Biased Journalism Vol. 2, issue 25

Biased Journalism : a net magazine designed to compensate for the shortcomings of the professional news media. We cover issues of interest to the citizens of cyberspace. This is a community newspaper of the net.

Copyright 1996 Shelley Thomson; all rights reserved.

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Table of Contents for Biased Journalism.

Biased Journalism Volume 2, issue 25 December 25, 1996.


  1. BigWin for ARSCC
  2. December Surprise for Rod Keller
Read at your own risk. This is Biased Journalism!

1. ARSCC: Pass the Champagne!

We decided to let the author tell the story in his own words. He said:
I'll start with a very nasty, unflattering confession: I rejoined AOL with the announcement of their new Flat Rate structure.

One of the activities that I've started to do is hang out in a chat room called "Scientology" on AOL. In the beginning I was usually alone. Most of the people who dropped in were either asking, "What is this scientology stuff all about?" or were critics.

Approximately three or four weeks ago, however, I ran into an ex-scientologist in the room. I began talking to her in depth about her experiences. She had been in the cult for 14 years, starting in [the late 1970's]. By her estimation, she spent $250,000 in the cult during that time. She had reached clear and started what she described as "the never ending preparation for the OT levels" and had just finished the L's at the time she left the cult.

I have her permission to explain one reason why she left.

My friend and her husband were both very serious scientologists. They had three children who had been raised in Scientology. She believed in Ron; she loved Ron.

She and her husband both progressed at much the same rate in the church, taking many of their courses together. Such was the case with their last course, the L's. The couple were to go to FLAG and take the L's. In the meantime, their children would be sent to Delphi Academy.

Everything went as planned. The children were sent to Delphi, and my friend and her husband went to Flag for the L's. In the process of doing the L's she became very sick (a flu of some sort): unrelated, she thinks, to the L's. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to her, her youngest son had come down with Chicken Pox at Delphi. She talked to the children nightly, and nothing was mentioned about the chicken pox.

The powers in charge at Delphi decided that the child should be kept away from the other children. The boy was locked in a small room with no TV, no entertainment and no company, for almost the entire time. He was fed and an adult came to check on him a few times during the day. Essentially, he was in solitary confinement. Each day he talked to his mother on the phone. When the time came, the child was escorted to the phone by an ethics officer, who stood by while the child talked to his mother. The message was clear, "don't you dare complain." The child said nothing. The other children also said nothing, although they had plenty to say after the family was reunited.

When the parents returned from doing the L's the children told them what had happened. The parents were outraged. The idea of a sick child in solitary confinement was unacceptable to them. Even beyond the humane issues, the child was potentially at risk from high fever and complications. "When a child is sick, you give him more attention, not less," the mother explained. Years later she is still distressed about it.

The husband had been disgruntled for some time. This and other "disturbing events" led him to investigate. He went to the library and checked out "A Piece Of Blue Sky," and "L. Ron Hubbard: Madman Or Messiah." My new friend, his wife, remained unconvinced and decided to wait and see if her husband would die or get sick from reading the OTIII summary in Blue Sky. He did not become ill and encouraged her to read them. Together they sat up all night reading Blue Sky. The next day their minds were made up: they were leaving the cult.

Being somewhat afraid of what they'd just read, they decided to just gradually choke back on scientology: lessening communication as time passed, eventually asking for a refund of money on account. They were never considered particularly "good" scientologists and this plan worked. They received some phone harassment, got their money back (the money on account, not a total refund) and were done with it.

The children were very happy to be out of the cult. They'd never really liked it, but never felt able to criticize it or express their displeasure. Today, even four years later, Xenu jokes make up a large part of the family humor.

Her scientology materials, she'd estimated at first, had cost approx. $20,000 (My estimate based on more current pricing is $38,000 to $40,000). The materials sat in boxes for four years.

She and I sat talking. Finally, I told her I'd be interested in the materials she had sitting around, to be used for critical purposes. She offered to give me the materials for the cost of shipping only, but after hearing how much she'd spent, I insisted on paying something. She asked for $500, and we agreed on that.

The materials were sent out, 480lbs total, for a shipping cost of $530. Bringing my total expenses to $1030 for the entire collection. Whew! And right before christmas!

The materials showed up last Friday. 13 boxes, with two more to come. A well known internet critic and myself began unpacking and inventorying the whole thing on Friday afternoon. We stopped after about 4 hours, and the effort was started again on Saturday with three other well known internet critics (who probably don't mind being named, but I'm not going to make that decision for them.) A few hours later, a the materials were cataloged and a strategy was formed.

Originally, the collection was to be split up and I apologize to those who expected to purchase materials from it. But it was our determination that the collection as a whole, split only among a very few critics could be both protected (a concern of mine), and used as reference by critics everywhere (you need only ask us your questions, it's our self-appointed Hats to answer them with the materials we have.) without losing the materials. We will plow through the materials.

[certain people] will receive some very special gifts from this collection. They'll be happy. Otherwise, the information is going to be plowed through and used as a library for us to use in resolving questions, requests for HCOB's, quotes, etc.

Indexes, and fair use summaries of "nice finds" will be forthcoming. (and there's some doozies!) (RTC, no copies will be made... nyah nyah!)

And here it is..... The first inventory of the FRARSCC (the Front Range ARSCC doesn't exist) amateur library, two boxes short of its full glory:

The ARSCC Research Library is now in operation. For further information, contact:

M. Ray Randolph --

2. December Surprise for Rod Keller

Rod Keller, author of "ARS Week In Review," republishes items of interest from alt.religion.scientology on a weekly basis. He recently deviated from his practice of reprinting news by posting email from Graham Berry. In this email the attorney disclosed that he was now representing Jason Scott, who won the damage suit against CAN that effectively drove CAN into bankruptcy.

Jilted attorney Kendrick Moxon was furious. According to net accounts he arrived at Scott's residence with a sheriff, arguing that Scott was not mentally competent to make a decision to replace him. Scott's mother bobbitted the encounter, ordering Moxon off the premises.

None of the parties involved has seen fit to grant us an interview--an omission we hope will soon be remedied--so we are as much in the dark as anyone else. According to rumor, Moxon has filed suit against Musick Peeler, Berry's firm. We think this is correct. Lawyers do not appreciate having important clients snatched.

According to net accounts, Moxon recovered a small amount of money from CAN but passed none of it through to Scott, leaving him dissatisfied and perhaps receptive to Berry. The judgment Scott holds against CAN cannot be paid from any known assets of the organization.

The maneuver by Graham Berry may be seen as an effort to protect the judgment won by Lawrence Wollersheim. Theoretically the church may win judgments against FACTNet and Arnie Lerma: these could be balanced against the CAN award monies. Whether or not the tradeoff would be made in the end, Berry's acquiring control of the CAN award makes sense strategically.

Rod Keller posted the startling information that Graham Berry had retained Kendrick Moxon to handle the appeal against CAN. The post was disputed, but subsequent discussion argues for its accuracy. Berry's reason was that Moxon had won the case in court and was the best attorney to handle the appeal. In this case if Moxon wins Berry wins, because Berry got control of the client. It is a bitter pill for Moxon.

Will Moxon sue? Do dogs bite? Does the Pope live in the woods?

Just before Christmas, to his consternation Rod Keller received a subpoena from Moxon, who wants Keller to produce all correspondence he had with Berry and (we understand) several other people. The event was announced on irc #scientology. Netizens immediately warned Keller that he should resist the subpoena. The downside includes appearing with the material and being deposed on the spot by an unfriendly lawyer without the benefit of counsel. Keller was warned not to cash the $40 check that accompanied the demand for information.

Keller posted:

"On the evening of December 23rd, I was served a subpeona from Kendrick Moxon. He is attempting to depose me in the case of Scott v. Rick Ross & CAN. I am commanded to produce:

"All communications to or with Graham Berry, Steven Fishman, any officer or director of the Cult Awareness Network, and/or Rick Ross; any communications to or with any person concerning or relating to Jason Scott and the case of _Scott v. Ross & CAN_; any communications relating to the Cult Awareness Network. This demand includes all electronic and hard copy media of any type in your possession, custody or control."

"From the grapevine, [Keller continued] I understand that nearly identical documents were served on Jason Scott, Kathy Tobin (Jason's mom), Cynthia Kisser, Rick Ross, David Bardin (CAN lobbyist and Cynthia's lawyer), and Graham Berry. Perhaps Steve Fishman also received one, since he is mentioned. I can't imagine what Steve has to do with CAN. I can't imagine what _I_ have to do with CAN... I'm sure this is a result of my posting two emails from Graham clarifying the Scott developments. I've received only one other email from Graham, ever. I don't think they'll find it very interesting."

"This appears to be a pure fishing trip. [Keller says] I can't imagine I'll actually get into a room with Moxon. Particularly since he forgot to attach the court order, which he's supposed to do."

Netizens quickly supplied Keller with ideas on how the subpoena could be quashed. At this writing we do not know what Keller has done, and look forward to further news.

A note about the legal process: like rape, what is not effectively resisted becomes a fait accompli. Information could be demanded of Keller and questions asked, which could figure in another case even if Keller gave vague uninformative answers. Regardless of fault, third parties are at risk if Keller is deposed.

There it rests, at this writing. Further bulletins as they happen; stay tuned.

3. Happy Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas to all!

Arlene Fortiori
Larry the Lizard
Joe Horn
T. Rex
Shelley Thomson

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