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!!!!!uunet!!!psinntp!psinntp!psinntp!!!ckaun Mon Jul 10 17:03:40 1995 Path:!!!!!uunet!!!psinntp!psinntp!psinntp!!!ckaun From: (Carl Kaun) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: More on the AOL situation Date: 09 Jul 1995 17:42:28 GMT Organization: Booz-Allen & Hamilton Lines: 100 Distribution: world Message-ID: <> NNTP-Posting-Host: I think we have a nasty little situation over on AOL (America On-Line). Under "Religion & Ethics > Other Religions > Other Religions 1" there are 8 boards dealing with Scientology, and dominated by Scientologists like our own RonArtistR: - Scientology & Ethics - Scientology & the Family - Scientology & Dianetic Wins II - Dianetics "Through the Soul" - AOL Scientologists Communicate - SCN: Clear Expansion Committees - Celebrity Center & Scientology - Scientology Community Outreach BTW, some of these boards have several hundred postings. A lot of it is typical Scientology pablum - either empty testimonials such as we have seen posted here, or 2-line responses like 'keep up the good work; a big win for Scientology' (most of these by RonArtistR). But there is also obvious Scientology propaganda there. There is also a board called 'Scientologie Free Zone'. The spelling of 'Scientologie' is apparently intentional and enforced throughout the group to distinguish it from 'Scientology'. As an aside, there is a message under this from Sermoner1 (Jerry White, the 'moderator' of the Religion & Ethics groups) that states "The board will not be used for the purpose of bashing COS. And do not ask us to delete their (COS) messages when they respond." This is followed by a similar note from DNIII, the 'Other Religions' Board Host. I posted several messages to the Scientology & Ethics board, and also to the Scientology Community Outreach board. My messages were successfully posted to the Scientology & Ethics board, but when I returned 1/2 hour later, they had been removed. Apparently the censor was active on the Scientology Community Outreach board, because although I got feedback that the messages were posted, I never actually saw them on the board. I saw messages from DianeR (Diane Richardson) and another 'critic' on one of the boards when I started, but these too had been removed by the time I finished. I saw one message from someone called 'GTAdvocate' that simply noted that Scientology was not without controversy, and pointed to other boards on AOL where more information could be found. Even though this was fairly early in the list, and had obviously been on the group for a while, I could not find it when I looked for it again at the end of my session. I would hate to think that my activity spurred a general purge of the boards (I did not reference this message in any way). In case anyone is interested, one of the messages I responded to was a paean to the 'good work' going on at the Chilocco Narconon, with testimonials and an 800 phone number for reaching Narconon. I merely replied that the Chilocco Narconon was being closed because the medical review board determined that appropriate medical procedures were not being followed, and that the patients were endangered thereby. Another of the messages I responded to started out something along the lines of "people who say Scientology is a scam don't know what they're talking about. Although I have spent a lot of money on contributions in my 20 years in Scientology, it is my choice how I spend my money, and no different that choosing to buy clothes". I responded by simply pointing out the that cost of the Bridge to Total Freedom is $350,000 - $400,000 if one doesn't stumble on the way, and that the 'contributions' to cross the Bridge were required and not voluntary, and that could buy a LOT of clothes. Oh yeah, I also asked "who says Scientology is a scam?" Inquiring minds want to know. A couple of my other messages said something about reading the full story on the Internet news group alt.religion.scientology. I expected those to get axed (they were). All in all, a really tacky situation. Censorship in the absence of guidelines for posting to boards, at least that I could find. Censorship without advance or followup notice of it. Open propaganda by Scientology without even a hint that the topic might be controversial, and indications of where other discussion could be found. Horizontal spamming of boards (8 boards for Scientology - come on). Content-free vertical spamming of boards (messages without content that waste my $ to read). Tacky. Probably not worse than what you'd expect from AOL, but tacky all the same. I have already written one letter (as a subscriber) to AOL, indicating my concerns, and also stating "I'd rather have my children exposed to pornography than unadulterated Scientology propaganda". Despite an auto-responder that said my message would be answered in 24 hours, I have not received a reply in more than a week. I will be writing more letters. It is difficult to know what action might be taken. Based on what I read, I think it is possible that messages to the Scientology boards are primarily scanned for negative comments, and that messages that can appear upbeat and still get a message across (e.g. by satire) might elude the censors for some time. If you take this tack, you may need to avoid posting any message that gets removed, as I suspect that the censor gets sensitized to names as well. I intend to pound on AOL's potential liability as a publisher, given the recent Prodigy decision, and based on my observation that some of the postings in fact constitute advertising. BTW, there was a lot of reference to a Scientology organization called 'Criminon'. It looks like something paralleling Narcanon. Does anyone have some substantial information on 'Criminon'? Also, is Narconon a non-profit organization? Is it a religious organization?


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