183A.r.s Week in Review - 6/8/2003
- Jun 8, 2003Alt.religion.scientology
Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 8
6/8/2003 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.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available. Subscriptions are
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Week in Review is archived at:
> ClearwaterLetters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on June 5th reacted to
plans to Scientology's efforts to promote downtown Clearwater, Florida to
developers and retailers.
"Please, Clearwater Commissioner Whitney Gray, spare preaching 'the good
word of downtown' to the majority of Clearwater residents. City officials
know how most residents feel about the Scientologists' overwhelming
presence in downtown Clearwater.
"The bulk of property they have procured within our city is disturbing to
many. The concept of spending up to $41-million to provide residents with
a Barnes & Noble, Ann Taylor, Armani Exchange, Kenneth Cole and FAO
Schwartz is absurd. Do they think these stores would draw most of us
downtown? Call me stupid, but come on. The elephant is in the living room.
"This issue has exhausted most taxpayers in this community. Most of us
have had uptown 'dreams' of downtown, but that's all they are, dreams. -
Charlene Comeau, Clearwater
"When I was in Florida last year, I dropped by the Lisa McPherson Trust
not too long before its demise. One of the staff members took me on a
walking tour to see the various Scientology buildings, pointing out the
many 'security' cameras and motion sensors. We were constantly shadowed by
operatives yapping on walkie-talkies and cell phones. When approaching
Scientologists on the sidewalks, my guide simply stopped in his tracks,
explaining that they couldn't come within 10 feet, so he preferred to let
them figure out how to deal with that prohibition.
"The atmosphere in downtown Clearwater is downright intimidating. The
heart of the city is an occupied territory, under constant surveillance by
a 'religion' based on sci-fi scriptures about alien forces that
overwhelmed Battlefield Earth 75 million years ago. - Eldon M. Braun,
> GermanyA press release from the Dialog Center in Berlin, Germany on June 3rd
warned that Scientology has begun advertising in magazines placed in taxi
"Numerous Berlin taxis have been driving through the capitol city recently
with covert Scientology advertisements. Sect commissioner of the
Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, Rev. Thomas Gandow, warned about
the taxi advertisements for the new Scientology magazine 'Free Mind -
Reise zum Ich.' The connection of the advertisement to the Scientology
organization is not readily apparent to either the taxi driver or to the
potential buyers. This is because the word 'Scientology' is not mentioned,
although the advertisement is for 'Dianetics' and Scientology founder
"Scientology and Dianetics inventor Hubbard stated that his psycho-courses
were going to replace psychiatry and psychotherapy. Erich Fromm, who back
in 1950 was a renowned psychotherapist, wrote that the Dianetics book was
'alarming.' He said the book was a 'symptom of a dangerous trend.'
"'Free Mind' is printed by Verlag New Era Publications GmbH. There is no
doubt this is a Scientology corporation whose business consists primarily
of dealing in Hubbard books."
> NarcononNarconon International Newsletter reported in its May, 2003 issue on
developments around the world regarding the Scientology drug rehab
"The First China International Symposium on Alcohol and Health was put on
by the Beijing SIJI Exchange Center for Science and Technology, the World
Health Organization-Shanghai Collaborating Center for Health Education and
Promotion, and the University of Nebraska. More than fifty delegates
attended from throughout China, Australia, Canada, Europe, and Taiwan. The
Narconon International President delivered an address on sauna sweat-out
detoxification methodology, as developed by L. Ron Hubbard, in relation to
treating alcoholism. He presented the research and published materials of
the Narconon program and evidence of its worldwide delivery.
"Following the symposium, the President met with Prof Gan Xmgfa of the
WHO-Shanghai Collaborating Center, who requested that someone from
Narconon International come as soon as possible to present the Narconon
drug rehabilitation method, to help pilot the Narconon program in a local
hospital, and to help survey the China Republic regarding drug abuse. Many
professionals in the country are aware that there is a large and growing
problem and are searching for intelligent technology that can be
implemented rapidly and locally to deal with it.
"An invitation to introduce Narconon technology and First Step Workshop at
the second Project Bridges Faith Based Substance Abuse Treatment and
Prevention Conference soon followed from Washington, DC. The motto of the
conference was 'Mobilizing to Bridge the Gap.' The conference focus was on
faith- and community-based organizations, building them into a grassroots
movement toward handling the drug problem. The attendees were primarily
African-American pastors and related associates in the Washington, D.C.
"Clifton Mitchell, President Bush's Coordinator of Faith and Community
Partners Initiative, spoke about the President's initiative to increase
funding for faith-based rehab groups. He encouraged the attendees to form
coalitions and write grant proposals to the U.S. Government. Mr. Mitchell
thanked Clark Carr and Narconon for helping him to do his job and urged
everyone to visit Narconon Arrowhead. Rev. Carlton N. Pressley (Senior
Advisor for Religious Affairs to the D.C. Mayor), gave a rousing sermon,
preaching among other things that the listeners 'should be sending addicts
"The federal ANF (Anti Narcotics Force) of Pakistan invited the President
of Narconon International to tour and lecture throughout Pakistan. Dr.
Humaira Aziz, a Narconon supporter in Islamabad, has been disseminating
Mr. Hubbard's social betterment technology, and Narconon drug prevention
and rehabilitation methods were what were most urgently requested.
"The Narconon International President first met with Dr. Muhammad Sharif,
ED Narconon Hyderabad, near Karachi. Dr. Sharif set up meetings with the
Mayor of Hyderabad and Latifabad, a neighboring town, and put on for the
President a welcoming event with 40 enthusiastic supporters of Dr.
Sharif's activities, followed by a banquet at which awards and
recognitions were given out to all.
"A two-day workshop in the city of Rawalpindi got rave reviews. All
attendees gave heartfelt wins and thanks to Narconon International for
coming to Islamabad/Rawalpindi, to the President, and to Dr. Humaira Aziz.
Every rehab group in attendance rushed the President for Narconon license
applications. The President then toured local rehabs, giving assists to
those he saw were ill, and continued to work with their representatives on
how to get vitamins, etc., for delivery.
"The staff of Narconon Southern California have long since filled their
Narconon Newport Beach facility to capacity. Now, after purchasing a
lovely new residential facility in the desert hills of north San Diego
County, they have completed the zoning approval processes and are filling
this center to capacity and are looking for a third location!
"Narconon Racine in Wisconsin was licensed this year. They have done their
basic incorporation and have begun promoting the Narconon drug prevention
program. This group is just north of Chicago, so they are also working in
coordination with Narconon Great Lakes and will be doing referrals to
Narconon Stone Hawk."
> SafeCNET News.com reported on June 3rd that Scientology is attempting to force
AT&T to disclose the identity of a poster to alt.religion.scientology who
allegedly posted copyrighted materials anonymously.
"Raising new issues about anonymity on the Net, the Church of Scientology
is invoking a law passed last year to force AT&T to disclose the identity
of an Internet service subscriber who allegedly infringed the church's
copyrights online. Scientology's Bridge Publications, which four years ago
helped to forge new law when it sued Internet service provider Netcom,
claims the anonymous author 'made two unauthorized, verbatim Internet
postings' of the church's copyrighted works on the
alt.religion.scientology Usenet group. Invoking a provision in the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act, Bridge Publications filed a subpoena on AT&T
that would require it to turn over the name of the Worldnet subscriber.
"AT&T spokesman Jonathan Varman said the company had not yet turned over
the information to the church and was 'looking to do the best for our
customer and still comply with the court.' The subpoena set yesterday as
the deadline for complying. In a telephone interview, the poster, going by
the pseudonym 'Safe,' said AT&T had agreed to delay complying with the
subpoena until at least tomorrow to give his attorney time to figure out
how to proceed.
"Dan Leipold, Safe's counsel and an attorney who has done battle with
Bridge Publications in the past, said he was concerned the law was being
misused against his client. 'This individual has not been shown to do
anything wrong and yet he's going to lose his anonymity,' said Leipold,
who declined to name the author. 'He's worried. He does not want to give
up the anonymity because he knows who's on the other side and he knows
what they'll do to him.'
"According to one of the offending Usenet postings, the church goes so far
as to make it a 'high crime' for followers to 'Organize splinter groups to
diverge from Scientology practices still calling it Scientology or calling
it something else.' In all, the post, which purports to cite the
Introduction to Scientology Ethics, lists 274 'errors, misdemeanors,
crimes, and high crimes' against the Church.
"Leipold argued that despite the large amount of text quoted verbatim, the
posting fell under so-called fair use exceptions to the copyright law.
Fair use provisions permit parties to reprint copyrighted work depending
on the purpose, the amount of text quoted, and other factors. 'If you're
trying to illustrate the point that they exert control over their members,
you can't do it by quoting only five or six rules,' Leipold said. 'You've
got to look at what the scope is.'"
> Ybor CityThe St. Petersburg Times reported on June 6th that Scientology will open a
new facility in the Ybor City area of Tampa, Florida.
"The church spent $200,000 renovating the leased building at 1619 E Eighth
Ave. and expects 500 people for the grand opening, Tirabassi said. 'We
like Ybor City because it has lots of people, lots of life, lots of
activities, and it's a vibrant community,' she said. This week, workers
were putting the finishing touches on the Scientology Life Improvement
Center, which will sell Scientology books, administer personality, IQ and
aptitude tests and offer self-improvement courses.
"But to get people through the doors, the church stops them on sidewalks.
Vince Pardo, executive director of the Ybor City Development Corporation,
said he's pleased to see the church fix up a local building but he's also
heard complaints about the intensity of church members' pitches. In teams
of two, members have been standing along Seventh Avenue, talking to
passers-by and offering free personality tests. Some of them have
apparently followed customers onto private Centro Ybor property, where
solicitation is off limits.
"'We're all for free speech,' said Lisa Brock, a spokeswoman for Centro
Ybor. 'We just have to draw the line at following people (onto) any of our
property, which might cross into the area of harassment.'"
From the St. Petersburg Times on June 7th:
"The church, which has been criticized for aggressive canvassing in Ybor
City, met with its neighbors this week and discussed that very question.
After the meeting, Ybor civic leader Vince Pardo was pleased. The
Scientologists, he said, had agreed to dispatch no more than two people at
a time to recruit new members from the streets of Ybor.
"But church spokeswoman Ana Tirabassi didn't remember it that way. She
said the church didn't limit itself to a number but simply agreed not to
overwhelm the neighborhood. Friday, after a reporter raised the
discrepancy with Pardo, he opened a three-way conference call with church
spokeswoman Pat Harney. When she avoided a firm commitment, he expressed
disappointment. 'What you're doing is voluntary, and I appreciate that,'
said Pardo, executive director of the Ybor City Development Corp. 'But I
also appreciated that you came up with a number.'
"In recent weeks, community leaders have received complaints about the
number of canvassers and the intensity of their pitches. When the
Scientologists learned about the concerns, they started talking to shop
owners and promised to be good neighbors. Pardo said he told them about
the concerns of business owners who had reported that church members
followed customers onto Centro Ybor's property. The Scientologists, he
said, were apologetic. Pardo said the church agreed to remind members of
its policy not to follow or harass people on sidewalks.
"Pardo said he was told that the typical number of canvassers assigned to
Ybor is from two to eight. According to Pardo, the church committed to
limiting canvassers to two at a time. Tirabassi said the church generally
assigns no more than two members at a time but reserves the right to send
more. The bottom line, Tirabassi said, is that the church wants to be
sensitive to neighborhood concerns without limiting its own rights. Pardo
said he was encouraged by the Scientologists' 'good faith, voluntary