6- SPOTLIGHT March 29, 1999
According to critics, the Church of Scientology (CoS) has destroyed numerous
lives through corrupt and sinister practices involving brainwashing, pernicious
lawsuits and harassment. These critics say the church should be made accountable
for numerous suspicious deaths and strange occurrences that have accompanied it
throughout its shaky history.
SPOTLIGHT readers have regularly read about the concerted efforts of two CoS operatives to bring down this newspaper and its publisher Liberty Lobby.
This scheme began in 1993, when David Miscavige, putative head of the CoS, made a corrupt deal with the Internal Revenue Service to get the tax exemption the cult had unsuccessfully sought for three decades.
The attacks on Liberty Lobby, however, are minor when they are compared to the pain and the anguish that many individuals say they have faced at the hands of CoS.
The Internet is an excellent source for testimonials recounting the tragedies of all these courageous individuals who have taken on this so-called "Beast."
To those interested in finding out information on this cult on-line, standard Internet searches for CoS are for the most part useless. After using two common search engines, Yahoo and Dogpile -- two web sites that search the Internet based on a keyword -- most of the sites that turned up were in support of the cult.
Netizens, who are looking for honest information on CoS, have to either be willing to wade through reams of web sites or have existing contacts directing them where to look.
There are three Internet sites that are of particular interest to SPOTLIGHT readers who want further information about Scientology and its ties to international power interests such as the CIA and the Mossad.
The "Veritas" web site has information about the shadowy clique around attorney Lawrence Heller, which has taken over the Church of Scientology. Heller is an attorney who was part of an early attempt by Scientology to destroy Liberty Lobby, the publisher of The SPOTLIGHT, in league with the Mossad-sponsored Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. There's a lot of valuable data here that Scientology's secret controllers don't want you to see. You can find it on the Internet at: clever.net/webwerks/veritas
A wide-ranging array of details about the labyrinthine corporate structure of Scientology and the names and faces behind the scenes who control this cult/intelligence network have been assembled on two other web sites. Anyone who has any doubts about Heller's key role in Scientology will no longer have any doubts after they've reviewed these sites:
FACTNet is one of the most comprehensive sites on Scientology.
This site is dedicated to exposing all cults and to providing specific information on the tactics that they use to recruit members, such as mind control. FACTNet publicizes comprehensive information on the activities of CoS.
A number of illegal raids on the homes of some of their more vocal opponents are well documented here, including former loyal Scientologist, Arnaldo Lerma, whose own web site at www.Lermanet.com is brimming with factual information about unlawful attacks that the cult has made against him and many others.
One of the prime movers of FACTNet is Lawrence Wollersheim. Wollersheim, a former Scientologist, sued the cult for damages and won $2.5 million, which he is still reportedly trying to collect.
Wollersheim is also involved in a current suit filed by CoS against FACTNet. CoS claims its materials, the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, are copyrighted. FACTNet won a huge victory last November when a judge called into question the legitimacy of claims made by the cult that 1,900 documents found in the possession of FACTNet were copyrighted. A full trial is scheduled for FACTNet has "streaming video" clips of pickets of critics' houses and footage documenting the tactics that the cult uses to prevent its members from seeing any criticism of its detractors.
The site reprints current news events, the deaths and the lawsuits that revolve around CoS.
FACTNet also has a great deal of links to other quality sites, with their URLs updated regularly by its directors.
Another good source for information on-line is a web site by someone calling herself Sister Clara, at Magpie.co .uk/index.html
This site is a clearinghouse for links on other anti-Scientology homepages on the Net. Sister Clara relates her own anger and frustrations, and ultimately her difficulty in escaping the cult once she became a target.
The lengthy story of Kim Baker, a former director of FACTNet.Org, entitled "My Story Continues. The Beast," is linked to Sister Clara's site.
SPOTLIGHT February 22, 1999 - 19
Could you do a more extensive article on Scientology's E-meter pictured on page 13 of the Jan. 25 SPOTLIGHT? How does it work electronically? And how does it affect the brain? Does it have to make contact with you, or can it send signals through the air, etc?
JOE BAUMHAFT Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
(The e-meter used by Scientology is nothing but a very simple polygraph, the "lie detector" used by law enforcement agencies everywhere. The e-meter measures only Galvanic skin changes. Polygraphs measure that plus rate and strength of the pulse, blood flow in the brachial artery and respiration. L. Ron Hubbard had a primitive device manufactured to measure only Galvanic response and since then Scientology has streamlined the cover and sold them to Scientologists at a very handsome profit. Because the cult is tax-exempt, all of the profits from their e-meters go directly to them.-Ed.)
22-SPOTLIGHT March 22, 1999
Number 38 March 11, 1999
IHR UPDATE is a temporary and irregular feature for SPOTLIGHT readers interested in facts surrounding the on-going controversy resulting from the bizarre takeover of the Institute for Historical Review.
Only the politically naive reject the facts pointing toward behind-the-scenes conspiratorial involvement in the events that led to the destruction of the California-based Institute for Historical Review (IHR) and the subsequent effort to destroy The SPOTLIGHT. There is no question that Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, played the primary behind-the-scenes role in the IHR affair.
IHR Update can now state conclusively that the primary Mossad operative behind the IHR upheaval was a high-priced Los Angeles attorney, Lawrence Heller.
Until recently, Heller was best known as the attorney who, in 1991, unsuccessfully represented self-styled "Holocaust survivor" Mel Mermelstein in the final stages of Mermelstein's decade-long quest to eviscerate the IHR and Liberty Lobby. IHR Update has determined that Heller had other, more interesting behind-the-scenes connections.
Five years before Heller publicly surfaced as Mermelatein's attorney, it turns out that Heller was part of a small clique that secretly grabbed control of the Church of Scientology upon the disappearance of church founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Unknown to even many devout Scientologists, Heller and his clique control a shadowy body known as the "Church of Spiritual Technology" which has a lock on the church's vast world-wide financial assets.
As IHR Update noted in a detailed special report on Oct. 26, 1998, upon Hubbard's disappearance (and reported death in 1986) coupled with the overview of Hubbard's widow as the leading figure within the church, Scientology fell victim to a coup d'etat orchestrated by outside forces with an interest in gaining control of Scientology, its vast wealth and its wide-ranging global power network.
Former high-ranking American diplomat Stephen Koczak. (who had been stationed in Israel) told The SPOTLIGHT in 1994 that, according to his sources, it was the Mossad, in conjunction with elements of the CIA, that had seized control of Scientology. Thus, Heller and his group were fronting for the Mossad in the takeover of Scientology. David Miscavige was set up to take the place of L. Ron Hubbard who founded the cult.
The Scientology link to the IHR conspiracy revealed itself on Oct. 1, 1993. On that date, two things happened:
1) First, under the political influence of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith (itself an arm of Israel's Mossad), the Internal Revenue Service finally granted a highly lucrative tax exemption to the Church of Scientology. This was something that the IRS had repeatedly refused to do for over 30 years, particularly when Scientology was under the independent control of church founder L. Ron Hubbard.
2) On the same date, in accordance with a conspiratorial agreement with the ADL/Mossad, longtime Scientologist Tom Marcellus unveiled the secret year-long conspiracy to take over the IHR. Marcellus, the trusted veteran IHR staff director, sent a letter to IHR founder Willis Carto telling Carto that his relationship with the IHR had been "terminated."
This was the first time that Carto learned of the conspiracy. It wasn't until numerous discoveries were made that the theretofore secret role of Scientology was determined. And it was not until even much later that the full truth about Scientology being a controlled front for the Mossad was uncovered.
For those concerned with detail, it should perhaps be noted that the IRS commissioner who set in motion the groundwork for Scientology's tax exemption was Fred Goldberg, a law partner of longtime ADL national chairman Kenneth Bialkin.
In fact, Goldberg fixed things for Scientology only one month after Scientology's Mossad controller, attorney Lawrence Heller, was forced to surrender to the IHR and Liberty Lobby in the aforementioned Mermelstein case.
Having failed through very public means (the Mermelstein lawsuit) to destroy the IHR and Liberty Lobby, Scientology's Mossad controllers decided, at that juncture, to utilize their "secret weapon" inside the IHR -- Tom Marcellus. First and foremost among the "insiders" at the IHR who manipulated events that led to the coup were two members of the Church of Scientology: Marcellus and one Greg Raven.
Marcellus was an open Scientologist and was steadily moving up in the ranks in return for making major financial contributions to Scientology affiliates. In fact, Marcellus today maintains a web site on the Internet which focuses exclusively on his devotion to Scientology.
Raven, on the other hand, denies his association with Scientology although, quite recently, Raven was seen in attendance at a Scientology-sponsored function in Los Angeles.
The gun-toting Raven is a member of Scientology's Guardian Office, which was disbanded by a federal judge in 1982 but continued under the name "Division 20" or "The Office of Special Services." This clandestine section of the huge Scientology organization has responsibility for "cleaning up the rotten spots of society in order to create a safer and saner environment for Scientology expansion and for all mankind." Translated, that means that agents in Department 20 are assigned highly confidential tasks, and taking over other organizations or businesses is a long-standing strategy of Scientology. Raven was deployed into IHR by Sci-
SPOTLIGHT March 22, 1999-23
entology's Mossad controllers in late 1992. His mission was to organize the coup. Working in tandem with Marcellus, Raven began manipulating the two other IHR employees (Mark Weber and Theodore O'Keefe) who were utilized in the IHR take-over.
At this juncture, another player popped up. His name was Andrew Evered Allen, a resident of exclusive Tiburon, California (just outside San Francisco).
The scion of a wealthy family with reputed ties, to the Levi Strauss garment empire, Allen had moved in the periphery of the IHR for some years, his most notable contribution being the financial backer of one David McCalden, who waged a longtime smear campaign against the IHR, using the research materials given him by a known CIA asset, Elliot Carter, and by his homosexual friend, Roy Bullock, a paid ADL spy. McCalden has since died of AIDS.
While living off his family's wealth, Allen has also dabbled in intelligence intrigue, including "running" (Allen's words) what Allen called "supplies" to the Mujahideen rebels in the Middle East -- a CIA project that former Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky says was dominated by the Mossad.
Allen also had a hand in Far Eastern affairs in a sphere of direct interest to the Mossad: he operated the Burma Foundation which has played a part in the ongoing effort by the CIA and the Mossad to topple the nationalist military government of Burma (now known as Myanmar). Portraying himself to IHR staff members Weber and O'Keefe as a "loyal revisionist" (his known record notwithstanding), Allen joined in the effort to subvert the IHR from within.
Along with Mossad asset Andrew Allen, Scientologists Marcellus and Raven convinced employees Weber and O'Keefe -- who became willing participants in the conspiracy -- that they would become very wealthy and the de facto leaders of the worldwide revisionist movement by collaborating in the conspiracy to grab what they (wrongly) believed was a $40 or $80 million inheritance left by a relative of populist Thomas Edison.
O'Keefe, who ultimately left the HIR following a mental breakdown, appears to have been more of a foolish pawn than anything. Despite O'Keefe's treachery, many revisionists still express sympathy for O'Keefe's demise and say: "The poor fellow was being used and he didn't even know it"
The case of Weber is another matter altogether. While Weber (possibly) may not initially have known that the Mossad was ultimately the primary mover behind the IHR coup, Weber's continuing involvement in prolonging the ongoing attack on Liberty Lobby demonstrates conclusively that Weber is definitely "bought and paid for" and a complete shill for his controllers.
(There does remain, however, the question of whether Weber himself has Mossed or CIA connections dating to his days in Africa where Weber, ostensibly a "racist," was "teaching English" at an all-black high school in Ghana, one of the Mossad's major outposts in Africa.) In any event, Weber continues to publicly front for the Mossad attack on Liberty Lobby which is being financed lock-stock-and-barrel by the deep pockets of the Church of Scientology (which, in turn, is controlled by Mossad asset Lawrence Heller and his associates). After The SPOTLIGHT and other news outlets exposed Scientology's role in the IHR affair, David Miscavige ordered Marcellus to resign his post at the IHR in order to deflect attention from Scientology. Raven, however, remained in place and although Raven had no involvement in IHR affairs until a few months before the coup he directed, he is now "president" of the IHR.
Raven's sole purpose is to continue to perpetuate the IHR's existence long enough to use the IHR's lawsuit against Liberty Lobby to destroy the Washington-based populist Institution.
Although Mossad asset Andrew Allen (who says he is not a Mossad asset) has since officially withdrawn from the IHR's affairs (his job having been accomplished) and Scientology front man Tom Marcellus has gone on to greener pastures, rising further in the ranks of his cult, the Mossad has two valuable assets in place: Scientologist Raven and his willing patsy, Mark Weber.
2- SPOTLIGHT April 19, 1999
SCIENTOLOGY CHICANERY. Police in Moscow, Russia, raided the Church of Scientology's (CoS center in downtown Moscow last month, seizing files, computers and documents including an interview with the center's leader. The police were reportedly investigating allegations of tax evasion and "financial irregularities" by church officials.
SCIENTOLOGY SWINDLE. Some 23 years ago the FBI, in a raid on the Scientology centers in Los Angeles, Calif., and Washington, D.C., uncovered plans to take control of Clearwater, Fla., by placing members in key positions in government. Today, much to the chagrin of Clearwater residents, CoS has begun construction on a $60 million training and counseling center equipped with a 3,500 seat auditorium and two adjacent parking garages.
SPOTLIGHT April 26, 1999
Number 39 April 15, 1999 IHR UPDATE is a temporary and irregular feature for
SPOTLIGHT readers interested in facts surrounding the on-going controversy
resulting from the bizarre takeover of the Institute for Historical Review.
On a lighter note -- or should we say a "biter" note: The Bergen (New Jersey) Record reported on Feb. 17 that one of the conspirators in the take-over of the Institute for Historical Review I(HR) has been arrested for biting a Fort Lee, New Jersey, police sergeant. The biter was Freiderich P. (Fritz) Berg. The "bitee was Sgt. Thomas Dalton.
Berg bit Dalton after police officers took Berg into custody following a verbal altercation over the issue of whether Berg's dog should have been leashed. The free-running animal had nearly been run over by a car. When the police came to the animal's rescue and informed Berg that he should keep his animal on a leash, Berg responded with an obscenity. One thing led to another and Berg bit Dalton on the hand.
The damage was so serious that the local hospital was unable to stitch up the wound. According to Dalton, 'they said I have tendon damage. I have to see a specialist."
Berg has been charged not only with aggravated assault on a police officer, but also with disorderly conduct, violating the borough's leash ordinance and resisting arrest. However, Berg-now a certified "police character" -- may have even more serious problems looming.
Berg, based in New Jersey, was "appointed" to serve on a rump "board of directors" for the IHR after the institute was illegally taken over from within by a group of disloyal employees who were manipulated by outside forces.
Although Berg "resigned" his phony seat on the board, new evidence has emerged that Berg may have been involved in financial shenanigans as the co-executor of the estate of a deceased patriot who hoped to leave a substantial portion of his legacy to Liberty Lobby. The patriot died in September of last year, but. it wasn't until nearly seven months later Liberty Lobby learned of the patriot's demise.
This suggests Berg and his collaborators may have been trying to loot the estate and prevent it from coming under the venue of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Washington, D.C., where Liberty Lobby is now attempting to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy statutes.
Acting as co-executor with Berg in the apparent deception relating to this estate was his close friend, Matthew Peter Balic. A longtime deep-cover operative for the Church of Scientology, Balic was also a major player in the HIR debacle. The controllers of Scientology deployed two Scientologists on the IHR staff (Tom Marcellus and Greg Raven), adding to the conspiracy to destroy the IHR. Balic provided tactical assistance.
As IHR, supporters now know, Scientology had already been a secret player in the 10-year-long effort by Holocaust survivor Mel Mermelstein to destroy the IHR. Mermelstein's attorney was Lawrence Helier, who is apparently not a Scientologist, but who is one of the behind-the-scenes figures who took control of Scientology following the death of church founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Heller is said by former Scientologist Steven Fishman to be privy to the whereabouts of vast amounts of Scientology lucre that has been banked in the Bank Leumi of Tel Aviv and in the Bank Leu, an Israeli-controlled bank in Switzerland:
"These revelations, plus many other details, have convinced insiders that Scientology itself was taken over by Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, upon the death of church founder L. Ron Hubbard, and has functioned as a Mossad front ever since.
But you can bet that the Mossad never knew that Fritz Berg was going to bite a police officer.
2- SPOTLIGHT June 21, 1999
SCIENTOLOGY HITS THE BIG SCREEN. John Travolta is using his influence in Hollywood to make a movie based on the writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The movie, Battleship Earth, is reportedly set to begin filming soon. Travolta has been a Scientologist for 25 years.
VOLUME XXV NUMBER 27 July 5, 1999 SINGLE COPY PRICE $ 1.50
Pseudo patriots want control of populist Institution, newspaper.
EXCLUSIVE TO THE SPOTLIGHT BY THE SPOTLIGHT STAFF
Apparently under the sponsorship of the same California-based clique that orchestrated a $6 million-plus court judgment against The SPOTLIGHT and its publisher, Liberty Lobby, a bizarre new plot has unfolded.
Suspects for the anonymous group are the same-conspirators -- backed by the same big-money forces that financed the takeover of the once-mighty Institute for Historical Review (IHR)-have come up with a new letterhead group, "The Committee of Concerned Americans," dreamed up for the sole purpose of "saving" this newspaper from itself.
In a circular being mailed widely, the conspirators begin with the following.
Every patriot who supports a return to constitutional sanity in this country knows and appreciate. the crucial work of Liberty lobby over the years. Its weekly newspaper, The SPOTLIGHT, has long been a leading supporter and voice of America First" values and an important source of information that is being suppressed by the E.tablishment media
So far, so good. However, the letter soon degenerates into a spiteful harangue against the main personnel at Liberty Lobby who have, for decades, successfully guided this newspaper's policies.
Investigation of the so-called "Committee of Concerned Citizens" does not reveal any concerned citizens at all but the same group of unsavory conspirators and parasites hiding behind a new name. For more than five years these predators have been attacking the very Institution they say they now want to "save" -Liberty Lobby.
The address on the letterhead of the "Concerned Citizens" is 3535 E. Coast Hwy., Corona de Mar, CA 92625. But this address is not an office of any concerned citizens working away trying to make the world a better place. It is a commercial mail drop that rents out mail boxes, sells greeting cards, sends faxes and has a copy machine you can use for a small fee!
In fact, the small business at that address is called "The Mail Room," and the telephone number is 949673-2930.
The mail drop just happens to be located less than two miles from 1650 Babcock Street, Costa Mesa, the lair for an assortment of admitted conspirators who, after wrecking the IHR, now wish to do the same thing to Liberty Lobby and The SPOTLIGHT
The conspirators also use the same mail drop (Box 64) for another front group, Independent Publishers, when they wish to avoid using the now-discredited name the Institute for Historical Review for one of their scams.
Operating out of their $25-per-month mail drop, they are sending out their misleading smears to' a large assortment of patriots using the name of a North Carolina attorney, Kirk Lyons. In addition to the mailing list of the IHR, the letter is being sent to Lyons' mailing list and the list belonging to a pot-smoking, small-time promoter in Pennsylvania, Don Wassall.
To add insult to injury, the Lyons letter actually asks for financial help "to , get things rolling" in their takeover plan. "Make checks t 'LSF/Trustee' " pleads Lyons. In legalese, "ISF/Trustee" is Lyons' bank account.
(See CONSPIRATORS, Page 4)
4- SPOTLIGHT July 5, 1999
Conspirators Have Interesting Backgrounds(Continued from Page 1)
Apparently, the Babcock Street conspirators have agreed to split the take (if any) 50-50.
As readers of The SPOTLIGHT know, in October 1993 the plot to seize Liberty Lobby began with the takeover of the IHR. The actual coup was led by two Scientologists, Tom Marcellus and Greg Raven. They were assisted by Mark Weber and Ted O'Keefe. Since then, in order to lessen Scientology's exposure to the crime, Marcellus was pulled out by his handlers leaving what's left of the IHR effectively in the hands of Greg Raven, whose ties to Scientology are supposedly secret. Only Raven-who collects the mail from 3535 East Coast Highway-and Weber are left in the office although they are supported by one Andrew E. Allen, of San Francisco, and "interested financial partners," including the Church of Scientology and various individuals connected to the state of Israel.
After taking over the IHR, the parasitic conspirators first turned their talents to the theft of more than $80,000 in the IHR bank account and sold off over $1 million in books and videos at prices often less than replacement cost.
The circulation of The Journal of Historical Review, under the "expert" guidance of Mark Weber, plummeted from 7,000 paid subscribers to its current one or two hundred.
Weber's background is mysterious. Beginning as a young communist, Weber soon decided he was a Nazi. Growing a Hitler mustache, he spent time in Germany but was thrown out for pasting swastikas on buildings. Returning to the U.S., Weber served for a time as night clerk in a motel and as an acolyte to William Pierce, the Virginia-based American Nazi. Weber's sister is a dedicated Israeli who lives in a commune. Weber's main occupation appears to be spending hours every day, telephoning literally around the world propagandizing against Liberty Lobby. A great deal of the credit for the success of the IHR conspiracy has to go to Allen, whose ties to the CIA have often been documented in these pages (April 3, 1995; Sept. 23, 1996; Dec. 9, 1996; Jan. 6,1997; May 21, 1997, and others). Allen has admitted under oath to his involvement in "running" arms to Afghan rebels, although to be fair he has not admitted any involvement in the guns-for-drugs trade, such as the CIA was involved with in Nicaragua.
Allen has also admitted his support of communist rebel groups trying to overthrow the anti-communist, nationalist government of Burma (Myanmar), a priority activity of the CIA Apparently using his "pull" with the IHR, Allen was able to get the IHR a 501(c)(3) status which, as the letter brags, makes contributions to the Lyons-IHR cabal tax-deductible.
The Lyons letter makes many charges against Liberty Lobby founder, Willis A. Carto, most of which are untrue and not worth dealing with here. Readers who are interested in specific factual refutation of the charges may write to The SPOTLIGHT with their request and a SASE.
4- SPOTLIGHT July 5, 1999
Good news is always welcome and especially so during this time of need for
Liberty Lobby and The SPOTLIGHT
Katharine Dall, widow of Col. Curtis B. Dall, who served as chairman of Liberty Lobby from 1960 until 1980, but continued to serve as chairman emeritus until his passing on June 28, 1991, has come forward.
She could no longer watch the vicious smears and brazen attacks against the Institution which her husband so valiantly served and so dearly loved and helped to build.
Since Col. Dall's death, she has resided in South Carolina in order to be close to her children and grandchildren.
A dedicated reader of The SPOTLIGHT, Mrs. Dall is well aware of the problems we face. She knows that in order to stave off an audacious takeover of Liberty Lobby by the very conspirators who forced Liberty Lobby into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, we must take action now. .
What has tickled our funny bone in this struggle is a ludicrous letter sent out under the signature of Kirk D. Lyons. This letter, apparently mailed to many well-intentioned patriots, purports to "support" Liberty Lobby, while its true aim is to destroy our populist Institution and The SPOTLIGHT (For more on this, see page one.)
Sponsoring Lyons in this bizarre endeavor to "save" Liberty Lobby are Greg Raven, a member of the Church of Scientology; Mark Weber, a man of uncertain convictions; and Andrew Allen, a shadowy San Francisco millionaire with a clear record of involvement in CIA - and Mossad-linked intelligence operations. Incidentally, we aren't worried about the likes of these parasites. What gives us concern is the well known "Liberty Lobby Exception" to the law by which judges are always trying to put us down.
The parasites must now face up to some of the most outstanding and best-known patriots in the country-you know their names well-who are rapidly joining Mrs. Katharine. Dall in her effort. A wide-ranging group of eminent populists has signed on with Mrs. Dall as "Friends of The SPOTLIGHT and Liberty Lobby" and are now going public.
The next few weeks should show if our fate is to be decided by purposeful judges or our friends. Be sure to watch next week's issue of -The SPOTLIGHT for more about our "Friends."
2- SPOTLIGHT August 2, 1999.
DON'T LEAVE SCIENTOLOGY
Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.), who succeeded her late husband, former entertainer Sonny Bono, in Congress, following his strange death in a skiing accident has told George magazine that although her late husband studied Scientology he "did try to break away at one point, and they made it very difficult for him." Scientology officially denies that Sonny was estranged from Scientology. Mrs. Bono has gotten two visits from Scientology emissaries --including actor John Travolta -- but The Washington Post reported on July 15 that they "did not find a receptive audience" in Mrs. Bono. The congresswoman says that she told Scientology she will deal with any "legitimate" concerns they have.
2- SPOTLIGHT November 22, 1999 -23.
I don't understand. If, as you say, the IHR was taken over primarily by the perpetrators sticking a gun in Mrs. Carto's ribs, how come said perpetrators were not arrested and put in prison?
HENRY JENKINS Portales, New Mexico
(The gunman who pointed a loaded, cocked 9mm semi-automatic in the face of Mrs. Carto and ordered her out of her own office was secret Scientologist Greg Raven. He, along with Mark Weber and the other miscreants, were arrested but were not charged and were released because of political pressure. Of course, they all should be in prison. -Ed.)
12- SPOTLIGHT January 17, 2000.
The long-delayed trial against Church" of Scientology officials for the
strange death of Lisa McPherson may finally get underway this coming October.
The suspicious death of Ms. McPherson has cost the group millions of dollars. David Miscavige, the mysterious recluse who fronts for the group that secretly runs the church from behind the scenes, has spent the money on lawyers and public relations specialists to delay the course of justice and put a benign "spin" on the death of Ms. McPherson.
On Nov. 18, 1995, Ms. McPherson was involved in a minor car accident. She was apparently not hurt. And yet she got out of her car and took off all her clothes.
Ms. McPherson was taken to a hospital where it was recommended that she be taken to a mental institution for evaluation. However, some Scientologists arrived and stated that Scientologists do not believe in psychiatry. She checked out after a short evaluation and left with the Scientologists. (See The SPOTLIGHT, Dec. 20, 1996.)
Ms. McPherson was taken by Scientologists, three of whom disappeared shortly thereafter, to the Ft. Harrison Hotel for "rest and relaxation," according to the church. However, church logs from Lisa's stay there show differently.
On Dec. 5, 1995, Ms. McPherson was dead on arrival at a hospital north of Clearwater, Fla. According to the coroner's report, Ms. McPherson was underweight and severely dehydrated and had bruises and bug bites. Church logs, the autopsy report, some autopsy photos and key dispositions are available on the Internet at: http://www lisamcpherson.org
The Internet buzzes with information about this and other controversies surrounding the Scientology "religion." Some have traced suspicious deaths involving the church to 1971. Suspicious activities know no bounds. Members have raided the homes and businesses of former members and perceived opponents to silence them. Several members have died under suspicious circumstances. Members have used the courts to harass victims. Groups have faced constant financial and legal threats from Scientologists. Another site, founded by former Scientologist Arnaldo Lerma, contains information about the McPherson case and other oddities concerning his former church. His site is located at: httpJ/www.lermanet.com
DAY IN COURT
The McPherson criminal case is scheduled to go to court in Pinellas-Pasco County, Fla., on Oct. 16-nearly five years after the beautiful young woman turned up dead. The church is charged with felony counts of abusing a disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license. It has argued that its care of McPherson was protected under the First Amendment and the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, according to published reports.
There is a very interesting development in the case. Prosecutors have argued the organization is not a church, but rather its Clearwater entity is "a multifaceted non-profit corporation" that "engages in extensive revenue sharing activity" and generates "tremendous cash flow," The St. Petersburg Tmes reported.
On Oct. 1, 1993, the Internal Revenue Service reversed itself, suddenly ruling Scientology was a religion entitled to religious tax favors. The church has used that decision to protect its businesses and members from taxes and has sought help from the State Department in demonizing governments that view the church as a business.
Many observers believe that the tax exempt status for Scientology is directly related to the takeover of the Institute for Historical Review that began on Oct. 1, 1993.
In the McPherson case, Scientology lawyers claimed church staffers were giving "spiritual assistance" to Ms. McPherson when she died in their care in 1995. That would mean there could be no prosecution for Ms. McPherson's death, the church's lawyers said.
Prosecutors argued that the term "church" usually refers to a "body of believers" or a place where worship occurs. They say neither applies to the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, the church's entity in Clearwater.
Scientology lawyers also argued that no one-not even a judge-may question or inquire too closely about Scientology beliefs that formed the basis for McPherson's treatment, according to the Times. Scientology's argument did not fly.
In addition, Ms. McPherson's family is suing the Church of Scientology and individuals involved for her wrongful death. Ms. McPherson's last address is listed as 210 S. Ft. Harrison in Clearwater, Fla., which is the Fort Harrison Hotel, a church property. She had been a Scientologist from age 18 to her death at age 36. Critics claim the woman was on the "Introspection Rundown" that Scientology uses to handle those who have had a psychotic break
2- SPOTLIGHT January 17, 2000.
TRUTH BE TOLD. Church of Scientology officials claimed that more than 14,000 loyal followers packed the Los Angeles Sports Arena Dec. 31 to celebrate the church's first 50 years. An ex-Scientologist, however, disputes the claim after viewing the four panoramic color photos of the event posted on the Scientology web site. According to Arnaldo Lerma of Arlington, Va., who owns an audio-video and computer business, some geniuses at the church touched up the photos. Lerma spotted one attendee without a head and a bald man who magically grew hair. A spokeswoman for the church told The Washington Post that someone "made an independent decision over the holidays to fill in a hole around the camera crew for aesthetic reasons, and when we found out about this, the photos were pulled." Lerma doesn't buy it. "It wasn't a mistake -- we think it took many hours of work," he told the Post. "They didn't just clone people; they squished their heads and drew hair on them. It's only a goof because we noticed it "You can see for yourself by checking out Lerma's web site at www.ler-manet.com.
12-SPOTLIGHT July 8, 1996
America is supposed to be an open society, but the IRS is keeping secret the details of its decision to exempt the profitable Church of Scientology from paying taxes. EXCLUSIVE To THE SPOTLIGHT BY DANIEL J. PILLA
The need to defeat a greater cornmon enemy causes two mortal enemies to come together in a sudden and unpredictable truce. Almost certainly, such a union is struck behind closed doors and its terms never fully disclosed.
This appears to be the case between the Internal Revenue Service and the Church of Scientology. For decades, the two were at odds, largely over the question of the church's tax exempt status. Suddenly in 1993, there was a legal cease-fire. It is unclear why the two have come to terms. To be sure, the peace accord was forged in private and the IRS is determined to keep it a secret.
Shortly after its founding in 1950 by L. Ron Hubbard, the church claimed tax-exempt status under tax code section 501(c)(3). In 1967, the IRS revoked the exempt status and began what turned into a 10-year investigation' of the Scientology "mother church" and its related entities. The purpose was to determine its'tax liability in light of the revocation of exempt status.
After a final decision"was made in 19771 the mdtter worked its way through the courts. It was found that the church indeed failed to qualify under the law for exempt status.
In, the eyes of the law, the church failed the test for exempt status on several grounds. Primarily, the church'was found to be chiefly a commercial enterprise engaged in the business oŁ selling the copyrighted works and. patents of its founder, Hubbard. The church's main income stream was and still is generated through the process of selling its primary sacrament, personal "auditing."
The Scientology religion holds that civilization can be cleared of war, insanity, criminal activity and that individuals can grow and prosper if they are "cleared" of the emotional problems and behaviors which generate these negative results. The process of "auditing" is the means by which a Scientologist is moved from his "pre-cleared" mental condition to his "cleared" mental state.
The bone of contention with the IRS is not the nature of the Scientology religion. Code section 501(c)(3) is silent on the nature of a religious philosophy entitled to exempt status. Rather, the statute addresses solely the organizational and more importantly, the operational aspects of an entity claiming exemption.
According to code section 501(c)(3) organizations are considered exempt and contributions are deducted by donors only if they are " . . . organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes . . ." and then only when " . . . no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual . . ."
As you can see, exempt purposes cannot be commercial in nature. The acts of selling auditing services and Hubbard's literary works have been found consistently by the courts to be a commercial undertaking.
The church, on the other hand, claims that its members make payments akin to a Christian's tithe. In exchange, the member receives only intangible religious benefit in the form of "clearing."
On the basis of Hubbard's own writings, which the church holds to be the "scriptures" of Scientology, the courts have repeatedly rejected this claim. The "contributions" which the Scientologist makes in exchange for his auditing services are based upon a fixed and inflexible scale, measured by the nature of the audit.
LOVE OF MONEY
This fixed scale is based upon the principle, established by Hubbard himself, of the "Doctrine of Exchange." Payment for auditing services is described by Hubbard as a "requirement" under this doctrine.
Hubbard explains at length in Scientology "scriptures" that it is error to allow the public to pay on credit, or to sell auditing for less than full price. In a Communications Office Policy letter April 27, 1965, Hubbard described such a process is defined as the "covert lowering of prices once set."
Interestingly, Hubbard authorized the church to give auditing services away to selected celebrities "who are just beyond or just approaching their prime." This practice is quite like the commercial practice of giving away services in an effort to increase sales through the use of a celebrity endorsement.
On the basis of these and a myriad of other commercial practices, the courts have denied exempt status to the church. This opinion was expressed as late as June 29, 1992, by the Claims Court in the matter of Church of Spiritual Technology u. United States, 26 Cl. Ct. 713 (1992), in a scholarly analysis of the church's labyrinthine hierarchical structure.
In addition to denying the church itself exempt status, the courts have steadfastly refused to allow individual Scientologists a deduction for auditing fees. This question was presented to the Supreme Court in 1989 during Hernandez v. Commissioner, 490 U.S. 680 (1989).
The court ruled that the payments in that clearly commercial context were not deductible.
Since 1967, the condition that existed between Scientology and the United States government can only be described as legal war. In fact, in the history of the income tax, there is no other organization which has been involved in more adverse legal battles with the government than the church.
In light of this historical backdrop, the truce seems even more incredible. Not only is the truce hard to imagine, but the manner in which it was achieved is even more suspect.
On October 1, 1993, the Internal Revenue Service granted tax exempt status to several Scientology organizations, thus ending the decades old battle.
Under section 6104, all information which is part of the "administrative record" of tax exempt organizations is subject to public disclosure. From the administrative record in a given case, one can determine the exempt purpose of an organization and see from its documentation that it complies with all aspects of code section 501(c)(3).
The rule of public disclosure applies to all exempt entities except, it appears, the Church of Scientology. To date, the IRS has flatly refused to release any of the substantive data in
SPOTLIGHT July 8, 1986 13
the Scientology files.
Scientology representatives say everything one needs to know about the case can be found in 12 linear feet of documents available at the Freedom of Information Act reading room in Washington. However, the closing agreement is not among those documents.
The IRS's refusal has led to disclosure litigation against the IRS. The suit was brought by Tax Analysts, of Arlington, Virginia, a tax law publishing company. The litigation has revealed some very interesting facts about the Scientology ruling.
One of these is that the IRS created a so-called "negotiating committee" for the purposes of resolving several disputes with the church. One of those disputes was, of course, the question of exempt status. What makes this unusual is two facts.
First, the question of exempt status is never resolved by the IRS through negotiations. The question of exempt status is purely statutory in nature. The question is determined by tax law specialists within a division of IRS known as Employee Plans/Exempt Organizations (EP/EO). These specialists are trained to apply the require merits of code section 501(c)(3) to the facts. Simply speaking, it's an all or nothing test. You either meet the guidelines or you don't. If not, your group cannot be exempt and there is nothing to negotiate. Secondly, the question of Scientology's exempt status had been previously determined time and again. The determination was made both by the IRS at the administrative level and by virtually every court in the land. Scientology, because of its inherent commercial nature, simply was not an exempt organization.
Given the courts' uninterrupted practice of rejecting. Scientology's exemption claim, it is astonishing that the IRS would finally concede the issue.
One must ask why the IRS formed a "negotiating committee" to even revisit the issue. More importantly, what concessions were made and by whom in order that the church's coveted exempt status was finally granted?
The nature of the negotiating committee is still a mystery. Early on, the IRS didn't even want to admit its existence. Faced with hard evidence to the contrary, however, it was forced to.
Names of all of the members haven't been released.* Documents in the record show that at least some, if not all, of the members of the committee were - Howard Schoenfeld, special assistant in the office of assistant commissioner EP/EO; James J. McGovern, current assistant commissioner EP/EO; Bob Gardiner, then senior projects analyst in the office of EP/EO field compliance; Beth Purcell, assistance branch chief in the office of associate chief counsel EP/EO; and Steve Miller, then special counsel to associate chief counsel EP/EO. Monique Yingling, a Washington attorney who represented Scientology in this and other matters with the IRS answered some of the questions about the case.
She maintained the IRS "relented" on nothing. Rather, she said, when faced with the true facts of the case, the IRS had no choice but to conclude Scientology is a legitimate church entitled to exempt status.
When asked about the negotiating committee, Miss Yingling said such a term was a misnomer. She called it a "working group." She. said it was not at all unusual for the IRS to bring together representatives of various elements of the service to work out details of a case.
"In this case," the attorney added, "there we're litigation issues, income tax issues, FOIA issues, as well as the exemption question."
Miss Yingling acknowledged that the exemption question is an all or nothing test. She insisted the IRS neither "relented nor negotiated" the matter. The exemption "was proven," she said.
The church's attorney said the Tax Court's 1984 decision against Scientology -stemming from the 1977 case mentioned earlier- covered only one block of years dating back to the early 1970s.
She added each tax year rises and falls on its own merits. Just because an organization is not exempt in one year, does not bar exemption in another.
Miss Yingling said that the Tax Court noted in its opinion that the church was free to re-apply to the IRS for recognition of exempt status for years other than those covered by the opinion.
IRS counsel refused to allow any IRS witness to state who within the agency directed the formation of the committee. Some reports indicate that former Commissioner Fred Goldberg authorized its existence. However, IRS counsel specifically denied Tax Analyst attorneys access to that information.
Another anomaly is that the question of exempt status was not decided on the "substantive issues" of the case. Section 501(c)(3) provides rigid standards for exempt status. Chief among them are the questions of the organization's exempt purpose and personal inurement of the, organization's net earnings.
In the Scientology case, however, these pivotal issues were not to be considered by, EP/EO specialists. Rather, they were expressly instructed to disregard them.
While Schoenfeld refused under oath to describe the particulars of the "negotiations," he did admit that he instructed EP/EO specialists to "not make or consider any substantive matters" regarding Scientology's compliance with section 501(c)(3).
In particular, specialists were not to consider the, issues of inurement, private benefit, commerciality, or "any other substantive issue."
The church, however, maintains that EP/EO considered all the appropriate facts, simply at a higher level. "Top people at the IRS and the EP/EO, in fact, the assistant commixsioner for exempt examination of the church's tax exemption" worked on the case, according to Debbie Blair, public affairs director in the Church of Scientology International said.
The IRS will not say what happened, during the course of the negotiations. It refuses to release any of the documents generated during the process, including the closing agreement between it and Scientology.
The IRS says the closing agreement and buttressing documents are not part of the "administrative record" of the 501(c)(3) question.
Clearly, however, the closing agreement granted exempt status to Scientology. Clear too is the fact that the documents which buttress the conclusion are subject to public scrutiny under code section 6104.
Why is the IRS determined to keep these negotiations a secret?
*The SPOTLIGHT has learned that Scientology's delegation was headed by its boss, David Miscavige, successor to L. Ron Hubbard. -Ed.
Daniel J. Pilla is a tax litigation consultant from St. Paul, MN. He is a regular contributor to The SPOTLIGHT and author of 8 books and a monthly newsletter on dealing with the IRS.
January 18, 1994
Mr. Paul Croke Editor
The Spotlight 300 Independence Washington, D.C. Avenue, S.E. 20003
Dear Mr. Croke:
The article on the Scientologists in your January 17, 1994 edition contained several serious factual errors and omitted facts giving a complete distortion of the events in question and of the Church of Scientology. Some of these errors were printed despite my having given the correct information to one of your news staff prior to the printing of the story.
First, of all, the four people convicted of fraud were not "leaders" of the Church of Scientology as I informed your reporter. They HAD been Church staff but had been subsequently removed from their Church positions in Switzerland when senior Church officials discovered what they had done.
Your article stated that these people had "16 of the most expensive lawyers in Switzerland" working on the case. This is ridiculous, as any careful research of the facts would have shown. During the four years the case was going through Switzerland's judicial system, there were only five attorneys who ever worked on the case, with never more than two attorneys at any one time. NONE of these individual were big name attorneys.
Your article grossly overstates the amount spent in legal fees on the case saying it was estimated to be $6.5 million. According to our own legal people familiar with the case, the TOP estimates place the amount at $50,000. Your reporter was off by a factor of 100.
Regarding the Reader's Digest case, the court did NOT that the Reader's Digest article was accurate. Rather the court ruled that the accuracy of the article would have to be determined during the course of the Church' s main libel against the publication.
Scientology Improving Life in a Troubled World
400 C St. N.E. Washington D.C. 20002 Telephone 002) 543-6404 FAX (202) 543-6484
Mr. Paul Croke
January 18, 1994 Page Two
I could go on for some time about these and other inaccuracies in the article and how they are clumsily put together to create a completely false impression of Scientology.
Aside from the details on these falsehoods, why in the world is the The Spotlight wasting its time libeling the Church of Scientology?
The Church has been one of the few organizations in America with the guts to stand up to government agencies and expose their wrongdoing, like the CTA conducting dangerous open-air biological tests on unsuspecting Americans.
In fact, the Church recently launched a campaign where it is offering rewards to any FDA whistleblower who comes forward with documented information about illegal actions taken by an FDA official. Further, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which the Church established in 1969 to expose psychiatric abuses, recently filed a formal conflict of interest complaint against an FDA advisory panel which gave the dangerous drug Prozac their unconditional stamp of approval.
And who is this Peter Wilcox -- the "reporter" of your story on the Church -- anyway? Either he is too lazy and unprofessional to double check his facts or he is intentionally sending you inaccurate articles for some hidden purpose.
The bottom line is that he wrote and you printed an article which is an egregious misrepresentation. Ironically, the treatment you gave the story was more akin to the yellow journalism of the ESTABLISHMENT press which gleefully and irresponsibly bends facts and creates new ones to suit the views of their publishers.
My hope is that you will behave more responsibly than the ESTABLISHMENT press which you so often revile in your pages and correct the falsehoods in the article. I would also hope that you take the necessary steps to ensure the accuracy of future articles concerning the Church of Scientology.
And to your. readers, if anyone wants to find out the truth about the Church of Scientology, read What is Scientology which is available in major bookstores and libraries around the country. and make up your own mind.
Public Affairs Director
"The Sun Never Sets on Scientology"
Scientology @ Applied Religious Philosophy