Note: More information about Steven Hassan, who was mentioned in last week's issue, can be found at http://www.shassan.com/
The St. Petersburg Times ran a story this week on Scientology's growing attempts to influence Washington politics.
"After years of holding the U.S. government in contempt, the Church of Scientology is enlisting members of Congress, the U.S. State Department and even President Clinton to advance its agenda in foreign lands. Prodded by the Scientologists' paid lobbyists and its cadre of sympathetic entertainers, several lawmakers and the Clinton administration have criticized the German government for allegedly discriminating against Scientology practitioners. They even got their argument against Germany to the floor of the House of Representatives last November.
"The lobbying push comes amid an ongoing criminal investigation into a suspicious death of one of its parishioners at Scientology's Clearwater headquarters - the latest in a history of controversy involving the church. That history includes convictions of 11 Scientologists on charges stemming from break-ins of government offices in the 1970s. Scientology has used lobbyists in Washington in the past, but in the years since the IRS ruling the organization has stepped up its lobbying effort. Records made public last week show that Religious Technology Center, a Scientology affiliate in Los Angeles, paid almost $725,000 to a Washington-based firm to lobby Congress in 1997 and 1996.
"David H. Miller, the managing partner of Federal Legislative Associates, said members of Congress initially were skeptical about his client and its checkered past. 'What I've said to members is, 'That's all bulls---. That's all extraneous. Let's talk about the facts,' he recalled, though he concedes: 'What they are trying to do is live down some of their past mistakes.' Miller, 50, is a former congressional aide who has been a lobbyist for 18 years. He and his firm represent clients such as the American Bankers Association and American Airlines. He is not, he said, a Scientologist.
"Miller, the lobbyist, said he has gradually tried to build a foundation of support that gives Scientologists' claims of discrimination credence in Washington. The biggest victory in that regard has come from the U.S. State Department, which criticized the German government for its treatment of Scientologists in its annual human-rights report."
Die Presse reported that Scientology and the Austrian government have been making statements about each other in the press.
"The Scientology organization and Family Minister Martin Bartenstein continued their mutual attacks upon each other in lengthy press releases last Friday. The starting point is the minister's sect information brochure, of which 270,000 copies have been printed. A speaker for Scientology stated that 'only a handful of anti-sect hunters' led the battle against Scientology, among them were Minister Bartenstein and numerous media who have been influenced by Bartenstein. Bartenstein rejected the attacks of the Scientologists. His initiative in the context of the sect information has always been in accordance with Austrian law, and this does not provide for a ban of Scientology, said the Minister. Liberal representative Ute Apfelbeck called upon the administration to take fast and decisive action against the sect."
A list of Field Staff Member (FSM) winners in the birthday game was posted this week. FSMs receive a commission on books and courses purchased by their recruits.
"INTERNATIONAL CATEGORY Steve Besio WUS, Michael Phillips CW, Barry Klien WUS, Debbie Hulthen CW, Ronit Soracco WUS, Wayne Fuller CW, Mitch Talevi WUS, Ray Barton CW, Ty Dillard WUS
"WESTERN US CATEGORY Divona Lewis, Mike Smith, Dennis Feeney, Alicia Kartuzinski, Tom Soracco
"EASTERN US CATEGORY Gary Epstein, Susan Rowe, Choi Hoi Chan, Rita Zarahn, Andy Jajuga
"CLEARWATER CATEGORY Chiara Staples, Jennifer Sgroi, Doug Sadwick, Marcos Dana, Phyllis Franklin
"EUROPE CATEGORY Milko Thies, Monica Wieneke, Richard Lore, Yossi Charney, Rosie Friehof
"CANADA CATEGORY Frank Aggio Dave Erison, Mick McCoy Robert Aumais, Diane Shuck
"UNITED KINGDOM CATEGORY Sheila Bulger, Malcolm Croft, Pavane Fraser, Lorraine Bulger, Hanne Barram
"ITALY CATEGORY Paolo Tucci, Marco Puggelli, Aldo Stanzani, Rodolfo Cortinovis, Emiliano Lossani"
News on the ongoing conflict between Scientology and the German government this week. First, from Taz-Hamburg:
"US Attorney Graham Berry lectures in Hamburg about the Scientology Sect. The US defense attorney has represented those who have been harmed by the internationally active sect for years. As a guest of Ursula Caberta, member of the Enquete Commission on 'so-called sects and psycho-groups', he spent some time in Hamburg to explain about 'the dark side of Scientology.'
"His analysis of the ideology of the Scientology sect falls into three categories: power, purification and punishment. Over a long period of time Scientology has been preparing political and commercial power. In that sense, according to the US attorney, Scientology is a political organization. Critical information which contradicts the sect's goals is removed -- 'purified.' Scientology wants to remove passages from legal decisions; from the library it wants to remove whole pages from books."
From Agence France Presse:
"A United Nations special investigator Tuesday described as shocking attempts to make comparisons between present-day Germany's opposition to Scientology on its territory and the Nazi past. 'There is no need to emphasize that any comparison between modern Germany and Nazi Germany is so shocking as to be meaningless and puerile,' UN rapporteur Abdelfattah Amor said after investigations in Germany.
"Amor, UN rapporteur on religious intolerance, recalled that freedom of conscience and religion were guaranteed by international law 'even in time of emergency.' However international law does not provide a legal definition of the notion of religion, and international human rights instruments do not cover the concept of a sect, he added."
From the New York Times:
"'This comparison between modern Germany and Nazi Germany is so shocking a to be meaningless and puerile,' the investigator, Abdelfattah Amor, said in issuing his report. The report counters criticisms made by Scientologist, and by the United States State Department in its annual human rights report. Mr. Amor, a law professor at Tunis University, compiled his report on religious intolerance and discrimination in Germany, looking not only at Scientology but at other religions, too, including Islam. Emphasizing that he had spoken with Government officials, Mr. Amor said that the German debate over religious beliefs and freedom was overly emotional. 'There has been too much passion and exaggeration by all sides,' he said.
"In his report, Mr. Amor said that German officials have maintained that the key question is not whether Scientology is a religion, but whether it respects the law. Government measures, he said, are 'simply designed to protect citizens and the liberal democratic order,' by assuring the Scientologists do not, among other actions, use 'immoral and illegal techniques of psychological manipulation and repression.'"
Graham Berry posted to describe his trip to Germany.
"I was met at the airport by Ursula Caberta. As many of you know, Ursula is an ex-parliamentarian who heads the State of Hamburg's Task Force on Scientology. Saturday night and Sunday were spent in discussions. On Monday morning I gave an extensive interview which will soon be published. In the afternoon I met with some of the local press, legislators, police, cult experts and media. I gave a 45 minute address followed by questions. On Tuesday I spent a very long day in a meeting (with scientology operatives in the street outside) and then went to the public event that I was to speak at. Scientology had a picket, banner and leaflet distribution going on outside. The leaflets, of course, were intended to DA me. DA Packs on me had been sent to a government agency and certain media representatives. They even advised the media that I was under investigation for molesting children! The only such investigation is a scientology one - on everything from my alleged involvement in every form of international and personal crime from murder to selling white girls into slavery in North Africa. There were four different television news crews and quite a few other journalists and photographers.
"The next day one of the German TV channels broadcast 90 minutes of it without interruption. In the speech, largely 'off the cuff', I developed my analysis that scientology can be reduced to three basic principles, Power ('Clear the Planet'), Purge ('Operation Snow White') and Punish ('Fair Game:' intelligence, investigation, intimidation and litigation). Wednesday I had a press photo shoot before viewing the Hamburg Org. Until 1991 it had the best stats on 'the planet'. It was repeatedly the top org in the LRH Birthday Game. The Hamburg Org [now] owes a small fortune in unpaid rent and an even bigger fortune in unpaid employment taxes. The German Labor Court has ruled that scientology is not a church but a business, and so every scientology entity in Germany owes a staggering back-tax bill. A number of scientology-related financial 'outrages' have also been exposed, particularly in the condominium conversion business in both Hamburg and Berlin."
Grady posted an update on his copyright violation lawsuit this week.
"Just returned from a settlement conference in front of Chief Magistrate Judge Edward A. Infante of the Northern District of California. After three hours of negotiation in front of the Judge the negotiations broke down. The Judge was visibly angry as he left us. So, we are definitely going to trial. Although the current date is April 13, 1998 that will almost certainly change since the Hon. Ronald M. Whyte has asked to hold another pretrial conference and we are working on the joint pretrial statement which must be finished before the conference is scheduled.
"Depositions of various witnesses are going ahead in spite of the trial date flux. The cult is officially asking for $9,900,000 in damages plus what is likely to be over $2,000,000 in attorney's fees and costs of probably several hundred thousand dollars."
"My neighborhood was mailed yet another dead-agent attack upon me and my family. It's hard to get a copy when the neighbors throw it away in disgust thinking 'those scientologists are pretty sick folk, aren't they?'"
Grady posted a draft of the joint statement he and Scientology will be making to the court. The joint statement included a list of stipulations Grady is asking Scientology to make, and some of the witnesses expected to be called.
"Witness Felicity Wasser will not need to be called if the plaintiff agrees to stipulate that her testimony will state that to the best of her knowledge that Grady Ward is not Scamizdat, Vorlon, nor infringed the rights of the plaintiff in any way. She will testify that he did not scan materials in the two years preceding the lawsuit nor own the works of L. Ron Hubbard during the period before the lawsuit start of March 21, 1996. She will testify that in private confidential conversations between her and the defendant that before he was sued he wondered who the identity of 'Scamizdat' was.
"Witness Rubye K. Ward will not need to be called if plaintiff agrees to stipulate that his testimony that her testimony will state that an agent of the plaintiff, Eugene Martin Ingram, lied to her in order to obtain property from her. ALONG WITH THE ADMITTED FRAUD ON HUMBOLDT BANK GOES DIRECTLY TO THE CREDIBILITY OF THE PLAINTIFF AND THEIR HABIT AND ROUTINE OF LYING TO 'ENEMIES.'
"Witness David Miscavige will not need to be called if the plaintiff agrees to stipulate that his testimony will be that the Scientology ecclesiastical 'Fair Game' law in which among other things that lying to an enemy of Scientology is not a punishable offense under the Scientology code, regardless of the revocation of the terminology 'fair game.'
"Witness Johan Wevers will not need to be called if the plaintiff agrees to stipulate that he was the sole person who posted the NOTs as 'Vorlon' and that Grady Ward had no part of Wever's acquisition or distribution of the plaintiff's property.
"Witness Michael Ray Randolph will not need to be called if the plaintiff agrees to stipulate that Michael Ray Randolph was personally responsible for posting several of the documents claimed by the plaintiff as part of their unpublished Advanced Technology under the Scamizdat rubric, has participated in alt.religion.scientology since 1994, and that Grady Ward had no part in his acquisition or distribution of the plaintiff's property.
"Witness Custodian of records of Pacific Bell will not need to be called if the plaintiff agrees to stipulate that the entire phone record of the defendant as delivered to Magistrate Infante is admissible to show the non-occurrence of collusion between Grady Ward and anyone else accused of violating the plaintiff's rights.
"Witness Custodian of records of Netcom will not need to be called if the plaintiff agrees to stipulate that the records of Netcom show that Grady Ward was not logged to Netcom upon the days that the plaintiff alleges that Grady Ward infringed their copyrights allegedly under his own name.
"Witness Custodian of records of Northcoast and Humboldt Internet will not need to be called if the plaintiff agrees to stipulate that their records do not reflect any unlawful activity by Grady Ward.
"Witness Beth Hamilton will not need to be called if the plaintiff agrees to stipulate that no infringing or non-infringing materials or any evidence of collusion with any other person to violate the rights of the plaintiff was found on the seized archive disks of Grady Ward."
Peik Stromsholm reported this week that the identity of two of the Scamizdat posters has been released by the Penet anonymous remailer in Finland. The Penet messages turn out to have been mailed from other anonymous accounts.
"The criminal investigation into the reposting of Scamizdat #11 through anon.penet.fi during March 1996 has been closed by the Helsinki Police Department. The case -- which involved secret Scientology 'scriptures' -- was investigated as a minor copyright offence, with a statute of limitation of two years. Since they couldn't get enough evidence for an indictment in two years, the case is now closed. As a result of this the information from the investigation is now public.
"According to a Helsinki PD document 3300/RTP/R/110659/96 Helsingius gave
the police the following information:
firstname.lastname@example.org = email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org = email@example.com"
Keith Henson reported correspondence with his Congresswoman this week regarding his plan to deliver NOTS 34 to the FDA as evidence of Scientology making medical claims.
"A staff member made an inquiry of Judge Whyte's staff and received a fax copy of the injunction which prohibits me from giving a copy of NOTs 34 to the FDA. A fair statement would be that there were some *very* raised eyebrows at such a creative use of copyright law. Reading a certain document into the Congressional record was taken under advisement."
Mark Dallara reported that Scientologist-operated Digital Lightwave is moving to new offices in Clearwater.
"The current main office is at 601 Cleveland St., in the Sun Trust building in downtown Clearwater, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Ft. Harrison Hotel. DIGL occupies three of the five or six floors in the building. The new location is all the way across the county, just west of the southern end of the Bayside Bridge. It's bordered by a trailer park to the west, houses to the north, Roosevelt Blvd. to the south, and the access road the the bridge to the east."
Brent Stone reported the ongoing battle of the sprinklers during pickets at the San Jose org.
"The sprinklers were turned on again just after I got there. Darlene got a bunch more pics of me and my car. Then the interesting part -- seems like San Jose has inherited at least a couple of Sea Ogres."
John Ritson reported on the first picket at the Manchester, England org.
"About a dozen Manchester suppressives plus Dave Bird, yours truly and 'Duke' the lovable toy dog in water wings (in memory of Judge Swearinger's drowned dog) turned up outside the Manchester 'org' with leaflets, placards, petitions, Xenu in full costume, and a real dog. After phoning Saint Hill for orders, and the standard phone call to the police the clams applied David Miscavige's brilliant new squirrel strategy of failing to confront. So both sides of the road containing the 'org' were occupied by pickets loudly explaining the crimes of Scientology while the clams hid away.
"We had so many picketers that detachments were sent out to the main shopping areas to leaflet and collect signatures calling for a government inquiry into Scientology. Although this was the first picket in Manchester, public awareness was already high. Passers-by would say things like 'Scientology - That's that L. Ron Hubbard. He was a bastard, wasn't he?'. One woman was glad to receive information because her friend's husband was in contact with the cult. Others had been annoyed by body-routers."
Arnie Lerma participated in a radio show on Talk America, which reaches dozens of stations across the U.S.
"I discussed the nature of the trap called Scientology how I considered it a fraud, and the evidence there of, Hubbard's Navy history - etc. Covered Narconon, CCHR and CATS - secret Agreement, Lisa McPherson, pickets, Deanna being picketed. Described the patterns of deception used to market the scam. Described Quentin Hubbard's death. A fellow called in from California, an ex member and described his story - which backed me up very nicely.
"After every break for advertising Roger would spell out my web site L E R M A N E T . C O M and told folks they had to see it. The show went on for 2 hours! Meanwhile the host said that OSA was on the lines demanding to tell the rest of the story."
Scandal in Russia this week as Boris Yeltsin's nominee for Premier is alleged to have had ties to Scientology. From Deutsche Presse-Agentur:
"Russian President Boris Yeltsin's embattled young nominee for premier, 35-year-old Sergei Kiriyenko, sailed into still choppier waters Tuesday with spreading allegations of ties to the controversial U.S. Church of Scientology. On Wednesday, the Communist-dominated lower chamber of parliament was to debate whether to call on Yeltsin to withdraw the nomination while 'roundtable' discussions on formation of the new government took place. First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov said the Scientology allegations against Kiriyenko, his protege, were an attempt to discredit him, ITAR-TASS news agency reported. 'I've been expecting something like this,' he said.
"According to the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, Kiriyenko had attended a weeklong Scientology seminar three years ago while head of Garantiya Bank in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. ITAR-TASS quoted a representative of the Moscow patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church who specialises in religious sects, Alexander Dvorkin, as saying Kiriyenko would have to make clear whether he was a member of the U.S. sect, which he said was dangerous and demanded 'complete loyalty' of its members. ITAR-TASS later withdrew the report without explanation."
From The Moscow Times:
"Another potential obstacle to Kiriyenko's confirmation arose when a German newspaper, Berliner Zeitung, published a report Monday saying Kiriyenko had attended a weeklong Scientology seminar when he was a bank executive in Nizhny Novgorod, and encouraged other bank employees to also attend. The Berliner Zeitung story, quoting a cult expert in Nizhny Novgorod, reported that Kiriyenko had said he appreciated the 'clarity' of Scientology's teaching. Later, the article reported, Kiriyenko said he did not want to have anything more to do with Scientology.
From The Independent (London):
"Russia's youthful, inexperienced and - until last week - almost unheard of prime minister-designate was yesterday grappling with potentially damaging allegations linking him with the Church of Scientology. Just over a week after being yanked out of obscurity by Boris Yeltsin, Sergei Kiriyenko, 35, hit his first unexpected skid patch after a German newspaper, Berliner Zeitung, reported that he had attended a one-week Scientology course in Nizhny Novgorod when he was head of a bank three years ago.
"The teachings of L Ron Hubbard are regarded with profound suspicion by Russian officialdom, particularly by the powerful Russian Orthodox church. The same views are likely to be shared by many of the parliamentarians due to vote on Friday over whether to confirm Mr Kiriyenko's nomination.
"Yesterday, Mr Yeltsin sought to dampen the protests over his choice of prime minister by inviting the two speakers of parliament and Mr Kiriyenko himself to talks at his residence outside Moscow later today. The invitation appeared to work: soon afterwards, deputies from the State Duma, or lower house, dropped demands for Mr Kiriyenko's nomination to be suspended. The minister yesterday tried to brush off the Berliner Zeitung report, which claimed he arranged for other bankers to attend similar seminars. He was reported to have declared that he appreciated the 'simplicity and clarity' of Hubbard's teachings. Later, the paper said, he lost interest in Scientology."
Las Vegas critic Ted Mayett reported acts of harassment this week.
"Wednesday evening I found a metal plate with spikes on it, face up, and set against the curb where I typically park my car. I had spotted the plate before driving over it and ruining a tire.
"The last flyer I found on my car was around 20 March 1998. It was placed there between the hours of 2pm and 12am. The crispness of this OCA suggested it was placed closer to 12am. Immediately upon spotting the flyer I checked all the other vehicles on the street, none of them had a flyer on the windshield."