A.r.s Week in Review - 5/7/2000
Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 5
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 also available on ONElist. Email
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Week in Review is archived at:
> AFFThe 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
"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."
> Freewinds RefundGreg 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."
> Breaking the BondsThe 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."
> Battlefield EarthRod 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
"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
"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."
> Travolta/PresonStar 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."
> Dallas Celebrity CenterThe 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
"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
> Cruise/KidmanTom 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
> GermanyFuldaer 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
"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
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
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
> AustriaDer 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.'"
> Flag Land BaseA 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!"
> FictionScientology 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."
> SwitzerlandTagesanzeiger 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."
> Los AngelesFrom 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 "
> Lisa McPhersonThe 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."
> Bob MintonBob 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
"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."
> Protest SummaryBruce 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
sign, ('SCIENTOLOGY: -> STILL <- BREAKING THE LAW -
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
"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
> Weekly PlanetTampa'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."
> SwedenReuters 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.'"