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A.r.s Week in Review - 6/18/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 18 8/19/2001 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2001 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 18
      8/19/2001
      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

      #####

      > Clearwater

      The 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
      2003.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <9lbcjb$161@...>

      #####

      > Chick Corea

      The 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
      people.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <9llv6h$q3h@...>

      #####

      > Keith Henson

      Keith 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."

      Message-ID: <3b7dc692.29125063@...>

      #####

      > John Travolta

      The 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
      highest-profile defenders.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <9lbc85$161@...>

      #####

      > Narconon

      The 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
      hand.

      "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
      Hubbard."

      Message-ID: <9lm0jd$ieh@...>

      #####

      > Protest Summary

      Martin 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
      empty.

      "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
      way back."

      "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."

      Message-ID: <GIBDsE.EE3@...>

      #####

      > Reed Slatkin

      The Santa Barbara News-Press reported that Scientologist and investment
      manager Reed Slatkin's assets are to be auctioned as a result of his
      bankruptcy.

      "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
      assets.

      "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
      home.

      "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
      million.

      "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."

      Message-ID: <tng97patm59e3a@...>
      Message-ID: <tng980q01kh941@...>

      -end-
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