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

Volume 7, Issue 36 - December 8 2002


The Buffalo News reported on December 6th that Scientology has accepted a buy-out offer to allow the org building to be demolished and replaced with a parking garage ramp. "A long-festering property dispute between the City of Buffalo and the Church of Scientology has come to an end, clearing the way for expansion of the downtown Owen P. Augspurger Parking Ramp. Church officials have accepted the city's purchase offer of $740,000 for its building at 43 W. Huron St., at the corner of Franklin Street, and in exchange will drop the federal lawsuit they filed against the city in early October. "The $740,000 purchase agreement is the result of continued negotiations between lawyers for the city and the church, which moved the city off its original offer of $425,000, the value placed on the property by city appraisers. An appraisal done on behalf of the church put the value at $650,000. The $740,000 is said to cover not only the value of the building, but also the expenses the church will incur to relocate. Under terms of the purchase agreement, which requires approval by the Common Council, the church will have the right to stay on as a tenant of the building through April. The extended tenancy will give the church additional time to find a new home while Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, which will oversee the ramp expansion, moves through the design approval process." Message-ID: kymI9.1057$

John Travolta

The St. Petersburg Times reported on December 4th that Scientology celebrity John Travolta has parked his private jet plane at the St. Petersburg Clearwater airport while he takes courses at Flag Land Base. "That Qantas airplane parked at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport? Nope, there are no plans for a nonstop service to Sydney, Australia. The Boeing 707 visible to traffic passing by on Roosevelt Boulevard belongs to actor/aviation buff John Travolta. "Travolta is simply in town for religious services at the Church of Scientology's spiritual center in downtown Clearwater, said church spokesman Ben Shaw. Travolta arrived with his flight crew about a week ago, said Thomas Jewsbury, director of operations for the airport. An accomplished pilot, Travolta flies his jetliner into St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport every few months so he can attend religious services. But this time, the plane bears a distinctive red Qantas logo, and it's parked in a more visible part of the airfield." Message-ID: 5FoH9.980$


RTE reported on December 3rd that a former Scientologist is suing Scientology for psychological injuries while she was a member. "A Dublin woman who claims she was brainwashed by a cult has begun a High Court legal action for damages. 40-year-old sports shop owner Mary Johnson from Westwood, Foxrock, was a member of the Church of Scientology for two years between 1992 and 1994. She is now suing the organisation because of the experiences and pressures she claims she suffered while a member and the threats and intimidation when she tried to leave. "In the High Court today her lawyer Sean Ryan said the evidence in the case will show how she was sucked into the organisation and subjected to processes and procedures which brought her under its control and influence. It is claimed she suffered psychiatric and psychological injuries and post traumatic stress disorder. She was introduced of Scientology in 1992 when she was upset after a relationship break-up." From The Irish Examiner on December 4th: "Dundalk-born Mary Johnson, 40, who has a sports equipment shop at Westwood, Foxrock, is also suing three members of the church: John Keane, Tom Cunningham and Gerard Ryan. In the High Court yesterday, Sean Ryan SC for Ms Johnson, said she was 'sucked in' by the organisation which brought her under its control and influence. Efforts were made to prevent her leaving the organisation, to silence her and to devalue her. The court was also told efforts had been made to intimidate her and to prevent her suing. "Ms Johnson had suffered psychological, psychiatric injuries, panic attacks and post traumatic stress disorder, together with loss of short term memory and that condition had been exacerbated by the subsequent illegitimate conduct of the defendants. The story began in 1992 when Ms Johnson was emotionally upset after splitting with her boyfriend. She knew one of the defendants, Tom Cunningham, a member of the Church of Scientology, who introduced her to 'dianetic auditing' of form of amateur psychoanalysis. Mr Cunningham continually suggested Ms Johnson should go to the church's Dublin mission in Middle Abbey Street and have a personality test so that she could become involved in Scientology. "The tests involved money and Ms Johnson was not well off. Under pressure she signed up for a 'purification run down' an introduction to the church at a cost of 1,200 pounds. Ms Johnson was required to do a medical examination and was sent to a Scientologist described as a doctor. She spent long periods in saunas and was told this was purification. People such as this were described as 'raw meat' by L Ron Hubbard, the church's founder. In March 1994, she started a 'Hubbard Dianetic Auditing' course in Dublin and continued at Saint Hill Foundation in Britain. "In December, a team of recruiters from Saint Hill came to Dublin and she was asked how she was going to further her studies. She said she could not afford further payments and was told she should go to her friends or sell her business. She gave another 100 pound deposit for a course on a ship in the Caribbean and subsequently signed a contract for one billion years to work for Scientology." From the Irish Times on December 7th: "A woman who is suing the Church of Scientology was photographed by a man while she was on a licensed premises early last year, the High Court was told yesterday. Ms Mary Johnston said that incident occurred in January/February 2001. Ms Johnston, who operates a sports equipment centre at Westwood, Foxrock, Dublin, also said a friend had told her in her shop earlier that a man had been on the premises and had made derogatory remarks about her. Her attention was later drawn by a work colleague to a man in the bar area of the Westwood centre. The man was queuing up to buy something and then sat by the window and photographed her. "Ms Johnston said she had a disposable camera which she gave to a friend, Ms Catherine Hamilton, who took a picture of the man, which she produced in court. The man had stared at her for about 10 minutes. She followed the man out to the car park and he jumped a wall. She took a mental note of the registration of a car he was driving and called garda. The man concerned had come into her shop on a number of occasions. "After leaving the Church, Ms Johnston said she had nightmares, sleeplessness and anxiety attacks, which she had not experienced before. Asked by Mr Michael Cush SC, one of her legal team, whether, in the two years after leaving the Church, she had ever felt free of it or scientologists, she said she did not. From May 1994, having left Scientology, Ms Johnston said she lived in dread and fear because she knew what she had told the movement in confidence 'risked being breached.' She believed her private life in some way was going to become public. Towards October, she began to have very bad and prolonged headaches and was dizzy. She went to a doctor. She linked the headaches to Scientology. "She was invited to speak at a meeting in Clonliffe College in late 1994. Afterwards, a letter was sent by Mr Gerard Ryan to Stephen O'Brien, a journalist then with the Irish Independent. The letter came into her possession shortly afterwards. When she read it she was gutted because she knew then that the fears she had were well founded. She was grieved by what she read and she also felt betrayed. "Mr Michael Collins SC, for the defendants, opened his cross-examination of Ms Johnston by reading a nine-page article about Scientology, written by Prof Brian Wilson, of Oxford University. Ms Johnston agreed this was a reasonable summary of what Scientologists believed." Message-ID: Message-ID: SJoH9.981$ Message-ID: exmI9.1056$

Los Angeles

The New York Daily News, December 5th that the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles will be holding a Christmas benefit event. "The high priests of Scientology are no doubt regretting that loyal follower Lisa Marie Presley wasn't able to coax her soon-to-be-ex husband, Nicolas Cage, into the church. But other regulars at Scientology's Celebrity Center in L.A. are still making merry. "Among those due to join the center's 'Christmas Stories X' benefit tomorrow and Saturday are Leah Remini, Anne Archer, Erika Christensen, Juliette Lewis, Danny Masterson and Lynsey Bartilson. The money will go to the Hollywood Police Activities League's Christmas party for underprivileged children and inner-city youth programs." The Burbank Leader reported on December 7th that Scientology has donated housekeeping baskets to a local domestic violence shelter. "The Women's Auxiliary of the Church of Scientology has provided the Glendale YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter with Housekeeping Baskets filled with laundry soap, sponges, bleach, trash bags and other items. Carol Austin, Scientology Auxiliary Projects director, and Kim Balecha, executive secretary of the Church of Scientology Mission in Glendale presented the baskets to Yvette Romero, YWCA director of shelter programs." Message-ID: N_HI9.1081$ Message-ID:

Montel Williams

An episode of the Montel Williams television show promoted Scientology celebrity Kelly Preston and the book Clear Body, Clear Mind. A summary by "Bat Child." "Kelly talked about how her and Travolta's son Jett got very ill with what was eventually diagnosed as Kawasaki syndrome, and how it turns out it was brought on by chemicals from having their carpet cleaned, plus pesticides that somehow got in the house from outside. Then Montel holds up a copy of Hubbard's 'Clear Body, Clear Mind', which is the book that Kelly recommends people read to learn how to clear themselves from toxins they may have been exposed to. Montel then says that Kelly has provided a free copy of the book to everyone in Montel's studio audience. "Kelly then talks about doing the Purification Program, and how when she did this, her jaw started getting numb, apparently from Novocain she had gotten years ago when she had some dental work done! Also, she talked about how when she was a young girl she wore some kind of swimsuit that had a slit in it, and how she got sunburned where the slit was while wearing it, and then when she did this 'purification', the old sunburn showed up on her skin again in the same slit pattern! Then they had Michael Wisner on talking about exposure to chemicals, and he also mentions 'Clear Body, Clear Mind.'" Message-ID:


The Intelligencer reported on December 3rd that a town council in Marmora, Canada has rejected a zoning application for Scientology's Narconon program. "Before a town hall packed with close to 125 people, council here unanimously denied a rezoning application that would allow a former motel to house a drug treatment centre. The move followed a special rezoning hearing Monday night, called to allow those opposed and in favour of allowing Narconon to legally continue in the former Treelawny Hotel. The establishment of a Narconon facility in Marmora has caused huge rifts in segments of the community, 40 km northwest of Belleville. "After almost two hours of public deputations regarding the application, council, in a recorded vote of 4-0 voted in favor of denying the application to rezone the site. On one side, proponents of the endeavor - six of whom were from the Toronto area - told of the benefits of the program and attempted to dispel rumours that Narconon would not only bring an influx of criminal activity to the area, but that the operation is an attempt by the Church of Scientology to infiltrate the region. "In opposition, Marmora residents - who presented a petition with more than 350 names of locals opposed to the application - rallied against the establishment, saying the program would have a negative effect on the area by effectively labeling the region a 'drug treatment centre' for outsiders. "'We will be taking this to the Ontario Municipal Board,' pledged Penny Luthra following the decision. During the meeting, her father Devinder - a devout Sikh - said he bought the property because he 'wanted to bring peace and harmony and revenue to this town.' 'I am not a Scientologist. I am not a part of Scientology,' the Toronto businessman added. 'I like the way they treat their patients. I want to do some good work for this society.' A number of Scientology and Narconon supporters insisted Narconon is an arm's length organization of Scientology. Reverend Al Buttnor of the Office of Public Affairs of the Church of Scientology rose to say what was before council 'was only a zoning issue,' and councillors were not called to make a judgment either on Narconon or Scientology. "Local Ted Bonter said the establishment of Narconon 'contributes nothing to the betterment of this community,' and suggested Devinder reopen the facility as a motel. 'This thing has evolved from under the table - it was a smoke-screen from the beginning, and is tonight,' he said as the room filled with applause. Stuart Newton said the community 'does not want to be known as a drug treatment centre,' to outsiders." Message-ID:

Lisa McPherson

A prayer for Lisa McPherson to commemorate her death at Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel was held on December 7th at the Nikolai Church in Leipzig, Germany. "Rev. Gandow: On December 5, 1995 a 'Church of Scientology' vehicle drive up to the New Port Richey Hospital north of Clearwater, Florida. The driver explained to the doctor on emergency duty that he had a seriously ill woman. What he had with him, however, was only a body in bad condition. The woman was emaciated and dehydrated. Her body was covered with bruises, sores and cockroach bites. "It is certain that she was being treated with an 'Introspection Rundown,' in which none of her tenders were to speak with her or answer her questions. In a state medical examination, her death was spoken of as an extreme case of dehydration. It was said that Lisa McPherson had received no water for 5 to 10 days prior to her death. Scientology pressured the mother of the deceased to cremate the body as soon as possible. The mother was told Lisa had gotten sick in the afternoon and had rapidly deteriorated, then was brought to the hospital, that it was fast-acting 'meningitis.' "This, as in six previous years, is to remember the death of Lisa McPherson and pray for those victims who, in their search for total freedom, have found death as victims of a malicious totalitarian organization. Today, on this international day of remembrance for Lisa McPherson, we, as Christians, want to pray for justice and for God's peace for the victims of Scientology. Let us not forget to pray for ourselves, either, that we may receive hope and courage, for the courage to guard our human freedom and dignity and the freedom and dignity of all on earth as if it were our own. For the hope that more people and more politicians will gain the courage they need to resist tyranny, wherever tyranny appears, and in spite of the threats and promises accompanying it. "We ask consideration for all those suffering unjustly in state prisons and in punitive and concentration camps all over the world, as well as for those in private punitive and reeducation camps, and in the isolation arranged by Scientology in Europe and American, for all those who are prevented from leading lives of physical wholesomeness, human dignity, self-determination and freedom. We also pray for all victims of terror and tyranny, of violence and force, whose blood cries to God from the Earth." Tilman Hausherr reported on the event. "It was very nice and tasteful. I believe that the family would have liked it. One segment summarized the wishes and the feelings of Lisa from the time she was alive very well. There were about 20-30 people sitting, i.e. participating. Additionally, a few hundred came in and out to visit the church, which is a major tourist attraction, and which was not closed while the service took place." Message-ID: Pine.LNX.3.96.1021207112341.112A-100000@darkstar.zippy Message-ID:

Protest Summary

Jens Tingleff reported a Lisa McPherson memorial event in London on December 7th. "In memory of Lisa McPherson, eight international SPs gathered outside the Tottenham Court Rd org. I spent the time handing out leaflets. After having had the attendant police warn off an over-eager Sea Ogre, I distributed probably a good one hundred leaflets. I found that all I had to do to get rid of leaflets was to say 'a-GAINST Scientology,' and I'd get a smile and an occasional taker for the leaflets. "John R. did his usual unrelenting stint at the microphone, and we had enough leafletters to hold our own against the clams. The Scientologists were using their usual leafletting tactics of either standing in people's way and thrusting the rubbish into their hands, or stand by and weakly say 'free magazine?' In spite of the seriously chilly winds, we held out for long enough to pretty much run out of leaflets, and we repaired to the local pub." Mike Krotz reported a candlelight vigil in Clearwater on December 7th. "A quiet and respectful candlelight vigil took place in Clearwater, in memory of Lisa McPherson. Present were myself and 'Charlie.' The vigil lasted from about 6:30 pm until about 8:20 pm. We were on the corner of Osceola and Pierce Streets, which had significant road and foot traffic due to road detours from construction in the area. "I noticed that I was being watched by a person stationed on the 2nd floor balcony of the Ft. Harrison for the entire time I was standing alone on the corner. After Charlie arrived, the person on the balcony seemed to be busy on the cell phone, and was soon joined by two others. "As the intent of this vigil was to honor Lisa and not to make a scene or statement, we had no signs and handed out no fliers. We concluded with a walk up the sidewalk and back again across the street on the West side of the Ft. Harrison. We had discussed that as being the last thing to do before ending the vigil, and as we talked at the corner after the walk, both of our candles were blown out by the wind. We took that as a good omen and ended the vigil." Tory Christman reported a protest in Los Angeles on December 7th. "A bunch of us gathered in LA to have both a picket, and then a vigil in honor of Lisa McPherson, who died at the hands of Scientology and their medical malpractice. Mark Bunker joined us for lunch and later helped film our Candlelight vigil. All in all we were in full about 10 people, from four different states. We decided to begin picketing by the HGB (Hollywood Guarantee Building) where Int Management is. As we strolled back and forth people gladly stopped and took our flyers. Many told us they already knew how bad Scientology is, so we suggested they pass on the flyers to others. "While we were talking Benetta Slaughter came up to Jeff Jacobsen who was holding the big sign. She told him he never really knew Lisa. He was amazed to see her. I told him later that is always what we used to say to people. Also a lady who is the head PR for Europe came by. We stayed out in front of the Int building for two hours, picketing, passing out flyers, and just talking with people. "From there we headed down to the Scientology Testing Center. Barb and Richard had come up from Riverside, and Jeff was here from Phoenix. A few others had come from different areas and this was their first picket. As we walked back and forth, I knew two of the OT's handing out flyers promoting the Free Personality test. One used to be (and may still be) the ED of LA org. She and her friend just laughed at me, saying 'Oh Tory' as I walked up. Do they have ANY clue why I left? Do they even see it as weird that they don't even want to ask why? "Kay Connally (head of PR, esp. for L. Ron Hubbard) was there running the Winter Wonderland. She sneered at me. I finally said, 'Hi Kay.' She turned around and said, 'I thought I told you last year not to hurt the kids.' I told her, 'I'm not hurting any kids. What you said last year is YOU would get my money back that Scientology owes to me, and you still have not.' She ran off while I was saying that. We stayed there for about one more hour, and then took a break. "Finally as it turned dark, we headed back to the HGB for the Candlelight Vigil for Lisa. We each lit our candles, and said something in honor of this lovely woman who died so needlessly. May she rest in peace, and hopefully our day of communication will help others not get snagged up in this 'religion' where you can get in, but you can't get out!" Message-ID: Message-ID: Message-ID: 5sEI9.49304$

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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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