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A.r.s Week in Review - 12/8/2002

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 36 12/8/2002 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2002 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2002
      Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 36
      12/8/2002 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
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      Week in Review is archived at:


      > Buffalo

      The Buffalo News reported on December 6th that Scientology has accepted a
      buy-out offer to allow the org building to be demolished and replaced with
      a parking garage ramp.

      "A long-festering property dispute between the City of Buffalo and the
      Church of Scientology has come to an end, clearing the way for expansion
      of the downtown Owen P. Augspurger Parking Ramp. Church officials have
      accepted the city's purchase offer of $740,000 for its building at 43 W.
      Huron St., at the corner of Franklin Street, and in exchange will drop the
      federal lawsuit they filed against the city in early October.

      "The $740,000 purchase agreement is the result of continued negotiations
      between lawyers for the city and the church, which moved the city off its
      original offer of $425,000, the value placed on the property by city
      appraisers. An appraisal done on behalf of the church put the value at
      $650,000. The $740,000 is said to cover not only the value of the
      building, but also the expenses the church will incur to relocate. Under
      terms of the purchase agreement, which requires approval by the Common
      Council, the church will have the right to stay on as a tenant of the
      building through April. The extended tenancy will give the church
      additional time to find a new home while Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, which
      will oversee the ramp expansion, moves through the design approval

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      > John Travolta

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on December 4th that Scientology
      celebrity John Travolta has parked his private jet plane at the St.
      Petersburg Clearwater airport while he takes courses at Flag Land Base.

      "That Qantas airplane parked at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International
      Airport? Nope, there are no plans for a nonstop service to Sydney,
      Australia. The Boeing 707 visible to traffic passing by on Roosevelt
      Boulevard belongs to actor/aviation buff John Travolta.

      "Travolta is simply in town for religious services at the Church of
      Scientology's spiritual center in downtown Clearwater, said church
      spokesman Ben Shaw. Travolta arrived with his flight crew about a week
      ago, said Thomas Jewsbury, director of operations for the airport. An
      accomplished pilot, Travolta flies his jetliner into St.
      Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport every few months so he can
      attend religious services. But this time, the plane bears a distinctive
      red Qantas logo, and it's parked in a more visible part of the airfield."

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      > Ireland

      RTE reported on December 3rd that a former Scientologist is suing
      Scientology for psychological injuries while she was a member.

      "A Dublin woman who claims she was brainwashed by a cult has begun a High
      Court legal action for damages. 40-year-old sports shop owner Mary Johnson
      from Westwood, Foxrock, was a member of the Church of Scientology for two
      years between 1992 and 1994. She is now suing the organisation because of
      the experiences and pressures she claims she suffered while a member and
      the threats and intimidation when she tried to leave.

      "In the High Court today her lawyer Sean Ryan said the evidence in the
      case will show how she was sucked into the organisation and subjected to
      processes and procedures which brought her under its control and
      influence. It is claimed she suffered psychiatric and psychological
      injuries and post traumatic stress disorder. She was introduced of
      Scientology in 1992 when she was upset after a relationship break-up."

      From The Irish Examiner on December 4th:

      "Dundalk-born Mary Johnson, 40, who has a sports equipment shop at
      Westwood, Foxrock, is also suing three members of the church: John Keane,
      Tom Cunningham and Gerard Ryan. In the High Court yesterday, Sean Ryan SC
      for Ms Johnson, said she was 'sucked in' by the organisation which brought
      her under its control and influence. Efforts were made to prevent her
      leaving the organisation, to silence her and to devalue her. The court was
      also told efforts had been made to intimidate her and to prevent her

      "Ms Johnson had suffered psychological, psychiatric injuries, panic
      attacks and post traumatic stress disorder, together with loss of short
      term memory and that condition had been exacerbated by the subsequent
      illegitimate conduct of the defendants. The story began in 1992 when Ms
      Johnson was emotionally upset after splitting with her boyfriend. She knew
      one of the defendants, Tom Cunningham, a member of the Church of
      Scientology, who introduced her to 'dianetic auditing' of form of amateur
      psychoanalysis. Mr Cunningham continually suggested Ms Johnson should go
      to the church's Dublin mission in Middle Abbey Street and have a
      personality test so that she could become involved in Scientology.

      "The tests involved money and Ms Johnson was not well off. Under pressure
      she signed up for a 'purification run down' an introduction to the church
      at a cost of 1,200 pounds. Ms Johnson was required to do a medical
      examination and was sent to a Scientologist described as a doctor. She
      spent long periods in saunas and was told this was purification. People
      such as this were described as 'raw meat' by L Ron Hubbard, the church's
      founder. In March 1994, she started a 'Hubbard Dianetic Auditing' course
      in Dublin and continued at Saint Hill Foundation in Britain.

      "In December, a team of recruiters from Saint Hill came to Dublin and she
      was asked how she was going to further her studies. She said she could not
      afford further payments and was told she should go to her friends or sell
      her business. She gave another 100 pound deposit for a course on a ship in
      the Caribbean and subsequently signed a contract for one billion years to
      work for Scientology."

      From the Irish Times on December 7th:

      "A woman who is suing the Church of Scientology was photographed by a man
      while she was on a licensed premises early last year, the High Court was
      told yesterday. Ms Mary Johnston said that incident occurred in
      January/February 2001. Ms Johnston, who operates a sports equipment centre
      at Westwood, Foxrock, Dublin, also said a friend had told her in her shop
      earlier that a man had been on the premises and had made derogatory
      remarks about her. Her attention was later drawn by a work colleague to a
      man in the bar area of the Westwood centre. The man was queuing up to buy
      something and then sat by the window and photographed her.

      "Ms Johnston said she had a disposable camera which she gave to a friend,
      Ms Catherine Hamilton, who took a picture of the man, which she produced
      in court. The man had stared at her for about 10 minutes. She followed the
      man out to the car park and he jumped a wall. She took a mental note of
      the registration of a car he was driving and called garda. The man
      concerned had come into her shop on a number of occasions.

      "After leaving the Church, Ms Johnston said she had nightmares,
      sleeplessness and anxiety attacks, which she had not experienced before.
      Asked by Mr Michael Cush SC, one of her legal team, whether, in the two
      years after leaving the Church, she had ever felt free of it or
      scientologists, she said she did not. From May 1994, having left
      Scientology, Ms Johnston said she lived in dread and fear because she knew
      what she had told the movement in confidence 'risked being breached.' She
      believed her private life in some way was going to become public. Towards
      October, she began to have very bad and prolonged headaches and was dizzy.
      She went to a doctor. She linked the headaches to Scientology.

      "She was invited to speak at a meeting in Clonliffe College in late 1994.
      Afterwards, a letter was sent by Mr Gerard Ryan to Stephen O'Brien, a
      journalist then with the Irish Independent. The letter came into her
      possession shortly afterwards. When she read it she was gutted because she
      knew then that the fears she had were well founded. She was grieved by
      what she read and she also felt betrayed.

      "Mr Michael Collins SC, for the defendants, opened his cross-examination
      of Ms Johnston by reading a nine-page article about Scientology, written
      by Prof Brian Wilson, of Oxford University. Ms Johnston agreed this was a
      reasonable summary of what Scientologists believed."

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      > Los Angeles

      The New York Daily News, December 5th that the Celebrity Center in Los
      Angeles will be holding a Christmas benefit event.

      "The high priests of Scientology are no doubt regretting that loyal
      follower Lisa Marie Presley wasn't able to coax her soon-to-be-ex husband,
      Nicolas Cage, into the church. But other regulars at Scientology's
      Celebrity Center in L.A. are still making merry.

      "Among those due to join the center's 'Christmas Stories X' benefit
      tomorrow and Saturday are Leah Remini, Anne Archer, Erika Christensen,
      Juliette Lewis, Danny Masterson and Lynsey Bartilson. The money will go
      to the Hollywood Police Activities League's Christmas party for
      underprivileged children and inner-city youth programs."

      The Burbank Leader reported on December 7th that Scientology has donated
      housekeeping baskets to a local domestic violence shelter.

      "The Women's Auxiliary of the Church of Scientology has provided the
      Glendale YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter with Housekeeping Baskets filled
      with laundry soap, sponges, bleach, trash bags and other items. Carol
      Austin, Scientology Auxiliary Projects director, and Kim Balecha,
      executive secretary of the Church of Scientology Mission in Glendale
      presented the baskets to Yvette Romero, YWCA director of shelter

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      > Montel Williams

      An episode of the Montel Williams television show promoted Scientology
      celebrity Kelly Preston and the book Clear Body, Clear Mind. A summary by
      "Bat Child."

      "Kelly talked about how her and Travolta's son Jett got very ill with what
      was eventually diagnosed as Kawasaki syndrome, and how it turns out it was
      brought on by chemicals from having their carpet cleaned, plus pesticides
      that somehow got in the house from outside. Then Montel holds up a copy of
      Hubbard's 'Clear Body, Clear Mind', which is the book that Kelly
      recommends people read to learn how to clear themselves from toxins they
      may have been exposed to. Montel then says that Kelly has provided a free
      copy of the book to everyone in Montel's studio audience.

      "Kelly then talks about doing the Purification Program, and how when she
      did this, her jaw started getting numb, apparently from Novocain she had
      gotten years ago when she had some dental work done! Also, she talked
      about how when she was a young girl she wore some kind of swimsuit that
      had a slit in it, and how she got sunburned where the slit was while
      wearing it, and then when she did this 'purification', the old sunburn
      showed up on her skin again in the same slit pattern! Then they had
      Michael Wisner on talking about exposure to chemicals, and he also
      mentions 'Clear Body, Clear Mind.'"

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      > Narconon

      The Intelligencer reported on December 3rd that a town council in Marmora,
      Canada has rejected a zoning application for Scientology's Narconon

      "Before a town hall packed with close to 125 people, council here
      unanimously denied a rezoning application that would allow a former motel
      to house a drug treatment centre. The move followed a special rezoning
      hearing Monday night, called to allow those opposed and in favour of
      allowing Narconon to legally continue in the former Treelawny Hotel. The
      establishment of a Narconon facility in Marmora has caused huge rifts in
      segments of the community, 40 km northwest of Belleville.

      "After almost two hours of public deputations regarding the application,
      council, in a recorded vote of 4-0 voted in favor of denying the
      application to rezone the site. On one side, proponents of the endeavor -
      six of whom were from the Toronto area - told of the benefits of the
      program and attempted to dispel rumours that Narconon would not only bring
      an influx of criminal activity to the area, but that the operation is an
      attempt by the Church of Scientology to infiltrate the region.

      "In opposition, Marmora residents - who presented a petition with more
      than 350 names of locals opposed to the application - rallied against the
      establishment, saying the program would have a negative effect on the area
      by effectively labeling the region a 'drug treatment centre' for

      "'We will be taking this to the Ontario Municipal Board,' pledged Penny
      Luthra following the decision. During the meeting, her father Devinder - a
      devout Sikh - said he bought the property because he 'wanted to bring
      peace and harmony and revenue to this town.' 'I am not a Scientologist. I
      am not a part of Scientology,' the Toronto businessman added. 'I like the
      way they treat their patients. I want to do some good work for this
      society.' A number of Scientology and Narconon supporters insisted
      Narconon is an arm's length organization of Scientology. Reverend Al
      Buttnor of the Office of Public Affairs of the Church of Scientology rose
      to say what was before council 'was only a zoning issue,' and councillors
      were not called to make a judgment either on Narconon or Scientology.

      "Local Ted Bonter said the establishment of Narconon 'contributes nothing
      to the betterment of this community,' and suggested Devinder reopen the
      facility as a motel. 'This thing has evolved from under the table - it was
      a smoke-screen from the beginning, and is tonight,' he said as the room
      filled with applause. Stuart Newton said the community 'does not want to
      be known as a drug treatment centre,' to outsiders."

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      > Lisa McPherson

      A prayer for Lisa McPherson to commemorate her death at Scientology's Fort
      Harrison Hotel was held on December 7th at the Nikolai Church in Leipzig,

      "Rev. Gandow: On December 5, 1995 a 'Church of Scientology' vehicle drive
      up to the New Port Richey Hospital north of Clearwater, Florida. The
      driver explained to the doctor on emergency duty that he had a seriously
      ill woman. What he had with him, however, was only a body in bad
      condition. The woman was emaciated and dehydrated. Her body was covered
      with bruises, sores and cockroach bites.

      "It is certain that she was being treated with an 'Introspection Rundown,'
      in which none of her tenders were to speak with her or answer her
      questions. In a state medical examination, her death was spoken of as an
      extreme case of dehydration. It was said that Lisa McPherson had received
      no water for 5 to 10 days prior to her death. Scientology pressured the
      mother of the deceased to cremate the body as soon as possible. The mother
      was told Lisa had gotten sick in the afternoon and had rapidly
      deteriorated, then was brought to the hospital, that it was fast-acting

      "This, as in six previous years, is to remember the death of Lisa
      McPherson and pray for those victims who, in their search for total
      freedom, have found death as victims of a malicious totalitarian
      organization. Today, on this international day of remembrance for Lisa
      McPherson, we, as Christians, want to pray for justice and for God's peace
      for the victims of Scientology. Let us not forget to pray for ourselves,
      either, that we may receive hope and courage, for the courage to guard our
      human freedom and dignity and the freedom and dignity of all on earth as
      if it were our own. For the hope that more people and more politicians
      will gain the courage they need to resist tyranny, wherever tyranny
      appears, and in spite of the threats and promises accompanying it.

      "We ask consideration for all those suffering unjustly in state prisons
      and in punitive and concentration camps all over the world, as well as for
      those in private punitive and reeducation camps, and in the isolation
      arranged by Scientology in Europe and American, for all those who are
      prevented from leading lives of physical wholesomeness, human dignity,
      self-determination and freedom. We also pray for all victims of terror and
      tyranny, of violence and force, whose blood cries to God from the Earth."

      Tilman Hausherr reported on the event.

      "It was very nice and tasteful. I believe that the family would have liked
      it. One segment summarized the wishes and the feelings of Lisa from the
      time she was alive very well. There were about 20-30 people sitting, i.e.
      participating. Additionally, a few hundred came in and out to visit the
      church, which is a major tourist attraction, and which was not closed
      while the service took place."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1021207112341.112A-100000@...>
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      > Protest Summary

      Jens Tingleff reported a Lisa McPherson memorial event in London on
      December 7th.

      "In memory of Lisa McPherson, eight international SPs gathered outside the
      Tottenham Court Rd org. I spent the time handing out leaflets. After
      having had the attendant police warn off an over-eager Sea Ogre, I
      distributed probably a good one hundred leaflets. I found that all I had
      to do to get rid of leaflets was to say 'a-GAINST Scientology,' and I'd
      get a smile and an occasional taker for the leaflets.

      "John R. did his usual unrelenting stint at the microphone, and we had
      enough leafletters to hold our own against the clams. The Scientologists
      were using their usual leafletting tactics of either standing in people's
      way and thrusting the rubbish into their hands, or stand by and weakly say
      'free magazine?' In spite of the seriously chilly winds, we held out for
      long enough to pretty much run out of leaflets, and we repaired to the
      local pub."

      Mike Krotz reported a candlelight vigil in Clearwater on December 7th.

      "A quiet and respectful candlelight vigil took place in Clearwater, in
      memory of Lisa McPherson. Present were myself and 'Charlie.' The vigil
      lasted from about 6:30 pm until about 8:20 pm. We were on the corner of
      Osceola and Pierce Streets, which had significant road and foot traffic
      due to road detours from construction in the area.

      "I noticed that I was being watched by a person stationed on the 2nd floor
      balcony of the Ft. Harrison for the entire time I was standing alone on
      the corner. After Charlie arrived, the person on the balcony seemed to be
      busy on the cell phone, and was soon joined by two others.

      "As the intent of this vigil was to honor Lisa and not to make a scene or
      statement, we had no signs and handed out no fliers. We concluded with a
      walk up the sidewalk and back again across the street on the West side of
      the Ft. Harrison. We had discussed that as being the last thing to do
      before ending the vigil, and as we talked at the corner after the walk,
      both of our candles were blown out by the wind. We took that as a good
      omen and ended the vigil."

      Tory Christman reported a protest in Los Angeles on December 7th.

      "A bunch of us gathered in LA to have both a picket, and then a vigil in
      honor of Lisa McPherson, who died at the hands of Scientology and their
      medical malpractice. Mark Bunker joined us for lunch and later helped film
      our Candlelight vigil. All in all we were in full about 10 people, from
      four different states. We decided to begin picketing by the HGB (Hollywood
      Guarantee Building) where Int Management is. As we strolled back and forth
      people gladly stopped and took our flyers. Many told us they already knew
      how bad Scientology is, so we suggested they pass on the flyers to others.

      "While we were talking Benetta Slaughter came up to Jeff Jacobsen who was
      holding the big Xenu.net sign. She told him he never really knew Lisa. He
      was amazed to see her. I told him later that is always what we used to say
      to people. Also a lady who is the head PR for Europe came by. We stayed
      out in front of the Int building for two hours, picketing, passing out
      flyers, and just talking with people.

      "From there we headed down to the Scientology Testing Center. Barb and
      Richard had come up from Riverside, and Jeff was here from Phoenix. A few
      others had come from different areas and this was their first picket. As
      we walked back and forth, I knew two of the OT's handing out flyers
      promoting the Free Personality test. One used to be (and may still be) the
      ED of LA org. She and her friend just laughed at me, saying 'Oh Tory' as I
      walked up. Do they have ANY clue why I left? Do they even see it as weird
      that they don't even want to ask why?

      "Kay Connally (head of PR, esp. for L. Ron Hubbard) was there running the
      Winter Wonderland. She sneered at me. I finally said, 'Hi Kay.' She turned
      around and said, 'I thought I told you last year not to hurt the kids.' I
      told her, 'I'm not hurting any kids. What you said last year is YOU would
      get my money back that Scientology owes to me, and you still have not.'
      She ran off while I was saying that. We stayed there for about one more
      hour, and then took a break.

      "Finally as it turned dark, we headed back to the HGB for the Candlelight
      Vigil for Lisa. We each lit our candles, and said something in honor of
      this lovely woman who died so needlessly. May she rest in peace, and
      hopefully our day of communication will help others not get snagged up in
      this 'religion' where you can get in, but you can't get out!"

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