Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 9, Issue 42 - October 22 2005

Sentences reinstated on Armstrong

On October 19, 2005, Gerry Armstrong posted a court "Opinion filed October 19, 2005, Scientology v. Armstrong, CA CoA, Case No. A107095

Webbed by Court of Appeal at:">

Filed 10/19/05 Church of Scientology v. Superior Court CA1/4

California Rules of Court, rule 977(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 977(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 977.


CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, Petitioner, v. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF MARIN COUNTY, Respondent;GERALD ARMSTRONG, Real Party in Interest. A107095 (Marin County Super. Ct. Nos. 15229, 157680, CV021632)

In a petition for writ of certiorari, the Church of Scientology International (CSI) seeks an order compelling the trial court to reinstate sentences imposed upon Gerald Armstrong in earlier contempt proceedings. We grant the petition in part.



CSI petitions for a writ of certiorari to address the court's order on the contempt proceedings against Armstrong. As CSI acknowledges, the court's order in the contempt proceedings is final and conclusive and is not an appealable order. (Code Civ. Proc., 1222; Butler v. Butler (1967) 255 Cal.App.2d 132, 135-136.) The court's order, therefore, may be reviewed only upon certiorari if it is in excess of the court's jurisdiction. (Taylor v. Superior Court (1942) 20 Cal.2d 244, 246.) CSI has standing to seek such review. (Id. at p. 247 [since petitioner is person for whose protection the injunction was granted, he is a party beneficially interested in the ruling complained of within the meaning of Code Civ. Proc., 1069].)

CSI is correct that the trial court had no jurisdiction to alter the sentences imposed in the first two contempt proceedings. '[J]udgments and orders of a court or judge made in cases of contempt are final and conclusive ([Code Civ. Proc.,] 1222), and the court or judge retains no jurisdiction to alter a completed judicial act.' (County of Lake v. Superior Court (1977) 67 Cal.App.3d 815, 818.) Nor is there evidence to support Armstrong's claim that what occurred was actually a remission of punishment. No motion or request to remit was made at the hearing; the court merely announced its intention to 'discharge the jail and the . . . contempt punishment[] with the entry of the judgment of $500,000.' After brief arguments from counsel, the court issued its order that the contempts were 'deemed served.' In any event, there were no circumstances in the record justifying a remission of the sentences. 'In unusual cases, even though a contempt judgment is sustained, if the violation was the result of an honest mistake of law, and compliance is ultimately obtained [italics added], either the trial or appellate court may grant a remission of punishment [italics omitted].' (8 Witkin, Cal. Procedure (4th ed. 1997) Enforcement of Judgment, 347, p. 355; see City of Vernon v. Superior Court (1952) 39 Cal.2d 839, 842-843.) Although Armstrong offers many arguments to support his position his sentences should have been remitted-for example, that his violations of the agreement were expressions of his religious beliefs-he has not argued or shown that in violating the injunction he operated under an honest mistake of law. And, Armstrong makes no claim that he has complied, or will ever comply, with the injunction. Indeed, he repeated at oral argument his position that compliance is 'literally impossible.' We conclude therefore that the court's judgment here discharging the bench warrants on the contempt citations of June 5, 1997 and February 20, 1998 and deeming the sentences served was in error.

Armstrong makes several arguments challenging the validity of the contempt orders. He contends that the first contempt order was improper because he was within his rights to submit a declaration in a CSI litigation matter despite the contract prohibiting him from doing so because he was reporting a crime to the court. He urges that the second and third contempt orders violate his First Amendment right to the free exercise of his religion. Armstrong, however, is foreclosed from challenging the merits of the contempt orders in this writ proceeding. The contempt orders are final. (Code Civ. Proc., 1222.)

CSI asserts that the court erred in its sentencing of Armstrong on the third contempt citation. The court sentenced Armstrong to five days in jail and fined him $1,000 concurrent with the judgment in the breach of contract action. The court deemed the jail time served by Armstrong's appearance in court. While the court had the discretion to determine the sentence on the basis of the evidence and within the scope of Code of Civil Procedure section 1218 (see 6 Witkin & Epstein, Cal. Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Criminal Judgment, 155, p. 183), its linking of the compensatory damages of the contract action with the contempt fine was in error (see In re Wales (1957) 153 Cal.App.2d 117, 119 ['a contempt proceeding is not a civil action, either at law or in equity, but is a separate proceeding of a criminal nature [citations] notwithstanding the recognized practice to prosecute the contempt in the cause or proceeding out of which it arose . . . .']; Bailey v. Superior Court (1956) 142 Cal.App.2d 47, 54 [court erred in awarding compensatory damages in contempt action]). The court simply had no authority to order the fine in the contempt proceeding 'concurrent' with the judgment in the civil action.


The petition for writ of certiorari is granted in part. The trial court is directed to reinstate the sentences previously imposed on Armstrong for the contempt citations of June 5, 1997 and February 20, 1998 and to reinstate the fine on the third contempt citation.

The parties are to bear their own costs.



Retail Religion

Posted October 15, 2005 from

"Religion Goes Retail

The Tampa Tribune


TAMPA - 'Would you like a free stress test?' a man in pressed white shirt and checkered gold tie calls out from a kiosk in University Mall.


Yamila Sene, deputy director of special affairs for the Scientologists' Tampa office, said 'Dianetics' is widely available in bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, but the church wanted a way to reach shoppers directly. So, it began leasing the kiosk this past summer at a rate of $1,600 a month and selling paperback copies of 'Dianetics' for $8 apiece. It also sells 'Dianetics' DVDs and book-CD-DVD packages, she said.


At least some shoppers don't realize the connection with Scientology. Muriel Bryant, an Orlando resident who visited University Mall on Friday, said a kiosk worker never mentioned the church during a 10-minute discussion about Dianetics and stress. Had she known Scientology was involved, Bryant probably wouldn't have stopped at the kiosk, said Bryant, who described herself as a nondenominational Christian.

Nonetheless, she bought two copies of 'Dianetics' because of her recent problems with stress. I have no interest in Scientology, but I will still read the book,' Bryant said.

Sene, the Scientology official, said that when a customer leaves the kiosk he or she is given an invitation to attend a Dianetics film or workshop. These invitations clearly say the Church of Scientology, she said. The church offers follow-up courses on life-improvement and spirituality that start at $75, but can cost as much as a college education depending on level of study, Sene said.

From University Mall's perspective, the church is involved in a viable business of selling Dianetics, said Brooke Smith, a marketing director for University Mall.


Wendy Young, an adjunct professor in the University of Florida's religion department, has studied Scientology and other types of what are labeled alternative religions. She said many religions today are mixing commercialism with spirituality in an attempt to recruit new members. Like the Scientologists, a new breed of mega-church within Christianity also is using sophisticated market research to find out how to lure new parishioners, she said.

'They [the Church of Scientology] are doing their market research, and successful churches need to do that these days,' Young said."


On October 17, 2005, a column was posted from the Tampa Tribune

"Stress? Wait Till You Get The Final Bill
Published: Oct 17, 2005

Somehow, it seemed poetically fitting that the Church of Scientology finally has been reduced to pitching its theological hooey stuck among a mall's kiosks hyping facial creams inspired by the Dead Sea, Metallica T-shirts and sunglasses.

After all, Scientology has always been sort of the tchotchke of religious cults.

How perfect. How sublime. How convenient.

Patrons of the University Square Mall now can go window-shopping while munching on a corn dog and get a phony stress test, too.


There's More!

Interestingly enough, the Scientologist Tom Cruise's Elmer Gantry-like rant against the so-called evils of psychiatry to the contrary, Hubbard's sect is engaged is very much the same sort of activity -- offering psychological counseling to troubled people.

Freud had his couch. Hubbard has his kiosk.

Ultimately, the objective of Scientology is to achieve a 'clear' state, which, of course, involves clearing you of your cash.

For once the Scientology huckster does indeed determine you are under stress, the University Mall visitor will be encouraged to purchase L. Ron Hubbard's 'Dianetics,' which represents some 600 pages of unmitigated gibberish that makes the Unabomber's manifesto read like 'How To Win Friends and Influence People.'

But wait! There's more!

Put another way, in addition to the $8 for 'Dianetics,' the New Age Bible of balderdash, think of L. Ron Hubbard as sort of the Ron Popeil of pop piety.

The University Mall marks who take the bait after having their stress level measured by a Budweiser can can also start taking Scientology courses (therapy?) beginning at $75 and going all the way up to until you've cleared out your bank account -- all in the memory of a crazy nut who liked sailor hats and believed space aliens inhabit humans.

Yeah, you could say that would cause a smidgen of stress."



Glimpse of Scientology History

On October 17, 2005 "Feisty" posted some memorable quotes from Volney G. Mathison, inventor of the e-meter, from (scan)
(second to the last para in first column actual text in Aberree)

"In my book, 'Practical Self-Hypnosis', 18 pages are used merely partially to define hypnosis, and my colleague, Leslie Lecron, in his recent best-seller 'Self -Hypnotism', uses many more for the same purpose. "I decry the doings of trivial fakers, such as scientologists and the like, who glibly denounce hypnosis and then try covertly to use it in their phony systems." -- Volney G. Mathison, Los Angeles, Cal

from (long link)

"After your review of Volney Mathison's new book and his letters, I think I should call attention to the fact that I have a tape recording of Mr. Mathison's talk to the Concept Therapy group in 1954 at Kansas City, in which he states that after all I else failed to help him, during the depression days. that it was the work of the controversial figure of L. Ron Hubbard that pulled him thru and not only helped him with his personal problems but also got him started in his present work, which evidently is quite successful..."


On October 16, 2005, "Cultxpt" posted two vintage articles on L. Ron Hubbard and Dianetics/Scientology.

"U.S. Marshals Beaten While Serving Warrant" Philadelphia Inquirer,

"Two deputy U.S. marshals suffered minor injuries yesterday in a scuffle when a woman and two men tried to obstruct the serving of a warrant in a building on 16th St. near Vine.

Three persons, who the deputies said tried to prevent them from serving the warrant, were arrested after one of the Federal agents, John J. Gericke, had to draw his gun. Later they were arraigned before U.S. Commissioner Kerny P. Carr in the Federal building and held in bail for the grand jury.

Three held in bail

Arrested were Mrs. Helen O'Brian, also known by her maiden name of Helen Naugerbaumn, who was held in $1000; her husband John O'Brien, reputed owner of the 16th st. building, who was held in $1500 bail, and Ernest Kish, of Summer St. near 16th st. Kish's bail was set at $2500. The O'Briens gave an address of Nole st. near Race.

According to Gericke, he and Levi. P. Gordon, went to serve the warrant on L. Ron Hubbard, 41, founder of Dianetic Mental Health Movement, to appear as a witness in a bankruptcy case being heard before Judge Alan K. Grim today.

As they entered the building, Gericke said, he and Gordon learned that Hubbard was on the second floor lecturing to about 20 persons, Gericke and Gordon said they went upstairs past Mr. And Mrs. O'Brien and met Kish who struggled with them. A few minutes later the lecture audience began milling about them, the marshals said. Gericke drew his gun and quieted the crowd.



"Dianetics to Get Test in Court" Detroit News, April 10, 1953

The so-called 'science' of dianetics will be explored in Recorder's Court April 21.

That is the date set by Judge George Murphy for examination of charges against Earl Cunard and Mrs. Refa Postel, whose Detroit Dianetics and Scientology School, 8901 Dailey court, was closed by a police raid last March 25.

Cunard and Mrs. Postel are accused of conspiracy, practicing medicine without a license and operating a vocational guidance school without a license.

They pleaded innocent when arraigned Thursday before Judge Murphy and are free on $1,000 bonds.


Meanwhile, one of the detectives who enrolled as a 'student' and later took part in the raid, Sergt. Josef Van Wie of the Special Investigation Bureau, explained some aspects of dianetics he expects to be brought out in the court hearing.


Cunard, 25, who lives at the Dailey court address, gave his occupation as 'unlicensed doctor' when arrested. Mrs. Postel, 45, of 16345 Oakfield, said she was a 'scientologist.' v She also protested that police and employees at the Wayne County Building, where she registered the school, both told her 'we did not need any licenses.' v --

References: MAQ4f.174$
Message-ID: BVQ4f.180$

New Scientologist disconnected

Posted October 21, 2005.

"Katie has no time for chums, only Cruise! .:. NewKerala - India's Top Online Newspaper

Hollywood News

Posted on 20 Oct 2005 # ANI

Katie has no time for chums, only Cruise!

London: It seems actress Katie Holmes has time just for one person, her fianci Tom Cruise, as she has reportedly turned her back on her best friends to devote herself to the handsome hunk.

The pregnant actress, who earlier quit her role in Dennis Quaid's film 'Shame On You' to concentrate on her pregnancy, has hardly spoken to her eight pals since her engagement in May this year, and is busy either spending time with Tom or studying his sci-fi religion, Scientology.

'Katie's very close to her friends, so it's really strange she hasn't been in contact. They're desperate to meet up with her, but she's either with Tom or studying Scientology,' Femalefirst quoted an insider as telling Closer magazine.



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