Title: A.r.s Week in Review - 9/28/97
Author: rkeller@voicenet.com (Rod Keller)
Date: 28 Sep 1997 23:30:16 GMT

Week in Review Volume 2, Issue 24
by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com]
copyright 1997

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 informtion. 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, just email me at 
It is archived at:


> Cult Awareness Network

The new Scientology-run Cult Awareness Network is the subject of a new
article from a concerned mother. 

"My daughter is in a controversial New Age group. Everyone else in the
family thinks that she is just exploring a new dimension in her life and
that she will come out of it. I used to think this too, until she broke
from me and her mail and phone calls were blocked. There have been abrupt
changes in her life: She quit her job, sold her old truck and got a car
payment, moved into the community, works for the community. 

"When I looked for help, I recently experienced a betrayal from the Cult
Awareness Network [CAN] in Chicago.  The hotline operator makes sure she
gets the name of the organization the caller is worried about. Her tone of
voice changed to one of urgency, but I was too emotional to notice that at
the time. I was told that the organization changed hands because of a
lawsuit about a forcible deprogramming, that deprogramming is illegal, and
that there is 100% recidivism rate, that mediation is recommended and that
I would receive a phone call from a mediator. 

"No mediator called me. CAN called the organization in question and
disclosed that they were the Cult Awareness Network and that a complaint
had been lodged. Since this is a new, small organization and I was the
most recently aggrieved parent, they all knew I had made the phone call. 
Obviously my position became tenuous and a complete cut-off of all family
soon occurred. When I learned of the betrayal, I called the hotline and

"The executive director called me back and I, still believing this was a
bona-fide organization, angrily told her how their policy of calling the
organization was insane and how it had damaged even further my
relationship with my daughter. She seemed to be genuinely emotionally
shaken. She promised that a psychologist employed by CAN would call me.
Obviously no one phoned." 

Message-ID: <342c84c6.84485941@news.snafu.de>


> Wes Fager

A participant in the recent picket at Scientology's DC org, Wes Fager
reported unwanted attention from photographers. 

"The week after the picket, I picked my wife up from work. I was sitting
in my car reading a book, waiting for my wife when a car apparently parked
in front of me. The driver got out, opened his trunk and took out what
appeared to be a professional video camera, and started taking my picture
and the picture of my wife as she came out of the building. Then he put
his camera back in its case, shut the trunk, and drove off." 

Message-ID: <19970923042101.AAA25449@ladder01.news.aol.com>


> Dennis Erlich

Deana Holmes reported this week that Scientology is seeking records of any
phone calls made by Dennis Erlich to a number of other Scientology

"I was informed tonight that Hogan dropped off a sealed filing with the
court in the Erlich case. It seems that RTC and Bridge wants to know if
Dennis has called any of the following people. 

"Jetta Eggers, Felipe Rodriguezs, Gerry Armstron, Dan Leipold, Ford
Greene, Andreas Heldal-Lund, Vaughn Young, Deana Holmes, Karin Spaink,
Dave Touretzky, Johan Wevers, Zenon Panoussis, Homer Smith, Tom Klemesrud,
Jeff Jacobsen, Graham Berry, Grady Ward, Keith Henson, Arnie Lerma,
Lawrence Wollersheim" 

Message-ID: <34289364.15250420@snews.zippo.com>


> France

Chris Owen announced additions to his "Scientology's Secret Service" web
site, including documents from 1988 and 1990 showing attempted
infiltration of the French government. 

"The main item is a selection of OSA documents from France, originally
reproduced in Serge Faubert's book 'Une secte aue coeur de la Republique'.
They reveal how OSA planted agents in the Elysee palace; the agents appear
to have had direct access to President Mitterand himself.  Interestingly,
a noted a.r.s. poster, Roger Gonnet, also appears in the French documents. 

Message-ID: <60gvqm$j2e$1@due.unit.no>


> Germany

Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat carried an article on Scientology in
Germany this week. 

"Hamburg is the center for the anti-scientology campaign, because until a
few years ago the sect was very successful here, and the state parliament
formed a special office for a scientology ombudsman in 1992.  The social
democratic politician Ursula Caberta was chosen to head the office. It's
mainly thanks to her that the 'church' and the business deals of its
members has received increasingly negative publicity, and the number of
members leaving the cult has gone up. 

"'The Rasputin of Bonn', a scientology magazine proclaims, with a picture
of the federal labour minister Norbert Blum on the cover.  Flames are
reflected from his eyeglasses, a reference to Nazi book burnings. The
scientologists feel they are being persecuted like the Jews in the 1930s.
The Hollywood scientologists claimed the same thing in large paid
newspaper advertisements last winter. 

"The offices of Ms. Caberta is located in the office building of the
Hamburg senate, beside the main railway station. Caberta has experienced a
campaign against her, as defined by Hubbard's instructions. 'I'm not
surprised about anything anymore: phone harassment and death threats are a
part of the picture', she tells us.  According to Caberta, the problems of
the Hamburg 'church' became critical in 1995, when their leader Wiebke
Hansen resigned or was fired, and Mark Lizer from the scientology elite
group Sea Org came as her replacement from the U.S.A. Since then an
increasing number of members have left the Hamburg church.  'In the first
years we got information on only a few people quitting per year, but in
the last three weeks we have been contacted by over 20 scientologists that
have left the organization. If the number of resignations continue the
same way, soon there won't be many more left.'" 

German officials defended their treatment of Scientology this week in the
wake of celebrity testimony in Washington DC. From Xinhua Newswire: 

"German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel today defended Germany's treatment
to the Scientology movement, saying the criticism by a U.S. senator was
'intolerable' to such a free country as Germany. 'The accusation that
Scientology is being persecuted here is absurd,' Kinkel said in a
statement in response to the claims by U.S.  Senator Alfonse D'Amato that
Germany was restricting freedom of religion with regard to Scientology.
Kinkel stressed, 'Scientology is not a religion or world outlook.  Its
goals are directed at economic activity.'" 

Also from Xinhua, word that Germany's intelligence service may begin
monitoring Scientology outside Germany. 

"A government spokesman made the confirmation after the Sueddeutsche
Zeitung newspaper reported such a move could lead to international
complications with Washington. 'In the United States, senior intelligence
service officials belong to Scientology,' said the newspaper. The idea was
criticized today by the opposition Greens Party during a parliamentary
debate on sects, which it said could intensify the conflict with
Washington over Scientology's treatment." 

Message-ID: <6080km$dcq$1@sparky.wolfe.net>
Message-ID: <0f78bfcfa132d7b6febc74f99ed5cb39@anon.efga.org>
Message-ID: <eaacd3d4cea54c68ec97f5a1f9b7c19d@anon.efga.org>


> Johan Helsingius

Peik J Stromsholm reported that Johan 'Julf' Helsingius has asked the
Finnish Supreme Court to consider his case. Johan shut the anonymous
server anon.penet.fi following an attempts to force him to reveal the
identity of the penet user who posted secret Scientology documents. 

"By filing for leave to appeal, the immediate effect is that Helsingius
won't have to reveal the names before the Supreme Court has decided
whether they will consider his case or not. It will probably take many
months before a decision is reached.  In his petition of appeal dated 8th
of August 1997, submitted by his attorney Markku Ropponen from
Scandinavian Law Offices, Helsingius concentrates mainly on constitutional
concerns regarding privacy and rights during police investigations. 

"The matter is investigated by the Helsinki police department as a minor
copyright offence, after complaints by different Scientology corporations.
The case is formally about a motion to compel Helsingius to testify.
Helsingius argues that it could have a chilling effect on free speech on
the Internet if the authorities can go to such extreme lengths in the
investigation of minor offenses." 

Message-ID: <60bt54$q3b@vilkku.uwasa.fi>


> Scientology Textbooks

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that Scientology's textbooks were
rejected by the California state review board. 

"State education officials on Monday rejected the latest version of a
series of textbooks inspired by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, saying
the books failed to properly depict disabled people and minorities.  The
publisher, Bridge Publications, is seeking to have five books based on
Hubbard's educational ideas approved for use in California public
classrooms as supplemental texts.  But in a two-page letter faxed to the
publisher Monday, the state Department of Education said revisions to the
original series failed to adequately address concerns raised by a
20-member citizens review panel. 

"The panel is one of several across the state that review supplemental
materials to ensure that the works comply with the state's social content
laws.  The effort to include the books on the state-approved list -
allowing, but not obligating, schools to buy them - has raised concerns
among some educators and civil libertarians. 

"The books were not approved by the state because they misrepresented the
disabled and minorities, state officials said.  For example, disabled
characters were shown with canes, representative more of the aging process
than of a disability, said Ruth McKenna, the state's chief deputy
superintendent of public instruction.  A disabled character in the texts
also was shown in a wheelchair alone, isolated from others. In addition,
the books did not depict enough disabled people. 

"Bridge Publications had originally submitted the texts to the state in
May 1996, only to have them rejected later that year. The firm submitted
revised versions in August.  According to the state's letter, written by
McKenna, the citizens panel concluded that the revisions were too weak. 
In the case of minorities, for example, the state said the changes were
accomplished by shading the faces of existing characters. One character
ended up appearing white on certain pages but as an ethnic minority on
other pages." 

Message-ID: <344a4e3b.9173367@berlin.snafu.de>


> Bob Minton

Bob Minton reported a phone call from Scientology attorney Elliott Abelson
this week. 

"Elliott Ableson, acting as the cults mouthpiece, called me in NH on
Tuesday Sept. 16th about 5:00pm and off the bat wanted to know 2 things: 
Are you surprised to hear from me?, and How have you been feeling in the
last six months since Clearwater? 

"The answers are: I'm not surprised to hear from someone representing the
church of $cientology as I have been a key financial supporter of several
$cientology critics involved in litigation against the cult. And:  Pretty
good but it's been kinda hectic. 

"Ableson then explained that he wanted to explore my concerns about
$cientology and maybe clear-up some misconceptions I may have.  Further,
he explained that he had read all my previous postings to ARS and said he
appreciated that I had strong convictions about the first amendment to the
constitution and especially to the adverse impact $cientology had on young
people. He specifically referred to an ars post following the March 1996
picketing in Clearwater where I had offered a reward of $360,000 for
information leading to the revocation of co$'s 501 (c)(3) tax status. He
said he wanted to begin a dialogue. 

"I mentioned the shutdown attempt of ars, Erlich's confinement at Flag,
the raids on Erlich, Penny, Wollersheim, Lerma, Factnet and other
incidents and especially what happened to Lisa McPherson almost 2 years
ago. I also told him I was concerned about the extremely negative impact
$cientology had on people I have come to know though ars; and that the
whole thing was one big financial scam. 

"Ableson made it clear that he was aware I had been helping Wollersheim
and Dandar financially. Further, he stated he was learning something he
did not previously think possible - that a critic of the co$ who was
different intellectually from other critics with a stable family situation
and stable business (in fact I have no business) could be a critic. 

"Could this possibly have been a first amendment advocate making subtle
threats to suggest that I not exercise my first amendment rights if it
bothers his client? Is my family and business stability at risk? Gosh, I'm
really not sure what this guy who teaches sharks how to kill and get away
with it meant? The most telling of the 2 questions initially asked was
number 2.  I think Ableson may have been saying several things with this
question:  We got your medical records too.  We will use your medical
records, if you make it necessary, to embarrass and discredit you! 
Otherwise, how are you going to explain your trip to the emergency room at
Mass General in Boston 3 days after returning from Clearwater in March

Message-ID: <342bb745.3792154@news.tiac.net>


> Russia

Russian police this week called Scientology "socially dangerous", and were
critical of Scientology's attempts to launch a Russian Narconon program.
From Reuters: 

"'The activities of followers of that sort of teaching are harmful and
socially dangerous,' Boris Tsilinski, the head of the Interior Ministry's
drugs squad, said in response to reports that a Scientology follower in
Russia had claimed success in treating thousands of drug addicts.  'The
treatment of drug addiction should be done by medical establishments who
have suitably qualified specialists acting according to legally
established rules,' Tsilinski told Itar-Tass news agency. 

"The agency said Vladimir Ivanov, a Scientologist heading a fund for
saving youngsters from drugs, had claimed that thousands of people had
overcome addiction tanks to the organisation's programme.  Tass said that
in June 1996, the Russian health ministry issued an order banning
'propaganda and detoxification methods of the teaching of L. Ron Hubbard,'
the founder of Scientology. 

President Yeltsin also signed a law this week, restricting religious
minorities and cults. 

"A brief Kremlin statement said without elaboration that Yeltsin had
signed the law 'On freedom of conscience and religious organisations.'
Supporters of the bill, including the powerful Russian Orthodox Church,
say it will help tackle the dangerous sects which have converged on Russia
to exploit a spiritual gap left by the collapse of communism. 

"Opponents sympathise with the bill's aim but say it violates Russia's
post-Soviet constitution and discriminates unfairly against conventional
minority religious groups.  World church leaders lamented Yeltsin's
decision to sign the draft, which followed a last-minute attempt to
dissuade him by U.S.  Vice President Al Gore, who was in Moscow this week. 

"Diederik Lohman, director of the Moscow office of Human Rights
Watch/Helsinki, said the bill opened the way for local officials to refuse
to register religious groups seen to compete with the Orthodox Church and
other 'traditional' religions." 

Message-ID: <b239e5ba76b8161f46e822bc0ebd0d69@anon.efga.org>
Message-ID: <48e08a6c29ebecae296b3e0e1f00c463@anon.efga.org>


> Sci-Fi

A Florida Today article this week described plans for the L. Ron Hubbard
Achievement Awards, held at the Kennedy Space Center. 

"[T]he keynote address will be delivered by Goddard Space Flight Center
astrophysicist Yoji Kondo, author and recipient of the NASA Medal for
Exceptional Scientific Achievement.

"Twenty-five neophyte writers and illustrators from across the United
States, Canada, England, Russia and the Ukraine have qualified for the
Hubbard Gold Achievement Awards, which extend a $4,000 cash prize to the
winner of each category. Hubbard was the sci-fi author whose Dianetics
teachings formed the Church of Scientology.

"Attending will be best-selling writer Kevin J. Anderson (X-Files:  Ground
Zero and Ruins; Jedi Academy Trilogy), and novelist Dave Wolverton (The
Courtship of Princess Leia). Pioneer sci-fi authors Frederik Pohl and Jack
Williamson also will be on hand. 'It's a pretty big deal,' Widder says,
'when you consider that, over the past 13 years, the winners of the
Writers of the Future contest have had 200 novels published.' Past Hubbard
awards ceremonies have been hosted by the United Nations and Johnson Space
Center, Widder says."

Message-ID: <342C9B57.6B53@execpc.com>


> Kirstie Alley

Time Magazine this week ran an article on Scientologist-Actress Kirstie

"Alley, now 46 (though she denies it), credits much of her good fortune to
her participation in the controversial Church of Scientology. Growing up
in Wichita, Kans., she dreamed of running off to Hollywood even though she
was a daddy's girl.  Sidetracked by cocaine and interior decorating, she
dropped out of her acting studies at the University of Kansas. Then she
read L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics, which Alley believes changed her life by
making her take responsibility for herself. 'I thought, O.K., this is
either the world's biggest scam or it's fabulous. I stopped working, quit
my job, and I drove my car to California to be a Scientologist.'

"A member since age 26, she dismisses claims in the press that Scientology
officials choose her roles - or approve her interviews. 'Scientologists
are not sheep.  They buck the system,' she argues. Earnings from the Look
Who's Talking movies she made with Travolta, another famous church member,
helped her open a Scientology mission in her Kansas hometown where
nonmembers can learn to read. 'People don't see the good,' she says in

Message-ID: <34479fce.91406788@berlin.snafu.de>


> Xenu Flyer

In response to threatening letters to Roland Rashleigh-Berry's web site of
picketing flyers from Scientology lawyer Helena Kobrin, critics created
archives of the flyers this week. Deana Holmes writes: 

"Helena K. Kobrin is threatening people over Roland Rashleigh-Berry's Xemu
flyers. He's been pressured on his Coltice site, as has Jens Tingleff on
his site. I have placed up a US mirror of the flyers at
http://www.xmission.com/~mirele. I urge *everyone* to download the six
files from that page and put up their own mirror. I'm doing this because I
am convinced, after reviewing the flyers for myself, that there is no
copyright infringement and that Ms. Kobrin is just trying to scare people. 

"And to you, Ms. Kobrin...remember, if you're going to claim copyright
infringement, you'd better by damn be ready to show it. It seems to me
that when it comes to $cientology, you simply believe there's no such
thing as Fair Use."

Lee Kanzler, Dave Touretzky and Frank Copeland also announced mirror

"Well I put up another US Mirror and this is totally stupid to claim
copyright infringement on this, just scare tactics. 

"Here's another Coltice mirror, in a place CoS will not be able to remove
it:  http://www.cnbc.cmu.edu/~dst/Coltice" 

"I say, over here.  http://thingy.apana.org.au/~fjc/scn/mirrors/coltice/" 

Message-ID: <34296e7e.5804199@snews.zippo.com>
Message-ID: <60a0mo$95l$1@gte2.gte.net>
Message-ID: <60a576$ibg$1@mistletoe.srv.cs.cmu.edu>
Message-ID: <slrn62i6d9.af5.fjc@thingy.apana.org.au>


Return to bestoars