Worldwide pickets were held on March 13th and 14th to coincide with L. Ron Hubbard's birthday. Scientology locations in 15 cities were picketed. Picket report from John Ritson, at the Poole, England mission:
"About ten suppressives converged on Poole, together with 'Duke' the lovable dog in water wings commemorating Judge Swearinger's drowned dog, the boombox capable of playing L. Ron Hubbard's ravings, placards, leaflets and helium 'Xenu' balloons to give away to the kiddies. Plus - a lady calling herself 'Xenu's wife' complete with Xenu cloak, a Ferengi mask, sunglasses, blue lipstick, red teeth and a glowing sword. At about 13:30 we turned up in 'Ambush Alley' where the Scientologists regularly do their body-routing, to find a marked lack of body-routers. So we wandered round to the local 'Dianetics Bookshop' (which has now reopened, the landlord being forced to accept such notoriously bad payers as nobody else wanted the tenancy) to inform them of our arrival, and the body-routers duly appeared.
"As usual the scientologists called the police and complained about our picketing, and were informed that we were within our rights, but we had to turn off the boom-box. So instead of listening to L. Ron Hubbard explaining how to get rid of Body Thetans, the bodyrouters had to listen to some *very* loud picketers explaining what a scam Scientology is.
"They were handing out a bizarre publication called 'WINNING!' 'News Journal of the Office of Special Affairs Volume 2 Issue 2' with articles about claimed victories over 'Suppressive Persons', Mike Rinder talking about 'all-out war against suppressive elements' and a back page saying: 'Do you know who is restoring religious freedom wherever it is attacked? The Office of Special Affairs - OSA!"
From "Meklar" at the Sacramento, California org:
"The Sacramento Org was subject to a solo picket from 12:20pm to 1:20pm. There were 12-15 cars in the Org parking lot. Foot traffic was good, for downtown Sacramento. Vehicle traffic was excellent. My picket sign read 'Scientology is a SCAM' and '$370,000 for Religious Salvation? SCAM!' The reaction from the Org was underwhelming. When the receptionist saw me she immediately picked the phone and began frantically dialing. The second reaction of the Org was to lower the window blinds. After a few moments an attractive young woman came out to take photographs of me. When she couldn't operate the camera she actually ask me if I could help her with it."
From "BooHoo Weeper" at the Seattle, Washington org:
"Scienos could be seen using the rear entrance to be building while we were there, very little traffic in or out the main entrance. Their building adjoins what appears to be a modest sized commercial parking lot, and it was not possible to estimate any vehicle count clearly related to the org. Ironically, the org street level storefront windows contained two large signs blaring 'Lies exposed' in white on black lettering. The rest of the lettering on the signs was too small for passing motorists to make out on the move, so the signs almost looked like they were ours!"
From Catarina in Gothenburg, Sweden:
"Got to the org just after 11.00 a.m. No signs of life. We occupied the usual bodyrouting corner and started handing out leaflets. (We chose to not use picket signs, as they are rarely used here unless it's a much bigger protest, and would possibly just make us look odd and threatening). There was not very much traffic about on this Saturday morning. It's in a side street and far away from the city center. There was only about 10 people leaving or entering the building while we were there, and the org is just one out of several companies using that entrance. One middle-aged woman wearing an OT necklace came out, and accepted our leaflets as she was passing, but just kept going. A man coming out seemed vaguely familiar, but he wasn't there to 'handle' us either."
From Mike Gormez in Amsterdam:
"Amsterdam Org was peacefully picket today between 14:00 and 17:00. During the demonstration an odd 13 or so picketers attended and some 200-250 leaflets in different languages were handed out. The usual response when asked if they wanted a leaflet was 'I'm against scientology!' to that we said 'So are we!' - after which they took them and told us how great it is that people are taking some action against the cult. Shouting 'Against Scientology' was often enough to see our leaflets fly. The scientologists were quickly enturbulated and locked the door of the org for a reason unknown to us."
From Frank Copeland in Melbourne, Australia:
"Saturday morning was the picket proper at the Org in Russell St, which was a fairly quiet affair. There was just me, David and Cyril Vosper for most of the time, and Barbara turned up later. We started a bit after 11, and finished around 1pm. It was a very slow day traffic-wise, with hardly any foot traffic, and no sign of the tourist buses that used to pull up in droves at the Hyatt next door. For some reason the silly git in the white hat with the *big* camera decided to be more obnoxious than usual, getting literally right in our faces with it. He gave me a filthy look when I asked him if it had film in it today, after posing for him with a Xenu leaflet."
From Jeff Spencer in Boston:
"6 SPs at cause over the Boston org, and the Boston weather. There was a Boston Herald reporter there at the beginning of the picket. Also, the CoS called in the police, and were visibly upset when the officer did nothing more than stand there and make sure both sides obeyed the law. The CoS brought out some huge banners about lobotomies. Why was the 'Lobotomies performed here' arrow pointing at a Lexus?"
From Gregg Hagglund in Toronto:
"As advertised on ARS and other places the Toronto Picket was scheduled for our usual start time of 2 pm. But in a 'Birthday Surprise!' move we launched our Picket at 10 AM catching the org completely off guard. The usual panic phone use ensued. For the 10 am to 1 pm first half of our picket we had 5 hardy souls in 30F temperatures later followed by a brief but very Xmassy flurry. DSA Al Buttnor had the Org turn up the sound almost immediately on the external speaker so I went to the Megaphone in response.
"Soon after the music was cut and Uncle Al came out to confront me about the Megaphone. (I guess he didn't like my talking about Xenu so much.) He shoved a tape recorder in my face and demanded I cease using the MP. I refused and pointed out it was on the Notice. After repeatedly asking me the same question I finally asked him 'What part of the word 'No' don't you understand?' I guess he had an M/U on that. He returned into the org and the music came back on but at a lower level."
From Joe Cisar in Washington, DC:
"I drove down to Washington, and approached the big red brick building with the Scientology Swastika on it at Connecticut and R Street. My throat was dry; I couldn't talk. But I recognized Arnie Lerma and talked to him and he let me use his picket sign while he passed out leaflets. I made it around the picket line once more and a drone made a pass by me. This one started out in the invalidation mode -- 'Do you know who the leader of this picket is he is a member of the liberty party a racist group who is similar to the Nazis he is like Hitler he hates Jews if you are here with him that means you hate Jews too why do you hate Jews?' I told him I didn't mind if he spoke to me but I wasn't going to speak back at him.
"It was good to see so many picketers there. There was a lot of positive feedback. The DC cops were right there in front of the building. Beautiful day, but windy. I felt sorry for the Scientology teenager who was passing out pieces of paper to people and saying 'free movie inside.' If there was any doubt in my mind about whether I was doing the right thing, it disappeared when one of the wgert-drones told me, 'You hate Jews.'"
From "Mad_Cow" in Atlanta:
"In attendance were myself, Wynot, Laudanum, Jeff, Slax, and Special Guest appearance by Xenu. Our seven-foot Xenu really got a lot of attention! He was the most congenial of Galactic Overlords, waving to everyone and yelling 'Xenu loves you!'. Exactly how much attention he was drawing was realized when a police car rolled up directly next to us about 15 minutes into the picket. The policeman pulled Xenu aside to inform him that there was a Mask Law (oh puh-leez) in Atlanta that is enforced every day but Halloween. The officer said that our picket was perfectly OK except for the mask and ask Xenu to remove his face. Because he was on his lunch hour, Xenu decided not to scare the local populace to death by revealing his true identity, but instead chose to return to work early. The officer then turned to the lovely scieno info-babe Susan (one of our handlers from the February 28th picket) and told her what we were doing was perfectly legal and lawful.
"During this picket we got maybe ten honks and a few thumbs-ups. I managed to pass out all 15 of my Xenu flyers and the same number of 'In LRH's Own Words'. We didn't get any middle-finger signs this time, but one guy yelled 'they gotta right to be here too', to which I replied 'So do we.'"
From Bruce Pettycrew, in Los Angeles:
"I was in the first group of picketers to arrive at the Cedars/ASHO/etc. complex on Friday afternoon. The Scientologists had blocked both ends of the street with the ugly name, so we proceeded up the sidewalk with Taniwha leading the way in serene disregard of the 3 stooges dressed in LAPD/CIA drag. They waved paper in our faces claiming they had a permit to close the street. Taniwha pointed out we were on the sidewalk (duh!) and continued marching. They claimed the sidewalk was part of the street, I asked them to tell me when they were going to be driving so I could get far away. I also pointed out the private residences on the sidewalk and expressed doubt that they could block access. I also asked them to call the LAPD to clarify the situation. They made noises along the lines of 'so you refuse to leave after we have shown you our permit', etc. and used their radios to loudly ask for 'police backup'. By this they meant Barton, if you can believe that. The picketers had to actually request officers.
"After the LAPD finally arrived, and had time to contact their captain, we were told the sidewalk was public and open. The church cleared away all members who could not see the OT3/Xenu stuff."
From Ted Mayett in Los Angeles:
"The clams were using entrances off of LRH way to avoid the picketers.
That 'Our House' little group of apartments had a sign in the window telling people to stay inside until the picketers left. Saturday there may have been 4 locations being picketed at the same time. Some people went to do Author Services, some were on Hollywood Blvd., some were at Hemet, I was part of a group of 4 that started the L Ron Hubbard Way picket that Sat. As on Friday there were barricades on the street. And we owned that street for two days. On the second day it was not really a picket anymore. There were usually groups of us simply standing still right in front of the Lousy Lion, or standing still by the parking lot entrance."
From Martin Hunt in Vancouver:
"The signs were large with six foot wooden handles, sanded down by Gerry to prevent slivers. His read: 'Stupidology is really Stupid' and 'L. Ron Hubbard: Liar Fraud'; mine was 'Cult of Greed and Power' and 'Stop Hurting People, Scientology'. As soon as we planted ourselves outside the org, the reception man was busy on the phone; young Joel Hoener (sp?), DSA in Vancouver, came marching out with a brave face on and tried to take our picture, but his flash didn't work. He made some comment about cheap cameras - I guess OSA can't afford good equipment these days what with the price of an army of lawyers. When that failed, Joel marched up to us and demanded our names; Gerry asked him his, and I asked him again as I didn't get it, then we both gave our names and he stalked back into the org. We handed out about 20 of Gerry's fliers each on each of the two days for a total of 80, including some recycling where someone would take one, read it over carefully, and give it back to hand out to another person.
"Scientologists mainly hid inside, seldom daring to come out and confront us or combat the mass communication going on with hundreds of passing people. When they did come out, it was only for a second to make a quick remark, and then dodge back in."
A German news crew flew a helicopter over Scientology's Hemet, California base. From the Presse-Enterprise:
"Federal aviation officials are investigating a complaint filed by the Church of Scientology alleging that a helicopter hired by two Germans flew too close to its school behind the Soboba Indian Reservation. The Germans, who authorities said were television reporters, later were involved in a confrontation with Scientology officials outside the school in which both sides arrested each other.
"Ken Hoden, general manager of the church's Golden Era Productions, said Monday's incident was related to the problems Scientologists have in Germany. He described the helicopter's action as 'a total disregard' for the privacy and safety of the children who attend the Castile Canyon School. Scientologists believe two passengers in the helicopter were the same people who posed as German vacationers during a public tour of the church's complex in Gilman Hot Springs on Sunday, Hoden said. They left after Hoden said he started questioning their motives because they matched the description of a couple who earlier had been 'harassing' the church's headquarters in Los Angeles.
"Pilot Steve DeJesus said the Germans originally said they wanted to rent the helicopter to take photographs of the Soboba Indian Reservation east of San Jacinto. He said he flew within a safe distance of 300 to 500 feet above the school, disputing Scientologists' claims that he came within 50 to 150 feet. 'We didn't fly over any people or over any buildings,' DeJesus said. The children went into the buildings as soon as the helicopter appeared, he said.
"Arrested on trespassing charges were Ina Brockmann, 33, and Peter Reichelt, 40, both of Mannheim, Germany. Arrested on false imprisonment charges were Hoden, 51, Scientologist cameraman Francois Dejust, 35, school security guard Uwe Stuckenbrock, 34, and church employee Henry Batterton, 39."
In the wake of the picket, it appears that Scientologists Glenn Barton can no longer claim to be associated with the Los Angeles Police. Details from Jeff Jacobsen and Keith Henson:
"I heard that Glenn Barton has been told to stop calling himself a Los Angeles police officer and is no longer a police chaplain. Barton told picketers he was a policeman, I heard."
"I checked and sure enough, Barton has been bounced off the force. If he made any comments that he was with the police last Friday, a few days after his badge and identification as an LAPD chaplain were confiscated, please let me know. Some declarations on this would be of great help in my case."
Neal Hamel reported on Eugene Ingram, who was used to harass picketers in Los Angeles during the protests.
"Ingram has been harassing the manager of the Days Inn Motel in Hollywood. The Days Inn was where the majority of picketers stayed during the picket. Ingram stated to the manager that he was a police officer. He told the manager that we had a bomb! He stole some communication I had given the manager under false pretenses. This was from the owner of the motel. Beginning yesterday Ingram has been regularly calling her and asking for details. Someone kept calling the manager last night until the early hours of the morning."
"About two weeks ago in the meeting with the manager and the motel owner, Ingram implied or told both of them that the picketers would be carrying a bomb. He also got a copy of one of my letters which had my name and phone number on it. Ingram did not recontact the motel manager until this Friday apparently while were picketing. He started asking lots of questions and told the manager that he was a policeman. The manager was wary because his story did not fit.
"Last night a person named Joanne who said she worked with Ingram, called several times after 10 pm asking for more information about motel guests. The manager refused to give any details of the guests. When Ingram called today she confronted him with his claim that he was a policeman. Ingram told the manager to not tell police that he had claimed that he was a police officer or, in the words of the manager, 'it would blow the whole thing up'. However, despite Ingram's veiled threats, the manager did tell the police that Ingram had claimed he was a police officer and they told her that if he showed up again to call the fraud division immediately."
Attorney Graham Berry's neighbors were leafleted with a Dead Agent pack following the Los Angeles picket.
"The rehash of earlier DA Pak material was expressly justified because I had 'spent much of [my] weekend harassing a peaceful church by picketing it together with a handful of other bigots. Men who denigrate and seek to harm others' religion often have highly questionable morals. Graham Berry should know by now that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.' Strategically it was a bomb because now three blocks of neighbours, and all their extended contacts, and their extended contacts, get to see scientology's standard tech up real close!"
Graham reported another attack, this time directed through city government.
"The cult had someone at the City of LA offices today, trying to establish that I did not have a business license to do business as the Law Offices of Graham E. Berry."
Chapparel2 on America Online described the annual Hubbard Birthday event in Los Angeles.
"Winner of the birthday game for Missions is the Mission of Moscow. The Executive Director of the Mission spoke in Russian. He said that his country had experienced a great deal of suppression over the centuries, but the one thing no one could kill was the spirituality of the Russian people. The head of the African organization of Traditional Healers composed of 300,000 members is running a project based on The Way To Happiness. The organization presented an award to LRH that included a traditional tribal chieftan's shield. Among the many moving things she had to say about LRH and the tech is that LRH is a champion of the oppressed throughout the world."
From a transcript of a portion of the event, featuring speaker Mark Ingber.
"While the Internet is a terrific communication channel, one where millions all over the world have been finding out what Scientology is, we want to take it to an even higher level, to get our message out to everyone regardless of where they search that cyberspace.
"So how do we expand our dissemination power and reach even further? What if we were to boost the number of Scientology sites from 116 to 1160 or 11,600, or, better, 116,000. So here's a program that's going to expand our lines a thousandfold, one in which you will be involved, and it will even help you personally, because starting tonight, we are making it possible for any Scientologist to go online with their very own Dianetics and Scientology Internet site. Our latest Internet project is called Scientologists On Line. To establish your site, you will receive a Scientologists On Line starter kit, containing everything that you need including software to construct your own website.
"Here is what your personal website will look like. Your home page welcomes the viewer to your site in a headline, 'I am a Scientologist. Support religious tolerance.' By the way, we'll be campaigning that header, 'I am a Scientologist' to other and any religion: 'I am a Buddhist. Support religious tolerance,' and so forth. Your web page will provide the viewer with a little description of yourself and your occupation. Next, they will see your own personal success story in Scientology and whichever LRH quote you pick, chosen from the Knowing and Understanding or the Way to Happiness books.
"For further enlightenment, any person who comes browsing through your site, will also be able to instantly connect to any of our main Scientology sites, by a simple click of their mouse. Since they will be contacting you directly, you can give them further information and enlightenment, guiding them onto the Bridge to Freedom. After enlightening someone via email or a followup phone call, you just type in the selection slip and send it on the Internet to the selectee. At the same time it will print off copies for you to send in to the org. In that simple manner, you become an FSM to untold numbers waiting to be enlightened."
The Philadelphia Inquirer carried a story on government officials who have pronounced L. Ron Hubbard Day.
"Hubbard, who died in 1986, is the science fiction writer who, in 1954, founded the Church of Scientology. He was born on March 13, 1911, and though his birthday is tomorrow, his followers are planning to celebrate on Saturday. Scientologists believe that people are beings who have lived many lifetimes (humans were banished to live on Earth 75 million years ago by an intergalactic ruler), and their subconscious minds are weighted down by the images of past traumas.
"But here in Philadelphia, Mayor Rendell has signed a proclamation urging one and all to 'join in commitment and action' in celebrating Hubbard's birthday. 'We have to make a determination if the group is a legitimate organization before approving proclamations,' said Jim Murray of the City Representative's Office. 'Unless the group is pretty way out and wacky, we issue the document.'
"Gov. Ridge also has dignified the day. He's sending an official state letter of greeting to Church of Scientology offices in New York. 'These letters are recognition usually given to people celebrating an anniversary, or who have earned certain honors, like state champions or Olympic athletes,' said Jerry Feaser, the governor's deputy press secretary.
"The Philadelphia party will be held at the church's downtown headquarters at 1315 Race St. Believers will gather at 7:30 p.m. to watch a message from church leaders based in Los Angeles, said local spokesman Bruce Thompson."
The Inquirer article: L. Ron Hubbard gets a day in Phila
Andreas Heldal-Lund reported that Scientology's lawyers have contacted him regarding copyrighted documents on the web.
"Today my lawyer in Oslo had a meeting with the lawyers Kendrick L. Moxon and William M. Hart from USA, and Kjersti Dorstad and Lars Erik Alfheim from the cult's Norwegian law firm. My lawyer made it absolutely clear that both of us would continue our fight against their cult until they were thrown out of Norway. The impression was that the cult wanted to settle this out of court. My lawyer gave them my statement that I hosted none of the claimed secret scriptures on my web pages, only quotes well within the right of fair use. The cult lawyers said this was not true and has now presented a list of files they wanted me to remove.
"Problem is; this account is not mine! They've wasted a trip to Norway, a meeting with 5 lawyers - ON THE BASES OF AN ERROR!!!!!! I don't think Moxon liked the fact that my lawyer did all this pro bono, knowing that he is dedicated to fight them at any cost."
American Technologies Group announced that they are still selling the IE Crystals. IE Crystals have been found to be fraudulently sold in blue laundry balls by the Scientologist-owned company Tradenet. It is not known if ATG is currently run by Scientologists.
"American Technologies Group Inc. Wednesday announced that it has entered into a joint venture marketing agreement with 21st Century Global Trust, LLC and Integral Health, Inc. The purpose of the new company, 21st Century Global Network LLC, is to direct-market personal care and household products incorporating ATG's proprietary IE(TM) Crystal technology.
"The IE Crystal, one of ATG's core technologies, has been found to significantly enhance the effectiveness of personal care and household products."
|Cult Information Service|
Paul Grosswald announced that the Cult Information Service will have conference in Newark in April.
"You are invited to an all-day conference: 'Personal and Family Problems Caused by Cults' Sunday April 19th, 1998 - 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. THE HOLIDAY INN, NORTH at Newark Airport, New Jersey. (Located on the service road at Exit 14, New Jersey Turnpike, 2nd right after the tollbooth.)
"The program will include a panel of former cult members, as well as small-group discussions for families of cult members. Lorna Goldberg: MSW, Clinical Social Worker who has long-term experience counseling ex-cult members and families. Mike Kropveld: Director of Infocult, Montreal, Canada. The nationwide cult information service that tracks the activities of groups in Canada and around the world. Robert Minton: Retired investment banker concerned with the internet and free speech rights of former cult members. Madeleine Pretorious: Former long term, high level member of the Unification Church. Familiar with the activities of the church leadership. Herbert Rosedale: President of the American Family Foundation, and partner in the law firm of Parker, Chapin, Flattau and Kimpl."
Former Scientologist Philip Gale committed suicide at MIT, reported Cambridge newspapers. From the Harvard Crimson:
"Philip C. Gale, a 19 year-old MIT undergraduate, apparently jumped out of a 15th floor window of an MIT science building shortly after 7:30 p.m. last Friday night. Gale was pronounced dead on arrival at Massachusetts General Hospital at 8:05 p.m. According to Robert J. Sales, assistant director of the MIT news office, MIT police consider the incident an apparent suicide. Gale is thought to have thrown a chair through the thick plate glass window of the Green Building before he supposedly jumped.
"Gale entered MIT at age 15 and subsequently took three semesters off to work in computer science. He worked for the Earthlink Network, an Internet access provider, during his time off, according to Eric Hu, Gale's Phi Sigma Kappa brother and former roommate. Gale was originally from Charlotte, N.C. His family practiced Scientology, according to Hu, but Gale gave up the religion shortly after his return to MIT last year, Hu said."
From the MIT newspaper The Tech:
"Whether the death was a suicide has yet to be determined, Glavin said. The Middlesex County Medical Examiner said that the death was caused by 'multiple traumatic injuries.' While there was no suicide note left in the classroom, 'some information was left in the room,' Glavin said. She would not comment on the nature of that information.
"Gale had been preparing to take an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program position in the Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group at the Media Lab, said Professor of Music and Media Tod E. Machover, Gale's UROP adviser."
Marie Gale, Philip's mother, posted to a.r.s and described possible reasons for the suicide.
"I know the discussions here about him, his education at Delphi and his work for Earthlink (last December) were upsetting to him because he called me and we talked about it. I know he was contacted by the Boston Herald for their article because he called me and we talked about it. I can only assume that there was some connection between this newsgroup (or the individuals on it) and that reporter contacting him. The interview was upsetting to him. That was the last time I talked to my son.
"Philip chose not to become involved in his parent's religion, and I respected that. Yet here he was, pulled into an ugly and controversy (which was fomented and encouraged by the people at this site) that had NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM. In the BEST case scenario, it was upsetting to him. At worst, it could have actively contributed to his decision to take his own life."
News from Germany, first from Hamburg 'Abendblatt':
"The dialogue about Scientology between Germany and the USA has materialized, according to the statement of a Bundestag commission. A greater understanding of the German position by American politicians and religious groups has come about as a result of the trip to the USA by the Enquete Commission, said the Commission Chairperson, Ortrun Schatzle. The two faces of Scientology are said to have 'become frighteningly apparent' in the USA. The 'beaming Hollywood facade stands in contrast to the dark, totalitarian inner side of the organization,' said Schatzle. The Scientologists are not afraid of [using] 'coercion, extortion, pycho-terrorism and legal battle strategies for the annihilation of civil existence.'
"Discord prevailed in the commission over the evaluation of the danger from Scientology. Representative Angelika Koster-Lossack (Green Party) gave an indication that she is no longer convinced that the organization should continue to be observed by the Office of Constitutional Protection. 'Scientology is more dangerous in the USA than here. There ought to be no discrimination in regards to the organization in Germany.'"
"Angelika Koster-Lossack (Green Party) demanded further explanation for 'the machinations of Scientology,' and [also demanded] a decision to right violations of the law. From the impression she received of the organization on the trip to the USA, she thinks of the sect 'as an organization that has totalitarian characteristics.'
"The FDP representative, Roland Kohn, expressed amazement at the fact that US President Bill Clinton publicly meets with Hollywood stars who belong to Scientology. Beyond that members of the government regularly associate with sect members. The Commission will proceed with the dialogue with the US administration and congressional representatives. It has been made clear there that 'nobody will be discriminated against because of his religious affiliation in Germany,' reports Schatzle."
From Fuldaer Zeitung:
"According to a statement by the Office for Constitutional Protection, the controversial Scientology organization endangers the inner security of Germany. They strive for a new social order which is intended to replace democracy, stated Peter Frisch, the president of the Federal Office for Constitutional Security, in a seminar of the Federal Academy for Security Politics on Friday in Maria Laach. According to Frisch it has been uncovered that the organization's own statement of their membership in Germany - 30,000 - does not prove to be correct. The actual number is under 10,000. Also the influx into Scientology in Germany has apparently declined appreciatively."
A year-long legal battle over the obligation to pay sales tax by the Scientology organization has started a new round in Gelsenkirchen. As a speaker of the finance court of Munster confirmed to the dpa Monday, the court starts anew on the complaint of the sect against the finance office of Gelsenkirchen. In May of 1994, the finance court had denied the self-called church the status of religious association and confirmed their obligation to pay sales tax. Scientology appealed the decision. The federal finance court in Munich agreed with the organization on technical grounds and referred the matter back to Munster. As the federal finance court pointed out, the Scientology sect did not get a sufficient hearing in Munster. In the first hearing the complainant is said to have not been able to represent itself against the judicial assumption that it [Scientology] was commercially, not religiously, active. The appeal of the federal finance courts now has the force of law."
Kurier reports that Scientology has begun attacks against members of the Austrian government.
"Martin Bartenstein, one of Austria's family ministers, is the target of the attacks. In a letter which came directly out of the sect headquarters in Los Angeles and which was made available to the KURIER, 'Big Brother Bartenstein' was described as 'undemocratic' and as a 'danger to every person who loves freedom', and his resignation was demanded.
"The reason: Bartenstein suggested in a letter to the Newspaper Publishers Association that newspapers not include advertisements for the Scientology campaign 'Think for yourself.' For the individual citizen it is not obvious 'what problems he could be bringing upon himself' if he sends in for the information material described in the advertisement, read the minister's letter. Uncommon about the Scientology form letter against Bartenstein: it came personally from the highest chief of Scientology, a gentleman with the melodious name of Heber C. Jentzsch. It was disseminated from the Office of Special Affairs, which is organized like a secret service and which normally keeps watch on opponents of the sect. And as has happened in Germany, comparisons to the Nazi regime are also made here: Reverend Jentzsch calls it a 'tragic irony, that this totalitarian act has been transplanted to a time in which it reminds the world of the Anschluss of 1938.' [Anschluss refers to Austria's annexation by Nazi Germany -- translator.]"
Sunday News (Switzerland) carried an article on Scientology this week.
"Switzerland needs an agency which specializes in Scientology. This is what the official Hamburg sect specialist, Ursula Caberta, recommends. On Thursday she took part in a scheduled discussion in Basel.
"'In Switzerland the discussion about Scientology has progressed considerably, so that many people know what lies behind this organization. However I imagine that in areas of commerce the necessary common sense is still not there. In Germany nobody paid attention in the beginning to what was really happening in commerce with Scientology. Also in Switzerland, at least this is my impression, this awareness has not yet properly taken effect. In the meantime in Germany commerce has become very alert, but that does not mean that the problems they've had have been solved.
"'Whoever presents Scientology as a religion or a church is throwing smoke bombs. The claim to religion is only camouflage for a dangerous, extremist ideology. Scientology is a new form of political extremism. I can only make the most urgent appeal to the responsible Swiss authorities to establish similar agencies in the Swiss cantons or cities."
Nachrichten article: "Im Schweizer Wirtschaftsbereich ist die notwendige Sensibilitšt noch nicht da"
The 1996 attacker of the Portland org will probably be found guilty of the crime, according to an article in the Oregonian.
"The man who went on a shooting rampage and set fire to downtown Portland's Scientology Celebrity Centre will agree to be found guilty but insane today. Jairus Chegero Godeka, 39, could spend the rest of his life in the Oregon State Hospital, said his attorney, Kerry Chipman. 'Given the facts of the case, it's certainly a better resolution than several consecutive 20-year terms in prison,' Chipman said. At the least, Godeka probably would spend 20 years in the hospital under the supervision of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, Chipman said.
"Psychologists chosen by the state and Godeka's defense agreed that Godeka suffers form schizophrenia, Chipman said. For about the past 15 years, Godeka has heard voices and thought he is controlled by other people and that ideas are being planted in his mind. That was the case on Sept. 25, 1996, when Godeka walked into the Scientology center at 709 S.W. Salmon St. Police said he went into the center's reception area with a red can of gasoline and shot a woman at the lobby desk.
"'He truly believed the Scientologists in general had ruined his life, had controlled him with mind control and got him to do things unconsciously,' Chipman said. 'He was quite convinced that Scientology was a threat to the world at large.' Godeka had limited contact with the Scientologists in Portland and San Francisco before the incident."
Grady Ward reported on developments in his copyright infringement lawsuit this week.
"I did make a formal complaint against Lee/Lebeaux and Religious Technology Center, Inc. for Obstruction of Justice and witness tampering this morning with the F.B.I. I have also asked Judge Whyte for ex parte relief to restrain the cult from their unlawful harassment and witness tampering."
"Agent Eric Pham of the San Jose, California office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed yesterday that the criminal cult of scientology asked Magistrate Judge Edward A. Infante of the Northern District of California in San Jose to 'investigate' Grady Ward upon their unfounded allegation that he was responsible for publishing to the Internet a secret list of telephone numbers that he had previously been ordered to keep secret. According to Special Agent Pham, the cult could prove that a list of telephone numbers published some months ago on the Internet were authentic confidential cult numbers from Religious Technology Center, Inc. lawfully obtained by Ward by subpoena."
Keith Henson spoke to the FBI about the investigation.
"Eric Pham stated to me that Grady Ward had posted the list which started the thread on those phone numbers--a 'fact' I have been unable to verify on DejaNews. I said I thought that was very unlikely, but that if it was the case, I bet the phone numbers were all from public sources. I did not follow the thread closely, but what I remembered of it was that all the numbers posted turned out to be public. No, Agent Pham said, they could prove that the numbers came from Grady, and all they wanted to do was to verify that Grady would knock it off and they would report that the case was closed to Judge Infante. I told Agent Pham that I could not imagine Grady violating an order, it seemed really unlikely that he would be posting material held under seal in the future (or past for that matter)."
Weekly Wire ran an interview with Scientology celebrity Isaac Hayes.
"Literacy is an issue that Hayes is passionate about. A couple years ago that passion got him into some hot water when, in his role as international spokesperson for the World Literacy Crusade, he tried to install a pilot program in a Memphis city school that was partially based on Scientology technology. Flags went up at the city schools superintendent's office and at The Commercial Appeal, and the program was quickly suspended. The suspension came as a blow to Hayes, but he still believes he was in the right. 'I feel so fulfilled with my position as spokesperson, because I've seen results. I've seen inner-city lives change when people get a handle on things and know what they're doing. It's just frustrating when you hear about all the problems and violence in the inner cities and you know they could have been avoided if only had the tech.
"'The sad thing in Memphis was that nobody stood up and came to bat to save this thing. I met with the editors of The Commercial Appeal and begged them, 'Don't do this, because the kids are the ones that are gonna suffer. Don't listen to some canned, country whitest network with a bad track record, bad ethics and all the rest.' I said, 'Go out and look at our program and get you some data. They went on and slammed the project. But that's okay, I told them I'd be back. And Lisa Marie [Presley], a former Memphian [and fellow Scientologist], she realized what was needed in this city just like I did. So Lisa Marie and I decided to put a mission in Memphis [the Church of Scientology on Central].
"'There are some educational districts in this country that use it. There are some black women in Miami, Florida, who have a program running after school and they're getting great results. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there's a school branch there that's using it. I could name district after district in city after city, but in my own hometown where I've got relatives, kids, grandkids, and so forth. I want them to have a chance. I want other people to have a chance as well. If you've got something good, you shouldn't hold it in. We know it works, and we want to share our knowledge. This technology is secular. You don't have to become a Scientologist to use it. It just happens that it was developed by L. Ron Hubbard.'"
Sam Gorton posted a response to the Boston Herald series which Scientology is distributing internally. Excerpts:
"BOSTON SUNDAY HERALD: Scientology is a cult and money-grabbing machine.
"FACTS: Scientology has been found to be a religion by more than 30 of the world's top religion scholars and in more than 100 court decisions. The IRS granted the Church full tax exemption in 1993 after conducting a two-year examination of every aspect of the Church's finances, policies and practices. According to the IRS, it was the most exhaustive and thorough examination the agency has ever conducted of an applicant for exemption. The IRS concluded that the Church of Scientology 'is organized and operated exclusively for religious and charitable purposes.'
"BOSTON SUNDAY HERALD: According to the Medical Examiner, Lisa McPherson died of a blood clot due to dehydration after being denied water for at least 5-10 days.
"FACTS: Lisa was not denied water and was not dehydrated. These facts were confirmed by the Associate Medical Examiner, who actually conducted the autopsy on Lisa's body. The medical records concerning Lisa's death were also submitted to three of the top state medical examiners in the country, who independently concluded that the death was unpreventable and unpredictable."
The Herald reported this week that the writer of the series, Joseph Mallia, is the subject of an investigation by Scientology.
"Reverend Heber Jentzsch, President of The Church of Scientology International, confirmed that the church's Los Angeles law firm hired the private investigative firm to look into the personal life of reporter Joseph Mallia, who wrote the series. 'This investigation will have to look at what's driving this' coverage, said Jentzsch. Herald editor Andrew F. Costello Jr. said, ' What's driving this coverage is simply the public interest. Nothing more, nothing less.'"
Keith Henson posted details this week in his bankruptcy and copyright violations case.
"The stay for the trial in Judge Whyte's court was lifted, subject to a ten day delay so Graham Berry could submit a motion. The stay gets lifted on March 23. That is likely too late for my trial to go ahead of Grady.
"There were two interesting items. The judge really sat up on the mention that my lawyer couldn't be there because he was consulting about this subject in Europe. The second was how freaked out the cult is over my offer to give a copy of NOTs 34 to the FDA on national TV." Keith lost a hearing to remove the restraining order in Los Angeles to keep Keith from the proximity of Scientologist Glenn Barton.
"Judge Bascue ruled against me, i.e., he left the order in place. Thus in practical terms I cannot picket anywhere Barton can be sent in time to catch me Judge Bascue is the judge who issued the order which was used by Barton to arrest me in LA. The most amazing thing about the hearing is that instead of using 'Barton' in various places where his name should have been used, Judge Bascue used 'church' so it was obvious the Judge felt cos was the actual party involved. The law was not designed to apply to any but natural persons and, in fact, the statue itself speaks against this use."
Graham Berry described the legal issues.
"The judge was plain wrong on both the law and facts, concluding that 'the church is entitled to protect its' security.' The anti-harrassment statute only protects 'persons' and not entities such as so-called churches. Furthermore,he ruled that there was insufficient evidence of Barton abusing the prior order. The fact that the prior order was unconstitutional did not seem to bother the judge. The judges position is that Henson agreed to the prior order and it does not matter that he did not have the assistance of counsel. However,Henson in pro per, was trusting that the the judge would not wrongly apply the wrong statute against him and that he would not enter an unconstitional order. We will be back to the same judge again, and taking an appeal-all the way to the U.S.Supreme Court if we have to and the court accepts the case. Meanwhile, Deputy City Attorney Kevin Gilligan (City Attorney's office Hollywood branch) and Scientology attorney Abelson team up to try and put Henson's 'head on a pike' with a criminal contempt conviction."
Star magazine carried a story about Scientologist Kirstie Alley and her divorce from Parker Stevenson.
"Parker and Kirstie also battle in the court papers over how the kids [William True, 5, and Lillie, 3] should be educated and whether they should be vaccinated. Parker wants them to go to a 'mainstream' school where they can socialize with children their own age. Kirstie, who is a Scientologist, wants the kids to be home-schooled or to attend a Church of Scientology school.
"Stevenson says in one filing: 'I believe that True and Lillie have been too insulated in their upbringing and I want them to be exposed to other children, other authority figures, formal mainstream education, and to learn to socialize and interact with peers.' He says Kirstie also opposes almost all vaccinations 'that mainstream science has determined prevent childhood diseases.'"
Ray Randolph reported that Scientology private investigator David Lee's real name is David Lebeau, and on his recent activities.
"David Lee's real name *IS* in fact, Dave Lebeau. That has been confirmed. Apparently the Dave Lee who does investigative work for Price Waterhouse was NOT the same Dave Lee. This is significant only in the sense that Dave Lebeau MAY have assumed this identity on purpose. Riding on someone else's reputation is always easier than making your own. But the other items, such as the rumored drug arrest, being declined PI licenses in two states, etc., are starting to look more interesting. Further, there's real estate holdings in California and rumored real estate holdings in Washington DC."
Bob Minton reported Lebeau is working in the UK, and spreading stories about him among family and friends.
"In fact tonight he starts bothering my 83 year old father in law in England by appearing on his doorstep."
"'Minton goes berserk and kills 25 scientologists.' This is what detectives employed by scientology are saying to people in England that the church is worried about. This is one of many reasons to investigate this critic based on their carefully constructed psychological profile. 'Doug Frantz Shuddered Into Silence.' Is another claim by scientology detectives in England. The message for Minton: If we can do that to him and NYT, it's only a matter of time before we find your skeletons.
Doug Frantz, reporter for the New York Times, denied being silenced.
"I assure you that neither I nor the New York Times has been shuddered into silence on the subject of Scientology. The next time something newsworthy arises, I'm sure that we'll publish another fair and accurate article."
Silicon Valley newspaper 'Metro' carried an article on Earthlink and Scientology.
"While analysts marveled at EarthLink's phenomenal growth--including a stock price that has quadrupled since it was first offered 14 months ago--an entirely different take on the deal was being expressed on the Internet. In the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, the discussion focused on Sky Dayton, EarthLink's 26-year-old chairman, who founded the company in 1994. Dayton is a vocal follower of the Church of Scientology who in the early days surrounded himself with upper management and private financiers who were also Scientologists. His personal Web page is punctuated with a quote from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard: 'Communication is the solvent for all things.'
"As the company has grown, EarthLink executives have tried to distance the company from its Scientology roots, and for good reason. Unlike other religions, Scientology has earned a reputation for dragging ISPs into court for alleged copyright violations committed by private subscribers, something which electronic-privacy advocates believe could erode free discourse on the Net."
MetroActive article: Missing Links
|Beverly Hills Mission|
"LsaDerrick" reported the opening of a new Scientology mission.
"The CoS has opened a new mission on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills at 109 North La Cienega."
|Lisa Marie Presley|
The St. Petersburg Times reported that Lisa Marie Presley is selling her house in Clearwater, the spiritual headquarters of Scientology.
"The 30-year-old daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley bought the home in late 1996 for $1.2-million. A spokeswoman for her publicist said she did not know whether Presley planned to relocate locally or move from the area. The home overlooks Clearwater Harbor and is situated several blocks north of the downtown headquarters of the Church of Scientology, where Presley is a parishioner. She is part of an influx of thousands of Scientologists who have moved to Clearwater in the 1990s to be closer to the church's spiritual headquarters."
SP Times article
Ray Randolph posted a reply from the ACLU to Scientology's threats to his web site, www.scientology-kills.net.
"Although your client may well have valid trademark rights in 'SCIENTOLOGY,' I am sure you are aware that this is only the first element of a dilution action under 15 USC 1125(c). My review of the particular facts of this case leads me to the conclusion that Mr. Randolph's use of his website has not and will not dilute your mark. Moreover, the very cases cited in your letter make clear that your client has no claim against Mr. Randolph under any trademark theory.
"As your letter points out, the leading case in this area is Planned Parenthood Federation Of America, Inc. v. Bucci. Although Judge Wood concluded in that case that the defendant's use of the website www.plannedparenthood.com infringed the trademark rights of the plaintiff, the reasoning of that case demonstrates clearly that Mr. Randolph's website does not infringe your client's rights or in any way dilute your clients mark. First, the defendant's website in the Planned Parenthood case was identical to the mark owned by plaintiff, and the homepage featured the greeting 'Welcome to the Planned Parenthood Home Page.' Accordingly, the Court relied heavily on the fact that users searching for the plaintiff's website would locate defendant's site, and would not be able to tell from the name of the site or the homepage that they were encountering the wrong site. More importantly, the Court in the Planned Parenthood case concluded that the defendant's website name was not a parody protected by the First Amendment because users would not recognize the website and homepage to be a parody of plaintiff's name or a 'communicative message' by the defendant about plaintiff. Clearly, that is not the case here, where Mr. Randolph's site www.scientology-kills.net would immediately alert the user that this was not your client's site.
"In short, I conclude that your client's trademark rights have not been violated in any way and that, although your client may be unhappy with the message Mr Randolph is distributing over the internet, his right to do so is clearly protected by the First Amendment."
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