Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 4, Issue 12
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
Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung reported on June 17th that France plans to control
the commercial operations of cults more closely.
"A French National Assembly committee of inquiry has recommended stronger control of commercial operations by sects. The considerable economic activities were mentioned in a report which was presented on Thursday in Paris. Some sects have budgets of many hundreds of millions of francs and considerable wealth. The organizations of Scientology and the Jehovah's Witnesses were mentioned by name in the report. At the same time the report stated that taxes are often not paid, and some sects accumulate enormous debts."
Sindelfinger Zeitung published an article on June 15 concerning a
"The 'Clear Expansion Committee of Baden-Wuerttemberg' had sent out invitations for a Dianetics Seminar. A good fifty participants have arrived. There is no sign announcing the event; the word 'Scientology' is nowhere to be seen. A pyramid, covered with green and yellow material, hovers over the stage. To the right hangs a gold-framed portrait. The photo shows an older, agile gentlemen. He is sitting on board a yacht. It is a picture of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the inventor and founder of Scientology.
"Barbara (all names have been changed) speaks in the drawling cadence indicative of people who have spoken nothing but English for a long time. With her red and white checkered dress, white jacket and her gray hair boldly styled back out of her face, the dynamic woman in her mid-50s reminds one of Brigitte Laemmle. After her spirited welcome ('Are you doing well? Yes? Okay!'), the seminar begins. Barbara is a rehearsed speaker. She reads the text word for word out of the 'Handbook for Dianetics Groups.' When the script instruction say to pause, she pauses. When a sentence is supposed to be emphasized, she emphasizes it. The mouthpiece functions. The audience listens intently.
"There is little reality in the presentation or in the subsequent advertising film. 'Mass' is talked about, so is 'energy' and a 'reactive mind' which is said to cripple people. And the chances of clearing this mind through 'auditing.' Everything is said to be founded on science, uniquely effective and tested a million times. The testimonies of the blessed effects of auditing are awe-inspiring. The people in the auditorium are charmed, their faces beam.
"Robert has been a Scientologist for ten years. Before that he was an evangelical church assistant, somewhere 'out there in Remstal.' When the church superiors heard about his new interest, he had to vacate the post. 'With Scientology I experienced a clarity which let me see the child of God,' says Robert. To do that, of course, he needed 'many courses in auditing,' and those cost 'much money.' How much? Robert looked to the side. The powerful man shrugged his wide shoulders. 'This whole thing is about a new era, isn't it?'"
The Salt Lake City Tribune reported on June 19th on the controversy over
religious freedom and anti-cult activities in Europe.
"Religious-rights advocates have expanded their efforts to protect minority faiths in what many thought an unlikely arena -- some of Western Europe's leading democracies. The concern stems from actions in France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and elsewhere that critics say run roughshod over the legal rights of minority religious groups, most of whom are relatively new, small or foreign imports.
"Among the targeted groups are the Amish, Jehovah's Witnesses, Wicca, Hare Krishna and Seventh-day Adventists. Others include dozens of small evangelical and Pentecostal Christian churches, the Church of Scientology, a number of Hindu and Buddhist movements, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, obscure New Age groups, Satmar Hasidic Jews, Baha'is, Mormons, the Roman Catholic organization Opus Dei and even the YWCA.
"Critics say the government actions fail to differentiate among the targeted groups, which vary widely in beliefs, practices and mainstream acceptance in the United States and elsewhere. 'Everyone is being lumped together,' said Massimo Introvigne, director of the Center for Studies of New Religions in Torino, Italy. 'It's reminiscent of the McCarthy era in the United States.'
"A sign of how widespread the 'anti-cult' sentiment has become is a proposal before the 41-nation Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly to establish a central European 'observatory' to monitor 'groups of a religious, esoteric or spiritual nature.' The proposal also urges Western Europe's wealthier nations to help their poorer neighbors create 'information centers' to locally dispense information on suspect groups.
"U.S. government officials concerned with religious liberty issues have taken note of the situation, pointing out that domestic laws in many of the affected nations as well as international treaties are supposed to safeguard the targeted groups' religious freedoms. 'The United States understands that there are some dangerous groups that use religion as a cover for their activities,' said Robert Seiple, the State Department's ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom issues.
"The issue was also the subject of a recent Capitol Hill hearing by the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, an independent federal agency that monitors human-rights concerns set forth in the 1975 Helsinki Accords."
The Savannah Morning News reported on June 16th that a kennel master has
been fired after he took a bomb sniffing dog to work on an unauthorized
job for Scientology in Clearwater.
"The kennel master for Chatham County's K-9 unit was fired after he took a bomb-sniffing dog to Florida to work a private job for his own personal gain, according to the county sheriff. Lt. Tony Derryberry also built pipe bombs -- in violation of federal law -- to help train Chatham's K-9 units, said Sheriff Al St Lawrence.
"Derryberry took a dog trained to find explosives from its handler on May 6 and went with it to Clearwater, Fla., to work a private job -- inspecting a site for a conference of the Church of Scientology, St Lawrence said Tuesday. He spent two days in Florida with the specially trained dog -- an investment for the county of about $8,500 -- without department approval, the sheriff said."
Chris Owen posted new evidence that L. Ron Hubbard's navy record has been
falsified by Scientology.
"This morning I received confirmation from the US Navy itself that the DD214 distributed by Scientology is not authentic: The DD214 claims that Hubbard commanded the USS Mist. The USS Mist was a motor launch converted during World War I into a guard boat. She was returned to her owner in February 1919, when Hubbard was only eight years old. She did not serve in World War II.
"The DD214 claims that Hubbard won two stars to his Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. One of Hubbard's ships, the USS Algol, won two stars in the APAC theatre for 1 April-10 April 1945 and 10 July-3 August 1945. Only one star was awarded for each engagement; Hubbard would have had to have been in both battles to have been awarded both stars. However, Hubbard had left the ship on 28 September 1944 and was ineligible for the stars.
"The DD214 is purportedly signed by Lieutenant Commander Howard D. Thompson, US Navy Reserve. No officer of this name is listed in the 1944 Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Naval Reserve.
"The DD214 claims that Hubbard commanded the USS Howland. No such vessel exists in the US Naval Vessel Register. The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded the 'British Victory Medal'. No such medal exists, and the British Ministry of Defence has no record of having awarded a medal to Hubbard. The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded the 'Dutch Victory Medal'. No such medal exists. The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded the 'European Theater' medal (probably the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal). Hubbard never served in the EAME theatre of operations. The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded a Purple Heart with palm. This is awarded only for combat injuries. No such injury is recorded in his medical reports, nor is he recorded as having being in combat with the enemy at any time."
"Meklar" protested this week at the San Jose org.
"The picketers were kEvin and Meklar. kEvin's picket sign read,' Stop The Spamming' and 'Should A Bridge Cost $360,000?' My picket sign was blank on both sides and I wore a patch of duct tape over my mouth. After a few minutes a member walked out to his car and took a second to read our signs. He did a double take when he read the cost of a bridge and was severely enturbulated at my picket sign.
"When I was leaving kEvin's apartment complex at the end of the day kEvin noticed a pile of DA flyers in the lobby. It was the standard 'The Face of Religious Bigotry' flyer."
"Gypsyblue" reported on a protest in Toronto.
"I arrived at the org late, around 11:30 am or so, and the guys were already hard at work, with their picket signs and fliers. Wulfen was at his post, utterly thrilled that I remembered to return my arscc badge from my first picket. Elrond was standing directly in front of the org, grinning mischievously as he spoke at high volume about Xenu, the galactic overlord. Gorilla, in his Who Killed Lisa McPherson tee-shirt was pacing, picket sign in place, and handing out fliers to passers-by.
"It was quite chaotic just in front of the org building, what with our guys and then all the scienos, taking their never ending rolls of pics, and shooting their usual video. There were a number of them handing out fliers against Elrond and the others. I handed out a ton of fliers and had to keep crossing the street to get more from Elrond. I got a lot of thank you's, which I always appreciate. Quite a number of people stopped to discuss and/or ask questions about Scientology.
"After lunch, back to work. This time Gor. picketed on my side of the street and we hand out fliers together. The scienos set up just a few yards away from me, and to anyone who had taken one of their fliers, (which had the obligatory Dianetics advert. in the centre), I handed one of mine to, with the friendly admonishment to read both sides of the story before spending the big bucks."
"Zinjifar" reported on a protest at the Hollywood opening of John Travolta's new film "The General's Daughter."
"Location: Mann's Theater Westwood; Picketers: Dr. Benwog, Zinjifar and Xenu; Signs: Scientology is a threat to democracy; Hubbard is dead - His fraud lives on; Flyers: Xenu flyer; Lisa and Man on the Cross flyers from Jeff J.
"We made our way to the theater and met Xenu, who quickly morphed from a fairly normal looking suppressive to a true Galactic Overlord and we did a little walking and flyering and entertaining of the entertainment TV reporters handy. From the far side of the street we'd sign and wave to the (tiny) crowd and cameras, then I'd lead a poor Xenu blinded by his alien internal heat across the street to pass by the red carpets. As the moment of celebrity approached the security started trying to get us isolated to the other side of the street. Benwog smuggled himself into the little media cage near me and began filming as we saw the rich and powerful 'celebrities' make their way up the red carpet to the theater entrance.
"Travolta knows how to spot a suppressive and sent the security dick back out to explain to the crowd that Mr Travolta would unfortunately not be signing any autographs since 'that sign' was there and maybe they'd like to let *me* know about how unhappy they were about it. So I got to explain about scientology and infiltration of government offices and it's interest in eliminating democracy and long roster of crimes. Benwog got into character with boos and hisses, but actually only a fairly whacked-out looking profi-autograph dealer got really nasty, threatening to give me the NYPD pole treatment, but nobody myself included took him too seriously. Somebody may have clued the security dick into it being bad form to incite crowds to assault people and he reappeared to explain to the crowd that I was just exercising my 1st amendment rights and such, and it was just that the sign upset Mr. Travolta.
"As we passed by the theater again it was obvious that the movie was almost over and people were lining up to catch the exiting elite. Again the security dick appeared to tell the fans that John wouldn't be coming out because of me which got me some boos and hisses and some bloodcurdling screams from the frustrated autograph scalper. A girl after a bit came across the street and asked me to leave (nicely) and I explained to her why I was there and that I was sorry for her if John couldn't come out."
USA Today reported on June 15th that Scientology celebrity John Travolta
may sing with Barbra Streisand on New Year's Eve.
"John Travolta is still keeping Barbra Streisand on tenterhooks about whether he'll accept her invitation to join her New Year's Eve show at Las Vegas' MGM Grand. Travolta tells me he hasn't spoken to Streisand recently. 'She's in Europe. I haven't made my decision. It would be great, I think, but I have to figure if that's where I want to be on this New Year's. There's the family (to consider); it's the millennium. I have to analyze it,' says the always analytical Travolta.
"And he sounds excited about Battlefield Earth, a movie from L. Ron Hubbard's biggest sci-fi novel (subtitled A Saga of the Year 3000), which he will begin in July. 'It's the third most favorite book in the country of the last century,' he says, though he didn't cite a source. Hubbard, of course, was the founder of Scientology, which Travolta practices, and the star explains, 'He financed the philosophy with the pulp fiction and sci-fi of the 1930s and 1940s.' Travolta, co-producing this epic of Earth ruled by aliens, will play 'the wicked 9-foot alien (Terl).' It'll be his face but with an extended skull headdress."
The Ottawa Citizen reported on Battlefield Earth this week.
"Rachel Plummer and Derrick Reeve are two of the nicest aliens on earth. The two Ottawa actors are good-looking, friendly and tall -- really tall. Ms. Plummer, a striking 20-something model turned actress is six feet, while Mr. Reeve, 38, a stone mason and actor, stands six feet, six inches and is a dead ringer for wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin. They are set to play seven-foot-tall Psychlo aliens in the film version of L. Ron Hubbard's futuristic novel Battlefield Earth, starring John Travolta in a big-budgeted Hollywood production that begins shooting July 3 in Montreal. The actors, who will be fitted with stilts for their roles, were selected from more than 400 actors in general casting calls in Montreal and Toronto.
"'The Psychlos are supposed to look like dogs and the costumes are Star Trek-like, sort of a form-fitting leathery material,' explained Ms. Plummer, who attended Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School, before moving to Montreal and starting a successful modelling career. 'It's like a warrior outfit, if you can almost imagine leather with spikes on the shoulders because the Psychlos are really a conquering race,' said Mr. Reeve, a Vancouver Island native who moved to Ottawa in 1998. His previous acting job was in The Thirteenth Man, an Antonio Banderas film set for release later this year."
Scientology-associated Survival Insurance may lose its license because of
irregular pricing policies and harassment of dissatisfied customers. From
the Los Angeles Times:
"For those customers who found lower rates elsewhere after signing with Survival, the brokerage refused to match the price or give a refund, Quackenbush said. Quackenbush said in some instances, threats of physical harm were also made. 'They would say something like, 'Call my supervisor again and I'm coming after you,' ' he said.
"Quackenbush said that not only did some Survival customers not get the lowest rates, but some said they were charged exorbitant fees and were verbally harassed when they complained. In some cases, the state alleges, employees of Survival's collection department threatened customers that their credit reports could be adversely affected."
The status of the company with Scientology was described by Tilman Hausherr.
"Besides the $40,000 donation to the IAS from the company, the list of senior executives reveals a lot of scientologists: Richard Acunto, $100,000 donation to the IAS; Susan McFarlane, $250000 donation to the IAS; Sue Onorato; Eric Carl Ahlroth, $20,000 donation to the IAS; Fred Pierson; Martha Wells. Many individual scientologists admit working there: Gloria Alexander, Dean Glosup, Corey A. Johnson, Daniel Christian, Suzanne Steinman."
American Technologies Group
Scientology-affiliated American Technologies Group announced that a former
U.S. Senator has joined their board of directors.
"American Technologies Group, Inc. announced today that former Senator Larry Pressler has been appointed to the board of directors of the Company, along with investment banker Alan Brooks. Senator Pressler served in Congress for 22 years from 1979 to 1996, first as a member of the House and then as the three term U.S. Senator of South Dakota. He was the author of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. He currently is a partner of O'Connor & Hannan, a Washington D.C. and Minneapolis-based law firm, where he heads the telecommunications and business group.
"In accepting the board position, Senator Pressler said, 'I am very honored and privileged to serve on the board of American Technologies Group. It is exciting to be involved with a Company whose innovative technologies address many environmental concerns such as the very pivotal issue of handling nuclear waste.'"