Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 35
12/1/2002 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.
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The Sydney Morning Herald reported on November 25th on the involvement in
Scientology of billionaire James Packer.
"The son of Australia's richest man is a prize catch for the Church of
Scientology. Rich, famous and friends with the church's star disciple, Tom
Cruise, James Packer is just the kind of recruit the church loves to
welcome in one of its 'celebrity centres' around the world. Yesterday, Mr
Packer said he had 'no comment whatsoever' on a weekend press report that
he had been taking instruction in the Church of Scientology, and had been
seen at the church's Dundas campus.
"A church spokeswoman said staff were trained at the campus, and lived on
site. There was a church there for staff, but no facilities to train a
member of the public, she said. The Church of Scientology has always
targeted movie stars and the rich through its 'celebrity centres.' Mr
Packer's friend Cruise is a key member of the Los Angeles Celebrity
Centre, a former Hollywood hotel which resembles a Disneyland castle.
"It is understood the cost of a course at the Los Angeles centre is
$US376,000 ($667,000). This is a petty amount to celebrity adherents such
as Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Lisa Marie Presley. Cruise
reportedly donates more than $US2million a year to the church. In August,
he told a church graduation ceremony in California that he would do
everything he could to expand Scientology. In the church's jargon, he is
an 'OT V,' meaning he has reached the fifth of eight OT levels. OT stands
for 'operating thetan' and 'thetan' means soul. OTs are supposed to be
able to read people's thoughts and travel outside their bodies. But before
a member studies for these upper levels, there are hefty fees to pay while
he or she masters the basics, moving from 'pre-clear' status to 'clear.'
"Reports of Mr Packer's conversion to Scientology have been circulating in
Sydney at the same time as rumours that he is planning to move to
California, just like his uncle, the late Clyde Packer, who moved to
California in 1976. Mr Packer did not respond to an inquiry by the Herald
about any such move."
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on November 29th that a woman who has
been convicted of fraud has become a Scientologist.
"For two years, Debra Anne Dalton pretended to be the mother of a baby
that never existed. Her former lover gave her more than $23,000 in child
support, even helping to pay when told his son needed to go the United
States for treatment of a 'chronic kidney disorder.' But Matthew Wojtowicz
was never allowed to see his child, only a photo album entitled 'Our
Baby,' which held a picture purportedly drawn by their son, whom Dalton
called Reece James.
"In Sutherland Local Court yesterday, the 23-year-old Beverly Hills woman
admitted the child never existed and that she had concocted an elaborate
plan, creating a fake baby and defrauding her former lover for child
support payments. She pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining benefit by
"According to police documents, Dalton has been diagnosed as a
pathological liar, but says she has recovered after receiving counselling
and joining the Church of Scientology. Dalton eventually made full
admissions to police about concocting the child's birth and fabricating
hundreds of documents. She maintained, however, that she did fall pregnant
to Mr Wojtowicz, but terminated the pregnancy. She will be sentenced at
Sutherland Local Court on January 30."
E-mails to Scientologists this week urged members to thank Fox News for a
segment on the cable network in which members of the Citizen's Commission
on Human Rights were interviewed.
"CCHR Supporters, In case you missed it, here is a transcript from last
night's show on FOX NATIONAL TV; 'On the Record.' This was a no holds
barred look at the connection between violent inducing psychiatric drugs
and the recent school shootings. The producer, Douglas Kennedy should be
acknowledged for exposing the facts. Please email the show after reading
the below transcript and acknowledge both FOX News and producer Douglas
Kennedy for this groundbreaking piece. email ontherecord@...
"Marla Filidei VP CCHR International
"DR. PETER BREGGIN, PSYCHIATRIST: One of the things that in the past we've
known about depression is that it very, very rarely leads to violence.
It's only been since the advent of these new SSRI drugs that we have
murderers, sometimes even mass murderers taking antidepressant drugs.
"BRUCE WISEMAN, CITIZENS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS: As the number of
drugs increased, so, too, have the number of school shootings.
"KENNEDY: Bruce Wiseman runs a group that has monitored long-term effects
of antidepressants on kids for years.
"WISEMAN: The drugs have got documented side effects of mania, of
psychoses in some cases, of violence, of suicidal tendencies, and you have
studies documenting the fact that these kids were not violent, took the
drugs, and became so. When you take the figures of - one drug manufacturer
talked about maniacal behavior of 4 percent. Well, if there are, as some
reports say, two-million kids on these drugs, that's 80,000 time bombs
waiting to explode.
"VESTER: Dr. Wiseman, let me start with you and just try to sort of feel
you out as to where you are. Do you think that all antidepressants in
teenagers are dangerous or just some?
"WISEMAN: I think psychiatrists have been misleading the public, not only
about the subjective or unscientific nature of psychiatric diagnosis, but
also about the potentially violence-inducing nature, the violence-inducing
side effects of the drugs used to treat them. This is a billion-dollar
mental-health industry with a vested interest of keeping the public
uninformed here. I think the public needs to be aware of this and that,
clearly, there is documented evidence that these...
"VESTER: But is that true of all antidepressants or just some?
"WISEMAN: Well, it's certainly true of enough of them that it's a problem.
Seven out of the 12 last school shootings were on these kinds of drugs.
Studies at Harvard, studies at Yale, studies at Columbia, studies at the
State University of New York all tie these kinds of drugs to acts of
suicide and/or violence. It's enough to be a real concern. Whether it's
all of them or not, what I can tell you is that the medical literature
makes it clear that there's a connection.
"VESTER: Do you think that parents are overmedicating their kids, that,
you know, that whatever it is that's going wrong either in the child's
life or in the family's general dysfunction that parents are afraid to
kind of deal with it and talk it out, and so they're saying, 'Yes, sure.
OK. I'll take a prescription for my kid.' " WISEMAN: Well, I don't think
there is any question about it, Linda. You know, we spend $50 million a
year on the war on drugs in this country, $50 billion a year, and yet kids
line up in the corridors of our school getting their fix of kiddie cocaine
when, in fact, there are probably educational problems there that are the
basis of these kind of things. A child looks out the window, he butts into
line, he interrupts the teacher, he is slapped with a psychiatric
diagnosis, and then put on these kinds of medications which - and, with
all due respect, clearly, are documented to cause or that have side
effects, such as mania, such as psychoses, such as violence. This is
documented in the peer review literature."
"Phineas Fogg" posted a disconnection letter he received from his sister,
"Don't bother sending any email or responding to this one, they are
automatically trashed and even if I do see that they are there, like this
morning, they won't be read. I have instructed Mother and Sandy not to
forward any comm from you. Just to ensure there is no misduplication
Phineas, I have disconnected from you.
"Sorry things have come to this but when I saw where your head was really
at, I had no choice but to disconnect from the venom you have against what
I do spiritually - and I've commented on your venom several times. I
suppose it wasn't the venom per se, but the fact that I saw nothing would
change it. I cannot be connected to someone who is so against me
spiritually and by whose actions are clearly destructive, though
purporting, all the while, not to be.
"If you have an ounce of consideration for our Mother, please do not
discuss your views with her anymore, even if she asks. They never help,
they only enturbulate her and there is no reason to do this. Scientology
has only helped her (via me) - so there is no constructive reason to try
destroy the good rapport she feels for it. - Lilah"
"I am saddened that you feel this way, for I have no ill feelings towards
you. Your belief that I am against you and your friends is untrue. Yes, I
criticize Scientology, and a lot of other things, too, and so does Andy
Rooney. If criticism were equivalent to hate, then it must true you hate
everyone you love. Despite your feelings towards me, I have no ill
feelings towards you, and wish you well.
Source magazine reported events in Clearwater at the Flag Land Base.
"The Clearwater Jazz Holiday, a four day series of concerts sponsored by
the City of Clearwater and local businesses, is held annually as one of
the city's major events. This year, the festival featured a very special
guest performer: jazz legend Chick Corea. This was his first time
performing at the festival, where he played with his recently reunited
Elektric Band. Chick is currently auditing on Solo NOTs, and definitely
enjoyed contributing to the local Clearwater community. And judging from
the audience response at his performance Saturday night at the festival,
they enjoyed him just as much!
"Three hundred guests attended the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights
Banquet for 2002, where key speakers spoke about psychiatry's infiltration
of the education system. Many non-Scientologists attend and were toured
through the LRH Photo exhibit afterwards, to get more reality on the only
"A dinner to honor local firefighters was organized by the Clearwater
Volunteer Ministers. The key speaker was IAS Freedom Medal winner, John
Carmichael, who flew in from New York. Everyone present signed a pledge
of support, including our local Volunteer Ministers, who have just
completed a training course with the Clearwater Fire Department and are
now on call to assist in the event of a disaster in the area.
"More than two hundred guests attend a luncheon in the Fort Harrison
Auditorium where the Mayor of Clearwater, the City Manager and the
Assistant City Manager for Economic Development briefed the Scientology
business community on the upcoming projects the city has planned, asking
for our assistance to make these happen. Tremendous progress was made in
creating a real team between the city and the Scientology community.
"On of the projects the City is planning that has special significance is
the new public library: In exchange for our help creating this new space,
the City has offered a special acknowledgment to the Friends of L. Ron
Agence France Presse reported on November 26th that the French government
will soon nominate a new president to head the ministry on cults.
"The Mission Interministerielle de Lutte contre les Sectes (MILS) has
become the MIVILUDES (Mission Interministerielle de Vigilance et de Lutte
contre les Derives Sectaires), and goes against cultic drifts. Its
creation should be announced to-day in the Minister's council. Its newly
nominated president could be Jean-Louis Langlais, a high official from the
"One of the laws against cults voted after MILS had worked on them has
been applied to Scientology, which has launched a cascade of suits against
the MILS president. Much criticized by the USA, the MILS activity, said
its president, was oriented toward the 'illegal activities' of cults,
never against the beliefs."
> Valerie Emanuel
In two letters to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Scientology attorney
Elliot Abelson has accused Scientology critic Valerie Emanuel of
intercepting Scientology mail in the post office in which she works.
"This letter is a request for an investigation into the postal activities
of one of your employees, Valerie Diane Emanuel aka Valerie Pelkey for
possible mail tampering during the course of her employment related to
mail addressed to my client the Church of Scientology International.
"In 1998 the local Orlando Church of Scientology sent a package containing
two reel-to-reel educational and training films to another Church within
the United States. This package was sent through the very post office in
which Mrs. Emanuel is employed. Only one of these films arrived at its
destination while the other one disappeared. It was never recovered.
"This was brought to my attention based upon an Internet web site that
Mrs. Emanuel maintains in which she has stated: 'I work with magazine
bundles at my job with the Post Office. If anyone found any Scientology
mail, they showed it to me.' Mrs. Emanuel has been engaged in a hate
campaign against the Church of Scientology since about 1997 in a number of
derogatory Internet postings against the Church and she maintains a web
page through which she expresses her hatred and prejudice towards the
Scientology religion and parishioners of Scientology."
"The package contained a reel-to-reel educational film. These films are
for Church internal use only, to be shown for Ministers in training. The
film that is the subject of this complaint was originally shipped from the
Church of Scientology of Orlando to the Church of Scientology of New York,
Continental Liaison Office of the Eastern United States.
"I have enclosed several Internet postings that Ms. Emanuel's has placed
on the Internet which I believe may be helpful to you in your
investigation, a posting she made just last week on March 31, 2002 wherein
she references her displeasure that Narconon, a drug rehabilitation
organization which relies upon certain teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the
founder of the Scientology religion in helping others, had allegedly been
at one of 'her' grocery stores. While her hatred is evident, she
references her postal employment as follows: 'They've been hitting a bunch
of the groceries around the Orlando area - I've seen postcards go thru the
post office where I work - just never caught them so close. Damn, I was
"She admits she goes into book stores and places anti-Scientology flyers
in books. Thus, I believe this shows she has no thought or conscience as
to tampering with property that is not her own."
> In Memoriam
The Columbian reported on November 21st that Louisiana Scientologist
Marjorie Hunt has passed away.
"Marjorie Elizabeth Hunt, 84, died Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002, in an adult
foster home in La Center. She enjoyed gardening, music, flowers,
traveling and activities with the Church of Scientology. There will be no
> Lisa Marie Presley
The Melbourne Herald Sun reported on November 28th that the divorce of
Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage may have been partly due to her
involvement in Scientology.
"Just three months after exchanging vows in a romantic ceremony in Hawaii,
Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage have ended their marriage. Cage has
filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, bringing to an end
yet another failed relationship for Elvis's 34-year-old daughter.
"Although Cage shared his Bel Air mansion with Ms. Presley, friends say he
prefers to be with Wesley in Los Angeles. Another factor in the break-up
is thought to have been Ms Presley's devotion to the Church of
Scientology, a controversial religion popular among the rich and famous of
From the New York Post on November 28th:
"'When they announced their divorce, everyone was really shocked,' the
source said. 'No one saw it coming. The photo shoot took place over
several days and they were really very nice.' But insiders said a
combination of the Hollywood spotlight, her devotion to Scientology and
the aura of Elvis, Lisa-Marie's late dad, doomed the marriage.
"Her two prior marriages, first to Scientologist Danny Keough and second
Michael Jackson, ended in divorce, as did Cage's union with actress
Patricia Arquette. Longtime Elvis pal Jerry Schilling said he was
'stunned' and 'heartsick' over the marriage's quick demise. 'They were
very unhappy with each other,' Cage's pal said. 'The bottom line is she
has her own life and own world that revolve around Scientology and her
children.' Hollywood marriage therapist Dr. Carole Lieberman said there
were two invisible participants at the couple's wedding - Elvis and
Scientology. Cage was reportedly obsessed with the legendary singer.
'Nick Cage fell in love with the fantasy of being married to Elvis
Presley's daughter,' Lieberman said. 'He found that the reality of living
with her was not what he expected. 'The ghosts of Elvis and Scientology
were in their bed.'"
> Galaxy Press
Scifidimensions.com reported on November 25th that a Scientology
publishing company will be sponsoring a Science Fiction and Fantasy
"Galaxy Press (a company devoted to publishing the fiction works of the
late, legendary L. Ron Hubbard) has joined the list of Sponsors of the
SESFA Award (which honors accomplishment in SF/F/H to persons born or
living in the Southeastern US). To launch the new relationship, Galaxy has
donated two mint condition, 1st edition, 1st printing hardcover copies of
Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, one of the most popular SF novels of all
time. These volumes will be auctioned on eBay - proceeds help fund the
> Volunteer Ministers
The South Dakota Argus Leader reported on December 1st that a Scientology
Volunteer Minister was involved in administering first aid to the victim
of an auto accident.
"Michelle Laurenz was trapped in her car after colliding with a
semitrailer. Lorrie Olson was one of the first people on the scene. Olson
provided what the Church of Scientology calls an 'assist,' described as a
simple yet powerful procedure that draws on the strength of a person's
spiritual being to heal an ill or injured body. 'She had to get into my
subconscious mind to have me help myself,' 39-year-old Laurenz said,
speaking in the husky whisper that has been her voice since a respirator
was removed three weeks after the accident. 'I don't know much about her
type of therapy. All I know is, it's more or less calming the patient down
so they can do the fighting.'
"What Olson provided as a Scientology volunteer minister is spiritual
first aid, said Linda Simmons Hight, a spokeswoman with the Church of
Scientology International's office of special affairs in Los Angeles.
'What Lorrie did is the quintessential volunteer minister's thing,' Hight
said. Volunteer ministers are trained to help people with the challenges
of daily life. That can involve anything from substance abuse to marital
discord, parenting and job loss, and injury and trauma.
"If a person has an injury, such as a painful toe, the volunteer minister
might touch the toe while issuing a series of commands intended to direct
the person to concentrate on something else, Olson said. Likewise, a
grieving person is urged to focus on something else.
"Olson drew on her training as a volunteer minister. She crawled into the
car on the passenger's side and began speaking to the unconscious Laurenz,
directing her to return to consciousness long enough to reposition her
body and breathe more easily. 'Once repositioned, she would go back into
unconsciousness,' Olson said. 'And it was extremely important to keep her
calm. Every time she'd wake up, she'd start to freak, so I'd make sure she
knew I was there. I'd touch her face and tell her the ambulance was on the
way, and all she had to do was keep the body breathing.'
"After Laurenz was airlifted to Rapid City, Olson used her volunteer
minister training on the semi driver. He still was severely shaken by the
accident. Olson used a 'locational,' directing his attention to objects
such as a tree, his truck and her dog to reorient him and bring him out of
the trauma caused by the crash. 'They used a lot of that at ground zero,
just keeping the firemen from going into shock,' Olson said."
"The church has faced governmental challenges in several countries and
often is described as a cult, a charge the church and some religious
scholars deny. A church spokeswoman described Scientology as an applied
religious philosophy. Its purpose is to make the able person more able and
to give people tools to better their own lives and the lives of those
around them, said Linda Simmons Hight. 'It's often been described as a
cult because it's been alleged to have used pressure tactics and what's
kind of been called brainwashing,' Peterson said. 'There's been a very
bitter battle, whether or not it's a religion or an opportunistic cult.
Those within it say it's a religion; on the outside, they have significant
"A Scientology volunteer minister, Olson said she is skeptical of anything
that has 'church' in it, but she likes what she knows about the Church of
Scientology. 'I actually became a member of the Church of Scientology
after I'd done the training' to become a volunteer minister, she said. 'I
found out that Scientology embraces all religion, so you don't have to
give up your own religion. You help people handle all that happens in
"Olson, who said she acts as a volunteer minister at least once a week,
also aids people dealing with grief, work-related issues or personal
stress. The assists that deal with mourning turn the stages of grief into
a 'rocket ride' rather than a long, slow process, Olson said.
"Hubbard developed the mind-altering techniques in the mid-1970s. There
are more than 15,000 volunteer ministers in 154 countries, Hight said. The
church has more than 8 million members worldwide. Peterson said there has
been some movement to scientifically measure the effect of praying for
people, and some studies do claim a measurable effect. No specific study
has been done on Scientology practices, he said."
> Interfaith Service
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on November 23rd that a Rabbi
participated in an interfaith service at a Scientology org as part of
"Since the growth of the Christian ecumenical movement mid-century, many
churches have held joint Thanksgiving services near the holiday. Now some
are having interfaith services.
"Sunday morning in the city's West End, congregations from three
neighboring churches on Union Boulevard will follow their long tradition
of praying together at one of their churches. Members of the churches say
the joint Thanksgiving service began when the three churches were leaders
in the civil rights efforts in the city.
"And at the Church of Scientology in University City, members crossed
Delmar Boulevard to invite Rabbi Abraham McKenzie of Bais Abraham
Congregation to speak Sunday - a first. 'We never have had a speaker from
another religion before,' said the Rev. Ellen Maher, the Scientology