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A.r.s Week in Review - 3/25/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 48 3/25/2001 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2001 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25, 2001
      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 48
      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:


      > Australia

      David Gerard reported that Narconon has set up a location in Camberwell,

      "I was at the Camberwell Markets on Sunday, and they had a stall set up.
      I spoke with the larger man for about five minutes about Narconon and
      received the usual talk, that it is a physical therapy and mental training
      regime with vitamins. I asked what the vitamins were for; it was explained
      that heroin strips the body of the vitamins, which need to be replaced; as
      well as removing myelin from nerve fibres, which also needs to be

      "I was also told that there were many independent studies showing the
      effectiveness of the program. I asked for some references; he admitted he
      didn't have any I asked whether Narconon was affiliated with Scientology,
      and was told that, apart from sharing Hubbard literature, they were not."

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      > Battlefield Earth

      The film Battlefield Earth, based on a book by L. Ron Hubbard, won seven
      "Razzie" awards, given to the worst films of the year.

      "Worst Picture: Battlefield Earth (Warner Bros.) Elie Samaha, Jonathan D.
      Krane and John Travolta, Producers. Worst Actor: John Travolta/Battlefield
      Earth and Lucky Numbers (Paramount). Worst Screen Couple: John Travolta
      and Anyone Sharing the Screen with Him/Battlefield Earth. Worst Supporting
      Actress: Kelly Preston/Battlefield Earth. Worst Supporting Actor: Barry
      Pepper/Battlefield Earth. Worst Director: Roger Christian/Battlefield
      Earth. Worst Screenplay: Battlefield Earth Screenplay by Corey Mandell and
      J.D. Shapiro, Based on the Novel by L. Ron Hubbard."

      From CBC news on March 24th:

      "The jurors of the 21st annual Golden Raspberry Foundation had little
      difficulty selecting the absolutely rottenest movie of the year:
      Battlefield Earth. The movie starring John Travolta won seven 'Razzies'
      for worst movie, worst actor, worst supporting actor, worst supporting
      actress, worst director, worst screen couple, and worst screenplay.

      "Battlefield Earth was a runaway winner over such dismal contenders as
      Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and The Next Best Thing. 'It was actually
      a cakewalk for jurors. Battlefield was truly wretched,' said John Wilson,
      founder of Golden Raspberry Foundation.

      "The Razzies are handed out every year on the eve of the Academy Awards.
      The trophy consists of a plastic raspberry atop a film can, valued at
      $4.29 (US)."

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      > Faith-Based Groups

      The Salt Lake Tribune reported on March 20th that U.S. President Bush
      assured black ministers this week that he intends to move forward with his
      plan to allow religious charities to compete for government grants.

      "President Bush on Monday assured a group of influential black pastors
      that, despite opposition from some religious conservatives, he will seek
      government money for social services provided by religious organizations.
      'I was overwhelmed by his sincerity,' said the Rev. Frank Reid, of Bethel
      AME Church of Baltimore, Md. Bush told the black ministers his life had
      been transformed by faith, Reid said. At the half-hour meeting's
      conclusion, Bush prayed with them.

      "Black religious leaders had gone to the White House dismayed by comments
      from conservatives Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson opposing government aid
      to church-based social services. Falwell and Robertson fear curbs on the
      religious character of social programs would deprive them of their
      essential religious mission. They also worry the government will fund
      religions they reject, such as the Church of Scientology."

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      > CCHR

      A press release from Scientology's CCHR branch announced a new website
      targeting Psychiatrists. The web site is called psychcrime.org.

      "Patient rape, sodomy, child pornography, assault, murder and fraud
      committed by licensed mental health professionals, are just some of the
      shocking but factual revelations made public in a hard-hitting report
      released on the web today by international psychiatric watchdog
      organization, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR).

      "According to Ms Jan Eastgate, International President of CCHR, the report
      is CCHR's latest response to the mental health industry's long-term
      refusal to take responsibility for increasing criminality within their
      ranks. 'There were more than 180 criminal convictions against
      psychiatrists and psychologists and other mental health practitioners in
      2000, up from 160 in 1999, and 100 in 1998; 53% were for health care fraud
      and 26% for sexual crimes against their patients. These are not figures
      that the mental health industry wants known, but everyone from health
      insurance fraud investigators, state, national and international police
      organizations and attorneys, to the general public, have a right to know.'

      "Eastgate said, 'While our first and primary focus has always been the
      rights and well-being of individuals who suffer abuse at the hands of
      mental health professionals, our task is made much more difficult because
      of the criminal impulse in the ranks. The release of this new database
      signals our international intention, and commitment, to bringing this
      element where it belongs -- back under the law.'"

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      > Clearwater

      The St. Petersburg Times published and editorial on March 22nd,
      criticizing the Chief of Police Sid Klein for allowing Scientology to
      spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to have off-duty officers patrol
      Watterson Ave.

      "Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Thomas Penick, who has the unenviable task
      of refereeing sidewalk skirmishes between the Church of Scientology and
      anti-Scientology protesters in Clearwater, recently pointed to an
      arrangement that allows off-duty Clearwater cops to work for Scientology
      and noted, 'They are coming very dangerously close to becoming a private
      security force for the Church of Scientology.' Penick was right to call
      attention to the uncomfortably cozy relationship developing between city
      police and the church, which has its spiritual headquarters in downtown

      "As reported Sunday by staff writer Deborah O'Neil, the Church of
      Scientology has paid nearly $150,000 to 110 officers since January 2000.
      The Police Department gets $2.50 an hour from the church to cover fees and
      workers' compensation. The off-duty officers are hired by the church to
      make sure that no one -- particularly staff of the Lisa McPherson Trust --
      messes with Scientologists coming and going from church facilities on
      Watterson Avenue, a downtown side street where many clashes between the
      two sides have occurred.

      "Though Scientology has worked to improve its image and relationship with
      the city in recent years, the fact is that the church, by virtue of its
      controversial history in Clearwater and its altercations with the Lisa
      McPherson Trust, is not like most other Clearwater churches. Also, there
      is a big difference between providing an off-duty officer to a church to
      direct traffic after Sunday services and supplying off-duty officers to
      protect Scientology from its critics every day of the year.

      "Klein orders officers who work off-duty for Scientology not to take
      sides. It is naive for him to expect that every officer earning income
      from Scientology and interacting regularly with its members will always be
      capable of objectivity. And it is unwise to place officers employed by the
      church in a position to be first-responders, report-writers and official
      witnesses when incidents occur between the church and protesters. If Klein
      sees a need for a law enforcement presence on Watterson Avenue, he should
      assign on-duty officers to work there, whether or not off-duty officers
      continue to be employed by the church."

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      > Tom Cruise

      The Sunday Telegraph reported on March 18th that Tom Cruise has left

      "Cruise's long-term love affair with the Church of Scientology is now over
      too. It was Tom's mental and financial commitment to the Scientologists
      which was said to have increasingly annoyed Nicole, who herself became
      disenchanted with the movement and returned to the Catholic church last
      year. However the Scientologists will now have to do without toothsome
      Tom. 'He has ended his association with the Church for personal reasons,'
      I'm told. 'He has given them millions of dollars in the past and he has
      now made a further very generous donation to end his association with

      From Dutch newswire ANP on March 18th:

      "Tom Cruise has left the Scientology Church. That is what a spokesman of
      the filmstar told the British show biz press agency WENN. To show his
      goodwill, Cruise - who has donated millions of guilders to Scientology in
      the past - will donate a last 'very royal' gift."

      But attorney Bert Fields denies that Cruise has left. From Ananova on
      March 20th:

      "Reports had suggested he had quit the controversial religion. Some
      believe it was one of the causes of his split from Nicole Kidman. But
      Cruise's attorney Bert Fields has denied Cruise has quit the church.
      Cruise and other Hollywood stars such as John Travolta and Anne Archer
      have donated millions of dollars to the religion."

      From the Daily Telegraph on March 23rd:

      "Cruise's attachment to the church remains intact: this week, he has
      issued a statement denying that he has severed links with Scientology. The
      British wing of the movement has reacted to the Cruise/Kidman setback with
      a vigorous publicity campaign. Its headquarters and training academy are
      in Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, a fantasy castle built in the
      Sixties. The publicity campaign began with 'The Great Exhibition', which
      ran for 16 days last month in an empty Oxford Street shop, with a jazz
      band playing outside. Leaflets promised 'free consultation on how to think
      more clearly' and advice on how to 'remove toxins and drugs from your

      An invitation to a Sunday service at the Scientology Celebrity Centre in
      Bayswater, west London, sounded promising. The Celebrity Centre is a
      four-storey house flanked by hotels. I was greeted by the president,
      Alison Batchelor, a former opera singer. In the congregation of 25, there
      was Miss Holland 1993, a pianist who used to play with Ian Dury, and a
      former princess of Beirut who lost her title when she divorced the prince.
      There was also a decorator who had started a science fiction novel and a
      hereditary peer, Lord McNair.

      "The minister, Tom Harding, read from Hubbard's books and the congregation
      recited the 'creed'. This is mostly about man's 'inalienable rights' to
      freedom, but it also declares that killing others is wrong and that man's
      spirit can be saved. The rest of the service was a 'group auditing
      session.' The session lasted 20 minutes, beginning with Mr Harding asking:
      'Is there a floor there?' Everyone said 'yes' and so it went on, to the
      walls, ceiling, then feet, legs, hands, and the head. People were asked to
      'experience' their body parts and Mr Harding asked: 'Was that better than
      ever? Is it more real?'

      "I was certainly not brainwashed but nor did I feel enlightened in any
      way. The former Miss Holland, Hilda Vander Meulen, who became a
      Scientologist in 1994 when she signed up for a 'purification' course in
      Los Angeles, told me that the movement had changed her life: 'I am calm,
      capable and I can deal with issues now.' She has given up wine, tobacco
      and all drugs.

      "There are believed to be 100,000 Scientologists in Britain and eight
      million worldwide. All of these people became involved through a course
      that promised a happier and easier life - though some found otherwise.
      Unhappy ex-members tend to inhabit the internet, where there are sites
      such as 'Scientology Lies', 'Scientology Kills' and 'Eight Steps out of
      Scientology', to help people leave Hubbard's movement. I just used the

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      > Keith Henson

      Keith Henson posted two filings in the case in which he is charged with
      making terroristic threats. The first was a motion to disqualify the
      Riverside District Attorney's office from the case.

      "The Defendant asserts that this motion is necessary because a conflict of
      interest exist that would render it unlikely that the defendant would
      receive a fair trial. Scientology has long tried to silence and ruin the
      Defendant because of his persistent, conspicuous and unequivocal criticism
      of what he sincerely believes to be Scientology's unlawful and
      inappropriate activities. This current misdemeanor case which is based
      solely on the information provided by career Scientologists and their
      agents that they are in fear due to Defendant's actions, continues this
      Scientology tradition of attacking detractors and is commonly known as the
      fair game doctrine. It appears to Defendant that the Riverside County
      District Attorney has given and continues to give preferential treatment
      to the powerful Scientology machine and its agents thereby resulting in a
      conflict of interest which makes it likely that the Defendant cannot
      receive a fair trial.

      "The District Attorney has filed a motion in limine with the court in this
      case to prevent the defendant from introducing evidence of the Fair Game
      Doctrine. This doctrine authorizes Scientologists to destroy a detractor
      with the blessing of the church. Defendant's opposition to this case, as
      well as the affidavits filed concurrently herewith clearly show that none
      or the DA's assertions about the fair game doctrine can be taken seriously
      and that the Office of the District Attorney is, in essence, an agent of
      Scientology's attack on the Defendant. We ask the court to take judicial
      notice of the five California cases cited in Defendant's opposition to the
      People's Motion in Limine on the issue of Fair Game to show that the
      courts have clearly taken evidence on this doctrine and found this
      practice to he alive and well after its alleged demise in 1972 or 1974.
      One can only take from the People's motion that the District Attorney did
      not research the issue and/or Scientology wrote the brief for the District

      "The District Attorney agues that this issue of whether all of the
      'victims' who are believed to be high-ranking, career Scientologists, have
      a motive to lie under the Fair Game Doctrine, is not relevant. This is
      preposterous, and shows that the District Attorney is blind to a quest for
      truth in this case and is instead looking merely for a victory for

      "A critical issue in this case is the People's attempt to authenticate
      certain alleged Internet postings by the Defendant. When the prosecutor
      assigned to the case found out that the Defendant would not stipulate to
      authentication, as is his right under the United States Constitution and
      the California Constitution, a Scientology attorney, within days, tried to
      get the Defendant to authenticate these very postings in a Scientology
      deposition of the Defendant in the Defendant's pending chapter 13
      bankruptcy. A transcript of Defendant's testimony was then given to the
      prosecuting attorney and presented to the Defendant's attorney as proof of
      authentication. This is clear evidence of the power of the Scientology
      machine and the dubious way in which the district attorney was willing to
      gain an advantage regarding the authentication of certain documents by
      such tactics.

      "Defendant and others have tried to get the district attorney to
      investigate Scientology involvement regarding the deaths of Ashlee Shaner
      and Stacy Meyer. Apparently when Scientologists or their influential
      agents contact Grover Trask, Scientology is able to get results in
      prosecuting the Defendant, even when law enforcement initially sees no
      evidence of a crime. Defendant is now being prosecuted on 40-year-old
      hearsay in a book, the Defendant's patent for a 747 to deliver a nuclear
      payload on Golden Era, and the glaring fact that all victims are high
      ranking, career Scientologists who are in 'fear,' even though other
      Scientologists are following the Defendant and trying to keep him from
      seeing his friends. When the Defendant and others try to have Scientology
      investigated for two deaths that have occurred in the in this area,
      apparently the district attorney won't follow the recommendations of the
      highway patrol or assist Deputy Greer to conduct a further investigation.

      "The facts set forth above demonstrate that the district attorney has been
      influenced by Scientology to prosecute the Defendant and to take whatever
      means necessary to ensure that the Defendant cannot introduce evidence of
      how he has been victimized by Scientology's fair game doctrine and
      practices. There is no explanation for this DA behavior and can only be
      characterized as burying one's head in the sand for the benefit of

      The second motion is to allow the testimony of people who observed Keith's
      protests at the Hemet, California base and the terroristic threats he
      allegedly made there.

      Keith Henson hereby opposes the People's Motion in Limine to exclude
      and/or limit testimony of Kathleen Pettycrew, Bruce Pettycrew, Barbara
      Graham Warr, Brent Stone and Arel Lucas. The basis for this opposition is
      that the Observers will testify to matters within their personal knowledge
      and observation, and their testimony is highly probative on the issue of
      whether the Defendant threatened, put in fear of physical harm, or
      interfered with, the alleged victims. The true facts appear to be that it
      doesn't matter who goes to Golden Era to lawfully picket, the people
      enclosed in Golden Era hide from picketers. Therefore, it is for the jury
      to decide whether the so-called Scientologist reaction to the Defendant is
      fear of truthful information or fear physical threat. Defendant has the
      right to show that instead of fearing Defendant's actions, Scientologists
      fear Constitutionally protected free speech and that due to a cult-like
      atmosphere, Scientologist intend to keep inhabitants of Golden Era from
      hearing about the circumstances surrounding certain deaths, about
      manipulation through the fair game doctrine, about certain religious
      practices,- and about other maters that the Defendant, the Observers and
      some of the public are concerned about.

      "Defendant picketed at Golden Era with no intent to commit, nor did he
      commit, any act alleged in the misdemeanor complaint. He merely took
      lawful actions to bring the public's attention to certain deaths at or
      near Golden Era, as well as to other matters that deeply concern Defendant
      about Scientology activities. The Observers are believed to have engaged
      in similar lawful activities and were met with the same result, even
      though the Observers do not have a patent for a 747 to deliver a nuclear
      payload into outer space and are not the subject of a book based on patent
      hearsay about lawful activities 40 years ago that are inaccurately
      reported in a book.

      "The Defendant is on trial for his constitutionally protected free speech
      due to a ruse by the alleged victims. Defendant has the right under the
      Constitution to prove it by presenting competent evidence on the issue of
      witness credibility. The Observers will testify from personal knowledge as
      to what they saw as they picketed at Golden Era; namely, that those
      enclosed in Golden Era respond to clearly lawful activity in the same
      manner that the prosecution will try to allege at Defendant's trial."

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      > Fund Raiser

      The Los Angeles Times reported on March 24th that a Scientology fund
      raiser was planned in Pasadena, California.

      "The Women's Auxiliary of the Church of Scientology will have its third
      annual fund-raising dinner, 'Evening of Fun and Revitalization,' at 6
      tonight at the University Club of Pasadena. Co-chairwomen are Lisa Malm
      and Nancy Reitze. Auction prizes range from haircuts and Easter baskets
      to Lakers tickets and autographed movie memorabilia. Fellow Scientologists
      Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Nancy Cartwright, the voice of television's
      Bart Simpson, have donated signed memorabilia to be auctioned. The auction
      will be conducted by Tate Rupert of The Really Spontaneous Theater
      Company, who will also provide the evening's entertainment."

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      > LRH Birthday

      Scientology issued a press release on March 12th to publicize the birthday
      celebrations for L. Ron Hubbard.

      "American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard will be recognized on his
      birth date in cities around the world for his contributions to education,
      drug reform and discoveries about the human mind and spirit. The yearly
      global commemorative event will center around a satellite-broadcasted
      event which is expected to reach people in more than 60 countries. 8,000
      people are expected to attend the event in Los Angeles at the Universal
      Amphitheater on March 17th. The satellite broadcast will be seen at events
      in 35 US cities including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston,
      Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Portland and Dallas. Several thousand
      expected to attend in Clearwater, FL.

      "During the past year, recognitions have come in again from around the
      world. Business leaders, teachers, parents, diplomats and government
      officials acknowledged Mr. Hubbard's influence in many ways, with
      proclamations, keys to cities, resolutions and awards. Over 100 U.S.
      mayors honor Hubbard's life of accomplishments by proclaiming March 13th,
      2001 as L. Ron Hubbard Day."

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      > UK

      The Kent and East Sussex Courier reported this week that a Narconon
      participant robbed banks in order to continue his drug rehabilitation.

      "A career bank robber was jailed for life after he admitted a string of
      armed raids in West Kent and East Sussex to pay for private drug
      rehabilitation treatment. Terence Stone, 37, claimed he fell back into
      heroin addiction after the Home Office cut funding from a drug programme
      run by the Church of Scientology. Stone robbed half a dozen banks,
      building societies and post offices last year collecting over 21,000
      pounds to pay for treatment in private clinics. Now a member of the cult
      he claims that the church's Narconon programme was the only thing that
      ever worked for him during his last spell behind bars. But the treatment
      was withdrawn due to lack of funding and he soon fell back into heroin
      upon release.

      "His barrister Ben Hargreaves said Stone's need for the cash would have
      been 'Farcical if it had not been so serious. Mr Stone spent thousands of
      pounds in private rehab centres to rid himself of his drug habit. 'He had
      to pay huge sums of money to attend them. He got that money by committing
      robberies. It was a vicious circle he found himself in that he found he
      could not break.'

      "Sentencing Judge John Reid, QC, told him: 'It appears you were a drug
      addict and wished to accumulate money for the purpose of receiving
      treatment. 'You were deprived of the assistance which the Church of
      Scientology could have given you'. But the judge said he had to sentence
      Stone to life under the so-called 'two strikes and you're out rule.' He
      added that it will be at least seven years before Stone could be
      considered for release by the parole board.

      "After the hearing, Narconon Trustee Sheila MacLean told the Courier:
      'Terence Stone learned of the Narconon drug rehabilitation method - a
      secular programme developed by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard - and was
      making good progress on the programme before it came to light that he had
      committed criminal offences that needed to be put to rights. 'Sadly, he
      was unable to continue on the rehabilitation programme, as he had been
      able to complete it whilst in prison, statistics show that he is unlikely
      to have reverted to either drugs or crime.'"

      Also from the Kent and East Sussex Courier this week, an elderly
      Scientologist has been reported missing from Saint Hill.

      "An elderly Scientologist from Crowborough has sparked a massive police
      search after disappearing on Monday. John Harvey, 77, of Walshes Manor,
      Walshes Road, went missing after leaving Saint Hill Manor in East
      Grinstead to post a letter, say police. His fellow Scientologists carried
      out a search and found out Mr Harvey had not got back on the bus and his
      car was still in Crowborough and alerted the police.

      "Officers scoured the area straight away with a police helicopter but no
      trace was found of the 6ft tall, well-built man who has been a member of
      the Church of Scientology for the past 30 years. He is described as about
      6ft tall, well built with short grey hair, and his front two teeth are
      missing. When he disappeared Mr Harvey was wearing the Church of
      Scientology staff uniform of blue trousers, light blue shirt and a navy
      blue jumper with the Saint Hill logo. Church of Scientology spokesman,
      Graeme Wilson, said: 'We are concerned for Mr Harvey and we hope he turns
      up safe and well.'"

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      > Switzerland

      Sda reported on March 20th that the newspaper Tages-Anzeiger has won a
      decision in a case Scientology brought to force them to reveal
      confidential sources.

      "Journalists do not have to reveal their sources even if those affected by
      the accusations of the informant are not able to respond without being
      aware of his identity. Protecting the source in founded cases takes
      precedence over the obligation to complete revelation of sources.

      "With that the Press Council dismissed a complaint by the Narconon
      Association against an article by sect specialist Hugo Stamm in the
      'Tages-Anzeiger' about the controversial drug therapy at Narconon. In it
      was quoted an anonymous informant who ended her therapy because, in her
      opinion, questionable methods were being used. The president of Narconon
      filed a complaint against this article with the Press Council. It accused
      Stamm in particular of having had no direct contact with the person cited
      and of using non-genuine quotes. The Press Council found, on information
      presented to it by the newspaper, that Stamm himself had spoken with the
      informant. Stamm refused to reveal the identity of his informant to
      Narconon. This was, according to statements from the 'Tages-Anzeiger,' due
      to annoyances from representatives from the area of Narconon and
      Scientology in connection to the publication of the article."

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