Unexpected Visit from Scientology

Process server and police search Amsterdam Internet provider
Sect want copyright fees

From: "TAZ"
September 7, 1995

by Hans-Joachim Zierke
Copyright: contrapress media GmbH

Berlin (taz) - The staff of the internet provider, XS4ALL, were taken by surprise. On Tuesday afternoon they were paid a visit by a process server, police, key service and - two members of the Scientology Church from the USA together with their Dutch attorneys. The process server was to take possession of the company, which Scientology claimed as collateral for its entitlement to damages. An "anonymous remailer" was named as the official reason for their appearance. An "anonymous remailer" is a system which permits a worldwide distribution of reports without identifying the sender. It is said to have been used in critical reports to quote Scientology documents which contain the sect's copyright. "The visit was quite odd, though," reported an XS4ALL staff member, "They didn't care about the remailer once they got in. They suddenly changed their minds. One of our customers hosts Scientology information. The sect representatives offered to drop charges if we removed these pages."

According to agreed upon legal interpretation of all providers of internet services, only the customer is responsible for the content of the information provided. "Scientology wants to coerce the internet provider into censoring their customers," presumes the XS4ALL staff member.


Editors Remove Secret Document

Budapest, Hungary
Monday March 19, 2001

      From: efish
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
   Subject: Szcientológusok a Slashdot ellen
      Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 

The yearlong battle of the church of Scientology and the internet reaches new heights as, on Friday, the church's lawyers force Slashdot to remove a secret Scientology document.

The battle rages around the text known as the Fishman Affidavit, which appear on more and more web pages, and which the members of the church try to have removed with either niceties or threats. The document is the copy of an attachment to an affidavit given by an American ex-Scientologist, Steven Fishman, during a trial in California, which contains writings considered secret scriptures by the church.

The secret documents, written by church founder and sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard, are copyright protected and thus, when they appear on a web page, the representatives of the church, referring to said copyrights ask for its removal. However, according to American law, trial documents are public property, thus the Fishman Affidavits are not copyright protected and can be freely distributed.

The representatives of the church of Scientology make and all out attempt to hinder the publication of the affidavit, as according to them, they can only be understood by cleansed and developed souls, others may come to harm. But their fear may have another basis: in order to read of these texts, a budding Scientologist has first to undertake many expensive courses. According to some, to finish these courses that enable someone to attest to OT (Operating Thetan) cost more than ten million forints.

For the uninitiated, the Fishman Affidavits remind one of nothing but a script for a B-grade sci-fi movie. From the texts, we are led to believe that human are actually being led about by an extraterrestrial named Xenu, and that the aim of Scientology is to free out souls from this extraterrestrial slavery.

The Scientologists tried tooth and nail to protect the secrecy of these texts: in the beginning they would be borrowed from the court every morning and returned only at closing time so that they may not fall into the hands of unbelievers. But copies of court documents can also be had from the secretariat for a mere 40 dollars: the acquired documents were loosed on the internet, where they to this day make the rounds.

In September of 1995, the Scientologist sued the dutch ISP XS4ALL, and seized its servers on which a user had placed a copy of the Fishman Affidavits. The ISP refused to remove the documents at the behest of the church, and users of the net began right away to make copies. The long court case was finally decided in favor of the internet service provider, seeing as the documents in question were for some time freely available in the United States, as part of the Fishman Affidavit.

During that time the Fishman Affidavits also appeared on the ELTE server, but the spokes person of the church of Scientology, Peter Karpati, insisted on its removal and threatened a lawsuit. The representative of ELTE did not wish to get into an altercation with the church and thus removed the document.

Although XS4ALL and other dutch service providers stood their ground for free speech and won their court cases, the American Slashdot was not as brave nor as optimistic. The editors, on the advice of their lawyers, removed the OT documents from their servers.


Mysterious deaths

On the Xenu.net web pages dozens of those peoples stories can be found who, while members of the church of Scientology either committed suicide or, just as they made known their intentions of leaving, died under mysterious circumstances. As an example, the Floridan Lisa Mcpherson told her mother of her intentions of leaving the church. She ended up in the hospital after a minor traffic accident, from which her Scientologist acquaintances brought her to the Fort Harrison Hotel. There, under strange circumstances, she spent 17 days, until her death on the 5th of December from acute thrombosis from dehydration. According to her mother, she was kept under house arrest and starved; the 174cm tall Lisa weighed 49 kilograms at her death. The American police is still searching for Susanne Schnurrenberger who is reported to now reside in Switzerland or Germany, Laura Arrunada who may be working as a physician in Mexico, and Ildiko Cannovas who is most probably in Hungary in order that they may give testimony in the circumstances surrounding the death of Lisa.


   Aggressive Scientologists

    Thursday, January 25, 2001
    A Hundred Demonstrators against a French Law

The funniest demonstration of all time took place in front of the French Embassy in the rain. It was attended by a hundred believers of the Hungarian church of Scientology who had come to protest the proposed french anti-sect law. They sang the Marseilles, sloganeered, but our reporter waited in vain for Tom Cruise to appear, only Beleznay Endre arrived. The story is not as much of a joke as it appears: The Index has information that the Hungarian Secret Service is also interested in the peculiar doings of the peculiar church. etc...

   The church that audits (http://index.hu/politika/bulvar/sciegyhaz/)
   (long 1999 article about the Austrian telephone company
employee in sensitive position let go because of Church of
Scientology connection)
      Scientology: religion or business

   The Fishman Affidavit in English
   The ELTE.hu page that was removed:
   (caesar.elte,hu/Koz-Hely/fishman.html)... link not working
   Center for the Study of Scientology Beliefs
  .... a critic page, detailed examinations, seems very good
    The List of Mysterious Deaths (http://www.xenu.net/archive/deaths/)