All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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The following message was posted on the Internet. The author, Lawrence Wollersheim recently won a $4 million judgment against the Church of Scientology. The church is extremely concerned about the numerous defections and a number of successful lawsuits and criminal proceedings against it, particularly in Europe.
Subject: Emergency message to Internet users interested In protecting the freedom of information in the Internet.
From Lawrence Wollersheim, co-director of FACTNet.
For those of you unfamiliar with me I am a co-director of the United States non profit 501(c)(3) victim advocacy organization and electronic library and archive called FACTNet. We provide electronic information on dangerous cultic groups like Jonestown, Waco, the Swiss Solar Temple and Scientology.
Lately we have focused on public records and research information on Scientology because of the dangerousness [sic] of this group, its economic size and its worldwide history of criminality.
Scientology has responded to our collecting and electronic making available of these public records [sic] by threatening our organization with four lawsuits using three different law firms covering everything from copyright infringement to libel and slander. They have followed and intimidated our staff, attempted to infiltrate to possibly sabotage our organization, threatened our Internet Web page provider with a lawsuit and they have even threatened to sue our secure mail and offices services provider (Mail Boxes, etc.) if they even send another fax for us.
Through Scientology's now notorious overt and covert operations (just one was widespread anonymous mailings calling FACTnet's board of directors and network associates everything from criminals, perverts, con men, CIA operatives to insane), Scientology seems to be taking every step to destroy our ability to archive and preserve public records and research and make those records available to the public who wants them now or who will want this information in the future.
Over the past year FACTNet has been able to survive this onslaught, but we are a small, humbly funded, all-volunteer organization and are getting to the point that if our insurance premium is raised because of all these new threatened lawsuits we will not be able to continue to exist. (We are paying $1,000 a month in insurance now.)
We also are concerned the library and archive may soon be made unavailable to the public because we believe that we are about to be raided and our equipment seized. We believe Scientology is preparing to do a search and seizure of our premises based on false affidavits and illegal applications of copyright law as it applies to religious freedom. This raid expectation is not at all paranoid. This just happened to Dennis Erlich, an outspoken Scientology Internet critic.
Although, our organization is expendable and our staff have come to grips with the fact that we may be run out of operation by the Nazi tactics of Scientology, the information in our library is not expendable and much of it is not replaceable. We urgently need you to help us frustrate this new "electronic book and library burning" evolution of Nazism for the '90s called Scientology. Do this by downloading as much of our library as you can to safe places around the world and helping get our report out.
It is very important for you to help us tell the Internet and non Internet world what is happening to us. Pass and copy this message to other BBSs, other libraries and library associations, and other Internet Newsgroups so that everyone who should know about this new Scientology form of electronic book and library burning and intimidation on the Net will be informed. (We simply do not know everyone to turn to and who is best out there to help us frustrate Scientology's efforts to destroy our library and to curtail Internet freedom of information.)
If others are informed maybe they will know what to do to creatively and ethically show this cult the power of free and open dialog and what will happen to them when brave individuals and brave coalitions are willing to fight for this valuable freedom which libraries and archives such as FACTNet help preserve.
For those faint hearted who have heard what Scientology does to its critics, take heart. It is not generally known, but if you can last through the harassment Scientology is horribly unsuccessful in the courts. It really has no victories other than intimidating critics by spending or scaring them into silence. Like cowards, Scientology usually only attacks those who have no insurance or whom they believe are weak or they can intimidate or wear down.
If you are going to help you must act now. We have only a matter of a few weeks left before we may lose our insurance and be forced to go off line because of Scientology's activities. Begin downloading all of or the best of our library so the information is preserved.
Our direct BBS number in the U.S. is 1-303-530-1942. Call this number with your computer modem and follow the instructions on the screen. (There is no downloading charge and the downloading is unlimited.) Thank you for your help, ideas and courage in advance.
Lawrence Wollersheim is co-founder and executive director of FACTNet, Denver, Colorado. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.