Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 9, Issue 1 - January 8 2005

Tsunami - Volunteer Ministers

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah reported: "Anonymous businesses in Draper have contributed enough money to send a Church of Scientology volunteer minister, Kimberly Hunter, to Indonesia to assist in tsunami relief efforts, according to a church news release." - Utahns join effort to aid Asia victims,1249,600102379,00.html "January 4, 2005 Salt Lake resident Kimberly Hunter is departing today to help relief efforts in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Hunter is among hundreds of volunteer ministers from the Church of Scientology en route to areas hard-hit by the tsunami, said director of special affairs Lora Mengucci. About 100 volunteers are already on the ground, she said." Message-ID: --- icSurreyOnline reported: "Church volunteers fly out to give aid", Jan 5 2005 Volunteer ministers from the Church of Scientology in East Grinstead have flown out to Madras to help the aid effort in India after raising funds for their flights and operations. Seven town volunteer ministers flew out from Saint Hill Manor on Sunday to join 43 fellow ministers from the US, South Africa and India. Another team of 16 will fly out on Friday to help the victims of the disaster. Graeme Wilson, of the Church of Scientology's community programmes, is co-ordinating the church's relief efforts in India and Sri Lanka. He said: "We are working with many other groups and religions both in this country and in the affected areas and we are also training up others in the practical methods used by our volunteer ministers." Message-ID: --- "Scientologists join Aussie experts By Peter Jean in Phuket, Thailand 02jan05 AUSTRALIAN disaster victim identification (DVI) experts are being helped by Church of Scientology volunteers to preserve bodies of tsunami victims in Thailand. The police DVI team is working with its New Zealand and Dutch counterparts to preserve bodies in the village of Wat Yang Yao, near the popular resort town of Chao Lak. The bodies are being preserved so that they can be identified later. The experts have been joined by volunteer relief workers from the Church of Scientology, including two Australians, who arrived in the Chao Lak area the day after the disaster. The volunteers stayed on to assist the police set up and run the system of preserving bodies at a temporary mortuary in a local Buddhist temple. "It's been an incredible relationship," the leader of the Scientology team, American Patrick Bundock, said. [...] "Meeting the specifications of the Australian police he set up 20 refrigeration tractor containers." Mr Bundock said the volunteers had formed close bonds with the Australian police. "You really get very close to people very fast and you place a lot of trust in them because no-one can do everything that needs to be done on their own," he said. "It's a sort of bonding experience." [...]" Message-ID:

Recruitment in Walmart

Mark Bunker reported that he found Scientologists recruiting in a Walmart store: "Life is so peculiar. I needed some sudden car repairs and ended up at Walmart. Not usually my first choice but they were close when the need arose. They told me it would be two hours and I thought, "Great! What am I going to do for two hours?" Well, the question was answered when I walked out the front door and found two tables set up for stress tests. I sat down and grabbed the e-meter and was asked to think of a name of someone who caused me stess. Well, I had to confess that the needle moved when I thought of L. Ron Hubbard. I'm bad at hiding the truth. This led me to ask some questions about Hubbard which the pretty girls allowed the lone, older male to answer. Turns out Hubbard was an engineer and a scientist who funded his research with his voluminous writing of fiction. I got him to admit that at least the first two weren't true. Then one of the woman took over (who I will randomly call Mary Sue for the sake of the story) and told me that the manager had approved them being there. So I had to go talk to the manager. The manager was a nice guy who told me three other people had complained. One woman said she had lived in Clearwater and was so afraid of Scientology that she had to move. But the mananger said they were working in a loophole in that they were only selling Dianetics and there was nothing about religion being mentioned. By then, Mary Sue was worried about my whereabouts and came to find me speaking with the manager. She wanted to assure him that everything was fine and I was a mere kook. I asked her to bring in a copy of Dianetics and she went and retrieved one. I thought there would be some mention of other Scientology publications in the ads at the back of the book . There were none. BUT...I had been explaining to the manager, in Mary Sue's absence, that the e-meter was a religious artifact and it was being used out front at the tables. When I mentioned this to Mary Sue, she was outraged. She said she had never heard of such a thing. I asked her why I had heard of it and she hadn't...or was she just not telling the truth? I explained the history of the 1963 FDA raids and how each e-meter had to have a sticker on it saying it was a religious artifact and was not to be used for medical purposes. She said, "I have entensive knowlege of this material and I have never read anything about this." The glorious thing is that while I was explaining all of this, the manager looked at the first page in the book and had been reading the printed disclaimer. "It's right here," he said. "The e-meter is a religious artifact." The woman was dumbfounded. I said to her, "I thought you were familair with this material." Then I asked the manager, "How long did it take you to find that out?" "Two minutes," he replied. I said to the woman, "So it took him two minutes and we're to honestly believe you weren't aware of that fact?' The manager also saw the copyright belonging to Scientology and told her that this changed things. He had to call his corporate office and tell them this new wrinkle but was still going to wait to see what they would say. Mary Sue went back outside and I shared some more info with the manager who promised to do some research on the web. Next I went outside and sat on the bench next to their tables. I thought it was a shame I didn't have a picket sign so I went inside and bought a large tablet of art paper and a black marker and went back to the bench and printed a "XENU.NET" sign to hold up. When some of the girls moved in front of me to block the sign I stood up and decided to counter some of their sales pitches. My most common one was in response to their "Free Stress tests" call. I would follow it with "Nothing is free in Scientology. Dianetics is Scientology. Beware Scientology." This led to the girls shouting louder and louder to try to drown me out. This went on for about an hour and a half. I tried to remain cordial even when the lone guy in the group was calling me a "fat fuck" and telling me to "get the fuck out of here." I simply pointed out that the wog world was at cause over him. I saw one person buy a book during my time there. I gave him a handwritten piece of paper torn from the art book and asked him to look at when he got home. This went along with my slogan, " stats since 5:30." Okay, that one was only meant for the body routers. All good thing must come to an end so as my car was repaired, I decided to head home. This is true." Message-ID: M05Ad.7604$Q%4.6394@fed1read06

Clearwater business landscape changing

The Saint Petersburg Times reported of Clearwater, Florida: "Downtown merchants pull up stakes CLEARWATER - If you peer in the window of Brown's Coins, you'll see a table overflowing with Clearwater downtown redevelopment plans from the past 40 years. The plans represent four decades of unfulfilled city promises for owner Sarah Brown Caudell and several of her fellow merchants who have decided to leave downtown. Most cite limited parking, lack of promotion and an increased homeless population for the deterioration of their livelihood. "It's too hard to have a business in downtown Clearwater," said Caudell, 59, owner of Brown's Coin's, housed in a building owned by her family almost 70 years. The sign on her window sums up her frustration: After 59 years on this property (28 of them in business.) I have seen "catalysts," "redevelopment," "revitalize," "jump-starts," pie in the sky tomorrows, plans and ideas for downtown. I can no longer wait for them to arrive. A big thank you to my loyal customers. [...] Plus, Campos said a few upcoming projects will help revitalize downtown. Station Square Condominiums, a mixed-use project, is slated to break ground in February or March. The project will have 15-stories, 126 condominiums and 10,000 square feet of retail space. Elias Jafif of Mexico heads a group of Scientologists who purchased the AmSouth building and three surrounding acres in downtown and has discussed a plan for a movie theater and hundreds of condominiums over retail. Opus South has a contract to buy Calvary Baptist Church for $15-million and is considering a mixed-use development there as well. While some merchants said Scientology's presence has affected downtown's image, few said it was a key cause of their misfortune. In the four blocks of Cleveland Street, between Osceola and Myrtle avenues, about 25 percent of the 106 licensed businesses are owned by Scientologists, according to a Scientology business group. [...]" Message-ID:

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