Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 40 02/02/97 by Rod Keller [firstname.lastname@example.org] copyright 1997
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://users.aimnet.com/~jdiver/scieno.htm http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html #####
Gerald Armstrong filed a packet with Judge Whyte this week, asking that he
be allowed to provide testimony for Grady Ward, Keith Henson and Dennis
Erlich. He argues that the order requiring him to remain silent is
illegal, and was coerced by Scientology's threats. Some excerpts:
"I am a writer, artist and philosopher. Theologically speaking I am a prophet. Speaking religiously, I am a Christian.
"I have been sued by the Scientology organization five times since 1982 in its continuing effort to prevent me from speaking the truth and to destroy me financially. I have been throughout this time a world-wide target of Scientology's character assassination campaign or 'black propaganda,' which it also calls 'dead agenting.'
"Grady Ward, defendant herein, posted a request for declarations concerning knowledge of fair game operations, and specifically ops involving organization private investigator Eugene M. Ingram. Mr. Ward stated that the declarations are needed fairly urgently. I have such knowledge, some of which I will provide below.
"I am submitting this declaration directly to the Court because of an order filed October 17, 1995. By that order, I am prohibited from: 'Voluntarily assisting any person (not a government organ or entity) arbitrating, or litigating adversely to any of the Beneficiaries'. The 'Beneficiaries' are: The Church of Scientology International, its officers, directors, agents, representatives, employees, volunteers, successors, assigns and legal counsel.
"I believe the order and judgment are illegal on their faces, and obtained by Scientology through illegal tactics. The 'contract' which the 'order' enforces was obtained by Scientology through threat, fraud, related criminal activities, and the vitiation of my lawyers.
"In August and September 1982 the organization employed a number of private investigators to spy on and harass my wife and me. During that period one of these investigators assaulted me bodily, and another struck my body with a car, and attempted to involve me in a freeway accident by getting in front of my car and slamming on his brakes and pulling alongside my car and swerving into my lane.
"[T]he organization's campaign against me included at least these acts: attempted entrapment; illegal videotaping; breaking into my car and theft of personal writings and art; filing false criminal charges against me with the Los Angeles District Attorney; filing false criminal charges against me with the Boston office of the FBI; filing false declarations to bring contempt of court proceedings against me on three occasions; obtaining perjured affidavits from English private investigators, who had harassed me in London in 1984, which falsely accused me of distributing 'sealed' documents; international dissemination of Scientology publications falsely accusing me of crimes, including crimes against humanity; culling and disseminating information from my supposedly confidential 'auditing' (psychotherapy) file. I know that the attempted entrapment, illegal videotaping, and filing false charges with the LA DA all involved Eugene Ingram. In the fall of 1984 Mr. Ingram called me and threatened to 'put a bullet between [my] eyes.'
"I worked with attorney Greene from August, 1991 through December, 1995. Throughout that period Scientology attempted overtly through misuse of the courts and covertly through its Office of Special Affairs, the organization's intelligence arm to prevent me from working with Mr. Greene and from defending myself. Scientology employed a covert operative, Garry Scarff, whom it had infiltrated into Mr. Greene's office, to develop a black PR 'attack line' that Mr. Greene and I were involved in a homosexual relationship. Scientology has subjected Mr. Greene to years of fair game, which included having Scarff steal his office records; concocting a plot with Scarff to have him killed; having Scarff execute false declarations about Mr. Greene.
"That Scientology will also subvert our courts' power to prosecute 'contempt' is shown in its 'application for order to show cause why Gerald Armstrong should not be held in contempt,' Scientology filed another application for an OSC re contempt shortly after this one, charging that my providing a declaration to Lawrence Wollersheim was a violation of its 'injunction.' Scientology's charges were either misrepresentations of my actions or completely manufactured. Ultimately Judge Diane Wayne discharged all of Scientology's contempt charges in a ruling dated July 28, 1994
"In my observation, Mr. Ward, Mr. Wollersheim, Mr. Henson, Mr. Erlich, Mr. Lerma and Mr. Penny (hereinafter, 'WWHELP') are in general agreement that Scientology is not a sincere, and hence real, religion but is a criminal cult engaged in harmful practices. In my opinion, if WWHELP are correct in their assessment, and if they did expose or publish Scientology's secret documents, they were and are completely justified in having done so.
"Each of the WWHELP cases is being prosecuted by Scientology entity RTC, which claims to own the 'religion's' marks, trade secrets and copyrighted materials. It is my understanding that David Miscavige notarized the signature of L. Ron Hubbard near the time of his alleged death in 1986 on a document which transferred Mr. Hubbard's ownership of certain rights and/or marks from himself to RTC. While on board the 'Apollo' during 1972 through 1974 I was required on a number of occasions to have Mr. Hubbard's signature notarized on various documents. There were a couple of notaries in Portugal I got to know who would verify the signature by comparison with a signature in their signature book. There were times when I took documents to these notaries which were not signed by Mr. Hubbard, but by Joyce Popham, who could sign his signature extremely well. Two of the documents signed by Ms. Popham were for the registration of the marks 'Dianetics' and 'Scientology.'
"Mr. Ward, and indeed all of WWHELP, should be able to freely obtain the testimony of anyone willing to testify on their behalf, or by subpoena anyone unwilling. They should be able to obtain the assistance of any expert witness they believe can help.
"If it is within this Court's power, and I believe it is, I ask that it issue an order prohibiting Scientology from interfering with Mr. Ward's, Mr. Henson's and Mr. Erlich's witnesses, including me, and an order to Scientology to release me from its 'contract' and the Thomas order so that I am free to assist these defendants in their cases."
Scientology's lawyer, Andre Wilson, wrote this letter to Gerry.
"I am sure that you wish to conduct yourself so as not to violate any of your obligations under either, and I wish to avoid further conflict and annoyance between you and my client as much as possible.
"Your obligation to produce documents in response to lawfully issued and served subpoena is unquestioned. It is my understanding, however, that there are various defects with the instant subpoena, including manner of service and length of time between service and appearance. These defects, and other substantive reasons are the basis for a motion for protective order in RTC V Ward.
"I insist that you refrain from premature disclosure of documents before this motion is heard. I believe that the Agreement requires no less, and there is no reason for this to become an issue if you withhold production pending the Court's ruling in RTC v. Ward. Disclosure before this ruling would support the inference that you were in collusion with Mr. Ward, an appearance I am [sure] you wish to avoid."
The Tampa Tribune reported this week that Scientology is seeking the
medical records of Lisa McPherson, in order to get independent opinions.
"The Church of Scientology filed suit against the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Tuesday in an attempt to get access to records of a Scientologist whose death is being investigated.
"The suit states that because Medical Examiner Joan Wood made comments to the press last week about the death of 36-year-old Lisa McPherson, all the records from the death investigation should be available to the church. 'We want access to the entire medical examiner's file so our own experts can examine it,' said church attorney Sandy Weinberg.
"The suit said that Wood's comments were a selective release of information that amounted to a smear campaign against the church. The church filed suit after requests for the records were denied because the investigation is ongoing.
"The church is asking for records of the autopsy, all documents relating to media communication about the death and all reports from the investigating agencies, including the Clearwater police, the state Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office.
"Wood's attorney said Tuesday that his client's comments do not overrule the exemptions in the public records law, which keep records from an open investigation private until the investigation is finished. 'Basically no government official has the ability to amend the law through their actions,' said attorney George Rahdert, who is representing Wood.
"In addition to the documents kept closed until the investigation is over, the church has requested McPherson's medical records, which are protected by state law and can only be released by her relatives."
Germany - CNN
CNN Today aired a show on January 29 about the continuing controversy over
Scientology in Germany. Professor Jeffery Hadden was presented as a
balancing voice to Scientology President Heber Jentzsch.
"BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Outside Scientology headquarters in the Northern German city of Hamburg, handing out pamphlets has gotten to be a hazardous duty. Insults, even physical attacks, Scientologists in Germany say daily they are demonized.
"SABINE WEBER, CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY: Dismissed from their jobs, boycotted, spit at, lied at, bomb threats, murder threats, broken glasses, graffiti on the house, on the wall, physically attack. The main thing is they are being isolated from society.
"DELANEY: The woman we will call 'Gabriela' says she spent more than $100,000 on an organization that's only goal is control.
"GABRIELA: Scientology is against any kind of freedom of human beings of governments. That's what is so dangerous about it. Scientology is totalitarian organization, they want power.
"DELANEY: A misreading, Scientologists say, of their freely acknowledged interests in winning as many hearts and minds as possible. For a cost, they freely admit can reach tens of thousands of dollars. In Germany, as in few other places, it's understood how wrong things can go when people lose the right to believe what they will. What's also understood, though, the delicate balance, how vulnerable people can be to the allure of something with all the answers.
"HEBER JENTZSCH: People who come into Scientology do pay for services. They received counseling, they study the religion of Scientology. And you know people's IQ's increase in Scientology. They find they are more capable. We have done Sociological studies and have shown people being more able in Scientology.
"JEFFREY HADDEN, UVA SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR: Let me say, first of all, there are good number of ways we can define cult. Let me offer you two perspectives here. The first is broad popular cultural perception. With this definition, the cult is any group that I don't like. I don't like them, I can give me a few moments I can give you all sorts of reasons why their religious freedoms ought not to be granted.
"I think this is clearly a case of religious innovation, initiated by Elron Hubbard, and very much been formed by his study of Eastern faith traditions.
"JENTZSCH: First of all, why is there so much attack in Germany? I can't explain that. Why there was so much attack upon the Jews? There was no foundation for it.
"We take a look at this, if I were just to change the word here, instead of Scientologists and insert the word Jew. If we read a news article saying that in Bavaria, yesterday, a six-year-old child was kicked out of school because his parents were Jews. Or yesterday in Germany a person was dismissed from work because he is a Jew. Or we were to say that a person was not allowed to vote because he -- or not allowed to be a member of a political party -- because he is a Jew.
Germany - State Department
The U.S. State Department issued a report on human rights, which included
this description of events in Germany. The full report is available at:
"During the year, the Church of Scientology came under increasing scrutiny by both federal and state officials, who claim that its activities do not fall within the legal definition of a religious organization. Several cabinet officials criticized the organization. In January Claudia Nolte, the Minister of Family Policy, described the Church as 'one of the most aggressive groups in our society' and said she would oppose the organization 'with all the means at my disposal.' The Parliament created a special commission to investigate Scientology's activities and social impact. The press reported that the federal chancellery and state minister-presidents decided on December 19 to create an interministerial group to study Scientology.
"Major political parties exclude Scientologists from membership, arguing that the Church is not a religion but a for-profit organization whose goals and principles are antidemocratic and thus inconsistent with those of the political parties. In late summer, the governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party approved a resolution saying that membership 'in the Scientology organization is not compatible with employment in the public service,' and urging that the Church be put under surveillance. The resolution also urged the banning of federal funding for cultural and artistic events featuring Scientologists. In December a state organization of the CDU confirmed the expulsion of three members for belonging to the Church.
"Various artists have been affected because of their membership in the organization. Artists have been prevented from performing or displaying their works because of their membership in the Church. In the summer, the youth wing of the CDU in a number of German states urged a boycott of the film 'Mission Impossible' because the leading actor in this film is a Scientologist. In Bavaria the Minister of Culture was criticized by the state parliament for allowing American musician Chick Corea, a Scientologist, to perform at a state-sponsored jazz festival.
"Individual German states also took action against members of the organization. On November 1, the state of Bavaria began to screen applicants for state civil service positions for Scientology membership. Bavaria also said it would not fund arts-related activities in which Scientologists were to appear. It also decreed that private companies awarded state contracts in certain 'sensitive' fields must sign a statement that they do not follow the tenets of Scientology.
"The past year has also seen some positive developments. A former Minister of Justice editorialized that the Government should be more restrained in its dealings with Scientology. In an October report, the Ministry of Interior concluded that there was insufficient evidence to justify surveillance of Scientology by the Offices for the Protection of the Constitution (OPC). In response to the CDU's call for the organization to be placed under OPC observation, the report concluded that 'no concrete facts exist currently to substantiate the suspicion of criminal acts.' In closing the report reminded states requesting a ban on Scientology that 'only economic considerations may be taken into account' when awarding public contracts."
Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns answered questions about the report.
"Let me just say we have noted during 1996 developments in Germany concerning the treatment of the Scientologists, such as the calls by at least one important political group to boycott the film, 'Mission Impossible.'
"We all thought 'Mission Impossible' was a pretty good film. It's worth seeing. We would encourage Germans, Americans, Russians to see the film - it's a good film, starring one of our major American actors, Tom Cruise - highly recommended. I know there are some women in my family who might recommend it even more strongly than I do.
"The Scientologists fall under religion in our section of the human rights report. The Scientologists in Germany are being discriminated against merely as a result of their belonging to that organization, not because in our view - not because of any actions that they have taken. There's no question that there have been some unfortunate reactions to the Scientologists by members of the German Government and by members of some of the city and regional administrations in Germany. For four years, the United States has spoken out publicly about its concerns of the treatment of Scientologists by the German Government.
"Having said all of that, which is, I hope, a summary of our position on the Scientologists in Germany, I feel compelled to say something else, which we have said before, but it's worth noting; and that is the Scientologists here in the United States and their supporters in Hollywood and elsewhere have unleashed a public relations campaign against the German Government, which is simply wrong-headed. I think they are guilty of historical amnesia."
Germany - Newspapers
Newspaper coverage of the Germany controversy continued this week, much of
it initiated by the State Department report. From the front page of the
Washington Post from January 27th.
"The report, to be issued Wednesday, will chastise Germany for what a senior administration official called 'a campaign of harassment and intimidation' against the controversial church. He said the United States, seeking to protect religious freedom, has urged Germany through diplomatic channels 'not to prosecute people for wrong thinking' but has been rebuffed.
"The German response is, 'We won't change our policy, no matter what you say,' a German diplomat here said. 'You are a big country. You can afford to have militias and cults. We can't.' He said Germany with 80 million people in a Montana-size country and a unique sensitivity to the dangers of 'extremism' because of its Nazi past, is obliged to limit activities of groups perceived as threats to national well-being.
"The U.S.-German disagreement over Scientology is a rare irritant in America's generally excellent relations with a key European ally. Although both sides agree it is hardly a major source of friction, the issue has a high decibel level because of the involvement of high-profile Scientologists such as actor Tom Cruise.
"To the German government, Scientology is not a legitimate religion, but a greedy, cult-like organization built on 'pseudo-science,' in which 'membership can lead to psychological and physical dependency, to financial ruin and even to suicide,' according to a position paper distributed by the German Embassy here."
>From Reuters, January 27th.
"The Christian Social Union (CSU), Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Bavarian- based coalition partner Monday accused the U.S. State Department of falling for a Church of Scientology hate campaign against Germany. CSU general secretary Bernd Protzner urged Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel to intervene in Washington to head off criticism the State Department has been reported to be planning against Germany for restrictions on the controversial group.
"'Influential circles in the U.S. State Department have obviously fallen for (Scientology's) hate campaign against Germany and have let themselves be used by the sect,' the conservative CSU said in a statement.
"'This sect is subversive and able in a frightening way to make or influence public opinion,' Protzner said. 'We must do everything permissible under the law to expose the secret lodge-style practices of this association and stop the further expansion of this octopus.'
"In another German attack on Scientology, the Protestant Center for Ideological Issues said it had strong indications the organization had infiltrated government agencies in Poland and Russia and had links to Islamic fundamentalists. Andreas Fincke, an official at the center, told Saarland Radio that Scientology had quietly infiltrated companies, management schools and consulting firms in Germany. 'There is still no organization you can ask to see whether a firm belongs to Scientology or not,' he said."
>From UPI, January 27th.
"In a motion tabled in the Bundesrat -- the German Senate -- Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg say all state governments should coordinate legal steps against Scientology. Guenther Beckstein, the Bavarian interior minister, says the aim is to restrict the organization's freedom of action.
"The two strongly Catholic states already bar Scientologists from sensitive public positions. They want all German authorities to exclude businesses with connections to Scientology from bidding for public tenders.
"They describe Scientology as an anti-democratic body that brainwashes and physically maltreats its members to keep them in line."
>From The Times (London), January 28th.
"HELMUT KOHL'S coalition partner last night accused the American Government of falling victim to subversive cults, as Washington prepared to publish a human rights report critical of German discrimination against Scientologists. Bernd Protzner, general secretary of the Christian Social Union, urged Klaus Kinkel, the German Foreign Minister, to intervene over a growing controversy which threatens to sour otherwise flawless relations between the two countries.
"The State Department is expected to publish its annual survey of global human rights tomorrow, chastising the Bonn Government for what is described as a 'campaign of harassment and intimidation' against the Church of Scientology. Herr Protzner said the report proved the power of the group to influence public opinion. 'Influential circles in the State Department have obviously fallen for Scientology's hate campaign against Germany and have let themselves be used by the sect,' he said."
>From Reuters, January 29th.
"The German state of Bavaria, which has already banned members of the Church of Scientology from holding public office, called on the federal government on Wednesday to take a tougher stance against the group. 'Bavaria along with the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg have put a resolution before the upper house of parliament this week to achieve coordinated and concerted action in all German states against Scientology,' Bavaria's Interior Minister Guenter Beckstein told German Suedwestfunk radio.
"'Some of the things that Scientology does in Germany are legally problematic,' the committee head Ronald Pofall told another radio station, WDR. 'We should also make it clear to the U.S. that Scientologists are trying to do things here that they are not allowed to under the cover of a religion,' said Pofall."
>From an editorial in the January 30th St. Petersburg Times.
"The U.S. State Department is releasing a report today that tries to have it both ways on an important issue - the ongoing war between Germany and the Church of Scientology. The report is the department's annual survey of how governments around the world respect human rights. And even though the survey is supposed to be sharply critical of German treatment of Scientologists, it's the explanations State Department officials add in that make what ought to be a clear situation a bit murky.
"'We believe that members of the Church of Scientology have a right to practice their religion in Germany and all other countries,' State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said when asked about the report. 'We believe that the German government ought to respect the rights of Scientologists and all other religious communities in Germany.'
"Though our officials don't exactly put it this way, the thinking behind their position is clear enough and squares with what most Americans believe about religious freedoms: People have a basic right to profess whatever religion they like, even if that religion seems strange or threatening to others. And if the German government really thinks Scientologists are subversives or charlatans, it should use its criminal laws, not political repression, to deal with it.
"At this point, though, we have to remember that Germany is one of America's closest political and military allies. That is in part why Burns and other State Department officials have been almost as critical of Scientology in recent days as they have been of Germany's restrictions on it. The official line is that Scientologists have acted 'outrageously' by accusing German authorities of acting like Nazis.
"Cheap shot, insult or otherwise, the argument over Scientology's response is secondary to the German actions that caused it. However you see that response, Germany's treatment of Scientology is disturbing. It goes against what we Americans believe about religious and civil freedoms. It bears close and continuous watch - something our State Department is apparently ready to carry out, even with a close ally like Germany."
Grady Ward provided updates in the Scamizdat trial.
"The Special Master appointed by Magistrate Judge Edward A. Infante, Beth L. Hamilton of Enea, Piunti & Hamilton of San Jose, resigned today in a short letter to the Judge.
"Citing that '[t]he tasks I was appointed to do supervise have now been completed,' she returned all copies of Grady Ward's disks seized by the criminal cult of scientology to Ms. Andrea Hollis, courtroom deputy to the Magistrate Judge."
Scientology has also admitted that Eugene Ingram investigated Grady at their request.
"In a sworn statement by Warren McShane, president of Religious Technology Center filed on January 27, 1997, the criminal cult of scientology admitted hiring investigators to phone Grady Ward's publisher Austin Code Works in Austin, Texas, unlawfully take photographs of Grady Ward's children from his mother in Tacoma, Washington and to unlawfully lie to a bank manager to obtain Grady Ward's wife's bank account information. The bank fraud occurred *while* the current litigation is underway and may very well constitute obstruction of justice.
"They also admit that the investigator was the same at the Austin Code Works as stole the photographs from my mother. He was positively identified as Eugene Martin Ingram who has an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued in Hillsborough County, Florida for felony impersonation of a police officer."
Scientology filed to oppose Keith Henson's subpoena of Scientology head
David Miscavige this week.
"This motion is based upon the grounds that Mr. Miscavige occupies the most senior corporate position within RTC, and that he has no unique personal knowledge of any fact relevant to this action. Henson has not sought relevant information by deposing any witnesses with personal knowledge of relevant facts, but rather insists on pursuing Mr. Miscavige, who lacks such knowledge. That persistence, along with Henson's pursuit of matters not related to this action and his sworn testimony that he regards this litigation as 'entertainment' and a 'great game,' reveals that this deposition is sought for purposes of harassment and for needless multiplication of RTC's expenses in prosecuting its claims against Henson. Justice requires the issuance of this protective order to stop Henson's harassment.
"Targeting the top of RTC's corporate hierarchy for the first - and thus far, only - deposition he seeks in this case, on January 10, 1997, Henson handed counsel for RTC a notice that purports to notice Mr. Miscavige's deposition for a San Jose Motel 6 on February 13, 1997. The notice to produce documents that accompanied the deposition notice is a virtual confession of improper purpose as it seeks production by Mr. Miscavige of documents relating to, among other things: Henson's purported counterclaims which have been dismissed by the Court; confidentiality agreements executed by individual Scientologists; a copy of a film which is part of a religious service and which does not even mention the Advanced Technology materials; and 'all documents that refer, reflect, or relate to' two deceased Scientology parishioners.
"Henson's relentless harassment persists despite the absence of any relevant area of inquiry. He presses forward, purporting to challenge RTC's ownership of the intellectual property rights in the Advanced Technology materials even though: (1) RTC has repeatedly enforced its trade secret and copyright rights in those materials; (2) a 1987 challenge to ownership of those intellectual property rights was rejected as 'patently untimely'; and (3) a final judgment in probate conclusively precludes anyone from challenging ownership of any intellectual property right that originated with L. Ron Hubbard. Accordingly, Henson's contentions about RTC's ownership of the trade secret and copyright rights at issue here are both immaterial and precluded as' a matter of law.
"Henson's frivolous assertions include the contention that he can question Mr. Miscavige about the 1982 assignment of certain trade secret rights by Mr. Hubbard to RTC. The person most knowledgeable of all aspects of the estate plan and other documents which carry out Mr. Hubbard's desire to transfer his intellectual properties to RTC and others is Sherman D. Lenske, Mr. Hubbard's personal estate planning attorney. Under Mr. Hubbard's instructions and with his participation and comments, Mr. Lenske prepared the documents necessary to effect Mr. Hubbard's wishes, including the 1982 Assignment to which Henson refers. Mr. Miscavige's only function with respect to the Assignment was to notarize the signature of Mr. Hubbard when he was an employee of the entity charged with Mr. Hubbard's personal and business affairs."
Ray Randolph announced plans to picket the new building for the Colorado
Org of Scientology.
"I took a spin to the new address... Sure enough, a large blue building with a sign out front that says, 'Future Home Of The Church Of Scientology Colorado.' I think an opening day picket is called for, as well as a letter writing campaign to their new neighbors to let them know who's moving in next door.
"Those of you in Colorado... Take the time to subscribe to the Front Range ARSCC mailing list! Here's how: Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org"
Tilman Hausherr found the web site of another Scientology-affiliated
company this week.
Hill & Knowlton
"They were the PR firm for scientology for some time, after which everyone sued everyone."