Cornelius Krasel provided a translation of an article in the German news magazine Focus concerning Antje Victore. Scientology claims she has been granted asylum in the U.S. to escape religious persecution in Germany.
"Antje Victore apparently was always happy to be in the southern parts of the world [as viewed from Germany]. Six years ago she cruised in the Caribbean with some colleagues on the Scientology ship 'Freewinds'; now she has settled down in the sunny state of Florida - as an asylum seeker whose claim has allegedly been acknowledged by the U.S.
"Renate Rennebach doubts the story which made the first page of the 'New York Times'. 'As long as Scientology doesn't show a single proof the story is for me pure propaganda and freely invented.' The Foreign Office, which tried to investigate the case, refers to the 'poor sources' which 'makes one skeptical', according to office speaker Martin Erdmann. On a press conference in Stuttgart the cult presented last Friday three members who allegedly moved abroad because their 'base of living has been destroyed by a systematic governmental policy of discrimination', according to the 'exile scientologists'.
"In the case of the alleged refugee Victore former colleagues know nothing about repressions in Germany against her and resultant difficulties in her job. Victore worked in companies which were lead by cult members. In the beginning of the Nineties she established together with the Scientologists Karl-Erich Heilig and Detlef Foullois the company 'Heilig Werbeideen' [an advertisement company] in Schwaan near Rostock. The company flourished, and a total of seven million DM [roughly 4 million US$] were channeled into the cult.
"When the company in Schwaan had to be abandoned overnight - Heilig and Foullois had moved in the crosshairs of the public prosecution and were later found to be guilty of tax fraud - Victore and Foullois went to Hamburg and founded the successor company, Hanse-Werbeideen. When Foullois' problems with justice got bigger, Victore was his successor at the top of the company.
"From Germany she left, according to the statements of former companions, with the words that she wanted to work in the future in the US for the Sea Org, Scientology's elite organization."
The Illinois State Journal-Register reported this week that Scientologist Richard Binet was apprehended on fraud charges while in Miami to attend Scientology courses.
"Inside Binet's hotel room were 'bundles of cash in bank bands in plain sight on the bed' totaling $3,000, according to federal court records. A short while later, Binet was joined by his wife, Kathryn O'Boyle Binet, 45, in the hotel security office. He asked her if she had 'enough money,' court documents state. 'O'Boyle responded with words to the effect that yes, she had enough money; she had 118 million,' prosecutors say in the court papers.
"Unbeknown to Richard Binet, who was in Miami attending courses in the Church of Scientology, a federal grand jury from the Central District of Illinois had indicted him a month earlier. The sealed indictment charged Binet with conspiracy to defraud Credit Union 1, misapplying funds of a federally insured institution, and making false statements to deceive examiners.
"The feds weren't the only people searching for Binet. 'We were looking for him,' said Vince Toolen, president of Credit Union 1, whose membership includes 35,000 employees of the state of Illinois and tens of thousands of other people. Credit Union 1 wanted to serve lawsuit papers that accuse Binet of causing the institution to lose $9 million of its members' money in speculative investments. The suit also blames Binet for helping to squander another $2 million on salaries, bonuses, travel, consulting contracts and cars. Today, Binet, 50, is under home confinement -- at a rented house on a rural lot near Chillicothe, north of Peoria -- even though prosecutors have alleged he used aliases and at least 15 different addresses, that he has control of large amounts of money under various names, and that he told an associate, 'If they come down big, I'm gone.'
"Today, Binet is on $10,000 bond until trial, which is scheduled to start Feb. 2. His travel is restricted to meeting with his attorney, and then only with prior approval of the U.S. Probation Service. He is to report daily to a probation office, and he was ordered to surrender his passport. After the federal case has concluded, Credit Union 1 plans to follow up on its civil case, Toolen said."
Scientology lawyer Helena Kobrin has threatened lawsuits against web site maintainer Ray Randolph.
"I have been informed that an individual named Ray Randolph has placed certain of my clients' copyrighted works on his home page on your web site without the authorization of my client. These works can be found under the following URLs:
"A work entitled 'Targets, Defense'; A work entitled 'Confidential Battle Tactics'; A work entitled 'Enemy Names'; A work entitled 'Attacks on Scientology'; A work entitled 'Introspection Rundown'; A work entitled 'Documentation and the Dead Agent Caper'; A work entitled 'Code of Honor'; A work entitled 'Bring Back to Life Assist'; A work entitled 'Unconscious Person Assist'; A work entitled 'Thank You for Listening'; A work entitled ' Principal Incidents of the Track'; A work entitled 'Class VIII Lecture 10 Confidential - Assists'; A series of copyrighted works called 'Office of Special Affairs Network Orders'; A letter written by Mr. L. Ron Hubbard.
"Please confirm that you have removed the copyrighted material as requested above. I must urge you that speed in dealing with this situation is critical in light of the fact that unpublished materials are involved."
Ray is also under attack for having registered the Internet domain scientology-kills.com. His ISP has been reluctant to stand up to Scientology.
"I'm in discussions with my ISP regarding this attack, but it looks like I'm going to lose the argument. The owner of my ISP said, and I quote, 'Scientology is infamous for wrecking people much wealthier than I with protracted lawsuits.' Many of the documents that the church is attacking are Guardians office documents! Many of the aspects of my page are being attacked even though they clearly represent fair use! Once again, Kobrin has attacked the 'The man on the cross...there is no christ!' file."
Ray Randolph's page
Scientology issued a press release this week attacking the Channel 4 documentary on L. Ron Hubbard.
"The Church of Scientology condemns as 'journalistic terrorism' the vicious rendition by Channel Four's 'Secret Lives' of a purported 'biography' of L. Ron Hubbard, the Founder of Scientology and Dianetics. The program is the most contemptible form of tabloid disinformation and reeks of journalistic deceit and immorality.
"Boxes of factual information and documents disproving the lies of their sources were provided to 3BM, the independent company that produced the show, its director Simon Berthon and its producer Jill Robinson. The producers were offered an interview with L. Ron Hubbard's official biographer, Mr. Dan Sherman, which they ignored. All of it was rejected in creating a programme dripping with bias, lies and a disreputable parade of self-serving and discredited sources. Through our own news journal, we are investigating how this atrocious programme came to be aired and we have uncovered the sordid tactics used by 3BM's Jill Robinson and Simon Berthon."
Former Scientologist Gerry Armstrong has filed a suit for libel against David Miscavige, Cathy Norman and the Church of Scientology International. The suit was filed in Nevada. Gerry is involved in a case of breach of contract in California for speaking out against Scientology.
"Plaintiff, as claims for relief, alleges entitlement to damages caused by defendants' malicious publication and dissemination of false and defamatory statements, as well as claiming damages for defendants' intentional infliction of emotional distress upon him.
"In 1981 Armstrong became disillusioned because his duties led him to archived papers disclosing critical personal frauds and organization deceptions perpetrated by other Hubbard intimates and by Hubbard himself during his years heading up Scientology. During his archiving activities Armstrong observed that over Hubbard's adult life he used a philosophy of 'opportunistic hatred' and the 'acts which flow therefrom (lying, cheating, stealing, compromising, entrapping, obstructing, bullying, blackmailing, destroying) as the solution to his problems.'
"The grim truth however -- and notwithstanding the repeated public Miscavige statements, as demonstrated infra -- is that defendants herein have designated Armstrong an 'enemy' and have from the time he left Scientology and up to the present subjected him to fair game and a massive international black PR campaign. The document which gives rise to this complaint was created and disseminated by defendant components of the Scientology enterprise pursuant to fair game, and is black propaganda.
"Triggering this complaint: on October 21, 1996 one Cathy Norman caused transmission and publication of a one page letter on the letterhead of the Church of Scientology of Texas, Austin, to Craig Branch, Watchman Fellowship, P.O. Box 530842, Birmingham, Alabama, 35253.
"'FALSEHOOD IN DECISION OF JUDGE BRECKENRIDGE:
While defendant has asserted various theories of defense, the basic thrust of his testimony is that he did what he did because he believed that his life, physical and mental well being, as well as that of his wife were threatened because the organization was aware of what he knew about the life of LRH, the secret machinations and financial activities of the Church and his dedication to the truth.
"'Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul Breckenridge made the above statement as a part of a decision where the Church had sued Armstrong for theft of certain confidential documents from the Church. Far from any 'dedication to the truth,' Armstrong had boasted of his ability to lie and to forge documents.'
"'Gerry Armstrong far from being afraid for his life, was actively engaged in secret machinations his own to seize control of the Church...Armstrong has boasted at length of his ability to lie and to forge documents.
"'Armstrong...left...taking with him huge numbers of confidential documents which belonged to Mr. Hubbard or his wife. The Church presented motions to prevent Armstrong from introducing the stolen confidential documents...The Church was completely ambushed in the trial by these documents...the Church had no chance to prepare and put on that evidence before being hit with the documents in trial. The Church had proven that Armstrong was guilty of stealing...Judgment, however, was entered in favor of Armstrong, essentially finding that...The only lawsuit that there was to fear was the one that was ultimately filed for return of the stolen documents.'
"The only response to the Norman-CSI-RTC-Miscavige directed letters came from one attorney Andrew Wilson, whose opening statement declared that '[t]his firm represents Church of Scientology International in the referenced matter and has been asked to respond to your letter,' and who rejected plaintiff's demand for retraction out of hand."
Star magazine carried an article on TV actress Jenna Elfman this week.
"Perky Jenna Elfman sheds her inhibitions every week as the free-spirited yoga instructor on TV's newest hit, 'Dharma & Greg'. And now she's shed a secret in real life. Jenna has gone public with her membership in the Church of Scientology, whose ranks include stars such as John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley. She has told how she went through the Scientologists' controversial 'cleansing' ritual. 'It's a great program--I've done it!' Jenna said after completing a grueling regimen of exercise, vitamin therapy and sauna baths at its Celebrity Centre in L.A.
"'I haven't done a lot of drugs,' said the 25-year-old blonde. 'But I have had surgery on my ankle, so there's a lot of painkillers and anesthesia--all of it stays in your fat cells. I felt so much lighter. It's amazing!' [A] new Scientology brochure--promoting their L.A. hotel, The Manor--features Jenna prettily posing with an E-meter, which is Scientology-speak for a lie-detector type device that measures mental anguish."
|West Covina Judge|
AOL poster "Lt daughtr" reported that a judge in West Covina, California is offering Scientology's Way to Happiness course as a sentencing option.
"Some of you have no doubt already heard about the program in West Covina where a court judge is offering individuals the choice of doing the Way to Happiness Course rather than spending time in jail. I have had some wonderful feedback from volunteers working with the teenage prison population at the Criminon Community Center in West Covina. These individuals come into the courseroom not knowing what to expect. The results are nothing short of miraculous. To see these individuals gain self-respect and decide to change their lives is a true tribute to LRH and the simple beauty of his tech."
Dean Benjamin announced the availability of Robert Kaufman's book Inside Scientology on the web this week. Some excerpts:
"This is my account of my several years immediately following breaking with a cult group, focusing especially on events about the time of and subsequent to my publishing a book about my experiences in the group.
"Around the early summer of 1968 I flew to England to take the so-called Scientology secret processes. I had just turned age 35, what may seem like an advanced age for such a dubious adventure, and my course from being totally ignorant of Scientology to pursuing it's founder and leader L. Ron Hubbard's 'stratosphere' was wayward. I had first heard of Scientology from friends in the mid-'60s, and later befriended and came under the influence of 'franchise owners,' who ran their own auditing establishment, though still affiliated with the central organization, who guided me through Hubbard's elementary courses while seeking to avoid the excesses of what they freely acknowledged was a fanatic group. Somewhere along the way I got 'hooked.'
"My experience with the Scientologists, both in England and later in Edinburgh, Scotland, was a disaster. (I've described it in detail in my book Inside Scientology/Dianetics, also available on The Internet.) The powerful suggestions I was given via Hubbard's tapes and bulletins advising me that Scientology was my only hope for happiness were at odds with the frightening things I observed around me. After just two weeks in England, a violent struggle ensued within me that I kept submerged out of my awareness, causing me sleepless nights, bad nerves, and a touch of paranoia (which runs strongly in Scientology and I suspect other cults as well). When my better senses, or guardian angel, warned me I was wasting away, I managed to break from the group and return to New York ('escape' would not be inappropriate, since my return flight ticket was being held as 'security' and I had to pass through a gauntlet to get away)."
entheta.net: Inside Scientology/Dianetics
Dennis Erlich reported that Scientology protester Keith Henson was beaten and arrested outside a Scientology property in Los Angeles this week during a solo picket.
"Keith Henson today was beaten, injured and placed under 'citizen's arrest' while he was peacefully picketing a Scieno building in Hollywood CA. The picket site was not covered by any TRO, and Keith was taken to the Hollywood Div of the LAPD and booked. His injuries include a bloody nose, swollen tongue, sprained neck (from the choke hold the scienos put him in), and various cuts and contusions. Glen Barton, OSA Operative, made the citizen's arrest with the help of a hired PI thug who immediately placed a choke-hold on Keith."
Keith described part of the incident:
"I was never on scientology property, and in fact, as the tape shows, I was out in the street when the PI made the ridiculous claim that I had violated the order. Which was NOT supposed to extend to Glenn Barton using it to chase me away from picketing scientology property. I was in the middle of the side street off of Hollywood when he put a choke hold on me from behind. (Actually, he stuck his arm around my head and in my mouth to start with.) I did ask for charges to be placed on the PI for battery. If I had placed him under citizen's arrest, would they have taken us both in?"
According to an article in the St. Petersburg Times this week, the city of Clearwater, Florida is considering a land swap with Scientology to obtain land for a new library.
"The city's search for a new main library site now includes a proposal to offer city-owned downtown land to the Church of Scientology in return for the former Travelodge building the church owns on Cleveland Street. Commissioners say city staff members are also looking at several other locations near the Myrtle Avenue and Cleveland Street intersection, including the old Chick Smith Ford site and property owned by Larry Dimmitt along Cleveland Street between Myrtle and Greenwood avenues.
"Roberto said he has not had 'serious negotiations' with any of the three property owners but he has met with Scientology officials and asked them about their plans for the Travelodge. The church bought the Travelodge at 711 Cleveland St. in the summer for $475,000. Church officials said then that they planned to renovate the building and use it to house visiting parishioners. Soon after he started work in June, Roberto said, church officials asked him whether the city would be willing to swap land with the church.
"Scientology officials have expressed interest in acquiring a city alley on Court Street near the American Red Cross and a small parking lot at Franklin Street and East Avenue. The properties are part of an entire city block that the church is trying to acquire to make way for a major expansion. In a statement faxed to the Times Friday, church spokesman Brian Anderson did not say whether the church would enter into a deal with the city.
"'Right now, the city is in the middle of its planning and we are in the middle of ours as well and nothing has been finalized or settled,' Anderson wrote. 'We've spoken to the city and we are excited about their plans to revitalize and improve the downtown area. We heartily support their efforts.'"
SP Times article
Bob Minton reported receiving a bizarre and threatening letter from Scientology lawyer Elliott Abelson this week.
"Dear Mr. Minton:
"You appear to have undertaken the financial maintenance of a significant number of litigants adverse to Scientology Churches in the United States. You have even become the patron 'dog and pony show' witnesses without legal claims, like the Youngs, who instigate disputes and sell their testimony to the litigants you underwrite. You're now even financing the travel of hate-filled individuals, some of whom have already been prohibited by courts from committing further acts of violence against members of the Churches of Scientology, from across the United States to the Church of Scientology's premises in Clearwater, Florida. You are, in this manner, a responsible party in fostering a climate of hatred in Clearwater, which endangers our staff and parishioners who work and live there.
"The distraction to Church ministers and parishioners engaged in religious services by the potential hate crimes committed by the individuals you are financing, would not be occurring were it not for you going out of your way to foment their irrational hatred. If you have not realized it before, then recognize now that this creates a serious potential liability for you. A number of those with whom you have associated yourself through your patronage, such as Dennis Erlich and Keith Henson, have engaged in threats and acts of violence, attempts at intimidation and scandal-mongering. Association with lawbreakers such as these, combined with the monetary demands that inevitably accompany their involvement in litigation or similar fertile areas for attempts of extortion, make your actions of interest to the prosecutors to whom such conduct has been referred.
"My client holds you, your associates and backers, financial or otherwise, personally responsible for any and all damages it has suffered or will continue to suffer as a result of your tortious officious intermeddling in Church litigation. The Church will not tolerate such conduct. I demand that you immediately withdraw all financial support for such matters and am warning you that you and those you're financing have crossed the threshold of legality.
"I advise you to inform me forthwith what you have done to cease fomenting and financing unlawful attacks against my client."
Martin Ottmann posted an announcement of price increases from Flag Ship Services Org. (FSSO).
"Due to the fact that the Flag Ship Service Org has not increased its donation rates for many years, while inflation has increased by as much as 27% and the quality of delivery and facilities have been greatly enhanced with facilities being upgraded further, the following donation rates are going into effect.
"AT MIDNIGHT 30 NOVEMBER 1997, DONATION RATES ON THE FOLLOWING FLAG SERVICE ORG WILL INCREASE 10% AND WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE AT THE END OF EVERY MONTH. All OT Hatting Courses; OT Debug Service; Hubbard Key to Life Course; Hubbard Life Orientation Course; The Freewinds Experience Package for new arrivals (services only). CONTACT THE FREEWINDS TO SECURE YOUR IMMORTALITY NOW!'
|IAS Christmas Party|
Stephana Oetinger announced to Scientology's TNX mailing list that the IAS Christmas Party in Los Angeles will feature the Jive Aces jazz band.
"The IAS Annual Christmas Party for the LA Area is on Friday, December 5, 1997 at 7:30 p.m. It will be held in the Ballroom of the Regent Beverly Wilshire and guess who will be your entertainment? THE JIVE ACES! And Super Special Guest Speaker Mr. Heber Jentzsch, President of the Church of Scientology International. There will also be: Awards Presentations to new members with Honor Status by Janet Mc Laughlin, President IAS Administrations & Mr. Heber Jentzsch."
|House Resolution 22|
Pat Tadeushuk announced to the TNX list that Scientology plans to re-introduce H.R. 22, which was voted down earlier this month. The resolution would have criticized Germany for alleged mistreatment of Scientologists.
"The latest on H. Con. Res. 22 is this: The resolution is NOT dead. Congress will be taking this up again in the spring, after recess. NOW is the time to get with your OSA terminals and let them know that you want to help push H. Con. Res 22 through to a done and find out what you can do to help.
"Getting the resolution passed will mean official recognition by the United States Government of the religious discrimination taking place in Germany. It was important enough that some of our top name celebrities testified before a congressional committee to get the resolution proposed in the first place. So it's important that we follow through."