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A.r.s Week in Review - 3/2/2003

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 47 3/2/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2003 Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 47
      3/2/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2003

      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

      #####

      > Lisa Marie Presley

      The Mirror reported on February 28th that one of the causes of the breakup
      of Nicolas Cage and Scientology celebrity Lisa Marie Presley was her
      involvement in Scientology.

      "He may be a Hollywood hunk whose dark good looks and athletic build have
      women swooning over him in such romantic hits as Captain Corelli's
      Mandolin and City Of Angels. But when it comes to his own lovelife, Nic
      Cage just can't seem to get it right. Nic blames the way he gets blinded
      by love and obsessed with the object of his affection - so it certainly
      can't be down to him not being romantic and attentive. Aspects of his past
      relationships have been the stuff of love stories, although they have yet
      to have a happy ending.

      "A life-long Elvis fan, Nic chatted up the heir to Graceland and the
      Presley estate at a party by raving about her father. Unimpressed, she
      replied, 'Is that the best you can do?' It took her three months to
      realise she may have been rude and called to apologise. They started
      dating and tied the knot within six months with a Blue Hawaii-style
      wedding.

      "It seemed like a match made in heaven, but he and Lisa Marie actually had
      little in common. She objected to his drinking, cigar-smoking and
      collection of lizards - none of which he was prepared to give up. He
      disliked aspects of her Scientology religion and was said to be peeved at
      being talked into selling his Venice Beach home after she complained of
      sightseers. They went their separate ways three months later citing
      'irreconcilable differences'."

      Message-ID: <1NL7a.17475$gU.724474@...>

      #####

      > Clearwater

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on March 1st on the new Scientology
      Mission of Belleair.

      "Opened quietly more than a year ago, it is the first of five missions
      Scientologists intend to establish in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties
      within the year. Geared toward introducing newcomers to Scientology, the
      missions mark the first time in the church's 27 years in Clearwater that
      Scientology overtly will try to recruit Tampa Bay area residents.

      "Scientology's commanding presence in downtown Clearwater - a collection
      of hotel rooms and space for church services - mainly serves
      Scientologists visiting from out of state or foreign countries. More than
      12,000 journey each year to the church's spiritual headquarters in
      Clearwater to receive some of the highest levels of Scientology training.
      Missions, on the other hand, offer a starting point.

      "Financed and staffed by private Scientologists rather than church
      officials, missions offer introductory Scientology courses and services.
      Until Feshbach opened hers in Belleair, the only local mission was on
      Belcher Road near the church's stronghold in downtown Clearwater. A small
      building marked only by a one-word sign saying 'Dianetics,' it has led a
      mostly quiet existence. Twice in the last month, though, the Clearwater
      mission paid for a four-page insert in the Suncoast News, promoting a
      Scientology treatment and book to a North Pinellas audience.

      "Missions will start popping up throughout the bay area, says church
      spokesman Ben Shaw, because the church has forged a 'more stable'
      relationship with the community. Also, Shaw said, 12,000 private
      Scientologists now live in the bay area, and opening missions is regarded
      as a core contribution for Scientologists. It's a 'natural occurrence,'
      Shaw said.

      "Specific locations have not been selected, but missions are planned in
      St. Petersburg, Largo, Hyde Park and West Tampa. The Scientologists who
      will finance and operate those missions are in training. Two years ago,
      Feshbach tried to open a mission in an 86-year-old church in downtown
      Largo. Several city commissioners objected, pointing to the history of
      strained relations between the church and the Clearwater community. She
      dropped her bid to buy the church; a few months later, she found the
      vacant quarters in the Belleair Bazaar center, on West Bay Drive near
      Indian Rocks Road.

      "So far, 300 to 400 have visited the mission, Feshbach said. Word of the
      mission is spread by local Scientologists who urge the curious to take a
      look. Others responded to Feshbach's advertisements. She recently paid for
      an insert in the Pinellas edition of the Tampa Tribune, touting a
      Scientology treatment called the purification rundown. It purports to
      remove harmful toxins from the body through a program of vigorous exercise
      followed by several hours in a sauna, in conjunction with a regimen of
      vitamins, minerals and oils. She also has advertised in weekly shoppers,
      but said she plans no direct mail, radio or TV advertising.

      "Most newcomers begin with a course called 'Personal Efficiency.' The
      cost: $35. Those who like what they see usually follow with a series of
      life improvement courses such as 'Overcoming Ups and Downs in Life,' 'How
      to Improve Relationships with Others' and 'How to be a Successful Parent.'
      Each runs $82.50. Revenues from the mission's courses and religious
      services offset operating costs, which include paying the 16 staffers.
      Scientology missions also tithe 10 percent of their profits to the church,
      said church spokeswoman Pat Harney.

      "The facilities for the purification rundowns are at the opposite end of
      the strip center, in an even more nondescript space behind an awning that
      says 'Bookstore.' Inside are a sauna, treadmill, stationary bike and men's
      and women's locker rooms. The cost of a purification rundown: $1,500. The
      mission has administered 55 rundowns, Feshbach said.

      "Many in the scientific community challenge the purification program's
      success at removing harmful toxins. 'There is no data that that kind of
      experience reduces the level of toxins,' said Dr. Raymond Harbison, a
      professor in the College of Public Health at the University of South
      Florida."

      Message-ID: <iu48a.17530$gU.727686@...>

      #####

      > Digital Lightwave

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on March 1st that Scientologist Bryan
      Zwan is lending money to the company he founded, Digital Lightwave, and
      that the company is appealing an arbitration award to a former employee
      who had complained about the use of Scientology policies at work.

      "Scrambling for cash to keep afloat, Digital Lightwave took out
      $2.4-million in high-interest loans from its chairman over the last two
      weeks. Digital, a maker of portable testing equipment for fiber-optic
      networks, will pay an annual interest rate of 10 percent to Optel LLC, an
      entity controlled by founder and majority shareholder Bryan Zwan.

      "The disclosure comes one month after Digital said it might borrow up to
      $10-million from Zwan and that it had recently cut 83 staff positions,
      reducing its payroll to 106. Digital Lightwave's fortunes have tumbled
      since the telecom boom of the late 1990s, when its stock surged and put
      Zwan on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans. The company
      was later dogged by legal problems, a federal investigation and investor
      concerns about Zwan's close ties to the Church of Scientology.

      "A Tampa appeals court is reviewing Digital's appeal of an arbitration
      award of $3.8-million plus lawyers' fees to former executive Seth Joseph,
      a Miami attorney the company let go in 1998."

      Message-ID: <8y48a.17531$gU.727701@...>

      #####

      > Org News

      The Auditor magazine reported news from Scientology orgs around the world.

      "Many local dignitaries attended the opened of the new Chinatown Mission
      in Sydney recently and they were received by Mission Holder and new OT V
      Shimmy Harris and her husband Kevin, both SHSBC students at AOSH ANZO.
      Among the guests were the Mayor of Burwood, Mr. Ernest Wong, and the
      Taipei Economic and Cultural Director, Mr. Carl Shen, who both validated
      the mission's drug free activities in the local Chinese community,
      expressing their thanks and promising support for the mission Mr. Shen
      also announced that the Overseas Chinese Committee would be providing
      funding in support of the Drug-Free Ambassadors' activities in Chinatown,
      noting that Dianetics had helped ease lives and that he expected it would
      benefit the community at large.

      "The Drug-Free Marshals anti-drug campaign was featured at an event
      attended by over 3,000 held recently by LA County Sheriff Baca's Clergy
      Council. At the Church booth thousands of anti-drug booklets were given
      out and several local school principals and religious leaders requested
      that the Drug-Free Marshals visit their organizations to enlighten
      students and parishioners on the campaign.

      "At the Austin Area Interreligious Ministries annual meeting, attended by
      135 religious leaders, the Austin Church of Scientology was officially
      thanked for its active role in the community. Due to the effectiveness
      shown by Church staff and Volunteer Ministers in the local community, the
      Church's Director of Special Affairs was voted Vice President for Social
      Programs

      "Renovations on the New York Org building have begun which will result in
      greatly expanded capability to deliver Scientology services to the
      metropolitan New York area. The building, ideally located near Times
      Square, is being fully restored from top to bottom, so that each floor is
      perfectly set up for delivery. This will include 23 auditing rooms, course
      rooms to service 120 into course students and 180 Academy students, two
      Purif saunas as well as a spacious and beautiful reception area, all to
      become a reality before the end of 2003.

      "To facilitate these extensive renovations being completed as swiftly as
      possible, New York Org has moved to a temporary location near Grand
      Central Station, where training, auditing and all Dn and Scientology
      services and activities are continuing at a high roar. This temporary home
      features plenty of spacious course rooms, auditing rooms, a chapel and
      Purif areas for FSM activities, lectures and group functions. Delivery is
      in fact expanding with staff and public reaching out to the 21 million
      citizens of NY to bring them the priceless freedom and abilities of
      Dianetics and Scientology."

      Message-ID: <MXHYWWHC37681.5404398148@...>

      -end-
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