Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 25
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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Week in Review is archived at:
> World Trade Centers
Rob Clark reported that Scientology is establishing new groups following
the World Trade Centers disaster.
"Scientology has established a new cult front group called Association for
Peace and Understanding in the Middle East, operating under the rubric of
ABLE, which is now attempting to recruit Middle Eastern Scientologists. It
is meeting October 6 at 7 PM at the ABLE location on 7065 Hollywood Blvd
"Claiming that only they have the tech to bring businesses back, the cult
is planning to open a 'Hubbard College of Administration' in New York City
and frantically recruiting cultists to man the swindle operation. The
front group is the 'Business Relief Center,' which will basically be a
Hubbard College of Administration. The front man for the swindle is
Scientology is promoting a new web site, which blames the attack on New
York on the Psychiatrists.
"A new website provides answers to the unnerving question gnawing at
everyone's mind since the recent violent terrorist attacks on America:
'What sort of person is capable of such evil?' Two figures who feature
prominently in CCHR's website are psychiatrist and surgeon, Dr. Ayman
al-Zawhariri, chief advisor and doctor to Osama bin-Laden, and Ali A.
Mohamed, a psychologist who has trained bin-Laden's terrorist troops in
combat and psychological warfare.
"'Both are capable of using drugs and other mental techniques to create
suicide-bombers convinced of the glory of sacrifice and dying,' Ms.
Eastgate said. 'But,' she points out, 'we have been here before. For
example, the Japanese 'kamikaze' pilots, who confounded us by suicidally
attacking allied shipping during World War II, used psychiatric drugs
called amphetamines to get charged up.'"
Entertainment Tonight on October 2nd featured the opening of a new
Scientology mission in San Francisco. Scientology celebrities at the
opening expressed their feelings about the WTC disaster.
"Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and other celebrities were on
hand last Saturday to support fellow Scientologist and star Jenna Elfman
as she established a new Scientology mission in San Francisco. But, of
course, the prominent topic on everyone's minds was the September 11
terrorist bombings and its aftermath relief efforts.
"'I was asked by the firemen and the policemen to go to Ground Zero, and I
went out of my way to be with them,' said Travolta, who was recently in
New York City to do his part. Meeting up to 600 different workers, wives
and firemen, John shook hands, posed for pictures, and signed helmets and
autographs. 'I hope I cheered them up. I think I did. In any little way,
"Responding to the tragedy, Elfman said, 'I think it was a planetary
wake-up call.' Jenna, along with friends and hundreds of church
volunteers, personally took part in the remodeling and design of the
building dedicated to Arts for Kids, a free community service the mission
will offer to children and their families."
A letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times on October 2nd praised
Scientology's volunteer ministers in New York.
"Scientology volunteer ministers have a long track record of helping amid
disasters -- the L.A. quake a few years ago, the wars in Kosovo and
Bosnia, the riots in Los Angeles, earthquakes in Taiwan, after the bombing
of the Atlanta Olympic Games, at the Federal Building in Oklahoma, after
the shootings at Columbine High School, and many others.
"We have consistently helped alleviate suffering amidst devastation, and
we always will, for the aims of the church are a world without crime,
without insanity and without war, where the able can prosper and honest
people can have rights. - Mary Bordeaux, Montrose"
From letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on October 3rd:
"I am 18 years old, I live in Clearwater and I have been a Scientologist
all my life. I got on the first bus I could to go to New York and
volunteer. I and the other volunteers I worked with were doing anything
we could to help the firefighters and Police Department. We would feed
them all their meals, supply them with snacks and drinks and clothing. We
were also in the bucket lines for hours at a time.
"All of the agencies on the site, including the Fire Department of New
York, the New York Police Department, FBI, CIA, Army, Navy, the Marines
and the National Guard, were all so grateful to us. There were people on
their knees thanking us, giving us their jackets off their backs in
appreciation. Anyone who has a bad opinion about Scientology or
Scientologists and has gone out of their way to publicly express it at a
time like this reminds me of who we are dealing with in their actions
toward America. - Adrian Austin, Clearwater
"Pinellas County officials apparently forgot 25 years of abuse of members
and citizens by the Scientologists when they commended the Scientology
volunteers who recruited among the ruins of Wall Street in New York. Since
the majority of county commissioners received generous contributions from
the Scientology-Chamber of Commerce coalition, it was payback time.
Whoever pays the piper calls the tune.
"Voters are urged to examine the campaign contribution reports for elected
county, state and local officials to understand why a few attorneys,
builders and developers wield so much power and influence over
commissioners and governing boards and committees. A recent ruling by the
Pinellas County EEOC reflects bias in support of Scientologists. If the
cult can refuse to serve any non-Scientologist, it can refuse to serve any
citizen. This ruling must be reversed. - Gabe Cazares, Clearwater
The Los Angeles Times reported on October 3rd that a Glendale woman
created a mural in the New York org during the rescue effort.
"The local artist had planned to use her training as a Scientologist to
advise distraught rescue workers digging through the rubble at the World
Trade Center. But she ended up leaving another legacy. Hepner created a
vibrant American flag mural. 'We were only there for 24 hours,' Hepner
said of her trip a week after the attacks. Working with her husband,
Randy, and two other volunteer ministers from the Church of Scientology,
Hepner finished the mural in about six hours. The mural was left where it
was created, at a Scientology church a few blocks from the mass of
crumpled steel and other materials."
E-mails to Scientologists continue to describe efforts in New York.
"Out of the chaos and confusion that has overwhelmed much of New York and
the US a stable datum has arisen - 'The guys in the yellow shirts.' With
the mobilization of VMs from all over the US in full swing we now have
hundreds on the ground Scientology Ministers and Volunteer Ministers. At
ground zero the VMs took charge of the facilities known as Stuyvesand
School, which was set up as a receiving facility for those who are working
right on the site. These included Police from New York, Chicago and
Detroit, Immigrations Officials, Firefighters from a number of states, FBI
Anti-Terrorist Teams, members of SWAT teams, K-9 Police Units, Search and
Rescue, Utility Workers and emergency response teams from as far away as
"As the activities continues, the VMs hatted non-Scientologists on what to
do. The VMs set up the entire food line, help line and established the
flow lines. The non-Scientologist were brought up to cause and stated that
they wanted to be part of the team. The especially wanted the yellow
volunteer shirts. The nerve assists were a huge success and very popular
with disaster relief staff. A VM who was giving assists stated, 'every
single guy was keyed out and VGIs with the assists. They got their friends
to get on too.
"And what happened with the psychs who had been 'In-Charge'? Since we
jumped in so quickly, confronted what was needed and then started
providing it, even the psychiatrists viewed us as the leaders. So, they
started asking us what they should do. We found some good MEST work for
them to do, which they did, and they came up tone as they were now
"Immediately after the terrorism occurred, the DSA Atlanta call the
mayor's office to find out what they needed and wanted. She spoke with the
Director of Community Affairs, a known terminal to us in that area. Where
asked what was needed his immediate, no comm-lag answer was, 'THE CITY
BLANKETED WITH THE WAY TO HAPPINESS BOOKLET.' - Peter McCuen, Supercargo
"The psychs, about 3000 of them, I was told, have showed up to be on hand
to 'counsel' these grieving people. We don't have the manpower to properly
deal with the scene. And yet we have the chance to make an even bigger
impact in NY but we need help NOW! It really is an all-hands scene.
Walk, run or drive. There is a berthing I/C who can arrange anything from
staying with locals to hotel rooms donated by the hotels. There are many
varied jobs that need to be done, and one quickly learns how to do the
needed assists, Book 1 sessions, etc., if they're not hatted.
"Anyone who can show up should just go to NY Org directly, at 46th and
Broadway. Phone: 212-921-1210."
The Greenwich Time reported on October 7th on Scientology's version of
events at the New York disaster site.
"Carol Yingling, a minister at the Church of Scientology of Connecticut,
was walking along a street in New York recently with a friend when they
were approached by two city firefighters. 'They saw us,' said Yingling, a
Cheshire resident, 'and said, 'You're the volunteer ministers. We love
those nerve massage things.' ' The technical term would be 'an assist,'
and the people volunteering in New York through the Church of Scientology
have been giving them to rescue workers and emergency personnel in lower
Manhattan since Sept. 11.
"'The idea is that there is a spiritual component to any trauma,' Yingling
said, 'whether you're injured, exhausted or had a loss; and a body does
not heal as readily if the spiritual component is not addressed.' A
volunteer minister working with the Scientologists may provide either a
touch, nerve or 'locational' assist to a person under stress. These
assists follow Eastern techniques that release a person's energy and
reorients them. 'It releases energy so they have more,' Yingling said.
"'The 'loss of a person assist' is a particularly effective process for
this situation,' said Monica Brutsche, a volunteer minister from New Haven
who spent eight days at ground zero. 'It can give a child who has lost a
parent the ability to face the future.'
"The church is running a free course to teach those unfamiliar with
Scientology the basics of volunteer ministering so they can help friends
and family. The church says it has put into the New York community 800
volunteer ministers since Sept. 11."
From the Globe And Mail on October 1st:
"On Sept. 11, a sad-eyed woman with greying, unwashed hair stood one block
from the Broadway Firehouse on Eighth Avenue, which had lost 14 men in the
collapse of the World Trade Center that morning, and listlessly handed out
a pamphlet entitled The Way to Happiness. 'For you in your time of need,'
she told passersby who accepted the brochure, published by the Church of
> Protest Summary
Keith Henson reported a protest at the Toronto org on September 30th.
"Gregg and I were in Toronto so the org got a 35 minute picket with me 110
feet up the street and Gregg right in front of the org. The only thing of
any note was a citizen who brought his teen age daughter by to go inside
the org for a class project. Gregg was more than a bit upset with the guy
not having the slightest idea of what Scientology was about and what he
was subjecting his daughter too. After a few minutes of bringing him up to
date on the subject the somewhat horrified guy accepted an Xenu flyer and
did get his daughter back. I estimate we gave out 75 flyers."
> Search Engines
Westword reported on October 4th that Scientology critic Lawrence
Wollersheim has been involved in a bidding war against Scientology to get
sponsored links on various Internet search engines.
"Go to GoTo.com, an Internet search engine that provides 'sponsored'
search results for America Online, Lycos, AltaVista and many other World
Wide Web heavyweights. Type in 'Scientology,' and you'll get dozens of
hits linking you to sites devoted to the Church of Scientology
"This is what you won't find, unless you scroll through several pages of
pro-Scientology links: 'SCIENTOLOGY DIRTY SECRETS. Before you get taken in
by any of Scientology's claims, check out the largest free archive on the
real Scientology -- the Scientology they don't want you to know about.
www.factnet.org.' According to Lawrence Wollersheim, a founder of the
Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network, FACTNet has been consigned to a
peculiar kind of Internet hell by a 'search engine sabotaging tactic'
employed by the Church of Scientology. The Boulder-based nonprofit Web
site has seen its ranking in GoTo search results drop precipitously in
recent months, buried by pro-Scientology sites that bid higher for favored
placement, an arrangement known as 'pay-per-click.'
"But CSI spokeswoman Janet Weiland says that church-affiliated Web sites
are merely outbidding FACTNet in the electronic marketplace. 'Mr.
Wollersheim seems to object that Scientology is popular on the Internet,'
she says. 'He would prefer it if, when people searched for Scientology,
they did not find anything except his anti-religious invective. But the
church and its members have a right to communicate and to use public
services like GoTo just like everybody else.'
"FACTNet's link, now bid at five cents per click, recently has been
showing up 35th in Scientology keyword searches. Wollersheim claims that
CSI has created 'fake' Web pages, controlled by church Webmasters, to bury
his site and that Scientologists have been clicking on his link repeatedly
simply to drive his advertising costs up. Weiland denies that the church
has done anything improper. GoTo's own safeguards prevent the kind of
click abuse Wollersheim describes, she responds, and the numerous Web
sites put up by the church and individual members reflect the widespread
interest in the organization."
An e-mail to Scientologists described the opening of the new mission in
San Francisco, SOMA, or South of Market.
"The Mission is located in a 3 story building on Mission Street in SF,
between 5th & 6th streets. I would estimate 500-600 people were on hand.
The city had allowed the Mission to close one lane on Mission Street and a
podium had been set up on the sidewalk. Cindy Feshbach opened the
ceremony with a speech about Scientology and about the Mission. We had
major media coverage including a camera & interview team from
Entertainment Tonight. Also there was a Golden Era Productions crew
getting all the theta.
"Cindy presented SF Police Department Captain Tony Perra with a plaque
which contained on it a pledge from the Mission and from Scientology to
assist the SF police and the city to help it with its problems. Captain
Perra gratefully accepted the plaque and publicly pledged the SF police
department's support of the Mission in its humanitarian endeavors.
"Next to speak was none other than Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the
Board RTC. He gave an incredibly inspiring speech about how Scientology
has the solution to the problems of society and the world. This was really
a dissemination speech because he knew we were getting major media
coverage. He read some awesome LRH quotes about war and ended his speech
with a statement that the real enemy of man was the Reactive Mind. His
presence is awesome.
"Next to speak was Jenna Elfman, who has sponsored the Mission. She spoke
of her devotion to the arts, to San Francisco, and of her sincere desire
to help the people of this beautiful city. As part of her speech she
announced that along with the opening of the Mission, a Children's Center
for the Arts had been established in the basement of the building, fully
equipped with a stage, ballet facilities, and others so that any children
of the SF area could come there and learn/practice arts for free.
"By the way, SF org is getting a new building I can't say much about it
yet but it is happening."
Articles in El Mundo on September 15th, 22nd and 23rd detailed
developments in the trial of Spanish Scientologists and International
president Heber Jentzsch in Madrid.
"The public prosecutor asked yesterday in a judgment in the District Court
of Madrid for the dissolution of the Church of Scientology and penalties
of three months to five years for 13 accused of illegal association,
omission of the duty to prevent crimes, hiding of crime, false
denunciation, illegal detention and falsity. According to the public
prosecutor, the origins in Spain of this Church date from 1968. It has
converted itself into a 'disguise' of the real idea of the organization:
'an obsessive and inordinate zeal for money,' for which it resorts to
"The Provincial District Court of Madrid let view for sentencing a
judgment that has been before the bench for the first time in the history
of Spain 'a sect with an extravagant zeal for money' (according to the
public prosecutor) or 'a Church of good faith' (according to the public
relations machine of the organization).
"The judge now has to decide whether the 12 members of Scientology are
guilty of illegal association, a crime for which the public prosecutor
asked for three months in prison for each. On the other hand, the lawyers
are convinced of the innocence of their defendants and included they asked
for an acquittal so bruising 'that it won't even be possible to appeal
"Last Thursday, Judge Pilar Olivan pronounced three magic words, 'View for
sentencing.' It was the end of 7 months of judgment, the fight of a public
prosecutor against tens of defense lawyers, 14 accused (12 members of the
organization, an ex-member and a policeman) and a public as quiet as a
Scientologist. The judicial proceedings began 17 years before, the debut
of Ladron de Cegama in his career against what he considers a sect with an
'extravagant zeal for money.' In 1988, 71 people were arrested (10
jailed). Nine years later, the public prosecutor charged 21 men and women
in a writ of almost 80 pages: it related some members of Scientology with
the sickness of Franco or the assassination of Carrero Blanco. And such
spectacular connections served the Scientologists in trying to discredit
"Since May, the case tapered off and there remained 14 accused and only
one crime in common to them all, that of illegal association, for which
the prosecutor asks three months in jail for each. Then the pressure came
down towards the ones in the middle and the matter turned into a dripping
of witnesses, in all, 67.
"Friday, the 14 accused had the opportunity to speak, with pleas for every
taste and one factor in common, 'We have confidence in Justice.' Henry A.
said that following the footsteps of Physics 'the only way out is
religion.' Alfonso M. asserted that he was before the bench 'not for
committing any crime, but rather for being a parishioner of a church,'
besides assuring that Scientology 'is in the vanguard of drug
rehabilitation.' Maria N. affirmed that she became involved with
Scientology because she believes 'in a world without criminals or
insanity, where all have rights.'
"Pilar Olivan listened to all, closed the portfolio, left the case view
for sentence and left, leaving among the people some smiles and not one
> Time Magazine
The Associated Press reported on October 1st that the U.S. Supreme Court
has refused to hear Scientology's appeal in a case involving the 1991 Time
Magazine cover story "Scientology, The Cult of Greed."
"Ten years after Time magazine ran an award-winning article portraying the
Church of Scientology as a greedy cult, the Supreme Court refused Monday
to consider reinstating the church's libel case. Time Warner Inc. had
steadfastly defended the 10-page article and said it refused to be
'intimidated by the church's apparently limitless legal resources.' The
church contended that the writer was biased and only interviewed critics.
"The article said that the so-called religion is 'really a ruthless global
scam.' Time said the cover story was awarded the Gerald Loeb Award for
distinguished business and financial journalism, the Worth Bingham Prize
and the Conscience in Media Awards from the American Society of
Journalists and Authors.
"The church had said the story had multiple defamatory comments. 'While
in the past certain church officials concededly committed improper acts,
most of the allegations of past misconduct were false and distorted, the
result of the misunderstanding, suspicion and prejudice that typically
greet a new religion,' the church told the Supreme Court.
"A judge had dismissed the lawsuit and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled that Time was not guilty of writing the report with actual
malice, which is the standard for libel cases involving public groups or
people. The church told the Supreme Court that the rulings 'rather than
encouraging the search for truth, provide a safe harbor for biased