Stockholm, January 24-25, 2001
[Previous installment: Child games.] THE COURT HAS ADJOURNED for two days. Friday we will resume: that day, pleas are to be held and that’s it. Afterwards, all we can do is wait for the ruling (and pray to Xenu).
McShane’s vehement assertion that no Class IX auditor ever pays for the ‘privilege’ to study the NOTs pack and that only Class IX auditors get to study this material, sits badly with us. We simply don’t believe that McShane is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
After some discussion between the two of us, we slap our heads. Damn!! How stupid can you get! We asked about payment and donations, but never asked McShane about the Freeloader’s Debt… Scientology often allows staff members to do courses with delayed payment: you’re off the hook as long as you stay in the church. Probably Class IX auditors are presented with a nice fat bill for the darned stuff when they leave… McShane had given us one of Scientology’s ‘acceptable truths’: he’d answered the questions only partially and twisted them a bit, so that he could escape saying what he didn’t want to be revealed. Hurriedly, Zenon posted to a.r.s. and came up with a set of concise questions:
From: Zenon Panoussis
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology, nl.scientology,
Subject: The NOTs
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 23:49:32 +0100
McShane said today under oath that
– only the Class IX auditors get to read the actual NOTs; the CoS members that do the new OT 5 course are audited on the basis of the NOTs, but never get to actually read them;
– all the Class IX auditors are employed by the CoS; studying the NOTs is part of their job; they have never had to pay for the class IX auditor courses; the CoS has *never* charged anybody for the NOTs and neither has it ever asked for donations for these particular courses;
– Until 1998 about 325 people had been allowed to read the NOTs within the CoS; after 1998 approximately another 100 have read them within the CoS.
If you can refute any of this, please **e-mail** me at once.
WE RECEIVED QUITE a number of interesting replies to this. A few ex-members who had been rather high in Scientology confirmed that Class IX Auditors were presented with a Freeloader’s bill, so that yes, payment was expected for the NOTs Pack. Others told us that not only Class IX Auditors got to see the actual NOTs Pack: huge parts of the NOTs Pack are part of OT6 and OT7.
One mail that we get seems particularly promising. A woman, a former Sea Org member who has done the Class IX Auditing Course herself, did pay for the NOTs. Unlike most others, in her case Scientology never put it on her Freeloader’s Bill: they just took the money. And what is far more interesting: this woman is prepared to testify to this under oath. She is in a position to refute most of McShane’s statement regarding the handling of the NOTs.
Zenon phones her. They have an elaborate discussion and she gives a very detailed account of what NOTs pertain where. She is the perfect witness – and quite willing to be one.
ZENON IMMEDIATELY writes a new brief that he files with the court on Wednesday afternoon, outlining the new evidence in detail. The one big hassle is that we are officially done with the reviewing of the evidence, and that it is rather difficult to bring in anything new at this stage.
Then again, we have caught McShane with something very close to perjury. This amounts to more than telling ‘acceptable truths’: he has been weaselling and withholding information that he was pressed for. If Magnusson stops us from bringing this testimony in on Friday, we will prove it afterwards anyway and if we do that, the whole case could have to be started all over again – while by then Magnusson’s prime witness, and actually the party that he is representing, will have been revealed to be dishonest, to say the least.
We have no clue what will happen. We have RTC by the balls on this, but we don’t know what the short-term result will be. Magnusson might simply accept the new evidence and squirmingly admit that his client made a ‘mistake’. Magnusson might vehemently oppose the new evidence, and, for procedural reasons, the court might accept his protest. The court might allow us to hear the new witness, but in that case Friday’s schedule is completely messed up – the whole day was to be devoted to the final pleas – so that Zenon will need to stay in Stockholm a few days more. The new witness might not be allowed to testify, but in that case Zenon is going to make damn sure that he files her testimony afterwards, thereby forcing the case to start all over, at least if he loses. Which one of this will it be? We don’t know.
Zenon’s January 24 brief (rough translation)
103 17 Stockholm
Warren McShane has testified that the scientologists that can partake in the NOTs within the “church” don’t have to pay for this and that the “church” has never charged anyone for the privilege of partaking in these scriptures.
As a result of my posting of McShane’s statements to the internet, several people who either themselves have followed the Class IX Auditor Course (the course of which the original NOTs are a part) or have held high enough positions within scientology to know how the system works, have replied that McShane’s statements are wrong in several aspects.
The correct situation is as follows:
The NOTs-material goes under several names, and, apart from the NOTs texts that are the topic of this court case, it consists of other material. In the following, when I talk about the “NOTs”, I only refer to those parts of the NOTs that are labelled as attachment 37.
There are two categories of scientologists that are allowed to do the NOTs within the church: those who in this court case have been called “the priests” and in scientology are called “Class IX Auditors”, and ordinary scientologists partaking in various courses. According the “church’s” rules, Class IX Auditors must belong to the special department within scientology that is called the Sea Org. Before they are allowed to partake in the Class IX Auditor course, members of the Sea Org must sign a contract for a billion years – this is no typing error. After having completed their “priest course”, Class IX Auditors give courses to paying scientologists, as McShane has described. The compensation for Class IX Auditors consists of food, lodging and a minimal sum of cash; in 1994 it was 15 USD per week for a full-time job.
Although Class IX Auditors don’t have to pay immediately for the NOTs, they are charged for the course: several thousand dollars. In the event that they break their billion year contract and leave the movement before they die, payment will be demanded of them afterwards. Thus, one way or another, the “church” is charging for the NOTs material.
Apart from the fact that the complete NOTs material is part of the Class IX Auditor Course, substantial parts of the NOTs are included in the OT6 and OT7 courses for the ordinary paying scientologists. At least until 1994, approximately 80% of the NOTs were actually included in these courses and were allowed to be studied directly in their original form by the students of these two courses.
To put it more precisely: normal paying members who do the OT6- and OT7-courses can themselves read the following sections of the NOTs that are the subject of this court case:
Parts of series 1, the whole of the series 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 15 and 16, attachment 1 of series 18, the whole of series 19, 20 and 21, the parts “correction list” of series 24, the whole of series 25, 26R (of which parts are missing in attachment 37), 28 and 31, HCOB 29 October 1978 issue II, the whole of series 33, 37, 43 (including material from OT3), probably the whole of series 44, the whole of series 45 and 46, the first part of series 47, approximately half of series 49, the whole of series 51 and 55, approximately half of series 62, together with “correction actions on OT ser II flying ruds” (pages 170-172 in the copy of Stockholm’s tingsrätt’s administrative department).
The above mentioned parts of attachment 37 are included in the OT6 and OT7 courses, which, according to attachment 170, are being handed out in exchange for several thousand dollars in “fixed donations”. Approximately 10,000 paying scientologists have been following these courses, of which at least 3,000 had attained the corresponding levels already in 1994.
It is obvious from the above that the description of the NOTs use within the “church” that McShane gave in his testimony is incomplete, to say the least.
I request the court of appeals to order RTC to explain their stance on the above. Taking into consideration that the case is in a very advanced stage, this should be done as soon as possible. In case that RTC is unable to confirm these factual circumstances, I request that the pleas of January 26 shall be postponed, and that I am given the opportunity to put forward evidence to prove my claims.
I would like to remind the court that the statement “the church of scientology is charging for this material” is not new, but has been claimed by me ever since the beginning of the case in primary court. RTC’s refutation that payment is demanded for NOTs is however new, and was done within the frame of McShane’s testimony during the ongoing trial in the court of appeals.
I have verbally informed lawyer Magnusson of part of the above and will fax this brief to him directly.
THE NEXT DAY, Zenon phones Magnusson and asks him whether they will admit the facts that Zenon stated in his last brief. Magnusson refuses to answer the question. Zenon phones the court, which tells him that they want a reply from Magnusson before three in the afternoon and that they themselves can now not take a decision on it, because not all judges can be reached. Zenon goes to court to pick up the tapes from McShane’s testimonies, and by the time he is there, Magnusson’s reply has arrived.
Magnusson’s agitation can be discerned in his brief. He grudgingly admits that yes, indeed, there are invoices involved for the Class IX Auditors, but those are only a symbolical formality, not a real bill. Only those who wish to leave the Sea Org but not Scientology are expected to pay them. And besides, of all Sea Org staff, only one percent ever leaves. And the court must understand that RTC admitting this is merely a generous gesture towards Zenon, not an admittance of error of any sorts. As for NOTs being part of the OT6 and OT7 course, that is definitely not true.
Magnusson’s brief, January 25 2001
[Another rough translation; my aide in this claims that Magnusson’s brief was extremely badly phrased. Perhaps he was agitated…]
Avdelning 2, rotel 50
Stockholm, January 25 2001
Regarding Panoussis’s statement of January 24, the court of appeals asked Religious Technology Center (“RTC”) to make a statement.
1. Class IX Auditors do not pay for the NOTs education.
2. Class IX Auditors do not pay for the NOTs education in case they leave the church.
3. Employees in the special department Sea Org (which Class IX Auditors are) do not pay for their education within the church nor for their costs of living – these costs are being paid by the church. While it is true that a symbolic pro forma invoice is made out for these employees, to demonstrate their commitment towards the church, and that employment is a prerequisite for free education and free costs of living, it can be added that this was introduced to prevent abuse of the beneficial system. Payment is actually not demanded if the person is leaving the church completely. If on the other hand such a person has left his employment within the church for good but still wants to be a member of the church and continue to use the religious services, the cost or parts thereof (depending on circumstances – in some cases, nothing is being paid) for the education and the costs of living according to the pro forma invoices must be paid. But the person who leaves the church entirely is thus not being required to pay the pro forma invoice, no matter what services he has used as an employee.
It can be noted that it is extremely unusual that Sea Org employees leave their employment, or the church (less than one percent).
4. It should be stressed that pro forma invoices DO NOT include the material itself, but only the education and the cost of living.
5. Panoussis’s claim that members who participate in OT6 and OT7 usually may use parts of the NOTs material is wrong.
6.Irrespective of the aforesaid, RTC wants to emphasise that the question about payment in some of the above-mentioned cases for education within the church and costs of living, lacks relevance in the case. Payment is never for copies of the material. [*]
RTC wants to stress that it does not in and for itself accept that Panoussis is allowed to hand in new evidence in the case, especially not the day before the pleas. RTC’s answers on these questions shall in this respect be seen as a benevolent gesture for the purpose of facilitating the handling of the case.
RTC assumes that the questions that Panoussis has brought up in his brief are hereby settled; otherwise, RTC retains the right to demand dismissal of Panoussis’ new claims.
[*] Do note the red herrings that Magnusson is throwing around. Zenon never claimed that payment is for copies of the NOTs.
MEANWHILE, ZENON CONTACTS other people. By the time it is evening, we have four people able and willing to testify under oath that about eighty percent of the NOTs Pack is included in OT6 and OT7, and that every public Scientologist who does these two courses, pays for them. That means: they pay to study the NOTs; which is what Zenon has been saying all along.
And what is more: we are able to prove that McShane is an unreliable witness.
We are looking forward to seeing McShane in court again tomorrow.
[Unbiased columnism is a series of seven court reports on the proceedings of Scientology versus Zenon Panoussis. This series covers the Jan 2001 sessions. Next and last: Carrying water from the desert to the sea.]