Thursday, December 22, 2005


In 1950, Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard was published. The book contains an curiously high number of references to abortion and attempted abortion. Here are a few samples:

"And in the case of the ulcers, here was baby poked full of holes (Mama is having a terrible time trying to abort him so she can pretend a miscarriage, and she uses assorted household instruments thrust into the cervix to do it)..."

"Fathers, for instance, suspicious of paternity, sometimes claim while trouncing and upsetting mothers that they will kill the child if it isn't like Father."

"The standard attempted abortion case nearly always has an infanthood and childhood full of Mama assuring him that he cannot remember anything when he was a baby. She doesn't want him to recall how handy she was, if unsuccessful, in her efforts with various instruments..."

"Attempted abortion is very common. And remarkably lacking in success. The mother, every time she injures the child in such a fiendish fashion, is actually penalizing herself."

"The basic proved to be a mutual abortion attempt by the mother and father. The mother said she would die if anyone found out.... The father said the baby was probably like her and he didn't want it. Eighteen penetrations of the head, throat and shoulders with a long orange-wood stick - probably in third month. "

One would think that Hubbard was a man who was opposed to abortion, until evidence surfaced that showed Hubbard was writing from his PERSONAL experiences performing abortions on his own wife. In 1983 an interview with L. Ron Hubbard Jr. was published, and it contained this horrorific description of Ron Jr.'s witnessing his father attempting an abortion on his mother:

"Hubbard: ... I have a memory of this that goes back to when I was six years old. It is certainly a problem for my father and for Scientology that I rememoer this. It was around 1939, 1940, that I watched my father doing something to my mother. She was lying on the bed and he was sitting on her, facing her feet. He had a coat hanger in his hand. There was blood all over the place. I remember my father shouting at me. "Go back to bed!" A little while later a doctor came and took her off to the hospital. She didn't talk about it for quite a number of years. Neither did my father.

Penthouse: He was trying to perform an abortion?

Hubbard: According to him and my mother, he tried to do it with me. I was born at six and a half months and weighed two pounds, two ounces. I mean, I wasn't born: this is what came out as a result of their attempt to abort me. It happened during a night of partying --he got involved in trying to do a black-magic number. Also, I've got to complete this by saying that he thought of himself as the Beast 666 incarnate."

If Ron Jr.'s memory was accurate, Hubbard was a hypocrite. While he was denouncing abortion in public, privately he was busy jabbing at his wife's uterus with coathangers -- and it is my conclusion based on the evidence presented here that he had apparently been doing so for years. It was a miracle she survived.

Sadly, even after his death, Hubbard's preoccupation with abortions has left a tragic, brutal, and bloody legacy. Women who become pregnant while serving in the Sea Org are told that the Church cannot afford to raise children. They are either forced to give their children up for adoption, or are coerced into having an abortion. From Mary Tabayoyon's sworn affidavit:

" While at the base, I knew of several instances of staff getting pregnant and being coerced to get an abortion."

" I told the Medical Officer (Martine Collins) of my pregnancy. She immediately went into action to arrange for my abortion. She told me, that I would naturally be expected to pay for it myself, since it was considered Out Ethics to get pregnant."

" A friend of mine, Betty Hardin, who works in the treasury division of Golden Era Productions, told me that she used to transport the pregnant women at the base to Riverside, California for their abortions. For about a year, she transported women almost weekly to the Planned Parenthood Center, in Riverside, so that they could have their abortions and follow up check ups that were needed. She said it just became routine. Pregnant Sea Org members were sent to the Planned Parenthood Center to get their abortions. When they returned to the base they went to Ethics."

Mary Tabayoyon then goes on to describe TEN instances where women working for Scientology were coerced, if not forced, to get abortions.

If I have omitted anything pertinent, please alert me with a follow-up post. Suggestions and omissions may be incorporated into future versions of this article.

"Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard, copyright 1950.

Interview with L. Ron Hubbard Jr., by Penthouse, copyright 1983

Mary Tabayoyon Affidavit, 1994

L. Ron Hubbard : BIGAMIST

L. Ron Hubbard : THIEF




L. Ron Hubbard and BLACK MAGICK


L. Ron Hubbard : RACIST

L. Ron Hubbard 's FAKE WAR RECORD

L. Ron Hubbard : IMPOTENT

L. Ron Hubbard : WHORE MONGER

L. Ron Hubbard : DRUG ADDICT

L. Ron Hubbard : SATANIST

L. Ron Hubbard and ADOLF HITLER

L. Ron Hubbard the PSYCH PATIENT

Did L. Ron Hubbard really believe his 2nd wife was a Russian spy named "Komkosadamanov" ?

In his Scientology Intelligence Tech issue, 'Intelligence Actions - Covert Intelligence Data Collection', Hubbard described his 2nd wife, Sara Northrup, as having been a Russian spy, whose actual name was "Sara Komkosadamanov."

This was December 1969. Clearly, Hubbard knew better, and was simply applying his "Propaganda tech," by identifying his 2nd wife as a Communist. Shortly afterwards, having surveyed public opinion, he shifted over to calling his perceived enemies "Nazis," rather than "Communists."

In the early 1970s, when Sara's redheaded daughter, Alexis, was visited by an agent of Hubbard, that agent read a prepared statement describing her mother as having been a prostitute, and also a spy for the Nazis.

The details of this bizarre visit can be found in a letter from Sara Northrup to Paulette Cooper.

How much of Scientology's view of the world - and the universe - did Hubbard actually believe; and how much was knowing and deliberate fabrication?

Scientology prisoner liberated by hope

Just found this one, interesting site, a collection of ex-scientologist interviews:

Random excerpt:

Q: Why did you leave the "Church" of Scientology? Was there a "final straw"?

A: Hope is a strange animal. It can keep you company and warm on cold nights. It can even talk to you when you're starting to doubt and wonder and skoff (to yourself naturally - less you wind up dealing with the 'Correct Perception Enforcement people' [ethics]. Let's just say, my 'truth spark' never truly died and it started a warm and then bigger fire and hope ultimately merged into this fire realizing that the true path of wisdom lies within and not 'out there'...and a new real future appeared...and it included the FREEDOM TO THINK FREELY!!!!!!!!!! and THINK FOR MYSELF!!!!!!

This new hope and faith in myself returned thanks to others who graciously reminded me of my real Self. be more real, there were too many organizational lies, criminal actions, money grabbing attempts, and the last straw I'd have to say was the repeated denial of treating people honestly....staff to public, public to public, public to staff. After a while, one just wants to throw up when someone asks 'what;s your next step?' instead of 'how are you - nice to see you again - how's your son?' etc. You know NORMAL HUMANOID BEHAVIOUR instead of hell bent on going free from ???? mania talk. Lastly....this group of Planet Savers are anti-1st amendment....the part about FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Too many examples of this to even begin to list. They totally want to control WHO you talk to, what you say, and in fact actually prohibit you from your own homework. This, sad to say, is also true of many "religious" and political zealot groups.

THUS the Founding Fathers made it Bill of Rights NUMERO UNO!!!!

It's nice to read about the experience of former scientologists, and the reasons they were in, and the reasons of why the left scientology.


Scientologist facing class action lawsuit
Others come forward in Front Sight litigation

The Pahrump Valley Times


Editor's note: This is the second installment of our ongoing series on Front Sight. The owners [mostly Scientogists] of the firearms training facility and residential subdivision are the targets of a class-action lawsuit.

A home on the range in an upscale resort sounds good.

For firearms enthusiasts offered a home-site complete with a state-of-the-art shooting facility, it sounds even better.

Add a lifetime of professional instruction - with free shooting, hunting and martial arts classes - and that's a dream come true.

But like the old adage says, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. A class action lawsuit filed against Front Sight Nov. 7 alleges that the organization used false and misleading statements in order to sell memberships.

From Front Sight's earliest days in 1998, the organization's president, former chiropractor Dr. Ignatius Piazza, sold firearms training and the prospect of living in a gated community on the grounds of Front Sight, which he deemed would become "The safest community in America."

The unique concept of a community based on firearms training keeps Front Sight in the news.

In fact, Piazza's mastery of marketing has netted worldwide recognition for Front Sight with television coverage, as well as newspaper and magazine articles appearing throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Piazza's offer to train commercial pilots after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 resulted in mentions in the Washington Post, World Net Daily and on CNN.

While students grumble about the seemingly endless mailings and special offers generated from Front Sight, few, if any, question the validity of the facility's firearms training.

However, Piazza's frequent mailer program could lead to his downfall, according to litigants. He has reportedly made a lot of promises in writing.

In an Associated Press article dated April 26, 1999 reporter Angie Wagner wrote: '"Piazza expects Front Sight's first phase completed by year's end. New residents will be welcome by the end of 2000, he says."'

To date, only a security guard and a firearms instructor live on-site, in recreational vehicles.

In July 2002, a mailer sent to students from Front Sight read, "Electricity and water supply was completed some time ago, so we are now beginning the development of all underground utilities and sewer to be completed on phase one of the facility before the fall courses."

The flyer further stated: "Yes, this means real bathrooms - about 20 separate, multi stall bathroom buildings!"

Three years after receiving that notification, students in 2005 are still using portable toilets supplied and serviced by Joe's Sanitation of Pahrump. They are kept clean and well equipped, but they are a far cry from the promised "real bathrooms."

Pahrump Sanitation, the company originally supplying portable toilets to the firing ranges, removed its equipment after Front Sight fell substantially behind in payments for rental and servicing fees.

With hundreds of students attending classes on a weekly basis, Pahrump Sanitation owner Phil Hibdon had purchased a number of new portable toilets to place near the ranges and classroom areas. The facility required more than 20 units on a permanent basis.

"I did a lot of things for them," Hibdon said. "It's a long story. They owed me $20,000 and after about six months I got fed up with them."

Eventually, Hibdon prevailed and was paid. "I thought I better get out while I was ahead," he said, explaining why he removed his equipment.

Four former Front Sight construction workers who live in Pahrump asked not to be identified at this time; however, they say it is true the water and sewer lines were trenched and pipes were installed. However, they maintain Piazza could not - or would not - come up with the funds to finish either job.

One of the men also revealed another obstacle that must be addressed before flush toilets could be installed. An engineering soil report found the site slated for a septic tank and leach field was not acceptable due to tough ground conditions.

The former employees further allege waterlines underneath phase one have never been connected to the facility's well. To this day, water coolers used on the ranges during classes are filled from a water hose connected to the well. It is the same water used to fill the facility's water truck for dust suppression.

The men claimed no sand or other bedding material was placed under the water or sewer pipes and allege the fire hydrant in front of the impressive 8,300 square foot classroom has never been hooked up to the well.

The State Fire Marshal's Office has not yet commented on the fire hydrant, but a spokesman did say the classroom - which is currently in use - has not been issued a certificate of occupancy.

The flyer was correct in saying electricity had been extended to the facility. The construction office and classroom, as well as most ranges have power, although the outdoor lighting for night classes is run on gas-powered generators.

In addition to announcing electricity, water and real bathrooms, the July 11, 2002 mailing from Piazza to members announced the beginning of construction of phase two and development of roads into phase three, where home parcels had been assigned to platinum members.

Pete Wallace of Pahrump, a former employee who ran the bulldozer and grader on the construction crew, said there is only one roughly graded road into the home sites.

More than three years ago, KLAS TV in Las Vegas aired a two-part feature on Front Sight. The Eye Witness news team reported: " two to three years, this will be home to hundreds. There will be homes, a shopping center, even a K through 12 school."

There is no sign of water being brought into phase three. No lots are graded. Former staff members, at least one of whom is part of the class represented in the federal lawsuit, say a wastewater treatment plant must be built, yet they wonder if talks have been initiated with the Public Utilities Commission.

Adding to the confusion, information on Front Sight's Web site this week includes a statement beginning with these words: "When Phase 1 is completed later this year ..."

Editor's note: The class action lawsuit filed against Front Sight Firearms can be accessed online at

Scientology's Feline Butcher


December 20, 2005 -- TOM Cruise's onetime alternative medicine consultant --- a "Church" of Scientology member and advocate --- is the subject of a six-month investigation by Los Angeles police, who are asking the district attorney to indict her and a colleague for fraud, grand theft and malpractice.

The LAPD's Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force, which investigates illegal medical practices, presented its case against Scientologist Feline Butcher to the local DA for review yesterday. The findings involve liver cancer patient Clive McLean --- a veteran staff photographer for Hustler founder Larry Flynt --- who died in March at age 60 after receiving allegedly bogus "treatment" from the unfortunately named Butcher and an unlicensed physician to whom she had referred him, David Chua.

"We didn't at first know that she was a Scientologist, but then we heard that she made her employees take courses in it," Erica McLean, Clive's widow, tells PAGE SIX's Steve Garbarino. Neither McLean belonged to the "church."

"She said that Chua could cure my husband with these magic drops and potions and vitamin drips --- and this silly machine," Erica says. "We spent at least $150,000 on all this, and my husband's health was not improving. They told him to not take chemo-therapy, and so we didn't.

"I eventually threw [Chua] off our property when I realized we were being had, but he still was billing us for these magic pills," Erica says.

According to detectives, the alleged pill-purveyor vanished after hearing of the investigation. The LAPD task force's Sgt. Steve Opferman says, "The McLeans were led to believe that the man was a licensed practitioner." If indictments are handed up, Opferman said charges would include fraud, grand theft and malpractice against both Butcher and Chua.

Butcher could not be reached for comment, but has previously said the charges are unfounded. Greg LaClaire, vice president of the Scientologist's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, said he was not familiar either with the case or with Butcher.

Meanwhile, this past weekend, Cruise and preggers Katie Holmes celebrated her 27th birthday in Miami, keeping the visibly exhausted Holmes out until 2:30 a.m. at the nightspot Snatch.


David Miscavige and the zipper assault

[Comments from a former Int Base staffer, a momentary incident of DM's [David Miscavige] crass tastelessness and disrepect of another person's creative efforts.]

I interacted with dm a number of times over several years. My impression was never positive and a few of them were downright ugly.

One time in particular shows, I think, the kind of person he is.

This was one halloween in 1994 or 1993. The movie "Interview with the Vampire" had recently come out. (By the way, the whole Int base had to go see that movie one Friday night, when a whole theater had been booked.)

The Int Base galley crew were trying to make Halloween special for the base staff. These crew were hard working and really did their best to make good food and a pleasant environment for meals. So for Halloween they put on a skit with a vampire theme.

As a part of the skit, a coffin had been propped against the wall right by dm's table, where the senior execs sat, and a Gold staff member, who was in the skit was in the coffin pretending to be a vampire. He stood in this coffin totally motionless for like 15 or 20 minutes while the base staff got their food. The idea was that the skit would start at a certain time, at which point this guy would awaken as a vampire and walk up to the spot in the room where the skit took place.

Now, this was all done for the entertainment of the base staff.

So, dm saw this guy in this coffin by his table and for some reason that only he can fathom, dm decided to bullbait him and pull him out of his pretended sleep. To do this dm got Maria Starkey, Norman's wife, to go over to the guy and open up his pants -- she undid the belt buckle, undid and unzipped his pants, and pulled the pants open so the guy's underwear were clearly visible. I guess dm thought this was funny.

Amazingly, this Gold staff member did not react at all. This prank by dm would have ruined the skit that these staff had obviously put a lot of work into (including making the fake coffin, costumes, rehearsing, etc.). Despite that, they pulled off the skit.

Most of the staff in the room (the large dining area in MCI) did not see this. They only saw the skit. But I happened to be sitting where I saw dm do this.

At the time, still trying to be a true believer, I could only try to not-is it. Now, I am appalled how dm could have so little respect for others.

[former Int Base staffer]

Cult victims denied escape by automobile

Recent info on travel too and from the Int Base offices at the Gilman Hot Springs Golden Era Productions facility to the berthing apartments in Hemet was limited only to the church busses. Staff were at one point in 2005 disallowed using their personal cars which usually are used by many many staff to go home. Personal car use was banned in 2005 at some point.

It's not known if the "no personal car driving" is still being enforced. One person thought that that rule would NOT last long.

Anyone with recent Int Base staff knowledge of the travel to and from the staff berthing apartments, the Kirby and other apartements, please share their info. Are they still disallowing personal car driving? (One wild guess for disallowing the driving, is that personal car driving is an obvious method of "blowing.")

Cult victims denied medical care

Posted: 19 Dec 2005 20:48=A0=A0 =A0

It's pretty remarkable to discover how much one sign can accomplish. One side read "Remember Lisa McPherson" and the other "Find out".

Two of us arrived at about 4:20pm. The sidewalk in front of CCHR was blocked off to foot traffic, and barriers had been set up to make Sunset Blvd only two lanes (one each way) for that block so that events could occur outside.

There may have been as many as 300-400 people in attendance, but it was hard to know how many were die-hard scienos, and how many were just curiosity-seekers of foot traffic (some of whom we chatted with near the end). A nearby parking lot with "CCHR Parking" temporary signs seemed to be less than one-quarter full.

CCHR is on the south side of Sunset. We arrived from the east, and were met at the corner by some rather stern-faced gentlemen who told us this was a private event. (Non-sign carrying folks seemed able to walk in unhindered)

"Are you here to disrupt this event?" "Disrupt?

Oh, no not at all."

"Then why are you here?"

"To engage in the civitas. To bear witness. I think it's important that people should be able to look at an issue from several angles."

We decided to cross the street, to see what the west side of the event might look like. The traffic cop gave us a big smile when he saw our sign.

Many more stern-faced people with cameras clicking were to be seen on Sunset's north side. ("That's the thousand yard stare!" I commented on one to my friend).

We'd stop and make sure they got both sides of the sign. Another minute, and two people with bundles of helium balloons showed up, attempting to block view of our sign. We found this highly amusing, and turned it into an impromptu game of tag, moving the sign about, letting them give chase. A guy in a van with a video camera drove by at least twice and caught some of the action.

The west end of the block was boring-- no entrance to the event, no crowds. We walked on a bit past CCHR's block, then turned around. The balloon-people had apparently received different instructions and were not interfering with our sign during our eastbound journey.

Instead, a few others walked with us to ask our intentions, and had a partial success of 'body routing': we walked past the crosswalk point by about a half block before noticing we had done so. No problem-- we turned around and went back. One of our companions for this leg of the jorney was unusually tall, but it didn't occur to me until much later that he may have been attempting to be intimidating. Big-guy, balloon people and the other north-side interrogators and photographers did not follow when we returned to the south side.

We chatted pleasantly with the security guy who eventually admitted to someone else in our presence that he was a scieno. From this vantage point, we could see the speakers, the audience, and by the same token be seen quite well, too.

Some non-scienos came and chatted, wanting to know about Lisa McPherson ("Ohhh, yeah, now I remember hearing about that...") and listen to our exchange with the security guy.

"So, you're in favor of psychiatry?"


A little before 6pm a well-dressed woman in her 50s approached us with a notepad and demanded to know our names, where we lived, etc. We told our first names, then asked hers. She asked for our last names.

"She didn't answer our question, did she?" "No, she didn't. I noticed that."

Eventually she said her name was Lynne. She wanted to find out what our secrets were, what we were hiding. We were amused and uncooperative.

The CCHR event ended at 6pm, and audience members had a pretty good opportunity to look at our sign as they left. Some balloon-people had emerged to attempt a discreet (read: ineffective despite obviousness of intent) screen.

Two attendees had come by to say "I love that website!" and share comments about the outrageousness of some of the statements made by some of the speakers ("We want to euthanize psychiatry.")

The audience had pretty much left by about 6:15, so we decided it was time to head off. One guy followed us wanting to talk, claiming to just be a guy out on a walk. He said he was a computer programmer and thought that might be what I might be. "Sorry, but I have to assume you might be a Scientology mole, so I'm not going to answer that." We parted ways at the next intersection.

CNN Covers Scientology flying saucer cult at Trementina

COOPER: Well, the other night, we told you about a vault in the New Mexico desert and some mysterious land markings nearby, markings that can only be seen from the sky. Both are part of a compound built by the "Church" of Scientology. And inside the vault are said to be writings by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the "church".

Many who live in New Mexico are simply unaware the vault even exists and don't -- they have never seen the markings. And the "church" itself isn't talking.

So, we sent CNN's Gary Tuchman to investigate.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The land is rugged on the south end of the Rocky Mountain range, a panoramic view of northeastern New Mexico, under clear skies, which makes it easier to see an unusual sight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is it. TUCHMAN: Two huge interlocking circles, markings on the desert soil that cannot be seen from the ground, but can be seen from the heavens.

MICHAEL PATTINSON, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: I think they're not designed to be seen by human beings, but by alien beings.

TUCHMAN: Michael Pattinson says he was a member of the "Church" of Scientology for 23 years. Now he's a disgruntled ex-member, who says the circles are signposts for reincarnated Scientologists who come from outer space.

PATTINSON: They're markings to show the location of one of the vaults which Scientology has prepared to safeguard the technology of L. Ron Hubbard.

TUCHMAN: Hubbard, who died in 1986, was a science fiction writer who started the "Church" of Scientology. And, indeed, next to the circles and a private runway is a building with a vault built into the mountain. Current Scientologists do say archives are held in the vaults, just as other [sic] "religion"s safeguard their sacred texts.

They say the vault is overseen by a Scientology corporation called the "Church" of Spiritual Technology.

(on camera): "Church" of Scientology officials denied CNN's request for a tour of the compound. They say the markings are simply a logo of the "Church" of Spiritual Technology and that this is a non- story. But from what we have experienced, "church" officials are extremely sensitive about this nonstory.

(voice-over): A pilot we hired to fly us over the compound backed out, saying he got a call from the Scientologists asking him not to go with us. Other pilots said they would not fly us because they didn't want to make the Scientologists angry. But we did finally get a pilot.

(on camera): What do those circles look like to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They look like a branding symbol a rancher might have put out there.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The closest town to the desert etchings is Las Vegas, New Mexico. The county sheriff there is one of few non- Scientologists who have visited the compound. Chris Nahar (ph) did so just last month, for the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time that there -- an incident that happens, that there's, say, for instance, Waco or the World Trade Center incident, every time something like this happens, there seems to be some rumblings that it's a training ground for militia or a terrorist training ground, that kind of thing. So, they have been inviting me out there, so we can go out there and try to dispel those rumors.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Have you dispelled those rumors? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we went out there. I didn't see anything of the sort.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The sheriff says the Scientologists told him, this is where L. Ron Hubbard's writings, saved on titanium plates, will be preserved for thousands of years.

He says many people were there, lots of farm animals and a large cache of food supplies.

(on camera): Did it strike you as a place for survivalists?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quite possibly, yes. I definitely want to go there if it hit the fan.

TUCHMAN: If it hits the fan?



TUCHMAN (voice-over): The sheriff says the notion of spacecraft returning here was not discussed with him, but former members say that's part of Scientology teachings.

PATTINSON: I know it sounds very, very bizarre, but this is where reality is stranger than fiction.

TUCHMAN: So, are the circles a landing pad for extraterrestrial vehicles? The "church" is not commenting to us.


TUCHMAN: Scientology officials are generally not gung-ho about talking to reporters, believing they have been unfairly dumped upon. But they do tell us, they do not think it was necessary for us to cover this story. They say that, either way, they didn't want to talk to us, after they made that comment -- Anderson.

COOPER: And, Gary, I mean, every "church" wants to protect the -- the texts that they believe are sacred. I mean, what I have heard is that they're using sort of titanium plates that the -- the -- the writings of L. Ron Hubbard are etched into. Is that -- is that what you were hearing?


And that's one thing that everyone agrees upon in the story, the former Scientologist, the current Scientologist, the sheriff who went there, that there are archives, sacred texts, inside. Titanium protects those texts. But it's still not exactly clear what those circles are in the New Mexico desert.

COOPER: Gary Tuchman, thanks.

The "Church" of Scientology reportedly only allows very high- ranking members inside the vault. In a moment, you are going to hear from a former "church" member, a former member of the Sea Org, the super-secret organization within the "church". He will explain what it's like inside the "Church" of Scientology.

Plus, it used to be simple. Christmas trees were Christmas trees. But nothing seems simple anymore. 'Tis the season for semantic folly -- coming up next on 360.


COOPER: A New Mexico police chief tells us what he saw inside a top- secret Scientology vault. That's coming up.

But, first, here is what is happening at this moment.

Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito says, if he gets the job, he will put his personal views aside when ruling on abortion. Alito assured Senator Arlen Specter, the man who will head his confirmation hearings, that he will give weight to legal precedent.

New changes to what you can and cannot take on an airplane -- transportation officials say scissors and small tools are now OK. The tradeoff is more -- the prospect of more pat-downs and extra security checks. Officials say the new rules are aimed at catching terrorists with explosives.

A federal judge says random bag searches on the New York City subway are constitutional. He's ruled that the searches deter terrorism and fall under the special-needs exception to the Fourth Amendment, which requires reasonable suspicion before a search. The New York Civil Liberties Union brought the suit, says it is planning to appeal.

And, on the loose in Vero Beach, Florida, two possibly armed and dangerous prisoners -- the sheriff's office of Indian River County says that Edward Roberson and Marty Finney escaped overnight. A third inmate has been recaptured.

Before the break, Gary Tuchman showed us what some mysterious markings in the New Mexico desert look like from the sky. They are two giant interlocking circles that some former Scientologists say are meant to be signposts that will one day guide reincarnated Scientologists to a special vault -- inside that vault, an archive of the writings that define the "church".

Very few outsiders have been inside the vault. Tim Geigos [Gallegos] has. He's chief of the Las Vegas, New Mexico Police Department, and is not a Scientologist. I spoke to him earlier about what he saw.


COOPER: This is for the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the "Church" of Scientology. I understand they're written or etched into what's been described as either stainless steel or titanium tablets. Did you see that? CHIEF TIM GEIGOS, LAS VEGAS, NEW MEXICO POLICE: Yes, and that's only one form of recording. They have CDs, if you will, and I don't remember what the type of etching is on CDs. They had a recording, a tape-driven cassette or something similar. They had special writing, special paper, special inks, you know, these type of things. If I remember correctly, they were using five formats to store each of the, whatever it is that they were saving.


COOPER: We were curious to talk to former Scientologists or current Scientologists, but they wouldn't speak with us tonight, about what is the appeal for the "Church"? Bruce Hines, my next guest, was a Scientologist for 30 years. During that time he had access to another "church" vault in California. I talked to him earlier tonight. I began by asking him to describe that vault.


BRUCE HINES, FMR. CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY MEMBER: I'd estimate it was about 15 feet in diameter, circular, on the inside, had a sort of a flat bottom, and it was, as I recall, it was maybe about 100 feet long, and it was well-lit. It was metallic.

COOPER: And the purpose of the vault, as I understand it, is to preserve the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. Why is that so important in the "Church" of Scientology?

HINES: You're taught in the "church" that L. Ron Hubbard is the only person who has worked out man's salvation, you could say. And he says outright, there's a particular writing that one has to study and just about any course you do, and he says outright that no other route to freedom or to enlightenment or whatever you call it, works. And, this is the only one that works, and so he considered it so important that he felt it was worth millions of dollars to put this in indestructible form, and put it in a place where it couldn't be destroyed.

COOPER: And, is there a belief in Scientology that there is -- and many "religion"s have sort of an "End of the World" scenario. Is there that in Scientology? Is that the reason why these things are written on steel or titanium tablets and buried in the ground?

HINES: There is, continually, while you're in the "Church", there's a threat that if we don't succeed in our mission, meaning the "Church" of Scientology's mission, the consequences could be really bad. And, such things as a nuclear war, or -- it's a bit vague. It's all left a bit vague. But the idea is definitely that there could be a really bad end.

COOPER: And the mission is what, as you saw it?

HINES: The catch phrase was "clear the planet," which basically means get everybody on the planet to the state of clear, and above, and what this supposedly would do is rid the word of aberration, you'd get rid of war and insanity and various other ills. COOPER: And, "getting clear," that's -- I've heard Scientologists talk about that. That's what? That's getting to a point where you're perfected? What does it mean?

HINES: Well, sort of. The definition is that you no longer have your own reactive mind, and the reactive mind is labeled as the thing that makes people act irrationally, destructively, the source of psychosomatic illnesses and such things. And, supposedly at the state of clear you have gotten rid of this thing altogether.

COOPER: In this facility in New Mexico, there are sort of symbols in the ground, circles with diamond shapes in the center of them. To you, what does that mean? What do those symbols mean?

HINES: The symbol is very definitely the logo for one of the entities within the "Church" of Scientology or it's related corporately somehow. It's called the "Church" of Spiritual Technology. And the only reason it could be etched into the ground like that, so large, is so that it could be recognized from a great distance.


COOPER: Well, not all Scientologists keep a low profile. Many celebrities have joined the "Church". Why though? What draws them to the secretive "religion"? A look at that coming up. Plus, this video shows drug gang hit men allegedly confessing to terrible crimes. But, check out the tape. These men appear to have been beaten. The question is by whom, and what has happened to them since? We'll investigate.


COOPER: For 24 years Bruce Hines was a member of a Group called the Sea Organization. It's inside the "Church" of Scientology. And the "Church" describes it as a "religious" order made up of the most dedicated Scientologists in the world; individuals who have dedicated their lives to the service of their "religion". I asked Bruce Hines to give me his description of Sea Org.


HINES: It's very much a military organization. You wear a uniform, there's saluting, marching, standing at attention.

COOPER: And what was the appeal of it for you? What did it give you?

HINES: Well, at the time when I joined it, it was an opportunity to, I thought, contribute to this great purpose, which is sort of like save the planet, sort of thing. And, if you're a believer in their teachings, then you're helping to bring about a better society, a better world, and you sort of dedicate yourself to that.

COOPER: How do you see it now? I mean, you were a member for 30 years. HINES: I see it totally differently now. I left in 2003. And since I've been out, I've -- have a whole other view of it now. And I do not see that the "Church" of Scientology can accomplish what they say they will, and what they convince people that they are capable of. And in a sense I felt like I was duped or tricked into it, and I feel like I've woken up since I've been out.

COOPER: Was it hard to get out?

HINES: Oh, I had -- definitely had to go through some soul- searching, and decide if I wanted to keep doing that or, um, or just terminate my relationship with that organization. I just packed my bags and went to Port Authority and got on a bus.

COOPER: You didn't tell them. You just disappeared?

HINES: Right, I just disappeared. Because, I know that it's a bit of an ordeal otherwise.

COOPER: What do you think people should know about the "Church" of Scientology?

HINES: I think that they just need to know everything that they teach and they believe up front. And, that they do have policies such as disconnection. Like the fact I left and now my family, they won't even talk to me.

COOPER: Why won't they talk to you? I mean, what is it that they feel that you have done?

HINES: It's more just the rule.

COOPER: Why do you think it is that so many celebrities seem to be interested in Scientology?

HINES: I don't know the full answer to that. Partly they do promote to celebrities directly. They have the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles.

COOPER: Is there something about sort of empowering the individual, and are those lessons somehow particularly suited to Hollywood celebrities? Is it a message that they somehow, they want to hear that helps them in their career?

HINES: Well, I think so. It does empower the individual, that's one of the big things that's taught. And, it also teaches you to you deal with stresses in life. And you take courses in this, and you learn how to recognize certain kinds of people and how to deal with them, and there are drills in how to communicate with people. And, I can imagine that, for a celebrity, who -- there probably is quite a bit of stress in that sort of lifestyle, I would think, that they find that helpful.

COOPER: It does seem to be kind of a master form of therapy and kind of a long process of therapy. I mean, taking classes and, you know, these e-meters and kind of looking back at childhood incidences. I mean, that sounds very much like therapy, but they're so opposed to therapy.

HINES: And I agree. I think it's just a paradox and I think it's hypocritical.


COOPER: Well, as always, we don't take sides. We like to examine all sides of the story. We called the "Church" of Scientology yesterday, they declined to comment. We called them again today and we haven't heard back from them yet. To the violent world of gangs now where drug trafficking and retribution murder are not exactly novelties along the Texas border. Nor is it so rare to find Mexican police officials on the wrong side of the law. It takes a particularly brazen instance of corruption to get noticed here in the U.S. or, in the case, under federal investigation tonight, a disturbing videotape. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez has the tape.

This is what Scientology does to a person






Civil Action 98-2406 (HHK)


This is an action brought under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C.  552 ("FOIA"), and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C.  552a. Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, sues 79 entities of the federal government, [1] seeking records regarding herself, Mark Rathbun (de Rothschild), members of his family, President Dwight David Eisenhower, Rosemarie Bretschneider, L. Ron Hubbard, Sarah Hubbard, the Church of Scientology, alleged German Nazi-conspiracies infiltrating the United States Government, and any Independent or Special Counsel who has investigated the alleged wrongful incarceration of MarkRathbun. [2]

Presently before the court is Defendants' motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. Upon consideration of the motion, the opposition thereto, and the record of this case, the court concludes that Defendants' motion should be granted. [3]


It appears that Plaintiff believes that Rathbun is her husband and is incarcerated because he was framed by a German-controlled Nazi conspiracy of having raped and murdered her. Plaintiff alleges that she is a witness to Rathbun's wrongful incarceration and that he continues to be wrongfully held because he cannot find her and she cannot find him. Plaintiff also contends that she is the grand-daughter of President Eisenhower and was kidnaped by the Germans when she was a child, in retaliation for his defeat of the Nazis in World War II. [4]

Plaintiff's numerous FOIA requests of each defendant entity were slightly different. In many instances Plaintiff asked for all requests for information regarding herself made by or on behalf of Mark Rathbun or an Independent or Special Counsel. Plaintiff objects that the Defendants have not produced the requested records and have not given her declarations as to their systems of records and the scope of the searches made pursuant to her requests. She also objects to the refusal of certain Defendants to waive the usual fee for copies of records of previous FOIA cases she has filed. She suggests that one can infer that these Defendants are withholding the records she seeks because these Defendants initially sent her only a printout of her previous cases rather than copies of all documents related to those cases.


The many documents submitted by the parties have been reviewed under the following legal standards and principles. The court may dismiss a complaint on the ground that it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it appears that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his or her claim that would warrant relief. Fed.R.Civ.P.12(b)(6); Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957); Kowalv. MCI Communications Corp., 16 F.3d 1271, 1276 (D.C. Cir. 1994); Thomas v. District of Columbia, 887 F. Supp. 1, 5 n.2 (D.D.C. 1995).

A motion for summary judgment should be granted if the moving party demonstrates, when the facts are viewed in the light most favorable to the opponent, that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In considering whether there is a triable issue of fact, the court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). The party opposing a motion for summary judgment "may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but... must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Id. at 248. Moreover, "any factual assertions in the movant's affidavits will be accepted as being true unless [the opposing party] submits his own affidavits or other documentary evidence contradicting the assertion."Neal v. Kelly, 963 F.2d 453, 456 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (quoting Lewis v. Faulkner, 689 F.2d 100, 102 (7th Cir. 1982)).

The Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C.  552a, provides a procedure under which individuals can obtain access to information about themselves maintained by federal government agencies, but which protects individuals against unrestricted disclosure of such information without their consent. The information that may be disclosed is only that which is "maintained by an agency" (Section 552a(a)(4)) in a system of records, that is, "a group of any records . . . from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual." Section 552a(a)(5). Of special relevance to Plaintiff's request for information regarding individuals other than herself is the firm prohibition against disclosure "to any person . . . except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains." Section 552a(b). [5] There are certain exceptions to this prohibition, however. The only one that might arguably be relevant here is Exception 8, "pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of an individual.. .."

In a FOIA case, the Court may grant summary judgment solely on the basis of information provided in a declaration, when the declaration describes "the documents and the justifications for nondisclosure with reasonably specific detail, demonstrate[s] that the information withheld logically falls within the claimed exemption, and [is] not controverted by either contrary evidence in the record nor by evidence of agency bad faith." Military Audit Project v. Casey, 656 F.2d 724, 738 (D.C. Cir. 1981). See also Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820, 826 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977 (1974). The agency must prove that "each document that falls within the class requested either has been produced, is unidentifiable, or is wholly exempt from the Act's inspection requirements." Goland v. Central Intelligence Agency, 607 F.2d 339, 352 (D.C. Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 445 U.S. 927 (1980).


Preliminarily, the Court notes that Plaintiff is under the misapprehension that an agency responding to a Privacy Act or FOIA request must provide a "search certificate" and a "Vaughn" index. Many of her complaints in correspondence to the agencies, as well as in her court documents, are that the agencies responded generally to her requests and did not provide an affidavit containing a detailed list of the records searched, the documents withheld, and the reasons for withholding those documents. Plaintiff is advised that there is no requirement that an agency provide a "search certificate" or a "Vaughn" index on an initial request for documents. The requirement for detailed declarations and Vaughn [6] indices is imposed in connection with a motion for summary judgment filed by a defendant in a civil action pending in court. See, e.g., Weisbergv. United States Dep't of Justice, 745 F.2d 1476, 1485 (D.C. Cir. 1984).

The declarations filed on behalf of Defendants and Plaintiff's own declaration have been reviewed carefully. In all instances, Defendants have shown either that (1) no responsive documents exist or (2) all responsive documents have been produced and that there is appropriate justification for any excisions made, or (3) the documents sought are exempt from disclosure. Plaintiff has not shown that there is a genuine issue of material fact to contradict the Defendants' statement of material facts submitted with their motion. It is not necessary to engage in an extensive discussion of the facts relating to each Defendant. Reference to a representative sample of the different kinds of responses will suffice.

To reiterate Plaintiff seeks documents regarding persons other than herself, including Mark Rathbun, but has not provided consents from those individuals. With respect to her document requests regarding Rathbun, Plaintiff contends that compelling circumstances affecting the health and safety of Rathbun bring her requests within the"health and safety" exception to the prohibition against disclosure of documents concerning persons other than the requester. The court disagrees. The United Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has specifically held that Plaintiff's unsubstantiated allegations alone do not constitute a "showing of compelling circumstances." Schwarz v. Interpol, No. 94-4111, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 3987, at * 6 n.2 (Feb. 28, 1995). Accordingly, Plaintiff is not entitled to release under the Privacy Act of information regarding Mark Rathbun or any of the other individuals about whom she has sought information.

Offices within the White House whose functions are limited to advising and assisting the President do not come within the definition of an "agency" within the meaning of FOIA or the Privacy Act. This includes the Office of the President (and by analogy the Office of the Vice President) and undoubtedly the President and Vice President themselves. See Kissinger v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, 445 U.S. 136, 150-55 (1980); McDonnell v. Clinton, No. 97-1535, slip op. at 1-2 (D.D.C. July 3, 1997), aff'd, 132 F.3d 1481 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (unpublished table decision), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 853 (1998). Plaintiff has been so advised in a previous case filed by her, Schwarz v. Clinton, No. 96-1462 (D.D.C. July 2, 1996), aff'd, No. 96-5209 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 29, 1996). Consequently, Defendants' motion regarding information sought from these entities is well taken. Any future attempt to name this entity in an action under the FOIA or Privacy Act may be subject to dismissal as malicious. See 28 U.S.C.  1915(e)(2)(B)(i).

Plaintiff's claim regarding documents maintained by INTERPOL has already been resolved against her in a case she filed previously in this court, Schwarz v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 95-2162, slip op. at 4 (D.D.C. May 31, 1996), as well as in a case she litigated in the District of Utah and the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Schwarz v. INTERPOL, 48 F.3d 1232 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 515 U. S. 1146, reh 'g denied, 515 U. S. 1180 (1995). Any further attempt to litigate this claim is also subject to dismissal as malicious.

In some instances Plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies. Three offices of the United States Marshals' Service named as Defendants never received any requests from Plaintiff for documents. Although only the Department of Justice is properly named as a Defendant on behalf of all its branches, courts have upheld agency requirements that a request for records be made in the first instance to the individual office in which the records may be kept. See Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 97-2089, slip op. at 9-11 (D.D.C. July 14, 1998). In the case of NASA and the Defense Logistics Agency (part of the Department of Defense), Plaintiff failed to respond when sent a copy of the agency's fee schedule. Exhaustion of administrative remedies, a prerequisite to suit, includes payment of required fees or an appeal within the agency from a decision refusing to waive fees.

Oglesby v. United States Dep't of the Army, 920 F.2d 57, 66 (D.C. Cir. 1990); Truebloodv. United States Dep't of Treasury, 943 F. Supp. 64, 68 (D.D.C. 1996). The counts as to these Defendants will be dismissed for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).

Several Defendants provided declarations explaining either that the agency is not the type of agency that would have the records Plaintiff seeks (e.g., the Defense Logistics Agency, Declaration 56) or that no responsive records were located. (e.g., the Department of the Army, United States Army Intelligence and Security Command, Declaration 58, and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Declaration 64). Plaintiff refuses to accept a response that the agency has no responsive records. Even when a declaration describes the details of an extensive search, Plaintiff insists that the agency has responsive records that it is hiding from her in bad faith, often pursuant to the alleged German Nazi conspiracy. ( compare Declaration 65 from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, with Plaintiff's Affidavit in Opposition to Defendants' Motion at 358ff.

As this Court stated in a previous case filed by Plaintiff, Schwarz v. National Security Agency, etal., No. 98-0066 (D.D.C. July 20, 1998),

The FOIA .. . does not require an agency to conduct an exhaustive search for all documents responsive to a request, but rather a reasonable search for requested records using "methods reasonably expected to produce the information requested." Oglesby v. United States Dep't of the Army, 920 F.2d 57, 58 (D.C. Cir. 1990). "[I]n the absence of countervailing evidence or apparent inconsistency of proof, affidavits that explain in reasonable detail the scope and method of the search conducted by the agency will suffice to demonstrate compliance with the obligations imposed by the FOIA." Perry v. Block, 684 F.2d 121, 127 (D.C. Cir. 1982). The affidavit need not "set forth with meticulous documentation the details of an epic search for the requested records," Perry, 684 F.2d at 127, but must show only "that the search method was reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents." Weisberg v. United States Dep't of Justice, 745 F.2d 1476, 1485 (D.C. Cir. 1984).

Moreover, "[m]ere speculation that as yet uncovered documents may exist does not undermine the finding that the agency conducted a reasonable search for them." SafeCard Servs., Inc. v. SEC, 926 F.2d 1197, 1201 (D.C. Cir. 1991). Accord Steinberg v. United States Dep't of Justice, 23 F.3d 548, 552 (D.C. Cir. 1994). The district court in this earlier case concluded that the defendants' affidavits were sufficient and that Plaintiff had offered no evidence that responsive records existed and no evidence of bad faith. The grant of summary judgment for the Defendants was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in Schwarzv. National Security Agency, etal., No. 98-5364 (D.C. Cir. 1998). The memorandum opinion of the Court of Appeals emphasized that "[t]he fact that no documents were found does not mean that the government failed to perform an adequate search." Citing Meeropolv. Meese, 790 F.2d 942, 952-53 (D.C. Cir. 1986), the court pointed out that "the government can never conclusively refute a claim that yet unproduced records exist." These principles are valid and apply to the "no records" responses provided by the agencies in this case.

Even when documents have been produced, Plaintiff is not satisfied. She argues without any factual basis that there are additional documents that have not been produced. Compare Declaration 61 from the Army Claims Service, with Plaintiff's Affidavit in Opposition to Defendants' Motion at 325 ff.). She asserts that any misspelling of her name, any mail delay, any failure to acknowledge her request is done deliberately and in bad faith. There is no reasonable basis for such assertions. The courts review of the declarations provided by the dozens of Government agencies shows that each has sought diligently to satisfy Plaintiff's repetitive requests. For example, although the Civil Division of the Department of Justice denied Plaintiff's request for a fee waiver, [7] it did produce certain documents from her earlier cases in response to her FOIA request, being careful to avoid sending documents that Plaintiff herself had generated.

Some agencies that produced records invoked various FOIA/Privacy Act exemptions to delete portions of the records. In every instance the agency has shown that application of the exemption was proper. For example, the response of the Justice Department's Office of Intelligence and Policy Review points out that records regarding Plaintiff herself are exempt from production under Privacy Act exemption (k)(1), 5 U.S.C.  552a(k)(1), incorporating FOIA exemption 1. The Office properly refused to confirm or deny that it had any responsive records maintained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and in non-FISA files relating to various intelligence techniques. This response, known as a "Glomar" response, [8] was entirely correct for the reasons stated in the supporting declaration of Frances Townsend. See Hunt v. CIA, 981 F.2d 1116, 1119-20 (9th Cir. 1992); Miller v. Casey, 730 F.2d 773, 776 (D.C. Cir. 1984); Gardels v. CIA, 689 F.2d 1100, 1103 (D.C. Cir. 1982).

The Secret Service produced a number of documents relating to an investigation of Plaintiff in 1986 after she was detained in the District of Columbia in 1986. See supra note 5. The Secret Service invoked Exemptions 2 and 7(E) to withhold portions of those records such as a code name for a Secret Service vehicle, White House gate numbers, information concerning personal characteristics used by the Secret Service in evaluating the dangerousness of a subject and the threat potential to individuals protected by the Secret Service. This kind of material is clearly exempt from disclosure. See Crooker v. ATF, 670 F.2d 1051, 1073-74 (D.C. Cir. 1981)(en banc). Portions of other documents were withheld under the deliberative process privilege, Exemption 5. These consist of preliminary evaluations by Secret Service personnel of a potential threat to a person protected by the Service and were properly excised from the documents produced to Plaintiff.

The identities of certain federal employees were withheld from other documents pursuant to Exemption 6, covering "personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." 5 U.S.C.  552(b)(6). Disclosure of these names could subject the individuals to unwanted harassment but would not contribute to the public understanding of government functions. Excision was, therefore, justified. See, e.g., United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 763-65, 774, 776 (1989); Beckv. United States Dep't of Justice, 997F.2d 1489, 1494 (D.C. Cir. 1993).

Certain offices of the Department of Justice employed a "Glomar" response in connection with Exemption 7(C) to decline to admit or deny the existence of documents responsive to Plaintiff's requests. [9] These are the departments that would most likely have documents regarding the alleged conviction and imprisonment of Mark Rathbun. The courts have, however, upheld the use of the "Glomar" response in connection with a request for law enforcement records of a third party. See, e.g., Enzinna v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 97-5078, 1997 WL 404327, at *2 (D.C. Cir. 1997); Beck, 997 F.2d at 1494. Plaintiff does not have consent to disclosure from any of the third parties. The Court finds that disclosure of any records that might exist would not be informative of the performance of the respective agencies. [10]

The Secret Service, the FBI, and the Bureau of Prisons invoked Exemption 7(C) to withhold from certain documents the names and other identifying information of individuals involved in law enforcement investigations. On balance, the privacy interest of the individuals outweighs Plaintiff's interest in obtaining their names and identifying information. Therefore, application of the exemption was justified.


After reviewing the documentation provided by Defendants and Plaintif the court concludes that Defendants have conducted appropriate searches to determine whether responsive records exist and have produced all relevant non-exempt documents or non-exempt portions thereof. Consequently, the complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a claim against the United States Marshals Service, the Office of the President, INTERPOL, NASA, and the Defense Logistics Agency, and those defendants who are named in the caption but against whom no claim is stated in the body of the complaint. The complaint will be dismissed as to the remaining defendants because there are no material facts in dispute and they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

An appropriate order and judgment accompanies this memorandum.


United States District Judge DATE:

[Footnote 1: Plaintiff names 18 subdivisions of the Department of Justice, 7 United States Attorneys' Offices, 5 branches of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the main office of the United States Marshals' Service and 9 branch offices, the Secret Service of the Department of the Treasury, the Department of State, the National Military and National Civilian Personnel Records Centers, the Executive Office of the President, the Vice President, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Records Center in Suitland, Maryland, and several branches of the Department of Defense.]

[Footnote 2: Letters from Plaintiff submitted with the Declarations supporting the motion for summary judgment indicate that she also sought information about an individual named Claude de Rothschild, who she alleges was a General in the U.S. Army and was renamed Rathbun by the U.S. Secret Service.]

[Footnote 3: Defendants' motion is accompanied by 83 declarations of persons with appropriate knowledge of Plaintiff s requests. The declarations describe the record keeping procedures of the agencies and the agencies' responses to Plaintiff's requests. In some instances copies of the disclosed documents are attached. For example, the United States Secret Service produced documents relating to Plaintiff's visit to Washington in April, 1986, her detention for causing a disturbance at a restaurant, her arrest for unlawful entry at the White House, and her evaluation at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital. INTERPOL produced copies of telegrams from 1988 indicating that German authorities sought assistance in locating Plaintiff, who had disappeared and was described as "confused" at times. The Secret Service records suggest that Plaintiff had come to the United States from Germany to warn President Reagan of danger from the KGB and also to find either her brother Frank (who had been kidnaped by the KGB) or Frank E. Brown, described as the father of her brother Frank. Defendants' Motion, Declaration 1. One Defendant, the Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard, sent Plaintiff two pages of records regarding L. Ron Hubbard. Plaintiff claims this is inadequate because Hubbard allegedly served in the Montana National Guard and the office must have more papers relating to him. (Count 57).

Plaintiff's response consists of a declaration of 519 pages with 1643 paragraphs (plus copies of some of her requests) and 328 additional pages of copies of her correspondence with the agencies, many of which are duplicates of documents provided by Defendants in their motion papers. The Court notes that in her request to the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, Plaintiff sought records of a Frank Eugene Brown from Oklahoma who she claimed might have been sent to Germany in 1960 to "bring her back." The search did not locate any records of this individual. Defendants' Motion, Declaration 58. The Army Claims Service, however, did locate records indicating that in 1995 Plaintiff and Rosemarie Bretschneider filed a claim seeking back child support from Frank Brown for Frank Nikolaus Schubert, allegedly ordered by a German court in 1965. The claim and a related civil suit in Oklahoma were dismissed. Defendants' Motion, Declaration 61.]

[Footnote 4: From a Declaration dated October 8, 1997, provided by Plaintiff to several agencies and submitted by both Plaintiff and Defendants with their declarations, it appears that Plaintiff contends that President Eisenhower was the father of L. Ron Hubbard, that Plaintiff is Hubbard's daughter Sarah and was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in August, 1955, that she was kidnaped three times between 1955 and 1960 and taken to Germany where she was renamed Barbara or Barbel Bretschneider and raised by a German citizen named Rosemarie Bretschneider. She claims that in the early 1970's her father "got hold of" her and they lived together in the United Kingdom. She married Mark Rathbun but they were "ambushed by the Germans in Europe." The Germans aborted her child and "mind controlled us with hypnosis and laser proceedings were done to our memory banks of our brains, with the result that we forgot our past." Their memories returned when she "[ran] into Mark or Marty again in 1984." Defendants' Declaration 53, Attachment 3; Declaration 57, First Attachment.

Some of Plaintiff's documents identify Rathbun as a high official in the Church of Scientology and name Rosemarie Bretschneider the moving party in Rathbun's prosecution.

Plaintiff was advised in response to her request to the National Personnel Records Center that records show no connection between Eisenhower and Hubbard, that Eisenhower had two sons who were John and a child who died in infancy, that John has four children, none of whom are named Sarah and none of whom was ever kidnaped, that Hubbard had two children who were a son and a daughter Catherine, and there was no evidence that Hubbard had a daughter Sarah or a kidnaped child. See Appendices to Declaration of David Petree, Declaration 46 in support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.]

[Footnote 5: Plaintiff does not provide consents from any of the individuals about whom she sought records.]

[Footnote 6: Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820, 826 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977 (1974).]

[Footnote 7: This denial was proper. Plaintiff did not, and does not now, show that production to Plaintiff of additional documents at public expense "is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government." 5 U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(A)(iii). Despite Plaintiff's contention that the public interest is furthered by her search for wrongly imprisoned Mark Rathbun, which would disclose a German Nazi conspiracy, there is sound basis for the conclusion that the search is fruitless simply because Rathbun has not been convicted of raping and murdering Plaintiff and is not being held incommunicado. Cf. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989). See also Ely v. United States Postal Serv., 753 F.2d 163, 165 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied, 471 U.S. 1106 (1985).]

[Footnote 8: See Phillippi v. CIA, 546 F.2d 1009, 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1976) (relating to requests for records of the submarine retrieval ship "Glomar Explorer").]

[Footnote 9: These are the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Criminal Division, the United States Marshals Service, and the FBI.]

[Footnote 10: Although an impartial observer might doubt that any records exist anywhere showing that Rathbun was convicted of raping and murdering Plaintiff as the victim of a Nazi conspiracy provoked by Rosemarie Bretschneider, it is conceivable that the Defendant agencies have records referring to Rathbun in connection with a different criminal investigation. Rathbun clearly would have a privacy interest in those records, whether he is mentioned as a victim, a witness, or a subject of the investigation.]

Crime Cult does not act like a religion

Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2005 16:13:30 -0800
From: barb
Message-ID: <437fc0d0$>

I am one person. I have my own few stories about my relationship with the cult of Scientology.

Since protesting their abuses, they have accused me of planning to blow up the Scientology facility in San Diego.

They distributed libellous fliers in my building, falsely stating I went to Florida "to harass a peaceful religious group," which was unnamed. They stalked me and my parents.

They have posed as potential employers, calling my friends and family trying to get personal information on me.

They have parked outside my house, until it worried the neighbors, who have children. Neighbors told me, I went out, cult ops went away.

Not a whole lot of stuff, true. But I am one person. They try this crap with everyone they see as a potential threat.

Honestly, it's like playing Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Spy vs. Spy

Only stupider. But, they hope they can use their operatives to scare you away from criticising their cult.

This is one person's experiences. Add em up with everyone else's, and you start seeing a pattern of... Well, it's not the behavior you would expect from a "religion," is it?


"Imagine a 'church' so dangerous, you must sign a release form before you can receive its 'spiritual assistance.' This assistance might involve holding you against your will for an indefinite period, isolating you from friends and family, and denying you access to appropriate medical care. You will of course be billed for this treatment - assuming you survive it. If not, the release form absolves your caretakers of all responsibility for your suffering and death. Welcome to the 'Church' of Scientology." -- Dr. Dave Touretzky
and Peter Alexander

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Battlefield Tilden


St. Petersburg Times
May 11, 1997


TILDEN, NEB. - In a no-stoplight town on the American plain, in a house where the King James Version lies open in the entryway, a woman unfolds her newspaper and begins to read.

The headline in the Tilden Citizen announces, "New Park Groundbreaking Ceremony Held.'' A picture shows 13 people posed shoulder to shoulder, their grins as frozen as the February soil. The mayor, a construction foreman on his afternoon break, has the familiar job of holding the shovel.

A banner in the background says, "L. RON HUBBARD PARK."

L. Ron Hubbard? The woman pauses in her reading, searches her mental files, retrieves a few scant details: Born in Tilden a long time ago, wrote something called Dianetics, founded the Church of Scientology. The woman read some Scientology pamphlets once, and found them vaguely troubling.

Now she wonders: Is Hubbard the kind of person his hometown should make immortal?

That afternoon, after tidying the kitchen, she fastens her infant son into a stroller and pushes him three blocks to the Tilden Public Library. There, she begins her research, which continues for days.

She copies the 1991 Time magazine cover story describing Scientology as "a hugely profitable global racket" that operates "in a Mafialike manner." She samples the Web sites where critics rage about "the cult of $cientology" and its history of harassing its enemies with lawsuits and dirty tricks. She absorbs a 1995 court opinion that denounces a Scientology legal blitz as "reprehensible," and another that dismisses the church's founder as "a pathological liar."

Among Hubbard's own writings, she finds the Scientology Code of Honor and goes cold at No. 12:

Never fear to hurt another in a just cause.

L. Ron Hubbard Park? The name won't do, Marcie Sextro decides. She has a husband, a house to keep up, three children besides the baby boy, and no experience as an activist. But she knows the park must not keep that name.

Back at the house, the Bible is open to the Gospel of John, and she is certain that Jesus doesn't say anything about just causes.


A couple of years ago, the city of Tilden, Neb., conducted a survey to see what the town needed most. One thing was a doctor. Dr. Bill Barr was getting along in years, and would eventually retire. Doctors named Barr - Bill Barr's grandfather, then his father and uncle, and now Bill himself - have been taking Tilden's temperature since 1910.

The other thing people wanted was a new park with a ballfield, walking trails, picnic areas, and so on. If Tilden - population 895, according to the sign - was to survive, it had to attract families. A civic group had already given the land. Twenty-two acres.

The City Council created the Friends of the Park Foundation to raise money for the park, build it and maintain it. The park foundation - a feed salesman, a florist, some insurance agents, a few others - decided to seek donations from former Tilden residents who had become famous.

Two people qualified. One was Richie Ashburn, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995. Ashburn's mother, who is in her 90s, still lives in town, and shovels her own front walk when it snows.

The other was Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, who was born at 405 S Oak St. on March 13, 1911. Hubbard's birth was the beginning and the end of his association with Tilden. His family left town when he was an infant, and he died in 1986 without ever having gone back.

The park foundation sent a letter to Los Angeles and quickly got a response from a group called the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard. This group - which said it was made up of people, mostly Scientologists, who admired Hubbard - was so eager to help that the park foundation never got around to approaching Ashburn.

The Friends of L. Ron Hubbard pledged $50,000 to help build a biking-and-walking trail in the park. Later, they said they'd pay for the whole park, whose cost exceeded $800,000 as the park foundation's vision for it grew grander.

The Friends reached an agreement with the park foundation to name the park after Hubbard and to call the bike path The Way To Happiness Trail.

Hubbard published a pamphlet called The Way To Happiness in 1981. Some of the 21 Ways To Happiness echo the Ten Commandments: "Honor and Help Your Parents," "Do Not Steal," "Do Not Murder." Some offer fatherly advice: "Be Worthy of Trust," "Take Care of Yourself," "Love and Help Children." One recasts the Golden Rule in a curiously relaxed way: "Try To Treat Others As You Would Want Them To Treat You."


This was the deal: The people of Tilden could have their park, complete with an ice-skating pond, wildflower meadow and baseball field. All they had to do was name it after Hubbard and post his moral precepts on markers along the Way To Happiness Trail, one every 190 feet.

All this might have happened if Marcie Sextro hadn't picked up her copy of the Tilden Citizen and seen the picture of the groundbreaking.

After she did, Tilden began to experience some of the same fear and confusion that befell Clearwater when the Church of Scientology quietly began buying property there 22 years ago. Clearwater is now Scientology's spiritual headquarters.

Tilden, a cluster of silos, barns and two-story brick buildings 150 miles northwest of Omaha, straddles two counties, Madison on the east and Antelope on the west. Scientology divided the town a second time, with the park foundation people on one side and the Concerned Citizens Coalition - Marcie Sextro and friends - on the other.

People who had known each other since the first grade didn't speak when they met at the bank. Karen Decker, a park foundation member, would not pass through the doors of the Johnsons' grocery store because the Johnsons were aligned with the coalition.

In the midst of all this, strangers arrived from California, people whose religious leader spoke of engrams and thetans and the galactic ruler, Xenu.

The Church of Scientology says its members got involved in the park project on their own, not at the behest of the church. "The fact is that the "church' was never in Tilden," president Heber C. Jentzsch, said in a letter to the Times.

He'd have a hard time convincing Tilden of that.


Three Scientologists visited Tilden in September 1995 as guests of the park foundation. One said she was the director of the L. Ron Hubbard Office of Public Relations International in Los Angeles. The others represented the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard. This, they said, was the private foundation that would give the money for the park.

The Scientologists stayed several days. They took a hayride to the park site. They talked about the kind of tribute they would like to see there. They had lunch. They handed out copies of The Way To Happiness.

They gave some books to the Tilden Public Library. One was called What Is Scientology? That what was the question Tilden had to answer before it decided what to do with the park.

What is Scientology? The church Web site says it is an "applied religious philosophy" that seeks to help the individual "solve his own problems and so better his own life." The church - which in 1993 was declared tax-exempt by the IRS - says Scientology has helped countless people quit drugs and alcohol and live happier and more productive lives.

Here's how: Hubbard said every human being has a "thetan" inside. He once said thetans were sent to Earth, which he called "Teegeeack," by the cruel king Xenu. This was 75-million years ago. Thetans go to Venus when their hosts die.

The trouble with thetans is that they carry "engrams," lingering images of past psychic injuries. Engrams confuse and sicken the beings they inhabit. To overcome these painful memories - to "go clear" - one must receive "auditing."

Auditing is a conversation between a trained Scientologist and the "preclear," or subject. The auditor operates a device called an Electropsychometer, or E-meter, which looks like a futuristic radio with two tin cans attached by cords.

According to What Is Scientology?, the device "measures the mental state or change of state of a person, helping the auditor and preclear locate areas of spiritual distress or travail so they can be addressed."

Scientologists who go clear can become Operating Thetans. OTs can progress through eight levels, with the highest known as Truth Revealed. The church won't say what all this costs, but former members say they have had to pay tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Marcie Sextro, 32, came across much of this information during her research. The things she read did not make her a friend of L. Ron Hubbard.

She learned that 11 Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, went to prison in the 1980s for infiltrating and burglarizing the IRS, the Justice Department and other agencies to thwart their investigations of Scientology.

And that Hubbard was suspected of stealing millions from the church and socking the money away in Swiss banks.

And that federal authorities were seeking to charge him with tax fraud when his thetan went to Venus in 1986.

The source for much of this was the 1991 Time magazine cover story, "Scientology: The Cult of Greed." The church says the article is full of lies and errors. It filed a $416-million libel suit against the magazine, but a federal judge dismissed the suit last year, saying that "no reasonable jury" could conclude that the statements in the article were published with malice.

There was one other thing that disturbed Sextro. The church says Scientology can be used to supplement other religions, but Christianity apparently isn't one of them. Hubbard said Christ is a myth and heaven "is a very painful lie."

Sextro - who goes to a foot-stomping, hand-waving, tongue-speaking Christian church - took offense at that. So did the Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, and Church of Christ members who were helping her with her research. These people didn't want anybody's religion in the park. And they wanted Hubbard's there least of all.

Sextro and her friends - including another housewife, a teacher at the Lutheran preschool, a bull rancher and an auto mechanic - took their case to the mayor and City Council.

Which, it turned out, couldn't be bothered with it.


About the time the Sextro group was doing its research - the spring of 1996 - four members of the park foundation flew to Los Angeles to pick up a $50,000 check from the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard. The money was to be used for the Way To Happiness Trail.

Why didn't the park foundation ask the Scientologists to put the check in the mail?

"It is our responsibility as citizens of Tilden to find out more about L. Ron Hubbard," park foundation leader Dave Decker told the Tilden Citizen.

The park foundation people fulfilled this responsibility by spending three days in a Scientology hotel at the expense of Scientologists. They attended a reception at the Way To Happiness Foundation, toured the Scientology publishing house and enjoyed a day at Disneyland.

Decker's wife, Karen, received a free auditing session in Los Angeles. Scientology says the purpose of auditing is to improve one's "beingness." Mrs. Decker reported that her beingness was about the same after the session as it was before.

Dave Decker used to have a feed store on Center Street, but that didn't work out. Now he's building a small shopping center and - like a lot of people in Tilden - raising a few hogs. But mostly he works on the park.

"It's going to be something nice for our children," he says.

Decker, fiftyish, has a broken halo of brown hair, fingers like kielbasas, half-glasses on his nose. His checks bear pictures of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd. "Most people, when I write a check, figure it's a Looney Tune anyway," he says.

Decker says the town needs tourism for economic development. Including his.

The state of Nebraska is laying a 300-mile bike path that will run through Tilden. Decker backed the park plans in hopes that tourists - including Scientologists - would bicycle into town, veer off into the park and then visit his shopping center.

He has heard that people using the state bike trail will spend $83 a day.

"They gotta spend that someplace," Decker says.


The Concerned Citizens Coalition first approached the Tilden City Council last August. The council usually meets in a room the size of a one-car garage, but so many people came that the meeting had to be held in the gymnasium, between the basketball hoops and beneath the Nebraska state flag. The townspeople sat in the bleachers.

After voting to let the fire department buy a ventilation fan for $850, the council took up the park issue.

Stan Grubb said the Scientologists had to be stopped "before they get a foothold in the community." Jean Marie Shermer waved a copy of the Time magazine story, which the Concerned Citizens had provided to the council. She said she didn't want a tribute to Hubbard in Tilden.

Scott James said Scientology is a religion, not a cult, and everybody should calm down. Council member Darrell Wyatt said Scientologists do some pretty darned good work.

The council took no action. This turned out to be what the council did best. Most of the council members did not read the Time article, or any of the other materials the Concerned Citizens gave them. Some still haven't.

"We have people refusing to be informed," Sextro says.

Not refusing, exactly. Declining. The mayor of Tilden, Steve Rutjens, is the foreman of his family business, Rutjens Construction. He wears a baseball hat that says "Ditch Witch," the name of a company that makes trenchers and plows.

"I don't have time to sit down and read books to figure out what this stuff is. I told them I wished they had an audiocassette," he says. L. Ron Hubbard, Tilden's most famous son, may have been a genius. Or maybe he was a demented liar. Rutjens really can't say.

The mayor and council members weren't prepared for such a contentious issue. They serve mostly because nobody else wants to, and get paid a couple hundred dollars a year for their trouble. Normally they make easy decisions such as whether to spend $1,000 to replace the brooms on the street sweeper, which they did, but then it broke down again.

When the park controversy started and people demanded that they take a stand, they were taken aback. They hadn't signed up for anything like this.

The Concerned Citizens Coalition didn't let up. It hired a lawyer, a clear indication that things in Tilden had gotten out of hand.

Attorney Mark Albin, whose office is in Norfolk, 22 miles east, made the council members uncomfortable. He pointed out that the City Council had no control over the park foundation. It had no idea how much money the foundation had, where the money came from, or how the foundation was spending it.

This was important because the park foundation had used the $50,000 from the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard to get state matching funds for the Way To Happiness Trail. If the City Council decided not to approve a trail by that name, and if the Scientologists took their money and went home, Tilden would have to come up with $50,000 to make good on its deal with the state.

Albin had another point: What if the city built the trail and somebody sued on the grounds that Tilden had violated the Constitutional separation of church and state?

Not to worry, the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard said. The Way To Happiness is "a common-sense moral code," not Scientology scripture.

Call it religion or call it common sense, the Way To Happiness was making the Tilden City Council miserable.

Finally, Mayor Rutjens came up with a solution. It wasn't exactly Churchillian, but it would have to do.


The members of the Concerned Citizens Coalition measure their words carefully when they talk about Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. They don't call it a cult of greed or a racket; they let Time magazine do that. They don't mention that Hubbard falsified his military record, claiming honors he didn't have; they leave that to the Los Angeles Times.

And they don't speculate about what happened to 36-year-old Lisa McPherson, who died under mysterious circumstances after spending 17 days in the Fort Harrison Hotel, the Scientology spiritual retreat in Clearwater. Instead, the Concerned Citizens point to coverage of the case in the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune.

Sextro and the others don't speak ill of Hubbard or the church because they know what happens to people who do. They read about Paulette Cooper, the author of The Scandal of Scientology, who was framed by Scientologists on charges that she made bomb threats against the church. Cooper was indicted by a federal grand jury in 1973, only to be exonerated after the FBI raided Scientology's offices and uncovered the plot against her.

The church says that's ancient history.

Just 18 months ago, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that a church lawsuit against the Washington Post was "reprehensible" because its purpose was to "(stifle) criticism and dissent of the religious practices of Scientology and (destroy) its opponents." The church's Web site says the judge's decision was "erroneous."

Even Dave Decker, Scientology's best ally in Tilden, is frank about the church's tactics. "If you have ever defamed the church, you better be careful, because they'll come after you," he says.

Still, he sees no reason not to honor Hubbard. The Los Angeles City Commission did. If Los Angeles can have an L. Ron Hubbard Way, Decker asks, why can't Tilden have an L. Ron Hubbard Park?

Decker says the park wasn't meant to promote Scientology, and the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard took pains to distance themselves from the church that Hubbard founded. The articles they wrote for the Tilden Citizen never mentioned the word "Scientology."

Early on, Nebraska's Norfolk Daily News (circulation 21,000) published a story saying the Church of Scientology was contributing to the park project. The park foundation demanded a correction, and the paper published one that said the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard are "not associated with the church."

Maybe not, but they certainly were dedicated. One day, Marcie Sextro got a phone call from Dave Decker. Would it be all right if someone from the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard called to talk about the park?

When Kaye Conley called, Sextro switched on her answering machine and said she was recording the conversation. "I didn't trust her," she said. Yes, things had changed in Tilden.

Conley said she didn't know why people were suspicious of the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard. "It appears that it is considered that we have some vested interest," she said.

BEEP! Sextro's answering machine emitted a loud, shrill sound, its way of announcing that it was still recording. Conley gathered herself and went on. But the sound interrupted her again, and then again, and then again, at 15-second intervals. The sound was a distraction at first, then an annoyance, and finally a form of torture.

"Let's just forget that I'm a Scientologist . . ."


"Our children can't be educated because they're so drug-inflicted . . ."


"I don't know where this idea comes from that we worship some kind of devil . . ."


Conley mentioned Scientology's opposition to psychiatry - especially electroshock therapy. "We don't believe you can make a person better by frying his brain . . ."


Conley gave up.


This is what Mayor Steve Rutjens told the people of Tilden: I'll do whatever you tell me to do.

If bending to the will of the majority doesn't sound like leadership, the people didn't mind. In a place like Tilden, it's more important to be neighborly than it is to be sure of yourself. A City Council vote on the issue was scheduled for March 11 of this year.

Rutjens' "stand" turned the park issue into a numbers game: Whichever side got the most signatures would get its way, at least with him. In the days before the decisive City Council meeting, just about everybody in Tilden was asked to sign a petition for one side or the other.

Both sides delivered their stacks to the city office before the meeting. Most of the coalition's petitions were signed by longtime residents of Tilden. Some of the names on the park foundation petitions were less familiar: Rivera. Portillo. Morales. Ponce. Perez. Guajardo. These were Mexican immigrants who live in a trailer park on North Elm and work in the meat-packing plant in Norfolk.

In a city where second-generation families are seen as new blood, the Mexicans are all but invisible. Some people might be inclined to discriminate against them, but they'd have to notice them first.

Some in Tilden didn't appreciate the park foundation bringing the Mexicans into the controversy. "They know nothing about the park and trail," City Clerk Pat Borgelt says. Decker seized the opportunity to cry bigotry.

Borgelt finished tallying the petitions on the day of the big meeting. If the council deadlocked, the mayor would know how to vote.

The council held the first part of the meeting in the garage-size room. After voting to solicit bids for the shingling of the fire house roof, the council members got up and walked to to the city gym, where 200 people in a town of 900 sat waiting.

Tilden had a lot at stake. Business people who had taken a position were suffering for it now. Old friends had stopped talking to each other. The mayor had received two letters demanding that he accept the money from the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard. The letters were from his mother and his niece.

Tilden - which had struggled to raise even a few thousand dollars - was now being offered an $800,000 park. All the council had to do was say yes.

The meeting lasted until midnight. The park foundation spoke. The Concerned Citizens Coalition spoke. Mayor Rutjens repeatedly asked the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard what they would do if the city decided not to honor Hubbard. Would they take back the money? The mayor could not get a straight answer.

By a 4-2 vote, the council decided not to name the park for Hubbard, and not to build the Way To Happiness Trail. The mayor didn't have to vote.

After the meeting, the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard took back their $50,000 and left town.


A lot of people in Tilden don't want to talk about Scientology now. The Lutheran pastor has no comment. Jeannene Kerkman, of the park foundation, doesn't return calls. The wife of park foundation member Duane Eggers says, "He isn't available." As in, ever.

But few people don't want to talk about Scientology as much as Jerry Fields doesn't want to talk about it. Something, or someone, has made this Nebraska insurance man as edgy as a little boy in the dark. He sits behind the desk in his office, not talking. He won't even talk about why he won't talk.

"I really don't want to be in this," he says, meaning this newspaper story. Or this office, this town, this area code.

Fields is the only person in Tilden who was on both the park foundation and the City Council. As a park foundation member, he seconded the motion to make a deal with the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard. Later, in a City Council meeting, he voted against holding a public referendum on the park issue. Clearly, the Hubbard people had him on their side.

Then some of the coalition members cranked up the heat. They told him they would take their business elsewhere if he didn't vote their way. He could lose his livelihood. The Scientologists pressured him, too, he says. But he doesn't want to talk about it.

Jerry Fields empties his lungs with a long, shrinking sigh.

"People are cruel," he says.

He was among those who ultimately voted against honoring Hubbard. Soon after, he quit the City Council and focused on selling insurance.

Hanging on the wall of Fields' waiting room is a plaque that the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard gave him before he turned on them. It is inscribed with a quotation from Hubbard:

"On the day when we can really trust each other, there will be peace on Earth."

Federal lawsuit targets Front Sight gun "resort"

Federal lawsuit targets Front Sight gun "resort"


The Pahrump Valley Times


The staccato of controlled bursts from Uzi submachine guns was mixed with the excited laughter of children climbing 200 feet up a rock wall. In a scenario revisited on a regular basis at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, 300 students of all ages converged at the desert playground for active families and firearms enthusiasts.

Students from New York to California spent four days taking courses in rappelling, defensive handgun, tactical shotgun and practical rifle, unaware that just a few days earlier a federal lawsuit that could prove potentially disastrous to this planned firearms community was filed in federal court.

Front Sight, a resort-in-the-making located 30 miles south of Pahrump near the Spanish Trail, is in the crosshairs of at least three of its members who filed a class action against founder Ignatius Piazza and Front Sight Management Incorporated on Nov. 7.

Stacy James and Michael Schriber of Southern California and Bill Haag, who maintains a residence in Pahrump, filed the suit in California, where Front Sight is headquartered. The action demands a jury trial under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

When Congress passed the RICO Act in 1970, its intent was to eliminate organized crime. However, according to attorney Jeffrey Grell, an expert in RICO Act law who has written books on the subject, civil suits began to emerge in the 1980s. Today, RICO is almost never applied to the Mafia, but is used against individuals, businesses, political protest groups and even terrorist organizations. On his Web site, Grell reports "RICO has become one of the most complicated and unpredictable areas of the law."

The 26-page complaint against Front Sight centers on membership benefits and promises. At the organization's inception in 1998, memberships were sold to fund construction of shooting ranges. Free classes for life with memberships that could be willed to family members were attractive to gun owners who sought professional training. Additional benefits - like home sites - were promised for higher priced memberships.

Whether promises have been kept depends upon who is doing the talking.

Students firing 800 rounds down range at paper targets during a four-day handgun course have one viewpoint - it's fun. They also say it is essential training.

"Mostly, I just want to be safe," said first-time student Wayne Taylor, an engineer from Ridgecrest, Calif. "I love it here. It exceeds my expectations."

Taylor attended the $1,200, 4-day defensive handgun course at no cost. Fellow engineer H. Sam Edwards gave Taylor a certificate to take the course that Edwards received as part of the membership package he purchased after taking his first course earlier this year.

Certificates to give away to family and friends or sell at discounted prices have always been part of the allure for joining the Front Sight First Family membership program. In fact, it is possible to recoup the full cost of a basic membership by selling certificates. However, Bill Haag paid $175,000 for a platinum VIP membership that includes a one-acre home site and has waited years to build his home on the range on property that as yet has no road, power, water or sewer service - and he is mad enough to file suit on behalf of any one of the 3,000 students who feel they have been deceived by Front Sight.

"It's time someone stepped up on behalf of the members," was all Haag felt he could say about the court case.

However, Piazza - the founder and president of Front Sight Management - had plenty to say about the allegations contained in the complaint.

"I have been keeping my nose to the grindstone and working 12 to 16 hours a day, six to seven days per week on Front Sight ever since we broke ground in 1998," he stated. "I wish the project had moved faster, but this type of unique resort has never been built before - anywhere. That presents a number of problems that simply must be overcome with time."

Speaking about several development deals for the planned community that he has nixed or that have fallen through in the past, Piazza says, "If we had completed the project a few years ago on our own, it would never have been as beautiful or complete as it can be now. The delays have been a blessing in disguise."

Editor's note: The Pahrump Valley Times will continue to investigate this issue. Any parties who believe they've been harmed - or helped - by Front Sight are encouraged to contact the newspaper.


A first-time student from New York shoots a fully automatic M-16 rifle from a Robinson R-44 helicopter. She was firing at steel targets in the desert, set up in various tactical scenarios - depicting one person to a group of terrorists holding hostages.


Front Sight occupies 550 acres, 30 miles south of Pahrump off Tecopa Road. Aerial views show 15- to 400-yard shooting ranges, as well as rope and rappelling towers and classrooms.