Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 48 04/06/97 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 articles posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original articles, and many have a URL to get more informtion. You may be able to find the original article, 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 #####
Lars Westergren posted a transcript of a show on Scientology from BBC
"Buildings like this aren't cheap. Scientology founds itself by a doctrine of exchange. Members can pay thousands of dollars to complete all their courses, in payments that are called donations, but are in fact obligatory.
"Few churches prompt more antagonism than this one. A Greek judge has called scientology dangerous. The German government says that its financial demands can read to ruin and even suicide. But here in America, critics are more concerned with the Church of Scientology's relentless bid, for public recognition.
"David Rodier is a professor of religion at American University.
"'They feel if you attack they attack in kind, and perhaps even more violently. And I think many people find this very threatening. New religions are by their very nature strange and odd, and we feel uncomfortable around them. And then when they, in addition to that, don't behave according to our stereotypes the way religions should behave, then we _do_ get very uncomfortable.'
"Sylvia Stanard: 'The church has dealt with criticism, because we feel that people need to know what scientology is. And its also just - sociologically it is a very interesting phenomena that all new religions go through this. I mean, we've researched and gone through what they said about the Catholics in the 1700s, and all sorts of _wild_ accusations. I mean, the Mormons were killed. And that was a hundred years ago.'"
The new Cult Awareness Network, now run by Scientology, issued a press
release on the Higher Source cult, which committed suicide recently.
"Information gathered by CAN indicates that the originators of the 'Higher Source' group were Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Trousdale Nettles respectively a psychiatric patient and a psychiatric nurse. CAN is urging investigation into the presence of drugs at the Rancho Sante Fe mansion of the Higher Source and the psychiatric backgrounds of the group. Of interest is that psychiatric drugs were also found in large quantities at Jonestown and drugs were manufactured by and administered to members of the Japanese-based Aum Supreme Truth.
"CAN is continuing its own investigation into the background of the leaders of the group and will keep the media informed. In the meantime, CAN warns that the mass media beware of fanatical anti-religious statements being made, painting all religions or groups with the same brush stroke and creating further hysteria.
"Experts who are well schooled in religion and sociology must be relied on for statements and comments. Dr. George Robertson: Chairman of the Cult Awareness Network Vice President Maryland Bible College (410)488-2606
"Dr. J. Gordon Melton: Executive Director Institute for the Study of American Religions University of California, Santa Barbara (805)961-0141"
Diane Richardson provided some background on George Robertson.
"Robertson was 'honored' by the 'Church' of Scientology[tm] with the 1993 Freedom Human Rights Leadership award, for, as the press release announcing the award states: 'Dr. George Robertson, Baptist minister, professor at Maryland Bible College and Seminary in Baltimore, and executive vice president of Friends of Freedom, for his accomplishments in promoting religious freedom tolerance and working against the violent act of 'deprogramming' and other religious hate crimes.'"
Monica Pignotti posted an article found on Dejanews written by a member of
the Heaven's Gate cult in support of Scientology's actions on the Cult
"Subject: Thanks for Actions Against CAN
From: 'lah' <email@example.com>
"Here's a round of applause to the Church of Scientology for their courageous action against the Cult Awareness Network. From our point of view, no group was as 'off' in their judgment of others as was CAN. No group was as out of place in their condemnation of the innocent as was CAN.
"They accused our group of 'cult activities' promoting all sort of lies about us. When we asked to speak with them to correct some of their false accusations, they refused to listen. Their only desire was to see our financial records and ironically, we really have no finances to speak of at all. They exerted no effort to determine the facts even when those who could most accurately provide those facts were literally at their doorstep.
"We hope you will continue to advertise on behalf of freedom of thinking for all. History proves that nearly every conceptual milestone now considered 'good' was at one time considered a 'cult.' In the early/inception stages of any significantly updated thinking, it seems that some embodiment of narrow- minded opposition takes it upon themselves to threaten its right to exist.
"So thanks again from all of us determined to continue the search for Truth through alternate paths. And thanks from those who support the right of others to do so as well.
"In Service to the Next Level, The so-called 'UFO Cult'"
German ARD television aired a show on Scientology, based on their visit to
Los Angeles in February. Michail Brzitwa, Katinka van der Linden and Lars
Baehren provided summaries and partial transcripts.
"A horribly terrified Garry Scarff, pictures of RPFed people, mention of mysterious deaths in Fort Harrison during the eighties, interviews with the Clearwater police about Lisa McPherson, a short interview with Berry, a crowd of scientology cars chasing the German TV crew on a highway, bodyguards for both Scarff and the crew, a faked car accident, Scarff having a nervous breakdown, Abelson talking BS and corrected by Rinder, Rinder admitting Lisa died in Fort Harrison and not in hospital."
"There was also a section about a German Scientologist who died in the Ford Harrison. He was an epileptic, and was refused medication and instead given vitamins and minerals. The doctor was a Scientologist, refused to give an interview but stated on paper that at that time he firmly thought that the Scientology treatment would be better for the patient."
"Featuring Ex-Scientologists Gerry Scarff and Martin Ottman reporters tried to chase evidence for Gulag-like camps run by the cult. Ottman talk about his observations about RPF: members have to wear black clothes (the were various camera pictures of cult member running around hastily); minimum of 16 hours work per day; minimum of 5 hour case study of own failures.
"Background of Gerry Scarff and his deposition: he left OSA because of orders to kill a critic by cutting the wires for the breaks of the car, otherwise suffocate with a cushion later on; if police started investigation on him than better do TKO (Total Knock Out) - shooting himself in the head; attempt to kidnap him, probably to be taken to Helmet in Hot Springs.
"Clearwater police reported of more mysterious deaths in and around Fort Harrison Hotel. In the case of a corpse found in a nearby river Scientology gave a wrong name to officers, even before the the discovery. The person later turned out to be a Scientologist from Stuttgart."
Grady Ward was allowed to view many of the documents ordered by Judge
Infante this week, but not all, as he explained to the court.
"After review of the responses, the following lists materials were withheld in contempt of the Magistrate's orders: 'RTC is ordered to supplement its answer to provide responsive information describing the general organizational structure of RTC, and the general organizational structure of any organization involved in the safekeeping of Advanced Technology material.'
"[T]he plaintiff has withheld all details of the second part of the question. The plaintiff had repeatedly averred under oath that only seven organizations have custody and safekeeping of components of the Advanced Technology. However, during my review of the documents designated by the plaintiff as confidential the defendant in reviewing the OT MATERIALS MASTER LOG on March 28, 1997 the following locations were disclosed as having custody of portions or all of the Advanced Technology at issue in this litigation. (Only coded designations were provided to me during my review of the confidential documents. Warren McShane insisted that all questions concerning the meaning of the coded abbreviations be deferred until he was in deposition, which he has to this date refused to attend.)
"ARCHIVE probable location: in underground bunkers operated by C.S.T. AOLA probable location: Advanced Organization Los Angeles FSSO probable location: Flag Ship Service Organization (on the Freewinds Ship) ITO probable location: International Training Organization (Clearwater, FL) OC probable location: Officer Council as per Flag Order 3352 HBGC probable location: (unknown) AOSHEU probable location: Advanced Organization Saint Hill Europe (Denmark) AOSHUK probable location: Advanced Organization Saint Hill United Kingdom (East Grinstead, Sussex) AOSHANZO probable location: Advanced Organization Saint Hill Australia, New Zealand and Oceana (Sydney, Australia) TOK probable location: Tokyo SNC probable location: (unknown) RTC probable location: Religious Technology Center ASHOF probable location: American Saint Hill Organization - Foundation (night + weekend staff) located at 1413 N. Berendo St. LA, CA 90027 ASHOD probable location: American Saint Hill Organization - Day Organization - located at 1413 N. Berendo St. LA, CA 90027 CSIINTB probable location: Church of Scientology International Intelligence Bureaux FSO probable location: Flag Service Organization (Clearwater, FL) GOLD probable location: Golden Era Studios UK probable location: United Kingdom PACRPF probable location: Pacific Area Command Rehabilitation Project Force (scientology prison camp in greater Los Angeles area) JBG probable location: Johannesburg, South Africa LDNF probable location: London Foundation Organization NYF probable location: New York Foundation ASI probable location: Author Services International
"The plaintiff has also failed to 'produce all responsive confidentiality agreements within its possession, custody or control, executed by any party (not just the churches of scientology and its parishioners).' The plaintiff responded by providing two blank confidentiality documents.
"The plaintiff has next not obeyed the Order, paragraph 6 with respect to Document Request number 6 ('6. All documents that refer, reflect, or relate to Grady Ward from Jan. 15, 1995 onwards.') The plaintiff has only provided both confidential and non-confidential documents that it alleges are Grady Ward's postings to the Internet."
Nation of Islam and Indian Movement
Maggie Council posted a report on Scientology, the Florida Indian Movement
and the Nation of Islam.
"I just had the head of Florida AIM [American Indian Movement] in my office; he told me that he was recently speaking at an event where a leader of the Nation of Islam was speaking. Church of Scientology members from Flag were at his side on the podium, and he spoke about the Way to Happiness Literacy campaign. The Native leader told me that he asked them who they were, and they said they were from Fort Harrison in Clearwater. 'Oh, you're scientologists?' he asked. They reluctantly admitted it.
"Outside the AIM office in St. Petersburg, FL, the personality test is being distributed regularly. The leader told me that once they called the cops to find out who the hell these people were.
"I took the opportunity to inform him about Narconon Chilocco, and how Russell Means [Indian activist] was being used to legitimize this program. I also told him how Scn hadn't paid rent, and the locals had given the land on which the Narconon facility is based *back to the BIA* because they could never get them to pay rent. Giving land back to the BIA is not a common problem solution among Native Americans."
Keith Henson filed a challenge to the RTC this week that the NOTS are
actually owned by the bankrupt Church of Scientology of California. RTC's
standing as the plaintiff in Keith's case may be affected. The argument
stems from the status of David Mayo, author of the NOTS levels, as an
employee of CSC at the time.
"Defendant is also aware that Plaintiff in a related case stated in a sworn answer to an interrogatory served on Ward at 8:15-17 that Mayo's contribution was as a work-for-hire.
"Defendant has search the Verified Complaint in this case for transfer documents from either David Mayo or CSC [Church of Scientology of California], author or co-author of NOTs under the work-for-hire doctrine to L. Ron Hubbard or RTC and found not even a mention of the former parties. Defendant's understanding of the law is very limited, but believes that 'verified' in law means that the plaintiff swore under penalty of perjury that the statements on the complaint were true.
"The copyright assignment supplied as disclosures for NED FOR OTS SERIES TXu 257 326 dated November 10, 1986 states that 'L. Ron Hubbard was the author of and owned all rights title and interest in a body of works, both published and unpublished' without mention of either David Mayo or CSC. The OT series was registered as a compilation, and while sole authorship by Hubbard of the individual sections, such as NOTs 34 might be determined by the trier of fact (assuming David Mayo can be located), this settled ruling, with no transfer agreement entered, seem to be in direct conflict with the copyright certificate of the compilation and the verified complaint.
"For the forgoing reasons, defendant prays the Court enter an order of summary judgment on copyright claims against the plaintiff due to plaintiff bringing an action in bad faith, plaintiff knowing that title to the NOTs material was quite possibly not even the property of RTC by reason of a long settled court order."
Keith also posted a letter to Scientology lawyer Tom Hogan, in which he admits being too late in requesting some depositions.
"Your deposition notice of David Elrod is therefore untimely. Please refer to Local Rule 26-5 which expressly provides that the 'discovery cut-off date is the date by which . . . all depositions shall be concluded.'
"I had mixed the times for the Ward case with mine, so you are correct and you may consider the Elrod deposition request withdrawn. However, you should consider this as notice that, should this come to trial, I expect to put Mr. Elrod on the stand and ask him to explain why and how at two different times in October of 1995 much of Scientology's 'AT' material was on a Scientology approved computer site where all the world was invited to copy it (and I did).
"Second, the time for filing dispositive motions, which would include your Counter Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and your Declaration in support of that motion, has likewise passed. The court ordered that the last date for hearing of all dispositive motions was April 11, 1997. A copy of the pages of transcript from the hearing where that order was made is also enclosed. As there is a 35-day notice requirement, summary judgment motions had to be filed by March 7.
"In this case, I will request at the hearing that the Court consider the material April 11 in the interest of judicial economy. If the Court will not, I will withdraw the material and resubmit it."
Dennis Erlich has won the right to depose Scientology head David Miscavige
in his copyright infringement case for 6 hours, with Keith Henson and
Grady Ward each receiving 1.5 hours. From Judge Infante's ruling:
"Defendant Erlich has presented evidence that reasonably suggests that Mr. Miscavige may have unique percipient knowledge relevant to this case. Specifically, Erlich presents evidence raising some question as to the authenticity of L. Ron Hubbard's signature on the May 16, 1982 Assignment Agreement, by which L. Ron Hubbard purportedly assigned his 'entire right, tide and interest in and to the Advanced Technology' to RTC. Mr. Hubbard's signature purportedly was notarized by Mr. Miscavige. Erlich presents evidence in the form of a copy of a declaration from a former Scientology member, Diana Voegeding, that during the early 1980s, Mr. Miscavige routinely obtained signatures in his notary book from Mr. Hubbard for later use, and that Mr. Miscavige often did not actually witness Mr. Hubbard's signature on documents. In addition, Erlich submits a document which his attorneys state, on information and belief, is a copy of a handwriting analysis questioning the authenticity of Hubbard's signature on the May 1982 Assignment. In addition, Erlich points to objective discrepancies in the dates of documents that give rise to some questionable inferences: (1) the notarial acknowledgment states that Hubbard signed the Assignment on May 10, 1982, but the Assignment is dated six days later; (2) an Addendum to the Assignment pre-dates the Assignment by 5 months; and (3) another document purporting to convey rights regarding the Advanced Technology works from RTC to other entities is dated January 1, 1982, approximately 3 months before the Assignment.
"In addition, the fact that Mr. Miscavige, from the beginning of 1982 to early 1987, held senior positions at Author Services, Inc., the organization responsible for managing Mr. Hubbard's literary and business affairs, further suggests that Mr. Miscavige may have knowledge regarding Mr. Hubbard's literary affairs which Mr. McShane, the present President of RTC, may not possess.
"Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, the court finds that Defendant Erlich has shown good cause to depose Mr. Miscavige. In addition, given the overlap of both factual and legal issues among the instant case, RTC v. Ward and RTC v. Henson, the court finds that good cause also exists to permit the deposition of Mr. Miscavige in the latter two cases as well."
The Tampa Tribune published an article this week on the history of
Scientology's Medical Officer at Flag, Janis Johnson.
"A woman who helped transport Scientologist Lisa McPherson to the hospital was a former Arizona physician whose license expired as the state's medical board was scrutinizing her. On Dec. 5, 1995, fellow Scientologists - including former physician Janis K. Johnson-Fitzgerald - took McPherson by van to HCA/Columbia Hospital in New Port Richey. McPherson was dead on arrival.
"In late November 1992, Northwest Hospital in Tucson reported to the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners suspicions that Johnson-Fitzgerald might have been using a narcotic painkiller called fentanyl. Nurses reported that she took frequent trips to the bathroom and kept syringes in her pockets. She also was alleged to have removed a narcotic painkiller called Sufenta from the operating suite. Another hospital reported vague but similar allegations.
"Johnson-Fitzgerald had been taking injections of Dalgan, a brand name of a narcotic painkiller, for chronic pain associated with foot and back problems. In her medical practice, she worked in the operating room and also treated chronic pain patients.
"She agreed to enter into a voluntary agreement that restricted her license. The restrictions included not practicing clinical medicine, surrendering her access to controlled substances and submitting to random drug tests. In October, however, staff reported to the board that Johnson- Fitzgerald objected to some of the wording in the agreement and therefore didn't sign it. She also had refused to provide a urine sample. Records indicate she had lied to the board when she said she had not had psychiatric treatment."
John Ritson and "Roland" provided descriptions of an unannounced picket at
the Scientology org in London this week.
"Armed with posters about the Vic, Collins and McPherson deaths, leaflets, a megaphone, the Xemu song book and a lovable toy dog with water wings, they made fools of Scientology by the simple expedient of turning up a week earlier than expected. The low-level clams at the 'org' went into headless chicken mode without Sea Org or OSA to tell them what to do. They tried complaining to the police (who had been informed in advance) and were politely informed that the picketers were completely within their rights. They alternated between hiding in the org and distributing standard recruiting leaflets. The passers-by were even more supportive than on past occasions, perhaps because of increased media coverage of Scientology in the recent past.
"[B]y the time the picket ended at 4:00 they had finally produced three placards, with baffling messages such as 'Fight Crime, Not Religion' (Funny, that's precisely why WE were there), which they leaned against the window of the org, before eventually grasping that the idea of placards is to hold them up."
"I don't like to shove the leaflets into people's hands if they don't really want them so I just held the leaflets out. People actually came up and took them out of my hand! They were congratulating me on doing such a good job. I made it very clear that I was 'Picketing against the cult/church of Scientology - Stop Scientology ruining lives' by shouting it loudly. I had about 260 leaflets. All of them were gratefully received.
"Dave Bird was making a fine old racket with his megaphone chanting 'Woof, woof, glug, glug. Who drowned the judges dog?' and singing his Lisa McPherson song. He had Duke the dog with him - a dog on wheels wearing water-wings."
Former a.r.s poster Russell Shaw has created a web site dedicated to
comparing prominent a.r.s participants to the KKK members and Nazi German
"I cannot begin to describe this site. Please visit it. It trashes several people who post here. It was announced in the AOL CoS folder."