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179A.r.s Week in Review - 5/11/2003

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  • Rod Keller
    May 11, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 5
      5/11/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2003

      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://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html
      http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html

      #####

      > Ritalin

      Roll Call reported on May 7th that U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy of
      Rhode Island will oppose a bill supported by Scientology to prevent
      requirements that some students take medicine for attention deficit
      disorder.

      "Psychiatrists and at least one lawmaker are taking on the Church of
      Scientology's support for a provision in a House special education bill
      that seeks to prevent teachers from requiring students to take medication
      for attention-deficit disorder. 'It's a wolf in sheep's clothing,' said
      Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) of the provision that was added to the
      Individuals with Disabilities Education Act reauthorization, which passed
      the House last week. 'I suspect it probably had its antecedents in the
      community that believes that all medication for kids with
      [attention-deficit disorder] is wrong.'

      "Kennedy and members of the psychiatric profession say the provision,
      which has been aggressively backed by the Scientology-founded Citizens
      Commission on Human Rights, is an attempt to achieve what opponents charge
      is Scientology's broader goal of abolishing the field of psychiatry
      altogether.

      "The provision, sponsored by freshman Rep. Max Burns (R-Ga.) and supported
      by Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), is intended to address highly
      publicized cases in several states of teachers pressuring parents to
      medicate children with Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs. Burns said he
      was aware that the provision was backed by CCHR, but said his goals were
      far different from those of the Church of Scientology and CCHR, which
      dispute the American Psychiatric Association's determination that
      attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder, or ADHD, is a medical condition
      that sometimes requires medication.

      "'I did not go out and solicit that support,' said Burns. 'We're not
      trying to take away the scientifically based treatments that we have. But
      we don't want to over-diagnose or misuse some of these treatments.'

      "But psychiatric organizations that oppose the provision - including the
      American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American
      Psychiatric Association, the Federation of Families for Children's Mental
      Health, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the National
      Mental Health Association - claim supporters have been duped into
      supporting a measure that they say could prevent teachers from even
      talking to parents about the possibility of their child being evaluated by
      a mental health professional. 'It's all an organized campaign to discredit
      the mental health profession and disavow the existence of childhood mental
      disorders,' said Clarke Ross, CEO of the nonprofit Children and Adults
      with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder.

      "CCHR spokeswoman Marla Filidei countered that her organization has been
      fighting for the provision because of hundreds of stories from parents
      about teachers and school districts that have urged or pressured parents
      to put their nonattentive children on drugs, such as Ritalin, to address
      what may be simple behavior problems or the boredom of a gifted child.
      CCHR's Web site states that the group was formed in 1969 by the Church of
      Scientology and State University of New York psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz
      to 'combat psychiatry's oppression' and to 'expose and help abolish any
      and all physically damaging practices in the field of mental healing.'

      "Opponents of the provision are hoping to find allies in the Senate to
      prevent the provision from becoming law. One lobbyist for the psychiatric
      profession said they have already targeted a number of Democrats on the
      Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, such as Sens.
      Edward Kennedy (Mass.) and Jeff Bingaman (N.M.). Psychiatric groups also
      plan to contact Republicans friendly to the mental health profession, such
      as Sens. Pete Domenici (N.M.) and John Warner (Va.). 'They're not too
      worried about it getting into the Senate [Individuals with Disabilities
      Education Act] bill,' the lobbyist said of conversations with Kennedy's
      staff. 'Conference committee is where we'll be focused in the end.'

      "Kennedy argued that the problem is not as widespread as CCHR makes it
      seem. 'Clearly, it's a legitimate issue, but as I said, it's a
      mischaracterization of the situation to think that it's not the exception
      rather than the rule,' he said. 'The question is whether this is a
      national issue that requires a national bureaucracy,' added Ross. 'It's
      all based on these highly publicized situations.'"

      Message-ID: <1052303722.172319@...>

      #####

      > Celebrity

      Celebrity Magazine reported news from the CCHR awards banquet, held in LOs
      Angeles.

      "At the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Awards Banquet, JULIETTE
      LEWIS, PRISCILLA PRESLEY, EDUARDO PALOMO and GINA ST. JOHN presented Human
      Rights Awards to individuals who have fought to expose the increasing
      pressure schools are placing on parents to drug their children. Also
      participating in the event was ANNE ARCHER as Mistress of Ceremonies.
      Hundreds of doctors, politicians, human rights activists, parent groups
      and celebrities, including CATHERINE BELL and LYNSEY BARTILSON, attended
      the awards banquet in Los Angeles."

      Message-ID: <7MHUWMAI37749.7335069444@...>

      #####

      > Clearwater

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on May 11th that Clearwater city
      officials are planning to revitalize the downtown area, despite the strong
      presence of Scientology.

      "Three years after voters killed a sweeping $300-million plan to remake
      downtown, backers still lament the lost opportunity and ponder what might
      have been. Amid pockets of redevelopment, empty storefronts remain,
      leading to mounting fears that the struggling commercial corridor could
      wither and die when the new Memorial Causeway Bridge opens and beach-bound
      traffic is diverted forever off Cleveland Street. But city officials
      remain hopeful. After months of study, they are preparing to bring forward
      their latest plan to remake downtown into the tourist and community magnet
      they say its geography has destined it to be.

      "The exhaustive new proposal incorporates elements of past plans,
      including a revamped Coachman Park and millions of dollars for
      beautification and other improvements to the downtown core. What's new is
      the acknowledgement that City Hall is available for sale if the right
      development project comes along. And now Calvary Baptist Church's property
      next door - a key to development - is on the block, too. Also planned are
      a downtown marina, a monorail to the beach and a parking garage on Osceola
      Avenue. Meanwhile, the plan will serve as a road map of sorts by creating
      six unique 'character districts' with general design guidelines meant to
      shape future development.

      "But Clearwater faces unique challenges, including its distance from a
      major interstate. And the dominant presence of the Church of Scientology
      has fed the perception that investments downtown will chiefly benefit the
      church, Siemon said. But that perception is false, he said. '(Scientology
      is) not what's causing the failure of redevelopment,' Siemon said. 'What
      makes them stand out in downtown Clearwater is they're the only ones
      there. I think dilution is the only solution.'

      "Commissioner Whitney Gray agreed. 'If you feel like there's a large
      presence of Scientologists downtown, it's because it's in isolation,' she
      said. 'The more great things there are to do downtown, the more people
      will come.'"

      Message-ID: <1052657988.485470@...>

      #####

      > Digital Lightwave

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on May 10th that Digital Lightwave will
      not appeal a judgment by Seth Joseph, a former employee of the company.

      "For four years, as he waited to collect millions of dollars he said he
      was owed by former employer Digital Lightwave, whistleblower Seth Joseph
      refused to talk publicly about his case. He preferred to let court
      documents speak for themselves: hundreds of pages of testimony, e-mails
      and internal memos that detailed how the Clearwater company maneuvered
      through an accounting scandal in 1998. The documents also helped show how
      the tech company's fortunes and misfortunes were closely tied to
      influential members of the Church of Scientology.

      "On Friday, after Digital said it would not appeal a $5.2-million judgment
      in Joseph's favor, the former Digital senior executive vice president
      broke his silence. 'Whenever an individual has to stand up to a big
      company with lots of resources, it's not an even fight,' Joseph, who now
      works for a Miami law firm, said in an interview with the St. Petersburg
      Times. 'Digital used every delaying tactic, every procedure they could to
      wear me down and make it almost impossible just to survive through the
      process, but here we are.'

      "Joseph filed an arbitration suit in 1999 alleging that he was unfairly
      dismissed by Zwan. In testimony, Joseph said he was punished because he
      urged Zwan to terminate another executive, Denise Licciardi, who was
      linked to an accounting scandal in the company. Joseph said that Zwan, a
      large donor to Scientology, did not want to dismiss Licciardi because she
      is the twin sister of Scientology's worldwide leader, David Miscavige.
      Zwan has denied Joseph's account, saying his firing was part of a
      companywide restructuring.

      "Joseph won his arbitration complaint and, most recently, an appellate
      court affirmed the judgment in Joseph's favor. Joseph's lawyer, Holly
      Skolnick, said the fight took longer than expected because 'I've never had
      such tenacious adversaries. Seth really went through hell.'

      "Joseph declined to talk about Zwan personally but predicted that more
      problems lie ahead for his old company. As a maker of testing equipment,
      Digital will lag behind any recovery in the telecom market since any
      initial burst of spending will probably go to telecom switches and
      operating equipment instead of testing, Joseph said. 'The only thing that
      makes it possible that the company will survive is the fact that Zwan was
      able to cash out to the tune of $400-million to $450-million during the
      (tech) bubble,' he said."

      Message-ID: <1052572045.583419@...>

      #####

      > France

      Agence France Presse reported on May 7th that two Scientologists have been
      indicted for fraud and illegally prescribing medicine.

      "Two execs from the Scientology church have been recently indicted by a
      Parisian instruction judge, one for fraud and the other for illegal
      pharmacy practice. Alain Rosenberg has been indicted as General Manager of
      the 'Celebrity Center' in Paris, for fraud and complicity of illegal
      exercice of pharmacy.

      "The judge suspects him to have been engaged in personality testing
      without a scientific basis having caused damages to the plaintiff. Those
      tests could have been used in order to steal fortunes of some people,
      under the guise of a psychological aid.

      "Another executive, Aline Fabre, is indicted for illegal pharmacy practice
      because she would have sold high dosages vitamins. Attorney Aram
      Kevorkian, who is the defender of the two persons indicted, declared that
      indictment is not culpability, and that the people are not guilty. Nothing
      forbids personality testing, and those tests had scientific bases, did he
      declare, before adding that vitamins can be sold outside drugstores.
      Kevorkian added that he had appealed of these indictments before the
      Indictments appeal Room in Paris court."

      Message-ID: <3ebba81f$0$23446$626a54ce@...>

      #####

      > Scientology Tour

      Skyway News published the first of two articles on a visit to Scientology
      in Minnesota.

      "Through the storefront windows at 1011 Nicollet Mall, the Church of
      Scientology of Minnesota seems bright, open and warm. Posters advertise
      personality, toxicity and IQ tests - free and immediately available. At
      one of the tables abutting the windowpane, a young man in a black hooded
      sweatshirt diligently fills in small ovals on a test. Bright paperbacks
      and posters of golden, erupting volcanoes frame the space around him.
      Come, step out of the rain - and discover your full potential.

      "As I step inside, a kind- and weary-looking man jumps from his post at
      the front desk to greet me. It's raining, I tell him, and ask, what is
      this place? He extends his well-muscled, lean hand - the hand of a
      laborer. He is Bernie, a volunteer, and says this is the Church of
      Scientology. It basically believes you are a soul inhabiting a body that
      can get toxic, so the church helps you clear it and reach your potential.
      'You see,' he says, his eyes opening a little wider, 'you are so much more
      than you've been taught you can be.'

      "He reaches for one of the thousand or so books on the shelves as one
      might reach for a bottle of medicine, haltingly yet reverently. 'This
      book,' he begins, 'saved my life.' Bernie owns an auto diagnostics
      business. Things got stressful, so he took a management course; the
      teacher used a 'tone scale' to help him discern and deal with people's
      basic dispositions.

      "Bernie opens one of the thinner, cheaper books and displays the realm of
      human beings divided into strata, from the gray and glowering at the
      bottom, to the clear and serene at the top. 'You see,' he says, pointing
      to the darkest circles, 'not everyone is on your side. About 2 percent of
      people in the world are Suppressive Persons; they want to keep you from
      being happy.' Suppressive agents cause most illnesses, Bernie explains.
      Take someone he knows, he says, locked up in a mental hospital because 'he
      didn't have this technology to deal with the abuse in his past.'

      "Day two. I say hello to a woman in a pinstriped brown and black outfit at
      the front desk, and Troy emerges in his pressed shirt, tie and gray
      slacks. 'You're back!' he says with a flash of his even white smile. The
      brochures seem contingent upon taking the personality test, I explain; I
      only have a half-hour, is that enough?

      "The woman at the front desk sets to her task, which involves calling
      people out of the phone book. I resist the urge to interrupt and ask what
      certain test questions are meant to reveal: 'Do you intend two or less
      children in your family even though your health and income permit more?'
      'If we were invading another country, would you feel sympathetic towards
      conscientious objectors in this country?' and 'Would the idea of
      inflicting pain on game, small animals or fish prevent you from hunting
      and fishing?' I answer honestly, 'yes,' 'yes' and 'yes.'

      "By the time I finish (about 10 minutes) I've admitted to allowing
      'external noise' to disturb my concentration, being 'a slow eater' who is
      'touchy about certain things about [my]self' and occasionally 'feel[ing]
      compelled to repeat some interesting item or tidbit.' Troy emerges with
      the prognosis: I'm down on seven of 10 counts, below 'normal' and in an
      'unacceptable state,' in need of 'immediate assistance' as I suffer from:
      depression, a lack of accord, being critical, not being outgoing enough,
      nervousness, irresponsibility and being unstable or dispersed.

      "I stammer, try to explain/defend myself as Troy's finger points to each
      of my documented downfalls: well, I can be blunt, but I'm also the primary
      caregiver in my family, so how can I be irresponsible? Troy explains that
      responsibility is not 'like, 'Do I pay my bills on time or vote.' It's
      like, are you causative or do you let life happen to you - like cause and
      effect. Don't I want to take control of my life?' Troy cocks his head,
      smiles, and moves his index finger to my most significant problem -- the
      one point on the chart Troy has drawn a small cloud around: I'm depressed.
      I had no idea.

      "Day Three. Over breakfast 'Josh' - me - completes the exam guessing how a
      super-Scientologist would answer. 'Josh' doesn't prefer a few close
      friends but prefers a wide net of familiars; he wants us to breed like
      rabbits, which, of course, he has no problem shooting. He also feels
      comfortable telling others every opinion he has, even if he can't prove
      what he's saying and is generally not influenced by his emotions in his
      personal interactions. This time, another man sits at the front desk. He
      seems preoccupied, but looks up when I come in. He extends his long thin
      hands to take the pink fold-up test, but withdraws when I tell him it's
      for my husband - and I could get him to take it but not to come in. 'Well,
      it isn't much use without talking about it with somebody,' he says softly,
      but with deep concern. 'Well, I'd like to see how our charts compare.'

      "'This is a nice looking chart,' she says, indicating the eight of 10
      counts where Josh/superman is in the 'optimum range.' He's aggressive,
      responsible, outgoing - very impressive. But there are a couple areas
      where he's just normal: he can be critical and isn't very appreciative. If
      I'm interested, there's a solution - a glossy little book on marriage and
      the primer, 'Components of Understanding.'"

      Message-ID: <3eb706e8$1@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Jeff Jacobsen reported a protest at the Mesa, Arizona org on May 8th.

      "Bruce asked me if I wanted to picket. How could I say no? So during rush
      hour today we picketed the mission in Mesa. There were about 16 cars
      there, including wonderful Russ! One guy came out and took our pictures.
      He talked to me a bit commenting on my Lisa McPherson sign and saying
      that's old news. I said 'she's still dead.' He argued a bit with me,
      asking if we also protest the Catholic church too. I said that we each
      choose our fight.

      "We got about 8 positive reactions and 1 negative from the traffic that
      was crawling by because of road work ahead. I handed out 3 flyers, which
      is almost a record there because there is little foot traffic. After an
      hour we left and had a nice meal."

      Message-ID: <vbjn88mdnr2vef@...>

      #####

      > Reed Slatkin

      Slatkinfraud.com reported on May 8th that Scientologists are opposing the
      trustee's plan for the Reed Slatkin estate to go after some Scientology
      orgs to recover money donated by Slatkin during the period he ran a Ponzi
      scheme investment club.

      "High-ranking Scientologist creditors are fighting back against Trustee
      Todd Neilson's proposed reorganization of the estate, claiming that he
      failed to disclose his plan to go after Church of Scientology entities in
      an effort to recoup some of the millions lost in the Slatkin Ponzi Scheme.
      The Scientologist bloc is represented by lawyer Helena Kobrin, herself an
      active Scientologist and Slatkin net debtor, who has also served as
      counsel to several of the Scientology organizations targeted by the
      trustee.

      "From the Kobrin motion: 'Objecting parties assert that the Plan cannot be
      confirmed because it has become evidence that the Trustee intends to sue
      various Scientology entities, but did not disclose this intention in his
      disclosure statement. Instead, he waited to make this intention known
      through his attorney's comments to a newspaper reporter, resulting in a
      March 26, 2003 article entitled 'Victims of Scam Target Church.' Beyond
      the obvious desire to use this intention to create yellow journalism, the
      Trustee's failure to disclose this intention in the normal fashion through
      disclosure documents filed in the court violates 11 USC 1129(1),(2) and
      (3). Not only would it affect how a substantial number of claimants who
      are parishioners of the Scientology religion would vote, but the
      concealment of the issue affects the entire conduct of the case, including
      such things as the intensity of the Trustee's pursuit of these and other
      adversary defendants, and the Trustee's refusal to settle other than at a
      very high percentage of the amounts demanded.'

      "Ike Kezsbom, a longtime Scientologist, writes in his declaration of
      objection: 'My accounts suffered a net loss of approximately $2,400,000. I
      am a longstanding member of the Church of Scientology. I reviewed the
      Trustee's disclosure statement and proposed plan, and it did not state
      that they were planning to sue the Church of Scientology. I would be
      opposed to any Plan that involves suing my Church, and would prefer a plan
      that liquidates the assets of the Estate as promptly as possible. Based on
      the disclosure, I was under the impression that they did not intend to sue
      the Church. I believe other Scientologists [sic] creditors were also left
      with the same impression.'"

      Message-ID: <5e0371c5.0305061615.d00a6c4@...>

      #####

      > FSMs

      Flag FSM NewsLetter reported the winners of the Birthday Game for Flag
      Field Staff Members. The contest is based on money paid by recruits for
      training and processing to Scientology in Clearwater, Florida.

      "FINAL BIRTHDAY GAME STANDINGS 2002-2003 WINNERS!
      1. Michael Phillips CW
      2. Wendy Ettricks WUS
      3. Ty Dillard WUS
      4. Barry Klein WUS
      5. Mike Smith WUS
      6. Ronit Soracco WUS
      7. Steve Besio CW
      8. Ray Barton CW
      9. Divona Lewis WUS
      10. Wayne Fuller CW
      11. Deborah Hulthen CW
      12. Monika Ruegg EU
      13. Pat Parodi WUS
      14. Sheila Bulger UK
      15. Kay Daly Weiner WUS
      16. Mary Jo Hyland WUS
      17. Dennis Feeney WUS
      18. Neils Kjedlsen EU
      19. Susan Rowe EUS
      20. Luis Colon EUS"

      Message-ID: <WNAGQTES37749.7008333333@...>

      #####

      > Narconon

      Tulsa World reported on May 3rd that the Oklahoma legislature voted down a
      measure to commend Narconon for its work in drug rehabilitation.

      "Normally, resolutions honoring this or that group, person or event fly
      through the Legislature with nary a ripple of controversy. However, those
      measures do not usually involve substance-abuse treatment facilities
      operated by the Church of Scientology. On Thursday, freshman Rep. Terry
      Harrison, D-McAlester, appeared surprised that his Senate Concurrent
      Resolution 29, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Frank Shurden,
      D-Henryetta, sparked opposition. The resolution commends Narconon
      Arrowhead, a nationally recognized drug and alcohol treatment facility
      located at a former state lodge in Pittsburg County.

      "The measure doesn't mention the facility's ties to Scientology. It cites
      the $5.5 million spent on the lodge's purchase and renovation, delivery of
      free drug education programs to 58,000 Oklahoma youths, 130 jobs and $7.4
      million impact on the local economy, among other attributes. Rep. Richard
      Lerblance, D-Hartshorne, said drug-afflicted people come to the Narconon
      center from all over the country. A lawyer, Lerblance said some of his
      clients have completed the program successfully. 'This is a program, a
      company, that has come into Pittsburg County to help people,' he said.
      'Whoever this company is owned by is immaterial.' Rep. Al Lindley,
      D-Oklahoma City, also spoke for the measure. 'I'm completely ashamed of
      the membership here,' he said. 'It doesn't matter who owns that facility
      down there, as long as it helps people.'

      "Rep. Bill Paulk, D-Oklahoma City, said he didn't want his name 'on
      something supporting the Church of Scientology.' The veteran lawmaker said
      such measures illustrate the dangers of mixing church and state. 'This is
      a faith-based organization,' Paulk said. The resolution failed 43-50. It
      had passed the Senate a day earlier, but not before Shurden fielded
      questions on the facility's licensing with the state."

      Message-ID: <1052303170.63878@...>

      -end-