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A.r.s Week in Review - 6/8/2003

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 8 6/8/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2003 Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 2003
      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 8
      6/8/2003 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

      Letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on June 5th reacted to
      plans to Scientology's efforts to promote downtown Clearwater, Florida to
      developers and retailers.

      "Please, Clearwater Commissioner Whitney Gray, spare preaching 'the good
      word of downtown' to the majority of Clearwater residents. City officials
      know how most residents feel about the Scientologists' overwhelming
      presence in downtown Clearwater.

      "The bulk of property they have procured within our city is disturbing to
      many. The concept of spending up to $41-million to provide residents with
      a Barnes & Noble, Ann Taylor, Armani Exchange, Kenneth Cole and FAO
      Schwartz is absurd. Do they think these stores would draw most of us
      downtown? Call me stupid, but come on. The elephant is in the living room.

      "This issue has exhausted most taxpayers in this community. Most of us
      have had uptown 'dreams' of downtown, but that's all they are, dreams. -
      Charlene Comeau, Clearwater

      "When I was in Florida last year, I dropped by the Lisa McPherson Trust
      not too long before its demise. One of the staff members took me on a
      walking tour to see the various Scientology buildings, pointing out the
      many 'security' cameras and motion sensors. We were constantly shadowed by
      operatives yapping on walkie-talkies and cell phones. When approaching
      Scientologists on the sidewalks, my guide simply stopped in his tracks,
      explaining that they couldn't come within 10 feet, so he preferred to let
      them figure out how to deal with that prohibition.

      "The atmosphere in downtown Clearwater is downright intimidating. The
      heart of the city is an occupied territory, under constant surveillance by
      a 'religion' based on sci-fi scriptures about alien forces that
      overwhelmed Battlefield Earth 75 million years ago. - Eldon M. Braun,
      Paris, France"

      Message-ID: <3e471c14.0306050600.242bc4c3@...>

      #####

      > Germany

      A press release from the Dialog Center in Berlin, Germany on June 3rd
      warned that Scientology has begun advertising in magazines placed in taxi
      cabs.

      "Numerous Berlin taxis have been driving through the capitol city recently
      with covert Scientology advertisements. Sect commissioner of the
      Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, Rev. Thomas Gandow, warned about
      the taxi advertisements for the new Scientology magazine 'Free Mind -
      Reise zum Ich.' The connection of the advertisement to the Scientology
      organization is not readily apparent to either the taxi driver or to the
      potential buyers. This is because the word 'Scientology' is not mentioned,
      although the advertisement is for 'Dianetics' and Scientology founder
      Hubbard.

      "Scientology and Dianetics inventor Hubbard stated that his psycho-courses
      were going to replace psychiatry and psychotherapy. Erich Fromm, who back
      in 1950 was a renowned psychotherapist, wrote that the Dianetics book was
      'alarming.' He said the book was a 'symptom of a dangerous trend.'

      "'Free Mind' is printed by Verlag New Era Publications GmbH. There is no
      doubt this is a Scientology corporation whose business consists primarily
      of dealing in Hubbard books."

      #####

      > Narconon

      Narconon International Newsletter reported in its May, 2003 issue on
      developments around the world regarding the Scientology drug rehab
      program.

      "The First China International Symposium on Alcohol and Health was put on
      by the Beijing SIJI Exchange Center for Science and Technology, the World
      Health Organization-Shanghai Collaborating Center for Health Education and
      Promotion, and the University of Nebraska. More than fifty delegates
      attended from throughout China, Australia, Canada, Europe, and Taiwan. The
      Narconon International President delivered an address on sauna sweat-out
      detoxification methodology, as developed by L. Ron Hubbard, in relation to
      treating alcoholism. He presented the research and published materials of
      the Narconon program and evidence of its worldwide delivery.

      "Following the symposium, the President met with Prof Gan Xmgfa of the
      WHO-Shanghai Collaborating Center, who requested that someone from
      Narconon International come as soon as possible to present the Narconon
      drug rehabilitation method, to help pilot the Narconon program in a local
      hospital, and to help survey the China Republic regarding drug abuse. Many
      professionals in the country are aware that there is a large and growing
      problem and are searching for intelligent technology that can be
      implemented rapidly and locally to deal with it.

      "An invitation to introduce Narconon technology and First Step Workshop at
      the second Project Bridges Faith Based Substance Abuse Treatment and
      Prevention Conference soon followed from Washington, DC. The motto of the
      conference was 'Mobilizing to Bridge the Gap.' The conference focus was on
      faith- and community-based organizations, building them into a grassroots
      movement toward handling the drug problem. The attendees were primarily
      African-American pastors and related associates in the Washington, D.C.
      area.

      "Clifton Mitchell, President Bush's Coordinator of Faith and Community
      Partners Initiative, spoke about the President's initiative to increase
      funding for faith-based rehab groups. He encouraged the attendees to form
      coalitions and write grant proposals to the U.S. Government. Mr. Mitchell
      thanked Clark Carr and Narconon for helping him to do his job and urged
      everyone to visit Narconon Arrowhead. Rev. Carlton N. Pressley (Senior
      Advisor for Religious Affairs to the D.C. Mayor), gave a rousing sermon,
      preaching among other things that the listeners 'should be sending addicts
      to Narconon.'

      "The federal ANF (Anti Narcotics Force) of Pakistan invited the President
      of Narconon International to tour and lecture throughout Pakistan. Dr.
      Humaira Aziz, a Narconon supporter in Islamabad, has been disseminating
      Mr. Hubbard's social betterment technology, and Narconon drug prevention
      and rehabilitation methods were what were most urgently requested.

      "The Narconon International President first met with Dr. Muhammad Sharif,
      ED Narconon Hyderabad, near Karachi. Dr. Sharif set up meetings with the
      Mayor of Hyderabad and Latifabad, a neighboring town, and put on for the
      President a welcoming event with 40 enthusiastic supporters of Dr.
      Sharif's activities, followed by a banquet at which awards and
      recognitions were given out to all.

      "A two-day workshop in the city of Rawalpindi got rave reviews. All
      attendees gave heartfelt wins and thanks to Narconon International for
      coming to Islamabad/Rawalpindi, to the President, and to Dr. Humaira Aziz.
      Every rehab group in attendance rushed the President for Narconon license
      applications. The President then toured local rehabs, giving assists to
      those he saw were ill, and continued to work with their representatives on
      how to get vitamins, etc., for delivery.

      "The staff of Narconon Southern California have long since filled their
      Narconon Newport Beach facility to capacity. Now, after purchasing a
      lovely new residential facility in the desert hills of north San Diego
      County, they have completed the zoning approval processes and are filling
      this center to capacity and are looking for a third location!

      "Narconon Racine in Wisconsin was licensed this year. They have done their
      basic incorporation and have begun promoting the Narconon drug prevention
      program. This group is just north of Chicago, so they are also working in
      coordination with Narconon Great Lakes and will be doing referrals to
      Narconon Stone Hawk."

      Message-ID: <DJ1YKYZO37778.1267824074@...>

      #####

      > Safe

      CNET News.com reported on June 3rd that Scientology is attempting to force
      AT&T to disclose the identity of a poster to alt.religion.scientology who
      allegedly posted copyrighted materials anonymously.

      "Raising new issues about anonymity on the Net, the Church of Scientology
      is invoking a law passed last year to force AT&T to disclose the identity
      of an Internet service subscriber who allegedly infringed the church's
      copyrights online. Scientology's Bridge Publications, which four years ago
      helped to forge new law when it sued Internet service provider Netcom,
      claims the anonymous author 'made two unauthorized, verbatim Internet
      postings' of the church's copyrighted works on the
      alt.religion.scientology Usenet group. Invoking a provision in the Digital
      Millennium Copyright Act, Bridge Publications filed a subpoena on AT&T
      that would require it to turn over the name of the Worldnet subscriber.

      "AT&T spokesman Jonathan Varman said the company had not yet turned over
      the information to the church and was 'looking to do the best for our
      customer and still comply with the court.' The subpoena set yesterday as
      the deadline for complying. In a telephone interview, the poster, going by
      the pseudonym 'Safe,' said AT&T had agreed to delay complying with the
      subpoena until at least tomorrow to give his attorney time to figure out
      how to proceed.

      "Dan Leipold, Safe's counsel and an attorney who has done battle with
      Bridge Publications in the past, said he was concerned the law was being
      misused against his client. 'This individual has not been shown to do
      anything wrong and yet he's going to lose his anonymity,' said Leipold,
      who declined to name the author. 'He's worried. He does not want to give
      up the anonymity because he knows who's on the other side and he knows
      what they'll do to him.'

      "According to one of the offending Usenet postings, the church goes so far
      as to make it a 'high crime' for followers to 'Organize splinter groups to
      diverge from Scientology practices still calling it Scientology or calling
      it something else.' In all, the post, which purports to cite the
      Introduction to Scientology Ethics, lists 274 'errors, misdemeanors,
      crimes, and high crimes' against the Church.

      "Leipold argued that despite the large amount of text quoted verbatim, the
      posting fell under so-called fair use exceptions to the copyright law.
      Fair use provisions permit parties to reprint copyrighted work depending
      on the purpose, the amount of text quoted, and other factors. 'If you're
      trying to illustrate the point that they exert control over their members,
      you can't do it by quoting only five or six rules,' Leipold said. 'You've
      got to look at what the scope is.'"

      Message-ID: <1054636018.812490@...>

      #####

      > Ybor City

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on June 6th that Scientology will open a
      new facility in the Ybor City area of Tampa, Florida.

      "The church spent $200,000 renovating the leased building at 1619 E Eighth
      Ave. and expects 500 people for the grand opening, Tirabassi said. 'We
      like Ybor City because it has lots of people, lots of life, lots of
      activities, and it's a vibrant community,' she said. This week, workers
      were putting the finishing touches on the Scientology Life Improvement
      Center, which will sell Scientology books, administer personality, IQ and
      aptitude tests and offer self-improvement courses.

      "But to get people through the doors, the church stops them on sidewalks.
      Vince Pardo, executive director of the Ybor City Development Corporation,
      said he's pleased to see the church fix up a local building but he's also
      heard complaints about the intensity of church members' pitches. In teams
      of two, members have been standing along Seventh Avenue, talking to
      passers-by and offering free personality tests. Some of them have
      apparently followed customers onto private Centro Ybor property, where
      solicitation is off limits.

      "'We're all for free speech,' said Lisa Brock, a spokeswoman for Centro
      Ybor. 'We just have to draw the line at following people (onto) any of our
      property, which might cross into the area of harassment.'"

      From the St. Petersburg Times on June 7th:

      "The church, which has been criticized for aggressive canvassing in Ybor
      City, met with its neighbors this week and discussed that very question.
      After the meeting, Ybor civic leader Vince Pardo was pleased. The
      Scientologists, he said, had agreed to dispatch no more than two people at
      a time to recruit new members from the streets of Ybor.

      "But church spokeswoman Ana Tirabassi didn't remember it that way. She
      said the church didn't limit itself to a number but simply agreed not to
      overwhelm the neighborhood. Friday, after a reporter raised the
      discrepancy with Pardo, he opened a three-way conference call with church
      spokeswoman Pat Harney. When she avoided a firm commitment, he expressed
      disappointment. 'What you're doing is voluntary, and I appreciate that,'
      said Pardo, executive director of the Ybor City Development Corp. 'But I
      also appreciated that you came up with a number.'

      "In recent weeks, community leaders have received complaints about the
      number of canvassers and the intensity of their pitches. When the
      Scientologists learned about the concerns, they started talking to shop
      owners and promised to be good neighbors. Pardo said he told them about
      the concerns of business owners who had reported that church members
      followed customers onto Centro Ybor's property. The Scientologists, he
      said, were apologetic. Pardo said the church agreed to remind members of
      its policy not to follow or harass people on sidewalks.

      "Pardo said he was told that the typical number of canvassers assigned to
      Ybor is from two to eight. According to Pardo, the church committed to
      limiting canvassers to two at a time. Tirabassi said the church generally
      assigns no more than two members at a time but reserves the right to send
      more. The bottom line, Tirabassi said, is that the church wants to be
      sensitive to neighborhood concerns without limiting its own rights. Pardo
      said he was encouraged by the Scientologists' 'good faith, voluntary
      agreement.'"

      Message-ID: <3e471c14.0306060405.6aead645@...>
      Message-ID: <1054989910.672517@...>

      -end-
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