Archive Message - 1995

Since some of the materials which describe the $cientology cult could be considered to be copywritten materials, I have censored myself and The Skeptic Tank by deleting any and all possible text files which describes the cult's hidden mythologies. I have elected to quote just a bit of the questionable text according to the "Fair Use" legal findings afforded to those who report. - Fredric L. Rice, The Skeptic Tank, 09/Sep/95 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- From!!!!alerma Mon Jul 10 17:02:26 1995 Path:!!!!alerma From: (alerma) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Virgina AP article Date: 8 Jul 1995 05:08:10 GMT Organization: Digital Gateway Systems Lines: 72 Distribution: world Message-ID: <3tl3rq$> NNTP-Posting-Host: 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 was 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 that 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 brainwashes and defrauds members and exacts reprisals against critics, and details of 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 offensive 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 legal action against Lerma if he distributes any more documents. She confirmed that church representatives visited Lerma, saying it was not unusual. "The church considers it much more civil to try to resolve disputes through personal contact and dialogue instead of just slapping a lawsuit on someone," her statement said. Lerma saw it differently: "They're trying to intimidate me to agree to silence." Scientology, founded 40 years ago by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, teaches that technology can expand the mind and help solve human problems. It features a hierarchy of knowledge that initiates gain as they progress through stages of teaching and counseling that can cost thousands of dollars. Lerma, 44, said he joined the church in 1963 and was forced out in 1978 after pursuing a romance with one of Hubbard's daughters. Lerma, now an an audio-visual systems consultant, called the FBI after 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 and I think that's exactly what needs to be done."


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