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A.r.s Week in Review - 5/7/2000

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 5 5/7/2000 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2000 Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 2000
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      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 5
      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.
      Subscriptions are also available on ONElist. Email
      weekinreview-subscribe@onelist.com or see http://www.onelist.com
      Week in Review is archived at:


      > AFF

      The San Francisco Chronicle reported on May 1st that two sides with
      opposing views of cults met at the American Family Foundation meeting in

      "There were a few screaming matches, and a bit of the old backbiting and
      rumor mongering, but it was a largely peaceful gathering of defectors,
      devotees, heartbroken families and assorted cult experts. Anti-cult
      activists warned of 'brainwashing' and 'mind control,' while their
      opponents tell tales of violent kidnapping and coercive 'deprogramming.'

      "Fighting in the cult wars may have reached a peak three years ago, when
      lawyers and other individuals linked to the Church of Scientology, one of
      the nation's most controversial and powerful new religious movements, sued
      the Cult Awareness Network into bankruptcy. The network, which had been
      one of the most outspoken anti-cult groups, eventually had its name, files
      and hotline taken over in a campaign dominated by members of the Church of
      Scientology. Today, those who call the Cult Awareness Network hotline
      actually get an information and referral service run by the Foundation for
      Religious Freedom, a group linked to the Church of Scientology. 'That's a
      form of deception,' said Herbert Rosedale, president of the American
      Family Foundation.

      "Among those working the crowd at the weekend conference was Nancy
      O'Meara, a longtime Church of Scientology member and corporate treasurer
      of the Foundation for Religious Freedom. She insists that the 'new' Cult
      Awareness Network provides a valuable service for family members who call
      the hotline concerned about relatives who have joined a cult.

      "Leading the reconciliation between the two cult camps were Michael
      Langone, a counseling psychologist and executive director of the American
      Family Foundation, and Eileen Barker, a sociologist at the London School
      of Economics and founder of INFORM, a British charity that provides
      information about new religious movements."

      Message-ID: <8elbkg$5t9@...>


      > Freewinds Refund

      Greg and Debra Barnes reported that they have been paid a refund from an
      account they had prepaid on the Freewinds, Scientology's cruise ship.

      "Two OSA terminals delivered the checks and we actually had a good comm
      cycle with them and told them why after 20 years two OT 7's were leaving.
      We were hoping they might cog or see something in what we were saying but
      I do not think that it had any effect. It is unfortunate that the actions
      of the current management around the world have created such disdain for
      the subject of Scientology that they have no real understanding of."

      Message-ID: <8euqtm$19t@...>


      > Breaking the Bonds

      The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this week published a column by the book
      editor concerning Steve Hassan's book, Breaking the Bonds.

      "My friend Ramone the actuary has got me in trouble again. He has again
      written some wild stuff about the Church of Scientology and somehow it has
      got in the opinion columns, and now I have started to receive hate mail.
      Just this week I have had four letters of pure-d old hate, one from the
      church itself, up in St. Louis, and one even from Arkansas. One man, we'll
      call him Bradley J. Bauman of St. Louis, Mo., calls me 'truly amazing.'

      "In context he calls me 'inaccurate, trite, destructive, biting' and
      several other things that are too embarrassing to put in print. He's bent
      all out of shape because of what I've written about a Scientology book,
      Strange Trip, that went to the best-seller list last year.

      "Ramone forwarded me an e-mail this week about a new book, Releasing the
      Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, from his friend Steve
      Hassan, in which author Hassan describes his brief meeting in Boston with
      famous Scientologist John Travolta. Hassan was being interviewed on a
      Boston CBS affiliate and had just been telling the reporter of his concern
      that the upcoming movie, Battlefield Earth, was really a major effort to
      recruit new Scientology members and to promote good public relations for
      the church. Hassan says that by using one of its biggest stars,
      Scientologists could try to offset negative publicity and dwindling
      membership because of the Lisa McPherson death and subsequent lawsuits.

      "Hassan wrote: 'When I was leaving a book store, Travolta's limousine
      stopped in the middle of the street, his electric window rolled down, his
      arm came out and he waved. I ran over and handed him my book. He signed
      the cover and handed it back to me. 'I am the author, you keep it,' I told
      him, and gave it back. He seemed startled and looked at the cover. Under
      my name it says 'America's Leading Cult Counselor.' In an instant, the car
      sped away. For sure, some Scientology official is going to be yelled at
      for the breach of security. I can only hope that John actually considers
      the mind control issue and realizes that he doesn't need Scientology. I
      truly believe that deep inside he knows that and I hope he finds the
      resources to extricate himself in the near future.'

      "And then came a letter from Ellen Maher-Forney, director of community
      affairs of the church in St. Louis who is 'flabbergasted at the lengths to
      which your Mr. Gray will go to malign a religion.' She has never answered
      my earlier charge about the famous 'headless church members.' Members of
      her church appeared without heads in a picture on the church's Web site
      after their big century confab in Los Angeles. A photo manipulator
      apparently duplicated images from the crowd in an attempt to make the
      crowd appear larger and forgot to put heads on some duplications."

      Message-ID: <8eielh$e5v$1@...>


      > Battlefield Earth

      Rod Keller posted details of a secret Scientology plan to boost revenues
      for Battlefield Earth in a ticket refund scheme.

      "Scientologists are quietly being told when they go to the theater to see
      BE they are to buy extra tickets. They are then to return the unused
      tickets to a person who is designated in their area for a refund. Those
      who might seek the refund are to be asked if they would like to make that
      as a 'donation,' saving the refund costs. In some cases, some staff are
      being designated to go and buy a block of tickets, but not too many to be
      noticed, (say 6-8) and not even go but take them back to the org for the
      refund. This is to be done for several weeks.

      "Scientologists are being told to do it as a 'birthday present to Ron.'
      Some already love the idea of making it #1. They are also being told they
      can give the tickets to friends to promote Hubbard, another idea they also
      like. ASI has set aside several million dollars for this that they will
      mark off in some 'promotional' manner. The heaviest is to be done in the
      first week as that is the first make/break point and then it will go into
      week #2. In fact, there is a whole BE-promo team that has been set up to
      coordinate this, to make sure the Scientologists go and that they buy the
      extra tickets.

      "Some of the Deep Pocket boys who usually contribute large amounts are
      being hit up for this, to help cover costs. Some are doing it as
      'investment.' Now it may be thought that a few million dollars is not
      enough to do it but that is just what they are prepared to pay back to the
      Scientologists. It is up to the team to see that the Scientologists
      'donate' it.

      "DM can't leave it to promo and Travolta's name to make it a hit and he
      knows there are not enough Scientologists in the US to make it a hit so he
      has to do the same routine he used back in the 80s to make the books into
      'best sellers.' Word is out that heads will roll if BE is not the #1 hit
      movie in its opening week."

      Message-ID: <8f1a7q$rdh@...>


      > Travolta/Preson

      Star magazine reported on May 16th that Scientology may have an influence
      on the growth of the family of John Travolta and Kelly Preston.

      "John Travolta and Kelly Preston just had their second child, but they'll
      start working on number three as soon as possible. Their Scientology
      counselor suggested that four kids is the perfect family for them."

      Message-ID: <39158842.140535@...>


      > Dallas Celebrity Center

      The The Dallas Morning News reported on May 3rd that the Dallas Celebrity
      Center has moved to a new location.

      "The buzz started when the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre moved
      into an old, quirky mansion at Buckner Boulevard and Dixie Lane, about a
      mile east of White Rock Lake. 'I have no idea what a 'Celebrity Centre'
      is, but I haven't seen anyone famous around here yet,' said Mark McCord,
      who lives nearby. The church's new home is in a landmark estate named
      'Grandwick' by a former owner because it reminded him of a castle in
      Germany. The gaudy 10,000-square-foot home built with numerous
      architectural styles has had many incarnations through the years. It
      became an overgrown, rundown eyesore, then was transformed into an ornate,
      eccentric home with an outdoor wedding chapel and a ballroom that doubled
      as a banquet room and reception hall. For a while, it was a bed and

      "A spokesman said the Church of Scientology has spent about a half-million
      dollars to purchase and remodel the rambling house and devoted a lot of
      time to working with residents to ensure a smooth transition into the
      neighborhood. 'When we bought the property, we talked to neighbors
      individually, interviewed them and answered their questions,' said Scott
      Gordon, the church's director of public relations in Dallas.

      "Mr. Gordon said the Celebrity Centre church provides a secluded place for
      artists and professionals to study and seek spiritual growth. It has had
      weekend open houses for neighbors and potential members, he said, but a
      grand opening has been pushed back until late summer to allow more time to
      complete renovations.

      "Detractors of the church say Scientology is a moneymaking cult, but
      members say it is attacked because, at nearly 50 years old, Scientology is
      still a new religion. There are 12 Celebrity Centres 'across the planet,'
      with the largest in Hollywood, where many of its members are in the
      entertainment industry, Mr. Gordon said.

      "The garage has been transformed into an area for 'purification rundown,'
      which includes a sauna, exercise and diet to rid the body of toxins, part
      of a Scientology drug-rehabilitation program. Bedrooms have been divided
      into small counseling or 'auditing' rooms. There, church officials use a
      device called an E-meter - which they say reads thoughts - to eliminate
      negative mental images and help parishioners achieve a 'clear state.'

      "One thing about the house won't change: The Last Supper, etched in a
      10-by-4-foot glass window in the dining room. Grandwick's former owner
      commissioned an artist who spent a year working on the property, etching
      and sandblasting the 700-pound piece of glass. Currently, it is covered
      up by a wall of bookcases full of Dianetics and other Hubbard teachings.
      Soon, Mr. Gordon said, the room will be a chapel, and the bookcases will
      be moved."

      Message-ID: <kcc0hsgu6lj64l2pin4m2tjlnp9cbrt27p@...>


      > Cruise/Kidman

      Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are still Scientologists, according to
      reports from the Internet Movie Database.

      "Couple TOM CRUISE and NICOLE KIDMAN have slammed reports they have quit
      the Church of Scientology. Cruise and Kidman have hit back at the reports
      insisting they are still 'very involved.' Spokeswomen for Cruise JENNIFER
      ALLAN says, 'Neither Tom or Nicole are too irritated by these reports but
      they do want people to know they are both still very involved with the
      church. Any reports that they are splitting are unfounded and untrue and
      both Nicole and Tom are still members of the Church of Scientology.'"

      The Sunday Times reported that a new book reveals details of Tom Cruise's
      publicity tactics, and those of Lisa Marie Presley.

      "As Jeannette Walls, the gossip columnist for the American MSNBC cable
      channel, reveals in her book, Dish: The Inside Story on the World of
      Gossip, it is just as likely to be the stars who have supplied the
      tittle-tattle themselves. Walls reports that when MTV was working on an
      expose of alternative religions Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley, called
      the station. She told them bluntly that if they were tough on scientology,
      they would lose access to Jackson's music.

      "Pat Kingsley is the self-styled dominatrix of movie PR. Walls calls her
      the 'most loathed woman in Hollywood' and claims in her book that Kingsley
      not only gets to decide which journalists can interview her stars, but
      also controls what they can write about. With Cruise, for example, she has
      insisted that journalists sign contracts that he will not be presented 'in
      a negative or derogatory manner', which pretty much precludes anything

      "Walls describes how, over the years, Kingsley has astutely used the
      press's desperation to get access to Cruise as a way of shielding him from
      unwanted questions about his membership of the Church of Scientology and
      false rumours about his sexual orientation. It is even suggested that
      Kingsley allowed false stories to circulate that portrayed the actor as a
      hero. At the time of the release of Mission: Impossible, it was reported
      that Cruise had saved the lives of a French family whose yacht had
      exploded off Capri. But according to the Italian coast guard, Cruise was
      not involved in the rescue at all - all he did was visit the family in

      Message-ID: <391efcaa.29945200@...>
      Message-ID: <CA08C97CAA0107EA.464B0549CF808542.D80A43483513BC98@...>


      > Germany

      Fuldaer Zeitung reported on April 28th that Renate Hartwig gave a
      presentation on the dangers of Scientology in Fulda.

      "In the 'Cinestar' theater complex in Fulda, Renate Hartwig called for
      more civil courage in the battle against Scientology. The city and
      district associations of the Youth Union had invited the well-known book
      author and anti-Scientology campaigner for an evening's presentation.

      "In a one and a half hour presentation, the well-known book author and
      independent journalist described the origins of Scientology and vividly
      and vivaciously reported on her own experiences with the fight against the
      organization. The origins of Scientology had been 'fraudulent in
      advance,' according to Hartwig. In 1950, the science fiction author
      Lafayette Ronald Hubbard published the book, 'Dianetics.' In 1954, the
      'Church of Scientology' arose from the ever growing organization. But the
      true goal of Scientology, she said, was the establishment of a
      totalitarian system, a dictatorship. 'Scientology is no Lady Bug Club. It
      is an organization with its own intelligence agency, penal camps in the
      USA, and countless cover companies,' Hartwig warned.

      "She said her constant activities to expose the true goals of Scientology
      and to exercise criticism with regard to the organization had been
      accompanied by campaigns of libel and strategies of slander by
      Scientology. 'I have experienced it myself,' said Hartwig. She said her
      three children had also been targets of Scientology. 'It is not enough
      that we just talk about Scientology,' the speaker stressed, 'we have to
      recognize that something ideological is happening here.' She founded the
      protective association 'Robin Direkt e.V.' together with her husband."

      Tilman Hausherr reported on his visit to the Berlin Scientology

      "On Schloss Street in Berlin-Steglitz there were friendly people passing
      out leaflets and balloons, as well as a clown who was driving a junky car
      that was falling apart and a gray-haired minder. Walking into the
      exhibition, I was immediately greeted, and one of the people showed me the
      sequence in which I should look at the texts in the room so that I would
      not have 'misunderstood words.' In one room a video tape of Scientology
      founder L. Ron Hubbard was playing, of all they could have shown, they had
      the one where he had green lips. There were also many photographs of him,
      even the one with the tomatoes.

      "Several Scientologists were talking among themselves in one corner; it
      was about some kind of counter-demonstration which was supposed to have
      happened somewhere. It was unclear whether it was in Berlin or in Hamburg.
      The high point of the exhibition was a demonstration on the Quantum
      E-Meter. A woman did the pinch test. The indicator needle was actually
      moving a little bit back and forth, regardless of anything she did or
      said. I could not make out a connection. That was not the case with her at
      all. What struck me, however, was that the needle reacted to even the
      tiniest hand movement. The woman said that one could make out the
      difference between a physical and a spiritual reaction on the e-meter. In
      the scope of the discussion she also speculated that one could also audit
      animals, e.g., calm down dogs.

      "I told one of the others that I had already heard a lot about Scientology
      from the press and even once from the 'other side.' I told her that I had
      learned things from the internet, from both Scientology and the critics,
      namely www.xenu.net. She said she didn't know that site."

      The Washington Post reported on May 4th on a report issued by a U.S. Trade
      Representative which criticizes Germany for "sect filters", a system of
      signed statements that allow people to be sure that a business does not
      use L. Ron Hubbard's methods of administration.

      "Escalating a long dispute over religious freedom, the United States has
      formally alleged that certain contracting practices of the German
      government unfairly discriminate against members of the Church of
      Scientology. In a report to Congress this week, U.S. trade officials
      challenged a German policy under which companies seeking certain training
      and consulting contracts can be disqualified if they refuse to sign 'sect
      filter' statements.

      "Juergen Chrobog, the German ambassador to the United States, defended the
      policy yesterday. The measure 'is not focused on membership in the
      Scientology Organization,' he said in a statement, 'but is instead
      designed to rule out the possibility that [Scientology founder] Ron
      Hubbard's methods, which seek to psychologically influence behavior,
      psychologically manipulate or oppress individuals, could be used for
      training or consulting purposes.'

      "The report, submitted by the office of U.S. Trade Representative Charlene
      Barshefsky, said this practice could discriminate against U.S. companies
      seeking government contract work in Germany and is spreading beyond
      government contracting into the private sector."

      From Reuters on May 2nd:

      "The Church of Scientology hailed on Tuesday fresh U.S. criticism of
      Germany for using a 'sect filter' to keep companies with any links to
      Scientology from doing business with the German government. The U.S.-based
      organization said in a statement that what it called Washington's
      'denunciation of German procurement practices targeting Scientologists'
      was 'the most unequivocal and comprehensive to date.' 'It indicates that
      in the view of the U.S. government, such practices threaten American
      trade,' it added.

      "The U.S. report also noted that while the procurement guidelines applied
      only to the German federal government, state-level entities and private
      firms appeared to be using sect filters too. At least one major U.S.
      supplier has been forced to undergo a qualification process significantly
      more extensive than that required of its competitors, the U.S. trade
      representative said."

      From the text of the Trade Representative's report:

      "Policy guidance issued by the German Federal Government has raised
      concerns about a potential for discrimination against U.S. firms in
      procurement decisions by German entities. In September 1998, the Federal
      Economics Ministry issued procurement guidelines to be put into effect by
      all Federal Government Ministries. These procurement guidelines warn that
      a firm should be deemed 'unreliable' if it refuses to sign a so-called
      sect filter. The filter requires a firm's leadership to attest that
      Scientology principles will not be used or spread in fulfillment of any
      contract; that the leadership of a firm will not recommend or approve
      participation in courses or seminars relating to Scientology principles
      during the course of business; and that firms reject Scientology
      principles in conjunction with any subsidiary. Procurement entities are
      permitted to reject bids and immediately terminate contracts if a firm
      does not sign the sect filter. Upon learning of the sect filter
      requirements, the Administration raised its concerns with the German
      Government and continues to press the Germans to repeal this
      discriminatory policy."

      Giessener Anzeiger reported on May 4th that German Federal President
      Johannes Rau sees misunderstanding in German/U.S. relations, but no

      "Rau gave this assessment at the start of his three day visit to the USA
      before the press in Washington. 'We need a trans-Atlantic partnership with
      equal rights whereby Europe, not Germany, is the USA's partner,' said Rau.
      In that connection, he said, it was regrettable that 'Europe was not yet
      of one mind with regards to foreign politics and security politics.'

      "Rau counted the understandings of religious congregations among the
      'acceptable and explicit differences' between Germany and the USA. In the
      case of Scientology he said that 'no religious substance was present.' The
      Federal President said, 'The fact that someone calls themselves a church
      does not make them a church.'"

      Stuttgarter Zeitung reported on April 29th that a woman was accidentally
      given the name of a Scientology recruiter when applying for work at a
      Labor Office in Nuertingen.

      "Through oversight a staff member from the Goeppingen Labor Office gave
      out the name of a recruiter from the Dianetics Stuttgart Association, Inc.
      Behind Dianetics Stuttgart, Inc. is concealed the Stuttgart Scientology
      center. Apparently, that is not known to several staff members of the
      labor office. The woman had made an inquiry in the Employer Information
      Service (AIS) to find an opening. Instead of reporting to Dianetics, as
      the Labor Office recommended, the woman called up the charitable
      association 'Aktion Bildungsinformation' (ABI). Their chief, Eberhard
      Kleinmann, had already had sharp words of criticism for the Goeppinger
      Labor Office because it had forwarded an office cleaning lady from
      Filderstadt an online offer from Dianetics. Now the ABI has again made the
      president of the labor office aware of events. 'We are getting the
      impression that Scientology has been increasing advertisement to target
      those who are looking for work.' As another instance, a job seeker was
      also send to Dianetics in December. She did not receive anything about
      work there, though, but instead was offered personality training for cash.

      "All staff were made aware of Scientology and instructed not to hand out
      the names of their recruiters. Presumably the address had slipped by in
      the course of daily business, 'Dozens of inquiries are made every day
      through AIS.'"

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000501161143.125A-100000@...>
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      > Austria

      Der Standard reported on May 3rd that Scientology held an exhibit in
      Vienna at the stock exchange.

      "Visitors were told to 'think for themselves' so that they would 'find out
      what Scientology really is.' That is because 'Scientology is very
      interested in improving the cultural and social climate,' as the Austrian
      chairman, Peter Fleischer, stated. The controversial organization is
      recorded in Austria as being an association but 'Naturally we regard
      ourselves as religion.' It was also stated that there are 'more than 5,000
      volunteer clergy people who would help during catastrophe. The goal was
      said to be a 'civilization without insanity, without crime and without
      war.' At the exhibition, next to the writings of Scientology founder L.
      Ron Hubbard, an 'e-meter' could be seen. This 'e-meter' was said to
      measure 'spiritual torment.'"

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000503200155.118A-100000@...>


      > Flag Land Base

      A synopsis of Flag Land Base News was posted to a.r.s this week.

      "On Friday, March 17th, thousands poured into Ruth Eckerd hall. The gift
      LRH always wanted most for his birthday is the expansion of Scientology.
      It became clear that we are expanding faster than ever before, and this IS
      the Scientology Millennium.

      "C of the B with moving tributes to LRH included scores of examples of how
      LRH social reform technology is impacting society and countless lives in
      places as diverse as the Dominican Republic, where LRH study is being
      implemented in schools. to reforms in criminal rehabilitation in Mexico,
      implementation of LRH admin tech in Africa and much more.

      "Mr Marc Yager [announced] expansion statistics, which included 43 new
      missions being opened since the beginning of the year. CoB RTC announced
      that the Tokyo Org had achieved the size of old Saint Hill.

      "Recognizing that a group of OT's is invincible and necessary to really
      clear this planet, many Flag OT's have decided to do the sensible thing -
      join the Sea Org and forward the boom! 'Since the Golden Age of Tech for
      OT, the statistics at the Flag Advanced Org have been soaring in the only
      direction you'd expect statistics from an OT org to go - UP!"

      Message-ID: <131b1fd0.eeaebb3e@...>


      > Fiction

      Scientology announced that an L. Ron Hubbard story will be distributed in
      a new streaming format over the Internet.

      "Storyteller Online, Inc. announced today it will offer L. Ron Hubbard's
      fast-paced action story of the American West -- 'Six-Gun Caballero' -- in
      a new, cutting-edge, streaming media format for delivery over the
      Internet, under a licensing pact with Author Services, Inc.. Streaming
      media is the vastly popular technology which allows a user to hear sound,
      video or text over the Internet without lengthy download times.

      "Storyteller Online said that the hard-hitting action of 'Six Gun
      Caballero' will unfold in a completely new format that synchronizes -- and
      highlights -- each line of text with the richly versatile audio narration
      by veteran film and television actor Geoffrey Lewis. A vividly colorful
      illustration will also depict a scene from each chapter of Hubbard's
      rousing yarn of the Old West."

      Message-ID: <8endtg$sal$1@...>


      > Switzerland

      Tagesanzeiger announced on April 27 that Scientology is leaving its
      location in Zurich.

      "The controversial Scientology psycho-sect began on Friday to vacate its
      Information and Test Center on 41 Badener Street. To be sure, the American
      organization will soon be opening a new information center downtown. Where
      the stubborn street missionaries will be hunting for customers in the
      future, though, is still not known.

      "The Hubbard adherents were sub-lessees of the Neuburg sports shop, whose
      contract with Paradeplatz real estate has run out. Their departure gives
      primarily the surrounding businesses and residents reason to celebrate.
      'When the Scientologists stood in front of our shop with their leaflets,
      some pedestrians would go over to the other side of the street,' said a
      sales lady from an adjacent business. 'In the beginning we had to shoo
      them away, later we just had to give them the 'look',' reported an
      employee from a different shop. 'I called the police on them once,' chimed
      in her colleague. District Association President Max Kuenzig also
      expressed his relief at the prospect."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000502205342.118A-100000@...>


      > Los Angeles

      From letters to the editor of the Los Angeles Times on May 5th:

      "I applaud Marcela Rojas and the Westside Weekly for their unbiased
      coverage of the Scientology Surf Club's hard work cleaning beaches,
      donating money and raising public awareness of environmental causes. The
      booklet the club distributes on beaches, L. Ron Hubbard's 'The Way to
      Happiness,' contains 21 common-sense precepts. It is unfortunate the
      Malibu council failed to add its name to the more than 2,800
      municipalities and service organizations that publicly recognize Mr.
      Hubbard's humanitarian works. - JON VON GUNTEN, Seven Hills

      "I read the article in the Westside Weekly written on April 21 by Marcela
      Rojas about Scientologists helping clean up the beach. I would like to
      correct one thing, and that is to say Scientology is a 'moneymaking
      venture' is not only false, but creates hatred and defamation toward our
      group. Having studied and used the tools of Scientology in my life for
      30-some years, I know first hand that we are an active group who does
      believe in bettering our world. - TORY BEZAZIAN, Burbank "

      Message-ID: <8euqga$19t@...>


      > Lisa McPherson

      The Tampa Tribune reported on May 6th that the trial in the Lisa McPherson
      civil case has been postponed

      "A wrongful death trial involving the Church of Scientology, scheduled for
      June, has been postponed indefinitely. The church recently asked a
      Hillsborough circuit judge for a delay, saying it needed more time to
      prepare. The church also said it expected the trial to last longer than
      the earlier estimate of five weeks."

      Message-ID: <20000506183503.6511.qmail@...>


      > Bob Minton

      Bob Minton posted details of his financial dealings in Nigeria, which are
      under attack by Scientology.

      "'The Scientology Fashanu Report' is a worthless piece of crap that even
      the PRESENT Nigerian Government has no interest in pursuing as it relates
      to anything to do with the buyback I was involved with. Scientology is
      feeding this bullshit everywhere, even to Washington but nobody is
      listening which is why you can read it all on ARS.

      "The total amount of debt purchased for Nigeria by any companies which I
      or my fellow shareholders was involved with amounted to US Dollars
      4,447,524,747 at a cost to Nigeria of US Dollars 1,548,577,891. That means
      an average price to Nigeria of 34.819 percent. The companies I was
      involved with made a fraction of one percent commission on the debt we
      purchased NOT 30+ percent. Every item in 'The Fashanu Scientology Report'
      is based on the lie that we bought at 10 percent and sold for 40+ percent
      to Nigeria.

      "The Nigerian Central Bank led by the then Governor Ahmed, Deputy Governor
      Ismalia Usman (today, Nigeria's Minister of Finance) and many others like
      a Mr. Animashawan were the most honest people I have ever dealt with. They
      were a credit to Nigeria and totally atypical of the African stereotype
      Scientology and others would have you believe. General Babangida (IBB) who
      was the Nigerian ruler when we did this business, made a very wise
      decision to approve the buyback plan we presented to the Central Bank of
      Nigeria. It saved Nigeria billions of US Dollars and no matter how much
      the Church of Scientology tries to spin it."

      Message-ID: <1659hs4793qq0r4a11ag05r68nah0vtgb2@...>


      > Protest Summary

      Bruce Pettycrew reported a protest at the Mesa, Arizona org this week.

      "Kathy and I picketed the house of ill repute operated by the Co$ in Mesa.
      We were there from 8:30 to 9:30. During that time 9 cars and 1 bicycle
      arrived, for a total of 13 people."

      Kristi Wachter protested in San Francisco.

      "Picketers: Kristi Wachter, Peaches, Phr Number of Handouts given away:

      "I arranged my various fliers inside my 'What part of KNOW don't you
      understand?' bookbag, donned my sandwich sign ('SCIENTOLOGY HURTS PEOPLE',
      with 'SCIENTOLOGISTS CONVICTED *AGAIN*!' on the back), picked up my picket
      www.scientology-lies.com ' and 'SCIENTOLOGY: -> CONVICTED <- OF LYING -
      LEARN THE TRUTH www.scientology-lies.com', same as last time), stuffed my
      inflatable alien's feet under the straps of my backpack, and headed out
      the door.

      "I arrived at the org at 12:05 and began picketing. There was a police van
      parked in one of the three spaces in front of the org, making it difficult
      for passing cars to see me, so I tended to hang out a little to the west
      of the org; there's a broad walkway there where Leavenworth Street
      dead-ends, and most of the pedestrian traffic goes through there.

      "Around 1 pm or so Jeff Quiros appeared, striding purposefully toward the
      org with an attache case in each hand. I greeted him and smiled and said
      'Nice to see you!' and he smiled back. Shortly thereafter, he emerged to
      take pictures while Peaches and I were talking with a passerby. I noticed
      the camera and began waving and smiling. Unfortunately, Jeff's batteries
      weren't working properly. I offered to lend him mine, but he graciously

      "A gentleman said he had gone in three times, and 'within a minute and a
      half all they could think about was money,' so he became disgusted with
      them and left. A gentleman who stopped to talk with us while Jeff Quiros
      was taking pictures said he had seen the help wanted sign and needed a
      job, so he went in and took the 200-question test and then found out the
      job involved selling Scientology books and courses and he left. Years
      later, he passed by when they were offering the 'stress test' and he said
      the lady doing the demo had pinched his arm so hard that the mark never
      went away."

      Message-ID: <K40R4.101050$U4.840166@...>
      Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.21.0005061923530.63025-100000@...>


      > Weekly Planet

      Tampa's Weekly Planet newspaper published an article this week on the St.
      Petersburg Times' coverage of Scientology.

      "When freelance journalist Anita Romeo proposed a story to the St.
      Petersburg Times about an artist living in Clearwater, it seemed like an
      easy hit on a slow ball for the writer. The artist is Jessica Rockwell, a
      distant cousin of one of America's most beloved painters, Norman Rockwell.
      In about 500 words, Romeo gave a snapshot of Jessica Rockwell and last
      month handed in a draft of her story.

      "Romeo says Sutton demanded to know if Rockwell was a Scientologist. 'This
      was a story about an artist, not her religion,' Romeo says. 'You wouldn't
      ask an artist about their religion unless it had something to do with the
      art. And, with Jessica, that wasn't the case.'

      "What is the case is that the Times and its rival across the bay, The
      Tampa Tribune, have long been accused of unrelenting bias against some
      minority groups. The newspapers seldom acknowledge, much less ever
      publicly discuss, accusations of unfair reporting. Scientologists complain
      they get far different treatment by the Times than other religions
      considered more mainstream. For example, some local Catholic, Methodist
      and Baptist clergy have all been charged with sensational crimes in recent
      years. Yet the Times would never suggest - as the newspaper's loudest
      columnist, Mary Jo Melone, did on Nov. 22, 1998, about Scientology - that
      the Christian denominations' beliefs were 'mumbo jumbo.'

      "The Times, which has long helped whip up antagonism against the church,
      has failed to fully acknowledge how off base it was in some reporting
      despite, for example, recent courtroom reversals that have favored
      Scientologists. In recent years, with Scientology, the Times has abandoned
      dispassionate reporting and investigation in favor of shrill attacks.
      Columns by Melone and editorials trumpet that the religion is a fraud or
      is likely a lawbreaker. Articles overwhelmingly focus on the negative -
      often sacrificing logic and balance in the process.

      "The Times has used the blunderbuss reporting of Lucy Morgan to find
      something ominous in a single suicide of a Scientologist far, far away in
      Lyon, France - yet the paper seldom takes serious looks at religious
      connections to the many suicides each year in St. Petersburg. Morgan was
      also tapped to breathlessly report that eight Scientologists had died
      while visiting Clearwater during the last two decades - never questioning
      whether that was a meaningful number compared to the thousands of acolytes
      who have visited the church headquarters.

      "Most significant, the Times has published dozens of articles repeating
      the claims that the church was responsible for the 1995 death of
      parishioner Lisa McPherson. Editorials and columns underscored the
      newspaper's unstated but apparent assumption that it had nailed the
      church. 'The Church of Scientology is not above the law. Their bullying
      tactics should not deter law enforcement officials from finding out what
      really happened to Lisa McPherson,' an editorial declared on Jan. 25,

      "There is no written policy at the Times that proclaims Scientologists are
      outside the pale of fair reporting. Then again, as many journalism critics
      have pointed out, prejudice in newsrooms doesn't need to be codified in
      order to be very real. The late University of California professor,
      Herbert Schiller, in Culture, Inc.: The Corporate Takeover of Public
      Expression, decried 'the education of journalists and other media
      professionals, built-in penalties and rewards for doing what is expected,
      norms presented as objective rules, and the occasional but telling direct
      intrusion from above. The main lever is the internalization of values.' In
      other words, the Times' unwritten rules encourage columnist Melone's raw,
      screeching bigotry. The same culture silently signals editors such as
      Sutton that they had better not let a positive spin on Scientology get
      into the paper."

      Message-ID: <8esu69$2e3$1@...>


      > Sweden

      Reuters reported on May 4th that Sweden will allow Scientologists to marry

      "Sweden, one of only a handful of countries to recognize the Church of
      Scientology as a 'religious community,' has granted its ministers the
      right to perform marriages, the Los Angeles-based organization said on
      Thursday. The Rev. Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology
      International, welcomed Thursday's move by the Swedish National Judicial
      Board for Public Lands and Funds as a 'milestone for the Church of
      Scientology in Europe and for religious freedom.'"

      Message-ID: <8eum6p$i8f@...>

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