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Riverside County ordinance curtailing Scientology protests suspended

Demonstration

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors today temporarily suspended an ordinance it passed last week to limit protests outside a large Church of Scientology compound near Hemet.

Protesters show up about once a month outside Golden Era Productions, home to 500 Scientologists, on Gilman Springs Road. In an incident last week, protesters were swarmed by sheriff's deputies trying to enforce the ordinance. After a vigorous debate among supervisors, the ordinance was suspended today.

The measure, which was requested by the church to keep demonstrators away from private homes and was rushed through last week as "urgent," is supposed to keep protesters 50 feet from the property line of any residence. Supervisors believed it still would allow protests outside the compound's front gate.

But a group protesting at the front gate last week was met by carloads of deputies demanding identification. Officers also asked two of the men whether they were HIV-positive, protesters said.

In today's debate, Supervisor Bob Buster questioned whether the ordinance was needed.

"This seems to be much more complicated than it need be," Buster said. "Why is it even needed?"

Sam Alhadeff, a lawyer representing the church, said the measure was needed to "protect people who move around the campus from having people scream at them."

Supervisor Roy Wilson moved to have the ordinance suspended for a month while county counsel and the Sheriff's Department determined exactly where protesters could assemble and what form their protests could take.

"The county counsel and the sheriff can get together and make it crystal clear what we are doing," he said. "This has gotten broader than we had anticipated."

The board voted unanimously to approve the temporary suspension.

-- David Kelly

Photo: Donald Myers of West Hollywood protests outside the Scientology complex near Hemet last week. “Even the smallest protest freaks [church officials] out. ... This is the Xanadu of xenophobia,” he said. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
 
Comments () | Archives (58)

A victory for free speech! Also they shot down a new proposed ordinance, which would prohibit protestors who are HIV+ because of "health risks to the staff." Which is wrong on every level.

If you can protest next to the White House lawn, you can protest at a Scientology compound.

I wonder if the end of the story will be that Scientology ends up starting an ordinance that protects critics from having their own homes picketed by Scientologists? It's not so long ago that a guy called "AnonOrange" had his own private home in Riverside County picketed by Scientologists, and this seems to have taken place inside a gated community.

It would be rather ironic.

Sweet! Maybe the council will also start questioning why there is RAZOR wire on the INSIDE of the fences.

Wow, by their own account, all protesters were gay and two of them HIV+. Obviously they themselves are the source of this information. But that's beside the point. These people try to claim a "right" to harass members of Scientology at their home, with yelling, shouting, blowing horns and covered by masks. This ordinance procedure has been made a farce by the likes of "Angry Gay Pope" (the screaming one on the photo), "Happy Smurf" and a wannabe lawyer called Berry.

"Sam Alhadeff, a lawyer representing the church, said the measure was needed to "protect people who move around the campus from having people scream at them.""

Period. Believe it or not, Scientologists have rights too.

"Sam Alhadeff, a lawyer representing the church, said the measure was needed to "protect people who move around the campus from having people scream at them.""

That's real funny, considering every time we're present, the cult blares a minor chord, right out of a horror movie, from giant speakers placed along the road at a 110 decibel volume.

This whole situation stinks. Scientology is trying to avoid being criticized for the alleged abuses comimtted on that property. Many people have related sadly similar tales of being beaten, restrained, overworked, underfed and controlled, some kept from leaving.

Scientology claims it's in favor of freedom of speech. Their lies just never stop spewing. I am happy that, for once, Scientology is not being allowed to run roughshod over our right to speak out. Marc Headley, Jeff Hawkins, and the ex-members over at exscientologykids.org are also speaking out. John Duignan's book, 'The Complex,' has also been released, despite Scientology's best effort to suppress its sales on Amazon. At last, there are cracks in Scientology's secret wall of silence and their ability to control information about their destructive and abusive practices. The Riverside Supervisors who questioned the necessity of Ordinance 884 are to be commended. Scientology will almost certainly try to intimidate them into silence.

I am happy that also Scientology critics work up to the scandal that is building here. Says a critic:

"I have been blogging last January 6, about what appeared to be a ridiculous ordinance preventing critics from picketing Gold base.

However, what the article did NOT say, and what apparently was also concealed by critics, is the following information to be found in that article:

"However, the revision preserved Anonymous' right to protest in its usual position across from the main gate"

So, during all this time, critics were protesting about a supposedly anti free speech ordinance when in fact it preserved their right to protest in the position where they protested before?

Furthermore, we also learn of new developments as well:

"At one point, the Sheriff's Deputies emerged and their Sergeant informed us that Scientology and the Riverside County's Legal Counsel had worked out an interpretation of Ordinances 884 and 888. Provided we did not use the name of any living Scientologist specifically, and only protested Scientology generally, we could protest up and down both sides of Highway 79."

For the rest, I am highly skeptical of the article, considering the source. IndyBay has indeed been so biased against Scientology in the past it could virtually be considered as a critic mouthpiece, with all the cultic thinking that goes with it. I would need to wait for more reliable source before considering what they claim as a worthy news item."

(http://anotherlookatscientology2.blogspot.com/)

Incomplete story.
Why would the officers ask the protesters if they are HIV+? Are they even allowed to ask that?
Why would an ordinance about protesting ever be considered "urgent?" If they get protested every month, why the sudden urgency? Were they afraid they would get protested for their connection to the passing of Jett or something?

"This has gotten broader than we had anticipated." Yeah well, the idiots should have never passed such a stupid ordinance considering the cult's history of abusing such systems for their own insidious goals.
The county counsel has allowed itself to be made a fool of by a foolish cult.

Glad to see that protests against this criminal enterprise can continue.

It's a great day for freedom of speech. I saw the live feed today and Scientology is clearly trying to muddy up the issue. The Scientologist PR spokeswoman Frasier is trying to claim that a dining hall is a residence. You gotta be kidding me.

Freedom of Speech means that you have to hear what you don't like as well. To the scientologists saying that they need to be protected, you have fences, razor wire, and guards... Isnt that enough for protection. This ordinance is about residential picketing, not campuswide picketing.. Sorry Lesley and Scientology.org, you failed. The president of the United States is not protected from pickets outside of the White House.

Frasier is also stating that they don't want to hear the protesters, sorry the US Constitution protects stuff that you don't want to hear. You don't see Liberals trying to pass ordinances on conservative radio talk show hosts because they dont want to hear what they have to say. So dont pass laws that infringe on rights of others that you dont like because thats is a negative spiral that can cause chaos.

Re: Terry: "Why would the officers ask the protesters if they are HIV+? Are they even allowed to ask that?"

The Scientology lawyer had gotten hold of some medical information and told it to the sheriff deputies.

The world needs to know what goes on at Gold Base. The best telling of a Scientology escape story I have read is that of Catherine Frasier's ex-husband, Jeff Hawkins, who writes of his dramatic escape at http://counterfeitdreams.blogspot.com/

"Posted by: martin luther | January 13, 2009 at 04:23 PM
Wow, by their own account, all protesters were gay and two of them HIV+. Obviously they themselves are the source of this information. But that's beside the point. These people try to claim a "right" to harass members of Scientology at their home, with yelling, shouting, blowing horns and covered by masks. This ordinance procedure has been made a farce by the likes of "Angry Gay Pope" (the screaming one on the photo), "Happy Smurf" and a wannabe lawyer called Berry. "

hate gays much? good luck with that in cali ha ha ha!

Lesley commented: "Wow, by their own account, all protesters were gay and two of them HIV+. Obviously they themselves are the source of this information."

This is not correct, the information regarding the protesters sexual preferences and HIV+ status were provided to the Sheriff's Deputies by Scientologist Muriel Dufresne (OSA & Public Relations) using personal medical information obtained by means that were NOT authorized by the individuals concerned.

Lesley also commented: "But that's beside the point."

Acutally, it's exactly the point. And begs the questions, how did Scientologist Muriel Dufresne obtain this medical information without the consent of the individuals concerned? And why is she providing it to third parties (the deputies) in direct violation of the California Health and Safety Code 121025?

From the California Health and Safety Code:
Pay special attention to 121025 (3) H&S:

This law pertains not just to government health agencies, but also to individuals, organizations, etc....

Quote:

Any person who willfully, maliciously, or negligently
discloses the content of any confidential public health record, as
defined in subdivision (c) of Section 121035, to any third party,
except pursuant to a written authorization, or as otherwise
authorized by law, that results in economic, bodily, or psychological
harm to the person whose confidential public health record was
disclosed, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in
the county jail for a period not to exceed one year, or a fine of not
to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), or both, plus
court costs, as determined by the court, which penalty and costs
shall be paid to the person whose confidential public health record
was disclosed.

Unquote

"Wow, by their own account, all protesters were gay and two of them HIV+. Obviously they themselves are the source of this information. But that's beside the point. These people try to claim a "right" to harass members of Scientology at their home, with yelling, shouting, blowing horns and covered by masks. This ordinance procedure has been made a farce by the likes of "Angry Gay Pope" (the screaming one on the photo), "Happy Smurf" and a wannabe lawyer called Berry.

Posted by: Lesley | January 13, 2009 at 04:36 PM"

What makes it "obvious" that they were the source of the information? As usual a scientologist throws something out there that is bull and hope it sticks. We may find out EXACTLY where you scilons got your information in court. Could it be one of your low-life PI's got their hands on someone's medical or financial records? More then likely.

And if Graham Berry is a wannabe why does scientology always haul out their "big lawyer", Moxon when Graham's involved. Scared much, scientology? Oh, I think so. I think you're scared quite a bit. Shoe's on the other foot now...the one with the big bullet holes.

"Re: Terry: "Why would the officers ask the protesters if they are HIV+? Are they even allowed to ask that?"

The Scientology lawyer had gotten hold of some medical information and told it to the sheriff deputies.

Posted by: David | January 13, 2009 at 05:46 PM "

Where did you get this information? Can you provide any proof?

>"Sam Alhadeff, a lawyer representing the church, said the measure was needed to "protect people who move around the campus from having people scream at them."<

If you're quoting this, you've apparently never been to Gold. There's no way anyone inside those gates will hear ANYBODY who's outside the front gates, and certainly not from across the street.

It's funny that they will complain about noise from the protesters when the Church itself has set up mammoth speaker cabinets around the compound blaring tones at 110 DB (a typical rock concert is 120 DB).

Guess they don't want the people inside to find out about Xenu before they've paid for that info.

I have hope for our future because those Anonymous Protesters are so young, most under the age of 30. These people are the freedom fighters and they know laws and rules, and they have a network of people all over the world. I hope Anonymous people become the politicians so they can protect the rights of everybody freely. Scientology is screwed royally by some 20 year olds and that means their future financial base is wiped out, any future potential to get young people now to join the cult later is stifled because of these impressive protesters.

I think Scientology cannot rebound if they even tried because one year of protests can have the affect of 40 years with ramifications. These kids will be still living past 60-70. Scientology will end before any of the Anonymous protesters reach 50. Scientology is not viable anymore. Thank You Anonymous for your courageousness in a mountain of fear and lies by Scientology. I graciously thank you Anonymous

There is a cancer growing in Riverside county California. That cancer is scientology. This so-called religions crimes have been well documented both on the internet and the halls of justice. The question for the citizens of California is this. Does scientology add to the quality of life in my state? What benefit does scientology add to society? In this posters opinion the answer to both afore mentioned questions is NONE!

Considering that there was an incident, when a protestor has biten a security guard into its hand, it is highly relevant that 2 of them are HIV positive and that the security guards know that, so that they are extra cautious, when dealing with those protestors.

Funny that Scientology complains about protests at a campus which is primarily a business site (despite the presence of berthing bays), while representatives of Scientology and it's anti-Psychiatry pitbull CCHR has absolutely NO compunctions about picketing residences and funerals. Yes -- FUNERALS. And another thing -- how, exactly, does this "church" manage to dominate the Riverside County government's agenda at will when they apparently contribute no tax revenue to the community whatsoever? I mean, come on -- they got five cruisers on site practically at a moment's notice over three peaceful protesters while the state and county governments are going into bankruptcy? How's the Sherrif's response time and prioritization looking in your neighborhood?

Big Beard, you just made my day. So the unauthorized disclosure prosecution is not only limited to "covered entities" in the federal HIPAA rules. The Scilons CAN be individually prosecuted by the state of California for disclosing this confidential medical information.

Also, to the Scilons BAAAWWWing: Snap out of it. Pretty soon you're going to HAVE to snap out of it. It won't be long until you're taking some of the great new SSRIs we've recently developed. You're going to love 'em.

re:
This law pertains not just to government health agencies, but also to individuals, organizations, etc....

Quote:

Any person who willfully, maliciously, or negligently
discloses the content of any confidential public health record, as
defined in subdivision (c) of Section 121035, to any third party,
except pursuant to a written authorization, or as otherwise
authorized by law, that results in economic, bodily, or psychological
harm to the person whose confidential public health record was
disclosed, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in
the county jail for a period not to exceed one year, or a fine of not
to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), or both, plus
court costs, as determined by the court, which penalty and costs
shall be paid to the person whose confidential public health record
was disclosed.

Scientology has really opened a can of worms this time.

I'm just totally blown away that they'd dig into protester's personal, confidential medical records -- and then go blabbing about this to the Sheriff's department?!

Holy crap.

I can hardly begin to list the number of California and Federal statutes that were violated. First, whatever organization released the info to the Scientology people is going to reamed for violating HIPAA regulations.

Next, the Scientology lady who gave the information to the Sheriff's deputies is going to get reamed, thoroughly, for violating CA's Health & Safety Code.

Third, the Church of Scientology is going to get reamed in Civil court -- if not criminal court as well.

Last, but certainly not least, Scientology and the Riverside Sheriffs Department are going to get reamed by a really, really pissed off LGBT community.

I hope the protesters that had their medical privacy violated sue these bastards into oblivion.

It needs to be looked into how the Church of Scientology received medical information on the two protesters.

[[[ So, during all this time, critics were protesting about a supposedly anti free speech ordinance when in fact it preserved their right to protest in the position where they protested before? ]]]

No see, actually the constitution of the united states of america is what preserves their right to protest, and what is being protested in this specific instance relating to the article posted above is how scientology is attempting to circumvent these basic rights and freedoms afforded to every citizen of the country.

The anticipated reply to my comment will be regarding freedom of religion and I will pre-emptively respond to THAT comment with the following quote complete with cited source:

U.S. v Kuch 288 F Sup. 439 (1968):

"Those who seek constitutional protections for their participation in an establishment of religion and freedom to practice its beliefs must not be permitted the special freedoms this special sanctuary may provide merely by adopting religious nomenclature and cynically using it as a shield to protect them when participating in anti social conduct that otherwise stands condemned."

 
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