Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 42 02/16/97 by Rod Keller [email@example.com] 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 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://users.aimnet.com/~jdiver/scieno.htm http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html #####
"WHO: U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne (D-NJ), jazz great Chick Coma, legendary performer Isaac Hayes and Hollywood star Anne Afar.
"WHAT: In anticipation of Congressional action that will strongly criticize the German government for its increasing discrimination against religious minorities including members of the Church of Scientology, U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne will host a press conference during which celebrities Isaac Hayes, Chick Corea and Anne Archer (who has just returned from Germany) will share the painful and bewildering discrimination that artists and others have suffered in Germany solely because of their membership in the Church of Scientology.
"For further information contact; Alex Jones at 202-667-6404."
"Arnie was not allowed in--which in itself created some attention-getting stir. So he stood outside the door, and watched people leaving in disgust at the standard scieno bullshit, handing them information as they left. He talked to the celebs and one of them accepted some materials. He gave a German Congressman a thick, indexed notebook full of information, which was gratefully accepted.
"Today, at the press club, it was Germany's turn, so Arnie was not excluded. He had his hand raised and was called on last, at which point he read Brinkema's opinion in his case, about the space aliens, and fed the hungry listeners some other choice tidbits. The scienos were, of course, trying to shout him down, but he made his points handily.
"This time a member of the *US* Government got a very bulky notebook, and the State Department wants to meet with Arnie."
>From the Associated Press:
"'There's so much rumor, misunderstanding and hostility about Scientologists being spread by the German government that people's lives are being ruined,' Archer said at a news conference. Hayes, best known for the theme song of the movie 'Shaft,' said he has been warned by a record promoter that he should not advertise his beliefs.
"'It leaves you with the feeling, when is the next shoe going to drop?' Hayes said. 'Will I be the next on the list?' Corea said he has been kept out of some festivals in Germany because he is a Scientologist. 'In the '60s and '70s I used to do my concerts very freely in Germany, and now I can't,' he said."
Resolution 22 reads, in part:
"Mr. Payne of New Jersey (for himself, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Pastor, Mr. Becerra, Ms. McKinney, and Mr. Ney) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations
"Expressing the sense of the Congress with respect to the discrimination by the German Government against members of minority religious groups, particularly the continued and increasing discrimination by the German Government against performers, entertainers, and other artists from the United States associated with Scientology.
"Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress- - continues to hold Germany responsible for protecting the rights of German national and foreign visitors in Germany, including people from the United States who are performing, doing business, or traveling in Germany, in a manner consistent with Germany's obligations under international agreements to which Germany is a signatory; - condemns the actions and statements of Federal and State officials in Germany who have fostered an atmosphere of intolerance toward certain minority religious groups"
Scientology's celebrities also performed in an anti-Germany segment on the
TV show Entertainment Tonight
"There have been government-supported boycotts of Travolta's movie Phenomenon, and Cruise's Mission Impossible America recognizes Scientology as a non-profit religion with some eight million members, who are encouraged to believe in God. The controversy hovers around Scientology charging money for courses that offer help in such things as reaching goals, and relationships.
"Anne Archer relates her tale: 'I was pretty shocked. The situation was much worse than I anticipated. When I spoke in the town square, I got very scared. For one moment there was some hostility. There was an irrational person who started yelling, and stirred up some. They could sort of hear what I was talking about. Stirred up some negativity.'"
More media coverage of the Scientology/Germany controversy. From a press
conference held by Nicholas Burns, State Dept. spokesman.
"We also have a very firm public opposition to the repeated calls by the Scientologist community that the Kohl Government is engaging in activities which are similar to the actions of the Hitler Government in the early part of the Hitler regime in 1933 and 1934. In fact, I continue to get letters from these Scientologists and their supporters. A lot of them are postmarked Hollywood, California -- (laughter) -- and the letters say that I'm a terrible person, and that John Shattuck is a terrible person, because we won't agree with these absolutely ahistorical, inaccurate and outrageous charges, comparing the current German Government to the Nazi government.
"So if this issue is raised, I'm sure that Secretary Albright will simply note what we have said in our Human Rights Report, but solidly defend the German Government against this crazy, frankly, charge that somehow the Scientologists are being treated the way Jews were treated and communists were treated in 1933 and 1934, which is the specific charge. They continue to take out advertisements in newspapers and talk about this, and they're just wrong on this."
>From the Associated Press:
"Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will not 'shy away' next week in Bonn from defending a U.S. report that German authorities put the Church of Scientology under increased scrutiny in 1996. However, if the issue is raised, Albright also will defend the German government against a 'crazy charge that somehow the Scientologists are being treated the way Jews and communists were treated in 1933 and 1934,' State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Monday."
"German Scientologists who have left their country because of discrimination have formed a coalition to campaign against alleged human rights abuses in Germany, the Church of Scientology said on Monday. It said the Alliance for Liberty and Rights of Minorities (ALARM) coalition, formed as a response to German's 'fanatical policy of discrimination against Scientologists,' represented Scientologists in the United States, Britain and Denmark."
Cornelius Krasel summarized parts of an editorial printed in The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung this week.
"The author basically accuses the U.S. of 'cultural disengagement' (i.e. withdrawal of journalists, closure of institutes and consulates) in Germany, which in his opinion leads to an increased black-and-white thinking in the U.S. He claims that the 'holocaust' label is used to make stories TV-suitable for the American people, regardless whether it is fit or not. The author shows considerable disappointment that the American 'intelligentsia' has remained almost completely silent in regard to this accusation and suggests that this might not only be due to a lack of information but also due to a lack of courage."
"Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel will tell U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright next week that members of the Church of Scientology are not persecuted in Germany. 'There can be no question of persecution of Scientology in this country,' Kinkel told the Berliner Kurier newspaper in an interview published on Friday. Kinkel will meet Albright when she visits Germany on Sunday and Monday as part of her first overseas trip since taking office last month.
"Kinkel said differences between the U.S. and German views on the group were the result of the two countries' different histories and constitutions. 'Our history teaches us to be particularly on our guard,' Kinkel said. 'Given Scientology's practices, which are also not uncontroversial in the United States, the protection of our citizens takes priority,' he said."
>From a Chicago Tribune editorial this week:
"The State Department report, without accusing, mentions several matters that warrant concern. Major political parties bar Scientologists from membership; Bavaria excludes them from the civil service, and the ruling Christian Democratic Union has urged a broad prohibition of their public employment.
"Not mentioned in the report are other types of mistreatment. Many private schools and day-care centers refuse to accept children of Scientologists, some banks won't let them open accounts, postal workers in Cologne reserve the right not to deliver their mail and at least one professor has been harassed and punished because he is a Scientologist.
"German critics of Scientology argue the church is not a spiritual concern but a sleazy commercial enterprise that mercilessly exploits members. That claim has some basis: A 1991 Time magazine article convincingly portrayed Scientology as 'a highly profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner.' The church disputed the characterization in a libel suit but lost.
"If the people running the church are engaged in criminal activities, they can be prosecuted. But the German overreaction risks making a dubious organization with a nasty bent look like an innocent victim."
Betti Gefecht reported that instead of calling the Clearwater Police,
witness Susanne Schnurrenberger called Scientology. A Tampa lawyer now
claims to represent Susanne. Her German citizenship may prevent police
from questioning her.
"They told me, that this procedure usually takes weeks or even months, before the US police officers are allowed to question the person or get help from the German police. So, even if they know where to find Susanne, they cannot talk to her. And if they did, everything she said would be inadmissible in a court! That means although they have Susanne's address (and they do!), they just have to wait.
"[A]gainst my advice and in contradiction to what she said, she did not call the police up to this point. And I doubt that she will. She called her fellow Clearwater scientologists instead, she now claims to have an attorney there deputizing for her and the other two witnesses. How can Abelson still claim that they don't know about them or that they have left the church?
Shelley Thomson posted the rumor that the police and prosecutors are preparing to search and question Scientology.
"Police action is imminent in Florida. The State Attorney's Office has just agreed to issue search warrants and subpoenas for the Clearwater Police to use in the Lisa McPherson death-by-dehydration case. As this is written, search warrants are being prepared."
The St. Petersburg Times reported that a hearing was held this week in Scientology's suit to gain access to the complete autopsy file, including tissue and body fluid samples.
"Now the Church of Scientology is suing Wood to force her to open her entire confidential file on the case. Scientology has recruited a team of medical experts who want to pore over documents and conduct their own tests on body fluids, organs and tissue samples collected during the autopsy on McPherson.
"Church officials say the medical team's findings would be part of a separate Scientology-led investigation to fight a case they say is being tried in the media.
"In a hearing on the case Thursday before Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Bob Barker, church attorney Sandy Weinberg argued that once a public official releases some information from her files, she should be made to release all of it."
Ingar Holst reported that his Internet provider closed his archive of
Operation Clambake, which holds many full-text upper level materials,
including NOTS, and handwritten scans of OT1.
"About one hour ago I received a phone from Mr. Per Brose, CEO of EUnet Norway. He told me that unless I took the COS material down from my area at EUnet right away, then EUnet would take it down. My reply to him was that I was certainly not going to take the pages down and EUnet has consequently removed the pages.
"For my own part, I was looking forward to meeting the COS lawyers in court, and as I have told Mr. Allan Cartwright, a representative of Miss Helena Kobrin's office who phoned me yesterday, I would have warmly welcomed and strongly encouraged any legal suit whatsoever from them against me."
Dave Touretzky reported a probable sighting of a Scientology private
investigator at his home. Dave maintains the NOTS Scholar's web site,
which Scientology has threatened legal action against in the past few
"On Friday Feb. 7, 1997, as I was leaving my apartment, I ran into the apartment complex's maintenance man, Rich, who asked me if the 'CMU investigator' who was looking for me had managed to get hold of me. I asked him what he was referring to. It turns out that a few days before, Rich had spotted a suspicious-looking guy with an RCA camcorder filming the parking lot and my apartment building. The guy then went into my building and came out again. (I wasn't home.) Rich asked him what he was doing, and the guy told him that he was an investigator for CMU (Carnegie Mellon University, my employer), and he wanted to speak with me. He asked Rich some questions about me, specifically, had they had any trouble with me such as wild parties or drugs. Rich figured I was being checked out for a job, so he gave the guy his own name and answered his questions as best he could. There was no dirt to tell; I've always had a good relationship with my landlord. The guy also said he'd heard that I was 'a computer whiz,' and asked about that, but Rich didn't know anything about it.
"I informed CMU's lawyer of these events. He was not amused to hear that a PI was running around claiming to work for the university. Perhaps OSA is planning a burglary. I am taking appropriate precautions."
Jeff Jacobsen posted a report concerning coverage of Scientology in
"There was an interesting program on the Finnish TV about Scientology the other day. They were interviewing the Sci spokeswoman as well as some people who had been members of Sci here earlier. Those who had been the Sci members told that they all backed (lien) each others loans and the money was sent to the USA. One prev member told that they used no bank accounts instead wired the money direct to the US. Now they all owe somewhere between $100 000 to 210 000."
News was posted this week from Grady Ward in the Scamizdat case.
"[T]he cult has said that David Miscavige will not be deposed by me under any circumstances. I of course would like to talk to him about various of the claims and counterclaims in the case. So the cult will presumably move for a protective order regarding DM and I will fight it in front of Magistrate Judge Infante.
"The deposition of Warren McShane will be going ahead on the 25th of February in Arcata, California. The cult said that they will direct him not to answer any questions concerning my counterclaim. Therefore, I expect some conference calls for Judge Infante for the purpose of compelling him to answer. The cult also said that they will be noticing Arnie Lerma for deposition in my case."
"In a sworn declaration signed on February 7, 1997, Warren McShane testifies that 'They are not the Scientology documents that comprise the L's, but are someone's unartful attempt to duplicate those documents. The documents filed by Ward do not duplicate the trade secrets contained in the L's.'
"So that means each and every document up on Clambake purportedly called the L's has been jettisoned by the criminal cult. However if I recall, some the documents included have been cited before by the cult as belonging to them."
The St. Petersburg Times reports that a county judge has come under
criticism for using Scientology's Criminon program in his sentencing.
"Pinellas County Judge Stephen Rushing made a flagrant mistake when he directed 18 defendants to a counseling program affiliated with the Church of $cientology. Judges, who have the power to control defendants' lives, have a special obligation to protect the constitutional separation between church and state. Rushing's intentions may have been innocent, but his actions violated that obligation.
"Rushing's explanation is unpersuasive. He says he knew the Impulse Control course was based on the teachings of Church of $cientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. But he says he was assured that the program would be secular."
"Eggleston, 18, of Largo said he picked the counseling. So far, he has been to two classes, and he likes it. 'They teach you how to make better decisions,' he said. 'It's better than other counseling. You've actually got to, like, apply yourself.' Eggleston said his instructors told him the Impulse Control course was based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. But he said nobody told him that Hubbard had founded the Church of Scientology.
"Rushing has left the criminal court bench for a post in civil court, so he is no longer sending people to Criminon. He says he does not know how many of the 18 people he sent to Impulse Control are attending its classes, which cost students $150 to attend. He regards this first class of Impulse Control students as a pilot project, to determine whether other judges should use it.
"If it turns out to be nothing but a ploy to promote Scientology, the judge said, 'I owe an apology to the people I put in that program.' The judge said he has yet to sit in on any of the courses. He said he learned about Impulse Control by studying the literature Criminon mailed to him last year and decided to try it after speaking to its staff members, watching a video they gave him and reading more literature they provided."
An anonymous poster described his involvement in a Scientology front group
this week. Executive Power is apparently a new name for Scientology's
management training courses.
"[M]y company recently hired a management consultant company to help our very small company get organized. I didn't really give it much thought, other than to think that it was a good idea, high time we got our act together. The company we hired to do the training is called 'Executive Power', apparently based in the Atlanta area- for all appearances, a very small outfit.
"The first thing they did was give each and every manager in our company a multiple-choice analysis, and I think I recall them calling it an 'Oxford Capacity Test', or some such. Next, we managers were told we'd be attending one-on-one training courses called 'modules'. I looked at the book on the table, and alarm bells started to go off- in large lettering, it said: 'based on the work of L. Ron Hubbard'. On the table was also a dictionary, and a cup full of poker chips, paper clips, and little stones. The trainer called it a 'demo kit'.
"The first session was three hours, and covered 'the Barriers to Learning' (mass, etc), and also such things as 'cognition', and 'conditions', which were (in order): nonexistence, danger, emergency, normal, affluence, power, and power-change. During the session, every time a question would come up about the material, the trainer would hunt down what she felt was a word that I'd misunderstood, calling it an 'MU', or 'misunderstood word'. We would then look it up in the dictionary, and read all the definitions- she called this 'word clearing'."
Mary Sue's Book
An anonymously posted rumor this week, that Mary Sue Hubbard may be
publishing a book of her memoirs.
"The word from inside the publishing industry is the Mary Sue Hubbard has written her memoirs and that they will be published this spring or early summer. Insiders say that this is a tell all book and that Mary Sue is still enraged over having taken a prison rap for L. Ron and over the suicide (alleged) of her son Quentin. They say that in the book she wastes DM and the hierarchy and that she exposes criminal money manipulations. Insiders say that the book is tentatively titled,'My Life with L. Ron Hubbard'."