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A.r.s Week in Review - 4/1/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 49 4/1/2001 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2001 Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 49
      4/1/2001
      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. PDA channel available at
      http://avantgo.com/channels/_add_channel.pl?cha_id=2900

      Week in Review is archived at:
      http://www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/
      http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/ars-summary.html
      http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs1dc/scientology/wir.html
      http://www.religio.de/publik/arsfaq.html

      #####

      > Faith-Based Groups

      A 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."

      Message-ID: <99u1bn0imn@...>
      Message-ID: <9a4vp7$5ve@...>

      #####

      > Clearwater

      Letters 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
      Trust.

      "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
      Florida"

      "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
      civility.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <99te2k$3fv@...>
      Message-ID: <OBdx6.186$As2.18572@...>

      #####

      > Germany

      Saarbruecker 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
      agency."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1010330194355.117A-100000@...>

      #####

      > Graham Berry

      Keith 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
      Graham $1900.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <4tn4ctsferf1sqneoeg9k9937jtpoe0820@...>

      #####

      > Italy

      La Repubblica reported on March 28th that an investigation is being
      conducted in Florence into the activities of eight executive Scientology
      members.

      "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
      physical injuries.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <5ch8ct0h44eomnuf1bighfnopqp3lc0drk@...>

      #####

      > Arnie Lerma

      The New York Post's Page Six gossip column spotlighted Arnie Lerma on
      March 31st.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <tl2cctc76n0et7dp1finfgam2dvq7cf8f4@...>

      #####

      > Bob Minton

      Tilman 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
      foreign countries.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <6du0ct4m68hu6m887tv8pjlqkuuqvle691@...>
      Message-ID: <nho6ctoipr18rqr4huojhreo72b39lvmoi@...>

      #####

      > Narconon

      The 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."

      Message-ID: <99v8uh$rdo@...>

      #####

      > Sweden

      Dagens 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."

      Message-ID: <Xns9071A67108B0Fanguishluddluthse@130.240.42.21>

      #####

      > John Travolta

      The New York Times reported on March 27th on an ABC television special
      which included a segment on Scientology celebrities John Travolta and
      Kelly Preston.

      "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.

      Message-ID: <jfn1ct46auo6u7v87hnlnggqcft52ldg1o@...>

      -end-
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