Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 1, Issue 41 02/09/97 by Rod Keller [firstname.lastname@example.org] copyright 1997
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors, whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some of the most significant postings. The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of the articles. Many include an excerpt, and all include message IDs for the articles I cover. This may or may not be useful to you, depending on how long your site stores articles in the newsgroup before expiring them. Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at email@example.com It is archived at: http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html http://user1.i1.net/~mallen/scn/arswr/ars-summary.html http://users.aimnet.com/~jdiver/scieno.htm http://www.thur.de/religio/publik/arsfaq.html #####
The investigation into the death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson continued
this week, with Internet participants posting some details of their
efforts. Betti Gefecht spoke with one of the Scientologists being sought
by the Clearwater police.
"Susanne Schnurrenberger, one of the missing witnesses in the McPherson case, is finally located. I talked to her personally and urged her to contact the Clearwater Police Department.
"She claimed to not know that the whole world is looking for her or that Lisa's death is still a matter of investigation. Since she was 'medical officer', they called her when Lisa was brought to Ft Harrison Hotel. She was told that Lisa was cracked up and that she should take care for her. She was there the first two days and nights. After that someone else took over and she was relieved, and that was it. Later she was told that Lisa had died of a thrombosis.
"Furthermore she said that she had been in Clearwater all the time and left the USA just recently. She said she did not know of any investigation going on and was definitely not on the run.
"When I asked her, what was the matter with Lisa and what Susanne did while being with Lisa, she answered: 'Lisa was confused and couldn't get any sleep. I was comforting her, reading to her to calm her down, and we were walking the beach for several hours. I wanted to get her tired so that she could find some sleep finally. But though I myself was almost falling asleep, Lisa stayed awake. So the relieved me finally, when I was exhausted.'"
Dean Benjamin and Keith Henson posted some details concerning Lisa McPherson's employer.
"Lisa McPherson was working for AMC Publishing, Inc, 620 Lakeview Rd Clearwater, FL 34616-3336 (813-446-1100) There are no signs on either the building or out front which indicate AMC Publishing is located there. Corporate officers are a couple, Bennetta and David Slaughter, and Jeff Schaffner for those who want to look through name indexes. Bennetta was known to be a friend of Lisa.
"AMC Publishing, Inc., 620 Lakeview Rd Clearwater, FL 34616-3336 reported 33 employees. Bennetta Slaughter is president and secretary, her husband David B is treasurer. Jeff Schaffner is vice pres. These last two were the ones who identified Lisa's body. Two others are identified as officers, Katy Chamberlain as controller and Mary Demoss as assistant to CEO.
"Bennetta Slaughter is also a photographer for Scientology and lives at 1833 Stancel Dr. The house was bought for $115K, the previous place they owned cost $350k. The business location was purchased for $105k. Jeff Schaffner lives at 1600 Gulf Blvd.
"100% of stock is owned by the officers. AMC was incorporated in Texas, relocated from Dallas, Texas Feb 10, 1994. AMC seems to be a printing/mailing operation."
Tilman Hausherr reported that CAN's files will be returned to the original
Cult Awareness Network. Scientology wanted to buy the files, which contain
sensitive information on former Scientologists who contacted CAN.
"The judge ruled that CAN's documents are to be abandoned to CAN. Moxon & Bartilson, which claims standing in the case due to the money the firm claims Scott owes them, announced they would appeal the order. The judge has set a new court date of February 18, and carried over the rest of the business scheduled for today. Graham Berry was admitted to appear on behalf of Jason Scott. Berry is filling an objection to Moxon's standing in the case.
"George Robertson, a well-known cult apologist who is with the Bible Speaks (the group that Betsy Dovydenas successfully sued), made an appearance to ask the court to sell him the records for $75,000 rather than to abandon them to CAN. He claimed to represent a group called Religious Freedom Foundation.
"Jane Witcher, an attorney with the ACLU, made an appearance on behalf of John Doe, a CAN member. She underscored the seriousness with which the ACLU views the privacy rights of the John Doe in this case. A motion by Moxon to question Ron Taggart, Cynthia Kisser and Graham Berry under oath for various reasons was deferred until the next status date."
The Chicago Tribune ran a story on the new CAN this week.
"[T]he organization is being run by followers of the International Church of Scientology, whose members played a role in putting the agency into bankruptcy last year. The bankruptcy enabled the Cult Awareness Network's name, logo and other materials to be purchased by followers of the controversial church.
"Scientologists say the new Cult Awareness Network is now more focused on helping people, rather than looking for ways to discredit organizations with non-traditional religious beliefs. But critics argue that the new Cult Awareness Network. has become little more than a PR arm of the Scientologists.
"'What's happened is quite dangerous because people expect unbiased information. And under the newly formed group, I don't believe they will get such information,' said Margaret Thaler Singer, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California-Berkeley, who has written extensively about cults over three decades.
"'The name Cult Awareness Network has become totally misleading in its present existence,' said Cynthia Kisser, who helped found the organization two decades ago. 'You can't rely on any of their information.'
"The Church of Scientology has said the Cult Awareness Network is now functioning as an organization with deep respect for religious tolerance. The agency is no longer involved in 'deprogramming' or referring clients to those who would carry out such acts.
"'The new Cult Awareness Net work is opposed to violence,' said Janet Weiland, vice president of the International Church of Scientology, based in Los Angeles. 'We think this is an organization that's capable of helping families.'"
Andreas Heldal-Lund reported a relocation of his Operation Clambake web
site when his Internet provider suddenly removed access to the pages.
"Operation Clambake is removed by the ISP today, without consulting me first! Contact person at ISP writing to tell me is: firstname.lastname@example.org
"PS TO KOBRIN: I'm surprised it took so long for you to do something that forced me to put in some effort. You want to play it hard? Ok, I'll make sure this will get out. You just made a lot of new enemies on the Net!"
The Norwegian ISP wrote:
"According to our (and our lawyers) understanding of the Norwegian copyright law these pages are in direct violation of Norwegian Law, and we cannot allow the text to be present on our server. We own the physical medium (the hard disk) that the text resides, and that makes us liable for the contents on the server. We have not deleted the files, and have no intentions of such actions, but I am afraid it is Mr Heldal-Lund job to take this copyright violation to court."
But the Clambake site found a new home within days, with the addition of new material.
"Ingar Holst in Norway now mirrors all pages of Operation Clambake while it is down. Will he become a new record holder? Will this end in court? The address is now: http://login.eunet.no/~ingar/clambake/ingar.html
"There's even some news there; handwritten copies of OT1."
Jeff Jacobsen posted a press release with details of the planned March 8th
protest against Scientology in Clearwater.
"Downtown Clearwater will again, as last March, be host to a peaceful protest of the Church of Scientology on Saturday, March 8. A candlelight vigil will be held that evening in memory of Lisa McPherson, age 36, who died under suspicious circumstances after a 17 day stay at the church's Ft. Harrison Hotel in late 1995. Police are investigating her death. Protesters will be coming from around the country as well as from the Clearwater area.
"'Stop Hurting People, Scientology' is the theme of this year's event. Protesters will focus on the church's policies that hurt both critics and members of the church. Some believe those policies were instrumental in the death of Lisa McPherson in Clearwater.
"Organizers invite the public to their peaceful picket on Saturday, March 8. We will gather at the Pinellas County courthouse at 10:45 a.m. At 7 pm a candlelight vigil will also be held in memory of Lisa McPherson.
"More information is available at:
A.r.s poster "Tashback" transcribed a radio show with Jeff Jacobsen, radio
host Bill Straus, and featuring a number of a.r.s regulars by phone. Ginny
Leason and other Scientologists were also on the air to discuss
Scientology and the death of Lisa McPherson. Some excerpts:
"Jacobsen: In the autopsy report, the next day, the coroner's report, they said she was severely dehydrated. The reason for her death was bed rest and severe dehydration. She weighed 108 pounds, was five foot nine tall. And she had bug bites. She had bruises and abrasions on many parts of her body. And she was just pretty beat up, essentially. So the question is, that makes this case kind of unusual partially, is that the church claims that Lisa looked fine up to 24 hours before she was taken to the hospital.
"[T]he church has policies to hurt people, actually. L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology -- he also wrote the book Dianetics, which is where this all started. There's a policy called the fair game policy, which was written by Hubbard in 1967. The church later claimed that it was revoked, but this is part of that: 'SP Order.' SP means suppressive person, by the way. 'Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed.' That's a teaching of Hubbard's.
"Ginny: The disagreement that I have is that he doesn't have the first-hand information on Lisa McPherson down in Flag. He wasn't there. He doesn't have the first-hand information. Jeff has been attacking the church for a number of years. He's a hate-monger and incites the hate against not just our religion but other religions on the Internet. I don't see him doing anything out in the community, like in respect of I went to Oklahoma City after the bombing and helped hundreds of people and assisted the injured. I do food drives for the Salvation Army. I don't see Jeff Jacobsen doing that.
"Jacobsen: Does Elliot Abelson have first-hand knowledge of Lisa McPherson?
"Ginny: He is an attorney that has a lot more correct and on-spot information than you would because he is an attorney. You would have to ask him that.
"Jacobsen: Your argument against me was that I don't have first-hand information, but it seems to me Elliot Abelson does not have first-hand information either. Did he see, for instance, Lisa McPherson hitting the walls if he said she did?
"Ginny: You, again, Jeff, you would have to ask the attorney. I don't know. It's not a situation for here at the, you know, here in Arizona. It's not our situation here. The attorneys, as far as I know, are the ones who are handling that. And I'm not going to debate any of this with you because it's not my place. It's not -- it doesn't have anything to do with the Church of Scientology of Arizona.
"Jacobsen: The church has been using Elliot Abelson and attorneys to speak about the Lisa McPherson case, and I want to know why -- the church has all these highly trained PR people that use Hubbard tech for their PR methods -- why isn't the church using a PR person instead of using this attorney?
"Ginny: I can't answer that. I'm just a local director of special affairs here locally, and you would have to ask the attorney that.
"Straus: [W]hat do the Scientologists believe? I could give a two-sentence capsule of my religion. But, like he asked me, do they believe in God? Does their name mean that they believe more in a scientific approach to the world than a God approach?
"Ginny: OK, Scientology believes that man is basically good and offers the tools to anyone that they can use to become happier and more able as a person, to improve their conditions and their life for himself and others. And that's basically, in a nutshell, what Scientology is.
"Straus: Belief in God?
"Straus: OK. One god? Monotheism?
"Jim: I have read virtually every policy letter written by L. Ron Hubbard. I have seven volumes of his work, which comprise his breakthroughs in the handling of organizations and how to run an organization in such a way to make it work and make it do what you want it to do and make it easy to work in. The fair game policy, I have not seen. You cannot find it in the subject index. I do remember years ago reading the policy canceling it. But I have never read the fair game thing. But anyway, I didn't really want to get off into that.
"Jacobsen: I got it in front of me if you want me to quote from it.
"Jim: No, I don't want you to quote from it. The point is, I just said, I have seven volumes here. I just went through the subject index, and it isn't in there. And yes, the Church of Scientology is very litigious, and we're not a turn-the-other-cheek religion.
"And when we're attacked, we defend ourselves, and we'll continue to do so. And we won't be harmed by such as the like of Jeff Jacobsen, I promise you."
Judge Infante ordered Scientology to produce some documents this week in
Dennis Erlich's copyright violation case.
"In a ruling by Judge Infante in San Jose on Monday, February 3, 1997, RTC was given 15 days to produce for the Mighty MoFo all the documents relating to the transfer, including poodleboy's notary book.
"And that was not all they ordered by his (very pissed-off) honor to produce."
"We filed a motion to compel production of documents. There was a hearing in front of a pissed off Judge Infante. He ordered RTC to produce within 15 days."
Scientology and Germany continued to generate news coverage this week,
with reports of a new survey of Germans on Scientology, a promise to
publicize Dead Agent materials on the Germany government, the possible
boycott of a German film festival, and more widespread publicity from Time
Magazine. First, from Agence France Presse:
"The Church of Scientology has launched an investigation into 'criminal and immoral acts' by German officials who are allegedly harassing their members and other religious minorities, the church said in a statement released here Monday. The findings of the investigation will be published next week in a special edition of the church magazine Freedom with a press run of 500,000, said Leisa Goodman, spokesman for the Church of Scientology International.
"The results will be 'made known to the world and forwarded to prosecutors,' Goodman said, adding that 'the evidence will permit the charge that criminal conspiracies exist' in two German political parties, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU). Preliminary findings reveal 'widespread criminality such as embezzlement, theft, tax evasion and abuse of office for private benefit,' Goodman said."
"Until last month, only the Scientologists and human-rights observers were paying much attention to what was going on in Germany. Then a startling letter appeared in the International Herald Tribune, signed by 34 show-biz celebrities and studio executives, comparing the purported discrimination suffered by Scientologists in Germany today to the 'unspeakable horrors' perpetrated against the Jews in the 1930s. That comparison provoked outrage in the American Jewish Community. Last week the State Department stepped in to address the charges in its influential yearly Human Rights Report. Spokesman Nicholas Burns went ever further than the report, flatly accusing Germany of 'discrimination' against Scientologists and of punishing them solely for their beliefs.
"With that, Germany had had enough. In Bonn, the government declared that it was its 'duty to publicize Scientology's practices and protect citizens from them.' There were prolonged meetings at the chancellery, with much dark talk of slashing back at the U.S., reportedly by urging it to abolish capital punishment and do more to combat racism.
"The German campaign against the Scientologists as detailed in the State Department's report is a dry dish of bureaucratic caution, simply laying out the facts and calling no names. It says Scientologists have been barred from joining major German political parties like the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democrats and that some who joined earlier are being purged.
"The Germans have no hard evidence of criminality but an abiding fear of extremism in any form. The Christian Democrats call Scientology 'totalitarian.' A Social Democratic member of the Bundestag says it is 'fascist.' When a German delegation met with U.S. officials on the issue late last year, the Americans argued that if there is evidence of illegality, the Scientologists should be prosecuted under existing laws. The Germans replied that, well, there wasn't enough evidence for a trial, but even so, their government 'has responsibility to protect its citizens.'"
>From Agence France Presse:
"Germany's stand against the Church of Scientology must not become 'a burden' on US-German relations, Germany's junior foreign minister said here Tuesday. Werner Hoyer, Minister of State in the federal Foreign Office, told journalists here that the issue 'must not become a burden in bilateral relations between the United States and Germany.'
"Hoyer, who is leaving for Washington later in the day after meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said that he would explain the German position in talks with US legislative and administration officials."
"German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel will take up the issue of the Church of Scientology, which is charging Germany with persecuting its members, with new U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, his ministry said on Monday. Kinkel told the Frankfurter Rundschau daily newspaper that Bonn refused to accept the U.S.-based Church's charge that compared Bonn's tough stance with Nazi persecution of the Jews before World War Two."
"Peter Hintze, general secretary of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democrats, said he has 'absolutely no understanding' of the criticism and that 'the USA is using a concept of tolerance' that ignores the dangers posed by Scientology. 'Psychological terror cannot be dealt with in this way,' Hintze said.
"Guenter Verheugen, a deputy leader of the opposition Social Democrats, said U.S. criticism of Germany was 'completely inappropriate' and he urged the government to protest the State Department report. 'In our view, Scientology is an organization that pursues its devious aims through the use of pressure and sometimes with psychological terror,' Verheugen said.
"Kohl's spokesman, Peter Hausmann, said Germany will not change its policy toward Scientology despite the report. 'It is our obligation to explain the practices of the Scientology organization to the German populace and to protect people from that, naturally by legal means,' he said."
"The director of this year's Berlin Film Festival on Tuesday dismissed fears that Hollywood stars could boycott the event to protest at Germany's controversial treatment of the Church of Scientology. Commenting on German radio reports of a possible protest by film stars to support fellow actors who are Scientologists, Moritz de Hadeln said he had heard nothing from U.S. studios or stars about a Berlin boycott.
"'We have even asked around and there is no sign of a boycott,' de Hadeln told Reuters. 'It would be very stupid anyway. We've got nothing to do with that church or any other.' The 41st Berlin Film Festival, opening on February 13, will serve as a showcase for new pictures from five continents. The festival traditionally relies on a glittering array of international stars to boost its media coverage.
"Several stars who attended last year -- such as Dustin Hoffman, Goldie Hawn and Oliver Stone -- were among a group of high-profile Americans who placed a full-page 'Open Letter to Helmut Kohl' about Scientology in newspapers last month."
Also from Reuters:
"Most Germans want the Church of Scientology placed under observation by the government's anti-extremist watchdog agency, according to a survey released on Wednesday. The survey, conducted for Bavarian television, found that 59.2 percent of respondents were in favour of calling in the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution to keep a eye on the controversial organisation. Only 9.5 percent were against the measure while 31.3 percent either had no opinion or did know what Scientology was.
"Of those who had heard of the organisation, 40.6 percent favoured banning it altogether, according to the survey of 508 people carried out by the Allensbach polling group."
"The Church of Scientology on Thursday hit out at a German public opinion poll, saying it was evidence of a 'hate campaign,' and accused a minister of manipulating Bavarians. In a statement issued from its Los Angeles headquarters, the church's president Rev. Heber Jentzsch decried the results of a survey for Bavarian television released on Wednesday as 'the strongest evidence yet of the use of a hate campaign against the Church of Scientology in Germany in order to avoid the real issues that are facing Bavaria and the entire country.'
"Jentzsch said: 'The results show this wasn't a survey for public opinion; it is an indictment exposing government disinformation. 'The survey establishes that with a well-funded hate campaign politicians such as Labour Minister Norbert Bluem have been able to manipulate the opinions of the Bavarian people,' he added."
Neil Muspratt transcribed a report from ABC Radio National, which aired
this week in Australia. The guests were Scientologist Sabine Weber and
analyst Steven Kent.
"Sabine Weber: When you are a Scientologist in Germany and you are faced with discriminations like, your child in school is being harassed or your child in the kindergarten is not allowed to play with his friends anymore or does not even get a place there, or if you are confronted with losing your job, and we in the church of course get these not from just one single case but various cases where people are spit at, they are beaten, they are harassed, they are being insulted. Basically forms are being distributed where they, the government, or the Chamber of Commerce, or whoever, forwards the slogan 'don't buy at Scientology businesses' or something like this, then of course, you cannot help it, you feel reminded by the 30s.
"Steven Kent: The substance of the German allegations are threefold. One, Germany is claiming that Scientology is an economic organisation operating under the cloak of religion. Second, the German government is claiming that Scientology is, is psychologically totalistic and controlling, and third, the German government is claiming that Scientology is totalitarian and anti-democratic. These allegations have to be viewed in the context of what is going on in surrounding European countries. Just in the last few months and in France, fourteen Scientologists were convicted of fraud, and a fifteenth was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, involving putting pressure on a person to take courses that apparently he couldn't afford and the person committed suicide. Just in December, a Greek court ordered Scientology to leave the country, that, that case is, is under appeal. Germany is also aware that Scientology is making tremendous inroads in, in countries like Russia. It's applying its administrative technology in, in Albania. The Russian city of Perm, for example, which has over a million people, apparently is using Scientology technology to organise and run a lot of its government offices. So Scientology is making tremendous inroads in a lot of places, especially former iron curtain countries, but it's also under significant scrutiny in a number of European countries near Germany."
Reuters reported this week that Switzerland has joined Germany in
examining the activities of Scientology closely.
"The Swiss government has a group of experts looking into the activities of the Church of Scientology, a spokesman for the Swiss justice ministry said on Tuesday. The investigation into the U.S.-based group, which has offshoots in many countries, is being conducted by a subcommittee formed by the ministry's consultative commission for state security.
"'The task of this subcommittee is to investigate whether Scientology has any impact on the internal security of Switzerland,' Viktor Schlumpf, Justice Department spokesman said. He said the work of the subcommittee would be concluded in the coming months. It was uncertain whether there would be any report published after it finished its work, he said."
Grady Ward posted a counterclaim filed with the court this week in the
Scamizdat trial, in which he accused them of being a corrupt organization
under the RICO statutes.
"On information and belief, the defendant alleges that the Racketeering 'enterprise,' as used in 18 U.S.C. 1961(4), is the cluster of corporations, fellowships, and committees, known as 'Scientology.'
"Predicate act, wire fraud: the defendant is informed and on that basis believes that Helena K. Kobrin, attorney and agent for the plaintiff and the scientology enterprise did, on or about January 11, 1996, issue the computer command known as a RMGROUP in order to destroy the Internet discussion group alt.religion.scientology throughout the United States and the world and did thereby deprive the defendant of the intangible right to honest service of receiving and viewing postings and cross-postings from such a forum to the collateral Internet newsgroups that he subscribed to such as comp.org.eff.talk.
"Predicate act, wire fraud: a lawful writing of Grady Ward was fraudulently destroyed using a forged CANCEL computer command by, on information and belief, a person or persons acting in active concert and participation with the plaintiff or the scientology enterprise, thereby depriving Grady Ward of the intangible right of honest service as well as the tangible loss of that writing and the cost of rewriting and re-posting to the Internet.
"Predicate act, mail fraud: the defendant has been informed and on that basis believes that on May 10, 1995 a man later positively identified as Eugene Martin Ingram, a long time investigator and agent for scientology attorney Elliot Abelson, the plaintiff, the plaintiff's chairman of the board David Miscavige, and the enterprise of scientology, did commit mail fraud in a scheme to defraud my mother and myself of certain photographs of the defendant's wife and children, to fraudulently persuade the defendant's mother that the agent of the plaintiff was in fact a long-lost friend of defendant Grady Ward, and by using the U.S. Mails to return the photographs after the theft by deception was reported to municipal authorities to further defraud the defendant and his mother by lulling them into a false sense of security and to forestall their complaint to federal authorities."
Grady also posted a request for donations to continue his court battle.
"If you have any money coming back from your tax refund, would you earmark some for my battle with the cult? Remember, NONE goes to lawyers; you get excellent leverage against cult bucks since I estimate the current ratio of cult expense to my own at 400:1 with the cult spending more than $600,000 so far to attack me.
"Things coming up: my motion for summary judgment; the fight against the protective order for David Miscavige; the deposition of Warren McShane, the US Marshals serving complaints upon McShane, Helena da Ho Kobrin, Eugene Martin Ingram, and a cast of others. I am currently also pursuing an Injunctive appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal Docket No. 97-15164 which among other questions, will ask the Ninth Circuit to consider the question of whether posting materials to the Internet makes them 'generally known' with respect to trade secret law, and the admissibility of unauthenticated Usenet posts."
Keith Henson posted additional requests for documents and admissions from
Scientology this week.
"All documents concerning your storage of messages downloaded from USENET newsgroups.
"All Scientology documents which you have scanned into any computer.
"All copies of materials by L. Ron Hubbard which you have made.
"All documents consisting of or containing Advanced Technology which you have received from anyone prior to January 6, 1997.
"All documents concerning your attempt to determine the content of the masked portions of NOTs Series 23 that was given to you as part of plaintiffs Initial Disclosures.
"All documents identifying anyone to whom you have given the results of your attempt to determine the content of the masked portions of the masked NOTs Series 23 that was given to you as part of plaintiffs Initial Disclosures.
"All documents concerning any funds that you have received in connection with providing copies of Advanced Technology materials to anyone.
"REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION
"You have seen a copy of the document known as 'NOTs 34' or 'NOTs Series 34'. You have read the document known as 'NOTs 34' or 'NOTs Series 34'. You are aware that the documents known as the 'NOTs Series', the 'NOTs materials', or the 'NOTs pack' were stolen from a Scientology Church in Denmark in 1983.
"On or about August 12, 1995, an electronic mail communication with the Subject 'Re: International Noose is loosening fast on Scn' was posted to the USENET newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.
"You authored the following text contained in Exhibit B: 'I have never signed any silly billion year contracts, or agreeded [sic] to keep the OT tripe secret. So are you bozos going to raid *my* house if I put up a web site or report the silly stuff?'
"You authored the following text contained in Exhibit C: 'I am also publicly seeking more NOTs materials, stolen or not, which describes criminal activities.' 'It is my intent to POST and discuss any parts of NOTs which amount to manuals for criminal activities. Such discussions are in the public interest which overrides commercial copyright considerations.'
"You currently have a copy of the document known as 'NOTs 34' or 'NOTs Series 34' in disk space afforded you through your Internet account with Netcom On-Line Communication Services, Inc."
Ted Mayett reported changes at the Scientology's Las Vegas orgs, which he
"[T]he glass on the door is gone, replaced with a sheet of wood. I then am close enough to see that the big glass window next to the door is also smashed. But not completely, it is still holding in the frame.
"One of the Problem Children, one I have no name for, comes running out the building and takes off down the street. While picketing I notice he is across the street and looking into my car. The window is down and the car is unlocked. He sees me looking at him and leaves the car. He is running to the building and I put my hand up in a 'stop' gesture and ask him, 'what were you looking for?'. He said, 'shut-up faggot' and ran around me.
"While a clam, on-lines at CCLV, and while I had a scientology roommate, and while various visiting sea org were staying at my apartment, this same apt. At that time CCLV was being vandalized heavily. Movie cameras were stolen, tape decks, money, wallets, other things. The windows were being broken constantly. This all stopped when I started doing drive by's in the early morning hours to catch whoever was doing these crimes. I never did catch anyone, but the vandalism had stopped for a while.
"My car is always unlocked. I leave my picket signs in them and figure that if the monkeys want them I don't want them to break a window to get to them. I'll continue to leave my car unlocked, I'm thinking that legally it is safer to do it that way."
Wayne Whitney reported that he may have been the target of a Scientology
sting operation. Wayne regularly pickets Scientology's San Francisco org.
"During one of my last pickets at the Org I met a guy who seemed REALLY interested in my cause. He was standing in the exact same spot as the guy that got me on channel 53. We talked for awhile and I ended up telling him my story. When I got back to Hayward I got on the bus. Who should I run into but the very same guy that I met in front of the Org. It turns out that he was also going all the way back to Livermore just as I was.
"While we were traveling home he said he was so interested in my little crusade. He told me that he had a bunch of relatives that worked at channel 2 and that he could get me on TV. When we got off the bus he told me that he felt very strongly that what Scientology was doing was wrong. He said he really wanted to get me on channel 2 so that I could tell my story. I said, 'GREAT! I'd really like an opportunity like that.'
"After about four weeks of this constant rain and frustration the guy finally calls me up out of the blue. He says, 'Wayne, we need to get this thing started. I want to hurry up and get you on channel 2 so that you can tell your story. What Scientology is doing is just SO wrong. They need to be stopped. I've already contacted channel 2 and they are really interested in your story.'
"This guy said he wanted a copy of my story, copies of my invoices and copies of my account statements so that he could present them to the guy at the station at Jack London Square. He went out and had all these picket signs made up. He even said that he had 18 then later 25 people lined up ready to picket with me. It was at this point (after I'd made a financial commitment) that things started getting really weird. Without going into details I'll just say that things got too weird, even for me. I finally decided to cut my loses and call the whole thing off at the last minute."
The Boston Globe ran a story on anti-cult activist Steve Hassan this week.
"Steve Hassan says that he was prepared to commit murder, 'absolutely.' Or, if necessary, take a bullet in his own body and die a glorious death. Hassan was a follower of Sun Myung Moon, a true believer in the South Korean evangelist's Unification Church. He used to literally fall to his knees, kowtowing in Moon's presence.
"It was the late 1970s, and the aspiring poet and English teacher had chucked his studies at Queens College in New York and become, in his words, 'a Moonie.' According to Hassan, he was favored by top Unification leaders for his discipline and zeal, his persuasive speaking style and success as a recruiter.
"Hassan and his allies in the anti-cult movement, like the American Family Foundation, based in New York and Florida, are concerned that although cults are less visible now than in the '70s, they are proliferating dangerously.
"The Church of Scientology is high on Hassan's list of actively destructive cults. 'It's hard to pick what I want to say that's critical of this group because there's so much,' he says. It exists, he says in essence, for unholy profit. Asked for a comment on Hassan, the Boston branch of the Church of Scientology contacted its New York public affairs director, John Carmichael. 'I've watched what Hassan does,' Carmichael said on the telephone from New York, 'and his mind control theories are the same rubbish that's been rejected by the courts. His theories are debunked. He's a pseudo-expert, a phony,' who 'preys on people's fears.' Carmichael faxed the Globe more than 20 pages of documents including an affidavit from Arthur Roselle, stating Hassan had aided in kidnapping and imprisoning him in 1976 for the purposes of deprogramming him.
"'I flatly deny I ever kidnapped, abducted, coerced or hurt anyone in any way,' Hassan says. According to Hassan, with the cooperation of Roselle's parents and close friends, he counseled Roselle out of the Unification Church in 1976. And although Roselle later rejoined, 'no charges have been filed against me by him or anybody else - ever,' Hassan says. 'This has been perpetuated around the world for 20 years and used to indoctrinate groups of cult members to fear me.'"