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A.r.s Week in Review - 5/14/2000

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 6 5/14/2000 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2000 Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14, 2000
      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 6
      5/14/2000
      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:
      http://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/
      http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html
      http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html
      http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html

      #####

      > Above the Law

      The Illawarra Mercury from New South Wales, Australia reported on May 5th
      on a French documentary on Australian TV.

      "Produced by Envoye Special, the film examines the relationship between
      the church and the law in France, Germany and the United States. While
      basic facts are hard to find, the documentary does present an abundance of
      circumstantial evidence that appears to point to the underhanded working
      of the Church of Scientology.

      "This program focuses primarily on the French trials involving
      Scientology. In one, Hubbard was sentenced in absentia to four years in
      prison and fined for fraud. He never served his sentence. Another case,
      more frightening in its allegations, was initiated by the wife of a former
      Scientologist who killed himself after allegedly being pressured to run up
      debts to pay for a purification ritual."

      Message-ID: <391cf885.12566733@...>

      #####

      > Battlefield Earth

      Battlefield Earth was released in the U.S. this week. American Atheists
      News reported on May 8th on the connection between Scientology and the
      film.

      "Some argue that the film, written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard,
      is a 'recruiting' tool for the group. They point to the involvement of
      lead actor John Travolta, perhaps the most visible member of the group,
      along with church 'fronts' presumably linked to the leadership of
      Scientology. Nonsense, say producers and even representatives of the
      Church.

      "On the internet and elsewhere, church opponents have charged that
      'Battlefield Earth' is everything from a publicity stunt to a moneymaker
      for a group that Time Magazine in 1991 described as a 'Thriving Cult of
      Greed and Power.' John Travolta rejected charges that 'Battlefield Earth'
      was some kind of subliminal vehicle for brainwashing the public with
      Scientology teachings. 'The truth of why I'm doing it is because it's a
      great piece of science fiction,' he told the Post. 'This is not about him
      (Hubbard.) I'm very interested in Scientology, but that's personal. This
      is different. This has nothing to do with Scientology.'

      "Author Services Inc. [is] the organization which sells the trademark for
      Scientology and 'Battlefield Earth.' Critics point to an agreement
      negotiated between Scientology and the Internal Revenue Service that shows
      a link to the 'Church of Spiritual Technology' also known as the 'L. Ron
      Hubbard Library.' Indeed, Author Services was founded in 1982 to handle
      Hubbard's prodigious output of writings, and until 1987 was headed by one
      David Miscavige, the present head of Scientology.

      "Another entity involved in the alphabet soup of Scientology groups is
      'Bridge Publications,' described by some as a 'front' for the church. In a
      piece appearing in the April 15, 1990 San Diego Union newspaper, reporter
      Mike McIntyre noted: 'The church uses two businesses to peddle its books,
      Author Services Inc. sells the rights to publish Hubbard's works to Bridge
      Publications Inc.'

      "While the financial links between 'Battlefield Earth' and Scientology are
      fairly evident, substantiating the claim that the movie somehow encodes
      church teachings into an ideological stealth missile aimed at the
      subconsciousness of movie fans is a bit more daunting. Some have suggested
      that the 'Psychlos' are metaphoric symbols for one of Hubbard's bete
      noirs, namely, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. Some
      have also found a parallel between the movie's hero, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler,
      who leads an action-packed rebellion against the invaders, and Hubbard's
      own romanticized life which may have suffered over-embellishment at the
      hands of Church hagiographers."

      From Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times:

      "'Battlefield Earth' is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed
      a bath for a long time. It's not merely bad; it's unpleasant in a hostile
      way. The visuals are grubby and drab. The characters are unkempt and have
      rotten teeth. Breathing tubes hang from their noses like ropes of snot.
      The soundtrack sounds like the boom mike is being slammed against the
      inside of a 55-gallon drum. This movie is awful in so many different
      ways. Even the opening titles are cheesy.

      "'Battlefield Earth' was written in 1980 by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of
      Scientology. The film contains no evidence of Scientology or any other
      system of thought; it is shapeless and senseless, without a compelling
      plot or characters we care for in the slightest. The director, Roger
      Christian, has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt
      their cameras, but he has not learned why. I watched it in mounting gloom,
      realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to
      come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies. There is a moment
      here when the Psychlos' entire planet (home office and all) is blown to
      smithereens, without the slightest impact on any member of the audience
      (or, for that matter, the cast). If the film had been destroyed in a
      similar cataclysm, there might have been a standing ovation."

      From Fox News on May 9th:

      "Kevin Costner should send a thank-you note to the producers of
      Battlefield Earth because they have single-handedly eclipsed the memories
      of Waterworld and The Postman for post-apocalyptic bombast. Wearing a
      brunette bouffant I Dream of Jeannie wig, star John Travolta--possibly
      doing an impression of Elaine Giftos from Love American Style--comes
      across as nothing so much as funkmaster George Clinton in drag. Co-star
      Forest Whitaker--also in dreadlocks and blackened teeth--seems to be doing
      his own version of Chewbacca. It's not a pretty sight.

      "Much of the blame has to go to Travolta, who insisted on making this
      movie. Nothing makes sense in Battlefield Earth, which is too bad. It does
      a lot to set science fiction moviemaking back about 50 years.

      "Hubbard is the deity of Scientology, a religion or a cult (take your
      pick), but the filmmakers have repeatedly denied any kind of religious
      conversion mission. But if Battlefield Earth is any indication, we have
      nothing to worry about."

      From USA Today on May 9th:

      "When Battlefield Earth touches down Friday, it will be waging an unusual
      battle in the arena of public opinion. The $73 million film is based on
      the 1982 sci-fi best seller by the late L. Ron Hubbard, who founded the
      controversial Scientology religion in 1954. And it's the pet project of
      self-avowed Scientologist John Travolta, who stars and produces. Yet those
      behind the production and Warner Bros., which is distributing the movie,
      want the world to know that Scientology is completely alien to this
      picture. Says director Roger Christian: 'What this movie is, is a fun ride
      and that's all. It's a sci-fi film with the feel of Planet of the Apes.

      "John (Travolta) likes to call it a sci-fi Pulp Fiction. In a prepared
      statement, he stressed that Scientology and Battlefield are not related:
      'There is no connection. L. Ron Hubbard wrote numerous science-fiction
      epics. Other than being created by the same person, the two have virtually
      nothing to do with one another. Still, Scientologists were around Travolta
      during filming, and members of the church have attended screenings to
      watch audiences' reactions"

      From Los Angeles' New Times:

      "Hubbard's Machiavellian nine-foot-tall Sasquatch-like alien antagonist is
      somehow interpreted by the filmmakers as John Travolta decked out like a
      gay Conehead with Rob Zombie hair, in KISS platform boots. Oh yeah, and a
      massive prosthetic cock that conspicuously bulges through his pants.

      "Given that Hubbard is the key figure in Travolta's religion, you'd think
      the whole matter would be a solemn affair. But it's not. Travolta appears
      to be actually encouraging the film's more ludicrous aspects (or does he
      actually believe that a film this over-the-top is to be taken seriously?).
      Think Independence Day without the ponderous build-up or self-importance.
      Imagine how much more enjoyable the other blockbuster-of-the-moment,
      Gladiator, might have been if Joaquin Phoenix had addressed every one of
      his rivals as 'Rat brain.' And wonder about the sequel that has supposedly
      already been greenlit, featuring 25 alien races and characters with names
      like Brown Limper Staffor and Roof Arsebogger. It's been a while since
      we've seen dumb entertainment this unpretentious, so why worry that it
      doesn't make a lick of sense?"

      From the New York Times on May 11th and 12th:

      "Controversy has swirled around the film because it is based on the 1982
      novel by L. Ron Hubbard, who founded the Church of Scientology, and
      because the film was the pet project of Mr. Travolta, who has made no
      secret of his dedication to Scientology. Could this be a sneaky attempt to
      lure unsuspecting moviegoers into Scientology? 'We have licensed the book
      as one would license any property, but there is no financial connection
      with the church,' said Lora Drazen, a Franchise spokeswoman. No money made
      from the film would go to the Church of Scientology, she added.
      Scientology officials maintain that they have nothing to do with the
      making of the film. 'The only things I know about the movie are what I
      read in the media,' said Marty Rathbun, a Scientology spokesman in Los
      Angeles. He added that the Church of Scientology has no financial interest
      in the movie and had nothing to do with how it was made. Are there
      subliminal messages in the movie? 'There are none,' Ms. Drazen said."

      "Man is an endangered species,' announces one of the titles at the
      beginning of the sci-fi lump 'Battlefield Earth.' And after about 20
      minutes of this amateurish picture, extinction doesn't seem like such a
      bad idea. Sitting through it is like watching the most expensively mounted
      high school play of all time. The film is stocked with evil aliens who, in
      their padded body stockings, plastic armorlike fittings and matted hair
      extensions, resemble nothing so much as members of GWAR, the metal-rock
      parodists that Beavis and Butt-head loved. It may be a bit early to make
      such judgments, but 'Battlefield Earth' may well turn out to be the worst
      movie of this century."

      From a movie review by Internet web site "Mr. Cranky":

      "'Battlefield Earth' is one of the worst films ever made. Had Ed Wood
      actually made it, people would expect an apology. When the cultural impact
      of this fiasco finally sinks in, John Travolta will be lucky if he can get
      a job plucking the gray hairs out of Ron Palillo's ass. The only thing I
      can figure out is that the Church of Scientology decided that they wanted
      to ensure nobody else joined up. This movie is like watching the Pope
      accidentally catch on fire while giving Easter Mass.

      "I just can't emphasize enough how bad it all is. The primary special
      effect in the movie is accomplished by filling buckets with dirt and
      pieces of concrete and then tossing them across the screen. Director Roger
      Christian has a hard-on for flying dirt like you would not believe. The
      guys who wrote this should be forced to dictate everything for the rest of
      their lives so that they can never again touch pen to paper or finger to
      keyboard and declare themselves writers."

      From the Washington Post on May 11th:

      "It's a bad movie, end of story. There is no Scientology controversy here
      worth wasting your time over. We're talking 'Ishtar of the Apes.'
      'Battlefield Earth' is a third-rate sci-fi flick, full of laughable
      moments: scene transitions are signified by a cheap-looking, video-style
      'wipe' of the screen. Humans yell 'Nooooooo!' in slow motion when anything
      bad happens. And Psychlo aliens use such extraterrestrial turns of phrase
      as 'Have you blown a head gasket?' The whole thing culminates with a sort
      of 'James Bond'-derived storming of the fortress battle, full of
      shattering glass, explosions, laser fire and grunting Psychlos. But
      'Battlefield Earth' saves its scariest moment for the end: a virtual
      guarantee that there will be a sequel."

      "'Battlefield Earth,' John Travolta's epic, expensive and bizarre science
      fiction film based on a book by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, was
      greeted with guffaws and hoots from an audience of entertainment
      journalists, critics and others at a packed theater in Century City this
      week. The film--which reportedly cost at least $90 million to launch--got
      a similar response during a screening in Washington, where some critics
      walked out, and others tittered at such lines as 'Have you blown a head
      gasket?' And at a screening in Dundalk, a blue-collar suburb of Baltimore
      where folks tend to like their movies full of really big explosions, there
      was derisive laughter.

      "In a competitive industry where, in theory, production costs are
      carefully weighed against projected revenues, how could such a movie
      happen? The answer is that 'Battlefield Earth' is not a normal movie, not
      in its conception, not in its production and not in its financing.
      Travolta, a high-ranking Scientologist and acolyte of Hubbard, had been
      trying to persuade studios to make a movie of his hero's novel for years.

      "Audiences dissolved into laughter when hero Tyler, played by Barry
      Pepper, tells his fellow hunter-gatherers that they plan to free all the
      human slaves and, implausibly, blow up the Psychlos' planet. Pepper pauses
      dramatically and opines: 'We're going to need more supplies.' With that,
      the illiterate slaves scamper off and learn how to fly fighter jets and
      launch nuclear bombs.

      "Travolta repeated what his representatives have been saying for months,
      that the film has nothing to do with his religious beliefs. 'There's no
      correlation at all to Scientology. In the preface of the book, he
      [Hubbard] makes it very clear that this is a science fiction work,' the
      star said. He added, 'To be completely honest, I think you know the truth
      in Hollywood is that it's very difficult for any artist to get what they
      want.' And as he got up to leave the suite at the Four Seasons Hotel,
      Travolta turned back and flashed a grin at the polite journalists. 'You
      all enjoyed it, didn't you?' he asked. There was no reply. Finally someone
      called out: 'We love you, John!'"

      From The Arizona Republic on May 11th:

      "This is how the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a stinker. In
      Battlefield Earth, the world is almost devoid of human life, much like
      theaters after word gets out on this dud. John Travolta stars as Terl, top
      man among the Psychlos, a plug-ugly race of 9-foot aliens who conquered
      Earth and turned it into downtown Newark. Travolta's performance is over
      the top to the point of absurdity. He spends half the movie laughing
      maniacally, for no apparent reason. The sets are dreary and the plot,
      based on a book by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is a sad version of
      The Postman Beyond Thunderdome. The dialogue makes even less sense. One
      minute, the humans sound like Tarzan, the next they're spouting stuff like
      'we've got company' and 'piece of cake.' I'm glad Dolly Madison survives
      the extermination of mankind."

      From The Kansas City Star on May 12th:

      "Part of the problem is that 'Battlefield Earth' wants to be campy --
      Travolta, at least, seems to be playing it for laughs. But successful camp
      requires a genuine appreciation of the inanities of the genre being
      spoofed, and Mandell's script hasn't the insight or the focus for that.
      It's just a lot of lame jokes lobbed at the screen in the hope that
      something will stick. The acting is negligible because there are no
      characters here. The humans are all hairy and nondescript -- they might as
      well be hiding inside monkey suits -- while the Psychlos are little more
      than lumbering heavies. Beyond its near-total absence of internal logic or
      emotional content, 'Battlefield Earth' fails even as eye candy. The f/x
      are just adequate (the film's look is badly compromised by a reliance on
      thoroughly unconvincing matte paintings); the production design is
      strictly back-lot post-Armageddon; and Roger Christian, a director of no
      discernible style or intelligence, hasn't the slightest idea how to stage
      an exciting action sequence."

      From Variety:

      "The film is all too faithful to its source material, an 819-page doorstop
      that reputedly sold 5 million copies. Screenplay by Corey Mandell and JD
      Shapiro reshuffles and compacts events from the novel's first half,
      altering a few of the more ridiculous conceits (e.g., hero's warrior
      allies are no longer brogue-spaykin' Scotsmen). But haplessly cliched
      dialogue, cardboard characters and dunderheaded plot logic remain.

      "Robin Russell's editing outdoes even 'Armageddon' for sledgehammer
      quick-cutting. Further viewer fatigue is induced by Giles Nuttgens'
      widescreen lensing, which tilts virtually every shot at a dislocated
      angle. Christian manifests no apparent control over the proceedings beyond
      keeping the testosterone level at a rather desperate fever pitch. Compared
      with those in other recent digitally enhanced pics, the visual effects are
      often quite blatantly mattes or computer graphics. Costumes are less
      inspired, with the humans coming off like the dance troupe Stomp! doing a
      tribute to 'Mad Max' in their tasteful war paint, caveman-chic leathers
      and Ally McBeal-on-a-bad-hair-day dos."

      From The Charlotte Observer on May 12th:

      "John Travolta believes the writings of L. Ron Hubbard contain the
      philosophic keys to wisdom, contentment and self-mastery. He pushed hard
      to get 'Battlefield Earth'. And there he stands at the center of it:
      strutting around in platform boots, speaking in a pseudo-British accent
      when he's not cackling maniacally, sporting Confucius-style chin hair and
      knotty dreadlocks that would intimidate a Jamaican drug dealer, and
      breathing through an apparatus that looks like two 12-inch strings of
      leathery brown snot.

      "The final battle is the most incoherent I've seen in months; it makes the
      conflicts in 'Gladiator' look as carefully mapped out as the invasion of
      Normandy. Christian shoots every scene on the bias, with characters
      standing at odd angles to us or each other: When he cut back and forth in
      dialogues, I thought I was riding a see-saw."

      From the Tampa Tribune on May 12th:

      "Even by the dubious standard of 'aliens conquer Earth' movies,
      'Battlefield Earth' is just awful. This clunker spends two hours teetering
      back and forth between serious science-fiction drama and bad camp.
      Apparently, the creative team behind the movie never quite decided what
      they wanted it to be, which is why they ended up making a big-screen
      version of the 'V' television miniseries with better special effects but
      worse acting."

      From The Boston Herald on May 12th:

      "The cheesy 'Battlefield Earth' sets a new standard in the folly of
      catering to the whims of movie stars. A pet project of the actor John
      Travolta, the film is an adaptation of the best-selling, epic-sized 1982
      science-fiction novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of
      Scientology, which some describe as a cult, others a religion. Travolta,
      in what I hope is the worst performance of his career, speaks his lines
      like a drama student doing his best to sound evil with a capital E.

      "Roger Christian, who directed second unit for 'The Phantom Menace,' pays
      polite homage to his mentor George Lucas in several scenes, one
      reminiscent of the outer-space dogfight in 'Star Wars.' But otherwise he's
      clueless."

      Results from Friday's box office totals showed the movie trailing
      Gladiator, a movie not in its first week of release.

      "1 GLADIATOR $7,596,953
      2 BATTLEFIELD EARTH $4,245,150
      3 CENTER STAGE $1,885,326
      4 U-571 $1,774,005
      5 FREQUENCY $1,450,800"

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      #####

      > Dianetics

      The Toronto Globe and Mail published a story on May 12 on the anniversary
      of the first edition of Dianetics.

      "In 1950, L. Ron Hubbard was an obscure 39-year-old writer pumping out
      pulp fiction from a New Jersey beach town for magazines like Astounding
      Science Fiction. That was where, 50 years ago this month, he published an
      article that changed his life, and several million others. Dianetics: The
      Evolution of a Science was a massive pseudo-scientific treatise on how
      individuals should use a self-help, confessional process to cleanse
      themselves of irrational fears and reach their full potential. This month,
      Scientologists have been celebrating the milestone around the world. But
      many of them aren't aware of its unusual origins in a science-fiction
      magazine.

      "'There is no link between Scientology and science fiction,' said Janet
      Laveau, president of the Toronto chapter of the church. That's not the
      view of some observers, who believe that the sci-fi elements of Hubbard's
      work permeate Scientology's teachings. 'It would not surprise me that
      lower-level members [of the church] aren't interested in science fiction,'
      said Stephen Kent, a sociologist at the University of Alberta. But, he
      added, the Church's upper echelons support Hubbard's own conviction that
      his writing about intergalactic battles and space aliens are an integral
      part of Scientology.

      "In fact, Kent believes that today's release of the movie version of
      Hubbard's sci-fi epic Battlefield Earth -- produced by and starring
      Hubbard devotee Travolta -- might bring the links between science fiction
      and Scientology into focus. 'The movie is not directly a Scientology
      recruitment tool, but Scientologists hope its presence in the popular
      culture will raise Hubbard's image and curiosity about his other work,'
      Kent said. 'The risk is that it will raise the public's awareness of the
      science-fiction elements in Scientology's philosophy.'"

      Message-ID: <8fk0i7$1q1$1@...>

      #####

      > Ebay E-meters

      Rod Keller posted an update on the efforts by Scientology to keep e-meters
      from being auctioned on eBay. From a letter by eBay customer service.

      "We rely upon receiving from Verified Rights Owners requests to end
      auctions which substantially comply with federal law. Your auction was
      ended because we received such a notice from Church of Scientology. If
      you have not already done so, we encourage you to contact them directly at
      hkkobrin@.... If they agree that your auction item can be relisted,
      please have them contact us by e-mail to notify us, and we will allow it
      to be re-listed."

      Two e-meters were removed from auction this week.

      "http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=328119450 is a
      Mark V, the seller says from 1979. Nine bids so far, starting at $9.99,
      and now up to $43.02, which is about right for this model.
      http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=325349676 is a much
      different meter, a Mark 7. For sale along with a complete library of
      e-meter books, five sets of cans, power cord, the works. One bid at the
      starting price of $800."

      Message-ID: <8fcrfn$qf4@...>
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      #####

      > Germany

      Dpa reported on May 2nd on a U.S. Trade Representative's report which
      criticized Germany for using a questionnaire to identify companies using
      the administrative methods of L. Ron Hubbard.

      "The USA has expressed concern about the so-called German 'sect filter' in
      the awarding of government contracts. The measure which is directed
      against the controversial Scientology Church could lead to discrimination
      against American companies, emphasized U.S. Trade Commissioner Charlene
      Barshefsky in Washington in her latest annual report. The President of
      the Church of Scientology, Heber C. Jentzsch, described the step on
      Tuesday as a 'clear condemnation' of German behavior.

      "It was said that a company must confirm that it rejected the principles
      of the Scientologists and that it did not require its staff to participate
      in courses or seminars from the sect. It was also said that those who did
      not sign would not be considered and that contracts could be immediately
      canceled."

      Neue Ruhr Zeitung reported on May 5th on the decrease in complaints to
      cult counseling service.

      "A mother, her daughter and son-in-law want to follow their guru to
      Croatia; a husband whose wife is influenced by the study groups in
      Scientology; a man who wants to know what will happen to him if he studies
      the Bible with the Jehovah's Witnesses - these are three of many calls
      which the staff of Sect Info get daily. Altogether a total of 2,910 people
      seeking assistance turned to them last year, twelve percent less than
      1998.

      "Especially striking: inquiries about Scientology 'are constantly
      decreasing,' according to Sabine Riede, staff member of the counseling
      center for People Affected by Destructive Cults. One reason for that could
      be that it is less in the media than it used to be. 'But possibly
      observation of the psycho-group by Constitutional Security has had a
      calming effect upon people, too.'"

      Hamburger Morgenpost reported on May 6th that concerns over the security
      of Microsoft products may lead to adopting a non-Windows standard for the
      German government.

      "Virus alarms in Berlin, too! E-mail 'Spyders' there have brought down
      important areas of the federal government. An Interior Ministry task force
      feverishly seeks out network damage. And there's more: there is serious
      talk about getting rid of all of Microsoft's software.

      "Otto Schily's experts are already busy looking into recommendations for
      the use of so-called 'Open Source' software like the free Linux operating
      system. The new 'Windows 2000' is also off-limits for agencies because it
      comes with a built-in defragmentation program called 'Diskeeper' from a
      Scientology WISE company, and there are fears that the militant sect
      could" secretly pass on network data by means of a Trojan Horse.

      Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported on May 9th that the German Foreign Minister
      visited Washington DC to discuss missile defenses and Scientology.

      "In the course of his official visit to the United States, Foreign
      Minister Joschka Fischer has had meetings with Secretary of State
      Madeliene Albright and, on Tuesday, will be received in the Pentagon by
      Secretary of Defense William Cohen. As could be concluded from a joint
      press conference held by Albright and Fischer, the issue of missile
      defense is on the forefront of the meetings in the State Department.

      "At least there are bilateral themes with a human touch on the fringes or
      in the forefront of the visit. That is where the Federal Republic
      justifies its politics against Scientology."

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      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000508154504.124C-100000@...>
      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000509190012.128A-100000@...>
      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000511172341.114A-100000@...>

      #####

      > Grady Ward

      Grady Ward reported that a court has denied Scientology's demand for
      attorney's fees in his copyright violations case.

      "RTC lost another one in court of appeals this week when the Ninth Circuit
      *denied* their demand of $27,000 in attorney's fees against Grady Ward.
      Included in the Order filed on May 10, 2000 in Docket No. 98-16994 by
      Circuit Judges Browning, Schroeder, and Pregerson, was the interesting
      additional orders: 'No motions for reconsideration, clarification or
      modification of this order shall be filed or entertained. No further
      filings shall be accepted in this closed appeal.'"

      Message-ID: <ma0rhss67fmfe5j7tnnfgkdl8k463n9g5i@...>

      #####

      > Hungary

      The BBC reviewed a new book which describes Scientology's efforts in
      Hungary.

      "The book 'Hungary in the (Cob)Web of Scientology' by Andras Veer and
      Laszlo Eroess was presented at a news conference in Budapest on Monday
      [8th May], amid a heated debate between opponents and supporters of
      scientology. Readers can learn about L. Ron Hubbard, the by-now infamous
      founder of Scientology, and about his followers. The materials present
      Hungarian cases, all supported by documents, he said. Veer repeatedly
      calls attention to what he considers the dangers of this religion, which
      is attempting to cover all of society through education, health and
      economics. He claims that followers of Scientology can already be found in
      highly prestigious economic institutions, and among public officials.

      "He mentioned that the volume lists 129 'scientology companies' by name,
      though there may be as many as 300 in Hungary. Other companies connected
      to the ones listed, owned by scientologists, may be around 600 within
      Hungary. The Church of Scientology is a registered small church in
      Hungary that does not receive state support."

      From Nepszabadsag on April 29th, on an L. Ron Hubbard exhibition in
      Budapest:

      "The Institute of Hungarian Culture is legit but refused to comment to the
      press. All that they would say is that they simply made their premises
      available and hadn't bothered to check the content. The organisers of the
      exhibition denied that it had anything to do with Scientology, but the
      Dianetics book were piled up high on a news documentary broadcast on
      Hungarian television. Scientology is quite active in Hungary. You can see
      their stands in shopping malls full of Dianetics and weird
      pseudo-scientific machines."

      Message-ID: <sb2ghsk87n18pqur0rfba77kjh1q80br7r@...>
      Message-ID: <YkIP4.2129$kF4.37925@...>

      #####

      > L.A. Radio

      "Goony Bird" reported that a Los Angeles radio program broadcast life from
      L. Ron Hubbard Way.

      "Last night on The Karel & ANdrew show on KTI 640 here in LA, they talked
      about Scientology. They had heard Travolta talk about scientology in
      interviews, and knowing the BE book was written by the founder of
      scientology, Karel & Andre had tried to call the local Scientology church
      to learn more about it, because the knew only small bits they had heard in
      Travolta interviews. Karel got wired for sound and walked down to Big
      Blue, talking to people to find out what he could. He interrupted 2 people
      who were talking on the sidewalk and apparently got threatened to be
      removed from the sidewalk.

      "Eventually he got a few vague answers from some people, after getting the
      run around about an emeter that was in the lobby for the public to use,
      and signs about free personality tests available to the public. The Police
      were also apparently called because he was there."

      Message-ID: <mi3rhs0emaqd244dgudrg5cd3ook0n7jvh@...>

      #####

      > Bob Minton

      Bob Minton posted a motion from prosecutor Bernie McCabe in which he asks
      the court to prevent all evidence about the nature of Scientology in Bob's
      assault trial in Clearwater.

      "BERNIE McCABE, State Attorney for the sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida
      moves this Honorable Court, before trial and selection of a jury, in
      limine to limit the defense with regard to any discussion or mention of,
      or direct or indirect reference to the following:

      "The alleged 'fair game policy' or any corporate policy of the Church of
      Scientology or agent thereof. Allegations that members of the Church of
      Scientology or agent thereof visited or confronted ROBERT S. MINTON at his
      place of residence in New Hampshire. Allegations that a member(s) of the
      Church of Scientology or agent thereof left a dead cat on ROBERT S.
      MINTON'S doorstep of his residence. Charging decision by the State
      Attorney's Office to charge ROBERT S. MINTON with the crime of Battery and
      the failure to charge Richard Howd or any other person or entity with any
      alleged crime. Allegations that members of the Church of Scientology
      surveilled ROBERT S. MINTON when he arrived in Clearwater on the date of
      the incident. The Church of Scientology's practices, beliefs, or alleged
      doctrines. The Lisa McPherson Trust or any person connected thereto.
      Criminal charges pending against the Church of Scientology pertaining to
      the death of Lisa McPherson. Incidents or persons alleged to have suffered
      physical or emotional harm from the Church of Scientology or any agents
      thereof."

      Message-ID: <gbtmhs829qmn6pla8s5v3n6ua04l9lgqoa@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Gregg Hagglund reported a protest at a Toronto Scientology event this
      week.

      "Participants: Mike Argue, Gregg Hagglund, Slippery Jim As we entered the
      Hotel Mike and I breezed past Peter Ramsay and Brian McPherson. I spoke
      with the Hotel Manager to inform him we intended to conduct a peaceful
      demonstration on the public sidewalk outside of the Hotel for about one
      hour commencing at 6:45 PM. I then asked him which ballroom had the Co$
      contracted for and he told me. At this moment Wimpy intervenes, mumbling
      something about being with event security, and asks the manager to not
      talk to us. So I start to bring up my video camera to turn it on and Wimpy
      assaults the Camera by stabbing his thumb onto the lens. Now I turn on the
      camera and start filming and ask Wimpy if he wants to do that again on
      tape.

      "As we went past Ramsay he tries another assault by flicking his burning
      cigarette at me and this on tape! We then went back to our meeting place
      and relaxed for a bit, it was just after 6 pm and the event was not until
      7:30 pm. I called 52 Division at about 6:15 and let them know our
      intentions and our experience. At 6:30 or thereabouts, we began a
      'Hanging-Out-Across-from-the-Hotel Demonstration'. I had made up two new
      signs which read : 'Fifty Years of Fakery: Dianetics' on one side and
      'Visit WWW.XENU.NET -Think For Yourself' on the reverse.

      "Some gave out big yellow balloons to passersby and tickets to the event.
      No one appeared to take them up on the offer. There were about 4 or 5 of
      bored teenagers and teenaged Sea Ogres as well as 3 or 4 very thrilled
      looking youngsters too. Most of the Scn went in for the 7:30 PM start of
      the event, except for the Goonies. These poor souls, led by Mr. Ramsay,
      had to remain outside on the Hotel front steps until we demonstrators
      choose to leave. We all left at about 8 PM."

      Message-ID: <orpbhs0909sev8d90o6onp3qn2io28qpoq@...>

      #####

      > Sweden

      Metro newspaper reported on May 10th that the Scientology NOTs materials
      at the Swedish Parliament will continue to be a public document.

      "The Scientology movement has demanded that the bailiff should confiscate
      the material, but the bailiff's office, the district court and the court
      of appeal have all said no. The supreme court denied a leave to appeal,
      which puts an end to the legal process in this case. However, the
      district court of Stockholm has earlier decided that the person who gave
      the Scientology material to the Parliament is prohibited from spreading it
      any further."

      Message-ID: <391bbe8d.2365633@...>

      #####

      > Switzerland

      Tagesanzeiger reported on May 5th that Scientology will have a recruitment
      event in Zurich.

      "The controversial Scientology Organization will be carrying out a
      recruitment drive from May 12 to 17 in a room at the Carlton Restaurant at
      Bahnhof Street with upright display screens, short lectures, film
      presentations and a Sunday service. Business manager Markus Segmueller
      confirmed the exhibition date. At the same time he admitted to making a
      mistake. He had thought that it was a representative from a company. Not
      only until after the contract negotiations had begun did he realized that
      Scientologists were involved. 'At that point I sent them a letter in which
      I made it clear that, under those circumstances, they would not receive
      the room,' said the business manager.

      "A delegation sought him out and talked to him for two hours. At the end
      of it he had unfortunately let himself be talked into making the
      exhibition room available to them, said Segmueller. Today he regrets that
      he did not stand fast. Fear of demands for recompensation - Scientology
      has already expended much money on advertisement - keep him from putting a
      stop to the event. But he will see to it that the Scientologists do not
      hang up posters or distribute leaflets in the near vicinity."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000508154333.124A-100000@...>

      -end-
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