Steve Fishman posted details of Scientology's tactics against Graham Berry and the continuation of the Factnet case.
"Cult Probate Lawyer Sherman D. Lenske has written to Graham Berry's managing partners today threatening Graham and the law firm he works for.
'If Mr. Berry continues to pursue matters in connection with the estate of L. Ron Hubbard, not only will we sue him for libel, he will subject himself and your firm to sanctions.' The three page letter went into why the inquiry into the Hubbard Estate was 'defamatory'.
"In the meantime, Cult Pit Bull Attorney Earle Cooley responded with yet a third letter to Graham and his firm saying that he is intent upon suing because Graham Berry 'has defamed him.' The cult also now has private investigators trying to meet with the senior partners of Graham Berry's law firm, perhaps on the very same order as the criminal activity they used on Bob Lewis, Graham's former employer. The name of the investigator is Ted Vanes."
"They already have indicated that they want to dismiss half the lawsuit in Denver. RTC (Religious Technology Center) wants to get out and just leave BPI (Bridge Publications) in there. By doing this, the cult falsely believes this would eliminate the need for Miscavige's deposition. They also filed a request to dismiss in San Jose, but Judge White nonetheless still ordered Miscavige straight into deposition!"
|San Luis Obispo
Documents from L. Ron Hubbard's file with the Coroner in San Luis Obispo were made available this week, showing the condition of Hubbard when he died.
"The body of a tall white male said to have been in his 70's. The body shows abundant reddish-white facial hair and eyebrows of reddish-white color. Scalp hair is long, thinning, receding at the forehead and of greyish-white color. Reddish-white body hair is present on the surface. Fingernails are long, unkempt. Nail beds are of bluish-red discoloration. Toenails are long, unkempt and there is bluish-red cyanosis present. The back is covered by livores. There is a bandaide affixed to the right gluteal area where 10 recent needle marks are recognized of 5-8 cm. There are no abnormalities upon inspection of the back. The body is without bruises or injuries or palpable masses."
A schedule of events in Dennis Erlich's copyright violation case was released this week.
"Discovery cut off June 30, 1997
Expert disclosures (with reports) July 3, 1997
Last day to file motions to compel July 18, 1997
Rebuttal experts (with reports) July 25, 1997
Expert discovery cut off August 22, 1997
Briefs due simultaneously from the parties regarding issues to be tried by the jury and the Court September 15, 1997
Last day to hear dispositive motions September 12, 1997
Last day to meet and confer regarding preparation of a Joint Pre-Trial Conference Statement and pre-trial materials October 3, 1997
Pre-Trial Conference regarding issues to be tried by the jury and the Court October 9, 1997, 2:00 p.m.
Last day to file Joint Pre-Trial Conference Statement October 24, 1997
Pre-Trial Conference October 30, 1997, 2:00 pm.
Trial November 10, 1997, 1:30 p.m."
Chris Owen provided a summary of the latest issue of Scientology's Freedom Magazine.
"Three articles appear concerning L. Ron Hubbard. 'An Annual Tribute to Religion's Founder' reports on the L. Ron Hubbard Birthday Event, held on March 21 in Clearwater, Florida and relayed by satellite to 310 other cities in 101 nations (which must have cost a lot). The focus of this attention was, inevitably, the apparently omnipresent David Miscavige.
"London's Celebrity Centre, a small office in a run-down building on Ladbroke Grove, is mentioned as having been promoted to full Church status 'in acknowledgement of its rapidly growing congregation and contributions to its community'.
"The centrefold is devoted to a single article, 'Assault on Ancient Beliefs'. This is an all-out attack on Britain's Charities Commission, the body responsible for awarding charitable status to bodies (a responsibility held in the US by the IRS). It highlights the Commission's decision to revoke the charitable status of the Pagan Hospice and Funeral Trust less than a year after having granted it, on the grounds that the PHFT's activities did not in fact further purposes defined in law as being charitable.
"The whole article is deeply disingenuous and self-serving; Scientology has no interest whatsoever in paganism. What the article fails to mention is that Scientology is currently having its charitable status reviewed by the Charities Commission. The Commission had indicated beforehand that the application was unlikely to succeed, and this presumably is a sign either that the Commission has now ruled against Scientology (though I've not seen anything in print about it) or that Scientology is trying to pressurise the Commission into a favourable decision.
"The last two inside pages are devoted to 'dead agent' attacks on Tom Sackville, the former Minister of State at the Home Office (responsible for dealing with cults) and on Carlton TV, producers of a hard-hitting 28 Nov 1996 ITV documentary, 'The S Files', on corruption and criminality allegedly associated with the Church of Scientology. Carlton is denounced for taking a hard line in banning the term 'new religious movements' (which I personally prefer) and replacing it with 'cults' (and all the associated negative connotations). Sackville is rather tenuously linked to Scientology's UK bete noire, FAIR (Family Action Information and Resource), which is accused of all sorts of 'scandals' relating to deprogramming; mention is made of 'homosexual sex and drug orgies'."
Grady Ward this week retracted his requests for Scientology advanced technology documents, as he was ordered to do by Judge Whyte.
"According to an Order by District Judge Ronald M. Whyte, I am to 'retract' a posting allegedly made by me on December 11, 1996 soliciting fair use and non-trade secret violation contributions of the 'Advanced Technology'. While I think that my solicitations are perfectly legal and that the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte is acting unlawfully in issuing such an Order, I will wait to test his conduct through appeal.
"Do not send me any of this material. The order does give me the right, however, to download and store any such material that may be posted on the Internet without any suggestion or solicitation on my part, in order to show how widely disseminated this material may be. I officially publish and retract any and all solicitations I may have made on December 11, 1996 concerning this material."
Judge Infante has ruled that Keith Henson may be present for the deposition of Warren McShane, president of the RTC. He may not, however, record the deposition.
"On May 7, 1997, Defendant Grady Ward filed an expedited motion seeking contempt or other sanction against Plaintiff Religious Technology Center in connection with the deposition of Warren McShane, RTC's. President. The court's order is as follows:
"H. Keith Henson may he present at the deposition of Warren McShane except during portions of the deposition at which confidential matters are the subject of testimony.
"Ward may not audiotape or videotape any portion of the deposition of Warren McShane. Mr. McShane will be a witness at trial in this litigation; therefore, the audio or videotaping of his deposition is not necessary to preserve testimony. In addition, the existence of audio and video tapes will increase the risk of intentional or inadvertent disclosure of confidential material. Given the difficulties in determining in advance when confidential material will arise in testimony, it is not feasible to permit taping of non-confidential portions of the deposition.
"The deposition shall take place in Eureka, CA, and shall be concluded on or before May 21, 1997. The court finds that RTC's conduct in excluding Mr. Henson from the deposition entirely was not substantially justified. Therefore, as a sanction for such conduct, RTC shall bear the cost of an expedited transcript of the deposition."
Keith Henson posted a letter from Scientology attorney Monique Yingling, in which she outlined their plan for the deposition of David Miscavige by Dennis Erlich's attorneys, Keith Henson and Grady Ward.
"[W]e have arranged a suitable location for the deposition in Riverside County --'the county in which Mr. Miscavige's principal place of business is located': Mariott Desert Springs, 74855 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert, CA 760/341-2211. The Church will proved a conference room for the deposition, along with a separate room for you to use at your convenience.
"As Mr. Hogan advised you, in light of the numerous threats made by your client, the related defendants and other against and about Mr. Miscavige on the Internet and the fact that it has become increasingly evident that Mr. Miscavige's deposition will be used for purposes of harassment, Mr. Miscavige is willing to be deposed only in a location where the plaintiffs can monitor the security of his surroundings. Mr. Miscavige's security is of primary importance to me, the plaintiffs, and the millions of adherents of the Scientology religion worldwide.
"We will plan to begin at 9:00 a.m on Tuesday and continue that day until we finish."
Judge Whyte admonished Keith Henson to answer the questions put to him by Scientology this week.
"With respect to the Requests for Admission at issue, Henson shall specifically admit or deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. Any denial shall fairly meet the substance of the requested admission. If good faith requires that Henson qualify an answer or deny only a part of the matter of which an admission is requested, he shall specify so much of it as is true and qualify or deny the remainder. Any qualification must set forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. Henson may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny unless he explains in detail what information he lacks and that he has made a good faith investigation of sources reasonably available to him but that these sources are not sufficient to enable him to admit or deny the matter.
"With respect to the interrogatories at issue, Henson shall identify all facts (if any), as opposed to legal theories, upon which he relies as requested in the interrogatories. Henson may not merely refer to documents in responding to the interrogatories, but must identify in his response the source and nature of the documents, specify in his response what facts set forth in the documents he relies upon, and attach a copy of the documents to his response. Moreover, with respect to Interrogatory No.10 in particular, Henson may not simply refer to postings on a news group, but must specify in his response all facts upon which he relies."
Highlights of the permanent injunction sought by Scientology:
"It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that defendant H. Keith Henson, his agents, servants, and employees, all persons acting or purporting to act under his authority, direction or control, and all persons acting in concert or in participation with any of them who receive notice of this order, whether by personal service or otherwise, shall be and hereby are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED AND RESTRAINED:
"From directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, publishing, reproducing, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative works based upon the copyrighted Advanced Technology works, including the works listed in Exhibit A ('the Works') hereto, or any of them, in any media now known or hereby developed in any time, place or fashion, and in particular from engaging in any such acts in, on, or in connection with any computer, database, information service, electronic bulletin board service, network, storage facility or archives, or other electronic bulletin board service, network or facility, including, without limitation the transmitting or loading of any such materials onto, or downloading any copies of them from any such device, service, network or facility and that all such copies which defendant, his agents, servants, employees, and attorneys and those in active concert or participation with them have caused to be copied or copied onto any such device, service, network, or facility to be removed;
"From directly or indirectly, engaging in the unauthorized solicitation and/or acquisition, of the copyrighted Advanced Technology works, including the Exhibit A Works, or portions thereof, and specifically from soliciting, acquiring, seeking to acquire, or otherwise downloading any of the copyrighted Advanced Technology works, including the Exhibit A Works, or portions thereof, from any media now known or hereafter developed in any time, place or fashion, or from any computer, database, information service, electronic bulletin board service, network, storage facility, or archives, or other electronic or computer device, service, network or facility and that all such copies which defendant, his agents, servants, employees and attorneys and those in active concert or participation with them have caused to be copied or copied from any such device, service, network, or facility be removed.
"All copies of the Works, including human perceptible copies and copies resident in any medium whatsoever made by defendant, his officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys and all those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise shall be surrendered forthwith to counsel for plaintiff for impoundment and destruction in no event later than 48 hours from the date of entry of this order."
A report this week that Lawrence Wollersheim filed again in an attempt to collect his judgment against Scientology.
"Wollersheim filed an amended judgment motion in his 5.7 million dollar collection against Scientology. This is the second of three promised new legal filings. It is similar, but beyond a motion he filed several weeks ago in the Wollersheim SLAPP litigation. That motion forced Scientology to pay $480,000 within days after filing.
"This new motion shows that Scientology has ignored its own corporate structure in paying for CSC litigation with CSI and RTC funds,--- funds that were created from CSC's old assets. If Scientology does not pay this off very soon it puts its whole corporate reorganization at risk of being declared a sham. This filing also is a nightmare for Scientology's IRS filing for tax exemption."
Steve Fishman posted this week what he believes to be the New OT 9 processing level.
"I have made further discoveries concerning Incident I, and events preceding it. These events can only be realized by an exteriorized thetan; one free of the traps and limiting influences of the GE-line implant; even one genetically unaltered by the ever-meddling Marcabians. And yet, one cannot exteriorize until the events have been audited. It is a vicious circle, but one I have been able to penetrate now that I have fully exteriorized, and I can tell you these things in a way that will enable you to do the necessary rundowns. It has been a difficult task, but worthwhile knowing that it will enable you to complete the path you set out on, and that it will facilitate my return in time to prevent the second Marcabian invasion."
John Ritson, Roland Rashleigh-Berry and Martin Poulter reported on another demonstration against Scientology in Poole, England.
"The Scientologists were doing their usual body-routing (Free personality test, anyone?) in the middle of the pedestrianised High Street. But that stopped when we arrived and eventually they were able to muster their full forces of about a dozen with two placards about 47 years of Dianetics and a banner. As per standard routine, they called the police, and were politely informed that we were within our rights."
"Four of us wore '75 million years ago, Xenu nuked billions of people in volcanoes and all I got was this lousy t-shirt' t-shirts (thanks for the idea, Andreas). We also had Xemu leaflets, Xemu posters, 'Xemu loves you' balloons, which we gave away free to the kids, and Xemu himself, in the form of Roland and a rather fine cape. The balloons were a great idea: it gave us all a good feeling to be making children happy."
"The balloons were great. The clams knew what was printed on the balloons and they could see young children trailing these balloons around Poole, with the balloons bobbing up and down making a mockery of this story. The children loved the balloons. I saw one girl whose red balloon had burst, proudly trailing the piece of string with the red nozzle attached as if it were her dog. She did not seem in the least bit disappointed. Because of the Xemu outfit and me shouting about the 'space alien Xemu' a lot of children were taking my leaflets.
"From my picketing experience, these seem to be some recurring features of how many scientologists deal with critics face-to-face:
|Golden Age of Tech
The latest issue of Cause magazine orders all auditors to come to their org to participate in the Golden Age of Tech.
"If you have trained as an auditor and are not on the Golden Age of Tech training line-up, you are hereby summoned to your nearest org. This is not just a nice idea. It is a matter of Standard Tech. You MUST report to your org at once and avail yourself of these breakthroughs.
"Note: if you are auditing currently but are not actively getting through your Golden Age of Tech line-up and DO NOT FEEL THIS SUMMONS APPLIES TO YOU, you are to immediately video tape one of your auditing session and and send it to the Senior C/S Int Office. This is not optional, just as Standard Tech is not optional."
|Letter to Boss
Rod Proctor reported that Scientology sent a letter to his editor in response to a posting to a.r.s.
"I received not long ago a three-page letter from Scientology's Public Affairs Director, Karin Pouw, taking issue with opinions that I -- acting off-duty and as a private citizen -- had expressed in the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup some weeks back. It was jarring enough that Scientology had gone to the effort to discover both where I work and my specific job title. But something even more chilling was included at the end of that letter: A CC notice to the editor of my newspaper -- my top boss.
"Their intent was quite clear: Let his boss know what he's writing (in his off time as a private citizen) and he'll choose to shut up. [I]t seems to me that the ongoing tactics of Scientology pose a greater threat to that free exchange than anything Congress has dreamed up. The tactics of Scientology -- aimed personally and individually at our very livelihoods -- can be far more effective at silencing dissent than anything government could possibly come up with."
The St. Petersburg Times reported that records of the treatment of Lisa McPherson were released to police and attorney Ken Dandar. Lisa died after 17 days of isolation in Scientology's Ft. Harrison Hotel. A summary of the article was posted this week.
"'Church of Scientology members took daily notes about a woman who died after 17 days at a church retreat, and those records are now in the hands of law enforcement officials.' Police though doubt they have all the records yet but are expecting to obtain more in the next few days. The records obtained were from a subpoena issued by the DA's office. The investigation is drawing to a close, the DA will then decide whether they can make a case.
"'But the mere existence of records casts new light on Lisa McPherson's experience at Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel. Church officials have described the 17-day period as little more than a hotel stay.' The article then went on to recount the circumstances that led to her being taken by police to the Morton Plant Hospital after she removed her clothing following a minor car accident.
"The Tampa lawyer, Ken Dandar, representing McPherson's family who is suing the church for wrongful death had much to say. He said the records are 'The star witness' of the case. And that 'They involve pseudo medical treatment of Lisa McPherson, and that treatment resulted in her death because it included withholding of urgent, emergency medical treatment that was so obvious that a first-grader would know enough to call 911.' Scientology's lawyer, Laura Vaughan, railed against trying this case in the press."
Lisa McPherson Memorial Page
Gregg Hagglund and two anonymous friends picketed Scientology's Toronto org and an event celebrating the 47th anniversary of Dianetics.
"The signs were all 30'x20' bright yellow form core with black 3' high lettering in Helvitica Bold Italics. (Clearly visible as a sign for at least 300 feet and the content was readable from about a 50 feet.) Artemis chose a sign that had: What 'Church' Intimidates and Sues Maliciously? and: What 'Church' Persecutes and Frames Its Critics? My sign read: Scientology: DANGEROUS UFO CULT and: Canada has only one CRIMINALLY CONVICTED CHURCH: Scientology! D'Artangnan carried: Lisa McPherson: Killed by her 'Church'? and: IS Scientology Practising Medicine Without a Licence?
"They immediately were in our faces with cameras and video recorders. In fact they had two video cameras. One or the other taped us during the entire demo.
"Typical comments were: About Time! Keep it up! I hate these wackos! Could I have another flyer for my friend? Your against them are yah, well way to go! Thank you for this. etc. All I had to do to get a flyer snatched from my hand was to make eye contact and smile broadly. People were crossing through the four lane traffic from across Yonge Street to get a flyer. Bicyclists would stop. Cars did not honk or stop, but we got too many 'thumbs up' Acks from motorists to keep track of.
"I did have one chap who almost caused a ruckus. He had taken a flyer from us and gone on his way. He wanted to know if this stuff was true. I told him that it was not verbatim, but a paraphrase as the Co$ was trying to keep it secret using Copyright and Trade secrets, but if he didn't believe me to ask the Co$. Well he thought that was a good idea and approached one of the counterflyer gals. He waves the RX flyer at her and asks, Is this truly taught by the Co$? The woman refuses to answer and says he should ask one of the other ladies, pointing at the OT7. The Gal starts to get panicky and shrill about how he should go ask this other lady. This guy is getting the brush off and he doesn't like it so he is getting louder and more annoyed. I told the guy to ease off as this lady genuinely believed that if she saw this stuff she would be hurt or even die and he should ask that lady over there, who had permission to see this. So the guy cools down, says he is sorry for getting carried away and goes over to the OT7 and says, Is this stuff true? The OT7 says No! Its from the Internet and the Internet is all lies! At this the guy starts to laugh and leaves saying, So it is true, you people are being had!
"The Toronto Org rented the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at the Canadian National Exhibition Grounds for the Official 47th Anniversary Celebration of the release of Dianetics. The Theatre seats 1300. NO Media Showed. They ignored the whole thing.
"A lot of clams also came by bus and were let off about a block away. By the announced 7: 30 start there was at most 200 Clams inside or out. The start time came and went without notice until about 10 to 8 pm when the first of the FIVE times they announced 'We're starting Now' drew some of the faithful inside. Total attendance was at most 300 people from a population of over 5-8 million within 45 minutes drive in time.
"The Reverend Buttocks was out front the whole time pacing back and forth and giving us the death stare. He looked like any other outofpocket entrepreneur hosting an absolute PR Flop: Immensely Unhappy. The clams gawked and pointed at us some laughing and others glowering. The kids tried a little heckling, but drifted off to play around a huge fountain nearby. Once in awhile some adult would try to round them up, but it was hopeless. I got the distinct impression these kids did not have much opportunity to have fun and be just regular, well, kids. At one point three children came up to me, two girls and a boy. The older girl was about 14 and had a tape recorder. Reverend Buttocks saw them and made a beeline from about 50 feet. He almost ran! The oldest girl said she and her friends were doing a school project on Scientology and wanted to ask me a few questions. She wanted to know if I hated Scientologists and where I got my information. Rev. Buttocks was close enough to hear that and catch my answer. I said, No, I didn't hate the people, I just disagreed with the management practices and the costs. At this point Rev. Buttocks jumped in and said: 'He is a liar and a bigot. A lunatic. He said on the Internet that scientologist should be hunted down and killed like wolves!' So I shot back, 'You are a dishonest propagandist who quotes out of context.' He shoots back, 'It was on the Internet so it has to be true!' Now this was so funny I had to laugh. And I saw the bewildered looks on the kids faces. They were being argued over by two adults, which isn't fair."