Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 18 08/25/96 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 #####
America Online sysop Jerry White has placed a link to
alt.religion.scientology from his Religion & Ethics folder. Neil Woods
"Sermoner1 and AOL have put a direct link from the 'Other Religions' area to alt.religion.scientology!!! This now eliminates the need for posting those long instructions that usually get pulled anyway. This also should make finding this newsgroup that much easier for fledgling AOL critics, ex-cult members and those private Scienos who may be on the fence."
Arnie Lerma announced this week that he fired his legal representatives.
"As of the morning of Tuesday, August 20th, Arnaldo Lerma hereby dismisses Faegre & Benson, LLP and Ross Dixon & Masback, LLP as counsel.
"Both firms have been notified of my decision this morning. Lerma is proceeding Pro-Se, until new counsel is determined."
He then posted a petition to Judge Brinkema to reopen the proceedings that she cut short by awarding a summary judgment to Scientology, and announced that Graham Berry will be participant in his defense.
"Defendant, Arnaldo Lerma, appearing pro-se on his own behalf, hereby requests this court ex parte to issue an order providing an immediate stay of all proceedings herein, including but not limited to the signing and entry of any written order of summary judgment pending the filing and service of motions for, inter alia:
"- Reopening these proceedings; and - The taking of further discovery herein; and - The rebriefing and reargument of motions for summary judgment and/or summary adjudication of issues; and - Such further motions that the parties may file and serve prior to September 27, 1996 and calendar for hearing on Tuesday October 22, 1996 or such other date as this court may deem proper on the grounds, inter alia, that: - This court has an inherent power to correct its own record at any time prior to the entry of final judgment hearings; and - That a grievous miscarriage of justice has occurred in these proceedings; and - Plaintiff has engaged in outrageous and criminal acts of interstate conspiracy and misconduct in order to insure that defendants counsel of choice would be precluded from appearing herein; and - Defendants insurance appointed counsel misrepresented its expertise and experience, failed to follow defendants and his agents oral and written instructions including but not limited to: Failing to convey defendants requests for the appointment of more suitable counsel to defendants insurance carrier; and Submitting all court filings to defendants and his agents for review and approval before filing; and Fraudulently and excessively 'churning' this and related litigation to the extent of over 1.4 million dollars in a little over 6 months, and failing to properly advise defendant and his agents that the proceeds of self-liquidating insurance was being so rapidly depleted and exhausted in this manner
"That plaintiff, its attorneys, affiliates and other agents intercepted confidential attorney-client communications between defendants counsel of choice, Los Angeles Attorney Graham E. Berry, Esq., and Lawrence Wollershiem and engaged in other acts of outrageous and despicable conduct against Graham E. Berry, Esq. on an interstate and international basis
"That Graham E. Berry, Esq. has resigned from his partnership in the Lewis D'Amato, Brisbois and Bisgaurd law firm effective August 23, 1996 and will become a member of the large Los Angeles law firm of Musick, Peeler and Garrett on Tuesday September 3, 1996 and he has agreed to assume the representation of the defendant herein and that of defendants in related cases; and
"This ex parte request for an immediate stay of all proceedings herein, including but not limited to the signing and entry of any summary judgment order, is made on the grounds that the interest of justice and judicial economy require that defendant have the opportunity, through new counsel, to file and argue the noticed motions inter alia, that are described herein, and in all the circumstances, not withstanding the courts prior admonition that no further papers are to be filed herein."
Arnie also posted a filing which described the reasons for the dismissal.
"Recently, a member of the Faegre firm called Bob Penny, who is seriously ill and impaired with multiple sclerosis, and claimed that he received Mr. Penny's assent to withdraw from the Denver case against FACTNet for which I serve as a Director. Mr. Penny provided a notarized statement denying that he assented for Faegre to withdraw.
"In my declaration in support of the motions noticed herein, and with the guidance and assistance of new counsel Graham E. Berry, Esq. I shall provide extensive non-privileged evidence of Faegre & Benson's blatant misconduct, negligence and disobedience, to the extreme detriment and damage to my position in this litigation. It is not too late to undo this detriment and damage and thus avoid the courts being burdened with further litigation. However, Faegre and Benson has refused to take any action to mitigate the damage their conduct has caused me.
"It is the informed belief of the Directors of FACTNet including myself that given ample discovery, competently directed, we may document the fraudulent transfer of Hubbard's copyrights to David Miscavige, RTC, ASI , Bridge Publications, and/or other entities . The Court has not been informed about the blank pads with Hubbard's signatures used by David Miscavige or the actual fair market value at the time of transfer, and whether this was paid to his heirs, and how this valuation was determined. The two individuals that I know have knowledge of this, David Miscavige and Patrick Broeker, as well as the surviving members of Hubbard's family are difficult to depose."
Judge Brinkema was apparently unaffected by this argument
"The Court has reviewed defendant Lerma's ex parte Request for Immediate Stay of Proceedings. Because the Court has ruled orally on the substantive issues of this complex litigation and is within days of issuing its written opinion, the Request is DENIED. This civil action will be concluded forthwith. If Mr. Lerma has new issues he wants to litigate, that must be done in a new civil action in the appropriate forum."
The NOTS series of procedures was posted twice this week. The first was
made by the anonymous poster "Vorlon", posting from the Dutch xs4all site
as Vorlon@space.b5 (Vorlon). The posts were made in PGP-encrypted form,
and the appropriate passwords were provided within a day. The postings
were made in the following series of messages:
Karin Spaink described the hunt for Vorlon by Scientology.
"Ever since Vorlon <firstname.lastname@example.org> reposted the NOTS on Monday, August 19, Nauta Dutilh - CoS Dutch legal representatives - are in quite a state. Immediately after the offending postings were made, they contacted our lawyer Bakker Schut and requested that XS4all would take measures. After all, according to the headers of these postings, XS4all was the system whence these postings originated.
"After some consideration, XS4all decided to cancel Vorlon's postings on Wednesday 21. Their main reason for doing so was that after the first posting of the NOTS, in May 1996, who signed his messages with 'Vorlon', Nauta Dutilh sent XS4all and hacktic.utopia the copyright notices for the NOTS, plus a statement of a notary who had compared the NOTS originals with the posted messages. This material showed that RTC did indeed own the copyrights to the NOTS and provided evidence that RTC's copyright had indeed been violated by the postings of the NOTS that were done via the utopia.hacktic remailer.
"Nauta Dutilh was not satisfied with XS4all canceling the messages. They also requested that XS4all check their logfiles in order to find out which XS4all user had posted the NOTS as email@example.com. XS4all answered that yes, indeed, by studying their logs they were able to trace from which account the NOTS had been posted, but that they were loathe to Nata Dutilh; they would rather confer with XS4all manager Felipe Rodriquez first, but Felipe was on vacation and could not be reached before September.
"Nauta Dutilh then threatened to sue XS4all."
The second batch of postings were made by Zenon Panoussis, a Swede who had maintained a web site of OT documents until it was removed by his Internet provider. The materials were sent in the following series of postings:
In a message copied to Scientology lawyer Helena Kobrin and Dahlman Magnusson, Zenon justified his postings.
"In my opinion, the CoS violates the right to property by extracting money from people through deceit and the exercise of psychological coercion (among other questionable methods). It then abuses the right to intellectual property in order to stifle its opponents' right of expression, the exercise of which could provide some protection against that deceit and psychological coercion. Thus, the CoS abuses its right to intellectual property in order to be able to violate others' right to their material property. In short, the CoS uses such institutions of democracy as law and law enforcement bodies in order to undermine central values of democracy and democracy itself.
"If exercising the right of expression in a given situation can save the rights to personal freedom and material property at the cost of the right to intellectual property, then I think the choice is clear.
"Through this reasoning I find myself morally entitled to break the law and violate whatever copyrights there may be by publishing the NOTs in the interests of democracy and of all presumptive CoS victims."
Scientology attempted to cancel Zenon's posts from a news server in the UK.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Zenon Panoussis)
Subject: cmsg cancel <321F1935.5CDD@dodo.pp.se>
Control: cancel <321F1935.5CDD@dodo.pp.se>
Date: 25 Aug 1996 03:04:18 GMT Organization: PSINet UK Public Usenet Site Lines: 1 Message-ID: <email@example.com>
Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-ID: <321F1757.email@example.com>
Zenon Panoussis also announced a program to sell Fishman OT documents in
"As from now, OT I through OT VIII in the Fishman Affidavit version are available from me as a booklet with a preface in Swedish. It is sold at two different prices: cost price to the public and CoS price to the CoS. If you want it, fill in and send me *the entire* form below together with your payment.
"I solemnly certify and declare under penalty of perjury according to the laws of my country of citizenship, my country of residence and Sweden, that I am not a member, employee, representative or voluntary worker of, or in any other way associated, affiliated or connected to the church of scientology or any church, association, company, organization or club in any country that is in any way associated, affiliated or otherwise connected to, controlled by or cooperating with the church of scientology or any body that is, formally or informally, or can be considered in any way connected to that church. I furthermore certify and declare that I do not share any of the views, beliefs or opinions that are advocated by or are characteristical of scientology.
"I order ____ copies of 'Operating Thetan', ISBN 91-630-4721-7, at SEK 10,00 each
"I do not declare or promise anything and I order ____ copies of 'Operating Thetan', ISBN 91-630-4721-7, at SEK 1000,00 each, postage included.
"Please remember that this order form is designed and meant to annoy the CoS and nobody else."
SEC 10 is equal to about $1.50 US.
Fishman Settlement Offer
Steve Fishman posted an email apparently offering a settlement with
Scientology. There is some suspicion that Steve may have been trolled,
since the account is not one widely known to be used by Scientologists.
"I received the following e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org this evening:
"This is a C O N F I D E N T I A L offer of settlement between Religious Technology Center and Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz. Making this public, showing this to third parties, publishing it on ARS or web pages automatically renders this settlement offer null and void.
"RTC offers to pay the sum of $100,000 jointly to Steven Fishman and Uwe Geertz in return for the following:
"Fishman and Geertz agree to seal permanently and irrevocably the Advanced Technology 'upper level materials' as well as all pleadings and moving papers filed in the 'Fishman / Geertz Case'.
"Fishman and Geertz agree to enter into a gag order not to publicly speak out against, mock, ridicule or impugn the Scientology religion and any Scientology Ecclesiastical Organization or Secular Organization.
"Fishman and Geertz agree to waive whatever rights they have or believe they have in light of the recent decision in Los Angeles Superior Court holding against them in Case No. BC 122 468 and covenant never to sue, harass, or enturbulate the Scientology religion and any Scientology Ecclesiastical Organization or Secular Organization in the courts, the media, or in any public forum from this day forward.
"Fishman and Geertz agree to turn over all of their legal documents held by attorneys Ford Greene, Esq.; Graham Berry, Esq.; Lewis, D'Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard, Esq.; Hagenbaugh & Murphy, Esqs; Marc S. Nurik, Esq.; Keith M. Krasnove, Esq. and Don Feldman, Esq. to the law firm of Moxon and Bartilson on the day the settlement is paid to them in fair exchange for all of the above. This includes documents held by Fishman, Geertz, or in their behalf by LaVenda Van Schaick Larson, Lawrence Wollersheim, FACTnet, or any unnamed third parties who presently have a vested interest in these documents.
"I spoke to Dr. Geertz as well as to my attorney Graham Berry, and our answer is that RTC is NUTS and they can take their settlement offer and shove it up their ass. We will not sign any gag order. We will not stop our initiative to permanently unseal the upper level materials"
The German newspaper taz published an article on the attempts by
Scientology to remove the Free Zone web site focusing on Anastasius
Nordenholz' 1934 book Scientologie.
"In July of this year the Scientology lawyers sent a fax to the American Internet Provider 'Lightlink' (www.lightlink.com) who is hosting the homepage of Freezone (www.freezone.org). They threatened Homer Wilson Smith, operator of Lightlink, with legal consequences because Freezone would violate the copyright law. Because the group, amongst other things, is referring to a book of the German Philosopher Anastasius Nordenholz who introduced the term 'Scientologie' more than ten years before Scientology-Founder Ron L. Hubbard: in the epistemological work 'Scientologie: Wissenschaft der Beschaffenheit und der Tauglichkeit des Wissens', published in 1934. Freezone is dedicating its own homepage to Nordenholz, from which one is able to download a few chapters of the book.
"Because of 'www.scientologie.org' the Scientology lawyers contacted 'InterNIC', which is the American organization where one has to register the Internet-Domain-Name. The Church of Scientology claims the rights to the copyrights of the term 'Scientology' in all terms of writing and demand that Lightlink discontinue the 'Scientologie'-page from its server.
"Bernd Luebeck, the German Sysop of the Freezone group, who is uploading the pages from Munich to the American server says: 'We never got anything directly from Scientology'. It seems that they want to avoid the German legal area and therefore have gone to our provider.' Luebeck assumes the copyright violations are legal pretense: 'There are also reports of former members on our page who left the church.'"
Grady Ward posted a series of messages this week with some updates on his
case against Scientology.
"The criminal cult does now have a window of opportunity to dismiss their claims without prejudice without the permission of the court or of the defendants. They will lose this opportunity once we have permission from Judge Whyte to re-file our counterclaims under technically more sufficient grounds.
"The first filing failed basically because the federal law alleged to be broken by the criminal cult (Deprivation of Civil Rights) is a criminal offense and no right was granted (apparently) that permits private parties to civilly sue under it."
"After a bit of nice discovery from the cult, which ought to be a blast no matter what the results, I will move for summary judgment. I also get to do quite a bit of third party discovery through issuing my own federal subpoenas."
"Now Thomas R. Hogan says that he will move for my contempt in front of Judge Whyte as a result of the recent NOTs reposting. Will he lie like Helena K. Kobrin (the 'ho) when she promised to do the same when I filed the titles of the NOTs, but rolled over instead?"
Grady Ward was honored this week with the creation of his own fan
Johan Helsingius has been ordered to reveal the email address of one of
the anonymous accounts on the Penet server. This method was used
previously to trace the anonymous poster "AB" to the Caltech computer
system. The current case is (I believe) related to tracing the identity of
the poster of Scamizdat 3.
"Today on 22nd of August the local court of first instance in Helsinki decided that Johan Helsingius has to reveal the email address asked for by the Police Department of Helsinki. This has to be done within 30 days when summoned for interrogation.
"Since this is merely a part of a case, this decision can't be appealed. If Helsingius still refuses to reveal the info he will be repeatedly fined and ultimately jailed for up to six months. The decisions about fines and jail can be appealed, but an appeal won't stay the execution of the ordered fine/jail, only a judgment of the appeals court will. The questions about different appeals in this case are somewhat complex and regarding the possibility to appeal it was a split decision (4-1)."
Hubbard Mouse Pads
Alvin Brattli reported this week that Scientology is distributing L. Ron
Hubbard mouse pads to publicize the cult's web sites.
"Did you all know that the COS is handing out L. Ron Hubbard mousepads for free? Neither did I, until they gave one to me. My friends in Chicago took me out sightseeing, and asked me whether there were any particular places I wanted to visit. An idea popped into my mind, and I decided that I wanted to visit the local org to ask them if they knew this Xenu guy, just for the hell of it. Being very helpful, my friends drove me to the org (which is located on 3009 N. Lincoln, btw.) and parked nearby. I then strolled over to the org and stopped, looking innocently at their window display. Then this friendly woman started talking to me, asking me if I knew anything about Scientology, if I knew anything about L. Ron Hubbard or not, and so on.
"[S]he asked if I had access to the Internet. I answered 'yes', and then she started running around the whole org, looking for one of their mousepads (with their URLs printed on them). On seeing the mousepad, I get these strange associations with North Korean propaganda. More than half of the area of the mouse pad is dedicated to L. Ron Hubbard, and the rest is divided evenly between the Scientology and Dianetics logos. Also, the three URLs http://www.lronhubbard.org, http://www.dianetics.org, and http://www.scientology.org are printed in their respective part of the pad. The pictures on the mousepad are identical to the ones you will find on those web sites."
The Perth, Australia Scientology organization has been relocated after
having vacated its former headquarters.
"The Perth Org has finally re-surfaced in what appears to be a less than favourable building (currently basement only) with the possibility of the upper floors after refurbishment. The shop formerly in rental of said space was WONDERLAND OF TOYS, located in Murray street, a few hundred metres from the Royal Perth Hospital.
"The site is as expected, in a cheaper part of town to the east but
equally distant from the central plaza, the Hay Street Mall as they were
on the other side of it."
Tom Klemesrud's insurance company this week settled with Scientology for
"The claims against Klemesrud were settled for $50,000, an amount that is to be paid by Klemesrud's insurance carrier. Important to Klemesrud, himself a critic of the Church of Scientology, is the fact that the terms of the settlement include no admission of liability on his part.
"'Settling this case was a business decision by my insurance company,' Klemesrud said. 'I would have liked to stay in there and participate in total exoneration, but I understand it would have been a lot more expensive to take this case all the way through trial rather than to pay this token amount now, and be happy with the positive results we've achieved.'"
Tom had a letter published in the LA Times to clarify that he did not agree to any settlement, nor sign any agreements.
"In its report of the settlement of a lawsuit between myself and the Church of Scientology, the Los Angeles Times incorrectly stated that 'Klemesrud agreed to pay the $50,000.'
"In fact, I did not agree to this. I was forced by the threat of possibly losing my insurance coverage to go along with my insurance company's wish to pay this token amount and end the case.
"In no way did I agree, nor does my signature appear on any document that I agreed to such; nor have I or will I pay $50,000 to the Church of Scientology."
Las Vegas Picket
Ted Mayett posted a picket report from his ongoing attempt to get an SP
"Janne would not even make eye contact for the first 30 minutes. I walk very close to the windows and usually look in at them. The day was completely uneventful until Laska came out to talk to me. We said a lot but basically I was talking to a wall. I was at a point where I was explaining that I would rather not destroy the church when Janne came out to get her for a phone call. She smiled and said 'you can't destroy the church.'
"'My declare Laska, why don't I have a declare?' she stopped smiling. You'll have one soon. 'No L, it has been a year and no declare, why?' By this time I am not smiling also and have been moving in on her. 'Why not Laska, you know I got the refund, you know I picket' 'well you'll get it' 'No Laska, not good enough, you know I place Xenu ads <she pauses> Do you know about Xenu <she twitches> 'No' I let her know I saw her twitch, I let it sink in, and all this time I've been moving in on her, I stop when I am within arm's reach. 'ask yourself why Laska, what is wrong, why no declare' 'and I put information on the Internet, I haven't put your names and addresses there, but you know I know things.' This part really got to her. She had taken out a cigarette and her hands were shaking badly, lighting it was out of the question. She was badly shaken by now. And all the while I am going on and on with 'why laska why' in a low deep voice and I'm leaning into her and she is trapped and I don't let it go I just keep on saying 'where is the declare, why no declare, why are they afraid to declare me'
San Francisco Picket
Wayne Whitley is involved in a similar one-man picket in San Francisco,
and he posted a report this week.
"One woman was perhaps taken by surprise when I suddenly showed up and she became quite upset. She came rushing over and asked in a very emotional tone of voice, 'Have you even read any of Hubbard's books, have you even taken any of his courses? She points to my sign and says, ' I am really offended by this.' I just calmly looked straight at her and said, 'You have every right to experience your reaction towards me. I'm here just peacefully voicing my opinion.' I waited for a response from her but she just kind of fizzled out and had nothing more to say. She just turned around and went back to the group that she was with.
"Within two minutes several staff members came out and started taking pictures of me. I was a bit surprised since they already know who I am and they already have pictures and videos of me because of the March 9th protest. Anyway, I posed for the first picture because I wanted them to have a clear view of the sign I was carrying.
"A short while later one of the group members starts telling funny stories because they all started laughing really loud. They appeared to be ignoring me or at least were trying to give me the impression that they were.
"Just like at the mission drivers would honk their horns and give me the thumbs-up sign or shout out their window their support. During the three hours I was there quite a few people did stop me to ask why I thought Scientology was a scam and to hear my story. One guy said he saw my fluorescent green sign from across the street and said he just HAD to come over and hear what I had to say. He said my sign really grabbed his attention.
Tilman Hausherr posted a report on Kurt Weiland's early career in
"In 1975 Kurt Weiland wrote in a flyer that cult critic and protestant reverend FW Haack had 'admitted to have printed the confession of a woman in a sex magazine' and that he had 'broken the 8th commandment'.
"FW Haack then got a temporary restraining order, and later a permanent restraining order prohibiting Weiland to repeat this allegation. Weiland was also indicted and sentenced to as fine of DM 100.-. In court, he excused himself by saying that he was 'unexperienced' because he was the PR guy for only 14 days at that time.
"In 1976 Weiland claimed orally that 'FW Haack has no credibility because he had broken his silence on a confession'. Weiland was sentenced to a fine of '30 days income' (DM 750.-). He appealed; his appeal was unsuccessful.
"In 1985 Weiland claimed that 'FW Haack had been seen with a young girl visiting a porn movie'. FW Haack got a restraining order."
Joe from the news server Zippo posted an open letter to Scientology lawyer
Kendrick Moxon. It concerned the cancellation of Scientology spam
"Your letter to our attorney made no sense at all. We do not provide Internet access and the info you sent in your fax makes no reference to our servers. Perhaps this has to do with the other person we received mail from today, who asked why their flood posts were not showing up.
"We have no interest in COS, nor do we have any desire to assist COS in promoting or marketing their products. I have a theory, just a theory, that COS makes all of these wacky posts to try to create cause for legal action, and to prevent people from speaking out against the COS.
"Regardless what we despam from our servers, we do not impact news propagation, nor do we run cancel messages to the outside world. Apparently, the post(s) passed through our site, and propagated to other services, which is probably what the COS legal crew was crabbing about.
"We do not honor request from COS, nor do we edit on request from COS. Please, we may not always get it right, and we may differ in opinion, but please don't suggest we are operating in concert with, or support of, COS."