Faith-based GroupsA New York Times editorial on September 1st described the role of Senator Joe Lieberman in the proposal for the U.S. Government to fund religious charities. "Last year Vice President Al Gore and Mr. Lieberman, his running mate, endorsed the principle of helping religious groups provide such services. Mr. Bush promised to work with the Democrats to create a bipartisan bill, but he has not lived up to his pledge. It was an act of bad faith for the administration and House Republican leaders to refuse to remove a repugnant provision exempting recipients of government aid from state and local civil rights laws against employment discrimination affecting gays and lesbians. Their refusal made a mockery of Mr. DiIulio's promise not to use the bill to roll back civil rights protections at the bidding of some religious groups. Mr. Lieberman and Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania Republican, have promised to delete this part of the bill in the Senate. But there are larger defects, and Mr. Lieberman needs to clarify where he stands on them. "While the House bill would bar federal subsidies for religious activities themselves, it clearly permits praying, proselytizing, religious counseling and other sectarian activities to be part of a program receiving federal funds. The only stipulation is that these activities be voluntary, and that the funding not pay for them directly. The House bill would also permit religious organizations to circumvent federal civil rights protections on employment. Workers who had been hired to deliver charitable services could be discriminated against on account of private conduct as well as religious beliefs. "All the problems with the bill have made many people uneasy, including some sympathetic to its basic goals. People who supported the concept of funding faith-based social services on first blush have become less enthusiastic after they contemplate government aid to religious organizations outside the American mainstream, such as the Nation of Islam or Scientology. "Tom Daschle, the Senate majority leader, has expressed concern that any 'faith-based' initiative respect the constitutional boundary between church and state. Other Democrats are even more skeptical. Mr. Bush and Mr. Lieberman need to listen to their concerns about respecting the core values of separating religion from government cherished by most Americans." Message-ID: email@example.com
CCHRThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an article on September 1st on the fight to restrict the use of electroconvulsive therapy, led by Scientology's Citizen's Commission on Human Rights. "The campaign is part of a national movement led by the Church of Scientology and fought in legislatures across the nation. It also has drawn support from a network of people who call themselves shock 'survivors.' Psychiatrists are resisting - but quietly, not wishing to draw more attention to a procedure that has been stigmatized in popular books and movies. And they don't relish a fight with Scientologists, who compare psychiatrists to Nazis, picket at psychiatric conferences and have been known to sue some of their critics. "Scientologists oppose psychiatry because it conflicts with their own philosophy of spiritual self-help. They argue that shock therapy can be coercive and harmful, that it doesn't work and that no one knows how often it's performed. But psychiatrists believe there's little to debate. Over the years, shock therapy has become as routine as an appendectomy. And while those involved in psychiatry have been celebrating their successes quietly, the Scientologists and others opposed to shock therapy have been turning up the volume. They got a bill passed in Texas in 1993 and have gathered momentum in Missouri, Illinois and other states. "Kathleen Garrett's case - one of those cited by opponents in their legislative battle against shock therapy - is hardly clear-cut. She had suffered depression most of her life and had been in and out of hospitals for 30 years, said her son, Steve Vance. She got her first shock treatment in the 1970s. But decades later, she still battled depression. The last year had found her worrying obsessively about money, her health, germs. She scrubbed her hands so much the skin turned raw. She would lie in bed all day. Her medications weren't helping. "According to hospital records, she was sobbing, and flailing her arms and legs. She signed a consent form at SouthPointe in shaky handwriting (which she doesn't remember) and was scheduled for up to 10 rounds of shock treatments. Vance had lost hope for getting his mother out of the hospital - until he bumped into a group called the Citizens Commission on Human Rights about two weeks later. He found the organization at the Missouri Black Expo, a showcase for black-owned business and other services. The people at the Citizens Commission booth were wearing anti-psychiatry T-shirts and passing out pamphlets. One of their brochures shows a harnessed man clenching his teeth as lightning bolts shoot from his temples. "The group got in touch with Juli Lawrence of Belleville. A leading foe of shock therapy, Lawrence published a report about Garrett's case on her Web site, started an international e-mail drive and contacted local news outlets. About a week later, the hospital released Garrett. The Citizens Commission claimed victory, but doctors say the timing was fortuitous. Garrett had been in the hospital for nearly a month. 'She responded very nicely' to the shock treatments, says Mofsen, the psychiatrist. "In April, Garrett and Vance joined about 20 shock-therapy opponents at the hearing. They spent 90 minutes sharing their stories of forced treatments. The bill would have required doctors to report the age and race of people who get shock treatments, who pays for it and the side effects. Doctors who don't comply would face up to six months in jail or a $10,000 fine. The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Harold Selby, D-Cedar Hill, isn't taken very seriously in Jefferson City. He doesn't accept campaign contributions, takes up causes that garner little support and provides an ear to people with unorthodox views on everything from UFOs to HMOs. "The lobbyists assumed the issue would wither away. But committee members seemed impressed with the testimony. One legislator on the panel who supported the bill, Rep. Roy Holand, R-Springfield, is an orthopedic surgeon. He said it's healthy for doctors to defend seemingly outdated practices from time to time. Three weeks after the hearing, on April 26, the committee approved the measure. But with less than a month left in the legislative session - too little time for such a controversial measure to move through the system - the lobbyists figured the bill would die anyway. Selby plans to push the legislation next year, and the activists continue drawing attention to the issue." The Worchester Telegram & Gazette reported on August 28th that Scientologists participated in a protest at Marlboro Hospital in Massachusetts. "The protest came after the Aug. 22 decision by the state Board of Registrars to revoke the license of Dr. William A. Kadish, who was chief of the department of psychiatry at Marlboro Hospital and also practiced at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. Dr. Kadish had a relationship with a 38-year-old woman with a long history of psychiatric problems, according to the board. "Members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights said that cases such as Dr. Kadish's are not uncommon. 'There is a continuous list of psychiatrists betraying their patients this way,' said Christopher Garrison, the Massachusetts director of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, in a news release." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
ClearwaterFrom the letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on August 27th: "What a moronic position Ward Wilson takes when he wants us to think that Scientology has saved Clearwater from decay and doom, and that the teaching of his leader L. Ron Hubbard saved our city. I was born in Clearwater, and my family roots go back more than 100 years in Clearwater. It sickens me to see what Scientology has done to my town and its city government. Mr. Wilson's rantings about the virtues of Scientology are probably his assignment to get another gold braid on his navy costume or maybe to get another bulb for his E-meter. - R. Padgett, Clearwater" Jeff Jacobsen reported this week that the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights has refused to get involved in the case of a restaurant in Clearwater that refuses to serve critics of Scientology. "Last year about this time Tory went across the street from the LMT here in Clearwater to eat at Daniela's Kitchen. Daniela's seems to be run by Scientologists. When they seemed to realize who Tory was, they said they wouldn't serve her. Mark and I decided we'd see if Daniela's would serve us. As we left, a guy stood up and opened the door for us. He said something like 'we didn't realize who you guys were. We don't serve anyone who works with that bigot Bob Minton, so you're no longer welcome here.' We asked who he was but he just went back inside. I assumed, though, that since he said 'we' that he must be a co-owner. "We decided that the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights was the place to find out if we had any legitimate grievance. Tory, Mark and I filed complaints and waited for a decision. Today, almost a year later, I got a letter from the Office of Human Rights. "'After consideration of all available information from the investigation of the above-referenced charge, filed under Chapter 70 of the Pinellas Code, it has been determined that there is no reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful act of religious discrimination has occurred as alleged.' "I must point out that we were not claiming religious discrimination. We were claiming discrimination because of our beliefs and association. Now we know sadly that the Pinellas Office of Human Rights cannot or will not protect us against such discrimination. Apparently, such discrimination is allowable in Clearwater at least." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
DenmarkBerlingske Tidende reported on August 28th that three former Scientologists are suing Scientology in Copenhagen for return of the money they donated. "The three women want all the money back they applied to Scientology courses during their years of membership. Altogether it adds up to more than half a million Kroner. But more than that is at stake for the Scientology Church. If they lose the proceedings, there presumably be others who demand refund of greater amounts. "According to the lawyer for the complainants, they have justification to get their money back in that they were subjected to extreme measures of persuasion by which their free will was more or less taken from them. 'It is upsetting when you see how they conduct themselves. If you don't want to continue with the courses, they systematically put you under pressure until you give in and sign up for the next course. The Scientology Church is a commercial enterprise, and an essential part of that consists of financially exploiting people.' "The three women already had received money from the Scientology Church. When they left the organization, they demanded their money back for the last course they had taken, and they received it. According to the internal rules of the Scientology Church, everybody can get their money back for a course as long as they apply for refund within three months. When the three complainants received a refund for their last course, they simultaneously signed a statement that they were not entitled to receive any more money back. In order to win their case, it is necessary for them to have this statement declared invalid. "The courses of the Scientology Church have to do with intellectual and spiritual development. When one goes the whole way, then one finally becomes 'clear,' but that is an infinitely long process, Carlo Siebert believes. The whole time people are given the impression that everything will be all right if they only take the very next course, but, naturally, that is not the case, and the courses get more and more expensive. It is almost impossible to get out of it because the Scientology Church constructs a dependency, which it then exploits, said Carlo Siebert; he wants to use a psychoanalyst in the trial who has experience with the psychological influence the cult uses on its members. 'I intend to employ him to reveal the methods which people are subject to in the Scientology Church,' said Siebert." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010829055004.116Afirstname.lastname@example.org
Drug Free MarshalsThe Palm Beach Post reported on August 25th that Scientology's Drug Free Marshals program is sponsoring a contest for children in Florida. "The theme of this year's art contest is 'How I Can Create a Drug-Free Community.' The contest invites drawings, poems and essays. The campaign gained support from corporate sponsors such as McDonald's and Arby's restaurants and organizations including Narconon International, the Boys and Girls Clubs and several government agencies. In addition to art contests, the program sponsors community activities including beach and park cleanup campaigns, leadership contests, lectures, charity drives, mural contests and essay contests nationwide. "Submit drawings, poems or essays marked with your name and address to: Drug-Free Marshals, Church of Scientology of Florida, 120 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, FL 33134. All contestants will receive a pledge, a certificate and a Drug-Free Marshal's badge." Message-ID: email@example.com
FreewindsExcerpts from the latest Freewinds Magazine were posted to a.r.s this week, with a summary of events at an OT summit. "ED INT, Guillaume Lesevre gave the stats for the past year. Nearly 8,000 new people taking their first step on The Bridge. 240 million people reached through radio, TV, print media and dissemination programs. 824,000 people introduced to LRH tech - highest ever. A cumulative total of 3000 events and seminars held which contributed to helping more than 10,000 Scientologists on to their next step on The Bridge. The number of Clears taking their next take on The Bridge increased by nearly 5 times- - highest in history. "OT Ambassadors receive OT Achievement Awards. This years Awardees are: Wendy Ettricks and Joanne Schnitzer both from LA, as a team put 250 Scientologists on to their next service. That's more than 40 Clears and 200 + pre OT's. Sheila Atkinson-Baker and Claire Taylor, both from LA, have 1800 people currently auditing on New OT 7 in the LA area. Sandy Adair, assisted 130 Clears in enrolling on their Solo training and another 150 to start their next step on The Bridge and another 94 Scio's to arrive on the Freewinds. All told, she single-handedly got 1059 people onto services in orgs. "Senior C/S Int, Ray Mithoff presented a new OT hatting course entitled 'The Command of Theta: This course includes tapes from a Nov. 1952 lecture series given by LRH to the London Professional Course. "WDC Chairman, Marc Yager announced the newest org to achieve the size of Old Saint Hill is ASHO FND. The first Foundation Org to achieve this. And with ASHO FND now being Saint Hill size, we now have every Sea Org service org to the size of Old Saint Hill." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
ItalyDolomiten reported on August 30th on Scientology's drug rehabilitation programs in Italy. "With promises of being able to cure any case of drug addiction, the so-called 'Therapiegemeinschaften' is now looking in South Tirol for patients for its establishments in mid and southern Italy. The families of the patients are faced with a rude awakening when they get the bill for the first month: five million lira, and it will not be covered by welfare agencies. Those who do not pay must leave, and those who do pay, stay, perhaps forever, in the clutches of the Scientology psycho-cult. "The questionable therapy centers are located in mid and southern Italy. The 'Dianetics' method supposedly is guaranteed to break addicts of their drug habit. The reason the 'therapy' costs five million lira, which the public coffers do not finance, is that the association is not registered as a conventional therapy association. As soon as one monthly payment is missed, the patient has to pack his or her bags." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010831054516.128Aemail@example.com
Protest SummaryArnie Lerma reported a protest in Washington, DC on September 1st. "Arel and I picketed between 2 and 3 PM then took a break in outdoor cafe, and picketed during course break from 3:30 - 4. For first time ever I did not see Sue Taylor, Sylvia or Thierry. No one said one word to us. I handed out 75 of Rod Keller's flyers between 2:00-3:00 and 3:30 to 4:00. "I tried a new slogan 'Free info about the cult of grifters and con men.' and just simply 'Scientology lies.' "One free personality-test-ticket-hander-outer was recited the entirety of OTIII. A few staff were told There are no OTs in Scientology. If there was just ONE we wouldn't be here." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reed SlatkinThe Santa Barbara News-Press reported on August 24th that when the FBI raided the home of Scientologist and Ponzi-scheme operator Reed Slatkin and his business associates in June, they recovered almost $400,000 in cash. "FBI agents seized $386,885 in cash during a June raid at the Hope Ranch home of longtime business associates of bankrupt money manager Reed Slatkin, according to newly filed court records. The cash was seized from the home of Ronald Rakow and Denise Del Bianco on June 25. So far, they are the only persons besides Mr. Slatkin whose property has been searched by investigators in the Slatkin probe. The couple entrusted money with Mr. Slatkin and received millions of dollars more than they invested, according to court papers filed by R. Todd Neilson, the court-appointed trustee handling Mr. Slatkin's estate. "Investigators are tallying Mr. Slatkin's assets for eventual sale. They will disperse the proceeds to his creditors. Mr. Slatkin is not objecting to these sales. Mr. Slatkin told the trustee that he sold some paintings to Mr. Rakow, a former manager of the Grateful Dead rock band, for about $1 million last year, court records say. One painting by Thomas Moran, 'View of East Hampton,' was purchased in January by Mr. Slatkin for $150,000, according to court records. Mr. Rakow bought the painting and in June personally delivered it to a New York gallery for a consignment sale, Mr. Neilson's court papers said. The total asking price for his Hope Ranch home, a Goleta house, a Solvang house and 100 acres near Solvang is $8.82 million." Message-ID: email@example.com
UKThe Daily Mail reported on August 28th that British companies are being warned about personality tests being offered by Scientology-affiliated management companies. "Personnel executives have received letters from Silhouet UK, inviting them to fill in psychometric test questionnaires as a 'free introductory service', according to People Management magazine. The copyright on the test is for L Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. "The Industrial Society reckons 5,000 different tests are currently used to select more than half the managers in Britain. But critics claim the tests are useless and unfair. There are also concerns over how the information gleaned might be used. Silhouet UK claims it uses the L Ron Hubbard test 'because of its value as a management tool.' But Robin Chater, secretary-general of the Federation of European Employers, said: 'Participants should certainly be informed that the information they provide will be analysed by a company involved in promoting Scientologist principles.'" From People Management Magazine on August 1st: "People Management followed up a complaint from a reader who had received a letter from Silhouet UK inviting the recipient to complete an enclosed test questionnaire as a 'free introductory service.' The reader became suspicious after noticing the copyright on the test was for L Ron Hubbard, the founder of the controversial religious group. The letter also claimed that the company had 'over 10 years’ experience throughout Scandinavia, with companies such as Volvo, Thomas Cook, Goodyear and Castrol.' None of the central recruitment offices of these companies was able to confirm that they had used Silhouet to assess people. Goodyear stated that it had never heard of the group. "When contacted, Peter Buch of Silhouet UK claimed the company was a 'small family-run business with no links to Scientology. We are simply using the L Ron Hubbard test because of its value as a management tool,'' he said. But Patrick Peperstraete, a consultant at the Dutch branch of Silhouet confirmed that, like its sister companies in Denmark and Sweden, Silhouet UK is a member of the World Institution of Scientology Enterprises (Wise). "Angela Baron, CIPD adviser, employee resourcing, said the institute 'recommended that companies use only tests for which adequate data is available to prove its validity and reliability. Managers should ask questions to check the test is measuring the things it purports to measure.'" The Evening Standard reported on August 31st that London's mayor has rejected Scientology's plan to hold an event in Trafalgar Square. "The Mayor has launched a scathing attack on the group after rejecting its application to hold an event to promote its controversial anti-drugs programme. The promotion should have taken place today and would have included music from a swing band as well as testimonies from people who claim to have been cured of their drug addictions by methods pioneered by Scientology's founder L Ron Hubbard. "Announcing his decision, Mr Livingstone said: 'I have refused permission for the Church of Scientology to use Trafalgar Square to promote their so-called 'anti-drugs' campaign because it is a medically unproven policy which I am advised could be dangerous. The square will be used for many purposes whilst I am Mayor, including many political demonstrations and rallies which I will disagree with. However, it would not be responsible for me to allow it to be used to advertise a spurious medical programme which many drugs professionals are concerned about. Nothing about the activities of this group leads me to believe that this is anything other than a cynical method of promoting the Scientology creed. I would urge Londoners not to be duped by their expensive campaigning.' "But a Scientology spokesman hit back immediately, saying the Mayor had been given misleading information about the group and its work. He said: 'If he spoke to some of the people who have done the programme, and if he saw the change in them, he would think differently.' From Reuters on August 31st" "Scientologists who wanted to promote an anti-drugs campaign in one of the capital's biggest tourist attractions have been banned, the mayor's office said on Friday. Mayor Ken Livingstone's efforts to spruce up pigeon-ridden Trafalgar Square have included banning bird-food sellers and fast food stands. The religious sect is the latest victim. "The Church of Scientology said they were baffled by the decision. 'It beats me,' Graeme Wilson of the Church of Scientology in London said. 'Apparently it is based on his advisers. I think we are looking at some vested interests here,' he told Reuters." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.