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--- Following message extracted from ANEWS @ 1:374/14 --- By Christopher Baker on Thu Sep 14 23:40:23 1995 From: eskinews!nyxfer.blythe.org!nyt To: All Date: 13 Sep 95 18:52:31 Subj: Scientology's War Against the Internet: Annotated w/ URLs From: eskinews!nyxfer.blythe.org!nyt (NY Transfer News Collective) Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 21:52:31 -0400 (EDT) Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit [The following is the definitive history to date of the persecution by the cult of Scientology against its opponents on the Internet. It includes URLs and other e-mail addresses where more information can be obtained. The situation is rapdily changing, since Scientology's legal funds seem limitless, and its vengeful staff tireless in pursuit of those it deems "enemies." Sites listed here may be outdated within days of their publication. After reading this article, you might find the scenarios presented in "The Net" and in the "Fifth Column" conspiracy theory a bit less far-fetched! This copy has been edited to correct typographical errors and reformatted to remove repetitious Web headings, but all original information is retained. -- NY Transfer] from Net Magazine, Netherlands Sept 95 Date: 8 Sep 1995 11:59:14 GMT Posted-By: announce@xs1.xs4all.nl Copyright; IDG Communications Nederland Published in: Net, september 1995 "Never defend, Always attack" Scientology Church silences opponents with searches, law suits, intimidation and private detectives by Jeroen Pietersma There is almost a Holy War between the Internet community and the Scientology Church. Authors rights and anonymous remailers are the chips in this game, which does not limit itself to online bickering about mysterious "Fishman-documents." Outside the net house searches, court cases, intimidation and private detectives play a role. A shocking story about the way Scientology silences its critics. Or as an employee of Internet provider xs4all puts it: "Before you know it they hit you with a court case. Scientology is a dangerous organisation." What is it about? In the usenet group alt.religion.scientolgy, the internet community has acted against several aspects of what they call "Scientos." But doing this they also post Scientology texts. These texts, which are copyrighted, constitute a large part of the source of income of Scientology. A number of these texts, known as Operating Thetan levels (OT levels, a series of courses that members can follow after paying a lot of money), have become public through ex-Scientology members, and can easily be found on the Internet. The texts are distributed through anonymous remailers, for fear of repraisal. An anonymous remailer is a computer that strips email of name and address. In place of this comes a number, for which the remailer can substitute the correct address if someone wants to send a message to an anonymous mailer. This story starts in August, when I receive the minutes of the founding meeting of NLIP, an organisation of Dutch Internet providers. In it, as an aside, there is mention of a possible lawsuit of Scientology against xs4all, because the latter has an anonymous remailer through which documents of "the church" are distributed. Before I call xs4all, I go onto the WWW, and key "scientology" into the Webcrawler (location:http://www.webcrawler.com). Within a few seconds, an impressive list of hyperlinks appears. I turn onto the net and find in a short time a wealth of information, mainly anti-scientology. I read about Scientology, criminal practices, child pornography, lawsuits, private detectives and murder and suicide. It is too much and too complicated. I am looking for a list of FAQs. The alt.religion.scientology Frequently Asked Questions I find on http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/scientology-faq/faq.html. It is an FAQ full of criticism of Scientology, with the message: Scientology has never delivered proof of its teachings. The FAQ is rather superficial (according to Scientology, a "collection of untruths") but makes clear that something is rumbling on the net. Back at Webcrawler I glide the mouse arrow over the hypertext links and look at the URLs. I discover a Dutch homepage at http://www.xs4all.nl/~fonss/. Click, and I'm on a page of FACTNet. FACTNet (Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network Inc.), led by two ex-Scientologists, is a non-profit electronic library with public information about "dangerous sects such as Jonestown, Branch Davidians (Waco) and Scientology." And Scientology doesn't like that, it appears from information on and after the FACTNet page and on the homepage The Church of Scientology against the Net at http://www.cybercom.net/~rnewman/scientology/home.html. Earlier this year, Scientology has threatened several times with a lawsuit if FACTNet refuses to remove all information about Scientology. According to FACTNet, the pressure of Scientology is increasing, and the organisation names a series of examples of the financial battle to exhaustion that Scientology has started. FACTNet doesn't think it can keep up the battle, and calls on as many people as possible to download the information to prevent an "electronic book burning." All text files have been since the end of May in .ZIP format on an ftp site (ftp://ftp.rmii.com/pub2/factnet/), and since April an unknown [person] has put a "FACTNet Scientology WWW-kit" on the net, which everyone can install on a homepage. The kit can be downloaded on http://www.xs4all.nl/~fonss/factkit.zip. Talk to my lawyer I want to contact people who criticise Scientology. It takes too long to contact participants of the newsgroup and to wait for an answer. I start an Internet Relay Chat program, and type the command "/join #scientology." Bingo; it's a channel, there are people, but no word is spoken. The command "/whois" combined with the names of channel mates shows me that they are all on the IRC channel #clambake. On #clambake there is conversation, and soon I'm addressed. Carefully, because there is tension, and it looks as if no one trusts one another. [Only] after half an hour of short exchanges with Jack (he doesn't want his real name in this story) do I start to get clear information. Jack is interested in freedom of speech, and read something in a newsgroup about forged cancel messages in alt.religion.scientology, a way of removing someone's articles from a newsgroup. In other words, censorship. More about this later. After having participated in alt.religion.scientology for a while, Jack writes, he received email from scientology lawyer Helena K. Kobrin. Jack sends me the electronic letter, and I read that Kobrin asserts that Jack put Scientology documents on the net. Kobrin demands that he remove them immediately (including from his hard drive and floppies) and report by email that he has honoured her request. If not, legal steps will be taken. Fishman document After searching for the email address of Kobrin in the Four11 White Page Directory (location: http://www.Four11.com/), I mail her a list of questions. Jack by then has taught me that the Scientology document that it's all about (the so-called Fishman document) not only regularly appears in the newsgroup, but can also be downloaded on several FTP-sites. Scientology wants to tackle these sites too, but the Internet community has found a way around that: someone has put a copy of the Fishman document on a server in Beijing. Jack: "Let Kobrin try to convince the Chinese to remove that document." [An] interesting aspect of the Fishman document is that it is not a Scientology document, but a public-domain court document that contains Scientology texts. The complete piece [case CV-91-6426 HLH (Tx)] can be obtained at less than forty dollars from the Federal Courthouse, Central District of California. This is how: Steven Fishman, ex-Scientologist, talks to Time Magazine in 1991 about fraudulent activities that he engaged in, ordered to by Scientology. This I read in a press statement by Fishman on http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman. Fishman's statements result in an article with the heading "The lucrative worship of greed and power." Subtitle: "ruined lives, lost fortunes, federal crimes." At http://www.cybercom.net/~rnewman/scientology/media/quill-11.91 I read that the reporter had been repeatedly harassed after the publication, and was watched by lawyers and six private detectives. Finally, Scientology started slamming Time with daily ads in USA Today -- an action that is [said] to have cost 3 million dollars. Fishman explains in a statement to the press that he got in psychological trouble, and was ordered by Scientology to kill his psychiatrist. (Scientology and psychology are as water and fire.) Later, he would be ordered to commit suicide. Fishman attributes his psychological problems to "mind control" techniques of Scientology. To prove this, he hands over to the court the OT-levels, and these are entered in the archives. This archived material is freely available, but Scientologists want to prevent this. The court clerk related in the Washington Post of 19 August that a group of people, for over a year, has requested this document every day the court opens and kept it the whole day long. A Scientology official admits this in the paper. Murder plans Back to Fishman. He is sentenced for his crimes and goes to jail. According to his press statement, prison guards prevent his [being] murdered. In the locker of fellow prisoner Luis Martinez they find a knife and Scientology documents. Martinez is a Scientologist from Miami. He was lined up for extradition to Cuba, and Scientology was to assist him legally if he would kill Fishman. When Fishman is set free later, a civil trial follows. Together with FACT, Fishman defends himself. Celebrities, who Scientology uses to bolster their name, are called as witnesses. Subpoenas are served [on], among others, Lisa Marie Presley (daughter of Elvis, wife of Michael Jackson) and John Travolta. Subsequently, Scientology abandons the trial. Author and Scientology adherent Tom Cruise was able to avoid being subpoenaed by hiding in the toilet. (sidebar: Celebrities). Scamzidat = swindle Jack has a request: would I prove that I'm a reporter? He has become nervous by the latest news in alt.religion.scientology: someone has used a false name to request the registration of phone calls of one Grady Ward from his phone company Pacific Bell. It is feared that Scientologists will now bother him and his family. An email from head editor Oscar Kneppers puts Jack at ease. From that time, he and I exchange several email messages per day. Jack spends a lot of his time on the matter of Scientology and the net. He reports that more and more people are sending the Fishman document. Jack sends me statistical data on alt.religion.scientology. In early August, 83.5% of all bytes in the group consisted of Scientology documents. Without too much trouble I find and download a large file, SCAMIZ9.ZIP. Unpacked, this turns out to be called Scamizdat, and to be full of Scientology texts. Scamizdat is a contraction of "scam" and "samizdat." Scam is slang for swindle, and refers to the millions that Scientology is making. Samizdat was a practice in the former Soviet Union: privately printing and distributing literature that had been prohibited by the Soviet regime. From an ftp site I download the Fishman document, and find a joke from the net community, which is not only concerned about Scientology, but can also see the humour of it all. The joke is a cartoon in GIF-format; a photo of Kobrin on which a piece of text about communicating with plants has been stuck. The text is from the OT-levels. It reminds me to remind Kobrin of my questions, because several days later I have not received an answer from her. It is almost science fiction Later I talk to an employee of xs4all, who speaks on condition of anonymity, because "Scientology is a very dangerous organisation. Before you know it, they hit you with a suit. That is one of their standard procedures." He has let an "expert" investigate Scientology, and says: "I don't call it a church, I call it a business. Their texts, say, their bible--it is almost science fiction." He tells me that the administrator of the anonymous remailer of xs4all received an email from America earlier this year. The other day, a letter from a Dutch lawyer came with the same message: "distributing Scientology documents via the remailer has to stop or we will take legal action." "This is a matter of principle to us," says the employee. "Remailers have to have a chance; you cannot just shoot them down. Many people can only communicate anonymously. For instance, people who are HIV positive often cannot speak under their own name because of their job....It will probably come to a court case, but we are not worried. The harder they threaten us, the more belligerent the Internet users are getting. The public discussion about censorship on the Internet by Scientology will be very interesting. xs4all, just like other Internet users and providers, has become a victim of the practices of Scientology.." Search warrant Johan "Julf" Helsingius knows all about it. He is administrator of the Finnish remailer anon.penet.fi since 1992. Since 1995 his service has registered 200,000 users, and every day 7,000 mail messages are passed along automatically. [In] early February of this year, the Finnish police show up at his house with a search warrant, because Scientology wants to know the identity of a client. The same day, articles appear in Swedish [newspapers] about child pornography that is [said] to have been distributed via the anon.penet.fi remailer. Finnish papers take up the story, and the remailer is looking bad. The articles in the papers are based on research by Mats Wiklund of the University of Stockholm. In a statement to the press, (SEE: http://www.sky.net/~sloth/sci/sci_index.html) Julf questions the research, because the remailer does not allow big files, hence photos. Julf and the Internet community did their own investigation and discovered that Wiklund's research was sloppy, and that the only photo in his report was rather innocent, with children in a nudist camp. Further investigation of Julf and fans even showed that the photos were not sent through Finland, but from Great Britain, and that the origin had been forged. At that point the internet community was starting to wonder what were the motives of the Swedish researcher. The community quickly suspected that sending the photos and the publicity around it were a trick by Scientology, to make the remailer look bad. Raid After several emails and a phone call, Kobrin promises to answer my questions. But something intervenes. On Saturday, August the 12th there is a raid on the home of ex-Scientologist Arnoldo P. Lerma in Arlington, Virginia. A total of 10 people ransack his home, because Lerma has posted the Fishman document. Among the 10 are two armed officers, two computer experts and Mrs. Kobrin. The computer, a scanner, several hard disks, 400 floppies, and even the mouse and modem are confiscated. Arnie alerts the Internet community via IRC. Helena Kobrin states two days later in the New York Times: "If these documents have left the church, it is because they are stolen." Lerma stays calm in the New York Times: "This is the big secret at the end of the rainbow, and you can get it from the court at 50 cents per page." Besides, Arnie Lerma was already visited in November 1994 by Eugene Ingram, a private detective for Scientology, as Ron Newman tells us on his WWW-pagina's "The Church of Scientology vs. the Net." Grady Ward (whose phone records have been taken) was also visited by Ingram. Not long after, Ingram visited Ward's mother. She identified him from a photo and the Tacocom Police department made a case out of it. Florida seems to have an arrest warrant for Ingram, because he had been impersonating a police officer. Ingram was removed from the Los Angeles Police Department because he tipped off drug dealers about raids, and because he had sidelined as a pimp. Pictures of and information about Ingram and other Scientology-detectives are on http://www.primenet.com/~lippart/pis.html. Sorry folks, party's over After the raid on Lerma there is again commotion in alt.religion.scientology, because the Fishman document has disappeared from the Chinese server. "Sorry Folks, party's over" is what it said in alt.religion.scientology. The reason: the [Chinese site's] 64-Kbps connection could not cope with the large demand for the Fishman document, and cyber-access for the whole of China was endangered. But not long after there is cause for celebration in the newsgroup: the Fishman document is now in Russia (location: ftp://ftp.demos.su/incoming/). Around that time I received answers from Helena K. Kobrin. The lawyer, who was supposed to be so busy, had chosen a strange way of responding by email: instead of sending a "reply" (so that the questions from my mail would automatically -- hence quickly -- be quoted in her letter) she has re-keyed the questions and mutilated them. Terms like "free flow of information" and "freedom of expression" have been scrapped. And Kobrin writes immediately that I can not publish anything from the public Fishman document: "If you publish this material, my client will find it necessary to take appropriate legal action against you and your publisher to protect his rights." In her letter, Kobrin bandies the names of Netcom and Ehrlich and Fishman. She calls Steven Fishman a "heavy criminal" and a "notorious liar who invents all sorts of accusations against the church." When Jack reads the remarks of Kobrin, he dismisses them as "dead agenting." He refers me to the semi-official Scientology WWW-pages of the head of Public Relations, Leisa Goodman (http://www.theta.com/goodman/). On Goodman's web pages Kobrin has written a commentary on computer crime -- which is ironic, as Kobrin herself is guilty of computer crime. She sent a so-called remove-group message. This is a specially formatted instruction to remove a whole newsgroup. This failed, because Usenet administrators quickly sent a command to re-create the group. Kobrin [neither] denies nor confirms this story in the replies she sent to me, and only writes that she sent a request to the Usenet system administrators. She closes her reply with, "My request is no longer relevant, but the matter of copyright is." Jack refers me to a letter that Kobrin sent, earlier this year, to Internet World magazine, because the magazine had asked her for a statement about the rm [remove] message. After a lot of idle talk about copyright, Kobrin implicitly admits in that letter: "We do not intend to pursue the "remove group" message if it is not a fitting method." The xs4all employee states: "Erasing a message that is not yours is an illegal act. The copyright of messages on the Internet lies with the user. Only the user has the right to remove his message before this happens automatically by the cancel-period on a news host." No policing Other Dutch Internet providers are behind xs4all, [including] the providers that are with the organisation NLIP, as well as Planet Internet. Editor-in-chief Michiel Frackers: "It now becomes clear what kind of church this is. We are against cancel messages and censorship. Everyone should be able to say what they want. But this kind of problem will persist, with illegal software and child pornography. Btw, we don't carry specific newsgroups that have child pornography." Koos de Heer of Knoware: "As providers we should do no policing, that is against the principle of a provider. We do have to make sure not to be incapacitated by e-mail-bombardments, so we do have an interest in our users sticking to netiquette. An anonymous remailer is the same [as] anonymously sending a letter by mail. And what is on a server somewhere is not owned by the provider but by the user. If the post office has a package, the Mail is not responsible for the contents either." Helena Kobrin states in the New York Times of 14 August about the Internet: "There are people who think that the Internet has created a new medium where all rules will disappear, and that is not true. Things go faster on the Internet, and we will keep up with them." Just before the deadline I hear that the administrators of the anonymous remailer on xs4all have moved the remailer. It is unclear whether legal steps against xs4all will follow. Btw, anyone can start up a remailer. And get in trouble if through this remailer Scientology-documents are posted. Ruin him completely Scientology never liked critics, and according to FACTNet has rules for coping with opponents. These rules are in the Fair Game Law which according to FACTNet was installed by Scientology-founder L. Ron Hubbard (sidebar L. Ron Hubbard & Scientology). In http://www.xs4all.nl/~fonss/fact.txt it says: "(An enemy) may be robbed of posessions or done injustice to, with all means by any Scientologist, without any disciplinary action against the Scientologist (...) can be deceived, subpoenaed, lied to or destroyed." And: "The purpose of a suit is more to exhaust and discourage than to win. Never defend. Always attack. (...) Start a discrediting PR campaign to destroy a person's reputation, and to discredit him so thoroughly that he'll be shunned. The law can easily be used to fatigue a person, and enough fatigue (...) is usually enough to cause professional death (...) If possible, ruin him completely." alt.religion.scientology Scott C. Goehring, a 26-year-old college student from Bloomington, Indiana, created the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology in 1991, as a forum to expose Scientology. His wife's first husband had been a Scientologist. "On the net, the truth surfaces. The church can not silence everyone. They can not subpoena all 100 million people who are on the net." According to Goehring, three out of every hundred participants are Scientologists, the rest are critics, and the newsgroup has 14,000 occasional readers. Most participants call Scientology consistently Co$ or Ch*rch. Fishman freely availably via FTP The FTP sites having the Fishman document are sites that allow ... internetters to exchange documents. At press time of this article, the Fishman document was downloadable from the locations below. These sites change regularly to be one step ahead of Scientology. The latest locations can be found on alt.religion.scientology. * ftp://ftp.pasteur.fr/incoming/ * ftp://ftp.gmd.de/incoming/ * ftp://coli.uni-sb.de/incoming/ * ftp://info.bta.net.cn/incoming/ * ftp://ftp.uni-kl.de/incoming/ * ftp://ftp.demos.su/incoming/ Journalism Without the Internet, it would not have been possible to gather the information for this story in a relatively short time. It would have been a time-consuming and probably expensive story. Making contact with an insider was fast, as were purposeful searches on the net. Within a few days I had more than half of my information. Without the net I would have had to browse through archives and libraries, and would have had to request information from America, which can take weeks. Most of my sources that I "talked" to I would never have been able to call on short notice, because I would have absolutely no idea where to find the phone number of that American ex-Scientologist. On the net finding a good source is easy, and while I lay sleeping, the information was coming in. Because the net works 24 hours per day. L. Ron Hubbard The originator of Scientology is LaFayette Ronald Hubbard (born 13 March 1911; died 24 January 1986). Hubbard studied, according to his own PR-dept, mechanical engineering, traveled a lot, and was philosopher, teacher, sailor, artist, explorer, pilot, photographer, author, and more. An "expert" did some research for xs4all into Scientology, and writes about Hubbard: "About his youth there is little to say, since the data that he provides about it are exaggerated and mostly hanging together from lies." His second wife, Sarah Northrup, called him already in 1951, at their divorce, "hopelessly mentally ill." In May 1950, Hubbard published his best-known text, "Dianetics: an introduction to a new science," in a science-fiction magazine. The whole print run sold out immediately. Hubbard is said to have claimed in those days: "If you want to be a millionaire, you have to start your own religion." The book "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," published shortly after, quickly reached sales of 150,000 copies and is still sold by Scientology. After the publication of Dianetics, Hubbard-led institutes open, and dianetics appears to be a golden opportunity. Hubbard mostly gets the attention of young people, and soon they are camping in his yard. Celebrities The celebrity followers of Hubbard are another story. The story goes back to 1955, when L. Ron Hubbard ordered his followers to win celebrities for the church. [Those] who succeeded received special training. This is described in "The Scandal of Scientology," a book by Paulette Cooper. Cooper writes about the so-called Celebrity Center in California, which is to attract celebrities from Hollywood, according to Cooper, with the purpose of attracting young people to Scientology. After publication of the book, Scientology started Operation PC Freakout, a slander campaign against Paulette Cooper, with the purpose [of] get[ting] her [put] in jail or institutionalised. Scientology in the meantime owns, after having paid a lot of money, the rights to the book. Jack, too, has information about the stars. In an MTV-show ("New Religions: The Cult Question," first broadcast in June 1995) that talked about Scientology Tom Cruise, Kristie Alley, Julliette Lewis and John Travolta appeared, singing songs of praise. John Travolta is [said] to have stated: "I think this is the most important movement on the planet." The Church In 1954, the Scientology Church is founded, and world wide branches follow. Critics say Hubbard desired religious status to circumvent paying taxes. According to the New York Times, Scientology has a paid staff of 13,000 people. The number of members is unclear: Scientology claims 8 million members, others say 50,000. According to the anonymous expert, Scientology is basically ... a mixture of religion, science fiction and mind-control. In his book "Dianetics," Hubbard uses the term "auditing." Auditing (listening to) is a modern variant of old-fashioned Christian confession: make people pronounce their problems, secrets, fears, and uncertainties, and make them dependent on you. Scientology keeps its texts secret through copyright. Strange for a church, which usually are all too eager to spread the faith. According to Leisa Goodman this is to "keep the religious techniques orthodox." About the faith, the expert reports that at auditings the so-called E-meter is used, a lie detector developed by Hubbard himself. To "clear" someone for 20,000 dollars Scientologists are convinced that every human is under the influence of Xenu, who 60 billion years ago released Thetans on earth. These Thetans are in each of us, and cause "engrams." Scientology can erase [them] so that someone becomes "clear." This takes some steps, and they cost money. Initially little, but the higher one gets (the purpose is to become Operating Thetan) the more one pays. The director of Scientology International states in the Washington Post that members can pay up to 20,000 dollars for this. Critics estimate the amount as 300,000 dollars. The clearing process can [be] long, because Scientologists are convinced that there are also thetans from past lives in us. They also have to go. Which costs money. Hubbard, by the way, was a strong believer in reincarnation, and Scientologists say that at his death Hubbard dropped his body, and will return Scientology in the Netherlands In the Netherlands (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal in Amsterdam) the Scientology Church has a religious status, and there are several branches throughout the country, among which is the LaFayette primary school (in Amsterdam). In the '70s, a committee was created in the Netherlands to investigate Scientology. According to the expert mentioned earlier, it became apparent that there was a Scientologist among the members, and through internal tensions and argument a final report was never published. In the early '80s a number of Scientologists were arrested by the police, when at a traffic check they turned out to posess stolen papers from the archives of the National Centre for Mental Health in Utrecht. [end] -- + NY Transfer News Collective * A Service of Blythe Systems + + Since 1985 - Information for the Rest of Us + + voice: 339 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012 modem: + + 212-979-0471 e-mail: nyt@blythe.org 212-979-0464 + * Origin: helix.uucp =FidoNet/Internet= Seattle 206.783.6368 (1:343/70)

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