A.r.s Week in Review - 2/3/2003
Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 43
2/3/2003 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
also available on Yahoo. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/weekinreview. PDA channel available at
Week in Review is archived at:
> Hulda ClarkConsumer Health Digest reported on January 28th that the U.S Federal Trade
Commission has brought charges of false advertisement against a
Scientologist and a non-profit organization headed by Hulda Clark.
"The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has charged the Dr. Clark Association,
Behandlungzentrum GMbH (a Swiss company), and Scientologist David Amrein,
a Swiss citizen who is the sole officer and director of both, with falsely
advertising devices and herbal products related to the theories of Hulda
Clark. The complaint, filed in an Ohio federal court, alleges that the
defendants made unsubstantiated representations that the Super-Zapper
Deluxe device is effective to kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the
human body, and is effective against chronic infections, cancer, and AIDS,
is effective to cure diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's,
endometriosis, asthma, and many other diseases.
"Hulda Clark is an unlicensed naturopath who obtained her 'degree' from a
nonaccredited correspondence school. She has written several books and
operates a clinic in Mexico where she offers treatment for cancer and
other serious diseases. In 2001, the FTC obtained a consent agreement with
another company selling Clark-recommended products."
> GermanyA Scientology press release on January 30th claims that nine churches of
Scientology have been recognized in Germany as a tax exempt organization.
"The Federal Finance Office, Germany's equivalent of the IRS, this week
issued ruling letters to the Church of Scientology International, granting
full tax exemption on license payments it receives from nine Churches of
Scientology in Germany. The decision by the Federal Finance Office means
that for the first time the Los Angeles-based mother church of Scientology
is officially recognized as tax-exempt in Germany. CSI has now received
exemptions for license fees due from all German churches: Munich, Hamburg,
Stuttgart, Berlin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Eppendorf, and the Church of
Scientology Celebrity Centres in Munich and Dusseldorf. Each exemption is
valid until the end of 2005 and three are retroactive to 1994.
"The Federal Finance Office's decision to grant CSI exemption follows a
precedent-setting decision in October 2002 by the German Federal Tax Court
in Cologne. The Court ruled that Scientology Missions International and
the International Hubbard Ecclesiastical League of Pastors qualify for
exemption under a 1989 income tax treaty between the United States and
Germany. Following the ruling in October, the Federal Finance Office
informed Scientology representatives that the German government would not
appeal and that the decision clearly applied to CSI as well."
> IrelandThe Irish Times reported in articles on January 25th, 30th and 31st on the
progress of a case of a Dublin woman who is suing Scientology for
misrepresentation and violation of constitutional rights.
"A woman former member of the Church of Scientology had her free will
compromised because of dependency, intrusion and pressure, a Canadian
professor who claiMs. to be an expert on the practices of the church told
the High Court yesterday. Prof. Stephen Alan Kent said he was concerned
about the nature of dependency which grew from the process of dianetics
which, he said, would focus on negative events in a person's life. He said
Ms. Mary Johnston had developed a dependency relationship because, it
seemed, a member of the church, Mr. Tom Cunningham, had used these
techniques, and she was under constant pressure to join Scientology."
"A woman told the High Court yesterday that she had become aware of a
change in her sister at about the time the latter became associated with
the Church of Scientology. Ms. Margaret O'Kelly, from Edenderry, said she
had always been very close to her sister, Ms. Mary Johnston, but became
aware of a change in her, through 'a lot of little things,' in the early
1990s. Ms. Johnston was involved at that time in dianetics with Mr. Tom
Cunningham, a member of the church's mission in Dublin. Up to then, her
children loved to see Ms. Johnston coming to visit, but over a period of
time they would say: 'Oh no, not Auntie Mary.' She felt that her children
did not want Ms. Johnston around.
"Ms. O'Kelly said that her sister had talked a lot about dianetics and had
said that it involved auditing. Her sister had talked a lot about
dianetics and wanted to use it to do away with Ms. O'Kelly's 10-year-old
daughter's grumpiness. Ms. O'Kelly said she felt this was an imposition
and she was worried about it. Ms. O'Kelly said that Ms. Johnston had acted
totally out of character. She would insist that she was right and
Scientology would always be brought into it.
"In August 1993, her husband's cousin had died suddenly and, despite the
fact that Ms. Johnston was close to him, she was apathetic about what had
happened. Ms. O'Kelly said she was appalled that her sister did not go to
the funeral but rather talked about reincarnation. She showed no empathy
with anybody and this was 'totally out of character.'"
"While she was with the Church of Scientology, Ms. Mary Johnston was 'like
somebody playing a role in a pantomine', the High Court was told
yesterday. Mr. Paul O'Kelly, brother-in-law of Ms. Johnston, said he found
Ms. Johnston was dealing with him in a planned and structured way and
there was no genuine effort to engage.
"Yesterday, Ms. Margaret O'Kelly, sister of Ms. Johnston and wife of Paul
O'Kelly, said she and other members of her family made efforts in early
1994 to get her sister to meet them to view material, newspaper cuttings
and videos about Scientology. Before she invited her sister to the
meeting, members of the family needed time to research Scientology and to
gather as much information as they could, Ms O'Kelly said. They contacted
Ms. Johnston and arranged to meet in Edenderry on May 2nd, 1994.
Initially, Ms. Johnston wanted to know why and rang every day for two
weeks to find out the name of a book they had about Scientology and where
they had got the information.
"Ms. O'Kelly said she and her mother arranged to meet Ms. Johnston at 2
p.m. but she did not turn up until 6 p.m. Ms. Johnston never apologised
for being late. They wanted her to make up her own mind when she saw the
information they had. Ms. O'Kelly said her sister was not relaxed and was
very tense, with a continuous grin on her face. She was under stress. She
refused to read any of the material they had. By 8 p.m., their mother was
getting upset because Ms. Johnston could not bring herself to read the
"Ms. O'Kelly said she had asked her mother to leave and she did. After
that, Ms. O'Kelly said, she herself broke down and told Ms. Johnston they
loved her and did not want her to disconnect from the family. Ms Johnston
then said she would read the material. They talked about family matters
and the tension was gone. The next morning, Ms. Johnston said there was a
lot of questions to which she wanted answers. Ms. O'Kelly said her sister
told her she was very frightened. Ms Johnston had said there were things
that Ms. O'Kelly did not know about her but which the Scientologists knew
and that she was afraid they might reveal them."
> Protest SummaryJohn Ritson reported a protest on February 1st at the London Scientology
"Approximately ten suppressives had sunny albeit cold weather to picket
the Tottenham Court Road 'org.' The 'org' was as downstat as usual. No
students, only the regulars on the Foundation shift (apart from one
newcomer in a light brown leather jacket, who just stood around chewing
gum as if his life depended on it - we never actually saw him chew and
walk at the same time). After the obligatory telephone call to get their
orders, and the obligatory visit from the police, who made it clear to
them that we were perfectly entitled to picket them, we spent a couple of
hours leafleting and enturbulating.
"Even the normal receptionist only turned up and took photographs after an
hour. Before that they had been handing out Issue One of a news sheet
about education (basically a puff piece for their private Greenfields
School near Saint Hill - notorious for the 'death classes' and the
'withhold-pulling' sessions). After an hour they just went inside and hid.
"We remained outside, and had lots of support from the passers-by, as long
as we made it clear that we were AGAINST Scientology. After a couple of
hours we ran out of leaflets and retreated to a warm pub."
> Lisa Marie PresleySalon.com reported on January 30th that Lisa Marie Presley's new album is
filled with references to Scientology.
"Lisa Marie Presley's forthcoming album sure sounds more and more like one
you're gonna wanna rush right out and buy, especially if you happen to be,
say, Tom Cruise, John Travolta or one of Hollywood's other ardent
Scientologists. Elvis' little girl tells Launch.com that the title track
of her CD, 'To Whom It May Concern,' is an anthem dedicated to spreading
the word of one L. Ron Hubbard, of whom she is a follower.
"'This is me. This record is me. Every song is me. You're going to see who
I really am and not what the tabloids say or whatever anyone has to say
about me,' Presley told the music Web site. And while she's on her musical
soapbox, the estranged Mrs. Cage also plans to take a moment to sing loud
and proud about one of her favorite causes: the dangers of overmedicating
> Christopher ReeveMSNBC reported on January 27th that portions of a new book by Christopher
Reeve describe his experiences in Scientology.
"The 'Superman' star once dabbled in Scientology, but Reeve doesn't give
it a rave review in his memoir, 'Nothing Is Impossible.' Reeve describes
how he took courses and underwent numerous, expensive 'auditing' sessions
during which he was quizzed about his life, including his drug use
history, while hooked up to an 'e-meter' machine designed to get to the
"But Reeve says he 'grew skeptical' of the whole process and told an
outrageous lie - which wasn't caught by the auditor or the e-meter. 'The
fact that I got away with a blatant fabrication completely devalued my
belief in the process,' Reeve wrote. He felt similar disillusionment with
various alternative religions and cults he encountered in Hollywood."
> In MemoriamThe St. Petersburg Times reported that Scientologist Daniel Wagner passed
away on January 24th.
"WAGNER, DANIEL H., 45, of Clearwater, died Friday at Morton Plant
Hospital, Clearwater. He came here in 1995 from his native California. He
was a self-employed computer consultant. He was a member of the Church of
Scientology, Clearwater and was a Marine Corps veteran."
> RussiaInterfax reported on January 27th that a group that supports Russian
President Vladimir Putin have held rallies against Scientology in St.
"Members of the Moving Together organization have started an indefinite
rally in protest of the Church of Scientology on Vosstaniye Square in
downtown St. Petersburg. Vasily Yakemenko, the movement's leader, told
Interfax on Monday that 'the organization's activists have been living in
a tent at the entrance to the sect's headquarters for the past five days.
A huge sign indicates the sect's location to city authorities and
passers-by. Several tens of thousands of citizens have already signed a
request to close the sect that will be sent to St. Petersburg Governor
Vladimir Yakovlev,' Yakemenko said.
"He specified that the sect's victiMs. already include hundreds of St.
Petersburg residents. That is why the city's public has given such strong
support to the rally. 'We believe that this sect is a Satanic cult and
poses a criminal threat. We hope that the city's authorities will take all
the necessary steps to close the sect,' he said, stressing that his
organization intends to continue its protest until the sect has been fully
> Volunteer Clean-upThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on January 20th that Scientologists
participated in a clean-up weekend to fix up apartment buildings in
"Volunteer workers spent Saturday and Sunday sprucing up the old Dunbar
Gardens apartment complex in Kinloch. Hours after Casetta Rosborough had
started cleaning the long-abandoned apartment, she said in a cheery voice,
'This is beginning to look like a home.' Rosborough and about 135 other
volunteer workers spent Saturday and Sunday fixing up the old Dunbar
Gardens apartment complex in Kinloch.
"Kinloch acquired them from the Kinloch Housing Authority in October 2002.
Faith Beyond Walls, an organization based in St. Louis, is helping to get
the apartments ready for occupancy this spring or summer, at fair-market
rental rates. 'This apartment was pretty rough when we got here,' said
Rosborough, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in
Hazelwood, one of the many groups that make up Faith Beyond Walls. 'You
should have seen the bathroom. I didn't want to touch it.'
"Tom LoGrasso scrubbed black mildew that had collected along the wall of
one apartment. The pungent smell from the cleaning solution didn't seem to
bother him. And scrubbing hard made the mildew disappear. LoGrasso came as
part of a contingent from the Scientology Church of Missouri, in
University City. 'We believe that you can do something positive and make a
difference,' he said. 'The apartment really isn't so bad. This is the
worst spot. There must have been a waterbed here.'"