CBS investigative show Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel aired a broadcast about Lisa McPherson's death at the hands of Scientology. Sue M. provided a transcript. Some excerpts:
"She was not rich, famous, or powerful. but in death, Lisa McPherson is grabbing headlines normally reserved for Scientology's celebrity followers. That's because after two years, the death of Lisa McPherson remains to many a mystery. Lisa, a devout Scientologist, spent the last 17 days of her life confined to a room inside this hotel owned by Scientology. Church records show that during that time, Lisa became violent, refusing to eat or sleep. The tragedy has left Lisa's aunt and closest living relative, Dell Liebreich, searching for answers.
"KRISTEN JEANNETTE-MYERS: Do you think criminal charges should be filed?
"LIEBREICH: I definitely do. I definitely do. Because I feel like they killed her.
"BONNIE PORTALANO: Lisa and the accident scene was behind our ambulance. And he says, 'You're never going to guess what she's doing,' speaking of Lisa, and I said, 'What?' And he said, 'She's taking off her clothes.' And it was like a few seconds later she came walking down the side of our ambulance with not a stitch on. As I went to get her, you know, I said, 'Lisa, Lisa,' you know, 'Why did you take your clothes off?' And she said, 'I wanted people to think I was crazy so then I could get some help.'
"DENNIS ERLICH: I was in it for 15 years. I know that it is a cult. The step consists of locking a person in a room where they cannot communicate with anyone. No one is to communicate with them. And they're to be kept there until they supposedly come out of their psychotic state.
"JEANNETTE-MEYERS: Rest and relaxation sounds like a wonderful idea. But the records say that two days into her stay she was spitting out food and vomiting, four days into her stay she was ashen faced and feverish, and then she became violent, striking the attendants, hallucinating, thinking that she's L. Ron Hubbard, being too weak to stand, soiling herself, crying, babbling, breaking things. At that point, isn't it clear that it's not working?
"RINDER: What's not working?
"JEANNETTE-MEYERS: Resting, taking her away?
"RINDER: I don't think that that's clear at all. I don't think that you can draw inferences or conclusions from what is said. You can read other reports and later on there is a different perspective.
"KEN DANDAR: So could you imagine Lisa McPherson, who is mentally unstable according to Scientology, is having these people come in and try to force feed her, and she's yelling and screaming at them. She's banging on the wall. She's fighting with them. She's asking them questions. But they are not allowed to respond to her. All they can do is turn around and walk out the room, and then write a report to the case supervisor and close the door behind them. And she's not allowed to leave.
"RINDER: Dandar is an idiot. That's my response to that. He hasn't got a clue. He is the worst of the worst of what makes the American legal system so out of control. He is an ambulance chasing gold digger.
"DANDAR: My reply to that is simple: If they had called an ambulance for Lisa McPherson, I wouldn't be here today.
"GUMBEL: Those affiliated with Scientology ran an orchestrated campaign pressuring us to not run the piece you just watched. Do you not consider the mysterious death of a young woman in the care of Scientologists as a valid reason for outside questions?
"JENTZSCH: I consider the fact that your people were given information, Bryant, that they did not put on the show, and there were various specific information that they could have used. Joan Wood, the medical examiner, she never did the autopsy on this case. And that was known to your people. It was done by a Dr. Davis, and he did the actual autopsy, OK? And in his autopsy, he said he did not agree with Joan Wood, the medical examiner. Davis did about 25 autopsies, 24 were completed. One was not completed. The reason that one, on Lisa McPherson, was not completed was because his notes were not available. They were not available because Joan Wood, the medical examiner, destroyed those notes. Then, she goes on national tabloid TV and starts blabbing about all these kinds of accusations and so forth. That is sickening to me. It is sickening that it has to be done that way when your people had the information. And then she says to Davis, who did--
"GUMBEL: Mr. Jentzsch, even if I accept that those people loved her and wanted to take care of her, your own logs clearly depict a woman with a deteriorating mental condition and failing health. Do your people have no responsibility to have those maladies professionally addressed?
"JENTZSCH: You're saying that a psychiatrist is going to do something which is gonna be better. You know, there s a case in Miami, Florida which dealt with this directly. And there was a fellow who was also dramatizing like this and carrying on. You know what they did to him? Eleven attendants jumped him. They threw a blanket around his head. They kneed him in the back, they knocked him down--
"GUMBEL: I never mentioned the word 'psychiatrist', sir--
JENTZSCH (raising voice more): I know, but you and I talked earlier today and I did mention it and you know that that's part of this case and you know that was part of the--the problem with this, okay? Psychiatrists destroy people's lives. They have the highest incidents of rape and so forth. She didn't want to go there. It's very clear--
"GUMBEL: They have the highest incidents of rape?
"JENTZSCH (raising voice more): Of any profession. There's 2,500 indictments against psychiatrists in this country last year alone. Why would you go to a bunch of people like that who use electric shock? And that causes brain damage. That destroys people lives. She didn't want to go there. She had a right not to go there with a psychiatrist."
Grady Ward, a defendant in a copyright violation suit from Scientology, posted a filing to delay his case. The filing contains several surprises, including another person who may come forward to admit s/he posted the Scamizdat materials.
"In the last few weeks the pro se defendant has been able to obtain some limited advice of counsel in this case regarding the admissibility of evidence. The counsel has strongly suggested that I obtain an expert witness for use at trial. This participation of counsel is a new, unexpected development that the pro se in forma pauperis defendant would like to take advantage of in order to lead to a fruitful trial and the consequent judicial economy. This Court has previously ruled that while it was not willing to bear the costs of experts, it did not rule out their use. A third party is willing to bear that cost now.
"Since in the related case of RTC v. Dennis Erlich, Mr. Erlich has the capable representation of Morrison & Foerster, I believe that judicial economy would be achieved if that matter were litigated before RTC v. Ward so that both sides could take advantage of the results and reasoning there. For example, it is expected that the RTC v. Erlich case will develop and litigate the relationship, if any, between animus and copyright infringement.
"Other facts emerged beyond the discovery cut-off date in this litigation which are crucial to the elements of this case. Warren McShane finally disclosed on May 22, 1997 - more than a full month after discovery cut-off of April 11, 1997 in this case -- that one 'Rhea Smith' was the actual custodian and originator of the alleged Ward, Scamizdat, and Vorlon postings to alt.religion.scientology. If this evidence ought to not be excluded because of willful concealment from prior disclosure of this fact by the plaintiff while in scheduled period of discovery, then the defendant in all fairness ought to be able to depose this crucial witness which the defendant was not informed about before the closing of discovery.
"Other important facts have recently emerged that are directly relevant to this action. Two persons claiming responsibility for the 'Scamizdat' and 'Vorlon' postings have come forward within the last week and have declared that they intend to give testimony at trial rebutting RTC's allegations that Grady Ward had anything to do with either anonymous posters or their postings. The real Vorlon, Johan Wevers of the Netherlands is now willing to come forward and admit his culpability and to deny that Grady Ward had any part of the procuring or distribution of the NOTs as falsely alleged by the plaintiff. Similarly, a resident of the United States has communicated with me that he is willing to step forward at trial and to admit that he took a role in the Scamizdat postings and that to his knowledge Grady Ward had no part in them. He is now conferring with an attorney."
Trial dates were set by Judge Whyte following this filing.
"Friday, February 20, 1998 Last day to file join pre-trial conference statement. Thursday, February 26, 1998 at 2:00 p.m. Pretrial conference. Friday, March 20, 1998 last day to file trial briefs, proposed voir dire, verdict forms, and excerpts from depositions and exhibits. Monday, March 30, 1998 at 1:30 p.m. at US District Court, San Jose California Courtroom: Hon. Ronald M. Whyte"
Peik Stromsholm reported that Johan Helsingius, the operator of the former Penet anonymous remailer, has revealed the source of the Scamizdat postings made through Penet.
"I spoke with police officer Harri Pulkkinen from the Helsinki Police Department today. As ordered by the Court of Appeals of Helsinki and affirmed by the Supreme Court of Finland, anon.penet.fi operator Johan 'Julf' Helsingius has revealed the real email addresses behind the anon.penet.fi accounts that were used to send Scientology scriptures to the Internet during March 1996. The sending was a repost of some 'Scamizdat' issues, an underground publication revealing secret Scientology writings.
"While he couldn't reveal the actual email accounts at this stage, police officer Pulkkinen indicated that it seems like the reposter of the Scamizdat issues used a chain of remailers in different countries. This would mean that Helsingius only revealed the address of another remailer. Pulkkinen confirmed that the Helsinki Police department has sent requests for help to the foreign police departments concerned.
"Since the reposting is investigated as a minor copyright offence, there's a statute of limitations of two years. This means that there should be an indictment in Finland during March, 1998. If there's not enough evidence by that time, there will be no indictment and that's also the end of the proceedings under Finnish law. The Helsinki Police Department will then close the case. It is very difficult to get the evidence needed for an indictment during the next few months. It seems likely that the international chain of remailers can't be broken."
Tony Bosnakoudis reported that Scientology has lost it's appeal in Greek court.
"Greek Justice gave the final decisive blow to Scientology with the verdict of the Court of Appeals, ordering KEFE (Scientology's Mission in Greece) to a permanent shut down and liquidation, while at the same time condemning Hubbard's theories. According to the Sunday, January 4, 1998 edition of APOGEVMATINI newspaper, the Court of Appeals describes KEFE as an organization with totalitarian structures and trends, which despises man, aims at power and money, teaches the survival of the powerful and ruthless, applies dangerous methods without preventing the possibility of suicide of its members, brainwashing them and corroding its opponents' reputation.
"It says that Hubbard's theories aim at money and power. So it creates a serious obstacle for Scientology to operate in any disguise, since the condemnation can be regarded as not being isolated only to KEFE, but to any group promoting these theories. It mentions that the Dead Agenting policy is activated against anyone reacting negatively against Scientology, these people are called 'enemies' and considered to be in a 'state of treason'. This 'lifts any concept of individual freedom'. It also calls high-handed and illegal the auditing, purification, postulate etc methods because no safety measures are taken, because they pose dangers to the health of the persons receiving them and are conducted by non-scientifically skilled persons but by ones that only know Hubbard's theories, while the person is questioned about his personal life.
"The Court of Appeal said that KEFE is not a religion - something it uses in order to have privileges - but only an economic enterprise, in violation of its Statutes."
Martin Ottmann reported that prices at Flag and Advanced Orgs have been raised.
"The Flag Service Org and our Sea Org service organizations - Advance Orgs and Saint Hills - have worked hard to keep donations at the same level for some time. In fact, the requested donations for auditing at these orgs are lower now than they were 13 years ago. Yet, over the same time period, according to the customer price index of the International Monetary Fund, there has been a 46% inflation in the U.S. and even higher inflation in other countries. And today, the Church reduces requested donations for IAS members by 20%. Moreover, in the U.S., parishioners also benefit from substantial tax savings (up to 50% in some cases) due to the tax deductibility of donations for services, something not available in earlier years.
"Further, while Golden Tech of Age for OT breakthroughs have heralded a new era of case gain and lightning fast progress up the Bridge, the amount of organizational personnel and resources required to minister these services is far greater in terms of increased staff and increased materials. Meanwhile, we have kept requested donations level.
"Therefore, requested donations must be adjusted so that our orgs may continue to expand their ability to minister the only tech that can fully free beings. This issue is to inform all Scientologists of upcoming increases in requested donations. There will be an increase in requested donations on all HGC auditing at the Flag Service Organization and in all Advanced Orgs and Saint Hills (including ASHO Day and Foundation Orgs) of 10% at midnight on 31 December 1997 and a further 10% increase on 28 February 1998. This does not include the Solo levels or training."
Good Housekeeping magazine this week carries an interview with Scientologist Kirstie Alley.
"Q: Do you feel your religion has helped you through these tumultuous times?
"A: Absolutely. It's helped me make decisions about the marriage. When you are a Scientologist you do courses that help you make good choices. Good--not crazy--emotional decisions. I feel like I'm not the easiest person in the world to be with. That's a big understatement.
"Q: You're not always available to everybody?
"A: No. I have these goals in life. I'm an optimist. That's why Scientology is interesting to me. I believe it can help with literacy and with drug abuse. I think it can help in making people more educated, making them brighter, making their IQs higher. Making them more effective in life. So I want to promote this in big ways. It's like that saying: You can give a guy a fish, and feed him for a day, or you can teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime. I believe in that philosophy, only grander!
"Q: And you want to build churches.
A: I do. Missions. Not churches.
Q: Scientology missions?
"A: Yes. I know what Scientology does. I know it can help anybody with any problem that they have. But if they don't want to be Scientologists, that's cool. In Wichita, KS, my hometown, I built a Scientology mission. Then next to it, I put a literacy center that uses L. Ron Hubbard's technology. I get letters from guys 65 years old who can read for the first time in their lives. It breaks my heart."
|Messiah or Madman?|
Ron Newman reported that a new edition of L. Ron Hubbard - Messiah or Madman? has been released.
"The first edition, published in 1987, had two co-authors, Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard Jr. The second one, published in 1992, dropped LRH Jr.'s name as an author, apparently due to legal threats from Scientology; it is officially written only by Bent Corydon. Now there's apparently a Third Edition, this time co-authored by Bent Corydon and Brian Ambry.
"The 3rd edition of Messiah or Madman? is available from:
Barricade Books Inc.
150 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212 672-7000
"Cost is 24.95 - includes shipping and handling, 464 pages, with Index."
Bob Minton reported two incidents of Scientologists leafleting his street in Boston, Massachusetts this week, and reports of private investigators contacting friends and relatives doing a "noisy investigation:.
"Twilight 5:00 PM today-- $cientologist descend in cover of darkness onto Beacon Hill in Boston to leaflet the neighborhood. Take last leaflet and add 'HATRED HIDDEN BEHIND FREE SPEECH' for a header, minus 'rally' in body of text and substitute 'ATTACK' in a different font. Presto, the cult has a new leaflet. We shamed them into signing their message which reads as follows: (c)1998 by the Church of Scientology of Boston All rights reserved."
"Tonight, once again under cover of darkness, Boston area $cientologist sneak into my neighborhood to distribute a new leaflet, photo included. Please note that in $cientology's ever expanding mode a new group was formed and signed this leaflet--STAND (Scientologists Taking Action for Non-Discrimination).
"'Recent investigation has disclosed that your neighbor, Robert Minton of 39 West Cedar St., has paid over $1.25 million to individuals who are engaged in a campaign to create hatred against members of the Church of Scientology. Mr. Minton's funds have been paid to bigoted individuals who have: Engaged in spreading hundreds of pornographic and obscene messages about members of the Church on the internet (which can be accessed by anyone including children); Made numerous threats of violence against members of the Church including sado-masochistic acts; Been found responsible for pirating Church copyrighted materials on the internet; Associated with and obtained the full support of the most prominent neo-NAZI in the world today as part of the campaign of hate against Scientologists.'"
"A few days ago, OSA plays back a tape over the phone from tonight's Public Eye or from unused portions of Public Eye to my father in which I said he was an abusive father and husband. He most probably denied it and this now gives Justin fodder for his thread entitled Minton Claims about his early days."
"Eugene Ingram [is] calling around. He's investigating me for 'a conspiracy to commit extortion'."
"David Lee is in Nashville today and tonight visiting with my mother today, two brothers at their place of business, my uncle and his wife at their business, and no doubt others. It is hard for my family to understand that these type of low life's working for $cientology bear no good will towards them or me and, therefore, spent a few hours combined in talking with him."
The secret OT I levels were made available on the web in their original handwritten form this week on a Canadian site.
"Look what I just found: a version of OT I dated '21 July 68'. Six pages in L. Ron Hubbard's own handwriting! It's available free on the web at Steve Rudd's site: http://bible.ca/cr-scientology.htm"
The materials were quickly removed, but were coped by other web site maintainers.
"Still available in the Secret Library at Operation Clambake though: http://www.xenu.net/"
Tilman Hausherr reported that a Scientology-associated Podiatrist has been indicted for fraud and larceny. The indictment was made in July, 1997.
"Attorney General Richard Cullen announced today that a Newport News grand jury has indicted Dr. Harry A. Hieke, Jr., a Podiatrist of Family Foot Specialists, on 5 counts of grand larceny and 2 counts of Medicaid fraud. The indictments allege that between Dec. 10, 1990 and May 30, 1996, Dr. Hieke filed numerous false claims against Medicare, Champus, Medicaid, and Trigon Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
"The allegations maintain that Dr. Hieke billed the insurance companies (Medicaid, Medicare, Champus, and Trigon) for surgical services that he did not provide to the patients. As a result, Hieke received payments to which he was not entitled totaling more than $14,800. If convicted, Dr. Hieke faces a maximum penalty of 140 years' imprisonment and a fine of $62,500."
The connection to Scientology was made by a poster to a.r.s in 1995. Robert Alexander posted details of his wife, who was employed at the practice.
"[M]y wife was hired by Family Foot Specialists in Newport News, VA. The Dr. and owner, Dr. Heike, allows Marline Davis, a "business consultant" and Scientology pusher to call all the shots in the running of his front office. She used this power to intimidate and coerce the mostly Christian employees to take the CoS courses. My wife, Melissa, refused and was fired. We filed in federal court and the Dr. finally settled. In depositions, they grilled Melissa for 7 hours, trying to trip her up with double-talk or make her say something she didn't mean. It finally ended to our satisfaction. There were even some small changes in Heike's office, though Scientology is still in charge."
The St. Petersburg Times ran an editorial on the 1993 secret deal between Scientology and the IRS that was revealed by the Wall Street Journal last week.
"For 25 years, the Internal Revenue Service held all of the cards against the Church of Scientology. The IRS steadfastly refused to give Scientology a much-coveted tax exemption, and the courts consistently sided with the agency. Then the IRS abruptly folded in 1993, granting the tax exemption while refusing to disclose the details of the agreement. Amid such secrecy, taxpayers could only wonder what Scientology offered to persuade the IRS to abandon more than two decades of policy. The answer turns out to be a relative pittance.
"The tax-exempt status gave Scientology something even more important than avoiding millions of dollars in tax bills. It gave members a powerful weapon to use in their ceaseless public relations campaign to be considered a legitimate religion. When Germany fights Scientology and labels it a business, the church waves its IRS ruling.
"With details of the Scientology agreement now public, there is every reason to question whether IRS officials were more interested in avoiding harassment than in sound tax policy. The agreement called for Scientology to drop its lawsuits against the IRS and agency officials and to stop helping church members who had filed similar lawsuits. That could have affected some 2,200 lawsuits. The New York Times also has reported about Scientology's hiring of private investigators to look for code violations at a building owned by IRS officials, and about an IRS whistle-blowers group financed by the church. Scientology was not the typical taxpayer quarreling over its tax bill, and it did not receive typical treatment.
"When Scientology's tactics were disclosed last year, no one heard a peep from Congress. Since then, members of Congress from both political parties have treated the IRS as a punching bag. Perhaps news of the $12.5-million settlement finally will prod someone in Washington to ask the agency some tough questions about this one-sided agreement. To most taxpayers, $12.5-million would be a stiff penalty. For the Church of Scientology, it was the small cost of doing business."
Birgitta Dagnell reported that Swedish TV Channel 4 aired a program on a bombing case which involved Scientologists.
"In 1982 the prosecutor Denckerts villa was bombed and his son-in-law was killed. In 1983 several floors in the big tax building in Stockholm were blown out from a bomb. Later in 1983 the building of the Enforcement service was bombed. In December 1983, one of the main-suspects, the scientologist Hannu Hyttinen was killed by a bomb in his apartment in Stockholm. He had been arrested for the bombings but there was at the time not enough evidence. GO Stockholm visited him in the arrest and asked him questions on the E-meter. This happened in cooperation with a policeman who later became suspended from his job. Hyttinen was working for GO and CCHR and was also onto auditors training. Hyttinen's friend and CCHR client, Lars Tingstrom was jailed for the crimes but denied them to his death in April 1993. Tingstrom said it was Hyttinen who had made the bombs. Tingstrom told in his last recorded talk that he did know who killed the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986. Tingstrom and Hyttinen were both friends to the main-suspect for the Palme murder, Christer Pettersson. The case is recently reopened against Christer Pettersson."
"Tallulah" reported rumors that Scientology is lobbying for a repeat of last year's defeated bill to criticize Germany for discrimination against Scientologists.
"A little cross-border birdie tells me that, as the Hill slumbers through the legislative recess, congress critters who voted against the scientology-backed resolution on Germany are finding themselves on the receiving end of a 'grassroots' lobby push from local scientologists. Apparently, dozens of offices have been contacted by concerned constituents -- who just happen to be scientologists -- that want to discuss the matter, face-to-face. According to inside sources, even OSA is getting into the act."
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