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Newsletter, May - Page 2

FACTNet Newsletter

MAY 1998

This Month at FACTNet

A great deal has been happening at FACTNet. First of all, FACTNet held annual board meetings in May, which included all FACTNet directors, a number of advisors, and others directly or peripherally involved with the organization. The series of meetings were extremely energetic, productive, and motivating. THANKS to all who attended!

FACTNet took the opportunity of this gathering to bestow FACTNet's Award of Highest Honors to Bob Penny in honor of his role in the founding of FACTNet and outstanding contributions to education and social justice in the field of mind control and cults. FACTNet's Awards of High Honors were given to Ann Weber and Margery Wakefield for assisting FACTNet in its formative years and for outstanding contributions to education in the field of mind control and cults.

It is an especially opportune time to thank and honor those who have contributed to FACTNet's development, because the organization is about to embark upon a new, unprecedented range of services. A number of major projects are getting underway through the help of enthusiastic new contributors and volunteers. Watch upcoming newsletters for details on new projects!

FACTNet as an organization is really strengthening. We now have three very active directors, a number of motivated advisors and volunteers, and a great deal of momentum. Hits to the FACTNet web site have been soaring at 40,000 to 45,000 per week!

Special Thanks!

FACTNet just received a contribution of $10,000 from an anonymous donor.

Thank you so very much

FACTNet received an anonymous donation this month in the amount of $10,000! Thanks to this unnamed contributor, FACTNet will be able to pay its operating expenses for the whole month of June and part of July. We are very appreciative to be able to continue our work, especially just now as it seems our work is expanding at record rates.

We welcome suggestions and ideas for the newsletter, the web site, or FACTNet in general. Please forward your correspondence to manage@factnet.org or . Thanks!

Sincerely,
Justine Janette, Executive Director


Your donations at work

We strive to stretch each contribution to its fullest. In so doing, we track use of the FACTNet web site use versus operating costs incurred by FACTNet. For April:

FACTNet web site hits: 184,188
Web site pages viewed: 34,502
FACTNet expenses: $8,132.57
Cost per web site hit: $.04
Cost per web site page viewed: $.24


FACTNet-Scientology litigation update

August 4, 1998: Pretrial conference
January 4, 1999: Trial
Current legal bills past due: $182,328.19
Estimates for additional legal funds for trial: $300,000


A Father's Fight

Tom Padgett has been fighting for custody of his two children for years. His ex-wife Laura stayed in Scientology when he left, and is adhering to Scientology's disconnection policy by which neither she nor the children may have contact with Tom. In addition to being separated from his kids, Tom alleges he has been a target of severe Scientology harassment, which has led -- among other things -- to the end of a successful and lucrative career in hotel management. Most recently, Tom was arrested on charges of failing to pay child support. According to Tom, he pays child support regularly, but the checks are returned to him without explanation or simply remain uncashed. Tom was released on bail, but the litigation that began as a divorce continues in a small Kentucky town. Expert Paul Grosswald says the Padgett case could potentially be the first custody case on record in which sole custody is awarded to a Scientologist parent, making it the first time that Scientology's `disconnection' policy has even been sanctioned by the courts. Meanwhile, Tom's children continue to see more of Scientology than of their father.

Donations in support of Tom may be sent to the Tom Padgett Defense Fund, Citizens Against Scientology Harassment, PO Box 884, Harwich, MA 02645.

Responsibility (from p.1)

The locus of control for the use of mind control techniques should lie within our selves, not with some external authority figure. True spirituality demands personal awareness and responsibility. The right to believe whatever you want should be upheld. However, behaviors must be scrutinized in order to protect human liberty. Behaviorally, all relationships and involvements can be evaluated by objective criteria such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (available at any library or through Amnesty International).

The position that religious groups should not be scrutinized is most vigorously promoted by organizations that have notoriously bad histories of abuse. They have spent large amounts of money in

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public relations campaigns and have even funded publications and conferences to support their positions. They have also expended great effort to do propaganda campaigns to attack former members and critics in an effort to neutralize the dissemination of factual information. I have personally been subjected to incredible harassment, with extraordinary lies manufactured about me that I kidnap and even torture people to renounce their religious beliefs. While I have been subjected to nuisance law suits, systematic attempts to character assassinate me, and efforts to intimidate me to stop my criticisms, I refuse to be silent. I choose to exercise my First Amendment right to speak freely, and I offer proof for what I say. I suppose that I should feel good that destructive cults attack me so blatantly as proof that I am being effective.

This excerpt is from Spiritual Responsibility: Avoiding Abuses and Pitfalls Along the Path by Steve Hassan and Lama Surya Das, 1995. For full booklet, write to PO Box 686, Boston MA 02258 or see avoiding.htm. Steve Hassan is one of America's leading exit counselors. Also at the web site is information on A Healing Workshop with Steven Hassan August 9, 1998.


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This editorial/opinion/news alert has been provided or distributed by FACTNet, Inc. (Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network.) Since 1993 we have been the largest online news and referral service as well as research archive for defending freedom of thought and mind from all forms of unethical influence tactics, mind control and mental coercion/torture used in destructive cults and fundamentalist groups. FACTNet is a tax deductible, IRS Approved 501(c)(3) non profit organization.

For breaking news, personal stories, recovery information, support groups, expert referrals, message boards, newsletters and books relating to destructive cults and fundamentalism, mind control, mental coercion and unethical psychological influence, please visit our web site at http://www.factnet.org  If you would like to comment on this editorial/opinion/news or to share your personal experiences, go to one of our many various message boards at http://www.factnet.org/discus/ .

Re-distribution and re-posting of this document using proper net etiquette when doing so, is appreciated!

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