A.r.s Week in Review - 7/9/2000
Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 13
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:
> ClearwaterThe Clearwater Gazette & Beach News published an article on July 6th on
the upcoming vote on downtown development.
"Recently, and because of reported statements that the final development
agreement might allow the Church of Scientology to somehow acquire certain
'rights' from the master developer, developer George de Guardiola has
reportedly agreed to allow agreement language in the final contract to
prohibit such transfer of 'rights' to the downtown Clearwater Church
"Will the developer's recent statement help to support the vote on July
11th? 'I think so,' stated a downtown supporter. 'This might help clear
the air about some people saying the developer could sell the deal to the
Church of Scientology. That is simply not true.'"
> Tom CruiseCinema magazine published an interview with Scientology celebrity Tom
Cruise on July 1st.
"Q. It could be read recently in the U.S. press that you wanted to leave
the Scientology Church. Can you comment on that?
"Look, people make mistakes. If you read the counter-presentations in
certain magazines, you'll see what I mean.
"Q. What advantages do you see in your membership in Scientology which is
controversial in the media?
"I know that sometimes the media plays havoc, especially outside the USA.
No belief is free from the hate of intolerant people who, luckily, only
make up a minority of people. Actually, my religion has already helped me
much - in private life and in work. Nevertheless, I hope that people judge
me based on my films, regardless of which church I belong to."
> DenmarkMike Gormez reported on a documentary shown on Danish television this
"Bid and Jesse both spoke of their experiences. i.e. Jesse told of the
babies who never get out of bed and Bid (Birgitta Dagnell) told that she
would have liked it - in retrospect - if she could have given her daughter
a different non-Scn upbringing. The program had some shots of 'Happy
Valley' (with the pole) though it didn't tell the story of it, further we
saw the sickening sec checking of a kid.
"Star of the show was however Tanya Neujahr. She was the 17-year old SO
girl who escaped from St. Hill with help of the police and Caberta. Her
English is very good, and she told that her father regards her as dead
because she quit the SO."
> FlagVirginia McClaughry reported news from Clearwater, where members are being
given unusual instructions.
"The church is calling up Scientologists and ORDERING them to install the
net nanny on their computer. The shore story is 'to prevent them from
being exposed to upper level materials'. This is not going over well with
the public at large, and they are not as stupid as the Church hopes. Terms
like 'nazi germany' and others are being bandied about."
"Flag is recalling all their L's public, and making them repay for the
L's, as well as doing an 'eligibility' program. One public, came in, paid
for the L's and Eligibility (after being recalled), started the
eligibility program, and was declared an illegal pc."
"The public who was declared an illegal pc was also kicked off the base!"
The flag public courserooms are quite empty, with the supervisors quite
desperate to get students in, but the public isn't cooperating. Sandcastle
has posted a full time Medical Officer, which is old news, but people here
might not know that it is now REQUIRED that all public give an extremely
invasive, detailed, family medical history, as one of the first steps on
the routing form."
> FranceBasler Zeitung reported on June 24th on the new French law against mental
manipulation by cults.
"'Mental manipulation' of sect victims will be added as a misdemeanor in
the criminal code. The National Assembly has long been involved with the
fight against sects which do business with gullible innocents under the
cloak of religious freedom, which infiltrate institutions and, especially,
influence weak citizens with occasionally morbid ideas. The delegates have
already produced a list of sects which would have to be categorized as a
threat to society.
"Since 1996 the justice department has initiated 280 court proceedings,
most of them based on complaints by former sect members, a hundred of them
were dropped without a trial, convictions resulted in only 48 cases -
mostly for deception, fraud or illegal practice of medicine. The
government also has the opinion that, in view of the often very tightly
organized and well-financed sects, preventive information alone is not
sufficient. But their legislative proposal has now been strengthened so
much by the representatives in many respects, that the proposal has little
chance of getting the vote even in the conservative Senate.
"The government would like to get the opinion of the consultative Human
Rights Commission in the debate before the Senate. The law also says that
organizations revealed to be sects will not be permitted to open branches
in the direct vicinity of schools, retirement homes and hospitals. A
spokeswoman for the Scientologists, who see themselves, probably not
completely by accident, as being targeted by the anti-sect law, stated,
'If this law is passed, then democracy in France is over.'"
> FreezoneScientology was unsuccessful in obtaining the Internet domain
scientologie.org this week.
"The application of the RTC lawyers to transfer the domain
'scientologie.org' to the RTC was rejected by the World Intellectual
Property Organization. In 1995 the Free Zone Assoc. purchased the rights
to the book of the german philosopher Dr. A. Nordenholz, Scientologie -
Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und Tauglichkeit des Wissens
(Scientology, Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge). In
December 1995 the domain name 'scientologie.org' was registered. It was
online until middle of 1996 when the RTC objected against our use of it.
The Network Information Centerthen put the domain on status hold.
"On 5th of Mai 2000 the RTC Lawyers filed a complaint at WIPO and
'requests that the Administrative Panel appointed in this administrative
proceeding issue a decision that the domain name 'scientologie.org' be
transferred to RTC.' On the 3rd of July the complaint was denied."
> Gold BaseThe Riverside County sheriff has determined that the death of Stacey Myer
at Scientology's Gold Base was accidental.
"Stacey Myer, 20, died June 25 when she slipped as she climbed into the
vault at the Church of Scientology complex near San Jacinto. 'She was
someplace she should not have been,' said Lt. Darryl Birney. 'We have
investigated this thoroughly, looked at the evidence, and concluded that
it was an accident.' Birney said it appears Myer slipped or lost her
balance and fell from a ladder leading into the vault, then grabbed a wire
as she fell. Myer died instantly when she touched a 7,200-volt wire
connecting two transformers in the 10-foot-by-10-foot vault, authorities
"Ken Hoden, manager of Golden Era Studios, had previously speculated that
Myer may have gone into the vault to find out why a squirrel had died
inside weeks before. Investigators received numerous calls, mostly from
critics of Scientology, who suggested Myer's death was not an accident,
> Lisa McPhersonThe autopsy photos of Lisa McPherson continue to be sealed due to legal
appeals by Scientology. From the St. Petersburg Times on July 6th:
"A Pinellas judge ruled Wednesday that autopsy photos of Scientologist
Lisa McPherson should be made public, but the photos remained under seal
after the Church of Scientology quickly asked for a delay. The church has
argued that releasing the autopsy photos could prevent a fair trial in
Hillsborough County, where it is fighting a wrongful-death lawsuit filed
by McPherson's estate. The church says it fears the photos will be
published by newspapers and by its critics on the Internet, thus inflaming
"Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell wrote that the church 'has
not shown the likelihood of irreparable harm' if the photos are released.
'Even if the photographs are published extensively,' he added, 'that does
not mean that the Hillsborough County court cannot seat an unbiased jury.'
Courts are equipped to handle such matters, he wrote."
From the St. Petersburg Times on July 7th:
"The Church of Scientology has again blocked the release of autopsy photos
of Scientologist Lisa McPherson. In a motion filed Thursday, the church
asked Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell to reconsider two
previous rulings this week in which he cleared the photos for public
release. The motion prompted the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office to delay
the release for the second time this week. It was the third time
Scientology has successfully kept the records secret since June 12, when
prosecutors dropped two criminal charges against the church in McPherson's
"The church says Farnell has not heard enough evidence to make a decision
and suggested an 'alternative remedy' such as allowing the public to view
the photos without reproducing them for general distribution."
> NigeriaThe Nigerian senate this week said that a debt buy-back program in which
Scientology critic Bob Minton participated was a good deal for Nigeria.
From Nigeria Today on July 3rd:
"A committee of Nigeria's upper legislative chamber has backed the
strategy of debt buy back schemes in reducing the country's huge external
debt. The committee stated that the debt buy back scheme undertaken
between 1988 and 1993 was beneficial to Nigeria because the country was
able to reduce its debt by $5 billion. London based former footballer,
John Fashanu alleged financial impropriety in the 1988-93 scheme. His
accusing fingers were pointed at retired American investment banker Bob
Minton, whose firm handled the 1988-93 scheme. Responding to Fashanu's
allegations at a public forum which the United Kingdom resident, failed to
attend, Minton said Fashanu was being used by the Scientology organisation
in the United States with which he had a three-year battle over the
group's alleged human rights violations and murder of certain persons
which he was trying to expose.
"'If people had plundered Nigeria, they should be brought to book, but
such a campaign would lose its focus if the main motivation is vendetta.
The Fashanu Report was a document conceived out of vendetta. As far as I
am concerned Fashanu is being economical with the truth. He should focus
on those who stole Nigeria's money and not people like me who are being
maligned for a completely different reason' Minton told a public forum in
Howard University, Washington D.C. last month. Privately, Fashanu has
denied allegations that he had offered to sell his unsubstantiated
findings to the federal government to the tune of 500 million naira. He
has also failed to refute the allegations in public."
From The Guardian on July 2nd:
"About five billion dollars may have been slashed off Nigeria's debt by a
1988 debt buy-back deal going by the findings of the Senate Committee on
Local and Foreign Debts which investigated such past transactions. The
committee which was until recently led by Senator Idris Abubakar concluded
in its yet to be debated report that contrary to speculations, the debt
buy back deal believed to have been fraudulently executed was somewhat
beneficial to the country.
"The committee's findings which runs against the recent campaign of
looting by former football star, John Fashanu, draws largely from
submissions of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria and
other principal witnesses to conclude that one 'Greenland Company', role
in the business was transparent.
"While Fashanu insists that his discovery was borne out of patriotism, one
of those linked with the transaction, Mr. Bob Minton has accused him
(Fashanu) of working for the Scientologists, a controversial United States
group, in the bid to run him down. Minton stressed that he has
consistently taken on the group's disputed objectives to the level where
they would work on any thing to either distract him or discredit his
The former leader of Nigeria also criticized Fashanu. From Nigeria Today
on July 4th:
"Nigeria's former dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida says John Fashanu's
allegations against him are nothing but 'fairy tales.' Babangida dismissed
claims made by former footballer, Fashanu, who accused a retired American
investment banker, Bob Minton, of helping the dictator to siphon public
funds. He said he was surprised that Fashanu missed the opportunity
provided by public forum organised by Professor Bolaji Aluko's Nigerian
Democratic Movement in the United States to prove his case."
From Nigeriaworld on July 4th:
"'The revelations surprised me. I am surprised, because I didn't know,'
Babangida told a group of Newswatch editors in an interview published in
the current edition of the newsmagazine. Babangida chided John Fashanu,
the Nigerian-London based footballer who accused the American, Bob Minton,
of helping Babangida to siphon public funds, for missing the opportunity
provided by a conference organised by Nigerians in the United States to
prove his case."
> Protest SummaryKeith Henson continued his near-daily protests at Gold Base near hemet,
"I did another picket for an hour or so this morning ending at ten or ten
thirty. I had walked less than 100 yds from my car which was parked
beyond the east overpass when I looked back to wave at traffic and saw two
guys walking toward me. Eliot Richardson, the guy who choked me in LA two
years ago, and another heavy set dude who really didn't want his photo
taken. They threatened me, got in my face and started bull baiting me
(child molester etc.) What they were after was to bash themselves on my
sign or get me to bash them and fall down like Howd. I wasn't having any
of it, so I jumped into the roadway. They spent the next ten minutes
trying to bull bait as they chased me back and forth in the roadway while
I flagged down about 20 cars and asked them to call the cops. Every time I
would talk to someone in a car, they would quit bothering me so they could
tell the driver I was a mad bomber or child molester or both.
"Officer Labaron was the first to respond. They gave the officer a shore
story about trying to 'interview' me (spitting in my face from 6 inches!).
He informed them that it was not safe to distract someone who was walking
along the side of a busy highway and that they should figure out a better
place to do interviews. The Sheriff officer showed up later and got
flyers. We talked about Stacey Myer, chain lockers, shore stories, and
what to put in a search engine."
"I was not early enough to follow the buses back to the two clam
apartments, but all four went by my picket signs within a ten minute
period close to 7 am. I followed one of them over to the apartments on
Kirby and found one at the Fruitvale Apartment as well. The first one
tried to shake me off, and stopped for a while at a gas station to call.
The Fruitvale apartments have a security guy playing hide and seek in the
bushes with a radio."
"On the way out, I saw a Highway Patrol officer with a stopped car. So I
turned around, stopped, parked and talked to Officer Mushaney. The
officers who looked at the tape concluded I was trying to get away from
Edwin Richardson and the other thug. Parked at the west end next to where
Ashlee was killed, got out my sign and started walking to the east. Sure
enough, here comes Edwin and thug 2. So I got on 911 and reported as they
were walking down the road to me. Edwin took a bad step in some wet sand
on the south side of the road and went down hard.
"Thug 2 crossed over behind me and Edwin got in front. He stopped, forcing
me to either go in to the street or further onto scn property, while thug
2 was talking into a radio or cell phone about how I had stepped on
precious scn property. But with it obvious I was talking to 911, they kept
back about 6 feet. Ken Hoden came by and warned me to stay off private
property, but he knows that I have the right to walk on their property if
required for safety. Incidentally, except for the west underpass, they
seem to have given up trying to keep gold base staff inside."
"After playing a little with the buses, I got out there about 7 am, parked
on the west end next to where Ashlee was killed. Thug 2 and the older guy
came trudging down from the main gate. Thug 2 came up close and started
right in bull baiting. I called 911, and he split back to the guard house,
and Edwin took his place. After Thug 2 went into hiding, I canceled the
"Barb" and David Rice also protested Gold Base this week.
"I hopped out of the car and approached Keith while David parked. Both of
Keith's escorts promptly left to get orders. They were soon back, trudging
along heavily behind us with camcorders. We picked up a couple of picket
signs from Keith and started the day's work. On our first pass, Keith
pointed out several rather large pine trees in wooden pots that have been
placed over the underground tunnel. There isn't enough soil there to plant
them, due to the tunnel, so they've wrapped the bases with plastic
sheeting. Those trees are heavy! I hope the tunnel is reinforced to
support this weight after watering.
"At one point, we separated from Keith by about 100 yards. Our handlers
muttered to each other, and also separated; Keith got one, and we got the
other. He was a man in his 60s, heavy set, silver hair, wearing no hat in
the hot sun. He carried a water bottle and would seek out shade when we
stopped. His face was very red, and he did not seem to be doing too well
in the heat."
"Arrived at 'Gold Base' at 10:28 AM and saw Keith out there. Keith was in
the middle of two goons: sort of like a Nabisco Entheta Cookie. Trudge;
trudge; trudge down the road we travailed, walking West on the Eastbound
side of the road. If the crime syndicate did not send their goons out to
harass him, I suspect that a great many motorists would not even notice he
is out there. One person with a sign is less attractive than FIVE
PICKETERS outside protesting the crime syndicate's abuses.
"Trudge; trudge; trudge our travail continued until 12:48PM upon whence we
met up with Keith and we demanded a break. The heat was getting to me,
and pictures of iced tea danced before my eyes. We split up and headed for
our cars. Our shadow dogged us to the last centimeter. We drove to Ida's
house for lunch. The crime syndicate had Ida's son and grandson send two
e-mails to her. The intent of the e-mail was to convince her to eject
Keith from her abode. The propaganda called Keith a 'full-time hater.'"
"Act" protested at the Adelaide, Australia org this week.
"Picketers: my friend Darren and myself; Banner: '$cientology Despises
Free Speech'; The Scientologists were very on-edge at the Adelaide Org.
Darren and I could barely approach the Org without some Sea Org member
emerging, patrolling around the street and going back inside the Org.
Soon enough a handler snuck up behind us, remarked 'that's not a very
professional sign. You're breaking the law. I'm going to call the
Council.' We crossed the street and began filming the Church.
"They made good on their promise to contact the Adelaide City Council. A
council officer soon appeared to move me and my friend on, even though we
had police permission to be there, and we weren't blocking the pavement or
behaving offensively. Needless to say, I'm exchanging words with the
Council over the legality of the Council's by-law requiring people to pay
for a permit in order to hold protests or gatherings."
Hartley Patterson and Dave Bird protested the Birmingham, England org this
"Jens, Dave Bird and myself were joined by four local SPs for a peaceful
picket. I chatted briefly to one handler who promised to send me proof of
the Church of Scientology's 8 million members and continuing expansion. It
was evidently a good day for canvassing, besides the body routers there
was Oxfam, Animal Rights and several others."
"Roland's new leaflet has sides three and four on how to get money back
and get family out, with contact details for 'Escape', 'Catalyst', and
'Leaving Scientology'. I had a considerable amount of old & new style
leaflets. We set up with placards and leaflets around the top of Ethel
Street; no amplification, but my voice carried pretty well in a no-traffic
"We kept it basic down to 'scam operating in this area, don't be fooled by
the personality test clipboarders, it's a scam to extract money'. Our
leaflets were well received, and quite a few people stopped for a chat.
Over time the phones must have been ringing to summon various other
body-routers into the Org, as by the time we finished at 1600 the number
had just increased to four with their own counter-leaflets."
> South Africa:The Metro Sunday Times reported on July 2nd that Scientology is trying to
buy a school in Johannesburg, South Africa.
"The land belonging to Woodmead High School -- one of Johannesburg's most
famous and progressive schools -- is at the centre of a fight with the
Church of Scientology. Bob Glenister, co-director of Woodmead Holdings,
which owns the land on which the now closed Woodmead High School stood, is
locked in a legal battle to prevent the Church of Scientology from buying
the northern Johannesburg property for R3.4-million because he believes
the controversial group is 'morally abhorrent'.
"'It's just not acceptable to sell the land to these people. In my opinion
they're evil and take advantage of people who are in need of spiritual or
psychological help. We believe that every individual has the right to have
his opinion heard and a right to practice what he believes in. The
Woodmead school always stood for ideas and freedom of expression. But the
Scientologists are into mind control. They morally blackmail the people to
stay in the institution.'
"In court papers, the bank says it prefers to sell the property to the
Church of Scientology. But Glenister claims there have been other offers -
including one of R4.4 million - which he should be able to accept. 'If we
can get more money from elsewhere why on earth should we be forced to
accept this offer by the Scientologists?' he said."
> SwitzerlandNeue Zuercher Zeitung reported on July 1st that a law used to prohibit the
distribution of personality tests in Zurich has been ruled
"The prohibition established in 1972 by the Zurich city council against
distribution of advertising material on public land has rightly been
declared unconstitutional by the Cantonal Constitutional Court. The city
administrative police had prohibited Scientology Church Zurich from
distributing the 'Oxford Capacity Analysis' personality test and the 'Why
Happiness is no accident' leaflet on city streets. The prohibition was
supported by the police board, the city council, the governor's office and
the executive offices. The Administrative Court, however, partially
acceded to Scientology's complaint, saying that a complete ban on
distributing advertising material on city land was not permissible, in
light of freedom of trade and commerce. It noted that all of the legal
hearings involved in the case refused to review the problem in the light
of freedom of religion, because the distribution of the above-mentioned
documents is not rated as religious, but as commercial activity."
Tages-Anzeiger reported on June 30th that a former Scientologist is suing
Scientology for a refund.
"For 16 years of his life, A. Meier (name changed) belonged to the
Scientology organization. He paid 100,000 franks for courses and books.
Last Fall the information technician decided to leave. He says he pre-paid
for courses which he did not take. Because that money was not refunded to
him, Meier filed charges against Scientology in court. The unusual case in
which a former Scientologist risked demanding money from Scientology in
court started yesterday in Zurich.
"At first Scientology said that it had improperly given him a rebate, on
which account Meier could not be paid back. When Meier did not give in,
Scientology told him his was expelled until further notice. Finally Meier
left the organization. He is suing for his money back. According to
Meier's attorney, the 'character of the payments' was not changed in that
part of the pre-payments were described in the documents as donations. He
said it quite clearly was a contract relationship.
"Scientology's legal representative, herself a member of Scientology,
demanded that Meier's complaint be dismissed, in addition she said there
were outstanding debts in the amount of between 13,000 and 17,000 franks.
Instead of saying what it was for, she pulled out a lecture about
Scientology. The judge finally interrupted her - presumably not just for
reasons of time - and asked the question of whether the parties would not
like to try to settle out of court. They agreed to try. They were
dismissed by the judge with 'We will be waiting expectantly.'"
> Exhibition ScheduleA schedule of What is Scientology exhibits was posted to a.r.s this week.
London 3 - 6 July The Selfridge Hotel, off Oxford Street
London 7 - 9 July Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, W1
London 10 - 12 July The Selfridge Hotel, off Oxford Street
Manchester 18 - 23 July Thistle Hotel, Piccadilly Gardens
Bournemouth 27 - 29 July The Pavillion, Westover Road
Birmingham 1 - 4 August Burlington Hotel, New Street
Edinburgh 14 - 18 August Crowne Plaza, Royal Mile
Brighton 22 - 27 August Thistle Hotel, Kings Road
Plymouth 30 August - 3 Sep Guildhall, City Centre (off Royal Parade)
Newcastle 7 - 9 September Posthouse, New Bridge Street
Open Daily 10:00am - 9:00pm
Call 0800 23 2000 for further information"