Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 7 06/02/96 by Rod Keller [email@example.com] copyright 1996
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors, whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some of the most significant postings. The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of the articles. Many include an excerpt, and all include message IDs for the articles I cover. This may or may not be useful to you, depending on how long your site stores articles in the newsgroup before expiring them. Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org It is archived at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://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#####
"Just FYI, the name associated with the account (accessible to any individual on AOL, in a mechanism similar to finger) is:
"Screen Name: RTZork Member Name: Mark Brandon"
System Operator JEM (email@example.com) began cancelling the articles as abuse of the Internet, with more actions to follow if the bombardment continues.
"My view is that the posts listed represent an intentional spew and bombardment of a newsgroup, intended to make it unusable. There is surely no discussion going on by this type of shotgun posting.
"I'm getting very close to going the route of the CancelMoose[tm], i.e. to stop issuing cancel messages, and begin sending periodic NoCeM messages only. This incident has pushed me closer to that position.
"I shall shortly be installing the NoCeM on spool patches on a couple of my servers for test purposes. If that goes well, I shall install it on all domestic servers, and switch over my anti-spam efforts."
"6687 articles were canceled in 6883 groups. The Breidbart Index is 6964.18 (BI2: 7062.18)
2 firstname.lastname@example.org (william rexham)
24 email@example.com (Emily Faulkner)
26 firstname.lastname@example.org (Geron83545)
58 'Nathan Slade' <email@example.com>
86 firstname.lastname@example.org (gordon e. jones) 122 'Chris Maple' <email@example.com>
142 'Jamie Bryson' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
206 email@example.com (Aline Gervais) 407 firstname.lastname@example.org (jeremy rojas) 563 email@example.com (Chris Maple) 857 firstname.lastname@example.org (Nathan Slade) 1824 email@example.com (Shirley Lemaine) 2356 firstname.lastname@example.org (ARS INFO SERVICE)"
Jeff Jacobsen and others in Mesa Arizona picketed the cult on June 2nd to protest the cult's abuse of the net.
"3 of us picketed the only Church of Scientology in Arizona yesterday from 5pm to 7pm.
"It was a pretty uneventful picket. Our signs mostly said 'stop the harassment' or some such. Ginny Leason, the local pr person, drove up and came out to talk. I gave her a can of Spam to commemorate the spam on a.r.s., but she is clueless about the net and the gesture was completely lost on her. She wanted to take me to lunch to discuss our complaints, but of course she has no power to stop the spamming.
"A Scientologist staff guy came out to take our pictures, but his camera didn't work. He came out a little later and tried again, but the darned thing didn't work again. This was about the only reaction there was to our picket.
"We had about 8 'way-to-go' honks from cars going by, and 2 unintelligible words from some people. There is very little foot traffic but lots of cars on this street."
System Operators have begun to respond to the spamming, slowly cutting off posting privileges and informing a.r.s posters of their status.
"Date: Tue, 28 May 1996 17:02:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: 'MicroServe's HelpDesk' <email@example.com>
"The Calf. provider just wrote to me and said that he suspended the spammer's account. You may still see a few messages being added, as the Q empties, but this should be the end. I hope.
"Chris Haydu MicroServe Information Systems
"Date: Tue, 28 May 1996 13:31:21 -0700
From: System Administrator <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"This is to notify that we are about to practice our right to suspend or cancel your account due to the inappropriate use and use of excessive system. Please be informed that the actions you have taken have caused lots of complaints and problems. We advise that the actions you have taken should be ceased. We attached the terms and conditions for use of DX Net internet service, which can be found in our homepage, http://www.dxnet.com"
"Coordinator: Kim, Yong Cheol (YCK) sohn@ECE.RUTGERS.EDU (213) 931-1151
"I spoke with Yong, he sounded fairly tired and reported having received calls from all over the world(!). He tells me that he has issued a warning to the account and will suspend it shortly if he doesn't receive a satisfactory response."
"From: email@example.com (Chris Caputo) Date: 29 May 1996 12:33:54 -0700
"firstname.lastname@example.org (ARS INFO SERVICE). This user's access has been restricted to read-only. The user is a customer of an ISP that is a customer of ours. I worked with the ISP today and they are following up with the user.
"We have issued cancels for the 2,293 articles posted by this user. The cancels are propagating now. The cancels will not be honored on AltNet, but they will propagate to other servers."
"Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 18:38:33 -0700
From: Darren Bordelon <email@example.com>
"Uhh, thank you Tom for your complete updates on the subject. You may wish to keep in mind that WDC is handling complaints from many other people, through many other channels, on this issue."
And finally, the first news article on the spam attack has been published in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, on May 31st.
"Net activists claim that Church of Scientology members are bombarding a popular computer bulletin board with thousands of generic, pro-Church messages to drown out any critical opinions.
"In argot of the Internet it's called 'vertical spamming,' and it has some Netizens so worried that they're even suggesting calling in the FBI - an astounding prospect, given the vehement opposition of many Internet groups to any government regulation of the global computer network.
"'Free speech is free speech when it's not disruptive of other free speech. What we're seeing is not free speech, but the abuse of free speech,' said Jon Noring, a long-time Netwatcher from Utah.
"Church of Scientology spokeswoman Debbie Blair yesterday defended members' rights to free cyber-speech, while denying any organized effort to swamp the Internet. 'That's never been condoned by the Church,' she said.
"'It's only a few hypocrites that would complain,' a Church statement said. 'When they express themselves ... no matter how vile or hateful their postings are, we acknowledge their right to say what they want ... There has been so much false information on (the bulletin board) that no one should complain about the truth being posted.'"
Escape From UK
Martin Poulter posted a UK telephone number for cult members to call for help in escaping.
"Thinking of leaving Scientology? ESCAPE is only a phone call away: 01342 316129
"PS: If anyone wants to make a donation to help ESCAPE with their exit-counselling or their court cases, get in touch with me."
Scientology - I Accuse
Dr. Stefa Sandkuehler posted a request from Renate Hartwig, author of the German books Scientology - I Accuse, Scientology - Time bomb in Economy and Scientology - The Conspiracy and the Compagneros.
"Have you ever been ordered (while being in Co$) to delete names of persons that shouldn't be known as being Scientologists? [S]een orders to vet names out of lists/files? [O]bserved other people doing such vetting?
"Can you witness documents being shredded that shouldn't be seen by police or government agencies?
"Renate Hartwig described how the police called her to inform her of an imprisoned woman who told she had been hired by SC to autobomb Renate Hartwig and her husband Paul. Renate just described what she experienced, what the police said, what the person said etc.
"SC [the cult} sued her and stated that the imprisoned woman had never been a scientologist and wouldn't appear in any of the files. Main witness: a leading agent of German OSA, Rainer Weber......
"Now Renate Hartwig would like to have even more quotable facts regarding the deletion of names and facts by Co$. Renate Hartwig Box 44 D-89282 Pfaffenhofen Phone (Germany)-7308-9690-0 Fax (Germany)-7308-9690-30"
Two pieces of legal correspondence in the Grady Ward case were posted this week. The cult is issuing subpoenas to third parties, such as remailers and Internet Service Providers. Here's a list of subpoena recipients, and Grady's analysis.
"Custodian of Records Netcom On-line Communication Services, Inc. c/o Randolph J. Rice The Genesis Law Group, LL.P. 160 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 1300 San Jose, CA 95113
"Custodian of Records University of Maryland 2101 Main Administration Building College Park, MD 20742
"Custodian of Records University of California San Diego Interim Chancellor Marjoire C. Caserio Office of the Chancellor 0005 La Jolla, CA 90263
"Homer Wilson Smith 100 Fairview Sq., Apt. 25 Ithaca, NY 14850
"Custodian of Records Humboldt Internet 750 16th St. Arcata, CA 95521
"Custodian of Records North Coast Internet 518 E. Street Eureka, CA 95501
"The ISP's must provide all documents (defined in the awe-inspiring way that my production of records and documents did):
"All documents relating to usage of your system by Grady Ward, including, without limitation, logs, and billing records reflecting when Mr. Ward was logged on to your system through his user account.
"Maryland has to produce: All documents relating to the postings (NOTs) which show 'info.umd.edu' as the 'NNTP Posting Host,' including, without limitation, the identity of the person or persons who made the postings.
"All documents relating to logs or other records kept by the info.umd.edu computer of any individuals who were logged on to that computer, whether as authorized University of Maryland account holders or as guests arriving at that computer from another location, at the time the (NOTs) postings were made.
"The San Diego subpoena refers to postings made through nately.ucsd.edu and the web pages http://burn.ucsd.edu/%7Eclyde/ot2.html and http://burn.ucsd.edu/%7Eclyde/ot3.html, including the identities of the web page owners."
Grady also filed an opposition to further depositions because of the cult's behavior during the first set.
"The defendant opposes further expedited deposition because the plaintiff has indulged in extremely abusive behavior in their first expedited deposition by ignoring this court's admonition on March 29, 1996 to plaintiff counsel Hogan to treat the defendant pro per professionally, as well as untruthfully representing to Magistrate Judge Infante that I had 'sprung' my objection to a second full day of deposition on the plaintiff on April 9, 1996.
"The enclosed audio tape shows me confirming the nine hour limited as agreed to by counsel at the beginning of the first day of deposition on April 8th. Counsel Hogan's voice is clear in his acknowledgment of my confirmation. This exchange took place just ten minutes before the court reporter began recording the first day's testimony.
"The court will also hear Hogan calling me a 'liar' when I protested his disregard of your 6 hour limit and our agreement between counsels to limit the deposition to nine hours. However, as the tape proves Counsel Hogan deliberately uttered a falsehood to the court of Magistrate Infante as well as contemptuously ignoring this court's advice.
"The flurry of ex parte and expedited motions on the part of the plaintiff has made it difficult for the defendant to articulate his counterclaims and to defend myself from the seemingly continuous onslaught of declarations based upon unauthenticated hearsay and other non-evidence that the plaintiff has produced to support their allegations. The schedule of accelerated discovery has severely prejudiced me since I have no paralegals to do research for me nor do I have a clear concept of legal procedure to guide my pleadings. The plaintiff has challenged my counterclaim and in fact virtually all of my motions. To continue to permit them intrusive discovery while I try to learn legal principles, learn how to read case law, and understand pleading format is patently unfair." Homer Smith posted the list of Documents and Things to be Produced he received.
"All documents relating to the posting which was made through the anonymous remailer, freezone.remailer, including, without limitation, the identity of the person or persons who made the posting. "All documents relating to logs or other records kept by the computer of any individuals who sent messages through freezone.remailer at the time the Exhibit A posting was made. "All documents relating to how records are kept by the freezone.remailer computer of the source of postings made or messages send through the computer. "Exhibit A is the header as received by netcom.com of Scamizdat #3, posted on April 1st 1995."
Greta Van Sustern
Cult member Greta Van Sustern is in the news for ambulance chasing the families of the Valujet crash victims. From the March 28th Pensacola News Journal:
"Relatives of Valujet crash victims in Atlanta reported last week that they were being contacted with offers by the law firm of CNN legal analyst Greta Van Sustern.
"The packet, which arrived in the mail, included pictures of Van Sustern, the commentator who made her mark as color analyst at the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The packet said Van Sustern's team would represent the victims for free in exchange for 25 percent of any money recovered from the airline. Taking on such a case could cost $100,000, the packet warns."
A CNN transcript was posted, which can be found at http://cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/proof/proof052496+000.html, which aired May 24, 1996 12:30 pm. A few highlights:
"ROGER COSSACK: My co-host, Greta Van Susteren's law firm, Coale and Van Susteren, has been named in news reports as having contacted families of ValuJet crash victims. Today, Greta joins our panel of attorneys and ethicists.
"Greta, what did your law firm do?
"GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: OK, first, Roger, let's get the facts right. When you talk about my law firm, what you're talking about is the firm that I co-founded with my husband, and which I'm not a partner, but I'm of counsel, which is a very different beast. But nonetheless, what my firm did, and what dozens of other firms do in this country is when there is an accident, is they call up the families and say, 'Look, would you like to see some brochures about the firms and see what your legal rights may be?' And the people either answer yes or no. If they answer yes, the material is sent. Dozens of firms do it around the country, and on every major aviation case, all the major aviation firms do it. And the reason they do it is because aviation lawyers have experience, and presumably, the people want experienced lawyers.
"ROGER COSSACK: OK, now, when did your firm do this contacting? How soon after the accident?
"GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: That, I don't know, because, you know, Roger, I'm here every day with you. I don't know that. I assume, I assume, and I'm just guessing, it was done probably a week after the accident. But frankly, I have no clue.
"ROGER COSSACK: All right, now, there's also the criticism, Greta, that you are trading off your celebrity status in using your name to get clients, or to get these victims of the ValuJet crash. True or not?
"GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: False, and I'll tell you why, Roger. I have won several multi-million dollar verdicts. I have negotiated millions of dollars in settlements for people. I'm a very good, talented lawyer. I went to a very law school. I have two law degrees. I'm very proud of my work. No one is so foolish as to think that television has ever, ever promoted anyone's business. I know that's a myth. But, Roger, let me ask you, since you've been here, and you've been here with me for over a year and a half, have you ever gotten one case from being on Burden of Proof or CNN? All we get is the poor soul who is receiving communications through fillings from the CIA, and who desperately needs help, or someone who's on death row has exhausted every other avenue. Roger, have you ever gotten a case?
"ROGER COSSACK: No, I haven't, Greta, but now one more question. You do put CNN after your name, that you work with me at CNN, we work together at CNN in your brochure. Isn't that correct?
"GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it is listed that I am the co-host of Burden of Proof, but that's certainly no secret. And it's not something that I have ever thought would attract business. [Commercial break]
"ROGER COSSACK: We're back, talking about lawyer solicitation in the ValuJet Crash. Stephen Gillers, is it ethical for attorneys to contact victims of a plane crash and their family immediately after the event happens?
"STEPHEN GILLERS, Legal Ethics Professor: It is in most states. It depends upon how the contact is made. Nearly everywhere, a contact by mail, at least regular mail, is appropriate. In some states, you have to wait 30 days, as a result of something the Supreme Court said last year.
"ROGER COSSACK: Isn't there a difference between a phone call and a knock on the door?
"STEPHEN GILLERS: Well, there is a difference, but a phone call is still improper in every jurisdiction.
"GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: That's absolutely not true, Steve.
"STEPHEN GILLERS: Except for two.
"GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: That's absolutely not true. In Washington, D.C., you can actually do, in fact, in person solicitation. And they're even considering it in other states. But the interesting thing, I think, Steve, is that in the state of Florida, the case that you do bring up, they have a rule you can't contact in Florida for 30 days, which is so interesting, because it does not prevent the insurance companies from going to the people and trying to get them to settle. It's very interesting how the lawyers are worried about their particular image and in essence, denying the consumer."
The film Schizopolis was shown at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18th.
"The picture starts out as an apparent satire of, and attack on, Scientology-like organizations. Munson (Soderbergh) is a functionary working on behalf of a movement called Eventualism, the guru of which is the uniquely selfish, mean-spirited T. Azimuth Schwitters. Focus then veers to the annoying antics of a weird exterminator in an orange suit and goggles named Elmo, whose aggressively promiscuous activities remain utterly unfathomable throughout the running time.
"No narrative is developed on a comprehensible level, nor is any single idea fleshed out to meaningful dimensions. Along the way, characters begin speaking in different forms of gibberish, with Munson and his wife relating in a fitfully amusing techno-ese in which they might say hello by uttering 'generic greeting,' or indicate they're going out by announcing 'imminent departure.' Genuinely funny is Munson's habit of speaking to his wife in foreign languages, and some of Soderbergh's absurdist wordplay isn't bad either. But what he's getting at isn't clear beyond some sort of comment on the paucity and difficulty of communication, a problem the film does nothing to ameliorate.
"Focus returns to Eventualism in a climactic assassination attempt on Schwitters, but lack of any dramatic through-line or coherent subject makes bewilderment the principal response to the film as a whole. Its humorous intent is signaled more by such devices as speeded-up action and goofy sound effects than by any genuine wit or behavioral comedy. "A Point 406 Ltd. production. Produced by John Hardy. Directed, written by Steven Soderbergh."
Tilman Hausherr posted a brief summary of a German TV show on Narconon.
"Spokesperson Hackenjos claimed 62% success - yet another number. She whined that it wasn't paid by the state, that the state prevents people from going off drugs.
"Then a look back in history: in the 70's, Narconon started in Berlin. After suicides, deaths, and a 10% success rate, the funding was stopped."
Snorri Helgarsson posted an update on his dealings with the US Embassy in The Netherlands, following his attempt to sell phony secrets to the cult of Scientology.
"Currently I'm wrapped up in a legal procedure against the American Embassy in The Hague for it's role in the whole affair, the contacts with OSA, the cover up of that what really took place.
"[I]n the coming two weeks I will loose all that what I valued and I really don't know whether I will be able to recover from that. The only way to do this is to fight it in the courts. As it appears the Embassy will claim immunity and there will not be a whole lot I can do about that.
"The problem is that there will be many who for their own reasons would not to be to interested in such a case. The Co$ would oppose it because of that what they have to hide, the Embassy because of the same, a number of people from the hacktic scene as well as a number of people in the Netherlands."
Cult Cuts Prices
Tom Klemesrud posted a letter from cult attorney Elliot Abelson, in which he dropped his offer for settlement from $60,000.
"I am in receipt of your letter of May 3, 1996. My client, in an effort to settle this case with Mr. Klemesrud, will accept $50,000 as settlement.
"We will file a dismissal with prejudice when the settlement is reached and will extend a general release to your client. There can be no settlement, however, without your client signing a general release also.
"This demand is most reasonable since you client:
1) needn't go out of pocket;
2) needn't be further concerned with this lawsuit considering his poor
3) will not be enjoined by the court for the benefit of my client;
4) has no malicious prosecution case against the Church as he will not be
the prevailing party, thus the release is of no import."
Dennis Erlich's case is proceeding, despite an attempt by the cult to link it to the Grady Ward case.
"Yesterday Judge Whyte issued an slap in the face to the scienos in an order which refused to move back the hearing date or link the Erlich and Grady cases. Whyte's comments in the order were something like 'different cases, different people, different issues'. He also said (paraphrased) 'Mr. Erlich is probably interested in bringing this matter to a speedy conclusion.' He didn't sound at all amused. You don't think after all this time he could actually be concerned about my rights, do you?
"The hearing on June 10th at 10 am in San Jose Federal Court is on. I am planning on being in attendance to watch the MoFo-ing the scienos get."
Las Vegas Immigrants
Ted Mayett reported on personnel developments at the Las Vegas branch of the cult.
"Janne Bjork, SO is not the ED. My #5 Val Garcia, SO is the new ED. Janne had been pulled back to Flag some months ago.
"According to Val, 'I have been the ED for the last 8 months, we have expanded our lines while graduating two class IV auditors and 3 people have been sent up lines and passed their CCRD.'
"One of the class IV auditors would have been my #3 Holly. Holly had passed _before_ I did my money picket. I can't imagine who the other class IV is.
"Also, according to Val's letter, 'our most recent news has been the addition of a Professional Word Clearer and a Professional Course Supervisor who both returned from Flag and who both graduated at Flag with honors.'"
"It seems that cclv did indeed get two new staff from Flag. A word clearer and a course sup.
"Of the alleged three new clears I now know who two of them might be. One is the public who already failed the ccrd once. The other is a staffer, female, who has been on lines for probably 15 years now. Evidently she was clear already but had an auditing fix of some type and is now clear again."
"The new sup is Nathan Sironen. The word clearer is Janne Bjork, SO. My Janne, he is back. And this explains one of the 'both' who returned from Flag to cclv. Janne was originally imported to cclv, it turns out he did indeed go to Flag. So now the imported ED, Val Garcia, SO, refers to Janne as a returning staff. Nathan is a child, possibly 18, if that old. I've never met him."