Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 9, Issue 33 - August 20 2005

Cult influence in NYC

The controversy around Scientology's financial suppport for Manhattan borough presidential candidate Margarita Lopez continued over the past week.



August 15, 2005 -- ED KOCH has rejected a request from advisers to Mayor Bloomberg to endorse the embattled Margarita Lopez for Manhattan borough president as new revelations about Lopez's cozy relationship with Scientologists came to light.

Officials close to Bloomberg, who has made no secret that he holds a soft spot for Lopez, asked the still-influential former three-term Democrat mayor to throw his support behind Lopez, the borough president-wannabe, to give her campaign a badly needed boost, sources said.

But after revelations that Lopez took massive donations from Scientology members and had other problems with the Campaign Finance Board, Koch decided that she wouldn't be getting his nod.

'I don't know who I'm going to endorse, but it's not going to be her,' Koch told The Post.


Koch's decision came as The Post discovered that more than a third of Lopez's more than $115,000 in campaign donations from Scientologists were collected by a single member of the brass at the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.

That's the center, co-founded by Tom Cruise, that benefited from tax dollars steered to it by Lopez.

Keith Miller, a spokesperson for the project, was the intermediary for $36,750 in donations to Lopez's campaign, campaign-finance documents show."



August 17, 2005

Manhattan borough presidential candidate Brian Ellner lashed out at rival Margarita Lopez in their first debate last night for taking campaign cash from Scientologists, labeling the religious group 'a problematic cult.'

Ellner, who is openly gay, cited anti-homosexual stances of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in questioning how Lopez could accept more than $115,000 in donations from Scientologists.

'As an openly gay person, I wouldn't knowingly take money from the Church of Scientology - from an organization whose founder thought that I should be taken from society and who preaches conversion,' he said. 'In my view, it's a problematic cult, at best.'

Lopez, who is also gay, countered by saying, 'The people who donated money to me have never been asked what religion [they] are part of.'


Since June 2004, Lopez has steered $630,000 to the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, a Fulton Street center co-founded by uber-Scientologist Tom Cruise.

After cash started pouring into the center, Lopez's campaign coffers swelled with donations from Scientologists from around the country.

Lopez last night denied any connection between the Detox project and the Church of Scientology."



"Lopez should have known

To The Editor:

Re 'Lopez says Post is toxic, as funds are withheld' (news article, Aug. 10):

What the hell is wrong with Margarita Lopez? At issue isn't what people believe or don't believe. At issue is her taking money from Scientology Inc. - and then taking taxpayer money and handing it over to Scientology under the guise of their thoroughly dubious treatment.

Lopez could have spent five minutes on the Internet doing her homework to find out about Scientology, that it was contrived by a science-fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard who was a dope addict and alcoholic with no medical credentials or background.


Fredric L. Rice,
Rice is chairman, The Skeptic Tank"


Critics on CNN

On August 14, 2005, Mark Bunker gave a page "for the CNN appearance of Tory and Michael" on the Anderson Cooper Show as

Tory/Magoo commented:

"Thanks a bunch, Markie!

Now I can pass this on, easily to my friends asking for it. I ~really~ appreciate you keeping all of the shows together. It's a big help, Mark.

Guess what? I've already heard from 3 Highschool friends I haven't heard from in 30+ years! Here's part of one, just to give you an idea how great this is:

'Holy you-know what!!

So we are sitting in front of the tube watching one of our favorites, Anderson Cooper and I hear an introduction which causes my neck to snap back straight ahead again. I heard RIGHT! He DID say Tory Christman!! I hadn't heard that name in a long time although I have thought and wondered about you whenever There is a mention of Scientology. The last I had heard of you was many years ago I saw a documentary on TV and you were interviewed, but at that time you were an advocate of the 'church'. So low and behold there you were big as life and looking like a million bucks. I watched spellbound looking for a hint as to where you lived and my radar came up empty.

I am so happy to learn that you were able to get beyond that trap Tory. I have nothing but the VERY best memories of you kiddo and am so happy I caught the show. I hope that this finds you in good health and life is treating you well.'

There's more, but that's a good part of it. Isn't that amazingly cool?"

Other comments on the show included "Why Scientology used a Methodist Minister as a spokesman on CNN." On August 13 August, M. Pattinson posted:

"In the CNN interview I did with Tory Christman this week on Anderson Cooper 360 Scientology asked a Methodist Minister to listen to our segment and comment.

They could NOT use a Scientologist as we were talking about (much posted on the internet) O.T. levels, fraud and Xenu. If a Scientologist were used they might be exposed to something they have not yet paid for or reached in eligibilities. Also they might see through the scam too and quit!

Scn can only let upper level (OT8) media handlers deal with me or Tory, and I don't think there are any.

I love to reveal the Truth, and will openly continue to do so."

Message-ID: 9vDLe.1713$Us5.470@fed1read02

Narconon in Australian schools

An article about "Narconon being given free rein at dozens of Melbourne schools" was posted August 15 from the Herald Sun at

[lomg link]

"Scientology lessons in schools
Liam Houlihan, religious affairs reporter

A DRUG program run by Scientologists and labelled dangerous by medical authorities is being given free rein at dozens of Melbourne schools.

The controversial Narconon group gave a speech at Melbourne High on Sunday and has made classroom presentations at Melbourne schools including MacRobertson Girls High.

The group -- which does not disclose its Scientology background to schools -- gives students booklets that condemn prescription drugs and equate coffee with heroin.

'All drugs are basically poison . . . Two or three cups (of coffee) stimulate. Ten cups would probably put a person to sleep. A hundred cups of coffee would probably kill him,' the Narconon booklet teaches.

Australian Medical Association president Mukesh Haikerwal said he was very concerned about the group's drug rehab centre, which had no medically trained staff, anaesthetists or mental health experts.

The centre, run by a naturopath, treats people as young as 16.


Dr Adrian Dunlop, an addiction expert with Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, queried the outcome of the Narconon program.

'What's happening to (Narconon patients) in the longer term? I guess the answer is this is being used to get them to become Scientologists,' he said.

But the deputy director of Narconon's rehabilitation centre, Susie Morrisson, denied the claim.

'We're not Scientology here. Just some of the techniques like communication drills are based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard,' she said.

She said the centre helped up to 25 patients beat various addictions in the past year."


Narconon's success doubted

On August 17 a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was posted doubting Narconon's success rate.


"Letters to the editor: 8/17/05
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Narconon's success rate is not nearly that high

I couldn't read Helen Campbell's mention ('In Rebuttal: Scientology Helps People' Aug. 15) of Narconon's success rate without responding.

She stated that Narconon has 'a documented success rate of nearly 80 percent of graduates never returning to lives of addiction.'

They have sometimes increased it to as high as 86 percent, without independent verification. But source data from studies is often hard to come by.

Independent researchers have concluded that the actual results of the Narconon studies are far less flattering than you would be led to believe. In a Swedish study, 6.6 percent of Narconon enrollees reported they were drug-free for one year after they were in the program. Numerous independent examiners have found similar results.


Penn Hills
Editor's note: The writer is a social worker with experience in drug and alcohol addiction."


Lerma raided 10 years ago

On August 13, 2005, A. Lerma posted:

"Ten years ago today, after claiming that I was in possession of 'stolen property', and fooling US Federal Judge Brinkema into issuing a search warrant, and then conning the US Marshall's service into 'assisting' them in the search, the Scientologists raided my home, and ransacked the place.


[long link]

The Washington Post covered the event"

"Subject: Ten Years Ago Today - Washington Post - Scientology's Warren McShane searches my bedroom

Church in Cyberspace

Its Sacred Writ Is on the Net. Its Lawyers Are on the Case.

[Front Page Style Section]

August 19, 1995

By Marc Fisher, Washington Post Staff Writer

It was 9:30 and Arnie Lerma was lounging in his living room in Arlington, drinking his Saturday morning coffee, hanging. Suddenly, a knock at the door -- who could it be at this hour? -- and boom, before he could force anything out of his mouth, they were pouring into his house: federal marshals, lawyers, computer technicians, cameramen.

They stayed for three hours last Saturday. They inventoried and confiscated everything Lerma cherished: his computer, every disk in the place, his client list, his phone numbers. And then they left. 'I'm one of those guys who keeps everything -- my whole life -- on the computer,' Lerma says. 'And now they have it all.' 'They' are lawyers for the Church of Scientology, the controversial group that Lerma once considered his home, his rock, his future. Now they call him a criminal, accusing him of divulging trade secrets and violating copyrights.


It was only in the past year or so that Scientology and Arnie Lerma have gotten reacquainted, and this time Lerma has a different view of the church: He considers it a dangerous cult, a corrupt organization dedicated to brainwashing its followers. To convince others of this view, Lerma used his facility with computers to distribute some of Scientology's most sacred texts, documents he says were obtained from a public court file in Los Angeles. In recent months, Lerma and others have placed dozens of these documents on the Internet, in a discussion group called alt.religion.scientology, a busy place in cyberspace where Scientology critics and adherents gather to trade arguments, insults and threats.

'I thought it essential that the public know this, so people can make an informed decision when some kid on a street corner asks you, 'Would you care to take a free personality analysis?' ' Lerma says.


CNN's blurb about the raid

Actual Images of the Scientologists conducting the search of my home

American University Jurist magazine cover story

August 30th Ruling in RTC vs Lerma by Federal Judge Brinkema
December 5th Order from Judge Brinkema - Washington Post wins their defense in this suit:

'...Court finds that the motivation of plaintiff in filing this lawsuit against the Post is reprehensible. Although the RTC brought the complaint under traditional secular concepts of copyright and trade secret law, it has become clear that a much broader motivation prevailed--the stifling of crticism and dissent of the religious practices of Scientology and the destruction of its opponents. L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, has been quoted as looking upon law as a tool to [h]arass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harrass and enough harrassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly. (Declaraction of Mary Ann Werner, Attachment A, at C5; see also The Posts's reply brief at p. 24, note 23).'

Lerma's Pro-Se Motion 22 August 1996 for reconsideration - tells the rest of the story the lawyers did not allow me to discuss about the raid
From: 4 Oct 96 Memorandum Opinion by Judge Brinkema:

Scientologists believe that most human problems can be traced to lingering spirits of an extraterrestrial people massacred by their ruler, Xenu, over 75 million years ago. These spirits attach themselves by 'clusters' to individuals in the contemporary world, causing spiritual harm and negatively influencing the lives of their hosts '. USDJ Judge Leonie Brinkema , RTC vs Lerma

Who 'won' the case?"


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