Scientology defendant Dennis Erlich posted an update on his copyright infringement case, and on the status of his new inFormer Ministry.
"My case has been on a slow track, and headed for appeal. Currently there are several summary judgment motions in front of the judge (that's where he can decide things without a trial, such a guilt). The scienos wish the Hon. Judge Ron Whyte to declare that they are the undisputed owners of the Sakrid Droppings from the Phatman and to declare me guilty of violating their copyrights by 'excessive quoting.' MoFo has a summary judgment motion on my behalf before Whyte declaring the Oatea Droppings as having been published, by reason of sale to loyal scienos and unlimited access granted to them explicitly admitted in the Warren McShane depositions. Morrison/Foerster is preparing for trial, which could be as early as next year. But don't hold your breath.
"The ministry began right after I left the cult. Working alone I extricated many people from the cult between 1982 and '89, when I finally found the Cult Awareness Network and began publishing, with the help of a few loyal ministry staffers, 'the inFormer' newsletter in 1990. Work has now begun constructing the ministry's very first web site. It will feature all of our corporate papers and our 501(c)3 application (which will receive IRS approval within 2 months). We have already been recognized by the City of LA and the State of California as a non-profit religious/educational corporation. In fact the ministry has become an official vendor for the City of LA, which, by reason of selling services and producing an event for the Mayor's Office, recently donated enough money to us that we could purchase (though only partially afford) a fine Hewlett/Packard Pavillion Pentium 2 computer, with which to set up the ministry and its web site.
"If you feel in your heart that you should assist in our work, and can do so without depriving you or your loved ones of necessities or entertainment, your tax-deductible donations will be greatly appreciated and can be made to:
"inFormer Ministry (CA non-profit corp # 2011733)
826A Fischer St.
Glendale, CA 91205
818/247-0022 (not after 9pm)"
|Los Angeles Event|
John Hendrickson, "Tallulah" and "Snefru" posted descriptions of the July 4th event on LRH Way in Los Angeles.
"In the first group there was a very energetic young woman who gave a short speech on the class she just finished. Something about being an expert with the meter now. The next group were the advanced class. This perked up my ears as I heard them introduce 2 new OT1's, 1 new OT3, and a new OT4. One of them got up and gave a short speech about how great his class was and how it was every thing he imagined it to be.
"The man with the video camera and a big bouncer looking dude came over to my side of the street and struck up a conversation. They wanted to know again what I was doing there. I said I was an interested passer by. They said I had been identified by the police as a person that had been following John Travolta. And they just wanted to assure me that though he was a very famous SCN, he was not there tonight."
"The Event itself is being held in the parking lot beside the LA Day Org, which is tastefully entombed in white plastic tarps that stretch up over the fence, making it impossible to view picket signs from inside. As for the area outside the parking lot, it is officially 'open to the public'. Of course, if you happen to represent one of the less desirable - read: skeptical - members of the public, you might find yourself somewhat less than welcome.
"I was tapped on the back a guy who then said something to the effect of 'Excuse me, you were here on March 13th weren't you?' He then asked me to follow him, where he escorted me over to a less populated area of the parking lot. He mentioned 'Last time you were here with a Picket Sign.' He told me that the event was indeed a church event, and only church members, or 'people who like the church' were welcome."
Rheinische Merkur reported that German security counts 40 Scientologists in the government, 15 of these in the Berlin Administration.
"The newspaper said German domestic intelligence services felt that, in fact, the number of scientologists working in public services could be higher than 40. In June, a parliamentary investigating committee asked the intelligence services to maintain its surveillance for a year of the Scientology church as an extremist organization. According to an April report by German intelligence services, the church has its own secret service to serve its extremist ends with weapons of 'psychological warfare' and with espionage and counter-espionage techniques. Its aim is to infiltrate governments, administrations and companies and systematically to slander and demoralize, the report said, adding that the sect has private detectives to follow people on its 'black lists' of enemies.
"The Associated Press reported that Scientology has filed a suit against government officials, demanding that they stop calling a police official a Scientologist.
"The Church of Scientology said Wednesday it had filed a lawsuit against Berlin officials demanding they stop calling a high-ranking police official a Scientologist, saying it means a 'social death sentence' in Germany. Police chief Otto D. was accused in an anonymous letter to his superiors in March of being a leading Scientologist in Berlin and of preventing an underling in the department from leaving the church. He denied being a Scientologist, a stance supported by the church. The church says he has suffered discrimination in his job because of the untrue charge. Its lawsuit demands city officials stop calling him a Scientologist and pay the court costs."
Tilman Hausherr reported some inaccuracies in the article.
"This lawsuit doesn't exist. According to a german press article, it has not been filed.
"The only person possibly discriminated is the cop. Only he can file a lawsuit (and he has already done so). A basic concept of german law is that you can file a lawsuit only when you are 'touched' yourself by what you sue against."
Die Woche published an article on the Scientologist Online project, which involves thousands of nearly identical web sites submitted by church members.
"The members' home pages are just a shade different from each other. They have an identical beige background, graphics and construction, which consists of a couple of personal sentences about the member's fully effective function in life as a happy business person and spouse, some words of praise for the Scientology organization, and a 'favorite quote' of Lafayette Ron Hubbard, the founder of the sect. Then comes a profusion of links which leads exclusively and directly to the network of Scientology associations and companies.
"Perhaps a simple calculation lies behind this. Previously, critical information on Scientology was easy to find on the internet. However, the thousands of Scientology testimonial sites will clog up the search machines used by millions of users to navigate their way through the net. Since people are now referred to the sect's internet provider en masse, this will increase its ranking with several of the automatic search systems.
"The most terrible weapon against Scientology is probably the material contained in its home-made propaganda. www.scientology.org alone offers over 20,000 pages; numerous sub-organizations manage their own web sites. A sect organ called Freedom Magazine also hosts Hatewatch Germany, which is a campaign that fights 'ethnic cleansing in Germany' and sensationally places Norbert Blum, the Scientology critic, side by side with Joseph Goebbels."
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that Scientology will help film San Jacinto city council meetings, nearby to the infamous Gold Base.
"Mayor Jim Smedley is working with filming technicians from the Church of Scientology's Golden Era Productions in Gilman Hot Springs to televise council meetings. During a report to the council, Smedley said Golden Era has offered to provide a list of equipment needed to air the meetings live. The issue will be brought to the council for review in August."
Grady Ward reported another filing this week, asking that Scientologists Warren McShane and Helena Kobrin be found in contempt for withholding evidence in his copyright violations case.
"Plaintiff's Initial Disclosure of July 1, 1996 did not disclose the existence of any of the Internet data compilations or either of the fact witnesses Jean Carnahan or Rhea Smith as required by law. Plaintiff has never supplemented its Initial Disclosure.
"Carnahan and Smith under the direct and sole supervision of Warren McShane and Helena Kobrin - even to the extent of using Kobrin's personal computer account -- were monitoring the Internet and gathering magnetic and other relevant notes and records from at least as early as February 20, 1995 - more than a full year preceding this lawsuit continuously up to the present time.
"The plaintiff continued to lie to Chief Magistrate Judge Infante in their Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Initial Disclosure filed January 6, 1997 when they maintained that they had fully complied with Initial Disclosure and had 'no more disclosures to make.' This false paper was filed four full months after this court's August 2, 1996 order and four full month's before the plaintiff finally admits the existence of Rhea Smith (but not Jean Carnahan or the vast magnetic data compilation) during the deposition of Warren McShane in May 1997, which finally occurred after discovery was closed in this case.
"Punishment can hardly be less for the adverse principal Warren McShane who the evidence shows committed perjury multiple times in this matter and his attorney Helena Kobrin who -- schooled in the law -- knew her legal duties and thus willfully and maliciously withheld the identify of persons with whom she worked closely for over a year and the existence, character and extent of the relevant and material evidence they collected and maintained."
"Jour" reported a five org picket on June 29th.
"My first stop was a post-lunchtime picket in San Jose. I'd been to the big San Jose org on Rosemary a couple of times, but I'd never been to the Winchester location. I had my nifty new sign with clear pockets (and changeable messages). For today's pickets, I had: IS $CIENTOLOGY BREAKING THE LAW? WWW.XENU.NET. DID $CIENTOLOGY STANDARD TECH KILL LISA MCPHERSON? ASK $CIENTOLOGY ABOUT THE INTROSPECTION RUNDOWN and WHY DOES $CIENTOLOGY LIE ABOUT THEIR MEMBERS?
"The Winchester org is in a little office building. There was practically no foot traffic, but there were a lot of cars going by. I saw many, many people reading my sign as they waited for the traffic light to change. There were a handful of construction workers working at the corner. A couple of them read my sign and gave me approving nods or waves. Toward the end of my picket, a gentleman appeared and asked why I was picketing. I gave him some fliers and answered his questions. It looked like he lived just a few doors down from the org.
"I headed over to the Mountain View org. As usual, there was very little foot traffic.
"My next stop was in the lovely city of Palo Alto. It was an extremely pleasant place to picket - gorgeous weather, a pretty street, nice people. There wasn't a lot of foot traffic, but there was definitely more than anyplace I've picketed so far except San Francisco. The $cn offices were up a flight of stairs, with no windows directly facing the street. My first flier-taker was a gentleman who was very interested in cult-like groups, and had a special interest in the RCP (Revolutionary Communist Party, he told me). We chatted for quite some time. I told him about Lisa, and about the medical claims, and gave him an Attorney General postcard.
"I hopped back on the freeway and made it to Redwood City in a matter of minutes. The Redwood City org is in one of those little blocks of office buildings that looks like apartments. There was practically no foot traffic here - a few bicyclists rode by, and the young couple who walked by declined my fliers. A lot of drivers and people in passenger seats read my sign, though. A cab driver even pulled over to ask about my picket. He took some fliers and sounded very interested.
"By the time I got to San Francisco, I was pretty tired, but the lovely colors of the sunset hitting the fog rejuvenated me. Apparently, I got there just as the evening class students were taking their break. I counted 17 Scientologists standing around in front of the org! They seemed in very good spirits, and their spirits seemed quite undampened by my appearance. Despite the late hour, there was still some foot traffic, and I gave out a few fliers. About seven minutes after I got there, everyone went back inside. I picketed for another minute or two, but it was getting downright cold, so I left."
"Realpch" picketed the San Francisco org.
"We picketed for a long time today, almost two hours. After about 45 minutes, Mr. Camera showed up. He went in the building and came out a bit later and began his tour with Jour. At about the same time, the Stress Test Table made an appearance. And then I finally got introduced and cannot call Mr. Camera, Mr. Camera anymore. His name is Jeff. Jeff was very personable though, so we eventually did have some minimal discussion upon the pertinent topic. Right before we left Jeff inquired if we were planning on picketing on the Fourth. Jour and I informed him that we had other plans, and not to drop by the Org on our account."
Clearwater city council had a presentation from Scientology's representatives concerning the new Super Power building, planned for the lot across the street from the Fort Harrison Hotel, and renovations to the Fort Harrison itself. From the council minutes:
"Church representative Matthew Pearse, architect Nick Sakelariou, and in-house designer Sherri James presented the proposal. Referring to color elevation drawings and site configuration maps, they highlighted orientation, aesthetic design elements, and landscaping features of the new six story, 320,000 square foot building. Architectural design reflects the classical style of the Fort Harrison Hotel across the street. Pedestrian bridges in accordance with FDOT requirements link the new building with the Fort Harrison Hotel, and the future auditorium building across Franklin Street. Four, 7-story, towers accent the building s corners. A 150-foot tall tower element incorporated into the building is modeled after a traditional bell tower. Aluminum windows and doors will have blue/green tinted glass to conserve energy. The roof will have no exposed mechanical equipment, as a central chiller plant facility is to be located within the structure.
"Responding to questions, applicants indicated ground breaking date is not known. A large open area in the building's center will contain a dome or low pitched pyramid, not visible from the street.
"Representative James Bond related hotel history since 1927, showing how elements were altered through the years. Addition of cabanas, or dwelling units on the west side of the Fort Harrison Hotel, was done in the 1960's, flat roof style. The proposal is to return the main building to the way it was. Mr. Bond displayed a rendering of the east hotel elevation showing restoration of planters and original facade elements. Member Herberich moved to approve cabanas and conceptual hotel design as presented, with the understanding a formal application for hotel design review will come back before the board. The motion was duly seconded and carried unanimously."
Goteborgs-Posten published a report this week that Scientology wants to create a new school in Sweden.
"As long as the Scientologist's school adheres to the national guidelines for education, the National Agency for Education will find it difficult to turn their application down. But the Municipal Commissioner Lars Johansson of Gothenburg is skeptical. The Association Active Studies West Sweden has applied to start an independent school in Gothenburg by fall in the year 2000. It shall use the Swedish national guidelines for education. But the principal and teachers should also be trained in something called the study method of Applied Scholastics. This is the same method as that worked out by the founder of the Church of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard.
"In Stockholm, the Scientologists run the Studema school since seven years, and now also want to start a high school. Thus it seems logical that the National Agency will also approve the Gothenburg equivalence, says Educational Director Staffan Engstrom, according to Radio Goteborg. But Municipal Commissioner Lars Johansson is hesitant. 'Spontaneously, I'd say I'm very skeptical. From what I have heard they are going to use pedagogical methods that are similar to those of Scientology. We have to look into this carefully', he says.
"There might be purely formal grounds to say no, since the Association Active Studies wants to start the school with only 15 children, while the recommended minimum is 20. Lars Johansson also wonders why they want to wait until the year 2007 to extend the school to care for 69 children in 1st to 5th grade."
More details this week from the St. Petersburg Times on John Travolta's trip to the U.S. Congress, lobbying for a bill to criticize Germany.
"The new resolution, sponsored by Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., rests its case on several annual State Department reports that found Germany has discriminated against Scientology and other minority religions. The non-binding measure calls on the president to 'assert the concern' of the United States about religious discrimination in Germany. David H. Miller, the Washington, D.C., lobbyist for the Scientology-affiliated Religious Technology Center, said lawmakers in both the House and Senate told him they were willing to hold public hearings on the complaints. That is an important step in winning passage of any legislation.
"At a news conference, Travolta and lawmakers who appeared with him argued that a religion should not be punished for the actions of an individual member. 'I know a Catholic once who robbed a bank,' Travolta said. 'And I know Baptist who got a divorce.' Salmon agreed. 'There have been serious allegations leveled against officials in many, many churches,' the congressman said, though he added: 'If this happened in Florida, and if there were members of the Scientology religion who did what they're alleged to have done, then they should be prosecuted, they need to be brought to justice.'"
Zenon Panoussis reported that he lost his case in Swedish court this week.
"I was accused of having violated the TRO against me by filing 'the material' with the parliament twice, filing the same with the court in my civil case, posting the NOTs on ars on May 2nd, 1997 and handing out 'the material' to passers-by during a picket at the Stockholm org. I denied all charges on different grounds and the CoS withdrew the fourth one.
"The court found that the parliament is to be considered as the public, therefore filing the NOTs with it constituted distribution to the public in the sense of the copyright law. The court said further that the file attachment 126, containing 10 to 20 real OTs and NOTs and thereover a great number of distorted NOTs was covered by the TRO, but filing it with the court cannot be considered to be a violation of it. The court found that the postings on May 2nd 1997 originated from my account ('my home page'!). The ruling states that I publicly threatened to post the NOTs before May 2nd *and* publicly admitted having posted them after May 2nd. The latter part of that statement is not correct. I never admitted having posted them and not even RTC claimed that; they only claimed that I in general kept threatening to publish them.
"The outcome is that I am convicted to pay the full penalty of SEK 50,000 (USD 6,250) and RTC's legal costs SEK 30,000 (USD 3,750). Both are collectable immediately, unless a higher court inhibits execution pending the ruling on appeal."
From Agence France Presse:
"A Swedish court on Tuesday fined a man for having broken the copyright of a confidential Scientology 'bible' when he passed on a copy to the public authorities, the TT news agency reported. Zenon Panoussis, 42, was fined 50,000 krona (6,300 dollars) for handing the 200-page document in 1996 to the justice ministry, parliament and government offices who in turn made them accessible to the public under Swedish law. The 'bible', written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is used for training new recruits to the Scientology movement. They also pay large sums of money for the privileged access to the book which is copyrighted.
"Panoussis, who also made the document available on the Internet, is to appeal the verdict, the TT agency reported. When the document was first made available in Sweden's parliamentary public library, Scientologists took turns reading the document continuously throughout the day in order to prevent the general public from reading it. Relations between Sweden and the United States were damaged by the incident after several US congressmen and senators complained to Stockholm over public access to the document which they argued broke international copyright."
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.