Volume 0, Issue 5 vom 22. 05. 1995

Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 0, Issue 5
by Rod Keller [rkeller@netaxs.com]
copyright 1995


  1. Phil Donahue
  2. Boston Demonstration
  3. Dennis Update
  4. Legal History
  5. Cyberlaw Article
  6. Die Zeit Article
  7. Grady Ward Update
  8. Liens Against Scientology
  9. Warren McShane Deposed
  10. BBC - The Net
  11. Tony McClelland Responds
  12. Errata
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.

A.r.s Week in Review is available free, by e-mail and is archived at http://amazing.cinenet.net/scientology.html

Phil Donahue

The Phil Donahue show aired a live broadcast on the cos on Monday. Heber Jentzsch ineptly fended off fairly soft questions from Phil. I think most posters to a.r.s rated it as unsatisfying due to the condition that Heber placed on the show: that no critics of the cos be present on stage. The only thing I learned was that Heber has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Utah. The most absurd moments came when a woman claimed the Purif cleaned out her arteriosclerosis after doctors gave her two years to live.

Boston Demonstration

Ron Newman reported on a fraternity's demonstration outside the Boston Org on May 19th. The demonstration was inspired by a member of the fraternity and his experiences with cos recruiters.

"Around thirty Pi Lams and friends demonstrated in front of the Church Friday afternoon (May 19) between noon and 3pm, protesting the Church's deceptive recruitment tactics. This got the attention of Channel 7, Channel 25, and New England Cable News. R.D. Sahl devoted an entire half-hour TV show, 'NewsNight with R.D. Sahl', to this topic Friday night.

"The wayward brother has decided *not* to join the Scientology Sea Org, and will return home with his parents shortly to rethink his future."


Dennis Update

Dennis' reply to the complaint by Bridge Publications and the RTC was posted this week. He admits he lives in Glendale, CA and denied just about everything else. As I understand it, this reply is used to determine which points both sides agree on, so that court time can be used on points of contention. As Dennis describes it:

"Among other things it finds fault with every copyright and trade secret claim individually. It reduces the scieno's probability of prevailing in the suit to near zero. The precedents cited are clear and convincing on every point of law.

"The motion seeks:
1) The return of all material seized based on the faulty Writ of Seizure.
2) The lifting of the TRO on Your Humble Narrator.
3) Raising the bond from $25,000 to $100,000."

Excerpts from the reply:

"68. The works that plaintiffs claim have been infringed are not entitled to copyright protection on the grounds that they are within the public domain and/or they do not constitute copyrightable subject matter.

"69. To the extent that Mr. Erlich has copied any work that is validly registered with the United States Copyright Office, as is alleged by plaintiffs here, Mr. Erlich's actions constitute 'fair use,' which is a complete defense to plaintiffs' claims of copyright infringement, and are further are protected by the freedom of religion and freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."

In other Dennis news, his ex-wife's lawyer attempted to schedule a deposition on a day that he knew Dennis was unavailable. Dennis reports that a hearing in early June will determine the state of his support payments.


Legal History

An interesting summary of the legal history of the cos was posted this week. Some highlights:

"United States v. Article or Device, Etc., 333 F.Supp. 357 (D.D.C. 1971). ... The bulk of the material is replete with false medical and scientific claims devoid of any religious overlay or reference. (333 F.Supp. at 361) The Court's opinion directly and forcefully confronts the issue of claimed First Amendment protection by Scientology. The Court then held that the practice of Scientology was secular. (333 F.Supp. at 359)

"In early 1980, Wollersheim filed suit against the Church of Scientology of California (CSC) which was the mother church of Scientology at that time. CSC contained the following assets, subsidiaries, and income producing divisions within its corporate structure:

"the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA)
the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO)
the Flag Ship Organization in Clearwater (FSO)
the Publications Organization (PUBS U.S.)
the Estates organization (ESTATES)
the Flag Operations Liaison Office West U.S. (FOLO WUS)
the Los Angeles Organization (LA ORG)
the Cadet Organization
the San Francisco Organization (SF ORG)
the United States Guardian office (USGO), (financed by the U.S. Mission Network through the Guardian's Office Worldwide)
the Sea Organization Reserves
the Watchdog Committee (WDC)
the ED International (ED INT)
and the Commodore's Messenger Organization (CMO).

"By the time Wollersheim's suit came to trial, in 1985, all that remained was a gutted CSC with almost no income producing resources. The non-income producing USGO remained, after being stripped of its Mission Network income."


Cyberlaw Article

Cyberlaw, an electronic newsletter by attorney Jonathan Rosenoer, published a summary of the legal arguments involved in the suits against Dennis, Tom and Netcom. This is good publicity, even no evaluation is made on the arguments of the case. Cyberlaw quotes Netcom's filings:

"'[Scientology is] seeking to obtain an order from this Court that has never previously been granted by a court, or to defendant NETCOM's knowledge, ever even requested of a court. [Scientology demands] an unprecedented extension of [copyright] infringement liability that, if recognized by this Court, would impact each of the estimated 36 million users of the Internet.'

"If granted, says Netcom, the requested relief 'will fundamentally alter the functioning of the world's largest electronic public library and potentially expose each of its millions of users to unlimited tort liability.'"


Die Zeit Article

German weekly magazine Die Zeit ran an article about the cos, it was reported this week. Rolf Elak wrote:

"It describes the difficulties for Scn.-organisation to do business as usual and says that the main banks and business associations in germany have papers circulating which show Scn. infested firms. Those are regarded by the banks as 'difficult customers' and business with them is avoided.

"The RDM and VDM (real estate agency business organisations) have now 'Unvereinbarkeitsbeschluesse' which state that Scn.-orgs. can't be members. This is explained with the fact that Scn-brokers give a bad name to the business."


Grady Ward Update

Eugene Ingram continued harassment of Grady Ward this week when he questioned Grady's mother, Rubye K. Ward, under false pretenses. Eugene was identified using a photo from a.r.s. I assume this is Jeff Jacobsen's photo from a recent CAN conference.

"The man in his forties, no glasses or accent 'looked and acted as if he could have attended Stadium High School with you', my mom said, 'he said that you and he had sung together in the Madrigals and that you went by the name of 'Bill' before college.'

"'He wanted to catch up on the last twenty years', she said, 'he wanted to know where you had worked, what schools you had gone to, and details of your social life.'"

Eugene obtained information about Grady's education and employment history, plus photographs. Mrs. Ward has filed charges of theft by deception against Ingram.


Liens Against Scientology

A list of 56 outstanding liens registered against various subsidiaries of the cos was posted this week. My favorite:


AMOUNT: $ 4,649,328.53
EFFECTIVE-DATE: 03/30/1995


Warren McShane Deposed

A transcript of the deposition of Warren McShane (http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/Legal/Cases/CoS_v_the_Net/mcshane_031695.declaration), president of the RTC, was posted this week. It took place on Tuesday, May 9 at the Morrison & Foerster, offices. Elliot J. Abelson and Janet A. Kobrin showed up for the cos, Carla B. Oakley represented Dennis, and Daniel A. Leipold represented Thomas Klemesrud. This posting is impossible to summarize. Here are just a few of the many highlights.

"Q. Can you identify any competitors at this time? Current competitors of RTC.

A. I mean, they've come and they've gone. Enid Vien for instance was a competitor in San Diego.

Q. Can you identify any other competitors of RTC?

MS. KOBRIN: Currently?

MS. OAKLEY: In the past.

THE WITNESS: A fellow by the name of Larry West who is also located in San Diego or was. He got sued for trademark infringement. There was a fellow -- skips my mind now -- in Oklahoma who splintered off his mission. There was a gentleman -- I believe his name was Harry Palmer in Elmira, New York, who split off his mission. There was a lady in Brazil, name of Lordez. Don't ask me to spell it.

David Mayo, at one time. Located in Santa Barbara. John Zeigel, located in Los Angeles. Ben Corridon was located in Riverside. There was Ron Lolly in the United Kingdom. Robin Scott in Scotland. A gentleman in Italy. I don't remember his name. It was one of those long Italian names. That's all I can recall right now.

Q. Are any of the individuals you've just identified currently competitors of RTC?

A. I don't believe so.

"Q. Have you seen instances where a individual was spiritually harmed from exposure to the advanced technology documents from the Internet?

A. From the Internet?

Q. Correct.

A. No.

Q. Are you familiar with any instance where a person has been spiritually harmed from exposure to advanced technology documents out of sequence in any other way other than the Internet?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you describe that, what you're familiar with, what your experience is in that regard?

A. I've seen several people experience discomfort, other physical manifestations. I don't know how else to describe it.

Q. Does RTC monitor postings on the Internet group, Alt Religion Scientology?

A. Yes.

Q. Who does that monitoring?

A. I do.

Q. Do you monitor Alt Religion Scientology on a daily basis?

A. Generally, yes."


BBC - The Net

The BBC broadcast (http://www.bbcnc.org.uk/bbctv/the_net/TN950515/svi.html) a segment on the cos in their program "The Net" this week. It contains interviews with http://www.bbcnc.org.uk/bbctv/the_net/TN950515/dennis_erlich.html, http://www.bbcnc.org.uk/bbctv/the_net/TN950515/tom_klemesrud.html, http://www.bbcnc.org.uk/bbctv/the_net/TN950515/helena_kobrin.html and others. A transcript of Helena's interview was posted to a.r.s.

"THE NET: Is the Church's purpose then, as Erlich and Klemesrud claim, to silence all criticism of the Church on the Net?

"HELENA: Their claim is really absurd because I think, as I explained earlier, the newsgroup that they're posting on has been around for three years. Nobody's ever tried to silence anybody. They have been saying things on this newsgroup. It's just a handful of people and they've been, you know, running off at the mouth and saying some rather obnoxious things about my clients. My clients didn't take any action against any of those things and they aren't taking any action against any of those things. It's simply the copyrighted materials, the intellectual property issues that created the litigation, the violation of those rights... The copyright terrorism is what triggered the lawsuit."

She seems to have forgotten getting conned into issuing an rmgroup message by Stu (warm regards) Sjouwerman. Bet she never listens to him again.


Tony McClelland Responds

Tony McClelland this week responded to charges made last week by either Virginia Kee or Norman Pakes. It's hard to tell. In his summary, Tony denies all charges.

"1. CultAware does not support "threatening behaviour" of any description
2. Any victim of threatening behaviour should report that behaviour to the police
3. CultAware does not make 'secret' calls or send 'secret' faxes to members of the cos. evidence invited.
4. My criticisms of cos are never anonymous. evidence invited.
5. You claim that person(s) have :-
[a] your church and specific individuals under surveillance and
[b] made threatening phone calls.
you claim to know their names. OK., Name them.
6. CultAware has no "instruction manual". evidence invited.
7. CultAware is not 'affiliated' to CAN. evidence invited.
8. CultAware does not denigrate CofS beliefs but CofS BEHAVIOUR."



Jeff Jacobsen this week provided a more complete list of the recent protests than did issue 4 of A.r.s week in review.

"Around March 13

Manhattan, New York
2 cities in Australia
Mesa, Arizona
Royal Oak, Michigan

Around May 6

Houston, Texas
Boston, Mass.
Mesa, Arizona
Denver, Colorado
San Mateo, California (??)

(this last one I don't recall for sure, but I'm pretty sure it was California)"