A.r.s Week in Review - 10/19/2003
Week in Review Volume 8, Issue 22
10/19/2003 by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
in the newsgroup before expiring them.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available. Subscriptions are
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Week in Review is archived at:
> PsychsPsychology Today published an article on October 8th on distrust by blacks
of the mental health profession Scientology's targeting of blacks with
"Blacks do not volunteer for studies, observes the University of Illinois'
Carl C. Bell, M.D. 'So it is difficult to document that they need half the
dose of antidepressant medication that whites need.' The cultural mistrust
that keeps blacks from treatment has been successfully fueled by the
Church of Scientology. Bell is particularly distressed that Scientology
has specifically targeted black communities with its anti-psychiatry
message. 'They are forever pumping into the black community scare tactics,
that there's a genocidal plot to put black children on Ritalin, there's a
genocidal plot to put black people on antidepressant medication.'
"But when all is said and done, it may be that blacks turn less to the
mental health system because they have long had other sources of coping.
'For us, the church has been our psychologist,' says Morrow.
Unfortunately, she notes, 'the church has not often sanctioned people
getting help other than from the church. Religious beliefs are supposed to
sustain you through everything. There's the belief that 'your faith will
carry you.'' But because African Americans 'pay attention to their
pastors' she has sought the help of the religious community to give
parishioners permission to take advantage of available treatments."
> Tim RobbinsMSNBC reported on October 6th that actor Tim Robbins helped raise money
for a Scientology-linked detoxification program for New York firefighters.
"Did Tim Robbins know he helped raise money for a group linked to
Scientology? Robbins's Actors' Gang recently performed a run of 'The Guys'
in Vail, Colorado to benefit the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification
Fund. The group has drawn fire from certain quarters because it uses
'purification' techniques developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
"'Tim Robbins should have done a little Web surfing,' says Rick Ross of
CultNews.com. 'He and Susan Sarandon may mean well but Tim was being used
as a pawn. If he had gone to this group's Web site, he would have read
that Tom Cruise is the co-founder, and that might have set off a few
bells. And he would have read that their methods of 'detoxifying'
firefighters are the ones outlined by L. Ron Hubbard.'"
> IrelandThe Sunday Mirror reported on October 5th that a Scientology recruitment
van in Dublin, Ireland is causing controversy.
"Dublin City Council has been slammed for allowing an infamous sect to
park a recruitment van on the city's busiest street. The Church of
Scientology was allowed to park its trailer at Grafton Street for 11 days.
In a bid to enrol members, they offered free personality and stress tests
from their new location as they have abandoned their building on Middle
"Mike Garde, of cult watchdog Dialogue Ireland, said the council was being
irresponsible. He said: 'It is no coincidence the group has intensified
their enrolment campaign at the same time young, vulnerable teenagers are
starting college.' Fine Gael health spokeswoman Olivia Mitchell TD said:
'It is regrettable that an organisation that preys on vulnerable students
who are away from home for the first time has been facilitated in this
> Kate CeberanoThe Sydney Morning Herald published an article on Australian musician Kate
Ceberano on October 11th.
"What did Kate Ceberano, one of Australia's highest-profile
Scientologists, really think of John Travolta's movie Battlefield Earth?
The singer's brown eyes widen, her head tilts back and she laughs
raucously. 'Oh, shithouse film!' she cackles. 'I hated that film!'
"Would she say that to Travolta, a fellow Scientologist? 'Hmm,' she says,
still shaking with laughter. 'Yeah, I'd probably tell him it was a dog.'
Travolta's big-screen adaptation of the novel by Scientology founder L.
Ron Hubbard was abysmal. But it's still something of a relief to hear
Ceberano rubbish it.
"She's a third-generation Scientologist, after all. Her latest album The
Girl Can Help It carries a dedication to Hubbard and links on her website
make her allegiances clear. But there's nothing sanctimonious about Kate
Ceberano; she makes up her own mind. After 20 years in the business, she's
grown used to journalists clearing their throat, gripping their pens a
little tighter and saying: 'So, Scientology?'
"'It's not really people who flip out [over Scientology], it's the media,'
she says calmly. 'All I know is that Scientology has been a very practical
tool to confront a very impractical world.' Specifically, Ceberano says,
personal responsibility and education are two cornerstones of the
religion. 'The ignorant can be controlled, but an educated person can have
a point of view,' she says. She also talks about confronting adversity
with a courage that 'can be learned' and endorses her religion's negative
view of psychiatry and associated drugs such as Prozac. 'I don't want to
be labelled [by a psychiatrist] and I certainly do not want to take
anything which would subdue the honesty of the situation,' she says."
> RussiaIzvestia reported on October 2nd that a program to reform psychiatric
institutions in Russia is opposed by Scientology.
"The chief Russian specialist in the field of psychiatry appealed to
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in an open letter. Psychiatric
assistance is the only branch of medicine that is not financed by medical
insurance. Therefore the majority of our pscyh patients are in asylums
like the orphanages in horror films, with no treatment or food. To what
this may lead, doctors know, and the government knows it doesn't want.
"The number of people who need help from psychiatrists is increasing every
year. The mental health of the nation is under threat, think the eminent
doctors; the human and economic loss from this outweighs the damages from
military operations in Chechnia, the scholars add.
"'All our efforts have met with opposition from the Scientologists, who
have found a way into the State Duma,' thinks professor Valeriy Krasnov,
director of the Moscow NII psychiatric MZ RF. 'The deputies, who promised
support, are now refusing to associate with us. The active role in this
opposition is played by the so-called Citizens Commissioner for Human
rights, which has gotten generally out of control in our cities,' said
Vladimir Agishev, chief doctor of one of the largest hospitals in Saint
Petersburg, psychiatric hospital No. 3. 'They mass distribute leaflets,
they write letters saying that psychiatric institutions ought not to
receive one copeck, that psychiatrists are killers and their medicine is
poison. We've had repeated conflicts with them. For example, over the
summer they took pictures through the fence and made videotapes of our
patients without consent. The heat stagnated and the patients were
half-dressed in old pajamas (purchasing finances 5 percent of the
inventory we need), and then they distributed these photographs under the
title 'here is how people are treated in psych hospitals.'
"It is known that this charitable organization is closely connected to the
totalitarian cult of Scientology, which is prohibited in our country but
finds the City of Peter a first-rate place to be. Now the hands of the
Gekachepists ['CCHRers'] have stretched to the capital, they say their
letters have even found their way to Gennadi Seleznev and they got a
resolution 'examined and announced.'"