Presenting Rod Keller's
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 2, Issue 29 - November 2 1997


Scientology's planned 30,000-strong demonstration in Berlin fell short of expectations when 2,000-3,000 marchers attended the event. Before the march, anti-cult activists held a press conference at which Gerry Armstrong and others harmed by Scientology addressed the press.

"A Hamburg local TV station reported today shortly that anti Co$ task force head Ursula Caberta (SPD, social democrat) held a press conference this morning accompanied by 3 former Co$ members. One of them was a prominent and close managerial assistant of L. Ron Hubbard, Gerry Armstrong, who spoke vividly against the 'church's' claim being a religion. Instead of that he stressed that Co$ was nothing else than a camouflaged corporation to infiltrate societies and to obtain its members' money."

Tilman Hausherr reported on a talk by "Tanya", and described the actual march.

"Tanya is the girl who escaped from Saint Hill and she was one of the people who spoke on the podium. One of her jobs was to open mail and to check it for money or for relatives that are anti-scientology. She did recruit other children. She is very sad and feels guilty that she did that. Her schedule starts at 7:15 and goes to 24:00. This was first disputed, then confirmed by scientology. The schedule is the same for children then for adults. In practice the schedule was even longer, especially on Wednesday evening. She wanted to leave. She then had to do physical labor until she stopped wanting to leave. Tanya is living in Germany (Hamburg area). She gets telephone and mail terror. She is financially supported by a non-profit foundation and goes to school and has found new friends. Her dad filed a criminal complaint about 'child withdrawal'. She talked with her dad and he said that he would not talk to her because she left scientology."

"These people remind of the former communists - they spoke on the meeting place from 12:00 - 15:00, i.e. three hours. Nothing really meaningful, only slogans 'what do we want?' 'freedom!' 'where do we want it?' 'in Germany' / 'everywhere' 'When do we want it?' 'now!' then greetings, like 'Hello to 100 people from Greece'.

"The main mouth was (I was told) Andrik Schapers, a singer from The Netherlands. But here he was rather a shouter. Other people: Mike Rinder, Isaac Hayes, Anne Archer, The head of the celebrity center, Karen Hollander. I also saw Gotz Brase, the real estate shark, Gisela Hackenjos (spokeswoman) was demoted 'Ordner', i.e. security person.

"The horses, drummers and trumpeters were nowhere to be seen. The concert was at the Brandenburg gate, but at the 'wrong' side (the side where the gate looks like nothing). They did have power generators, and the sound level was much too high."

Reuters reported on the march.

"About 3,000 Scientologists from the United States, Germany and other European countries gathered in the city centre chanting the slogan 'religious freedom now,' in both English and German, and waving banners in protest at Germany's tough stance. Messages from celebrity Scientologists John Travolta and Kirstie Alley were to be relayed to protesters on a huge video screen, Scientology spokesman Georg Stoffel said. The two U.S. film stars were not able to attend the rally in person.

"A dozen members of a German lobby group that campaigns against sects and offers advice to parents who say their children have been 'taken over by extremist religious groups and sects' staged a counter-demonstration nearby. One U.S. Scientologist from Los Angeles said he had flown over with a group from the U.S. just to join the demonstration. 'What shocks me most is the religious intolerance. I have heard Scientologists are being driven out of business here and often do not say they are Scientologists because they are afraid of losing their jobs,' Dan Stradford, 50, told Reuters.

"German Labour Minister Norbert Bleum rejected the charge saying it played down the true gravity of Nazi crimes. 'This is not just an insult to our democracy, but also to all those victims of Nazi terror,' Bluem told German RUFA radio agency. Hans-Juergen Foerster, a spokesman for one of the regional watchdogs in the state of Brandenburg surrounding Berlin, told Berlin's InfoRadio his State Office for the Protection of the Constitution was monitoring the group for signs of violations against the constitution or threats to democratic order. 'We need to establish whether there is a genuine attempt to counter the free democratic order and whether Scientology's activities violate the constitution,' Foerster said.

"Scientology spokesman Stoffel rejected the accusations, saying the German authorities were trying to clamp down on the group because they were close to the established churches. 'The Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in Germany are losing members rapidly in Germany. But instead of looking at what they are doing wrong they are trying to attack competition and discriminate against other religions,' Stoffel said."

"'Scientology is our religion,' Travota said in a video message taped in Los Angeles where he is working on a new film. 'It has helped us a lot, as it has helped so many others around the world. 'There never is an excuse for a government discriminating against its citizens because they hold a particular religion,' Travolta told cheering protesters gathered in the city centre.

"German Labour Minister Norbert Bluem said in an interview with RUFA German radio agency that it was Germany's duty to protect those he said had suffered under the group's influence. 'Let those who have dropped out of the group speak out about how human beings are spiritually destroyed under Scientology's roof,' Bluem said in an interview."

From the New York Times article, entitled "Scientology Rally in Germany Sparsely Attended".

"But while the organizers had forecast a turnout of 10,000, fewer than 2,000 people gathered to march on a bright, chilly day and hear protest leaders urge Germany to acknowledge Scientology as a religion and permit it to enjoy the benefits of that status. Some commentators in Germany said the protest demonstration was aimed not so much at Germans as at the United States, with the organizers hoping that television footage would bolster the assertion in an annual State Department report this year that Germany's attitude toward Scientology infringes human rights.

"'We find ourselves confronting an efficient business enterprise that has taken as its maxim the unbridled lust for profit and that proceeds accordingly,' the Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a watchdog against extremism, said recently. 'All the religious embellishment and pseudo-spirituality serve only to disguise these maneuvers.'"

The march was timed to coincide with the decision of a German court on the status of Scientology as a religion. From the Associated Press:

"The Church of Scientology hoped to convince a German court today that it is a religion and entitled to corresponding benefits such as tax-exempt status and the freedom to recruit followers. The decision by Germany's highest administrative court could be precedent-setting for the group's legal status across the country, and give Scientology stronger grounds for opposing treatment of its members in all of Germany's 16 states.

"Scientology is sponsoring a conference on religious freedom that opens today at the Hotel Steglitz International in Berlin. The landmark Kempinski Hotel refused to allow the group to use its meeting hall."

"Federal judges considering Germany's fight with Scientology signaled today that they would not decide the central question of whether the Los Angeles-based church is a religion or a business. Scientologists went to court after the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg revoked the non-profit status of a local branch in Stuttgart in 1986. The state said the group was primarily concerned with making money by selling books and self-improvement courses, not the 'idealistic goals' generally associated with a non-profit organization.

"A Stuttgart court upheld the revocation, but a regional court overturned the ruling, saying it first must be determined whether Scientology is a religion and thus entitled to special privileges, such as tax-exempt status and the right to recruit members. The state appealed to the federal court in Berlin, raising expectations that the court might rule on Scientology's status. But presiding Judge Werner Meyer noted today that the court was charged only with deciding whether Scientology's status makes a difference in revoking the registration -- not gathering new facts."

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The Detroit Free Press carried an article this week on the Germany/Scientology debate.

"By her own account, Germany's top Scientology hunter is doing a great job. She ran the Scientologists out of the real estate market in her hometown of Hamburg. She convinced the local banks to deny Scientologists loans. And this month, the Scientology school across the border in Denmark may finally shut down. Scientologists call her 'the new Goebbels,' after Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, and U.S. officials have criticized her tactics. But Ursula Caberta, director of Hamburg's anti-Scientology task force, has no plans to back down.

"'We know people working in Scientology ...intend to eliminate the German state. Here, we're trying to stop it,' Caberta said in an interview in her office earlier this month. She offered a sweet smile. 'In America, they obviously are much farther along.' Caberta is one of the most influential members of a growing battalion of German officials arrayed against the Church of Scientology, a Los Angeles-based spiritual movement founded in the 1950s by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

"According to Caberta, Scientology is a blueprint for world domination. It calls for the creation of a new world order, she said, in which Scientologists alone would be permitted to marry, procreate and exercise other rights. As part of their plan to 'clear the planet,' Caberta said, Scientologists are even breeding something like a new race. 'In America right now, you have the second and third generations of clear and pure Scientologists, brought up entirely in Scientology schools,' she said.

"Scientologists call this analysis absurd and say Caberta is drawing conclusions about the church by reading Hubbard's science fiction. 'We have nothing to do with political games or purposes. Nothing,' Hackenjos said. 'Basically we're no different from any other religion, except for the fact that we're a very modern religion,' said Mary Anne Ahmad, the church's director of special affairs in Chicago, who was working in Ann Arbor last week. 'We were the first major religion to come out of the 20th Century.'"


  Dennis Erlich

Morrison And Foerster, attorneys for Dennis Erlich in his copyright infringement suit, filed a response to Scientology's request for summary judgment, posted to a.r.s this week. Some excerpts:

"As set forth in Mr. Erlich's accompanying memorandum, RTC and BPI have failed to prove they possess the necessary ownership interest to sue for infringement of the copyrights at issue in this case. Plaintiffs either have failed to enter any evidence into the record to support their assertions of ownership or there is evidence calling the evidence they have provided into dispute. At a minimum, each item listed below presents a genuine issue of material fact, which prevents summary judgment in plaintiffs' favor.

"L. Ron Hubbard was not the sole author of the works ascribed to him. Evidence: Final Taff-Rice Decl., Exh. E at 1, Exh. J at 798:11-802:7, Exh. T at 2a; Exh. DD, Exh. SS; Additional Gold Decl., Exh. B.

"L. Ron Hubbard's signatures on some copyright transfer documents and David Miscavige's Notary Log Book are not authentic. Evidence: Final Fisher Decl., 5-8, 10-11; Final Taff-Rice Decl., Exh. M at 45-56, Exh. GG at 12, Exh. HH at 39, Exh. II at 2.

"The 1982 Assignment Agreement transferred a copyright interest to RTC that was not accounted for in the probate. Evidence: Final Taff-Rice Decl., Exh. T, Exh. U at 1, Exh. V, Exh. J at 803:13-804:25.

"L. Ron Hubbard was not the original author of OT II and OT III. Evidence: Additional Gold Decl., Exh. B (Geoffrey Filbert Declaration); Final Taff-Rice Decl., Exh. K at 1-2, Exh. O at Bates Nos. 6415-16, 6419-21, 6423-24, 6426-28, 775, Exh. P at 423-424, Exh. BB at Bates No. 57 (works listed under 17 Aug. 1983), Exh. QQ at 2; Reply Declaration of Ryland Hawkins Ownership, dated July 7, 1997, Exh. B at 2; Exh. SS.

"Further discovery will show that Mr. Hubbard's widow was under undue influence of the beneficiaries of Mr. Hubbard's estate to surrender her community property interest in the estate. Evidence: Additional Gold Decl., Exh. A.

"While Mr. Erlich does not dispute that Mr. Hubbard created literary works during his lifetime, there are material questions of fact regarding the ownership of and copyright protection for the works at issue in this case. The 'works' that plaintiffs claim in this action are, in fact, published both for fair use purposes and for purposes of determining whether copyright notices were required to be used. The Advanced Technology materials are not confidential and proprietary, nor are they unpublished, because they have been publicly available in court files, on the Internet and other locations and have been possessed outside the Church of Scientology by numerous individuals."


  Keith Henson

Keith Henson was arrested this week while picketing Scientology in Los Angeles. The first move to prevent Keith from picketing came from AOL, and a message that the IAS event was being moved from Los Angeles. Apparently a ruse, since Keith was arrested outside the IAS event.

"From: LizzyApple A few weeks ago I thought the IAS event was being held in Los Angeles. So, it is at St. Hill!! Oh, well, I'll still have lots of fun in LA."

Scientology next attempted to get a Temporary Restraining Order against Keith, protecting Scientology Glenn Barton. From the Scientology motion:

"I am familiar with H. Keith Henson as I have seen his postings on Internet and I have read excerpts of a book which talks about Henson and quotes him. From these writings, I know that Henson is a violent individual, who brags about his reputation of extreme violence, who owns guns, rifles and other hardware and who describes his hobby as experimental high explosives, cannon firing, vertical caving and political agitation. Henson has even bragged about the fact he had put craters in the ground with his explosives in Arizona. I also know that Henson has a grudge against the Church of Scientology and its staff members.

"On September 13, 1997 H. Keith Henson appeared outside of where I work at the Church. As I mentioned above, I knew from what I had read that Henson is experienced with munitions, had been described as a semi-professional explosives expert, and that he and an ex-wife had earlier been described as a 'high-tech, high firepower couple who spent their weekends setting off bombs out in the desert' in fact, they made a bomb which looked like an atomic bomb and worked like one and set it off in Arizona, so I was worried about going to talk to him. I was concerned about my safety as an individual and the safety of those around me because I was not sure whether or not Henson would bomb me and my work place because he doesn't like the Church of Scientology where I work. Although I was concerned about what he would do when he appeared outside my job, I went out to see if he would talk to me amicably, but instead, he was alarming and harassing and he said that he was there to create maximum amount of upset. He was there in the guise of picketing, but in fact, from his statements and earlier conduct, I know that he came merely to harass me or other Church members.

"I had previously been informed that on May 19, 1997, Henson and a companion caught a flight from San Jose to Los Angeles and while at the reservations desk they were talking about bombing, killing and the Church of Scientology. The reservations clerk became so alarmed at their conversation that she reported it to her supervisor. Complaints were subsequently filed with the Chief of Security for Southwest Airlines as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"I am informed and believe that Henson told a reporter that the Church didn't have him investigated because we were worried due to his 'reputation of extreme violence.' Henson explained to the reporter that his reputation is based on the following: 'By that I mean, you know, firing the equivalent of 100 pounds of TNT or a couple hundred pounds of Sodium Nitrate or something like that. And these events are written up and widely known. In fact, there is a whole book that details some of those exploits, and it may be that they just, it may be that this is a useful thing to have out there because it may give them some degree of pause before they decide to go to any physical operations on me.'"

From Keith's response to the court.

"Mr. Barton fails to mention several things. I have engaged in *abstract* violence, of the type you see in fireworks and never with the intent of hurting people or property. Also most of the events to which he refers were 35 or more years ago.

"Until Scientology began its campaign against free speech on the Internet close to three years ago, I did not care one way or the other about them. I consider my attitude toward them to be more humor than grudge. However, considering the amount of money they have poured into harassing me with lawsuits, they may have considerable grudge against me.

"To the best of my knowledge, [the Southwest Airlines threat] was entirely fabricated by Scientology. I would like to be able to put the source of this allegation, T.R. Hogan under oath and ask him about his source. I asked the FBI to investigate, because people who are talking about bombs in airports should be investigated on the spot, not reported to Scientology lawyers later, but the FBI turned me down.

"I would be happy with temporary restraining order and injunction against Mr. Barton or other Scientology agents from coming within ten feet of me while I peacefully picket them this weekend. Since they used the power of the state to force me to travel to Los Angeles, I might as well get in some picketing to warn people of the dangers to mind and body they can encounter in Scientology. It would seem to be a function of the courts to encourage peaceful protest of dangers to mind and body.

"Being curious about this person who was seeking a TRO, I put his name in a search engine on the Internet. Not surprisingly it turned up Mr. Barton in a case where Scientology sued the Cult Awareness Network into bankruptcy, put them out of business and now answers CAN's previous phone number without identifying themselves as Scientologists. CAN sued Mr. Barton for malicious prosecution, and the recent ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court indicates that the case against Mr. Barton and other Scientologists should go forward."

Grady Ward reported on the hearing on the TRO.

"Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James A. Basque rejected the cult's demand for a restraining order to prevent the peaceful lone picketing by Keith Henson near the so-called scientology 'Celebrity Centre' and the cult Cedars compound tomorrow November 1, 1997. Ordering the cult attorneys representing Glen Barton, a man who has sought similar harassing orders before, to craft an order *not* restricting Henson's picket of the criminal cult by 2:00 P.M. today. Abelson and Chodos scurried off to comply."

An anonymous passer-by described the picket at Scientology's Cedars complex.

"There were two, possibly three others there who I presume were handlers. One had a large bunch of balloons that seemed placed to obscure Keith and his sign from view of those in the building. Another had a sign saying IAS day or similar. I believe they actually accentuated Keith's message by bringing a festive, eye-catching note to the picket. I honked a few times and noticed Keith taking a picture of them, up close as they placed themselves 'in his face.'"

Keith was arrested outside the Shrine Auditorium, at the IAS event.

"Keith Henson was arrested by the LAPD at the Shrine Auditorium tonight at 8:00 in Los Angeles. Claiming that he had violated the TRO granted to the criminal cult of scientology on Friday, the cult said that Keith had gone closer than 75 feet away from Glenn Barton. Henson was booked in to jail, handcuffed and spent three hours. Keith denied all wrongdoing, had a video camera rolling during the claimed violation of the TRO was engaged in conversation by some criminal cultist as he was *leaving* the auditorium in order for the police to arrive and slap the handcuffs on. 'I've got a videotape of the whole thing' Keith said.

"The police then tried to evade responsibility by claiming it was a 'citizens arrest' and not *their* doing. At 11:30 PM PST Keith was released on his own recognizance. Deana Holmes reported that she was safe, but was separated from Henson by Mr. Barton who purposefully interposed himself between Henson and Holmes to prevent their collaboration. The police warned Keith that 'he will be arrested if he goes back before Monday'. Keith will try to move the misdemeanor hearing to the same court as the TRO was issued."

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Martin Ottmann posted an article from Scientology's Celebrity magazine, in which the Los Angeles Police Department praised Scientology.

"In time of rising violence where police officers literally risk their lives on a daily basis, they deserve the support of groups who have the purpose and dedication to get youth on the right track - free from drugs and crime. The Church of Scientology is one group which, in respect and appreciation of Hollywood's police officers, have constantly given their support. In recognition of this support, Celebrity Centre International was recognized by the California Police Activities League (PAL) as the 'Organization of the Year for 1996' for 'their outstanding contribution to their community through the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Hollywood PAL.'

"Officer William Sera, PAL Officer for the LAPD's Hollywood Division, presented the award at the annual California Police Activities League dinner. Sera, addressing the more than 200 attendees at the event, read a letter from Captain Constance Dial, Area Commanding Officer of the Hollywood Community Police Station: 'The donation of your personal time as well as the countless hundreds of hours volunteered by members of your staff has been invaluable assistance to our youth programs...This display of enthusiasm and dedication to the young people of the community reflects the positive influence the Celebrity Centre has had for the Hollywood area.'"


  Lawrence Wollersheim

Lawrence Wollersheim won another round in his battle to have Scientology pay his multi-million dollar judgment. Scientology had bankrupted the Church of Scientology of California to avoid paying the debt, but the new ruling makes the Church of Scientology International and the Religious Technology Center responsible for the judgment.

"The court in which a judgment is entered has both the inherent power and the duty to carry the judgment into effect.This may include amending the judgment to add another debtor. The court must determine whether there is substantial evidence of the following: 1. CSI and RTC are the alter egos of CSC; and 2. CSI and RTC controlled the litigation.

"The parties agree that Scientology reorganized its corporate structure from 1981 through 1985 during the pretrial phase of the instant lawsuit. CSI became the new 'mother church,' replacing CSC. RTC was formed in 1982 with the approval of L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder, and is the owner and protector of Scientology service marks and products. CSC became an inactive corporation with no income, assets, employees or business. Plaintiff claims the reorganization occurred partly to prevent him from collecting on his judgment against CSC, which he would win one year later in 1986. Based on the evidence outlined below, the court agrees and concludes that the Scientology leaders acted in bad faith which would result in an injustice to plaintiff if CSI and RTC's corporate separateness were maintained and they were not added as judgment debtors."


  Lisa McPherson

The St. Petersburg Times carried an article this week describing the financial donations Lisa McPherson made to Scientology before her untimely death in the Ft. Harrison Hotel from dehydration.

"From 1991 until she died in December 1995, McPherson spent more than $175,000 on Scientology courses, counseling and causes, according to financial records. In three of those years, her donations to the church ranged from 29 percent to 55 percent of her income. She spent more than $57,000 on Scientology in the final year of her life, which ended after a 17-day stay at the church's downtown Clearwater retreat, the Fort Harrison Hotel.

"Her records also illustrate how the 1993 IRS decision to grant Scientology tax-exempt status helps underwrite payments from individual Scientologists to the church and the finances of the church itself. In 1994, McPherson spent so much money taking Scientology programs she was able to reduce her six-figure taxable income by 42 percent, solely by claiming a charitable deduction, according to an IRS 1040 form found among her personal papers. The form indicates she filed for a government refund that year of more than $17,000 -- four times the average for taxpayers in her income group.

"In an interview, church officials and their attorneys said the Times is unfairly singling out Scientology by reporting what McPherson spent. They said no one forced McPherson to spend money on the church. That she did, they said, is a testament to how much she valued it. 'Why is it a negative?' asked Brian Anderson, the church's spokesman in Clearwater. 'If it is higher, I'm proud of that. It's a barometer of how successful we are and of the good work we do worldwide.'

"In the final months of her life, McPherson's personal problems affected her job at AMC Publishing, a Clearwater company owned by other members of the Church of Scientology. The amounts on her sales commission checks dropped dramatically, according to AMC payroll records supplied by the church. Still, she kept stoking her church account with large donations. She deposited $3,000 in January of 1995. More than $6,500 in February. More than $10,000 in March. Nearly $9,000 in July. More than $11,000 in August.

"Meanwhile, AMC Publishing advanced her $8,475 in March, $8,800 in July and $5,400 in August. Those exact amounts turned up as deposits in McPherson's church account. In addition, records indicate she borrowed smaller amounts from a separate corporate account her employer kept with the church. The church would handle the transactions by transferring money between McPherson's account and the corporate account.

"McPherson was charged $13,000 in February for counseling, or 'auditing,' in the lower levels of Scientology, where she remained after taking church courses for 13 years. Another $12,450 was deducted from her account in April for 'auditing' from a top-flight Scientology 'auditor.' Over the summer of 1995, she spent $18,620 on services that involve preparing and becoming eligible for the upper levels of Scientology. 'I think Lisa was a 36-year-old adult who could choose to spend her money however she chose to spend it,' said Laura Vaughan, a Tampa lawyer representing the church.

"The $176,744 she spent from 1991 through 1995 is only a partial figure for what McPherson spent in Scientology. The records available do not address what she spent in previous years. And there is no way to tell how much she would have spent had she lived and taken the years-long trek into the upper levels of Scientology.

"McPherson's 1995 parishioner statements suggest she already was paying thousands of dollars to become eligible to enter the exalted and highly secret OT levels. But there also are indications in church records that her climb to that point had not been smooth. Three times from 1986 to 1993, she traveled from Dallas to Scientology's spiritual headquarters in Clearwater in hopes of being officially declared 'clear.' She was denied, according to a church summary of McPherson's time in Scientology.

"In 1989, McPherson joined the church's administrative work force, called the Sea Organization, but left after several months. Church records say she received no 'auditing' in 1989 or 1990, a period when she filed for divorce from her second husband, also a Scientologist, and went to bankruptcy court with debts of $45,000. In 1991 -- one year out of bankruptcy court -- McPherson donated $11,828 to the church's 'Celebrity Centre' in Dallas, according to a church letter in her files. Also that year, the church says, McPherson underwent a Scientology interrogation called a 'security check' because she left the church staff.

"Then, in June 1995 McPherson became psychotic and stayed that way despite attempts to help her, according to church records. The records offer no specifics but say McPherson eventually pulled out of it. Meanwhile, her commissions at AMC Publishing plummeted. Her biweekly paychecks, once in the $4,000 to $6,000 range, sank to $600 and $700, according to AMC payroll records turned over by church attorneys as part of the McPherson family's lawsuit. Church records indicate she was undergoing Scientology procedures at AMC to improve her Scientology 'ethics' and was performing a recurring exercise in which she would write reports about each of her transgressions.

"The church has been using its tax-exempt status as a marketing tool to get more Scientologists in the door for services. Many of its mailings include a picture of Uncle Sam with text urging Scientologists to take church services 'now' so they can deduct it from their personal income tax. The mailings say 'Uncle Sam will back you' in receiving Scientology services. In determining that Scientology was a charitable organization, the IRS in 1993 reached the conclusion that no individual was benefiting from the church's vast income.

"Where does a parishioner's money go? According to Anderson, it goes toward church expansion. He said Scientology spends the money on its counseling programs and on its worldwide efforts to improve literacy and get people off drugs. McPherson 'obviously wanted to contribute to that,' he said. 'I think it was a measure of how she felt Scientology helped people.' She died with a $5,773 balance in her Scientology account. The church returned that money to McPherson's mother."

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  Lisa Marie Presley

Entertainment Tonight ran a piece on Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley this week, focusing on the launch of a mission in Memphis, Tennessee.

"LISA MARIE: Hi. I want to thank you all for coming here today. Scientology and the literacy program, both, entered and saved my life, and my sanity, many times.

"LISA MARIE, in an interview after the event: What attracted me was not somebody telling me, what to do. You know. Or what's wrong with me, or... You know what I mean. It's like... It's like an encyclopedia about life. Basically. It's knowledge and information that you can, um, use, for yourself. And not have somebody else telling you. What's going on with you, what's wrong with you, giving you drugs to handle what's wrong with you. But it's not [garbled] you know, trying to follow someone else, or praising other things, you can be in any religion, any race... whatever. And study the... information in Scientology. That's mainly it, for me.

"MARY HART, voice over: The mission will incorporate a literacy program where the children of Memphis can study Scientology-related materials, and the project drew praise from other celebrity Scientologists who couldn't make it to the opening."



Producers of the Fox network's show "Millennium" are under pressure for an upcoming show about a cult resembling Scientology. From The Hollywood Reporter:

"The episode, written by Darren Morgan, centers on Jose Chung, a novelist character that Morgan originally created for another 20th Century Fox TV drama series, 'The X-Files.' Chung tags along with Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) throughout the comedic episode, which centers on an unusual murder of a member of a New Age following called 'Selfosophy.' Execs on the show and at the studio had taken concerned calls from within the Scientology organization and from reps of industry people who belong to Scientology, as one studio individual described it. 'The Scientologists were concerned that it (the episode) would be too close to some concepts of Scientology and (the people at) 'Millennium' said it had not been their intention to associate it as such and they would make appropriate changes,' a representative of Scientology said Friday, adding, 'There has been good communication.'"

From ABC News:

"It's no secret that the Church of Scientology wields considerable power in Hollywood--after all, its members include Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley. But according to the Hollywood Reporter, that influence was recently used on the Fox series Millennium. Seems some members thought that an upcoming episode of the paranormal series dealing with the murder of a member of a New Age cult called 'Selfosophy' hit a little too close to home."

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A.r.s. Week in Review is put together by Rod Keller © This collection is organised for WWW by Andreas Heldal-Lund. Only edits done by me is replacing word encapsuled in * or _ with bold and underscore, and made links into HTML.

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