A.r.s Week in Review - 12/10/2000
Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 34
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.
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Note: This issue of A.r.s Week in Review contains items from the past two
> Clearwater ProtestCritics of Scientology held protests in Clearwater this week to mark the
anniversary of the death of Lisa McPherson. From the St. Petersburg Times
on December 2nd:
"The protest will be tempered by a court order issued Thursday that
outlines specific locations where the critics can and cannot picket.
Jeff Jacobsen, one of the protest organizers, said he was expecting about
40 people to participate. Some flew in from Germany and Canada, he said,
while others are local residents. He said he expects the protesters to
obey the injunction, even though they disagree with it. 'It's a huge
violation of our First Amendment and free speech rights,' Jacobsen said.
'Every year they do something to try and stop us. This year, they relied
heavily on the injunction.'
"Church of Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw dismissed the protest as
unimportant and the critics as 'hate mongers.' He said the church had no
plans to react to the critics. The church was grateful that Circuit Judge
Thomas Penick granted an injunction that specifically names a handful of
known church critics and the Lisa McPherson Trust, an anti-Scientology
watchdog group that set up offices downtown in January. The injunction
includes 10 maps of church facilities with color codes designating where
critics may stage their protest. Pickets can be across the street from
the Fort Harrison Hotel, but not on the sidewalk directly in front of it.
They can picket on the east side of the Clearwater Bank Building, but not
on the west side. It also specifies that the critics and church members
must stay 10 feet away from each other and cannot harass one another."
From the St. Petersburg Times on December 3rd:
"Members of the Church of Scientology stayed out of sight Saturday during
a day long demonstration downtown by church critics. By noon, about 30
protesters had gathered across the street from the church's Fort Harrison
Hotel with anti-Scientology T-shirts, camcorders and picket signs with
messages critical of the church.
"It was largely a subdued event with sporadic moments of loud noise when
protesters roused passers-by to honk their car horns and one critic
brought a boom box with Queen's We Will Rock You blasting. Clearwater
police officers were stationed along Fort Harrison Avenue and near the
entrance of the Fort Harrison Hotel, an area that a Thursday injunction
designated as off-limits to picketers. Authorities reported no trouble at
the demonstration. 'It's all been very peaceful, very quiet,' said Lt.
Don Hall, commander of the downtown officers. 'We've not had to seriously
reprimand anyone on either side.'
"A banner hanging on the hotel read, 'The Church of Scientology wishes you
a happy holiday season!' Rather than react to the protest, church members
instead focused on their holiday events, such as the all-day bazaar on
Cleveland Street, said spokesman Ben Shaw. He questioned the point of the
protest, and noted that each year it appears to shrink. 'Normally, you
have a protest to communicate to the public a message, but their intention
is to try and annoy our church members,' Shaw said. 'Our church members
want to be here, so it's kind of a pointless game.'
"Protesters, who came from around the country and Europe, had different
reasons for being there. Mark Dallara, 29, of Tampa, said he participates
because he is a 'free speech advocate.' Tory Bezazian, 53, of California
said she left the church only four months ago after 30 years as a member.
She stood on the sidewalk wearing red devil horns and carrying a cardboard
megaphone. 'When you get out and you get the whole thing, you're like,
'What was I thinking?' ' Bezazian said. 'I know the people inside are
brainwashed and they're laughing at me. But to me, the truth is, I'm free.
I can do what I want. I can say what I want.'"
"Bazooka Joe" reported his view of the protest.
"The main sidewalk was in a construction tunnel while the picketers were
on a piece of sidewalk between the tunnel and the street. I walked past
the picket, and when I got to the point where the sidewalk outside the
tunnel ended I was admonished by Jeff Jacobsen to keep off the grass. He
explained how the cops gave lots of rules and one rule was keep off the
grass. A small patch of grass near the big length of grass was 'legal'
"The clams were non-confront except for cameramen and the process server
serving copies of the injunction on anyone who crossed to the other side
of the street . I was surprised at the turnout for the candlelight vigil
that evening. Over 50, I think. The prayers and bagpipe were moving. Also
Lisa's relatives - it's one thing to read of her death on ARS but it's
another thing when you see their grief in person. We took the wreath to
the back of the Ft. Harrison and we filed past the wreath one by one
blowing out our candles. After this the minister admonished some clam for
videotaping the whole thing and showing no respect. As the mourners walked
toward Cleveland St. a 'process server' was serving the injunction on some
of the mourners. No respect."
From Jeff Jacobsen:
"There were no real problems except the police at first didn't want to let
us use the sidewalk between the curb and the construction tunnel over the
rest of the sidewalk. After a little arguing and a phone call by Lt. Hall,
we were allowed to walk on that sidewalk but not on the grass to the
south. So Arnie and I took turns standing by the grass to be sure no one
picketed there. I'd estimate about 40 picketers total for the day.
"Tonight we had candlelight vigil in memory of Lisa McPherson. About 50
people lit candles, listened to a prayer written for the event, listened
to the bagpiper, then slowly marched to the back of the Ft. Harrison Hotel
with Stacy Brooks leading with the wreath. Stacy put the wreath near Room
174 where Lisa McPherson had been held. The people then went single file
past the wreath, blowing out their candles and setting them below the
wreath. Gregg said a few more words, the bagpiper played one last song,
and we were done. A few TV stations interviewed Lisa's family immediately
after, then we all went out and had a great dinner."
From Patricia Greenway:
"The buildings festooned with more Christmas decorations than ever,
clearly indicated the level of hiding. Alongside the Christmas trees and
other holiday paraphernalia used by the cult in their futile attempt to
fool the general wog public was a long string of OSA, PI's and former
RPF'ers with backs to the wall aiming cameras at anything that moved.
"On Sunday, a few of us decided to do a late afternoon picket in front of
the Ft Harrison. As happened nearly every day of the picket, we were
approached by a small army of teenagers who said they read about the
picket in the paper and wanted to get involved. They asked for picket
signs and joined us there. They were anxious to hear and share details of
the cult and its odd behavior. These kids were quite vocal and proved to
be the most energetic picketers I've ever had the pleasure to meet. After
tiring of facing nothing but OSA-cams and PI cams and a frantic Paul
Kellerhals screaming for help on the phone, we moved our growing group of
activists to Waterson Street. The youth picket lasted a full 2 hours and
with their energy and enthusiasm most didn't notice that the temperature
had dropped as we celebrated truth in the streets of Clearwater. The
enthusiastic youth squad yelled in unison: Why are you hiding? Why are you
hiding? Think for yourself!"
"Across from the LMT there is a multi-storied parking garage which is not
only wonderfully suited to house cars, but also to provide welcome shade
for the private eyes hired by Scientology to watch the front door of the
LMT and photograph those going in and out. There was a man with his back
to us who sprang quickly into his car when he spotted us. Not quickly
enough to avoid having a couple of pictures taken by speedy Tilman.
Three seconds later the door to the stairs burst open and three people
scurried towards us. Two of them had bundles of papers in their hands
while the third one recorded the scene on video. The both of them tried to
shove papers into our hands while they screamed something about an
'injunction' at us. In it were mentioned several staff of the Trust and a
few others who were to keep 10 feet away from all Scientologists and from
all entrances to their buildings. Funnily this order applied not only to
the people named but to all those 'in concert,' that means those who did
the same as they.
"Since they absolutely could not get us to take their papers, they finally
threw them at our feet with the words, 'now you are served,' to which
Tilman dryly remarked, 'hey, you are littering.' We left the papers lying
on the floor and walked over to the Trust. There we got signs or made up
new ones and started out to our first practice picket. In front of the
SC's bank building as we were waiting for the light to cross the street,
we were stopped by a policeman. He amicably asked us to wait while he
called his boss to clear up a few things. Since we were not entirely
clear as to the legal situation at the moment and we didn't want to
unnecessarily annoy anyone, we leaned on our picket signs. When the
policeman saw that he walked over and told me in undertones we could hold
the signs up, nobody would complain about that. So we did. The policeman
came back to us and gave us the all-clear, 'everything is ok. You can go
wherever you want.'
From Tory Bezazian:
"Today I decided to goof around just a bit. I took a broom handle out and
waved it slowly in front of the camera. Suddenly I see Antonio get on his
cell phone. The two cops stand up so I begin to leave. They come darting
down the street, yelling at me 'Hey!' They tell me if I touch that camera
I am going to jail. I tell them I in no way touched any camera, and I have
a right to wave anything in the air, same as they have their right to have
it on me. Jesse came out to point out the obvious. That OSA having the
cameras pointed at LMT and following people with PI's etc is the real
"The one cop said 'I think you are trying to incite something'. I told him
I wasn't and that the scios should start practicing their 'religion' vs
this waste of time. We left, broom in hand."
From Tilman Hausherr:
"We had a picket on the back of the bank building, at the time when the
cultists come and go from lunch on Watterson Street. The cult uses buses
that have the doors on the wrong side, so every cultist had to see us and
our signs when coming out! We also went to other places.
"I went to the pool and was woken up by Andrea who said that someone has
brought documents for me. I went to the hotel bar and saw Tom Padgett.
There he was offering me papers. While he still didn't have the documents
I had asked him for, he told me that he understands me and it is upsetting
that these documents of his case are unavailable and that my questioning
shows how important it is to get them."
> Protest SummaryJohn Ritson reported a protest at the London org this week.
"We handed out leaflets, sloganised, Martin P. kept up a steady commentary
on the microphone and a good time was had by all. Several of their regular
'Foundation shift' personnel were missing and only two or three of them
ventured out onto the street to hand out flyers for 'Dianetics' or old
copies of Freedom. They had one new face who was enthusiastically handing
out the flyers, but was unable to engage in any conversation. A female in
'Sea Org' uniform was visible within the shop, but she never stayed
timidly 'non-confront'. After about two and a half hours we called it a
"Wynot" reported a protest in Atlanta this week.
"Ethercat and I arrived armed with warm jackets and gloves against the
blustery December wind, and armed with picket signs and flyers against
fraudulent churches and scam self-help corporations. No police visit this
time, nobody even came out to take our pictures. Ethercat got into the
spirit by thinking up new chants. A particularly good one was '2, 4, 6 ,8,
why is your church so full of hate?'. Another good one was 'Hey, hey, my,
my, Dianetics is a lie!' Traffic was light so acks were down to 1 every 2
From I. S. Rennie:
"Myself, The inimitable Dave Bird, Hartley Patterson who provided the
picket signs & most of the leaflets, John R., Roland, Jens, Shellac,
Martin, Steve C. We kicked things off at about 1:00 with a few jolly
carols. Within 20 or so minutes, the opposition faced us. Smiling man and
Grumpy Woman, in a kind of good cop, bad cop routine.
"More than ten people actually thanked me for 'doing something about
them'. One guy even wanted to give us money. We just told him not to give
it to the cult and we'd be happy. Probably about 1/3 of the people walking
past had already heard of the Church, and not in a good way. People seemed
fairly amenable, even eager, to get leaflets. So much so that we ran out.
After heading off to get some more from a local print shop. Passerby
response was fairly positive, lots and lots of people had already heard of
the Church, few if any had good things to say about it."
"There was a large Christmas tree blocking one of the main windows.
There's a driveway on the side of the building that leads to the back
parking lot - it was blocked with a large dumpster, and there was some
furniture sitting outside. One person leaving the org carefully read my
sign, mouthing the words while reading. The org side said 'Who is Xenu?
Find the answer on www.xenu.net'. The street side of the sign said,
'Scientology Lies - www.scientology-lies.com'.
"There is now a Hubbard Dianetics Foundation sign above the Church of
Scientology sign. A lot of people driving by read our signs, then looked
at the org as if they had just realized who occupies the building. Good."
Kristi Wachter reported a protest in San Francisco this week.
"We had a good picket today, with Peaches, Murdoch, Marcab, John, and
myself. Highlights: much fliering; Murdoch and I spent a few hours on
Market Street near the Stress Test table; Craig and Jeff followed us to
Market; Craig used very provocative bullbaiting on me and Murdoch and
followed us way too closely with his video camera; a police report was
made; DA fliers were passed out; Craig picketed my home. We held a vigil
at dusk. It was very nice. We all sang 'Amazing Grace.'
"Jour and I arrived at 12pm, to find Murdoch already at his post,
discussing Scientology with a woman who had been in the Org seeking
information. She later went back into the Org to compare notes, and I
heard her remarking to a Scientologist that she didn't believe him. There
were quite a few Scientologists out and about, but there was a pleasant
dearth of unpleasant interactions with them, except in the case of one
Scientology enthusiast. We picketed and passed out flyers, and were soon
joined by both Phr and Marcab. Marcab had a colorful picket sign of John
Travolta starring in 'Cult Fiction'.
"We saw the traveling Stress Test Table make it's way towards Market
Street, and Jour and Murdoch decided to go see where they set it up and do
a little fliering. Jeff Quiros took Craig with him to interact with Jour
and Murdoch, which resulted in Jour filing an incident report with the San
Francisco Police Department. When I was talking with a couple of
gentlemen who asked about harassment and Scientology, I told them 'Well,
that guy pickets my house.' Craig, who had just walked by us and was about
10 feet away, wheeled back and started shouting at me. I have told this
man over and over that I do not wish to speak to him.
"We picketed until dark, when we had our candlelight vigil. Jour brought
plastic cups and votives, which we lit. She gave a small speech and then
we sang Amazing Grace. Then we had a moment's silence for Lisa and other
victims. Phr taped the proceedings, and Jeff and Craig did also, though
they did NOT sing Amazing Grace."
> Andrew ButtnorThe Edmonton Sun reported on December 2nd that the killer of the son of
Scientologist Al Buttnor has not been captured yet.
"A city teen found shot execution-style in his car on a quiet north
Edmonton street was likely slain in a drug deal gone bad, say homicide
detectives. 'This young man may have been involved in the drug trade and
with that we don't have anyone narrowed down as a hard suspect,' said
homicide Det. Ralph Godfrey. Andrew Fletcher Buttnor, 18, was fatally
shot in the head on 115 Avenue near 139 Street before 5 a.m. on Oct. 3.
Sun carrier Bren Lima, 43, was helping her 12-year-old son deliver papers
when she found Buttnor's body and called 911. The car's lights were still
on but the vehicle wasn't running. He died of a single shot to the head.
"'The investigation still has momentum but it's not happening as fast as I
would like after two months,' said Godfrey. Buttnor was known to police
but has not been identified as a gang member. Buttnor is the son of Allan
Buttnor, a Church of Scientology minister. The teen was not a member of
> ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times reported on December 5th that Scientology is
hoping to bring a Starbucks Coffee shop to downtown Clearwater.
"The coffee shop is expected to open this summer at Cleveland Street and
Fort Harrison Avenue. The 2,400-square-foot coffee shop will be on the
southwest corner of Cleveland Street and Fort Harrison Avenue, after
renovations are completed during a seven-month period. It couldn't have
happened without the city, the Church of Scientology and Matrix Lodging
working together. Starbucks first became interested in Clearwater's
downtown as a result of efforts by Scientology to attract them to open a
shop in a Scientology facility here.
"Starbucks ended up agreeing to supply Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel
with coffee, but the deal fell through to open a separate store downtown
in a Scientology building on Cleveland Street. The length of the proposed
lease and concerns that protesters against the church might disrupt the
shop were among the issues, said Tom DeVocht, who oversees the church's
real estate and construction projects. Scientology officials then
encouraged the coffee chain to begin negotiating with Gerald Ellenburg,
the CEO of Matrix, to open their shop in Matrix's building nearby. The
city helped make the pitch to the coffee chain."
> FranceThe St. Catharines Standard reported on December 6th on efforts by
Scientology to protest French efforts against cults, claiming religious
"The French National Assembly passed legislation which bans what it calls
'sects.' The legislation covers 172 denominations including 7th Day
Adventists, Mormons, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Scientologists. It
criminalizes minority religions and can impose fines, jail terms, and
organizational dissolution. The word 'sect' itself is not defined. The
crime of 'mental manipulation' is also not defined. The law contravenes
numerous national and international human rights laws which France is
signatory to - its own constitution, the european Convention on Human
Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"Religious freedom, freedom of conscience, civil liberties, freedom of
assembly and the right of self-determination are all threatened in France.
If it can happen there, it can happen here. Religious freedom must not
only be tolerated; it must be protected - nationally and internationally.
Human rights activities were organized by the Church of Scientology,
Friends of the United NAtions, the Washington Institute of religion and
Public Policy, the Paris based Coalition Against the New Inquisition and
Omnium des Libertes. Approximately 15,000 people from all over the world
came to Plaza de la Bastille, Paris for a peaceful Unity March. Upon
arrival, we were frustrated to learn that the French Prefecture had
categorically refused permission for the march to take place.
"I'll never forget seeing actress Kirstie Alley and singer Isaac Hayes
leaning out the window with huge smiles on their faces, Shaft shaking his
fist, and an old Muslim leader wiping tears from his eyes. A hundred
soldiers moved in and cordoned off the area. Even as we dispersed, more
police arrived, clad in black fatigues, helmets and shields. After the
rally, we met with Terrence Longeran, the assistant to Canadian Ambassador
Raymond Chretien. Attending were Al Buttnor, National Director of Affairs
of Scientology, Canada, Reverend Earl Smith, Shailendra Prasad, editor of
Toronto's India Journal and me. Lonegran gave us insights into French
society, their view of the issue and advice on how to address the problems
"The next day's human rights tribunal consisted of expert panelists from
around the world - lawyers, scholars, historians, religious leaders,
journalists, and retired Canadian Judge Pamela Appelt. We heard nine hours
of testimony from individuals who had experienced discrimination - a woman
whose children were taken away and not returned until she agreed to live
far from the Krishna Temple she attended; a radio journalist fired for
interviewing a Scientologist; a French math tutor, labeled a cultist and
boycotted by the Business Association; an Algerian Muslim Imam whose mayor
prevented the building of a mosque."
> GermanyDie Welt reported on November 23rd that Scientology is advertising for a
Scientology book in European cities.
"On poster surfaces in the major European cities, the notorious sect group
has been mass advertising one of its founder's works for days - L. Ron
Hubbard's The Fundamentals of Thought. The name of the sect itself is not
to be found on the posters other than on the book covers; instead there is
a quote by Hubbard who is honored by the powerful US group as a bringer of
salvation, 'It doesn't matter where you're going. What matters is how you
get there.' The line does not allude to the positioning of the cadre-like
organization and to spiritual torture in Scientology, it is also
symptomatic for the new advertising strategy: if Scientology had first
established itself in Germany mostly by recruiting pedestrians, now the
sect is using ever more perfidious tactics - according to press reports,
adherents are placed in restaurants, seniors homes, driving school and
even kindergartens; in Hamburg establishments are disguised as exhibits
and film demonstrations.
"What's at stake is commercial survival of the German branch. According to
community and church sect commissioners, the organization is suffering
under heavily dwindling membership and is also headed for bankruptcy.
'Financially, the organization is doing very poorly,' says Hamburg's
Scientology commissioner Ursula Caberta. The end of Scientology
Deutschland is not in the foreseeable future, said Berlin's Evangelical
sect commissioner Thomas Gandow, 'The organization has been declared dead
before. But then it comes back all the more radical.' The post campaign is
not illegal - the organization may advertise as anybody else according to
law. 'Scientology is not banned in Germany. We may not act as censor,'
said its spokesman Andreas Schaefer."
From Offenbach-Post on December 6th that Scientology advertising on German
train stations is not subject to official review.
"An advertising poster for a Scientology book by sect founder L. Ron
Hubbard has been hanging in the railroad underpass on Bieberer Street for
weeks. While the advertising surface is indeed in the railroad's
possession, it is leased to a private marketer. And nobody has any
influence on the marketer's activities. The railroad leases poster space
under the tracks to a Frankfurt company, Conti-Werbung. They in turn have
granted rights for the surfaces to a company registered under the name of
"'That is a completely normal poster,' said Dieter Becker. 'We are not
being paid by Constitutional Security. Therefore we accept business from
those from whom we can earn money.' He does not, however, hang radical
right-wing propaganda or 'Republikan' campaign posters, said Becker. The
city would not tolerate a Scientology poster on its own surfaces -
although they may be leased. 'Our contracts with the German Cities Media
are formulated in such a way that nothing like that can come about,'
asserted department chief Matthias Mueller. Advertising putting young
people at risk as well as anything which transgresses good morals are
excluded. But they do not have a say-so about the railroad's surfaces."
Offenbach Post reported on December 7th that the Scientology posters were
removed after the publication of the previous article.
"The German Railroad responded promptly to a report from our newspaper on
Scientology's advertising posters in the Bieber Street railroad underpass.
Dieter Huenerkoch, Director of the Communications Department of Berlin
corporate central, got in touch with the editors and reported, 'We will
handle it very quickly.' The criticized posters which advertised for a
'Scientology' book by sect founder L. Ron Hubbard were pasted over. In
addition the contract with the Frankfurt company which had leased and
marketed these spaces from the railroad was canceled. 'From our view the
corporation violated the contract.' Huenerkoch made it clear that the
German Railroad did not permit or condone advertising for Scientology on
Wuerzburger Volksblatt reported on November 29th that Reverend Alfred
Singer held a conference on cults in Grafenrheinfeld.
"'My husband changed completely in a short time; I don't even recognize
him any more since he's been going to this astrologist' - so went the
desperate call of a wife to Reverend Alfred Singer, who has been the
speaker of Wuerzburg Diocese for issues of sects, religion and
weltanschauung for three years. Singer pointed out the dangers inherent
in totalitarian movements, psycho-groups and charismatic communities.
What's conspicuous, according to Singer, is a transformation in the
definition of the concept of sect: 20 years ago the word had primarily a
religious connotation; it meant minorities with teachings and practices
which deviated from the mother church, but now 'sects' more refer to
groups which violate ethical principles.
"The Enquete Commission on 'So-called Sects and Psychogroups' performed
decisive research work - commissioned by the German Bundestag. According
to that report, the term 'sect' should be avoided as much as possible;
besides that were opinions that in general, no danger to state, society or
business resulted from the 'new religious and ideological communities.'
Explicitly excepted to this was the Scientology Organization, which the
Enquete Commissioner described in their final report as an
'extremist-political current' and for which it recommended continued
surveillance by Constitutional Security.
"Lay people can often not recognize what they are really looking at,
Singer reported. An apparently harmless invitation to eat, a free seminar
or a personality test is often enough to make one susceptible to
manipulation. A key event is set up to start with at which an explanation
is found for any problem, and people feel comfortable and well-understood.
Soon the atmosphere changes: stricter procedures with absolute discipline,
personal surveillance, intimidation, then even deliberate threats. After
several weeks, report experts and former members, you're not going to get
out without help; many people have already been totally exploited
financially and mentally."
Braunschweiger Zeitungsverlag reported on November 28th that Reverend
Ingolf Christiansen held a conference on cults in Koenigslutter.
"Destructive Cults -- A Danger for our Society. That was the theme
addressed by the speaker, Reverend Ingolf Christiansen from Goettingen,
Weltanschauung Commissioner of the Hannover State Church, at the 13th
Ecumenical Men's Assembly of the men's group of the Koenigslutter founding
church with Reverend Truemer and the Catholic congregation in Pfarrheim on
Bahnhofstrasse. Reverend Andreas Pape, the landlord, expressed
satisfaction about the good participation and arranged the afternoon
program with a presentation, coffee, prayer and dinner.
"The predominantly older audience was first treated to an explanation of
the practices of Scientology. It was said that recruitment of members for
Scientology was well-rehearsed and that recruitment happened mostly at a
high milieu. Scientology uses free personality tests to draw students and
pupils in. 'People have to be warned and have information.' As part of
recruitment, improvement in self-awareness is promised with the idea that
only ten percent of the human mind is used; the lure to join comes from
the possibility that this percentage can be increased.
"Sole proprietors are promised that their profit will be maximized, then
they are presented with a string of introductory offers. The argument they
are given is that the unused portion of the human mind will be activated,
as the reverend stated. Finally it boils down to financial demands as
compensation for joining. Those run into increasingly greater sums and
often bring people into debt and want. 'Often it is recognized too late
that joining was personally disadvantageous.' Leaving was not possible, or
at least was made extremely difficult. 'Out of human pity, people have to
be warned and informed,' said Reverend Christiansen."
Berliner Zeitung reported on December 5th that Father Justinus Maria Reich
held a conference on cults in Berlin
"The 34-year-old theologian has a new title: Commissioner for Issues of
Sects and Weltanschauung in Berlin Archdiocese. He prefers to call the
sect counseling center with its three staff a 'consumer center in the
religious area.' For him it is not a matter of fighting groups of every
shade, but of 'unexciting and factual' information. That would include
discussion directly with the organizations. The Dominican priest has his
limits, though, and the Scientologists are not part of the group of
potential meeting partners. The sect counseling center is open Monday
through Thursday from 9 to noon, and Tuesdays and Thursday 3-6 p.m."
Hamburger Morgenpost reported on December 4th that the financial backers
of the film Battlefield Earth are suffering financially.
"The stock investors of the Munich film distributing company,
Intertainment, are cursing the day on which company chief Ruediger Baeres
came up with the idea to co-finance the Hollywood movie Battlefield Earth.
The science fiction flick based on an idea by Scientology founder L. Ron
Hubbard turned into a mega-flop in the USA despite having John Travolta as
a lead actor. Even a million monkeys could not have produced such nonsense
in a million years, according to the Washington Post.
"On November 16th an insignificant announcement stopped the stock
investors. One day before the business figures were to be released for the
third quarter, Merrill-Lynch analysts Bernhard Tubeilah and Stepha Seip
downgraded Intertainment to 'hold.' They said the movie franchise business
had not developed as expected. Small investors who did not immediately
learn of that through the internet had already lost before they heard the
news. In the course of one afternoon the stock plummeted from 29 to 20
Euro. One day after the downgrading, the official statistics stated that
there were 140 million marks less sales than planned, 24 million marks
less profit before taxes. Upon that the stock dropped to 14 Euro. Those
who only read the Sunday paper learned they had already lost 50 percent."
> Graham BerryGraham Berry reported that Scientology has won a effort to find sanctions
against him as non-dischargable in bankruptcy court.
"The cult has spent at least three times the value of their aggregate
claim amount (est. $300,000.00) to obtain a ruling that the Pattinson case
Rule 11 sanctions order is non-dischargable in bankruptcy. This was the
Moxon v. Berry adversary proceeding within the Berry bankruptcy
proceeding. It is a hollow victory for the clams because they have fair
gamed me out of employment.
"The judge denied our cross Rule 11 motions and my request that he refer
the entire record in this and the underlying and related cases to the FBI
and US Attorney. However, the judge did state that the FBI had an office
in the bankruptcy courts 'and I encourage you to take the matter over
there.' The judge also stated that he did not want the Moxon v. Berry case
in his court room any longer. An observer thought the judge looked as
though he was scared of them. As our litigation starts drawing to a
close, with all of the proof of Scientology's 1991 litigation
misrepresentations to the IRS exposed, I can now move on to my volunteer
work in the information dissemination and criminal investigation area."
> CharitiesThe New York Daily News reported on November 28th that Scientology
celebrities plan a fund raiser at the Police Athletic League in Los
"Jenna Elfman, Anne Archer and other members of the controversial sect
will perform Yuletide-themed sketches in Los Angeles Friday and Saturday
at the church's annual fund-raiser for the city's Police Activities
League. Last Christmas, Kirstie Alley brought down the house with her
spoof 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Lobster Claws.' This year, the perennially
caftanned actress is due to play a car that gets into an accident with
another car. Scientology spokeswoman Cheryl Duncan tells us, 'a lot of
our members come from traditional Christian backgrounds and we tend to
participate in the season of giving. We're a non-denominational church.'"
The Los Angeles Times reported that Scientology donated food and clothing
to needy children in La Crescenta.
"The Women's Auxiliary of the Church of Scientology delivered more than a
dozen turkeys and more than 60 bags full of food and clothing to needy
families with children this Thanksgiving. The bags included stuffing,
cranberry sauce and gravy, canned fruit, vegetables, diapers, sugar and
The Oregonian reported on December 6th that Scientology plans a charity
bazaar to benefit a family shelter.
"The Church of Scientology Women's League will take on several
holiday-related community service projects, spokeswoman Angie DeRouchie
said, including its annual Christmas Charity Bazaar at the Church of
Scientology Celebrity Centre, at Southwest Salmon Street and Broadway.
Proceeds from the sale of baked goods, home decor, knitted items, holiday
decor, art, hand-crafted works and other merchandise will benefit the
Goose Hollow Family Shelter, DeRouchie said. The event will also feature
free hot apple cider and free gift-wrapping services for those making
"A cooperative interfaith program, Goose Hollow is based at the First
United Methodist Church, with volunteers from Congregation Beth Israel,
St. Mary's Cathedral, First Unitarian Church, Church of Scientology, St.
Clare's Catholic Church and others. Women's League volunteers will also
prepare, deliver and serve monthly dinners during the shelter's five-month
The Seattle Times reported on December 9th that a charity drive is being
organized in that city.
"Nonperishable food and clean clothing are needed for the annual charity
drive sponsored by the Church of Scientology of Washington State through
Dec. 22. Bring donations to the church, 601 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle.
> NigeriaBusinessAge reported in its December 2000 issue that Scientology critic
Bob Minton is under investigation for financial dealings in Nigeria.
"London banks and financiers played key roles in the looting of billions
of pounds from the Central Bank of Nigeria according to documents and
evidence contained in the Nigerian Debt Buy Back Reports which
meticulously document two cases currently in the media and working their
way through various criminal courts here in the UK and abroad. The reports
focus on two of the biggest financial alleged frauds in UK history, the
multi-billion dollar Sane Abaca Debt Scandal and the 4.5 billion dollar
Secret Nigerian Debt Buyback Scheme administered and orchestrated by the
American financier Robert S. Minton out of his London based finance
"The UK Financial Services Authority and the House Office are now
launching their own investigations into the actions of the London Banks
and financial institutions named in the reports. After close inspection,
sources in Geneva commented, 'One can clearly see the similarities and
criminal actions built into these two financial schemes, whose only
purpose was to enrich the personal wealth of the current dictator and the
very people running the schemes, while draining the financial resources of
the Central Bank of Nigeria and defrauding Nigerian creditors.'
"A financial investigator working on the two cases stated 'the banks and
debt traders are in a very awkward position, if they knew Mr. Minton was
acting as an agent for the Central Bank of Nigeria using CBN funds to
secretly purchase Nigerian debt on the secondary market, that knowledge
would make them accomplices to defrauding Nigerian debt holders out of
billions of dollars. On the other hand if the debt traders and bankers
were unaware of Mr. Minton's secret relationship with the CBN, that would
make them victims of the alleged fraud and give them the legal standing to
join in on the civil suits now being prepared on behalf of the defrauded
Nigerian debt holders against Sani Abacha, Robert Minton and the CBN.'"
> Lisa McPhersonBob Minton has been fined for failing to answer questions in a deposition
in the Lisa McPherson civil case.
"The Court reserved ruling on the sanctions in order to provide Mr. Minton
ten days within which to contest the amount thereof. It is hereby ordered
and adjudged that Defendant and its counsel, Moron & Kobrin, are awarded
fees jointly and severally from Mr. Minton and his attorney, John Merrett,
in the amount of $7500.00, and the costs incurred at the no-show
deposition of Mr. Minton of $643.00."
> AustraliaKimberley Heitman reported that a lawyer who is attempting to shut down an
Australian web site critical of Scientology has resigned from the board of
an electronic rights organization.
"The Board of EFA has noted with concern the criticism of EFA Board member
Jeremy Malcolm for representing the Church of Scientology in a conflict
with Steve Zadarnowski's web site and posts to Usenet. In many respects
the Board shares those concerns, given that the Church has instructed
Jeremy to employ legal process to stifle Steve's criticisms and comments
on the Church. While supporting the right of anyone to legal advice and
representation, EFA is of the view that the use of defamation law to
stifle free expression and debate is to be condemned in the strongest
terms. EFA is ready, willing and able to support any person who has their
rights to free speech threatened by the legal process.
"To respond to concerns that the presence of Jeremy Malcolm on EFA's Board
compromises EFA's committed stand for freedom of expression, Jeremy has
voluntarily stood down from the Board until further notice. On behalf of
EFA I deplore the heavy-handed use of the legal process to stifle
criticism of the Church and note that the site has been mirrored
elsewhere. Defamation law, an uncertain and expensive legal process, is
ill-used in relation to the Internet. The 1999 amendments to the
Broadcasting Services Act, strongly criticised by EFA for its censorship
provisions, nonetheless created section 91 which protects ISPs from
liability as publisher in circumstances not yet tested in Court. Steve's
web site and Usenet posts represent opinion and social commentary that
deserves the highest standards of protection as free speech. EFA is
committed to assisting persons in his situation and to offer such support
as may be of help, including legal assistance."
> Michael PattinsonFormer Scientologist Michael Pattinson reported that Scientology
unsuccessfully attempted to block his application for a green card to
allow him to stay in the United States.
"During an interview with the INS last December I asked the official if
there were any documents in my INS file that were not placed there by
myself or my attorney. He showed us the file and there were documents
inserted in there from Moxon and Kobrin. The documents were the false spin
on my character. One was from the lawsuit from the staff member who sued
me as a reprisal for me suing the cult management.
"The other document was from a person in Florida. This person was paid
$2,000 to cheat the INS by being paid for marrying a Mexican woman called
Anna who needed a husband to avoid getting deported. So this guy whose
documents are supposed to stop me getting my INS green card is therefore
probably guilty of INS fraud himself. My attorney then sued the INS to
force them to process my approved application. In the end after much
wrangling in the courts we won the action under a settlement in my favor.
I now have US permanent residency despite the fair game psychosis of the
goons of the criminal cult of Scientology."
> RussiaThe BBC reported on November 29th that Russian Security Council Secretary
Sergey Ivanov and Patriarch Aleksiy II held a conference to spotlight the
rise of illegal drugs and the dangers of Scientology.
"At a conference discussing ways to rid Russia of illegal drugs, Ivanov
said that the Security Council evaluates the drug-related crime situation
as 'serious and deteriorating'. 'This year alone, 42 tonnes of drugs and
psychotropic substances have been confiscated. The rate of drug-related
crimes has increased more than 14 times over the past ten years,' he said.
"Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksiy II also spoke at the
conference, and said that 'drug addiction is a spiritual problem that
cannot be solved without overcoming the inner spiritual crisis'. 'The
cause of this rapidly spreading disease is to be found in the distorted
traditional spiritual principles of Russian society,' the patriarch said.
He also said that the spread of this evil in Russia was largely promoted
by the Scientology sect founded by L. Ron Hubbard. 'This pseudo-religious
organization gave birth to dozens of other organizations [that are]
working to this day,' the patriarch said."
> John MappinThe Sunday Telegraph reported on December 3rd on a Scientologist is
abandoning his plans to make a film on socialite Benji Pell.
"Although John Mappin is an heir to the pounds 50 million Mappin and Webb
fortune and owns a hotel in Cornwall, he is keen to make his mark as a
film producer. But he has come unstuck with his plans to bring out a
celluloid epic on Benji 'the bin man' Pell. Mappin, 34, who is a
Scientologist and a steadfast believer in fairies, became fascinated by
Pell, whose joy in life is rootling among the wheelie bins of the famous
and passing on the contents to the more desperate newspapers.
"But after more than a year's research, Mappin is no longer involved in
the project, much to the anger of Pell, who was captivated by the idea of
film stardom. 'It's a very sensitive business,' reports my man with the
clapperboard. 'Making a film about Benji is a great idea but it has all
ended in tears.'"