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A.r.s Week in Review - 5/20/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 5 5/20/2001 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2001 Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2001
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 5
      5/20/2001
      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

      #####

      > Chick Corea

      The Boston Globe published an article on Scientology celebrity Chick Corea
      on May 20th.

      "Soon to be 60, Corea plays 200 concerts a year. His appearances with the
      Boston Pops Wednesday and Friday finally provide the opportunity for Corea
      to claim a piece of turf near his boyhood home at 149 Chestnut St. Now he
      has a 30-concert European solo tour scheduled for late in the year that
      will take him to Germany for the first time since 1993, when his practice
      of Scientology led to what he describes as a government-inspired boycott
      of his music.

      "'It was a campaign created by a handful of people in the German
      government who scared promoters into not booking me,' Corea says of the
      situation. 'It led me to visit D.C. several times, not just to present my
      own case but to talk about all of the human rights violations that go on
      in so-called civilized countries like Germany and France.'

      "According to Corea, the US State Department 'went to bat' on his behalf.
      He also lowered his price, allowing promoters to operate without
      government subsidy. Scientology remains a large part of Corea's life. He
      and his wife, Gayle Moran, moved to Clearwater, Fla., four years ago after
      participating in several retreats at the Scientology Center located there.
      The affiliation has raised eyebrows for decades, yet Corea insists it has
      not inhibited his ability to work in this country.

      "'My involvement with Scientology has been nothing but glorious since
      1968,' he says. 'Anything this new has always been attacked - not by the
      public, but by the press as tools of the government. But this is my own
      subjective thing, and being a Scientologist has done nothing but help me
      in my life.'"

      Message-ID: <ccmfgtsapb4v3ice5h9vmi0agfvtvdf46a@...>

      #####

      > Clearwater

      Mark Bunker and Jeff Jacobsen reported on the opening of a city park in
      downtown Clearwater. A Scientology group was responsible for improvements
      to the park, but initially declined contributions in honor of Lisa
      McPherson, Roxanne Friend and Congressman Leo J. Ryan.

      "At this afternoon's grand opening of the brick alley in Downtown
      Clearwater, Pam Marks finally answered the question she refused to answer
      for the St. Pete Times. The secret committee has been revealed. Pam Marks
      today thanked Bennetta Slaughter and AMC for being in charge of placing
      the orders for bricks. Pam Marks also applauded the local newspapers for
      their supportive coverage, except for the St. Pete Times. She lambasted
      the Times and O'Neal in particular for their biased coverage."

      "I was on the Cleveland Street entrance with my Lisa McPherson picket
      sign. I was there in place of my brick that would have said 'Remember Lisa
      McPherson' except the Citizens for a Better Clearwater rejected that brick
      as being disharmonious to the community. So I stood near the curb with my
      sign and flyers that explained why I was there. I only gave out one flyer.
      It was essentially impossible to miss my sign if you were in the park
      because there are of course only 2 entrances into the park.

      "Antonio the Scientology security guy was all excited and videotaped the
      first 45 minutes of me standing there, then just watched the rest of the
      time. Paul Kellerhals came over and watched me quite a while, then came
      over with a copy of the injunction and claimed I was violating it!
      Clearwater police Lt. Hall came over a few minutes later, apparently
      called there by Scientology. He talked to me briefly, saw what I was
      doing, and told the nearby cops that I was fine.

      "After a bit a nice lady came and told me that my brick was now in the
      park! Sure enough, it's right at the base of a bench, in a reasonably good
      location."

      Jeff Jacobsen also spoke at a Clearwater City Council meeting this week.

      "I'd like to point out a deception that happened in a city commission
      meeting last August 17. Mary DeMoss spoke at the meeting and explained
      that she was creating the Foundation for Religious Tolerance here in
      Clearwater. She said the goals of the Foundation would be to promote human
      rights, unite the local religious groups, bring the city and religions
      together, and help forward the goals of the city.

      "The most recent Scientology publication called Free Winds has a letter
      signed M.D. talking about how this person found her home town had some
      SP's in it. 'I began to attack them. My attacks turned into the
      Foundation for Religious Tolerance which I founded. This foundation
      confronts any critics of Scientology and exposes them for what they really
      are - hate groups. Would you like to know how many people comprise this
      vast worldwide organization that has the SPs running scared? Just one,
      me!'

      "The Foundation for Religious Tolerance claims to be a wonderful
      organization designed by a Scientologist to help unite the Clearwater
      community, but in her own words, it is a front group for Scientology to
      attack its critics. In that case Ms. DeMoss lied to the commission and the
      people of Clearwater last August 17.

      "The Citizens for a Better Clearwater rejected a brick order I placed for
      the new Alley Park. My brick was to say 'Remember Lisa McPherson.' This
      was rejected, said a letter from CBC treasurer Doug Williams, because it
      would cause community disharmony. CBC finally relented and my brick is now
      in the park, What exactly does this episode say about Citizens for a
      Better Clearwater?"

      Message-ID: <3b01b2ac$1@...>
      Message-ID: <3b01ccba.292357818@...>
      Message-ID: <3b05c99a.130366996@...>

      #####

      > Eagle Scout

      The Los Angeles Times reported on May 19th that an Eagle Scout ceremony
      was held at a Scientology location in Hollywood.

      "John Steiner, son of Louis Steiner, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
      He is a member of Glendale Troop 8 and received his award at a ceremony
      held at the Church of Scientology in Hollywood. Among those attending the
      celebration were his grandmothers, Yvonne Steiner of Maryland and Velma
      Ballerini of Washington, D.C.

      "For his Eagle Scout service project, he repaired a large section of trail
      in the Angeles National Forest. The task was organized by John and
      involved more than 570 man hours of work by parents and Scouts."

      Message-ID: <9e6ahd$64m@...>

      #####

      > Entertainment Tonight

      Entertainment Tonight aired an interview with Scientology celebrities
      Jenna Elfman and Kirstie Allie on May 15th.

      "Kirstie said 'nothing great on this planet goes unattacked.'"

      "Kirstie says about her marriage counselor role on Dharma & Greg: 'No. I'm
      a flake. I don't like marriage counselors, so it's fun to play these. I'm
      not a big shrink advocate or counselor advocate, so I like playing them
      when they're idiots.'

      "'You know what, here's the thing. People can attack my religion if they
      want, they are showing that they are not very bright. Because if they
      actually investigated it, and read one of the books, they would see that
      it's very beautiful.'"

      Message-ID: <3b033f8c$1_1@...>
      Message-ID: <LQiM6.3016$6j3.278467@...>

      #####

      > Jesse Prince

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on May 19th that details of
      Scientology's PIs working to investigate Jesse Prince have been revealed
      during depositions in his marijuana growing case.

      "Depositions in the case taken earlier this week show private
      investigators hired by Church of Scientology lawyers watched, videotaped
      and trailed Prince virtually every day for at least four months, following
      him 'almost wherever you can think of in the area,' said Brian Raftery,
      the private investigator. Another private investigator involved in the
      case said they were looking for 'immoral activities and the possibility of
      illegal activities.'

      "The elaborate surveillance effort involved at least three private
      investigators, one of whom befriended Prince by using a false name.
      Prince's Clearwater attorney, Denis deVlaming, says it's clear the church
      wants to intimidate his client and label him a criminal. 'Everything
      we've learned about this case was the Church of Scientology was behind it
      from the very beginning,' deVlaming said Thursday in court.

      "The effort to conduct surveillance on Prince included hiring a black
      private investigator named Barry Gaston, Raftery said in his deposition.
      Prince also is black. Gaston was hired in February 2000 by another private
      investigator, Joseph Fabrizio, who worked for Kobrin's firm.

      "The depositions show Fabrizio supplied Gaston with a photograph of Prince
      and information about where Prince might show up. Gaston hung out in those
      places for weeks before he finally spotted Prince and his girlfriend at
      Wilson's Lounge on Belcher Road. As Prince was leaving, he stopped and
      introduced himself to Gaston. Gaston introduced himself as 'Rinzy
      Trinidad,' a name he made up. Eventually, Prince invited Gaston to his
      house, where Gaston saw Prince smoke marijuana, according to Gaston's
      deposition."

      Message-ID: <9e5uhe$ap@...>

      #####

      > Keith Henson

      The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported on May 17th that Keith Henson
      failed to appear for a sentencing hearing in Hemet, California. Keith was
      convicted of interfering with a religion.

      "A man convicted in April of oppressing Scientologists because of their
      religion has fled to Canada to apply for political refugee status, the man
      said Wednesday. Henson's conviction on a charge of interfering with a
      religion stemmed from his picketing at the Church of Scientology's Golden
      Era Productions in Gilman Hot Springs.

      "Henson said in a phone interview Wednesday night from Canada that he went
      there to protest a Scientology event. He then decided he would stay after
      talking to an immigration lawyer. Henson said his human rights have been
      violated because of a recommended sentence that could put him in jail for
      200 days and subject him to five years' probation for a misdemeanor crime.
      He said the sentence would be too harsh.

      "Riverside County Superior Court Judge Robert Wallerstein issued a no-bail
      arrest warrant for Henson. The judge postponed the sentencing until Henson
      is arrested and can explain where he has been and why he didn't come to
      court."

      Gregg Hagglund reported on the possibility of refugee status in Canada.

      "Keith Henson today retained the services of Canadian Immigration Lawyer
      and Specialist: Mr. Guidy Mamann of Mamann & Associates. Keith Henson is
      seeking Refugee Status after having been made a Political Prisoner of
      Conscience. Mr. Henson chose to seek refuge in Canada as that nation has
      previously criminally convicted corporate Scientology for Breaches of the
      Public Trust. Mr. Henson also has extensive personal contacts amongst
      consumer and religious activists opposed to Scientology abuses in Canada."

      Scientology lawyer Elliot Abelson wrote a letter to the Hemet court,
      asking for a stiff sentence for Keith Henson.

      "On behalf of the victim, we sincerely urge that Henson, an admitted
      explosives expert, be sentenced to a minimum of six months of
      incarceration (if not the full one year term) to be followed by probation,
      a condition of which to be that for five years thereafter, Henson shall
      stay at least 100 yards away from any Scientology church, housing unit
      where Scientologists reside, or other facility, and that he be barred from
      inducing or encouraging others to ether within that zone.

      "Henson is a sociopath, but a very smart one, who has exploited and
      misused the legal system for his personal agenda. In my 33 years of
      practicing law as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, Henson is one of
      the most dangerous criminals I have seen.

      "The lessons of Oklahoma City and Columbine fill the press on a daily
      basis. In both cases there were early warning signs which went unheeded.
      We must not let that happen again as Henson has the expertise to carry out
      his threats."

      The Register published an article on the case on May 19th.

      "A couple of weeks ago computer engineer Keith Henson was found guilty in
      California of a criminal act related to posts he made in the newsgroup
      alt.religion.scientology, which contained obviously comical references to
      targeting Scientologists with a nuclear missile. The jury convicted him of
      interfering with a religion but failed to reach a decision on two other
      patently idiotic charges brought by Deputy District Attorney Robert
      Schwarz.

      "Henson's trial has been roundly condemned as a true kangaroo court
      affair, with serious irregularities of procedure favoring the prosecution
      and excluding the bulk of Henson's evidence, thereby virtually shutting
      down the defense. Henson skipped to Canada and set up in Toronto. He's
      since retained a local lawyer through whom he filed for political asylum
      with the Canadian government.

      "Here's a guy who hails from a country that bleats about democracy and
      liberty 'til it's blue in the face, lectures the world on human rights
      like a scolding nanny at every opportunity, and then convicts a fellow for
      exercising his right to criticize, protest and picket against an immensely
      well-heeled, and some say, immensely dangerous, cult. 'Democracy' and
      'liberty' in the sunny State of California never looked more like the
      empty incantations they really are."

      Message-ID: <9e0op7$rs@...>
      Message-ID: <3b07668b.113262548@...>
      Message-ID: <3b0ad1e4.14362979@...>
      Message-ID: <3b06e8ed@...>
      http://www.operatingthetan.com/

      #####

      > Tom Padgett

      An affidavit by Dr. Stephen Kent was posted to a.r.s this week. It is
      being submitted in Tom Padgett's legal cases.

      "My professional specialization is in the area of alternative religions. I
      have worked specifically in this area at the University of Alberta for the
      past thirteen years. Scientology is among the groups that I have studied.
      I began formal studies of Scientology in 1986, and since then have
      published several articles on Scientology and referred to it in still
      others.

      "In light of my professional publications and my knowledge of Scientology
      practices, I am qualified to speak about Scientology's use of the legal
      system against perceived opponents as a means of harassment according to
      what it used to call the 'fair game' policy. In addition, I can speak
      about Scientology's practice of 'disconnection.' In my professional
      opinion, Mr. Thomas Padgett has been victimized by Scientologists'
      application of 'fair game' and 'disconnection policies.

      "A crucial document for understanding Scientology's harassing legal
      strategy is the Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter 'Suppressive
      Acts, Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists, The Fair Game Law.'
      According to Scientology policy, Mr. Padgett is a 'suppressive person.'
      The definition given in a Scientology Policy Letter of this term is: 'A
      SUPPRESSIVE PERSON or GROUP is one that actively seeks to suppress or
      damage Scientology or a Scientologist by Suppressive Acts.'

      "Several of the acts that Hubbard specified were such that Scientology
      leaders would see Mr. Padgett as a suppressive person committing
      suppressive acts. Suppressive Acts include: 'reporting or threatening to
      report Scientology or Scientologists to civil authorities in an effort to
      suppress Scientology or Scientologists from practicing standard
      Scientology;' and 'engaging in malicious rumour-mongering to destroy the
      authority or repute of higher officers or the leading names of
      Scientology;' and 'delivering up the person of a Scientologist without
      defense or protest to the demands of civil or criminal law.'

      "Consequently, Mr. Padgett is a 'Suppressive Person' and therefore also is
      a 'fair game' target. Indeed, in an October 28, 1999 affidavit by Mr.
      Padgett filed in Commonwealth of Kentucky vs. Thomas, he stated that he
      learned from the Nashville, Tennessee Scientology Celebrity Center that
      the Scientology organization had in fact declared him to be a suppressive
      person.

      "An L. Ron Hubbard article is entitled, 'The Scientologist: A Manual on
      the Dissemination of Material.' This item is required reading in the 1991
      'Department of Special Affairs, Investigations Officer, Full Hat' course.
      The paragraph instructing Scientologists to defend only by attacking, even
      in a court of law, outlines the behaviour that I believe explains many of
      the current legal and social situations burdening of Mr. Padgett. It
      states: 'The DEFENSE of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to defend
      anything is to ATTACK, and if you ever forget that, then you will lose
      every battle you are ever engaged in, whether it is in terms of personal
      conversation, public debate, or a court of law. NEVER BE INTERESTED IN
      CHARGES. DO, yourself, much MORE CHARGING, and you will WIN. Don't ever
      let them have any other thought than that Scientology takes all of its
      objectives. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough
      harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing
      that he is not authorized, will be generally sufficient to cause his
      professional decease. If possible, ruin him utterly.

      "Much of the harassment that Mr. Padgett has endured while engaged in
      legal actions with his former wife, Laura Vannoy Padgett, has been
      committed by anonymous perpetrators. In the police report filed after Mr.
      Padgett found that items inside his garage had been vandalized, the
      officer stated, 'written on the newspaper sheet in print were the words,
      'SHUT THE FUCK UP'.' The underlined letters, 'SP' are the same as
      'suppressive person,' which has very definite meaning in Scientology.

      "Mr. Padgett's designation as a suppressive person has important
      implications for the manner in which Scientologists would view his contact
      with his the children. Again according to Scientology's definitions, these
      children would become 'potential trouble sources' because of their
      extended contact with their father. As Scientology defines the term, a
      'Potential Trouble Source' is '[a] person who is in some way connected to
      and being adversely affected by a suppressive person. He is called a
      potential trouble source because he can be a lot of trouble to himself and
      others'.

      "Mr. Padgett has every reason to believe that his ex-wife is attempting to
      minimize if not prevent him from having contact with his children. In
      essence, the children would become 'potential trouble sources' from that
      contact, which in turn would cause problems for the mother in her
      Scientology activities. Indeed, the current situation regarding his
      children - in which his former wife has sole custody and Mr. Padgett has
      restricted visitation - amounts, functionally, to being 'disconnected'
      from his children. Likewise, Mr. Padgett has reason to fear that his
      former wife might be attempting to turn their children against him."

      Message-ID: <3b009d64.2363773@...>

      #####

      > Dianetics Day

      A report from a Scientologist who attended the May 12th Dianetics Day
      celebration in Toronto was posted this week by Gregg Hagglund.

      "Doors finally opened at about 7:30, half an hour late, and ushers from
      Toronto Org showed us to seats, before a screen which was showing a video
      about 'The Auditors' and how really great they are, and how they are the
      only ones who are going to be able save the world, and a large poster of
      Ron Hubbard, just off to one side.

      "The main video started after about 15 minutes, and dealt with the history
      of 51 years of Dianetics. 'One Man, One Dream' was a recurring theme, and
      great emphasis was being put on how many new groups in many countries were
      now taking up Dianetics study, and who in those countries was endorsing
      these studies, (military officers, politicians, and so on) and how there
      are groups in such places as Vietnam, Bosnia, the old Soviet Union, and
      several African Countries.

      "Mostly it was boring, with middle-age males and teen or early 20's girls
      all pushing the latest volumes of the books and courses. A lot of the
      older crowd seemed to be staff, or their kids, and I figure there were
      about 200 in attendance during the video. During the refreshments after,
      there were about 50 staff and perhaps a dozen others who lined up for the
      piece of cake and coffee, and more hard sell on the 'package deal' 30% off
      on course materials and FREE advanced training related to it."

      Message-ID: <3afefcbd.179594670@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Keith Henson reported a protest at a Toronto hotel this week.

      "We went to downtown Toronto to picket the Colony Hotel where a dianetics
      meeting was being held. Jacky Matz, who ran the spy ring and was convicted
      to two counts of breach of the public trust, was waiting outside. Gregg
      said hi to her and introduced me. Her face fell and she split inside no
      doubt to make a panic call to Hemet.

      "We had 6 people, so we put a group on both the front and back door.
      They put Andy Hill on me. He asked a few questions and I gave him the
      concentrated lecture ranging over how I was brought into the battle, the
      long list of criminal activities by scientology that keeps us in the fight
      and a range of other topics, particularly the evolved psychological
      mechanisms scientology and other cults use to get people hooked and keep
      them. He was polite and attentive. Then they assigned Brian McPherson to
      me. He too was attentive as I went over much the same subjects I had with
      Andy.

      "At one point they were triple teaming against Gregg with Gwen Jones
      (Velcro Kitty), Bob Hill, and Dan Bryenton. Dan was highly agitated, near
      to violence, yelling, bumping into Gregg, threatening to have Gregg
      arrested if he ever went near Dan's house.

      "We decided to call it a picket about 7:45 and walked around back to
      collect the rest of the crew. When we got around there, there were more of
      the OSA Goon Squad mixed in with our people. So Gregg and I brought all of
      them up on the latest news about Reed Slatkin. A little after 8 pm the
      rest of the handlers came hunting for their missing people. There were
      all together 6 SPs and 10 handlers involved in this picket."

      Keith Henson and Gregg Hagglund reported a protest at the Toronto Org on
      May 18th.

      "Gregg and I put in a substantial picket. We had the first half hour by
      ourselves, out in front of the org doing a good business in handing our
      flyers, After that we got our regular 'handlers,' Brian McPherson and
      Daffy Dan. At one point when Brian was inside I went over to Dan and
      tried to get up close to him the way he and Gregg were always doing. No
      reaction, the guy just moved back. Gregg thinks Dan is nearly out of
      control, but I tend to think he is just playing a silly emotional game."

      "The Dianetics bookstore has now been completely expanded into the old
      restaurant. This means they have twice as much absolutely empty space. The
      front lobby entrance of the Org had boxes piled up from Golden Era. The
      boxes were the size and type for standard flyers and such. Several of the
      boxes were clearly labeled 'SOS Letter Stuffers.' They were labeled as
      3000 per box and there were at least 10 boxes.

      "Briney spent the next hour walking and talking with Keith. Again Briney.
      who admits he reads ARS, displayed no fear of Keith, even laughing at the
      idea Keith might be carrying an ICBM. Dirty Dan showed up about 35
      minutes after we started. He wasn't very happy being called in from his
      job. He tried to be intimidating, but since he didn't have his fellow
      thugs for support he was a little less bold. Dan tried a few times to get
      physically close to me to use his cigarette, hostile demeanor and
      sickening body odor as a weapon. I kept him at arms length by using my
      sign to block his approach. Keith and I called it quits after about one
      hour."

      Message-ID: <3b04e94d.174617676@...>
      Message-ID: <3b06123c.30837516@...>
      Message-ID: <3b07ff93.91605317@...>

      #####

      > The Profit

      Patricia Greenway reported this week from the Cannes Film Festival, where
      The Profit is being screened to invitees.

      "There are 4000 members of the press here in Cannes and the fact that
      Scientology has tried so hard to stop the film, we are getting far more
      'hard news' coverage than any new film at the festival. Most of the press
      that we've talked to are appalled at the lengths to which Scientology has
      gone in their efforts to condemn and suppress both the production and the
      release of this movie.

      "German TV, ZDF did quite an interesting piece on Peter and The Profit
      while capturing Peter's tail on film. Then on Saturday, Le Figaro, one of
      the largest nationwide newspapers in France did a great article on the
      film and Scn's attempts to stop it. By Sunday, Europe 1, a nationwide
      radio show ran a great interview with Peter after attending the first
      screening of 'The Profit'.

      "Sunday night, Scn showed its desperation by sending in an investigator to
      our hotel to forge Peter's signature and steal a delivery of trailer
      videos that had been sent from our office in the States. Both the Cannes
      police and the Security for the Cannes Film Festival informed us that they
      were very familiar with OSA and were more than interested in pursuing our
      complaint. This morning, Radio Monte Carlo, the biggest English speaking
      station in the area was at our hotel for a full report on the theft.

      "Today I spent an hour with the good Reverend Jesse Jackson, explaining
      the cult of Scn and discussing ad nauseum the faith based initiatives
      (which he opposes). Rev. Jackson invited me to a screening of the
      documentary that he's involved with here and good ideas were exchanged."

      "Tonight on French national TV Channel 3, they will be doing a short piece
      on THE PROFIT and the attempts by Scn to stop the film. A reporter from
      Reuters who interviewed me said The Profit was the only film at Cannes
      getting this much 'hard news' coverage. The Chief of Police in Cannes is
      handling our case personally. Our hotel's security system picked up the
      entire crime so they have provided a bunch of pictures to the police.

      "We've received calls from a fake distributor, an American using the name
      Mike Silverman called on our European cell phone and said he was a film
      distributor from Dallas, Texas with a company named Omni-view. Of course
      the company doesn't exist. We'd already anticipated Scn's plans to buy
      the film rights in order to shelve it."

      Message-ID: <20010514185804.00273.00003407@...>
      Message-ID: <20010519050228.16641.00000264@...>

      #####

      > Russia

      The Associated Press reported on May 18th that a Russian court has
      dismissed an attempt by prosecutors to shut down Scientology in Moscow.

      "Prosecutors had accused the Humanitarian Hubbard Center of tax evasion
      and conducting illegal business activities, the Interfax news agency
      reported. Moscow's northeastern circuit court upheld a Tuesday ruling
      rejecting the charges against the group, it said. Prosecutors moved
      against the Hubbard Center in 1999 because names that appeared on
      registration documents were found to have no relation to the center. The
      center said it corrected the documents."

      Message-ID: <56uagtcnlivc0otq8fuh63u42ssf6v5td3@...>

      #####

      > Reed Slatkin

      The Los Angeles Times reported on May 14th that the investigation is
      continuing into alleged fraud by Scientologist Reed Slatkin against a
      group of investors that included many other Scientologists.

      "The Hollywood insiders, Internet entrepreneurs and just plain folks who
      turned to Slatkin for help with their investments now are trying to find
      out what happened to the hundreds of millions of dollars they entrusted to
      a man who wasn't even a registered investment advisor. The 52-year-old
      Slatkin, a co-founder of Internet provider EarthLink and a Santa Barbara
      socialite, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange
      Commission for investment fraud. He also faces lawsuits by investors and
      filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy two weeks ago.

      "Federal investigators raided his office Friday, but have been able to
      locate only a fraction of the money Slatkin controlled, and investors'
      claims eventually could surpass $600 million, officials say. Indeed,
      government investigators say the collapse of his investment empire may be
      one of the largest Ponzi schemes they've ever encountered.

      "These friends say Slatkin didn't start out to become an investment guru.
      Instead, his first passion was the Church of Scientology. In a deposition
      given to the SEC in January 2000, Slatkin traced his interest in
      Scientology to his father's death when Slatkin was 14. An uncle introduced
      Slatkin and his Detroit family to the religion's tenets, and Slatkin's
      growing interest took him to England, where he spent two summers during
      high school studying at Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's institute in
      Sussex. Slatkin came to Los Angeles in 1974 and worked at Scientology's
      Celebrity Centre and became an ordained minister of the church.

      "Long hours and low pay eventually took their toll, Slatkin told the SEC.
      In 1983, he began learning from another Scientologist about how to make
      money in the stock market. By 1985, he was investing for a small group of
      fellow Scientologists, describing his work as an extension of his
      'church-related efforts' to help ensure others' financial stability.
      Investors said they were told their money would be pooled with other
      investor funds to buy stocks, according to SEC documents.

      "Slatkin's big break as a venture capitalist came in 1994, when he was
      approached by fellow Scientologist Kevin O'Donnell, whose son had gone to
      school with a young man named Sky Dayton. Dayton, then 22, wanted to start
      a business that would make it easier to get on the Internet. The company
      they founded, EarthLink Networks, would go on to become one of the
      nation's three largest Internet service providers. By February 2000,
      Slatkin's stake in the company would be worth more than $122 million.
      fund-raising events, investors' attorneys say.

      "Slatkin's reach extended into Hollywood, thanks to his Scientology
      connections and to O'Donnell's investment in 1999 in Beacon
      Communications, a film production company headed by Armyan Bernstein.
      Beacon made the Harrison Ford thriller 'Air Force One,' as well as
      Costner's 'For Love of the Game' and the Schwarzenegger vehicle 'End of
      Days.'

      "Among the investors Slatkin named to the SEC were Jeffrey Tambor, who
      most recently portrayed the mayor of Whoville in 'Dr. Seuss' How the
      Grinch Stole Christmas'; actor Giovanni Ribisi, whose movies include
      'Boiler Room' and 'Saving Private Ryan'; and several producers."

      From the New York Post on May 15th:

      "Talk about getting audited. Earthlink co-founder, Hollywood money
      manager and top Scientologist Reed Slatkin, was hit with a SEC lawsuit
      Friday which charged that he operated a $230 million Ponzi scheme. The
      civil lawsuit alleges that Slatkin committed fraud while acting as an
      unregistered investment adviser. At the same time, FBI and IRS agents
      raided Slatkin's offices looking for the money.

      "He is alleged to have used some of the money to pay his country club
      fees, credit card bills and pool maintenance. The SEC, which won a court
      order to freeze his assets, says Slatkin had just $30 million in his
      brokerage accounts. Others who invested with the ordained minster of the
      Church of Scientology were Earthlink Chairman Sky Dayton and CEO Garry
      Betty."

      From the SEC litigation release on May 11th:

      "The Commission's complaint alleges that in February 2001, Slatkin
      misappropriated $10 million in client funds that he had received
      purportedly to invest in a money market fund and misused the client's
      funds by using $6.975 million to pay other clients and using over $24,000
      to pay personal expenses, including credit card bills, telephone and other
      utility bills, fees at two country clubs, and pool maintenance fees. The
      Commission further alleges that the Swiss trading accounts do not exist
      and that Slatkin was merely operating a fraudulent securities scheme.

      "The Commission's complaint alleges that Slatkin violated and is
      continuing to violate the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of
      1933, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940
      and the Investment Advisers Act. In addition to the temporary restraining
      order and asset freeze, the court ordered Slatkin to not destroy documents
      and to produce an accounting. The Commission is also seeking a preliminary
      injunction, a permanent injunction, disgorgement, and civil penalties."

      A trustee has been named in the case to prevent any more money from
      disappearing from Slatkin's accounts. From the Los Angeles Times on May
      17th:

      "In a move to preserve what's left of Reed E. Slatkin's crumbling
      financial empire, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Wednesday named veteran
      forensic accountant and former FBI agent R. Todd Neilson as trustee for
      Slatkin's Chapter 11 case. Regulators and investors had pressed for the
      emergency appointment after the FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided
      Slatkin's offices and the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a
      court order freezing his assets Friday. Investor attorney Richard Wynne
      said the appointment of a trustee was needed to ensure that Slatkin, a
      co-founder of EarthLink Inc., did not regain control of his assets. 'We
      frankly do not trust Mr. Slatkin,' Wynne, attorney for the creditors'
      committee that represents investors, told Bankruptcy Judge Robin Riblet.
      'There's $300 million to $600 million that's missing that cannot be
      accounted for.'

      "Among the investors listed in SEC documents are CNN legal commentator
      Greta Van Susteren and her husband, attorney John Coale; actors Giovanni
      Ribisi, Mariah O'Brien-Ribisi and Jeffrey Tambor; former Capitol Records
      chief Hale Milgrim; and Oscar-nominated songwriter Tom Snow, whose
      compositions include the Pointer Sisters' hit 'He's So Shy' and 'Let's
      Hear It for the Boy' from the movie 'Footloose.'

      "Slatkin's bankruptcy attorney, Richard Pachulski, asked Riblet to convert
      Slatkin's Chapter 11 filing to a Chapter 7 liquidation, a move Riblet
      initially approved Wednesday before the hearing.

      "A Chapter 7 filing requires the appointment of a trustee but makes it
      more difficult for creditors to have a voice in the liquidation process,
      bankruptcy attorneys said."

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      #####

      > U.S. Trade Representative

      The Federal Register on May 7th published a report by the U.S. Trade
      Representative on discrimination in foreign government purchasing
      practices.

      "A long-standing objective of U.S. trade policy has been to open
      opportunities for U.S. suppliers to compete on a level playing field for
      foreign government contracts. The WTO estimates that the United States
      and the 26 other GPA Parties provide their suppliers with
      non-discriminatory access to government tendering procedures worth more
      that $300 billion annually.

      "Germany - 'Sect Filters': In September 1998, the German Ministry of
      Economics promulgated a 'protection clause' (commonly referred to as a
      'sect filter') meant to be incorporated into government contracts for
      certain training and consultation services. Among other elements, the
      clause would have prohibited firms from bidding on German government
      contracts if they have employees that attend or participate in Scientology
      seminars. Following the promulgation of this 'protection clause,' the
      United States expressed concern in bilateral consultations and in the 2000
      Title VII report about the clause's potentially discriminatory effects on
      government procurement. In subsequent consultations with German government
      and industry representatives, the Administration urged Germany to rescind
      the sect filter requirements.

      "In response, the German government has revised its 'protection clause' in
      a manner that no longer prohibits firms from competing for government
      contracts on the basis of the affiliation of its management or employees
      with the Church of Scientology. This decision represents significant
      progress in addressing U.S. concerns relating to the use of 'sect
      filters.' The Administration will continue to monitor the implementation
      of the revised policy to ensure that U.S. firms and workers are not
      discriminated against in procurement by German Federal and sub-Federal
      governments."

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      -end-
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