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

Volume 6, Issue 42 - February 10 2002

Battle Creek

The Battle Creek Enquirer reported on February 5th that renovation of the Hart Hotel to be the new Scientology org in Michigan has been delayed. "The Church of Scientology has delayed moving into the former Hart Hotel until late 2003. The church originally had planned to move out of its present location at 66 E. Michigan Ave. this summer, but decided it would be more beneficial to wait so the former hotel could be completely renovated before the move takes place, said Mike Delaware, executive secretary of the Battle Creek church. "The later date will better accommodate contractors working on the restoration of the building, said Larry Rizor, owner of Architects Inc., the firm that is doing architectural work for the church. 'It will be tedious, time-consuming work for the skilled craftsmen,' Rizor said. 'The contractors can move around a lot better if the building is vacant, rather than partially occupied.' "The church bought the hotel in April 2001 for $230,000 and moved into its current location in the Elizabeth Building three months later. Since acquiring the hotel, the church has pushed back its anticipated move date three times. "Properly restoring a building that has meant quite a bit to the city of Battle Creek is more important than getting out of a temporary location quickly, he said. The location on East Michigan Avenue 'is a temporary space, but it works and we're happy here,' Delaware said. 'In the end (the former hotel) is going to be a beautiful property. It fell into neglect over the past 10 or 20 years, but a lot of important things happened here. 'We're trying to bring the luster back to something that is a source of fond memories for people in this community.'" Message-ID: m7f06ugh0tk9dgfarkbl44n3vrsm9pfu7i@ARSCC.Sweden.Dep.OSA.Surveillance


Letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on February 5th, 6th and 9th addressed the opening of the Fort Harrison Hotel to Clearwater's community leaders for an evening event. "I applaud our new county administrator, Steve Spratt, for not attending; but I am disgusted that the Latvalas and our longtime, much-admired Sheriff Everett Rice attended. The Scientologists are involved in every aspect of the community in order to convert other clones, buy more time, buy respect, buy acceptance - just like they bought up Clearwater. I wouldn't lower myself to enter that building of pagans. "I would be too embarrassed to even admit I had received an invitation, much less attend such a 'Come hither, let's be friends' gala. Let it be known that this community has never, nor will it ever, become more accepting of this so-called church. - Dee Jackson, Palm Harbor "Has Clearwater given up? They sure act like it. Scientology, as owner of the Fort Harrison Hotel, has a public relations coup with the 75th anniversary of the county landmark. Some of our county 'leaders' couldn't wait to cozy up to the cult. I guess they have conveniently forgotten about the thousands of lives the cult has ruined, the real estate scams, the infiltration of the public school system in the Boston area, the mysterious deaths, the harassment of members and former members. "Why is it that Scientology doesn't want the press in the hotel? The cult hasn't changed, it has just gotten better at covering up its misdeeds. The rest of the world might look at the United States, see we have given up and wonder why they should fight. If a cancer invaded your body, wouldn't you do everything you could to fight it? Clearwater should not forget and not give up the fight. - David Rodman, Dunedin" "This is not about a 75th anniversary of the old Fort Harrison Hotel but more about getting the people in power over to their side. How can our elected officials go along with such a farce? I have lived here more than 44 years and can remember when the downtown area was a nice place to shop, and I also remember the Fort Harrison when it was a nice place to go for lunch or dinner. Are we going to continue to allow Scientologists to gobble up the rest of Clearwater and perhaps rename it Hubbardville? It would seem that's the direction we are heading in. - Shelby Sabathe, Clearwater "Scientology takes out newspaper ads and hosts 'gala black tie events' attempting to blithely link itself to a 75-year history of a Clearwater landmark. Any true history of this hotel should include Scientology's own history with it. The group slithered into Clearwater under the false name, 'United Churches of Florida,' when it acquired this historic building. The St. Petersburg Times reported the first instances of Scientology's fraudulent behavior in Clearwater nearly three decades ago. "This so-called church attempted to run covert operations to smear former Clearwater Mayor Gabe Casares to silence his exposure of it in 1976 and has never stopped this kind of unsavory behavior since. We still have the pending civil case in the death of Lisa McPherson, who died in Scientology 'care' at the Fort Harrison, and the admission from a court case reported by the Times just last year that Scientology has more than 100 surveillance cameras trained on the residents of Clearwater. We have witnessed this 'church' hiring private investigators to frame another outspoken critic of its behavior, Jesse Prince, with marijuana charges just a few months ago. We have heard the courts state that the Clearwater Police Department was coming dangerously close to becoming Scientology's private police force as a result of its influence. "Kudos to the Times for listing those who chose to dine at Scientology's trough and those who refused. Let's hope the Pinellas County and Clearwater voters don't forget. - Randy Enerson, Port Richey "When I see people cynically mentioning 'cult' as if they were experts, and sharing their attitudes of animosity, it only reminds me of the trouble spots in the world today, all created by intolerance, exclusion of others and hate. When the Church of Scientology opened its doors for the 75th Anniversary Celebration, it opened to the community a sincere demonstration of its intentions and activities of public good. Case in point: Did you know that the Clearwater Church of Scientology had bus loads of Scientology Volunteer Ministers that were highly effective and recognized as such at 'ground zero' in New York City since Sept. 11? "I therefore acknowledge Clearwater Mayor Brian Aungst for his open-door policy of tolerance, and for demonstrating by his presence at the Fort Harrison 75th Anniversary Celebration, that a united community working together to improve conditions and to flourish and prosper is America's best civil defense. - Luis Colon, Belleair" The St. Petersburg Times reported on February 6th that the Clearwater area bus authority is reconsidering the ban on non-commercial ads on county buses. The ban was placed after Scientology critics advertised on buses for a protest on the anniversary of Lisa McPherson's death. "Pinellas County's transit authority is reconsidering its ban on nonprofit advertising after Crime Stoppers questioned why it couldn't put its slogan on buses. Crime Stoppers asked PSTA to reconsider its policy last month. The request comes two years after the agency decided to allow only advertisements from commercial businesses. That decision came after the transit authority found itself tangled between the Church of Scientology and a group of church critics who purchased anti-Scientology ads in December 1998. "The agency said in 1999 that it didn't want to become a 'public forum' for advertisers. The downside of the policy, though, was that public service announcements traditionally purchased by nonprofit groups such as Crime Stoppers would no longer be allowed. Since then, groups requesting to advertise on buses have been turned down, including the state Health Department. Another group, Focus on the Family, has challenged PSTA for rejecting its bus shelter ads promoting a conference in Brandon that addressed preventing homosexuality among youth. The advertisements didn't appear at shelters in Pinellas, and Focus on the Family filed a motion seeking an injunction against PSTA that is pending. "PSTA administrators say they have to be careful and can't base a decision on the content of the ad. 'The more it's based upon the message, the more, again, that you can be challenged in your decision,' said Alan Zimmet, an attorney representing PSTA." Message-ID: a3osfa$ Message-ID: a3ri89$ Message-ID: Message-ID: a43kkg$

Volunteer Ministers

The St. Petersburg Times reported on February 8th that Scientology is placing billboards to advertise their Volunteer Ministers program. "For Americans troubled by economic uncertainty, fear and grief, 1,100 Church of Scientology billboards going up in major U.S. cities claim to have an answer. 'No matter how bad it is ... SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT.' The billboards are part of an unprecedented national media campaign by Scientology to reach what it calls 'a nation still troubled by the Sept. 11 attacks.' "But the blitz disturbs some mental health experts who express concern about both the church's motive and its expertise in treating emotional distress. The advertisements promote the services of Scientology's volunteer ministers, parishioners trained in basic Scientology principles that the church says can solve problems ranging from grief to marital difficulties to drug addiction. "The Church of Scientology is spending $1.1-million on the billboards, which have gone up in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, Cincinnati and this week in Clearwater. More are slated for Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago and St. Louis. In New York alone, there are 1,000 billboards, many mounted in the subway system. Clearwater, the spiritual headquarters of Scientology, is getting eight, and some of those will rotate to Tampa. "The campaign grew out of Sept. 11, said spokeswoman Linda Simmons Hight of the Church of Scientology International in Los Angeles. Since the attacks, the ranks of the volunteer ministers have grown from 5,000 to 14,000, she said. Scientologists wanted to help at ground zero, and many did. 'That's what brought it together,' Hight said. 'We have volunteer ministers. We're soon to have 6,000 more and we can do something about any situation in life.' "Mental health leaders say the campaign looks like a recruitment technique that could mislead emotionally vulnerable people. 'We are concerned Scientology may be playing on people's vulnerability to increase their membership,' said Cynthia Folcarelli, executive vice president of the National Mental Health Association, the country's oldest and largest nonprofit mental health research and advocacy organization. "Volunteer ministers study a 19-chapter text called The Scientology Handbook that provides lessons such as improving communication skills, resolving conflicts, getting people off drugs, handling confusion in the workplace and improving domestic relations. The ministers also learn how to conduct 'assists,' procedures Scientologists believe help people overcome physical or emotional difficulty. It takes about 40 hours to complete all the chapters, although some volunteers study only select ones, said Sarah Gorgone, who coordinates about 200 volunteer ministers in the Clearwater area. Volunteer ministers do not proselytize, nor is the campaign about recruitment, she said. 'It's Scientologists who have solutions to problems who are willing to go out of their way to share that with other people,' Hight said." Mike O'Connor described Volunteer Minister ads that have been running on CNN. "View of Ground Zero. Rubble, busy hard-hatted rescuers bending down in foreground. The color has been sapped from the scene, leaving everything in the scene black and white, except for a large flag in the background and the back of the yellow windbreaker of one man in the foreground, on it written 'SCIENTOLOGY VOLUNTEER MINISTER.' "'There are disasters that affect a nation.' "Fade through black to another scene, a flooded street with a boat making its way slowly, a few people slogging through the water, helping it through. 'And disasters that affect a community.' "Fade through black to a well-attended funeral scene at a gravesite, most color drained from the scene. 'Some disasters affect a family.' "Fade through black to a nighttime view of a window looking in we see a woman crying, raising her hands to her face, and a man with her, apparently arguing. 'And there are those smaller disasters affecting your life right now.' "Fade through black to a solitary man in silhouette, slowly walking away from us down a long, dark, wet tunnel. 'Whatever difficulties you may be facing' "Fade through black to a desaturated scene of many commuters exiting a train. 'With your job' "Fade through black to a black and white scene in a home, at the bottom of a staircase, a man and wife arguing, guesturing. 'Relationships' "Fade through black to a dark scene, the camera at the bottom of the stairs, a child sitting at the top in the shadows. 'Your children' "Fade through black to desaturated scene of a man in a plaid shirt and jacket, hands in pockets, walking down a dank city street at night. 'Or, well-being' "Fade through black to a desaturated scene of crowds of people waking down a city street. 'Life's disasters can be overcome.' "The crows scene fades into a beautiful amber-colored sky, the sun rising through the clouds. 'There are workable solutions for the problems you are experiencing in life.' "The sunrise fades into an amber-tinted scene of a not-crowded town street. A black man walks contentedly toward the camera, fade to a happy pony-tailed woman doing the same, fade to a man walking away from the camera now, the back of his yellow windbreaker filling the screen, lettered 'SCIENTOLOGY VOLUNTEER MINISTER.' 'A Scientology volunteer minister is trained' "As the walkaway scene continues, letterboxing appears, and in the top black bar 1-800-HELP-YOU appears. In the bottom bar, appears. 'to help you handle life's disasters.' "The center scene fades to black. The black screen still shows the phone number and web site. In the center, 'SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT' appears. 'Something can be done about it. Contact your local Scientology volunteer minister.'" Message-ID: a40gon$ Message-ID:


An email sent to Scientologists asked for volunteers to help recruit at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. "The tone is like one of our BIG events when we have all just received some really good news! These athletes are very very special, SO uptone - lets face it these guys are do they ever know what it means to be cause over mest! "We have permits to work in the Olympic Squares of each city involved, which is Provo, Salt Lake, Park City, Farmington and Snow Basin. We need a shoulder to shoulder effort, all Scientologist from everywhere to show up. We need help in the areas of selling Dianetic books, doing VM activities, PR Actions and managing the LRH Life exhibition. "There is a meeting this SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, at 4:00PM at CCI in room 101. At this meeting we will drill on this and other aspects of PR. Briefing Sheets and booklets on the most commonly asked questions were prepared by OSA and will be handed out. You will be provided with warm Dianetic jackets, headbands to keep your ears warm and gloves, you just need to bring black pants to go with them. It is quite real to win up to 1500 dollars in training awards or more." Message-ID:

Lisa Marie Presley

The Evening Standard published an article on February 7th on Scientology celebrity Lisa Marie Presley. "No one in Hollywood is the least surprised that Lisa Marie Presley and actor Nicolas Cage have broken off their 10 month relationship. Insiders say the turning point came when Cage flatly refused to agree to Presley's insistence that they set a date to wed. The other reasons for the split lie in Presley's complex attitude to sex, and her commitment to Scientology. "Her descent into cocaine addiction had only halted when John Travolta introduced her mother to Scientology in 1987. Priscilla Presley forced Lisa Marie into drug treatment at the Scientology Centre in Holly wood. Several months afterwards Lisa announced that the treatment had 'saved her life' and she'd become a committed Scientologist. It was at the Scientology Centre that Lisa met Danny Keough, whom she married in October 1988 at the age of 20. They were together for five years, although just before their divorce in April 1994, he was to complain bitterly that she could be 'cold, distant and aloof'. "To illustrate the differences between them you need look no further than the evening in March last year when Cage telephoned Lisa Marie to ask if she would go out to dinner with him. Presley refused - point blank. He was still going through his divorce from Patricia Arquette, and she knew that he'd changed his mind about it before. Sex with a married man, on the brink of divorce or not, was not on Lisa Marie's Scientology-led agenda. "Meanwhile, Elvis's little princess has returned sadly to her gated Los Angeles home, consoling herself by confiding in her ex, musician John Oszajca, with whom she's been seen out in the past two weeks. The poor little rich girl's attitude to sex and Scientology has cost her dearly." Message-ID: a40hn7$


Pravda reported on February 7th that a Russian politician who was involved in Scientology is now being accused of creating a criminal group. "Duma deputy, chairman of the state commission for chemical disarmament Sergey Kirienko, member of the Union of Right-wing Forces, is accused of establishment of a criminal group. The claims have been presented at the Duma's session yesterday by deputies Vyacheslav Olenyev, deputy chairman of the Duma's Ecology Committee and a member of the Agrarian Group, and Sergey Shashurin, a member of the People's Deputy group. The deputies have substantiated their accusations on the materials of the Institute for public opinion research attached to the Russian Academy of Sciences, concerning Sergey Kirienko's activity. "In the mid 90-s Sergey Kirienko, being a bank president, completed a Scientology course; moreover, he obliged the whole bank staff to attend the courses. Thomas Gandov, a German expert for totalitarian sects says: 'Scientology strives for the world domination. Kirienko may pose a threat to the security.' "It is well-known, participants of the Scientology courses are subject to a so-called 'Scientologic brain cleansing,' when the human psyche and mentality are drastically affected. At that, even if people give up Scientology, the negative consequences of the studies will show up. Russian intelligence services and the General Office of the Public Prosecutor warn against the negative influence of Scientology nowadays." The Washington Post reported on February 8th that Russia refuses to officially register Western religions and cults. "For the past five years, ministry officials have refused to register the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a religious organization. Since June, church elders have filed five applications, each turned away for a different nit: a missing signature, an incomplete date of birth, a stylistic error. The region's human rights commissioner, Yekaterina Gorina, denounced the church in a 1999 newspaper article as 'a strange neo-religion.' She said that 'disregard of the rights and laws of others is practically a national characteristic of Americans.' "Post-communist Russia initially gave religious creeds free rein. But the ensuing flood of foreign evangelists and missionaries raised an outcry, especially among nationalists and Communists, that Russia's moral fiber and even its national security were at risk. The government's response was to toughen a rule that had previously been thought of as a formality: the requirement that all religions register with the state. Under a law enacted in 1997, only religions that can prove a 15-year presence in Russia or that registered before the law's passage can practice in an organized fashion, with the right to rent space, open bank accounts and invite foreign clergy. The remainder are tightly circumscribed. "Denial of registration means a religious group cannot rent or own property, open a bank account, proselytize, publish literature, provide religious training or invite foreign clergy. This is a major setback to new faiths that must essentially start from zero. "In a July 2000 letter, deputy education minister Yelena Chepurnykh warned schools against the influence of the Unification Church, the Church of Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, the New Apostolic Church and the Salvation Army. The groups, all identified as U.S. or German-funded, use 'religious cover' to collect social, political, economic and military information about Russia, to incite separatist sentiments and to create a generation of Russians who 'would be steadily oriented toward Western values,' Chepurnykh wrote. Russia's law enforcement agencies have evidence that non-traditional religious groups 'do damage to the individual, the Russian society and the state,' her letter said." Message-ID: a3u7nb$ Message-ID: a40gvr$

Back to A.R.S. Week in Review

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.

Brought to you by:
Operation Clambake