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A.r.s Week in Review - 8/17/2003

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 17 8/17/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2003 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 17, 2003
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 17
      8/17/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2003

      Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
      postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
      week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
      they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
      significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
      whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
      kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
      of the most significant postings.

      The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
      posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
      articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
      find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
      in the newsgroup before expiring them.

      Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available. Subscriptions are
      also available on Yahoo. Email weekinreview-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or
      see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/weekinreview. PDA channel available at
      http://avantgo.com/channels/_add_channel.pl?cha_id=2900

      Week in Review is archived at:
      http://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/
      http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html
      http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html

      #####

      Note: This issue covers articles from the past two weeks of
      alt.religion.scientology.

      #####

      > Clearwater

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on August 11th that Scientologist
      investors plan to buy land from Calvary Baptist Church in downtown
      Clearwater, Florida.

      "An investor from Mexico has inked a deal to buy two Cleveland Street
      buildings and a parking lot from Calvary Baptist Church, a move that would
      consolidate nearly two city blocks and set the stage for sweeping
      redevelopment downtown. Elias Jaffif will pay $1.59-million for .84-acres
      in the 400 block of Cleveland Street, according to church officials. The
      property includes a parking lot north of the buildings with access from
      Laura Street.

      "The investors, who noticed the properties while visiting Clearwater for
      Church of Scientology services, have discussed developing some mixed uses
      in a high-rise: perhaps condos and hotel rooms atop a parking garage and
      street-level stores. There also has been talk of a movie theater.
      'Obviously that's the crown jewel of downtown, and they're going to do the
      best thing for downtown and the best thing for their investors,' said Tom
      Wright. 'What that is, is absolutely not fixed.'

      "Calvary Baptist is selling its downtown holdings in preparation for a
      move across town to a new complex at McMullen-Booth Road and Drew Street.
      The property under contract includes roughly 30,000 square feet of meeting
      and storage space in buildings at 410, 418 and 420 Cleveland. The
      buildings now house Calvary Baptist's Heartline and singles ministries."

      Message-ID: <1060596934.921916@...>

      #####

      > Denmark

      The Copenhagen Post reported on August 8th on the case of a French girl
      who hoped to move to Copenhagen to attend a Scientology school there.

      "A French court ruling, banning a 14-year-old girl from traveling to
      Denmark to enroll at the Copenhagen Scientology school, could turn into a
      test case against France's hard line efforts to outlaw the controversial
      sect. When a judge in Nantes imposed the travel-ban on 14-year-old Marion
      Chauchreau in July, at the request of the girl's concerned aunt and
      grandmother, the case turned into a 'cause celebre' in the French media
      because the girl's mother has been a member of Scientology since 1979, her
      brother is a teacher at a Scientology school and the girl herself has
      grown up within the confines of the sect since birth.

      "Local social authorities, backed by the court's ruling, have launched a
      full-scale investigation into the young girl's social, psychological, and
      psychiatric well-being, before making a final decision on the potential
      danger of her joining the school in Copenhagen. French legal experts have
      warned that if the investigation concludes that Marion hasn't been
      manipulated by Scientology, it will be a severe blow to the French
      authorities' consistent hard-line opposition to the sect. However, if
      medical and mental evaluations find her to be brainwashed, the 'Marion
      affairre' could become the legal catalyst desired by authorities to
      implement a total ban on Scientology in France. The investigation is
      expected to take at least six-months."

      Message-ID: <9v59jv0jvn0vf8rgo9kvebb9vc0dr3ov1g@...>

      #####

      > Dianetics

      The Wichita Eagle reported on August 12th that Scientology is offering a
      reward, seeking early writings by L. Ron Hubbard in Wichita, Kansas.

      "Half a century ago, L. Ron Hubbard produced some of his earliest writings
      on Dianetics in Wichita. Now the Church of Scientology, which Hubbard
      founded, is seeking those papers. Church officials, who are offering a
      $5,000 reward, hope they might be tucked away in a Wichita attic or
      basement.

      "Philip McComish, manager and partner of Watermark West-Rare Books, said
      he wasn't surprised to see an ad in Monday's Wichita Eagle asking about
      the papers. 'When I first opened the rare books shop in the 1980s, I'd get
      a call about once a month wanting to know if I had any Scientology letters
      or documents,' he said. McComish said he has never come across any. 'I
      think these documents are probably gone,' he said. 'They were probably
      piles of 8 1/2-by-11-inch papers sitting in boxes in someone's attic. The
      house changed hands a couple of times and the boxes got landfilled.'

      "The ad in Monday's paper said that Hubbard, the author of 'Dianetics: The
      Modern Science of Mental Health,' lived at 910 N. Yale in 1951 and 1952.
      While in Wichita, he gave more than 140 lectures at the Hubbard Dianetics
      Foundation and wrote several books on Dianetics.

      "An Eagle story in March 1995 indicated that by 1952, Hubbard was seeking
      to leave Wichita. His second marriage had ended in divorce, and his
      company had gone bankrupt. When he left in March 1952, Hubbard left
      instructions with his housekeeper to ship his personal papers and
      manuscripts to Phoenix. For some reason, those items never arrived."

      Message-ID: <1060682828.628701@...>

      #####

      > France

      Agence France Presse reported on August 7th that a Scientologist has been
      arrested for burning a student in an attempt to develop his healing
      abilities.

      "A 21 year-old was imprisoned Wednesday evening for 'torture and acts of
      cruelty' by an examining magistrate for having burned a teenager in order
      to transmit the capacity to him to cure. The young man, a follower of the
      Church of Scientology, had involved the 16-year old girl and two friends,
      also minors, in Vigneux-on-Seine.

      "He inflicted serious burns with the girl, marking her on the arms and in
      the back with burning cigarettes and on her calves with a heated knife
      under the pretext of transmit the capacity to him to cure and influence
      the course of its life. The father of the teenager described her as
      fragile psychologically. The young man and his two friends were placed in
      police custody."

      Message-ID: <3f3279ff$0$6230$626a54ce@...>

      #####

      > Switzerland

      Vendredi reported on August 8th that a Scientology school in Littau,
      Switzerland has been denied permission to open.

      "A school whose teaching principal is part of the Church of Scientology
      does not have 'necessary credibility,' according to the district of
      Lucerne. It has refused to reopen the establishment in Littau. The
      establishment was closed at the end of July by cantonal authorities. The
      director, a follower of Scientology, had resigned his post."

      Message-ID: <3e471c14.0308071520.3d369983@...>

      #####

      > Lisa McPherson

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on August 13th that the trial in the
      breach of contract case against the estate of Lisa McPherson has begun in
      Clearwater, Florida.

      "For the first time in Pinellas County, a jury has been convened to
      consider a case involving the Church of Scientology. The case is a complex
      civil matter, with the church claiming it was the victim of a breach of
      contract. As the trial began Tuesday, the church fielded a legal team of
      nine lawyers and legal assistants. Boxes of their legal documents filled
      most of the back row of the courtroom.

      "On the other side was attorney Ken Dandar, represented by Luke Lirot,
      longtime attorney for nude-dance club operator Joe Redner. The case is an
      offshoot of the wrongful death lawsuit against the church by the estate of
      Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died in 1995 after 17 days in the care
      of the church, whose spiritual headquarters is in downtown Clearwater.

      "Picking a jury proved difficult. Under questioning, some in the jury pool
      referred to Scientology as a cult - 'No offense,' several told the
      church's legal team. Others questioned whether it should be considered a
      religion and admitted they doubted they could be impartial. Several
      potential jurors said they overheard people in the jury pool making
      disparaging comments about Scientology as they waited in the halls to be
      interviewed. But after nearly two days, six jurors and an alternate were
      culled from a pool of 50 people, and the jury was sworn in Tuesday
      afternoon.

      "In his opening statement, Scientology's lead attorney, Samuel Rosen,
      argued the wrongful death case was being used as a springboard to attack
      all of Scientology. Rosen contended Robert Minton, a wealthy hard-line
      critic of Scientology, persuaded Dandar to use the lawsuit to 'nail the
      cult's ass to the floor.' To that end, Rosen argues, Dandar added top
      church officials, including the church's worldwide leader, David
      Miscavige, as defendants in the wrongful death suit. In exchange, Rosen
      said, Minton paid Dandar more than $2-million.

      "A month after Dandar filed the motion to add the church leaders as
      defendants, a judge denied it, ruling the motion directly violated a
      written agreement Dandar made with church attorneys two years earlier. The
      church sued Dandar, his law firm and the McPherson estate, seeking
      attorneys' fees and punitive damages. Pinellas-Pasco Judge W. Douglas
      Baird concluded the estate had breached the contract. At issue now is how
      much the church is owed in damages.

      "The church tapped significant legal resources, including four law firms,
      and spent more than $50,000 to defeat Dandar's attempt to add church
      leaders to the wrongful death suit. The church wants to be reimbursed that
      $50,000 plus 'a significant amount' in punitive damages, Rosen said.

      "Dandar's attorney, Lirot, argued Tuesday that Dandar intended to pursue
      church leaders in the wrongful death lawsuit long before he ever met
      Minton. He said there was no conspiracy to change the case to accommodate
      Minton's aims. In his opening statement, Lirot argued the church is owed
      no more than $2,500 in legal fees."

      Message-ID: <1060769264.563300@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Wes Fager protested against Scientology at the Fort Harrison Hotel in
      Clearwater, Florida on July 27th.

      "Wesley Fager staged a one-man demonstration against Scientology's east
      coast headquarters in occupied Clearwater, Florida. His hastily made
      banner reads L. Ron Hubbard is a Liar! The protest started at the side
      entrance, talking to a space cadet, asking her if he was at the Coast
      Guard Academy or something because everyone was wearing naval uniforms.
      She told him he was at the Church of Scientology and if he had some time
      maybe she could arrange a tour.

      "Wesley then positioned himself at the main entrance where his banner was
      unfurled. Several cars passed and gave Wesley a thumbs up. Then he walked
      to the end of the building and turned back onto the side street,
      approached the side entrance and held his banner for those in the
      courtyard to see. The clams in the beehive just stared. A man appeared
      and got in Wesley's face screaming at him to get off their property.
      Wesley calmly stated that he was an American citizen exercising his
      Constitutional right to free speech. At that the guard started walking
      down the street, pointing and ordered Mr. Fager to follow him, at which
      point Mr. Fager answered, 'I'm not following you anywhere.' At that point
      the guard screamed that he was calling the police. As Wesley was walking
      away to leave, a Clearwater police car passed him and his sign without
      incident."

      Message-ID: <1060164862.484202@...>

      #####

      > John Travolta

      ITV reported on August 15th that John Travolta may purchase a Scottish
      castle, possibly as a new Scientology center.

      "John Travolta's name has been linked with the purchase of a Scottish
      castle. The American film star is rumoured to have viewed Lee Castle in
      South Lanarkshire with a mind to buying it. There is speculation that he
      wants to turn the historic building into a centre for Scientology.

      "Lee Castle dates back to the 13th century and one of its Lairds was
      honoured for his part in in returning Robert the Bruce's heart to
      Scotland. The property boasts 14 bedrooms, a ballroom and a swimming pool.
      It stands in extensive grounds with three themed gardens, including a
      Japanese garden."

      Message-ID: <1060942328.71430@...>

      #####

      > Tom Cruise

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on August 7th that Scientology celebrity
      Tom Cruise lunched with Tampa, Florida politicians, possibly in connection
      with Scientology's recent expansion in that city.

      "Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio thought Tom Cruise, superstar and prominent
      Scientologist, just wanted to hang with her and her husband last May.
      Their dinner at a political consultant's house in Clearwater was just a
      gathering among friends, Iorio said. 'What would Tom Cruise be lobbying me
      about?' Iorio said.

      "For starters, try the Church of Scientology's plans for expansion in
      Tampa. Indeed, the church has hired a lobbyist to represent its interests
      before city government. The church needs city approval to use its center
      on Habana Avenue for some church purposes.

      "Lobbyist Todd Pressman, who filled out a lobbyist registration form to
      report a meeting with city officials on the project, said he doesn't
      consider his work lobbying. 'That's not really lobbying,' Pressman said.
      'Obviously, we have to have interaction with those officials for obvious
      reasons.' He said city officials aren't treating the church differently
      from any other property owner."

      Message-ID: <3e471c14.0308071524.f06ef0c@...>

      -end-
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