From news.interserv.net!news.sprintlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!janda Thu Sep 14 09:44:25 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran)
Subject: Denver Post Article on 9/9 Picket...
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 1995 12:51:08 GMT
'NETIZENS WAR WITH SCIENTOLOGY'
by Bruce Finley
Denver Post Staff Writer
BOULDER - They looked like computer nerds marooned on a mall. But
these were "netizens" uniting, taking their global computer war
against the Church of Scientology for the first time.
They numbered 17 in Boulder yesterday morning. Each picked up a bright-
colored sign and circled in front of the Boulder County Courthouse as
hundreds of shoppers strolled.
"Hands off the Internet" one sign read. "Scientology harasses Critics"
The Netizens were protesting an Aug 22 raid of two Boulder County homes
by federal marshals, at the behest of the church, to confiscate church
documents that Netizens allegedly have been sharing illegally.
A Netizen wearing thick glasses, plaid shorts and oversized sneakers
distributed anti-church leaflets from Internet correspondents in
Australia and South Africa.
The Netizens draw their name from their love of the Internet computer
network. They had used it to schedule the protest in Boulder along
with demonstrations in more than a dozen other U.S. cities and three
The Boulder raid, and a subseqent legal battle in U.S. District Court,
is the latest of several conflicts involving critics of the popular
Church of Scientology.
Church lawyers have had federal marshals raid homes elsewhere searching for
Critics worldwide use Internet discussions to accuse the church of
controlling people and blocking free thought.
At the Boulder demonstration, former scientology Bob Penny, whose house
in Niwot was raided, likened the search by federal agents to raids of
the Branch Davidian cult compound outside Waco, Texas, and the federal
assault on Randy Weaver's family in Idaho.
"If a private wealthy corporation can break into somebody's home, that's
something that everybody should be concerned about," 52-year old Penny
A handful of Scientologists showed up at the courthouse in defense of
their church. They had picket signs, too. One said "Only criminals
spread lawlessness on the Internet."
"These guys have been posting confidential material," said Robert
Anderson, president of Scientology's 700 member mission in Boulder.
"That violates freedom of religion. It's against the law to use
copyright materials Most people who have morals, any ethical standards,
are going to stand up against immoral or criminal behavior."
Yet most mall shoppers mostly just glanced at the demonstrators and
signs, then walked on by.
"Bunch of computer nerds," 15-year old nathan Brown said, sucking a
cigarette. He guestured at a sign on which the word criticize was
written as "critize."
"Look," Brown said, "They can't even spell."
[End of article]
OK, OK, OK! I'll figure out some way of running a spelling checker
on protest signs in the future...
"...we can use fair use to paraphase the advanced materials, quoting
important excerpts while just descibing in our own words the
incredibly tedious junk that stuff is made up of."
Diane Richardson (email@example.com) on the SeKrEtSkRiPtUrEs of the
"Church" of Scientology.