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88A.r.s Week in Review - 8/5/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Aug 5, 2001
      Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 16
      by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2001

      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

      Week in Review is archived at:


      > AFF

      The 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
      this program.'"

      Message-ID: <13980-3B69BA03-13@...>


      > Clearwater

      The 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."

      Message-ID: <9ke26m$8rr@...>


      > Celebrity Center

      The 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."

      Message-ID: <9kbl7i$7lo@...>


      > Germany

      Hamburger 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

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1010802071256.108A-100000@...>


      > Lisa McPherson

      Scientology 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.


      "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
      payroll records.

      "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
      its staff.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <cpqhmt4kc5jq7erjj2tmr6pgo7jv5hsggi@...>


      > Bob Minton

      Bob Minton filed a complaint this week against Scientology, accusing them
      of harassment in violation of the temporary restraining order issued by
      Judge Pennick.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <ntpimtgaanje92mhlnm1d6vuvfrmrt49hp@...>
      Message-ID: <utpimt8sg31ren6haqunserttkcckor2kc@...>


      > David Minkoff

      The 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

      Message-ID: <9kgv76$lvf@...>


      > 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
      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."

      Message-ID: <3B6580B9.EBB1C2CB@...>
      Message-ID: <1lLPcPAhXCb7EwIm@...>


      > The Profit

      The 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."

      Message-ID: <9kbkv9$7lo@...>


      > Ritalin

      The 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."

      Message-ID: <9k4800$2vt@...>


      > Russia

      Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported on July 4th on Scientology's presence in
      Perm, Russia.

      "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
      general inspector."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1010730072357.122C-100000@...>


      > Reed Slatkin

      The 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."

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      > Switzerland

      Newsbytes 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."

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