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

Volume 7, Issue 7 - May 19 2002



Delphi School

The North County Times reported on April 30th that a new Delphi School is planned for San Marcos, California. "The Old Richland Schoolhouse will soon be a school again. Arie de Jong, the owner of the building that served as a reception hall for nearly a decade, said Monday that Delphi Schools Inc. signed a five-year lease on the building effective April 1. The private school, which has a campus in La Jolla, plans to hold an eight-week summer session at the site starting June 24. The regular session is slated to start Sept. 3, said Stacey Ruiz, the headmistress of the soon-to-open Delphi Academy of San Marcos. School officials will also use the facility at 134 Woodland Parkway for weekend social events such as wedding receptions or dinners, de Jong said. The school can serve up to 80 students. "Ruiz said that 30 students will be in the summer session and that 35 will begin school in the fall. The San Marcos campus will serve kindergarten through third grade, while the La Jolla campus serves kindergartners through sixth-graders. Ruiz said she and her partner, Chris Gerson, the headmistress of the La Jolla school, wanted a site in North County and found the one in San Marcos by accident. "The school is going through the permitting process with San Marcos, Ruiz said. Its enrollment could grow, she added. Delphi Academies focus on individual learning and teaching students at their own pace, she said. There's one teacher for every 15 children." Message-ID: jokE8.453$W83.564005@newshog.newsread.com

France

The Associated Press reported on May 17th that the Paris Scientology org has been fined for mishandling personal information of its members. "A French court on Friday fined the Paris branch of the Church of Scientology for a data protection violation but acquitted the church of attempted fraud and false advertising in connection with its efforts to recruit and keep members. The court fined the church 8,000 euros (about dlrs 7,300), while imposing a 2,000-euro fine (dlrs 1,824) on Marc Walter, the president of the Ile de France section that includes Paris. The court also declined to impose the harshest penalty sought by prosecutors - an order to disband the church's Paris branch. "The church said it would appeal the ruling, saying that it violated the European Convention on Human Rights. 'The decision is an attempt to apply commercial law to prohibit religious expression. It is an intolerable interference by the state with the religious freedom won from 2000 years of history in Europe,' said Leisa Goodman, human rights director for the Los Angeles-based church. "The conviction stemmed from a complaint by a former member who said he was bombarded with publicity materials even though he wished to end his membership." From CNN on May 17th: "Scientologists have likened the trial to a witch hunt and say their faith is a religion like any other. The church has 40,000 members in France, including 20,000 in Paris. In France, it is placed on a list of nearly 200 groups under surveillance to prevent cult activities. The church is to a significant extent devoted to the personality cult of L. Ron Hubbard, who died in somewhat mysterious circumstances in California in 1986 leaving a corporate empire worth millions of dollars as well as a huge personal fortune." From Agence France Presse on May 17th: "The church was cleared of the more serious charges of fraud and spreading mendacious publicity. The National Union of Associations for the Defense of Families and the Individual (UNADFI), which brought the case, said the result was a victory because under a controversial law on sects passed a year ago if the church is convicted a second time it could be disbanded. 'The way is open for other cases. UNADFI has an appointment with Scientology in other courts,' said lawyer Olivier Morice. 'A few hours ago the scientologists were saying that they would not be found guilty. But here on a matter of principle the church is convicted. The symbolic importance should not be underestimated,' he said. "Spokesman Jean Dupuis said the church's acquittal on the more serious counts was welcome, but the conviction for breach of confidentiality was 'evidence of the political and judicial conspiracy which sets out to destroy those who dare to think differently.' "The church says it is the principal target of last May's anti-sect law, which was described by the US administration and international human rights groups at the time as an assault on religious tolerance. Entitled 'the law to reinforce the prevention and repression of groups of a sect-like character,' it made it an offence to abuse a vulnerable person via the 'exertion of heavy or repeated pressure or techniques liable to alter his judgment. It also allowed courts to close down associations after two convictions for a range of crimes." From Voice of America on May 17th: "French prosecutors say the Church of Scientology harassed former members of the group long after they left the organization. The court did not impose the strongest penalty sought by prosecutors - that of dissolving the Paris Scientology chapter - but would consider such action if the chapter faces similar charges in the future. "According to a spokeswoman for Scientology, Gaetane Asselin, the court's decision represents a partial victory for the organization. 'The main accusation of fraud and false publicity was relaxed,' she said. 'So it means we were found not guilty of any of these accusations, which is very good for us. Because the attorney of the opposition has been trying to prove for years that is what we are doing, and one more court admitted it has nothing to do with us.' "Lucia Salazar, who works with a private group that is fighting Scientology, says her organization will continue its efforts to dissolve the church. Mrs. Salazar supports the new French law on sects. She says it allows victims of so-called cults to fight for reparations." Message-ID: Hq9F8.512$cw5.543740@monger.newsread.com Message-ID: Pv9F8.513$cw5.544124@monger.newsread.com Message-ID: 6113d3a679de716ddbd700ab194d0fea@remailer.segfault.net Message-ID: OhvF8.1043$W83.1083246@newshog.newsread.com

Lawrence Wollersheim

Denver Westword published an article on May 16th on Lawrence Wollersheim's efforts to collect his 16-year old judgment from Scientology. "A 22-year legal battle came to an abrupt end last week when the Church of Scientology paid $8.67 million to one of its harshest critics: a former member who claimed the church had harassed him for years and driven him 'to the brink of insanity.' In the past, litigation involving the controversial 'new religion' and disaffected ex-members has been resolved quietly, the terms kept strictly confidential. But Wollersheim says his settlement contained no such conditions and came minutes before a court hearing at which his attorneys planned to introduce a recently acquired document challenging the Church of Scientology International's tax-exempt status. "'I signed no gag orders,' says Wollersheim, who now lives in Nevada. 'The only reason they settled was that somehow they pierced our intelligence. Three hours after we [uncovered] an absolutely conclusive piece of evidence that [CSI's] corporate structure is a scam, the check was delivered to the court.' "Wollersheim says he became disillusioned with the group and was subjected to thousands of hours of intensive counseling at 'thought-reform camps designed to make you crazy.' He filed suit in 1980, claiming that members continued to harass him after he left the church. In 1986, a California jury awarded him $30 million in damages; the award was reduced to $2.5 million on appeal. But he was unable to collect from the Church of Scientology of California and spent years trying to 'pierce the corporate veil' of its parent organization, CSI. Outside of court hearings, church supporters carried protest signs declaring that they would pay 'not one thin dime to Wollersheim.' "Five years ago, Wollersheim told Westword that he'd rejected a $12 million settlement offer from the church because it would have required him and other FACTNet members to cease their anti-cult activities and destroy their extensive archive of Scientology materials. Last week's payment of $8,674,643 represents the $2.5 million award from the 1986 trial plus sixteen years' interest. 'The cult that vowed it would never pay me one thin dime has now paid over 86 million thin dimes,' Wollersheim noted in a statement on FACTNet's Web site (www.factnet.org). "Asked for comment, Church of Scientology of California president Neil Levin provided a written statement noting that the judgment was against a church entity that has since undergone restructuring. 'This is a twenty-year-old case involving an old Scientology church that doesn't exist anymore,' Levin wrote. 'We've been trying to pay Mr. Wollersheim for five years, but he has so many creditors, we couldn't do it. So finally, we put the money into the court.' "Although much of the money is owed to attorneys, Wollersheim says there should be enough left over to allow him to continue to support FACTNet and to become involved in 'less confrontational' activities. He sees the settlement as a turning point in the tumultuous history of Scientology. 'Now victims who have been intimidated into silence by the belief that no one could ever get paid are calling their attorneys,' he says. 'This is also a tremendous encouragement to other social-advocacy groups - the cigarette-company victims, environmental groups, whatever. The message isn't that Lawrence got paid. It's about justice and patience. It really can work if you just work the system.'" Message-ID: zxSE8.388$cw5.437078@monger.newsread.com

Leipzig Human Rights Award

Leipziger Volkszeitung reported on May 13th on the presentation of the Leipzig Human Rights Award to Alain Vivien. "Alain Vivien, the French government's cult commissioner, was distinguished for his involvement in taking action against totalitarian organizations with the presentation of the third Leipzig Human Rights Award. In the 'Old Stock Exchange' the 63-year-old socialist received from the hands of Bavaria's Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein (CSU) the 'Alternative Charlemagne Award,' an image of the Nicholas Church encased in glass. "Vivien successfully applied himself to creating a legal framework to protect the victims of Scientology and other similar organizations in France. The minister has been addressing problems related to sects and totalitarian cults since 1983. In 1993 he worked on the first French Enquete report in that area. He has been the French president of the 'Interministeriellen Mission im Kampf gegen Sekten' (MILS) for the Prime Minister of the Republic of France. "Beckstein described Vivien in his laudatio as a 'pioneer in the Scientology controversy across Europe and across the world.' At the same time he called for cooperation among political parties in the fight against totalitarianism. Vivien said he was pleased 'to receive the award in a place from which freedom of thought has for so long emanated.'" Message-ID: 3CE79B87.6020807@dialogzentrum.de

Bob Minton

The St. Petersburg Times reported on May 18th that Bob Minton testified he has spent $10 million on causes against Scientology. "Scientology critic Robert Minton has funneled $10-million into a global anti-Scientology crusade, financing lawsuits against the church and supporting some of Scientology's most strident opponents. No one has ever orchestrated such a campaign against the church, said Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw. 'He obviously had something in mind and he went out to accomplish it,' Shaw said. 'He was trying to destroy the church.' "He dumped more than $2-million into a now defunct anti-Scientology organization in downtown Clearwater called the Lisa McPherson Trust, named for a Scientologist who died in 1995 under the care of fellow Scientologists. Minton testified that he put up nearly $2.5-million for the movie The Profit, made in the Tampa Bay area by two Scientology critics. "Minton said he gave $700,000 to Lawrence Wollersheim, a former Scientologist who recently collected an $8.6-million settlement from Scientology, ending one of the longest-running lawsuits in California history. And he funded lawsuits against Scientology in places as distant as Germany and France. "But the focus of his anti-Scientology efforts was the Pinellas County wrongful death lawsuit that blames the church for Lisa McPherson's death. Minton gave $2-million to fund the litigation. Circuit Court Judge Susan Schaeffer is taking testimony on a motion by the Church of Scientology to have the lawsuit dismissed. In what remains an astonishing reversal, Minton is testifying on behalf of the church in the hearing, which began May 2 and is expected to last at least another week. Minton is accusing Tampa attorney Ken Dandar, who represents the McPherson estate in the lawsuit, of serious misconduct in the case. "Minton has said his recent testimony came about from tremendous legal strain in the McPherson case. He was facing contempt of court charges and feared going to jail for perjury he said he committed at Dandar's urging. Minton said he decided it was time to clear the record. His St. Petersburg attorney, Bruce Howie, says Minton wants nothing more to do with funding anti-Scientology litigation. His close friend Stacy Brooks, a former Scientologist and critic said Minton got caught up in the anti-Scientology movement. 'I think he was swept up in the idea he was really fighting evil,' Brooks said. 'Neither he nor I feel that way anymore.'" Message-ID: fjvF8.1044$W83.1083652@newshog.newsread.com

John Mappin

The Daily Mail reported on May 5th that UK Scientologist John Mappin will declare bankruptcy. "Scientologist and Winchester educated John Mappin, 35 is expected at the bankruptcy court in London this morning. It may have something to do with Benji 'The Binman' Pell being awarded repayment of pounds 77,500 and costs of around pounds 350,000 when he sued Mappin in the High Court. "Mappin duped Pell into handing over thousands of pounds to make a Hollywood blockbuster of his life story and promised to introduce him to filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg or George Lucas. Instead, Benji met a hairdresser who was putting himself through film school." Message-ID: evhaeucp7ql8sfqsftqliouc1400csu3tk@4ax.com

Protest Summary

Christopher Wood reported a protest in Toronto on May 11th. "Picketers: Me, Gregg Hagglund, Keith Henson. Leaflets: Scientology's Founder: Con Man / No Science in Scientology (by me) Xenu / Crimes (by Gregg). "Gregg and I arrived in front of the org at about 1:00, with Keith in his usual position up the street. I gave out nearly all the leaflets in my bag, while Gregg and Keith depleted their supplies in a somewhat similar fashion. No Scientologists approached Keith Henson this time. In past pickets, Scientologists have actually gone near him, talked to him, and stood watching him pass out leaflets. At this picket no Scientologists were engaged in actively disproving their supposed fear of Keith. "Just after we got to the org, Gregg did a side trip up Saint Mary St., reading from his copy of OT3. Suddenly, the OT Scientologists started moving the other Scientologists into the org. I still don't understand why anyone would submit to being treated like this. We wound it up at 3:00 when we discovered that we were nearly out of leaflets." Keith Henson reported a protest in Toronto on May 18th. "Saturday, May 18, 2002 we picketed the org and the hotel where the org had the local Dianetics event. Early afternoon at the org there were three of us: Gregg and the unknown picketer in front of the org and me across the street. A young thin guy came up while I was talking to a woman and insisted he was a scientologist. The woman I was talking to was just boggled when I mentioned I had this space cootie story on the flyer, handed her one and the horrified kid said it was confidential and ran. "About 4:30 we went to the Colony Hotel, same place as they used last year. Gregg paced off 100 feet from the ballroom they had rented and stationed me up the street. I gave Xenu flyers to at least 4 'raw meat' who where headed for the event. Gregg, the unknown picketer, and Chris Wood picketed and handed out flyers in front of the hotel. There were some tour buses full of high school kids from Tennessee that came in and many of them took flyers. Some of them said they were going to check out the event. I would guess we had 20-30 people in the event with flyers. "Three bicycle cops showed up and politely asked Gregg if he had been abused by the Scientologists yet. Gregg explained that they had been behaving themselves for most of the last year. The hotel lobby revolving door is below the street in a driveway. The effect was to focus Gregg's voice so it was able to punch through the single glass when the revolving door was in that position. People inside told Gregg he fairly well controlled the conversation by coming in lumps (Scientology Management Lies!). In between the door revolutions the old time Scientologists in the lobby were talking loudly about Gregg. According to a person who came out they were claiming that Gregg had his wife lobotomized. After hearing that she had a brain tumor removed that has left her somewhat emotionally vulnerable and that the Scientologists have attacked her using this, the guy looked back in and said they were not only crazy but vicious." Message-ID: pan.2002.05.18.16.19.46.384014.31422@NOSPAMxenu.ca Message-ID: 3ce8cc21.147513620@news2.lightlink.com


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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.


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