Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 13 07/21/96 by Rod Keller [email@example.com] 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 firstname.lastname@example.org It is archived at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html New--> http://www.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 Note: There was no Week in Review last week. This issue covers items from the last two weeks. ####
"'There is one premise that I would like to question in your analysis, and that is with regard to the consequence of posting itself. It may be different than publication.'
"The helpers nimbly arrange the first exhibit on the easel. The church paid for surveys of Internet users, at 1000 people per survey. 20% had some knowledge of Scientology. However, there is [Milgram said] no indication at all that the information which was posted is generally known.
"The survey is snatched off the easel and replaced with a copy of the California Uniform Trade Secret Act. 'What I would like to focus on is the definition of trade secrets in your December opinion,' Milgrim says. He quotes from the original statute from which the California statue was adopted: 'a trade secret derives value from not being generally known to the public, or readily obtainable.' 'In the statute as adopted in California, 'or readily obtainable' was left out. So the statutory test is, being generally known.'
"'And one of the distinctions between the net and general publication is that the net is ephemeral..' Milgrim informs Whyte. [Choked laughter arises from the ars part of the audience.] Milgrim claims that posts disappear very quickly, in fact, almost instantly; therefore (he says) they are not 'readily ascertainable' to the public. 'The net is a hit and run medium.'
"In lecture mode, Milgrim explains that publications--trade journals, science reviews--have a process. They have an editor. They have a process that requires that the works to be printed are not copyrighted. The net, he implies, is an *entirely different* situation. There is no control over what people post on the net; smoothly he works in the anonymous posts: 'because we know that followers of Dennis Erlich...' post the materials.
"Carla Oakley of MOFO now has her turn. The picture of 'wholesale espionage' and trade secrets published on the Internet is not the case. Plaintiffs claim to be seeking injunctive relief, but they are really attempting to silence a critic. The situation is not at all like Intel [the Judge's example at the beginning].
"Judge Whyte interrupts. There is a fundamental question raised in this case. 'How do you lose a trade secret?' He wants to start with Intel and work back.
"If it is posted to the Internet, a trade secret will be lost. This was not just done by Dennis Erlich; there have been multiple other postings. NOTS was posted in the last month. As for Internet postings, 'they really are not ephemeral.' A potential competitor would have had the opportunity to download and keep the material, so it does not matter whether the posts stay on the net for a long time."
Clear Baby Handled
Anonymous Austrian Scientologist "clear baby" posted that she communicated with the Office of Special Affairs concerning her plan to report the unethical behavior of Scientologists on the net. In a series of posts, she described her plan to make the church more ethical by applying Scientology, and her meeting with OSA. Following her meeting, Clear Baby's plan has been given over to OSA.
"I will put my operation AREA CLEANUP into the church's hands where it belongs, and I had decided so already before I went out to see Andy (but was even more certain after that talk.) So my 13 questions which belonged to this project became unnecessary.
"Do you want to know the reason? The real reason? You can laugh about me - I have deserved it.
"Today I visited Scientology.Org again. It was a great experience for somebody who is about to learn how to create web-sites: nice texts, intelligent linking, survey forms, everything. This of course IS communicative, and this of course is where a form should be attached which can be used to make complaints, so that the technology of repairing upsets or past ethics conditions then can be applied (this was what I had in mind with AREA CLEANUP)."
Ralph Hilton posted private mail from clear baby. The OSA told her to stop communicating by email with declared SPs.
"I suppose you know what follows here, so I'll keep it short - I was meeting my DSA today, working out the scene, and of course I will have to disconnect from you and terminate this e-mail exchange."
Robert Wright, author of the Cybersmear article in Time magazine responded to criticism of his article. He apparently does not believe that Scientology is engaged in illegal harassment.
"I write, 'With EarthLink preparing for its first public stock offering, this is not good publicity. On the Net, the Church of Scientology is the antichrist. It slaps lawsuits on church critics who post quotes from copyrighted church documents, sometimes getting federal marshals to search homes and seize computer disks. There's no evidence that the church currently uses extralegal weapons against online critics--pries into their e-mail, say. Still, among the desirable qualities of an Internet access provider--the company whose computers all your e-mail and cyberwanderings pass through--'Church of Scientology affiliated' does not rank high.'
"First of all, by 'extra-legal' I meant 'outside of the law' in the sense of 'not lawful.' In retrospect, I should have just used the word 'illegal.'
"Several complaints about my piece have asserted that, even if you read 'extralegal' as 'illegal,' the sentence is incorrect. But the examples cited fail to convince me that the church of Scientology is *currently* engaged in illegal activities. Some of the examples are from years ago. Most are undated, making it hard for me to determine whether they indeed reflect the church's current behavior. Some sound as if they're in the twilight zone between legal and illegal. (Was the 'theft by deception' of a photograph technically a theft, or just a technically legal con job?) And in virtually no cases is the source of the information provided."
Earthlink IPO Postponed
Earthlink, an Internet provider owned by Scientologist Sky Dayton has put it's Initial Public Offering of stock on hold. Suspicions have been raised that Scientology itself has a major financial interest in Earthlink. Some excerpts from the Reuters and UPI reports:
"EarthLink Network Inc said Wednesday that its planned initial public offering had been put on hold due to market conditions.
"The Internet services provider said it was prepared to go public when market conditions were more favorable. EarthLink had filed for an offering of 3.6 million shares in a range of $10 to $12 each.
"'We are evaluating the situation to determine when the timing is right to re-engage our IPO process,' it said.
"Internet access provider EarthLink Network Inc. has announced (Wednesday [July 17th]) a delay in its plans for an initial public offering due to the current volatility in the high technology marketplace. EarthLink Network says management and offering underwriters have decided to place the IPO on hold but are prepared to proceed when market conditions are more favorable." Tom Klemesrud had an alternate explanation.
"I thought it might have had something to do with the hard sell off of Earthlink Investor Warren V Musser's Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE) for no apparent reason. It dropped like a rock--10 dollars-a day or two before Earthlink withdrew. I wonder if the SEC had input on the withdrawal decision?
"Safeguard Scientifics has a Foundation designated for 'Religious/ charitable/scientific/educational' purposes. I wonder which religions and charities, (scientific or educational); this foundation might patronize?"
The 9th Circuit District Court in Pasadena ruled against Scientology in its attempt to permanently seal the OT levels submitted as part of Steve Fishman's lawsuit.
"In the ruling by Circuit Judges Hall and Noonan and District Judge Shubb of Pasadena, 'Plaintiff-Appellant the Church of Scientology International appealed from the District Court's (Judge Hupp) orders DENYING their motion to seal, or in the alternative, to strike parts of the record. We DISMISS for lack of jurisdiction.'
"'By pursuing two separate appeals, the Church attempts to get two bites of the apple. We believe that such tactics fly in the face of Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4. Accordingly, because the Church failed to amend properly its first notice of appeal, we DISMISS this case for lack of jurisdiction and ORDER the mandate to be spread immediately.'
"Now, the way is paved for Dr. Geertz and I to go back to the trial Judge, (Judge Hupp), and permanently UNSEAL the upper level materials. They have been temporarily sealed by Judge Hupp, and now that the appeals court has ruled in our favor, we will be going back to Judge Hupp to unseal all of the upper level materials permanently and forever."
Cornelius Krasel posted a summary of a document written in response to Scientology's complaints of human rights violations against its cult members in Germany.
"The whole document is entitled 'statement of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) concerning complaints because of alleged discrimination of members of the Church of Scientology in the FRG'.
"No incidents are reported which document human rights violations. The incidents reported by Scientology can only partly be identified because often neither the names of the persons nor location nor time of the alleged incidents are documented. Therefore a comment is not possible because the allegations could not be investigated. In addition, the large number of these vague descriptions casts doubts on the list as a whole.
"The lists are primarily concerned where the state or the government wasn't involved. Therefore they cannot be used to witness governmental discrimination.
"The lists do not contain a single case where every possible means of jurisdiction was used. In general, complaints were only in a few cases taken to the court and in no cases through all courts.
"Scientology has claimed that it has been defamed politically. Because of statements on a CDU event in Wetzlar on Jan 23, 1992, Scientology did report Mrs. Renate Hartwig and Mrs. Anita Stutz to the police. The hearings were dismissed on May 19, 1993 by the court in Wetzlar. The decision was not appealed.
"The described cases of alleged bomb threats against the church of Scientology or its members are partly already showing up in other places of the three lists that have been submitted
"It is surprising that not a single case of the cases described was reported to the police or law authorities. Therefore it is impossible to confirm that the police had to evacuate churches because of bomb threats. Neither bomb threats nor police action is known. Nothing has been reported to the police either about written bomb threats, combined with xenophobic threats. Nothing would have been more obvious than to report these written threats to the police, nothing would have been more obvious for the government than to immediately start investigations. Since nothing of this has taken place, it has to be assumed that the claims are just claims with the ultimate goal to draw parallels between the alleged handling of Scientology in Germany today and the cruel fate of the Jewish population during the Third Reich. These approaches are complete nonsense and unresponsible against the Jewish people and their history.
"The case of Chick Corea The description of the case in the submitted list is wrong. There has been no contract between the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the jazz pianist Chick Corea.
"An advertising company which acted for the state of Baden- Wuerttemberg did negotiate with Mr. Chick Corea about a performance. The negotiations were broken off when it became known that Mr. Corea is one of the most important celebrities in Scientology. The state government of Baden-Wuerttemberg may engage artists for its own cultural program of its own choice. The decision has nothing to do with either a performance ban or racism. It does not violate the freedom of art or religious freedom. Mr. Corea can perform everywhere and as often as he wants, even in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. However, the state is not obliged to negotiate a contract with Mr. Chick Corea.
"In the Federal Republic of Germany, political parties are independent organisations. The government is not allowed to influence internal problems of parties. Parties may discuss the topic of 'Scientology' and may decide that it is incompatible with their goals. Parties are free to decide about acceptance of new members, and are not required to elaborate on the refusal of persons. In the case of expulsion of members the members have the possibility to appeal to a party court. Only two members of Scientology which were formerly in the CDU have used this possibility, and they did not appeal the first rulings."
Grady Ward Offer
Rumors have been posted to a.r.s about a "deal" allegedly offered to Scientology defendant Grady Ward. The deal would exchange release from the lawsuit for testimony against other Scientology critics. Interested observers unanimously doubt that Grady would agree to such conditions. Modemac posted the rumor's details.
"Rumour has it that in Grady Ward's last deposition, a representative of Scientology let slip the fact that they have spent HALF A MILLION DOLLARS so far in their lawsuit against Grady, from their hiring of law firms and attempts to come up with some sort of evidence to prove that Grady is SCAMIZDAT. They haven't found any evidence to prove this.
"It is also rumoured that Scientology has offered to drop the lawsuit against Grady. If Grady agrees to this (again, this is ONLY RUMOUR), he would have to sign a document admitting two facts:
"1) Grady Ward would admit that he is guilty of perjury, and he would state that he knows who SCAMIZDAT is.
"2) Grady Ward would admit that SCAMIZDAT is a conspiracy headed by Dennis Erlich, Dave Touretzky, and Ron Newman."
The parties each submitted their view of the events and issues of the case to Judge Whyte, including proposed schedules. First, Scientology's schedule:
"Discovery Cut-off November 8, 1996 Expert Designation, including reports November 27, 1996 Rebuttal Expert Designation, including reports January 10, 1997 Depositions of Experts January 31, 1997 Filing of Dispositive Motions February 28, 1997 Hearing of Dispositive Motions April 4, 1997 Pre-Trial Conference April 30, 1997 Trial May 20, 1997
"The parties expect that trial will last for 3 - 5 days."
Grady Ward's schedule asks for more time for his discovery, leading to a difference of 9 months in proposed trial dates.
"The defendant needs a substantial time for discovery as his resources are extremely limited compared to the plaintiff. In addition through accelerated discovery the plaintiff has acquired a three month 'head start' in discovery. Finally, the legal and factual issues and multiple actors involved in the serious racketeering allegations will require much more additional time for discovery than the relatively simple allegations and issues presented by the plaintiff.
"Discovery Cut-off August 8, 1997 Expert Designation, including reports August 27, 1997 Rebuttal Expert Designation, including reports October 10, 1997 Depositions of Experts October 31, 1997 Filing of Dispositive Motions November 30, 1997 Hearing of Dispositive Motions January 3, 1998 Pre-trial conference January 31, 1998 Trial February 28, 1998
"The parties expect that trial will last for 7-10 days."
Tony Bosnakoudis posted an announcement that Greece has ordered the closing of the Scientology mission in Athens.
"The 61 page Inference Report is the product of an investigation that started on October 1995. On October 10, 1995 almost 4,200 citizens signed and submitted a Memorandum to the Prefecture asking for the shutting down of KEFE [the Scientology mission].
"After of what was expressed above, the Committee has the opinion, that the Association deviated from its founding purposes, as stated in its 13-10-1983 Statutes for the following, in summary, reasons: "1. It exercises economic and trade activity, although it is non-profit.
"2. It appears with religious characteristics although this is not provided for in its Statutes, with possibly for-profit intention or for enforcement of its presence.
"3. It exercises financial, psychological and spiritual exploitation of its members. "The Committee, after the above and of personal estimation and having, in parallel, in mind that the theory, which the Association is supporting, is being received negatively in Greece, as well as in the international domain, according to the exposed data, suggests its dissolution."
John McMaster Letter
A letter was anonymously posted by the first true Clear, John McMaster to L. Ron Hubbard. Some excerpts:
"November 21, 1969. Dear Ron:
"In 1967 when the first Sea Org Ethics Mission to W.W. targeted me when I was Qual Sec S.H. at the time, I experienced horror, not at my own position, but at what such people might do to mankind. You came to my rescue at the time and ordered me finally to the Sea Organization. I did not take the matter any further assuming all would be well.
"However, this is where I was wrong. I should never have let the matter be not-ised for the sake of our technology and mankind. Because what happened to me has happened in the last two years, unjustly to many, many people across the earth.
"People are afraid to talk about their basic feelings even in a session. Many have told me so. Our organizations are not safe enough and hitting them with savage or vicious ethics does not help. It makes all the staff members introvert on to a self- protecting first Dynamic and this means they do not, any of them, have a safe space in which to operate - not even the auditors. So then, how can someone who does not have a safe space create one for another whether the other is preclear, student, junior staff member or whatever?
"The solution to the problem is the problem. The problem is to get Tech In to all people. Therefore to use Ethics as a solution is wrong. So the solution becomes the problem. Over these last years our bad ethics declares and handlings have become more and more the problem and are squeezing the safe space, once created by us, smaller and smaller, darker and darker.
"As a means to Reform, I am resigning from the Sea Organization so that such a thing of form monitoring function stops dead and it shall never happen to me or any other person again.
"These last two ghastly murders of our students near ASHO in Los Angeles, one of whom is clear, need never have happened, if we hadn't been mocking up Enemy so solidly.
"For an enemy to exist, it has to be mocked up both sides and our purpose is to see that all men want to reach in evolution the state where each knows he or she has no enemy, for each is basically good."
Jeff Jacobsen posted a report from the Hemet, CA base of Scientology, in which a staffer claimed to have fired a Sea Org environmental offender.
"The May 29 Hemet (California) News article titled 'Suit settled over dumping paint in trash' is about Riverside County fining Golden Era Productions $6500 for dumping 5 gallons of old paint into a large trash bin, which is an environmental no-no. Muriel Dufresne of Golden Era (who gave me the tour last time I was at Golden Era) said of the offender 'Once we found out about this, we immediately fired him. He was fired because he had earlier been given explicit instructions not to throw paint away'.
"I think most if not all the people at Golden Era are Sea Org people. If this person was a Sea Org member, here's one way to quickly get out of your billion year contract and being sent to the RPF when you make a mistake."
The Scientology magazine The Auditor reported forthcoming price increases, paraphrased by Tilman Hausherr.
"The following services will increase 5% on 1st August: One Academy Level, Elron Pro TR course, Elron Upper Indoc TR course, Pro metering course
"The following services will increase 10% on 1st July and 10% on 1st August: Academy Level 0 - 4 pack, CL5 NED, CL5 Grad, Internships, SHSBC, Auditor Certainty Course for Level 0 - 4 pack, and some similarly named crap.
"And a selected number of books will also increase in price."
New Web Sites
New Scientology web sites were announced this week.
"Hubbard [College of Administration]: http://www.hubbardcollege.org/"
Time Wins Suit
Time magazine won the case brought by Scientology for the 1992 article, "Scientology: Cult of Greed". From Reuters:
"A federal judge Tuesday dismissed a libel suit brought by the Church of Scientology International against Time Warner, Inc. <TWX.N> and its Time Inc. Magazine Co.
"U.S. District Judge Peter Leisure threw out the case, which alleged that a 10-page article entitled 'Scientology: The Cult of Greed,' carried false and defamatory statements. The article was published in 1992 by Time Magazine.
"Last year the court dismissed part of the case but heard new arguments on a remaining issue.
"The judge said the article also criticized the church on other subjects including the validity of its belief system, the harmfulness of its methods of counseling and its tactics of combating critics.
"'These statements were either not challenged by plaintiff or were held to be nonactionable by the Court on the grounds that no reasonable jury could find that they were published with actual malice,' the judge wrote."
Scientology cloaked its loss with claims that they welcome the decision, as it allows them to appeal the entire decision.
"'We are astonished by this outcome, but its really a blessing in disguise,' said the Reverend Heber C Jentzsch, President of the Church of Scientology International. 'It will give the Court of Appeals the opportunity to impose order on the chaos created by the District Court's dismissal rulings. We have every confidence that the Appeals Court will see things our way. They won't let a decision stand that makes bias a defense to defamation and we will be able to proceed to trial to prove that this story was not only malicious, but was a paid-for attack on the Church, a charge that Time has never refuted.'"
Excerpts from the decision:
"As demonstrated by the quotations set forth in the Background section of this Opinion and Order, the Article, 'Scientology: Cult of Greed' asserts, among other things, that Scientology, rather than being a bona fide religion, is in fact organized for the purpose of making money by means legitimate and illegitimate. The Article details various alleged schemes that the church allegedly uses to increase its revenues, including charging ever increasing fees to its members, deceiving non- members through the use of front groups, manipulating securities and currency markets through the use on inside information, and evading taxes. It also criticizes the church on various other subjects, including the validity of its belief system, the harmfulness of its methods of counseling, and its tactics of combating critics. These statements were either not challenged by plaintiff or were held to be non actionable by the Court on the grounds that not reasonable jury could find that they were published with actual malice. The sole statement still at issue in the case ('one source of funds for the Los Angeles-based church is the notorious, self regulated stock exchange in Vancouver, British Columbia, often called the scam capital of the world.') merely implies that the same view which this Court has held to be non-actionable as not made with actual malice: that Scientology's purpose is making money by means legitimate and illegitimate. Accordingly, the claim based on this statement must be dismissed as subsidiary to a nonactionable view expressed in the Article."
Ralph Hilton posted Ron's Journal 38, dated September 13th 1984, and intended for distribution following his death. Some excerpts:
"It is true that I took some money from the Church but not all of it. The RTC has altered my intentions.
"I have found out about the atrocities that have been going on in the name of Scientology for the past few years. I am heavily grieved that this could happen, but you will recall that I mentioned its possibility if the wrong terminals ever got control of the tech.
"Well I am afraid this has happened. The actions of the current RTC, Watchdog Committee, CMO, Contracted Legal Staff and others have been nothing less than treacherous. They have not done what I requested after leaving the Church of Scientology.
"I want you to know that I did take a large amount of money, approximately one hundred million dollars and put it away for the future. It is for our future. When I return I know that the research and work to continue clearing this planet will be critical by the time my next body will be able to handle the job. Money on this planet is a necessity, not a luxury. This large sum of money will give us the needed financial strength to take on the job of keeping Scientology working.
"You fellow Scientologists who have been ripped off in the last few years, to you all I apologize. You wonderful, glorious, fantastic Sea Org members who have been falsely RPF's for being able to question or think on your own, I apologize. To you Sea Org members who have gone months without pay, months with poor rations, who have given so much these past few years while your leaders were ripping you off, I apologize and I cry.
"And finally to my good friend of 22 years, David [Mayo], I apologize. You were left with the responsibility to keep the tech until my return. You have been punished and accused of crimes and high crimes for which I know you are not guilty.
"Disconnect from the RTC. I never donated the tech to them. I only loaned it to them. They have subverted my intentions for their personal profits. David Miscavige has become a criminal and coward of the lowest order. Leave him and his cohorts alone to their hell for eternity."