ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times reported on July 10th that Scientology celebrity Chick Corea will not be available to play the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. "'We have an international flair to our lineup,' said Karen Vann, Clearwater Jazz Holiday executive director. One more act, scheduled for a spot from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 20, is to be announced. Vann was unable to fill the vacancy with Chick Corea. He tried to book Corea, who lives in the Clearwater area, but Corea will be playing a solo piano performance in Bourges, France. "For years, organizers did not book the prominent Scientologist for fear they'd lose sponsors or audiences, 'but I don't think we feel the same concerns and prohibitions we felt at the time,' Garcia said. 'It's not something that would stop me,' Garcia said. 'If he wasn't in Europe, I would have loved to have him. The critics are raving about his work. I book them because they're good artists.'" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
EuropeMonde Diplomatique published an article in its June, 2001 issue on the history of efforts in Europe to resist cults from America, including Scientology. "In 1996 France passed legislation to protect the psychologically vulnerable, and the Jospin government established an Interministerial Mission to Combat Sects, headed by Alain Vivien. In Germany, the main struggle has been with the Church of Scientology. After a police investigation in 1997 the Federal government warned the public of its dangers and the state of Bavaria banned Scientologists from the civil service. "With Europe hardening its position, observers expected a counter-attack from international cults, some of which have assets of several hundred million francs in France alone. On 27 January 1997 Washington officially condemned German measures against Scientology. A few days later the State Department's Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour published its country reports on human rights practices for 1996. Germany came under fierce attack, joining China on the list of states violating religious freedom. The BDHRL report came just at the right time to support the Scientologists' campaign against Germany, which consisted of demonstrations, ads in the international press and a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. "Congress then passed the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998. It then established the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, which has a representative in every US embassy, and the Office of International Religious Freedom within the State Department itself. The office is headed by an ambassador-at-large, assisted by five State Department staff. The first ambassador was Robert A Seiple, a former marine who is fond of repeating that 'human rights are universal because they are granted by God'. The first Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, released by the BDHRL in September 1999 accused France, Germany, Austria and Belgium of violating religious freedom. "In response, the interministerial mission and the French foreign ministry explained that investigations into the structure and financial flows of the Scientology organisation had shown it to be a commercial organisation generating enormous profits. Although the 180 organisations named in the report claimed to be religious, close examination had revealed their totalitarian nature and the coercive methods they used on their followers. The vast majority had already been sentenced by the courts. "The report published on 9 September 1999 contained an even more vehement attack on the European countries. On 8 December foreign minister Hubert Vedrine protested to Madeleine Albright 'Your administration's unwarranted criticism of French government action at a time of ongoing dialogue between our senior officials has cast a deep shadow over the discussions.' "The testimony gathered by these commissions is open to question. The man appointed by the OCSE to chair the meeting in Vienna in March 1999 was none other than Massimo Introvigne, an Italian self-styled sociologist and founder of the Centre for the Study of New Religions (Cesnur). Cesnur is a Catholic fundamentalist organisation with close links to the Brazilian neo-fascist cult Tradition Family Property. Introvigne is a frequent contributor to Scientology publications and testified in favour of the cult in Lyons in the case brought against its leaders by investigating magistrate Georges Fenech. French lawyer Alain Garay, a defence counsel for Jehovah's Witnesses who fights their tax battles, was also invited to Vienna and Washington. He too is a frequent contributor to Scientology publications. "Stacy Brooks is president of the Lisa McPherson Trust, the main American organisation set up to help victims of Scientology. She was herself a Scientologist for 15 years. Brooks clearly recalls Reverend George Robertson, who runs Greater Grace with a rod of iron 'He's in close touch with the leaders of Scientology. When the Scientologists are loath to intervene on certain matters that might damage their image, they get Robertson to do it.' The Cult Awareness Network was once the main support organisation for victims of religious cults. Greater Grace and the Church of Scientology set out together to bankrupt it by lawsuits. Then they bought up its logo and license agreement in the federal bankruptcy court. "There is another reason for the influence of Scientology and its followers in the US. In October 1993 the all-powerful US Internal Revenue Service granted the sect full tax exemption as a bona fide religion, after doggedly refusing to do so for 25 years - a refusal that had been backed by all the American courts right up to the Supreme Court. The IRS turnabout saved the Church of Scientology tens of millions of dollars and gave it an extraordinary public relations tool by opening the doors of the American administration. At one time the cult and its members had more than 50 lawsuits pending against the IRS. It also hired detectives to dig up the dirt on top IRS officials. One of them told the New York Times he had gathered information on officials who missed meetings, drank too much or had extra-marital relations. On express instructions from the IRS commissioner, the Church of Scientology was granted religious status by a special decision that circumvented the usual procedures. "Stephen A Kent, a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta, Canada, has studied the Washington lobbying strategy of religious groups and cults in great detail. He has shown how Scientology mounts major public relations campaigns directed at members of Congress and the White House. Scientology organisations paid $725,000 to a public relations firm specialising in political lobbying in 1996 and 1997, plus a further $420,000 in 1998. Scientologists in the movie business contributed over $70,000 to Hillary Clinton's Senate election campaign fund. Tom Cruise personally donated $5,000 to Al Gore's campaign. A group headed by John Travolta organised a gala dinner to raise funds for the Democrats. One Scientology lawyer gave $20,000 to the Democrats' election campaign, while a group of 10 Californian Scientologists including Craig Jensen, corporate executive officer of Executive Software, donated a total of $7,400 to the campaign fund of Representative Benjamin A Gilman, chair of the House International Relations Committee. "The religious cults have much to gain. If they can penetrate the European education system and establish schools that are free from all state control, as in the US, they will expand and consolidate their membership, since recruitment will become an integral part of the cultural and psychological development of the individuals under their influence. It would be an exaggeration to describe the cults' links with the communications industry as a common front - their actions are not part of a jointly defined strategy or directed by a unified general staff. Still, there is a striking overlap of personnel. The links between ABC, CNN, etc. and the American religious fundamentalist lobbies are no secret, and nor is their total commitment to the ruling ideology. Daniel Ichbia, Bill Gates' first biographer, was a Scientologist. And so is Craig Jensen, one of Gates' closest collaborators. One of the main firms in the Microsoft empire, Executive Software, officially declares itself Scientologist. Big Brother is just behind the screen." Message-ID: email@example.com
FranceReuters reported on July 9th that a U.S Congressman criticized France for passing a law aimed at preventing abuse by cults and other manipulative organizations. "An influential member of the U.S. Congress on Monday branded a new French law aimed at controlling the activities of sects profoundly intolerant and said it could spread an 'anti-religious contagion' if allowed to stand. New Jersey Republican Chris Smith said the bill, adopted by the French National Assembly in May, was so vague in its provisions that it could in theory be applied to almost any cult or religion, including the Roman Catholic Church. "'This (law) is sowing the seeds for profound religious intolerance in France. If and when it is exported, it will spread an anti-religious contagion,' Smith said. Justice Minister Marylise Lebranchu said when the bill was passed that its intention was to protect the weak and that the law would not limit freedom of conscience or worship. "Provisions in the draft that would have made brainwashing, or 'mental manipulation,' a criminal offence were dropped from the final version after an outcry from several groups. More than 170 groups are officially designed as sects in France and remain under government surveillance. They include the Church of Scientology, founded by the late American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, which has said the bill sounds a 'death knell' for French democracy." A hearing before the House subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights on July 11th included testimony from several prominent Scientologists. Excerpts from the testimony of Scientology celebrity Isaac Hayes: "I hope that by giving a public airing to this issue, we can dispel some of the dark clouds that are gathering over France - a country where more members of religious, spiritual and ethnic movements suffer for their beliefs than in any other democracy in the world. And yet, I am not optimistic that circumstances will change, unless we, as Americans, take decisive action to bring about that change. "Members of minority religions have lost their jobs, they have been denied access to public facilities, they have been pilloried in the media, their careers have been destroyed, and their children denied access to kindergarten - all because of their beliefs. The French government's official policy and practice of intolerance continues to generate daily incidents of religious and economic discrimination in both the private and public sector. "In addition to artists, French officials and private anti-religious groups have targeted respected professionals in many different fields. Such campaigns have had fatal consequences for their victims. For example, a doctor who ran a highly regarded therapy center, to which a nearby hospital and courts commonly referred drug addicts for help, killed himself after officials closed his center following a vicious propaganda campaign instigated by a local hate group. "One mother who is a Scientologist unexpectedly discovered that her 13-year-old daughter's sports class had been canceled and replaced by a mandatory conference on cults. Her daughter was extremely upset by the bigotry and prejudice spread at this conference, conducted with the support of the Ministry of National Education and the Interministerial Mission to Fight Against Sects. The French government, and French officials such as Alain Vivien of the Interministerial Mission to Fight Against Sects create a climate that feeds and nurtures such intolerance. "The French government is undoubtedly the most intolerant in western Europe. But certain other European governments continue to refuse to comply with their international human rights commitments. In February, for the 8th successive year, the U.S. State Department's Annual Human Rights Report criticized German government discrimination against Scientologists, as well as against certain Christian groups. Scientologists continue to suffer harassment, stigma and invasion of their private lives by the German government's domestic security agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Although the German federal government claims to have relaxed its use of so-called 'sect filters' making employment or contractual relations conditional on individuals stating that they are not Scientologists, the public and private sector continue to use such filters. Moreover, German officials continue to deny American artists the right to perform at state-sponsored concerts in Germany, solely because of their religious association. "The time has come to consider tough-minded action against western European governments that refuse to respect human rights. We have the legislation to do it - the International Religious Freedom Act. Let's use that tool to take a stand for people who may not be able to take a stand for themselves - individuals of whatever religion or ethnicity who face extinction of their rights in France." From testimony by Patrick Hinojosa, an officer of the Scientology-affiliated Panda Software. "Panda Software in France has had government and private contracts canceled, been permanently precluded from future procurements, and has been the subject of damning and false public accusations by French officials. Since Panda became the target of such religious and economic discrimination in France, which has been our third largest market after the United States and Great Britain, our French subsidiary operation has suffered a devastating 50% drop in revenue. "Panda's founder, Mr. Urizarbarrena, and his wife have for many years been members of the Scientology religion. This French government discrimination has resulted in the current situation whereby Panda Software is now effectively barred from access to the French governmental and major private markets. "Being forced to investigate the motivation of the French government, I discovered that various commissions and ministries within the French state have been engaged in a systematic campaign of discrimination and intolerance against a wide range of minority religions and their members. Indeed, there is a list of 172 targeted religious groups, many of them American. "Allegations surfaced that Panda's anti-virus software might be able to somehow access the confidential databases of the French Ministry of Interior and if this could happen then the information would be sent to the Church of Scientology. This allegation is patently absurd. All of the major international anti-virus certifying organizations have rigorously tested Panda's products and given them their highest available levels of certification. It was also alleged that buying and leasing Panda's products was equivalent to funding the Church of Scientology via the company, another patent falsehood. Panda and the Church of Scientology have no connection whatsoever. "The effective ban and boycott of Panda Software by the French government simply because of Mr. Urizarbarrena's religious association and beliefs painfully highlights the existence in France of a deliberate government policy to attack and discriminate against companies, if its leaders have the audacity to belong to a religion that French politicians don't favor and have blacklisted. "I implore you and the U.S. Congress give serious consideration to the means available under existing legislation or other available instruments and vehicles to make the French government realize that discriminating against U.S. companies and persons, based upon the religious affiliation of their founders or executive staff, is a violation of international public policy and France's international treaty commitments, and that it will not be tolerated by the United States." From the testimony of Scientology celebrity Catherine Bell: "The new French law to 'Reinforce the Prevention and Repression of Sectarian Groups' is intentionally designed to deprive hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people of their right to worship freely. Essentially, the new law makes it illegal for religions to help those that they have traditionally helped, i.e., the spiritually afflicted. With this law, repressive and intolerant French officials and politicians have engineered the legal instruments to enforce the death penalty on minority religious groups. "France is a leader in Europe, a pivotal member of the European Union and the Council of Europe. If we cannot persuade the French government to uphold standards of human rights, what must be our chances of success when dealing with countries like the Sudan or Iraq? "I believe that the time has come for Congress to take firm and unequivocal action against western European governments that fail to comply with international human rights law. We have a responsibility under the International Religious Freedom Act, and as Americans, to protect the rights of minority religious members, especially American citizens. Indeed, the act provides for trade penalties to be taken against governments that engage in acts of religious persecution. The French government has now placed on the books a law that is tailor-made to create persecution, and to deny religious adherents their right to worship in community with others, freely practice their religion and associate with their co-religionists. Within the next few months, we can expect French authorities to move to dissolve targeted religious organizations. "The time has come for hard-nosed legislation mandating sanctions against foreign governments that engage in repeated and persistent acts of religious discrimination. Tough, uncompromising laws by the United States are needed to drive home that human rights violations such as we have heard today are completely unacceptable, and that the United States will not stand by and permit them to continue." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
GermanySpiegel magazine published an article on July 10th on the decline of Scientology in Germany and the efforts of Ms. Ursula Caberta. "It is difficult for a business to differentiate between harmless providers and Scientology members. For this reason the Hamburg Anti-Scientology Crew works closely together with the Chamber of Commerce. Their goal is to help businesses protect themselves from Scientology's attempts at infiltration. An important means of doing this is the so-called 'Technology Statement' developed by Caberta and her team. In the Statement, companies, staff and seminar directors must declare that they reject the technologies of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. 'That's a genuine mortal sin for Scientologists,' explained Caberta. Denying Hubbard, together with the technology he propagated, would be viewed as a 'high crime,' so that signing the statement would not be possible for members. "Ursula Caberta has first-hand experience in finding out that the fight against Scientology is not without adverse effects. For years she has been spied and informed upon by the organization's intelligence agency. Telephone calls to her friends and acquaintances or specific questions to her neighbors have been the daily routine for years, reported the Scientology opponent with near disinterest. "In the Administrative Court in Saarland one of the Scientology organizations members denied responsibility for carrying out 'operative measures' against the Task Force director. In its decision of March 29, 2001 in which it dismissed the charges, the court nevertheless did determine that Scientology had authorized the procedural methods being used against the Task Force director. The State Office for the Protection of the Constitution said somewhat more clearly how these methods were to be understood, namely the 'employment of intelligence agency methods.' "It is exactly with these methods that the organization is currently trying to silence their highest-profile opponent in Germany. The accusations against Caberta go up to soliciting for favors and to bribery, for which the psycho-concern has filed charges. Scientology asserts that the director of the Hamburg Task Force accepted money from American businessman and renowned Scientology opponent Bob Minton on a trip to the USA. Caberta views the charges as part of Scientology's overall strategy to torpedo the critics it does not like. That strategy would also include a petition from Scientology to the Hamburg Burgerschaft, the goal of which is to have her removed from her position. "In order to be able to counter the organization's measures she is promoting legislation for Germany - similar to the so-called anti-cult law passed in France in June. 'We should recognize that psychic bodily harm is criminal, too,' Caberta demands. And 'The organizations responsible for their subordinate members' deeds should finally be held accountable.'" Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010710185944.114Bfirstname.lastname@example.org
IrelandThe Irish Times reported on July 14th that the High Court has refused Scientology's request to get personal information from a woman suing Scientology for altering her personality with mind control techniques. "Mr. Justice Butler found there was no willful refusal by Ms Mary Johnson to comply with the order for discovery. It 'beggared belief' that the order involved Ms Johnson having to make discovery of documents relating to her intimate relationships, he said. "Ms Johnson, who operates a sports equipment shop at Westwood, Foxrock, Co Dublin, has sued the COS and three named persons, Mr. John Keane, described as a 'mission holder', and Mr. Tom Cunningham and Mr. Gerard Ryan, both described as members of the COS. Mr. Cush argued that some records were being sought to embarrass Ms Johnson. He said the judge must also take into account the conduct of the defendants, who were using court procedures to delay the action. He said Ms Johnson's first affidavit of discovery was made in 1997, and the first complaint about it was made only 2 1/2 years later. "Dismissing the application to strike out the action, Mr. Justice Butler said while the court order for discovery was properly made, he had never seen such an oppressive order. It included 28 categories of documents with sub categories, some of which were 'plainly ludicrous,' including documents relating to any intimate relationships she had had with any person other than the third named defendant or with whom she had shared a residence." Message-ID: email@example.com
Joy of CreatingAn email from the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles urged Scientologists to promote a new album featuring several Scientology celebrities, Joy of Creating. "This campaign is to get everyone using the 'Joy of Creating' album plus other promotional items. There is a computer screensaver that is animated and parts of the painting move and then the art breaks wide open to display LRH's quote: 'The greatest joy there is in life is creating. Splurge on it!' "Why not modify your e-mail 'signature' to include the website link? You can put a little clip of the screensaver on your e-mail so that they can SEE the art and invite them to download the screensaver! If you have a business, consider buying the album so you can put it onto your ON-HOLD music system. You can purchase the CD through the orgs or through Bridge Publications. "If anyone takes off and runs with these projects and by chance gets something into print, or on the air or something please let Kay Connelly (AO or through OSA) or Barb Oliver (CC Int) know as this is a statistic and becomes a win for everybody!" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Protest Summary"Realpch" and "Prignillius" reported a protest in San Francisco on July 7th. "I was joined at this picket by Prignillius and Arel Henson, and later on Phr. Prignillius had himself a spiffy new sign. One side said 'Stop Hurting People' and the other said 'Scientology Lies - www.xenu.net.' I made myself a new sign, which said 'Stop Hurting People' and 'Scientology Hates Free Speech'. This sign proved to be difficult to handle in the brisk winds. I'm afraid I will have to go back to smaller signs. The Org may have come to a similar conclusion, as the huge anti-psychiatry signs they used at the last two pickets did not appear, but two smaller signs did. "It seems to have boiled down to just the two usual suspects there, Nasty Mark and Craig, who are willing to go out and insult and bullbait picketers. Arel sensibly wore a headset to filter them out. Prignillius spent quite a while chatting with Mark until Mark told him to shut up, which he did. Which apparently annoyed Mark. Craig taped with a video cam most of the time, and several times warned me not to hit him with my picket sign, which of course I had no intention of doing. "The Org called the police. An officer came out and talked with some fellow in front of the Org for a bit. During this time, the handlers stopped harassing us. The man the officer talked with later assumed the role of Movie Director and stepped in front of me in all seriousness and directed Craig to get shots of my face. Towards the end of our first segment of picketing, they resorted to 'Tone 40'ing us. 'Peaches, Leave! Get Your Ass Out of Here!' Mark shouted. 'Did You Hear Me? I Said Go!' he elaborated." "The picket, all in all, was rather uneventful. I had two handlers, who also tried to handle Arel and Peach part-time. Craig was the guy with the video camera. Mark walked beside me for the first half hour or forty five minutes of the picket. After about 1.75 hours, I had to sit down and take a break. After half an hour or so, we were joined at the cafe by M, a very lovely young woman whose (now former) boyfriend is a Scientologist. She apparently discovered the Operation Clambake message board, and has received quite an education in Scientology since then. It led to her gaining a much greater understanding of her boyfriend's behavior. He's a public who's been in for ten or fifteen years, is not yet clear, but is talking about doing the OT levels. She was very supportive of our activities, but was unwilling to allow anyone from the org to see her face. "We had a lot of acks, horn honks and thumbs-ups throughout the day, including one from a bus driver. People seemed supportive in general, and interested in finding out more. I talked to one guy who had worked for Scientology briefly as a staff member, but got out, as he said, 'as soon as I realized what a rip-off cult they were.' I encouraged him to tell his story to others." Prignillius also reported protests in San Jose and Los Gatos on July 8th. "If the San Francisco picket was uneventful, it was still a veritable three-ring circus compared to the picketing in San Jose and adjoining city that Arel Lucas and I did on Sunday, July 8. It was a 3-org kind of day in the South San Francisco Bay area. We finally hit the Los Gatos org - it's now in Campbell, just south of San Jose, on Bascom - at about 3:00. This org is very anonymous. I had to drive by it 3 times before I could see it. It has a sign about 8 inches tall and about 8 feet wide that says 'Scientology.' "Arel and I walked back and forth in front of the office building for about 20 minutes. Arel said the Scientologists did sneak out and take our picture at one point. They must have gotten a good one of my backside, because I sure didn't see them. I remember 2 horn-honks, 1 of which was accompanied by a very enthusiastic thumbs-up, and no other activity or response. "Next we went over to the tiny San Jose Mission, at the corner of Hedding and Winchester. If they hadn't had 'Personality Testing' in cheap construction-paper cut-out letters in the window, I never would have found this place. They do have a sign, that says 'Scientology,' in multi-colored letters on a yellow background, so faded as to be illegible from a distance of more than 2 or 3 feet. The sign is about 18 inches tall by 3 feet wide. "Arel and I walked back and forth for about 15 minutes. The org was closed (they're only open 10:00 - 1:00 on Sundays). The only response of any kind I got was when I was walking across the cross-walk to get from where I parked to the mission. A guy making a left turn honked and gave me a thumbs-up. I waved. As he passed me, he said, 'They *do* lie.' I grinned, and said, 'They do.' "Lastly we went over to the San Jose org on Rosemary. This org is quite large, two stories tall, and about half a block long and a quarter of a block wide. It's at the edge of a residential area where it joins up with the no-man's-land surrounding the San Jose Airport. Arel and I walked back and forth in front of it for ten or fifteen minutes. The only Scientologist I saw was a woman who got out of her car just as we were starting to picket. Her eyes opened wide in surprise, and she hurried into the building." Bruce Pettycrew reported a protest in Mesa, Arizona on July 14th. "It was about 98 degrees this morning when Kathy and I picketed from 9:00 to 9:45. No one came out or went in during that time. Two drivers took their hands off the wheel to applaud, something I have mixed feelings about! We gave away 2 leaflets to pedestrians." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: 3B48DD56.893B8F25@aol.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: zH%37.12461$D5.email@example.com
SwitzerlandCommunique reported on July 11th that Scientology lost a case in Lausanne, Switzerland and will continue to have restrictions on the distribution of material in public. "The administrative court confirms the municipality's decision. Lausanne's Municipality has not abused its rights by limiting the distribution of printed material by the Church of Scientology on the streets, or by setting conditions to the establishment of its information booths. The administrative Court has purely and simply swept the scientologists' complaints, ruling that the imposed restrictions were based on objective criteria and were neither disproportionate, arbitrary or contrary to the equality of treatment. "The Church of Scientology and related associations are authorised to install an information booth on place Saint-Francois only and during the days when the central market takes place, i.e., Wednesdays and Sundays, excluding any other week day and any other place. Only two authorisations will be given per month, the choice of the actual days being left to the Church of Scientology and related associations' discretion. People animating the booth and distributing free leaflets must stand behind the booth, only talk to interested people and refrain from harassing passers by. "The distribution of printed material will be admitted at most one day per week, excluding central market days, providing it respects the freedom of passersby and does not perturbate their circulation or the motorised traffic." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
UKThe Guardian reported on July 12th that Scientology has produced a new brochure against drugs. "The Church of Scientology has cannily produced a glossy booklet called Freeing Society From Drugs - quite a departure for a religious group better known for Freeing Movie Stars From Cash. Graham Wilson said 'We're very excited.' Indeed. On a minor practical point, how do you propose to take this fight into the crack houses of Brixton? 'That's a good question,' says Graham. 'We have Drug Free Kids who wear bright clothes and literally go to these areas to clean them up. We send them into parks with pick-up-sticks and gloves, and they pick up the needles.' And tackling users? 'Well, our booklets are becoming very popular. But it won't be an overnight thing.' Have these Scientologists never heard of the power of positive thinking?" 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.