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

Volume 5, Issue 26 - October 8 2000


Tory Bezazian reported meeting a young Scientologist in Burbank, California. "A few weeks ago a family contacted the LMT and asked if someone, anyone could please help them talk to their child who had joined staff in Scientology. Since both Jesse and I were coming to LA anyways, we said sure. We brought some basic information for the person to read, and a few videos to watch. OSA intercepted the family in the parking lot and took the person. The father got this person and they all went into the reception to sit and talk. They sat on a couch in the lobby all crowded around each other, talking. I took a paper down to the father just to explain the essence of what we were going to do. "I noticed 4 strategically posted Scientologists, one being the person who took over the Scientology Parishioners League I was asked to head up last October. He walked up to me and said 'Tory HOW COULD YOU?' I asked, 'How could I what?' He rattled off the party line of sleep deprivation, etc. I told him all we were going to do was show the person some information. Why couldn't he look at both sides? He didn't have an answer for that. Every time we would walk towards the family, a Scientologist would close in towards the family and say 'Come with US' the parents later told us 'in a shockingly monotone voice'. "Jesse alerted the hotel security that these people (the Scientologists) were not even guests of the hotel and they had lied and told the security earlier that this was their son. Security asked them to leave, they refused, so the police were called, I walked through the doors of the hotel, and there were 4 or 5 police cars, a helicopter hovering above and the OSA against the police car with their hands in cuffs, and the light from the helicopter shining down on them. "The Hotel staff that watched this was fully grossed out by what Scientology did that night. The family certainly will never do Scientology after being a part of this ordeal put on by these people calling themselves Scientologists. Quite a few public there were asking what was going on, and looked unhappy to see the Nazi like guards watching over the family. The Burbank Police told me they were familiar with this kind of thing. "The young staff member had agreed to talk with us the next day. We were all watching a video when we heard a knock on the door. Two tall policemen come in. They had received a call that they 'needed to check on the young person'. I am happy to report the young person is happy and well, and safely off staff and doing what this person wants to do." Message-ID:

Andrew Buttnor

Andrew Buttnor, the son of OSA PR Al Buttnor, was killed by a gunshot in Edmonton this week. From the Edmonton Journal on October 7th: "An 18 year old man found dead in his car Tuesday in a west-end neighbourhood is the soon of Allon Buttnor, a local Church of Scientology reverend. Andrew Fletcher Buttnor died from a gunshot to the head. Police have not recovered a weapon and no motive has been established. Although Andrew Buttnor was not a member of the Church of Scientology, Jurt said the church is going to increase its youth presence in the community in response to his death. Members will focus on activities that promote a drug-free life. 'We will be stepping up programs with youth because this is something no one should have to endure,' Jurt said. "A woman helping her son deliver newspapers spotted the bloodied man at about 5 a.m., slumped behind the wheel of a car with the engine off but the lights on, midway along 115th Ave, between 139th and 130th Streets." Message-ID:


Jeff Jacobsen reported on the new Religious Tolerance group headed by Scientologist Mary DeMoss. "The Clearwater City Commission lets citizens have 3 minutes each at the beginning of their meetings to talk about whatever concerns them. Tonight Mary DeMoss got up to promote her Religious Tolerance group. She said that they were planning an interfaith potluck dinner (no date given), an interfaith cookbook to raise money (for what?), and an interfaith choral recital (no date given)." Message-ID:

Church and State

The Kansas City Star published an article on October 1st on efforts to provide federal funds for religious charity programs. "Ray Suarez, a Sunday school teacher and nationally known journalist, wonders whether it's wise to pour federal money into church-based charities. George W. Bush and Al Gore have made vague proposals to use faith-based organizations to meet society's goals, such as fighting drug addiction, Suarez said Sunday at the annual conference of Catholic Charities U.S.A. "Suarez, a former vice president of Episcopal Charities in Chicago, told a group of about 750 people that church-based charities should be concerned whether there could be a 'smooth partnership' with government. Its money could come with guidelines dictating how they choose clients or limiting religious counseling. "'We will almost inevitably find some of our fellow citizens who pay taxes are more than happy to chip in for programs sponsored by the right kind of religions,' Suarez said, 'But they aren't ready to countenance a Wiccan substance abuse program, a Scientology sponsored welfare-to-work program or Hindu marriage counselors.'" Message-ID: 8r9seb$


Berliner Morgenpost reported on October 2nd that Rev. Thomas Gandow continues to come under attack from Scientology. "The Scientology sect has recently used its official periodical, 'Freiheit,' to attack the sect commissioner of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, Thomas Gandow. On the title page of the magazine, which gives the circulation at 200,000, the religious minister and sect expert is described as 'Chief Inquisitor,' among other things. "The background of the operation against Gandow was his membership in the founding committee of the 'European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA.' The committee brought into being the 'Alternative Charlemagne Award' which it then presented to U.S. businessman Robert S. Minton, who has financially supported opponents of Scientology." From Berliner Morgenpost on October 2nd: "These days the clergyman has found himself more than ever a target of the 'Black Propaganda' of Scientology, an organization he has been telling people about for a good twenty years. The sect has recently mass-mailed copies of its 'Freiheit' print organ to numerous households in Zehlendorf and Steglitz. On the cover page is Thomas Gandow's portrait; the sub-text describes him as 'Chief Inquisitor.' "'They are accusing me of doing my job,' said the minister. He said the words 'cover organization' were also false, of course, 'because everything about us is in the open.' Nevertheless, the sect's assertions weigh heavily upon Gandow. 'Naturally we don't want to behave like the Scientologists, so we will deny what they say. After all we have nothing to hide.' How much of an impression the Hubbard adherents' recent campaign has left upon people in Zehlendorf and Steglitz is difficult to judge, said Thomas Gandow. But he still has bits of encouragement. In his office there is a large bouquet of flowers given to him from a woman to express her appreciation for his involvement in Scientology. And recently a Zehlendorf mail carrier apologized to him for distributing the Scientology paper." Rev. Thomas Gandow described the campaign in more detail this week. "On Monday I was informed by higher authority that Sabine Weber is conducting a so-called 'noisy investigation' against me. She called up the Evangelical Church Diaconate (EKD) office in Hannover and asked for the lady in charge of ministerial and official legal obligations and asked whether the legal obligations of a minister were comparable to the obligations of an official, and what one could or would have to do in order to be able to put a preacher up on charges of accepting bribes and/or favors. "It had to do with a Gandow, minister in Berlin for suspicion of accepting favors. It supposedly had to do with activities concerning a huge lawsuit in the USA, something about multiple millions of dollars in damages. "My bosses first thought it was about Minton's lawsuit for slander, etc. I was able to tell them it had to do with the civil lawsuit about Lisa and the SO. It [is] about as effective as a footbullet, since now there is further possibility to distribute new, critical information about the SO." Taz reported on October 5th that Scientology has filed a new lawsuit against Ursula Caberta, claiming she has accepted bribes from Bob Minton. "The Scientologists are showing that they are lawsuit-happy. They intend to prohibit the Hamburg Interior Agency from letting their sect commissioner Ursula Caberta continue her research and information work on the Scientology Organization. A cease-and-desist application was filed yesterday by Munich attorney Wilhelm Bluemel in the Hamburg Administrative Court to that effect, verified court spokeswoman Angelika Huusmann. "The director of the Interior Agency's Work Group on Scientology (AGS) was said to have accepted a private loan from U.S. millionaire and Scientology opponent Bob Minton. They want the AGS director to be prohibited from performing her function of information work outside of her job. "Caberta disputes the accusations. She said she had only accepted Minton's invitation to an informational trip to the USA after Minton had been the guest of the Interior Agency in April. 'The matter has been given to the Department of Internal investigations,' said Interior Agency spokeswoman Susanne Fischer. "It was just last April that Scientology failed in its attempt in the administrative court to have the AGS prohibited from distributing its 'Technology Statement.' Businesses can use the 'sect filter' to distance themselves from the 'practices and technologies' of Scientology leader L. Ron Hubbard." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1001003122306.114A-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1001005173504.172A-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1001006181958.118A-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1001006182158.118B-100000@darkstar.zippy


The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported on October 4th that Scientology is hosting a fishing tournament at Gold Base near Hemet, California. "Limited spaces are still available for the Second Annual Children's Fishing Tournament at Lake Golden Era. Children from 6 to 15 will fish in the tournament, sponsored by Golden Era Productions and Sun Country Bassmasters. There will be an official weigh-in and awards as well as refreshments." Message-ID: 8rfm2j$

H.R. 588

A new bill has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives, which alleges religious discrimination in Europe against Scientology. "106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. RES. 588 "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to violations in Western Europe of provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and other international agreements relating to the freedom of individuals to profess and practice religion or belief. "Mr. SALMON (for himself, Mr. PAYNE, and Mr. GILMAN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations. "Whereas the Department of State's annual reports on religious freedom and human rights have documented numerous instances of government discrimination based on religion or belief in Western Europe, including discriminatory acts against American members of several different religious denominations and beliefs; "Whereas the Office of the United States Trade Representative has listed Germany as a country engaged in discriminatory trade practices because of 'sect filter' guidelines issued to all federal government ministries and used by German state and local governments, which have the potential to discriminate against United States firms in German procurement decisions by permitting government entities to reject bids and immediately terminate contracts if a firm does not sign a 'sect filter' document attesting that the firm and its employees are not affiliated with certain religious beliefs; "Whereas a bill passed by the French National Assembly on June 22, 2000, contains repressive measures which would have a chilling effect on the freedom religion and belief, including the dissolution of targeted religious associations, the imprisonment of members of such groups, and infringement upon freedom of speech, including speech intended to persuade another person to a particular point of view, whether philosophical or religious; "Whereas a 1996 French National Assembly report listed 173 organizations as suspect, including independent evangelical Christian churches, Scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Unificationists and this report has been used by both private and official entities to harass, intimidate, deny employment, and deny commercial loans to listed groups, and members of other religious groups, such as Southern Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement, Opus Dei, and the Society of Jesus, have also been subject to recent discrimination and harassment at the hands of the French Government; "Whereas the Government of Austria has instituted a 'sect' office which disseminates official propaganda on religious groups not recognized by the government and leading to a chilling effect on religious liberty; "Whereas the Parliament of Belgium has established a government 'Advice and Information Center on Sects' which disseminates official views on groups considered 'sects' as defined by the list in the appendix to the 1997 Belgian Parliament report; "Whereas Scientologists have been subject to pervasive civil, political, and economic discrimination, harassment, surveillance, and orchestrated boycotts in Germany, France, Belgium, and Austria; and "Resolved, That the House of Representatives disapproves of the growing intolerance, discrimination, and violence directed against individuals and groups because of their religion or belief, in violation of the Helsinki Final Act and other international agreements; calls upon the President and the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom to raise violations of the freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief, at every appropriate level with representatives of countries that have failed to implement their international commitments and obligations in this regard; ensure that the United States makes full use of existing meetings and structures of international organizations, including meetings of the OSCE Permanent Council as well as periodic implementation review meetings on human dimension issues, to raise violations of Participating States' freely undertaken international commitments both to protect and to provide for the full and effective exercise of the freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief under their respective jurisdictions; and support the inclusion of experts on religious liberty on United States delegations to appropriate meetings of international organizations, including the OSCE." Message-ID: 8rf9g6$

Protest Summary

Kristi Wachter reported a protest this week in San Francisco. "Date: Saturday, October 7, 2000. Start and End Times: 11:55 - 2:00 pm. Picketers: Peaches, Kristi Wachter. Handlers: Craig (photos and DA fliers). Number of Handouts given away: 156. "This was a fairly uneventful picket; just lots of strolling, waving, fliering, and chatting. The biggest news is that we saw no sign of Jeff Quiros. Instead, we had a new handler - Craig. Craig is a good-looking, tall black man who is best known to faithful readers of ars for having regularly revenge-picketed Peaches and me. Craig emerged with a camera and began taking pictures. He talked to Peaches, who has told him before that she's not interested in talking with him. While snapping pictures, he told Peaches that, when she was picketed, it was HIM doing the picketing, and she better talk to her neighbors and tell them to 'cut it out'. He said he'd talked to the police and if they didn't cut it out, they would be arrested. Peaches, sensibly, made no response other than to tell him, AGAIN, that she didn't want to talk to him. "Craig had a stack of DA fliers - some with my name and photo, and others showing Peaches. The one given out today calls me a bigot, not a religious bigot, leaves out the 'Your neighbor' part, and has the URL at the bottom. Craig made a half-hearted attempt to give a DA flier to everyone who took a flier from me. When we happened to be standing near one another, I would occasionally explain that he thought I was a bigot because I wanted the organization to stop breaking the law. Once, I told a passerby that Lisa had been held against her will for 17 days until she was dead, and that was why I was out picketing, he said, 'That's a lie.' "Late in the picket, Peaches and I spotted Craig, half a block away, heading for his car with his picket signs in his hand. He was off to picket one of us - me, as it turned out. I arrived home about 3:30, and he was there in front of my apartment building. I greeted him, took a few pictures, told him I'd forgotten to mention how happy I was to see him again, wished him a good rest of the weekend, took the DA flier out of the gate, and went inside. He may well have put in two hours at my place." Message-ID:

Battlefield Earth

Battlefield Earth opened in Australia this week. The Canberra Times published this article on October 1st: "For 15 years, Travolta has tried to get Battlefield Earth before the cameras. It's a slam-bang sci-fi epic set 1000 years in the future. But more tellingly, it's a film based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Travolta is a Scientologist, the most famous one on earth. But even though Tom Cruise, Chick Corea, Jenna Elfman, Kirstie Alley and several other celebrities share that with him, most of Hollywood does not. And faith isn't enough to get a movie on the screen. "'I didn't have the clout to get it made,' Travolta says. But clout wasn't the only problem. There was the script. 'It was a long time in the making, mostly because I didn't finally get [the script] right until recently,' he says. 'A year and a half ago, we got a version of the script that tackled the book and did it justice.' "Then there were the special effects. Hubbard's action-packed novel features gigantic aliens, futuristic technology and battles, battles everywhere. 'I don't think, if we'd done this book 15 to 20 years ago, the special effects would have measured up to what we were able to do,' Travolta says. 'Now, they're state of the art, realistic. This was just the right time to make this film.' "But, of course, he's leaving out the obvious hold-up to Battlefield Earth. Hubbard invented Scientology, the controversial self-help religion that has been under fire for decades for its expense to its followers, its medical claims and the intimidation tactics its leaders use to quash dissent and bad publicity. Battlefield Earth is a movie with a lot of baggage. "Could anti-Scientology bias have kept Hollywood from making the film? 'Quite the opposite,' Travolta says. 'It's so many people's favourite book, when word got out that we had the green light, the options I had for people who wanted to work on it were amazing. Travolta has, from time to time, distanced himself from the church, which uses fasting, counseling and a gadget called an e-meter to help its practitioners purge toxic substances and toxic forces from their lives. But he's never dodged questions about it. "'He doesn't push Scientology,' says George Thomas, film critic for the Akron Beacon-Journal, who has interviewed Travolta several times. 'He charms you into understanding his position and tries to make you respect what he believes.' "Something of a compendium of Hubbard's sci-fi writings recast in a new story, Battlefield Earth did earn some good reviews when the novel came out in 1982. But some critics have said the sales figures were inflated by Scientologists buying multiple copies, a Donald Trump trick for creating a best-seller. Richard Leiby, writing in the Washington Post, sees the book and film as a metaphoric treatment of Hubbard's philosophy, that psychology and psychiatry are the root of modern evil - the villains of the piece are the 'psychlos'. But any suggestions of a link between the film and Scientology draw swift rebukes from the church leadership." Message-ID:

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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.

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