Scientology critics held events in Clearwater, Florida to remember Lisa McPherson and to protest her death in the care of Scientology. Flag Land Base was closed during a candlelight vigil and subsequent picket. From the St. Petersburg Times:
"Church of Scientology critics and supporters staged opposing demonstrations at the same time a block apart - the critics to remember a dead church member, the supporters to criticize city police. The activities, which began Friday and continued Saturday, included dueling candlelight vigils and dueling news conferences, with 1,400 church members on one side and a group of about 30 anti-Scientologists on the other.
"The hundreds of church supporters got off buses and picked up picket signs. One declared: 'Sid Klein, what is your crime?' Some seemed unaware Klein was the Clearwater police chief. 'I'm not from here,' said one man carrying a Klein sign. 'Sorry.'"
"Anti-Scientology protesters, meanwhile, cradled candles against the cool air as a bagpiper played Amazing Grace. They huddled quietly in front of the Fort Harrison to protest what they said were abusive Scientology practices that can lead to deaths like McPherson's.
"At a Friday afternoon news conference held by the anti-Scientology protesters, former members of the church spoke of what they said were abuses. Birgitta Dagnell, a Swedish woman, said she was ashamed she had spent 14 years as a Scientology staffer because it kept her away from her children and other family members. She spoke of extraordinarily long work days, of rough treatment for minor offenses and of being isolated under guard.
"Martin Ottmann said he worked in the church's sales office in Clearwater from August 1990 to July 1992. He said he and others were pushed by supervisors to pressure 'public' Scientologists to make bank loans and borrow from friends so they could pay for more church services. He said the Clearwater church had a sales goal of $3-million a week and took in $1.5-million a week.
"In a news conference scheduled immediately afterward, Mike Rinder, a top Scientology official from Los Angeles, said the allegations by Dagnell, Ottmann and others were false."
Scientology had attempted legal efforts to block the pickets. From the St. Petersburg Times:
"Saying it fears violence from a group of protesters, the Church of Scientology is asking city officials to close the sidewalks in front of its downtown headquarters this week. Police Chief Sid Klein rejected the request and has offered to seek a compromise, but the church is appealing Klein's decision to City Manager Mike Roberto.
"The protesters, meanwhile, say they are the ones who should be fearful. They cited the tactics of an estimated 200 Scientologists who surrounded and taunted them at a similar event in March. The protesters, expected to number 20 to 30, say they are planning two non-violent demonstrations to mark the second anniversary this week of the death of Lisa McPherson.
"Ben Shaw, a director of the church's Clearwater operations, appealed to Roberto in a letter last week, calling the protesters 'violence-prone demonstrators' who 'present a clear danger to the children and families who enjoy and participate in Winter Wonderland.'"
The Times also published an editorial supporting the right of the protesters to picket the Fort Harrison.
"In the past, the Church of Scientology has defended its actions by claiming the First Amendment right of free speech. Now, it would deny that constitutional right to its critics by stopping them from picketing in front of the church's main building in downtown Clearwater. Scientology can't have it both ways.
"In the Scientology letter, which asks Roberto to overrule Klein and close the sidewalks, Shaw writes: 'Chief Klein's insistence that the rights of a dozen protesters from outside Clearwater supersedes the rights of thousands of Clearwater citizens is, in my judgment, outrageous.'
"What is outrageous is the Church of Scientology's hypocrisy. When it suits them, Scientologists claim to be the persecuted minority trying to exert their constitutional rights. In this case, it suits them to deprive other citizens their free speech. Roberto should not let the Church of Scientology bully him. Clearwater police are fully capable of allowing the demonstration and maintaining the peace."
Mark Dallara testified before the Clearwater City Commission to address the issues raised by the vigil and picket.
"As I'm sure you are aware, the church has tried to stop these pickets, by accusing myself and the other protesters as being of a violent nature. Not only is this a thoroughly dishonest attempt to interfere with a peaceful demonstration, but it is a perfect example of what the St. Petersburg Times editorial characterized as the outrageous hypocrisy of $cientology. I feel this is doubly true, because, UNLIKE the Church of $cientology, I have no criminal record.
"With that said, I have another paper by Dr. Stephen Kent, Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta, that I wish to submit to the commission for review. It is entitled, 'Brainwashing in Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force', and it describes the human rights abuses of the cult's forced labor and re-indoctrination camps, the RPF. I would like to quote from Dr. Kent's conclusion: 'Without question the RPF's operation violates a number of human rights statutes, probably involving such topics as freedom of religion and conscience, labor laws, arbitrary arrest, forcible confinement, and protection of the dignity of the human being. Ironically, as the United States Department of State heightens its criticism against Germany's handling of the Scientology affair, at least three of these abusive programs continue to operate on American soil.'
"This document includes testimony from former members who have been subjected to the RPF in Clearwater. The question that this commission should be asking now is whether or not these concentration camps are currently operating within the City of Clearwater. If so, then it is a stain upon this community that CANNOT be eradicated by any amount of money that the cult is funneling into the Downtown Development Board and PR projects like Winter Wonderland."
"The Exile" described the vigil event.
"As about 50 critics of Scientology held a candle light vigil across from the Ft. Harrison Hotel marking the second anniversary of the death of Lisa McPherson, hundreds of Scientologists ringed the Clearwater Police and Fire Dept. The Ft. Harrison hotel and the Christmas Village were completely closed, nary a light was to be seen anywhere. A sign in front of the hotel door said something to the effect that they were closed so that they could go off and do some good in the world. The media was on hand in great numbers. Many reporters and photographers were on hand, but not all who took pictures represented the press. Martin Ottmann, former Sea Org member, broke down and wept while recounting his experiences with the cult. Other moving interviews were taken, the sounds of a kilted piper playing 'Amazing Grace' adding to the somber setting. At the close of the vigil demonstrators walked over to place a wreath on the sidewalk in front of the hotel in memory of Lisa McPherson."
On the next day's picket, from Joe Harrington:
"Today's picket of the Fort Harrison was officially from 9:00 - 1230 this morning. Again, the Fort Harrison was closed down. Scientology did not launch a counter-demonstration and their only presence was their OSA people. Arnie Lerma rented a Ryder Truck for a drive-by picket. On the side of the truck were large signs which provided summaries of major court decisions of Judge Brinkema, Judge Richey and others. Also included were URLs for Web sites with more information about Scientology.
"Gregg developed a dialogue with a young male who had joined the Sea Org about one month ago. He had been assigned a camera by OSA, to take pictures of the pickets. The young recruit indicated that he had come from a Christian background. Gregg recounted the story of Xenu and Hubbard's remarks about Christ, using the summary of Judge Brinkema's decision. After some consideration, the young recruit literally throw his camera at his OSA senior and said 'I quit!'."
Protests continued into the evening with a picket of the Ybor City mission in Tampa. An OSA photographer recorded the event. Mark Dallara reported damage to his car during the event.
"Jeff Jacobsen and I were driving back out to Ybor City for some dinner last night, and to see if the Dianetics Center was open, and I stopped to get gas. That's when I noticed that my car had been keyed, on both sides, and near the gas tank inlet someone had inscribed 'fuck you'. Once again, the cult of $cientology shows itself to be a petty and hateful group of jackasses."
Scientology appears to have destroyed years of public relations efforts with the city of Clearwater by staging pickets of the police and the Times. From the St. Petersburg Times.
"City leaders Monday said the Church of Scientology's angry protests of the Police Department over the weekend badly damaged Scientology's image in Clearwater and set back the church's efforts to become part of the city's mainstream. The church continued to blast police Chief Sid Klein on Monday with another in a series of public letters accusing him of 'orchestrating harassment' against the church and its members. Church representatives also passed out fliers at the city's downtown office complex and at police headquarters, asking for reports of corruption, abuses and discrimination in Klein's department.
"City officials responded in strong terms to the church's allegations. 'If they can prove what they say, Sid ought to be in prison,' City Commissioner Ed Hooper said. 'If they can't, they need to let this go. You either go to the state attorney's office (with the evidence) or you get over it. They just can't make wild allegations that can't be substantiated.'
"Church spokesman Brian Anderson said, 'We can back up everything in those letters and will do so. Everything we say is documentable, and that will be presented at the right place and at the right time.'
"Anderson cited three instances he thought were among the church's biggest complaints against Klein: He said police failed to seriously investigate a former Scientologist who stole $4,300 from the Clearwater church in 1983. He accused the police department of helping Scientology opponents by escorting them around town in unmarked cars. And he criticized Klein for assigning intelligence officers to focus on church activities.
"City Manager Mike Roberto said he will continue to talk to church officials and plans to include them in his proposal to redevelop downtown because he still considers the church a 'player.' But he added he will 'revisit how we are going to address the church' in the future. 'You can't attack the chief of police without some repercussions,' Roberto said. 'It's definitely a regression,' City Commissioner Bob Clark said. 'People are just asking, 'What does this mean? Are we at war again or what?'"
Critics from around the world held pickets of Scientology locations to coincide with the Clearwater event. "Wynot" reported from Atlanta.
"With my sign and about seventy five Lisa flyers, I began picketing on the sidewalk directly across the street from them. There were other people going in and out, but I was concentrating on keeping my sign pointed so that the Lisa side pointed toward the traffic on the one-way street, and the Hubbard Tech side was visible to the scienos.
"[T]wo women came out of the front door and crossed the street toward where I was picketing. The blonde one had a little green camera, and began taking pictures of me. I smiled the friendliest smile I could conjure up for her, while the one in the red coat began asking me questions; Who are you, what's your name, why are you doing this? I said nothing, and when she asked me why I was doing this, I handed her a Lisa flyer. She asked me if I had a permit, and said that what I was doing was illegal. I just kept walking. Neither of the scienos attempted to interfere with me, or block my path or my picket sign (which was about eight feet high)."
Tilman Hausherr reported from Berlin.
"At 11 there was a 'press conference' but not many journalists were there, and we gave them some materials. At 11:30 we went to the US embassy. We were about 10 - 13 people, most dressed in black. We had card boards of Lisa McPherson looking cute (because she was alive), one of them had the text 'Lisa McPherson Scientology victim'. The cardboard was black, this was very appropriate. One had brought white flowers, this looked very nice too. We had a German and one American flag; the American flag was held by a real US citizen. Three of us (Rev. Thomas Gandow, Renate Rennebach (member of parliament), and myself) entered the embassy to deliver the condolence letter. We met with the 1st and 2nd secretary of the embassy and had a discussion with them for about 45 minutes, while the other demonstrators were left in the cold. The discussion was mostly about the differences how scientology is seen here, what they do here, what they do there. We mentioned certain persecutions, e.g. Armstrong (had to flee the US), Young (harassed by scientology), Wollersheim (still harassed after all these years), Dennis Erlich (sued for copyright violation). The 1st secretary mentioned that scientology had also done visits at the embassy, and that they complained about persecution and discrimination, and that it was difficult to get actual FACTS from them, i.e. who, where, whom, how, and IF THEY TOOK IT TO THE COURT.
"Outside the protesters distributed a few leaflets (people thought they were for scientology initially), and read aloud the text of the condolence letter."
From Jeff Spencer in Boston:
"I started at 11:50 (I'm always early). My sign read: (Side facing the street) scientology KILLS (Side facing the Church) 100% Standard Tech Killed Lisa McPherson
"Approximately 12:25, the first of Scientologists who was to spend lots of time with us came out. I'll call this Scientologist 'A'. The first words out of 'A's mouth were 'Are you Jeff Spencer?' I acknowledged that fact. Her second question was 'Do you know Bob Minton?' Being as I don't, I answered in the negative.
"'A' then asked me if Bazooka Joe and I were on psych drugs. I answered that I wasn't. She said 'I didn't think so. You seem to nice. But that other guy seems weird. Doesn't he seem weird?' My reply was that you can't judge what a person is like by what he looks like. 2 protesters, 2-3 counter protesters, with some conversations going on. The Scientologists set up their Dianetics booth. They also kept switching around their counter protesters. Our signs were 100% cardboard and very light. Theirs were Much heavier, so they needed to rotate people."
From Geoff Burling, in Detroit:
"I arrived on site at 11:45 am, & picketed 10 minutes. It was a cold day, & about half an inch of snow had fallen this morning. I had a sign that read 'Scientology killed Lisa McPherson', written on a 24' x 36' piece of poster board I held in my hands.. This was a spur-of-the-moment picket in response to the CoS treatment to Keith Henson I read about last week, & I'd like to dedicate this brief picket - my first - to him."
From John Ritson in London:
"Protesters marked the anniversary of the the death of Lisa McPherson by picketing the Tottenham Court Road 'org' this afternoon. Equipped with placards, Lisa McPherson leaflets, a wonderful new sound system, and of course the lovable toy dog with water wings 'Duke' in memory of Judge Swearinger's drowned dog, we arrived at the 'org' at approximately 1:15 to find a marked lack of activity. The receptionist was dozing at his desk, one person was visible at the back, and that was it.
"On hearing the shouted slogans the receptionist woke up and grabbed the phone, and eventually they were able to drag in counter-picketers, but we outnumbered them all the time. The Lisa McPherson leaflets were going like hot cakes, we had a lot of support from the passers-by, a lot more of whom seemed to know about Scientology than at our last London picket and we collected many more signatures for our petition. One Scientologist caused mixed amusement and bafflement by shouting repeatedly 'Ladies and gentlemen, I see no puppets here on Tottenham Court Road, I only see human beings'. (We had not mentioned puppets)
"One Sea-Orger gloried in a windcheater proclaiming him to be a 'Petty Officer - Third Class', accused all and sundry of being '1.1', threatened early deaths to his opponents, laughed hysterically (claiming to be 'dramatising' our true thoughts) called us all 'squirrels' and then offered SP declares to anyone who wanted one. (I asked for one in the name of Ted Mayett). A more senior Sea Org female realised he was floundering and sent him back inside."
From David Gerard in Melbourne, Australia:
"Seven demonstrators (me, Frank, Cyril Vosper, four others of no particular name), six or seven Scientologist counter-demonstrators. Three signs for us (one with 'SCIENTOLOGY HURTS PEOPLE' and 'IT'S NOT ABOUT RELIGION'; one with 'ANTI-SCIENTOLOGY DEMO' on both sides; one with 'Scientology KILLS' and 'scientology CULT of GREED and POWER'. Our leaflets were the one I posted before and Roland's new NY Times Lisa flyer; theirs were a photo- copied fax (presumably standard worldwide) and the good old 'PUBLIC WARNING' leaflet."
From Sean Sasser, in Sacramento, California.
"We began picketing the Sacramento Org at about 1:45 pm. We did get a few supportive horn blasts and thumbs up from passing car traffic. Our pickets signs read 'Scientology Hurts People', 'Scientology is a UFO Cult' and 'Did 100% Standard Tech Kill Lisa McPherson', 'Scientology the other UFO Cult'. There was no reception committee to counter our picket, the Orgs response was to take our photos. We came prepared with a disposable camera and responded in kind. We were under near constant observation by Org members on rotating smoke breaks. There were classes in progress so the Org closed the window shades to prevent the students from reading our signs. On one window the shade was broken and after a time a few students came up to the window to read our picket signs. Shortly there after the window shade was repaired and dropped to prevent further entheta from reaching into the Org. We picketed for about two and half hours."
From Christer Lindstrom in Stockholm:
"On Friday evening I arrived to the Stockholm org around 7. Ake Wiman was already there, and had three small candles lightened, and a yellow picket sign with Lisa McPherson on it, with the text 'Scientology - greedy, dangerous and lethal'. Close to him stood a scientologist, an American in a way to small leather jacket, at least for the polar conditions in Stockholm in December (-5 Celsius, snow and freezing). While Ake and I were talking with a person passing by, he suddenly decided to try to put out one of the three candles on the ground! He put his foot/shoe over one, and simply choked it. Ake immediately took the candle and lighted it again, and we both told him very clear that we would not accept such behaviour.
"After about another 5 minutes he decided to start picking on me, and harassed me with touches, trying to get as physically close as possible. I then immediately called the police, using Ake's cellular phone. They were rather busy, and I decided to call 10 minutes later. The leather guy seemed to understand that I was serious, and stopped harassing me. He made a short comment 'we have already called them'. Just when I was to return the phone to Ake, another guy quickly sneaked out of the org, and stole two candles! Ake immediately followed him in, pushed one scieno little at the side, got the candles back, and came out again.
"We talked for some time, and suddenly a big police-van with 7 (I think) cops. Three of them came out, and started to talk with us, and said that there had been filed a complaint of assault by the picketers! We started to smile, and two of the cops went inside the org. After some time, and discussions with the scienos, the policeman said, very formally, 'I hereby do what I have to do: I inform you that you are charged with suspicion of assault' etc.. He looked truly disgusted, and were very friendly.
"Ake then decided to charge the scienos with theft and harassment because of the candles that were stolen. I gave my personal data so I could be called as a witness. Now they were getting interested in our safety, and we made a deal to move about 5 yards, not to be in the way of the main entrance to the org."
|Cult Strikes Back|
Several of the Clearwater protesters had Scientology flyers and/or pickets at their homes during their time away. Dennis Erlich, Deana Holmes, Rod Keller, Bob Minton, Arnie Lerma, Ron Newman and Grady Ward received very similar flyers. From Dennis Erlich:
"I returned home from Clearwater to find that the scienos had picketed my home and spread the same hateful leaflet around the neighborhood that they did with Bob Minton. Same wording, exactly, only with my name.
"'THE FACE OF RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY - YOUR NEIGHBOR, DENNIS ERLICH IS NOT ALL THAT HE SEEMS - THIS WEEKEND HE IS LEADING A KKK-STYLE RALLY AGAINST PEACEFUL MEMBERS OF A RELIGION - WHEN HE'S NOT STIRRING UP HATRED IN THE STREETS, ERLICH IS POISONING THE INTERNET BY FILLING IT FULL OF RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY AND INTOLERANCE - ERLICH'S HATRED PUTS FAMILIES AT RISK - NEXT TIME YOU SEE THIS MAN, RECOGNIZE THE FACE OF RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY'"
From Deana Holmes:
"On Monday I called over to the org and asked to speak to the DSA. She was the one who answered the phone, and she announced herself as 'Judy, holding DSA'. I repeated who I was and asked if they had picketed my home on Friday. She said they had, and stated that it was a First Amendment right to picket. I stated that in SLC, you need to have a permit to picket a private residence. She claimed that they did. I tried to find out how many people were out there and what was on the signs, but she wouldn't tell me, she told me to ask my neighbors as they had seen the signs."
From Grady Ward:
"My wife Felicity reported to me this evening that five scientology picketers from San Francisco picketed our home at 3449 Martha Ct. in Arcata, California Saturday from 1 to 4 pm. The two adults, teenager, and children carried placards accusing me of being an 'Internet pervert' and 'Religious bigot.'"
"Humorously enough a neighbor reported today that he saw the adult pay money to three of the kids before the kids took off on their own and the adults drove off in a van. The neighbor also said that the three kids in question were leaning on their signs, holding them upside down and generally seeming not to have very much heart in sending out the cult's hate message."
Andreas Heldal-Lund's Operation Clambake site was partially closed this week by his ISP.
"My ISP closed the following pages on my page yesterday evening:
http://www.xenu.net/index2.html [page not existing any more]
"This resulted in the main Operation Clambake literally being unavailable. Luckily I got mirrors, but damn if I'm going to accept this! The pages mentioned are the main entrance to the site and has resulted in many visitors mailing me asking what is going on. It's supposed to be closed because the Norwegian cult lawyers claimed they violated CoS/RTC copyright. This time they really made a mess though, what they closed now are pages made by Roland Rashleigh-Berry, Dave Touretzky and myself. If I have to sue my ISP and the cult lawyers in Norway, and if I have to fly Roland and Dave over to Norway as witnesses, these pages are staying on Clambake!"
"After talking to my ISP, they realised they had made a mistake and gave me their excuse. My pages are opened again. The claims from CoS/RTC are now being looked at by their lawyers. Now they are sick of the clams, they are maybe ready for a lawsuit. This is the biggest ISP in Norway, and with CoS already having problems getting lawyers to work for them - this could be interesting."
Steve Keller posted a report on the Delphi Academy and Scientology's efforts to be involved in education.
"Delphi Academy is a year-round private school of approximately 250 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. It is located at 4490 Cornishon in La Canada, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. While the school claims it is not affiliated with any religion, there are numerous pictures of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, on display there, and it freely admits to being licensed by Applied Scholastics International, and to being affiliated with the Association for Better Living and Education, both of which are Scientology organizations. According to Sandee Ferman, Delphi's Director of Admissions, 75 - 80% of its students are children of Scientologists.
"Among claims made by Delphi personnel: 97% of Delphi graduates apply to college; 'Delphi students are regularly accepted at the colleges and universities of their first choice;' 'The School [offers] an outstanding college preparatory program...' One of its slogans is 'Excellence in Education.'
"Delphi is not and never has been accredited by the State of California. In fact, by making such a claim, the school was violating state law. Delphi is not and never has been accredited by the California Interscholastic Federation. Delphi is probably accredited by Applied Scholastics International, which, as noted above, is a Scientology organization. Is Delphi Academy accredited? Yes, but only by a Scientology organization. And, until it got caught, it was misrepresenting not only its accreditation by specific agencies, but also the very business of one of those agencies.
"All private schools in California are required to file an affidavit annually with the California Department of Education. Examination of Delphi's affidavits for 1992 through 1996 reveals, among other things, that, in the 5 years preceding the Fall of 1996, from an average total enrollment of 246, the school graduated a grand total of eight students.
"Shannon Tanguay, Assistant to the Director of Admissions at U.C. Santa Barbara, wrote, 'UC Santa Barbara does not accept students applying from Delphi Academy in La Canada because Delphi is not an accredited institution. It is the policy of the University of California not to accept students from unaccredited institutions.' In an interview with Marcy Reed of the Office of Admissions at U.C. Irvine, she said that school cannot accept applications from Delphi students because Delphi has not filed a course list with the University of California, as required by university policy.
"In every area I've investigated, be it science education, school accreditation, graduation of students, or facilitation of graduates’ further educations, Delphi Academy, L.A., is a failure. That failure is perhaps best exemplified by the unwillingness of several of its home state's major universities even to consider its graduates for admission."
Scientology is filing a motion to place Gerry Armstrong in contempt of court for speaking out against Scientology.
"I write to apprise you that I shall appear December 2 at 9:30 a.m. before the Hon. Gary Thomas in Courtroom H of the Marin County Superior Court to seek an order to show cause re contempt arising out of your recent actions in creating and publishing certain documentary works over the internet, in granting interviews to various English and German media and other actions taken by you while in Germany.
"Very truly yours,
Andrew H. Wilson"
"This latest effort to have me jailed should put to rest forever Scientology's claims of persecution. Nobody is seeking to stop Scientologists from speaking freely. It is only the Scientologists who seek to stop free speech. Nobody is trying to suppress the Scientologists from their expression of their religion. It is only the Scientologists who are trying to suppress religious expression. I have absolutely no regrets, as unhappy and as threatened as Miscavige and his Scientologists have at times made my life, for speaking out and offering my help to people this cult has been abusing. It only takes one person to bring to light Scientology's suppression of speech and religious expression with its criminal 'contracts' and their judicial and extrajudicial enforcement."
Scientology continues to interfere with Grady Ward's bankruptcy proceedings. Grady is a defendant in a copyright violation lawsuit by Scientology.
"Andrew Wilson and Kendrick Moxon have asked Hon. Alan Jaroslovsky for an emergency ex parte order to lift the automatic stay of bankruptcy at place in my case at a hearing in Santa Rosa on December 11, 1997. This kind of application without serving it upon me with adequate notice violates many local rules as I will of course relay to the Judge in the most timely fashion possible. Now I have 9 cult lawyers attacking me, including the infamous Kendrick Moxon who remains unindicted for his role in the Operation Snow White debacle."
Joey Kahn reported that Scientology lawyer Helena Kobrin is now attacking the presence of Guardian's Office documents on the web.
"In SCN's first letter, they attack various GO documents -- all of which are now down. In their most recent letter to the CNC lawyers, they attacked more documents; however, this time, the lawyer made a declaration that they own the 'rights to these works' as well as included a photocopy of what appears to be the copyright registration for 'HCO Policy letter of 15 February 1966 : Attacks on Scientology'.
"A work entitled FO 1890 'Confidential Zones of Action' for which CSI holds the exclusive rights: A work entitled 'Intelligence Actions Covert Information Data Collection' to which L. Ron Hubbard Library holds the exclusive rights: A work entitled 'Committee for San Psychiatry' dated 11 February 1966 to which BPI holds the exclusive rights: A work entitled 'President CSI Full Hat Checksheet' to which CSI holds the exclusive rights: A work entitled 'PRO Area Control' to which BPI holds the exclusive rights: A work entitled 'Project Psychiatry' to which BPI holds the exclusive rights: A work entitled 'Current Attack' to which BPI holds the exclusive rights: A document entitled 'Admin Scale' which contains numerous excerpts of works to which BPI or L. Ron Hubbard Library holds the exclusive rights"
Keith Henson posted his filing with the court to vacate the restraining order used by Scientologist Glenn Barton to arrest Keith at pickets of Scientology locations in Los Angeles.
"[O]n November 26, 1997, when defendant appeared in Dept 81, Municipal Court, there were no charges filed. Possibly this was because defendant was never told by Mr. Barton, a representative of Mr. Barton, or the police that he was under arrest--a situation which mystified defendant at the time. Since defendant had been forced to take time off from work and travel to Los Angeles for this arraignment, defendant decided to exercise his constitutional right to peacefully picket Scientology buildings on Hollywood Boulevard, some miles from the two locations described in the order of this Court.
"Defendant picketed the Scientology building at Hollywood and Ivar for about 20 minutes, during which Mr. Abelson showed up. Defendant then left and drove west. Seeing another Scientology building at about 6700 Hollywood, defendant stopped to picket there. After about 20 minutes, Mr. Barton arrived with one or more private investigators, i.e., hired thugs, and Mr. Abelson. Defendant backed away to let Mr. Barton enter. Mr. Barton pursued defendant past the entrance of the Scientology building to the corner. At a point where defendant was on public property, several feet out in the street, one of these thugs informed defendant he was placing defendant under citizen's arrest on the pretense that this Court's order applied at times Mr. Barton was clearly not entering or leaving, but was pursuing defendant. When defendant stated such was an absurd application of the Court's order and started to leave, defendant was jumped from behind, choked to near unconsciousness, his video camera and picket sign were knocked to the ground, and his car keys were wrenched from his hand. Defendant's video tape records at least audio of the events up to the point he was choked and the camera knocked from his grasp.
"Defendant believes the order this Court issued Oct. 31, 1997, was obtained by perjury, particularly the part accusing defendant of making threats about bombs or anything else before airline personnel. There is no evidence of fear of defendant by Mr. Barton in the photographs of plaintiff made Sept. 13th by defendant and which are in this Court's possession. Neither is there evidence of fear when Mr. Barton passed the doorway into the Scientology property on Hollywood and approached defendant while defendant was picketing. There is no reason for Mr. Barton to feel physical danger from a person with a picket sign in one hand and a large video camera in the other. Indeed, as defendant found, such a person is not well equipped to defend himself."
Keith also appealed the summary judgment in his copyright infringement case in Judge Whyte's courtroom.
"NOTs 34 is a criminal instruction manual for the illegal practice of medicine with an FDA regulated device known as an emeter. On that basis the plaintiff can make no copyright claims because Congress has no authority under the Constitution to extend copyright protection to instructions for organized criminal activity.
"To my knowledge not even the tobacco industry was so brazen as to use copyrights or trade secrets to suppress their leaked internal documents. My question to the Courts is the same as the date I wrote the open letter to Judge Whyte. Is it proper to use copyright and trade secret laws to prevent public disclosure of criminal activity? So far, the answer has been yes."
Keith also reported Scientology private investigators taking an interest in his back yard.
"I moved my daughter's playhouse up from our previous house in San Jose, and was using it to store garden tools and earthquake supplies. The clams found that the lot my current house is on is too small to have even a playhouse in the back yard and claiming to be neighbors, called in the zoning inspectors."
In a USA Today interview, Scientology celebrity Kirstie Alley discussed Scientology and psychiatrists.
"'I'm a Scientologist all the way!' Alley says. 'I don't like it when a journalist writes something like 'the controversial Church of Scientology' in an article about me. I didn't say that; they said that. So they've tainted it. If I'd known they were going to say that, I wouldn't have even talked to them. It's like me saying, 'the controversial Jew who interviewed me today.' What Jewish controversy was there?'
"Alley had a more emotional motive for appearing as Woody Allen's jilted psychiatrist wife in Deconstructing Harry. 'I don't like psychiatry,' Alley says. 'And I don't believe it works. And I believe psychiatrists are neurotic or psychotic, for the most part. I wanted to play her that way, and Woody just totally let me do it. I said, 'I want to be taking Prozac or drugs during the session with her patient.' I wanted to show that this woman is so twerked out that she has to take drugs, too. She takes her own medicine. So he said, 'Yeah! That's a good idea.'"
Lawrence Wollersheim reported that the court has again denied Scientology's appeals of the decision that grants him the ability to seize the assets of the Church of Scientology International and the RTC. Following Lawrence's judgment against the Church of Scientology of California, that organization was bankrupted to prevent payment.
"The Los Angeles judge that 6 weeks ago found Scientology had stripped out $340 million in corporate assets to thwart a judgment creditor, has today re-denied a Scientology desperation motion to reconsider or remove his previous judgment and the creditors legal right to enforce his judgment.
"Scientology appeared in LA Superior court again to argue that the recent Wollersheim decision that found David Miscavige the person who was responsible for setting up sham Scientology alter ego corporations was improper. Today the court denied every argument concerning Miscavige, RTC and CSI. According to today's denial of Scientology's motion they are alter-egos of the Church of Scientology. Scientology has until Monday to appeal to the California Appellate Court. If they do not, the creditors legal team is free to enforce the judgment against the Church of Scientology International or Religious Technology Center, the alter egos of the church of Scientology of California."
Attorney Ken Dandar, representing Lisa McPherson's estate, has filed a amended lawsuit naming many of the individuals who claim to have cared for Lisa McPherson during her imprisonment in the Fort Harrison Hotel. From the Tampa Tribune:
"Kennan Dandar, the lawyer for the estate of the 36-year-old woman who died in December 1995, added AMC Publishing Co., McPherson's Scientology- owned employer, and her supervisor, Bennetta Slaughter, as defendants in an amended complaint filed late Thursday. The estate also named as defendants Alain Karuzinski, who managed the handling of McPherson at Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater after she had a mental breakdown; Janis Johnson and David Houghton, who are unlicensed doctors; and emergency room physician David Minkoff, who tried to revive her the night she died."
From the suit:
"Defendant, BENNETTA SLAUGHTER, a Scientologist, operated PRODEX, INC. under the WISE business program, which mandates that the business be run strictly through the implementations of the administrative methods established by L. Ron Hubbard. These methods are laid out in various directives that were first issued to SCIENTOLOGY and are represented by them as 'religious doctrine' or 'religious scriptures.' After changing the headings of these directives and a few words to 'secularize' them, they are then exported to secular businesses through a WISE license, which is a source of income back to the Church of Scientology which licenses WISE.
"While LISA McPHERSON resided in Clearwater, Florida, she was an employee of PRODEX, INC. d/b/a AMC PUBLISHING COMPANY, a for-profit printing company. Although PRODEX, INC. is a business, it is operated according to the administrative policies of L. Ron Hubbard.
"Prior to November 15, 1995, LISA McPHERSON, had experienced a 'psychotic break', had expressed a desire to leave Scientology, was having a difficult time at her employment as evidenced by low production in sales and earnings, and was expressing disagreement with the rules and regulations of SCIENTOLOGY. As a result of the above actions, LISA McPHERSON was undergoing and died while in the middle of an 'Ethics handling' to force her to regain her momentum of sales and also to keep her from leaving the movement. The purpose of Scientology 'Ethics,' as written by Hubbard, is to remove anything that is counter or against the person doing Scientology, including the person's own feelings, ideas, beliefs, behaviors or intentions. Thus since she wanted to stop doing Scientology, that was counter-Scientology and so she had to be 'handled' by Hubbard's 'ethics' methodology.
"Prior to November 15, 1995, LISA McPHERSON was undergoing this rigorous 'Ethics' program at her employer, AMC PUBLISHING COMPANY. It was being conducted by AMC PUBLISHING COMPANY employee Katie Chamberlain, in the course and scope of her employment. This program was known by BENNETTA SLAUGHTER and AMC PUBLISHING COMPANY to cause LISA McPHERSON to have psychological breakdowns, and by continuing the 'ethics handling,' BENNETTA SLAUGHTER and AMC PUBLISHING COMPANY knew that she was likely to experience another 'psychotic break' which would in all likelihood result in 'Isolation.' On or about November 15, 1995, LISA McPHERSON was sent to a commercial trade show in Orlando, Florida. This was done with the knowledge of BENNETTA SLAUGHTER and AMC PUBLISHING COMPANY that she was having difficulty with her 'ethics' program at AMC PUBLISHING COMPANY and was not mentally well. Those going to Orlando with LISA McPHERSON were told to watch LISA because of these known problems.
"While in Orlando, LISA McPHERSON began to manifest unusual erratic behavior. One night her roommate awoke at 3 a.m. to find LISA McPHERSON sitting on top of her, sobbing hysterically about how something was wrong with the planet and how everyone was in danger and the world had to be saved right then. The roommate finally got LISA McPHERSON back to bed and to sleep so she could continue to work at the convention. But the next day, LISA McPHERSON was even worse and it was decided to take her back to Clearwater to avoid a public relations problem for her employer, AMC PUBLISHING and Scientology.
"Rather than assist her to obtain professional and licensed psychological counseling, which is forbidden by SCIENTOLOGY, the members of SCIENTOLOGY placed LISA McPHERSON in isolation against her will on November 18, 1995, at the Ft. Harrison Hotel subjecting her to a denial of her freedom of movement, her freedom of choice over food, her freedom to sleep and her freedom to communicate with friends, family and professionals. Those taking care of her had strict orders not to talk to her in any way. Thus she was incommunicado and kept in strict isolation, a prisoner of Scientology, all according to Hubbard's directives which the staff were following: a withholding of food and sleep, which is according to the 'tech' of SCIENTOLOGY.
"The above actions of SCIENTOLOGY were the result of their premeditated design to follow their techniques, bulletins, and procedures, which were performed by or at the direction of SCIENTOLOGY willfully, intentionally, maliciously and in total disregard of the rights of LISA McPHERSON in addition to their culpable negligence and gross negligence in failing to obtain timely appropriate emergency medical care through licensed medical providers when the need to do so was overwhelmingly obvious."
The New York Times ran a front-page story on Lisa McPherson.
"Ms. McPherson worked at a business owned by Scientologists and spent so much of her salary on church courses that she had to borrow from her employer to keep up with her studies in church doctrine, according to documents provided to The New York Times by lawyers for the family. She was able to deduct the payments for those courses from her taxes, but when she got her refund from the federal government, it was turned immediately over to her employers to pay for more courses.
"The financial pressure on members of Scientology is one reason critics worldwide describe the church as a cult and money machine intended to bilk the faithful, who pay large sums to undergo counseling sessions. This is the primary reason given by the German government for refusing to recognize Scientology as a religion. Beyond the financial issues, the circumstances surrounding Ms. McPherson's death raise questions about whether the church's handling of her medical treatment, particularly its failure, for philosophical reasons, to provide psychiatric care, contributed to her death.
"For their part, church officials and lawyers said the death was accidental, the result of an undetected blood clot. They accused the Police Department of a vendetta and said the police would not have investigated Ms. McPherson's death were she not a Scientologist.
"State Attorney Bernie McCabe, the chief prosecutor for the county, will decide whether criminal charges are warranted. Before making his decision, McCabe said in an interview, he will take the unusual step of allowing Scientology's lawyers to present the results of their investigation, including analyses by several forensic pathologists. 'Does it happen every day that the defense presents its evidence before charges are filed?' McCabe said. 'No. But not to avail yourself of an opportunity to review the defense's evidence before making a decision would be foolish.'
"In Texas, Dell Liebreich waits impatiently for the decision. She took over the suit after Ms. McPherson's mother died of cancer earlier this year. Her lawyer, Dandar, tells her that the outcome of the criminal inquiry will not affect the suit, but Mrs. Liebreich said she wanted people held accountable for the death of her niece. 'They murdered her, and we don't want it to happen to someone else,' she said."
NBC Nightly News aired a piece on the McPherson case.
"For 18 years, Lisa McPherson was a member of the Church of Scientology. But in late 1995 her family and friends say she became disillusioned. They say she wanted out of the church that some critics call a cult. That's when church members say the Texas native began to act unusually. McPherson was taken to this converted hotel. In accordance with Scientology teachings, she was isolated in a room. Her family says her isolation was more like imprisonment. The pictures of her arms show bruises and cuts. The church says those are cockroach bites; her family says they were caused by the ropes used to tie her down.
"KEN DANDAR, MCPHERSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: So when you see someone who needs help and you just sit back and you fold your hands and you just not do anything, then you cross the line of negligence, and now you're into an intentional act."
A St. Petersburg Times editorial called on prosecutor Bernie McCabe not to be swayed by the cost of the investigation or Scientology's demonstrations.
"Now the spotlight shifts to McCabe, the state attorney who must decide whether to file charges in the McPherson case. He has taken the unusual step of meeting with Scientology attorneys and reviewing the conclusions of their experts before hearing from law enforcement investigators. McCabe argues he merely wants as much information as possible before making his decision. But he also should guard against creating even the impression that he is giving special treatment to the Church of Scientology, particularly when one of Scientology's attorneys once worked with McCabe in the state attorney's office.
"McCabe is the prosecutor, not the judge or the jury. He has a duty to follow the evidence collected by law enforcement and to decide whether criminal charges are warranted, not whether anyone is guilty. He should not be swayed by public demonstrations or verbal attacks on other public officials by Scientologists. If his concern is the cost of pursuing criminal charges, McCabe can seek help from the state.
"In hindsight, the deaths of Scientologists were not as aggressively investigated as they should have been. There should be no such second thoughts about the investigation of the death of Lisa McPherson. This community cannot shrug its shoulders and accept Scientology's unchallenged explanations every time a Scientologist turns up dead."
A Scientologist on America Online reported a briefing in Clearwater to handle the fears of Scientology's membership.
"I attended a wonderful meeting tonight at Flag. It thoroughly handled any questions I had about the ongoing investigation of Lisa McPherson's death. I almost bought the 1/2 truths and untruths and omitted truths being generated by the local city government and our local mullet wrappers. Because management cared and finally uncovered what REALLY occurred, not only in the death, but in the attacks on the Church. This may or may not be published in the news...depending on just how much truth they can handle. Too much truth isn't a healthy atmosphere for some journalists....but I bet that Freedom magazine will tell it like it really is."
The St. Petersburg Times ran an article on the front page describing other unusual Scientology-related deaths in Clearwater.
"Since 1980, at least eight members of the Church of Scientology have died in Clearwater under circumstances that leave their friends, families and in some cases law enforcement authorities looking for their own answers. 'We are getting old,' said Mary Frei, the mother of a young man from Switzerland who died while staying at the church to receive counseling. 'We'd like to have the truth about what happened. But I don't know. Maybe we'll never get it.'
Two of the deaths occurred at Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel, including Josephus A. Havenith's. He was found dead in his room's bathtub. An autopsy report lists his death as 'probable drowning.' The most prominent of these cases is Lisa McPherson, a 36-year-old woman who died Dec. 5, 1995. After 17 days at Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel, she was finally taken to a hospital by church staff where she was pronounced dead soon after her arrival. Police and prosecutors are wrapping up an investigation that could result in criminal charges.
"But an extensive review by the St. Petersburg Times has turned up seven other Scientologists in apparently sound health who died suddenly after coming to Clearwater for training or counseling. In four of those deaths, like McPherson's, relatives or law enforcement officials suspect that the church's health regimen or its opposition to psychiatric care precluded appropriate medical care. The deaths examined by the Times include:
"Margarit Winkelmann, 51, who walked fully clothed into Clearwater Bay and drowned herself in January 1980 after she quit taking Lithium and started taking vitamins and minerals recommended by the church.
"Josephus A. Havenith, 45, who died in February 1980 at the Fort Harrison Hotel in a bathtub filled with water so hot it burned his skin off.
"Andreas Ostertag, 38, head of the Scientology mission in Stuttgart, Germany, who apparently drowned while swimming to a sailboat anchored off of Fort Desoto Park in 1985. Reports published in Germany earlier this year raised questions about the death.
"Peter E. Frei, 37, who was found floating in a Dunedin waterway in June 1988 several days before the Church of Scientology reported him missing from his room at the Fort Harrison Hotel.
"Heribert Pfaff, 31, who died of an apparent seizure in the Fort Harrison Hotel in August 1988 after he quit taking medication that controlled his seizures and was placed instead on a program of vitamins and minerals.
"Roger Nind, 49, a Scientologist who was reportedly trying to get a $70,000 refund, arrived in Clearwater from Australia in October 1992 and was killed in an accident on Cleveland Street the next day.
"Carrie Slaughterbeck, 23, who was found dead in her Clearwater apartment in March 1997 after receiving nutritional counseling from a prominent Scientologist who sells Super Blue Green Algae, a dietary supplement.
A Boston Globe article described the ongoing allegations by Scientology against Bob Minton.
"Robert Minton said he decided to fund church critics because he believes Scientology abuses some of its members and uses unfair, strong-arm tactics to intimidate its detractors. He said he does not question Scientology's beliefs. But, he added, 'I am trying in a rather helpful way to force this organization to reform. If they want to be a good member of the world's religious communities, then they need to act like one.'
"Earlier this year, Minton contributed $100,000 to plaintiffs in a Florida lawsuit filed against the church involving the death two years ago of a Scientologist, Lisa McPherson. The lawsuit, filed by McPherson's estate, charges the church with holding the 36-year-old woman against her will while she slipped into a coma and eventually died. An autopsy revealed that McPherson died of a blood clot caused by severe dehydration. Florida authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into her death. Minton said he donated the $100,000 because the church had a formidable defense team and had greater resources than the plaintiffs.
"Church officials acknowledged that they have conducted their own investigation into Minton's funding practices. 'This is an extremely shady character because he covertly engages in a campaign to harm our religion,' said Kurt Weiland, director of external affairs for the church. 'It's immoral and quite frankly perverse.'"
Hosted by Operation Clambake