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A.r.s Week in Review - 2/27/2000

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  • rkeller@voicenet.com
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 4, Issue 46 2/27/2000 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2000 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 4, Issue 46
      2/27/2000
      by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2000

      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, just email me at
      rkeller@.... Subscriptions are also available on ONElist. Email
      weekinreview-subscribe@onelist.com or see http://www.onelist.com
      Week in Review is archived at:
      http://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/
      http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html
      http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html

      #####

      > Clearwater

      From the letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times this week:

      "First you have your roundabout, a colossal joke if I ever saw one. Can't
      wait till spring break! Then you have your city fathers, in their infinite
      wisdom, condemning existing buildings and giving taxpayer money to
      developers to destroy the north beach, one of the last beautiful public
      beaches where you are not hemmed in by high-rise condos. Then you have
      this business about Coachman Park and the bluff. Perhaps we could build
      three roundabouts and ask Ringling to put on a circus. Of course, maybe
      everyone will be scared off by the war between Bob Minton and the
      Scientologists. I wonder if anything could make downtown Clearwater more
      spooky. -- Pat Smith, Hector, N.Y."

      "I avoid downtown Clearwater because of the Scientologists. I will even
      take Myrtle Avenue as a north-south route rather than have to view the
      Fort Harrison Hotel and their latest growth across the street from the
      former hotel. Clearwater is their town. We might as well admit it. City
      Manager Mike Roberto is their lap dog. -- Davanna C. Kilgore, Ozona"

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      #####

      > Denmark

      Jyllands-Posten reported on February 22nd that Scientology staged a
      demonstration at the newspaper's offices to protest recent articles.

      "About 250 Scientology members were tuesday morning standing outside of
      the newspaper office of Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen, to protest the
      newspaper's article series on the controversial movement. During the last
      week, Jyllands-Posten has written about the extensive activities of
      Scientology in Denmark, where the movement has its European main office. A
      string of defectors have come forward to tell about coercion, exploitation
      and manipulation inside, but Scientology dismisses the criticism as 'black
      propaganda.'

      "Those who had met up were all members of the central core of Scientology
      - the so-called 'Sea Organization', where people give themselves 100
      percent to the movement. About 700 of them are residing in Copenhagen.
      Most of the protesters were foreigners and could not speak any Danish, but
      they said they had had the articles translated. Scientologist Brian Hickey
      from Ireland said, that the German or French governments might be behind
      the articles in Jyllands-Posten."

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      #####

      > Germany

      Suspicion over Scientologist-created portions of Windows 2000 continue in
      Germany. From Kurier on February 17th:

      "[A] sub-program of Windows 2000 was purchased from a U.S. enterprise
      whose chief is a professed Scientologist. Craig Jensen's Executive
      Software International www.execsoft.com introduced his 'Diskeeper' program
      into Windows 2000. Data security professionals, as well as Constitutional
      Security, fear that software could be built into Windows 2000 which could
      reveal the contents users' hard disks without permission. On the basis of
      these fears, Windows 2000 will now be checked out by experts at the German
      Federal Office for Security of Information Technology (BSI). 'We will be
      looking at the program closely,' said BSI speaker Michael Dickopf. 'The
      contracts have not even been signed yet, but we are confident that we will
      be able to start with the tests in the near future.'

      "As far as ARGE data chief, Hans Zeger, is concerned, an objective check
      of software programs is long overdue. 'I don't want at all to see this
      kind of check in connection with Scientology,' said Zeger. 'In general, I
      no longer regard the producers as trustworthy, because so-called
      'trap-doors' are built into many programs.' Using trap-door functions,
      information can be skimmed off the hard drive, such as whether the
      software on the computer was purchased or copied."

      Fuldaer Zeitung Politik reported on February 11th that false rumors of
      Scientology involvement are being fought in Fulda.

      "Rumors spread behind closed doors are making business for several
      companies in Fulda difficult: 'Haven't you heard? They're working with
      Scientology!' In that or a similar way is how most of the whispering
      campaigns start which harm business. In the past two years, seven
      companies have sought advice from Reverend Ferdinand Rauch, sect
      commissioner of Fulda diocese. Rauch offers companies a prepared sworn
      statement which will 'stand up in court,' said the sect commissioner. In
      it the company affirms that it does not operate according to the methods
      of L. Ron Hubbard, and that it fully rejects these methods. The company
      guarantees that it does not organize any training, courses or seminars
      according to those methods and that it hinders any distribution of those
      teachings. Furthermore, the company states that it maintains no business
      relationship to persons, firms or organizations which support or spread
      Hubbard's methods. However, if the company belongs to the Scientologists
      and lies, then its staff can bring it to court with the sworn statement,
      said Rauch.

      "'95 percent of the suspicions are groundless,' Rauch said from
      experience. He does not know of any east Hessian companies who apply
      Hubbard's methods. He said it is frightening what power slander has, 'it
      can cost a company its business,' said the sect commissioner. Companies
      who sign these kind of statements very probably have made a clean breast
      of it, verified Scientology expert Renate Hartwig."

      From Vogtland Anzeiger on February 11th, a report on the departure of
      Scientologist and real estate developer Kurt Fliegerbauer from Zwickau:

      "Before Fliegerbauer permitted questions, he read a prepared statement,
      'Now in this moment, while I am giving this press conference, the brass
      nameplates are being removed from all properties of Osterstein Castle
      Management, Inc. I am withdrawing from all areas of business of all
      companies in Zwickau, that means from business management and as
      businessman.'

      "About two years ago, he publicly admitted to being a member of the
      Scientology sect, which is under surveillance by Constitutional Security.
      Fliegerbauer continues to dispute that he is a high-ranking Scientology
      member, as has always been asserted. Among other things he had wanted to
      erect a museum for modern art in the city. As an art collector and
      aficionado, Fliegerbauer kept close contact to painter Gottfried Helnwein,
      for instance he brought him to Zwickau for his 100th renovated building.
      Helnwein is also said to have contact with Scientology.

      "It was visibly difficult for Fliegerbauer at the press conference to
      stick to his role; he was missing his customary nonchalance and joviality
      as too many questions about Scientology and his position in the sect were
      asked. 'Your battle against Scientology is over, no more members, you
      should let up on the Scientology discussion here, nobody is interested in
      what you are saying,' and he cut off a journalist who was pursuing the
      theme with 'you can write about that what you want.'"

      From Frankfurter Rundschau on February 15th:

      "'A good day for Zwickau,' was heard in the council hall. 'A victory for
      democracy,' said one city councilman. A construction tycoon known
      city-wide had packed his bags last Thursday and left the community
      forever. Kurt Fliegerbauer, the real estate businessman from Munich, had
      quickly called a press conference together and announced in a few short
      words: 'The withdrawal has nothing to do with Scientology,' said the
      businessman.

      "Suppositions about Scientology's influence have also spread in the
      Zwickau trade union. 'There's a powerful stink here,' said a construction
      businesswoman who said she was '100 percent' convinced that other people
      in Zwickau belonged to the Scientology sect. In leaving Fliegerbauer had
      assert that he himself, his wife and a business partner had been the only
      Scientologists in Zwickau. Yet there are suppositions that more
      Scientologists are at work, countered a local newspaper. Despite
      Fliegerbauer's departure, the city will still establish the information
      office about the Scientology sect. 'One never knows,' was heard in the
      council building. The members of the Zwickau theater orchestra are even
      willing to do without a portion of their fee so that the office can be
      financed."

      From Berliner Morgenpost on February 12, a report that Scientology may be
      increasing in some German states.

      "Sect experts have warned of increased activity by the Scientology
      organization in Germany. The group has also been gaining footholds in the
      new federal states, said Ursula Caberta y Diaz, Director of the Work Group
      on Scientology at the Hamburg Interior agency. Primarily in Sachsen, there
      is strong activities by the U.S. organization, which is trying to make
      contacts in companies and government agencies. Zwickau is regarded as one
      of its strongholds in Germany. There are also indications of Scientology
      activity from Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In the old German
      states, the organization is chiefly active in Hamburg, Bavaria and
      Nordrhein-Westphalia."

      Sindelfinger Zeitung reported on February 15th that the status of
      Scientology in Stuttgart remains undecided.

      "'After carefully checking the basis of judgment, we have decided to have
      the judgment by the administrative court reviewed,' stated administration
      president Udo Andriof. In November 1999, the administrative court had
      decided that the Scientology branch of Dianetics could retain its
      association status. The services could not be separated from the
      convictions of the members without a loss of meaning. The RP had withdrawn
      the status of association from Dianetics in 1994 because it was alleged to
      operate a commercial business under the guise of something else. The
      annual income of Dianetics Stuttgart was estimated at between 2.5 to 3
      million marks."

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      #####

      > Lisa McPherson

      Medical Examiner Joan Wood has changed her opinion of the manner of Lisa
      McPherson's death. It has been changed from "undetermined" to
      "accidental". From the St. Petersburg Times on February 23rd:

      "Scientology's top executives, clearly pleased Tuesday, called the switch
      'extremely significant and a huge development that dramatically affects
      the state's case.' They said it supports their view that McPherson's death
      while in the care of Scientology staffers in Clearwater was sudden,
      unpredictable, 'undiagnosable' and not the church's fault.

      "Assistant State Attorney Doug Crow, the lead prosecutor in the case,
      called the change 'something of major significance we need to review.' He
      declined to discuss how the case might be affected, adding: 'We really
      need to evaluate that, and we'll take some time to do that.'

      "Wood's decision came after church officials and their lawyers spent
      months plying the veteran medical examiner with expert information that
      revealed the lengths to which Scientology has gone to defend itself. There
      were scientific studies on a body substance known as ketone, an elaborate
      accident reconstruction, even a report by an 'anthropometric' specialist
      who studied McPherson's physical stature.

      "Gone from the new report is the original reference to the bed rest and
      dehydration. Wood still traces the death to a blood clot behind
      McPherson's knee. But she lists McPherson's psychosis and a minor auto
      accident as major factors."

      From the Tampa Tribune on February 23rd:

      "The ruling could affect a civil case pending in Tampa in which
      McPherson's relatives are seeking millions in compensation from the
      church. But Ken Dandar, the family's lawyer, said the new autopsy findings
      could work against the church. Wood still lists 'severe dehydration' as
      part of her 'final anatomic diagnosis.' Dandar said that shows that
      McPherson was mistreated at the Fort Harrison Hotel. Also, by adding
      psychosis as a significant condition, Wood has made it clear that
      McPherson was unable to exercise her freedom of religion in her final
      days, Dandar said."

      Scientology issued a statement for the press following the filing.

      "Obviously, the change of the death certificate -- both the cause of death
      as well as the conclusion that it was an accident -- is extremely
      significant and a huge development that dramatically affects the State's
      case. The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the
      lung) from a bruise on the left leg. The point is: Her death was sudden.
      Her death was unpredictable. It was undiagnosable. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.

      "The bruise came from an automobile accident. The original findings of
      Joan Wood are what the State based their case on. She has now reviewed
      further information and concluded that the death was an accident.
      Obviously the State needs the opportunity to review their case in light of
      this dramatic development."

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on February 24th that the judge in the
      criminal trial has allowed Scientology to take back its request for
      documents on the investigation, keeping them secret for now.

      "Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Brandt C. Downey III decided the Church of
      Scientology could rescind its demand for all the evidence gathered by
      prosecutors. The church, which has been charged in McPherson's death, has
      a right to the prosecution's records, which lawyers call 'discovery.' But
      the records also become public when they are released to the defendant.
      The church demanded to see the evidence Feb. 2 but changed its mind last
      week when medical examiner Joan Wood revised her 1996 autopsy report to
      say that McPherson's death was an 'accident.' Church officials said
      Wednesday they did not want the records to be public while prosecutors
      rethink the case. The records total an estimated 10,000 pages."

      Tampa are news programs covered the change in the Medical Examiner's
      report. From Channel 28 News:

      "The medical examiner who once declared her cause of death as
      'undetermined' has changed course and now says McPherson's death was an
      accident. The church released a statement saying Lisa's death was sudden,
      unpredictable, undiagnosable, and it reiterates the new findings saying it
      was an accident. But church critics say the medical examiner's change of
      heart does not shield Scientology from accusations of wrongdoing.

      "STACY BROOKS: I don't think it's gonna cast any doubt in the prosecutors'
      minds, they're pretty clear on what happened; but I think it may make it
      difficult for them to carry on with the prosecution, which is really
      unfortunate. There are many, many, many people that would like to see the
      Church of Scientology brought to justice for this tragic death of this
      woman."

      From Channel 9 News:

      "Clearly a major victory for the Church of Scientology's Flag Service
      Organization. Pinellas medical examiner Joan Wood has issued an amended
      autopsy report on the death of Lisa McPherson. That report says
      McPherson's death was accidental. Now the state attorney's office tells us
      the new evidence is a significant development that they are reviewing. As
      for the civil case against the church, an attorney for the estate of Lisa
      McPherson says the new developments will not stop them from going through
      with their case."

      From Fox 13 News:

      "A Pinellas County judge today granted the latest wish of the Church of
      Scientology. It wanted tons of information about the death of Lisa
      McPherson kept locked up while criminal charges are reviewed. This, after
      a startling change in opinion by the medical examiner.

      "LEE FUGATE: There has been a significant change in the medical examiner's
      opinion which changes the legal basis of the charges, I believe.

      "That wish granted, high-ranking Scientologists left the courthouse
      without comment. Silence also from the assistant state attorney, who says
      the criminal case must be reviewed because of the major impact of the
      medical examiner's new opinion.

      "STACY BROOKS: I'm sure Scientology is jubilant today. She was held
      against her will. She was not provided proper medical treatment. She did
      die in their care, very unnecessarily.

      "Prosecutors won't say how long they'll spend reviewing the case but
      presumably they'll have some sort of decision by March 13. That's when the
      judge has scheduled a hearing on a motion to dismiss the charges against
      the Church of Scientology."

      The St. Petersburg Times reported some new details on the circumstances of
      Lisa McPherson's confinement and death in an article published on February
      24th.

      "Alain Kartuzinski, a church counseling supervisor, admitted lying to
      police in 1996, telling them he had little to do with McPherson. Speaking
      with prosecutors two years later, he said he arranged to have McPherson,
      36, confined in a special 'isolation watch' and authorized her to be
      medicated. Kartuzinski lied, he said, because Clearwater police detectives
      were 'sneeringly antagonistic' and he was scared.

      "Janis Johnson, a church medical officer, also misled police, telling them
      her office gave only 'basic first aid' and considered McPherson a regular
      hotel guest. In fact, fellow Scientologists revealed that Johnson oversaw
      an unusual regimen of care for McPherson at Kartuzinski's direction. An
      unlicensed doctor, she also authorized medication and gave McPherson
      injections of a prescription muscle relaxant.

      "David Houghton told how he filled a large syringe with ground aspirin,
      liquid Benadryl and orange juice, then worked it along the outside of
      McPherson's teeth and squirted the mixture behind her tongue. He had help
      from his fellow Scientologists, who held McPherson's arms and legs. A
      veteran dentist from Iowa and Ohio, he was not yet licensed in Florida and
      had no doctor's authorization and no medical history on McPherson.

      "Judy Goldsberry-Weber, once a licensed practical nurse, heard of
      Houghton's procedure and was outraged. 'What doctor's order did you have
      to do this?' she demanded to know, almost coming to blows with Johnson.
      She later reported her fellow staffers to the church legal office.

      "Minkoff, a longtime Scientologist who is not on the church staff, told
      prosecutors he violated standard medical procedure by prescribing sleep
      aids for McPherson without ever examining her. 'It was foolish to do what
      I did,' the doctor admitted.

      "Once a senior Scientology executive, Kartuzinski was demoted to a file
      clerk in a church warehouse after McPherson's death became public. He told
      prosecutors he made three big mistakes. He violated a church policy that
      states that Scientology counseling at the Fort Harrison Hotel is of no use
      to 'psychotics' such as McPherson, lest they 'leave the organization open
      to failures.' He did not delegate his heavy workload to others, which
      might have left him more time to deal with McPherson. He also designated
      himself as her 'case supervisor,' which meant that under church policy he
      could have no direct contact with her.

      "Talking with police in 1996, he minimized his role in McPherson's care
      and said she did not receive the Introspection Rundown. 'Yes, I was lying
      to them,' Kartuzinski told prosecutors in 1998. 'I was scared. Scared for
      myself. Scared for the church, possibly.' He said he thought the police
      were against Scientology and wouldn't understand. He began telling the
      truth after church attorneys reprimanded him, he said."

      The St. Petersburg Times also published an article on February 24th on
      Scientology's view of the Lisa McPherson case.

      "In a 2 1/2-hour interview Wednesday, officials for the Church of
      Scientology said the accounts of five Scientologists released recently by
      prosecutors do not accurately portray what happened to Lisa McPherson.
      Marty Rathbun, a top Scientology official, addressed the lies told to
      Clearwater police by church staffers Janis Johnson and Alain Kartuzinski.
      'I'm not here to defend them,' he said, adding: 'Internal measures were
      taken for people who did things that were wrong.' He suggested the reason
      the staffers lied was the tense atmosphere in Clearwater during the
      mid-1990s between between Scientology and city government, particularly
      the Police Department. The church has worked to fix the rift, Rathbun
      said. But in that environment, he said, he wouldn't expect a Scientology
      staffer to be open with police.

      "They also played a scene from the movie The Exorcist in which Linda
      Blair's character becomes psychotic. Their point: Scientologists who cared
      for McPherson faced trying circumstances. 'It's a pretty intense situation
      that can affect a person's perception,' Rathbun said."

      The Tampa Tribune reported on February 26th that the judge in the civil
      case has ordered Scientology to hand over all the evidence they presented
      to the Medical Examiner which led to the change in her report.

      "Medical experts hired by the Church of Scientology provided most of the
      fresh evidence and test results Wood reviewed. Hillsborough Circuit Judge
      James S. Moody Jr., who is presiding over the McPherson family's wrongful
      death lawsuit against the church, gave the church three weeks to turn over
      copies of that new material. The ruling was strongly opposed by attorneys
      for the church who said the information is exempt from release because
      it's part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

      "Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar, who is representing the McPherson family, said
      he can't force Wood to turn over the new evidence. He asked Moody to
      compel the church to provide copies. But Michael Lee Hertzberg, an
      attorney for the church, said Dandar was simply trying to mine the
      criminal case for information. Moody said that because the church provided
      the documents to Wood - a potential witness in the wrongful death case -
      it must also give them to the family.

      "Hertzberg tried again, asking the judge to at least place a hold on the
      release pending developments in the criminal case. No, Moody replied.
      Hertzberg later tried a third time, saying he was 'urging ... imploring'
      the judge to reconsider. 'I reconsidered it,' Moody said, 'and I'm not
      changing my mind.'"

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      #####

      > Music Software

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on February 21th that two Clearwater
      area Scientologists have been seeking funding for an Internet music
      software company.

      "Joe Vangieri has returned from peddling Visiosonic Ltd. to the deep
      pockets on Wall Street and the glitterati of the music industry. He
      pitched his Internet music company to the likes of Jann Wenner, founder of
      Rolling Stone, and Charles Koppleman, former chief of record giant
      Thorne-EMI. So far the pitch has worked: Vangieri got an offer to sell 10
      percent of his Clearwater company to a Korean entertainment company for
      $10-million. He's also attracted investors ranging from fellow
      Scientologists to New York City venture capital funds.

      "His product: free software called PCDJ PHAT, which lets amateur DJs mix
      digital music and videos on their home computers. The software pumps a
      constant stream of advertising to its target market of 15- to
      30-year-olds. By affiliating with everyone from Sprite to Marvel Comics,
      Vangieri hopes to drive traffic back to his company's Web site where
      customers can listen to music and buy everything from CDs to $5,000
      professional DJ equipment.

      "Visiosonic's early investors and board members include California
      investment adviser Kenneth Gerbino and Clearwater investor Matthew L.
      Feshbach. Both men, as well as Savas, are listed as contributors to the
      International Association of Scientologists in a church publication.
      Vangieri and co-founder Betterly also are Scientologists. 'In my personal
      life, Scientology has helped me out tremendously,' said Vangieri, who was
      raised as a Catholic. 'But it's not something I disseminate or even talk
      about in the workplace, and the bulk of our employees aren't
      Scientologists. I keep my religion on the down-low.'

      "Vangieri said his penchant for charting everything from leads to sales to
      gross income by staff is derived from Scientology's management techniques.
      He also uses an employment agency that advertises in a local newspaper
      geared to Scientologists. But he said the Church of Scientology does not
      have any investment or involvement in his business. 'The church has got
      absolutely nothing to do with my organization,' Vangieri said. 'That's
      like saying if we had a group of Catholics working here that the Vatican
      ran the place. There's a strict separation of church and state here.'
      Steve Levine, whose Early Bird Capital Fund in New York City put $250,000
      in seed money into Visiosonic, didn't know and doesn't care that
      Scientologists also have invested in the company. 'We're agnostic in our
      business,' Levine said. 'We're in the business of making wise investments
      and they're not motivated by anything but good business sense.'"

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      #####

      > Protest Summary

      An anonymous poster reported a recent protest at the Sydney org.

      "On Friday 11 February 2000, there was picket of the Castlereigh St Org in
      Sydney. Four picketers began waving placards at lunchtime. The culties
      responded by videotaping the picketers. The Castlereigh St Org called the
      the sea org who are only a few minutes drive a away to give assistance.
      The Scientologists waved anti psychiatry placards and gave out their
      promo. Some people passing by told the anti Scientology picketers to keep
      up the good work and one gentleman said 'its about time someone did
      something about them.' One other fellow said the Scientologists are
      crackpots. The picket finished after 2 pm."

      Mike Gormez reported a protest in Amsterdam.

      "I've picketed the cult shop for some two hours. 12:45 - 14:45. The cult
      had a 'Purification Rundown' lecture and I took it upon me to inform the
      people of the quackery. My cardboard picket sign [was] about
      'space-aliens', 'cult of greed' and www.xenu.net Plus I had a flyer
      addressing passers-by of the new cult neighbor with stuff like the cult
      criminally convinced in Canada, its Guru ruled a criminal in France, Purif
      banned in Russia because it couldn't match its medical expectations and
      judged dangerous by experts.

      "Only one guy was hostile, but after its futile attempts to get me moving
      and nearly touching me, I'd warned him that I would the one who'd call the
      cops instead of him. The cult took him inside after that. Gerard Alserda
      of www.vitals.nl fame made a fool of himself. I asked about Xenu, BTs and
      the rest. He laughed, but would not deny it. I asked him repeatedly to
      deny it he could not. The foot-traffic was low. When people approached I
      would go to them - showing my sign - and talked with a upbeat voice.
      Apparently so loud, the cult's recruitment was ruined.

      "Three kids asked a leaflet, 'one for my father too'. I gave them 2
      flyers. Guess what! They were the kids of the 'Course Supervisor'! Cops
      came. After they had spoken with the smoking-woman, they told me that the
      cult rather not had me here on this location. They told me the cult
      wouldn't press charges on the condition that I wouldn't anymore talk
      aloud, neither approach people by myself informing them of the dangers of
      Scientology, give flyers or put them in mailboxes. No flyers because I
      hadn't mentioned the leaflets on my picket declaration. Language was ruled
      by the cops too offensive and it should first be judged if it can be
      tolerated. Even my little picket sign was 'borderline'.

      "So I held my part of the deal and they will forward my flyer for
      examination to the local municipality. I'll contact them too of course,
      this is certainly not the way things are done in free countries."

      Message-ID: <88psa2$5l1$1@...>
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      #####

      > Bob Grant

      Andreas Heldal-Lund was a guest on the Bob Grant radio show this week.

      "Last night I got a call from Bob Grant-talk Radio at WMCA in New York.
      Some caller had mentioned www.xenu.net twice and I guess they figured
      they'd call me and ask why I did this. Interesting call and rather funny
      to be standing outside a restaurant up here in Norway talking live on
      American radio.

      "I was asked some simple questions on the reasons for the page, if I
      wasn't afraid of what the Scientologists could do to me and stuff like
      that. I answered that I came to a point where I had so much information on
      this cult that I no longer could be silent, no matter what the consequence
      was. Nobody want's of course to be harmed personally and most of us tries
      to avoid things that could cause problems for os personally. But if you
      have some integrity and truly believe in freedom of speech and thought you
      should be prepared to stand up for it when you see it threatened. I also
      explained who Xenu was. They also asked if all my claims on the site were
      true and my reply was that I for 3 years have invited Scientologists to
      comment on and disprove any of my claims and challenged the cult to sue me
      if they dare."

      Message-ID: <5h77bs8npq532hgmfj8jh7ac0ffkini98g@...>

      #####

      > Robert Vaughn Young

      Former Scientologist and writer Robert Vaughn Young posted a good-bye
      message to a.r.s this week as he prepares to work on anti-cancer causes
      and to fight his own terminal prostate cancer.

      "I haven't posted to ARS for awhile and am choosing this moment to say
      hello and goodbye. To those who don't know me, I was in Scientology for
      about 21 years. Until Jesse Prince stepped forward, I was the
      highest-ranking Scientology executive to speak about the organization
      without its approval. I served in and saw virtually every echelon of the
      organization, from a franchise where I started in 1969 to working directly
      with David Miscavige. About 18 of those years was spent in or senior to
      Dept. 20 (now called the Office the Special Affairs or OSA), the section
      that deals with the 'enemies' of the organization, which comes to mean
      anyone who disagrees with or criticizes any aspect of Scientology, Hubbard
      or 'management.'

      "I was diagnosed on 11/23/99 with an 'advanced and aggressive' prostate
      cancer that has metastasized to the bones. It is called Phase D or 'end
      stage' or just plain old 'terminal.' No prognosis has been given or is
      really possible and when metastasized, surgery is out of the question.
      There is no 'cure' at Phase D. So what I'm going to do is retire as an
      'expert' in legal cases or in giving media interviews.

      "Being diagnosed with a terminal disease can be devastating or a blessing.
      For me, it's been both but it's moved on to the blessing. It produces a
      better sense of one's priorities. When you realizes that your time is
      truly limited, you don't waste it with hate and rancor. I've had a good
      chance to look back on my life and what I've done and what's been done to
      me and I don't have time for either regret or bitterness. What I've
      decided to do is to dedicate my time, interest and talent to the issue of
      prostate cancer. It is such a devastating disease that one can fully grasp
      it - like any disease and disaster - only by the experience.

      "I wish you all well, especially the ones who have to excerpt this and
      report soonest with a 'recommended handling.' I already have mine, thank
      you."

      Message-ID: <88v80k$8cu$1@...>

      #####

      > Scotland

      The Sunday Herald reported on February 20th that Scientology will apply
      for charity status in Scotland.

      "The move follows the sect's rejection by the Charity Commission in
      England and Wales last December. Scientology leaders are now to attempt to
      win charity status for their church through the Inland Revenue in
      Edinburgh - the only body with the power to grant charity status in
      Scotland. The English Charity Commission rejected the scientologists'
      application because the church was not of 'public benefit'.

      "Former members have alleged that the sect uses brainwashing. One of its
      teachings is that the human race's problems are due to disembodied souls
      brought to earth. Followers undergo intense counseling to identify areas
      of 'trauma in the brain'.

      "Ian Haworth, founder of the Cult Information Centre, said: 'There is a
      catalogue of damning evidence against them. Judge Laity in England
      described the group as 'corrupt, sinister and dangerous'. I only hope the
      powers that be in Scotland might take this view.'"

      Message-ID: <dfl2bss9ildaibvavj80v0gamo25h8tnnk@...>

      #####

      > State Department

      The United States State Department issued its annual report on human
      rights. This year's report contains several mentions of Scientology. On
      Russia:

      "The Moscow procurator general and approximately 70 members of the FSB,
      Federal Tax Police, and local police raided two locations of the Church of
      Scientology in Moscow on February 25. According to church officials, the
      authorities confiscated documents, including tax records and
      priest-penitent privileged counseling records. The tax police say that
      they are investigating possible tax evasion and other financial
      irregularities. On October 6, a Moscow district court revoked the
      operating license of a social center affiliated with the Church of
      Scientology because mistakes were made allegedly in the center's license
      application materials in 1993."

      "In March the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church stated
      that it considers the Church of Scientology to be a dangerous sect that
      can have a negative impact on individuals and families. A spokesman for
      the Patriarchate said that it wanted the activities of the Church of
      Scientology to be scrutinized by the appropriate legal entities."

      On Switzerland:

      "[T]he Government in 1997 asked an advisory commission to examine
      Scientology. The commission published its findings in 1998. According to
      the report, there is no basis at present for special monitoring of
      Scientology, since it does not represent any direct or immediate threat to
      the security of the country. However, the report stated that Scientology
      had characteristics of a totalitarian organization and had its own
      intelligence network. The commission also warned of the significant
      financial burden imposed on Scientology members and recommended
      reexamining the issue at a later date."

      Italy:

      "In August 1997 the Court of Cassation annulled a lower court decision
      that Scientology was not a religion, finding that the lower court was not
      competent to rule on what constitutes a religion. The Court of Cassation
      found further that the issue of whether Scientology constitutes a religion
      must be readdressed by another court of appeal, in accordance with
      criteria established by the Constitutional Court."

      Greece:

      "Scientologists, most of whom are located in the Athens area, practice
      their faith through the Center for Applied Psychology (KEFE), a registered
      nonprofit philosophical organization. According to the president of the
      KEFE, the group chose to register as a philosophical organization because
      legal counsel advised that the Government would not recognize Scientology
      as a religion. In a step toward gaining recognition as a religion,
      Scientologists applied for a House of Prayer permit in October 1998. The
      application was pending at the Ministry of Education at year's end. A 1995
      police search of Scientology headquarters revealed a file of press
      clippings on Greek opposition to Scientology. The file was confiscated and
      15 KEFE board members subsequently were charged with 'unprovoked factual
      insult.' In May an Athens court acquitted the 15 Scientology board members
      of the charges."

      Austria:

      "As of July 10, 1998, the Education Ministry had granted the status of
      'confessional community' to eight religious groups, including for example,
      Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, and Seventh-Day Adventists. The Church of
      Scientology and the Hindu Mandir Association withdrew their applications.
      In September 110 national police officers raided Church of Scientology
      facilities and the homes and businesses of about 20 members of the Church.
      One member's home in France was raided simultaneously by the French
      authorities. At year's end, an investigation continued, and no arrests had
      been made."

      France:

      "The National Assembly formed a parliamentary commission, also known as
      the Gest or the Guyard Commission, to study so-called 'sects.' The
      Commission's report identified 173 groups as sects, including Jehovah's
      Witnesses and the Church of Scientology. The report was prepared without
      the benefit of full and complete hearings regarding the groups identified
      on the list. Groups were not told why they were placed on the list. The
      ensuing publicity contributed to an atmosphere of intolerance and bias
      against minority religions.

      "In July 1997, a Court of Appeals in Lyon recognized Scientology as a
      religion in its opinion in the conviction of Jean-Jacques Mazier, a former
      leader of the Scientologists, for contributing to the 1988 suicide of a
      church member. In response the Minister of the Interior stated that the
      court had exceeded its authority and that the Government does not
      recognize Scientology as a religion. The Government appealed the Court of
      Appeals decision, but on June 30, the Court of Cassation rejected the
      Government's appeal, but the Court stated that it lacked the authority to
      decide if Scientology was a religion.

      "There have been a number of court cases against the Church of
      Scientology, which generally involved former members who sue the Church
      for fraud, and sometimes for the practice of medicine without a license.
      In November the court found a former local leader of the Church of
      Scientology and four other Church employees guilty of fraud for swindling
      money from former members. The court sentenced the local leader to 2 years
      in prison, of which 18 months were suspended and the remaining 6 months
      served prior to sentencing, and a fine of approximately $16,700 (100,000
      francs). The other four members received suspended sentences; charges
      against two other persons were dropped."

      Germany:

      "The Church of Scientology remained under scrutiny by both federal and
      state officials who contend that it is not a religion but an economic
      enterprise. Authorities sometimes sought to deregister Scientology
      organizations previously registered as nonprofit associations and require
      them to register as commercial enterprises. In December the Stuttgart
      administrative court ruled that Baden- Wuerttemberg could not deregister
      the Church of Scientology as an ideological nonprofit organization,
      stating that Scientology's activities could not be classified as
      commercial if such activities were used to accomplish the organization's
      ideological purposes. In August the city of Munich revoked the nonprofit
      status of the local Scientology organization. In June the Munich
      administrative court rejected an appeal by the Church of Scientology and
      upheld the November 1995 decision by the city of Munich to deprive the
      Scientology- affiliated Celebrity Center Munich of its status as a
      nonprofit organization. During a March visit to the country by a lawyer
      for the Church of Scientology, officials in the Foreign Ministry refused
      to engage in a dialog with the Church and decided not to meet with the
      attorney.

      "Some government officials allege that Scientology's goals and methods are
      antidemocratic and call for further restrictions on Scientology-
      affiliated organizations and individuals. During a March meeting with a
      lawyer representing the Church of Scientology, Hamburg state officials
      expressed their belief that the Church is a criminal organization with a
      totalitarian ideology. OPC officials seek to collect information, mostly
      from written materials and firsthand accounts, to assess whether a
      'threat' exists. Scientology filed a suit in Berlin to enjoin the Berlin
      Interior Ministry from the alleged practice of bribing members of
      Scientology to 'spy' on other members. The case continued at year's end.

      "Most major political parties continued to exclude Scientologists from
      membership, arguing that Scientology is not a religion but a for-profit
      organization whose goals and principles are antidemocratic and thus
      incompatible with those of the political parties. However, there has been
      only one known instance of enforcement of this ban.

      "'Sect-filters,' statements by individuals that they are not affiliated
      with Scientology and which, in practice, are not applied to members of
      other groups, are used by some state, local, and federal agencies,
      businesses, and other organizations to discriminate against Scientologists
      in business and social dealings. The Federal Ministry of Economics imposed
      the use of sect filters on companies bidding for contracts to provide
      training courses. Some state governments also screen companies bidding
      contracts relating to training and the handling and processing of personal
      data. The Federal Property Office has barred the sale of some federal real
      estate to Scientologists. Scientologists assert that business firms whose
      owners or executives are Scientologists, as well as artists who are church
      members, faced boycotts and discrimination, sometimes with state and local
      government approval.

      "In recent years, some individuals who had been fired because they were
      Scientologists took their employers to court for 'unfair dismissal.'
      Several reached out of court settlements with employers. Scientology held
      exhibitions in Munich, Stuttgart, and Hamburg to explain the Church to
      citizens. Although Scientologists reported that the exhibitions were a
      success, Scientology encountered serious difficulties in renting space in
      major hotels and convention centers. In some cases reservations were
      canceled because hotels said that they feared a loss of business if they
      allowed Scientology to rent exhibition space."

      Finland:

      "In December 1998, the Ministry of Education turned down the application
      of the Finnish Association of Scientologists to be registered as a
      religious community. This was the first time that an applicant had been
      denied church status. The Scientologists' application was pending for
      nearly 3 years while the Government awaited additional information that it
      had requested from the Association. The Association acknowledged that it
      had not responded to the Government's request. The Education Ministry's
      decision can be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court. The
      Scientologists have not yet done so, but they have indicated that they may
      begin the process anew and reapply for recognition as a church."

      Message-ID: <897lai$r9t$1@...>
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      Message-ID: <897lih$rdj$1@...>
      Message-ID: <897lll$rk7$1@...>
      Message-ID: <897lnu$rkj$1@...>
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      Message-ID: <897t6a$75$1@...>

      #####

      > Lisa McPherson Trust

      Stacy Brooks reported unusual tactics in Clearwater by public
      Scientologists.

      "To all those who suspected that my encounter with a wild-eyed
      Scientologist at the Publix supermarket last Sunday was a setup, I'd say
      what just happened this afternoon should confirm your suspicions.
      Another Scientologist just did exactly the same thing at the Grand Prix
      Car Wash on Gulf to Bay Boulevard! I was talking to Vaughn about something
      he had written. One woman walked back and forth past me enough times that
      I took note of her. She seemed very hyper, eyes darting around and
      movements kind of jerky. Suddenly this woman in the faded blue denim
      jumper darted over to me. 'You're Stacy Brooks! You're Stacy Brooks!' she
      said loudly. As soon as she said it I knew it was a repeat of last
      Sunday's encounter at Publix. 'You're conspiring right here!' the woman
      exclaimed. Now her voice rose several decibels: 'You're a Suppressive
      Person! You're a Suppressive Person!'

      "'Actually,' I said, 'I'm speaking to Vaughn.' Mainly I said this to see
      if she knew who Vaughn is. I figured if she did, it would be a pretty
      clear indication that she had been briefed by OSA. 'Poor Vaughn!' she said
      very dramatically. 'You're killing all your loved ones! You're killing all
      your loved ones! You're a Suppressive Person! You need to leave this town!
      You need to leave this town! Why don't you just leave?'

      "'And you need to speak more quietly,' I suggested, but far from taking my
      advice, she got even louder. 'Leave this town! Leave this town! You're
      killing all your loved ones! You're killing all of them!' She suddenly
      looked around the room and then started for the door, turned around one
      last time. 'I can't stand to be in here with you!' she cried, jumped into
      her car, and drove away. I was left in the waiting room with all these
      people wondering what was going on. 'She's a Scientologist,' I began, and
      immediately this very nice man holding a small child nodded his head
      knowingly, 'and I'm with the Lisa McPherson Trust.' The man obviously knew
      about the LMT, because he grinned and said, 'Ah! Good luck to you!' This
      is two Sundays in a row now. I hope they keep this up every week. Each
      time it happens it gives a few more Clearwater citizens a chance to see
      the true face of the Church of Scientology."

      Message-ID: <p1WwOOtDcnU2ohq7+pTunQdMxSIM@...>

      #####

      > Anti-Reg

      "Anti-Reg" reported developments in his efforts to get a refund from
      Scientology of money on account.

      "This afternoon at approximately 5:30 pm my doorbell rang. Due to my
      recent activities, I had been expecting some sort of clam repercussion. I
      went to one of the front upstairs windows and peeked out onto the street.
      There was a Honda Accord and a Volkswagen sedan parked in front of my
      house. My doorbell rang twice and then I saw Rex Bush, a local
      Scientologist and attorney, walk from my front door to the Volkswagen. He
      talked to the occupant of the Accord (his wife, I presume) for a short
      while and then got into the car. Both cars then drove away.

      "About ten minutes later, a silver Dodge Intrepid pulled up in front of my
      house, parked, and turned its lights off. From what I could see, there
      were two males (whom I did not recognize) sitting in the car. They did not
      get out of the car, but stayed parked there for about 30 minutes. They
      were talking and occasionally looked at my house like they were watching
      for activity.

      "At about 7:30, I logged on and checked my e-mail. I found the following
      e-mail message: 'Sean, I am assisting the Church of Scientology of Salt
      Lake City in resolving your cycle. I am in possession of the refund you
      requested in your letters of December 11th. I will contact you shortly.
      Rex Bush'

      "At about 9:00 pm, the doorbell rang again. I peeked out the upstairs
      front window and saw the Accord parked on the street. My doorbell must
      have rung 7 or 8 times and Rex kept pounding on the door. I did not answer
      because I do not want personal contact of any kind with Scientologists at
      this point."

      Message-ID: <88qiht$v5p$1@...>
      Message-ID: <891ngf$rie$1@...>

      -end-
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