Faith-based GroupsThe Los Angeles Times reported on June 26th that U.S. President Bush called on U.S. mayors to support his plan to fund religious charities. "Bush pledged that taxpayer money would finance needed social programs - and not religious indoctrination, as critics fear - and argued that his goal was to let faith-based organizations compete on equal footing with other providers of social services. 'We recognize that the funds will be spent on social services, not worship services,' Bush told the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which issued a proclamation in support of the effort. "Yet key parts of the initiative, which has become one of Bush's paramount domestic goals, appear to be in jeopardy. On the right, conservative evangelicals fear new bureaucratic mandates on their programs and have expressed concerns that the White House plan also would include less-traditional religions, ranging from the Church of Scientology to the Nation of Islam. On the left, others have worried that it would erode the nation's barrier between church and state. "Further complicating the initiative's prospects in Congress is the Democrats' recent takeover of the Senate. The new Senate majority leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, while not highly visible on the faith issue, is believed to share many of the concerns voiced by others in his party." Message-ID: email@example.com
Dating AdviceAn advertisement in the West Hollywood Independent News on June 27th announced a dating seminar sponsored by Scientology in Beverly Hills. "Come to 'WHO TO DATE. AND WHO TO DUMP' A Special seminar sponsored by the Church of Scientology of Beverly Hills, Tuesday July 3rd. "Attend this Seminar & Learn: How to spot the person behind the mask, before you get involved. What are the five tell-tale clues that reveal whether someone will make you CRAZY! How to quickly determine whether a person would be compatible with you for the long term. What to do if the person you're with is more negative than you. "Speaker: Steven List. Cost: $10.00. Excellent refreshments Served." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Juliette LewisThe Scotsman published an interview on June 23rd with Juliette Lewis, in which she described her history with Scientology drug programs. "Looking back on the drink and drug addiction of her early 20s, the actress sees it as a struggle for self-knowledge. 'For whatever reason, I felt so conflicted about myself. I had an incredible confidence about my talent on the one hand. But, on the other, I felt really insecure about who I was as a person and I really didn't know how to articulate myself.' "Events reached crisis point during the filming of Evening Star, the sequel to the Oscar-winning hit Terms of Endearment, when she teamed up with Shirley MacLaine. It was then that Juliette decided to clean herself up. She went through a detox programme run by the Church of Scientology at Clearwater, Florida. She came out feeling a much better person, but very aware that her career might be over. 'I knew that the danger in walking away was that I could lose it all, but I thought it was the perfect time to do it. I believed that my talent wasn't going to go away. I thought it could only grow if I invested in the things that are important in my life and I could always come back to films. And, yeah, I knew that I might not be where I was when I left off - but they never threw parts at me, anyway.'" Message-ID: email@example.com
In MemoriamThe Chicago Tribune published an obituary of Scientologist Greg Bashaw on June 28th. Bashaw recently committed suicide in Michigan. "In memory of a trained journalist, disciplined and hardworking, an honored writer of substance and creativity and imagination, loved by family and friends, respected by contemporaries, who in the prime of his life, because of his needs and naivete trusted wrongly an entity that crushed his sweet and sharing spirit. He found his journey through life too painful to continue and was blind and deaf to all of those who loved him. May God bless you Greg, and may God bless us all. Your Dad, Robert S. Bashaw and your good friend Vicky." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob MintonBob Minton reported this week that Scientology is pressuring his parole officer to register his guns. "The Scientology organization tried to have the Salvation Army come after my Constitutional rights to gun ownership. Salvation Army Correctional Services spoke to me yesterday and told me that if I did not register all of my guns by the end of the day yesterday, she would have a warrant issued for my arrest. I informed her that in New Hampshire, my state of residence, there is no such thing as 'registering' guns unless one is talking about a 'license to carry a concealed weapon.' "On the very first day of my probation, I notified the Salvation Army about my gun ownership. I was told by Donna Muniz, Probation Officer, that there was no problem since Penick's withheld adjudication had nothing to do with firearms. Now, four and a half months later, Scientology is trying to have my guns confiscated. Yesterday the Salvation Army Correctional Services informed me that they now wish to charge me with a probation violation because I own guns, despite their prior waiver of the probation requirement in this respect. The woman I spoke to admitted that Scientology has pressured them on this point. I told her they were welcome to charge me with a probation violation and have an arrest warrant issued. I told her I would be more than happy to return to Florida for arrest and appear before any Pinellas County Judge they could dredge up." Message-ID: email@example.com
NarcononThe Oklahoman reported on July 1st that Narconon is moving its Oklahoma facility from Newkirk to a new location near Canadian, OK. "Narconon is closing its Newkirk branch in favor of combining the entire treatment site at Arrowhead Lodge near Canadian in Pittsburg County. The center is expected to open in the next couple of months. The Narconon Chilocco New Life Center began accepting patients in 1990 under the premise that it didn't need state certification, since the site near Newkirk was on tribal land. "Residents heard stories that the center would have 1,000 beds and that the treatment used was one developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology. Some residents helped the few clients who wandered into Newkirk wanting to leave Narconon. There were stories about what some thought was an unorthodox treatment using vitamins and saunas. Things have quieted since then in the Kay County community of 2,200 people. The fear that the drug treatment center would become a recruiting machine for Scientology seems to be gone. Although Narconon uses Hubbard's techniques and received donations from the church, it isn't and never was intended to be a recruiting tool for the church, said Gary Smith, executive director. 'Here it's 11 years later, and we're still Narconon,' he said. "Narconon has had 2,029 clients since it opened the Chilocco site. Of those, 199 Indians have gone through a special program at no cost, Smith said. Non-Indian clients pay a flat fee of $17,000 to $20,000 for a stay of three months to a year. Last year, 352 students enrolled and 185 completed the program, Smith said. Thus far this year, 350 entered and 189 have graduated. In the last study of clients who completed the program two years ago, 70 to 74 percent were still off drugs, Smith said. "The Association for Better Living and Education bought the Arrowhead Lodge for Narconon last summer. Residents of nearby Canadian and Arrowhead Estates, a housing addition less than a mile away, circulated petitions against the drug treatment facility. Mike Hall, who said he had 250 names on a petition against Narconon, said he doesn't believe Arrowhead is the proper place for the drug treatment center. 'I don't feel that it's good for our development. I don't feel it's good for the state,' he said. "But Narconon also submitted a petition and gathered 437 signatures of support to submit to the health department. A recent petition in favor of Narconon had 2,000 signatures, Smith said. The organization received a certificate last summer authorizing it to have 75 beds at the lodge, but Smith said he is working to increase that to 230. Canadian Mayor Danny Arterberry said some residents were concerned or curious in the beginning, but Narconon officials have proven they will benefit the community. 'They try to get involved in the community as much as they can,' he said. 'They kind of put (suspicions) at ease. They're just like the rest (of us).'" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
RussiaThomas Gandow reported that the head of Narconon in Russia has denounced Scientology and left the organization. "Vladimir Ivanov - the leader of Russian 'Narkonon,' the president of scientological 'Foundation of Salvation of Children and Adolescents from Drugs' and the foundation 'Drug-Free Russia,' while speaking live on popular radio Ekho Moskvy, unexpectedly announced that he had broken with the Scientology organization. Mr. Ivanov spoke about Scientology as a criminal cult which has nothing to do with religion and which capitalizes cynically upon the sufferings and pain of other people. Ivanov said that he is no longer 'Satanist' and had asked forgiveness from those numerous people whom he recruited into Scientology. He had announced that from now on none of the organizations he heads, has anything to do either to Scientology, or to 'Narconon.' At the same time, Mr. Ivanov had expressed an idea that technology used in Narconon can be used effectively outside of Scientology and Narconon itself. " From an open letter by Vladimir Ivanov: "Having thoroughly studied the theory and practice of Scientologists in Russia and abroad for the past ten years, I have come to realize that the certain practicality of the so-called technology is in full and complete contradiction with the purely commercial aspirations, hidden from the outsider's view, and has nothing in common (except for declarations) with the spiritual-religious goals. The so-called Church of Scientology flouts human rights and the rights of religious people in general by imposing a ban on a profession, by denying a person the right to defend his interests in the court of law, and by enslaving him with work for the benefit of its mercantile interests." Agence France Presse reported on June 27th that a Scientology leader in Khabarovsk has been convicted of money laundering. "A court in Russia's far eastern city of Khabarovsk Wednesday handed a local Scientology leader a six year suspended sentence for money laundering and setting up an illegal business. In the course of a year-long investigation launched against Olga Ukhova, prosecutors also accused the Dianetics center of inflicting psychological, physical and financial harm to its adherents, court officials said. Since 1998, Russian prosecutors have sought to prove that its activities were illegal, but Moscow courts have twice dismissed cases against the church." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Z8RI559K37070.email@example.com
Reed SlatkinThe Wall Street Journal reported on June 27 that the FBI expanded its investigation into Scientologist Reed Slatkin to include another Scientologist who may be involved in the Ponzi scheme. "In a widening probe into the money-management activities of EarthLink Inc. co-founder Reed Slatkin, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it searched the home of Ronald Rakow, a neighbor of Mr. Slatkin. Federal agents spent eight hours Monday in the Santa Barbara, Calif., home of Mr. Rakow, a onetime road manager of the Grateful Dead who presented himself to some investors as a business colleague of Mr. Slatkin. Among the items sought were business and financial records for at least 10 entities operated by Mr. Slatkin or Mr. Rakow 'for the purported purpose of investing money for others since 1986 using Slatkin investor funds.'" From the Santa Barbara News-Press on June 28th: "According to an attachment filed with the search warrant, agents sought business and financial records for at least 10 corporations and partnerships operated by the two men and using funds raised by Mr. Slatkin, 'for the purported purpose of investing money for others since 1986.' "A News-Press review of court records found approximately 75 creditors who live in Santa Barbara County. As investigators try to find the money, they say it will be at least six months before any recovered funds can be returned to creditors. Mr. Slatkin and his wife, Mary Jo Slatkin, are ordained ministers in the Church of Scientology. Records show that Mr. Rakow is also a Scientologist. "Records show that when Mr. Slatkin began his investment club in 1987, he collected money from fellow Scientologists, making promises of high profits, then added other investors over the years. Investigators allege that he engaged in a Ponzi scheme, paying off earlier investors with money obtained from new ones." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
SwedenCatarina Pamnell translated portions of a June 17th Swedish radio show "Klarsprak" on Narconon. "The speaker is Mats Fridell, Associate Professor at the University of Lund, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychology. "'The methods that Narconon uses to treat substance abusers are unscientific and lack effect on the actual addiction. They could possibly affect e.g. group cohesion in the [treatment] community. This conclusion is also the conclusion of Socialstyrelsen. Also, detoxification carried out in that manner may be dangerous when detoxing from certain types of substances. One cannot have one single treatment routine for all types of addiction, at least not without some risk. "One criticism that could be levelled at Narconon is that they use low-qualified staff, who to a great extent are charity workers and who are not educated in treatment work. It is natural that there exists drug addicts who have been helped by Narconon, there are those who will find help, support and a sense of belonging from this type of treatment, but the Narconon method is not a treatment method. "The only Swedish study of Narconon that I have been able to find, an evaluation of Narconon by Peter Gerdman, shows that 77 percent left the treatment at a relatively early stage. Out of those who completed the treatment, 21 percent out of the original group could be followed up, and out of those 31 percent show improvement. But calculated on the entire group who entered the treatment, which is how one has to do it when calculating results, only 7 percent had gotten rehabilitated out of the total group. Based on this evaluation, Narconon scores lower than any other functioning environmental therapy treatment, both as to treatment reports, results and evaluation over time." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
SwitzerlandThe State Attorney in Basel, Switzerland dismissed a complaint from Scientologist Housie Knecht against Susanne Haller for alleged religious discrimination. "The complainant brought forward that based on Susanne Haller Sidler's intervention in the OK of the World Children's Festival, he was discriminated against in connection with his art operation because of his membership in Scientology. "The criminal action of the sort has to have been directed at a member of a race, an ethnicity or a religion. Religion in this definition is the reverential relationship of people to God. The members of the religion have to think of themselves as a group and must be considered as such by the rest of the population. One of the characteristics of Scientology is that it does not present a congruent dogma about the existence of God to its individual members. The association makes it clear in its presentation of itself that it is not concerned about the creation of a new religion, that is, a new understanding of people's transcendence, but about the essence of people in the center, whose simple restoration is in no way connected with a belief in God. Auditing, used by Scientology for the attainment of its goal of putting civilization on a higher level, shows that it is propagated on a psychological and not on a religious place following the reformation of its members' lives. In view of the generally well-known aggressive recruitment attempts by Scientologists, including against passersby on public land as well as against mentally handicapped and those who are not well off, with the primary goal of selling them books authored by the founder of Scientology or to motivate people to buy very expensive auditing-courses, the question is posed of whether the organization actually is dealing with the attainment of its stated higher goals or whether, under the mask of religion, it is pursuing purely commercial interests. "Altogether Scientology can be regarded as an untrustworthy, destructive cult with the significance of, at most, a quasi-religion. This is, according to its own self-presentation, characteristic of the new belief in the proclaimed, charismatic founder L. Ron Hubbard (not in God in the tradition manner), the authoritarian leadership and control of the categorized members (not the free religious activity of a confessional denomination) and the pervasive claim to have and teach the only true determination for humankind (not the admission of the remaining mistakes and imperfection of human nature). In that this organization fulfills neither the criteria of religiosity nor that of a liberal core content which a religious group would have to in order to invoke this standard of protection." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010628163056.119Aemail@example.com
John TravoltaThe South China Morning Post reported on June 27th that Scientology celebrity John Travolta has been offered $700,000 to appear before a group of movie fans who think Battlefield Earth is the worst movie ever made. "The film, which lost millions of dollars, was a tribute to Travolta's controversial idol Ron L Hubbard, the science-fiction author who wrote the book on which the movie is based and who also established the star's religion, the Church of Scientology. Travolta has been offered US$700,000 to appear at a convention celebrating the disastrous film. Movie fans, who worship Battlefield Earth for being the worst picture ever made, will see a director's cut and enjoy a science-fiction ball at a convention in England. "Andrea Henry, a spokeswoman for Battlefield Earth Clan, a group that adores the movie because of its atrociousness, said: 'We really would love John to come over for this. We've spoken to John's manager and we're awaiting a response. I know the movie had bad press, but it really has become a cult piece of cinema in a few people's eyes.' The offer of such a huge appearance fee has been made by a millionaire member of the clan." The July 10th issue of Globe magazine reports that John Travolta has been refused in his offer to help Robert Downey, Jr. with his drug addiction problem. "A devout Scientologist, Travolta is convinced that his church's 'purification' program could wipe Downey clean of his addictions. 'I reached out to Robert a couple of times,' reveals the 47-year-old star of the new movie Swordfish. 'I have a very specific way of helping a person off drugs. There are vitamin programs, detoxification and sweat programs that a person goes on - Scientology calls it a purification program. There's a wonderful organization called Narconon that helps.' "But some critics of the Scientologists' vitamin-and-sweat 'purification program' claim the unorthodox treatment regime does little to end the terrible craving addicts suffer during withdrawal, and may be a waste of time. "The actor is currently in a six-month drug rehab program at a California residential treatment center while awaiting sentencing on cocaine possession charges. He was busted shortly after being released from prison, where he spent nearly a year for a prior violation related to drugs. When he spoke with the 36-year-old actor's rep, Downey's response was, 'No thanks.'" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
WISEMembers of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) were urged in a recent letter to help with the renovation of the new Hubbard College of Administration in Los Angeles. "The Hubbard College of Administration Network is devoted to the dissemination of LRH admin tech into society. The establishment of their new headquarters is our launching pad for a sane civilization based on Standard Administration. Through this membership drive WISE members are making the tech available to all and bringing into existence the first L. Ron Hubbard University. "The new Hubbard College building will be able to train over 10,000 students a year, the design of the facility itself communicates the tech of Standard Administration. A government official, CEO, administrator or a high school graduate will be able to see the basic fundamentals of LRH admin tech at work simply by walking through these new beautiful spaces. For the duration of this membership drive a major portion of WISE membership fees are being channeled into creating this model facility. "The front exterior of the building is completed - with new bay windows and brick facade which follow the motif of the building. The rear exterior 2nd floor public deck/patio is 65% complete. The interior wall framing and drywall is underway and will be completed this week! The architectural eave detailing is now in place. The building renovations are on schedule to be completed by mid July. "Much Love, Carol and Amy Mem Reg Off WISE Int & HCA Off WISE Int" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.