Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 3
4/20/2003 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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Letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on April 18th reacted to
recent articles and letters about Scientology.
"The article, City forces halfway houses to shut down, should win the
prize for worst writing by two reporters. Was this article about Michael
Cournaya and his effort to help recovering addicts? Was it about Richard
Weigand, a former executive in the Church of Scientology? What does
Weigand's past have to do with his being a property owner in Clearwater?
It was data added in to connect Scientology with something not related to
"It seems your editor missed the point that Weigand offered a solution to
the renters (Narconon) and should have printed the statistics of how many
people have been helped by Narconon, and therefore would have shown that
Narconon has one of the highest rates of drug addiction recovery of any
program on this planet. Lack of investigative facts and sloppy reporting
show up blatantly.
"If the philosophy of L. Ron Hubbard did not work, there would be no
issues. Since the data on the human spirit, his mind and body appear to be
true and his solutions to improve mankind by improving the human spirit
are workable, Scientology has been attacked by those who don't want a
better planet. I am proud to be a Scientologist and use this data to help
others who need help, no matter their religion or background. If every
person of every religion did this, do you really think the planet would be
in the shape it is in? - Dan Sigal, Clearwater
"Since you insist on printing David Rodman's false and derogatory letters
about my religion, then may I ask some questions regarding your
often-published hate monger? What scientific and controlled studies has
Mr. Rodman done regarding the religion of Scientology? What is his
experience, background or expertise that would support his conclusions
regarding the religiosity of Scientology? Has Mr. Rodman ever asked any of
the 12,000 Scientologists in the Tampa Bay area how Scientology helps them
in their lives or why they practice this religion? Has Mr. Rodman visited
a church of Scientology and scientifically evaluated the data for himself
"His unrestrained hypercriticism based on false rumors is typical of
someone who refuses to find out for himself. His generalities are sweeping
and beg a challenge. He doesn't even realize that the Narconon facility in
Clearwater has been open for almost a year and has been licensed. Did he
read the fact that Mrs. Cheryl Alderman invested her own funding into
opening the facility and that the facility is, in fact, owned and run by
"Does Mr. Rodman even care that Narconon is in fact getting thousands of
people off drugs? There are an estimated 16-million Americans using drugs
on a monthly basis, and 6-million meet the clinical criteria for needing
help. What is Mr. Rodman doing about the problem? - Doe Hewitt, Holiday"
> The Way to Happiness
A letters to the editor of the Los Angeles Times on April 15th claimed
that a recent fund raiser event was dedicated to providing copies of L.
Ron Hubbard's book The Way to Happiness to Israel.
"Article in the Glendale News-Press on April 8 announced that Mayor Dave
Spence was quite willing to help publicize a $1,000-a-couple 'peace
fund-raiser' held on March 29 at a 'home in La Canada Flintridge.' No
other names were mentioned, so his was obviously included for its
public-relations value. The peace fund-raiser raised $53,000, some of
which will be used to distribute a booklet titled "The Way to Happiness"
by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in Israel and Palestinian
"I know of this booklet, which advocates taking care of your health,
following the 10 Commandments and living by the Golden Rule - certainly
not a bad thing. I first learned about it when I read a December 1999
article in the LA Times, which noted that during a visit to the
Renaissance Academy, Assemblywoman Carol Liu received a copy of 'The Way
to Happiness.' Perhaps Spence's affinity to peace groups is a result of
his close relationship with Democrats like Liu.
> Lisa McPherson
Arnie Lerma reported that Judge Shaeffer has removed herself from the
counterclaim by Scientology against the estate of Lisa McPherson and Bob
"On April 8th, Schaeffer recused herself from the counterclaim and
referred the matter of whether she should remain on the wrongful death
claim to the Chief Judge. Granting Robert Minton's motion to do same. On
Wednesday the Chief Judge reassigned both cases to Judge Robert Beach.
Judge Beach was the discovery judge, and is intimately familiar with what
The London newspaper Trinity Mirror reported on April 17th that marathon
runners were attacked with stones and approached by Scientology with
offers of nerve assists.
"Marathon runners were pelted with stones by a reckless gang of youths, as
they ran the Isle of Dogs section of the course. Runners and onlookers
were horrified as youths threw projectiles at competitors, just as they
were tackling one of toughest parts on the Marathon course.
"Controversial religion the Church of Scientology targeted Marathon
runners at the Wharf with a 'healing therapy.' The church came to
Westferry Road to promote a 'Nerve Assist,' which promises to aid recovery
from injury and illness. Volunteer ministers for the church said they had
been overwhelmed by interest from runners on Westferry Road who lined up
to experience the practice."
> Montel Williams
The New York Post published an article critical of television host Montel
Williams on April 17th in response to a show in which Scientology
celebrities appeared to oppose psychiatric medicine and to promote the
detoxification methods used by Scientology.
"Was Montel Williams duped into promoting the Church of Scientology on his
talk show? Earlier this week, Williams - who is not a Scientologist -
devoted a show to 'children abused through the use of prescription
psychiatric drugs such as Ritalin, specifically given to alleviate the
symptoms of attention-deficit disorder.' But the featured organization on
the segment was the 'Citizens Commission on Human Rights.' CCHR, founded
by Scientology in 1969, is an anti-psychiatry 'watchdog group' that once
described psychiatry as a 'malignant disease' that 'threatens society and
"During the show, CCHR president Bruce Wiseman compared 'your friendly
neighborhood psychiatrist' to drug lords in Colombia. Appearing with him,
Scientology celebrity Juliette Lewis urged the audience to make 'drug
manufacturers and psychiatrists accountable.' Williams also introduced
cameo clips by church followers Anne Archer and Catherine Bell.
"Noted Scientology-watcher Rick Ross writes on cultnews.com, 'At no time
did the talk show host explore the wider agenda of the CCHR and/or its
antipathy for the entire mental health profession. The word Scientology
was never even uttered. Many of the claims made by the CCHR have been
labeled 'preposterous' by experts. It seems that Montel has either gone
from dumb to dumber, or is so desperate for celebrity appearances to boost
his ratings, he will shill almost anything,' Ross wrote.
"A rep for Williams said: 'In the 12 years that 'The Montel Williams Show'
has been on the air, guests have never been discriminated against based on
religious beliefs. We would not discriminate against someone like Mr. Rick
Ross. We welcome him to the show to discuss his bias.'"