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A.r.s Week in Review - 8/24/2003

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 18 8/24/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2003 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 24, 2003
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 18
      8/24/2003 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

      #####

      > Lisa McPherson

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on August 20th and 21st that the trial
      in the breach of contract case against the attorneys for the estate of
      Lisa McPherson was held in Clearwater this week.

      "Large and imposing, Church of Scientology attorney Samuel Rosen stood
      before a Pinellas County jury Tuesday, arms waving, voice booming.
      Pointing at Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar, he growled to jurors that Dandar had
      taken a 'garden variety' wrongful death lawsuit and allowed a church
      critic to turn it into 'a frontal attack on an entire religion.' Now,
      Rosen said, Dandar must be punished. And real punishment, he told jurors,
      doesn't even begin until they force Dandar to pay Scientology more than
      $2-million.

      "The battle stems from the wrongful death lawsuit Dandar filed on behalf
      of the estate of Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died in 1995 after 17
      days of care at the church's spiritual headquarters in downtown
      Clearwater. Church officials cried foul when, more than two years into the
      wrongful death case, Dandar sought to add as defendants several top church
      officials, including the church's worldwide leader, David Miscavige. The
      ensuing bad publicity was devastating to Scientology, church officials
      said. It also violated a private agreement between the church and the
      McPherson estate not to add additional defendants, church attorneys
      contended. So the church sued.

      "Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge W. Douglas Baird agreed that the private
      agreement was breached. Now, the jury will decide how much Dandar and the
      estate owe the church in damages.

      "Dandar said his case has been handicapped because Judge Baird would not
      allow the jury to hear, among other things, why he attempted to add
      Miscavige. Dandar has said in the past that he based his attempt to add
      Miscavige as a defendant on the testimony of a former, high-ranking church
      official who said decisions about McPherson's care would have come from
      top church officials. 'This jury does not have the full picture,' Dandar
      said after jurors had left for the day."

      "A tiny smile creased Ken Dandar's face as a clerk read the first count of
      the jury verdict. Compensatory damages he owed the Church of Scientology:
      $4,500. Dandar knew then he had won. The grin widened and Dandar began to
      playfully pat his attorney, Luke Lirot, as the clerk read through the rest
      of the counts. The amount he was obligated to pay the church in punitive
      damages: zero. The legal team assembled by the Church of Scientology sat
      silently, then quickly filed out of the courtroom.

      "The church claimed Dandar was paid $2,050,000 from a wealthy church
      critic to turn a 'garden variety' wrongful death case into a broad attack
      on Scientology by naming the church's worldwide leader, David Miscavige,
      as a defendant. The jury didn't buy it. After less than 21/2 hours of
      deliberation, the jury concluded no punitive damages were warranted.

      "Jury forewoman Kandice Brockmeyer, a Pinellas-Pasco assistant public
      defender, said the church's legal team did not nail down its case. 'They
      asked us to speculate on a lot,' Brockmeyer said. 'They didn't show us
      enough proof. We spent a lot of time looking at the bills,' Brockmeyer
      said of the jury's decision to award the church $4,500. 'This is what we
      thought was reasonable and necessary.' The jury took issue with the
      expenses incurred by out-of-town attorneys who appeared to duplicate
      services of the church's local legal team, she said. Summing up the case,
      Brockmeyer said, 'It came down to the big law firm versus the little law
      firm.'

      "Dandar considered the verdict personal vindication. 'They wanted to hold
      me out as an example to people who file suit against them,' Dandar said.

      "Several hours after the verdict, church spokesman Ben Shaw issued a brief
      response: 'We're exploring our options, including the effect of 40
      violations of court orders by Mr. Dandar and Mr. Lirot and their
      cumulative effect on the jury.' Shaw would not elaborate."

      Message-ID: <3e471c14.0308200025.2d023816@...>
      Message-ID: <1061460979.132855@...>

      #####

      > Belgium

      Agence France Presse reported on August 18th that Scientology plans to
      open a new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

      "The Church of Scientology will open in mid-September a new office
      'devoted to humans rights' in a building located near the European
      institutions in Brussels. For Marc Bromberg, the goal of this new office
      is 'to present, in the form of a permanent exposure, the activities of the
      Church of Scientology as regards rehabilitation of the drug addicts and
      the criminals, of fight against the illiteracy and the general decline of
      morality.'

      "'We want to also show our actions for the defense of humans rights and
      the denunciation of the psychiatric abuses,' affirmed Martin Weightman.
      The building, a beautiful building of two floors recently renovated which
      will be officially inaugurated on September 17, was in particular selected
      for its proximity with the European Parliament, according to Mr.
      Weightman."

      Message-ID: <3f430b06$0$26378$626a54ce@...>

      #####

      > Drug Free Marshals

      La Prensa San Diego reported on August 22nd that the San Diego, California
      Police Department participated in an anti-crime night with Scientology's
      Drug Free Marshals program.

      "On Tuesday, August 5th, the San Diego Police Department's Central
      Division celebrated National Night Out with a Crime-Free Walk from police
      headquarters in downtown to Central division's station in Logan Heights.
      Public Officials, community leaders, local organizations and churches came
      together to walk with the police to celebrate community spirit,
      cooperation and commitment for safer neighborhoods.

      "The Drug-Free Marshals, kids who have taken the pledge to be drug-free,
      passed out badges and drug educational booklets on Cocaine, Ecstasy and
      Marijuana. Community Relations Officer Gary Gonzalez for the Heights area
      said, 'The event was a total success. It not only brought an opportunity
      to address crime issues, but it also gave the youth the opportunity to
      take the pledge to be drug-free. There's a nexus with drugs on almost
      every crime we have. If we address the drug issue, crime will slowly
      decrease. The pledge done by the Drug-Free Marshals program (sponsored by
      the Church of Scientology) is a perfect example of how community and youth
      can band together to fight drugs and crime. For next year's event, we want
      more neighborhoods to participate in the National Night Out.'"

      Message-ID: <1061643394.181229@...>

      #####

      > Safe Harbor

      Hamburger Morgenpost reported on August 2nd that a new Scientology group
      aimed at alternatives to Psychiatric treatment has been established in
      Hamburg, Germany.

      "The Safe Harbor association was recently founded in Hamburg. It is a
      cover organization for the sect that serves only one purpose: to
      infiltrate new social groups and to spread to crazy ideas of Ron Hubbard,
      the sect's founder. After drug addicts it is now the turn of the mentally
      ill.

      "'The case is exemplary,' said Rudiger Hintze from the Working Group
      Scientology at the Department for Domestic Affairs. 'We can see here what
      cunning methods Scientology uses to try to tie people to the organization
      and to spread Hubbard's ideology.'

      "Melanie Herff from Hamburg studied nutrition therapy in London - a
      science that is based on the assumption that most psychiatric disorders
      have physical causes. And that depression and schizophrenia need not
      always be treated with psychopharmaceuticals - that instead it is often
      only a matter of the right diet. Melanie Herff had only just returned to
      Hamburg after finishing her studies when the Scientologists started to
      take note of her. She received an invitation to attend the inaugural
      meeting of an association called Safe Harbor in a hotel in Ochsenzoll.
      So Melanie Herff went along, presented a paper - and before she knew it
      she had been proposed as chairwoman. She felt honored - and agreed to
      stand for election. Something she now very much regrets.

      "Scientology's strategy has long been to set up organizations that at
      first sight promote good causes. They try to get people on board who are
      already working in that subject area. The sect for instance used the
      Ritalin debate to recruit allies against hated psychiatry. The 'EIFFRIG'
      association was set up to fight alleged human rights violations in
      Germany. And 'Narkonon' carries the veneer of a well-meaning anti-drugs
      program. All these organizations are designed to find new victims for
      infiltration with Ron Hubbard's so-called 'technology.'

      "Melanie Herff became suspicious shortly after she was elected. 'I soon
      thought the people and what they were saying was pretty strange. And so I
      did some research on the Internet.' The results were alarming. She
      suddenly realized that she had unwittingly become a pawn of the
      Scientologists. The Working Group Scientology at the Department for
      Domestic Affairs had known for some weeks about the ScientologistsÂ’ plan
      to set up Safe Harbor. Thanks to Melanie Herff the Working Group now has
      information about the leaders. 'I don't want to be made to work for
      Scientology,' said Melanie Herff to explain why she left. She asked the
      association in writing to delete her name and her personal data and to
      refrain from any future contact.

      Message-ID: <RJV6211A37850.3731944444@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      The New York Post reported on August 20th that members of a laborer's
      union protested outside a New York Scientology org building to protest
      their selection of building contractors.

      "Members of Laborers' Local 78 installed their familiar giant inflatable
      rat in front of the Church of Scientology's headquarters at 2 W. 43rd St.
      yesterday. 'We're exposing them for being frauds,' says the union local's
      business manager, Sal Speziale. Frauds? Well, it's not what you think.
      'They hired a non-union company - Asbestos and Lead Inc. - that exploits
      immigrant workers,' he says."

      Message-ID: <8es6kv0k47g3uitplgp6gpftuvprvc036n@...>

      #####

      > Saint Hill

      Web site Thisiskentandeastsussex.co.uk reported on August 15th that a
      week-long music festival was held at the Saint Hill Manor Scientology
      compound in East Grinstead, England.

      "The week-long festival, now in its 12th year, began with the traditional
      opening night classical concert, featuring artists from Budapest and
      Vienna as well as London and East Grinstead.

      "Following words of welcome from the executive director Robin Hogarth and
      executive producer Sheila Gaiman, Liz Nyegaard, of the L. Ron Hubbard
      Foundation, spoke of Mr. Hubbard's outstanding contribution to the arts
      through his music, photography and writings. Messages of good wishes and
      encouragement for the festival participants were received from celebrities
      including soul legend Issac Hayes and star of the film Carmen, Julia
      Migenes, and were read to guests by Krystyna Louw, vice-president of
      Celebrity Centre in the United States.

      "Participants and performers from over 10 different countries were
      attending an extensive variety of workshops this week, on subjects ranging
      from dance, acrobatics and drama, to painting screenwriting and singing."

      Message-ID: <d539d572.0308190841.5f324e14@...>

      #####

      > World Trade Centers

      Vail Daily reported on August 16th that Scientology is raising funds in
      Vail, Colorado to help fund a detoxification center established in New
      York to treat workers at the World Trade Centers disaster site.

      "New York firefighter Joe Higgins can no longer fight fires. He
      involuntarily retired from the New York Fire Department shortly after
      responding to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center because of
      health problems caused by a variety of toxins released when the
      skyscrapers collapsed. Five New York firefighters and emergency medical
      services personnel who suffered physically and mentally from the tragedy
      of Sept. 11 visited the Vail Valley Tuesday. They attended a fund raiser
      Tuesday night.

      "The toxins released after the buildings came down caused many to suffer
      asthma, heart conditions and trauma. 'These guys weren't sleeping, they
      weren't eating and they couldn't exercise,' said Joanie Sigel, a
      spokeswoman for the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Fund. 'In
      September 2002, we opened a detoxification clinic in downtown Manhattan
      with more than 150 rescue workers who received the detox.'

      "The detoxification clinic is part of a research project that was founded
      more than 20 years ago to help remove drugs and residuals from the body,
      said Jim Woodworth, director of operations for the New York Rescue Workers
      Detoxificiation Project. Two clinics were set up in Los Angeles by medical
      doctors who used L. Ron Hubbard's method of detoxification.

      "The program involves a precise regimen of daily sauna bathing and
      exercise along with vitamin-, mineral- and oil-supplements, he said.
      Through sweat, excretion and glands, the toxins leave the body, Higgins
      said. The detoxification program might be one of the leading, cutting edge
      projects in the country, Gulick said."

      Message-ID: <3e471c14.0308170638.3a8521aa@...>

      -end-
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