Veterans AffairsA 1999 appeal decision for a U.S. veteran seeking vocational rehabilitation training was posted to a.r.s this week. "The appellant is currently service connected for paranoid schizophrenia, rated 100 percent disabling since March 1996. He therefore has a serious employment handicap. The purpose of vocational training is to enable veterans with service- connected disabilities to become employable to the maximum extent feasible and to obtain and maintain suitable employment. The Board observes that the appellant requested these benefits in order to receive training/counseling to become an 'auditor' for the Church of Scientology, a pseudo-religious cult. With respect to this matter, the Board further observes that literature from the Scientology cult submitted by the appellant with his substantive appeal in April 1997 described one of their principles as 'Flag auditing,' apparently a method of some sort of avoiding 'flubs' and 'wobbles,' and 'doing the C/S [sic] the way it's supposed to be done.' Although it is not clear from the record, it appears the vocational goal expressed by the appellant regarding the job as an 'auditor' for this group may in fact relate to indoctrination in the aforementioned 'Flag auditing' principle. Thus, the goal for which he seeks Chapter 31 benefits may be of dubious vocational merit. Vocational rehabilitation benefits under Chapter 31, Title 38, United States Code are denied." Message-ID: email@example.com
ClearwaterTory Bezazian reported that a Scientologist-owned restaurant in Clearwater attempted to refuse her service based on her being a former Scientologist. "I walked across Fort Harrison to a restaurant called Daniella's. I walked in and stood by the counter. Suddenly the phone rang, and I heard what looked like the owner say 'Blue top, white pants?' I realized I was the only one in there in a blue top and white pants. As she skulked behind the wall, and whispered into the phone I realized this is a security issue. I left quickly, and went back across the street to LMT to get a back up. I got Karin Case and we returned and I ordered a salad. No sooner had I ordered than the same lady on the phone earlier came up to me from behind the counter. "'Are you from across the street?' I said 'Yes'. She asked 'What do you do there?' I told her it was none of her business. She told me she was a Scientologist and was against what 'they' were doing and thus wasn't going to serve me. I reminded her this was a PUBLIC business, and I had every intention of eating there. She said no, so I said 'Well then call the police darlin,' as THAT is Discrimination and is against the law. One of the workers got me my salad, as she looked on reluctantly." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
GermanyDie Welt reported on September 17th on a memorial service held for Lisa McPherson in Germany. "There was an intense debate after a memorial service in the Luisen Church in Charlottenburg between Scientologists and the sect commissioner for Berlin and Brandenburg. Gandow gave his sermon in memory of a victim of Scientology in the USA: 'After she attempted to leave, Lisa McPherson was held against her will for 17 days and tormented. She died at the age of 36 years.' "Scientologists had threatened Gandow in advance of the event and defamed him in flyers which they distributed as an 'anti-sect commissioner' and 'Chief Inquisitor.' 'Within the past week Scientology has terrorized me by telephone and threatened to disrupt our gathering,' said Gandow. Scientologists assembled in front of the church and distributed glossy brochures in which they disparaged critics who were involved with the 'Lisa McPherson case.' "Apparently Gandow has not been stopped by these attempts at intimidation from taking further steps against Scientology. In a letter to State Bishop Wolfgang Huber, Scientology, with offices in Munich, demanded the immediate dismissal of the clergyman. Thomas Gandow has initiated legal steps against Scientology." Rev. Gandow issued a press release following the service. "Rev. Thomas Gandow addressed the Biblical story in his sermon of Cain murdering his brother: 'We have all heard of Scientology's penitential camps and enforced isolation. We know that people die there. We know that the Scientology Organization is trying to intimidate its critics into silence with slander, physical force and law suits.' He also included, 'Today, nobody can say they did not know. God gave us eyes to see, not to look away. Therefore we have to guard the human dignity and freedom of our fellow human beings as we would the apple of our own eye. To look away and ignore would mean that we, ourselves, would be accessory to the deed.' "The collection was taken up to aid the Lisa McPherson Trust help victims in the USA. Among the approximately 150 participants of the memorial service were representatives of the German Parliament and of the Berlin House of Representatives, along with the Director of the Work Group on Scientology of the Interior Agency of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Mrs. Ursula Caberta y Diaz." Hamburger Abendblatt reported on September 19th that Scientology continues to press allegations of bribery against Ursula Caberta. "The Director of the Work Group on Scientology of the Interior Agency, according to statements by the sect, has accepted private money from American businessman and Scientology opponent Bob Minton. The Scientology organization has filed a criminal complaints at the Hamburg State Attorney's Office for suspicion of accepting favors and bribes, et al. Caberta gave the matter over to the Department of Internal Affairs for investigation and would not say anything until the investigation was closed. The Scientologists also filed a complaint against Minton for suspicion of soliciting for favors and offering a bribe. "The Scientologists demonstrated yesterday with about 80 people in front of the Interior Agency and demanded 'frank explanation of the accusations of corruption against Caberta.'" From taz Hamburg on September 19th: "Members of the Scientology Organization protested yesterday in front of the Hamburg Interior Agency. The approximately 50 demonstrators demanded, from their banners, an 'end to discrimination' and the explanation of the accusations of corruption against the Director of the Work Group on Scientology of the Interior Agency, Ursula Caberta. The organization accused her of having accepted money from U.S. Scientology critic Bob Minton. Caberta denied the accusations of corruption: she said that Minton had invited her and that he only paid for her travel into the USA and her stay." Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung reported on September 19th that Baden-Wuerttemburg has won a decision in court that may lead to Scientology lose its status there as a legal association. "The Superior Administrative Court in Mannheim has permitted appeal against a decision of the Stuttgart Administrative Court, as the executive presidium stated in the state capitol on Tuesday. The grounds are stated to be 'legal and factual problems.' In its initial reaction, Executive President Udo Andriof welcomed the Mannheim decision. 'We now have the opportunity to prove that the revocation of legal capacity occurred correctly because Dianetics Stuttgart is engaged as a business and pursues commercial goals,' said Andriof. A spokesman of the executive presidium estimated the yearly sales for Dianetics Stuttgart alone at from 2.5 to 3 million marks. The greatest effect a decision against the organization would have would be in debtor liability. Creditors enjoy relatively little protection with registered associations." From Sindelfinger Zeitung on September 20th: "The Stuttgart executive presidium has obtained a partial victory in the dispute with Dianetics Stuttgart, Inc. Appeal of this decision has now been allowed in Mannheim 'because of specific factual and legal problems.' The primary purpose of Dianetics activities is commercial,' said RP spokesman Ralph Koenig. And it, according to Koenig, does not merit association privilege. He said they viewed the continued dispute with Scientology 'calmly.'" From Stuttgarter Nachrichten on September 20th: "Appeal would be filed 'in the next few weeks,' said Ralph Koenig, spokesman of the executive presidium, yesterday. Koenig, however, did not name an exact date. In a written position, Executive President Udo Andriof expressed the hope of 'now confronting the Scientologists' machinations by using administrative law.'" Freie Presse reported on September 20th that the Mayor of Zwickau has resigned. "Since the 49-year-old Eichhorn tossed in his cards in one fell swoop late Monday afternoon, the valley city is no longer the way it was; rumor and speculation abound. Even Eichhorn's closest confidante in the council building, in politics and in business reacted as if he was still stunned. The main reason he gave was irreconcilable differences between him and several CDU council members. It was mainly in dealing with Scientology that he could not do anything right. His critics accused him of going into battle only half-heartedly against the sect, which was growing wildly in Zwickau." Rheinpfalz Online reported on September 22nd that Gottfried Helnwein has dropped his complaint against a former Scientologist who claims Helnwein is an active member. Gottfried Helnwein, the Austrian painter, may now be described with impunity as a Scientologist and an auditor or a clergyman of the Scientology organization. The artist waived hearing in the Frankfurt Superior State Court, thereby dropping his complaint against Jeannette Schweitzer, a former Scientology member. She had protested Helnwein's intention to take part in a commemoration for the 'Neue Bremm' concentration camp near Saarbruecken. Schweitzer objected to an adherent of an organization as questionable as Scientology taking part in such a memorial. "Helnwein announced in February that he withdrew his complaint because he no longer lived in Germany and because the proceedings no longer meant anything to him. Schweitzer, however, did not agree to withdrawal of the complaint because that would have stopped her from being able to prove the truthfulness of her statements. So a new hearing was scheduled which Helnwein has now ended by waiving due procedure. According to Wolfgang Boehm, Schweitzer's attorney, the Scientologists shrank back from having witnesses heard in court who would give incriminating testimony. Boehm's assessment was that new evidence of a connection between Helnwein and Scientology, evidence supported by numerous witnesses, would have been extremely incriminating to Scientology." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000917154811.114Aemail@example.com Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000919114620.124Afirstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000919114646.124Bemail@example.com Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000919114726.124Dfirstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000919114914.124Gemail@example.com Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000920180751.122Afirstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000920180852.122Cemail@example.com Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000920180949.122Efirstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000921174846.116Aemail@example.com Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000922123647.116Afirstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000922123714.116Bemail@example.com
DonationThe Los Angeles Times reported on September 22nd that Scientologists donated clothing to a women's center. "The Woman's Auxiliary of the Church of Scientology recently donated bags of clothing to the Domestic Violence Center of the Glendale YWCA, 735 E. Lexington Drive. The items were presented to Vivian Jojola, volunteer coordinator and Kim Pursell, director of shelter services. The auxiliary plans to collect clothing and other items to help displaced families move into transitional housing." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Juliette LewisThe San Francisco Chronicle recently published an interview with Scientology celebrity Juliette Lewis. "Sitting in a San Francisco hotel room, Juliette Lewis comes off as a grown-up. She is gracious, thoughtful and only slightly wary. She's married to pro skateboarder Steve Berra, and she's still lean and boyishly built in jeans and vintage T-shirt that reads 'Los Angeles 1981.' "Lewis grew up around the Church of Scientology - her father was one of the religion's most prominent early members in Hollywood - but it was never forced on her, she says. When it came time to confront her substance abuse, though, Lewis relied on the controversial religion, and she's still a believer. 'The only thing I did at that time was Scientology courses. To not validate it is wrong. Had I not done it, I would still be having panic attacks. It's where I sought help and got it.'" Message-ID: email@example.com
David MinkoffThe St. Petersburg Times reported on September 22nd that Scientologist David Minkoff is being sued in connection with the death of a man who died from a brain hemorrhage. "According to the complaint, filed Wednesday in Pasco Circuit Court, Gary Houck awoke in his New Port Richey home on June 29, 1998, with no vision in his left eye. At Community Hospital of New Port Richey, Houck told Dr. David Minkoff about the headaches and said he went from blurry vision to total blindness overnight. Minkoff examined Houck for 10 minutes and then discharged him with a referral to see an ophthalmologist, according to the complaint. Houck went straight to the office of Dr. Frederick Hauber, who suspected that the reason for the sudden blindness was neurological, the complaint states. But less than 24 hours later, Houck was brain dead. He had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. "The lawsuit alleges that Houck died because the doctors he saw did not give him the attention he needed and failed to communicate the seriousness of the situation to each other or to Houck's HMO. Minkoff was a defendant in the high-profile wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Lisa McPherson, a member of the Church of Scientology. Minkoff, also a Scientologist, pronounced McPherson dead after she was brought, severely dehydrated, to a Pasco hospital in December 1995. Minkoff eventually settled his part of the lawsuit." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
NigeriaAfrican Post published an interview with John Fashanu, the Nigerian soccer star who has accused Scientology critic Bob Minton of illegal deals in a debt buy-back program. "AP: Who are those involved in these scandals apart from the three names that were given by Africa Confidential namely, Jeffrey Schmidt, Robert Minton and Alhaji Ahmed? "Fashanu: I won't mention names yet, as I would prefer the Nigerian government to conduct the investigation first. "AP: Are you scared or worried? "Fashanu: No, I am not. I have been warned off the investigation several times and I received two anonymous threatening phone calls only last week. "AP: That still does not answer our question is Fashanu scared? "Fashanu: No I am not. I just think it would only be appropriate for the Nigerian government to investigate the report first. "AP: If they don't then what will happen next? "Fashanu: I am sure the present civilian Administration will investigate the matters. If you aware President Obasanjo has pledged to crack down on the fraud and corruption which has given Nigerian business an appalling reputation throughout the world." Message-ID: email@example.com
Tom PadgettTom Padgett posted details of his release from prison in Kentucky. Tom was being held for failure to pay child support to his ex-wife, a Scientologist. Evidence that he had paid was the reason for his release. "The Hopkins County Jail released Tom onto the streets at 7:00 PM in a bright orange prison jumpsuit with 'Christian Co. Jail' in bold black letters on the back and 'prisoner' in bold letters running vertically down each leg. He had no wallet or any form of identification on him as all his belongings were still at the state inmate facility 40 miles away in Hopkinsville. The Hopkins Co. authorities refused to give him a ride back. He had to sneak his way through the dark alleys to get to a pay phone to call for help as not to be seen as an 'escaped prisoner'. More court sanctioned legal harassment from Judge Boteler's little town! "While at the motel for the past week, Tom got two phone calls from a woman asking if 'he wanted some company.' She said she could be there in 5 minutes. Each time when Tom asked 'What kind of company?' she hesitated stuttered and hung up. Another probable set-up by local authorities to get Tom back behind bars where Scientologists want him to be. "Laura Padgett's attorney William Witledge indicated that he and his client were rejecting pre-payment of child support and were threatening a new criminal indictment before a grand jury in her local hometown for failure to pay for child support in August and September while he was in prison! A local mediator went ahead and set up the pre-payment plan with a local bank." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Protest SummaryThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article on September 17th about recent protests at the Scientology org. "The only Church of Scientology in Georgia occupies a modest storefront on a busy street in the north Atlanta neighborhood of Dunwoody --- unremarkable except for the four pickets on the sidewalk. 'Scientology: Tax-Exempt UFO Cult,' reads one protester's homemade sign. The other pickets also wave signs at passing cars: 'Just Say No to Scientology,' and 'Scientology is a Scam.' It seems to have the support of many passers-by who wave, honk their horns or give a thumbs-up as they drive past. The pickets counted about 50 drive-by supporters in an hour on a recent Saturday. "It says it ministers to 8 million people around the world, but the church in Atlanta, which serves about 100 parishioners a week, is a lonely outpost. The only other churches in the Southeast are in Florida and Nashville. 'I see frankly nothing religious about what they are doing,' said Ann Lowe, who runs an anti-Scientology Web site. The protest is not limited to Atlanta. Pickets stand outside Scientology churches all over the country, but particularly in Clearwater, Florida, where the church has a religious retreat center. Clearwater has become a protest center because a Scientologist named Lisa McPherson died in 1995 after 17 days in the church's care for a mental breakdown." "Barb" reported on a recent protest at Gold Base, near Hemet, California. "We pulled up at the Ashlee memorial about a quarter to 10. Dad went over to introduce himself while I pulled my sign out of the car. At that moment, a white van pulled up next to me. It was a Hemetian who was curious as to why we were there. I gave him the quick rundown, he'd heard of the transformer vault incident and agreed that the cult made it look fishier than Sea World. I gave him a couple of fliers and joined the crew. Brent, Mirele, and Arel were there already, Mir with no sunscreen, and Arel with headphones. "Graham Berry drove by honking. He brought his friend Jane along for the adventure, she had the good sense to hang out in the shade. We saw the odd person traversing the property, some security staked out by the tunnel, and a guy down in the bushes landscaping. Brent and I spent a short time over the tunnel, watching the security guys peek at us. I did catch one 'parishioner' coming down the stairs, so I flipped my sign around so he could read the 'Ron is Gone, but the Con lives On' side of my sign. The other side said, 'Scientology Hates Free Speech.'" From Brent Stone: "It was a virtual ghost town, like it always is whenever anyone with a sign shows up there. Of course, we had the armed guards watching our every move, security cameras everywhere, rotating to look over every suppressive breath. Ed Richardson was there, but seemed much too afraid to come out from hiding behind the booth with the armed guards 'protecting' him, taking pictures of us. "Occasionally, we'd get a glimpse of someone in the distance (like on the balcony of DM's mansion) taking our pictures. Other times, it would be a security guard, herding unseen people back behind buildings and watching for us to go out of sight so they could cross under the road in the tunnels. Every once in a while, one would show up coming out of the tunnels, sometimes covering their eyes so they couldn't see the dangers around them." From Deana Holmes: "We parked by the Ashlee Shaner memorial which looked like it had been trashed. So I replaced the butterflies and later Barb found the wreath in the bushes and put it back by the cross. Then we got out our signs and started to march up and down the highway. After a while, Barb and her dad showed up and then after that, Graham and a friend also made it there. "There are a whole series of truly ugly monuments on the chapel side of the road. They are concrete rectangles, about two feet long, one foot wide and about 5 inches tall. They say 'PRIVATE PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING' on them. Apparently this is what the crew was doing when they left the entire wheelbarrow full of cement to harden because of a previous visit by an SP. The wheelbarrow is still there, located a bit behind a wall with a lot of other junk of the construction type. "Sea Org housing construction is well in evidence on the south end of the property, going towards the golf course. I think there are three or four buildings going up. One of the buildings has a Sea Org logo over the main door (the laurel leaves and star). Revenimus. It is apparently dorm-style housing. "My favorite picketing spot was the underground tunnel. I noticed that they were keeping most everyone away from the tunnel if at all possible, because of that 'Church of $' sign I was carrying. One woman in Sea Org dress blues, carrying her jacket on a hanger did go through the tunnel. She held her jacket up to shield herself from the terrible entheta. Otherwise, people were being held back." Jeff Jacobsen and Tory Bezazian reported a protest at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. "Tonight 14 of us picketed the Ft. Harrison Hotel. Some of us were sporting new picket signs made to individual tastes. Others of us mostly videotaped. We had 4 while Scientology had 5 besides there permanent security cameras. It was quiet for a little while but then of course our handlers were teleported in from wherever they hang out waiting for us to picket. A new tactic tonight was that the Scientologists had flyers about us terrible picketers, including one made up just for our guest of honor, Graham Berry. I neither saw nor heard of any hint of violence tonight. We had a good time and enjoyed all the car horn honks and thumbs up from the Clearwater residents, and were happy to have some new Clearwater citizens joining us to show their opinion of Scientology." "Today we were all picketing and a man named Hans came up with Mary DeMoss. She walks up and just starts raving about me being on drugs. The last drugs I did were in 1969. Today Hans walks up and starts telling me how 'psychotic' I looked the other day with my headset on. Dancing is now on the list of Scientology's labels?" Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: 39C65FA7.AB5663B3@pacbell.net Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: 8FB554836mirelexmissioncom@188.8.131.52 Message-ID: email@example.com
SwitzerlandSt. Galler Tagblatt reported on September 12th that police in Zurich do not see Scientology or other sects as a problem in the Canton. "Canton Councilman Manfred Eugster addressed a theme which has been more in the news lately: the sect situation in the Canton, and the sect politic of the executive assembly. Security Director Hans Diem had presented the question to the Canton Police and stated that no problems are currently known, and the police chief saw no need for action. Because of religious freedom, no systematic form of inquiry was possible. Neither did the drug withdrawal center of the Scientology-aligned Narconon organization in Waldstatt present a problem, from the view of the police." Tagesanzeiger Zurich reported on September 16th on the experiences a woman in Zurich had with Narconon. "They go looking for customers in the Zurich drug scene and distribute flyers on public land: Narconon's staff seek clients who are ready for withdrawal and to enter therapy. One of the people dazzled by the fantastic promises of success from the Narconon people was a 45-year-old Zurich woman with alcohol problems; she agreed to go into the Narconon Center at Waldstatt, AR, for six months of rehabilitation. "'It was not until after a week that I noticed that the center had something to do with Scientology and was applying Ron Hubbard's methods,' she said. When she brought that to the attention of the director, Barbara Volkart, she said the director denied there was any connection between Narconon and Scientology. Narconon President Ursula Suess asserted, in contrast, that their participants are told that Narconon works with the methods of the Scientology founder Hubbard. The fact is that the word 'Scientology' does not appear anywhere on the flyers, in the documents or the internet home page. "Although the woman was critically disposed towards Scientology, she did not stop her therapy, but persisted in it. She hoped for physical and mental recuperation from the special Purification program, which Narconon propagates as a 'miracle program.' But first, the Zurich woman had to do exercises for four weeks which are similar to the Communication course by Ron Hubbard. 'It was horrible, we had to stare in each others eyes for hours, talk to an ashtray, and answer the same questions hundreds of times, like, 'Do birds fly?' said the woman. She regarded the exercises as a waste of time. Besides the course, almost everyday she had to cook, wash and clean. Looking back on it, the Zurich woman thinks the daily rate of 130 franks was too high, under those circumstances. "'I was always getting dizzy, I had circulation problems, and even fell down a couple of times.' She said she tried to eat a lot, but her stomach often went on strike. So the already petite woman shed several kilograms in four weeks. 'Every morning I was worn out, and much more tired than before the Purification program.' She had enough after the Purification program and wanted to stop her therapy right then. But the Scientologists worked at her mulishly. They told her she would be passing up the opportunity to become a new person. She finally had the strength, after a week, to pack her things and leave the rehabilitation center against the objections of the Narconon people. Since then, the Zurich woman said, she has often been contacted by Narconon people and Scientologists who try to talk her back into therapy." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000919114848.124Ffirstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000919114759.124Eemail@example.com
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.