Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Censorship Your Rights Online

Wayback Machine Purged of Scientology Criticism 443

muldrake writes "The Wayback Machine, an archive of websites as they appeared in their past incarnations, is reported by CNET in this story as having censored the Scientology-critical, in a repeat of the heavy-handed tactics used against Google as reported in this previous Slashdot thread."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wayback Machine Purged of Scientology Criticism

Comments Filter:
  • What the hay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:33PM (#4323132) Homepage Journal
    What is it about these scientologists that they can get away with this? The same bill of rights that allows their crazy cult to exist is the same one that allows me to make fun of them. If I had the money I would make the mother of all anti-scientologist websites. If you are a scientologist and are reading this, I invite you to my house.
    It's one thign to believe in an all powerful deity that created the universe.
    It's another thing to believe in a book that some guy wrote, because some other guy bet that he couldn't create a religeon.

    Doesn't anyone have balls anymore?
  • why in the... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Skal Tura ( 595728 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:34PM (#4323140) Homepage
    Why do they censor some sites, i thought their job was to preserve everything, not just some things.
  • Re:What the hay? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:35PM (#4323148) Journal
    What is it about these scientologists that they can get away with this?

    They have a deep understanding of the power and reach of the legal system. They also have deep pockets to finance squelching operations.
  • by brooks_talley ( 86840 ) <brooks@frn k . com> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:36PM (#4323160) Journal
    It's just a matter of time before those cultists^H^H^H^H^H^Hmaniacs^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hspiritual ly enlightened folks get a federal law passed making it a capital offense to say things like "scientology is a cult" or "scientology is a scam" or "scientology may be slightly imperfect."

    Really, though, this greatly reduces the value of the wayback archive, since it can no longer be considered canonical. I wonder what else they're omitting?

  • by sam31415 ( 558641 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:38PM (#4323181) Journal
    Fact: Most people on the net have probably never heard of the Wayback Machine.

    Fact: Most people on the net have probably never heard of, either.

    Fact: People on the net have, however, heard of major news outlets.

    Fact: Censorship is always a great topic for the major news outlets to cover, because it helps portray the image that they would never do such a thing with their coverage.

    Conclusion: What was the Church of Scientology thinking? This move will only increase the number of people hitting
  • it's an old public relations adage: "there is no such thing as bad publicity." learn your simple lessons in life scientologists!

    i know about ONLY because of scientology's fervent attacks on it. if you elevate something up to such consternation, you only ignite everyone else's curiosity about what concerns you so much about something. how does scientology defeat by IGNORING it. letting it fade into obscurity. the more they attack, the more we all know about it, "we all" being those who could care less about scientology one way or the other. and therefore, we now all know about scientology's seedy underside. and therefore, us neutrals now DO care about scientology... that is, we don't care much for it! lol ;-P
  • by phr2 ( 545169 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:46PM (#4323230)
    You've misread the article. It's Scientology that wants the Wayback Machine to stop archiving, since criticizes Scientology, so Scientology threatened It's sort of as if Microsoft wanted the Wayback Machine to stop archiving Slashdot. wants to be archived. Putting up a robots.txt file to stop archiving is the last thing they'd do.
  • Re:Some people... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KPU ( 118762 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:48PM (#4323239) Homepage
    Robots.txt contains instructions to spiders for the website on which it is hosted. does not have a robots.txt, so it is listed on google and the Wayback machine. Fortunately, scientology can't just make a robots.txt that blocks
  • Re:What the hay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:48PM (#4323240) Journal
    "If I had the money "

    But you don't and they do. If someone will make it their life's mission to fuck you in ever possible way without relent for all of their existence, would you bother messing with them.

    In others its the American way personified, money buys justice, and he with the most money wins.

    I used to sneer at blanket statements like that, but anyone who disagrees at this point is living in LaLa-Land.
  • Consequences. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @07:05PM (#4323343)
    But you don't and they do. If someone will make it their life's mission to fuck you in ever possible way without relent for all of their existence, would you bother messing with them.

    You know, one day they're gonna fuck with the wrong person--say, a Tim McVeigh type--bankrupt the hell out of them, ruin their life, the usual. And at that point, when said person has nothing much to live for anymore and certainly nothing to lose, Scientology HQ will go up in a big orange-red ball of ammonium nitrate and diesel oil.

    Frankly, I'm surprised that it hasn't happened already. But with their present behavior, it's only a matter of time.

  • I don't get it... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MrSeb ( 471333 ) <mrseb@mrs[ ]com ['eb.' in gap]> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @07:24PM (#4323455) Homepage
    Whether or not it's censorship, lack of free-speech, whatever. THEY HAVE THE WORK COPYRIGHTED.

    Mod me down, but this has to be said.

    Copyright laws exist to protect the authors -- they might be using the law pretty heavy-handedly, but it's the law, they can use it.

    When someone violates the GPL (a copyright breach, in effect), we go mental at that person until they release the code again under the GPL.

    This is the same thing, it's just the copyright holder isn't held in such high asteem as linux/opensource, whatever. It doesn't mean that they can't use the law. The law is available to everyone, for whatever purpose.
  • Freenet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commonchaos ( 309500 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @07:40PM (#4323574) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps something like this could be a catalyst for getting the word out for things like Freenet. Instead of putting actual content on the web. Put up a link into Freenet or the like with instructions included on how to get Freenet working.
  • Re:What the hay? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rgmoore ( 133276 ) <> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @07:40PM (#4323575) Homepage

    The idea that he with the most money wins is partially true, but it doesn't cover everything. Yes, it's true that if one side has deep pockets and the other doesn't, the side with deep pockets can frequently bury the other in piles of procedural crap until they run out of cash. And it's also true that having a good (i.e. expensive) lawyer can help a lot. But there are limits to what money can get you. If the facts are clearly in the favor of the little guy, all of the lawyering in the world may not be enough to save the big guy. You see this from time to time when somebody wins a big punative damage award from a large company. Think Erin Brockovich, the lady who scalded herself on McDonalds coffee, the people who sued GM over pickup truck safety, etc.

    The other thing to understand is that having lots of money seems to help more if you're the plaintiff than if you're the defendant. That's largely because the plaintiff stands to get damages if he wins, while the defendant only avoids them. That makes it a lot easier for a little guy to get a good lawyer as the plaintiff, since there are plenty of lawyers out there willing to work on contingency. IOW, if you want to tangle with Scientology, you're better off attacking them with a lawsuit (provided you actually have a case) rather than waiting for them to attack you with one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @07:42PM (#4323590)
    Auditing allows the mind to strengthen itself.

    Unfortunately, when delivered in a high-pressure, hard-sell environment where everyone ignores and suppresses uncomfortable opinions, the power of auditing is diluted to uselessness. Auditing cannot be fully effective when there is turmoil in the recipient's life, and from what I've seen and heard, many Scientology orgs are exactly as I have described here.

    The Church appears to have been declining steadily since the late 1960s, and many older "excommunicated" Scientologists will confirm that. After Hubbard died, it really hit the wall.

    Scientology is like a powerplant run by monkeys. It has so much potential to do so much good, but it's next to impossible to get even one volt out of it because of all the constant games and screwing around that goes on. If you try to tell any of the monkeys they ought to be running the powerplant rather than harassing each other, they fling feces at you.

    That, and Hubbard's inexplicable decision to "hide" the upper-level stuff, is why the Church is so crackpot today. I mean, come on now, if people will believe the mushroom fantasy of Revelations, why wouldn't they believe in the whole Xenu story? They're both equally plausible. :)

    I don't buy the idea that reading OT VIII will cause people to get sick or go crazy. A person's bullshit filter is NEVER turned up higher than when he is reading quietly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @07:48PM (#4323627)
    You gotta be's not a "church"..especially not one worthy of capitalizing the word "church".....nothing more than a Cult after your $$$. Isn't it interesting how the members almost always seem to be very rich folks.
  • Re:What the hay? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lugonn ( 555020 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @07:55PM (#4323680)
    You don't see the Apostles suing Gutenburg for copyright infringment. That's the difference. So no, it didn't happen to the Old or New testament.
  • Re:What the hay? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:06PM (#4323752)
    Not only that, their members are encouraged to lie and deceive. They have used slander and libel against their critics and have blackmailed third parties into making false accusations on record.

    The same could be said about the FBI.

    Knowing the bounds of the law and how to exploit them is all part of knowing the law inside and out.
  • by C0LDFusion ( 541865 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:02PM (#4324008) Journal
    Since the Google debacle, I myself felt compelled to join the worldwide battle against the Cult of Scientology.

    Since I've begun, I've met individuals like Arnie Lerma here, as well as Elizabeth Ann Cox, and members of the Lisa McPherson Trust. I've talked to people who've been at this for decades.

    They told me stories that before I'd become vocal, would've sounded stupid and impossible. But once I came out to join them for one picket, everything became true.

    I picketed the DC Org earlier this month. I was followed, photographed, questioned, and everything they'd told me was true. That the "Church" would attack and attempt to intimidate anyone who dared speak out.

    This "church" was the first one where it's "parishoners" make fat jokes in public. That anyone who says that it's wrong to censor google is a bigot.

    Scientology is EVIL. Scientology doesn't care about anything but money. Scientology's only consistent results are lawsuits and ex-scientologists. And if Scientology had it's way, everyone would be either dead or a Scientologist.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:27PM (#4324121)
    Make sure that none of the groups listed below has access to your life.
    Applied Scholastics
    Drug Free Marshals
    Inform your child's school that these groups are front groups for scientology and that you do not want these groups to have access in any way to your child.
    Inform you ciy, state, governments that these groups are front groups for scientology.
    Most people are NOT aware of the true nature of scientology.
    Most people feel that a truly evil cult would be discovered and pushed out of our society.
    Most people are too busy to learn about all of the things scientology has done.
    Make sure that you check the connections of Every group you associate with.
  • by Arcturax ( 454188 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:45PM (#4324231)
    I've posted this before, but what the hell, I might as well do it again.

    Basically, Scientology is a terrorist organization/organized crime syndicate based out of the US. In fact, you can very easily compare them to Al Qaida.

    Scientology and Al Qaida share these traits
    - Threats of violence (and actual cases of murders and harm to people) and abuse of host countries legal system against detractors
    - Interference with and infiltration of the governments in the countries they are hosted in
    - Cells operating all over the world
    - Stockpiles of weapons and armed compounds
    - Religious dogma used to control members and threats and violence used to stop members who want to leave from leaving
    - Members are expected to be utterly loyal and are stripped of almost all money and most worldly possessions.
    - Use of torture and inhumane forms of punishment
    - Uses money to attack enemies (for Al Qaide, the US and her allies, for Scientology, it is anyone who detracts from them.)
    - Aims their recruiters at people who are vulnerable or off balance (drug users, the poor).

    Hell, they even went as far as to interfere with medical workers helping 9/11 victims last year in their rush to try to recruit people in a state of shock over what had happened.

    So, when is the Bush administration going to get serious about terrorists in this country and take out America's largest and most heavily financed terrorist organization?

    When is the FBI going to raid Gold Base? Why isn't the Free Winds seized at customs next time it stops by and searched. I bet they find a lot of nose powder on board for the leaders despite the "church"'s insistance that they hate drugs.

    Why don't they look into Clearwater and the CO$'s interference with the government there?

    Why won't they listen to our own Allies who are telling us that the CoS is a big criminal racket?

    So come on Bush admin, if you are going to bomb other countries, why don't you just take care of the terrorist organizations HERE in the US first?
  • by C0LDFusion ( 541865 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @11:54PM (#4325011) Journal
    Most all of what you say is also applicable to the Roman Catholic Church:

    The Catholic Church does not have a policy of "Always attack, never defend.", it does not have an "Office of Special Affairs" that hires P.I.'s. It does not break into government buildings.

    They exist soley to collect money (sure they spend some of it on charitable things but what's with the gold goblets, fine linen robes, vast tracks of land, incredible ornate arcitecture, etc)

    Soley [For the sole purpose of?] for the purpose of money? Maybe in your eyes. According to your theory all religions that exist outside of a few people's basements is for the purpose of collecting money, because many churches/mosques/temples are on expensive tracts of land and are quite ornate.

    They intend to take over the world by converting everyone to their faith and using their vast monetary reserves to pay for votes in government

    You're thinking of the Baptist Church. If the Catholic Church bought votes, the only thing that'd be different is there'd be no abortion and condoms would be outlawed. That'd be pretty much it. And it's a bit different from Scientology, in that Hubbard stated that those who cannot become Scientologists must be "disposed of quietly and without sorrow".

    The worst the Catholic Church will do is excommunicate you, and once you've reached that point, you probably WANT to be excommunicated.

    They encourage their members to NOT read material about other religions, and detractors of the curch

    I've never been told by any member of the clergy to avoid reading anything else. In fact, one priest encouraged me to read everything I could about every other religion.

    So what's the problem again? Oh yea. the RCC has been around for 1500 or so years, and Scientology is only about 20 years old. Older MUST be better. So why not go back to the oldest religions and worship as the Greeks, or the Chineese? The problem is the following:
    1. Scientology tells people they are using a SCIENCE of the mind when they start. There is no SCIENCE in SCIENTOLOGY.
    If the Catholic Church claimed that communion was a SCIENCE, everyone would cry bullshit, but it's fine to hook someone up to a low-power TENS unit and induce a trance state and call it "applied religious philosophy" and "technology"?

    2. RCC's paid for it's crimes in the past and is paying now. As we post, Churches are closing and priests are having to either ditch the only vocation they've known since they were kids, or leave the communities they care about.
    Scientology answers for few of its crimes. Not to mention that they obfuscate the past of their founder and replace it with a fabrication that not only includes falsified stories of Nuclear Engineering and Naval War Injuries, but of travels, and even of his own family, including bigamist marraige practices.

    3. If my pockets are empty, I can still recieve Sacraments at any Catholic Church and I can still partake in communion at any protestant church. I'm not sure about other faiths, though. I do know, however, if I go into a Scientology Org and ask to take Dianetics Auditing, they'll ask where the money is. I tell 'em I'm broke, and they ask about credit cards, they want to know if I have any inheritance, or maybe I could take out a third mortgage...ANYTHING...but I can't get anything for free, except the personality test.
    It's the money factor. People volunteer their money to the Catholic Church. They won't kick you out if you don't tithe. But the Scientology guys will use ANYTHING to get you to drop some Benjamins.

    4. If I fail to show up at mass, I don't get annoying phone calls from guys asking why I haven't been around.
    If you don't show up for regular auditing at the local Scientology Org, you will be called daily, and they'll harass family members who "hold you back". And even if you get 'em to stop, they'll still junk mail you.

    And finally, most other established religions make no claims to be totally compatable with any other. There is no priest who will tell you that you can be a Wiccan and a Catholic at the same time. There is no Rabbi that'll say you can be Jewish AND a Muslim at the same time.
    Scientology claims you can be a Scientlogist and anything else at the same time...and it seems right...until you reach the upper levels and have spent around $500,000 and they tell you L. Ron Hubbard is the Messiah and that all other religions are implants from space aliens.

    In closing, there are BIG differences. Don't compare the two. Until you've done battle with Scientology, it doesn't seem as real as it is. And it's worse than you think.
  • Re:Consequences. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @12:25AM (#4325192)
    He should have bolted to Germany. I'm sure they'd be happy to grant him refugee status, since they don't bend over for the Scientologists like the American court system.
  • Re:Consequences. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Malcontent ( 40834 ) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @03:06AM (#4325726)
    Amazing that "religious intolerance" has become a crime in america. What next? holding people indefinately without charges or access to lawyers? Oh wait a minute never mind.
  • Re:What the hay? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Steeltoe ( 98226 ) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:03AM (#4325863) Homepage
    You don't understand, because you don't seem to know spirituality (but hey, what do I know?). I may- or may not have a little more grasp on it, the area is vast and fuzzy, so it's hard to be concrete. Just hear me out on this and be open minded.

    Scientology uses many popular exercises from Eastern spirituality (eg. many from the Indian Vedic Scriptures) that enhances your life-quality and consciousness. Many of the exercises have been used for many, many ages. Regression-therapy, eye-gazing, etc, are VERY ancient techniques commonly used in many different parts of the world. I even recently read about Maya Indians (completely different continent) using such techniques in order to see auras and heal. This is NOTHING new, except to the western masses.

    THAT is why scientology has succeeded as it has! The people who join and stay have GENUINE experiences. A few people get them in the very beginning and are immediately hooked, others take a little time, but they stay for curiosity and is lured in to believe all the lies when they start opening up to the experiences. This is because in order to have the experiences, you must open up, but then you are also more open to lies and deception. It's a very delicate and vulnerable time.

    I have always been critical of people looking down on cults. I have always felt them incapable to understand the people joining, in order to feel superior or something. Of course they stay because they experience something profound! Just like those who experiment with drugs do. They are not weaker, sometimes they are much stronger than you can imagine. They take a REAL stand for what they believe and they have the guts to do what others just have fancy dreams about: Sacrifice everything in order to "save the world". (Save a world that doesn't WANT to be saved? Haha, Fools ;*). Countless times, such people have become the heroes we admire (but only when history is rewritten to approve of their actions!).

    It's when lies, corruption and power-control is the main theme, that things go wrong. This happens in politics, economics as well as religions. It's the dark egoistic side of humanity, not anything inherently wrong with either of the three institutions (or any institution for that matter).

    When people become aware of this and work toward their REAL goal, not further their own egosentric interests, be it through money or spirit, that you will see real progress. Then, many such cults will simply die because of lack of interest. They will be exposed for who they are.

    To date, western society have been too spiritually immature to really understand such cults. Thus we have a duality where some join and others frown upon their practice. The frowners just don't understand that the joiners seek and obtain genuine experiences, and that alternatives should exist where lies and deception are not the norm. However, with higher awareness, people will simply see the lies for what they are. In a way, cults such as scientology have indeed helped the world risen the awareness of the dangers of seeking your answers in others.

    To conclude:

    1) Scientology is not a new phenomena. Cults that use genuine experiences to induce lies have "always" existed.

    2) Hubbard did not invent his "Tech", he read about them somewhere or got training from someone. Possibly, he had such powerful experiences himself that he did indeed go insane from them. A true spiritual teacher is humble, like Jesus. Hubbard was the excact opposite.

    3) If you're looking for spirituality. Don't read glossy web-pages or listen to people with lofty ideas, big ego (ie, God only speaks to me) and seeking great experiences. Find those who are humble, do real work, and respect and even admire others' opinions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @12:53PM (#4328512)
    You've been marked as an SP.
    Suppressive Person. Enemy of Scientology.
    Probably they hired a PI to check you out. SHRED before you throw away documents.
    YOu might be able to run the license plate to see who the guy is.
    Unless your house is up for sale. [;)
  • by ClevaNickName ( 610849 ) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @01:14PM (#4328754)
    Wow, that was clever. If crap like this keeps getting modded up, I'm gonna have to execute "Operation Headbullet" and put myself out of misery.

System restarting, wait...