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

Volume 7, Issue 46 - February 23 2003

Ad Agency

Adweek reported on February 21st that the new advertising agency for Scientology defends the relationship. "Its detractors have compared the Church of Scientology to a cult, but the controversy that often surrounds it did not deter Horizon Media from taking on the business. 'It's freedom of speech,' said Zach Rosenberg, evp and general manager for Horizon in Los Angeles. 'Everyone has a right to market a belief, and we want to help them.' "The church, which spent about $45 million on ads in 2002 had grown too big for URI, said Becky Miscavige, client marketing campaigns director. Horizon was tapped because it is 'a growing independent agency that fits our needs as a growing church,' and it has an office in Europe, she said. Horizon will handle media strategies for building awareness of the church in the U.S., Europe and Russia. "U.S. duties include buying and planning to support church founder L. Ron Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Internationally, Eurizon will support the Volunteer Minister Cavalcade, which touts Scientology in 40 cities. 'It's not standard retail [advertising] to drive traffic into seats or generate ratings - it's ultimately to recruit people to the church,' Rosenberg said." Message-ID:

Faith-based Groups

The Anchorage Daily News reported on February 21st that Scientology participated in a meeting with the Lt. Governor of Alaska and a U.S. official responsible for the faith-based initiative. "Lt. Gov. Loren Leman led the state's first meeting Thursday. A White House aide in the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives spoke by phone. A crowd of about 100 gathered at Wilda Marston Theater to listen and talk at a session that began and ended in prayer. Pastors came. So did leaders of nonprofit organizations. "Many church groups represented were Christian but not all. A minister with the Church of Scientology, for instance, came to ask how the new effort will affect denominations that have experienced discrimination. The intent is to define religion broadly, Leman responded. Churches, synagogues, temples are all welcome, he said. "The White House has laid out guidelines for religious organizations receiving federal dollars on a Web site, Essentially, the money can't be used to fund worship or buy Bibles, the Koran or other religious materials. Clients cannot be forced to pray or participate in religious activities as a condition of getting help. It doesn't matter whether an organization has a cross on the wall, White House aide Balan Ayyar told the crowd by speakerphone. What is important is 'whether the service you are rendering is effective.'" Message-ID: yGq5a.17243$

Michael Pociej

Scientology has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Justice to allow Michael Pociej, a Polish Scientologist, to remain in the U.S. as a religious worker. "Plaintiff, CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF LOS ANGELES, files Complaint for Mandamus seeking to compel the Defendants to adjudicate the Special Immigrant Religious Worker petition they filed on behalf of Michael Pociej, a national of Poland. This is a civil action to redress the rights, privileges, and immunities secured by Plaintiff, by which status jurisdiction is conferred, and to compel Defendants to perform a duty Defendants owe to the Plaintiff. "On October 8, 1996, a Warrant of Arrest was issued for Michael Pociej for not appearing at his scheduled Deportation Hearing. Mr. Pociej never received this Notice of Hearing hence, he was not aware that he was being summoned by the Immigration Court. The Beneficiary of this petition, Mr. Michael Pociej, is scheduled for a hearing before the Los Angeles Immigration Court on February 27, 2003 to deliberate what other form of relief is available to him. "The Church of Scientology, Los Angeles suffered harm due to the INS' delay in adjudicating their petition. They need the services of Mr. Pociej and they cannot hire him unless they are given authority by the INS to commence the employment. "WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays that this Court: Compel the Defendants to perform their duty to adjudicate Plaintiff's Petition for Special Immigrant Religious Worker Award attorney's fees and costs of Court; and, Award such other and further relief that this Court deems proper under the circumstances." Message-ID:


The St. Petersburg Times reported on February 21st that charges will be dropped against the husband and friends of a Scientologist who restrained her in order to take her to a doctor. "The State Attorney's Office last week dropped false imprisonment charges against Terry R. Hemphill, 54, Jamie J. Popa, 34, and Laurie Lynn Miller, 33. A domestic battery charge against Hemphill also was dropped. Largo police arrested the three after finding they had bound Hemphill's wife, Cathleen, with electrical tape. Hemphill told the officer his wife had been acting erratically and needed to see the doctor. Hemphill said he enlisted the help of Popa and Miller to get her there. Officers determined Hemphill's wife was being taken against her will. Hemphill and the two women were arrested. "Mrs. Hemphill had told police that her husband had previously abused her, though she had not reported it to police. She reported it instead to the Church of Scientology, of which the Hemphills are members. Mrs. Hemphill also said in statements that Popa and Miller were members of the church. In fact, she said Popa was a 'field minister' with the church." Message-ID:

In Memoriam

The Oregonian reported the death of Scientologist Dan Perz on February 10th. "More than 100 kids at Lake Oswego Swim Club were under his tutelage, mostly ages 8 through 12. He loved to inspire kids, teach them how to swim fast and watch them improve. It would drive him nuts when coaches yelled at kids. "Perz had a master's degree in cinematography and married his art experience and visual talent with swimming. He took videos of swimmers in the water, then used a computer to isolate single images and used special effects from the computer to make photographs. His size intimidated some people. But his wife says he was a big teddy bear. He was a committed Scientologist for at least 20 years, a faithful reader of L. Ron Hubbard, and took classes at the Celebrity Centre downtown." Message-ID:


The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on February 18th that the sponsor of a trip for legislators to visit a Narconon program at a Mexico jail will no longer advocate the program for Nevada. "Assemblywoman Sharron Angle said Monday she will end her quest to have female prisoners enter a drug rehabilitation program devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Reno Republican said introducing a bill to try the program in Nevada would be useless because of Democratic opposition. Democrats hold 23 of the 42 seats in the Assembly. Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, opposes the program. "Angle said she will cancel a March 1 trip by legislators to an Ensenada, Mexico, prison to look at the Second Chance Program. The trip would have been paid by Randall Suggs, an Arizona businessman with ties to the Scientology church. Angle said the Scientology church is not involved in the Mexican prison's program. "Under the program, inmates receive sauna and massage treatments for extended periods of time. Only 10 percent of the inmates who enter the program return to drugs, Angle said. Buckley said Arizona legislators looked at the program last year and found it cost $15,000 per inmate for 3 1/2 months of treatment. Also, legislators were told Mexican officials did not check on program participants after they left prison, Buckley said." Message-ID: Mxr4a.17186$


The Daily Telegraph reported on February 16th that billionaire James Packer has left Scientology. "'He's out of it,' confirmed one mate, who did not wish to be named, but who insisted the billionaire media boss had cut all ties with the Church of Scientology. Packer, 34, started attending classes at the Church of Scientology in Sydney last year after close friend Tom Cruise introduced him to the religion. Just last month, Packer the younger flew to New Zealand to catch up with Cruise, who is shooting The Last Samurai in the North Island. But his dalliance with the celebrity-driven religion is definitely over, insiders assert." 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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