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

Volume 7, Issue 47 - March 3 2003

Lisa Marie Presley

The Mirror reported on February 28th that one of the causes of the breakup of Nicolas Cage and Scientology celebrity Lisa Marie Presley was her involvement in Scientology. "He may be a Hollywood hunk whose dark good looks and athletic build have women swooning over him in such romantic hits as Captain Corelli's Mandolin and City Of Angels. But when it comes to his own lovelife, Nic Cage just can't seem to get it right. Nic blames the way he gets blinded by love and obsessed with the object of his affection - so it certainly can't be down to him not being romantic and attentive. Aspects of his past relationships have been the stuff of love stories, although they have yet to have a happy ending. "A life-long Elvis fan, Nic chatted up the heir to Graceland and the Presley estate at a party by raving about her father. Unimpressed, she replied, 'Is that the best you can do?' It took her three months to realise she may have been rude and called to apologise. They started dating and tied the knot within six months with a Blue Hawaii-style wedding. "It seemed like a match made in heaven, but he and Lisa Marie actually had little in common. She objected to his drinking, cigar-smoking and collection of lizards - none of which he was prepared to give up. He disliked aspects of her Scientology religion and was said to be peeved at being talked into selling his Venice Beach home after she complained of sightseers. They went their separate ways three months later citing 'irreconcilable differences'." Message-ID: 1NL7a.17475$


The St. Petersburg Times reported on March 1st on the new Scientology Mission of Belleair. "Opened quietly more than a year ago, it is the first of five missions Scientologists intend to establish in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties within the year. Geared toward introducing newcomers to Scientology, the missions mark the first time in the church's 27 years in Clearwater that Scientology overtly will try to recruit Tampa Bay area residents. "Scientology's commanding presence in downtown Clearwater - a collection of hotel rooms and space for church services - mainly serves Scientologists visiting from out of state or foreign countries. More than 12,000 journey each year to the church's spiritual headquarters in Clearwater to receive some of the highest levels of Scientology training. Missions, on the other hand, offer a starting point. "Financed and staffed by private Scientologists rather than church officials, missions offer introductory Scientology courses and services. Until Feshbach opened hers in Belleair, the only local mission was on Belcher Road near the church's stronghold in downtown Clearwater. A small building marked only by a one-word sign saying 'Dianetics,' it has led a mostly quiet existence. Twice in the last month, though, the Clearwater mission paid for a four-page insert in the Suncoast News, promoting a Scientology treatment and book to a North Pinellas audience. "Missions will start popping up throughout the bay area, says church spokesman Ben Shaw, because the church has forged a 'more stable' relationship with the community. Also, Shaw said, 12,000 private Scientologists now live in the bay area, and opening missions is regarded as a core contribution for Scientologists. It's a 'natural occurrence,' Shaw said. "Specific locations have not been selected, but missions are planned in St. Petersburg, Largo, Hyde Park and West Tampa. The Scientologists who will finance and operate those missions are in training. Two years ago, Feshbach tried to open a mission in an 86-year-old church in downtown Largo. Several city commissioners objected, pointing to the history of strained relations between the church and the Clearwater community. She dropped her bid to buy the church; a few months later, she found the vacant quarters in the Belleair Bazaar center, on West Bay Drive near Indian Rocks Road. "So far, 300 to 400 have visited the mission, Feshbach said. Word of the mission is spread by local Scientologists who urge the curious to take a look. Others responded to Feshbach's advertisements. She recently paid for an insert in the Pinellas edition of the Tampa Tribune, touting a Scientology treatment called the purification rundown. It purports to remove harmful toxins from the body through a program of vigorous exercise followed by several hours in a sauna, in conjunction with a regimen of vitamins, minerals and oils. She also has advertised in weekly shoppers, but said she plans no direct mail, radio or TV advertising. "Most newcomers begin with a course called 'Personal Efficiency.' The cost: $35. Those who like what they see usually follow with a series of life improvement courses such as 'Overcoming Ups and Downs in Life,' 'How to Improve Relationships with Others' and 'How to be a Successful Parent.' Each runs $82.50. Revenues from the mission's courses and religious services offset operating costs, which include paying the 16 staffers. Scientology missions also tithe 10 percent of their profits to the church, said church spokeswoman Pat Harney. "The facilities for the purification rundowns are at the opposite end of the strip center, in an even more nondescript space behind an awning that says 'Bookstore.' Inside are a sauna, treadmill, stationary bike and men's and women's locker rooms. The cost of a purification rundown: $1,500. The mission has administered 55 rundowns, Feshbach said. "Many in the scientific community challenge the purification program's success at removing harmful toxins. 'There is no data that that kind of experience reduces the level of toxins,' said Dr. Raymond Harbison, a professor in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida." Message-ID: iu48a.17530$

Digital Lightwave

The St. Petersburg Times reported on March 1st that Scientologist Bryan Zwan is lending money to the company he founded, Digital Lightwave, and that the company is appealing an arbitration award to a former employee who had complained about the use of Scientology policies at work. "Scrambling for cash to keep afloat, Digital Lightwave took out $2.4-million in high-interest loans from its chairman over the last two weeks. Digital, a maker of portable testing equipment for fiber-optic networks, will pay an annual interest rate of 10 percent to Optel LLC, an entity controlled by founder and majority shareholder Bryan Zwan. "The disclosure comes one month after Digital said it might borrow up to $10-million from Zwan and that it had recently cut 83 staff positions, reducing its payroll to 106. Digital Lightwave's fortunes have tumbled since the telecom boom of the late 1990s, when its stock surged and put Zwan on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans. The company was later dogged by legal problems, a federal investigation and investor concerns about Zwan's close ties to the Church of Scientology. "A Tampa appeals court is reviewing Digital's appeal of an arbitration award of $3.8-million plus lawyers' fees to former executive Seth Joseph, a Miami attorney the company let go in 1998." Message-ID: 8y48a.17531$

Org News

The Auditor magazine reported news from Scientology orgs around the world. "Many local dignitaries attended the opened of the new Chinatown Mission in Sydney recently and they were received by Mission Holder and new OT V Shimmy Harris and her husband Kevin, both SHSBC students at AOSH ANZO. Among the guests were the Mayor of Burwood, Mr. Ernest Wong, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Director, Mr. Carl Shen, who both validated the mission's drug free activities in the local Chinese community, expressing their thanks and promising support for the mission Mr. Shen also announced that the Overseas Chinese Committee would be providing funding in support of the Drug-Free Ambassadors' activities in Chinatown, noting that Dianetics had helped ease lives and that he expected it would benefit the community at large. "The Drug-Free Marshals anti-drug campaign was featured at an event attended by over 3,000 held recently by LA County Sheriff Baca's Clergy Council. At the Church booth thousands of anti-drug booklets were given out and several local school principals and religious leaders requested that the Drug-Free Marshals visit their organizations to enlighten students and parishioners on the campaign. "At the Austin Area Interreligious Ministries annual meeting, attended by 135 religious leaders, the Austin Church of Scientology was officially thanked for its active role in the community. Due to the effectiveness shown by Church staff and Volunteer Ministers in the local community, the Church's Director of Special Affairs was voted Vice President for Social Programs "Renovations on the New York Org building have begun which will result in greatly expanded capability to deliver Scientology services to the metropolitan New York area. The building, ideally located near Times Square, is being fully restored from top to bottom, so that each floor is perfectly set up for delivery. This will include 23 auditing rooms, course rooms to service 120 into course students and 180 Academy students, two Purif saunas as well as a spacious and beautiful reception area, all to become a reality before the end of 2003. "To facilitate these extensive renovations being completed as swiftly as possible, New York Org has moved to a temporary location near Grand Central Station, where training, auditing and all Dn and Scientology services and activities are continuing at a high roar. This temporary home features plenty of spacious course rooms, auditing rooms, a chapel and Purif areas for FSM activities, lectures and group functions. Delivery is in fact expanding with staff and public reaching out to the 21 million citizens of NY to bring them the priceless freedom and abilities of Dianetics and Scientology." Message-ID: MXHYWWHC37681.5404398148@anonymous.poster

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