Title: How Scientology Handles Truth
Author: GSNews <german_scn_news@hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 08:41:50 -040

Willful dealing of the Scientology organization in dealing with facts -

    basis for this is in "Policy Letters

* SO: Scientology Organization

Opening Comment

The following examples of the totally indiscriminate dealings by the
SO with facts are from the internet web pages of Peter Widmer [1]
and Tilman Hausherr [2]. As critics of the organization, both
regularly use the internet forum for an overview of the press on the
theme of Scientology as well as for references to other SO critics
in Europe and the USA. These web pages also contain numerous
sworn testimonies from SO former members which have already
been used in court proceedings - especially in the USA.


On June 8, 1999, the SO had to agree to the following settlement
before Great Britain's high court of justice in the case of a libel suit
filed by former member Bonnie Woods:

-  "The legal representative of Scientology read an apology
    into the public record and officially admitted that the insulting
    language concerning Bonnie was untrue.
-  Scientology has to pay Bonnie "considerable damages,"
    apparently a six-digit figure. This saves Bonnie from
-  Scientology agreed to a court order which keeps it from
    repeating the libelous accusations. In the event that it initiates
    another hate campaign against Bonnie, they face

    imprisonment and high fines."

During the 1970s and early 1980s Mrs. Woods - at the time she
was still living in the USA - was a member of Scientology. She
completed a whole series of courses and intensive training steps. In
1982 she left the SO and emigrated with her husband to England.
That is where both of them, beginning in the 1990s, made
information about Scientology available and ran a public
information campaign. In doing that, Mrs. Woods used criticism
toward the SO, and spoke to the media about her experiences as a
member of the organization. She also took part in warning watches
in front of SO book stores in East Grinstead and distributed
documents in which Scientology was strongly criticized.

In reaction, the SO distributed a leaflet with a photograph of Mrs.

Woods which was sub-titled with the polemic statement, "The
leader of a hate campaign arrives in the city." At the same time
she was described as the one responsible for this campaign, who -
driven by religious intolerance - tried to dissuade people away
from their chosen religion. Mrs. Woods defended herself against
this defamation in December 1993 by filing a suit for libel. In its
decision which was pronounced in June 1999, the court
determined that the SO admitted to having distributed untrue
assertions about Mrs. Woods. For that reason, the organization
stated its agreement to the initially named arrangements. The SO
attorney gave the following statement to the court:

    "The defendants regret that when responding to Mrs.
    Woods's criticism of the Church of Scientology they
    went too far in attributing to her conduct and motives
    which they now accept were not correct. Through me
    they apologise to Mrs Woods and undertake not to
    make any such allegations again" (in accordance with
    the conditions of the proposed instructions from Your


The SO's presentation to the public, however, ran as follows:

    "Church of Scientology
    Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex, RH19 4JY

    8 June 1999

    For more information, please contact:
    Graeme Wilson, 01342 318 229

    Church of Scientology Statement

    The Church of Scientology Religious Education
    College settled its litigation with Bonnie Woods in
    Court today.

    The subject of the litigation was a flier distributed on
    one day in 1993 by some Church members in
    response to attacks by Bonnie Woods which they
    considered offensive to their religious beliefs and
    believed were the cause of discord with the town of
    East Grinstead.

    Bonnie Woods has now made a statement to the
    Court saying that she does not hate any religion,
    including Scientology, and that she does not stir up
    religious hatred and intolerance including against
    Scientologists and their families. She has also told the
    court that she doesn't put pressure on people to give
    up the Scientology religion, nor does she encourage
    others to do so. The Church was very happy to
    resolve these proceedings on the basis of this

    In deciding to settle the action, the Church also bore
    in mind that Bonnie Woods would have been
    completely unable to pay the enormous costs of trial if
    the Church had won."

A similar method of procedure is also shown in a
Dianetics-Scientology Stuttgart press release from July 10, 1999,
in which it was asserted that the French cassation court had
recognized Scientology as a religion:

    "... The French Supreme Court confirmed a judgment
    by the appeals court in Lyon - which made headlines
    across Europe in July 1997 - which stated that the
    Scientology Church fulfilled all the criteria of a
    religious denomination."

However, the official French press report of July 1, 1999 on the
findings of the highest court read quite differently:

    "Scientology could not be recognized as a religion by
    the court. The 'Mission Interministerielle de Lutte
    contre les Sectes' accepted the findings of the
    judgment of the Supreme Court on June 30, 1999
    with satisfaction ...

    Thirdly, the Supreme Court indicated that it was not
    the judge's mission to decide on the religious
    character of a group. The subject passage from the
    court of Lyon which Scientology has taken out of
    context to say that it has been "acknowledged as a
    religion" is therefore declared to be not proper."

These SO press releases have their origin in the "Public Relations
Series" by L. Ron Hubbard. This series contains instructions in the
form of "Policy Letters" (HCO-PL), which describe the exact
method of procedure for Scientology's public affairs work. Not
only that, but journalists do not enjoy any special position of value
with Scientologists, but belong to the group of people called
"Potential Trouble Sources." Hubbard describes the inability of
the press in several "policy letters" and expressed the opinion that
statements from reporters should receive no special attention.

    In the matter of reporters, etc., it is not worthwhile to
    give them any time contrary to popular belief. They
    are given their story before they leave their editorial
    rooms and you only strengthen what they have to say
    by saying anything. They are no public communication
    line that sways much. Policy is very definite. Ignore.

            HCO PL 7 May 1969, Policies on "Sources of Trouble"


Subject to the accuracy of the internet statements, the discrepancy
between the SO's testimony before the court and the statement
made for the public reflect Scientology's dealings with provable

In the two cases described, the basic message of the official
press were ignored, a small portion of it was taken up for a
necessary presentation and transformed via the appropriately
worded supplementary information into a report so as to be
positive for the SO.

The same method of procedure can also be found in the "Response
of the Scientology Church" in its response to the booklet published
by the Hamburg State Office for Constitutional Protection, "The
Scientology Organization's secret intelligence service."

1 http://www.access.ch/pwidmer/SCI/bonnie.html and
Newsgroup: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology

2 Newsgroup:

                             German Scientology News

     Unofficial translations from German-speaking countries

  Index/link to over 1000 articles - http://cisar.org/trnmenu.htm