Keith Henson v. RTC went to trial this week. Keith has already lost the decision by summary judgment. The trial is to determine if Keith posted NOTS 34 willfully or not, and to assess damages. Scientology presented its case this past week. Keith is represented by Graham Berry, who will present the case for the defense this coming week. From Scientology's opening statement and cross-examination of Keith:
"THE STORY BEGINS IN FEBRUARY OF 1995, AND THAT'S AN IMPORTANT DATE, FEBRUARY '95. AT THAT POINT, MR. HENSON KNEW NOTHING ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY. HE WILL TELL YOU, 'I DIDN'T READ A SINGLE THING ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY, HADN'T READ DIANETICS, HADN'T EVEN SPOKEN TO A SCIENTOLOGISTS. DON'T EVEN THINK I EVER MET ONE ACCEPT ONE TIME SOMEBODY CAME TO MY DOOR.' AND HE FOUND ARS, ALTERNATE RELIGION SCIENTOLOGY, THE NEWS GROUP. AND FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, KNOWING NOTHING ABOUT WHAT SCIENTOLOGY IS, MR. HENSON SET OUT, AND YOU'LL SEE HIS POSTINGS, TO TAUNT THE RELIGION, TO RIDICULE IT, CALLING IT NAMES, THE MOST VILE AND VICIOUS POSTINGS I THINK YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME ONE CAN IMAGINE. NOW, DID SCIENTOLOGY OR RTC DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS? NO. DO WE LIKE IT? NO. NO ONE LIKE TO SEE THINGS POSTED THAT SAY BAD THINGS, NASTY THINGS, VICIOUS THINGS ABOUT THEMSELVES OR THE RELIGION THEY BELIEVE IN."
"Q OKAY. MR. HENSON, LET ME ASK YOU SOMETHING, SIR. IS IT YOUR TESTIMONY AND BELIEF THAT ALL OF THESE POSTINGS THAT OCCURRED ON MAY 5 OF NOTS 34 HAD NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH, AND WERE NOT IN RESPONSE TO, YOUR POSTING OF 'HENSON NEEDS HELP'?
"A I'M SORRY. I CAN'T FIGURE WHAT THEIR MOTIVATION WAS.
"Q BUT LET'S UNDERSTAND ONE THING, MR. HENSON. IS IT YOUR TESTIMONY THAT WHEN YOU POSTED 'HENSON NEEDS HELP' ON MAY 5, 1998, YOU WERE NOT IN ANY WAY TRYING TO ASK PEOPLE TO POST NOTS 34, WERE YOU?
"A NO. AND I WAS NOT ASKING THEM TO PUT UP A NEW WEB SITE EITHER. ALL I WAS ASKING FOR --
"Q AND MR. HENSON, ONE LAST QUESTION, SIR. YOUR BELIEF IS THAT A SUBSTANTIAL JURY AWARD WILL NOT DETER ANY OF THESE OTHER PEOPLE, LIKE THE ONES WHO POSTED NOTS 34 TUESDAY NIGHT, THEY WON'T BE DETERRED; RIGHT?
"A LET'S TAKE THE FIRST ONE. THIS GUY IS IN BERLIN, IT WON'T DETER HIM.
"Q I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT -- EXCUSE ME. I DIDN'T MEAN TO INTERRUPT.
"THE COURT: YOU'RE ASKING IF IT WOULD DETER THESE PEOPLE AND HE'S SAYING IT WOULD NOT DETER THE FIRST ONE.
"THE WITNESS: I DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THE AT DOMAIN IS, SO I KIND OF DOUBT THAT'S GOING TO DETER ANYBODY. NOR, C-O-Q-U-I.NET MIGHT BE UNITED STATES. I'D HAVE TO USE WHO IS ON THERE TO FIND OUT WHERE THIS IS LOCATED. BUT TWO OUT OF THREE, THE ANSWER WOULD BE NO.
"BY MR. ROSEN: Q HOW ABOUT EVERYBODY ELSE? DO YOU THINK THAT A SUBSTANTIAL AWARD WILL DETER EVERYONE ELSE IN THE UNITED STATES FROM POSTING NOTS 34? OR ANYBODY ELSE IN THE UNITED STATES?
"A IT'S NOT GOING TO DETER ANYBODY WHO USES ANONYMOUS RE-MAILERS.
"Q HOW ABOUT IF PEOPLE DON'T USE ANONYMOUS RE-MAILERS AND ARE CANDID ENOUGH TO SIGN THEIR OWN NAME TO THEIR POSTINGS? WILL IT DETER THEM?
"A SOME OF THEM.
"Q OKAY. IN CONNECTION WITH A QUESTION YOUR COUNSEL ASKED YOU ABOUT THE REFERENCE TO MRS. KOBRIN AS A WHORE, I THINK YOUR ANSWER WAS THAT ANY ATTORNEY WHO PROSTITUTES THEMSELVES BY REPRESENTING SCIENTOLOGY, THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. SO ANY ATTORNEY WHO REPRESENTS SCIENTOLOGY IS PROSTITUTING THEMSELVES; RIGHT?
"A THAT IS MY OPINION.
"Q INCLUDING THE ATTORNEYS HERE IN THIS ROOM REPRESENTING SCIENTOLOGY?
"A EVERY ONE OF THEM.
"Q AND I GUESS YOU WOULD SAY THE SAME THING ABOUT ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING OTHER RELIGIONS?
"A NOT NECESSARILY.
"Q DO YOU KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT SHE'S JUST ANOTHER LAWYER REPRESENTING CLIENTS AND DOING HER JOB?
"A I UTTERLY DISAGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT.
"Q OKAY. MR. HENSON, YOU HAVE REPEATEDLY REFERRED IN THIS CASE TO MY CLIENT THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY AS A 'CULT'; IS THAT RIGHT?
"Q AND YOU INTENDED THAT TO BE A DEROGATORY TERM -- A NEGATIVE TERM; RIGHT?
"A I USUALLY USED THE PHRASE 'CRIMINAL CULT.'
"Q OKAY. SIR, CAN WE AGREE ON ONE THING? THAT WHATEVER YOU BELIEVE HAPPENED, AND WHOEVER YOU BELIEVE DID IT, HAD NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH YOU POSTING NOTS 34 14 MONTHS LATER ON MARCH 30TH, 1996?
"A OH, NO. IT HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT."
Some correspondence from Scientology's Citizen's Campaign for Human Rights was posted to a.r.s this week.
"Eliga Barbara Dupuis-Marteli died of head injuries while at G. Pierce Wood psychiatric hospital in Arcadia. She was slammed violently to the floor until she could no longer move. Eliga Barbara Dupuis-Marteli was involuntary committed to this psych hospital and kept against her will since February, 1996. She was repeatedly brutalized by psychiatric 'treatments' until she died in February of 1998. As a result of the psychiatric treatment, Barbara Dupuis-Marteli is no longer a 'threat to herself or others.'
"CCHR Clearwater has filed over 200 complaints against GPW psychiatric hospital and its psychiatrists over the past 3 years for alleged crimes of battery, sexual assaults, murder, culpable negligence and others on its patients. CCHR Clearwater has provided information to the US Department of Justice and, the Florida Department of Children & Families on GPW. Since GPW is a state supported hospital, it is OUR tax dollars which are being used to commit these horrendous psychiatric human rights violations. These psychs must be made answerable to Florida taxpayers."
"The Parity Bill in New Mexico has been vetoed! Had this bill been successful, it would have established a pilot program to put psych 'treatment' on the same footing as real medicine by mandating equal health insurance coverage. By bolstering psychiatrists' coffers, this would have opened the door to widespread bogus diagnoses, flagrant fraud, rampant involuntary commitment, and assault upon children! LRH says that the battle isn't over 'until all psychiatrists and psychologists are brought back under law, deprived of their unearned millions in appropriations...' So this was a battle well won!
"Even though a form of parity was passed at the federal level last year, the psychiatric industry did not end up with the grip on insurance dollars originally campaigned for. Because of actions by CCHR and like-minded groups, this federal law was greatly reduced in its potency.
"Psychiatry kills. We know this. As an extension of this, parity creates drugged communities and destroys futures: economically, health-wise and spiritually. People need good health but health care can be provided through already operating health insurance, where competent medical assessments and treatment can occur - without psych interference. They know they are a dying industry and, in a last ditch effort, they are grabbing at parity to provide them with the legislation that will protect their financial interests and destructive practices."
An anonymous post to a.r.s this week reported Scientology's efforts in to influence black churches, including Frederick Price.
"On May 6th, a broadcast by Frederick K. Price, a very well known and respected Preacher in the African-American community, used the book 'Creating Racism: Psychiatry's Betrayal', as gospel in his sermon to his very large congregation and all those tuning in to the religious television stations. He sounded very impressed as he told his congregation and the world that this was put together by the 'Citizens Commission on Human Rights', which he emphasized with great respect.
"The African-American community is being inundated via the front groups of The World Literacy Crusade and CCHR. CCHR has been very effective in pushing the buttons of the African-Americans by passing out hate literature in their communities and on smaller radio talk shows. It would appear that the CCHR is now making good inroads in the various churches of the African-American community as well. It seems amazing that such an inspirational and devoted Minister of God and Jesus Christ would be so quick to embrace the Church of Scientology's agenda. I don't know if Mr. Price is aware of the connection or not."
Selected highlights from the FBI files on L. Ron Hubbard, still being posted to a.r.s. In several documents from 1951, Hubbard reports his wife and a number of supporters as being communists.
"The following is a list of Communist Party members of suspects in our organization.
"LEO WEST: In charge Chicago office. Known.
"SARA NORTHRUP (HUBBARD), formerly of 1003 S. Orange Grove Avenue, Pasadena, Calif. 25 yrs. of age, 5'10', 140 lbs. Currently missing somewhere in California. Suspected only. Had been friendly with many Communists. Currently intimate with them but evidently under coercion. Drug addiction set in fall 1950. Nothing of this known to me until a few weeks ago. Separation papers being filed and divorce applied for.
"MILES HOLLISTER: Somewhere in vicinity of Los Angeles Evidently a prime mover but very young. About 22 y 6'. 180 lbs. Black hair. Sharp chin, broad forehead, rather Slavic. Confessedly a member of the Young Communists. Center of most turbulenc[?] in our organization. Dismissed [sic] in February when affiliations discovered. Active and dangerous. Commonly armed. Outspokenly disloyal to the U.S..
"GENE BENTON: Somewhere in Los Angeles. Permitted to resign when discovered to be a member of the Young Communists. Center of much turbulence in organization. Was living at Deane Apts. on North Carondelet. May still be there. Squat, beefy, about 5'8", about 30. Possibly a member of the Lincoln Brigade but not very probable. Right name, Weinberger.
"It is more than a belief on my part that the Communist Party or members of the Communist Party have in the past year wiped out a half a million operation for me, have cost me my health and have considerably retarded material of interest to the United States Government.
"I am, basically, a scientist in the field of atomic and molecular phenomena. At least, that was my course in college. I followed this into the fields of human thought, identified an energy and produced through twenty years of research, a science of thought known popularly as dianetics.
"I was in my apartment on February 23rd, about two or three o'clock in the morning when the apartment was entered, I was knocked out, had a needle thrust into my heart to give it a jet of air to produce 'coronary thrombosis' and was given an electric shock with a 110 volt current. This is all very blurred to me. I had no witnesses. But only one person had another key to that apartment and that was Sara. Further, earlier in the week, I had found letters in a 'love nest' she had had with a Miles Hollister, an employee of the Foundation. These letters contained, with their love language, also enormous amounts of data on the Foundation and my activities.
"Those ex-Communists or current Communists 'helped me'. They stayed close to me. They shut me off from Communication. I did not realize that my wife was one until this spring. Only then could I separate myself. While my proof may be slight, it is strange that turbulence in the new Foundation ceased the moment I began to use only personnel screened by a 'lie detector'."
And an agent's estimation of Hubbard in 1951:
"BUREAU RECORDS REFLECT THAT HUBBARD CAME TO THE BUREAU ON MARCH SEVEN, FIFTY ONE, TO ADVISE THAT COMMUNISTS WITHIN HIS ORGANIZATION WERE UNDERMINING IT STRUCTURE. DURING THE INTERVIEW HE LIKEWISE STATED THAT HE STRONGLY FELT THAT DIANETICS CAN BE [?]LD TO COMBAT COMMUNISM. AGENT CONDUCTING INTERVIEW CONSIDERED HUBBARD TO BE MENTAL CASE. BUREAU RECORDS LIKEWISE REFLECT THAT DURING FEBRUARY OR MARCH, FIFTY ONE, SUBJECT'S WIFE FILED KIDNAPPING COMPLAINT AGAINST SUBJECT WITH LOS ANGELES POLICE AS RESULT [illegible word or two] HUBBARD WAS ARRESTED IN CHICAGO. FEDERAL PROSECUTION DECLINED IN FAVOR OF STATE PROSECUTION, ON [?]SIS MATTER A FAMILY AFFAIR, AND NO INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY BUREAU. ACCORDING TO BUREAU RECORDS [illegible word] IS ALLEGEDLY NEW APPROACH TO TREATMENT OF MANY PHYSICAL [illegible word] ILLNESSES WITHOUT THE USE OF DRUGS OR MEDICINE."
Grady Ward reported that the judge in his bankruptcy case has refused to dismiss his RICO allegations.
"At a hearing held this morning, May 6, 1998, Judge Alan Jaroslovsky of the United States Bankruptcy Court refused to dismiss the Racketeering counterclaim of Grady Ward who is defending an adverse action brought by the cult to enforce any potential liability found in the main copyright litigation in district court. The Judge delayed any rulings until July 1, 1998 in order to see what happens in district court. The cult had moved to withdraw the adverse action to the district court, but Ward has filed both an opposition to that withdrawal and timely filed an affidavit of bias in the cult's proposed forum, that of the court of the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte.
"Ward's trial in the main copyright action is nominally now scheduled for June 2, 1998, but the uncovering of a massive discovery fraud led by Warren McShane and Helena Kobrin of Religious Technology Center, Inc. has put the plaintiff's case in chief in serious jeopardy."
Lawrence Wollersheim released a filing to the Court of Appeals asking them to uphold the judgment of the lower courts, and allow him to finally collect.
"Nearly twelve years ago, Respondent Lawrence Wollersheim, having already braved six years of litigation in this case, endured a five month circus trial and finally prevailed. A unanimous jury awarded him a multimillion dollar judgment against the Church of Scientology of California. By the time of his victory, as he would later learn, a years-long campaign to divest CSC of its property, income and authority was nearly complete. Although the Honorable Ronald Swearinger, who presided over the 1986 trial, would characterize that series of asset-depleting maneuvers as 'mere jiggery, pokery,' they have nonetheless been an important part of Scientology's drive to ensure there would be 'Not One Thin Dime for Wollersheim.'
"A protracted appeals process resulted in the judgment becoming final in 1994, and Mr. Wollersheim began collection efforts. In ultimately moving to amend the judgment to add CSI and RTC as defendants and judgment debtors, Mr. Wollersheim submitted a total of 40 exhibits and 19 declarations. As the six-page Order amending the judgment confirms, the trial court gave proper and thoughtful consideration to all the admissible evidence that was before it; appellants' indignant assertions of 'fact' contrary to those found by the court below are almost universally incompetent, since they are based primarily on the statements of CSC's president, Neil Levin, whose declaration demonstrates his utter lack of personal knowledge. In the end, RTC's and CSI's assignments of error are impotent and do nothing to undermine the fact that the amendment of the judgment in this case is more solid and thoroughly supported than any in California's reported decisions.
"There is no basis to disturb the trial court's well-documented findings that the defense of this case against CSC was financed and controlled through RTC and CSI. Neither appellant has been deprived of due process. Nor does either of them even claim to have been prejudiced by the passage of time since the judgment was entered. For all the foregoing reasons, Respondent Lawrence Wollersheim respectfully urges the Court to affirm the Judgment."
Pickets were held at many Scientology locations this week. From Brent Stone in San Jose:
"I got there around 11:00 to 'standard sprinkler tech' operating in the rain. The four of us (the new picketer brought a Duke stand in who loved playing in the sprinklers, but forgot to bring the water wings) had a nice time pretty much all to ourselves. Somewhere around 1:30 we decided to leave. I went over to our normal lunch spot and had a burger. After lunch, I decided to wander back -- sprinkler tech was turned off, but they decided that they needed to spray huge amounts of pesticides on their roses when I arrived. I stayed until about 3:00. The only interesting thing was when one of the body routers was bringing a man into the org. They had to pass me, so I offered a flyer, which the 'mark' seemed to want to take. The body router ripped it out of my hand, then tried to take my remaining flyers while pushing the 'mark' onto 'church' property."
From "Jour" in San Francisco:
"When I got there, there was no sign of activity - no stress test table set up and no one handing out free 'Orientation' tickets. Although foot traffic was lighter than last week, we still got a lot of supportive comments from passersby, and I gave out a lot of fliers. Our-Lady-of-the-Stress-Test-Table came out and began giving away large brochures, which I think were advertising the 'Orientation' movie along with general $cn info. She kept her back to us a lot of the time."
From Jeff Jacobsen in Mesa, Arizona:
"4 picketers, pretty quiet. I'm still amazed at how many people going by in cars honk and wave approval at us. There must have been about 2 dozen in an hour and a half! Leslie came out and took our photos, and wrote down Bruce's license plate number for the 100th time. I finally saw the broken window on the west side of the building. It's still broken and boarded up on the inside."
From Jens Tingleff in East Grinstead, England:
"We treated a growing contingent of clams to picket signs, Duke, Xemu-costume and the sound system playing Ron sound bytes and giving Dave an opportunity to ad-lib a bit and try some songs. We turned the sound system up a bit more than we do in towns and got a nice echo off the hill in the background. After some time, we were told to move off the driveway, with the lead clam resorting to shoving us ever so slightly. The police arrived in two cars at this time, and had us move to a driveway on the opposite side of the road.
"We marched over to the pavement in front of the Co$ shop (labeled 'Saint Hill Manor Bookstore') and set up camp. Very soon, a man appeared and started behaving in a most obnoxious way. He sprayed beer all over us, pushed people into the traffic and generally behaved as if he was looking for a fight. Something like half an hour after his first appearance, the disagreeable individual made his second appearance. He shoved us around some more, and then made off with Duke. John R. and I went after him, and the clams thought that it was hilarious. The individual made it to a foot-bridge followed by John and myself at a distance. He then turned around and came back at us. He started swinging the dog (weight 2-3 lbs, steel frame with long handle = not a nice thing to swing at someone's head standing on a foot-bridge over a busy road). We managed to get the dog back, and I sustained a couple more (feeble) punches to my mouth and a kick to the groin which missed by a mile. We then retreated and he followed us. He lost interest in that when I loudly remarked 'Fine, back to the police'. A Community Officer took my details, and after I had been informed that the guy had been found and since he appeared not to be drunk and disorderly, he would walk away if no complaint was made, I went down to the police station and made a statement."
From Gregg Hagglund in Toronto:
"The weather was sunny and hot and the Picket was scheduled to run from 10am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5pm. We closed the Picket early at 4 pm as we had run out of flyers. The Picket started off with a meeting between myself and the 'rented' Constable the Co$ was forced to hire for our Picket. This was amongst the tamest and busiest of Pickets we have ever done. Busy in the speed with which we handed out flyers and tame as to the activities of the Body Routers.
"The Body Routers spent the day Routing for the Org but across the street. A few intermittent BRs hung on at the Org and shared the sidewalk with us, but they were miserable at it. Buttnor was hiding in the Org for the whole enterprise leaving Mario essentially in charge. Mario set up the E-Meter demo table and then discovered that all he had to demo with was a beat up Mark 5. The staff was heard trying to find a Mark 7 somewhere in the Org, but apparently no other e-meter was on site. Talk about downstat!
"The Constable told us we were very 'professional'. He did have to speak to a couple of newer Co$ BRs who were a tad aggressive early on, but nothing that a few words didn't resolve."
From "Xenubat" in Minneapolis:
"I had the same sign I used on my last few pickets (SCIENTOLOGY: SPACE ALIEN SCAM and DOES THE BRIDGE REALLY COST $360,000?) and decided to use the Xemu flyers this time since they went over so well at the last Minneapolis picket. I got a number of smiles and thumbs-up signs from people, and a few people started laughing when they saw my sign. One passerby declined my Xemu flyer saying 'I already know they're full of shit!' No Scienos came out to confront me at all."
From Rod Keller in Washington DC:
"I arrived at the org at 12 noon. I came prepared with 300 fluorescent green flyers. Lisa McPherson details on one side, a full page of quotes from judges on the other. I started handing them out, walking, carrying my sign. The Scientologists came out and began to set up some decorations. Michelle Rochefort, Danya Fradkin, Sue Taylor, Thierry Duchaunac, Matt Bratschi. About 1:00, Thierry informed me that they had obtained a permit for a 'Mother's Day Drug Free Marshals' event, which was to be held on both sidewalks near the org, the sidewalks on the triangle across the street, and all three sidewalks within a two block radius of the org. I was free to continue my picket way down by some closed restaurant down Connecticut Ave. I told him that regardless of his permit, I was within my rights to picket in front of the org. He went to discuss this with the police he had called for, and an officer approached me. Eventually, he agreed that their permit doesn't close the sidewalk.
"The event consisted of little kids and a few adults distributing Drug Free Marshals flyers. Pink DFM flyers. They steered people, particularly kids, over to the round tables where they had set up a cardboard sign-up stand. You would give the DFM pledge, sign the poster, and get your badge. The design was poor, and required two people to keep it upright in the wind or when anybody signed it. Scientologist kids also gave the DFM pledge to each other, mostly right in front of me, not on the other corners or sidewalks. Kids numbered about 8, adults about 5, including Alex Jones.
"Around 3:45 Arnie Lerma and Nukewaster arrived. I had just finished off my 300 flyers, and Arnie had brought another 200 stapled packets of about 5 or 6 pages from his web site. About 5:30, after finishing those flyers, we were followed by the kids to the restaurant down the street where we grabbed a burger before departing."
Redbook magazine carries an article on Scientologist Kelly Preston this month.
"She relied upon her belief in Scientology to change the direction of her otherwise conventional career path. Preston was introduced to it in 1985 by an acting coach, and when she met Travolta she was pleased to discover that he had been following Scientology since his early twenties. As their relationship grew, so did Preston's adherence to Scientology. 'In Scientology there's something that's called an Administration Scale. It's actually what John did before he decided to do Pulp Fiction' she explains. 'It's a step-by-step plan, pinpointing everything that you're going to do in your career and how you're going to do it. It's not just wishing and hoping and praying. It makes you very much the cause of your life.'"
Keith Henson made a call-in appearance on KGO radio this week, and a transcript was posted to a.r.s.
"KEITH: Right. See, I exposed this thing called NOTs 34 which is a flat-out criminal instruction manual that they use.
"BILL: Well, do you got a copy of it? Can you prove they use it?
"KEITH: Um, I can't have a copy. The judge has forbid me to have a copy. And I'm also under specific instructions which forbid me to give it to law enforcement people.
"BILL: I mean, it bothers me but you have to be careful when you say it's criminal, because what you've just described--
"KEITH: Medical fraud.
"BILL: Well, you call it medical fraud if you want, but, you know, it has--your words also characterize a lot of religions, you know. There are other religions that, uh, that believe it's bad to have any medical attention whatsoever."
Jeff Jacobsen called in to a later program on the same station.
"JEFF: When we picket the Church of Scientology, uh, sometimes they send out people that, uh, have to be at a certain level to talk to us even, because they're afraid that we'll spill the beans, you know, about the secret teachings to these lower level--
"CHRISTINE: Oh, no! How did you get a hold of the secret teachings?
"JEFF: They were posted on the Internet on Christmas Eve of 1994, I believe it was.
"CHRISTINE: Right. So this is--you've, you've seen some of the secret teachings and they really believe this stuff about galactic rulers and murdered space aliens?
"JEFF: They must believe it because they sue people that, that try to--
"CHRISTINE: Kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it?"
Arnie Lerma posted news from an anonymous source that there was a raid on Scientology in Moscow.
"It is rather hard to get a reliable information here about the raid of Scientology organization in Moscow. I can say that it was really done on April 27 and it was covered by 'Independent TV'-channel in daily TV-show 'Segodnyachko'. From one source in the Parliament the raid was done by tax police. But during the raid a lot of books, written materials, and other scientology staff was taken by police. There is an expert who is busy now with this material and they speak about a possible criminal charge. So, the regional state attorneys are also possibly involved in the process. Yesterday it was an announcement by the same TV-channel in news coverage that people who have suffered from scientology and dianetics can bring their charges to the regional state attorneys office."
|Drug Free Marshals
The San Jose Mercury News carried a story on Drug Free Marshals, and Scientology's attempts to get recognition from local government.
"As beaming young girls pinned on sheriff's badges that branded them the new 'Drug Free Marshals' in town, three mayors recently pledged to help fight drug addiction among kids. Pretty standard fare, as official duties go - except that the Church of Scientology sponsors the national anti-drug program.
"Scientologists promote the Drug Free Marshals program solely as a community service, but critics say it is one of several techniques the church uses to recruit members and legitimize an organization considered by some to be a cult. Mayors of the California communities of Mountain View, Palo Alto and Santa Clara said that although they supported the program's anti-drug message, they acknowledged they didn't fully grasp Scientology's involvement until after they'd agreed to take part.
"Palo Alto Mayor Dick Rosenbaum, for one, felt ambushed. He said he received information about Drug Free Marshals that listed Scientology's affiliation, but did not immediately connect it with the four young girls who visited him during his office hours. The students came from the Delphi Academy in Santa Clara, which was described by Robyn Freeman, a spokeswoman for the church in Mountain View, as a secular school that uses 'study technologies' developed by Hubbard. 'Four cute little girls came and wanted me to be a 'Drug Free Marshal,' so I said, 'Sure. It's hard not to be against drugs,' Rosenbaum said. 'I surely do not endorse Scientology, and I wouldn't have done it if I thought it would be used for publicity purposes.'"
The St. Petersburg Times reported that Scientology announced the plans for the new Super Power building
"After years of preparations and a series of design changes, the Church of Scientology says it has arrived at a 'totally complete' design for its massive new complex in downtown. Scientology officials say the expansion will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of parishioners who travel to Clearwater, the 'spiritual mecca' for the controversial church since 1975. Scientology also plans to increase its local staff by 1,000 in addition to the 1,000 now in Clearwater."
SP Times: Scientologists unveil Clearwater complex plans
Zuricher Tages-Anzeiger carried an article on Scientology and children in Switzerland this week.
"'Hallo Peter, yoohoo, you have won a prize!' The seven year old Peter (Name changed) is happy about the written 'Invitation to Position Announcement.' The parents are told not to miss this celebration, which is to take place today, Saturday. The parents are happy for their little prize winner, at least until the mother sees the address. That is the place where the Scientologists accost passers-by, she remembers. 'A sick joke,' she comments upon her discovery, 'now the Scientologists are after our children.'
"An association called 'The Way to Happiness' is the organizer of the competition. In actuality this association is also a sub-organization of Scientology. The association pursues the goal of distributing brochures by the Scientology founder Hubbard. The [sect] members distribute the pamphlet on days which include December 6. Dressed as 'Samichlaus', they give passers-by a little bag which contains nuts, along with the Hubbard brochure.
"Peter's parents were enraged, and had to explain to the disappointed boy that, unfortunately, he would not be permitted to receive his prize. 'It was difficult to get him to understand,' said the mother."
Mark Dallara reported that Scientologist-owned Tradenet may be disappearing to avoid agreements made in Florida and Utah about the fraudulent blue laundry balls.
"Both the Florida Attorney General's Office and the Utah Department of Commerce have apparently not been able to get through to TradeNet's president, Bill Cooper. Apparently, no one is answering the phones at TradeNet, and Florida has gotten no answer at Bill's home number, either. Erwin Annau has been out of the scene for months.
"TradeNet has signed Assurances of Voluntary Compliance with Florida, Utah, and Oregon; the AVC is essentially a contractual compromise which allows the company to avoid fraud charges, but they have to (a) not market the product in that state anymore, and (b) agree to pay back the consumers. If they violate (a), they get slapped with criminal charges. But the penalty for violating (b) apparently depends on a number of factors, and in Utah at least, it is a matter for civil court.
"HOWEVER, the AVC's in Oregon and Utah were signed months ago, and up until recently the complaints were being processed and paid. The AVC in Florida was signed a scant two weeks ago, which means that the bulk of Florida consumers and distributors who were defrauded have probably not been paid yet."
A March issue of The American described Bonnie Woods, a Scientology critic in the UK, and the tactics of Scientology against her.
"'A cult is a group of people who share a common belief in something. A cult becomes destructive when the group uses manipulative techniques without your knowledge,' the 45-year-old Clevelander explains. Woods, who lives in West Sussex with her husband, Richard, also a former scientologist, has taken a critical stand on the church's philosophy and activities since she left the group in 1982, after being a dedicated member for eight years. The couple created a telephone help-line in 1992 to counsel former scientologists and families who have members involved with the church. Woods said over the past six years, they have talked to at least 200 people.
"'It fills a need that people have,' Woods said. 'The number of phone calls we get indicate there's a lot of concern among families.' The Cult Information Centre in London refers people to the Woods' help-line.
"The church, which had excommunicated Woods as a suppressive person, distributed leaflets in 1993 calling her a 'hate campaigner.' Woods sued for libel. The church countersued and then in 1995 and 1996 brought two more libel actions against her. A scientology spokesman described Woods as 'a spreader of disinformation who has caused untold upset among families,' as reported in a 1997 Sunday Times article. Woods said she tells her two daughters to be cautious. 'We do get some peculiar mail,' she said. 'We've had a demonstration outside our house. We've been put under surveillance. When you live at that level of harassment, I think you adjust your lifestyle to that.' The Woods, who both volunteer full-time in their local East Grinstead ministry, have found it difficult to handle the litigation expenses. The Liberty panel, a civil rights organisation based in London, helped them find a city law firm to take the cases pro bono, Woods said."
|Cult Awareness Network
The Scientology-run Cult Awareness Network is calling for members to renew their memberships.
"The new CAN is calling upon members to renew their annual memberships of $40.00. 'Your CAN Membership card is also a phone calling card to use for long distance telephone calls. You top up (sic) the calling card via your credit card and every use of the card provides an additional nominal donation to CAN. Or be a $500 lifetime member and help fund CAN's 800 toll-free phone line, 800-556-3055.'"
A.r.s. Week in Review is put together by Rod Keller ©
This collection is organised for WWW by Andreas Heldal-Lund.
Only edits done by me is replacing word encapsuled in * or _ with bold and underscore, and made links into HTML.