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

Volume 7, Issue 19 - August 11 2002


Hollywood Star News reported on August 7th that a party was held by Scientology to celebrate the anniversary of the Celebrity Center. "The star turnout led by Tom Cruise at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre's 33rd Anniversary Gala in Hollywood over the weekend was a vivid demonstration of why some call Scientology the 'power religion of Hollywood.' The religion remains a controversial presence in many of those countries, including Germany where there has been a long-running battle over the church's very right to exist. John Travolta is one of the Scientologists who has spoken out about the situation in Germany. Besides Cruise, highly visible show business Scientologists include Jenna Elfman, Lisa Marie Presley, Kirstie Alley, Ann Archer, Mimi Rogers, Chick Corea, Karen Black, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) and Travolta's wife, actress Kelly Preston. "Among the 1,200 guests at the plush party held on the country club like grounds under a tent on a warm night in Southern California were Leah Remini, Jason Lee, Erika Christensen, Giovanni Ribisi Christopher Masterson, Lynsey Bartilson, Michelle Stafford, Marisol Nichols, Pablo Santos, Catherine Bell and actress Juliette Lewis. "The Celebrity Centre is one of eleven such centers worldwide including New York, Paris, Nashville, Las Vegas, Vienna and London. From the beginning of Scientology in the mid-1950s, Hubbard made the recruitment of celebrities a high priority, because they could help in recruiting the public and gave credibility to his teachings. The use of celebrities to endorse the church is a marketing tool, especially for reaching young people (another Scientology target group), in a world where celebrity is a very powerful commodity." Message-ID: 6Tr49.1706$

Renate Hartwig

Suedwestpresse reported on August 10th that German critic Renate Hartwig has released a new book about other critics of Scientology. "For eleven years Renate Hartwig was regarded as the most competent Scientology expert there was, who not only warned people about Scientology, but could prove what she said. All that was over yesterday as she presented her new book in Berlin, 'Die Schattenspieler.' Renate Hartwig did not write about Scientology in her book, but about critics, who she said misused Scientology to further their own interests. She this was done by taking advantage of the public's vague fear of Scientology, and the people she pointed the finger at included Constitutional Security, officially known as the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. She said after the fall of the Wall, Constitutional Security merely substituted Scientology for the former East Block for job security. She said she was tired of the self-appointed judges, juries and executioners of libel and no longer wanted to be a part of it. "She accused all the cult critics of having a vested interest, those of the churches, those in government, and those in the political parties. She said that nothing was more profitable than vague threats. She wrote about companies that would not have been afraid of Scientology if it were not for the fact that they had hired high-priced, self-appointed experts to make sure that their company had no contact with Scientology. "Renate Hartwig said she uncovered a business scheme by US millionaire Robert S. Minton who she said paid German cult commissioners to help win an 80-million dollar lawsuit against Scientology in America. She said Ursula Caberta got $75,000 of that and was subsequently charged accordingly by the state attorney. Hartwig's harshest words were for Constitutional Security, who she said not only knew about the insufferable critics, but engaged in activity of the same kind by having a Constitutional Security agent pretend to be a Scientologist on the Internet who told everyone that Scientology had forced him to behave in a criminal manner." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1020810143313.110A-100000@darkstar.zippy


The Irish Times reported on August 10th that Scientology participated in a fair on Bull Island, Ireland. "The car-free day, organised jointly by Dublin City Council and Coastwatch, transformed the beach from a sandy motorway to a seaside oasis only minutes away from the city centre. 'It's going to be hard to convince people to change the habits of a lifetime,' said the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Dermot Lacey, who is in favour of an outright ban on cars on the beach. "In their bright yellow T-shirts, the Church of Scientology Litter Patrol milled around adding a splash of colour to the scene. 'We have been coming here for two years every third Saturday,' said Ms Siobhan Ryan, from Swords. 'We are trying to establish a blue flag beach here. The job is getting easier each time and it is wonderful to see no cars here today.'" Message-ID: rKs59.1808$

New Zealand

The Press newspaper from Christchurch, New Zealand reported on August 3rd that a plastics factory is owned in part by Scientologists. "Key players in the controversial Hokitika plastics factory proposal are devotees of the Church of Scientology. Wayne Byrne, of Sydney, and Soren Kierkegaard, of Tauranga, are the two principals of FT Manufacturing (Westland) Ltd, which has received a $500,000 loan from the Westland District Council, along with a council commitment to build the factory for a further $2.2 million. "An online testimonial from Mr. Byrne, an accountant, said his discovery of Hubbard's management and administration technology had changed his approach to business. 'This technology is admirably workable in every organisation, and I apply it with success each working day,' he wrote. He said most of what he had learned at university and within his profession was 'quite useless' in the management of any kind of business venture. 'In particular, accounting is a very poor management tool for understanding what is really happening.' "Mr. Kierkegaard, a New Zealander who has returned after 30 years overseas, changed his name by deed poll to that of the 19th-century existentialist philosopher. He and his Sydney-based company, Technology Group Management Ltd, are named as members of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises. The three directors of Technology Group Management, which is handling the Sydney side of the plastics project, are Mr. Byrne, and Mr. Kierkegaard and his wife, Sue. Mrs. Kierkegaard is a Scientologist. "Scientology is based on a psychotherapy technique that is supposed to let people free themselves from their unhappiness, but the organisation has been involved internationally in several court cases, high-profile disputes over alleged tax evasion, and claims that it exploits its adherents. Westland Mayor John Drylie would not comment on the Scientology link, or any other aspect of the Hokitika project." Message-ID: pxG39.1627$

Protest Summary

Keith Henson reported a protest at the Toronto, Canada org on August 10th. "I watched the org for a long time from the coffee shop and there was next to no activity, unlike last time when they had Sea Orgers all over the place. Eventually S. Putnik (who has picketed with us before) showed up. We wondered back to the car where we collected signs and flyers and started walking back to the org. Some guys hanging out on the grass in the little park we walk through saw our signs and asked for flyers. As we started off he asked if he could join us. We had extras so I got another sign out and we all went over to the org. During the entire picket only one person went in. "In about 15 minutes a guy who said he was a 30 year scn vet come up and start taping them and trying to pump them for their identities. He pretended just to be an interested person, joined in listening to S. Putnik talk about a certain refugee from California, and the cult being convicted of spying in three countries. Camera guy jumped in and wanted to know S's name. S gave him Fred Flintstone, the guy said 'That's not your real name, will you give that?' And S said 'no, I am not going to make it too easy, you have to work for it.' Camera guy then accused S of not being a 'legitimate' picker because he would not give out his name. "The two scns seem to be highly concerned about the long conversations pedestrians were having with the picketers. Taking pictures of those who stopped just verified what the picketers said about the ugly nature of scn. I gave away the rest of my 'Parsonage?' flyers about the tax scam and maybe 60 Xenu flyers. S and Nex gave out about 150." Message-ID:

Lee Konitz

Down Beat magazine profiled Lee Konitz, winner of their Saxophonist of the Year award, in the August 1st issue. "Lee Konitz sits atop a bar stool centerstage at Manhattan's Blue Note. Ears cocked and eyes darting, the patriarch of 'cool jazz' embarks on a round of spontaneous composition with pianist Paul Bley and bassist Marc Johnson. Konitz, 74, sat in the living room of his Upper West Side apartment, where Proust and Dostoevsky novels hold a place with a healthy collection of classical and jazz CDs. 'So many talented people are obliged to learn many different kinds of musics to function as professionals. I was never really obliged to do that. I just want to play 'All The Things You Are' in all the keys.' "Konitz began to wean himself from marijuana during a long, sporadic involvement with Scientology that began around 1973. 'It seemed to me that I would have a chance, step-by-step, to look at my life and things around me, and try to make some sense out of it,' Konitz says. 'It provided me with the opportunity to continue studying, a discipline that I had stopped when I left high school. I left the Jewish thing early on, and had never been part of a religious group too much. Besides the business part, which I objected to strongly, it was clean. And whatever was hokey about it, I just accepted the part that felt it was to our benefit.' "Free and clear of marijuana, Tristano and L. Ron Hubbard since 1990, Konitz relies on his ears and intuition 'to communicate with the people I'm playing with, not just somehow register what they're doing, and continue to do what I do.'" Message-ID:


Scientology working to improve its image Tages-Anzeiger reported on August 5th that Scientology is attempting to improve its image in Switzerland. "Scientology's headquarters in Zurich used to receive praise on a regular basis from its American parent organization for sending a steady flow of euro-dollars from Zurich in the direction of the USA. Then the world-famous psycho-cult began making headlines. A number of adherents were caught in con games and Scientology business people were declaring bankruptcy. The big Scientology center had to move from the prestigious Badener Strasse to the edge of town. Scientology's image took a beating, and this was reflected in its membership figures. Scientology boss Juerg Stettler is seeing to it that his people no longer squeeze their customers like they used to. Customers are no longer counseled to take out loans for tens or hundreds of thousands of franks. The loans were often given by Scientologists themselves backed by banks, and financial losses in the millions occurred. "Scientology is today treading lightly in Zurich, nothing much about its totalitarian indoctrination system has changed. The courses still cost an arm and a leg - one hour at the highest level can cost 1,000 franks. And the staff are at the grindstone for up to 70 hours a week. In return for their services they get spending money. The Zurich Scientologists are also using new methods to lure in new members, like tele-marketing. They check names off in the white pages whose numbers they dial to ask them, for instance, what they would do to improve their lives. They try to draw people into personal conversations and to sell them Scientology books. Not everybody they talk to are aware they are speaking with Scientologists. "Scientologists are discovering how to go from door to door like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. One 17-year-old apprentice was taken in by the Scientologists, although he had already heard about them. He had bought a booklet and filled out the survey in back, which contained the 200 questions of Scientology's personality test. It wasn't until he was given the evaluation for the test that he realized what he had gotten himself into. 'Being caught like that by the Scientologists really burned me up,' he said in retrospect, and further stated that his test showed him negative in 9 of the 10 areas, with 7 points almost at the bottom. If he would have taken the test seriously, he might have thought he was anti-social, depressed, neurotic and unstable. Results like these are used by the Scientologists to create anxiety in people about themselves, upon which the cult's white knights will gallop in to save the day by offering them Scientology courses. "Recently the Scientologists have gotten a permit to operate a stand on Bahnhof Strasse. They battled for this privilege through the court system up to the federal level. To polish their tarnished image, the Scientologists have also been organizing public relations events, such as clean-the-parks campaigns. Besides that they have put up a big billboard by the sidewalk where their new organization is with the seductive message that the unemployed will immediately receive a job. To create good-will, Scientologists sometimes pass out roses in the surrounding area. When Scientology moved into the new quarters, they had promised not to solicit for customers on the streets, but now residents are complaining about getting Scientology advertisements in the mail, sometimes twice a week. The Scientologists have also tried to get shopowners to put their books on display in their businesses. "Though they may find themselves in dire financial straights, the Scientologists don't skimp on expenses when it comes to celebrating. Recently the organization held a celebration in the Grand Hotel Dolder, where Swiss Scientologists were to be honored by their American parent organization for their services - meaning money. But those who thought that the Americans wanted to reward their Zurich staff for their hard labor don't know Scientology. Admission was 325 franks." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1020806105330.126A-100000@darkstar.zippy

Writers of the Future

New Jersey newspaper the Courier-Post reported on August 5th that a local man is a finalist on Scientology's Writers of the Future contest. "Drew Morby in the garden of his Cherry Hill home. He is a finalist in a fiction writing contest. A Cherry Hill man with a penchant for science fiction and fantasy is about to jet off to Los Angeles in search of a jump-start to his career. As a second-quarter finalist in the annual L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, Drew Morby will attend a workshop featuring some of the finest science fiction writers on the planet. "'My expectations are that my career will take off at this point,' said Morby, 33, who lives in the Point of Woods section with his fiancee, Lisa Salerno, 45, her daughter Danielle, 14, and a menagerie of two dogs, four cats and three birds. 'The contest comes with a workshop, so at least I'll be able to improve my craft.' "Hubbard, the founder of Scientology and an accomplished science fiction writer himself, started the contest in 1983 to promote good writing and provide a career springboard to promising writers. Since the contest's inception, says Beverly Widder, whose public relations firm in Marina Del Rey, Calif., promotes it, nearly 300 winners have gone on to sell well over 100 novels and more than 1,000 short stories. Well-known science fiction writers Karen Joy Fowler, Nina Kiriki Hoffman and Dean Wesley Smith head the list. As a second-quarter finalist, Morby received a $500 check and an invitation to the Aug. 17 awards ceremony. "Morby's entry is published in this year's L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Anthology. Work from five or six finalists are included in each year's anthology in addition to first-, second- and third- place finishers each quarter, says Widder. The contest attracts between 2,000 and 3,000 entries each year. Winners do not have to be Scientologists. Like many aspiring writers, Morby, who is not a Scientologist, gets most of his ideas from observing others. He watches them in shopping centers, on walks, in restaurants - wherever people congregate. Ideas also jump out at him from movies and books and while falling asleep at night." Message-ID: OAG39.1628$

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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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