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

Volume 7, Issue 44 - February 9 2003


The Sun Herald newspaper from Mississippi reported on February 6th on research into the writing of prescriptions for Ritalin. "A study released Monday brings to a boil again the simmering debate about the use of stimulants to treat youngsters with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A Missouri-based company that manages pharmacy benefits raises concerns about disparity among states in the writing of prescriptions for Ritalin and similar drugs. States in the South write the highest percentage of prescriptions for these drugs, 6.5 percent in Louisiana being the highest. "Dr. Donald H. Lagrone, a pediatrician with practices in Biloxi and Ocean Springs, has treated countless children with ADHD, and he believes that drug therapy is not only appropriate in these cases but is the best course of action, provided the diagnosis is valid and the drugs are used appropriately and accurately. '(Ritalin) is the medication that has the largest body of scientific evidence behind its use,' Lagrone said. 'It's been shown to be effective and safe.' "Other sources argue with Lagrone's perspective, including the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Lisa Marie Presley is a CCHR supporter and supports the contention that physicians, psychiatrists and school systeMs. in many states are drugging, and in some cases, causing the deaths of children believed to be ADHD afflicted. At the CCHR site, Web searchers will find such articles as 'Psychiatry Committing Fraud - Betraying Society,' 'Psychiatry Betraying & Drugging Children - Harming Lives.' Another icon at the CCHR site takes visitors to articles by the architect of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. In a nutshell, these concerned citizens address the 'increasing probleMs. faced by many parents today, (of) being coerced by school personnel to drug their children, and never being warned about the documented risks of the drugs prescribed to 'treat' them.' "The CCHR refers to but provides no specifics about treatments other than drug therapies, and Lagrone said it is possible to treat ADHD by managing a child's environment. 'Affluent families might be able to put their children in some other educational venue, but it would take substantial environmental intervention to treat without drugs,' he said." A Scientology press release on February 4th promoted a celebrity award ceremony for those who oppose the companies who manufacture psychiatric drugs. "Actors Priscilla Presley, Juliette Lewis, Leah Remini, Anne Archer, and Eduardo Palomo are among celebrities paying tribute to parents who battle against the child psychiatric drug industry. The celebrities will join politicians, parents rights groups and doctors at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, on Saturday, Feb. 15, for the annual human rights awards celebration of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International. "Ms. Presley is presenting CCHR's Human Rights Award to parent Lawrence Smith, who was threatened with charges of medical neglect if he refused to put his 7-year-old son, Matthew, on a cocaine-like stimulant. Matthew died at age 14 from a heart attack that a coroner attributed to the prescribed drug. Mr. Smith's website reaches thousands of parents each week, and has become one of the top websites for parents to become educated about the mental health, pharmaceutical and education system. "Other awardees are: Texas psychologist Dr. John Breeding, author of The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses (presented by Leah Remini), Italy's Dr. Giorgio Antonucci, who helped cure hundreds of 'schizophrenic' patients, including children, without drugs (presented by Juliette Lewis), and Mr. Ricardo Rocha, a renowned journalist whose story on psychiatric drugging in Mexico has inspired legislative initiatives in Mexico to protect children against this abuse (presented by Eduardo Palomo)." The Independent Herald newspaper from New Zealand reported on February 5th that CCHR is releasing a new publication on psychiatric drugs. "The Citizens' Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a Church of Scientology organisation, has released a publication entitled, Psychiatry - Shattering Your World with Drugs. The glossy, magazine-sized publication - aimed at educators, politicians, parents and community workers - questions the widespread labeling of personality disorders and suggests chemicals are being used for behaviour control rather than used for therapeutic purposes. "However, Mental Health Commission deputy director and psychiatrist Anthony Duncan says the Scientologists' ideas are a great conspiracy theory, and psychiatrists have nothing to gain by pushing drug company products. "CCHR director Steve Green says the psychiatric diagnosing and drugging of children is one of the worst areas of drug abuse. 'We are in effect seeing a legalised form of drug pushing on very young children, which will be viewed in future times as seriously as the abuse of Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital (patients) in the 1970s is seen now.' "However, Dr Duncan says anti-psychotic drugs are rarely used on children. ClaiMs. that learning and attention disorder treatment drugs, such as Ritalin, are just used to correct behaviour are ludicrous. 'Parents of most children who are on these drugs will laugh at it.' Anyone who has lived with children with ADHD will be well aware of the drugs' benefits. The amphetamine-based stimulants cannot be addictive because they work by stimulating natural brain chemicals, he adds. That only works to a certain point and overdoses just produce nasty side effects." Message-ID: yDu0a.16648$ Message-ID: Message-ID:


Celebrity Magazine reported news concerning Scientology' Celebrity Center. "Actress LYNSEY BARTILSON and children of the 'Set a Good Example Club' rode the Way to Happiness float in this year's annual Hollywood Blockbuster Spectacular. Sponsored by the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America, the float was a tribute to children who help the nation by forwarding the ideals set fort in L. Ron Hubbard's booklet, The Way to Happiness. "Celebrity Centre recently presented the tenth annual 'Christmas Stories' community benefit. As is traditional, this year's event featured musical performances, story reading and comedy skits by a host of celebrities. The fund-raiser benefits the Hollywood Police Activities League, part of a nationwide inner city youth development program operated by police officers to provide after-school activities as an alternative to gangs. The objective is to give children positive role models. The year, $15,000.00 was raised and presented to the Hollywood PAL." Message-ID: 048WZR4537658.6746990741@anonymous.poster


Deutsche Welle reported on February 2nd on the decision by Germany to recognize certain Scientology organizations as tax-exempt. "The Scientology Church, the target of government monitoring in Germany, has been granted tax-free status within the country, the church announced on Monday. Officials made the decision based on a tax treaty between Germany and the United States, where the church has tax-exempt status. The ruling covers license fees the church receives for information and training films. Until now, the church has paid a 25 percent tax on the income. That money will now be refunded. Critics consider Scientology to be a money-hungry, unscrupulous operation." From DPA on February 3rd: "In a stunning move, German tax authorities have granted tax-exempt status to the controversial Church of Scientology, retroactive back to 1994, Scientology officials announced Monday. The announcement sent shock waves through Germany, where Scientology is widely viewed as a subversive cult. The German federal government, various state and local governments have all produced booklets and other information to warn unwary citizens about the 'dangers' of Scientology. "The tax ruling came from the Federal Office of Finances in Bonn on the basis of laws covering double taxation of American organizations operating in Germany. Because the Church of Scientology is classified as a tax-exempt religious organization in the United States, it cannot be taxed in Germany, according to the ruling." From Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on February 7th: "The U.S. Scientology organization, denounced by German politicians as a criminal cult and kept under political surveillance since 1997, was granted tax exemption by the Federal Finance Office on Monday. The office said that it had based its decision on an agreement between Germany and the United States governing double taxation. Scientology is exempted from taxation in the United States as a non-profit religious group. To avoid double taxation, the German authority said Scientology thus does not have to pay taxes on gains repatriated to the United States from license fees for film material in Germany. "The ruling applies to the period 1994-2005. It allows Scientology to recover taxes already paid to the government during that period. The tax exemption was made retroactive to the date of Scientology's legal complaint in 1996 and is usually granted for three more years. Scientology has been paying 25 percent of its proceeds in taxes. "Ebermann confirmed that "the decision did not imply any acknowledgment of Scientology as a church in Germany." He also stressed that the ruling didn't apply to proceeds obtained in Germany that aren't passed on to the United States." Message-ID: NGv%9.15843$ Message-ID: Message-ID:


The Church of Greece announced on February 2nd that the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs has turned down a request by Scientology to operate as a church. "The Greek Minister of Education and Religious Affairs has rejected the Greek Church of Scientology's request for permission to operate a house of prayer, on the basis that it does not constitute a church. The Minister's decision was based on a number of decisions of institutions abroad, as well as on the decision of the Court of First instance of Athens and the decision of the Athenian Court of Appeal, which ordered the closing down of the Center of Applied Philosophy of Greece - a previous name of Scientology in Greece - due to a series of illegal actions. "The latter decision among other things, states: 'it is an organization with totalitarian structures and tendencies, which in essence despises man, though it deceivingly acts freely in order and exclusively to attract members who in turn undergo brainwashing, so as to render their way of thought controllable, and which some years ago engaged in illegal profit making.' "The Scientologists appealed to the Council of State for the annulment of the decision of the Minister. In this lawsuit the Holy Archdiocese of Athens (Orthodox Church of Greece) intervened against the Scientologists. Thus, although the case was scheduled for the 6th of December 2002, the Scientologists withdrew their appeal. In consequence, the decision of the Greek State is now permanent and irrevocable. "The Court Reporter's proposal proves that Scientology does not constitute a religion and that it is not recognized as such in most countries, among which are the U.S.A., England, France and Germany. It also proves that Scientology has often developed illegal activities in the countries in which it is active, and is therefore classified among dangerous and antisocial organizations." Message-ID:


The Irish Times reported on the ongoing hearings in the case of a former Scientologist who is suing the org and members she claims harmed her while she was a member. "A man photographed while making a 'noisy investigation' of a woman who has sued the Church of Scientology was similar to a man in another photograph taken outside a meeting of Families Under Scientology Stress (FUSS), the High Court heard yesterday. Mr. Richard Woods was giving evidence in the continuing action by Ms Mary Johnston against the church and three members of its Dublin Mission - Mr. John Keane, Mr. Tom Cunningham and Mr. Gerard Ryan. Ms Johnston, who operates a sports equipment centre at Westwood, Foxrock, Dublin, is suing for damages. She was involved with the church from 1990 to 1994. "Mr. Woods told the court in 1994/95 he was attending a meeting of FUSS in London when he saw a man standing outside the door of the building with a clipboard and pen in his hand. He looked like a member of the Church of Scientology because of the way he dressed. Because of litigation with the church lasting seven years, Mr. Woods's solicitor had advised him to carry a camera and he had taken a photograph of the man, Mr. Woods said. Mr. Woods said the man in this photograph was obviously similar to the picture of a man who had been making a 'noisy investigation' of Ms Johnston and was photographed at Westwood, Dublin, in February 2001." "A company director and brother-in-law of a woman who is suing the Church of Scientology for damages told the High Court yesterday he was informed that between 25 and 40 phone calls were made by a person with an American accent to his clients and to private individuals. Mr. Paul O'Kelly was continuing his evidence in the action by his sister-in-law, Ms. Mary Johnston, against the Church of Scientology in Dublin and three of its members for alleged conspiracy, misrepresentation and breach of her constitutional rights." "A 'purification rundown' course operated by the Church of Scientology was neither medically safe nor scientifically verified, the High Court was told yesterday. Prof. Michael Ryan, head of the pharmacology department at UCD, said he could not find any evidence to support the claiMs. in the church's documents about the course. To suggest it could get rid of radiation and toxic compounds was not supported by scientific facts, he said. "Yesterday the court was told Ms. Johnston had experienced a burning sensation as a result of participating in the purification rundown course and had been told this was a clearance of old sunburn. Prof. Ryan said there was no scientific evidence to support that contention. Mr. Michael Cush SC, for Ms. Johnston, submitted that the claiMs. made by the church in its documents concerning the purification course were false and the risks involved many and varied. Prof. Ryan said the claiMs. made in the church's documentation were not scientifically verified, and the programme was not medically safe." "The science behind the Church of Scientology was 'basically rubbish', a doctor told the High Court yesterday. Dr John Fleetwood, a general practitioner in the Blackrock/Monkstown area of Dublin, told the court Ms. Mary Johnston had attended him on October 29th, 1994. She was anxious and distressed. Dr Fleetwood said Ms. Johnston was generally quite healthy but complained of a lot of headaches. "Dr Fleetwood said he believed some of the church's programmes were a 'sham' and he had no doubt her involvement in the church was instrumental in causing her stress and anxiety. He said the church did not let its adherents go without a fight." Message-ID: Message-ID: Message-ID: Message-ID: Im71a.16694$

James Randi

Dan Garvin this week reported giving a talk at the James Randi Educational Foundation's Amazing Meeting on Scientology. "I spoke for half an hour on Scientology and the Sea Org, and later answered questions in a panel discussion. In between, whenever there were breaks between talks, attendees were asking me questions almost nonstop. Scientology is truly a hot (and disturbing) topic among people who use their heads, and most of them did not know much about it." Message-ID:

In Memoriam

The Washington Post reported the death of Scientologist Nancy Wright Graham in Falls Church, Virginia. "Nancy Wright Graham, 54, the owner and operator of Suddenly Slender, a Falls Church health and beauty mineral-wrap business she started in 1996, died Jan. 29 at her home in Falls Church. She had cancer. Mrs. Graham was a founding member of the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Washington, which conducts spiritual counseling for residents and visiting celebrities. Her hobbies included camping, canoeing and stargazing." Message-ID:


The BBC reported on February 4th on the continuing protests against Scientology in St. Petersburg. "The Moving Together youth organization have placed a five-tonne stone at the entrance to St. Petersburg's mayoralty in the Smolnyy palace 'to give weight' to their indefinite action of protest against the Scientologist sect. Campaign activists put up a tent in front of the Scientologists' Church on the city's Ploshchad Vosstaniya [Square] on 27 January. A demonstration was staged on Tuesday [4 February]. "'We have spent almost two weeks in front of the Scientologists' Church and managed to reduce the inflow of new members to this organization and to collect thousands of signatures under an appeal to the city authorities to close the sect.' "To add more weight to the appeal the demonstrators stuck leaflets to the five-tonne stone outside Smolnyy. The action will continue until the Scientologists' Church, which the Moving Together consider to be a Satanic and criminal sect, is closed down. "The city's Scientologists, meanwhile, said that they sent a protest against the youth movement's actions to the city authorities on 30 January. They argued that their organization is registered and that 'those who oppose them are protesting against the authorities and are possibly trying to incite religious enmity.'" From the Los Angeles Times on February 8th: "A Kremlin-connected youth movement is targeting the Church of Scientology with pickets and a planned lawsuit in an attempt to shut down its center in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city. 'We've decided to go after the most odious and dangerous of the cults,' said Aleksey Kuznetsov, an organizer with Walking Together, a youth group that supports the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Walking Together members pitched a tent near the Scientology headquarters in central St. Petersburg for 12 days, distributed anti-Scientologist pamphlets and erected a large sign reading, 'The Sect Is There,' with an arrow pointing at the five-story building." Message-ID: Message-ID: 1a71a.16693$


The operators of reported that they have received a demand that they stop linking their web site to the Hubbard College of Administration site. "Hello my name is Alverto and I am the Director of Promotion and Marketing of the Hubbard College of Administration International Today I was doing a random search and your web site was one of the results of the search. I am asking you at this time to remove all and all links to the Hubbard College of Administration International and its web sites. "I am not saying that what you are doing is okay or not. Everyone is entitled to their own free speech but at this time I would like for you to remove the links for the Hubbard College of Administration International web site and it's network. At no time were you given permission. Please refer the the disclaimer in the copy rights link on the Hubbard College of Administration Internationals web site." The Boston Globe reported on February 2nd that Scientology is frequently on the leading edge in legal issues over search engines and linking "Last year, lawyers for the Church of Scientology insisted that Google remove from its index links to, a Web site that is highly critical of the controversial church. They claimed that the site infringed on the church's copyrights and trademarks. Google promptly complied, to the horror of many Google fans who saw it as an abdication of the company's longstanding commitment to search purity. Google said it had no choice but to abide by federal copyright law, but critics pointed out that Google had in fact removed more than was required under law. In the end, Google restored some of the links and explained its reasoning to users. 'Ultimately,' Sergey Brin says, 'where we ended up was the right conclusion, but we didn't initially handle it correctly.' "Harvard Law's Zittrain says more clashes are on the way. 'The cutting edge on such battles is often the Church of Scientology,' he says. 'They have very well honed procedures and tactics to remove information that they find objectionable.' Check out a site called to see the growing list of letters from various parties demanding that Google remove information about them. What seeMs. clear is that just as in Washington, some parties will have more power than others in the Internet democracy governing Google Nation." Message-ID: 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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