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A.r.s Week in Review - 10/6/2002

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 27 10/6/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2002 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 27
      10/6/2002 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

      #####

      > CCHR

      The Patriot Ledger reported on September 25th that Scientology is
      protesting the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts, a mental
      health facility, claiming abuse of its patients.

      "About a dozen protesters stood outside the Judge Rotenberg Center in
      Canton yesterday, demonstrating against what it says are cruel treatment
      programs at the facility. The private facility operates day and
      residential programs for 145 adults and children with developmental
      disabilities and behavioral problems. The children take classes and live
      in residential facilities throughout Massachusetts, including Canton and
      Stoughton. The center has been in Canton since 1996.

      "'What makes this place stand out is their desire to stress aversives,
      which means pain of many different sorts,' said Christopher Garrison,
      Massachusetts director of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. The
      group, co-founded by the Church of Scientology in 1969, includes Canton
      residents. Protesters stood along Route 138 in front of the center during
      the evening rush-hour. They held a sign that declared, 'Patients tortured
      here,' and had another sign listing treatments they find inhumane, such as
      electric shock treatment.

      "Inside the center, staff peeked out the windows at the protesters with
      amused curiosity. They dismissed the group's claims by explaining aversion
      therapy and showing videos of patients before and after receiving
      treatment. 'We serve students with extremely severe behavioral problems,
      including patients who mutilate themselves' said executive director
      Matthew Israel.

      "On the video, patients slammed their heads against walls, bit themselves
      and shoved their hands down their own throats. Israel said that to
      eradicate such behavior the center thrives on rewards and punishments.
      Some of the rewards patients ask for and receive include hot fudge sundaes
      and chocolate milk. The center has a large 'reward room,' with pinball
      machines, a billiards table and a television. Punishments include
      mechanical restraints and electrical shocks. Some patients wear a backpack
      containing an electrical device. If a patient acts aggressively, staff
      members can activate the backpack by remote control, sending 12-volt,
      2-second surges across the surface of the patient's skin. 'It's painful
      but it's brief,' said Israel. 'It's a form of treatment that is lifesaving
      for many patients.'"

      From the Stoughton Journal on October 4th:

      "The use of the Graduated Electric Decelerator appears to be the most
      contentious practice that occurs at the Judge Rotenberg Center. The GED is
      used at the JRC as part of the series of 'aversive therapies' many
      students are made to undergo during their treatment time at the center.

      "Von Heyn said the GED was developed because the device previously used,
      SIBIS, was shown to be ineffective in treating students. That device
      applied a shock of five milliamps for a duration of two-tenths of a
      second. The GED applies a shock of 30 milliamps for a duration of two
      seconds.

      "Chris Garrison of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights: 'Yes, anyone
      will break under pain, it's just like John McCain who was a POW during
      Vietnam, all of those guys broke under pain. It drives them down,'
      Garrison said. 'Their self-determinism is crushed, and that is viewed as a
      cure. A cure in the field of mental health often times is something which
      makes the person stop moving around or communicating,' he added.

      "But, administrators at the JRC support the use of 'aversive therapy' and
      specifically the need for a continued use of the GED device. 'Many of
      these individuals were under going positive programming before coming here
      and it was not shown to be successful,' von Heyn said. He added that the
      aversive therapy should be continued because it has been successful in
      more than 95 percent of the cases.

      "Administrators from the Judge Rotenberg Center did meet briefly with
      protesters last week outside and center and an invitation was given for
      the group to come and visit the JRC according to a staff member at the
      JRC."

      Message-ID: <uRim9.388$Rk3.36490@...>
      Message-ID: <uTXn9.451$wZ4.88911@...>

      #####

      > State Hornet

      On October 2nd, a letter to the editor of the State Hornet, the newspaper
      of the California State University Sacramento, protested the inclusion of
      a recent Scientology advertising insert.

      "This is the second time in two weeks that I've seen in the Hornet an
      8-page promotion for Scientology/Dianetics with NO indication that it's a
      paid advertisement. I am disgusted and angry and I don't want to see it
      again. This week's edition printed its 'regret' on page A-6 that the paper
      failed to indicate it was an advertisement last week, but that this week's
      edition would be 'labeled correctly.' It isn't!

      "Dianetics/Scientology is known to be an organization that thrives on
      human gullibility. It's nothing more than a 'snake-oil' scheme for sucking
      in foolish people and taking their money and it's highly successful at
      doing so in manipulative and unscrupulous ways. Your unlabeled insert is
      typical of their underhanded methods.

      "Lynda Young - CSUS Staff"

      Message-ID: <LxCm9.413$wZ4.64195@...>

      #####

      > Iraq

      The Oregonian reported on October 1st that a Scientology minister joined
      Portland area religious leaders in opposition to U.S. plans to attack
      Iraq.

      "Two dozen faith leaders representing Christian denominations and Muslim,
      Jewish, Buddhist, Unitarian and interfaith groups across the Portland area
      joined Monday in declaring their opposition to a U.S. war on Iraq.
      The group included Quakers and others who oppose the use of force under
      any circumstances. Joining them at a news conference, however, were
      religious leaders who have supported military action in President Bush's
      war on terrorism but who say his plans for Iraq are so far unjustified.

      "Leaders who called the news conference were: Gulzar Ahmed, Islamic
      Society of Greater Portland; Warren Aney, Presbytery of the Cascades; the
      Rev. Althena Boozer, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church; Valerie
      Chapman, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church; Angie DeRouchie, Church of
      Scientology; Heidi Hoogstra, Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship; the Rev.
      Mark Knudsen, Augustana Lutheran Church; the Rev. Chris Laing, Portland
      State University campus ministries; the Rev. Kerby Lauderdale, Peace
      Church of the Brethren; the Rev. Arvin Luchs, First United Methodist
      Church; Tina McMahon, Multnomah Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society
      of Friends; John Munson, Reedwood Friends Church. Bishop Edward Paup,
      Oregon/Idaho Annual Conference, United Methodist Church; the Rev. Cecil
      Prescod, Ainsworth United Church of Christ; the Rev. Eugene Ross, Central
      Pacific Conference, United Church of Christ; the Rev. John Schweibert,
      Metanoia Peace Community; the Rev. Wes Taylor, board president, Ecumenical
      Ministries of Oregon; the Rev. Richard Toll, St. John's Episcopal Church;
      Mary Jo Tully, chancellor, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland; the
      Rev. Kris Voss-Rothmeier, Milwaukie Presbyterian Church; and Grace Young,
      Spiritual City Club."

      Message-ID: <7nukpukk7iqmj24709fponb63thak3l2fj@...>

      #####

      > Narconon

      Community Press reported on October 4th that Scientology discussed plans
      to open a Narconon facility in Marmora, Ontario at a town meeting.

      "Penny Luthra of Narconon, a charitable organization, is in the process of
      setting up a drug rehabilitation centre in the former Trelawney Motel on
      Highway #7 west. Renovations are under way and there is currently one
      student in residence enrolled in the eight-step program which begins with
      drug-free withdrawal and progresses through training routines, a
      detoxification program, and life improvement courses which are designed
      to, 'put the individual back in control of his or her life.' Information
      provided by Luthra indicated that the Narconon success rate of
      approximately 70 per cent, was considerably higher than that of
      traditional drug addiction treatment programs. Printed material suggested,
      'This rehabilitation program is extremely complete. It addresses the real
      reasons why a person has taken the drug in the first place. It handles the
      real problem and provides the individual with the knowledge and certain
      weapons to live a happy drug fee life.'

      "Participants are referred to as students in keeping with the educational
      process taking place. Several questions arose following the presentation
      which Luthra and Al Buttnor, a representative of the Church of Scientology
      answered thoughtfully and with candor. Cathie Jones who chaired the
      meeting was told that workers at the centre would undergo specific
      training and that there would be a ratio of two staff members for three
      students. The Marmora facility is the first of its kind in Ontario,
      although there are currently applications for licences in Toronto and
      Niagara Falls.

      "The cost to the students, who are there of their own volition through a
      desire to free themselves of drugs and not by court order, is $15,000.
      Luthra explained that students learn of the centre through such means as
      the Internet and by word of mouth. In response to a question from Steve
      Flynn, Luthra said that during the course of their treatment, students
      would remain at the facility with the exception of the occasional time
      later in treatment when they might take a supervised trip into town. She
      also suggested that if there were a problem, such as a fight, the OPP
      could be called, but Buttnor interjected saying that as far as he knew, at
      the two large Narconon centres in Quebec, that only once had the police
      been called.

      "Ted Bonter asked why that particular site had been chosen in view of the
      fact it was a rather small property with no real room for expansion, with
      a shortage of water and without adequate sewage capabilities. Buttnor
      explained that Davinder Luthra, who is not a Scientologist, but had
      learned of Narconon during a Toronto good works ceremony, had visited
      several other locations and as a licensee had decided this was the one
      that best suited his needs. He continued, 'It is very unusual for someone
      who is not a Scientologist to take this much interest in Narconon. He came
      up and found your community very accepting. It is a very lovely community
      and he thought it would be an excellent location where somebody could
      actually recover from a drug problem.'

      "A date was set for an open meeting with Narconon representatives at the
      town hall on the evening of October 28."

      Message-ID: <%QAn9.439$wZ4.83528@...>

      #####

      > St. Louis Org

      The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on October 5th that a man attacked
      several Scientologists during a visit to demand his removal from their
      mailing list.

      "Lloyd Flemig, 49, of University City, was charged Friday with attacking
      several Church of Scientology members. Flemig went to a Scientology
      church at 6901 Delmar Boulevard in University City on Thursday afternoon,
      demanding to be removed from a mailing list, police said. Flemig
      threatened to blow up the building, punched and kicked several people,
      slapped a woman and bit a man, according to authorities. Flemig, of the
      7400 block of Olin Drive, was charged with five counts of third-degree
      assault and unlawful use of a weapon."

      Message-ID: <20utpu0d47h62lkfvl8ivedba7gic3ub2c@...>

      #####

      > Tom Padgett

      Arnie Lerma reported on October 3rd that Tom Padgett has been extradited
      from Rhode Island to Kentucky, where he previous served jail time in a
      child support dispute with his ex-wife, who may still be a Scientologist.

      "Tom was released by RI authorities into the hands of two Kentucky
      sheriffs about 2 pm yesterday. They flew him to Kentucky via Delta
      Airlines from Green Airport RI to Nashville Tennessee and then he was
      driven by car to Hopkins County Jail. He called his family about 3 am from
      the Kentucky jail who knew nothing. Tom protested that he had a scheduled
      extradition hearing the next day and that he wanted to talk to his lawyer.
      He was told not to argue. The hearing was to decide if he wanted to fight
      extradition or waive his right to fight it. Tom's RI lawyer has been
      desperately trying to find a criminal lawyer for Tom in Kentucky. So far
      no lawyer wants to take the case."

      Message-ID: <3d9c6cec.129566935@...>

      #####

      > Wayback Machine

      The Times published an article on October 1st on the decision by the
      operators of the Wayback Machine, an Internet archive site, to honor the
      demands of Scientology in removing materials they claim are copyrighted.

      "When it comes to the Internet's history, the real power-brokers are
      proving to be the lawyers - and especially those employed by the Church of
      Scientology. Last week the internet's biggest digital archive became that
      much smaller after Scientology lawyers insisted that it remove pages
      created by the organisation's critics. Those running the archive did so
      with barely a murmur, proving yet again how effective the church's legal
      threats can be in undermining free speech. The archive, known as the
      Wayback Machine, keeps snapshots of millions of old web pages - a
      remarkable resource available to anyone free of charge at web.archive.org.
      But last week, researchers looking for pages taken from anti-Scientology
      sites such as Xenu.net were told that they were no longer available 'per
      the request of the site owner.' In fact, the demand had come from the
      church alone, on the ground that copyrighted material contained within
      these sites put them in breach of the controversial US Digital Millennium
      Copyright Act.

      "Under the Act, the church has 'asserted ownership' of work contained
      within these sites. Yet the result has been to remove entire websites,
      including pages that appear to be within the law. At Xenu.net, Andreas
      Heldal-Lund, a long-time opponent of the church, suggests that copyright
      law is merely a tool to censor critics. 'I'm the author, and I never asked
      that (the site) be removed,' he says. Another victim, the respected
      computer scientist Dave Touretzky, found all his research pages blocked
      from the archive thanks to some anti-Scientology articles. 'I don't
      exist,' he says. 'I've been erased from internet history. All because I
      dared to have some Scientology material on my website.'

      "Faced with the threat of litigation from the Scientologists, the archive
      appears to have removed entire domains before taking detailed counsel of
      its own. After all, no non-profit body likes to risk offending such a
      determined litigator as the church. Even Google, the search engine,
      removed links to Xenu.net and similar sites last March, faced with similar
      wide-ranging copyright claims from the church's lawyers.

      "In the Google case, the decision caused an outcry, and the company soon
      unblocked the links. No lawsuit has followed. Yet the church continues to
      put legal pressure on smaller websites, Internet service providers and
      even online booksellers to suppress dissent. And each time one of its
      targets succumbs, another blow is dealt to free debate."

      Message-ID: <80ee9418.0210010505.7c0f55ec@...>

      -end-
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