Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 3, Issue 11 06/21/98 by Rod Keller [firstname.lastname@example.org] 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 email@example.com 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 #####
Grady Ward posted documents asking for contempt against Scientologists
Warren McShane and Helena Kobrin for failing to produce documents in his
copyright infringement case.
"The defendant Grady Ward will move on July 17, 1998 for an Order to Show Cause re Civil and Criminal Contempt with respect to plaintiff Warren McShane and counsel Helena Kobrin. The plaintiff and counsel for plaintiff disobeyed a direct and unambiguous order from the bench issued August 2, 1996 directing that 'To the extent this has not already occurred, Initial Disclosures should be fully made.' The plaintiff then both failed to supplement its earlier incomplete Initial Disclosures, assured the defendant and the court that it had fully made them, and actively falsified answers to Interrogatories, Document Requests, and Depositions answers in order to conceal data and witnesses it knew it ought to have disclosed."
Grady is in the process of settling his case with Scientology. Judge Whyte summarized the agreement in a hearing transcript posted this week.
"There will be a judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $3 million. It will be stipulated that that judgment is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. In addition there will be an agreement by the plaintiff that the $3 million judgment will not be collected except as follows: First, Mr. Ward agrees that he will pay the sum of $10,000 forthwith upon receipt of an advance he is due to receive with respect to a book from a Mr. Minton and that will be set out in more detail in the written agreement.
"Second, that Mr. Ward additionally would agree that he will pay the sum of $200 a month on account of the judgment commencing -- shall we say the 1st of July? Does that work? And that obligation shall continue so long as Mr. Ward shall live but shall not survive his death and shall not be chargeable to his estate or to his heirs. In the event of any of the following the agreement not to collect the judgment would no longer be of any force and effect: First, if Mr. Ward fails to pay any installment such that he becomes more than thirty days in arrears. Second, that it is found by the Court that Mr. Ward has violated any term of the permanent injunction to which the Court will refer in a moment. Third, if any of the following torts are proved and reduced to judgment by plaintiff against the defendant, Mr. Ward: Copyright infringement, trademark infringement, theft of trade secrets or defamation against the defendant -- the plaintiff in this case, the Religious Technology Center, or any Church of Scientology entity.
"It is further agreed that the plaintiff would have the right to review prepublication the book upon which Mr. Ward is presently engaged, but the right to review shall not include the right to approve or consent to anything. It's simply a right of review prior to the publication of the book. It's further agreed that if there is a net profit received by Mr. Ward from sales of the book that those profits would be paid over to the plaintiff."
The agreement may hinge on Scientology notifying Grady of the works that he could potentially infringe on to violate the agreement. From a letter from Grady Ward to Helena Kobrin:
"In your letter you disclose that you do not intend to honor my material requirement that I be given fair notice of potentially infringing works owned by scientology enterprises. Your suggestion that such works include, for example, works 'which address Scientology, its religious precepts or practices' or works which 'appear to have been published, created or owned, or appear to be based upon a Work created by any Church of Scientology organization.' Besides being unacceptably vague, these descriptions potentially include all books by third parties, all Usenet posts that discuss Scientology and in general any work at all concerning your enterprise. Obviously this is unacceptably broad and would unfairly chill my first amendment right to fairly and lawfully criticize and comment upon scientology."
And from a letter to Judge Fogel:
"I think it has become abundantly clear that the plaintiff is now using the settlement process not as a means by which we can finally achieve a lasting peace, but as a means of further enforcing its will to use any settlement as a sword rather than as a shield. I urge you to consider whether it is the wisest course to continue to spend judicial resources in attempting to finalize a settlement when the parties have provably not achieved a full meeting of the minds on all material elements. At this point, I would urge the court to abandon efforts to force the incomplete oral recitations of May 12, 1998 into a complete, binding and livable agreement and to inform Judge Whyte that settlement negotiations have not been finalized and that the underlying litigation should go forward to trial."
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Keith Henson posted his opposition to Scientology's request for attorneys
fees in his copyright infringement case.
"THE DECLARATION OF HELENA K. KOBRIN DATED JUNE 5, 1998. Paragraph 6 states that certain entries in the exhibits have been redacted 'for time spent on entirely different matters, not related to this case, and for any entries related to this case which reflect attorney-client privilege or attorney work product.' Defendant is entitled to a full description of each service performed regardless of the stated reasons for the redactions. For example, it is totally impossible from Exhibit B to determine what services are being provided for most of the amounts claimed.
"The October 28, 1996 statement refers to drafting expert declarations and telephone conversations with experts and reviewing expert reports but no identification is made of the experts, no expert declarations have been provided and no expert reports have been provided. Moreover, the February 26, 1998 fee statement, page 2, indicates various time charges in connection with Mr. Henson's bankruptcy filing. These charges are entirely unrelated to any proper claim as a result of the verdict and judgment herein.
"The May 1, 1996 Lieberman invoice is objectionable for the following reasons: significant portions are redacted, thus it is impossible to determine their propriety or reasonableness. Mr. Lieberman charges for travel as Eureka, California in the amount of $2,616.00 without indicating why he went to Eureka or the level of air fare which appears to be at the very least, first class air travel. On 04/10/86, Mr. Lieberman charges for a hearing and other matters in Los Angeles in a case which has at all times been venued in San Jose. He then charges 13 hours for traveling from Los Angeles to San Jose and having some meetings. On April 26, 1996, Mr. Lieberman's associate, Lawrence Helfer, charges time for reviewing a letter by Ms. Kobrin to a European attorney which would appear to have nothing to do with this litigation.
"Exhibit E is a billing by Earl Cooley, Esq. of Boston, Massachusetts. Virtually all of the invoice is redacted and it is thus impossible to ascertain the reasonableness and propriety of the time charges. Mr. Cooley's March 3, 1998 invoice indicates, under February 4, an entry regarding 'San Jose cases' meaning more than just the Henson case and another entry re [redacted] Henson cases (in the plural) and a time entry of 6.5 hours for flying from San Jose to Boston, and 13 hours for February 4, when he flew from Boston to San Jose. Similarly, almost the entirety of that invoice is redacted.
"Paragraph 8 of Mr. Rosen's declaration dated June 3, 1998 sets forth various billing rates for 15 different attorneys from his law firm who apparently worked on this 'simply copyright' case. Eleven of those lawyers bill at rates in excess of $210.00 an hour, six of those lawyers bill at hourly rates in excess of $300.00, and two of those lawyers bill at rates in excess of $400.00 per hour. Indeed, Mr. Rosen bills at the rate of $460.00 per hour and Roger M. Milgrim bills at the rate of $520.00 per hour. There is absolutely no showing as to why all of these attorneys at such high billing rates are necessary, for the greatest part of this matter, to contend with a pro per litigant."
Keith also reported a bizarre episode in a meeting held with Scientology's lawyers.
"At a judgment debtor examination on June 18, 1998, in the offices of Thomas R. Hogan, I was unrepresented, and plaintiff was represented by Mr. Rosen, Mrs. Kobrin, and an unknown paralegal assistant. During the examination, plaintiff presented defendant a number of Usenet postings to identify, though defendant was at a loss to imagine what relevance these had to his financial condition and believes they were presented for a purpose unrelated to judgment collection.
"Attached to these postings was a single sheet of paper which contained instructions to the plaintiff's lawyers regarding the purpose of the examination as seen by RTC/Scientology. Helena Kobrin was extremely upset at defendant's seeing this document and (with her paralegal assistant) came around the table and physically attacked defendant and ripped the paper into pieces as defendant was reading the document which--after being admitted as an exhibit by the court reporter--Mrs. Kobrin now claimed was 'privileged.'
"From the limited view defendant had of this document, defendant believes the document contains detailed instructions from the highest level of Scientology (David Miscavige) about ways to 'fair game' or otherwise punish defendant through abuses of the judgment collection process."
"I went by the police station and filed a criminal complaint against Helena Kobrin and Alan Cartwright, #98-170-9717, incident type 240//242. The only way my report would turn into action would be for the DA who looks the case over to have seen Dateline."
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NBC's news program Dateline aired a story this week on Bob Minton, a
critic of Scientology who is funding a variety of cases and opponents of
the cult. From a transcript of the show:
"BOB MINTON: The more I got involved, the more frightening the organization as a whole became to me.
"JOHN HOCKENBERRY: Are you nuts?
"BOB MINTON: A lot of people would question my insanity on that score.
"HOCKENBERRY: Do you have any evidence that they're really evil and destructive?
"BOB MINTON: Yes. Shattered lives, broken families, mental fragility.
"VO: Minton has funded lawsuits, rescued an anti-cult organization, given weary defendants and broken-down activists the means to fight on. To date, he's handed out more than 1.7 million of his own dollars to some of Scientology's harshest critics
"HOCKENBERRY: That's a lot of money.
"BOB MINTON: It is. But keep in mind that in this, in this battle with Scientology, I'm the little guy. Scientology are the big guys.
"VO: Vaughn Young and his wife, Stacy, left the church in 1989, embittered by their experience and determined to start a new life. They rented a house in Seattle and opened a sanctuary for abandoned cats and dogs. But a few years later, the Youngs decided to go public, criticizing the church as a dangerous cult. And they provoked what they say was an all out assault by the church to destroy their lives.
"STACY YOUNG: They will find your vulnerability and, and use that to try to silence you.
"VO: In the summer of 1994, a newsletter showed up around the Youngs' neighborhood, accusing them of things like extortion and promiscuity. Over the next three years, they learned that private investigators were asking suspicious questions of their friends and neighbors and accusing the Youngs of harboring diseased cats.
"STACY YOUNG: We were about a week and a half away from having to move. We were in a state of catastrophe.
"VAUGHN YOUNG: He just said, he says, 'My name is Bob Minton, I read what was happening with your animal sanctuary. And I just want to know if there's some way that I could help you out.'
"VO: Out of the blue, this Bob Minton, this voice on the phone, came into their lives. He bought the Youngs a new house where they could legally keep their animals for $250,000. Incredibly, he saved the animal shelter. Stacy says she'll never forget the day she picked up her new key.
"STACY YOUNG: We came to the house, we opened the front door and Bob Minton had a huge bouquet of flowers on the table for us. It was incredible. It was real! It really was real! And we'd never met this guy! And he just said, 'Welcome to your new house. Congratulations.'
"RINDER: I don't know what motivates this guy, I don't know what. But on the other hand if you asked me, do I know what motivated Timothy McVeigh to go blow up a building because his view is that the people sitting inside that building are violating the rights of citizens of the United States, I don't know why he does that. I, I don't know that you could--
"HOCKENBERRY: Now, you've just compared Bob Minton to Timothy McVeigh.
"RINDER: No, motivation. Like, what is it that motivates someone to, to do that? I don't know. I don't know how you tell someone does that before they do it.
"HOCKENBERRY: All right, but you very deliberately compared Bob Minton to Timothy McVeigh.
"RINDER: All right.
"HOCKENBERRY: What would it take for you to walk away from this battle?
"BOB MINTON: The Church of Scientology would have to make some serious reforms.
"RINDER: Well, it's all sort of an arrogant view to think that because he has a lot of money to give to people that he is going to somehow get us to change our religion. We're not.
"BOB MINTON: There have been emotional times that one really has to question how many punches you wish to take.
"HOCKENBERRY: Can you take a lot more punches?
"BOB MINTON: I think so. You know, I am setting an example to show people that this organization is not invulnerable to being criticized. That they cannot destroy everybody, all the time, who is willing to stand up to them."
Picket reports this week, first from Ted Mayett in Las Vegas:
"Little org, 3:50-4:20pm, vehicles 9. It was going to be a 15 minute picket but it has been so long since there was such a large audience there I went for 30 minutes. No Police action at all, in fact they never did dial them. They had closed the curtains quickly, about 3:54, but still my Price picket sign made it into the courseroom again.
>From "Jour" in San Francisco:
"We had lovely weather for surf picketing weather today (hold on to your sign and let the wind propel you along the sidewalk). Today I resolved that with my BRAND-NEW sign - a piece of 20' x 30' foamboard with plastic pockets on each side. The big side said IS $CIENTOLOGY BREAKING THE LAW?; www.xenu.net; ALLEGATIONS INCLUDE FALSE IMPRISONMENT * FRAUD * EXTORTION * ASSAULT * PRACTICING MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE. The other side said DID $CIENTOLOGY STANDARD TECH KILL LISA MCPHERSON? ASK $CIENTOLOGY ABOUT THE INTROSPECTION RUNDOWN and WHY DOES $CIENTOLOGY LIE ABOUT THEIR FOUNDER?
"When I arrived, Our Lady of the Stress Test Table was setting up the table - two chairs on each side and a big pile of books. I wished her a good afternoon. One gentleman arrived at the org shortly after Tani got there - so I called over to him, 'Are you Jeff Quiros?' 'Yes, I am. Who are you?' I introduced myself as Jour, and he said he'd been wanting to meet me. He said he'd read some of my web site and some of my a.r.s. posts, and he wanted to know who I was working for. I said nobody, and he said he found that hard to believe, and I asked him, when he'd done altruistic things in his life, if he'd been paid to do them. I explained that I thought it was important to make time for things that are important, and mentioned that I'd volunteered for other activist activities in my life. He still seemed rather skeptical, but he did back off some on that line of questioning. He spent the rest of the picket walking with me and asking me questions. He did the usual 'how can you believe these reports if you weren't there' thing, and I gave the 'I wasn't alive during the Holocaust but I believe it happened' response."
>From Jim Wissick in San Jose:
"Picket at 80 Rosemary from 9:30 -10:30. Left to picket the Winchester org from 10:45 till 12:30. Lots and Lots of public support at the Winchester org. Lotsa fliers, Lotsa honking, etc. Also had two clam supporters drive by; one was screaming obscenities, the other just yelled 'Do you research before you lie like that' or something to that effect."
>From Bruce Pettycrew in Mesa, Arizona:
"We picketed from 8:45 to 9:45 this AM. Still needed sun screen and water, but the advantage is: since the street in front of the mi$$ion runs E/W, you can position the picket sign for shade on the East leg. I do not know if it was the Dateline show, but the percentage of drivers giving us the 'thumbs-up' signal is increasing.
"At the start of the picket, there were no cars in the lot. From about 8:50 to 9:05, 10 cars showed up, so ALL of them had to see the protest. Once again a member came out to ask us to leave. My answer today and from now on, is to ask that person to leave the Co$ and start a real life. Just asking."
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Birgitta Dagnell reported that the NOTS levels will continue to be
available to the public through the Swedish Parliament, in accordance with
"Radio news at noon today 18 June 1998. The Swedish Supreme Administrative Court made the final ruling this morning that the 'secret Bible' of Scientology will remain a public document in Sweden. In the ruling it was said that people have to pay large fees to read the document and that the U.S. has put strong pressure on Sweden to keep it sealed. The court ruled that it is more important to safeguard the principles of the Swedish Constitutional Law of Public Access to Official Records than to submit to pressures from foreign political powers. The decision can not be appealed."
>From Swedish TV4:
"'We are shocked. We are going to do everything to force this on - even to the Europe Parliament if needed', says Tarja Vulto, the information secretary at the Church of Scientology in Stockholm. She thinks that the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court only has considered the technical views and has not taken into consideration the international agreements and the copyright. Vulto points out that the Government as well as the Parliament has carefully studied the subject and reached a different judgments. 'This is religious material which means a lot to us. No one else should have access to it. The Scientologists are going to do whatever is in their power to protect it', she says."
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Richard and Bonnie Woods
News from the UK that Scientology has dropped its suit against Richard and
"Following an application for discovery of the OT and other advanced materials, the Church of Scientology has discontinued its claims against Richard and Bonnie Woods. The Judge had indicated that he would order that advanced materials held by COSRECI to be disclosed. To avoid the consequences of any such order, that Church of Scientology applied for leave to discontinue its claims in two actions. The Judge granted leave subject to conditions.
"As a condition of being allowed to discontinue, COSRECI has given undertakings to the Court that it will not sue Richard and Bonnie again in respect of any future publication of the materials complained of in the discontinued claims. Richard and Bonnie Woods can now speak about the true nature of the OT levels.
"The history of the case is that Bonnie and Richard Woods made a claim against Scientology when an allegedly defamatory leaflet was posted through neighbours doors. Scientology then counter claimed several times. In October Bonnie and Richard Woods appear in court as they are litigating against the Church of Scientology and it is probable that they will win this case, estimated damages are in the range £10,000 to £70,000."
Charlotte Kates reported that Scientology's mission in Collingswood, New
Jersey has closed.
"The mission has moved several times, from its original location in Collingswood, NJ, to the neighboring towns Oaklyn, Marlton, and finally, Audubon. The mission holders were an elderly couple, and I have heard that the wife died at the beginning of this year. I also heard that several publics from the Philadelphia Org were interested in the mission, but none of that interest seemed to come to any conclusion with no new mission holders. The mission was a small place in the business district of a small town, resembling a brown former rowhouse. A small sign reading 'Scientology and Dianetics' was posted by the door, and the front window--which looked like it hadn't been dusted or redecorated in years--was decorated with gold foil paper and Dianetics posters. It was always an old-looking and unwelcoming place, and was open only on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights."
Recently declassified FBI documents posted this week included this letter
from Norman Starkey, attempting damage control following the death of
Susan Meister aboard the Apollo.
"Senate Foreign Relations Committee U.S. Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. U.S.A.
"We feel that the enclosed reports are most vital to your Committee in that these reports involve officials of the United States Government: Using the name of the President of the United States in connection with criminal actions involving destruction and the threat of destruction of foreign vessels. Threatening the destruction of this Company's vessel of Panamanian registry. Threatening to murder the vessel's company of 380 men, women and children, many of whom are Americans. Using the name of the Central Intelligence Agency to threaten such death and destruction. Plainly demonstrating that the State Department and CIA act on false information.
"We became involved with the American Consul in Casablanca due to the tragic suicide of a 23 year old American named Susan Meister, who had been aboard our vessel for a scant four months. Miss Meister was herself formerly addicted to drugs and was well acquainted with the drug sub-culture in America. Unfortunately, her suicidal tendencies were unknown to us. All this is given in strictest confidence merely to explain how it came about that we were visited by Mr. Galbraith_Vice-consul in Casablanca. Mr. Galbraith showed little concern in this matter except to state continuously that he wanted no publicity. Our Company has had to handle the advisement of Miss Meister's death to her family, has had to push to try to obtain official documents which could be sent to her family, has had to send Miss Meister's belongings to her family and are currently trying to arrange for her remains to be sent to America for burial at our Company's expense.
"All Mr. Galbraith has done is to threaten our death and destruction should we cause him any more trouble, as if the suicide of Miss Meister was something which we had ourselves caused just to make trouble for him, his senior and the U.S. Government. Further, Mr. Galbraith has made all manner of accusations about our activities. In fact Mr. Galbraith has conducted himself criminally in this whole matter, as the enclosed document reveals."
"Sincerely yours, [signed] N.H. [illegible] Lorman [sic] H. Starkey, Captain.
"cc: The President of the United States The Attorney General"
Westfalische Nachrichten reported that Scientology has gone underground in
Muenster, reducing their visibility but continuing their operations in
"At first glance it seems that the controversial Scientology organization has taken its leave of Muenster. The so-called mission on Bernhard-Ernst Strasse no longer exists. Leaflets which offer Dianetics courses are hard to come by. Public events given by Scientologists in Muenster have become a thing of the past. According to the information of the Exit members, the Scientologists have changed their tactics. They now use sales training, communications courses or seminars for personality development groups as cover organizations. The word 'Scientology' does not appear at all.
"Despite the public discussion about the dangerousness of Scientology, the organization apparently continues to win people over. The reason for that, is that the Scientologists pursue goals which are held in high regard by our society: professional success, achievement, material wealth. In the event a person wants to terminate his association, he stands to suffer both psychological and financial consequences.
"All the same, the group cannot stop Scientology from hurting people. This was the case with a resident of Muenster who was used by the [Scientology] organization for years and then, when he was no longer up to the strain [placed on him by the sect], was left to fend for himself. He is now undergoing treatment in a psychiatric ward."