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A.r.s Week in Review - 3/16/2003

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 49 3/16/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2003 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2003
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 7, Issue 49
      3/16/2003 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

      #####

      > Clearwater

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on March 14th that a group of halfway
      houses in Clearwater with ties to Scientology has been closed by the city.

      "A network of Christian-themed halfway houses in North Greenwood will be
      forced to shut its doors after city officials ruled Thursday the operation
      is illegal in a residential neighborhood. Community Resurrection Inc., a
      haven for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, got its start early last
      year in a small rental house. The mission soon spread up and down Garden
      Avenue to include 11 properties owned by three landlords.

      "One of those landlords is a real estate investor and a Scientologist,
      who, 23 years ago, was involved in one of the darkest chapters of
      Scientology history. Richard Weigand, 56, was one of nine Scientologists
      convicted of conspiring to conceal the theft of government documents
      related to the church. Weigand, who has assembled dozens of rental
      properties in Clearwater, said his ownership in the halfway houses is
      nothing more than a business investment. Community Resurrection founder
      Michael Cournaya confirms that, saying his program was not modeled on
      Scientology methods and has no ties to the Narconon drug treatment
      program, which is based on the techniques of Scientology founder L. Ron
      Hubbard.

      "But Cournaya said he is open to sampling Narconon. He plans to undergo a
      Narconon program using a sauna meant to sweat out drug residues. He and
      Weigand have talked about installing a sauna for residents at Community
      Resurrection. 'I don't mind taking a little bit of whatever it takes to
      help people,' Cournaya said. 'Anything that I can do that will help people
      have a better chance to stay clean and sober.'

      "Weigand denied pushing Scientology or the Narconon program. He said he
      did not find work for Cournaya's clients. His real estate holdings have no
      relation to Scientology, now or in the future, he said.

      "Steve Kautz, head of This House, applauds Cournaya's intentions but said
      he has taken on too much, too soon. 'His is not a recovery house; it's
      more of a shelter,' Kautz said. 'It's a very dangerous recipe. What
      they're doing is winging it. It's scary.' Isay Gulley, executive director
      of Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Services, said a proliferation of new
      halfway houses runs counter to her mission of trying to stabilize the
      neighborhood. She said she's all for people getting help but worries that
      transient population might discourage potential homeowners from investing
      in North Greenwood.

      "Weigands' properties in Clearwater have been purchased in the last three
      years and most are co-owned with Mark Nickels, a Seattle-based building
      contractor and major contributor to the Flag Service Building under
      construction in downtown Clearwater. Church spokesman Ben Shaw said
      Thursday Scientology has no ties, or interest in, Weigand's properties.
      'Whatever he's doing is his business,' Shaw said."

      Letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on March 10th discussed
      the growth of Scientology missions in the Clearwater area.

      "Gee, where can I sign up to give my $1,500 check to the Scientologist
      cult to walk on its treadmill, use its sauna and feel better with a
      spiritual awakening? The awakening? From a group of atheists who worship
      L. Ron Hubbard? This is a man who lived for years on boats so the U.S.
      government couldn't nail him for crimes and back taxes.

      "I worked as a volunteer at the Lisa McPherson Trust. I remember best the
      poor mother who came and asked if we could help her see her daughter.
      Twice at the door to their building downtown, she was turned away, told
      that 'her daughter was in audit and couldn't be seen.' The next time she
      was told that her daughter had left for California! Ah, such wonderful
      'hope-for-man' people. - M.L. Fitzpatrick, Dunedin

      "I applaud your article covering the new missions in the Clearwater-St.
      Petersburg area. Given the amount of crime, illiteracy, drug use, economic
      strain and threat of war and terrorism we face, people need to know that
      something can be done about it. Only by knowing that a person can do
      something effective can you then increase the person's ability to hope for
      a decent future for their friends and family.

      "I have been successfully applying Scientology methods to my life for the
      past 12 years. The most important thing I have learned is that it is okay
      to improve your own life as long as you are also trying to improve the
      lives of others. My company supports a local literacy center, and we have
      helped hundreds of children learn to read. We also support effective drug
      rehabilitation methods that have saved many lives.

      "The fact that there are several missions that will be opened in the near
      future is proof that something effective can be done about improving
      conditions in a person's life. - Jim Mathers, Clearwater"

      Message-ID: <874ca.18267$gU.760358@...>
      Message-ID: <cekca.18279$gU.762513@...>

      #####

      > Volunteer Ministers

      Chris Owen reported that a Volunteer Ministers event is currently running
      in London.

      "The Church of Scientology's 'Volunteer Ministers Cavalcade' has turned up
      in London. A traveling exhibition in a mustard-yellow tent is currently in
      Victoria Embankment Gardens. The exhibition runs from 7th-21st March 2003,
      10am-6pm. This is part of Scientology's Europe-wide tour of the Volunteer
      Ministers. ED Int Guilliaume Lesevre described the Volunteer Ministers'
      activities in a presentation to Scientologists last year.

      "'Mr. Lesevre showed attendees a series of billboards to drive people into
      our cavalcade announcing that we are coming, saying 'NO MATTER THE PROBLEM
      IN LIFE, SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT, VOLUNTEER MINISTER CAVALCADE,
      Real help is coming' with the date and location. Explaining how each city
      will be plastered with newspaper ads and posters announcing the cavalcade
      and hug banners on the local org, the cavalcade will be transported to the
      next European city where we have an org. There it will stand, a full-blown
      Volunteer Minister pavilion, 3,000 square feet in size and the VM team
      accompanying the cavalcade will get into immediate production, delivering
      VM services, seminars, courses and workshops to hundreds of people at a
      time.'"

      Message-ID: <f758becc.0303121652.72332d25@...>

      #####

      > Ireland

      The Irish Times reported on March 12th that Scientology asked the court
      not to discriminate against Scientology by allowing testimony from a
      Psychologist on the practice of auditing. The case was brought by Mary
      Johnston against the Scientology org and several leaders for conspiracy,
      misrepresentation, breach of constitutional rights and negligence.

      "For the court to admit evidence from a psychologist which was critical of
      the practice of auditing - described as the core and single most important
      way in which Scientologists profess and practise their religious belief -
      would be akin to conducting a judicial inquiry into the legitimacy of the
      Sacrament of the Mass in Roman Catholicism, it was argued. This was
      impermissible under the constitutional guarantee of the free profession
      and practise of religion.

      "In submissions on behalf of the church, it was argued Scientology had
      been recognised as a religion by many governments worldwide, and must be
      treated the same as any other religion here. Mr Michael Collins SC, for
      the church, was objecting to the court hearing evidence from a
      psychologist, whom it sought to call on behalf of Ms Mary Johnston in her
      continuing action for damages.

      "Mr Collins said Ms Johnston was seeking to adduce evidence which would
      presumably be primarily directed to the effects of auditing and whether it
      involved some form of hypnosis and the consequences of auditing for Ms
      Johnston. Mr Michael Cush SC, for Ms Johnston, argued he was entitled to
      call the psychologist. He referred to a previous ruling by Mr Justice
      Peart in relation to such evidence and said Mr Collins was not entitled to
      reargue the point and 'blur' the issue. It was for the judge to decide
      whether Scientology was a religion and the judge might conclude it was
      entirely misguided. Mr Cush said it was Ms Johnston's case that
      Scientology was a pseudo-religious cult."

      From the Irish Times on March 13th:

      "A woman who is suing the Church of Scientology appeared to have been
      hypnotised while undergoing an auditing session by a member of the church,
      a psychologist told the High Court yesterday. Ms Mary Johnston appeared to
      have been subjected to 'very curious' and 'not very good' therapy. Dr
      Peter Naish, a chartered psychologist who has written extensively on
      hypnosis, said it was his view Ms Johnston was very susceptible to
      hypnosis.

      "Asked about hypnosis, he said there was nothing intrinsically harmful in
      the practice per se. However, when it was used as a vehicle for some kind
      of therapy, the person using it must be able to deal with the subject's
      reactions. There was a concern that if a subject became distressed, the
      hypnotist might retraumatise them. Not all people were susceptible to
      hypnosis. In his view, Ms Johnston was highly susceptible.

      "Mr Cush read extracts from Dianetics - The Modern Science of Mental
      Health, by the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, and also outlined
      extracts from Ms Johnston's evidence to the court. He said the extracts
      from Dianetics indicated that what was involved in auditing was hypnosis.
      It appeared hypnosis was being used as a vehicle and that material was
      being developed in an emotional context."

      RTE News reported on March 13th that the case was settled by the
      participants.

      "A High Court action for damages by a Dublin sports shop owner against the
      Church of Scientology has ended after out of court talks. No details of
      the settlement were disclosed but costs in the action are estimated to be
      around 2 million Euros.

      "Mary Johnston joined the Church of Scientology in 1992. In her legal
      proceedings against the Church and three members of the Dublin Mission,
      she claimed she suffered a personality charge after being sucked into the
      grasp of the church and subjected to mind control techniques. She claimed
      efforts were made to prevent her leaving the church and to silence,
      devalue and intimidate her and prevent her taking her legal proceedings.
      She claimed she suffered psychological and psychiatric injuries."

      Message-ID: <7sd07v87980fc0uh5fc8vmp51mc6snst65@...>
      Message-ID: <iG3ca.18266$gU.760269@...>
      Message-ID: <ine37v0bdfvdcdr761hr2eqb586bsogtoo@...>

      #####

      > Kelly Preston

      An article by MSNBC on March 13th questioned an appearance by Scientology
      celebrity Kelly Preston on a repeat airing of the Montel Williams show.

      "Was Kelly Preston providing a valuable public service on a Montel
      Williams show? Or was she merely touting some controversial policies of
      Scientology? Preston, who with hubby John Travolta is a devout
      Scientologist, appeared on the talk show Wednesday, discussing the health
      woes of their son. Then she told how his ailments were cured by following
      the detoxification procedures in 'Clear Body Clear Mind' a posthumously
      published book by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

      "Also featured on the show, which was a rebroadcast, was Michael Wisner,
      who was introduced as 'Toxicologist to the Stars.' Wisner, too, is a
      Scientologist, who promotes Hubbard in his Sacramento, Calif., clinic,
      according to Rick Ross, whose Web site, www.cultnews.com, notes that the
      word 'Scientologist' was never used on the show.

      "Also not discussed, says Ross, were the potential risks and side effects
      of Hubbard's treatment. 'Montel's show was devoid of any meaningful
      critical balance that might help viewers develop a more informed
      understanding about this supposed process of 'purification.' Instead,
      Williams provides a platform for Kelly Preston to essentially use his show
      much like an infomercial to promote her Scientology beliefs.'"

      Message-ID: <a_0ca.18264$gU.759865@...>

      #####

      > Camille Paglia

      The gossip column of the New York Post on March 16th published the views
      of essayist Camille Paglia on Scientology.

      "The trendiest religion in Hollywood was founded on the teachings of a
      Satanist, a new essay by Camille Paglia claims. According to an article
      by Paglia in Boston University's Arion journal, Hubbard got many of his
      ideas from infamous devil worshipper Alistair Crowley.

      "'Hubbard had met Crowley in the latter's Los Angeles temple in 1945,'
      Paglia writes. 'Hubbard's son reveals that Hubbard claimed to be Crowley's
      successor: Hubbard told him that Scientology was born on the day that
      Crowley died.' According to the article, Scientologists perform some of
      the same rites that Crowley invented, all designed to free practitioners
      from human guilt. 'Drills used by Scientologists to cleanse and clarify
      the mind are evidently a reinterpretation of Crowley's singular fusion of
      Asian meditation and Satanic ritualism, which sharpens the all-conquering
      will. Guilt and remorse, in the Crowley way, are mere baggage to be
      jettisoned,' Paglia says."

      Message-ID: <20030316033644.18599.00000006@...>

      -end-
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