A.r.s Week in Review - 7/13/2003
Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 13
7/13/2003 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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> In MemoriamThe Daily Camera reported on June 25th that Robert Penny has passed away.
Bob was a former Scientologist and co-founder of Factnet, a cult
"Robert T. Penny of Niwot died of multiple sclerosis Thursday, June 19,
2003, in Louisville. He was 60. The son of Robert T. Penny Sr. and Mable
Hammack Penny, he was born May 25, 1943, in Hodge, La. He married Barbara
B. Sommer in 1966. They divorced. 'He will be remembered for his love of
the Colorado mountains,' his family said.
"Contributions may be made in his name to HospiceCare of Boulder and
Broomfield Counties, 2594 Trailridge Drive East, Lafayette, CO 80026."
> ClearwaterLetters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on July 8, 2003
responded to previous letters regarding the attitude of Clearwater
residents towards Scientology.
"The letter writer is incensed and does not understand why people
constantly criticize Scientology. Could it be the reason is that
Scientology is not a religion but a cult/business which tries to portray
itself as a religion? You don't see people criticizing Christianity and
Judaism, because those are real religions. The people of Tampa Bay are
tolerant of all religions. If the cult were a religion there would not be
"The cult brings the criticisms upon itself by its actions, past and
present. So when Scientologists argue that they can't practice their
faith, it may be because they practice by lining the cult's own pockets
with the livelihood of their victims. Not a faith to admire. - David
"This letter included fraudulent claims which I wish to correct. He stated
that Clearwater citizens and your newspaper 'attack' his 'religion.' In
looking over the St. Petersburg Times for the last three years, one can
clearly see that it is abuse and criminal behavior that people have been
'attacking' regarding Scientology Inc. and not 'religion.' In the online
search of the Times, I didn't find even a single letter that attacked
Scientology as a 'religion.'
"Religion isn't the issue. Lies, deception, harassment, intimidation and
another dead woman are the issues. Why isn't this obvious to Scientology
customers? It is not an issue of 'religious tolerance.' If Scientology
were a religion, they still would not have the right to commit crimes and
human rights abuses. Tolerance doesn't mean ignoring abuse. - David Rice,
San Clemente, Calif.
> Tom CruisePeople Weekly published an article by Tom Cruise, in which he credits
Scientology for helping him overcome dyslexia.
"In 1986, the year Top Gun came out, I became a Scientologist. A friend
gave me a picture book on Scientology, and through this I was introduced
to the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, who had founded the religion. Mr.
Hubbard was also an educator who had been researching the field for
decades. He had found that literacy and comprehension levels were
declining worldwide, so in the 1960s he had developed 'Study Technology.'
It pinpoints three barriers to learning: Lack of mass (you can't learn to
fly a plane by just reading about it - you have to sit in the cockpit or
at least have a picture of a plane); skipped gradients (trying to master
skills or information without mastering or understanding that which comes
before them); and misunderstood words (the most important one and a cause
"I had run the gamut, hiring specialists for myself privately, bringing in
tutors and hearing why I would just have to 'learn to deal' with being
dyslexic. Many people had tried to teach me, but no one had taught me how
to learn or how to study; I had been told I had all the symptoms of
dyslexia, but no one had given me a solution. I'm now a founding board
member of the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project (H.E.L.P.), which
opened its doors in 1997. H.E.L.P. is a non-profit program that uses the
Study Technology in a totally secular setting to provide free tutoring in
communities all over the world. Before this, I was supporting Applied
Scholastics, H.E.L.P.'s parent organization, which was started by teachers
to make Study Technology available broadly. When you consider that
schoolteachers are sometimes dealing with four or five different levels of
literacy in one classroom, you can see what they have to contend with."
> Org NewsThe San Francisco Examiner reported on July 8th that Scientology has
purchased a building in the North Beach area of the city.
"North Beach residents are whispering about the new owners of the old
Transamerica Building on Montgomery at Columbus - the Church of
Scientology. It's a historic landmark. 'As long as the building is not
being altered in any way,' says Sarah Owsowitz, who deals with historic
landmarks at the City Attorney's office, 'then it is just another purchase
of private property.' So far, there's been no activity around the site.
"I once took one of those personality tests the Scientologists around
United Nations Plaza often proffer. The results were inconclusive. My
personality remains undetectable. The Church of Scientology bought up lots
of property in West L.A. and that seems to irritate a lot of the locals.
'Don't write anything about them,' someone down there warned me."
GlobeSt.com reported on July 8th that the New York Scientology org will be
renovating its building in Manhattan.
"The Church of Scientology New York will renovate and expand its current
home at 227 West 46th St. Brennan Beer Gorman/ Architects has been
selected as the architect to develop the church's concept, which includes
a total renovation and expansion to the six-story building. Upon
completion, the building will total approximately 46,650 sf. Currently in
construction, the project is expected to be complete by spring 2004.
"The renovated facility will serve Church members with office space,
classrooms, a bookstore, 250-seat auditorium, small film screening rooms
and a variety of rooms for interviews and spiritual counseling. An
existing airshaft will be filled in on floors three through six,
contributing another 2,000 sf to the building and allowing more open and
efficient floor plans. A skylight will cap the sixth floor infill.
Leveling out the raked balcony of the current auditorium will create
additional interior space for office and administrative functions while
retaining views into the auditorium.
"A mansard roof will be replaced with a 1,771 sf 'purification rundown'
used in a program for eliminating the effects of drugs and toxins.
Featuring three skylights, the new structure will be clad in a material
complementary to the building's existing limestone facade and be topped
with a standing seam roof.
"'We approached BBG with a broad plan based on Scientology founder L. Ron
Hubbard's methods for individual improvement and serving the needs of the
community,' notes Rev. John Carmichael, president of the Church of
Scientology New York. 'Working closely with us, they have designed a
renovation that provides the spaces we need now to deliver those services,
and enables us to continue that expansion into the future.'"
> NarcononNews24.com reported on July 7th on the Narconon program in South Africa.
"'The Narconon First Step programme is new to South Africa and was only
launched here a few months ago, after extensive research and piloting in
the United States,' said Paul Kruger, director of Narconon New Life Centre
in Cape Town. He said the programme had operated successfully for over 30
years and was used in several cities and countries, including Melbourne,
Sydney, Los Angeles, New Mexico, Brazil, Jakarta, Buenos Aires, Mexican
prisons and Pakistan. He said the programme was a cost-effective approach
for handling large numbers of people needing to get off drugs, and
involved voluntary, drug-free and pain-free drug withdrawal. 'We can train
a family member or concerned friend to administer the programme with a
two-day intensive workshop.'
"Kruger said that the new programme helped with the withdrawal symptoms
before real treatment could begin. Each individual was assessed to
determine if the First Step Program was suitable to his/her personal drug
history. This involved doses of CalMag - a tonic of calcium gluconate,
magnesium carbonate mixed with cider vinegar and water - and something
called a 'drug bomb,' a vitamin and mineral formulation. 'A third
important component of the programme is the use of physical assists, that
bring the person back into communication with his body and also helps with
the associated physical symptoms of withdrawal. There are different types
of physical assists, including nerve and touch assists,' he said.
Communications exercises are also used to get the recovering addict to
look 'outward' and to get back into communication with his/her
"Discussions were currently under way with religious bodies, government,
community-based organisations and other agencies to try to co-ordinate the
programme. Narconon is an international non-profit organisation started in
1966 by William Benitez based on the research of L. Ron Hubbard. There are
over 100 drug education and prevention offices worldwide. Narconon has
received support for its advanced technology from Scotland Yard, Britain's
National Treatment Agency, the European Centre Against Drug Abuse, and the
American justice department."
> Saint HillThe Auditor UK reported on a celebration of the anniversary of the Saint
Hill compound in East Grinstead, England.
"Saint Hill staff and public celebrated the 38th Anniversary of Saint Hill
Foundation in the Great Hall at Saint Hill. LRH established Saint Hill
Foundation on the 11th of June, 1965. Up until that time Saint Hill had
operated only as a Day org. The anniversary celebration included speeches
from two people who were involved with Saint Hill Foundation from the very
"The first was Rosalie Delacy, the AO Case Supervisor AOSH UK, who had the
privilege of working as the HCO Exec Sec Saint Hill Foundation under LRH
in 1966. Rosalie talked about her experiences at Saint Hill during those
early days, the excitement of the first Clears being made, and the volume
of students coming through the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course.
"Then Margaret Meal, who has been involved with Saint Hill Foundation for
well over 30 years, shared her experiences from the beginning to the
present day. She arrived here in the 1960s, and in 1970, after doing the
Flag Executive Briefing Course on the flagship Apollo, she returned to
Saint Hill under LRH's direction to assume the post of Executive Director
Saint Hill Foundation.
"The final speech of the evening was delivered by Captain Saint Hill
Foundation, Mr. Thomas Fehn. He briefed the audience on the increase in
the org's delivery areas over the past year and the plans for the future.
"Entertainment was provided by local Scientologists Mike Ricketts, Adrian
Pownall, Francois Mairaux, Roland Boucher and John Wood, who performed a
selection of live music from the 1960s up to present time and ended with a
special song written for the anniversary of the org."