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

Volume 7, Issue 21 - August 25 2002


The St. Petersburg Times reported on August 23rd that Scientology has made a donation to the Clearwater Fire Department. "A new ceremonial unit of the Clearwater Fire Department will now be fully uniformed, thanks to a $3,300 contribution from the Church of Scientology's Volunteer Ministers. City manager Bill Horne, who was asked by the fire chief to okay the donation presented to firefighters Thursday, said he thinks this is the first monetary donation Scientologists ever have made to the city. "Thursday morning, uniformed firefighters stood alongside Scientologists and accepted an oversized check. The fire department's special new unit, called an Honor Guard, was created in May following the Sept. 11 attacks and at the urging of firefighter Doug Swartz, a former Marine who coordinated an Honor Guard for the Pasco County Fire Department before becoming a Clearwater firefighter last year. Clearwater's Honor Guard will participate in parades and ceremonial functions such as color guard duties at sporting events and funerals for fallen firefighters. "To get the Honor Guard started, the fire department initially chipped in $6,000. Swartz figured that would be enough; he anticipated no more than five or six firefighters would volunteer for the special detail. Instead, 11 firefighters joined. The department's money paid for dress hats, pants, shirts, shoes and ascots. But to be fully dressed out, the Honor Guard needed blue, double-breasted jackets with brass buttons. "The Church of Scientology's Volunteer Ministers, which sent more than 100 members to ground zero to assist firefighters in their rescue and cleanup efforts, was eager to help, said Sarah Gorgone, the volunteer ministry coordinator for Tampa Bay. The Volunteer Ministers learned of the Honor Guard's need from the fire department's union president, John Lee. Gorgone said church staffer, Sophie Bartczak -- who has several times taken doughnuts and flowers to the fire station -- bumped into Lee on the street recently and Lee mentioned the Honor Guard needing some help. "Horne said the donation should not be viewed as a failure by the city to provide the department enough money. The Honor Guard is an auxiliary activity, he said, and no request was ever made to the city to further fund it." Message-ID: %4o99.30$ Message-ID: p2o99.29$


Ddp-nrw reported on August 7th that Scientology front groups have been more active in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. "Scientology continues to be active in Nordrhein-Westfalen, but operates mainly through front groups. After its internationally orchestrated negative publicity campaign against the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1990s, the organization has had a change of strategy and is conducting its business from the sidelines, reported the cult commissioner of the Evangelical Church in Rheinland, Andrew Schaefer. "The organization had already been using a 'shunting system' in public to gain new members and become socially acceptable. He said that lately the organization has been boosting its sub-organization KVPM (the German equivalent of CCHR) as a self-help group in opposition to use of Ritalin. "The cult commissioner's impression is that these self-help groups are then used to further the real objectives of the Scientology organization. He said there are plenty of other sub-divisions of Scientology that do this sort of thing, like NARCONON and CRIMINON for alleged drug therapy and social re-integration programs. He said that there were several companies in the greater Cologne and Duesseldorf vicinities that used mild pressure on their employees to take Scientology courses. He said members of the Duesseldorf State Assembly regularly received mail from Scientology, and that there was a danger that the organization could gain influence over the long term." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1020823070403.111A-100000@darkstar.zippy

Lisa McPherson

The estate of Lisa McPherson filed a final argument to oppose Scientology's request to dismiss the civil case over her death, or to remove Ken Dandar, attorney for the estate. Scientology claims that he has asked witnesses to lie in the case. "The Defendants' entire foundation for this proceeding was the direct examination of Robert S. Minton. Minton, weakly supported and sometimes contradicted by his mistress, Stacy Brooks, failed to carry the day for his handlers, the Church of Scientology. His motive for testifying falsely was solely his desire to meet the Scientology demands of making the Lisa McPherson case 'go away' before Scientology would consider 'disengagement' of its continuous 'noisy investigation' of Minton, his family, his friends, and his business associates. The 'noisy investigation' is part of the Church of Scientology's written policies on practicing extortion to force its enemies to 'sue for peace.' "Thus, Minton seeks personal benefit from his testimony. However, when questioned on the identical subject matter on cross-examination, Minton suddenly clammed up and began steadfastly invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in order to erect a wall of incontrovertibility around his testimony on direct, completely thwarting the purpose of cross-examination, robbing Plaintiff of the chance to impeach Minton's testimony on direct, and making a mockery of the adversarial process. "Since Minton pled the Fifth Amendment and has refused to identify the name of the financial institution originating the two UBS checks in question, all of his testimony must be stricken. Minton is Scientology's agent and witness and is in the position of a claimant, i.e., seeking affirmative relief for Scientology, by bringing his claim as agent for Scientology against Plaintiff's counsel alleging subornation of perjury. "The defendants have failed to meet their burden of proof to establish fraud on the court or any violation of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. The allegations against the Estate and its counsel are the result of extortion and pursuant to an illegal and unethical agreement between admitted perjurers, Robert Minton and Stacy Brooks, and the Church of Scientology. The evidence conclusively shows that the defendant church and its counsel have engaged in extortion to attempt to achieve its obvious purpose: dismissal of this case to save it from liability for monetary damages, bad publicity in the failure of its tech, and responsibility for the death of its member. "The evidence reveals that Samuel Rosen and Monique Yingling are directly involved in the extortion of Minton, and through Minton, the extortion of the Estate and its counsel. The notes of the first two meetings with confirmatory testimony by church counsel, Monique Yingling, establishes without reasonable doubt that Minton and Brooks were indeed threatened and made to falsely accuse Dell Liebreich and her counsel of engaging in criminal activity so that this case would 'go away.' "Minton and Brooks allege that they have decided to recant their perjury because they wanted to 'set the record straight' as demanded by Scientology, so that they can settle with Scientology. Yet, in all three sets of these meeting records of church counsel and Minton counsel, there is not one mention of setting the record straight. Minton and Brooks went to Yingling and Rinder of the church and had them help them with their second 'recantation affidavits.' Scientology hand delivered to them stacks of transcripts highlighted or otherwise marked that Scientology wanted Minton and Brooks to address in their recantations. "Scientology has the burden of proof. It is totally relying upon the credibility of two admitted perjurers, Minton and Brooks. No one else supports the lies told by these two witnesses. This court on numerous occasions has stated that the court will refer Minton and Brooks to the state attorney for prosecution. The defendants and their counsel are implicated in this fraud upon the court since it was Scientology who met in private with these witnesses, who asked that their counsel not attend." Message-ID:

Joan Wood

The St. Petersburg Times reported on August 23rd that Dr. Joan Wood has denied that Scientology influenced her decision to make herself unavailable for testimony as the former Medical Examiner of Pinellas and Pasco counties, in Florida. "She dodged subpoenas to testify in murder cases about autopsies. She didn't answer her phone or knocks on her front door. To this day, defense attorneys can't locate her. But on Thursday, Wood appeared for the second straight day at a conference of state medical examiners in Gainesville. The appearance comes even as she still insists to prosecutors she is unable to testify in a handful of ongoing cases because of health problems caused by 25 years of job stress. Wood, 58, plans to launch a pathology consulting business by the end of next month. "In her first interview since her departure, Wood discussed years of overwhelming job stress that still keeps her out of court. That included the stress of one of her last high-profile cases, her reversal on the cause of death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, who died in 1995 after 17 days in church custody. McPherson's death became a focus for critics of the church. Wood ruled McPherson died of complications from dehydration. But in 2000, she ruled the death accidental, and charges of abuse of a disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license were dropped. Wood said Thursday that her decision was based on facts, not pressure from anyone. "'Scientology didn't get to me,' she said flatly. 'I have some bad stress that I'm not yet able to cope with,' Wood said during a 40-minute interview. 'I have panic attacks whenever I go into a courtroom. It's something I can't face yet.' Wood blames her stress on all the violence, death and weighty decisionmaking of 25 years on the job. "In the Lisa McPherson case, the church 'hounded' her office during the criminal case with unending paperwork requests and subpoenas, she said. After the reversal, she felt the heat from the other side. Prosecutor Doug Crow warned Wood that he was releasing a report critical of her decision. Wood said she asked Crow if she and prosecutors could 'still be friends.' 'He told me, 'I don't know if that's possible,'' Wood said. 'Their reaction shocked me.'" Message-ID: 4ao99.31$

Drug Free Marshals

The Miami Herald reported on August 18th that Scientology's Drug Free Marshals are sponsoring an art and essay contest. "The Drug-Free Marshals program, sponsored by the Church of Scientology and inspired by author L. Ron Hubbard, is holding an art and essay contest open to children 6 to 14. The contest runs through Oct. 1. The program encourages children to be drug-free and to assist friends and family to do the same through special projects including essay and art contests, cleanup campaigns and talks with law enforcement officials. The topic for the contest is 'How I Can Help Create A Drug-Free Community.'" Message-ID: 4K389.1979$

In Memoriam

The Los Angeles Times reported on August 20th that Scientologist Marie Nollenberger has passed away. "Marie Pauline Nollenberger, 95, died Aug. 16 in Glendale. She was born June 20, 1907, in Hoag Corner, N.Y. She was a Glendale resident for 79 years. She was a crossing guard for the city of Glendale and was a member of several organizations including: Order of Eastern Star; Daughters of the Nile; White Shrine; Beausant; Amaranth; P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter Number KO; Oriental Shrine. She was the Matron Order of the Eastern Star in 1948 and the Worthy High Priestess of the White Shrine in 1990. She was also a member of the Church of Scientology in La Crescenta." Message-ID: VgN89.10$

OT Ambassadors

International Scientology News reported the accomplishments of the OT Ambassadors program. "The six South African OT Ambassadors delivered 100 events and OT briefings, moving 35 pre-OTs onto their next step and helping to make 220 Grade Chart Completions. The ten Australian OT Ambassadors moved 280 Scientologists onto their next step and helped triple the number of OT s made in AOSH ANZO to 267 The seven Canadian OT Ambassadors moved four times as many Pre OT s onto their next step compared to the year before and helped Scientologists achieve 296 Grade Chart completions. The 20 United Kingdom OT Ambassadors teamed up to double the number of Clears and Pre OT s onto their next step. And they increased the number of those started on Solo NOT s by seven times over the previous year. "The 88 European OT Ambassadors cover 13 nations. Outstanding are the 11 Italian Ambassadors who held 128 events and briefing, doubling the number of Scientologists onto OT levels, in just three months. Overall, Italian Ambassadors moved 917 Scientologists onto their next step. Combined, European Ambassadors tripled the number of OT events delivered, moved 300 Clears onto their next step and helped accomplish 1,042 Grade Chart Completions. "The 16 Mexican OT Ambassadors helped more that 1,000 people make progress on The Bridge, 3X'd the number of Clears moving onto the next step and 9X'd the number of people onto OT levels. "In the Eastern United States, OT Ambassadors of New York truly answered the call. The donned the 'yellow shirts' and worked at Ground Zero. They distributed 70,000 copies of The Way to Happiness and delivered thousand of assists and Dianetics sessions. OT Ambassadors Karin Beatty and Sue Simon answered the call by joining staff at New York Org, promptly tripling the org's delivery. Overall, East US Ambassadors helped 1,000 people onto their next step and increased the number of people onto OT levels by 500 percent. "The 230 Western United States OT Ambassadors gave over 655 events and briefings, helped 1,322 Clears and 1,145 OT s onto their next service and helped accomplish 7,142 Grade Chart completions." Message-ID: 97965e432bbec02bd7414dd95e4c69f6@anonymous.poster

Philippines reported that Narconon is promoting the Narconon program in the Philippines. "International balladeer David Pomeranz will help the newly created Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in its campaign against illegal drugs. Pomeranz, a frequent visitor in Manila who planed in recently to promote his new album, is a key member of Narconon International, a non-profit, anti-drug corporation based in the United States and Australia. "PDEA chief Director Anselmo Avenido said Narconon, through its rehabilitation programs, is helping thousands of people of different races 'regain their ability to think and achieve their goals in life without drugs.' Avenido said Narconon has been saving lives and educating youths on the hazards of drug abuse for over 30 years now. "Robert Anderson of Colorado, USA, and Churlya Wurfel of New South Wales, Australia, representatives of NARCONON International, visited the PDEA national office at Camp Crame in Quezon City recently. They pledged to give the PDEA 20 million copies of their book entitled 'The Way to Happiness' and a handout entitled '10 Things Your Friends May Not Know About Drugs' for distribution nationwide. Avenido said NARCONON selected the Philippines as one of its pilot areas in Asia for its latest concept on drug prevention education and rehabilitation. At present, the international anti-drug group is looking for a site where it could build their office and rehabilitation center." Message-ID:

Anti-drug Festival

The Scotsman reported on August 22nd that Scientology is sponsoring an anti-drug festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Say No to Drugs Festival has attracted high-profile sponsorship from the Church of Scientology which counts celebrities such as John Travolta and Lisa Marie Presley among its members. But the festival has been criticised by leading councillors and churches, who say scientologists are not the best people to be associated with the two-day event. Over the last 50 years, Scientology has attracted almost continual controversy, being blamed for general harassment of the public as well as more specific upsets such as the breakdown of Tom Cruise's marriage to Nicole Kidman. "Jive and swing band The Jive Aces, who have toured Europe and the US promoting Scientology, have organised the anti-drugs event at the Ross Open Air Theatre in West Princes Street Gardens today and tomorrow. The group will be joined by top Hearts striker Marc de Vries and Hibs players Paul Fenwick and Alan Reid, and the former Scottish international hooker Frank Laidlaw. "Councillor Steve Cardownie, the city's culture and leisure leader, said people who attend the festival should be made aware of who is behind it. He said: 'I would have thought we at the council would frown on the Ross Theatre being used by the Church of Scientology. It is a legal organisation but people have to be aware of what they're attending. People may think they are attending an anti-drugs festival and then find they are approached by Scientologists. I've no evidence that will be the case but people should always be aware of who is sponsoring an event.' "Graeme Wilson, the Say No to Drugs campaign manager for the Church of Scientology, said there had been ample publicity of the organisation's involvement in the event and that the message of the festival was to be strictly anti-drugs. 'I can understand the concerns myself but the purpose of the event and of any material we give out is for drugs education. None of the information we will be giving out will have any message about Scientology.' "Nadia Munno, a member of The Jive Aces, said there would not be any representatives of the Church of Scientology at the event. She said: 'This is not going to be a religious event. It is an event that will give the message to the people of Scotland not to take drugs.' The festival in Edinburgh will be held between noon and 2pm on August 22 and 23." Message-ID: Iho99.23$

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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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