Since some of the materials which describe the $cientology cult could be
considered to be copywritten materials, I have censored myself and The
Skeptic Tank by deleting any and all possible text files which describes
the cult's hidden mythologies. I have elected to quote just a bit of the
questionable text according to the "Fair Use" legal findings afforded to
those who report. - Fredric L. Rice, The Skeptic Tank, 09/Sep/95
From news.interserv.net!news.sprintlink.net!news.dgsys.com!DGS.dgsys.com!alerma Mon Jul 10 17:02:26 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (alerma)
Subject: Virgina AP article
Date: 8 Jul 1995 05:08:10 GMT
Organization: Digital Gateway Systems
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]
Copyright 1995 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The information contained in this news report may not be republished or
redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
By ANNE GEARAN
Associated Press Writer
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- Two grim-faced men in suits knocked on Arnaldo
Lerma's door and shoved a legal document at him. The confession of sorts
stated that Lerma recanted criticism of the Church of Scientology and
a failure as a member of the religion.
Lerma didn't sign the three-page document. He didn't write it either.
"It's Orwellian in the extreme, isn't it?" he said.
Lerma's use of computers is what angered officials of the religion
teaches technology can help solve the problems of mankind.
In September, Lerma began placing court documents describing alleged
wrongdoing by the group -- and some of its most sacred texts -- on
international computer bulletin boards. The documents became a hot topic
of conversation on the Internet and the America Online service.
Now Lerma and another Scientology critic say the group is
systematically destroying messages and documents placed on line. On
Thursday, former Scientology minister Dennis Erlich told the FBI that
someone had broken into his private electronic mailbox.
The documents Lerma distributed include hair-raising descriptions of
abuse by former Scientology officials, claims that Scientology
and defrauds members and exacts reprisals against critics, and details
how people can achieve the theological growth that Scientologists say
transforms people into near-gods.
Church spokeswoman Karin Pouw said the religious documents were among
Scientologists' most sacred scriptures. "He deliberately defiled them in
the computer, equivalent of desecrating a house of worship with
graffiti," she said in a statement.
Ms. Pouw said some bulletin board operators have removed Scientology
documents at the church's request. She said the church will consider
action against Lerma if he distributes any more documents.
She confirmed that church representatives visited Lerma, saying it
not unusual. "The church considers it much more civil to try to resolve
disputes through personal contact and dialogue instead of just slapping
lawsuit on someone," her statement said.
Lerma saw it differently: "They're trying to intimidate me to agree
Scientology, founded 40 years ago by science fiction writer L. Ron
Hubbard, teaches that technology can expand the mind and help solve
problems. It features a hierarchy of knowledge that initiates gain as they
progress through stages of teaching and counseling that can cost
Lerma, 44, said he joined the church in 1963 and was forced out in
after pursuing a romance with one of Hubbard's daughters.
Lerma, now an an audio-visual systems consultant, called the FBI
the Nov. 4 visit. A prosecutor concluded the visit was not harassment.
Erlich said a saboteur started canceling his e-mail messages last week.
"The secrets of the universe (Scientology officials) are selling at
those top levels are what's being posted on Internet," Erlich said from
his home in Glendale, Calif. "Somebody is poking a hole in their scam
I think that's exactly what needs to be done."