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132A.r.s Week in Review - 6/2/2002

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  • Rod Keller
    Jun 2, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 9
      6/2/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2002

      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. Subscriptions are
      also available on Yahoo. Email weekinreview-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or
      see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/weekinreview. PDA channel available at
      http://avantgo.com/channels/_add_channel.pl?cha_id=2900

      Week in Review is archived at:
      http://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/
      http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html
      http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html
      http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html

      #####

      > Dell

      Magill magazine published a story in its June issue about the use of
      Scientology training methods at Dell in Ireland.

      "Since February of this year, Dell's Limerick plant has been availing of
      the services of Effective Training Solutions and its '100% Proficiency
      Training' programme. The programme helps employees to train better, and
      thus become more efficient in their work. ETS trained a number of Dell's
      own in-house trainers, who then rolled it out to employees. 'You will
      learn about and become skilled in the use of some vital training tools
      that very few people are trained in,' explains the introduction to the
      programme's '100% Proficiency Training Workshop' manual, which forms one
      part of the overall programme. 'Your power and ability to influence your
      own training and education (and others' should you help other people) will
      be greatly increased.' Since February, Dell's in-house trainers have
      rolled out the programme to approximately 200 Dell employees who are
      engaged in production work at the plant. Dell says the reaction from
      employees to the course has been extremely positive. But not every
      employee who underwent the course was happy after realising where the
      course originated from. The 100% Proficiency Training Workshop is, the
      manual explains on its last page, 'derived from the copyrighted writings
      of L Ron Hubbard on the subjects of training, education and management,
      and used with permission.' Nowhere does the manual state that Hubbard was
      the founder of Scientology. A spokesperson for ETS stressed that those who
      chose to undergo the training course at Dell did so voluntarily.

      "ETS was formerly known as Applied Scholastics of Fremont, California -
      part of the wider Applied Scholastics International movement which is seen
      by many as an educational arm of Scientology, although Applied Scholastics
      disputes this, saying it is a secular charitable organisation independent
      of Scientology. In 1992, a Californian company, Applied Materials,
      settled out of court for an estimated $600,000 with three former employees
      who claimed they were forced out of the company after complaining about
      work-place training given by Applied Scholastics of Fremont. Applied
      Materials admitted that it had 'lacked sensitivity with regard to the
      controversial nature of L Ron Hubbard' when employing the Applied
      Scholastics training. The training involved communication courses. An
      attorney representing the three workers claimed before the case was
      settled that some of the training given was identical to material in
      Scientology handbooks.

      "Hubbard's ability to break down barriers not recognised by other
      educators is news to some. Professor of Education and Vice President of
      University College Cork, Aine Hyland, is one of this country's leading
      authorities on the history of education. She is unaware of any
      breakthrough contribution made by Hubbard to the field. 'In my research
      into education in the 1960s in scholarly educational journals, I have not
      come across any reference to any major or significant contribution made by
      L Ron Hubbard to educational philosophy, nor am I aware that scholars in
      the area since then would regard any of Hubbard's writings as of major
      significance in the history of education.'

      "Dr. Finian Buckley of Dublin City University's Business School,
      meanwhile, doesn't agree that Hubbard has made significant contributions
      to business, management or training. 'Hubbard wouldn't be regarded as
      having contributed to any cutting-edge research in these fields,' he says.
      Hubbard's writings, he believes, are more in line with the type of books
      available in bookstores that promise to reveal the previously-secret steps
      to sensational business success. 'Most of those serious professional
      trainers wouldn't touch,' he adds.

      "The company said that the results of the programme 'led to significant
      quality improvements on the Dell production floor. The reaction from Dell
      employees to this particular training course has been extremely positive.'
      A host of major international companies other than Dell who have used the
      course say likewise: DuPont, Bayer, National Semiconductor, Chevron and
      Cisco among others. Yet it is not the course materials as such that bother
      the Dell employees who spoke to Magill, but rather the fact that L Ron
      Hubbard was, in part, responsible for it. The manual states that if the
      participant is interested in learning more about Hubbard or his lecture
      series, or ETS itself, they should mention this to their trainer.

      "In other countries, courses using Hubbard material have been accused of
      trying to introduce participants to Scientology. ETS states categorically
      that while its 100% Proficiency Training Course is derived from Hubbard's
      writings, it does not address religious issues. Nor does it make mention
      of Scientology. Nor does it attempt to introduce participants to
      Scientology. Dell stressed in its statement that it 'supports diversity
      in the workplace and does not in any way promote any particular religious
      group or religious ethic. ETS has also confirmed to us that they have no
      links - financial or otherwise - to the Church of Scientology.'

      "Many Scientology websites have sections on Applied Scholastics. One site
      mentions Applied Scholastics as one of its 'related programmes,' and the
      information printed is copyrighted to the Church of Scientology. America's
      Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, apparently made little of the
      disclaimer when it reached a confidential settlement with the Church of
      Scientology in 1993 after a long-standing tax dispute between the two.
      Applied Scholastics was included in the settlement as a
      'Scientology-related entity.'

      "Dell since announced it is to cut 150 jobs at its Limerick plant. The
      jobs being cut will come from the administrative and middle-management
      staff, and will be decided on a voluntary redundancy basis. The company's
      future looks bright nonetheless, and it will continue to contribute
      significantly to the Irish economy. ETS's Gudenas says 'the real story in
      our business world is the exodus of jobs and companies to south-east Asia
      and China. The only way to stay competitive is through efficiency, quality
      and proficiency of the Irish workforce, and that's what our programme
      provides,' she says. 'Your article could help us keep more jobs in Ireland
      as you are in a key role to get the politicians and the government to
      support training - for example, in the USA, the states refund companies a
      portion of their training costs. You could push the politicians to do
      this; why aren't they thinking about the future and the threat of China
      and supporting training? That's the real story regarding the economic
      future for Irish people,' she says, before adding: 'In this enlightened
      age, when your house is on fire, do you stop to ask the religious
      affiliations of the firemen before you accept their help? I think not.'"

      Message-ID: <rlscfu0vjbg5q3ftt344l3je23vf3q3t25@...>

      #####

      > Gerald Armstrong

      A lawsuit against Gerald Armstrong, Bob Minton and the Lisa McPherson
      Trust was posted to a.r.s this week. Scientology is seeking compensation
      for breach of contract.

      "Beginning in late 1989, Armstrong systematically began breaching
      virtually every material covenant to which he had agreed by entering into
      the Settlement Agreement. In 1992, CSI instituted suit against Armstrong
      seeking damages for his repeated breaches and provisional and permanent
      injunctive relief against future breaches. CSI obtained a monetary
      judgment and a permanent injunction. Armstrong, who characterizes this
      Court's Injunction as 'illegal' and 'unconstitutional,' and 'a great
      stupidity,' began almost immediately to violate the terms of the
      Injunction. As a result, Armstrong has been found by this Court to be in
      contempt on two separate occasions, citing 14 separate violations, and is
      the subject of two outstanding bench warrants. On July 13, 2001, Armstrong
      was again fount to be in contempt of the Injunction on no less than 131
      additional occasions. Armstrong has evaded both the fines and the
      imprisonment to which he has been sentenced by fleeing the jurisdiction
      and relocating to British Columbia, Canada.

      "CSI asserts claims for breach of contract against Armstrong, as the
      contracting party, claims for intentional interference with contractual
      relations against Defendants Robert Minton and the Lisa McPherson Trust
      whose financial resources were intended to, and specifically enabled them
      to act in concert and conspiracy with Armstrong to perpetuate his ongoing
      contempt of this Court and to violate virtually a daily bases CSI's
      contractual rights.

      "Despite its deceptive and misleading name, Defendant Lisa McPherson Trust
      is neither a trust nor any other sort of nonprofit enterprise. LMT, at all
      times until its dissolution in December 2001, was a for-profit
      corporation, organized and existing under the laws of the State of
      Florida, with its principal place of business in Clearwater, Florida.
      Minton is the founder, sole incorporator, and is the source of the
      financing of LMT.

      "Armstrong on the one hand and Minton and LMT on the other hand combined,
      conspired, and agreed to perform the unlawful acts which are the subject
      of this Complaint and to conceal from discovery both the unlawful acts and
      the unlawful, conspiratorial participation of Minton and LMT therein.

      "On December 6, 1986, CSI and Armstrong entered into the Settlement
      Agreement, designed to end bitter litigation, including several separate
      cases then pending. In consideration for a payment of $800,000, Armstrong
      and CSI exchanged mutual, general releases. Armstrong made various
      covenants, including the following: 'Plaintiff agrees never to create or
      publish, or attempt to publish, and/or assist another to create for
      publication by means of magazine, article, book or other similar form, any
      writing or broadcast or to assist another to create write, film, or video
      tape or audio tape any show, program or movie, or to grant interviews or
      discuss with others, concerning their experiences with the Church of
      Scientology, or concerning their personal or indirectly acquired knowledge
      or information concerning the Church of Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard.
      Plaintiff further agrees that he will maintain strict confidentiality and
      silence with respect to his experiences with the Church of Scientology and
      any knowledge or information he may have concerning the Church of
      Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard. Plaintiff agrees that if the terms of this
      paragraph are breached by him, that CSI and the other Releasees would be
      entitled to liquidated damages in the amount of $50,000 for each such
      breach.'

      "Beginning in late 1989, Armstrong began breaching his obligations under
      the Settlement Agreement. Armstrong, having fled the jurisdiction,
      continued his contumacious conduct virtually unabated. Since the February
      1998 contempt order, Armstrong mad oral statements and statements created
      and transmitted vial e-mail and by 'posting' to the Internet newsgroup
      alt.religion.scientology thus committing more than 200 separate breaches.

      "In December 1999, Armstrong traveled to Clearwater, Florida at the
      invitation of Minton and LMT, who paid for the expenses of Armstrong's
      visit, with the purpose and intent of enabling Armstrong to violate the
      Agreement including media and other public appearances as part of LMT's
      anti-Scientology campaign. While in Clearwater, Armstrong appeared at and
      addressed a gathering assembled and sponsored by LMT, which also produced
      a videotape of Armstrong's remarks. So brazen was Armstrong that he began
      his videotaped remarks by acknowledging that his address was prohibited by
      the Injunction.

      "On December 10, 1999, while still in Florida at the request and expense
      of Minton and LMT, Armstrong appeared on Radio Station WMNF-AM in Tampa,
      Florida and gave an interview on that station. In June 2000, Armstrong
      traveled to Germany to attend a public ceremony where Minton was presented
      with an award for his anti-Scientology activities by a small group of
      like-minded extremists. During this trip, Armstrong met with media
      representatives and engaged in further breaches of the Settlement
      Agreement. On information and belief, these travels and actions were
      financed and supported by Minton, individually or through his alter ego,
      the LMT, with the knowledge that Armstrong would use this opportunity to
      further violate the Settlement Agreement.

      "From May through July of 2001, Armstrong traveled to Russia, Germany,
      Denmark, the United Kingdom, and other countries where he met with media
      personnel and made numerous public statements in violation of the
      Settlement Agreement. On information and belief, these travels and actions
      were financed and supported by Minton, individually or through his alter
      ego, the LMT, with the knowledge that Armstrong would use this opportunity
      to further violate the Settlement Agreement by making numerous public
      appearances where those violations occurred, including in Leipzig, Germany
      where Armstrong publicly appeared with Minton, Brooks, and other LMT
      employees. Minton encouraged Armstrong in the above violations.

      "Armstrong has committed 201 separate and distinct breaches of the
      Settlement Agreement, as a result of which CSI is entitled to liquidated
      damages of $50,000 for each such breach, totaling $10,050,000. Minton and
      LMT have knowledge and notice of both the Settlement Agreement and the
      Injunction and nonetheless wilfully, deliberately, and maliciously aided
      and financially rewarded and enabled Armstrong to breach his contractual
      obligations."

      Message-ID: <3CF21500.EBDFF988@...>

      #####

      > Milwaukee Mission

      The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on June 1st that the Milwaukee
      Scientology mission has moved to larger offices.

      "After about 15 years at 710 E. Silver Spring Drive in Whitefish Bay, the
      Church of Scientology-Milwaukee Dianetics Mission recently moved to larger
      quarters in Milwaukee at 6806 W. Wedgewood Drive. The mission is open from
      6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
      and Sunday. Sunday service begins at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the
      public."

      Message-ID: <TLqK8.1387$%k1.1025736@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Graham Berry reported protesting Scientology's Gold Base in Hemet,
      California.

      "Sunday May 26 I was driving into the town of Hemet and the nearby Gilman
      Hot Springs. I decided upon an impromptu 'Justice For Keith Henson Solo
      Picket.' I parked my borrowed car in front of the Ashley Shaner Memorial
      and its adjacent Scientology surveillance camera. I only had one picket
      sign available. One side read 'Scientology: Church of Fair Game.' The
      other side read 'LRH DIED ON PYSCH DRUGS.'

      "I crossed Highway 79 at the bottom gates into the Golden Era film studio
      facilities. There did not seem to be anyone out and about. As I slowly
      strolled up towards the main gates holding my picket sign aloft I noticed
      bicycles and mopeds haphazardly parked and strewn along the sides of the
      paths and roads of the Base on both sides of Highway 79. The Guard House
      had two guards on duty. Because of my presence with a picket sign, the
      gates had to be closed, and two white passenger vans turned around and
      driven back into the base. The old black scientology security SUV was
      driving up and down. It parked behind my borrowed vehicle as if to
      intimidate and threaten me. I continued sauntering down the highway and
      to take photographs."

      Keith Henson reported protests at the Toronto org.

      "Two pickets, one May 20, Victoria day and one today, June 1. Last time
      was Chris Wood, a new guy, Ron Sharp, Gregg and me. We did 3 hours of
      picket and gave out about 400 xenu and other flyers. This was the last
      time the 'making the able more able' sign was up at the org. Two of the
      goon squad showed up but they just watched. We took a break when the
      Victoria Day parade went down Yonge St. The org has gone to blue tarp
      tech, only in this case it was black foam boards in the Dianetics windows
      on Yonge St.

      "Today it was just David Palter, Gregg and me for an hour and a half. We
      gave away 125 flyers on each side of Yonge St. The new sign blocking the
      window is false advertising saying that Dianetics is a 'science of the
      mind.' First thing that happened to me when I started was a tall woman
      with brown hair came by and said she was a Scientologist and that this
      Xenu stuff was crap. I mentioned that I had seen it in Hubbard's own
      handwriting. She said it was still crap even if LRH wrote it. I said she
      was going to have to do a knowledge report about having talked to me and
      she left going down the street freaking out. I watched and she never
      crossed the street to the org.

      "There was one funny sequence where this guy who is either involved or has
      a relative in carefully checks out that nobody is watching him from the
      org, takes a flyer from Gregg and stuff it into his pants."

      Message-ID: <20020601015028.18817.00001660@...>
      Message-ID: <3d00abe2.257542307@...>

      #####

      > Slovakia

      Slovak news agency reported on May 29th that the Slovak Intelligence
      Service is monitoring Scientology and other cults as possible security
      risks.

      "Presenting the report to parliament on Wednesday [29 May], SIS
      Director-General Vladimir Mitro said crime groups focused on drug
      trafficking, but also on public procurement tenders, privatization tenders
      and other state orders. The SIS also monitored activities of the sects
      Church of Scientology and Moonies in Slovakia. Scientologists have
      official centres in Martin and Bratislava, and secret civic associations,
      language schools and private companies."

      Message-ID: <WsoJ8.920$%k1.691390@...>

      #####

      > Digital Lightwave

      The St. Petersburg Times published a story on June 2nd on Digital
      Lightwave and the effects Scientology has had on the company.

      "It was New Year's Eve 1997 when Digital Lightwave's chief, Bryan Zwan,
      made his biggest deal: a $9-million contract for his signature product, a
      10-pound device that tests telephone lines. But his overtaxed workers -
      they had put in 100-hour weeks during the holidays - didn't have enough
      time or materials. As the night wore on, the crew sent incomplete and
      unassembled units to a shipping warehouse, giving the impression the order
      was filled. Digital had done this before. The company even had shipped
      units to salesmen's homes for storage and booked them as sales. A
      manufacturing manager named Chuck Anderson became fed up. Most company
      whistleblowers typically alert the Securities and Exchange Commission to
      possible wrongdoing. But Anderson reported the trouble to his own higher
      authority: the Church of Scientology.

      "He wrote a 'knowledge report,' addressed to church leaders, warning that
      the New Year's Eve shipments were the latest in a troubling pattern in
      Digital that could create a 'huge potential flap' for Scientology. 'What
      happens if someone goes to the newspapers, the investors, the SEC?'
      Anderson, a Scientologist, wrote in his report. 'Not to mention putting
      Scientology and Scientologists at risk.'

      Zwan, a longtime Scientologist, has long insisted that Digital has no
      connection to the controversial church. Zwan said he never hired people
      because they are Scientologists and never sought church advice on company
      matters. 'We are a public company,' Zwan said. 'We have nothing to do with
      the Church of Scientology. It has no role in this company.'

      "A Scientologist helped Zwan develop Digital's fiber-optic technology.
      Scientology facilities, including the landmark Fort Harrison Hotel in
      Clearwater, were backdrops for important company negotiations. Zwan tapped
      Scientologists for his early management team. And fellow Scientologists
      were Zwan's early backers, many reaping riches from Digital's run on Wall
      Street. Zwan hired as one of his top executives Denise Licciardi, the
      sister of Scientology's worldwide leader, David Miscavige. Quickly
      promoted and given a six-figure salary, Licciardi was widely regarded as
      Zwan's right hand at Digital. She urged him to run day-to-day operations
      by following Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's business practices known
      as 'LRH Tech.' Digital could 'become a showcase of LRH Tech,' Licciardi
      wrote in one memo to Zwan. 'This was what you communicated to each of us
      was your dream.'

      "In 1993, Zwan needed investors to take Digital Lightwave out of the
      incubator. He found a wealthy business partner while visiting
      Scientology's international spiritual retreat, the Fort Harrison Hotel in
      Clearwater. One day over lunch in the hotel's Hibiscus room, a Scientology
      staff member introduced Zwan to Brian Haney, a fellow entrepreneur
      visiting from Columbus, Ohio. Haney had become a millionaire in his 20s
      selling toys through his Great American Fun Corp.

      "Zwan traveled to Columbus to discuss a deal, meeting Haney at the
      Scientology facility there. First on the agenda was Scientology. The
      church wanted $100,000 for its planned Super Power building in Clearwater,
      a massive, $50-million complex now under construction. Haney balked. He
      had already given the project $200,000. But Zwan and the church staffer
      kept asking. Eventually, Haney wrote the check. The businessmen then
      turned to Digital Lightwave. The two Scientologists discussed using
      Hubbard's teachings to run the company. They had an unspoken
      understanding, Haney said: No one would mention Scientology and Digital in
      the same breath. 'It was known people would frown upon it,' Haney said.
      Investors and potential customers might be leery of a company with ties to
      a controversial church.

      "'We were going to be two Scientologists who ran a Scientology company
      that would bring in a ton of money that would get donated to Scientology
      so Scientology could put up Super Power buildings all over the globe,'
      said Haney, now 43. The entrepreneurs made a pact. For $5-million, Haney
      said, he wound up with 49 percent of the company and left daily operations
      to Zwan. Haney and his wife, Linda, had grown disillusioned with
      Scientology and left the church. The church labeled Mrs. Haney a
      'suppressive person,' a name given to people the church believes are
      working against it. Church members are not to associate with a suppressive
      person. Haney said Zwan summoned him to a meeting at the Fort Harrison
      with church staff member Mary Voegeding Shaw, now president of FLAG,
      Scientology's spiritual retreat in Clearwater. 'Mary Voegeding says to me
      because my wife is a declared (suppressive) person I cannot be a partner
      in business with Bryan Zwan and that I only have two choices: I have to
      either divorce my wife or stop being Bryan Zwan's partner.'

      "Zwan decided to sell stock to the public, a bold move to generate cash so
      his young company could grow faster. To help navigate the expansion, Zwan
      recruited Seth Joseph, a 41-year-old securities lawyer from Miami. One of
      the few non-Scientologists in Digital management, Joseph was given a
      $250,000 salary and up to 656,666 stock options, potentially worth
      millions. Another executive came aboard then, too: Denise Licciardi, a
      36-year-old Scientologist and sister of the church's leader, Miscavige.
      Zwan soon promoted Licciardi to vice president of administration, paid her
      a $123,000 salary and gave her 60,000 stock options. Her authority
      bothered Joseph, who questioned her qualifications. 'She was very, very
      close to Bryan beyond what her skills would warrant,' he said. 'It was
      because of her relationship with Bryan in Scientology.'

      "On Feb. 6, 1997, Digital Lightwave staged a successful initial public
      offering, trading at $12 a share. For Zwan, that meant his 20-million Left
      out of the millionaire's jubilee was Haney, the early investor who had
      left Scientology. Saying he had been tricked into selling back his shares,
      Haney later sued Zwan, claiming his stock would eventually have been worth
      $235-million.

      "Just months after coming aboard, a frustrated Licciardi wanted more of
      Hubbard's 'Admin tech' in the workplace. She wrote Zwan a nine-page memo
      reminding him that in recruiting her and other Scientologists, he had
      promised to use the Scientology methods. 'We left our lives behind for a
      reasonable salary (and) a small amount of stock to help you attain your
      goal,' she wrote. 'Here all we are trying to do is get to be a
      billion-dollar company in the telecom industry. Why don't we just apply
      the tech?'

      "Nearly half the sales Digital reported in the second quarter of 1997
      involved deals that either never happened or were not closed. A stunning
      79 percent of third quarter sales were wiped off the books. The
      restatement triggered SEC and Nasdaq investigations, and more than 20
      shareholder lawsuits. And as the company was reeling from the bad
      publicity, it was facing another crisis internally. Licciardi told
      higherups that on New Year's Eve she had shipped out a couple of dozen
      partly filled boxes to be counted as sales. 'It was clear she had to go,'
      said Joseph, the lawyer who served as Zwan's No. 2. 'She had committed
      criminal conduct. She admitted to it. It was devastating.'

      "Scientologists and non-Scientologists turned on each other as the
      company's top two financial officers, Joseph and Steve Grant, called for
      Zwan to fire Licciardi. A group of Scientologists in the company went to
      Zwan to rally support for Licciardi. That morning, some said they saw
      Scientologists in distinctive naval uniforms in the corridors. Others said
      it was hired security.

      "Three days later, it was non-Scientologist Joseph who was forced out.
      Zwan said Joseph's firing was part of a companywide restructuring. Joseph
      cried foul, filing an arbitration complaint to recoup thousands of stock
      options. An arbitrator later sided with Joseph, ordering Digital to pay
      him $3.8-million.

      "But Licciardi didn't survive either. In two weeks, she was gone too. Yet
      her departure was largely on her own financial terms, which she spelled
      out in an e-mail to Zwan titled 'Ending Cycle,' a Scientology term. She
      told Zwan she was 'without a doubt guilty of executing on orders without
      question.' Licciardi wrote she applied 'Simon Bolivar to a 'T,' ' a
      Scientology phrase referring to loyalty.

      "Today, Digital still is a big player in fiber-optic testing, with a 36
      percent market share in the United States and specific strategies to push
      its international sales. It has 110 employees, and this year contracted
      with Jabil Circuit of St. Petersburg to manufacture all its units.
      Digital's stock price closed Friday at $3.10. The company ranks 25th on
      this year's Times list of top-performing public companies. Digital also
      has put in place new accounting practices that, Zwan says, will prevent
      past problems from recurring.

      "As for the turbulent last four years: The SEC imposed a $10,000 fine on
      Zwan in settling its case last fall. There was no admission of wrongdoing.
      The SEC had hoped to develop Licciardi as a witness against Zwan. The
      agency interviewed her in 1999 but could not find her as it prepared for
      trial. The Times likewise could not find Licciardi. A Times reporter
      visited several times a residence listed on Licciardi's driver's license,
      mailed her letters and sought interviews through her mother and Gerald
      Gentile, whom she married after leaving Digital. Reporters also left an
      interview request at a Scientology Mission in Belleair Bluffs, where she
      is said to work.

      "Joseph works at a Miami law firm. Digital has not paid him the
      $3.8-million award, and is appealing. His case, though, resulted in a
      strong rebuke from Miami lawyer Stanley Beiley, the arbitrator who heard
      Joseph's complaint. Digital shareholders should have been told, Beiley
      wrote, that 'senior management knew that Denise Licciardi admitted to
      significant inventory falsifications and yet rewarded her by permitting
      her to resign, rather than firing her.'

      "Brian Haney sold his toy company and is a venture capitalist. He also
      runs a Christian charity organization out of his home in Columbus. Haney
      and Zwan settled their suit in 2000. Terms are confidential.

      "Zwan, now Digital's chairman, CEO and president, recently upped his stake
      in the company to 60 percent. He insists Scientology plays no part of
      Digital's operations. He says no more than three Scientologists work there
      today."

      Message-ID: <JGqK8.1386$%k1.1025521@...>

      -end-