Faith-Based GroupsThe Washington Post reported on March 12th that U.S. President Bush's program to allow religious groups to bid on federal money for charitable purposes has been delayed, partly because of concerns religious leaders have expressed over funding of cults. "'We're postponing,' said Don Eberly, deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. 'We're not ready to send our own bill up.' Eberly acknowledged that the proposal 'may need to be corrected in some areas,' particularly the interplay between religious programs and government funding. "The White House didn't expect a chorus of doubts from religious conservatives such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Richard Land, Michael Horowitz and even Marvin Olasky, one of the program's early architects. They worry that churches would be corrupted by government regulations or that objectionable sects would be rewarded. "Liberal critics feel strengthened. 'This is a program that seems to be developing more and more problems the more you think about it,' said Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Rep. Robert C. 'Bobby' Scott said the proposal 'creates new holes in our civil rights laws and would allow religious bigotry in hiring to be practiced with the use of federal funds.' "The most promising alternative, many involved in the debate say, is the notion of vouchers, which allow government funds to be used for a religious purpose but make sure the individual recipient, not the government, would be choosing the religious option. An addict, for example, could redeem a treatment voucher at a church program or a government program. 'It is a way out and one that seems to be win-win,' Eberly said. 'If this becomes problematic, vouchers is certainly an option we'd consider.'" From the Associated Press on March 12th: "Reps. J.C. Watts and Tony Hall plan to introduce legislation by late March translating much of President Bush's plan into law. That would include a major expansion of 'charitable choice,' which allows churches and other religious groups to qualify for grants without divorcing their programs from religion. "Religious conservatives, including Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Richard Land, have said they worry government money will drain churches of their religious character and that groups outside the mainstream, such as the Nation of Islam or the Church of Scientology, will qualify for funding. "In a speech last week to the National Association of Evangelicals, DiIulio responded that no one gets veto power over who gets funding and that organizations who fear government money will corrupt their religious core ought not participate. He also took a rhetorical swipe at 'predominantly white, ex-urban evangelical' leaders, saying they should put their time and money where their mouths are." From Time Magazine on March 12th: "At first blush, it sounds like every religious leader's dream come true: More government money for religious charity groups. Some groups, mostly from the Christian right, are also fretting over the possibility that because the program pledges to provide funding across the religious spectrum, it will inevitably funnel money into what they consider less palatable religious sects. (Scientology is the most frequently cited example.)" From The Guardian on March 13th: "George Bush's plan to channel US government aid to 'faith-based' religious charities is being held back by the fear that it could end up funding controversial groups such as The Church of Scientology, Hare Krishna and the Unification Church - the Moonies. The initiative has stirred up a hornet's nest of accusations across the spectrum of religious groups and is being radically redrafted. The decision to delay its introduction was taken at the end of last week after an unexpected war of words on the religious right threatened to derail the entire scheme. "The Church of Scientology has said it will seek government aid for its drug rehabilitation and literacy programmes, which are based on the 'dianetics' theories of the group's founder L Ron Hubbard. The Hare Krishnas are gearing up to solicit federal funds for their prison release halfway houses and shelters for the homeless. And the Rev Sun Myung Moon's church, now called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, is planning to ask for taxpayers' money to promote its sexual abstinence programmes in schools. "But perhaps the most remarkable opponent is Marvin Olasky, the guru of compassionate conservatism and a former Bush adviser whose ideas are at the root of the entire faith-based strategy. The main complaint is the White House declaration that religious groups which receive federal funds must not proselytise for converts. Prof Olasky told a meeting last week: 'I cannot give blanket support now because I am not willing to support discrimination in grant-making against evangelicals.'" The Savannah Morning News published an editorial on faith-based funding on March 13th. "Religious conservatives such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell worry that churches would be corrupted by government regulations or that objectionable sects, such as the Church of Scientology, would be rewarded. The former concern is valid; the latter reservation is less convincing. The subjectivity of whether a sect is in some way illegitimate should be secondary to an objective determination of whether it is delivering an effective social service. If people are being helped and not being discriminated against, does it matter what the administering group's philosophy is? "Besides, it's not as if publicly funded charitable programs aren't already administered by secular agencies and non-profit organizations that advocate ideas that offend some Americans. There should be tolerance on both sides of the dividing line." From the PlanetOut.com Network on March 13th: "According to the Washington Post, even one of the program's early architects, Marvin Olasky, is concerned that religions could be tainted by interference from the government or that non-mainstream groups -- such as the Nation of Islam, Hare Krishnas or the Church of Scientology -- could be funded. "'Said Jason Riggs, spokesman for the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force's Policy Institute, 'We're concerned about basic standards and safeguards being in place.' The rhetoric around the plan so far, he said, has been about reducing the barriers between religious groups and federal funding. Some of those barriers that might be removed by the plan are the requirement that social service providers be properly trained and licensed and that buildings meet safety codes, he said. This simply spells endangerment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and anyone else seeking services,' Riggs said. "Hearings scheduled in the Senate Judiciary Committee next month are set to investigate the faith-based initiative plan. Additionally, said Riggs, President Bush has the power to institute many parts of the plan by executive order, bypassing Congress altogether." The New York Times reported on March 14th that a poll shows Americans in favor of the funding plan, but against the funding of cults. "When asked about Mr. Bush's plan to give money to religious organizations for job counseling and other services, two-thirds say it is a good idea. But that number shrinks to about 3 in 10 when people are told that some of that money could wind up being channeled to the Nation of Islam, the Church of Scientology or the Hare Krishnas." The Philadelphia Inquirer published a column by Jane Eisner on March 15th equating opposition to the plan with religious intolerance. "When President Bush announced his plan to channel more government money to faith-based charities, the loudest complaints initially came from groups worried about separation of church and state. Now there are quakes from the right. Some religious conservatives are worried that their churches will be corrupted if they accept the strings attached to public funds, and that religious groups they deem objectionable will receive government reward. "Pat Robertson put Hare Krishnas, the Church of Scientology and Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church on his dis-invite list. Under the current proposals, he noted in Monday's Wall Street Journal, such groups could receive government funds if they provided effective services to the poor. "Core American values are at stake - tolerance, civil rights, free speech, respect for religion. They mustn't, and needn't be, neglected. With enough sophistication and smarts, the new Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives can navigate the fault lines while upholding those values. "If contracts will be awarded based on performance - and that's what the White House promises - then our individual opinions about individual groups are irrelevant. To say that Muslims or Hare Krishnas need not apply is as offensive as telling all Christians not to bother." Message-ID: OGXq6.firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: b$msvkAKBrr6EwZu@lutefisk.demon.co.uk Message-ID: q+2wvcAK+qr6EwvR@lutefisk.demon.co.uk Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times reported on March 15th that Scientologist voters cast crucial votes in defeating former mayor Rita Garvey in a race for City Council. "In the closest race of Tuesday night's Clearwater election, the swing votes that catapulted Hoyt Hamilton to a win over former Mayor Rita Garvey came from beach neighborhoods, affluent suburban enclaves and a Church of Scientology-dominated precinct. A St. Petersburg Times analysis of precinct vote breakdowns shows Hamilton's 614-vote margin of victory was cemented with strong support from Island Estates, Sand Key, Countryside, Harbor Oaks, Coachman Ridge and the Scientology-owned Hacienda Gardens housing complex, where church staff members live. "A longtime critic of the Church of Scientology, Garvey also noted that nearly a third of her margin of defeat could be attributed to church members in Precinct 518 in central Clearwater. 'Fifteen or 20 years ago, (the church) said they were going to take over City Hall,' Garvey said. 'They don't have to run candidates to do that.' During his campaign, Hamilton told the Times he was comfortable accepting support from Church of Scientology members. He said he had spoken to local Scientologists about his campaign and felt the church's presence should be accepted. Then he wrote a letter to the Times stating he was not soliciting church votes. Tuesday's elections results showed he got the votes anyway. "In Precinct 518 at the Clearwater East Branch Library on Drew Street, 271 ballots were cast -- 175 of them from residents of Hacienda Gardens, the church's staff housing on Saturn Avenue, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office. The final tally was 226 votes for Hamilton and 42 for Garvey. Hamilton's margin of victory there -- with 84 percent of the votes -- was his best showing in any city precinct. 'It doesn't bother me, nor does it surprise me,' Hamilton said of the Scientology support. 'They have a right to vote just like anyone else if they're citizens of the city.' Precinct 518 also gave exceptionally high support to newly elected Commissioner Whitney Gray and unsuccessful candidate Frank Hibbard, who like Hamilton expressed support for downtown redevelopment. "Church of Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw said the church encourages its members to vote and provides transportation to the polls in church buses and vans. But, Shaw said, the church does not tell members whom to vote for. 'The vote is a response to who had the most positive view toward all the citizens of Clearwater.'" Message-ID: email@example.com
Delphi AcademyThe Los Angeles Times reported on March 12th that Scientology's Delphi Academy held a golf tournament to raise money for a gymnasium at a new school location. "The Class of 2001 has pledged to raise $100,000 to help fund a gymnasium at their new campus in Lake View Terrace. The new school is scheduled to open in fall 2002. In order to raise the large sum, all students at the school will sell tickets to the Delphi Family Golf Tournament at the Coyote Hills Golf Course in Fullerton. Their goal is to sell at least 130 tickets. They have reached out to the surrounding community and have good prospects, public relations manager Tracy Yonemoto said. 'What happens is that some of these big businesses procrastinate but end up coming through,' Yonemoto said. "Student government has received $65,000 in donations from people willing to support the cause who will not compete in the golf tournament, Fazeli said. Delphi Academy, a private school based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, runs from kindergarten to high school and has a total of 271 students. About 80 students are at the high school level; 35 are in student government. "When: Check-in at 7 a.m., tee-off at 8 a.m. Sunday, April 1. Where: Coyote Hills Golf Course, Fullerton. Cost: $350 per ticket. Includes golf cart, driving range, golf accessories and a barbecue lunch." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
GermanyFreie Presse reported on March 15th that the city of Zwickau, Germany is organizing to prevent further expansion of Scientology. "CDU faction chief Frank Seidel demands that all assembly factions and the city administration work more closely together and defend themselves jointly against Scientology's expansion in Zwickau. 'Consistent dealing is important. The fight against the sect in Zwickau need not be at an end.' Following the SPD's lead, the CDU faction also reacted to sale of a property on Magazin Street to Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer by the federal finance office, and described the deal as 'monstrous.' 'It is important to try everything to keep Scientology from extending their reach in Zwickau.' "The union faction presented a four-point list: all city assembly members to finally sign the statement 'Distance from the Scientology Organization and from the technologies of Founder L. Ron Hubbard'; the city administration will give out contracts only with those firms which have also signed that statement; the discussion to set up an information office on Scientology will again be taken up; all suspicion of gradual preferences for construction permits, as have been retailed by many construction companies, will be cleared up." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010316164712.114Aemail@example.com
Jesse PrinceMark Bunker reported this week on a hearing in the the case of former Scientologist Jesse Prince, charged with growing marijuana. "The motion was to compel the testimony of two undercover private investigators involved in the arrest of Jesse on drug charges. Denis contended that the testimony of these two P.I.s was crucial to Jesse's right for a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. "Speaking on behalf of both of the P.I.s was Paul Johnson. Johnson is the son of veteran Scientology attorney. Denis started by giving a brief summary of Jesse's background. He covered Jesse's time inside Scientology as a high ranking member and spoke of how Jesse left several years ago and became an outspoken critic with much important information on the internal workings of Scientology and its management. He described Jesse as someone Scientology views as a primary foe. Denis promised to bring forth a witness to explain Scientology's practice of Fair Game. Denis was then able to lay out the entirety of Fair Game for the Judge, explaining SP's and how Scientology deals with them. How Scientologists can lie, sue, trick, deceive or destroy them without retribution to the Scientologist. "Denis explained that Jesse and his fiancee, Dee, moved to Clearwater over a year ago and bought a house. They discovered marijuana growing wildly on their property. He explained that Scientology found an African American P.I. who came to Jesse's neighborhood and waited at a nearby bar to meet Jesse and befriend him. This P.I. (Gaston) spent months hanging out with Jesse and Dee before turning Jesse into the Largo police. "Once Gaston went to the Largo police as a confidential informant, the police sent in an agent of their own. This Largo undercover agent repeatedly asked Jesse for drugs and Jesse kept telling him he couldn't get him any. The Largo undercover agent then told the Largo police that there were marijuana plants at Jesse's house which led to the early morning raid when the police arrested Jesse and found one plant growing from the roots of a rubber tree plant. The judge looked surprised. 'One plant? As in only one plant?', he asked. 'Yes, your honor,' replied deVlaming. "Next Paul Johnson spoke and the first thing he did is distance himself from Scientology. He said 'I don't represent Scientology or the state, only the two named informants, Paul Raftery and Mr. Gaston.' He said Gaston was a licensed P.I. and confidential informant. Gaston, he said, saw Jesse and Dee smoking pot and he saw five plants in Jesse's house. One of the plants was 2 to 3 feet high. He asked the judge to not grant the request because in the civil codes that bind Confidential Informants, any breach of client's privileged information can bring about major sanctions including losing your license. "Lydia Wordell for the state offered that neither Gaston or Raftery would be called by the state for their case so this didn't need to go forward. The Largo undercover cop saw pot on two occasions and he is the only one they plan to call. The judge disagreed and set March 23rd as the date for the next hearing on the matter. After the hearing, Paul Johnson spent time debriefing two Scientologists from OSA's legal division." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Protest SummaryCatarina Pamnell reported that Ake Wiman protested the Stockholm, Sweden org on March 13th. "Handed out leaflets (Xenu, 'Look out for the trap!') for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Some staff peeked out now and then but not creating any real trouble. The org did send a guy out to hand out their own leaflets. The actual content of that leaflet is standard fare anti-psych rants. There were 5-6 people entering the org who got leaflets from Ake, but these were of course immediately taken from them by org staff. Later, Ake asked the guy if he had read the leaflet, and the guy said with some indignation that he couldn't because the org staff had taken it. So he got new ones and said he would take them home and read them. "Ake also had a short conversation with a neighbour, who said he was pretty tired of being approached by a CoS recruiter while walking past the org, but now had found a great phrase to deter them: 'No thanks, I was warned about you already in my past life.' For some reason that seemed to spook the poor bodyrouter." Peter Alexander and Gregg Hagglund reported a protest in Toronto on March 11th. "A little fellow named Mario came out to greet the seven or eight protesters. He seemed quite frightened and so I apologized for scaring him. Then, a more mature crew came out to 'handle' us, and pass out counter picket fliers. I related the story of why I had left Scientology and what had caused me to start protesting against it. Brian felt that I had not acted like a good Scientologist and that rather than protesting, I should have tried to 'handle' the problems I'd encountered at Flag. There isn't any way to 'handle' the screw ups, cover ups, incompetence and chaos that result from a close connection to insane upper management." "Picketers: Peter Alexander and Patricia Greenway, Gregg Hagglund, Alan Barclay, Mike Argue, Witling, Kaeli and Zeratul. Flyer Count: 300 flyers of all types "About a dozen unfortunates arriving for indoctrination and mindbending exercises, were treated to part of OT3 as they were herded into the 'Chapel'. Many responded to the call 'Canadians are not afraid to ask questions!' and 'There are no OTs or we wouldn't be here!' with startled looks. "Peter Ramsay showed up at about 2 PM. He soon decided to approach me babbling the whole time about Zenon. Peter came right up to me despite my request. I backed away, almost into street traffic. Ramsay pursued me and Kaeli, Peter and Patricia tried to intervene, but of course they could not touch Ramsay and he simply stepped around them trying to get closer to me. He had his hands in his pockets and I was afraid he might have a knife. Two officers responded. As I explained the situation to the first Officer, I was repeatedly interrupted by scientologists, including Bob Hill and some woman OSA member. The cop told them to back off and took the particulars. OSA kept taking the Cops pictures while talking to me. This annoyed the cops a lot. The Officer and his partner then interviewed Ramsay. Ramsay claimed we were personal enemies and he was just retaliating for my personal attacks on him. "The Police Officers agreed Ramsay was harassing, but as a singular incident it was not sufficient to arrest him. The officers assured me they had strongly impressed upon Mr. Ramsay to keep his distance from me or they would return. With the appearance of the police we were treated to the presence of Al Buttnor. I introduced him as the man in charge of destroying me utterly and as a terrorist of the elderly. This caught Al off guard and one officer smirked. Al scuttled off muttering." Tory Bezazian and Patricia Greenway reported a protest in Los Angeles for the L. Ron Hubbard birthday celebration. "Today we had Grahame Berry join us, John Dries, Richard from Riverside and his nephew, Chris Walker, Brian Murphy, Jeff Jacobsen, Peter Alexander, Patricia Greenway, The Woodcrafts (Lawrence, Astra and Zoie) and myself. We had a blast today. We started at the Celebrity Center, and then went over the the HGB. Patricia pointed out our handler. She went over to talk to him about the tech being altered. He told her it wasn't altered, they were 'reforming' it. I realized it was my friend from my old Scientology Parishioners League, Joel Phillips! We had lots to talk about. "Then onto the Complex, only to find Joel there too. We picketed at CC and HGB from 10-1 and then took a lunch break until 2. We then started back up at the Complex until about 4 or so. At the HGB many people came up to us telling us stories of how they had been in briefly and then got out. Many friends would come up to me. As soon as they came up to me OSA was there to drag them off. One older man stopped to talk, and a lady came to drag him off. I finally asked them 'Why are you cutting my comm with all of my friends? That is out tech.' They said 'They aren't your friends.'" "We found that the 2 buildings on Bronson street (one is called the Copa) opposite CC are now owned by Scn and are used for berthing. A couple of guys who were out in the street writing down our tag numbers ran inside one of these buildings. Scn called the police. The police officer was really pleasant and told us to stay off their property but that we should have fun and enjoy the public sidewalks. "The HGB is where Scn's 'spy shop', OSA, is headquartered. They piled folks up at the back door and slipped them out quickly to a van or running across the street before they were able to catch sight of our picket signs. The highlight was the ambulance that came careening up to the front doors of the HGB with sirens blaring. I waited for the paramedics to come back out to ask them what happened. The driver said, shaking his head 'Oh, another one passed out. I'd pass out too if I had to stay in THAT place. It's creepy!' "We re-grouped one hour later at Big Blue. Without picket signs, crossed Sunset Blvd to stroll down LRH Way, which had been closed off due to 'an event'. They had LAPD stationed at either end. Maybe about 15 kids playing basketball in the middle of the street and a few adults milling about. Some fellow came running up to the police officer to 'report us.' He then said 'We don't want you here. Find another way to go.' I said 'I didn't notice any no trespassing signs and this is a public sidewalk.' He said 'We don't want you here hassling our children. I said 'You don't know me. Why would you think I would hassle your children?' I looked at the police officer, he shrugged. "We continued up to Sunset where we joined up with Jeff J and Snefru who had just arrived. They held a 10' long sign advertising a favorite website and positioned themselves on Sunset. We were then joined by the Woodcrafts, Graham Berry, Arel and Keith Henson, Tory, John, Richard from Riverside Big Blue's version of the OT committee came out armed with windsail-sized picket signs announcing the LRH birthday event. There was no message intended, just the fact that these signs were so big they could block our signs. "I maneuvered quickly into a sprint leading the whole herd of Scns in a disjointed run up LRH Way. When I got a good distance ahead of the running throng, I stopped, held up my sign and waited for the 'gang' to catch up to me. I pivoted from side to side forcing the entire gang to pivot in unison. Once they started bunching up I would head in the opposite direction leading the whole flock back down LRH Way until they were actually colliding with each other. Joel showed up with another guy carrying their own 10 foot long sign announcing the LRH birthday event. I managed to have this 2 man sign detail running forward and backward, almost ripping the sign in half as they tried to determine which direction to run. I was able to picket from that point forward relatively unencumbered. "The highlight of the Big Blue picket was when one of the LA PD officers waved Peter and I over to talk. 'So what's this Xenu stuff about?' Well, of course we told him. He was still smiling when we walked away to go to our cars." Bruce Pettycrew picketed in Mesa, Arizona on March 17th. "Kathy and I picketed from 10:00 to 11:00 this morning. At about 10:30 a man came out from the building and walked over to the sidewalk to talk to me. I just said 'hello', and he responded with 'you are an atheist and should not be picketing a church!' We 'talked' for about 5 minutes before another man came out and told the first guy that 'there was a phone call' for him. "During our conversation, the man, who claimed to be an OT 5, denied that OT3 had anything to do with 'the Marcabs.' So I pointed out the back of my 'Scientology Kills' T-shirt with the direct quote from Hubbard about the Galactic Empire. He stated that he could be a Catholic and a Scientologist. I told him that I knew that Hubbard said that Catholicism came from 'a madman' recalling the implants from Incident Two. He had no response for that.' "Edmonton Entheta" protested in Edmonton on March 17th. "Picketers were myself, and John Brownlee, who was a member for 11 years. The DSA, Deborah Jurt did come out and take our picture and talk to us a bit. John has a sister who is in the Sea Org who has not spoken to her family in 12 years. John expressed to Deborah that this is his main concern, and Deborah said that she is working on getting John's sister to call her mom. We also got to speak to the owners/staff of a new restaurant that opened up about a week ago next door to the org. They didn't know anything about Scientology before, but they have been filled in now, and support us completely." Mike Krotz reported a protest in Clearwater on March 17th. "This picket began at about 2:30 p.m., with a brief protest in the area of the Coachman building. The group then moved to the area across from the Ft. Harrison. Randy had control of the posterboard megaphone, and alternated between, 'No OTs there, if there were any OTs you would not be hearing my voice,' and singing, 'Happy birthday to Ron, we're glad you are gone, you died while on psych drugs, but the con still lives on.' "Paul Kellerhaus was on his mobile phone right away. A Clearwater police cruiser arrived and after a long conversation with Kellerhaus and Antonio, the officer walked across the street and spoke with Randy. She explained that Kellerhaus was complaining about the noise, but that she noted that Randy was no louder than passing traffic. She explained that no laws were being violated, and Randy was exercising his first amendment rights. She then returned to her cruiser and remained there while the protest continued. "We then went to the Hacienda Gardens, the housing area on Saturn St. Randy pointed out a new camera that had been installed so that it protruded out over the sidewalk. I also noted the numerous cameras on the buildings, and the motion detectors all over the fence. Strangely enough, the motion detectors are all pointed inward, evidently to alert security to any attempted escapees. "As we came back around to the West side of the complex, a man approached us from the South. He was process server Pete Thornburg. Pete was very polite, and showed us his identification. He specifically sought out Lisa and gave her a copy of the injunction. He then gave a copy to another protester, who has picketed before but is not a frequent attendee. Pete did not know this protester's name, and did not ask it. "A Clearwater police cruiser pulled up. The officer asked what was going on and Pete told him what he was doing, and then Pete took off. The officer spoke with us for a few minutes, explaining that someone from the Hacienda had called in a complaint. He too seemed quite cordial, and even shared some personal stories about Scientology from when he worked the downtown beat. "We then went to the Sandcastle. Shortly after we arrived, process server Pete returned, and handed Randy a copy of the injunction. Pete explained that he was instructed to serve Randy as Mike Krotz. We all laughed and told him he had the wrong person, but he said it wasn't his problem and he then left. Randy continued with the megaphone. We noticed a couple of Scientology kids were playing in a swimming pool area near the sidewalk where we were protesting. These kids were about 10 years old or so, and after they heard Randy on the megaphone, they began shouting various insults laced with foul language. "We were just preparing to leave when process server Pete returned again. He got out of his vehicle and called my name, handing me a copy of the injunction as he did so. I thanked him and told him that I was glad he finally got the job done." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: 3OSs6.35422$Xt3.firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: 3AB50BB7.37F8AF22@verizonmail.com
RitalinDJ reported on March 13th that a lawsuit brought by a Scientologist against the makers of Ritalin appears to be close to being dismissed. "A federal judge is on the verge of dismissing a class-action lawsuit filed in September alleging that the drug maker and the American Psychiatric Association conspired to expand the diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. said that the judge found the lawsuit so vague and unclear that it doesn't state a legal claim. If those defects aren't fixed, the case will be dismissed "The company called the plaintiff's claim that Novartis and the group of psychiatrists attempted to 'create' a disease 'ludicrous.' According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs is a high-profile Washington attorney who belongs to the Church of Scientology, whose tenets include opposition to psychiatry. The defendants has said much of the lawsuits' claims mirror those in literature distributed by an arm of the church." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
SlashdotInternet news site slashdot.org was forced to remove a copy of the OT3 materials from its web site following legal threats from Scientology. From "Commander Taco," one of slashdot's officials. "Last Saturday a comment was posted here by an anonymous reader that contained text that was copyrighted by the Church of Scientology. They have since followed the DMCA and demanded that we remove the comment. Our lawyers have advised us that, considering all the details of this case, the comment should come down. It's a bad precedent, and a blow for the freedom of speech that we all share in this forum. We risk legal action that would at best be expensive, and potentially cause Slashdot to go down temporarily or even permanently. "A text called 'OT III', part of what is known as the Fishman Affidavit. In its place we are putting non-copyrighted text: Links to websites about the church of Scientology, as well as links to how you can contact your congressman about the DMCA. Try a Google search on 'OT III' and 'Fishman' returns over 250 pages. A broader search on AltaVista returns over 2,000 webpages. "Operating in the jurisdiction of the Dutch courts, Karin Spaink's Fishman Affidavit webpage has fended off two lawsuits from Scientology, one in 1996 and one in 1999. If you would like a plain English explanation of OT III, see OT III Rewritten For Beginners, by Jon Atack. Its author is a former Scientologist who himself completed level OT III. If you are interested in Scientology, you will want to visit Operation Clambake, at xenu.net. It seems to be the most important central resource for information on the organization. "You may also want to visit the Lisa McPherson Memorial Page, which claims that 'Lisa died needlessly at the hands of Scientology.' Her case is truly a tragic one and she deserves to be remembered. The site has a great deal of information on her death." From The Register on March 16th: "Geek paradise Slashdot has taken the unprecedented step of removing a post which contained text allegedly copyrighted by the 'Church' of Scientology, after receiving threats from Hubbard Space Command shysters citing the dreaded Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The post in question contained the full text of some reincarnated-aliens-scifi drivel called 'OT III', which in turn belongs to a Scientological sacred document called the 'Fishman Affidavit'. "What little sense we were able to make of OT III suggests a science fiction role-playing game involving impossibly ancient alien spirits called 'Thetans' which were hypnotized and subsequently implanted in the minds of 'intelligent' beings belonging to a Galactic Confederation of 76 planets, including our own, roughly 75 million years ago. "Interestingly, the Slashdot announcement contains a lengthy talkback section towards the bottom, the cloying supportiveness of which suggests that Malda's got himself a gaggle of cultish, right-thinking followers and apologists on a par with Hubbard's. Slashdot typically devotes a great deal of ink to issues of free speech. The courage to exercise it when it hurts, however, is something else again." From MSNBC on March 16th: "In the face of legal threats from the Church of Scientology, Slashdot pulled down an anonymous posting that quoted a copyrighted church tract, known as Operating Thetan, Section III (OT III). In any other context, the legal decision would have been entirely unremarkable, since courts have repeatedly ordered Web sites to take down copyrighted Church of Scientology documents. Though Slashdot has removed the offending article, the site is not going down quietly. CmdrTaco's announcement offers readers a link to a Dutch site that quotes the offending tract. "The Slashdot post urges disgruntled readers to write their congressional representatives to urge repeal or modification of the DMCA, which sets out the notice-and-takedown procedures that the Church of Scientology invoked to force the Web site to take down the copyrighted materials. "Quite apart from the legal consequences of defying the Church of Scientology and the laws of the United States, there's one more argument that could be made in favor of taking down the OT III post. According to accounts of Church doctrine that have come to light during past litigation, Operating Thetans like OT III are designed to help Church members combat evil spirits that were unleashed upon the universe about 75 million years ago when an extraterrestrial king named Xenu murdered his own people. Disclosure of the Thetans to non-Church members - or even to Church members who have not yet reached the point in their studies where they are ready to receive them - is said to invite catastrophic forces on a global scale." From Wired News on March 17th: "Scientology's notoriously litigious team of attack attorneys successfully pressured the site's editors into erasing a discussion board message, which allegedly contained copyrighted material. Slashdot editor Robin Miller said in an e-mail that 'this is not about freedom of speech, it's about copyright laws that we have to follow even if we don't like them. The only real solution is to get those laws changed.' "Over the last decade, Scientology has gained a reputation for fiercely protecting its copyrights, including action against posters to newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, prompting many observers to complain about censorship through copyright threats. The church is particularly eager to suppress information about Xenu - the apparently evil space alien who is a character in the scriptures written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction author. In one famous case, Scientology sued The Washington Post - and lost - after the newspaper republished a short excerpt of the Xenu scriptures." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
SwitzerlandTages-Anzeiger reported on March 12th that Scientology is stepping up its recruitment in Zurich, Switzerland through it's Narconon group. "Narconon intends to launch an information campaign in a new PR offensive and win addicts for the withdrawal in its center. On Saturday the Scientologists had an opening celebration for the new info center on 69 Seebacher Street. Berne artist Housi Knecht and the renowned former track athlete Stefan Burkart praised the achievements of Sect founder Ron Hubbard. "Narconon wants to organize informational lectures at schools, conduct seminars on drug issues and a personality course and offer personal counseling. The controversial Narconon withdrawal consists primarily of a Purification Program, in which the addicts are to spend about four hours in the sauna daily and endlessly swallow pills, up to 45 a day, as stated by graduates of the program. The withdrawal costs up to 130 franks per day and the program lasts, as a rule, six months." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010314173825.119Aemail@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.