Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 3, Issue 33
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 St. Petersburg Times published an article this week on the
groundbreaking for Scientology's new Super Power building in Clearwater,
"The Church of Scientology broke ground on the future site of its massive new building Saturday night in a Hollywood-style ceremony that featured green lasers, colored spotlights, fireworks and shooting flames, all choreographed with pulsating song. An estimated 6,000 Scientologists, many of them seated on a giant temporary grandstand, roared their approval and stood to welcome their Los Angeles-based ecclesiastical leader, David Miscavige.
"Scientology expects to clear the 2-acre site and begin other early construction work Monday. The building will imitate the 1920s Mediterranean Revival style of the neighboring Fort Harrison Hotel, Scientology's signature property in Clearwater, which served as an 11-story backdrop to the ceremony. Scientology prides itself on the glitzy productions it stages during major gatherings of parishioners. Said church official Ben Shaw: 'We never do anything just mundane.'"
Surveillance of Scientology will continue in Germany, according to a
decision by the Constitutional Protection Agency, reported in Focus
"'Scientology is hostile to the fundamental order of liberal democracy.' The program and operations of the Scientology organization has, as its goal, 'the removal, fundamentally and permanently,' of constitutional order. The Constitutional Protection Agency came to this conclusion after one year's surveillance.
"From the perspective of the constitutional agents the area of 'activities in politics' has not yet been satisfactorily researched. Scientologists in political parties had been told not to reveal their membership in Scientology. Therefore, reliable statements as to what share the Scientologists have in party offices are not possible."
>From Hamburger Abendblatt:
"According to the findings of the officials, they do not agree with Scientology's statement that there are 30,000 members in Germany. The actual number is under 10,000. Also, the growth of Scientology in the Federal Republic as decreased considerably. According to the investigations, the intelligence service of the organization is 'effective' in its outspokenness. It works using 'psychological warfare' and methods such as espionage and counter-espionage. Its goal is to infiltrate governments, offices and businesses, and to systematically wear down and discredit opponents and former members. According to reports this intelligence service has just 100 members in Germany. There is not a danger of a 'power takeover' by Scientology. It has been noted with interest that right radicals regard themselves as 'comrades of the Scientologists' in the Federal Republic."
"Interior Minister Otto Schily said the government had decided after a review to continue it. 'I see no need for any change at the moment,' he told a news conference after an annual meeting with interior ministers from Germany's 16 federal states. Walter Zuber, the minister for Rhineland-Palatinate state, said there was still reason to suspect the group of anti-constitutional practices."
>From Berliner Zeitung:
"The majority of the Interior Ministries of the States will probably vote in favor of the continued surveillance of Scientology. That was the general feeling on the fringes of the Interior Minister's Conference (IMK) in Bonn on Thursday.
"The business sect is encountering financial difficulties. The Scientology establishments, in part, have shown signs of a significant drop in, or at least a stagnation of, income. These problems, according to German intelligence, can mainly be traced back to the increased, directed information concerning the dangers of Scientology. In their search for allies the organization has worked with other religious groups, including Jehovas Witnesses and Islamic groups."
Main Echo reported that Jesse Prince has testified to German officials about the ways Scientology attempts to influence judges.
"The Scientology organization systematically influences judges who are involved in Scientology cases. First data about the judge is collected, then friends and associates are queried, reported Jesse Prince, Scientologist from 1976 to 1992, member of management for years, as relayed by the Bavarian Interior Ministry on Thursday. Nothing specific is known about German cases.
"According to Prince's statement, the intimidation tactics are based on 'The Art of War', a Chinese book written over 2,400 years ago by Sun Tzu. Documents about the judges which are collected include tax statements, bank data, medical records and tape recordings. In the second stage, Scientology attempts to influence the environment of the judge by means of middlemen. If that does not succeed, then Scientology will stage an incident, perhaps a 'sex trap.' The organization once expended $260,000 for that reason, in order to bring a judge onto a yacht in Florida together with two prostitutes."
Gerry Armstrong posted a declaration this week describing Scientology's
private investigator tactics.
"A San Anselmo Police cruiser pulled up in front of my car with its lights flashing. The officer driving the cruiser ordered me to stay in my car, and then within a minute or so approached my car to communicate with me. He told me that a woman had made a report at the San Anselmo Police Department that I had chased her. The officer told me that she had specifically identified me, the car I was driving and the exact location where I had parked it. I had at no time chased a woman or anyone or even encountered a woman or anyone either while in my car or while walking from my car, and I advised the officer of those facts. The officer detained me for approximately 30 minutes during which time he essentially accused me of chasing the woman, whom he would not identify, and needled me about being nervous. Finally he let us go.
"I believed at the time that the 'police report' made by the 'woman' was part of an operation by Scientology agents, and that it was likely that the police officer was a knowing participant in the operation. I believed that Scientology agents initiated this operation with the expectation that a call to the dispatcher would reveal a bench warrant for my arrest and that I would be arrested and jailed. I also believed that it was likely that the officer was attempting to get me to react so that I could be apprehended and charged.
"In June, 1998 I received a declaration of Janet L. Holsclaw which confirms that as early as December, 1997, agents of Scientology had improperly obtained private and confidential information from Budget Rental Car Company concerning my rental of Budget cars, and had identified cars I had rented from Budget. I am therefore now completely convinced that the incident in San Anselmo in March was a Scientology operation."
News coverage of the indictments of Scientology related to the death of
Lisa McPherson continued this week. From the St. Petersburg Times on the
reaction of Scientology officials to the charges.
"When Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe filed two criminal charges against the Church of Scientology last week over Lisa McPherson's death, the reaction of church officials was unusually benign. The church's recent softening of tone and tactics does not answer the troubling questions raised by the criminal charges. Details of the 36-year-old woman's final days held inside a room at the Fort Harrison Hotel, the church's spiritual headquarters in downtown Clearwater, are horrific and cannot be explained away simply as an 'unfortunate incident.'"
>From an editorial from the Tampa Tribune:
"It's the mercenary side of the criminal court system, but sometimes justice comes with a price tag rather than prison sentence. And sometimes you just have to hold your nose and think to yourself, 'Well, it's better than nothing.' For now at least.
"On Friday the Church of Scientology was charged by Pasco/Pinellas State Attorney Bernie McCabe with two felony counts in the horrific, cruel death of one of its members, Lisa McPherson. What happened to McPherson during those hideous 2 1/2 weeks has been the focus of an intense stand-off between police investigators and the very weird acolytes of the 'church.'
"Meanwhile, Scientology mouthpiece Laura Vaughan was dancing around the Maypole, noting McCabe's indictment does not include individual Scientologists or charge anyone with manslaughter in what she described as an 'accident.' 'The people who were there were trying to help her in accordance with her religious beliefs,' Vaughan said. Uh, just what religious belief is that? Please starve me to death and leave me to slip away alone, tied down to a bed? In just what gospel do you find that passage?
"McPherson's death was an 'accident'? Was it an 'accident' that when McPherson slipped into a coma hours before she died, Scientologists did nothing to help her??? Was it an 'accident' by the time someone figured out McPherson was in dire straits she was schlepped 20 miles away only to die en route - to PASCO COUNTY - to be seen by a Scientologist physician, when Morton Plant was mere minutes away from the Fort Harrison??? Was it an 'accident' a restrained McPherson lingered, suffering from dehydration and bed sores, which eventually created the embolism that killed her???
"An 'accident' is when you spill coffee down your pants. An 'accident' is not allowing a sadly disturbed young woman to rot to death for 2 1/2 weeks."
Tabloid television show Extra aired an update to their previous broadcast on the case.
"Lisa McPherson spent half of her life in the Church of Scientology. And now Florida police say the church may have contributed to her death. It's been three years since the 36-year-old woman died while in their care, a death the family describes as horrible and slow. Now, after denying any responsibility, the Church of Scientology will have to explain Lisa's death in court.
"In response to Friday's criminal charges in Lisa's death, a Scientology spokesperson released this statement, quote: There are no allegations that anyone intentionally harmed Lisa McPherson, and the church will make sure a similar situation would never happen again. And in another interview done with 'Extra' last year, church attorney Laura Vaughn blamed an anti-Scientology mentality for this Clearwater Police investigation.
"LAURA VAUGHN: The reason that we're having this discussion, the reason that all of this is happening, is because it's the Church of Scientology.
"VO: And much of that anti-Scientology feeling comes from community leaders like Gabriel Cazares. He's a former mayor of Clearwater and a long-time critic of the church.
"GABRIEL CAZARES: I think this ought to be pursued to the fullest extent, and I think it will lead to other crimes of Scientology."
The affidavit of Florida Special Agent A. L. Strope was posted to a.r.s this week, in which he summarized the findings that led to the indictments.
"Your Affiant became aware of and reviewed records supplied under subpoena by the Church of Scientology and was also present when numerous employees of CSFSO gave sworn testimony. Your Affiant, as a result, became aware that Lisa had been severely psychotic by at least the second day of her stay and continued to be psychotic until her death; she was viewed by her caretakers as someone who was unable to care for herself, talk coherently or make logical decisions; she was watched by employees on a round-the-clock basis, was intentionally isolated by employees who removed the phone from Lisa's room and avoided talking to her or in her presence, never attempted to contact Lisa's next-of-kin, repeatedly prevented Lisa from leaving the premises, and held Lisa down for periods of as much as an hour because she became violent or self-destructive. Your Affiant also learned that employees attempted to treat Lisa's condition by inducing sleep and, in order to accomplish this, medicated her without her consent and without appropriate medical supervision or authorization. All CSFSO employees were represented by counsel and had refused to give sworn testimony before the State Attorney's Office until they were granted use immunity pursuant to Chapter 914.
"Your Affiant learned from numerous witnesses that CSFSO employees were organized on a schedule where caretakers watched her 24 hours a day. Most of these caretakers made written reports to Alain Kartuzinski, Lisa's senior case supervisor, as to her condition. Your Affiant learned that Lisa was described throughout her stay as hyperactive, delusional, and hallucinating. She further tried to harm herself and others early in the stay, struck caretakers, engaged in self-destructive behavior, and had to be forcibly restrained on several occasions to prevent injury to herself or other caretakers. After the first week, she routinely urinated and defecated on herself and rarely slept. She had conversations with people who were not there, claimed to be people she was not, sang and danced around the room as if giving a performance, crawled around on the floor, stood on the toilet, got in the shower fully clothed, tried to walk out of the room in a state of undress, and on at least one occasion drank her own urine. Your Affiant learned from the testimony of caretakers and other employees that Lisa McPherson was undergoing an isolation watch, in the hope that her condition would improve and stabilize, so she could undergo a Scientology procedure known as an introspection rundown. Your Affiant further learned that Lisa was held down and medicated with an irrigation syringe held down during injections of magnesium chloride, given numerous doses of vitamins and herbal sleep remedies and given prescription drugs even though she was never seen by and had no patient/doctor relationship with the prescribing physician.
"Your Affiant did learn that Janice Johnson, David Houghton, and Alain Kartuzinski had conversations with Dr. Minkoff in which they related to him that Lisa was a 'type three' meaning 'psychotic' and needed medication to help her sleep. Dr. Minkoff did, in fact, prescribe indictable Valium for Lisa under David Houghton's name on November 20, 1995 and issued a second prescription for the sedative chloral hydrate on November 29, 1995 in Lisa's name. Dr. Minkoff had never seen or talked to Lisa as a patient. Dr. Minkoff has testified that he was never told the details or severity of Lisa's mental condition and denies prescribing or authorizing magnesium injections or the use of an irrigating syringe to force medicate Lisa with aspirin and Benadryl. Minkoff testified that doing these things without physician authorization would in his opinion be practicing medicine.
"Judy Goldsberry-Weber, a subordinate of Johnson indicated that Johnson claimed to be in charge of Lisa's care. About two days into Lisa's stay, Weber asked Johnson how Lisa was doing. Johnson told Weber to not ask any questions about Lisa that Weber was no longer involved. Some days later, she asked Janice how Lisa was doing in case she ran into Dr. Lovett and he asked about her. According to Weber, they wound up getting in a screaming match after Janice said 'you don't have to worry about him, I'm in charge. Butt out.'
"Patricia Stracener and Anna Pendizini testified that on November 24, 1995 they were briefed by Alain Kartuzinski at around 10:30 p.m., at which time he told them about Lisa's condition and that she had been medicated so that she would go to sleep. During this night of their watch, Lisa woke up and began engaging in bizarre behavior. They observed Lisa McPherson vomit up a dark substance. They further indicated that Janice Johnson showed up later for about a half-hour and checked out Lisa's mouth. She directed them to give Lisa vitamins and water.
"Your Affiant learned from the testimony of David Houghton that on November 25, 1995 he administered a dose of Benadryl and aspirin concoction using an irrigating syringe while others held Lisa McPherson down. Houghton testified he had suggested the use of Benadryl (an antihistamine used in over the counter sleep aids) to induce sleep. Alain Kartuzinski forbid the use of the Valium prescribed by Dr. Minkoff because he felt it might prevent the use of further Scientology procedures on Lisa. He directed, after checking Scientology references, that aspirin be included as it might assist in blocking Lisa's formation of mental images. He indicates that he successfully got her to swallow this mixture of Benadryl and aspirin and he believes that he mentioned this to Janice Johnson. Further, David Houghton testified that he did not ask for consent from Lisa McPherson or explain the procedure to Lisa McPherson because he did not believe that she was capable of understanding. David Houghton further indicates that he administered a second dose of aspirin and Benadryl mixture on November 27, 1995. He indicates that Lisa McPherson was also restrained on this occasion and that she looked sweaty and red in the face and was talking non-sequiturs. On November 28, 1995 he administered a third and final mixture of Benadryl and aspirin to Lisa McPherson again using an irrigation syringe while others held onto her."
National Public Radio's show "Morning Edition" aired a report on the indictments.
"An arraignment hearing is scheduled later this month in the felony case against the Church of Scientology for its alleged role in the 1995 death of one of its members. A Florida state attorney has charged Scientology with unauthorized practice of medicine and accused it of abuse or neglect of a disabled adult in the death of Lisa McPherson. The church contends the death was accidental and had nothing to do with Scientologists.
"Florida's criminal charges against Scientology provide the most authoritative account yet of Lisa McPherson's death, a case critics say provides a chilling glimpse inside this controversial church. Special Agent A.L. Strope of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has written an 18-page narrative drawing on medical and police records and interviews with Scientologists. It begins on 11/18/95, when Lisa McPherson had a traffic accident, then took her clothes off and walked naked down a Clearwater, Florida street. After she was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, a group of church officials arrived and convinced doctors to let the Scientologists care for her. For the next 17 days, McPherson, in what the affidavit calls a 'severely psychotic state', was kept inside the church-owned Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. The document says she was held against her will.
"Court papers say the 36-year-old from Dallas hallucinated, crawled, danced, soiled herself, drank her own urine, and claimed she was L. Ron Hubbard, the church's founder. Eventually, she fell into a coma. Their treatment was to isolate her, watch her 24 hours, and administer prescription sedatives, aspirin, antihistamine, vitamins, and herbal supplements. The affidavit says some of the medicines were forced. On December 5, Scientologists drove a comatose McPherson to a hospital 20 miles away, even though there was another hospital within blocks of the hotel. The Emergency Room doctor at the farther hospital was a church member. Agent Strope concluded, 'This inexcusable delay deprived Lisa of her only opportunity of survival.' The Scientologist doctor who pronounced McPherson dead described her sunken appearance as 'horrific'. The autopsy report lists the cause of death as a blood clot due to 'bed rest and severe dehydration'. Brian Anderson, Scientology's Florida spokesman, says their forensic experts contend McPherson's blood clot was caused by the November 18 traffic accident and the church is blameless:
"BRIAN ANDERSON: The State has not charged any individual or the church with Lisa's death, and there are no allegations that anyone intentionally harmed Lisa McPherson. This has been a difficult investigation, and the State has been operating under immense political pressure and they ultimately decided to bring what happens to be a corporate negligence charge, and in response to this situation the church has acted as any responsible citizen would act and has taken actions needed to make sure a similar situation would never happen again."
Norwegian newspaper VG published an article on 'Scientology Secret
"The article is about how member often contract a debt in the sect. Also have a section about Magen Berge who won a lawsuit against the CoS in Norway some time back.
"Their 'information secretary' (read OSA) Mathias Fosse is also interviewed. 'I'm sick and tired of the media fuss about money. The public has no right to know what people give or don't give to the Church of Scientology. The prices themselves say nothing. Some Scientologists only use some hundred kroner, other use thousands, others again may use one hundred thousand. The settlements we have made is old snow fallen from ten years back, and when it comes to the lawsuit we lost, was that miscarriage of justice."
Scientology's mission in Los Gatos, California has moved to nearby
"It's on the lower level of an office building on Bascom a few blocks south of the Pruneyard shopping center and across the street and slightly north from a decent Greek restaurant. The offices face the driveway that runs along side the building rather than Bascom and appeared to be pretty busy. I tend to agree with Keith H's theory that business is being routed to the missions to avoid exposing raw meat to the picketers who frequent the San Jose and San Francisco orgs."
Picket / Revenge Picket Summary
Pickets at Scientology orgs this week, and revenge pickets by Scientology
at picketer's homes. First from Jeff Jacobsen in Mesa, Arizona:
"I've been leaning my 'Church of the Holy Lawsuit' sign against a city sign pole while I carry my Lisa sign. The COTHL sign would fall from the wind sometimes, so I put a little stick in the top of the sign and hung my backpack to the stick, so the backpack is behind the sign. This weight holds the sign in place. The picket today was the quietest I've ever been to. There were 6 cars at the church and I saw no one come, go, or even stick their head out the door. We got a few honks and thumbs up."
>From Gregg Hagglund in Toronto:
"Attendees: Xenubat & Wulfen, Elrond, DeepWog Deep Wog, Seanster and his S.O., Android Cat. Artemis for the last hour only. Flyer Count: Approx 650 of all types.
"I started off the Picket by entering the Org Lobby and serving Legal Notice declaring my home and property off limits to Scientology Staff, Members and Agents. One day I expect they will do the same to me. I walked in the doors and up to the desk and asked the lackey sitting there if he was on staff. He said he was so I then slapped the No Trespassing Notice on the desk and said, 'You have been Served!' Then this guy lamely says 'we refuse service', to which I replied, on my way out, 'You can't dummy. Wog Law rules.'
"Next I set up my new Cold Weather Sigh Tech. I brought along my artists tripod and affixed my Picker Sign to it : 'Canada has only one Criminally Convicted 'Church': Scientology!'. Since the sign is a two sider, I was able to add two inside slot/pockets to hold flyers so as to have the flyer tops exposed for access by myself or by the public. The Police Officer was somewhat informed on Hubbard's racist writings, steadfastly refused to accept little gratuities like doughnuts and coffee from the Org. Basically he blew off the Org 'Suck Up Tech'.
"Wulfen, Xenubat and I had picked up a 'handler/heckler'. She called us 'insane criminals' and later at the picket she shouted repeatedly until the cop told her to back off 'You are making it up as you go along!' 'His son sells drugs'. A passerby heard part of our conversation and asked me if the Co$ believed in God. I said no, but some staffers/publics might. That is when our Raven Haired Heckler rudely interrupted and loudly proclaimed the Co$ believes in God. I laughed and quoted Hubbard on Christ. She said Hubbard never said that, it wasn't true. I said Hubbard taught that there was no Christ or Religions and gave her the Xenu implant connection and then I added that the Co$ itself had amended the Corporate Charter of the Toronto Org in 1982 to excise the mention of God and insert 'Scientology Teachings' and that was one reason why no charity status was going to be granted to the Co$ in Canada. Raven went ballistic and started shouting Scientology believed in God and that was when the Christians lit in to her. They quoted reams of HubbardSpew at her and even followed her a few feet down the sidewalk as she retreated almost in tears.
"One of my previous handlers, whom I will call 'Pixie' showed up. Pixie and another FemStaffer came and stood right in front of me and my sign and interposed themselves so the passersby could not interact with me or read what I had to offer. I asked them to move or else I would make them move in one of two ways: either I would ask the Officer to move them or I would use the Megaphone until they did. I made sure I was at only volume 4 (of 10) and then I launched into 15 nonstop minutes of one of my favorite harangues. The Public loved it! People were crossing the street to see what was up and while I was still blocked by Pixies FreeSpeech Suppressing antics, my fellow Picketers did a bofo binge of flyer dispersal! After 15 minutes of getting sound blasted, Pixies friend complained to the Officer that I was hurting her ears. He advised her to not stand in front of me then. Moments later she and Pixie shuffled off into the Org. Pixie was *very* angry. She was red in the face and shaking. It was upsetting to me to see such a beautiful woman so badly misled and misinformed so as to waste her vitality on supporting Hubbard's Mindless Money Machine.
"As per usual the Cos sent two timid and frightened Scntists to amble about in front of my house, but only *after* it appeared no one was at home. Unfortunately for the Co$, my legal ward, was at my home and reported them to me. I called the local Police and informed them I had given the ORg Notice of No Trespassing. The local Patrol Officer stopped by and apparently advised the Orgies of the consequences if members staff or agents of the Criminal Cult Trespassed on my property. The Revenge Picketers were very upset and enturbulated by my ward. She acted on my instructions and wrote down the license plate number of the Crap Yellow rustbucket clunker 'Dianetics' mobile they parked on our street. She also had to go to considerable effort to see what was on the Revenge Picketers signs as they kept turning the *one* sided things away. The signs read: 'One must act. One must preserve order and decency, but one need not hate or seek vengeance' 'The road to ruin is paved with false information'."
>From "Meklar" on a picket in Sacramento, California:
"Meklar and Elvis. 30 minutes. 200% increase in flier distribution from previous leaflet campaign. (ie., we handed out 3 this time.) Many supportive thumbs up and honks. The org responded by taking polaroid photos. We saw one Sea Orger in full uniform, jacket with chain, and 2 chevrons on his sleeve going in. Leaving, we were stopped by the guy at the smog check place across the street. He also mentioned in passing that 6 of the last 7 cars he'd checked for org staff had failed there smog checks. I don't think we were followed leaving, but we had a great time acting like we were."
>From "Wynot" and "Mad Cow" in Atlanta:
"Mad_Cow and I arrived at our usual picketing spot with one new sign (Scientology Indicted), and Cow's usual 'Scientology is a Scam' and 'Scientology Hurts People', along with a new flyer combining Lisa's story with a report of the Florida indictments. We had at least 15 honks and a great many waves from cars going by - Cow's 'Scam' sign seemed to draw the most applause from passers-by. I had several people ask me if we had any literature, and I happily handed it over! In about an hour and a half, we had given all our flyers out. More than 20 people now know about Lisa McPherson, and how she was cruelly killed by Scientology. Not many, but every one of them is now inoculated against the criminal cult, and they will tell their friends, who will also then be protected."
"The reaction from the Borg was mostly very non-confront. Of the maybe dozen folks that vomited forth, most were in their early 20s. They would come out the front door, see my signs, then duck around the corner of the building so as not to be exposed to the nasty evil suppressive and his signs. About 15 minutes into the Borg-side picket, this guy comes out to smoke a cigarette, giving me the TR death stare. I tried to give him the stare back, but after 15 seconds I started laughing and had to turn and go back the other way. He immediately stomped back inside. Later we noticed he was standing at one of the upper windows, doing the Death Stare again. I started to giggle again, so I just waved and snickered and kept walking. Not long after that, a man tried to quickly herd his two children into the Borg without them seeing me. It didn't work, thanks to the mostly glass front of the entry staircase. I made sure they saw my 'HURTS People' sign."
>From Kristi Wachter in Mountain View, California:
"45 minute solo picket, Mountain View, Friday, 11/20, 12:30 - 1:15. Response: 3 person revenge picket at my home, 4 - 5 pm. About 75 minutes at SF org, Saturday, 11/21, 12:25 - 1:40 pm, with phr & Mysterious Dude. Response: 3 person revenge picket at my home, about 2 pm - 3:10 pm. I joined in and talked with them shortly after they arrived."
Blue Window reported this week that the Basel, Switzerland regulations
against street recruiting will be enforced despite an appeal by
"The new Basel sect criminal code can still be put into effect despite a pending complaint in federal court. The Lausanne judge has refused to grant the request by Scientology to postpone its enforcement. The criminal code, which was approved by Basel Canton Parliament, is directed against unfair or deceptive methods of advertisement on public land. Scientology and one of its individual members perceived the vote as an 'unacceptable special law', and lodged a complaint against public law in the federal court.
"According to the new Basel criminal code, a fine, or in repeat cases, arrest, can be levied against a person who 'recruits or tries to recruit pedestrians on public land by deceptive or unfair methods.' Police are thereby empowered to clear an area if there are signs that 'illicit, particularly deceptive or otherwise unfair methods are used or if pedestrians are being molested.'"
The South China Morning Post reported that John Travolta credits
Scientology for his well organized household.
"John Travolta has a staff of 24 employees to run the seven-bedroom ranch-style house he shares with his wife, Kelly Preston, and their six-year-old son, Jett. The star of Face/Off and Primary Colours credits his passion for being well-organised to the teachings of Scientology.
"'You need a team around you that is close to flawless,' he said. 'You have to have people who love you and care about you. Of course, what helped me to get that machine working is the organisational skills of Hubbard. I think Scientology is a lot of the foundation of what allows me to produce so much.'"
A bronze statue of an elephant, presented to the United Nations in part by
the "Friends of L. Ron Hubbard" caused controversy this week because of
the size of its sexual organs. From Agence France Presse:
"There was panic at the United Nations on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's unveiling of a bull elephant statue with a life-size sexual organ. A senior UN official was worried that the member's large proportions might upset children visiting the United Nations, UN sources said. Various scenarios were being discussed, including radical surgery on the bronze statue, the sources said.
"The sculpture is the result of a 22-year effort by the Cast the Sleeping Elephant Trust, whose founder, the world renown sculptor Mihail, did an actual casting of a live, 50-year-old wild bull elephant. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will accept the statue on behalf of the United Nations in the presence of a number of artists, foreign dignitaries and ambassadors."
"The tranquilizer's effect is reportedly responsible for the size of the elephant's member, which caused one senior UN official to express concern that children visiting the United Nations might be upset. Annan told AFP after Wednesday's ceremony 'Nature made him like that. I'm not going to change nature.' On Wednesday, the elephant was surrounded by carefully-planted bushes. The statue is a gift from Kenya, Namibia and Nepal. But 'the friends of L. Ron Hubbard,' the founder of Scientology, are also listed as a major donor."
>From the Associated Press:
"United Nations diplomats are accustomed to arguing over national borders, chemical weapons, debt relief. This time, the debate is over an even more sensitive question: Does size matter? There were scattered giggles in the UN sculpture garden yesterday when Secretary-General Kofi Annan dedicated a statue -- surrounded by strategically placed shrubbery -- of an elephant some say is too anatomically correct. The 11-foot-tall bronze, a gift to the United Nations from the governments of Kenya, Namibia and Nepal, was made from a cast of an actual African Bull Elephant."
What is Scientology?
A Scientology press release claims that the new edition of the book What
is Scientology? has reached best seller status.
"The 800-page paperback edition of 'What Is Scientology?' hit both USA Today and United Press International's bestseller lists within days of its release at the end of October. The nearly 900-page guidebook explores the dimensions of Scientology's growth, now embracing over 8 million members and more than 1,800 Churches, missions and service organizations in 129 countries
"It includes a roster of personal stories about the crucial impact this applied religious philosophy has had on the lives and careers of people across virtually every social, economic and cultural stratum, from doctors and lawyers, housewives and business leaders to many of the world's foremost entertainers -- John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, TV's Jenna Elfman and Academy Award winning composer-musician, Isaac Hayes, among them.
"The new edition of 'What Is Scientology?', has been released in 14 languages and distributed throughout North America, Europe and Asia. A traveling 'What Is Scientology?' exhibit accompanying the release of the book will be touring throughout Europe starting in early 1999."
Charlotte Kates reported on Scientology recruiting efforts at Camden
"Posters were placed on several bulletin boards around campus, inviting people to 'Discover Dianetics!' and 'Handle Your Problems--Scientology!', as well as noting that there are 'Staff Positions Available'. I came back armed with my own posters, 'Scientology: Criminally Indicted in Member's Death,' 'Scientology and Dianetics: Cult of Greed,' and 'Scientology Hurts People,' festooned with urls like www.xenu.net, www.factnet.org, and www.entheta.net.
"I find it absolutely disgusting that Co$, an organization that considers college education to be merely accumulation of 'false data,' and which regularly encourages and/or orders staff members to leave college, is recruiting on campus. Scientology told *me* to quit college. Scientology told *me* that that way, 'you won't need more false data stripping!' Scientology told *me* that university educations are worthless, that the SO was the only place to be, and told me that I should quit college to go to the CLO EUS or Flag in Clearwater."