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

Volume 8, Issue 4 - May 4 2003

Note: This issue contains articles from the past two weeks of Alt.religion.scientology.

Leipzig Award

CNET News published an article on May 1st on the award of the Leipzig Human Rights Award to creator Andreas Heldal-Lund. "A critic of the Church of Scientology, Andreas Heldal-Lund, has received a human rights award for maintaining his Web page despite repeated legal attacks from church officials. Heldal-Lund, a Norwegian citizen who operates the Operation Clambake Web site, is the fourth recipient of the Leipzig Human Rights Award. Church of Scientology officials have tried to silence Heldal-Lund by, among other things, asking Google and the Internet archive site to pull links to his site, claiming that material on its pages violates church copyrights." Message-ID:


The East Grinstead Courier reported on March 7th that Criminon is planning an evaluation of its programs with the University of Kent. "Criminon, based in Lewes Road, runs a number of correspondence courses for prisoners, and its work is to be evaluated by senior lecturer in law at the University of Kent at Canterbury, Dr Deborah Cheney. 'We've been up and running for seven years doing this,' said Criminon executive director Susan Chalmers. 'We would very much like to take it to the next level, which would be actually running courses inside prison. But to do that, you need to have a proven success rate - and this work is very difficult to evaluate.' "She said the ideal way to research a programme like this would be to evaluate the recidivism rates of people who have completed the Criminon programme, in other words, working out how many Criminon 'graduates' commit crimes after being released from prison. Dr Cheney's idea is to look at the disciplinary records of prisoners, and see if there is any improvement once a prisoner has begun the Criminon correspondence course. 'If this proves successful,' Mrs. Chalmers said, 'we can then move forward to an in-house programme where it can then be evaluated for recidivism.' "Criminon is part of an international organisation which uses the works of L. Ron Hubbard to address the main factors behind offending. Programmes are running in prisons in countries as diverse as South Africa, the USA, Hungary, Israel and Mexico. 'Certainly in no way do we want it to be solely staffed by scientologists,' she said. 'My goal is for the organisation to eventually act like a sort of quality control, ensuring that it is run with the original philosophy. "About 10 prisoners register with Criminon every week. Eight courses are on offer, beginning with The Way to Happiness - a 21 point 'common sense guide to better living'. After this, more specific courses can be taken, including parenting skills and drug awareness. Criminon operates out of about two thirds of prisons in the country, and its take-up rate appears to be almost equal between men and women." Message-ID:

Search Engines

Tory Christman reported that an Scientologists are being asked to email search engines to ask that web sites critical of Scientology be removed. "They are supposed to say things like: 'Scientologists have suffered personal violence and bloodshed in Europe and the USA. Potentially violent and unstable people get their fuel from others hate-speech. Do you want an incident of violence traced to a hate-site found by your search engine?' "'This issue is absolutely not a matter of 'free speech' or 'showing both sides of a controversial subject.' One is not free to incite violence, to fuel hatred, or yell 'fire!' in a crowded theatre. These hate sites actively seek to ruin others' lives and businesses, then hide behind 'free speech.' Scientologists with excellent work records have been fired or lost their businesses when hate-media mentioned them as Scientologists or stirred up ignorant anti-Scientology hysteria. Do you want those economic repercussions traced to your search engine?' "'Hate sites for other religions, other persuasions are omitted from search results -- as they should be! It's prejudicial to include hate-sites that denigrate Scientology. (Please find another example besides Judaism; it gets overloaded as a comparison point.)' "They are to send their emails to: Google: Yahoo: Lycos: Netscape: AOL:" Message-ID: pJVra.58926$

In Memoriam

The Buffalo News reported on April 21st that Marie Bolt, a staff member of the Buffalo org, has passed away. "A memorial service for Marie R. Bolt, of the Town of Tonawanda, will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Church of the Nativity United Church of Christ, 1530 Colvin Blvd., Town of Tonawanda. Mrs. Bolt died April 16th of injuries suffered in an auto accident in Oak Hill, WV, while traveling with her family. She was 48. "In 2002, she joined the staff of the Church of Scientology, where she was a ministerial counselor in training. She was active as a Girl Scout troop leader and a member of the Kenmore East High School Band Parent Council." Message-ID:

Montel Williams

CHADD (Children and Adults with ADD) published an open letter to TV talk show host Montel Williams protesting a recent appearance by Scientology celebrities on his show, in which they promoted Scientology's theories of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. "As the director of communications and media relations of CHADD, the nation's leading support and advocacy organization serving individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, I am writing to express my astonishment and supreme disappointment in your biased, inaccurate, and unequivocally damaging program entitled, 'A Parents Right to Choose.' By featuring the panelists you did - individuals who vocally decry the existence of AD/HD - you not only offered 'no right to choose,' you unquestionably deterred and prevented millions of families from seeking, obtaining and securing the help and medical treatment they or their children may need in order to manage their AD/HD and live successful and fulfilling lives. "Irresponsibly tossing around untruths and inaccuracies is a tactic designed to startle and scare the American public, one spearheaded largely by a wealthy organization with Hollywood celebrities who claim that AD/HD and other childhood mental disorders do not exist. Anyone familiar with your featured panel knows that several of your guests are reported to be members of the Citizens' Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), an affiliate founded by the Church Scientology, and well recognized for its anti psychiatry rhetoric. It was a one-sided panel, a one-sided show, and a one-sided case of journalistic irresponsibility at its height. Shame on you, Mr. Williams, for not recognizing junk science when it's staring you in the face. "Tather than citing the vast body of research validating the existence of and devastation of untreated AD/HD, you and your panelists cited no credible research at all. Instead, you mocked the medical community, referred to stimulant medication as 'kiddie cocaine,' compared psychiatrists to drug lords and, in general, violated every possible rule of sound and responsible journalism that you had an obligation to provide to your viewers. "Perhaps most glaring was the complete omission of well-documented clinical studies demonstrating the effectiveness of stimulant and other psychotropic medications when appropriately administered. Not one was referenced; not one was included. No one will dispute that unnecessarily placing a child on medication is deplorable. But the greater travesty is delaying proper diagnosis and effective treatment for those who truly need it. The sad truth is that many more children with mental disorders slip unrecognized past the gatekeepers of mental health services than those who are improperly diagnosed. "Peg Nichols Director of Communications & Media Relations CHADD" Message-ID:

Lisa Marie Presley

The Daily Record newspaper from Glasgow, Scotland reported on May 1st that Scientology celebrity Lisa Marie Presley has been receiving therapy from John Travolta in the wake of her divorce from Nicolas Cage. "John Travolta has been giving 'therapy sessions' to Lisa Marie Presley, who is trying to get over the collapse of her marriage to Nic Cage. The actor has been passing on Scientology tips on how to find her true soulmate. Travolta became pals with her mum Priscilla Presley after helping her cope after the death of Elvis." Message-ID:

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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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