88A.r.s Week in Review - 8/5/2001
- Aug 5, 2001Alt.religion.scientology
Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 16
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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> AFFThe American Family Foundation reported this week that Scientology is
attempting to infiltrate Re-FOCUS, a support group for ex-members of
"Re-FOCUS is an ongoing forum to talk about lingering issues for survivors
of cults. These sessions, which are free, are held at undisclosed
locations in various cities. It has been reported that active Scientology
members have embarked on a plan try to gain access to these Re-FOCUS
meetings. The only name disclosed thus far in this apparent Special
Affairs operation attempt, is Mr. Andrew Bagley. The message they alleged
was something to the effect of 'Oh we just want to try to help others with
> ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times reported on August 3rd that a Scientologist
couple have opened a pastry shop in downtown Clearwater.
"The store opened Tuesday and quickly sold all of its chocolate
croissants. The next day, the batch was doubled. All had been sold by 2
p.m., as had several dozen quiche slices. Andreani, who moved to
Clearwater two years ago in part to be closer to the Church of
Scientology, also is looking forward to his new neighbor and the business
it could bring.
"With the help of Main Street and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of
Commerce, Andreani did his homework and found that residents cried out for
a business like his. Sixty-seven percent of the more than 2,000 shoppers,
Church Scientology members and visitors and business owners rated the
quality of restaurants and shops as 'poor to fair,' in a survey analysis
conducted in two phases in 2000 for the Main Street program.
"He plans to put a few tables on the sidewalk outside his door and lure
customers who might want to sip a cup of coffee with an apple tart. A
store logo is also in the works. And by the end of the year, he also hopes
to cater to residents' pastry needs in their homes and businesses."
> Celebrity CenterThe South China Morning Post reported on August 1st that several
Scientology celebrities will appear at an anniversary event for the
Celebrity Center in Los Angeles.
"Cruise will be hobnobbing with other faithful celebrities at the 32nd
anniversary of the controversial Church of Scientology. On the guest list
for Saturday's event in Los Angeles are Jenna Elfman of Dharma And Greg,
Leah Remini from The King Of Queens, Danny Masterson of That 70s Show, his
brother Christopher Masterson of Malcolm In The Middle and Nancy
Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson."
> GermanyHamburger Abendblatt published an article on August 2nd about Ursula
Caberta, director of the Task Force on Scientology in Hamburg.
"Ursula Caberta, director of the Task Force on Scientology in the Interior
Agency, was interrogated on US American soil in the middle of Hamburg by
American attorneys of a German citizen. Several hours of deposition took
place in the US Consulate on Alster at the wish of a judge from Tampa,
Florida. At the end of July 2000, a German employee of an American
software business, Hubert H., had sued Mrs. Caberta in Florida for at
least 75,000 dollars in damages. The reason was that H. had failed in
getting business from a Germany company because he answered 'yes' to the
question of whether he was a Scientologist. In the lawsuit H. is asking
not only for damages, but that this 'sect filter' be prohibited.
"In the hearing itself, she said the Scientology attorneys were obviously
less concerned about H's lawsuit than they were about learning about the
work in the Interior Agency, even wanting to know how files were dealt
with. The Scientologists are very interested in discrediting Caberta.
Caberta had commented that she had privately accepted money from US
businessman Bob Minton. Since Bob Minton also combats Scientology and
Caberta had dealt with him in an official capacity, the Scientology
organization filed a charge with the state attorney's office on suspicion
of soliciting for favors. Caberta was said to have had a relationship with
Minton in which she was dependent upon him, according to Frank Busch,
spokesman of the Hamburg Scientologists, who also said that she could no
longer be neutral. The Scientologists are saying that Minton has not
disputed that the amount was more than 100,000 marks. Caberta would not
say anything about it because the state attorney's office was still
> Lisa McPhersonScientology served subpoenas on the Lisa McPherson Trust and several staff
members, demanding they produce a large number of documents in the Lisa
McPherson wrongful death case.
"LIST OF DOCUMENTS TO BE PRODUCED
"Copies of all letters, e-mails, forms, affidavits, declarations,
statements or any other documents concerning communication with any
government agency with respect to any witness or family member of any
witness listed on any parties' witness lists and/or any individual who has
knowledge of the facts concerning the Estate of Lisa McPherson v. Church
of Scientology Flag Service Organization, et al.
"All correspondence with any current or former Scientologist, or the
parent or guardian of any current or former Scientologist.
"Any and all forms or questionnaires used by any employee, member or agent
of the Lisa McPherson Trust used for compiling information or complaints
on any witnesses or family members of any witnesses listed on defendants'
witness list and/or any individual who has knowledge of the facts
concerning the Estate of Lisa McPherson v. Church of Scientology Flag
Service Organization, et al.
"Any leaflets, fliers, e-mails, web pages or any other promotional
material used by the Lisa McPherson Trust to solicit complaints or
otherwise obtain information for complaints on any witnesses or family
members of any witnesses listed on defendants' witness list and/or any
individual who has knowledge of the facts concerning the Estate of Lisa
McPherson v. Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, et al.
"Any and all documents concerning the statement from the Lisa McPherson
Trust announcement that it has 'documented cases in which Scientology has
committed exactly the crimes that the French have named 'fraud, abuse of
confidence, the illegal practice of medicine, wrongful advertising and
sexual abuse, as well as many others.'
"Any and all documents concerning communications about or with Marcus
Quirino, Astra Woodcraft, Lawrence Woodcraft, Zoe Woodcraft, Maria Pia
"All records reflecting payments of funds for any purpose, to Stacy
Brooks, and Jesse Prince not previously provided to defendants, including
"All documents concerning any complaints to any government agency or
entity against defendant Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization
and/or any of it staff.
"All videos, letters and any other type of communication and material
provided to any government agency, entity or employee, regarding the
defendant Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization and/or any of
"Records reflecting any and all payments received from Robert Minton for
operating expenses and debts.
"All records of counseling conducted by LMT staff with members or former
members of the Scientology religion whether classified as counseling, exit
counseling (as described in the articles of incorporation of the LMT and
other public statements by LMT) or anything else."
> Bob MintonBob Minton filed a complaint this week against Scientology, accusing them
of harassment in violation of the temporary restraining order issued by
"On February 21, 2001, the Court placed the Respondent on six months of
probation under the supervision of the Salvation Army. On or about May 17,
2001, Ben Shaw, acting in his capacity as a member, officer, agent,
servant, or employee of the Petitioner, sent to the Salvation Army
Correctional Services in Clearwater, Florida, a letter. This letter
suggested to the Salvation Army Correctional Services as well as to the
Court that the Respondent was in violation of his probation by aiding and
abetting H. Keith Henson in failing to appear for sentencing before a
state court in California, either by causing, aiding, advising or
encouraging H. Keith Henson not to appear for sentencing. Subsequent to
receipt of this same letter, the Respondent's probation officer at the
Salvation Army presented him with the letter and advised the Respondent
that the allegation in the letter would not constitute a violation of
probation and therefore no further action would be taken on these
allegations by the Salvation Army.
"Gerard Renna, identified as Director of Special Affairs for the
Petitioner's Church of Scientology in Boston, acted in his capacity as a
member, officer, agent, servant, or employee of the Petitioner in
composing and causing to be sent two letters, the first dated May 9, 2001,
and addressed to J. Scott Currier, Chief of Police in Sandown, New
Hampshire, and the second dated May 24, 2001, and addressed to the Federal
Bureau of Investigation and copied to the Boston Police Department and
Chief of Police J. Scott Currier. In the letter of May 9, 2001, Gerard
Renna states in part to Chief of Police J. Scott Currier, 'As Mr. Minton
is known to have guns, I have also enclosed a copy of his six-month
probation order for your information.' At the time this same letter was
sent, Gerard Renna knew or had reason to know that Chief of Police J.
Scott Currier, as a law enforcement officer in New Hampshire, had no
authority or jurisdiction to enforce a probation order from the State of
Florida. At the time this same letter was sent, Gerard Renna knew or had
reason to know from a review of the probation order that possession of
firearms was not a violation of the Respondent's probationary conditions.
Renna refers to an enclosed 'letter sent to Minton's probation officer
regarding violation of his probation by assisting Henson,' and further
states, 'Minton lives in New Hampshire and Boston and that it is likely,
due to his arrogance for the law, that he might harbor this fugitive of
the United States at his home.'
"Each act of sending of these letters to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Chief of Police of Sandown, New Hampshire, the Boston
Police Department, and the Salvation Army Correctional Services
constituted harassment by the Petitioner against the Respondent as that
term was contemplated in Temporary Injunction Number Two. An effective
deterrent to such continued harassment and abuse by the Petitioner would
be for the Court to terminate the Respondent's probation, or alternatively
to modify and clarify condition 5 of the Respondent's probation by
allowing the Respondent to keep and possess such firearms as he owned."
Scientology responded to the accusation in a filing with the court.
"On its face, Mr. Minton's allegations of harassment, and his resultant
claim that the Church has violated the injunction and therefore committed
an indirect criminal contempt, are patently frivolous. The purported
harassment, as set forth in Mr. Mutton's motion, consists of sending a
letter written by a representative of the Church of Scientology Flag
Service Organization to Mr. Minton's probation officer and the sending of
a letter by an employee of the Church of Scientology of Boston, to a New
Hampshire police department, and sending a letter, by the same employee of
the Church of Scientology of Boston, to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, submitting information about an apparent probation
violation of the conditions of Mr. Minton's probation. Mr. Minton's claim
that any or all of these acts violate the injunction is absurd for at
least the following reasons:
"The mailing of letters to probation officers or law enforcement agencies,
alleging violations of a court order is on its face free speech that is
protected by the Florida and United States constitutions. It is ridiculous
to contemplate whether Mr. Minton would also claim a violation of the
injunction if the Church had sent similar letters to a newspaper, or
posted the same allegations against him on the Internet, or conveyed the
same information on picket signs.
"The 'acts of harassment' prohibited by the Court's injunction clearly
relate to harassment in the context of direct interaction between the
parties subject to the injunction in connection with picketing and
demonstrations. Neither the Church of Scientology of Boston nor its
employees are subject to the terns of the Court's injunction."
> David MinkoffThe St. Petersburg Times reported on August 4th that Dr. David Minkoff has
been suspended as a doctor and fined for his treatment of Lisa McPherson,
who died as a result of her care in the Fort Harrison Hotel in 1995.
"Florida's Board of Medicine has sternly sanctioned Clearwater physician
David I. Minkoff, finding he improperly prescribed medicine for a patient
he had never seen - Scientologist Lisa McPherson. Minkoff, also a
Scientologist, prescribed Valium and the muscle relaxant chloral hydrate
at the behest of unlicensed Church of Scientology staffers who were trying
to nurse McPherson, 36, through a severe mental breakdown. When they
failed after 17 days of isolating her, Minkoff was recruited again. This
time, he pronounced McPherson dead.
"For his role in the 1995 episode that Minkoff himself calls a 'fiasco,'
the 53-year-old doctor will lose his medical license for one year and then
be made to practice under probation for two more years - unless he appeals
and wins a reversal. He also was fined $10,000.
"Ken Dandar, the Tampa lawyer who represents McPherson's family, called
the sanctions too lenient. Dandar set off the inquiry that led to Friday's
action, complaining about Minkoff to state health officials in 1997. He
nevertheless credited Minkoff on Friday for the candid accounts he has
given in sworn statements. It was Minkoff, a Scientologist for 20 years,
who told prosecutors in 1998 that McPherson's care at Scientology's Fort
Harrison Hotel in Clearwater was seriously flawed.
"The doctor is a 'public' Scientologist, not one of the uniformed members
who staff the church. Though Minkoff had never seen McPherson and didn't
know her medical history, he prescribed liquid Valium. He also wrote the
prescription in the name of the Scientology staffer who was sent to pick
it up - not the actions of a 'reasonably prudent physician,' according to
a stinging document written earlier this year by the state's Agency for
Health Care Administration. Nine days later, the church staffers called
again. This time, Minkoff prescribed chloral hydrate, a prescription
sedative, again without examining McPherson or gleaning information about
her medical situation.
"On Dec. 5, 1995, when Scientology staffers realized McPherson was
physically ill, they again called Minkoff, who says he told them to take
her to the nearest hospital. But the staffers persisted, saying they
feared doctors at Morton Plant Hospital, two minutes away, would put her
in the psychiatric ward. Minkoff, who worked in the emergency room at a
New Port Richey hospital 45 minutes away, finally agreed to see McPherson.
After pronouncing McPherson dead, Minkoff told prosecutors he screamed at
church staffer Janis Johnson for bringing him someone in such 'horrific'
shape. Johnson was an unlicensed physician. An autopsy found McPherson
died of a blood clot in her left lung.
"Once a defendant in that lawsuit, he has settled with McPherson's family.
Minkoff has said Johnson never revealed the severity of McPherson's
psychosis. Had he known more, he would have acted differently, he told
> Protest Summary"Barb" reported a protest against Scientology at a gay pride parade in San
"Last Saturday was the date of the Gay Pride Parade in San Diego. Richard
and I decided to take the opportunity to pass out some fliers to the gay
community. We took lawn chairs and set up near the terminus of the
parade. My sign read, 'WARNING! $CIENTOLOGY PREYS ON THE GAY COMMUNITY!' I
brought Purple Inflatable Xenu. I also brought along my org of Fortune
Clams which I'd mocked up for the occasion. These are glued together clam
shells with little rolly eyes glued to them. Each one contained a
'fortune' that said, 'You will save a friend or loved one from
$cientology, www.xenu.net' Also on the list, a stack of fliers aimed
specifically at the gay community, these contain some choice Hubbard
quotes revealing his opinions on homosexuality.
"Many, many people responded to my 'Hey! Scientology Sucks!' Several
people declared their Christian affiliation, seeming to think that would
protect them from Scientology's enticements. I explained the deal to them,
that Scientology assures you you can be both Christian, Jew, Moslem, gay
and a Scientologist. These people took fliers and, although they felt
fairly safe, promised to inform their friends. We handed out fliers for
about two hours. Although we only gave out less than 100 fliers, this
event has great potential for a massive information fest."
Dave Bird reported a protest in Birmingham, England on August 4th at a
'What is Scientology' exhibit.
"We started fairly early as the exhibition began at 12:30. Dave with
boombox and Jens with helium balloons, later joined by Martin Poulter,
arrived opposite the awning of the convention centre and began to put our
message to the crowd. As we pitched up, a little creepy guy came and more
or less sat in my trouser pocket to make a mobile phone call. He said that
'a tramp was looking for me and would throw more than Guinness this time'
- a reference to an incident at Saint Hill where they once bribed a
homeless nutter to come and attack us. There was a whole cluster of local
and Saint Hill clams running around counter-leafleting. Later the Jive
Aces appeared under the awning and tried to drown our speech out with
amplified music; it didn't work very well. I started singing Xemu Loves
You to the beat and key of whatever they were playing.
"Later some OSA clam objected to use playing brief extracts of Hubbard's
speech. He didn't know which organisation owned the copyright. By the end
of the demo we were really getting going and heard well over the top of
their music. We'd done our three hours and we decided to go home."
> The ProfitThe St. Petersburg Times published an article on August 2 on The Profit, a
film which parodies the history of Scientology.
"It's a movie about cults based on fictional characters, says the
director. But it's hard to miss the inspiration behind The Profit. The
main character is a science-fiction writer who founds a religion. Get it?
The leader starts the Church of Scientific Spiritualism. His name: L.
Conrad Powers. The full-length feature film was written and directed by
Peter Alexander, a 20-year Scientologist who broke from the church in 1997
and now calls it an elaborate fraud. It was funded in part by Bob Minton,
the Church of Scientology's most vocal critic. And in three weeks, it will
be shown to the public for the first time at an independent theater in
none other than Clearwater, the mecca for Scientologists who come there
from around the world for church counseling.
"At one point, he said, members of the Foundation for Religious Tolerance
of Florida handed out fliers denouncing the film's backers at the film
site and followed crew members home to press them for information about
the content of the film. Mary DeMoss of Clearwater, a Scientologist and
founder of the Foundation for Religious Tolerance of Florida, calls the
movie a 'hate propaganda film.' She denies anyone from her organization
followed anyone home and says the fliers were intended to 'let the people
know who was behind this.'
"The cast of the $2-million film is made up mostly of New York stage
actors, Alexander said. But it also includes cameos by many of
Scientology's staunchest critics, including Minton, trust president Stacy
Brooks, church critic Jesse Prince and lawyer Ken Dandar, who represents
the trust in a lawsuit against the church.
"Alexander said he was introduced to the church in the late 1970s by his
future wife. Over the years, he estimates he donated $1-million to the
church. His schism with the church developed not long after he and his
wife split up in 1997. Alexander said he became convinced that Scientology
was a cult after he did some research on the Internet. For a while, he
took up with the Lisa McPherson Trust but has since dropped out.
"St. Petersburg Times movie critic Steve Persall, who viewed the movie in
an invitation-only pre-screening in June, offered this assessment: 'The
movie looks like any other exploitation flick: cheap production values,
stilted drama, gratuitous nudity and episodes that pop up and disappear
without much detail except what's supposed to shove the audience into a
desired reaction - in this case, outrage. It's hard to take seriously, in
part because the story seems so far-fetched.'
"The Clearwater Cinema Cafe, a two-screen theater on the northeast corner
of U.S. 19 and Sunset Point Road, is the only Tampa Bay area theater so
far to commit to showing the film. Theater owner Larry Greenbaum said he
expected some heat when he decided to run the movie. 'We like to run some
films on the edge when we have an opportunity,' Greenbaum said."
> RitalinThe National Law Journal reported on July 30th that lawsuits against the
manufacturers of Ritalin are not doing well. One of the main attorneys in
the case is Scientologist John Coale.
"Despite the participation of two tobacco litigation heavyweights, judges
this spring threw out two of five class actions filed last year against
New Jersey-based Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., the manufacturer of
Ritalin. And on July 25, a federal judge in Florida dismissed a third
Ritalin class action at the request of the plaintiffs' lawyers. John
Coale and Richard Scruggs, who were leaders on the plaintiffs' side of the
tobacco wars, point to the difficulty in the early stages of tobacco
litigation and say they've only begun the Ritalin fight.
"Lawyers for Novartis and two nonprofit groups that were also sued say
that the plaintiffs are trying to use the courts to short-circuit
legitimate scientific debate over attention deficit disorder and attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder, the conditions that Ritalin and its
generic siblings are used to treat.
"The first of the class actions was filed last year in Texas by Dallas'
Waters & Kraus. Coale and Scruggs, working with the Texans and other
plaintiffs' lawyers, soon filed class actions in California and New
Jersey. A second set of lawyers filed similar class actions in Puerto Rico
and Florida. In California, senior federal Judge Rudi M. Brewster of the
Southern District ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to plead a valid
cause of action and stated that the lawsuit targeted speech protected by
the U.S. and California constitutions. The case is on appeal to the 9th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And in Texas, federal Judge Hilda G. Tagle
of the Southern District ruled in May that, despite two tries at amending
the original complaint, the plaintiffs had failed to state a cause of
action in that case as well.
"A group that for years has been highly critical of Ritalin, Prozac and
other psychiatric drugs is the Citizens' Committee for Human Rights, a
group that is closely tied to the Church of Scientology. Coale, a
Scientologist, calls the issue of Scientology involvement a red herring.
He says the committee has nothing to do with the current lawsuits, an
assertion backed up by the group."
> RussiaNezavisimaya Gazeta reported on July 4th on Scientology's presence in
"Branches of the Church of Scientology operate in Moscow, Omsk, Nizhni
Novgorod, Yahkar-Ole. The Church of Scientology, in essence a totalitarian
cult, was founded in 1954 in Los Angeles by American science fiction
writer Ron Hubbard. In 1995 the now deceased director of the Moscow
ventilator company, Alexander Miron, joined Scientology. A few years ago,
when he was directing a bank in Nizhni Novgorod, Sergei Kirenko took a
course at a Hubbard College. And those are only the two most sensational
efforts by Scientologists to convert leading business representatives and
the political elite to their faith. According to the 'Nezavisimo Gazeta's'
information, an unusually large amount of activity by the Church of
Scientology is evident in Perm.
"The influence of the Dianetics adherents in Prikamye state political and
business circles used to be great. Perm Scientologists intend to greatly
strengthen their representation in local government agencies.
Specifically, they are gathering votes to use to this end in the Perm
region legislative assembly, which is planned in December of the current
"The fact of the matter is that the existence of Perm's Hubbard College
came to an end in 1996, or at least that's when it stopped operating on
its license. In that year it lost its status and its main patron of Perm
Scientology - Vladimir Fil lost the election for mayor of Perm to Yuri
Trutnev, a big businessman. And as far as the new town governor goes, at
no time has he ever taken an interest in Hubbardism. Even with the losses
they suffered, Scientologists still continued to actively lay the
groundwork with Perm's elite. In their dictionary of recent years, the
words 'Dianetics' and 'Scientology' are hardly used. It's now all under
the title of 'Modern Management Technology.'
"Some time after its untimely demise, the Hubbard College in Perm emerged
as the 'Cooperation' association, the head of which was, of all people,
Aleksei Andreyev and Georgi Gordeyev. Into its staff entered managers of a
string of the western Urals' leading industrial corporations, many of whom
had already spent time in the Hubbard College. One of the chief goals of
the 'Cooperation' was ostensibly 'improving and developing the
organization and technology of corporation operation in the scientific
research institutes and engineering design companies of the region.'
"The 'Cooperation' association has been actively engaged by organizations
and is conducting various seminars, conferences and forums for corporate
problems. In the way of lecturers we quite often find that former teachers
of the same Hubbard College are speaking. Doesn't the 'Cooperation,' do
everything the school of Hubbard technology did, except it has a different
sign on the door?
"Mr. Andreyev replies that his involvement in the management system is his
personal business. Perm Production Science Instrumentation Company, Inc.
is a large, strategic enterprise which employs almost 3,000 people. And
all that goes on there is by no means the personal business of a solitary
> Reed SlatkinThe Wall Street Journal reported on July 31st that the trustee in the Reed
Slatkin ponzi scheme investigation reported that over half a billion
dollars appears to be missing from the fund.
"The court-appointed trustee in a bankruptcy filing who is seeking to
recover as much as $554 million on behalf of as many as 800 investors said
it will take years to sort through the affairs of money manager Reed
Slatkin. In his first appearance before creditors, R. Todd Neilson, the
trustee charged with overseeing the disposition of Mr. Slatkin's assets,
said that an outside expert he had called in to value the money manager's
holdings called it 'the worst portfolio he'd ever seen.' Mr. Neilson, a
partner in the Los Angeles accounting firm Neilson, Elggren LLP, said it
was difficult to say what could be recovered on behalf of investors.
"In a brief appearance Monday, prefaced by an attorney's statement that he
would plead Fifth Amendment rights to all questions, Mr. Slatkin said: 'I
just wanted to say that I'm here today because I'm not hiding and I wanted
you to know that.' Mr. Neilson characterized Mr. Slatkin's level of
cooperation differently. He said that Mr. Slatkin had failed to fill out
bankruptcy schedules and had only agreed to meet twice with the trustee.
"The bankruptcy filing has hit two main groups of investors; residents of
Santa Barbara, where Mr. Slatkin found early backers among many of his
neighbors and golf buddies, and members of the Church of Scientology,
where Mr. Slatkin is an ordained minister."
From the Santa Barbara News-Press on July 31st:
"Reed E. Slatkin made no apologies Monday as he faced angry creditors for
the first time since his financial empire crashed three months ago. In his
brief appearance, the unregistered money manager from Hope Ranch made a
20-word statement and refused to answer questions before being excused by
the court-appointed trustee. 'I just want to say that I'm here today and
I'm not hiding. And I wanted you to know that,' Mr. Slatkin said. Mr.
Slatkin refused to say anything more, invoking his Fifth Amendment right
against self-incrimination. Some groaned and cursed, but as he left one
person told him, 'Good luck, Reed.'
"'For years you've been lied to,' Mr. Neilson told the group. But he
declared that Mr. Slatkin is being held accountable, stating: 'I assure
you that the charges will be brought and he will have his day of
reckoning.' He also implied that over the 15 years that Mr. Slatkin ran
his investment club, he may have had help creating reams of allegedly
fraudulent records. While Mr. Neilson stopped short of detailing who else
may be culpable, he said, 'I will say this: It would have been very
difficult for him to do this on his own.'"
From the Los Angeles Times on July 31st:
"Slatkin invoked his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination,
refusing to answer questions from court-appointed bankruptcy trustee R.
Todd Neilson. Instead, he offered a short statement to the 100 investors,
lawyers and onlookers. 'I just want to say that I'm here today, that I'm
not hiding,' said Slatkin, dressed in a black T-shirt and khaki pants.
'And I just wanted you to know that.' In response, a groan rippled through
the audience. 'Who cares?' one investor asked aloud.
"One investor, who declined to provide her name, said she was frustrated
by 'the confusion of not knowing what happened. If we knew what happened -
good, bad or indifferent - then we could move forward.' Another investor,
Ken Wright, said he hoped to recover at least some of the more than
$500,000 he invested with Slatkin."
> SwitzerlandNewsbytes reported on July 24th that Scientology was among the victims of
computer hackers, who broke into the email system of SwissOnline.
"Hackers apparently had access to the SwissOnline accounts for months,
allowing them to read, delete, change or forward e-mails. In addition to
the embassies, the accounts on the CD-ROM include those of famous
athletes, TV personalities, the UBS bank credit card center, the
Association of Foreign Banks, a police department and the Scientology
Church of Zurich."