A.r.s Week in Review - 2/25/2001
Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 44
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:
> Battle CreekThe Battle Creek Enquirer ran a special series of articles on February
25th on what Scientology could mean to their community. Scientology has
purchased the Hart Hotel, a landmark in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan.
"The move is important for geographic reasons, said Mike Delaware, an
executive secretary for the Church of Scientology and overseer of the move
to Battle Creek. The church has two locations in Michigan - one in Ann
Arbor and the other about 25 miles to the east in Farmington Hills.
Delaware said many of the parishioners who come to Ann Arbor live on the
west side of the state. The new location will cut travel time and be more
convenient for parishioners.
"Delaware, one of 10 ministers who alternate at the Ann Arbor church,
highlights the 'two rules for happy living' featured in one of Hubbard's
voluminous writings. The rules: 'Be able to experience anything' and
'cause only those things which others are able to experience easily.'
'Unhappiness is only this,' Delaware said at the lectern, with a bust of
L. Ron Hubbard seemingly looking over his right shoulder, 'the inability
to confront what is. If you can't confront, you won't be happy.'
"While midweek visits to churches of other denominations may consist of
choir practice or a few hours of Bible study, Scientologists can be found
in their church - which is open from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. seven days a
week - at all hours taking courses or being counseled in 'auditing'
sessions. While no collection plate is passed during the weekly Sunday
service, money changes hands for the services. The courses and the
auditing sessions, which are one-on-one counseling periods for the
members, can cost up to $3,200 for 12 1/2 hours, according to a course
list provided by the church.
"Critics, including former members of the church, say Scientology is a
'destructive cult' and both sides seem entrenched in a bitter war to
discount the other's credibility. The Battle Creek Enquirer has received
about 10 letters from residents - about evenly split between church
supporters and critics - regarding the church's plan to move here. Todd
Phipps of Battle Creek authored two of the letters and was greeted with a
surprising message on his answering machine. The message was from John
Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology of New York. Carmichael
requested to meet with Phipps to speak with him about why Phipps, an
Evangelical Christian, was so opposed to Scientology. 'He was trying to
get me to a point where I would be quiet and play nice,' said Phipps.
"'If an organization feels it has to do these kinds of things, coming in
from New York to talk to me because I wrote a couple of letters to the
editor, they have to be hiding something,' Phipps said. 'There has to be
something to it, or their reaction wouldn't have to be that adverse.'
"Chuck Trammell, who grew up in Battle Creek, lived in Clearwater, Fla.,
for 16 years and moved back home in August. His main reason? 'To get away
from the Church of Scientology,' he said. 'They never did anything to me
personally, I just don't like what they do. I want the people of Battle
Creek to know that once they're in, they're in for good. 'They ruined the
city of Clearwater,' Trammell said. 'It wasn't bad when they first snuck
"'Scientology is one of the most destructive cults separating our country
today,' said Steve Hassan, a licensed mental health counselor and author
of Combating Cult Mind Control. 'Unfortunately what they can expect is
people to come in and recruit their loved ones and friends,' Hassan said.
'The best possible thing for them to do is to educate themselves on this
group and how its members operate.' Church officials, however, say Battle
Creek can expect a group that will beautify a now-vacant building, a group
that will be active in volunteering throughout the community and a group
that will contribute to the quality of life by holding concerts and other
events in and around its church.
"Carmichael discounts the claims of Scientology's detractors. He says for
every person who speaks critically of Scientology, there are thousands of
success stories. Scientology officials say those who speak against the
church have a 'vested interest' in doing so. When asked about specific
claims, Carmichael produces arrest records against those making the
"Stacy Brooks and Jesse Prince, both former Scientologists, are among the
most vocal critics and also considered 'dead agents.' Both now work for
the Lisa McPherson Trust in Clearwater, Fla., a group that has as its
mission statement: 'to expose the abusive and destructive practices of the
Church of Scientology and help those who have been victimized by it.'
Carmichael said both Brooks and Prince are 'paid anti-Scientologists' and
are making up stories about the church. 'How come these two people are
spending their lives saying lies about Scientology, saying vile things
about Scientology? You've got to ask yourself that,' Carmichael said. 'I'm
telling you why: because they can't get another job and they're getting
paid well to do this.'
"'Do church attorneys employ private investigators to keep up on people
who are making a dedicated effort to attack the Church of Scientology?'
Carmichael asked before answering his own question. 'Yes. We find all
kinds of things when we look into these people.'"
"Jai McFall of Milan turned to Scientology while going through a divorce
and says she improved her landscaping business because of the church;
Teresa Atkinson credits the teachings of Scientology for giving her the
courage and will to end a struggling business relationship while living in
Italy in the early 1980s; and several others with whom the Enquirer spoke
at length. 'Scientology gives you the knowingness you need to help
yourself,' Atkinson said. 'When you see it works, you want to know more
and you want to know more. If you are done with yourself, you want to
start helping others.'
"Stacy Brooks was an aspiring writer in Atlanta in 1975, struggling a bit
as many do. She recalls having dinner with some people who were
Scientologists and mentioning some of the problems she was having. They
suggested she take some courses that could help her communicate better and
get her career off the ground. She then went through some 'auditing'
sessions, a type of therapy that uses an Electropsychometer to measure a
student's mental state or changing mental state using a small electric
current that runs into the body.
"She started growing emotionally apart from family and friends. She then
physically moved away, joining the Scientology staff in Los Angeles later
that year. 'There were a lot of very stringent rules, very long hours,
people not being able to sleep a lot, people being given a diet of rice
and beans if they didn't earn enough money (through recruiting) for
Scientology,' Brooks said. 'I didn't agree with it, but I thought it was
just people who didn't understand what Scientology was supposed to be.
"'I tried to get high enough in the organization to teach people what
Scientology was supposed to be.' Brooks says she then tried to speak out
about conditions, but was told to be quiet and was threatened with
separation from her husband. 'It became a very closed world,' Brooks
said. 'If something was a violation of your civil rights or your human
rights, you weren't allowed to go to anyone outside of Scientology for any
recourse.' 'It's a very powerful, very wealthy scam which even people in
the lower levels of Scientology don't know about,' Brooks said.
"'I've heard what Stacy says and she lies through her teeth,' said John
Carmichael, who is president of the Church of Scientology of New York and
handles some public relations work for the church. 'It really exasperates
me because it's so far from the truth.' 'The Church of Scientology
would've been swept away years ago if people were being held against their
will,' Carmichael said. 'It's just not happening.' Carmichael calls the
trust a 'hate group' and added, 'I think anyone who makes a career out of
harming a good group that helps people is evil. 'They are paid to say bad
things about the Church of Scientology.'"
"The church plans to have several rooms in the downtown Battle Creek
building where parishioners, many of whom come from out of town, can stay
during weekends, said Mike Delaware, a church executive secretary who is
based in Ann Arbor and will oversee the move to Battle Creek. Also in the
works are classrooms and the renovation of the former ballroom, which
Delaware says will be available for the public to rent for various
"Delaware anticipates about 10 church staff members moving to Battle Creek
in the beginning stages of the move. Many probably will buy homes in the
area, he said. Mayor Mark Behnke and Janei said they've heard little from
residents about the Church of Scientology moving into the former Hart
Hotel building. 'We don't have any concerns about the Church of
Scientology,' Janei said. 'They are planning to restore the building to
its original state and that's a great thing for the City of Battle Creek.'
"Behnke said 'I think you need to look at the economic development factor,
and that's exactly what they're doing. They're coming into a community and
renovating an existing landmark that has not been practical for anyone
else in the community to rehabilitate.'"
> Faith-Based GroupsU.S. President Bush's plan to allow religious organizations to bid on
federal money for charitable programs has raised the question of whether
Scientology and other cults will be eligible for the funds. From the New
York Times on February 19th:
"Bush's new Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives officially
opened for business today. The president says religious programs will not
be judged on their beliefs, but on the results of their work. 'We do not
impose any religion,' Bush said at a recent prayer breakfast. 'We welcome
"The president's assertion may be questioned in the coming days. While
established charitable programs, like those run by Catholic Charities and
the Salvation Army, are expected to have little trouble winning further
government support, it is other programs run by less traditional faiths,
including the Church of Scientology, that are likely to test the
president's promise to avoid discriminating on the basis of belief, and
the public's acceptance of his approach.
"There are few clues so far to how the Bush administration will look on
proposals from religious groups that seem out of the mainstream. In an
interview with the New York Times during the campaign, Bush was asked if,
for example, he would approve of government financing for a Church of
Scientology antidrug program. He answered: 'I have a problem with the
teachings of Scientology being viewed on the same par as Judaism or
Christianity. That just happens to be a personal point of view. But I am
interested in results. I am not focused on the process.'
"For its part, the Church of Scientology claims it can document the
effectiveness of its literacy programs and its drug and prisoner
rehabilitation programs, Narconon and Criminon. In Oklahoma, the church
receives state money to treat drug addicts at Narconon Chilocco, a
Scientology rehabilitation center, said Kurt Weiland, director of the
Church of Scientology International.
"'One of the big issues that people haven't talked about much is that some
very controversial religions could get active in this,' said Philip
Jenkins, the author of Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in
American History and a professor of history and religious studies at Penn
State. 'Running a faith-based program raises the question, what faiths are
out of bounds?' Jenkins said. 'Either you fund all faith groups, even
groups you radically don't like, or you fund none. How do you distinguish
between a Methodist and a Moonie? The answer is, you can't.'
Conservative Christian leader Pat Robertson expressed his reservations
with the plan in an article by the Associated Press on February 21st.
"Robertson said Tuesday that he worries about government funding religious
groups that are outside the mainstream, such as the Church of Scientology,
Hare Krishnas or the Unification Church. 'This thing could be a real
Pandora's box,' Robertson said on his '700 Club' broadcast. 'What seems to
be such a great initiative can rise up to bite the organizations as well
as the federal government.'
"Robertson and his son, co-host Gordon Robertson, both said that
government would be hard pressed to give grants to some religious groups
and not others. 'I don't see how on a constitutional basis can you say,
'Well, this belief is OK, and this belief is not,' Gordon Robertson said."
From the San Francisco Chronicle on February 22nd:
"TV evangelist Pat Robertson has questioned President Bush's faith-based
welfare reforms, saying he fears such controversial groups as the Hare
Krishnas and the Church of Scientology may soon get public funds to offer
social services once provided by the government.
"Robertson, a former GOP presidential candidate and one of Bush's
strongest supporters on the Christian right, pointed to plans by the Rev.
Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church to promote its sexual abstinence
programs in public schools with government funds. The TV preacher also
fears the Church of Scientology will use Bush's faith-based welfare reform
plan to expand its Narconon drug treatment program. He said Moon's church
uses 'brainwashing techniques' on recruits, while the Church of
Scientology is 'accused of all sorts of underhanded tactics.'
"Asked about Robertson's comments, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan
said, 'We think this program is based on sound principles, and that it is
the right thing to do, and the president is very committed to it.'"
The Philadelphia Daily News reported on February 22nd that the Secretary
of Housing and Urban Development had comments on the controversy during a
visit to Philadelphia charities.
"Brittany Fisher, 7, carefully writing sentences on lined paper as part of
Sister Mary Scullion's after-school program, looked up at the visitor from
Washington. 'Is the president coming?' she asked the man in the blue
pinstripe suit. 'He sent me instead. Sorry,' said Mel Martinez, secretary
of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 'You can come to
Washington and I'll show you around.'
"Asked if he expected the Bush administration to be funding applications
from the Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology, Martinez blurted
'no,' but quickly corrected himself. 'One would be very careful with the
kind of partnerships we accept,' he said. 'We would use good judgment in
the kind of partnerships' the government enters. 'We'll do it on a
case-by-case basis,' he added. 'I don't think we should rule out any
organization on the basis of its name.'"
> Steve HassanA summary of Steve Hassan's appearance on the February 24th edition of The
O'Reilly Factor was posted to a.r.s this week.
"Steve Hassan was on The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox network. O'Reilly's
contention was that it would be very difficult for the Bush administration
to deny a group such as Scientology potential federal money for 'faith
based' charitable works since it could be argued that Scientology has done
good. The example O'Reilly used was Scientology's work with drug addicts;
'they've cured numerous drug addicts,' according to O'Reilly.
"Hassan stated that the eligibility of groups receiving federal funding
for faith based works should be based on the behavior of the groups and
not their belief system. He mentioned the United Nation's Declaration of
Human Rights as a model. He suggested that scientology (and other
religions such as the Moonies) could not meet the basic requirements of a
faith based religion due to their 'systematic deceptions to recruit
people.' He also mentioned the Lisa McPherson case and how she was denied
medical treatment for seventeen days.
"Hassan stated that if it forces the destructive mindset of groups such as
scientology into the public domain, that this would be a good thing. If an
objective set of guidelines on what constitutes a faith based group is
written down and followed, it might eliminate groups such as scientology
from contention for federal money."
> Human Rights AwardThe recipient of this year's European-American Committee's Human Rights
Award was announced this week.
"This year in Leipzig, the home city of the East German civil rights
movement, the European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights and
Religious Freedom will celebrate its second human rights award with Dr.
Norbert Bluem. Dr. Norbert Bluem will receive the award for implementing
and championing the causes of human rights and religious freedom in the
discussion about the totalitarian Scientology Organization. The award will
be presented to Dr. Norbert Bluem at an award ceremony in Leipzig early
"The international European-American Citizens Committee for Human Rights
and Religious Freedom which selected the the award winner is concerned
from a trans-Atlantic perspective about violations of human rights and of
religious freedom by the Scientology Organization. A statement by the
Award Committee reads, 'As Europeans and as U.S. citizens, we are
concerned about the Scientology Organization's attacks on the human
dignity and lives not only of its members, but also of its critics."
> Cruise/KidmanTabloid newspaper the Star published an article on the divorce of Tom
Cruise and Nicole Kidman on February 27th.
"On Feb. 5, Tom and Nicole announced the split. Two days later, he filed
for divorce. 'That was part of Tom's Scientology beliefs,' says a source.
'The church believes there's no point hanging on to something once it's
gone, and you should get rid of your past as quickly as possible.'
"But little can top one of Tom's early requests to Nicole, 33. He had her
tape an 'emotional' confession for the Scientologists before she joined
the group, says the writer. 'Nicole agreed to take part in the 'e-test' -
a kind of lie detector - inside of the church's L.A. headquarters,'
according to Clarkson. 'Now that they're getting divorced, she's said to
be 'extremely worried' about the tape and is desperate to make sure it
doesn't fall into the wrong hands.'"
From the February 27th issue of the National Enquirer:
"Nicole, who joined her husband in the religion of Scientology, now fears
that she may be damaged in divorce court because of it, an insider said.
'She now regrets complying with Tom's demands that she go through
Scientology screening before the marriage,' the insider said. 'There were
lengthy taped interviews in which she bared her soul. She did it because
Tom felt it was important. But now that the marriage has ended, she's
afraid that people might use the personal details against her down the
From the National Review on February 24th:
"We will likely never know what went wrong between Tom Cruise and Nicole
Kidman, but a recent article in the New York Post suggests that Tom
Cruise's Scientology was a big part of the problem. Apparently, Ms. Kidman
is disenchanted with the controversial religion, and does not want her
children to be reared in it. Even if one ignores the number of fairly
sinister stories told about Scientology, some of its precepts reflect the
sort of ideas that put it squarely in the lunatic fringe.
"Scientology, after all, is an easy target with its oddball technology,
goofy jargon, and, reportedly, a secret creation myth that revolves around
the activities of the wicked intergalactic ruler, Xenu. Scientologists,
of course, should be free to believe whatever they want, but it does not
say a lot for the state of this nation's critical faculties that their
philosophy has won as much acceptance as it has.
"Ask most Americans, and they will tell you about their respect for the
spiritual, but it is a sloppy and uninformed devotion. Nicole Kidman
herself provided an example of this mindset in a 1998 interview with
Newsweek. 'There is a little Buddhism, a little Scientology. I was raised
Catholic, and a big part of me is still a Catholic girl.' Hand in hand
with such an attitude is an unwillingness to debate the religious beliefs
of others. Such debate is now believed to be insensitive at best, bigoted
and hateful at worst. These days everyone is meant to be a little bit
Buddhist, Catholic, Scientologist , whatever. True religious tolerance is
the acceptance of the right of others to follow a different creed. In our
ersatz, contemporary version, however, it is denied that there are any
different creeds. Instead, we are encouraged to think that all religions
are basically the same, just different routes to the same transcendental
"The Scientologists are not the only ones to have seized this opportunity.
We are becoming a nation of nitwit necromancers, idiot Astrologers, and
suburban shamans. Others prefer to fool around with crystals, commune with
UFOs, or worship the Earth. And that is their right, but we should not be
afraid to say that it is also their mistake. Somehow I suspect that, these
days, Nicole Kidman might just agree."
> GermanyDie Welt reported on February 24th that Scientology has a new recruiting
program in Hamburg.
"According to statements from the Interior Agency's Task Force on
Scientology, many young people have been addressed in the vicinity of the
organization's headquarters on Dom Street in past weeks. The recruiters,
however, do not do anything that would identify them as members of the
Scientology Organization, the Task Force said.
"Young people were engaged in conversation by asking them if they have
ever heard the name Albert Einstein. Afterwards the recruiters asked their
targets to follow the Scientology adherents. The Interior Agency requests
that children or their parents who encounter this get into contact with
the Task Force on Scientology.
From Hamburger Morgenpost on February 24th:
"'Do you know Albert Einstein?' Absolutely - the physics genius is an idol
for many computer kids. And the Scientology sect is now shamelessly
exploiting that fact, says Hamburg's Interior Agency. Scientologists use
the name of the Nobel Prize winner as bait for young people on the city
sidewalks, then lure them into the new sect center on Dom Street. Most
deceptive: 'The recruiting people did nothing to identify themselves as
members of the organization,' said the agency.
"Another trick in the new recruitment strategy used by the Hubbard
disciples: passersby are invited into Scientology headquarters with an
invitation to take a so-called 'harmful substance' test,' warned the Task
Force. Director Ursula Caberta said, 'This 'Purification Program' is the
start of a 'Scientology career.'
"The Downtown District Office is also making life difficult for the sect.
It is currently checking to see if the use of the sauna on 30 Dom Street
for hours at a time during the so-called 'Purification Rundown' is
permissible under zoning regulations. One possible consideration is that
Scientology's sauna program poses a health hazard."
> Personality TestThe Kansas City Star published an article on February 20th on
Scientology's personality test.
"Although the church wants potential members to know them inside and out,
they were somewhat reluctant to be probed by KMBC 9 News. Many cheered
the opening of the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation in Westport earlier this
month. The church promised free IQ, personality and aptitude tests that
can improve lives, raise IQs and even determine success and the future,
"When KMBC asked Scientology spokeswoman Bennette Seaman if reporters
could take the tests, she said, 'No.' Seaman said that media have been
critical of the tests because they are based on the controversial
self-help book 'Dianetics.'
"'I don't buy it at all. I'm not attracted to it,' said Tim Miller, head
of religious studies at the University of Kansas. KMBC News sent an
undercover producer to pick up a copy. The tests have such questions as
'Does an unexpected action cause your muscles to twitch?' and 'Are you so
self-assured that it sometimes annoys others?' The test -- called the
Oxford Capacity Analysis -- supposedly provides the test-taker with a
profile of her or his personality, Hubbard reported. Miller said that no
matter what your answers are, the results are often used to recruit you to
join the church. 'And, in fact, they will always tell you that this
demonstrates that you would profit wonderfully from scientological
auditing,' Miller said.
"Miller said that there are two things that people should know before
becoming involved in the church: Joining the church can be expensive, and
the group has a history of being hostile and litigious with members who
quit and then speak out against the church."
> ClearwaterMark Bunker reported the results of a trial in St. Petersburg to determine
whether Scientology or a number of critics should be found in contempt of
court for violating a restraining order issued for the protests in
Clearwater in December.
"Neither Bob Minton nor Tory Bezazian were convicted today. Judge Penick
acquitted all but two of the more than forty charges against Bob, the LMT
and the rest of the critics. He fined Tory $100 but did not find her
guilty for walking down Fort Harrison Avenue without holding her picket
sign upside down. He withheld adjudication and fined Bob $500 for engaging
in First Amendment activity outside of an orange zone. Bob is on probation
for six months but was not convicted. The judge came down hard on
Scientology's spy cameras, abusive process servers/P.I.s, and the
'embarrassing' testimony of OSA's rebuttal witness.
"Judge Penick brought in the Clearwater Police's attorney to let him know
that the judge believed there was a great deal of merit to the claim that
Scientology is 'using' and 'duping' the police they hire. Penick warned
that the CW Police were dangerously close to becoming Scientology's
From the St. Petersburg Times on February 22nd:
"After listening for eight long days to allegations between the Church of
Scientology and its chief critics, Circuit Court Judge Thomas E. Penick
spent nearly 90 minutes Wednesday admonishing the church, its adversaries
and even the Clearwater Police Department.
"To the church, Penick said there is no need for Scientology agents to
continually stick cameras in critics' faces. To the keepers of the Lisa
McPherson Trust, he demanded they stop taunting Scientologists and fined
two of them. To the Clearwater police, Penick said he sympathizes with
their struggle to maintain order in downtown Clearwater but warned, 'They
are coming very dangerously close to becoming a private security force for
the Church of Scientology.'
"Robert Minton, founder of the Lisa McPherson Trust, was fined $500 and
given six months' probation for waving a 10-foot retractable pole with a
copy of the injunction hanging at the end outside the windows of a
Scientology building. Minton waived 'The Threep' on Jan. 6 as he stood in
a no-picket zone. Former Scientologist Tory Bezazian, who left the church
in July, was fined $100 for walking in a no-picket zone Dec. 7 carrying
two protest signs.
"Using the phrase 'spy cameras,' Penick expressed bewilderment at the
level of surveillance that goes on in downtown Clearwater. Church members
and critics regularly can be seen on public sidewalks toting video
cameras. And the church has more than 100 cameras trained on its
properties, all of which feed live into a room in the Fort Harrison Hotel,
where they are monitored by church security staffers. 'I'm missing the
point here,' Penick said. 'I hope someone will let us know when the great
invasion is coming.'
"Officers also confused people by giving conflicting information about the
injunction. 'There was far too much street justice being meted out by
either off-duty or on-duty Clearwater police officers,' Penick said.
"Merrett said the hearing was worthwhile. 'Scientology came in here
believing they could finally create their little corner of the world where
their rules can silence the law,' Merrett said. 'Judge Penick is in their
way.' Clearwater lawyer F. Wallace Pope said the hearing showed that the
injunction has numerous holes that will be addressed as a permanent
injunction is drafted. 'If they're going to picket, do it peacefully.
Don't do it with a lot of ridicule,' Pope said. 'Just follow the orders
provided in the injunction.'"
Jeff Jacobsen reported that following the judge's criticism of the spy
camera Scientology has aimed at the entrance of the Lisa McPherson Trust,
the camera has been replaced with a more noticeable camera, further down
"I saw Paul Kellerhals on Watterson Street pointing up to the roof of
their building while talking to one of their workers. This morning I came
to work and noticed that the spy camera in the junction box near the Trust
on Watterson Street is completely gone! It has been replaced by a regular
fixed security camera about 50 feet farther south right where the bank
building becomes 2 stories. This is probably an advantage to them anyway
since this would be a better picture and have zoom capabilities."
> Protest Summary"Shellac" reported that flyers were distributed outside the What is
Scientology exhibit in London this week.
"At around 10:30am we reached the exhibition. The Jive Aces were set up on
the street, kickin' out some old skool tunes. 'Tony' had kindly printed
off 50 copies of a slightly altered version of the 'Who is Xenu?' leaflet.
We positioned ourselves about 20 metres up the street from the exhibition,
away from the Scientologists.
"One scientologist walked past, telling me to 'stick your leaflet up your
arse'. Graeme Wilson, who had be so civil to Martin Poulter and me the
previous week, tried to engage Tony. Tony ignores him. Graeme then
proceeded to cry 'who are you? what are your crimes?'.
"Graeme is deeply confused about free speech and libel. He thinks that the
leaflet we have handed out is libelous. He thinks Scientology is right to
sue anyone who makes derogatory remarks about the Church - it's libel. As
I wander off a policeman approaches me. He's had complaints about libelous
leaflets and a potential breach of the peace. We were 'outside the shop'
according to the complaint. The complaint is a pack of lies, and I was a
little hard on the policeman. Graeme got photos of me and a policeman, so
he was happy."
> SwitzerlandSonntagszeitung Zuerich reported on February 25th that Scientology wants
to become involved in anti-drug efforts in Basel, Switzerland
"Scientology would like to mingle with the drug politic in Basel: a
representative of the controversial sect is sounding out openings in
government agencies and anti-addiction institutions. The 'Gassenzimmer'
manager wanted nothing to do with cooperation.
"The Scientologist woman showed up in the offices of Walter Meury, the
director of the 'Gassenzimmer Riehenring und Spitalstrasse' last week.
Meury said, 'Mrs. Klug explained that Scientology wanted to take part in a
needle-collection operation.' Klug verified for 'Der SonntagsZeitung' that
the planned needle-collection action was only part of a larger
international project: 'We are making an anti-drug campaign,' she said.
They will set up stands and send out brochures to make the public aware of
the 'methods by which we remove drugs from bodies.'
"'No, thanks,' SRB business manager Gabi Maechler turned down the offer
and told us, 'The problems with drugs are delicate enough without
Scientology having to get involved here.' Walter Meury also said he saw no
need to cooperate with Scientology. Basel is aware of Scientology; it is
the first Canton in Switzerland to pass a law against aggressive
membership recruitment on public land. According to Meury there exists 'at
the moment no need' for a needle-collection operation. He said the
operation they already had to collect needles was good enough, Doctor
Silva Keberle said in response to Scientology that there was a possibility
drug addicts 'could be manipulated for a private purpose.'"
> Gregory WisnerMike Krotz reported that Gregory Wisner, a former Narconon participant,
has been identified as the body that washed up on a Clearwater-area beach
in January 2001.
"'The decedent had tried to stop using cocaine and had mentioned
'cleansing' himself to a close friend. The cocaine intoxication may have
contributed to his drowning. The manner of death is accident.'- John R.
Thogmartin, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner
"Gregory Wisner was raised in Scientology households, but more recently
had become subject to Scientology's disconnection policy. His father, R.
Michael Wisner, is a prominent Scientologist and spokesperson for the
virtues of Narconon's procedures, and is co-author of a study claiming
that toxic damage to nervous tissue can be reduced with Mr. Hubbard's
protocol. R. Michael Wisner is also the author of a book, Living Healthy
in a Toxic World. The last meeting between father and son was described as
an argument. He did not attend his son's funeral.
"Gregory Wisner's mother, Helen, married Herb Zerden when Gregory was
quite young. Helen and Herb are active Clearwater, FL area Scientologists.
Herb Zerden has been documented working with Mary DeMoss in her harassment
campaign of Scientology critics. His mother told police that she thought
her son was off at a drug treatment program, and therefore did not suspect
anything strange when he disappeared. She also told police she was aware
that he had a problem with cocaine. Gregory Wisner attended Narconon in