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

Volume 7, Issue 9 - June 2 2002


Magill magazine published a story in its June issue about the use of Scientology training methods at Dell in Ireland. "Since February of this year, Dell's Limerick plant has been availing of the services of Effective Training Solutions and its '100% Proficiency Training' programme. The programme helps employees to train better, and thus become more efficient in their work. ETS trained a number of Dell's own in-house trainers, who then rolled it out to employees. 'You will learn about and become skilled in the use of some vital training tools that very few people are trained in,' explains the introduction to the programme's '100% Proficiency Training Workshop' manual, which forms one part of the overall programme. 'Your power and ability to influence your own training and education (and others' should you help other people) will be greatly increased.' Since February, Dell's in-house trainers have rolled out the programme to approximately 200 Dell employees who are engaged in production work at the plant. Dell says the reaction from employees to the course has been extremely positive. But not every employee who underwent the course was happy after realising where the course originated from. The 100% Proficiency Training Workshop is, the manual explains on its last page, 'derived from the copyrighted writings of L Ron Hubbard on the subjects of training, education and management, and used with permission.' Nowhere does the manual state that Hubbard was the founder of Scientology. A spokesperson for ETS stressed that those who chose to undergo the training course at Dell did so voluntarily. "ETS was formerly known as Applied Scholastics of Fremont, California - part of the wider Applied Scholastics International movement which is seen by many as an educational arm of Scientology, although Applied Scholastics disputes this, saying it is a secular charitable organisation independent of Scientology. In 1992, a Californian company, Applied Materials, settled out of court for an estimated $600,000 with three former employees who claimed they were forced out of the company after complaining about work-place training given by Applied Scholastics of Fremont. Applied Materials admitted that it had 'lacked sensitivity with regard to the controversial nature of L Ron Hubbard' when employing the Applied Scholastics training. The training involved communication courses. An attorney representing the three workers claimed before the case was settled that some of the training given was identical to material in Scientology handbooks. "Hubbard's ability to break down barriers not recognised by other educators is news to some. Professor of Education and Vice President of University College Cork, Aine Hyland, is one of this country's leading authorities on the history of education. She is unaware of any breakthrough contribution made by Hubbard to the field. 'In my research into education in the 1960s in scholarly educational journals, I have not come across any reference to any major or significant contribution made by L Ron Hubbard to educational philosophy, nor am I aware that scholars in the area since then would regard any of Hubbard's writings as of major significance in the history of education.' "Dr. Finian Buckley of Dublin City University's Business School, meanwhile, doesn't agree that Hubbard has made significant contributions to business, management or training. 'Hubbard wouldn't be regarded as having contributed to any cutting-edge research in these fields,' he says. Hubbard's writings, he believes, are more in line with the type of books available in bookstores that promise to reveal the previously-secret steps to sensational business success. 'Most of those serious professional trainers wouldn't touch,' he adds. "The company said that the results of the programme 'led to significant quality improvements on the Dell production floor. The reaction from Dell employees to this particular training course has been extremely positive.' A host of major international companies other than Dell who have used the course say likewise: DuPont, Bayer, National Semiconductor, Chevron and Cisco among others. Yet it is not the course materials as such that bother the Dell employees who spoke to Magill, but rather the fact that L Ron Hubbard was, in part, responsible for it. The manual states that if the participant is interested in learning more about Hubbard or his lecture series, or ETS itself, they should mention this to their trainer. "In other countries, courses using Hubbard material have been accused of trying to introduce participants to Scientology. ETS states categorically that while its 100% Proficiency Training Course is derived from Hubbard's writings, it does not address religious issues. Nor does it make mention of Scientology. Nor does it attempt to introduce participants to Scientology. Dell stressed in its statement that it 'supports diversity in the workplace and does not in any way promote any particular religious group or religious ethic. ETS has also confirmed to us that they have no links - financial or otherwise - to the Church of Scientology.' "Many Scientology websites have sections on Applied Scholastics. One site mentions Applied Scholastics as one of its 'related programmes,' and the information printed is copyrighted to the Church of Scientology. America's Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, apparently made little of the disclaimer when it reached a confidential settlement with the Church of Scientology in 1993 after a long-standing tax dispute between the two. Applied Scholastics was included in the settlement as a 'Scientology-related entity.' "Dell since announced it is to cut 150 jobs at its Limerick plant. The jobs being cut will come from the administrative and middle-management staff, and will be decided on a voluntary redundancy basis. The company's future looks bright nonetheless, and it will continue to contribute significantly to the Irish economy. ETS's Gudenas says 'the real story in our business world is the exodus of jobs and companies to south-east Asia and China. The only way to stay competitive is through efficiency, quality and proficiency of the Irish workforce, and that's what our programme provides,' she says. 'Your article could help us keep more jobs in Ireland as you are in a key role to get the politicians and the government to support training - for example, in the USA, the states refund companies a portion of their training costs. You could push the politicians to do this; why aren't they thinking about the future and the threat of China and supporting training? That's the real story regarding the economic future for Irish people,' she says, before adding: 'In this enlightened age, when your house is on fire, do you stop to ask the religious affiliations of the firemen before you accept their help? I think not.'" Message-ID:

Gerald Armstrong

A lawsuit against Gerald Armstrong, Bob Minton and the Lisa McPherson Trust was posted to a.r.s this week. Scientology is seeking compensation for breach of contract. "Beginning in late 1989, Armstrong systematically began breaching virtually every material covenant to which he had agreed by entering into the Settlement Agreement. In 1992, CSI instituted suit against Armstrong seeking damages for his repeated breaches and provisional and permanent injunctive relief against future breaches. CSI obtained a monetary judgment and a permanent injunction. Armstrong, who characterizes this Court's Injunction as 'illegal' and 'unconstitutional,' and 'a great stupidity,' began almost immediately to violate the terms of the Injunction. As a result, Armstrong has been found by this Court to be in contempt on two separate occasions, citing 14 separate violations, and is the subject of two outstanding bench warrants. On July 13, 2001, Armstrong was again fount to be in contempt of the Injunction on no less than 131 additional occasions. Armstrong has evaded both the fines and the imprisonment to which he has been sentenced by fleeing the jurisdiction and relocating to British Columbia, Canada. "CSI asserts claims for breach of contract against Armstrong, as the contracting party, claims for intentional interference with contractual relations against Defendants Robert Minton and the Lisa McPherson Trust whose financial resources were intended to, and specifically enabled them to act in concert and conspiracy with Armstrong to perpetuate his ongoing contempt of this Court and to violate virtually a daily bases CSI's contractual rights. "Despite its deceptive and misleading name, Defendant Lisa McPherson Trust is neither a trust nor any other sort of nonprofit enterprise. LMT, at all times until its dissolution in December 2001, was a for-profit corporation, organized and existing under the laws of the State of Florida, with its principal place of business in Clearwater, Florida. Minton is the founder, sole incorporator, and is the source of the financing of LMT. "Armstrong on the one hand and Minton and LMT on the other hand combined, conspired, and agreed to perform the unlawful acts which are the subject of this Complaint and to conceal from discovery both the unlawful acts and the unlawful, conspiratorial participation of Minton and LMT therein. "On December 6, 1986, CSI and Armstrong entered into the Settlement Agreement, designed to end bitter litigation, including several separate cases then pending. In consideration for a payment of $800,000, Armstrong and CSI exchanged mutual, general releases. Armstrong made various covenants, including the following: 'Plaintiff agrees never to create or publish, or attempt to publish, and/or assist another to create for publication by means of magazine, article, book or other similar form, any writing or broadcast or to assist another to create write, film, or video tape or audio tape any show, program or movie, or to grant interviews or discuss with others, concerning their experiences with the Church of Scientology, or concerning their personal or indirectly acquired knowledge or information concerning the Church of Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard. Plaintiff further agrees that he will maintain strict confidentiality and silence with respect to his experiences with the Church of Scientology and any knowledge or information he may have concerning the Church of Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard. Plaintiff agrees that if the terms of this paragraph are breached by him, that CSI and the other Releasees would be entitled to liquidated damages in the amount of $50,000 for each such breach.' "Beginning in late 1989, Armstrong began breaching his obligations under the Settlement Agreement. Armstrong, having fled the jurisdiction, continued his contumacious conduct virtually unabated. Since the February 1998 contempt order, Armstrong mad oral statements and statements created and transmitted vial e-mail and by 'posting' to the Internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology thus committing more than 200 separate breaches. "In December 1999, Armstrong traveled to Clearwater, Florida at the invitation of Minton and LMT, who paid for the expenses of Armstrong's visit, with the purpose and intent of enabling Armstrong to violate the Agreement including media and other public appearances as part of LMT's anti-Scientology campaign. While in Clearwater, Armstrong appeared at and addressed a gathering assembled and sponsored by LMT, which also produced a videotape of Armstrong's remarks. So brazen was Armstrong that he began his videotaped remarks by acknowledging that his address was prohibited by the Injunction. "On December 10, 1999, while still in Florida at the request and expense of Minton and LMT, Armstrong appeared on Radio Station WMNF-AM in Tampa, Florida and gave an interview on that station. In June 2000, Armstrong traveled to Germany to attend a public ceremony where Minton was presented with an award for his anti-Scientology activities by a small group of like-minded extremists. During this trip, Armstrong met with media representatives and engaged in further breaches of the Settlement Agreement. On information and belief, these travels and actions were financed and supported by Minton, individually or through his alter ego, the LMT, with the knowledge that Armstrong would use this opportunity to further violate the Settlement Agreement. "From May through July of 2001, Armstrong traveled to Russia, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and other countries where he met with media personnel and made numerous public statements in violation of the Settlement Agreement. On information and belief, these travels and actions were financed and supported by Minton, individually or through his alter ego, the LMT, with the knowledge that Armstrong would use this opportunity to further violate the Settlement Agreement by making numerous public appearances where those violations occurred, including in Leipzig, Germany where Armstrong publicly appeared with Minton, Brooks, and other LMT employees. Minton encouraged Armstrong in the above violations. "Armstrong has committed 201 separate and distinct breaches of the Settlement Agreement, as a result of which CSI is entitled to liquidated damages of $50,000 for each such breach, totaling $10,050,000. Minton and LMT have knowledge and notice of both the Settlement Agreement and the Injunction and nonetheless wilfully, deliberately, and maliciously aided and financially rewarded and enabled Armstrong to breach his contractual obligations." Message-ID:

Milwaukee Mission

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on June 1st that the Milwaukee Scientology mission has moved to larger offices. "After about 15 years at 710 E. Silver Spring Drive in Whitefish Bay, the Church of Scientology-Milwaukee Dianetics Mission recently moved to larger quarters in Milwaukee at 6806 W. Wedgewood Drive. The mission is open from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Sunday service begins at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public." Message-ID: TLqK8.1387$

Protest Summary

Graham Berry reported protesting Scientology's Gold Base in Hemet, California. "Sunday May 26 I was driving into the town of Hemet and the nearby Gilman Hot Springs. I decided upon an impromptu 'Justice For Keith Henson Solo Picket.' I parked my borrowed car in front of the Ashley Shaner Memorial and its adjacent Scientology surveillance camera. I only had one picket sign available. One side read 'Scientology: Church of Fair Game.' The other side read 'LRH DIED ON PYSCH DRUGS.' "I crossed Highway 79 at the bottom gates into the Golden Era film studio facilities. There did not seem to be anyone out and about. As I slowly strolled up towards the main gates holding my picket sign aloft I noticed bicycles and mopeds haphazardly parked and strewn along the sides of the paths and roads of the Base on both sides of Highway 79. The Guard House had two guards on duty. Because of my presence with a picket sign, the gates had to be closed, and two white passenger vans turned around and driven back into the base. The old black scientology security SUV was driving up and down. It parked behind my borrowed vehicle as if to intimidate and threaten me. I continued sauntering down the highway and to take photographs." Keith Henson reported protests at the Toronto org. "Two pickets, one May 20, Victoria day and one today, June 1. Last time was Chris Wood, a new guy, Ron Sharp, Gregg and me. We did 3 hours of picket and gave out about 400 xenu and other flyers. This was the last time the 'making the able more able' sign was up at the org. Two of the goon squad showed up but they just watched. We took a break when the Victoria Day parade went down Yonge St. The org has gone to blue tarp tech, only in this case it was black foam boards in the Dianetics windows on Yonge St. "Today it was just David Palter, Gregg and me for an hour and a half. We gave away 125 flyers on each side of Yonge St. The new sign blocking the window is false advertising saying that Dianetics is a 'science of the mind.' First thing that happened to me when I started was a tall woman with brown hair came by and said she was a Scientologist and that this Xenu stuff was crap. I mentioned that I had seen it in Hubbard's own handwriting. She said it was still crap even if LRH wrote it. I said she was going to have to do a knowledge report about having talked to me and she left going down the street freaking out. I watched and she never crossed the street to the org. "There was one funny sequence where this guy who is either involved or has a relative in carefully checks out that nobody is watching him from the org, takes a flyer from Gregg and stuff it into his pants." Message-ID: Message-ID:


Slovak news agency reported on May 29th that the Slovak Intelligence Service is monitoring Scientology and other cults as possible security risks. "Presenting the report to parliament on Wednesday [29 May], SIS Director-General Vladimir Mitro said crime groups focused on drug trafficking, but also on public procurement tenders, privatization tenders and other state orders. The SIS also monitored activities of the sects Church of Scientology and Moonies in Slovakia. Scientologists have official centres in Martin and Bratislava, and secret civic associations, language schools and private companies." Message-ID: WsoJ8.920$

Digital Lightwave

The St. Petersburg Times published a story on June 2nd on Digital Lightwave and the effects Scientology has had on the company. "It was New Year's Eve 1997 when Digital Lightwave's chief, Bryan Zwan, made his biggest deal: a $9-million contract for his signature product, a 10-pound device that tests telephone lines. But his overtaxed workers - they had put in 100-hour weeks during the holidays - didn't have enough time or materials. As the night wore on, the crew sent incomplete and unassembled units to a shipping warehouse, giving the impression the order was filled. Digital had done this before. The company even had shipped units to salesmen's homes for storage and booked them as sales. A manufacturing manager named Chuck Anderson became fed up. Most company whistleblowers typically alert the Securities and Exchange Commission to possible wrongdoing. But Anderson reported the trouble to his own higher authority: the Church of Scientology. "He wrote a 'knowledge report,' addressed to church leaders, warning that the New Year's Eve shipments were the latest in a troubling pattern in Digital that could create a 'huge potential flap' for Scientology. 'What happens if someone goes to the newspapers, the investors, the SEC?' Anderson, a Scientologist, wrote in his report. 'Not to mention putting Scientology and Scientologists at risk.' Zwan, a longtime Scientologist, has long insisted that Digital has no connection to the controversial church. Zwan said he never hired people because they are Scientologists and never sought church advice on company matters. 'We are a public company,' Zwan said. 'We have nothing to do with the Church of Scientology. It has no role in this company.' "A Scientologist helped Zwan develop Digital's fiber-optic technology. Scientology facilities, including the landmark Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, were backdrops for important company negotiations. Zwan tapped Scientologists for his early management team. And fellow Scientologists were Zwan's early backers, many reaping riches from Digital's run on Wall Street. Zwan hired as one of his top executives Denise Licciardi, the sister of Scientology's worldwide leader, David Miscavige. Quickly promoted and given a six-figure salary, Licciardi was widely regarded as Zwan's right hand at Digital. She urged him to run day-to-day operations by following Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's business practices known as 'LRH Tech.' Digital could 'become a showcase of LRH Tech,' Licciardi wrote in one memo to Zwan. 'This was what you communicated to each of us was your dream.' "In 1993, Zwan needed investors to take Digital Lightwave out of the incubator. He found a wealthy business partner while visiting Scientology's international spiritual retreat, the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. One day over lunch in the hotel's Hibiscus room, a Scientology staff member introduced Zwan to Brian Haney, a fellow entrepreneur visiting from Columbus, Ohio. Haney had become a millionaire in his 20s selling toys through his Great American Fun Corp. "Zwan traveled to Columbus to discuss a deal, meeting Haney at the Scientology facility there. First on the agenda was Scientology. The church wanted $100,000 for its planned Super Power building in Clearwater, a massive, $50-million complex now under construction. Haney balked. He had already given the project $200,000. But Zwan and the church staffer kept asking. Eventually, Haney wrote the check. The businessmen then turned to Digital Lightwave. The two Scientologists discussed using Hubbard's teachings to run the company. They had an unspoken understanding, Haney said: No one would mention Scientology and Digital in the same breath. 'It was known people would frown upon it,' Haney said. Investors and potential customers might be leery of a company with ties to a controversial church. "'We were going to be two Scientologists who ran a Scientology company that would bring in a ton of money that would get donated to Scientology so Scientology could put up Super Power buildings all over the globe,' said Haney, now 43. The entrepreneurs made a pact. For $5-million, Haney said, he wound up with 49 percent of the company and left daily operations to Zwan. Haney and his wife, Linda, had grown disillusioned with Scientology and left the church. The church labeled Mrs. Haney a 'suppressive person,' a name given to people the church believes are working against it. Church members are not to associate with a suppressive person. Haney said Zwan summoned him to a meeting at the Fort Harrison with church staff member Mary Voegeding Shaw, now president of FLAG, Scientology's spiritual retreat in Clearwater. 'Mary Voegeding says to me because my wife is a declared (suppressive) person I cannot be a partner in business with Bryan Zwan and that I only have two choices: I have to either divorce my wife or stop being Bryan Zwan's partner.' "Zwan decided to sell stock to the public, a bold move to generate cash so his young company could grow faster. To help navigate the expansion, Zwan recruited Seth Joseph, a 41-year-old securities lawyer from Miami. One of the few non-Scientologists in Digital management, Joseph was given a $250,000 salary and up to 656,666 stock options, potentially worth millions. Another executive came aboard then, too: Denise Licciardi, a 36-year-old Scientologist and sister of the church's leader, Miscavige. Zwan soon promoted Licciardi to vice president of administration, paid her a $123,000 salary and gave her 60,000 stock options. Her authority bothered Joseph, who questioned her qualifications. 'She was very, very close to Bryan beyond what her skills would warrant,' he said. 'It was because of her relationship with Bryan in Scientology.' "On Feb. 6, 1997, Digital Lightwave staged a successful initial public offering, trading at $12 a share. For Zwan, that meant his 20-million Left out of the millionaire's jubilee was Haney, the early investor who had left Scientology. Saying he had been tricked into selling back his shares, Haney later sued Zwan, claiming his stock would eventually have been worth $235-million. "Just months after coming aboard, a frustrated Licciardi wanted more of Hubbard's 'Admin tech' in the workplace. She wrote Zwan a nine-page memo reminding him that in recruiting her and other Scientologists, he had promised to use the Scientology methods. 'We left our lives behind for a reasonable salary (and) a small amount of stock to help you attain your goal,' she wrote. 'Here all we are trying to do is get to be a billion-dollar company in the telecom industry. Why don't we just apply the tech?' "Nearly half the sales Digital reported in the second quarter of 1997 involved deals that either never happened or were not closed. A stunning 79 percent of third quarter sales were wiped off the books. The restatement triggered SEC and Nasdaq investigations, and more than 20 shareholder lawsuits. And as the company was reeling from the bad publicity, it was facing another crisis internally. Licciardi told higherups that on New Year's Eve she had shipped out a couple of dozen partly filled boxes to be counted as sales. 'It was clear she had to go,' said Joseph, the lawyer who served as Zwan's No. 2. 'She had committed criminal conduct. She admitted to it. It was devastating.' "Scientologists and non-Scientologists turned on each other as the company's top two financial officers, Joseph and Steve Grant, called for Zwan to fire Licciardi. A group of Scientologists in the company went to Zwan to rally support for Licciardi. That morning, some said they saw Scientologists in distinctive naval uniforms in the corridors. Others said it was hired security. "Three days later, it was non-Scientologist Joseph who was forced out. Zwan said Joseph's firing was part of a companywide restructuring. Joseph cried foul, filing an arbitration complaint to recoup thousands of stock options. An arbitrator later sided with Joseph, ordering Digital to pay him $3.8-million. "But Licciardi didn't survive either. In two weeks, she was gone too. Yet her departure was largely on her own financial terms, which she spelled out in an e-mail to Zwan titled 'Ending Cycle,' a Scientology term. She told Zwan she was 'without a doubt guilty of executing on orders without question.' Licciardi wrote she applied 'Simon Bolivar to a 'T,' ' a Scientology phrase referring to loyalty. "Today, Digital still is a big player in fiber-optic testing, with a 36 percent market share in the United States and specific strategies to push its international sales. It has 110 employees, and this year contracted with Jabil Circuit of St. Petersburg to manufacture all its units. Digital's stock price closed Friday at $3.10. The company ranks 25th on this year's Times list of top-performing public companies. Digital also has put in place new accounting practices that, Zwan says, will prevent past problems from recurring. "As for the turbulent last four years: The SEC imposed a $10,000 fine on Zwan in settling its case last fall. There was no admission of wrongdoing. The SEC had hoped to develop Licciardi as a witness against Zwan. The agency interviewed her in 1999 but could not find her as it prepared for trial. The Times likewise could not find Licciardi. A Times reporter visited several times a residence listed on Licciardi's driver's license, mailed her letters and sought interviews through her mother and Gerald Gentile, whom she married after leaving Digital. Reporters also left an interview request at a Scientology Mission in Belleair Bluffs, where she is said to work. "Joseph works at a Miami law firm. Digital has not paid him the $3.8-million award, and is appealing. His case, though, resulted in a strong rebuke from Miami lawyer Stanley Beiley, the arbitrator who heard Joseph's complaint. Digital shareholders should have been told, Beiley wrote, that 'senior management knew that Denise Licciardi admitted to significant inventory falsifications and yet rewarded her by permitting her to resign, rather than firing her.' "Brian Haney sold his toy company and is a venture capitalist. He also runs a Christian charity organization out of his home in Columbus. Haney and Zwan settled their suit in 2000. Terms are confidential. "Zwan, now Digital's chairman, CEO and president, recently upped his stake in the company to 60 percent. He insists Scientology plays no part of Digital's operations. He says no more than three Scientologists work there today." Message-ID: JGqK8.1386$

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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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