OC News 2004
This is an archive of news related to Operation Clambake and/or it's author(s). Other news about the controversial fight against the atrocities done by the Cult of Scientology can be found on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology or Operation Clambake Message Board.
Contrary to Brin's claim, Xenu.net did not "sort of fold" after the Church of Scientology served Google with a specious trademark-infringement complaint. I declined to file a response because to do so would subject me to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. As a European citizen operating a European site, I saw no reason to do so.
This is the full letter sent to Playboy:
In reference to the "Google Guys" interview in your September 2004 issue:
As the creator of the "Operation Clambake" web site xenu.net, which resides in Europe and is indexed in Google, I vehemently reject the Church of Scientology's claims that the site violates their copyrights. My site exposes the fraud behind Scientology, and to document this I must quote from materials produced by the creator of this so-called religion. But I do so fully within the bounds of fair use as provided for by copyright law. Scientology may disagree, but they have yet to prove me wrong in any court. The site has been operating for 8 years now.
Contrary to your article, xenu.net did not "fold" when Scientology served Google with a complaint under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It's true that I declined to file a DMCA counternotification, but that is because to do so I would have had to agree to subject myself to the jurisdiction of the US courts. As a European citizen operating a European web site, there was no reason for me to do that.
Poorly framed copyright protection laws put dissent and free speech on the Internet at risk. By exploiting the DMCA, Scientology has managed to suppress information even when it does not have the law on its side. The US courts and Congress should make clear that linking to web pages as Google does is a virtue of the Internet, not a crime.
While Google stumbled in the beginning, they are to be commended for flatly rejecting Scientology's specious trademark infringement claims against xenu.net, and finding a clever way to adhere to the requirements of the DMCA on the copyright issues without actually preventing people from finding the information they were looking for.
It has now been over two years since the cult sent its copyright complaint to Google, and part of www.xenu.net is still removed from the Google index, but there has been no copyright suit filed against me. My web site has not changed. It is evident that Scientology's DMCA complaint was without merit.
By abusing copyright law, Scientology tries to keep vital information about its teachings from the public. People are attracted to this "church" based on limited knowledge and feel-good publicity from clueless movie stars. But in each country where Scientology is allowed to operate, there are reports of lost fortunes, broken families, and suicides. I think the public has the right to know the truth. Having reviewed the secret materials of Scientology, I have concluded that it is my moral duty -- within the law -- to bring this information to society's attention.
I admire what Google has achieved, and am of the opinion that they do not owe me anything. But while Brin and Page enjoy Google's sweet success, they must also be prepared to fight some risky battles to preserve their unique position on the Internet. The principles of free speech and free access to information are worth defending against all forms of tyranny, including Scientology.
I received invaluable help from many of you to shorten and better word this letter, thank you! You know who you are. :)
|November 2 2004|
People & Places
|November 1 2004|
|October 29 2004|
Verdens Gang (VG)
The Mercury News
The Miami Herald
World Movie Magazine
|October 28 2004|
"It’s very wrong to let Cruise lead the gala," Scientology foe Andreas Heldal-Lund told the Swedish paper Expressen. "[The Church of Scientology is] going to call it a validation and use it as far as they can. I’ve met tons of people who have had their lives devastated by Scientology and this is such an important event. I have the greatest respect for the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Institute and it’s very sad that I’ve been forced to come out publicly with my criticism, but they’ve chosen Tom Cruise."
|October 27 2004|
A quote from article in Expressen (Swedish):
One of the most dangerous sects in the world
He [Andreas Heldal-Lund] is being supported by Peter Brych, drug informer [droginformatör] and member of advisory board for public health [folkhälsorådet]. He calls the Scientologists "one of the most dangerous sects in the world".
- It is madness to let Tom Cruise lead this gala, it's like giving a peace price to Hitler. The Scientologists are going to ride on this. A representative for a criminal organization! They rip people off everything they have. Their gradual education is only about making money. They seek weak people and young seekers. But I don't want to ban Scientology, then you have gone too far, Brych says to Expressen.
A quote from article in Dagbladet (Norwegian):
Priest Karl-Erik Nylund at the Maria Magdalena church in Stockholm in Sweden has for 30 years worked at helping victims of sects and their families. He is of the opinion that the Scientologists is a special case.
- The Church of Scientology is the most dangerous cult in the world. It is a manipulating sect which takes over peoples life and money, he says. [...] Cruise has also made himself a more official spokes person for the very closed sect. Latest in September Cruise opened a new branch for the Church of Scientology in Madrid in Spain. He is on the board of a Scientology organization with focus on dyslexia. On the Church of Scientology's own homepage Cruise is mentioned 412 times.
The priest says that someone that makes themselves the official spokes person for the sect should not lead the Nobel concert.
- He is not there to evangelize. But it is difficult to separate the actor Tom Cruise from the Scientologist Tom Cruise. The Scientologists will consider this as a for of official recognition, he says.
|October 26 2004|
|October 23 2004|
|October 22 2004|
"-Tom Cruise a bad choice
The Nobel Institute gets tough treatment for their choice of host. They are being criticized for lacking quality checking in advance."
"That the selection this year is Tom Cruise isn't all unproblematic, according to Andreas Heldal-Lund"
"He writes in a letter to the Nobel Institute that "Cruise is the largest and most important mouthpiece of the Church of Scientology in USA..." and "..with many statements that and supporting declarations that hardly would be in the spirit of Nobel or the institute.""
"To Aftenbladet he says: - The role as the presenter of the show is representing the Nobel Institute and Alfred Nobel. I wish they had selected someone who did not use their celebrity status to promote such a controversial and criticized group as the Church of Scientology. Heldal-Lund warn about the connection to the Church of Scientology."
"- People are able to separate Geir Lundestad, director for the Nobel Institute is very satisfied with the presenters this year"
"- It has been known for years that Cruise is a Scientologist, but it is easy to separate his religious views from his role as the presenter, says Lundestad."
|September 15 2004|
The relationship between Google and Chilling Effects dates back to the archive's earliest days. Google was getting complaints from the Church of Scientology about an anti-Scientology site Xenu.net, which was accused of violating the church's copyrights. As required by the DMCA, Google removed links to the allegedly offending sites from its search results, "and suddenly anti-Scientology sites didn't show up when you searched for Scientology," says Seltzer. The DMCA permits the publisher of the content to file counter-notification and get the material restored. But in the meantime, Web users won't know it is missing. "Google realized that didn't serve its public very well, but they were also looking for something to help minimize their legal risk and Chilling Effects was there to help. So the partnership grew from there," Selzer says.
|August 18 2004|
PLAYBOY: Yet you¹ve been criticized for caving to pressure from organizations that objected to some of your search results. In one famous case, the Church of Scientology pressured you to stop pointing out a website critical of it.
PAGE: That was more of a legal issue.
BRIN: The Scientologists made a copyright claim against an anti-Scientology site. It had excerpts from some of their texts. The counter-Scientology site, Xenu.net, didn¹t file an appeal. It sort of folded. Consequently, we were forced to omit their results, but we explain what happened on the search. If things are missing from a search, we often link to websites that explain the controversies. So now, if you do a generic search on Scientology, you get a link to a site that discusses the legal aspects of why the anti-Scientology site isn¹t listed. In addition, this independent site links to the anti-Scientology site. As a result, if you search for Scientology, you will be armed with anti-Scientology materials as well as pro-Scientology material.
PAGE: A Stanford University organization has volunteer lawyers posting complaints about cases like this related to web searches. We¹re able to link to this site. It¹s a nice compromise. In general, though, few things get removed in this way. It¹s not a practical problem.
|May 30 2004|
Rest in peace Lisa McPherson
Media coverage about the settlement:
|May 20 2004|
Quote:You can also see it in YourEncyclopedia.
Operation Clambake is the title of a World Wide Web page that has become known as the single most important site with information about Scientology.
It is run by Andreas Heldal-Lund, a critic of Scientology who views the organization as a cult. The Web site provides considerable insight into the workings of Scientology, and it includes links to Scientology's "secret" documents as well as other information that the organization has tried to suppress.
|April 12 2004|
|February 18 2004|
The Times has an article today titled It worked for Travolta. Would it work for me? by Russ Coffey. Quote:
As the Church of Scientology celebrates its 50th anniversary, our correspondent describes how, like John Travolta and Tom Cruise, he tried to become a "clear" ? free of mental blocks and ready to realise his full potential ? with the aid of coloured bricks and a dictionary I GUESS I was feeling suggestible when Susan approached me with a free "personality test". She was a prim-looking leafleteer and we were outside the London headquarters of the Church of Scientology on Tottenham Court Road.
The long article contains a "fact box" that, besides giving a summary of CoS and Hubbard, include two links. One is to the official CoS site (www.scientology.org) and the other is to Operation Clambake (www.xenu.net). The article is available online but you have to pay a subscription and search for it.
|February 8 2004|
Today I visited Clearwater, Florida! My report.
|January 24 2004|
UPDATE: Problem solved, the upgraded message board is up: OCMB
|News from previous years:|