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A.r.s Week in Review - 6/30/2002

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 13 6/30/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2002 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30 5:47 PM
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 13
      6/30/2002 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
      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 June 26th that Scientology is threatening the
      city of Buffalo, New York that the move to condemn the org there in order
      to build a parking ramp may violate U.S. federal law.

      "The Council found itself back in the debate over condemnation of a
      four-story office building at 43 W. Huron St., now occupied by the Church
      of Scientology, to make room for an expansion of the Owen B. Augspurger
      parking ramp.

      "After failed attempts to negotiate with church leaders to purchase the
      building, the Council voted, 10-3, in late April to begin condemnation and
      demolition proceedings. However, a procedural error in the vote brought
      the matter back before the Council, where opponents got another chance to
      sway the vote.

      "The Rev. John Carmichael, who presides over the church in New York State,
      said for the city to wipe out a place of worship to make room for a
      parking ramp not only reflects badly on the city and its leaders, it
      'almost certainly violates federal law.' The matter was sent back to
      committee for further review, stalling the $13.6 million project for
      another two weeks."

      Message-ID: <jw0T8.932$mp2.591781@...>

      #####

      > Universities

      Dave Touretzky reported this week that Scientology is promoting L. Ron
      Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science to university
      professors.

      "They're mailing freebies to university faculty. Here's what the package
      consists of: One new, hardbound edition of Dianetics: The Evolution of a
      Science, updated to include some drawings and an email address
      (authoraffairs@...). One new, shrinkwrapped, audio
      version of the book. The book is read by Lloyd Sherr, 'an accomplished
      voiceover artist.' The tape is recorded using ClearSound (tm). A reply
      card where one can supply contact info.

      "An interesting fact about this book is that it contains not a single
      reference anywhere to the Church of Scientology. All the org addresses in
      the back are for Hubbard Dianetics Foundations! All the contact and
      copyright info mention Author Services or L. Ron Hubbard Library or Bridge
      Publications or New Era Publications. Even the legal disclaimer at the
      front of the book refers only to Hubbard's 'observations and research,'
      omitting the standard Scientology phraseology about this being a
      'religious' work."

      Message-ID: <3d17fea6$1@...>

      #####

      > Germany

      Hamburger Abendblatt reported on June 27th that Ursula Caberta, head of
      Hamburg's Scientology Task Force, has been fined in connection with a loan
      made to her by activist Bob Minton.

      "For accepting favors she was fined 7,500 Euro by the Hamburg Office
      Court, payable monthly in the amount of 1,250 Euro. Caberta had been
      accused by the Scientology organization of receiving $75,000 from US
      businessman Bob Minton. She herself described the sum as a private loan,
      but the Scientologists saw it as bribery and accepting favors, because
      Caberta dealt with Minton professionally and could no longer be impartial
      towards him.

      "The decision for a fine is apparently a settlement between prosecution
      and defense. The state attorney had originally filed for criminal charges,
      but did not want to pass up the fine. In the case at hand Caberta will not
      be regarded as a convicted criminal. Legally the criminal proceedings
      will be seen as 'provisionally suspended.' Court spokesperson Sabine
      Anette Westphalen said, 'If Mrs. Caberta accepts the fine, the proceedings
      will be definitively over.'"

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1020628094932.164A-100000@...>

      #####

      > Xenu.net

      Corporate Counsel magazine published an article on June 25, 2002 on the
      Google search engine, and the legal threats Scientology made to remove
      links to Scientology awareness web site Xenu.net.

      "Kulpreet Rana, director of legal affairs at Google Inc., received several
      letters from the Church of Scientology International alleging copyright
      infringement. If Web surfers looked for information about the church using
      Google's search tools, the results brought up confidential documents. The
      church insisted that Google remove the links. In typical Silicon Valley
      fashion, Rana consulted the Mountain View, California-based company's
      engineers for a high-tech legal solution. They decided to remove the links
      to the confidential material to shield Google from legal trouble.

      "But Rana didn't want to leave it at that, and the engineers added another
      twist. Now, if a user finds one of the links that bothered the
      Scientologists, a message on Google.com encourages him to visit
      chillingeffects.org, a pro-First Amendment Web site founded by the
      Electronic Frontier Foundation and a handful of law school clinics. Posted
      on chillingeffects.org is the Scientologists' cease-and-desist letter to
      the search engine.

      ""The church's letter listed 85 copyrighted works, including secret,
      advanced teachings as well as photographs and texts drawn from the
      church's official publications. Alongside each entry was the Web address
      where the document could be found on www.xenu.net, a site calling itself
      'Operation Clambake' that is critical of Scientology.

      "At least one rival search engine saw a spike in removal requests after
      Google's delisting of the anti-Scientology Web pages. Says Sharon Anolik,
      associate general counsel and chief privacy officer at Ask Jeeves Inc.,
      based in Emeryville, Calif.: 'We don't like the idea of having to remove
      sites from our results. And neither did Google. But the DMCA does require
      this.'

      "Scientology lawyer Helena Kobrin says her small firm has been trying to
      hold online service providers responsible for revealing unpublished
      copyrighted works since the mid-1990s. Technology has emboldened
      infringers, observes Kobrin: 'It's easy to hide behind a computer.' While
      she doesn't object to the church's legal notices being made public on
      chillingeffects.org, she does take offense at the site's name. 'It implies
      that the First Amendment gives people some special right to infringe
      copyrights,' says Kobrin, a Scientologist who has represented the church
      for 16 years.

      "Robin Gross, a staff attorney for intellectual property at the Electronic
      Frontier Foundation, describes such cease-and-desist notices as 'bully
      letters' or 'legal torpedoes' unlikely to hold up in court. But few
      recipients want to take their fights into the ring, she says, noting that
      her organization has been looking for the right case to put digital
      copyrights to the test."

      Message-ID: <rZ1S8.524$mp2.276329@...>

      #####

      > Keith Henson

      Scientology this week filed another action against Keith Henson, arguing
      that he is violating the terms of a permanent injunction against him to
      not publish Scientology's secret NOTS materials.

      "Religious Technology Center moves this Court to issue an Order to Show
      Cause directing that defendant H. Keith Henson appear at an evidentiary
      hearing before this Court on a date certain and to there and then show
      cause why he should not be adjudicated in civil contempt of the Permanent
      Injunction entered by this Court on June 16, 1997 in this action.

      "The grounds for this motion are that defendant Henson has made postings
      to the Internet that contain matters infringing RTC's copyrights in NOTs
      56 and in NOTs 34, the same work for which he was previously adjudicated
      as liable for copyright infringement in the action in which he was also
      previously held in contempt by this Court for posting a sealed transcript
      with portions of the work to the Internet. Additional grounds for this
      motion are that in violation of the 1997 Injunction, Henson has been
      inducing and encouraging others to infringe.

      "Apparently believing that because he has fled the United States, and
      therefore is no longer constrained by the Permanent Injunction entered in
      this action, Henson has openly and arrogantly violated that Injunction.
      RTC believes otherwise, and on this motion, asks the Court to issue an
      Order setting an evidentiary hearing and directing Henson to appear and
      show cause why he should not be adjudicated in civil contempt of the
      Permanent Injunction."

      Scientology is also attempting to remove the judge from Keith's bankruptcy
      case, on the grounds that he is biased against Scientology.

      "The grounds for this motion are the bankruptcy court's manifest bias
      against RTC and the Scientology religion, his aiding of the debtor's
      fugitive status, while permitting him to remain a chapter 13 debtor, and
      his continuing unwillingness or inability to conduct an evidentiary
      hearing on RTC's Motion to Dismiss, pending for nearly two years in a
      bankruptcy proceeding that has been pending for more than four years. In
      addition, Henson has committed contempt of the district court's Permanent
      Injunction, which is being urged as further evidence of Henson's bad faith
      in support of dismissal. As RTC's contempt motion will be heard by the
      district court, judicial economy suggests it should also withdraw the
      reference and address the related issues.

      "In its most extraordinary April 22, 2002 Order, the bankruptcy judge
      blatantly violated the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States
      Constitution by prohibiting one of creditor Religious Technology Center's
      long-standing counsel of record from access to discovery responses to be
      made by debtor, H. Keith Henson, on the sole ground that counsel is an
      adherent to the Scientology religion, and also aided and abetted Henson to
      maintain his fugitive status in Canada by denying RTC's request that
      Henson appear for further deposition in California.

      "By his April 22, 2002 Order, the bankruptcy judge has now demonstrated,
      beyond any shadow of doubt, that he is so insensitive and so biased
      against RTC and the Scientology religion, that he is legally unqualified
      to further preside over Henson's chapter 13 bankruptcy case.

      "By that same order, the bankruptcy judge has again cast himself as an
      alder and abettor of Henson, who has fled the United States and remains a
      fugitive from a sentence of incarceration imposed by a California State
      Court.

      "In his April 22, 2002 order, in plain English, in words that do not admit
      of any inoffensive interpretation, the bankruptcy judge held that 'the
      identity of Debtor's employer must be disclosed, but only to Creditor's
      outside counsel who are not members of the Church of Scientology or
      members of Creditor.' It is, pure and simple, nothing less than a ruling
      depriving RTC of one of its long-standing counsel, thus trampling upon the
      constitutional rights of both RTC and its counsel, Ms. Kobrin."

      Message-ID: <3d1e35b5.7723316@...>
      Message-ID: <3d2014b8.64822593@...>
      Message-ID: <3d1d27b3.4136660@...>

      #####

      > Narconon

      A letter to the editor of the Carroll Star News on June 7th objected to
      the newspaper's expose on the links between Narconon and Scientology as it
      attempts to get a zoning variance in Carrollton, Georgia.

      "An article of 5 May and commentary to a letter published on 26 May
      expressed considerable hostility towards the Narconon program and inferred
      that representatives of Narconon were disavowing any relationship to the
      Church of Scientology. As is made clear in numerous pages of Narconon
      International's website, the Narconon program was founded by a man named
      William Benitez in Arizona State Prison in 1996 and later incorporated by
      him as an independent non profit public benefit corporation. Mr, Benitez
      based the Narconon program, which means supply 'no drugs.' on the research
      of author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. Although corporately separate
      and distinct from the Church of Scientology from its beginning, the
      Narconon network has long enjoyed a warm friendship with Scientology and
      Scientologists."

      "Clark Carr
      president, Narconon International

      "Editor's response: The Carroll Star News reporter, J. Pilkonis accurately
      reported that the Narconon representatives who visited Carroll County's
      planning and zoning meetings (and the Star News office) denied any
      association with the Church of Scientology. Later, in person, I pointedly
      stated to Susan Webb (public relations representative of the Church or
      Scientology) that I also was told by these two Narconon representatives
      they did not have any relationship with them. She had no direct response
      for me, and instead continued to speak of how great the organizations was.
      Since Mr. Carr is the president of Narconon International and states: 'In
      fact, the majority of new Narconon facilities established since that time
      have been made possible by be volunteer and financial support given by
      Scientologists,' I will assume that Narconon IS directly associated with
      the Church of Scientology, and the two representatives were either grossly
      misinformed or lying."

      The newspaper published a commentary by J. Pilkonis on June 9th on the
      Narconon controversy.

      "Hello, and welcome to another great JP column - the only column in
      Carroll County, incidentally to win six consecutive Pulitzer prizes, a
      Grammy for the audio recording of Brando Reads Pilkonis, and an
      unprecedented twelve academy awards for the film version of The 'P' Stand
      for Prima Donna: The JP Story, staring Nathon Lane as Bill Chappell,
      Jackie Chan as Brian Crotty. Pathways' Joan Moore taking the part of,
      well, just about anybody and, in a role which will shock you, Dr. Jack
      Kevorkian as Sue Horn.

      "As I write this in my fabulous 48 room mansion in the South of France
      chomping on Beluga caviar and the generic brand of Ritz crackers, I am
      busily dictating my next bestseller to my new secretary, Connie Chung, and
      insisting to the powers that be that before I agree to let them carve my
      face on Rushmore, that Jefferson character has to go.

      "Are you impressed yet? I should hope not, because blatant lies should
      never be something which benefits the one impairing them. Unfortunately,
      one group of people who haven't quite picked up on this seem to be those
      in charge of Narconon International, which, as we've finally confirmed, is
      indeed tied both spiritually and financially to the Church of Scientology.

      "We've now been visited on several occasions by both representatives of
      Narconon and the Scientologists. They were caught in lie after lie after
      lie, and when confronted with the truth, they opted to lie more. It got
      so hard to take that I forcibly terminated our meeting with Susan Webb.
      There was no point in going on. Her purpose - proving herself a liar - had
      been fulfilled.

      "The targets of Narconon are those cursed with addictions, people who are
      intrinsically weak and vulnerable. Is Narconon a vehicle for the Church of
      Scientology to recruit new members? I would not say yes or no on the
      subject, but consider this: Norseman says 'No.' and their reputation for
      honesty, at least in our dealings with them is utterly nil. The big joke
      is that the Narconon/Scientologist camp don't seem to realize that they
      wouldn't be under a fraction of the scrutiny they're currently
      experiencing if they had just played it clean and honest from the very
      beginning. It's true that they would have had a hard row to hoe, being
      involved with something as eccentric as L. Ron Hubbard's rantings.

      "This to no time for Bowdon residents to be complacent. Folks, now that
      you know what kind of people you're dealing with, it's time to take real
      action. Let your legislators know how you feel. Remind them that you'll
      remember how they voted on the Narconon issue. It's my opinion that we're
      dealing with a potentially dangerous situation here. But make your on
      decisions, then act, for yourselves, and for the good of your community."

      Message-ID: <3d1f05d7.126559035@...>
      Message-ID: <3d201a8a.131859235@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Keith Henson reported a protest at the Toronto, Canada org on June 22nd.

      "There were 4 of us, Arel, the unknown picketer, Gregg and me up the
      street. Brian McPherson was taking pictures of Arel. In fact, we
      understand from one of the locals Brian is there every Saturday just in
      case we show up. We got a huge number of acks, but only gave out about 150
      flyers. That area is just saturated.

      "When Gregg and Arel first showed up there was this 18 yo with his mother.
      They were looking into the testimonials window. The kid had a copy of What
      is Scn in his knapsack. The kid was trying to sell her on spending her
      retirement money. He was ready to fight Gregg, grabbed a flyer, crushed it
      and threw it at Gregg. His mother was mortified and apologized. She went
      on in and was put on the cans and everything, but was looking out the
      window at the xenu flyer. Came back out and had a huge argument with the
      kid. She went on up the street and the kid went back into the org, likely
      a disconnect case."

      Rod Keller reported a protest at the Washington, DC org on June 29th.

      "Arnie Lerma, Duncan Pierce and I decided to protest the Washington, DC
      org. We put in two hours despite the burning sun of the south. Arnie was
      carrying his 'Danger: Greedy Cult Zone' sign, Duncan had the 'Scientology:
      the Church with a Body Count sign,' and I had my 'Stop Hurting Families,
      Scientology' sign.

      "We had a very slow and methodical sidewalk cleaning with a hose for most
      of the protest. It didn't stop us from going back and forth as we pleased.
      She took an hour and a half to clean 30 feet of sidewalk. I had my usual
      'Why I Protest' flyers, of which I distributed about 300. A young woman
      came running back for another flyer, reporting that a Scientologist was
      standing down the block and took her flyer. She said he would walk up to
      people and say 'Wow, that looks interesting, can I have that?' After that
      I told everybody headed in that direction to 'Make sure the Scientologist
      in the yellow shirt doesn't take your flyer. He doesn't want you to read
      this.' Arnie was on the triangle across the street, and reported that they
      guy didn't get any more flyers after that.

      "We had a couple of interesting passers-by. A couple told Arnie that they
      knew all about how bad Scientology is. Arnie asked how they came to know
      that. 'I grew up in Clearwater, Florida' was the answer. We also had a
      young man tell us he worked in the org for three weeks. 'They had me
      talking to doll babies, so I quit.' The look on his face was hysterical.
      Handler Sylvia Stanard was primarily concerned with the number of
      protesters, being three and not a thousand I guess. Duncan had the line of
      the day, 'How many does it take to make a statement?'"

      Message-ID: <3d192666.57325331@...>
      Message-ID: <9THT8.260$d34.238026@...>

      #####

      > Switzerland

      Tages-Anzeiger reported on June 26th that two Scientologists have been
      sentenced in Zurich, Switzerland for fraud.

      "Two former Scientology adherents were sentenced on Tuesday by the Zurich
      Superior Court for millions in fraud. An attorney received 27 months in
      prison and his accomplice got punishment suspended.

      "The superior court has confirmed the judgment of the Zurich district
      court of 1999. The principal convicted party, a formerly high-ranking
      Scientology member and long-term magistrate in eastern Switzerland, had
      defrauded over 200 investors of about 15 million franks (over 10 million
      dollars) in the early 1990s with false promises of returns, according to
      the indictment. The attorney was supported in the data processing
      department by another Scientologist.

      "In December 1999 the primary accused was sentenced to two years nine
      months in prison by the Zurich District Court. His accomplice got away
      with six months prison suspended for aiding and abetting. Based on the
      defendants' unblemished conduct since then, the superior court reduced the
      sentences on appeal by six and three months respectively."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1020626204755.125A-100000@...>

      #####

      > John Travolta

      U.K. Newspaper The Independent published a column on June 28th on
      Scientology celebrity John Travolta.

      "There was a time, probably around 1978, when I'd have envied any woman
      married to John Travolta. Now, however, I feel nothing but pity for poor
      Kelly Preston. For starters, there's Travolta's Scientology, and the
      Scientology-related films. Then there are the films that have nothing to
      do with Scientology, but are rubbish anyway. Then there is the passion for
      flying Qantas aeroplanes, which he is now about to indulge by taking the
      whole family on a trip around the world in his 707 jet.

      "Surely Travolta doesn't need the money. Perhaps he just likes dressing up
      in costumes and looking skywards with a mad glint in his eye. Possibly
      because he thinks that up in the sky he is closer to L Ron Hubbard. He
      couldn't sound like less of a catch if he had knickers on his head and two
      pencils up one nostril. My one, fervent prayer? That somewhere up her
      sleeve, Kelly has an excellent divorce lawyer."

      Message-ID: <zz0T8.933$mp2.592010@...>

      -end-
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