A.r.s Week in Review - 6/18/2001
Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 18
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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> ClearwaterThe St. Petersburg Times reported on August 14th that Scientology has
completed a new housing complex in Clearwater, Florida.
"The Church of Scientology boasts more hotel rooms and religious
counseling spaces in Clearwater than ever before with the completion this
summer of $9-million of construction downtown. The church now has 565
hotel rooms in and near downtown Clearwater. In a typical week, about
1,300 visiting Scientologists from around the world lodge there while
receiving spiritual counseling and training.
"The newest expansions at the Sandcastle retreat and the Osceola Inn are
part of a construction boom that marks Scientology's fastest period of
growth in Clearwater since it arrived in 1975. Construction continues on
the massive $50-million Flag Building downtown slated to open in March
"At the Sandcastle a three-story, 34,000-square-foot addition was recently
finished. It has 84 rooms that are 8 by 10 feet, and are finished in
cherry wood and brushed brass. The rooms are used for spiritual counseling
known as auditing.
"The 'Osceola at the Sandcastle' opened this summer with 76 rooms,
including two stylish penthouses on the sixth floor with spectacular views
of the bay that go for $425 a night. The penthouses are the best church
accommodations in the city. The Osceola is already fully booked with a
months-long waiting list, officials said. It has 14 suites, smaller
versions of the penthouses; a fully equipped fitness center with saunas in
the locker rooms and a personal trainer; and a tropical-themed cafe that
serves smoothies, sandwiches and dessert. Suites are $120 to $140 nightly.
Regular rooms rates are between $45 and $70."
> Chick CoreaThe Los Angeles Times published an interview with Scientology celebrity
Chick Corea on August 18th.
"Q: How did you make the decision to move to Clearwater?
"A: The main draw was the fact that Clearwater is the largest religious
retreat in Scientology. It's called Flag Land Base, the place where L. Ron
Hubbard put the highest level of training and courses and study, and it's
turned into a totally international spot for Scientologists.
"Q: About 10 years ago, maybe around the time of your 50th birthday, you
described the extent to which Scientology had impacted you as person and
as an artist. Does that still hold?
"A: Not only does it still hold, but it has expanded. I first got
interested in Scientology for pretty personal reasons. I wanted to clean
myself up, I wanted to tweak my awareness, I wanted to learn about the
nature of the spirit. I wanted to learn about things like immortality,
about detaching oneself from a body, about the philosophy and the nature
of life, and so on. But what the subject very naturally led me to is that
life is made up of people. And the very first thing I started to look at
was others - not even myself. My whole life is about my relationship with
"Q: How did Scientology affect that view?
"A: L. Ron Hubbard uses the word 'communication' to identify the
importance of people giving and sharing ideas - but in the way that they
really do. Communication is the study of how actual people relate to one
another, successfully or not. And you learn that communication is a skill
that one can increase, and is not just part of one's fixed personality.
"Q: You have been a Scientologist long enough to realize that it is still
viewed questionably by many, both here and elsewhere. And that a number of
European countries refuse to recognize it as a religion.
"A: We found that out firsthand in the early '90s, when we began to have
some pretty visceral experiences with the German government. That was a
hard condition to confront, when people are saying they don't like you
because [of what you are], and [engaging in] name calling. It's not an
environment you feel comfortable going into. But the actual truth was that
when I confronted it and went into the environment, I found that the
audiences themselves were not really part of it. Sure, they had the
[negative] PR from the newspapers and the government. But when I got in
front of them, they were totally there for me.
"Q: Still, you haven't returned to Germany to perform since 1993.
"A: No. But the good news is that I'm going back in October to play 13
solo piano concerts all throughout Germany. And that's happening because I
persevered in approaching the situation by doing a really positive,
straight-ahead, friendly sort of protest. By going to the U.S. government,
appealing to the basic principles in human rights that are written not
just into the U.S. Constitution, but the German constitution. Then, when
the Kohl government changed, things seemed to calm down in relation to me
and Scientology, anyway."
> Keith HensonKeith Henson reported that he is being sued by Scientologists for
allegedly violating their civil rights.
"HILLARY DEZOTELL, KEN HODEN, and BRUCE WAGONER, Plaintiffs.
"H. KEITH HENSON, Defendant.
"COMPLAINT FOR: VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS, INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF
EMOTIONAL DISTRESS, NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
"Dezotell, Hoden, and Wagoner are each parishioners of the Scientology
religion and are members of a Scientology religious order who have
dedicated their lives to helping others through application and
dissemination of Scientology religious tenets and scriptures. Each lives
in Riverside County, and works at a Scientology religious facility located
in Riverside County several miles from their residences. The religious
facility is called Golden Era Productions and each of the Plaintiffs is
employed by Golden Era Productions.
"From May 26, 2000 through September 3, 2000, Defendant engaged in
anti-religious conduct in violation of the civil rights of Plaintiffs in
repeated, planned, willful, and malicious acts of harassment, stalking,
threatening behavior, and other acts inspired by his hatred for
Scientology and Scientologists.
"Throughout that period, on repeated occasions, Henson followed Plaintiffs
from their homes to work and from work to their homes, taking photographs
and writing down license plate numbers, lurking around their residences
and their Church employer's facility, and taunting and harassing them
because of their religion. He stalked the entrance to their Church with
anti-Scientology signs that were derogatory, menacing, and hate-filled.
"Defendant's menacing and threatening conduct culminated when he, along
with a cohort, used a Global Petitioning System ('GPS') device to plot the
satellite coordinates of several buildings located at the religious
facility at which Plaintiffs work, calculating sufficient coordinate
information to launch an accurate missile strike on those targets, and
posting those coordinates to the Internet, thereby inciting others with
the suggestion that just such a missile strike might he made by using the
coordinates he calculated.
"WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray for judgment as follows: For general damages
in the amount of $1.00; For the maximum civil penalties available under
Civil Code arising out of Defendant's acts in denying Plaintiffs their
constitutional rights; For punitive damages according to proof at time of
trial; For an order of permanent injunction ordering Defendant to cease
and desist from conduct or activities which interfere with Plaintiffs'
exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the
United States; For an order of permanent injunction ordering Defendant to
cease and desist from making any further threats against Plaintiffs and
prohibiting Defendant from coming within 500 yards of Plaintiffs'
residence, their work place and their persons."
> John TravoltaThe Montreal Gazette published an article on August 13th on films made in
Montreal, including Battlefield Earth.
"Travolta's Montreal film, Battlefield Earth, was dogged by controversy.
From the moment filming began, Travolta, who starred in and produced the
film, was dogged by questions about the sci-fi thriller and its ties to
controversial religion Scientology. The film was based on the novel by
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and Travolta is one of the religion's
"At a press conference in Montreal during the filming two years, the
amiable Travolta shrugged off the Scientology queries. Just prior to its
release last summer, Travolta came back to town to promote the flick, but,
in an unusual move, refused to talk to print journalists. This was widely
seen as an attempt by Travolta to avoid any in-depth interviews about the
film and its relationship with Scientology. Whether or not it was the
fault of the Hubbard connection, the film tanked at the box office and was
universally scorched by critics.
"On MusiquePlus last year just days before the release, Travolta said the
same team would be back in town this summer to film the sequel. Likewise,
his manager, Jonathan Krane, had been loudly proclaiming he would be
setting up a mini-studio in Montreal. Neither Travolta nor Krane have been
seen in town since."
> NarcononThe Associated Press reported on August 17th that Narconon has opened its
new facility in Oklahoma.
"An international drug rehabilitation program will more than double its
bed space in Oklahoma when it opens in a former state lodge in eastern
Oklahoma. Narconon Arrowhead is to open a 230-bed campus Saturday on Lake
Eufaula with federal and international drug rehabilitation experts on
"The center has operated since 1990 as the Chilocco New Life Center with a
105-bed facility in Newkirk. Narconon uses saunas, vitamins and a special
diet as part of a three-month program to help people stop using drugs. The
plan was developed by the Church of Scientology founder, the late L. Ron
> Protest SummaryMartin Poulter and Dave Bird reported a protest at a What is Scientology
exhibit in London on August 18th.
"Yesterday from 12:30 to 15:30 there was a picket of the Scientology
exhibition at the QE2 Conference Centre, adjacent to Westminster abbey. It
was a successful and eventful picket (one Jive Aces band member went a bit
berserk towards the end). Present were Dave B, John R, Hartley P, Jens T,
myself, I. P. Freely, Duke the Dog, two placards, many hundreds of
leaflets, the portable public address system and a helium canister to
inflate our 'Xenu loves you' balloons.
"The Jive Aces band were doing their thing in the square in front, and
there were many body routers enthusiastically handing out leaflets and
urging the public to go inside. The square was busy with tourists, so
hundreds of pro- and anti- leaflets were taken. A large proportion of the
public reacted very negatively to the Scientologists and shouted
encouragement to us. We saw very few public actually go into the
exhibition, and I.P. Freely did a scout mission just before the picket and
saw that the visitors were greatly outnumbered by Scientologists. A lot of
the public who did go in to the exhibition collected leaflets from us on
the way out.
"The Jive Aces were their usual plastic, smiley selves through much of the
picket. As they were packing up the band's trombonist Alex Douglas went
nuts, charging up to Jens and shouting in his face, literally
nose-to-nose. Others from the band came and pulled him away. John remarked
over the sound system that this guy's repeated shouting of 'Wanker!
Wanker! Wanker!' was not a good advert for Scientology and maybe he should
re-take his communication course. Douglas ran back and did his yelling
routine in John's face, eventually backing away, pointing at John and
yelling 'PEADOPHILE! PAEDOPHILE! PAEDOPHILE!'"
"Huge crowds of tourists, many in guided tour groups and speaking mainland
European languages or Japanese, were doing five minutes at the abbey then
five minutes at parliament. They had zero interest in a 'What is
Scientology' exhibition. Our people who went inside say it was practically
"The Jive Aces played their hearts out, and the clams sent furious amounts
of people to come out and handle us or counter leaflet - maybe eight at
any time, with some rotation? - we had their entire attention. They did
not seem very happy. The Spanish twit from London Org seemed to think I
wanted a gift of washing powder and would be photographed with it. A fat
girl with a Scots accent asked for a couple of balloons then burst them. I
was feeling tired, but if they wanted to be nasty to us that increased my
resolve to stick out the full 2 1/2 hours and not leave till they had.
"The Spanish twit held a leaflet in front of our videocam, until I reached
out for the leaflet and she withdrew it. Another shorter skinhead type
with identical cropped blond hair turned up and started to drag him off.
These, I gather, are JIVE ACES MUSICIANS. Three of us stood on the corner
and watched until the band's white van drove away. Then we wandered off
along Victoria Street and found a pub nearer Victoria to celebrate on the
"Kaeli" reported a protest in Toronto on August 18th.
"Picketers: Gregg Hagglund, Kaeli, and Zeratul 110 ft away: Keith Henson.
At 4:30 we picked up the signs and made our way to the Org. Keith stopped
at his now-customary 110 ft away from the Org, while Gregg, Zeratul and I
made our way to the Org itself. We noticed that they were promoting their
free stress test. Gregg walked up to the person Mario was trying to reg,
and began speaking. Mario stood up, yelling, 'This is harassment I'm
calling the police!' and rushed into the Org. He came back out within a
minute saying, 'OK, OK, are you happy now? You upset me!' Gregg mentioned
that Mario condoned the harassment of his family, and Mario attempted to
turn it on Gregg, saying, 'this man' while pointing to the customer 'has
not been picketing your home' I interrupted. 'Now, Mario, don't accuse
him. We know it's not him and you're trying to get him involved.' The
person walked off after that, shaking his head.
"The picket after that was uneventful. The staff, apparently according to
OSA orders to appear 'scared,' either milled around near the back or
disappeared somewhere else. No goon squad. No handlers. We finished the
picket at 5:30."
> Reed SlatkinThe Santa Barbara News-Press reported that Scientologist and investment
manager Reed Slatkin's assets are to be auctioned as a result of his
"On Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robin Riblet in Santa Barbara
approved the sale of Mr. Slatkin's Earthlink stock and other publicly
traded securities. A 100,000-share chunk of his Earthlink stock will be
sold immediately, and there is a buyer ready to purchase his La Cumbre
Country Club membership. Within a few days, Mr. Slatkin's Hope Ranch home
and other properties will be put on the market, said Sue Montgomery, a
lawyer working with the court-appointed trustee to liquidate many of his
"Mr. Slatkin is not objecting to the liquidation of most assets. However,
he is petitioning the bankruptcy court to exempt some property from sale.
That includes his $4 million Hope Ranch home, a handful of life insurance
policies, a 1998 Volvo coupe, $17,000 in clothing, household furnishings,
jewelry and art, plus a couple of retirement accounts. A court-appointed
trustee is moving to sell many of Mr. Slatkin's assets and use proceeds to
help reimburse creditors.
"Mr. Slatkin is the subject of a federal investigation for allegedly
defrauding investors through his unregistered investment advisory business
for 15 years until he declared bankruptcy May 1. He promised investors
annual returns of up to 60 percent, but creditors' lawyers suspect it was
a Ponzi scheme in which early investors are paid with money belonging to
more recent participants.
"Among Mr. Slatkin's assets are three country club memberships. A Santa
Barbara resident is ready to buy Mr. Slatkin's La Cumbre Country Club
membership for $140,000. Mr. Slatkin has 10 properties worth more than
$7,880,000, records show. These include his Hope Ranch estate at 4480-4484
Via Esperanza; 96 acres of undeveloped land north of Solvang in Ballard
Canyon, worth an estimated $1 million; a two-story, 2,200-square-foot
house at 890 N. Kellogg Ave. in Goleta worth $500,000; and an
1,800-square-foot house at 3125 Riley Road in Solvang."
The News-Press reported on August 11th on an exemption claim on Slatkin's
"Mr. Slatkin is claiming a $75,000 homestead exemption on the home but is
not trying to stop its sale, the attorney said. When it is sold, after the
payment of any deeds of trust and the costs of sale, Mr. Slatkin would
receive his exemption and the remaining proceeds would go into the
bankruptcy estate to pay creditors. The home is worth an estimated $4
"The trustee in the bankruptcy case is contending that Mr. Slatkin failed
to file a timely claim and has therefore waived his right to claim any
estate assets as exempt, according to papers filed Thursday in U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in Santa Barbara. Also Thursday, Mr. Slatkin's wife, Mary
Jo Slatkin, filed an exemption request for the same items in what
attorneys described as a precautionary tactic.
"Separately, a commercial property in Florida of which Mr. Slatkin is
part-owner is being sold this month to a school board for $1.65 million,
according to a recent court filing."