Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 23 09/29/96 by Rod Keller [firstname.lastname@example.org] copyright 1996
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 the articles. Many include an excerpt, and all include message IDs for the articles I cover. This may or may not be useful to you, 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://user1.i1.net/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html http://www.amazing.com/scientology/ars-summary.html http://users.aimnet.com/~jdiver/scieno.htm http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html #####
"Well what I've done is collect together the information that scientology doesn't want people to read. I've collected many first-hand accounts from ex-scientologists, many documents from legal cases, several documents that were seized by the FBI when they raided Scientology headquarters and many of the postings from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.
"It's a big fight in cyberspace really. There are some pro-scientology posters. Some who seem to be authorised by the church, and there's many people who are protesting. Many ex-scientologists who are speaking about their experiences. Many people who've joined in the debate because of concerns about civil rights."
Rachael Ryerson [Scientologist]: "I'd like to say that Scientologists actually do feel threatened by confidential materials, scriptures from the church, being put on the Internet, because it's part of our core religious beliefs that these scriptures do need to be kept confidential until a person is at the required spiritual and ethical level to be invited to participate with those scriptures.'
Greg Ryerson: "There's actually millions of scientologists whose deep seated religious beliefs they feel are being violated by this. You know they also should have some consideration taken of their belief."
Rachael Ryerson: "I obviously think scientology will get more popular in cyberspace, and as people do become aware of the issues, you know, and copyright law does adapt to this new medium that we have, the Internet, you know, Intelligent people will assess and they will see that, you know, what we're saying on the copyright is just a portion of freedom of speech."
Jens Tingleff translated an article from L'Express on the state of
Scientology in France.
"On 30th Sept, the Lyon 'tribunal correctionnel' [court of some sort] is opening trial hearings to decide - among other things - whether the co$ is responsible for the suicide in 1988 of a 31 year old man from Lyon. Other charges include fraud ('escroque'), attempt at and being accomplice to fraud, breach of confidence and manslaughter ('homicide involontaire'). 14 men and 13 women accused are to appear in court.
"The article notes that the co$ has previously had a bad time with the French courts, citing a verdict in 1975 of LRH for fraud (fined 35000 FFR and sentenced to four years prison) for presenting a commercial enterprise as a religious movement.
"The suicide of Patrice Vic happened at 5am on 24th March 1988. He jumped out of bed, yelled at his wife Nelly 'It's the only solution' and leapt to his death from the twelfth floor. He had been involved with the co$ for six months, lured by an offer he found in his mailbox of a free IQ test. He had taken various courses and become preoccupied by one thing, his 'mental equilibrium.' The evening before his suicide, he had been accompanied to his home by the head of Lyon co$ ('responsable lyonnais de la scientologie') who had declared in the presence of Nelly that Patrice must take a purification cure costing 30000 FFR.
"The co$ stands behind the 27 accused in the trial in Lyon. The scientologists defend themselves tooth and nail. Experts, investigators and even judges have paid a price for the curiosity. Expert Dr. Jean-Marie Abgrall has suffered threats, theft of mail, vandalism to cars, (possibly dead agenting - 'tracts') and anonymous phone calls ('coup de fils'). He has even been persecuted by the co$, but the court threw out the complaint. In return he filed a complaint against three scientologists. The case was heard Sept 6th last year in Toulon, with the prosecution demanding 12 to 18 months of prison and 10000 to 80000 FFR compensation. Verdict to be announced by Oct 11th this year."
Grady Ward posted updates in his case of alleged copyright and trade
"Word as of September 26, 1996 at 10:00 AM is that the technician who has been trying to 'crack' files apparently encrypted using PGP has admitted that 'he can make no further progress' after a month of concentrated effort.
"The disks will remain in a safety deposit box until the 'ho reveals any new plans for bringing in cryptography experts to assist in the analysis."
Scientology defendant Keith Henson posted a letter from Scientology
attorney Tom Hogan.
"I advised that I have been under the doctor's care while hospitalized for pneumonia and, as a result, was unable to get your e-mail until a few days ago. I requested that you agree that the FDA not be supplied with the entirety of NOTs 34 but instead, you make whatever allegations you deem appropriate and that my clients would respond to any request that might be forthcoming from the FDA concerning your complaints. You advised that it was your position that the entirety of NOTs 34 be supplied to the FDA and that, unless the court entered an order prohibiting such, you would take the action that was described in your e-mail.
"We have agreed that my clients may seek an order from the court prohibiting you from copying and or supplying NOTs 34 to the FDA or anyone else and that this matter will be heard by the Judge on October 4, 1996. You have advised that unless the Judge explicitly prohibits you on October 4, you intend to supply the entirety of the NOTs 34 to the FDA on October 5, 1996."
Keith also posted a letter to Judge Whyte, opposing the cult's attempt to depose him for a second time. He also submitted a NOTS reconstructed from the "masked" copy submitted by Scientology.
"The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 30(a)(2)(B) states that a person may only be deposed once in a case. RTC has filed multiple related cases and has already deposed the defendants in these cases, a very extended, exhaustive, and abusive deposition of the defendant in the Grady Ward case. The recently issued third party subpoena to Henson in the Ward case seems to be an attempt to get a second deposition of Henson in violation of the spirit if letter of the Federal rules. This should be clear from the subject matter discussed in the letter to Mr. Hogan dated Sept. 17, and filed with this motion. No documents are requested to be produced which were not on the list for the previous Henson deposition. Defendant request that in considering this motion for a an order to quash the subpoena issued for Henson in the Ward case the Court consider the well established fact that the plaintiff's *creed* requires them to use the courts to harass critics.
"As part of the pendant legal action against defendant, plaintiffs disclosed certain items. Among those were copies of the masked versions NOTs filed with the copyright office and available to anyone who asks for a copy.
"Defendant immediately noticed that close to 50% of the letters are visible. English has a redundancy of about 50%, and so, defendant believed, that the text could be recovered with the help of some computer programs and a dictionary. Recovering the full text, or something close to the full text, proved possible from the masked version. Defendant does not know if the recovered NOTs 23 contains trade secret material or not. (The recovered version makes no more sense then other Scientology material defendant has seen.) If plaintiff decides recovered version does not contain trade secret material, defendant intends to post fair use excerpts of defendant's recovered version of NOTs 23 in the context of discussing the recovery methodology. If plaintiff decides the material does expose whatever trade secrets are in NOTs 23, then *none* of the NOTs which were filed with the copyright office contain trade secrets because the *plaintiff* made them available to the public and any one with minimal computer skills and a little persistence can recover the text, especially an interested and motivated competitor."
Tilman Hausherr posted details of a child molestation case involving
Scientology in Clearwater, Florida. The court documents claim that the
molestation was covered up by cult officials.
"DONALD A. STRAWN in the County of Pinellas and State of Florida, on or between the 1st day of January and the 26th day of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four, in the County and State aforesaid did, while being over the age of eighteen years, commit a sexual battery upon M--- H----, a child less than 12 years of age by placing the penis of DONALD A. STRAWN in or in union with the mouth of the victim, M--- H----; said act being done in a lewd, lascivious or indecent manner; contrary to Chapter 794.011(2), Florida Statutes, and against the peace and dignity of the State of Florida.
"DONALD A. STRAWN, in the County of Pinellas, State of Florida, on or between the 1st day of January and the 26th day of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four, in the County and State aforesaid, did engage in sexual activity with L---- G---, to-wit: by penetrating the vagina of the victim, L---- G--- with the penis of DONALD A. STRAWN, while the said L---- G--- was 13 years of age and the said DONALD A. STRAWN was in a position of familial and/or custodial authority; contrary to Chapter 794.011(8), Florida Statutes, and against the peace and dignity of the State of Florida."
Questioning of the mother:
"A. Well, you just have to make a decision that you're going to be a Scientologist and they have different technologies and you read and apply them to your life. And sometimes you take courses at the church. Sometimes you get auditing which is similar to counseling.
"Q. Okay. So you wanted to go through the church?
"A. I had to. I had to go through the church. The Church of Scientology has a tenant to the best of my knowledge and the way I understood it, if you have any legal matter with a fellow Scientologist you're to take it to the Church of Scientology. If you don't, you risk being what is called 'Declared' or thrown out of the Church of Scientology. Now that matters nothing to me. But what did matter to me was the fact that I was working as a director in a company, and the owners of the company are Scientologists. In fact, many of the employees, the majority of employees, are Scientologists.
"Q. Okay. So you thought your job might be in jeopardy?
"A. My job was in jeopardy because what happens is if you're declared or thrown out of the church then other Scientologist cannot be in touch with you. They can't talk to you. They can't have, you know, have anything to do with you or they risk being thrown out of the church.
"Q. Okay. So how did you proceed with that?
"A. For six weeks I tried to get him thrown out of the church so that I could turn him in without any repercussions. I worked with the Church of Scientology's legal office. It's called the Office of Special Affairs or OSA, O-S-A. I worked with the Church of Scientology for quite some time. Many days I was down there, as a matter of fact, trying to get them to take some kind of action. The Church of Scientology recommended that I not turn him in.
"A. Because they could handle it. They could handle his aberrations. They could handle what made him do this. They said that if I, if I turned him in my children would be taken away from me by HRS because HRS is always looking for a criminal. They told me that Tony would be stuck to me for lifetimes because I had done this, because I had turned him in. They told me that he would be turned over to the 'psyches,' or the psychiatrists. I was very manipulated during that period of time.
"A. I think there is a chaplain's meeting and I think this is the most cruel thing that anybody can ever do. I wanted to go ahead and get the divorce because I wouldn't be contested. I knew if I locked him up he would be contesting and I wanted the divorce. So I arranged through the chaplain the procedure for the divorce. And in the Church of Scientology you have the documents drawn up and then you go into the church and both parties sign. And there's what is called a 'chaplain's hearing.' And they sit there and, and discuss disposition of properties: Custody issues, child support issues, et cetera.
"A. At, at that point I was still trying to get them to throw him out of the church. I finally had a conversation with Ken Long (phonetic), he's with the Office of Special Affairs International with the Church of Scientology. And I asked him point blank. I said, If I turn him in, even if he's declared, would I be declared. And he said, Most definitely. Not for the act of turning him in itself but for the repercussions thereof."
Johan Helsingius and the anonymous Penet server in Finland won a temporary
injunction against surrendering the name of a poster to a.r.s this week.
"The Court of Appeal issued on September 20, 1996 a temporary injunction on the enforcement of the judgment of the District Court of Helsinki regarding the e-mail address of an user of the 'anon.penet.fi' anonymous service.
"Finnish police made a demand to the District Court of Helsinki that Mr. Helsingius be obliged to reveal the referred e-mail address. Mr. Helsingius has opposed the demand on grounds that the secrecy of postal mail, telephone and other confidential messages is protected by the Finnish Constitution and can not be broken in a preliminary investigation regarding a minor offense such as the alleged copyright offense.
"The District Court of Helsinki decided on August 22, 1996 to obligate Mr. Helsingius to reveal the requested e-mail address to the Finnish police. Mr. Helsingius has appealed of the judgment of the District Court of Helsinki. In his appeal Mr. Helsingius has asked the Court of Appeal to issue a temporary injunction on the enforcement of the District Court judgment.
"As grounds for his appeal Mr. Helsingius has stated that the requested information is protected by the Finnish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. Mr. Helsingius stated further that the protection of the confidentiality of an e-mail message can not be affected by the fact that the contents of the message later became publicly available."
The Scientology org in Portland, Oregon was attacked this week by a
gunman who shot four people and started a fire with a can of gasoline.
The Associated Press reported:
"Jairus C. Godeka, 38, who was under court order not to have any contact with the church, surrendered after walking out with a female hostage who was heard shouting: 'Don't do anything. He's got a gun to my head.' Police talked Godeka into releasing the woman unharmed and dropping his gun.
"Another woman, who is at least four months pregnant, was shot in the shoulder and hospitalized in critical condition. Firefighters found church worker Helen Burke, 44, hiding in a stairwell. The center's executive director was in fair condition with a wound to his right side and another man was in serious condition with a wound to his chest. The fourth victim was treated for a wound to his buttocks and released.
"Firefighters quickly put out the blaze, which did not cause serious damage. The man had carried a 1-gallon can of gas and ignited the floor near a reception desk.
"Godeka was arrested on charges of attempted aggravated murder, arson, kidnapping, assault and burglary. The church, however, denounced it as a hate crime. 'There's a lesson here, and the lesson is about the damage religious hate mongers cause,' said a statement issued by the church's Los Angeles office."
The Portland Oregonian ran a profile on the suspect.
"He came form Kenya in 1979 to 'accomplish something in America,' he said, his hopes fueled by high expectations from friends and family. But Jairus Godeka felt his dream fade to 'gloom and doom,' after he was introduced to the Church of Scientology in 1980, he told police.
"Interviews with friends, acquaintances and former in-laws, and an examination of police records, reveal a man who was hard-working and earnest but whose past is plagued by alcohol abuse, violent behavior, a broken marriage and financial problems. They also show a man obsessed by the belief that his troubles all stem from the Church of Scientology.
"A judge entered a not-guilty plea for Godeka Thursday, after he was arraigned in the Justice Center in Portland on charges of attempted aggravated murder, arson, kidnapping, assault and burglary. The turn of events shocked at least one friend, who described Godeka as a gentle man who was "mild-mannered and had a great desire to please everyone' - someone who was far from crazy and worked hard to make a fledgling business successful.
"In a long, sometimes rambling statement to police in February, Godeka detailed a variety of grievances he had with Scientology and said how for years he felt the organization should be made to pay $50,000 for ruining in life.
"Born in Kenya in 1958, Godeka said he came to the United States on a visa. Godeka's in-laws, who asked that their names not be used, said Thursday that he came to study business administration at a college in Vancouver, Wash., several years ago.
"They said he and his estranged wife, Christina, met while he was a student. The two married in Vancouver and lived there for three or four months before moving to Portland. About five years into the marriage, they said, Godeka found Scientology. A month after he did, the in-laws said, Godeka sold his belongings, including a stereo the couple owned, and left his wife.
"'The Church of Scientology told him he had to cleanse or purify himself and to leave her,' Christina's mother said. 'He was fine until he got involved with that church.'
"In his statement to police, Godeka said he became attracted to Scientology after a session at the Portland branch to familiarize himself with the group's philosophies. He then took a free personality test and bought some books. At some point, however, he began to feel that several church employees were controlling his mind, he said.
"One person particularly troubled him: Burke, the receptionist at the Portland branch, who would become one of his gunshot victims. 'It was Helen,' he said in one interview with police. 'Helen's kept me a prisoner all these years.' Burke, who is in serious condition, could not be reached for comment."
98 Rock, a Tampa Radio Station, has been airing comedy segments about
"Lee and Bob, the morning show DJ's, had fun with the operation this morning. They read some email from netizens which detailed the silly sci-fi bullshit, like body thetans, 'clear', Xenu, and clams. Someone called in and read an excerpt from OT 7-48. A few clams called and talked about the 'good works' of scientology like programs to fight drug addiction and illiteracy. And agent Chupacabra prepared to infiltrate the Ft. Harrison hotel."
"The first caller this morning had obviously heard yesterday's reading of the OT passage about communicating with trees and animals. He said that he was driving through downtown Clearwater when he saw a $cientologist standing next to a tree. He stopped, and yelled, 'Hey, man, did you hear what that tree said to you?!?'
"Then the DJ's explained how the term 'clam' came into play with the cult, and read a summary of ElRon's evolutionary theory, which was sent to them by someone on the 'Net.
"Then they announced that they had someone on the phone who wanted to read some more secret crap and quote a Time magazine article. The DJ's said that they were receiving a LOT of pressure from the cult, and that management was getting on their ass quite a bit. So they asked people to call in and say whether or not they wanted to hear more OT silliness.
"So the guy read the OT part about 'See Spot spot' and commented that no other religion maintained 'copyrighted trade secrets' that were only accessible through expensive courses and auditing sessions. He also quoted something from Time that explained Hubbard's move to religion status as a tax evasion method, and a defector's statement about $cientology being 'a criminal organization, day in and day out'.
"After that, the DJ's announced that they were shutting down Operation $cientology because of the heat they were getting. But half an hour later, they went ahead with the infiltration. A 98 Rock employee went into the Ft. Harrison Hotel with a cell phone, and described what was happening. He walked around, asking people if he could speak with the Head Clam, if they were 'clear', if Xenu was around, and other silliness that had the DJ's in stitches."
Swedish defendant Zenon Panoussis posted that copies of NOTS are being
distributed through the Swedish parliament.
"On September 20th I handed in a letter in one copy to the office of the parliament, addressed personally to every member of the parliament (they're 349). The letter gave a short introduction to the CoS' practices and contained a legal copy of the OTs and NOTs, obtained from the primary court before the court of appeals' secrecy decision. Furthermore this letter contained a request to the MPs that they use their parliamentary immunity in order to republish the material.
"The instant the 'filed' stamp touched this letter, an anonymous member of the general public requested a copy. His request was granted. From Monday the 23d the office of the parliament received a great number of similar requests, mainly from newspapers that in mysterious ways had heard about this highly interesting letter. All such requests were honoured until Wednesday, when the staff of the parliament realized that they were copying copyrighted material and stopped copying. From Wednesday on, anybody was allowed to read the stuff and take notes from it, but no more copies were handed out, except to MPs.
"The funny thing here is that the distribution of official documents is explicitly permitted by the constitution, and no copying has been performed by me. The copying that was done by the court and by the parliament was in turn done according to mandatory provisions of the constitution, which override copyright.
"Another thing was my appeal against the primary court's decision that my hard disks etc be taken into custody. I did get back my hard drives weeks ago, but there were still some Syquest disks and a pile of diskettes waiting at the bailiff's to be searched for 'The Material'. In my appeal I pointed at my constitutional right to possess ANY information, including pirate copies of copyrighted information for personal use, and motioned for the overturning of the original decision.
"The court rephrased the original decision so that it is explicitly limited to cover not all material to which the RTC claims copyright, but only such material that constitutes copyright infringement. In plain English this means that editions, copies that are obviously intended for distribution, will remain in custody, while material that is intended for my personal use is to be returned to me. The effect: no person in this country can be prohibited from *possessing* the OTs and NOTs and the RTC has no grounds for a demand that files and books intended for personal use be destroyed or handed over, no matter where such files or books originally came from."
Norwegian "Net News" (Nettnytt) carried an article on Zenon.
"The Church of Scientology has sued the Swede Zenon Panoussis for his publication of the religious community's sacred scriptures on Usenet without permission. Swedish authorities searched Panoussis' apartment on Thursday and seized his hard disks as evidence. He now risks a fine of 50,000 Swedish crowns if he continues to publish similar material during the proceeding of the case.
"'In mid-June I joined a Dutch protest group which I encountered on the Internet,' says Panoussis. 'I copied the material and put it up on my server, according to the principle that should someone stop it at one place, it would appear at ten other places instead. And there is where this story started.'
"Panoussis displays reserved optimism regarding his chances in Court: 'It's difficult to judge, but the way things seem today, I could win the case. But I can't say much about this right now. However, I feel that I have a good chance to win. But this is not the central matter,' says Panoussis, who holds that the principles are what's important in this case.
"Panoussis holds that the Church of Scientology has used copyright in a radically different way than it was originally meant to, and that he therefore has kept himself within the boundaries of the Law.
"'The court case is a natural corollary to the copyright law as far as I can see,' says CEO John-Willy Rudolph of Kopinor. Rudolph cannot see that the Panoussis case is different from any other as far as copyright and libel and slander are concerned. He holds that the law is clear on this point.
"'The right to quote applies to material which has been made available to the public, or which has been published, when most people have access to it. It is legal to quote from published material in accordance with common courtesy."
Shelley Thomson posted a statement given to her by Bob Penny concerning
the recent events and his involvement in FACTNet.
"I agree with Lawrence Wollersheim on vital issues - the mission of FACTNet, the need to fight for cult victim advocacy, the need for available information on cults for those victims and their families, the need to fight Scientology and the need to protect the future of FACTNet and its public image.
"For some time we have differed on how to protect FACTNet and its image. These differences have encompassed the presentation of literacy and relevance in FACTNet's communications, the approach to legal issues, and the handling of insurance and donated funds for legal fees. Unfortunately, these differences have become insurmountable.
"Lawrence's actions show what cults can do to people. He sees enemies everywhere - it saddens me that he includes me among those enemies. He has to control all those around him - since 'my protectors' and I could not be controlled I had to be eliminated. He sees his truth as the only truth - he demands that I present his truth to everyone at my own expense.
"There have been questions about what can be done for me. Help FACTNet survive. It needs at least three more members of the Board immediately. Find a way to make this happen. Find people who believe in the mission of FACTNet and who are able to fight for it. Start a list of nominations in the newsgroup and demand that the by-laws of FACTNet that require 5 board members be followed. Then, donate funds for legal and operating expenses. Update the Web page. Keep the issues in front of the public. Protect cult victims and inform the world about the dangers of cults."