Mike Gormez, Karin Spaink and Zenon Panoussis picketed the Amsterdam org this week.
"The local org had organized an 'open workshop' for Sunday (the 'see a film, meet people, get answers to all your questions' drill) and had printed flyers for it. Lots of people were leaving the org at that time, with energetic looks on their faces and bags (of flyers?) in their hands. We spent a total of five hours between the org and different cafes. We had a good time despite the lousy weather, laughed a lot and, hopefully, got blamed for ruining the 'open workshop' that would hardly have been a success of any kind anyway."
"We came up with the following text: In memory of the Greek Org, 1994 - 1997 And may you soon follow suit. Zenon bought 50 white tulips, a vase and a condolence card. We had a small ceremony. We placed the vase in front of the org - in full view of the guy sitting at the reception desk. After a few minutes I proposed that we would withdraw. There's was a niche twenty meters away; we could hide there and see what would happen. Within a few minutes some other guy came outside. He stared at the flowers. Suddenly he saw the card and knelt down in order to read it. You could almost hear him think. 'The Greek Org? What the fuck happened to the Greek Org? Is this a threat?' We saw him doing it. We saw him ponder his various questions."
A group of anonymous picketers visited the Atlanta, Georgia org.
"I carried a sign that said 'SCIENTOLOGY/DIANETICS BAIT & SWITCH' and Jeff carried the flyers, which included the Lisa flyer I used in December, a Xenu flyer, and a flyer containing quotes from Source. Mad had a very special sign, and it took him a while to assemble it. Every fifteen minutes or so, the sign would change; first 'ASK ME ABOUT XENU', then 'SCIENTOLOGY - WHERE'S THE BEEF?', then others. Laudanum whipped out a great big magic marker, and soon had two nicely lettered signs, the first saying 'IS YOUR BODY FULL OF DEAD SPACE ALIENS?'on one side, and reading 'SCIENTOLOGY SAYS IT IS' on the other, and another that read 'DON'T SPEND $360,000 ON A BRIDGE TO NOWHERE'.
"About half an hour into the picket, the handlers came out. The woman who wore the red coat last time came, and the blonde with the cute green camera. They were joined by a new handler. In the course of the picket, we learned that the lead woman was named Diane, and that her friend was named Susie. When she talked of how c0$ helps marriages, Laudanum asked her about Hubb's three marriages, including the bigamous one. Diane snapped, 'I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to him!', meaning Mad_Cow.
"The picket began at one o'clock, and lasted 'til two thirty. About a dozen scienos were seen entering the building, but none came out except our handlers and their photographer. We got many honks, waves, and thumbs up from the passing traffic. We passed out about fifteen flyers, including a couple to a scieno couple who were having lunch on the patio, and had to walk right past us to get back into the safety of the org."
Picket report from Santa Clara, California. Picketers included Keith Henson.
"As we arrived and met Keith and others, we'd already picked up a mostly polite $cientology photographer and his sidekick, who asked us if we didn't have lives or something better we could be doing. We got quite a few honks and waves from people who obviously agreed with our message, although the CO$ just as obviously didn't."
"It was a long picket, nearly four hours, from shortly after noon to a little after 4 pm. At one point I left my picket sign and went into the convention center for a drink of water. Darlene tried to get the security folks to arrest me, but they did not buy it--long as I was not carrying a picket sign I had the same rights as anyone else. I did run into one dude who claimed he had known Lisa McPherson. He seems particularly upset at my sign which asks 'Did Standard Tech Kill Lisa McPherson?'"
Scientology joins dozens of religious groups in supporting the new Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which would require employers to make reasonable accommodation for religious observances or practices.
"The version of the WRFA that I introduce today is intended to reflect my concern with the instances of employers unreasonably refusing to accommodate the religious needs of workers. This is not a common problem, but it is still a serious one. This bill is intended as a starting point, and I do not necessarily endorse all of its provisions. I wish to ensure that businesses are not unduly burdened, while ensuring that workers' rights are amply protected. I hope my introduction of this bill will foster a dialogue between the business and religious communities that achieves a bill acceptable to all.
"Coalition for Religious Freedom in the Workplace: Agudath Israel of America; American Jewish Committee; American Jewish Congress; Americans for Democratic Action; Anti-Defamation League; Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs; Center for Jewish and Christian Values; Central Conference of American Rabbis; Christian Legal Society; Church of Scientology International; Council on Religious Freedom; General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Guru Gobind Singh Foundation; Hadassah-WZOA; International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists; and Jewish Council for Public Affairs. National Association of Evangelicals; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; National Council of Jewish Women; National Jewish Coalition; National Jewish Coalition; National Jewish Democratic Council; National Sikh Center; North American Council for Muslim Women; People for the American Way; Presbyterian Church (USA), Washington Office; Rabbinical Council of America; Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Traditional Values Coalition; Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations; United Church of Christ Office for Church in Society; United Methodist Church General Board on Church and Society; and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism."
Ray Randolph reported this week that he will have representation in any litigation Scientology might attempt against his www.scientology-kills.net web site.
"I received a call from the Colorado ACLU today, confirming to me that the ACLU and EFF will be working together to provide me with a legal defense should Scientology choose to sue me. In their words, 'we have formally accepted your case,' and they will be sending me written confirmation in the mail. The written confirmation will be made available ASAP. I am very glad to see that these two groups, both of which I respect deeply, will be standing firmly on the side of free speech and against scientology's tactics which, in this case, are completely contrary to such freedom."
Jim Lippard reported that Bruce Petticrew's hearing in Arizona resulted in a limited restraining order, which prevents Bruce from making enough noise to disrupt worship services.
"Leslie Durhman, current Director of Special Affairs of the Mesa Org, claimed when questioned by the judge that Bruce had shouted loud enough to 'disturb services' on multiple occasions during his pickets, because the door to the Org is sometimes left open when the air conditioning isn't working. The judge, based on his comments in his decision, clearly believed that the Church of Scientology holds 'worship services' and that their freedom of worship was being disrupted by noise, and so made a content-neutral restriction on Bruce to prevent such disruption in order to uphold their freedom of religion.
"Of course, there ARE no such 'worship services' held at the Mesa Org or any other Church of Scientology--the judge simply assumed that this 'church' is like churches he was familiar with."
Bruce picketed the Mesa org following the hearing.
"Since Jeff and I wore the 'Scientology Kills' t-shirts with the OT3 story on the back, they had to send for the members who were OT3 or higher to confront us. I started the picket with duct tape over my mouth to dramatize the 'noise' injunction (which I will appeal this week). There were only about 5 cars on the lot at any time, and even though there was a big 'Open House - Come in' sign out front, the only person to go in talked to us first and came out talking about how weird they were."
Scientology's Citizen's Commission on Human Rights is publicizing hearings on psychiatry to be held in Los Angeles, and soliciting donations from members to help pay for it.
"Ethics and Justice ARE going in and this is the last thing a criminal psych would care to partake in! And to make matters worse for them, we are getting better and more effective and more noisy about our Commission hearings with each one we do! Now, these Commission hearings are only one of the many hard-hitting actions CCHR is taking to ensure we make our target of a psych-free planet. The hearings are extremely vital as they get enormous attention, media and new allies every time we hold one.
"So we have just till the beginning of March to pull together another Commission Hearing to help expose this insanity. It will be in Los Angeles. We need every person who can possibly arrange his life to attend. We also need to fly in the experts to duplicate the exact successful actions of the previous Commission hearings. As you know, CCHR is dedicated to removing these SPs from their influential position in society. With your donation we can do it much faster, saving millions of lives in the process. These Commission hearings only cost between $20,000 and $30,000 each and the return is HUGE. Call me or fax me as soon as you read this, with your tax deductible donation of $1,000. This culture cannot wait!"
The price of an upgrade to a Quantum E-Meter is going up in March.
"This is your opportunity to own a Hubbard Mark Super VII Quantum E-Meter, the greatest advancement in the history of the E-Meter. Send your E-Meter in today and we'll get it back to you immediately - fully upgraded into a Hubbard Mark Super VII Quantum.
$600 US for meters with serial numbers above 8,000
$800 US for meters with serial numbers below 8,000
"13 March 1998 price:
$1,000 US for meters with serial numbers above 8,000
$1,200 US for meters with serial numbers below 8,000"
Lawrence Wollersheim reports that Scientology is desperate to conclude the Factnet copyright infringement case before he collects his judgment in his personal case and can continue the litigation.
"Scientology has now filed not 1, but 3 reply briefs in a desperate effort to stop Factnet's motion to Stay all Proceedings until the California Appellate Court rules on the highly relevant Wollersheim Amended Judgment collection.
"Scientology's position is so weak in the Factnet case that it appears their biggest misplaced hope is they are going to run Factnet out of money and never have to go to trial--- therefore all the effort, time and cost to fight our motion to stay all proceedings. Factnet will live up to its acronym Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network. It will not go to trial to just defend itself. It will ask the court at trial to remove all public and legal recognition of the copyright protection that Scientology doesn't own and remove any remaining copyright protection because of Scientology's misuse of copyrights for civil and religious censorship."
Media coverage of the deal in which Scientologist John Travolta claims to have traded a favorable portrayal of U.S. President Clinton for official help with the controversy in Germany.
From Fox News Watch with Eric Breindel:
"BREINDEL: John Travolta plays the Bill Clinton character in the forthcoming film 'Primary Colors.' And in a current magazine interview, Travolta, one of a number of prominent celebrity Scientologists, claims the President offered to take up one of the churchís major peeves, perhaps in hopes of influencing Travolta's performance in the film. True? If so, where was the coverage? And in general, why do so few in the press chase stories of any sort involving Scientology?
"You know, John Travolta makes a compelling case in sort of a more in sorrow than an angry tone. But there is something strange that happened with the Scientologists and there I speak of this tax exemption; 25 years of U.S. Government policy saying, 'This is a business and a scam and it does not deserve a tax exemption' out the window. Not only that, but the terms of the settlement include the IRS getting the church to promise that it will stop harassing IRS officials. Sounds like a government agency--and one that we usually think of as harassing people, not being harassed--saying 'Please stop being mean to us and we'll give you what you want.'
"The German government says this is a dangerous cult and membership in the Church of Scientology can lead to psychological and physical dependency, financial ruin and suicide, and they claim they can document this. We had this episode with John Travolta. The subject of Scientology came up. Suddenly the government of Germany appeared in the State Department Human Rights Report. Again, now it's on the news stands. What do we make of it? It's curious as all heck.
"O'SULLIVAN: Yes, I think in this case this is an administration that is in love with Hollywood. And there are major stars in Hollywood who are members of this cult, and Clinton runs into one of them, Travolta, and he cozies up to him in the way that Clinton can cozy up to anyone. The implication was, some people have argued, that he wanted a softer version of himself in the film 'Primary Colors' where the Clinton character will be played by Travolta. Now I donít think anyone can prove that and I don't think there would ever have been an explicit quid pro quo."
Passau New Press carried an article on Konrad Aigner, the Scientologist who died and led in part to the raid on the Munich org to get records of his mistreatment in Scientology.
"Three years ago Konrad Aigner unexpectedly moved back to the house of his birth. In the meantime his father had died. Konrad threw away his secure civil service job and became independently employed with a used bus. 'That way I can earn a lot of money, so I can move up the Bridge as soon as possible', he told his mother Anna, today 76 years old. The 'Bridge' - that means 'salvation' for Scientologists. 'In the last two years Konrad changed. He was tense, nervous, thoughtful', said Bernhard. The family often spoke about it and came to the conclusion that it must have had to do with the worries that come with self-employment.
"Only after Konrad's death in August, 1997 was the personal catastrophe apparent. The first time his brothers and sisters entered his room. Books, pamphlets, letters - Scientology documents everywhere. Bernhard said, 'We had no idea that he was in it so deep.' The bachelor left behind a financial ruin. Forms showed that he had within the last few months given about 70,000 marks over to the organization. It must have been over 600,000 marks, estimates Barnhard Aigner, in the course of the years. 'Konrand made good money and was very frugal. He never bought a new car, never went on vacation and had no hobbies. In spite of that he left only debts.'
"Witnesses testify that Konrad had often tried to throw off the chains of the sect. He poured his heart out to a doctor, with whom he had been friends for a long time, 'I want to get out, because I've changed for the negative. I have finally seen through the group.' The doctor offered his help. Months later Konrad showed up at his place for the last time, 'Everything's all right, things are moving again.' About one year ago he tearfully said to his mother, 'Mom, I want to get away from them. I have learned something so terrible that if I were to tell you, you would fall dead on the spot.' But Konrad stayed with them until the end. Konrad Aigner died in August 1997 after being delivered to a Swabian hospital and after a three-week coma: multiple organ collapse - heart, lungs and stomach had simultaneously shut down. Neither did the autopsy bring an explanation. 'For his age the man had unusually poor organs', reported Chief District Attorney Helmut Meier-Staude.
"Vitamin pills from the Netherlands were found among Conrad Aigner's possessions. It is suspected that Scientologists encouraged him to take them. For that reason a charge against the pharmaceutical and medical laws will be pursued."
A group of German lawmakers visited the United States this week to discuss Scientology. From the AP:
"The six lawmakers from a special parliamentary commission on 'so-called sects and psycho-groups' plan to hold talks in Washington, according to a parliamentary press office statement. No other details were released. The United States recognized Scientology, based in Los Angeles, as a church in 1993 and has criticized Germany in recent years for alleged government-sanctioned discrimination against Scientologists.
"Germany, however, contends Scientology is a moneymaking organization with some traits of organized crime. In June, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which keeps tabs on extremist groups, placed Scientology under observation for one year because of concerns that it may pose a threat to democracy."
Scientology sent members out to criticize the delegation.
"The Rev. Alfreddie Johnson, a Baptist minister from Compton, Calif., said the 10-member German delegation is part of a group attempting to establish 'a permanent, government-funded witch hunt to blacklist and punish any citizen who dares to hold or share religious beliefs not approved by the state.'
"Johnson and representatives of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish religious groups spoke at a news conference organized by Scientologists. They also released a letter from several religious scholars accusing the German commission of trying to 'devise official justification for disenfranchising religious minorities.'"
"A German parliamentary commission defended its examination of Scientology and other 'so-called sects and pyscho groups' Friday, saying Germany's totalitarian history makes it wary of such groups. Commission members strongly asserted there is total religious freedom in Germany, but insisted that Scientology is not a religion and its methods must be scrutinized because it is the subject of complaints by German citizens. 'We take the concerns of the people very seriously,' said German parliamentarian Ortrun Schatzle, commission chairwoman.
"Commission members five members of parliament from various parties and five academic experts on sects said they met with a variety of people during the week in Washington, including members of Congress, State Department officials and a board that included a top Scientology official."
From the St. Petersburg Times:
"Officially, what the commission was here to find out is how we Americans cope with Scientology, the Branch Davidians and other groups most Germans consider far outside the mainstream. The way several members of the commission explained it over breakfast on Friday, Americans are much more used to dealing with these kinds of outfits than they are and might be able to teach them a thing or two. 'We also wanted to find out what Americans think of Germany as a result of these groups,' said Ortrun Schatzle, the commission leader.
"So from Monday through Friday, the Germans met with members of Congress, officials at the State Department, scholars, religious leaders and opinion makers. The plan is for the commission to report back to parliament by early summer, recommending legislation to deal with what they call 'so-called sects and psychological groups.'
"Schatzle said the commission's U.S. visit and its investigations in Germany had given it a much deeper understanding of what Scientology is about. 'We've seen the two faces of Scientology,' she said. 'We've seen the sunny and open face presented by the celebrities, but we've also seen the dark face, the people who are victims of extortion and fraud.'"
SP Times article
Keith Henson has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This filing may stay any further action in his copyright infringement case. Grady Ward reported the news.
"Keith Henson called me last night to inform me that his bench trial in front of the Hon. Ronald M. Whyte of the US District Court (Northern District of California in San Jose) has been automatically stayed after he filed for protection Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 13 a person retains all their assets while they arrange payments over a period of time for one or more creditors.
"The subject of the bench trial is on the sole topic of 'willfullness' in the sense of infringing a copyright because the criminal cult of scientology has asked for $100,000.00 statutory damages plus likely at least $500,000.00 in attorney's fees and costs."
Scientology lawyers Hogan, Moxon and Kobrin quickly filed to oppose the stay in the proceedings.
"Please be advised that Religious Technology Center will be moving, ex parte, for relief from the BK stay on 2/24 at 9:00 a.m. before the BK Court. I attempted to reach you through your pager on 2/23 to advise you of this ex parte hearing."
Keith also reported that Graham Berry will be representing him in the remaining proceedings of the copyright infringement case. From Keith's letter to Judge Whyte:
"I feel I owe you an explanation for why after two years I have elected to put my case in the hands of a lawyer. I think you know already that I have been subjected to three attempts by Scientology agents to get court orders to prevent me from picketing various locations. I represented myself in the first one. An order was issued in that case which was subsequently used as an excuse by Scientology for two citizen's arrests--backed up by the Los Angeles Police Department. For the second one I had competent legal assistance in the form of attorney Graham Berry. Mr. Berry's filings cited the domestic violence statute under which the orders were issued. It turned out that the wording of the statue expressly forbids the statute from being used where constitutional rights (such as the right to peaceful protest) are involved. Although I had made similar constitutional based arguments, the difference in results was like that between night and day.
"It is most likely too late for even the most competent legal representation to have much effect on my case before this court, but perhaps it will make a difference on appeal."
Ray Randolph reported that Scientology private detective David Lee has been contacting a number of a.r.s participants in an attempt to discredit a number of Scientology critics.
"I've now been asked to meet with David Lee, although he's been asking to meet with me for several weeks, ever since I called him a 'whore.' Heh. (well? He is!). So David Lee talks to me, Ron Newman, and no doubt, before long, Rod Keller, Dr. Dave, Deanna Holmes, and others will be contacted. If you're contacted by David Lee, you know where you sit in their Org Board of ARS - They consider you a threat - not so great and terrible as the irredeemable 'critics' above you on the Org Board, but great enough that they believe you to be an opinion leader of ARS.
"If you insist on meeting with him. Insist on tape recording the meeting. David Lee is being bred to be the new Ingram. Gene is a PR liability and the church is holding off on using him too much because he's too well known. David L. has the added bonus of being ever so slightly net-savvy. Dave L. also frequently makes the claim of having worked for various arms of certain Secret Gov't agencies. These claims of his are purely made-up bullshit. He's used these bogus claims to try to get jobs in the past."
Ron Newman reported that David Lee has been spotted near Bob Minton's home, contacting Bob's neighbors.
"Private eye David Lee was going door to door in his Beacon Hill neighborhood, ringing doorbells and bothering the neighbors with anti-Minton leaflets and 'information' about Minton. It was pouring buckets of rain all day in Boston today, but that didn't seem to stop David Lee."
Financially troubled Scientologist-owned Digital Lightwave has reorganized its management and announced some layoffs.
"Digital Lightwave, Inc. announced today that it has reorganized its management team and reduced its staff by 10 percent or approximately 20 positions. The resizing included reassigning certain employees to more direct revenue-generating functions. 'We are confident about the long-term prospects for the growing lightwave communications market, and our opportunities to be a leading competitor in this field' said Dr. Bryan J. Zwan, chairman and CEO. 'Based on a continuing demand for our unique products and technologies in the marketplace, we remain committed to growth. Although we are trimming staff and reducing the number of administrative and executive positions, we anticipate continuing to hire individuals who will make direct contributions to our revenue stream, particularly sales personnel.
"The company's organizational structure will include new management assignments of key executives: Jerry Gentile, Vice President of Research and Development; Joe Fuchs, Vice President of Quality Assurance; Tom Williams, Vice President of Manufacturing; Ken Hargrove, Vice President of North American Sales; Carlos Perez, Vice President of International Sales; Eric Mitchell, Vice President of National Accounts; Ali Haider, Vice President of Customer Service and Support; and Mitch Chancey, Vice President of Business Development."
British Lord McNair spoke in the House of Lords, it was reported this week, on behalf of religious minorities in Germany. Lord McNair has in the past championed Scientology causes.
"The German Government have developed their strategy of discrimination to quite an art form. It includes training courses for judges, prosecutors and even law students to sensitise them against the rights of minorities. These are a regular feature of German legal life. On the evening following the launch in Bonn of our German edition, in June of last year, we were privileged to attend a meeting organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to warn the people of Dusseldorf against the generalised danger from 'Sekten'.
"The guest speaker at this meeting was Gunter Beckstein, the Interior Minister of Bavaria. Although the convenor of the meeting gave a veiled warning to those present that members of a British committee investigating discrimination were in the audience, Gunter Beckstein had worked himself up into quite a frenzy of incitement to hatred by the time the meeting ended. Noble Lords may wonder whether the audience consisted of poorly educated skinheads; but they would be wrong. It consisted almost exclusively of well-heeled and apparently well-educated, solid and prosperous German citizens, and they lapped it up. The House, and the Minister, should be aware that the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which, as noble Lords will know, is the think-tank of the Christian Democrat Union, is actively encouraging discrimination.
"There is only one thing that the religious minorities in Germany want. It is for the government, and the religious hierarchies working with and through the government, to abide by and apply Article 4 of the German constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion and belief."
Martin Ottmann posted a Full Hat Checksheet for DSA Investigations officers. The course describes the preparation needed to investigate and harass critics of Scientology and former members. Some excerpts:
"ESSAY: A radio talk show host has been attacking the Church (enlisting the aid of two disaffected ex-staff). Write up the exact steps that you would take to get this Situation handled.
"CLAY DEMO: 'The goal of the department is to bring the government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology. This is done by high level ability to control and in its absence by low level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies. Scientology is the only game on Earth where everybody wins. There is no overt in bringing good order.'
"PRACTICAL: Write up examples of each of the antisocial personality traits that you have personally observed (examples can be people you have known, people in the media, people in history, etc.) explaining exactly how you recognize the trait. You can also check newspapers, magazines, etc., for examples. You must find at least one example of each of the different traits.
"ESSAY: Give 5 examples of how you would apply the policy to advocate total freedom to meet any and all attacks on Scientology. Explain why this policy works.
"DEMO: 5 examples of the following stable datum: 'We must ourselves fight on the basis of total attrition of the enemy. So never get reasonable about him. Just go all the way in and obliterate him.'
"ESSAY: The PR Officer is meeting with an official in order to get his support for a local community program. No matter what is done, he will not agree to support the PRO's actions and considers the program a waste of time, despite the fact that it has proven to be successful. What do you know? How should this be handled?
"ESSAY: You have just received a letter from a public person informing you that another publico who was on course in your org 6 months ago, has set up a squirrel group. He took Materials from the org to run a 'Sauna Program'. Write up exactly what action you are going to take to handle this Situation.
"ESSAY: There is a girl on service lines in your org who has antagonistic parents. The parents have come into the org with a suppressive reporter right on their heels to pick up the girl. You had no warning of this, the TV cameras are rolling and the reporter and parents are firing allegations at you. Write up the following: How you would handle this situation defensively; How you would handle this offensively; Which one is going to be effective and why."
Tilman Hausherr reported on the status of former Scientologists Robin and Adrienne Scott, who were charged with growing marijuana last year.
"They both went to jail. Adrienne Scott was released last July. Robin Scott has recently been moved from a low security prison to a high security prison, because they want to bring additional charges against him."
Prof. Alexander Dvorkin reported that a lawsuit against the Russian Orthodox Church brought by several cult groups has been dismissed.
"On February 24 the appeal of Mr. Yakunin's Committee and the cults members was heard by the Moscow City Court. The lower Court on May 21 1997 has dismissed their law suit against me and the Russian Orthodox Church in connection to the book I had written, and the Church has published. The plaintiffs (including Hare Krishna, Scientology, UC, JW and other cult members) have appealed the decision. In fact, the verdict of the Khoroshovsky District Court was devastating for them.
"The hearing lasted about three hours after which the Court has pronounced the decision: the decision of the lower court was fully supported and upheld. The plaintiffs who filed the frivolous lawsuit have to pay us back our expenses -- nearly $20000. Just to add: the plaintiffs were represented by the lawyer Ms Galina Krylova - a member of the governing board of the scientological Citizen's Commission of the Human Rights. We were represented by Ms. Geralina Lyubarskaya - on of the best civil lawyers of Moscow."
Alison Lorch posted to the TNX mailing list descriptions of prized possessions she is selling to finance her trip to Clearwater, Florida to take advanced processing courses.
"I have a great selection of antique furniture, art work, antique and collectible glassware etc, and am only mentioning this here as I'm trying to sell as much of it as I can at greatly reduced prices right now in order to come up with as much money as I can so I have no stops at Flag! There is too much to list, but if you have something in particular you collect or are looking for, please email me and I'll let you know whether I've got it.
"Beautiful old quarter grand (smaller than baby grand but looks like one) Armstrong piano. Mahogany, beautiful barley twist legs (looks like rope), all in excellent condition, matching bench. Value $4500, asking $2000. It looks and sounds so great, really sorry to see it go, but Bridge is more important. Email for picture.
"Lovely oak antique desk, leather top. Large 30' deep and 54' wide. I can get a picture scanned and send it to you if you are interested. $800. Beautiful oak baker's cabinet, 6' tall, cupboard above and below with pull-out porcelain work surface between, great brass hardware and small round vents in each door which turn to open and close. Can get picture scanned on this one too. $500"
|Wall Street Journal|
The Wall Street Journal published an editorial this week criticizing the IRS-approved tax exemption for Scientology and the access to foreign policy staff afforded to John Travolta and a group of Scientologists.
"There's no particular reason for the world to worry about a smallish cult that believes invisible 75 million-year-old thetans are floating around our skulls. The search for the meaning of life in the vastness of the universe preoccupies most people at some time or another, though they usually find their way into houses of worship, therapeutic counseling or the local liquor store.
"When instead they come calling on the National Security Adviser, it may be time for a reality check. Some of the weirdest conversations of the day concern Sandy Berger's meeting with John Travolta, along with Tom Cruise the chief ornaments of the Scientology movement. Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, professed to believe the evil galactic overlord Xenu shipped frozen thetans to Teegeack, better known as planet Earth, dropping them down volcanoes and pulverizing them with hydrogen bombs and setting their souls adrift. By now it seems you can't understand the universe without plumbing thetan influence in the White House, the halls of Congress, and the murky heart of the IRS.
"Who is hurting Mr. Travolta? The German government, that's who. Like the U.S. prior to a 1993 tax settlement mysteriously upgrading the cult to the status of a tax-exempt religion, Germany considers Scientology a business run by extremists and has put the church under surveillance. Assisted by frightened escapees, the Germans make the case that Scientology exploits the weaknesses of its members for profit that at the very least should be taxed. This creates the worst kind of pain for Scientology, which reaps millions from 'auditing,' cleaning a 'preclear' of repressed memories.
"But if that is all weird, it is nothing compared with the mysteries surrounding the decision of the IRS to suddenly grant Scientology a tax-exempt status after years of litigation. Our Elizabeth MacDonald reported that in the secret settlement the IRS dropped its position that 'auditing' fees were not deductible, a position that had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. In return it got $12.5 million and a promise that the cult would drop its numerous lawsuits against the IRS and its agents.
"Meanwhile, Scientology is litigating with everyone else in sight; why not, after having intimidated the biggest gun on the block? The IRS has lately announced its desire to turn itself into a friendly agency. How about an auditing session? Leading off with this question: Is there anyone at the IRS who seriously thinks that the unbelievable sums of money Scientology spends on lawsuits meets the agency's requirement that a charity spend its funds only on charitable purposes?"
Hosted by Operation Clambake