Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 27
1/16/2004 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 Napa Valley Register reported on January 5th that a California
hospital is disputing charges by Scientology that they have mistreated
patients at the facility.
"An organization backed by the Church of Scientology, the Citizens
Commission on Human Rights, last week announced the latest round of civil
lawsuits generated by Napa State Hospital patients over alleged civil
rights abuses. However, a hospital spokeswoman says that the hospital has
received good ratings with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of
"The Citizen Commission's spokesman, Jeff Griffin, said that four suits
had already been filed in federal court by patients against the hospital
and that two more would be filed that day. A search at the San Francisco
federal courthouse resulted in three current lawsuits against the hospital
staff members and doctors; one filed by Danny Atterbury, one by Andrew
Trujillo and one by Barolo Mullen. In a phone interview last week, Griffin
said that to his knowledge, two more cases were planned to be filed,
although he wasn't aware of their current status.
"In a case filed by Atterbury in June 2003, he alleged that his mail was
being tampered with, that he was forced to ingest toxic drugs and that he
found it difficult to obtain ink, paper, stamps, legal and religious
materials and reading materials. That suit was dismissed in September for
failure to pay filing fees. In her order of dismissal, Judge Marilyn Hall
Patel noted that Atterbury had been convicted of murder previous to his
stay in the hospital.
"Lupe Rincon, spokeswoman for Napa State Hospital, said that she has never
before dealt with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. She said that
patients have a number of ways to complain about conditions in the
hospital. 'The hospital has zero tolerance for patient abuse,' said
Rincon. 'They can choose to file complaints through the hospital internal
complaint process or of abuse directly through hospital staff.'
"'Every three years, Napa State Hospital goes through five days of
accreditation survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations in order to maintain accreditation,' Rincon said.
The last survey occurred in late 2002; NSH received an initial score of 89
out of a possible 100 points, Rincon said."
The Chicago Tribune reported on January 6th that a CCHR exhibit attacking
psychiatry has returned to a public building.
"One month after being kicked out of the Thompson Center, a controversial
Scientology-linked exhibit returned to the state government building
Monday, describing psychiatry as an evil profession that needlessly feeds
drugs to children and has ties to Nazism. The group was allowed to return
after the Blagojevich administration backed off an initial assertion that
the Citizens Commission on Human Rights' 'Destroying Lives: Psychiatry
Exposed' display advanced a religious philosophy. The Church of
Scientology founded the group in 1969 and endorses the group's tenets, but
the display does not promote the religion itself, attorneys for the state
"On Monday, officials with the Citizens Commission used last month's
dustup to promote the exhibit, saying it was a display that 'psychiatrists
don't want you to see.' 'Someone has to show the other side of the story,'
said Marla Filidei, the group's international vice president.
"But Joan Anzia, president-elect of the Illinois Psychiatric Society, said
the Citizens Commission's campaign against psychiatry was riddled with
distortions. The group's exhibit, for example, charges that 'psychiatry
spawned the ideology which fired Hitler's mania' and ties use of
psychiatric drugs to a number of high-profile murders in America,
including the mass killings at Columbine High School in Colorado. The
group implies that Eric Harris, one of the teens who committed the
murders, was under treatment for 'anger management' and that taking the
medication may have caused him to kill. 'The exhibit is extremely
misleading and simplistic,' Anzia said.
"'Our object isn't to prevent groups from using the display area for any
reason we can find,' said H. Edward Wynn, an attorney for the state agency
that oversees operations of most state government buildings. Wynn said the
Citizens Commission was first denied because it didn't clearly disclose
its affiliation with Scientology. The state also asked the group to hire a
security guard to stand by the display for the week as a precaution, he
"There were no incidents Monday, though the display did draw a good number
of spectators, many of whom didn't know that the group sponsoring the
exhibit was tied to Scientology. 'I feel duped,' said Steve Selan, an
attorney. 'I think they should be required to tell people that they are
Scientologists. It puts everything they are saying in a different light.'
But Filidei said that is not relevant. 'Who delivers the message doesn't
matter as much as what the message is,' she said."
> Tom Cruise
The Australian Associated Press reported on January 10th that Scientology
celebrity Tom Cruise has associated Scientology with Buddhism as he
promotes his latest move, "The Last Samurai."
"Tom Cruise Friday praised eastern religion saying 'Buddhism is the
grandfather of Scientology' and climbed up on a chair to show off his
new-found strength and flexibility in the making of the film. The star
waxed lyrical on Buddhism during a Paris news conference at the Ritz hotel
held to promote the release in France of the movie next week. 'I was
struck by the code of Bushido (the way of the Samurai). It's powerful, it
talks about compassion, helping others, responsibility, integrity -
timeless values, ways I identify with,' said Cruise, who has practised
Scientology for 20 years."
Dutch newspaper Het Parool reported on January 10th that a professor is
calling on officials to reconsider the tax status of Scientology in The
"'It is high time that the ministry [of finance] is going to act more
forcefully and says: this is not at all a church, but merely a commercial
enterprise. And that fiscally they from now on are to be treated as a
commercial institution,' says Van Overbeeke, who among other things is
specialized in the relationships between churches and the tax department.
"'Scientology purposely positioned itself in the grey area between a
church and an enterprise, and that area simply asks for clarity. As a
government you can put this on the back burner for a long time, but there
comes a time when you have to solve it. The finance minister is qualified
to finally make a singular decision: we, the Dutch State, consider
Scientology to be a business, not a church. No doubt they would take legal
steps [against such a decision], but that is of later concern.'
"Over the years, the Ministry of Finance, the Tax Department and tax
judges have strongly varied the way they have handled this issue:
sometimes they have considered Scientology to be a church, and other times
a commercial business. 'That wobbling is due to the fact that tax
inspectors and judges aren't always constant in their opinions. Sometimes
they are bamboozled by fine stories regarding freedom of religion.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine where the line is between a
commercial institution that pretends to be a church, and a genuine church.
That is why there is a need for clarity,' according to the academic."
> In Memorium
The Columbian reported on January 3rd that Edgar Mercado, an Oregon
Scientologist, has passed away.
"Edgar C. Mercado, a financial consultant for A.G. Edward & Sons Inc.,
drowned in the Washougal River while fishing Sunday, Dec. 28, 2003, He was
40. Mr. Mercado was born Jan. 9, 1963, in Manila, Philippines. He lived
in Clark County the past two years. He was a member of the Church of
Scientology in Portland. He enjoyed cooking and fishing."
> Jive Aces
Peeblesshire News reported on January 8th on a New Year's Eve fundraiser
by the Scientology jazz band the Jive Aces to benefit Narconon.
"Pictured with the Jive Aces after the event are Eve Mckenzie and Narconon
Trustee Mark Gibson. Despite bad weather on New Year's Eve, people in
Peebles swung the night away with top UK band, the Jive Aces. And all in a
good cause to raise money for the Narconon Drug Rehabilitation and
Education Programme. This programme uses techniques to rid addicts of the
harmful effects of drugs and has a 76 per cent success rate of addicts
staying off drugs for good.
"Event organiser, Eve McKenzie said: 'I've had a very good response to our
drug education programme and we are already arranging a presentation to
the Peebles Scout Group.' People from the local community attended
including Duncan Hood, Scout Leader, Sheila Whitie from the newsagent,
Mark and Tara Gibson, famous kilt maker with people coming all the way
from Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Narconon Family Support Group is now
running on Tuesday nights."