BangladeshThe Daily Star reported on December 23rd that a representative from Narconon participated in a seminar on drug abuse in Bangladesh. "Drug trafficking is accelerating at an alarming pace in the country, noted the speakers at a seminar yesterday in the city. The seminar on drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation was organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development and Research (CSDR). "The speakers focused on various ways of addressing the drug abusing problem and stressed the need for proper treatment and rehabilitation of the addicted population. Medicinal drugs or pain killers can have a long term damaging effect on the addict, both mentally and physically, noted Clark R. N. Carr, president, Narconon International. He stressed on pain free drug withdrawal process utilising specific nutrition and other assists. The seminar was chaired by Prof. Samir K Saha, advisor, CSDR. Khondoker Mahbubuddin Ahmed, member of parliament, spoke as the chief guest in the occasion." Message-ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buffalo OrgThe Buffalo News reported on December 22nd that Scientology has found a new location for the Buffalo org. The old building is to be demolished to make room for a parking ramp. "A historic building in the 800 block of Main Street, which began its life as a religious gathering place, is about to become the new home of Buffalo's Church of Scientology. The Scientologists will move into the former Buffalo Catholic Institute building, at 836 Main St. on the southwest corner of Main and Virginia streets, early next year when they move from their current location at 47 W. Huron St. "Built in 1893, the three-story structure, with two mezzanine levels, is one of a handful of Beaux Arts-style buildings in Buffalo. The ivory-colored exterior of the stone and brick building features intricate medallion brackets, copper projecting cornices, egg and dart moldings, and highly decorative friezes. Its eye-catching features also include a row of two-story arched windows that grace its Main Street facade. "The decision to purchase the turn-of-the-century building ends a more than yearlong saga involving the church's current home on West Huron. The city had been trying to gain control of the site for expansion of its Owen P. Augspurger Parking Ramp, a pursuit that led to heated Common Council debate, packed public hearings and even a federal court suit by the church to prevent the city from acquiring the property through eminent domain. "Earlier this month the city and church came to an agreement under which the city will pay $740,000 for the West Huron site, a figure that will cover the appraised value of the four-story building and relocation costs. The church declined to reveal the purchase price of its new home, but real estate sources put it at around $400,000." Message-ID: q9ZN9.692$gU.email@example.com
Flag Land BaseSource Magazine reported some of the news from Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida. "Clearwater Volunteer Ministers take responsibility for their community. - Judy Fagerman, Volunteer Minister I/C for Clearwater and Sandra Deigner, Deputy I/C, have been delivering LRH tech flat out since they set up a booth at local outdoor market. 'Last Sunday, we gave stress tests and many nerve assists,' said Judy. 'During one of them, the person blew a somatic he'd had for eight months.' That man went right to the Clearwater Mission to find out more. "Judy and Sandra are also disseminating over the radio. After one recent show where they covered LRH Assist Tech, and the cause of suppression, a woman who had been listening in her care drove straight over to the station. She's now on The Bridge. The VM's are involved in many other activities including hatting local groups on LRH Assist Tech, such as the local Boy Scout troop. "The Community Learning Center in Clearwater, run by Scientologist Sharon Hillestad, has joined forces with one of its best pupils in the adult literacy program, former cruiserweight boxing champion Tyrone Booze. Utilizing Tyrone's talents as a boxer - and his winning stance as last year's recipient of the Tampa Bay Reads Adult Student of the Year award - he and Sharon started the Smart Fighter Program. There, black youth can get off the streets and go to daily boxing lessons - with the added punch that they also learn how to read and write. This program is already so effective that Tyrone was recently honored as the Tutor of the Year for the Tampa Bay region." Message-ID: LEBVKYCQ37615.firstname.lastname@example.org
New ZealandThe New Zealand Press Association reported on December 27th that Scientology will be recognized as a tax-exempt charity in New Zealand. "The Church of Scientology will not pay any more income tax after the Inland Revenue Department declared it a charity, the church said today. The IRD said the church was a charitable organization dedicated to the advancement of religion and its income would be tax exempt. The New Zealand branch of the church, started in the United States by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, was founded in Auckland in 1955." Message-ID: email@example.com
Leipzig Human Rights AwardThe European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA announced this week that the winner of its annual award will be Andreas Heldal-Lund, creator of the Operation Clambake web site. "The European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA (EACC) is pleased to announce Andreas Heldal-Lund of Stavanger, Norway as the recipient of the 2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award. The award will be presented on May 17 in the Old Stock Market in Leipzig, the city known as the birth place of the East German civil rights movement. "Mr. Heldal-Lund is the fourth recipient of the Leipzig Award, which has been given each year to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the achieving of the human rights reforms that the EEAC seeks in US-operated totalitarian cults. Mr. Heldal-Lund is an Information Technology professional and free speech proponent who created and maintains the most famous Internet site in the world Operation Clambake http://www.xenu.net/ --that exposes and opposes the fraud and human rights violations of the US-based Scientology organization. "Scientology has attacked Mr. Heldal-Lund and his Internet Service Providers with lawyer threat letters and a black propaganda campaign, and caused a succession of ISPs to terminate his service. In February this year, bowing to pressure from Scientology lawyers employing the US law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the widely used Internet search engine Google removed links to Operation Clambake from its directory. But Mr. Heldal-Lund held his ground, contending that Scientology withholds important information about its teachings that he was making available, and that people perhaps would not join the cult if the full information was accessible. Free speech advocates around the world rushed to his defense, mounted an Internet and print media campaign, and forced Google to put Clambake back into its search engine." Message-ID: 3E0CE02E.firstname.lastname@example.org
RussiaGerry Armstrong reported on a recent trip to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where he participated in a conference on cults and Scientology. "We'd been invited to Ekaterinburg by Archbishop Vincent of the Ekatrinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church to participate in a three-day conference on dangerous cults sponsored by the Church, with the blessing of Alexey II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, and by the Government of the Urals Federal District. "There were a few over three hundred attendees at the conference, which took place in an auditorium of the Urals Academy of State Service, and perhaps thirty people presented papers on various sociological, psychological or theological topics relating to cults. I gave a talk in three parts on Scientology, which was translated into Russian as I spoke by Professor Alexander Dvorkin. "A number of TV and print media personnel attended, and at the end of the first morning session we had a press conference in a separate meeting room in the Academy with several TV stations participating. In the afternoon, a group of twelve of us, including both bishops, had a very positive meeting with the Presidential Plenipotentiary in the Urals Federal District Pyotr Latyshev. I had the opportunity to tell him about my personal experiences and knowledge of Scientology. He seemed genuinely interested in the cult's intelligence structure and activities, which is quite understandable because he was, I believe, a general in the Russian army before being appointed as President Putin's Representative in the Urals. "After giving one part of my conference talk, a young woman, who was not part of the program, walked onto the stage, up to the podium and began to mouth some promo for Scientology. She was ushered away from the podium and out into the hallway, where I spoke to her and proposed that we have a debate, which she accepted. The young woman, who gave her first name as Maria, but whose family name I didn't get, said that she is an employee of the cult in Ekaterinburg, and has been a Scientologist for five years. As it turned out, she really didn't want to debate Scientology, but wanted only to give her commercial for the cult. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to tell her some of my experiences and ask her some questions to attempt to get her to discuss wogs' concerns about Scientology. "Over the next two days of the conference, in addition to presenting the second and third parts of my paper, I participated in a flurry of media engagements. We had a second press conference in the Ekaterinburg Media Center building, with nine television channels (or at least cameras) present and several newspaper representatives. Right after the press conference I gave two additional interviews to TV journalists. At a separate TV station, I did an interview for a half-hour show, which will also include talks with Professor Dvorkin and Novosibirsk Archpriest Alexander Novopashin. And I did a talk-format show, with Professor Dvorkin participating and translating, which will be televised around Christmas. "I accepted Maria's invitation and visiting the Ekaterinburg Scientology office, along with local priests Father Vladimir and Father Nikita, Professor Dvorkin, Pastor Thomas Gandow, and two television station crews. I didn't go inside the cult's office, because the large Scientologist blocking the entrance wouldn't specifically invite me in, but all the others entered and engaged the Scientologists in dueling videocams, and even some precious dialogue. The Scientologists were apparently giving visitors to their center black PR documents on their designated enemies, including Professor Dvorkin and me, and it was reported that they sent to Ekaterinburg officials an accompanying letter similar to their 2001 black PR letter to Nizhny-Novgorod officials. "At one point, the large Scientologist grabbed Dvorkin in a sort of Russian bear hug, and someone else called the police. Two officers arrived and took a number of statements. During our hour or so visit, I engaged the Scientologist man-handler in a discussion about Hubbard's lies and Scientology's unworkability, had similar conversations with a number of people who arrived to do courses or something, and gave interviews to the two TV crews. That evening, our twenty-first anniversary visit to Scientology was top news on both channels. "Pastor Gandow and I also gave a talk to a class of sixty university theology students, and then had a question and answer period with them. A number of them had also attended the conference at the Academy of State Service, so already knew us to some extent, and if time had allowed would have kept us talking for hours. "Our final work day in the Urals, we traveled to Asbest, at the invitation of the Orthodox Church Parish, to give a talk in the city's Cultural Center to about one hundred fifty people. A number of the attendees, which included at least two local government representatives, also asked excellent questions, and clearly grasped the danger of certain cults. One of the representatives expressed the observation that the people in his country had for seventy years been suppressed by a cult which became the government." Message-ID: email@example.com
UKThe Sunday Mirror reported on December 22nd that the British Home Secretary will propose laws that distinguish Scientology and other cults from mainstream religions. "Brainwashing cults which prey on vulnerable youngsters are to be targeted in a Government crackdown. Home Secretary David Blunkett is drawing up laws that will create a new legal definition of cults distinguishing them from mainstream religions. Mr. Blunkett says the law needs to protect young people who are being exploited financially and sexually. "Groups deemed to be cults will be unable to apply for charitable status, which allows them tax perks, and they will face close financial monitoring. Any signs that recruits are being exploited for their cash will result in prosecutions. Laws may also be made that relate to detaining people through psychological manipulation. Organisations that may be affected include the US-based Church of Scientology and the Moonies." Message-ID: qyiN9.578$gU.firstname.lastname@example.org
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.