A.r.s Week in Review - 7/1/2001
Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 11
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
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> Faith-based GroupsThe Los Angeles Times reported on June 26th that U.S. President Bush
called on U.S. mayors to support his plan to fund religious charities.
"Bush pledged that taxpayer money would finance needed social programs -
and not religious indoctrination, as critics fear - and argued that his
goal was to let faith-based organizations compete on equal footing with
other providers of social services. 'We recognize that the funds will be
spent on social services, not worship services,' Bush told the U.S.
Conference of Mayors, which issued a proclamation in support of the
"Yet key parts of the initiative, which has become one of Bush's paramount
domestic goals, appear to be in jeopardy. On the right, conservative
evangelicals fear new bureaucratic mandates on their programs and have
expressed concerns that the White House plan also would include
less-traditional religions, ranging from the Church of Scientology to the
Nation of Islam. On the left, others have worried that it would erode the
nation's barrier between church and state.
"Further complicating the initiative's prospects in Congress is the
Democrats' recent takeover of the Senate. The new Senate majority leader,
Tom Daschle of South Dakota, while not highly visible on the faith issue,
is believed to share many of the concerns voiced by others in his party."
> Dating AdviceAn advertisement in the West Hollywood Independent News on June 27th
announced a dating seminar sponsored by Scientology in Beverly Hills.
"Come to 'WHO TO DATE. AND WHO TO DUMP' A Special seminar sponsored by
the Church of Scientology of Beverly Hills, Tuesday July 3rd.
"Attend this Seminar & Learn: How to spot the person behind the mask,
before you get involved. What are the five tell-tale clues that reveal
whether someone will make you CRAZY! How to quickly determine whether a
person would be compatible with you for the long term. What to do if the
person you're with is more negative than you.
"Speaker: Steven List. Cost: $10.00. Excellent refreshments Served."
> Juliette LewisThe Scotsman published an interview on June 23rd with Juliette Lewis, in
which she described her history with Scientology drug programs.
"Looking back on the drink and drug addiction of her early 20s, the
actress sees it as a struggle for self-knowledge. 'For whatever reason, I
felt so conflicted about myself. I had an incredible confidence about my
talent on the one hand. But, on the other, I felt really insecure about
who I was as a person and I really didn't know how to articulate myself.'
"Events reached crisis point during the filming of Evening Star, the
sequel to the Oscar-winning hit Terms of Endearment, when she teamed up
with Shirley MacLaine. It was then that Juliette decided to clean herself
up. She went through a detox programme run by the Church of Scientology at
Clearwater, Florida. She came out feeling a much better person, but very
aware that her career might be over. 'I knew that the danger in walking
away was that I could lose it all, but I thought it was the perfect time
to do it. I believed that my talent wasn't going to go away. I thought it
could only grow if I invested in the things that are important in my life
and I could always come back to films. And, yeah, I knew that I might not
be where I was when I left off - but they never threw parts at me,
> In MemoriamThe Chicago Tribune published an obituary of Scientologist Greg Bashaw on
June 28th. Bashaw recently committed suicide in Michigan.
"In memory of a trained journalist, disciplined and hardworking, an
honored writer of substance and creativity and imagination, loved by
family and friends, respected by contemporaries, who in the prime of his
life, because of his needs and naivete trusted wrongly an entity that
crushed his sweet and sharing spirit. He found his journey through life
too painful to continue and was blind and deaf to all of those who loved
him. May God bless you Greg, and may God bless us all. Your Dad, Robert S.
Bashaw and your good friend Vicky."
> Bob MintonBob Minton reported this week that Scientology is pressuring his parole
officer to register his guns.
"The Scientology organization tried to have the Salvation Army come after
my Constitutional rights to gun ownership. Salvation Army Correctional
Services spoke to me yesterday and told me that if I did not register all
of my guns by the end of the day yesterday, she would have a warrant
issued for my arrest. I informed her that in New Hampshire, my state of
residence, there is no such thing as 'registering' guns unless one is
talking about a 'license to carry a concealed weapon.'
"On the very first day of my probation, I notified the Salvation Army
about my gun ownership. I was told by Donna Muniz, Probation Officer, that
there was no problem since Penick's withheld adjudication had nothing to
do with firearms. Now, four and a half months later, Scientology is trying
to have my guns confiscated. Yesterday the Salvation Army Correctional
Services informed me that they now wish to charge me with a probation
violation because I own guns, despite their prior waiver of the probation
requirement in this respect. The woman I spoke to admitted that
Scientology has pressured them on this point. I told her they were welcome
to charge me with a probation violation and have an arrest warrant issued.
I told her I would be more than happy to return to Florida for arrest and
appear before any Pinellas County Judge they could dredge up."
> NarcononThe Oklahoman reported on July 1st that Narconon is moving its Oklahoma
facility from Newkirk to a new location near Canadian, OK.
"Narconon is closing its Newkirk branch in favor of combining the entire
treatment site at Arrowhead Lodge near Canadian in Pittsburg County. The
center is expected to open in the next couple of months. The Narconon
Chilocco New Life Center began accepting patients in 1990 under the
premise that it didn't need state certification, since the site near
Newkirk was on tribal land.
"Residents heard stories that the center would have 1,000 beds and that
the treatment used was one developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the
Church of Scientology. Some residents helped the few clients who wandered
into Newkirk wanting to leave Narconon. There were stories about what some
thought was an unorthodox treatment using vitamins and saunas. Things have
quieted since then in the Kay County community of 2,200 people. The fear
that the drug treatment center would become a recruiting machine for
Scientology seems to be gone. Although Narconon uses Hubbard's techniques
and received donations from the church, it isn't and never was intended to
be a recruiting tool for the church, said Gary Smith, executive director.
'Here it's 11 years later, and we're still Narconon,' he said.
"Narconon has had 2,029 clients since it opened the Chilocco site. Of
those, 199 Indians have gone through a special program at no cost, Smith
said. Non-Indian clients pay a flat fee of $17,000 to $20,000 for a stay
of three months to a year. Last year, 352 students enrolled and 185
completed the program, Smith said. Thus far this year, 350 entered and 189
have graduated. In the last study of clients who completed the program two
years ago, 70 to 74 percent were still off drugs, Smith said.
"The Association for Better Living and Education bought the Arrowhead
Lodge for Narconon last summer. Residents of nearby Canadian and Arrowhead
Estates, a housing addition less than a mile away, circulated petitions
against the drug treatment facility. Mike Hall, who said he had 250 names
on a petition against Narconon, said he doesn't believe Arrowhead is the
proper place for the drug treatment center. 'I don't feel that it's good
for our development. I don't feel it's good for the state,' he said.
"But Narconon also submitted a petition and gathered 437 signatures of
support to submit to the health department. A recent petition in favor of
Narconon had 2,000 signatures, Smith said. The organization received a
certificate last summer authorizing it to have 75 beds at the lodge, but
Smith said he is working to increase that to 230. Canadian Mayor Danny
Arterberry said some residents were concerned or curious in the beginning,
but Narconon officials have proven they will benefit the community. 'They
try to get involved in the community as much as they can,' he said.
'They kind of put (suspicions) at ease. They're just like the rest (of
> RussiaThomas Gandow reported that the head of Narconon in Russia has denounced
Scientology and left the organization.
"Vladimir Ivanov - the leader of Russian 'Narkonon,' the president of
scientological 'Foundation of Salvation of Children and Adolescents from
Drugs' and the foundation 'Drug-Free Russia,' while speaking live on
popular radio Ekho Moskvy, unexpectedly announced that he had broken with
the Scientology organization. Mr. Ivanov spoke about Scientology as a
criminal cult which has nothing to do with religion and which capitalizes
cynically upon the sufferings and pain of other people. Ivanov said that
he is no longer 'Satanist' and had asked forgiveness from those numerous
people whom he recruited into Scientology. He had announced that from now
on none of the organizations he heads, has anything to do either to
Scientology, or to 'Narconon.' At the same time, Mr. Ivanov had expressed
an idea that technology used in Narconon can be used effectively outside
of Scientology and Narconon itself. "
From an open letter by Vladimir Ivanov:
"Having thoroughly studied the theory and practice of Scientologists in
Russia and abroad for the past ten years, I have come to realize that the
certain practicality of the so-called technology is in full and complete
contradiction with the purely commercial aspirations, hidden from the
outsider's view, and has nothing in common (except for declarations) with
the spiritual-religious goals. The so-called Church of Scientology flouts
human rights and the rights of religious people in general by imposing a
ban on a profession, by denying a person the right to defend his interests
in the court of law, and by enslaving him with work for the benefit of its
Agence France Presse reported on June 27th that a Scientology leader in
Khabarovsk has been convicted of money laundering.
"A court in Russia's far eastern city of Khabarovsk Wednesday handed a
local Scientology leader a six year suspended sentence for money
laundering and setting up an illegal business. In the course of a
year-long investigation launched against Olga Ukhova, prosecutors also
accused the Dianetics center of inflicting psychological, physical and
financial harm to its adherents, court officials said. Since 1998, Russian
prosecutors have sought to prove that its activities were illegal, but
Moscow courts have twice dismissed cases against the church."
> Reed SlatkinThe Wall Street Journal reported on June 27 that the FBI expanded its
investigation into Scientologist Reed Slatkin to include another
Scientologist who may be involved in the Ponzi scheme.
"In a widening probe into the money-management activities of EarthLink
Inc. co-founder Reed Slatkin, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it
searched the home of Ronald Rakow, a neighbor of Mr. Slatkin. Federal
agents spent eight hours Monday in the Santa Barbara, Calif., home of Mr.
Rakow, a onetime road manager of the Grateful Dead who presented himself
to some investors as a business colleague of Mr. Slatkin. Among the items
sought were business and financial records for at least 10 entities
operated by Mr. Slatkin or Mr. Rakow 'for the purported purpose of
investing money for others since 1986 using Slatkin investor funds.'"
From the Santa Barbara News-Press on June 28th:
"According to an attachment filed with the search warrant, agents sought
business and financial records for at least 10 corporations and
partnerships operated by the two men and using funds raised by Mr.
Slatkin, 'for the purported purpose of investing money for others since
"A News-Press review of court records found approximately 75 creditors who
live in Santa Barbara County. As investigators try to find the money, they
say it will be at least six months before any recovered funds can be
returned to creditors. Mr. Slatkin and his wife, Mary Jo Slatkin, are
ordained ministers in the Church of Scientology. Records show that Mr.
Rakow is also a Scientologist.
"Records show that when Mr. Slatkin began his investment club in 1987, he
collected money from fellow Scientologists, making promises of high
profits, then added other investors over the years. Investigators allege
that he engaged in a Ponzi scheme, paying off earlier investors with money
obtained from new ones."
> SwedenCatarina Pamnell translated portions of a June 17th Swedish radio show
"Klarsprak" on Narconon.
"The speaker is Mats Fridell, Associate Professor at the University of
Lund, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychology.
"'The methods that Narconon uses to treat substance abusers are
unscientific and lack effect on the actual addiction. They could possibly
affect e.g. group cohesion in the [treatment] community. This conclusion
is also the conclusion of Socialstyrelsen. Also, detoxification carried
out in that manner may be dangerous when detoxing from certain types of
substances. One cannot have one single treatment routine for all types of
addiction, at least not without some risk.
"One criticism that could be levelled at Narconon is that they use
low-qualified staff, who to a great extent are charity workers and who are
not educated in treatment work. It is natural that there exists drug
addicts who have been helped by Narconon, there are those who will find
help, support and a sense of belonging from this type of treatment, but
the Narconon method is not a treatment method.
"The only Swedish study of Narconon that I have been able to find, an
evaluation of Narconon by Peter Gerdman, shows that 77 percent left the
treatment at a relatively early stage. Out of those who completed the
treatment, 21 percent out of the original group could be followed up, and
out of those 31 percent show improvement. But calculated on the entire
group who entered the treatment, which is how one has to do it when
calculating results, only 7 percent had gotten rehabilitated out of the
total group. Based on this evaluation, Narconon scores lower than any
other functioning environmental therapy treatment, both as to treatment
reports, results and evaluation over time."
> SwitzerlandThe State Attorney in Basel, Switzerland dismissed a complaint from
Scientologist Housie Knecht against Susanne Haller for alleged religious
"The complainant brought forward that based on Susanne Haller Sidler's
intervention in the OK of the World Children's Festival, he was
discriminated against in connection with his art operation because of his
membership in Scientology.
"The criminal action of the sort has to have been directed at a member of
a race, an ethnicity or a religion. Religion in this definition is the
reverential relationship of people to God. The members of the religion
have to think of themselves as a group and must be considered as such by
the rest of the population. One of the characteristics of Scientology is
that it does not present a congruent dogma about the existence of God to
its individual members. The association makes it clear in its
presentation of itself that it is not concerned about the creation of a
new religion, that is, a new understanding of people's transcendence, but
about the essence of people in the center, whose simple restoration is in
no way connected with a belief in God.
Auditing, used by Scientology for the attainment of its goal of putting
civilization on a higher level, shows that it is propagated on a
psychological and not on a religious place following the reformation of
its members' lives. In view of the generally well-known aggressive
recruitment attempts by Scientologists, including against passersby on
public land as well as against mentally handicapped and those who are not
well off, with the primary goal of selling them books authored by the
founder of Scientology or to motivate people to buy very expensive
auditing-courses, the question is posed of whether the organization
actually is dealing with the attainment of its stated higher goals or
whether, under the mask of religion, it is pursuing purely commercial
"Altogether Scientology can be regarded as an untrustworthy, destructive
cult with the significance of, at most, a quasi-religion. This is,
according to its own self-presentation, characteristic of the new belief
in the proclaimed, charismatic founder L. Ron Hubbard (not in God in the
tradition manner), the authoritarian leadership and control of the
categorized members (not the free religious activity of a confessional
denomination) and the pervasive claim to have and teach the only true
determination for humankind (not the admission of the remaining mistakes
and imperfection of human nature). In that this organization fulfills
neither the criteria of religiosity nor that of a liberal core content
which a religious group would have to in order to invoke this standard of
> John TravoltaThe South China Morning Post reported on June 27th that Scientology
celebrity John Travolta has been offered $700,000 to appear before a group
of movie fans who think Battlefield Earth is the worst movie ever made.
"The film, which lost millions of dollars, was a tribute to Travolta's
controversial idol Ron L Hubbard, the science-fiction author who wrote the
book on which the movie is based and who also established the star's
religion, the Church of Scientology. Travolta has been offered US$700,000
to appear at a convention celebrating the disastrous film. Movie fans, who
worship Battlefield Earth for being the worst picture ever made, will see
a director's cut and enjoy a science-fiction ball at a convention in
"Andrea Henry, a spokeswoman for Battlefield Earth Clan, a group that
adores the movie because of its atrociousness, said: 'We really would love
John to come over for this. We've spoken to John's manager and we're
awaiting a response. I know the movie had bad press, but it really has
become a cult piece of cinema in a few people's eyes.' The offer of such a
huge appearance fee has been made by a millionaire member of the clan."
The July 10th issue of Globe magazine reports that John Travolta has been
refused in his offer to help Robert Downey, Jr. with his drug addiction
"A devout Scientologist, Travolta is convinced that his church's
'purification' program could wipe Downey clean of his addictions. 'I
reached out to Robert a couple of times,' reveals the 47-year-old star of
the new movie Swordfish. 'I have a very specific way of helping a person
off drugs. There are vitamin programs, detoxification and sweat programs
that a person goes on - Scientology calls it a purification program.
There's a wonderful organization called Narconon that helps.'
"But some critics of the Scientologists' vitamin-and-sweat 'purification
program' claim the unorthodox treatment regime does little to end the
terrible craving addicts suffer during withdrawal, and may be a waste of
"The actor is currently in a six-month drug rehab program at a California
residential treatment center while awaiting sentencing on cocaine
possession charges. He was busted shortly after being released from
prison, where he spent nearly a year for a prior violation related to
drugs. When he spoke with the 36-year-old actor's rep, Downey's response
was, 'No thanks.'"
> WISEMembers of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) were
urged in a recent letter to help with the renovation of the new Hubbard
College of Administration in Los Angeles.
"The Hubbard College of Administration Network is devoted to the
dissemination of LRH admin tech into society. The establishment of their
new headquarters is our launching pad for a sane civilization based on
Standard Administration. Through this membership drive WISE members are
making the tech available to all and bringing into existence the first L.
Ron Hubbard University.
"The new Hubbard College building will be able to train over 10,000
students a year, the design of the facility itself communicates the tech
of Standard Administration. A government official, CEO, administrator or a
high school graduate will be able to see the basic fundamentals of LRH
admin tech at work simply by walking through these new beautiful spaces.
For the duration of this membership drive a major portion of WISE
membership fees are being channeled into creating this model facility.
"The front exterior of the building is completed - with new bay windows
and brick facade which follow the motif of the building. The rear exterior
2nd floor public deck/patio is 65% complete. The interior wall framing and
drywall is underway and will be completed this week! The architectural
eave detailing is now in place. The building renovations are on schedule
to be completed by mid July.
Carol and Amy
Mem Reg Off WISE Int
& HCA Off WISE Int"