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

Volume 5, Issue 4 - April 30 2000

Note: This issue of A.r.s Week in Review covers
articles for the last two weeks.

Battlefield Earth

From "Crew members working on the latest John Travolta movie say they can't wait to wrap, citing a 'creepy' level of Scientologist fervor surrounding the set of potential summer sci-fi blockbuster 'Battlefield Earth.' The movie is about a futuristic battle for Earth between opposing political movements. The 'good' that wins out is supposed to represent the ideology of Scientology. 'It's weird man,' said a member of the camera crew, interviewed by iFUSE on the set Tuesday. 'Half these people are Scientologists. Travolta's hired all of them to be here. It's like this weird, religious epic. 'It's creepy, man.' "Some crew members went so far as to call their Scientologist co-workers 'freaks,' saying they constantly speak wistfully of founder Hubbard and how wonderful their faith is. Others -- who happen to be Scientologists -- said they were fine with the atmosphere. 'This is a film that I wanted to work on,' said a Scientologist member of the production. 'Hubbard just knew so many secrets about what really goes on, and his books made those ideas come to life entertainingly, so it's great to be making this into a movie that, hopefully, a lot of people will see.'" From Exclusive: Whitaker Talks 'Battlefield Earth' "The $80 million sci-fi pic 'Battlefield Earth' opens here on June 2, and one of the film's stars, Forest Whitaker, has been talking to Popcorn about the L Ron Hubbard adaptation. 'It's very dark in some ways as a sci-fi movie,' Whitaker says. 'It's also really funny because in some ways we're so villainous that it becomes humorous - I mean, we're just so ridiculously evil that it's like a joke. If it was going to be compared to something, it would be sort of like 'Planet Of The Apes'.' "'John describes it as, like, 'Pulp Fiction' for the year 3000,' Whitaker explains. 'The aliens are extremely cool, you know, evil - we don't like people but we got our own style and we have no problem destroying other things, and those two characters in 'Pulp Fiction' have similar sensibilities.'" From on April 21st: "If you're a regular moviegoer, you're sure to have noticed that the worst of the current crop of trailers is for Battlefield Earth, starring John Travolta, Forest Whitaker and Saving Private Ryan's Barry Pepper. At first glance, the film appears to be about some vague post-apocalyptic universe where 'man is an endangered species,' a universe where nothing seems to happen except explosions and incessant, annoying laughs from an evil John Travolta with hair extensions. "The script, by newcomer Cory Mandell, is based on a novel by L. Ron Hubbard, who also happens to be the founder of Scientology. Scientology is a religion - called a cult by some - that provides its members with peace and guidance in a world full of evil psychiatrists out for their own well-being, or it's a con job that hoovers money out of spiritually needy people and blackmails them into staying with the group, depending on whether or not the person you're talking to is a member. So it goes to stand, one would think, that Travolta starring in a movie based on a book by the founder of his religion would be something of a recruitment video, right? Travolta denies it, as does the Church, but a recent report by not-for-profit organization F.A.C.T.Net accuses the film and the Church of something even more sinister: subliminal messages. "One piece of evidence might support that theory: the peculiar structuring of Web sites for the film. The official Warner Bros. site, with that awful trailer and interviews with the cast and director, is The dot-com address,, however, is not affiliated with Warner Bros. at all. It's hosted instead by Author Services Inc., a Scientology organization." John Travolta has been on a book signing tour to promote Battlefield Earth. From the Boston Globe on April 21st: "Leading man John Travolta will be in town Tuesday promoting his soon-to-be released movie 'Battlefield Earth.' The Hollywood hunk reportedly plays a 9-foot-tall, hairy alien in the $80 million epic, which also features his wife and fellow Church of Scientology member Kelly Preston. The star will greet fans at 5 p.m. at Borders Bookstore downtown, where he'll sign copies of Hubbard's book." And from the Boston Herald on April 26th: "Yesterday, while in town to promote his Church of Scientology- inspired sci-fi flick 'Battlefield Earth,' Travolta was downright Terllike - at least to the media! He did a couple of TV interviews, but refused to chat with the print media. Because the actor, a devout Scientologist, knows that a Face/Off with the ink-stained wretches would turn into an inquiry about the controversial cult and the late L. Ron Hubbard, the Scientology founder who wrote the book 'Battlefield Earth' which John labored mightily to make into a movie. "When Travolta did a small sit-down with a few radio stations at the Ritz-Carlton, he decreed that he'd only answer questions about the $80 million post-apocalyptic flick - nothing else. Following the round of interviews, John headed off to a packed 'Battlefield' book-signing at Borders in Downtown Crossing where he would only sign - you guessed it - 'Battlefield' books and no other Travoltaobilia. Well, gotta support the mother church and all." From "I was able to attend a sneak preview of Battlefield Earth last night. What initially started out as a very slick, stylish movie with an interesting premise, quickly turned into a standard Sci-Fi Action flick with some INCREDIBLY HUGE plot holes. "The movie starts in the year 3000. Man has already been overrun by the aliens, and is on the verge of extinction. A nomad (Barry Pepper), who lives in the mountains with his clan, leave the village to see the 'demons'. He stumbles into an abandoned city, and is captured and sent to a prison. at this point, the movie then turns into the Generic action flick, and starts to break down. John Travolta plays an Alien who is the head of Security on Earth who is forced to stay wile stripping of natural resources continues. His assistant (Forrest Whitaker) finds a vein of gold in the mountains, and they come up with a plan to train some 'man-animals' to use their machinery to strip the mine. "I really wanted to like this movie, however, it had WAY too many glaring problems. Here are a few of the most glaring ones: Travolta's character has six fingers on his right hand. This is shown early in the film in an obvious manner. No other aliens have six fingers on their right hand, and this is never explained in the movie. Travolta uses a device that beams info into the head of the Hero (Barry Pepper) in order to be able to teach him their language so they can communicate. For some reason, he also beams in history on the alien race, and how their technology works, and also teaches him how to fly their planes. Hmm. "THIS IS A MOVIE WHERE 1000 YEAR OLD, PERFECTLY WORK HARRIER JUMP JETS ARE EXPERTLY PILOTED BY CAVEMEN WITH 7 DAYS OF TRAINING !!! Earlier in the movie, Travolta tells Pepper 'When we arrived, All your technology, and all your intelligence, and we were able to beat you in 9 minutes' 15 minutes later in the movie, Cavemen who were carrying spears and grunting at each other are flying Harriers with precision, hovering inside abandoned buildings, and jinxing like experts while blowing the Alien craft out the sky left and right. All in less than 9 minutes. The actors who played the aliens are supposed to be 9 ft. tall. Unfortunately, in order to accomplish this, the actors had to wear HUGE lifts. This gave them an awkward looking walk, similar to the way that people on stilts walk. Sometimes very distracting. "Travolta was good as the alien, but there were 3 or 4 scenes where I felt he was acting WAY over the top. Barry Pepper's character felt way too intelligent, given the fact that he lived in a hut in the mountains his whole life, worshipping 'The Gods'. Overall, the effects were very good, and the underlying 'Us vs Them' them ware played out fairly well, but again, I just couldn't get past the holes in the plot, as they were way too distracting." From the Toronto Sun on April 29th: "The avid Scientologist was in town yesterday to promote the $80- million, sci-fi film version of L. Ron Hubbard's novel. The deceased Hubbard was the founder of Scientology. As a salute, Travolta spent time at the downtown Chapters book store, autographing Hubbard's books. Other Travolta-ites were stationed outside the CHUMCity building on Queen St. W., watching and sometimes squealing with excitement during his afternoon open-window interview at MuchMusic. "Travolta has been trying to get Battlefield Earth made since Hubbard wrote the book in 1983. The intention was to play the young hero Jonnie Goodboy not the dastardly Psychlos villain, Terl. Time, and his age, changed his role, but not his obsession. 'Battlefield Earth is his best-selling science-fiction piece,' Travolta says of Hubbard, who died three years after his book was published. Travolta says he's confident that the pro-environment, anti-greed theme is just as valid now. He also stresses that Hubbard's book and Travolta's movie are science-fiction entertainments, pointing out that Hubbard's Scientology is the philosophy." From the National Post on April 29th: "'John! I love you!' 'I love you, too,' he responded, taking a seat at a Toronto Chapter's where he was signing autographs for Battlefield Earth, a sci-fi novel written by L. Ron Hubbard. Battlefield Earth has been made into a feature film, starring Travolta as a nine-foot-tall alien, and will be released in May. Lisa Fera chose to flip through What is Scientology?, also written by L. Ron Hubbard. Everyone knows Travolta is a practising Scientologist. (There were a couple of anti-Scientology protesters outside.) That book reads on the front; 'Across the chasm is a high plateau where things are far better. Scientology is the bridge across that chasm.' I have no idea what that means exactly. But who cares? Everyone had come to see Travolta the actor. 'No,' admitted 19-year-old Heather, 'I probably won't ever read Battlefield Earth. I just want his autograph.'" Steven Hassan reported an encounter with John Travolta during his book signing in Boston. "On Tuesday, April 26, 2000, at approximately 5:45 p.m., I was filmed by a TV cameraperson giving a copy of my new book, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves to John Travolta as he was leaving a book signing at Borders bookstore in Downtown Crossing, Boston. I had just finished an interview with the AP reporter outside the bookstore and had expressed my concern that the upcoming movie, Battlefield Earth. By using one of its biggest stars, they could try to offset the negative PR and dwindling membership due to the Lisa McPherson death and subsequent lawsuits. "As Travolta was leaving the book store, his limousine stopped in the middle of the street, his electric window rolled down, his arm came out as he waved. A number of fans rushed to ask him for autographs. I ran over too and handed him the new, hard bond edition of Releasing the Bonds. He signed the cover with a felt pen and handed it back to me. I said to him, 'I am the author. Here, you keep it' and gave it back to him. He seemed startled and looked over the cover. Under my name it says 'America's Leading Cult Counselor.' In an instant, the car sped away." Message-ID: Message-ID: 8dlgb8$ovb$ Message-ID: Message-ID: 8e5bli$bng$ Message-ID: Message-ID: 8eadvp$vu1$ Message-ID: 8ec2ct$o1e$ Message-ID: 8eerpg$oao$ Message-ID: 8eerva$oct$


Scientology honored CCHR co-founder Thomas Szasz on April 24th with a press release describing his accomplishments. "'Psychiatry is probably the single most destructive force that has affected American society within the last fifty years,' stated Thomas Szasz, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of New York and Lifetime Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Dr. Szasz would know; with his 80th birthday this month, he celebrates more than half a century of front-line psychiatric experience, observation and debate. "One of the first to reveal how psychiatry has slowly removed the cornerstones of our culture, specifically 'individual responsibility, virtue, standards of achievement,' Szasz wrote, 'Psychiatry is part of the general liberal ethos...everybody is a victim, everybody has special rights, no responsibilities. This psychiatric view has so completely infiltrated American thinking, people don't even think of it as psychiatry.'" Message-ID: 8e2ldn$k72$

Lisa McPherson

The St. Petersburg Times carried letters to the editor in response to a recent column on the criminal and civil cases against Scientology in the death of Lisa McPherson. "Mary Jo Melone takes it upon herself to determine what is or is not a religion. Her column fosters bigotry and hatred for a religion that the federal government has determined is a religion and entitled to tax-exempt status. Yet the Church of Scientology is not just defending itself in this case, but safeguarding for every individual, even Mary Jo Melone, religious freedom. That is missed in her column. She chose to be biased, bigoted and to disseminate hatred. - Dan Sigal, Clearwater "As a Scientologist and one who has lived in Clearwater for more than 20 years, I found Mary Jo Melone's column of April 9 beyond offensive. It was comparable to the worst rhetoric of the McCarthy-era paranoia. Who is Melone to try to influence the judges in the cases involving my church, and what theological background does she have to even speak about our religious nature? - Betsy Roush, Clearwater "I wholeheartedly applaud Mary Jo Melone's April 9 column. It was right on the mark! I have read much about Scientology since moving to Clearwater five years ago and still cannot see it as a religion. I do, however, see it as an organization that deserves credit for attracting such high-salaried followers. - Doris M. Landsman, Clearwater" The St. Petersburg Times reported on April 19th that Scientology continues efforts to remove David Miscavige as a defendant in the civil case. "The church goes to court this morning to ask a Hillsborough judge to remove David Miscavige as a defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit. In a separate action, the church filed a lawsuit in Pinellas circuit court alleging McPherson's estate broke a 1997 agreement by including Miscavige in the wrongful death suit in the first place. Miscavige's attorneys will argue at a hearing today that their client should not be a defendant, in part because McPherson's estate agreed in 1997 to limit the lawsuit to the Church of Scientology in Clearwater and not other Scientology entities or their officers. "The Pinellas suit also refers to the 1997 agreement. It accuses the estate of breaching the contract and intentionally interfering with it by trying to expand the narrow scope of the original agreement. Ken Dandar, who represents McPherson's family, described the church's latest suit as frivolous and said the church was just trying to distract him from working on the wrongful death suit. Miscavige 'totally controls' and 'micro-manages all of Scientology,' and his ecclesiastical role is part of an elaborate set-up to shield Scientology and its leaders from liability, according to the wrongful death suit. From the St. Petersburg Times on April 20th: "A judge said Wednesday he will take some time to decide whether Scientology leader David Miscavige should remain a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit against the Church of Scientology in Clearwater. Hillsborough Circuit Judge James S. Moody Jr. will consider a variety of legal issues, including whether Miscavige was properly served with the lawsuit at his Hollywood, Calif., office and whether his late addition to the suit places him at a disadvantage. "His New York attorney, Samuel D. Rosen, argued Wednesday that leaves little time for him and his client to prepare for the June trial. Rosen also criticized Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar, saying he has accused Miscavige in McPherson's death without any evidence to back it up. Rosen urged Moody to remove Dandar from the case. 'This is the most heinous charge one could make -- a charge of premeditated murder against the worldwide leader of an organized religion,' Rosen said, adding: 'This is an irresponsible pleading.'" Message-ID: 8djvga$gqg$ Message-ID: 8dmu4f$jnn$ Message-ID:


The St. Petersburg Times reported on April 29th that a meeting was held to describe proposed development of downtown Clearwater. "Patty Zimmerman says she is tired of having to leave Clearwater every time she wants to visit an upscale shopping area, such as Hyde Park in Tampa with its trendy stores and restaurants. She's hoping that will change soon. Zimmerman, 52, was one of 200 people who attended a public meeting Friday afternoon. They gathered in an upstairs conference room of Harborview Center to hear developers talk about their multimillion-dollar revitalization plan for downtown Clearwater. Many in the audience shared Zimmerman's enthusiasm for the $300-million project, which would include a state-of-the-art cinema, 1,200 housing units, more than 150,000 square feet of shops and the quadrupling of Coachman Park. "Mark Bunker, who works for Church of Scientology critic Bob Minton, expressed concern that Scientologists may be the ones who benefit from the redevelopment. The spiritual headquarters for the Church of Scientology are in downtown Clearwater. Frisbie said people who are now intimidated with Scientology's strong presence in downtown would feel otherwise once the area was redeveloped. Scientologists would simply blend in with the thousands of people who would flock to downtown daily. 'I think your fears are way overblown,' he said. 'I promise you if you create this urban environment your fears will disappear.'" Message-ID: 8ef04j$

Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman

The South China Morning Post reported on April 29th that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman may have left Scientology. "Tom Cruise and his Australian actress wife Nicole Kidman quit soon after completing Eyes Wide Shut, the late director Stanley Kubrick's last film, according to reports in Hollywood. 'The Tinseltown buzz is that Cruise and Kidman have quietly severed their ties to the Church of Scientology,' said American gossip columnists Marcus Baram and Marc Malkin in the latest issue of US Weekly magazine. 'Despite their representatives' denials, we hear that Cruise and Kidman started limiting their involvement in the church after shooting the Kubrick movie.' "Cruise was introduced to the sect in 1987 by his then first wife, actress Mimi Rogers, a long-time Scientologist. But the actor has often reacted defensively when questioned about his membership and when Kidman was a guest on a radio show she stated that she was a Catholic. 'I have gained a lot from Scientology,' Cruise said in 1993. But he added: 'The Church of Scientology doesn't run my life or career.'" Message-ID: 8ef0dj$

Digital Lightwave

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Digital Lightwave and its Scientologist founder Bryan Zwan with falsifying financial documents. Digital Lightwave has settled the complaint, but charges against Zwan continue. "This matter involves an 'earnings management' scheme in which Digital Lightwave, Inc. overstated revenues and earnings in two quarters to meet analysts' expectations. As a result of this scheme, Digital included materially false financial statements and other false and misleading information in quarterly filings made with the Commission on Forms 10-Q for the quarters ended June 30, 1997 and September 30, 1997. Digital also issued false press releases to the public, which materially overstated its revenues and earnings. Bryan J. Zwan, Digital's then chief executive officer, was the person principally responsible for making the false filings and issuing the false press releases. Zwan also signed the fraudulent filings on behalf of Digital. Specifically, Digital's filings with the Commission materially overstated its revenues and accounts receivable by prematurely or incorrectly recognizing revenues on certain transactions which were incomplete or contained contingencies. Zwan also made materially false statements and omissions to Digital's independent auditors in connection with their review of Digital's second and third quarter 1997 financial statements. "Specifically, the company began recognizing revenues based on verbal purchase orders and a fraudulent bill and hold transaction. As a result, Digital was able to exceed analysts' expectations, reporting revenues of $5.3 million and earnings of $.05 per share for the quarter. In the third quarter of 1997, Digital, through Zwan, again employed the fraudulent revenue recognition policies, and was able to exceed analysts' expectations for the second consecutive quarter. This time Digital reported revenues of $8.3 million and earnings of $.08 per share. These results were materially overstated because most of the reported revenues were again based on fraudulent bill and hold transactions and Verbal POs. Digital's third quarter Form 10-Q, which was filed on November 13, 1997, contained the fraudulent financial results. "The SEC respectfully requests that the Court: Declare, determine and find that defendants Digital and Zwan, each committed the violations of the federal securities laws alleged herein. Issue a Permanent Injunction, restraining and enjoining defendant Zwan, his officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and all persons in active concert or participation with him, and each of them, from violating the Securities Act. Issue an Order directing defendant Zwan to pay a civil penalty pursuant to for his violations of the federal securities laws as complained herein." Message-ID: 8dgfc7$


Slashdot reported on April 28th that online auction host eBay has been removing auctions of e-meters due to demands from Scientology under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. "Does the Digital Millennium Copyright Act cover electrical religious artifacts? Apparently the Church of Scientology thinks so. eBay has been yanking auctions of e-meters because of complaints by the CoS. In response to queries by a collector, eBay said 'the Church of Scientology is giving us Notices of Infringement, which we are legally required to honor. These items are being ended for that reason.' This is just one more data point in the disturbing trend of the DMCA being used as an all-purpose club to remove material from the Internet. "The device itself is just an electrical mechanism, somewhat like a fancy multimeter or oscilloscope. It's patented, but of course thousands of patented items are sold on eBay every day. To members of the Church of Scientology, however, it's more than just an electrical device. It's used in 'auditing,' which apparently helps new members advance in the program. "Rod Keller, a Scientology critic, noticed that e-meter auctions were being taken down, and wrote eBay to ask why. The response was: 'These items are not prohibited due to their nature, but the Church of Scientology is giving us Notices of Infringement, which we are legally required to honor. These items are being ended for that reason.' "When Mr. Keller expressed surprise at this, the next message went into a little more detail: 'There is a procedure under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act whereby someone who claims to be an owner of Intellectual property can send a notice sworn under penalty of perjury that an item is infringing. The internet provider must then remove the item. The seller of the item (not a third party) can request and fill out a counter notice. If he/she does so, the complaining party who filled out the original notice has a limited period of time to file suit, or the provider can go ahead and relist the item. "Based on eBay's statements, the Church of Scientology has sworn under penalty of perjury that it has an 'exclusive right' to copyright on the material that was posted in the auction. To me, that seems obviously wrong. But to enjoy the protections of the DMCA, service providers must remove any material as soon as they're told it infringes on copyright. Once material has been challenged, the service provider must act 'expeditiously' to remove it. Only when the material is gone can the accused user make a case to defend it." Message-ID: 8ehht0$


Roger Gonnet attended a public meeting in Lyon, organized by Scientology to criticize the treatment of cults in France. "I entered a public meeting organized by clams. The organization picketed was clam organized, room paid in dollars. The number of groups supposed to be part of that organization is 52. There was a blond girl with a yellow star 'I'm a cult's member' - she's a Raelian. Some others had this tasteful yellow star as well, despite the fact that at least one Jew was there. I walked in, presented myself as a member of 'our' association on human rights defense, the Some minutes later, I was cornered between scientologists who had been instructed to be all around me. "Less than 80 persons were there. There were the President, Joel Labruyere, a guy who is working against anticultists since some 18 months, and has written a defamation book. The vice-president is Irving Sarnoff, USA. The others 'judges' were Me Joseph, an attorney having defended a cult guru called Horus in France. He's also sort of a conspirationist theoretician, mixing lots of other affairs. Also the author of a book called the 'radishes of the anger', in french. probably because his client guru was supposed to be sort of a peasant planting radishes. Dr Erik Dietrich, MD supposed to have a specialty into 'victimology', while none exist specifically in France, as far as I know. The singer Nayah, around 30, who was a singer having ran for France in the Eurovision Concours some years ago, but was discovered as a Raelian priestess, and she lost her contracts then. "Then, some supposed victims came. One of them spoke for about 20 minutes of his problems with his chief at work, while nothing was related to cult appurtenance. Another, a Raelian girl, 31, spoke of the fact that her child had been taken by a judge and given to her ex-husband. She went into a delirium and was sent to psychiatrists. And also another guru who complained from having had problems as a boy of 19 months died in his non-religious-cult, where kids are more or less often beaten as a way to get them doing right. "So, later, we got a speech from the Dr Dietrich, who went so far as to allege that our CAN - the ADFI - is protecting children sex-abusers. That was too much, I shouted quite clearly that it was a lie. The scieno behind me menaced me immediately to get me out of the room. I took the doctor 'apart', saying him 'So, would you say that we ADFI members are pedophiles'? He did not reiterate. So I asked where were the proofs of his defamation: he pretended they were in a judgment being on courts now in Toulon." The Los Angeles Times published a column on April 21st by Scientology President Heber Jentzsch, criticizing recent decisions in France. "For a major American human rights body to compare contemporary France with the totalitarian Romania of the late dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Yet such a comparison was made at a recent hearing by the chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, after a French government official refused to meet with a member of a U.S. delegation to discuss American concerns about France's treatment of scores of religious minorities. "France is unique among European countries in establishing a government panel specifically to foster intolerance of religious groups, unabashedly calling it the Interministerial Mission to Combat Sects. Of the 38 religious movements that sent representatives to the Paris hearing, nearly all blamed the government panel for their sufferings. Alain Vivien, the head of the panel, last June told the French news agency Agence France Presse: 'In the United States, freedoms are crazy. In the name of the 1st Amendment of the American Constitution, which forbids legislation on religious matters, one can say and do anything.' In Vivien's view, religion must be controlled, if necessary by legislation. "Those familiar with the worsening human rights situation in France understand exactly why Vivien's ire is directed at the Church of Scientology. Scientologists are active in defending religious liberty and in exposing the human rights abuses committed in the name of the French government. Indeed, Derek Davis of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University recently made this observation: 'There is no group in the world today that is doing more to celebrate and promote the principle of religious freedom than the Church of Scientology.'" Message-ID: Message-ID: 8eercp$ut$


Der Tagesspiegel reported on April 19 that the opening of a Scientology exhibition in Steglitz, Germany drew protesters. "A small demonstration against the opening of the Scientology sect's exhibition on Dueppel Street in Steglitz yesterday occurred on Herman-Ehlers Square in front of the Steglitz assembly building. Those who called for the protest operation included the Steglitz CDU district association. Scientology spokesman Georg Stoffel responded by saying that the exhibition would continue past its planned end on Thursday." Taz reported on April 18th that the Scientology exhibit in Berlin will not be happening as planned at the Best Western hotel. "The invitations to the Best Western Hotel Steglitz International had already been sent out, but now the worldwide sect business must change the address for its 'What is Scientology?' exhibition. 'No public meetings had been arranged with us,' the business manager of the hotel, Klaus-Volker Stolle, founded the cancellation yesterday. He said the 500,000 leaflets in which the Scientologists have been advertising for their exhibit in recent days violate their contract with the hotel. "Key to the decision, though, was said to have been that after the business contract with the Scientologists became known, other customers announced there would be consequences. One of the customers was the federal press office, which rented rooms from the hotel for visiting groups from the federal house of representatives. It was said that the press office had written a letter which announced that it would reconsider its business relations with the hotel. 'From a commercial point of view, perhaps the contract was hurting us more,' said hotel business manager Stolle. He terminated the contract." From Tagesspiegel on April 18th: "Under pressure from the Press and Information Office of the federal government, the Hotel Best Western Steglitz International has terminated an agreement with the 'Scientology Church' for spaces for an exhibition. Their reservations, as verified by Klaus-Volker Stoller, the hotel's business manager, were canceled. Stolle gave his reason as being that it had been assumed that Scientology had wanted to organize a closed seminar, not a public arrangement. Canceling the reservations, though, started with pressure from the Press Office. "The office was said to have indirectly threatened in a letter to cancel reservations for visitor groups from the federal representative assembly for the current and next years. The press office's letter said that 'understandably' one would expect guests to spend the night in 'indubitable hotels.' According to Stolle, about 3,000 guests would be affected by a possible cancellation. The exhibition will be opened today in private spaces." Berliner Kurier reported on April 19th that the Scientology exhibit in Berlin was protested by the Youth Union. "The Youth Union mobilized resistance on short notice and protested against the SO exhibition, which opened yesterday. 'This sect manipulates people and wants to exploit them and leave them without a will of their own,' warned Nadine Wichatzek (25), one of the organizers. CDU General Secretary Ingo Schmitt also condemned Scientology, 'Scientology is one of the most dangerous international sects.' Within the show, SO activists demonstrated one way spiritual lives of members were explored: a so-called 'electrometer,' a small device with dials, knobs and two tin cans is supposed to be able to measure positive and negative feelings. A member of the 'Kurier' editorial staff tested the device - it obviously worked only for those who believed in it." From Die Welt on April 19th: "Despite public protests, the first 'What is Scientology?' exhibition has been in Berlin since Wednesday. While the public pressure could at first prevent the religious community from making a public presentation in the 'Best Western' Steglitz Hotel, the organization quickly found an alternative location. A private lessor made spaces available on short notice at 30 Dueppel Street in Steglitz. "The federal press office is said to have lodged a protest at the Best Western Hotel. It allegedly threatened to cancel all visitor groups from the parliamentary representatives for this and the coming years in the event that the hotel accepted the exhibition in its spaces. The people of Berlin should to go the exhibition to form their own picture of what was really behind the controversy, said the Scientologists' invitation. The group itself claimed that it said what Scientology was at the exhibition's opening: that it fought for a better life in hard times, a life 'without mental illness and without cancer or other illnesses.'" The exhibit attracted few non-Scientologists, according to a Berliner Zeitung article on April 20th. "According to statements by Anne Ruehle, sect commissioner of the Senate, the Scientology Organization had sent out a half million invitations in advance. On Tuesday, however, when the 'What is Scientology?' exhibition opened on the fourth floor of a building in Steglitz, there was practically nobody there but its own members. They were helped neither by the leaflets which the Scientologists pushed into the hands of pedestrians nor by the little girl who was giving out blue and yellow balloons at the entrance to the building. About ten visitors found their way inside in the afternoon; they were greeted by about twice that many, permanently smiling Scientologists. They did not let the guests out of sight. 'Do you have another question?' 'Can I explain that to you?'; no visitor could look at the display tables without being disturbed. "Despite the scanty response, the arrangers looked like they were thrilled. They said they had already counted about 100 visitors. 'Based on the great demand, we will extend the exhibition for a couple of days,' said the sect spokesman, Georg Stoffel. He also expressed himself optimistically as far as the number of Scientologists in Berlin. He mentioned up to 2,000; Anne Ruehle, in contrast, assumes there are a few hundred members in the city." OTS reviewed a television program on Scientology, which aired on April 20th. "'In the net of Scientology, Psycho-terrorism without end?' by Hans-Michael Kassel and Jeannette Schweitzer. Former management staff of Scientology Hamburg, they were prepared to give the television cameras an exclusive look into the rather strongly shielded processes in the 'Org.' In doing that they give first-hand testimony and demonstrate the methods of incremented recruitment, the creation of dependency and the exploitation of members. "Since the 1970s, 'Scientology' in Hamburg has been trying to conquer Germany according to the pseudo-religious rules of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. The high-ranking former members used authentic concepts to tell the SWR team how, under the pretense of life assistance and over the course of years, thousands of 'customers,' including themselves, were sounded out with the help of primitive lie detectors, exploited, and subjected to humanly contemptuous rituals of punishment. 'We were told - and we believed - that it was a matter of spiritual freedom. What it really was a matter of was money, money and more money,' reported a former top manager from Scientology Hamburg." The state of Brandenburg will install Windows 2000, according to Berliner Morgenpost on April 22nd. "A component program of the Windows 2000 software has been causing a stir for months: the 'Diskeeper' defragmentation program is said to have originated from a Scientology adherent's company in California. The concern is that Windows 2000 could be used to spy on its users and forward data over the internet to points unknown. The Brandenburg state administration sees no cause to be ill at ease. 'The Ministry of Justice has used the program without objections since the end of last year,' said Rolf Hellmert, spokesman for the Ministry of Justice. "In contrast, the Free State of Bavaria decided at the month's beginning to not install the system until it had been checked out by the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology. Brandenburg's Data Security Commissioner, Alexander Dix, described the security risks for the state administration as limited, because sufficient precautions had been built into it." Focus Online reported on April 28th that Microsoft has made source code for Windows 2000 available to allay fears that Scientologist-created components may spy on users of the operating system. "According to information obtained by Focus, the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology got a look into the so-called 'source code' of the new Windows 2000 computer operating system. Microsoft, however, contested having revealed its source code, but an unnamed source in the federal administration said that the corporation wanted to prevent its secret program components from being subject to review in other cases." Hamburger Morgenpost reported on April 25 that Ursula Caberta announced that Scientology in the U.S. is supporting the effort to expand in Hamburg. "According to the assessment by the Interior Agency's work group, the Scientology Organization has been making a more aggressive showing in Hamburg. 'The millions in aid for the Hamburg Scientologists was a declaration of hostility from the USA,' said the Director of the Work Group, Ursula Caberta. "The headquarters in Los Angeles made about 20 million marks available for a new building for the organization in downtown Hamburg. 'Up to that point, a bankrupt unit had never been re-financed from the USA,' said Caberta, 'the money flowed only in one direction'. At the moment, she said, Scientology was not doing well in Germany, but that did not mean that the fight against this new form of political extremism was going to cease." Freie Presse on April 28th reported that a new (anti) Scientology counseling center in Zwickau is being opposed by some in the city council. "This city of Zwickau is contesting the planned Scientology Counseling Center. An application for a temporary establishment of such an office was rejected on Thursday after lively controversy in the city council's executive and administration committee. The administration had until the end of the first quarter to submit a concept for supporting and financing a Scientology office. The administration had suggested that the counseling be offered in conjunction with the already existing Contact and Information Office of an Evangelical Church congregation. To that end it was proposed that 87,000 marks be set aside for a new voluntary mission of the city until the end of 2001. This proposal did not find a majority; neither did the modified proposal submitted by city councilman Frieder Badstuebner that the office should unconditionally be part of the city itself and should be secured until at least 2002." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000419164544.122C-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000418162203.126A-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000418162414.126C-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000419164615.122D-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000419164657.122E-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000420161716.130B-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000420161837.130D-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000425174620.114A-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000427154711.131C-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000428163502.118A-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000428163654.118C-100000@darkstar.zippy

Keith Henson

Keith Henson posted a court filing this week, in which he moved to protect documents regarding The Day of the Child, which he says was a sham charity designed to funnel money from Scientology to harass his former lawyer, Graham Berry. "On March 24, 2000, Mr. Berry delivered the Cipriano documents to the offices of Robie & Matthai. No one from Robie & Matthai has either copied or read those documents and they have been placed in a secure storage facility. There is no known copy of the documents. "The documents are relevant as evidence of the payments made to Robert Cipriano during the time that he served as a witness against Graham Berry. The documents are relevant to the issue of whether the contacts between Eugene Ingram, Kendrick Moxon and various witnesses are appropriate, or not. The documents are potentially relevant to various violations of the laws governing non-profit organizations, including the solicitation of funds, the use of those funds, and the taxability of those monies. There is concern that without the court allowing copying of the records before disposition to any party, the records may be irretrievably lost and/or destroyed." Message-ID: 8ebc6p$lu4$

Lisa McPherson Trust

Stacy Brooks reported on a recent trip to Europe to meet with leaders in those countries. "Bob Minton and I just spent ten days in Europe. We went to Cologne, Hamburg and Paris. We discussed how we are dealing with the Church of Scientology and how we can coordinate our actions. Bob and I were both disturbed at reports from both Germany and France about actions that have been taken by the United States against those countries for their position on Scientology. "First we had a brief stay in Cologne during which Bob participated in a live television program. The host of the show was Hans Meiser, a well-known television personality in Northern Germany. The others on the show were Dr. Norbert Blum, former minister of labor and a long-term critic of Scientology, and Tanya Neujahr, a former Sea Org member at St. Hill who, at the age of 17, was put in charge of security for several isolation watches. Later Tanya tried to escape from St. Hill and was dragged, kicking and screaming, into a room where she was locked up and kept in isolation herself for several days, until she agreed to write up her overts and withholds (O/Ws) and remain at St. Hill. "Also on the show were Sabine Weber, head of OSA in Munich, and two other German Scientologists. Bob had to speak through a translator so he was able to answer Hans Meiser's question about harassment, but he wasn't able to participate in the heated argument that took up most of the show. Dr. Blum was very good at responding to the Scientologists' attempts to portray themselves as victims of religious discrimination. After the television program was over, we took a train with Tanya to Hamburg, where we were met at the station by Ursula Caberta, head of the Scientology task force for the state of Hamburg. She arranged a press conference so that the German media could have a chance to hear a U.S. perspective on Scientology. Ursula, Bob and I all spoke to a room filled with German media. Several newspaper articles resulted, as well as television spots on the major stations. "We flew to Paris for a meeting arranged by Roger Gonnet with Denis Barthelemy, secretary general of the Interministerial Task Force Against Cults. Roger also arranged many media interviews for us in Paris. We discussed with Ursula Caberta and Denis Barthelemy the importance of separating the belief system from the practices of Scientology. We found that they are in complete agreement that Scientologists are perfectly free to believe in the efficacy of the tech and any other aspect of Scientology they wish to embrace. But they feel strongly, as we do, that no one, including a Scientologist, has the right to violate anyone's civil or human rights or to abuse or deceive anyone for the sake of achieving their own agenda." Message-ID:

Bob Minton

Africa News Service reported on April 28th about an investigation into Nigerian finances, including those by Scientology critic Bob Minton. Scientology appears to be instigating the investigation. "IThings have been uneasy at the Minna front where Ibrahim Babangida, aka IBB, Nigeria's former military president, and godfather of this often hyperactive contraption seats in court. At home and abroad, IBB has been the butt of a recent harsh attack and passionate flaming from people who see his hands in the architecture of the country's many seasons of discontent. The complex of ethnic and religious tensions and crises in the country, has been, therefore, in certain quarters, traced to the unseen hands of the godfather. "He angrily told a Nigerian Tribune interview that sections of the press and the pool of active anti-Babangidaists have been mean to him, even as they have engaged in straw targeting in an attempt to rupture his 'warm relationship with president Olusegun Obasanjo' whose anti corruption program has now taken a foreign policy format. If IBB so cherishes his relationship with Obasanjo as the Nigerian Tribune interview suggests, then his biggest nightmare now, might well be the successful freeze on three accounts of his close business associate and friend, the American Mr. Robert Minton. Authoritative Tempo sources in leading European banking Institutions disclosed that Minton's accounts in Austria London and Switzerland, were frozen following the result of a relay of activities triggered by the private investigations of Nigerian footballer, John Fashanu into the country's loots hidden in Europe. "The Minton account squeeze, points to a case of massive corruption perpetrated by foreigners at a time Nigeria is itself facing a crisis of reputaion on a world scale for issues related to corruption and scams. In this case a collusion between Nigerians and noted foreigners ripped the country of hard earned resources in multiple billions through a debt-buy back scheme which turned into a bottomless pit. Minton who lives in Turkey and London has his hands stretched deep in financial dealings throughout Eastern Europe, Turkey and a number of developing countries like Nigeria where he reportedly helped arrange a secret debt buy-back scheme that ran for years and laundered not less than $6 billions of dollars through United State and foreign banks. Nigeria's search for its looted monies is one of the signal planks of president Olusegun Obasanjo's foreign policy programmes. The search leader is another Babangida associate, General Aliyu Gusau, who currently serves as Obasanjo's National Security Adviser. The Minton scheme was successfully faciliated when he was the operations manager of the secret buy back deal through his various companies, Triolet, Shamrock, GNL and Greenland Holdings. "Minton is quoted in Africa Confidential saying he notified the IMF and World Bank about the scheme and they gave him 'tacit approval.' Minton is also quoted as saying 'many of the banks were aware of the buy-back in general terms and took full advantage of it.' In context of the debt buy back scheme, Mintons sub vocalisation points to a vivid picture of conspiracy between him, Robert Smith, certain select creditor banks along with Chase Manhattan Bank and all the nominee/holding banks using their unsubstantiated 'tacit approval' from the IMF and World Bank." Message-ID:

Tom Padgett

Tom Padgett posted a summary of a court hearing in Kentucky, where he is involved in lawsuits with his ex-wife, who is still a Scientologist. "Kentucky 4th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Charlie Boteler noted during his ramblings of why expert and material witness testimony and evidence on Tom Padgett's behalf should remain stricken from the record, 'It doesn't matter if you (Mr. Padgett) have the character of Jesus Christ or the devil (satan). I don't care.' "Padgett has vowed to fight this. Proceeding pro se, Padgett convinced the court to enter the expert assessment by Preston & Associates, executive recruitment consultants and arbitration service. Mr. Preston Doom, reported three critical factors contributing to the demise of Padgett's once successful career: 'unfriendly' stalkings at his places of work with character assaults and cultic P.I.'s infiltrating his employers and employees; the obsessive litigious behavior of his ex wife over the past 7+ years; a felony label being attempted to be put on him by Laura Padgett in matters of child support. Civil court matters were postponed to May 31." Message-ID:

Protest Summary

Keith Henson protested the Scientology org in San Jose this week. "I went by the Rosemary location for a short picket (about 10 am). Darlene came out and took my picture. She got the NO OTs sign and IMPLANTED WITH DEAD SPACE ALIENS sign. She also mentioned that they were going to let the National Space Society know how one of their board members spends his time. I suspect they may be planning to disrupt the next national meeting of the Board." Mark Bunker reported a protest in Clearwater following a hearing on downtown development. "Today I attended the meeting held by the folks hoping to develop Clearwater's Bayfront. The developers laid out a rosie picture of what life will be like when they convert the bayfront into a bustling downtown area with businesses, cinemas, parks and a botanical garden. The key was to get people to live downtown in the new beautiful, exciting Clearwater. Without people residing downtown, they explained, none of this would work. "When the floor was opened to questions, I asked if any studies have been done to see if people are reluctant to come downtown because of Scientology. The developers were prepared for this question and it seems someone had asked it at the early morning session as well. They explained that now the Scientologists are the only ones downtown so if you go there it is natural to feel uncomfortable. But when the development is done 10 - 25,000 people will be milling around downtown and the Scientologists won't even be noticed. "When I came back to the office and shared my report we decided to take back a little bit of Clearwater and stage a picket. So around 5:30, armed with frames of the video I shot in December when the cult painted red dots on the sidewalks, we went out to protest on the church's side of the street for the first time in months. Using the pictures as guides, Bob and I made sure to stay outside of the area Scientology had once illegally painted on the public sidewalks. Peter and Patricia came along as well and we managed to get a LOT of support from passing motorists. The loud honking of horns was heard throughout the area as we blanketed Cleveland in front of the Bank Building for an hour during dinner, driving Al Buttner to distraction as he tried to deal with the SP's who just won't leave." Gregg Hagglund reported a protest in Toronto at a book signing by John Travolta. "Picketers: Dave Palter, Mike Argue, Deep Wog, Gregg Hagglund. We did about 150 flyers most in the first few minutes. Thereafter we each had an 'assigned' harasser. Mr. Ramsay was waiting for me and physically attacked me outside of Star Bucks. David Palter witnessed the action from inside Star Bucks. Ramsay blocked my way and bumped into me. I tried to get around him. He was shouting he was 'going to be all over me today Child abuser' I was shouting he was crazy and to leave me alone. He then tried to punch me in the stomach, which I kind of dodged. He then poked me in the mouth with his forefinger again shouting that 'He was going to be all over me' I then eluded him long enough to get by him and head for the safety of Star Bucks. He caught up with me at the door and we grasped the handle at the same time opening the door. I tried to slip thru' and he tried to push the door shut on me. "The Co$ acted like thugs on the street. Blocking our path, dogging our heels. There was an attempt at damaging one of Deep Wogs Cameras and the same thug broke one of my picket signs and tried to steal a block of flyers from Mike. I had signs relating to Battlefield Earth and Cult Coffers etc. Also 'Visit WWW.XENU.NET and think for yourself.'" Keith Henson protested in Mountain View and Palo Alto in a show of support for Gregg Hagglund. "Very little interaction with the scns at Mt. View. One older woman yelled at me from inside her car, but the window was rolled up and I was unable to hear what she said. When I got to the Palo Alto org, three org members were busy in the tiny flower bed out front. They tried to ignore me, but I could tell they were reading the signs. They either finished or were ordered inside." Message-ID: Message-ID: 8e4s48$v6v$ Message-ID: I1pO4.1606$ Message-ID: 8efonb$jmo$

Freewinds Refund

Greg and Debra Barnes posted about their attempts to get a refund from the Freewinds ship. "I asked in writing some 45 days ago for the money we have on account which is over $12,000 and according to one Luwig Alpers the Port Captain we are to receive our money but no money yet. He turned ugly and started to tell me that I should be talking to IJC and then I told him that I did not give IJC our money we gave it to you on the Freewinds. Today was supposed to be the day that we get our money guess the most 'ethical group on the planet' is slipping. Will keep you posted on whether the ship pays off or not." From Bob Minton: "Greg and Debra like Mike and Virginia McClaughry, have been prominent and respected members of the Scientology field. Despite the fact that all four have been recently declared suppressive, they all have a firmly held belief in Scientology but are vigorously opposed to the abusive, deceptive and tech altering practices. In summary, Mike and Virginia, and Greg and Debra are TRUE religious freedom fighters who are standing up for their beliefs and opposed to Miscavige's efforts to destroy Scientology. I am proud to stand beside them and to help them in any way possible to emancipate Scientologists so that they may all practice their truly held beliefs free from oppression. Message-ID: 8dgd63$ Message-ID:


The Swiss newspaper 24 heures reported that Scientologists in Lausanne were caught distributing literature, a violation of local law. "After many ordinary pedestrians complained being harassed on public grounds by Church of Scientology staff, the city council decided to completely ban CoS activities on public ground. After an appeal by the CoS, they had to lift that ban, but edicted restricting conditions on their activities on public ground. CoS is allowed to have a booth only twice a month, at a well defined spot, market days excluded. Leafleting is only allowed one day per week, market days excluded. "CoS staff was caught leafleting at the main railways station, last Wednesday (market day) and were ordered to immediately stop. The local org head, Mrs Montangero (recently convicted and receiving suspended sentence for defaming a critic - sentenced confirmed in first appeal) complained about religious freedom and freedom of speech." Basler Zeitung published an article on April 19th on the writers of a new book on cults in the Alsace region. "In their recently published book, 'Sectes, des paradis totalitaires?,' two TV journalists, Jean-Pierre Stucki and Catherine Munsch, have presented a state of affairs on sects in Alsace, Lorraine and in Franche-Comte. To some degree, they rely for their information on two parliamentary inquiry committee reports, which were presented at the behest of the French National Assembly in 1995 and 1999. About the Scientologists the authors wrote, 'To our knowledge, the 'Church' of Scientology is not, at least officially, represented in the ten departments of eastern France. But it has again become active there, particularly in southern Alsace, where leaflets with the address of the Scientology center in Basel are handed out.'" Message-ID: Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1000420161513.130A-100000@darkstar.zippy

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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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