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Dutch Court Rules That Linking Is Legal In Scientology Case 386

Posted by timothy
from the very-kind-of-them dept.
touretzky writes "The Court of Appeal in The Hague today rejected all of Scientology's claims in appeal in Scientology's action against XS4ALL, Karin Spaink and ten other internet providers. As a result, Karin Spaink's website, which Scientology sought to remove from the Internet based on copyright claims, is entirely legal in the Netherlands. The court also overturned two lower court rulings, one of which said that linking to material that infringed a copyright was itself actionable. The other ruling said that ISPs that failed to act on credible notification of a copyright violation could be held liable for that. The Appeals Court felt that this was too vague a standard, and thus posed a threat to free speech. More info at ScientologyWatch.org."
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Dutch Court Rules That Linking Is Legal In Scientology Case

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  • Good to see. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Endareth (684446) on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:42AM (#6897390) Journal
    It seems to me that the two lower rulings being overturned is a great achievement. Linking to remote content almost defines what the web is! And making ISPs into police is always just asking for trouble. Well done the Hague!
  • by AEton (654737) on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:45AM (#6897400)
    A religion that has trade secrets is a little frightening. And if you believe even a fraction of what the Xenu [xenu.net] people have to tell, it's more of a public service than anything else to expose the nonsense propaganda that this organization spreads.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:50AM (#6897420)
      In all fairness, though, there's translations of the Bible that are copyrighted and these copyrights are enforced. Now if you go and translate it from Hebrew, Greek, and the other languages used in the original texts, then you own the copyright and aren't subject to any trouble. Furthermore, I don't think anyone could possibly claim ownership to such translations as the king James Version. Most of the books you see published about Christianity are copyrighted, as are most of the hymns, though. It's a little different with scientology, but it's not the only religion whose texts are copyrighted.
      • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb@@@gmail...com> on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:21AM (#6897535) Homepage
        Individual biblical works may be copyrighted in the sense that I can't obtain them, photocopy/transcribe them and then distribute the copies...but nobody is going to sue me for either singing a hymn or spreading "The Word" in ANY language. If, on the other hand, I spread the "history" espoused at the top level of Scientology there's probably a better than even chance that I will be sued.
        • by R.Caley (126968) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:48AM (#6897630)
          ...but nobody is going to sue me for either singing a hymn or spreading "The Word" in ANY language.

          This is because Christianity has lost it's power base. Remember they used to burn people alive for translating the bible from latin just because doing so allowed the actual doctrine to leak out to ordinary people.

          Hidden secrets are common in religions. A cynic might say this is because the stuff whichis most obviously bollocks has to be kept from people who haven't yet been brainwashed into complete gullability, but I couldn't say such a thing or Hastur will ge.....

          • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb@@@gmail...com> on Monday September 08, 2003 @02:41AM (#6897780) Homepage
            It's not because Christianity has lost its power base (though the faith clearly doesn't have the direct power it used to have), rather it's because that religion has grown and changed over time. Evangelism is key to Christianity and said evangelism can't take placed without The Bible.

            The key to scientology, however, is in getting as much money out of the mark as possible while revealing as little detail as possible - an odd system for a "religion" which purportedly wishes to maximize human potential and rid the world of all negativity.

            Before anyone says it, yes, other religions take money and often "demand" it by making it a part of the religion. However, relatively few make that money the price of knowing the proverbial score. Were I Catholic, for example, I might be expected to tithe a percentage of my income. But, even if I didn't I would be able to not only read The Bible and attend services, my priest would be available to me for confession and other counseling when I needed it, not to mention that my fellow Catholics would be there for me when I need them. In scientology, there are times when you won't even be acknowledged by another scientologist without paying whatever money they are demanding.

            There are incredible things in every religion. Every faith has its idiosyncracies. But most major religions are at least a little bit more - and a little bit better - than pyramid schemes with brainwashing thrown in.

            • by R.Caley (126968) on Monday September 08, 2003 @03:08AM (#6897840)
              Evangelism is key to Christianity and said evangelism can't take placed without The Bible.

              Clearly it tookplace for centuries without the bible. It is quite possible, even easier, to evangelise by letting only the evangeliser read the secrets and pass on only those which will be useful at this moment, preferably distorted to match the local situation.

              Remember, the early church didn't have the bible, the first attempts to pull together a canonical collection was in the second century AD. Then for a long time it was the case that only the priesthood and educated laymen were given access to the bible.

              That the marks^H^H^H^H^Hordinary believers should be allowed to read the secrets and convince themselves was one of the big innovations of the protestant reformers.

              There are incredible things in every religion. Every faith has its idiosyncracies. But most major religions are at least a little bit more - and a little bit better - than pyramid schemes with brainwashing thrown in.

              Take a walk around the vatican and ask where the money came from.

              Scientology took it's model from Christianity and just sharpened up the operation, looking more like the church back when it still had teeth than the stumbling mess christianity now is.

              But yes, most religions are not nearly as bad as Christainity and Scientology, I'd guess it was the close identification of christanity with the later roman empire which built it into such an efficiant command and control structure, or perhaps they learned a great deal from their enemies in Persia.

              • by Deusy (455433) <charlieNO@SPAMvexi.org> on Monday September 08, 2003 @05:10AM (#6898133) Homepage
                Remember, the early church didn't have the bible, the first attempts to pull together a canonical collection was in the second century AD. Then for a long time it was the case that only the priesthood and educated laymen were given access to the bible.

                You readily assume such things as translation - both the Bible and sermons were previously only commonly available in Latin.

                The Catholic Church has never been comparable to Scientology. It's never charged for mere information and it has always had it's true preachers who would not bias their services to the rich.

                That the Catholic Church has been a power base, an organisation that actively sought to accumulate both land and other forms of wealth, is not in doubt. Like all ancient organisations, it's had dark roots and dark periods.

                But it's very rare that you get turned down at a Catholic church. Scientology, on the other hand, is just a scam to extort the rich.
                • by R.Caley (126968) on Monday September 08, 2003 @05:42AM (#6898178)
                  You readily assume such things as translation - both the Bible and sermons were previously only commonly available in Latin.

                  Indeed, information was for a long time not available in venacular translations because it was church policy not to let ordinary people have access to the sources. Just like scientology really.

                  The Catholic Church has never been comparable to Scientology.

                  Well, Scientologists don't burn people alive.

                  It's never charged for mere information

                  Well, it only allowed the information out through authorised channels, and to get access to an authorised channel you were expected to pay a tithe to support the local priest.

                  But it's very rare that you get turned down at a Catholic church.

                  Have you ever been turned down at a Scientology centre? The more suckers the better.

                  Scientology, on the other hand, is just a scam to extort the rich.

                  If only they limited themselves that way. The big money is in getting lots of small amounts from lots of people, not a large amount from a couple of rich people. That is why scientologists and preachers stand on street corners looking for suckers. That is also why televangelists exist and why a collection plate goes around a church.

                • by ponxx (193567) on Monday September 08, 2003 @08:09AM (#6898582)
                  > Scientology, on the other hand, is just a scam to extort the rich.

                  Good point. Most religions are quite happy to extort the poor as well....


              • That the marks^H^H^H^H^Hordinary believers should be allowed to read the secrets and convince themselves was one of the big innovations of the protestant reformers.

                Confining myself to factual corrections, I note that in many medieval christian communities everyone could read the bible. For instance, Alfred the Great translated it into English for that very purpose. It was only later when the ecclesiastical hierarchy became more rigid and more focused on Rome that the Bible was restricted to the clergy
      • by pyrrhonist (701154) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:24AM (#6897548)
        In all fairness, though, there's translations of the Bible that are copyrighted and these copyrights are enforced.

        Yes, but the difference is that you are normally allowed to print up to 500 verses from these translations as long as you attribute the source. In non-profit printings, you can print as much as you want as long as you attribute the source. At least this is the way it is with the NIV and NRSB. Also, the text of the Bible is not secret. You can get it from multiple sources, with multiple translations, and some translations are in the public domain. No one will come after you if you link to it.

        I don't think anyone could possibly claim ownership to such translations as the king James Version.

        Nope, it's public domain: The KJV Bible [ibiblio.org]

        Most of the books you see published about Christianity are copyrighted

        Uh, what's the point? Most books are copyrighted. A book about Christianity is not a sacred text.

        as are most of the hymns, though.

        As are most secular songs. Some hymns are also public domain. Hymns are not a major tenet of Christianity. They even differ from church to church within Christianity.

        but it's not the only religion whose texts are copyrighted.

        Christianity's texts aren't copyrighted. The Bible isn't copyrighted. Other Christian works such as the "Apostle's Creed" aren't copyrighted either. Some translations of Christian works are copyrighted, and some of them aren't.

        Anyone can translate the Bible and publish it.
        Anybody can get a copy of the KJV and publish it.
        I guarantee that neither Moses, Matthew, Mark, Luke, nor John will sue your ass for publishing it.

    • by TWX (665546) on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:57AM (#6897448)
      Remember, some European countries have deported all of the scientologists who are there for "religious work". I think that Germany was one of said countries.

      Religion has typically tried to assimilate as many people as possible, pretty openly, into it's grasp. Scientology's attempts to do this through a corporate mentality should bite it in the ass.

      Two things that religions shouldn't be allowed to do, in my opinion, are to engage in politics and to have inaccessible "trade secret" documentation. Even as fiscally based as many churches are in the U.S., it's not impossible to look at pretty much all of their published works and opinions. Organizations that claim spirituality yet violate these two borders should be required to have corporate licenses and be taxed, in my opinion.
      • by hughk (248126) on Monday September 08, 2003 @04:56AM (#6898114) Journal
        Remember, some European countries have deported all of the scientologists who are there for "religious work". I think that Germany was one of said countries.
        The Scientologists may do what they want in Germany, however they are not granted either tax exempt status or the ability to garnish money directly from their member's pay checks Kirchsteur or church tax.
      • by jcr (53032) <jcr@NoSPaM.mac.com> on Monday September 08, 2003 @05:45AM (#6898181) Journal
        Two things that religions shouldn't be allowed to do, in my opinion, are to engage in politics and to have inaccessible "trade secret" documentation.

        They also shouldn't get away with running a gulag and kidapping and torturing members who want to leave.

        Do a google search for "Larry Wollersheim". What they did to him alone should get that vicious little nut-cult disbanded, and get a couple hundred of their chain of command thrown in the pokey.

        -jcr
    • by Captain Sarcastic (109765) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:19AM (#6897526)
      I have to agree with AEton above.

      Religions are given a tax-exempt status on the grounds that they are pursuing a "higher truth," one that is supposed to be shared with others.

      Not so with Scientology. Try looking for one of their texts in the public library, and you'll more often than not find them missing. They say that "the world isn't ready for these truths yet," but still believe that they should enjoy the protection granted to other religions that do make their messages freely available.

      They can't have it both ways - either Scientology has trade secrets (in which case it is a business) or it doesn't (in which case it is a church).

      Thud
    • I get so confused by propaganda - is that the same religion that spreads the virgin birth and cannibalism nonsense...or are there others?
    • by arvindn (542080) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:24AM (#6897547) Homepage Journal

      Absolutely. If anyone reading this hasn't already read the stuff at xenu.net, please please do so now to know what the CoS is really about. In fact, it is not a religion at all, but merely uses the pretense of religion as a veil for a massive and fraudulent operation of psychological abuse. The aim, of course, is to strip you of your last penny.
  • Bleeding IP? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Empiric (675968) * on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:45AM (#6897402) Homepage
    Hmm... the article seems to center more on "common carrier" arguments and paraphrasing of the original work, the paraphrase of which is posted as content on the site, rather than linking, but regardless...

    It amazes me that the "Church of Scientology" continues to pursue this, after the well-known Usenet debacle. I don't see how it helps their image at all, trying to force people not to discuss their "religion". This activity only adds fuel to the fire. Surely they have their share of lawyers or PR consultants on board, doesn't the basic concept of sticking to your points and ignoring/downplaying your opposition's get on the strategy table?

    The disturbing part here is Scientology's continuing attempt to treat opposing views or information as derivative products of their ideas, and shut them down as if they were an IP violation. Maybe what Enron should have done is patent the concept of cooked books, and sued anyone talking about it.
  • by IamLarryboy (176442) on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:48AM (#6897413)
    This is an amazing victory for free speech. The COS is a rich dangerous cult that is amazingly adept at using the courts to silence its victims. It really is incredable that the good guys won in this case.
  • Heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by True Dork (8000) on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:49AM (#6897416) Homepage
    I first read that as "Thinking ruled is legal in Scientology Case" and thought "It's about time!". Oh well. I wouldn't dare think anything about the case... Hold on... Someone's at my door.
  • Proud (Score:5, Interesting)

    by olderchurch (242469) on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:53AM (#6897433) Homepage Journal
    This makes me proud to be a dutchmen. And proud to use the excellent services from xs4all. They always have been a strong supporter of both privacy and free speech and are willing to back it up. Even though they went from a hacker provider to one of the major league telco subsidairies.

    xs4all keep up the good work!
    • Re:Proud (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CvD (94050) on Monday September 08, 2003 @02:38AM (#6897770) Homepage Journal
      I second this. XS4ALL is definately the coolest, most techie-friendly ISP that I've ever come across. They provide all sorts of fun techie stuff like a shell account on a FreeBSD server, an IPv6 tunnel, batched SMTP, and a lot more.

      Hooray for XS4ALL!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:55AM (#6897438)
    Scientology = a satanic cult.

    They never call it that, but that's what all of the teachings really are. Their basic ideas is that you are the center of the universe, and anything you do to anybody to obtain your goals is OK. And their rituals (with the E-meter) are just as strange. The only reason for giving it a different name is that "Scientology" is able to recruit celebrities, while those same celebrities typically avoid anything with obvious satanic connotations.

    (of course the way Bill Gates manages Microsoft often reminds me of Scientology, but that's a separate topic ;-)
    • e-meter sessions (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lightspawn (155347) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:11AM (#6897498) Homepage
      ... And their rituals (with the E-meter) are just as strange.

      Not really. Their main purpose is four-fold:

      1. Provide a means for subject to discuss problems with another human being (on some very basic level, it does help, I suppose).

      2. Pass a low current through subject to introduce a sense of euphoria, which is both addictive and lowers resistance (heh) to interrogator's questions.

      3. Alert interrogator to any issues which may weaken hold on subject.

      4. Provide information on subject to be used if hold on subject ever looks like it may be broken.

      So, what happens in the U.S. if a organization is ever certified as a "religion" by mistake? Is any means available to undo it?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, they are organized criminials and terrorists masquarading as a cult. Why do you think they run all these front companies? Money laundering and tax evasion. Rread the comments on the site linked in the story, find the really long one where some guy wrote about the 10 odd years of his life he wasted on these creeps, he mentions several said front companies there and the illegal practices they did. Yes, it is in english. You can't miss it, it fills half the page. They are a LOT like Al Qaida, on

    • > Scientology = a satanic cult. They never call it that, but that's what all of the teachings really are. Their basic ideas is that you are the center of the universe, and anything you do to anybody to obtain your goals is OK.

      How do you know they aren't just politicians instead of satanists?

    • >They never call it that, but that's what all of the teachings really are.

      And this is different from mainstream religion because...?

      I'm not one to defend Scientology or its methods but at its core is the concept of faith, the belief of things without proof or belief from authority. ALL religions share that, thus they are very much the same e.g. authoritarian, traditional, unquestionable, abusive, controlling, etc.

      A cult may be more intense but the e-meter and its wielders have nothing on days on end
  • by jbs0902 (566885) on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:56AM (#6897445)
    I never understood the Plaintiff's legal logic behind these "linking" equals "copyright violation" cases. (I get the overall logic of "We are powerful. You are not. We'll make you shut-up if we don't like what you say." But, it is the logic in the legal briefs I don't get.)

    As far as I am concerned the A tag of HTML is just a citation format. If the link is a copyright violation, why aren't citations made in MLA or Blue Book formats similar copyright violations? The idea extends to deep-linking cases. If deep-linking allows you to skip past the ads on a web page and is supposedly illegal because of that, why aren't pin-point citations (where you cite both the book and the page on the book where the quote is from) illegal?

    I'll accept that a trade secret case could be filed, but copyright? If it is a link, it is not a copy; it is a citation, i.e. a pointer to the original "copy" of the web page.

    I haven't bothered to do any research on this (because it has yet to directly affect my life). Has any defendant advanced the A tag as citation argument? Did the judge buy it?
    • by Tokerat (150341) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:19AM (#6897523) Journal

      What I don't understand is the fact that in these deep link cases, the sites didn't take any steps to prevent the deep linking through passwords ro REFERER checks...that's akin to putting a poster of information near a window in your house and suing people who walk by the window and see it. How any judge could rule in their favor is beyond me.
  • by civilengineer (669209) on Monday September 08, 2003 @12:56AM (#6897447) Homepage Journal
    Here is what dictionary.com says:

    scientology: log in for this definition of scientology and other entries in Webster's Millennium(TM) Dictionary of English, available only to Dictionary.com Premium members
  • Imagine that. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cgranade (702534) <cgranade AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:00AM (#6897461) Homepage Journal
    The courts actually ruled that free speech is more importatnt than IP. Now, if only the USSC could follow suit...
  • Scientology (Score:4, Funny)

    by Nanite (220404) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:02AM (#6897467)
    I think a litmus test for all future court cases should be: "If the case is brought by the Church of Scientology, it must have no merit."
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd,bandrowsky&gmail,com> on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:03AM (#6897470) Homepage Journal

    Ought to deal with Scientologists the same way. If their work is so secret that they cannot have it published, then perhaps they are consorting with Baphomet too!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      See www.xenu.net and Karin Spaink's site for what Stupidology teaches (secretly) and at great expense. Scientology price list shows it would take about $360,000.00 to do all their courses to obtain OT VIII. The secret teachings about how an ancient space dictator Xenu inplanted us all with body thetans (space cooties) we have to audit out at great expensse is something Scientology wants to keep secret because nobody in their right mind who knew that ahead of time would join scientology knowing that. Whi

    • > Ought to deal with Scientologists the same way. If their work is so secret that they cannot have it published, then perhaps they are consorting with Baphomet too!

      Nah, Baphy told them to stuff it. Standards to maintain, kind of thing.

  • Odd: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mac Degger (576336) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:04AM (#6897474) Journal
    Considering how important I take this ruling to be (it's a ruling upholding fair use and against strong-arm tactics; and it sets a nice precedent) for the web, I'm surprised this isn't being covered in the news in the Netherlands...it didn't even make regional tv.
    I wonder if it makes the back pages of the papers...
  • WELCOME! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:04AM (#6897477)
    I, for one, welcome our new Xenu overlords.

  • Suppressed Documents (Score:5, Informative)

    by heli0 (659560) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:07AM (#6897487)
    Rob Malda: "Our lawyers have advised us that, considering all the details of this case, the comment should come down"

    Here is the document that Slashdot removed when COS threatened them with the DMCA: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/Declaration/o t3-summary.html [cmu.edu]

    Hosted right here in the USA by Dr. David Touretzky, research professor at Carnegie Mellon University.


    • > Here is the document that Slashdot removed when COS threatened them with the DMCA: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/Declaration/o t3-summary.html

      Yeah, I can kinda see why they wouldn't want anyone to see that. Out of context it could leave the impression that they were some kind of k00ks or something.

    • by Slurpee (4012)

      So would Slashdot today still remove that text if it was posted in a comment?

      I remember Rob pulling that comment. I thought (and still think) that it was and is the saddest day in the history of Slashdot.
      After handling trolls, first posters, legal threats by Microsoft and other parties...they gave in to a Scientology threat. I'm not sure if Slashdot has removed posts since. But that was the first.

      a sad sad day.
    • Odd, I though Hawaii didn't exist that many years ago (or the pacific). I'll tell you though, I like that 'evil' leader of theirs. You gotta love someone who commands a civilization of intergalactic star ships and solves over-population problems by taking his subjects to a molten plant, putting them in boxes next to volcanoes, and dropping an h-bomb on them.

      I think someone has been dipping their cheese-fiction in the electric acid kool-aid acid a bit too much. Lay off the sauce L Ron.
  • Go XS4ALL! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Martin Wolf (703415) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:12AM (#6897502)
    This proves once more that XS4ALL is one of the greatest ISPs in Europe and possibly the world. No, I'm not affiliated with them, other than being a very happy customer.

    Let's face it, how many ISPs would stand by their customer against a rich and dangerous opponent? How many would simply have pulled Karin Spank's site at the first hint of trouble, without caring whether the complaint was justified?

    XS4ALL was started by the Dutch hacker group "hack-tic" in a time when Internet access was not available to the general public. Although they are a commercial entity and were bought by the national phone company a few years ago, they remain faithful to the spirit in which they were founded and to their original goals: to promote full, uncensored and unconstrained Internet access for everyone.

    Technically, they're great as well -- in my five years as a customer, I've only had a handful of short outages and all of them were caused by the ADSL infrastructure rather than the provider. Power users who want to run Linux, set up a home network and run their own web/mail server are not just allowed, they're encouraged. There's an on-line service page through which you can maintain things like spamfilters, a firewall (off by default, but easy to turn on and heavily promoted) and an experimental IPv6 tunnel. They run a number of game servers themselves and during Gulf War II, they participated in a digital TV trial which offered several Arabian stations in addition to BBC Worldnews etc.

    In short, if you're a geek, you should move to the Netherlands just so you can get an XS4ALL account.
  • by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:24AM (#6897549) Homepage Journal
    Every Slashdotter knows no-one reads them anyway....

  • I'm a bit confused as to the news-worthiness
    of this story... The latest document in her
    list of stuff she used in her defence is 1999

    Surely it didn't take the court 3 years to find?!?

    What am I missing here? ;-\

    TIA
  • by tonywestonuk (261622) on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:32AM (#6897579)
    How to get this site off the web...

    Plan a: Sue em!
    (if that doesn't work)
    Plan b: Get their link posted to Slashdot..... that'll burn their serves off the net!

    Seriously, I was approached by the Scientologiests a few years back (before knowing anything about them). I was a little naieve (sp?) , and signed up for a course in Dynetics... What they said seemed very plausible. The people who were running this course did seam a tad strange, almost as if they were in a daze....

    After doing a search on Infoseek for dynetics, (Google wasn't around then), I was quite shocked what these people could be up to. I decided not to return, though they phoned me back loads of times trying to persuade me to.

    I now consider Scientology akin to a computer virus, exploiting a flaw in the human brain, and spread from one to the next. First the brain is rooted. Trust is gained. And then, over the corse of many months, subsystem after subsystem is taken down. All for the persuit of cash. The net could well have saved me, by downloading info into my head, that prevents rooting by these people.

    I can only feel sorry for those who are already taken over by this cult.
    • by jcr (53032)
      I now consider Scientology akin to a computer virus, exploiting a flaw in the human brain, and spread from one to the next.

      That sounds very much like Keith Henson's description of cults in general.

      Go to www.operatingthetan.org to get the full details of Scientology's vicious persecution of Henson, and also to find his articles on evolutionary psychology.

      -jcr
    • I now consider Scientology akin to a computer virus, exploiting a flaw in the human brain

      Like a real "Snow Crash".

      I got asked by one of them once to do a "test". And I started talking to him, but my answers must have been so non-standard he seemed like he was lost for an answer. And when I started describing the works of L. Ron Hubbard and his supposed bet with the editor of Astounding(?) about who could start a religion first .... he seemed to lose interest. Sigh. Its so hard to make friends when you br

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2003 @01:54AM (#6897647)
    I can tell you first hand that this organization is evil. Now the people who are within it are generally well intentioned and sincerely believe that they are a part of something that is working to make the world a better place. This is part of what makes it so evil, it uses its own victims to perpetrate its crimes. Make no mistake, the primary victims of Scientology are its own members who are lied to at every turn and discouraged from seeking out or even looking at independent sources of information on the cult. Those like myself who get wise to the scam and leave are viciously attacked whenever we speak out against the cult and try to warn others of its evil. Of course you could say the same thing about any cult and even Amway for that matter. What makes scientology so bad is that unlike some scams that simply go after your money, scientology goes after your life. Scientology will bankrupt you, separate you from your family and friends, literally make you into a slave, and then cast you aside like yesterday's garbage once they've gotten everything they can out of you.

    Scientology is essentially a mind control cult bent on world domination disguised as a religion. The only weapon that works against such an entity is the truth, and is it ever working. Scientology has gone from being something that most people think is strange, if they've ever heard of it to begin with, to something that most people despise or at least distrust. I have the deepest respect and admiration for those who have the courage to fight this organization. If even one person is saved from a life of misery it will have been worth it.

    If anyone wants to know more about this organization, there is one place that should be able to answer your questions: Operation Clambake at www.xenu.net [xenu.net]
  • by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Monday September 08, 2003 @02:20AM (#6897718)
    Condemns the plaintiffs to pay the costs of this suit, up to this moment on the part of defendants ... estimated to be fl 2830.- each time, of which f 330.- is recording rights.

    We are talking about legal costs for each ISP of less than US$1500. And the costs paid by the plaintiffs when the ISPs are found to do nothing wrong. Why cannot the US legal system be more like Holland's?

  • Once upon a time I actually did one of those Scientology personality tests (in my defense: it was sort of early in the mid-afternoon and the sun was really, really quite uncomfortably bright and I was really hung-over and ... well, anyway, it's a long story) and it was the greatest thing: I never heard from them again and could always say -- truthfully -- to all those pesky Scientologists accosting you on the street trying to make you take one that I already had.

    On the other hand, you know you're really f*cked when not even the Scientologists want you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2003 @02:54AM (#6897814)
    I had a not so good run in with the scientologists. In Australia they hand out pamphlets saying "Free I.Q Test" with an address. Absolutely no details whatsoever saying who they are. Many years ago I actually went to it thinking cool (as if it was legitimate). I did the test and then they went off to mark it.

    When they come back they do a one on one interview. I think I got 132 (what they said). She said that's very good, entry level genius. I thought shit okay, then she said now look at this chart. Showed me a chart with different moods labelled on it, she said "you're all over the place, you're an unstable person" - "You have the intelligence but you need to balance yourself out, why don't you come on one of our courses?, $100." Thats when I started to think "Oh I see, get me in for a free i.q test and then try and get me to go on a course, well see you later". I should of knew better. At this point I didn't know who the scientologists were, and I couldn't of cared less, I wasn't going to pay money this way. So I told her I wasn't really interested.

    Then she said, well, then do you want to buy some of our books, $9-10 each (Author Hubbard of course). Then I said err no. Then that's when she came out with it, "It's all about trust, you have to trust me".. "Have you noticed John Travolta has been doing alot of movies lately?". Then I started to think, oh, scientologists, I think I saw these guys on the news. I actually had them mixed up with National Geographic.

    Then she really got aggressive... "Well, do you have any money on you?", I said, "No I got no money", then she said - "well do you have a card you can get money out of", again I said "No".

    Finally, I thought, I gotta get out of this mutha fucker, so I said "Err how about you give me your phone number and I'll call you?", and she said, "No.", and I said "why not?", and she said, "because I know you won't call", then I said "Do you trust me?". Then I got my bag and left, fucking showed her.

    As I was walking down the stairs I saw their posters and thought, oh yeah, I think I know who these fuckers are.

    Anyway, I blame myself for going and not thinking. Be careful of so called "free" i.q tests - they're out to brainwash you.

    Lately I've spotted a UFO cult in my neighborhood, the Raelians. These bitches are everywhere (cults) and you'll be surprised at their membership numbers, it's fucked up society we live in.
  • by nimblebrain (683478) on Monday September 08, 2003 @03:36AM (#6897918) Homepage Journal

    I can't resist...

    "Hmmm, well isn't that special. Posting links to church secrets. Who could be behind this? I just can't imagine who...

    Could it be... THETANS?"

    Props to the Church Lady :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2003 @05:23AM (#6898153)

    The Church of Scientology knows what they're doing, at least in terms of getting their sites highly listed in Google.

    I was doing research on drug addiction, and did searches for 'marijuana addiction', 'lsd addiction', 'cocaine addiction', and 'heroin addiction'.

    The first (or second) listed sites for each of those searches turned out to be Narconon sites. Narconon is a Scientology front group. see http://www.crackpots.org/ [crackpots.org] for more info.

    Narconon is not to be confused with Narcotics Anonymous, which is a legit organization. The name similarity is probably intentional (on the part of Narconon).

    So the next time you're looking for drug addiction info on Google, keep an eye out for Narconon pages, and if you have no love for Scientology, don't link to them. They seem to be doing well enough already...

  • by touretzky (215593) on Monday September 08, 2003 @11:49AM (#6900342) Homepage
    Last week I published a confidential Scientology document showing that the cult expects to kill other members the same way they killed Lisa McPherson. The document is a release form saying that Scientology cannot be held liable if they seize a mentally ill member, hold them in isolation against their will, and subject them to Scientology processing in lieu of emergency psychiatric care. Even if the member is injured or dies, Scientology cannot be sued. (These terms are probably unenforceable.)

    Both scanned and HTMLed versions of the document are available on my web site [cmu.edu] at Carnegie Mellon.

    For News [cmu.edu] picked up the story, as did the New York Post [cmu.edu]. But the local papers in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida (where a major Scientology bas is located) have not covered the story. I think they're afraid to touch it, even though their own readers' lives are at risk. Maybe someone should ask the Tampa Tribune [tampatrib.com] and the St. Petersburg Times [sptimes.com] why they've lost their nerve.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus

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