Faith-Based GroupsA letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Daily News on March 27th replied to an article about U.S. Government funding of religious charities. "In Mona Charen's article supporting President Bush's faith-based funding proposals, Charen gratuitously passed on an insulting comment about my church, the Church of Scientology. Yes, in Scientology, we're a little different than older religions - if we weren't, we'd be one of those religions. So, I cannot sit by while a seed of possible future hatred is planted by a writer I otherwise admire. -- Stephen M. Ferris" Reuters reported on March 30th that conservatives still have reservations about the plan. "'There's discontent along the edges, that's how I would characterize it,' said Marshall Wittman of the Indiana-based Hudson Institute's Project for Conservative Reform. The conservative complaints may have begun with a broadside against Bush's faith-based social service initiative from Christian Coalition President Pat Robertson, published in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. "'If government provides funding to the thousands of faith-based institutions but, under a tortured definition of separation of church and state, demands in return that those institutions give up their unique religious activities, then not only the effectiveness of these institutions but possibly their very raison d'etre may be lost,' Robertson wrote. He further worried in print that the government money that would be available to agencies of the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths would also be offered to the Hare Krishnas, the Church of Scientology or Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
ClearwaterLetters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on March 28th replied to an editorial criticizing the Clearwater Police for allowing off-duty police to be hired by Scientology to guard against the Lisa McPherson Trust. "The position seems to be that it is acceptable to discriminate against Scientology (at least in this matter), but not against other religions, like Catholicism and Presbyterianism, that are more acceptable to you. The reasons you offer for advocating this selective religious discrimination are a 'controversial history' and conflicts with others. "Contemporary events attest that religions of all kinds -- presumably including some that are acceptable to you -- are at the very center of such matters worldwide. In the interest of the same 'objectivity' that you value so highly in this editorial, perhaps you should reveal what other religions you think ought to be subjected to discrimination. Or is Scientology the only one? -- Danny L. Jorgensen Ph.D, University of South Florida" "I have been serving as counsel for the Church of Scientology in connection with the ongoing court proceedings to restore some measure of peace to downtown Clearwater. The peace has been breached by the members of the Lisa McPherson Trust, who came to Clearwater and mounted loud, crude and vulgar attacks against the church and its members. The church obtained an injunction against the Lisa McPherson Trust and its members, the purpose of which was to set up some basic ground rules for both the church and the members of the trust. "You argue that it is acceptable to discriminate against the church and deny it the availability of police services because the police merely direct traffic for other churches. Would it be acceptable if the police were only directing traffic for the Church of Scientology instead of preserving civil order? If the skinheads mounted a protest operation against a local synagogue, would you deny the synagogue the opportunity to participate in the Police Department's program to preserve public order? "The extra-duty police officer program is a creative way to expand the availability of police services to the community without the taxpayers having to foot the bill. You ought to be praising it instead of trying to undermine it because an organization you don't like is using it. -- F. Wallace Pope Jr., Clearwater" Chief of Police Sid Klein also wrote a letter to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times, published on March 30th. "It's not Judge Thomas Penick, as you wrote, 'who has the unenviable task of refereeing sidewalk skirmishes between the Church of Scientology and anti-Scientology protesters' in downtown Clearwater. That responsibility falls to the Clearwater Police Department. It's the police officers who must monitor and mitigate the constant confrontations between two groups - fueled by hatred and distrust - that seem incapable of tolerance and civility. "Without off-duty police officers standing by to act as schoolyard monitors for these two groups, we would have to continually send on-duty police officers to break up confrontations, to interview witnesses, to review videotape from scores of cameras (both visible and hidden), to write reports and to take whatever actions are necessary -- every day -- to quell these venomous, juvenile exchanges. I don't think the expense of our baby-sitting activities should impact the quality of life or the level of service to which Clearwater's residents are both entitled and accustomed. In this time of municipal fiscal blight, I think it's not only responsible, it's downright wise, to let the recalcitrant combatants themselves pick up the cost of the referees. "While continuing to act as peacemaker -- and enforcing Judge Penick's complex court order -- I will carry on my work with both sides, searching for a viable solution acceptable to all. I fully intend to extricate the Clearwater Police Department from this untenable situation. I'm confident our peacekeeping actions -- as distasteful as they may be to some people -- are clearly in the best interests of the residents of Clearwater. And I'm just as confident that our actions speak louder than your words, which have the hollow, distant ring of an ivory tower bell." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: OBdx6.186$As2.email@example.com
GermanySaarbruecker Zeitung reported on March 30th that a Saarlouis, Germany judge has dismissed a case brought by Scientology to attempt to ban German government from conducting surveillance on Scientology. "The 6th chamber of the Saarland Administrative Court dismissed a complaint after an oral hearing with the Scientology Church Association Germany whose main office is in Munich and the Saarland State Office for the Protection of the Constitution. This judgment by the Saarlouis judge has nationwide impact. For the first time a court has decided the issue of whether Constitutional Security agents may observe the Scientologists using methods of intelligence. "In 1997 the Interior Conference decided to have the sect put under surveillance. Moving against that decision in court was Helmuth Bloebaum, president of the organization in Germany, which does not have a public establishment in Saarland, and who has now been rebuffed. The arguments from Helmuth Albert, chief of the Saarland Constitutional Security seem to have convinced the judge. Among other things he indicated that the stated goals of Scientology were not able to be made compatible with Basic Law. Additionally Scientology was also said to be using its own intelligence agency." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010330194355.117Afirstname.lastname@example.org
Graham BerryKeith Henson posted an update on the legal situation of attorney Graham Berry, a long-time opponent of Scientology. "The clams got Graham's car by assuring a bankruptcy judge that his 14 year old jeep, bald tires, marginal brakes, electrical problems, and water leaks would sell for $6700. Since in bankruptcy you can't have a car worth more than $1900, they will sell it at auction to some public scn and give Graham $1900. "There is a deposition of Donald Wager; in it he admits to a string of criminal actions in the Hurtado v. Berry case and related. Wager admits paying a street person in jail for false testimony and being paid back by Moxon. He also talks about taking the street person's false testimony to the Sheriff in an attempt to get Graham arrested." Message-ID: email@example.com
ItalyLa Repubblica reported on March 28th that an investigation is being conducted in Florence into the activities of eight executive Scientology members. "An investigation was opened by the state attorney Francesco Fleury in Florence. He's investigating 8 Italian executives of the Church of Scientology, assuming felonies against them such as criminal association and personal damages. In Mr. Fleury's opinion, suffering and psychic violence that would be inflicted to the followers could be equal to physical injuries. "The investigation in Florence begun in 1998, when the parents of a conservatoire student, who became a follower of Scientology, filed a complaint. They were desperate for their daughter left her studies and severed her contacts with her family. The girl is now living in Milan, where she has taken up her studies again. "The magistrate questioned the girl's parents and ordered the acquisition of a wide documentation about the structure and activities of Scientology, seizing them both in the Florence branch, located near the State of Attorney office, and in the Milan centre, the most important in Italy." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arnie LermaThe New York Post's Page Six gossip column spotlighted Arnie Lerma on March 31st. "A former top officer of the Church of Scientology has launched a crusade against the organization. Arnie Lerma is sending out 'Scientology Lies' postcards and has launched a web site, www.lermanet.com, showcasing testimonials from people who have 'escaped' from Scientology. Rev. John Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology of New York, claims Lerma is disgruntled, having been 'thrown out of the church because of drug use.' Lerma calls the charge 'bullbleep! I was never thrown out.' Lerma says he left after Scientologists threatened him for planning to elope with L. Ron Hubbard's daughter Suzette." Message-ID: email@example.com
Bob MintonTilman Hausherr reported on the libel trial in Berlin in which Bob Minton is suing OSA representative Sabine Weber, Freedom Magazine and Scientology for false statements made in Freedom magazine and other publications. "The court said there is no indication that Minton has been involved in shady movements of billions of dollars, he did do the debt buy-back, there is no evidence that he helped hide any money, Scientology isn't a 'citizens organisation' that can't be expected to do some research. While the court wouldn't say that Scientology has an 'intelligence service,' it called Scientology a large organisation with enormous possibilities, so it has to listen to the response of Minton. "Many of the oral allegations of the scientology attorney were similar to what has been claimed on ars, e.g. that Minton has Caberta on a string, that he bribed her, that he set up money laundering foundation for Abacha, and that he was 'sure' that Greenland was also there to funnel money into foreign countries. "Minton's attorney explained that scientology is doing a 'perverse' campaign against Minton, based on the policies of Scientology founder Hubbard, that Caberta is actually not even investigated for bribery, only for 'Vorteilsnahme' which is something less. The scientology said that the complaint in Switzerland was for real, but didn't explain why they could only provide some translation of it. He claimed that because Minton attacked Scientology, Scientology is allowed to attack Minton." Bob Minton posted the decision, which provides penalties for Scientology should they repeat any of the libelous statements. "The defendants are obliged, on penalty of a fine of up to 500,000 DM in the case of violation, alternatively detention, or detention of up to 6 months on one of the members of the Board of Directors, to refrain from propagating, literally or analogously, "Freiheit, 'According to a criminal complaint against Robert Minton and accessories for fraud, money laundering and forgery of documents, filed by the Republic of Nigeria on June 23rd, 2000 with the Attorney General in Geneva, between 1987 and 1993, Minton, following a secret fraudulent plan 'diverted several billion US$ to the damage of the Republic of Nigeria. Robert Minton deposited the diverted money in several business and private numbered bank accounts'. "Flyer: Merciless Greed for Money, 'The unscrupulous wheeler-dealer Minton was involved in these money rackets, after he and his accessories got hold of illegal inside knowledge to maximize their profits. Presently there are a great number of examinations and hearings dealing with this gigantic fraud scandal which was carried out using 200 different bank accounts. Only recently, a further 'vanished' 1.31 billion DM were discovered and frozen by the Attorney General in Luxembourg.' "Freiheit, 'Caberta and the Hamburg Department of the Interior, the latter being responsible for the fight against crime, recently honored the American Robert Minton with a press conference, shortly after his close ties to an international money laundering racket of gigantic proportions became public. As African and English newspapers are presently reporting, the former Nigerian military dictatorship channeled several billion US$ to foreign bank accounts with the support of Minton and his accessories.' "Freiheit, 'According to a criminal charge filed by the Nigerian Republic with the attorney general of Geneva he was accused of defrauding the country of several hundred million US$ during his business transactions with the former Nigerian military dictatorship. The complaint also accuses Minton of forgery of documents and money laundering.' "The Defendants have to pay the costs." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
NarcononThe Arizona Republic reported on March 28th that the Arizona legislature has rejected spending $3 million to give Scientology's Narconon treatment to state prisoners. "'If they get massages and saunas, I don't blame them for signing up,' said Sen. Brenda Burns, R-Glendale. 'I want to enroll.' Chairwoman Elaine Richardson, D-Tucson, held HB2563 rather than see it die in a Judiciary Committee vote. Rick Pendery, executive director of the Second Chance program, said more than 2,000 inmates of the Ensenada, Mexico, prison have been treated with massages, saunas and vitamins the past five years at a cost to Mexico of $1 million a year. Only 10 percent of those treated and released have returned to prison, Pendery said. Terry Stewart, Arizona Corrections director, acknowledged that the recidivism rate in state prisons is 34 percent over three years. "Combining aspects of the Narconon program and teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, the Second Chance system detoxifies addicts and shows them how to take control of their lives, Pendery said. Treatment is voluntary and non-religious. "Stewart objected to taking money from the addiction and education programs and offering it to a private contractor for a treatment that has not been reviewed by a credible U.S. agency." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
SwedenDagens Nyheter reported that the Swedish parliament member who donated the NOTs materials to a library has been fined for copyright violation. "The district court in Jonkoping ordered Carina Hagg, a member of parliament, to pay 50 'unit fines' for violations of the copyright law. In the end of 1997 Carina Hagg handed in the so-called Scientology bible - that really are classified education documents for Scientology members - to the city library in Jonkoping, and thus made the scriptures public for, amongst other things, copying. Carina Hagg had, as a member of the parliament, access to the scriptures since a person by the name of Zenon Panoussis in 1996 handed them in to the secretariat of the parliament. The plaintiff was Religious Technology Center, a non-profit, religious organization in California belonging to the Church of Scientology." Message-ID: Xns9071A67108B0Fanguishluddluthse@126.96.36.199
John TravoltaThe New York Times reported on March 27th on an ABC television special which included a segment on Scientology celebrities John Travolta and Kelly Preston. "On Barbara Walters' preshow special there was one revealing moment when John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, tried to explain why they are enamored of Scientology. Ms. Preston said, 'Scientology rocks!' Obviously what rocks in Hollywood is different from what rocks anywhere else. Message-ID: email@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.