Florida Governor Jeb Bush raised eyebrows among the critics of the sometimes controversial religion recently when he honored Scientology volunteers who helped victims of hurricanes in his state. Members of the group - which was put in the spotlight this week by the New York Daily News for its alleged anti-homosexual philosophy - were given a 'Points of Light Award' as Hurricane Heroes.
'The Bush brothers have both been good to some groups that have been called cults,' says Rick Ross of CultNews.com. 'Governor Bush has recognized Scientology while his brother in the White House has actually appointed a follower of Reverend Moon [David Caprara] to dole out tax payer money through the so-called faith-based initiative.'
"John Travolta and Tom Cruise have forcefully denied allegations that they turned to Scientology to 'cure' them of their supposedly gay urges. But critics continue to claim the religion is rife with homophobia.
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his 1950 best seller, 'Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health,' that gays were 'sexual perverts' and 'very ill physically.'
That apparently went for Hubbard's son, Quentin, who was said to have been confused about his own sexual orientation. '[Ron] thought Quentin was an embarrassment,' Laurel Sullivan, Hubbard's former PR officer, told the Los Angeles Times. Quentin killed himself in 1976.
'Mr. Hubbard abhorred discrimination in all its forms,' Asselin told us. 'In today's liberal society,' she argued, the church encourages any relationship that is 'ethical.' But, she added, 'Subjects such as homosexuality and same-sex marriages are not widely debated in Scientology.'
Maybe everyone knows not to bring it up."
"Check out the recent publication of the eBook, Stripping the Gurus (www.strippingthegurus.com) by Geoffrey D. Falk. It covers forty of the most respected guru-figures and teachers to have influenced Western spirituality, from Ramakrishna to the Maharishi to Andrew Cohen, collecting the published 'dirt' on each of them into a single, entertaining text.
Specifically, you may wish to check out the chapter on Scientology, available online at:
'A FREE version of selected sample chapters, containing approximately half of the material in Stripping the Gurus, can be read online at www.strippingthegurus.com. The full (paid) eBook is available for download at www.millionmonkeyspress.com, in PDF format.'..."
Another poster cited material from:
"... With regard to the latter: In one survey (Singer, 2003) it was found that 43% of former 'cult' members were students (in high school or college) at the time when they became involved with their respective organizations. Further, of those students, 38% dropped out of school after joining their groups.
University students are often vulnerable recruitment targets for potentially harmful groups (Smith, 2004).
College campuses are the chief recruiting centers of most [alleged] destructive cults, and virtually every college campus in the country has been and continues to be visited by these organizations....
At the University of California-Berkeley, for example, it is estimated that at least two hundred different religious sects on and off-campus are recruiting from the 30,000-student campus (in Rudin, 1996). ..."
"It was all very hush hush because Loretta was an OT 8, and a heavy smoker and asthmatic and apparently died of lung cancer."
"She was in her late 60's or early 70's and she was working in Clearwater for Greta Van Susteren and Greta's husband John Cole at the time of her death. She was also a Patron of the IAS and member of the Cornerstone Club for the SP building."
"school districts that have dropped an anti-drug program provided by Narconon, an organization with ties to the Church of Scientology. The resolution, which concluded that Narconon's program was based on faulty science, was submitted to the statewide medical association for approval."
"A subcommittee of the state association decided to frame the resolution more broadly to include any organization whose program might be based on deficient science. In so doing, the subcommittee chose to remove Narconon's name from the portion of the resolution that was forwarded to the full California Medical Association for action."
"Professor A.L. Dvorkin and priest Vladimir Zaitsev were detained in Yekaterinburg by tipsy policemen.
Professor A.L. Dvorkin was to have met with the residents of Yekaterinburg, Chkalovsky district school No. 21 on March 23. The school principal unexpectedly canceled the arrangement and called the police, who used obscenities and brutal force in detaining A.L. Dvorkin, Yekaterinburg diocesan priest Vladimir Zaitsev, diocesan video operator Viktor Grigorev and two of the organizers. The most accurate picture and likely motive for the incident is reflected in Fr. Vladimir Zaitsev's letter to Russian Duma Deputy Evgeniy Roizman, who came to the Chkalovsky district police station (internal affairs office) of Yekaterinburg and contributed to the release of the detainees later in the evening of that same day.
=== The letter: ===
Appeal to Duma Deputy of the Russian Federation E.V. Roizman.
Esteemed Evgeniy Vadimovich!
I am writing you in your capacity as Deputy of the National Duma from Yekaterinburg and as a person who is well acquainted with the manners and customs of the local city police.
Since 1995, operations ceased for the only cultural center in the area, the "Energetik" at 114 Selkorovskaya. In 1996, municipal authorities handed it over free of charge for use as a base of a totalitarian cult "New Life," (a part of the neo-Pentecostal movement) thereby dooming any hope of restoring cultural center operations. However, they did not stop at appealing to the city administration and to the head of Yekaterinburg, A.M. Chernetsky, with a petition to review the situation at hand. In 2004, local residents of the city organized in a "Committee to Protect the Rights of Young People," a social organization representing the interests of the residents of Chkalovsky district.
The ones who led it were Maxim Valerevich Krylov and his assistance Andrei Vladimirovich Kashnikov. With regard to the person danger of the "New Life" cult they repeatedly conducted public information measures on the territory of the given micro-district to familiarize people with how to safeguard themselves and their loved ones from their dangerous neighbors. Aware of the fact that in our diocese, with the invitation of His Excellency, the Right Reverend Vikentiy, Archbishop of Yekaterinburg and Verkhotursk, the most prominent specialist in the area of totalitarian sects, Professor Dvorkin, was going to be here from 21-24 March, they asked me, since with the blessing of His Excellency I was involved with his visit, to find a time for the professor to speak to the residents. Because there is no longer a cultural center or auditorium in the micro-district, they turned to the principal of middle school No. 21, Mikhail Konstantinovich Bogov with a request for permission to use the educational institution's assembly hall for a meeting with Professor Dvorkin on March 23 at 7 p.m.
The principal agreed after having gotten consent from his higher-ups. Mikhail Konstantinovich, however, decided that this event would not be free of charge for the residents of the micro-district, and asked A.V. Kashnikov for a sum of 600 rubles without putting anything on paper, without making any contract and in cash. Since there were no other alternatives, the residents agreed. According to them the money would be handed over as soon as the lecture on the activities of the "New Life" totalitarian cult started. Everything was specified on Saturday, March 19, and advertisements about the lecture were already being put up on Sunday.
It's possible that the cultists decided they wanted to be among those going, what's more likely than anything, it's possible that the Administration, which, as I believe, does support the sectarians at an advantage to itself, was not pleased that professor Dvorkin would give a preventive talk as a highly qualified specialist. On the morning of March 23rd, the same day of the lecture, the school principal told Kashnikov and Krylov that his boss had forbidden him to let the event be held. To the reasonable question as to which boss was that, Mr. Bogov began to scream into the receiver that he never had made a contract with anyone, that he had never promised anything and that he didn't know anyone like Krylov and Kashnikov. Nevertheless, the young people went to the district administration, and also to the head of the district educational administration and got consent to hold the meeting on condition that the principal gave the OK. But Mr. Bogov told the guards guard not to even let the activists into the school's doors.
I had previously voiced an assumption that there was a connection between "New Life" and the city administration in opposing the townspeople, but I never guessed it was this close.
Professor Dvorkin, however, made a decision to go meet with the people so that he could apologize for not being able to conduct the lecture. Our only goal was to say "thank you" to the people for coming, and to lament the principal's inexplicable behavior. No meetings or demonstrations at all were planned.
When we arrived at a quarter till seven, a few people had assembled, nearly 20, mostly young people and mothers whose children were in the sect. How many came in afterwards, I don't know, it's impossible to tell. Meeting us on the school steps was police captain Vladimir Vladimirovich Shevchenko, as we were to find out later from a Chkalovsky district officer who said he was in charge of the "arresting party." Who he intended to arrest at that moment was not clear. Accompanying him were two more officers who did not want to give their names, and a female officer. He demanded that professor Dvorkin immediately accompany him to the Chkalovsky police station to give an explanation for the reason an unsanctioned rally was being held.
That's what it was, no more and no less. We had held various public gatherings on the streets of Yekaterinburg and are well aware of which documents one needs for them to happen. In this case we had come only to apologize for Bogov's having ruined the lecture. Besides that, the townspeople themselves had arranged it. But it was obvious the slightly tipsy captain Shevchenko had his orders, as he was in repeated contact with the head of the Chkalovsky district police. And so he went into the car where the professor was, took his passport away from him, roughly pushed away the Orthodox television journalists, and after our refusal to go with him immediately called for back-up.
To detain Alexander Dvorkin, M.Div, Ph.D., professor, chair of the sectology at the Orthodox St. Tihon University of the Humanities, president of the St. Irinaeus Lyon Informational-consultative Center for Religious Research, vice president of the International institute for the study of sectarianism, the Dialogue Center, author of 14 books translated into 15 languages and 600 articles, three police SUV's and two cars arrived. The personal guest of Archbishop Vikentiy, a man of sufficiently delicate disposition, had his arms twisted as he was hauled to the SUV by police under Shevchenko's orders, where they put him in the dirty part exposed to the cold. Because I objected to this ill treatment, four policemen put me face down in the snow and handcuffed my hands behind my back. Not only were they not upset that I was wearing a cassock and cross, but even amused by it. They sneered at me and made obscene jokes about my faith, insulted my religious sense and my human dignity.
Conventional speech had given way to a stream of explicit invectives. Then they got the idea to put me in with the professor, so they hit me against the vehicle several times to make me less resistant. At the same time Kashnikov, Krylov and the Orthodox video man, who was still trying to operate the camera, were also manhandled into custody. My Panasonic dictaphone was smashed to pieces. Nevertheless, all the people in this "arresting party" were not able to put professor Dvorkin, who kept falling down, and me inside the SUV. So as to get the professor to go along, they decided to propose to him that he follow them to the police station in his car under escort. Professor Dvorkin was worried about his health, as he had already been out in the open air for a half hour without his coat. He was aware that three innocent young guys had already been arrested, so even though he didn't want to, he agreed to go to the police station. So not only were the local residents disappointed by principal Bogov, who was looking out the window the entire time, in not receiving the lecture promised, but they were witness to the "arrest" of the Orthodox priest, professor Dvorkin, two young people and a journalist by the Chkalovsky police.
Upon arriving at the police station, we saw the police colonel, who everyone called the district police office chief, give order that we should be treated "according to law, academic achievement, status, rank and religious belief notwithstanding." I inquired of him whether we could consider ourselves under arrest, and he answered, yes, this was an arrest. At the police station we attempted to establish the actual identity of the people who had charged us, but they quickly and conveniently found someplace else to be; the officers holding our passports said that no arrest had been made, we had come here of our own free will, and they themselves did not understand why. Some of them tried to get an explanation from us, to which we, naturally, objected, because we did not see anything to clear up. Nonetheless, they held Kyrlov and Kashnikov for some reason for more than two hours, were also released without any charges or excuses. As a result of all this, the terrible fight, transport to the police station, a lack of communication with the townspeople, it looked just like an evil mockery. As if these were not Russian policemen, but a Gestapo unit to show people on occupied territory who was the stronger.
I see two reasons for what happened. First, this is a fusing of the "New Life" totalitarian cult with the Yekaterinburg administration. I think this because without intervention from either administration officials or the principal, the police would not have decided to behave in such a brutal manner, nor would they have made the arrests without orders. Secondly, this is an absolutely staggering degradation of the organs of law and order, and especially their leadership in Yekaterinburg. We were repeatedly confronted with vulgarity, misbehavior and absolutely inexplicable hatred towards us from the police and, especially from the Chkalovsky district internal affairs department. This is the same captain Shevchenko, the commander of the "arresting party," for several years running, regularly brought Orthodox picketers in to the police station on illegal grounds, stole their belongings, this despite a decision of the administrative commission which did not verify his rightness.
Apparently the captain will soon be promoted to major. The Chkalovsky police office boss was aware that he is arresting a person who is very well known in Russia, whose name is even known worldwide, a speaker of numerous international conferences, and instead of personally investigating the incident, runs home, pushing responsibility on to his subordinate lieutenants and ensigns. Colonel Timonichenko, the Yekaterinburg police spokesman, shamelessly lies to the press by asserting that we reported to the police station voluntarily and that the police officers behaved very politely. This same lie was recorded right in front of me, told by the Chkalovski police office chief detective Melnikov on "Nightly News." Apparently this is mutual protection, except an outside account has not been overcome.
Everyone is recognizing that the police are being forced to back-paddle on our account because of the all-Russian scandal which was caused by their actions. But I fear that what happens when the normal townspeople - who are not so nationally well-known as professor Dvorkin, get caught in this senseless, unacceptable and immoral meatgrinder of the Yekaterinburg city police. I appeal to you, dear Evgeniy Vadimovich not to leave the brutal treatment I and professor Dvorkin was rendered unheeded, and as a Federal Duma deputy from Yekaterinburg, to do everything possible to change the situation in the city that we love.
Attached is a videotaped recording of events up to the moment that the camera was knocked aside and turned off.
With respect and hope for assistance,
priest Vladimir Zaitsev,
member of the diocesan council,
director of the missionary and
catechization departments of the Yekaterinburg diocese,
rector of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevskiy military field chapel.
March 25, 2005"
"In the posted and webbed transcripts of the 1984 Los Angeles Superior Court Armstrong I trial we have attempted to duplicate the hard copy that was created by the court reporters. This duplication, including page numbering, line breaks, line numbering, paragraphing and spelling makes the electronic transcript generally dependable for legal purposes. Our product therefore contains the transcription errors that were made during the trial. ..."
A.r.s. Week in Review is put together for your benefit.
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.