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A.r.s Week in Review - 6/22/2003

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 10 6/22/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2003 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 22, 2003
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 10
      6/22/2003 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 17th and June
      20th addressed a recent editorial, the issue of Scientology's dominance in
      Clearwater, Florida and its expansion into nearby Tampa neighborhood Ybor
      City.

      "I know well the history of Scientology in this community, especially the
      'shenanigans,' as you put it, that occurred more than two decades ago.
      There is no doubt that during that period there was legitimate reason to
      question the motives of some members of this church. Even its current
      members and leaders will acknowledge those past mistakes made by former
      leaders who were purged because of their actions.

      "My relationship with individual members of the Church of Scientology
      grows out of many years of friendship and observing the good things they
      have done for my hometown of Clearwater. I see positive improvements in a
      downtown that was suffering. I see new stores, retail activities, coffee
      shops and arts events where there were none. I see an honest effort to
      reach out to people in my community, not for nefarious purposes but out of
      a genuine love for this city and a desire to be part of its future. It
      amazes me that you cannot see those same changes that so many people in
      Clearwater have seen in the Church of Scientology's effort to undo the
      damage of 30 years ago when it first arrived here.

      "Especially disappointing to me, as someone who has been in the public eye
      for more than 20 years and who is a big believer in the media's important
      role in our community, is the threatening tone of the editorial. Instead
      of making a reasoned argument in the marketplace of ideas, your editorial
      resorted to calling out individuals such as myself by name and threatening
      their political futures should they continue to treat Scientologists as
      even possibly productive members of society. - Mary Repper, Clearwater

      "I want to thank you for your excellent editorial on Scientology. As a
      former 20-year member, who was not aware of the continual pattern of
      illegal/unethical covert activities practiced by this so-called church
      while he was in the group, I commend you for exposing the true nature of
      this cult. Scientology's recent attempt to clean up its image is like
      Osama bin Laden getting a haircut and a shave, and has the same purpose:
      to disguise what it really is. - Peter Alexander, Tampa

      "Your recent articles on the opening of the Scientology Life Improvement
      Center in Ybor City created a controversy about complaints that are not
      even specified, allegedly concerning Scientologists inviting the public to
      the center. The Church of Scientology is opening a new and beautiful
      center in a restored historic building where anyone can walk in and find
      out about Scientology for themselves.

      "The Scientology Life Improvement Center in Ybor City is open for anyone
      to come in and find out for themselves about Scientology. We have had a
      wonderful reception from our neighbors. We are there to help people and
      the community to thrive, prosper and achieve better conditions in life. -
      Ana Tirabassi, Church of Scientology, Tampa

      "This organization is not a church, but a cult. It is built on falsehoods
      and stands on sinking sand. The citizens do not want this cult in our
      community and by the organization's own research find that it is
      considered a detestable organization, which is unfortunately located on
      our mist. The St. Petersburg Times reports that the words used to identify
      this group were 'cult,' 'scam,' 'crooks,' 'despicable,' 'lost souls and
      evil,' 'mind-controlling.'

      "Scientologists are blaming the Times for the negative responses. They
      blame everybody but themselves for their own failings. Remember when they
      first came into Clearwater? They came under the disguise of United
      Churches. If this is a church, why do they use falsehoods and devious
      tactics? They have loaded upon the citizens of this community their tax
      burden because they are hiding under the name 'church.' Churches do not
      sue about everything and everybody that may offend them. All this cult is
      about is money, money, money. - Ken Peters, Clearwater

      "Clearwater has become synonymous with Scientology, a goal that the
      organization deliberately set out to achieve when it sneaked into town
      under the assumed name 'United Churches of Florida' and promptly tried to
      frame and eliminate Gabe Cazares, then-mayor of Clearwater. Just how
      synonymous Clearwater is with Scientology is something that most of the
      St. Petersburg Times' readers are probably not aware of unless they read
      national news. Horribly, if you visit the Web site Encyclopedia.com and
      enter 'Scientology' in the search request, Clearwater is offered as one of
      the four encyclopedia entries.

      "In a fairly recent court case in the county, a judge reviewed
      documentation covering the more than 100 video cameras Scientology has set
      up to watch and record vehicle and pedestrian traffic in downtown
      Clearwater. The judge turned to the Scientology lawyers and rhetorically
      asked them, 'I just don't get it. When is the invasion coming?' The fact
      is Scientology's invasion was a success. The city of Clearwater lost. -
      Fredric L. Rice, Glendora, California"

      Message-ID: <575016bf.0306180012.32d3b384@...>
      Message-ID: <1056104001.442760@...>

      #####

      > Tom Cruise

      MSNBC reported on June 19th that Tom Cruise has been talking to U.S.
      administration officials about education and Scientology issues.

      "The Church of Scientology's Top Gun has been lobbying the White House.
      Tom Cruise has been meeting with officials from the Department of
      Education and lawmakers at the White House, reports the Washington Post,
      and a source says he believes that Cruise is hoping to get government
      funding for the church.

      "'Tom is a big believer in the teaching tools of Scientology and has
      spoken in the past about how it cured his dyslexia,' says alternative
      religion expert Rick Ross. 'It looks to me like he is seeking federal
      funds for Scientology schools under President Bush's Faith-Based
      Initiative.'

      "Ross also says that Cruise is appealing to the Bush administration to
      pressure some European countries to ease up on their anti-Scientology
      policies - just as John Travolta lobbied the Clinton administration.

      "'Tom met at the Department of Education because he has always been
      passionate about education and wanted to meet the Secretary [of
      Education],' a spokeswoman for the actor told The Scoop. 'And, in a
      separate meeting, he met with a few White House officials to discuss his
      concern about the state of human rights in the world today, especially
      religious intolerance in parts of Western Europe.'"

      From the New York Daily News on June 22nd:

      "Tom Cruise wants to get your children off drugs. We're talking about
      medications doctors prescribe to help them conquer learning disabilities
      such as hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder. Last week, Cruise
      went to Washington to push one of the key causes of his Church of
      Scientology.

      "'There's a bill that just passed the House that makes it unlawful for
      schools and doctors to coerce children to get on drugs,' he told us
      Thursday night at a benefit for MENTOR, the school charity that honored
      him for his work with tutoring programs. 'We have some serious problems
      with education. I know a lot about it. There are 8 million kids that are
      being medicated with educational medication.

      "A few days before, Cruise, who has credited Scientology with helping him
      overcome dyslexia, lobbied for his position at a lunch with Education
      Secretary Rod Paige in Washington. Cruise, who previously was a Bill
      Clinton supporter, may have been lobbying the White House for the funding
      of Scientology programs through President Bush's faith-based initiatives
      program, according to some familiar with the organization."

      Message-ID: <575016bf.0306192201.f97d146@...>
      Message-ID: <1056285917.373734@...>

      #####

      > Narconon

      The North County Times reported on June 17th that a new Narconon facility
      has opened in the San Diego, California area.

      "Narconon Southern California recently opened its second rehabilitation
      center near Warner Springs. Narconon is a 35-year-old nonprofit drug
      rehabilitation and education organization providing residential
      rehabilitation services.

      "Performing the official ribbon cutting ceremony are, Don McKinney from
      U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa's office; Clark Carr, president of Narconon
      International; Tommy Thompson from State Assemblyman Ray Haynes' office;
      Gerry Marshall, president of Narconon Southern California Inc; John Allan,
      chief of the Sunshine Summit Volunteer Fire Department; and David
      Worthington, executive director of Narconon San Diego."

      Message-ID: <1056196973.234392@...>

      #####

      > In Memoriam

      Former Scientologist Robert Vaughn Young passed away on June 15th after a
      long battle with prostate cancer. From his wife, Caren Cohen Young:

      "Robert died at 1:10 pm on Sunday, June 15, 2003. It was a couple of
      hours after his son, who spent the night with him, left to return to
      California. I was at his side, holding Robert's hand in mine. He was in no
      pain, resting calmly and peacefully until his last breath. Robert will be
      cremated in accordance with his wishes, and his ashes will be scattered
      over water. Robert loved Vashon Island and Puget Sound and had fond
      memories of the sailing scene around San Diego.

      "Robert asked that in lieu of flowers or other memorials, tax deductible
      donations be made to Phoenix5 so that the work can continue. There are
      instructions as to how to support Phoenix5 at
      http://www.phoenix5.org/Phoenix5/support.html. I will continue to maintain
      the Phoenix5 website in accordance with Robert's wishes as I have computer
      expertise to do so.

      "Robert found fulfillment and joy in helping all those in the prostate
      cancer community. My life and I'm sure many others' are richer because of
      his life and his work. I want to thank the many of you who have written
      to me in these past weeks while Robert was ill. There were so many heart
      warming emails that I wasn't able to respond to them all personally."

      Message-ID: <797f716c.0306161152.35bb8cbb@...>

      -end-
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