Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 21
8/25/2002 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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The St. Petersburg Times reported on August 23rd that Scientology has made
a donation to the Clearwater Fire Department.
"A new ceremonial unit of the Clearwater Fire Department will now be fully
uniformed, thanks to a $3,300 contribution from the Church of
Scientology's Volunteer Ministers. City manager Bill Horne, who was asked
by the fire chief to okay the donation presented to firefighters Thursday,
said he thinks this is the first monetary donation Scientologists ever
have made to the city.
"Thursday morning, uniformed firefighters stood alongside Scientologists
and accepted an oversized check. The fire department's special new unit,
called an Honor Guard, was created in May following the Sept. 11 attacks
and at the urging of firefighter Doug Swartz, a former Marine who
coordinated an Honor Guard for the Pasco County Fire Department before
becoming a Clearwater firefighter last year. Clearwater's Honor Guard will
participate in parades and ceremonial functions such as color guard duties
at sporting events and funerals for fallen firefighters.
"To get the Honor Guard started, the fire department initially chipped in
$6,000. Swartz figured that would be enough; he anticipated no more than
five or six firefighters would volunteer for the special detail. Instead,
11 firefighters joined. The department's money paid for dress hats, pants,
shirts, shoes and ascots. But to be fully dressed out, the Honor Guard
needed blue, double-breasted jackets with brass buttons.
"The Church of Scientology's Volunteer Ministers, which sent more than 100
members to ground zero to assist firefighters in their rescue and cleanup
efforts, was eager to help, said Sarah Gorgone, the volunteer ministry
coordinator for Tampa Bay. The Volunteer Ministers learned of the Honor
Guard's need from the fire department's union president, John Lee. Gorgone
said church staffer, Sophie Bartczak -- who has several times taken
doughnuts and flowers to the fire station -- bumped into Lee on the street
recently and Lee mentioned the Honor Guard needing some help.
"Horne said the donation should not be viewed as a failure by the city to
provide the department enough money. The Honor Guard is an auxiliary
activity, he said, and no request was ever made to the city to further
Ddp-nrw reported on August 7th that Scientology front groups have been
more active in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.
"Scientology continues to be active in Nordrhein-Westfalen, but operates
mainly through front groups. After its internationally orchestrated
negative publicity campaign against the Federal Republic of Germany in the
1990s, the organization has had a change of strategy and is conducting its
business from the sidelines, reported the cult commissioner of the
Evangelical Church in Rheinland, Andrew Schaefer.
"The organization had already been using a 'shunting system' in public to
gain new members and become socially acceptable. He said that lately the
organization has been boosting its sub-organization KVPM (the German
equivalent of CCHR) as a self-help group in opposition to use of Ritalin.
"The cult commissioner's impression is that these self-help groups are
then used to further the real objectives of the Scientology organization.
He said there are plenty of other sub-divisions of Scientology that do
this sort of thing, like NARCONON and CRIMINON for alleged drug therapy
and social re-integration programs. He said that there were several
companies in the greater Cologne and Duesseldorf vicinities that used mild
pressure on their employees to take Scientology courses. He said members
of the Duesseldorf State Assembly regularly received mail from
Scientology, and that there was a danger that the organization could gain
influence over the long term."
> Lisa McPherson
The estate of Lisa McPherson filed a final argument to oppose
Scientology's request to dismiss the civil case over her death, or to
remove Ken Dandar, attorney for the estate. Scientology claims that he has
asked witnesses to lie in the case.
"The Defendants' entire foundation for this proceeding was the direct
examination of Robert S. Minton. Minton, weakly supported and sometimes
contradicted by his mistress, Stacy Brooks, failed to carry the day for
his handlers, the Church of Scientology. His motive for testifying falsely
was solely his desire to meet the Scientology demands of making the Lisa
McPherson case 'go away' before Scientology would consider 'disengagement'
of its continuous 'noisy investigation' of Minton, his family, his
friends, and his business associates. The 'noisy investigation' is part of
the Church of Scientology's written policies on practicing extortion to
force its enemies to 'sue for peace.'
"Thus, Minton seeks personal benefit from his testimony. However, when
questioned on the identical subject matter on cross-examination, Minton
suddenly clammed up and began steadfastly invoking his Fifth Amendment
privilege against self-incrimination in order to erect a wall of
incontrovertibility around his testimony on direct, completely thwarting
the purpose of cross-examination, robbing Plaintiff of the chance to
impeach Minton's testimony on direct, and making a mockery of the
"Since Minton pled the Fifth Amendment and has refused to identify the
name of the financial institution originating the two UBS checks in
question, all of his testimony must be stricken. Minton is Scientology's
agent and witness and is in the position of a claimant, i.e., seeking
affirmative relief for Scientology, by bringing his claim as agent for
Scientology against Plaintiff's counsel alleging subornation of perjury.
"The defendants have failed to meet their burden of proof to establish
fraud on the court or any violation of the Rules Regulating the Florida
Bar. The allegations against the Estate and its counsel are the result of
extortion and pursuant to an illegal and unethical agreement between
admitted perjurers, Robert Minton and Stacy Brooks, and the Church of
Scientology. The evidence conclusively shows that the defendant church and
its counsel have engaged in extortion to attempt to achieve its obvious
purpose: dismissal of this case to save it from liability for monetary
damages, bad publicity in the failure of its tech, and responsibility for
the death of its member.
"The evidence reveals that Samuel Rosen and Monique Yingling are directly
involved in the extortion of Minton, and through Minton, the extortion of
the Estate and its counsel. The notes of the first two meetings with
confirmatory testimony by church counsel, Monique Yingling, establishes
without reasonable doubt that Minton and Brooks were indeed threatened and
made to falsely accuse Dell Liebreich and her counsel of engaging in
criminal activity so that this case would 'go away.'
"Minton and Brooks allege that they have decided to recant their perjury
because they wanted to 'set the record straight' as demanded by
Scientology, so that they can settle with Scientology. Yet, in all three
sets of these meeting records of church counsel and Minton counsel, there
is not one mention of setting the record straight. Minton and Brooks went
to Yingling and Rinder of the church and had them help them with their
second 'recantation affidavits.' Scientology hand delivered to them stacks
of transcripts highlighted or otherwise marked that Scientology wanted
Minton and Brooks to address in their recantations.
"Scientology has the burden of proof. It is totally relying upon the
credibility of two admitted perjurers, Minton and Brooks. No one else
supports the lies told by these two witnesses. This court on numerous
occasions has stated that the court will refer Minton and Brooks to the
state attorney for prosecution. The defendants and their counsel are
implicated in this fraud upon the court since it was Scientology who met
in private with these witnesses, who asked that their counsel not attend."
> Joan Wood
The St. Petersburg Times reported on August 23rd that Dr. Joan Wood has
denied that Scientology influenced her decision to make herself
unavailable for testimony as the former Medical Examiner of Pinellas and
Pasco counties, in Florida.
"She dodged subpoenas to testify in murder cases about autopsies. She
didn't answer her phone or knocks on her front door. To this day, defense
attorneys can't locate her. But on Thursday, Wood appeared for the second
straight day at a conference of state medical examiners in Gainesville.
The appearance comes even as she still insists to prosecutors she is
unable to testify in a handful of ongoing cases because of health problems
caused by 25 years of job stress. Wood, 58, plans to launch a pathology
consulting business by the end of next month.
"In her first interview since her departure, Wood discussed years of
overwhelming job stress that still keeps her out of court. That included
the stress of one of her last high-profile cases, her reversal on the
cause of death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, who died in 1995 after 17
days in church custody. McPherson's death became a focus for critics of
the church. Wood ruled McPherson died of complications from dehydration.
But in 2000, she ruled the death accidental, and charges of abuse of a
disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license were dropped.
Wood said Thursday that her decision was based on facts, not pressure from
"'Scientology didn't get to me,' she said flatly. 'I have some bad stress
that I'm not yet able to cope with,' Wood said during a 40-minute
interview. 'I have panic attacks whenever I go into a courtroom. It's
something I can't face yet.' Wood blames her stress on all the violence,
death and weighty decisionmaking of 25 years on the job.
"In the Lisa McPherson case, the church 'hounded' her office during the
criminal case with unending paperwork requests and subpoenas, she said.
After the reversal, she felt the heat from the other side. Prosecutor Doug
Crow warned Wood that he was releasing a report critical of her decision.
Wood said she asked Crow if she and prosecutors could 'still be friends.'
'He told me, 'I don't know if that's possible,'' Wood said. 'Their
reaction shocked me.'"
> Drug Free Marshals
The Miami Herald reported on August 18th that Scientology's Drug Free
Marshals are sponsoring an art and essay contest.
"The Drug-Free Marshals program, sponsored by the Church of Scientology
and inspired by author L. Ron Hubbard, is holding an art and essay contest
open to children 6 to 14. The contest runs through Oct. 1. The program
encourages children to be drug-free and to assist friends and family to do
the same through special projects including essay and art contests,
cleanup campaigns and talks with law enforcement officials. The topic for
the contest is 'How I Can Help Create A Drug-Free Community.'"
> In Memoriam
The Los Angeles Times reported on August 20th that Scientologist Marie
Nollenberger has passed away.
"Marie Pauline Nollenberger, 95, died Aug. 16 in Glendale. She was born
June 20, 1907, in Hoag Corner, N.Y. She was a Glendale resident for 79
years. She was a crossing guard for the city of Glendale and was a member
of several organizations including: Order of Eastern Star; Daughters of
the Nile; White Shrine; Beausant; Amaranth; P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter
Number KO; Oriental Shrine. She was the Matron Order of the Eastern Star
in 1948 and the Worthy High Priestess of the White Shrine in 1990. She was
also a member of the Church of Scientology in La Crescenta."
> OT Ambassadors
International Scientology News reported the accomplishments of the OT
"The six South African OT Ambassadors delivered 100 events and OT
briefings, moving 35 pre-OTs onto their next step and helping to make 220
Grade Chart Completions. The ten Australian OT Ambassadors moved 280
Scientologists onto their next step and helped triple the number of OT s
made in AOSH ANZO to 267 The seven Canadian OT Ambassadors moved four
times as many Pre OT s onto their next step compared to the year before
and helped Scientologists achieve 296 Grade Chart completions. The 20
United Kingdom OT Ambassadors teamed up to double the number of Clears and
Pre OT s onto their next step. And they increased the number of those
started on Solo NOT s by seven times over the previous year.
"The 88 European OT Ambassadors cover 13 nations. Outstanding are the 11
Italian Ambassadors who held 128 events and briefing, doubling the number
of Scientologists onto OT levels, in just three months. Overall, Italian
Ambassadors moved 917 Scientologists onto their next step. Combined,
European Ambassadors tripled the number of OT events delivered, moved 300
Clears onto their next step and helped accomplish 1,042 Grade Chart
"The 16 Mexican OT Ambassadors helped more that 1,000 people make progress
on The Bridge, 3X'd the number of Clears moving onto the next step and
9X'd the number of people onto OT levels.
"In the Eastern United States, OT Ambassadors of New York truly answered
the call. The donned the 'yellow shirts' and worked at Ground Zero. They
distributed 70,000 copies of The Way to Happiness and delivered thousand
of assists and Dianetics sessions. OT Ambassadors Karin Beatty and Sue
Simon answered the call by joining staff at New York Org, promptly
tripling the org's delivery. Overall, East US Ambassadors helped 1,000
people onto their next step and increased the number of people onto OT
levels by 500 percent.
"The 230 Western United States OT Ambassadors gave over 655 events and
briefings, helped 1,322 Clears and 1,145 OT s onto their next service and
helped accomplish 7,142 Grade Chart completions."
Philstar.com reported that Narconon is promoting the Narconon program in
"International balladeer David Pomeranz will help the newly created
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in its campaign against illegal drugs.
Pomeranz, a frequent visitor in Manila who planed in recently to promote
his new album, is a key member of Narconon International, a non-profit,
anti-drug corporation based in the United States and Australia.
"PDEA chief Director Anselmo Avenido said Narconon, through its
rehabilitation programs, is helping thousands of people of different races
'regain their ability to think and achieve their goals in life without
drugs.' Avenido said Narconon has been saving lives and educating youths
on the hazards of drug abuse for over 30 years now.
"Robert Anderson of Colorado, USA, and Churlya Wurfel of New South Wales,
Australia, representatives of NARCONON International, visited the PDEA
national office at Camp Crame in Quezon City recently. They pledged to
give the PDEA 20 million copies of their book entitled 'The Way to
Happiness' and a handout entitled '10 Things Your Friends May Not Know
About Drugs' for distribution nationwide. Avenido said NARCONON selected
the Philippines as one of its pilot areas in Asia for its latest concept
on drug prevention education and rehabilitation. At present, the
international anti-drug group is looking for a site where it could build
their office and rehabilitation center."
> Anti-drug Festival
The Scotsman reported on August 22nd that Scientology is sponsoring an
anti-drug festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
"The Say No to Drugs Festival has attracted high-profile sponsorship from
the Church of Scientology which counts celebrities such as John Travolta
and Lisa Marie Presley among its members. But the festival has been
criticised by leading councillors and churches, who say scientologists are
not the best people to be associated with the two-day event. Over the last
50 years, Scientology has attracted almost continual controversy, being
blamed for general harassment of the public as well as more specific
upsets such as the breakdown of Tom Cruise's marriage to Nicole Kidman.
"Jive and swing band The Jive Aces, who have toured Europe and the US
promoting Scientology, have organised the anti-drugs event at the Ross
Open Air Theatre in West Princes Street Gardens today and tomorrow. The
group will be joined by top Hearts striker Marc de Vries and Hibs players
Paul Fenwick and Alan Reid, and the former Scottish international hooker
"Councillor Steve Cardownie, the city's culture and leisure leader, said
people who attend the festival should be made aware of who is behind it.
He said: 'I would have thought we at the council would frown on the Ross
Theatre being used by the Church of Scientology. It is a legal
organisation but people have to be aware of what they're attending. People
may think they are attending an anti-drugs festival and then find they are
approached by Scientologists. I've no evidence that will be the case but
people should always be aware of who is sponsoring an event.'
"Graeme Wilson, the Say No to Drugs campaign manager for the Church of
Scientology, said there had been ample publicity of the organisation's
involvement in the event and that the message of the festival was to be
strictly anti-drugs. 'I can understand the concerns myself but the purpose
of the event and of any material we give out is for drugs education. None
of the information we will be giving out will have any message about
"Nadia Munno, a member of The Jive Aces, said there would not be any
representatives of the Church of Scientology at the event. She said: 'This
is not going to be a religious event. It is an event that will give the
message to the people of Scotland not to take drugs.' The festival in
Edinburgh will be held between noon and 2pm on August 22 and 23."