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92A.r.s Week in Review - 9/2/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Sep 2, 2001
      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 20
      9/2/2001
      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
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      Week in Review is archived at:
      http://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/
      http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html
      http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html
      http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html

      #####

      > Faith-based Groups

      A New York Times editorial on September 1st described the role of Senator
      Joe Lieberman in the proposal for the U.S. Government to fund religious
      charities.

      "Last year Vice President Al Gore and Mr. Lieberman, his running mate,
      endorsed the principle of helping religious groups provide such services.
      Mr. Bush promised to work with the Democrats to create a bipartisan bill,
      but he has not lived up to his pledge. It was an act of bad faith for the
      administration and House Republican leaders to refuse to remove a
      repugnant provision exempting recipients of government aid from state and
      local civil rights laws against employment discrimination affecting gays
      and lesbians. Their refusal made a mockery of Mr. DiIulio's promise not to
      use the bill to roll back civil rights protections at the bidding of some
      religious groups. Mr. Lieberman and Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania
      Republican, have promised to delete this part of the bill in the Senate.
      But there are larger defects, and Mr. Lieberman needs to clarify where he
      stands on them.

      "While the House bill would bar federal subsidies for religious activities
      themselves, it clearly permits praying, proselytizing, religious
      counseling and other sectarian activities to be part of a program
      receiving federal funds. The only stipulation is that these activities be
      voluntary, and that the funding not pay for them directly. The House bill
      would also permit religious organizations to circumvent federal civil
      rights protections on employment. Workers who had been hired to deliver
      charitable services could be discriminated against on account of private
      conduct as well as religious beliefs.

      "All the problems with the bill have made many people uneasy, including
      some sympathetic to its basic goals. People who supported the concept of
      funding faith-based social services on first blush have become less
      enthusiastic after they contemplate government aid to religious
      organizations outside the American mainstream, such as the Nation of Islam
      or Scientology.

      "Tom Daschle, the Senate majority leader, has expressed concern that any
      'faith-based' initiative respect the constitutional boundary between
      church and state. Other Democrats are even more skeptical. Mr. Bush and
      Mr. Lieberman need to listen to their concerns about respecting the core
      values of separating religion from government cherished by most
      Americans."

      Message-ID: <9mr005$3ja@...>

      #####

      > CCHR

      The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an article on September 1st on the
      fight to restrict the use of electroconvulsive therapy, led by
      Scientology's Citizen's Commission on Human Rights.

      "The campaign is part of a national movement led by the Church of
      Scientology and fought in legislatures across the nation. It also has
      drawn support from a network of people who call themselves shock
      'survivors.' Psychiatrists are resisting - but quietly, not wishing to
      draw more attention to a procedure that has been stigmatized in popular
      books and movies. And they don't relish a fight with Scientologists, who
      compare psychiatrists to Nazis, picket at psychiatric conferences and have
      been known to sue some of their critics.

      "Scientologists oppose psychiatry because it conflicts with their own
      philosophy of spiritual self-help. They argue that shock therapy can be
      coercive and harmful, that it doesn't work and that no one knows how often
      it's performed. But psychiatrists believe there's little to debate. Over
      the years, shock therapy has become as routine as an appendectomy. And
      while those involved in psychiatry have been celebrating their successes
      quietly, the Scientologists and others opposed to shock therapy have been
      turning up the volume. They got a bill passed in Texas in 1993 and have
      gathered momentum in Missouri, Illinois and other states.

      "Kathleen Garrett's case - one of those cited by opponents in their
      legislative battle against shock therapy - is hardly clear-cut. She had
      suffered depression most of her life and had been in and out of hospitals
      for 30 years, said her son, Steve Vance. She got her first shock treatment
      in the 1970s. But decades later, she still battled depression. The last
      year had found her worrying obsessively about money, her health, germs.
      She scrubbed her hands so much the skin turned raw. She would lie in bed
      all day. Her medications weren't helping.

      "According to hospital records, she was sobbing, and flailing her arms and
      legs. She signed a consent form at SouthPointe in shaky handwriting
      (which she doesn't remember) and was scheduled for up to 10 rounds of
      shock treatments. Vance had lost hope for getting his mother out of the
      hospital - until he bumped into a group called the Citizens Commission on
      Human Rights about two weeks later. He found the organization at the
      Missouri Black Expo, a showcase for black-owned business and other
      services. The people at the Citizens Commission booth were wearing
      anti-psychiatry T-shirts and passing out pamphlets. One of their brochures
      shows a harnessed man clenching his teeth as lightning bolts shoot from
      his temples.

      "The group got in touch with Juli Lawrence of Belleville. A leading foe of
      shock therapy, Lawrence published a report about Garrett's case on her Web
      site, started an international e-mail drive and contacted local news
      outlets. About a week later, the hospital released Garrett. The Citizens
      Commission claimed victory, but doctors say the timing was fortuitous.
      Garrett had been in the hospital for nearly a month. 'She responded very
      nicely' to the shock treatments, says Mofsen, the psychiatrist.

      "In April, Garrett and Vance joined about 20 shock-therapy opponents at
      the hearing. They spent 90 minutes sharing their stories of forced
      treatments. The bill would have required doctors to report the age and
      race of people who get shock treatments, who pays for it and the side
      effects. Doctors who don't comply would face up to six months in jail or a
      $10,000 fine. The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Harold Selby, D-Cedar Hill,
      isn't taken very seriously in Jefferson City. He doesn't accept campaign
      contributions, takes up causes that garner little support and provides an
      ear to people with unorthodox views on everything from UFOs to HMOs.

      "The lobbyists assumed the issue would wither away. But committee members
      seemed impressed with the testimony. One legislator on the panel who
      supported the bill, Rep. Roy Holand, R-Springfield, is an orthopedic
      surgeon. He said it's healthy for doctors to defend seemingly outdated
      practices from time to time. Three weeks after the hearing, on April 26,
      the committee approved the measure. But with less than a month left in
      the legislative session - too little time for such a controversial measure
      to move through the system - the lobbyists figured the bill would die
      anyway. Selby plans to push the legislation next year, and the activists
      continue drawing attention to the issue."

      The Worchester Telegram & Gazette reported on August 28th that
      Scientologists participated in a protest at Marlboro Hospital in
      Massachusetts.

      "The protest came after the Aug. 22 decision by the state Board of
      Registrars to revoke the license of Dr. William A. Kadish, who was chief
      of the department of psychiatry at Marlboro Hospital and also practiced at
      UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. Dr. Kadish had a relationship
      with a 38-year-old woman with a long history of psychiatric problems,
      according to the board.

      "Members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights said that cases such
      as Dr. Kadish's are not uncommon. 'There is a continuous list of
      psychiatrists betraying their patients this way,' said Christopher
      Garrison, the Massachusetts director of Citizens Commission on Human
      Rights, in a news release."

      Message-ID: <3b982dfc.5813225@...>
      Message-ID: <3b8e1dfc.2969290@...>

      #####

      > Clearwater

      From the letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on August 27th:

      "What a moronic position Ward Wilson takes when he wants us to think that
      Scientology has saved Clearwater from decay and doom, and that the
      teaching of his leader L. Ron Hubbard saved our city. I was born in
      Clearwater, and my family roots go back more than 100 years in Clearwater.
      It sickens me to see what Scientology has done to my town and its city
      government. Mr. Wilson's rantings about the virtues of Scientology are
      probably his assignment to get another gold braid on his navy costume or
      maybe to get another bulb for his E-meter. - R. Padgett, Clearwater"

      Jeff Jacobsen reported this week that the Pinellas County Office of Human
      Rights has refused to get involved in the case of a restaurant in
      Clearwater that refuses to serve critics of Scientology.

      "Last year about this time Tory went across the street from the LMT here
      in Clearwater to eat at Daniela's Kitchen. Daniela's seems to be run by
      Scientologists. When they seemed to realize who Tory was, they said they
      wouldn't serve her. Mark and I decided we'd see if Daniela's would serve
      us. As we left, a guy stood up and opened the door for us. He said
      something like 'we didn't realize who you guys were. We don't serve anyone
      who works with that bigot Bob Minton, so you're no longer welcome here.'
      We asked who he was but he just went back inside. I assumed, though, that
      since he said 'we' that he must be a co-owner.

      "We decided that the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights was the place
      to find out if we had any legitimate grievance. Tory, Mark and I filed
      complaints and waited for a decision. Today, almost a year later, I got a
      letter from the Office of Human Rights.

      "'After consideration of all available information from the investigation
      of the above-referenced charge, filed under Chapter 70 of the Pinellas
      Code, it has been determined that there is no reasonable cause to believe
      that an unlawful act of religious discrimination has occurred as alleged.'

      "I must point out that we were not claiming religious discrimination. We
      were claiming discrimination because of our beliefs and association. Now
      we know sadly that the Pinellas Office of Human Rights cannot or will not
      protect us against such discrimination. Apparently, such discrimination is
      allowable in Clearwater at least."

      Message-ID: <9mddv6$3o7@...>
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      #####

      > Denmark

      Berlingske Tidende reported on August 28th that three former
      Scientologists are suing Scientology in Copenhagen for return of the money
      they donated.

      "The three women want all the money back they applied to Scientology
      courses during their years of membership. Altogether it adds up to more
      than half a million Kroner. But more than that is at stake for the
      Scientology Church. If they lose the proceedings, there presumably be
      others who demand refund of greater amounts.

      "According to the lawyer for the complainants, they have justification to
      get their money back in that they were subjected to extreme measures of
      persuasion by which their free will was more or less taken from them.
      'It is upsetting when you see how they conduct themselves. If you don't
      want to continue with the courses, they systematically put you under
      pressure until you give in and sign up for the next course. The
      Scientology Church is a commercial enterprise, and an essential part of
      that consists of financially exploiting people.'

      "The three women already had received money from the Scientology Church.
      When they left the organization, they demanded their money back for the
      last course they had taken, and they received it. According to the
      internal rules of the Scientology Church, everybody can get their money
      back for a course as long as they apply for refund within three months.
      When the three complainants received a refund for their last course, they
      simultaneously signed a statement that they were not entitled to receive
      any more money back. In order to win their case, it is necessary for them
      to have this statement declared invalid.

      "The courses of the Scientology Church have to do with intellectual and
      spiritual development. When one goes the whole way, then one finally
      becomes 'clear,' but that is an infinitely long process, Carlo Siebert
      believes. The whole time people are given the impression that everything
      will be all right if they only take the very next course, but, naturally,
      that is not the case, and the courses get more and more expensive. It is
      almost impossible to get out of it because the Scientology Church
      constructs a dependency, which it then exploits, said Carlo Siebert; he
      wants to use a psychoanalyst in the trial who has experience with the
      psychological influence the cult uses on its members. 'I intend to employ
      him to reveal the methods which people are subject to in the Scientology
      Church,' said Siebert."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1010829055004.116A-100000@...>

      #####

      > Drug Free Marshals

      The Palm Beach Post reported on August 25th that Scientology's Drug Free
      Marshals program is sponsoring a contest for children in Florida.

      "The theme of this year's art contest is 'How I Can Create a Drug-Free
      Community.' The contest invites drawings, poems and essays. The campaign
      gained support from corporate sponsors such as McDonald's and Arby's
      restaurants and organizations including Narconon International, the Boys
      and Girls Clubs and several government agencies. In addition to art
      contests, the program sponsors community activities including beach and
      park cleanup campaigns, leadership contests, lectures, charity drives,
      mural contests and essay contests nationwide.

      "Submit drawings, poems or essays marked with your name and address to:
      Drug-Free Marshals, Church of Scientology of Florida, 120 Giralda Ave.,
      Coral Gables, FL 33134. All contestants will receive a pledge, a
      certificate and a Drug-Free Marshal's badge."

      Message-ID: <9mikfs$9rc@...>

      #####

      > Freewinds

      Excerpts from the latest Freewinds Magazine were posted to a.r.s this
      week, with a summary of events at an OT summit.

      "ED INT, Guillaume Lesevre gave the stats for the past year. Nearly 8,000
      new people taking their first step on The Bridge. 240 million people
      reached through radio, TV, print media and dissemination programs. 824,000
      people introduced to LRH tech - highest ever. A cumulative total of 3000
      events and seminars held which contributed to helping more than 10,000
      Scientologists on to their next step on The Bridge. The number of Clears
      taking their next take on The Bridge increased by nearly 5 times- -
      highest in history.

      "OT Ambassadors receive OT Achievement Awards. This years Awardees are:
      Wendy Ettricks and Joanne Schnitzer both from LA, as a team put 250
      Scientologists on to their next service. That's more than 40 Clears and
      200 + pre OT's. Sheila Atkinson-Baker and Claire Taylor, both from LA,
      have 1800 people currently auditing on New OT 7 in the LA area. Sandy
      Adair, assisted 130 Clears in enrolling on their Solo training and another
      150 to start their next step on The Bridge and another 94 Scio's to arrive
      on the Freewinds. All told, she single-handedly got 1059 people onto
      services in orgs.

      "Senior C/S Int, Ray Mithoff presented a new OT hatting course entitled
      'The Command of Theta: This course includes tapes from a Nov. 1952 lecture
      series given by LRH to the London Professional Course.

      "WDC Chairman, Marc Yager announced the newest org to achieve the size of
      Old Saint Hill is ASHO FND. The first Foundation Org to achieve this. And
      with ASHO FND now being Saint Hill size, we now have every Sea Org service
      org to the size of Old Saint Hill."

      Message-ID: <tolq2leq0u3id9@...>

      #####

      > Italy

      Dolomiten reported on August 30th on Scientology's drug rehabilitation
      programs in Italy.

      "With promises of being able to cure any case of drug addiction, the
      so-called 'Therapiegemeinschaften' is now looking in South Tirol for
      patients for its establishments in mid and southern Italy. The families of
      the patients are faced with a rude awakening when they get the bill for
      the first month: five million lira, and it will not be covered by welfare
      agencies. Those who do not pay must leave, and those who do pay, stay,
      perhaps forever, in the clutches of the Scientology psycho-cult.

      "The questionable therapy centers are located in mid and southern Italy.
      The 'Dianetics' method supposedly is guaranteed to break addicts of their
      drug habit. The reason the 'therapy' costs five million lira, which the
      public coffers do not finance, is that the association is not registered
      as a conventional therapy association. As soon as one monthly payment is
      missed, the patient has to pack his or her bags."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1010831054516.128A-100000@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Arnie Lerma reported a protest in Washington, DC on September 1st.

      "Arel and I picketed between 2 and 3 PM then took a break in outdoor cafe,
      and picketed during course break from 3:30 - 4. For first time ever I did
      not see Sue Taylor, Sylvia or Thierry. No one said one word to us. I
      handed out 75 of Rod Keller's flyers between 2:00-3:00 and 3:30 to 4:00.

      "I tried a new slogan 'Free info about the cult of grifters and con men.'
      and just simply 'Scientology lies.'

      "One free personality-test-ticket-hander-outer was recited the entirety of
      OTIII. A few staff were told There are no OTs in Scientology. If there was
      just ONE we wouldn't be here."

      Message-ID: <3b9149f1.712189140@...>

      #####

      > Reed Slatkin

      The Santa Barbara News-Press reported on August 24th that when the FBI
      raided the home of Scientologist and Ponzi-scheme operator Reed Slatkin
      and his business associates in June, they recovered almost $400,000 in
      cash.

      "FBI agents seized $386,885 in cash during a June raid at the Hope Ranch
      home of longtime business associates of bankrupt money manager Reed
      Slatkin, according to newly filed court records. The cash was seized from
      the home of Ronald Rakow and Denise Del Bianco on June 25. So far, they
      are the only persons besides Mr. Slatkin whose property has been searched
      by investigators in the Slatkin probe. The couple entrusted money with Mr.
      Slatkin and received millions of dollars more than they invested,
      according to court papers filed by R. Todd Neilson, the court-appointed
      trustee handling Mr. Slatkin's estate.

      "Investigators are tallying Mr. Slatkin's assets for eventual sale. They
      will disperse the proceeds to his creditors. Mr. Slatkin is not objecting
      to these sales. Mr. Slatkin told the trustee that he sold some paintings
      to Mr. Rakow, a former manager of the Grateful Dead rock band, for about
      $1 million last year, court records say. One painting by Thomas Moran,
      'View of East Hampton,' was purchased in January by Mr. Slatkin for
      $150,000, according to court records. Mr. Rakow bought the painting and in
      June personally delivered it to a New York gallery for a consignment sale,
      Mr. Neilson's court papers said. The total asking price for his Hope Ranch
      home, a Goleta house, a Solvang house and 100 acres near Solvang is $8.82
      million."

      Message-ID: <tokvl2mk3b3mf9@...>

      #####

      > UK

      The Daily Mail reported on August 28th that British companies are being
      warned about personality tests being offered by Scientology-affiliated
      management companies.

      "Personnel executives have received letters from Silhouet UK, inviting
      them to fill in psychometric test questionnaires as a 'free introductory
      service', according to People Management magazine. The copyright on the
      test is for L Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

      "The Industrial Society reckons 5,000 different tests are currently used
      to select more than half the managers in Britain. But critics claim the
      tests are useless and unfair. There are also concerns over how the
      information gleaned might be used. Silhouet UK claims it uses the L Ron
      Hubbard test 'because of its value as a management tool.' But Robin
      Chater, secretary-general of the Federation of European Employers, said:
      'Participants should certainly be informed that the information they
      provide will be analysed by a company involved in promoting Scientologist
      principles.'"

      From People Management Magazine on August 1st:

      "People Management followed up a complaint from a reader who had received
      a letter from Silhouet UK inviting the recipient to complete an enclosed
      test questionnaire as a 'free introductory service.' The reader became
      suspicious after noticing the copyright on the test was for L Ron Hubbard,
      the founder of the controversial religious group. The letter also claimed
      that the company had 'over 10 yearsÂ’ experience throughout Scandinavia,
      with companies such as Volvo, Thomas Cook, Goodyear and Castrol.' None of
      the central recruitment offices of these companies was able to confirm
      that they had used Silhouet to assess people. Goodyear stated that it had
      never heard of the group.

      "When contacted, Peter Buch of Silhouet UK claimed the company was a
      'small family-run business with no links to Scientology. We are simply
      using the L Ron Hubbard test because of its value as a management tool,''
      he said. But Patrick Peperstraete, a consultant at the Dutch branch of
      Silhouet confirmed that, like its sister companies in Denmark and Sweden,
      Silhouet UK is a member of the World Institution of Scientology
      Enterprises (Wise).

      "Angela Baron, CIPD adviser, employee resourcing, said the institute
      'recommended that companies use only tests for which adequate data is
      available to prove its validity and reliability. Managers should ask
      questions to check the test is measuring the things it purports to
      measure.'"

      The Evening Standard reported on August 31st that London's mayor has
      rejected Scientology's plan to hold an event in Trafalgar Square.

      "The Mayor has launched a scathing attack on the group after rejecting its
      application to hold an event to promote its controversial anti-drugs
      programme. The promotion should have taken place today and would have
      included music from a swing band as well as testimonies from people who
      claim to have been cured of their drug addictions by methods pioneered by
      Scientology's founder L Ron Hubbard.

      "Announcing his decision, Mr Livingstone said: 'I have refused permission
      for the Church of Scientology to use Trafalgar Square to promote their
      so-called 'anti-drugs' campaign because it is a medically unproven policy
      which I am advised could be dangerous. The square will be used for many
      purposes whilst I am Mayor, including many political demonstrations and
      rallies which I will disagree with. However, it would not be responsible
      for me to allow it to be used to advertise a spurious medical programme
      which many drugs professionals are concerned about. Nothing about the
      activities of this group leads me to believe that this is anything other
      than a cynical method of promoting the Scientology creed. I would urge
      Londoners not to be duped by their expensive campaigning.'

      "But a Scientology spokesman hit back immediately, saying the Mayor had
      been given misleading information about the group and its work. He said:
      'If he spoke to some of the people who have done the programme, and if he
      saw the change in them, he would think differently.'

      From Reuters on August 31st"

      "Scientologists who wanted to promote an anti-drugs campaign in one of the
      capital's biggest tourist attractions have been banned, the mayor's office
      said on Friday. Mayor Ken Livingstone's efforts to spruce up
      pigeon-ridden Trafalgar Square have included banning bird-food sellers and
      fast food stands. The religious sect is the latest victim.

      "The Church of Scientology said they were baffled by the decision. 'It
      beats me,' Graeme Wilson of the Church of Scientology in London said.
      'Apparently it is based on his advisers. I think we are looking at some
      vested interests here,' he told Reuters."

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      -end-