A new message board was established on America Online this week, which will allow critics to post messages without being violating the Terms of Service.
"The new message board is set up in the ACLU forum and is EXEMPT FROM TOS for language - so free speech can reign without fear of being quashed by the FAIR GAMERs among Scientology. This message board is meant to replace the AOL Scientology Debate board. Already I have begun posting choice excerpts from ARS that expose the truth about Scientology and what it is up to in the shadows.
"The full path to get there is: ACLU / Messaging / Sanctuary / Speaking Freely"
Die Presse published an article on the conflict between Scientology and Austrian Families Minister Martin Bortenstein.
"On Monday, they renewed their accusations against the Minister, 'Interesting details have surfaced which will provide Bartenstein with a few more surprises,' threatened Scientology speaker Andreas Bock in a 'press' release. It is supposed to do with medications which are distributed by the Minister's drug company. These things are certainly 'not illegal, but morally objectionable', and 'recognized under the collective concept of drugs,' says Bock.
"Angelika Thonauer related the following to the Austria Press Agency, 'Probably he is afraid that we will look more closely into his offenses - that is to say, the Families Minister earns some of his money with the help of his drug company, with which he puts people on drugs.' This statement earned Thonauer and Scientology a lawsuit by Bartenstein charging the spread of a slanderous, discrediting, and untrue statement. The Families Minister demanded a temporary order restraining both the spread of this statement and the appeal of it by Scientology."
"The cause of Thonauer's indignation was a magazine interview with Bartenstein. In it, he demanded that Scientologists who want to serve in the civil service must deny, under oath, the teachings of Hubbard, the founder. He [Bartenstein] would like to ascertain that members [of Scientology], as teachers or Kindergarten instructors, 'do not indoctrinate children and youth.' Because of the monstrosity of the accusation and the evident risk of repetition, the court will be requested that the temporary order be enacted without appeal by the accused party."
The Sacramento Bee reported that Scientology may have abandoned attempts to place Scientology textbooks in California schools.
"Department of Education officials have met with the series' publishers, according to Rovina Salinas, chairwoman of the panel that reviewed the five-volume set. The publishers brought a list of what they would change, but that wasn't good enough, Salinas said. 'It seemed like they had done all of the work and preparation,' she said. 'But we can't just approve it on what they say they're going to improve.' The publishers agreed to return in December, but canceled and have not rescheduled. Representatives of Applied Scholastics, the church wing that licenses the use of Hubbard's learning methods, could not be reached for comment."
The Salt Lake Tribune reported this week that a patient failed in his appeal, in which he was assisted by Scientology.
"Rod Diderickson filed his suit against Utah State Hospital in Provo and state mental-health agencies in 1996. Diderickson said he fell into a coma after being heavily medicated with psychotropic drugs. He pleaded with the staff to change his treatment, but they purportedly refused. He then sought help from the Church of Scientology, which assisted him in bringing the legal challenge on behalf of himself and 'all others similarly situated.' U.S. District Chief Judge David Sam dismissed the case last year.
"Diderickson then asked the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to review whether the hospital should have appointed a guardian to exercise 'substituted judgment on a patient's behalf before administering drugs. But the three-judge panel refused in a decision handed down Thursday."
Details of Scientology's planned rally this summer in Frankfurt, Germany were posted to a.r.s this week.
"To build momentum to the big event and at the same time create mountains of publicity and goodwill, a 6 week journey on foot across Europe will take place. People of different faiths, beliefs and race will bring the message of religious freedom across the European continent all the way to Frankfurt, Germany. Throughout the journey, a 'Torch of Freedom' will be carried and passed from country to country, runner to runner, religion to religion. The starting point for the European Journey will be Saint Hill.
"The route and timetable is as follows: St. Hill, East Grinstead, UK 25 June; London, UK 26 & 27 June then cross ocean; The Hague, Holland (International Human Rights Court) 30 June; Brussels, Belgium (European Parliament) 2 July; Paris, France (UNESCO HQ) 7 July; Geneva, Switzerland (UN HQ) 16 July; Milano, Italy 22 July; Innsbruck, Austria 4 August; Munich, Germany 6 August; Stuttgart, Germany 8 August Stuttgard; FRANKFURT, Germany 10 August .
"Thousands of Scientologists will welcome the runners and the rest of the team as they reach their final destination, led by International crusader and IAS medal Winner, Andrik Shapers. The torch will ceremoniously be handed over to a German religious dignitary at which point the 'Rally for Truth' will take place in the heart of Frankfurt. This will consist of an all denominational demand for religious freedom and human rights and to make it known what is really happening in Germany. The Open Letter to the German Government which will have been signed by over a hundred religious and human rights leaders and allied clergy and scholars from across Europe will be officially presented. Well known leaders, celebrities and entertainers from around the world will take the stage watched by thousands of people of different faith, race and creed.
"As the rally comes to a close and German officials will undoubtedly be breathing a sigh of relief, the assembled Scientologists from around the globe will launch into action! Cavalcades of buses, cars and vans will leave on routes heading north, south, east and west across the country, stopping in villages, towns and cities along the way and delivering person to person a specially produced Freedom Broadsheet. A massive total of 5 million messages of truth will be distributed to people all over Germany!"
News this week from the controversy in Germany, from Die Welt:
"The Berlin Office of Constitutional Protection has apparently tried, in vain, to recruit a member of the Scientology sect as an informant. The 25 year old student revealed his secret service contact last weekend, Scientology Central stated yesterday in Munich. The Office of Constitutional Protection had mostly been interested in getting information about the leading Berlin policeman, Otto D., from the student. The 53 year old Police director has been relieved of duties from his post as Chief of the Central Location since the end of March, after an anonymous letter writer had accused him of being a Scientologist.
"Scientology now claims that a Constitutional Protection agent, on April 16, approached the 25 year old student, a member of the staff of the sect office on 51 Sponholz street, in the train station. There is said to have been ten more subsequent meetings, in which the man was offered money for information on Scientology. On May 15 - weeks after the official witness - he said he was offered 5,000 marks for information about Otto D. The Office of Constitutional Protection did not wish to comment upon the even yesterday. 'As a matter of course we do not talk about the use of the secret service,' said official representative Eberhard Kruschke."
Sueddeutsche Zeitung published an article on what life in Scientology is like for young members.
"It has been nine months since Tanya fled Saint Hill with the help of the British police. The Sea Org in Saint Hill, officially an elite organization of Scientology in Sussex, England, is what Scientology parents dream of for their children. Tanya was 16 years old when she stopped going to school in Stuttgart and went to Saint Hill - voluntarily. 'I thought that the people there would be like saints,' she said.
"What awaited Tanya was eight to ten hours work per day, followed by five hours study of the Hubbardist writings. She seldom got to bed before midnight. About 300 Scientologists live in Saint Hill, including, according to Scientology's own statement, 77 children and teenagers. 'There were more and more children,' said Tanya. Apparently no work was too rigorous for children, some of whom were 14 years old. She received the promised amount of money for her work once or twice, other times she received nothing, 'or only three to six pounds and as good as never got a day off. Because, in order to have a day off, you had to have somebody to replace you. And there simply wasn't anybody.' She was not permitted to leave her post, not even when she had a fever. One time she was beat up by another Scientologist. 'They didn't want to let me go to the doctor, until I told them I would not lift another finger at work.' The doctor diagnosed a brain concussion and prescribed at least three days rest, 'but I was not permitted to lie down. I was on post.' Sometimes she was not relieved to go eat or to use the bathroom. 'If I went anyway, there was trouble. They took it out on you. You were yelled at and humiliated. There is a rigid hierarchy at Saint Hill.'"
The Hindustan Times published a pro-Scientology article this week.
"The mind is undoubtedly a memory bank but has two very distinct parts. One which consciously perceives is analyses, called the analytical mind, and the second part of the mind is the reactive mind. Analytical mind is the portion of the mind which thinks, observes, remembers it and resolves problems. The only thing which the analytical mind does not record is a painful emotion and the physical pain. In moments of intensive pain, the action of the analytical mind is suspended, while reactive mind takes over. The theory, profounded by the author of the international bestseller and expert on the subject Understanding the mind, L. Ron Hubbard, has created a new understanding in the subject of mind-body-machine and has opened a new chapter in the field of scientific medicine.
"According to Hubbard, when a person is unconscious the reactive mind exactly records the perceptions of that incident, including what happens or is set around the person. It also records all pain and stores this mental image picture in its own banks, unavailable to the individual's conscious recall not under his direct control. Though it may appear that a person knocked out in an incident is apparently unconscious and unaware of happenings around him, his reactive mind is actually industriously recording suffering for future use."
Scientology began the process of collecting its $75,000 judgment against Keith Henson this week. Among the items they plan to seize:
"Bank accounts and contents of any safe deposit boxes in the name of H. Keith Henson. All shares of stock, or any evidence thereof. Shares of stock, or any evidence thereof, owned by or jointly by, or in the name of H. Keith Henson, in Xanadu Operating Company. Patents, or any evidence thereof, owned by or jointly by, or in the name of Keith Henson. 1986 Oldsmobile station wagon, license plate 2ZZ5262. All computer, printers, monitors, modems, and all other peripherals and related equipment, and all software programs and disks owned by or jointly by, or in the name of H. Keith Henson. Any personal property of H. Keith Henson, or jointly owned by H. Keith Henson."
Scientology also submitted a list of documents for Keith to produce.
"Your federal and state income tax returns for 1996 and 1997. Any financial statements that you have prepared or had prepared for you during the last two years. Any applications you made for any mortgages or deeds of trust on your house during the last two years. Any mortgages or deeds of trust on your house. Documents concerning any real estate owned by you other than your house. Any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement entered into with your wife. All contracts by which you are obligated to perform work and which entitle you to payment for such work. Certificates evidencing ownership in any patents or other intellectual properties owned by you or your wife. Any will that you or your spouse has executed."
"RTC got $796 dollars out of my account while I was over in Arizona taking care of a family emergency. I thought there was next to no money in it, but some checks (which will now bounce) did not clear for two weeks."
Keith announced that Graham Berry has filed to vacate the verdict on his behalf.
"Defendant H. Keith Henson intends to and will move the Court to vacate the verdict and order a new trial, at an hour and date to be set by the Court, in connection with the hearing of this and related motions and applications. The Motion will be made upon each and all of the following grounds which materially affected the substantial rights of the moving party Defendant and prevented a fair trial as enumerated in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 59(a). That the verdict is against the weight of the evidence; That the verdict is excessive; There were errors in excluding evidence; Conduct by Plaintiff's counsel improperly influenced the deliberative process.
"On June 11, 1998, the jury in this case rendered a verdict that, in effect, found that copyrights could be used to conceal criminal conduct. Such a finding was clearly contrary to public policy and the purpose of the copyright legislation -- so much so that the jury's finding has generated significant internet debate and national media interest. The jury's finding is contrary to each of those things and certainly contrary to what the framers of the Constitution must have had in mind when they provided for the protection of copyrights. On public policy grounds alone, this motion for a new trial should be granted."
The Edmonton Journal reports that Scientology has launched an attack on Stephen Kent, a professor at the University of Alberta and a critic of Scientology.
"Sociology professor Stephen Kent was the subject of a scathing article in a 16-page Church of Scientology supplement entitled Freedom that was distributed with the Globe and Mail newspaper Friday. In the two-page article, Kent is compared to well-known neo-Nazi hatemongerer Ernst Zundel and is referred to 'as the academic point man for the voices of hate against new religions.' The article also questions the validity of Kent's academic research and suggests he should be disqualified from receiving any more government research grants.
"The attack appears to be related to Kent's work as an expert witness for a German parliamentary committee. Kent traveled to Germany three times last summer to speak to German legislators and mainstream church groups about Scientology practices, including forced labour and a form of brainwashing. 'Scientology has policies, which are public and well known, to undertake character assassination against their perceived enemies and this article is simply a demonstration of that Scientology policy,' said Kent, adding that he was never interviewed for the article, and that it doesn't quote from any of his published work. 'They can't quote anything from my work that would suggest I propagate hate against new religious groups because I never have."
The St. Petersburg Times published an article on the status of the criminal case against Scientologists for the death of Lisa McPherson in 1995
"Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe said last week he and his staff continue to investigate the case, but he could not say how close they are to finishing. McCabe said his office is taking 'longer than normal' to decide whether to prosecute, but added the McPherson case is 'unique.' He declined to elaborate, saying, 'I don't like to characterize things.'
"The case centers on two difficult questions: What caused McPherson's blood clot? And were church staffers criminally negligent in caring for her? The church says it has hired a team of high-powered medical experts who will testify the clot occurred suddenly and was not the result of any care she received at the Fort Harrison. The medical examiner's autopsy report suggests otherwise, concluding McPherson died of 'bed rest and severe dehydration.'
"Prosecutors also are interviewing expert witnesses, McCabe said. He also would not discuss the potential criminal charges in the case, but said the statute of limitations expires after three years for the kind of charge or charges being contemplated. That means McCabe has until Dec. 5 to decide whether to prosecute. 'We'll have it done before the statute of limitations runs,' said McCabe, who insists the case is a high priority with his office. 'There's no question I'd like to get it done,' he said. 'I'd like to have this behind us.'
"'The good news is (McCabe) does have his best prosecutor on it,' said Ken Dandar, a Tampa lawyer representing McPherson's family in a wrongful death lawsuit against the church. Dandar was referring to Executive Assistant State Attorney Doug Crow. As McCabe's top assistant, Crow has prosecuted some of the most notorious criminals in Pinellas County, including triple murderer Oba Chandler and serial killer James Randall. 'It is a criminal case that borders on homicide, and they have to be very careful about what they're doing,' Dandar said of the McPherson case. 'I understand why they're being so meticulous, but it has been very frustrating for the family.' "
A summary of picket activity at Scientology locations this week. From "Zinjifar" in Los Angeles:
"Walking around the back of the Cedars complex we entered L Ron Hubbard Way from the south. There were quite a few Sea Org in evidence, who seemed fairly surprised to see us, but no security was immediately in evidence and there was no hostility (that I noticed). We made our first pass up in front of ASHO and got a picture of Jour in front of the building.
"By the time we reached Sunset in front of the Dianetics Building we had picked up a small somewhat elderly lady who began calling from behind and when she'd caught up with us asked the standard question 'What's this all about?' She said she'd like to talk to us, and we agreed, but said we also had to keep walking, which was not what she wanted. We did discuss it a bit, but eventually began our Sunset streetfront pass with her walking along.
"Jour was primarily picketing against medical ethical violations and especially the Introspection Rundown and Purif, while I was there primarily there in protest of secrecy, legal and financial ethical violations. My sign was one side 'Scientology: 100% Standard UFO Cult' and the other Scientologists Pay $360,000 Tax Free to Harass Critics in a two part laser print."
From "Wynot" in Atlanta:
"Mad_Cow and I arrived at the cult's building a few minutes after 11:00. Cow had his usual multiboard sign, and I carried a hand held that read 'Remember Wayne Whitney' on one side, and 'WWW.XENU.NET' on the other. There was some foot traffic, and we continued to hand out flyers and talk to people about the cult. Several folks went out of there way to talk to us, telling us they had seen the '60 Minutes' program about CAN. Mad_Cow had a couple new signs - my favorite was 'No Science in Scientology'. Another good one was 'Scientology Harasses Critics'.
"By now it was about 12:40. Traffic through the cult's doors had expanded! Three guys coming out for smokes - and just barely glancing at us. They seemed to only stay out a puff or two's worth. So we never got handled; for the first time here in Atlanta, the cult pursued a policy of total non-confront. "
From Ted Mayett in Las Vegas:
"I arrived at the big org 1:50pm, vehicles 14. My plan was to do 30 minutes at each Temple. 2:20, just as I'm ready to leave the big org I spot a Police car waiting for the light to change. It was a single officer, female. As she is getting out of the car I hear her radio saying, '...you want a back-up unit?'. She turns her head to respond but i hear her answer, 'no, it is not needed.' The Officer asked what i was doing, I said, 'picketing', and waited. She said she had a complaint that I was creating a nuisance. I said, 'so what else is new? they complain to police all over the country when they get picketed.'
"She mentioned First-Amendmant Rights, Free Speech, things like that. She said she does not see where I am doing anything wrong. I asked for the name of the person who called in the complaint, she ignored the question. We spoke for a while then she went into the shop to talk to them. She was inside less than 5 minutes. When she came out I again asked for the name of the person who called in the complaint. The Officer just smiled, and I smiled, I was not getting that name. She got in the car, did some paperwork and drove off waving good-bye."
Zenon Panoussis reported on attempted settlement talks with Scientology in the Swedish NOTS case.
"Being the plaintiff, RTC was first to be subjected to pressure from the court to settle. I don't know what they were told, but they looked less than happy when they left. The point of the court was that both parties had something to lose by insisting on a ruling, that both parties could gain something by settling and that the main characteristic of a settlement is that it leaves both parties dissatisfied, albeit less dissatisfied than what they risk to be if the case comes to a ruling. I put forward the same proposal I had given McShane the previous day: RTC admits that the OTs and NOTS are open to fair use and I admit copyright infringement, pay damages and treat the OTs and NOTS with the same amount of respect (in the copyright sense) that I treat any other text with. I was confronted with RTC's proposal: that I admit infringement and they let me off damages and legal costs.
"I explained that (1) I didn't publish the disputed texts in order to avoid paying damages because if that had been my goal, I would have abstained from publishing them in the first place and (2) given the fact that I am basically broke, I won't be paying any damages or legal costs anyway, so there's nothing in for me in RTC's proposal.
"At some point, RTC in the person of McShane accepted in principle that they could concede certain limited use by the public of the OTs and NOTS. I was under just as severe a pressure from the court as the RTC was, so I went along and accepted many more limitations to my original proposal than I would ever have been happy with. Every time I went along with yet another limitation, Magnusson put forward yet another reservation. At the end, when I exploded and refused to discuss settlements any more, RTC's proposal of a settlement agreement stood as follows: Panoussis admits copyright infringement. RTC accepts every use of the material that is legal. At 13.54 the settlement talks broke down definitely and the normal hearing of the case was resumed.
"The court, that deems more time is necessary for the composition of the ruling, decides - changing its earlier decision - that the ruling will be given by being made available at the office of the section on Monday 29 June 1998 at 13.30 hours."
A.r.s. Week in Review is put together by Rod Keller ©
This collection is organised for WWW by Andreas Heldal-Lund.
Only edits done by me is replacing word encapsuled in * or _ with bold and underscore, and made links into HTML.