Scientology Integrity .org

 Scientology Time Track By Entry
03 Feb
  In U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Grady Ward files a counterclaim in RTC v. Grady Ward. Evidence is presented that he and his family have been subjected to harassment. Some of it is that David Miscavige threatened his children by e-mail and Eugene Ingram telling his employer that he had been fired from his previous job, which was false. RTC attorney Helena Kobrin attempted to excuse Ingram's actions by saying that Ingram made a "sincere error."

Grady Ward affidavit


This is not the first abuse of children by these fascists.
As in the days of Hitler, even children are not exempt from DM/RTC/OSA fascism.

21 Feb
  St. Petersburg Times February 21, 1997

Scientology had woman in isolation

In the days leading up to her unexplained death, a 36-year-old member of the Church of Scientology was being kept in isolation at the church's Clearwater headquarters and had started banging her fists against the wall, a Scientology lawyer now says.

Lisa McPherson was kept from the secular world by her own choice after an emotional breakdown left her wandering naked near downtown Clearwater, said Elliot Abelson, a Scientology lawyer based in Los Angeles.

During her isolation, he said, McPherson entered kind of a self-destructive mode.

Abelson and other Scientology representatives insist McPherson was well-cared for at the Fort Harrison Hotel. They say the church's attention was supportive and benign.

For 17 days, Abelson said, McPherson stayed in a very nice hotel room, without a television but with access to room service and the freedom to come and go.

But as authorities press their investigation into how McPherson died and who was responsible, McPherson's family and some critics of Scientology are alleging that McPherson probably was not free to leave.

They are pointing to a treatment that the late church founder, L. Ron Hubbard, prescribed for those who suffered a psychotic break. The treatment involves isolating people, against their will if necessary. Scientology calls it the Introspection Rundown.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, McPherson's estate accused the church of allowing McPherson to languish in a coma without nutrition and liquids while she was in isolation as part of an Introspection Rundown.

Separately, some church critics, including former Scientology staffers who say they witnessed forced isolation while with the church, suggest that a poorly performed Introspection Rundown could have contributed to McPherson's death.

According to Abelson, McPherson did not receive an Introspection Rundown during her period of isolation.

When Hubbard unveiled the Introspection Rundown in 1974, he said it would enable Scientology to take over mental therapy in full. It was one more volley in Scientology's long-standing war against conventional psychiatry.

If society wants insanity handled as a social problem, Hubbard wrote in 1969, don't go to the boys who have increased the insanity statistics for a century and who have only tangled terms to show for it.

Go get the people who know what they are doing - the Scientologists.

I need help. I need to talk to someone, McPherson told paramedics after taking off her clothes at the scene of a minor traffic accident on Nov. 18, 1995. Her comments were recorded in an Emergency Medical Services report obtained recently by the Times.

The paramedics also remembered her saying she was having a difficult time and had been doing bad things in her mind and doing wrong things that she didn't know were wrong.

They took her to nearby Morton Plant Hospital.

Within an hour of her arrival, fellow members of the Church of Scientology, including a church liaison, were at her bedside. A Scientologist friend told the staff it was against McPherson's religion to be admitted for psychiatric treatment.

An hour later, a doctor relented and discharged her into their hands for follow-up care.

The Scientologists, according to hospital records, told the doctor they would care for McPherson and watch her 24 hours a day. The records also note that McPherson, with Scientologists still at her bedside, said: I want to go home with my friends from the congregation. I won't do anything to harm myself.

Emotionally frazzled but physically healthy, McPherson entered the centerpiece of Scientology's world spiritual headquarters in Clearwater: the Fort Harrison Hotel.

Seventeen days later, on a Tuesday, McPherson suddenly fell ill, according to church officials. That night, they say, she was placed in the back seat of a Scientology van and taken to Columbia New Port Richey Hospital, which is 24 miles from the hotel's front door.

Why not go to a closer hospital?

Church officials say no one realized it was an emergency.

They say McPherson distrusted doctors and was reluctant to get help. They say they finally convinced her to see Dr. David I. Minkoff, a Scientologist who is on staff at the New Port Richey hospital.

Abelson confirmed that one of McPherson's two companions in the van was Scientology medical liaison Janis Johnson, a medical doctor who is not licensed in Florida.
When the van arrived at the hospital shortly after 9 p.m., McPherson was dead. Minkoff, who pronounced her dead after 21 minutes of resuscitation efforts, did not respond to an interview request.

An autopsy conducted the next morning by the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office concluded the cause of death was blood clotting brought on by bed rest and severe dehydration.

Last month, Medical Examiner Joan Wood said publicly that test results showed McPherson had no liquids for five to 10 days and was unconscious for one or two days before her death. She also said McPherson had suffered insect bites, apparently from cockroaches. Through her lawyer, Wood said she spoke out because she felt the church was lying about the circumstances surrounding McPherson's death.

The church disputes Wood's findings and is suing her office for access to records in the case, including samples of tissue and blood from McPherson's body. Abelson, the Scientology lawyer, hotly disputed Wood's conclusions, calling her a hateful liar.

McPherson's relatives and friends in her native Dallas, where she joined the church as an 18-year-old, have said they suspect she was detained after voicing intentions to leave Scientology.

Church officials say McPherson was active in church affairs and had no intention of leaving. Lisa loved the Church of Scientology and the church loved her, they said in a statement this week.

They also say her fellow Scientologists did everything they could for her after she suffered a sudden and severe staph infection the day of her death. The infection is noted on hospital reports.

Among the 60-million words Hubbard reportedly published are his step-by-step instructions for handling someone who suffers a severe emotional upheaval or psychotic break.

Hubbard unveiled his Introspection Rundown in January 1974, saying it possibly ranks with the major discoveries of the Twentieth Century. . . . This means the last reason to have psychiatry around is gone. The first step in the Introspection Rundown is to isolate the person wholly Hubbard wrote.

A month later, he wrote another document that explained the isolation of subjects was necessary to destimulate and protect them and others from possible damage.

Between sessions where the subject receives Scientology counseling called auditing, Hubbard instructed: No one speaks to the person or in his hearing.

He wrote that the purpose of the Introspection Rundown is to locate and correct those things which cause a person to fixate his attention inwardly. He said the process extroverts a person so that he can see his environment and therefore handle and control it.

A supervisor would decide whether the isolation should continue, and could communicate with the isolated person only in writing, Hubbard wrote. When a supervisor decides the person still is not cured, the isolation continues.

This will elicit a protest from the person, Hubbard predicted.

Part of the Introspection Rundown involves a Scientology concept known as havingness. Since her death, McPherson's relatives have released copies of her parishioner statement from the Church of Scientology, which shows a $240 charge for tapes entitled Expansion of Havingness. The charge was dated Nov. 30 1995, which was five days before McPherson's death while she was at the Fort Harrison.

Abelson said the invoice doesn't prove she received the Introspection Rundown. Rather, he said, it's evidence that she got billed for something.

Abelson insisted McPherson did not receive the Introspection Rundown or any other church services.

Stacy Young, a former Scientologist living in Seattle, said in an interview with the Times that she acted as a guard during an Introspection Rundown in 1988.

The subject, a fellow Scientologist, was a woman who thought she was a butterfly and a dog, Young said. She was kept for two months in a shack with a bare mattress and dirt floors in a Scientology compound east of Los Angeles, Young said.

She was basically a prisoner, Young said. We never said a word. We just sat there with her and watched her chirp and bark and be crazy. . . . She was very much at our mercy.

The woman eventually was released to her parents, said Young, whose husband, Vaughn Young, was a top church spokesman when the FBI raided Scientology's Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., offices in 1977.

Vaughn Young said Scientology procedures such as the Introspection Rundown can take days, weeks or months and amount to practicing medicine without a license, a comment that was echoed in the lawsuit by McPherson's estate.

Monica Pignotti, another former Scientologist who was an early member of the church's Clearwater staff in the mid-1970s, said it was a common practice to isolate people against their will.

Abelson responded, saying: We've never said that we were not isolating (McPherson). She was isolated. But he added she wanted to be isolated from the secular world so she could rest.

He said church staffers interviewed by Clearwater police could not recall McPherson saying she wanted to leave.

The paramedics who took her to Morton Plant said she had a fixed stare and was speaking in a monotone. She couldn't stay focused on one topic and kept asking paramedics to repeat their questions. She said she needed help and wanted to rest.

Abelson said she was ineligible to receive Scientology counseling there because she was having trouble sleeping. Counseling cannot be done on a person who has not had six to eight hours sleep, he said.

A person also must be stable to receive counseling, he said. Toward the midpoint of her stay, Lisa McPherson began to pound on the walls of her room, Abelson said. It was kind of a self-destructive mode she was in.

Lisa McPherson's final days

LISA McPHERSON had been a Church of Scientology member for 18 years when she died Dec. 5, 1995, after a 17-day stay at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. She was 36. She joined the Church of Scientology in her native Dallas, lived in Los Angeles for a time, returned to Dallas and came to Clearwater in 1994 to work for AMC Publishing Inc., a business owned by Scientologists. Two months before she died, McPherson achieved the state of clear, where a Scientologist no longer is influenced by undesireable forces in the subconscious or reactive mind. Following is a chronology of events that preceded and followed her death. It was collected from hospital records, public documents and interviews with McPherson's relatives and Scientology officials.


About 10 days before Thanksgiving, Lisa McPherson calls a childhood friend to say she is coming home to Dallas for good. McPherson confides that she has much to say, but not over the phone. She wants to know if the friend is angry with her for not keeping in touch more since she joined Scientology. In a separate conversation with her mother, she says she is under heavy pressure at work and letting people down.


A psychotic break is brought about by a whole series of wrong indications.

WHO was giving McPherson a whole series of wrong indications and WHY?

She had indicated she wanted to leave Scientology and would be home for X-Mas.
She was being pounded in ethics at work by her Scientologist employer. There is where some of the wrong indications came from. We suspect that Flag was involved too.

There have been way too many people having psychotic breaks who are on Flag lines.
Much higher than the national average. We already know that under RTC orders that Flag will conduct Reverse Auditing/Black Dianetics on people. In those sessions, the auditor's code is reversed and a whole series of evaluations and invalidations are leveled at the person. Those all amount to a whole series of wrong indications, backed up by a whole series of wrong indications in ethics. In short, the purpose is to drive the person down- tone and into a psychotic break, knowingly and on purpose.

The following reference provides an insight:

BPL 30 May 1974 PR Series 24 - Handling Hostile Contacts/Dead Agenting

It is my intention that by the use of professional PR tactics any opposition be not only dulled but permanently eradicated ... If there will be a long-term threat, you are to immediately evaluate and originate a black PR campaign to destroy the person's repute and to discredit them so thoroughly that they will be ostracized.

Modern Management Technology Defined

Black PR -
spreading lies by hidden sources. It inevitably results in injustices being done.

So, when McPherson said she wanted to leave Scientology and go home - the above tactic may very well have been applied as it has to so many others before and after her.

Thus her psychotic break was likely intentionally caused by Flag staff on RTC orders.

Then, they ran the Intospection Rundown on her and kept her locked up, without proper medical attention, until she died. The church attorney Abelson lied through his teeth when he said that McPherson was free to come and go. A person on the Introspection Rundown is not free to leave. McPherson's pc records are an indication she was being run on Introspection Rundown and so she was not free to leave.

McPhersons statement to paramedics is very revealing -

The paramedics remembered her saying she was having a difficult time and had been doing bad things in her mind and doing wrong things that she didn't know were wrong.

This shows she had been given a whole series of wrong indications that caused her to introvert and fix her attention inward and also the wrong indications would have made her doubt her own reality and caused her to ask herself what was wrong with her. She never spotted the wrong indications as being false data - which would have snapped her out of it.

The church's shore story about Lisa smells. I don't buy it - including the part about no one realizing it was a medical emergency. Take a look at the autopsy photos. This is not an isolated case, there have been too many other psychotic breaks and deaths of people on Flag lines. Lisa is another overt product from Flag. Take a look at the autopsy photos and see if you agree that this is "the friendliest place in the world."

The Clearwater taxi cab drivers tell stories of people trying to leave and being physically dragged out of the cab and back into the building. The best one was the guy who ran out of the Fort Harrison completely naked, clutching only a credit card in his hand, and told the cab driver to get me the f--- outa here. The "friendliest place in the world" may hold true when you are at the registrar getting your wallet out to purchase RTC's squirrel tech - but anything is possible after that.

Falsehood that McPherson was free to come and go - Church Attorney Abelson
False shore story about Lisa and her death - Church PR

06 Mar
  Denver Westword March 6, 1997

A web of intrigue surrounds the high-stakes legal brawl between FACTnet and the Church of Scientology.

Strange things happen around Lawrence Wollersheim.

His businesses collapse. His Boulder apartment gets raided by federal marshals, his computers seized. When college students offer to help him rebuild his computer bulletin- board system, they receive threatening phone calls--anonymous voices urging them to stay away from Larry.

A California judge who presided over a lawsuit in which Wollersheim was the plaintiff told reporters he'd encountered a lot of funny stuff during the five-month trial, including slashed tires on his car and strangers tailing him. Recently, Wollersheim says, someone claiming to be him contacted his bank in a clumsy attempt to obtain his financial records.

We've been under constant security threat for the last several weeks, he says. My girlfriend's family has been scared. My friends have been called up and harassed. I spend time repairing my staff, who are intimidated.

The confrontation escalated to new heights two years ago, when church officials escorted by federal marshals conducted a series of raids and seized computer equipment in California, Virginia and Colorado, claiming that the owners had obtained unauthorized copies of the secret, upper-level scriptures of Scientology and had distributed the material on the Internet, in violation of copyright and trade-secret laws (Stalking the Net, October 4, 1995).

One of the principal targets of the raids was the Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network (FACTNet), a Golden-based computer archive and bulletin-board system founded by Wollersheim and ex-Scientologist Bob Penny. Church officials seized computers from Wollersheim's apartment, from Penny's home in Niwot and from FACTNet boardmember Arnaldo Lerma in Virginia and filed federal lawsuits against the three, whom they branded as copyright terrorists bent on damaging CSI economically.

Since the raids, the FACTNet case has taken more turns than a corkscrew. The church's attorneys have hailed as a clear victory the decision of a federal judge in the Virginia case, who found that Lerma committed copyright infringement by posting Scientology materials; yet that same judge concluded that the church's primary motivation in suing Lerma and his Internet provider is to stifle criticism of Scientology in general and to harass its critics.

FACTNet hasn't escaped unscathed, either. Over the course of the litigation, Wollersheim has feuded not only with Scientology but with fellow members of FACTNet's board of directors, which is now down to two: Wollersheim and Lerma. He's also had a falling-out with Denver media lawyer Tom Kelley of Faegre & Benson, at one point the lead defense attorney in both the Colorado and Virginia suits. Kelley's firm, which ran up bills in excess of $1.4 million in nine months, withdrew from the fray last summer.

FACTNet has now spent more than $1.7 million on the litigation, most of it money from insurance carriers that will soon run out. And the tiny nonprofit has been sharply criticized by some former supporters for its perceived harsh treatment of Bob Penny, who is suffering from multiple sclerosis and has been trying desperately for months to be removed from the lawsuit.

For all that, Wollersheim is curiously upbeat about the case. FACTNet is back in business, he notes, with a new Web page ( and an expanded mission. And he's assembled what he describes as a dream team of lawyers with formidable experience in litigating against Scientology. A few weeks ago the team filed a barrage of counterclaims in the suit, charging that the search warrants for the raids were obtained under false pretenses and seeking damages for trespass, invasion of privacy, abuse of process, outrageous conduct and other claims.

The church's attorneys maintain that the claims are belated and without merit, but they signal a shift in legal strategy, a counteroffensive that Wollersheim says will extend to attacking the legitimacy of the copyrights of some of Hubbard's works, based on new information he's obtained from defectors from the church.

This started out as a copyright and trade-secret case, he says. We were the 'copyright terrorists'; this was supposedly the largest infringement in history. It's totally turned into a copyright-abuse case. There's so much wrong with the copyrights of Scientology that we suspect they're going to try to back-door out of the case very fast. But they're not going to be able to, because of our counterclaims.

They're going to be paying for this a long time. They're going to lose much of the con-- the copyright and trade-secret con they've been playing on people.

Such bravado may sound hollow, given FACTNet's dwindling funds and the enormous resources of the Church of Scientology, which spends millions on litigation every year. But Wollersheim has a long history of legal victories against Scientology groups--Pyrrhic victories though they may be. In 1986 a jury awarded him $30 million in damages against CSI's California organization, which he claimed used coercive tactics to keep him in the fold and then harassed him and destroyed his business. The award was reduced to $2.5 million on appeal; he has yet to collect.

Church entities subsequently sued him three times, but all three cases were dismissed. In one action, the judge determined that the suit was so groundless as to qualify, under California law, as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP), and he awarded Wollersheim's attorneys more than a quarter-million dollars for fees and costs.

For both sides, the stakes have never been higher than they are in the FACTNet case. Scientology's attorneys seek to protect not only their copyrights but also the confidential nature of their upper-level scriptures; preserving their secrecy, they insist, is a central tenet of the religion.

At the same time, Scientology groups have come under increasing attack in Europe. A Greek court has denied the organization religious status in that country, and late last year 29 Scientologists were sentenced to jail in Italy for criminal association. German officials have also cracked down on Scientologists and barred them from civil-service jobs, drawing criticism from the U.S. State Department and prompting CSI to establish a hatewatch section on its official Web site ( to document Germany's persecution of religious minorities.

In the summer of 1995, Lerma, recently appointed to FACTNet's board of directors, posted more than sixty pages of Hubbard's Advanced Technology documents on the Internet.

But attorneys for Scientology's Religious Technology Center (RTC) viewed the postings as a blatant copyright infringement--and a violation of the church's trade secrets, which Hubbard's followers pay dearly to learn. They filed suit against Lerma. When Wollersheim and Penny of FACTNet issued a press release affirming their support of Lerma's actions and urging volunteers to immediately begin putting up 100-1000 times more Fishman affidavit type public records on Scientology into worldwide distribution on the Internet, RTC sued FACTNet as well; attorneys would later claim to have found hundreds of additional copyright infringements on the computers seized in the raids. And when the Washington Post reported on the controversy, quoting briefly from the Fishman papers, they sued the Post, too.

Judge Brinkema quickly dismissed the action against the Post, ruling that the newspaper's use of the materials constituted fair use and that RTC was liable for the paper's legal fees. She then threw out the trade-secret claims, ruling that Lerma's actions didn't constitute trade-secret violations (U.S. District Judge John Kane has ventured a similar opinion in the case against Wollersheim and Penny, writing that the Advanced Technology writings have come into the public domain by numerous means and probably don't qualify as trade secrets under Colorado law). But Brinkema also found that Lerma's postings, unlike the Post account, consisted of verbatim copying wholly devoid of criticism or other commentary and thus could not be justified as fair use.

Last January Lerma was fined $2,500 for five violations of the Copyright Act. RTC had sought an additional $500,000 in legal fees, but Judge Brinkema denied the request.

RTC attorney Kobrin notes that the judge rejected Lerma's argument that the Internet should be treated differently from other media in copyright cases. I don't think there is any doubt from Judge Brinkema's findings as to who won, she says. RTC's goal was to vindicate its rights; this it did.

Church officials take the position that there can be no fair use of their secret scriptures by outsiders.

The Advanced Technology files found on Wollersheim's and Penny's equipment remain under seal in the Colorado case, which has yet to go to trial. Since the raids, though, excerpts of Hubbard's secret writings have surfaced on a variety of Web sites around the world.

Yet many of the sites have been set up by defiant computer buffs--individuals who have no prior connection to Scientology but believe it's their duty as Netizens to fight what they regard as efforts at censorship.

More than three months before the raids on FACTNet, Larry Wollersheim wrote to donors to advise them that his fledgling nonprofit was under siege--threatened with frivolous lawsuits and black PR smear tactics orchestrated by members or agents of Scientology.

The ensuing litigation quickly became a tar baby for all concerned. In most copyright disputes, $2 million would represent an adequate war chest, but not in the FACTNet case, which has already produced more than 700 discovery requests and a ceaseless barrage of motions and pleadings; one motion by RTC's attorneys for summary judgment (recently denied by Judge Kane) was accompanied by a dozen boxes full of supporting exhibits. The million dollars from the first insurance policy was exhausted in less than six months.

The staggering cost of the litigation, Kelley adds, had a lot to do with the tactics employed by his opponents. The Church of Scientology has proven to be a litigation machine that can drain the resources of an opponent, he says. In the Lerma case, we had not only constant discovery but weekly motions--all of which required extensive briefing and argument. In Colorado, things have been less intense, but certainly the scorched- earth approach to litigation has been much the same.

12 Mar
  National Public Radio, Inc.


BURNETT: Memphis Public Schools eventually dropped the World Literacy Crusade over concerns that tutors were teaching Scientology. There's a pattern here. Scientology is constantly working to shed its cult image and win mainstream acceptance with its humanitarian programs, neighborhood watch groups, charity fundraisers, and countless other community projects.

But the public still has a negative perception of Scientology. Last year, pollster George Barnett (ph) conducted a national religious survey of popular attitudes toward seven faith groups. Scientology came in next to last. Only atheists fared worse.

Over the past four decades, the Church of Scientology has earned a reputation for belligerence towards its adversaries, both real and perceived. A long list of journalists, judges, academics, lawyers, and former members have reported a pattern of reprisals when they displeased the church.

In some cases, it takes the form of lawsuits or private detectives looking for dirt. In other cases, people say odd things happen to them when they run afoul of the church: they're followed; they get crank phone calls; their trash is stolen; and they're the subjects of bogus police reports. For its part, the church denies its involvement in dirty tricks.

L. Ron Hubbard considered all critics to be, in his words, merchants of chaos. Here's what he wrote: People attack Scientology. I never forget it. Always even the score. The law can be used very easily to harass. If possible, he continued, ruin him utterly. If you are attacked, attack much more forcefully, artfully, and arduously.

At one time, the church had at least 100 lawsuits pending against the Internal Revenue Service alone. On Sunday, The New York Times documented Scientology's elaborate strategy to gain tax exemption from the IRS. In addition to lawsuits, the church used private eyes to investigate IRS officials and tried to publicize damaging information about the agency.

The 30-year war between Scientology and the IRS ended in 1993 when the agency ruled that Scientology, indeed, qualified as a tax-exempt religious organization.


More destruction from practicing Fair Game. The PR image of the church is out the bottom as a result. Fascist bullys are not popular with most folks.

30 Jul
  Los Angeles Times July 30, 1997


Robert A. Jones' column, Saved by a Rumor (July 27) was filled with generalities, slurs (including one that equates the religion of Scientology with colonics) and inferences that the Church of Scientology somehow attempted to sneakily get some gambit past the Board of Education in an attempt to catechize its students. It was also inaccurate in the extreme.

The fact of the matter is that L. Ron Hubbard wrote prodigiously in numerous fields. His books on the subject of study are not a part of the religion of Scientology any more than his prolific output of fiction would be considered part of the church's doctrine. Hubbard's study methods are used today in many countries by farsighted educators. Working on the front lines, they know that the train wreck has already happened in education and that this is a tool of immense value that will help turn the tide. They care, you see, and what is important is that these methods work, not who developed them.

Which is, of course, the only valid point. Not to Jones, though. Because it comes from Hubbard, it is, not OK, of course.

To once again use his own words, the truly, horribly embarrassing thing about his column is that he ignored the facts and instead engaged on a mission to malign well-meaning individuals who, no matter what their religious beliefs, do care about our society.

Estate of L. Ron Hubbard


Shows he has some sense of decency.
Doesn't make up for his KSW crimes though.

Correctly Included effort to rehabilitate education - OSA and individual Scientologists

01 Aug
  Los Angeles Times August 1, 1997

Applied Scholastics International, the Hollywood organization that promotes the teaching methods of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is spreading its ideas and school textbooks through inner-city communities in a partnership with a Baptist minister from Compton.

The company has teamed up with the Rev. Alfreddie Johnson in a grass-roots campaign to bring Hubbard's Study Technology to church and community tutoring programs in low- income areas.

Johnson runs the World Literacy Crusade, which has more than 35 chapters from South Los Angeles to South Africa that he says have been established to promote the educational program.

I'm only interested in the product, and Applied Scholastics produces responsible human beings with the ability to learn and communicate in any subject, said Johnson, who keeps copies of the Hubbard texts on bookshelves in his True Faith Christian Center.
Applied Scholastics and Johnson observe a simple philosophy: Illiteracy is at the root of social ills, from crime and drug use to poverty itself.

Correctly Included effort to handle illiteracy & crime - OSA & Scientologists

10 Aug
  St. Petersburg Times August 10, 1997

Scientology launches massive PR campaign

The Church of Scientology has launched what it says is the largest and most comprehensive public relations blitz in its 43-year history. The church says it plans to reach 70 percent of the households in North America with television and print advertisements that expose Great Lies in society.

Also, a group of Clearwater Scientologists is working door-to-door to distribute a booklet containing Hubbard's moral code, The Way to Happiness. Organizers have delivered about 45,000 copies so far and hope to get it into 126,000 households in Clearwater, Largo and Dunedin.

Why now? Church officials say there is no particular timing for the publicity.

But others say the efforts appear to be aimed at countering public relations nightmares for Scientology both locally and around the world.

The case of Lisa McPherson, who died at age 36 after spending 17 days in a Scientology retreat in Clearwater, has been the subject of international media reports and is a hot topic on the Internet.

In Europe, meanwhile, the church in recent years has been dogged by government investigations and legal battles in Germany, Italy, France and Greece.

Earlier this summer, trouble flared in Ireland over one family's effort to wrest one of its members from Scientology. An estimated 1,500 people turned out for a June protest in support of the family, and the Irish government is expected to investigate.


But Miscavige told us in 1993 that the war was over.

DM lied when he said the war is over and the IRS was basic on the chain of attacks?

14 Aug
  Denver Westword August 14, 1997

Hush-Hush Money; An anti-Scientology activist claims that the church made him an offer he had to refuse: $12 million.

After more than seventeen years of litigation, Lawrence Wollersheim knows that talk isn't cheap--not when you're talking to lawyers and your life's work happens to involve badmouthing the Church of Scientology. But the price of silence is even higher. Too high, in Wollersheim's estimation, which is why he says he walked away from an alleged settlement offer by the church that would have netted him and a few colleagues $12 million in exchange for abandoning their crusade against Scientology.

Wollersheim is one of the founders of the Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network (FACTNet), a Boulder-based computer archive that's been embroiled in a copyright dispute with Scientology organizations in a federal courtroom in Denver for the past two years. The lawsuit was triggered by a FACTNet boardmember's efforts to publicize Scientology's secret, upper-level scriptures by distributing excerpts on the Internet.

Wollersheim recently went public with his version of the church's efforts to settle the case, posting a ten-page account of the negotiations on FACTNet's Web page. The manifesto has provoked widespread discussion of the supposed $12 million offer in the electronic newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, a cyberspace forum for Scientology dissidents.

Church officials, though, have another word for what happened in their out-of-court discussions with FACTNet: extortion. The church absolutely denies making any $12 million offer, says Michael Rinder, a member of the board of directors of the Church of Scientology International. That's a total and utter lie.

Wollersheim, though, insists that the church's representatives had agreed to a figure of $12 million at the start of settlement discussions two months ago. The negotiations broke down over the next six weeks, he says, as his adversaries sought to impose increasingly restrictive conditions on the settlement, including a requirement that the FACTNet litigants--Wollersheim, boardmember Arnie Lerma and ex-boardmember Robert Penney--no longer speak out against the church or assist in any anti-Scientology litigation.

Although the details are very much in dispute, such a hush-hush deal wouldn't be unheard of in the annals of Scientology, the controversial, far-flung religious empire founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1954.

Over the years the church has quietly purchased the silence of several of its most ardent critics, for sums reportedly stretching into six and seven figures. Several years ago Boston attorney Michael Flynn, who'd represented a number of dissidents in their cases against Scientology, entered into a global settlement with the church on behalf of himself and his clients; Flynn no longer litigates against the church or publicly comments on its operations.

Wollersheim's legal battles with Scientology began in 1980, shortly after he left the church. He filed suit in California, claiming the group used coercive methods to keep him in the fold and harassed him after he left. During the years the case dragged through the courts, he says, Scientology's attorneys approached his side with various offers of settlement.

The first offer they made me, back around 1983, was $500,000, he says. All I had to do was admit that everything they did to me was religious. My attorney said, 'We will never call what you did to another human being legitimate religious practices.'

In 1986 a jury awarded Wollersheim $30 million in damages against Scientology's California organization. The award was reduced to $2.5 million on appeal; he has yet to collect. Church entities have since sued him three times. All three cases were dismissed, and in one the judge awarded Wollersheim's side nearly half a million dollars in attorney's fees and costs. (That award was abruptly paid a few months ago, much to Wollersheim's surprise.)

The FACTNet case dates back to the summer of 1995, when church officials obtained federal search warrants and seized computers and documents from the homes of boardmembers Wollersheim, Lerma and Penney, charging that the three were engaged in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials and had violated the church's trade secrets by posting Hubbard's closely guarded Advanced Technology writings on the Internet. In the past two years the case has piled up thousands of pages of motions and pleadings and dozens of boxes of exhibits while exhausting $2 million in insurance coverage that FACTNet had obtained shortly before the raids.

In a separate action in Virginia, Lerma was found liable for copyright violation for posting the materials and fined a mere $2,500. Attorneys for Religious Technology Corporation, which holds the copyrights to Hubbard's unpublished work, claim that decision (and an injunction against further postings) offers the relief they sought in the FACTNet suit; they recently withdrew their copyright claims in the case.

But the suit continues over FACTNet's alleged infringement of previously published Scientology materials; Wollersheim argues that RTC dropped its copyright and trade- secret claims only because his side plans to challenge the legitimacy of Hubbard's secret writings, which some critics believe to be partially authored by others.

Wollersheim suggests that the so-called settlement offer was prompted by the effort his attorneys made last spring to reopen the probate case of L. Ron Hubbard, who died in seclusion in 1986, in order to examine the process by which various copyrights were transferred to RTC and other church entities. Although that effort was rebuffed by a California judge, Wollersheim vows to pursue the matter, as well as counterclaims against the church for the 1995 raid on his home and the damage it inflicted on his organization. He must have struck a nerve somewhere, he contends; by virtue of his judgment against the church in California, he says, I'm the only one, other than the Hubbard family members, that can challenge the probate.

The FACTNet founder says he went into settlement talks with Rinder and others in a sincere effort to settle all his past and pending litigation against the church, but the conditions sought by the church were unacceptable. By his account, they included not only a gag order that would have prevented him from commenting on Scientology in the future but a requirement that he make false and self-incriminating public statements repudiating his criticism of the group.

Worst of all, he says, church officials wanted FACTNet closed and its archives destroyed; having compiled what he describes as a massive library of inside information about the church, including accounts of alleged mistreatment by ex-members and reports of suspicious deaths, Wollersheim refused.

To allow a free-speech organization to be bought by an organization trying to censor information and destroy a library, he says, would be cognitive dissonance to the level of insanity.

Scientology critics on the Internet have expressed mixed reactions to Wollersheim's claim of having turned down $12 million. Some have praised him for taking a stand, but others have expressed doubts about his version of events and characterized his account as a fundraising ploy.

In the absence of a settlement, the intensely acrimonious FACTNet case will continue to slouch toward trial, testing the limits of endurance of all involved. In court filings, Wollersheim attorney Graham Berry has complained about private investigators hired by the other side harassing members of his legal team and support staff.

Correct Importance that Truth is more important than money - Wollersheim
Incorrectly Included effort to suppress vital data about the church - RTC
Added Inapplicable gag orders for a "Road To Truth" - RTC

09 Nov
  The Independent (London) November 9, 1997

Why Channel 4 is haunted by Scientology; The sect has hired a private eye to follow the makers of a documentary film who, it claims, are out to destroy it

Jill Robinson's passion is horse-riding. As a busy director of television documentaries, she likes to relax by heading out of London to the horse she keeps in the Kent countryside.

A few days ago, her idyll was shattered when two American men turned up at the small, isolated stables. Purporting to be her friends, they asked the stable-owner if she knew where Ms Robinson was. The woman became suspicious and they left. The same day, a card was pushed through Ms Robinson's letterbox. It came from someone called Eugene Ingram, of Ingram Investigations, California, and said he was investigating a case of attempted extortion. Would she call him?

Ms Robinson knows all about Mr Ingram. For weeks this private detective and his colleagues have been keeping watch on her. Her car has been followed, her friends have been approached. Her colleagues have received visits and calls from Mr Ingram at their homes. And all because Ms Robinson is the director of a forthcoming Secret Lives programme for Channel 4 about the founding father of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard - a man who died 11 years ago.

Mr Ingram has been hired by the Church of Scientology to investigate the programme and its makers. To that end, Mr Ingram, who regularly works for the Church, has tailed Ms Robinson and her colleagues from 3BM, the production company, across America and, more recently, around the Home Counties.

When the Channel 4 programme appears, on 19 November, the howls of rage - and the church's deepening sense of paranoia - will only intensify.

As for being on the wrong end of bad press, Hubbard exhorted his flock in his Manual of Justice to "hire a private detective to investigate the writer, not the magazine, and get any criminal or Communist background the man has". He added: "When we need somebody haunted, we investigate . . . when we investigate we do so noisily, always."

On 10 July this year, Jill Robinson arrived in Los Angeles to begin research. Within days of her arrival, 3BM was receiving messages from the church's headquarters saying they knew she was in LA. When she left her hotel room at 5am to go to Phoenix the man next door came out of his room at exactly the same time.

On Ms Robinson's filming trip to the US in August, the action hotted up. By some means, someone had obtained her shooting schedule: everywhere the film crew went, there were cars tailing them. The surveillance was coupled with calls in the middle of the night to the rooms of the 3BM crew.

In San Francisco, her cameraman challenged the driver of a car watching them filming. He hid his face and sped off. In Florida, she and her crew went to a mall to do some shopping. They stopped a Volvo and asked the driver why he was following them. He said he was from New York and there were three of them on the job, getting paid to follow her around.

Back in England, Ms Robinson's fears intensified. While she was editing the film, her neighbour in Kent spotted a man loitering outside her house and called the police. He had not committed any offence and they let him go. His reason for being there was unconvincing. He did, however, tell police he was a Scientologist.

In all, Ms Robinson, Mr Berthon, the associate producer, the cameraman, the sound recordist, the picture editor, the assistant cameraman, even the composer of the music, have had visits from Mr Ingram and his colleagues. Calls to Mr Ingram's office in California were not returned. But Elliot Abelson, an LA attorney, did call. He said he retained Mr Ingram on behalf of the Church of Scientology to investigate a conspiracy to extort money from the church. Mr Ingram searches for the facts and does it lawfully, said Mr Abelson, He will continue to do it and will continue to get to the facts.

Note: quote from article on 6 December 1994 in St Petersburg Times

"Having rid itself last year of one longtime nemesis, the IRS, the Church of Scientology took a step Monday toward mending relations with the Merchants of Chaos, more widely known as the men and women of the media. Kurt Weiland, spokesperson on the church's international legal affairs, said the church does not use intimidation tactics against reporters, though it can't stop its followers from doing so."

Falsehood that the church does not intimidate reporters - Kurt Weiland
Falsehood that the church was going to turn over a new leaf with media - Church PR
Falsehood that Ingram investigates lawfully (see past news articles) - Elliot Abelson

13 Dec
  Wall Street Journal 30 December 1997 (

Scientology Settles With IRS

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Church of Scientology paid the Internal Revenue Service $12.5 million as part of a settlement of a long-standing dispute with the tax agency, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

Details of the 1993 settlement, which helped secure the tax-exempt status of the main Scientology church, previously had not been released. The details included the church's agreement to drop thousands of lawsuits against the IRS and to stop assisting others in other lawsuits against the agency based on claims before the Oct. 1, 1993, settlement date, the Journal said.

The IRS canceled payroll taxes and penalties it had assessed against certain church entities and seven officials, and dropped audits of 13 Scientology organizations.

The 1993 agreement ended a struggle that began in 1967, when the IRS argued that the main Scientology church should lose its tax-exempt status because it was a for-profit business that enriched church officials.

30 Dec
  The secret agreement between IRS and C of S is no longer secret. The non profit group called Tax Analysts sued on the Freedom of Information Act, and the litigation record revealed the existence of that secret "negotiations committee", chaired by Howard Schoenfeld.

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