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Religion News Report

February 26, 2001 (Vol. 5, Issue 330) - 3/4

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» Continued from Part 2

11. Perspectives on church clash: 'The benefits are fantastic'
12. Celebrity members
13. Perspectives on church clash: Ex-member claims he was locked up
14. Classes offer Scientologists 'Bridge to Total Freedom'
15. Restoration planned for hotel

» Part 4

16. Church blends quietly in progressive Ann Arbor
17. L. Ron Hubbard
End of Battle Creek Enquirer Special Report

18. Interior Agency issues warning on Scientology recruitment strategy
19. Scientology's dirty trick with Einstein
20. 2001 Leipzig Award

=== Hate Groups
21. AP Corrects Aryan-Motel Suit Story
22. Health show drops anti-Semitic author

11. Perspectives on church clash: 'The benefits are fantastic'
Battle Creek Enquirer, Feb. 25, 2001
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/Off-site Link

Sunny Wilkinson's personal story as a Scientologist discredits what many critics of the church say about how the ''applied religious philosophy'' controls its members.

Critics say Scientology discourages its members from associating with people outside of the church.

Wilkinson, an Okemos jazz singer who teaches part time at Western Michigan University and Michigan State University, is married to a man who is not a Scientologist.

She says her studies have helped her learn to deal with people better.

''It's really helped me to communicate well and that trickles down to my family and the people I associate with,'' Wilkinson said. ''It's not that anyone in Scientology or anything in Scientology encourages you to withdraw from anyone not in Scientology. In fact, it's just the opposite.''

The teachings that she says have helped her in her career - she has three independent albums out - is still mysterious to others.

''People say, ''You're a Scientologist? You seem so normal,' '' Wilkinson laughs. ''We are normal. There are just different things that work for different people and this works for me.''

Scientology's recruitment tactics include the use of front groups ostensibly interested in - ironically - human rights, literacy, and the cult's rabid fight against psychiatry. Its PR tactics also include the pampering of celebrities, in an attempt to draw in prospective customers through artists' endorsements.

12. Celebrity members
Battle Creek Enquirer, Feb. 25, 2001
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/Off-site Link

Several popular celebrities in the performing arts are members of the Church of Scientology. One who's been in the news recently is actor Tom Cruise, who earlier this month filed for divorce from actress Nicole Kidman after 10 years of marriage.

See Tilman Hausherr's

Celebrities in Scientology FAQOff-site Link

13. Perspectives on church clash: Ex-member claims he was locked up
Battle Creek Enquirer, Feb. 25, 2001
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/Off-site Link

Jesse PrinceOff-site Link, a high-ranking Scientologist for 16 years, says he knows he's at the top of the church's list of enemies.

When asked about Prince's allegations against the church, John Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology of New York, produces a nine-page document that includes Prince's mug shots from a 1997 drunken driving arrest and information about three other arrests.

Carmichael did not include information on Prince being convicted of any crime.

Prince laughs when told of the allegations.

''They are so predictable, that's why it's so funny,'' Prince said. ''They'll use the law. They'll make a mockery of the law.''

Part of the documentation includes a charge of ''contributing to the sexual delinquency of child,'' from 1976 - just before Prince joined Scientology. Prince did not appear in court and the court ruled against him for failing to appear.

After the charge, which Prince says the church knew about, Prince was elevated in 1982 to inspector general of the Religious Technology Center - among the highest ranking positions in the church.

''They weren't saying that crap about me when I was leading the legions of their deluded followers,'' Prince said. ''... They knew everything then that they are telling people now. Then how do you explain how I rose to such a high-ranking position?''

Prince spelled out his criticisms of the church in an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver in 1998 and in several interviews with the Battle Creek Enquirer in recent weeks. The affidavit was in connection with Bridge Publications Inc. v. F.A.C.T. Net Inc., involving copyrighted Scientology materials being posted on the Internet. Bridge Publications publishes the various Scientology books and materials.

Prince was 21 when he joined Scientology in San Francisco in 1976. He then was transferred to Los Angeles three months later. Within five months, Prince says he was working manual labor for 18 hours a day in a building surrounded by barbed-wire fences and armed guards.

Prince decided he'd had enough.

''I said, 'I'm leaving,' and they said, 'No, you're not,' '' said Prince, who claims five men then grabbed him and dragged him to the seventh floor of the building.

''They pretty much locked me up in a room for three months until I was sufficiently brainwashed and didn't want to leave,'' Prince said.

Prince said he was aware of various crimes going on within the church, such as wiretapping people's rooms - claims that Carmichael emphatically denies.

Finally, after several other failed attempts, Prince and his wife got away for good on Halloween - Oct. 31, 1992. Prince says he was held captive, which Carmichael emphatically denies.

In order to leave, Prince said the church forced him to talk about how Scientology helped change his life for the better in an interview, which was included in the packet Carmichael presents.

''At that point, my wife and I were willing to do whatever they said, say whatever they wanted us to say so they'd let us out,'' Prince said, ''and they let us out.''

See also:

Brainwashing in Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF)Off-site Link
By Dr. Stephen Kent

Stephen Kent is a critic of Scientology, and thus is a target for the cult's hate and harassment practices.

14. Classes offer Scientologists 'Bridge to Total Freedom'
Battle Creek Enquirer, Feb. 25, 2001
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/Off-site Link

The Church of Scientology's teachings consist of dozens of levels, shown in the ''Bridge to Total Freedom,'' akin to a course list a student may encounter when entering high school or college.

The bridge has two sides: training and processing, both designed to reach the most common goal of becoming ''Clear.''

According to the What is Scientology? book, based on the works of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and compiled by the church's staff, ''a Clear is a person who no longer has his own reactive mind and therefore suffers none of the ill effects that a reactive mind can cause.''

Training levels are mostly attained by taking various courses through the church, which includes ''auditing,'' a type of therapy in which students have one-on-one counseling with a trained auditor. The auditing sessions range in cost from about $200 to several thousand dollars for 12 1/2-hour blocks, depending on the type of training, according to Margarita Davis, executive director of the Church of Scientology Ann Arbor.

The processing side of the bridge is based more heavily on auditing with a trained auditor using an Electropsychometer (known as an E-meter) that uses a small electrical current to measure the impact of different thoughts and emotions. The auditor then reads the change in the current on the meter to determine which thoughts and answers may cause concern for a person and should be addressed, according to What is Scientology?.

Students must take courses up to Class V - 10 courses in all with a total cost of between $19,000 and $33,000, with course materials - to become a certified auditor, Davis said. When students are taking a course, they are required to come to the church to study at least 12-1/2 hours a week, Davis said.

On average, if a student takes classes regularly, it will take between 18 months and two years to become ''Clear,'' Davis said.

Students also can become ''Clear'' by just taking the processing side of the bridge, which usually takes about 150 hours of auditing and students can buy in bulk for $26,400.

Taking just the processing side is discouraged, Davis said, thus the high cost, but it could be done in about three months.

The first five courses on the training side of the bridge are not given a class level, according to the church. Further steps are given a class number, beginning with Class 0 and on up to Class XII (12).

The upper echelon of the bridge is compromised of 12 Operating Thetan levels, known as OT levels.

The OT levels themselves are confidential.

According to What is Scientology? ''... a very small portion of the scriptures that deal with the advanced levels of spiritual counseling is restricted to those parishioners who have attained the prior levels of spiritual awareness.

15. Restoration planned for hotel
Battle Creek Enquirer, Feb. 25, 2001
http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/Off-site Link

The Church of Scientology describes ambitious plans for the former Hart Hotel, involving not only renovations but how it will be used.

The church plans to have several rooms in the downtown Battle Creek building where parishioners, many of whom come from out of town, can stay during weekends, said Mike Delaware, a church executive secretary who is based in Ann Arbor and will oversee the move to Battle Creek.

Also in the works are classrooms and the renovation of the former ballroom, which Delaware says will be available for the public to rent for various activities.

The church hopes to be a visible part of the community and is looking at holding concerts and festivals either in the building or across the street at McCamly Park.

''One of the things I can say is that wherever the Church of Scientology has had a property, whether purchased by the church or not, the community has always seen improvement in the community and the people in it,'' said Margarita Davis, executive director of the Church of Scientology Ann Arbor . ''If there are people in Battle Creek that are looking for the answer to a problem, they do not have to be a Scientologist to get counseling in the church.''

The sale of the former hotel to the Church of Scientology should be completed within weeks.

For a look at what the cult has done to the City of Clearwater, Florida, see:

Occupied Clearwater - Exposing the criminal cult of Scientology in the TampaOff-site Link
Bay area

» Part 4

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