Presenting Rod Keller's
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 8, Issue 2 - April 13 2003



CCHR

The Boston Globe reported on April 11th that Scientology's Citizen's Commission on Human Rights planned to protest a hospital where a patient who committed a murder/suicide was treated with Zoloft. "An antipsychiatry 'watchdog group' said that Colleen Mitchell's psychiatric medication had spurred her to shoot Dr. Brian McGovern and then turn the gun on herself. Members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which is affiliated with the Church of Scientology, planned a protest at the hospital today against the use of antidepressants such as Zoloft, which Mitchell had apparently been taking. "A Harvard Medical School psychiatrist said yesterday that it is 'preposterous' to assign blame for a crime to an antidepressant like Zoloft. The drugs increase buildup of a naturally occurring chemical, seratonin, around nerve endings in the brain. Although 'edgy' people may sometimes see an exaggeration of that quality, he said, the effects are transient. "But a Utah activist who has testified as an expert witness against drug manufacturers said a high level of seratonin in the brain can cause people to 'act out their nightmares,' leading them to commit violent crimes. Ann Blake Tracy, director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, said she had become increasingly suspicious of SSRI antidepressants as she watched more and more friends in Utah begin taking them, 'doing violent things completely out of character for them.'" Message-ID: xpAla.19000$gU.832372@news2.voicenet.com

Tom Cruise

The New Zealand Herald reported on April 9th that Scientology celebrity Tom Cruise has donated money to Scientology's Drug Free Ambassadors program. "Hollywood film star Tom Cruise has donated $1500 to an Auckland youth drug programme sponsored by the Church of Scientology. Cruise sent the cheque and a letter after hearing about the work of the Drug-Free Ambassadors group, which encourages young people to adopt a drug-free lifestyle. "Mo McLeary, manager for the group, which has been running for three years, said it was thrilled with the donation. Mr. McLeary had written to the actor hoping it might receive a photo for publicity use. Instead Cruise sent the Union Bank of California cheque through the Bank of New Zealand. The money will be used to reprint 10,000 copies of an anti-drug booklet, Truth About Joints, and contribute to a booklet on Ecstasy." Message-ID: c7Mka.18817$gU.826856@news2.voicenet.com

Nicole Kidman

Teenhollywood.com reported on April 10th that Nicole Kidman has backed away from her involvement in Scientology. "Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman has distanced herself from Scientology - her former husband Tom Cruise's religion. But according to John Travolta's wife Kelly Preston - who is a committed Scientologist like her husband - Kidman used to love the controversial creed. "Kelly says, 'Actually when I knew Nicole she seemed to think there was nothing better than Scientology. She was, like, 'This is the greatest thing ever.' "But Kelly notes that since Cruise and Kidman's 2001 split, Nicole has not kept their friendship. She adds, 'Well, I haven't seen her for a long, long time. I see Tom, but not her as much.'" Message-ID: cnAla.18999$gU.832372@news2.voicenet.com

Narconon

Letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on April 13th responded to an article last week about a new Narconon facility in Clearwater, Florida. "Narconon, a Scientology drug treatment program, wants taxpayers' dollars by having the local court system order people into the program at a cost of $7,500 per client. The article states that insurance is not accepted at Narconon. What insurance company would pay $7,500 per client for a religious-based treatment program 'incorporating the same concepts and principles one encounters in introductory Scientology courses at a church mission'? "Cheryl Alderman, the director of this Scientology program, is a Scientologist herself who invested $100,000 of her own money to make a profit. According to the story, 'Drug treatment became a priority for Alderman, she said, after an immediate family member failed to get help from several treatment programs.' That vast knowledge of chemical dependency, plus a 'staff of five that includes a certified addiction specialist and a registered nurse' equals no validation of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for competent treatment performance. "As a former director/counselor in chemical dependency treatment programs at a state prison for the Florida Department of Corrections, my salary was $28,000 per year, with a minimum of 50 inmates on my case load at all times. For $7,500 I could treat 50 inmates continuously for three months and give myself a $500 bonus. Now taxpayers are to pay $7,500 per client as a recruitment tool for Scientology. - Michael J. Kelly, Dunedin "Scientology intends to open its drug treatment program called Narconon. In no way should our schools, courts or community be involved with this program. The methods that Narconon uses are very antipsychiatric because that is the cult way. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard was antipsychiatry for obvious reasons. The $1,200 detoxification program called the 'purification rundown' is unproven and may be harmful - and $1,200 for a sauna, vitamins, treadmill and cooking oil? This often is the first step in the cult's high-priced teachings. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the only things the procedure removes from the body are salt and water. "According to the Oklahoma Board of Mental Health, Narconon's program is not safe. There are no scientific, independent, well-controlled studies that document its safety. Yet according to Hubbard, the purification rundown can cure, among other things, radiation sickness! Narconon only appears to have decent results for two reasons. One, it doesn't take addicts that would require professionals to treat them, and two, the patients are declared cured by unqualified members of the cult. "The bottom line is, you can't give taxpayer dollars to what is essentially a cult recruiting tool. You have to understand the cult's only goal is to sell expensive programs and expand. It doesn't do anything unless it benefits the cult. - David Rodman, Dunedin" Message-ID: Oecma.19021$gU.837200@news2.voicenet.com

Protest Summary

Dave Bird, John Ritson and Jens Tingleff reported a protest on April 12th in Manchester, England. "I found Damian, John, Neil, and Steve CT. Jens and Andy joined us later at the demo, and a veteran of the old Manchester demos passed by who will probably join us next time in Manchester. The clams had found out we were coming, presumably through the city council, and sent police a notice of their own 'say no to drugs' event on the same day. Again because of city council hassles, we didn't bring the sound system; but John and I were in good voice, alternating and occasionally overlapping on various slogans. John had also prepared a quick 'Nar-CON-on, bogus drug rehab' leaflet based on http://www.narconon-exposed.org" "One new recruit was 'ashtray man.' He had obviously been through the early training, such as the part that teaches how to avoid being diverted from the point. This works very well in the controlled conditions of a Scientology classroom, and may have limited use in the real world. When this results in an adult Scientologist standing in the street and chanting 'You can only destroy things' for an hour, it does not improve the public image of the cult. It also does not help if you are up against a person with a considerably louder voice and a much larger repertoire. We told him we were destroying Scientology and after a while we managed to get him to change to 'You can only try to destroy things.' "Another new recruit got himself tangled up in the 'You're distorting what Scientology is all about' trap - which opened him up to a rapid re-education course from experts. Being forewarned, they had put out an all-points alert, and had the children of Scientology members washing the pavements. It took these people with their expensive 'superior abilities' two hours to work out that it might inconvenience us or cause a confrontation if they tried to wash the pavement we were standing on (actually it didn't and we simply moved a few feet away)." "They had roped in a lot of people. Seemed like the usual mix of staffers / Sea Ogres / public / kids. Some of the locals tried to gently persuade us that we had it all wrong and attempted standard discouragement and diversion tactics. I do wonder if it struck them as odd that we had specific answers to their generic criticisms of our activities. They all much preferred to try to divert me ('Why are you protesting here today?') to looking at my web-site. "There must have been one camera for every two clams. I don't know how to distinguish their behaviour - taking turns at shouting right in your face and video recording - from that of a group which has decided to manufacture an incident. I'm glad to report that not even tens of minutes of having 'you can only destroy things' shouted at our stalwart protesters had any effect other than slight exasperation." Message-ID: IxfAZiAEhGm+Ewyy@xemu.demon.co.uk Message-ID: YDZc60xgBYm+EwTj@jritson.demon.co.uk Message-ID: b7cf9b02s1v@enews3.newsguy.com

Spam

"Android Cat" reported that a staffer for Scientology's Association for Better Living and Education submitted an apology for having sent spam emails in an attempt to increase newsletter readership. "I apologize for this inconvenience. I have actually reviewed the SPAM California laws and have actually made my emails to fit the law. My intention regarding this emails is not to spam others or bother or annoy others. "I work in ABLE International, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving conditions for our children ad our communities through the promotion and expansion of charitable programs using social betterment technologies developed by L. Ron Hubbard. ABLE's purpose is to reverse the social decay that threatens our societies by resolving the worst problems that plague man today - drugs, crime, illiteracy ad immorality. This is done by supporting and promoting the programs of four organizations dedicated to social betterment - Narconon International, Criminon International, Applied Scholastics International and The Way to Happiness Foundation International. "I usually get one list every week which is supposed to be targeted and opt-in. And whoever signs up to receive our newsletter gets put on our own list. Again, I apologize for this, and will stop sending these emails if need be. "Best Regards, Pedro Cue Director of Promotion" Message-ID: ASxla.4984$1b1.362820@news20.bellglobal.com

Tampa

The Tampa Tribune reported on April 10th that some neighbors of the new org in Tampa, Florida are unhappy about the new location. "Susan Tennyson said workers have made construction noise during the night and traffic has increased in the neighborhood. 'I'm not happy they are here,' said Tennyson, who lives adjacent to the church. 'I think they bring down the value of our homes because they have a cult type of stigma. I moved here because it's a family neighborhood, and that has been taken away.' "Last year, the Church of Scientology of Tampa purchased the Andres Diaz Building, a 1908 former cigar factory, for $1.2 million. The church has improved the interior of the four-story building and has landscaped the property. Inside the brick building, there are administrative offices, counseling and course work rooms, a film room, a chapel, a library, a bookstore and an L. Ron Hubbard room. Hubbard, who founded the Church of Scientology, died in 1986. "The church is trying to be good neighbors and work with the community, said Ana Tirabassi, spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology of Tampa. Members have visited many homes in the area to introduce themselves and had invited residents to the grand opening in March, Tirabassi said. "City Councilwoman Mary Alvarez went to the grand opening and said she was impressed. Alvarez doesn't pay much attention to the talk that the church may purchase more property in West Tampa, as it did in downtown Clearwater. 'They went into a neighborhood that is predominantly Hispanic and Catholic,' Alvarez said. 'If they try to reach out into the community for conversion, they are probably going to face a rough time.' "Along with purchasing the building, the church acquired an adjacent parking lot. It is considering purchasing more property in West Tampa to make room for their community outreach programs, Tirabassi said, including drug awareness programs, cleanup projects and literacy classes. "Earl Haugabook, president of the West Tampa Chamber of Commerce, said he is concerned if the church plans to grow in West Tampa. 'They could easily buy a whole bunch of property,' Haugabook said. 'We want a diversified community with businesses who are going to come in and offer jobs and keep the West Tampa mystique. We don't want West Tampa known as the Scientology capital.'" Message-ID: Rgela.18991$gU.829926@news2.voicenet.com


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A.r.s. Week in Review is put together by Rod Keller © This collection is organised for WWW by Andreas Heldal-Lund. Only edits done by me is replacing word encapsuled in * or _ with bold and underscore, and made links into HTML.


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