A.r.s Week in Review - 9/30/2001
Week in Review Volume 6, Issue 24
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
also available on Yahoo. Email email@example.com or
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/weekinreview. PDA channel available at
Week in Review is archived at:
> Penelope CruzHollywood 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
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
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."
> GermanyThe 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
"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
"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."
> Jenna ElfmanThe 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)."
> Keith HensonKeith 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
"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."
> Kirstie AlleyReuters reported on September 28th that Scientology celebrity Kirstie
Alley has opened literacy programs in Beverly Hills and Sacramento,
"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.'"
> Lisa McPherson TrustScientology 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."
> World Trade CentersE-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.
"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.
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.
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
"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
"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"
> 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
"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."
> Tory BezazianThe 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 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
"'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
"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
"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."