Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 9, Issue 31 - August 6 2005

Cult influence in NYC

On August 1 "Pol cozies up to Scientology" by Stefan Friedman was posted, citing url:

[long link]

"A COUNCIL member who successfully lobbied for city funding of a controversial Scientology medical treatment for 9/11 rescue workers has received nearly $100,000 from L. Ron Hubbard followers, The Post has learned.

City Councilwoman and Manhattan borough-president candidate Margarita Lopez steered $630,000 in taxpayer funds to the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project - a center co-founded by Scientologist Tom Cruise.

As taxpayer donations to the group swelled from $30,000 last June to a total of $630,000 a year later, Hubbard's minions stuffed Lopez's campaign coffers, donating 25 percent of her total take. The project - which employs a method proposed by Hubbard in his book 'Clear Body, Clear Mind,' whereby patients give up traditional medicines for large amounts of niacin, long sauna baths and exercise - opened in September 2002.

The Fulton Street project, dismissed as ineffective by the FDNY, firefighters unions and most in the medical community, treated numerous emergency workers suffering from the aftereffects of 9/11 free of charge and was entirely funded with private dollars - until last February.

Then, Lopez, serving as chair of the Council Committee on Mental Health, heard testimony from Scientologist doctors.

And she apparently believed them.


But one good-government group expressed alarm over the appearance of a quid pro quo. 'It is clear that the Church of Scientology has lobbied at the federal level and given campaign cash through its supporters,' said Rachel Leon of Common Cause.

'Clearly, they know how to advocate for what they want through the political process. We only hope that this program is being supported on its merits and not based on connections between the candidate and the contributors.'"


[long link]

"MIKE BLASTS SCIENTOLOGY" by Stefan Friedman of August 3, 2005:

"Mayor Bloomberg yesterday slammed the Church of Scientology following reports that it pumped big bucks into a councilwoman's campaign for Manhattan borough president. 'I don't think it's real science,' Bloomberg said. 'Everything I've read about it - and that's not a lot - it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.'

The mayor made it clear that he parted ways on Scientology with Manhattan Councilwoman Margarita Lopez, who The Post reported this week pocketed nearly $100,000 in donations from Scientologists. On the City Council, Lopez steered tax funding to a controversial church-run 'detox' program for 9/11 workers. 'I don't agree with her at all on Scientology,' Bloomberg said.

But the mayor offered Lopez a near-endorsement despite the Scientology flap, saying, 'I do think she'd probably make a good borough president.'


A Post article yesterday revealed an e-mail to Scientologists urged them to contribute to Lopez, saying it would 'pay dividends' in the future. Meanwhile, an additional near-$19,000 that was given to Lopez's campaign kitty from Scientologists around the country came to light yesterday, bringing the total to nearly $115,000."



"Scientology Flap Snares Lopez" from gay city news, Volume 75, Number 31 of August 4 - 10, 2005 by Pual Schindler


In a series of three stories and an editorial that began Monday, the New York Post reported that Lopez was the key City Council player in securing $630,000 in city funds for the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, a center on Fulton Street that offers September 11 first responders treatments based on large amounts of Vitamin B-3, sauna baths and exercise, in lieu of traditional medical therapies. The treatment is based on theories developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's late founder. Tom Cruise, Scientology's most famous exponent, was on hand with Lopez for the center's groundbreaking.

The Post reported that the treatment is widely dismissed by medical professionals and noted that the adverse public reaction led the firefighters' union to pull its support for the project.

Lopez's campaign has collected nearly $115,000 in contributions-more than one quarter of the total amount of money raised-from sources that the Post said were linked to Scientology, including $38,000 garnered at a Florida fund-raiser in January hosted by a Church of Scientology affiliate, just one month after the first half of the city's appropriation was secured by the detoxification center.

Though the Lopez campaign provided a written statement to Gay City News on the matter, it declined to respond when asked if it disputed any of these factual assertions made by the Post.

Even as the Post charged in a Wednesday editorial that the relationship between Lopez and the Scientologists represented a 'quid pro cult' - citing an e-mail it uncovered from a church member who urged other members to contribute to a campaign that 'will definitely pay big dividends' - one of Lopez's opponents, Brian Ellner, an attorney who is also openly gay, was demanding that she clarify the issues raised by her support for the treatment center.

'It is a question of transparency. It is a question of a clear public good. Most importantly, I should point out that we are not jumping to conclusions,' said David Meadvin, Ellner's campaign manager. 'What Councilmember Lopez owes voters and the public is a clear explanation of why she supported this project. From the Post's reporting, there is a suggestion of a connection between the campaign collections and the disbursement of public monies.'


'Every penny donated to my campaign has been legal and ethical, and has been sanctioned by the Campaign Finance Board,' Lopez said in a written statement provided to Gay City News. 'In the aftermath of September 11th, I made every effort I could to support the needs of first responders and the people of downtown. Many of my constituents as well as officers of the New York City Fire Department came to me urging my support of the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project. They believed then and continue to believe, that it has improved their quality of life.'

Noting that on the Council she has supported many 'faith-based institutions' providing social services, Lopez wrote, 'The religious beliefs of individuals who donate to my campaign are not my concern, and are protected by the Constitution of this country. I am not a member of any church or religion.'

Meadvin described Lopez's lack of concern about Scientology's teachings 'an absurd and unfortunate response,' especially given the homophobia in early Scientology literature that Hubbard wrote in the 1950s.



[long link]

"SCIENTOLOGY CLINIC BAD MEDICINE: EX-WORKER" by Stefan Friedman, NY Post 4 August 2005:

"A SCIENTOLOGY-run 'detoxification' clinic in Manhattan is endangering patients because of its leaders' strict adherence to the church's teachings, a whistle-blowing former employee has told City Confidential.

The source, who until recently worked at the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification program on Fulton Street, said he witnessed 'strange practices' at the tax-funded center, which was co-founded by Tom Cruise.

These include: treating ill World Trade Center rescue workers without doctors present, strictly following Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's medical techniques even when patients were in distress, and a reluctance to call 911 for help.

'Somebody's going to get hurt from this,' the former employee said. 'There was no responsibility on the medical side of the project.'

The whistleblower's bombshell revelations come after The Post reported this week that Scientologists from around the country pumped nearly $115,000 into the Manhattan borough-president campaign of Councilwoman Margarita Lopez, who has steered more than $600,000 in public funds to the facility.


When the doctors weren't around, there was only one source to consult for treatment: Hubbard's book 'Clear Mind, Clear Body,' the text in which 'detoxification' was created.

A disaster was narrowly averted last summer when a firefighter ran out of a 170-degree sauna - part of the detoxification method, along with exercise and large doses of niacin - because he was 'having trouble breathing,' according to one witness.

As the firefighter's hands were 'turning blue,' a call was made to clinic higher-ups for guidance. 'They said it was just a 'manifestation' and that we should go back to the book until it passed,' one horrified witness recalled. 'We were told to take him to the hospital if absolutely necessary, but to drive him there, instead of calling 911.' The firefighter was given oxygen and his condition eventually stabilized. A spokesman for the clinic defended the operation.


While the techniques employed at the clinic were partly responsible for the staffer's decision to quit, the employee gave notice only after witnessing what the employee called 'an extremely disturbing event' involving a co-worker.

'This girl who worked there had a boyfriend whose brother had left the Church of Scientology,' the source said. 'They told her that the only way she could keep working there [would be] if her boyfriend has no further contact with his brother.'"



Cult influence in California

On August 4, 2005, "Feisty" posted

"In November, 2004, California's voters approved Proposition 63 on the ballot, which added a 1% tax on income over $1,000,000., specifically to fund additional mental health services.

The implementation of the 'Mental Health Initiative,' including plans by city, county, and California stage agencies, is now being entirely held up, by a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, filed by none other than Attorney Kendrick L. Moxon, on November 3, 2004, the day after Prop 63 won in the election.

Plaintiffs include the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, Craig Jensen, and some others (the American Family Rights Association - headed in California by William Tower of Sacramento, Sharon Kientz, Heather Malone, Dolores Parker, and Rita Rangel).

This lawsuit, case number #BS093361, is thwarting the will of over a million voters in California, who approved of Prop 63.


The post referred to article "Scientology Urges Defeat of Prop. 63" By Evan Halper and Nancy Vogel of October 30, 2004, and cited url:

Message-ID: 8jgIe.1222$

Pasadena Weekly Debunking Scientology

Posted August 5, 2005 from

"Debunking a movement

Exposing some of the unsavory claims that Tom Cruise, John Travolta and other celebrities would rather you didn't know about Scientology

By Carl Kozlowski

For nearly 20 years, Tom Cruise has been Hollywood's Golden Boy. The star of 'Top Gun,' 'Risky Business' and, most recently, 'The War of the Worlds,' Cruise has attributed his vast success to being a follower of Scientology, a self-help movement-turned-religion which claims the ability to 'clear' its followers from all their problems. It seemed like the perfect match: the man with the perfect smile advocating for a group that offers perfection.

But in May, Cruise seemingly went, well, a little crazy. He suddenly announced his engagement to Katie Holmes, an actress whom no one had ever seen him with before late April. He leapt on Oprah's couch like a 5-year-old on a sugar kick. And just when you thought Tom could use a good dose of Ritalin, he was embarrassing himself on the 'Today Show' by arguing that he knew more about psychiatry and its alleged evils than his interviewer, Matt Lauer.

Suddenly, people were wondering what was wrong with Mr. Perfect. And his attempts to pump up his church amidst all the publicity appear to have backfired, provoking widespread media coverage of Scientology that is reopening a 50-year history of claims alleging overarching greed, fraud, judicial chicanery, near-terroristic threatening of the church's critics, and the fact that the heart of the church's beliefs center around the claim that every human's stresses are in reality the souls of aliens attaching themselves to their bodies.

Throw in claims of mysterious deaths, an affidavit claiming that the church attempts to coerce abortions from its staff members, and a host of Web sites exposing some of Scientology's dirtier little secrets and suddenly the perfect church doesn't seem, as Cruise and others like him might lead you to believe, all that perfect.


Even better, it all started with a connection in Pasadena. For it was here, in the late 1940s, that eventual Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard - then a middling science-fiction author - fell into the warped social circle of famed JPL rocket engineer Jack Parsons, who proudly considered himself to be the Antichrist and frequently conducted orgies and other debauched events amid the wealthiest streets of Pasadena. According to the book, 'Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons,' by John Carter and Robert Anton Wilson, both Hubbard and Parsons shared a fascination with occultism and infamous black magic practitioner Aleister Crowley.


'What inspired me to join was I was looking for answers and solutions. I read 'Dianetics' and thought it was a solution for helping other people,' said Tory Christman, a former member now living in Burbank who spent 31 years in Scientology between 1969 and 2000 before quitting. 'But I got near the top and realized it was a scam. I was OT VII for seven years and they wound up saying we weren't trained right and needed to retrain from scratch. A bunch of us finally went 'forget it.''

Christman offered a sarcastic, no-nonsense assessment of Scientology and what she flat out terms its 'evil' qualities. She was especially happy to talk because she had just realized that that day was the 5-year anniversary from the day she walked out on the organization.

Christman's duties within Scientology had consisted of working for the Office of Special Affairs, a notorious 'security'-oriented faction within Scientology that critics claim is responsible for the church's frequent stream of lawsuits targeting their enemies, and even more unsavory tricks such as character defamation designed to scare opponents into submission under what is known as 'Fair Game' tactics.

'I don't think any of us say you should or should not have beliefs, but I speak out because of Fair Game, where you can lie, cheat and attack those who differ with you,' explained Christman. 'I was in charge of setting up phony accounts on the Internet that were designed to shut down free speech by blocking out opponents' sites or trick-routing people to pro-Scientology sites when they were looking for opposing information.'


For Christman, the will to leave came from her disgust with the most two-sided aspect of Scientology. There is perhaps nothing Hubbard claimed to hate more than psychiatry, which many critics and historians believe stemmed from the fact he had a lifelong love of the sea that led him to join the Navy, only to be diagnosed as mentally unstable and discharged from the service.

Hubbard retaliated by inventing Dianetics, crafting a self-help philosophy that was supposedly gleaned from the best of the lessons he learned from diverse cultures while traveling the earth since childhood. (Numerous judges and historians have proclaimed Hubbard as everything from an outright liar to wildly exaggerating his life's adventures, however.)

And as Scientology flowed out from there, he made sure his followers believed that the answer to nearly every sort of affliction lay in 'clearing' the body through auditing or taking a bizarre mix of vitamins and other allegedly natural materials rather than turning to traditional medical professionals.

The ironic and even shocking fact is that upon Hubbard's death in 1986 at age 74 (so much for immortality), the coroner's report revealed that he had 'a band aide affixed to the right gluteal area where 10 recent needle marks are recognized of 5-8 cm.' Meaning, the King of No Medicine had himself been shot in the ass with something soon before his death.

And the fact that the 'post mortem examination was refused because of religious reasons' also proved strange - as a member of the District Attorney's office advised 'immediate toxicology be performed on body fluids.' The fluids, which were not handed over easily by church officials, were also found to have traces of the anti-anxiety medication Vistaril. v 'I speak out because I know tons of people who died in Scientology, because of their fraud with guys like Tom Cruise telling people not to take meds. Those are abuses that should not be allowed,' said Christman, who finally walked out after suffering grand mal seizures when the church refused to let her take epilepsy medications. 'Hubbard was on meds all his life and he had them the whole time.'


As the head of, [Arnaldo] Lerma has drawn on his decade-long membership in Scientology to craft perhaps the most extensive and highly updated anti-Scientology Web site in the world. Lerma was actually working for Scientology in 1969, having joined at 17 after buying Hubbard's tales of being a war hero and nuclear physicist. He was around for the early days of Clearwater and got to know Hubbard on a very close level.

Ultimately, that closeness to Hubbard would be key to Lerma's break up with Scientology, as he recalls falling in love with the founder's daughter, Suzette. As marriage and family are frowned upon within Sea Org members as unnecessary distractions from church devotion, they were about to elope when she spilled the beans in one of her auditing sessions.

'I was given the option of leaving Florida with all my body parts intact if I told her the wedding was off, and that's a quotable fact,' said Lerma. 'So I told her and she cried. I was shocked like shock therapy and that woke me up. I was free.'

Indeed, Lerma has become one of Scientology's most fervent critics, with his site tagging itself 'Exposing the Con.' He says he was there the day Hubbard ordered the Satanic Crosses rolled into church offices, as the church replaced its secular signs and symbols across the board with occult imagery designed to mislead the public and more importantly, the government into believing they were a fairly mainstream religion.

He has experienced retaliation for his Web work, in the form of a raid on his house by Scientologists and US marshals who searched all his computer drives for the church's copyrighted materials, such as information on thetans and climbing the Bridge. Yet he has soldiered on, as nothing was found worthy of shutting his efforts down.


A glimpse of the church's property holdings in LA

- Joe Piasecki

These days you can't turn a corner in Hollywood without bumping into a scientologist. The same, it seems, is true for property owned by the Church of Scientology.

The Weekly has connected ownership of more than a dozen properties in Hollywood to the Church, thanks to some help from LA County Assessor's Office Press Deputy Robert Knowles. An exhaustive search would be difficult to conduct, since many of the properties associated with the church are held under names other than the church, namely a company called Building Management Services (BMS).

BMS properties include the Scientology Celebrity Center at 5930 Franklin Ave., the L. Ron Hubbard Museum and corporate offices at 6331 Hollywood Blvd. and the Scientology Testing Center at 6724 Hollywood Blvd.


The massive scientology property at the mailing address 4810 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood could not be located in the database. The Church of Scientology owns at least one piece of vacant property, but county databases do not identify addresses for vacant land."


Woodcraft story in Glamour mag

According to a post to the news group on August 5, 2005,

"The September issue of Glamour magazine with the first hand account of an ex-Scientologist just hit the stands.

Astra Woodcraft was raised a Scientologist by her parents, who moved her from England to the Scientology Center in Clearwater Florida, then to the center in Los Angeles. Both of her parents worked for Scientology, although her father eventually left."

The post cited several excerpts from the article:

"I ducked into the ladies' room and locked myself in a stall. Matt barged into the bathroom, stood on the toilet of an adjacent stall and peered down at me. 'Astra' he said. 'You need to come out. I have Mom on the phone.' Mom, too, was a member of the Sea Org. Guilt flooded me, because I remembered my own experiences in the Sea Org -- the times I'd been sent to the airport to track down defectors, and how I'd been punished if they weren't found."

"A new recruit learns that if something bad happens to her, even an accident, it's because she has 'pulled it in.' If her family and friends don't like her adopted religion, she might be labeled PTS --Potential Trouble Source-- a person who can have a bad effect on herself and those around her. ( I was called a PTS when my dad left the Sea Org.)"

"But as much as I wanted to belong to the outside world, I also feared it. I'd look longingly at the public-school kids walking to class --and then quickly remind myself of what I'd been told: that the students in public schools are medicated with psychiatric drugs."

"When I was 17 things got stricter for those of us in Sea Org, for reasons they never told us. Our incoming calls were screened, and I needed special permission just to visit my father at Christmas. Then a new order came down: Sea Org members were to be discouraged from having babies. If a woman got pregnant and had the child, she'd be kicked out of the Sea Org and not allowed to return until the child was at least 10."

"One night my father said he wanted to share something with me. As Scientologists, we'd been told that the most sacred secrets of the religion wouldn't be revealed to us until we'd moved high up the rungs of understanding, well past 'clear,' a level I'd never attained. I'd been led to believe that those secrets would allow you to acquire almost superhuman powers; but now, Dad said, defectors were splashing the group's arcane details, including those mysteries, all over the Web. For years I'd been taught that if you read things beyond your level you could get sick and die. But I forced myself. And there on the computer screen was the supposed hidden core of Scientology wisdom: that we were trying to 'clear' the planet because 75 million years ago aliens had invaded it and polluted every living soul."

"This was why I gave up a decent education and a happy childhood? This was what I almost passed up my chance to become a parent for? Because of space aliens?"

Message-ID: 42f31848$

Ex-Scientologist's view in California

On August 5, 2005, Tory/Magoo posted on "Scientology, Glamour Mag, & 10 Minutes in Downtown Burbank."

"Tonight I mentioned on Operation Clambake that since Scientology always zooms out to buy out any papers with 'Entheta' In them (Info they don't want seen)....I suggested each of we critics buy a copy ourselves. Also, while at any newsstands, keep an eye out for anyone buying a bunch at once.

I also suggested: Bring a camera............and if you see it, snap it! ((Hey, they sure snap a ton of each of us, eh?))

Ok, so then I realized I hadn't done this very thing, so I headed out to buy my copy. I went down to a newsstand in downtown Burbank, bought my copy, and then began to cruise around a bit.

I hadn't been in downtown Burbank on Friday night for some years, actually. To my surprise, it's filled with young kids:: Totally Scientology's target audience.

I popped into one store, and was looking for a gift. As I left, one of the girls at the counter was quite young, so I just said, 'If you're wondering what all is up with Tom Cruise .... get this magazine. It's got a terrific story from a girl around your age who was in Scientology, and finally got out'.

She was very happy to hear this, began telling me the owner didn't like them coming around as they've now got a permit to sit outside on the sidewalk and do their stress tests, in downtown Burbank. While telling me this, she mentioned the owner didn't like it at all, as she felt they were manipulating people.

She asked if I had a card, so I have her my card, with on it, and as well as a few other sites, and suggested she read both Astra's article, and some of the Web.



On July 31, Tory/Magoo posted that Scientology was out on the streets in droves.


One block down (south) to the other side is the big Scientology Testing Center that has been closed for over one year now. Usually the Scios set up one or two card board tables in front there, if they're there at all.

Well, tonight they had 2-3 tables out on the sidewalk by the Kodak Theater [at Highland and Hollywood Blvd] -- out in front, all doing the Stress Test, and working like mad to sell Dianetics books. This was serious business. They had a few people monitoring it, a few snagging people, and a few doing the actual test. This is way more than they've had out in some time. It's also funny as they're now in the same location that all the kids who do hip-hop dancing shows, etc are, and the Jesus guy yelling, too. They fit right in, huh?


HI OSA :) My guess is somebody's Ass got fried over the Daily show and all the media, huh?

Well, 'OUT CREATE IT!' (Scientology's theme song, when the stats are down).

They may sell some books, but those same people are still going to check it out on the Internet, and that's still your bi[g] dilemma, isn't it? Always will be.



Notes on certain a.r.s. postings

Speaking of a.r.s. posting identity "Nad," Church Beatty wrote on 30 July 2005:

"... Nad is one of the phantom identities floating in our culture, a fiction of LRH's mind, carried on and brought into existence by this clique of faithful. Nad's a "real" phantom, a tiny part of L. Ron Hubbard's legacy.

To LRH's wierd credit L. Ron Hubbard inspires some human beings in current history to engage in creating these fake internet beingnesses.

This is live fantasy, which adherents and supporters of L. Ron Hubbard create. When wiser minds see this L. Ron Hubbard inspired subtrefuge, it exemplifies LRH's spread of delusion in our culture.

L. Ron Hubbard's legacy of writings play out in strange ways in our world.

Their story, the people behind Nad, their feelings, their thoughts, as they "create" and have their fun, I'd really like to hear their ideas someday. ..."


On August 2, 2005, Mike O'Connor responded to poster "Simkatu" who had been "accused of being OSA" the first day he posted to a.r.s.

"Sim I don't think you understand what the cult tactics are in ars these days. That might be why you play into them.


Critics sometimes think they know who does the cult's work, and have called some of them OSA.

One major cult tactic is to try to confuse who is who. Who is a critic, who does the cult's work, who works for the cult. So in this regard they accuse critics of being OSA. In this way, everybody is accusing everybody, and the cult feels this is confusing and such confusion is good for the cult.

The cult thinks this tactic is good because they think: Newbies think no one knows what anyone is talking about; It's hard for newbies to follow who the players are even with a scorecard; Bouncing accusations around is annoying to see; False accusations foster bickering, which is good, see below.


I believe such cult tactics are designed, detailed, checklisted, signed off on, with results tracked statistically and regular reports made. I believe the tactics aren't very effective, though they continue since the cult tends to measure success in such things not by results, but by statistics. ..."


Drug education from Narconon

In running a story on children using inhalants, WNDU-TV ( cited Scientology front group Narconon, according to an August 5 post.

The story listed various household products that can be used as inhalants and stated:

"The problem is a lack of education."

According to the article "Luke Catton, CCDC Narconon Arrowhead" said, in reference to under-educated children:

"They're inhaling the chemicals that cuts off oxygen flow to a person's brain. By doing that it produces a buzz or high feeling. Kids, not aware of what's going on, they enjoy the tingle and continue to do it and not realize what kind of damage they're causing to themselves."


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