CCHRThe Napa Valley Register reported on January 5th that a California hospital is disputing charges by Scientology that they have mistreated patients at the facility. "An organization backed by the Church of Scientology, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, last week announced the latest round of civil lawsuits generated by Napa State Hospital patients over alleged civil rights abuses. However, a hospital spokeswoman says that the hospital has received good ratings with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. "The Citizen Commission's spokesman, Jeff Griffin, said that four suits had already been filed in federal court by patients against the hospital and that two more would be filed that day. A search at the San Francisco federal courthouse resulted in three current lawsuits against the hospital staff members and doctors; one filed by Danny Atterbury, one by Andrew Trujillo and one by Barolo Mullen. In a phone interview last week, Griffin said that to his knowledge, two more cases were planned to be filed, although he wasn't aware of their current status. "In a case filed by Atterbury in June 2003, he alleged that his mail was being tampered with, that he was forced to ingest toxic drugs and that he found it difficult to obtain ink, paper, stamps, legal and religious materials and reading materials. That suit was dismissed in September for failure to pay filing fees. In her order of dismissal, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel noted that Atterbury had been convicted of murder previous to his stay in the hospital. "Lupe Rincon, spokeswoman for Napa State Hospital, said that she has never before dealt with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. She said that patients have a number of ways to complain about conditions in the hospital. 'The hospital has zero tolerance for patient abuse,' said Rincon. 'They can choose to file complaints through the hospital internal complaint process or of abuse directly through hospital staff.' "'Every three years, Napa State Hospital goes through five days of accreditation survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in order to maintain accreditation,' Rincon said. The last survey occurred in late 2002; NSH received an initial score of 89 out of a possible 100 points, Rincon said." The Chicago Tribune reported on January 6th that a CCHR exhibit attacking psychiatry has returned to a public building. "One month after being kicked out of the Thompson Center, a controversial Scientology-linked exhibit returned to the state government building Monday, describing psychiatry as an evil profession that needlessly feeds drugs to children and has ties to Nazism. The group was allowed to return after the Blagojevich administration backed off an initial assertion that the Citizens Commission on Human Rights' 'Destroying Lives: Psychiatry Exposed' display advanced a religious philosophy. The Church of Scientology founded the group in 1969 and endorses the group's tenets, but the display does not promote the religion itself, attorneys for the state ultimately decided. "On Monday, officials with the Citizens Commission used last month's dustup to promote the exhibit, saying it was a display that 'psychiatrists don't want you to see.' 'Someone has to show the other side of the story,' said Marla Filidei, the group's international vice president. "But Joan Anzia, president-elect of the Illinois Psychiatric Society, said the Citizens Commission's campaign against psychiatry was riddled with distortions. The group's exhibit, for example, charges that 'psychiatry spawned the ideology which fired Hitler's mania' and ties use of psychiatric drugs to a number of high-profile murders in America, including the mass killings at Columbine High School in Colorado. The group implies that Eric Harris, one of the teens who committed the murders, was under treatment for 'anger management' and that taking the medication may have caused him to kill. 'The exhibit is extremely misleading and simplistic,' Anzia said. "'Our object isn't to prevent groups from using the display area for any reason we can find,' said H. Edward Wynn, an attorney for the state agency that oversees operations of most state government buildings. Wynn said the Citizens Commission was first denied because it didn't clearly disclose its affiliation with Scientology. The state also asked the group to hire a security guard to stand by the display for the week as a precaution, he said. "There were no incidents Monday, though the display did draw a good number of spectators, many of whom didn't know that the group sponsoring the exhibit was tied to Scientology. 'I feel duped,' said Steve Selan, an attorney. 'I think they should be required to tell people that they are Scientologists. It puts everything they are saying in a different light.' But Filidei said that is not relevant. 'Who delivers the message doesn't matter as much as what the message is,' she said." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom CruiseThe Australian Associated Press reported on January 10th that Scientology celebrity Tom Cruise has associated Scientology with Buddhism as he promotes his latest move, "The Last Samurai." "Tom Cruise Friday praised eastern religion saying 'Buddhism is the grandfather of Scientology' and climbed up on a chair to show off his new-found strength and flexibility in the making of the film. The star waxed lyrical on Buddhism during a Paris news conference at the Ritz hotel held to promote the release in France of the movie next week. 'I was struck by the code of Bushido (the way of the Samurai). It's powerful, it talks about compassion, helping others, responsibility, integrity - timeless values, ways I identify with,' said Cruise, who has practised Scientology for 20 years." Message-ID: email@example.com
NetherlandsDutch newspaper Het Parool reported on January 10th that a professor is calling on officials to reconsider the tax status of Scientology in The Netherlands. "'It is high time that the ministry [of finance] is going to act more forcefully and says: this is not at all a church, but merely a commercial enterprise. And that fiscally they from now on are to be treated as a commercial institution,' says Van Overbeeke, who among other things is specialized in the relationships between churches and the tax department. "'Scientology purposely positioned itself in the grey area between a church and an enterprise, and that area simply asks for clarity. As a government you can put this on the back burner for a long time, but there comes a time when you have to solve it. The finance minister is qualified to finally make a singular decision: we, the Dutch State, consider Scientology to be a business, not a church. No doubt they would take legal steps [against such a decision], but that is of later concern.' "Over the years, the Ministry of Finance, the Tax Department and tax judges have strongly varied the way they have handled this issue: sometimes they have considered Scientology to be a church, and other times a commercial business. 'That wobbling is due to the fact that tax inspectors and judges aren't always constant in their opinions. Sometimes they are bamboozled by fine stories regarding freedom of religion. Sometimes it is difficult to determine where the line is between a commercial institution that pretends to be a church, and a genuine church. That is why there is a need for clarity,' according to the academic." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
In MemoriumThe Columbian reported on January 3rd that Edgar Mercado, an Oregon Scientologist, has passed away. "Edgar C. Mercado, a financial consultant for A.G. Edward & Sons Inc., drowned in the Washougal River while fishing Sunday, Dec. 28, 2003, He was 40. Mr. Mercado was born Jan. 9, 1963, in Manila, Philippines. He lived in Clark County the past two years. He was a member of the Church of Scientology in Portland. He enjoyed cooking and fishing." Message-ID: email@example.com
Jive AcesPeeblesshire News reported on January 8th on a New Year's Eve fundraiser by the Scientology jazz band the Jive Aces to benefit Narconon. "Pictured with the Jive Aces after the event are Eve Mckenzie and Narconon Trustee Mark Gibson. Despite bad weather on New Year's Eve, people in Peebles swung the night away with top UK band, the Jive Aces. And all in a good cause to raise money for the Narconon Drug Rehabilitation and Education Programme. This programme uses techniques to rid addicts of the harmful effects of drugs and has a 76 per cent success rate of addicts staying off drugs for good. "Event organiser, Eve McKenzie said: 'I've had a very good response to our drug education programme and we are already arranging a presentation to the Peebles Scout Group.' People from the local community attended including Duncan Hood, Scout Leader, Sheila Whitie from the newsagent, Mark and Tara Gibson, famous kilt maker with people coming all the way from Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Narconon Family Support Group is now running on Tuesday nights." 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.