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A.r.s Week in Review - 11/11/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 29 11/11/2001 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2001 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2001
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 29
      11/11/2001
      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
      http://avantgo.com/channels/_add_channel.pl?cha_id=2900

      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

      #####

      > Something Awful

      Popular web site somethingawful.com was the recipient of a complaint from
      Scientology for an article they ran comparing Scientology to the Taliban.

      "A guy known mysteriously as 'GST' e-mailed me about my article which
      compared the Taliban to Scientology. He wanted me to take it down because
      it was hateful and he whined about the fact that Scientology was helping
      the victims of the WTC attack put their lives back together - with 'E
      Meters' of course.

      "Today Lowtax notified me that The Church of Scientology was initiating
      some sassy legal action against us. They had contacted our web host CAIS
      and essentially threatened to sue them for over a hundred thousand dollars
      unless we removed a copyrighted photo of L. Ron Hubbard from Something
      Awful. The photo in question was of L. Ronnykins in some stupid captain's
      hat looking wistfully out at the piles of money he's raped out of people's
      bank accounts or something.

      "We took the photograph down and replaced it with a rendering of L. Ron
      Hubbard. It turns out that we were wrong. By unsheathing their mighty
      legal sword the not-at-all insane Church of Scientology has proven to us
      that they are in fact a benevolent religion. We've also decided to begin a
      campaign to show our support for the Church of Scientology, which really
      is looking out for the good of all mankind. I encourage all readers of
      Something Awful to try their hand at creating an exciting and uplifting
      work of art based on Scientology."

      Message-ID: <3bef0e50.10480091@...>

      #####

      > Tom Cruise

      The Sydney Morning Herald reported on November 8th that Scientology
      celebrity Tom Cruise is denying that he plans to marry actress Penelope
      Cruz soon.

      "Tabloids promoted the rumour that Cruise, 39, and Spanish actress Cruz,
      27, were planning a wedding soon. That was denied by Cruise's publicist.
      But, when asked if the high-profile actor is engaged, Cruise spokesperson
      Jennifer Allen said 'I don't know my client's personal life.'

      "According to the tabloid reports, Scientologist Cruise doesn't want to
      have any kind of religious conflict with his new love who was raised
      Catholic. He doesn't want to make the same mistake that he did with
      ex-wife Nicole Kidman who didn't want to raise their children as
      Scientologists, according to reports. Also according to reports, the
      Spanish actress has already attended classes at the Church of Scientology
      in Hollywood to understand better this religion."

      Message-ID: <6cqiuts544gspenbotgatf0m5k8r0n2vc6@...>

      #####

      > John Travolta

      The New York Daily News reported on November 7th that Scientology
      celebrity John Travolta is proud of the work done by Scientologists at the
      World Trade Centers area.

      "When the longtime devotee of the religious group heard that his church
      was aiding rescue workers at the World Trade Center site, he told Rosie
      O'Donnell that 'Some of our volunteer ministers who are on Ground Zero
      along with the Red Cross are using these assists that are taking people
      out of shock. And they really work.'

      "The 'assists' to which Travolta refers are procedures used to get an
      individual to confront and handle physical difficulties by addressing
      spiritual trauma. It was 'these assists' that attracted Travolta to
      Scientology in the first place.

      "Travolta adds that Scientology even helps him know what role his own
      celebrity should play in the world - especially at a time like this. 'One
      of my favorite quotes from [Scientology founder] L. Ron Hubbard is, 'It's
      all right to think that you're the most important person in the world, as
      long as everyone else is equally important.'"

      Excerpts from the interview from the December 2001 issue of Rosie
      magazine:

      "RO: I wanted to ask you about Scientology, only from a good place,
      because you and Tom Cruise are the two men I admire most, and you have the
      most genuine connections with people, and you're both Scientologists. How
      did you get involved in it?

      "JT: Well, first of all, you gotta know that it's a nondenominational
      religion, so you don't have to give up your religion to be a
      Scientologist. What happened is that I was in Mexico, shooting a movie
      with an actress who was a Scientologist. I wasn't feeling well, and she
      gave me one of these assists, and I felt better immediately, and I
      thought, 'Hey, there has to be something to this.' So I said, 'You have to
      tell me more about this because this is too effective for me to ignore.' I
      was only 21. And the more I looked into it, the more interesting it was.
      So then I came back to L.A., and I signed up for a course to study it, and
      I signed up for some assisting to alleviate stresses that I had. And I've
      never been the same since.

      "RO: Why do you think Scientology is so publicly ridiculed or not
      understood?

      "JT: That is what I really find interesting. Whenever I've been challenged
      on it, I've said, 'Well, have you read anything on it?' So far, no one
      has. I say, 'I'll have this conversation with you at another time, but
      you've got to read something first.' And not once did anyone ever take the
      challenge. So my feeling is that it's easier to just accept rumor or bias
      than it is to actually read something.

      "RO: Has it helped you deal with fame? I could use some help dealing with
      fame.

      "JT: Rosie, it has helped me in every area of my life. Fame, friends,
      family. You have to decide who are friends in the real world and who are
      friends in the fantasy world and so on and so forth. Real friends, when
      something gets in the way, they work it out. You have to make an effort to
      fix it. That is one thing I love about Scientology - if you have an upset
      with a person, there are techniques that you can do with each other to
      work it out.

      "RO: I read 'How to Live With Children'. When you start to read it, you
      think, 'Why is everyone upset about this?'

      "JT: You have to understand that when Scientology first started, it was
      1950, and lobotomies and shock treatment and all sorts of barbaric
      treatments were being used to cure mental health problems. Hubbard
      believed that this was barbaric and unacceptable - there were ways to help
      people without cutting them up. Now, in the 1950s, trying to compete with
      the medical profession and the mental health profession, it was tough. But
      at the end of the day, it's still here 50 years later, and it works.
      People are getting benefits from it every day."

      Message-ID: <3c0145db.24701229@...>
      Message-ID: <50prut08ln37hri14ibakh3cmca8fn4090@...>

      #####

      > UK

      The Guardian reported on November 6th on the Cult Information Centre, a UK
      based group.

      "Are you young, of above average intelligence, from an economically
      advantaged background, well educated and idealistic? If you answered yes
      to the above, you may well be a student. But you also fit the bill for
      recruitment into a cult. 'To define a cult we use five characteristics,
      the most important of which is the use of mind-control techniques to
      recruit people,' says Ian Howorth of the Cult Information Centre.
      'Although cults recruit people of all ages, students - who are intelligent
      and often intellectually or spiritually curious - are prime targets.'

      "Ian Howorth says that when the average person is recruited into a cult,
      they undergo a drastic personality change. 'With new students, it may take
      longer for family and friends to notice and fully understand the change.
      Parents may put the change down to leaving home and meeting a new crowd,
      and by the time they have realised what has happened, it's too late.' For
      those recruited into some groups, targeting others and 'fund-raising' for
      the cause can become a full-time activity. Reports of students being asked
      to apply for personal loans with banks or loan sharks are not uncommon.

      "Peter, 19 (not his real name), was recruited into the Church of
      Scientology aged 18 during his first year at Birmingham University. His
      mother gives her account.

      "'Peter was stopped in the street in his first term and asked to complete
      a so-called personality test which, as far as I can tell, seems to ask a
      lot about parental income and employment without actually mentioning
      Scientology. He had nothing better to do and I believe he felt lonely. He
      was vulnerable - he had barely turned 18, which is very young. As soon as
      he joined we noticed an enormous personality change. His language changed
      - he repeats what must be key group words. He dropped out at the end of
      his first year and says he is working for them. We have no idea what he
      does, or where he lives, except that he claims to earn 70 pounds for a
      full-time working week.'

      "Graeme Wilson, director of public affairs for the UK Church of
      Scientology, says:

      "'The personality test is an analysis of how you view yourself and simply
      establishes the areas in life a person wants to improve, if any.
      Scientologists do tell others about the benefits to be had from
      Scientology, for the simple reason that these solutions work. This is,
      after all, still a free country and Christians have been spreading the
      word for over 2,000 years, as have people of most religions.

      "'Many people are walking around asleep: Scientology wakes them up and
      puts them in control of their lives. It is a very practical religion and I
      believe it is better for students to get into religion - any religion -
      than drugs and excessive alcohol. There is a lot of inaccurate propaganda
      about Scientology, and some people make a living from stirring up fear and
      inciting religious hatred - fortunately this will soon become a criminal
      offence.'"

      Message-ID: <snqiutsiad4jqbr7k73rkl7tnvi1hnsljg@...>

      #####

      > Johnny Depp

      Vibe magazine interviewed Johnny Depp in its December issue about why
      Hollywood is so involved in Scientology.

      "Awhile ago, I took over this little apartment on Hollywood Boulevard from
      a friend of mine. I was dead broke, scrounging. He'd go to Mexico all the
      time and leave all these pesos lying around. I'd change them at the corner
      check-cashing place so I could get a meal and some cigarettes. I did that
      until I found this Scientology place down the street. They'd give you $3
      to take this weird fuckin' test. I'd answer all the questions under
      different names. I survived that way for quite awhile."

      Message-ID: <cbEF7.23687$Tb.12732264@...>

      #####

      > Germany

      Badische Zeitung reported on November 8th that a discussion in Loerrach,
      Germany was held to discuss Scientology.

      "The spectators in a pointed discussion on the topic of 'Scientology:
      Church or Business Enterprise?' were very indignant, and by the end of the
      discussion, angered, in the 'Brauereigaststaette Lasser' hall on Tuesday.
      Meeting publicly for the first time in Loerrach were, surprisingly, only
      about thirty members representing both sides: Juerg Stettler, the public
      relations representative for Scientology Switzerland, and Hans-Juergen
      Schmidt, evangelical minister and director of the Beuggen Evangelical
      Conference.

      "A world without war, crime or insanity was the goal of Scientology, and
      man was basically good, said Stettler. He said Scientologists believed in
      reincarnation, and that the only thing that was true for Scientologists
      was what they observed. Hans-Juergen Schmidt described the 'Scientology
      Church' as 'false labeling.' He said he was very concerned about this
      issue because since the 11th of September, people had an 'increased need
      for religious reassurance' and now, of all times, false labeling was
      unnecessary.

      "He introduced the thesis that Scientology was a 'non-religious
      personality reform program that engulfed itself with a veil of
      religiosity' to gain tax advantages. In dispute were the origin of the
      word 'church,' the membership figures of Scientology, and court judgments
      both for and against Scientology. The two positions stood out in contrast
      by their extreme opposing views: Juerg Stettler with his claims that
      nothing was ever 'skimmed' from Scientologists, that everything in
      Scientology was 'pure idealism' and that Scientology was not operating as
      a commercial business.

      "The audience, which included former Scientologists, used words like 'all
      lies,' 'Mafia' and 'brainwashing' in their responses. Even religious
      scholar Christoph Peter Baumann, who moderated the discussion for the
      religiously unaffiliated 'Inforel' association from Basel, was not able to
      calm things down. The two fronts appeared to have solidified long ago:
      while Scientologist Stettler described evangelical minister Schmidt as a
      'representative of Germany's largest cult,' Schmidt provocatively asked
      whether his statements had ever been the subject of charges by
      Scientology."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1011109080829.114A-100000@...>

      #####

      > Tampa Olympics

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on November 5th that Scientology was
      among the top donors to the failed effort to bring the Olympics to Tampa.

      "The $11-million raised by Florida 2012 for crafting and promoting its
      Tampa bid to host the 2012 Summer Games far exceeded amounts amassed by
      any of the seven other competing cities. Publicly available tax documents
      paint a broad picture, and Florida 2012 officials filled in some of the
      gaps, providing highlights of their expenditures.

      "Turanchik has placed the total amount raised through four years at about
      $11-million. About $2-million of that represents in-kind donations, such
      as food, equipment and space for events, he said. It also includes part of
      the $50,000 cost of a single, three-dimensional architectural rendering of
      downtown that depicted proposed Olympic venues.

      "About 15 percent came from public sources, mainly hotel tax dollars, such
      as the $150,000 that Hillsborough's Tourist Development Council provided
      as an application fee signaling Tampa's intention four years ago to seek
      the bid. The rest came from private donors.

      "Florida 2012 is not required to list specific amounts given by donors.
      But the group has touted its list of 30 'gold level' contributors that
      pledged at least $200,000, including Walt Disney World, Publix Super
      Markets, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Church of Scientology. John
      Sykes, the philanthropic businessman and original chairman of Florida
      2012, extended a $500,000 line of credit to the bid committee that is
      still being paid off."

      Message-ID: <9s6vr7$dkh@...>

      #####

      > In Memoriam

      Anti-Scientology activist Rose Paul died this week in Florida.

      "Rose Paul lost a daughter to Scientology in the mid 1970's. Rose Paul was
      an anti-scientology activist for many years. She was a long time fighter,
      At the University of Miami they gave her a table and she handed out
      materials to new students for many years, telling them about the dangers
      of cults, of course she stressed the most killer cult of all -
      Scientology.

      "Rose Paul's daughter is on staff in Scientology in Clearwater. Rose
      Paul's daughter is Nina Palmer stationed in Clearwater. Nina disconnected
      from her mother in 1976. She did not show up when Rose died nor did she
      ever visit her in the past 25 years. Rose Paul was a wonderful woman as
      many of us know and felt her love and care. Rose Paul participated in the
      picket Clearwater in march '96, she was 85 years of age at that time."

      From the St. Petersburg Times on November 7th:

      "BANKS, FAITH, 71, of Clearwater, died Monday (Nov. 5, 2001) at Sabal
      Palms Health Care Center, Largo. She was born in Winter Haven, and came
      here in 1989 from Miami. She retired after 27 years as a minister in the
      Church of Scientology and was a member of the church in Clearwater. She
      was a practical philosopher and an artist working in stained glass and
      sketches and she enjoyed gardening. Survivors include a daughter, Rebecca
      Eisenman; a son, Nicholas Mellon; and a granddaughter, Sara Eisenman."

      Message-ID: <3be6f4ae.426255593@...>
      Message-ID: <3bed24d1.9185145@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Bruce Pettycrew reported a protest in Mesa, AZ on November 11th.

      "We picketed from 10 to 11 AM today, beautiful weather. There were 8 cars
      in the org parking lot, 2 left during the picket. One carried just the
      driver, the other has two people, so I estimate that there were less than
      a dozen people in the building wasting their time and money. The local
      org seems to have steady changeover without any growth."

      "Kaeli" reported a protest in Toronto on November 10th.

      "Picketers: Gregg, Android Cat, Zeratul. 110 ft away: Keith and two other
      picketers. Observer: Kaeli.

      "I mentioned to Keith that there was a woman following me with a camera.
      There was a group of young boys with skateboards surrounding Keith at the
      time, and they heard me complaining about her as well. As she snuck up
      behind me with the camera, I saw her and she began laughing. I was quite
      short tempered, and told her off in no uncertain terms. She walked off
      very quickly towards Keith. I'm quite sure her mother would be proud of
      her for deliberately terrorizing and laughing at a disabled woman. I
      turned back towards Keith and called out, 'Hey, Keith, that's the lady who
      was following me.' She was less than 10 ft away from Keith and brandishing
      her camera. The crowd of boys, who were still surrounding Keith, jumped in
      front of her camera and started calling her 'Xenu lover' She then left
      again, further up the street.

      "When I thought she was gone, I continued walking towards the store, but
      then saw her again standing across the street, holding her camera up at
      Gregg. The crowd of boys at this point were at the Org itself, and they
      again, started calling her 'Xenu lover.' She left rather quickly again and
      went inside the Org."

      Message-ID: <1dmH7.123167$B72.32329408@...>
      Message-ID: <3BEE11B8.3B3C6E16@...>

      #####

      > Cult Workshop

      Tom Padgett reported on a workshop held on November 8th at Holy Cross
      College in Worchester, Massachusetts.

      "'TOO SCARED TO CRY: Children Raised In High Control, Destructive
      Religious & Secular Environments.' The attendees were case workers and
      supervisors for the State's Department of Social Services. The facilitator
      for the seminar was Robert Pardon, Director of the New England Institute
      for Religious Research. Some of the groups addressed were the 12 Tribes,
      the Attleboro Cult, Scientology, and many others. The focus was primarily
      on psychological and physical abuse, lack of medical attention, family
      unit destruction, and behavioral issues that allows governments to
      intervene without compromising individual's rights to believe in whatever
      they wish separating the 'religion' aspect.

      "Day-glow yellow fliers were used as handouts for the participants as
      homework assignments with the following on them: SAVE THE CHILDREN
      www.taxexemptchildabuse.net, www.xenu.net, www.lermanet.com,
      www.lisatrust.net, www.scientology-lies.com, www.xenu-city.net,
      www.xenutv.com, www.entheta.net, www.freedomofmind.org"

      Message-ID: <10673-3BEBE812-278@...>

      -end-
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