Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 17 08/18/96 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 #####
"Q. Does belonging to the Church of Scientology connect with your work? Weren't you raised as a Catholic?
"A. Yes, I grew up attending St. Rose, in Chelsea, and played in the St. Rose Drum and Bugle Corps for a couple of years. Although in one sense I got drawn to the mystics, I'm not basically a mystic. I take on a mystery as a challenge to discover what is -- I don't sit back and accept that I can never know what it is. I don't like that stance, philosophically. I like to know things, and Scientology is about learning how to know things for oneself, to unlock one's own intent and creative abilities. And that's always been my goal, even before I read any of [L. Ron] Hubbard's writing. To fathom my own creative mind and also let it be just what it is. I'm suppressed by the pressures of other viewpoints and authorities.
BlaNet, an electronic newspaper available at
http://www.forum.dk/forum/nyheder/, published a description of citizens of
Denmark attempting to prevent Scientology from establishing a school.
"In the villages of Felsted and Bjerndrup in Southern Jutland local citizens are trying to prevent Scientology in opening independent schools. Scientology has been prevented in opening their own schools in Germany and has therefore moved the education of approximately 60 German pupils to Denmark. The locals want to prevent that the cult buy more property in the area in order to start a school for Danes also. The schools are complaining that the locals are 'discriminating towards Germans.'
Arnie Lerma, a director of FACTNet, posted news about the organization, a
clearinghouse for information to aid victims of Scientology.
"FACTNet is regrouping to a more experienced, aggressive legal team.
"FACTNet will be going after, as number one priority, the full documentation of the fraudulent transfer of Hubbard's copyrights. The copyright transfer will be the point of attack.
"We are going to expose the massive fraud in the transfer of these copyrights from the Hubbard estate and L Ron Hubbard personally to todays existing $cientology entities.
"Anyone with any additional information about the transfer to David Miscavige, RTC, ASI etc, specifically any false Hubbard signatures, and anyone having any information about the blank pad filled with L. Ron Hubbard's signature, and any use by Hubbard of Organizational or staff resources or organizational income to create copyrightable materials. Anyone who has information as to the fair market value transfer to L. Ron Hubbard or the L. Ron Hubbard estate for transfer of copyrights from Hubbard or the estate to any other Scientology corporate entity, please contact me immediately."
Cornelius Krasel provided a translation this week of two articles from the
German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung discussing Scientology. Some
excerpts from the August 9th article:
"When fighting sects, especially conservative politicians are not embarrassed to use grandiloquent words. 'It is about time to put a stop to the game of the ringleaders of this alliance with its contempt for mankind.' This sentence of Norbert Bluem, uttered with respect to the pseudo-Church of Scientology, does not only give the direction but also the method - roll up the sleeves, get down to it, strike!
"If the government in whatever way would start to define what is a religion in the sense of the constitution, the guarantee of religious freedom would not be worth the paper on which it was printed. Even the ruling of the Federal Labor court, which says that Scientology is a commercial enterprise and not a church, is politically delicate and maybe only justified because the enterprise Scientology indeed does not disguise its greed for money which stops at almost nothing.
"With childish rejoice the Bavarian government climbs down into the junk room of the 'extremist decision' [CK: an old law which was designed to make it impossible for strong leftists to access governmental positions] and pulls out the notched weapon of blocked access to public service; from the beginning of October one can only become a public servant in Bavaria if he has publicly renounced Scientology. A suggestion of the CDU expert committee for domestic policy sounds similarly abstruse: politicians of the German parliament and the parliaments of the states are supposed to voluntarily declare whether they are members of the horror organization Scientology or not.
"[T]hese paranoid measures mainly seem to have the purpose to protect the government itself and its more noble divisions of the Scientology disease. If this only were the problem! Apart from the fact that Scientologists are not the only sect - really in danger, really in need of protection and counsel are not parliaments and departments but the millions of people who are already or soon in the fangs of the sects or the organizations that disguise as sects."
Excerpts from the August 8th article:
"In 1973, when he was 25, Gottfried Helnwein was - for example because of a provocative title picture for 'Profil' - the famous shocking painter from Vienna (Kurier) who felt bad because he had experimented with drugs, especially with LSD. Since he was at his wits' end, a drug withdrawal cure was suggested to him. After the program he felt much better.
"The course was organized by Scientologists; later, Helnwein says, he went to a few Scientology courses, because he was interested in almost anything between Zen Buddhism and Krishnamurti, Lao Tse and the Cabbala.
"Concerning Scientology, Helnwein says today that he was never a disciple; but he has said several times that he personally believes to have made a few good experiences. When they came into contact, Scientology was still fairly unknown in Germany and almost nobody knew that it is rather not a religious institution but a commercial one which controls its members with psychic pressure and manipulation; Helnwein apparently didn't see through this.
"[I]n the summer of 1991 a missionary and protestantic priest came into the Brohl valley near Koblenz and started to explain to the inhabitants the danger in which they had to live recently. Later he reconstructed that the missionary announced in a talk about Scientology that the leader would sit in Brohl castle, the kids shouldn't sign anything and the sect members would be enslaved to the leader so much that they would be convinced of their ability to walk through a wall. Because the missionary and a couple of other priests of the area (who talked to everybody except Helnwein) also got in contact with journalists the local press printed in large letters: The sect spreads in the Brohl valley, and it also printed whose fault this was: it was the painter, Helnwein.
"One of the many highlights of the conflict was reached when Helnwein - who at this time regularly declared (I shit on Scientology) - was summoned to Mainz. There he was asked by five deeply troubled commission members leaded by a secretary of state to sign a declaration which was worded by the sect-political speaker of the SPD (such a thing does indeed exist). When Helnwein would not commit himself to have never read a book by Hubbard and to never do so in the future, the exhibition was opened nevertheless, but he was convicted.
"From the mid of the nineties he started to affirm in affidavits that he didn't have a position, function or active membership in any religious community, especially Scientology, and that he had never donated money for the sect. From 1993 is also a declaration of the president of Scientology Germany who affirms without restriction that Mr. Helnwein has no function in any Scientology Church or other organization.
"[T]he galerists and museum directors with whom the artist had contact were now warned in anonymous letters across Germany who Helnwein was: Do you know that you exhibit the works of a painter who is a high-ranking Scientology official? The criminal energy was considerable: faked invitations were sent (come to the large Helnwein exhibition in the Scientology celebrity center Duesseldorf).
"[W]herever Helnwein started to prepare an exhibition, in the Landesmuseum in Mainz or in a bank in Heilbronn, in Tuebingen or in the Saar county - he was always expected by representatives of the local parliaments or politicians who quickly wanted to get into the press, sometimes with wildly invented claims like the one that at a similar exhibit in a youth house in Stuttgart addresses were collected by Scientology members (JU Heilbronn).
"Because this was obvious nonsense (confirmed by everybody who knows him a little bit including his colleagues and earlier babysitter who have assured in written affidavits that H. did never talk with them about the topic of Scientology and never tried to missionate somebody) Helnwein went to court another time. He won another time because the most important proof of Mrs. Schweitzer could get was an advertisement from an American Scientology magazine for members which Helnwein didn't know and against which he could defend himself only when he read that he was auditor IV.
"The next thing that will presumably follow is the request to demonstrate his innocence by walking on glowing coals or to quickly leave the Brohl valley where because of him all children have the stare. From Hamburg the painter hears that it is almost impossible to exhibit his retrospective there as planned."
Cult Strikes back
Scientology has again accused Germany of discriminating against its
members. This report from Reuters was posted this week.
"In a statement issued by its world headquarters in Los Angeles, the church said it also asked the Office of Security and Cooperation in Europe to investigate the claim.
"The United Nations and the OSCE 'have been asked to monitor religious discrimination against Scientologists in Germany and take effective action to restore their rights and the rights of other religious minorities which have suffered under Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government,' the statement said.
"Younger members of the CDU had said they would form massed ranks against screenings of 'Mission: Impossible' but failed to carry out their threat.
"The statement said documentation sent to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jose Iyala Lasso, and to other human rights directors at the United Nations as well as to OSCE officials 'contains chilling evidence of a systematic campaign of discrimination sanctioned and promoted at high levels of Kohl's government, in particular by Federal Minister for Family Affairs Claudia Nolte and Norbert Bluem, Federal Minister of Labor.'
"According to previous U.N. reports, people in Germany have been pressured by officials to declare they are not Scientologists and the children of Scientologists have been banned from local parks."
Grady Ward posted news this week of Scientology's investigation into his
computer files, and the (poor) state of negotiations towards a settlement.
"The Special Master has informed me that Madame Kobrin has asked her to retain a PC expert to attempt to 'crack' a series of pgp-encrypted multi-megabyte files that were seized along with more than a compressed gigabyte of other material from my safety deposit box.
"Ironically, they phoned to ask for assistance in supplying them with a prototype 'crack' program that they could use in iterating and permuting possibilities. I did supply them a good core pgpcrack source that can search several tens of thousands of possible key phrases a seconds; I also suggested that they should at least be using a P6-200 workstation or better to make the search more efficient."
"This morning (August 16, 1996), I received e-mail from Thomas R. Hogan, chief counsel for RTC in the RTC v Ward litigation before Judge Whyte of San Jose, California soundly rejecting my final offer for settlement.
"The cult and I have had two settlement meetings so far in which no agreement was reached and in fact I felt that they were interpreting my willingness to talk as capitulation rather than a good faith effort to promote some kind of win-win situation.
"So now I am in it for the long haul."
Keith Henson is having similar lack of success in negotiating a settlement
"I got a call from one of the cult's lawyers this morning to find out if I was interested in some sort of settlement. We only talked in general terms, but I tried to convey to them that I would be giving up a lot of ongoing personal status building on the net to give up the suit. They will have to compensate me if they want me to let go, and I will not accept any restrictions in such a deal. Later I left a message that CoS will have to end the spamming before I will consider talking to them at all."
Jeff Jacobsen posted news from Hemet, CA that the Scientology base is
behind on its taxes.
"The Hemet (CA) News of 8/15/96 on page B5 says that Building Management Services, which is the corporate arm of Scientology that handles their buildings, owes $6,396.12 in back taxes. Gee, I wonder if the person who neglected to make this payment will be sent to the RPF, or will he be promoted?"
Martin Hunt this week posted the story of his leaving Scientology, and the
reaction of his former friends.
"[S]ome three weeks after I blew I went back to Vancouver to pick up my stuff. The Scientologist I was sharing an apartment with wouldn't let me in, as she thought I had flipped and was now a dangerous suppressive person (phobia indoctrination). I knocked on the door, but she wouldn't answer. I called out her name, told her I knew she was home, that I just wanted to pick up my stuff, and that I wasn't a threat of any kind to her. She still wouldn't let me in, or even acknowledge that I was at the door, but literally hid in fear from me and pretended to not be there, even though I knew she was. I walked out to the corner and phoned her. I then said that I wouldn't call the cops if she let me have my stuff back, and to this she told me to go to the org downtown and get an OK first and go through ethics as my only terminal, so I went back to the org I hadn't been to or communicated in any way with for about three weeks.
"When I showed up at reception, the receptionist immediately called in a higher-up to deal with me, and I was frostily told to go straight to the ED, where I was given a form in triplicate to route-out properly. The ED told me not to talk to anyone, and was very cold to me despite a long acquaintance that went beyond the org; I had been to her house, met her family, seen her down in the State where she was on course while I was (she was doing the FEBC). I went through the form, and had to deal with several people on it, my superior, my division executive, the ethics officer, etc. Everyone talked to me as if I was an evil piece of shit, if they talked to me at all. It was a shocking experience to say hi to someone I thought I knew very well and considered a friend only to have them literally turn their back or walk away or just sneer at me; it was more shocking to see this repeated over and over with everyone I talked to, as if they had all been given instructions on what to do and how to shun me in the best possible manner to cause the most pain."
The Australian magazine New Weekly published an article this week about
Scientology and John Travolta.
"In John Travolta's latest movie, Phenomenon, the once disco-dancing star plays an ordinary man who is miraculously given supernatural powers. It sounds like fantasy - but in real life John believes he, too, has weird powers.
"Behind that famous smile, the 42-year-old gentle family man is an obsessive cult follower who claims he has cured fellow cast members with his 'healing hands'.
"John is convinced he owes his superstardom to Scientology, a mysterious religion that claims the world's problems are caused by the invisible remains of aliens blown up by a tyrant called Xenu millions of years ago.
"Among some of the more bizarre beliefs of Scientologists are that women should keep totally silent while giving birth, and that a machine invented by cult founder Lafayette Ron Hubbard can measure emotional pain."
Clear Baby Queries
Anonymous Scientologist Clear Baby claims to have sent a letter to the
International Justice Chief, asking for reconsideration of the SP Declare
of frequent a.r.s poster Ralph Hilton.
"I hereby query the Ethics Order containing the SP-declare of Mr. Ralph Hilton, United Kingdom, per HCOPL 15. 12. 69 II, 'Orders, query of'.
"After many years of dedicated service to LRH and the Sea Org, Mr. Hilton has been declared suppressive without the proper application of the 'Levels of ethics actions', as covered in HCOPL 29. 4. 1965, Issue III, 'ETHICS, REVIEW'. The ethics order therefore is illegal.
"Despite of this illegal expulsion from Scientology, Mr. Hilton is currently making major contributions to Scientology. He is discussing with critics on the Internet newsgroup 'alt.religion. scientology', where he is speaking out for the tech and giving positive data.
"I therefore respectfully ask you to get this matter reviewed."