A.r.s Week in Review - 2/18/2001
Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 43
by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
in the newsgroup before expiring them.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available. Subscriptions are
also available on Yahoo. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
Week in Review is archived at:
Note: This issue contains stories from the previous two weeks.
> Battle CreekRandy Enerson reported that Scientology is trying to handle critics who
are informing Battle Creek, Michigan locals of the implications of a new
org in their community.
"John Carmichael is currently in the Battle Creek Michigan area attempting
to 'handle' the local media as well as any critics in the area that are
already speaking out and exposing the truth of scientology. The CoS is
closing their Ann Arbor Org, and trying to purchasing the historic old
Hart Hotel in downtown Battle Creek. Carmichael has reportedly been busily
shopping a huge load of DA materials on critics of the cult around town to
the local media.
"Yesterday John Carmichael met with a local critic in an attempt to
discourage him from further letters to the Battle Creek Enquirer newspaper
exposing the criminally convicted cult."
Kristi Wachter posted information from Scientology about the new Battle
"The Battle Creek building is 58,600 square feet, and they got a really
good price on the building. The new building will be 12 times bigger than
their current building but will cost them a third of what they're
currently spending. Since the new building is a hotel, they plan to use a
lot of the rooms for staff and visiting Scientologists to stay in. The
mailing notes that it will officially be the biggest Class 5 org in the
world. Apparently this is not a new org; the Ann Arbor org is moving to
Battle Creek, which may be more convenient for some area Scientologists,
since Ann Arbor org currently serves people from as far away as Kalamazoo
and Grand Rapids.
"According to the mailing, they're still raising funds for the
downpayment. The mailing also says the Detroit org is working on
purchasing the building they're currently in, and are also still working
on putting together the downpayment."
> HELPThe Boston Herald reported on February 9th that a Scientology literacy
program has been awarded money from the city of Boston.
"Mayor Thomas M. Menino has endorsed a literacy project affiliated with
the Church of Scientology, which critics say is a step towards offering
cult-like teachings to school children. When Menino posed for a photo at
a December awards ceremony with the director of H.E.L.P. Boston - and gave
a $1,000 city grant to the group - aides said they were aware that the
group teaches a 'study technology' developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of
"But Menino, through a press office spokesperson, said yesterday that he
did not know of H.E.L.P. Boston's Scientology connection. In any event,
city officials say the group's program is nonideological and nonreligious,
and are standing behind the grant to be used for the city's school-aged
youth, even as a Scientology-watch Web site is urging the public to
'complain about Boston's support of this cult scam.'
"An academic researcher claims that 'study technology' is a disguised
effort to proselytize for the Church of Scientology. 'Scientology jargon
and religious beliefs are inseparable from Study Tech,' writes David S.
Touretzky of Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Science Department, in
a paper entitled 'The Hidden Meaning of Hubbard's Study Tech.' 'These
concepts are presented in a doctrinaire manner that is also characteristic
of Scientology religious instruction. Study Tech actually helps lay the
groundwork for introducing Scientology into the schools,' Touretzky
"Scientology critic Teresa Summers, assistant director of the McPherson
Trust based in Clearwater, Fla., said, 'The city of Boston should know
that in a roundabout way it is supporting the Church of Scientology. The
city is supporting a study technology that has no scientific basis or
proof of efficacy. There is no proof these children do well.' Summers, who
said she was a Scientologist for 20 years before leaving the church,
characterized the city's grant as 'highly unusual.'
From The Boston Herald on February 10th:
"A top Menino administration official said yesterday that a literacy
project with ties to the Church of Scientology will be closely monitored
in its use of city funds to help school-age children read. The grant was
approved by officials who knew of the program's connection to the
controversial Scientology movement. But they apparently failed to tell
Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who in a statement released by his office said he
had no knowledge of the Scientology connection.
"A photo of Menino posing with H.E.L.P. Boston director Tasia Jones
appears in promotional material for a fund-raising concert scheduled for
tomorrow evening. 'Money is not the issue,' read one e-mail sent to City
Hall. 'It's an endorsement. Menino and the city of Boston have now
endorsed the program and all that it stands for, good and bad.'"
> Animal CrueltyThe Associated Press reported this week that a Boston Scientology staffer
has been accused of involvement in dog fights.
"Police have charged a Weare man with animal cruelty and were looking into
whether his pit bulls were used in dog fights. Authorities seized eight
malnourished and scarred pit bull terriers last week. Bobby Jones, 38, was
charged Wednesday. Police said the dogs and documents found at Jones'
home suggest the dogs were used in animal fighting. Jones is an
administrator at the Church of Scientology in Boston. He was released on
personal recognizance bail and ordered not to own any animals."
> Mark BunkerBob Minton reported on the trial of Mark Bunker, accused of trespassing on
Scientology property during the filming of two Chicago Scientologists
applying for a refund.
"Monday a jury was selected and the trial started late in the day with the
prosecutor and one of Mark's attorneys, Denis deVlaming making their
opening arguments. Present for Scientology's mafia-like cult was the
former Mafia lawyer for the Gambino's, now Scientology's in house legal
counsel, Elliott Abelson accompanied by Mary Ann Ahmad, OSA Chicago, Pam
Valinski, OSA New York, and 2 OSA Int guys. The morning consisted of the
prosecutors case starting with testimony of Mary Ann Ahmad who in typical
OSA fashion stumbled and mumbled her way through the events on the night
of the incident. During cross-examination by deVlaming Ahmad had some
trouble explaining how a notary public could get the date wrong by a month
on a document the Scientologists had submitted in the case. The 2 off-duty
cops were not credible at all according to the report I got and did not
hold up well under cross by Aimen. After that the defense team of
deVlaming and Aimen presented the Zizics and Mark Bunker who were all
three credible, compelling and believable witnesses. At 3:45 PM Chicago
time the defense rested and the prosecutor brought a rebuttal witness. The
Judge went through instructions to the jury and at 4:35 Chicago time the
jury was charged to decide the case.
"At 5:00 PM sharp the jury came back and announced a verdict of NOT
From Mark Bunker:
"Its been one full year since Scientology had me arrested on trumped up
charges but I finally have had the chance to tell my story to a jury of 12
good people who saw fit to find me not guilty. I'd like to thank my
attorneys for their superb job. Denis deVlaming is top notch. The man
knows what he is doing and he is not afraid to go toe to toe with
Scientology. I couldn't have been in better hands. Julie Aimen was
completely unfamiliar with Scientology. When Denis and I first flew to
Chicago last summer to discuss whether she would like to become involved
with my case, we could see it was going to take some time to explain to
her just how bizarre the world of Scientology is. She quickly found out
first hand when she and her P.I. went to the Chicago Org to take some
photographs and Mary Anne Ahmad came out of the Org to take pictures of
them. Miss Ahmad informed them that the sidewalk was their private
property and they had to leave. At least she didn't hire police to arrest
"Within minutes of the start of the trial, the jury had a very chilling
thought to consider. What church investigates people? And why did the
Zizics pay a church over $100,000 for courses? And why didn't this church
want to return the Zizics money? The trial may have been won right there.
Next, the officers were brought to the stand. First up was Officer Foria,
the larger of the two officers. Foria's testimony was hard for me to
listen to because it galls me to hear a duly sworn officer not tell the
truth. He claimed I was the first at the door and trying to barge my way
in shouting 'it's a free country. I can go in if I want to!' He claimed he
asked me three times to leave and I refused each time. Virtually every
aspect of his testimony was not accurate. And he quite often contradicted
himself as when he first said I set down my camera, reached into my pocket
and pulled out my cell phone. Moments later he claimed I had my cell phone
in one hand, the camera in the other and when he cuffed me, the camera was
knocked from my hand and fell to the ground.
"The state rested their case then we called Bill Zizic. Barbara Zizic did
great and she even got to say the X word. She told the jury that I was the
cameraman for XENU TV. Finally it was time for me to take the stand. I
guess I did okay. The state tried to make fun of my documentaries and the
fact that I had done some voices for animated programs but I don't think
she was very effective. She made a face that Mary DeMoss would have been
proud of when she asked 'In fact, weren't you. an ACTOR?' Her expression
added the 'failed' actor charge Scientology loves so much.
"When the not guilty verdict was read I tried to make eye contact with
each juror and thank them for the job they did. Afterwards, I shook the
hands of several of them including the foreman and one juror who worked
for the Department of Justice. When he was being questioned during the
selection process I knew he was a straight shooter and was happy he was on
"I would like to thank Bob Minton who is the most remarkable man I have
ever met. How many people would Scientology squash under their thumb if
Bob wasn't there to level the playing field? I certainly wouldn't have
been able to fight this case alone. And if truth be told, I wouldn't even
be a presence in this fight if it weren't for the courageous stance that
Bob has taken. Without his example, I would still be a lurker, not a
> Applied ScholasticsMSNBC reported this week that Scientology's Applied Scholastics program
may be one of the ones funded by President Bush's administration in their
faith-based charities program
"Officials at the controversial religion which many critics have called a
cult have been boasting about its ties to the current administration, and
are saying that the presidents support of faith-based social programs
could mean that the government will funnel tax money its way. One such
program is Applied Scholastics, a Los Angeles-based operation that
promotes the teaching methods of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Applied Scholastics has been successful with church and community tutoring
programs, especially in some inner cities in California but Scientology
foes have charged that its a front for the church and a recruiting tool.
"A recent issue of Freedom, the official Scientology magazine, features a
picture, taken back at the Presidents Summit for Americas Future, with
Barbara and George H. Bush embracing both a high-ranking executive of the
Church of Scientology and John Travolta, the actor who is a member and
vocal advocate of Scientology.
"The Bushes have long been associated with faith-based programs that
address the needs of our society, says cult and alternative religion
expert Rick Ross, whose Web site, www.rickross.com, outlines the Bushes
connections to the Rev. Moon and his various programs."
> CCHRThe Age, a newspaper in Melbourne, Australia reported on February 6th that
Scientology's CCHR program is publicizing alleged mistreatment of elderly
patients in New South Wales.
"Elderly psychiatric patients in New South Wales are being singled out for
'dangerous and outmoded' electro-convulsive shock treatment (ECT), an
activist group said today. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights
(CCHR), established by the Church of Scientology, said a disproportionate
number of involuntary psychiatric patients aged over 70 underwent ECT in
NSW last year. CCHR Commissioner Dr Julie Redfern said 'There is no
medical reason as to why a large percentage of very old people is
receiving this controversial treatment. 'It is a dangerous and outmoded
form of therapy anyway. To be giving it to people who, in likelihood, have
other health problems because of their age, and in such disproportion, is
cause for grave concern.'
"However, Dr Bill Lyndon, spokesman for the Royal Australian and New
Zealand College of Psychiatrists, said ECT was an effective treatment used
at private and public hospital across Australia. 'ECT is an important
treatment - it is a safe and effective treatment for some illnesses in
particular depression,' he said. 'It is used in all age groups. The age
is not relevant, it is the disease they have that is.'"
Scientology issued a press release on February 12th on the awards even of
CCHR, in which Priscilla Presley participated.
"Priscilla Presley presented an international Human Rights Award on
Saturday, February 10, to a courageous New York mother, Mrs. Patricia
Weathers. Mrs. Weathers fought an agonizing, but ultimately successful
battle to get her 11-year-old son, Michael, off the psychiatric drugs
which his school had coerced him to take. She has since become a national
voice for countless mothers across America, who have experienced similar
pressures to drug their children with heavy, mind-altering drugs.
"Ms. Presley stated, 'This sort of problem is quietly epidemic in our
schools today. Too many parents have been unknowingly disenfranchised by a
schooling system which runs according to the drug-based dictates of
psychiatrists and psychologists, rather than sound and workable
educational principles. Psychiatric 'disease' labeling of children is the
psychiatrist's first step to pushing a child onto drugs through the
"Emmy Award Winning actress, Michelle Stafford, presented CCHR's Human
Rights Award to French author and drug educator, Marie-Christine d'Welles
for 10 years of mental health reform work. At the age of 12, Ms D'Welles
was hospitalized for meningitis. In her weakened state following
discharge, her grandfather sent her to a psychiatrist, who placed her in a
cell, stripped her naked and drugged her. It was a drugged nightmare that
lasted four years before her escape at age 16. In 1990, she wrote a book
about her experiences, Folle Moi (Crazy Me), which has sold more than
100,000 copies. Today, Ms. D'Welles conducts successful anti-drug lectures
to students, warning them about both street and prescribed psychotropic
> ChicagoDaily Southtown, a Chicago, Illinois newspaper reported on February 6th
that a day honoring L. Ron Hubbard has been withdrawn.
"L. Ron Hubbard, the controversial founder of the Church of Scientology,
will not be honored on March 13 in Tinley Park--after Mayor Edward
Zabrocki moved quickly Monday to avoid such an embarrassment. A clerical
error resulted in a proclamation declaring March 13 as L. Ron Hubbard Day
in the village making it onto the agenda for tonight's village board
"When a reporter questioned Zabrocki about the agenda item on Monday,
Zabrocki said he knew nothing about it and would check into it. Zabrocki
called back a short time later and said the proposed proclamation was
placed on the agenda in error when a clerk's office employee mistakenly
thought Zabrocki had given his blessing to the item. 'It's off the agenda.
There's a conflict of church and state. We don't want to get involved in
that,' the mayor said.
"The proclamation had arrived at the village hall resembling an official
proclamation. The Church of Scientology routinely sends such documents to
communities nationwide, hoping they'll honor Hubbard on March 13, his
birthday, church spokeswoman Sue Strozewski said.
"'One of the major things (followers) lose is money,' Rutgers said. 'It's
one heck of a money-making scheme.' Village trustees said Zabrocki was
right to pull the proposed proclamation from the agenda--even though it
had no chance of being approved by the board. 'It's a cult,' Trustee Mike
Bettenhausen said of Scientology."
> Astra WoodcraftThe San Francisco Chronicle published an article on February 12th on Astra
Woodcraft and her experiences in Scientology
"Astra Woodcraft, apostate and defector, is the latest enemy of the Church
of Scientology. Woodcraft, 22, never really joined this controversial
psycho-spiritual movement, at least not as a free-thinking adult. Astra
was born into it. Recruited at age 14 into the movement's elite 'Sea
Organization,' Woodcraft describes a brave new world of authoritarianism,
greed and spiritual manipulation. Two generations of her family have been
torn apart by Scientology. Holding her 2-year-old daughter, Kate, in her
arms, Woodcraft vows that there will be no fourth generation in her clan.
'I don't want her to have any connection to Scientology,' said Woodcraft.
"All cults have problems with apostates, insiders who leave the fold and
denounce their former faith. But the Church of Scientology plays hardball
with defectors, investigators and others seen as church enemies. 'They
are very hard on apostates,' said Gordon Melton, director of the Institute
for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara and the author of a
recent scholarly study on the Church of Scientology.
"'Scientology is something people feel very, very strongly about,' said
Jeff Quiros, a church spokesman in San Francisco. 'It's not a
go-to-church-on-Sunday kind of religion. It's an intense religion. If
people get in your way, they need to be dealt with one way or another.'
"Two ways the church deals with critics are lawsuits, its own undercover
investigations and public denunciations of those attacking the church.
'Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way,' Hubbard once advised his
troops. 'Start feeding lurid blood, sex crime, actual evidence on the
attack to the press.'
"Astra said her formal education stopped at age 9. Over the next few
years, she was sent to a series of makeshift schools run by
Scientologists. 'There were no lessons, and hardly any books,' she said.
'Mostly, we just hung around.' 'We were only getting five or six hours a
week,' Astra said. When she was 14, young Woodcraft was recruited to
follow her mother's footsteps and join the Sea Organization. From age 14
to 19, she said, she was working from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., laboring for
months without a day off, doing administrative work at the church world
headquarter building in Hollywood. 'Every week, you're supposed to do
more than the week before,' she said. 'You are in such a state of
paranoia. All these kids are running around yelling at you. They'll come
up to you and yell, 'What are you doing! Your statistics are down! What
are your crimes?'
"Astra Woodcraft says she was tricked into joining the Sea Org over lunch
with Scientology recruiters at a Denny's restaurant in Hollywood. She was
offered a job at Bridge Publications, she said, which publishes books by
L. Ron Hubbard. 'In the regular Sea Org, they only pay you $45 a week,
but Bridge is a for- profit company, so they have to pay minimum wage,
about $300 a week,' she said. 'I thought it would be great. I was 14, and
I'd be making $300 a week.' Astra signed the standard billion-year
contract promising loyalty to the Sea Org. 'They say you join the Sea Org
for a billion years, and every time you die you get a 21-year leave of
absence between lifetimes,' she said. 'It's ridiculous.' Once she signed
up, however, Astra was told she would be working, not at Bridge
Publications, but for Scientology's international justice chief for $45 a
week as a secretary.
"At age 15, she married a 22-year-old Scientologist who also grew up in
the movement. That same year, Woodcraft became an 'ethics officer'
authorized to mete out punishment to anyone breaking Scientology rules.
It's not uncommon in the Sea Org to have young teenagers supervising and
disciplining other members two or three times their age, she said. 'It's
like in (George Orwell's novel) '1984,' when they have all the kids spying
on their parents,' she said.
"In July 1998, Woodcraft received a detailed bill from the Church of
Scientology International office in Los Angeles demanding payment for all
the 'free' training courses and auditing sessions she had received while
in the Sea Org. The total amount was $89,526.
"Today, Astra lives in her father's Van Nuys home with her 2-year-old
daughter and 16-year-old sister, who left the church last year. Her
mother and stepbrother remained in the Sea Org, along with her maternal
grandmother. According to Astra and Lawrence Woodcraft, their family has
spent at least $100,000 of inherited money on Scientology classes.
"Her mother, Leslie Woodcraft, declined to be interviewed. But in a
written statement, she charged that Astra was 'being conned by people from
the Lisa McPherson Trust,' an anti-Scientology group in Florida that is
trying to 'pry money out of Scientology.'"
The Chronicle published an accompanying article on the family life of L.
"According to his unofficial biographers, Hubbard, who lived from 1911 to
1986, had at least seven children by three different wives, including one
bigamous marriage. Hubbard Jr., who later changed his name to Ronald
DeWolf, helped build his father's Scientology empire in the 1950s but
later denounced his dad as a 'fraud.' 'Scientology is a power- and money-
and intelligence-gathering game,' he said in a 1983 interview.
"Hubbard's second wife, Sara Northrup Hubbard, gave birth to Hubbard's
third child, Alexis Valerie Hubbard, on March 8, 1950. In divorce papers
filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in 1951, Sara Hubbard said the founder
of Scientology did not mention that he was already married - and had two
children - when they exchanged their vows on Aug. 10, 1946. Hubbard did
not secure a divorce from his first wife until Dec. 24, 1947.
"In her divorce papers, Sara Hubbard accused the self-help guru of
'systematic torture, beatings, strangulations and scientific torture
experiments.' She also accused Hubbard of kidnapping Alexis, a story that
made headlines in Los Angeles in 1951.
"Hubbard married his third wife, Mary Sue Whipp, in 1952. Three years
later, Mary Sue Hubbard was among nine of Scientology insiders indicted
for infiltrating the Internal Revenue Service and stealing more than
30,000 pages of government documents on the Hubbards and the Church of
Scientology. Mary Sue Hubbard was convicted and served one year of a
four-year federal prison term.
"One Hubbard ancestor who could be tracked down was Jamie Kennedy, the
grandson of Ronald DeWolf, making Kennedy Hubbard's great-grandson.
Kennedy, 23, lives in Vallejo and is a nationally recognized slam poet. He
said his mother and ex-girlfriend have been visited by Scientology agents
asking about his references to Scientology in his poems and his decision
to appear at an anti-Scientology benefit last November. 'They can't shut
me up,' Kennedy said."
Letters to the Editor were published in response to the article.
"You've got it wrong on Scientology. You take one dissatisfied
ex-Scientologist and give her almost two full pages, then you give
hard-working, productive citizens who are not 'apostates' about six
paragraphs (the Latch family), ignoring the thousands upon thousands of
happy and successful Scientologists from all walks of life.
Congratulations on continuing the long line of superb yellow journalism. -
"I am responding to your article about Scientology children. I found the
article biased and not very factual. The woman featured in your story and
I are the same age. She is right about one thing - she never really was a
Scientologist. Truthfully, it is hard to imagine a person who would break
her husband's heart by intentionally conceiving a child solely so she
could break her commitment to her religion. - HEIDI PARK"
> Cruise / KidmanThe separation and upcoming divorce of Scientology celebrities Tom Cruise
and Nicole Kidman have many interested in the role Scientology had in
their break-up. From the New York Post on February 7th:
"Superstar Scientologist Tom Cruise tried desperately to save his marriage
to Nicole Kidman by undergoing bizarre and grueling counseling with a
senior Hollywood member of the church, insiders say. Kidman, 34, is
disenchanted with the controversial religion and wants their two children
raised as Catholics. Sources familiar with Scientology said Monday's
announcement that Hollywood's 'marriage made in heaven' had come to an end
sent shock waves through its substantial celebrity membership.
"Marriage counseling in Scientology is a labyrinthine and intrusive
affair. Members give themselves and their partners written citations for
infractions. Acts that damage the relationship are known as 'overts,' and
passive behavior that causes conflict in the relationship are known as
'withholds.' If the counseling does not change the couple's behavior
toward each other, the written records of the 'overts' and 'withholds' may
be sent to an 'auditor' or counselor who will analyze them with the
couple. 'The goal is to reduce the number of arguments, or as they call
them 'ARC breaks' between the couple,' said another Scientology insider.
An ARC break - Affinity, Reality and Communication break - is a total
relationship breakdown. 'A couple's compatibility is often judged by what
is called the 'communication lag.' A communication lag is basically how
long someone thinks before answering a question.
"'Someone who answers quickly and someone who doesn't are judged to be
incompatible and there is an effort to get the slower one to speed up.
'Sometimes couples are given security checks. They will have to answer
intimate questions about their sex lives while holding a device called an
e-meter. The auditor judges the frankness of the answers by how the needle
on the device floats. It can get very bizarre.'
"But no amount of counseling could resolve the fact that Kidman did not
want the couple's adopted children, Isabella, 8, and Connor, 6, to be
raised as Scientologists. According to MSNBC's Jeanette Walls, Nicole had
indicated to friends that she was not as dedicated to Scientology as her
husband and that raising the children in Scientology had become 'a major
From The Evening Standard on February 7th:
"Hollywood pretended to be shocked but insiders say Tom Cruise and Nicole
Kidman's marriage has been heading for disaster for at least 18 months.
Ever since they finished filming the biggest critical bomb of their
careers, Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, their relationship has been
"The couple's first child Isabella, came to them through adoption in 1993.
Cruise found her through Scientology, the religion he joined in 1990, just
before his marriage. He is thought to give the church about 1.3 million
pounds a year. He discovered an impoverished member of the church was
pregnant and wanted to give up the child. Isabella's natural mother was
allegedly persuaded by Cruise and other church members to follow strict
Scientology rituals during her pregnancy, which included maintaining
absolute silence during the birth.
"Kidman became a Scientologist soon after the couple's marriage. But
friends believe her different approach to the church is also a factor in
the break-up. 'Tom has always been far more into Scientology than
Nicole,' said Naomi Watts, an actress friend of Kidman's. 'He is somewhat
of a fanatic, Nicole never wanted to go down that road.'"
From USA Today:
"There are reports that conflicting religious beliefs may have been a
factor. The couple are practicing Scientologists; word is that Kidman is
having second thoughts about raising their two young adopted children in
the controversial religion. 'I was raised a Catholic and a big part of me
is still a Catholic girl,' she told Newsweek in 1998.
"'We do not discuss anything regarding our parishioners,' says Church of
Scientology International spokeswoman Janet Weiland."
From The Times on February 8th:
"Reports yesterday suggested the break-up of the marriage may have
occurred because of the growing religious, rather than physical, chasm
between them; that they disagreed over the extent to which the Church of
Scientology should govern their family. Kidman, a Roman Catholic, is said
to be increasingly angry that Scientology, an organisation started by L.
Ron Hubbard, the writer, is winning the battle. Cruise is intractably
dedicated to the organisation, which believes that in the past billions of
surplus beings from other planets were herded to earth and slaughtered by
an evil alien called Xenu. These dead beings are supposed to haunt us and
are the cause of all ills.
The Evening Standard published an article on February 8th on the kind of
testing done at the London org and the possible impact on Tom Cruise and
"For non-believers, Scientology is a jargon-heavy enigma; not a religion,
a cult. It demands complete dedication to its highly prescriptive
teachings, as Nicole Kidman has perhaps discovered to her distaste. News
that Scientology might have driven a wedge between Kidman and her husband
Tom Cruise has fuelled curiosity about the 'Church' and its high-profile
devotees, Travolta and Kirstie Alley among them.
"My own curiosity was aroused, so I paid a casual visit, as an enquiring
punter, to the Tottenham Court Road branch. I was seeking an explanatory
literature, a leaflet or two. Scientology works by inducting its members
into a system of 'audits', a series of sessions involving the airing of
personal problems and their attempted resolution according to strict
processes laid down by LRH (as Hubbard is fondly known). But instead of
leaflets, the friendly receptionist offered me a 'personality test' - and
so began a strange exchange designed, as far as I can tell, to shatter any
remaining fragments of self-esteem a genuinely troubled person might have.
"'What is the test for?' I asked. 'Well, to see how we can help you,' she
replied. How long will it take? 'Half an hour or so,' she said, smiling
warmly. At her direction, I sat down at the table in front of a sheet of
paper headed The Standard Oxford Capacity Analysis. What has Oxford got to
do with this, I wondered - other than to lend a spurious veneer of
academic credibility to the Scientologists' test? A second booklet of
questions was then pushed in front of me, and I was told how to fill in
the test paper. I had three options for each question - yes, no, and
maybe. Easy enough, I thought - and then, feeling a bit like a nervous
student, I began to read the 'paper.'
"The questions were repetitive, often odd in the extreme, and sometimes
just plain loony. One asked if my muscles twitched when I was nervous? Did
I often entertain suicidal thoughts? Could I kill an animal if it was in
pain? Did my friends think I was a warm person? Would I criticise
someone's personal or professional attributes? Did I bite my nails, or
pull my hair, or chew pencils? If I wasn't expert in a subject, did I
think my views on it were still worthy of expression? Did I think colour
bar or class distinction important?
"I was handed my results - a curious scientific-looking graph detailing 10
aspects of my personality, ranging from my happiness to my stability, to
my aggressiveness. According to the analysis sheet I am hopelessly
unstable, (minus 50), depressed (minus 65), irresponsible (minus 80) and
withdrawn (minus 95). In fact, only in three of the 10 categories did I
appear to be demonstrating any sign of good mental health (though, how I
can be withdrawn and aggressive at the same time?).
"The Scientologists clearly wanted me to think I needed help - and who
better to cure me than the people who had diagnosed my 'problems'? I was
advised to buy an LRH book and think about joining the church. But, to
their credit, I wasn't asked to part with any money at this point, or to
sign up there and then, so I didn't.
"Maybe Nicole Kidman has done, or is doing, something vaguely similar. In
truth, though, while I sat in that office and listened to a total stranger
utterly trash my personality and character - on the basis of no evidence
at all - I began to feel vaguely insecure. Paranoid even. The Church of
Scientology claims to help people attain a deeper, richer existence - but
it clearly does so by erasing all sense of self-respect first."
From the Australian News Network on February 11th:
"The sole reason Nicole Kidman left Tom Cruise was because his devotion to
the controversial Church of Scientology suddenly deepened in the past two
months, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal. Kidman feared the growing hold
her husband's religion had on their family. A close family friend from Los
Angeles said yesterday Kidman had fought against the strong influence of
the LA-based church throughout her 10-year marriage.
"'Nicole had been pursuing him for some years to get away from the church,
and his passion had cooled,' the friend said. 'She had some success, but
for some reason -- and she doesn't really know why -- he has become really
deeply involved in the past two months. 'She couldn't bear it because she
was worried about the children. But in the end, he had to choose between
her and the church, and she lost.'"
From The New York Post on February 11th:
"The world was shocked last week when Scientologist couple Tom Cruise and
Nicole Kidman announced they were splitting up. It was almost as shocking
as when Cruise broke up with first wife Mimi Rogers, another
Scientologist. When that happened, I wrote a story about how members of
Rogers' family were muck-a-mucks in the church, and mentioned the elitist
Scientology 'Celebrity Center' and a magazine it published called
"Within days, the wrath of L. Ron Hubbard was upon me. Callers identifying
themselves as members of the Church of Scientology threatened my life, and
my very soul. But nothing beat the missive from a Scientologist customs
agent at Kennedy Airport informing me that he'd put my name into their
computer. He said next time I came through customs, I'd be body-searched
and caught with the illegal drugs I was smuggling in. The government
doesn't look too kindly on employees who threaten to plant drugs on weary
travelers - at least not when they sign their own names to the letters."
From the New York Post on February 12th:
"Cruise is so dedicated to the controversial Church of Scientology that he
insisted the children were born according to a Scientology ritual. Kidman,
on the other hand, left the church nearly a year ago. Sources say she does
not want the children, Isabella Jane, 8, and Connor, 6, raised according
to the teachings and methods of the controversial religion.
"Parents who have some experience with Scientology's child-rearing
practices say Kidman is right to be concerned. Teresa Summers, of
Clearwater, Fla., who raised one child inside Scientology and one outside,
told the Post: 'I was a Scientologist for years and worked in the Sea
Organization, Scientology's religious order. We had a terrible
"She said Scientologists are encouraged not to treat sick children with
conventional medication, not to comfort and nurture children, and to cut
or restrict ties with grandparents if they are not Scientologists.
'Mothers who have raised children in the Church of Scientology and come
out have a terrible sense of guilt over what our children went through,'
Summers told the Post. 'They had children doing physical work, sometimes
40 to 60 hours a week. It could be anything - shoveling gravel, laying
carpet, but mostly it was clerical work,' she said. 'I also worked in one
of their schools, in Clearwater, Fla. Many of the children don't do as
well as they should academically. 'Teachers don't have college degrees.
They are trained in Scientology technology. They don't explain. They don't
help. If some child doesn't understand, it's because they don't understand
a particular word, so kids are constantly being told to just look up a
"After 20 years as a Scientologist, Summers now works for the Lisa
McPherson Trust, an organization that actively opposes the Church of
Scientology. The church runs a network of private schools in Los Angeles,
San Francisco, Oregon, Virginia, Florida and Vancouver. Stephanie Graham,
of Orlando, Fla., who put two children through Church of Scientology
schools, said her children had difficulty keeping up in state schools
after she left the church. 'Children raised in Scientology are often given
only minimal basic education,' she said. 'It's not an education; it's
propaganda and pseudo-science.'
"A child who falls and hurts himself is taken to the place where he was
hurt and the injury is pressed against the object that caused it. It is
believed the pain can be made to flow back into the object. 'That's called
a contact assist,' Teresa Summers said. 'There is also a fever assist. We
were discouraged from seeking medical help or giving medication, even
Tylenol, to bring down a fever. 'Instead, you get the child to hold an
object still. That's supposed to bring down the fever. When it doesn't
work, it's because you aren't doing it right or didn't repeat it often
enough. I tried it on my child. Naturally, it didn't work.'
"Teresa Summers also claimed that children are routinely asked to spy on
one another and are subjected to grueling punishments. 'It's called making
amends, and it can be anything - my daughter was made to scrub poles,
paint walls, report on her friends. I let her do all that,' she said."
From the New York Daily News:
"Is the divorce of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman turning into spy versus
spy? Word is that lawyers for the couple are been huddling with two of
Hollywood's heaviest private eyes. Due to join Cruise's team, we hear, is
Anthony Pellicano. The investigator has gained fame as a take-no-prisoners
dirt-digger for clients like Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Sly
Stallone, Roseanne, James Woods, Priscilla Presley and Mike Myers. He
helped former LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman to fight charges of racism.
"Kidman's lawyer, William Beslow, doesn't appear to be shrinking from a
rumble. Beslow is known for being a peacemaker, but we hear he's been
consulting with Gavin DeBecker. The best-selling author has advised the
CIA and the U.S. Supreme Court on security and stalking. His clients have
included John Travolta, Cher, Keanu Reeves, Mary Hart, Joan Rivers and
"'Cruise looks like he's trying to crush her,' says one source acquainted
with the couple, who have no prenuptial agreement. 'If he just calmed down
and did nothing, things would probably go smoothly. But he seems to be
worried about Nicole using something against him. At this rate, he may
push her to do just that.'"
> GermanyStuttgarter Zeitung reported on February 2nd that the Stuttgart Labor
Office is involved in a scandal for referring a job applicant to
"The agency fully officially offered a business management assistant a job
with the Scientology organization. It listed an opening 'for advertisement
and marketing.' Gerdi W. (name changed) opened the letter from the Labor
Office expectantly. The business manager assistant was looking for a job
and had subscribed to the AIS ('Arbeitsinformationservice'). The agency
told her to get in contact with an employer whose name she was somewhat
familiar with - 'Dianetics Stuttgart' - a branch of the Scientology
organization, which is under observation by Constitutional Security.
"The sect was looking for 'full-time staff in the fields of management,
bookkeeping, reception, advertising and marketing.' The requirements for
applicants were well within limits. The only requirement was 'the desire
to help other people and to improve oneself.' The case was more than
sobering for SPD city assemblyman Andreas Reissig. He spoke of sloppiness,
demanded response from the agency and wants to get party colleagues at the
state level involved. The embarrassing break-down is viewed by the leading
assemblyman as reason for the observation of the sect being continued.
"Uwe Zink from the Labor Office in Stuttgart does not want to make excuses
for the incident. 'It should not have happened,' he said. The faux pas was
committed by 'a trainee with a foreign passport' who could not have known
anything about Dianetics or Scientology. According to Zink's statement,
the Labor Office, by law, may not exclude job announcements from the sect.
In the past though, job applicants were made aware of the background of
such offers. Those who did not apply did not have to worry about
From Stuttgarter Zeitung on February 3rd:
"In a parliamentary initiative, Carla Bregenzer, sect-political
spokeswoman of the SPD state assembly faction, demanded intervention by
the state administration. 'We are mobilizing all legal means to fight the
totalitarian psycho-business and the Stuttgart Labor office is blithely
and heedlessly going on its merry way - we have to put a stop to this
unspeakable business,' said a press release.
"The woman from Stuttgart is not the only one who was offered a job in the
sect's Dianetics Center. Quite an array of unemployed called in yesterday
to report that the Stuttgart Labor Office had referred them to the
Scientology organization. One woman reported that she had gone to the sect
to ask about the position. There she was told that in order to get the job
she would have to become a member."
Stuttgarter Nachrichten reported on February 6th that the Executive
Presidium is trying to revoke the legal status of Scientology.
"The Executive Presidium ['Regierungspraesidium'] is not giving up its
goal of revoking legal capacity for Dianetics Stuttgart, a branch of the
Scientology organization which is resident in Stuttgart. The Executive
Presidium has stated that it filed an appeal to the negative decision by
the Stuttgart Administrative Court in the Mannheim Superior Administrative
Court. Presidium President Udo Andriof said, 'We are convinced that
Dianetics Stuttgart can be shown to be not a so-called idealist
association, but an organization which is active as a business and which
pursues commercial goals.'"
> Graham BerryGraham Berry reported this week that Scientology has dropped its case
against him involving Michael Hurtado.
"This week, Moxon and Byrnes suddenly and unilaterally dismissed the
Hurtado v. Berry lawsuit less than one month before trial. The Hurtado
dismissal came as Moxon unsuccessfully tried to replace discovery referee,
Hon. Stephen Lachs, and awaited the outcome of a motion to compel the
deposition of his 'investigator' Eugene Ingram, as well as an almost
certain ruling that the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client
privilege applied to communications between the Moxon & Kobrin lawyers,
Elliot Abelson, Donald Wager, Hurtado and the Church of Scientology.
"The evidence in the Hurtado v. Berry case is corroborated by one lawyer's
testimony, over six different witnesses and over sixty different documents
- many of which bear Moxon's own signature and handwriting. It includes
multiple incidents of alleged blackmail, bribery, witness tampering,
subornation of perjury, perjury, wire tapping, obstruction of justice,
frauds upon various courts, attorney misrepresentations and lies to
various courts, false criminal complaints, false state bar complaints and
possibly judicial corruption."
> Gerry ChaleffCNN Reported on February 5th that Scientologist Gerry Chaleff has been
fired from the Los Angeles civilian police commission.
"Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan on Monday fired the civilian police
commission president in an apparent effort to shake up the leadership of
the Los Angeles Police Department. In an interview with CNN, commission
president Gerald Chaleff said he received a letter from the mayor early
Monday outlining the reasons for his dismissal. Chaleff said the mayor
expressed an interest in changing directions for the beleaguered and
> Web ComplaintScientology lawyer Ava Paquette successfully complained to the owner of a
web site containing Scientology materials this week.
"By this letter I am hereby notifying you that our office represents
Religious Technology Center, the owner of the confidential Advanced
Technology of the Scientology religion and the holder of exclusive rights
under the copyrights applicable to the Advanced Technology materials. The
Advanced Technology materials are confidential, unpublished, copyrighted
works. RTC's works include, among others, the individual works comprising
levels known as 'NOTs' , 'OT II' and 'OT III'. We have been informed that
you have placed a number these works on your 'Lianna Skywalker' home page
on the Internet without the authorization of our clients. These works can
be found under the URLs which are attached below. Your actions in this
regard violate United States copyright law. Not only may your actions give
rise to civil liability under United States copyright law, but also
criminal liability as well, which may possibly involve your parents.
Accordingly, we demand that you remove these works immediately."
> Lisa McPhersonScientology this week countersued the estate of Lisa McPherson for alleged
witness tampering. Comments from Ken Dandar, attorney for the estate, were
posted to a.r.s this week.
"This lawsuit is entirely frivolous. It's almost as bad to read as an L.
Ron Hubbard novel, too fictional for anybody to believe. It's interesting
that Scientology lists its damages as more than they have offered to
settle the McPherson case for. They consider the harm done to them to be
worse than the the harm done which led to the death of a young girl.
"This countersuit has no cause of action. I expect it to be dismissed
quickly, with prejudice, and with an award of attorney's fees."
> LondonA What is Scientology exhibit was opened this week in London. A first hand
account from "Shellac."
"The shop is roomy. A much more impressive operation than previous
exhibitions. Floor space, maybe 250m^2? The Jive Aces were set up in the
entrance, willing us back to a time before the profanity of rock 'n roll.
Helpers scurried around with drinks and nibbles. Scientologists were
everywhere, outnumbering the public by a good 3 or 4 to 1. Several I
recognised from TCR, and some from previous WIS visits.
"Many large illustrations, done by an artist who favours a charmingly
naive style; brandishing his/her amateurishness with a brash confidence
that lesser beings would shy from. So we get a history of great, but
misguided, thinkers (Socrates, Jesus, Buddha, Einstein etc) which
culminates in the revelations of a man who chosen medium was pulp fiction:
L. Wrong Hubbard. There was an emeter, but they were still trying to plug
it in. There was an ABLE section. There was an explanation of the reactive
vs analytic mind.
"There was also a basement where the hard sell kicked in. Pretty much
devoted to space for filling out personality tests. One girl pointed me to
a computer with internet access explaining Scientology. This proved to web
pages on a cdrom, alas, so xenu.net never made an appearance."
From the Telegraph on February 10th:
"The 1966 World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst opened an exhibition in London
yesterday to promote Scientology, despite having no connections with the
controversial movement. Sir Geoff said he was excited by the drug
programmes which Scientologists are running in 21 countries, but not in
Britain. He said he knew little about Scientology. 'I'm here because of
the work they do in drugs.' The Narconon drugs programme, designed by the
founder of the movement L Ron Hubbard who died in 1986, includes regular
saunas to detoxify the body and spiritual 'drills'.
"The free exhibition will be open every day for two weeks in an empty
clothing store in Oxford Street. Visitors will be able to try a machine
called the E-meter which is supposed to reveal a person's spiritual
problems. Leaflets handed out on Oxford Street advertising the exhibition
ask: 'How toxic are you?' The Scientology movement claims it can cure
people suffering from 'severe body pollution'."
> Drug Free MarshalsThe Miami Herald announced a Drug Free Marshals essay contest on February
"The Drug-Free Marshals program is an educational anti-drug program
sponsored by the Church of Scientology International. The program started
in California and is holding events and essay/art contests worldwide. This
month the Drug Free Marshals Program is holding a state-wide essay contest
for Florida youth between ages 5 and 14. The theme of the essays is 'How I
can Help Create a Drug Free Community.'"
> In MemoriumThe St. Petersburg Times carried the obituary of Scientologist Fenton
Jones on January 31st.
"JONES, FENTON E., 88, of Largo, died Monday at home under the care of
Hospice of the Florida Suncoast. He was born in Turtle Lake, N.D., and
came here in 1986 from Riverside, Calif. He retired as a judge and was an
Army veteran of World War II. He was a member of Church of Scientology.
Survivors include two sons, Fenton Jr., San Diego, and John, Riverside; a
daughter, Paula Jones, San Diego; and four grandchildren."
> NigeriaNigerian newspaper TheNEWS published an article on Scientology critic Bob
Minton and Scientology's efforts to discredit his past financial dealings
"Robert Minton, retired American investment banker and debt buy-back guru
is undoubtedly a man of means. However, when the details of the deal came
to light, Minton accused the whistle-blower, ex-footballer, John Fashanu
of being a tool in the hands of the Scientology organisation. This is a
vendetta on scientology's part against me: Fashanu has been hired by the
scientologists to tarnish my reputation,' said Minton, who also explained
that he was being hounded as a result of his sponsorship of a
multi-million dollar law suit against the group for the death of one of
their members, Lisa Macpherson. A Nigerian journalist who did several
stories attacking Fashanu and the group, had his telephone bugged and his
character assassinated, with agents of scientology telling his neighbours
that he is a fraudster working for a gang that is fleecing Nigeria
"The church has consistently moved swiftly and sometimes deadly to defend
itself against attackers. Such enemies, labelled suppressive persons (SP
in Scientology jargon) or those that actively seek to suppress or damage
Scientology are designated 'fair game.' Their punishment ranges from loss
of property to injury by any means, either by trickery, legal action,
deceit or outright destruction. For scientologists, the best form of
defence is attack: Total attack through exposure is Scientology's
watchword; harassment and not victory, the prize. A stinging indictment of
Hubbard and his movement and a condemnation of their tactics in silencing
critics came from a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul Breckenridge:
'In addition to violating and abusing its own members' civil rights, the
organisation over the years with its 'fair game' doctrine has harassed and
abused those persons not in the church whom it perceives as enemies. The
organisation clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid and this bizarre
combination seems to be a reflection of its founder.'"
Bob Minton repeated his offer to meet Fashanu to debate the merit of his
"Many of you may recall that Scientology and its operatives John Fashanu
and David Lebow aka David Lee aka Robert Clarke et al promised to show up
at a public forum at Howard University in Washington DC in June 2000 to
debate with me about the USD 5+ billion of Nigerian business I did between
March 1988 and March 1993. Like every promise in Scientology, they failed
to show up. I would be happy to sit down in another public forum in
Clearwater Florida to layout Scientology's role in this matter and to
debate both their involvement and my Nigerian business dealings.
"Prince Ajibola, the Nigerian High Commissioner in London has admitted
that he was duped by Scientology's Fashanu Report to write a letter to the
Swiss Prosecutor in June 2000 to try and get criminal charges brought
against me. Second, no charges have been brought against me in Nigeria or
Switzerland because the Scientology claims had no merit. Thirdly, there is
no current investigation of these allegations against me in Nigeria,
Switzerland, England or anywhere else other than in the deluded world of
> Tom PadgettTom Padgett reported developments in his family court case in Kentucky
with his ex-wife Laura.
"Laura Vannoy Padgett filed a Motion in Limine to restrict evidence and
gag the testimony from expert witnesses being flown from around North
America for a critical 2 day hearing scheduled for February 23rd and 26th.
Pending in the Western Kentucky circuit court are matters to
'UNdisconnect' the minor child from his declared SP father Tom Padgett,
adjust and modify child support according to statutes, and to award costs
"Lawyer Bill Whitledge argued that the following should be prohibited from
the proceedings and records: Any testimony relating to the health, mental
or physical condition of the parties or the minor child. Any evidence
concerning Scientology or any matters re: religion in general. No
testimony of the Petitioner's or Respondent's character. No testimony on
alternative solutions to settlement of the issues, i.e. arbitration,
mediation, or counselling. No testimony about division of property or
breakdown of the marriage. No testimony which goes to custody of the minor
> Protest SummaryKeith Henson reported six protests in one day in the San Francisco area.
"Arel and I started picketing at 9:40. First was the Mt View org. They
got 15 minutes. A few people saw us, but no reaction except to avert their
eyes. I mostly used the new one, 'Things will go right for you when
you're ready to leave Scientology.' Arel was carrying one which said. 'I
know Ex-Scientologists and I believe them.' and on the other side it said
'Meet a (former) OT VII' (referring to picketing with Tory).
"On down the road to the Dianetics testing center. They still have not
put up curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows so those inside have a
good look at anyone picketing. The place was deserted. We gave them 5
minutes and then got back on 101 headed down to San Jose. We arrived at
10:20 and spent a little over 20 minutes picketing the San Jose org on
Rosemary. The place is not in the best neighborhood, and it looking more
run down than ever, lots of beer cartons in the Ivy between the sidewalk
and the street.
"From there we went over to the San Jose Mission at Hedding and
Winchester. There was one person at the desk inside, who saw us, but no
reaction from them either. The sign on the front has about faded out.
Last for the South Bay was the Los Gatos org on Bascom Ave. It is actually
in Campbell. One guy came out with a camera here and took pictures of us
and our signs. Arel photographed him back. After ten minutes we left.
"Then it was on to the SF org. I noticed Robyn handing out flyers and Arel
said she saw Jeff Quiros. Craig spent a lot of time talking to me. Here
Arel got to carry only one sign, since the OT VII was also picketing,
wearing devil's horns."
St. Anton's ski resort in Austria was the site of information booths to
inform the public about Scientology.
"Our presence was marked by stunning success from our highly visible
information booths. Within the shortest amount of time possible the
informational material on the Scientology commerce sect was snatched up.
Many people recognized us from Kitzbuehel and waved hello to us or showed
their approval with upraised thumbs. Between times the ARS-CC staff went
throughout the village and distributed information leaflets and got
positive feedback from the people as to how important our information work
was for our beautiful Austria, and that we should continue with it.
"We have quarters in a 4-star hotel; we are allowed to run one of our
information tables in the foyer, which is visited continuously by
celebrities from the worlds of business, politics, culture and art, as
well as residents, many of whom want information about the Scientology
Bruce Pettycrew reported a protest in Mesa, Arizona.
"Kathy and I picketed at the Mesa Mission for an hour today, starting
about 8:45. 6 cars and 1 bicyclist arrived for the 9:00 start of classes.
There were about 13 members attending, counting two pre-teenage children.
The traffic was very light today. We handed out one flyer to a
John Ritson reported a protest at the new What is Scientology exhibit on
Oxford Street in London.
"I started handing out Xemu leaflets and loudly informing people that
Scientology was a scam. Scientologists started clustering round me like
bodythetans. I got Tone 40 'COME WITH ME' - 'No thank you, I'll just carry
on leafletting' I got repetition 'What are you afraid of?' - ' 'What are
you afraid of?' - 'What are you afraid of?' I got threats 'I am putting
you on notice that I am recording your words so our solicitors can sue you
for slander' - Hint to Hodgkin & Co. - You can't slander a dead person
such as convicted fraudster, bigamist and wife-beater L. Ron Hubbard. I
got photographed - and I photographed them back. I got total weirdness -
'Why don't you go to Bournemouth?' I got more Tone 40 'STOP IT! GO AWAY
NOW' Then they tried to block me off from the public by starting up the
Jive Aces, and having a girl with balloons between me and the public
"It got very silly when one Scientologist, who had been 'hatted' with the
task of snatching Xemu leaflets from passers-by, tried to snatch one from
a Scientologist who had been talking to me practically from the beginning
So I had to explain the rules to the snatcher - I had earlier told the
leaflet-holder that I didn't want to give him the Xenu leaflet if it would
damage his case, and I would take it back if it caused a problem, which
only made him determined to hang on to it like grim death.
"Then a major foot-bullet for the Scientologists. They called the police,
who had no objection to me handing out leaflets, but wanted to avoid any
trouble. So I offered a compromise. Me on one side of the road, them on
the other. I was happy, the police were happy, but the Scientologists were
not happy that I could exercise my right of free speech without being
surrounded by Scientologists and harangued the policemen. So I spent about
an hour handing out leaflets and informing passers-by of the evils of
> SpainThe Associated Press reported on February 6th that the trial of
Scientologists in Spain began without an appearance by indicted
Scientology president Heber Jentzsch.
"A long-awaited trial began Tuesday against Church of Scientology members
accused of tax fraud and other crimes, although the main defendant, the
church's American leader Rev. Heber Jentzsch, failed to show up. Because
of Jentzsch's absence, prosecutors asked for another postponement in a
case that dates back to 1984. But Judge Pilar Olivan, presiding over a
three-judge panel at the Madrid Provincial Court, denied the request and
said the trial should proceed against 16 other defendants. They are all
Spaniards who either belonged to or worked for the Church of Scientology.
"The charges against Jentzsch still stand, and Spain will attempt to put
him on trial at a later date, Olivan said, according to the news agency
Efe and Fernando Castro, a spokesman for the 10,000-member Scientology
branch in Spain."
From dpa on February 6th:
"The chief of the organization, Heber Jentzsch, for whom the state
attorney's office was demanding 56 years in prison, was supposed to be
among the accused. From a source in the legal circles though, the American
did not appear before the court because the authorities in the USA did not
forward the summons from the Spanish court. The accused have been charged
with an illegal association, deprivation of liberty, tax evasion and other
crimes. According to Spanish press reports, Scientology is described in
the indictment as an 'extremely dangerous organization' which resembles a
'sect' more than it does a church."
> ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times reported on February 11th that Scientology
members and critics are charged with violating a judge's order imposed to
keep peace during the December protests in Clearwater.
"The Church of Scientology and its Clearwater nemesis, critics known as
the Lisa McPherson Trust, spent a full day in court Saturday trading
accusations and trying to get the other rebuked by a judge. In nearly
seven hours of testimony from a dozen witnesses, these points emerged:
Confrontations between church critics and process servers hired on behalf
of the church have played out in bay area restaur<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)