Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 22 09/22/96 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 #####
FACTNet Settlement Offer
Larry Wollersheim announced that FACTNet refused an offer from Scientology
to settle their cases. The proposed terms:
"That the directors of FACTNet destroy the FACTNet library themselves.
"Further agree that they would never, ever, talk about Scientology again, or offer any information or help to any victim of Scientology, or to any other organization, or to any family, or lawyer, or any media person, ANYONE, seeking any help, assistance, or information in relationship to Scientology.
"In exchange for this, they offered us the following: Drop the lawsuits. Give me [Lawrence Wollershiem] 1,700,000 dollars, and Arnie and bob each 100,000 to 200,000 cash.
"What they wanted was the complete destruction of FACTNet, this was unequivocally stated to us by their attorneys. If we would take away the public relations nightmare of destroying us publicly and destroy it ourselves, we would have the suit dropped, and receive large cash payments and this would all be secret from the world.
"All of us, unanimously, and instantaneously were disgusted, and absolutely refused, and ended the negotiations for this insanity of an offer.
"Further, Elliot Abelson stated that if we did not accept their terms, they would simply drive us into bankruptcy, use up all our insurance money, and make it impossible for us to ever get to court and to litigate the case."
NOTS Scholar's Page
Dave Touretzky posted a letter to Roger Milgrim, attorney for Scientology.
Dave responded to Milgram's letter threatening legal action over the NOTS
Scholar's page, which does not contain the NOTS materials.
"I appreciate your assurance that RTC does not desire to engage in litigation with me over this web site or impinge on my legitimate First Amendment rights. In return, let me assure you that I have no desire to become involved in litigation either, or to violate RTC's legal rights to its intellectual property.
"From its inception, my web site has been devoted to the scholarly analysis and criticism of the NOTs documents to the extent permitted by law, but no further. I have always tried to obey the law as it pertains to these documents, and I find it significant that your letter does not allege any illegalities in either the present version of The NOTs Scholars Home Page or any previous version. Your concern, as expressed in the concluding paragraph of your letter, appears to be about illegal actions your clients imagine might occur at some time in the future.
"Let me begin by affirming that I understand the NOTs documents to be copyrighted works, and I have no desire to violate the rights of the copyright holder. Furthermore, my web site has always included the warning that while anyone may submit commentaries on the NOTs documents, 'materials that clearly violate US copyright law will not be accepted.'
"Third, you write that my web page 'appears' to contain a solicitation to receive the NOTs documents themselves. I do not believe that solicitation of access to someone's legally-obtained NOTs pack for purposes of scholarly research would violate Pennsylvania law, but in any case, my web page contains no such request. The 'Call for Contributions' section asks for 'information, commentary, and criticism of any aspect of NOTs.' I never intended this to be construed as a solicitation of the documents themselves, and I don't believe most readers would make this mistake."
Neil Woods placed the page on America Online.
"I took it upon myself to put David Touretzky's 'NOTs Scholar's Home Page' in the 'Other Religions' library on AOL. Along with this was added the 'NOTs Thumbnail Sketch' by Anonymous, David J. Carter's 'Essay on Scientology' and Karin Spaink's 'OT III Summary.'
"After uploading this material September 7th, the files showed up in the library 4 or 5 days later. They remained there for about two days before being removed. I made an inquiry with the AOL librarian, who told me that...Well, yes, a Scieno had objected to the presence of that material in that library. The AOL staffer also told me that the subject of copyright and other legal considerations were raised by the Scienos.
"Just today I was notified that the files have been replaced in the library. At this point I am going to finish uploading all other sections and links as practical to the library to give the information as wide an audience as possible on AOL."
Email from Ron Chester, administrator of the TNX-L mailing list for
Scientologists in good standing, was leaked this week to a.r.s. Ron asks
the unknown Scientologist poster to stop posting at the request of the
"As TNX Administrator, it is sometimes necessary for me to look around ars a bit, usually in response to applications for TNX that have been submitted. I have also become our liaison with the person handling the Internet at OSA Int, and we have developed a good working relationship. As a result of a number of comm cycles with OSA, I learned that the Church does not want any Church public posting to this entheta forum. We have never made a point of this publicly on TNX, because we found that, in the past, TNX posts that discussed how to handle ars somehow ended up reposted to ars.
"Now a while back I was looking around ars, because of an application to TNX that we had received. In the course of doing that, I discovered that you had posted quite a few messages to ars. So before saying anything to you about it, I called OSA to see if they had changed their view of this at all. Once again, I found that they consider that it is their hat to handle ars, and they do not want any public posting to ars for any reason. They asked me to refer you to the relevant policies, and to ask you to stop.
"Nearly every time an on-lines Scn'ist posts a message, regardless of its content, it brings on an entheta response (and sometimes many) from the sps. So even though you may not quote their entheta (and thus forward it along), your response gives them a reason to state it again, and again and again.
"I believe this may be the main reason OSA does not want public posting to ars. I have seen threads started by Scn'ists that have been followed by a dozen or more entheta replies. Or a Scn'ist will post a reply to a thread, and this will spawn another batch of entheta responses. So if we post anything, no matter how theta, to an entheta forum, it can cause the volume of entheta to increase many times over. That's why the sps love it when Scn'ists start posting to ars. It gives them another chance to state their enemy lines over and over again.
"I created TNX so there would be a theta forum for Scn'ists, so that they could leave ars behind. I think your time would be better spent on TNX, rather than messing around with ars. Leave that task to the staff at OSA."
Grady Ward also communicated with Milgrim this week, concerning Grady's
announcement that Scientology wants the names and addresses of everybody
Grady has communicated with concerning Advanced Technology materials.
"Roger M. Milgrim wrote today to express his displeasure at informing you that the cult is seeking all of your names and addresses.
"'Your call to Internet participants to inundate Judge Whyte with mail disregards his clear instructions.'
"I already said that letters by non-parties will not be read by Judge Whyte. That is why I suggested that people use the Amicus Curiae motion or other properly submitted papers (of course only on the advice of competent counsel)."
Attorney Graham Berry announced that he will be opposing the name change
of Berendo Street in Los Angeles to L. Ron Hubbard Way.
"On Tuesday, October 1, 1996, at 10:00 A.M. in the Council Chambers, Room 340, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012, the full City Council for the City of Los Angeles will consider members John Ferraro and Richard Alatorre's proposal to change the name of Berendo Street to 'L. Ron Hubbard Way.' Berendo Street abuts the Scientology complex in Hollywood.
"Council sources advise me that Scientology lobbyists have been pressuring each council member to vote for the proposed name change on a daily basis and have been approaching them at public functions for the same purpose. They are also conducting a major letter-writing campaign to council members and can be expected to have a large number of Scientologists turn out at the council meeting on October 1st, 1996, at which time each person wishing to speak will be given two minutes in which to make remarks.
"Accordingly, as many people as possible who are opposed to the name change, should be at the City Council meeting and sign in for that purpose as early as possible. Those same persons, and those who cannot attend, should at the very least e-mail the City Council members at the e-mail address provided below. The e-mail messages should provide as many reasons, and as much information as possible, preferably in verifiable detail, as to why the City Council should NOT approve the proposed name change."
A story of poor conditions in the Cadet Org in 1981 was posted anonymously
"I found a Sea Organization Aides Order 203-71 dated 28 August 1981, entitled 'PAC CADET ORG / CADET ESTATES ORG ESTABLISHMENT EVAL'. This issue was an eval[uation] and a handling for a TERRIBLE situation that existed in PAC (Pacific Area Command) in regards to children of Sea Org members. The situation as outlined in this Aides Order was 'Despite explicit Founder [LRH] advices to have an Org for Cadets and a separate Org for adults to service them, the two Orgs are being continually collapsed together resulting in NO Cadet Org VFPs [Valuable Final Products] and PAC S.O. children becoming a liability rather than an asset.'
"According to the observations and data collected by the 'SO Evaluator' Larry Price, as of March 1981 there were 339 children who were less than 18 yrs old in PAC SO orgs. The eval found (and I am quoting verbatim) that 'Quite a number of children are behind their grade level on studies in the public school system (which is absurd since we have study tech and wogs don't).'
"The eval goes on to say that there are 'Numerous reports of out-ethics and criminal behavior by PAC children, i.e. out 2-D, stealing, etc.' and 'Due to the recent filthy conditions of the CEO [Cadet Estates Org] and the criminal behavior of the children the area has become a PR [public relations] and Legal threat to the Church.
"'PAC SO children instead of becoming valuable personnel assets are in many cases becoming criminals...Looking into the scene it was found that except for brief periods, there has NEVER BEEN a properly functioning Cadet Org and CEO as separate entities.'
"Then this Aides Order says 'The handling for the above would obviously be to re-educate parents and other adults who deal with the Cadet Org so that they do treat children as resources and real SO members.'
"Further, the eval states, 'It was also found that the CO Cadet Org put on [post] by the '76 Mission, Bob Raffe, was criminal and sadistic to other Cadets. He was removed in mid '77 after he handcuffed another Cadet to an electrical outlet and nearly electrocuted him.'"
More details on the efforts in Greece against Scientology were posted this
"[T]his week FOCUS has an article. Here some details that were not posted yet
"The raid is a result of about 4000 complaints filed by parents since 1983, because scientology had recruited many children. There were two spies set up against Alevisopoulos. They found nothing. Scientology had files on 2500 names of the public Some politicians were followed 24 hours They did even steal confidential material from the air force.
"The KEFE leaders will be put on trial at the beginning of october. It will be both a civil and a criminal trial. The closure of KEFE is postponed and will be decided according to the civil trial."
Keith Henson posted his letter to Scientology attorney Tom Hogan in which
he announced his intent to send NOTS to the FDA, and replied to a recent
"[T]en days from the date of this letter I will deliver a copy of the criminal instruction manual known as NOTs 34 to the FDA. I have read Judge Whyte's order and it seems that supplying a copy of this material to appropriate law enforcement agents falls within fair use. If your clients disagree, you can either obtain an order from the court forbidding me to disclose criminal matters, or you can wait and seek contempt charges against me.
"[I]n reply to the subpoena, I have never received any postal mail from Grady Ward. I have only received a small amount of electronic mail from Mr. Ward, and have deleted most of that. Most of I received concerns the sharing of costs for depositions or other similar matters and is of the same privilege level as communications between yourself and Mr. Lieberman. In any case, email falls under the ECPA, and you need a court order to get it. I will not turn telephone billing records over to you or your client without a court order and a special master to sort out the calls to Mr. Ward. I don't want unrelated people I call to be harassed by Scientology goons.
"As far as your other requests go, the material I have falls into three classes. Public postings on alt.religion.scientology (which your client certainly has), private email, and material which is privileged because it involves my thoughts and speculations on the case at hand. None of the email contains information on who SCAMIZDAT or Vorlon might be, and in any case, it is protected by the ECPA."
Ron Newman posted a series of bizarre and abusive email from a system
administrator at CyberEsc, the latest Internet Provider to house the
"get a job and quit sending us email mother fucker"
"have heard of get lost and die before, well do it now, do not write us anymore cock sucker"
"I just realized you bunch have your email open 24 hours a day, reading your beloved material., well do so, however now that I have your attention, quit writing us, you know I could not careless about your cause, as you do not have one. You and your bunch go do something about the homeless and the state of the economy, go be a bigger brother to some kid that needs help, of course this is all french to you. I won't respond to your email anymore, till you speak french. There is a delete Icon in my Email program.remember you are not welcome."
Keith Bennett phoned the system operator.
"I called Cyberesc.net and asked them about the person who had sent 200+ messages to a.r.s. I was told that the server had been shut down and the account stopped. Then I was asked 'who's the authority here. The FCC? they don't have authority.' I asked him what he meant 'I beg your pardon', he repeated the question 'right, so who's the authority here?' so I told then the FBI, it was wire fraud. Then I was asked 'what do you want us to do?' several times so I told him that, if they had stopped the account, that was what all we wanted. I then mentioned that we would appreciate it if they could ID the people responsible. He asked me, in an odd way, 'why did you call me, did I solicit the call' and then said that 'the people on your newsgroup would stop bothering us' and hung up
"The impression / feeling I got from him was weird. It wasn't exasperation, or anger, or resignation. Not confused, annoyed, or in denial. Nothing like when I called Christopher Fea (westworld.com), and a few others, who essentially said 'we're trying.'"
Jeff Jacobsen posted notice that Scientology's Gold Base near Hemet,
California is behind on its taxes.
"I was sent a copy of a newspaper Public Notice dated August 22, 1996 that I think is from the Riverside CA newspaper. This is a list of those who owe back taxes to the county. Building Management Services, the Scientology entity that handles their property, is in here twice.
"TAX RATE AREA 010-188 BMS 430150007-4 $84,424.84
"TAX RATE AREA 091-021 BMS 430040010-6 19625 Gilman Hot Springs Rd Gilman Hot Sp $6,396.12
"So this looks like it's the Golden Era Studios property to me.
"Someone told me that the Petrolia property is about $70,000 overdue in paying taxes also."
Scientology and UK television were in the news this week, as the cult prepare to advertise after the recent overturn of a ban.
From PA News:
"The Church of Scientology was tonight condemned as 'dangerous system'
after unveiling its first British TV commercial. It has chosen this
country to launch what will become a European-wide campaign after the
Independent Television Commission lifted its advertising ban on the
organisation in April. The commercial will go out three to five times a
day, seven days a week, for a month. The 60-second advert will be shown on
UK Gold and UK Living tomorrow.
"Viewers will be told: 'On the day when we can fully trust each other there will be peace on earth.' It features a contact number for the church's British HQ in East Grinstead, West Sussex."
From The Sunday Times:
"The commercial approved by the Independent Television Commission for
broadcasting on the satellite channels UK Gold and UK Living this
Wednesday seems innocent enough, if not everyone's cup of tea. The single
word 'trust' is intoned by smiling people of various nationalities, after
which a voice sonorously announces over triumphant music: 'On the day we
can fully trust each other there will be peace on earth.'
"The trouble for the Church of Scientology (not recognised as a bona fide religion under British law), is that those not privy to its inner secrets find it either risible or sinister. Ian Howarth, general secretary of the Cult Information Centre in London, says: 'I am very concerned for the welfare of anybody who might finish up going along to a Scientology meeting after seeing these ads.'"
From Newsnight on BBC2:
"Peter Snow: 'It calls itself a church and it claims some eight million
adherents around the world, but it's methods have been causing controversy
for more than three decades. And tomorrow it starts to advertise itself on
British television. The Church of Scientology has been told that it's been
cleared to advertise by the Independent Television Commission. As Jeremy
Vine reports, this has aroused a lively debate about just what the limits
of freedom should be.'
"John Vine voice-over: 'Given that the church is said to be accessible, we asked the Reverend Heber Jentzsch if he'd takes us into one of his outlets. Having arrived without warning he said we'd better wait outside. The high pressure sales tactics reputedly used to attract new members were not much in evidence on this occasion. Eventually the message came back. Access was being denied because the staff felt private.'
"[Claudia Milne: Executive Producer of 20/20 television who made the infamous UK documentary on the CoS using a secret camera in St. Hill]
"Claudia Milne: 'As soon as they found out about our interest, they deluged us with faxes, with spurious so-called facts in them. Threatened us with legal action if we didn't include those spurious facts. They tried to stop the program by issuing a private prosecution against myself and a reporter claiming we had obtained services by deception.'
"John Vine voice-over: 'In fact critics of Scientology say the religion's devotees are positively litigious. Intimidating detractors by following the advice of L. Ron Hubbard, who's on record as saying 'The purpose of a lawsuit is to harass and discourage, rather than win. Don't ever defend, always attack. Be alert to sue for slander at the slightest chance'.'
"Martin Poulter: 'I'm one of tens of people around the world who've been threatened with legal action via email by the Scientologists, about things we've posted to the Internet, and in fact there are eight major court cases going on now in different countries, arising from the Scientology discussion group.'
"Bonnie Woods: 'Well in my own personal experience, I'm currently involved in litigation with Scientology, in libel actions. Those were a result of the work that I began to do five years ago as 'Escape' which is a Christian ministry.'"
From The Daily Telegraph
"THE Church of Scientology is to run a series of television advertisements
promoting itself as a safe, mainstream religion. In a move further aimed
at eradicating past controversy the Church, which was started in 1954 by
the American science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, has also applied to the
Charities Commission to be classed as a tax-exempt religious charity. The
Independent Television Commission said yesterday that it decided to allow
the advertisements after the American-based organisation began legal
proceedings suing the ITC 1996 The Daily Telegraph plc, September 18, 1996
for loss of revenue. The ITC said it had originally objected to the
advertisements on the grounds that the organisation's 'collective worship'
was not open to the public. But it had since learned that the
Scientologists' lectures were open to all and there were no grounds for
banning the advertisements."
From The Guardian
"TELEVISION advertisements will be screened for the first time this week
for the controversial Church of Scientology. The 60-second commercial will
go on air on Wednesday night on the UK Gold and UK Living channels.
"The pounds 70,000 ad has been approved by the Broadcasting Clearance Centre. In April, the Independent Television Commission lifted a ban on advertising by the church. The move was criticised by the Cult Information Centre and other monitoring groups. Religious groups are banned from advertising on air if their meetings are not open to the public. The ITC accepted that this was not the case with the scientologists. The church has been accused of using high-powered sales techniques and imposing mental pressure, sometimes leading to breakdowns."
Zenon Panoussis continues to post updates to his court case against
Scientology. He has posted the NOTS materials to a.r.s.
"I learned today that the court of appeals (where the file of my case is right now) denied a request by some Spanish people for copies of the OTs and NOTs. The meaning of this is that while the court dismissed the RTC's motion for secrecy, it nevertheless did apply secrecy on the material with consideration of the possible damage to RTC.
"I went to the court of appeals in the afternoon to fetch some other documents, and took a copy of the decision of denial, which naturally included the names and addresses of the people that made the requests. Strange list was that.
"There were 2 Swedish requests and 14 from abroad. Of the 14 foreign requests, 13 were from Spain. Of these 13, 11 came from Madrid. 4 requests came from people with the the same address, and another 4 requests came from 2 addresses. The 14th request came from Switzerland. While the Swiss applicant asked for a bill, the Spanish applicants made no mention of money for the cost of the copies they requested.
"With the exception of the Swiss request it looks to me like a very clumsy scieno attempt to spam the court with requests for copies. Such methods wouldn't be new to scientology and neither would the clumsiness."
"I have used some tricks to demonstrate that neither the secrecy nor the seizure decisions were very sound. I did ask for a copy of the NOTs from the court of appeals finally, a fact that brought the laws on secrecy and those on a party's right to the file material in collision with each other. After five days of deliberation they decided today that they will decide on my request for copy after deciding my appeal against the seizure, which in turn should be decided next week.
"I brought into the case my constitutional right not only to possess any information I like, but also to divulge it to publishers with the intent that *they* publish it, thus creating a situation where the constitution collides with the application of copyright law as it was applied here. There is also a very interesting constitutional prohibition against censorship prior to publication, which means that there is no legal way to forbid the future publication of *any* material, even if such material is illegal and would be liable to confiscation immediately *after* printing. The consequence is that the court orders forbidding me to publish OTs and NOTs are unconstitutional and therefore invalid."
Johan Wevers posted an update in the Vorlon case. Johan has also admitted
posting the NOTS materials.
"Today (sept 18) I had a meeting with a delegation from scientology: Warren McShane, head of the RTC, Julia Rijnvis, PR coordinator of scientology in The Netherlands, and Simone Pelkmans, one of their Dutch lawyers. We talked for about 1:15 hours, mostly directly with McShane and sometimes with their lawyer, and it basically can be summarized in:
"The spamming of ars: McShane claimed he didn't know who did it, and he was not prepared to ask the spammers to stop. He said that it started after postings from Lerma which were copyright infringements in his opinion. He was not prepared to ask the spammers to stop.
"They wanted to settle out of court. They wanted me to sign a document with contained 3 points: I should stop violating their copyrights, directly or indirectly (whatever that means), I delete all their copyrighted stuff from my computer, I try to have the people who got copyrighted documents from them to have them removed. Since I don't keep records of who I send such documents the only thing I could do is a request on usenet, which is very probable ineffective. I pay them f5000,- (approx US$ 3300) for each violation plus possible damages."
UPI reported a study by a University professor which compares modern
Germany's actions against Scientology with Nazi Germany.
"A University of Wisconsin professor has just completed a study, comparing the Nazi use of anti-Semitic propaganda art in the 1930s with the anti-Scientology propaganda art of Germany in the 1990s. Stephen C. Feinstein says the parallels of hatred and discrimination are unmistakable. 'The treatment of Jewish artists in the 1930s, their work banned from Germany's culture as 'degenerate art,' shows a chilling likeness to recent censorship and boycott attempts on films starring Tom Cruise and John Travolta, merely because they happen to be members of the Church of Scientology,' Feinstein says."