Presenting Rod Keller's
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review

Volume 6, Issue 21 - September 9 2001

Auditor's Day

Scientology sent invitations to field auditors this week to attend the annual Auditor's Day event. "This is a major international event where you will find out the latest news on the OT boom underway and how we are taking this to a planetary scale. Have you wondered how we can get case gain to millions? And how you can actively contribute to this? The answer is coming on Auditor's Day. You will also hear phenomenal expansion news and outstanding wins from Golden Age of Tech auditors. And you will see the top Golden Age of Tech auditors of the world and find out what their successful actions are to a booming practice. All your pcs, potential pcs and selectees are to be gotten to this event. "Carlo DiLorenzo President I HELP International" Message-ID:


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published letters to the editor on September 8th in response to its story last week on Scientology's efforts to control electroconvulsive therapy. "To say that a shock victim 'responded very nicely' is an interesting opinion. I can see how a psychiatrist, faced with a more malleable, suggestible patient, would consider that to be 'responding very nicely.' All the proposed legislation would have accomplished was to put in place certain reporting requirements for a very controversial treatment. It makes one wonder: Are the psychiatrists who use this procedure concealing something? - Pat Barteau, St. Charles "Your article on electroshock plays on the public's view of Scientology as a cult. It dramatizes and makes appear reasonable your obvious support of the psychoquackery of electroshocking human brains. As one who 'calls himself an electroshock survivor' I deplore your flippant PR for psychiatry. That 'shock therapy has become routine as appendectomy' is no defense of its use. Bloodletting was also similarly routine, and it was not all that long ago that lobotomy was also routine. Both forms of quackery were abandoned nonetheless. - Cal Grandy, Topeka, Kan. "The Church of Scientology is dead wrong in opposing shock treatment for mental illness. It is a lifesaver. I know from experience. Forty-five years ago I suffered a breakdown and entered the psychiatric ward of St. Mary's Hospital. The doctor diagnosed me as being in the manic stage of manic depression. After two hospital weeks when I did not improve, the doctor suggested shock treatments. I awoke from the initial treatment feeling completely normal for the first time in months. I never suffered any pain or any loss of memory and have been well ever since. I feel I have been a better wife and mother and member of the community than I was before the breakdown. - Ann Carter Stith, St. Louis" Message-ID:


The St. Petersburg Times published letters to the editor on September 4th on the dominance of Scientology in downtown Clearwater. "These, it seems to me, are the fundamental realities: (1) the Scientologists are present, and (2) they are not breaking the law. The writer is critical of local politicians and the Chamber of Commerce for failing 'to deal with a daily parade of uniformed cult members.' What would the writer have those people do about the 'parades?' In the absence of violations of the law, people are free to walk where they wish and be dressed in whatever manner they choose. - Joe Dunlap, Clearwater "If you didn't know that Scientology has taken over downtown Clearwater, you do now. The only ones who continue to build are the cult: 565 hotel rooms in or near downtown to accommodate 1,300 'parishioners' per week. Then the $50-million Flag building will be finished in 2003 so that more victims from around the world can invade our county. "Now, of course, the cult is eager to see downtown improvements move forward because they will be the only ones to benefit from it. One letter writer asks, 'Can you possibly imagine what downtown Clearwater would look like if the cult had not arrived?' Yes, it could have looked like downtown Dunedin with nice new stores and lots of visitors instead of people avoiding it like the plague as it is now. I say pick a new area for renovation in Clearwater. Put a wall around the old downtown and let the cult have it. - David Rodman, Dunedin" The St. Petersburg Times reported on September 8th that a Clearwater minister listed his sermon title as "Why Scientology Isn't a Church." "The church marquee faces a busy six-lane highway and announces Sunday's sermon: 'Why Scientology Isn't a Church.' It's the title of the Rev. Raymond Guterman's message at Northwood Presbyterian Church in Countryside. And along with the marquee, the church also promoted the sermon this week in ads in the St. Petersburg Times. "'What's the deal?' wondered Church of Scientology spokeswoman Pat Harney. 'I called (the pastor) to find out what he meant by that statement.' Guterman, 46, Northwood's pastor for the last 12 years, was quick to tell both a Times reporter and Harney that the sermon title is not meant to criticize Scientology. It's intended, he said, to draw attention to his new sermon series examining the traits of a healthy church. 'I see sermon titles as a way to pique people's interest in Christianity and the church,' Guterman said. "'I'm not anti-Scientology; I'm not pro-Scientology,' Guterman said. 'I just don't exactly understand individually why it's called the Church of Scientology and why there would be a cross, even if it's a different cross. When I see the cross, I think of Christ. If Christ is not the center of Scientology, then why would an organization use the cross and call itself a church? I'm just wondering, but I don't really plan to say any of that Sunday.' "'He told me it's not about Scientology,' Harney said. 'He said he's using our name because we're big. That's an interesting thing.' What's important, she said, is that Guterman assured her his sermon would not be about Scientology. 'It is what it is,' Harney said. 'It can always be verified by going to the Sunday service.' So, does Scientology plan to send someone to listen? 'Not really,' said Harney." Message-ID: Message-ID: Message-ID: 9ndkiv$

Jenna Elfman

A Fox News column on September 5th by Roger Friedman noted the trend for the show Dharma and Greg to feature Scientology celebrities. "Has ABC's Dharma and Greg become Scientology central for sitcoms? The group already has a vocal member in star Jenna Elfman, who plays Dharma. Elfman is the protege of acting teacher Milton Katselas, also a devotee of the pay-as-you-go cult favored by Tom Cruise, John Travolta and others. Last spring, avowed and outspoken cult member Kirstie Alley appeared in Dharma and Greg's season cliffhanger as, of all things, a marriage counselor. Now the show has announced a full-time cast addition: Juliette Lewis, former drug addict and star of awful movies like Kalifornia and Natural Born Killers. "Lewis is one of Scientology's foremost celebrity zombies. Last summer at a Creative Coalition panel discussion in Los Angeles about violence in the media, Lewis pushed the Scientology agenda the minute she got her chance. She ambushed moderator Carl Bernstein when she announced that what was really affecting children today was not violence in the media. The real culprit, she said, was psychotropic drugs. Scientologists, including Alley and Elfman, are vehemently against kids with illnesses like Attention Deficit Disorder getting psychiatric treatment or drugs like Ritalin. "Dharma and Greg's very affable co-executive producer Bill Prady told me that the propensity of Scientologists is merely a manifestation of who Elfman's friends are. 'Really, stunt casting is the bane of my existence. We go to the cast and say, 'Who are your friends?' And, 'Who can you get?' Jenna's friends with Kirstie and with Juliette, so they came. One of our writers is friends with Bob Dylan, that's how we got him. Right now we're hoping to get Olivia Newton-John, who's a friend of someone here. It's really that simple.'" Message-ID:


A column by Susan Palmer was published by the Montreal Gazette on September 4th, in which she criticizes France for its recently enacted law to prevent abuse of cult members by their organization. "Social scientists are not supposed to make value judgments, but I was shocked by what I observed in France. Shocked at the intolerance and prejudice toward minority religions, the assaults on individual rights and, most of all, by the sheer stupidity and willful ignorance of France's government, which created MILS (Inter-ministerial Mission for the Fight against Sects). "I teach a course on research methods at Dawson College in which social-science students learn not to trust popular opinion but to read, collect data using various sampling methods and analyze the data systematically before presenting findings. If MILS had handed in its report on sects in my class, I would have had to flunk it. "The 1995 Guyard report on sects, commissioned for the National Assembly compiled a report of 172 sects presumed dangerous. I was astonished that the report had distorted Rael's philosophy and made false allegations of criminal conduct. It even got the dates of Raelian history wrong. Some groups have succeeded in having their names taken off the infamous list. The Mormons were removed, but other Christian minority churches - Christian Science, the Seventh-day Adventists and the Jehovah's Witnesses - are still on it and have all been disestablished and hit with back taxes. "Their real problem, however, is the media. The major newspapers in France rely on ADFI, France's anti-cult organization, and government reports for their sensationalistic stories. Journalists tend to adopt a cavalier 'seen one sect, seen them all' approach. A recent magazine article on sects grossly inflated memberships and almost routinely accused leaders of pedophile tendencies or planning mass suicides. Almost every group was classified as apocalyptic." Message-ID:

International News

The latest issue of International Scientology News reported developments in France and Germany. "Briefing from Mike Rinder on France: France has a long track of religious intolerance, in a country that 'hypocritically proclaims it stands for liberty, equality and fraternity. With that sort of bank agreement, its no surprise this country has been a magnet for SP's. Certain government quarters are literally infested with psychs. And those quarters are equally rife with corruption' "Up to now, the SP's have been able to get away with their game of abolishing religion and it's value in France - that is, until we came along." "Briefing from Mike Rinder on Germany: Scientology has played a pioneering role in bringing the FOI law to other countries. It has finally reached Germany, where three out of Germany's sixteen states have now passed these laws. 'Of course,' he said, as soon as the laws were enacted, we filed applications to inspect the files on Scn. And sure enough, when our requests landed on the desks of German officials, we certainly restimulated something. In fact, we found out later that our document requests so rattle the Berlin government, that they held three high-level conferences to work out ways to avoid answering them! "One Scientologist was employed by the City of Munich, where he worked in the Health Department's blood donation service. The government demanded that he sign a filter denying his Church membership. 'He refused - but then we went a step further and filed two suits, one against the City of Munich and the other against their bosses the Bavarian government. In October, the Labor Court in Munich ruled that 'sect filters' are unconstitutional and ordered the City of Munich to pay ALL OUR LEGAL FEES AND COSTS!'" Message-ID:

Keith Henson

Keith Henson posted a filing in his bankruptcy case in California. Scientology is asking that his bankruptcy be canceled. "Henson's pervasive disregard for the lawful processes of the federal and state courts in this country is documented and undeniable. He uses the courts as his platform for promoting his anti-religious agenda, manipulating the law and the orders of the courts when it suits him, and disregarding them altogether at his pleasure. Henson has lost the right of access to the courts he disrespects, and in particular to this Bankruptcy Court to pursue a Chapter 13 'superdischarge,' which must be premised upon an honest debtor's good faith. It would be difficult to imagine a more blatant example of bad faith and dishonesty than fleeing from a criminal conviction arising from his harassment of his creditor and from his responsibilities to that creditor, the Chapter 13 trustee, and the Court under his Chapter 13 petition and plan. Under the long-established fugitive disentitlement doctrine, this case should be dismissed and his attempt to use this Court any further as his shield against his creditor/target RTC should be terminated forthwith. "Keith Henson has disentitled himself from recourse to this Court and the benefits available to honest debtors seeking a superdischarge in good faith. Now that he has fled after a criminal conviction, he cannot pursue his remedies here while avoiding the judgment of another court which has addressed and condemned his conduct with respect to the target of his crimes, the victim of his torts, and the sole creditor whose rights he seeks to abridge. This case, accordingly, should be dismissed." Message-ID:

Lisa McPherson

Dell Liebreich, executor of Lisa McPherson's estate, posted a request for donations to help continue the lawsuit against Scientology for the death of her niece. "Bob Minton's loans to the Estate's attorney to defray costs in the wrongful death case against Scientology have ended. We are in need of additional funds to finish this case. "Send contributions to Ken Dandar PO Box 24597, Tampa, Florida, 33623 payable to Dandar & Dandar." A motion filed by Ken Dandar, the lawyer for the estate, was posted to a.r.s this week, asking for sanctions against Scientology. "Defendant, SCIENTOLOGY, and its in-house counsel, Kendrick Moxon have repeatedly poisoned this action with baseless accusations of unethical and criminal conduct against Plaintiff and her counsel, which is contained in the counterclaim filed by Scientology and who now demands that these scandalous accusations be made a finding of fact by the current motion against LMT, Sob Minton, and Stacy Brooks. These outrageous and baseless accusations include the following: 'Liebreich and Bandar have also misused process by purchasing testimony of fact witnesses, effectively money laundering, engaged in activities calculated to infect the jury pool, to harass and intimidate witnesses, forced defendants to relinquish their rights, encumber valuable properties (of SCIENTOLOGY).' "All of the above is absolutely false. Discovery on these baseless allegations has shown it to be absolutely false, yet Moxon and SCIENTOLOGY continue to assert them and now demand that they be made a finding of fact by court order. "The Lisa McPherson Trust, Inc. was not 'incorporated as a for profit company by Plaintiff's counsel.' Plaintiff's counsel simply forwarded the incorporation papers to the Secretary of State. Robert Minton was the sole incorporator of the Lisa McPherson Trust as evidenced by the public record. The Lisa McPherson Trust, Inc, was not incorporated by Mr Minion 'as the proposed recipient of the hoped-for proceeds of this case.' The truth of the matter is that the ultimate beneficiaries, i.e., the uncles and aunts of Lisa McPherson, have stated repeatedly in their depositions that they will be donating the proceeds of this case to a non-profit organization. Since Mr. Minton has formed a for profit corporation, it would therefore be excluded from any consideration. "It is the intent of SCIENTOLOGY to distract this court from the true issues of this case and this abuse of discovery is expending valuable time far the ESTATE and its counsel, running up expenses to the ESTATE for the litigation of this case, The court needs to reign in SCIENTOLOGY and stop this abuse of discovery." Excepts from a deposition of Stacy Brooks taken on September 7th by Scientology's lawyer, Kendrick Moxon. "I decline to answer any questions concerning my personal finances or my relationship with Robert Minton and I invoke my privilege against self incrimination pursuant to the constitutions of the United States and of the State of Florida for the following reasons: "I believe that my testimony would be used to incriminate me. I have with me today a copy of a chart that Scientology has previously offered in Court. The chart shows Robert Minton in the center and many other names surrounding him, including my name and the name of the Lisa McPherson Trust, of which I am President. Scientology is trying to create a RICO scenario as evidenced by the fact that Scientology through its counsel attorney Sandy Rosen referred to this chart as an 'enterprise chart.' 'Enterprise' is a word that is used to describe a racketeering entity under the RICO statute. There have been many instances in which Scientology has succeeded in inducing criminal prosecution of Mr. Minton, persons affiliated with the Lisa McPherson Trust, and others. "I have no personal knowledge about the facts of the complaint or counterclaim in this case. For that reason, and because of Scientology's history and policy of inducing authorities to institute false criminal charges against its critics, I believe that any information gathered by Scientology concerning my personal finances or my relationship with Mr. Minton will be used to subject me to prosecution. I therefore refuse to answer any such questions. "Q. Were you receiving money from Robert Minton during 1998 and 1999 when you were working for Mr. Dandar?' "A. I refuse to answer that question based on my Fifth Amendment privilege. Q. Did you have any employment during 1999? "A. I refuse to answer based on privilege under the Fifth Amendment. "Q. Was Mr. Dandar aware that you were being paid by Mr. Minton during 1999 when you were working for Mr. Dandar? "A. I refuse to answer based on my Fifth Amendment privilege. "Q. Do you know if any of the $800,000, that was received into the accounts at LMT that you assisted Mr. Minton to get, was actually Mr. Minton's money in the first place? "A. I refuse to answer based on Fifth Amendment privilege. "Q. Were you with Mr. Minton when he withdrew funds from any Swiss bank accounts to transfer back to LMT? "A. I refuse to answer based on Fifth Amendment privilege. "Q. When you were at Well Spring, did they counsel you to correct your opinions about Scientology? "MR. MERRETT: I would object, and in addition to whatever privilege the witness may invoke, interpose the psychotherapist/patient privilege. She's not obliged to disclose anything that happened in the counseling. It's a licensed therapeutic organization. "MR. MOXON: Well, we don't know -- that's an allegation, but a number of witnesses in this case were sent to this place called Well Spring, which is a, quote, 'anti-cult counseling center' in rural Ohio -- "THE WITNESS: That's incorrect, Your Honor. "THE COURT: If you have evidence to the contrary that it was not set up for counseling but some other purpose, you can present that on a motion to require her to answer the questions. "Q. Have you discussed with Mr. Minton ways to use LMT as a for-profit corporation to conceal payments to witnesses or consultants against the church? "A. I refuse to answer based on Fifth Amendment privilege. "Q. Do you remember testimony of Jesse Prince where he said he had -- he had made a deal with you that as long as he continued to testify against Scientology, that he would be paid? "A. No. "Q. Let's see if I can refresh your recollection. If you'd look at the highlighted portions. "A. That's not what his testimony says. I will tell you that as far as I'm concerned, the only agreement that I ever made with Jesse Prince was that he would work with us on the work that we were doing. "Q. You've attended a number of demonstrations outside the church; isn't that right? "A. Yes. "Q. Did you know that some of the attendants to Lisa McPherson when she was staying at the Fort Harrison Hotel were among the people that you were demonstrating against there? "A. No. I would like to clarify that. I wasn't demonstrating against them. I was letting them know they could come and talk to me if they wanted to. "Q. Didn't you know that those -- all of the church staff are represented by counsel in this case? "A. No. What does that have to do with it?" From a deposition of Theresa Summers on September 5th: "Q Who owns Lisa McPherson Trust? "A I'm not sure who owns it. "Q There is a posting on the Internet by you indicating that you were hired by Ms. Brooks because she liked the work you were doing and making complaints about the Church; is that correct? "A No. Not making complaints. For all the work that I had done to get money back from the Church. "Q Which current Church members have been the subject of any communications by you with any government agency? "A The only one would be Marcus Quirino, and also other members of the Quirino family. "Q Marcus Quirino is known by you to be a witness in this case; is that -- "A Well, now I know that. Not until very recently. "Q You made a complaint to what agency? "A I filed a complaint based on a report I received with Child Protective Services over an 1-800 hotline. "Q Wasn't there an assertion that you made concerning Marcus Quirino rejected by the police as false, as a false complaint? "A No. "Q As to the Woodcraft family, are there any letters, forms, affidavits, declarations, statements, or any other documents concerning communication with any government agency with respect to the Woodcraft family? "A Not with any -- oh, there is one report, a phone report, concerning what Zoe had told me on the phone and that was it. "Q Did you have any communications with any government agency with respect to the Woodcraft family? "A Only to the extent that I wrote that report and I was concerned again about what she was reporting, and I sent it to the FBI and that was extent of that. "JUDGE BEACH: We've got to start off with the question to her is all activities that were designed in any way to influence anybody, either a prospective juror or a prospective witness in the Lisa McPherson case, that's what we're concerned about. Why are they doing these things within the Lisa McPherson Trust, what's the purpose of it? "MR. MOXON: For background, Mr. Strope was one of the people, Detective Strope, that, you know, was involved in this Lisa McPherson investigation and he's had meetings with Mr. Dandar and provide - they provided documents back-and-forth and he's - he's the guy that created this whole case. "JUDGE BEACH: The question I have and I think is - this should be in the area of inquiry of this witness is, were these activities in any way designed to have any influence on the Lisa McPherson Trust versus the Scientologists? "MR. DANDAR: The Trust is not involved in the case, Judge, it's the estate. "JUDGE BEACH: Or the estate, either way. I understand the - that the Trust is not involved, but if it's engaged in any activity, directly or indirectly, designed to in some way affect the outcome of this case, then I think he has a right to make that inquiry. "JUDGE BEACH: What is your purpose in the Lisa McPherson Trust to interview people who have complaints against the Scientologists, and is it designed in any way to discredit the Church of Scientology in this case, directly or indirectly, that's the question that is - that's the reason for the deposition. "THE WITNESS: I have nothing to do with this case at all. I got my position because I left the Church of Scientology after 20 years. I had a lot of money invested there and I was successful in getting it back after much hard work, and there are many other people in that position and I help them. I give them addresses, I get calls, I have this money, I can't get it back, what do I do. Well, you write the Church and then you do this, there are steps to take. None of it has anything to do with this case. "JUDGE BEACH: Well, I guess the question is why was a Trust created bearing the name of Lisa McPherson. who has a lawsuit against this Church of Scientology, or her estate does, for her death, what is the connection between the death of Lisa McPherson and her lawsuit against the Church and the activity you're engaged in for the Trust? "THE WITNESS: Well, there's no connection. "JUDGE BEACH: Then why name it the Lisa McPherson Trust? "THE WITNESS: I don't know, because I came after it was all put together. I can tell you why I would say that, because she is a well-known victim. She's not the only person that's died at the Fort Harrison. She's not the only person who's had these psychotic breaks. She has just sort become a symbol. "JUDGE BEACH: So what are all these activities that you and the Trust are engaged in designed to do to the Church of Scientology? "THE WITNESS: I don't consider it as designed to do anything to the Church of Scientology. You've got people who are involved for years and then they get out and they're having difficulties, and a lot of us share those difficulties, so what I do is I help them Sometimes they're suffering depression, I would get them a referral to someone, a cult specialist, psychiatrist, psychologist. Oftentimes I just will give them the names of other former Scientologists because they just need to someone to communicate to. "Often they'll have money on account and this is all over the world and all over many different states, and they'll say, okay, I have - and it's large money. It's often very big, thousands of dollars, and they'll say how do I - I want it back. "I do think that there is fraud. I do think that there is people who are ill, physically ill, that are told if you buy your OT-III you will get better and they don't, and then they get gravely ill, and they put thousands and thousands of dollars down for auditing and get auditing and remain gravely ill. And then they'll get out or sometimes they get kicked out because they're sick now, and then they get medical help, and then they get better. I mean surgery for tumors, Grawitz's, it's unbelievable. So that's what we're doing, and I never have anything to do with this case. "JUDGE BEACH: Does the Trust have a desire that the Church of Scientology lose this case by the Lisa McPherson Estate? "THE WITNESS: No. No. Absolutely not. I must tell you absolutely not, you know. "BY MR. MOXON: Q Do you know - do you know about the agreement between Mr. Minton and Dell Liebreich that he and the Trust get the proceeds from this case? "MR. DANDAR: Misrepresentation of sworn testimony, that's a total fabrication." Message-ID: Message-ID: M0Rl7.60271$ Message-ID: Message-ID: Message-ID:

Personality Tests

The Cincinnati Post reported on September 4th that Scientology's personality tests littered a fairgrounds after a river festival. "'I've been doing this every year for 10 years,' Cincinnati Recreation Commission truck driver Bryan Davis said as he collected discarded beer bottles, syrupy paper cups and flattened french fry trays with a white-rubber-gloved hand. "In Newport, the big litter ticket was a pink brochure advertising a 'Free Personality Test' through Dianetics. Hundreds of them lay in soggy mounds." Message-ID:


Scientology announced that several dignitaries attended the opening of the new Narconon center in Oklahoma. "The Grand Opening of Narconon Arrowhead, the premiere rehab and training center of the international Narconon network, is on Saturday August 18th 2001 Speakers include Clifton Mitchell - coordinator of the White House Faith based Community Partnership Initiative Henry Lozano - White House Commissioner for Drug Free Communities Renee Wikesjo - Secretary of Europeans Against Drugs Senator Gene Stipe There will tours of the building, a barbecue and a country dance band." Message-ID: 2es6ptsi5tsb34o8q2cpa3b2h874gj7727@ARSCC.Sweden.Dep.OSA.Surveillance

Protest Summary

"Kaeli" and "Yduzitmatter" reported a protest in Toronto this week. "Picketers: Gregg, yduzitmatter, Kaeli, Zeratul. 110 ft away: Keith and other picketer. "Keith informed us that the Scientologists were not so scared of Keith after all to the point that one walked up to him and called him a 'bum.' In the morning, around 10:15am, they had their table and free stress test sign outside, complete with a video camera. One body-router handed out the same old DA flyers. We picketed for about an hour or so before needing to break for lunch. "While we were at lunch, we were visited by Peter Ramsay. Gregg asked him if his lawyer had gotten in touch with him regarding the trademark infringement, and Mr. Ramsay walked away. The afternoon crew consisting of George, Mario and several other body routers were present as well." "Fairly good foot traffic this a.m. - Toronto is currently hosting a Film Festival. Several honks and waves in our direction. In the morning there was George the official Scientology videographer and a women who was handing out DA Fliers with pics of 4 gentlemen of our acquaintance. We found a copy of the flyer at the coffee shop across the street from the Org. Included in the flier was an ad 'When life becomes a battleground, your MIND is your best weapon.' "We ended the picket early due to the heat and humidity. Thank you all for your hospitality as usual and the enjoyable company on a very warm day." Message-ID: Message-ID:

The Profit

The Oracle, newspaper of the University of South Florida, published an article on The Profit on September 4th. "Filmed in the Tampa Bay area and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France, this independent movie captured the attention of the Church of Scientology. 'This is not a movie about Scientology,' said Peter Alexander, director and writer of the film. 'It is about the rise of the power of a man who creates his own cult.' "But the movie ironically parallels many aspects of the fairly new religion, Scientology. The religion was started by L. Ron Hubbard during the 1950s and has a reputation for being a cult solely interested in its followers monetary donations. Scientology's list of members include actors Tom Cruise, Lisa Marie Presley and John Travolta. It was from the comparisons to this religion that the under-publicized Florida film met so much controversy. Aggravated by the protests but not discouraged, the Florida director Alexander was determined to have the film premiere in the United States. "'The film was a motivational cause,' Alexander said. 'I wanted to show people how a cult brainwashes people. The movie is not directed at Scientology, but at cults in general.' Choosing his hometown area of Tampa Bay for the film's premiere, Alexander and his crew were ready for opposition from the Church of Scientology. 'I had never met Peter Alexander before, but I was willing to screen the movie,' said Larry Greenbaum, owner of the Cinema Cafe at 24095 U.S Highway 19 N. in Clearwater." Message-ID: 9n55he$

Reed Slatkin

Esquire and Talk magazines each published stories on Reed Slatkin, a Scientologist accused of operating a Ponzi scheme that lost $500 million. From Esquire: "The dimensions of the scheme began to emerge at the end of April, when investors learned that their money was all but gone. in early May, Slatkin was forced to seek refuge in bankruptcy court. The horror was compounded when investors realized that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been suspicious of Slatkin since at least 1997; federal lawyers had even interrogated him and his bookkeeper at length more than a year before the investors finally ran him to ground. Month after month, the government did nothing while Slatkin sucked in tens of millions of additional dollars from those who now have little hope of recovering more than a fraction of their money. "The train finally hit Slatkin in late April. His attorneys held a meeting of the many 'friends' who had entrusted their money to him and announced that Slatkin was preparing to file for bankruptcy protection. The room was packed with frightened investors, and dozens of others were connected by phone. Some were still wealthy; others were looking at utter devastation. 'A bunch of lawyers were arguing,' remembers an investor who was there, and this woman from Florida blurted out, 'What am I going to do about my mother? I have no money!' There was a moment's pause. And then the lawyers ran over her like a dove in the road. "In January 2000, nearly a year and a half before Slatkin was forced into bankruptcy proceedings - lawyers from the SEC questioned him in two lengthy depositions. The only subject that Slatkin seemed eager to discuss was his love for Scientology. Asked a simple introductory question about his education, Slatkin embarked on a lengthy riff that continued for more than 20 transcribed pages. He knew Scientology was 'controversial' and that the SEC lawyers 'may have heard bad things' about it, he said, but Scientology was 'the basis of almost everything I've done in my life.' At one point, he whipped out a book called 'What is Scientology Doing In The World?' 'There's much bigger books I could have brought,' he confided, 'but I didn't bring them.' "Slatkin's avowal of lifelong devotion to Scientology came as a surprise to a number of his investors when they learned of it after his bankruptcy. Several say Slatkin had downplayed his affiliation with the church. 'He said, 'I just audited a few courses to keep myself alert',' one says. 'He said, 'I want nothing to do with the church.'' The wealthy couple say they had once asked mutual friends if Slatkin was involved with Scientology. 'I know two people who asked him, and he said he wasn't, ' the husband says. 'He said to one, 'Of course not. I'm Jewish.' He said to another, 'My wife had an interest in it.'' "Through spokesperson Aron Mason, the Church of Scientology says Slatkin was a parishioner but never an official of any kind. He also belonged to a 'religious fellowship' of Scientologists in the business world called the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, or WISE, Mason continues. But he adds, 'Mr. Slatkin could not live up to WISE's ethical standards, and he ended his membership [in] 1998.' He declined to elaborate. Slatkin didn't mention any such thing during his deposition. "Slatkin said he'd obliged his investors only through a sense of duty, as prescribed by L. Ron Hubbard. Slatkin showed the SEC lawyers a 'duty scale' bearing Hubbard's autograph. 'There is is, L. Ron Hubbard,' he said. 'Like him or not, he's my man.' And so Slatkin had agreed to be of service. 'These people called me and said, 'I'm going to go on full-time [Scientology] training down in Clearwater. Can you help me?' This gal came to me, she said, 'I want to open up a Scientology church in Kenya. Would you give me a hand?' I go, 'Absolutely. Let me help you out here.' And that's sort of what happened. I felt like I was really helping, you know, really helping a lot. But I tell you, it's gotten big.' "Throughout the SEC's long correspondence, Slatkin had continued to collect huge sums from investors like Poitras. It now appears that Slatkin raised tens of millions of dollars in the months before filing for bankruptcy on May 1, 2001. Poitras counted up the times that Slatkin put the SEC off after the deposition was taken in January 2000. 'Thirty-two excuse letters and phone calls,' he says. 'It's just mind-boggling.' "Not all the money was impossible to trace. After receiving the $10 million from Poitras, Slatkin promptly sent out nearly $7 million to investors - to which ones has yet to be revealed. He also paid a clutch of personal bills, including membership fees at two country clubs. Now the country-club memberships - along with his house and everything else he owns - are being sold off by the bankruptcy trustee so that creditors can recover at least some small percentage of the money that has been lost. The trustee's report shows that in the three months before his bankruptcy, Slatkin paid out more than $26 million to various parties, including $3 million that went to his family members. "R. Todd Neilson is a former FBI man, a grandfather, a Mormon from Utah, a friend of Senator Orrin Hatch. As bankruptcy trustee, Neilson is supposed to find the money. Neilson says he's dealing with 'a deep level of concern on the part of the non-Scientologists' about the role of the church. His preliminary findings show that Slatkin donated more than $200,000 to various Scientology causes in the year before his bankruptcy. But so far, he says, he sees no evidence of substantial sums going into the church's coffers. "Whether the trail eventually leads to the church, as some investigators suspect, is far from clear, but a knowledgeable source close to the bankruptcy investigation says one investigator told Neilson that he and other Scientology-affiliated investors were likely to withdraw from the creditors group should Neilson attempt to recover money from the church. Neilson is being circumspect about his plans. For strategic reasons, it's in Neilson's interest to try to keep the peace among his flock." From Talk Magazine: "Seated in a conference room in a Los Angeles high-rise a year and a half ago, Reed Slatkin, investment guru to some of the nation's wealthiest people and cofounder of former Internet darling EarthLink, held forth on the finer points of Scientology. 'Just to quote this from Mr. Hubbard: 'The aims of Scientology are civilization without insanity, without criminals, and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights',' said Slatkin. 'I've dedicated my life to those aims, and I feel that the world, you know, is not a pretty place.' "Slatkin, a Scientology minister, might have been addressing just another gathering of adherents of the controversial religion founded by the late L. Ron Hubbard. But on that particular morning Slatkin was speaking to a very different audience: three Securities and Exchange Commission attorneys investigating whether he was breaking the law. And, like Verbal Kint, the artful dissembler portrayed by Kevin Spacey in the film The Usual Suspects, Slatkin ran circles around his interrogators. "By way of explaining how he ran his business and where hundreds of millions of dollars in his clients' funds were located, Slatkin spun convoluted tales about Swiss ban accounts and murky financial transactions, repeatedly wandering into lengthy digressions about Scientology. 'People in businesses that are motivated only by money are wobbly people,' Slatkin said at one point, quoting a Scientology text. 'The primary cause of failure is money motivation.' "All of his early investors were Scientologists. 'With his background in the church, we thought he wouldn't steal a candy bar,' says Arlo Gordin, the Scientologist who was an early Slatkin investor. 'It's like he used the credibility that one Scientologist expects from another and turned out to be a serial killer.' Slatkin quickly evolved into a dexterous financial pitchman, one who was able to craft his message to the needs of whomever he targeted. 'His real talent was that he made everyone feel like the special investor,' says John Coale, who, like his wife Greta Van Susteren, is a Scientologist and Slatkin investor. "He claimed that members wired money into a California bank and that the funds were then transferred, without investors' knowledge, to NAA Financial, a bank in Zurich, Switzerland. He then dictated each investor's supposed profits over the telephone to his Santa Fe bookkeeper Jean Janu, who recorded the information. Slatkin also told the SEC he had a personal bank account containing about $100 million, but it was unclear whether he bothered to separate clients' accounts from his own. "The SEC also accepted Slatkin's repeated promises that he was getting out of the money management business and was returning his investors' funds - Slatkin added that he dreaded the task because his loyal clients felt abandoned. But Slatkin didn't return most of his clients' money. Instead he was actively rounding up new investors until at least February 2001. And, as the SEC would discover to its embarrassment in April, NAA didn't even exist. As the SEC also learned too late, Slatkin had paid off some early investors with funds secured from later investors, a common scam known as a pyramid scheme. "All these behind-the-scenes maneuvers ended on April 11, when Poitras made Slatkin's problems public by filing a lawsuit against him. Panicked Scientologists, now aware that their money might be gone, flooded the church with requests for help. Mike Rinder, one of the church's highest officials, called and faxed Slatkin for information, efforts that Slatkin ignored. "Other creditors, mostly non-Scientologists, also began demanding information from Slatkin or filed their own lawsuits. In late April Slatkin's attorneys met with a large group of investors and creditors - telling them that their money, anywhere from $230 million to $580 million, was gone. Slatkin then declared personal bankruptcy. In mid-May the FBI raided Slatkin's Goleta offices and the SEC finally filed a lawsuit against Slatkin himself, freezing his assets and accusing him of fraud. "It still isn't known where all the money is, although more answers should surface in the coming months as the FBI and Slatkin's creditors' committee complete separate investigations. Hundreds of boxes of Slatkin's documents - including transcripts of confidential counseling sessions Slatkin conducted with other Scientologists over the past 20 years - are in a secure storage room on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, awaiting further examination by creditors. "Shortly after the scandal became public, Bennetta Slaughter, a prominent Scientologist, faxed Slatkin's investors, telling them to funnel all information about Slatkin's dealings through her - leading many investors to wonder if the Church of Scientology was trying to orchestrate how Slatkin's downfall was perceived and whether a large portion of his funds was funneled into the organization. Slaughter didn't respond to Talk's questions about her actions. A Scientology spokesperson, Aron Mason, says that although the church discussed public relations issues about Slatkin with Slaughter, she was acting independently. Mason says the church has not been contacted by law enforcement officials and that the organization has found no evidence that Slatkin diverted large sums of money its way. 'I'm aware of the numbers in terms of what was missing, and nothing like that came into the Church of Scientology,' Mason says. 'This is not where that money was going.'" Message-ID: 9n6hna$ Message-ID: 9ndk2j$


Catarina Pamnell summarized an article in the September 7th Svenska Dagbladet on concerns over private schools in Sweden. "The National Agency for Education wants to look into the possibilities to stop controversial religious groups from running their own schools, giving examples of schools where several pages about the origins of Earth were torn out of the children's books, and certain pictures and words crossed out. "'We have to watch out for this kind of business,' says the Director General of the agency Mats Ekholm, who in a statement to the government raises the question whether 'organizations that have been designated as harmful cults' should be allowed to run schools. Director General Mats Ekholm gives as an example Foreningen Aktiva Studier [Active Studies Association] in western Sweden. They want to start a school in Gothenburg, Cityskolan. The study method, Applied Scholastics, is developed by L. Ron Hubbard, and is already in use at Studemaskolan [the Studema School] in Stockholm. But after a thorough review of the study method, the National Agency for Education says no. Foreningen Aktiva Studier has appealed, and the case is now referred to the county administrative court. "Ann Swenne-Johanson, principal of the Studema school, is strongly critical to the fact that the National Agency for Education refers to information from FRI [Save The Individual Association, a Swedish anti-cult group] that she calls 'a known anti-religious association.'" Message-ID:

Green Power

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced on September 5th that Scientology is among those customers who have purchased a large amount of environmentally friendly electricity. "More than 65 large customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power today were honored for environmental stewardship as a result of purchasing green power, implementing projects to increase energy efficiency and for installing solar systems under the auspices of the Green LA Program. "Customers recognized for green power purchases included: Los Angeles World Airports, Loyola Marymount University, Kaiser Permanente, City of Los Angeles General Services and the Bureau of Sanitation, Los Angeles Convention Center, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, the City of Santa Monica, the Church of Scientology and Spectrolab." Message-ID:

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