, and the labeling of the money as payment for silence, instead of a 'refund', led me to immediately refuse. The agreement would force me to pay $10,000.00 for each instance of saying or writing anything negative about Scientology. Also I would never be permitted to report this to anyone. This was one more criminal act by OSA, trying to pay me to keep silent after they defrauded me of $112,822.26."
Picket reports this week, first from Deana Holmes in Salt Lake City:
"I went out to the bOrg on Saturday, just before 11 am and stayed for about one hour. When I first got there, a guy in a cap and sweats, with a mustache (not fat mustache man, though) was sitting on a chair in the downstairs hall, facing towards the back of the bOrg. When Phil showed up, I asked him about that, and he said they were doing '50 foot TRs.' These 50 foot TRs are done to manipulate emotions of people who are stubbornly refusing to let them be manipulated."
"I went out to the bOrg about 4:40 pm. I did give out three flyers today. Phil showed up about 20 minutes into it. I let him go into the org, let him get his picket signs and Way To Happiness, let him come back outside, and told him 'I'm leaving because today's a holiday, and since there are no holidays in hell, and I consider the RPF to be hell, I think I'll be leaving now.'
"When I drove up to my house, guess who was doing the back and forth dance? Marie, aka Cell Phone Woman. I got my picket sign out of the car. She didn't like the fact that she had me capering around and talking to her in a VERY LOUD voice. She really didn't like me telling her about Lisa. I could tell she was getting progressively more and more enturbulated as my declamation of the facts of the death of Lisa McPherson rolled past my lips. Her circle in front of my house became shorter and shorter as I switched from Lisa to asking her who her I/C was and whether she reported directly to Mike Rinder or not. I went back to my car to get the Lisa logs. I was reaching in to get my book when she cut across the street."
>From Lori Ann Chauvette in Boston:
"The 1st Annual Columbus Day Picket was a success. Small group this time (myself, DW, Martin and his brother), but it took 9 of them to handle us, which we found amusing. I had a sign that read, 'It costs HOW MUCH for Total Freedom?' DW had one that read, 'Free Minton' on one side and 'First Lisa, then Bob, Who's Next?' on the other. Martin videotaped, and his brother handed out flyers.
"As soon as we started handing those out the Italian Stallion and a few other Scientologists took flyers from us, then he started screaming 'copyright infringement'. Then they got excited over the fact that Martin's brother was a MINOR helping us, saying I was participating in a 'crime'. DW and I either had a handler, on just one of us or both of us at some point. On Martin and his brother they had five people on them at all times talking with them. In the meantime they're giving us articles from FREEDOM Magazine and from the local newspaper where a sheriff committed suicide in Bob Minton's field like it had anything to do with anything."
Details of a Boston picket by Stacy Young and Jesse Prince
"10 minutes into picket, a guy come out and ask why they are doing this and what do they know about Scientology. What a fun question for the pair. He liked what they said and listened intently until a tall guy came from the org to pull him back in by the arm. He jerked away from the tall guy and said he was not ready and would come in when he finished talking. Frank 'Slugger' Ofman peeked out of the glass doors of the org but would not come out to play with the police there. Anyway, the tall guy came out again and persuaded the guy talking to Stacy and Jesse to come in. Some doubt was sown. A Beacon Hill lady in a Volvo stopped to talk with Stacy about a friend who had a son who spent a lot of money and time on the Freewinds. Supportive honks, thumbs up, etc. The police were thanked and educated."
>From Bruce Pettycrew on two pickets in Mesa, Arizona:
"I dropped by after work today and picketed from 4:20 to 5:20. The cult wants to put up a sign that will extend over where the roadway will go in the future, and has a meeting with the zoning czar tomorrow at 1:30. Today there were 8 cars, and two more arrived during the picket while one left. I handed out two Xenu leaflets to walkers. 12 drivers and 3 bicyclists gave their support to the picket."
"Jeff Jacobsen, Kathy Pettycrew, and I picketed from 1:00 to 2:00 PM today. The org was advertising the Golden Age of Tech workshops for 1:30 today. Almost no cars arrived during our picket, so it must be a flop, or the local copy of 'Ability' magazine got the time wrong. They had tried to spread steer manure on the plants along the sidewalk, and had left piles of it on top of the ground cover, which will burn and destroy the plants."
>From Sue Mullaney in Minneapolis:
"I called the Minneapolis Police Department in advance and told them that I and another person would be picketing the Church of Scientology today from about 12:00 noon-1 pm, mentioning as I had before that two Scns tried to follow me home after a previous picket and that picketers had been attacked by Scn members in other cities, but that hopefully nothing like that would happen here. I had my usual sign ('SCIENTOLOGY: SPACE ALIEN SCAM' and 'DOES THE BRIDGE REALLY COST $360,000?') and most of my usual flyers (Xemu, Lisa, Scam), I brought copies of the hot-off-the-presses '$cientology: Insane Cult' flyer. Chris had a sign saying, 'SCIENTOLOGY HURTS PEOPLE' and (I think) 'SCIENTOLOGY: RELIGION FOR THE RICH', and he had three different flyers: The 'Why I'm Picketing $cientology' flyer; a flyer with the letter from Scn Reverend Andrew Bagley to the father of a Scn member who owed money to the church, as well as a flyer Chris wrote directed towards Scn members called, 'Can You Save Scientology?' about how Miscavige and RTC were squirreling the tech and destroying Scientology.
"We went and stood in front of the org with our signs and I was bracing for a bunch of members to come out and handle us but they never did. One woman came up to us shortly after we got there and asked where we got our information and if we thought it was true, and we said yes, we thought it was. She said, 'Well, I happen to be a Scientologist and I don't agree with you.'
"One guy came up to us and said something about how Scn had him put in jail several years ago and then said something like, 'They'll be taken care of. God bless you both!' and then left. I don't know what he meant by 'They'll be taken care of,' but I certainly hope he didn't mean committing violence against Scn and its members because that's the LAST thing Chris or I would want! Another guy asked us, 'What happened, did you guys go in once and they wouldn't let you out? That's what happened to someone I know!' We had more people say things like, 'I agree with you,' 'I'm glad somebody's doing something like this,' and 'Thank you,' as well as one person breaking out into applause!"
>From J.M. Ivler in Los Angeles:
"Today I handed out: 30 copies of nots34-anal2.html; 50 copies of my feel better with the test; 200 copies of 'Scientology Insane Cult'; 100 copies of 'Scientology Space Alien Scam'; 100 copies of 'Xenu'. I had a handler and two nice SeaOrg'rs decided to come out and talk. We discussed psychotherapy, dianetics, copyrights, fair use, minton, henson, how to quit smoking, proper diet and nutrition, Neuro Linguistic Programming, framing and references, how I get the stuff I print off the net using a computer at Kinko's, what bothers me about a 501(c)3 using it's money to harass and sue individuals, and finally, why I was there. Garry was a nice enough gent and we talked for about 15 minutes (maybe a bit more) before I decided to call it a day.
"They did make an interesting point that they consider the higher level teachings to be those used by and for the 'clergy' of their faith. That it is protected so that the 'clergy' are the only ones who have access to it. Now that was an interesting argument that I had not heard put forward before. But, when you look at most 'religions' even independent scholars generally have access to, and comment on, these rituals and texts."
>From "Max" and "Pepper" in Toronto:
"After the initial shock of seeing picketers from the demograph that Max and Pepper dwell in, the Clams quickly assigned a woman to man a video camera which initially was intended to be exclusively focused on us. The camerawoman quickly lost interest and turned to take pictures of the clam-clown (yes it was a real clown) handing some poor child a balloon. Elrond was quick to point out that the Clams appeared to lack 'Clown-Tech'. To compensate for this handicap the Clams had done a paint-job reminiscent of a Stephen King movie. Elrond also pointed out that the balloons they were handing out had ribbons as string. The target audience are destined to accidentally release said ribbon causing crying children and pissed-off parents. Elrond explained the error of their ways and offered to show them how to tie a loop that will not slip.
"They were handing out a pamphlet consisting of their personality test and an advertisement for yet another Hubbard book. Meanwhile back at the other corner, the intrepid crew is being incited by the person I refer to in the photos as 'The fat fuck'. The police officer on duty at the scene was informed of a not-very-elegant character assassination."
Star magazine reports that John Travolta is trying to convert U.S.
President Bill Clinton to Scientology.
"John Travolta feels he has the answer to save Bill Clinton's presidency--Scientology. John's an avid Scientologist and feels the teachings of the group can help the president survive the Monica Lewinsky scandal. John has been bombarding the president with Scientology literature and self-help books. He also extended an invitation for the president to meet with some high-ranking Scientologists. Lifelong Baptist Bill isn't ready to commit, but to please John he's agreed to look over the material."
Zenon Panoussis posted an update on a Swedish court decision granting
Scientology a judgment for copyright infringement.
"I went to my new apartment yesterday to find a demand from the CoS' Dutch lawyers that I pay the 1.2 million of the Swedish ruling. They are not so naive as to think they can actually get it; they are just taking the first step towards trying to collect in order to harass. It contains a permanent injunction forbidding me to infringe upon the OTs and NOTs copyrights. It happens to be so that Swedish law precludes prosecution for any act that is covered by an injunction. So, although copyright infringement is normally a prosecutable offense, I am permanently immune to prosecution thanks to the permanent injunction that the CoS won. In other words I can publish OTs and NOTs in Sweden at the price of 50.000 Swedish crowns, which is a quite OK sum. It's some DEM 20.000 or USD 12.500, more or less. Not much, compared to what I am already supposed to pay. It occurred to me that if I cannot pay 1.3 million SEK, I cannot pay 1.312 million either."