Internet usage is highest among the more
educated and affluent who primarily use the web for business reasons and
for research and reference.
184 Million adults are online from their homes, offices, schools or other locations.
In 1995, when the internet began to heat up, less than 18 million adults
used the Internet in their homes, offices, schools, libraries or other locations. Now,
fourteen years, later, fully 184 million adults are online.
The proportion of adults online trebled between 1995 (9%) and 1997 (30%), and kept on
climbing rapidly to 63% in 2000. Since then growth has been slower, reading 73% in 2004
and 81% now. These are some of the results of a new nationwide survey of 2,020 U.S. adults
surveyed by telephone between October 16 and 20, 2008 and October 30 and November 2, 2008.
With more and more businesses and professionals "browsing the web," our advice is: Beat the competition by advertising your products and services on this vast high tech communications medium. The primary vehicle for doing this is the "Web Site" or "Home Page."
We provide plain language consulting with regard to Personal Computers, Internet, E-mail, and Web Page Design. We can help with any questions for the home or office with regard for the use of all these technologies. All inquiries will receive prompt replies.
'Cool Thing To Do' As they would be with any new technology, companies considering selling on the Web should be wary of the hype, experts say. "A lot of people are putting up Web sites just because they can; it's the cool thing to do," says Lynn Bolger, VP of corporate media at ad agency Foote Cone &Belding (FCB) in New York. "At many sites the execution isn't very good, especially with fancy graphics that take forever to download. In the long run, the Web has to save the customer money and add value."
The Web is becoming very crowded very fast. That's because companies recognize that "the potential market is huge, given the installed base of computers," says Bolger of FCB. "But there are a lot of channels on that frequency called the Internet."
That said, a company's Web site had better be well-planned and well-executed. Because changing channels on the Web is almost as easy for potential customers as clicking the TV remote. Stay tuned.
The staff at Parker Information Resources will design an attractive and attention-grabbing Web Site, place it on the World Wide Web and index it so folks looking for your products or services can find you. Every day around the world, companies like yours are establishing a presence on the Web. For small one-man organizations to multinational corporations, businesses can benefit from exposure on this rapidly emerging medium.
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BEST SELLERS SOUND OFF:
The Airlines vs. Air Dale
I was recently asked to comment on private versus commercial aviation. Here goes: Private and commercial aviation both have their pros and cons, mostly in terms of time and distance: I'll fly commercial airlines rather than fly my own plane any time a flight is longer than 8 hours of flying in one day, or two legs (one stop). 8 hours will get me about halfway across the U.S., which is from northwest Nevada to north-central Arkansas where my Dad lives (about 1,600 miles). 8 hours of flying, 2 hours of time changes, and 1 hour for a fuel and rest stop is 11 hours, which is a full day if you're at the controls. Because of long delays at security and because airline traffic often means speed restrictions, I can beat the airlines to almost any point west of the Rockies, and come pretty close to almost any destination west of the Mississippi (except Dallas and Chicago which have direct flights from Reno). In my plane, Reno to Los Angeles takes about 2.25 hours. Flight time is only 1.25 hours on the airlines, but if you add in waiting and security screening time it's closer to 3 hours. MORE...
Sharing The Submariner Experience
In every generation since the historic transition from sail to steam and from wooden hulls to steel, no type of ship or sailor has played a more vital, versatile role in peace and war than the naval submarine and her crew. From harbor defense to fleet escort, from marauder of enemy seaborne logistics to reliable sinker of surface combatants dozens of times their own size, subs and submariners have been there, done that to the max. As platforms for relentless strategic deterrence, for amazing intelligence-gathering and undersea salvage capabilities, for countless covert insertions/extractions of SEALs and other commando teams whose stories must go forever untold, subs have a proven track record for delivering the goods, and their present-day and future utility remain indispensible. Whether their vessels were (or are) powered by human muscle, or gasoline engines or diesel and batteries, or by nuclear reactors, or by several different kinds of air-independent technologies, submariners have always been a breed apart. For raw courage and grit, for long separations from family, for extremely rough living conditions in crowded and claustrophobic spaces deep under the waves, no other branch of military service compares. Weeks of repetitive, uneventful watchstanding can change without warning, in a moment, into a frenzy of well-coordinated thought and action where the lives of every soul aboard, and sometimes the fate of humanity, are instantly at stake. MORE...
WHY NORTH KOREAN NUKES ARE GOOD
North Korea announced this week that they intend to conduct a nuclear test in the near future. Recent estimates show that the North Koreans have enough fissionable material to make a dozen moderate-yield nuclear bombs.
Naturally, Secretary of State Rice became frantic and planned to go somewhere to hold high level talks and discuss what to do about the North Koreans. This is the wrong face to show the world. Being rattled by the North Koreans is not how we should appear. In reality, the news would initially seem to be discouraging, but let's look at the bright side of North Korea's nuclear weapon program.
With nuclear weapons comes national responsibility and an emergence into greater national maturity. The model I'm thinking of involves China, the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation. China and the Soviet Union were distrusted by the Americans from the time they obtained the bomb through the end of the century, but rather than make use of nuclear weapons to win global domination, both countries soberly backed off and grew up.
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Tom Cruise and Church of Scientology investigated by FBI
Problems for The church of Scientology seem to be going from bad to
worse according to a report in The New Yorker, After being under an FBI
microscope for sometime, the church and some of it’s more prominent
members are being investigated by the federal government for human
trafficking and labor law violations.
Tom Cruise became involved when David Miscavige the head of the church
and close personal friend to mega movie star ordered workers to perform
services for the church and Cruise.
The workers would work tirelessly doing everything from some of the
dirty grunt work to customizing buildings, rebuilding motorcycles,
fixing boats all for a mere fifty dollars a week.
The federal law is clear that leaders of tax exempt organizations like
the Church of Scientology are not allow to benefit in excess financially
or materially, but reports have surfaced of David Miscavige being
flown around in private charters jets, wearing custom hade made shoes,
having two personal chefs, and owning several expensive cars and
motorcycles, clearly benefiting .
At the moment the FBI seems content to focus their investigation on the
human trafficking and labor law violations aspect. Tom Cruise and the
Church released a statement denying the allegations saying they knew
nothing about the investigation and that it was without tangible evidence.
Paul Haggis on leaving Scientology: 'I was in a cult for thirty-four years'
"These people have long memories. My bet is that, within two years,
you're going to read something about me in a scandal that looks like it
has nothing to do with the church."
So says Academy Award-winning writer/director Paul Haggis ("Crash,"
"Million Dollar Baby," "Casino Royale," "In the Valley of Elah," "The
Next Three Days") who recently walked away from Scientology after more
than three decades as a member of the church.
In a wide-ranging profile/investigative piece in this week's (Feb. 14)
New Yorker, writer Lawrence Wright interviews Haggis about his
disillusionment with the celebrity-courting organization started by
"Dianetics" guru L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s and talks to scores of
defectors about the ubiquity of abuse -- including human trafficking,
unpaid labor and physical violence -- that allegedly start with current
Scientology leader David Miscavage and trickle all the way down to the
group's most powerless members, some of them children.
Wright also interviews celebrities, including Anne Archer, still very
much in support of their spiritual path and who, like Scientology
spokesman Tommy Davis (Archer's son) discredit Haggis as someone who
remained in the church only to advance his career.
Haggis left the church after the public affairs arm refused to take a
public stance against California's Proposition 8, which asserted that
the State of California should sanction marriage only "between a man and
a woman." Two of Haggis's daughters are gay.
Tom Cruise and other high-profile Scientologists are the recipients
of special favors and gifts from the church. Cruise, said one defector,
benefited in several ways -- including receiving gifts of motorcycles
and even having Scientology remodel a private airplane hangar. This
while the group's bottom-rung members, so-called Sea Org volunteers, are
sometimes paid as little as $13 a week.
Spending part of 2005 doing manual labor in Florida, Tommy Davis,
Archer's son and now the public face of Scientology, allegedly confessed
to a now-defected member of the church that he was being punished
because, "I got busted. I [expletive] up on Tom Cruise's lines."
Josh Brolin, who admits he dabbled in Scientology when he was trying
to kick-start his acting career, describes to Wright a Scientology
dinner he once attended:
Brolin says that he once witnessed John Travolta practicing
Scientology. Brolin was at a dinner party in Los Angeles with Travolta
and Marlon Brando. Brando arrived with a cut on his leg, and explained
that he had injured himself while helping a stranded motorist on the
Pacific Coast Highway. He was in pain. Travolta offered to help, saying
that he had just reached a new level in Scientology. Travolta touched
Brando’s leg and Brando closed his eyes. “I watched this process going
on -- it was very physical,” Brolin recalls. “I was thinking, This is
really [expletive] bizarre! Then, after ten minutes, Brando opens his
eyes and says, ‘That really helped. I actually feel different!’ ”
(Travolta, through a lawyer, called this account “pure fabrication.”)
Many celebrities were reportedly drawn into the organization through
the Beverly Hills Play House, whose resident acting coach was a devout
Scientologist and, according to interviewees, acted as a recruiter for
The Church of Scientology issued an official statement in response to
Wright's article, calling it "irresponsible" and citing Wright for
allegedly rehashing already disproved allegations to "garner headlines
for an otherwise stale article."
Scientology & Tom Cruise Give Us More Reasons to Be Afraid
The Church of Scientology is shrouded in secrecy and intrigue. That's
exactly why a brand new expose on the group -- which makes some frank,
not to mention startling, accusations against some of its famous members
including Tom Cruise and John Travolta -- is proving to be such a
The article published in this week's The New Yorker focuses on Crash
director Paul Haggis and his decision to quit the (his word) cult after
34 years. But in the telling of his story, author Lawrence Wright
divulges some seriously frightening details about the organization that
were told to him by the church's defectors during his investigation.
And let me just preface this by saying, it's much worse than jumping up
and down like a crazy person on a couch ...
By far the most shocking information to come out of the piece is that
the FBI is investigating whether the Church of Scientology has engaged
in human trafficking and has enslaved members.
John Brosseau, a member who has since left the church, said he was
involved in several hours of unpaid labor for Cruise. Specifically, he
was asked to perform several jobs for Cruise -- customizing motorcycles,
repairing an airplane hangar -- which should have cost thousands of
dollars; yet, he was only paid $50 a week.
Both Cruise and the church have denied these allegations. Here's a
statement from church spokesman Tommy Davis:
Church staff, and indeed Church members, hold Mr. Cruise in very
high regard and are honored to assist him. Whatever small economic
benefit Mr. Cruise may have received from the assistance of church staff
pales in comparison to the benefits the church has received from Mr.
Cruise's many years of volunteer efforts for the church.
And with so many celebrity backers in the Church of Scientology, one can
only suspect there might be more stories just like this one.
Other claims made by the magazine are a bit more murky:
One of the church leaders, David Miscavige -- who was best man at
Cruise's and Katie Holmes' wedding -- is accused of repeated physical
violence and punishments (including beatings, confinement, and manual
labor) toward staff and members.
Other defectors complained that they were told to disown friends and
family who criticize Scientology under the church's notorious
China and Tibet: China's government, through a series of Party policies and government regulations, including the March 1, 2005 "Regulations on Religious Affairs," sharply curtails both freedom of religious belief and the freedom to express one's belief. Religious activities that are banned include publishing and distributing texts, selecting leaders, raising funds and managing finances, organizing training, inviting guests, independently scheduling meetings and choosing venues, and communicating freely with other organizations. In China today, all such activities are subject to regulatory state interference and even imprisonment and severe mistreatment of offending believers and practitioners. AIDS still poses a fundamental challenge to China's top-down, hierarchical system, even if Chinese officials deserve praise for finally beginning to confront the epidemic with a raft of new public statements and policies. In order to fight HIV/AIDS, Beijing must give up its stranglehold on civil society, and let a hundred organizations bloom. A regional security group of Central Asian countries along with Russia and China, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should condemn the Andijan massacre committed by government forces of its member state Uzbekistan, Human Rights Watch said before the group meets on Tuesday in the Kazakh capital Astana. The Chinese government should stop its harassment of AIDS activists and remove restrictions on civil society groups working to fight the country's burgeoning HIV/AIDS epidemic, Human Rights Watch said in a 57-page report released today. A major theme of the campaign is the arbitrary way Chinese authorities use and abuse their country's laws. Arbitrariness means no one is safe in China; neither political dissidents nor ordinary people. Sometimes laws are disregarded -- such as those forbidding torture or ill-treatment of detainees -- while others, such as the repressive provisions in criminal laws, are used as a political tool. People are being executed as a way of dealing with social and economic problems, such as embezzlement, tax evasion or drug smuggling. Also shocking is the massive scale of the human rights violations that take place in China. Under the system of administrative detention, hundreds of thousands of people are detained every year without charge or trial. Yet, China has so far escaped criticism at the international level. The UN Commission on Human Rights has never taken action to hold China accountable. Many governments are more concerned with the economic benefits gained from increased trade with China than the human rights of a fifth of the world's population. 16 years after the bloody crackdown that took place in and around Tiananmen Square, Human Rights Watch calls on China to stop trying to rewrite history. Until China's leaders are willing to seriously confront the events of 1989, that cannot happen. Chinese security agents have launched what appears to be a politically motivated crackdown against the family and associates of Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent advocate of the rights of China's Muslim Uighur community, Human Rights Watch said today. Testimony of Human Rights Watch to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on the human rights situation of Uighurs in the People's Republic of China (PRC), prepared by senior researcher Mickey Spiegel and delivered by Asia division advocacy director Veena Siddharth. The Chinese government is directing a crushing campaign of religious repression against China's Muslim Uighurs in the name of anti-separatism and counter-terrorism, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China said in a new report today. Tom Malinowski, Washington Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch, testified before Congress regarding the 2004 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Malinowski testified that this year's reports live up to the tradition of candid and comprehensive reporting the Department has established over the years. He draws particular attention to the reports on China, Nepal, Burma, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Egypt, and the Sudan, as well as the U.S. practice of "extraordinary renditions" of terror suspects to countries which the State Department condemns for torture of detainees. The Commission on Human Rights should adopt a resolution condemning China for violations of rights to free expression, association and assembly, religion and belief; for repression of minorities in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia; and for continuing rights abuses related to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The resolution should urge reforms to China's judicial system to ensure fair trials consistent with international standards. The Commission should also urge China to cooperate fully with U.N. monitoring mechanisms. China's grim 19th century style mines -- many of them little more than holes in the ground -- claimed yet more lives this week. A gas explosion ripped through the Sunjiawan coal mine in the northeastern province of Liaoning on Monday, killing at least 210. And a blast at an illegal coal mine in Fuyuan County in the southwestern province of Yunnan claimed at least five more lives Tuesday. They were just the latest casualties in a familiar story of mining accidents, which routinely claim the lives of dozens of young miners every month. China must begin to supervise these companies and the international community must ensure that they do. The Nepalese government should allow the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office to reopen and continue assisting thousands of Tibetan refugees in Nepal, Human Rights Watch said today. The Chinese government today commuted the death sentence of Tenzin Delek, a highly respected Tibetan monk renowned for his efforts to protect Tibetan culture and lifestyle, Human Rights Watch said today. Tenzin Delek was imprisoned in 2002 for allegedly "causing explosions and inciting the separation of the state." Chinese authorities should immediately provide urgent medical care to Tashi Phuntsog, a Tibetan monk who was released from prison on January 6, Human Rights Watch urged today. In a first for an international human rights group, Human Rights Watch was invited to Shanghai in December to participate in a conference on AIDS, law and human rights, organized by the Shanghai University School of Law and Aizhixing Health Education Institute. China should immediately release Li Guozhu, a farmers' rights advocate who was detained in early November after he investigated deadly ethnic clashes in Henan province, Human Rights Watch said today. Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, referred to in much of the world as the Tiananmen Square massacre and in the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the June Fourth Incident (officially to avoid confusion with two prior Tiananmen Square protests), were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the PRC beginning on 14 April 1989. Led mainly by students and intellectuals, the protests occurred in a year that saw the collapse of a number of communist governments around the world. An intelligence report received by the Soviet politburo estimated that 3,000 protesters were killed, according to a document found in the Soviet archive. The protests were sparked by the death of a pro-democracy and anti-corruption official, Hu Yaobang, whom protesters wanted to mourn. By the eve of Hu's funeral, 100,000 people had gathered at Tiananmen Square. The protests lacked a unified cause or leadership; participants included disillusioned Communist Party of China members and Trotskyists as well as free market reformers, who were generally against the government's authoritarianism and voiced calls for economic change and democratic reform within the structure of the government. The demonstrations centered in Tiananmen Square to begin with but then later in the streets around the square, in Beijing, but large-scale protests also occurred in cities throughout China, including Shanghai, which remained peaceful throughout the protests. The movement lasted seven weeks after Hu's death on 15 April. The number of deaths is not known. There is no video footage or evidence of any kind showing violence in the square itself. All video evidence shows violence in the streets around the square. Following the conflict, the government conducted widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, banned the foreign press from the country and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the PRC press. Members of the Party who had publicly sympathized with the protesters were purged, with several high-ranking members placed under house arrest, such as General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. There was widespread international condemnation of the PRC government's use of force against the protesters. In the Chinese language, the incident is most commonly known as the June Fourth Movement, the June Fourth Incident or colloquially, simply Six-four (Chinese: 六四; pinyin: Liù-Sì; June 4). The nomenclature of the former is consistent with the customary names of the other two great protest actions that occurred in Tiananmen Square: the May Fourth Movement of 1919, and the April Fifth Movement of 1976. 4 June refers to the day on which the People's Liberation Army cleared Tiananmen Square of protesters, although the order to proceed into Tiananmen as well as its actual operation began on the evening of 3 June. Other names which have been used in the Chinese language include June Fourth Massacre or Chinese: 六四屠殺; pinyin: Liù-Sì Túshā and June Fourth Crackdown. The government of the People's Republic of China has referred to the event as the Political Turmoil between Spring and Summer of 1989. Other names, such as the 89 Pro-democracy Movement (simplified Chinese: 八九民运; traditional Chinese: 八九民運) are also used to describe the event broadly in its entirety. The date May 35th is sometimes substituted for 4 June to avoid restrictions that the government of China places on the Internet. In English, the more descriptive terms Tiananmen Square Massacre or Tiananmen Square Crackdown are often used to describe the 5 June events on most media sources. Since 1978, Deng Xiaoping had led a series of economic and political reforms which had led to the gradual implementation of a market economy and some political liberalization that relaxed the system set up by Mao Zedong. Some students and intellectuals believed that the reforms had not gone far enough and that China needed to reform its political system. They were also concerned about the social controls that the Communist Party of China still had. This group had also seen the political liberalization that had been undertaken in the name of glasnost by Mikhail Gorbachev, so they had been hoping for comparable reform. Many workers who took part in the protests also wanted democratic reform, but opposed the new economic policies. That is, there were both protesters supporting and against economic liberalisation; however, almost all protesters supported political liberalization, to varying degrees. The Tiananmen Square protests were in large measure sparked by the death of former Secretary General Hu Yaobang, whose resignation from the position of Secretary General of the CPC was announced on 16 January 1987. His forthright calls for "rapid reform" and his almost open contempt of "Maoist excesses" had made him a suitable scapegoat in the eyes of Deng Xiaoping and others, after the pro-democracy student protests of 1986–1987. Included in his resignation was also a "humiliating self-criticism", which he was forced to issue by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Hu Yaobang's sudden death, due to heart attack, on 15 April 1989 provided a perfect opportunity for the students to gather once again, not only to mourn the deceased Secretary General, but also to have their voices heard in "demanding a reversal of the verdict against him" and bringing renewed attention to the important issues of the 1986–1987 pro-democracy protests and possibly also to those of the Democracy Wall protests in 1978–1979. Small voluntary civilian gatherings started on 15 April around Monument to the People's Heroes in the middle of the Tiananmen Square in the form of mourning for Hu Yaobang. An anonymous drawing posted in a pedestrian walkway underneath Chang'an Avenue caricatures Deng Xiaoping (seated behind the lectern) as an old Chinese emperor On the same date of 15 April, many students at Peking University and Tsinghua University expressed their sorrow and mourning for Hu Yaobang by posting eulogies inside the campus and erecting shrines, and joined the civilian mourning in Tiananmen Square in a piecemeal fashion. Organized student gatherings started outside of Beijing on a small scale in Xi'an and Shanghai on 16 April. On the afternoon of 17 April in Beijing, 500 students from China University of Political Science and Law marched to the eastern gate of the Great Hall of the People, part of Tiananmen Square, and commenced mourning activities for Hu Yaobang. The gathering in front of the Great Hall of the People was soon deemed obstructive to the normal operation of the building, so police intervened and attempted to disperse the students by persuasion. The gathering featured speakers from various backgrounds giving public speeches (mostly anonymous) commemorating Hu Yaobang, expressing their concerns of social problems. Starting at midnight on the night of 17 April, three thousand students from Peking University marched from the campus towards Tiananmen Square, and soon nearly a thousand students from Tsinghua University joined the ranks. Upon arrival, they soon joined forces with students and civilians who were in the Square earlier. As its size grew, the gathering gradually evolved into a protest, as students began to draft a list of pleas and suggestions (List of Seven Demands) that they wanted the government to listen to and carry through. On the morning of 18 April, the students remained in the square. Some gathered around the Monument to the People's Heroes singing patriotic songs and listening to impromptu speeches by student organizers. Another group of students sat in front of the Great Hall of the People, the office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress; they demanded to see members of the Standing Committee and show them the List of Seven Demands. Meanwhile, a few thousand students gathered in front of the Zhongnanhai building complex, the residence of the government, demanding to see government leaders and get answers to their earlier demands. Students tried to muscle their way through the gate by pushing, but security and police, locking arms, formed a cordon that eventually deterred students' attempts to enter through the gate. Students then staged a sit-in. Some government officials did unofficially meet with student representatives, but without an official response, frustrations continued to mount. On 20 April, police finally dispersed the students in front of the Zhongnanhai by force, to ensure proper function of the building complex. The police employed batons and minor clashes were reported. The protests in Tiananmen Square gained momentum after news of the confrontation between students and police spread; the belief by students that the Chinese media was distorting the nature of their activities also led to increased support. On the night of 21 April, the day before Hu's funeral, some 100,000 students marched on Tiananmen Square, gathering there before the square could be closed off for the funeral. From 21 April to 23 April, students from Beijing called for a strike at universities, which included teachers and students boycotting classes. The government, which was well aware of the political storm caused by the now-legitimized 1976 Tiananmen Incident, was alarmed. On 26 April, following an internal speech made by Deng Xiaoping, the CPC's official newspaper People's Daily issued a front-page editorial titled Uphold the flag to clearly oppose any turmoil, attempting to rally the public behind the government, and accused "extremely small segments of opportunists" of plotting civil unrest. The statement enraged the students, and on 27 April about 50,000 students assembled on the streets of Beijing, disregarding the warning of military action made by authorities, and demanded that the government retract the statement. In Beijing, a majority of students from the city's numerous colleges and universities participated with support of their instructors and other intellectuals. The students rejected official Communist Party-controlled student associations and set up their own autonomous associations. The students viewed themselves as Chinese patriots, as the heirs of the May Fourth Movement for "science and democracy" of 1919. The protests also evoked memories of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1976 which had eventually led to the ousting of the Gang of Four. From their origins as a memorial to Hu Yaobang, who was seen by the students as an advocate of democracy, the students' activities gradually developed over the course of their demonstration from protests against corruption into demands for freedom of the press and an end to, or the reform of, the rule of the PRC by the Communist Party of China and Deng Xiaoping, the de facto paramount Chinese leader. Partially successful attempts were made to reach out and network with students in other cities and with workers. While the protests lacked a unified cause or leadership, participants were generally against authoritarianism and voiced calls for democratic reform within the structure of the government. Unlike the Tiananmen protests of 1987, which consisted mainly of students and intellectuals, the protests in 1989 commanded widespread support from the urban workers who were alarmed by the new economic reforms, growing inflation, and corruption. In Beijing, they were supported by a large number of people. Similar numbers were found in major cities throughout China such as Urumqi, Shanghai, and Chongqing; and later in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Chinese communities in North America and Europe. On 4 May, approximately 100,000 students and workers marched in Beijing making demands for free media and a formal dialogue between the authorities and student-elected representatives. A declaration demanded the government to accelerate political reform. The government rejected the proposed dialogue, only agreeing to talk to members of appointed student organizations. On 13 May, two days prior to the highly-publicized state visit by the reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, huge groups of students occupied Tiananmen Square and started a hunger strike, insisting the government withdraw the accusation made in the People's Daily editorial and begin talks with the designated student representatives. Hundreds of students went on hunger strikes and were supported by hundreds of thousands of protesting students and part of the population of Beijing, for one week. Protests and strikes began at colleges in other cities, with many students traveling to Beijing to join the demonstration. Generally, the demonstration at Tiananmen Square was well-ordered, with daily marches of students from various Beijing area colleges displaying their solidarity with the boycott of college classes and with the developing demands of the protest. The students sang The Internationale, the world socialist anthem, on their way to and within the square. The students even showed a surprising gesture of respect to the government by helping police arrest three men from Hunan Province, including Yu Zhijian, Yu Dongyue, and Lu Decheng who had thrown ink on the large portrait of Mao that hangs from Tiananmen, just north of the square. The three young men were later sentenced to prison for, respectively, life, 20 years, and 16 years. However, two were freed after 10 years and Yu Dongyue after nearly 17 years. The students ultimately decided that in order to sustain their movement and impede any loss of momentum, a hunger strike would need to be enacted. The students' decision to undertake the hunger strike was a defining moment in their movement. The hunger strike began in May 1989 and grew to include "more than one thousand persons". The hunger strike brought widespread support for the students and "the ordinary people of Beijing rallied to protect the hunger strikers...because the act of refusing sustenance and courting government reprisals convinced onlookers that the students were not just seeking personal gains but (were) sacrificing themselves for the Chinese people as a whole". The hunger strike not only gained significant support nationally for the students, but also rang further alarms in China's top leadership. The national press, then still relatively free to cover ongoing events without propagating the party line, aired the talks between Premier Li Peng and student leaders on the evening of 18 May. During the talks Wu'er Kaixi, Wang Dan, and others openly accused the government for being too slow to react and rebuked Li Peng personally for lacking the "sincerity to conduct real discussions". The discussion did not yield much results, but gained student leaders prominent airtime on China's national television. Li Peng and other leaders, however, maintained the government was only trying to "maintain order", but alluded to the students actions as "patriotic". As the hunger strike escalated, numerous political and civil organizations around the country voiced their concern for the students, many empathizing with their positions. The Chinese Red Cross issued a special notice and sent in a large number of personnel to provide medical services to the hunger strikers on the Square. For the first time, on 19 May, two of the highest ranked members of China's central leadership, Premier Li Peng and General Secretary Zhao Ziyang went to Tiananmen personally in an attempt to neutralize the situation. At 4:50 am, Zhao Ziyang went to the Square and made a speech urging the students to end the hunger strike. Part of his speech was to become a famous quote, when he said, referring to the older generation of people in China, "We are already old, it doesn't matter to us any more." In contrast, the students were young and he urged them to stay healthy and not to sacrifice themselves so easily. Zhao's emotional speech was applauded by some students on the Square; it would be his last public appearance. Partially successful attempts were made to negotiate with the PRC government, who were located nearby in Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party headquarters and leadership compound. Because of the visit of Mikhail Gorbachev, foreign media were present in China in large numbers. Their coverage of the protests was extensive and generally favorable towards the protesters, but pessimistic that they would attain their goals. Toward the end of the demonstration, on 30 May, a statue of the Goddess of Democracy was erected in the Square and came to symbolize the protest to television viewers worldwide. The Standing Committee of the Politburo, along with the party elders (retired but still-influential former officials of the government and Party), were at first hopeful that the demonstrations would be short-lived or that cosmetic reforms and investigations would satisfy the protesters. They wished to avoid violence if possible, and relied at first on their far-reaching Party apparatus in attempts to persuade the students to abandon the protest and return to their studies. One barrier to effective action was that the leadership itself supported many of the demands of the students, especially the concern with corruption. However, one large problem was that the protests contained many people with varying agendas, and hence it was unclear with whom the government could negotiate, and what the exact demands of the protesters were. The confusion and indecision among the protesters was also mirrored by confusion and indecision within the government. The official media mirrored this indecision as headlines in the People's Daily alternated between sympathy with the demonstrators and denouncing them. Among the top leadership, General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was strongly in favour of a soft approach to the demonstrations, while Li Peng was seen to argue in favour of military action. Ultimately the decision to forcefully intervene on the demonstrations was made by a group of Party elders, who saw abandonment of single-party rule as a return of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. Although most of these people had no official position, they were able to control the military. Deng Xiaoping was chairman of the Central Military Commission and was able to declare martial law; Yang Shangkun was President of the People's Republic of China, which, although a symbolic position under the 1982 Constitution, was legally the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Party elders believed that lengthy demonstrations were a threat to the stability of the country. The demonstrators were seen as tools of advocates of "bourgeois liberalism" who were pulling the strings behind the scenes, as well as tools of elements within the party who wished to further their personal ambitions. At the beginning of the movement, the Chinese news media had a rare opportunity to broadcast the news without heavy government censorship. Most of the news media were free to write and report however they wanted, due to lack of control from the central and local governments. The news was spread quickly across the land. According to Chinese news media's report, students and workers in over 400 cities, including cities in Inner Mongolia, also organized and started to protest. People also traveled to the capital to join the protest in the Square. University students in Shanghai also took to the streets to commemorate the death of Hu Yaobang and protest against certain policies of the government. In many cases, these were supported by the universities' Party committees. Jiang Zemin, then-Municipal Party Secretary, addressed the student protesters in a bandage and 'expressed his understanding', as he was a former student agitator before 1949. But at the same time, he moved swiftly to send in police forces to control the streets and to purge Communist Party leaders who had supported the students. On 19 April, the editors of the World Economic Herald, a magazine close to reformists, decided to publish, in their 24 April #439 issue, a commemorative section on Hu. Inside was an article by Yan Jiaqi, which commented favourably on the Beijing student protests on 18 April and called for a reassessment of Hu's purge in 1987. On 21 April, a party official of Shanghai asked the editor in chief, Qin Benli, to change some passages. Qin Benli refused, so the official turned to Jiang Zemin, who demanded that the article be censored. By that time, a first batch of copies of the paper had already been delivered. The remaining copies were published with a blank page. On 26 April, the "People's Daily" published its editorial condemning the student protest. Jiang followed this cue and suspended Qin Benli. In Hong Kong, on 27 May 1989, over 300,000 people gathered at Happy Valley Racecourse for a gathering called "Democratic songs dedicated for China." Many Hong Kong celebrities sang songs and expressed their support for the students in Beijing. The following day, a procession of 1.5 million people, one fourth of Hong Kong's population, led by Martin Lee, Szeto Wah and other organization leaders, paraded through Hong Kong Island. Across the world, especially where Chinese lived, people gathered and protested. Many governments, such as those of the USA, Japan, etc., also issued warnings advising their own citizens not to go to the PRC. Although the government declared martial law on 20 May, the military's entry into Beijing was blocked by throngs of protesters, and the army was eventually ordered to withdraw, which it did on 24 May. Meanwhile, the demonstrations continued. The hunger strike was approaching the end of the third week, and the government resolved to end the matter before deaths occurred. After deliberation among Communist party leaders, the use of the military to resolve the crisis was ordered, and a deep divide in the politburo resulted. General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was ousted from political leadership as a result of his support for the demonstrators. The military also lacked unity on the issue, and purportedly did not indicate immediate support for military action, leaving the central leadership scrambling to search for individual divisions willing to comply with their orders. Soldiers and tanks from the 27th and 38th Armies of the People's Liberation Army were sent to take control of the city. The 27th Army was led by a commander related to Yang Shangkun. In a press conference, US President George H. W. Bush announced sanctions on the People's Republic of China, following calls to action from members of Congress such as US Senator Jesse Helms. The President suggested[vague] intelligence he had received indicated some disunity in China's military ranks, and even the possibility of clashes within the military during those days. Intelligence reports also indicated that 27th and 28th units were brought in from outside provinces because the local PLA were considered to be sympathetic to the protest and to the people of the city. Reporters described elements of the 27th as having been most responsible for civilian deaths. After their attack on the square, the 27th reportedly established defensive positions in Beijing – not of the sort designed to counter a civilian uprising, but as if to defend against attacks by other military units. As word spread that hundreds of thousands of troops were approaching from all four corners of the city, Beijingers flooded the streets to block them, as they had done two weeks earlier. People set up barricades at every major intersection. Protesters threw molotov cocktails and burned vehicles. At about 10:30 p.m., near the Muxidi apartment buildings (home to high-level Party officials and their families), protesters threw rocks and molotov cocktails at police and army vehicles. As can be seen in numerous photographs many vehicles were set on fire in the streets all around Tiananmen some with their occupants still inside them. There were reports of soldiers being burned alive in their armoured personel carriers while others were beaten to death. Then the soldiers started firing live ammunition at some of the protesters. Some people were hit in the apartment blocks. The battle raged in the streets surrounding the Square, with protesters repeatedly advancing toward the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and constructing barricades with vehicles, while the PLA attempted to clear the streets using tear gas, rifles, and tanks. Many injured citizens were saved by rickshaw drivers who ventured into the no-man's-land between the soldiers and crowds and carried the wounded off to hospitals. After the attack on the square, live television coverage showed many people wearing black armbands in protest of the government, crowding various boulevards or congregating by burnt out and smoking barricades. In a couple of cases, officers were pulled from tanks, beaten and killed by protesters. Meanwhile, the PLA systematically established checkpoints around the city, chasing after protesters and blocking off the university district. Earlier, within the Square itself, there had been a debate between those who wished to withdraw peacefully, including Han Dongfang, and those who wished to stand within the square, such as Chai Ling. At about 1:00 a.m., the army finally reached Tiananmen Square and waited for orders from the government. The soldiers had been told not to open fire, but they had also been told that they must clear the square by 6:00 a.m. – with no exceptions or delays. They made a final offer of amnesty if the few thousand remaining students would leave. About 4:00 a.m., student leaders put the matter to a vote: Leave the square, or stay and face the consequences. APCs (Armoured Personnel Carriers) rolled on up the roads, firing ahead and off to the sides, perhaps killing or wounding their own soldiers in the process. BBC reporter Kate Adie spoke of "indiscriminate fire" within the square. Eyewitness reporter Charlie Cole also saw Chinese soldiers firing Type 56 assault rifles into the crowd near an APC which had just been torched and its crew killed, killing and wounding many that night. Students who sought refuge in buses were pulled out by groups of soldiers and beaten with heavy sticks. Even students attempting to leave the square were beset by soldiers and beaten. Leaders of the protest inside the square, where some had attempted to erect flimsy barricades ahead of the APCs, were said to have "implored" the students not to use weapons (such as Molotov cocktails) against the oncoming soldiers. Meanwhile, many students apparently were shouting, "Why are you killing us?" Around four or five the following morning, 4 June, Charlie Cole reports to have seen tanks smashing into the square, crushing vehicles and people with their tank treads. By 5:40 a.m. 4 June, the Square had been cleared. BBC 2 June 2009 James Miles, who was the BBC's Beijing correspondent at the time, stated: I and others conveyed the wrong impression. There was no massacre on Tiananmen Square... Protesters who were still in the square when the army reached it were allowed to leave after negotiations with martial law troops (Only a handful of journalists were on hand to witness this moment... Sinomania maintain that there was a Spanish film crew in the square who filmed the last 5000 students leaving the square just before dawn on June 4 after negotiating safe passage with the military. Richard Roth of CBS reported that he and a colleague were on the south portico of the Great Hall of the People (which forms one of the borders of the Square)led by Richard Roth. In the words of eyewitness CBS news correspondent Richard Roth: "Derek Williams and I were driven in a pair of army jeeps right through the square, almost along its full length, and into the Forbidden City. Dawn was just breaking. There were hundreds of troops in the square ... But we saw no bodies, injured people, ambulances or medical personnel — in short, nothing to even suggest, let alone prove, that a "massacre" had recently occurred in that place... some have found it uncomfortable that all this conforms with what the Chinese government has always claimed, perhaps with a bit of sophistry: that there was no "massacre in Tiananmen Square." On the morning of 5 June protesters tried to enter the blocked square but were shot at by the soldiers. The soldiers shot them in the back when they were running away. These actions were repeated several times. The suppression of the protest was immortalized in Western media by the famous video footage and photographs of a lone man in a white shirt standing in front of a column of tanks which were attempting to drive out of Tiananmen Square. Taken on 5 June as the column approached an intersection on the Avenue of Eternal Peace, the footage depicted the unarmed man standing in the center of the street, halting the tanks' progress. As the tank driver attempted to go around him, the "Tank Man" moved into the tank's path. He continued to stand defiantly in front of the tanks for some time, then climbed up onto the turret of the lead tank to speak to the soldiers inside. After returning to his position blocking the tanks, the man was pulled aside by a group of people, on which the identity of whom eyewitnesses are divided. Eyewitness Jan Wong is convinced the group were concerned citizens helping him away, while reporter Charlie Cole believes that "Tank Man" was probably executed after being taken from the tank by secret police, since the Chinese government could never produce him to hush the outcry from many countries. Time Magazine dubbed him The Unknown Rebel and later named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. British tabloid the Sunday Express reported that the man was 19-year-old student Wang Weilin; however, the veracity of this claim is dubious. What happened to the 'Tank Man' following the demonstration is not known. In a speech to the President's Club in 1999, Bruce Herschensohn — former deputy special assistant to President Richard Nixon — reported that he was executed 14 days later. In Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, Jan Wong writes that the man is still alive and hiding in mainland China. In Forbidden City, Canadian children's author William Bell, claims the man was named Wang Ai-min and was killed on 9 June after being taken into custody. The last official statement from the PRC government about the "Tank Man" came from Premier Jiang Zemin in a 1990 interview; when asked about the whereabouts of the "Tank Man", Jiang responded: "I think never killed." After order was restored in Beijing on 4 June, protests continued in much of mainland China for several days. There were large protests in Hong Kong, where people again wore black in protest. There were protests in Guangzhou, and large-scale protests in Shanghai with a general strike. There were also protests in other countries, many adopting the use of black armbands as well. However, the government soon regained control. A political purge followed in which officials responsible for organizing or condoning the protests were removed, and protest leaders jailed. According to Amnesty International at least 300 people were killed in Chengdu on 5 June. Troops in Chengdu used concussion grenades, truncheons, knives and electric cattle prods against civilians. Hospitals were ordered to not accept students and on the second night the ambulance service was stopped by police. The number of dead and wounded remains unclear because of the large discrepancies between the different estimates. Some Beijinger and journalists reported that troops burned the bodies of many citizens to destroy the evidence of the killings. Some of the early estimates were based on reports of a figure of 2,600 from the Chinese Red Cross. The Chinese Red Cross has denied ever providing such a figure. According to a PBS Frontline report, this figure was quickly retracted under intense pressure from the government. The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded. According to an analysis by Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times, "The true number of deaths will probably never be known, and it is possible that thousands of people were killed without leaving evidence behind. But based on the evidence that is now available, it seems plausible that about fifty soldiers and policemen were killed, along with 400 to 800 civilians." An intelligence report received by the Soviet politburo estimated that 3,000 protesters were killed, according to a document found in the Soviet archive. The Chinese government has maintained that there were no deaths within the square itself, although videos taken there at the time recorded the sound of gunshots. State Council claimed that the basic statistics were: "Five thousand PLA soldiers and officers wounded, and more than two thousand local people (counting students, city people, and protesters together) also wounded." Chinese commentators have pointed out that this obvious imbalance in casualties questions the military competence of the PLA. They also said no one died on Tiananmen Square itself. Yuan Mu, the spokesman of the State Council, said that a total of 23 people died, most of them students, along with a number of people he described as "ruffians". According to Chen Xitong, Beijing mayor, 200 civilians and several dozen soldiers died. Other sources stated that 3,000 civilians and 6,000 soldiers were injured. In May 2007, CPPCC member from Hong Kong, Chang Ka-mun said 300 to 600 people were killed in Tiananmen Square. He echoed that "there were armed thugs who weren't students." According to Jay Mathews who was The Washington Post's first Beijing bureau chief, "A few people may have been killed by random shooting on streets near the square, but all verified eyewitness accounts say that the students who remained in the square when troops arrived were allowed to leave peacefully. Hundreds of people, most of them workers and passersby, did die that night, but in a different place and under different circumstances." US ambassador James Lilley's account of the massacre notes that US State Department diplomats witnessed Chinese troops opening fire on unarmed people and based on visits to hospitals around Beijing a minimum of hundreds had been killed. A strict focus on the number of deaths within Tiananmen Square itself does not give an accurate picture of the carnage and overall death count, since Chinese civilians were fired on in the streets surrounding Tiananmen Square. In addition, students are reported to have been fired on after they left the Square, especially in the area near the Beijing concert hall. Estimates of deaths from different sources, in descending order: * 10,000 dead (including civilians and soldiers) – Soviet Union. * 7,000 deaths – NATO intelligence. * 4,000 to 6,000 civilians killed, but no one really knows – Edward Timperlake. * Over 3,700 killed, excluding disappearance or secret deaths and those denied medical treatment – PLA defector citing a document circulating among officers. * 2,600 had officially died by the morning of 4 June (later denied) – the Chinese Red Cross. An unnamed Chinese Red Cross official estimated that, in total, 5,000 people were killed and 30,000[clarification needed] injured. * Closer to 1,000 deaths, according to Amnesty International and some of the protest participants, as reported in a Time article. Other statements by Amnesty International have characterized the number of deaths as hundreds. * 300 to 1,000 according to a Western diplomat that compiled estimates. * 400 to 800 plausible according to the New York Times' Nicholas D. Kristof. He developed this estimate using information from hospital staff and doctors, and from "a medical official with links to most hospitals". * 180–500 casualties, according to a declassified NSA document which referred to early casualty estimates. * 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded, according to the Chinese government. * 186 named individuals confirmed dead at the end of June 2006 – Professor Ding Zilin of the Tiananmen Mothers. The Tiananmen Mothers' list includes some people whose deaths were not directly at the hands of the army, such as a person who committed suicide after the 4 June incident. The events at Tiananmen were the first of their type shown in detail on Western television. The Chinese government's response was denounced, particularly by Western governments and media. Criticism came from both Western and Eastern Europe, North America, Australia and some east Asian and Latin American countries. Notably, many Asian countries remained silent throughout the protests; the government of India responded to the massacre by ordering the state television to pare down the coverage to the barest minimum, so as not to jeopardize a thawing in relations with China, and to offer political empathy for the events North Korea, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany, among others, supported the Chinese government and denounced the protests. Overseas Chinese students demonstrated in many cities in Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia.
Tom Cruise and Church of Scientology investigated by FBI Problems for The church of Scientology seem to be going from bad to worse according to a report in The New Yorker, After being under an FBI microscope for sometime, the church and some of it’s more prominent members are being investigated by the federal government for human trafficking and labor law violations. Tom Cruise became involved when David Miscavige the head of the church and close personal friend to mega movie star ordered workers to perform services for the church and Cruise. The workers would work tirelessly doing everything from some of the dirty grunt work to customizing buildings, rebuilding motorcycles, fixing boats all for a mere fifty dollars a week. The federal law is clear that leaders of tax exempt organizations like the Church of Scientology are not allow to benefit in excess financially or materially, but reports have surfaced of David Miscavige being flown around in private charters jets, wearing custom hade made shoes, having two personal chefs, and owning several expensive cars and motorcycles, clearly benefiting . At the moment the FBI seems content to focus their investigation on the human trafficking and labor law violations aspect. Tom Cruise and the Church released a statement denying the allegations saying they knew nothing about the investigation and that it was without tangible evidence. Paul Haggis on leaving Scientology: 'I was in a cult for thirty-four years' "These people have long memories. My bet is that, within two years, you're going to read something about me in a scandal that looks like it has nothing to do with the church." So says Academy Award-winning writer/director Paul Haggis ("Crash," "Million Dollar Baby," "Casino Royale," "In the Valley of Elah," "The Next Three Days") who recently walked away from Scientology after more than three decades as a member of the church. In a wide-ranging profile/investigative piece in this week's (Feb. 14) New Yorker, writer Lawrence Wright interviews Haggis about his disillusionment with the celebrity-courting organization started by "Dianetics" guru L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s and talks to scores of defectors about the ubiquity of abuse -- including human trafficking, unpaid labor and physical violence -- that allegedly start with current Scientology leader David Miscavage and trickle all the way down to the group's most powerless members, some of them children. Wright also interviews celebrities, including Anne Archer, still very much in support of their spiritual path and who, like Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis (Archer's son) discredit Haggis as someone who remained in the church only to advance his career. Haggis left the church after the public affairs arm refused to take a public stance against California's Proposition 8, which asserted that the State of California should sanction marriage only "between a man and a woman." Two of Haggis's daughters are gay. Tom Cruise and other high-profile Scientologists are the recipients of special favors and gifts from the church. Cruise, said one defector, benefited in several ways -- including receiving gifts of motorcycles and even having Scientology remodel a private airplane hangar. This while the group's bottom-rung members, so-called Sea Org volunteers, are sometimes paid as little as $13 a week. Spending part of 2005 doing manual labor in Florida, Tommy Davis, Archer's son and now the public face of Scientology, allegedly confessed to a now-defected member of the church that he was being punished because, "I got busted. I [expletive] up on Tom Cruise's lines." Josh Brolin, who admits he dabbled in Scientology when he was trying to kick-start his acting career, describes to Wright a Scientology dinner he once attended: Brolin says that he once witnessed John Travolta practicing Scientology. Brolin was at a dinner party in Los Angeles with Travolta and Marlon Brando. Brando arrived with a cut on his leg, and explained that he had injured himself while helping a stranded motorist on the Pacific Coast Highway. He was in pain. Travolta offered to help, saying that he had just reached a new level in Scientology. Travolta touched Brando’s leg and Brando closed his eyes. “I watched this process going on -- it was very physical,” Brolin recalls. “I was thinking, This is really [expletive] bizarre! Then, after ten minutes, Brando opens his eyes and says, ‘That really helped. I actually feel different!’ ” (Travolta, through a lawyer, called this account “pure fabrication.”) Many celebrities were reportedly drawn into the organization through the Beverly Hills Play House, whose resident acting coach was a devout Scientologist and, according to interviewees, acted as a recruiter for the church. The Church of Scientology issued an official statement in response to Wright's article, calling it "irresponsible" and citing Wright for allegedly rehashing already disproved allegations to "garner headlines for an otherwise stale article." Scientology & Tom Cruise Give Us More Reasons to Be Afraid The Church of Scientology is shrouded in secrecy and intrigue. That's exactly why a brand new expose on the group -- which makes some frank, not to mention startling, accusations against some of its famous members including Tom Cruise and John Travolta -- is proving to be such a page-turner. The article published in this week's The New Yorker focuses on Crash director Paul Haggis and his decision to quit the (his word) cult after 34 years. But in the telling of his story, author Lawrence Wright divulges some seriously frightening details about the organization that were told to him by the church's defectors during his investigation. And let me just preface this by saying, it's much worse than jumping up and down like a crazy person on a couch ... By far the most shocking information to come out of the piece is that the FBI is investigating whether the Church of Scientology has engaged in human trafficking and has enslaved members. John Brosseau, a member who has since left the church, said he was involved in several hours of unpaid labor for Cruise. Specifically, he was asked to perform several jobs for Cruise -- customizing motorcycles, repairing an airplane hangar -- which should have cost thousands of dollars; yet, he was only paid $50 a week. Both Cruise and the church have denied these allegations. Here's a statement from church spokesman Tommy Davis: Church staff, and indeed Church members, hold Mr. Cruise in very high regard and are honored to assist him. Whatever small economic benefit Mr. Cruise may have received from the assistance of church staff pales in comparison to the benefits the church has received from Mr. Cruise's many years of volunteer efforts for the church. And with so many celebrity backers in the Church of Scientology, one can only suspect there might be more stories just like this one. Other claims made by the magazine are a bit more murky: One of the church leaders, David Miscavige -- who was best man at Cruise's and Katie Holmes' wedding -- is accused of repeated physical violence and punishments (including beatings, confinement, and manual labor) toward staff and members. Other defectors complained that they were told to disown friends and family who criticize Scientology under the church's notorious "disconnection" policies.