191A.r.s Week in Review - 8/3/2003
- Aug 3 9:09 AMAlt.religion.scientology
Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 16
8/3/2003 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.
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Week in Review is archived at:
> Acting SeminarThe web log site justanormalgayguy.blogspot.com described on July 24th a
seminar at the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles for actors looking to get
into the movie industry.
"Last night I attended a seminar on 'How to Get Into the Industry'
presented at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in
Hollywood, presented by Terri Novitsky. I presumed the 'seminar' would be
some hook for something else that may or may not be legitimate or in my
best interests. I was escorted by a nice gentleman in a suit to a back
room where others were waiting for the seminar to begin. It was warm
inside and those in attendance were sitting nervously, fanning themselves,
and waiting for the seminar to start. Meanwhile people were flipping
through the booklets we all got written by L. Ron Hubbard.
"Terri came in about 5 minutes late, but full of sincere energy and
enthusiasm. I could tell she was a little nervous herself. There were
about 12 of us, all shapes/sizes/ages. We did some exercises where we said
a line and she told us what emotion to express. I went in front of the
class and found myself getting into it.
"Terri has great things to offer, but the seminar was a hook to get us to
buy another seminar for $35.00 which is probably good, but I declined. The
Scientology people tried pressuring me into signing up now and not
'procrastinating.' I saw it for what it was and decided if I wanted to do
the seminar, I'd do it later after I've done more exploring."
> Los AngelesThe LA Independent reported on July 30th that Scientology has paid the
back taxes it owed to the local business district.
"The Church of Scientology on July 18 paid more than $94,000 in delinquent
property taxes on four of its Hollywood properties, including tens of
thousands to the local business improvement district. The Independent
reported the day before that the church had failed to pay $94,625 for the
fiscal year that ended June 30 on its properties, including $41,227 to the
Hollywood Entertainment District.
"'The payment was in the works and this happens to coincide with your
article,' said spokeswoman Linda Simmons Hight. 'It's really a non-issue,'
she said. 'I can't think of anything of less interest to the Hollywood
community than when somebody is going to pay their property taxes. I know
it's of great interest to the [business improvement district], but that
really isn't of general interest.'
"The Hollywood Entertainment District had counted on receiving money from
the Church of Scientology this year to fund services like street cleaning,
security patrols and graffiti removal. The church, whose members include
several celebrities, had owed about $31,200 in total taxes on its 6331
Hollywood Blvd. property, $41,700 on its 6349 Hollywood Blvd. property,
$4,800 on its 1715 Ivar Street property and $16,700 on its 6724 Hollywood
> Lisa McPhersonThe United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled on July
22nd that a judgment against the estate of Lisa McPherson be set aside for
lack of jurisdiction.
"In 1997, the Estate of Lisa McPherson filed a wrongful death action in
state court in Tampa, Florida against various corporations and individuals
affiliated with the Church of Scientology. Upon being served with the
complaint, and ostensibly as a cost-saving measure, Defendant Flag Service
Organization (Flag) proposed to the Estate that they enter into an
agreement to limit the number of Scientology-related corporate entities
and individuals that would be named in the suit. The Estate and Flag
consequently entered into a contract in which the Estate agreed to forego
adding certain enumerated corporate defendants, and Flag agreed to forego
encumbering its assets.
"In 1999, the Estate moved the Florida court to add David Miscavige to the
list of named defendants in its wrongful death action. Miscavige is the
Chairman of the Board of RTC, a Scientology corporation, and while RTC was
listed among the parties which the Estate was contractually bound to
exclude from its action, the Estate sought to add Miscavige under the
theory that it was not contractually precluded from adding Miscavige in
his personal capacity.
"RTC filed suit against the Estate for breach of contract, and against
Liebreich personally for tortiously interfering with the contract between
the Estate and Flag. RTC filed in United States District Court in the
Eastern District of Texas under a diversity of citizenship jurisdictional
theory. The jury returned a verdict for $258,697.10. RTC petitioned the
district court for an award of $549,015.84 in costs and fees for the
litigation of this single-issue breach of contract case. The district
court reduced the award to $327,654.00. The court did impose sanctions
against the Estate's counsel for 30% of the attorneys' fees awarded, which
"The contention here is that Liebreich, as the personal representative of
the Estate, created in personam jurisdiction over the Estate. There are
two ways in which Liebreich might have brought the Estate into the reach
of the district court. First, the district court found general
jurisdiction over the Estate via Liebreich. Moreover, RTC argues that
Liebreich created specific jurisdiction over the Estate. However, neither
general nor specific jurisdiction existed over the Estate.
"The district court correctly found that it had general personal
jurisdiction over Liebreich as a resident of Texas. However, the district
court impermissibly imputed that general personal jurisdiction to the
Estate. As a creature of the Florida probate regime, the Estate resides
in Florida. Thus, for an estate probated in a foreign jurisdiction to
establish the type of continuous and systematic contact necessary for
general jurisdiction, the representative of the Estate must have made
those contacts in her representative capacity, on behalf of the Estate. It
is not sufficient that the personal representative herself lives in Texas.
"In sum, the district court lacked personal jurisdiction over the Estate.
Liebreich's general jurisdiction cannot be imputed to the Estate, and the
Estate did not establish minimum contacts relating to the breach action
with the forum jurisdiction sufficient to support specific jurisdiction.
Therefore, the district court erred in failing to dismiss the action
against the Estate for want of jurisdiction."
> WISEPress newspaper from New Zealand reported on July 26th that public money
invested into a plastics factory run as a member of the World Institute of
Scientology Enterprises has not produced the jobs that were promised, and
is going bankrupt.
"A year ago, the Westland District Council was defiantly pushing ahead
with plans for the now-infamous Hokitika plastics factory. Ratepayers
were assured that $581,000 of their money entrusted to some Australian
entrepreneurs would jackpot within a year into a world-first factory, and
Hokitika would be the world headquarters.
"They were promised 53 jobs, quickly growing to more than 100, with the
added benefit of having the plant licensed as a Wise training academy for
local staff training. No-one was told that means World Institute of
Scientology Enterprise, an offshoot of the Church of Scientology.
"Even when the Australians pulled out in November (having established
nothing more than a phone book listing in Hokitika) to focus the venture
in Sydney, the council continued to express faith that they would be back
and have the factory running before Christmas this year. As public
dissension with the project grew louder, the decision was made for a
delegation to fly to Sydney to reassure itself that all was well. It
returned to pronounce that everything was on track. None of that will be
forgotten now as the council scrambles to rescue the public money it
"FT Manufacturing (Westland) Ltd, the company hailed by Mayor John Drylie
as leading the 'next generation' of plastics technology, has gone bust,
and Westland ratepayers are going to be demanding answers, if not more."