Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 3, Issue 41
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
Bob Minton announced that Factnet had discovered a Scientology operative
"They had unfettered access to information about me and my whereabouts, Stacy's inner circle of friends, FACTNet records, Dan Leipold's office, Graham Berry's office and other juicy bits of info. Not only that, this plant had worked for the Cult Awareness Network for years and was an intimate friend of Cynthia Kisser, Craig Branch and a number of others active in the counter-cult movement. Her name is Laura Terepin."
"We hired some PI's with impeccable credentials to check up on a few points about Laura. Laura lied about living alone in Madison WI. She never mentioned that one of her 3 house mates was a co$ chicago staff member. Laura cell phones were billed to a Hollywood, CA private investigator who seemingly had at least 13 other phones billed to him that were linked to co$ operatives. Laura's boyfriend works for the same PI who handled the phones. And the clincher is that daily calls to OSA in LA showed up on Laura's phone records." Cynthia Kisser posted a reply, stating that she did not believe Laura was an OSA operative.
"I want to say publicly that Bob Minton has been of help to me in the past, and I will always appreciate this. However, I object to the lack of evidence that has been supplied to me in regard to this claim about Laura, though I asked for evidence, and made efforts to obtain it. I also say publicly what I have said privately to Bob and Stacy, I would like to see the evidence. Laura was of great help to us in the CAN office. Neither I nor any of the CAN office staff or CAN board ever saw any indication that she was involved with Scientology, and we had considerable experience dealing with Scientology over the years. I am confident that CAN's former staff and the members of the board of directors who served with me will support me in this."
The Allentown (Pennsylvania) Morning Call published an article on the
Philadelphia chapter of Scientology's Citizen's Commission on Human Rights
supporting the family of a patient who died at a psychiatric facility.
"They drove in from Philadelphia, Levittown and Downington to hold a candlelight vigil on the icy sidewalk at 7th and Hamilton streets Saturday night in honor of Mark Draheim, who lost consciousness after being restrained at KidsPeace on Dec. 10 and died the next day. About 25 members of The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which was established by the Church of Scientology to investigate psychiatric abuses, shuffled their feet and rubbed their hands as they waited for three hours for Draheim's family to arrive from Ocean County, N.J.
"Draheim's mother, grandmother, aunt, two cousins and his mother's boyfriend, pulled up to the 5:30 p.m. vigil at 8:10 p.m. after getting lost. Greeted with coffee and hot chocolate, the family said they were touched by the group's gesture. 'I think this is really sweet for someone to do this for Mark,' said Karen Draheim, the boy's aunt.
"'The purpose of the vigil is to bring attention to the consequences that can occur because of psychiatric abuses,' said Tim Lomas, the group's president. Karen Draheim wasn't familiar with The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, but said she agreed with their proclamation."
Charlotte Kates provided some background on Tim Lomas.
"Tim Lomas is the DSA at Philadelphia Org. Philly couldn't recruit a public to take on the CCHR director post. They did, of course, expose the fact that CCHR is nothing more than a front for the Office of Special Affairs. There's a reason a multi-volume CCHR 'hat pack' sits in the office of every local DSA PRO--it's an OSA front from the beginning. This paper needs to find out the real story of CCHR--nothing more than a front for OSA's criminality. Running its overt-motivator sequence--attacking 'psychiatry's abuses' to draw attention from Scientology's destruction of lives."
The Providence Journal reported on the trial of a Rhode Island dentist who
is accused of firing a receptionist because she would not take Scientology
"References to 'the God dynamic' and 'the Supreme being' in course materials dentist Roger N. Carlsten described as 'statistics' so disturbed his former receptionist, Susan E. Morgan, that she repeatedly declined to take the course, she testified yesterday. Morgan, who is suing Carlsten for employment discrimination based on religion, said she believed such terms within the 'Hubbard Administrative Technology' course 'were all about Scientology,' a religion that she, as a Catholic, does not believe in. In fact, Morgan said, she suspected Carlsten and consultants he hired from a company known as Precision Management were trying to use the course to eventually sway her 'to join the [Scientology] organization.'
"The suit alleges Carlsten violated the Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act. On Monday, Judge Gibney ruled out the potential for punitive damages; Morgan is making a claim for $9,600 in lost wages and roughly $1,500 in medical bills she said she paid before finding a new job.
"During cross-examination yesterday, Lanni suggested Morgan was lying about the real reason Carlsten fired her from her job answering phones, billing and filing at his Lloyd Avenue dental practice. Dentist Roger N. Carlsten continued pressuring his former receptionist, Susan E. Morgan, to take a course written by the late L. Ron Hubbard for at least eight months after Morgan told him she objected on religious grounds, Carlsten testified yesterday. Those attempts included two staff meetings Carlsten arranged with consultants from a company known as Precision Management, he said, as well as a one-on-one meeting he arranged between Morgan and a Precision Management consultant whom he identified as Dr. David Perry.
"Under questioning by Bushey, Carlsten said that the same consultants he hired to bring Hubbard Management Technology to his office recommended that he fire Morgan.
"Also testifying on Morgan's behalf yesterday were Sherri Bagian, who replaced Morgan as receptionist in 1992, and Susan Baldaia, a former chairside assistant at Carlsten's dental office. Bagian said she witnessed 'angry' conversations between Carlsten and other employees whom Carlsten asked to sign statements against Morgan. Bagian was also asked to sign a statement that said the office was 'in bad shape' when she took over for Morgan. 'Initially I said 'no,' Bagian said. 'He told me if this came to trial, Susan would have the chance to win and I would be unemployed. So I signed it.'
"Baldaia testified that she too, had been asked by Carlsten to take a course in Hubbard Management Technology. Baldaia said she was at the same meeting with Morgan and other staff in April 1991, and Precision Management consultants -- a meeting Carlsten had arranged to allay their fears about the course materials. 'She confirmed she herself was a Scientologist and a member of the Church of Scientology,' Baldaia said, but when Colburn explained that the course was secular and not about Scientology, 'it did not alleviate my fears.'"
Grady Ward filed papers this week to appeal his settlement agreement with
Scientology. The settlement would end Grady's copyright infringement suit
from Scientology for posting the Scamizdat series of secret materials.
"The struggle as it stands right now is that the cult now has 30 days to file an opposition, I then have 15 days to file a reply. Afterwards, generally, oral argument is permitted, although the issues may be simple enough for a summary determination by the Appeals Panel. If Judge Fogel's consent decree is affirmed, then I have settled. If it is reversed or remanded then the consent decree will likely be vacated and I will be going forward to an eventual trial."
The London Times published an article this week, describing the possible
demise of Inform, a cult recovery group in the U.K.
"Inform, the Information Network Focus on Religious Movements, which also helps cult members and their families, has been credited with protecting Britain from extremist religious groups. But it is struggling to cover its costs of Pounds 100,000 a year. Eileen Barker, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, who founded Inform more than a decade ago, will meet church leaders today to ask for help. She said: 'Other governments in Europe are setting up cult-watching groups. The Home Office have said they are very keen for us to stay open, but it is a question of finding the money. We get so many inquiries about the millennium.'
"The Archbishop of Canterbury is patron. But the international intelligence network, which includes clerics and academics, is close to collapse. The small team of workers is working voluntarily and the offices can only be manned for part of the week. The Very Rev Colin Slee, Provost of Southwark, said Inform had been vital in preventing extremist cult problems in Britain."
A Scientology press release this week publicized the literacy efforts to
help Blackfeet Indians.
"Convening at Walmart on 1275 N. Azusa Ave. in Covina on January 25th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a writers' book signing and related fund-raising events. All funds raised go to benefit the 'H.E.L.P. - Blackfeet Nation' project headed by Harold Dusty Bull, Administrator of the Blackfeet Tribal Education Department, to combat illiteracy on the reservation,
"L.A. based Romance writer Karen Kay was responsible for bringing together fifteen other Los Angeles area romance writers who are donating their time and efforts for this event: Patricia Thayer (Silhouette); Linda McLaughlin and Anne Farrell -- who write under Lyn O'Farrell (Precious Gems); Linda 0. Johnston (Leisure/Love Spell); Madeline Baker (Topaz); Kathleen Harrington (AVON); Debbie Decker (Precious Gems); Heather Cullman (Topaz); Victoria Bruce (Leisure); Jean DeWitt (Harper); Donna Davidson (Zebra/Kensington); Sandy Fraser (Precious Gems); Barbara Clark (Precious Gems); Susan Leslie Lippitz (Berkley/Penguin) and Jill Marie Landis (Berkley/Penguin). Walmart is matching all funds raised dollar for dollar.
"Schedule permitting, organizers anticipate dance performances by Indian actor Steve Reevis (Geronimo, Dances with Wolves, etc.). Also performing will be the Indian Drum, Northern Exposure. H.E.L.P. utilizes the effective, proven techniques developed by humanitarian and educator L. Ron Hubbard."
An article in the New Times, a Phoenix area alternative paper, described
the efforts of Jeff Jacobsen to protest against Scientology, and the
revenge Scientology has taken against him.
"Jacobsen's 'religious bigotry' is never spelled out in leaflets or picket signs; nowhere do Scientologists identify themselves on their protest materials. On a church member's Web site, meanwhile, Jacobsen's character and family business are maligned: 'Like a housewife who constantly harps about her neighbors, when you open Jeff's closet, all the dirty diapers and dishpans fall out.' "Before organizing the trip, Jacobsen surfed the Internet for information on Clearwater, and landed on the city's home page. Clicking his way to the police department's site, Jacobsen noticed that homicide detectives were asking for the public's help in solving the 'suspicious death' of a woman named Lisa McPherson. The notice asked anyone who had information about McPherson to contact the police. It also included McPherson's last known address. Jacobsen realized, to his surprise, that he recognized that address. It was the same street number as the Fort Harrison Hotel, the Scientology mecca Jacobsen had planned on picketing. Although the police notice made no mention of either the hotel or Scientology, Jacobsen suspected that McPherson's 'suspicious death' might involve the church itself. He typed up a brief mention of McPherson in a newsletter he sends to other church critics, and mailed a copy to Tampa Tribune reporter Cheryl Waldrip. "[Concerning Lisa McPherson on his picket sign...] She, to us, represents all of the other people who have been hurt by Scientology,' Jacobsen says. 'Why did people wear bracelets for soldiers lost in Vietnam? They didn't know those soldiers. How could you care about somebody you don't know? You do. You just do.'"
Kristi Wachter reported on a protest held in San Francisco this week.
Date: Saturday, January 23, 1999. Start and End Times: 12:15 - 2:00 pm. Picketers: Kristi Wachter, phr, Some Guy from Dallas, Administrati, Raven
"After hearing about all the rain in the weather reports, I bought some plastic wrap (just the usual leftovers-and-sandwiches stuff) and made a plastic sheath for my new foamcore sandwich sign. I didn't have time to make TWO foamcore sandwich signs, so I used one of my old posterboard signs for my rear sandwich sign. My hand-held sign said: SCIENTOLOGY HURTS PEOPLE; SCIENTOLOGY HURT LISA MCPHERSON; SCIENTOLOGY HURT WAYNE WHITNEY; SCIENTOLOGY HURT DOROTHY GEARY; WHO WILL BE NEXT? and on the other side: WHY WON'T SCIENTOLOGY PAY MINIMUM WAGE? / ARE THEY BROKE OR JUST MEAN? My sandwich signs said, on the front: SCIENTOLOGY CHARGED WITH FELONIES and, on the back: DID SCIENTOLOGY KILL RODNEY RIMANDO?
"The org seemed unusually busy to me today. One thing we noticed was the preponderance of Sea Orgers. In addition, there seemed to be quite a lot of publics coming and going. Whenever I notice that a pedestrian seems to be heading toward the org, I usually just greet them, but don't offer a flier.
"I had been interested in the Sutter St franchise for a while, so I headed north this time, instead of west. I worked my way over to Union Square, where I had heard they did a lot of recruiting. On the way, I met several people who asked for fliers and shared their negative opinions of Scn. One gentleman told me that Scn usually recruits further down the street. As I was giving fliers out in the center of the square, a trio approached, dissed Scn, and asked for fliers. One of them told me that an Asian gentleman was following me with a camera and a cell phone and reporting on my every move. A few minutes later I walked up to Sutter Street and then over to the franchise. Many people along Sutter asked for fliers. One gentleman walked with me for a while and told me about his brother, who had been in for 17 years but had left shortly before his death from cancer.
"When I got to my building, I saw Stridenta busily writing down info from the intercom list. I greeted her and asked her how she was doing, but she completely ignored me. I got home about about 3; Stridenta left at about 3:30. Someone later brought me the fliers she had left stuck in the gate, all hand-addressed with the building address and the addressee's intercom code. It says right on the intercom that the codes on the list are NOT apartment numbers."
Bruce Pettycrew reported on a picket at the Mesa, Arizona org.
"Kathy and I picketed from 3:30 to 4:30 this afternoon. After about 40 minutes, Jim Bennet and another man joined us with picket signs. This makes our picket look twice as large, thanks Bozos! Jim's friend had a sign with the following:
"Just Kidding ------------
"Since the arrow pointed at the Org half the time, I guess that he was admitting the fraudulent nature Hubbard's teachings."
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that in Novgorod, a Russian
Scientologist is refusing to enter the army based on his religious
"In this ancient city rich in Russian history, Mikhail Ryabinin, an earnest 20-year-old Scientologist, has publicly declared to the local draft board that 'serving in the army is against my conscience.' Ryabinin's move has won him little support--much less understanding--in a country where serving in the once mighty military machine is an unquestioned rite of passage. Just as dubious to some is Ryabinin's membership in the Church of Scientology, labeled a 'totalitarian sect' by its opponents in Russia.
"'I am not scared because I am right,' said Ryabinin, a mathematics student at Novgorod State University and one of four young men to seek an alternative to military service in this city of 250,000. Until recently, Ryabinin was a relatively solitary figure exercising a constitutional right few Russians are even aware of. That changed this winter when Ryabinin was joined by conscientious objectors from throughout the former Soviet Union as they convened in Novgorod for a conference organized primarily by Quakers affiliated with a number of peace organizations.
"'The aim of Scientology is civilization without criminality, insanity and war,' said Ryabinin, recalling how reading 'Dianetics,' by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, helped him make his decision. Ryabinin said that if his alternative service case goes to court, he anticipates having a harder time than most because of widespread anti-Scientologist sentiments. A Scientologist spokeswoman in Moscow said the church does not compile statistics on how many members have sought conscientious objector status."
The Hollywood Reporter described this week how an article about John
Travolta's new film project Battlefield Earth came to have a headline
critical of L. Ron Hubbard.
"'Sci-fi hack and self-made messiah'? Those are the terms allegedly used by The Hollywood Reporter in an article referring to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Not so. The story was picked up through a wire service and reprinted in Canada's National Post. Along the way, its exact wording mysteriously changed. THR's original copy, in a piece about John Travolta's upcoming projects, read that the film 'Battlefield Earth' would be 'based on the novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.' However, in the National Post, it read 'The film is based on a novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the sci-fi hack and self-made messiah who founded the Church of Scientology, of which Travolta is an adherent.' The revised article provoked an outcry from reps for Scientology, who pointed out the change to THR. National Post executive editor Kirk LaPointe said the changes were made by an editor at the nascent newspaper, which began publication last October and is owned by publishing magnate Conrad Black, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and London's Daily Telegraph. But he was unable to say how the changes occurred. Interestingly, this isn't the first time the paper has raised the church's ire: Scientology spokesman Al Buttnor said in a Jan. 20 letter to the Post editor that the paper omitted 'key statements' from sources in two other Post articles about Scientology. LaPointe said it was not certain if the Post would publish another Scientology letter following the latest incident."