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A.r.s Week in Review 11/25/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 31 11/25/2001 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2001 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 25, 2001
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 31
      11/25/2001
      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

      #####

      > Buffalo Org

      The Buffalo News reported on November 21st that the city may seize the
      Scientology org there to create a parking ramp.

      "The city has offered to buy the five-story building owned by the Church
      of Scientology for $425,000, City Real Estate Director John Hannon told
      the Common Council's Finance Committee. He said the figure was based on
      what he called two good appraisals. Except for space occupied on the first
      floor by the owner, most of the structure is vacant, city officials said.

      "Under powers of eminent domain, governments can initiate condemnation
      proceedings to obtain private property for public use. The Common Council
      is expected to authorize public hearings on the planned condemnation
      proceedings within the next couple weeks."

      Message-ID: <htmnvt016stav0ajrpcc8gj0vs452l0coa@...>

      #####

      > Al Buttnor

      A letter from Al Buttnor of the Toronto org to the husband of
      "Yduzitmatter" was posted this week.

      "Dear Pastor Palmer:

      "I am sorry to tell you that your wife has become involved in a hate
      campaign against our religion in Toronto both by her regular postings to
      the internet on a newsgroup and by her recent participation in pickets at
      our Church. We are not sure why she is doing this.

      "We have discussed this matter with several of our Lutheran Friends and
      they suggested that we write to you in an effort to open a door
      communication and hopefully reconciliation. It was even suggested to us
      that a mediator from Conrad Grebel College may be of benefit to resolve
      the situation if necessary and we agree that this may be helpful.

      "Yours Sincerely,
      Al Buttnor
      Director"

      From the reply:

      "Dear Mr. Buttnor:

      "I am aware of my wife's activities in regard to Scientology both on the
      internet and her participation in peaceful pickets of the Toronto Org. I
      do not believe that we have anything to discuss in this regard either
      personally or with a mediator. I will be sending a copy of your letter and
      my reply to my Bishop's Office. Please do not contact me again as there is
      nothing for us to discuss.

      "Sincerely,
      Rev. William Palmer"

      Message-ID: <3BFC75C5.4BCDC290@...>

      #####

      > Cruise/Kidman

      AAP reported on November 23rd that Scientology celebrity Tom Cruise and
      Nicole Kidman have settled their divorce without a court battle.

      "Under the settlement, struck to avoid a courtroom showdown, Kidman, 34,
      and Cruise, 39, agreed to joint custody of their adopted children,
      Isabella, eight, and six-year-old Conor. She will keep their $US10
      million five-bedroom mansion in Pacific Palisades, near Los Angeles, and
      their $US5 million eight-bedroom, three-storey villa on the Sydney harbour
      front. Cruise got their $US5 million 110-hectare estate in Telluride,
      Colorado's best skiing area, and kept control of his three aeroplanes.

      "The couple have agreed that they can continue to be educated in a private
      school in Australia, at home in Los Angeles, and with tutors when Cruise
      or Kidman are filming on location. Both parents will make joint decisions
      about their education and religious upbringing. There had been claims the
      couple had disagreed on whether the children should be brought up in
      Cruise's religion of Scientology or follow Kidman's Catholic upbringing."

      Message-ID: <9tlva0$sjg@...>

      #####

      > Woodcrafts

      The Daily Mail published an article on November 25th on the Woodcraft
      family, the escape of several members from Scientology.

      "'I hated it. Mum and Dad did not get home until 10pm, and we had to do
      chores after school, under the supervision of a Scientology nanny,' says
      Astra. 'We had to clean the kitchen and mop the floors. After dinner we'd
      do homework and be given a bedtime drink called 'calmag.' This drink,
      others verify, is calcium, magnesium, vinegar and boiling water, which
      acts as a mild sedative on children.

      "For a year, Astra was in the cadets, a group for children of Sea
      Organisation members. 'My school teacher was not a trained, certified
      teacher but a Scientology 'supervisor'. We had no lessons but worked
      straight out of books and instruction sheets,' she says. Lawrence
      explains: 'Hubbard believed we had all lived before and attended school,
      so he didn't put too much emphasis on formal education.' Astra's life
      became even more grueling. After lessons, she had to do several hours'
      filing before falling asleep on a campbed, finally being collected by her
      parents at around 2am.

      "Astra began attending a Scientology course at the Celebrity Centre in
      Hollywood. There, she was invited into the Sea Organisation, aged 14. 'I
      knew it would make Mum and Gran happy and I thought I was going to earn
      good money.' Astra says she was told she would be working for a publishing
      offshoot and would earn 200 pounds a week. In fact, she found herself
      working long hours as a secretary for nominal pay (10 pounds a week plus
      board and lodgings). During this time she says she attended school for
      only six hours a week. One of my tasks was to persuade people who wanted
      to leave the Sea Organisation that they should stay. If they refused I had
      to order them to do hard labour and make them sign 'confessionals' saying
      it was all their fault they were leaving.'

      "At just 15 she wed fellow Sea Organisation employee Jason Merrill, in the
      Silver Bell chapel in Las Vegas. Astra became disillusioned with her
      limited life and the strict teachings of the religion. 'I couldn't tell
      anyone how I was feeling, not even my husband, because he would be obliged
      to report me and I'd be ostracised. You are taught to think there is
      something wrong with you if you are not happy in the organisation.'

      "Finally, Astra extricated herself from the movement in 1998, but not
      before she confessed to a list of petty crimes to avoid being declared a
      Suppressive Person. Her crimes included 'stealing' leftover food and a
      pair of tights, forgetting to return a borrowed shirt and trying marijuana
      at 13. 'I signed the confession because I didn't want to lose contact
      with Mum, Gran, my sister and brother,' she says.

      "Astra was pregnant when she left and Kate was born soon after. Free of
      the constraints of Scientology, she felt relief, tempered with sadness and
      fear. 'It took me a long time to fully break free because so many of my
      friends were in Scientology. It was like starting my life all over again.
      Her relationship with her mother has broken down since she denounced
      Scientology, and the church has sent Astra a bill for almost 60,000 pounds
      for the classes she was given. She refuses to pay. Two years later, Zoe
      followed her sister and left Scientology. Now 16, she is at an ordinary
      Los Angeles school and is struggling to keep up with her academic work.

      "How could any father allow his daughters to remain in such an
      organisation, even giving his consent for one to marry at 15? 'I feel
      really guilty about what happened and I'm trying to make it up to them,'
      he says, struggling to explain something he can barely comprehend himself.
      'I had no idea Astra was unhappy. She used to tell me everything was fine,
      because that is what she was drilled to say. I let her marry because I
      didn't want to lose her. She needed only one parent's consent and Lesley
      had already agreed. As for Zoe, she lived in Florida and I rarely saw
      her. I had to be careful not to put too much pressure on her to leave or
      she would have been obliged to tell her mother and others, according to
      Scientology rules, and it could have pushed her further away."

      Message-ID: <20011125181508.26787.00001439@...>

      #####

      > Essay Contest

      The Foundation for Religious Tolerance, a Scientology front group,
      announced an essay contest on the topic of human rights.

      "The Foundation for Religious Tolerance has formed a new group, Youth for
      Human Rights. Executive Director Mary Untiedt, a school principal and
      long-time educator, launched an educational program for children so they
      come to understand at an early age the importance of human rights and
      religious tolerance.

      "The first Youth for Human Rights project was done In coordination with
      Irving Sarnoff, Founder and Director of Friends of the United Nations, and
      the Human Rights Director for the Church of Scientology International,
      Leisa Goodman. The topic of the essay was 'What do Human Rights mean to
      me?' Mr. Sarnoff was the final judge of the essays and announced the
      winners from each country at events highlighting the 2001 European
      Marathon for Human Rights. The three winners of the contest were awarded a
      trip to Geneva, the European home of the United Nations and the European
      Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to receive their awards.

      "'Before I had read the Declaration, my opinion on human rights was very
      abstract, but thanks to this school work and my Internet connection I can
      say that human rights will become a very important part of my future
      interests.' - Vaclav Bolina (age: 17) Czech Republic

      "'Discrimination of any sort is not born in the children's hearts. I
      appeal to the good sense of the adults to let human rights prevail.' -
      Daniel Rupp (age:15) Austria

      "'If all people would really go for human rights, we would win against the
      bad and I'm sure, we would have peace not war.' - Manuel Lussi -
      Switzerland"

      Message-ID: <oe700u87icue26ljkm6deshul019gohfj5@...>

      #####

      > Hollywood Christmas Parade

      Dilbert Perkins reported on the preparations for the Way to Happiness
      float in the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

      "They are still putting the 'Way to Happiness' float together. They have
      been working on 'L. Ron Hubbard's Winter Wonderland' for two weeks now.
      It's next to the Dianetics Testing Center."

      Message-ID: <20011125005745.25301.00001256@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      "Barb" reported a protest at Gold Base near Hemet, California on November
      21st.

      "Kaeli, Zeratul, phr and I met Richard at Ida's place. When we arrived at
      Gold, we first did a photo op drive through so the Torontulas could get
      some pix. Kaeli was in her foot cast, so she stayed with the car. We went
      on up the road with our signs. It was pretty quiet behind the razor wire,
      I did spot a couple of uniformed Sea Ogres and a few other personnel
      wandering around while there. They have replaced the rotating camera by
      the guardhouse with a stationary one.

      "There's a driveway and gate there that leads to the base on the east side
      of the highway. Richard walked up to the gate, and the intercom came to
      life. 'Hey, Dick,' a disembodied voice said, 'You're trespassing! The
      sheriff is on his way!' We were going to leave when we got back to the
      car, but decided to stick around for the sheriff. He never showed."

      "Barb" also reported a protest on November 23rd in San Diego.

      "We had the Torontulas, Kaeli and Zeratul, phr, Barb, Richard, and a guest
      from the LA area who drove down the night before. I saw people milling
      about the front of the org when we were about 3 blocks down from it. They
      had all vanished by the time we arrived, save for a few hanging around
      outside the front door. They've redecorated their office again, and
      there's a big banner hanging outside offering services for those who are
      upset in these turbulent times. A big American flag hangs in their front
      window next to the Help Wanted sign.

      "We handed out a few fliers to passersby, including one Scieno who dragged
      them back to the nest. A Scientologist took a picture of Zeratul
      photographing him by the front door, but no one came out to us. Traffic
      into downtown was good, and many people were slowing down to read our
      'Scientology, Bait and Switch Fraud' signs. We knocked off after 30
      minutes or so."

      Tory Bezazian reported a protest in Los Angeles on November 23rd.

      "I had two friends visiting from Canada who are critics, we decided to
      give 'old Blue' a picket. The three of us parked on the street behind the
      Complex, and walked around to L Ron Hubbard Way with our picket signs. My
      sign says, 'Scientology: Stop Hurting Families,' and they other mentions
      families too, and they have www.xenu.net on the back.

      "As we walked along, immediately the security guards began slowly riding
      near us, and others walking on the street. On this day there were about
      5-6 kids skateboarding and walking around the complex. As we walked one
      young kid yelled from across the street, 'GET OFF OUR STREET!' To which I
      said, 'You don't own this street'. We quietly continued walking up one
      side to the Sunset end of the Complex. As we did, the kids followed us, as
      did the security guards. As we walked, one little girl (maybe 12 we
      figured) came up to us and said, 'We aren't hurting families.' I said
      back, 'Tell that to the kids who are dead.' She said, 'We didn't kill
      anyone' and I said, 'I didn't say YOU did,' hoping she might think about
      it.

      "The kids also continued to tell us to 'Get off of our street.' I told
      them, 'We actually have a legal right to be here and picket. Did you know
      that?' Her response? 'I don't care!' About this time we had curved around
      and were walking back down the side of LA Org and ASHO. LA ORG seemed it's
      usual totally empty look. My friend asked her, 'Do you realize you are
      being manipulated?' Her response: 'I don't care!' How sad to hear such a
      young person already SO shut down. About the time the security guards took
      the kids across the street and 'handled' them so they stopped talking with
      us. We decided to head over to Bridge, which is around the corner.

      "As we walked along side of AOLA I could see the Examiner I had gone to
      while Co-Auditing FPRD in the 80's. I could see the Reg's on the phone,
      busy calling people trying to get them to buy more of the 'Route to Total
      Freedom'."

      Christopher Wood reported on a protest in Toronto on November 24th.

      "Leaflets: 300, mixed between 200 of Gregg's Xenu Special and 100 of Keith
      Henson's flyer. Picketers: Me, Gregg Hagglund, Keith Henson, Arel Lucas,
      and an Unknown Picketer. Also, a special guest appearance by Nan McLean.

      "Dan Bryenton was there again. He showed us again that the cult facade of
      being utterly terrified of picketers is exactly that, a facade. He showed
      up, and snatched a flyer from the Unknown Picketer, and tried to snatch
      one from me. He then hung around near the org for a while staring at us
      picketers, and then went and stood about three metres away from Keith
      Henson and stared at him. Peter Ramsay was there, and tried a few words
      of the usual Scientology intimidation on me. I turned my back on him and
      he didn't bother me again.

      "The police were called, probably by Mario, the Dianetics franchise
      holder, who was on the phone for a while. This time it was two police
      officers, arriving separately in cars. One police officer talked to Gregg,
      and the other officer got names and addresses of picketers. The one who
      took my name asked if this was the extent of it, and I said signs,
      leaflets, Gregg with his voice, and then pointed out Keith Henson down the
      block.

      "I asked the older one why we only got two police officers this time (six
      came in response to the last cult whinge, two weeks ago). 'Aren't we as
      terrifying this time?' and I could almost swear that the police officer
      rolled his eyes at me. Then he said that whenever there was a complaint
      they had to investigate, and the two of them went into the org.

      "Nan showed up, and hugged all us SP's, and smiled a big smile at our
      signs and leaflets. She got shown off to a couple of passers-by, but Nan
      can't actually talk about Scientology due to a past legal settlement with
      the cult. We suspect that we were followed leaving the org's
      neighbourhood in Gregg's car. The same car followed us from the parking
      lot, to a lane-by-lane thing on the highway. We lost them at a highway
      exit in Mississauga."

      Message-ID: <3BFFD604.57F366FB@...>
      Message-ID: <3BFFDD76.76E22906@...>
      Message-ID: <3c0009dd@...>
      Message-ID: <3c005654@...>

      #####

      > Thanksgiving

      The Austin-American Statesman reported on November 19th that Scientology
      participated in an interfaith Thanksgiving service.

      "The annual interreligious Thanksgiving service always carries a message
      of faith and understanding, but this year, it took on a new urgency in the
      aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes and subsequent war in
      Afghanistan. The 17th annual interfaith unity service was conducted
      Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Austin. About
      1,000 people attended, from faiths as diverse as Baptist and Baha'i, Sufi
      and Scientologist.

      "It is the first year that the Church of Scientology has been a member of
      the interreligious organization, and the reason for participating was the
      same as for other faiths: better communication, said the Rev. Jeff Fischer
      of the Church of Scientology. 'We believe communication is the way to
      handle things in life, to understanding each other and pulling together,'
      Fischer said."

      Voice of America News reported on November 21st that Scientologists in
      Chicago will be celebrating Scientology with an emphasis on the September
      11th tragedy.

      "Some Chicagoans will eat Thanksgiving dinner at their place of worship.
      Mary Strozewski will host members of her local Church of Scientology. She
      says the events of September 11 place a new emphasis on work with people
      to make a peaceful change in the world. 'We absolutely, positively believe
      that things can change if we all put the postulate there and find out what
      it is that puts man's savage instincts there and just simply get rid of
      it,' she said. Those attending the service will have made a small
      difference for some people. Money collected during the offering will be
      used to buy dinners for poor families in Chicago."

      Message-ID: <tqrkvtghuhq4t82dktlnsm9dp69rhg96ng@...>
      Message-ID: <3c01bd51.72747793@...>

      -end-
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