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A.r.s Week in Review - 12/29/2002

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 38 12/29/2002 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 38
      12/29/2002 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://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html
      http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html

      #####

      Note: This issue contains articles from the past two weeks.

      #####

      > Bangladesh

      The Daily Star reported on December 23rd that a representative from
      Narconon participated in a seminar on drug abuse in Bangladesh.

      "Drug trafficking is accelerating at an alarming pace in the country,
      noted the speakers at a seminar yesterday in the city. The seminar on drug
      abuse prevention and rehabilitation was organised by the Centre for
      Sustainable Development and Research (CSDR).

      "The speakers focused on various ways of addressing the drug abusing
      problem and stressed the need for proper treatment and rehabilitation of
      the addicted population. Medicinal drugs or pain killers can have a long
      term damaging effect on the addict, both mentally and physically, noted
      Clark R. N. Carr, president, Narconon International. He stressed on pain
      free drug withdrawal process utilising specific nutrition and other
      assists. The seminar was chaired by Prof. Samir K Saha, advisor, CSDR.
      Khondoker Mahbubuddin Ahmed, member of parliament, spoke as the chief
      guest in the occasion."

      Message-ID: <u92e0vcsn5a6trc0013thkqc47cci2u8u1@...>

      #####

      > Buffalo Org

      The Buffalo News reported on December 22nd that Scientology has found a
      new location for the Buffalo org. The old building is to be demolished to
      make room for a parking ramp.

      "A historic building in the 800 block of Main Street, which began its life
      as a religious gathering place, is about to become the new home of
      Buffalo's Church of Scientology. The Scientologists will move into the
      former Buffalo Catholic Institute building, at 836 Main St. on the
      southwest corner of Main and Virginia streets, early next year when they
      move from their current location at 47 W. Huron St.

      "Built in 1893, the three-story structure, with two mezzanine levels, is
      one of a handful of Beaux Arts-style buildings in Buffalo. The
      ivory-colored exterior of the stone and brick building features intricate
      medallion brackets, copper projecting cornices, egg and dart moldings, and
      highly decorative friezes. Its eye-catching features also include a row of
      two-story arched windows that grace its Main Street facade.

      "The decision to purchase the turn-of-the-century building ends a more
      than yearlong saga involving the church's current home on West Huron. The
      city had been trying to gain control of the site for expansion of its Owen
      P. Augspurger Parking Ramp, a pursuit that led to heated Common Council
      debate, packed public hearings and even a federal court suit by the church
      to prevent the city from acquiring the property through eminent domain.

      "Earlier this month the city and church came to an agreement under which
      the city will pay $740,000 for the West Huron site, a figure that will
      cover the appraised value of the four-story building and relocation costs.
      The church declined to reveal the purchase price of its new home, but real
      estate sources put it at around $400,000."

      Message-ID: <q9ZN9.692$gU.499318@...>

      #####

      > Flag Land Base

      Source Magazine reported some of the news from Flag Land Base in
      Clearwater, Florida.

      "Clearwater Volunteer Ministers take responsibility for their community. -
      Judy Fagerman, Volunteer Minister I/C for Clearwater and Sandra Deigner,
      Deputy I/C, have been delivering LRH tech flat out since they set up a
      booth at local outdoor market. 'Last Sunday, we gave stress tests and many
      nerve assists,' said Judy. 'During one of them, the person blew a somatic
      he'd had for eight months.' That man went right to the Clearwater Mission
      to find out more.

      "Judy and Sandra are also disseminating over the radio. After one recent
      show where they covered LRH Assist Tech, and the cause of suppression, a
      woman who had been listening in her care drove straight over to the
      station. She's now on The Bridge. The VM's are involved in many other
      activities including hatting local groups on LRH Assist Tech, such as the
      local Boy Scout troop.

      "The Community Learning Center in Clearwater, run by Scientologist Sharon
      Hillestad, has joined forces with one of its best pupils in the adult
      literacy program, former cruiserweight boxing champion Tyrone Booze.
      Utilizing Tyrone's talents as a boxer - and his winning stance as last
      year's recipient of the Tampa Bay Reads Adult Student of the Year award -
      he and Sharon started the Smart Fighter Program. There, black youth can
      get off the streets and go to daily boxing lessons - with the added punch
      that they also learn how to read and write. This program is already so
      effective that Tyrone was recently honored as the Tutor of the Year for
      the Tampa Bay region."

      Message-ID: <LEBVKYCQ37615.8468518518@...>

      #####

      > New Zealand

      The New Zealand Press Association reported on December 27th that
      Scientology will be recognized as a tax-exempt charity in New Zealand.

      "The Church of Scientology will not pay any more income tax after the
      Inland Revenue Department declared it a charity, the church said today.
      The IRD said the church was a charitable organization dedicated to the
      advancement of religion and its income would be tax exempt. The New
      Zealand branch of the church, started in the United States by science
      fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, was founded in Auckland in 1955."

      Message-ID: <797f716c.0212262045.3e74e530@...>

      #####

      > Leipzig Human Rights Award

      The European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious
      Freedom in the USA announced this week that the winner of its annual award
      will be Andreas Heldal-Lund, creator of the Operation Clambake web site.

      "The European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and Religious
      Freedom in the USA (EACC) is pleased to announce Andreas Heldal-Lund of
      Stavanger, Norway as the recipient of the 2003 Leipzig Human Rights Award.
      The award will be presented on May 17 in the Old Stock Market in Leipzig,
      the city known as the birth place of the East German civil rights
      movement.

      "Mr. Heldal-Lund is the fourth recipient of the Leipzig Award, which has
      been given each year to individuals who have made outstanding
      contributions to the achieving of the human rights reforms that the EEAC
      seeks in US-operated totalitarian cults. Mr. Heldal-Lund is an Information
      Technology professional and free speech proponent who created and
      maintains the most famous Internet site in the world Operation Clambake
      http://www.xenu.net/ --that exposes and opposes the fraud and human rights
      violations of the US-based Scientology organization.

      "Scientology has attacked Mr. Heldal-Lund and his Internet Service
      Providers with lawyer threat letters and a black propaganda campaign, and
      caused a succession of ISPs to terminate his service. In February this
      year, bowing to pressure from Scientology lawyers employing the US law
      called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the widely used
      Internet search engine Google removed links to Operation Clambake from its
      directory. But Mr. Heldal-Lund held his ground, contending that
      Scientology withholds important information about its teachings that he
      was making available, and that people perhaps would not join the cult if
      the full information was accessible. Free speech advocates around the
      world rushed to his defense, mounted an Internet and print media campaign,
      and forced Google to put Clambake back into its search engine."

      Message-ID: <3E0CE02E.1030601@...-berlin.de>

      #####

      > Russia

      Gerry Armstrong reported on a recent trip to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where
      he participated in a conference on cults and Scientology.

      "We'd been invited to Ekaterinburg by Archbishop Vincent of the
      Ekatrinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church to participate in a
      three-day conference on dangerous cults sponsored by the Church, with the
      blessing of Alexey II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, and by the
      Government of the Urals Federal District.

      "There were a few over three hundred attendees at the conference, which
      took place in an auditorium of the Urals Academy of State Service, and
      perhaps thirty people presented papers on various sociological,
      psychological or theological topics relating to cults. I gave a talk in
      three parts on Scientology, which was translated into Russian as I spoke
      by Professor Alexander Dvorkin.

      "A number of TV and print media personnel attended, and at the end of the
      first morning session we had a press conference in a separate meeting room
      in the Academy with several TV stations participating. In the afternoon,
      a group of twelve of us, including both bishops, had a very positive
      meeting with the Presidential Plenipotentiary in the Urals Federal
      District Pyotr Latyshev. I had the opportunity to tell him about my
      personal experiences and knowledge of Scientology. He seemed genuinely
      interested in the cult's intelligence structure and activities, which is
      quite understandable because he was, I believe, a general in the Russian
      army before being appointed as President Putin's Representative in the
      Urals.

      "After giving one part of my conference talk, a young woman, who was not
      part of the program, walked onto the stage, up to the podium and began to
      mouth some promo for Scientology. She was ushered away from the podium and
      out into the hallway, where I spoke to her and proposed that we have a
      debate, which she accepted. The young woman, who gave her first name as
      Maria, but whose family name I didn't get, said that she is an employee of
      the cult in Ekaterinburg, and has been a Scientologist for five years. As
      it turned out, she really didn't want to debate Scientology, but wanted
      only to give her commercial for the cult. Nevertheless, I had the
      opportunity to tell her some of my experiences and ask her some questions
      to attempt to get her to discuss wogs' concerns about Scientology.

      "Over the next two days of the conference, in addition to presenting the
      second and third parts of my paper, I participated in a flurry of media
      engagements. We had a second press conference in the Ekaterinburg Media
      Center building, with nine television channels (or at least cameras)
      present and several newspaper representatives. Right after the press
      conference I gave two additional interviews to TV journalists. At a
      separate TV station, I did an interview for a half-hour show, which will
      also include talks with Professor Dvorkin and Novosibirsk Archpriest
      Alexander Novopashin. And I did a talk-format show, with Professor
      Dvorkin participating and translating, which will be televised around
      Christmas.

      "I accepted Maria's invitation and visiting the Ekaterinburg Scientology
      office, along with local priests Father Vladimir and Father Nikita,
      Professor Dvorkin, Pastor Thomas Gandow, and two television station crews.
      I didn't go inside the cult's office, because the large Scientologist
      blocking the entrance wouldn't specifically invite me in, but all the
      others entered and engaged the Scientologists in dueling videocams, and
      even some precious dialogue. The Scientologists were apparently giving
      visitors to their center black PR documents on their designated enemies,
      including Professor Dvorkin and me, and it was reported that they sent to
      Ekaterinburg officials an accompanying letter similar to their 2001 black
      PR letter to Nizhny-Novgorod officials.

      "At one point, the large Scientologist grabbed Dvorkin in a sort of
      Russian bear hug, and someone else called the police. Two officers arrived
      and took a number of statements. During our hour or so visit, I engaged
      the Scientologist man-handler in a discussion about Hubbard's lies and
      Scientology's unworkability, had similar conversations with a number of
      people who arrived to do courses or something, and gave interviews to the
      two TV crews. That evening, our twenty-first anniversary visit to
      Scientology was top news on both channels.

      "Pastor Gandow and I also gave a talk to a class of sixty university
      theology students, and then had a question and answer period with them. A
      number of them had also attended the conference at the Academy of State
      Service, so already knew us to some extent, and if time had allowed would
      have kept us talking for hours.

      "Our final work day in the Urals, we traveled to Asbest, at the invitation
      of the Orthodox Church Parish, to give a talk in the city's Cultural
      Center to about one hundred fifty people. A number of the attendees,
      which included at least two local government representatives, also asked
      excellent questions, and clearly grasped the danger of certain cults. One
      of the representatives expressed the observation that the people in his
      country had for seventy years been suppressed by a cult which became the
      government."

      Message-ID: <ajc40vofb3vn98uo4vck2m819iaki669aa@...>

      #####

      > UK

      The Sunday Mirror reported on December 22nd that the British Home
      Secretary will propose laws that distinguish Scientology and other cults
      from mainstream religions.

      "Brainwashing cults which prey on vulnerable youngsters are to be targeted
      in a Government crackdown. Home Secretary David Blunkett is drawing up
      laws that will create a new legal definition of cults distinguishing them
      from mainstream religions. Mr. Blunkett says the law needs to protect
      young people who are being exploited financially and sexually.

      "Groups deemed to be cults will be unable to apply for charitable status,
      which allows them tax perks, and they will face close financial
      monitoring. Any signs that recruits are being exploited for their cash
      will result in prosecutions. Laws may also be made that relate to
      detaining people through psychological manipulation. Organisations that
      may be affected include the US-based Church of Scientology and the
      Moonies."

      Message-ID: <qyiN9.578$gU.493798@...>

      -end-
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