Grady WardGrady Ward won an appeal against Scientology, in which the court found he did not violate a settlement agreement. Grady had previously settled a copyright violation case with Scientology. "RTC had no right to execute on the judgment because Grady Ward did not materially breach the settlement agreement. Ward reasonably assumed that the $10,000 obligation was conditioned on his receiving an advance from his book deal. Indeed, the plain language of the settlement agreement suggests that the obligation is conditional. When the district court determined that the obligation was unconditional, Ward promptly offered to pay the full amount plus interest. In these circumstances, Ward's delay in tendering the $10,000 is not a material breach of the agreement." Message-ID: email@example.com
IsraelThe Jerusalem Post reported on April 19th that Scientologists a Tel Aviv hospital following an attack on Israeli citizens. "Members of the Scientologists cult in Tel Aviv managed to get into the public information center set up at Ichilov Hospital immediately after the recent terrorist attack in Allenby Street, where they spoke to families of the injured and gave out propaganda material on their cult. Shortly after the attack, around 10 Scientologists mingled with a group of social workers who were at the hospital to receive families of the injured. Wearing shirts bearing the tag 'spiritual adviser Scientologist volunteer,' they talked to the anxious relatives who had arrived at the center, where entry was permitted only to the hospital medical staff and relatives of the injured. "The cult representatives distributed a booklet written by the founder of the cult Ron Hubbard which promises its readers to help them reach 'the path which leads to a much safer and happier life for you and for others.' One of the most persistent volunteers even managed to find her way into the emergency ward, where she was noticed by the hospital manager Gabi Barbash and asked to leave. "Ichilov Hospital said in reaction: 'The hospital does not allow entry to activists of any cult. The members of the cult gained entry to the information center without permission. They were thrown out of the emergency ward as soon as it was discovered that they were carrying out missionary activity.' Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa McPhersonA transcript of the hearing last week in the Lisa McPherson case was posted to a.r.s this week. In it, Bob Minton and Ken Dandar disagree about payments made to the case and the existence of a secret agreement to provide a large part of any settlement in the case to cult awareness organizations. Some highlights from the first day of the testimony: "MR. LIROT: We had intended to certainly seek testimony from Mr. Minton, from Stacy Brooks, from Jesse Prince, from Michael Garko. We have a witness that we would like to testify by telephone, Dan Leipold, Patricia Greenway, Peter Alexander, Thomas Haverty, Frank Oliver. We may ask to call Mr. Rosen. Ms. Liebreich. And then by telephone again, Mr. Wollersheim. "BY MR. ROSEN: Q. Mr. Minton, did you have any conversation with Kennan Dandar which related to or lead to the - your issuance or causing to be issued Exhibit 5? "A. Mr. Dandar was somewhat reluctant to keep coming to me all the time for money, so he suggested that I give him maybe a larger amount and, therefore, minimize his calls on me for additional funds. He also said that he had set up an account somewhere that he could hide this money from Scientology. And so he asked me if I could find a way to get him some money that he could make sure that Scientology would never know about. "Q. Is this the first check which is a bank check drawn on the Bank of Switzerland, and is that because Mr. Dandar wanted the check that way? "A. He didn't specifically ask for any particular type of check. He pretty much left it up to me as to how I could get that to him in a way where it didn't appear to come from me. And that was based on his concerns about what had been going on in the court case, the wrongful death case, about my financial involvement in the case. "Q. How was this check physically delivered to Mr. Dandar? "A. I brought it down to Clearwater and called Mr. Dandar, told him I had some funds that we had talked about. And he suggested that we meet somewhere halfway in between his Tampa office and my office in downtown Clearwater. So we met at the Bombay Bicycle Club which was on Gulf-to-Bay just on the Tampa side of Route 19, on the Tampa side of the Clearwater. "Q. And would you open the folder that is marked Exhibit 6, please, sir? "A. That's a check for $250,000 payable to Ken Dandar issued by Union Bank of Switzerland dated March 7th, 2002. "Q. Okay. Now, prior to the delivery of this check to Mr. Dandar, were there any - was there any conversation which led up to this between you and Mr. Dandar? "A. One of the principal things that Mr. Dandar had said to me at the time was that he was going to not tell his trial team that he had money, and that he would be telling them that I wasn't giving money at that stage and he was financing out of his own personal retirement account this case. Mr. Dandar would, if we were in private, he would say, you know, is Fred going to do anything or not? "Q. Fred meaning his pet name for you? "A. Well, his pet name for the source of funds that didn't necessarily run through his trust account. "Q. But that source was you? "A. That's correct. "Q. Mr. Minton, let me turn to another subject then. Did you have any discussion with Mr. Ken Dandar, on the subject of the proceeds to be had from the wrongful death case? "A. Yes, I did. At the time Scientology was making a big issue that Dell Liebreich was a money grubbing whatever, just out for the money. And I suggested to Mr. Dandar to deflate that argument that the Estate should agree to donate a large part of the proceeds to an anticult organization to fund a cult awareness type organization in the future. "Q. Did there come a time after that that Mr. Dandar then reported back to you on the subject of his discussion of this suggestion of yours with Ms. Liebreich? A. He said that he had discussed the matter with Dell Liebreich and that that is what they decided that they were going to do with the substantial part of the proceeds of the wrongful death litigation. "Q. Were going to be giving to some anticult group that you were selecting? "A. One or a couple. "Q. Mr. Minton, did you go on a radio show and announce this agreement with the Estate to contribute the lion's share or a substantial amount of the proceeds in the wrongful death case to an anticult group? "A. Yes. This was about the time the Lisa McPherson Trust was being formed. "Q. Did you also then post on the Internet an announcement about this time in the end of '99, beginning of 2000, of this agreement with the Estate to donate all or a substantial part of the proceeds in the wrongful death case to an anticult group? "A. Yes, I did, specifically the Lisa McPherson Trust. "Q. Did there then come a time later on in the year 2000 that there was any conversation with Mr. Ken Dandar on the subject of this agreement for the Estate to donate a substantial part of the proceeds to the Lisa McPherson Trust? "A. He said this is going to be a huge issue in the wrongful death case and we're going to have to backtrack big time on what you said. Basically we have to say that's not really the case. "Q. In other words, you have to say that the statements you made about this agreement were untrue? As far as you were concerned they were true, right? "A. They were true at that time and I was subsequently deposed about this. Mr. Dandar was also somewhat concerned that - I think it was in like May or June of 2000 - and Dandar was concerned that I had yet again reaffirmed this agreement in a deposition. "Q. Did Mr. Dandar express to you why it was necessary for you to backtrack on the public disclosure of this agreement? "A. He said because it looks bad for the case because it appears that there's some improper business deal between the Estate and Bob Minton with respect to the proceeds of this case. "Q. Do you recognize this? "A. It's an affidavit of Ken Dandar. "Q. At no time is the Estate or the beneficiaries entered into any informal or formal negotiations, discussions or agreements with Robert Minton or any other third party concerning the disposition of any proceeds realized from any litigation involving the Estate of Lisa McPherson. That's Mr. Dandar's sworn affidavit on December 20th of the year 2000. To your own personal knowledge, is that statement true or false? "A. It's a false statement. "BY MR. LIROT: Q. What happened, Mr. Minton? Why did you change your mind? Have you sent e-mails to Mr. Dandar saying, we'll be behind you 100 percent. I don't like the Church. I don't like what it's done. I don't like what happened to Lisa McPherson. Do you recall sending e-mails to that effect? "A. I don't. "Q. Mr. Minton, I want to find out what happened to you. A bold and long, long-term challenger of the Church of Scientology, now you're going around, you're telling people, I don't want to fund these cases. I need you to dismiss these cases. To what do we owe this 180? "A. Mr. Dandar. "Q. Well, you haven't had any meetings with Mr. Dandar for quite some time, have you? "A. Since early February is not that far. "Q. You had a lot of meetings with the Church of Scientology after early February of this year, haven't you? "A. I have. Q. Can you tell me about those meetings? "A. At the present time there's a confidentiality agreement in place between my attorneys and the attorneys for the Church of Scientology and I'm not at liberty to comment. Q. Why is that? Why a confidentiality agreement? What is it that - what is it that the Church of Scientology has presented to you to cause this complete reversal of position on your part? Has the Church of Scientology threatened you with bringing criminal charges for some of your business practices involving the country of Nigeria? "A. No. "Q. Have you talked with Mr. Prince recently? "A. Yes. He came to see Stacy Brooks and I at the Adams Mark Hotel on Clearwater Beach and we had a rather extensive talk. "Q. And did that talk involve Mr. Prince asking you or inviting you to go and talk to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and provide some level of protection to you? A. There was a subsequent discussion where he brought that up, not directly, but through his girlfriend who read a letter from Mr. Prince to Ms. Brooks and I over the telephone in our office and Clearwater two, maybe three nights ago. He said Bob, you know, I'm working with the FDLE. He say they're going to be in the courtroom in Florida on Friday when you testify. If you so much as dare tell a lie they're going to haul you off to jail. He told Mr. Howie that the FBI was also going to be here. "We had dinner at the restaurant in the Radisson Hotel. Mr. Prince was drunk before he got to the hotel. He said, Minton, I am not going to let you do this. I am not going to let you go down this road. And I will do everything in my power to stop you. You've become a Scientologist and he used some vulgar words in front of that. And then he started into the story about how when he was in Scientology and he was in trouble one time - that he went back to his room room while he was in California in the desert compound there. That he went and got an AK-47 and a 45 caliber pistol and came out and pointed it at the head of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, Norman Starkey, Mike Rinder and one other person whose name I can't remember. He said, you know, that you've never done anything for me. I'm not going to let you go and do anything with Scientology. These people have destroyed me twice when I've tried to settle with them and I'm not going to let you go down this road. I'm not going to let you do this. And I asked him to get up from the table and walk out the front door of this hotel and that I never wanted to see him again. "Q. Did you ever tell Mr. Dandar that if he did not dismiss the wrongful death case that he would, quote, Have the blood and death of you, your wife, and your two daughters on his hands? "A. I did say that in the same conversation when I said we're both going to be destroyed if we keep on this same course. I'm not anxious to get destroyed here. And I think I made it really clear to Mr. Dandar that the destruction was going to come about as a result of the lies that were being told n this case and the unethical acts that he had asked people to do in this case. That's what that was all about. "Q. Do you remember telling him that Scientology had the goods on you and that you had to have this case dismissed or it was going to cause your ruination? "A. I said, For both of our sakes this case needs to be dropped. "Q. Why? Why would the case have to be dismissed? "A. Jonas had told me, You need to go down there to Florida and tell the truth about these checks. Mr. Dandar made it clear to me that he had not reported these checks to the Court. These were not from me. These were from Fred, according to Mr. Dandar. "Q. You gave him a great deal of money after that point in time. Why wouldn't you hide that? If the goal was to hide the money, why wouldn't you hide all the money? "A. It wasn't my goal to hide the money. My goal was to give Mr. Dandar the money. Mr. Dandar's goal was to try to hide the $500,000 check and the $250,000 check." "BY MR. ROSEN: Q. Did you have an understanding that the money that Mr. Minton provided was a donation or a loan? "MR. DANDAR: A. I think my letter spells it out as a donation. Q. And you understood that that was money intended to be used for the benefit of your client to use for expenses in the wrongful death case, right? "A. That's right. "Q. Mr. Dandar, Mr. Minton has testified that he's given you, between his personal checks and the two bank checks, a total of $2,050,000; is that accurate? "A. One for 500,000 and one for 250,000 from the Union Bank of Switzerland. "Q. He's wrong about those? "A. He's wrong about it, according to what he told me, yes. Q. Sir, did you receive those two checks? "A. Yes, I did. "Q. Did you deposit them into your client trust account? "THE WITNESS: Okay. No. Those two checks were deposited into my private bank account. "Q. Did there come a time when there was an agreement reached between you and Mr. Minton as to what these funds were that he was providing, a loan, a gift, a donation? "A. Well, they were loans because that's what his letter characterizes it as, a non-recourse loan with no interest paid back according to the client's discretion. "Q. A non-recourse loan to who? "A. Well, to me and my firm. "Q. A person loans you personally $100,000 and your only obligation to repay it is if you win a case and then you will pay it out of your contingency portion of the fee, right? "A. That's right. It's for all of the money, some of which would go back to Mr. Minton and 750 would go back to this unidentified third party. "Q. It is your testimony that you had no strings on this money, it was a personal loan to you, you could go out and buy a boat, do whatever you wanted with it? "A. It evolved. I put it into the bank. I put it into several accounts, Dandar & Dandar, depending on how Mr. Minton wrote the check. I put it into other accounts that made interest. I was trying to make some money on this money so I wouldn't have to keep going back and telling Mr. Minton, Well, do you want to give us some more money? Then I would transfer it to the trust account and from the trust account to the operating account. "Q. When Mr. Minton handed you this $500,000 check at the Bombay Bicycle Club, did you ask him whose money this was? "A. Yes. He said, I can't tell you. Q. And when he sent you the $250,000, did you ask him whose money that was? "A. Yes. He said it's the Fat Man in Switzerland. I said, Who's that? And he said, I can't tell you. "Q. Is the sole basis of your testimony that this money was not Mr. Minton's, is the sole basis for that that you say that Mr. Minton admitted to you it wasn't his money; is that it? "A. There's two points; he told me it wasn't his money and it's not on his checking account. "Q. Sir, I don't understand. How could a bank check be on somebody's checking account? "A. Well, you know, I get bank checks, and you know what? My name is on the check when it goes out to somebody. It's coming from me. "Q. Well, I guess if that were the case then the name of the Fat Man would have been on that check? "A. That's right. I would know who that person is. "It's not there, is it? "A. No. "Q. You said a moment ago, there was never any agreement to contribute the monies to be recovered in the wrongful death case to a cult awareness group, right? "A. Among the family members there was. "Q. Was there ever an agreement between Dell Liebreich on the one hand and her family and Mr. Minton on the other that a substantial amount, of the recovery from the wrongful death case was going to be contributed to an anticult group? "A. No. There's been no agreement with Mr. Minton on disposition of funds outside of trying to pay him back. "Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Mr. Minton in which you told him, Hey, we need to backtrack on these statements that you've been making on the radio about the bulk of the recovery being paid to an anticult group? "A. No, as you phrased the question. I told Mr. Minton he shouldn't be making untrue public statements. He said to the bulk goes to the Lisa McPherson Trust, that is an untrue statement. "Q. Mr. Dandar, would you like this motion to turn, and would you like your license to practice to turn on the integrity and veracity of that answer? Should we make it easy for the Judge? Make it a one-issue case? Do you want your license to turn on the integrity of the -- "MR. LIROT: Objection, argumentative. "THE COURT: Sustained. "MR. ROSEN: I'll withdraw the question, "Your Honor. Nothing further." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
NorwayNettavisen reported on April 23rd that Scientology has come under investigation in Norway for keeping personal records improperly. "Datatilsynet is criticizing Scientology for violating the law about personal information, and demands that Scientology changes their routines. Datatilsynet is an official agency that tells who can and who can't store information about people, and how the information must be stored and otherwise dealt with. Datatilsynet inspected Co$ in March, and found that they violated the law. "Scientology is instructed to go through their internal control on how they register and manage personal information. They are also instructed to tell those who are registered, what the purpose for the registration is and who is the receiver of the personal information. Scientology must also tell their members it is voluntarily to give personal information. Scientology must also be able to document that personal information is treated confidentially and when personal information is to be send to USA, Scientology must have consent from the registered party." Message-ID: email@example.com
Child ActorsThe San Francisco Chronicle reported on April 25th that the Mission Street org in San Francisco is hosting a seminar for prospective child actors. "The Church of Scientology is hosting a lecture on how to become a child actor Saturday at its Mission Street storefront. The speaker is Lynsey Bartilson of the sitcom 'Grounded for Life.' The talk is part of a plan to attract more children to the site, which explains why a church is touting getting kids into showbiz." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reed SlatkinThe Los Angeles Times reported on April 26th that Scientology minister Reed Slatkin has surrendered to authorities in connection with a Ponzi investment scheme he ran, losing hundreds of millions of dollars. "Reed E. Slatkin, the money manager to Hollywood luminaries who admitted to having lost $255 million during a 15-year fraud spree, was taken into custody in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday to await months of questioning by investigators. The co-founder of EarthLink Inc. agreed last month to plead guilty to 15 counts of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. He returns to court Monday to enter his plea to charges carrying a potential sentence of as many as 15 years. "Slatkin, 53, of Santa Barbara, will try to win a lesser sentence by helping prosecutors and bankruptcy lawyers seeking to identify additional assets and defendants. An attorney for a creditors committee, Richard Wynne, said he hopes to begin distributing 'significant' amounts of recovered funds to investors by the end of the year. One unusual provision of Slatkin's plea agreement allows him to request a lighter sentence because of the 'psychological impact of his association with certain individuals and/or groups,' a reference to his long involvement in Scientology. "Slatkin sat motionless, in an open-collared white shirt and sport coat, his eyes downcast, until U.S. Magistrate Rosalyn M. Chapman called him forward. She asked if he realized he was signing away his rights. 'Yes, your honor,' Slatkin murmured, barely audible." From the Santa Barbara News-Press on April 26th: "Although he appeared uneasy or dejected during the proceedings, Mr. Slatkin was calm and focused, his attorney said. 'This agreement and his willingness to turn himself in confirm that he's committed to cooperating with authorities to resolve this and accept responsibility for what he's done,' Mr. Sun said. Federal authorities believe the sentence could range from 12 to 15 years, while his defense attorney believes it could be much lower. "Although it would have been possible for Mr. Slatkin to enter his guilty plea, post bail and be out of custody while he cooperated, federal authorities wanted him behind bars, 'because of the enormity of what he has done and because we consider him a flight risk,' said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Olson, who is prosecuting the case with Jacqueline Chooljian. "Along with answering questions from the Department of Justice and the U.S. Trustee, the creditors' committee will likely submit questions for Mr. Slatkin to answer. The committee has already aggressively investigated Mr. Slatkin's operation, reviewing literally millions of pages of documents in an attempt to track financial transactions and find any co-conspirators." The News-Press also reported on April 26th on the Internet web site devoted to following details of the Slatkin case. "Why are a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, a Canadian journalist and a New York Web site designer so interested in Reed Slatkin? The answer is Scientology. David Touretzky, the Carnegie Mellon scientist and specialist in computer modeling of the brain, is an outspoken critic of the church. The staunch advocate for First Amendment protections on Internet content has knocked heads with the church for posting Scientology texts and the church's training secrets on various sites. "The Web site, http://www.Slatkinfraud.com, has evolved from its focus on Scientology, posting reams of financial documents and court records. However, last September the church sent a letter to Mr. Touretzky's Internet service provider warning it that he was using their trademark Excalibur-like cross without permission. After a series of letters from the church's attorneys, the owners of the small company asked Mr. Touretzky to move his Web site. He picked EarthLink as the new provider. And he has since removed the Excalibur image from the Web site's opening page. Mr. Touretzky described the move to the bigger Internet service provider as a 'deliciously ironic' twist, because EarthLink was founded by prominent Scientologist Sky Dayton, and Mr. Slatkin was one of the initial investors. "Mr. Touretzky, journalist Kady O'Malley of Ottawa, and New York Web designer Scott Pilutik have amassed an impressive amount of documents to support their assertions. There are more than 60 megabytes of information on the site. The documents include dozens of newspaper articles, court documents, exhibits and depositions, as well as lists of hundreds of investors and businesses caught up in the bankruptcy. "Digging up the documents and tracking down investors has been a reporting challenge, said Ms. O'Malley, who also covers politics in Canada. While she believes that well over half the investors are Scientologists, she said it does not appear that a disproportionate number of Scientologists made profits. 'It appears Reed decided who benefited based on those who were close to him or who could either hurt him or help him,' she said." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Xenu.netThe controversy over the efforts by Scientology to remove links to Xenu.net from the search engine Google was the subject of an article in the New York Times on April 22nd. "Google, the company behind the popular Web search engine, has been playing a complicated game recently that involves the Church of Scientology and a controversial copyright law. Legal experts say the episode highlights problems with the law that can make companies or individuals liable for linking to sites they do not control. And it has turned Google, whose business is built around a database of two billion Web pages, into a quiet campaigner for the freedom to link. "The church sent a complaint to Google last month, saying that its search results for 'Scientology' included links to copyrighted church material that appears on a Web site critical of the church. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which was intended to make it easier for copyright holders to fight piracy, the complaint meant that Google was required to remove those links quickly or risk being sued for contributing to copyright infringement. "The site in question, Operation Clambake (www.xenu.net), is based in Norway, beyond the reach of the United States copyright act. The site portrays the church as a greedy cult that exploits its members and harasses critics. Andreas Heldal-Lund, the site's owner, says the posting of church materials, including some internal documents and pictures of church leaders, is allowable under the 'fair use' provisions of internationally recognized copyright law. "The Google software judges the importance of a page in part by looking at how many other pages link to it. Scientology's complaint set off a flurry of linking to the critics' site, pushing it up two spots to No. 2 in the search results for 'Scientology' - just below the church's official site." From BBC News on April 25th: "The Church of Scientology has taken its long-running battle against the distribution of its material on internet sites - especially sites critical of the church - to Google, one of the most popular search sites on the internet. Google catalogues more than two billion pages on the internet, but cyber civil libertarians cried foul when the site removed links to a website called Operation Clambake, due to a legal challenge from the Church of Scientology. The Operation Clambake site portrays the church as a money-hungry cult." Linux Journal published a letter on April 17th from Helena Kobrin, a lawyer for Scientology, explaining their plans to continue complaining to search engines. "We asked Scientology attorney Helena Kobrin if Google's new policy of making DMCA takedown letters public and the resulting boost to the Google standings of Scientology critic site Xenu.net would affect her firm's decision to send future takedown letters. Here is her answer: "'When we learn of infringements to those rights, we take appropriate actions to protect them by writing to the infringer and, if a service provider is involved, to the service provider. We take follow-up actions as needed. It has nothing to do with search engines or criticism. Will we stop doing our jobs because someone disagrees or puts our letters on the Internet? No more so than I would stop in going after someone who breached a contract or would fail to prosecute a murderer, a thief, or an embezzler if I were a prosecutor or would back off on stopping someone from dumping toxic waste if I were an environmental attorney merely because someone criticized my actions." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
Sea Org StatsRoger Gonnet this week posted statistics from the Sea Org league of the Birthday Game, in which advanced Scientology orgs compete for statistical superiority. "Weekly Quarterly Cumulative 1. AOSHEU 110 AOSHEU 573 AOLA 3024 2. AOLA 95 AOLA 539 AOSHEU 2959 3. CCINT 46 ASHOD 431 CCINT 2644 4. ASHOD 43 CCINT 422 ASHOF 2552 5. AOSHUK 43 AOSHUK 335 ASHOD 2525 6. ASHOF 38 ASHOF 329 ASHUK 1913 7. SHF 25 AOSHANZO 308 AOSHANZO 1800 8. AOSHANZO 25 SHF 197 SHF 1327" 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.