Scientology in the Media [Internet]

A Documentary History of the Church of Scientology and the Net
Deana M. Holmes

[Part 1 of 10]

Usenet: alt.religion.scientology
April 1995

Main Index A.R.S. Web Summary Media

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A Documentary History of the Church of Scientology and the Net
VERSION 1.0 / April 17, 1995
Compiled by Deana M. Holmes (mirele@xmission.com)
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Compilation (c) 1995 by Deana M. Holmes.


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PART I--THE EARLY DAYS OF A.R.S
(from the creation to the raid on Dennis)
**************************************************************************

IN the beginning, God created the heavens...

oops, wrong beginning.

In the beginning, alt.religion.scientology was newgrouped by "David Miscaviage." This was a forgery; the perpetrator of the forgery appeared later to claim his fame.


> From miscaviage@flag.sea.org Wed Jul 17 12:46:28 1991
> Path: rpi!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!think.com!snorkelwacker.mit.edu!ai-lab!flag!miscaviage
> From: miscaviage@flag.sea.org (David Miscaviage)
> Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology.ctl
> Subject: newgroup alt.religion.scientology
> Message-ID: <80235@flag>
> Date: 17 Jul 91 08:06:31 GMT
> Control: newgroup alt.religion.scientology
> Sender: news@ai.mit.edu
> Lines: 0
> Approved: miscaviage@flag.sea.org

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I first came on the Net in May 1993. Before that, I had been on GEnie, where Bob (Da Sloth) Bingham made a point of countering the local Scientologists on the Religion & Ethics BB. However, when prices went up for the pay services in the spring of 1993, I, like so many other refugees, emigrated to the Internet. A.r.s has been in my .newsrc since that time, if only because I had worked down the street from the local Church of Scientology in Austin, Texas, and after ten years of being asked to take a personality test, I wanted to understand the persistence of these people.

For the first year or so (mid 1993-1994), the action on a.r.s was pretty desultory. Brian Wenger would post the "official" Scientology FAQs on a regular basis, and there were discussions about e-meters, with Chris Schafmeister playing a prominent role in asking the Scienos probing questions about the device's inner workings. Homer Wilson Smith showed up towards the end of that period, the first Zonie I noticed who posted to a.r.s on a regular basis.

One thing that those new to a.r.s should keep in mind is that the daily volume in a.r.s was low--most days it was less than 20 posts. And the signal to noise ratio was pretty high.

Last summer, however, things began to heat up considerably. The following document was passed to Chris Schafmeister from a anonymous source: it indicated that the Church of Scientology had found out about a.r.s and was now going to attempt to "handle a.r.s".

[ed. note--can someone please provide me with an approximate date for this document?]


            BRIEFING TO ALL SCIENTOLOGISTS ON THE INTERNET
              FROM THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL
       (NOTE: If you know any other Scientologists on Internet or
          America Online, please e-mail this briefing to them).

       Dear Scientologist,                                      

             As you know, there has been quite a bit of false and
       derogatory information going out over the Internet by a few
       detractors, squirrels etc.

             The Church fired a project to collect up all this
       information, and we have been in comm with some of you
       already.  We have obtained legal input on some of the
       messages that individuals have posted that could be libelous
       or in violation of copyright laws.

             We have a plan of action that we are taking, to simply
       outcreate the entheta on these newsgroups
       (alt.religion.scientology and alt.clearing.technology), and
       get positive information to the general public on what
       Scientology is, our activities around the world, successes
       stories and LRH writings.  There will also be some legal
       actions, which you will be further briefed on.  Basically, as
       a group we will NO longer put up with our religion being
       criticized, harrassed and denigrated on the Internet.

             As a first step, I want to thank those who have posted
       positive material and handled some of the entheta that has
       been posted.  This is very much appreciated!
             Secondly, I would like to ask your assistance in
       getting each one of you to post positive messages on the
       Internet (at least once a week, more if you like), about
       Scientology.

             We want to make these messages "high ground".  In other
       words, don't get tempted into a two way comm with some l.1
       jerk on the Internet.  Ack him and continue to post POSITIVE
       and HIGH TONED messages that really explain what Scientology
       IS doing, how it helped you or a friend, community activities
       of the Church, Church expansion.  It is easy to get into an
       opp term situation with the detractors over this system, but
       this doesn't necessarily communicate very well to the broad
       public who may read this.

             There is an excellent issue by LRH which is PR Series
       27, THE ENEMY LINE.  In here, LRH says that you never forward
       an enemy line, nor do you get into just attacking.  YOU COME
       UP WITH A BETTER CAMPAIGN OF YOUR OWN.

             This should be applied whenever you post a message on
       Scientology, as we want to keep this on a theta,
       dissemination comm line to the broad public.

             The Church of Scientology International is getting our
       own site onto Internet, and we'll also be posting messages
       regularly in there, so if you feel you are getting attacked
       by some detractor or jerk, let us know right away, and we can
       get you material to counter whatever is being said.

             If you imagine 40-50 Scientologists posting on the
       Internet every few days, we'll just run the SP's right off
       the system.  It will be quite simple, actually.

             CSI will be e-mailing around various briefings and good
       news messages to individuals for posting also, so that you
       are getting new material to post.  If you need material or
       want to get your material cross-checked with us for content,
       e-mail it (to this address for now, until CSI gets our own),
       and we'll get you the material you need.

             The two newsgroups on the Internet are
       "alt.religion.scientology", and also
       "alt.clearing.technology" (which was set up by Homer Smith, a
       squirrel and declared SP).  We need to fill up both of these
       newsgroups with positive information on the Church.

             For those of you with access to America Online, you
       know there is a similar situation with Scientology being
       attacked on that system.  So this would apply to this
       newsgroup as well (posting positive messages on Scientology).

             The Planetary Dissemination Org (PDO) will be
       getting their own site onto Internet, which will be for the
       dissemination of LRH's works, WIS book, and other materials
       and campaigns.  We intend to put these works onto laser
       discs, and utilize all the tools of the Internet to
       disseminate Scientology internationally.

             This is very exciting, and will be a new era for
       computer users as regards the subject of Scientology.

             Look for CSI's first posting very shortly.  We WILL
       outcreate anything that is on there.

             I would like to hear from you on your ideas to make the
       Internet a safe space for Scientology to expand into.

         Thanks.

         ML,
         Elaine Siegel
         Office of Special Affairs International

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Elaine Siegel, the writer of this document, mysteriously disappeared from view not long after this. Her disappearance was noted here on a.r.s, as well as in an article in the _St. Petersburg Times_ dated August 3, 1994. It's likely this article is the first mention of what would later be called the War between Scienotology and the Net.

After Elaine ceased to be a factor in a.r.s, Stu Sjouwerman came on the Net. He was quickly exposed as a "Field Staff Member," that is, a recruiter who receives a 15% commission from the fees paid by every person that he recruited into Scientology. After that exposure, and the needling pressure that came from CoS detractors, Stu disappeared (although he occasionally puts in an appearance now and then), but not before he posted the following to a.r.s:


Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: For Scientologist: Black Hats on a.r.s.
Message-ID: <9407140828591.DLITE.stus@delphi.com>
From: stus@delphi.com (Stu Sjouwerman)
Date: 14 Jul 1994 12:30:55 GMT

File: Black Hats

For Scientologists who want to know who are the purely negative,
destructive posters & detractors, and/or so called "FreeZone"
(who have taken Scientology-technology without authorization and
started their own group)  in this newsgroup, so that you can
choose what to read and what not:

Abbreviations:

AS   =  Rabid Anti-Scientologist. 
        Posts horrendous lies and negativity
DA   =  Disaffected, is very critical
SQ   =  Freezone, nickname "Squirrel", has taken Scientology tech
        and ran off on their own. Doomed to fail.
CAN =   Cult Awareness Network member or supporter. Posts extremely
        negative and slanted disinformation, 99% proven false.
MUD=    Some one who believes "Man came from Mud", critical.


The Gang of Black Hats in a.r.s. (not in any order)


1) rkeller@nyx.cs.du.edu:  - AS, CAN - Rod Keller
2) schaf@socrates.ucsf.edu  - MUD - Chris Schafmeister
3) rogue@ccs.neu.edu  - AS - Rogue Agent 
4) 40880@freenet.victoria.bc.ca  - AS, CAN - Martin Hunt
5) homer@crl.com  - SQ - DA - Homer Wilson Smith
6) jost@itd.itd.nrl.navy.mil - DA
7) mkdewolf@aol.com - DA - Mike de Wolf.
8) cultexprt@indirect.com - AS - CAN - Jeff Jacobson. 
9) speaker@netcom.com - SQ - Allen
10) ladyv@crash.cts.com - SQ - DA  Enid Vien
11) sloth@falcon.cc.ukans.edu - DA - Bob Bingham
12) an105662@anon.penet.fi - AS - DA - CAN  The Squirrel
13) lindsay+@cs.cmu.edu - AS - Don Lindsay

I'm sorry if you expected to find yourself on this infamous 
list and you're not... :-)  You can always send me a request to 
be put on...

stus@delphi.com

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Dennis Erlich said that he appeared on a.r.s in August, 1994. Like many others, I don't think I realized the threat that Dennis posed to the CoS until after his house was raided in February, so I didn't pay that much attention to him. However, I do remember saving the original copy of Dennis' "Body Raisins" article because it struck me as being both humourous and, at the same time, almost unbelievable. Dennis has reposted "Body Raisins" recently, so I will not do so here.

"Body Raisins," however, was a sign that things were changing on a.r.s. Instead of desultory chat on e-meters, Erlich's presence was animating things and opening up new areas of discourse. We were now discussing the affidavits that various people had filed in court cases, as well as past criminal acts (such as Operation Snow White) perpetrated by the highest levels of the Church in earlier years. Another item that detractors would needle CoS defenders on was a claim made in CoS literature that they had educated 1.5 million children in South Africa. Tony McClelland made a point of checking this story out, writing to persons in South Africa who would know about this, and basically debunked the story to the satisfaction of all save the Scienos.

All this entheta was not going unnoticed by the CoS. In the middle of September, 1994, an anonymous Scientologist posted the following to a.r.s. The liberal use of Scientology jargon screamed authenticity, and considering the current course of certain Scientology posters, in some respects this policy is still being followed:


Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: an95242@anon.penet.fi
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 1994 04:01:17 UTC
Subject: COVERT ARS OP

*********************  Conspiracy to Handle ARS **************************
This religion I've been suckered into has gon far enough.  I believe
what they are conspiring to do is illegal, and I don't know what to
do, because I'm scared:

Wednesday, September 14, 1994

HANDLING A.R.S.

Situation:  The Internet is a potentially highly effective Planetary
Dissemination tool.  A particular section of the Internet (Usenet Newsgroup
alt.religion.Scientology) was begun by an enemy of Scientology.  Currently
many CAN connected deprogrammer types and disaffected Scientologists, about
15 individuals, have made this Internet bulletin board a place to spread
entheta about Scientology.  They have vowed to take this false information
and put it all over the Internet which according to latest estimates has over
20 million participants and is growing by 1 million people per month.

Data:  Some public Scientologists, in their attempts to handle the entheta,
have engaged in debates with the deprogrammers, in violation of policy.
There are random efforts but no coordinated actions to terminate the a.r.s.
situation.  An on policy solution is needed to properly handle.

Policy: " THE DEFENSE OF ANYTHING IS  UNTENABLE.  The only way to defend
anything is to ATTACK."  LRH Ability Mag Article (page 47 Tech Vol. III)

References:
1.)  HCOPl 5 April 1965, Issue I, HANDLING THE SUPPRESSIVE PERSON, THE BASIS
OF INSANITY (OEC Vol.  I page 990 through page 991 the first 6 paragraphs,
page 993 #10, and page 995 the first 5 paragraphs)

2.)  HCOPl 27 October 1964R, POLICIES ON PHYSICAL HEALING, INSANITY AND
SOURCES OF TROUBLE (OEC Vol.  I page 987 last 2 paragraphs)

3.)  HCOPl  9 June 1975, PR SERIES 27, THE ENEMY LINE

4.)  HCOPl 21 November 1972, PR SERIES 18, HOW TO HANDLE BLACK PROPAGANDA

PRIMARY TARGETS

1.)  Someone to be responsible for the execution of this program

2.)  Design a project Org Board.

3.)  Read and understand this program.

4.) All project personnel to read and study the above references

VITAL TARGETS

1.)  Arrange financing for this project        .

2.)  Ensure the use of debug tech to handle bugged targets.

3.)  Get a sidecheck from Church terminals on this program.

4.)  Ensure LRH Policy is followed in executing this program.

5.)  Report bugs or security problems immediately.

" A VT would have to be to keep in the basic rule of not e*mailing [ie TNX]
anything that you would be unwilling to have show up anywhere.  Although
this might be a nuisance at times, it is VITAL." Lee Holtzinger

OPERATING TARGETS

1.)  Project I/C to arrange for a personnel I/C who will obtain
volunteers
        1A.)  Establish a record of phone address and E*Mail address for each
        project member.

2.)  Project I/C to appoint an operations I/C.

2A.)  Project I/C to appoint a Legal I/C
2B.)  Project I/C to appoint a Security Officer/EO

3.)  Operations I/C to appoint 5 "posting I/C's".                              
       
 A.)  Success Posting I/C                                               
 
 B)  BPI Issues Posting I/C                                                    
 
 C.)  D/A Posting I/C                                                
 D.)  Satire/Humor Posting I/C                                        
 E.)  A.R.S. Board Reader I/C (Must be OT V or above)                           
         
e.) 
I.) Ensure that A.R.S. Readers are rotated monthly              

4.)  Each I/C to gather or receive from personnel I/C from 3-5 section
members. 

5.)  Each I/C to hat section members on the program and LRH Policies.          
 
 5a.)  Each member to write sample posts for a pass before posting             
 

6.)  Each I/C to hat "posters" on Copyright and TM Scientology Policy
Directive of 26 August 1982 Revised 17 February 1994 "UNDERSTANDING
TRADEMARKSAND THE USE AND PROTECTION OF"SCIENTOLOGY 
AND DIANETICS.                                   

7.)  Personnel I/C to get the names of the Moderated Board Project
Personnel.       

8.)  Moderated Board Project I/C to liaise with A.R.S. Project I/C.            
         
9.)  I/C to write an analysis of the project effectiveness after the first
week of operation.                                                              

10.)  Establish a "computer tech" I/C to make access to electronic libraries
easy and to facilitate information flow.  
         
PRODUCTION TARGETS

1.)  By September 25th. to have a minimum of  80 posts to a.r.s. all at
once.            

2.)  To have no less than 50 posts per day to a.r.s. for the next
month.           

Stats:  Number of on policy posts per day to a.r.s.                                     

Gimmick:  Let's get out the TRUTH about Scientology
*******

(End planned Operation)

This kind of trickery must stop by the management.

-Scared
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In late fall, Homer Wilson Smith, who runs a remailer from rahul.net, was contacted by the lawyers for Scientology and asked to remove a publicly-accessible archive of posts from a.r.s. The reason given by the lawyers was that materials copyrighted by the CoS were being archived by Homer. After some hemming and hawing around, Homer capitulated.

However, allegedly copyrighted materials continued to appear on a.r.s. Additionally discussion was getting a bit more pointed, and the few Scienos who had been online pretty much withdrew from the scene, in the face of the uncomfortable postings being made by detractors. It appeared to me that the CoS was going to abandon attempts to "handle" a.r.s, but that proved to be false.

Around Christmas 1994, the first forged cancels appeared. They came from Netcom accounts, and for the first time the a.r.s "problem" became a Net problem. In the past, there had been the occasional forged cancel, but nothing like what was happening now. The forger was first called the Cancelbunny because the activity kept "going and going and going...," resembled in name only the actions of the famous CancelMoose, and was not resolved by Netcom for a long time. The detractors of a.r.s who cared about cancels later began to call it the Cancelpoodle, in honour of David Miscavige, the putative head of the CoS, who was often referred to as "the poodle" by CoS dissenters.

One effect of the Cancelbunny/Cancelpoodle was that it finally forced Netcom to change the way it handled cancellations. However, many people on the Net, especially in a.r.s and alt.current-events.net-abuse were disturbed at the length of time it took Netcom to deal with this problem. (Contrast this with the very timely response from Delta Internet Services, below.) Because Netcom was so slow to respond, Homer Wilson Smith rigged up "Lazarus", a program that reported to a.r.s if an article previously posted to a.r.s had been cancelled and by whom. Lazarus was instrumental in alerting people to the problem of cancelled posts.

The following is a post typical of Lazarus.


Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: homer@rahul.net (Lazarus Early Warning System)
Subject: Cancel Message-ID: <199502151437.AA20098@xs1.xs4all.nl>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 12:33:32 +0000
Message-ID: <199502160433.AA12526@bolero.rahul.net>


            A LAZARUS EARLY WARNING ALERT v1.3
        ftp.rahul.net/pub/homer/lazarus/lazarus.log
               Wed Feb 15 20:33:32 PST 1995

     The following post was canceled:

     From: anonymous-remailer@xs4all.nl (Name withheld on request)
     Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 14:40:15 +0000
     Subject: THE SECRET IS OUT 5
     Message-ID: <199502151437.AA20098@xs1.xs4all.nl>

     by this cancel message found in control:

     rahul.net/news/news/control/462697

> Control: cancel <199502151437.AA20098@xs1.xs4all.nl>
> Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
> Path: rahul.net!a2i!olivea!spool.mu.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!news.rain.org!news5.sprintlink.net!news.sprintlink.net!peernews.demon.co.uk!xs4all.nl!anonymous-remailer
> From: maco@netcom.com
> Subject: cmsg cancel <199502151437.AA20098@xs1.xs4all.nl>
> Message-ID: <cancel.199502151437.AA20098@xs1.xs4all.nl>
> Sender: mako@netcom19.netcom.com
> Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
> Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 14:40:15 GMT
> Lines: 3
> 
> This message has been cancelled due to copyright violations.
> 
> -- 

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The appearance of the Cancelpoodle was a sign of the kind of desperation that had seized those in authority at the CoS, in that they were willing to resort to bad netiquette to try and censor dissenting opinions. It was a precursor of actions to come.

The Cancelpoodle hall of fame includes (in order of first appearance):

The following is a typical cancel from the Cancelpoodle. This was a cancel of a post by Martin Hunt. The assertion that materials in the post were copyrighted were for the most part, false. Posts were being cancelled that contained uncomfortable assertions on the part of the writer, or discussions of allegedly copyrighted posts, but it wasn't until the blasting of "SCAMIZDAT" on a.r.s and elsewhere in early April that the Cancelpoodle was used to cancel posts that allegedly contained CoS copyrighted materials. Even so, persons on a.r.s wished that the CoS would prove their copyrights in court rather than use the Cancelpoodle to stifle discussion.


> Control: cancel <D4DqDM.4At@freenet.carleton.ca>
> Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
> Path: rahul.net!a2i!olivea!charnel.ecst.csuchico.edu!csusac!csus.edu!netcom.com!ix.netcom.com!howland.reston.ans.net!cs.utexas.edu!utnut!nott!cunews!freenet.carleton.ca!FreeNet.Carleton.CA!av282
> From: student@netcom.com
> Subject: cmsg cancel <D4DqDM.4At@freenet.carleton.ca>
> Message-ID: <cancel.D4DqDM.4At@freenet.carleton.ca>
> Sender: student@netcom20.netcom.com
> Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
> Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 02:17:46 GMT
> Lines: 1

> This posting has been cancelled because it contains copyrighted materials

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Just after the Cancelpoodle showed up, the CoS lawyers were turned loose on the Net. The following letter was received by members of the cypherpunks remailer list on January 4, 1995 from Thomas Small, one of the house lawyers retained by the CoS. The purpose of the letter was to try and get the remailers to stop anonymous posters to a.r.s from using their services.


Subject: Warning letter from Co$. [any comments ?]
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 17:00:38 +0100
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
From: nobody@replay.com (Name withheld on request)


                                               January 3, 1995


     TO: INTERNET REMAILER OPERATORS


     FROM:  THOMAS M. SMALL
            COUNSEL FOR RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER AND BRIDGE
            PUBLICATIONS, INC.

          I  represent  Religious Technology Center ("RTC"), which
     owns the unpublished, confidential Advanced Technology of the
     religion of Scientology, and holds exclusive rights under the
     copyrights applicable to the Advanced  Technology  materials.
     I  also  represent Bridge Publications, Inc., which holds the
     exclusive  right  to  print,   publish   and   sell   various
     non-confidential  works  by  the  founder  of the Scientology
     religion,  L.   Ron  Hubbard,  and  to   make   and   publish
     compilations and derivative works of and from those works and
     to enforce all rights in them.

          It  has  come  to  my  attention  that  there  are   two
     alternate  newsgroups  on  the  Internet to which individuals
     have  been  annonymously  posting  certain  of  my   clients'
     published  and  unpublished  copyrighted materials, including
     certain of the confidential  Advanced  Technology  materials.
     These  confidential  materials  being posted were stolen from
     my client.  There is reason to  believe  that  the  materials
     which  are  uploaded by these users may also be downloaded by
     other users, and  that  these  activities  may  be  occurring
     through  the  systems  which  are  linked  into the Internet.
     The two newsgroups  into  which  these  materials  are  being
     copied    are   alt.technology.clearing   and   alt.religion.
     Scientology.

          We  request your assistance in dealing with the problem.
     The spread of  infringements  and  misappropriations  by  the
     users  will be lessened if you lock out from your systems the
     two   newsgroups   involved,   alt.religion.scientology   and
     alt.technology.clearing, limiting the potential for reposting
     and downloading.  It will then be easier  to  deal  with  the
     intentional infringers through appropriate channels.

          Both  the  uploading  and downloading of these materials
     constitute  unauthorized  copying  and  distribution  of  the
     materials  in  violation  of our clients' rights under United
     States copyright laws and the law of other  countries,  where
     applicable.    Damages  and  an  injunction  against  further
     unauthorized copying and distribution may be obtained against
     infringers and, all unauthorized copies and all materials and
     equipment by which the unauthorized copies may be  reproduced
     can   be   impounded.    Unauthorized   disclosure   of   the
     confidential  Advanced  Technology  materials  also  violates
     applicable trade secrets laws.

          Action  is  being  taken directly with the systems users
     who we know are primarily responsible for these violations of
     my clients' rights.  We hope those actions will put an end to
     the infringements by  these  users.   We  do  {not}  wish  to
     involve  others in  litigation.  Unfortunately, however, such
     actions will  be  unavoidable  where  there  is  contributory
     infringement  by  those who knowingly induce or contribute to
     the infringing conduct of these users by providing facilities
     or systems that enable the  direct  infringers  to  infringe,
     because  we  legally  must  take  all  actions to protect our
     clients'  property   rights.    Courts   are   holding   such
     contributory  infringers  liable.   Two  examples  are:  Sega
     Enterprises Ltd.  v.  Maphia BBS, 30 U.S.P.Q.  2d 1921  (N.D.
     Cal.   1994) and Playboy Enterprises v.  Frena, 839 F.  Supp.
     1152 (M.D.  Fla.  1993).

          Recent   proposed   legislation   regarding    potential
     liability   of  systems  operators  and  others  who  provide
     facilities or services, such  as  annonymous  remailers,  for
     information  passing through their systems has understandably
     created concern  on  the  part  of  systems  operators  as  a
     potential  liability.   We  ask  your voluntary assistance in
     dealing with these known wilful infringers  so  that  we  can
     both  deal  with the problem without legal hassles, and legal
     liability can be confined to those who intend to  create  the
     situation.

          We  ask that you confirm that you have blocked access to
     these newsgroups through your remailer.  If you are unwilling
     to  do  so,  we  ask that you inform us as to the reasons for
     your position.

                                             Sincerely,

                                             Thomas M. Small

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Apparently, the attempt to control the remailers was deemed to not be enough for the Scientologists. The next appearance a CoS attorney was in the Control group, when Helena Kobrin attempted to rmgroup a.r.s.


> Control: rmgroup alt.religion.scientology
> Newsgroups: alt.config,alt.lotto.players,alt.lotto.players.ctl
> Path: uunet!cs.utexas.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!ix.netcom.com!netcom.com!hkk
> From: hkk@netcom
> Subject: cmsg rmgroup alt.religion.scientology
> Message-ID: <hkkD29JJB.1GA@netcom.com>
> Followup-To: alt.config
> Sender: hkk@netcom.com (Helena Kobrin)
> Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
> Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 22:52:23 GMT
> Lines: 17
> Xref: uunet control:1568915

          We request that you remove the alt.religion.scientology
     newsgroup from your site.  The reasons for requesting its
     removal are: (1) It was started with a forged message; (2)
     not discussed on alt.config; (3) it has the name
     "scientology" in its title which is a trademark and is
     misleading, as a.r.s.  is mainly used for flamers to attack
     the Scientology religion; (4) it has been and continues to be
     heavily abused with copyright and trade secret violations and
     serves no purpose other than condoning these illegal
     practices.

          Please confirm that you have removed this newsgroup from
     your system.

                                         Helena K. Kobrin
                                         Counsel for trademark
                                          and copyright owner

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Most sysadmins laughed at Helena Kobrin; indeed, her botched attempt to rmgroup a.r.s may have actually caused some sysadmins to subscribe to the group to see what was going on.


From: dbd@panacea.phys.utk.edu (David DeLaney)
Newsgroups: alt.config,alt.religion.scientology.ctl
Subject: cmsg newgroup alt.religion.scientology
Date: 12 Jan 1995 02:20:37 GMT
Organization: Formerly U. Tenn. Knoxville/Physics Dept.; presently extremely dis
Message-ID: <3f23ll$ii4@martha.utk.edu>

Sorry, kids; please carry out your harassment campaign against the
a.r.s newsgroup by other means. Cancellation is bad enough; rmgrouping out
of spite is Not A Good Idea, thanks. And while you're there, hkk, tell us
please who the person at Netcom that's cancelling other people's
messages in a.r.s is, why don't ya?

For your newsgroups file:

alt.religion.scientology     He's dead, Jim

(alternatively:
alt.religion.scientology     Discussion of the belief-system Scientology)

In article <hkkD29JJB.1GA@netcom.com> hkk@netcom writes:
>          We request that you remove the alt.religion.scientology
>     newsgroup from your site.  The reasons for requesting its
>     removal are: (1) It was started with a forged message; (2)
>     not discussed on alt.config;

Nonsense. One doesn't rmgroup active thriving groups simply because they
were "not discussed on alt.config", *especially* not several years *after*
they were newgrouped. You've got the wrong alt.* hierarchy here, methinks.

(3) it has the name
>     "scientology" in its title which is a trademark and is
>     misleading, as a.r.s.  is mainly used for flamers to attack
>     the Scientology religion;

So what's your point? Are you maintaining that nobody can use a trademarked
word? Are you maintaining that nobody can attack the Scientology religion?
Again, I think you have quite the wrong alt.* hierarchy here...

(4) it has been and continues to be
>     heavily abused with copyright and trade secret violations and
>     serves no purpose other than condoning these illegal practices.

Um, I think you're seriously confused; this is alt.religion.scientology,
not alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.scientologists . "Trade secret violations"?
For a *religion*? I think you have the wrong United States of America here...

Dave "And next I suppose they'll say they've copyrighted the word
 'Scientology' - L. Ron would be furious!" DeLaney
-- 
\/David DeLaney dbd@panacea.phys.utk.edu "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour  The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. Disclaimer: IMHO; VRbeableWIKTHLC
http://enigma.phys.utk.edu/~dbd/ - net.legends FAQ / CanterSiegelKibozeBait!!

--------------
Newsgroups: alt.config
From: davidg@netcom.com (David Guntner)
Subject: cmsg newgroup alt.religion.scientology
Message-ID: <davidgD29wzp.23v@netcom.com>
Organization: What a concept! :-)
References: <hkkD29JJB.1GA@netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 03:43:00 GMT

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

This was very likely a forgery.  The From: line is botched, and a Sender:
line is present.

netcom:$ egrep alt.religion.scientology /usr/lib/news/active
alt.religion.scientology 0000027549 07508 y

Judging from 27,000+ articles received since it was created, this is not
a newly created group; it's been around a while.  The reasons he gives
for requesting a rmgroup are most likely as bogus as the "address" he was
posting from.


The orignal article was:
> Xref: netcom.com control:923876
> Control: rmgroup alt.religion.scientology
> Newsgroups: alt.config,alt.lotto.players,alt.lotto.players.ctl
> Path: netcom.com!hkk
> From: hkk@netcom
> Subject: cmsg rmgroup alt.religion.scientology
> Message-ID: <hkkD29JJB.1GA@netcom.com>
> Followup-To: alt.config
> Sender: hkk@netcom.com (Helena Kobrin)
> Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
> Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 22:52:23 GMT
> Lines: 17
> 
>           We request that you remove the alt.religion.scientology
>      newsgroup from your site.  The reasons for requesting its
>      removal are: (1) It was started with a forged message; (2)
>      not discussed on alt.config; (3) it has the name
>      "scientology" in its title which is a trademark and is
>      misleading, as a.r.s.  is mainly used for flamers to attack
>      the Scientology religion; (4) it has been and continues to be
>      heavily abused with copyright and trade secret violations and
>      serves no purpose other than condoning these illegal
>      practices.
> 
>           Please confirm that you have removed this newsgroup from
>      your system.
> 
>                                          Helena K. Kobrin
>                                          Counsel for trademark
>                                           and copyright owner

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-- 
        Concerned about your message security?  Read alt.security.pgp!
  //   David Guntner    Internet: davidg@netcom.com    Finger or key server
\X/    Vicksburg, MS       GEnie: Just say NO!          for PGP Public key
 GO d? H s:+ !g p0 au a w+(+++) v C++(++++) US(++) P+ L 3 E- N++(+++)@ K W---
    M-- !V po Y+ t+ 5++ !j R G? tv b+ !D B--- e/* u+ h f r-->++ !n(-) y+(*)



----------------
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: twpierce@quads.uchicago.edu (Tim Pierce)
Subject: newgroup alt.religion.scientology
Message-ID: <1995Jan12.215244.22093@midway.uchicago.edu>
Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System)
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 21:52:44 GMT

This newgroup message for alt.religion.scientology is a
response to the Church of Scientology's recent rmgroup.

-- 
Searching for: WWW repositories for Deaf and/or ASL information

-----------------
From: caj@tower.stc.housing.washington.edu (Craig A. Johnston)
Newsgroups: alt.config
Subject: cmsg newgroup alt.religion.scientology
Date: 16 Jan 1995 16:58:14 GMT
Organization: University of Washington
Lines: 20
Message-ID: <3fe8j6$5nv@news.u.washington.edu>

In article <hkkD29JJB.1GA@netcom.com>,  <hkk@netcom> wrote:
>          We request that you remove the alt.religion.scientology
>     newsgroup from your site.  The reasons for requesting its
>     removal are: (1) It was started with a forged message; (2)
>     not discussed on alt.config; (3) it has the name
>     "scientology" in its title which is a trademark and is
>     misleading, as a.r.s.  is mainly used for flamers to attack
>     the Scientology religion; (4) it has been and continues to be
>     heavily abused with copyright and trade secret violations and
>     serves no purpose other than condoning these illegal
>     practices.
>
>          Please confirm that you have removed this newsgroup from
>     your system.
>
>                                         Helena K. Kobrin
>                                         Counsel for trademark
>                                          and copyright owner

Get lost.

------------
From: smj@smudge.oro.net (Scott Jennings)
Newsgroups: alt.config,alt.religion.scientology
Subject: cmsg newgroup alt.religion.scientology
Date: 17 Jan 1995 03:53:56 GMT
Message-ID: <3fff0k$33n@ag.oro.net>

 This is in response to an attempt to remove this very active
 and time honored newsgroup.

For your newsgroups file:
alt.religion.scientology L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology

 Or alternatively...

For your newsgroups file:
alt.religion.scientology     He's dead, Jim


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In the midst of the activities by the Cancelpoodle and the lawyers, Jeff Jacobsen posted the following:

From: cultxpt@primenet.com (Jeff Jacobsen)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Interesting AOL post
Date: 11 Feb 1995 09:36:07 GMT
Message-ID: <3hi0e7$s8b@news.primenet.com>

   I decided to utilize the free 10 hours on America Online to see what 
it's like.  It's pretty easy to use, but I don't see any advantage over 
the internet from a quick tour.  Anyway, while on the Scientology 
(apparently moderated by Koreen?) newsgroup, I read a post by Mark Pope, 
in which he states;
"Theres a really great handling in progress for the a.r.s. newsgroup and 
it will be a relief to see that snake pit disappear."  This was dated 
1/18/95.
   What is this "handling", do you suppose?  Does he mean the 
Cancelpoodle, Kobrin and Small, or what?
   Has anyone else seen discussions about what the church is doing to 
"handle" a.r.s.?
   And there's *another* one for your sig file, Rod - "snake"
   Hey Russ, are you part of this "handling?"

--
------------
cultxpt@primenet.com    for interesting stuff about Scientology(tm) 
Jeff Jacobsen           anonymous ftp to ftp.primenet.com
PO Box 3541             /users/c/cultxpt   OR    
Scottsdale AZ  85271    http://falcon.cc.ukans.edu/~sloth/sci/sci_index.html 


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The original post from AOL follows. It was found in the Religion area, in the section entitled Other Religions, on a board about the wins of Scientology. (Downloaded by me, 4/15/95.)


Subj:  Re:Hello Go Clear
Date:  95-01-18 22:01:45 EDT
From:  MarkP10

Dear GoClear,

GREAT screen name!!
Theres a  really great handling in progress for the a.r.s. newsgroup and it
will be a relief to see that snake pit disappear. In the meantime, please
continue your great posts to this folder.


Best,
Mark P.

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Another Scientologist posted the following on January 28. It appears that this tactic was tried for awhile in March.


Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Message-ID: <950128063857_2181642@aol.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 1995 06:38:59 -0500
From: WONDERFULR@aol.com
Subject: GOOD NEWS ON ARS

GOOD NEWS ON ARS


I think I may have a solution that can work for everybody.

When I asked for help in getting the graffiti spraying to stop, you guys
held back.  One even posted that you folks *knew* a way to stop it,
but would not tell me.

Now, I understand that I am a net newbie, but let me run this idea by
you.

I want the graffiti to stop.  You have your free speech rights.  If you
were doing what you are doing in private e-mail, I would not know (or
care).  I just don't like the endless stuff that gets repeated here that is
vile and false.

Solution:  I send a request uplines in the church for an official
worldwide Call to Arms.  We want each Scientologist with a computer
and a modem to post their success stories to *every* newsgroup that
has any sizeable amount of black PR being posted.

The Scientologists would need to be notified of which newsgroups and
their net address.  The Scientologists would not need to read any of the
existing posts on those newsgroups, as they can see all the success
stories they like, at their local org.

Now, I'm not talking about paltry 100-200 posts a day.  I'm talking
about ENOUGH of the success stories to really "paint over" all of the
graffiti.  If a particular newsgroup had 100 negative posts a day going
to it, then we would need to post at *least* 2000-3000 success stories
a day to that newsgroup.

To make sure that *our* stuff is on an "equal footing" with the black
pr stuff, each Scientologist posting would need the names of the
current threads and only use those names for their subject headers.
These would change from month to month, so there is a bit of admin
involved, but I'm certain it can be done.

To ensure that a negative sysop does not kill file the theta posts, the
success story posters could post from anonymous remailers.  They
might need to change the anonymous remailer site they posted from
once in a while to ensure that their posts got through, but this could be
handled (again, with a bit of organization)

What I envision is that every newsgroup that has significant entheta
posts getting ENOUGH theta posts to completely cancel out the
negative.

I could be way off on the numbers.  It might take 9000-10,000 posts a
day to some newsgroups to do the job.  But if that is what it takes,
then that is what it takes.

This would be a real opportunity for Scientologists everywhere to
contribute, without really spending a lot of time.  When I consider how
much Scientologists like to help and how little of their time this would
take, I see real possibilities.  There are probably enough Scientologists
in Los Angles alone to do this, but I see it as a world wide cooperative
effort amongst the group.  Plus, I like the international idea.

What is now ars (or other similar newsgroups) could become large e-
mail groups.  You guys can enjoy your free speech, and I get the
graffiti to stop.

Naturally, this is just my idea at this point, and there may be
something I have not considered.

If the church did endorse the idea, it would be a great PR move too.
The broad press releases about how Scientology success stories (and
selected texts like What is Scientology) were available at no charge on
the internet.

There are details of course; , like someone to monitor all net
newsgroups for selected words (Scn, C of S, Hubbard, etc.) to see if
there were new places that needed some success stories.

This is just a rough outline of my plan, and I know it needs a lot of
polishing.  As there are a lot of people here who know considerably
more about computers and the internet than I, please feel free to post
your input on this idea.

I welcome the assistance.  I want to work this out.

Sincerely,

Russell Shaw

^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*
====================Deana M. Holmes================================
mirele@xmission.com================ Compiler of History of a.r.s ==
========You can get anything you want at Xenu's Restaurant=========
================Practicing encheferation since 1995================