> On 22 November 1996, a Lyon court convicted 14 Scientologists for fraud. The former head of the Lyon Scientology organization, Jean-Jacques Mazier, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, and an 18 month suspended sentence. He was fined 500,000 francs. He was found guilty of manslaughter in the alleged suicide of Patrice Vic. In July, the Greek Courts closed the Greek Scientology organization in Athens (KEFE) after receiving 4,200 complaints and discovering documents in a raid on the Athens Church which showed penetration of the Greek Intelligence Agency in 1993. The organization seems to have re-opened since, but is reported to be doing very little business. Many documents from the raid can be found on http://w4u.eexi.gr/~antbos/COSDOCUM.HTM.
> The New York Court has dismissed the last aspect of Scientologys libel suit against Time magazine. Time quoted critics who asserted that the cult is mafia-like and terroristic.
> Tax-exemption and religious status have been revoked in France, Germany and Denmark. The UK has never recognised the religious status of the cult (Lord Denning ruled to the contrary), and an attempt to achieve charitable status in the UK has failed. The position of the government has not changed since Health Minister Kenneth Robinson termed the Church a pseudo-psychological cult. On 19 October, 1996, Home Office Minister Thomas Sackville, MP, said: In the past the Home Office [UK State Department] has seemed to give the impression it is neutral and I very much regret this. We're anti-cult ... These people are insidious and they recruit in order to exploit and abuse. He also said that the term new religious movement would no longer be condoned in the Home Office.
> In November, UK TV documentary The Big Story ran a second program about the cult, questioning the suicide rate among members and making accusations of illegal selling and accounting practices.
> The US State Department has complained that the cult is being mistreated in Germany. However, subsequently the State Department has censured the cults outrageous NY Times advertisements, which claim that the cult is being persecuted in a similar manner to the Jews in Hitlers Germany. Various Jewish organizations have also complained about the ads.
> The German government has reviewed claims of persecution made by the cult and rejected all claims, pointing out that insufficient details have been given for investigation (for example purported victims are not named, and supposed bomb threats were not reported to the police when they allegedly occured).
> In the US, Tax Analysts Inc have demonstrated violations in IRS procedure prior to the granting of tax-exemption to the cult in November 1993. IRS officials admitted under oath that they had not reviewed Scientology files but had simply granted exemption, seemingly in accord with a directive from a higher level. Tax Analysts are sueing the IRS for failure to disclose the Closing Agreement made with the cult (the agreement will show if money was paid in settlement, a quite usual practice). The Court has ordered the IRS to disclose. There is an unconfirmed rumour that cult-member Willy B. Wilsons close relationship with George Bush may have led to the Bush governments original offer of settlement with the cult. Yet another unconfirmed rumour asserts that $11 million was moved out of cult accounts shortly before exemption was granted.
> In June, the Russian Health Minister forbade the use in the Russian Health system of the Purification Rundown and any other Scientology or Dianetic procedure.
> In May, the California Supreme Court upheld a decision rejecting the cults appeal against Lawrence Wollersheim. In 1994 the US Federal Supreme Court denied further appeal and ordered the cult to pay Wollersheim $2.5 million plus interest (about $6 million in total). The new decision dismisses attempts by the cult to bring parallel litigation to evade payment, and severely censures this tactic. Wollersheim remains the cults number one enemy.
> In April, the US Court of Appeal upheld an earlier decision in the cults case against David Mayo. The judge in the original action had commented that the cult views litigation as war, his scathing comments have all been upheld. Mayo has subsequently been paid an undisclosed sum for his silence, so withdrawing from a 14 year campaign of harassment by the cult. The Appeal judge commented on the cults history of vexatious behaviour and upheld the earlier decision forcing the cult to pay Mayos $2.9 million litigation costs.
> In Sweden, the cults OT5 or NOTs materials have been made publicly available by the parliament. In 1994, in the English High Court, the cult claimed to have spent $5 million trying to regain its monopoly on these materials. The Swedish network TV4 ran a series of hard-hitting programs in November.
> In Holland litigation to restrain Karin Spaink from displaying portions of the OT levels on her internet webpage has failed. Most of the secret and highly expensive OT levels have been available on the internet in 1996.
> In October, three scientologists were given suspended prison sentences from 6-18 months in Marseille, for interfering with Dr Abgrall, an expert witness in the Lyon trial. This case once again undermined the motto of the Guardians Office of Special Affairs: We dont do that any more. Charges of theft were proven, showing that Abgralls address file had been stolen and his mail interfered with. Earlier allegations that the Lyon investigation was slowed down by a secret relationship between the cult and the office of then President Mitterand have never been disproved. Telexes between two Presidential aides and the cults Investigation section were disclosed in the French magazine Levenement du Jeudi in February 1993.
> In the Lerma case, in Virginia, judge Brinkema has reinforced her earlier ruling that Scientologys OT levels are not trade secrets.
> Token President Heber Jentzsch and various other cult luminaries still await trial in Spain on charges similar to those proven in France.
> Casey Hill v Church of Scientology — 1995 ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court — upholding the largest libel award in Canadian history (Can$1.6 million): "Every aspect of this case demonstrates the very real and persistent malice of Scientology."
> Correction and addition of the above are requested. If you dont send ten copies of this to friends in the next ten days, there will be no supernatural consequences!