Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 3, Issue 2 04/19/98 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://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/ http://www.ecis.com/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html http://alfa.ist.utl.pt/~dif/ic/reviews.htm #####
Martin Ottmann posted three recent letters from Scientology. The first is
from ASHO to the directors of Class 5 orgs.
"ASHO Day is going Saint Hill Size very soon and so I am writing to inform you of the services ASHO Day offers and to let you know what this has to do with you. We have completions coming off the Pro TRs and Pro Metering courses on a daily basis. ASHO has completed over 125 students on the Hubbard Professional Metering course to date. We also have a case cracking HGC with Golden Age of Tech trained auditors to service bugged cases, with 12 auditors and more arriving weekly. OT Preparations and Eligibility are available and within the next several weeks, we will, once again have a full Power and Power Plus Delivery team to service those who have not gone Clear on NED. Right now there are rates on auditing which will be going up at the end of the month for services at ASHO and now is the time to take advantage of this. As a Class V org or a mission, you serve as an FSM for the upper orgs. Every time you select someone to ASHO and they arrive, the FSM commission is paid and goes straight into staff pay. Every org and mission is expected to arrive a volume amount of public to ASHO. Look this over, decide, and figure out how you are going to arrive twenty public to ASHO by 8 March."
>From CCHR on attempts to infiltrate the National Organization of Women Legislators.
"At CCHR International we have a number of plans and projects coordinated to do just that. One of these is to see that the psychs are '...deprived of their unearned millions in appropriations...'. A terrific opportunity has just arisen that will help us do just that. There is an organization called the National Organization of Women Legislators (NOWL), and as the name implies, this group is made up of top woman legislators from local, state and the Federal Government. Senators, governors, congresswomen and others are members of this group.
"Their President recently called CCHR and asked if I would address their next meeting. Needless to say, I accepted. I want CCHR to become a member of this group so we can get our message out to this very important public on an ongoing basis about what psychiatry is doing to our schools, our courts and our civilization as a whole. We need $10.000 to become members of this group and to cover travel and lodging expenses associated with the conference. Our target for the year 2000 is coming fast. We urgently need your tax-deductible donation in the amount of $500 or above! For every person who contributes $1000 or more, a personal commendation will be written from myself to your ethics files."
Finally, a questionnaire sent to American WISE members:
"__Yes, I want to enroll person(s) for the Establishment Officer School. Please contact me. __ I can't make it on that date but want to attend to one of your next Establishment Officer Schools. __ I want to train employees from my company. Please contact me. __ Please send me more information on the following Training programs: __ Sales __ Marketing __ Finances __ Executive Training __ Workshops & Seminars
"PLEASE FAX THIS QUESTIONNAIRE TO HUBBARD COLLEGE OF ADMINISTRATION INTERNATIONAL"
Scientologist George Chelekis was ordered to pay $600,000 to a reporter in
a libel suit this week in Vancouver, British Columbia. From the Associated
"A Vancouver Sun business reporter won a $600,000 libel judgment over claims he had manufactured negative news about some companies to drive down the price of their shares. The judgment for David Baines, a prize-winning investigative reporter, was the second-largest libel award in Canadian history. In a ruling released Wednesday, the British Columbia Supreme Court said Florida journalist George Chelekis carried on a 'campaign of vilification with the intention that Baines be left with no credibility.'
"The suit against Chelekis and two publishers was filed by lawyers for Southam Inc., which owns the Sun, after a series of articles written by Chelekis were reprinted in the two newsletters and carried over the Internet. Chelekis accused Baines, whose articles have exposed mining company and Vancouver stock exchange abuses, of threatening his life and that of his secretary, as well as of making up unfavorable news about some companies."
>From the Vancouver Sun:
"Baines was awarded $875,000 plus an additional $75,000 in special costs after B.C. Supreme Court Justice John Rowan found a Florida journalist had carried on a 'campaign of vilification with the intention that Baines be left with no credibility. His intent was to destroy Baines' career.' There were three defendants in the case: David J. Robinson, the Florida publisher of the Bull & Bear, Market News Publishing Inc., a Vancouver-based electronic publisher of business news, and Florida journalist George Chelekis. Justice Rowan found Chelekis liable for most of the damages.
"Chelekis accused Baines of threatening his life and that of his secretary, and of working with former Vancouver Stock Exchange trader and private investigator Adrian du Plessis to manufacture negative news about selected companies to drive down the prices of their shares. 'In the course of his campaign, Chelekis manufactured three separate and deliberate lies, the first, that David Baines threatened his life; the second, that Baines was trading against his column, and third, that Baines was involved in a homosexual relationship with Adrian du Plessis,' Rowan wrote in his judgment.
"The largest libel award in Canadian history was against the Church of Scientology, which was held liable for $1.6 million over statements made about an Ontario lawyer."
Red herring magazine published an article this week on Earthlink and its
Scientologist founder, Sky Dayton.
"An ISP founded by a Scientologist with a high school diploma, some experience in coffee-shop management, and a dream to make the Net a more accessible place? We snickered knowingly and sat back to watch the wreckage. But EarthLink didn't fail; it grew, went public, and prospered. Sky Dayton, EarthLink's 26-year-old founder, likes to think of himself as the Robin Hood of the Internet. As he is fond of recalling, Mr. Dayton himself had enormous trouble first connecting his computer to the Net and was appalled that others might be denied the Web's riches because of similar difficulties.
"EarthLink owes its success to several savvy business decisions. To avoid the expense of the backbone structure necessary to run an ISP, Mr. Dayton opted to rent capacity from UUNet Technologies and PSINet and concentrate EarthLink's energy on marketing and intensive customer service. The portion of the network that EarthLink does operate has been expanded to allow for future growth, and the company's subscriber base has been keeping pace. According to Forrester Research analyst Kate Delhagen, 'EarthLink's spent a lot of money and it's done well; now it needs to sustain that momentum.'"
The Economist published an article on Scientology and Germany this week.
"So Germany's treatment of Scientologists today is not, after all, quite like its treatment of the Jews in the 1930s. That was the claim made in a full-page advertisement in the International Herald Tribune last year, in which such celebrities as Goldie Hawn, Dustin Hoffman and Oliver Stone attacked Germany for its 'shameful pattern of organised persecution' of the Church of Scientology. Now an investigation carried out on behalf of the UN Commission on Human Rights pours appropriate scorn on this 'meaningless and puerile' comparison, rebutting not just the accusations of Hollywood's vigilantes but also the slightly less idiotic ones made by America's State Department.
"Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, taught that humans are clusters of spirits that were trapped in ice and banished to earth 75m years ago by Xenu, the ruler of the 76-planet Galactic Confederation. Some religions teach stranger things. Some Christians, for instance, teach that God created the world in a week. This weekend others will be eating bread and drinking wine in the belief that these are Christ's body and blood. Awkward as it may be to admit, almost any old group of believers is logically eligible for religious status, even if their movement reeks of hatred, fraud or tax-evasion. If the practitioners call it religion, who is to gainsay them--just as who is to gainsay the creator who calls his creation art? Art is in the eye of the producer; religion is in the eye of the believer."
Articles on the controversy in Germany this week on Scientology. From
"'Information and more Information' - that is the best way, from the viewpoint of Hamburg's City Senator Hartmuth Wrocklage (SPD), to deal with the controversial Scientology organization. Wrocklage presented a report, which had to do with the structure, mission and goals of the 'Scientology Secret Service,' to the State Office for Constitutional Protection. This is not about a 'witch hunt against individuals who have come upon Scientology in good faith,' said the senator. However, 'we will proceed with relentless severity' against the functionaries of the OSA secret service. The tangible mission of the OSA includes, according to this investigation: The repelling of attacks against Scientology; directly influencing governments and important social groups; the pursuit and disparagement of critics and former members by overwhelming lawsuits, methodical spying, defamation and psycho-terror.
"Scientology, according to Wrocklage, is not a church, but a 'multi-national, tightly constructed hierarchy and totalitarian psycho-business.' It pursues 'endeavors which are against our liberal-democratic fundamentals', and tries 'to bring about its politically extremist goals by any means available to its crack secret service and propaganda apparatus.' The end goal is the 'freeing' of Germany, Europe, and the planet."
>From the Freie Presse Online:
"There is as much excitement in Zwickau now as there ever was at the surprising revelation that construction kingpin Kurt Fliegerbauer is a Scientology member. The CDU faction now demands that the other parties of the city council follow their example and conduct an investigation into possible mix-ups with the sect. 'By this means the city council could clearly determine that it is free from connections to this organization and that its decisions could not be influenced by them,' stated a letter from faction leader Gerald Otto and from State Representative Thomas Pietzsch.
"The CDU faction had demanded a statement from its members that they are not associated with Scientology, even before the Fliegerbauer outing. 'Moreover, a decision has been made some time ago that membership in the party is incompatible with membership in the sect,' Pietzsch noted."
>From Berliner Morgenpost:
"It can hardly be imagined that Bob Minton would be 'Enemy Number One' of Scientology. The father of two daughters has already invested 1.5 million dollars in the battle against the controversial sect, and perhaps he may lose his entire fortune. 'But I'll take that in stride,' said the 51 year old Banker, who lives in the US state of New Hampshire. 'I want to defend freedom.'
"Minton continues to inform the public about the sect on talk shows. He sees himself as one of the 'crusaders' at the battle front which is now also active in the USA. Former members are more frequently reporting of the suppression of members inside of the sect. The media has not risked publishing this fact, because Scientology attorneys frequently are a source of irritation.
"Last but not least the internet is keeping the sect busy. Websites show video clips which spoof the creation myth believed by Scientology. Little green men dress up as the god 'Xenu.' Information about Scientology is also distributed over the net, even secret FBI documents. The sect is in danger of losing the internet battle, because website creators are anonymous. There is nobody there to intimidate."
Media reactions this week to the arrest of agents of the German government
for spying on Scientology in Switzerland. From Stuttgarter Nachrichten:
"The arrest of a Baden-Wurttemberg Constitutional Protection agent, who was in Switzerland investigating the Scientology sect, has caused diplomatic tension. The Swiss State Department requested the presence of the German Ambassador in order to protest against the transgression of Swiss sovereignity. The German Ambassador expressed his regret of the incident. It was made known on Thursday that the Constitutional Protection agent had been arrested carrying false identification on Monday in Basel, after a meeting with two Swiss critics. Three days later he was released from detention on bail. The authorities in Stuttgart had posted bail for him and guaranteed the the man would take part in legal proceedings in Switzerland. He was charged with espionage and carrying false identification.
"The investigator was following a lead from Stuttgart about connections between Scientologists in both countries, whereupon he drove to Basel. He made contact with a Swiss Scientology critic, who brought a community politician with her to this (presumably first) personal meeting. The politician is said to have sent the investigator away and called the police, at which time the investigator was arrested."
"Espionage? One really pictured Espionage to be something quite different. The Constitutional Protection agent from Baden-Wurttemberg sat in Basel with two Scientology critics, in order to learn about the connection between south Baden and Swiss scientologists. That really doesn't sound like a James Bond film. Nevertheless, what is permitted for others, such as journalists, is prohibited to Constitutional Protection agents. From a purely legal viewpoint, the man from Stuttgart presumably fulfilled the conditions for espionage, even if it appears to be a less serious case.
"The Swiss government thinks differently about the Scientology sect than does the German. It does not see any reason for the surveillance of the sect. The mere suspicion that Scientologists operate with criminal methods is not enough for the Swiss. That is how it happens that the Scientologists can work together, unhindered, from either side of the border -- a condition which is apparently far beyond the scope of the investigating officials."
"There is much to indicate that the Swiss Canton politician, Susanne Haller, brought about the the arrest of the investigator, allegedly because of political motives. Haller is a member of the Social Democrat Party in Switzerland, which is the only party in our neighboring country who supports the people's initiative [Against the Switzerland Snooper Police] The initiative was brought up long ago for the disbandment of the 'Political Police'. After a year-long battle - the initiative was quashed in Parliament - it now comes down to a popular vote. Here comes an conspicuous incident such as the one in Basel, where the official of the State Office of Constitutional Protection was arrested, conveniently for the opposition of the [Swiss] intelligence service.
"Apparently it was Haller who, in cooperation with the Swiss police, saw to it that the meeting did not take place as had been planned on the German side, but in Basel instead. The Constitutional Protection agent wanted to travel with both his informants from Basel to Weil on Rhein by train, to talk about the connections between Basel and Sudbaden Scientologists. Despite this, Haller urged that the proceedings take place in the square - presumably due to lack of time. After the meeting the Stuttgart agent was arrested relatively quickly; the Swiss Federal Police were apparently well prepared. There is much to indicate that Haller already had contact with the police a couple of days before the meeting. The warrant for arrest is dated April 2 - four days before the meeting."
The controversy over the possible involvement of Sergei Kiriyenko in
Scientology continued this week. From the Associated Press:
"A leftist parliamentary group called Tuesday for a probe into vehemently denied reports that Prime Minister-designate Sergei Kiriyenko has ties to the Scientology movement. According to Interfax, Yelena Panina, a member of the Popular Rule parliamentary faction, said the group wants two parliamentary committees to launch an investigation into the reports about Kiriyenko. Kiriyenko has publicly denied the reports. Speaking last Friday, April 1, he described it as 'the best April Fool's joke yet.'
>From The Independent:
"The steep path to power for Boris Yeltsin's youthful nominee for prime minister became rockier yesterday when Russia's parliament decided to investigate his alleged links with the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology. The lower chamber, the State Duma, voted to investigate claims that Sergei Kiriyenko took part in Scientology-related seminars while he was an unknown provincial banker in Nizhny Novgorod.
"The decision is another skirmish in the battle of wits between the Communist- dominated parliament and Mr Yeltsin over the nomination of the 35-year- old Mr Kiriyenko as prime minister, replacing Viktor Chernomyrdin who was sacked last month, along with his cabinet. The Duma's decision means several parliamentary committees will examine media reports that three years ago Mr Kiriyenko went to a week-long seminar organised by Hubbard College - which is run by the Scientologists - and donated money to the cause.
"Last Friday, just before his nomination was voted down by parliament, he was specific: he told the Duma he had 'never in his life' had any contacts with 'the mentioned sect or religion'. Despite this, the odds remain in favour of Mr Kiriyenko being confirmed in his new job, if only because his parliamentary opponents would rather keep their seats, and the attendant perks, than risk an early election."
Grady Ward posted a letter to Scientology lawyer Tom Hogan, in which he
accused Scientology of withholding evidence from discovery in his
copyright violation case.
"Your fax of April 15, 1998 first disclosed that the plaintiff has possessed crucial data compilations relevant to the Usenet posting facts alleged with particularity in your complaint. This was confirmed under oath in the depositions of Jean Carnahan and Rhea Smith in their deposition on April 16, 1998 admitting their role in allegedly collecting and maintaining these magnetic records since February 20, 1995 and continuously during the period at issue in this litigation begun on March 21, 1996. Coupled with the sworn statements that Warren McShane personally directed this monitoring and further revelations during yesterday's depositions proves this failure was willful.
"The declarations by, and the deposition of Warren McShane on May 22, 1997 along with the plaintiff's answers to interrogatories and document requests proves conclusively that you and the plaintiff repeatedly and willfully concealed this evidence from the defendant and the court, even after multiple requests by the defendant for this information. Disclosing this crucial data two years after it was required to be disclosed, after the joint pretrial statement has been filed and after the in limine motions have been made and opposed, and now on the eve of trial, is particularly reprehensible.
"Beyond the automatic sanctions provided for in FRCivP 37(c), I will be filing for further expedited relief in this matter."
Brent Stone reported on the ongoing pickets at the San Jose org.
"It was raining when I got there at 10:45, by the time a second picketer arrived the rain had stopped. No sprinklers on, no scienos to be seen outside. They stayed inside until about 12:30. No trace of Darlene, no photos taken of us, pretty much looks like OT powers over us have vanished from the suppressive atmosphere that hangs over the org when we're there."
>From Keith Henson:
"In order to count the cars in the back parking area one of us has walked back on the vacant lot to the east every time we have been there for the last year. Today Darlene came out and said scientology owned the lot and they would call the cops on us for trespassing if we did it again. I would appreciate someone taking a look in the county records to find out if the org at 80 E. Rosemary actually owns the lot to the east."
"Taniwha" on a picket in San Francisco:
"They had the 'free stress test' table out in front set up before we arrived and once we got there a body router came out to hand out tickets. While we were there they got only one customer at their table. There were 4 of us there this time: myself, Peaches, phr and Jour - an ARS lurker there at her first picket."
"I didn't hear much debate from the Scientologists. I thought I overheard the woman at the Stress Test table say something about how it was all lies and it was just amazing. Many of the passersby were supportive. I registered a few honks and a few thumbs up, and a number of people stopped to make eye contact and say 'thanks' or 'I agree' or 'I support what you're doing'. A man told us he really supported what we were doing, and said he had lost a friend to $cientology. I thought our conversation with him was one of the most enlightening of the day; he seemed to think that $cientology won all their legal battles and that there was nothing that could be done against them, but I suggested searching the 'net for info on their illegal activities, and T. told him about many of the lawsuits that $cientology HASN'T won."
The Washington Post published an article, which included discussion of
comedian Jerry Seinfeld's involvement in Scientology.
"Seinfeld, while he says he is not a member of the Church of Scientology, took pains during an interview to defend the controversial sect. He said he had taken Scientology courses years earlier and found them to be very 'pragmatic' and helpful. He said he was 'interested in Eastern religions generally,' apparently thinking Scientology to be one of them. 'I think the stuff I learned there really did help me a lot,' he said. When reminded then that Time magazine had just run a cover story about Scientology that included charges it was a 'thriving cult of greed and power' and a 'ruthless global scam,' Seinfeld scowled and dismissed the article as 'poor journalism.'"
Anonymous a.r.s poster "Paper Tiger" reported threatening email this week.
"To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: hey
"Your days are numbered, bitch."