Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 15 08/04/96 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 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 #####
Paulette Cooper reported this week on the death of Bob Kaufman, author of
Inside Scientology, at age 63.
"Bob was the first person courageous enough to reveal the upper level materials. For this, he was terribly harassed and his dreams of a concert piano career shattered. When he gave a recital at Carnegie Hall more than 20 years ago, the Scientologists found out in advance and called the ticket taker and told them to tell people he was ill and the concert was canceled.
"Almost everyone was turned away, and as Bob looked out at an almost empty audience, and realized what must have happened, he lost it and his fury crept into his music. Later, the Times review would complain that he played as if he was angry.
"He was also an extraordinary friend to many anti-Scientologists, including myself, Monica, Nan McClean, John Atack, Roy Wallis (when he was alive), Margie Wakefield, and others.
"I would download whatever humor I could find from a.r.s. and the web pages, and I would sing often these songs to him, or read him the funny anti-Scientology posts that you all wrote. And that's how several of you really cheered him terrifically during his many surgical procedures, hospitalizations, setbacks, and chemo. So thank you all for him. He really loved it."
A filing with the National Bankruptcy Review Commission by attorney David
Bardin was posted this week.
"The pending bankruptcy of my pro bono client, an advocacy group illustrates issues of legislative import, for this Commission to consider, regarding interfaces between bankruptcy law and basic liberties under the Constitution of the United States -- including First Amendment rights of people who chose to associate with my client and whose privacy would be invaded by sale of certain files.
"How should the Chapter 7 Trustee, the Bankruptcy Court in Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 and the District Court, assure protection of associational rights of non-debtor individuals who chose to associate with the debtor? For example, how should they protect membership and donor lists of a bankrupt non-profit corporation?
"Should the trustee allow adversaries of the non-profit debtor to acquire privileged attorney-client and work product documents needed by the debtor for on-going, non-bankruptcy litigation?
"Important battles to come will involve CAN property of no market value _except_ to a cult awareness organization *or* to an adversary bent on destroying the materials or using them to harass individuals for exercising their associational rights. These include:
"* Membership and donor lists;
"* Identification of individuals who specifically sought anonymity to protect their privacy and avoid hostility, reprisals, harassment and surveillance: e.g., donors, relatives of current cult members, persons sharing information about alleged law violations which they hoped CAN could bring to law enforcement authorities without involving the informant (at least initially);
"* CAN's service-marked logo and stylized name, which could be used misleadingly by an adversary;
"After the Chapter 11 filing, the bankruptcy court ruled that the stay of Landmark's multi-million-dollar suit would protect only CAN, but not its executive director. So instead of concentrating on surviving Chapter 11, she was drawn into a continuing discovery process with CAN adversary Landmark. Discovery involved, of course, her role and performance on behalf of CAN.
"Extending Chapter 11 protection to officers and directors of such non- profits as a matter of course (or, alternatively, at least creating a rebuttable presumption) might enable an organization such as CAN to weather the storm. Such legislated protection is appropriate to shield against misuse of litigation by those who would chill free speech and advocacy by floods of litigation."
A statement to the court by Dennis Erlich was posted this week. He
describes the raid on his home, and why he feels it is necessary to quote
Scientology materials in his criticism.
"[T]he RTC officials began to copy many of the files from the hard drive of my second computer. They then proceeded to erase the files that they copied from my hard drive. All of this occurred without my permission or consent. From what I can tell, the RTC officials erased files dealing with numerous topics -- including Internet messages, my financial records, my own independent research into Scientology, and other miscellaneous files having nothing to do with Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard. Unfortunately, I cannot know for sure exactly what, or how much, was downloaded or erased because the RTC officials would not permit me to make an inventory of the files.
"In addition to copying and erasing my computer files, RTC officials searched throughout the remainder of my house. They searched many areas of my home -- including every closet and cupboard -- that contained no items related to computers or to Scientology. Finally, they kicked in my garage door in an attempt to search my garage.
"As the RTC officials and the off-duty and retired police officers prepared to depart, an on-duty Glendale police officer arrived. I asked the officer for an inventory of the items that were being taken away. The officer refused my request for an inventory.
"The RTC officials ultimately took numerous items from my home. These items included approximately 300 computer disks in the form of 3 1/2 inch and 5 1/4 inch floppy disks, containing such computer programs as DOS, Aldus Page Maker, Word Perfect, Turbo Tax, and Quicken; approximately 40 of my books pertaining to Scientology; personal papers pertaining to my research into Scientology; a transcript of a radio broadcast debate between myself and Scientology official Heber Jentsche; a 'demo' tape of songs written by me; and an envelope containing my most recent bank statement.
"In order effectively to carry out my mission of educating the public about what I believe is a deceitful and dangerous organization, it is absolutely critical that readers of the a.r.s. newsgroup believe I am credible. In order to achieve that level of credibility, it is essential to acknowledge, understand and comment on the words of Mr. Hubbard precisely and as written.
"[I]t ensures my audience that I know what I am talking about, that I am familiar with Scientology. In order for me to be able to reach and help a number of people on a.r.s., these people need to know that I have seen and studied the actual Scientology texts, and can help foster the debate and explain them. This is especially true because it is not uncommon for the pro-Scientology faction on a.r.s. to claim that other people's interpretation of Mr. Hubbard's policies are inaccurate -- even when they are not -- because they fear that the public will be dissuaded from joining the 'church.'
"I feel I have an additional responsibility to the a.r.s. community to help facilitate debate on topics chosen by others. As a result, various people will often post a portion of what they think is authentic Hubbard material, and ask if I can 'authenticate' it. In fact, there has always been a great deal of discussion on the newsgroup just about the authenticity of various quotes and writings attributed to Hubbard.
"[I]t is important to utilize Scientology works themselves because one of the first things a Scientologist is conditioned to believe is that only Mr. Hubbard's precise words can be used for teaching Scientology. It is absolutely forbidden for an instructor or supervisor to provide an 'interpretation' of the texts, only Hubbard's words are allowed to be used.
"[I]f I did not use Mr. Hubbard's own words in the precise way they were written, I would quickly be accused by the pro-Scientology faction on a.r.s of twisting Mr. Hubbard's words, using them out of context or simply making up fake documents. These tactics are a very common way that the Scientology proponents deflect criticism of Scientology doctrines and practices and attempt to silence all critics. By claiming that a critical posting has misquoted Hubbard or taken his words out of context, the pro-Scientology faction can (and does) stifle debate on the subject and interfere with the free exchange of ideas.
"I originally obtained the vast majority of the allegedly secret documents at issue here because somebody else had posted them to the a.r.s. newsgroup. I have been able to retrieve some of those original postings to illustrate this point to the Court. I have no idea who originally posted these materials.
"I have reviewed the declaration of Kim Baker, filed by RTC in support of its motion to expand the preliminary injunction. While most of the declaration does not seem to have anything to do with me, Ms. Baker states that I was ordained as a minister in some group called the United Free Zone Fellowship. That is absolutely false.
"The only other part of Ms. Baker's declaration that mentions me has to do with somebody who apparently wanted to donate money. I have no personal knowledge of that incident."
A filing written by Carla Oakley, lead attorney from Morrison & Foerster in Dennis' case, was also posted.
"[P]laintiff Religious Technology Center ('RTC') improperly mixes and misstates the legal requirements for a trade secret claim, misrepresents the record and relies on more inadmissible evidence. Stripped of these distortions, the law and record mandate denial of RTC's motion for reconsideration of this Court's September 22, 1995, trade secret ruling because RTC still has not identified its alleged trade secrets with particularity, the documents at issue -- if previously secret -- lost their essential status as secrets through no fault of Mr. Erlich when published on the Internet and became available to 'potential competitors' (assuming they have commercial value).
"As this Court held in its earlier order, the Scientology documents cannot be classified as 'secret' because they were disseminated on the Internet before Mr. Erlich allegedly posted or parodied excerpts of those documents. To be a trade secret, the first and most important requirement is that the information be secret. Publication of documents on a medium read by millions, and that here plainly allowed for easy preservation of the documents in digital or paper form, precludes classification of them as 'secret.'
"As for the audience for determining whether documents are secret, RTC concedes that it is unnecessary to address the general public if the materials are generally known to potential competitors. RTC's surveys ignore this essential audience. As this Court correctly found, the works at issue have become known to potential competitors (assuming there are potential competitors).
"Speculative concerns that Internet postings will threaten commercially oriented enterprises simply have failed to materialize. The Internet and anonymous remailers have been in existence and heavy use for a significant period of time, and yet disgruntled employees simply are not posting trade secrets to Internet newsgroups, anonymously or otherwise. The potential to destroy a trade secret anonymously existed well before the advent of the anonymous remailer. The law compels the conclusion that the Exhibit B and B-1 documents lost any secrecy they may have had once posted in a publicly accessible Internet newsgroup. To the extent RTC argues for a different conclusion based only on the fact that the dissemination was over the Internet, and not in 'traditional' media, that is a legislative, not a judicial question."
Kochaca Pantsleeb posted his experience from 1979 involving Scientology
"Around 1979 I had a studio in a building and was evicted because the Church of Scientology was taking over the floor. When I arrived close to the deadline they had started to move my stuff for me and had moved some of their file cabinets in. I looked into the files and pulled out some security folders. Described was the circumstances of the departure, their current standing with the Church, and what can/should be done if the person enters the building, makes public statements, etc. Some were welcome to return, were not considered a risk. Others were to be shown the door. Others were to be shown the door physically. The more serious forms stated that if the person did anything against the Church, physical harm to the person or their home was permitted. Basically, any tactic was fair game against this final group."
An article from Kiel Germany magazine Kieler Nachrichten was posted
concerning awarding government contracts to Scientologists. Rolf Elak
posted the rough translation.
"More efforts are called for to 'fight the totalitarian goals' of the cult of Scientology. This is called for by Arne Wullff, head of the conservative faction of the Kiel city parliament. Because Scientologist embrace anticonstitutional political strategies they should not get benefits from state or community contracts.
"Wulff suggests to exclude Scientology from public contracts. Only certain enterprises and persons may get contracts. Those will have to declare that they do not use the 'management technology' of the 'multinational economic organisation' scientology. Further there must be concluded a heavy conflict of interest being an employee of the city/state and being a member of Scientology. Every new employee of the city of Kiel should declare that s/he is not a member of scientology.
"The state-governments 'cultwatcher', H.P. Bartels, said that these measure are out of the scope of the city of Kiel alone. He emphasized that Wulffs intentions are similar to those of a agreement of the presidents of the German states. The secretaries of the interior of the states are called to make a report on how to make sure that public contracts will only be given to firms who don't use the so called 'technology' of Scientology."
Another article reporting on Germany was posted from Inter Press Service.
"Modern jazz musician Chick Corea has been banned and boycotted by German authorities who claim the performer is serving up a dangerous potion at his concerts. Corea, a member of the Church of Scientology, says he doesn't mix his religion with his piano and keyboard orchestrations as officials charge. He doesn't proselytize at concerts or imbue his melodies with secret messages, his music doesn't have words.
"Some key German authorities from the states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg, and in the central government in Bonn are unnerved by what they see as the secret designs of the religious movement to snatch their youth from schools, swindle money from the unsuspecting and create havoc in a country facing religious and ethnic challenges stemming from the aftermath of the Cold War.
"'Scientology seeks world domination and has the destruction of our society as its goal,' said Claudia Nolte, Minister for Family Services, Women and Youth Affairs in Bonn, and a Roman Catholic. The Scientologists says they do not engage in illegal or improper tactics and merely seek religious freedom for their members.
"Virtually every major political party in Germany has banned membership in the Church of Scientology. Some party members who revealed their affiliation to the church were forced to step aside. Several boycotts have also been led against a few business leaders who were Scientologists.
"'There's a real systematic program of ostracizing Scientologists,' asserted Bill Walsh, a Washington, D.C. lawyer who represents Corea and is attempting to get Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg to relax their posture. 'It's being used as a way to curry favor with political voters.'"
Tilman Hausherr posted abusive e-mail from Ernest Meyerhoff this week,
comparing him to a Nazi.
"As typical of the germ-man race you have found another scapegoat to pitch all you propaganda and hatred at. I am of German heritage but I am ashamed of the humiliation they have brought upon themselves in this century. They started two world wars of which the United States had to intervene costing so many lives and money on all fronts. They have persecuted a nation of people, killing millions of Jews for what today is called 'ethnic cleansing'.
"I am now ashamed that the great Germ-man race has decided to attack again. The skin heads in this country are being slowly but surely, apprehended for their crimes and are serving time in our prisons. They think that Dr. Aryan's concept of the supreme race still exists.
"On the contrary, if there is such a thing as a supreme race it will be the Clears in Scientology.
"When the pieces fall and there is nothing left, it will be the Scientologist that will be there picking up the pieces and creating the better world. Why, because we have a creed that we all believe in and in that creed we believe that all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance, as well as the own lives, sanity, defense regardless of the race, color or creed."
Court filings by Grady Ward were posted this week. Scientology attorney
Hogan has been playing games.
"Defendant objects to Plaintiff's ploy of filing their separate Case Management statement while wrongfully informing the Clerk that the defendant 'had refused to participate in finalizing the draft.' While filing separate Case Management statements is explicitly permitted under L.R. 16-7 (under 'hardship'), the concomitant message to the Clerk was intended to preempt any kind of defendant input.
"The truth is that Ms. Kobrin e-mailed her version of the Case Management statement on the afternoon of July 15, 1996 warning me that it was due to be filed the following day on July 16, 1996. Clearly she intended me to make minor changes to her radically skewed version of the case that omitted all wrongdoing by Eugene Martin Ingram, Jeffrey George Quiros, and other agents of the Church of Scientology, Religious Technology Center, Church of Spiritual Technology and other organizations working in concert and participation with the plaintiff (including Madame Kobrin herself) and thereby totally ignoring my counterclaims in order to wholly bias that statement in favor of the plaintiff before this Court.
"Because of the radically skewed nature of her version of the statement that could not possibly be reconciled before the deadline for its submission.
"In another recent example of the plaintiff's pattern of false dealings with this Court, attached is a Declaration documenting that the so-called NOTs did not just 'flit' across the Internet nor were those alleged trade secrets of the plaintiff 'totally off the Internet within a day' (McShane Declaration, page 3, lines 10-11) but among all the national and international private and public archives and news spools inter alia the documents were plainly in view and available to millions of subscribers to the service known as America On-Line for a period of two weeks."
Ralph Hilton responded to general inquiries to explain the origins of
Metapsychology, a Scientology off-shoot.
"Metapsychology is an offshoot from Scientology started by Frank A. Gerbode who used to run a Scientology franchise in Palo Alto. In 1988 he wrote a book 'Beyond Psychology; An Introduction to Metapsychology'
"The book rewrites the basic principles of Scientology using a different vocabulary. It is designed with the intent of appealing to mainstream psychologists.
"In the early 80's Frank (usually known as Serge) worked with David Mayo. They concentrate on the lower levels of Scientology and have removed references to upper level controversial data which as far as I know they do not currently use."
Keith Bennett posted a report of a phone call to Westworld, host of one of
the open NNTP servers used to spread the spam of Scientology. The spam has
apparently caught the interest of U.S. law enforcement.
"[I] Talked to the VP, 'email@example.com.' Said there had been like 5 calls today, incl one from the FBI. Wants the info sent to him, instead of sysadmin. I will forward the three 'Tom Betz' posts, and one more with headers from the most recent spam."
Swedish Fishman Site
Karin Spaink posted an update on Zenon Panoussis, who has placed the
complete Fishman materials on his web page. His site attracted attention
from Scientology for the first time since its inception in mid-June.
"After a full five weeks, CoS finally did something. Apparently they've contacted Zenon's sysadmin, who has thereupon removed the page. Zenon will discuss things with his sysadmin as soon as possible."
"On Friday July 27th I received a message from the administrator of wineasy.se, informing me that he removed my CoS-pages at the request of 'a lawyer of that American sect' and inviting me to call him to discuss the matter. I haven't been able to get hold of him yet.
"I don't know where negotiations will lead, but I wouldn't want to be in my sysadmin's shoes. His only alternative to standing up against the CoS is getting sued by me instead."
The August 1996 Internet Underground magazine contains an article on
Internet and the cult. Some excerpts:
"On May 19, a user operating under the assumed name 'Chris Maple,' posted the first in a cannonade of vertical spam attacks, or mass postings, to the already fire-heavy Usenet group alt.religion.scientology. The newsgroup has been inciting fierce debate between Scientologists and anti-Church activists who oppose the religion's practices since its creation in 1991, but according to users who frequent the group, the mission behind this latest round of attacks goes far beyond flaming: it's a movement to kill a.r.s. once and for all.
"In response to the accusations and the May 19 barrage of Scientology material spammed onto the a.r.s. newsgroup, the Church's International Public Affairs spokesperson, Debbie Blair told IU, 'our position on the multiple posts to alt.religion.scientology--or to any other newsgroup for that matter--is simple. Anyone who wishes to express himself or herself is free do so thanks to the United States Constitution.' Blair also said of the spams, and of those individuals combating them, 'It's only a few hypocrites that would complain. When they express themselves on a.r.s. or anywhere else, no matter how vile and hateful their postings are, we acknowledge their right to say what they want.'
"The Church did not take responsibility for the spamming, but open letters to the Scientology community that have made their way onto the 'net indicate that Church officials have considered using the tactic in the past (see the Church of Scientology vs. The Net site at http://www.cybercom.net/~rnewman/ scientology/home.html)."