195A.r.s Week in Review 9/21/2003
- Sep 21, 2003Alt.religion.scientology
Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 20
9/21/2003 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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> BelgiumExpatica News reported on September 17th that Scientology has opened a
human rights office in Brussels, Belgium, near the offices of the European
"The Church of Scientology opened the doors to its all-new European
quarter offices Wednesday, amid skepticism from local politicians. The
luxurious address at 91 rue de la Loi will be representing the
controversial spiritual group in the European Commission and Parliament
neighbourhood in an attempt at increasing its credibility. The European
Scientology Office of Public Affairs and Human Rights has been seen as an
attempt to confuse visitors by attempting to appear like part of the
conglomerate of European institutions in the area.
"'They are the charlatans of human rights,' Antoine Duquesne, former
rapporteur during the investigation into sects in Belgium in 1997, told La
Libre Belgique. Politicians across all party lines criticised the
organisation's new offices. 'I think it's dangerous and a sect - it's not
for nothing that they've encamped themselves in the European quarter, we
know their lobbying capabilities,' said Mayor of Schaerbeek Bernard
Clerfayt. 'The Church of Scientology is only after money and nobody is
safe from what they are capable of,' said Mayor of Watermael-Boisfort
> Org NewsThe New Haven Register reported on September 20th that Scientology's New
Haven, Connecticut org will be moving to a new building.
"After 31 years in Westville, Hallock's has sold its Whalley Avenue
building and plans to move by the end of the year. The Church of
Scientology bought the 35,000-square-foot building for $1.5 million. Carol
Yingling, a church minister, said the church plans to move its Connecticut
headquarters into the building. The current headquarters is in 9,000
square feet of leased space just down the street. 'We are really busting
out at the seams,' she said. 'I'm looking forward to having a place to
hold community meetings.'
"Yingling said the move will allow the church to potentially quadruple its
staff of 35. 'We need four times that many to make full use of the new
space,' she said."
> CCHRAn email to Scientologists announced that a protest will be held at a
meeting of the Florida Psychiatric Society in October.
"The Florida Psychiatric Society is holding their 2003 Fall Meeting at the
Ponte Vedra Beach Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida,
October 3 - 5, 2003. They're encouraging all their members to attend but
the 'Ethics meetings' are closed to the public. They say the meeting is
important to 'strengthen and broaden the scope of our work and our
position within organized psychiatry.'
"The focus of our protest will be to halt the psychiatrists' use of
teachers to identify children as mentally disabled and forcing parents to
give drugs to their children as a condition for them continuing school. We
expect 500 - 1000 demonstrators! We are planning to have a rally in
downtown Tampa where we can organize this event on Sep 12, at 8:00 PM.
Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida, Inc."
> NetherlandsCNET News reported on September 8th on the victory in a Dutch court to
keep links to Scientology's OT materials legal on the web site of activist
"The Church of Scientology has lost a courtroom battle to compel a Dutch
writer and her Internet service provider to remove postings from a Web
site, in a ruling that keeps hyperlinks to copyrighted material legal.
The Court of Appeal in The Hague, Netherlands, denied the Scientologists'
latest appeal in an online copyright dispute that dates back to 1995.
"In denying the appeal, the court also overturned two previous rulings
that lower courts had handed down. One of these decided that ISPs should
be held accountable for any illegal or copyrighted materials posted by
their subscribers and that ISPs should take down hyperlinks to such
materials. An Xs4all representative cited the overruling of that decision
as the larger of the two victories.
"'I think this establishes an important freedom of speech precedence for
the Internet and ISPs in particular,' said Edith Mastenbroek, an Xs4all
spokeswoman. 'Any laws set to control how ISPs interact with copyright
laws must be made crystal clear.'
Xs4all representatives said they were particularly happy with the ruling,
as it relates to hyperlinks. 'After all, a hyperlink is merely a road
marker on the Internet, and it can therefore never be unlawful,' the
company said in a statement.
"Scientologists have taken a vigorous approach to squelching critical Web
sites, pressuring site operators, ISPs and even Internet heavyweights such
as Google into removing links to Web pages. In 1999, Amazon.com removed
but later restored links to a book critical of Scientology."
> Protest SummaryJohn Ritson reported a protest on September 13th at Scientology's Saint
Hill complex and the nearby town of East Grinstead, England.
"Five regulars plus one new recruit arrived at East Grinstead on a
beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. They have abandoned their presence
('Saint Hill Information Centre and Bookshop') on the main shopping
street opposite the Broadway pub. They have a new location opposite the
Ship pub, but I completely failed to spot it. We set off by taxis to the
main gates of Saint Hill, and parked ourselves opposite the gates. Despite
our boombox turned up to full volume only one security guard (head glued
to mobile phone) made an appearance, although we glimpsed Graeme Wilson
sneaking around in the bushes.
"The police were very helpful and erected a 'SLOW' sign to ensure safety.
Many of the drivers passing shouted encouragement. Drivers going into and
out of Saint Hill maintained a stony silence. After about forty minutes
the taxis turned up to take us back to East Grinstead and the Ship pub,
where the new Scientology presence was pointed out to us.
"We emerged to picket the Scientology dump, which eventually opened one
door, to let a couple of Scientologists with mobile phones wander about.
The police asked us to turn down the volume as their had been complaints.
We were happy to comply as even on moderate volume I could still be heard
clearly on the far side of the road. Much support from the public, and the
local Baptist church even brought us out tea and biscuits, so I expanded
my usual spiel to include a section about the 'R6 implant.'"
Tory Christman, "tannman1" and Jeff Jacobsen reported a protest in Los
Angeles on September 14th.
"We decided to head out to the HGB: Hollywood Guarantee Building (Which is
International Management), and the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition right
next door. As we began picketing, Hollywood rallied with us. Cars drove
by all day long with people honking, yelling, and giving us the thumbs up.
Many people walked by and told us their own personal horror stories re
Scientology. We also had two people walk up and ask us if they could join
the picket. We had extra signs, so we gave them signs and they too began
walking back and forth. One had a dog, and had a sign on it saying, 'Do
Not Believe L. Ron Hubbard.'
"We continued talking with people and passing out Xenu Flyers (at least
300, and 400 flyers and about 300 cards with Web sites). People of all
walks of life and all ages came up to talk with us. Meantime, Scientology
hid inside. As we traveled down to the Scientology Testing Center, things
heated up. Down from them were Black Israelites screaming non-stop about
how Jesus was really Black. They were screaming constantly. We were
passing out flyers, the Web sites, and I had the sign, 'Honk if you Think
Scientology is a CULT.' People were literally honking from both sides of
the street. Also, if they didn't have a car, and were walking by, they'd
go 'HONK' into my tape recorder.
"I realized this Cab was parked right outside of the Scientology Testing
Center, basically semi-blocking our signs. I realized no doubt OSA had
requested the cab, with the intention of blocking our signs. So I leaned
in and asked, 'Are you picking anyone up?' The gentleman said, 'No.' I
leaned in and said, 'These people are against Free Speech, and we are
fighting FOR Free Speech. You cab is blocking our signs, so you think
about that and decide what you want to do.' I walked away, and to my great
surprise, a few minutes later I heard the cab start up and he roared off,
honking loudly down the street. This happened two different times while we
"All during this time, Mellony and Jean were on their Cell phones. Finally
the police showed up! At first it was just someone from OSA, talking with
two LA PD. Finally the cops came over to me and told me they had a report
we were disrupting a residency. I asked where, as the Testing Center is
totally a business. He pointed above it (Three stories) and said those
residence were complaining. I told him first off we have a Constitutional
right to picket, and secondly, I was pretty sure they (OSA) were lying
about anyone living above the Testing Center.
"Finally after much talk, more OSA Int people arrived. Pam Bowen and one
of their top dogs who runs the attorneys, Ed Parken arrived on the scene.
Pam was furious and I could see was sent with orders to get rid of us.
The two cops came back and said they were 'Just trying to keep the peace'.
I said, 'So are we.' They said, 'Well, we have a request. You can say yes,
or no, but we would like you to go over to the other side of the street.'
I looked at the young cop and said, 'I heard your request and here is my
answer: No! We are here, we are going to continue to picket per the
Constitution of the USA.'
"We continued picketing, and more people began honking than all day long.
I saw OSA skulking around the corner, so I walked around to hear what was
being said. Pam immediately said, 'I don't want her here!' I said, 'Well,
since you're talking about me, I'd like to hear what is being said.' At
that point I hear the Supervisor ask Ed, 'Well, if you live here, I'd like
to see your driver's License proving it.' At that point I could only
laugh, as I knew once again the infamous 'Office of Special Affairs' had
blown it. The cops finally drove off as Scientology had NO proof that
anyone lived above the Testing Center."
"They feared our presence. They scooped anyone up who were out side the
walls and ushered them in like parents dragging kids in from the ocean
where a shark was sighted. We spoke to folks and offered our information.
Some accepted others refused. We moved to the Testing Center and this my
friends was where I received my first witness of the OSA. Here the fear
was even worse, It was RED ALERT for them. 7 people got an entire cult
hive in such a state of disarray I couldn't believe it. The clams resorted
to calling LAPD who basically didn't do a damn thing but ask us to move
across the street knowing we would refuse and no more could be done. OSA
was swarming like bees."
"I saw that L. Ron Hubbard Way had been closed off and lots of tables and
decorations had been set up. On the south side they had placed cloth walls
about 10 feet high across the entrance to the road. That way, any
picketers outside that wall could not be seen. I saw people making some
more of those walls, probably for the north side. The parking lot was
surrounded by this same high wall of cloth. There was a big stage set up.
"We went to the Hubbard Life Exhibit, a great place to hand out fliers. We
probably handed out about 200 fliers there (a guess). Skippy was very good
at handing out fliers. Graham and Tanman joined us there, as did another
ex and 2 pedestrians. Many people walking by said in low voices 'boy
we're glad you're out here!' And, 'Finally somebody is doing this!' We got
positive responses and several good conversations there. Some people
refused our fliers saying 'I already know it's bad, give it to someone who
"We just out of the blue decided to go to the testing center down
Hollywood Blvd. and protest there for a while. Graham and I held up the
WWW.XENU.NET banner closer to the testing center than the black guys (I
think their group is Black Israelites or something like that - they claim
to be the Lost Tribes). Others walked up and down with the great new
picket signs. Tanman somehow had parked his car right in front of us, and
suggested we drape the banner on his car. So we draped it on the left
side, holding it in place with the windshield wipers front and back. This
was great as any cars going by and anybody across the street would see
"We had a pretty good time, even with the competition of the black guys
accosting pedestrians, us handing out fliers, and the Scientologists
handing out fliers, all in the same little area. There were no
confrontations or anything from that."
> RussiaA press release from St. Irenaeus of Lyon Religious Studies Center on
September 22nd announced that protests would be held at a number of
Scientology orgs in Russia.
"The All-Russian 'Fellow Travelers' youth organization, with support from
the Russian Orthodox Youth Movement, begins a long-term nationwide protest
action against the activity of the Scientology cult. On the appointed date
the first leg of the action will begin simultaneously in Moscow, St.
Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kaluga.
"On the following five days the 'Fellow Travelers' activists will picket
the cult centers daily from 7 a. m. to 10 p.m., distributing leaflets and
explaining to those who want to enter the dangers of the cult. Large
posters will inform the citizens and all passers-by that the dangerous
cult is near. In Moscow the action will begin on September 22 at 3 p.m. in
four locations of the cult - three in the city and one in the suburb. The
official opening will be held by the Russian headquarters of the cult (B.
Galushkina St., 19). The guest speaker of the opening is Professor
Alexander L. Dvorkin."
Interfax reported on September 17th that a Psychiatric institute believes
Scientology will be protesting the center this week.
"Scientology is officially banned in Russia, Tatyana Dmitriyeva, director
of the Serbskiy Centre for Social and Criminal Psychiatry, said at a
conference on prison psychiatry in Moscow on Wednesday. 'However,
Scientologists continue to work in this country in the guise of human
rights organizations in order to cover the large sums put into
Scientology,' Dmitriyeva said. She said one of the Scientologists'
postulates has to do with psychiatry. 'They believe that psychiatrists
must not be allowed to treat people, as everything must be left to the
will of God,' she said.
"She announced that Scientologists regularly hold protest actions in front
of the Serbskiy centre and plan to hold another picket on Wednesday.
'Their main slogan is 'Psychiatrists, hands off humans!' They are also
urging the government to stop financing psychiatry,' Dmitriyeva said."
> Reed SlatkinThe Los Angeles Times reported on September 17th that the law firm that
represented former Scientology minister Reed Slatkin will pay $650,000 to
settle claims that they should have been aware that he was running a Ponzi
"Slatkin was sentenced to 14 years in prison this month for taking $593
million from investors in a Ponzi scheme. Slatkin, a Santa Barbara money
manager, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money
laundering. Bankruptcy trustee R. Todd Neilson alleged that Bryan Cave, a
St. Louis-based law firm that represented Slatkin, mishandled his case,
allowing investors to continue to pour money into his illegal schemes.
"Slatkin's attorney, Gerald Boltz, a former Securities and Exchange
Commission administrator, should have discovered the pyramid scheme in
early 2000, shortly after he was hired, Neilson said. But Slatkin's scheme
wasn't spotted until it began to come apart shortly before he filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2001.
"Under the terms of a tentative settlement filed last week, the law firm
does not admit to wrongdoing. But it will pay $650,000 to Slatkin's trust
to be distributed to creditors, said R. Alexander Pilmer, Neilson's
attorney. Investors who gave money to Slatkin still are owed about $240
million, and more than 200 lawsuits are pending to recover money from the
banks and investors who profited from the scheme, Pilmer said.
"Attorneys also are negotiating with groups affiliated with the Church of
Scientology that allegedly wound up with tens of millions of dollars in
donations from Slatkin clients. In court filings, Bryan Cave said that it
too was a victim of Slatkin's deception and that he gave the firm fake
documents. However, the firm claimed it was shielded from liability in the
case, because its duty as Slatkin's counsel was to represent its client
and not investors."
> Way to HappinessThe Los Angeles Times reported on September 15th that Scientology is
opening a Way to Happiness headquarters in Glendale, California.
"In a move that city business development officials see as another way to
drum up activity in a struggling business hub, The Way to Happiness
Foundation International is relocating its headquarters into a vacant
building at 201 E. Broadway. The building is owned by ABLE International,
which stands for the Association of Better Living and Education. The
foundation is an affiliate of ABLE. The foundation is a nonprofit
organization that is based on one book, 'The Way to Happiness,' written by
L. Ron Hubbard, whose tenets ushered in the Church of Scientology.
"The two-story, 22,000-square-foot building, built in the 1920s with a
basement and mezzanine was also perfect for the organization, she said.
The group will publish Hubbard's books from presses in the basement. City
officials were pleased the organization chose to move to Glendale. 'It is
going to provide activity on this corner, which we think will be very good
for the area,' Development Services Director Jeanne Armstrong said about
"The building is in the area of The Exchange, a retail and restaurant
open-air mall anchored by a movie theater. Merchants in the area have
lamented a lack of customers. But already, the foundation is trying to
drum up interest with a grand opening scheduled for Oct. 4 with a