Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 27
10/6/2002 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
also available on Yahoo. Email email@example.com
PDA channel available at
Week in Review is archived at:
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
"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
"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
> 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"
The Oregonian reported on October 1st that a Scientology minister joined
Portland area religious leaders in opposition to U.S. plans to attack
"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."
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
"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
"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."
> 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
"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."
> 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."
> 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
"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."