Faith-Based GroupsThe Houston Chronicle reported on July 20th that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of President Bush's plan to help fund religious charities. "House lawmakers on Thursday passed a scaled-back version of President Bush's faith-based legislative package, prevailing over Democratic alarms that the bill would legalize discrimination. Although the measure comfortably passed the Republican-controlled House by a vote of 233-198, it may need divine intervention in the Senate, where Democrats have shown little interest in pursuing Bush's program. "The bill would allow Cabinet secretaries to circumvent congressional approval for converting $47 billion in social service funds into vouchers for religious groups. "While a spate of religious organizations active in social services hailed passage of the bill, high-profile opponents include some of the nation's leading religious conservatives. Their concerns, voiced soon after Bush launched his plan, included the prospect of government interference in religion, and the likelihood that public dollars would go to non-mainstream groups such as the Church of Scientology. Message-ID: email@example.com
ChinaThe Sydney Morning Herald reported on July 18th that China has organized an exhibit to display information about Falun Gong and other groups, such as Scientology. "Photographs of charred corpses, disemboweled bodies and a graphic image of a man who has apparently hung himself from a rafter are designed to shock. The exhibition which opened at Beijing's Military Museum at the weekend specifically targets the Falun Gong spiritualist movement. One of the first guests was the Vice-Premier, Mr Li Lanqing, fresh from presiding over Beijing's triumph in Moscow. Mr Li's responsibilities extend from sport, through culture to science - and cults. "The gruesome display has been mounted by departments at the heart of China's security apparatus: the Propaganda Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the State Council Office for the Prevention and Handling of Cults, the Public Security Bureau and the Ministry of Justice. State-run media reported more than 10,000 visitors went to the show on the first day. 'It is not freely open to the public because we are worried that Falun Gong practitioners will come here and do bad things,' said Mr Zhao Chongxin, from the information office of the organising committee. "The Falun Gong is not the only cult targeted by the exhibition. Other displays include the Japanese Aum Shinriyko, the Texas Branch Davidians, the Korean-based Reunification Church (the Moonies), the Church of Scientology and the Jehovah's Witnesses." Message-ID: mike-B44F62.firstname.lastname@example.org
Freewinds"Noumenon" reported on an event on the Freewinds featuring a video from David Miscavige. "I went to the second installment of the 'maiden voyage' event which features the head of the church, Miscavige. It was a video of an early-June public presentation given on the church's ocean-going vessel. This was billed as a 'must-see' event for all scientologists, promising to give information on the incredible breakthroughs for opening up the bridge to total freedom for everyone. The entire event was a presentation by Miscavige and no one else. "'With pre-OTs now enrolled on new OT 8, the next target is the release of new OT 9 and 10. So tonight I'm going to talk to you about technical application and recent actions that have been taken to cause a dramatic impact on speed up the bridge. The goal is no less than every Scientologist moving up to OT. And to comprehend the full significance of that, let's take this datum that comes from HCOPL 28 July 59, Our Goals; 'You've heard it said everybody is a Scientologist, some just haven't cognited yet.' LRH. "We could have located and listed out every error, every auditor or solo auditor in the world and then addressed each of them one by one. Dramatically increasing the speed of progress up the bridge so it helps every Scientologist make it to OT. Let me give you the big picture on how we're dramatically speeding case progress up the bridge. 'DO THE GRADE CHART.'" Message-ID: Nx_47.22499$Kf3.email@example.com
GermanyDie Rheinpfalz reported on July 13th that Scientology has prepared an anti-drug campaign in Erfenbach, Germany. "'Say No to Drugs - say Yes to Life' - those are the words used to advertise for a 'free presentation' in Erfenbach. At first glance there is nothing on it which indicates that it is about a Scientology event. According to the leaflet, the presentation on Saturday afternoon is to explain 'what drugs do' and 'what it means to be physically and mentally free from drugs.' Afterwards 'about two hours for a special question and answer session on specific problems' is scheduled. Site of the event is the Kapellenhof Gasthaus in Erfenbach. Answering questions for discussion and taking registration is Inge Geib. 'Inge Geib is listed in the 1994 Impact magazine as a patron,' we were notified by Christoph Bussen, the sect commissioner of Speyer Diocese. The title of 'Patron' is bestowed only upon those who have paid at least 40,000 dollars into Scientology's war chest.' "The Baden-Wuerttemberg Health Department has been warning people about the Say No to Drugs - Say Yes to Life' and Narconon for at least seven years. People are urgently warned from attempting to use Narconon to withdraw from drugs because the Narconon self-help initiative's 'decontamination and habit-breaking program are based on Scientology's pseudo-scientific theories and techniques.' Caution is also advised when dealing with the 'Narconon' initiative, which, according to the health department, 'under the guise of social-humanitarian aspects has in mind, besides the dissemination of Scientology ideology, introducing drug-dependent people into 'Narconon.'" Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010715130048.114Afirstname.lastname@example.org
Keith HensonLA Weekly published letters to the editor on July 20th in response to an article on Scientology's efforts to convict Keith Henson in California and their harassment of him in Canada. "Thanks for outlining the travails of Scientology critic Keith Henson. I am hoping that law enforcement and the legal system will wake up and begin to see and investigate Scientology's constant legal proceedings as criminal harassments by an organized-crime syndicate. Because that's exactly what they are. "Michael Reuss Fort Collins, Colorado "Thanks to Gale Holland for the piece on Scientology and Keith Henson. She covered material that can be a minefield for the uninitiated. Sadly, active Scientologists will be prohibited by their 'church' from reading this excellent article. "Chip Gallo Washington, D.C. "Gale Holland's piece ridicules the Church of Scientology for taking seriously a bomb threat made by Keith Henson. In the same article, Holland writes, 'Henson worked in the 1970s for an explosives company in Arizona, and arranged pyrotechnic parties in the desert similar to Burning Man.' This reader is mystified why anyone should not take such a threat very seriously. Is Holland brimming with Panglossian naivete, or is she just not being objective? "Jeff Farrow Tujunga "Keith Henson does not have to like Scientology, but he made violent threats, was convicted of a hate crime by a jury of his peers, then fled to Canada to escape punishment. He is a convicted criminal and fugitive from the law. Why are you defending him? Your credibility suffers. "Bill Zalin Los Angeles "Your recent article on Keith Henson really misses the point. A jury unanimously convicted him of interfering with a religion. His interference consisted of following Scientology religious workers, taking down their license numbers and stalking them at their homes. This is not the expression of opinion; it is harassment of individual Scientologists solely because of their faith. If the victims of Henson's obsession had been members of a Catholic or Jewish congregation, I'm sure that even the L.A. Weekly would not be so cavalier about the rights of the church members involved. 'Pam Shannon Church of Scientology Los Angeles'" Keith was sentenced in California this week for the conviction on charges of interfering with a religion. Keith issued a press release on the sentence. "Yesterday in Riverside County before Judge Robert Wallerstein, Keith Henson received a sentence of a year in prison or 180 days in prison followed by three years of closely supervised probation with random unannounced searches at any time. The court also handed down a fine of $3000 and ordered Henson to pay for 'counseling' for the 'victims.' "Since a Scientologist would be expelled for taking any legitimate psychological counseling, this means that the court ordered Henson to pay for religious services for the 'victims.' James Harr, Henson's counsel, was refused to allow to speak on behalf of his client. Scientology lawyer Elliott Abelson, an old acquaintance of Wallerstein, gleefully thanked the judge on behalf of his clients. Henson remains in Canada with a pending application for refugee status and remains at large." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
NarcononThe Santa Fe New Mexican reported on July 13th that s Espanola, New Mexico city counselor has tried to reduce funding and staff for a Narconon program and other projects run by a municipal judge. "A longstanding feud between an Espanola city councilor and the municipal judge has resulted in the judge losing one of his key employees. The decision came during a special council meeting Wednesday when Councilor Chris Roybal tried - unsuccessfully - to convince fellow councilors to take away five of Municipal Judge Charles Maestas six employees. The employees include four court clerks, a teen-court coordinator and an outreach coordinator. "However, the council passed a motion to transfer one of the judge's employees, a $28,000-a-year outreach coordinator, from the court to the city jail, away from the judge's supervision. The outreach coordinator functions as a parole officer. The City Council approved moving a portable building behind the court in November for additional space to hold drug-treatment classes. Inmates Roxanne Romero, 20, and Julie Jaramillo, 33, said Tuesday that Narconon (drug-treatment) classes held in the building have improved their lives." Message-ID: email@example.com
SwitzerlandSda reported on July 13th that Scientology will still be prohibited from distributing literature on public property in Lausanne, Switzerland. "By prohibiting Scientology from distributing printed matter on public land, the City of Lausanne did not act unjustly. This was determined by the Waadtland Administrative Court in a decision published on Wednesday. In 1998, the city permitted distribution of material by the sect from city property only one day a week. In addition, Scientology is also allowed to set up a stand twice a month on St-Francois Place. "The Scientologists would not accept the court's decision, according to statements from a spokeswoman. She said they would file an appeal with the Federal Court, and as a last resort in the European Court for Human Rights." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010715130126.114Bfirstname.lastname@example.org
Protest Summary"Barb" reported a two-day protest at a comic convention in San Diego at which Scientology had rented exhibit space. "I packed up some Xenu fliers stuffed with half-page Scientology Hurts People inserts, printed out a new sign, WARNING! BRIDGE PUBLICATIONS IS $CIENTOLOGY, which had a fetching color portrait of Xenu. Ida's friend Richard came down with his two nephews a little after noon, and we took a cab to the Con. We proceeded to the entrance of the Convention Center and started handing out fliers. It wasn't long before security approached and requested that we move on to public property, and we cheerfully complied. We already had picked up two watchclams. They positioned themselves on either side at a distance of about 50 feet. Both of them watched us constantly and used their cell phones frequently. "People would approach and ask for a flier. Some stopped to chat, several thanked us for being there and informing people. Many of the folks we talked to already knew something about the cult, a few knew Bridge Publications was a tentacle of Scientology. Several people who took fliers intended to ask the folks in the Bridge Pubs booth about Xenu! "It only took us a couple of hours to dispose of all our fliers. The Bridge booth had huge banners advertising L. RON HUBBARD! BATTLEFIELD EARTH! and L. RON HUBBARD'S MISSION EARTH! I heard one of the inhabitants try to snag a passerby with the intriguing come-on, 'Hey, do you like science fiction?' but it appeared to me that people were staying away in droves." "Today I was joined by the evil SP David Rice in our quest to bring order to this quadrant of the universe. We were out front waiting for a cab, and a tannish-gray van cruised up and stopped in the middle of the intersection by my house. While I was watching this blatant stupidity, the driver took our picture and drove off! "We set up where we'd picketed yesterday. One of our first customers was Smiley, the guy who'd shadowed us yesterday. I can now confirm that it is the same guy who photographed us and David's truck at Gold Base, he dyed his hair and it's not an improvement! "One older gent told us he had worked with a Scientology spy in an IRS office! We received lots of thumbs up, many people turned down our fliers because they already knew that Scientology sucks! Many people approached us and asked for fliers, and we gave the curious the quick Scientology in a clamshell rundown. At one point a security guard came down to see what we were doing, but didn't give us any trouble. It seems that Smiley objected to our presence there and made his displeasure known. "I had packed up the few remaining fliers in my backpack and turned my sign around so they wouldn't think we were soliciting on Convention Center property. As we started onto Convention Center property, we were stopped by a security guard who said we could not walk through. David wasn't having any. 'Who says?' he asked the guard, who must have been all of 20 years old if that. 'He does,' said the guard, pointing at Smiley. 'But that guy is an employee of Scientology!' I argued. 'He has no authority here!' He went over and spoke to Smiley. It seems the creep objected to our signs (reversed) our fliers (packed up) and our T-shirts (Scientology Kills!) This junior dork in training had been told by Smiley that we were criminals and should not be allowed on the property! A real security guard was called, and I pointed out that we were not soliciting, wished to pass through, had been protesting Scientology abuses, and moreover, the complainant was either hired by or in Scientology! 'You can pass,' she motioned us through." Message-ID: 3B5A4878.52822D41@home.com Message-ID: 3B5B7962.8E2AF1C0@home.com
John TravoltaThe Sunday Times published an article on Scientology celebrity John Travolta on July 22nd. "John Travolta and fame are like a man in a revolving door. No Hollywood star has been in and out so often - or so fast. He has known hot, and very hot: the man of the moment, who walks the walk and talks the talk. He has also been cold, dead in the water, far out on the freezing edges of what is hip, chic and wanted. But Travolta is the biggest gambler in Hollywood, using his own career as the stakes. He has never known any sort of stability. Just being there is not for him. "And there are no awkward moments with him. Ask what you like and he's back with an answer: Scientology, fatherhood, failure, being a good husband, Tom and Nicole, Bruce and Demi, money - loads of it - food and being a fatty. He gives it large. He's got a movie to plug. It comes on the back of a couple of stinkers, too: Lucky Numbers and the derisory Battlefield Earth, a science-fiction movie based on a story by his Scientology hero, L Ron Hubbard, in which his face was plastered with what looked like a plate of spaghetti. "'There are only three projects in my whole career that I actually trusted - Grease, Look Who's Talking and Phenomenon . The rest, I have always had to second-guess. I just go through my little dance with it and try and get some rewrites done.' There are those who say he should have either danced off into the horizon or rewritten the entire script for Battlefield Earth, but he remains bullish. 'I got it done against all the odds, and it's made close to $150m,' he says. 'Science fiction is notoriously criticised. I looked up the reaction to the classic film 2001, and at the time, The Washington Post f***ing creamed it. They said worse things about that movie than they did about mine. It must be the genre.' "The subject of Scientology, the religion he shares with his wife, is not high on the agenda for conversation. But his enthusiasm for his baby daughter, Ella Bleu, moves him to report that she was born in total silence, as befits all followers of this oddball religion. It believes that we are all spiritual souls, called 'thetans', burdened by nasty 'engrams', which have a detrimental effect on our lives. 'When there is pain involved, words can have an adverse effect on the baby,' he says. 'Those recordings [the words] act as engrams, and you are trying to eliminate what the words might mean. Jett, too, was born in silence.' "We move to the more earthly subject of Travolta's marriage to 38-year-old Preston, which has survived for 10 years. 'We are two people who communicate well and fix problems - not pretend to fix them,' he says. 'And being single is not interesting to me. It is a lonely existence. Certain moments were wonderful, but they cannot beat the feeling of knowing I have someone to depend on and spend my life with.' Such pronouncements by Hollywood stars sound shakier than ever since the sudden collapse of the marriage of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. They, too, had been married for 10 years. They are also Scientologists. Travolta gives a shake of his head. 'I never hung out with them,' he says. 'So I had no preconceived ideas about their relationship or how strong it was. It had no effect on me. I thought: 'Oh, okay, they're getting divorced. Some people don't work out.'" 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.