A.r.s Week in Review - 4/1/2001
Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 49
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 email@example.com or
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/weekinreview. PDA channel available at
Week in Review is archived at:
> Faith-Based GroupsA letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Daily News on March 27th replied
to an article about U.S. Government funding of religious charities.
"In Mona Charen's article supporting President Bush's faith-based funding
proposals, Charen gratuitously passed on an insulting comment about my
church, the Church of Scientology. Yes, in Scientology, we're a little
different than older religions - if we weren't, we'd be one of those
religions. So, I cannot sit by while a seed of possible future hatred is
planted by a writer I otherwise admire. -- Stephen M. Ferris"
Reuters reported on March 30th that conservatives still have reservations
about the plan.
"'There's discontent along the edges, that's how I would characterize it,'
said Marshall Wittman of the Indiana-based Hudson Institute's Project for
Conservative Reform. The conservative complaints may have begun with a
broadside against Bush's faith-based social service initiative from
Christian Coalition President Pat Robertson, published in the Wall Street
Journal earlier this month.
"'If government provides funding to the thousands of faith-based
institutions but, under a tortured definition of separation of church and
state, demands in return that those institutions give up their unique
religious activities, then not only the effectiveness of these
institutions but possibly their very raison d'etre may be lost,' Robertson
wrote. He further worried in print that the government money that would
be available to agencies of the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths
would also be offered to the Hare Krishnas, the Church of Scientology or
Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church."
> ClearwaterLetters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on March 28th replied to
an editorial criticizing the Clearwater Police for allowing off-duty
police to be hired by Scientology to guard against the Lisa McPherson
"The position seems to be that it is acceptable to discriminate against
Scientology (at least in this matter), but not against other religions,
like Catholicism and Presbyterianism, that are more acceptable to you. The
reasons you offer for advocating this selective religious discrimination
are a 'controversial history' and conflicts with others.
"Contemporary events attest that religions of all kinds -- presumably
including some that are acceptable to you -- are at the very center of
such matters worldwide. In the interest of the same 'objectivity' that you
value so highly in this editorial, perhaps you should reveal what other
religions you think ought to be subjected to discrimination. Or is
Scientology the only one? -- Danny L. Jorgensen Ph.D, University of South
"I have been serving as counsel for the Church of Scientology in
connection with the ongoing court proceedings to restore some measure of
peace to downtown Clearwater. The peace has been breached by the members
of the Lisa McPherson Trust, who came to Clearwater and mounted loud,
crude and vulgar attacks against the church and its members. The church
obtained an injunction against the Lisa McPherson Trust and its members,
the purpose of which was to set up some basic ground rules for both the
church and the members of the trust.
"You argue that it is acceptable to discriminate against the church and
deny it the availability of police services because the police merely
direct traffic for other churches. Would it be acceptable if the police
were only directing traffic for the Church of Scientology instead of
preserving civil order? If the skinheads mounted a protest operation
against a local synagogue, would you deny the synagogue the opportunity to
participate in the Police Department's program to preserve public order?
"The extra-duty police officer program is a creative way to expand the
availability of police services to the community without the taxpayers
having to foot the bill. You ought to be praising it instead of trying to
undermine it because an organization you don't like is using it. -- F.
Wallace Pope Jr., Clearwater"
Chief of Police Sid Klein also wrote a letter to the editor of the St.
Petersburg Times, published on March 30th.
"It's not Judge Thomas Penick, as you wrote, 'who has the unenviable task
of refereeing sidewalk skirmishes between the Church of Scientology and
anti-Scientology protesters' in downtown Clearwater. That responsibility
falls to the Clearwater Police Department. It's the police officers who
must monitor and mitigate the constant confrontations between two groups -
fueled by hatred and distrust - that seem incapable of tolerance and
"Without off-duty police officers standing by to act as schoolyard
monitors for these two groups, we would have to continually send on-duty
police officers to break up confrontations, to interview witnesses, to
review videotape from scores of cameras (both visible and hidden), to
write reports and to take whatever actions are necessary -- every day --
to quell these venomous, juvenile exchanges. I don't think the expense of
our baby-sitting activities should impact the quality of life or the level
of service to which Clearwater's residents are both entitled and
accustomed. In this time of municipal fiscal blight, I think it's not only
responsible, it's downright wise, to let the recalcitrant combatants
themselves pick up the cost of the referees.
"While continuing to act as peacemaker -- and enforcing Judge Penick's
complex court order -- I will carry on my work with both sides, searching
for a viable solution acceptable to all. I fully intend to extricate the
Clearwater Police Department from this untenable situation. I'm confident
our peacekeeping actions -- as distasteful as they may be to some people
-- are clearly in the best interests of the residents of Clearwater. And
I'm just as confident that our actions speak louder than your words, which
have the hollow, distant ring of an ivory tower bell."
> GermanySaarbruecker Zeitung reported on March 30th that a Saarlouis, Germany
judge has dismissed a case brought by Scientology to attempt to ban German
government from conducting surveillance on Scientology.
"The 6th chamber of the Saarland Administrative Court dismissed a
complaint after an oral hearing with the Scientology Church Association
Germany whose main office is in Munich and the Saarland State Office for
the Protection of the Constitution. This judgment by the Saarlouis judge
has nationwide impact. For the first time a court has decided the issue of
whether Constitutional Security agents may observe the Scientologists
using methods of intelligence.
"In 1997 the Interior Conference decided to have the sect put under
surveillance. Moving against that decision in court was Helmuth Bloebaum,
president of the organization in Germany, which does not have a public
establishment in Saarland, and who has now been rebuffed. The arguments
from Helmuth Albert, chief of the Saarland Constitutional Security seem to
have convinced the judge. Among other things he indicated that the stated
goals of Scientology were not able to be made compatible with Basic Law.
Additionally Scientology was also said to be using its own intelligence
> Graham BerryKeith Henson posted an update on the legal situation of attorney Graham
Berry, a long-time opponent of Scientology.
"The clams got Graham's car by assuring a bankruptcy judge that his 14
year old jeep, bald tires, marginal brakes, electrical problems, and water
leaks would sell for $6700. Since in bankruptcy you can't have a car worth
more than $1900, they will sell it at auction to some public scn and give
"There is a deposition of Donald Wager; in it he admits to a string of
criminal actions in the Hurtado v. Berry case and related. Wager admits
paying a street person in jail for false testimony and being paid back by
Moxon. He also talks about taking the street person's false testimony to
the Sheriff in an attempt to get Graham arrested."
> ItalyLa Repubblica reported on March 28th that an investigation is being
conducted in Florence into the activities of eight executive Scientology
"An investigation was opened by the state attorney Francesco Fleury in
Florence. He's investigating 8 Italian executives of the Church of
Scientology, assuming felonies against them such as criminal association
and personal damages. In Mr. Fleury's opinion, suffering and psychic
violence that would be inflicted to the followers could be equal to
"The investigation in Florence begun in 1998, when the parents of a
conservatoire student, who became a follower of Scientology, filed a
complaint. They were desperate for their daughter left her studies and
severed her contacts with her family. The girl is now living in Milan,
where she has taken up her studies again.
"The magistrate questioned the girl's parents and ordered the acquisition
of a wide documentation about the structure and activities of Scientology,
seizing them both in the Florence branch, located near the State of
Attorney office, and in the Milan centre, the most important in Italy."
> Arnie LermaThe New York Post's Page Six gossip column spotlighted Arnie Lerma on
"A former top officer of the Church of Scientology has launched a crusade
against the organization. Arnie Lerma is sending out 'Scientology Lies'
postcards and has launched a web site, www.lermanet.com, showcasing
testimonials from people who have 'escaped' from Scientology. Rev. John
Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology of New York, claims
Lerma is disgruntled, having been 'thrown out of the church because of
drug use.' Lerma calls the charge 'bullbleep! I was never thrown out.'
Lerma says he left after Scientologists threatened him for planning to
elope with L. Ron Hubbard's daughter Suzette."
> Bob MintonTilman Hausherr reported on the libel trial in Berlin in which Bob Minton
is suing OSA representative Sabine Weber, Freedom Magazine and Scientology
for false statements made in Freedom magazine and other publications.
"The court said there is no indication that Minton has been involved in
shady movements of billions of dollars, he did do the debt buy-back, there
is no evidence that he helped hide any money, Scientology isn't a
'citizens organisation' that can't be expected to do some research. While
the court wouldn't say that Scientology has an 'intelligence service,' it
called Scientology a large organisation with enormous possibilities, so it
has to listen to the response of Minton.
"Many of the oral allegations of the scientology attorney were similar to
what has been claimed on ars, e.g. that Minton has Caberta on a string,
that he bribed her, that he set up money laundering foundation for Abacha,
and that he was 'sure' that Greenland was also there to funnel money into
"Minton's attorney explained that scientology is doing a 'perverse'
campaign against Minton, based on the policies of Scientology founder
Hubbard, that Caberta is actually not even investigated for bribery, only
for 'Vorteilsnahme' which is something less. The scientology said that the
complaint in Switzerland was for real, but didn't explain why they could
only provide some translation of it. He claimed that because Minton
attacked Scientology, Scientology is allowed to attack Minton."
Bob Minton posted the decision, which provides penalties for Scientology
should they repeat any of the libelous statements.
"The defendants are obliged, on penalty of a fine of up to 500,000 DM in
the case of violation, alternatively detention, or detention of up to 6
months on one of the members of the Board of Directors, to refrain from
propagating, literally or analogously,
"Freiheit, 'According to a criminal complaint against Robert Minton and
accessories for fraud, money laundering and forgery of documents, filed by
the Republic of Nigeria on June 23rd, 2000 with the Attorney General in
Geneva, between 1987 and 1993, Minton, following a secret fraudulent plan
'diverted several billion US$ to the damage of the Republic of Nigeria.
Robert Minton deposited the diverted money in several business and private
numbered bank accounts'.
"Flyer: Merciless Greed for Money, 'The unscrupulous wheeler-dealer Minton
was involved in these money rackets, after he and his accessories got hold
of illegal inside knowledge to maximize their profits. Presently there are
a great number of examinations and hearings dealing with this gigantic
fraud scandal which was carried out using 200 different bank accounts.
Only recently, a further 'vanished' 1.31 billion DM were discovered and
frozen by the Attorney General in Luxembourg.'
"Freiheit, 'Caberta and the Hamburg Department of the Interior, the latter
being responsible for the fight against crime, recently honored the
American Robert Minton with a press conference, shortly after his close
ties to an international money laundering racket of gigantic proportions
became public. As African and English newspapers are presently reporting,
the former Nigerian military dictatorship channeled several billion US$ to
foreign bank accounts with the support of Minton and his accessories.'
"Freiheit, 'According to a criminal charge filed by the Nigerian Republic
with the attorney general of Geneva he was accused of defrauding the
country of several hundred million US$ during his business transactions
with the former Nigerian military dictatorship. The complaint also accuses
Minton of forgery of documents and money laundering.'
"The Defendants have to pay the costs."
> NarcononThe Arizona Republic reported on March 28th that the Arizona legislature
has rejected spending $3 million to give Scientology's Narconon treatment
to state prisoners.
"'If they get massages and saunas, I don't blame them for signing up,'
said Sen. Brenda Burns, R-Glendale. 'I want to enroll.' Chairwoman Elaine
Richardson, D-Tucson, held HB2563 rather than see it die in a Judiciary
Committee vote. Rick Pendery, executive director of the Second Chance
program, said more than 2,000 inmates of the Ensenada, Mexico, prison have
been treated with massages, saunas and vitamins the past five years at a
cost to Mexico of $1 million a year. Only 10 percent of those treated and
released have returned to prison, Pendery said. Terry Stewart, Arizona
Corrections director, acknowledged that the recidivism rate in state
prisons is 34 percent over three years.
"Combining aspects of the Narconon program and teachings of L. Ron
Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, the Second Chance
system detoxifies addicts and shows them how to take control of their
lives, Pendery said. Treatment is voluntary and non-religious.
"Stewart objected to taking money from the addiction and education
programs and offering it to a private contractor for a treatment that has
not been reviewed by a credible U.S. agency."
> SwedenDagens Nyheter reported that the Swedish parliament member who donated the
NOTs materials to a library has been fined for copyright violation.
"The district court in Jonkoping ordered Carina Hagg, a member of
parliament, to pay 50 'unit fines' for violations of the copyright law. In
the end of 1997 Carina Hagg handed in the so-called Scientology bible -
that really are classified education documents for Scientology members -
to the city library in Jonkoping, and thus made the scriptures public for,
amongst other things, copying. Carina Hagg had, as a member of the
parliament, access to the scriptures since a person by the name of Zenon
Panoussis in 1996 handed them in to the secretariat of the parliament. The
plaintiff was Religious Technology Center, a non-profit, religious
organization in California belonging to the Church of Scientology."
> John TravoltaThe New York Times reported on March 27th on an ABC television special
which included a segment on Scientology celebrities John Travolta and
"On Barbara Walters' preshow special there was one revealing moment when
John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, tried to explain why they are
enamored of Scientology. Ms. Preston said, 'Scientology rocks!' Obviously
what rocks in Hollywood is different from what rocks anywhere else.