Norbert BluemLeipziger Volkszeitung reported on June 10th that Norbert Bluem accepted the Leipzig Human Rights award for his activism against Scientology. "Bluem received the 'Leipzig Human Rights Award' in the Old Stock Exchange. He was honored for his involvement against the Scientology Organization. Bluem was the only federal minister so far who had gotten publicly involved with Scientology's 'new totalitarianism,' as the sect commissioner of the Berlin-Brandenburg Church, Thomas Gandow, read in the decision. "Rev. Gandow is a founding member of the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA. This committee is active against new totalitarian movements and functions as the body responsible for the award. Bluem has already been attacked both verbally and in court by the Scientologists. So far without success. That never stopped him in Spiegel magazine, for example, from accusing the Scientologists of 'psychological warfare' or getting an order to stop them from running private employment agencies, Gandow remembered. He said that Bluem was the only high-ranking federal politician who had expressed himself publicly against the religious community. It said in the award basis that the the distinction should help support politicians in their efforts 'to put an end to the human rights violations that are being committed by the Scientology organization in the USA and in Europe.' "Leipzig was chosen by the Citizens Committee from among several European candidates for the award site. 'A totalitarian regime has already once been brought to collapse from Leipzig,' stated Solveig Prass. For that reason the award continues to have a picture of the Nikolai Church." Tilman Hausherr reported from the awards ceremony weekend. "Saturday there was a press conference with several ex-scientologists from all over the world. Then we could watch the movie 'The Profit.' It is the fascinating story of a con artist who later founds his own cult, that later sets up itself as a religion. What amazed me most is that people who aren't in the movie business were able to get this job done. I talked quite a bit with Patricia Greenway (the producer). I explained her that I watched that movie also in the fear that maybe it would look like a home movie, or a movie with lots of 'cheap stuff', anachronisms, etc, but no, everything was fine, like any other movie. "Next day we first had a workshop at EBI, and then the ceremony at the old stock exchange. And then he came Dr. Norbert Bluem. His history of being a cult critic can be dated back to 1981. And he really made a great speech. 1. 'We don't need diplomacy now, now it is time to fight - not with rockets, but with arguments!' 2. And he sang the song 'The thoughts are free.' Public was cheering. Several high-level people sent greetings, among them the federal president." Birgitta Harrington also posted a report. "It was both horrifying and moving to listen to what the young Astra Woodcraft had to say about her life in CoS. It is not fair that any person ever should have to experience what she has been through, but yet we know there is many 'Astra-children' inside the Borg who need our help to get out and get a decent life. Other speakers were Theresa Summers, Pia-Maria Gardini and Stacy Brooks. What to say more than I felt honored to had taken the opportunity to meet those good people who are making a difference in other peoples lives with their will to now help others to get free from slavery. "Lots of security surrounded the place. Police cars, men with umbrellas and people with cameras up in the windows. This place has a special meaning to Germany because close to it was the Nikolai Church where a little group of people started to go together to fight communism which finally had the result that the wall between east and west Germany was taken down. Doctor Blum was an impressive man with a strong will and charisma and I took the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him after the ceremony. "The Seaside Hotel was the next target. I had just started to accept the fact that there were no scios left in Germany when Bob saw them through the hotel windows. Andrea quickly took her camera and out we went with her running after them in the park, trying to get pictures. I have never seen such coward OSA, being so scared of just a girl running after them with a camera." The text of Bob Minton's award presentation was posted to a.r.s. Some excerpts: "When Leipzig was selected as the location for the presentation of the award, the experience took on added significance, both for the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom and for me. Leipzig is the place where freedom was reborn in the former East Germany. We are standing in the shadows of the St. Nikolai Church, where the call to freedom in East Germany began with a handful of people, then grew to hundreds and finally to hundreds of thousands in the streets surrounding this Stock Exchange Building, all demanding freedom. Those events that occurred in Leipzig not so long ago confirm that obtaining freedom is always hard work that requires courage and sacrifice. We also know from history that once freedom is attained it must be cherished, nurtured and protected from those who would strip it away. "Dr. Bluem, you have been a visionary politician and leader who has demonstrated a keen sense of history. It was more than 20 years ago, when almost all the problems with modern sects and cults were regarded as purely individual or psychological in nature, that you stated we were dealing with a political challenge. Many people, particularly politicians in the United States, have yet to comprehend your very important message. But it is the duty of all of us here to follow your example and help our politicians to understand the simple fact that Scientology is an aspiring totalitarian political movement. "Who, in 1981, made the following statement: 'The enemy of freedom is the one who today is himself calling for freedom and tolerance. Such calls for freedom are only masks for slavery and terrorism. Even religious groups, or those who call themselves such, could be totalitarian; therefore I hear their messages of world government initiatives and world salvation with suspicion, primarily because they are connected with efforts for commercial power. We want to remain a free society.' Yes, I believe we all guessed correctly that it was Dr. Bluem who made those remarks. "When you introduced the concept of totalitarianism early on in the debate about destructive cults you enabled your contemporaries to understand that the objective of these entities was the transformation and subjugation of human nature itself. This is not acceptable in a democratic society, because we can only be equal members of society on the strength of our collective decision to guarantee ourselves mutually equal rights. "Through your example and your protection, you have enabled others to express themselves openly and critically. The members of the committee and I are also grateful to you for being the patron of the Eastern European seminar at the Berlin Dialogue Center in 1996, which played an important role in creating awareness of the new threat of cults in the post-totalitarian environments of middle and eastern European countries. You have openly demonstrated many times that you believe public office and civic involvement belong together of necessity, and your involvement and patronage of that seminar was particularly important to many of our friends and partners in Russia and eastern Europe. "Dr. Blum, you are a protector of freedoms and democratic ideals who has distinguished yourself by your selfless public service to your country and constituents, by your clarity of thought and your insights into the dangers we face, and your courage in speaking openly about the destructive cult issue when no one else was doing so. We humbly thank you with this award, which is an expression of our utmost respect for all that you have done to further the cause of freedom and to protect the human rights of all citizens." Junge Welt published an interview with Dr. Bluem on June 11th. "Q. The European-American Citizens Committee is honoring your courageous appearances as a politician with the Alternative Charlemagne Award. Why does that take courage? "A. It's true that the Scientologists do not exactly deal with their opponents lighthandedly. They have signed instructions which include eavesdropping upon and libeling people. Scientology acts on people's fears. For instance they threatened me by saying they would distribute their dossier on me to television. They've called me all kinds of names in their newspaper: the 'Rasputin' of politics, for example. But I don't worry about that sort of thing. One only has to know that they are unscrupulous, that they have power and that they will use any means publicly. "Q. Why are there so few politicians, then, who work against Scientology? "A. What we are dealing with here is violations of the mind, and those are not so conspicuous. If they were to break someone's arm then everyone could see that, but when the mind is broken, nobody sees that. The Scientologists' control is noiseless. "I don't support a ban because that would only make martyrs. I believe that one has to cut the ground from under their feet with information. And do it in such a way that their ship will not pull into port in Germany, as they have planned. "This is not the old scheme of the poor people being defenseless. Here even the rich people are at risk. The Scientologists do not target the recipients of the welfare system as much as they do management levels. They are looking for people who want to be successful and who therefore will accept Scientology's psycho-offerings without any criticism. Moreover I think students are also at risk." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010611151339.142Cemail@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010613084240.116Bfirstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010612171258.122Aemail@example.com
ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times reported on June 12th that Scientology and the City of Clearwater plan to trade properties in downtown. "The Church of Scientology and the city have forged a deal to swap land downtown so both organizations can consolidate blocks of property. Commissioners will vote June 21 whether to approve the proposal, which would give the church two vacant parcels now used for parking while the city would get a smaller lot with a building on it. If the deal is approved, the church would own an entire block, while the city would own the majority of another block across the street. The land the city would get is between the city's police and fire departments. The land the city would give to the church is on a block where the church plans to build a parking garage to serve its new Flag Building, which is under construction. "After discussing the proposed land swap with the city for months, the church bought the property - the former Cricket Early Learning Center - in April for $365,000. The city had looked into acquiring the land previously, Akin said, but found it to be too expensive." The Times reported on June 16th that a Scientologist has begun construction on a housing development in downtown. "The Laura Street Townhomes - an 18-unit complex on Laura Street a block off Cleveland Street downtown - are priced at $179,900 and geared toward buyers looking for high-end features. 'We're really trying to make a start in terms of development in downtown Clearwater, said William Lazarony, a Clearwater developer who has been working on the project with Jaren Levitt of Sarasota. So far, however, only five of the 18 units have been sold. "The project's close proximity to IMRglobal's downtown office complex as well as the Church of Scientology's new Flag Building also bring buyers, he said. Lazarony said that he and his business partner would like to acquire the next-door parking lot as well as the land PSTA was considering for its terminal and build up to 120 townhomes." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
CriminonThe Mirror published an article on June 13th on Scientology's Criminon program. "A sect whose members include Tom Cruise and John Travolta is infiltrating British prisons. Scientologists claim to be in touch with 200 prisoners a week offering help with drug problems. The drugs charity Criminon UK, run by the Church of Scientology, boasts in a new newsletter that it wants to expand into full-blown treatment programmes. Prison groups and anti-cult campaigners last night demanded an urgent inquiry into the group's work. "Ian Howarth, founder of the Cult Information Centre, said: 'The Prison Service should be extremely concerned about the activities of Narconon in the prison system. 'In my experience over 22 years there are two common denominators with Scientology - one is to recruit people and the other is to elicit money from those people. Outside, where you find someone is getting involved with a group like the Scientologists family or friends can step in. Prisoners are not just vulnerable people, they have nobody to blow the whistle for them.' "A Prison Service spokesman said last night: 'These are correspondence programmes. If prisoners want to subscribe they can do so as individuals, but they are not part of the Prison Service's recognised rehabilitation programme.'" Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
DenmarkDanish newspaper Politiken reported on June 11th that three former Scientologists are suing for return of money paid for Scientology courses. "Three women have sued Scientology for the return of course fees of 650,000 DKK [$74,000]. At a court hearing today, the judge will decided whether or not the three ex-Scientologists and their lawyer Carlo Siebert can use the french-born psychoanalyst Cyril Malka as advisor. "Cyril Malka has among other things written a book on cults, and has had several ex-members in therapy. Carlo Siebert thinks that it is necessary with this kind of expert assistance in the trial, where he is to prove that his clients were under such massive psychological pressure, that they cannot be held responsible for their purchase of increasingly expensive courses. Scientology does not want Cyril Malka to be used as advisor, since he is the Danish representative in the European FECRIS-network. This network is an anti-cult association based in France, and one of the most influential in Europe." Message-ID: email@example.com
FranceThe Globe and Mail published an article on June 12th on the controversy over a new French law aimed to prevent abuse by cults. "France is moving forward with Europe's severest legislation against minority religious groups, igniting fears among civil-liberties organizations that it could invite similar measures by other governments. Ignoring criticism from mainstream church leaders and foreign governments, especially Washington, France's National Assembly has passed a law 'to reinforce the prevention and repression of groups of a sect-like character.' The French bill is awaiting final passage by the Senate, which is expected some time in the fall. "'This law makes the practice of one's religion into a criminal offence,' said Joseph Grieboski, president of the Washington-based Institute on Religion and Public Policy. The legislation contains two controversial parts. First, it creates a new category of crime, carrying a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, for 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.' Second, it enables courts to order that officially designated cults be dissolved if two leading members are convicted of crimes such as fraud and child abuse. "French parliamentarian Catherine Picard, co-author of the bill, said critics have misunderstood the legislation and its objectives. 'We don't care about religion, that's not our problem,' she said. '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 act in illegal ways.' According to a recent French poll, 73 per cent of respondents believe cults are a danger to democracy and 86 per cent would ban organizations such as the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology, to which the French government has been paying close attention for 10 years. 'Right off the bat, I think they'll nail Scientology,' said Rev. Louis DeMeo, a U.S.-born Baptist pastor who has lived in France for 20 years." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
GermanyOstthueringer Zeitung reported on June 10th on the security clause required from contractors to the German government. "A security clause in contracts which are closed by state assembly offices and city managements with training and consultation companies to train their own staff is supposed to protect civil service from the influence of Scientology, the American psycho-sect. That information comes out of a memo from the state administration office to the appropriate agencies. Consultation and training businesses now have to sign that 'in fulfillment of the contract people will not be used who in any way apply the teachings or technology of L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology).' Violation can result in termination of the contract without notice." Badische Zeitung reported on June 6th that Gerry Armstrong spoke before the Loerrach CDU business council. "Before the representatives of business and politics, Canadian Gerald Armstrong reported in the 'canteen' about his experiences with the Scientology sect. The 51-year-old said that he was employed in a management position in Scientology for over twelve years and that he was regarded as a close confidant of sect leader Ron Hubbard. "He said he ran into Scientology like many others did: he fell for the promises with which Scientology lures people by the thousands. For example his communication ability was supposed to be improved and even his intelligence raised - and all in a scientific setting. Armstrong told about his career in the organization which is recognized in the United States as a church. For instance, once he researched a biography about Hubbard - and in doing so, as he says today, it became clear to him that 'this man had lied in every connection.' Contrary to Hubbard's assertions, he had never been a nuclear scientist, an engineer, nor a war hero, said Armstrong about his former companion. "But mainly his presentation was a settling of accounts with the sect with which he had been closely connected for years: he said you could not trust Scientology, the organization operated a sort of private intelligence agency and even a concentration camp, former members such as him were persecuted and basic rights trampled upon. The audience asked a number of questions and wanted to know more and more of the background information on Scientology and about the status of the organization in the United States. In Armstrong's eyes that was a commendable starting point, 'I advise everybody to learn as much about Scientology as possible. Only in that way can one arm themselves against the organization.' Among all the questions from participants there was an announcement which caused some unrest in the hall, 'I am a Scientologist,' said a woman quite openly, elaborated upon her opinion and emphasized, 'We do not intend to keep ourselves a secret.' Armstrong reacted calmly. He said that in his time with Scientology he was not aware of everything either - and that he would be happy to talk with her." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010611151431.142Demail@example.com Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1010611151714.142Gfirstname.lastname@example.org
NarcononA letter to Scientologists on June 11th offered treatment in the Narconon program in Brazil for $8,000, plus air fare. "Narconon Brazil has a very exciting offer we would like to share with you! We are now able to offer the full Narconon program for the incredible price of $8,000! Air fare will be an additional $700-1,000. Narconon Brazil recently opened its doors residentially and is able to house up to 10 students. We are located in a very beautiful neighborhood that is calm and serene. In addition we have a great English, Spanish, and of course Portuguese speaking staff. Our ED has been fully trained at Chilocco, and rumor has it that he is the highest trained terminal to go through the ED lineup ever! A 10% commission will be paid for any referrals that result in a full start! "Desiree Silvani Senior Director for Expansion Narconon Brazil" Message-ID: vlhcitk07uejcue6ubea0o5s9rj4l99chh@ARSCC.Sweden.Dep.OSA.Surveillance
Tom PadgettTom Padgett reported that a court decision will allow his children to visit him. Tom has been fighting for visitation with his Scientologist wife for several years. "From court proceedings on May 11, a Pendente Lite Report and Recommendation was entered. The report noted the Court did received a letter from the minor son Beau, requesting summer visitation with his Dad. The Commissioner noted 'The Petitioner, Scientologist Laura Vannoy Padgett, has failed to show just cause why the Respondent should not be allowed visitation during the pendency of this Motion. Additionally, the child is of such an age as to physically care for himself and to communicate regarding visitation with his father.' She ordered the father is to refrain from discussions with his son about 'religion' during their visit. Ms. McClure has recommended that the older child, a daughter 21, to accompany her brother to 'supervise' the visitation. The actual dates of the visitation - July 13 through July 27, 2001." Message-ID: 4075-3B256792email@example.com
Protest SummaryBruce Pettycrew reported a protest in Mesa, Arizona on June 16th. "Kathy and I picketed this morning from 8:30 to 9:30. During that time 6 cars and 1 bike arrived, for a total of 7 adults and 2 children. We received 9 honks/thumbs-up from passing traffic and gave out 2 leaflets to pedestrians. At one point a girl, about 9 years old, stepped out of the building to yell 'You are lying, not us!' I pointed to the Co$ sign and told her to 'Think for Yourself.'" Message-ID: ZrOW6.52840$L4.firstname.lastname@example.org
John TravoltaScientology celebrity John Travolta appeared on the cable TV interview show Larry King Live on June 15th. Some excerpts: "KING: You're able to take something negative. You pass by this newsstand and see something about you that's a bold-faced lie, or something and look beyond it. "TRAVOLTA: To me there, it's like a, like a - nipping dogs at your ankles, or something. It's not, it's not to be taken too seriously. I've never taken any of that very seriously. I take bigger issues seriously. "I think what one of the biggest misunderstood concepts is that, you know, Scientology is non-denominational. You can be any religion and be a Scientologist - Jewish, Catholic, Christian. "KING: But is it a religion? "TRAVOLTA: It is. But it's a religion on technical concepts, you know. It addresses you spiritually, and it leaves God as a - up for your religion, you know. You as a Christian, or you as a Jewish person would interpret what you wanted from that aspect of your religion. "KING: Then how did it get all bum-rapped? "TRAVOLTA: Well, that's probably a long story, and a story, and it could have happened back in 1950, when 'Dianetics' was first written, and I think there was an attack on the book, because it really attempted to help in a mental health way. "KING: And knocked psychiatry. "TRAVOLTA: Yes. And I think that could have been the initial, initial issue, you know. "KING: What led to FBI investigations? German authorities trying to stamp it out? "TRAVOLTA: Well, you know, as you know, you're in a profession that, it's interpretive how press will kind of release ideas on things. And, you know, I look at a - the members that I know, the members, the person I am. It has only done fantastic things for my life. And everyone I know, you know. We're very strong on trying to rehabilitate people on drugs. We have a 90, 95 percent success rate in taking people off of drugs. We're immersed in so many positive aspects of society, you know, as a group. So, I don't know. The group's motto, 'A world without war, insanity or criminality.' "And, a person needs to want to be helped, and I have a very specific way of helping a person off drugs. So, you have to want that. There's vitamin programs and detoxification, sweat programs that a person goes on, and Scientology calls it a purification program. But it's not - you can even do it outside the church. You don't have to do it there. You can do it with different organizations. You know, there's a whole wonderful organization called Narconon, that is just, it just helps. "Life is overwhelming. Life is not easy. Life is tough. And you need something that really works and helps you actually, not promises to help you, then fail. And that's why I've always loved Scientology, because it offers help, and it works." 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.