Week in Review Volume 4, Issue 28
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.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at
It is archived at:
> Battlefield Earth
The Dark Horizons web site carried a description from the set of
Battlefield Earth this week, the movie in production based on a book by L.
"I had reservations about this movie, Battlefield Earth based on a book
written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and of course with
Travolta's involvement, one has to think Is this an attempt to mainstream
Scientology beliefs into our movie theaters? But after reading the B.E.
script (revised and revised, I might add!) and researching this L. Ron
Hubbard person, I found that this movie is based on a great
science-fiction story! L. Ron Hubbard it seems was a ordinary writer way
back in 1930's, writing 1000's of stories for pulp magazines, mostly
science fiction. The religion of Scientology didn't seem to get started
until later in his life, and it seems just a way to make money!
Scientology does have a website for this movie WWW.BATTLEFIELDEARTH.COM. I
rank this new B.E. movie somewhere between Planet of the Apes and Star
"At exactly 11:55am I notice people coming out of their office's and sure
enough there he was! Shaking hands, hugging people, John Travolta, with
short grayish hair and goatee had arrived! He seemed to be very friendly
and accommodating to everyone. He actually looked down the hall at me and
nodded. Travolta then disappeared into one of the many offices. The rest
of the day went well, I grunted and yelled in my man-animal costume just
liked the director wanted."
Agence France Presse reported on October 1st more details on the raids in
Belgium on Scientology locations last week.
"The police have confiscated thousands of files on members of the
Scientology organization in Belgium. As related by a speaker from the
state attorney's office in Brussels on Friday, Scientology bookkeeping
documents had been also been secured on the day previous to the search and
seizure. According to the statement, no charges were immediately placed.
Several suspects were interrogated and later released. According to the
Brussels state attorney's office, the confiscated documents contained
confidential statements about members of the organization. At least five
bank accounts had been opened in Luxembourg which had a connection to the
Scientology organization. 90 million marks were said to have been
deposited in one in 1993. This account had been divided into 15
sub-accounts, with names like 'Tor' for Toronto, 'Toky' for Tokyo, 'Los'
for Los Angeles and 'Cura' for Curacao in the Dutch Antilles. This was
said to be legal, however, it aroused the suspicion that Scientology had
intended on concealing its worldwide financial structure, continued the
newspaper. Belgium is 'obligated' to also look into the finances of the
sect via Luxembourg."
> Catherine Bell
Orange Coast magazine published an interview with Scientology celebrity
Catherine Bell this week.
"I'm really passionate about Criminon. Have you heard of Narconon? Well,
I'm really interested in the criminal justice system and criminal reform.
I don't think we reform, or even to attempt to reform, criminals. We just
make them worse. We take a criminal, whether he's a first-time offender or
a hardened criminal or whatever and we throw him into a system where...
the biggest reason why most criminals become criminals is a lack of
self-respect. We take away their self-respect even more, we give them NO
respect in return, and we throw them into a system where they're just
hanging out with other criminals.
"Q: You've talked about being a Scientologist. How do you feel about the
media having this love/hate relationship with Scientology and some of the
other high-profile practitioners like Kirstie Alley, Tom Cruise and John
"CB: I'm a little tired of it. It's, like, enough already! You know, it's
a religion and we've been around for 50 years. You wouldn't say the things
about Scientology (that are said) substituting the word 'Jewish' or
'Catholic.' You would never hear those things. It would be soooo un-PC! I
had an acting teacher who was a Scientologist (Milton Katselas) and after
about eight years, I kinda started looking around and thinking, 'OK, wait
a minute... All the people that are in class who are Scientologists are
really cool! They have great relationships and their careers are going
really well, and they're doing well financially, and I started adding it
all up and going, 'Hmmmmm, what is that?!' So I took a Scientology course
called 'Personal Values and Integrity' and it really made me change some
things in my life.
"I did some auditing (exercises) to handle some auditioning problems I was
having three years ago or so, and I got to the bottom if exactly what the
fear was that made me freak out on auditions. When I did, it went away
completely. Two days later, I had my final call-back. I KNOW that if I
hadn't figured that out and done that Scientology auditing, I would have
gotten a little nervous and I just know I wouldn't have gotten it."
Events on the Clearwater city calendar were posted to a.r.s this week.
"Sep. 26. Church of Scientology Swing Fest '99, musical entertainment,
Coachman Park, 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM, call Mahriah Pearse at 423-6112 for
"Dec. 19. 11th Annual Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic, 5K and 10K runs
beginning at the Bayfront and ending on Clearwater Beach, Dianetics
Running Team Event."
News from nearby Safety Harbor that the World Literacy Crusade is
conducting a benefit auction.
"The World Literacy Crusade is having an auction of celebrity crap in
downtown Safety Harbor, FL at the famous Safety Harbor Spa. The town is on
the east side of Pinellas County, bordered by Oldsmar to the north, Tampa
Bay to the east, and Clearwater to the south and west. The spa is built
over a natural spring, and features all the usual upscale health and
beauty services, along with a not-so-healthy dose of New-Age-y stuff like
herbal wraps and reflexology. This Saturday from 7-9 pm, the WLC is
auctioning off crap donated by such luminous celebrities as John Travolta
and Tom Cruise. They've also got stuff from Tony Dungy, head coach of the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as a whole bunch of other dupes who probably
just heard 'literacy!' and said 'why not?'."
> David Miscavige
An affidavit by Scientology leader David Miscavige was posted to a.r.s
this week. It was filed in the Wollersheim case, in which Lawrence
Wollersheim is attempting to have Scientology pay a multi-million dollar
judgment, even after bankrupting the Church of Scientology of California.
"A great deal has been made of my role and authority in the Scientology
religion because of my position as RTC's Chairman of the Board. Let me
emphasize that I am not 'Chairman of Scientology.' It is RTC, as a whole,
that is responsible for the orthodoxy of the Scientology faith. It then
follows that as Chairman of RTC, its most senior executive, I am entrusted
with the ecclesiastical position that has the highest scriptural authority
within the religion. My authority derives exclusively from that position
and extends no further than RTC's mission. In summary, my job is to ensure
RTC carries out its function of assuring the orthodox and proper use of
the Scientology religious 'technology.' My duties are completely unrelated
to, and I do not participate in, the ecclesiastic governance of the many
churches of Scientology around the world. That function is performed by
Church of Scientology International.
"As Chairman of RTC, I am not the 'successor' to L. Ron Hubbard. Plaintiff
attempts to mislead the Court regarding Mr. Hubbard's and my role in the
religion. Mr. Hubbard was the Founder of the religion and the sole Source
of its Scripture. In that capacity, he will never have a 'successor.' A
primary and fundamental doctrine of our faith is that the teachings be
kept pure and that the only source of those teachings is Mr. Hubbard. When
plaintiff and his witnesses say I am 'just like L. Ron Hubbard,' that is
the highest compliment one could receive in the Scientology religion, if
their intention were to communicate that I am keeping the religion true to
his teachings. Of course, their statements are accompanied by an
inaccurate and negative description of Mr. Hubbard's character and role in
the religion. But even if that were not the case, I would still reject
their compliment as I simply am not and never will be what Mr. Hubbard was
to the religion. By way of analogy, consider an apostate Roman Catholic
claiming, in the context of litigation, that the Pope is 'just like Jesus
Christ, and assumed his role after Christ's death.' Needless to say, this
would be offensive to any Roman Catholic, as a matter of religious belief.
The Pope may be the keeper of the Roman Catholic faith, but it would be
heresy to say he was, in any manner, Christ himself.
"I do not disregard the corporate lines of authority, responsibility or
control of any church of Scientology. Contrary to the allegations of
Wollersheim's declarants, lines of corporate authority in RTC, and its
relationship to other churches of Scientology, are firm and I see to it
they remain that way. Because of these allegations, the IRS review of RTC
and all other churches of Scientology, had as a primary focus of
investigation the corporate and financial integrity of those churches.
After the most exhaustive review of any non-profit organization in
history, the IRS found such allegations to be without basis, not only with
respect to Mr. Hubbard's relationship with the churches of Scientology
when he was alive, but with respect to the relationship and integrity of
all Scientology churches since that time.
"Most offensive to me are the allegations that I or any church has taken
any steps to harass the plaintiff or his witnesses. It is I and others in
the Scientology religion who have been, and currently are being harassed
in the most despicable manner possible. I am aware that as a member of a
new and minority religion, what I am experiencing is nothing new in
history. Indeed, any prominent member of society is subject to attack and
scrutiny. As such, I do not respond to every allegation or threat leveled
at me. If I did, it is highly likely I would spend my entire life
responding to charges such as those in this case.
"One of the most frequent and most inflammatory allegations civil
litigants have made is to allege that 'Fair Game' is being practiced today
on the basis of what the GO did in the 1970's, dredging up their illicit
activities and falsely ascribing them to those responsible for the GO's
eradication. Since 1981, 1 have heard allegations of 'Fair Game' at least
a thousand times, but I had never heard the term in my life until I
encountered it in civil litigation. To this day, I have never heard the
term used inside the church. No real Scientologist would ever condone or
even consider such conduct. Wollersheim, along with his declarants, has
resorted to making such generalized 'Fair Game' allegations by falsely
ascribing GO-like conduct to the people who are responsible for ridding
Scientology of the GO. He has done so not for the purpose of substance, as
there is none to such allegations, but rather for the purpose of
stigmatizing my religion and me.
"As a final outrage, Wollersheim's attorneys - Charles O'Reilly and Leta
Schlosser - allege that I threatened them in the courthouse elevator. The
exact circumstances are these: While waiting by the elevator, I was
standing with another Scientologist. Mr. O'Reilly and Ms. Schlosser were
accompanied by a very large body guard. When the elevator doors opened, I
stood waiting for Ms. Schlosser to enter first, out of common courtesy.
O'Reilly's body guard said loudly, 'Let the midget go first,' in reference
to my size (56"). 1 ignored his comment and rode down the elevator in
silence. This incident was memorable to me given the circumstances of
having just heard Mr. O'Reilly speak about my religion in the most
offensive manner possible and about what a victim his client was due to
church 'abuse' and having those claims followed almost at once by the
astounding act of rudeness I have just described.
"This case is not merely about Larry Wollersheim attempting to collect a
judgment he achieved against CSC. The instant action is brought as part of
his anti-Scientology crusade. Wollersheim, acting through FACTNet Inc.,
his corporation which supports anti-Scientology litigants, has engaged in
a pattern of virulent attacks directed at me by exploiting a hate-filled,
anti-Scientology Internet news group. I give but just a small sampling of
some of this harassment: The anti-Scientology Internet news group - 'Alt
Religion Scientology' (ARS), was created with a posting to which my name
was forged as the author. In 1993, I was accused, in a case in which I was
not even a party, of having murdered my mother-in-law. The coroner
established that the death was not a homicide. The personal impact of such
an outrageous lie was immense for both my wife and me. In 1997, as part of
his defense of the FACTNet litigation, Wollersheim accused me of having
murdered Mr. Hubbard to obtain control of his Estate and the churches of
Scientology. He attempted to contact Mr. Hubbard's family, telling them
that they had been deceived by me into giving up their legacies since Mr.
Hubbard donated his copyrights and wealth to the religion. This was not
only harassment of me, but of Mr. Hubbard's widow and children who remain
devout Scientologists. Yet Wollersheim, a well known Scientology hater
purports to care about their husband and father's legacy.
"Wollersheim's financial backer, Robert Minton, has posted my face on the
Internet for use as target practice, has threatened to burn me in effigy
in front of church buildings, and, spurred on by Minton, other
anti-Scientologists then spoke of 'forgetting the effigy and just doing it
for real.' Prince has protested in front of our spiritual Mecca,
threatening 'Tell David I'm coming with a dick so big I'm gonna knock his
goddamn spine out.' Wollersheim has repeatedly threatened to have me sent
to prison and his attorney announced the formation of a club to have
church leaders 'buggered [sodomized] before breakfast' every day."
> Lawrence Wollersheim
Lawrence Wollersheim posted an update on his lawsuit and the status of the
"I am continuing to manage Factnet as it continues to grow. Factnet just
recently broke the 10,000,000 hit mark and has has once again focused on
Scientology education. Factnet is currently getting as many as 25,000
unique visitors per month who are learning quite a lot more about why they
do not want to give Scientology all their money to buy a mental therapy of
covert hypnosis and trance induction conned off as pastoral counseling.
"I am forcing Scientology into a court decision in LA superior court where
they will have CSI and RTC declared the legal alter-egos of the Church of
Scientology of California and that the appearance of corporate integrity
between these corporations is a sham. This undoes their past corporate
reorganization and turns all their IRS tax exempt status applications
claiming their related corporate entities are separate into a mush of
fraud that will eventually undo their tax exemptions."
Newswire dpa reported on October 2nd on the disappearance of documents
from a French court room.
"In the middle of the romantic waterway of the French capitol, the Saint
Martin Canal in the east of Paris, a picturesque, lighted houseboat sways
back and forth. The boat with the name of 'Margaux' is the temporary
residence of special commissioners from the US-based Scientology
organization. The American envoy has had the assignment of recruiting new
members in the higher centers in France. Since then the French officials,
and primarily Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou and Alain Vivien, the sect
commissioner who reports to her, have again taken up arms, so far without
success, against the organization which sees itself as a religious
community under its founder, Ron Hubbard. Since the beginning of
September, documents having to do with the Scientology trial at the
Marseille State Court have been disappearing by the pound, two weeks
before a trial of seven members of the organization, the political
leadership is standing on its head and the media are officially flailing
"Guigou described as 'very serious' the scandal in Marseille in which an
allegedly clueless court employee chased 3.5 tons of court documents into
the file shredder, among them the Scientology documents, because she
believed that the trial was already over. The presiding president of the
French National Assembly, Raymond Forni, 'Not for one second' did he
believe in an oversight, much rather the documents were to have been
intentionally taken out of circulation in order to impede the proceedings
against Scientologists who have been charged with fraud. In France, the
organization controlled at least 100 businesses, including private
schools. The number of members was said to be about 10,000.
"Sect specialist Vivien has described Scientology as 'extremely
dangerous,' but he added that the influential group could not be generally
banned due to the liberal French laws. On top of that, the Scientology
association would have to be implicated in a serious crime first,
according to a 1936 law."
Zenit News Agency reported on October 5th on French opposition to
Scientology on the Internet.
"Some 100 French internet surfers have formed a forum of international
discussion on the web from which they confront the supporters of the
Church of Scientology and attempt 'to combat the sermons of the followers
of the sect.' One of the most active members of this forum is Roger
Gonnet, a former member of the Church of Scientology and author of the
book 'The Secticide,' which distributes free, by electronic mail, secret
documents of the sect. According to Gonnet, in order to prevent the
dissemination of these documents, the scientologists have created more
than 1,500 web sites created to confuse surfers who are trying to find the
pages of the sect's detractors."
> Keith Henson
Keith Henson posted an appeal to the United States Supreme Court of his
judgment for violating the copyrights of Scientology.
"Was the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals so violative of
Petitioner's First Amendment right to freedom of speech that this Court
should exercise its power of supervision to (a) review and correct the
clearly erroneous fashion in which the statutory defense of fair use to
copyright infringement was interpreted and applied and (b)�vacate (or
order vacated) on First Amendment grounds both the wrongful injunction
against Petitioner and the punitive imposition on Petitioner of a large
statutory damages award and a large legal fees award?
"In the alternative, if the Ninth Circuit correctly interpreted and
applied existing precedents, does the First Amendment require that each of
the four factors of the statutory fair use defense to copyright
infringement instead be applied liberally in favor of an alleged infringer
when the alleged infringer has engaged in political speech and social
commentary with no effort at financial gain and when the alleged infringer
can be threatened with a punitive award of statutory damages?
"Although Petitioner had repeatedly - in his open letter to the District
Court, during the hearings on the TRO and preliminary injunctions sought
by RTC and in his pro per papers opposing RTC's motion for summary
judgment - stated that he believed that the First Amendment to the United
States Constitution protected his right to criticize the TRO issued in the
Ward action and criticize Scientology, the District Court's summary
judgment decision appeared to ignore Petitioner's First Amendment
arguments. The First Amendment went unmentioned in the court's lengthy
Memorandum order granting summary judgment to RTC.
"The jury found that Petitioner had willfully committed copyright
infringement, and awarded RTC $75,000 in so-called 'statutory damages'
under the Copyright Act. None of these damages is compensatory. All are,
in effect, punishment. Scientology has reportedly touted this $75,000
award as the largest statutory damages award ever recorded for a single
copyright infringement. As a result of his inability to pay these
judgments against him, Petitioner has filed for bankruptcy protection
under Chapter 13 of the federal bankruptcy laws.
"This case will have a severe chilling effect on both political speech
directed at the government and critical speech directed at institutions.
The chilling effect will not come from the formal opinions of the courts
below, which will continue to be hidden beneath the blanket of
non-publication. The chill will emanate instead from the tremendous
publicity that the case has received and will receive, both in the
traditional press and on the Internet, where the case was born.
"The message that has been communicated to the public by press and
Internet coverage of Petitioner's case is this: The Copyright Act is the
Arctic wind of First Amendment Rights. In the face of that wind, it does
not matter that an individual who reproduces an institution's 'secret' and
'unpublished' documents in order to make a political point has published
only a small fraction of an entire work. It does not matter that the
individual will not benefit financially from the publication. It does not
matter that the institution holding the copyright will not be commercially
harmed. It does not matter that copying a small fraction of the work
verbatim, rather than paraphrasing it, serves to give the accompanying
political comment weight and saves it from being sloughed off as
exaggeration or inaccurate paraphrase. Nothing matters except the property
rights of copyright owners."
> Protest Summary
"Fier" reported a protest this week at the Canberra, Australia org.
"Today, (Oct 7), Goombaj, Xemuson, Fier, Fier's Mother, (The sister of
Fier took Photo's and the brother of Fier hung around for moral support),
picketed The Org in Canberra, Australia, from 11:50am-2pm. About 230
flyers, (Space alien scam, insane cult, Xemu, and one of Xemuson's
creation) were handed out. Poor old Jamie joined us with an inferior sign,
covered in gibberish. One side said something about an 'axalotl', and I
cannot recall what the other side said. About the place were 'Kiddie
Clams', who spent most of the time hiving out balloons. I'd guess there
was a dozen or so about the place. The The reception of the public was
extremely good, with most either taking flyers, or congratulating us."
"AndroidCat" and "Wulfen" protested in Toronto this week.
"After a busy morning, I met Wulfen at 12:47 in front of the usual coffee
place, and we set off for a Short Sharp Picket. I had my 'shrank the
Lisa/Xemu' flyer, Wulfen had his and this time we had enough! The picket
sign was '$cientology wants your money *and* your life', but I couldn't
find the stapler, so it was just a hand-held single panel. Not a whole lot
of flyers, not a huge amount of traffic."
"The only person in the org building (that we could see) was the
receptionist, who did the usual frantic phone-calling. That, and a kid who
wandered past into the org carrying what I think was an OEC volume, who
gave me the usual thetan-evil eye. After ten minutes, two bike-mounted
police officers showed up. Turned out they were coming to check up on us
or some such thing, because of the call AndroidCat gave. The officers gave
us the usual spiel then ascertained that we were the usual crowd, went to
the doughnut shop opposite the org and ignored us.
"Then we saw it! The green minivan! With licence plates saying 'THETAN'.
Toronto not only has a Dianetics Car, it has a Thetan Minivan."
Reuters reported on October 7th that a Scientology school in Russia has
been ordered to close.
"A Russian branch of the U.S.-based Church of Scientology is threatened
with closure after a court found it guilty of teaching without a licence,
a judge said on Thursday. The Hubbard Humanitarian Association branch of
the international group fell foul of complex laws requiring all
organisations conducting teaching courses to obtain a permit. 'The court
has declared the registration illegal and ordered the founders to
liquidate their organisation,' Judge Oleg Denisevich of Ostankinsky
District Court told Reuters. Alexei Danchenkov at the Hubbard Humanitarian
Centre admitted the group had made some minor errors when applying for a
permit in 1993, but said these had been corrected in 1997. The doors to
Moscow's Hubbard Humanitarian Association do not risk being shut until
after the group has had a chance to appeal to a higher court in the next
From The Associated Press on October 8th:
"In the latest move against a foreign religious group, a court today
revoked the license of the Moscow center of the Church of Scientology
because of problems with its registration papers. Prosecutors said they
began investigating the Humanitarian Hubbard Center after receiving dozens
of complaints from parents about attempts to influence their children. The
license was revoked because names that appeared on the registration
documents were found to have no connection to the center, officials said."
From The Moscow Times on October 8th:
"The Moscow center of the Church of Scientology, a controversial
international organization, has lost its license after a city district
court ruled that the group's registration documents were not in order. The
Humanitarian Hubbard Center, which has been operating in Moscow for six
years, said Wednesday's ruling was politically motivated and part of a
Russian Orthodox Church effort to limit the influence of other faiths.
Prosecutors say they first began looking into the center's activities
about two years ago after receiving dozens of complaints from parents
about the Scientologists' methods of teaching their children. Earlier this
year, the city prosecutor's office and the tax police raided the center's
office in northeast Moscow, confiscating boxes of paperwork. 'We examined
their documentation and found they had broken the law when registering,'
Yevgeny Manerkin of the prosecutor's office said Thursday.
"In the registration documents submitted to the Justice Ministry, three of
the 10 people listed as founders of the center were found to have no
connection to it at all, Manerkin said."