Norbert BluemA press release announced the winner of the annual award by the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA. 'On June 10, Germany's former Labor Minister Norbert Bluem (CDU) will be distinguished with the human rights award from the 'European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA.' Bluem is being honored because of his spirited involvement in the discussion with the Scientology Organization and because of his concern for human rights and religious freedom. 'Bluem was the only German federal minister so far who has had the courage to gain knowledge of the facts and make a personal effort to publicly come to terms with the Scientology Organization. His clear words encouraged those people who had felt the effect of the Scientology Organization, and he had also set the standard for the politics of the day for his fellow politicians.' Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010604200740.121Afirstname.lastname@example.org http://www.freiepresse.de
Faith-Based GroupsThe Toledo Blade published an editorial on June 4th supporting a U.S. Supreme Court decision on a religious marker in Indiana. "By refusing to hear challenges to a lower court ruling prohibiting a Ten Commandment marker on city property in Elkhart, Ind., the high court let that ruling stand. The boundary between church and state is not to be trifled with under the guise of secular significance. The Ten Commandments, explained Justice John Paul Stevens in defending the court's refusal to intervene in the Indiana case, clearly express a particular religious preference with the salutation, 'I am the Lord thy God.' "Other faiths honor different deities and espouse different doctrine. Would every courthouse or city hall in the country that has planted a Ten Commandments monument be willing to give equal time to the tenets of say, the Church of Scientology, or the beliefs of Buddhism?" Message-ID: email@example.com
MissionsJeff Jacobsen reported the opening of two Scientology missions in the Clearwater area. "Two new Dianetics/Scientology centers have opened in towns south of Clearwater, in Bellair Bluffs in a strip mall in a side walkway where you can't tell it's there unless you walk back there, and one in Sarasota." The Los Angeles Times reported on June 8th that a new location has been opened for the Glendale Scientology mission. "The community is invited to the opening ceremony of the Church of Scientology Mission at 2 p.m. Sunday at its new location, 222 1/2 N. Brand Blvd." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times published letters to the editor on June 7th from Scientologists opposed to a recent editorial criticizing Scientology for the behavior of its private investigators. "The message of your editorial is clear: that the state attorney shouldn't ever prosecute a crime committed against a Scientologist or by an attacker of the church, lest he submit himself to the Times' abuse. As the Times is well aware, Sunshine Act documents revealed a 20-year pattern of having never prosecuted a single crime committed against the church. During that same time the Clearwater Police Department obsessively investigated any allegation against the Church of Scientology in an effort to get them. "The most recent concerned the prosecution of the Lisa McPherson case. Documents now revealed have confirmed every allegation made by the church regarding the improper manner in which that investigation was conducted, including the ignorance of overwhelming evidence disproving the allegations. "Since that time, we have merely tried to move forward. Both times the state attorney has prosecuted members of the Lisa McPherson Trust, the trial has become one on the church. The only 'evidence' of a 'set-up' was the silver-tongued words of a skilled criminal defense attorney trying to keep his client out of jail. The defense relied on a single 'witness' who was another of Robert Minton's paid employees, kicked out of the church a decade ago. Now you have turned that innuendo into fact. "Mary Story, vice president, Church of Scientology" "By innuendo, your editorial suggests that Scientology should be condemned because a private investigator was utilized to determine whether Jesse Prince was violating the law. As you must know, there is nothing illegal or immoral about that concept. Your hate of Scientology causes you to criticize a religion for doing something that is done every day by private citizens across this country. Unfortunately, it is pretty obvious that your hate of Scientology causes you to color the truth. "Ronald K. Cacciatore, P.A., Tampa" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray EmmonsRob Clark reported that Scientology has filed complaints against private investigator Ray Emmons, who worked for the Lisa McPherson Trust during the Jesse Prince trial. "The nut cult has filed complaints with the PI licensing department in Florida against the Ray Emmons PI firm. This is apparently a preemptive strike by Raftery, Gaston et al against the inevitable complaint concerning the crimes these cult PIs committed during the frame-up of Jesse. These crimes would include possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, misprision of felony, conspiracy to do all the same, and a number of other offenses and ethics violations." Message-ID: email@example.com
FranceThe South China Morning Post published an article on June 1st on the recently passed French law to prevent abuse by cults. "French anti-sect laws, although supported by the majority of the population, have provoked a storm of protest inside the country and abroad. The legislation has been criticized for going far beyond seeking to prevent activities such as mass cult suicides. It has come under fire for being too vague and too broad, enabling action to be taken against harmless religious groups with minority views. "'This law will allow the judicial authorities to dissolve any religion, any spiritual or other group labeled 'sect-like'. The law attacks the essence of freedom of conscience and association in France,' wrote Daniele Gounord in a newspaper of the Church of Scientology, one of the groups threatened by the new legislation. "They have also been attacked by the established religions, human-rights groups, European politicians and the United States administration. They have been described as delivering a crushing blow to religious freedom. A major concern is that the laws will be used by governments in other countries to justify their own crackdowns on minority religious groups. Joseph Grieboski, the president of the Washington-based Institute on Religion and Public Policy, said: 'This law makes the practice of one's religion into a criminal offence. The passage of this piece of legislation has potentially significant repercussions for religious believers of all faiths in France and around the world. The Government of Hong Kong is closely monitoring the development of this law as a model, potentially to move against the Falun Gong.' "The testimony warned of the 'ripple effects' of the French laws. 'There is growing evidence that anti-cult attitudes in France, for example, are being spread to countries of the former socialist bloc [in Europe] as well as to China,' the committee was told. 'Lawmakers and administrators in such countries use anti-cult initiatives of the minority [of] Western European states that advocate so-called anti-sect actions as justification for even harsher measures which have adverse impacts on a wide range of smaller but legitimate religious groups.' "There are two parts of the French law that are particularly controversial. It had originally included provisions to make 'mental manipulation' a crime. The clause was dropped after widespread criticism that it was phrased in such broad terms that it could even catch Catholic nuns or campaigning politicians. But critics say it has, instead, been slipped into the French criminal code under another name. The new crime, carrying a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment, would allow prosecutions for the abuse of a person 'in a state of psychological or physical dependence caused by the exertion of heavy or repeated pressure or techniques liable to alter his judgment' in circumstances where the offender did an act that is 'seriously prejudicial' to the victim. This part of the law has come under fire for leaving it up to judges to decide what can be regarded as 'seriously prejudicial'. "Another provision that has caused concern enables courts to order that groups be dissolved if two leading members are convicted of a crime. This could lead to such action being taken even if the crimes concerned were relatively minor. It has been argued that this will punish innocent members of a group for the conduct of other individuals, depriving them of the right to practise their religion freely. "The leaders of the Catholic and Protestant churches in France have written to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin expressing their 'reservations' about the law. But advocates of the anti-sect crackdown argue it has nothing to do with religious freedom. They say religious groups have misunderstood the laws which are aimed at protecting people from crimes such as fraud and child abuse. "Catherine Picard, a National Assembly member who co-wrote the bill, said: 'We don't care about religion, that's not our problem . . . You can worship an orange in your kitchen as long as you don't disturb public order, as long as you don't force people and don't act in illegal ways.'" An email sent to Scientologists, urging them to protest the passage of the French law. "If you only go to one of these all year, we need you here. Hundreds of us. People are protesting at the same time in SF, NY, DC, Houston, Chicago, Ptld and all over Europe. We will be one huge group around the world shouting one message. It just won't do to say that LA had less than any of these other places. Executive Director of the Foundation, Joave Goode, will be there and she just got back from France. See what she has to say. "We need to go there with our bodies to show that we strongly disapprove of the passing of this outrageous bill! Conservative Christian leaders are now supporting us in Europe. We need to make a showing that matches their support and our displeasure at having this bill go through. "French President, Jacques Chirac has less than 10 days to derail what they are calling, 'The Bill to Strengthen the Prevention and Repression of Sectarian Groups Liable to Undermine Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom.' Talk about the criminal mind accusing others of what they are guilty of!! (see HCOB 'Criminal Mind')" Message-ID: 3h5sht0j8koandbofsqv192vc6n1c2hmjm@ARSCC.Sweden.Dep.OSA.Surveillance Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith HensonKeith Henson was released from a Canadian jail this week. He had been arrested for allegedly entering Canada without disclosing a conviction in California for interfering with a religion, Scientology. Now Magazine published an article on Keith prior to his release. "It's an unshaven and frazzled-looking Keith Henson who shuffles into the converted jail cell used as a hearing room Thursday morning at the Metro West Detention Centre. He's in broad-rims, jail-issue orange jumpsuit and blue canvas runners that he's wearing like flip-flops because they're too small for his feet. A flap of grey hair is swooshed over a bald spot on the top of his head. He looks like he should be out in a backyard somewhere pruning roses, but it turns out that Henson is on the lam, wanted for failing to show for a sentencing hearing in his native California back on May 16. He was convicted on a charge of 'making threats to interfere with freedom to enjoy a constitutional privilege' i.e., the right of Scientologists to practise their religion. A misdemeanour. "The foot-high stack of documents sitting in a file in front of Irene Dicaire, the senior lawyer with Immigration who will be making the case against Henson's release, doesn't paint a flattering portrait of the activist. 'There's a certain psychological profile that emerges,' Dicaire says. 'As far as we understand, Mr. Henson is an explosives expert who has threatened to target sites involving the Church of Scientology. 'It's not known at this time,' Dicaire adds ominously, 'if this may involve any Canadian targets.' There may be information coming on that later, but the cop at 52 Division with the supposedly incriminating evidence is on vacation and won't be back until Monday. "It's all sounding a little fishy to Henson's lawyer, Joel Sandaluk. If the threat were serious enough, presumably, the police would have acted on it by now. His client hasn't been charged with anything, yet now Dicaire is asking the adjudicator to detain Henson on evidence that hasn't been presented and is not properly before the board. 'This is all very vaporous,' says Sandaluk. He's trying his best not to sound too dismissive about the 'bomb threats' - musings on the Internet about the ease with which an ICBM could be aimed at Scientology - that Henson's alleged to have made. "'This alleged threat is so completely grandiose as to require a complete suspension of disbelief,' Sandaluk says. He makes a persuasive argument. But it's an open-and-shut case. Henson is wanted in the U.S. And while even the adjudicator in this case agrees he may not be a threat to the public, she rules that Henson poses a flight risk. Release denied. "The official police line is that Keith Henson was picked up because he failed to tell immigration authorities when he entered Canada that he was facing a sentencing hearing in the U.S. But it's clear that Scientology had something to do with the arrest. 'Yeah, we called the cops,' says Buttnor. Detective constable Phil Glavin, the officer in charge of Henson's arrest, says it's not at all unusual for heavily armed police to pick up someone who's wanted for a misdemeanour offence. In any event, it's not his job to determine how real a danger Henson poses. He's wanted. He was arrested. 'We hunt people down that are fugitives in Canada,' Glavin says. 'It doesn't matter what you've done. You're wanted. You don't belong in Canada. You're arrestable. We arrest you.' "Henson says he's planning to file a claim for refugee status in Canada. He calls the allegations against him 'ridiculous,' and says Scientology's attempts to silence its Internet critics are to him 'as vile and disturbing as somebody coming into town and burning your newspaper down.' Time in jail is not going to keep him from criticizing Scientology. 'This is a serious fight.'" Gregg Hagglund posted a press release about Keith's release from jail. "Henson, an American, fled the US fearing fears that he would be persecuted in prison after being convicted for his public criticism of the church of scientology. He was convicted under an obscure clause of California law that forbids 'interfering with a religion.' 'I'm just glad to be out and in Canada,' says Henson from the home of his sponsor, Toronto Scientology critic Gregg Hagglund. "Today, he was released and his application for refugee status was accepted. Henson was represented by the law firm of Mamman and Associates. Decision about that status might take up to two years. For the present, Henson will remain in Toronto. He says he's not going to stop fighting what he sees as injustices perpetrated by the cult. ' I was calling attention to scientology's callous disregard for human life.' says Henson. 'I just wish I'd been able to do it in my own country.'" From The Register on June 8th: "Scientology critic Keith Henson has been released from a Canadian jail where he'd been detained since 28 May on suspicion that he gave incomplete information to Immigration when he entered the country. Henson, who's given the CoS a good deal of perfectly legal grief on Usenet, was inexplicably convicted of interfering with a religion by a California court on 26 April." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
Protest SummaryBruce Pettycrew reported a protest in Mesa, Arizona on June 9th. "We arrived at 8:30 before the org was open, no cars in the lot. By 9:15 when we left, there were 7 cars and 9 people; One person was dropped off, and of the other vehicles, only a white van had 2 people. There were a number of pedestrians, most hurrying for a nearby bus stop, but we gave out 3 leaflets (2 Xenu and 1 LMT) and talked to two people about why we were there." Message-ID: y%vU6.20513$L4.firstname.lastname@example.org
Salt Lake CityThe Salt Lake Tribune reported on June 9th that Scientology held lectures on drugs and toxins. "June is 'Drug and Toxin Free Month' for The Church of Scientology, which is conducting lectures for those who want to be free of the ravages of drugs/toxins. The lectures are Tuesday and June 19 and 26 at 7 p.m. at the church, 1931 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City." Message-ID: email@example.com
Reed SlatkinThe New York Post reported on June 5th that Scientologist Reed Slatkin has settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission charges that he ran a Ponzi investment scheme. "By Xenu! Reed Slatkin's out of the investment game for good - but he may not be out of the woods. Earthlink founder and alleged Ponzi scheme operator Slatkin has cut a deal with the SEC. "He convinced hundreds of California bigwigs - including celebrities and fellow Scientologists who believe in Xenu - to let him invest up to $230 million of their money. He allegedly paid old investors with new investors' money instead of actually investing it. "Slatkin signed a 'consent to entry of judgment and permanent injunction' decree with the Securities and Exchange Commission last Thursday. He agreed not to violate federal securities laws in the future, but neither denied nor admitted any wrongdoing. The agreement says the SEC can fine him if he is found guilty of swindling investors, and it can force him to repay them. "The situation is similar to bankruptcy: If Slatkin has a spare $230 million, he will pay back his investors, such as 'Boiler Room' star Giovanni Ribisi, plus penalties to the SEC. If not, they will get a portion of what they are owed." From the Pacific Coast Business Times on June 8th: "The bankruptcy of Earthlink co-founder Reed Slatkin could bring multi-million dollar losses to a pair of California banks. The two largest debts listed by Slatkin in his bankruptcy filing on May 1 were a $5 million loan from Pacific Century Bank and a $4 million loan from Union Bank of California. "Allan Landon, Pacific Century's vice chairman and chief financial officer, told the Business Times that if Slatkin's debt is not recovered, the loss would represent around 10 percent of the bank's quarterly provision for loan loss. 'There's no good $5 million loss,' Landon said. 'We have loans to borrowers in a number of circumstances, but we think we have enough [loan loss provision] to cover them.' "In the quarter ended March 31, Pacific Century set aside $52.5 million for loan losses, nearly double the amount set aside in the fourth quarter of 2000. 'The increased provision was due to the recognition of net loan losses totaling $97.7 million related to exiting several higher risk credit relationships,' the earnings report stated. "'We've made a concentrated effort to increase our credit risk,' Landon said, citing the increased loan loss provision as one part of that strategy. Pacific Century is based in Los Angeles but its largest unit is the Bank of Hawaii. "Slatkin declared assets of $16.7 million, primarily in real estate and Earthlink stock. According to U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents, he has until May 16 to file the required documents, or risk having his bankruptcy dismissed." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
SpainEl Pais reported that the trial of Spanish Scientologists in Madrid will go forward without Heber Jentzsch. "The judgment against 16 members of the Church of the Scientology began yesterday in the Hearing of Madrid in spite of the absence of the main defendant and world-wide leader of this organization, Heber Jentzsch. The court decided to judge the 16 criminals who attended, the majority members of Dianetics and Narconon, and to hold another trial of Jentzsch if he ever returns to Spain. The US Department of Justice sent a fax to the Hearing of Madrid indicating that it was unable to serve the subpoena upon Jentzsch. "The decision to go on with the trial was contested by the public prosecutor, who announced the possibility of appealing to the Supreme Court because he considers that Jentzsch (who faces possible sentences of a total of 56 years of jail for 12 crimes: injuries, illicit association, threats and fiscal fraud, among others) is a fundamental part of this trial. The 16 charged who appeared will be tried without their leader. "Today, the parties will raise their previous questions and soon the interrogations will begin. The public prosecutor imputes a ten of crimes to these 16 defendant, and demands for them 26 years of jail." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
John TravoltaThe Associated Press published an article on June 6th on the career of Scientology celebrity John Travolta. "Last year, he lost with 'Lucky Numbers' and then crashed with 'Battlefield Earth,' which tied the record for the most Golden Raspberry Awards. (It got seven Razzies - for worst movie, actor, screen couple, supporting actor, supporting actress, director and screenplay.) This month, he returns with 'Swordfish,' a high-tech thriller in which he stars as a cool megalomanic who enlists a computer hacker to steal massive amounts of federal money. "Travolta produced and starred as a leather-clad giant alien with dreadlocks and huge hands in the screen adaptation of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's novel. Though even Silver calls it 'goofy,' 'ludicrous' and 'a giant error in judgment,' Travolta insists the film is 'nearing the $100 million mark' thanks to its ancillary deals - video, overseas sales, merchandizing. 'Look, to this day he doesn't know how silly the movie is,' Silver says. Part of Travolta's desire to make 'Battlefield Earth' was his allegiance to Scientology, the church he credits with keeping him sane at the pinnacle of Act I. "'I became what was so-called the biggest star in the world during the height of the cocaine era. The height! I didn't know anybody who wasn't on it,' he says. 'OK, maybe I knew one other person.' Scientology, he says, stopped him from snorting his way through Act II. 'To survive that was extraordinary - to watch every single person you knew just go down the (bleeping) tubes.' "Travolta now finds irony in the sympathy extended to actors who bounce between rehab and jail. None, he says, was offered him - and he suspects it's because of his religion. 'You're not given credit for taking care of yourself and NOT going down the tubes, but you are given credit for when you DO go down the tubes. I think that's an issue.'" From Canada's National Post on June 7th: "In the stream of uncomfortable moments that is the Barbara Walters pre-Oscars special, there was perhaps none weirder this year than the sight of John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston, curled up on their living room couch like kittens, attempting to answer the inevitable 'What's the deal with you guys and Scientology?' question. The two grinned maniacally, rambling on about 'audits' and 'clears' until it all came crashing down with Preston's breathless two-word statement: 'Scientology rocks!' "No one else can get away with what John Travolta gets away with. Bad movies, a high-profile affiliation with a controversial religion, allegations of an affair with a gay porn star -- nothing sticks to the man. He was well cast as Bill Clinton's alter ego in Primary Colors. "Asked about education, Travolta told Rolling Stone magazine in 1980: 'Now I'm into Scientology, the science of the mind.' The Church of Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954, claims to be a non-denominational religious organization. Its Web site says the religion springs from three fundamental truths: 'Man is an immortal spiritual being. His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.' "To set free said capabilities, members pay money for auditing sessions (US$100-600 per) to help them move up in the church. Auditing involves a device called an E-Meter that sends a small electrical current through a person's body, registering minute physical changes in the skin, and - so Scientologists believe - measuring thoughts. Enough auditing and you might one day become an Operating Thetan like Travolta, one of the highest levels (US$1,000 a course) of Scientology where one can supposedly move matter with the mind. "Up at these levels, it's clear that the church founder was also a science fiction writer: Operating Thetans study the evil Xenu, and learn to rid themselves of alien infestations. Killing with the mind; aliens in our bodies; an intergalactic incident that took place 75 million years ago blocking spiritual truth -- Scientology has all the narrative flare and fantasy that Hollywood requires. Cintra Wilson, author of A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations, describes Scientology sarcastically as 'the cool new religion, kids, the one with space-age action figures!' "Travolta took his first Scientology course at 21 on a friend's recommendation. As he catapulted to superstardom on the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter, he spent more time at Scientology's Celebrity Center in L.A. On the set of the 1976 TV film The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, Travolta fell hard for the actress playing his mother. Diana Hyland was 40, Travolta 22. The relationship lasted nine months until she died of cancer in his arms. Less than two years later, his mother died. Scientology, claims Travolta, got him through the tough times, and kept his career on track. 'I think it's been not only an asset but most of the reason I'm still here,' he told 20/20 in 1998. "'I don't think the public cares about [Travolta's affiliation with Scientology],' says Joe Queenan, author of Confessions of a Cineplex Heckler. 'They have a feeling of goodwill towards him, and what he does off-screen doesn't seem to affect it.' "Scientology and homosexuality seem quietly linked in the rumour mill; maybe the only actor asked to deny his gayness more than Travolta is fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise. Michael Pattinson, a member of the church for 24 years, says he was told the organization could 'cure' his homosexuality. 'They do make a written promise of handling homosexuality,' says Pattinson. He calls it a 'scam based on eliminating the mental failures of [your] mother, therefore you won't try to be your mother anymore. This will rehabilitate the homosexuals.'" Message-ID: v3DT6.247$NH3.email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
WISEAn email from the President of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) was posted to a.r.s this week. "We launched the Management Series Campaign at the WISE Convention aboard the Freewinds - January 2001. Our goal: To get 9,000 Management Series sets - 27,000 volumes - donated to libraries and universities around the planet! At our April convention at Flag, we reached one target to get 6,000 sets donated for placement in libraries and universities in the US, leaving 3,000 sets to get into the libraries and universities outside of the and to complete our international target. "We are working to meet the international target in the next 48 hours. All you need to do is donate one set, turn around and get someone else to do one set, have them turn around and get someone to do one set, etc. and we'll make it! The price is just $175 a set. "Last week I held a WISE Convention in Taiwan, and one of the attendees at the convention was a key OL in Taiwan. She is a Taiwanese national Legislative Representative (similar to a Congresswoman) and is the leader of one of Taiwan's four political parties. She was raving about the workshops in the WISE Convention (Sales, Marketing, Tone Scale and Ethics), and after receiving several briefings on the Management Series Campaign, she requested that our staff in Taiwan do a seminar on her weekly radio show on one of the policies from the Management Series. She said she would also promote that training on the policies can be gotten from the soon-to-open Hubbard College of Administration Taiwan located in the Capital city of Taipei! As a further note, each book of every Management Series set has cards affixed to the front, and 5 additional cards spread throughout, promoting the Hubbard Colleges around the world! "The WISE membership is on an all-out over the ramparts drive to put the new Hubbard College of Administration International Headquarters in place. In recent weeks your membership fees have been majorly contributing to the renovations of this model facility. The new building is our cornerstone, model facility for moving LRH admin tech into the mainstream and your membership renewal or upgrade is making this college a reality. "Love, Don Drader President" Message-ID: XMGT6.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.