|San Luis Obispo
Graham Berry, acting on behalf of Lawrence Wollersheim, asked the court in San Luis Obispo to appoint an independent executor for L. Ron Hubbard's estate this week, replacing Scientologist Norman Starkey. The court rejected the request on an ex-parte basis, asking Berry to give Scientology 30 days to respond to any filing he makes.
"Graham reported there were about 12 high-ranking RTC leaders that he was aware of, including the usual lawyers and OSA guys. They appeared panicky, livid and highly 'enturbulated' and his impression was that they were going to try to simply bully everyone and get the motion striken from the court records when it is introduced. The whole deal on the LRH estate fraud and skimming of money from it was a deep dark secret for a long time, and the recent panic about it is a reflection that the right nerve has been struck."
Scientology's new "media office" issued a statement on the filings.
"This is a transparent extortion attempt by copyright infringers. Everything alleged in this ex parte petition has been brought up in the past and thrown out by authorities -- including the coroner in San Luis Obispo and the courts -- as completely and utterly unfounded.
"Graham Berry and his client, Larry Wollersheim, have NO CLAIM whatsoever on Mr. Hubbard's estate, and they know it. They have been making outrageous claims for two years attempting to extort millions of dollars from the Church. We are turning this latest matter over to the District Attorney to investigate for extortion, fraud and conspiracy on the part of Berry, his client and other 'experts' -- all offering paid-for testimony."
"Graham Berry's frivolous ex parte petition, as expected, was thrown out by the judge in San Luis Obispo earlier this afternoon. Additionally, the judge reprimanded Mr. Berry severely, warning that he would sanction him if he ever brought such an ex parte motion again. The Church will now take all appropriate and needful actions to put an end to such malicious and scandalous extortion endeavors as those perpetrated by Berry."
Graham Berry's letter to Scientology lawyer Monique Yingling following the hearing included some of the startling facts that have not been widely known about the death of Hubbard and the status of his estate. Graham also commented on the strong reaction to the filings by Scientology.
"[T]he Coroner's report and the attached 'Toxicology Report' found traces of the psychiatric drug Vistaril in Mr. Hubbard's blood stream and his own doctor, Gene Denk, stated to the Coroner that he had prescribed and administered a number of drugs to Mr. Hubbard which included Vistaril (a psychiatric drug usually administered in combination with other hypnotic, psychotic and sedating narcotics and restricted drugs) and that Mr. Hubbard also had a 'long history of chronic pancreatitis' which is primarily caused by alcoholism.
"Finally, I remind you of something else that I advised the Court. Something is very wrong when approximately 12 people turn up for a simple ex parte petition. Especially, when these people include senior church executives, a lawyer who flew in from Washington, D.C., a lawyer who flew in from Denver, Colorado, and expend such obvious effort and expense in trying to stop proceedings regarding a dormant estate, which they claim was properly administered, and then to request the Court that it strike the ex parte moving papers and prevent Mr. Wollersheim and Factnet, Inc. from proceeding with their request for substantive relief by way of regularly noticed motion."
Graham Berry announced in a letter to Mathilde Krim that he is now representing the German ARD television network against Scientology.
"The German television corporation has just retained me to assist in its defense against the Scientology Organization."
Lawrence Wollersheim announced that Factnet will be making its database of documents available on the net.
"Factnet will soon be opening a searchable 1.6 gigabyte data base to the public over the net. As an act of good will before we open it to the public we will open it to Scientology agents to search it to insure we have not violated any of their intellectual property rights within the definition of fair use of the copyright laws in light of our being a library and a historic preservational archive."
Scientology's Freedom magazine is calling for information on any misdeeds by executives of the St. Petersburg Times. The information will likely be used in future "dead agent" attacks against the paper.
"Readers with information about crimes or misconduct by executives at the 'St. Petersburg Times' should send full details in writing to 'Freedom', 503 Cleveland Street, Clearwater, FL 34616. This includes information regarding racial and gender bias or discrimination, sexual harassment, employee abuse or any violation of exisisting laws."
RTC president Warren McShane refused to answer questions in a deposition with Scamizdat defendant Grady Ward. Attorney Tom Hogan described their objections.
"With respect to today's deposition, we object to Mr. Henson being here and, indeed, we will not proceed if he remains here. Mr. Henson is not a party in this case. He has no right to be here. Discovery in his case is concluded. When I spoke to Mr. Henson a day or two ago -- he called to ask if the deposition was going forward today. I told him that it was -- he indicated that he might want to be here. I advised him that we would object to that and that -- he said that he would contact you in an effort to get something resolved with -- perhaps that you might try to get something resolved with -- he mentioned Judge Infante.
"With respect to your recording or videotaping in any fashion the deposition, whatever you've done, all of the copies that you get must be turned over to the court reporter; that is to say, you can't take it with you. You can't keep it in any other disk or any other medium because, again, it's all subject to the protective order. The only person who is entitled to maintain the record of this proceeding if we go forward is the court reporter, and she's, as you mentioned earlier, an officer of the court. She's obligated to keep it in trust until such time as it's appropriate to deal with it in the court proceedings. But until then and unless you agree to that, again, we're not going to go forward."
Grady asked Judge Infante to overrule Hogan's objections and proceed with the deposition.
"Pursuant to the April 23, 1997 Order of the Magistrate Judge, the defendant noticed the deposition for Warren McShane to begin on April 30, 1997 in Eureka, California. Several days before the deposition Mr. Henson informed Mr. Hogan that he would be assisting Mr. Ward during the deposition as Mr. Ward is a pro se, Mr. Henson is covered by the same protective order that Mr. Ward is, and Mr. Henson's discovery is continuing at the express direction of the District Judge in his decision of the Order of Partial Summary Judgment in the RTC v. Henson case, notably in the matter of the deposition of David Miscavige currently scheduled for May 20, 1997.
"The second objection sprung on Grady Ward on the very morning of the scheduled deposition was the recording of the proceedings by Grady Ward. Besides again being a custom of both parties to record video and audio at all depositions, including ones with confidential materials being discussed, Mr. Hogan suddenly objected to me taking this on this particular occasion unless I could make no use of the material by turning it all over to the court reporter. Not being able to review the testimony immediately of course prejudices the defendant who cannot afford an 'expedite' reporting fee and has only a few days to use Mr. McShane's testimony - which is expected to show copyright fraud on a vast scale - for the defendant's impending summary judgment hearing and trial.
"I pray the Magistrate to take whatever action is just to so that Mr. Ward can have a fair summary judgment hearing and trial, perhaps specifying the time and conditions and who shall pay for of Mr. McShane's deposition, not permitting Mr. McShane to submit affidavits or testimony at trial, to stay proceedings until Mr. McShane does in good faith appear for deposition, or whatever other action is just under the circumstances of the plaintiff's repeated willful violation of court's orders."
The results of Scientology's search of Grady's phone records were received.
"From 1-95 to present shows: No calls to: MoFo, Andreas Helda-Lund, Dennis Erlich, Robert Vaughn Young, Karin Spaink, David Touretzky, Johan Wevers, Zenon Panoussis. One or two calls to: Deana Holmes, Arnie Lerma, Steve Fishman, Daniel Leipold, Graham Berry, Ford Greene, Keith Henson.
"The overall result? The criminal cult unintentionally produces more evidence that any conspiracy against does NOT exist."
Keith Henson's motion to file for reconsideration of the summary judgment against him for copyright violation was granted by Judge Whyte this week. The ruling of Special Master Kolt in another case has cast doubt on the copyright registration of the NOTS, which Keith is accused of violating.
"If Henson has not already done so, he shall serve on plaintiff Religious Technology Center within five days of the date of this order a copy of his motion for reconsideration. RTC shall file its opposition not exceeding ten pages in length within ten days of the date of this order. The matter will then be submitted without oral argument and without further briefing. In its response, RTC is to address why Special Master Kolt's June 4, 1991 report in RTC V. Scott, Case Nos. CV 85-711, CV 85-7197, assuming it was adopted by the district court, does not raise an issue of fact as to the validity of the copyright registration certificate of the NOTs Series.
A protest against Scientology was held at Scientology's Mesa, Arizona location. Jeff Jacobsen and Steve Whitlach provided reports on the picket.
"One of the Scientologist's picket signs said 'bigot go home' and we had a dickens of a time figuring out which one of us was the bigot. As we were getting ready to leave the Scientology picketers (who really only picketed about 1/2 hour total) came back out, so we said 'ok, take over!' and left."
"The scienos used a photographer and a videographer, same old stuff. And of course they photographed all our cars and wrote down our license plate numbers. The two groups picketed in separate areas and interacted very little, which I feel was good because scienos are easily upset and the trend across the world has been for the scieno crowd to act more and more aggressively."
Reuters reported this week that a parliamentary commission will recommend continued observation of Scientology as an extremist group.
"Ronald Pofalla told Welt am Sonntag newspaper that Scientology, based on the teachings of late American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, bound its members in a 'slave-like system.' 'I am sure that the Bundestag (lower house) commission... will recommend that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution observes Scientologists,' he said.
"Pofalla said he had prepared a paper on the 'concrete dangers of the Church of Scientology' for the commission into 'so-called sects and psycho-groups,' which is due to present its findings to parliament on June 26. Pofalla, a member of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democrats, said the church was dangerous for the health and the finances of its members."
A demonstration was held in Munich this week against Scientology. Bernhard Sandkuhler reported on the events.
"[T]he demonstration was organized by 'Robin Direkt', a German CAN-like group; the main speaker was Renate Hartwig, head of 'Robin Direkt' and German enemy of Scientology number #2 behind Ursula Caberta.
"Police is also there with several cars and motorbikes. No wonder, the billboards and posters with the slogan Bavaria in Scientology´s Hand? NO Thanks!' had been sponsored by the police union. But obviously a lot of the cameras and videos were in scientologists hands already. This changes when the march starts. Suddenly every single scientologist seems to have a specific task. Some carry fliers against the main speaker, German bestselling author Renate Hartwig, some take take photos of everything important, mainly every face. Some talk with pickets. Many scientologists don´t seem to be OSA staff but regular' org staff who have to serve duties besides their post.
"Renate Hartwig (with at least three obvious bodyguards) leads the crowd, together with the president of an association of parents who had organized the public demonstration (Elisabeth Schulz, Montessorieltern gegen Psychosekten e.V.). Scientologists walk besides the crowd and hand fliers to passengers.
"Before time the crowd of pickets approached the destination place. Imagine a large, impressive place with huge historic buildings, once built as a monument for commanders, complete with columns, larger-than-life lion statues and bronzes of two famous generals. In front of this building a speaker podium had been built for the final declaration. The pickets crowded around the podium, scientologists about them to spread their own propaganda.
"I get a megaphone, go up the podium and interrupt the whole thing. I introduce myself as a former supervisor of Scientology courses. I tell the crowd why those scientologists just don't listen. I also tell them (and all the scientologists who aren't allowed to hear this!), how the mentality of highly trained scientologists is influenced by those OT Courses, that those courses are sold for thousands of dollars and just contain some psychotechniques that Hubbard already described in 1951 in a book called Scientology - a history of man. The techniques depend upon the theory that everyone is stuffed and stained with thousands of other beings (1951 called entities or demon circuits, from 1967 called body thetans) that hinder him and have to be gotten rid of. I tell how scientologists can be observed to transfer this theory to their social surroundings and try to get rid of other people, parents, relatives, friends and creditors - as soon as those seem to hinder the scientologist in any way and he cannot handle them.
"Then it's the main speaker's turn: Renate Hartwig is greeted with applause, she is well-known from TV and press. In a very personal and direct way she attacks prominent scientologists who are present. The spokeswoman of Scientology Hamburg, (Sabine Weber, wife of the German OSA boss Rainer Weber) got attacked because of the coldheartedness and ignorance with which she had distracted from the pictures of dead scientologists at the Flag Land Base (that was subject of a very well substantiated TV show recently). About the spokesman of Scientology Munich, Georg Stoffel, Renate Hartwig reported how he achieved a position for the Bavarian tourist traffic office where people call to book hotel rooms etc. She described how he at the same time works for the secret service of Scientology, the ill-famed Office of Special Affairs."
German chancellor Helmut Kohl was greeted in Sydney, Australia this week by 30 Scientologists protesting his visit by wearing Nazi SS uniforms. From AAP:
"A group of 30 noisy demonstrators, members of the Australian branch of the US-based Church of Scientology, some wearing Nazi SS uniforms and carrying placards reading 'Hands Off Our Religion' and 'Is Germany Really A Free Country?', heckled Dr Kohl before his cruise. One protester, Liz Reeve, said the German government was orchestrating a campaign against Scientologists, even taking their children from schools. 'That shouldn't be happening to children in any country,' Ms Reeve said.
"The chancellor and his delegation, including 15 German business leaders, were rushed past the protesters to the Captain Cook cruiser, the John Cadman II."
Former Scientologist and recent victim of an attack at a London protest, Roland Rashleigh-Berry reported receiving a refund from Scientology this week.
"Jacques Vollet came round this evening to give me the two cheques totalling $33,000+ dollars that was owed to me. I am free of the cult and I have my money back. I was not asked to sign any agreement either."
Ray Randolph reported that Scientology's radios in Clearwater have been altered to prevent critics from listening in on their frequencies.
"I've been informed that the Radio systems used in Clearwater have been moved to an encryption scheme so that casual scanner listeners can't eavesdrop anymore. However, the technology used to 'encrypt' these broadcasts is known as 'Speech inversion' and is relatively simple (and legal) to decode.
"I am going to document how to decode their 'Speech Inversion' broadcasts on their fancy (and hopefully very expensive) new radios."
|Where Did She Die?
The St. Petersburg Times published an article this week on OSA Chief Mike Rinder's statement on German television that Lisa McPherson died in a hotel room, and not as Scientology's van pulled into the emergency room.
"Was it an honest mistake, a slip of the tongue? Or was it the naked truth, carelessly uttered on camera? A top official for the Church of Scientology told a German television crew recently that church member Lisa McPherson died in a room at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater.
"On its face, the statement marks a major change in Scientology's version of events surrounding McPherson's unexplained death at age 36. It came in the presence of one of the church's top lawyers, who agreed with it on camera. The new Scientology statement would mean McPherson was already dead when other Scientologists put her in a van and took her to a distant hospital -- a profound departure from what church officials have said previously about the case.
"In Florida, it is illegal to 'knowingly' fail or refuse to report a death to the medical examiner. It also is illegal to disturb or move a body 'or any article upon or near the body, with the intent to alter the evidence or circumstances surrounding the death.' To do so is a first degree misdemeanor."
St. Petersburg Times: When Did She Die?
Zenon Panoussis reported victory this week in a Swedish court.
"The ruling came today in the case against me, in which the RTC demanded that I would be forced to pay a fine of 50.000 crowns (appr USD 7.000) for filing the OTs and NOTs with the court and for distributing them to a closed circle. The scienos lost, completely, and have to pay my legal costs, SEK 45.000 (appr USD 6.500)."
The NY Daily News reported this week that Kirstie Alley is fighting rumors that she needed to get permission to continue her role as a Psychiatrist in a new Woody Allen movie.
"Alley didn't know exactly what she was getting into last year when Allen invited her to be part of his cast. Ah, but then the script arrived - or at least the pages of it that the secretive Allen would send her. Her role? A psychiatrist to Allen's writer character. But the Church of Scientology, to which Alley belongs, has never been amused by psychiatry.
"So Alley was faced with a dilemma: should she adhere to Scientological doctrine, or grab that plum part? 'The church is deeply involved in all her decisions,' says a source. 'So she probably consulted her auditor,' meaning, her church adviser.
"We called to ask what Alley's thinking was in taking the part. She replied through a spokesman: 'Your data is 100% b---s---. However, maybe you could take a course at my church to teach you how to duplicate information and how to discern whether or not it is accurate.'"
ShowBIZ News also carried the story.
"Kirstie Alley has denied reports that she consulted with an adviser at the Church of Scientology before accepting the role of a psychiatrist in Woody Allen's new movie, Deconstructing Harry. The reports suggested that Alley's role might have conflicted with Scientology doctrine regarding psychiatry. Monday's New York Daily News quoted Alley as saying through a spokesman, 'Your data is 100 percent bullshit. However, maybe you could take a course at my church to teach you how to ... discern whether or not [your information] is accurate.'"
Rush & Molloy