Lawrence Wollersheim and Joe Harrington posted updates on the Factnet copyright violation case in Colorado.
"July 29, 1997 9am. A Factnet status conference took place before Judge Abram. Scientology said they were filing a Summary Judgment within the next few hours. I believe that Scientology's new filing is mostly designed to make Factnet spend more money as Judge Kane has already made it VERY clear to Scientology that he does not believe this is a case that will be resolved through Summary Judgment motions.
"Factnet anticipated this action and will shortly be filing several interesting tiny surprises for Scientology's litigation team. Our focus remains to get Miscavige on the stand and show that Scientology is not the owner of the copyrights as it has claimed."
"Bridge Publications' summary judgment motion was rejected as being improperly served. And I doubt if any knowledgeable attorney would authorize the public release of documents and motions they consider invalid and without standing in court. Judge Kane clearly stated he does not believe this case will be solved by summary judgment yet Scientology jams another Summary judgment motion in his face. He also has warned about burying the court and the case in reams of paper. Then Judge Abram warned against any motion over ten pages will not be welcome.
"What does Scientology do? They file a 36 page summary judgment motion with about 10 bankers boxes full of exhibits. That's about 120,000- 140,000 pages. Then to top it off they don't even serve it correctly on all the attorneys of record. In a premeditated action of extreme bad faith and, after asking the court to dismiss their trade secret claims because they were trying to save everyone litigation costs Scientology now expects us to bear the cost of copying almost 500,000 pages plus shipping cost to two out of state attorneys for what they are required to do in their filings is simply outrageous."
A French appeals court has reduced the sentence of French Scientologists convicted of manslaughter and fraud in connection with the death of Patrick Vic. Vic committed suicide in 1988. The court ruling included language that Scientology claims gives it status as a legitimate religion. From Reuters:
"The Lyon court gave Jean-Jacques Mazier a three-year suspended term and fined him 500,000 francs ($80,000). In October, a lower court had sentenced him to 18 months in prison, with another 18 months suspended. The court also acquitted nine of 14 other defendants tied to the organisation who had been sentenced with Mazier on charges ranging from embezzlement to fraud. Mazier said he would make a final plea for a retrial to France's supreme court. The five remaining defendants also received lighter sentences ranging from eight months to one year suspended with fines from 10,000 to 20,000 francs."
"In a part of the ruling that Scientology leaders called a 'dramatic victory,' the court said it was not its role to judge whether Scientology was a sect or a religion. Prosecutors in the initial court case described Scientology as a sect and said it was essentially an enterprise that defrauded people. The defense argued it was a legitimate religion that was within its rights to ask members for money. But the appeals court said Scientology's status as a religion or a sect was irrelevant in judging its financial activities. 'From now on, it is pointless to question whether the Church of Scientology constitutes a sect or a religion, the freedom of belief (in France) being absolute,' the court said. 'The Church of Scientology can claim the title of being a religion, and can operate freely.'
"The statement was especially significant in France, where the parliament has branded Scientology a cult and included it on a list of groups that should be tracked to prevent cult activities."
From The (London) Times
"THE Church of Scientology claimed a 'dramatic victory' yesterday in its campaign for recognition as a genuine religion after an appeals court in Lyons reduced sentences handed out to French members of the group on charges ranging from manslaughter to fraud.
"The French parliament has already defined the Church as 'a sect', but the court declared that the question of whether it was a sect or a religion was irrelevant in assessing its financial operations. The court ruled: 'The Church of Scientology can claim the title of being a religion and can operate freely.' The Reverend Heber Jentzsch, head of the Church in Los Angeles, described the court's remarks as 'a dream come true for my Church and minority religions'. He said: 'The court has returned to the French tradition of liberty and equality.'
"Stretching the court's ruling considerably, the group called this week's verdict 'a major victory for the Church of Scientology, now recognised as a religion by the Lyons court'."
French prosecutors plan to appeal the ruling, and the French government denies the appeals court has the authority to determine the legitimacy of any religion. From AP:
"The prosecutor's office said today it would appeal the case to France's highest court. Prosecutors had argued the church was a sect that defrauded people of their money. The defense had argued it was a legitimate religion with the right to ask members for money.
And from Reuters:
"France's Socialist-led government ruled out recognising the Church of Scientology as a religion on Wednesday and criticised a French court for calling it a religion rather than a sect. Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement said he was 'the only one with the authority to recognise religious associations. We have never had the idea of recognising the Church of Scientology as a religious association,' he said after a cabinet meeting.
"Chevenement said Monday's ruling that Scientology was a religion 'has no legal value, it has no judicial consequences.' He added that France respected freedom of belief under a 1905 separation of church and state. Prime Minister Lionel Jospin was following the debate about sects and the Church of Scientology, government spokesman Catherine Trautmann told reporters. 'This question worries the prime minister,' she said, noting the Lyon public prosecutor had appealed to the supreme court over Monday's court ruling, accusing the judges of exceeding their powers. 'So the decision is not the final word,' she said."
Keith Henson posted a portion of his argument before Judge Whyte this week.
"'Your Honor, on the trade secret issue, Scientology, through RTC, is abusing trade secret laws and the Federal courts to limit public disclosure of the damages their quack medical 'procedures' do to people. Scientology does apply illegal medical treatments to people. If your Honor doubts this I have the 'treatment' notes for Lisa McPherson [entered as evidence in another case] right here in my hands. These treatment notes detail restraint, injections, and the administration of chloral hydrate, a DEA Class 4 drug. The result, as detailed in the current issue of Newsweek, was fatal.
"'Over the years Scientology may have caused as many deaths as the Heaven's Gate cult. Letting RTC withdraw trade secret claims instead of ruling against them will contributed to future deaths.'
"Of course, the cult lawyers moved to strike, and Judge Whyte did their bidding."
"Jeta" reported that a web site including the secret higher levels of Scientology has been closed by Dutch Internet Provider Xs4all.
"After a long and from both sides open and fair discussion Xs4all (Access for All, Internet Service Provider) closed down my website - I refused to remove 8 files containing the (N)OT's. So, now also the more than 10 Megabytes (250 files) with other essential critical text-information about Scientology & Dianetics isn't accessible anymore. It really hurts knowing another free flow of liberating information has been cut off.
"From the moment on I placed the (N)OT's and other stuff at the site, Scientology/Dianetics has been very busy (through their Attorneys at Law, Nauta Dutilh) trying to convince Xs4all Xs4all was doing something illegal. This seems to have been effective.
"One of the demands to Xs4all, as part of the threats to sue, was to block my access to the Internet completely. Xs4all did not honour that so my email address (etc.) is still OK."
Florida authorities followed the lead of consumer protection officials in Utah to investigate Scientologist-owned TradeNet, distributors of a controversial laundry ball promoted to replace the use of laundry detergent. From the St. Petersburg Times:
"The Florida Attorney General's Office issued a subpoena Friday asking for a number of TradeNet documents, including papers that would back up the company's claims about its products. It also seeks documents that would indicate whether the company is a legal multi-level marketer or an illegal pyramid scheme. Gaary Betz, an assistant attorney general, prompted the investigation.
"The subpoena, which says the investigation is about 'possible unfair and deceptive trade practices,' demands the documents by Aug. 8. The company will make every effort to comply with the order by then, said Jennifer Kemp, TradeNet's executive vice president of administration. 'Of course we will comply with the subpoena. We're working on it right now,' she said Monday. 'We would never mess with those guys.'
"The West Florida office of the Better Business Bureau has had about 1,600 inquiries from across the country about TradeNet in the last 18 months, and three complaints from people wanting their money back. The company repaid all three people, said John Zajac, the BBB's director of business standards and practices."
Swedish newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad published an article on Scientology's drug rehab program, Narconon. Birgitta Dagnell provided the translation.
"The plans of making a home for drug addicts is scrapped. It will not become a home for drug addicts in the earlier estates of The Red Cross in Brandsberga. Narconon has decided to sell the estates. Thus the Community and the neighbors finally get one's own way.
"'We don't give up. We don't have more money. We can't afford to pay for two estates and have income from only one. We have to be realistic. My suggestion and the Boards decision has resulted in that we are selling Brandsberga', says Finn Eriksen. Finn Eriksen is head for Narconon in Skarhult, Eslov. It was thought that this activity should move to Brandsberga. When HD earlier released that Brandsberga was sold to Narconon it hit like a bomb in the area. The protests was heavy. The Social Board said no and the issue has been carried in all instances. The county administrative board and the county court has passed the establishment at two occasions. For the second time the matter will be examined by the administrative court of appeal.
"'We can't plan anything. That's why we are selling. The courts decision can take a long time and we don't know the outcome', says Finn Eriksen. Narconon pays mortgage and interest for the estate since 1994. They also planned to renovate the buildings for 200-300,000 kronor. Instead they sell it. The price is 1,450,000 kronor. Regarding the critic against the Narconon programme, says Finn Eriksen, 'I understand the neighbors. Everybody want drug addicts to be treated, but no one want it close to their home.'"
Scientology's Poole, England location was again the site of street protests. Martin Poulter, Dave Bird and Jens Tingleff provided reports on the action.
"Six people staged a peaceful protest in Poole High Street about the aggressive and deceptive recruiting used by the Scientology/Dianetics organisation. Unlike previous such protests, the two sides mostly kept apart from each other and the protesters were able to make their point to the public without being harassed or abused by the scientologists. The public response was very enthusiastic and supportive as always.
"The most unpleasant scientologists from last time were not around, and those that were on the street mostly avoided us. A couple of scientologists' reactions are worth reporting. One bloke with short hair and sunglasses walked by in a Dianetics t-shirt, slowing to a stunned halt as he saw us. He eventually came up to us and asked 'WHAT are you DOING???' 'We're protesting against Scientology.' 'What have you got against freedom?' As I tried to reply, he shouted 'You people are CRIMINALS!' and stormed off, obviously upset.
"The star protester of the day was our senior friend, who asked passers-by for signatures on a petition, collecting 139 signatures in less than three hours. Smart, polite and approachable, she had more success with the public than the rest of us could have. People were keen to sign the petition, and gave us enthusiastic encouragement."
"The clams did try to keep up body routing despite opposition. I was amazed that they managed to get someone to go with them despite a heckler--me--nearby saying 'this is Scientology, they want your money, they are trying to sign you up for a #1500 course,' etc, and trying to hand the punters XEMU leaflets. The clams are very good at manipulating social conventions, making it appear they own the street and are in private conversation 'ignore him'. With one couple, she wanted to go up to the shop but he had the XEMU leaflet; curly tried to get him to hand it over, I suggested he should keep it and he did. In another, they got this truck driver to go along, but I followed them right to the door of the precinct and hit the right button: 'they want your money, fifteen hundred quid, mate!' 'Money? they'll get no money out of me'. Ten minutes later he came back past the protest: 'that didn't last long' he said."
"With balloons in hand, Duke in tow and Xemu costume in place, we arrived at the usual body-routing hot-spot. When the clams finally started showing up en masse, they were pretty mellow. Also, they didn't try to mount an extensive 'counter-protest' like they had the two last times in Poole. Some clams passed by our demo and went into the shop next to the body-routing plaza, but quite a few wouldn't ack our presence.
"As Roland was otherwise occupied, I wore the Xemu outfit, complete with the rubber mask looking like the very image of a Roswell-incident type alien. One group of kids thought I was trying to look like Batman, and found that the outfit was cool. A Xemu leaflet was duly handed out, and they should be giggling all the way to the bank when they do not get entrapped by the $cieno sales pitch.
"All in all, like with the Brighton protest, either the clams have a ready supply of high-level people with brilliant TRs, or there are some normal people who can hold a conversation and to some extend exchange information. They have to put new people on us every time (they spent two of their guys, this time)."
|Los Angeles School|
The Los Angeles Times continued its coverage of a proposal to teach Scientology learning methods in a publicly funded charter school.
"The Los Angeles Board of Education should reject the controversial application for the proposed Northwest Charter School in the San Fernando Valley. Why? Because the public school system should not open its doors to potentially sectarian teaching. That is what private schools are for. The author of this charter school petition is a Scientologist, which is no more disqualifying for a public school educator than any other religion. However, Linda Smith, a veteran public school teacher, says she would use the Applied Scholastics series in the new charter school. This is a set of textbooks, teaching methods and classroom procedures based on the writings of the late L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology. Smith and Ian Lyons, president of Applied Scholastics, describe the curriculum and methods as nonsectarian, which is a requirement for state charter schools. Applied Scholastics has been described in news reports as an educational system including basic phonics, grammar, punctuation, instruction on how to use a dictionary and a workbook on how to handle everyday problems."
"As the Los Angeles Board of Education grapples with whether to approve a new charter school that would feature the teaching methods of L. Ron Hubbard, the late founder of the Church of Scientology, a handful of district teachers say they have been using those techniques for years and keep copies of Hubbard's works in their classrooms. The controversy over the use of Hubbard's methods--known as Applied Scholastics--has prompted district officials to undertake a review of policies on religion in public schools and to seek an opinion from the state Department of Education on the legality of using the materials.
"[B]oard members, citing Smith's acknowledged membership in the Church of Scientology, said they are concerned about religious links. 'I think we need to get more information on what this educational philosophy is [so that] we feel comfortable that it doesn't have religious overtones,' said board President Julie Korenstein, who has asked district staff to review Applied Scholastics.
"An American Civil Liberties Union 1st Amendment specialist said schools can comply with the rules by using 'state-approved' textbooks, which are carefully scrutinized by educators before being released to public school districts across California. 'If you can bring in your own materials, then the whole effort of trying to come up with textbooks that are appropriate for use within the public school system is subverted,' said Doug Mirell, a member of the ACLU board."
The Times also carried a parody of Scientology teaching methods, written by Scott Harris.
"Good morning, class!
"GOOD MORNING, MISS DIANETIC! WE'RE ALL IN OUR PLACES WITH BRIGHT SHINY FACES!
"You certainly are! Why, I don't even need Mr. E-Meter's help to measure your galvanic skin response! And you should be excited, because today you're going to learn a very important lesson--the lesson of how the universe began. Now, does anybody know the true story of creation?
"In the beginning, there was L. Ron Hubbard.
"Oh, good try, Nicole! Ron was a great man, a great prophet and teacher. He figured out how the universe began, but he didn't create it himself.
"What about Darwin, Miss Dianetic? Did we all come from monkeys?
"Well, yes and no, Johnny. You see, we all came from thetans. You, me, Ron and the monkeys--we're all thetans, remember? Or you might say that we're sort of like thetan pods, because the thetan is an immortal soul that goes from one body to the next through endless reincarnations over trillions of years.
"Miss Dianetic, my mommy says if I'm good and say my prayers my spirit will go to heaven. Do thetans go to heaven?'
"Oh, Tommy, it sounds like you've been implanted with an engram by a bad thetan. As Ron once said, heaven is 'a false dream' and 'a very painful lie.' No, what will probably happen when you die is this: Your thetan will go to a landing station on Venus where it will be programmed with lies about its past life and its next life. One of the lies is that the thetan will then be lovingly placed inside a newborn baby for its return to Earth. But that just isn't true at all. Here's something Ron once said: 'What actually happens to you, you're simply capsuled and dumped in the gulf of lower California. Splash. The hell with ya. And you're on your own, man. If you can get out of that, and through that, and wander around through the cities and find some girl who looks like she is going to get married or have a baby or something like that, you're all set. And if you can find the maternity ward to a hospital or something, you're OK. And you just eventually just pick up a baby.'"
The state approved the use of Scientology textbooks, but the controversy continues in the media.
"Five books based on Hubbard's education ideas are expected to be placed on a list of supplementary texts that schools across the state can purchase--possibly as soon as September, an education official said Monday. 'There's no religion mentioned in those books,' said Anna Emery of the state Department of Education office, which oversees the approval of supplemental textbooks. 'They don't say anything about Scientology.'
"The action makes the books eligible for purchase and use by local school districts, but not mandatory. Under state education guidelines, schools can spend 30% of their textbook budgets on such materials when the texts meet minimum content requirements that govern such things as the depiction of ethnic groups and references to religion.
"The books, which teach a learning method known as Applied Scholastics, are published by Bridge Publications, which also produces literature for the Church of Scientology. But the panelists could find no legal reason to deny the works a place on the list on the basis of religion, Emery said. 'They were not real thrilled about it,' Emery said. 'The name L. Ron Hubbard made them not want to approve it. But they had no choice.'
"[T]he citizens panel weighed 13 criteria drawn from the state education code in evaluating the texts, including one that bars texts from encouraging religious beliefs. The panel, Emery said, could find no violation of the guideline on religion. Instead, the panel required Bridge to make changes in the ways the texts portrayed men and women and the disabled, and to add more ethnic minorities to the text or illustrations. 'The plot thickens,' said school board President Julie Korenstein. 'We'll have to let our attorneys know about this. We somewhat take our orders from the state Department of Education. When they have an approved list, we go to that approved list. This is all brand-new information. It's a total surprise.'"
CNN & Company aired a panel discussion on the Los Angeles controversy. Some excerpts:
"CARMEN PATE, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: Well, it's interesting, because I think a lot of this is about school choice, a matter of parents being able to decide where their children go to school, how the money will be spent, and what curricula is used in those schools. And I certainly am not in favor of any government sanctioned or state sanctioned schools, but I am in favor of parents having more tax credits so that they can decide what school and what their kids will be taught.
"TILLOTSON: Sherry, I will say that the folks backing these textbooks in L.A. concede that in the back of the book, there's an explanation of who L. Ron Hubbard was and what Scientology is about. But the study techniques that he recommends in the book are pretty straight forward. He tells a kid, if you come across a word you don't know, make haste to get to a dictionary and find out what...
"Kiki, if there's anything that bothers critics about the books, I would suspect it's less than the copy that it's in the books than the idea that you give this to kids and it's going to legitimatize ignoble both Hubbard and Scientology in a way that group's critics think it doesn't deserve.
"MOORE: Well, sure. I mean, there are tactics that the scientologists engage in that are quite controversial, quite disturbing to certain people. I've seen it in a community of friends and family where the scientologists engaged in certain things. So I think the fact that the author, unfortunately, by tactics he uses in other venues, affect the ability to take some good common educational tools. And I come from a family of teachers to help kids focus on grammar and...
"TILLOTSON: Does it surprise you that said though, that you need a textbook if you're a teacher to tell you to send a child to a dictionary if they don't know the word. I mean, that is kind of what surprises me.
"MOORE: Well, it's not just that. My guess is that this information can be found in a lot of other textbooks. And perhaps this is a textbook the particular teacher, who's asked for the charter, who is a scientologists knows. Now the fact that she's a scientologist and turning to these textbooks may be more of what's disturbing members of the board in dealing with that."
The Democracy Now radio show aired a broadcast hosted by Amy Goodman, with guests Flo Conway and Jim Seigelman, authors of Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change. Scientology spokesman John Carmichael was also a guest.
"Seigelman: Flo Conway and I have been studying, not just Scientology, but dozen and several hundred different cult and self help and extreme religious movements over the last 20 years. Our research on snapping, which was first published in 1978, was really exploring the effects on the mind of the ritual practices, communication rituals, religious rituals, sometimes meditation and mind altering rituals, that this whole range of groups use, and we set out to study this phenomenon. This sudden change in people's minds, snapping from one state to another.
"Ami: John Carmichael, what is Scientology?
"Carmichael: Well look. First of all, I want to say one thing. I... uh. I'm glad uh, I see that Flo is not brought along.. uh. Flo normally says she is a doctor. Uh. Has a doctorate, and I've asked. I've tried to ask her where she got her doctorate. Jim got in the last time I asked her, so I didn't. So she didn't have to answer those questions. The credibility of uhh. Mr. Seigelman is very low to begin with. Uhmmm. Scientology, if we talked about real sociologists, or somebody who knew something about Scientology, who actually studied Scientology, we would be talking about, one of these dozen people, I have a dozen studies here, and I have a dozen more of ... actual experts, the worlds uh.. foremost authorities on religion, professors of sociology, professors of religion, from France, from Germany, from all over the world, saying Scientology is a religion in the full sense of the word. That's what it is.
"Siegelman: The other important thing to learn though is that through this book Dianetics, through the free personality test, that Scientologists offer in their centers and on street corners, that people can be lured into an organization that for the people we talked with, that have come out of this group, can wind up being a very different group, a group that some of their so called communications practices and training regimens, their auditing counseling effectively induces altered states in these people that can make them utterly suggestible and totally subject to the command of the leaders of the group.
"John Carmichael: You know, really The problem, the problem Jim is that you are a retro-character. The fact is that you supported Ted Patrick when he was out kidnapping people. You interviewed him for 'Playboy'. You support this whole idea that, that somebody else should tell people what they should think and what they should believe. And I want to tell you, That doesn't wash anymore. You misrepresented what happened for instance in France. What happened in France was, that the court said the Church of Scientology is in fact a religion, in ah. according to article article nine of the ah.. ah.. declaration of human rights and article 18 of the European convention. And what happened was, was the the French Interior Minister came out and said, 'oh no, I am the one who can decide what is a religion and what is not'. In fact, the French government had already represented to the UN, that they were willing to .. That they followed the UN commission .. uh convention on human rights, and that's what the court followed. So in fact, the court, the the French government said, the court is right, not the uh.. Interior Minister. You came onto .. the show the other day and said how horrible it is European... Europe is fighting this uhhh... new influx of religions. Well, the truth is Jim, that people are thinking for themselves, in Europe. And people.. there are some European governments that are trying to stop it.
"Seigelman: I think one of, Amy, that one of, uh both your guests are showing, I mean they're spokesmen for the Church in official and unofficial capacities, and despite Mr. Carmichael's personal attacks on me and my co-author, the record is shown in our testimony and the studies we have done in 'Snapping' and people can read that in our book. But they don't have to go to our book. All over the Internet documents are pouring out from court cases, court decisions, sworn testimony and affidavits. If your listeners want to go to alt.religion.scientology, the newsgroup, or go to any search engine and type in the word Scientology and affidavit, you will come up with dozens and dozens of cases of sworn testimony, much of it now emerging from former higher ups in this group the highest ranking...
"Carmichael: Oh, Highest ranking preposterous! Check the Scientology website! Scientology dot org.."
Dennis Erlich posted a few details about the status of his family court case, in which Scientology is attempting to jail him for back child support payments to his wife Rosa, a Scientologist.
"[M]y family law contempt case, where the scienos attempted to put me in jail for paying a couple of days late on my child support, when I was on unemployment, after I lost my job, after the scieno raid, went to the California Supreme Court."
"The case has been sent to the California Supreme Court after the appeals court overturned 3 of the 8 counts of contempt. The other five counts have gone to the Cal Supreme Court with a request for review.
"All they claim is that Rosa is not a scieno. I am told that I could declare bankruptcy and challenge the disposition of the debt on the basis that it was not Rosa who financed the litigation barrage against me, but the scienos. That way I could get discovery on who exactly is paying the $50+K that they've spent to get me thrown in jail for paying a few days late when I was unemployed. But declaring bankruptcy would end the copyright case. And I have no intention of not going all the way with that one."
"I hope in the end she's happy with what they've done for her. I hope too that she's ready to testify in court again about how she can't remember where she lived all thru the late 80s. Unfortunately, she didn't do too well as a witness being questioned by my court appointed, 21 year-old, fresh out of law school, newby lawyer. She basically had a nervous breakdown right on the stand, poor thing."
Martin Ottmann posted a series of declarations by top Scientologists on behalf of Gottfried Helnwein, who is attempting to sue the publisher of a book which claims Helnwein has secretly been a Scientologist for many years.
"I have been working with the Church of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs since its creation in 1984. The Office of Special Affairs is the department in a Church of Scientology which deals with public affairs, government relations, legal matters and social reform issues. I can attest that Mr. Gottfried Helnwein has not been employed by the Office of Special Affairs of any Church of Scientology, in any capacity in the world, at any time from 1984 to the present.
"Los Angeles, 26 June 1997
Kurt Weiland, Director
"I, Lynn R. Farny, being first duly sworn, hereby declare and state:
"1. I am a minister of the Scientology religion. 2. I am a corporate officer and the custodian of records of Church of Scientology International, the Mother Church of the Scientology Religion. 3. I have searched the international membership records of the Church and can find no record of Mr. Gottfried Helnwein having being certified as a Class IV auditor by any Church of Scientology.
"Reverend Lynn R. Farny
"I, Donna Garrett, being first duly sworn, hereby declare and state:
"1. I am a corporate officer and the custodian of records for the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE). 2. I have searched the records of WISE from its inception in 1979 to the present and can find no evidence that either Mr. Gottfried Helnwein, or his company, Gottfried Helnwein GmbH, have ever been members of WISE.
Itar-Tass reported that Russian prosecutor Viktor Navarnov is continuing to monitor a variety of non-traditional religions, including Scientology.
"Prosecutor Viktor Navarnov, who is in charge of supervision over compliance with the laws on inter-ethnic relations, said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass today that his division of the Office of the Procurator General of the Russian Federation had information about a serious threat to the state and society posed by the spread in Russian territory of non-traditional religious associations (totalitarian sects) which foster asocial behaviour, reject constitutional duties and place at risk their adepts' moral, psychic and physical normalcy.
"Navarnov cited competent experts as saying that the totalitarian sects were seeking to change in full the system of moral values of their adepts through open manipulation of their consciousness with the help of sermons, rituals and other tools. An analysis of videotapes and literature has revealed that they were designed to revamp the adepts' social and economic orientations and make them completely committed to a specific religious sect through purposeful brainwashing by means of rationalistic and emotionally-stressful impact.
"The Church of Scientology, for example, resorts to forbidden dianetic manipulative procedures, involving penetration into the subconscious, which creates conditions in which harm can be done to people's moral, psychic and physical health."