A.r.s Week in Review - 7/23/2001
Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 14
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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Week in Review is archived at:
> Faith-Based GroupsThe Houston Chronicle reported on July 20th that the U.S. House of
Representatives passed a version of President Bush's plan to help fund
"House lawmakers on Thursday passed a scaled-back version of President
Bush's faith-based legislative package, prevailing over Democratic alarms
that the bill would legalize discrimination. Although the measure
comfortably passed the Republican-controlled House by a vote of 233-198,
it may need divine intervention in the Senate, where Democrats have shown
little interest in pursuing Bush's program.
"The bill would allow Cabinet secretaries to circumvent congressional
approval for converting $47 billion in social service funds into vouchers
for religious groups.
"While a spate of religious organizations active in social services hailed
passage of the bill, high-profile opponents include some of the nation's
leading religious conservatives. Their concerns, voiced soon after Bush
launched his plan, included the prospect of government interference in
religion, and the likelihood that public dollars would go to
non-mainstream groups such as the Church of Scientology.
> ChinaThe Sydney Morning Herald reported on July 18th that China has organized
an exhibit to display information about Falun Gong and other groups, such
"Photographs of charred corpses, disemboweled bodies and a graphic image
of a man who has apparently hung himself from a rafter are designed to
shock. The exhibition which opened at Beijing's Military Museum at the
weekend specifically targets the Falun Gong spiritualist movement. One of
the first guests was the Vice-Premier, Mr Li Lanqing, fresh from presiding
over Beijing's triumph in Moscow. Mr Li's responsibilities extend from
sport, through culture to science - and cults.
"The gruesome display has been mounted by departments at the heart of
China's security apparatus: the Propaganda Office of the Central Committee
of the Communist Party, the State Council Office for the Prevention and
Handling of Cults, the Public Security Bureau and the Ministry of Justice.
State-run media reported more than 10,000 visitors went to the show on the
first day. 'It is not freely open to the public because we are worried
that Falun Gong practitioners will come here and do bad things,' said Mr
Zhao Chongxin, from the information office of the organising committee.
"The Falun Gong is not the only cult targeted by the exhibition. Other
displays include the Japanese Aum Shinriyko, the Texas Branch Davidians,
the Korean-based Reunification Church (the Moonies), the Church of
Scientology and the Jehovah's Witnesses."
> Freewinds"Noumenon" reported on an event on the Freewinds featuring a video from
"I went to the second installment of the 'maiden voyage' event which
features the head of the church, Miscavige. It was a video of an
early-June public presentation given on the church's ocean-going vessel.
This was billed as a 'must-see' event for all scientologists, promising to
give information on the incredible breakthroughs for opening up the bridge
to total freedom for everyone. The entire event was a presentation by
Miscavige and no one else.
"'With pre-OTs now enrolled on new OT 8, the next target is the release of
new OT 9 and 10. So tonight I'm going to talk to you about technical
application and recent actions that have been taken to cause a dramatic
impact on speed up the bridge. The goal is no less than every
Scientologist moving up to OT. And to comprehend the full significance of
that, let's take this datum that comes from HCOPL 28 July 59, Our Goals;
'You've heard it said everybody is a Scientologist, some just haven't
cognited yet.' LRH.
"We could have located and listed out every error, every auditor or solo
auditor in the world and then addressed each of them one by one.
Dramatically increasing the speed of progress up the bridge so it helps
every Scientologist make it to OT. Let me give you the big picture on how
we're dramatically speeding case progress up the bridge. 'DO THE GRADE
> GermanyDie Rheinpfalz reported on July 13th that Scientology has prepared an
anti-drug campaign in Erfenbach, Germany.
"'Say No to Drugs - say Yes to Life' - those are the words used to
advertise for a 'free presentation' in Erfenbach. At first glance there is
nothing on it which indicates that it is about a Scientology event.
According to the leaflet, the presentation on Saturday afternoon is to
explain 'what drugs do' and 'what it means to be physically and mentally
free from drugs.' Afterwards 'about two hours for a special question and
answer session on specific problems' is scheduled. Site of the event is
the Kapellenhof Gasthaus in Erfenbach. Answering questions for discussion
and taking registration is Inge Geib. 'Inge Geib is listed in the 1994
Impact magazine as a patron,' we were notified by Christoph Bussen, the
sect commissioner of Speyer Diocese. The title of 'Patron' is bestowed
only upon those who have paid at least 40,000 dollars into Scientology's
"The Baden-Wuerttemberg Health Department has been warning people about
the Say No to Drugs - Say Yes to Life' and Narconon for at least seven
years. People are urgently warned from attempting to use Narconon to
withdraw from drugs because the Narconon self-help initiative's
'decontamination and habit-breaking program are based on Scientology's
pseudo-scientific theories and techniques.' Caution is also advised when
dealing with the 'Narconon' initiative, which, according to the health
department, 'under the guise of social-humanitarian aspects has in mind,
besides the dissemination of Scientology ideology, introducing
drug-dependent people into 'Narconon.'"
> Keith HensonLA Weekly published letters to the editor on July 20th in response to an
article on Scientology's efforts to convict Keith Henson in California and
their harassment of him in Canada.
"Thanks for outlining the travails of Scientology critic Keith Henson. I
am hoping that law enforcement and the legal system will wake up and begin
to see and investigate Scientology's constant legal proceedings as
criminal harassments by an organized-crime syndicate. Because that's
exactly what they are.
Fort Collins, Colorado
"Thanks to Gale Holland for the piece on Scientology and Keith Henson. She
covered material that can be a minefield for the uninitiated. Sadly,
active Scientologists will be prohibited by their 'church' from reading
this excellent article.
"Gale Holland's piece ridicules the Church of Scientology for taking
seriously a bomb threat made by Keith Henson. In the same article, Holland
writes, 'Henson worked in the 1970s for an explosives company in Arizona,
and arranged pyrotechnic parties in the desert similar to Burning Man.'
This reader is mystified why anyone should not take such a threat very
seriously. Is Holland brimming with Panglossian naivete, or is she just
not being objective?
"Keith Henson does not have to like Scientology, but he made violent
threats, was convicted of a hate crime by a jury of his peers, then fled
to Canada to escape punishment. He is a convicted criminal and fugitive
from the law. Why are you defending him? Your credibility suffers.
"Your recent article on Keith Henson really misses the point. A jury
unanimously convicted him of interfering with a religion. His interference
consisted of following Scientology religious workers, taking down their
license numbers and stalking them at their homes. This is not the
expression of opinion; it is harassment of individual Scientologists
solely because of their faith. If the victims of Henson's obsession had
been members of a Catholic or Jewish congregation, I'm sure that even the
L.A. Weekly would not be so cavalier about the rights of the church
Church of Scientology
Keith was sentenced in California this week for the conviction on charges
of interfering with a religion. Keith issued a press release on the
"Yesterday in Riverside County before Judge Robert Wallerstein, Keith
Henson received a sentence of a year in prison or 180 days in prison
followed by three years of closely supervised probation with random
unannounced searches at any time. The court also handed down a fine of
$3000 and ordered Henson to pay for 'counseling' for the 'victims.'
"Since a Scientologist would be expelled for taking any legitimate
psychological counseling, this means that the court ordered Henson to pay
for religious services for the 'victims.' James Harr, Henson's counsel,
was refused to allow to speak on behalf of his client. Scientology lawyer
Elliott Abelson, an old acquaintance of Wallerstein, gleefully thanked the
judge on behalf of his clients. Henson remains in Canada with a pending
application for refugee status and remains at large."
> NarcononThe Santa Fe New Mexican reported on July 13th that s Espanola, New Mexico
city counselor has tried to reduce funding and staff for a Narconon
program and other projects run by a municipal judge.
"A longstanding feud between an Espanola city councilor and the municipal
judge has resulted in the judge losing one of his key employees. The
decision came during a special council meeting Wednesday when Councilor
Chris Roybal tried - unsuccessfully - to convince fellow councilors to
take away five of Municipal Judge Charles Maestas six employees. The
employees include four court clerks, a teen-court coordinator and an
"However, the council passed a motion to transfer one of the judge's
employees, a $28,000-a-year outreach coordinator, from the court to the
city jail, away from the judge's supervision. The outreach coordinator
functions as a parole officer. The City Council approved moving a
portable building behind the court in November for additional space to
hold drug-treatment classes. Inmates Roxanne Romero, 20, and Julie
Jaramillo, 33, said Tuesday that Narconon (drug-treatment) classes held in
the building have improved their lives."
> SwitzerlandSda reported on July 13th that Scientology will still be prohibited from
distributing literature on public property in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"By prohibiting Scientology from distributing printed matter on public
land, the City of Lausanne did not act unjustly. This was determined by
the Waadtland Administrative Court in a decision published on Wednesday.
In 1998, the city permitted distribution of material by the sect from city
property only one day a week. In addition, Scientology is also allowed to
set up a stand twice a month on St-Francois Place.
"The Scientologists would not accept the court's decision, according to
statements from a spokeswoman. She said they would file an appeal with the
Federal Court, and as a last resort in the European Court for Human
> Protest Summary"Barb" reported a two-day protest at a comic convention in San Diego at
which Scientology had rented exhibit space.
"I packed up some Xenu fliers stuffed with half-page Scientology Hurts
People inserts, printed out a new sign, WARNING! BRIDGE PUBLICATIONS IS
$CIENTOLOGY, which had a fetching color portrait of Xenu. Ida's friend
Richard came down with his two nephews a little after noon, and we took a
cab to the Con. We proceeded to the entrance of the Convention Center and
started handing out fliers. It wasn't long before security approached and
requested that we move on to public property, and we cheerfully complied.
We already had picked up two watchclams. They positioned themselves on
either side at a distance of about 50 feet. Both of them watched us
constantly and used their cell phones frequently.
"People would approach and ask for a flier. Some stopped to chat, several
thanked us for being there and informing people. Many of the folks we
talked to already knew something about the cult, a few knew Bridge
Publications was a tentacle of Scientology. Several people who took fliers
intended to ask the folks in the Bridge Pubs booth about Xenu!
"It only took us a couple of hours to dispose of all our fliers. The
Bridge booth had huge banners advertising L. RON HUBBARD! BATTLEFIELD
EARTH! and L. RON HUBBARD'S MISSION EARTH! I heard one of the inhabitants
try to snag a passerby with the intriguing come-on, 'Hey, do you like
science fiction?' but it appeared to me that people were staying away in
"Today I was joined by the evil SP David Rice in our quest to bring order
to this quadrant of the universe. We were out front waiting for a cab, and
a tannish-gray van cruised up and stopped in the middle of the
intersection by my house. While I was watching this blatant stupidity, the
driver took our picture and drove off!
"We set up where we'd picketed yesterday. One of our first customers was
Smiley, the guy who'd shadowed us yesterday. I can now confirm that it is
the same guy who photographed us and David's truck at Gold Base, he dyed
his hair and it's not an improvement!
"One older gent told us he had worked with a Scientology spy in an IRS
office! We received lots of thumbs up, many people turned down our fliers
because they already knew that Scientology sucks! Many people approached
us and asked for fliers, and we gave the curious the quick Scientology in
a clamshell rundown. At one point a security guard came down to see what
we were doing, but didn't give us any trouble. It seems that Smiley
objected to our presence there and made his displeasure known.
"I had packed up the few remaining fliers in my backpack and turned my
sign around so they wouldn't think we were soliciting on Convention Center
property. As we started onto Convention Center property, we were stopped
by a security guard who said we could not walk through. David wasn't
having any. 'Who says?' he asked the guard, who must have been all of 20
years old if that. 'He does,' said the guard, pointing at Smiley. 'But
that guy is an employee of Scientology!' I argued. 'He has no authority
here!' He went over and spoke to Smiley. It seems the creep objected to
our signs (reversed) our fliers (packed up) and our T-shirts (Scientology
Kills!) This junior dork in training had been told by Smiley that we were
criminals and should not be allowed on the property! A real security guard
was called, and I pointed out that we were not soliciting, wished to pass
through, had been protesting Scientology abuses, and moreover, the
complainant was either hired by or in Scientology! 'You can pass,' she
motioned us through."
> John TravoltaThe Sunday Times published an article on Scientology celebrity John
Travolta on July 22nd.
"John Travolta and fame are like a man in a revolving door. No Hollywood
star has been in and out so often - or so fast. He has known hot, and very
hot: the man of the moment, who walks the walk and talks the talk. He has
also been cold, dead in the water, far out on the freezing edges of what
is hip, chic and wanted. But Travolta is the biggest gambler in Hollywood,
using his own career as the stakes. He has never known any sort of
stability. Just being there is not for him.
"And there are no awkward moments with him. Ask what you like and he's
back with an answer: Scientology, fatherhood, failure, being a good
husband, Tom and Nicole, Bruce and Demi, money - loads of it - food and
being a fatty. He gives it large. He's got a movie to plug. It comes on
the back of a couple of stinkers, too: Lucky Numbers and the derisory
Battlefield Earth, a science-fiction movie based on a story by his
Scientology hero, L Ron Hubbard, in which his face was plastered with what
looked like a plate of spaghetti.
"'There are only three projects in my whole career that I actually trusted
- Grease, Look Who's Talking and Phenomenon . The rest, I have
always had to second-guess. I just go through my little dance with it and
try and get some rewrites done.' There are those who say he should have
either danced off into the horizon or rewritten the entire script for
Battlefield Earth, but he remains bullish. 'I got it done against all the
odds, and it's made close to $150m,' he says. 'Science fiction is
notoriously criticised. I looked up the reaction to the classic film 2001,
and at the time, The Washington Post f***ing creamed it. They said worse
things about that movie than they did about mine. It must be the genre.'
"The subject of Scientology, the religion he shares with his wife, is not
high on the agenda for conversation. But his enthusiasm for his baby
daughter, Ella Bleu, moves him to report that she was born in total
silence, as befits all followers of this oddball religion. It believes
that we are all spiritual souls, called 'thetans', burdened by nasty
'engrams', which have a detrimental effect on our lives. 'When there is
pain involved, words can have an adverse effect on the baby,' he says.
'Those recordings [the words] act as engrams, and you are trying to
eliminate what the words might mean. Jett, too, was born in silence.'
"We move to the more earthly subject of Travolta's marriage to 38-year-old
Preston, which has survived for 10 years. 'We are two people who
communicate well and fix problems - not pretend to fix them,' he says.
'And being single is not interesting to me. It is a lonely existence.
Certain moments were wonderful, but they cannot beat the feeling of
knowing I have someone to depend on and spend my life with.' Such
pronouncements by Hollywood stars sound shakier than ever since the sudden
collapse of the marriage of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. They, too, had
been married for 10 years. They are also Scientologists. Travolta gives a
shake of his head. 'I never hung out with them,' he says. 'So I had no
preconceived ideas about their relationship or how strong it was. It had
no effect on me. I thought: 'Oh, okay, they're getting divorced. Some
people don't work out.'"