"Mystery surrounds Scientologist's death By CHERYL WALDRIP of The Tampa Tribune
CLEARWATER - After spending half her life as a member of the Church of Scientology, Lisa McPherson told friends she was ready to get out.
At 36, she yearned to reunite with her mom and old friends and start a new life in Dallas.
She hoped to visit them at Thanksgiving and vowed to be home for good by last Christmas.
'She said she couldn't get into it over the phone but she said she had a lot to talk about,' said Kelly Davis, her friend since childhood. 'She said she would explain when she got here.'
To Davis, her friend sounded 'like the old Lisa,' not the distant stranger she had been for a decade. The women laughed and talked as they had before McPherson joined Scientology after her high school graduation 18 years earlier.
'She had made the decision to get out and come back here and she seemed happy,' Davis said.
But on Thanksgiving a couple of weeks later, McPherson was not at home. Instead, she was at the Fort Harrison Hotel, Scientology's world spiritual headquarters.
She was taken there Nov. 18 by Scientologists for 'rest and relaxation.'
Seventeen days later, she was dead.
News of McPherson's death stunned her mother, Fannie McPherson. 'It's just been awful,' she said. 'She was the last of my family.'
All she knew was her daughter had been under pressure in her work as a salesperson for AMC Publishing in Clearwater. Andrews said the company is owned by Scientologists and has Scientology as one of its customers.
"Cycle of Distraction on the Internet
This is how distraction works, when used by people from within the organization known as the church (not!) of Scientology.
A topic is posted, exposing an abuse of Scientology, someone's experiences or knowledge of Scientology, Hubbard, the Sea org, Executives, etc.
To the degree it's not wanted to be seen by the Executives of Scientology,
The following will happen.
If it's 'hot'.....suddenly you'll see a TON of spam, either writing
About how bad they 'know' Psychiatry to be, or questions about various critics, or anything to 'Drive the topic down the page'.
So here's the Scale of Distraction
1. Tons of spamming---driving a topic down the page
2. Spamming of various critics and their names, trying to make them look bad, less than, not reliable sources of information: Black PR as Hubbard called it. This includes trying to divide up the critics too, and turn them against each other. (No, I'm not saying people cannot have their likes, and dislikes, but a full blown program IS different than someone's views stated about someone. When it goes on and on and on, I start watching this).
When people refuse to allow another to post, without the endless 'attack' of the person posting, I smell a rat, as that is exactly what OSA would always do: 'Get the attention off of Scientology, onto the person posting and what's wrong with them'.
"If Scientology is capable of working with and benefiting from both the Revisionist and the Jewish communities in the United States, what could the cult learn from the German BND (the German version of the CIA) and from the German Extreme Left? A certain situation has been arising in the Free and Hanseatic State of Hamburg, Germany over the past several years in which anti-sect representative Ursula Caberta has played a most versatile role. In any case, neither the Scientologists nor the German Intelligence Services nor the leftwing extremists are particularly fond of daylight.
Spy vs. Spy
This is an ad hoc comparison of Scientology with the German Intelligence Service (BND). This does not imply that Scientology has anything in common with the German Intelligence Service other than both are intelligence services. If a comparison with the German Intelligence Service seems inappropriate, see a comparison of Scientology with East Germany's intelligence service, the Stasi, at
Problems German intelligence encountered has recently found resonance within Scientology's own intelligence service. Unofficial Scientologist German Scientology news group representative 'Sharky' recently posted the url of an article describing failure of the German intelligence agency (BND) to the de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology news group. As it turns out, both the Scientology and German intelligence agencies share common methods of enlisting outside cooperation -- e.g., pretending to be pursue a criminal investigation to get possible incriminating evidence on critics. Both investigate journalists who publish unfavorable information. Both put a higher priority on plugging the leak than they do correcting the problem. Both do dust-bin collections on critics. Both have exercised a marked disregard for others in courting politicians. While Scientology has not, to our knowledge, interrogated German citizens in Syrian prisons, Scientology founder Hubbard gave instructions for interrogation with an e-meter under just these circumstances.
According to an October 16, 1968 HCO Information Letter from L. Ron Hubbard, 'Terrorists and subversives are far more afraid of E-Meters than guns.'
'The subject [suspected terrorist] is made to hold two electrodes, one in each hand. The operator asks questions. The machine reads the emotional reaction to the questions. Whenever the needle dips a bit the answer is 'Maybe'.[...]"
When the needle dips a great deal, the machine is answering 'Yes'.
When the needle does not dip at all, the answer is 'No' or 'Not Guilty'.
... And what if a person refused to take the electrodes.
They almost never refuse even when guilty. But if they did, a gentle placing of the electrodes under the armpits or against the soles of the feet gets the same readings.'
"Surgut Scientologists try to register church through court
Yugra, November 23, 2005
The head of the Surgut Scientology Church Evgenia Kimlya wants to obtain registration for the church in the city through the European Court for Human Rights. The Scientology Church, which professes the teachings of Ron Hubbard, was refused registration by the justice organ of the Khanty-Mansiysky Autonomous Okrug. Along with the application from the Surgut Scientologists a similar application from the Scientologists in Nizhnekamsk will be examined, reported Regnum information agency.
The European Court for Human Rights has offered to be an intermediary for resolving disputes, and offers countries, including the Russian authorities, a way to peacefully settle disputes. The government of Russia has asked the European Court for Human Rights to extend the time it has to respond to the proposal by the church that it settle the dispute in a peaceful way.
Scientology, Hubbardists and 'Dianetics' adherents are all adherents of a destructive cult known worldwide for scandal. This organization is not at all religious, though it tries to call itself that to gain an advantage, but commercial; its goals are power and affluence. The danger of the organization has been proved in court, its licenses have been revoked and its activities banned in many countries.
Taking part in Scientology's activities leads people to a personality change, to shifts in behavior with regard to others, family members in particular. Now and then members of the sect completely break off relations with their family because of a negative attitude of their loved ones to Scientology. The Church of the Scientologists is an organization with totalitarian structures and tendencies that scorns people on principle. It uses fraudulent tactics to attract new members, who are then subject to brainwashing. The goal of all this is the creation of a thought control process to minimize a person's critical ability (This is a basic postulate in the theories of Scientology's founder. In this way they make a being devoid of personal will and lacking in the ability to make a decision on the basis of personal free control. People who go through the propaganda filters of Scientology and through the corresponding procedures are receptive only to Scientology's 'truth,' and lack motivation for values and comparative analysis.
Here are some facts.
In January 1997 Athens district court published a decision prohibiting activity by the Greek section of the Scientology organization and dissolving it.
The January 12, 1999 London Evening Standard published a list of 99 items that composed the worst of the century. Included in this list were 11 books written in the 20th century. One of these was 'Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health,' written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and published in 1950.
In October 1999 the Ostankinsky intermunicipal court of Moscow approved the city prosecutor's claim to recognize the registration of the 'Hubbard Center' as invalid.
In 2005 the prosecutor for the Republic of Bashkortostan appealed to the court to liquidate the 'Dianetics' Center RB. It was pointed out in court that the Center's activities were being carried out in violation of the standards of the RF Constitution and of applicable federal legislation in that the educational and medical activities of the Center were being carried out without the appropriate licenses, presented a threat to public health, and violated human rights and freedoms.
We have no change of any sort in the insane handling of the crime cult general tyran Miscavige : this guy has not the least love or spirituality for human beings and not the least respect of its troops or of the humanity, it's just a manager of a series of extremely FRAUDULOUS scam profit centers led by a highly dangerous liar despote and self-called 'COB RTC'. ..."
The following related information was also posted:
MANIFEST RELIGION OR BELIEF
Refusal to register religious association on the ground it had not existed for at least 15 years: communicated.
KIMLYA - Russia (Nº 76836/01)
The applicant is the president of the Church of Scientology in the city of Surgut. The first centre for the study of Dianetics opened in Surgut in 1994 and obtained the status of social non-governmental organisation. In 1995, a new Russian law on non-governmental organisations was adopted. The centre’s application for re-registration was rejected in 1999 on the basis that it was religious in nature. The authorities took legal action seeking to liquidate the centre in November 1999. The centre’s attempt to register as a non-commercial partnership also failed because of its religious nature. In 2000, the applicant and a number of others founded the Scientology Group of Surgut City and established the Church of Scientology of Surgut City. The founding members sought to register as a local religious organisation. Their application was rejected because they were unable to show that they had been in existence for at least 15 years, a statutory condition. The applicant appealed to the Town Court, complaining of a violation of his constitutional freedom of religion and pointing to the serious obstacle that non-registration represented for his organisation. The court confirmed the authorities’ decision and refused to entertain the applicant’s constitutional arguments. The applicant appealed to the Regional Court, but without success. He applied twice for supervisory review to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, succeeding on the second attempt. In January 2002, the Regional Court quashed the earlier decisions, holding that if an application for state registration is not accompanied with the necessary documents the authorities may leave it without examination. The applicant contends that this means his association will simply have to wait until they meet the 15-year requirement before it can be registered.
Communicated under Articles 9 and 11.
NFORMATION NOTE No. 54
on the case-law of the Court
"Since the people left Amsterdam Org, Ron's Org members rehabilitated themselves from the huge problems they got into. Most are completely without debt now and be sure they had HUGE debts.
I tell you, a couple of millions had to get handled first.
I hereby would like to congratulate them all for getting out of debts and regaining their freedom.
It probably will sound unreal to those in the 'church', but getting up the Bridge is much more standard, economic and a lot more fun in a Ron's Org.
* In a Ron's Org much more auditing is delivered then in any 'church' in the world.
* In a Ron's Org much more auditors are getting trained and trainings are much tougher.
* In a Ron's Org one can get audited up to OT-48 and are really getting there; without any arbitraries like unnecessary sec-checks and false purpose rundowns, endless ethics cycles, pts cycles and repairs.. just going up the bridge as long as they are winning.
Meanwhile more people are still coming out of the 'church', first getting in contact with a Ron's Org, then getting their money back using the Scientologypayback.org and then using the Ron's Orgs as steppingstones in choosing what they really want in live, in or out of Scientology.
"Scientologate" also posted taht there were seven Ron's Orgs in Moscow.
Game over for Le Fun arcade after 32 years
By Meghan Young
The 32-year-old [Le Fun] arcade will close its doors Dec. 16 because of dwindling business, said owner Exxon Feyznia.
Le Fun will be the seventh store on the Drag to close or relocate this semester, following Sunglass Hut, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Rick's Hair Salon, Nomadic Notions, Legs Diamond and Mojo's Daily Grind, which will close Jan. 1.
The Church of Scientology of Texas, which owns the building, will not release the property, said Cathy Norman, director of special affairs. She said they plan to raise funds and eventually renovate the entire building for church use.
"Tuesday, 6 December 2005, at UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) there was a double yellow VM tent set up on Campus. My understanding is that the tent would be there Monday through Friday, December 5-9.
Pictures and some text, read the report here or there:
I had parked illegally so I was only by the tents for about 30 minutes. I never did do the Stress Test, I was just not in the mood for acting/pretending. I did walk through the tent though, a few times, nice and slow. And they said hello to me, and I said hello to them, and they didn't really bother me, and I didn't bother them.
There was no great leaning towards Study Tech as we might think there would be. In fact, it was pretty much as I expected. It was those booklets from the Scientology Handbook. Booklets on Marriage, Suppression, etc. The same stuff as they had on the Strip:
http://solitarytrees.net/lvorgs/lv8a.htm (Nov. 2004)
In fact, except for being less cluttered the inside of this double tent was a lot like the set up on The Strip. Although this had Spanish on one side of the tent and English on the other side.
The tent was set up in a GREAT spot, all the students in the world walked by that tent, armies of students would come by in waves. They had 5 emeters on tables and I estimated there were 8 scieno's working the tent. 3 of them in 'uniform', that being a yellow VM sweatshirt. I did not recognize any of them, maybe they are imported workers that travel with the tent, I don't know. And the students, oh my, they just kept walking in that tent. The scieno's were not out there calling to them, or inviting the students in. They didn't have to do that. Students were just walking in all on their own and wanting to that stress test. In the 30 minutes I was there up to 4 emeters at a time were going. Two kids I timed with a watch were on the cans for 15 minutes, and that seemed a long time.
Allegedly there is a patter for this stress test that has been developed that works well. And that might be the situation. In the small amount of time I was there the kids would go from the cans to the posters on the walls. Whatever the sales pitch is, it seems to work well.
You would think, 'big deal so they have a tent on a university, so what, the kids are too smart today to bother with scientology.' Well I tell you, that is not what I saw. Although in only 30 minutes observation this might have just been a busy fluctuation and normally the tent is empty of students. But I didn't get that impression. What I saw were dumb-bunnies outside the tent walking up to and smiling at the dumb-bunnies inside the tent. And they all got along just fine it seemed to me.
Me, I'm not going to do anything. I stood there, thought it over, and decided that free speech is for all of us and that if I wanted to do anything I would get a permit myself, set up a table next to them and offer alternate information to the students. But, I have no passion for this right now. May the students find their own path in life, I won't be helping them these coming days. ..."
"taiki" also posted about Scientologists on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus and snarkily asked, "What's with the Volcano on the cover of dianetics?"
Portland, Oregon, United States
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Some time back I promised to make a return visit to the Scientology Celebrity Center downtown. It is one of three in the immediate area, and I recently visited the closest in order to take pictures and generally investigate their presence in the area. This is apparently forbidden, as I was asked to leave the moment someone spotted me taking pictures. I complied in order to keep a low profile, as I did not want them recognizing me the next time I came by.
Recently a classmate of mine (let's call him Brett) took an interest in finding out what Scientology was all about. I took him as well as a female friend of mine (let's call her Amy) down to the Celebrity Center for free personality tests. The following is a factual account of our experiences while there.
Please forgive the poor quality of the initial picture,
as it was taken in a hurry (in an effort to be somewhat covert) and my cameraphone isn't terribly high quality to begin with. (Alternatively, 'Image blurred to protect the identities of those involved'.)
We were instructed to have a seat on the couches nearby. There was a dual-touchscreen information terminal next to a panoramic backlit display of the various books one must buy (and the order in which they are to be read) in the process of becoming 'clear'. Shortly we were given the personality tests in plastic binders, with about 180 questions. They included forms in which we were to put an enormous amount of personal information, ranging from our names and date of births to our current address and school. Obviously we had t[he] foresight to create pseudonyms and stick to them, so as to avoid Scientologist stalkers later on.
The test, save for several insane questions (would you execute a ten year old for refusing to obey you? Do you sometimes browse railway timetables just for the fun of it?) was excruciatingly boring. I even felt somewhat bad for my colleagues as they had probably expected the outing to be a bit more entertaining. I considered pressuring the staff into doing a choreographed song and dance routine involving Thetans, but they no doubt would have declined.
It would seem that they are no stranger to small children, however. A group of young kids were shooed by while we took our tests. I asked why they were here. She dodged the question until I likened it to Sunday School, which seemed to put her at ease. 'Yes, exactly. We have classes for kids as young as 8 where they learn about Hubbard's Tech'. This, as you might imagine, disturbed me to no end.
We were pressured into making appointments to come back at a later date. We did so, but with completely false information. None of us have any intention of returning. We did, however, score a bunch of free Scientology literature on the way out. Have a look: (images in top url)
The excursion was somewhat dull, save for the creepy shit we got to see upstairs (the E-Meter, the lavish offices with gold plated everything and leather recliners, the Scientology Kids classrooms) including the actual test, which was quite tedious. 'Brett' was morbidly fascinated by the insanity of it all and seemed to have enjoyed himself immensely, as though he had just attended a zoo in which the mentally infirm were made to entertain the rest of us. 'Amy' missed her bus, (my bad! Sorry) but told me the next day that it was 'the creepiest place I have ever been'.
As someone who delights in scrutinizing the bizarre, I'd have to agree.'
Published: Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Should St. Louis County grant tax breaks to Scientology-linked tutoring programs?
Every year in St. Louis County, on the fourth Monday in August, more than one thousand properties are placed on the auction block. County revenue officials and eager bidders converge on council chambers to divvy up land on which owners have not paid property taxes for three years.
The tax-delinquent citizenry are warned in advance that their real estate will go to the highest bidder if they haven't paid at least one year's worth of back taxes. The deadline is auction day.
'We have a flurry of activity right before the tax sale: people coming in and paying the oldest year due, just to get their property out of the sale,' says Richard Robison, manager of revenue services.
One prominent plot that escaped auction this year was the $3.8 million, 55-acre Spanish Lake spread belonging to Applied Scholastics International, the Church of Scientology-associated nonprofit tutoring program that is trying to gain a foothold in St. Louis public schools. [For more on Applied Scholastics, see 'L Is for L. Ron' in the October 26 issue of the Riverfront Times.]
Since purchasing the property in 2001 for $2.9 million, Applied Scholastics has paid just one year's worth of property taxes. Now, the organization owes St. Louis County nearly $350,000 and has until next August to make good on at least some of that debt.
The organization has been fighting to obtain a tax break for more than a year, saying its educational mission led the federal government to grant it a charitable status back in 1972.
But the county's not convinced. First, the St. Louis County Board of Equalization turned Applied Scholastics down, saying its tutoring programs operate like a business by charging fees for so-called moral-improvement classes. And now the county council sees no reason to overturn the board's decision.
'Most of what we heard was about their programs in Belize and other countries. And that was really a concern of mine,' says St. Louis County Councilman Kurt Odenwald. 'I want to know what they're doing in the county. Are their teachers certified? Do people get degrees? Are county residents taking their classes?'
Applied Scholastics spokeswoman Mary Adams suggests that the latest scrutiny of her group amounts to a witch hunt.
Odenwald asked Applied Scholastics in September to furnish the council with more detailed information about the organization's effectiveness and its county-centered educational efforts.
'If we find out it really isn't a school, and what's being used is just for the internal religion [of Scientology], that would affect our underlying decision,' he says. Odenwald expects the council's revenue committee to forward its recommendation to the full body for passage within the next few weeks.
Municipal land-use and tax lawyers say the conflict amounts to differing interpretations of a broad state law.
According to that statute, property-tax exemptions are reserved for parcels 'actually and regularly used exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges, or for purposes purely charitable and not held for private or corporate profit.'
Between 250 and 300 charitable groups apply every year for exemptions, and only about half are granted, county officials say.
'If you're the county, you don't go: 'Bang, that's it, you're 501(c)(3) and federally tax-exempt, so you can have the tax status locally, too',' says Jerome Pratter, a St. Louis attorney who has fought the county over this issue before.
Case law has left the burden on anyone seeking tax breaks to prove that their organization provides direct benefits to society, Pratter adds.
'I wouldn't bet a dollar on either side in this case,' he concludes. 'But so far everybody is doing what they're supposed to, which is dig for the facts. And my guess is the loser will end up in court, because there's a substantial amount of money involved.'
It would not be the first time a Scientology-associated group and St. Louis County have sparred in the halls of justice.
In 2003 the Church of Scientology, which has local headquarters in University City, filed a lawsuit against the Board of Equalization for declaring the church taxable. That case is still pending.
The county, meanwhile, has shown little inclination to aggressively pursue the back taxes owed by Applied Scholastics.
'We'll send out a delinquent notice just before the tax sale,' explains Nancy Key, coordinator for the county's collector of revenue. 'But we're not like a collection agency that keeps calling and calling.'"
Munich, December 6, 2005
Learning studios infiltrated by Scientology
Sects and Psychogroups set their sights on students
by Roswitha Feger-Risch
Eight years of gymnasium (secondary preparatory school) is too difficult for many students. Therefore learning studios and homework monitors are experiencing a boom. But others, including sects, psychogroups and the controversial Scientology organization are taking advantage of this demand to spread their teachings through tutoring institutions. 'We are working to establish ourselves in this area,' stated Sabine Weber, press person for Scientology Bavaria, located in Munich.
Many parents would like their child to get a matriculation certificate in the hopes that it will improve chances for a job. Meanwhile more than a quarter of students get tutoring or other extra study help, according to the Bavarian State Youth Office.
Learning studios associated with sect-like organizations take advantage of these parent's ambitions. They often recruit by saying that anyone can learn anything as long as the right method is applied. This is a tonic for people who just cannot admit that their child is not a genius.
'The brain is a meatball'
It is not that simple to prove a direct link between Scientology and its institutions. The Donnert Tutoring Academy in Petershausen uses the slogan 'Learning with Understanding' in its advertising. However Thomas Donnert will not give any information over the telephone about the learning methods heapplies.
Instead he refers us to Scientologist Johann Altendorfer in Munich. Whoever wants to learn about education from Scientology in Bavaria won't miss Altendorfer. Renate Kluss, proprietress of the Kluss Learning Studio in Freising, verified that she does use the methods of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Like Donnert, though, she refuses to give any more information, but refers people to Altendorfer.
Wilfried Busse, proprietor of a learning studio in Munich, speaks openly about the methods he applies. He is even in possession of a 'study technology' license from L. Ron Hubbard. 'The only thing that really works is what comes from Hubbard,' Busse states and is openly dubious about scientific findings such as the varying functions of the left and right halves of the brain. 'That's a bunch of nonsense. The brain is a meatball, nothing more.' Busse says his clients include tax consultants, attorneys and academic candidates.
Advertisements from learning studios managed by Scientologists arouse no suspicion at first glance. The companies include unobtrusive names like Learning Studio or Learning Center. Signs of membership in Scientology are carefully avoided. Nevertheless their are several characteristics that don't fit those of a serious offer.
Proposed Seal of Approval
According to the Scientology crisis counseling center of the Bavarian State Youth office, unrealistic promises of success should be viewed with caution. 'We do not all have the same talents as each other, even if we sometimes think we do,' said the counselor. Questionable learning methods are often talked up as a solution for all learning problems. The customer is told that any subject can be successfully learned. 'Study technology,' for example, dictates that all words not understood be looked up. Unclear concepts are supposed to be worked out in clay figures. Any subject is supposed to be able to be learned this way.
The safe thing to do before signing a contract with a tutor or a learning studio, recommended the Scientology crisis counselor, is to have them sign a 'protection statement.' This statement verifies that the studio does not instruction according to the methods of L. Ron Hubbard.
It has not escaped the Culture Ministry that Scientology is putting an increased effort into approaching children via learning studios. Interior Minister Gunther Beckstein indicated the danger of this in the 2004 Constitutional Protection report, as a consequence of which the Culture Ministry sent a warning letter to all school principles in Bavaria.
In July of this year Bavarian state representative Forian Ritter proposed a seal of approval for tutoring studios. 'The Ministry is working out the rules necessary to put this seal of approval into effect,' said Ritter. ... Results are expected in several weeks."
A.r.s. Week in Review is put together for your benefit. This collection is organised for WWW by Andreas Heldal-Lund.