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

Volume 7, Issue 42 - January 27 2003


The letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on January 21st contained a letter comparing the activities of Scientology and the Presbyterian church next door. "I could not help but notice the contrast in happenings on the corners of Pierce Street and S. Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater on Saturday night. On one side there were red carpets and stretch limos, thousands of twinkling lights, beautiful flowers and potted palms, brilliant spotlights illuminating a tall building and a street blocked off for valet parking. On the other corner, at Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church, a group of dedicated men and women fixed and served a hot meal and provided warm overnight shelter for more than 150 homeless people on a very cold night. - Anne C. Epling, Clearwater" Source Magazine reported news from the Clearwater Scientology orgs. "The Fort Harrison's Crystal Ballroom was the setting for the Fourth Annual Flag Mecca Groundbreaking Anniversary. The evening began with a spectacular banquet, followed by entertainment for Sherwood Ball and his band. Sherwood, known by Scientologists the world over as the lead vocalist on the musical adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard's Hymn of Asia was a huge hit with the crowd - particularly since he ended his performance with two songs he had co written and produced for Super Power. The first was entitled 'Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees' all about the 57 perceptics; the second was entitled 'Break the Chain' about one of the Super Power Rundowns, the Ethics and Justice Repair List." Message-ID: 2AgX9.1609$ Message-ID: 58SJY49437640.6473148148@anonymous.poster


BZ-Berlin reported on January 20th that Thomas Gandow and Gerry Armstrong have come under Scientology surveillance in Germany. "He is regarded as one of Scientology's most fearsome opponents - Thomas Gandow, sect commissioner of the Berlin Evangelical Church, gave his sermon to the Luisen congregation yesterday under police protection. Having been followed and photographed on his way to church, Gandow was concerned that the church service would be interrupted. "As Gandow and former Scientologist Gerald Armstrong were on their way to the Luisen Church, they were followed and photographed by a person unknown to them. While under pursuit, he notified the police, who pulled over the following vehicle at the Michendorf roadside stop to ask for personal identification. According to Gandow, it was Mirko O., an active member of the Scientology Organization. At that point the Luisen congregation was to receive police protection for church services. Several members of Scientology were among the congregation. Rev. Gandow recognized one of them as a leading member; it was a woman writing down statements made by the clergyman and sect victim Gerald Armstrong." From Der Tagesspiegel on January 25th: "The Scientology Church has admitted to having put Thomas Gandow, sect commissioner of the Berlin-Brandenburg Evangelical Church, under surveillance. One of its members was said to have been working for an attorney to investigate the American ex-Scientologist, Gerald Armstrong, who was wanted in court. There have been various orders issued on Armstrong in US courts, said Sabine Weber of Scientology Germany. It was also intended to take legal action against him here in Germany to prohibit him from claiming that the Scientology was out to get him. "Last Sunday Gandow and Armstrong were tailed by at least two cars, said Gandow, to a church service in the Luisen Church in Charlottenburg. His vehicle was closely approached by one of them on the way from Brandenburg to Berlin. The driver swerved erratically while photographing Gandow and Armstrong. The situation got tense enough to where he finally called the highway patrol at Brandenburg for assistance. The police gave him a cautionary fine for unregulated use of a cell phone from a vehicle. The police escorted Gandow's vehicle to the city limits, where he received protection from Berlin police. "They also placed the Luisen Church under guard during the church service while Armstrong talked about his experiences with Scientology. Gandow says he observed a second vehicle on the autobahn with at least three occupants who were following and photographing the same time the first was. The clergyman is certain that those men also had something to do with Scientology." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1030121082917.126A-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1030125095114.139B-100000@darkstar.zippy


The Irish Times reported on January 22nd that Dr. Stephen Kent is scheduled to testify in the case of a woman who is suing the Dublin Scientology org for her treatment while she was a member. "Mr. Michael Collins SC, for the church, objected to the hearing of evidence from a Canadian professor of sociology on the grounds that admitting such evidence could lead to the 11-day case, taken by a woman against his client, continuing until the end of February. "Ms Mary Johnston, a former member of the church, is seeking damages for alleged conspiracy, misrepresentation and breach of constitutional rights against the Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin and three of its members, Mr. John Keane, Mr. Tom Cunningham and Mr. Gerard Ryan. "After almost two hours of legal argument, Mr. Justice Peart decided he would hear evidence from Prof. Stephen Alan Kent. Responding to Mr. Justice Peart on whether he was obliged to accept that Scientology was a religion, Mr. Collins said the church believed every human being had a soul and an immortal existence. The court was told there were 2,000 churches in 110 countries. "In evidence, Prof. Kent said he had studied new religions and cults and had written extensively on the subject. He had interviewed about 50 former Scientologists. He described the structure and organisation of scientology as very complicated with 'international management' at the top. Asked by Mr. Michael Cush SC, for Ms Johnston, if there was a general body of complaints about the church's dianetics auditing policy, Prof. Kent said there was and he was also aware of individual testimony about its harmful effects." Message-ID: GRyX9.1625$

Jeff Jacobsen

Scientology critic Jeff Jacobsen reported this week that Scientology operatives have contacted his father in an attempt to intimidate him into silence. "Here's the message, which was anonymous and no listed phone number. "'Harlan, I'm a friend of yours. There's an investigation starting, and you're going to be involved in it. Due to your son Jeff, the trouble he is starting for a whole lot of people. You might want to talk to him. Listen, the thing has started already, so talk to Jeff. He's in a lot of trouble.' "Meanwhile, someone has gotten a list of my father's employees and is calling them saying they are my father's CPA, or that they're doing a project for his business, then asking personal and financial questions about my father and his business." Message-ID:

Lisa McPherson

The Tampa Tribune reported on January 21st that Bob Minton has requested that the judge in the Lisa McPherson case be disqualified. "Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Susan Schaeffer blames multimillionaire Robert Minton for the breakdown of settlement negotiations in the case and has concluded Minton is a criminal because he invoked his constitutional right not to answer questions in court, a motion filed late Friday states. "The judge has put the counterclaim on hold until the original lawsuit is settled. A trial scheduled to begin today was postponed indefinitely while the church appeals an order issued by Schaeffer on Jan. 12. In the order, Schaeffer denied the church's bid to have Ken Dandar removed as the estate's attorney. That bid was based on testimony from Minton, who said Dandar told him to lie under oath about $2 million Minton purportedly gave Dandar to fund the lawsuit. Schaeffer concluded it was Minton who was lying about Dandar and said he did so to cover up Minton's own tax evasion. "Minton's new motion also attacks Schaeffer for issuing her order on a Sunday, which Minton contends is against Florida law and renders the order void. And because the order is void, the judge 'may be liable for substantial damages to Minton' for defamation, the motion states." From the text of the court filing: "Robert Minton moves for the disqualification of Judge Susan F. Schaeffer for prejudice and in support thereof would show that Minton fears that he will not receive a fair trial or hearing because of specifically described prejudice or bias of Judge Schaeffer. "In November 2002 after the close of the evidence in the Omnibus Hearing, Judge Schaeffer determined that the case should be mediated and scheduled a series of separate meetings with counsel for each of the parties in the case in order to assist in the mediation of the case. Though not a party to the main case, Minton was ordered to participate. Judge At this conference, Judge Schaeffer also strongly suggested that in order to assist in settling the case that Minton waive his claim against the Estate or Mr. Dandar for over $2,000,000 in loans made to the Estate or Mr. Dandar. Mediation took place on November 27, 2002. Minton attended with counsel and fully participated. A tentative settlement was concluded. For reasons outside of the control of Minton, the mediation/settlement thereafter broke down and the settlement tentatively agreed to among the parties was not consummated. "Minton has a well-founded belief that he is being punished for the settlement not concluding or has become the 'fall guy' for the settlement not concluding; i.e., that this Order was in retaliation for the settlement falling through. As such, Minton has a well-founded belief that Judge Schaeffer is biased or prejudiced against him. "Minton believes that Judge Schaeffer has improperly pre-judged him based on his permissible exercise of Fifth Amendment privileges and that in further proceedings Judge Schaeffer will continue to believe Minton is a criminal based solely on the exercise of his constitutional rights. Minton believes that since Judge Schaeffer has already determined in her mind that he has committed various criminal offenses she cannot objectively and fairly sit as a judge in any further proceedings involving him." Message-ID: HHgX9.1611$ Message-ID:

Lisa Marie Presley

Fox News reported on January 22nd that Lisa Marie Presley will release an album based in part on Scientology's opposition to psychiatry. "At least one song will preach the Scientology cause that tries to stop parents from giving their children drugs like Ritalin to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. Scientology wages a constant war against psychiatry in general, hoping to attract alienated young people before they can be treated by doctors. "Presley's official web site is linked to a charity called the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which promotes the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. Its main chapter, in Los Angeles, has a substantial war chest to fight against psychiatry. Fellow Scientologists Kirstie Alley and Juliette Lewis are featured in pictures with Presley at rallies protesting against psychiatry. "Both Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla, are longtime members of Scientology, which requires hefty annual donations from its members. One wonders how much of Elvis Presley's estate has gone to Scientology and whether his millions of fans have any idea where their money has gone. Scientology seems to be in direct conflict with Elvis Presley's own personal credo, which was 'Shake, rattle and roll' with a barbiturate twist." Message-ID: oMJX9.1646$

Tom Cruise

The Sunday Star-Times reported on January 19th that Scientology celebrity Tom Cruise is campaigning against the use of Ritalin by children. "The so-called 'kiddy-speed' has harsh and high-profile critics, alarmed at the sharp rise in Ritalin use. Film star Tom Cruise, in Taranaki to film The Last Samurai, spoke out last week, claiming the drug was 'lethal'. The outburst is likely to stem from his Scientology Church's opposition to drugs being used to treat mental illness. Confirms Church of Scientology New Zealand spokesman Mike Ferriss: 'We view Ritalin as a from of social control.' Other critics accuse parents of using the drug as a quick fix. "In New Zealand, Ritalin is now prescribed to about 8000 children - 1.6% of the child population. But Werry says several more thousand children would benefit from it. Paediatric Society president Nick Baker says Ritalin is being grossly overprescribed in parts of the US and Britain, but not here. 'Many parents I deal with are upset about the latest bad publicity. But the thought of depriving a child who has the chance of benefiting from Ritalin seems harsh. 'It turns people's lives around. Children are made safe and families no longer live with unbearable stress.'" Message-ID:

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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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