A.r.s Week in Review - 2/27/2000
Week in Review Volume 4, Issue 46
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.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at
rkeller@.... Subscriptions are also available on ONElist. Email
firstname.lastname@example.org or see http://www.onelist.com
Week in Review is archived at:
> ClearwaterFrom 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"
> DenmarkJyllands-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
"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."
> GermanySuspicion 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,
"'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
"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
"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
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
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
> Lisa McPhersonMedical 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
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
"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.'"
> Music SoftwareThe St. Petersburg Times reported on February 21th that two Clearwater
area Scientologists have been seeking funding for an Internet music
"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.'"
> Protest SummaryAn 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."
> Bob GrantAndreas 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
"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."
> Robert Vaughn YoungFormer 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
"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
> ScotlandThe 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.'"
> State DepartmentThe United States State Department issued its annual report on human
rights. This year's report contains several mentions of Scientology. On
"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."
"[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."
"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."
"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."
"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
"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."
"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
"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
"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."
"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."
> Lisa McPherson TrustStacy Brooks reported unusual tactics in Clearwater by public
"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."
> 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
"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.
"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