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

Volume 8, Issue 5 - May 11 2003


Roll Call reported on May 7th that U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island will oppose a bill supported by Scientology to prevent requirements that some students take medicine for attention deficit disorder. "Psychiatrists and at least one lawmaker are taking on the Church of Scientology's support for a provision in a House special education bill that seeks to prevent teachers from requiring students to take medication for attention-deficit disorder. 'It's a wolf in sheep's clothing,' said Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) of the provision that was added to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act reauthorization, which passed the House last week. 'I suspect it probably had its antecedents in the community that believes that all medication for kids with [attention-deficit disorder] is wrong.' "Kennedy and members of the psychiatric profession say the provision, which has been aggressively backed by the Scientology-founded Citizens Commission on Human Rights, is an attempt to achieve what opponents charge is Scientology's broader goal of abolishing the field of psychiatry altogether. "The provision, sponsored by freshman Rep. Max Burns (R-Ga.) and supported by Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), is intended to address highly publicized cases in several states of teachers pressuring parents to medicate children with Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs. Burns said he was aware that the provision was backed by CCHR, but said his goals were far different from those of the Church of Scientology and CCHR, which dispute the American Psychiatric Association's determination that attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder, or ADHD, is a medical condition that sometimes requires medication. "'I did not go out and solicit that support,' said Burns. 'We're not trying to take away the scientifically based treatments that we have. But we don't want to over-diagnose or misuse some of these treatments.' "But psychiatric organizations that oppose the provision - including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the National Mental Health Association - claim supporters have been duped into supporting a measure that they say could prevent teachers from even talking to parents about the possibility of their child being evaluated by a mental health professional. 'It's all an organized campaign to discredit the mental health profession and disavow the existence of childhood mental disorders,' said Clarke Ross, CEO of the nonprofit Children and Adults with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. "CCHR spokeswoman Marla Filidei countered that her organization has been fighting for the provision because of hundreds of stories from parents about teachers and school districts that have urged or pressured parents to put their nonattentive children on drugs, such as Ritalin, to address what may be simple behavior problems or the boredom of a gifted child. CCHR's Web site states that the group was formed in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and State University of New York psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz to 'combat psychiatry's oppression' and to 'expose and help abolish any and all physically damaging practices in the field of mental healing.' "Opponents of the provision are hoping to find allies in the Senate to prevent the provision from becoming law. One lobbyist for the psychiatric profession said they have already targeted a number of Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, such as Sens. Edward Kennedy (Mass.) and Jeff Bingaman (N.M.). Psychiatric groups also plan to contact Republicans friendly to the mental health profession, such as Sens. Pete Domenici (N.M.) and John Warner (Va.). 'They're not too worried about it getting into the Senate [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] bill,' the lobbyist said of conversations with Kennedy's staff. 'Conference committee is where we'll be focused in the end.' "Kennedy argued that the problem is not as widespread as CCHR makes it seem. 'Clearly, it's a legitimate issue, but as I said, it's a mischaracterization of the situation to think that it's not the exception rather than the rule,' he said. 'The question is whether this is a national issue that requires a national bureaucracy,' added Ross. 'It's all based on these highly publicized situations.'" Message-ID:


Celebrity Magazine reported news from the CCHR awards banquet, held in LOs Angeles. "At the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Awards Banquet, JULIETTE LEWIS, PRISCILLA PRESLEY, EDUARDO PALOMO and GINA ST. JOHN presented Human Rights Awards to individuals who have fought to expose the increasing pressure schools are placing on parents to drug their children. Also participating in the event was ANNE ARCHER as Mistress of Ceremonies. Hundreds of doctors, politicians, human rights activists, parent groups and celebrities, including CATHERINE BELL and LYNSEY BARTILSON, attended the awards banquet in Los Angeles." Message-ID: 7MHUWMAI37749.7335069444@anonymous.poster


The St. Petersburg Times reported on May 11th that Clearwater city officials are planning to revitalize the downtown area, despite the strong presence of Scientology. "Three years after voters killed a sweeping $300-million plan to remake downtown, backers still lament the lost opportunity and ponder what might have been. Amid pockets of redevelopment, empty storefronts remain, leading to mounting fears that the struggling commercial corridor could wither and die when the new Memorial Causeway Bridge opens and beach-bound traffic is diverted forever off Cleveland Street. But city officials remain hopeful. After months of study, they are preparing to bring forward their latest plan to remake downtown into the tourist and community magnet they say its geography has destined it to be. "The exhaustive new proposal incorporates elements of past plans, including a revamped Coachman Park and millions of dollars for beautification and other improvements to the downtown core. What's new is the acknowledgement that City Hall is available for sale if the right development project comes along. And now Calvary Baptist Church's property next door - a key to development - is on the block, too. Also planned are a downtown marina, a monorail to the beach and a parking garage on Osceola Avenue. Meanwhile, the plan will serve as a road map of sorts by creating six unique 'character districts' with general design guidelines meant to shape future development. "But Clearwater faces unique challenges, including its distance from a major interstate. And the dominant presence of the Church of Scientology has fed the perception that investments downtown will chiefly benefit the church, Siemon said. But that perception is false, he said. '(Scientology is) not what's causing the failure of redevelopment,' Siemon said. 'What makes them stand out in downtown Clearwater is they're the only ones there. I think dilution is the only solution.' "Commissioner Whitney Gray agreed. 'If you feel like there's a large presence of Scientologists downtown, it's because it's in isolation,' she said. 'The more great things there are to do downtown, the more people will come.'" Message-ID:

Digital Lightwave

The St. Petersburg Times reported on May 10th that Digital Lightwave will not appeal a judgment by Seth Joseph, a former employee of the company. "For four years, as he waited to collect millions of dollars he said he was owed by former employer Digital Lightwave, whistleblower Seth Joseph refused to talk publicly about his case. He preferred to let court documents speak for themselves: hundreds of pages of testimony, e-mails and internal memos that detailed how the Clearwater company maneuvered through an accounting scandal in 1998. The documents also helped show how the tech company's fortunes and misfortunes were closely tied to influential members of the Church of Scientology. "On Friday, after Digital said it would not appeal a $5.2-million judgment in Joseph's favor, the former Digital senior executive vice president broke his silence. 'Whenever an individual has to stand up to a big company with lots of resources, it's not an even fight,' Joseph, who now works for a Miami law firm, said in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times. 'Digital used every delaying tactic, every procedure they could to wear me down and make it almost impossible just to survive through the process, but here we are.' "Joseph filed an arbitration suit in 1999 alleging that he was unfairly dismissed by Zwan. In testimony, Joseph said he was punished because he urged Zwan to terminate another executive, Denise Licciardi, who was linked to an accounting scandal in the company. Joseph said that Zwan, a large donor to Scientology, did not want to dismiss Licciardi because she is the twin sister of Scientology's worldwide leader, David Miscavige. Zwan has denied Joseph's account, saying his firing was part of a companywide restructuring. "Joseph won his arbitration complaint and, most recently, an appellate court affirmed the judgment in Joseph's favor. Joseph's lawyer, Holly Skolnick, said the fight took longer than expected because 'I've never had such tenacious adversaries. Seth really went through hell.' "Joseph declined to talk about Zwan personally but predicted that more problems lie ahead for his old company. As a maker of testing equipment, Digital will lag behind any recovery in the telecom market since any initial burst of spending will probably go to telecom switches and operating equipment instead of testing, Joseph said. 'The only thing that makes it possible that the company will survive is the fact that Zwan was able to cash out to the tune of $400-million to $450-million during the (tech) bubble,' he said." Message-ID:


Agence France Presse reported on May 7th that two Scientologists have been indicted for fraud and illegally prescribing medicine. "Two execs from the Scientology church have been recently indicted by a Parisian instruction judge, one for fraud and the other for illegal pharmacy practice. Alain Rosenberg has been indicted as General Manager of the 'Celebrity Center' in Paris, for fraud and complicity of illegal exercice of pharmacy. "The judge suspects him to have been engaged in personality testing without a scientific basis having caused damages to the plaintiff. Those tests could have been used in order to steal fortunes of some people, under the guise of a psychological aid. "Another executive, Aline Fabre, is indicted for illegal pharmacy practice because she would have sold high dosages vitamins. Attorney Aram Kevorkian, who is the defender of the two persons indicted, declared that indictment is not culpability, and that the people are not guilty. Nothing forbids personality testing, and those tests had scientific bases, did he declare, before adding that vitamins can be sold outside drugstores. Kevorkian added that he had appealed of these indictments before the Indictments appeal Room in Paris court." Message-ID: 3ebba81f$0$23446$

Scientology Tour

Skyway News published the first of two articles on a visit to Scientology in Minnesota. "Through the storefront windows at 1011 Nicollet Mall, the Church of Scientology of Minnesota seems bright, open and warm. Posters advertise personality, toxicity and IQ tests - free and immediately available. At one of the tables abutting the windowpane, a young man in a black hooded sweatshirt diligently fills in small ovals on a test. Bright paperbacks and posters of golden, erupting volcanoes frame the space around him. Come, step out of the rain - and discover your full potential. "As I step inside, a kind- and weary-looking man jumps from his post at the front desk to greet me. It's raining, I tell him, and ask, what is this place? He extends his well-muscled, lean hand - the hand of a laborer. He is Bernie, a volunteer, and says this is the Church of Scientology. It basically believes you are a soul inhabiting a body that can get toxic, so the church helps you clear it and reach your potential. 'You see,' he says, his eyes opening a little wider, 'you are so much more than you've been taught you can be.' "He reaches for one of the thousand or so books on the shelves as one might reach for a bottle of medicine, haltingly yet reverently. 'This book,' he begins, 'saved my life.' Bernie owns an auto diagnostics business. Things got stressful, so he took a management course; the teacher used a 'tone scale' to help him discern and deal with people's basic dispositions. "Bernie opens one of the thinner, cheaper books and displays the realm of human beings divided into strata, from the gray and glowering at the bottom, to the clear and serene at the top. 'You see,' he says, pointing to the darkest circles, 'not everyone is on your side. About 2 percent of people in the world are Suppressive Persons; they want to keep you from being happy.' Suppressive agents cause most illnesses, Bernie explains. Take someone he knows, he says, locked up in a mental hospital because 'he didn't have this technology to deal with the abuse in his past.' "Day two. I say hello to a woman in a pinstriped brown and black outfit at the front desk, and Troy emerges in his pressed shirt, tie and gray slacks. 'You're back!' he says with a flash of his even white smile. The brochures seem contingent upon taking the personality test, I explain; I only have a half-hour, is that enough? "The woman at the front desk sets to her task, which involves calling people out of the phone book. I resist the urge to interrupt and ask what certain test questions are meant to reveal: 'Do you intend two or less children in your family even though your health and income permit more?' 'If we were invading another country, would you feel sympathetic towards conscientious objectors in this country?' and 'Would the idea of inflicting pain on game, small animals or fish prevent you from hunting and fishing?' I answer honestly, 'yes,' 'yes' and 'yes.' "By the time I finish (about 10 minutes) I've admitted to allowing 'external noise' to disturb my concentration, being 'a slow eater' who is 'touchy about certain things about [my]self' and occasionally 'feel[ing] compelled to repeat some interesting item or tidbit.' Troy emerges with the prognosis: I'm down on seven of 10 counts, below 'normal' and in an 'unacceptable state,' in need of 'immediate assistance' as I suffer from: depression, a lack of accord, being critical, not being outgoing enough, nervousness, irresponsibility and being unstable or dispersed. "I stammer, try to explain/defend myself as Troy's finger points to each of my documented downfalls: well, I can be blunt, but I'm also the primary caregiver in my family, so how can I be irresponsible? Troy explains that responsibility is not 'like, 'Do I pay my bills on time or vote.' It's like, are you causative or do you let life happen to you - like cause and effect. Don't I want to take control of my life?' Troy cocks his head, smiles, and moves his index finger to my most significant problem -- the one point on the chart Troy has drawn a small cloud around: I'm depressed. I had no idea. "Day Three. Over breakfast 'Josh' - me - completes the exam guessing how a super-Scientologist would answer. 'Josh' doesn't prefer a few close friends but prefers a wide net of familiars; he wants us to breed like rabbits, which, of course, he has no problem shooting. He also feels comfortable telling others every opinion he has, even if he can't prove what he's saying and is generally not influenced by his emotions in his personal interactions. This time, another man sits at the front desk. He seems preoccupied, but looks up when I come in. He extends his long thin hands to take the pink fold-up test, but withdraws when I tell him it's for my husband - and I could get him to take it but not to come in. 'Well, it isn't much use without talking about it with somebody,' he says softly, but with deep concern. 'Well, I'd like to see how our charts compare.' "'This is a nice looking chart,' she says, indicating the eight of 10 counts where Josh/superman is in the 'optimum range.' He's aggressive, responsible, outgoing - very impressive. But there are a couple areas where he's just normal: he can be critical and isn't very appreciative. If I'm interested, there's a solution - a glossy little book on marriage and the primer, 'Components of Understanding.'" Message-ID: 3eb706e8$

Protest Summary

Jeff Jacobsen reported a protest at the Mesa, Arizona org on May 8th. "Bruce asked me if I wanted to picket. How could I say no? So during rush hour today we picketed the mission in Mesa. There were about 16 cars there, including wonderful Russ! One guy came out and took our pictures. He talked to me a bit commenting on my Lisa McPherson sign and saying that's old news. I said 'she's still dead.' He argued a bit with me, asking if we also protest the Catholic church too. I said that we each choose our fight. "We got about 8 positive reactions and 1 negative from the traffic that was crawling by because of road work ahead. I handed out 3 flyers, which is almost a record there because there is little foot traffic. After an hour we left and had a nice meal." Message-ID:

Reed Slatkin reported on May 8th that Scientologists are opposing the trustee's plan for the Reed Slatkin estate to go after some Scientology orgs to recover money donated by Slatkin during the period he ran a Ponzi scheme investment club. "High-ranking Scientologist creditors are fighting back against Trustee Todd Neilson's proposed reorganization of the estate, claiming that he failed to disclose his plan to go after Church of Scientology entities in an effort to recoup some of the millions lost in the Slatkin Ponzi Scheme. The Scientologist bloc is represented by lawyer Helena Kobrin, herself an active Scientologist and Slatkin net debtor, who has also served as counsel to several of the Scientology organizations targeted by the trustee. "From the Kobrin motion: 'Objecting parties assert that the Plan cannot be confirmed because it has become evidence that the Trustee intends to sue various Scientology entities, but did not disclose this intention in his disclosure statement. Instead, he waited to make this intention known through his attorney's comments to a newspaper reporter, resulting in a March 26, 2003 article entitled 'Victims of Scam Target Church.' Beyond the obvious desire to use this intention to create yellow journalism, the Trustee's failure to disclose this intention in the normal fashion through disclosure documents filed in the court violates 11 USC 1129(1),(2) and (3). Not only would it affect how a substantial number of claimants who are parishioners of the Scientology religion would vote, but the concealment of the issue affects the entire conduct of the case, including such things as the intensity of the Trustee's pursuit of these and other adversary defendants, and the Trustee's refusal to settle other than at a very high percentage of the amounts demanded.' "Ike Kezsbom, a longtime Scientologist, writes in his declaration of objection: 'My accounts suffered a net loss of approximately $2,400,000. I am a longstanding member of the Church of Scientology. I reviewed the Trustee's disclosure statement and proposed plan, and it did not state that they were planning to sue the Church of Scientology. I would be opposed to any Plan that involves suing my Church, and would prefer a plan that liquidates the assets of the Estate as promptly as possible. Based on the disclosure, I was under the impression that they did not intend to sue the Church. I believe other Scientologists [sic] creditors were also left with the same impression.'" Message-ID:


Flag FSM NewsLetter reported the winners of the Birthday Game for Flag Field Staff Members. The contest is based on money paid by recruits for training and processing to Scientology in Clearwater, Florida. "FINAL BIRTHDAY GAME STANDINGS 2002-2003 WINNERS! 1. Michael Phillips CW 2. Wendy Ettricks WUS 3. Ty Dillard WUS 4. Barry Klein WUS 5. Mike Smith WUS 6. Ronit Soracco WUS 7. Steve Besio CW 8. Ray Barton CW 9. Divona Lewis WUS 10. Wayne Fuller CW 11. Deborah Hulthen CW 12. Monika Ruegg EU 13. Pat Parodi WUS 14. Sheila Bulger UK 15. Kay Daly Weiner WUS 16. Mary Jo Hyland WUS 17. Dennis Feeney WUS 18. Neils Kjedlsen EU 19. Susan Rowe EUS 20. Luis Colon EUS" Message-ID: WNAGQTES37749.7008333333@anonymous.poster


Tulsa World reported on May 3rd that the Oklahoma legislature voted down a measure to commend Narconon for its work in drug rehabilitation. "Normally, resolutions honoring this or that group, person or event fly through the Legislature with nary a ripple of controversy. However, those measures do not usually involve substance-abuse treatment facilities operated by the Church of Scientology. On Thursday, freshman Rep. Terry Harrison, D-McAlester, appeared surprised that his Senate Concurrent Resolution 29, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Frank Shurden, D-Henryetta, sparked opposition. The resolution commends Narconon Arrowhead, a nationally recognized drug and alcohol treatment facility located at a former state lodge in Pittsburg County. "The measure doesn't mention the facility's ties to Scientology. It cites the $5.5 million spent on the lodge's purchase and renovation, delivery of free drug education programs to 58,000 Oklahoma youths, 130 jobs and $7.4 million impact on the local economy, among other attributes. Rep. Richard Lerblance, D-Hartshorne, said drug-afflicted people come to the Narconon center from all over the country. A lawyer, Lerblance said some of his clients have completed the program successfully. 'This is a program, a company, that has come into Pittsburg County to help people,' he said. 'Whoever this company is owned by is immaterial.' Rep. Al Lindley, D-Oklahoma City, also spoke for the measure. 'I'm completely ashamed of the membership here,' he said. 'It doesn't matter who owns that facility down there, as long as it helps people.' "Rep. Bill Paulk, D-Oklahoma City, said he didn't want his name 'on something supporting the Church of Scientology.' The veteran lawmaker said such measures illustrate the dangers of mixing church and state. 'This is a faith-based organization,' Paulk said. The resolution failed 43-50. It had passed the Senate a day earlier, but not before Shurden fielded questions on the facility's licensing with the state." 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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