Scientology Crime Syndicate

Newsgroups: alt.clearing.technology,
Subject: Scientologists Unite - Support Safe!
From: giliad@mailexcite.com (The Crusader)
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 09:40:18 GMT

This is a call to all Scientologists, active churchmembers and Freezoners alike, to unite and stand against the deplorable behavior of the men who control the Church of Scientology. Please pass this letter on to anyone you know who was ever involved with Scientology.

Here is a brief synopsis of Safe's situation.

"Safe", a Scientologist, has been posting messages criticizing the
Church of Scientology management to the internet newsgroup

Now he may be facing legal trouble. The Church of Scientology has subpoenaed AT&T Worldnet, Safe's Internet Service Provider, demanding that they reveal his identity. The church alleges that Safe has violated its copyrights by quoting Scientology scripture in the messages that he posted. Safe contends that he did not violate copyright law because he stayed within the "Fair Use" clause.

Safe has retained Dan Liepold, an attorney familiar with the tactics of the Church of Scientology, in order to fight the subpoena and keep his identity a secret. However, it seems likely that Safe's identity will be revealed because in order for a judge to decide whether Safe has infringed the church's copyrights or not, Safe must appear in court to argue his case. A Catch-22.

Safe wishes to remain anonymous because once the Church of Scientology finds out who he is, it will most likely expel him from the church, on top of any legal action it may bring against him. The Church of Scientology is well known for harrassing and attacking anyone who is critical of the church. This is called "Fair Gaming" and "Dead Agenting" within the church.

Safe's story, which is just unfolding, has been documented on Wired News and CNET. Hopefully other news organizations will pick it up as the events progress.

For those who are not familiar with the Church of Scientology - doesn't it strike you odd that a church would behave this way? Using copyright law to sue and harrass people who criticise it by quoting the church's own scripture to document their criticism? Punishing and expelling its own members who dare disagree with its actions, however unjust and inane they may be?

Yet the true victims of Church of Scientology's copyright terror are the non-conforming Scientologists. People like Safe, who believe in the religious writings of L. Ron Hubbard, yet disagree with the bad behavior and policies of the Church of Scientology. They cannot openly practice their Scientology beliefs outside of the Church. The Church has copyrighted all of Hubbard's religious writings and obtained trademarks on the name Scientology and many other related items, and the Church sues anyone who uses these materials outside of its control. Yet they cannot bear to stay in the church and put up with the lies, the super-high prices (what other church charges $300 an hour for religious confession?) and the draconian rules known as "ethics". They cannot try to reform the church or complain to the church management because "ethics" does not permit any criticism of the church.

There exists a group known as "Freezone", which is made up of expelled church members and non-conforming Scientologists who left the church on their own. They still believe in the spiritual "tech" of Scientology as developed by L. Ron Hubbard. Most of these Freezoners practice Scientology quietly by themselves, being careful not to attract attention, almost in an underground fashion. Why? Because in the past some of these Freezoners have started their own churches to deliver Scientology services, only to be attacked and squashed out of existence by the Church of Scientology on the basis of copyright infringement. If this isn't religious suppression, what is?

The Church of Scientology likes to use the term "religious freedom". Whenever it is under government investigation or media criticism, it crys out "religious freedom!" in its own defense, meaning that the attacking party should leave them alone because Scientology has a right to exist and practice its beliefs under the idea of religious freedom. Yet when it comes to Freezoners and others who wish to practice Scientology outside of its control, religious freedom goes out the window and copyright litigation takes over.

The Church of Scientology contends that Scientology is a religion. The United States recognizes it as a religion and has given it a tax-exempt status. Yet this so-called church does not behave like a religious group ought to. It behaves more like a greedy monopolistic corporation that uses copyright, trademark, and trade-secret laws to protect its profits and stamp out any competition.

If Scientology is a religion, then the writings of L. Ron Hubbard that form Scientology beliefs are religious scripture in the same manner as the Bible and the Koran. Anyone who wishes to study these scriptures and copy them for their own practice should be protected under the First Amendment and the idea of religious freedom. For the Church of Scientology to attack and suppress them on the basis of copyright protection is simply wrong. Isn't the whole idea of copyright about protecting an author's intellectual property for him to profit from his work? Well, L. Ron Hubbard is dead, his family gets nothing from Scientology, and the profits from the copyrights go straight to the Church of Scientology, a religious organization that is supposed to be non-profit.


Only then can Scientologists be free to practice their religion in the manner they see fit. Only then can Scientology become a true religion in the same sense as Christianity and Buddhism.

I would like to urge all thinking Scientologists, Freezoners, and supporters of religious freedom to join together in a crusade against the Church of Scientology's reign of copyright terror.

I'm not a lawyer so I may be way off base here, but it seems to me that a class-action lawsuit can be filed against the Church, challenging its copyrights on the basis of religious freedom. Also from data I've seen on the Net, Hubbard's transfer of copyright ownership to RTC in 1982-83 seems fishy and it could've been improperly done by Miscavige. We may be able to attack it this way.

What we need is lots of MEDIA COVERAGE. Stories on Scientology have been done before, but never from the religious freedom angle. Once a class-action lawsuit is filed, the press will jump all over it. The time is right. In the past year Scientology has been in the spotlight with the Lisa McPherson indictment, Bob Minton Dateline show, 20/20 and A&E stories, the recent Amazon footbullet. Our cause can finally be heard.

THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW! Please spread the word.

Thank you for listening.

Yours in religious freedom,

-The Crusader

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