Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 4, Issue 45
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 proceeds from planned Battlefield Earth action figures have been
identified as benefiting Author Services, a part of Scientology. From the
New York Post on a party to launch the toys:
"Scientologist John Travolta will hawk the action figures of 'Battlefield Earth,' the sci-fi movie based on the book by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Travolta, who plays the evil 'Terl,' is slated to appear Monday in the Trendmasters Showroom at 200 Fifth Avenue."
"The most intriguing aspect of the toy line based on summer sci-fi epic 'Battlefield Earth' may not be the 'Ratbastard'-spouting John Travolta doll. It could just be the millions of dollars the Church of Scientology stands to earn from the playthings. Though the church did not participate in the making of the Warner Bros./Franchise Pictures project, it was included in the merchandising agreement, according to Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder. Any deal for merchandising automatically includes Author Services, the agency that handles all of the works of late writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
"The toy assembly includes Strike Jets, Psychoblasters and Thunder Battletanks alongside 11-inch figures of Travolta as Terl, the villainous warlord. The Terl doll borrows Travolta voice snippets from the film, including these lines: 'Exterminate all man animals at will,' 'You wouldn't last one day at the Academy,' 'Man is an endangered species' and 'Ratbastard.' Trendmasters, the company responsible for the line of toys, says these types of movie-driven toys can earn as much as $50 million in sales. Exactly how much will the Church of Scientology recoup from the toys? No one seems to know."
"In an interview at BattlefieldEarth.net, director Roger Christian says that, in addition to being a metaphor for humanity, the flick is also 'a straight-ahead, full throttle, ultimate action ride. I mean you won't believe the pace and tempo.' However, the good news appears when Christian notes that 'we've loaded it with more action than was in the original script, raised velocity of events, the swift interplay of characters toward a climax that keeps building and building, and just doesn't quit. I can't wait to see it myself.'"
>From the New York Daily News:
"Warner Bros. execs and church officials say the controversial sect had no hand in the making of the film. But the church possibly has a stake in the film's merchandising. Any spinoff deal benefits Author Services, the agency that handles all of the late Hubbard's novels and stories, according to one Church of Scientology spokesman, Mike Rinder. But another church spokesman, Aron Mason, insists: 'The church has no financial interest in 'Battlefield Earth.' Author Services is not part of the Church of Scientology. They are a literary agency without any connection to the church.'
"Mason says he doesn't know where profits from Author Services go. Travolta, who is a Scientologist, pushed to get 'Battlefield' made, but he insists the $80 million epic was not inspired by the church's teachings. Yet the 'Battlefield' story does seem to echo reported aspects of the church's tenets. Both deal in intergalactic travel, space battles and evil aliens. 'There's no way that this movie would be happening without Scientology's backing,' Stacy Brooks, a former member of the sect and current president of the Scientology-watchdog group Lisa McPherson Trust, tells us. 'This is one example of how Scientology insinuates itself in various aspects of the culture.'"
>From the Sunday Times:
"The influence and wealth of the Church of Scientology look set to increase this summer, thanks to a Warner Bros movie and a spin-off toy line. Battlefield Earth, based on the sci-fi novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is due out here in May. It stars prominent scientologist John Travolta, right, and planned merchandising includes a doll based on Travolta's character, Terl, a villainous warlord. The doll will deliver movie lines in Travolta's voice, including 'Exterminate all man animals at will,' and, best of all, 'Ratbastard'. The sales deal includes Author Services, the agency which handles all the works of Hubbard and is widely assumed to benefit the Church of Scientology - though a church spokesman denies this. Travolta says the $80 million Battlefield was not inspired by church teachings. However both the story and the church deal with intergalactic travel and space battles."
Letters to the editor this week in the St. Petersburg Times:
"If I didn't love this city so much, I would have to laugh at the continued quandary that the mayor, city commissioners and city manager seem to stay in over what to do to revitalize downtown and the bayfront. It must be remembered that downtown Clearwater has a unique problem that virtually no other city has -- a very visible contingent of hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of uniformed cult members roaming the area at all hours. It's just that simple. Scientologists are not trusted and not liked by the vast majority of Clearwater residents. They are the main reason that downtown has been abandoned by the average citizen. - Lorraine Bachman, Clearwater"
"F. Wallace Pope Jr.'s diatribe against those Clearwater taxpaying citizens who, unfortunately, do not share his views of ongoing and proposed developments in Clearwater, is glaringly without objectivity. How could he and his law firm be objective when they already have business ties with the 'recommended' New Orleans firm for the proposed development of the bluff, and with Scientology? - Victor J. Rudolph, Clearwater "
"If all the success stories written by people who have been helped by Scientology's spiritual and ethical technologies were stacked one upon the other, a very conservative estimate would place the top of the stack higher than the tallest buildings ever built. But even though that graphic example can be shown to be true, there would still be some who, with no proof, would claim that those stories were written by the misguided and misinformed. - Robert Magness, Dunedin"
Jyllandsposten published an article on February 16th on a drive by
Scientologists to influence an Internet poll on recognition of Scientology
"The call for battle was circulated to 'entrusted scientologists' Saturday morning - shortly after the Jyllandsposten Internet-newspaper launched a vote on the question 'should scientology be recognised as a religion?' The foreign scientologists were quickly informed about the case. 'In Denmark, official recognition of Scientology in in the pipeline, so of course certain parties are attempting to prevent the inevitable positive result. Their latest attempt is a series of articles in a Danish newspaper. This paper also has a web site with a vote going.' Then, the scientologists were how to access the Jyllandsposten web site and click on 'the right answer' - that is, 'ja' [Danish for yes].
"Scientology denies any knowledge of the controversial e-mail. 'We have nothing to do with that. It must be something which others have done to generate a certain impression,' says Anette Refstrup, spokesperson for scientology in Denmark.
"During Saturday, more than 4000 votes were cast, versus less than 2000 on a normal Saturday, and far more were from abroad than usual, according to the IT company Lavasoft which runs the technical side of the internet votes at Jyllandsposten. Americans, in particular, showed a remarkable interest in the Danish vote. When the vote started Saturday morning, there was a clear majority against recognition of scientology, but during the day yes-votes flooded in. Therefore, the vote ended with a relatively balanced result, 56.6% said no, and 41.5% said yes."
Reuters reported on February 13th that the mayor of Paris is in favor of
restrictions on cults near schools and shelters.
"Mayor Jean Tiberi said he would present to the National Assembly a draft law that would also ban sects from advertising within a certain radius of establishments considered vulnerable. 'Jean Tiberi wanted to go further in order to protect from the risk of manipulation or press-ganging the most vulnerable people such as lonely old people, young people suffering family break-ups, minors.' Tiberi's office said in a statement.
"Tiberi said he would suggest to Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin the creation of a monitoring unit to gather and update information about sects. The move comes as local authorities warn of an increase in what they consider to be cult activities in Paris, in particular by the U.S.- based Church of Scientology. The newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche said in a report published on Sunday that members of the Church of Scientology were recruiting near high schools in smart neighbourhoods."
Sindelfinger Zeitung reported on February 15th that Stuttgart is appealing
a decision that restored the charitable status of Scientology.
"The Stuttgart administrative presidium is undertaking a new attempt to withdraw the legal capacity of Scientology's branch of Dianetics Stuttgart, Inc., because it is said to be operating a commercial business and not pursuing primarily ideal goals. After the agency chalked up a defeat before the Stuttgart Administrative Court in 1999, it is now applying for an appeal. Andriof believes there is a good chance that the Mannheim Administrative Court will have to take up the matter. "
Freie Presse Chemnitz reported on February 5th, 8th and 10th that that some politicians in Zwickau have done business with Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer. The Scientologist has announced plans to pull his business out of Zwickau.
"Leading Hessian CDU politicians have done real estate business with Zwickau Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer. Interior Minister Volker Bouffier, Justice Minister Christean Wagner and faction chief Norbert Kartmann have shares in old town villas in Zwickau's northern suburbs. Interior Bouffier told the 'Freie Presse' that he did not learn of Fliegerbauer's membership in the Scientology sect until long after he purchased the building. He also has a management contract with the Scientologist which, on legal grounds, cannot be dissolved. He further said that his office as Interior Minister had nothing to do with his private financial investments."
"'Kurt Fliegerbauer is cross at me and I at him,' said Volker Bouffier. Kurt Fliegerbauer is not just Zwickau's real estate tycoon who has purchased, renovated and sold 250 buildings in the valley city to more than 500 individual capital investors. Kurt Fliegerbauer, who so gladly plays the artfully inclined optimist and dramatic benefactor of the city, is also a leading member of the Scientology sect, which Constitutional Security says is striving for a world system in which democracy and Basic Law would no longer apply.
"But Minister Bouffier is a customer of Fliegerbauer's, just as are his Hessian CDU party cohorts, Justice Minister Christean Wagner and the chief of the CDU state assembly faction, Norbert Kartmann. Several weeks after he bought his building in June 1997, Kartmann said he 'first learned in an article in the Sunday newspaper of the suspicion that Fliegerbauer belonged to the Scientology sect.' Since Fliegerbauer's self-admission as a Scientology man in February 1998, numerous German newspapers and television broadcasters have dealt with the Zwickau real estate mogul; nevertheless Kartmann, the Fliegerbauer customer, said he had not heard anything about it until the end of last week.
"Interior Minister Bouffier, on the other hand, has heard a lot recently about the top Scientologist. The CDU politician had closed a five-year management contract, which runs until 2001, with Osterstein Castle Management, Inc., Fliegerbauer's company. 'If I would have known of Fliegerbauer's sect membership earlier, then naturally I would not have bought a building from him,' Bouffier verified.
"A more probable background for Fliegerbauer's current unwillingness to pay: he had wanted a reference from Bouffier, which would have put some pressure on the CDU city faction which has been more skeptical recently than it has in the past about the sect member's business goals. 'Because I refused to give him that reference,' Minister Bouffier told the 'Freie Presse,' 'Fliegerbauer even threatened to sue for neglecting to provide assistance.'"
"While top Scientologist and real estate mogul Kurt Fliegerbauer announced his withdrawal from Zwickau via a press conference, the brass plaques of his Osterstein Castle Management Inc. were already being removed from all Fliegerbauer buildings. The 'godfather' of Zwickau, as he has been called by a leading German magazine, was leaving nothing of the disassembly of his defiant self-identity to chance in making the scene media effective. Fliegerbauer's company, Osterstein Castle Management, Inc., will be transferred to Munich."
Die Welt published a column by Gerhard Besier, a professor at Heidelberg University, on the recommendations made by the Enquette Commission in 1998.
"It suggested a change to the association and tax laws, strengthening the usury paragraphs, state promotion of private counseling centers, as well as the collection and distribution of relevant data by the Cologne federal management office. The research and opinions of the Enquete Commission in fulfillment of its mission led to the conclusion that no great danger emanates from the new religious and worldview movements any more than it does from the traditional religions or other worldview alliances. There were plans to finance a research project to follow another financed project for the qualification of expert personnel in 'established counseling institutions.' An 'overlapping network of available counseling centers' is envisioned by this. In the law passed by the federal president on December, 1999, two and a quarter million German marks were set aside for the 'Pilot plan for prevention in the area of so-called sects and psychogroups.'
"Church counseling centers and 'independent' initiatives [are] benefiting from [government] promotion. Even the theological conservative denominational movement 'Kein anderes Evangelium' detects something wrong. 'Among the experts of the Enquete Commission are representatives of the 'Gesellschaft fuer Biblisch-Therapeutische Seelsorge' - church sect commissioners Hansjoerg Hemminger and Reverend Wilfried Veeser. And to judge what is regarded as a sect and who as a sectarian, a 'personality structure test' from Michael Dieterich is used, a variety of the layer model of occultist C. G. Jung.'
"As it appears, the church lay psychologists from the BTS now wish to separate the foxes from the chickens with their test. 'The model project should be value neutral,' said the federal administration. One can hardly wait to see how that will be guaranteed in the face of such applicants and where the money will go. The Enquete Commission has already helped cause serious harm to individual religious groups with all kinds of indiscretions and stigmatizations without there being concrete evidence of a law being violated. Since the experts assigned will not yield anything tangible, one has to ask what the 'prevention' is supposed to be aimed at in the area of counseling."
Neue Westfaelische Lokales reported that a presentation on Scientology will be made in Enger on February 21st.
"'Scientology - church, psychocult or cleverly disguised commercial business?' will be the topic of a presentation by Andreas Jotzo in conjunction with Herford Occultism Information and Counseling Center on Monday, February 21, 8 p.m. in Enger State Library, 15 Bahnhof Street, free of charge. Who or what is Scientology or Dianetics? What is there to understand about 'auditing'? How are people who voice criticism or want to leave dealt with? Besides answering these and similar questions, the presentation will also include the origin and history of Scientology, the method by which goals are accomplished, the position towards business and participation in commercial life, as well as consequences and possible dangers of membership."
Mark Bunker reported on a.r.s the result of a visit to the prosecutor's
office in the case of the attack by Scientologist Richard Bernard last
"The afternoon started bleakly with discovering that Officer Kelly was in speaking to the investigator when I arrived. Officer Kelly was sent out to ask me a question. The investigator wanted to know if we could put off my questioning till Monday. I didn't mind the request but I was rather put off with Kelly being sent to ask me. Even more than the hammer attack itself, which was inexcusable, I was disturbed by Kelly's actions of not wanting to investigate the attack.
"[E]ventually it was decided that the investigator would question me about the events and after hearing all the questions and comments about our filming it seemed to me she was leaning in the direction of letting the whole thing drop. There was a lot of talk about mitigating circumstances and perhaps because we were filming and he just hit the camera and not me, that charges wouldn't be filed. I was told that because Bernard wasn't arrested that this case would move more slowly through the system and it could be weeks before any decision would be made whether any actions would be taken. I mentioned that if nothing is done about Bernard then it gives free reign to anyone to assault me any time I have my camera. A lot was said about the fact that he hit the camera and not me and that the camera did not suffer any serious damage but I pointed out that no matter how upset I am about the criminal activities of Scientology I don't take a hammer and start attacking their property.
"The investigator also couldn't comprehend why I didn't run in fear when Bernard started attacking. I explained that there are camera people in the middle of war zones and that it's my training to keep rolling and get the footage. She felt anyone who was in fear would try to get away. Well, I fear Scientology far more than a bezerko guy with a hammer and I moved next door to them. I left feeling that it was pointless. That nothing would come of it."
Keith Henson reported continued Scientology involvement in his bankruptcy,
and posted an affidavit from his wife.
"Sam Rosen came to town to depose my wife on the 2004 bankruptcy exam. She had a new lawyer who was simply amazed at the proceedings, and even more on how much RTC is blowing on this business. Over two days, Mr. Rosen is surely billing them over $25,000. That is more than they are likely to get out of the entire chapter 13. Mr. Rosen, in trying to take a whack at me admitted certain minor criminal acts of scientology. It will be *most* interesting to see if that shows up on the transcript. Rosen dug out a declaration of my wife which had come from Graham Berry's bankruptcy case in LA. But this was not produced in *my* bankruptcy, but in support of Jane Scott seeking a protective order in an entirely different case. The two lawyers on our side could not imagine a lawyer pulling a stunt like this and, in spite of us telling them, never did grok that it was from another case."
"I, Arel Lucas, declare as follows: My husband is Keith Henson, who has been sued, harassed, physically attacked and otherwise abused by the so-called 'Church of Scientology' (COS) over the past several years. Given the carefully-crafted press image of the organization, neither Henson nor I could have foreseen the ferocity with which this 'Church' was seeking to destroy our lives. The reason I was unable to refinance or dispose of my home was that RTC stealthily put a lien on our home for the equity amount by sending notice of the lien to an old address where we had not lived for more than a year and a half. RTC confiscated not only money in our household account at Wells Fargo Bank, half of which was mine, but also stole a savings account of one of Henson's children not living with us.
"COS sent picketers with signs libeling my husband to picket our home. In order to get by the pickets and not step on often muddy ground it was necessary to rub shoulders with people carrying signs calling Henson a 'bigot' and bearing a printed photograph taken of him by a detective or stalker. At times I felt a prisoner in my own home. My neighbors have also recounted in their declarations how they were approached during this time period by a private detective in the employ of COS, who attempted to blacken my husband's character to them.
"Henson was followed to the business sites of his clients, and they were picketed and harassed as well. By the end of June 1998, both Henson and I were unemployed and using credit cards to buy groceries. I accepted the first job that was offered to me with a company that closed unexpectedly in September. I avoided the pickets by coming home after dark after I had determined that our daughter was all right. She had been badly frightened during the school year by process servers aggressively seeking Henson when he was not home. One evening a process server so tormented us by knocking and yelling and returning hour after hour, that my daughter and I retreated to the attic of our darkened house to finish her homework. I fell into a deep depression noted by friends, but could not afford medical care.
"I have had to cash all my paychecks for 1999 in an attempt to protect my employers from harassment as Henson's clients have been harassed. I had to resign from one of my positions. If the bankruptcy is dismissed, I am concerned that federal marshals might not be discriminating in whether they seize Henson's belongings, my goods or our daughter's possessions. Such seizures would not benefit COS financially, since Henson's car and goods are nearly worthless even at yard-sale prices, but they would no doubt demand enforcement of their judgments, even at great cost to themselves, just to harass Henson. I have had to retain legal counsel to avoid being brought to deposition and hearing without representation; take time off work and job-hunting to seek documents and answer demands; and spend money photocopying documents. I intend to attend the hearing COS seeks regarding dismissal of Henson's bankruptcy, with counsel, and with a completed set of papers ready to file for bankruptcy myself.
"In their motion to dismiss Henson's bankruptcy, RTC contended that I had not cooperated by furnishing them information for which I have never received a request from them. I am being used as a pawn in their 'fair-game' attempt to ruin Henson, with no regard at all given to my legal or financial status, and no consideration of me as a human being."
Judge Susan Schaeffer has handed the Lisa McPherson criminal case to
another judge for medical reasons. From the Tampa Tribune on February
"Chief Circuit Judge Susan Schaeffer had taken responsibility for trying the state's criminal case against the Church of Scientology's Flag Service Organization because she said she expected it to be too time-consuming for a regular judge with a docket full of other cases. Schaeffer signed an order Thursday transferring the Scientology case to Circuit Judge Brandt Downey. Bill Lockhart, the circuit court administrator said Schaeffer has asked that her medical situation be kept private.
"When the charges were filed, Schaeffer predicted the case would involve so much work that no regular trial judge would have time to handle it. The case file has grown to eight volumes. At one hearing, Schaeffer told the church's lawyers that she would not be reading any of the several Scientology books they have filed in support of the motion to dismiss."
The St. Petersburg Times reported on February 18th that Scientology has asked that the autopsy photographs of Lisa McPherson not be made public.
"Photographs taken during the 1995 autopsy on Scientologist Lisa McPherson should not be made public, the Church of Scientology argued in a motion filed Thursday. The photos would 'aggravate the hostile publicity which the church has already received' from being charged in McPherson's death, Scientology lawyers argued. The photos, they contend, almost certainly would be published in newspapers, broadcast on television news shows and spread across the Internet by anti-Scientology groups. The publicity would make it 'virtually impossible for the church to receive a fair trial anywhere, much less in Pinellas County,' the motion states.
"The photos are at issue because the church has made a routine demand to see all the evidence prosecutors will use to try to prove the charges. When the church gets the material, the public may see it as well. For that reason, the church said it wanted everything except the photos. The decision will fall to Circuit Judge Brandt C. Downey III. At issue are 29 photos taken by the medical examiner, plus a roll of film taken for Clearwater Police by the Sheriff's Office."
Tages-Anzeiger reported on February 19th that a Scientologist is promoting
a controversial cure for cancer.
"American healer Hulda Clark has caused an uproar on the alternative healing scene. She claims that cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses are produced by a pathogen, the so-called [intestinal] fluke. Clark also provided the 'true' therapy: with the help of an electrical device which is reminiscent, in a fateful way, of a Scientology e-meter, a sort of lie detector, the pathogens are supposed to be killed off in a few minutes. In the marketing of the expensive and dubious Clark method in Switzerland, Scientologist David P. Amrein is playing the central role. Even doctors have let themselves be blinded and are trying out the controversial cure.
"The adventurous theory of the flukes which allegedly produce cancer contradicts all medical findings. According to the familiar conspiracy theory, the adherents of the Clark therapy claim the pharmaceutical industry and doctors' associations are intentionally suppressing the news that the cause for cancer has been found in order to be able to continue their expensive radiation, chemotherapy and operations at the cost of the patient.
"David P. Amrein, President of the 'Association for the Advancement of Medical Research according to Dr. Clark,' stated that the Clark method attains a cure rate of over 90 percent of the patients in the final stages. The 26-year-old Scientologist opened a Clark Center in Muenchenbuchsee BE which provides the therapy and sells the herbal remedies, as Amrein verified. Two therapists give the Clark treatments.
"Clark is presently operating out of Mexico. A two-week cure from her costs almost $5,000, not including room and board. Rumors state Hulda Clark and her son are Scientologists. David P. Amrein, however, denies that."
Former Scientologist Peter Alexander described Scientology's investigation
of him since leaving and becoming associated with the Lisa McPherson
"I am a former public, OT7 Scientologist who is now a member of the board of the Lisa McPherson Trust, a group dedicated to reforming Scientology. In the last couple of days, several of my former Totally Fun Company employees have called me, and told me that Eugene Ingram, a Church of Scientology PI from L.A., has contacted them trying to dig up dirt on Patricia Greenway and myself. He's been taking information from my supposedly confidential P.C. folder, and twisting it into salacious lies in his own perverse way as a way to smear me.
"[A] small group Totally Fun Company employees hired by my former wife and current Scientologist, Jolie Kanat, have been more than happy to cooperate. These people were bleeding the company dry when Patricia Greenway came to work for me. Patricia uncovered so much graft and corruption on their parts that I was forced to let them go. Now, these same lowlife scumbuckets are busily helping the Church of Scumology create falsehoods in a vain attempt to blacken Patricia and my name. Ingram says he's mostly after Patricia, because she's the one who got me out of Scientology. She did this by showing me the truth about the 'Church' of Scumology, and about L. Ron Hubbard's criminal, con-man life history, much of which we discovered by reading A.R.S.
"I'd like to thank Patricia Greenway and A.R.S. for helping me see the light. But getting out of Scientology and becoming active on the Board of the Lisa McPherson Trust was my decision, and mine alone. Now that I am no longer brainwashed, I am going to pursue the Cult of Scumology until it is completely reformed, until creeps like this Ingram are behind bars, along with all the other criminals who currently run this Cult. I think a very highly publicized lawsuit will reveal both the fraud of WISE, and their connection (in violation of the IRS agreement) with the Church of Scientology."
"Ethercat" and "Mad Cow" reported a protest at the Atlanta org this week.
"Pickets - 2, lasting one and a half hours each, total of 3 hours. Signs: 'Scientology Convicted in Canada, France, Italy, Greece. Now on Trial In USA. Scientology, Dianetics, Unlicensed Psychotherapy? Science or Religion? Neither! It's a Bait and Switch. For more info, visit XENU.NET LisaMcPherson.org RonTheWarHero.org Scientology-Lies.com
"'Doubt is the way out! You spent HOW MUCH?? Can I be your FSM? No OTs Here! No OTs at FLAG! No OTs Across the Bridge!
"Wynot and I arrived around 11:30am to join Mad Cow, who had been picketing since 11. It was drizzling. Mad Cow told us we had missed the standard police visit; it sounded rather humorous this time - the police had pulled in, looked at the ONE ever so dangerous picketer (Mad Cow) and turned around and left, without having even talked to anyone in the org. No one came out to take our pictures or handle us.
"Mad Cow left around noon, and wynot and I gave them another 30 minutes or so, and then left. At 4pm, S and I arrived for the afternoon picket. We had been picketing about 20-30 minutes when a police car pulls into the lot, and parks in a spot close to the door. He starts to go in, but must first get them to unlock the door. Soon, the policeman comes out to tell us, 'We're not here to give you any trouble, just here to check on things.' We stayed till 5:30, for a total of an hour and a half in the afternoon."
"Wynot and Ethercat were able to join me despite the weather. We got the usual honks/thumps-up/nods from passers-by. We got no response at all from the org this time, not even to come out and take our picture. One staffer guy did come stomping out very determinedly, strode past us onto the sidewalk, then proceeded to jaywalk in heavy traffic. I stayed to picket beyond my planned time, and it's a good thing because two teenage kids walked up and asked about the scam. I directed them to xenu.net and xenutv.com for more info, but did tell them about Lisa McPherson, e-meters, space cooties, brainwashing, the aggressive tactics, etc. They were amazed at the info, and said they would check out the URLs."
Bruce Pettycrew protested in Mesa, Arizona.
"Kathy and I picketed the Mesa center from 9:15 to 10:15 this morning. The City of Mesa is widening University Street from Dobson Road to just past the location of the cult building. The sidewalk and street are now covered with white, orange, blue and green painted lines and symbols that indicate construction will be starting soon. Our next picket may have to be from across the street. After the construction is finished, we will be able to picket about five feet closer to the Co$ building."
Lisa Marie Presley
Star Magazine this week published details of Scientology celebrity Lisa
Marie Presley's planned wedding.
"Elvis' little girl is about to marry a former drug user who lived in a bizarre, sex-filled commune and once dated a porn star. Lisa Marie Presley stunned mom Priscilla when she told her she wanted to marry rock musician John Oszajca. Oszajca, 25, admits his onetime drug use, saying: 'I tried quite a few things.' And he says drugs have messed him up in the past. 'I have dropped acid,' he revealed in one shocking interview.
"Friends expect Lisa Marie, 32, to tie the knot later this year. It will be her third marriage and Oszajca's first - but he has had a colorful string of romances, including one with a porn star. Friends say Lisa Marie and John, who met less than a year ago, want to marry in the early summer at the Los Angeles Scientology Center. 'They are making plans for a big wedding at the start of the summer,' says one Presley pal. 'Lisa wants her 10-year-old daughter Danielle to be a maid of honor.'"
Excite.com reported this week that actor Giovanni Ribisi is a
"Though Younger insists that these sorts of incidents are still commonplace, his fictitious firm of J.T. Marlin is eventually brought down by plucky new recruit Seth Davis, played by Giovanni Ribisi. In real life, Ribisi rejects rabid accumulation of wealth, favoring Scientology's path to happiness. At the same time, he understood his character's initial attraction to the fast-paced life of the boiler room. 'The boiler room draws you in,' Ribisi said. 'A guy like Seth finds himself lying and yelling and screwing people over without realizing what's happening to him.'"
Itar-Tass reported that a Moscow court has ruled that the registration of
a Scientology group is invalid.
"The ruling of the Ostankino Municipal Court of Moscow on recognizing as invalid the registration of the Hubbard Humanitarian Centre, a regional public organisation, came into force on Monday, a spokesman for the press service of the Moscow prosecutor's office told Tass. The press service spokesman said that a preliminary investigation on the case of the leader of a regional branch of the Hubbard Centre under Article 171 of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal business activities) had been completed by the prosecutor's office of the North-Eastern Administrative District of Moscow and would be referred to court.
"The Hubbard Centre was officially registered in Russian by the Scientological Church. In the opinion of Alexander Dvorkin, who handles the problem of religious sects at the Moscow Patriarchate, 'this is a very dangerous sect. In Germany it was put under the control of the secret police. It is believed there that the Hubbard Centre is not a religious, but a commercial organisation, which is after power and money. In Greece it was outlawed early in 1998.'"
The Boston Globe reported on February 18th that Scientology celebrity John
Travolta plans a quiet birth for his next child.
"John Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston, will be having a 'quiet birth' when she delivers her second child, due next month. According to the teaching of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the delivery room will be hushed 'so there's nothing in the child's mind that shouldn't be there while there's pain going on,' said Travolta. Preston, however, will be allowed to moan in pain. 'The sounds are not as detrimental,' her husband said. 'Any people saying any kind of negative verbiage may adversely affect the baby later on.'"
>From the New York Daily News:
"Says Travolta: 'We do the traditional French Lamaze, but in Dianetics, you try and keep the delivery room quiet so there's nothing recorded in the child's mind that shouldn't be there while there's pain going on.'"
Lisa McPherson Trust
Letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times this week:
"I am disappointed at the Times Feb. 6 article How much oddity can one town take? which implies there is much oddity in Clearwater aside from Bob Minton and his paid followers. I love Clearwater, and I have made friends. But I am very concerned when a bigot can pay haters to spew venom and get such prominent coverage of his hateful views. Minton and his gang are a throwback to less tolerant and enlightened times. Please don't glamorize bigotry. - The Rev. Ian Anderson, Clearwater
"The 'oddity' is the fact that Bob Minton is portrayed only as an oddity. Bob Minton has been arrested twice for assault. He is a man who fired his shotgun above the heads of two people because 'he doesn't like what they're doing'! Neither Minton nor any of his followers are good for Clearwater. They are not here to contribute in any way! They are all from out of town and don't care about Clearwater or any of its citizens. They should all go back home and think about doing something good for a change. - Ray Hemphill, Largo
"After reading about the controversy surrounding the Church of Scientology and Robert Minton's efforts to peacefully protest, it becomes clear to me that favoritism is possibly being given to the Scientologists by our city manager, Mike Roberto. How much thought did he give to changing the direction of traffic on Watterson Avenue? Was he appeasing church officials by enabling them to shield their members from any protesters? Did he call or visit the businesses that border the street to discuss ramifications?
"Kudos to Scott Brauer, who sold Minton his building near church property despite being offered $275,000 more from the church. And how about that phone call in the night to Brauer from Roberto to ask him if he was sure he wanted to sell the building to Minton? - Scott Freeman, Clearwater"
Stacy Brooks reported that Scientology has begun a boycott of Ottavio's restaurant, near the Lisa McPherson Trust.
"Ever since the LMT took occupancy of 33 North Fort Harrison, Ottavio's Place has welcomed us with open arms. Even before we moved into our building, during the December picket, the maitre d' introduced himself to Bob and me as we were picketing and invited us to have dinner. The night of the candlelight vigil Ottavio's hosted more than forty critics, including Lisa's family. On the day Bob closed on the building, Ottavio's sent over a bottle of wine and bruschetta, duly reported on by Tom Tobin in the St. Pete Times. The Church of Scientology sent one of their people into Ottavio's the next day to warn the restaurant not to do business with us, but Ottavio's staunchly refused to bow to the C of S threats.
"This afternoon I found out that all Scientologists, staff and public, have been ordered to boycott Ottavio's Restaurant because Ottavio's has been supportive of the LMT. Ottavio's got the word from another local business owner, who was told in confidence by a public Scientologist. Apparently this Scientologist was trying to spread the boycott beyond Scientologists by drawing in other Clearwater residents to participate in the boycott."
Bob Minton reported that three individuals have been added to his temporary restraining order to stay out of the bus loading zone created by the city.
"Petitioner's motion for clarification is granted in part, Robert S. Minton, Jr., Jesse Prince, Mark Bunker and Grady Ward are prohibited from occupying any portion of the space between the two white lines that the Clearwater Police Department painted onto Watterson Avenue immediately adjacent to the Bank of Clearwater Building. This restriction applies seven days a week, during the following hours, which are the hours during which Scientology staff members and students arrive and depart on foot and in buses and vans for meals in the Church's dining facilities located in the Bank of Clearwater Building: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. 11:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
"This prohibition does not affect members of the general public or any other person unaffiliated with Robert S. Minton, Jr., Jesse Prince, Mark Bunker and Grady Ward, and is not to be construed as prohibiting such persons from occupying said space at any time; provided that nothing in this order shall be deemed to restrict in any way the City of Clearwater and its Police Department from enforcing such additional restrictions to protect the safety of the general public."
Former mayor of Clearwater Gabe Cazares spoke in defense of the Trust at a Clearwater City Council meeting on February 17th.
"Good evening, I'm Gabe Cazares. I'm here tonight to speak on the letter to the editor in the St. Petersburg Times of February 13 that stated in part, quote, 'Neither Mr. Bob Minton nor any of his followers are good for Clearwater. They're all from out of town and don't care for Clearwater or any of its citizens.' This is an outrageous lie. Mr. Minton did not lie when he came to Clearwater, nor did he try to hide his assets. His doors are open to anyone, any time, without police escorts. I was here in 1976 when the United Churches of Florida lied and took over the Ft. Harrison Hotel before admitting that they were the infamous Scientology cult. They were all from out of town. How many in this room are from out of town? I remember standing before the City Hall flag pole in 1979 proclaiming that Clearwater was not for sale at any price. I was wrong. As of last October the Scientologists own more than 37 properties in Clearwater with value of more than $40,143,900 with a tax-exempt value of at least $23,674,500. No wonder our taxes are at an all-time high. The long-existing coalition of Scientologists, City of Clearwater officials, zoning lawyers and the Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce has now been confirmed without commission or media objection. Only the citizens and true citizens in, in Clearwater can put an end to this unholy alliance. The city owes Mr. Minton at the least an apology. Concerned citizens and religious institutions and veterans groups owe Mr. Minton their prayers and thanks for coming to Clearwater and trying to save this community. Thank you."
"Anti-Reg" reported that Utah has ended its involvement with Scientology's
Narconon program, and that a local TV station planned a story on the
"On Tuesday, February 22, the Utah Fox News affiliate is scheduled to run an expose on Narconon/New Life's activities in the Utah juvenile court system. The Narconon infiltration of the juvenile court system here in Utah began early in 1998 when Ed Fila and Annaliesse Calder, local Scientologists, began negotiations with Utah State Court officials in an attempt to make Narconon the official program for juveniles remanded to drug rehabilitation. They were successful in getting a contract for one location in Provo, Utah. They set up a small course room in one of the state juvenile court buildings and began administering the program, which includes non-professional TRs and the Purification Rundown. The only difference was that there was no 'hip hip hooray' nor were there any pictures of LRH.
"I went to the Court Administration offices in downtown Salt Lake City and found out that the program was receiving state funds, that they were building saunas on leased state property, and that the Narconon people were in negotiations with the juvenile court administration to bring the program into Salt Lake county as well. Remi Baron, Fox's investigative reporter, was assigned to the story. Remi set up interviews with Kimball Bird (a state employee responsible for administering the program), a Utah judge, Annaliesse, a juvenile who had been through the program, and his parents. Shortly thereafter, all of them canceled. Remi was able to get interviews with state personnel by waiting in the parking lot and approaching them as they went into the building. One judge granted an interview. Remi finally got an interview with Annaliesse and asked her on several occasions if she was a Scientologist. She denied that she was and even went so far as to claim she is a Mormon, which I know is a bald-faced lie."
"I just received word from my friend at Fox news that Utah Court Administration officials have officially dropped the Narconon/New Life program from the juvenile court system here. A state employee named Jan notified Fox news that Annaliesse Calder, director of the Utah New Life/Narconon program, had been notified by letter that the program's contract would not be renewed. Court officials stated in the letter that they felt they had been deceived and that they felt there was a definite connection between New Life and Narconon and the Church of Scientology. The official reason given for dropping the program was that state offices are not allowed to sponsor or endorse programs administered by religious groups. The Fox News expose will run in Utah on Tuesday, February 22."
"All references to the former 'Utah model' of the Narconon/New Life program have been removed from www.narconon.org. Utah court administration officials were unaware that statements made by a judge and a probation officer were being used on the site. After learning about the content of the web site from a reporter, state officials asked Narconon to remove the references."