Applied ScholasticsThe St. Louis Post reported on March 21st that Scientology's Applied Scholastics program has purchased a former retirement home in St. Louis, Missouri to be its new headquarters. "A nonprofit organization promoting the teaching methods of L. Ron Hubbard, is moving its world headquarters to Villa Gesu, a former retirement home for Catholic nuns. Applied Scholastics International bought the complex from the School Sisters of Notre Dame in October for $2.9 million. For the previous 70 years, the 55 acres of brick buildings and rolling hills overlooking the Mississippi River had been home to infirm and elderly sisters who needed regular nursing care. The last of the sisters moved out at the end of the year. "Bennetta Slaughter, chief executive of the organization, says she expects the facility to be up and running in the fall, although no date has been set. 'We don't even have design plans finished, frankly,' she said. 'We have a bit of a runway before we'll be there.' "Asked about the relationship between the Church of Scientology and Applied Scholastics, Slaughter says there is none. 'Obviously they've been very kind to the organization in terms of support,' she said. 'But we get our employees from the same place every secular corporation does. We advertise in the newspaper.' Because the organization's Los Angeles center will remain open with much of its current staff, the St. Louis headquarters will hire most of its employees locally. Teachers from throughout the country will come to the St. Louis center for short- and long-term courses, and although some will be able to stay in dormitories on the campus, most will stay in hotels. "The sisters are using money from the sale for the renovation of their motherhouse in Lemay and for charitable works. Over the next 18 months, they'll be working with Applied Scholastics and the Hubbard organization's real- estate arm, Better Living Properties, to remove the remains of sisters who were buried on the property to another Catholic cemetery in the area. "'We're happy that this group is renovating the buildings and trying to maintain them as they are now,' said Sister Joan DiProspere. 'We wouldn't want it, you know, to be used for any purpose that's contrary to our values.'" Message-ID: email@example.com
BuffaloA letter to the editor of The Buffalo News on March 23 urged the city to build a parking ramp on the site currently occupied by the Scientology org. "To compete with the suburban shopping centers and office plazas with free parking, the city should be trying to reduce charges and make more spaces available by building multilevel ramps. The city should continue to increase the inventory of new ramp parking spaces with rates at the lowest possible level. Buffalo will then see many of the surface lots converted to improved properties, which will add significant value to the city's declining tax base. This is what our Common Council leaders should be looking at, not how to keep the Church of Scientology and its New York City management happy. "JAMES F. FORTON, Buffalo" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
CCHRMSNBC reported on March 22nd that Scientology's CCHR branch has filed a complaint in the case of a Houston, Texas mother who killed her five children. "Contending that a Houston area mother received 'shoddy' mental health care before drowning her children, a human rights group has filed a complaint with state regulators over her psychiatric treatment. Andrea Yates, convicted this week of capital murder in the deaths of three of her children, was in a psychotic state caused by premature release from care, use of inappropriate drugs and overmedication, according to CCHR Texas' complaint filed with the state Board of Medical Examiners." The Evening Post, from Wellington, New Zealand reported on March 22nd that CCHR has filed a complaint on behalf of a former patient of a Lake Alice mental hospital, who they allege was mistreated in the 1970s. "The Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, the Church of Scientology-backed group which raised concerns about the hospital, near Marton, in the 1970s, said the patient had sent the complaint to Palmerston North police on Friday. The man's complaint will join the 34 other criminal complaints filed last week by Christchurch lawyer Grant Cameron, who represented 95 former patients who were last year paid $6.5 million in compensation and given an apology from the Government. Commission director Steve Green said the patient, who did not want to be named, had not received compensation and preferred to file a criminal complaint first." Message-ID: 3C9B87E7.5B374229@bc.cc.ca.us Message-ID: email@example.com
Erika ChristensenThe Washington Post published an interview on March 19th with Scientology celebrity Erika Christensen, in which she praised the Narconon drug rehabilitation program. "In last year's Oscar-winning movie 'Traffic,' Erika Christensen memorably played the crack-addled teenage daughter of the nation's drug czar portrayed by Michael Douglas. 'I did a lot of research for 'Traffic' and discovered there are rehabilitation programs that don't use drugs to get people off drugs, and they're very effective,' the 19-year-old actress told us yesterday after she spoke to the National Foundation for Women Legislators and met with the real drug czar, John Walters, and the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Asa Hutchinson. "Christensen said she comes to her anti-drug activism through the Church of Scientology. Her parents raised her in the belief systems of science fiction writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The church frowns on most drug use, including medically prescribed legal pharmaceuticals such as Prozac and Ritalin. 'I started studying the technology and content of Scientology probably when I was around 12,' Christen said, 'and became interested in the Narc-Anon rehabilitation program as a faith-based program affiliated with the church and using the technologies developed by L. Ron Hubbard. Of course there are situations where a drug could be useful medically but as a general rule drugs can be very destructive.'" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith HensonA document by the Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was posted this week, in which he opposed the application of Keith Henson for refugee status in Canada. Keith has been living in Canada following a conviction for protesting against Scientology in California. "There is extensive information which shows that Mr. Henson had engaged in many activities which would comprise other offences under the Criminal Code of Canada, namely: using explosives; possession of explosives without lawful excuse; obstructing or violence to clergyman; disturbing religious worship or certain meetings; spreading false news; criminal harassment; utter death threats; attempts/ threatens assault; advocating genocide; extortion. "The Minister's position is that the claimant's persistence, his single-mindedness exhibited against a particular group, the failure to cease harmful actions despite legal prohibitions, the impact statements of the members of the group, show that the claimant committed a serious, non-political crime prior to entering Canada. The Minister's position is that, the specific nature of Mr. Henson's actions are such that they could be regarded as offences under Canadian criminal law, and their cumulative effect sufficiently egregious to warrant exclusion. "Information indicates that the claimant may have come to Canada and embarked upon a Convention refugee claim in order to generate publicity about his case. In the microcosm of the Internet user group with which Mr. Henson associates, his actions render him a celebrity, as is evidenced in the various E-mails found in the attached disclosure. There is also an issue about whether the claimants' statements and activities in relation to his stance on Scientology is actually leverage to compel funds from that organization." Message-ID: email@example.com
Human Rights AwardThe European-American Citizens Committee announced this week that the winner of the 2002 Leipzig Human Rights Award will be Alain Vivien. "On May 11, 2002, this year's human rights award of the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA will be presented to Minister Alain Vivien. The award, designed by Leipzig artist Ruediger Bartels, will be handed over to Minister Alain Vivien during a ceremony in Leipzig's Old Stock Exchange. The award speech will be given by the Bavarian State Minister of the Interior, Dr. Guenther Beckstein. "The recipient of the annual award is presented by the European-American Citizens for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA. This committee is concerned, with violations by the Scientology organization against human rights and religious freedom. "Alain Vivien has been engaged with problems associated with sects and totalitarian cults since 1983. As the socialist representative of the Seine-et-Marne department, he presented the first situation report in this problematic area to the French National Assembly. His posts included State Secretary of the French Ministry of State. Vivien also worked out the first French Enquete report on sects and totalitarian organizations in 1993, and since November 1998, he has been president of the Mission Interministerielle pour la lutte contre les sects for the Prime Minister of the Republic of France (MILS). "This award is also granted in recognition of the important and successful work done by all the MILS staff, not leaving out the work done by the French National Assembly, which worked through all party differences to enact legislation for the protection of human rights against the new dangers posed by totalitarianism." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1020319064251.126Bfirstname.lastname@example.org
John MappinScientologist John Mappin has lost a case in the U.K. for defrauding a gossip columnist, claiming that he would produce a film based on the writer's life. From The Guardian on March 19th and 20th: "Benjamin Pell, better known as 'Benji the Binman,' has won back the 77,500 pounds he was hoodwinked into paying to finance a bogus Hollywood blockbuster about his life, following a high court ruling this afternoon. Mr. Pell brought an action for fraudulent misrepresentation against John Mappin, an heir to the Mappin and Webb jewelry empire, claiming he had been 'duped.' He made four separate payments totaling 77,500 pounds so as not to miss this 'unique opportunity to work with one of the biggest names in Hollywood.' "His counsel, Marion Smith, said: 'He believed there were going to be Hollywood writers on the case, for it to be picked up by a Hollywood studio, cast with big-name actors and a Hollywood film resulting.' In fact, the 'well-connected Hollywood film-maker' was a friend of Mr. Mappin called Iain Jones, who turned out to be a hairdresser. Mr. Jones, she claimed, had never directed or produced any film at all, but had been credited with hair design on three Quentin Tarantino films - Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and White Man's Burden." "Describing a videotape which showed Mr. Pell boasting about his ability to deceive judges and court officials, the judge said: 'He appears proud of his ability to pass himself off as 'an absolute nutter' so as to hoodwink his psychiatrist.' But, the judge ruled, Mr. Pell's conduct in the witness box 'paled into insignificance' when compared to Mr. Mappin's 'mendacity' in the case. He said his deception began when he 'lied to the police' over the money Mr. Pell had paid to him, and he 'compounded' his lies by 'putting before the court a witness statement which gives a wholly mendacious account of his dealings with Mr. Pell.' "Mr. Mappin, who was also ordered to pay costs estimated at 250,000 pounds, said the high court failed to understand the way Hollywood worked. 'We are actually on track to deliver exactly what was promised to Mr. Pell,' he said. 'There are no guarantees where film making is concerned, but the Pell film project is certainly on track.'" From BBC News on March 19th: "Mr. Mappin said he 'regretted' the High Court judge's decision - and insisted that there was still Hollywood interest in making a film of Mr. Pell's life. 'My intentions and actions have always been and are in the direction of getting a film made,' Mr. Mappin said after the ruling. 'USA Films is currently in discussion with Mr. Jones in Hollywood with a view to produce a feature film project from the Pell material.'" Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
Protest SummaryTory Christman and Bruce Pettycrew reported on a protest at the annual L. Ron Hubbard birthday celebration in Los Angeles on March 23rd. "Jeff Jacobsen had come in, with a friend. Barbz had arrived from SD, and Richard, there were some people who didn't want to be named who were new to picketing. We agreed to meet at the Hollywood Guarantee Building on Ivar and Hollywood, which is the 'Int' Building where all the International Executives for the various Scientology Groups, Churches etc. are located. We were in front and at the side; people continuously came up and told us 'We KNOW how bad they are.' "One of Scientology's Attorneys, Elliot Abelson soon arrived and stayed all the while we were there, after calling the cops. The policewoman looked as irritated (at them) as they usually do. "We were there for about 2 hours, and then moved on down to the Testing Center, about a mile away. There I ran into an old friend of mine, someone I have known and liked for years. I walked up and said, 'Hi,' and she said, 'I'd rather not talk to you.' I pointed out how DM and gang have cut LRH's 12 page HCOB on Solo Auditing to 5 pages. I wonder if she'll check that out. Right down the street was all the mass motion of getting ready for the Academy Awards. People all along the way came up to talk, give us high 5s, tell us their tales of woe re: Scientology. The documentary guys followed, filming and got some footage of me and my 'Scientology: Stop hurting Families' Sign. "Near sundown we decided to head on down to the Shrine, where the LRH Birthday event was. They had the entire front TIGHTLY blocked off so no one at all could see us. There OSA was out in full including people trying to block the signs. We picketed and decided right before 8 to call it a day." "Our group consisted of about 10 participants and two reporters/documentors. Present were Jeff Jacobsen, Tory/Magoo, Barb, Snefru, Graham and other SP's whose names I cannot recall or who are not public critics known to the OSA. When we arrived at the LRH Life site, they pulled their people into the building. I gave out almost 50 flyers that Jeff had run off, detailing the lies about Hubbard's academics, military experience, etc. We also picketed the building across from the Museum, which sports a Sea Org insignia. There was a lot of traffic there and late in the afternoon busses began loading to take the members to the birthday event at the Shrine Auditorium. "We re-grouped at the Shrine Auditorium, where we took up posts near the main parking entrances so that the attendees would have to see our signs. Jeff and I unfurled the 'WWW.XENU.NET' banner, which is about 8 feet by 4 feet. They brought out about 5 people with signs on sticks that read 'Welcome to the Event' or 'Event Here' and tried to block our signs/banners. However, Graham was able to position himself between a lightpost and the curb, so that most arriving guests must have seen the sign 'LRH Died on Psych Drugs' as they entered the lot. Jeff and I took the large banner across the street, where it was just as visible to arrivals and the public." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Xdrn8.35531$J54.email@example.com
The ProfitPatricia Greenway posted a portion of a filing by Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon concerning the film The Profit, a parody of the life of L. Ron Hubbard and the origin of Scientology. Scientology officials have previously claimed that the movie has nothing to do with the organization. "Scientology has abused the legal process of discovery by attempting to gain access to all film production records by subpoena in the Lisa McPherson wrongful death lawsuit. Our attorney successfully defended our company, Courage Productions, and this week ended what could have been a long drawn out battle over privacy issues and trade secrets. "'SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO PATRICIA GREENWAY'S MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA; CROSS MOTION TO COMPEL TESTIMONY AND PRODUCTION OF RECORDS FROM PATRICIA GREENWAY AND PETER ALEXANDER "'The Court will recall from its examination of the movie that scenes and characters are an effort to parody Scientology in an extremely derogatory light. The evil con-man who is the lead in the movie, 'L. Conrad Powers,' is obviously a take-off on the name of the Founder of the Scientology religion, L. Ron Hubbard. The uniformed people in the film are a supposed take-off on the Scientology fraternal organization, Sea Organization. The 'mind meter' in the movie is a take-off on the Scientology e-meter. The name of the organization in the movie, 'Scientific Spiritualism' is a take-off on the name Scientology. The story line 'a pulp fiction writer turned guru' is a take-off on L. Ron Hubbard, who was a writer of fictional works in the 30's. The 'therapy' portrayed in the movie is a parody on Scientology pastoral counseling, called 'auditing.''" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Xenu.netAndreas Heldal-Lund reported this week that the Google search engine site removed links to his web site, xenu.net, based on a complaint from Scientology alleging copyright infringements. "The complaint mentions a ridiculous list of addresses which successfully removes the whole site from their engine. Since the complaint is making claims of ownership of pages clearly not owned by the cult, this could hurt the cult only. Here's what I received from Google today: "'We removed certain specific URLs in response to a notification submitted by the Religious Technology Center and Bridge Publications under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Had we not removed these URLs, we would be subject to a claim for copyright infringement, regardless of its merits.'" From CNET News on March 21st: "Google was accused Wednesday of effectively removing from the Internet a Web site that is critical of the Church of Scientology after it deleted links to some of the site's pages from its search engine. Andreas Heldal-Lund, Webmaster of the site Xenu.net, said in a Usenet posting that the complaint demanded that Google take down a large number of references to different parts of Xenu.net. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), sites cannot be held liable for copyright infringement provided they promptly take down content flagged by a copyright holder. "Digital rights advocates said the Church of Scientology's takedown request is noteworthy because it underscores potential conflicts between the DMCA and free speech. 'The danger is that people will attempt to silence critics under the guise of copyright infringement,' said Fred von Lohmann, an attorney with San Francisco's Electronic Frontier Foundation. Heldal-Lund defends this use of copyrighted material, saying that he believes Scientology survives 'through the protection afforded it by copyright laws in a way that copyright laws were not designed to address.' "The EFF's von Lohmann said search engines are not required to comply with takedown notices, but that most do to avoid the risks of litigation. 'Search engines can't take on every copyright holder,' he said. 'It's hard to say search engines should pay for this fight themselves.'" From Wired News on March 21st: "So far, the DMCA has come under fire because it bans most attempts to bypass or disable copy-protection technology. But Scientology is relying on another section of the 1998 law, which says a 'service provider shall not be liable' for copyright infringements - if it moves with dispatch to delete any 'reference or link to material or activity claimed to be infringing.' Until this week, anyone typing in 'Scientology' on the wildly popular search engine found references to the Xenu.net site in the first page of results. Now Xenu.net and clambake.org have virtually disappeared from Google's database. "When using the DMCA as a legal club to thwap critics, Scientology must claim that its copyrighted material has been unlawfully expropriated. Among the ostensibly infringing sites: Excerpts from an internal report on a Scientology member who died under mysterious circumstances after allegedly being held against her will, and photographs of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and others juxtaposed with Adolf Hitler. "Since Xenu.net and its companion sites are in Norway, Scientology can't use U.S. law to remove the pages directly. But in getting Google to delete them from its mammoth database, the church hopes to remove one of the most obvious ways that Internet users can stumble across the sites." Reuters reported on March 21st that some of the links to xenu.net were restored to Google, which claimed some of the links were removed accidentally. "Google Inc. restored a Web site critical of the Church of Scientology on its Internet search engine Thursday while free speech advocates slammed the the company for removing the site in the first place. Google said the company had only removed certain pages from the site because of a copyright dispute. The home page for Xenu.net was 'inadvertently removed' along with a long, two-page list of associated Web pages Wednesday but was put back Thursday, said Google spokeswoman Cindy McCaffrey. "On Thursday evening, the Web site was listed fourth under Google search results for 'Scientology' and 8th under 'Church of Scientology.' A lawyer representing the Church of Scientology accused Xenu.net of 'wholesale, verbatim copyright infringement' by allegedly reprinting large amounts of material on the site. 'We don't abuse this act,' the lawyer, Helena Kobrin of the Los Angeles firm of Moxon & Kobrin said of the DMCA. 'We go very strictly by what the copyright laws are.' Copyright law allows people to use pieces of copyrighted material for personal, education and other purposes under a so-called 'fair use' provision. However, Kobrin said the Web site used more than was allowed under fair use. 'We will do whatever we can to protect these copyrights,' she said. 'The real story here is my clients are constantly the targets of some really horrendous stuff on the Internet.' "Robin Gross, staff attorney for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the Church of Scientology was trying to use copyright law to stifle criticism. 'A lot of the cases using copyright to quell critics are Church of Scientology cases,' she said." Reuters reported on March 22nd that xenu.net will not fight to restore the remaining pages to the Google index. "A Norwegian man whose hobby is criticizing the Church of Scientology on the Internet said on Friday he did not plan to challenge the removal of most of his Web sites from Google search results because that would put him at risk of being sued in the United States. In a phone interview with Reuters, Heldal-Lund said Google soon replaced the home page, www.xenu.net, saying trademarks are not covered under the DMCA and the Church had claimed that page violated its trademark. "Linda Simmons Hight, a spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology, said on Friday that the organization only complained to Google about Web sites that it felt violated copyrights and not trademarks. "As many as a hundred other sites maintained by Heldal-Lund remain blocked from the Google results, although they could be reinstated, according to a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Under the DMCA, after notifying the Web master of the sites that are removed and receiving 'counter-notification,' Google could replace the sites, said Robin Gross, a staff attorney for the San Francisco-based EFF, an organization that advocates free speech online. "Hight denied that the Church was trying to silence its critics. 'There are certain people who are attempting to make this a free speech issue. That's a red herring,' she said. 'We have been in favor of free speech since before these people were born.' "Heldal-Lund, 37, denied any wrongdoing. 'I live in Norway under Norwegian law. The servers are in Norway and Holland,' he told Reuters. 'According to the laws, how I understand them, I'm not breaking any laws. It's fair use. If a Norwegian court tells me I'm in breach of the law, I'll comply.' Heldal-Lund said he was surprised Google removed his sites from the Google results without telling him first, but said that he was wary of challenging that action. 'In the DMCA, to file a counter-claim or notification I need to submit to American jurisdiction and I can't do that,' Heldal-Lund said. The Church 'could file a case against me in America, and I can't travel all the way over there for that.' "Heldal-Lund said he became interested in the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology in 1996 after hearing that a Norwegian citizen successfully sued the Church for fraud. 'They've threatened me for five years (over the Web sites) but haven't dared sue me,' he said. 'I'm just a normal Norwegian guy with the belief that this has to be done.'" ZDNet UK News reported on March 22nd that one of the Internet providers for xenu.net has had to replace its connection to the rest of the Internet because of complaints from Scientology. "The apparent campaign by the Church of Scientology to stamp out criticism on the Internet resulted in the ISP that hosts a Web site targeted by the Church for its critical standpoint having its upstream connection cut off. Netherlands-based ISP Xtended Internet said its connection to the Internet was terminated by its provider after threats of legal action from the Church. Paul Wouters, managing director of Xtended Internet, said he believed this was the first time an ISP had suffered such action because of copyright issues. "Xenu.net appears to have attracted the Scientologists' attention for documenting the practices of the Church, and in particular for including some material that is copyrighted by the Church. On the site, Webmaster Andreas Heldal-Lund defends this by saying that if full information about the teachings of the Church were made available 'then perhaps many people who would join it would never become involved with it in the first place. I think people have the right to know.' "In November, Xtended Internet's upstream provider, Cignal Global Communications, received a letter from the Church of Scientology's legal counsel notifying it of the copyright and trademark issues with xenu.net. The letter did not threaten legal action, but set in motion a train of events that would see Xtended Internet kicked off Cignal's service by the end of February. Cignal's director of legal affairs Steve Keirn wrote to Paul Wouters notifying him of the contents and reminding him of Cignal's acceptable use policy. Wouters wrote back saying that the issue was between his customer (xenu.net) and the Church of Scientology, and should not involve either Cignal or Xtended Internet. "The Church of Scientology issued a second notification to Cignal, and this time Cignal demanded action by Xtended Internet or else, it said, Xtended Internet would be cut off. Paul Wouters wrote a detailed reply to Cignal, saying that any action based on the evidence that had been provided to date would have been in violation of Dutch laws, and said he 'strongly objected to the notion that US law has any relevance to our obligation in the Netherlands.' "'We had to move our entire company to a new backbone provider,' Wouters told ZDNet UK. 'It has cost us money and time, but was nothing we could not handle.' Xtended Internet is now housed at TeleCity, the Amsterdam Internet exchange. 'This facility is carrier-independent,' he added, 'so we do not have to rely on a single upstream provider.' "Wouters said he intended to continue hosting xenu.net. 'This customer is definitely not a profitable one, but we believe in freedom of speech,' he said. 'This is their (the Scientologists') tactics. But with the Internet people can exchange information and share information on lawsuits (by the Church).' Because of this, said Wouters, 'the Internet is the first major obstacle Scientology has had. That is why xenu.net is so important - it is a collection of the criticisms.'" Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.