A.r.s Week in Review - 6/25/2000
Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 11
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.
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Week in Review is archived at:
> AustriaBadener Zeitung reported on June 20th that an applicant for manager of a
manor house was disqualified for his participation in Avatar, an alleged
"One applicant was shown to be indirectly connected to Scientology, and
now only two candidates are in the race. Investigations by the Greens have
shown that one of the three applicants of the Rudolfshof announcement was
aligned with Scientology. Andreas Parrer, Club chief of the Greens, said,
'In the official introduction, a manager was presented to us who very
often used New Age phrases. Then I became suspicious.' After some
research, the truth came to light: the manager is an adherent of the
'Avatar' movement, which split off from Scientology in the 1970s. 'But
there has never been a clear separation between the Avatar movement and
Scientology,' Parrer says. Because of that, the Greens were concerned that
Rudolfshof would be used as a seminar center for Scientology.
"Vice Mayor Franz Geiger said, 'She made a very peculiar impression on all
of us. Primarily because so much sect terminology was used by the
applicant.' Now there are only two applicants for Rudolfshof and no
agreement about a candidate will take place soon in the community
> ClearwaterA proposal to develop the bluffs area of downtown Clearwater has generated
controversy over the benefit to Scientology from the plan. From the
letters to the editors of the St. Petersburg Times on June 22nd:
"As a longtime Clearwater resident, I will vote 'no' on the downtown
redevelopment plan because common sense dictates that we don't relinquish
some of the most beautiful property in Florida to a non-Clearwater,
for-profit corporation for 99 years at $1 a year. Cities should use their
most beautiful areas for something that really means something to their
residents -- not some pie-in-the-sky, smoke-and-mirrors scheme.
Scientologists swarming the streets deter many from wanting to go
downtown. -- Joe Deaver, Clearwater
"Major beneficiaries -- the Scientology folks who hurry to classes and
meals would seem to be the real winners with the projected shops and
theaters at their disposal. A question here is: How much are they
contributing to this expensive project? I would encourage a 'no' vote as
we understand the plans. I'm for progress, but not at any cost. -- Robert
An editorial in the St. Petersburg Times on June 25th:
"The city settled on a partnership formed by two known Florida developers,
George de Guardiola and David Frisbie. They came up with a BIG plan under
which they would buy up private property, lease seven pieces of city-owned
property, and develop retail stores, apartments, condominiums, a movie
theater, a hotel, restaurants, a city pier, gardens, a new library and
City Hall, and expanded parkland.
"A referendum on July 11 must be approved for the plan to be implemented.
There is plenty for voters to chew on. For one thing, the leases of
city-owned land would be for 99 years at a dollar a year. For another,
none of the contracts or leases with the developers have been written yet.
They will be negotiated by city officials and the developers only if the
"A few people charged that the whole proposal was a ploy so the developers
could build a casino downtown. (Casinos are illegal in Florida, folks.)
Others, without offering a shred of evidence, said the proposal was a
stealth campaign by the Church of Scientology to further expand its
holdings in downtown, where it already owns a substantial amount of
property. Just having the word Scientology linked to the developers'
proposal was enough to taint the project for some people.
"Then last week the Save the Bayfront group put out an inflammatory
mailing opposing the referendum. Besides being just plain wrong on several
points, the mailing said this about the referendum: 'This allows the city
manager to sell any of your land to the Church of Scientology for $1.00.'
The city manager doesn't have the authority to sell city land. And sale of
land isn't even an issue in this referendum, only leasing of seven
parcels. The city will retain title on every piece.
"Does this seem like a lot of effort to go to? You're right. But this may
be the most important referendum in Clearwater's history."
> U.S. CongressDie Presse published an article on June 16th on criticism of Austria at
hearings of the International Relations committee of the U.S. House of
"'The dealings with religious minorities in West Europe fills many
Americans with concern. Several west European countries, who doubtlessly
are friends of the USA and where freedom in general is cherished, have a
weak point in their attitude towards religious minorities.' Benjamin
Gilman, chairman of the foreign political committee in the U.S. House of
Representatives, emphasized at the hearing on Wednesday that members of
minority religions in west Europe are often discriminated against. He said
that they were frequently refused financial help and the right to
religious visits in prisons. He said that also Americans were subjected to
discrimination in these countries when they wanted to exercise their
religion or pursue their career. Mentioned specifically were the countries
of France, Germany, Belgium and Austria.
"Robert Seiple, special ambassador of the State Department for
International Religious Freedom, described the situation in Austria as not
dissimilar from that of France. He said the government had long been
carrying out an information campaign against any religious group which, in
its opinion, harmed the interests of the individual or of society. The
choice of words in a booklet on sects from the Families Ministry last
fall, according to Seiple, was perceived by many religious groups as
'clearly negative and insulting.'
"Matt Salmon (Rep.) stated that Europeans would have to respect religious
freedom if they wanted to maintain good relations with the USA. The
ambassadors of the countries addressed did not accept their invitations;
Germany and Austria presented statements in which they explained their
legal situations and in which they boasted about the religious freedom in
> SP DeclaresVirginia McClaughry posted three recent Suppressive Person declares.
"In December 1998, Mike urged his wife, Virginia McClaughry to blow from
Flag while in the middle of an HCO confessional. Virginia then did blow
Flag and as a result made no further progress on The Bridge. Attempts were
made to get him to come to his senses and to assist him in straightening
out his situation. He refused the efforts to help him. Mike began
contacting Scientologists in the field, spreading Black PR about Flag and
LRH's technology of confessionals. By his actions Mike committed the
following suppressive act: Attempting to undermine or advising or
condoning the abandonment or reduction of the use of the full technology
of locating and handling overts, evil purposes, destructive intentions and
"Mike was given further opportunities to come to his senses and to avail
himself of the technology of Scientology and get his ethics in. Mike
refused and continued to spread Black PR and has been consorting with
known squirrels and suppressive persons.
"In October 1998, Greg and Deborah Barnes spread falsehoods and black PR
and advocated squirreling of the standard application of LRH technology in
an effort to prevent others from progressing up The Bridge. They have
attempted to convince other scientologists to participate in their
squirrel actions. They have spread enturbulation with their off-source
activities, natter and black PR. They refused numerous offers to apply
standard LRH tech to straighten out their confusions and out ethics. They
refused to cooperate with the Comm Ev and blew before its completion.
Despite this, numerous efforts were made to contact them and get them to
return and apply Standard Tech and they refused to do so.
"In December 1998 Virginia McClaughry blew from Flag while in the middle
of an HCO confessional. She had been in communication with her husband who
was encouraging her to blow while mid the confessional and without
completing it. Attempts were made to get her to come to her senses and to
assist her in straightening out her situation. She refused the efforts to
help her. Virginia began contacting Scientologists in the field, spreading
Black PR about Flag and LRH's technology of confessionals. Virginia
refused to cooperate with the Comm Ev and left before its completion.
Numerous efforts were made to get her to return and apply standard
Scientology technology and she refused."
> FranceThe BBC reported on June 22nd that France has passed a law against mental
manipulation by cults.
"The French National Assembly - the lower house of parliament - has passed
a controversial law aimed at curbing the activities of religious cults. It
makes mental manipulation a crime, punishable by up to three years in
jail. It also gives judges the power to dissolve cults if they repeat
certain, specific offenses. The new law which still needs Senate approval
has caused outrage among civil rights groups and minority religions."
From the Guardian on June 23rd:
"The French parliament yesterday adopted Europe's toughest anti-sect
legislation yet, creating a controversial new crime of 'mental
manipulation' punishable by a maximum fine of 50,000 pounds and five years
imprisonment. The move was applauded by Alain Vivien, head of a government
committee that has identified 173 dangerous quasi-religious groups in
France, but was denounced by both the Church of Scientology and the
Unification Church as fascist, anti-democratic and in breach of basic
human rights laws.
"The new law allows judges to order the dissolution of any sect whose
members are convicted of a criminal offense. It also bans sects from
advertising, and prohibits them from opening missions or touting for new
members near schools, hospitals or retirement homes. But the law's key
weapon is the new crime of mental manipulation, defined as 'exercising,
within a group whose activities are aimed at creating or exploiting
psychological dependence, heavy and repeated pressure on a person, or
using techniques likely to alter his judgment, so as to induce him to
behave in a way prejudicial to his interests'."
From Reuters on June 22nd
"Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou hailed the bill as 'a significant
advance giving a democratic state the legal tools to efficiently fight
groups abusing its core values.'
"Minority religious groups reacted angrily. Danielle Gounod, spokeswoman
for the Church of Scientology which is under close scrutiny by the French
authorities, said the bill would 'sound the death knell for French
democracy.' 'I say: Watch out. Watch out for individual liberties. Such a
law is extremely serious for individual freedom,' she told a news
From the Independent on June 25th:
"When is a religion a sect? When can conversion, or evangelism, or even
political campaigning, be described as 'brainwashing'? The lower house of
the French parliament last week adopted the first draft of Europe's most
draconian law against religious sects. If approved by the Senate or upper
house, and then President Chirac, the French law would place a new
criminal offense - 'mental manipulation' - on the statute book. The
intention is to allow the police and the parents of sect disciples to
bring legal action against sects, even if the 'victims' have made no
complaint. The law would allow the French government to shut down sects
convicted of mental manipulation on more than one occasion.
"However, the vagueness of the wording and the sweeping nature of the new
law have set alarm bells ringing in mainstream French churches, as well as
the headquarters of the Scientologists and the Moonies. 'The role of the
State is to protect religious liberty and guarantee its exercise, not to
limit it,' said Monseigneur Claude Dagens, the Roman Catholic bishop of
Angouleme. 'We want a laity which shows respect [for religion], not
"The draft law, proposed by Socialist members of the National Assembly but
approved unanimously by deputies of all parties on Thursday, follows a
parliamentary investigation into the proliferation of sects in France.
Under the text agreed on Thursday, it would be an offense to 'exercise
serious and repeated pressure on a person in order to create or exploit a
state of dependence, which would lead the person, whether willingly or
not, to act, or fail to act, in a way which would be gravely prejudicial
to that individual'."
> Mainau IslandSda reported on June 16th that controversy has been raised over a
Scientologist's appearance on Mainau Island in Lake Constance, bordered by
Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
"The Constance 'Suedkurier' has withdrawn as a sponsor of the fifth
Schlosspark Concert, which is taking place from June 30 to July 2 on
Mainau Island. The reason for that is the engagement of opera singer Julia
Migenes, a professed Scientology adherent. When Migenes' involvement in
Scientology became public, the largest newspaper in the Lake Constance
area withdrew its support. 'For years, we have been reporting critically
on Scientology, so we could not appear as a sponsor in this case,' stated
'Suedkurier' business manager Rainer Wiesner. Minister President Erwin
Teufel, patron of the Mainau Schlosspark concert, will not be appearing at
the Migenes concert."
From Die Presse on June 17th:
"There has been a little stir about the appearance of singer Julia Migenes
at the Schlosspark Concert on the Lake Constance island of Mainau. One of
the three sponsors of the festival, 'Suedkurier' which appears in
Constance, withdrew its support after hearing of the singer's membership
in Scientology. There was also criticism of Scientologist Migenes'
involvement from the SPD faction of the state assembly. Julia Migenes will
appear, as planned, on July 2, said a spokeswoman of Mainau Inc. on
Friday. Migenes, born in Puerto Rico, used to appear frequently in Vienna,
mainly at the People's Opera, where she play roles including the duchess
From Mannheimer Morgen on June 17th:
"The SPD faction of the state assembly accused Minister President Erwin
Teufel (CDU) of being a patron of an arrangement in which a professed
Scientology participated. The faction's political speaker on sects, Carla
Bregenzer, pointed out that according to the findings of
Baden-Wuerttemberg Constitutional Security, Scientology strove to
disengage the basic values of the Constitution. She said that, 'it is
precisely because of this that it is completely incomprehensible that the
Minister President is maintaining his patronage.' The state ministry
rejected the accusation. It was said that the patronage was in regard to
the 'Mainauer Schlossfestspiele' and not in regard to the artists which
> GreeceTony Bosnakoudis summarized newspaper articles from Greece on the
relationship between Scientology and Justice Minister Mihalis
"The daily newspaper HORA (country), between June 11 and 12 revealed the
relations between Scientology (former KEFE) and Stathopoulos, Efthimiou
and the new Parliament deputy Andreas Loverdos. The newspaper wrote of
'Scientology's revenge' after its KEFE center was shut down by Court
order. Efthimiou was defense witness in favor of Scientologists accused
of monitoring and keeping files on politicians, judges, reporters,
priests, etc. Loverdos was defence attorney. The court ruled they really
did what they were accused but did not pass jail sentence because the
legal action should have started within three months.
"Stathopoulos has more important and long term operation in
Scientology-influenced fields. He coordinated at least one PANIFE
Conference, the 'Historical and Philosophical Society' run by Takis
Alexiou which united cult groups to attack the Church and State in order
to force them stop opposing cult activity. KEFE's seized documents prove
there was strong Scientology participation and even funding for these
Conferences and the interfaith group was promoted by OSA as part of 'ARM
Greece Handling program'.
"Stathopoulos was promoting severe anti-Church measures for many years and
his appointment as Justice Minister surprised many people, since he is not
an elected official. He admitted of coordinating PANIFE Conferences but
said that Scientology was just one of the participants. Efthimiou also
said, 'From the first days I took office, the Director General of
Religious Affairs of the Ministry, Mr. Kontogiannis briefed me on the
issues in his post and presented me the issue of Scientology's recognition
as religion, based on their application. I immediately gave strict orders
to Mr. Kontogiannis, under no circumstances to accept this'.
"The seized documents show that Scientology promoted 'Church-State
separation', the 'new Identities' issue, etc in order to weaken the
Church's position in the Greek society and make sure the Church will not
be asked by the State to evaluate if a group is a 'known religion', in
order to be recognized as such."
> Lisa McPhersonThe St. Petersburg Times continued this week to question the position of
Medical Examiner Joan Wood in a June 23rd editorial.
"Medical examiners are vital to the criminal justice system. They
investigate suspicious deaths, help determine if crimes were committed and
influence the outcome of trials. They should be competent medical
professionals, managers and witnesses. In each of those areas, serious
questions have been raised about Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Joan
Wood. Before Gov. Jeb Bush decides whether to reappoint Wood to another
three-year term, he should consider the consequences.
"Wood was at the center of a controversial decision by State Attorney
Bernie McCabe to drop charges against the Church of Scientology in the
death of Lisa McPherson. Wood's behavior was amateurish throughout the
case. She first dramatized her importance by appearing on the TV show
Inside Edition. Yet when medical professionals hired by Scientology
expressed opposing views, Wood changed significant details on the autopsy,
which forced prosecutors to drop the charges. A state attorney memo said
Wood was unable 'to coherently explain her decision even under benign
"Yes, Wood has earned our gratitude for her long service. But too much is
at stake to let sentimentality rule good judgment as the governor decides
who can return professionalism and competence to the Pinellas-Pasco
medical examiner's office."
The St. Petersburg Times also reported on June 24th that Wood allowed a
staff member to mishandle autopsies.
"A doctor hired last August by Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Joan Wood
determined the wrong cause and manner of death in seven autopsies in eight
months, records from Wood's office show. Wood ordered her staff to review
the 178 autopsies done by Eicher, who resigned in March, after it was
determined he confused bullet entrance and exit wounds in a man's head.
"Wood, who hired Eicher without checking his references, acknowledged she
spent much of her time during Eicher's tenure dealing with a case against
the Church of Scientology. 'I admit to being busy at that time,' she said.
'I was up to my eyeballs in Scientology.' The disclosure of Eicher's
mistakes comes at a time when Wood herself is under fire for her handling
of the 1995 autopsy of Scientologist Lisa McPherson. Gov. Jeb Bush is
scheduled to determine by July 1 whether to reappoint Wood. She has held
the job since 1982."
> Mace-KingsleyA brochure from Scientology's Mace-Kingsley Ranch was posted to a.r.s this
week. The ranch is known for handling discipline problem children of
"Over the last year the Ranch has gone through some changes which make our
Program even better. Our Program is the same except that certain parts
have been improved and streamlined.
"Molly Baxter (Executive Director): OT VIII, on New OT VII. Personally
recognized by LRH as an Establishment Officer. Randy Baxter (Deputy
Executive Director): OT VIII, Class IV auditor, Level 3 WISE consultant.
Cindy Blakeslee (Senior Case Supervisor): Class VIII auditor, currently on
OT VII. Mike Miller - OT V, Class VI auditor. Lance Davis - OT III, Class
II auditor. Ros White - OT VIII, on New OT VII, Class VI auditor. Mike
Grope - On OT VII, Class III auditor. Sunok Grope - On OT VII. Chelle West
- OT III, Class V auditor. Mark Peterson - Clear, Grad V auditor. Margaret
Paul - Clear, and also has taken Delphi Basic Educator's Course. Teresa
Peterson - Class I auditor Judy Eidse - OT V, over 25 years in
Scientology. Kimberly Nesvig - OT IV, Class II auditor. Roe McDaniel -
Clear, graduated the Ranch program in 1995."
> Protest SummaryJeff Jacobsen reported that the Bank building in Clearwater was the site
of a protest this week.
"11 people picketed the Scientology Bank Building in downtown Clearwater
today from 11am to 1pm. We had some TV coverage and got tons of horn honks
and thumbs up from the heavy traffic. Both Jeff Jacobsen and Mark Bunker
had Incident Reports filed by the Clearwater Police over the 10 foot rule
in the temporary injunction filed after the Minton-Howd event last
October. We had 4 newbie picketers and they all had a good time and plan
to picket again. When the TV crews got there, both Pat Jones and Al
Buttnor rushed out to talk to them and try to persuade them that there was
no news here. Al Buttnor seemed especially upset today."
Keith Henson protested at five orgs in the San Jose area.
"At the San Jose org on Rosemary, it was a dull picket. Blue shirt came
out several times and walked up as if he were going to speak, but he did
not. I saw red head John going off to body route as I got there, but they
called him back. I hit the San Jose mission for about ten minutes. There
was one couple who saw my sign, and had no idea of what www.xenu.net might
mean. The new dianetics center on Middlefield Road was closed, so they
only got a token picket. The old Mt. View org was more active. There were
half a dozen outside, and they were all treated to my picket signs. I put
in another token picket at the Palo Alto mission. They too were closed
up, though the sign did say there was an 11 am service."
Keith also protested Gold Base near Hemet, California for four days.
"I got out there at 8 am. The construction people are working, but away
from where they can see the road. The main plaza and underpass is still
deserted. About 1 in 200 cars stops to talk. Three cars had people who
knew Ashlee Shaner. One was an American Indian who told a tale related by
his sister. About a year and a half ago, she was driving through and
noticed this guy being chased. She called 911 and watched as he was beaten
into submission. Before the Highway Patrol could get there, she was run
off by threats from the guards. Later she checked up and found that no
incident report had been made at all."
"Gold base is in a serious non-confront hiding mode. But they did notice
me - because I have word from home that my house is being picketed by some
dude who is screaming at the neighbors and they tried to picket my wife's
place of work. I think they only managed to picket a parking lot."
"This morning I started at 7:20, so the buses got to see me. This morning
I found a good spot where the people using the east underpass could see my
signs. Way over a hundred did, though out of the corners of their eyes in
a studied effort not to look. They called out the Highway Patrol. Talked
to me for a while, then went to look at the scn video. After looking at
the scn's tape, he advised me to wave anyone who wants to talk beyond the
curbs and out of the no parking zone. The guards also got told that they
cannot threaten me with trespass for walking on the side of the road
safely no mater where the property line is."
"Something like one in six of them are now looking frankly at my sign. The
side I show to them is either the 'Doubting is not a crime' and the LMT
phone, or Arnie's NO OT's, or 'Are you implanted with dead space aliens?'
Not long after I set up over the east underpass, a group, mostly women,
perhaps Estates project force, were herded past the east under pass and
into one of the unfinished building."
"Traffic on both underpasses was low. They were running cars and vans
across the highway so as to avoid the staff from seeing me. But at least a
hundred of them have looked directly at one or the other of my picket
signs (though only 2 have made any motion toward waving back)."
Bruce Pettycrew protested in Mesa, Arizona.
"Kathy and I met Greg and Marty for a picket today from 9 to 10 AM. There
were only 5 adults and 1 child at the mission in Mesa. Greg and Marty were
picketing for the first time ever. They became interested in the struggle
against the criminal cult because of the continuing attempts by the cult
to block discussion on ARS. With the extra signs, traffic was more
appreciative than ever, with lots of thumbs-up and honks."
"Kaeli" and "AndroidCat" reported a protest in Toronto this week.
"Picketers: Alan Barclay, AndroidCat, Dave Palter, Mike Argue, ZeratulCat,
Kaeli. We noticed the light scaffolding in front of the Org, but couldn't
see any work that was being done on it. We planned to picket straight
through from 10am to 2pm, as the Gay Pride parade was today, and the
procession would lead in front of the Org. We decided later to break for
lunch at 1pm and come back to picket between 2pm and 3pm. ZeratulCat
endured the endless taunts of both the Shrew and Dirty Dan as he walked up
and down with his sign. He ignored them.
"Alan came between me and Dan, who bumped Alan's sign a few times and even
picked him up physically in front of me to get him out of his way so he
could physically intimidate me some more. He gave up when Alan raised his
voice louder, to attract the attention of the police officer. During the
rest of the morning, the Shrew and Andy Hill came over to where me and
Alan were, commencing to make comments on Alan's long hair, about his
Scottish accent, suggesting he needs a speech therapist. Alan had five
hundred and fifty flyers in the morning, and we were down to approximately
fifty at 3 o'clock.
"The Harridan got nailed but good. She was trying the full TR, accusing me
liking boys, wearing makeup. She snatched one flyer. Then she tried for a
second flyer, ripping the bottom off of it. 'Officer!' He was right on the
scene, and said, and I quote 'You were harassing him, and I want you to
keep the fuck away from him.'"
> SpainA trial in Spain against Scientology for fraudulent drug recovery programs
has been postponed until September. From Europa Press on June 2nd:
"The Provincial Audience of Madrid has decided to postpone up to September
25 the trial against the Church of the Scientology, due to the sickness of
one of the lawyers defenders, Manuel Cobo. The district attorney requests
a 56 year-old sentence for the reverend American Herber Jentzsch, world
leader of the church, and a total of 36 years of jail for the other 16
followers. The trial that was opened by a tribunal of Madrid 16 years ago
and whose beginning has been suspended several times, with almost 150
witness. The district attorney charges the Church of the Scientology in
Spain the crimes of illicit association; against the public country
property, for not paying taxes, invasion, for giving medicine to junkie
and psychiatric treatments to followers without qualified professionals.
"It considers that some of the accused made crimes against the public
health, for the preparations given in the centers of rehabilitation, labor
crimes, for the conditions in that those employees of the organization
worked, false accusation, illegal detention, for the arrest in the airport
of Barajas of a member that wanted to move away from the Church. The
judge of the case ordered in November of 1988 the detention of 37
"The defense says that the district attorney has made several errors in
their qualification of facts. With regard to the appreciation of a crime
of illegitimate association, they assure that the ownership to the
Scientology only consists on sharing some beliefs. They add that those
quantities managed by the Public Ministry to impute a fiscal crime were
> SwitzerlandSda reported on June 16th that the city of Lausanne is demanding that
Scientology no longer bother pedestrians with recruiters.
"Scientologists in Lausanne have been making a nuisance. The city is
demanding that members of the controversial organization no longer bother
pedestrians in the city's center. The organization arranged unlicensed
concerts for three days and accosted people on the much frequented steps
of Riponne Place. Police management finally got fed up. On Friday morning
they ordered the organization to shut down their operation. If they
resist, they face charges."
Tages-Anzeiger reported on June 21st that a public event in Basel is
raising questions about Scientology recruiting.
"UNO General Secretary Kofi Annan and Federal President Adolf Ogo will be
making the trip to the final event of the World Children's Festival. Their
host will be Basel City Executive President Ralph Lewin. An important role
is also supposed to be played by sculptor and Scientologist Housi Knecht,
who will create a giant world peace sphere this Wednesday with hundreds of
children. It had originally been planned to present the iron sculpture at
the close of the festival to honor the prominent visitors. When the
organizers learned on Tuesday that Knecht was a Scientologist, they
invited the artist to leave.
"Basel passed a law in the not too distant past that prohibits
Scientologists from recruiting on public land any more in an aggressive
manner. Now that a Scientologist is supposed to play a prominent role in
the World Children's Festival, this is causing quite a stir in Basel.
Knecht protested, 'We have freedom of belief in Switzerland. To be sure, I
am proud to be a Scientologist, but this action has nothing to do with
Scientology.' Experience shows that Scientology uses any opportunity to
use celebrity Scientologists to recruit and proselytize for the
"'The event with the peace sphere is only one parallel event for the close
of the World Children's Festival being put on by gallery operators of the
Regio Gallery,' said a speaker of the organizers. The committee decided
yesterday to have Knecht produce the peace sphere with the children, but
not, as had been planned, to have the sculpture presented in St.
Jakobshalle where the celebration with Kofi Annan and Adolf Ogi will take
From Basler Zeitung on June 21st:
"Swiss artist Housi Knecht will be working in front of the Elizabeth
Church on a large symbolic Peace Globe - a steel apparatus with a diameter
of eight feet - upon which the six Unesco manifest items will be welded.
After the work is done, it was (but is no longer) scheduled that it be
transported into St. Jakob's Stadium where the work of art, 'a symbol for
a commonly constructed peaceful world', was to have been dedicated by Kofi
"Now enter Basel SP Greater Assemblywoman Susanne Haller. Haller stated
emphatically that artist Housi Knecht is regarded as a high-ranking
Scientologist, a point also agreed upon by the Zurich sect specialist Hugo
Stamm. That is proven alone by the fact that the artist paid 40,000
dollars into a 'War Chest' a couple of years ago. That money is used for
things which include financing legal proceedings against critics of
"The risk of Kofi Annan's visit being used by the Scientologists for
'shameless' propaganda purposes is very high in any case, as Haller
clearly expressed herself. Haller is very upset just at the idea of a
press photograph being distributed worldwide of UNO General Secretary
together with Housi Knecht and the Peace Globe in Basel. The people in
charge of the closing events have decided to leave out transporting the
Peace Globe into St. Jakob's Stadium."