Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 2, Issue 40 01/25/98 by Rod Keller [email@example.com] 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 firstname.lastname@example.org It is archived at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html http://home.sol.no/heldal/CoS/archive/WIR/ http://www.i1.net/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html #####
The Globe and Mail reported this week that Scientology is attempting to
get charity status in Canada.
"Among other things, it wants to issue tax receipts for donations from participants in its central rite, which features an electrical device akin to a lie detector. The device, called an E-meter, is said to detect mental trauma suffered by believers during countless lives in various galaxies over trillions of years. The suggested donation is $256 an hour. Healing may take hundreds of hours.
"If the application succeeds, Scientology may be eligible for benefits including charity casino licences and partial refunds of the goods and services tax. It will have moved toward acceptance as a mainstream faith and away from a reputation as a mind cult. The process raises tricky questions in a free country: Is this a religion, or is it an expensive self-improvement program combined with a particularly zany concept of reincarnation?
"Arthur Drache, an authority on laws governing non-profit and charitable organizations, said he warned his clients that 'what is going to fly in the States won't necessarily fly in Canada' because of differences in the systems. Canada's 15-year-old Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says the country 'is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law,' guarantees everyone's freedom of religion 'subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.'
"[T]he Canadian Scientology organization already enjoys some of the benefits its parent recently won. It has operated for decades as a non-profit organization, a status that entails no special registration in this country. Non-profit groups simply declare that their purpose is not to make a profit. They may legally pay salaries to employees but not dividends to owners. Scientology thus pays no Canadian income tax. Its ministers can perform marriages across much of the country. It won a 50-per-cent property-tax exemption two years ago on its Toronto headquarters, an eight-storey building on Yonge Street. The exemption saves it about $103,000 a year.
"In 1992, the Toronto branch was fined $250,000 for its role in espionage operations in the 1970s against the Ontario Attorney-General's Ministry, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A former Scientology official and two moles who rifled official files in search of material on the organization were fined a total of $9,000. This criminal conviction of a church -- a rarity in legal history -- was upheld last year by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
"By its own account, its beliefs are based solely on the writings of Mr. Hubbard, who did not claim divine inspiration. 'The Church has no dogma concerning God,' a Scientology handbook says. 'Although Scientology affirms the existence of a Supreme Being, its practice does not include the worship of such.' This brings it up against a Revenue Canada guideline for assessing the claims of would-be religious charities. 'There has to be an element of theistic worship,' a government publication advises, 'which means the worship of a deity or deities in the spiritual sense.'"
A second article described the way Scientology's secrets are being publicized on the net.
"The remarkable tale of Xenu and the volcanoes is echoing across the anarchic Internet. Scientology is not pleased.
"In the 44 years since U.S. science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard set up the nucleus of what would become a multinational organization, the group's inner teachings have been cloaked in secrecy, revealed only to a few adepts and protected by formidable copyright laws. But in a fashion that might astonish Mr. Hubbard, who died in 1986, cyberspace has changed everything.
"Amid galaxies of Scientology-related material, much of it hostile to the Hollywood-based organization, numerous web sites are devoted to what Scientology regards as its most sacred texts. Atop the list is the saga of the galactic ruler Xenu, whose act of mass murder millions of years ago, Scientologists believe, is a key source of mankind's difficulties.
"'Cyberspace is an enormous problem for Scientology,' said Stephen Kent, a University of Alberta sociologist, who has spent years examining the group. 'Opponents around the world share information quickly and often humorously.' They do it with cartoons, anecdotes and essays that mock Mr. Hubbard's credentials and the organizations claim of eight million adherents. There are court judgments. There are defectors' accounts. There are ostensibly top-secret internal directives from Mr. Hubbard, impossible to verify.
"And there is the legend of Xenu (sometimes called Xemu), to which only those at the very advanced stages of Scientology instruction are privy. Toronto Scientology president Janet Laveau said: 'This is out-of-context materials that have been taken and twisted and perverted. ... What they are putting out is incorrect information. ... The real materials are not open to the general public. They are considered to be some of the sacred materials of the church."
Bruce Pettigrew is still picketing the Mesa, Arizona org despite attempts
by Scientology to have a restraining order issued against him for
"Jeff Jacobsen joined me in my semi-regular picket today, making the attempted TRO result in an immediate doubling of the size of the pickets. We were on duty from about 10:00 to 11:00 AM."
"According to Arizona law, harassment must involve a series of acts. Just one incident, no matter how much it bothers you, does not constitute legal harassment. According to the law this series of acts: can be spread over a long or short period of time; and must be the same type of repetitive act against you; and must be directed at you; and must seriously alarm, annoy, or harass you without serving a legitimate purpose; and must be the kinds of acts that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress; and must actually cause you to suffer substantial emotional distress.
"The petition for an injunction against harassment that was filed by the the Co$ of Arizona was denied pending a hearing on 1/26, 3:30 PM. The scienos and their lawyer mailed me an unofficial copy of the filing, with an unsigned, undated copy of an 'order' to desist."
Martin Ottmann posted some details on TradeNet, the Scientologist-owned
company that has been in trouble for promoting a "laundry ball" scam.
"TradeNet sold millions of a complete useless laundry detergent (blue coloured water) last year and made big bucks at the beginning. The Scientologists who own the company donated then huge sums to the Church of Scientology and WISE.
"Bill Cooper [is] Director of TradeNet, Scientologist, WISE member, local CW resident. Erwin Annau [is] Director of TOP Marketing,Scientologist, WISE member, local CW resident, escapee from the Austrian Tax Office. His office was raided by the Austrian police in 1994. To evade legal persecution he decided to settle in Clearwater. Now he is in trouble with the law again. Alberto Guerrero, Scientologist, another Director of TradeNet. Lynn Irons, Scientologist, former U-Man Director.
"Here are some internal reports written by Erwin Annau, sent to or filed at the WISE Charter Committee:
"TO: Lynn Irons, TradeNet FROM: Erwin Annau, TOP Marketing
"I just found out that Card Service International has switched off the line for Credit Card Payments. They found out that TradeNet is using this account which was opened under TOP Marketing. This is illegal. Eve Witter gave me the information that it was legal and was checked with Card Service to be OK. This seems to be false information.
"TO: WISE Charter Committee attn: Kim Cassano, Graham Payne
"Report on meeting with Mr. Betz and Mr. Lions from the AG [Attorney General] office, Tampa. Mr. Betz said that there are 'MILLIONS of dollars' of refund requests which are unpaid by Cooper/TradeNet. Mr. Betz said that Cooper has not paid any outstanding commissions. Both investigators wanted to know where my, Cooper's and Guerrero's money went. He wanted to know the extent of the donations. I told him what I donated, but could not give him an answer about the others. They assume that about 1 million dollars went to the church. Mr. Betz said that TradeNet donated huge amounts to the church (maybe WISE?). I could not say anything to that since I have not gotten any information. The investigators wanted to know how they could get the money back from the church and if the church would refund the money."
"Bill Cooper (TradeNet): Purification Rundown, Objectives (Source 109) Scientology Drug Rundown, ARC Straightwire (Source 111). IAS-Donations: Patron (Impact 71) Patron with Honors (Impact 72) Super Power Building' Donations: Cornerstone Club Member
"Alberto & Lily Guerrero (TradeNet): Alberto: Solo NOTs Auditor Certainty Course (Source 111) Scientology Drug Rundown (Source 109) Lily: Grade IV Expanded, L 11 (Source 111) Grade I, Grade II, Grade III (Source 109) IAS-Donations: Patron (Impact 70) for Alberto Patron with Honors (Impact 71) for 'Guerrero Family' 'Super Power Building' Donations: Cornerstone Club Member
"Erwin & Silvia Annau (TOP Marketing): Silvia: Grade IV Expanded, Clear Status, Sunshine Rundown, L 11 (Source 111) ARC Straightwire, Scn Drug Rundown, Grade 0 - III (Source 109) IAS-Donations: Crusader (Impact 70)"
Martin Ottmann also posted a fund raising letter from the Citizens
Commission of Human Rights, a Scientology front group.
"[D]uring the week of the 49th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights we are holding a PUBLIC COMM EV - A CCHR COMMISSION HEARING - INTO PSYCHIATRY IN OUR SCHOOLS IN CALIFORNIA!!! The first hearing, in Philadelphia, was a roaring success and received international, national and local media coverage including newspaper articles, TV news spots, and radio coverage. Our panel included top experts from the medical, legal and educational fields, including a pediatric neurologist, a professor of special education for 22 years, a city council woman and a state legislator.
"The December 16 Commission Hearing will be at the Hyatt on Sunset starting at 9AM. If you will be in Los Angeles then, you can even attend this one. But you must help us make it happen. I'm asking you to support this next hearing with at least $ 1,000 immediately. I know you can make things happen when you decide to. The war is coming to a head and we need your help. Again, I'm asking you to put together a donation of $ 1,000 or more today which we will put to work immediately. YOU WILL BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE MOST OFFENSIVE ACTION CCHR HAS EVER TAKEN AGAINST THE PSYCHS. Make a difference. DO IT NOW! You can help cut the power lines of the psychs."
Roger Gonnet posted a translation of an article in French newspaper Le
Figaro on Scientology and Clearwater, Florida.
"Behind its calm white columns, the bank is not a bank. Hotel Fort Harrison, with its white and red ornaments for feasts, refuses the traveler. No children play between the faked cottages of 'Christmas Wonderland'. If you look at it more attentively, even the policemen in Bermudas pedaling quietly on the road look a bit as extras. Welcome to scientology! It's in Clearwater that the Dianetics' 'pope' L. Ron Hubbard decided to install its devout' army in 1975, after eight collective errand's years aboard of the ship of the cult.
"In Clearwater, the city's management holds on, despite 5 to 7,000 scientologists installed. They are easy to discern: walking in battalions through the town center, exact like Swiss watches, showing a bland grin and always looking before them. Men, women, children, they are often dressed with the organisation's uniform, and looks a bit US Navy's marines. With stripes and identity badges. Being ashore, American or European tourists do not seem to be surprised.
"In Clearwater continues the enquiry about the suspicious death of Lisa McPherson, an American 36 years old scientologist, gave us some inklings about the sums: 97000 US $ in two years, from the accounts studied by police: this is 600000F for two years. L. Ron Hubbard, from his galactical paradise, keeps on getting money. With his methods denounced by opponents as eyewash, or as far as mental torture. Lisa McPherson went to her scientologist friends in the Fort Harrison Hotel. She was to die two weeks later, 5th of December 1995, from pulmonary embolism: a thrombus into left lung artery. What the problem is here is that the young woman was deprived to drink her last five to ten days."
The Tampa Tribune ran an article this week on the efforts of Clearwater to clean up the image of the town.
"There's a sense of urgency to rehabilitating a city that has lost some of its long-touted 'sparkle.' But a contingent of Clearwater leaders visited Florida's Gold Coast late last year to gather tips on revitalizing their city. Clearwater is at a turning point. Four redevelopment plans are in the works for the beach front city, whose image affects tourism economies throughout the region.
"Downtown is home to an international retreat of The Church of Scientology, whose members own businesses and join in civic functions. But some people contend the thousand or so uniformed Scientologists have detracted from the city's image and hindered commerce."
Us magazine carried an article on Scientologist Jenna Elfman this week.
"It's another late afternoon on Fox Stage 21, home of the hit show Dharma and Greg. Elfman is remarkably unsurprised at her own success. She's genuinely warm, but you know instantly not to mess with her. It's the quiet confidence of someone who sits in a charmed circle, or in her case, a square - and at the four corners are her husband, her parents who come to every taping of the show, her acting teacher & mentor, Milton Katselas, and the Church of Scientology, of which Elfman has been a member since 1991. It's clear that Scientology is important to Elfman, and she's perhaps it's best representative. While Tom Cruise, John Travolta and indeed, Kirstie Alley, field questions about their religion with weary defensiveness. Elfman chats away happily about it. 'I think the people that misunderstand the church have a button on flowing support,' says Elfman, puffing on a cigarette, her last vice. 'I'm not hostile or critical of anything until I have picked it up myself. I don't let people talk shit to me about other people. Read a book if you want to know what it is, and if you're not going to read the book, keep your mouth shut.'
"Elfman fields concerns about Scientology with the ease of a world-class goalie. Its cost? 'You get counseling. You pay for it. If you want to see a therapist, you pay for it.' It's appearance as a cult? 'Hubbard was just a man; he never claimed to be godlike.' The perception that people can't leave the church of their own free will? 'I've never tried to leave the church, so I don't know'"
VG Schleswig, Az carried an article this week on parents who attempted to
remove a Scientologist from a position as an art teacher.
"Parents who sued to prevent their children from attending the art class of a scientologist teacher lost in administrative court a few days ago. The court said that they had not shown evidence that he had committed actual violations of the school rules, or any other violations. The court said that the membership in the organisation does not mean that he would also do illegal things."
A summary of the whereabouts of the members of the Guardian's Office who
were involved in the charges that led to 11 convictions in the 1970s was
posted this week.
"Mary Sue Hubbard: Currently, she is reported to be living 'a quiet life' in California, however it is one with lingering ties to the church she helped found. MSH is listed in Impact #53 as a 'Patron' of IAS for her donation of $40,000.
"Henning Heldt Henning returned to civilian life, becoming the owner of Los Angeles-based marketing company Doehring, which employed many ex-Sea Orgers, including, until a few years ago, Guy White, Suzette Hubbard's husband. Henning was listed in Source #67 as completing New OTV; and is also a Patron ($40 K + donation) of the IAS.
"Duke Snider: Snider's current status within the church is unclear. However, at last check, he was living in Clearwater in a condo located 'a stone's throw' from the Sandcastle. Snider is listed in Source #91 as completing Flag Executive Briefing Course
"Richard Weigand A frequent contributor to the Theta News Exchange in 1995, Weigand was was at that time one of the key organizers of CoS efforts in Colombia, including extensive campaigns to have the tech adopted by the military, police and public schools. Since then, he is reported to have returned to the United States, where he is a full time FSM.
"Jane Kember Her current whereabouts are unknown, but she was spotted in the mid-80s at Saint Hill, where she was being 'handled'.
"Morris 'Mo' Budlong Budlong has found gainful employment in the computer book publishing world. He recently published a new edition of 'Teach Yourself Cobol in 21 Days'."
Grady Ward reported that Scientology is still pursuing depositions of a
number of people in Grady's bankruptcy proceedings.
"Earle Cooley demands to file a reply to Minton's Opposition to be deposed in my *bankruptcy* case. Earle alleges that Minton is somehow is a 'co-conspirator' who stands to financially gain somehow from giving away his money without any strings attached to people whom the cult is treading on. [T]he unindicted Kendrick Moxon has (defectively) noticed the depositions of: Keith Henson, Arnaldo Lerma, Robert Vaughn Young, Stacy Young."
"Gerry Armstrong was providing me with material on the criminal abuses of the criminal cult pursuant to a lawfully issued federal subpoena in my case. Cult attorney Andrew Wilson committed obstruction of justice by attempting to intimidate Mr. Armstrong from obeying my lawfully issued subpoena. I will e-mail my subpoena to Gerry along with the intimidating letter by cult attorney Andrew Wilson. Any attempt to prevent a person from testifying or to testify untruthfully is a major federal offense in the United States."
Scientology announced plans to launch the I am a Scientologist Campaign,
in which a number of graphics would be produced for web sited to declare
the religious affiliation of the site owner.
"With the advent of the Internet -- the fastest medium of communication for people around the globe -- a lot of people have come together and are in comm. This has made the Internet a great medium for campaigns of all types, and we have one that is sure to raise ARC amongst all people. Our campaign is meant to build worldwide religious tolerance, and thus support and safeguard religious diversity through the Internet. Its motto is simply: 'I am a (Scientologist or Muslim or Catholic or Buddhist etc.). Support religious tolerance'
"Icons with this motto will be provided to all Scientologists around the world within the next 24 hours. We will then have icons designed for people of all religions represented on the Internet. These icons will be made available on a new web site we are designing specifically for this religious tolerance campaign.
"In our travels as Scientologists, we have led countless crusades for human rights, religious tolerance and individual liberty. We now have a campaign in which everybody can participate. You can make this possible by creating your own web page and making this campaign known by displaying the 'I am a Scientologist. Support religious tolerance' logo and by inviting others of all faiths to take the initiative to do so as well.
"Much love, Gloria Idda"
Scientology continues to attempt to prevent Keith Henson from picketing
their locations. They have filed for a protective order against Keith
picketing Gold Base neat Hemet, California using Scientologist Ken Hoden
as the complainant.
"On Tuesday, January 6, 1998, I learned that two men one of whom was carrying a sign were obstructing traffic on Highway 79 in front of the main entrance to Golden Era. I approached the men to determine what they were doing, and found that one of the men was Keith Henson. Henson is a large man, about 5' 10" and weighs, I estimate, approximately 200 pounds. The other man was even larger. I told Henson that the area he was obstructing was very dangerous to himself and others and asked him to move. Henson refused to move. He then approached me on one side and other man on the other side of me, and spoke to me m a very threatening and angry fashion. He stated, among other things. that he hated my religion and was very threatening to me Henson had a sign attached to a heavy stick or board, which was perhaps a 2 x 2, which he was holding as if he would hit me.
"When Henson was talking to me, he did so in a threatening fashion and with innuendo, made it clear to me that he would harm me and the Church if he could do so, which I believed was intended to frighten me. He looked crazy, His eyes were darting around, and it appeared to me that he must have been on drugs. Henson also walked right in front of traffic on Highway 79 at the time that he was yelling some of these things. The traffic at this point of Highway 79 moves very quickly and the road is quite dangerous. When Henson cut in front of traffic, one car swerved and nearly hit him. A bus immediately following nearly rammed the car which had stopped to avoid hitting Henson. Henson thereafter left the area driving very fast.
"Based on this incident, seeing how crazy this man is and other information of which I was aware of relating to his assault on another minister of the Church, his incitement of violence against the Church against the church on the Internet and his expressed ability to make and explode bombs, I was and am very concerned for my safety and that of my co-workers at Golden Era. Henson has written of his desire that my place of work be destroyed like 'Waco' and I feel he has the ability and intent to carry out acts of severe violence. I feel I very threatened by Henson and do not want him to approach me or my place of work."
Scientologist-owned company Digital Lightwave suffered a plunge in its
stock price after accounting errors were reported. From the St.
"Digital Lightwave Inc.'s stock plunged as much as 82 percent Friday after the Clearwater company admitted accounting mistakes, restated earlier earnings and predicted a loss for the fourth quarter. Investors reacted by suing Digital. Three separate lawsuits filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Tampa accuse the company of misleading investors about its performance while at least two executives dumped all their shares in recent months. Each suit seeks class-action status. By overstating revenues by millions of dollars, the suits say, Digital Lightwave was able to inflate its stock price from $12 a share at its initial public offering in February 1997 to its 52-week high of nearly $25 a share in mid-November.
"Insiders took advantage of the stock's peak, the suit says. Securities records show that Kenneth T. Myers, vice president of advanced products, sold 25,100 shares at $18.50 to $19.75 a share between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6. The sales represented all of Myers' shares. Another vice president, Thomas Williams, sold 7,749 Digital shares in October and November, also leaving him with none. The suits also say that Beth Morris, a vice president until Sept. 14, made more than $100,000 by selling 4,750 shares in November."
>From The Tampa Tribune:
"The stock of Digital Lightwave Inc., a small telecommunications equipment maker in Clearwater, plunged more than 80 percent Friday after the company admitted an 'error' in its accounting practices - recording sales of products that did not have a buyer. The company will change financial statements for the second and third quarters of 1997. Second quarter revenues will be cut nearly in half, from $5.3 million to $2.7 million. The third quarter revenues will drop from $8.3 million to $1.4 million. The revisions will wipe out profits for both quarters and result in a loss of about $5.1 million, or 23 cents a share, for 1997.
"The company explained that it had been booking sales as soon as the company's product was shipped to distributors. Those distributors weren't finding buyers for the equipment, and there is now a backlog in the pipeline."
Details of the officers involvement in Scientology were also posted.
"Bryan J. Zwan, $100,000 donation to the IAS; Kenneth T. Myers, $40,000 to the IAS, Denise Licciardi, $40,000 to the IAS; Robert Goransson, $20,000 to the IAS. Another investor is Scientologist George Murgatroyd and other members of his lawfirm."
Ray Randolph reported rumors that prosecutor Bernie McCabe may not be
filing any charges in the Lisa McPherson case.
"I've heard from what I consider to be a reliable source that there may not be charges filed in the Lisa McPherson death. It appears to be a purely political decision. In typical scientology fashion, the DA's office is being flooded with faxes and letters urging them to NOT press charges. Bernie McCabe, fearing that this is a one-sided political issue is *supposedly* leaning towards NOT filing charges. The critics have no representation in the letters that are pouring in, and this is the kind of case that alters careers forever. It's better, in Bernie's mind, if it all just went away."
The London Times ran a story on Lisa McPherson this week.
"McPherson was a Scientologist. Her death after an apparent nervous breakdown has become a cause celebre for campaigners against new religions. This week a Florida prosecutor is considering whether to bring charges against Scientology officials who were looking after McPherson when she died. The case has shocked residents of Clearwater, a retirement town that has been transformed during the past two decades into one of the world's leading centres of the Church of Scientology.
"After years of reassuring locals that there was nothing sinister about its multi-million-dollar property-buying sprees, the church may be forced to defend its claims to religious respectability in both the criminal and civil courts. 'This is the worst case they've ever faced,' said Ken Dandar, the lawyer for McPherson's estate.
"The results of the police investigation have been sent to Bernie McCabe, the local state prosecutor, who must decide whether criminal charges are justified. He is also considering a hefty file of submissions by the church, which has consulted its own medical experts in an attempt to prove that McPherson's embolism would have killed her wherever she was. She died as her Scientology minders were driving her to hospital.
"Whatever the outcome, the case has already raised questions about the psychological techniques employed by Scientologists, supposedly to advance their members to a more enlightened spiritual state. In a separate civil case alleging wrongful death, McPherson's estate accuses the church of failing to monitor her condition as she was subjected to a therapy called 'introspection rundown'. Court documents allege that Scientologists allowed her to slip into a coma and failed to provide her with adequate nutrition.
"Jeff Jacobsen, an expert on new religions who is based in Arizona, believes officials trying to help McPherson may have fatally misjudged her condition. 'I think they were following Hubbard's directions on how to deal with a psychotic person,' he said. 'These people were waiting for Lisa to figure herself out.'
"The affair has renewed public suspicion of the well-groomed young Scientologists who stroll around Clearwater. 'They were getting so close to being accepted,' said Ed Hooper, a councillor. 'Now we're back to square one. This doesn't make you want to hold hands and sing hymns.'"
Bob Minton reported continued harassment and investigation from
Scientology this week. Scientology is upset that Bob funds Scientology
opponents and the Lisa McPherson lawsuit.
"Just yesterday I got a call from a friend and employee now living in LA who was associated with me over 20 years ago. The scieno PI said they were contacting everyone who has ever worked with me. I assume by some of the questions asked that they are not interested in finding out anything but filth. I would also add that OSA does not like people who don't cooperate with the PI's."
The Montreal Gazette reported that a Scientologist has been found guilty
of killing twin babies of a Scientology couple.
"According to an article in yesterday's Montreal Gazette newspaper, Ludmilla Vassilieva, a 48-year old nanny was found guilty by a Danish court of drowning the infant twins of a Toronto woman and her French husband, and ordered confined to a mental institution for an indefinite period.
"Marie Louise Schroder, a reporter who has been following the bizarre case for Ekstra Bladet, a Copenhagen newspaper, said Vassilieva has told police she drowned and sexually mutilated the babies while bathing them, then dressed their bodies, placed them in a stroller and wandered around the Danish capital for about an hour before asking passersby for directions to a police station. Although Vassilieva has admitted to sexually mutilating the babies with scissors after their deaths, Schroder said Danish coroners believe that the mutilations happened while the children were still alive.
"Vassilieva, like the Hivers, is a member of the Church of Scientology. 'We only just found out that our babysitter was earlier under psychiatric treatment,' the parents wrote. 'Now we can see why this happened and can see that she herself was a victim.'"
Ray Randolph reported that Scientology is threatening to sue him over his
use of the scientology-kills.com Internet domain, and his use of the
phrase on t-shirts. Scientology lawyer Thomas Small writes:
"Our clients have referred to us for further action the matter of your use of the registered trademark SCIENTOLOGY in the domain name SCIENTOLOGY-KILLS.NET and in other ways throughout your web site that is addressed by that name. In particular, we note your web site offers for sale T-shirts bearing a 'SCIENTOLOGY KILLS' logo.
"RTC's rights in SCIENTOLOGY are protected under both state and federal antidilution statutes, against use in any manner that tends to dilute the distinctiveness of the mark or tarnish the reputation of the owner. At least twenty-six states have anti-dilution statutes, including California, Florida, New York and Illinois, where your web site undoubtedly has been viewed and downloaded, and you probably have sold your 'SCIENTOLOGY KILLS' T-shirts.
"The case law under the various statutes demonstrates clearly that our clients have the right to prevent your use of SCIENTOLOGY in connection with your web site and your T-shirts. In Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc v. Richard Bucci, the court enjoined the use of the domain name 'planned-parenthood.com' under federal trademark law for both trademark infringement and unfair competition, reasoning that use of the name would create a likelihood of confusion with the Planned Parenthood health care organization. In dismissing the defendant's defense under the First Amendment, the court stated '[w]hen another's trademark...is used without permission for the purpose of source identification, the trademark law generally prevails over the First Amendment. Free Speech rights do not extend to labeling or advertising products in a manner that conflicts with the trademark rights of others.'
"On behalf of our clients, we hereby demand that you immediately cease and desist from these activities, and cancel your SCIENTOLOGY-KILLS.NET domain name registration. We understand you have challenged our clients to sue you, and we assure you that a lawsuit will be considered if you do not comply with our clients' demand."
"Dear Mr. Small: Bite me.
"Very Truly Yours, Ray Randolph"
The London Observer carried the story this week of John Travolta's alleged
healing powers, demonstrated on the musician Sting.
"When multimillionaire film star John Travolta found multimillionaire rock star Sting on his sickbed, there was no need to call a doctor: Travolta decided to heal him on the spot. 'He was under the weather and he had a sore throat and flu symptoms. I did two or three different types of assists, and he felt better.' An 'assist' is a term used by Scientologists to describe 'tuning in to the sick body' to cure it. And Travolta, who played an angel in the film Michael, claims Sting is only one of many beneficiaries of his healing powers.
"'They just help the person heal quicker by getting in communication with the body. I use them if someone's not been feeling well, or if there's been an injury.' Even if his patients are not always miraculously healed, Travolta claims: 'I have never failed helping a person feel better, at least.' Sting could not be contacted to confirm Travolta's powers, but his press officer said he had never heard the story before.
"Travolta, who claims Scientology attracts criticism because it is such a new religion, was raised as a Roman Catholic, but was introduced to the works of Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in his twenties. 'Suddenly I had a sense that I wasn't just a body, that I was actually a spirit in a body. And my life was changed from that moment.' Asked how he could play a drug addict in Pulp Fiction when Scientology denounces drug use, he justifies this on the basis that his character does not survive. 'If the drug addict was a winner or the murderer was a winner, I don't know if I would want to portray that.'"
Travolta was interviewed on BBC1 TV this week.
"Q Why is Scientology controversial?
"A Because it is a new religion, and that's always controversial.
"Q Some people call Scientology a cult. How do you react to that?
"A It is annoying, something to fight for. because it is incorrect. From the 22 years I've been involved I can only observe the good that's been done. People do better, they survive better, they are happier, healthier.
"Q Have there been periods of doubt. It is said that for example that in the 1980's when you were doubtful of the management of the church.
"A No, there was a moment when some people had ill intentions and they were weeded out quickly and it got sort of back into good keeping. And I was very proud of how it all went down, because it could have been not good. I never suffered from it at all, but there was a moment when there was, you know, an enemy within that maybe didn't want to see us survive so well.
"Q You have never had doubts about the structure, about the beliefs?
"A Never. It is something that I have such certainty of, such certainty in. I apply it every day, I use it as much as I can on everyone I know, even if they aren't aware.
"Q I have no idea if this is true, but it has been written that people talk about thetans as being aliens.
"A I don't know about that. I think that it's a soul. I don't have any idea what you're talking about. But I do know that it's you and it's me."
Ted Mayett reported that Scientology ran a full page ad in the Las Vegas
Sun this week.
"The heading is, 'The Aims of Scientology'. This is that thing about, 'a civilization without insanity... etc'. The bottom of this full page has three addresses on it, right above the addresses it says, 'This message is brought to you and paid for by the Parishioners of the Local Churches of Scientology.'
"The advertisement in the newspaper says that the Secret Center has church services on Sunday, 12 Noon. Yet, when you dial the number you get a recording that lists the business hours as, Mon-Fri 5-9PM, Sat 10-2PM. And so, they do not even have enough sense to lie with consistency here in Las Vegas."
Ted also reported resumption of his pickets at the Las Vegas orgs.
"We arrived at the big org 3:10pm, vehicles were 13. They had rallied for us. Within 30 minutes 2 more vehicles arrived. And then a Police car with a single Officer came right next to us and drove behind the building. About ten minutes passed and we were never bothered by that Officer. Meanwhile, the clams, and maybe the cop??? were gathered right inside the door, they were looking and quite clearly talking about us. More time passed. I spot another Police car doing a slow cruise by and it turns out to be that very same car and Officer. Still we are not bothered. At 4pm we leave without ever having spoken to any of them or with the Police."
Marcus Hill reported a bus advertising campaign in the UK.
"I have no idea whether it's a nationwide campaign or if it's just in Greater Manchester, but I've seen a load of ads on buses lately pushing Scientology (one of the books, a phone line and the scn web site). The amusing part was the line, in block caps at the top of the ad: THINK FOR YOURSELF"