AustraliaThe Sydney Morning Herald reported on November 25th on the involvement in Scientology of billionaire James Packer. "The son of Australia's richest man is a prize catch for the Church of Scientology. Rich, famous and friends with the church's star disciple, Tom Cruise, James Packer is just the kind of recruit the church loves to welcome in one of its 'celebrity centres' around the world. Yesterday, Mr Packer said he had 'no comment whatsoever' on a weekend press report that he had been taking instruction in the Church of Scientology, and had been seen at the church's Dundas campus. "A church spokeswoman said staff were trained at the campus, and lived on site. There was a church there for staff, but no facilities to train a member of the public, she said. The Church of Scientology has always targeted movie stars and the rich through its 'celebrity centres.' Mr Packer's friend Cruise is a key member of the Los Angeles Celebrity Centre, a former Hollywood hotel which resembles a Disneyland castle. "It is understood the cost of a course at the Los Angeles centre is $US376,000 ($667,000). This is a petty amount to celebrity adherents such as Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Lisa Marie Presley. Cruise reportedly donates more than $US2million a year to the church. In August, he told a church graduation ceremony in California that he would do everything he could to expand Scientology. In the church's jargon, he is an 'OT V,' meaning he has reached the fifth of eight OT levels. OT stands for 'operating thetan' and 'thetan' means soul. OTs are supposed to be able to read people's thoughts and travel outside their bodies. But before a member studies for these upper levels, there are hefty fees to pay while he or she masters the basics, moving from 'pre-clear' status to 'clear.' "Reports of Mr Packer's conversion to Scientology have been circulating in Sydney at the same time as rumours that he is planning to move to California, just like his uncle, the late Clyde Packer, who moved to California in 1976. Mr Packer did not respond to an inquiry by the Herald about any such move." The Sydney Morning Herald reported on November 29th that a woman who has been convicted of fraud has become a Scientologist. "For two years, Debra Anne Dalton pretended to be the mother of a baby that never existed. Her former lover gave her more than $23,000 in child support, even helping to pay when told his son needed to go the United States for treatment of a 'chronic kidney disorder.' But Matthew Wojtowicz was never allowed to see his child, only a photo album entitled 'Our Baby,' which held a picture purportedly drawn by their son, whom Dalton called Reece James. "In Sutherland Local Court yesterday, the 23-year-old Beverly Hills woman admitted the child never existed and that she had concocted an elaborate plan, creating a fake baby and defrauding her former lover for child support payments. She pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining benefit by deception. "According to police documents, Dalton has been diagnosed as a pathological liar, but says she has recovered after receiving counselling and joining the Church of Scientology. Dalton eventually made full admissions to police about concocting the child's birth and fabricating hundreds of documents. She maintained, however, that she did fall pregnant to Mr Wojtowicz, but terminated the pregnancy. She will be sentenced at Sutherland Local Court on January 30." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
CCHRE-mails to Scientologists this week urged members to thank Fox News for a segment on the cable network in which members of the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights were interviewed. "CCHR Supporters, In case you missed it, here is a transcript from last night's show on FOX NATIONAL TV; 'On the Record.' This was a no holds barred look at the connection between violent inducing psychiatric drugs and the recent school shootings. The producer, Douglas Kennedy should be acknowledged for exposing the facts. Please email the show after reading the below transcript and acknowledge both FOX News and producer Douglas Kennedy for this groundbreaking piece. email email@example.com "Marla Filidei VP CCHR International "DR. PETER BREGGIN, PSYCHIATRIST: One of the things that in the past we've known about depression is that it very, very rarely leads to violence. It's only been since the advent of these new SSRI drugs that we have murderers, sometimes even mass murderers taking antidepressant drugs. "BRUCE WISEMAN, CITIZENS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS: As the number of drugs increased, so, too, have the number of school shootings. "KENNEDY: Bruce Wiseman runs a group that has monitored long-term effects of antidepressants on kids for years. "WISEMAN: The drugs have got documented side effects of mania, of psychoses in some cases, of violence, of suicidal tendencies, and you have studies documenting the fact that these kids were not violent, took the drugs, and became so. When you take the figures of - one drug manufacturer talked about maniacal behavior of 4 percent. Well, if there are, as some reports say, two-million kids on these drugs, that's 80,000 time bombs waiting to explode. "VESTER: Dr. Wiseman, let me start with you and just try to sort of feel you out as to where you are. Do you think that all antidepressants in teenagers are dangerous or just some? "WISEMAN: I think psychiatrists have been misleading the public, not only about the subjective or unscientific nature of psychiatric diagnosis, but also about the potentially violence-inducing nature, the violence-inducing side effects of the drugs used to treat them. This is a billion-dollar mental-health industry with a vested interest of keeping the public uninformed here. I think the public needs to be aware of this and that, clearly, there is documented evidence that these... "VESTER: But is that true of all antidepressants or just some? "WISEMAN: Well, it's certainly true of enough of them that it's a problem. Seven out of the 12 last school shootings were on these kinds of drugs. Studies at Harvard, studies at Yale, studies at Columbia, studies at the State University of New York all tie these kinds of drugs to acts of suicide and/or violence. It's enough to be a real concern. Whether it's all of them or not, what I can tell you is that the medical literature makes it clear that there's a connection. "VESTER: Do you think that parents are overmedicating their kids, that, you know, that whatever it is that's going wrong either in the child's life or in the family's general dysfunction that parents are afraid to kind of deal with it and talk it out, and so they're saying, 'Yes, sure. OK. I'll take a prescription for my kid.' " WISEMAN: Well, I don't think there is any question about it, Linda. You know, we spend $50 million a year on the war on drugs in this country, $50 billion a year, and yet kids line up in the corridors of our school getting their fix of kiddie cocaine when, in fact, there are probably educational problems there that are the basis of these kind of things. A child looks out the window, he butts into line, he interrupts the teacher, he is slapped with a psychiatric diagnosis, and then put on these kinds of medications which - and, with all due respect, clearly, are documented to cause or that have side effects, such as mania, such as psychoses, such as violence. This is documented in the peer review literature." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: email@example.com
Disconnection"Phineas Fogg" posted a disconnection letter he received from his sister, a Scientologist. "Don't bother sending any email or responding to this one, they are automatically trashed and even if I do see that they are there, like this morning, they won't be read. I have instructed Mother and Sandy not to forward any comm from you. Just to ensure there is no misduplication Phineas, I have disconnected from you. "Sorry things have come to this but when I saw where your head was really at, I had no choice but to disconnect from the venom you have against what I do spiritually - and I've commented on your venom several times. I suppose it wasn't the venom per se, but the fact that I saw nothing would change it. I cannot be connected to someone who is so against me spiritually and by whose actions are clearly destructive, though purporting, all the while, not to be. "If you have an ounce of consideration for our Mother, please do not discuss your views with her anymore, even if she asks. They never help, they only enturbulate her and there is no reason to do this. Scientology has only helped her (via me) - so there is no constructive reason to try destroy the good rapport she feels for it. - Lilah" "Dear Lilah, "I am saddened that you feel this way, for I have no ill feelings towards you. Your belief that I am against you and your friends is untrue. Yes, I criticize Scientology, and a lot of other things, too, and so does Andy Rooney. If criticism were equivalent to hate, then it must true you hate everyone you love. Despite your feelings towards me, I have no ill feelings towards you, and wish you well. "Sincerely, Phineas" Message-ID: 2JsF9.firstname.lastname@example.org
FlagSource magazine reported events in Clearwater at the Flag Land Base. "The Clearwater Jazz Holiday, a four day series of concerts sponsored by the City of Clearwater and local businesses, is held annually as one of the city's major events. This year, the festival featured a very special guest performer: jazz legend Chick Corea. This was his first time performing at the festival, where he played with his recently reunited Elektric Band. Chick is currently auditing on Solo NOTs, and definitely enjoyed contributing to the local Clearwater community. And judging from the audience response at his performance Saturday night at the festival, they enjoyed him just as much! "Three hundred guests attended the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights Banquet for 2002, where key speakers spoke about psychiatry's infiltration of the education system. Many non-Scientologists attend and were toured through the LRH Photo exhibit afterwards, to get more reality on the only true solution. "A dinner to honor local firefighters was organized by the Clearwater Volunteer Ministers. The key speaker was IAS Freedom Medal winner, John Carmichael, who flew in from New York. Everyone present signed a pledge of support, including our local Volunteer Ministers, who have just completed a training course with the Clearwater Fire Department and are now on call to assist in the event of a disaster in the area. "More than two hundred guests attend a luncheon in the Fort Harrison Auditorium where the Mayor of Clearwater, the City Manager and the Assistant City Manager for Economic Development briefed the Scientology business community on the upcoming projects the city has planned, asking for our assistance to make these happen. Tremendous progress was made in creating a real team between the city and the Scientology community. "On of the projects the City is planning that has special significance is the new public library: In exchange for our help creating this new space, the City has offered a special acknowledgment to the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard." Message-ID: 2PG42EOT37589.email@example.com
FranceAgence France Presse reported on November 26th that the French government will soon nominate a new president to head the ministry on cults. "The Mission Interministerielle de Lutte contre les Sectes (MILS) has become the MIVILUDES (Mission Interministerielle de Vigilance et de Lutte contre les Derives Sectaires), and goes against cultic drifts. Its creation should be announced to-day in the Minister's council. Its newly nominated president could be Jean-Louis Langlais, a high official from the Interior Department. "One of the laws against cults voted after MILS had worked on them has been applied to Scientology, which has launched a cascade of suits against the MILS president. Much criticized by the USA, the MILS activity, said its president, was oriented toward the 'illegal activities' of cults, never against the beliefs." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie EmanuelIn two letters to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Scientology attorney Elliot Abelson has accused Scientology critic Valerie Emanuel of intercepting Scientology mail in the post office in which she works. "This letter is a request for an investigation into the postal activities of one of your employees, Valerie Diane Emanuel aka Valerie Pelkey for possible mail tampering during the course of her employment related to mail addressed to my client the Church of Scientology International. "In 1998 the local Orlando Church of Scientology sent a package containing two reel-to-reel educational and training films to another Church within the United States. This package was sent through the very post office in which Mrs. Emanuel is employed. Only one of these films arrived at its destination while the other one disappeared. It was never recovered. "This was brought to my attention based upon an Internet web site that Mrs. Emanuel maintains in which she has stated: 'I work with magazine bundles at my job with the Post Office. If anyone found any Scientology mail, they showed it to me.' Mrs. Emanuel has been engaged in a hate campaign against the Church of Scientology since about 1997 in a number of derogatory Internet postings against the Church and she maintains a web page through which she expresses her hatred and prejudice towards the Scientology religion and parishioners of Scientology." "The package contained a reel-to-reel educational film. These films are for Church internal use only, to be shown for Ministers in training. The film that is the subject of this complaint was originally shipped from the Church of Scientology of Orlando to the Church of Scientology of New York, Continental Liaison Office of the Eastern United States. "I have enclosed several Internet postings that Ms. Emanuel's has placed on the Internet which I believe may be helpful to you in your investigation, a posting she made just last week on March 31, 2002 wherein she references her displeasure that Narconon, a drug rehabilitation organization which relies upon certain teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Scientology religion in helping others, had allegedly been at one of 'her' grocery stores. While her hatred is evident, she references her postal employment as follows: 'They've been hitting a bunch of the groceries around the Orlando area - I've seen postcards go thru the post office where I work - just never caught them so close. Damn, I was pissed!' "She admits she goes into book stores and places anti-Scientology flyers in books. Thus, I believe this shows she has no thought or conscience as to tampering with property that is not her own." Message-ID: tAiF9.email@example.com Message-ID: 7DiF9.firstname.lastname@example.org
In MemoriamThe Columbian reported on November 21st that Louisiana Scientologist Marjorie Hunt has passed away. "Marjorie Elizabeth Hunt, 84, died Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002, in an adult foster home in La Center. She enjoyed gardening, music, flowers, traveling and activities with the Church of Scientology. There will be no service." Message-ID: email@example.com
Lisa Marie PresleyThe Melbourne Herald Sun reported on November 28th that the divorce of Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage may have been partly due to her involvement in Scientology. "Just three months after exchanging vows in a romantic ceremony in Hawaii, Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage have ended their marriage. Cage has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, bringing to an end yet another failed relationship for Elvis's 34-year-old daughter. "Although Cage shared his Bel Air mansion with Ms. Presley, friends say he prefers to be with Wesley in Los Angeles. Another factor in the break-up is thought to have been Ms Presley's devotion to the Church of Scientology, a controversial religion popular among the rich and famous of Hollywood. From the New York Post on November 28th: "'When they announced their divorce, everyone was really shocked,' the source said. 'No one saw it coming. The photo shoot took place over several days and they were really very nice.' But insiders said a combination of the Hollywood spotlight, her devotion to Scientology and the aura of Elvis, Lisa-Marie's late dad, doomed the marriage. "Her two prior marriages, first to Scientologist Danny Keough and second Michael Jackson, ended in divorce, as did Cage's union with actress Patricia Arquette. Longtime Elvis pal Jerry Schilling said he was 'stunned' and 'heartsick' over the marriage's quick demise. 'They were very unhappy with each other,' Cage's pal said. 'The bottom line is she has her own life and own world that revolve around Scientology and her children.' Hollywood marriage therapist Dr. Carole Lieberman said there were two invisible participants at the couple's wedding - Elvis and Scientology. Cage was reportedly obsessed with the legendary singer. 'Nick Cage fell in love with the fantasy of being married to Elvis Presley's daughter,' Lieberman said. 'He found that the reality of living with her was not what he expected. 'The ghosts of Elvis and Scientology were in their bed.'" Message-ID: 4S5F9.firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: pgpF9.email@example.com
Galaxy PressScifidimensions.com reported on November 25th that a Scientology publishing company will be sponsoring a Science Fiction and Fantasy writing award. "Galaxy Press (a company devoted to publishing the fiction works of the late, legendary L. Ron Hubbard) has joined the list of Sponsors of the SESFA Award (which honors accomplishment in SF/F/H to persons born or living in the Southeastern US). To launch the new relationship, Galaxy has donated two mint condition, 1st edition, 1st printing hardcover copies of Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, one of the most popular SF novels of all time. These volumes will be auctioned on eBay - proceeds help fund the SESFA." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer MinistersThe South Dakota Argus Leader reported on December 1st that a Scientology Volunteer Minister was involved in administering first aid to the victim of an auto accident. "Michelle Laurenz was trapped in her car after colliding with a semitrailer. Lorrie Olson was one of the first people on the scene. Olson provided what the Church of Scientology calls an 'assist,' described as a simple yet powerful procedure that draws on the strength of a person's spiritual being to heal an ill or injured body. 'She had to get into my subconscious mind to have me help myself,' 39-year-old Laurenz said, speaking in the husky whisper that has been her voice since a respirator was removed three weeks after the accident. 'I don't know much about her type of therapy. All I know is, it's more or less calming the patient down so they can do the fighting.' "What Olson provided as a Scientology volunteer minister is spiritual first aid, said Linda Simmons Hight, a spokeswoman with the Church of Scientology International's office of special affairs in Los Angeles. 'What Lorrie did is the quintessential volunteer minister's thing,' Hight said. Volunteer ministers are trained to help people with the challenges of daily life. That can involve anything from substance abuse to marital discord, parenting and job loss, and injury and trauma. "If a person has an injury, such as a painful toe, the volunteer minister might touch the toe while issuing a series of commands intended to direct the person to concentrate on something else, Olson said. Likewise, a grieving person is urged to focus on something else. "Olson drew on her training as a volunteer minister. She crawled into the car on the passenger's side and began speaking to the unconscious Laurenz, directing her to return to consciousness long enough to reposition her body and breathe more easily. 'Once repositioned, she would go back into unconsciousness,' Olson said. 'And it was extremely important to keep her calm. Every time she'd wake up, she'd start to freak, so I'd make sure she knew I was there. I'd touch her face and tell her the ambulance was on the way, and all she had to do was keep the body breathing.' "After Laurenz was airlifted to Rapid City, Olson used her volunteer minister training on the semi driver. He still was severely shaken by the accident. Olson used a 'locational,' directing his attention to objects such as a tree, his truck and her dog to reorient him and bring him out of the trauma caused by the crash. 'They used a lot of that at ground zero, just keeping the firemen from going into shock,' Olson said." "The church has faced governmental challenges in several countries and often is described as a cult, a charge the church and some religious scholars deny. A church spokeswoman described Scientology as an applied religious philosophy. Its purpose is to make the able person more able and to give people tools to better their own lives and the lives of those around them, said Linda Simmons Hight. 'It's often been described as a cult because it's been alleged to have used pressure tactics and what's kind of been called brainwashing,' Peterson said. 'There's been a very bitter battle, whether or not it's a religion or an opportunistic cult. Those within it say it's a religion; on the outside, they have significant qualms.' "A Scientology volunteer minister, Olson said she is skeptical of anything that has 'church' in it, but she likes what she knows about the Church of Scientology. 'I actually became a member of the Church of Scientology after I'd done the training' to become a volunteer minister, she said. 'I found out that Scientology embraces all religion, so you don't have to give up your own religion. You help people handle all that happens in life.' "Olson, who said she acts as a volunteer minister at least once a week, also aids people dealing with grief, work-related issues or personal stress. The assists that deal with mourning turn the stages of grief into a 'rocket ride' rather than a long, slow process, Olson said. "Hubbard developed the mind-altering techniques in the mid-1970s. There are more than 15,000 volunteer ministers in 154 countries, Hight said. The church has more than 8 million members worldwide. Peterson said there has been some movement to scientifically measure the effect of praying for people, and some studies do claim a measurable effect. No specific study has been done on Scientology practices, he said." Message-ID: email@example.com Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interfaith ServiceThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on November 23rd that a Rabbi participated in an interfaith service at a Scientology org as part of Thanksgiving observances. "Since the growth of the Christian ecumenical movement mid-century, many churches have held joint Thanksgiving services near the holiday. Now some are having interfaith services. "Sunday morning in the city's West End, congregations from three neighboring churches on Union Boulevard will follow their long tradition of praying together at one of their churches. Members of the churches say the joint Thanksgiving service began when the three churches were leaders in the civil rights efforts in the city. "And at the Church of Scientology in University City, members crossed Delmar Boulevard to invite Rabbi Abraham McKenzie of Bais Abraham Congregation to speak Sunday - a first. 'We never have had a speaker from another religion before,' said the Rev. Ellen Maher, the Scientology leader." Message-ID: email@example.com
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.