Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

A.r.s Week in Review - 9/10/2000

Expand Messages
  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 22 9/10/2000 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2000 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 10, 2000
      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 22
      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:


      > Clearwater

      Christianity Today published articles this week on Scientology and its
      attempt to dominate Clearwater.

      "Some Christians in Clearwater call Scientology a pushy, money-driven cult
      that preys on the vulnerable. Others avoid confrontation, striving to
      tolerate or even welcome Scientology as a member of the religious
      community. Bill Anderson, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater
      for the past 25 years, says it has been difficult to treat Scientologists
      with love while countering their teachings with biblical truth. 'This has
      really sharpened my focus about the exclusivity of the gospel,' Anderson
      told Christianity Today. 'Part of my challenge as a pastor has been trying
      to help my people live not only as good people but to live as good
      witnesses. Too often, I'm afraid, Christians are afraid to stand on the
      fact that only Jesus can save you.'

      "Scientologists have made persistent and persuasive efforts to win the
      favor of key officials and municipal leaders in Clearwater. Scientology
      members clean vacant lots, plant sea oats to stop beach erosion, and hang
      holiday decorations in December. They led volunteer citizen councils to
      prepare the city for Y2K and created their own Boy Scout and Girl Scout
      troops. Scientologists hold annual parties for local orphans, support
      anti-drug education in community schools, and sponsor Winter Wonderland, a
      children's carnival, every Christmas season.

      "Scientologists say they were welcomed by some religious leaders,
      including Otis and Barbara Green of Everybody's Tabernacle, the rabbinic
      leaders of Congregation of Beth Shalom, and the United Church of Christ's
      hospice director, Doyce Wise. Largely unwelcome in most of Clearwater's
      religious circles, Scientologists created their own interfaith council and
      launched ministry projects for the community. Scientologists also actively
      engaged in community service, outchurching Clearwater's Christians. But
      some residents question their desire to serve. 'Their true agenda is
      control,' Anderson says. 'They don't really want to be known. They want to
      get along like a tiger wants to get along with a rabbit.'

      "Ben Puckett, dean of enrollment at Clearwater Christian College adds that
      some Scientology outreach in Clearwater is not openly affiliated with the
      church. 'They have a great deal of good-will programs that are so general
      and euphemistic that unless you ask, you wouldn't know they are
      Scientology-run,' Puckett says, citing Narconon, Criminon, and the True
      School, a Scientology elementary school, as examples.

      "'It's generally believed that fewer people visit the downtown area
      because of the hundreds of uniformed Scientologists walking the streets,'
      says Marshall Van Dine, minister of First United Methodist Church of
      Clearwater. 'But most people have accepted their presence in the
      community.' 'A lot of what they have done downtown has been seen as
      positive and community-building,' Pastor C. Philip Whitener of Grace
      Lutheran Church told CT. But, he wonders, 'How much control will they

      "Craig Branch of the Apologetics Resource Institute and former
      Scientologist Brian Haney visited Clearwater in April to encourage and
      educate church members. Branch says he senses a new urgency in local
      pastors to stand up in a spirit of Christian love against Scientology.
      'We're concerned about the balance between educating people on
      Scientology's false claims and yet still urging them to act with love and
      compassion toward Scientologists,' he says. 'These churches are committed
      to forming a prayer front and developing a heart for people who are really
      suffering spiritually.'"

      "Brian Haney labored to give his life fulfillment in many ways. The
      37-year-old entrepreneur had been through two marriages, built a $100
      million corporation, and attained the coveted state of 'clear' as a
      Scientologist, meaning he had achieved the high level of freedom, personal
      control, and independence Scientology promises its followers. But none of
      these triumphs allayed his spiritual emptiness and dissatisfaction.

      "'They tell you that you've made it, that you're in, and you just keep
      walking around thinking: Shouldn't I feel different?' Haney told
      Christianity Today. In 1994, Haney and his wife left the Church of
      Scientology, though they faced great resistance. At one point they
      contacted local police with concerns about their safety.

      "He began attending St. John's African Methodist Episcopal Church with his
      wife and children. 'I must have listened to about 50 sermons of
      Spirit-filled, Word-based teaching before I realized that I needed to give
      my life to Christ,' Haney said. 'I was worried. I had joined a cult in the
      past, so I wanted to know how to discern the truth.' As Haney's faith
      grew, his disappointment toward Scientology softened. 'At first I was
      really mad. I mean they ripped me off,' Haney says, estimating that he
      gave more than $1 million to the church. 'But as I grew in my walk with
      God, I realized that I just feel sorry for the people trapped in that
      mindset. It makes me want to weep now, not fight them.'"

      Message-ID: <8peell$a7@...>
      Message-ID: <8peesr$a7@...>
      Message-ID: <8peen4$a7@...>


      > Jenna Elfman

      The Times of India published an article on Scientology celebrity Jenna
      Elfman on September 7th.

      "Elfman has been quite open about her debt to that great Hollywood
      powerbroker, the Church of Scientology. In fact, for all the secrecy
      surrounding the organisation, Elfman has acted as a veritable one-woman,
      wisecracking ambassador. 'I'm making myself more sane, and pulling away
      the shit so that I can be present and be able and comfortable and willing
      to be in front of other people, to reach into their lives to help to
      communicate,' she declares. 'I mean, if you can't even be present, then
      you can't really help anybody. I mean, on the day that we can all trust
      each other, there will be peace on earth. L. Ron Hubbard says that. Start
      bringing people together. You know what I mean? If anyone is inspired by
      that and creates that, great. What's with sectioning off? Everyone has
      something in common. That is that they're of mankind. Everyone has the
      same problems, they just have different content. So everybody needs to,
      like, you know, work on willing to be there for each other.'"

      Message-ID: <399ers40kii2i3da9lufuaafe41e0g6adk@...>


      > Germany

      Suedwest Presse reported on September 5th that Sabine
      Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger discussed the issue of Scientology during a
      visit to Bavaria.

      "Former federal justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP)
      is currently traveling through the counties of Bavaria. FDP county
      representative Karl-Heinz Klass put Scientology and pregnancy crisis
      counseling on the agenda. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger attends United
      Nations conferences in Geneva as the political human rights speaker of the
      FDP faction and as ombudsman for the Liberals. She often hears in the
      sessions that the current situation of the Scientologists in Germany is
      equivalent to the persecution of non-mainstream people in the Third Reich.
      'There is nothing comparable to what happened to the Jews and
      non-mainstream,' said the politician.

      "Adherents of the psycho-sect often complain about political persecution
      in Germany. In reality, the state attorney's office has often investigated
      these Scientologists for tax evasion, reported Hartwig. 'If you ask
      government agencies, you may have to wait weeks or months before you get
      that answer,' said Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. Therefore she went to
      Hartwig to stock up on books and brochures on the theme of Scientology."

      Taz reported on September 5th that Scientology is continuing its attacks
      on Thomas Gandow for his work to award Scientology critic Bob Minton a
      human rights award.

      "On his birthday, August 18, glossy brochures were distributed with the
      daily mail in Zehlendorf. Gandow, who has been involved in sects since
      the end of the 1970s and who has been sect commissioner of the Evangelical
      Church in Berlin-Brandenburg since 1992, was defamed as 'chief
      inquisitor,' 'anti-sect commissioner,' 'notorious exorcist of belief,' and
      'chief architect for the discrimination campaigns against religious and
      weltanschauung communities and their members in parts of Europe.'
      Scientology Church Germany demanded Gandow's immediate dismissal from
      state Bishop Wolfgang Huber for 'fanatical activism.'

      "The occasion for the attacks was the first 'Alternative Charlemagne
      Award' given out by the 'European-American Citizens Committee for Human
      Rights and Religious Freedom in the USA,' of which Gandow is a member as a
      private individual, in June in Leipzig. The award went to U.S. American
      Robert Minton, a proven opponent of Scientology. Minton is the founder and
      financier of a private incorporated organization in the USA which supports
      and makes legal referrals to people who have been adversely affected by
      Scientology. As far as Gandow is concerned, 'They're worried because
      their sales have dropped dramatically.' Scientology sees an 'archenemy' in
      the Evangelical Church in Germany, which has been issuing warnings about
      Scientology for many years in its handbook of religious communities. It is
      plain to him that, 'I am being attacked because of my efforts against

      "The Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg stands completely behind its
      sect commissioner. Press spokesman Reinhard Lampe stated, 'We are
      decisively against all attempts to defame the work of the sect
      commissioner.' He says Scientology is 'sensitive' because the Evangelical
      Church is providing information about a group 'which pretends to be
      religious, but which uses methods which violates human rights.' Thomas
      Gandow is taking legal measures against Scientology for asserting false
      statements and for insult to person."

      Berliner Morgenpost reported on September 6th that Thomas Gandow is
      planning a memorial service in Berlin for Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist
      who died in Clearwater in Scientology's care.

      "Reverend Thomas Gandow cordially invites you to a worship service with
      the theme 'Prayer for Lisa McPherson - Dying in Scientology.' Sermon and
      intercession will be held on Sunday, September 17 at 11:30 a.m. in the
      Luise Church on Gierkeplatz. In conjunction with the service, there will
      be an opportunity after the service to attend a discussion with Ursula
      Caberta y Diaz, Director of the Work Group on Scientology, who will travel
      from Hamburg to attend the service."

      Taz reported on September 5th on the book publishing arm of Scientology,
      New Era Publications.

      "Since about the time the federal government started moving to the city,
      Berlin has become the site of increased Scientology operations. Anne
      Ruehle, Berlin Senate sect commissioner, believes the Scientologists are
      'currently pushing all the buttons they can to get a foot in the door in
      Germany.' In doing that, they are struggling mainly against their
      surveillance by Constitutional Security. Last year Scientology put
      Bavaria's Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein, of all people, in the same
      category as communist China.

      "Ute Kiesel, spokeswoman for New Era Publications, Inc., verified that
      many ad companies refused to take the work to advertise for books. 'There
      is too much influence from the side of the government.' And what do the
      books have to offer? The friendly woman on the publishing company's info
      hotline promised us that in reading the book you would finally learn 'how
      this thinking apparatus works.' She said the book by the 'leading
      best-seller author in the field of the human mind' is appropriate for all
      who 'would like to know from where they come.'"

      Der Tagesspiegel reported on September 8th that Scientology has been mass
      mailing the German edition of Freedom magazine.

      "The Scientologists have sent their 'Freiheit' magazine to 20,000
      households in the Steglitz and Zehlendorf via a mass mailing - without
      address, return sender and without other information. Another 20,000
      copies were distributed to pedestrians in downtown Berlin. Sabine Weber,
      Vice President of Scientology in Germany, justified her choice of the two
      districts, they had 'the greatest need for information.' The
      Scientologists wanted to instruct the residents of Steglitz and Zehlendorf
      about the work of persons and institutions of which the Scientologists

      "'That is where SPD politician Rennebach comes from. She is the political
      spokeswoman of the SPD and closely allied to the Evangelical Church,' said
      Weber. 'It contains false allegations,' said Thomas Gandow, who is
      looking at taking legal steps against the sect. 'Freiheit' says that
      Gandow 'directs a whole army of cover organizations.' The
      Berlin-Brandenburg Church has already made its statement supporting the
      minister. 'That is really an attack against the Evangelical Church as a
      whole,' said Thomas Gandow, 'but the Church has not sent me into the
      desert yet. The involvement of the American management in Germany has
      gotten stronger. I have now brought their anger upon me, too.' This
      edition of Freiheit also attacks Hamburg Senator of the Interior Hartmuth
      Wrocklage. According to a statement from Sabine Weber, Scientology has
      also distributed 80,000 copies in Hamburg.

      "'We have a general obligation to accept and deliver,' said post office
      spokeswoman Barbara Scheil. One could interfere only when a broadcast
      contained material pertaining to something visibly criminal. In the case
      of the 'Freiheit' broadcast, it could not even be determined where the
      mass mailing had been dropped off. Barbara Scheil did not think that
      receivers of mail such as that could do anything about it."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000905221743.116B-100000@...>
      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000906210602.141A-100000@...>
      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000906210905.141B-100000@...>
      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000907194955.122A-100000@...>
      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000908154930.114B-100000@...>


      > Events

      The Los Angeles Times reported on September 9th on a Scientology seminar.

      "Robert Brennan will present a seminar on the beliefs of Scientology from
      6:45 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Sepulveda Unitarian-Universalist Society, 9550
      Haskell Ave., North Hills. Information: (818) 894-9251."

      The Anchorage Daily News reported an open house at the mission there.

      "The Church of Scientology, Mission of Anchorage, will host an open house
      at 7 p.m. Tuesday at 1300 E. 68th Ave., Suite 208A. The event will include
      a presentation of the movie 'Orientation,' plus refreshments. All are
      welcome; no reservations are necessary. For more information, call

      Message-ID: <8pdh72$mfu$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8pebd2$j0a$1@...>


      > Protest / Revenge Summary

      Graham Berry continued his protests in Los Angeles with two protests on
      LRH Way this week.

      "I made a quick call to a friend and told him of my plans. Two minutes
      after we hung up he called back. He said: 'Your telephone is bugged. As
      soon as we hung up I got this telephone call that merely snarled: stay
      away from Graham Berry.' I was appropriately dressed in my stylish black
      Scientology Kills t-shirt. I was armed with picket-sign, camera and
      cell-phone. The city block was crowded with staffers and public members
      arriving for evening courses. The Estates Project Force (EPF) was
      cleaning the street gutters. Suddenly someone realized what I was doing
      and carrying - the truth! Stunned thetans were herded like flocks of
      sheep, into AOLA and the American St. Hill building. None of the fleeing
      scientologists dared to look back and read my message: 'LRH died on Psych

      "Those in the American St. Hill building lobby were still able to see the
      other side of my picket sign: 'Scientology: church of fair game'. Soon
      the fleeing OTs and other less powerful thetan beings were pushed into
      internal course rooms. The dozen or scientology security staffers and I
      then settled down to our usual Mexican standoff for the next sixty
      minutes. Absolute silence and their new DA flyer: 'who is this man and
      why is he here?' As darkness descended at 8 pm, I wandered past the
      International Association of Scientologists building, tailed by a security
      goon, and I then drove-off as the 'all clear' call was made back to PAC."

      "This time it was the Church of $cientology's Pacific Area Command Base
      (PAC Base) on L. Ron Hubbard Way. PAC occupies the old Cedars Sinai
      Hospital building known in the cult as Big Blue. Just after high noon on
      Thursday, September 7, 2000, I approached PAC Base from Sunset Boulevard
      and New Hampshire Street. There was no security posted on Fountain Avenue
      so all those moving from Bridge Publications to AOLA got to read my sign.
      It seemed to enturbulate (upset) the scurrying SO staffers carrying their
      important sheaves of paper. I was fully one-third up L. Ron Hubbard Way
      before the security staffer looked up and recognized my advancing threat
      to the Hubbardians' minds. The security staffer set about ordering the
      various scientologists including the OTs inside the buildings.

      "I turned and walked across to the PAC Base cafeteria, which is in the
      basement of Big Blue. One entire top floor window of Big Blue remains
      smashed and boarded up. On another floor a broken pane of glass has gone
      unrepaired. By now there were six overt scientology staffers on the
      street. They rapidly moved the more daring stragglers inside. Now, eight
      minutes into my picket, the street was clear. It remained that way until
      after 2 pm when I drifted off to a lunch appointment."

      Keith Henson protested this week in San Jose.

      "I was in San Jose for other reasons today so the org on Bascum got a
      token ten minute picket. One guy came out and took a photo. I started
      telling him OT3 and he went back inside with fingers in ears."

      John Brownlee reported a protest in Edmonton, Ontario this week.

      "There was a surprise picket today at the Edmonton Org with Gerry
      Armstrong in attendance."

      David Rice reported revenge actions against him for his protests at
      Scientology's Gold Base in California.

      "A guy in a RV motor home is on vacation and has been parking at the
      marina where my boat is. He came up to me and said 'Did you know you're
      being stalked?' Seems that for the past two weeks and more, some lunatic
      freak Scientologist has been parked next to this vacationer's motor home,
      peering intently at every thing I do. My stalker stays in the parking lot
      all day no doubt waiting for me to accidentally 'expose my crimes.'

      "My stalker told the RV guy all sorts of insane, slanderous tall-tales
      about me and pointing my boat out to the guy. 'He's a religious bigot!' my
      stalker wailed. 'He's a criminal and he's got a hate web site on the
      Internet!' 'He belongs to a hate group that talks via the Internet!' The
      Dead Agenting from my stalker apparently went on for some THIRTY MINUTES,
      and as each minute passed, he got more and more worked up and crazed. Only
      by accident did the stalker say he is a Scientologist. The RV guy thanked
      him for the 'information' and closed the door on the stalker's face.

      "A day or two later the stalker tried to recruit the RV guy to stalk me
      during the times the stalker isn't around. That seems to have been the
      final straw. He said 'Every human being has the right to protest. Every
      human being has the right to post their opinions on their own web sites on
      the Internet. What YOU are doing is ILLEGAL and ABUSIVE! You are stalking
      this guy just because he has voiced his opinions. YOU are the nut that
      needs to be watched!' I gave the guy a copy of my Live Agenting flyer, and
      I explained to him why the crime syndicate has sent such lunatics to stalk

      Message-ID: <20000904235634.28961.00002349@...>
      Message-ID: <8p4bjp$55i$1@...>
      Message-ID: <39b5b003.27803648@...>
      Message-ID: <20000909005700.11003.00000964@...>
      Message-ID: <GCHu5.680$ud.360564@...>


      > Religious Freedom Report

      The U.S. State Department issued its second annual report on religious
      freedom, describing the situation in various countries and centering much
      attention on Scientology. From Yahoo News on September 5th:

      "Some of the hundreds of pages of text concentrated on states the U.S.
      government says do not fulfill a covenant signed by 144 nations
      acknowledging the right to 'have or to adopt a religion or belief of his
      choice'. It accused Germany of encouraging discrimination against members
      of the Church of Scientology, which enjoys tax-free status in the United
      States. Some German officials believed Scientology was a money-making
      scheme rather than a religion and government procedures sometimes screened
      out its members, it said. In France, a 1996 law labeling 173 groups as
      sects included organizations which were 'merely unfamiliar or unpopular,'
      some of whose members continued to allege discrimination, it added. In
      February, France accused Washington of being too lax on cults and unfairly
      blaming France for its harsher stance."

      From the section of the report on Germany:

      "The Government does not recognize Scientology as a religion and views it
      as an economic enterprise. Concerns that Scientology's ideology is opposed
      to a democratic state have led to the screening of firms and individuals
      in some sectors of business and employment. The U.S. Government has
      maintained consistently that the determination that any organization is
      religious is for the organization itself. The U.S. Government has
      expressed concerns over infringement of individual rights because of
      religious affiliation and over the potential for discrimination in
      international trade posed by the screening of foreign firms for possible
      affiliation with Scientology.

      "Several states have published pamphlets detailing the ideology and
      practices of nonmainstream religions. The Hamburg Office for the
      Protection of the Constitution published 'The Intelligence Service of the
      Scientology Organization,' which outlines its claim that Scientology tried
      to infiltrate governments, offices, and companies, and that the church
      spies on its opponents, defames them, and 'destroys' them. In November
      1998, the federal OPC concluded that although there was no imminent danger
      for the political system or the economy of infiltration by Scientology,
      there were nevertheless indications of tendencies within Scientology which
      could be seen as directed against the country's free and democratic order.

      "In December 1999, the Stuttgart administrative court ruled that the state
      of Baden-Wuerttemberg could not deregister the Church of Scientology as an
      ideological nonprofit organization, stating that Scientology's economic
      activities could not be classified as commercial if such activities were
      used to accomplish the organization's ideological purposes. The state
      appealed the decision. In August 1999, the city of Munich revoked the
      nonprofit status of the local Scientology organization. In June 1999, the
      Munich administrative court rejected an appeal by Scientology and upheld
      the November 1995 decision by the city of Munich to deprive the
      Scientology-affiliated Celebrity Center Munich of its status as a
      nonprofit organization. With the exception of the Church of Scientology in
      Baden-Wuerttemberg, no Scientology organization in Germany has tax-exempt

      "Some local, state, and federal agencies, businesses, and other
      organizations require job applicants and bidders on contracts to sign a
      declaration, commonly referred to as a 'sect-filter,' stating that they
      are not affiliated with the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard or used the
      technologies of L. Ron Hubbard. The Government imposed the use of such
      declarations on companies bidding on contracts to provide training
      courses. In April 2000, the Hamburg administrative court dismissed the
      suit of two Scientology members against the city-state of Hamburg for its
      use of 'sect filters.'

      "At the end of 1999 and continuing into early 2000, Hamburg's Sect
      Commissioner expressed public concern about Microsoft's Windows 2000,
      because one of its software functions was developed by a firm whose chief
      executive officer is a Scientologist. Although the federal Office for
      Security in Information Technology (BSI) has not yet made an investigation
      of the software, some Federal government offices are procuring Windows

      "In March 2000, a Scientology exhibit at the Leipzig book fair provoked
      complaints about what some visitors considered aggressive marketing
      tactics in the hall, and Leipzig authorities are reviewing whether to
      allow the exhibitors to return next year. The Federal Press and
      Information Office's Visitor's Bureau intervened in April 2000 with a
      Berlin hotel, forcing the hotel to cancel Scientology's reservations for
      rooms for an exhibit titled 'What is Scientology?' The hotel claimed that
      the Visitor's Bureau threatened to cancel several hundred thousand dollars
      worth of reservations if Scientology were allowed to exhibit in the

      On France:

      "On February 7, 2000, the Interministerial Mission for the Fight Against
      Sects submitted its first annual report to the Prime Minister, which
      addressed the perceived problem of 'sects.' Publication of the report had
      been delayed; the delay was due to government reservations about the
      content of the report, which reportedly advocated new legislation aimed at
      abolishing a number of so-called 'dangerous sects.' The report presented
      two options: The use of criminal cases against individuals for violating
      existing laws and the use of existing administrative and political means -
      a 1936 decree against 'factious leagues'. The report specifically cited
      concerns regarding the Church of Scientology and the Solar Temple group.

      "In June 1999, the National Assembly released its second report on sects,
      which addressed the finances of the groups. The report focused on
      multinational groups, especially Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of
      Scientology. The stated basis of concern was that these groups may use
      excessive or dishonest means to obtain donations, which then are
      transferred out of the country and beyond the reach of French tax
      authorities. The report also raised questions about volunteers, who should
      be compensated under the law for having provided uncompensated labor to
      'for-profit' organizations.

      "In April 1999, an official of a district of Paris refused in writing a
      request to stage an art exhibition on city property because of the
      applicant's affiliation with the Church of Scientology. According to the
      1905 law separating church and state, religious associations are not taxed
      on voluntary donations that they receive, although all churches pay taxes
      on certain activities. The Government currently does not recognize the
      Church of Scientology or some branches of Jehovah's Witnesses as
      qualifying religious associations, and therefore subjects them to a 60
      percent tax on all funds that they receive. Tax claims asserted in 1994-95
      against several Scientology churches forced them into bankruptcy. In the
      case of the Paris church, the Ministry of Finance refused to grant the
      church authorization to import funds to pay the claimed taxes even though
      the church offered to pay the total amount of all taxes assessed.

      "A number of court cases have involved former members who have sued the
      Church for fraud and sometimes for the practice of medicine without a
      license. According to representatives from the Church of Scientology,
      there also have been cases under the data privacy act brought against the
      group by former members who have continued to receive mailings from the
      parent church in the United States. In November 1999, the Marseille court
      in that case found a former local leader of the Church of Scientology and
      four other church employees guilty of fraud for swindling money from
      former members. The court sentenced the local leader to 2 years in prison,
      of which 18 months were suspended and the remaining 6 months served prior
      to sentencing, and a fine of approximately $16,700. The other four members
      received suspended sentences; charges against two other persons were

      United Kingdom:

      "In November 1999, the Charity Commission rejected a Church of Scientology
      application for charitable status, concluding that Scientology is not a
      religion for the purposes of charity law. The Church of Scientology
      asserts that it faces discrimination due to the failure of the Government
      to treat Scientology as a religion. In particular Scientology ministers
      are not regarded as ministers of religion under prison regulations, and
      thus they are not permitted to provide official pastoral care to
      prisoners; nor are they considered ministers of religion for the purpose
      of immigration relations. The Government bases its treatment of
      Scientology on a 1970 judgment by the Court of Appeal, which held that
      Scientology chapels did not qualify as places of worship under the Places
      of Worship Registration Act of 1855. In November 1999, the Charity
      Commission, which acts independently of the Government and is accountable
      to the courts for its decisions, rejected a Church of Scientology
      application for charitable status, concluding that Scientology is not a
      religion for the purposes of charity law, as 'the core practices of
      Scientology, being auditing and training, do not constitute worship.' It
      also declared that 'Public benefit arising from the practice of
      Scientology and/or the purposes of the Church of Scientology had not been


      "The law permits official institutions, such as government ministries and
      Parliament, to provide copies to the public of documents that are filed
      with them, even though such documents may be unpublished and protected by
      copyright law. This is due to a contradiction between the Constitution's
      freedom of information provisions and the country's international
      obligations to protect unpublished copyrighted works. This contradiction
      has affected copyrighted, unpublished documents belonging to the Church of
      Scientology which have been made available to the public by the Parliament
      in accordance with domestic legislation. The Government is now in the
      process of drafting new legislation designed to eliminate the
      contradiction and protect copyrights."


      "Religions not officially recognized, such as the Church of Scientology,
      are treated as cultural associations."


      "The Moscow directorate of justice repeatedly has refused registration of
      at least five religious organizations, besides Jehovah's Witnesses,
      including the Salvation Army and the Church of Scientology. Originally
      registered in 1994, the Moscow Church of Scientology has applied 3 times
      for reregistration under the 1997 law, only to have the applications
      denied. As of mid-2000, the Church was applying a fourth time. The Moscow
      general procurator and approximately 70 individuals representing members
      of the FSB, Federal Tax Police, the local police, and other law
      enforcement organizations in April 1999 conducted a high-profile, 3-day
      raid on the Hubbard Humanitarian Center, which is affiliated with the
      Moscow Church of Scientology. This was the second such raid. It was
      undertaken in connection with charges by the Procurcacy that the Center
      was engaging in commercial enterprise without a license and had failed to
      pay taxes. Although the Center successfully reregistered as a social
      organization in 1997 in accordance with legal requirements that such
      organizations reregister by July 1, 1999, a Moscow court subsequently
      invalidated the reregistration and ordered the Center to be liquidated, a
      verdict upheld by a higher court. However, by mid-2000 this had not taken
      place and the center continued to operate as a registered social
      organization. A separate case based on similar charges was initiated
      against the Center's director, Gennadiy Kudinov, who is also head of the
      Church. Church officials believe that the ruling is part of a broader
      attack on the Church and its activities.

      "St. Petersburg authorities arbitrarily detained six Scientologists for
      psychiatric evaluation. In January in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Tretyak,
      leader of Sentuar (the local branch of the Church of Scientology), was
      accused by St. Petersburg chief psychiatrist Larisa Rubina of inflicting
      psychological damage on his coreligionists. On June 17, six members of
      Sentuar - Mikhail Dvorkin, Igor Zakrayev, Irina Shamarina, Svetlana
      Kruglova, Svetlana Pastushenkova, and Lyudmila Urzhumtseva - were
      hospitalized forcibly and underwent 3 weeks of criminal psychiatric
      investigation by order of Boris Larionov, procurator of the Vyborgskiy
      district of St. Petersburg. In televised remarks, Rubina reported their
      July 8 release and declared that the six were mentally competent."


      "The Church of Scientology and the Hindu Mandir Association withdrew their
      applications. Among the larger groups are the Church of Scientology, with
      between 5,000 and 10,000 members, and the Unification Church, with
      approximately 700 adherents throughout the country.

      "In November 1999 and June 2000, a U.S. singer experienced harassment by
      an anti-Scientology group at two of his performances. The American
      previously had supported the Church of Scientology at events; however
      since 1998 he no longer publicly has supported the organization. Police
      authorities fined the demonstrators and offered police protection for the
      singer's next appearances. In October 1999, Austrian Telekom, the largest
      telephone company in the country, transferred a computer specialist from a
      sensitive position in an emergency-phone-line coordination office to a
      comparable, nonsensitive position. The company became concerned about the
      employee's access to sensitive information following media reports that he
      was a high-ranking Scientologist."


      "On September 30, 1999, a 110-officer police force raided offices and
      homes of members of the Church of Scientology. No arrests or convictions
      resulted from this raid. The Government is unwilling to provide further
      statements, as the matter is still under investigation. Church members
      stated that the Government's seizure and retention of church computers,
      materials, and files impede the ability of the Church to practice freely."


      "Scientologists continue to seek official approval as a religious
      organization. Their first application for approval was made in the early
      1980's and rejected; the second application was made in mid-1997 and
      withdrawn in early 1998. The second application was resubmitted in 1999
      and withdrawn again in early 2000, shortly before a decision by the
      Government was expected. In withdrawing the application, the Church of
      Scientology asked the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs for additional
      time to respond to reports about Scientology that had appeared in the
      Danish media."


      "In December 1998, the Education Ministry turned down the application of
      the Finnish Association of Scientologists to be registered as a religious
      community. This was the first time in the country's history that an
      applicant had been denied church status. The Scientologists' application
      had been pending for nearly 3 years while the Government awaited
      additional information. The Scientologists have indicated that they
      intend to begin the process anew and reapply for recognition as a church."


      "Two laws from the 1930s require recognized or 'known' religious groups to
      obtain house of prayer permits from the Ministry of Education and Religion
      in order to open houses of worship. The only pending application for
      recognition as a known religion at the Ministry is one submitted in
      February 2000 by the Scientologists of Greece. Although the deadline
      mandated by law for processing the applications is 3 months, the Ministry
      had not yet determined whether it would recognize the Scientologist
      community as an 'official' religion.

      "Scientologists, most of whom are located in the Athens area, practice
      their faith through the Center for Applied Psychology (KEFE), a registered
      nonprofit philosophical organization. According to the president of the
      KEFE, the Scientologists chose to register as a philosophical organization
      because legal counsel advised that the Government would not recognize
      Scientology as a religion."


      "The Government in 1997 asked an advisory commission to examine
      Scientology. The commission's 1998 report concluded that there was no
      basis for special monitoring of Scientology, since it did not represent
      any direct or immediate threat to the security of the country. However,
      the report stated that Scientology had characteristics of a totalitarian
      organization and had its own intelligence network.

      "In 1998 the city of Basel passed a law banning aggressive tactics for
      handing out flyers. This action was prompted by complaints about
      Scientologists' methods. In June 1999, Scientology suffered a setback when
      it lost a bid in the country's highest court to overturn a municipal law
      that barred persons from being approached on the street by those using
      'deceptive or dishonest methods.'

      "In Zurich in June 1995 Scientologists appealed a city decision that
      prohibited them from distributing flyers on public property. In a
      qualified victory for the Scientologists, a higher court decided in
      September 1999 that the Scientologists' activities were commercial and not
      religious, and that the city should grant them and other commercial
      enterprises such as fast food restaurants more freedom to distribute
      flyers on a permit basis.

      "In Winterthur city authorities require Scientologists to apply for an
      annual permit to sell their books on public streets. The permit limits
      their activities to certain areas and certain days. This practice has been
      in effect since 1995 when a district court upheld fines issued to
      Scientologists by the city for accosting passersby to invite them onto
      their premises to sell them books and do personality tests. The court
      ruled that the Scientologists' activities were primarily commercial,
      rather than religious, which required them to get an annual permit for the
      book sale on public property and prohibited them from distributing flyers
      or other advertising material."

      Reuters reported on the release of the report on September 5th.

      "The United States on Tuesday told the world to heed its founding fathers
      who saw religious freedom as a key to democracy, blasting China, Sudan and
      Afghanistan among others it found guilty of restricting expression of
      faith. It accused Germany of encouraging discrimination against members
      of the Church of Scientology, which enjoys tax-free status in the United
      States. Some German officials believed Scientology was a money-making
      scheme rather than a religion and government procedures sometimes screened
      out its members, it said. In France, a 1996 law labeling 173 groups as
      sects included organizations which were 'merely unfamiliar or unpopular,'
      some of whose members continued to allege discrimination, it added."

      From dpa on September 5th:

      "The USA renewed its criticism of the use of 'sect filters' against the
      mentality of Scientology adherents in Germany. That was said to be a
      violation of their rights, stressed the U.S. State Department on Tuesday
      in its annual report on religious freedom in the world. 'Sect filter' is
      used to describe statements in which job applicants must verify that they
      are not members of Scientology or of similar organizations. The State
      Department emphasized that the treatment of Scientologists was the subject
      of much discussion in the German government. Scientology is under
      observation by Constitutional Security in Germany for suspicion of
      totalitarian endeavors."

      Message-ID: <8p3tmj$ll1$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p3u8i$mad$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p3un4$mt3$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p3v66$ngp$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p3vhr$nrq$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p3vs4$o7e$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p40is$ovq$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p41qj$q8v$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p41tc$qg8$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p41vl$qgk$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p421c$qpe$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p4236$qpv$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p43ki$s72$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p43p5$sgh$1@...>
      Message-ID: <8p7tlo$nbf@...>
      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000907195046.122B-100000@...>

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.