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Zenon Panoussis

«The [Church of Scientology] abuses its right to intellectual property in order to be able to violate others' right to their material property. In short, the CoS uses such institutions of democracy as law and law enforcement bodies in order to undermine central values of democracy and democracy itself.» — Zenon Panoussis, ARS post, August 1996.

Wikipedia: Zenon Panoussis

After three years of repeated requests and demands by Scientology to remove the NOTs documents from the public record, in the year 2000 Parliament finally enacted a clause of Swedish secrecy law to order the NOTs documents sealed away from public view. This move provoked a number of legal scholars in Sweden to issue protests, noting that the move effectively meant that copyright law overruled the Constitution of Sweden. Debate on the matter has not ended as of 2002.

Unbiased columnism, day 0: Poor guy versus multinational cult

Scientology had claimed almost two million dollars in legal fees, a ridiculously high amount for Swedish standards, but even this 150,000 dollars was unprecedented. Hardly surprising, Zenon couldn't pay that money, and Scientology confiscated most of his salary in The Netherlands. For more than two years he has been living under the level of minimum subsistence; and yet, what Scientology confiscates every month doesn't even cover the legal interest on the main sum. The most cynical aspect of all this is that afterwards, in my case the Dutch court ruled that the OTs should be regarded as having been legally published, a ruling that was to a great extent based on testimonies delivered - guess - in Zenon's court case.

Zenon vs the Church of Scientology

Zenon Panoussis has been sued by the Church of Scientology because he posted the secret writs of Hubbard, the so called OTs (from the Fishman Papers), and the even more secret NOTs, on the Internet.

The OT documents, until recently only available to the most trusted members of scientology, tells the story of the evil galactic emperor Xenu, and the NOTs contain detailed instructions on how to get rid of all the dead alien spirits scientologists call body thetans.

Modemac: Zenon Panoussis

On the surface, this seems like a case of genuine enforcement of the copyright laws. Unlike the affair over the OT levels, it seemed at first as if Scientology was genuinely protecting its copyrighted "trade secrets" this time.

However, this case may not be as cut-and-dried as it seems. It appears that Scientology's hasty actions may have resulted in an illegal search and seizure of Zenon's property. Here is Zenon's message explaining the possible illegality of the raid.

Posting the NOTs

The right of expression is another basic right that I believe in and that is generally accepted. The right of expression is not a democratic right, in the sense that it doesn't need democracy to exist. On the contrary, democracy needs the right of expression for its own existence. The right of expression is a right that is not given, but taken, by force if necessary, more or less as the right to life.

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