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A.r.s Week in Review - 7/14/2002

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 15 7/14/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2002 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14, 2002
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      Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 15
      7/14/2002 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:


      > Buffalo Org

      The Buffalo News reported on July 3rd that religious and community groups
      have joined Scientology in their opposition to a city plan to replace the
      Buffalo Scientology org with a parking ramp.

      "Religious leaders from various denominations expressed strong opposition
      Tuesday to the city's plan to tear down a building occupied by the Church
      of Scientology to expand a downtown parking ramp. 'This is something that
      must stop here,' said G. Stanford Bratton of the Network of Religious
      Communities, a region-wide interreligious and ecumenical group.

      "Thomas A. Gallagher, a parking board consultant, said the additional 850
      parking spaces would help revitalize downtown. 'The building owners
      downtown cannot rent their space. If we could provide them with adequate
      parking, they could fill that space,' he said.

      "But Church of Scientology members, religious leaders from other
      denominations and community advocates challenged the assertion. 'I find it
      hard to believe that a parking ramp is going to revitalize this city,'
      said Anne Marie Dunning, a Church of Scientology member who questioned the
      need for more downtown parking.

      "Similar views were voiced by Patrick McNichol, a member of the New
      Millennium Group, which represents young professionals who strive to
      advance 'positive change.' McNichol said his group hasn't taken a position
      on the Hurst Building, but members are convinced any development must be
      done in the context of a long-term strategic plan.

      "Some Council members want to see church leaders and parking officials
      reach a compromise that might involve relocating the church to another
      downtown building. Randolph C. Oppenheimer, a church attorney,
      acknowledged 'room to negotiate,' but only if the city withdraws its
      condemnation plans. 'All we ask is that you take this sword from over our
      head,' Oppenheimer said.

      "'We'll be opposed to this all the way to the end,' said Merle E. Showers,
      a United Methodist Church community minister. A regional official from the
      Presbyterian Church sent lawmakers a letter expressing 'extreme dismay and
      strong opposition' to the plan and describing the condemnation as a gross
      misuse of powers."

      Message-ID: <kPeW8.1903$oN.678698@...>


      > CCHR

      The Citizen's Commission on Human Rights announced a seminar and book
      signing by Dr. Mary Ann Block

      "Saturday, August 10th, 2002 from 2-4 PM. Admission is Free.

      "Dr. Block will be in Los Angeles for a free back-to-school seminar on
      non-drug solutions to so-called 'Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder'
      (ADHD) and 'Learning Disorders.' Dr. Block, author of No More ADHD, is an
      international expert and healthcare leader on the treatment of attention
      and behavior problems without drugs. Her book provides a natural and
      practical approach to children's health and debunks theories that 'ADHD'
      is a 'chemical imbalance in the brain' or a 'mental disorder.' She exposes
      the dangers of psychiatric drugs frequently prescribed for this condition
      and summarizes the most common causes of attention and behavior symptoms."

      Message-ID: <0bNX8.23358$pi1.1862770@...>


      > Chick Corea

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on July 11th that Scientology celebrity
      Chick Corea will perform at Clearwater's annual Jazz Holiday event.

      "With sponsorships off by at least $20,000, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday
      Foundation Board cut executive director Karen Vann's $35,000-plus position
      Monday, eliminating its only paid employee. The Jazz Holiday will spend
      about $300,000 to produce this year's event, Oct. 17-20 at Coachman Park,
      Garcia said. Add to that jazz education programs, sponsor parties and
      administrative costs.

      "But attracting big-name sponsors this year has been tough. Garcia
      admitted 'we're a little short of where we'd like to be.' Vann's
      resignation comes just as this year's headliners are being announced.
      Blues pianist/vocalist Deanna Bogart will perform on opening night.
      Pianist Chick Corea will be the featured act on Saturday, and Lou Rawls
      will close the show on Sunday."

      Message-ID: <39d3458a638071cea52c6b0d87e181d0@...>


      > Germany

      Suedkurier reported on July 8th that a speaker at the mourning ceremony
      for vicitms of a plane crash in Owingen, Germany criticized Scientology
      for opportunism at the crash site.

      "Led by Mayor Gunther Former and his wife, by Catholic reverend Reinhard
      Schacht, his Evangelical colleagues Hartmut Dietrich and the theologian
      staff member of the Mennonites, Cathrin van Sintern, several hundred of
      the faithful proceed to the area where countless victims of the airline
      catastrophe have been found. Schacht's words towards all the Scientology
      members who went about their unholy work in Owingen were also extremely
      clear, 'Where there is carrion, the vultures gather.'

      "Mayor Gunther Former thanked the rescue workers for their service,
      thanked the Lord for the wholeness of the local people, and communicated
      the thanks of the volunteers to the citizens, who supported the rescue
      workers according to their abilities. Herbe rt Dreiseitl also paid his
      respect to the rescue workers; he said they had made possible an 'internal
      constitution of serenity and security' for the citizens by their diligent

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1020708080000.156A-100000@...>


      > Dan Garvin

      The James Randi Educational Foundation newsletter published a letter from
      former Scientologist Dan Garvin, describing some of his experiences and
      the cash prize that Randi offers for demonstrations of paranormal

      "In 1974, when I was 17, I got interested in Scientology as a 'scientific'
      way to attain mystical super-powers, which I had already believed in
      before that. Within two years I had joined their Sea Organization, the
      elite group of top Scientologists. Sea Org members have to sign a
      billion-year contract in order to join. Since Scientologists believe in
      past lives extending for more than 76 trillion years, and the ability to
      recall these lives fully, there is nothing symbolic about this contract.
      They really mean a billion years, and their motto is, 'We come back.'

      "Sea Org members are the most dedicated Scientologists of all. In addition
      to their long-term commitment, they live and eat in communal quarters,
      have almost no freedoms, or time off in which to exercise freedoms if they
      had some, or money to enable them to afford those freedoms. They work and
      study the works of Hubbard, and occasionally are rewarded with bits of
      'auditing,' the Scientology technology for making people better, happier,
      healthier, more powerful, and ultimately giving them TOTAL SPIRITUAL

      "I signed my billion-year contract and was in there with the best of them.
      I remained wholly convinced of Scientology's effectiveness for almost the
      entire twenty-five years I remained in the Sea Org. In about 1999 or
      2000, I was still a believer and still a Sea Org member, but I was
      gradually growing more disgusted with the way the church and the Sea Org
      were run. I was in that frame of mind when I heard James Randi as a guest
      on Al Rantell's talk show in LA. You were advocating mandatory licensing
      for people claiming psychic abilities -they would have to demonstrate
      their abilities to a licensing board, which of course none of them would
      be able to do.

      "I was thinking 'How come some Scientologist doesn't claim this prize?
      After all, we are the ones who really can do these things. There are
      prohibitions against showing off in public, but that came from back when
      New Age wasn't cool.' You'd think at least one of those would claim the
      prize, not being encumbered by the church's regulations.

      "It took a year or two, but I finally had to decide that the reason nobody
      claimed the prize was probably that nobody could, not even top
      Scientologists. I certainly had never observed any paranormal phenomena
      that couldn't be explained conventionally. My heretical thinking
      eventually led me to leave the Sea Org. I didn't leave Scientology yet,
      but I knew that before I invested any more of my life into it, I was going
      to have to see some actual evidence, not just more glowing success stories
      or PR from the church itself. Sea Org members are utterly forbidden to
      access the internet, and all Scientologists are forbidden to look at
      information critical of Scientology.

      "One of the first places I looked, after I got out, was the JREF website.
      There wasn't much about Scientology, but it was clear that no
      Scientologist had won or even tried to win the challenge money. Within a
      couple weeks I got up the resolve to look at Scientology's secret
      upper-level materials, posted in part on www.xenu.net. They're supposed to
      kill you if you read them without the proper preliminary Scientology
      levels, but they've been out there for quite a few years and nobody has
      died, so I looked. It made specific claims about Earth's history that
      could be disproven. And since it was wrong, it meant all of Scientology's
      top levels, where you get your magical superpowers, were based on a lie, a
      mistake, or a delusion.

      "That was what took me from doubter to full-blown ex-Scientologist. Once I
      was out from under the spell, I learned a tremendous amount that had never
      made it past Scientology's censors: criminal behavior, horrible abuses,
      vicious reprisals against critics and especially against plaintiffs.

      "Scientology's lies and practices cost me my marriage and well over half
      my life. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have escaped with my
      mind intact. Others have been driven to acute or permanent mental illness,
      and some to suicide.

      Message-ID: <20020714004640.09311.00000640@...>


      > Russia

      Radio Free Europe reported on July 9th that members of the Russian
      Orthodox church planned a rally to protest Scientology in Yekaterinburg.

      "Russian Orthodox believers are expected to hold a rally in Yekaterinburg
      on 13 July to protest the activities of nontraditional religious
      organizations, such as the Church of Scientology. Father Vladimir Zaitsev
      told the agency that the rally will be held outside of the local Kosmos
      movie theater where Scientologists will celebrate the birthday of the
      organization's founder, Ron Hubbard. Zaitsev, who called Hubbard a
      'Satanist, paranoiac, and drug abuser,' said that there are several
      thousand Scientologists in the city.

      From the Interfax on July 9th:

      "The demonstrators would like to give a clear picture to people about the
      nature of Scientology and its dangers, Zaitsev noted. In order to achieve
      this goal, officials of the diocese's missionary department have made
      leaflets and posters featuring exposing slogans. 'This organization is
      extremely dangerous to society. Scientologists read books written by L.
      Ron Hubbard, and try to imitate him in everything. Hubbard himself is
      known as a Satanist, a paranoiac and a drug abuser,' Zaitsev said.

      "He noted that in Yekaterinburg, Scientologists act under the guise of a
      number of organizations, including the Urals Dianetics center, the Studen
      school, a public youth union and the Narkonon rehabilitation center for
      drug addicts."

      Message-ID: <xAXW8.1223$FW5.1222222@...>
      Message-ID: <3D2EBF0C.1050204@...>


      > Spain

      Scientology's Impact magazine reported on a What is Scientology? exhibit
      that was held in Madrid in March, 2002 to celebrate the dropping of
      charges against top Scientologists there. The magazine also described some
      legal cases in which Scientology was involved.

      "The first day, a record 2,700 people visited the exposition, surpassing
      all previous daily attendance records for the exposition. The following
      day 4,560 people toured the Exposition.

      "The ribbon was cut by Luz Almeida Castro, one of the Church's attorneys
      who played a key role in bringing about the win in Spain. She was
      accompanied by Juan Garces, well know Spanish human rights attorney,
      Joaquin Atuna, President of the organization Peace and Cooperation: Rafael
      Burgos Perez, another Church attorney who played a key role in the Spanish
      victory: Luis Gonzalez from the Office of Special Affairs International:
      and Faustino Gomez, Director of Public Affairs for the Church of
      Scientology Madrid.

      "By the time the Exposition completed its stay in Madrid, more that 23,000
      people had visited it, more than in any other city in Europe.

      "In 2001, the Supreme Court ended tax cases against Churches and Narconon
      Centers. In the United Kingdom, full VAT (Value Added Tax) exemption has
      been given by Her Majesty's Custom and Excise to all churches and missions
      in the UK. In Sweden where the right to perform legal marriages is part of
      religious recognition, this right to marry has been granted to Scientology
      ministers. And the tax exempt status of Narconon centers was recognized by
      the Danish government this last year.

      "Fearing the widespread Scientology expansion of the late 1980's, German
      SP's conceived at the time a plan whereby they accused the Church of
      attempting to infiltrate society and the government - while they
      themselves were attempting to infiltrate the Church. In a landmark victory
      this year, a Berlin court not only issued a ruling in favor of the Church,
      but also gave the correct interpretation of the Church's activities which
      ended the SP's plan with finality: 'The action of bringing about a
      pro-Scientology government means resolving the personal problems of
      government officials so they can do their jobs better and clearing the
      planet means bringing about a world of heightened awareness and reason for
      everyone on earth.'"

      Message-ID: <7VYSWZTS37446.2637384259@...>

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