A.r.s Week in Review - 1/27/2003
Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 42
1/27/2003 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
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Week in Review is archived at:
> ClearwaterThe letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on January 21st
contained a letter comparing the activities of Scientology and the
Presbyterian church next door.
"I could not help but notice the contrast in happenings on the corners of
Pierce Street and S. Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater on Saturday night.
On one side there were red carpets and stretch limos, thousands of
twinkling lights, beautiful flowers and potted palms, brilliant spotlights
illuminating a tall building and a street blocked off for valet parking.
On the other corner, at Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church, a group of
dedicated men and women fixed and served a hot meal and provided warm
overnight shelter for more than 150 homeless people on a very cold night.
- Anne C. Epling, Clearwater"
Source Magazine reported news from the Clearwater Scientology orgs.
"The Fort Harrison's Crystal Ballroom was the setting for the Fourth
Annual Flag Mecca Groundbreaking Anniversary. The evening began with a
spectacular banquet, followed by entertainment for Sherwood Ball and his
band. Sherwood, known by Scientologists the world over as the lead
vocalist on the musical adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard's Hymn of Asia was a
huge hit with the crowd - particularly since he ended his performance with
two songs he had co written and produced for Super Power. The first was
entitled 'Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees' all about the 57 perceptics;
the second was entitled 'Break the Chain' about one of the Super Power
Rundowns, the Ethics and Justice Repair List."
> GermanyBZ-Berlin reported on January 20th that Thomas Gandow and Gerry Armstrong
have come under Scientology surveillance in Germany.
"He is regarded as one of Scientology's most fearsome opponents - Thomas
Gandow, sect commissioner of the Berlin Evangelical Church, gave his
sermon to the Luisen congregation yesterday under police protection.
Having been followed and photographed on his way to church, Gandow was
concerned that the church service would be interrupted.
"As Gandow and former Scientologist Gerald Armstrong were on their way to
the Luisen Church, they were followed and photographed by a person unknown
to them. While under pursuit, he notified the police, who pulled over the
following vehicle at the Michendorf roadside stop to ask for personal
identification. According to Gandow, it was Mirko O., an active member of
the Scientology Organization. At that point the Luisen congregation was
to receive police protection for church services. Several members of
Scientology were among the congregation. Rev. Gandow recognized one of
them as a leading member; it was a woman writing down statements made by
the clergyman and sect victim Gerald Armstrong."
From Der Tagesspiegel on January 25th:
"The Scientology Church has admitted to having put Thomas Gandow, sect
commissioner of the Berlin-Brandenburg Evangelical Church, under
surveillance. One of its members was said to have been working for an
attorney to investigate the American ex-Scientologist, Gerald Armstrong,
who was wanted in court. There have been various orders issued on
Armstrong in US courts, said Sabine Weber of Scientology Germany. It was
also intended to take legal action against him here in Germany to prohibit
him from claiming that the Scientology was out to get him.
"Last Sunday Gandow and Armstrong were tailed by at least two cars, said
Gandow, to a church service in the Luisen Church in Charlottenburg. His
vehicle was closely approached by one of them on the way from Brandenburg
to Berlin. The driver swerved erratically while photographing Gandow and
Armstrong. The situation got tense enough to where he finally called the
highway patrol at Brandenburg for assistance. The police gave him a
cautionary fine for unregulated use of a cell phone from a vehicle. The
police escorted Gandow's vehicle to the city limits, where he received
protection from Berlin police.
"They also placed the Luisen Church under guard during the church service
while Armstrong talked about his experiences with Scientology. Gandow says
he observed a second vehicle on the autobahn with at least three occupants
who were following and photographing the same time the first was. The
clergyman is certain that those men also had something to do with
> IrelandThe Irish Times reported on January 22nd that Dr. Stephen Kent is
scheduled to testify in the case of a woman who is suing the Dublin
Scientology org for her treatment while she was a member.
"Mr. Michael Collins SC, for the church, objected to the hearing of
evidence from a Canadian professor of sociology on the grounds that
admitting such evidence could lead to the 11-day case, taken by a woman
against his client, continuing until the end of February.
"Ms Mary Johnston, a former member of the church, is seeking damages for
alleged conspiracy, misrepresentation and breach of constitutional rights
against the Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin and three of its
members, Mr. John Keane, Mr. Tom Cunningham and Mr. Gerard Ryan.
"After almost two hours of legal argument, Mr. Justice Peart decided he
would hear evidence from Prof. Stephen Alan Kent. Responding to Mr.
Justice Peart on whether he was obliged to accept that Scientology was a
religion, Mr. Collins said the church believed every human being had a
soul and an immortal existence. The court was told there were 2,000
churches in 110 countries.
"In evidence, Prof. Kent said he had studied new religions and cults and
had written extensively on the subject. He had interviewed about 50 former
Scientologists. He described the structure and organisation of scientology
as very complicated with 'international management' at the top. Asked by
Mr. Michael Cush SC, for Ms Johnston, if there was a general body of
complaints about the church's dianetics auditing policy, Prof. Kent said
there was and he was also aware of individual testimony about its harmful
> Jeff JacobsenScientology critic Jeff Jacobsen reported this week that Scientology
operatives have contacted his father in an attempt to intimidate him into
"Here's the message, which was anonymous and no listed phone number.
"'Harlan, I'm a friend of yours. There's an investigation starting, and
you're going to be involved in it. Due to your son Jeff, the trouble he is
starting for a whole lot of people. You might want to talk to him. Listen,
the thing has started already, so talk to Jeff. He's in a lot of trouble.'
"Meanwhile, someone has gotten a list of my father's employees and is
calling them saying they are my father's CPA, or that they're doing a
project for his business, then asking personal and financial questions
about my father and his business."
> Lisa McPhersonThe Tampa Tribune reported on January 21st that Bob Minton has requested
that the judge in the Lisa McPherson case be disqualified.
"Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Susan Schaeffer blames multimillionaire
Robert Minton for the breakdown of settlement negotiations in the case and
has concluded Minton is a criminal because he invoked his constitutional
right not to answer questions in court, a motion filed late Friday states.
"The judge has put the counterclaim on hold until the original lawsuit is
settled. A trial scheduled to begin today was postponed indefinitely while
the church appeals an order issued by Schaeffer on Jan. 12. In the order,
Schaeffer denied the church's bid to have Ken Dandar removed as the
estate's attorney. That bid was based on testimony from Minton, who said
Dandar told him to lie under oath about $2 million Minton purportedly gave
Dandar to fund the lawsuit. Schaeffer concluded it was Minton who was
lying about Dandar and said he did so to cover up Minton's own tax
"Minton's new motion also attacks Schaeffer for issuing her order on a
Sunday, which Minton contends is against Florida law and renders the order
void. And because the order is void, the judge 'may be liable for
substantial damages to Minton' for defamation, the motion states."
From the text of the court filing:
"Robert Minton moves for the disqualification of Judge Susan F. Schaeffer
for prejudice and in support thereof would show that Minton fears that he
will not receive a fair trial or hearing because of specifically described
prejudice or bias of Judge Schaeffer.
"In November 2002 after the close of the evidence in the Omnibus Hearing,
Judge Schaeffer determined that the case should be mediated and scheduled
a series of separate meetings with counsel for each of the parties in the
case in order to assist in the mediation of the case. Though not a party
to the main case, Minton was ordered to participate. Judge At this
conference, Judge Schaeffer also strongly suggested that in order to
assist in settling the case that Minton waive his claim against the Estate
or Mr. Dandar for over $2,000,000 in loans made to the Estate or Mr.
Dandar. Mediation took place on November 27, 2002. Minton attended with
counsel and fully participated. A tentative settlement was concluded. For
reasons outside of the control of Minton, the mediation/settlement
thereafter broke down and the settlement tentatively agreed to among the
parties was not consummated.
"Minton has a well-founded belief that he is being punished for the
settlement not concluding or has become the 'fall guy' for the settlement
not concluding; i.e., that this Order was in retaliation for the
settlement falling through. As such, Minton has a well-founded belief that
Judge Schaeffer is biased or prejudiced against him.
"Minton believes that Judge Schaeffer has improperly pre-judged him based
on his permissible exercise of Fifth Amendment privileges and that in
further proceedings Judge Schaeffer will continue to believe Minton is a
criminal based solely on the exercise of his constitutional rights. Minton
believes that since Judge Schaeffer has already determined in her mind
that he has committed various criminal offenses she cannot objectively and
fairly sit as a judge in any further proceedings involving him."
> Lisa Marie PresleyFox News reported on January 22nd that Lisa Marie Presley will release an
album based in part on Scientology's opposition to psychiatry.
"At least one song will preach the Scientology cause that tries to stop
parents from giving their children drugs like Ritalin to treat Attention
Deficit Disorder. Scientology wages a constant war against psychiatry in
general, hoping to attract alienated young people before they can be
treated by doctors.
"Presley's official web site is linked to a charity called the Citizens
Commission on Human Rights, which promotes the teachings of L. Ron
Hubbard. Its main chapter, in Los Angeles, has a substantial war chest to
fight against psychiatry. Fellow Scientologists Kirstie Alley and Juliette
Lewis are featured in pictures with Presley at rallies protesting against
"Both Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla, are longtime members of
Scientology, which requires hefty annual donations from its members. One
wonders how much of Elvis Presley's estate has gone to Scientology and
whether his millions of fans have any idea where their money has gone.
Scientology seems to be in direct conflict with Elvis Presley's own
personal credo, which was 'Shake, rattle and roll' with a barbiturate
> Tom CruiseThe Sunday Star-Times reported on January 19th that Scientology celebrity
Tom Cruise is campaigning against the use of Ritalin by children.
"The so-called 'kiddy-speed' has harsh and high-profile critics, alarmed
at the sharp rise in Ritalin use. Film star Tom Cruise, in Taranaki to
film The Last Samurai, spoke out last week, claiming the drug was
'lethal'. The outburst is likely to stem from his Scientology Church's
opposition to drugs being used to treat mental illness. Confirms Church of
Scientology New Zealand spokesman Mike Ferriss: 'We view Ritalin as a from
of social control.' Other critics accuse parents of using the drug as a
"In New Zealand, Ritalin is now prescribed to about 8000 children - 1.6%
of the child population. But Werry says several more thousand children
would benefit from it. Paediatric Society president Nick Baker says
Ritalin is being grossly overprescribed in parts of the US and Britain,
but not here. 'Many parents I deal with are upset about the latest bad
publicity. But the thought of depriving a child who has the chance of
benefiting from Ritalin seems harsh. 'It turns people's lives around.
Children are made safe and families no longer live with unbearable