Despite the best efforts of Scientology lawyers, Judge Whyte ruled that David Miscavige will be deposed in the Erlich, Henson and Ward copyright infringement cases. Scientology attempted to concede the trade secret issues in order to make Miscavige's testimony irrelevant.
"The objections of plaintiffs Religious Technology Center and Bridge publications, inc. is denied. The Magistrate Order limits the Miscavige deposition as to time, and the court does not find that the Order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law. The court notes that it has not yet granted plaintiffs' motion to dismiss planitiff's trade secret claims in this case, or in the related cases of RTC vs Ward or RTC vs Henson and the court is not satisfied that a dismissal of those claims negates good cause for the Miscavige deposition."
The date of the deposition is still a matter of speculation, as is the possibility that Miscavige will simply not show up. At this point May 20th appears likely, but as of Friday the 24th, he is in violation of Judge Infante's schedule, and possibly subject to sanctions. Keith Henson writes:
"[C]ome midnight Thursday, April 24, RTC will be in contempt of the court in my case no matter what they agree in the other cases. So, Friday morning, I am going to file asking Judge Infante to find them in contempt and asking that all claims against me be dismissed as sanctions. Even if Judge Infante grants this motion forthwith, I expect to still depose Mr. Miscavige for my counter claims."
Tom Klemesrud reported that his deposition for Dennis Erlich's case has been cancelled with one day's notice.
"I had a deposition scheduled tomorrow for the RTC V Erlich case. I had cancelled work. Minutes ago my attorney got a FAX from Helena Kobrin canceling the deposition, with a note that they wanted to reschedule."
Arnie Lerma reported this week that he has been threatened with legal action over his comments printed in Hamburger Abendblatt. OSA PR Sylvia Stanard and an unnamed German lawyer faxed Arnie about the article. First, from Sylvia.
"Despite our differences I think you should know what is really going on in Germany. There's a lot of undercover political issues and really scary sociological changes happening in Germany. I think you might think differently about the issue if you knew all the data."
"While you and I strongly disagree about Scientology - I don't think you are a bigot and would support firing law abiding German citizens from jobs just because they are Scientologists. Maybe I'm wrong."
And from Germany:
"According to the article, you claim that the Church is persecuting you. The fact is, as you well know, that no one from the Church, took any notice of you for 17 years, until you choose to post portions of the Church scriptures - which you had vowed to keep confidential while a member of the Church.
"The article also quotes you as stating that the Church blackmails its members through files of their personal experiences. If this were so, and you know it is not, you could have been blackmailed into silence. You are also quoted as alleging that each department of the U.S. Government has been infiltrated by members of the Church of Scientology. Furthermore, you claim that the Church has an information network used for the purpose of blackmailing its own members. These statements are utterly false and defamatory on their face.
"The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an opportunity to publicly condemn the newspaper, if you were misquoted, or to publicly retract your statements and apologize if you did utter these false and defamatory statements. The Church in Germany has a very strong record of prevailing in libel actions brought against the media and others who have publicized falsehoods about the Church. I have already Spoken with German counsel for the Church and they are prepared to extend their winning record by bringing action regarding your defamation if required. You have until March 12, 1997, in which to respond. If you fail to do so, or if you refuse to correct or retract your statements, I will have no option but to advise the Church both in the United States and in Germany."
Three letters from FACTNet attorney Graham Berry to Scientology lawyer Samuel Rosen were posted this week. Rosen is apparently attempting to stop attorneys Kobrin and Moxon from receiving information from the case. Graham Berry also mentions that he will be attending the deposition of David Miscavige, and that he intends to depose Miscavige separately in the FACTNet case.
"[Y]ou may have every right to make the 'direction' you have, but I am equally entitled to request confirmation from all other counsel of record for your clients. I will not be put in the position of being subsequently accused of having failed to provide proper service to those client absent their express written concurrence with your 'direction.'
"I have given you the requested information as to one witness. That information is extremely incriminating for the Scientology Organization, which, like any totalitarian organization, operates on a need to know basis only. Clearly, David Miscavige does not want Scientologist attorney Helena Kobrin, Esq. and Kendrick Moxon, Esq. to know this 'information,' and to possibly pass it onto someone like Norman Starkey or Greg Wilhere who could use the information to relieve David Miscavige of his current command. Accordingly, you have been instructed to 'direct' me to limit communication and the service of documents to you only. However, I do not operate on Scientology 'lines.' My duties are to the Court.
"I note, purely for the record, that your clients have at least two private investigators, Eugene Ingram and Tri-Star Investigations, 'working' and conducting 'noisy investigations' of my friends, clients, former secretary and her children. Amazingly, you seem to have convinced the court that this form of harassment of opposing counsel is 'irrelevant.' However, I am confident that certain authorities, and another court, will find this outrageous conduct toward opposing counsel to be deserving of major damages and penalties.
"I have just been advised by certain of the defendants in the San Jose cases that David Miscavige's deposition will commence on Monday morning at the Morrison & Foerster offices in Los Angeles. They have requested my attendance, either to engage in questioning on behalf of one or more of the unrepresented individuals, or to act as a paralegal/assistant on their behalf.
"Will you sign a stipulation providing for modification of the Scheduling Order herein to permit Mr. Miscavige's deposition to be immediately taken at our office? There are three defendants in the FACTNet case. I think that three days (24 hours) of uninterrupted testimony would be adequate initially. If you fall to adequately respond to this letter, and our earlier letters of April 18, 1997 and April 21, 1997, by close of business on April 25, 1997, then we will proceed to file an appropriate motion accompanied by a declaration of non-cooperation."
"[W]e take issue with your statement that 'there is no discovery...relevant to the issue of whether the defendants infringed Bridge's copyrights on the published works.' On the contrary, ownership of the published works is very much a disputed issue of material triable fact.
"[O]ur analysis indicates that plaintiffs may have perpetrated a massive fraud upon the heirs of L. Ron Hubbard, the L. Ron Hubbard probate court, the federal and California State governments, the U.S. Copyright Office and the courts in this and many other cases over the past twelve years. The first witness we wish to initially take on these and other pertinent issues is David Miscavige. Indeed, he is the most relevant and percipient witness in this entire litigation. For example, he participated in the incorporation of RTC. He controlled the activities of RTC from Author Services, Inc. and later became the most senior executive in RTC. He was Scientology's sole contact point with L. Ron Hubbard during Mr. Hubbard's years in seclusion. He gave instructions to Sherman Lenske, Esq. in connection with the preparation of assignments and wills. He claims to have obtained Mr. Hubbard's signature to various relevant documents. He notarized various documents relating to the issues herein. He was in communication with Mr. Hubbard's personal physician Dr. Gene Denk. He was involved in the circumstances surrounding L. Ron Hubbard's death and thereafter he dealt with Mr. Hubbard's heirs. He directs RTC's enforcement activities in connection with both the published and unpublished works and federal judges have ordered him to appear in deposition on these very same issues in a number of related cases."
Berry also details the irregularities involved in Hubbard's death about which he wants to question Miscavige and other Scientology witnesses.
"Attachment 8 to the Notice of Death of L. Ron Hubbard filed February 5, 1986 shows that all notices to interested persons were sent to Scientology corporate addresses, except for 'Nibs' Hubbard and Anne Broeker. Contrary to Norman Starkey's statements under penalty of perjury in the Petition For Probate, all of L. Ron Hubbard's heirs were not listed on this attachment 8. These heirs, whether or not disinherited in the last will, all had statutory rights in the alleged trade secrets and copyrights at issue herein.
"Three Proofs of Subscribing Witnesses were executed and filed within 14 days of Mr. Hubbard's death. However, although only two such proofs are required, on February 11, 1986, Raymond Mithoff suddenly steps forward as the fourth subscribing witness to the January 23, 1986 will. Accordingly, Raymond Mithoff is not only a percipient and material witness on this issue, but his presence at Mr. Hubbard's death, and his Scientology position (post), then and now, calls into serious and relevant question the Scientology processing Mr. Hubbard may have been receiving at the time of his death, and his resulting mental capacity.
"Norman Starkey's February 5, 1986 declaration evidences the role and 'duties' of Author Services, Inc., in the 'maintenance and promotion of Mr. Hubbard's numerous copyrights.' Moreover, Norman Starkey is clearly an extremely relevant witness, particularly because of his testimony in paragraphs 5, 6, 7 and 10 of his February 5, 1986 declaration, and his various other contradictory statements, many of them made under oath and penalty of perjury.
"Interestingly, and of extreme relevance, is the fact that Patrick and Anne Broeker also witnessed the execution of the May 10, 1982 L. Ron Hubbard will. Accordingly, David Miscavige, Pat Broeker, Anne Broeker, Norman Starkey, Ray Mithoff, Lyman D. Spurlock, David Mayo and the various Hubbard family members become the most relevant and percipient witnesses on the ownership, if any, of the trade secret and copyright claims being asserted in the FACTNet case, and the related cases. In the May 10, 1982 will, Mr. Hubbard does a flip-flop and asserts that 'Alexis Hollister...never has been my heir.' This 1982 will also appoints Patrick Broeker as the executor of the will, followed by Lyman D. Spurlock and Norman Starkey in that order. This will also creates the 'Author's Family Trust.' Again, in paragraph 5 of that will, Mr. Hubbard provides that it is not his intent 'to create a separate trust by [that] WILL.' Again, the actual trust agreement is not included with the probate filing. Moreover, this will also contains no express testamentary disposition of any purported intellectual property rights.
"On November 14, 1993 L. Ron Hubbard executed a First Codicil to Last Will And Testament Of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. For the first time, Mr. Hubbard directs that he be cremated 'as soon as possible following [his] death' and '[u]nder no circumstances shall [his] body lie in state or be subject to an autopsy.' Again, Patrick D. Broeker and Anne M. Broeker witnessed this codicil.
"The probate court files then include the filing of dozens of creditors claims, totaling, in the aggregate, many hundreds of millions of dollars. These claimants include: Michael J. Flynn, Esq., Gabriel and Margaret Cazares, Martin Samuels, Julie Christofferson Tichbourne, Nancy and John McClean, Carol and Paul Garety, Thomas Jefferson, Dana Lockwood, Jane and Richard Peterson and Ron Glazier. Subsequently, on various dates in December 1986, these creditor claims are all withdrawn -- following the 1986 group settlements. However, it now appears possible that the egregious provisions of the various 1986 'cookie cutter' settlement agreements were part and parcel of a massive and continuing conspiracy to perpetrate a fraud upon the L. Ron Hubbard probate court, the United States Copyright Office, the federal and various state governments, and each of the courts involved in the 1986 group settlements.
"On December 5, 1986 Warren McShane executed a declaration for filing in the L. Ron Hubbard probate case. Amazingly, he attached copyright registration certificates dated November 24, 1986, for 'NED for OTS series,' and a November 20, 1986 license agreement for the very same documents. The licensor was 'the L. Ron Hubbard library,' a stranger to all of the inter-related judicial proceedings herein. Scientology requested 'special handling in connection with these copyright registration applications involving NED for OTS series.
"It would appear from the L. Ron Hubbard Probate Court file that the L. Ron Hubbard probate proceeding has never been closed and that Norman F. Starkey is still acting as both Special Administrator and Executor. The file contains no receipts from the distributee(s) nor any order of discharge. Accordingly, Mr. Starkey is still subject to suit in his capacity as Executor of the Estate of L. Ron Hubbard.
"Finally, and with reference to a massive fraud being perpetrated upon the courts, the federal and state governments, the public, and the adherent to Scientology (e.g. Scientologists and Scientology staffers), we urge you to inquire of David Miscavige, the chairman of plaintiff RTC, as to the 'ten recent needle marks in [L. Ron Hubbard's] gluteal area' that the post-mortem revealed. If you fail to get the answer from Mr. Miscavige, then others will have to provide it."
Robert Young posted a request for originals of HCOBs and HCOPLs for use in determining copyright in the FACTNet case.
"My name is Robert Vaughn Young. I have been retained by as an expert consultant by defense counsel in RTC et al v. FACTNet et al (US District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 95-K-2143).
"Plaintiff has claimed it validly owns the copyrights to the material at issue in this case. This material consists of HCOBs, HCOPLs and other Scientology directives, most of which carries the signature of L. Ron Hubbard. In preparing to take this matter to trial and to refute Plaintiff's claim, I am seeking copies of original directives - especially from the 1950s, 60s and 70s to deal with two issues: copyright notice and authorship. I will explain my request and how readers of alt.religion.scientology can help.
"Distribution in those early years was fairly simple. If Hubbard wanted to issue an HCOPL, it was typed up, mimeographed and copies distributed (mailed) to individual Scientology organizations. They, in turn, were often called upon to make more copies and redistribute the directive. This was usually done by a 'mimeo' section which kept the 'mimeo files' and extra copies of the directives.
"I am seeking original directives where the is no copyright notice. That is the line that usually said 'Copyright (c)' with a year. The 'c' might be in a circle or parentheses. A year would be given along with the name of the person or entity taking the copyright. Attorneys advise that this may be relevant to copyright ownership. (There is a point when such notice was not required but I am not here to debate legal points. My task is merely to gather the requested material.)
"If you have such directives or know someone who still has these who can afford to part with them for the purpose of this litigation, I would like to obtain them.
"Graham Berry, Esq.
Musick, Peeler & Garrett
1 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90017-3383"
Jeff Jacobsen reported that the most recent Freedom newspaper gave details about a recent Scientology celebration and PR spin on the case of a woman who fled the Ft. Harrison hotel to jump into the bay.
"Freedom newspaper issue 11 has a story 'An evening celebrating the birthday of L. Ron Hubbard' which is pretty interesting. David Miscavige was MC for the 3500 attendees. The article is noteworthy in that it gives NO figure to show that the church is expanding; only the claim that church is one 'of the most vital and rapidly growing religions on earth.' They don't mention that they have claimed 8 million members since 1991.
"Some figures DM did give were; 3.8 million kids are now literate, 250,000 people gotten off drugs, 76,000 firms use Hubbard management tech, 53 million people furnished with the Way to Happiness. Also, they claim 17 million hits on their web pages since opening, and 7.5 million hits in the last 2.5 months. Dan Sherman is working on a bogus biography of Hubbard that again touts the idea that he was a war hero. A new church in London England and Florence Italy are now open.
"'Thought Police' in Clearwater? which is about the woman who on March 1 ran out of the Ft. Harrison hotel at 5am. This article claims that the police saw her and decided to get involved so they could *deprogram her* from Scientology! 'Her time there [at the police station], in essence, amounted to an unsuccessful attempt to 'deprogram' her from her religion.'
"This article also states that Detective Tom Miller 'helped members of the former CAN to stage a 'demonstration' in Clearwater in March 1996.' This is bogus. The police were talking to both sides and trying to strike a deal wherein the police would have no problems that day. Detective Miller NEVER told us what to do or even made any suggestions. He was there for us to tell him what our plans were."
Grady Ward reported that Scientology now admits it was served notice concerning RTC's phone records, and that Grady did not obtain them illegally. Scientology is now attempting to quash the subpoena and seal the records.
"The cult admits that it was served notice on April 4, 1997 of my subpoena of all its Pacific Bell phone records but that it was not opened until the 11th because someone thought the letter from Pac Bell Investigative Services was the phone bill and put it on a stack to pay. When it was opened on the 11th, it still took 4 days to percolate up to McShane.
"McShane claims that they will both be force to change hundreds of phone numbers AND advise all of the 3rd party phone numbers that their privacy has been potentially violated."
"On April 16, 1997, Plaintiff Religious Technology Center filed an ex parte application seeking an order quashing a subpoena served by Defendant Grady Ward on Pacific Bell and requiring the return of records already produced pursuant to the subpoena, and for an order to show case why sanctions should not be imposed. RTC contends that the subpoena issued without notice as required buy Rule 45(b)(1), and is in violation of Southern District Local Rule 45.1.
"Having reviewed RTC's ex parte application, and good cause appearing, the court makes the following orders: If he has not already done so, Ward immediately shall deliver custody of all copies of the records produced by Pacific Bell, including copies of any information contained therein, to the undersigned Magistrate-Judge or to the Honorable Larry B. Nord, U.S. Magistrate-Judge, at Eureka, CA. Ward shall make no use whatsoever of the records, and information contained therein, pending further order of this court."
Excerpted from Grady's reply:
"The plaintiff owes me an apology for libeling me and falsely accusing me of wrongdoing, for accusing me of mental unbalance on my telephone answering machine and for disbelieving that his paralegal erred in not properly delivering notice of the Magistrate's Order."
The visitor to Grady's house was seen again, according to a report from Grady this week.
"A humorous epilogue to the PI/OSA watching my house; a neighbor whom I alerted yesterday notice him loitering again in the area just after noon yesterday and called the police. The neighbor watched as two squad cars converged on the hapless PI. The last the neighbor saw was a PI bracketed by police cars running him out of the area."
Dick Cleek reported that Cynthia Kisser's case against a Scientology front group has been scheduled for trial in Chicago.
"Kisser v. Coalition for Religious Freedom et al. is set for trial on Jun.15 in Chicago. Coalition for Religious Freedom was dismissed when the topless dancer count was tossed but defendants still include Church of Scientology International (which includes Freedom Magazine), Heber Jentzsch, the company that owns the New Federalist (the Lydon LaRouche newspaper) and the editor of that paper. My name was submitted this week as an expert witness for Kisser. Moxon objected but I haven't seen any paper yet outlining his grounds."
Martin Hunt reported this week that the larger of two missions in Victoria, BC has closed.
"Dianetics Foundation, 894B Cloverdale, Victoria, BC, Canada. (250) 475-0705 The Mission holder was one Mr. Lyle Berg, I believe, of 4611 Vantreight Drive, Victoria.
"This was the largest outfit in Victoria by far; it had a huge vertical sign out front billing itself as the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation, with the triangle logo on top. The store that has leased the site now has racks of baseball bats for sale.
"The smaller mission, the one that could fit in my living room, is having bad luck; the whole street in front of it has been torn up for repair. Knowing city works, it'll be a few weeks before the stench of the tar pot and the noise of jackhammers dies down."
Reports from Germany this week of a teenage runaway from Scientology's Sea Org at Saint Hill.
"SPIEGEL and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung report this week on the escape of a seventeen year old Sea Org member from Saint Hill. Tanya (which is not her real name) was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Rhodesia. Her mother died when she was four. Both her father and her stepmother were Scientologists. When Tanya hurt herself as child, she was not comforted, but instead asked for her overts. There seems to be a special Sec Check for six- to twelve-year-olds, with questions like: 'What were you forbidden to tell?', 'Did you ever disappoint your parents?' or 'Have you ever done something with your body which you shouldn't have done?'.
"Apparently the family moved to Germany later on. Tanya was not very happy at home. Once she asked her father: 'What would you do if I killed myself?' His answer: 'You are responsible for yourself.' Tanya followed this advice and left her home for Saint Hill. She was 16 years old. Therefore she signed the billion-year contract. She was promised wages amounting to 30 UKP a week and every second Saturday free. According to Tanya, there are about 300 Scientologists in Saint Hill nowadays, of these are 77 children and teens.
"She had to work 8 to 10 hours a day, plus five hours of study of Hubbard spew. It was rare for her to go to bed before midnight. The first time, she had to do hard menial labour: building a sauna for the purification rundown and digging a deep ditch trough the garden. Apparently the children worked throughout the night for some time.
"Tanya decided to flee from Scientology half a year after she had been promoted to the HCO. Her first attempt was rather naive: she told the security officer that she would leave. Result: she was locked up and had to write down all her 'overts'. Thereupon, she changed her tactics and told that she needed some days off to visit her dad who had suffered an alleged heart attack. The holiday is granted, and Tanya is off for a couple of days. After that, she goes back to Saint Hill to pick up some personal belongings. But Scientology has become suspicious. Only with the help of Ursula Caberta (the Hamburg commissary for Scientology) and the British police she can leave Saint Hill two days later. This was in August 1996.
"Tanya also reports a kidnapping attempt in Hamburg shortly after her escape. The offenders have not been found. Tanya claims to be terrorized since three weeks by telephone. Her parents have disconnected from her. Scientology has sent a dead-agent file on Tanya to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. It contains allegations such as an angry letter from an aunt because Tanya drank 9 liters of coke, stole 20 marks and phoned for more than 400 marks from the aunts' telephone. Interestingly, Scientology confirms that Tanya had to work hard; her working hours, according to the file, were from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m."
Las Vegas Scientology picketer Ted Mayett was arrested this week in connection with a picket. The charge was not reporting his address following a move. The law doesn't seem to apply in Ted's case, as he is not a felon.
"About 5:55pm I decide to head over to the little org. I cross the street to my car and then see a police car coming east on Sahara Ave and making the u-turn one would make to get to the big org. So I wait in my car to see if the cop is going to the org. She pulls in front and has turned the flashing lights on. I drive and make a u-turn myself and pull up about two car lengths behind her car. Immediately a second cop shows up in his car and pulls behind me. I just shrug and walk over to the female and say, 'hello, you looking for me?'
"Immediately she got nasty, said to stand back, keep my hands in view, and put her own hand on her gun butt. The male cop is here by now and he is even nastier. Mary Gay, the ED, #4, comes out and is talking to the male. He don't want to hear it, he wants to yell at me, he gets right next to me and shouts, 'why are you picketing'? I shout back, 'because I don't like them' And that is all i say.
"So the female pulls me to the side and tells me to keep quiet, that I will get my chance to speak. I'm off to the side with the lady and I get tired of seeing her hand on the gun. I demand, loudly, to be searched. She says why, I'm still loud, tell her I don't need her pulling her gun because she feels like it. She would not search me for weapons, but she did stop the macho act.
"The male and Mary come over, they want to arrest me for trespassing. I say fine, but I need something in writing, that we are on State property that goes all the way up to the porch. The female says it is city property and that the cult has the property line up to 'this line' in the sidewalk. I repeat again that it is State property and that is why the Highway Patrol can cruise on Sahara Ave. This part shut her up. I then tell the three of them that I have spent considerable time and copying fees to get the maps of this property, that I used to always carry them with me for just this situation. That while I do not have them now i can always produce them, so if they want to arrest me for trespassing I would like it in writing. In writing who exactly is claiming 'this line' in the sidewalk is the property line. I then ask, 'why this line anyway, why not that line, since you are arbitrarily deciding the issue anyway'.
"Male and Mary come back, Mary reads me something off of a card about trespassing, how if I do it again... some legal formality. I explain to the male that even though the State property line does indeed go up to the porch, I play fair with them and tend to stay close to the curb, which I do not need to do.
"The male asks me what i am going to do now. Told him i was going to picket the other building. That did it! That boy come unglued. Now the cops get really shitty. They start firing questions. You ever been arrested, is that your car, you have insurance. One of the questions was, what is your address.
"By this time the clams are all on the porch again, I counted nine of them. The two cops have been moving me down the street away from the org. The three of us were just constantly moving. The male gets in front of me and the female behind. The male does the hand on gun thing and I am being handcuffed. Some of the monkeys were absolutely ecstatic. It looked like one woman in particular would have an orgasm. I've only known this one for about 4 years. And me, I'm handcuffed and leaning on a police car.
"She had said earlier, after the handcuffs, that arresting me was a way to solve the problem of my picketing. I wanted to know what her next solution was going to be. She said that by picketing I disturb peace and tranquility. I said, 'no shit, that is exactly what a picket does, what do you think it does.'
"I go to court 5/19/97 for this heinous crime of not updating my current address within 72 hours of moving. Both these cops were under the impression that i was not allowed to speak to the clams while picketing. Apparently one of the complaints was that I shouted to the clams. I pointed out that at the picket going on at the Frontier Casino, the picketers use bull horns and boom boxes."
A flash picket was held in the San Jose area by Keith Bennett and Keith Henson, in support of Ted Mayett.
"We decided to first hit 'Stevens Creek' and pay my DSA a call. Keith and I wandered by around 11:30 and started walking back and forth. The front had the 'free personality testing' and 'help wanted' permanent on wooden posts, and the usual Scientology / Hubbard Dianetics center.
"After 15 or so minutes, one of them came out the door and watched us for a bit. After about half an hour, that dude came out, told us that Darlene was on her way, and took pictures of us - we obligingly posed and showed first one side, then the other, of our signs (I had my cockroach cult sign).
"We also had a class V auditor come out and talk to us. He did the usual 'have you ever read Dianetics, have you ever been audited, what do you know about it' and threw in some success stories like 'I audited someone to clear.' We asked if he was an OT, and then told him about OT 2 and 3. This guy was in his car, looked like he'd be leaving, but when he left us he drove his car back to the Org.
"Darlene Bright (DSA SNC) drove up and wandered over. We posed again for her (both sides of the signs) with a different camera, and then chatted for a bit. we told her that we were there because Ted had been arrested.
"We spend longer than we thought getting something to drink, and didn't show to Mtn. View till 2:30. This org is down a strip mall perpendicular to the street, so we couldn't even see the front door, but it was on a fairly busy street. Darlene drove up, took our pictures again, and then said the people in the Org wanted to know why we were here, and showed us a tape recorder.
"We got the definite impression that a fair number of people live in both of these buildings (commercial districts - the SNC org might even be light industrial)."
The St. Petersburg Times published the results of a police survey on the problems of downtown Clearwater. Scientology was rated as worse than prostitutes.
"The top six responses listed as the most important issues were: transients, traffic, drugs, parking, Scientologists and prostitutes. Other concerns included: redevelopment, traffic, safety, vacant buildings, opening more shops, landscaping and the general cleanliness of downtown.
"Many of the comments were complimentary toward police. In others, someone suggested merchants have a sticker to tell people they aren't Scientologists, while someone else said having the Church of Scientology downtown helps reduce crime."
Keith Henson reported that NOTS materials were filed with the court in the Lisa McPherson case this week, and the sealing of these materials is restricted under Florida law.
"Seems that to get something sealed in a court file, the TV and newspapers have to be invited in to see if they object. Ken Dandar, lawyer for Lisa McPherson's estate filed a mess of NOTs along with a 'request for admissions.' Some of the NOTs are instructions for Scientology quack medical practices. Since quack medicine seems to be what killed Lisa, NOTs material is important to the case. The clams freaked out and insisted the NOTs copies be sealed. Mr. Dandar said they could seal the NOTs, but the *judge* said no, they had to invite the media in first."
The Globe And Mail and the Montreal Gazette ran articles this week on the recent rejection of a Scientology argument that the organization is not responsible for the Canadian Snow White operation by the Guardian's Office. The case is more than 20 years old. First from the Globe and Mail.
"[A] three judge panel rejected arguments by Scientology lawyers that incorporated non-profit religious associations should not be held liable for unauthorized criminal acts committed by individuals within the ranks. Although agreeing that the liability infringed guarantees of religious freedom in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the court held that the infringement was permissible under Section 1 of the Charter as a reasonable limit in a free and democratic society.
"Speaking for the court, Mr Justice Marc Rosenberg concluded that there was no possible 'reformulation of corporate criminal liability that will not infringe' the guarantee of religious freedom. 'The mere prosecution of the church will stigmatize the parishioners and members and divert funds from religious purposes to defence of the charge.
"In upholding the $250,000 fine imposed by Mr. Justice James Southey of the Ontario Courts General Division, Judge Rosenberg said the offences 'represented a deliberate attempt to undermine the effectiveness of the law-enforcement agencies. This was not simply an intelligent gathering exercise. The appellant had planted its agents in these agencies so that they would be able to anticipate and counter the efforts of these agencies to enforce the law.'
"Beyond that, he said, the offences 'represented the execution of a carefully conceived plan,' and the agents had been given special instructions to assist them in carrying out their activity. The agents themselves 'were not acting for personal gain but under the belief instilled by the appellant that these acts were necessary to protect the church.' He also agreed that with Judge Southey that the church had, 'at no time admitted responsibility for these offences or expressed remorse for its involvement.' It had stopped the activity only because the risk of discovery was putting it in jeopardy.
From the Montreal Gazette:
"The challenge was brought by the Church of Scientology of Toronto and one of its members who unsuccessfully appealed their 1992 convictions for breach of trust for planting spies in the Ontario Provincial Police and the ministry of the attorney-general in the 1970s. The controversial church has already spent more than $7 million on its defence in one of Canada's longest-running criminal cases. It is believed to be the only time a church has been charged in Canada with a criminal offence."