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A.r.s Week in Review - 11/5/2000

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 30 11/5/2000 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2000 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2000
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 30
      11/5/2000
      by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2000

      Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
      postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
      week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
      they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
      significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
      whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
      kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
      of the most significant postings.

      The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
      posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
      articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
      find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
      in the newsgroup before expiring them.

      Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available.
      Subscriptions are also available on ONElist. Email
      weekinreview-subscribe@onelist.com or see http://www.onelist.com
      Week in Review is archived at:
      http://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/
      http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html
      http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html
      http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html

      #####

      > American Technologies Group

      Scientology-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
      Might-Tron."

      Message-ID: <4h8uvskfu0ibf0jb465o9e0isd4mpr6lkr@...>

      #####

      > Clearwater

      Source 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
      reduced wages."

      Message-ID: <200011011653.eA1Grsp77129@...>

      #####

      > Executive Software

      Reuters 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
      Germany.

      "'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."

      Message-ID: <8tuu3l$7ae@...>
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      #####

      > Germany

      A 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
      Scientology customers?

      "Would the federal government consider a strengthening of the so-called
      security clause against the Scientology Organization in award of
      contracts?

      "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
      sub-organizations?

      "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
      in Germany?

      "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?"

      http://cisar.org/001010a.htm
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      #####

      > Ebay

      The 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."

      Message-ID: <8tm1og$1dd$1@...>

      #####

      > Germany

      Frankfurter 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
      Scientology involvement.

      "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
      organizations.

      "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
      same."

      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
      psycho-sect.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1001031160545.124A-100000@...>
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      #####

      > Gregg Hagglund

      Gregg 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."

      Message-ID: <9uosvs0fb32ucabnnvb0e309kmaf4vkvmd@...>

      #####

      > Keith Henson

      The 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
      require self-censorship.'"

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      #####

      > Wildlife Waystation

      The 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."

      Message-ID: <8tukk5$cdp$1@...>

      #####

      > Lisa McPherson

      A new judge has been assigned in the Lisa McPherson civil case in St.
      Petersburg.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <8tpnmq$5t@...>

      #####

      > Lisa McPherson Trust

      The 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
      9th."

      "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!"

      http://lmtbenefit.tripod.com/LMT.html
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      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Kristi 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."

      Message-ID: <3a0513f7.0@...>
      Message-ID: <3A04F0C6.8E7C338E@...>

      #####

      > Bob Minton

      The 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
      handle.

      "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.'"

      Message-ID: <3A02F682.B72072DA@...>

      #####

      > The Profit

      Peter 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."

      Message-ID: <20001030194651.24257.00001273@...>

      #####

      > Switzerland

      Der 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
      addiction.

      "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.'"

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1001031160607.124B-100000@...>

      -end-
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