Officials in Innsbruck, Austria are contesting Scientology's plans to have a concert as part of their march in Europe against alleged discrimination.
"The adherents of the controversial Scientology teachings also wish to march on Innsbruck Station on August 4. A concert with Mark Janicello was originally planned in front of the 'Golden Dachl.' He played the lead role last January in the musical 'Elvis: A Musical Biography,' which was performed in the 'Kongress' building. However, the city's land permit office denied the request for the concert. The reasons given listed an advertising ban enacted in November, 1995 by the Innsbruck City Senate. The ban was recently ratified by the City Senate on July 15. Andreas Bock, the speaker for Scientology Austria, spoke yesterday about a sign of intolerance because the city turned down a meeting for religious freedom. He further stated that Scientology will not accept the denial under any condition, that it now is a question of constitutional rights. Legal steps against the advertisement ban are already underway. Scientology Central in Vienna is considering the possibility of a demonstration in the Tyrol state capitol.
"On Wednesday, Innsbruck Mayor Herwig van Staa firmly dismissed the Scientologists' criticism that he had prohibited the planned concert. The denial was not a result of his instruction, but of the written instruction of the land permit office - 'resulting from the legitimate and legally binding decision of an office of the State Capitol.' Van Staa regretted that the Scientologists were, once against, making untrue assertions. He is not a 'thought police,' nor does he have anything against a concert by Janicello - but when that concert takes place within the confines of a Scientology meeting, then that is a whole different matter, emphasized the city's leading official."
Scientology claims that the new book by L. Ron Hubbard is a bestseller. From Scientology's press release on Business Wire:
"Here are New York Times and national bestselling novels of adventure and intrigue, mystery and romance -- and fascinating doubles and deadringers -- that Dateline Feature Service book reviewer Terry MacDonald promises will keep you looking and thinking twice -- and compulsively turning the pages. 'Ai! Pedrito! -- When Intelligence Goes Wrong,' by L. Ron Hubbard and Kevin J. Anderson: The old adage that everyone in the world has an exact double explodes into a fast-moving, unpredictably dangerous adventure -- hilariously orchestrated by rival intelligence agencies -- when straitlaced U.S. Navy Lt. Tom Smith discovers his own personal deadringer is a notorious South American revolutionary and spy, Pedrito Miraflores, and they unexpectedly change places."
Peter Lucey reported this week that Scientology attempted to have the National Council of Civil Liberties criticize Germany for alleged discrimination.
"Jacques Vollet and other UK members of the Co$ put down a motion at the UK AGM of Liberty (The National Council of Civil Liberties) today. The motion expressly criticised the Federal Republic of Germany for religious persecution. We were able to place amendments to the motion; adding that 'religions must also be tolerant to minorities and dissenting views' and these were passed."
Scientologist Otto Dreksler was reinstated to the Berlin police this week. Berliner Zeitung reported the contoversy over the anonymous letter that lead to his suspension.
"'Otto D. left a lot to be desired,' stated Personnel Board Chief Hartmut Pech, 'but I think this denunciation is intolerable, because the accused is not able to defend himself.' One thing is certain. The anonymous letter writer carried out his deed in an extremely professional manner. There were no fingerprints on the envelope; there was no saliva on the stamp. Even the letter style could indicate a writer from the east side of Berlin, however, this could have been a perfidious trick of the anonymous letter writer to cover any trace of himself. 'He knew the exact degree of attention that would be paid to a Scientology investigation,' stated Otto D. He has his own suspicion of who it could be. For him the 'case of Otto D.' has long been 'a case of domestic intelligence.'
"Criticism of the investigating officials is increasing, and not just among the police director's circle of friends. Wener Platzeck, CDU party chairman of the Zehlendorf District Parliament, in which Otto D. is also a member, rages angrily, 'Apparently the findings are not good enough, otherwise he would have been suspended.' The proceedings against the police director were given up in June, because there was no evidence that a crime had been committed. Otto D. has his own thoughts. 'If this keeps up, the assertion that I am a Scientologist, then I will seek help from the public,' he said."
"The scandal concerning police director Otto D.'s alleged membership in Scientology has ended with a retraction by the state administration and domestic intelligence, as well as full reinstatement for the policeman. Yesterday the state administration conceded that there was no evidence of Otto D.'s membership in Scientology. State Senator Jorg Schonbohm (CDU) lifted the suspension of D. as director of the police operations center, and reinstated him back to his original duties.
"Now the LfV will pursue the investigation in a 'security review' - and has, according to the state administration 'come to the conclusion, after basic evaluation of all findings obtained, that the accusation brought against Police Director D. of his being a member of the Scientology organization cannot be proved.' As the reviewing authority of the LfV, the state administration has announced an 'intensive examination.' A report on the 'Otto D. affair' is supposed to be presented by the domestic intelligence agency to the house of representatives in the first session after the summer break."
From Die Welt:
"Disgrace for Berlin domestic intelligence: the secret agency has apparently unjustly accused police director Otto D. of being a member of the psycho-sect of Scientology. The evidence they presented could not stand the test of scrutiny. Gernot Piestert, the presiding police president, had to reinstate the 53 year old top official back to his position as director of police operations yesterday. 'After thorough evaluation of all findings and after weighing applicable constitutional basic law, the State Office for Constitutional Protection has now made the determination that the accusations brought against Police Director D. are not able to be proved,' is how the state administration put it. However, the state official did not say that all suspicions were completely unfounded.
"Otto D. is now waiting on the final word from his superior. He says that Schonbohm reassured him on April 4 that he would be publicly reinstated if the accusation turned out not to be true. However, Schonbohm would only say yesterday, 'that further public discussion would be detrimental, not just for police director D. and his family, and will therefore not be undertaken by the state department.'"
From Berliner Zeitung:
"On Wednesday the official was again assigned to his post as director of police operations. As stated by the State Senate administration, the security review by the State Office for Constitutional Protection yielded 'after thorough evaluation of all findings' that the allegations of Otto D.'s sect membership 'could not be proved.' The domestic intelligence agency could not provide solid proof for the career-damaging Scientology suspicion even after months. Apparently Scientology experts were first called in only several days ago. The state administration added that the publicly raised complaints about the work practices of the intelligence service would be the 'subject of an intensive examination,' the results of which will be presented to the house of representatives after the summer break."
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that Gold Base will help raise money to create a mural in nearby San Jacinto, California.
"Golden Era is working with the San Jacinto Heritage Project to paint a mural on the sides of Lopez Market and the San Jacinto Rexall Pharmacy on the east end of Main Street. The mural will depict the city's diverse past and help beautify the city's main entrance from the north known as the Five Points Intersection, said Muriel Dufrense, Golden Era's spokeswoman and a member of the heritage project. The heritage project, formerly called the Main Street Committee, is soliciting ideas for the mural and will have an informational booth set up at the festival. A panel of yet-to-be-named judges will select the winning design."
Judge Whyte dismissed Grady Ward's motion to hold Scientology's lawyers in contempt for failing to disclose archives of Internet postings kept by the RTC during the discovery phse of his trial.
"Defendant Grady Ward's motion for order to show cause why Warren McShane and Helena Kobrin should not be found in civil and criminal contempt is denied. Plaintiff Religious Technology Center's motion for sanctions is also denied. At this time, the court declines to enter an order requiring Ward to obtain leave to court before making any further filings in this case."
Grady received a draft of a settlement agreement from Judge Fogel this week.
"It is further ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that defendant, his agents, servants, employees, attorneys and all persons in active concert or participation with him, or any of them, who receive actual notice of this order by personal service or otherwise are hereby and permanently enjoined and restrained from:
"Directly or indirectly publishing, reproducing, distributing, disseminating, performing, displaying or creating any derivative works based upon the Works as defined in paragraph C below, or any of them, in whole or in part, by any means in any media now known or hereafter developed in any time, place or fashion, and in particular from engaging in any such acts in, on or in connection with any computer, database, information service, electronic bulletin board service, network, storage facility, newsgroup, web site, ftp site or archives, or other electronic bulletin board service, network or facility, including without limitation the transmitting or loading of any such materials onto, or downloading any copies of them from any such device, service, network or facility, and all such copies which defendant, his agents, servants, employees and attorneys and those in active concert or participation with them have caused to be copied onto any such device, service, network or facility shall be removed forthwith; and
"All Advanced Technology Works, including All Works by L. Ron Hubbard, irrespective of the medium; Any derivative Works based upon the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, whether now or later in existence; All Works published, created or owned by any Scientology organization now or hereafter in existence, including but not limited to Bridge Publications, Inc., New Era Publications International, Church of Scientology International or L. Ron Hubbard Library, or their successors or assigns, irrespective of the medium."
The Helsinki Commission, more formally known as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, will hold hearings in religious intolerance in Europe, including testimony from a representative of Scientology.
"Continuing Religious Intolerance in Europe 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Thursday, July 30 Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC Open to Members, Staff, the Public and Press
"Witnesses shall include: Panel 1: Dr. Massimo Introvigne, Center for Studies on New Religions, Torino, Italy; Dr. T. Jeremy Gunn, USIP Fellow on Religious Liberty seconded to the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad; Ambassador Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs (invited); His Excellency Juergen Chrobog, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany (invited); His Excellency Yuri Vorontsov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation (invited); His Excellency Francois Bujon Ambassador of France (invited); His Excellency Sodiq Safaev, Ambassador of Uzbekistan; His Excellency Helmut Tuerk, Ambassador of Austria (invited); His Excellency Andre Adam, Ambassador of Belgium (invited)
"Panel 2: Mr. Jerry Powers, Director, Office of International Justice and Peace, US Catholic Conference; Dr. John Graz, Secretary-General, International Religious Liberty Association; Mr. Philip Brumley, Counsel for Watchtower Bible and Tract Society; Father Alexander Karloutsos, The Ecumenical Patriarchate; Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, President, Muslim Women's League; Mr. Colby May, Esq., Trinity Broadcasting Network; Wilhelm Bluemel, Counsel for the Church of Scientology in Germany
"Background: An alarming trend toward religious intolerance in Europe has been developing over the past several years, as exemplified by the investigations carried out by the French, Belgian, and German parliaments into the activities of minority religious or belief groups. These parliaments have instituted commissions to investigate 'dangerous sects' and 'psycho-groups,' often listing groups in order to warn the public against them."
Bob Minton was picketed at his New Hampshire home this week, leading to a confrontation when Scientologists entered his property.
"2 Scientologists picketed my NH house this evening and tresspassed to photograph me and Stacy Young while we were swimming in the pool. They also yelled obscenities from 200 feet away."
"After the shots over the heads of OSA boys, somebody called the police to have them checkout the shooting incident in NH. I was called by police and told there were 4 police cars in front of my house and I should walk out of the house, hands above my head and surrender to the police. I was handcuffed and held in my driveway for 20 minutes while the police decided what was going on. Now I am free again and I urge everyone to read my post tonight entitled 'Scientology versus Democracy Redux.'"
A summary of protests at Scientology sites this week. First, from David Alexander at the Dallas Celebrity Center:
"8:40am--I arrived at the Scientology Celebrity Center. It's an office park with two buildings. In the Scientology building there is also an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting room and some 'Positive Mental Attitude' groups. In the other building is Social Security Administration and even more 'PMA' groups. I had arranged previously with a business in a nearby office building to let me install a video camera to cover the area. I dial one number before I show and the camera turns on--another number turns it off. It records something like 20 hours per tape cassette. I stood on the sidewalk by the parking entrance holding my picket sign - 'Scientology = Deception'. I got several double-takes and a few smiles. I got some waves which then crumbled. I guess they saw the word Scientology... and started to wave--then changed their mind when they saw '= Deception'. One guy laughed out loud and said, 'Bullshit!'. In all I took three loafing breaks and a lunch break. Can't believe I stayed until 3:50.
"'The police arrived about 2:15. The officer just talked to me for a while--I believe he wanted to be sure I wasn't as insane as they told him I was. I believe he was trying hard not to let me know he thought they were kooks. I explained their deception and theft of $112,822.26 from me in 1991. I told him about their misrepresentations, coercions, and abuses which weren't apparent until I investigated them. He simply took my information, routinely, and assured me I was in my rights to picket them, and wished me luck. Several people said some very encouraging comments. Some workers at other offices said my sign was right. Several people going on the property gave me 'thumbs-up'. I realized today that Scientologists everywhere are bad neighbors, and naturally ruffle feathers with everyone.'"
From "Jour" in Phoenix, Arizona.
"Despite the heat, I wore my trademark red picketing jammies and a generous amount of sunscreen. There was a single car in the lot when we arrived. I believe Jeff said that it had been in the same spot for a while and was probably broken down. Finally, around 9 am, as we were getting ready to leave, Leslie arrived. I thought she was going to come talk to us, as she started walking PAST the front door and in our direction, but by the time we turned around, she was gone. So, by the time we left at 9:15, a grand total of about 4 people had gone inside.
"We got quite a lot of honks and thumbs-up - certainly more than I've experienced on any other picket. One car even slowed down in the turn lane to wave at us, then turned around and drove past in the other direction just so they could shout support at us. We had just one pedestrian, who declined a lollipop.
From Keith Henson in the Bay area:
"Seekon and I did the Mt. View org from 11:30 to 12:30. Scn lost one woman seekon talked with who stopped on the way in and got a lot of the story. She is on the net, going to check out www.xenu.net.
"3:00 to 3:30 I picketed the Palo Alto mission. One person came out while I was there. Next to no interaction with the culties, but the street traffic is always high enough to give away a number of xenu flyers. I had my 'mock up' and $360k signs out today."
From "Wulfen" in Toronto:
"The other picketers were: Artemis, Deep Wog, and Android Cat. Artemis passed out the second half of his July issue of Dyin'Ethics. Android Cat arrived with his condensed Xenu leaflet. At the Org Gregg showed the police officer (which the Co$ again had to pay for, heh) the code of conduct and the Notice of Demonstration. We distributed flyers, and then we started picketing. Overall, the flyer distribution was fair. Over two pickets Artemis passed out every single Dyin'Ethics booklet he published. I got several acks from passers-by, and one from a Scientologist. He said that me being there was attracting more people (I assume to the e-meter table just on the corner of the building, OFF Scientology property). Another couple of Scientologists kept laughing when I mentioned Xenu and OT3. No, they did not believe it.
"The physical plant is deteriorating. There are numerous broken windows on the second and subsequent floors. In one room, an 'Atlas of the World' was being used to plug a break. In another, there's just a gaping round hole in the window. The broken window at the back of the Org that Artemis first noticed over a year ago is still broken. The electrical wires are still naked and loose inside the door of the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation. "
Dave Bird reported on the case of Bonnie Woods against Scientology for defamation in leaflets they distributed in her neighborhood.
"The clams defence was 'nyah you started it by defaming us first so there', which technically falls under Qualified Privilidge; not a very good defence at the best of times. They have a new expensive Queens Counsel representing them, Mr Caldecott (spelling?), one of the UK's top libel lawyers. Bonnie's barrister is rather junior, but with lots of 'fight' in her.
"Scn dropping its counterclaim means Bonnie needs to, and must, amend the compalint to remove refernces to it. She also asked to add some new evidence which has since come to light. And she won against Caldicott to get it admitted. The new evidence shows Scn distributed the defamtion on the morning of that day before they even saw Bonnie's own leaflet, thus destroying their last tenable defence."
|Wall Street Journal|
The Wall Street Journal carried an editorial this week criticizing Judge Ronald Whyte for his conduct in the Internet cases of Grady Ward, Keith Henson and Dennis Erlich.
"The Scientologists are merely doing their thing, but both cyberlitigants and First Amendment vigilantes ought to take a close look at Judge Whyte's reasoning. Mr. Henson is not trying to steal the profits from Scientology scriptures; his motive is to criticize what he believes is a corrupt and dangerous organization that practices coercive mind control and engages in medical quackery, in the process bilking vulnerable individuals for thousands of dollars and endangering their health. While admitting that the documents were copyrighted, he felt his postings would be covered under as 'fair comment and criticism,' a long-standing provision of copyright law.
"This, Judge Whyte held, didn't even require a jury to deliberate on Mr. Henson's motives. For one thing, his postings didn't include enough explicit criticism of the material, since he felt it was preposterous on its face. More basically, the judge found, the 'fair use' doctrine in its application is much stronger for already published material, and of course the posted scriptures had not been published by the owners of the copyright. You can criticize the texts of a public religion, that is, but a secret religion is immune.
"Judge Whyte, in short, has turned copyright law on its head. The purpose of the law is to encourage free speech, giving authors and artists comfort in knowing that others cannot misappropriate their works for their own profit. The essence of the matter before him, as anyone not blinded by a Pecksniffian literalness can see, is that the plaintiffs are using the law to muzzle their critics. In addition, the judge is in the process of morphing an already dubious tort case into a criminal matter through the contempt power--a threat to freedom of speech well recognized in the First Amendment community.
"Now, we have a certain sympathy for Judge Whyte, rooted in the feeling that the internet copyright issue is too important to be fought out over secret scriptures and pro se defendants. Maybe Judge Whyte could figure out how to send all such cases across the country to Judge Sporkin. All the same, the third would-be Czar is off on no better foot than the first two--a bad omen for Sun v. Microsoft, for internet law and for free speech."
Martin Ottmann posted the donations to Scientology by Erwin Annau, formerly employed by Tradenet, a Scientology company in Clearwater.
This is the money he has paid to the FSO, most probably coming from the 'Laundry Balls' profits.
"Donations applied to qualified religious services:
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.