A.r.s Week in Review - 8/11/2002
Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 19
8/11/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
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
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> HollywoodHollywood Star News reported on August 7th that a party was held by
Scientology to celebrate the anniversary of the Celebrity Center.
"The star turnout led by Tom Cruise at the Church of Scientology Celebrity
Centre's 33rd Anniversary Gala in Hollywood over the weekend was a vivid
demonstration of why some call Scientology the 'power religion of
Hollywood.' The religion remains a controversial presence in many of those
countries, including Germany where there has been a long-running battle
over the church's very right to exist. John Travolta is one of the
Scientologists who has spoken out about the situation in Germany. Besides
Cruise, highly visible show business Scientologists include Jenna Elfman,
Lisa Marie Presley, Kirstie Alley, Ann Archer, Mimi Rogers, Chick Corea,
Karen Black, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) and Travolta's
wife, actress Kelly Preston.
"Among the 1,200 guests at the plush party held on the country club like
grounds under a tent on a warm night in Southern California were Leah
Remini, Jason Lee, Erika Christensen, Giovanni Ribisi Christopher
Masterson, Lynsey Bartilson, Michelle Stafford, Marisol Nichols, Pablo
Santos, Catherine Bell and actress Juliette Lewis.
"The Celebrity Centre is one of eleven such centers worldwide including
New York, Paris, Nashville, Las Vegas, Vienna and London. From the
beginning of Scientology in the mid-1950s, Hubbard made the recruitment of
celebrities a high priority, because they could help in recruiting the
public and gave credibility to his teachings. The use of celebrities to
endorse the church is a marketing tool, especially for reaching young
people (another Scientology target group), in a world where celebrity is a
very powerful commodity."
> Renate HartwigSuedwestpresse reported on August 10th that German critic Renate Hartwig
has released a new book about other critics of Scientology.
"For eleven years Renate Hartwig was regarded as the most competent
Scientology expert there was, who not only warned people about
Scientology, but could prove what she said. All that was over yesterday as
she presented her new book in Berlin, 'Die Schattenspieler.' Renate
Hartwig did not write about Scientology in her book, but about critics,
who she said misused Scientology to further their own interests. She this
was done by taking advantage of the public's vague fear of Scientology,
and the people she pointed the finger at included Constitutional Security,
officially known as the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. She
said after the fall of the Wall, Constitutional Security merely
substituted Scientology for the former East Block for job security. She
said she was tired of the self-appointed judges, juries and executioners
of libel and no longer wanted to be a part of it.
"She accused all the cult critics of having a vested interest, those of
the churches, those in government, and those in the political parties. She
said that nothing was more profitable than vague threats. She wrote about
companies that would not have been afraid of Scientology if it were not
for the fact that they had hired high-priced, self-appointed experts to
make sure that their company had no contact with Scientology.
"Renate Hartwig said she uncovered a business scheme by US millionaire
Robert S. Minton who she said paid German cult commissioners to help win
an 80-million dollar lawsuit against Scientology in America. She said
Ursula Caberta got $75,000 of that and was subsequently charged
accordingly by the state attorney. Hartwig's harshest words were for
Constitutional Security, who she said not only knew about the insufferable
critics, but engaged in activity of the same kind by having a
Constitutional Security agent pretend to be a Scientologist on the
Internet who told everyone that Scientology had forced him to behave in a
> IrelandThe Irish Times reported on August 10th that Scientology participated in a
fair on Bull Island, Ireland.
"The car-free day, organised jointly by Dublin City Council and
Coastwatch, transformed the beach from a sandy motorway to a seaside oasis
only minutes away from the city centre. 'It's going to be hard to convince
people to change the habits of a lifetime,' said the Lord Mayor of Dublin,
Cllr Dermot Lacey, who is in favour of an outright ban on cars on the
"In their bright yellow T-shirts, the Church of Scientology Litter Patrol
milled around adding a splash of colour to the scene. 'We have been coming
here for two years every third Saturday,' said Ms Siobhan Ryan, from
Swords. 'We are trying to establish a blue flag beach here. The job is
getting easier each time and it is wonderful to see no cars here today.'"
> New ZealandThe Press newspaper from Christchurch, New Zealand reported on August 3rd
that a plastics factory is owned in part by Scientologists.
"Key players in the controversial Hokitika plastics factory proposal are
devotees of the Church of Scientology. Wayne Byrne, of Sydney, and Soren
Kierkegaard, of Tauranga, are the two principals of FT Manufacturing
(Westland) Ltd, which has received a $500,000 loan from the Westland
District Council, along with a council commitment to build the factory for
a further $2.2 million.
"An online testimonial from Mr. Byrne, an accountant, said his discovery
of Hubbard's management and administration technology had changed his
approach to business. 'This technology is admirably workable in every
organisation, and I apply it with success each working day,' he wrote. He
said most of what he had learned at university and within his profession
was 'quite useless' in the management of any kind of business venture. 'In
particular, accounting is a very poor management tool for understanding
what is really happening.'
"Mr. Kierkegaard, a New Zealander who has returned after 30 years
overseas, changed his name by deed poll to that of the 19th-century
existentialist philosopher. He and his Sydney-based company, Technology
Group Management Ltd, are named as members of the World Institute of
Scientology Enterprises. The three directors of Technology Group
Management, which is handling the Sydney side of the plastics project, are
Mr. Byrne, and Mr. Kierkegaard and his wife, Sue. Mrs. Kierkegaard is a
"Scientology is based on a psychotherapy technique that is supposed to let
people free themselves from their unhappiness, but the organisation has
been involved internationally in several court cases, high-profile
disputes over alleged tax evasion, and claims that it exploits its
adherents. Westland Mayor John Drylie would not comment on the
Scientology link, or any other aspect of the Hokitika project."
> Protest SummaryKeith Henson reported a protest at the Toronto, Canada org on August 10th.
"I watched the org for a long time from the coffee shop and there was next
to no activity, unlike last time when they had Sea Orgers all over the
place. Eventually S. Putnik (who has picketed with us before) showed up.
We wondered back to the car where we collected signs and flyers and
started walking back to the org. Some guys hanging out on the grass in
the little park we walk through saw our signs and asked for flyers. As we
started off he asked if he could join us. We had extras so I got another
sign out and we all went over to the org. During the entire picket only
one person went in.
"In about 15 minutes a guy who said he was a 30 year scn vet come up and
start taping them and trying to pump them for their identities. He
pretended just to be an interested person, joined in listening to S.
Putnik talk about a certain refugee from California, and the cult being
convicted of spying in three countries. Camera guy jumped in and wanted
to know S's name. S gave him Fred Flintstone, the guy said 'That's not
your real name, will you give that?' And S said 'no, I am not going to
make it too easy, you have to work for it.' Camera guy then accused S of
not being a 'legitimate' picker because he would not give out his name.
"The two scns seem to be highly concerned about the long conversations
pedestrians were having with the picketers. Taking pictures of those who
stopped just verified what the picketers said about the ugly nature of
scn. I gave away the rest of my 'Parsonage?' flyers about the tax scam
and maybe 60 Xenu flyers. S and Nex gave out about 150."
> Lee KonitzDown Beat magazine profiled Lee Konitz, winner of their Saxophonist of the
Year award, in the August 1st issue.
"Lee Konitz sits atop a bar stool centerstage at Manhattan's Blue Note.
Ears cocked and eyes darting, the patriarch of 'cool jazz' embarks on a
round of spontaneous composition with pianist Paul Bley and bassist Marc
Johnson. Konitz, 74, sat in the living room of his Upper West Side
apartment, where Proust and Dostoevsky novels hold a place with a healthy
collection of classical and jazz CDs. 'So many talented people are obliged
to learn many different kinds of musics to function as professionals. I
was never really obliged to do that. I just want to play 'All The Things
You Are' in all the keys.'
"Konitz began to wean himself from marijuana during a long, sporadic
involvement with Scientology that began around 1973. 'It seemed to me that
I would have a chance, step-by-step, to look at my life and things around
me, and try to make some sense out of it,' Konitz says. 'It provided me
with the opportunity to continue studying, a discipline that I had stopped
when I left high school. I left the Jewish thing early on, and had never
been part of a religious group too much. Besides the business part, which
I objected to strongly, it was clean. And whatever was hokey about it, I
just accepted the part that felt it was to our benefit.'
"Free and clear of marijuana, Tristano and L. Ron Hubbard since 1990,
Konitz relies on his ears and intuition 'to communicate with the people
I'm playing with, not just somehow register what they're doing, and
continue to do what I do.'"
> SwitzerlandScientology working to improve its image
Tages-Anzeiger reported on August 5th that Scientology is attempting to
improve its image in Switzerland.
"Scientology's headquarters in Zurich used to receive praise on a regular
basis from its American parent organization for sending a steady flow of
euro-dollars from Zurich in the direction of the USA. Then the
world-famous psycho-cult began making headlines. A number of adherents
were caught in con games and Scientology business people were declaring
bankruptcy. The big Scientology center had to move from the prestigious
Badener Strasse to the edge of town. Scientology's image took a beating,
and this was reflected in its membership figures. Scientology boss Juerg
Stettler is seeing to it that his people no longer squeeze their customers
like they used to. Customers are no longer counseled to take out loans for
tens or hundreds of thousands of franks. The loans were often given by
Scientologists themselves backed by banks, and financial losses in the
"Scientology is today treading lightly in Zurich, nothing much about its
totalitarian indoctrination system has changed. The courses still cost an
arm and a leg - one hour at the highest level can cost 1,000 franks. And
the staff are at the grindstone for up to 70 hours a week. In return for
their services they get spending money. The Zurich Scientologists are
also using new methods to lure in new members, like tele-marketing. They
check names off in the white pages whose numbers they dial to ask them,
for instance, what they would do to improve their lives. They try to draw
people into personal conversations and to sell them Scientology books. Not
everybody they talk to are aware they are speaking with Scientologists.
"Scientologists are discovering how to go from door to door like Mormons
and Jehovah's Witnesses. One 17-year-old apprentice was taken in by the
Scientologists, although he had already heard about them. He had bought a
booklet and filled out the survey in back, which contained the 200
questions of Scientology's personality test. It wasn't until he was given
the evaluation for the test that he realized what he had gotten himself
into. 'Being caught like that by the Scientologists really burned me up,'
he said in retrospect, and further stated that his test showed him
negative in 9 of the 10 areas, with 7 points almost at the bottom. If he
would have taken the test seriously, he might have thought he was
anti-social, depressed, neurotic and unstable. Results like these are used
by the Scientologists to create anxiety in people about themselves, upon
which the cult's white knights will gallop in to save the day by offering
them Scientology courses.
"Recently the Scientologists have gotten a permit to operate a stand on
Bahnhof Strasse. They battled for this privilege through the court system
up to the federal level. To polish their tarnished image, the
Scientologists have also been organizing public relations events, such as
clean-the-parks campaigns. Besides that they have put up a big billboard
by the sidewalk where their new organization is with the seductive message
that the unemployed will immediately receive a job. To create good-will,
Scientologists sometimes pass out roses in the surrounding area. When
Scientology moved into the new quarters, they had promised not to solicit
for customers on the streets, but now residents are complaining about
getting Scientology advertisements in the mail, sometimes twice a week.
The Scientologists have also tried to get shopowners to put their books on
display in their businesses.
"Though they may find themselves in dire financial straights, the
Scientologists don't skimp on expenses when it comes to celebrating.
Recently the organization held a celebration in the Grand Hotel Dolder,
where Swiss Scientologists were to be honored by their American parent
organization for their services - meaning money. But those who thought
that the Americans wanted to reward their Zurich staff for their hard
labor don't know Scientology. Admission was 325 franks."
> Writers of the FutureNew Jersey newspaper the Courier-Post reported on August 5th that a local
man is a finalist on Scientology's Writers of the Future contest.
"Drew Morby in the garden of his Cherry Hill home. He is a finalist in a
fiction writing contest. A Cherry Hill man with a penchant for science
fiction and fantasy is about to jet off to Los Angeles in search of a
jump-start to his career. As a second-quarter finalist in the annual L.
Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, Drew Morby will attend a
workshop featuring some of the finest science fiction writers on the
"'My expectations are that my career will take off at this point,' said
Morby, 33, who lives in the Point of Woods section with his fiancee, Lisa
Salerno, 45, her daughter Danielle, 14, and a menagerie of two dogs, four
cats and three birds. 'The contest comes with a workshop, so at least I'll
be able to improve my craft.'
"Hubbard, the founder of Scientology and an accomplished science fiction
writer himself, started the contest in 1983 to promote good writing and
provide a career springboard to promising writers. Since the contest's
inception, says Beverly Widder, whose public relations firm in Marina Del
Rey, Calif., promotes it, nearly 300 winners have gone on to sell well
over 100 novels and more than 1,000 short stories. Well-known science
fiction writers Karen Joy Fowler, Nina Kiriki Hoffman and Dean Wesley
Smith head the list. As a second-quarter finalist, Morby received a $500
check and an invitation to the Aug. 17 awards ceremony.
"Morby's entry is published in this year's L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers
of the Future Anthology. Work from five or six finalists are included in
each year's anthology in addition to first-, second- and third- place
finishers each quarter, says Widder. The contest attracts between 2,000
and 3,000 entries each year. Winners do not have to be Scientologists.
Like many aspiring writers, Morby, who is not a Scientologist, gets most
of his ideas from observing others. He watches them in shopping centers,
on walks, in restaurants - wherever people congregate. Ideas also jump out
at him from movies and books and while falling asleep at night."