Buffalo OrgThe Buffalo News reported on January 5th that the city is reconsidering plans to condemn the Buffalo Scientology org to make room for a parking ramp. "Some Common Council members are having second thoughts over a plan to expand a parking ramp near the Theater District. For the second time in less than a month, the Council has put off a vote on a plan that would allow the $13.6 million project to move forward. "The four-story Hurst Building at 43 W. Huron is owned by the Church of Scientology, which occupies the first two floors and uses a third for storage. The group's attorney recently told the Council that his client wants to stay in the building, despite a $425,000 purchase offer from the city. "The Parking Board wants Council permission to begin condemnation proceedings in a bid to seize the property through eminent domain. In recent weeks, a growing number of lawmakers have questioned the wisdom of demolishing an occupied office building to accommodate 850 additional parking spaces. "Marc A. Coppola of the Delaware District apologized to parking officials, acknowledging that lawmakers should have raised their concerns much earlier in the process. Thomas A. Gallagher, a former city director who continues to serve as a consultant to the Parking Board, said he is 'perplexed and surprised' by recent developments. Several preservationists and residents have attended meetings in recent weeks to encourage the Council to block the planned ramp expansion. The Finance Committee has decided to table the item for at least two weeks." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith-Based GroupsThe Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on December 29th that U.S. President Bush's plan to fund religious charities may be revived. "A legislative version backed by conservative House Republicans in July never made it past the Democratic-controlled Senate. But an unlikely team of Sens. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is creating a new version that removes what Democrats had considered to be stumbling blocks. "In July, the Republican-dominated House passed Bush's proposal on a vote of 233-198. The legislation would allow religious institutions to compete with non-religious groups for federal social-service dollars. The House measure's stumbling block was a provision that would have exempted religious groups receiving federal dollars from compliance with civil rights laws barring job discrimination. Included were all state and local ordinances. "Several prominent religious conservatives, including Christian Coalition founder and former president Pat Robertson, opposed the House legislation because they believed it would open federal coffers to non-traditional religions such as the Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology. "Opposing the measure are most Democrats, who view a high wall of church-state separation as an essential feature of American democracy. But it has won favor within a key Democratic constituency: racial minorities - particularly African Americans. Many among them see religiously oriented social-service agencies as a positive force in leading troubled individuals away from crime, drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy and a host of other social ills." Message-ID: email@example.com
Jamie KennedyEast Bay Express published an article on January 2nd on Jamie Kennedy, the great-grandson of L. Ron Hubbard. "Jamie Kennedy, slam poet, writer, and self-described 'asshole,' is the great-grandson of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology. Not that the Scientologists want you to know that. After all, Kennedy does tend to shove Otter Pops up his ass onstage, grabbing his nuts, screaming, and generally making an insane spectacle of himself at his monthly shows at the Stork Club. Then there's his complete and total denunciation of the so-called religion. 'My great-grandfather was probably one hundred percent, totally full of shit,' he says. 'What's really impressive about him, in contrast to other religious leaders, is that I don't think there's a single word that he ever said that was true.' "Scientology may be full of crap, but Kennedy does share a certain connection with his great-grandpa. Not only does he have Hubbard's red hair, he also has his oddball charisma. His monthly show, Tourettes Without Regrets, is a poetry, limerick, bare-ass free-for-all under the guise of a slam. On the first Tuesday of every month, folks huddle outside the Stork, waiting to be admitted by their leader. They all file in and sit down, shouting out Kennedy's name erratically, bringing him to the forefront as the night's emcee. "'One description of my great-grandfather was that he was a mix between Adolf Hitler and Baron Munchhausen; in short, he was a con man,' says Kennedy. 'I have that DNA pumping through my veins.' Kennedy has performed at a few anti-Scientology functions, even speaking out on the radio in Clearwater, Florida. Not surprisingly, given his views, Kennedy claims that church members have bugged him in the past. After he performed a piece called 'Judas' Son' at a slam, two men showed up at his mother's house claiming to be fellow poets throwing a show, Kennedy says. 'My mom knew from the moment they started talking that they were Scientologists, which they admitted to.' What they wanted wasn't exactly clear, but he says the group distributed a press release about him where they called him an 'anti-religious slam poet.' 'Actually,' laughs Kennedy, 'I was sort of disappointed. I had heard so often about their extreme character assassinations and smear tactics, I thought it was really pitiful that they couldn't find anything better. They really don't want to bring much attention to me, though; I'm a little more dangerous in that I have the blood of the guy and I really just don't give a fuck. I can speak the truth - that's the most damaging thing you can do to the church of Scientology.'" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa McPhersonThe letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on January 2nd contained a reply from Scientologist Ben Shaw to last week's article on status of the Lisa McPherson civil case "A complete picture of the litigation would have included an explanation for the delay in its resolution - the repeated and consistent obstructive litigation tactics of Ken Dandar and his confederates. While Dandar has continued to dish out baseless allegations, he has consistently defied court orders to disclose information concerning his relationship with his investor and his investor's employees; and they have refused to cooperate, as well. "As a result, 14 different sanction orders have been issued to date totaling more than $85,000, all awarded to the Church of Scientology for the cost of dealing with such bad-faith litigation. Since the inception of their lawsuit, the real underlying facts have been obfuscated by lies, deception and disinterested parties inserting themselves in it for profit and to promote religious bigotry. When the truth is known, it will resolve; and that is what we intend to accomplish." Message-ID: email@example.com
New Year's Eve"Cerridwen" posted a report this week on Scientology's New Year's Eve event. "There were several noticeable differences about this event. Jeff Pomeratz was not sitting in the front row with his white scarf hamming it up for the cameras. I would like to report that this is a definite improvement. Instead the camera's panned the crowd of the LA event and a few celebs in the front row. The camera particularly like to focus on Priscilla Presley who was seated in the front row with the other celeb and Freedom Medal Winners. "Another difference was that the graphics that were used to show the stats actually had numbers. They didn't show stats like total number of people onlines or number of OT's made, but each and every graph they did show had numbers. All graphs went from Dec 2000 to this past Thursday at 2:00. Whether the numbers on the graphs are accurate or not is an other issue. "The New Year's Event is usually the time when they announce all the Power FSM's and bring them on stage to receive their awards. This was completely omitted from this event. "DM went into detail about the recent legal 'victory' in Germany. He talked about a branch of the German Government called OPC. He then went on to explain that if OPC had been doing their job, and handling terrorists, instead of harassing the C o S then the criminal terrorists involved in the September 11 tragedy could have been stopped and the tragedy averted. Per DM Germany is a training ground for these terrorists and OPC was too busy infiltrating Scn to go after real criminals. He then told a tale of how OPC attempted to infiltrate the C of S and came up with absolutely nothing. An OPC agent was then caught on video tape trying to bribe a C of S staff member and this led to the C of S bringing suit against OPC. "DM told the tale of the recent C of S victory in Spain. DM said that Spain has been a very suppressive place for religion for a very long time, and said something like 'Does the term Spanish Inquisition ring a bell?' This got a hardy chuckle from the audience. Per DM, a nameless SP's went nuts in 1984 which is when the RTC came into being and got a hold of all the copyrights for LRH materials. DM reported that this nameless, Suppressive Spanish Squirrel attempted to steal all the copyrights by being the first to register them in Spain. The Suppressive Spanish Squirrel was stopped in his tracks by RTC. "DM then started talking about a Spanish judge/prosecutor named Enrico. Per DM this Enrico was completely insane and was on a mission to destroy Scn. DM quoted some Spanish judge's comments claiming Enrico was a fool and idiot. Finally DM said that Enrico told a reporter that 'Scientologists are from Venus and the rest of us are from Mars. It is well know that Venusians have superior powers.' "There were 72 Scientologists jailed in some old Spanish prison that was more like a dungeon. The facilities were very bad and the 'lavatory facilities' consisted of a hole in the floor. DM said that of the 72 Scientologists jailed, some of them were pregnant women. DM said to make things worse, the Prison was populated by Islamic Fundamentalists and rumors were being spread throughout the prison that the Scientologists were really Israel Mossad agents. "Next up was Mike Rinder. He announced that in the past week over 200,000 copies of The Way To Happiness were distributed as inserts in the New York editions of USA today. 4.5 million copies of TWTH were issued either this past year or in total. "Rinder talked about the expansion of Applied Scholastics (ASI) and listed a bunch of new countries that ASI is now delivering the study tech to. "I found interesting about Rinder's talk all the properties the C of S was buying up. Not only did they purchase Narconon Arrowhead, touted as the world's largest drug rehab center but they also bought the Spanish Lake Monastery in St. Louis Mo., for ASI Int headquarters; a huge building in Battle Creek, Michigan for the New Narconon Center there; a huge building in Montreal, Canada for the New Narconon Canada; new or expanded buildings for Narconon in Austria, South Africa, Brazil and I think Hungary. "Mark Yaeger spoke about the expansion of WISE. Most of his talk seemed to be about the new Hubbard College in Los Angeles. A video was shown on the New Hubbard College and one thing of interest is the video stated that the college could accommodate up to 14,000 students each year. The article below, circa October 2001 states it could accommodate 20,000 students. "Karen Hollander talked about what the VM's from CCInt in LA were doing with the LA fire department. The VM's are taking special courses offered by the LAFD so that the VM's can actually work directly with the LAFD when disasters occur. "DM said that since September 11th, there have been 1695 new staff members. 482 of these joined the Sea Org at Flag. Of those 482, 80 or so were OT's and 18 were new OT 7's. I spoke to a friend about these numbers and my friend agreed that Flag has a lot of new staff but that they were mostly 14 and 15 year olds. 80+ joined New York Org staff. Tokyo also had a large number of new staff and they now have over 200 staff in total. "A Video was shown of some rather well known Mission Holders including Jenna Elfman, Lisa Marie Presley, Isaac Hayes, Mitch and Dori Talevi and Joe and Cindy Feshbach. Also included in this video but listed as 'Forming Mission Holders' meaning they were starting a mission but it hadn't yet opened, was Nancy Cartwright, Mark Isham, and David Pomeratz. These are all Scn celebs and each spent a minute in the video promoting how important it is to do your job as a Scientologist and start a mission or join staff. "ED Int. talked about the New Volunteer Minister campaign. It appears that it will be a massive PR campaign to get people to contact the VM's. Billboards, magazine ads, and ads in the NYC subway system are already appearing. A preview of the new VM TV commercial was also shown." Message-ID: QXB09CMX37258.firstname.lastname@example.org
Protest SummaryCaroline Letkeman reported a protest at the Vancouver Scientology org on January 4th. "Arrived right on time at 11:00 a.m. and picketed until about 12:30 p.m. The same lady who came out, took our pictures and asked for (and received of course) our handouts. Today Gerry used a 'Who is Xenu' flyer. My flyer had the following text: We handed out 60 fliers altogether "We got the feeling that the org was doing whatever possible to prevent all of their staff or customers from exiting the front door or otherwise having any contact with us. It felt like we were keeping all the Scientologists from going to lunch (although they probably have a rear escape from the building) so we decided to cut our picket short." Message-ID: email@example.com
UKThe Birmingham Post reported on January 4th that new anti-discrimination laws might help Scientology. "Rastafarians, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Scientology could all benefit from new Government anti-discrimination laws. Alison Rendell, an employment lawyer at the Birmingham office of DLA, said the purpose of the consultation exercise was to get input from external sources before the Government drafts new anti-discrimination laws in employment and training on the grounds of age, religion and belief, sexual orientation, disability or race. The legislation must be introduced to comply with European law. "Miss Rendell said: 'Anti discrimination measures are likely to have a major impact on workplace practice. 'For example, religious beliefs will be protected and this could include such groups as Rastafarians, who are not as a group currently protected by the race discrimination legislation, and Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Scientology, as well as some quite obscure groups.'" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer MinistersThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on January 5th that Scientology plans a billboard campaign to promote its Volunteer Ministers. "The Church of Scientology is launching a nationwide billboard campaign to advertise its telephone counseling services to those affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "More than 1,100 billboards are going up in New York and 11 other U.S. cities with the message 'Something CAN Be Done About It' and a toll-free number that connects callers with trained volunteers, called 'Volunteer Ministers,' who offer Scientology-based counseling. "The church, which had volunteer counselors at ground zero in New York after Sept. 11, says the $1.1 million billboard campaign was funded by donations from church members. Billboards will also appear in Atlanta, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, St. Louis, San Jose, Calif., and Tampa." 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.