BelgiumExpatica News reported on September 17th that Scientology has opened a human rights office in Brussels, Belgium, near the offices of the European Community. "The Church of Scientology opened the doors to its all-new European quarter offices Wednesday, amid skepticism from local politicians. The luxurious address at 91 rue de la Loi will be representing the controversial spiritual group in the European Commission and Parliament neighbourhood in an attempt at increasing its credibility. The European Scientology Office of Public Affairs and Human Rights has been seen as an attempt to confuse visitors by attempting to appear like part of the conglomerate of European institutions in the area. "'They are the charlatans of human rights,' Antoine Duquesne, former rapporteur during the investigation into sects in Belgium in 1997, told La Libre Belgique. Politicians across all party lines criticised the organisation's new offices. 'I think it's dangerous and a sect - it's not for nothing that they've encamped themselves in the European quarter, we know their lobbying capabilities,' said Mayor of Schaerbeek Bernard Clerfayt. 'The Church of Scientology is only after money and nobody is safe from what they are capable of,' said Mayor of Watermael-Boisfort Martine Payfa." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Org NewsThe New Haven Register reported on September 20th that Scientology's New Haven, Connecticut org will be moving to a new building. "After 31 years in Westville, Hallock's has sold its Whalley Avenue building and plans to move by the end of the year. The Church of Scientology bought the 35,000-square-foot building for $1.5 million. Carol Yingling, a church minister, said the church plans to move its Connecticut headquarters into the building. The current headquarters is in 9,000 square feet of leased space just down the street. 'We are really busting out at the seams,' she said. 'I'm looking forward to having a place to hold community meetings.' "Yingling said the move will allow the church to potentially quadruple its staff of 35. 'We need four times that many to make full use of the new space,' she said." Message-ID: email@example.com
CCHRAn email to Scientologists announced that a protest will be held at a meeting of the Florida Psychiatric Society in October. "The Florida Psychiatric Society is holding their 2003 Fall Meeting at the Ponte Vedra Beach Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, October 3 - 5, 2003. They're encouraging all their members to attend but the 'Ethics meetings' are closed to the public. They say the meeting is important to 'strengthen and broaden the scope of our work and our position within organized psychiatry.' "The focus of our protest will be to halt the psychiatrists' use of teachers to identify children as mentally disabled and forcing parents to give drugs to their children as a condition for them continuing school. We expect 500 - 1000 demonstrators! We are planning to have a rally in downtown Tampa where we can organize this event on Sep 12, at 8:00 PM. Mary DeMoss Executive Director Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida, Inc." Message-ID: ZTIGO1B237873.firstname.lastname@example.org
NetherlandsCNET News reported on September 8th on the victory in a Dutch court to keep links to Scientology's OT materials legal on the web site of activist Karin Spaink. "The Church of Scientology has lost a courtroom battle to compel a Dutch writer and her Internet service provider to remove postings from a Web site, in a ruling that keeps hyperlinks to copyrighted material legal. The Court of Appeal in The Hague, Netherlands, denied the Scientologists' latest appeal in an online copyright dispute that dates back to 1995. "In denying the appeal, the court also overturned two previous rulings that lower courts had handed down. One of these decided that ISPs should be held accountable for any illegal or copyrighted materials posted by their subscribers and that ISPs should take down hyperlinks to such materials. An Xs4all representative cited the overruling of that decision as the larger of the two victories. "'I think this establishes an important freedom of speech precedence for the Internet and ISPs in particular,' said Edith Mastenbroek, an Xs4all spokeswoman. 'Any laws set to control how ISPs interact with copyright laws must be made crystal clear.' Xs4all representatives said they were particularly happy with the ruling, as it relates to hyperlinks. 'After all, a hyperlink is merely a road marker on the Internet, and it can therefore never be unlawful,' the company said in a statement. "Scientologists have taken a vigorous approach to squelching critical Web sites, pressuring site operators, ISPs and even Internet heavyweights such as Google into removing links to Web pages. In 1999, Amazon.com removed but later restored links to a book critical of Scientology." Message-ID: mike-55C7BC.email@example.com Message-ID: 3F5DCD45.2C21F85D@macmail.com
Protest SummaryJohn Ritson reported a protest on September 13th at Scientology's Saint Hill complex and the nearby town of East Grinstead, England. "Five regulars plus one new recruit arrived at East Grinstead on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. They have abandoned their presence ('Saint Hill Information Centre and Bookshop') on the main shopping street opposite the Broadway pub. They have a new location opposite the Ship pub, but I completely failed to spot it. We set off by taxis to the main gates of Saint Hill, and parked ourselves opposite the gates. Despite our boombox turned up to full volume only one security guard (head glued to mobile phone) made an appearance, although we glimpsed Graeme Wilson sneaking around in the bushes. "The police were very helpful and erected a 'SLOW' sign to ensure safety. Many of the drivers passing shouted encouragement. Drivers going into and out of Saint Hill maintained a stony silence. After about forty minutes the taxis turned up to take us back to East Grinstead and the Ship pub, where the new Scientology presence was pointed out to us. "We emerged to picket the Scientology dump, which eventually opened one door, to let a couple of Scientologists with mobile phones wander about. The police asked us to turn down the volume as their had been complaints. We were happy to comply as even on moderate volume I could still be heard clearly on the far side of the road. Much support from the public, and the local Baptist church even brought us out tea and biscuits, so I expanded my usual spiel to include a section about the 'R6 implant.'" Tory Christman, "tannman1" and Jeff Jacobsen reported a protest in Los Angeles on September 14th. "We decided to head out to the HGB: Hollywood Guarantee Building (Which is International Management), and the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition right next door. As we began picketing, Hollywood rallied with us. Cars drove by all day long with people honking, yelling, and giving us the thumbs up. Many people walked by and told us their own personal horror stories re Scientology. We also had two people walk up and ask us if they could join the picket. We had extra signs, so we gave them signs and they too began walking back and forth. One had a dog, and had a sign on it saying, 'Do Not Believe L. Ron Hubbard.' "We continued talking with people and passing out Xenu Flyers (at least 300, and 400 flyers and about 300 cards with Web sites). People of all walks of life and all ages came up to talk with us. Meantime, Scientology hid inside. As we traveled down to the Scientology Testing Center, things heated up. Down from them were Black Israelites screaming non-stop about how Jesus was really Black. They were screaming constantly. We were passing out flyers, the Web sites, and I had the sign, 'Honk if you Think Scientology is a CULT.' People were literally honking from both sides of the street. Also, if they didn't have a car, and were walking by, they'd go 'HONK' into my tape recorder. "I realized this Cab was parked right outside of the Scientology Testing Center, basically semi-blocking our signs. I realized no doubt OSA had requested the cab, with the intention of blocking our signs. So I leaned in and asked, 'Are you picking anyone up?' The gentleman said, 'No.' I leaned in and said, 'These people are against Free Speech, and we are fighting FOR Free Speech. You cab is blocking our signs, so you think about that and decide what you want to do.' I walked away, and to my great surprise, a few minutes later I heard the cab start up and he roared off, honking loudly down the street. This happened two different times while we were there. "All during this time, Mellony and Jean were on their Cell phones. Finally the police showed up! At first it was just someone from OSA, talking with two LA PD. Finally the cops came over to me and told me they had a report we were disrupting a residency. I asked where, as the Testing Center is totally a business. He pointed above it (Three stories) and said those residence were complaining. I told him first off we have a Constitutional right to picket, and secondly, I was pretty sure they (OSA) were lying about anyone living above the Testing Center. "Finally after much talk, more OSA Int people arrived. Pam Bowen and one of their top dogs who runs the attorneys, Ed Parken arrived on the scene. Pam was furious and I could see was sent with orders to get rid of us. The two cops came back and said they were 'Just trying to keep the peace'. I said, 'So are we.' They said, 'Well, we have a request. You can say yes, or no, but we would like you to go over to the other side of the street.' I looked at the young cop and said, 'I heard your request and here is my answer: No! We are here, we are going to continue to picket per the Constitution of the USA.' "We continued picketing, and more people began honking than all day long. I saw OSA skulking around the corner, so I walked around to hear what was being said. Pam immediately said, 'I don't want her here!' I said, 'Well, since you're talking about me, I'd like to hear what is being said.' At that point I hear the Supervisor ask Ed, 'Well, if you live here, I'd like to see your driver's License proving it.' At that point I could only laugh, as I knew once again the infamous 'Office of Special Affairs' had blown it. The cops finally drove off as Scientology had NO proof that anyone lived above the Testing Center." "They feared our presence. They scooped anyone up who were out side the walls and ushered them in like parents dragging kids in from the ocean where a shark was sighted. We spoke to folks and offered our information. Some accepted others refused. We moved to the Testing Center and this my friends was where I received my first witness of the OSA. Here the fear was even worse, It was RED ALERT for them. 7 people got an entire cult hive in such a state of disarray I couldn't believe it. The clams resorted to calling LAPD who basically didn't do a damn thing but ask us to move across the street knowing we would refuse and no more could be done. OSA was swarming like bees." "I saw that L. Ron Hubbard Way had been closed off and lots of tables and decorations had been set up. On the south side they had placed cloth walls about 10 feet high across the entrance to the road. That way, any picketers outside that wall could not be seen. I saw people making some more of those walls, probably for the north side. The parking lot was surrounded by this same high wall of cloth. There was a big stage set up. "We went to the Hubbard Life Exhibit, a great place to hand out fliers. We probably handed out about 200 fliers there (a guess). Skippy was very good at handing out fliers. Graham and Tanman joined us there, as did another ex and 2 pedestrians. Many people walking by said in low voices 'boy we're glad you're out here!' And, 'Finally somebody is doing this!' We got positive responses and several good conversations there. Some people refused our fliers saying 'I already know it's bad, give it to someone who doesn't know.' "We just out of the blue decided to go to the testing center down Hollywood Blvd. and protest there for a while. Graham and I held up the WWW.XENU.NET banner closer to the testing center than the black guys (I think their group is Black Israelites or something like that - they claim to be the Lost Tribes). Others walked up and down with the great new picket signs. Tanman somehow had parked his car right in front of us, and suggested we drape the banner on his car. So we draped it on the left side, holding it in place with the windshield wipers front and back. This was great as any cars going by and anybody across the street would see this. "We had a pretty good time, even with the competition of the black guys accosting pedestrians, us handing out fliers, and the Scientologists handing out fliers, all in the same little area. There were no confrontations or anything from that." Message-ID: 3ilH22Q5i1Y$EwR9@jritson.demon.co.uk Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: BnS8b.2703$UN4.email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
RussiaA press release from St. Irenaeus of Lyon Religious Studies Center on September 22nd announced that protests would be held at a number of Scientology orgs in Russia. "The All-Russian 'Fellow Travelers' youth organization, with support from the Russian Orthodox Youth Movement, begins a long-term nationwide protest action against the activity of the Scientology cult. On the appointed date the first leg of the action will begin simultaneously in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kaluga. "On the following five days the 'Fellow Travelers' activists will picket the cult centers daily from 7 a. m. to 10 p.m., distributing leaflets and explaining to those who want to enter the dangers of the cult. Large posters will inform the citizens and all passers-by that the dangerous cult is near. In Moscow the action will begin on September 22 at 3 p.m. in four locations of the cult - three in the city and one in the suburb. The official opening will be held by the Russian headquarters of the cult (B. Galushkina St., 19). The guest speaker of the opening is Professor Alexander L. Dvorkin." Interfax reported on September 17th that a Psychiatric institute believes Scientology will be protesting the center this week. "Scientology is officially banned in Russia, Tatyana Dmitriyeva, director of the Serbskiy Centre for Social and Criminal Psychiatry, said at a conference on prison psychiatry in Moscow on Wednesday. 'However, Scientologists continue to work in this country in the guise of human rights organizations in order to cover the large sums put into Scientology,' Dmitriyeva said. She said one of the Scientologists' postulates has to do with psychiatry. 'They believe that psychiatrists must not be allowed to treat people, as everything must be left to the will of God,' she said. "She announced that Scientologists regularly hold protest actions in front of the Serbskiy centre and plan to hold another picket on Wednesday. 'Their main slogan is 'Psychiatrists, hands off humans!' They are also urging the government to stop financing psychiatry,' Dmitriyeva said." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1030921055718.116Bemail@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reed SlatkinThe Los Angeles Times reported on September 17th that the law firm that represented former Scientology minister Reed Slatkin will pay $650,000 to settle claims that they should have been aware that he was running a Ponzi scheme. "Slatkin was sentenced to 14 years in prison this month for taking $593 million from investors in a Ponzi scheme. Slatkin, a Santa Barbara money manager, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Bankruptcy trustee R. Todd Neilson alleged that Bryan Cave, a St. Louis-based law firm that represented Slatkin, mishandled his case, allowing investors to continue to pour money into his illegal schemes. "Slatkin's attorney, Gerald Boltz, a former Securities and Exchange Commission administrator, should have discovered the pyramid scheme in early 2000, shortly after he was hired, Neilson said. But Slatkin's scheme wasn't spotted until it began to come apart shortly before he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2001. "Under the terms of a tentative settlement filed last week, the law firm does not admit to wrongdoing. But it will pay $650,000 to Slatkin's trust to be distributed to creditors, said R. Alexander Pilmer, Neilson's attorney. Investors who gave money to Slatkin still are owed about $240 million, and more than 200 lawsuits are pending to recover money from the banks and investors who profited from the scheme, Pilmer said. "Attorneys also are negotiating with groups affiliated with the Church of Scientology that allegedly wound up with tens of millions of dollars in donations from Slatkin clients. In court filings, Bryan Cave said that it too was a victim of Slatkin's deception and that he gave the firm fake documents. However, the firm claimed it was shielded from liability in the case, because its duty as Slatkin's counsel was to represent its client and not investors." Message-ID: email@example.com
Way to HappinessThe Los Angeles Times reported on September 15th that Scientology is opening a Way to Happiness headquarters in Glendale, California. "In a move that city business development officials see as another way to drum up activity in a struggling business hub, The Way to Happiness Foundation International is relocating its headquarters into a vacant building at 201 E. Broadway. The building is owned by ABLE International, which stands for the Association of Better Living and Education. The foundation is an affiliate of ABLE. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that is based on one book, 'The Way to Happiness,' written by L. Ron Hubbard, whose tenets ushered in the Church of Scientology. "The two-story, 22,000-square-foot building, built in the 1920s with a basement and mezzanine was also perfect for the organization, she said. The group will publish Hubbard's books from presses in the basement. City officials were pleased the organization chose to move to Glendale. 'It is going to provide activity on this corner, which we think will be very good for the area,' Development Services Director Jeanne Armstrong said about the move. "The building is in the area of The Exchange, a retail and restaurant open-air mall anchored by a movie theater. Merchants in the area have lamented a lack of customers. But already, the foundation is trying to drum up interest with a grand opening scheduled for Oct. 4 with a community festival." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.