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A.r.s Week in Review - 2/18/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 43 2/18/2001 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2001 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 18, 2001
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      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 43
      by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2001

      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 weekinreview-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or
      see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/weekinreview
      Week in Review is archived at:


      Note: This issue contains stories from the previous two weeks.


      > Battle Creek

      Randy 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
      Creek org.

      "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."

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      > HELP

      The 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
      the movement.

      "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.'"

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      > Animal Cruelty

      The 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."

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      > Mark Bunker

      Bob 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

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      > Applied Scholastics

      MSNBC 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."

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      > CCHR

      The 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
      schooling system.'

      "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

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      > Chicago

      Daily 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."

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      > Astra Woodcraft

      The 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.
      Ron Hubbard.

      "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"

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      > Cruise / Kidman

      The 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
      Nicole Kidman.

      "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
      Gary Oldman.

      "'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.'"

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      > Germany

      Stuttgarter 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
      forfeiting support."

      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.'"

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      > Graham Berry

      Graham 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."

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      > Gerry Chaleff

      CNN 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
      scandal-plagued LAPD."

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      > Web Complaint

      Scientology 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."

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      > Lisa McPherson

      Scientology 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."

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      > London

      A 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'."

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      > Drug Free Marshals

      The 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.'"

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      > In Memorium

      The 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."

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      > Nigeria

      Nigerian newspaper TheNEWS published an article on Scientology critic Bob
      Minton and Scientology's efforts to discredit his past financial dealings
      in Nigeria.

      "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
      Scientology's OSA."

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      > Tom Padgett

      Tom 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
      and fees.

      "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

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      > Protest Summary

      Keith 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

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      > Spain

      The 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."

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      > Clearwater

      The 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)
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