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A.r.s Week in Review - 9/30/2001

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 24 9/30/2001 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2001 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2001
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      Alt.religion.scientology
      Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 24
      9/30/2001
      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

      #####

      > Penelope Cruz

      Hollywood reporters are speculating that actress Penelope Cruz may become
      the newest Scientology celebrity. From MX magazine on September 14th:

      "Penelope Cruz has been attending the Church of Scientology with her
      Hollywood boyfriend Tom Cruise. The Spanish actress has made frequent
      visits during the past fortnight after being introduced by long-term
      member Cruise. But it's not known if she has seen the Los Angeles-based
      sect's manual on bringing up kids, which insists that not only must a
      couple keep quiet before and after sex, they should also maintain absolute
      silence during labour and birth.

      "Penelope, 27, who was rumoured to have been a Buddhist, has been spotted
      attending a Hollywood church with 39-year-old Tom, sometimes from 10am
      until 5pm. A source close to Cruz revealed: 'She's really into it. Tom has
      been a member for around 15 years and she was interested, so decided to go
      herself.'"

      From Woman's Day on October 1st:

      "Penelope has tried Buddhism, too, but now she's spending seven days a
      week studying with Tom at his Church's LA Celebrity Center Changing
      religion is a huge leap of faith in a relationship. When one partner
      converts to the other's beliefs, it's a sure sign of commitment - and
      often an intention to marry. Little wonder, then, that Hollywood eyebrows
      raised at reports that Penelope Cruz, the Spanish star raised a strict
      Roman Catholic, is spending every day with her lover, Tom Cruise, at the
      Church of Scientology's Celebrity Center in LA. 'I've seen them arrive
      every day, including Saturday and Sunday,' says the source.

      "'They get to the Celebrity Center by 10am and stay at least six hours,
      until four or 5pm, except when they have the kids, Bella and Connor. Tom
      and Pene miss out on Scientology sessions on those days.' If Penelope, 27,
      has undergone 'auditing' at the centre, chances are she's told the
      Scientologists about her involvement in other religions. The eldest
      daughter of Encarna and Eduardo Cruz was brought up as a devout Catholic.
      But her first serious lover, Mexican singer Nacho Cano, introduced her to
      Buddhism and meditation during their six-year relationship.

      "At the end of her day of religious studies, Penelope is in the habit of
      popping out for post-Church shopping sprees. Last Sunday, she met her
      16-year-old brother, Eduardo, and treated him to a swag of CDs. The next
      afternoon, she headed to the ultra-chic boutiques of Fred Segal on Melrose
      Avenue."

      From Peoplenews on September 29th:

      "Sources in the United States suggest that the Spanish actress, who was
      raised a Catholic, is developing an interest in Tom Cruise's religion as
      their relationship develops. According to a friend, Cruz has dabbled in
      Buddhism in the past and is 'open-minded' about religion. The friend
      added, 'It wouldn't surprise me if she was exploring Scientology.' If
      Cruise's influence is beginning to affect his girlfriend, it is certain to
      raise further concerns in Cruz's family. Her father is already thought to
      be of the opinion that Cruise, a twice-divorced father of two, is perhaps
      not the ideal companion for his little girl."

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      #####

      > Germany

      The Rheinland-Pfalz State Welfare Court ruled on September 21st to deny a
      Scientologist a permit for an employment agency, and that employment
      agencies have to tell au-pairs if a host family is associated with
      Scientology.

      "The complainant runs a private employment agency whereby she puts au-pair
      girls up with German host families. As a so-called 'auditor,' she holds a
      special function as an SO member. She put several of the girls up with
      families which were SO members without having informed the girls of this.
      The Rheinland-Pfalz State Welfare Court decided that the complainant did
      not have the reliability required for the issuance of an employment
      permit. The court said that it was young people like the au-pairs that
      came to Germany to live who especially needed protection, because they
      were not well-versed in the German language. By failing to tell people
      about the Scientologists, it was said that the complainant failed in her
      duties as a private employment agent."

      Dpa reported on September 30th that Chick Corea will appear in concert in
      Germany starting November 1st.

      "This Tuesday the renowned jazzman will be opening his joint tour with
      pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba in Frankfurt's Old Opera. The both will also go
      to Baden-Baden, Stuttgart, Cologne and Hamburg. 'We can only exert our
      influence upon concerts that are promoted with public money,' said sect
      expert Werner Carlhoff from the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Culture. He
      says things are no different from what they were in the past in
      Baden-Wurttemberg: if the concert receives public money, Scientologists
      will not be appearing. Carlhoff said it does not make sense to give money
      to an artist who will use that money to support an organization that
      German homeland security has under surveillance. 'I cannot speak for the
      other German states.'

      "In the Hessian Ministry of Art there was no reaction to the problem,
      although Chick Corea will be appearing in Frankfurt and later, on November
      1, in the Darmstadt state theater. 'We aren't theater censors,' said
      ministry spokesman Rudolf Kaechler. He said being a member of Scientology
      was not against the law, and that neither would anyone say anything about
      movies posters with Scientology members Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

      "Corea put on a professional air, 'The times have changed, the opponents
      have calmed down,' he said casually. He said everything had been only a
      big misunderstanding, which he would be only too glad to help clear up. He
      said that Scientology was a recognized religion in many countries, mainly
      in the USA. He said he would not let himself be separated from his public
      by intolerant policies. 'For me it is always a great pleasure to play
      before my fans in Germany.'"

      Die Welt reported on September 30th on controversies surrounding Ursula
      Caberta, director of the Task Force on Scientology of the Hamburg Interior
      Agency

      "She has been regarded as the psycho-sect's toughest opponent since 1992.
      She issues written material and lectures about the machinations of the
      adherents of science fiction writer Ron Hubbard. In the fight with the
      organization Ursula Caberta has earned accolades across the nation. Yet
      now Ursula Caberta has run into heavy criticism herself. In Hamburg she is
      under investigation for 'accepting favors on duty,' and the state attorney
      in Dusseldorf is reviewing whether she has brought discredit upon a German
      opponent of Scientology."

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      #####

      > Jenna Elfman

      The San Francisco Chronicle reported on September 28th that Scientology
      celebrity Jenna Elfman has worked to open a new mission in San Francisco.

      "Jenna Elfman was helping an eager crew put finishing touches on the new
      Scientology mission set to open tomorrow. She told TIC she's been spending
      a lot of time in San Francisco helping to build and paint the children's
      art center in the basement. Elfman had befriended firefighters who stopped
      by yesterday morning. She was wearing a red aluminum bracelet sold by L.A.
      firefighters to raise money for New York disaster relief efforts.

      "When fellow Scientologist Kirstie Alley called, the four firefighters
      shouted their hello. Elfman described a day of fire training she'd once
      done for a magazine story and praised her visitors' courage and superhuman
      strength, and they joked about coming to the mission for dance lessons."

      From the Associated Press on September 29th:

      "Actress Jenna Elfman is establishing a Church of Scientology mission in
      her hometown. Elfman, the star of ABC's 'Dharma and Greg,' announced plans
      to open the Church of Scientology Mission of San Francisco SoMa (the local
      term for the area south of Market Street)."

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      #####

      > Keith Henson

      Keith Henson posted a reply to a civil suit filed against him by
      Scientologists on staff at Gold Base, near Hemet, California.

      "Defendant denies, generally and specifically, each and every allegation
      in the Complaint and denies that Plaintiffs sustained any damage
      whatsoever due to omission or breach on the part of Defendant.

      "The court and counsel for the plaintiffs should take notice that the
      defendant does not live in California, not even in the US but resides at
      the above address. Defendant has been declared eligible by Immigration
      Canada to present a case to the Immigration and Refugee Board based on
      human rights violations by the government and courts of Riverside County,
      acting for the so called 'Church' of Scientology.

      "Plaintiff's causes of action are barred in whole or in part because any
      actions taken by Defendant were fair and reasonable and were performed in
      good faith based on all relevant facts known to Defendant at the time. In
      particular the acts alleged are constitutionally protected as free speech
      under the First Amendment or are protected by other principles such as the
      right to move freely and observe or report.

      "Plaintiff's Claim for relief is barred because of his abuse of process
      including corruption of the District Attorney's office. Plaintiff's Claim
      for relief is barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrine of unclean
      hands.

      "Counterclaim for damages due to plaintiffs and their principals and
      agents conspiracy to deprive defendant of his civil and constitutional
      rights, abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional distress.
      Defendant requests: That Plaintiff's adversary complaint(s) be dismissed
      with prejudice. General damages in an amount to be determined at trial;
      Punitive and exemplary damages in an appropriate amount; Costs of suit
      incurred herein; and That the Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant take nothing by
      his complaint; Sanctions against Plaintiffs or real parties of interest
      and such other and further relief as may be just and proper."

      Message-ID: <3bb22d7f.1157050@...>

      #####

      > Kirstie Alley

      Reuters reported on September 28th that Scientology celebrity Kirstie
      Alley has opened literacy programs in Beverly Hills and Sacramento,
      California.

      "After Kirstie Alley opened her literacy program for children in the
      Church of Scientology Mission in Beverly Hills, the well-wishers (more
      than 400) proceeded across the street to the Friars Club for an evening
      featuring Dan Finnerty and the Dan Band. Immediately after, Kirstie
      boarded a bus to open another of her Lillie's Learning Places in the
      Church of Scientology Mission in Sacramento and then drove to San
      Francisco to help open their Scientology Mission. The 'Learning Places'
      are based on the educational methods of L. Ron Hubbard. Friars president
      Irwin Schaeffer noted the event was not Friars-sponsored. 'We just rent
      out the hall as we do for others.'"

      Message-ID: <9p1np8$kn4@...>

      #####

      > Lisa McPherson Trust

      Scientology has filed a motion in the Lisa McPherson civil case for a
      special master to be appointed to review the records of the Lisa McPherson
      Trust for material relevant to the case.

      "The instant motion is brought on an emergency basis, because it has been
      learned that LMT, Inc. is also violating this part of the Court's Order.
      Church counsel has learned that this week, approximately 10 banker's boxes
      of records have been shipped from LMT to parts unknown. On September 24th
      25th, a truck from Federal Express picked up a large number of boxes from
      the back door of LMT. This transfer of property and presumed records was
      observed by Church security guards who are positioned at the Church's
      dining hall to protect Church staff coming and going from that location.

      "Ms. Brooks permitted an LMT employee, Mark Bunker, to remove all of the
      videos he has taken over the past two years out of LMT's possession and
      custody. Ms. Brooks admitted that CDs of scanned records, including at
      least all of Ms. Summer's letters to various government agencies regarding
      the church and church witnesses, were scanned onto CD and the hard copy
      documents shredded. These CDs were then sent to Mr. Minton. These CDs
      have since been 'sent to someone else' by Mr. Minton, and he has asserted
      a Fifth Amendment self-incrimination privilege to refuse to identify where
      the evidence was sent.

      "Ms. Brooks also testified that she causes all e-mails to be destroyed
      periodically, notwithstanding the orders requiring production of such
      information by any of the witnesses. Mr. Minton has also testified that
      he has destroyed all of his own financial records, which would include
      payments to witnesses. In short, the apparent transfer of records
      yesterday and the day before, and the summary background information
      above, warrants that remaining evidence be preserved.

      "This Court also indicated that it may appoint an independent examiner to
      examine the records of LMT to determine if all information has been
      produced. The Church urges that this is more than appropriate in light of
      the circumstances. Current computer technology permits the examination of
      computer hard drives to locate information which has been 'deleted,' and
      an independent expert can be retained by the master/examiner to perform
      this function to restore deleted files."

      Message-ID: <obi6rt0t567ml2thivt37un99rsnsp2lul@...>

      #####

      > World Trade Centers

      E-mails were posted to a.r.s this week, which were sent to Scientologists
      to update them on efforts to have Scientology's volunteer ministers join
      the relief effort at the World Trade Centers in New York.

      "The gold shirts are official VM shirts and have our symbols on them. The
      light colored yellow ones are those people who are not Scientologists but
      who have been trained on assists and are helping out. There was a need to
      be able to differentiate them.

      "In Clearwater, Kaye Champagne and I formed a command center at the FH and
      worked side by side with the I/Help SO guys. We enlisted the OT Comm and
      OT Ambassadors to help us send the first guys in as a group effort. We
      sent almost 90 people into the area for the first relief the guys in NY
      got. We also raised over $20,000 in 72 hours and more since then. We sent
      tons of vitamins, calmag, etc. up with the volunteers. We also have a
      ground zero photographer that we sent up too.

      "We ended off our efforts on that and now are flat out getting everyone
      back on the bridge. We have been using COB's message to get people into
      the org and back on course etc. Use this tool it's been so effective. We
      DO NOT mail it out to people. We make people come in to get it and then we
      use every tool we have to get them active and going again on the bridge.

      "Marlo Kimmel
      Clearwater"

      "There should be no doubt at this point that part of the tragedy of this
      mess is that as the United States was attacked with severe casualties and
      cost, we must be responsible for our own defense. But, any actions done to
      safeguard us will yet provoke further response from the criminals who did
      these horrendous deeds. In that respect, it is a 'no win' situation which
      we face as we must defend ourselves and in so doing win the inevitable ire
      of the survivors on the other side and perhaps win the responsibility to
      care for them from here on out.

      "That is a trap. The psychs behind all of this set it up that way.

      "We are the only people on Earth with a workable technology for keeping
      people going to keep things going after the crash, after the attack, after
      the catastrophe, even after the Atomic War that will happen if enough
      people get to stomping on the War/Peace button. We, are the Auditors of
      Earth and its life forms. We, are the ministers to the people of Earth.

      "Your families and friends, your fellow countrymen and countrywomen and
      all of the generations to come are depending on your knowing and being
      able to apply the full Technology of Dianetics and Scientology including
      Administrative and Ethics and Justice Tech, along with the Auditing Tech
      and the delivery of the bridge during times such as these, and the
      uncertain times to come.

      "ARC,
      Dennis H. Clarke"

      "Recent live network TV coverage showed Volunteer Ministers in their
      yellow T-Shirts inside the Ground Zero area as the site was toured by a
      group of U.S. Senators and other VIPs. It has been announced that the
      cleanup at Ground Zero will take many months to complete and we can
      predict that New Yorkers will need the help of Volunteer Ministers for
      quite awhile. The fantastic press coverage we have been getting includes a
      theta front-page article in the New York Times. The Times also gave us
      very favorable mention in a theta article that described the key members
      of the team at Ground Zero.

      "A Volunteer Minister gave an assist to a rescue worker at Ground Zero who
      had suffered constant pain since an accident and knee surgery two years
      previously. During the assist, the rescue worker stood up and told the VM
      that the pain had blown!

      "Non-Scientologists walking into New York Org are being put on a new pilot
      mini-course to instant-train them on assists. While some were skeptical at
      the beginning, after their theory training they walk a block or less to
      Times Square, where they achieve stunning success and life-changing
      personal wins in their first application of LRH tech to help others. These
      new graduates made exclamations such as 'I'm a changed man!' and otherwise
      expressed their astonishment at their new-found ability help others and
      the fantastic results.

      "In Washington D.C. the Volunteer Ministers were instrumental in putting
      in order into the scene at the disaster site at the Pentagon. They were
      able to provide for the personal needs of hungry and thirsty senior
      military officers and their staff and late last week went into service of
      a high-ranking officer who needed to provide breakfast for a meeting of
      300 key military staff members.

      "Eric Anderson
      Class VI OT IV
      VM Activation volunteer
      I HELP West U.S."

      "I'm here in NYC since two weeks now. I came here with the first group
      from LA as soon some airports were opened again. We need any help we can
      possible get. We are around 15 VMs here. And just today alone we got asked
      to take care and do grief counseling for 700! families! So you figure out
      how we are supposed to do that!

      "The whole planet has an eye on NYC right now. That is such a real chance
      to make Scientology and Dianetics real in such a short time and successful
      like we had it never before."

      Tagesspiegel Berlin published an article on September 19th on
      Scientology's efforts in New York.

      "'Touch Assists,' a type of laying on of hands, is recommended in 'The Way
      to Happiness' brochure, a non-aggressive, soft-PR piece by the
      Scientologists. The organization praised itself for gaining permission to
      enter, along with police, firemen and Red Cross workers, the cordoned-off
      area around 'the scene of the disaster at the World Trade Center.'

      "According to their own reports, 450 of them are currently operating
      there. Stuttgart's office spokesman Klaus-Dieter Schiemann said that
      people should be asking themselves the question 'whether that is what the
      workers need to help them pull body parts from the piles of debris.'
      Schiemann said this was quite typical for a Scientology starting point: 'a
      situation of fear and uncertainty.' He said this could cause great
      difficulties for unstable or confused people in that Scientology would
      only be using their own model of information dissemination. This was a
      case of 'an opportunity being shamelessly exploited,' said Berlin
      Scientology critic Tilman Hausherr. Shortly after the murderous attacks,
      the organization was already soliciting for donations from members and
      non-members via e-mail. Apparently Scientology strategically held up
      emergency personnel in New York - 'members of the fire department, police,
      doctors and nurses' - and 'trained them.' That was reported by the
      organization's Baden-Wuerttemberg branch, which also said that the
      'Dianetics Hotline' was broadcast on the screen by Fox.

      "Scientology critic Hausherr believes it is simply 'disgusting' that
      'they're actually continuing to do it.' As of today, the Scientology
      'volunteers' are standing among the Manhattan debris in their bright
      yellow t-shirts. And boast to each other in e-mail about having impeded
      other 'real' psychologists in their work."

      A Scientology press release on September 27th promoted the work being done
      by volunteer ministers in New York.

      "Among tired firefighters, haggard police and military rescue personnel, a
      group of volunteers stood out in bright yellow T-shirts whose large
      lettering announced them as 'Scientology Volunteer Ministers.' More than
      800, from Queens to Glendale, Seattle to Miami, showed up ready to help.

      "As exhausted fire, police and rescue workers took breaks, Scientology
      Volunteer Ministers started delivering 'assists,' developed by L. Ron
      Hubbard from his discoveries in Dianetics. Assists bring an injured or
      dazed person back into communication with his surroundings. They can be
      learned in half an hour and work well in conjunction with medical care.
      They helped hundreds at the disaster site.

      "New York City fire and police personnel, having spent 12-hour shifts on
      'the pile,' as the main wreckage site is called, were grateful to get
      relief for their battered bodies. Carter recalled one policeman with an
      injured leg. He got an assist for five minutes and afterward exclaimed,
      'Oh, my God, it works!' He went right back to work."

      From the letters to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times on September
      25th:

      "I for one was totally outraged and sickened by what I read.
      Scientologists posing as National Mental Health Assistance offering a
      toll-free number to their offices is absolutely disgusting and should be
      investigated for fraud. Then to hear Falwell and Robertson profess that we
      asked for these terrorist actions because of our right to choose the way
      we live is in my opinion anti-American. I would hope that those people who
      were not already ashamed and embarrassed by the words and actions of these
      two hypocritical zealots may now see them for what they truly are. - Don
      Mott, Largo

      "Just when you think that Scientology can't sink any lower, they outdo
      themselves. To use our country's worst national crisis and grief for their
      own recruiting purposes is beyond belief. How can they justify using this
      horrific time for their own selfish goals? It only goes to separate the
      cult from patriotic Americans who don't need another enemy to distract
      them from their war against terrorism. - David Rodman, Dunedin"

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      #####

      > Protest Summary

      "Kaeli" reported a protest in Toronto on September 22nd.

      "Picketers: At the bOrg: Gregg Hagglund and Zeratul. 110 ft away: Keith
      Henson, the Unnamed One. Today it was quiet. No one came out to counter
      picket, hand out fliers. It was noticed that for one: there appeared to be
      a convention inside the Toronto Org. Zeratul observed many of them were
      French-speaking.

      "Peter Ramsay was also among a group of Scientologists smoking outside.
      Gregg called out, 'let's read out OT 3' and Peter Ramsay went right back
      inside immediately. A woman wearing a black T-shirt that read: 'Keep
      psychiatry out of our schools' had a camera and while she would not come
      out. I noticed that she was taking pictures of us from inside the Org.

      "One of the passers-by mentioned to Keith, that after he spoke to him, a
      stranger approached him and said, 'You are aware that he is in a fight
      with Immigration right?' The person answered that he was fully aware and
      kept on walking. After fifteen minutes of speaking to passersby on the
      street, we decided to end the picket."

      Message-ID: <3BAF2C21.F0157D7E@...>

      #####

      > Tory Bezazian

      The Los Angeles New Times published a story on September 27th on Tory
      Bezazian, former volunteer for Scientology's Office of Special Affairs and
      now critic of Scientology.

      "Last year, Church of Scientology operatives received an alarming tip:
      During the upcoming 2000 MTV Movie Awards scheduled for June 8, a short
      South Park film parodying Battlefield Earth would feature the character
      Cartman wiping his ass with a copy of L. Ron Hubbard's sacred text,
      Dianetics. The last thing the church needed was more piling on by the
      acerbic kids of South Park. So it turned to Burbank resident Tory
      Bezazian.

      "Bezazian headed something called the Scientology Parishioners League, a
      new organization that Office of Special Affairs vice president Janet
      Weiland had asked volunteers like Bezazian to form for just such
      emergencies. In the few months the parishioners' league had been
      operating, Bezazian and her cohorts had followed up on OSA tips by
      pressuring television networks, radio stations and newspapers to drop
      negative content about the church. Bezazian never knew how OSA agents got
      their information. She only knew that once she was given a tip, the church
      relied on her to harangue editors and TV producers until the offending
      material was removed. In general, the group had little effect. Scientology
      had suffered so much negative press for so many years that Bezazian and
      her small cadre could do little to stem the tide.

      "Bezazian called MTV's New York office incessantly. She told anyone who
      would listen that the South Park piece was a form of religious bigotry and
      if it was shown it would deeply offend her and her co-religionists and
      cause them great harm. The show ran anyway. In it, Cartman drops a load
      in his shorts when Russell Crowe as his Gladiator character Maximus
      impales Kenny on his sword. John Travolta as planet Psychlo meanie Terl
      arrives in a Battlefield Earth spaceship to save the day. Travolta's
      cartoon persona then asks the South Park boys to take personality tests.
      Cartman finds another use for his personality test.

      "Bezazian threw herself into battle first on alt.religion.scientology, a
      community of detractors that works constantly to publicize the church's
      oddities and excesses. Within weeks, Bezazian's dive-bombing of
      alt.religion.scientology under the screen name 'Magoo' had become
      relentless. By July Magoo had become the single most frequent poster at
      a.r.s. - not a small feat in such a heavily used newsgroup. Magoo's
      identity was finally revealed in a stunning message: 'To all of you at
      ARS, and to you all reading this from my Church, as of this date, July 20,
      2000, I have officially left the Church. Please do not call me, or come
      over to my house. In the future, listen to Andreas. What he said last
      night is what is true.'

      "For years she found herself stuck at OT VII, the second-highest level in
      the religion. Year after year, she diligently went through drills and
      tests trying to locate all of the body thetans infesting her system.
      Bezazian became even more disillusioned with changes made under new church
      leader David Miscavige, who had taken over after Hubbard's 1986 death. At
      a mass gathering in 1997, Miscavige announced the 'discovery' that
      higher-level Scientologists had been trained incorrectly and would need to
      redo some levels. Bezazian says she was told her retraining would cost
      $25,000. Already $60,000 in debt and in no mood to undergo still more
      auditing to reach a level where she'd been stalled for years, Bezazian
      complained to Miscavige. She wrote him letters asking why she should have
      to pay so much when it was the church's product that had proved to be
      defective. She got no response. And that's when she decided to get off the
      Bridge.

      "'It's a big decision for a Scientologist,' she says. 'But I didn't care
      if they came up with OT fucking billion, I was done.' Feeling cheated and
      abandoned, she found little support from other members. 'It's not like I
      didn't give it my best shot. But they always tell you it's your fault if
      the tech doesn't work. No one has ever apologized to me for anything.'

      "Operation Clambake is maintained by a man named Andreas Heldal-Lund, an
      information technology manager in Stavanger, Norway. To Bezazian,
      Operation Clambake seemed like the most hateful creation imaginable, a
      popular Website bearing a litany of charges against her religion that she
      couldn't imagine to be true. Bezazian says she was shocked to see that
      Lucifer himself, Andreas Heldal-Lund had written a polite note, suggesting
      ways Bezazian could improve the readability of her postings on a.r.s. so
      that more people would read her arguments and respond to them
      intelligently.

      "Bezazian struggles for words to describe how stunned she felt after she
      had read the e-mail. 'The devil had not only sent me a nice message, he
      had offered me useful advice,' Bezazian says. But Heldal-Lund couldn't
      give her what she says she needed most desperately: company. He suggested
      a group in Clearwater whose members work full time to protest Scientology.
      When Bezazian told them about her predicament, they encouraged her to come
      to Clearwater.

      "Bezazian went to Burbank Airport to begin a cross-country trip to what
      just days earlier she had considered the enemy camp. Bezazian arrived at
      the airport to find that her flight had been canceled and Janet Weiland
      was waiting near the counter. Weiland began trying to talk her out of
      going to Florida, Bezazian says. Bezazian used her cell phone to call the
      people at the Lisa McPherson Trust in Clearwater whom she had planned to
      visit. Minton answered Bezazian's call, and she rapidly told him the
      situation. She had tried to get another flight, she told him, but Weiland
      had stuck by her like glue, and was even holding her luggage. Bezazian
      says she felt trapped. He told Bezazian to book a seat which would allow
      her to enter a special lounge that would be off-limits to Weiland.
      Bezazian followed his advice and rid herself of the OSA official.

      "Waiting for Bezazian to walk off the plane were two groups:
      Scientologists and LMT members. Brooks notified security guards that
      things could get ugly, and they in turn called in two Tampa police
      officers. The situation got tense, Bezazian says, when she stepped off
      the plane and a woman Scientologist ran up to her. 'What could you be
      thinking?' the woman asked her. The others swarmed around her. Brooks
      asked the police to intervene, but the cops replied that they needed to
      hear from Bezazian herself: Whom did she want to go with? Bezazian
      gestured toward Brooks and Minton. 'I pick them,' she said. Brooks says
      the anti-Scientologists were given an escort through the airport. When the
      Scientologists tried to follow, the officers stopped them.

      "Encouraged by what she learned at the LMT, Bezazian began taking part in
      protests of the church within months of leaving it. She was stunned when
      church officials asked police in Clearwater to cite her for violating the
      anti-picketing injunction. Church officials accused her of holding a sign
      in an area where picketing was not allowed, and sitting in a Santa's chair
      set up as part of a church holiday display. Judge Thomas E. Penick fined
      Minton and Bezazian - she was charged $100 - but also criticized the
      church for how much it surveils critics. 'I'm missing the point here,' the
      judge was quoted in the St. Petersburg Times. 'I hope someone will let us
      know when the great invasion is coming.' The experience, Bezazian says,
      only made her more determined to tell what she knows about the church."

      Message-ID: <3bb69570.1900403@...>

      -end-
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