Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 4
5/4/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
in the newsgroup before expiring them.
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Note: This issue contains articles from the past two weeks of
> Leipzig Award
CNET News published an article on May 1st on the award of the Leipzig
Human Rights Award to Xenu.net creator Andreas Heldal-Lund.
"A critic of the Church of Scientology, Andreas Heldal-Lund, has received
a human rights award for maintaining his Web page despite repeated legal
attacks from church officials. Heldal-Lund, a Norwegian citizen who
operates the Operation Clambake Web site, is the fourth recipient of the
Leipzig Human Rights Award. Church of Scientology officials have tried to
silence Heldal-Lund by, among other things, asking Google and the Internet
archive site Archive.org to pull links to his site, claiming that material
on its pages violates church copyrights."
The East Grinstead Courier reported on March 7th that Criminon is planning
an evaluation of its programs with the University of Kent.
"Criminon, based in Lewes Road, runs a number of correspondence courses
for prisoners, and its work is to be evaluated by senior lecturer in law
at the University of Kent at Canterbury, Dr Deborah Cheney. 'We've been up
and running for seven years doing this,' said Criminon executive director
Susan Chalmers. 'We would very much like to take it to the next level,
which would be actually running courses inside prison. But to do that, you
need to have a proven success rate - and this work is very difficult to
"She said the ideal way to research a programme like this would be to
evaluate the recidivism rates of people who have completed the Criminon
programme, in other words, working out how many Criminon 'graduates'
commit crimes after being released from prison. Dr Cheney's idea is to
look at the disciplinary records of prisoners, and see if there is any
improvement once a prisoner has begun the Criminon correspondence course.
'If this proves successful,' Mrs. Chalmers said, 'we can then move forward
to an in-house programme where it can then be evaluated for recidivism.'
"Criminon is part of an international organisation which uses the works of
L. Ron Hubbard to address the main factors behind offending. Programmes
are running in prisons in countries as diverse as South Africa, the USA,
Hungary, Israel and Mexico. 'Certainly in no way do we want it to be
solely staffed by scientologists,' she said. 'My goal is for the
organisation to eventually act like a sort of quality control, ensuring
that it is run with the original philosophy.
"About 10 prisoners register with Criminon every week. Eight courses are
on offer, beginning with The Way to Happiness - a 21 point 'common sense
guide to better living'. After this, more specific courses can be taken,
including parenting skills and drug awareness. Criminon operates out of
about two thirds of prisons in the country, and its take-up rate appears
to be almost equal between men and women."
> Search Engines
Tory Christman reported that an Scientologists are being asked to email
search engines to ask that web sites critical of Scientology be removed.
"They are supposed to say things like: 'Scientologists have suffered
personal violence and bloodshed in Europe and the USA. Potentially violent
and unstable people get their fuel from others hate-speech. Do you want an
incident of violence traced to a hate-site found by your search engine?'
"'This issue is absolutely not a matter of 'free speech' or 'showing both
sides of a controversial subject.' One is not free to incite violence, to
fuel hatred, or yell 'fire!' in a crowded theatre. These hate sites
actively seek to ruin others' lives and businesses, then hide behind 'free
speech.' Scientologists with excellent work records have been fired or
lost their businesses when hate-media mentioned them as Scientologists or
stirred up ignorant anti-Scientology hysteria. Do you want those economic
repercussions traced to your search engine?'
"'Hate sites for other religions, other persuasions are omitted from
search results -- as they should be! It's prejudicial to include
hate-sites that denigrate Scientology. (Please find another example
besides Judaism; it gets overloaded as a comparison point.)'
"They are to send their emails to:
> In Memoriam
The Buffalo News reported on April 21st that Marie Bolt, a staff member of
the Buffalo org, has passed away.
"A memorial service for Marie R. Bolt, of the Town of Tonawanda, will be
held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Church of the Nativity United Church of
Christ, 1530 Colvin Blvd., Town of Tonawanda. Mrs. Bolt died April 16th of
injuries suffered in an auto accident in Oak Hill, WV, while traveling
with her family. She was 48.
"In 2002, she joined the staff of the Church of Scientology, where she was
a ministerial counselor in training. She was active as a Girl Scout troop
leader and a member of the Kenmore East High School Band Parent Council."
> Montel Williams
CHADD (Children and Adults with ADD) published an open letter to TV talk
show host Montel Williams protesting a recent appearance by Scientology
celebrities on his show, in which they promoted Scientology's theories of
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
"As the director of communications and media relations of CHADD, the
nation's leading support and advocacy organization serving individuals
with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, I am writing to express my
astonishment and supreme disappointment in your biased, inaccurate, and
unequivocally damaging program entitled, 'A Parents Right to Choose.' By
featuring the panelists you did - individuals who vocally decry the
existence of AD/HD - you not only offered 'no right to choose,' you
unquestionably deterred and prevented millions of families from seeking,
obtaining and securing the help and medical treatment they or their
children may need in order to manage their AD/HD and live successful and
"Irresponsibly tossing around untruths and inaccuracies is a tactic
designed to startle and scare the American public, one spearheaded largely
by a wealthy organization with Hollywood celebrities who claim that AD/HD
and other childhood mental disorders do not exist. Anyone familiar with
your featured panel knows that several of your guests are reported to be
members of the Citizens' Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), an affiliate
founded by the Church Scientology, and well recognized for its anti
psychiatry rhetoric. It was a one-sided panel, a one-sided show, and a
one-sided case of journalistic irresponsibility at its height. Shame on
you, Mr. Williams, for not recognizing junk science when it's staring you
in the face.
"Tather than citing the vast body of research validating the existence of
and devastation of untreated AD/HD, you and your panelists cited no
credible research at all. Instead, you mocked the medical community,
referred to stimulant medication as 'kiddie cocaine,' compared
psychiatrists to drug lords and, in general, violated every possible rule
of sound and responsible journalism that you had an obligation to provide
to your viewers.
"Perhaps most glaring was the complete omission of well-documented
clinical studies demonstrating the effectiveness of stimulant and other
psychotropic medications when appropriately administered. Not one was
referenced; not one was included. No one will dispute that unnecessarily
placing a child on medication is deplorable. But the greater travesty is
delaying proper diagnosis and effective treatment for those who truly need
it. The sad truth is that many more children with mental disorders slip
unrecognized past the gatekeepers of mental health services than those who
are improperly diagnosed.
Director of Communications & Media Relations
> Lisa Marie Presley
The Daily Record newspaper from Glasgow, Scotland reported on May 1st that
Scientology celebrity Lisa Marie Presley has been receiving therapy from
John Travolta in the wake of her divorce from Nicolas Cage.
"John Travolta has been giving 'therapy sessions' to Lisa Marie Presley,
who is trying to get over the collapse of her marriage to Nic Cage. The
actor has been passing on Scientology tips on how to find her true
soulmate. Travolta became pals with her mum Priscilla Presley after
helping her cope after the death of Elvis."