A.r.s Week in Review - 11/5/2000
Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 30
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:
> American Technologies GroupScientology-affiliated American Technologies Group is suing a former
scientist for the company, according to Business Wire on October 30th.
"American Technologies Group Inc. announced that it has filed a lawsuit
against Bio-Friendly Corp., Robert Carroll, Noel Carroll, William Carroll
and Shui-Yin Lo for breach of contract, fraud, intentional interference
with business relationship, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade
secret and conversion, among others.
"The action includes an application for a temporary restraining order to
prohibit the defendants from misrepresenting to the public that they
developed and own the catalyst technology used in The Force and
> ClearwaterSource magazine reports that the new Super Power building is being built
quickly, but a source reports that Scientologists are being urged to help
with the construction.
"Source says that the super Power Building is going up at a 'rapid rate.'
The most recent edition of International Scientology News says that from
now on the building 'will rise at the rate of one floor a month.' There
was an emergency fund raiser at flag a month ago. The 'cornerstones' that
were sold at the bidding for $26,000 are up to $35,000 right now; if you
didn't ante up another $9,000 you lost your spot! There are about 25-30
workers employed on this project every day, none at night and darn few on
weekends. Word has gone out in the cult asking for their members who are
contractors, masons, electricians, etc. to come to flag to help out, at
> Executive SoftwareReuters reported on November 3rd that instructions have been prepared to
allow users to remove the Diskeeper software, which was developed by the
Scientology-affiliated Executive Software company.
"Microsoft has developed complex instructions to remove part of Windows
2000 that had generated bad publicity in Germany because it was written by
a firm headed by a Scientologist, a spokesman said on Friday. 'The
problem exists only because people and the media in Germany became aware
that the author of the tool is an American company called Executive
Software Incorporated, whose CEO is a member of the Scientology Church,'
said Thomas Baumgaertner, a spokesman for U.S. software giant Microsoft in
"'There were public voices, amongst others in some of the German states
and also from the churches in Germany which said this part of the software
could have a security problem,' said a German Interior Ministry
information security expert who spoke on condition of anonymity.
'Microsoft asked us to conduct this security check so that they could say
that the software tool had been checked.'
"A spokesman for Executive Software at its European offices in Britain
said company chairman Craig Jensen, who lives in California, is a believer
in Scientology. But, the spokesman said, his beliefs had no relevance to
the firm's products. 'Just like a company owner might be a Christian.
It's a religion and that's his beliefs and it has nothing to do with
developing software and selling software,' said Chris Cavanagh.
From The Register on November 3rd:
"A bizarre storm over Windows 2000 and Scientology in Germany has resulted
in Microsoft conceding defeat. Microsoft Deutschland has posted
instructions for removing the defrag program from all Win2k products. The
fact that the defrag program was written by Executive Software of
California, whose CEO is a member of the Church of Scientology, became a
major issue in Germany. The killer that made Microsoft run up the white
flag was the involvement of the Bundesamt fur Sicherheit in der
Informationstechnik (BSI), which is the German Federal Office for Security
in Information Technology. German government departments and states
declined to buy Win2k without BSI approval, and the BSI wasn't impressed
by defrag's Scientology connections."
From Agence France Presse:
"Germany's interior ministry had asked for an investigation into the
Church of Scientology's involvement in the writing of a Windows
sub-programme called Diskeeper. The Church of Scientology is classed as a
sect in Germany. The head of the firm which developed Diskeeper, Craig
Jensen, is a Scientologist. Following talks between a top ministry
official and the head of Microsoft's German office, the software giant
agreed to include in the package a programme which allows users to remove
Diskeeper if they want to."
> GermanyA set of questions was put to the government of Germany this week by
representatives of the CDU/CSU party.
"Does the federal government share the position of the French Executive
Agency to Combat Sects in its current report to the French Prime Minister,
according to which the Scientology Organization threatens human rights and
social balance, is an organization with a totalitarian structure,
disregards human dignity and presents a detriment to public order, can be
counted as a group that attempts gradually and with a certain degree of
success to infiltrate democratic institutions and official, international
and private organizations, and in doing so consistently disregards the law
of the land in which it is active, including lying to and coercing
"Would the federal government consider a strengthening of the so-called
security clause against the Scientology Organization in award of
"How does the federal government plan to regulate the security aspects on
the German market of software products which might include covert, illegal
data collection from customers (so-called 'Trojan horses')?
"How many commercial corporations are controlled by the SO and its
sub-organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany directly through
capital partnership and contracts or indirectly through management
personnel who belong to the Scientology Organization or its
"What legal alternatives does the federal government see to prevent
infiltration of the German economy by SO members, especially in
inter-branch cartel formation?
"Is it true that the U.S. government, without having tried to make use of
the usual diplomatic routes, exerted influence in Germany to the good of
the SO, and how does the federal government react to that?
"It is true that that the SO has created illicit, competitive advantages
over professional providers in the sector of therapy, continuing
education, franchise/organizational technology and management training and
what legal business, trade and association alternatives is the federal
government looking at to prevent use of the label of 'church' by and for
the Scientology Organization?
"Is it true that the findings of the federal government include that
members of the OSA and of the Sea Org have been trained in methods of
chicanery, destruction and psychological torture, and what conclusions
does it draw from that for the treatment of the Scientology Organization
"Does the federal government think it should follow the recommendation of
the Enquete Commission and include religious communities in the area of
jurisdiction covered by association law, which would thereby open improved
alternatives in law to prohibit sects, psychogroups and 'religious'
communities from systematically violating laws?"
> EbayThe Standard published an article this week on the efforts of Scientology
to forbid auctions of E-meters on the Ebay auction site.
"The auction of primitive electronic devices used by the Church of
Scientology to measure the spiritual health of its members has been
blocked by eBay, to the dismay of critics of the church and supporters of
the Internet auction system.
"Several of these were being auctioned off on eBay before lawyers
representing the Church of Scientology complained, saying that only
licensed Scientology ministers were allowed to own e-meters. EBay
discontinued the auctions of the devices.
"Helen Kobrin, a lawyer for the church, said that e-meters are protected
under US federal law, which states they may only be owned by authorised
members of the Church of Scientology. But she couldn't recall what case or
federal ruling established this legal protection.
"According to eBay, the e-meter auction was discontinued under its
intellectual property owners protection programme. 'EBay removed the item
because of the VeRO guidelines; we are not determining the legality or
illegality of the item,' said eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove."
> GermanyFrankfurter Neue Presse reported on October 31st that Ursula Caberta has
called for Hamburg to move against Scientology infiltration and
recruitment in private companies and the government.
"Hamburg sect expert Ursula Caberta has called for the Hessian state
administration to more earnestly fight infiltration by Scientology
adherents into government. According to a presentation by the department
director in the Hamburg Interior Agency, Scientologists are gaining more
new members from private companies and government agencies through
institutions of continuing education and training.
"According to the Giessen's executive presidium, it has tried to prevent
this form of infiltration for about one and a half years in its contracts.
Any corporation which trains members of Giessen's executive presidium has
to sign a contract clause. This clause prohibits instruction according to
the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard."
Mittelbayerische Zeitung reported on October 27th that the United Parcel
Service has denied any connection with Scientology.
"A Stuttgart consumer protection organization, Aktion Bildungsinformation
(ABI), which observes sects and the psycho-market in Germany, made a
connection between the controversial Scientology organization and United
Parcel Service. It was said in a statement from ABI chief Eberhard
Kleinmann that, thanks to documents it had at its disposal, 'conspicuous
similarities' could be deduced between UPS management techniques and
Scientology founder Ron Hubbard's totalitarian management technology. The
documents reported, among other things, on chicanery and illicit work
hours. UPS spokesman Hans-Peter Teufers dismissed the accusations as
'stupid stuff.' He said a connection definitely did not exist. He said UPS
would file suit for a cease-and-desist order."
Nuernberger Nachrichten reported on October 31st that a labor court in
Munich has sided with an employee who refused to complete a survey on
"For the celebrating Scientology center the court decision is of
fundamental importance, for the Bavarian Interior Ministry 'not more than
one individual case decision': the Munich Labor Court sided with an
employee of the City of Munich who refused to fill out for his employer a
questionnaire in which he was supposed to make statements about his
relationship with the controversial Scientology Organization.
"The complainant has been employed with the community since 1990 - 'in a
non-sensitive area,' assured Munich personnel spokesman Thomas Boehle. But
when information was received that the employee maintained contact with
the Hubbard sect, the man was presented with a questionnaire approved by
the state administration. The employee refused to make any response,
saying that this was solely a matter of personal business and he filed
suit in the labor court against the City of Munich.
"His opinion was validated in court. It said in the basis of the judgment
that an employer absolutely may be interested in whether its employees are
members of a counter-constitutional organization. 'But without tangible
evidence of counter-constitutional actions' the employee may not be
questioned about 'business or miscellaneous contacts' with such
"A spokesman for the Bavarian Interior Ministry, Michael Ziegler, does not
think the integrity of the questionnaire developed by his department has
been put into question by the court decision. For exactly four years, the
Free State [of Bavaria] has been asking civil service applicants about any
contacts with Scientology and has recommended Bavarian cities do the
Freie Presse Lokales reported on November 1st that a new Scientology
Information Office in Zwickau is planning to open with volunteer help.
"Executive Mayor Rainer Eichhorn 'means to use threadbare arguments to
deter information on Scientology,' claims Frieder Badstuebner of the
national Greens party, referring to a letter from the mayor to the city
council factions. Since the state church office vetoed that sort of help
center for the Christophorus community of Eckersbach, Rainer Eichhorn says
the need for an official position should be reconsidered and that possibly
it could be filled on a volunteer basis instead. 'There is no perceptible
need to counsel citizens in the problems of Scientology,' the Mayor wrote
to the factions. He said that while there had been civil disputes between
construction companies and contractors, that was not something the city
government could interfere with. At the same time the lead city official
pointed out that 'the legislature has not created or permitted any kind of
instrument for research or other administrative activities.' Therefore, he
continued, there was no specific method of procedure for dealing with the
"In Frieder Badstuebner's eyes these arguments are putting the cart in
front of the horse. 'How can it be decided there is an inadequate need for
an office when there never has been anyone for people to talk to?' Since
such an information bureau only be established by the city government or,
alternatively, on the basis of the council decision, the mayor has added a
personnel position in the proposed personnel plan for next year as a
precautionary measure. In the meantime, the Zwickau city administration
has already submitted an advertisement for the office post. Construction
businessman and Scientologist Kurt Fliegerbauer expressed his interest in
the position after the council decision, thereby attempting to make the
decision into the ludicrous."
> Gregg HagglundGregg Hagglund reported meeting Scientologists at a Psychic Fair in
Toronto this week.
"The booksellers, sold less than a dozen books. I saw the boxes come in
and I saw them go out. We booked booth H3 months ago. And we didn't
really care who was around us. Not even after we found ourselves opposite
Canada's only Criminally Convicted Corporation which calls itself a
'Church'. The Co$ was mostly doing Body Routing all weekend. Using
E-meters of various design from Wooden Boxes to Hubbard Tech, they offered
'Free Stress Tests' all weekend.
"Mario showed up on Saturday morning and was stunned to recognize me. I
approached him and told him, in my opinion, we were both present
proselytizing for our points of view in a diverse and open marketplace of
ideas. I told him I would neither protest, nor comment upon any of the Co$
activities at the Fair, as long as he and his associates left us alone.
Mario agreed. My wife does Spiritual/Psychic readings using a small TV
tray sized bed of Sand.
"Paulette was there on Sunday afternoon and she took some flash photos of
Jennifer, without permission. This disturbed and upset Jennifer forcing
her to take a break from readings and postponing bookings. Paulette's'
flash photo actions also disturbed other readers. I was forced to go to
the event managers and explain the situation. The management of the Expo
spoke to the Scientologist running the booth, Peter Stevenson, and
apparently told him to tell Paulette to leave, which Paulette, sour-faced
and in a huff, quietly did."
> Keith HensonThe trial of Keith Henson for allegedly making terroristic threats against
Scientology's Gold Base was postponed this week when the judge decided to
decide First Amendment issues without the jury present.
"Abelson walked right over to me and offered me a blue toothbrush with a
narrow black ribbon or yarn tied to it with words 'Here is a gift from me,
you're going to need it.' I didn't take it. This was an obvious threat,
an attempt to intimidate me.
"It seems that the judge was aware of the First Amendment/constitutional
aspects of the case, and rather than have a constitutional motion hit
after a jury had been sworn in and the state's case presented, he wanted
the constitutional aspects fully briefed in motions first. The result was
that the DA and my lawyers have to work out an agreement on the facts of
the case by Dec. 8, the picketing restrictions remain on me.
"Graham, Arel, JS and a foreign reporter went out to gold base and gave
them a solid 2-hour picket. The place looked close to deserted."
From the Riverside Press-Enterprise on November 5th:
"The trial of a man accused of making terrorist threats against the Church
of Scientology's film studio near San Jacinto has been delayed as both
sides debate the constitutionality of the law he's accused of breaking and
its application to Internet postings. And both sides have different
opinions on whether the misdemeanor case is unique and could have
wide-reaching affects on free speech.
"Keith Henson of Palo Alto is charged with two misdemeanor counts of
making terrorist threats and one count of attempting to make terrorist
threats. Henson is charged with making the alleged threats on an
anti-Scientologist news group Web site and while outside the church's
Golden Era Productions complex while he was picketing.
"'You need to keep in mind that the culture on the Internet is one that
statements are strongly stated. Beliefs are strongly held and expressed.
Some leeway needs to be given,' said Robert C. Lind, professor of law at
Southwestern University School of Law and associate director of the
National Institute of Entertainment and Media Law.
"'I don't think this is a novel application of the law,' said Gage, head
of the Riverside County District Attorney's Hemet office. 'I think it is
kind of unusual. It deals with First Amendment rights. We don't deal with
a lot of cases like that. It is like writing something on the sidewalk
that threatens someone. They make a statement and it is written down
somewhere. It is designed to have an affect on the other party.'
"Judge Rodney L. Walker delayed the proceedings. Walker said he was
concerned about starting the trial, going through evidence, then asking
the jury to wait as attorneys argued over the constitutionality of the law
'given the facts of the case.' Walker said part of the case involves
free-speech issues and there were some questions over whether Henson's
rights would be violated. Walker indicated the case could drag on into the
new year and released the jury pool that had been gathered to possibly
hear the case.
"Lind said it is possible that powerful institutions could use the law to
pressure authorities to file criminal charges against critics. He said
there has been a subtle shift in society to stifle speech that is not
politically correct. 'The law, as it is applied, seems to be increasingly
concerned with political correctness,' he said. 'Communications does not
> Wildlife WaystationThe Los Angeles Times reported on November 3rd that Scientology donated
items to a local wildlife sanctuary.
"The Women's Auxiliary of The Church of Scientology donated items to The
Wildlife Waystation to aid in the treatment of abandoned, injured and
abused animals. The Wildlife Waystation is a nonprofit, charitable
facility that cares for abused native and exotic wildlife. The Women's
Auxiliary of The Church of Scientology donated heaters, tools, furniture,
hoses, bedding materials and a refrigerator."
> Lisa McPhersonA new judge has been assigned in the Lisa McPherson civil case in St.
"He is Judge Frank Quesada. He's a former Assistant State Attorney and
Criminal and Juvenile Judge. He is in St. Petersburg, which is in
Pinellas County like Clearwater is, and the jury pool would be from the
whole county. There is still a motion to return the case to Hillsborough
County because the motion to move to Pinellas was not made by Scientology
in time for Florida rules."
> Lisa McPherson TrustThe benefit concert for the Lisa McPherson Trust is still planned for
Clearwater on November 11th.
"Taz, the vocalist for Tampa Bay area band Trocar received an anonymous
death threat by telephone at his work last Thursday, saying that if he
performed at the Lisa McPherson Trust benefit concert, he 'wouldn't walk
out alive.' He said he did not recognize the voice, and they called him by
his 'stage name' rather than his real name, so he felt that this threat
was not some personal issue. Taz says he will not be swayed from
performing at the benefit due to this attempt at intimidation. In fact, he
has been galvanized to push even harder, and picked up a stack of a couple
hundred more fliers to distribute as he relayed the news of this threat."
"Appearances on Tampa Bay area radio stations are being lined up for event
MC Jamie Kennedy, the latest being the morning show on 98 Rock WXTB. This
is the 'Bubba the Love Sponge' show, possibly the biggest morning radio
show in the Tampa Bay area. He will be on the show Thursday, November
"A Scientologist has directly contacted Tranceboy, one of the musicians
appearing at this event, pressuring him to back out, telling him that he
is misinformed, telling him that he is being lied to. This particular
musician is very well aware as to the true nature of cults in general, and
has a background that includes a significant religious education.
Tranceboy said that he will still appear at the event, and much like the
other artists that have been approached by Scientologists, he is more
convinced than ever that this is the right thing to do. He even told this
Scientologist that the Lisa McPherson Trust would be there for him when he
decided to get out!"
> Protest SummaryKristi Wachter and "Realpch" reported on a protest at the San Francisco
org this week.
"Picketers: Peaches, Kristi Wachter, Murdoch, Marcab. Handlers: Jeff,
Josh, 'Betty'. Number of Handouts given away: 191. For the second month in
a row, Peaches and I got to the org right on time - just a minute or two
after we started, we heard church bells tolling the noon hour.
"We saw and greeted Josh and Mr. Get-Your-Facts-Straight. One gentleman
approached and asked what my hourly rate was. I told him I don't get paid
for picketing, and we had a little back-and-forth about whether I knew
anyone who was being paid to picket. He claimed that my sandwich-board
sign, 'Scientologists Convicted Again,' would make people think that all
Scientologists were convicted. I asked him if he thought, when CCHR said
'Psychiatrist Kills,' if that made him think that every single individual
psychiatrist had killed, and he admitted that it did not.
"We saw Jeff Quiros again at this picket. Peaches and I had been a bit
worried about Jeff, as we hadn't seen him for two or three months. Jeff
took some pictures of us; I posed obligingly Josh kept a camcorder trained
on us, and a young lady I don't recall seeing before handed out DA fliers
on Peaches and me. Some time later, Jeff re-emerged from the org carrying
a tape recorder with a big microphone. He said he had some questions for
me. He began by asking about my web site. He said that it doesn't state
that Florida is not prosecuting the charges in the Lisa McPherson case,
and that it's misleading for me to say that the criminal case is pending.
I regrettably don't manage to update my web site as often as I'd like.
"Next he said that I've stated that I don't ridicule Scientology's
beliefs, but said he thought the inflatable alien I carry was ridiculing
Scientology's beliefs. I said that what bothered me about the space alien
stuff was that Scientology didn't tell people about it up front and in
some cases actually lied about it to newer members. He said that people
can read about past lives right in History of Man, and I said, 'Wait a
minute - you asked me about space alien stuff, not about past lives. Those
are two different things.' He continued trying to mix the two issues as we
discussed this. I pointed out that Scientology clearly considered Xenu to
be a secret since they had sued critics over the Xenu story on charges of
trade secret violations.
"He then asked about my committing hate crimes and inciting violence.
First, I was not committing hate crimes; in the US, as I understand the
law, if it isn't a crime, it isn't a hate crime, and picketing is a
constitutionally protected form of expression, not a crime. I told him
that if his understanding of the First Amendment was so inadequate as to
think that he had the right to avoid expressions of speech in a public
place, I was sorry he didn't know better. As to the ludicrous charge that
I was inciting violence, I paused again, then said, 'I emphatically,
categorically, absolutely deny the claim that I'm inciting violence,
especially since I have long been a proponent of non-violent protest.'"
"Soon after we arrived, we encountered a fellow I'd never seen before
holding a couple of binders, the top one said something about 'Hubbard
Seminars'. I glanced at them right after he started questioning Jour about
being paid to picket. He asked us what our hourly rates were! He said he
knew of some 'old man' who got paid to picket the SF Scientology Org. Then
he asked if we had ever heard of Bob Minton.
"The cameraman and the teenaged girl with the 'Religious Flyers' stayed
out for quite a while. She did her best to hand one to everyone who
accepted a flyer from Jour or I. The video camera continually tracked Jour
and did not follow me. Into this unpleasant atmosphere bounded Murdoch. We
were glad to see him and his usual energy. And a bit later, a newbie
picketer, one Marcab, also arrived. I think that four makes a nice number
for picketing, for safety's sake. A number of people thanked us for our
work. We got honks and thumbs up from people driving by in cars. One black
man who accepted a flyer told me that he'd talked with the Org some 20
years earlier and was told that black people should 'get off their asses
and earn enough money' to pay for Scientology courses. He observed that
the people who gave him this information were apparently earning about 40
cents an hour."
> Bob MintonThe Sunday Express published a story on October 29th on Scientology critic
Bob Minton, alleging financial fraud in business dealings with Nigeria.
"Banker Patricia Cousins, 62, handles at least one account which is
suspected of being used in a multi-billion-pound fraud which could bring
down the Nigerian government and plunge the country into economic chaos.
Miss Cousins will be quizzed by the Financial Services Authority about
possible links to a labyrinth of foreign bank accounts and offshore trusts
in which the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha stashed 4 billion pounds
of state funds. The FSA wants to know what steps, if any, the London
banks took to identify the source of the vast funds they were asked to
"American banker Robert Minton has been identified as the financial
architect behind the complex investment programme. He opened the Karosa
Foundation account and always dealt directly with Miss Cousins. The
financial genius behind the entire fraud has been identified as Abdulkadir
Ahmed, governor of Nigeria's Central Bank. He presided over a complex
scam in which Nigeria's debt was 'bought back' illegally by means of
banking his country's stolen cash in foreign financial institutions.
Nigeria's President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has personally pleaded with Clare
Short, the Secretary of State for International Development to help him
retrieve his country's missing billions. The Serious Fraud Office is
contemplating launching its own probe into the affair which is also being
investigated by the CIA. A spokesman for the Nigerian Government said:
'Our credibility is at stake with our own people, the entire world.
Nigeria has plenty to steal and no shortage of people to steal it.'"
> The ProfitPeter Alexander posted an update on the making of a film titled The
Profit, which Scientology has attacked during its production.
"'The Profit,' directed by myself and produced by Patricia Greenway, was
filmed in the Tampa Bay area this summer. I can't tell you a lot about the
film just yet except to say that some of the raw footage is amongst the
most powerful and beautiful ever filmed. I should also point out that it
is a work of art produced and directed by two people, who in their spare
time, are board members of the Lisa McPherson Trust, a watchdog group over
the Scientologists. Needless to say, the Scientologist hate Patricia and
I and so, without ever actually knowing what the film we were making was
about, the Scientologists attacked us.
"They began on August 31, appearing at our filming location, passing out
fliers to cast, crew members which intimated that Patricia and I were
neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members. Within a few days the Scientologists
sent no less than seven private investigators to spy upon us at another
location. Some succeeded in video taping our cast while we filmed a scene
on a dock. Our crew mooned them in response.
"The Scientologists then began to take down the license numbers of our
cast and crew, and followed several single women to their homes,
attempting to intimidate them. One such young lady testified in court
that she considered the Scientologists visit to be a threat, and that she
was frightened by them, but that since she knew about the evil of this
group she was well prepared to deal with them. Several days later the
Scientologists showed up at our soundstage and gave a video tape to our
crew members. The tape was labeled 'seeing this tape could cost you your
job!' It included scenes of Patricia and I picketing the cult. The general
consensus amongst the crew was that Patricia and I were much too kind to
the Scientologists, and that we should step up the action!
"Out of town agitators for the IATSE (stage hands) union showed up and
threw up an illegal 'organizing' picket line. This is against the National
Labor Relations Board rules. Without ever once asking for a meeting with
us, they struck our non-Union film and refused to let their twelve union
members cross the picket line. Nine of the twelve union members were
heartbroken, because they had all checked with their union prior to the
start of filming, and had been given permission to work on our non-Union
film. We wondered if there was a connection between the sudden union
attack and the withdrawal of the Scientologists. We spoke to one reporter
who believed that there might be such a connection. He indicated that he
had evidence that a top union leader was connected to the Cleveland Mafia.
He also said that he had evidence that one of the Scientology law firms
had also represented a Mafia family, and that this might be the
connection. The strike failed to stop the film, and we quickly resumed
shooting after replacing the union crew members.
"Towards the end of the filming, a local news reporter, Kelly Swope did a
TV news piece on the strange doings of the Scientologists and the union.
After airing the news piece, Kelly reported to us that she was continually
followed by Scientology PI's and that the cult had bombarded her news
editor with propaganda to no effect. An anonymous party sent our
insurance carrier a letter, indicating that they were part of a 'religion'
which would create trouble for the insurance company. This letter was
anonymous because it is both a violation of Florida insurance regulations
and a tort to interfere with or threaten a carrier to drop a client. The
cult then followed up this anonymous letter with a package of public
record court information - again targeted at the insurance company and
designed to induce our carrier to drop us. Neither the anonymous letter
nor the information packet succeeded in it's goal.
"The 'Foundation for Religious Tolerance' - a Scientology front group -
continued to contact our former crew members, attempting to get someone to
gripe about their treatment during their employment with us. The
Scientologists also visited the owners of several locations at which we
had filmed, trying to develop bad blood between us and the property
owners. Again, they failed totally, as several property owners reported
their actions to us."
> SwitzerlandDer Landbote published an article on October 27th on Hugo Stamm, an
activist against cults and Scientology in Switzerland.
"He considers today's situation in Switzerland as practically scandalous
because the city is undertaking nothing against the rise of sects, stated
Hugo Stamm. Even though there are 1,000 groups, prevention is practically
unheard of. He said the InfoSekta counseling center in Zurich is funded
primarily by private funds. Also that 40,000 franks a year for preventive
work was too little, just compare that to the fight against drug
"Stamm began his research 25 years ago, during which time he has written
seven books, about Scientology and the VPM (Verein zur Foerderung
psychologischer Menschenkenntnisse) in particular. His first book on the
dangers of esoteric groups appeared in August. Just for his first book
alone (1982) he was sued 13 times. 'But the more the sect organizations
want to get rid of me, the more stubborn I get.' Not even murder threats
have kept the writer from his work. However he also says that in writing
for the 'Tages-Anzeiger,' he has a good employer who supports him
professionally as well as financially and who is able to withstand the
organized structure of the sect well.
"He gave advice to relatives of sect members, 'You can only intervene by
kidnapping the person in the group; but I cannot and will not recommend
that because that is regarded as deprivation of liberty, which is an
action prohibited by law.' The single most sensible thing to do, he said,
was to maintain contact with the person. 'That way when the sect member
doubts the message of his guru, leaving will be easier for him if he knows
somebody outside of his group. After he leaves, the member of a sect has
to re-build his entire social life.'"