A.r.s Week in Review - 2/23/2003
Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 46
2/23/2003 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.
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Week in Review is archived at:
> Ad AgencyAdweek reported on February 21st that the new advertising agency for
Scientology defends the relationship.
"Its detractors have compared the Church of Scientology to a cult, but the
controversy that often surrounds it did not deter Horizon Media from
taking on the business. 'It's freedom of speech,' said Zach Rosenberg, evp
and general manager for Horizon in Los Angeles. 'Everyone has a right to
market a belief, and we want to help them.'
"The church, which spent about $45 million on ads in 2002 had grown too
big for URI, said Becky Miscavige, client marketing campaigns director.
Horizon was tapped because it is 'a growing independent agency that fits
our needs as a growing church,' and it has an office in Europe, she said.
Horizon will handle media strategies for building awareness of the church
in the U.S., Europe and Russia.
"U.S. duties include buying and planning to support church founder L. Ron
Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
Internationally, Eurizon will support the Volunteer Minister Cavalcade,
which touts Scientology in 40 cities. 'It's not standard retail
[advertising] to drive traffic into seats or generate ratings - it's
ultimately to recruit people to the church,' Rosenberg said."
> Faith-based GroupsThe Anchorage Daily News reported on February 21st that Scientology
participated in a meeting with the Lt. Governor of Alaska and a U.S.
official responsible for the faith-based initiative.
"Lt. Gov. Loren Leman led the state's first meeting Thursday. A White
House aide in the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives spoke by
phone. A crowd of about 100 gathered at Wilda Marston Theater to listen
and talk at a session that began and ended in prayer. Pastors came. So did
leaders of nonprofit organizations.
"Many church groups represented were Christian but not all. A minister
with the Church of Scientology, for instance, came to ask how the new
effort will affect denominations that have experienced discrimination. The
intent is to define religion broadly, Leman responded. Churches,
synagogues, temples are all welcome, he said.
"The White House has laid out guidelines for religious organizations
receiving federal dollars on a Web site, www.fbci.gov. Essentially, the
money can't be used to fund worship or buy Bibles, the Koran or other
religious materials. Clients cannot be forced to pray or participate in
religious activities as a condition of getting help. It doesn't matter
whether an organization has a cross on the wall, White House aide Balan
Ayyar told the crowd by speakerphone. What is important is 'whether the
service you are rendering is effective.'"
> Michael PociejScientology has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Justice to allow
Michael Pociej, a Polish Scientologist, to remain in the U.S. as a
"Plaintiff, CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF LOS ANGELES, files Complaint for
Mandamus seeking to compel the Defendants to adjudicate the Special
Immigrant Religious Worker petition they filed on behalf of Michael
Pociej, a national of Poland. This is a civil action to redress the
rights, privileges, and immunities secured by Plaintiff, by which status
jurisdiction is conferred, and to compel Defendants to perform a duty
Defendants owe to the Plaintiff.
"On October 8, 1996, a Warrant of Arrest was issued for Michael Pociej for
not appearing at his scheduled Deportation Hearing. Mr. Pociej never
received this Notice of Hearing hence, he was not aware that he was being
summoned by the Immigration Court. The Beneficiary of this petition, Mr.
Michael Pociej, is scheduled for a hearing before the Los Angeles
Immigration Court on February 27, 2003 to deliberate what other form of
relief is available to him.
"The Church of Scientology, Los Angeles suffered harm due to the INS'
delay in adjudicating their petition. They need the services of Mr. Pociej
and they cannot hire him unless they are given authority by the INS to
commence the employment.
"WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays that this Court: Compel the Defendants to
perform their duty to adjudicate Plaintiff's Petition for Special
Immigrant Religious Worker Award attorney's fees and costs of Court; and,
Award such other and further relief that this Court deems proper under the
> ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times reported on February 21st that charges will be
dropped against the husband and friends of a Scientologist who restrained
her in order to take her to a doctor.
"The State Attorney's Office last week dropped false imprisonment charges
against Terry R. Hemphill, 54, Jamie J. Popa, 34, and Laurie Lynn Miller,
33. A domestic battery charge against Hemphill also was dropped. Largo
police arrested the three after finding they had bound Hemphill's wife,
Cathleen, with electrical tape. Hemphill told the officer his wife had
been acting erratically and needed to see the doctor. Hemphill said he
enlisted the help of Popa and Miller to get her there. Officers determined
Hemphill's wife was being taken against her will. Hemphill and the two
women were arrested.
"Mrs. Hemphill had told police that her husband had previously abused her,
though she had not reported it to police. She reported it instead to the
Church of Scientology, of which the Hemphills are members. Mrs. Hemphill
also said in statements that Popa and Miller were members of the church.
In fact, she said Popa was a 'field minister' with the church."
> In MemoriamThe Oregonian reported the death of Scientologist Dan Perz on February
"More than 100 kids at Lake Oswego Swim Club were under his tutelage,
mostly ages 8 through 12. He loved to inspire kids, teach them how to
swim fast and watch them improve. It would drive him nuts when coaches
yelled at kids.
"Perz had a master's degree in cinematography and married his art
experience and visual talent with swimming. He took videos of swimmers in
the water, then used a computer to isolate single images and used special
effects from the computer to make photographs. His size intimidated some
people. But his wife says he was a big teddy bear. He was a committed
Scientologist for at least 20 years, a faithful reader of L. Ron Hubbard,
and took classes at the Celebrity Centre downtown."
> NarcononThe Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on February 18th that the sponsor of
a trip for legislators to visit a Narconon program at a Mexico jail will
no longer advocate the program for Nevada.
"Assemblywoman Sharron Angle said Monday she will end her quest to have
female prisoners enter a drug rehabilitation program devised by
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Reno Republican said introducing a
bill to try the program in Nevada would be useless because of Democratic
opposition. Democrats hold 23 of the 42 seats in the Assembly. Majority
Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, opposes the program.
"Angle said she will cancel a March 1 trip by legislators to an Ensenada,
Mexico, prison to look at the Second Chance Program. The trip would have
been paid by Randall Suggs, an Arizona businessman with ties to the
Scientology church. Angle said the Scientology church is not involved in
the Mexican prison's program.
"Under the program, inmates receive sauna and massage treatments for
extended periods of time. Only 10 percent of the inmates who enter the
program return to drugs, Angle said. Buckley said Arizona legislators
looked at the program last year and found it cost $15,000 per inmate for 3
1/2 months of treatment. Also, legislators were told Mexican officials did
not check on program participants after they left prison, Buckley said."
> AustraliaThe Daily Telegraph reported on February 16th that billionaire James
Packer has left Scientology.
"'He's out of it,' confirmed one mate, who did not wish to be named, but
who insisted the billionaire media boss had cut all ties with the Church
of Scientology. Packer, 34, started attending classes at the Church of
Scientology in Sydney last year after close friend Tom Cruise introduced
him to the religion. Just last month, Packer the younger flew to New
Zealand to catch up with Cruise, who is shooting The Last Samurai in the
North Island. But his dalliance with the celebrity-driven religion is
definitely over, insiders assert."