Doug's Interest in Scientology

Doug is a lawyer,

and as such is extremely interested in the social conventions by which we order our lives. On May 19, 1995, a large corporation held a raid in Miami on a private citizen's home, assisted by the United States Marshals Service. This citizen was accused of no crime. But, under our copyright law, said citizen is apparently denied the protection to his home and hearth guaranteed by the United States Constitution's Fourth Amendment. The heinous act that abrogated this person's constitutional rights was that the corporation *said* that he violated their copyright. Without giving him even a chance to respond, the court authorized the corporation, its computer experts, its lawyers, and other as yet unidentified persons to enter his home over his objection and virtually run rampant throughout his house, seizing his property, seizing and reading his private correspondence with his lawyer, and sifting through his wife's underwear drawer, where they made annoying, inappropriate and embarrassing remarks about her choice of undergarments. During this entire fiasco, the homeowner, his wife, and a houseguest were held under arrest by the U.S. Marshals, subjected to the embarrassment but unable to do anything about it, restrained by the awesome authority of the United States Government.

What, you ask, does this have to do with Scientology? When I was asked to help this person in December of 1995, he had been bankrupted by his legal expenses and by the corporation using his private files to run him out of business. I was repulsed by the blatant misconduct (the foregoing is my analysis and opinion only, libel lawyers) and started to research the issue. Imagine my surprise when I found that almost all the relevant cases involved the "Church of Scientology." The Scientologists invaded Dennis Erlich, a former high-ranking member in the church, in Southern Californa. They invaded Arnie Lerma in Virgina. They invaded Grady Ward, a computer expert only tangentially involved with the church and never a member, in northern California. The case files were replete with Church of Scientology cases alleging copyright and trade secret violations. Now curious, I ran "church of scientology" in lexis and got over a thousand hits. This has to be the most litigious group in the history of mankind.

What were they doing? Apparently the founder of Scientology, Lafayette Ron Hubbard, said that the purpose of courts is to harass, and the purpose of a lawsuit is to silence and destroy critics. Erlich, Lerma, and Grady Ward were guilty of posting excerpts from some of the most ridiculous religious dogma of all time to the internet. Dogma which the church claims is copyrighted and protected by trade secret status, and which the critics claim is so ridiculous that if people (Raw Meat in Scientologist language) find out about it, the church will never get any converts. So the church filed for temporary restraining orders to keep *you* from finding out their dogma. If the Scientologists have their way, Hubbard's incoherent ravings will remain their secrets until you pay the approximately $325,000 that they charge their converts for it.

All of this litigation is not without its consequence. Some critics are intimidated and afraid to speak, but in attacking the internet, the Scientologists have found a beast like the hydra. As they silence one head, twenty spring forth.

Welcome to one of those heads.

Lisa McPherson did not survive Scientology.
She has a number of memorials on the web, and there will be a candlelight vigil and protest march for her in Clearwater, Florida on December 5 and 6th. Scientologists are attempting to use their magazine, laughingly named "FREEDOM" magazine, to discredit the cops investigating Lisa's death. Watch this site for a report of the picket and vigil, and more information on the Scientologists' war with the Clearwater authorities.

One of the most impressive heads on the hydra is a professor at Carnegie Mellon named David Touretzky. He has eclectic tastes also, and this link points to his home page which has numerous links and information about scientology (Look toward the bottom of the page). If you are interested in going straight to something about Scientology, try this one. This site addresses an aspect of scientology called OT- III, a fascinating piece of space opera that the scientologists claim as religious dogma. It is so ridiculous and fantastic that I would not have believed it, had I not seen it in Lafayette Ronald Hubbard's own handwriting.

A little aside about the wonders of doing research on the internet. All previous analyses of this writing have rendered the word about two thirds of the way down the page as "loyal." Having gained access to an image of the original handwritten text courtesy of the internet, I am inclined to render it as "royal." While royal does not fit into the text quite as aptly or easily as loyal, apt and ease are not the objects of historical research. Accuracy is. What exactly did Hubbard mean? It is hard to tell; he apparently founded a religion on the hallucinations he underwent in the delirium tremens caused by his long term abuse of alcohol and "pinks and greys" . Your humble servant in intellectual curiosity-doug johnson