October 25, 2004
Joseph K. Grieboski
Institute on Religion and Public Policy
1101 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Dear Mr. Grieboski:
I have webbed the statement of Professor Alexander Dvorkin1 made at the recent forum you and he attended at Rhodes, Greece. Dr. Dvorkin, who devoted part of his time to responding to a statement made by you, cites to and challenges you about the Gerry Armstrong case. I am that Armstrong, and I also challenge you and your organization about my case.
Dr. Dvorkin says:
“Mr. Grieboski says that without freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and other freedoms cannot exist. But totalitarian cults deny freedom of speech. After all, religious criticism is also an inalienable component of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We see how totalitarian cults silence criticism of themselves with endless, grueling court proceedings, so that today in the USA it is extremely rare that one can encounter in the open press criticism of totalitarian cults or statements defending their victims. Indicative of this is the well-known case of Gerry Armstrong, who lost eleven years of his life in Scientology, for whom a court judgment of a California court now not only prohibits to speak about his experience in this cult, but even to pronounce in public words like “Scientology,” “Hubbard,” Dianetics” and so forth. For each violation of this prohibition he is supposed to pay 50,000 dollars. If for a moment one concurs with Scientology’s assertion that it is a religion, then such a prohibition could be compared to a court order prohibiting a former Muslim from uttering the word “Mohammed,” “Koran” or “Islam.” But if we were to say in this case that Scientology is an international intelligence organization that uses criminal methods, then the prohibition is the equivalent of prohibiting the victim of organized crime group from saying the word “Mafia” or “godfather.” And this abominable judgment was made by an American court and is upheld by American law enforcement agencies. Is this called freedom of speech?
At the same time, in the annual reports of the US Congress, publications by other countries that are critical of one or another cult are viewed and cited as violations of freedom of conscience.”2
You and your organization clearly support Scientology, and criticize those countries that oppose Scientology fraud, abuses, criminality and human rights violations. Scientology, as is also clear, portrays itself as a courageous defender and promoter of human rights, when the Armstrong case shows that Scientology is anything but.
“In modern democracies, religious freedoms are fundamental. Thus, as Russia is shedding its Communist ideology and emerging as a democratic state, religious freedoms have become essential. With this in mind, I traveled to Moscow and Nizhniy-Novgorod to attend the Experts Conference on Religious Freedoms in Russia and to study the position of religious minorities in Russian society.
My assistant was Alexei Danchenkov, Russian national and a legal analyst and spokesman for the Church of Scientology. In attendance at the conference were academics, journalists, state servants, political advisers, and religious freedoms advocates from both Russia and the United States. The conference provided an open forum to discuss the state of religious freedoms in the Russian Federation and allowed U.S. experts to share the American experience. Moreover, because the Church of Scientology works extremely hard on religious freedom issues, I was provided with much information the struggles of religious groups around the world.”4
Your board member Lynsey Bartilson, who is identified on your web site as a “human rights activist,” is a Scientologist. She describes herself on her own web site as “the International Spokesperson for Youth for Human Rights.” She says that the purpose of this Scientology group is: “To teach youth around the globe about human rights, thus helping them to become valuable advocates for the promotion of tolerance and peace.”5
The Gerry Armstrong case demonstrates beyond any doubt that Scientology is not seeking religious freedom, and not defending and promoting human rights, as the organization publicly claims, but is a wholesale suppressor and destroyer of religious freedom and basic human rights.
Scientology seeks to have me jailed, fined and assessed the obscene amount of $50,000 in “damages” for every religious expression of my religious experiences, or my religious knowledge, or my religious beliefs concerning this organization, which insists that it is a religion.
Virtually all of my religious expressions of my religious experiences, knowledge, or beliefs for which Scientology wants me jailed, fined and ruined utterly have occurred in Canada or Europe. What Scientology seeks is in direct and flagrant violation of international human rights declarations and charters, which the U.S. lists in its own “International Religious Freedom Act of 1998:
“(2) Freedom of religious belief and practice is a universal human right and fundamental freedom articulated in numerous international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Helsinki Accords, the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, the United Nations Charter, and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.”6
Every Scientology or Scientology-affiliated corporation, organization or entity, and all of their directors, officers, employees, volunteers, lawyers and agents sign on to the Armstrong contract 7 to suppress, punish and destroy religious freedom.
People like Ms. Bartilson, who probably have good hearts, but certainly have celebrity, are used by Scientology as spokespersons for its “human rights” front groups. As long as she remains under the domination of the Scientology organization, with its well known cultic policy and practice of attacking opponents, and even critics, will she really teach about real human rights, real tolerance and real peace? As a Scientology representative, Ms. Bartilson is contracted to suppress and destroy human rights.
Scientology’s ideal for peace is a state in which Scientology and every Scientology or Scientology-affiliated corporation, organization or entity, and all of their directors, officers, employees, volunteers, lawyers and agents can attack, defame, silence, jail, fine, impoverish and destroy a designated target and he cannot respond. The Scientology organization even claims that all of those organizations and individuals have monetarily purchased such a state of “peace,” and use the U.S. courts and the organization’s infamous “Fair Game” machinery, to collect on and enforce such “purchase.”
Ms. Bartilson’s mother Laurie Bartilson was attorney of record for a number of years in Scientology’s several litigations – all using the U.S.’s courts – to deprive me of my basic rights.
Alexei Danchenkov, elsewhere called a spokesperson for Scientology, or as the organization so ironically calls its Russian operation, the “Hubbard Humanitarian Center,” is obviously a member of Scientology’s notorious Office of Special Affairs. OSA has the specific function in the Scientology enterprise, as directed by enterprise leader David Miscavige, of suppressing and destroying the religious and other human rights of the organization’s designated targets.
Mr. Danchenkov is a signatory to your letter of July 24, 2003 to the US House Appropriations Committee Washington, D,C., and is identified as “Chief Editor, Freedom Magazine in CIS.”
Scientology uses its magazine “Freedom” to attack, defame and eliminate any opposition to its fraud, abuses and criminality. See, e.g., these scandalous black PR attacks on me in “Freedom” that I’ve saved over the past twenty years. “Freedom” publishes typical hate literature of a typical rights-destroying totalitarian cult.8
I’m sure you can easily see why thinking people would think that you’re irresponsibly shilling for Scientology, and cults of its ilk. I still retain a hope, however, that you would attempt to do what is right, and to speak out against Scientology, which is the religious persecutor in this paradigm.
I’ll send a copy of this letter to Dr. Dvorkin, Mr. Ballard, Ms. Bartilson, Mr. Danchenkov, Mr. Miscavige, and to the IRPP general address. According to Scientology, this would amount to $350,000 in “damage” penalties for the organization. I’ll also post the letter to Usenet and web on my site, so if, for example, another seventy thousand people read the letter, that would be another $3,500,000,000. Do you think there is any decency, sense or worth whatsoever in the U.S. courts being used to silence a person whose slightest utterances of his religious beliefs have such galactic value?
Is this letter not the writer’s religious expressions about a religion? Is there anyone at IRPP who would come forward to argue that this letter is not my religious expression of my religious experiences, religious knowledge and religious beliefs, or indeed could not constitute religious scripture?
Scientology, after all, pronounces this Hubbard policy letter called “Battle Tactics”9 to be “religious scripture.” Are not the words of the victims and targets of these shocking and criminal war tactics of Scientology just as holy, just as religious, and just as needful of protection as the “scripture” that makes good people victims and targets and then victimizes them?
My suggestion is that you and your organization investigate the nature of Scientology, and that you publicly cease support for Scientology until you know the nature of what you’re supporting. I suggest that you locate and engage people who are actual victims of Scientology’s “Suppressive Person” doctrine, and that you fully and openly investigate this doctrine, which is key to Scientology’s nature.
If you are satisfied that, having investigated Scientology’s nature, you and your organization still wish to support this organization, then shilling or collaboration is understandable.
I look forward to hearing from you, I look forward to your thoughts about the Armstrong case, and I look forward to a really good debate about Scientology’s nature.
E-mail to: Joseph K. Grieboski
Dr. Alexander Dvorkin
- See Statement by Professor A. L. Dvorkin (Autumn 2004) ↩
- From Statement by Professor A. L. Dvorkin. ↩
- About Kyle Ballard ↩
- From Ballard’s article The Study of Religious Freedoms in Russia ↩
- http://www.lynseybartilson.com/ ↩
- From http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/laws/majorlaw/intlrel.htm
This same U.S. law, H.R. 2431, states as U.S. policy:
“(b) POLICY- It shall be the policy of the United States, as follows:
(1) To condemn violations of religious freedom, and to promote, and to assist other governments in the promotion of, the fundamental right to freedom of religion.”
Pursuant to its own law, the U.S. Government should be condemning what the Scientology organization is attempting to do with me, especially because Scientology is seeking to deprive me of my religious liberty and other rights and privileges secured to me by the U.S.’s own Constitution and the U.S.’s own Laws under color of the U.S.’s own law.
Instead, the U.S. Government supports Scientology in its drive to suppress and destroy basic human rights, including by condemning those sovereign nations who oppose Scientology’s suppression and destruction of human rights. Your organization apparently does the same, in alignment with the U.S. Government’s anti-human rights position and activities.
As Kyle Ballard observed, Scientology works extremely hard on religious freedom issues. The Gerry Armstrong case shows, however, that this “religious freedom” Scientology works so extremely hard on is the “religious freedom” to suppress, punish and destroy religious freedom.
Scientology has paid millions of tax-exempt dollars to attorneys, private investigators and other agents, and organization directors, officers, employees and volunteers to achieve the criminal and condemnable goal of suppressing, punishing and destroying religious freedom. Scientology has paid millions to achieve that shameful goal in the Armstrong case alone.[1. See Armstrong’s Legal archive. ↩
- See Scientology’s “Mutual Release” ↩
Freedom Mag Special edition (1985) ; Scientology’s DA docs ↩
- HCOPL Battle Tactics ↩