23 March 01 - posted to alt.religion.scientology
It all began about a week ago; I was sitting online in the evening, after
meetings and class, running AOL and mIRC. I suddenly received an Instant
Message from someone claiming to be a Scientologist. This is not overly
unusual, as my AOL profile both refers people to my website with the
description "http://www.offlines.org/ -- Freedom from Scientology", but also
lists my "personal quote" as "I am an ex-Scientologist; support REAL
religious freedom!" I have received IMs both nasty and nice from current
Scientologists, been contacted by people leaving Scientology or seeking
refunds, spoken with family members of Scientologists, talked with
Clearwater residents concerned about the CoS presence there and talked to
other new ex-members, all over IM, because my public AOL profile lists my
status as an ex-member.
This person claimed to be a Scientology staffer, and 13 years old. She asked
me why I was an ex-Scientologist; I explained to her my reasons for leaving,
told me the full story was available on my website, and mentioned a few
things -- actually, about David Miscavige and Int Mgmt, and I think perhaps
how I disagreed with the "ethics" system, and that my full criticism there
could be read at http://www.offlines.org/ethics.html. The Scientologist in
question then shifted from asking me about this to asking me if I knew other
Scns from her org (DC), which I did know. I pointed her to my page on DC
org- http://www.offlines.org/dcosa.html. At no point did I in any way
remotely conceal my views on Scn. Nonetheless, she proceeded to ask me in a
friendly way if I knew various people at the Org, tell me about two of her
relatives (Scientologists), and where she went to school (a Scientology
school.) It was a somewhat strange, but always pleasant conversation, as I
refrained from talking about "critical subjects" other than to suggest she
visit my site. She then said it had been nice talking with me, and signed
off of AIM.
The next evening, I received another Instant Message. This young woman
claimed to be 15, and also a Scn at FCDC.
[ FCDC = Founding Church of Scientology Washington DC]
She said the person from the night
before told her to IM me "because I am a Scientologist." I immediately told
her that although I had spoken with her friend, I was not a Scientologist,
and was indeed a former member, and that my website was
http://www.offlines.org/. She then questioned me in a "demanding" fashion,
with numerous question marks, about why I was an ex-Scientologist, etc. I
answered each of her questions honestly and politely. She at least claimed
to be affected by what I was telling her, stating that she'd never known
before that any of this was true. I refrained from any mention of upper
levels, or even the word "Xenu" in any context, such as www.xenu.net. I
stuck strictly to referring her to my own story, or to
http://lisatrust.bogie.nl/ and the videos and interviews there. She said,
paraphrasing, "omg! I didn't know any of this was true!" I mentioned RPF,
etc. She then thanked me for talking, said it had been nice, and that she
would IM me again the next day. She also noted that she was very close to
someone I'd known when I was in Scientology, a young staffer at OSA in DC.
I did not receive an IM the next day; however, Tampawog posted about a
Scientologist contacting him to ars--that Scientologist was the *first*
young woman to IM me two days earlier.
The next day, I received an email from someone claiming to be a 14 year old
boy, also on staff at FCDC, telling me that my site is "BS". It was clear he
had never visited http://www.offlines.org/, as he seemed to believe it was
entirely secondhand, while in reality the majority of the site chronicles my
own Scn experience. I began to believe it awfully strange that this many
young Scientologists were contacting me from the same org of their own
accord, and all for different reasons; nevertheless, I responded to this
email with a polite and pleasant email.
Several days later, I received another Instant Message from yet another AOL
screen name. This person asked me if it was true that I was "harassing a
little girl online about her spiritual beliefs." I asked him if he was
referring to Scientologists who sent *me* Instant Messages, conversed with
me, and said it was nice speaking to me; and if he was sure he meant "little
girls" rather than young women. He refused to elaborate on who had made the
allegation in the first place, or to confirm that it was
Scientology-related; nevertheless, by the end of this conversation, he
apologized to me, "for the misunderstanding."
<note: weird possibly-related event.> Later that afternoon, I began
receiving a series of unsolicited subscriptions to porn mailing lists of
various types. Over seventy confirm requests were sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the sites, sexfiles.com, was responsible enough to provide an IP
address of the request, which traced to an @home address. Abuse@home.com was
notified, as was email@example.com after I was signed up for a yahoo account
as "whoreonknees." I then received a series of these same subscriptions at
my Rutgers account, firstname.lastname@example.org, which were also reported.
Today, I received a series of unsolicited subscriptions to mailing lists
dealing with software and networking, all of which responded to majordomo
requests for unsubscription.</end other weird possibly related event.>
Yesterday evening, I then received yet another Instant Message: this one a
threatening message, addressing me as "you fucken bitch". This person told
me I was a "pussy" for "spreading my ideas online" and "telling people I was
always right." I attempted to determine if this was possibly unrelated,
throwing my other political activism into a question which he ignored, and
then signed off, after telling me "this is a warning whore." I asked, "a
warning from who?", but he was gone. I also reported this to TOS.
Today, I received the following email:
Subj: AIM conversation with my daughter
Date: 3/22/2001 10:21:15 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: TonyT@e247.com (TonyT@e247.com)
Thursday, March 22, 2001
Dear Ms. Kates,
I have learned that you have been communicating with my daughter, who is a
minor, on Instant Messager. I found that you had sent her messages that I
deem urges her to hate. She had this conversation saved in our computer. I
was shocked to find it when I went onto our computer looking for something
I am greatly disturbed that you, an adult, would do this to anyone and more
so that you did so to a 15 year-old. With the headlines screaming about
teenagers driven to kill their fellow students and friends in school on a
regular basis fills me with fear since you have sent my daughter via the
Internet something so hate filled. I know my daughter well enough and have
since handled the upset that you caused - so I don\'t fear anything from
her. But what other kids are you similarly attempting to poison their minds
with your hate rhetoric?
Ms. Kates I understand from my daughter that you knew her age, as you asked
her and she told you. You also asked her other personal questions, which is
frightening in the context that you knew full well that you were
communicating to a child yet you sent her your hateful message without a
care as to the effect this could have on a young mind. What you were
attempting to motivate her to do chills me to the bone.
But I learned that it is worse even still; my daughter told me and my wife
the context of the messages and it clearly attempts to poison her and drive
a wedge between her and us, her parents. Your intentions are very clear to
us and even clearer that your interest in her is unhealthy and completely
negative toward her and us. I believe your actions may well be criminal,
they certainly strike me as the action of a unbalanced personality.
I cannot believe you, an adult, could so insidiously try to manipulate a
child of 15 inexperienced in the many ways that a person with hateful intent
could use her to their own vile purposes.
I also read your AOL personal profile and am concerned that someone who is
so focused on \"socialist revolution, organizing, Marxism-Leninism,
communist discussion\" is talking to my daughter at all. Are you trying to
recruit youngsters into your revolutionary activities?
I believe you have committed offenses which I will pursue fully against you.
I believe you have committed a hate crimes as well as endangering the
well-being of a child, not to mention contributing to the delinquency of a
minor. What were you doing talking to my daughter at 1-2am in the morning
after she almost immediately shared with you that she just turned 15? A
responsible adult would have immediately told her to go to bed, not launched
into hate filled speech.
I have notified the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies with the
information and records of your conversations. I also intend to complain to
your school - I see you go to Rutgers University. I certainly hope you do
not use the Rutgers computer network as I have read their policies governing
internet usage and you may well be in violation of several bylaws.
Do not under any circumstances contact my daughter again. I can not warn
you about other minors but I would hope that you are smart enough to realize
that such discussions with other minors would constitute similar abuse.
Anthony C. Turrisi
I received this at both my email@example.com account and my
firstname.lastname@example.org (interestingly, the same places I received the
pornspam) account. I was sent IMs by the people in question, not the other
way around. I said nothing remotely harassing; indeed, both young
Scientologists said it was nice talking to me.
It is apparent that this is indeed, not coincidental. AIM conversations do
not log by default, rather they must be saved to log, and I must wonder what
purpose a Scn would have in saving logs of these conversations, although
critics are wise to create such logs for their own protection, as can be
clearly shown here; all logs can and will reveal is me answering questions I
was asked about my reasons for leaving Scientology and opposing Scientology,
in a polite and respectful manner. In addition, if this young woman's
concerns were serious, it is highly unfortunate that her father has seen it
appropriate to attempt to harass me for daring to criticize CoS. I cannot
interpret this in any other way than as an OSA op, and want to warn all
critics about accepting Instant Messages from Scientologists. If you, like
me, are interested in helping people with doubts and discussing with current
members, I would advise people to log their conversations. I will also note
that this comes directly on the heels of attempts in both LA and Clearwater
to depict critics as "harassing children." Instead, critics are being
harassed and threatened by Scientologists.
I fail to see how harassment, false reports, and malicious pornspamming are
"ethical" or "religious" behaviors, and using children and young people in
an attempt to harass critics of Scientology is an utterly despicable
behavior. I will also note that as a 21-year-old woman who was 18 when I
joined Scientology, I'm not all *that* much older than these young
Scientologists, and indeed, may have quite a bit in common with them. In
addition, I am still not certain who it was I spoke to; at any rate, I have
nothing to hide. I will also note that AOL provides members with Parental
Control features concerning IM and other access of which they may wish to
avail themselves. In addition, I think it is highly unfortunate that Mr.
Turrisi obviously would rather harass people over the internet than allow
independent thought in his family.
At any rate, please, watch your IMs for any such behavior or strange
activity. Tampawog was also contacted, and I cannot believe it to be
coincidental. If you have any more information on this, please contact me at
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or post it here publicly. These
types of Scientology harassment tactics are simply not acceptable and not
"Your silence will not protect you." - Audre Lorde
Charlotte L. Katesemail@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.offlines.org/ -Freedom from Scientology
http://members.nbci.com/justinusa/ -JUSTIN: Justice International
Practice organized resistance and conscious acts of solidarity!