Volume 0, Issue vom 27. 08. 1995
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 0, Issue 19
by Rod Keller [firstname.lastname@example.org]
- FACTNet Raided
- Washington Post Sued
- Arnie Lerma Update
- Helena Kobrin
- Sealing Fishman
- Cancelpoodle Unmasked
- Revolt in the Stars
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of the articles.
Many include an excerpt, and all include message IDs for the articles I
cover. This may or may not be useful to you, depending on how long your
site stores articles in the newsgroup before expiring them.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at
It is archived at:
The cos raided the homes of Larry Wollersheim and Bob Bingham, founders of
FACTNet, this week. An excerpt from a cos press release:
"Armed with a federal court order, United States Marshals today raided
residences in Boulder and Longmont seizing computer software, hardware and
other equipment and documents to halt copyright infringements of
Scientology religious scriptures.
A poster summarized a report from The Rocky Mountain News:
"'Denver U.S. District Judge Lewis T. Babcock signed an order authorizing
the raids'. According to Wollersheim, 'They took us off line'. A picture
accompanying the article shows Warren McShane, 'president of the Religious
Technology Center in Los Angeles, carr[ying] documents from the apartment
of ... Wollersheim. At left is U.S. marshal Steve Bush.' According to the
RMN, he 'charges that the church practices secret rituals in which
officials claim they are aliens from outer space whose purpose is to take
over the Earth'.
"The raid started at 9a.m Tuesday morning and lasted for 8 hours,
Scientology officials were present at the raid and took away material (see
above). A 7 hour raid was made in Niwot. Karin Pouw of the Co$ 'questioned
why Wollersheim's bulletin board should have non-profit, tax-exempt
status'. Wollersheim hopes that he will be represented by the ACLU."
News coverage also included local television, which reported:
"Nine News covered the raid, and pointed out over and over again that
letting a "church" raid and search/seizure critics poses tremendous
implications for freedom of speech, freedom to criticize, etc etc etc.
"Wollersheim apparently has a ACLU lawyer, David Layman."
Washington Post Sued
In a second press release this week, the cos announced it is suing the
Washington Post and its reporters Richard Leiby and Marc Fisher.
"The Washington Post and two of its reporters were sued today in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by the Religious
Technology Center (RTC), holders of the intellectual property rights of
the Scientology religion. According to the lawsuit, the Washington Post
and its writers have engaged in 'extensive, intentional copyright
infringement and trade secrets misappropriation, targeting confidential
Scientology scriptures belonging to RTC.' Judge Leonie Brinkema of the
U.S. District Court in Alexandria, due to the urgent nature of the matter,
scheduled an August 25 hearing on the temporary restraining order and
impoundment application to get the Washington Post to turn over the
The case is an addition to the Arnie Lerma suit. A preliminary hearing was
held at which:
"The Post introduced evidence documenting past abusive actions by the
Church of Scientology. There were allegations made that private mail on
Mr. Lerma's computer was the only available source of some claims made by
the Church against the Post.
"The judge did not like this, and stated that another occurrence would
result in immediate sanctions against the Church of Scientology."
Arnie Lerma Update
An update on the situation of Arnie Lerma, raided last week by the RTC for
alleged copyright violations. A preliminary hearing including was held on
"The Judge agreed with Lerma's attorneys that the computer should be in
the hands of a mutually agreed upon third party. The party currently
holding the computer on behalf of the Church, I-Net of Gaithersburg, said
that so far three word searches had been done in Lerma's computer data:
for 'Hubbard,' 'OT Course' and 'Thetan.'
"The judge asked Earle Cooley 'Isn't this too broad?'
Judge: I understand you want to do another search?
"The judge thereupon gave a direct order to I-Net: *no more searches.*
I-Net was also ordered not to alter the hard disk."
FACTNet had this to say about the raid on Arnie.
"FACTNet alleges that Scientology's attorneys and executives deliberately
swore out false and misleading affidavits and court motions against
FACTNet's director Arnie Lerma to deceive a judge who was unfamiliar with
Scientology's criminal history. Scientology's purpose was to trick the
judge into granting an illegal search warrant and seizure order for Arnie
Lerma's computer and records.
"[In particular] That the materials were legally copyrighted and
The cos has not fulfilled its promise to return Arnie's computer
"They raided him Saturday, the 12th of August, and promised to give his
computer back with the 'copyrighted' materials removed on Monday (the writ
of seizure said the copyrighted materials, not his work or personal files
which were on the machine).
"Arnie still has no computer or hard drive back. (He is borrowing a
laptop, but it sucks). So we need to, I think, contribute a fund to get
him something to help restore his presence on the net. He's got a 9600
modem, but a reasonable system with a reasonable monitor, 14.4 fax/modem
for him to use in the legal stuff as well as net posting, etc. would help
restore one of our best public figures to the Net."
Helena Kobrin, Lawsuit Terrorist, has been at it again this week. Sameer
reports Helena has been emailing his system administrator, complaining of
the presence of the Fishman materials on his (her?) web site. A
representative from c2.org wrote:
"I received another complaint regarding the material on your site. I am
not concerned with the legality of the materials on your web page. The
fact that your account is anonymous means that it will be shut off unless
you resolve the complaint yourself, by whatever means you feel necessary.
Michael Robinson posted threatening email concerning the placement of
Fishman on a server in China.
"I do not speak Chinese, so I am writing in English and hope that you
"We have been informed that someone has downloaded to your FTP site two
postings of copyrighted, unpublished materials. These actions constitute
violations of the United States Copyright laws entitling my client to
damages and injunction. I understand that this is also a violation of the
China Copyright Act. It is essential that you take action to remove the
Shelley Thomson reports receiving a threatening letter, despite never
having posted any part of a copyrighted document. The letter was written
by Elliot Abelson, apparently heir to the Kobrin legacy.
"This letter will put you on notice that on August 15, 1995, the Honorable
Harry L. Hupp, United States District Judge, of the Central District of
California, issued an order sealing the copies and versions of the
Scientology religion's copyrighted and trade secret protected documents
pending final resolution of issues now pending in _Church of Scientology
International v. Fishman, et. al._, No. CV 91-6426 HLH (Tx).
"You are now on notice that you should cease and desist from any copying
or distributing or publication of any document that purports to have come
from the sealed file, and should immediately send all copies of such
documents in your possession, custody or control to the undersigned."
Gordon Campbell reports on a phone call to his system administrator
[T]his afternoon, a male purporting to be a representative of the Co$,
called the Sysadmin of my ISP and 'demanded' that he remove the offending
file from my storage.
"This person refused to provide a name or any other information about
himself other than that he is a representative of the 'church'.
"The Sysadmin told him that since Kingston Online is not a publisher of
information and does not edit for content that they are not liable for
what the users post. The caller, naturally, strenuously disagreed.
The text of the message sealing the Fishman exhibits was posted this week.
It includes none of the legal threats made by Scientology Lawsuit
Scientology's motion to seal specified documents was remanded to this
Court by Order of the Ninth Circuit.
This Court has taken the matter under submission. Pending a final order by
this Court regarding Scientology's aforementioned motion to seal, all the
files in this case are hereby ordered to be sealed.
The identity of the Cancelpoodle was revealed this week. And he is ...
well known a.r.s poster Brian Stone! <email@example.com>
Ron Newman reports that Kaiwan has disabled the account after some
"% finger firstname.lastname@example.org [kaiwan.com]
Login Name: bstone Known as: Brian Stone
Directory: /u1/bstone Shell: /etc/.abuse
"That shell sure looks like a disabled account to me. Let's hope it stays
that way. It's amazing what a few Usenet mutterings about 'rogue sites'
But all is not well. henry described the process that let up to the
identification, and the ongoing problem.
"[T]he users of alt.religion.scientology were finally able to track down
the identity of the account which has been spamming the group with so many
forged cancel messages that often the most prolific poster to the
newsgroup is the program which announces cancellations.
"When Ron Newman and others politely brought this to the attention of
email@example.com, who is listed at rs.internic.net as the contact, luke
responded with lies, denials and insults, despite the fact that it was
clearly proven that user firstname.lastname@example.org was the proven source of the
"Almost immediately, account davisr, belonging to Rick Davis, a known
Scientologist and associate of bstone, suddenly started logging in, and I
am forced to wonder if we can expect more net abuse from this site. Since
Tom has been vengefully kicked off by the arrogant and unresponsive
email@example.com in breach of Terms of Service, I expect that any future
net abuse will be met with 'you don't have any evidence' and the typical
insults and accusations of persecution luke has shown in the past."
Revolt in the Stars
A summary of the script for a movie Elron never got around to making was
posted this week. Revolt in the Stars is the story of Xenu for the silver
screen. Some telling excerpts:
"Xenu is presiding over an assembly of the Loyal Officers of the Galactic
Federation. As Xenu strikes the gong to begin the two thousand and
fifty-fourth Congress of the Confederation, an Archbishop blesses the
assembly with the invocation 'All blessings to Almighty God upon the
Galactic Confederation, upon its 21 stars, upon its 76 green planets, upon
its trillions of population, this Congress, and upon the Loyal Officers,
loyal to the people, to the Confederation and to God. May peace and
prosperity continue as it has for ages past.'
"Rawl reiterates the need for the people to be free of government; he
finally demands that the 'emergency powers of the executive be canceled
and that all executive orders be declared null and void.'
"Later, rather than capitulating, Xenu, Chu, and Chi plan their revenge.
Xenu tells Chu to retain his computer files on every 'criminal, renegade
and psychopath in this entire galaxy.' 'And you must have tre.'"