Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 3 05/05/96 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://www.eecs.nwu.edu/~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
AOL Fights Back
Perhaps to counter the negative impression on the net of the 'Religion and Ethics' area of America Online, some changes were implemented this week. A new folder has been established, as AOL members reported.
"[I]t looks like the name has been changed from 'Scientology Survivors' to 'Former Scientologists' - which is fine. 'Survivors' might have been unnecessarily dramatic. (and besides, wasn't 'survival,' complete with twisted definition, one of L Ron's favorite topics? Wouldn't want to confuse people!) The folder has Sermoner's grudging approval, and it's located in the same area as the Scientologists' own recruitment folder."
Jerry White, the moderator of the folders, replied in email to Bob Bingham and in a posting to a.r.s.
"we (me or my staff of nearly 100) do not treat scn any differently than any other folder.
"The agenda of most of the anti-Scientologists that post here is not to fellowship amongst each other, but to expose the CofS as a cult. A worthy cause, but the wrong place and method. While we certainly do encourage discussion of varying viewpoints, we also must keep some sort of organization and control or total anarchy would reign and the forum would go under."
"Based on your reasoning, NO GROUP should have a folder where they can go and discuss topics among themselves without being refuted face to face. Do you also go into churches and refute the priest as he give the message?"
Tony McClelland encountered unusual opposition to a recent picket in Sydney, not from the cult, but from police officers.
"Last night Thursday 2 May the CofS held an official opening of a volcano in George Street, in the centre of Sydney. The volcano is huge and the CofS refers to it as Sydney's new landmark. Police estimates of the crowd in the street were 5,000, however, I estimate little more than 1,000.
"I was the sole demonstrator and I carried a sandwich board reading SCIENTOLOGY A CONFIDENCE TRICK?
"I handed out 200 leaflets until I was forcefully arrested and taken to George Street Police station. When I was released and advised the Police that I was returning to continue my demonstration they confiscated my sandwich board. The police claimed that they had received a very large number of complaints about my presence.
"On the way home I was followed by a uniformed and badged CofS security guard."
Jeff Jacobsen posted some research concerning the basement of the Ft. Harrison Hotel, the cult's headquarters in Clearwater, Florida.
"There is some controversy about whether the Ft. Harrison Hotel in Clearwater (which is a Scientology building) has a basement. Dennis Erlich claims he was locked in the basement as part of his RPF for doing something wrong. Brian Anderson, VP of the church in Clearwater (who is the president?) said on WMNF that Dennis is lying and there is no basement in the Ft. Harrison. I've heard that the latest KSW magazine also says there is no basement in the Ft. Harrison.
"Anyone can go over to the County Courthouse right next to the Ft. Harrison and look up property assessments for any building in Clearwater. The Ft. Harrison is listed as having a basement of 1806 square feet."
UK Television Ban
The cult is now free to advertise on UK television, as Geoff Lane quickly reported in his post to a.r.s.
"It was reported on BBC radio early this morning (1st May) that the restrictions preventing CO$ from advertising on UK TV had been lifted."
Robert Clark, (aka henry) posted a report from the New York/New Jersey regional Cult Awareness Network meeting, held March 21st. Some excerpts:
"I waited for the event to start and met some of the more noted alt.religion.scientology posters who were also present, including Arnie Lerma, Monica Pignotti, Dave Touretzky, and Dean Benjamin. Other notables included John Carmichael, who paid the full $80 entrance fee. Carmichael was accompanied by two other Scientologists, and was fairly well-behaved at the time, despite being the chief New York goon for the cult of Scientology. He later turned to misbehavior, as was to be expected, however.
"According to various cults, one could probably expect CAN to hand out 'do-it-yourself' deprogramming kits including torture implements, shackles and ice picks to administer lobotomies.
"However, this was the program:
"Looking Beyond Cult Chaos: Relationships and Communicating with Cult Members.
"The Ides of April: Cult Chaos, Religious-Political Terrorism and the Future of Cult Awareness.
"Dealing with a Cult Member. Arnold Markowitz leads a panel of former members who answer questions from parents and spouses of present cult group members.
"David Bardin. Legal Updates and activities
"Lorna Goldberg. Cult Chaos: Impact on Personality.
"After the Cult: Marriage and Parenthood. Bill Goldberg leads a panel of couples who left cult groups and he will discuss post cult adjustment
"I don't see a single kidnapping and lobotomy seminar, or a single speaker advocating drugging children with heroin and locking them in basements. I suppose I was misled.
[later] "I went around the corner again to talk to Monica and Paul, and Carmichael was hot in pursuit, trying to back me into the wall and generally getting in my face. He said, 'In New York, eh? Where? Are you in hiding?' He also asked me what group I was with, and I said I was with myself. He snidely said: 'Congratulations on just being you.' This was the most polite interaction I had with this repellent man the whole day.
"The Scientologists even had a room devoted to them, so that they could hand out such gems of truth as Kim Baker's second affidavit, which she retracted, a booklet called 'CAN: Anatomy of a Hate Group,' and the new issue of Freedom magazine, which has a gruesome cover with an exploding computer monitor, called 'Freedom of Speech at Rish in Cyberspace: The Threat to the Constitution in the Electronic World.' They even handed out copies of Judge Whyte's September 22 decision, which I didn't understand, since it denies every one of their motions save one of them, grants a motion by Erlich, only partially grants one of theirs, and declares their writ of seizure unconstitutional. I assume they didn't read the decision.
"Carmichael popped over and started hassling Bill Goldberg. Carmichael was trying to appear reasonable, and telling the occasional blatant lie, as when Bill asked him, if he was sincere about Scientology not being a criminal cult at all and supporting families, to help out with locating 'disconnected' family members. Carmichael acted like he was willing to help out, though he was obviously lying and this was a scene played out any of the other times Carmichael showed up to harass CAN.
"I said over my shoulder as he left: 'You guys ought to read up on Chapter 11.' Carmichael whirled around in a frenzy and came back yelling and frothing at the mouth: 'I can't believe you'd say something like that! What are you, from Mars?' 'I thought that was Xenu, or I guess he was from the Marcabian confederacy or something.'"
Arnie Lerma posted a financial summary of FACTNet expenses for portions of 1995. FACTNet board includes two other defendants in cult court cases, Larry Wollersheim and Bob Penny.
FACTNet EXPENSES 8/95 thru 12/95
August September October Novem December Totals
Insurance 263.98 277.17 670.32 657.13 670.32 2538.92 Equip/Software 68.74 373.99 529.79 972.52 Phones 153.76 123.88 982.43 818.21 807.87 2886.15 Office 360.51 360.51 Mail&Post 266.26 608.92 85.00 43.68 1003.86 Copy/Print 132.25 112.00 244.25 Fundraising 500.00 1000.00 1500.00 Attorney 225.00 2968.03 1271.45 4464.48 Other Legal 158.00 350.00 3462.70 431.16 159.39 4561.25 Internet Fees 25.00 500.00 170.00 695.00 Loans 1800.00 100.00 190.00 Bank Charges 71.50 83.39 91.09 64.00 60.79 299.27
Chris Owen posted the Foster Report, more formally known as:
"Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology [by] Sir John Foster K.B.E., Q.C., M.P. Ordered by The House of Commons to be printed 21st December 1971"
It contains a history of the cult's problems in the UK in the 1960s, and quotes a great many of the most damaging internal documents that continue to discredit the cult today.
Cult member Ed McCloskey, the latest name to be used to attack critics on a.r.s, emailed the system administrator of Michael Reuss, an employee of Hewlett Packard.
"Michael Reuss regularly posts hateful, untrue messages about the Scientology religion while clearly identifying his organization as Hewlett-Packard. Is this an official Hewlett-Packard position? I would hope not. Hewlett-Packard is a very respectable company which in my experience would not partake in or condone such unethical behavior.
"However, the use of the Hewlett-Packard name on Mr. Reuss' posts would lead us to believe that his posts are sponsored and approved by Hewlett-Packard. I would appreciate it if a Hewlett-Packard official could clarify this for us."
After an absence of a few days, Michael posted an explanation to a.r.s.
"I've had an 'interesting' week. I wanted to thank you for all the words of support and encouragement you've given me this week. It was strange to open a.r.s last night and see such a huge volume of posts with my name on them. I wondered if my name might start being associated with spam.
"The investigation by my company into Ed McCloskey's accusation that I have religiously harassed him is proceeding and should finish up early next week. As of now, I am prohibited from using my company's communication equipment to post to Usenet. I intend to fully comply with that instruction.
"Once again, in spite of Ed's continuing uncertainty about this point, I'd like to reiterate that I never spoke for, nor claimed to be speaking for my employer while posting from their NNTP servers. Also contrary to your claims, my statements are not lies nor are they hate speech. I invite you to quote anything from me which supports your claim that I am a hateful liar.
"Regarding further communications with my company's network admins and managerial staff: I'm not sure additional words of support or arguments regarding any part of this issue will add to or change the outcome of the ongoing investigation. To those of you who e-mailed me before today wishing to speak with my management or network admins, I've forwarded your comments to the appropriate people.
"This GNN account is probably going to be very temporary (say about 20 hours worth) and in the next week or so, I'll try to get an PPP account which will be more permanent.
"Again, thanks for all your support. I hope to be joking and degrading from a new ISP account in the near future."
Eugene Ingram, the cult's foremost private investigator, has outstanding warrants in Florida , Washington and Oklahoma. Scanned images of these warrants were placed on the web this week.
"WANTED: EUGENE MARTIN INGRAM DOB 02/24/46 AGE 50 RACE WHITE SEX M HAIR BRO EYES GRN HGT 5' 9' WT 195 DL# M0251286 CA
"NEWKIRK, OKLAHOMA: Kay County District Court Case CRM-89-298 Warrant issued: 14 September 1989
"Carrying a concealed weapon (21 O.S. 1289.8) Violation of the Private Investigator's Act of the State of Oklahoma (42A O.S. 1750.1 et al seq.)
"TAMPA, FLORIDA: Hillsborough County Circuit Court, case 94-12262 Warrant issued: 3 October 1994 Falsely impersonating officer
"TACOMA, WASHINGTON: Case number 95-1530374 Criminal impersonation
Steve Fishman provided the warrants, and is contacting law enforcement to help them be served.
"I am trying to convince Florida to extradite him now based upon the additional warrant in Oklahoma, and I will be contacting the Oklahoma State Attorney as well."
Keith Henson this week posted a reply to the cult's submission to Judge Whyte's court. The submission was a copy of an agreement signed by members entering the NOTS training levels.
"By filing the SECOND DECLARATION OF WARREN L. MCSHANE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, plaintiff has provided defendant with an opportunity to discuss criminal and fraudulent aspects exposed in plaintiff's declaration, Exhibit A and Exhibit B. Defendant will show that plaintiff's declaration and Exhibits provide a very thin cover for an institution pervasively corrupt. This showing provides strong support for defendant's arguments of fair use and free speech/free press--in the service of exposing what defendant believes to be pervasive criminal and fraudulent activities by plaintiff and associated corporations.
"Defendant believes that Exhibit A does not at all release plaintiff from charges of practicing medicine without a license. And even if the current version of Exhibit A is ruled to accomplish this task, earlier versions may not have. Defendant believes plaintiff should be ordered to introduced all versions of Exhibit A used by all branches of Scientology since NOTs 34 was produced. Defendant is informed and believes that Exhibit A was put into force some time after NOTs was introduced and has not been consistently required.
"Defendant's argument that Scientology is a criminal enterprise would be confirmed by showing that plaintiff's group of corporations bankrupted one such corporate shell by asset transfers to avoid paying a 5 million dollar judgment which has exhausted all appeals. The real head of all Scientology enterprises, David Miscavige (if he can be located or served through his lawyers) will be deposed about the criminal and fraudulent activities involved in asset stripping to avoid payment of a judicially determined debt. (Wollersheim case.)
"Defendant also introduces Exhibit C, an incomplete, unfinished draft version of a report in process created by FactNet. It is introduced as draft because the plaintiff disrupted work on it in violation of USC 42 section 2000aa. This report lists the unfortunate outcomes of a sample of those who were taking the 'services' for which the plaintiff's exhibit A is a 'release.'"
Mayo & Hubbard
Julie Mayo posted more remembrances of her time in the cult, in response to taunting by cult members on a.r.s. Some excerpts concerning her relationship with Hubbard and her time imprisoned at the Hemet "Gold" base:
"Did L. Ron Hubbard consider me to be a suppressive? If so, he never told me so. The first thing I recall LRH calling me was a 'trouper'. That was in 1974 after I had done a mission which was to carry out an eval that he had done personally. As I recall, the mission was rewarded the status of 'Power'.
"In 1980, I became Senior C/S INT Assistant. One of the first things that I did as Senior C/S INT Assistant was to help David Mayo write Solo NOTs. In fact, part of the original SOLO NOTs checksheet was written by yours truly. Hubbard wasn't around Gilman Hot Springs at that time. He was in seclusion with the Broekers.
"In late 1981, LRH began communicating with David Mayo, Senior C/S INT, and the CMO and his personal accountants. From 1981 until August of 1982, David Mayo and the Senior C/S INT Office received many messages and letters from LRH. Amongst other things, LRH suggested that David develop a Happiness Rundown, which David did. When the rundown and course were completed, auditors and C/Ses from around the world came to ASHO in LA.
"In the [April 1982] letter LRH did some reminiscing concerning his long term association with David and David's extensive experience concerning the tech. LRH said that he expected to live for 2 years longer at the most, and that he wanted David to take over all of his technical hats, including research. LRH said he thought that David should have a separate corporation to do this work, apart from Scientology management.
"LRH also wrote to Lyman Spurlock concerning setting up a separate corporation for David Mayo and his technical research. Lyman Spurlock was a CPA and had graduated from UC Berkeley, I believe, so was the Sea Org member who had the most knowledge concerning finances and corporate matters.
"In August the Senior C/S INT Office was very, very busy as we had many projects. We were receiving letters from LRH almost daily, commending us, and advising even more projects. One night, David and I worked late to finish one of the projects so that it could be sent up to LRH. This particular project had to do with Div 6 -- new public.
"I hadn't been asleep long when I was awoken by Marc Yager and taken to meet David Miscavige at the Senior C/S INT Office. David Miscavige put me into the RPF -- as I detailed in my letter to D. Miscavige which I posted on ars last week. You may have seen it.
"Things got even more bizarre. One night soon thereafter I was awoken in the middle of the night after a hard day of running, and escorted to 'Qual' in the old spa building. It was around 2 or 3 AM. There were several people already assembled and waiting. The 16 of us who were being 'comm-eved' were each going to be interviewed individually by three top members of RTC: Vicki Aznaran, (President of RTC), Jessie Prince, (whom. I think, was also an officer of RTC), and Geoff Shervell (formerly of the G.O. and now with RTC).
"I was taken into a small 'auditing' room and sat opposite from the three who faced me. I was told that unless I confessed to working for the IRS, FBI, or other government agency, I was going to: A) be sent to jail B) lose my eternity C) be banned from tech lines forever. When I said I didn't work for a government agency, I was told that they might go lighter on me if I confessed to supplying Alan Walters with a mailing list. I said I hadn't done that either, so was told to go think about it and write my confession.
"I wrote a CSW asking to leave. By this time there were security fences surrounding Gilman Hot Springs with electronically locked gates. The only way that you could get through the gates was to have a personalized card. I didn't have a card; my card had been confiscated.
"I waited almost two weeks for an answer to my CSW -- hoping that I would be released. No answer came. So I decided I would try to escape on my own. By this time it was January 1983 -- 6 months since I was initially put under guard.
"One night I went to bed but did not go to sleep. I stayed awake until around 8:00 AM. I cautiously got down from my top bunk and gathered up a few meager possessions into a pillow case. I thought that I might be able to get through the gate when the guards went across the road to breakfast. I crept out of the cottage and waited until I saw someone go through the gate, then I slipped through it before it shut.
"Now the task was to walk down the road without being noticed. I had to get by two guard booths. I slung my pillow case over my shoulder and walked casually. I wanted people to think that I was just a staff member going off to do their laundry, so I wouldn't arouse suspicion. My heart was pounding, but nobody noticed me.
"After I got about a half mile down the road, I stuck out my thumb and hitch hiked to Hemet. I was in luck: within about 5 minutes someone picked me up and I made it to the bus station without incident. But the bus wasn't there and I had quite a long wait on the bench. I was worried that I would be noticed by a Scientology staff member and, sure enough, I was. Bridget Lantz stopped and said, 'Are you supposed to be here?' I quickly replied, 'Yes!' She looked doubtful, but drove off.
"The bus did finally come, but at the same time, so did two security guards. Bridget must have tipped them off. 'Julie! Come here!' They shouted. It was too late. I already had a foot on the bus, and there was no way that they could force me to go with them.
San Francisco Protest
Wayne Whitley posted a report of his ongoing protest outside the San Francisco Mission.
"Picket Report: San Francisco Mission, 406 Sutter Street Saturday April 27,1996
"For the first time one of the staff members came outside and started trolling for new targets right in front of me. I appeared to be at a disadvantage because he could aggressively go after new victims while had to remain as a 'passive' protester. He could walk up to anyone and engage them in a conversation. I on the other hand could only talk to those people who talked to me first. My intention is to get my message out not to intimidate or harass everyone who passes by. I only talk to those people who want more information than what's on my sign. Because of this he was able to make contact with some people and he even managed to lure a few inside. Fortunately I didn't observe anyone buy anything. All of them just looked at a few books, got some literature including the personality test and then left. A few of them even came up to ME afterwards to get MY opinions.
"At one point this recruiter came up to me with this big smile on his face and said, 'Wayne, I really want to thank you for being out here. I really do. Ever since you started showing up more and more people have been coming in to ask about Scientology.' I immediately responded with, 'Great, now I'll be able to get my refund faster. Since you want me out here I think I'll show up more often. Sounds like a win - win situation.' It was so cool. It blew him right out of the water. He didn't know what to say so he just repeated himself. This guy thought his 'reverse processing' would drive me away.
"I must be getting to them. They're not trying to ignore me anymore like they have been all these weeks. Now they are actively trying to recruit new members right in front of me. Now they are running reverse processes on me to make me to go away. I guess I'm beginning to 'impinge'."
The text of Steve Fishman's book "Lonesome Squirrel" is now available on the web at http://www.xs4all.nl/~fishman/ls/ It describes Steve's journey through the cult, the crimes he committed at their request, his arrest and imprisonment.
It's also available in a single file
"The book can now be downloaded in zipped format. URL: http://www.xs4all.nl/~bengrimm/fishman/squirrel.zip"
Steve Fishman posted a summary of the fund raising efforts for the new Super Power building in Clearwater.
"You donate FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS to the Super Power Expansion Project and guess what you'll get, according to a bulletin I just received from the Super Power Expansion Project at Flag:
"For the FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS, you get three things!
A. You get a Super Power Polo Shirt (worth $ 21.00)
B. You get a Flag Alumni Jacket (worth $31.85)
C. and you get your name entered on the Flag Alumni Honor Roll (worth nothing).
"Donate ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS and you get FOUR things!
A. You get a gold super power ring.
B. You get awarded the status of key contributor
C. You get special 'promo' footage of public acknowledgement (by Sea Org slaves) of your contribution at a foundation laying ceremony
"When you donate ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, you EVEN get a 50% discount on SUPER POWER! Hey, who could ever resist a deal like that --- paying $ 100,000 so you can save 50% on further ripoffs!
National Council of Civil Liberties
Martin Poulter posted a summary of the April 27th meeting of the (UK) National Council of Civil Liberties.
"[T]hree a.r.s critics went to the AGM of the National Council of Civil Liberties to speak in support of a motion on Scientology.
"The final result was that the motion was defeated, although accepted after an amendment which completely neutered it and took out all the action points. We did, however, manage to speak at length to a captive audience of nearly 100 journalists, lawyers, trade unionists and others, imprinting in their minds our message that Scientology is involved in exploitation and abuse of its members and is an enemy of free speech.
"The motion was written by Dave Bird <firstname.lastname@example.org>, a member of NCCL's Executive Committee. Lance Buckley <email@example.com> was also in attendance.
"I have thoroughly prepared a speech, the text of which I will now quote:
"The views of this regime on freedom of association, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, homosexuality, race, appear diametrically opposed to those of an assembly like this. To explain *how* could take all day, but just to illustrate what we are up against I would very briefly like to quote from an interrogation document: a 'confessional session' to which those in the scientology elite are often subjected. 'Have you ever had anything to do with Pornography?' 'Have you ever peddled Dope?' 'Have you ever practised Homo-sexuality?' 'Have you ever slept with a member of a race of another colour?' 'Have you ever done anything you are afraid the Police may find out?' 'Do you feel Communism has some good points?' 'Have you ever had unkind thoughts about [L Ron Hubbard]?' These things are regarded by Scientology as crimes for which someone can be punished.
"I quote from the organisation's active policy:
"If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organisation, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace.
"We do not want Scientology to be reported in the press, anywhere else than on the religious pages of the newspapers. Therefore, we should be very alert to sue for slander at the slightest chance so as to discourage the public presses from mentioning Scientology.
"The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is on the thin edge anyway... will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.
"Enemy - Fair Game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
"This policy is depressingly effective. There are *some* reporters who have guts, but we have found that there are some newspapers that will not report on Scientology. I know personally of one news agency which will not do stories on Scientology, despite there being events to report, because they know what will happen to them if they do.
"Scientology's campaign against its opponents is now moving onto the Internet. In the last fifteen months, it has raided four critics' homes, filing and threatening numerous lawsuits. Three people in this room have been threatened with legal action by Scientology in the past year, purely for what they did in the course of discussing and criticising the Scientology beliefs.
"Please support this motion and show your commitment to this particular civil liberties issue."