Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 10 06/23/96 by Rod Keller [firstname.lastname@example.org] copyright 1996
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors, whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some of the most significant postings. The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of the articles. Many include an excerpt, and all include message IDs for the articles I cover. This may or may not be useful to you, depending on how long your site stores articles in the newsgroup before expiring them. Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at email@example.com It is archived at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://user1.i1.net/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html http://www.amazing.com/scientology/ars-summary.html http://users.aimnet.com/~jdiver/scieno.htm http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html #####
The Cult Awareness Network (CAN) was forced to disband this week, as a result of the $1 million award against CAN in the Jason Scott case. Scott's attorney was cult member Kendrick Moxon. Reuters reported:
"A jury's decision to award $1 million to a Kirkland man who had sued the Cult Awareness Network is forcing the non-profit group that monitors religious cults to shut down.
"The bankruptcy will force the network, based in Barrington, Ill., to liquidate its assets and shut down its telephone hot line, which takes an average of 20,000 calls a year."
>From a CAN press release:
"CAN had originally entered a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last October, hoping to develop a reorganization plan that would permit it to continue to operate in the face of a crippling damage award assessed against it in civil litigation brought in a federal case in the state of Washington by plaintiff Jason Scott.
"CAN filed its reorganization plan, but in the face of vigorous opposition to the plan raised by Scott's attorney, the plan was not approved by the Bankruptcy Court, clearing the way for Scott to begin collection proceedings unless CAN entered the Chapter Seven.
"The Scott case is on appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. CAN's attorney, Paul Lawrence of the Seattle firm of Preston, Gates and Ellis, expects the appellate brief for CAN to be filed by late August. Lawrence is the President of the Washington State American Civil Liberties Union. Preston, Gates and Ellis is representing CAN pro bono.
"Ironically, CAN has also filed a petition to the Illinois Supreme Court asking the high court to review a case dismissed by the Circuit Court of Cook County which names Scott's attorney, Kendrick Moxon, his partner Timothy Bowles, and the Church of Scientology International as defendants for bringing multiple cases in an attempt to destroy CAN financially with litigation. The Chicago firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt are representing CAN pro bono in that matter.
"The Chapter Seven bankruptcy halts two other cases against CAN, one in Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles brought by Scientologist Robert Lippman, and the other brought by Landmark Education Corporation in the Circuit Court of Illinois. Court-ordered arbitration in the Lippman case has determined Lippman's claim as meritless.
"As part of the Chapter Seven proceedings CAN will recommend to the Chapter 7 Trustee that it offer for sale the right to collect judgments for tens of thousands of dollars in costs awarded to CAN against several Scientologists in past cases terminated in CAN's favor in California and Illinois.
"Of particular concern to CAN is what will happen to its archives of information on the cult issue and its confidential records of callers and donors. Without the resources to address constitutional and public interest issues to safeguard these documents, CAN is concerned its critics will try to acquire and destroy the archives and subject the donors to harassment or intimidation. At this point public interest organizations will need to contact the Chapter 7 Trustee to have these issues addressed because CAN has no resources to present these issues."
Lance Buckley posted a warning to those who have sensitive information in the files of CAN.
"[T]here are concerns about the continued confidentiality of their records. Due to the many years CAN has been involved in litigation, they have not been permitted to destroy any of these records. Of course, such a collection of documents is a treasure trove to organisations such as Scientology and you can be sure they will be pulling out all the stops to acquire them as soon as possible. While we'd like to believe these records are legally protected from exposure to unsympathetic eyes, we all know how effective legal protection can be against an affluent and devious opponent. We therefore have to assume that there is a risk of these documents falling into the wrong hands.
"Anyone who has had any dealings with CAN will probably have their name on record. This includes people who have donated money under their own name. If you are one of these people, or if you know such a person, it is in your own interests (and the interests of others like you) to contact CAN's Chapter 7 trustee as soon as possible and voice your concerns. The trustee details are:
"Mr. Bruce deMedici 834 North Forest Avenue Oak Park, Illinois 60302 FAX: (708) 848 0061"
News posted this week that US First Lady Hillary Clinton was fooled into a public demonstration of support for a Scientology front organization. Excerpts from two St. Petersburg Times articles, from June 4th and 8th.
"So, there was a smiling Hillary Rodham Clinton. There were the foster families from Pinellas County. There was the 'Hands of Hope Quilt' decorated with 250 brightly colored hand prints.
"And there on the quilt was ... a quote from Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
"Unbeknownst to Mrs. Clinton or her staff, the group greeted warmly by the first lady last Tuesday is headed by two Scientologists and promotes Hubbard's controversial beliefs as part of its promotional literature. 'We were not aware that it is affiliated with the Church of Scientology,' Lisa Caputo, Mrs. Clinton's press secretary, said Monday upon hearing of the group's connections. 'It was a very quick hello.'
"After that quick hello, the president of the Hands of Hope Quilt project put out a news release that took note of Hubbard's works and reported that one of the White House visitors had presented Mrs. Clinton with a copy of one of Hubbard's books.
"Describing the quilt, the news release says: 'A quote from the renowned humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard runs through it, 'A good stable adult with love and tolerance in his heart is about the best therapy a child can have.'"
"Her press secretary, Lisa Caputo, said afterward that Mrs. Clinton and her staff didn't know the controversial organization was associated with the quilt group.
"Not so, insist the Scientologists. 'There was no intention whatsoever to be deceptive in any way,' said Sue Taylor, spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology International in Washington.
"After the Times reported the visit Tuesday, Taylor showed a reporter a letter sent to Mrs. Clinton's scheduler a few weeks earlier that clearly linked the quilt effort and the Church.
"The letter from Hands of Hope president Marsha Friedman mentions that the Church of Scientology opens its Clearwater auditorium to foster children each year for a Christmas party. The letter also notes that the quilt the group planned to present to Mrs. Clinton includes Hubbard's quote.
"Caputo said last week that she couldn't find the letter."
A statement was posted this week from Mark Kelly, president of Directnet, explaining his company's inability to find the people responsible for thousands of messages posted from his site.
"Our senior system administrator, the person most experienced in administering our network resigned his position with DirectNet on May 17th to form a new company. Several other key personnel left with him.
"DirectNet is an independent company and not connected in any way to the Church of Scientology.
"DirectNet in no way condones the use of our facilities to launch abusive attacks on any element of the Internet community. Our policy is and has always been that any such abuse is a contravention of our user agreement and subjects the offending client, once identified as such, to appropriate administrative action, including termination of account privileges. Unfortunately, the departure of trained administrative personnel has made it difficult to put together a concerted effort to stop this attack.
"As to the spammer... we are continuing to try to identify the offending clients. There are apparently more than one. We terminated one account which was clearly involved and are continuing our investigation. We have hired a new sysadmin who will start Monday morning and hopefully help us put an end to this spam."
Chris Gwynne also had a message posted to a.r.s this week. Chris is the former system administrator of Directnet.
"I am not completely surprised that this happened after I left the new administrators are probably not up to speed nevertheless, I don't want to make excuses for them.
"Many of the people that are incensed about the recent SPAMs are suggesting that they are going to target this weekends meeting to raise some hell as they have inaccurately made a very imaginative association between my partner Alex Lightman (former CFO of DirectNet) and the previous company DirectNet as well as Earthlink."
George Mason University and Rockbridge have been the victims of the spammers this week, who have used their News server to spread their postings. Ron Newman posted a letter he sent to alert the system administrators to the situation.
"Someone is using your open NNTP server, news.rockbridge.net, to send a large number of 'spam' articles, with forged From: headers, to the Usenet newsgroup 'alt.religion.scientology'.
"This is part of a coordinated attack on the newsgroup, intended to make it useless as a discussion forum. It has been going on for over a month, from a large number of different Internet service providers and NNTP servers all over the world. You are simply the latest system to be attacked.
"I urge you to close off public access to your NNTP server, and to look through today's NNTP log file to determine the name or IP address of the host that these articles are being posted from. Based on the previous history of this problem, it is very likely that the connection is coming from an ISP in the Los Angeles area."
News from Grady Ward and his case against the cult in the Scamizdat trial, posted this week.
"grady is fine, although i suspect busy. he was supposed to go to San Jose to to supervise the Special Master's copying of his impounded safety deposit box disks, but i think that didn't happen.
"in a few days he has a 'meet and confer' session with hogan. in normal lawsuits this is a chance to exchange data with respect to a settlement.
"further deposition is scheduled for June 27 in Eureka. In mid July he has a case management conference with Hogan and the Judge.
"august 2 is the big one - his motion to dissolve the injunction will be heard. it's a date on my calendar."
The list of terms to be searched for on Grady's disks was also posted.
"Hubbard GPM Clearing Course NED for OTs (NOTs) SCAMIZDAT penet.fi Lerma (alerma, Arnie) hacktic Bulletin freezone.remailer Alex (DeJoode) XS4ALL Henson Thetan Power Fishman Klemesrud firstname.lastname@example.org Assists Erlich (Dennis, Informer, email@example.com) Touretzky Policy Letter nately.ucsd.edu Wollersheim Johan Helsingius (Julf) [and 4 confidential terms to be disclosed later]"
Ron Newman posted a message sent to him anonymously concerning the cult's posting collector, a computer computer called "Mongo". It includes suggested terms for foiling the collection of articles.
"All the data are stored in a special computer (located at the basement of 6331 Hollywood Blvd, CA) called 'mongo' that in short words it is a kind of altavista for OSA. This includes the newsgroup articles.
"Simply add to your message words to make any research on that computer totally useless, in a way that every research will came up with tons of your articles.
"John Travolta - NOTs - NOT - Sylvester Stallone - Fishman - anon144108 - Pamela Anderson - OSA - RTC - OT III - fishman - miscavige - cult - Rick Ross - OT VI VII VIII - XENU - Las Palmas - Erlich"
Snorri Helgarsson (Newkid) posted a message this week concerning a possible settlement of the cases in the Netherlands over hosting the allegedly secret Fishman documents. The terms of the deal would provide a means of removing secret documents from Dutch web servers.
"Since early May of this year an agreement is in the making between XS4ALL and the Co$ which aims at settling the current dispute in the Netherlands. Secret negotiations have been conducted, with the exclusion of other Internet Providers, involving XS4ALL, Nauta Dulith, Schut Bakker, and the Co$. A concept-agreement has been discussed on 27 May in which an out of court settlement has been worked out. What the concept agreement entails is that XS4ALL will, in the case where the Co$ files complaints about possible copyrights violations, send out a warning to the user accused of such violation and inform the Co$ of having done so. The Co$ from her part will forward documentation regarding the copyrighted nature of the materials posted. If the user hasn't removed the materials from her/his homepage within a reasonable amount of time his/her homepage will be blocked and the user's full identity will be forwarded to the Co$.
"What ever the outcome will be, the fact that such negotiations have been conducted and a concept-agreement has been worked out, serious if not unrepairable damage has been done to those involved in the Dutch Protest Action and to all those who were willing to take sacrifices in the struggle against this criminal cult."
Anonymous poster and web maintainer "sies" has been asked to remove the Fishman materials by Felipe Rodriguez.
"I got an email from Felipe Rodriquez stating he was advised by his lawyers to give out my personalia if I didn't comply and remove the FA from my homepage. Because of the verdict I did refuse to do so.
"'From: Felipe Rodriquez <felipe>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 96 02:12:00
"'We are asking you to remove the pages or to identify yourself to the counterparty. That way you take responsibility for your own actions and you don't force us to make your pages unavailable. If we don't, we are forced to start legal procedures and we will be charging you for damages.
"'If you take responsibility for your page you will be sued the same day. Once a procedure has been started there's no way to go back. If you lose, and that's likely, you have to pay for all costs. That would be about 10.000 dutch guilders including your own legal expenses.'
"Because one lawsuit already has been concluded, XS4ALL is threatening me with another one should I not comply. Felipe called me on the phone and because he didn't say anything about his comments, I told him I will remove my homepage as a whole. Should I restore my homepage I would let him be the first one to know."
Karin Spaink posted to refute the story of a secret deal being negotiated, and provided an update to the overall court case involving the Fishman pages.
"Scientology has appealed the March 12 verdict. The session for the appeal was scheduled for tomorrow, June 18. But it has been postponed.
"The reason for the postponement is that Scientology has invited us to discuss whether we can agree on some kind of settlement. Although we're not quite sure whether we can reach an agreement in this matter, there's no harm discussing them.
"Newkid aka Snorri Helgarsson aka Newkid has read my message to nl.scientology, and somehow gathered that there had been a meeting between XS4all and CoS. He turned it into a rather paranoid story, I must say."
Swedish Fishman Site
Tom Betz posted to announce a new Fishman site, with the complete confidential OT materials, in Sweden.
"Check out <http://www.wineasy.se/weesp/cos.htm> for the FULL FISHMAN DECLARATION including OT II and OT III.
"This guy even gives his address, and the address of the local court of law, for the benefit of those who might be inclined to sue him!"
Swiss Tax Status
Doppelstab, a Swiss weekly paper, published a story about the cult's efforts to get tax exempt status in that country.
"Scientology-founder and -guru, L. Ron Hubbard stated clearly: 'Should we be attacked by anyone at a vulnerable point, then find sufficient threatening material or manufacture it. Never defend. Always attack He so ordered on 15, August 1960. And his disciples still follow that rule.
"The vulnerable points: The demand to forbid cult-promotion at the Steinenvorstadt (note: walking street area in Basel) and scientology's financial transactions.
"The newest attack: They no longer want to pay taxes. 'The application has been completed, all I need are a few more informations from Los Angeles', says Juerg Stettler, press secretary for scientology Switzerland (note: and Swiss OSA boss). Shortly he wants to file it in Zuerich and afterwards in Basel.
"A view of tax law shows the audacity of this attempt: Paragraph 7 of the cantonal tax law reads: 'The duty to pay taxes is lifted for c) corporate bodies, foundations and establishments whose funds serve public, non-profit, charitable or religious purposes.'
"Institutions only serve a 'public purpose' when duties have been 'assigned them by sovereign act' and if they are of interest to the general public. This certainly is not the case with scientology.
"Scientology cannot claim such a clean record, as the organization does not bring sacrifices but asks for them - in the form of money: One single intensive-'therapy' (called 'auditing') costs 7,455, the 'Road to Freedom' at least 100,000 Franks. Not only is the organization active economically but it also functions as an actual economic entity.
"Minimum wages, way below the minimum of existence for the employees (often a bare 100 Franks for 60 hours of work) and an accordingly low welfare expenditure gives them profits which flow to the international combine abroad."