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

Volume 7, Issue 3 - April 21 2002


The California Aggie, newspaper of the University of California at Davis, published a profile on Scientology on April 17th. "Michelle Ball-Campbell, a practicing attorney, finds spirituality in Scientology, as do a growing number of people ranging from movie stars to professionals. Yet, despite its recent increased acceptance, Scientology continues to be the target of criticism and debate between advocates and skeptics. "While various Web sites assert that the church's unorthodox methodologies and philosophies are harmful and misleading, Scientology evangelists explain the religion's foundations, beliefs and practices. According to Ball-Campbell, special affairs director for the Church of Scientology in Sacramento, those who have little to no knowledge of the religion frequently misunderstand Scientology. "But, Internet Web sites such as Clambake Operations say otherwise. The site,, contains what it asserts to be hidden truths about Scientology. It displays stories written by people who have been involved with churches. 'The Church of Scientology is a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion and practices a variety of mind-controlling techniques that submerges critical thinking faculties,' the site states. "According to Ball-Campbell, Scientology fits the criteria of a religion. There are three main characteristics of a religion: a belief in a supreme being, practices directed toward understanding the supreme being and a community of believers who commune with being through practices and rituals. Hight explained Scientology as an applied religious philosophy. Unlike other religions, which base their teachings on theoretical values, Scientology focuses on practical issues. 'It is dedicated to making a person's life better and addresses the spiritual nature of man.' According to the Scientology Web site, communication is the remedy for life's nuisances, such as stress, fear and psychosomatic illness. Thus, communication is the key objective behind religious practices, which Ball-Campbell said are called 'Dianetics.' "Some Web sites like Clambake Operations say auditing is a form of brainwashing, a charge Ball-Campbell denied. 'Scientology auditing is about as far away from hypnosis, meditation, psychotherapy and other mental therapies as you can get,' said Ball-Campbell. 'There is no resemblance between Scientology and these practices. During auditing, the person is alert and in present time.'" Message-ID: a9mdvo$


The Vancouver Sun reported on April 17th that CCHR is publicizing the case of a patient who has received over 130 ECT treatments in three years. "Riverview psychiatrists have declared that the patient, 71-year-old Michael Dennis Matthews, is unable to give consent to the shock treatment because of his mental state. So, as with many geriatric patients, they are administering electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to him on an involuntary basis. Matthews told the Vancouver Sun he fears the shock treatments more than anything else. 'I'm braver now, but I don't like it. They hurt, I don't want it,' said Matthews, who recalled he was admitted to Coquitlam's Riverview Hospital 39 years ago - for what reason, he cannot remember or cannot disclose. "Billing records show that Matthews received about 135 ECT treatments. This is well above the average number of ECT treatments of between six and 12. Doctors normally expect improvement within 15 treatments. The public trustee's office, which has jurisdiction over Matthews' financial and legal affairs, was made aware of his ECT situation by Julie Butler, who is director of the B.C. chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Church of Scientology affiliate. Butler, who wants doctors to halt Matthews' ECT sessions, said she became aware of Matthews when she read about him on a Web site and began visiting him several months ago. "Dr. Martha Donnelly, a Vancouver Hospital geriatric psychiatrist and member of a team that has just delivered a report to the minister of health on recommended guidelines for ECT delivery, said doctors hope that patients improve within 15 treatments. Asked if there was an upper limit of ECT treatments any patient should receive she said: 'The point is that you want the patient to be well, and if they are doing well, then you continue on. After 15 treatments or six months, you should redo the whole informed consent and in an involuntary patient, ensure there is a second opinion,' she said. "Dr. Jaime Paredes, a psychiatrist who was fired by Riverview after he went public with his concerns about the sharp increases in ECT on Riverview geriatric patients, said Tuesday that he couldn't comment on the Matthews case since he is not familiar with it. 'But in general, it sounds like an excessive number of treatments and it sounds like the hospital or the doctors need to provide a very good explanation. I personally prescribe ECT to patients only as a last resort, often in an emergency situation where someone is a violent risk to himself or others, or someone who is dying in front of me because they are refusing to eat,' said Paredes." Message-ID: a9kmc5$

Karin Spaink

Boudewijn van Ingen reported from a court hearing in The Hague in which Scientology is opposed to the continued presence of secret Operating Thetan materials on Dutch websites. "Warren McShane was allowed to make a short presentation to the judges early on, about the 'security arrangements' that are supposedly in place in the Co$ to keep those precious OT-levels from becoming 'published.' Mr. Hermans (Lawyer for CoS) had argued that at no time copies of the OT-material were spread amongst Scientologists and that Scientologists were even never allowed to take notes while they studied the materials. "According to Warren, the OT's are all printed on special paper called mylar that is impossible to tear and contains a device that would set off an alarm when someone would try to remove it from the room. "When the lead judge asked Warren about the fact that these security arrangements obviously had not been in use ever since the sixties, when the OT-material was written, Warren hastened to explain that these arrangements obviously evolved over time, but that the secrecy had been in place at all times. And he waved a piece of paper in front of the bench that was supposed to prove that. Alas for him, it was by then far too late to enter new evidence into this case. And of course, waving pieces of paper in front of a judge at such a late stage in a court case makes the one doing it look quite ridiculous. "When it was Mr. Van Maanen's turn (the lawyer for both the ISPs and Karin Spaink), he quickly reminded the court that by now this case had become limited to only the OT-2 and OT-3 documents. The Ability material apparently appeared in printed form already and all the other material seems to have never been contested by the Co$. He continued by reminding the court that by Scientology's own admissions in 1998 some 25,000 people had already been given access to the documents in question, adding that that number probably has only grown since then. "Van Maanen also raised doubt about the security of the materials because the presentation by Warren McShane could not have had to do much with the original arrangements that were in place since the materials were written, but also because the defense had only been furnished with contracts about this issue between RTC and TWO different organizations, dating 1982, 1988, 1992 and 1995. Obviously if there are SEVEN organizations which are licensed by RTC, only one of them lacking such security measures would constitute an obvious flaw in the arguments of Mr. Hermans. And of course, if Warren McShane would have 'personal copies' of such documents, how could anyone be sure how many of such copies there were at all? "Van Maanen continued to argue that the materials had been made available to the public anyway. He argued that both the Berne convention and Dutch law regard making materials available, even under certain conditions as publication. In Dutch law, it was argued that only if the audience was direct family, and that no money had changed hands, there was an exception. In any other case where information is being shared, Dutch law seems to consider it publication. "After a short break, it was Mr. Hermans' turn again. He reiterated that there had been 'confidentiality' and that the material had been 'stolen'. Then Mr. Hermans made some pointless argument about 'trade secrets' (completely inappropriate here). The judges concluded the hearing by announcing that there will be a judgment on June 13." Message-ID:

Flag World Tour

"Cerridwen" posted the schedule for the Flag World Tour, in which staff members from Clearwater visit local orgs. "27 April - Toronto, Berlin 4 May - Denver 25 May - Montreal, Verona 1 June - Sacramento 8 June - Battle Creek, Torino" Message-ID:

Lawrence Wollersheim

Lawrence Wollersheim posted an update to his long-running case, in which he is trying to collect a multi-million dollar judgment against Scientology for abuse while he was a member. "The case has now entered the last part of its third and final phase. The first phase was the original case, which showed Scientology's auditing practices as dangerous mind control. The case was won, but Scientology conveyed $500,000,000 out of the Church of Scientology of California in order to claim that CSC could not pay the now approximate $9,000,000 judgment. The second phase was the Wollersheim victory in a Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation lawsuit against Scientology in which Wollersheim was awarded, and Scientology paid, $500,000 in fines. "The third phase is just about to go to the judge for a ruling. This phase involves showing that Church of Scientology International and Religious Technology Corporation controlled CSC and therefore are responsible to pay the CSC Wollersheim judgment. "The Judge will be listening to the MCCS tapes where Scientology discusses transferring assets and committing a fraud on the IRS. The judge may order David Miscavige to the witness stand as he was involved in most of the CSC, CSI, RTC and MCCS transactions. "The final evidence for phase three will be heard May 9-15, 2002. The judge is expected to issue his final ruling within 30-90 days after that. Here is how I see the case ending and the realistic timetables: The judge will rule in our favor. Scientology will then spend another two to three years appealing that new decision. Scientology will have to put up about a 15 million dollar bond. We will survive their appeals and enforce the collection against the 15 million bond or CSI and RTC by seizing their assets." Message-ID: Lbov8.46854$

Lisa McPherson

In a hearing in Clearwater, Florida this week, Bob Minton recanted some of the testimony he had given in previous depositions. He claims that Ken Dandar, attorney for the Lisa McPherson estate, asked him to lie under oath to keep certain events secret. As a result of the hearing, contempt of court charges against Bob Minton were withdrawn. Scientology has moved to remove Ken Dandar from the case based on the admissions. "A. I caused two checks, one in the amount of five hundred thousand dollars to be issued to Ken Dandar and around May of 2001 and an additional check for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars issued to Mr. Dandar in early March of this year. "These were checks that were issued by Union Bank of Switzerland. Sometime in Springish of 2001, Mr. Dandar said he needed money to continue with the case and bring the case to trial and he requested that I get him some money. And he said that he wanted to do this in such a way that it didn't appear that the money came from me. He mentioned several reasons why he didn't want it to appear to come from me, that the wrongful death case was getting to be extremely messy because of my financial contributions to the case, and that he did not wish to run this money through his trust account. That he had another means of hiding this money from the Scientologists as well as some of his employees. "He mentioned specifically Michael Garko and Tom Haverty where I think Mr. Dandar was trying to cut back on payments to them in order to conserve money to continue the case. "A. Sometime in July or August of 1999 I flew into town for the purpose of having a meeting at Ken Dandar's office. Present at that meeting were myself, Stacy Brooks, Jesse Prince, Michael Garko and Ken Dandar. And this meeting went on for two or three hours and the sole purpose of the meeting was to discuss adding these additional parties to the wrongful death case. "Q. Who brought up that subject, who first suggested adding additional parties to the wrongful death case, sir? "A. Mr. Dandar. The other four people at the meeting gave their views starting with Dandar, Garko, Jesse Prince and Stacey Brooks and finally I was the last one to talk about it. And all four of those were strongly in favor of adding David Miscavige. They agreed with Mr. Ken Dandar's assessment that adding David Miscavige and these other defendants would force Scientology to pay a larger amount in settlement and get them to the settlement table a lot sooner based on a strategy that they believe had worked in the past in the Fishman case which is another case entirely. "Before Stacy and Jesse and I left, he told us, I think he went down in the elevator with us and walked out to the cars. He told us that, you know, we should never discuss that this meeting ever occurred in any way. "Sometime prior to my deposition Mr. Dandar said, do you remember the meeting that never happened, and I said no. And he said that's the correct answer. "Q. Did you have any discussion with Ken Dandar as to whether you had to disclose the existence of these two bank checks, the five hundred thousand and the two fifty? "A. Yes, I did. I explained to Ken Dandar that my Boston attorney, Steven Jonas, who is here in the courtroom, advised me that I should disclose those checks and Mr. Dandar said, look, I haven't disclosed these checks and you shouldn't disclose these checks. Furthermore, you know, these didn't come from you. You didn't write these checks. These came from Fred. Fred was a mythical man that Ken used to refer to me as when he wanted to talk about these checks. "MR. ROSEN: Your Honor, at this point there are four motions we would like to make. Motion number one is, I believe that this testimony is truthful, I believe that Mr. Minton has purged himself and with his commitment to cooperate and testify truthfully, it would be my recommendation that the Court withdraw its proceedings against Mr. Minton. "The second motion is for leave to file an amended complaint against Ken Dandar, the firm of Dandar & Dandar, Mr. Garko, of alleged inappropriate course of action based on the testimony you heard. "The third is a motion for disqualification of Ken Dandar and his firm and the fourth is a motion to impound to the Court records of bank depositories into which these funds were put. "We wanted to make a motion to order Mr. Dandar to immediately deposit to the Court under seal the records of the deposits, whether the depositories that money went into respecting these two checks." A second hearing was held in the Lisa McPherson civil case to address the same admissions by Bob Minton. From the St. Petersburg Times on April 20th: "For nearly five years, New England millionaire Robert Minton has bankrolled a civil lawsuit that blames the Church of Scientology for the death of Lisa McPherson. Check after check, as much as $2-million, have gone to Ken Dandar, the Tampa lawyer representing McPherson's estate in the wrongful death lawsuit. On Friday, Minton, one of Scientology's most vocal critics, sat in court and testified for the church in a related case. "'Mr. Dandar is a lying thief,' Minton said, hitting his fist on the witness box. Minton said, 'I am now of the belief Mr. Dandar is only in this for the money.' "The jaw-dropping testimony amounted to a meltdown of Scientology's opposition front. Should the church succeed, it could seriously damage the biggest remaining legal challenge from McPherson's death in the care of fellow Scientologists in 1995. "The hearing clearly touched off a storm of emotion among those who count themselves as critics of the church. Minton's close friend, Stacy Brooks, sat in the audience, red-eyed and exhausted. In his testimony, Minton said his one-time friend, former Scientologist Jesse Prince, was so angry to hear that he was testifying for Scientology that he threatened him. Then, Minton said, Prince told him: 'You have become a Scientologist.' Minton said he ordered Prince to leave and told him, 'I never want to see you again.' "Tampa attorney Luke Lirot, representing Dandar, said the entire proceeding was another effort by Scientology to derail the wrongful death lawsuit, set to go to trial in June. He described the church's case against Dandar as 'much ado about nothing.' "In testimony, Dandar said he has never asked anyone to lie, nor has he done anything inappropriate with the money Minton gave him, as was insinuated during Friday's hearing. Later, Dandar said in an interview that Minton's testimony felt like 'your father killing you.' He said he thinks the church is manipulating Minton by threatening him with a racketeering complaint. Minton's St. Petersburg attorney, Bruce Howie, denied that Minton had been threatened. "In his testimony, Minton said he'd just had enough of lying and, under the advice of his attorney, wanted to recant his false statements. Dandar, he said, had asked him to find a way to donate money to the case that could not be traced back to Minton's accounts." From the Tampa Tribune of April 21st: "Minton was never a party to the McPherson wrongful death lawsuit, and Dandar has never represented him, Minton testified. But Dandar accepted more than $2 million of Minton's money to keep the wrongful death lawsuit going, and then told Minton to lie under oath about the total amount, Minton testified. Also, Dandar persuaded Minton and others to sign sworn affidavits that bore false testimony, Minton told Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Douglas Baird. "Minton is recanting that testimony because he fears going to jail for perjury, he said on the witness stand. And he now believes Dandar is simply a greedy lawyer out to exploit McPherson's relatives by taking 40 percent of any award in the pending wrongful death litigation, Minton said. "Dandar said afterward that he believes the church has discovered something that Minton wants kept secret. He said Minton told him without explanation that if any harm came to Minton's family, Dandar would be to blame. Minton would not comment on Dandar's statements. His attorney, Bruce Howie, said Minton only wants to settle the litigation against the church and get on with his life. "Under cross-examination by Luke Lirot, who is representing Dandar, Minton invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself when asked if he was being investigated for tax evasion. "Dandar also represents the estate in the wrongful death case, pending before another judge. If Baird grants the church's request to remove Dandar in this case, he might also be removed from the wrongful death case, leaving the estate without a lawyer. Dandar could also face discipline from the Florida Bar. 'I'm fighting for my life here,' he said." Message-ID: Message-ID:

Boston Marathon

The Boston Globe reported on April 16th that Scientology attended the Boston Marathon to distribute balloons to spectators of the race. "We'd say L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics people scored a major marketing coup along Boylston by handing out 3,500 helium-filled yellow balloons from Hereford Street to Copley Square. 'We'll get at least 50 to 100 calls today,' reported one Church of Scientology disciple, who was manning the hotline number printed on the balloons." Message-ID:


Centre Magazine reported news from Scientology missions around the world. "Cindy and Joe Feshbach - Following the September 11 atrocities, Joe and Cindy teamed up with Jenna Elfman and, backed up by their staff and local Scientologists, they opened the new Mission of SoMa in San Francisco. And they just opened their third mission in Fremont; also in the San Francisco Bay area. "Anne Bruce has recently opened her mission in Redondo Beach California. As one of the newer members of the team she has gotten 560 LRH books into public hands and moved 50 public up The Bridge to higher orgs. "Mitch Talevi established a model testing center in his mission in the heart of Glendale, California. With his team he as sent over 1,200 Scientologists up The Bridge to orgs for higher services and OT levels. "Rohn Walker recently opened two Churches of Scientology in Thailand. He established a translation team in Bangkok and helped release the new edition of DMSMH in Thai. He recently opened his second mission in Bangkok near one of the largest university campuses of the country. "Rebecca Cusano has opened her second mission in Lake County, Illinois. She has truly set her sights on the expansion of Scientology of her native city of Chicago. "Eric Jay Myers opened the Mission of Staten Island in New York with over a dozen public sent to New York Org in their first month. "Tom and Cathy Steiner have opened the Mission of New Orleans. With this mission and their mission in Baton Rouge Tom and Cathy continue to spearhead Scientology in Louisiana. "Kathy Dixon and her husband and two daughters recently opened the new Portland Mission. They now have a Professional Supervisor and are actively delivering the Volunteer Ministers Course and flowing new Scientologists to their local org. "Kzyl-Orda Mission, Kazakhstan - This new mission was recently opened on the border of the massive Kyzl Kum desert in the heart of Kazakhstan. They now have a Supervisor in training in Moscow and meanwhile are busy disseminating Dianetics and delivering Book One." Message-ID:

Protest Summary

"Starshadow" reported distributing flyers in downtown Seattle this week. "Arrived downtown with fliers which spoke of IRS' secret deal with the Church of Scientology and what everyone's tax dollars are used for. Handed out about fifty of 'em before the rain decided to pour. People who read the fliers hung onto them after perusing them closely." Message-ID:


The Tampa Tribune reported on April 18th that the Scientology org in Tampa, Florida is considering a move to larger offices in a cigar factory. "The church bought the Andres Diaz building in October for $1.1 million and has inquired about other cigar buildings and houses in the neighborhood, Executive Director Sheri Payson said Wednesday. The church rents an office at 3617 Henderson Blvd. in south Tampa. The building was sold, Payson said, and the church needs to move soon. "If the church moves into the West Tampa building, it will apply for a tax exemption, Payson said. Earl Haugabook, president of the West Tampa Chamber of Commerce, doesn't like the sound of that. 'I don't feel good about them purchasing property in West Tampa,' he said. 'I know the organization and how they move into an area and use their influence, like in Clearwater. The next thing you know, they could take over West Tampa, too. We don't want that for this neighborhood.' "Payson said members will 'go door-to-door' in West Tampa and host an open house. 'We want to be open with neighbors,' Payson said, noting that she would like to speak to neighborhood groups. "City Councilwoman Mary Alvarez said she hopes the church 'won't put something controversial' in the building. 'I can't say I'm pleased about this because of the church's reputation in Clearwater,' she said. "Joseph Petralia, owner of Petralia Advertising Inc., has rented office space in the Andres Diaz building for the past four years. When the church bought the building in October, he said tenants were told the church would move in, then that told it wouldn't, then told the church would sell it. Petralia said that when his rent doubled to $2,000, he moved out. 'I don't think our cigar factories are an appropriate place for this church,' said Petralia, who lives in West Tampa. 'If they buy up our buildings, we'll lose our heritage. This is scary to me.' From the St. Petersburg Times on April 19th: "Officials with the Church of Scientology's Tampa headquarters say they probably won't relocate to an old west Tampa cigar factory building they purchased last year. Sheri Payson, executive director of the Church of Scientology of Tampa, said Thursday that moving from a cramped office on Henderson Boulevard to the brick building on Habana Avenue doesn't look likely. "'We are weighing selling the building,' Payson said. 'We are looking at possibly buying another building in the area' as a new headquarters. Payson said the church bought the Andres Diaz building in October for $1.1-million with a move in mind. But a month later, officials started talking to tenants and realized they wanted to stay. 'We started reconsidering,' she said. Church officials also realized they need about 5,000 square feet more than the 18,000 the Diaz building offers, Payson said." Message-ID: a9md59$ Message-ID: a9oqj8$

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