Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 0, Issue 39 01/21/96 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://www.amazing.com/scientology/ars-summary.html http://users.aimnet.com/~jdiver/scieno.htm http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://www.eecs.nwu.edu/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html
On Friday (1/19/96), Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled in favor or the RTC (Religious Technology Corporation) in their complaint against Arnie Lerma. Shelley Thompson reported on the ruling in her Biased Journalism column.
"She declared that copyright violations had taken place with reference to the OT2 and OT3 materials and granted a summary judgment against RTC. Attorneys' fees and damages per statutory law will be assessed against Lerma.
"Lerma's Motion for Summary Judgment received short shrift from the Judge. 'I don't want to go through all this again,' she stated. It appeared that this Judge, who had previously expressed such strong concern for Constitutional rights, had not even bothered to read it.
"The RTC brought in a new legal team for this hearing. Attorneys Cooley and Kobrin were not even present. The case for RTC was argued by Mr. Sinclair and Mr. Hart. After making some remarks that were critical of their predecessor Earle Cooley, the RTC attorneys proceeded to make the same type of vague general argument that annoyed Judge Brinkema in the previous hearing.
"The ruling denies Lerma a trial, in which he had planned to challenge the copyrights and RTC's standing to sue to enforce them. Lerma can appeal, and the appeals court can order the case to be sent back for trial. "We asked a Wise Mouse in Washington what it thought about the Lerma decision. After a long silence it said 'Everyone has a secret.' It grabbed its briefcase. 'You didn't talk to me,' it said, and hurried away to be lost in the crowd."
In a press release by the cult, Leisa Goodman stated:
"This is a significant decision not only for the Church of Scientology but all other intellectual property owners who were concerned that Internet anarchy would wipe out individual creativity, free speech and other core values that make the Net exciting and useful. Today's ruling sounds a loud alarm to those who think they can destroy rights and create an anarchy with impunity. The law applies in cyberspace, period."
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Earlier in the week, Arnie posted a series of articles containing arguments submitted to Judge Brinkema.
"In the Memorandum in Support of his Motion to Vacate the August 11, 1995 Writ of Seizure and Order of Impoundment, Mr. Lerma described the process by which the RTC obtained over a million pages of computer material from him, searched that material for nearly two weeks, and saved on disks for further review 139 files - the vast majority of which has nothing to do with copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard. Among these documents, copies of which the RTC still retains, are:
"o Communications to a special, small Internet group that Mr. Lerma believes to have been previously unknown to the Church of Scientology;
"o A message to a 'CONFIDENTIAL LIST' that discusses the need to maintain the privacy of people who express criticism of Scientology on the Internet;
"o A list of the names and backgrounds of members of the New Civilization Network, an organization that includes former Scientologists
"o Financial, mailing list and planning information about FACTNet, Inc.;
"o A letter from a defendant in another Scientology lawsuit to his attorney (with a carbon copy to FACTNet) advising the attorney of a legal position to take at a hearing,
"o A vast collection of Mr. Lerma's e-mail, such as one between him and various people such as Richard Leiby of the Washington Post discussing 'Ruby Ridge,', or another identifying the Scientology presence on America On Line, or a third identifying a source of World Wide Web sites for information both 'pro and con' on Scientology;
"o A 108-page file that exists to collect information about Scientologists who died, committed suicide or had psychiatric problems during the 'auditing' process by which Scientology instructs parishioners in its teachings; and
"o A wealth of articles critical of Scientology, that, in fact, contain no more information about Scientology's sacred teachings than the RTC's President has since admitted is contained in a movie script that L. Ron Hubbard sought to market to Hollywood.
"Information about Mr. Lerma that has nothing to do with Scientology but that was contained in the 800 files the Scientologists reviewed on the basis of their file names has been used by RTC for purposes having nothing to do with this litigation. Because the RTC's search was not in any sense 'limited' to documents in Mr. Lerma's possession that contained one or more of the five search words such as 'Hubbard' or 'thetan,' its review was not limited to documents that had something to do with Scientology. For example, Mr. Settle testified that, during their review of the files Ms. Taylor selected by name, Scientologists and Mr. Settle reviewed a 'fair number' of documents 'on the order of five or ten,' that 'discussed right- wing militia groups.'. Although Mr. Settle recognized that information on right-wing militias was not something the Scientologists were there to look for, it was not so clear that the Scientologists felt similarly. In an article entitled '[Cult Awareness Network] Members Linked to Right Wing Extremists, ' appearing in a September 1995 publication entitled 'Membership News,' an organization called the 'CAN Reform Group' reported:
"Sources close to the recent raids on Wollersheim and Lerma have learned that Lerma is deeply involved in the Virginia Militia, a right wing 'patriot' group.
"When the RTC decided to depose Jeff Jacobsen in this action, it gave to quarter. In the course of a deposition in which RTC inquired into patently irrelevant matters as diverse as Mr. Jacobsen's sister's involvement with Scientology, his volunteer work for the Cult Awareness Network, his dealings with others who apparently attempt to deprogram cult members, the RTC asked Mr. Jacobsen such questions as whether he, Jacobsen, was 'involved in the publication of pornography,' what relationship there was between FACTNet and the Ku Klux Klan, whether Mr. Wollersheim was a 'drug addict.' or a 'mental case,' and whether 'Lerma, Wollersheim or other FACTNet staff ... have committed any other acts of religious persecution,' or 'hate crimes.'
"The RTC's reprehensible conduct of this litigation entitles Mr. Lerma to judgment in his favor on either of two separate and independent grounds: (1) The RTC has misused its copyrights and there are no genuinely disputed issues of material fact that preclude the court from entering summary judgment in Mr. Lerma's favor on the basis of this affirmative defense; and (2) Evidence not available to Mr. Lerma nor before the Court at the time of its September 15 ruling establishes that the RTC's conduct in this litigation amounts to a fraud on the court, as a sanction for which the Court should dismiss the RTC's complaint.
The undisputed facts of this case place it squarely within the doctrines of misuse of copyright and fraud on the court discussed in the two preceding sections. As the authorities cited therein make plain, Mr. Lerma is, without more, entitled to judgment in his favor. In this case, however, there is more a stake: This Court has already found that RTC's motive in initiating this lawsuit was to 'stifle criticism of Scientology in general and to harass its critics,' and this finding supports the conclusion that RTC has misused its copyrights and committed fraud upon the court. The short shrift given by RTC to Mr. Lerma's First and Fourth Amendment tights, and the adverse impact that RTC's conduct has on the public interest, can only be remedied by this Court's refusal to further entertain its claims.
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Travolta in the Stars
Also from Biased Journalism, a report on the film plans of actor and cult member John Travolta.
"Word is that scientologist superstar John Travolta is pushing Miramar Productions to do Revolt in The Stars, a story directly based on OTIII. Miramar HATES the script. And thinks the movie will DIE on the vine, so to speak. Travolta is pushing Miramar to do the movie as part of his contract renegotiations, so it is difficult for them to say no."
"Rooger" posted an excellent summary this week of the history and activities of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a cult front group.
"The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a Church-sponsored propaganda organization formed in 1969 to find and make up criminal acts and human rights abuses, and blame them on the psychiatric profession as a whole. There are 118 CCHR chapters in 27 countries throughout the world. These chapters fabricate psychiatric abuses and bring these to the attention of the media, legislators and law enforcement agencies.
"CCHR claims to oppose brutal psychiatric practices, but its aim is to discredit the psychiatric profession, by collecting information on isolated tragedies, blowing them out of proportion, and blaming rare side effects on the actions of the entire profession.
"Through the work of CCHR, public fears of psychiatric treatment have been needlessly heightened, and the Church of $cientology has successfully used another front group to siphon money away from individuals who can least afford to
"In 1986, CCHR took the credit for a United Nations report, and has tried to take credit for the passage of several pieces of legislation, blowing their importance well out of proportion. Those bills only criminalize abusive acts that have been committed by relatively very few individuals, rather than placing massive restraints on a profession run amok, as the CCHR would have you believe.
"CCHR also claims responsibility for the UN's first Bill of Rights for Mental Patients, even though that document was lobbied for by many organizations, and even though it is worth only the paper it is written upon, as are most UN documents."
Fire in the Org
The newly renovated DC Org suffered a fire on January 17th, as reported in the Washington Post.
"D.C. firefighters battle a blaze that erupted in the attic of a vacant building in the 2100 block of S Street NW. The building, owned by the Church of Scientology, was undergoing renovations, officials said. The fire broke out shortly before 11 a.m. yesterday and was extinguished shortly after noon. The cause of the fire was under investigation, officials said. A firefighter suffered steam burns to both shoulders and an arm officials said. Fire trucks partly blocked Connecticut Avenue southbound at S Street, snarling traffic for more than an hour."
Dennis Erlich Update
Dennis Erlich reported news concerning the case his ex-wife has filed regarding child support.
"I was just served with an Order to Show Cause why I shouldn't be found in contempt regarding the San Diego, Family Law order to pay child support.
"Now, mind you, I have paid child support faithfully, every month since Rosa climbed out from under her rock to testify for the scienos and seize my bank account; that's the first I knew where she had been hiding my child.
"I haven't made my payment yet for January. Could that be it?"
A new Dianetics infomercial contains an astounding scene with an alleged medical doctor, as this anonymously posted transcript describes.
"Don Westrun (Athlete): I'd always had neck problems. And when I would turn my neck and rotate my neck I could ... I could feel real stiffness, almost kind of a crunching sound, and ... I've been told by doctors that it was from hockey, and.. and, you know, sport related injury, and ... In that session I had a big win. And the first thing I noticed was my neck wasn't stiff any longer. The pain was gone, it hasn't come back.
"Dr. Janis Johnson (Medical Doctor): Well I've realized, from my, my twelve years ... of medical practice, that if you don't get to the source of the problem, all you do is cover up little symptoms on the surface. You don't really get to the bottom of it - you don't really solve it.
"Dianetics gets to the very bottom. The very underlying, source of the problem. Therefore that's how it, it takes care of it! That's, that's why these problems don't keep coming back. That's why it handles it completely."
Emmanuel Marin reported on a show on French TV this week, which included a hidden camera report on some training routines.
"Ms Gounod, PR for the French CoS was on the show to answer some claims made by former members. As you might have already guessed, her 'answers' only consisted in claiming that the former member has asked the CoS 17,000,000 FF to stop telling lies about her past in the cult.
"But fortunately, Gounod had to face a video filmed with the help of a hidden camera: the first steps of a new member in dianetics.
"'Do fish swim ?' 'Yes' 'Ok. Do fish swim ?' 'Yes' 'Ok. Do fish swim' 'Yes. Why do you keep asking me this question ?' 'Ok. Do fish swim ?'
"Then it was the white wall seance: 'Touch this wall. Thank you. Touch this wall. Thank you. Touch this wall. Thank you'
"The video then ends and the host of the TV show asks Gourod 'What's the use of all this?' Gounod then answers: 'This is an exercise in communication, an exercise in diction.' The crowd in the studio laughed."
Cult member Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce this week from singer Michael Jackson. AP and several other reports were posted to a.r.s. I've cut portions from several bulletins below.
"They said it wouldn't last, and they were right: Lisa Marie Presley has filed for divorce from Michael Jackson.
"Presley cited irreconcilable differences, her publicist, Paul Bloch, said Thursday. The action was filed in Los Angeles, he said; court personnel could not immediately confirm that.
"The snickering began immediately. The wedding -- where both bride and groom wore black -- was a sham, the tabloids said. Presley, a Scientologist, must have married the reclusive singer for the money or to give him credibility after the child molestation fiasco.
"Last year there were reports that Jackson had cut his father Joe and sister LaToya out of his will in order to leave his fortune to the Church of Scientology, which Lisa-Marie and her mother Priscilla Presley belong to.
"There were also reports that Presley, a Scientologist, wanted her husband, a Jehovah's Witness, to convert to Scientology, but he refused."
Martin Hunt speculated on a more technical reason for the divorce. "Michael Jackson got sick on the purif in New York, and called it quits on Scientology; Lisa Marie called this 'unreconcilable differences' because only SP's fail to improve using Standard Tech."
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David Mayo posted to a.r.s for the first time this week. David is author
of the NOTS confidential advanced levels, and a declared SP.
"I have written this explanation in order to clarify that the following Memorandum of Opinion relates to some (of the very extensive litigation) between Scientology(tm) entities and David Mayo.
"Scientology(tm) and its entities are litigious, often filing duplicative redundant motions and lawsuits against their perceived 'enemies'. In this instance, the same names have repeated in separate lawsuits tending to confuse the different lawsuits together.
"The RTC et al v. SCOTT et al case, filed in USA, was based on an alleged predicate act by Robin Scott (of UK). RTC filed another lawsuit in the UK versus Ron Lawley, Robin Scott and others based on the same predicate act. Robin Scott participated in the litigation in the UK but not in the RTC et al v. SCOTT et al case, filed in USA, which was defended by the Mayo defendants.
"The RTC et al v. WOLLERSHEIM et al case was based on an alleged predicate act by Larry Wollersheim but the complaint included the Mayo defendants. After an initial showing by the Wollersheim parties, they were dismissed and did not participate in this case thereafter.
"The RTC et al v. SCOTT et al and RTC et al v. WOLLERSHEIM et al cases were consolidated and these consolidated cases were defended by David Mayo and the Church of the New Civilization who were also the counterclaimants. After very extensive litigation these consolidated cases were dismissed on April 17, 1992. The Scientology(tm) plaintiffs went on to file a motion based on their theory of a massive conspiracy."
And from the opinion in RTC, etc. al. Plaintiffs, v. ROBIN SCOTT, et al., and RTC, et al., Plaintiffs, v. LARRY WOLLERSHEIM, et al:
"This motion alleges that a wide-ranging and long-standing conspiracy exists to sabotage Scientology in general and these cases in particular. The alleged conspiracy includes, but is not limited to, the following: the Food and Drug Agency ('FDA'); the American Psychiatric Association ('APA'); the American Medical Association ('AMA'); renegade agents from the Los Angeles offices of the Internal Revenue Service ('IRS'); Federal Bureau of Investigation ('FBI'); various disaffected Scientologists and their counsel; plaintiffs' former counsel Joseph Yanny ('Yanny') and defendants' counsel Gary Bright and Jerold Fagelbaum ('defendants' counsel' or 'Fagelbaum').
"Most of the prolix memorandum and almost 1,000 pages of accompanying exhibits and supplements have nothing to do with anything at issue in these consolidated cases. Instead, the papers recite every grievance allegedly suffered by Scientology at the hands of others for the past forty years. Plaintiffs have assembled this hodgepodge of grievances into a conspiracy theory, in which each and every grievance is alleged to somehow connect to this litigation. The ultimate aim is to convince the court that the counterclaims were dismissed because conspirators sabotaged this case, not because plaintiffs failed to comply with court-ordered discovery.
"More specifically, plaintiffs claim that the conspirators plotted to have the original trial judge removed and replaced with a judge purportedly less sympathetic to their cause. Plaintiffs also claim that the conspirators plotted to create a sham discovery dispute in order to pursue a Rule 37 dismissal strategy in lieu of a trial on the merits. As set forth below, there is no factual or legal support for this novel motion and it will therefore be denied.
"DATED: July 23, 1992 James G. Koltz U.S. Special Master"
Karin Spaink provided an update on litigation in the Netherlands over web pages containing the Fishman affidavits.
"We just received new letters from Nauta Dutilh, CoS representatives in the Netherlands. They have stated their intentions to start *two* lawsuits against us: a summary proceedings, like before, *plus* full proceedings. They sent us a draft of the subpoena and have given us a week time to reconsider our position.
"Their demands are more or less the same. I'll scan the drafted version of the subpoena as soon as possible and ask Patricia to translate it. I firmly believe that the main reason for this absurd not-really-filing-another-suit-but-merely-stating-intentions-to-do-so, is the commencement of the Lerma trial. As you may know, I'll be one of Lerma's witnesses and I was to explain about the earlier CoS's dropped lawsuit. It is quite obvious that they want to undermine the relevance of my testimonial."
William Barwell hosted a radio show on Houston to discuss the situation of the Net vs. the Cult this week. Sound files of the show were posted to alt.binaries.scientology.
"It was a fun show. Jeff Jacobsen and Keith Henson called in and Dennis called and talked awhile. We barely got started in two hours. I am scheduled to appear again in about three weeks or so. To discuss what happens, if anything when Arnaldo's trial starts, if indeed there is a trial. If you live in Houston and missed this one, see ya in three weeks. Chainsaw talk radio.
"It was quite fun. Shame on the Houston Scientologists that failed to call in and confront me."
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Ted Mayett continues to provide descriptions of his pickets, including this one from 1/12.
"A call to arms is occurring. And the sign is back by the theoretical property line, moved away from the bus stop. There are chalk marks on the sidewalk, they were there yesterday. It could well be they are going to try to force me off the front of the building.
"Dennis Maginot. He holds some SO post I believe. He heads the local CCHR here, which is a phone number only the last I heard. His phone number. This guy carries lock pick tools and can use them: Four of us were sitting in the yard of CCLV one summer night. There was an old gumball machine in a pile of rubble. I'd been looking at that machine for a year in the rubble. That night I picked it up and shook it hard and we heard money in it. This was an old heavy metal base machine with two rectangles on the top for candy. I went to get some tools and smash it open. Dennis said that wasn't necessary. He got his tools and quickly picked both locks. Maginot works for a lawyer doing investigations. He would tell me the problems and techniques of tailing people, things like that. And now they've called Dennis in on me. Doug Erickson is a scieno that goes way back. He gave me a real special Smile tonight. Janne Bjork is the ED at CCLV. He showed up tonight. The org was jumping, day and foundation staff were both about. And while I have not been reporting it some of the night shift has been coming in early this past week or so."
A transcript of an IRC chat session was posted this week by Jeff Jacobsen. "Tarbaby" is Dennis Erlich, and "Yuhu" is an unknown cult member. The discussion concerns Dennis' trip to Clearwater for the March protest. "Yuhu" was kicked off the channel following this exchange.
"<Yuhu> tar if you take the stage you will probably be assinated <Yuhu> i hope tyou have your will made out <tarbaby> I'm up for it, Yer. <tarbaby> Nothing to leave. Nobody to leave it to. <Yuhu> i guess youve taKEN A FEW BULLETS AND IT DIDNT KILL YOU <tarbaby> I laugh at death, hahaha. <Yuhu> CAN WE SAY THAT I WAS THE FIRST TO CALL IT?? <tarbaby> Take whatever credit you need. <Yuhu> ti want to take odds on how manny bullets you take <Yuhu> you will live on in ars heaven <Yuhu> the first martyr <tarbaby> I can hardly wait. <Yuhu> my bet they get you coming down the walkway from the airplane <Yuhu> like aquino"