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A.r.s Week in Review - 3/31/2002

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 49 3/31/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2002 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2002
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      Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 49
      3/31/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2002

      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:


      > Australia

      Jan Groenveld reported this week that Scientology has pressed charges with
      the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria, Australia for alleged
      religious vilification.

      "The 'rev' Mary Anderson, Public Affairs, Melbourne Australia Org, has
      taken me to the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria (Australia) and
      charged me with 'religious vilification' under their act. 'A person must
      not, on the ground of religious belief or activity of another person or
      class of persons, engage in conduct that incites hatred against, serious
      contempt for, or revulsion or sever ridicule of, that other person or
      class of persons.'

      "Mary Anderson has charged me on the basis of my web site contents, The
      Anderson Report which she says was long ago overturned and described in
      the Victorian parliament in 1987 as 'draconian' and that this material is
      not biased, not factual and no current and does not fit into any category
      of helpful information, She refers to 'discredited author Russell Miller'
      with regard to comments on the site about Hubbard's statements about his
      life and war record which she states as been proven true by documentary

      "She states that persons who know little or nothing of Scientology and who
      take this site at face value could hardly fail to be infected with 'severe
      ridicule' or 'serious contempt of' if not 'hatred' of the subject of the
      site. She then asks that they demand I be made to remove the site."

      Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.30.0203260639451.9570-100000@...>


      > Egypt

      The Associated Press reported on March 27th that two Scientologists
      detained in Cairo, Egypt have been released on bail.

      "A court on Wednesday freed on bail a Palestinian woman and her Israeli
      husband accused of 'contempt of religion' by promoting Scientology in
      Egypt, police officials said. Wafaa Hassan Ahmed, 26, and Mahmoud Mufid
      Masarwa, 28, who have confessed to being assigned by Scientology bureaus
      in Tel Aviv and Rome to promote the faith in Egypt, were arrested earlier
      last month. No formal charges were filed against the couple.

      "The judge who ordered their release Wednesday said 'Dianetics' was
      legally released in the Cairo Book Fair, and that the couple should not be
      punished for spreading 'new thought' as this would only be 'a violation of
      human rights.'"

      Message-ID: <a7v1hh$aia@...>


      > Lisa McPherson

      A filing by the estate of Lisa McPherson was released this week, in which
      it argued against Scientology's argument that cockroaches do not feed on
      living people.

      "The defense has nothing to say about the fact that the Estate's forensic
      entomologists are all board certified and have seen roaches feeding upon
      pigs and have identified roach bites on human remains. The Estate's
      experts then take these findings and add to that the other case studies,
      including criminal reports of roaches found feeding upon babies, both
      alive and dead, and combine that with their education to arrive at their

      "The next amazing argument is that since the FLAG staff never saw a roach
      in Lisa's room, and since the hotel was regularly sprayed, then these
      marks could not be left by roaches. It will be up to the jury to believe
      or not believe the staff of FLAG.

      "Both Dr. Haskell and Dr. Goff made very conservative opinions in this
      matter. Neither would say that these marks are 100% roach feeding sites
      for one and only one reason: they were not there witnessing the roaches
      feeding upon Lisa. What both experts do opine is that these marks are
      consistent with roach bites based upon their experience and education and
      that their opinion meets the legal requirement of more likely than not.

      "The Estate attaches hereto two recently reported cases of live babies or
      children being found with roaches feeding upon them. The first concerns a
      criminal case involving abuse of a 7 month old Quail Valley girl from
      Riverside County, California, in 2001. At the emergency room at Inland
      Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, California, it was diagnosed that the
      baby was suffering from rat and cockroach bites. In April of 1998, in
      Rochester, N.Y., a mother was sentenced to 15 years for child neglect of
      her 5 year old daughter. Among other signs of neglect, a pathologist cited
      cockroach bites on her arms and legs.

      "In the authoritative textbook edited by Dr. Werner Spitz, M.D., there is
      an extensive discussion with pictures of ant and roach bites on the
      deceased. This is prime evidence that roaches do bite human flesh."

      Message-ID: <a7t3d4$n3c@...>


      > Reed Slatkin

      Reuters reported on March 26th that Scientology minister Reed Slatkin has
      agreed to plead guilty to investment fraud.

      "EarthLink co-founder Reed Slatkin, accused of defrauding investors out of
      nearly $600 million, has agreed to plead guilty to 15 federal charges,
      prosecutors said Tuesday. Slatkin, who was charged with 15 felony charges
      for allegedly orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme in which he solicited
      more than $593 million from some 800 investors - including members of the
      Church of Scientology, where he is a minister - has reached a deal with
      prosecutors to plead guilty to all of the charges.

      "Slatkin, 53, was charged with five counts of mail fraud, three counts of
      wire fraud, six counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to
      obstruct justice during an investigation being conducted by the U.S.
      Securities and Exchange Commission."

      From Bloomberg News on March 26th:

      "Slatkin's attorney, Frederick D. Friedman with O'Neill, Lysaght & Sun LLP
      in Los Angeles, said in a statement that his client's decision to take the
      plea 'is a reflection of his decision to accept full responsibility for
      his conduct.'

      "The minister in the Church of Scientology got money from socialites,
      Hollywood producers and EarthLink's two top executives, Chairman Sky
      Dayton and Chief Executive Officer Garry Betty. Among the investors listed
      in SEC documents are Fox News legal commentator Greta Van Susteren and
      actors Giovanni Ribisi and Jeffrey Tambor."

      From the Wall Street Journal on March 27th:

      "Mr. Slatkin, an ordained Church of Scientology minister who attracted
      seven-figure investments from such luminaries as 'Pearl Harbor' producer
      Armyan Bernstein, Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren and former Capitol
      Records Chairman Hale Milgrim, is set to be arraigned in U.S. District
      Court next month. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 105 years, but
      federal sentencing guidelines will most likely bring that down to 12 1/2
      to 15 years, according to Steve Olson, an assistant U.S. attorney.

      "Frederick Friedman, an attorney for Mr. Slatkin, said the plea reflects
      his client's decision 'to accept full responsibility for his conduct and
      move forward, by continuing his cooperation with both government
      authorities and his creditors.' Mr. Slatkin filed for bankruptcy
      protection in federal court in Santa Barbara last May.

      "No one else has been charged in the case, but the 32-page statement of
      facts mentions several unindicted co-conspirators, including one man, Ron
      Rakow, who served nine months in federal prison during the 1980s for his
      role in an $80 million Ponzi scheme known as 'Culture Farms.' According to
      the statement of facts, Mr. Rakow - who began investing with Mr. Slatkin
      before he was sent to prison - helped promote Mr. Slatkin's money
      management services. Mr. Slatkin's Santa Fe, N.M., bookkeeper, Jean Janu,
      and two others, Dan Jacobs and Didier Waroquiers, are also named in the
      statement as accomplices in Mr. Slatkin's conspiracy to obstruct a
      Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into his investment
      practices that began in 2000. According to the statement, Ms. Janu
      furnished the SEC with lists of investor accounts that she was
      'liquidating,' when in fact she hadn't returned any funds to investors.
      Messrs. Waroquiers and Jacobs, the statement adds, helped Mr. Slatkin
      deceive the SEC and investors into believing that he had more than $200
      million secure in Swiss bank accounts."

      From the Los Angeles Times on March 27th:

      "Slatkin's sentence probably will be 'in the 12-to-15-year range,' said
      Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles. The
      sentence could be reduced by a few years if Slatkin, 53, cooperates fully
      with investigators, who still are trying to determine what happened to
      investors' money, Mrozek said. Slatkin has acknowledged that at least $255
      million is missing in the scheme, in which new investors' money was used
      to pay bogus returns to prior investors. 'It's a very significant sentence
      for a consensual plea agreement,' said Richard Wynne, an attorney for
      creditors in Slatkin's bankruptcy case. But he added, 'We calculated he
      could have gotten a life sentence if this had gone to trial, so it's a
      sweet deal for him.'

      "Investors greeted news of the plea agreement warily. Some fear Slatkin
      might flee the country before his arraignment on an unspecified date next
      month. 'He's had 11 months to pack,' said investor George Kriste, 'and now
      he's got another 30 days.' The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office have
      said they don't believe Slatkin will try to escape. Slatkin's criminal
      attorney, Brian Sun, said his client was determined to cooperate with
      investigators. 'This is obviously a very emotional time for him, but he's
      committed to doing the right thing,' Sun said. 'His conduct speaks for

      "Slatkin, an ordained minister in the Church of Scientology, started
      soliciting money from fellow Scientologists in the mid-1980s. His stature
      and reputation grew after he helped co-found Internet service provider
      EarthLink Inc. in 1994. Before long, he was taking in large sums from
      Internet executives, Hollywood players and socialites from across the

      From the Santa Barbara News-Press on March 27th:

      "Prosecutors and Mr. Slatkin's criminal defense team say that if he
      fulfills the terms of the plea and cooperates with authorities, he will
      probably get far less than the maximum sentence. They disagree, however,
      on how much time he could spend behind bars. Federal authorities say it
      would be from 12 to 15 years, while Mr. Slatkin's attorney, Brian Sun, a
      former assistant U.S. attorney, said the range could be anywhere from no
      prison time to 15 years. 'There are a number of factors here,' said Mr.
      Sun. 'It really has a lot to do with the degree and quality of his

      "That cooperation will likely include identifying individuals who aided
      him with the conspiracy and fraud, sources said. In addition, Mr. Slatkin
      could help federal bankruptcy investigators track down some of the missing
      millions. 'Mr. Slatkin's agreement with the government is a reflection of
      his decision to accept full responsibility for his conduct and move
      forward by continued cooperation with both government authorities and his
      creditors,' said Fred Friedman, another attorney on his criminal defense

      "'The longer the sentence, the better,' said Michael Azeez, whose family
      collectively lost $42 million to Mr. Slatkin. 'I hope he gets a hanging
      judge.' There's a lot more that Mr. Slatkin can divulge about the nature
      and scope of the fraud that may help identify where some of the money went
      and who else was involved, Mr. Azeez said. 'I'm not sure why he isn't
      behind bars yet, though,' he said.

      "'The fact that he hasn't surrendered immediately is just a complete slap
      in the face,' said John Poitras, of Santa Ynez, a former venture
      capitalist who lost $15 million. 'He gets another 30 days to sip wine and
      enjoy the sunshine. This guy should be put away for the rest of his life
      for what he's done to hundreds of families.'

      "Rick Wynne, the attorney working with the creditors' committee, called
      the plea a 'smart deal' for Mr. Slatkin because if he had gone to trial to
      contest the charges, he would have been exposed to a life term. Because
      the plea compels Mr. Slatkin to cooperate with investigators, it may help
      creditors uncover any missing money, Mr. Wynne said. 'While some of his
      victims certainly might have preferred that Mr. Slatkin be drawn and
      quartered, his plea is an appropriate resolution to his 15-year fraudulent
      scheme,' he said. 'Mr. Slatkin will have a long time to sit in jail and
      contemplate what he did to hundreds of his creditors and their families.'"

      From the text of the plea agreement:

      "Defendant gives up the right to indictment by a grand jury and agrees to
      plead guilty to a fifteen-count Information in the form attached to this
      agreement or a substantially similar form. Defendant made up and/or
      executed a scheme or plan for obtaining money or property by making false
      promises or statements; defendant knew that the promises or statements
      were false; the promises or statements were material, that is they would
      reasonably influence a person to part with money or property; defendant
      acted with the intent to defraud; and defendant used or caused to be used,
      the mails or private commercial interstate carriers to carry out an
      essential part of the scheme.

      "The total maximum sentence for all offenses to which defendant is
      pleading guilty is: 105 years imprisonment; a three-year period of
      supervised release; a fine of $3.75 million or twice the gross gain or
      gross loss resulting from the fraud and conspiracy plus twice the value of
      the criminally derived property involved in the money laundering
      transactions, whichever is greater; and a mandatory special assessment of

      "Defendant understands that defendant will be required to pay full
      restitution to the victims of the offenses. The parties currently believe
      that the applicable amount of restitution is not less than $254,597,235,
      but recognize and agree that this amount could change based on facts that
      come to the attention of the parties prior to sentencing. Defendant
      further agrees that defendant will not seek the discharge of any
      restitution obligation, in whole or in part, in any present or future
      bankruptcy proceeding."

      Message-ID: <a7rgld$k4g@...>
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      Message-ID: <5e0371c5.0203270741.77ce69f3@...>
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      > WISE

      The Los Angeles Times published an article in the Sterling Management and
      the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises on March 29th.

      "The 'Battlefield Earth' videos, 'I am a Scientologist' poster and
      numerous pictures of L. Ron Hubbard make it clear that Sterling Management
      isn't a typical consulting firm. The company is one of about 100 in
      Glendale, Montrose, La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge that practice
      the organizational principles of Scientology. In fact, Sterling
      Management's business is to promote and teach the organizational
      principles of the church to small business owners across the country.
      Hubbard, founder of Scientology and a science fiction writer and
      philosopher, developed what is referred to as his 'management technology'
      for the religion's expansion.

      "Sterling Management owner Kevin Wilson and the other owners of local
      companies use the management practices as members of the World Institute
      of Scientology Enterprises - WISE. WISE licenses and promotes Hubbard's
      work to businesses for the Church of Scientology, WISE President Don
      Drader said. About 3,200 WISE members around the world pay anywhere from
      $250 to $36,000 per year for membership. Most WISE members are
      Scientologists, but it's not required, Drader said.

      "James Ryan, an EEOC public affairs specialist, said he wasn't aware of
      WISE, but organizations are entitled to use religious principles in the
      workplace, as long as employees have the option to object and be excused.
      Wilson said he is aware of employee discrimination law and that he stays
      within its bounds. 'This job has nothing to do with Scientology,' Wilson
      said. 'In no way can I dictate anyone's job with Scientology.'

      "Wilson makes sure his company's clients are aware of the relationship
      between his business and Scientology, too. All Sterling Management clients
      sign a waiver before entering into the consulting relationship, Wilson
      said. The waiver states that the Hubbard management materials imply 'no
      religious affiliation whatsoever.' It also states a Sterling consultant
      may recommend a client see a Scientology practitioner, if the client has
      personal problems beyond the scope of Sterling Management."

      Message-ID: <a81vcb$pqd@...>


      > UK

      BBC News reported on March 26th that a teacher's union is speaking out
      against schools being run by some religious organizations, including

      "Clearer guidelines must be introduced to establish which religious
      organisations will be permitted to take up the running of state-funded
      faith schools, a teachers' union says. There was currently no clear
      indication of who would approve or reject an application to build a school
      called the Osama Bin Laden Academy, warned the general secretary of the
      Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), Peter Smith. Similarly the
      Church of Scientology, the Moonies or even supporters of David Icke - the
      former footballer and TV presenter who once claimed he was the Messiah -
      could apply to run a state school, said Mr Smith.

      "Government plans to encourage a wide range of religious groups to run
      state-funded schools have proved controversial, with critics saying they
      are divisive. Mixed opinion over faith schools was no less obvious than at
      the ATL's annual conference in Cardiff, where delegates tabled conflicting
      motions on the matter. One calls for the government to abandon all plans
      to increase the number of faith schools, another urges delegates to
      'recognise the positive contribution these faith schools make to the
      education of young people.'

      "The ATL was not pressing for a secular education system, said Mr Smith,
      as history could not be rewritten. But he said the government had made a
      grave mistake when it paved the way for more faith schools. 'My own
      personal view is if a dog is snoring, don't kick it awake and I think it
      was very stupid of the government to kick this dog awake,' he said."

      Message-ID: <a7q82q$aqv@...>

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