From braintree!news.sprintlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!noring Thu Nov 2 15:58:27 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jon Noring)
Subject: --> It's time for Jon Noring to move on
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 23:07:08 GMT
Back in January I joined with others in the Internet community to protect
the freedoms of speech, expression and religion as a result of misdirected
efforts by the Church of Scientology, specifically RTC, to deal with what
they regarded (or so they say) as alleged copyright infringements of its
"Scriptures". We circulated a "Letter" which expressed our concern and
displeasure with CoS/RTC actions and called upon them to cooperate with the
Internet community in order to deal with their concerns in a way that was
satisfactory for all sides. From this "Letter" we got 666 signatures (sort
of an interesting number since Lucifer himself has been brought into recent
discussions on a.r.s.), and we got this many signatures when
alt.religion.scientology was still a backwater "mud puddle" newsgroup on the
outer fringes (the "twilight zone") of Usenet.
Since then, by the efforts of many, the Internet community was mobilized to
protect itself, and the freedoms of speech and religion it cherishes, and as
a result, alt.religion.scientology has rapidly grown to become one of the
largest newsgroups on Usenet, with a readership that probably numbers over
100,000. And things have spilled over to the WWW as well, with now hundreds
of well-advertised Web pages now in existence discussing all aspects of
Scientology. Had CoS heeded the advice of the January letter, and worked
with the Internet community, a.r.s. would still be a backwater newsgroup, the
number of critical Scientology WWW pages could probably be counted on one's
hand, and the upper-tech materials would probably not have been disseminated
over the Internet and the entire world to the extent as they now have.
I'm sure that's some of results that CoS wanted all along. No matter what
CoS believes, cooperation and compromise will always get you more in the long
run than confrontation.
When I joined the "fray" back in January, I had intended to help out for a
month or so. But as events unfolded, my date for "moving on" kept getting
pushed back. However, it is time for me to move on. Thus, from this time
on I will greatly reduce my activism in this area -- I will no longer post to
a.r.s. or on the subject of Scientology (except to answer posts which bring
up my name somehow and needs clarification as to what I did or did not say),
nor be involved in other ways. I want to focus my attention on my own
publishing business, and possibly to begin activism in another area I'm very
interested in: elimination of the income tax to be replaced by a National
Sales Tax (curiously, CoS is heavily promoting this alternative tax as well
but for reasons that no doubt are quite different than mine -- "politics"
does make *very* strange bedfellows.)
However, if CoS embarks on a massive blitzkrieg to destroy/discredit its
net.critics, and takes actions which would clearly set a dangerous precedent
for destroying net.freedoms, I may jump back into the "fray". Or, I suppose,
if CoS launches its RICO suit against various net.critics (among others), I
might become involuntarily "re"involved if I'm added to the RICO list of
defendents. Of course, I'm prepared for this possible eventuality, and have
been ever since Capricorn first exposed this threat.
My last words of advice are for those protecting the Internet to always take
the high moral ground. Don't do anything illegal, for example, posting
copyrighted documents in excess of Fair Use. From what I've learned about
the documents regarding Scientology, there's more than enough which are
public domain for people to use for whatever purpose they have in mind. And
when you do post on Scientology, try to write on a higher level of ethics,
document as much as possible, and try not to attack individuals, no matter
how tempting (and I've been guilty of doing this), but rather rationally
discuss and argue the ideas and assertions. Emotion is alright if it is
tempered with a healthy dose of reason.
I'm sure you'll see me around the Internet in other ways, so it's not really
a goodbye. My heart is with those who will work to keep the Internet free
for all, as I believe it may become one of the greatest revolutions in the
history of mankind, passing the printing press and other notable inventions
for its impact on the world. And I do hope that CoS will heed our call and
begin to work with the Internet community in a spirit of cooperation to deal
with any legitimate issues they may have. There is still time to do so.
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