Project CALLThe Fort Bend/Southwest Sun reported on December 15th that a new Scientology-based literacy project has opened in Texas. "Having just started its second year, Project CALL, short for Communities Assisting Literacy and Learning, has helped nearly 1,000 people, including children, teens and adults, not just to learn how to read, but to learn how to learn. Their methods are nontraditional, but they work, says Minot Edwards, Project CALL's technical director. "The center uses a study technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard, author of 'Learning How to Learn,' an illustrated work that teaches children how to study. Everybody who participates in the program must read the book. 'If they can't read the book, we read it to them,' says Edwards. Pariani says part of the theory that works so well is that it is simple. It works for everyone, even adults and people who have been labeled with learning disabilities, she says. The program also adds some fun into the mix. "The phonics program, Reading Rescue, was developed by Edwards based on his extensive research into the most effective ways of teaching reading. Reading Rescue teaches the student the sounds of a language and then how to combine them to read and spell. Using games and fun drills, the student will master reading and spelling with the sounds of the English language, says Edwards. "In the learning basics program, the student learns what gets in the way of study and what to do about it, as well as ways to ensure that they understand and continue to use what they read. 'To study means to look at something and ask about it and read about it, as you learn about it,' says Edwards. 'Just reading the sounds of the words on the page does not even begin to ensure understanding.' "Meena Mabbu, 12, a volunteer tutor, found that as she helped others, she also benefited from the program. While Mabbu did not need help reading, as she completed the learning basics program and began to tutor others, she found herself using the skills in her everyday life. 'I began using the concepts I was teaching others in my daily life, and it has helped me a lot,' says Mabbu. "Project CALL was founded by Missouri City residents Dr. Willis J. Pumphrey Jr. and his wife, Grace. Pumphrey, a successful dentist with his own practice in the Houston area, started the program after years of conducting truancy workshops for Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Joel Clouser's court. The program, still going on, gives truant students who appear in Clouser's court an alternative to fines. During the one-day workshop, the students are taught how to learn how to learn and study based on 'Learning How to Learn.' A parent is also required to go the workshop." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unauthorized ChristmasOn December 21 the New York Times reviewed an off-Broadway production based on the history of Scientology. "Most children would be content to play a shepherd in their first Christmas pageant. Max Miner gets to play John Travolta. The 11-year-old also portrays a robot and other roles in 'A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant,' now Off Broadway through Jan. 4 at the John Houseman Theater after a sold-out run at the Tank, also on West 42nd Street. "Conceived and directed by Alex Timbers, with text and songs by Kyle Jarrow, the 55-minute show purports to tell the story of the life of L. Ron Hubbard (played by Jordan Wolfe, 13), including his stints as a science fiction writer and World War II Navy man, culminating in his founding of the Church of Scientology in 1954. "Hubbard called Scientology a religion but its critics have considered it a lucrative business. Adherents say it is not based on the worship of a god, but is a method of counseling and courses that helps individuals break free from unnecessary emotions to lead more rewarding lives. "Mr. Timbers said he wanted to 'juxtapose that with a straightforward retelling of the life of L. Ron Hubbard, for the kids not to wink back at the audience but perform it very genuinely, with as much honesty and integrity as a real Scientologist would.' "In a recent interview, however, the Rev. John Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology of New York, said 'these guys just don't understand the subject.' After visiting a rehearsal and sending a letter of protest, Mr. Carmichael saw the show and was not amused. 'These folks have a right to write whatever play they want,' he said, but 'they've sunk to cliches.' Hubbard, who died in 1986 at 74, is portrayed in the show, Mr. Carmichael said, as an authoritarian demagogue whose methods create emotionless followers. 'We believe it's up to you,' he emphasized. 'Salvation depends on the individual.' "Mr. Jarrow, 24, said that for his text he drew from both Scientology literature and journalistic accounts that criticize it. Using a cast of 10 children, ages 8 to 13, Mr. Timbers's production mimics a Sunday school class's earnest attempt at holiday theater, complete with stiff line readings and blocking. Its portrayal of Hubbard's birth even parodies a Nativity scene, with little L. Ron surrounded by parents and barnyard animals as an angel (Alison Stacy Klein) proclaims, 'Billions of years of evolution had climaxed with his birth.' "Amid this zaniness, the tone can turn poignant, as when Sophie Whitfield, 11, who plays a struggling actress named Annie, lip-synchs to a ballad about giving control of oneself over to someone else. After all, Mr. Timbers concluded, Scientology is 'about clearing your mind - almost embracing the mind of the child.'" Message-ID: email@example.com
NetherlandsHet Parool reported on January 3rd that Scientology has been attempting to suppress the making of a documentary by the news program Network in The Netherlands. "At the end of last year, the Scientology Kerk Amsterdam managed to prevent the broadcast of the news-background and analysis program Network. Former director Caspar de Rijk, who was going to contribute to the program, was put under so much pressure that he decided against participating. He is now considering taking legal action against the 'church.' "Network reporters Frank du Mosch and Jelle Broek-Roelofs (NCRV) found De Rijk, among others, ready to contribute to the program. The ex-director left Scientology a few years ago, and now is part of a large group of 'apostates' who have newly organized themselves under the name Ron's Org (after Scientology's founder, Ron Hubbard). De Rijk's ex-wife and two daughter are still with Scientology: his daughters are following 'courses' at Sea Org in Copenhagen, his ex has a high function within the feared Office of Special Affairs (the sect's secret service) and is alternately stationed in Copenhagen and Dusseldorf. He hasn't seen his daughters for years. "According to De Rijk, Scientology discovered that Network was going to cover the sect's problems, and that he would contribute to the program. He was subsequently approached by his ex-wife. 'It was suggested to me that if I would withdraw from publicity, I would finally be permitted to see my daughters again.' "De Rijk let Network know that he unfortunately had to withdraw from participating. The Network reporters were, although understanding, furious. Camera teams were canceled and the item dismissed, because De Rijk is an indispensable source. But a meeting between De Rijk and his daughters never came about. 'In hindsight they simply strung me along for a while. They thought: we'll keep him appeased for a month, and after that De Rijk will probably stay quiet.' He also received a 'SP-declare,' a kind of judgment that marks recalcitrant Scientologists as a Suppressive Person. Other Scientologist are strictly prohibited to communicate with him - family or not. "In Scientology it is common practice to manipulate the media where possible. For instance, the sect requires makers of television programs to sign contracts. These contracts stipulate that Scientology not only has the right to view the final version, but also the right to correct 'defamatory statements.' If a third party in the broadcast makes any comments, Scientology has according to these contracts the right to make the last response. Failure to abide by the contract results in a 'compensation for damages' of 45,000 Euros. "Network is not going to give up. Now that it is clear what kind of game has been played, and now that De Rijk has been declared SP, the news programs will again attempt to produce a broadcast about the downfall of Scientology in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, Caspar de Rijk has become the target of an old-fashioned campaign of smear tactics in accordance with Scientology's notorious Fair Game law. 'I am supposed to have stolen money from people, and a complaint against me is said to have been filed. That is all inspired by the Office of Special Affairs and the theory is simple: when there is a group of apostates, you've got to smear them one by one.'" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean JanuStockwatch reported on December 31st that a Jean Janu has pleaded guilty in the investigation of a Ponzi scheme run by Scientology minister Reed Slatkin. "The former bookkeeper of controversial EarthLink co-founder and ex-Scientology minister Reed Slatkin has agreed to plead guilty in a conspiracy to obstruct justice during an investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission of Mr. Slatkin. Jean Janu, 56, formerly of Santa Fe, N.M., is charged with helping former Howe St. player Mr. Slatkin hide his massive $593-million alleged Ponzi scheme, an unregistered investment operation he ran from 1985 until its collapse in the spring of 2001. "The SEC announced Dec. 10 that Ms. Janu agreed on Dec. 5 to plead guilty, the same day she was charged in a one-count criminal information in United States District Court for the Central District of California. She faces an arraignment hearing on Jan. 12, 2004, and is expected to formally enter her guilty plea either that day or later that month. Ms. Janu is the fourth figure to plead guilty to obstruction of justice during the SEC investigation. Mr. Slatkin, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., was sentenced Sept. 3 to 14 years in prison, after pleading guilty to 15 counts, including conspiracy to obstruct justice. "Richard D. McMullin was sentenced Dec. 1 to five months in jail and five months of house arrest, after pleading guilty last year. Daniel W. Jacobs, who pled guilty on Oct. 15, 2002, faces sentencing Feb. 23, 2004. "U.S. officials have called the case one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. Mr. Slatkin allegedly preyed on the rich and famous, luring and conning scores of Hollywood stars and producers, Internet executives and high-society types. "Although Mr. Slatkin was a high-profile Scientologist for several decades and many of his victims and a number of his supporters and associates were also Scientologists, the Church of Scientology makes its position clear. 'Earlier this year his ministerial status was revoked and he was expelled from the church,' media director Linda Simmons Hight told Stockwatch in early 2002. 'His unethical conduct violates the basic policies and ethics codes of the church and is unbecoming of a Scientologist.' According to Ms. Hight, there is no record of Mr. Slatkin practising as a minister in any Church of Scientology since 1983." Message-ID: email@example.com
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.