Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Church of Scientology wields the DMCA, Google removes xenu.net

By arcade in News
Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:46:36 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

Yesterday, I posted this story about how xenu.net no longer shows up in results returned from Google. Now, more information has turned up. The Church of Scientology is wielding the DMCA!

Update [2002-3-21 23:18:44 by rusty]: Google relists xenu.net! Slashdot has some more info, much of which came from the threads below in the first place. Hurray for Google! And hurray for all of you for making a fuss about it.

Update [2002-3-22 11:33:38 by rusty]: Celebrating too early? Erik Moeller points out that it appears Google has only relisted the index page of xenu.net.


Yesterday, I speculated about googlebombing being the reason for xenu.net no longer being returned from Google. Things have changed a bit, and more information is available now. First of all, Google now returns a lot of pages from xenu.net, just not the ones mentioned in the link above. In addition, ranking of various xenu.net pages is now totally skewed compared with how many links to the site.

The Church of Scientology has abused the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to get Google to remove a bunch of links. Google caved at once, even though they claim that they do not remove pages. To quote Google: Since Google is committed to providing thorough and unbiased search results for our users, we cannot participate in the practice of censoring information on the world wide web. This, apparently, is no longer Google's policy.

In addition, Google can be reached at help@google.com, and press@google.com - if you've got opinions about this.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Should Google yield to threats about the DMCA?
o Yes 6%
o No 93%

Votes: 143
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Slashdot
o Google
o this
o xenu.net
o Google [2]
o wielding the DMCA
o xenu.net [2]
o Slashdot [2]
o Erik Moeller points out
o googlebomb ing
o claim
o Also by arcade


Display: Sort:
Church of Scientology wields the DMCA, Google removes xenu.net | 250 comments (225 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
Any search engines really in the free world? (4.00 / 4) (#3)
by AndrewH on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:59:07 AM EST

At the moment the first matches for “operation clambake” on www.google.co.uk, www.google.de and www.google.fr point to www.xenu.net/archive/WIR/, not blackholed pagers.
John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
XENU HAS LEFT THE BUILDING (1.85 / 7) (#12)
by dukethug on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:24:20 AM EST

Great news! Xenu.net is back on Google! Results of Google search for "Operation Clambake"

This is way cool- I was playing on Google this morning, and thinking of the article from yesterday, typed in "Operation Clambake"- much to my surprise, I got two results from xenu.net, followed by a whole bunch of scientology crap. Then, when I saw this article in the queue, and ran the query again, I got a whole bunch of links to xenu.net!!! Joy! Happiness! Faith in Google restored!

Really interesting though- the first results returned link to the archives, NOT the xenu.net main page...you can't stop the DMCA, you can only hope to contain it...

Nope (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by Eloquence on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:36:27 AM EST

You didn't read the story. Co$ only wanted specific URLs removed from the index as per the DMCA, and these are still removed.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
guilty as charged (none / 0) (#25)
by dukethug on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:57:19 AM EST

When I saw that I could get results from xenu.net, I raced over here to post the story, only to find that I was beaten, so I posted my comments in a hurry. At least I got to be there as the pages came back up, though...

[ Parent ]

Need to show what RTC is doing (4.33 / 6) (#13)
by BadDoggie on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:27:04 AM EST

(This is editorial as well as topical)

At first, I only thought this was about the Google Cache (unwittingly) having a bunch of NOTs and OT levels, which could be removed and excluded and I wouldn't bitch too much about that, since it's been upheld in US Courts (although a Dutch Google would be able to cache the stuff). Then I saw what it was about.

Proof that this has happened exists. Simply try Google yourself. Xenu.net and clambake.org are also not known for propaganda and lies, unlike a certain cult involved in this. This story addresses two VERY important threats to freedom on-line and off: Scientology and the DMCA

The DMCA is stacked in the Plaintiff's favour. If a complaint is received, the affected person(s) must act & respond first, then ask questions later. *IF* Google wants to respond. Google could request proof for each citation and Scientology would then drag this out for a while.

You do NOT want to fuck with RTC and their barratrous, more-evil-than-anything-you-can-name lawyers, and Google knows this.

Google could try suing Scientology for fraud if this claim can't hold up, but I don't think they'll ever sell enough of their search appliances to be able to afford a legal battle with the CoS. Xenu.net & Clambake could also sue for the fraud or misrepresentation, but it would help if they're somehow losing money (fewer banner ad impressions) so they can hit CoS with Restraint of Trade complaints.

It'll be expensive. This is going to cost money and freedom. I'm willing to part with some more money to protect a few remnants of freedom, so if Google starts a Defense-from-CoS fund, I'll donate, so long as it doesn't use PayPal.

Front Page!

woof.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.

Come back when you've actually read the DMCA (4.75 / 4) (#95)
by sigwinch on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:35:43 PM EST

The DMCA is stacked in the Plaintiff's favour. If a complaint is received, the affected person(s) must act & respond first, then ask questions later.
This is completely wrong. The DMCA allows an information service to commit reckless copyright infringement, yet be totally immune from prosecution if they cease infringing immediately when informed.

There are only two possibilities in this case:

1. The material *was* a copyright violation and Google could have been forced to remove it regardless of the DMCA. In this case the DMCA protects them from the CoS. It wouldn't matter if the infringement had provably caused the CoS $100 billion in direct royalty losses: the court would let Google off.

2. The mateial was *not* a copyright violation but Google is a bunch of gutless wonders who get down on their knees and suck Scientologist cock at every opportunity.

The evidence at hand supports #1: Xenu.net (at least the last time I checked) *did* have material copyrighted by the CoS. Like it or not, copyright can be used to restrict publication for political purposes. The evidence at hand fails to support #2: if Google was really caving in, Xenu.net would have been completely removed from the index, as would all other unfavorable anti-CoS sites. As it is, Google is loaded with very vocal anti-Scientology pages.

You do NOT want to fuck with RTC and their barratrous, more-evil-than-anything-you-can-name lawyers, and Google knows this.
You do not fuck with Google. A viable business that is unreachable by Google simply does not exist to many potential customers, and the Scientology war chest gets major funding from high-tech, information-rich companies. A search engine can wield tremendous power simply by boycotting its enemies, and this power will only grow in the future.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

not quite correct (3.00 / 1) (#167)
by martingale on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:02:08 PM EST

  1. The material *was* a copyright violation and Google could have been forced to remove it regardless of the DMCA. In this case the DMCA protects them from the CoS. It wouldn't matter if the infringement had provably caused the CoS $100 billion in direct royalty losses: the court would let Google off.
  2. The mateial was *not* a copyright violation but Google is a bunch of gutless wonders who get down on their knees and suck Scientologist cock at every opportunity.
This isn't about the purported copyright violation at all. Here is the DMCA, and here is a memo, commissioned by the Association of Research Libraries, which I'm basing the rest of this post on.

Google is not at all interested in the merits of the complaint (whether it's a copyright infringement) nor is it qualified to decide (I think you'd need a judge for that). Google wants (and needs) to be an Online Service Provider (OSP) with a certain code of conduct described in the DMCA. This code of conduct limits Google's liability, and if it ever breaks it, all bets are off.

So, what is this code of conduct? Essentially, it's the same that applies to ISPs and telephone service carriers. In the case of OSPs, the conditions are

  1. Material. The material made available is not the OSP's own, nor can the OSP modify it, or store it for longer than "reasonably necessary". Finally, the OSP cannot have "actual knowledge" that the material is infringing some copyright.
  2. Parties to the transmission. The OSP does not initiate transmission between parties, nor select recipients or allow a third party access during transmission, nor receive a financial benefit directly attributable to any infringing activity.
  3. The transmission and provision of service must be an automatic, technical process, and the OSP cannot interfere with extra rules and regulations (eg require passwords or fees)
  4. The OSP must comply with "notice and takedown" procedures, and "counter notice and put back" procedures.
With respect to the first condition, you'll note that, provided Google doesn't "look" at the material it gives access to, it won't have "actual knowledge" about possible infringements. The last condition is the relevant one here. The "notice and takedown" procedure means that as soon as someone complains (regardless of the merits) with a list of sites, Google must remove the material, and tell the site owner it did so. If the site owner responds with "notice and put back", Google must reinstate all the material within 14 days, unless there's a court referral.

You'll note that Google did exactly that in the xenu case.

(personal rant now) Viewed in this light, I think the main technical problem with this part of the DMCA are the "notice and takedown/put back" requirements. We all know that most of the web is stale, ie web pages haven't been updated in ages and original authors have moved on or cannot be found. What is Google to do in this case? Is it liable if it can't contact the original author? Basically, I think I could find old websites on the net and complain to Google about them, they would have to remove them from the database, and if nobody at the other end complains, that's that.

The DMCA does state that misrepresentations of copyright claims to the OSP, if found to be so, make the claimant liable for damages and attorneys fees. But that would require extra legal action by the OSP and/or the victim. The way I interpret this (IANAL and all that) is that the onus of proof lies, at first, not with the claimant of the copyright, to prove that the work is indeed theirs (CoS in this case), but with the offender, to prove that it isn't somebody else's (Xenu in this case). If I'm not mistaken, this is a nightmare.



[ Parent ]
DMCA (5.00 / 1) (#184)
by sigwinch on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:06:34 PM EST

This isn't about the purported copyright violation at all.
Yes, it is. The Co$ swore, under penalty of perjury, that Google's presentation of the works violated copyright, and that the Co$ was legally able to assert copyright over the works. They are unlikely to lie about something like this because damn near everybody could sue them for damages, and the public prosecutor could throw them in jail.

The DMCA changes nothing. Under classical copyright law, the Co$ would be able to give Google the exact same cease-infringment order, and would be able to sue Google in exactly the same way if Google didn't comply. The only thing the DMCA adds is that, if Google complies promptly, they get blanket absolution for the infringement. Under classical copyright law, the Co$ could sue Google out of existence for the violations they have already committed.

The way I interpret this (IANAL and all that) is that the onus of proof lies, at first, not with the claimant of the copyright, to prove that the work is indeed theirs (CoS in this case), but with the offender, to prove that it isn't somebody else's (Xenu in this case). If I'm not mistaken, this is a nightmare.
That's my interpretation too.
Basically, I think I could find old websites on the net and complain to Google about them, they would have to remove them from the database, and if nobody at the other end complains, that's that.
99% of the time, you'll get away with it. Once in a while, though, it'll be someone like a Senator's cousin you fuck over. They'll pull strings you didn't even know existed, subpoena everything they can get their hands on, find the other sites you maliciously censored, and the attorneys for the U.S. will charge you with one count of criminal fraud for each of them. If you're especially unlucky, they'll put all the censored authors in touch and you'll be facing a class action lawsuit and maybe a RICO lawsuit.

It's no different than any other area of law: if you kick people at random, someday you'll come across somebody who kicks back. You may be some asshole anarchist or a wealthy group like the Co$, but indiscriminate attacks will bring you down.

Here's some food for thought: Suppose there were no DMCA, and that you were an author/artist whose livelihood depended on enforcing your copyrights on the Internet. Suppose you find a major, blatant infringer who's costing you lots of revenue. You don't know who they are: no name, no email address, no contact information at all. Just an anonymous warez site. So you talk to their ISP. The ISP can't be bothered with your puny losses, and they won't say a word about who the client really is. What do you do? There is only one option: full-blown federal lawsuit, meaning you'd better have a spare $5000 just lying around.

With the DMCA: most ISPs register with the copyright office, and pay attention to cease-infringement orders. It costs them little and they're guaranteed total financial protection as long as they make a good faith effort to work with the disputing parties.

As it stands right now, it's possible to make a living doing cool little sites (fan fiction libraries, humor, tech reviews, whatever). People like that could be killed off in the blink of an eye under classical coypright law. With the DMCA they can yank a couple of files, temporarily if there was a mistake, and keep on truckin'. That's my take anyway.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

hmm... (none / 0) (#202)
by martingale on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 12:43:15 AM EST

This isn't about the purported copyright violation at all.
Yes, it is. The Co$ swore, under penalty of perjury, that Google's presentation of the works violated copyright, and that the Co$ was legally able to assert copyright over the works.
Okay, my blanket statement was misleading: I meant to say that Google wasn't acting because *it* was violating copyright (Xenu was), but it was acting because if wanted to *keep* its exemption status.

Having read your reply, I am not so sure anymore. I think it can be argued that Google's cache implies a reproduction of the work, hence copyright infringement on Google's part. But it's not entirely clear to me *whose* copyright they're infringing in this respect. Do they infringe on Xenu's (I would think) or on CoS's or both? If it's both this could get very tricky. If it's only Xenu's, then it's a matter between CoS and Xenu.

Of course, that also depends on how Xenu packaged CoS's material. I haven't seen the actual pages, but if they are marked up with Xenu's comments say, it would probably qualify as a derivative work. Then Google infringes on Xenu's copyright. If the contentious web pages are simply copies of CoS documents, then the copyright properly belongs to CoS and google's cache infringes a CoS copyritht.

Now just to follow this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, suppose that Google blocks the cached copy of Xenu's web pages. It should be in the clear then, since simply linking to the address should be permitted (*), and the little paragraph they display is clearly a fair use quote.

(*) This is kind of tricky, since the 2600 case would seem to say otherwise. My point of view: Google is providing a link to Xenu based upon a query of "Scientology", which is not in and of itself a search for CoS copyrighted documents. So it's not reasonable for a judge to block Google's link since the link's primary purpose is to find information on "Scientology", not "Scientology copyrighted works".



[ Parent ]
Poll option: Cull cached content (1.75 / 4) (#15)
by Vs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:31:23 AM EST

I don't think that Google can/should be forced to remove results, although they clearly shouldn't cache copyright controled content.
--
Where are the immoderate submissions?
Re: Cull cached content (4.00 / 2) (#36)
by alisdair on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:22:28 AM EST

[Google] clearly shouldn't cache copyright controled content.

That'll be all content, then.

[ Parent ]

Better get rid of libraries too, then... (4.66 / 3) (#65)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:40:08 PM EST

Man, those libraries. Letting people read copyrighted material - even copying it! for free?

Crazy I tell you, these IP criminals.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Libraries (none / 0) (#88)
by Vs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:22:18 PM EST

...even copying it! for free?
Uhm, you haven't been to a library recently and read the terms of use?

You are not unconditionally allowed to make copies.
--
Where are the immoderate submissions?
[ Parent ]

granted.. (none / 0) (#90)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:24:35 PM EST

I dont visit physical libraries much these days, since most of my research articles can be located online and UT's online systems are fantastic (generally, if its on paper, its also in their online archives). Since I dont pay for this (aside from being a student), I get to copy and print out the articles for free.

However, they do have copy machines.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Copyrighted content? (none / 0) (#215)
by tekue on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 05:21:06 AM EST

All content is copyrighted, by their respective authors. The thing is that:
  1. Site owners are more than welcome to stop Google (and other search engines for that matter) from indexing their sites using standard, well known techniques -- such as robots.txt
  2. If some website infringes copyright, the copyright owner should deal with that site, not Google.
Prosecuting Google for caching would be like prosecuting me for videotaping someone infringing a copyright (a singer performing on stage other people's work without their permit for example). If I videotape someone like that, and even show the tape to some people, I don't think I'm liable for infringing copyright, at least not the song writer's.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]
Twisted (none / 0) (#227)
by Vs on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 10:31:30 AM EST

All content is copyrighted
Please don't turn my words around in my mouth. You already pointed out what I meant, although I think I should be able to ask Google to remove copies of my stuff that shouldn't have gotten there in the first place.

If you find a CD on the street, you're still not suddenly allowed to distribute thousands of copies.
--
Where are the immoderate submissions?
[ Parent ]

Oh, come on.. (none / 0) (#245)
by tekue on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 05:08:36 AM EST

You already pointed out what I meant, although I think I should be able to ask Google to remove copies of my stuff that shouldn't have gotten there in the first place.
Well, DOH!

Oh, wait, you mean from someone else's webpage? Well, contact the server's administrator or file a suit. When it's off the web, I'm sure Google will be happy to remove it from their index (in fact, they'll do it automagicly).
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

Simply appalling.... (3.75 / 8) (#19)
by Kayser Soze on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:40:13 AM EST

If this story is true, and I am fairly convinced it is, it should be the last straw for all people who believe in freedom of speech.

The DMCA has gone *way* too far already. I cannot believe that legislators, in good conscience, would allow a law to pass that not only can knowingly be used as a legislative weapon to prevent free speech, but also assumes guilt, rather than innocence on the part of the accused.

I sincerely believe that xenu.net, as well as similar organizations, have the right to use materials from the Church of Scientology to warn people about what they believe is a sham, at best. I would consider this fair use.

How soon before the DMCA, similar laws, and draconian institutions, such as the Church of Scientology, begin to make the world we live in into a digital version of Fahrenheit 451?

I apologize for sounding rant-y, but I cannot just sit and ignore gross violations of personal rights and the undermining of freedoms. Furthermore, I challenge the Church of Scientology to try and silence me.


"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes

Give over (3.63 / 11) (#28)
by streetlawyer on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:10:46 AM EST

How does posting the full OT3 instructions (a course which CoS sells for thousands of dollars) "warn people"? It would be quite possible to achieve the same effect by publishing, say, half of the instructions, or by publishing extracts which fell under legitimate fair use. It seems clear to me that what xenu.net is trying to achieve in posting the material is to undermine the profitability of Scientology by making their courses available for free to Scientologists who would otherwise pay for them, not really to inform non-believers.

I find myself regarding the Scientologists in a similar way to Robert Mugabe; they are clearly horrible people, but it seems equally obvious that most of their vocal critics are not acting in good faith.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

It's gone beyond (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by jayhawk88 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:20:48 AM EST

At this point, it's gone beyond just the posting of these instructions. Scientology has used the DMCA to effectively remove pretty much all links to xenu.net from Google. Next up to bat is AltaVista and Excite I'm sure.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
Doubtful. (4.75 / 4) (#32)
by Kayser Soze on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:22:13 AM EST

While I see your point, I don't really agree with parts of it.

The way Scientology works, it is doubtful that any of the CoS faithful would get their material from any non-church-sanctioned place, much less an advocate against them (ex. xenu.net). Furthermore, xenu.net has not put itself up in a position that makes it seems likely this is their purpose.

I do agree that it would have been smarter and perhaps make a more well-rounded point to post excerpts from said documents. I doubt, however, that the response form the CoS would have been any different, as there are numerous documented cases of similar things being done by them to people offering up dissenting opinions.


"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes
[ Parent ]

not you, but k5 (5.00 / 3) (#57)
by Sanityman on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:17:59 PM EST

Furthermore, I challenge the Church of Scientology to try and silence me
It's Rusty I'm more worried about. Perhaps you're not old enough to remember Julf and anon.penet.fi?

Sanityman



--
If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
"You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"


[ Parent ]
Agreed. (none / 0) (#72)
by Kayser Soze on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:44:59 PM EST

I would hate to see something like this happen to Kuro5hin. On the other hand, we are some of the most vocal advocates for freedom of speech, both online and off.

If they tried to silence us, it would open up a hornet's nest for them for sure. I'm certain we can be very, very nasty hornets...


"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes
[ Parent ]

Prove it. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by Thaeus on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:06:00 PM EST

I'm a cynic.  Until I see a petition circulating around here with thousands of signatures of Kuro5hin users, I can't believe that we are "some of the most vocal advocates for freedom of speech".  Unless, of course, you just mean that we bitch about it.


----
*click*
----


[ Parent ]
Help me prove it.... (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by Kayser Soze on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:21:31 PM EST

I posted the following petitions near the top of the thread. If you are serious about you freedom, sign the petitions and help prove to yourself how much of freedom advocates we really are. I did.

http://www.petitiononline.com/cofs1/petition.html
http://www.petitiononline.com/nixdmca/petition.html


"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes
[ Parent ]

It'll happen (4.50 / 2) (#89)
by rusty on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:24:06 PM EST

I dread the day, but I'm about 98% positive that it will happen. Luckily, I have good friends with close ties to the EFF, and I've given them all the money and publicity I can. Hopefully the K5 Dogs of War don't turn out to be chihuahuas.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
If it does happen.... (none / 0) (#103)
by Kayser Soze on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:48:13 PM EST

Be sure that I'll pledge my full support to Kuro5hin.

Due to this site providing an open forum for people to discuss issues such as these, I've been made aware of many issues which merit my support. Freedom of speech is one of the most valuable things we have. We would do well to fight to preserve it.

You have my personal thanks, rusty, and that of many other Kuro5hin users as well, I am certain.


"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes
[ Parent ]

Why are you convinced (none / 0) (#152)
by aphrael on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:32:12 PM EST

Why are you convinced that it will happen at some point? Please elaborate. :)

[ Parent ]
Openness + Litigiousness (none / 0) (#153)
by rusty on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:34:53 PM EST

The site is open to contributions from anyone. This country is getting more litigious, especially on copyrights, by the day. At some point, those two things will collide. I have almost no doubt that eventually someone will say something here that a copyright holder doesn't like, and we'll be big enough to make a good target. Only a matter of time.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Eep? (none / 0) (#85)
by unDees on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:13:10 PM EST

Mind explaining that to a newbie? Searches on k5 for those terms don't turn up anything. Or is that the point?

Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
[ Parent ]
anon.penet.fi.... (5.00 / 2) (#121)
by Elkor on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:37:37 PM EST

Was a free anonymizer service ran out of finland up until 1994 or so.

This was before the advent of Free mailing services (hotmail, etc), so if people had your e-mail address they could easily track you down, especially if you had a school or work account (which was the majority of the accounts at the time).

You would send an e-mail to [newsgroupname]anon.penet.fi and it would translate your e-mail address into an anonymous account (originally of the form anon???@, later as an?????@) and forward it, either to another account or to a newsgroup.
People could respond to your anon.penet.fi account and it would be forwarded to you after their own e-mail address was masked, thus allowing anonymous contact unless you told the person your e-mail address inside the body of the message.

The chap running the service (Julf) shut it down (in)voluntarily because he was afraid that the FBI would subpeona the database because people accused him of permitting child porn to be sent through the service. From what I heard, less than 5% of the userbase even sent uuencoded pictures to each other, of which an even smaller portion would be the alleged kiddy porn.

But, he thought it better to shut down the service than risk endangering the identities of the people who used the service.

Regards,
Elkor

"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
It's worth mentioning... (5.00 / 3) (#127)
by Count Zero on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:12:39 PM EST

...That the CoS played a part in the death of anon.penet.fi.

Too bad what happened with ther service. I used to use it quite a bit back in 1994-95.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#229)
by unDees on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 01:24:14 PM EST

Interesting and chilling. Thank you both.

Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
[ Parent ]
Why does this surprise you ? (none / 0) (#144)
by pr0spero on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:55:26 PM EST

Do you HONESTLY believe that these 'Legislators' and other high ranking people that create juch laws (and many others) actually CARE about YOU or the people they are supposed to be serving ? Most government services and functions are (and have been for some time) fucussed on helping companies make more and more money. Why? You ask. Because the US is a Capitalist system which DEPENDS on continual GROWTH to survive. Now most people with a bit of common sense will realise that you cant just grow forever but in the mean time.... "All Hail the AllMighty Dollar"
--------------------------------- For all my screaming and rage, Im still just a rat in a cage. ---------------------------------
[ Parent ]
Blatantly copied from slashdot but... (4.33 / 6) (#29)
by p0ppe on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:18:54 AM EST

Oink.NET: "Check out Google's removal policy for a little more perspective (bold text is their doing, not mine):

"Google views the quality of its search results as an extremely important priority. Therefore, Google stops indexing the pages on your site only at the request of the webmaster who is responsible for those pages. This policy is necessary to ensure that pages are not inappropriately removed from our index.

"Since Google is committed to providing thorough and unbiased search results for our users, we cannot participate in the practice of censoring information on the world wide web.""


"Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."
typo (2.00 / 2) (#30)
by p0ppe on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:20:14 AM EST

The bold test should end with "those pages."


"Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."
[ Parent ]
about the sheep... (none / 0) (#209)
by johwsun on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 01:54:58 AM EST

"Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." At least in democracy the sheep can save the 33% of its body...

[ Parent ]
I wonder... (2.66 / 3) (#33)
by cannis on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:28:32 AM EST

If this makes google responsible for every site
that they link to and/or cache? I wonder if Pennsylvania
will sue google into a pile of rubble for accidently linking
to something illegal. Hmm...

That said, I can find sites on Google that link
to Xenu.net and have xenu.net in the description,
but if I search for xenu.net, it returns 0 sites
found...
I wonder if that is a pre-programmed response?

Oh well, I'll do my part by linking to Xenu.net,
all other webmasters should do the same if they
can.
"you'd probably be the first to blame women for getting raped too.." - infinitera displaying his best debate tactics.
searching for .whatever (5.00 / 1) (#123)
by Elkor on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:43:32 PM EST

I tried doing some of my own searches.

kur5hin.org returned one hit for a club in the google directory.

Mindspring.com returned no hits (an ISP)

aol.com, earthlink.com and kuro5hin.org return directory listings for those sites.

If I search for "Pleasure Paradox" I get a bunch of hits on pages that contain the phrase "Pleasure Paradox."

If I search for "PleasureParadox.com" I get no results.

So, it seems more than it's search database doesn't include the URL as a field that can be searched, and not a conspiracy to keep people from finding a particular site.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
re: google searching (none / 0) (#166)
by Endorphin on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 07:50:37 PM EST

Try +mindspring.com etc...

[ Parent ]
Yep, that helps. (none / 0) (#220)
by Elkor on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 08:19:43 AM EST

Doing a search for +xenu.net in google returns "plenty" of hits.

Hopefully people can get off the conspiracy theory now.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
If this does go to the front page (4.33 / 3) (#34)
by nutate on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:50:03 AM EST

I'd like to hope that my old comment is still apropos. I go into the text of the DMCA that google cites, and the simple solution to all of the problems:

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOARCHIVE">

peace

Petition (4.44 / 9) (#37)
by bollochs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:42:44 AM EST

How about setting up a petition along the lines of - 'I love Google, but will refrain from using it whilst it allows itself to be censored by dubious cults who eat children.'

Between here, Slashdot, MetaFilter, Fark etc. I'm sure lots of signitures could be gathered.

This is bizarre stuff, I mean, what's with the 'regardless of merit' quote? Does that mean that however ridiculous a claim, Google with cave immediately to any legal pressure?

Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
Most excellent idea (none / 0) (#61)
by Hong Kong Phooey on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:33:53 PM EST

Though I suck at writing such things. Is there anyone here with good petition writing skills?

[ Parent ]
I'm not really an activist (none / 0) (#139)
by bollochs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:43:37 PM EST

I'm just pretending to be one. The best way to deal with this is to do what we are doing now. If we make enough noise the mainstream media will pick it up. Petitions are great and all, but bad press is a much more effective motivator. Still, I enjoyed my moment of direct action ;-) Next stop PETA.

Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
[ Parent ]
The Church of Scientology is misunderstood (1.86 / 67) (#39)
by Stick on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:06:54 PM EST

I'm sick of seeing these articles that constantly attack the Church of Scientology when its obvious none of you have any knowledge of the Churches long history, and guiding principles. Some have felt it necessary to spread unfounded rumors about the Church. I do not understand what drives people to take such actions. The Church of Scientology exists to aid in the spiritual development of individuals. It is not an evil organisation that is bent on world dommination. It has been driven to take some legal action in order to defend its good name, however, they have been very restrained in regard to what they could do. I urge you all to look at the situation objectively, and actually do some research on the church before you condem a such fine institution.

scientology.org
exactscientology.net
whatisscientology.org
smi.org
scientology.org.uk


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n

This is probably a troll ... (4.55 / 18) (#40)
by Anonymous American on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:12:55 PM EST

but I'll answer anyway. Regardless of what a fine institution scientology is this behaviour is outrageous. You can't sue a search engine for indexing a page with an opinion that differs from yours.

[ Parent ]
Slander is against the law [nt] (1.46 / 15) (#41)
by Stick on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:16:23 PM EST




---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Slander is also a legal definition (4.27 / 11) (#44)
by notafurry on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:32:15 PM EST

And Scientology has not been slandered.

[ Parent ]
It's not slander if it's true (5.00 / 4) (#97)
by revscat on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:38:56 PM EST

(Obviously, the title of this comment is an oversimplification. But it is also not too far from the truth.) People are upset because a) most of the material posted on the anti-CoS sites are based upon documented evidence, b) attempting to silence these views is considered ethically heinous to most people in the free world, even if they aren't true. I personally find many of the conservative Christian web sites to be slanderous towards Democrats, yet I do not advocate suing them or otherwise attempting to forcibly silence them.

This doesn't bother me much, though. It's yet another case of the Church making brand new enemies out of people who otherwise wouldn't particulalry care. If it would just quit harrasing people... But we are talking about a religion here, so mindless adherance to Hubbard's "attack" dogma is to be expected.



- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
Then... (4.50 / 4) (#99)
by PhillipW on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:39:30 PM EST

why cite the DMCA rather than file a suit for slander?

-Phil
[ Parent ]
More censorship (4.33 / 12) (#42)
by bollochs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:25:04 PM EST

Everyone knows that scientology is about eating children and llamas. If scientology is so great, why not allow people to speak freely about it? Oh look, Scientology Kills, another site that they have tried to censor.


Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
[ Parent ]
I could say the same about people here (2.35 / 17) (#43)
by Stick on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:28:45 PM EST

I have recieved three 1 ratings so far. I expect 0 ratings soon. I have made my point in an inoffensive manner, and I provided links to help educate people about the Church. People here are using the rating system as a tool of censorship, yet you condem the Church when if defends itself from slanderous material.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
CoS sues everyone (4.58 / 12) (#45)
by bollochs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:37:13 PM EST

If you sleep with penguins, what do you expect? The EFF has a good archive of very necessary cases that this fine Church has filed in order to protect its good name.

Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
[ Parent ]
The big difference between CoS and other "cul (3.80 / 5) (#60)
by lb008d on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:30:15 PM EST

It was stated earlier, but perhaps you didn't notice:

Other religions and/or cults don't feel the need to "protect themselves from slanderous material". Why does the CoS feel any different? Why does it hide it's "most sacred texts" behind copyright? Simply to make a huge profit off of them?

If the CoS came out and stated "we're protecting OT texts because we need to make a profit" then I wouldn't mind their relentless legal activities. But as long as they operate under the guise of "religion", they shouldn't be in the for-profit business.

[ Parent ]
I hate to agree, but (4.42 / 7) (#64)
by Sanityman on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:37:24 PM EST

...people, zero rating stuff which is not spam is Wrong. Having said that, Stick, if that is your honest opinion, you should have defended it a lot more than you did. Your original comment implies a vast ignorance of the wealth of material on the web suggesting that the Church has been involved in some dubious practices, including barratry (e.g. Helena Kobrin).

Everyone thinks you're a troll. This should not surprise you. I'm doing you the courtesy of assuming that's not the case, and gracing you with a polite answer. You'll have a tough time convincing people of the Church's good intentions when they know of practices like dead agenting, so good luck. I won't mod down your comments for content alone.

As for full disclosure - I know of the CoS, have researched their methods and history, and know people who are Scientologists, but I am not one myself. Are you affiliated with the CoS in any way?

Sanityman



--
If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
"You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"


[ Parent ]
then address the counterpoints made. (4.00 / 7) (#66)
by Bunny Vomit on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:40:14 PM EST

You do deserve a low rating if you simply make statements like you have and refuse to address the counterpoints brought up.

--
(\_/)
(O.o)
((")(")
[ Parent ]
I'm a busy man (1.75 / 8) (#108)
by Stick on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:00:17 PM EST

I don't have time to counter every point brought up. Many of these queries would be answered by looking through some of the links I provided in the parent topic. However, I have read every comment and will address issues when they cannot be answered by a little research.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
If you haven't got the energy... (4.00 / 4) (#133)
by Robert S Gormley on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:29:03 PM EST

... to provide a rounded argument, don't get annoyed when other people don't provide rounded responses.

[ Parent ]
You've had low ratings... (2.83 / 6) (#77)
by synaesthesia on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:59:13 PM EST

...because you keep posting comments claiming that the CoS is a benevolent organisation, and linking to CoS sites as a supposed means of verifying this.

If you're looking for absolute truth, try here. Or perhaps here.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Its not censorship, its rating (2.25 / 4) (#92)
by baronben on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:27:49 PM EST

As long as a super-mod or what ever they're called doesn't mod you to -1, its not censorship, I would guess that many people read comments at 0, so they see everything, all the rating system is, is a filter for people to read what everyone thinks is the best comments.


Ben Spigel sic transit gloria
[ Parent ]

err, you've mistaken this with another site (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:21:39 PM EST

I noticed from your uid that you must be fairly new here (no offense, just a statement of fact), probably a Slashdot refugee. The moderation system doesn't work like it does on Slashdot. There is no '-1' options. '0' is the lowest it can go, and only then available to Trusted Users. Once a comment dips below a certain point, only Trusted Users can see it (AFAIK, there is no way for regular users to see them).

Incidently, I have Trusted User status, but decided not to moderate the above parent because, even though it smells of a troll, I am aware of my own bias in this situation. Therefore, I have decided not to touch it at all.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Faq (3.00 / 1) (#148)
by baronben on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:04:18 PM EST

If I read the Faq right, I thought there was a -1 type marker for pure spam so that most users won't be able to see it, but then again, I am often proved wrong when presented with actual facts.
Ben Spigel sic transit gloria
[ Parent ]
Perhaps (none / 0) (#149)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:07:43 PM EST

It's been a while since I looked at the FAQ, but if there is such a thing, I don't think it's available to even Trusted Users. Perhaps the site editors have the ability. If they do, I've never heard of them actualy using it.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Zero is the new Minus one. (4.00 / 1) (#154)
by priestess on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:48:54 PM EST

The "-1 type marker" is the zero rating. Only trusted users can give it and once a post drops below an average of one it's hidden from the thread. Trusted users can see it, to correct mistakes, but only on a seperate page.

Zero is the rating that's supposed to be reserved for spam. I've never given one, I've never seen any spam except for in the hidden-comments page. I've seen very little stuff there that isn't spam as well, though it does happen occasionally. I agree that the people who gave the comments in this thread a zero should go change it to a one really, but the rest of the users have taken care of the problem as we should hope so it's not that important.

       Pre..............
----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Reciprocity (3.66 / 3) (#100)
by Lord of the Wasteland on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:42:10 PM EST

As of the time of this comment, you have received no 0 ratings. Ratings of "1" are not censorship, they just mean people thing your arguments are stupid. For instance, wouldn't it be "libelous material" since it's published?

[ Parent ]
Zero Ratings: 4 [nt] (1.00 / 2) (#107)
by Stick on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:58:19 PM EST




---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
I gave you a zero (4.22 / 9) (#112)
by binaryalchemy on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:09:27 PM EST

because you seemed to be a troll. I have taken it back to a 1 now because as far as I can tell you truly believe what you say. It will remain a 1, however, because:
  1. You don't back up your claims with sources other than the CoS.
  2. You are dodging questions and responses posted to you.
  3. Despite whatever convictions you may have, you still sound like a troll. Thereby resulting in a 1 for lack of quality.

------
Defending the GPL from a commercial perspective is like defending the Microsft EULA from a moral perspective. - quartz
[ Parent ]
Defending against slanderous material ... (5.00 / 3) (#150)
by aphrael on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:29:16 PM EST

(1) How is threatening Google, which is effectively a common carrier, defending itself?

(2) It would seem to me that the best way to defend yourself against slander is to speak out, and to demonstrate to all who care to listen that you are right and the slanderer is wrong. Suing people simply deprives them of their right to speech.

[ Parent ]

Fine institution? (4.55 / 9) (#46)
by radiantx on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:46:33 PM EST

It is clear to me, that the CoS does not endorse discussion, and act very aggressively when criticized. I reserve the right not to think of institutions who consider themselves to be Right and others to be Wrong as fine.



[ Parent ]
In their defense (3.75 / 4) (#74)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:48:56 PM EST

In the CoS's defense, *every* orginzation think it is right and others are wrong (at least, other orgs that directly relate to their cause). The EFF thinks the RIAA is wrong, the American gov. thinks the Taliban is wrong, the Democrats believe the Republicans are wrong, and so on. If you didn't belive the org is right and others are wrong, why do you have an orginization in the first place?

The thing that makes the CoS diffrent from the orgs noted above is the aggression with which the pursue their critics.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Different level of beliefs (4.20 / 5) (#76)
by radiantx on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:58:51 PM EST

If you didn't belive the org is right and others are wrong, why do you have an orginization in the first place?

There's a huge difference between believing you are right and believing you are Right. In the former case, you are still open to the suggestion that you may in fact be wrong. CoS has made it clear on numerous occations that it is Right, and those who disagree are Wrong, and there can be no discussion on it. Therefore my dislike for such an institution.



[ Parent ]
well, there's agressiveness ... and then ... (3.66 / 3) (#93)
by BlueOregon on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:28:46 PM EST

...there's believing that the 'Church' is justified in using any means -- legal or otherwise -- not just to silence, but to destroy it's opposition.[1]

-SK
[1] I rather like the Answers for Scientology Kids ... and we should all remember #14

[ Parent ]

WTF? (2.00 / 1) (#237)
by yooden on Sat Mar 23, 2002 at 01:26:09 PM EST

The thing that makes the CoS diffrent from the orgs noted above is the aggression with which the pursue their critics.

So making harassing phone calls is more aggressive than daisy cutters in your book?

The CoS might make slanderous lawsuits, but they at least make them, while the government of the USA just ignores international law.



[ Parent ]
Its actually _worse_ than most people think. (4.95 / 20) (#47)
by arcade on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:53:19 PM EST

Most people think of the church of scientology as 'that religion lots of hollywood stars like'. They, unfortunately, don't know the evils of the cult.

How on earth can you defend a cult, which forges letters from a minister of defence? In this case, a previous minister of defence in Norway, Jørgen Kosmo.

How on earth can you defend a cult, which forges videos with the swedish king?

How can you defend a cult, which lies about the founder war-hero status?

How can you defend a cult when people die as a result of it? Especially with these circumstances



--
arcade
[ Parent ]
Christianity has the crusades... (2.21 / 14) (#49)
by Stick on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:58:40 PM EST

Yet it is still a noble religion. Every group has its bad apples, this is how society works. Instead of focusing on the negative points of Islam, Christiany, or Scientology, let us look at the positive aspects of these movements, such as personal development and enlightment.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Scientology has the (legal) crusades... (4.71 / 7) (#51)
by Bunny Vomit on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:03:05 PM EST

let us look at the positive aspects of these movements, such as personal development and enlightment.

Let's look at both sides of these religions... oh wait, you can't look at the bad side of Scientology without fear of a legal crusade. For all my personal "issues" with Christianity and my views on other religions, at least I don't fear unnecessary visits from those various church's laywers.



--
(\_/)
(O.o)
((")(")
[ Parent ]
That was not always true (2.42 / 7) (#52)
by Stick on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:07:00 PM EST

Mr. Vomit, if you look into the history books, the was a time when speaking out against the church would not be tolerated, and violent means used to silence the speaker. The Church of Scientology have been quite civilized and brought these matters into a court of law where the situation can be resolved fairly.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
If scientology was alive in the middle ages, (4.12 / 8) (#54)
by Bunny Vomit on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:10:57 PM EST

they'd surely be as vicious as the Catholic church was in those days. A religion must maintain control over it's slaves. It was just a lot easier to get away with torture and murder in those days. Now the torture just takes place in the courtroom.

--
(\_/)
(O.o)
((")(")
[ Parent ]
Difference in opinions a case for the court? (4.50 / 6) (#55)
by radiantx on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:14:29 PM EST

The Church of Scientology have been quite civilized and brought these matters into a court of law where the situation can be resolved fairly.

The problem is, this "more civilized" way of dealing with religious critique is a couple of hundred years outdated. Today no other religions, except cults, and maybe Islam in some countries, sues people for propagating against them.



[ Parent ]
"maybe Islam in some countries, sues ..." (1.44 / 9) (#62)
by Bunny Vomit on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:35:21 PM EST

or flies jetliners into skyscrapers...

--
(\_/)
(O.o)
((")(")
[ Parent ]
soooo (3.83 / 6) (#78)
by /dev/trash on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:05:15 PM EST

We should allow the CoS to be bad for a couple hundred years so it can be just like Christainity?

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
You must have a different definition of 'fairly'. (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by Robert S Gormley on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:32:45 PM EST

It is not 'fair' when the Church makes uses stonewalling, speculative and frivolous suits in order to grind down anyone who publishes dissenting opinion, any more than it is 'fair' for a multi million dollar organisation to send its legal counsel after the everyday person. This isn't the 'fault' of the Church, but of our legal system, but by no means is it fair, either.

[ Parent ]
Is CoS like the medevial church? (2.00 / 1) (#239)
by yooden on Sat Mar 23, 2002 at 01:32:21 PM EST

I wonder why you compare the deeds of CoS with the torture and killings done by the Catholic Church in medevial times? Where is the connection?



[ Parent ]
No, its not a noble religion. (4.66 / 6) (#59)
by arcade on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:23:43 PM EST

If you took care to do a tiny little bit of research, you would know that Scientology is not noble at all. Except if you consider it noble to lie about L.Ron Hubards war-hero status.

Oh, and Scientology don't just have bad apples. Take a look at the religion's Fair game policy. Now, does that look like a 'noble' religion to you?

Do you actually want to look at the "positive" aspects of a movement which says that critics, ex-members and other they regard as undesirables may be "Sued, tricked, lied to, or destroyed"? Would you call this an enlightened policy?

If you're a scientologist, _please_ do your research. Don't claim things from scientology propaganda. I've read most of scientology.org . I've also read quite a bit of xenu.net . Until you've done this, and thought it over, please do not argue against the critics, you don't know the entire picture.



--
arcade
[ Parent ]
Congratulations, you have been sued! (4.37 / 8) (#81)
by bodrius on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:06:11 PM EST

Let's see if we can apply the same logic to other religions:

<JOKE>

As a Brother of the Society of Jesus and representative of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, it is my duty and pleasure to present you with this legal summons binding you to appear before a federal court as of this next Thursday, Day X of Month X of Year X of Our Lord.

Were you not to be present and with appropiate legal counsel at this hearing, your case will be forfeit in our favor, and you will be required to compensate us for your attack on our good name.

The hearing is in regards to the charges of slander, defamation, vilification and infringement of copyright on your part against the Mother Church.

I regret to inform you that The Inquisition (TM) is a Catholic Church Trademark, and we protect our intellectual property. All known historic accounts contemporary to the events are copyrights of the Mother Church, as well, and by extension we have legal claims over any scholarly or speculative accounts that used the originals as reference, and those that used the seconds as reference, ad perpetuam, as per our universal license.

Now if you would please sign here your renunciation to Satan, his lies, and all the false beliefs he threw upon you through that poor lost soul that was Hubbard, as well as upon your fellow pagans, the Mother Church welcomes you to the flock and we'll avoid this nonsense. You will also be donating us all your material wealth and publishing a public apology, for the benefit of your soul, of course.

</JOKE>

Hmmm... you know what? You may be right. This might actually work!
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]
Wrong tense (5.00 / 1) (#238)
by yooden on Sat Mar 23, 2002 at 01:29:52 PM EST

Christianity had the crusades, and that was a few hundreds years ago. Please focus on issues in this or the last century.



[ Parent ]
Hollywood, Satanism, Scientology and Suicide (4.00 / 8) (#58)
by bollochs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:21:26 PM EST

More slanderous lies about this fine Church, written by some fraud claiming to be - "an ex-Scientologist and Internet activist working to spread information about the Scientology cult to potential recruits to save them from the 2.5 years of abuse I went through at their hands. I believe that cults represent a grave threat to freedom and basic human rights." In other news - here is a collection of quotes by the great founder. Incredibly, someone has also done a comparative study between him and Hitler. The guy makes one mistake with a rather attractive goat, and that's it, he is hounded forever. God, just give the guy a break.

Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
[ Parent ]
Right on, brother! (4.00 / 2) (#122)
by broken77 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:42:19 PM EST

Let's work to defend this innocent, sacred institution. I want to do my part by pointing out another evil conspiracist that claims to have frequented the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup and other online forums as part of her paid job by the Church of Scientology, in order to fight critics.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Oh, Good! (4.33 / 6) (#67)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:40:26 PM EST

Perhaps you can help me in gaining my SP status?


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
No, the church is understood all too well. (4.33 / 6) (#69)
by Apuleius on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:42:31 PM EST

If it were not so, the Church's landsharks would not be bahaving this way.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Everyone is misunderstood... (4.80 / 10) (#71)
by bodrius on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:44:58 PM EST

I'm sick of articles attacking Islam by anyone who knows nothing of its history, its principles, its different versions, or its influence in what we call the "Western Civilization".

I'm sick of articles attacking Paganism by Christian "experts" who don't even know the difference between a Wiccan and a Satanist, or a Satanist and a Luciferian.

I'm sick of articles attacking Hinduism by Westerners who now nothing of its principles or history.

I'm sick of articles attacking Buddhism by reactionaries who know next to nothing about it, except what New Ageies tell them when discussing Vegan diet or their last yoga class.

I'm sick of articles attacking Catholicism by people who not only know nothing about the history of that Church, but also about the history of Christianity in general, including their own particular variants of the Protestant movements (whichever applies).

Yet I never get to send a batallion of lawyers to express my discontent in the form of a legal attack.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]
bah, history (3.75 / 4) (#105)
by deadplant on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:52:09 PM EST

I'm tired of people bringing up the "history" of such and such an organisation in a discussion of it's merit. I don't give a rat's ass what the catholics did a hundred years ago, today they are a bunch of religious cooks who promote child abuse(by depriving their male-only priests of sex) and sexual repression.

Same thing goes for the "good aspects" of various religions. I don't care what's in your scripture, all that matters is what you do. Islam is a great example, sure maybe if you followed it properly you'd be a great guy, but the way it actually gets used the real world it's fsking nasty.

That's why I have no intention to read dianetics or whatever it's called. I can clearly see how these scientologist behave in the real world and I want no part of it. The only reason I might read their propaganda would be to help me fight them off.(know your enemy)


I wonder how my canadian ISP would react if I started mirroring that stuff...



[ Parent ]
bah, history (4.83 / 6) (#151)
by bodrius on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:31:47 PM EST

You cannot discuss the spiritual merit of a religious organization without knowing its history, simply because the history is directly linked to its theology/mythology.

Now, if you're talking about its social merits, that's another issue. Religions as social structures promote homogeneity and stability, provide metaphysical justification for legal rules, encourage socialization and applaud conformity. They oppose individuality, innovation, liberalism (in its original meaning), political reform and moral relativism. They also tend to oppose rationalism (and encourage a conditional rationalism, "guided" by the corresponding faith).

They behave, in a larger scale, like nationalism or sports advocacy.

Some religions have a philosophical basis. Some philosophies degenerate into religions.

One thing they don't do is encourage child abuse. By your logic, Buddhist monks are nothing but a bunch of pedophiles and perverts. And I can only imagine what you think female-only nuns do every night.

Islam is not only practiced by terrorists exclusively either. Your statement demonstrates you have no idea how it's used in the real world. Hint: Islam is one of three most practiced religions in the world, and millions upon millions upon millions of their believers happen not to place bombs in American buildings.

Once again, by your logic all Protestants are members of the National Militia and shoot doctors outside abortion clinics, all Catholics belong to the IRA. Also all Americans are personally travelling to Philippines and Thailand to have sex with 10-year old children, that's when they're not raping Eastern European pre-teens.

You CANNOT judge an ideology by the few rotten apples. But you CAN judge a religion by their official spokesmen; if you recognize their authority and let them dictate your beliefs, you don't get to disown their athrocities. Doing nothing is condoning them.

The problem right now with Scientiology is not what your random Scientologist does. The problem is what The Church of Scientology is doing.

If the Vatican starts sending lawyers against those who disagree (as they used to do), there's an obvious problem. If they demand clerical immunity for child-abuse crimes, you can say there's a hell of a problem.

Because of the official policies of Scientology, the "rotten apples" are everyone who calls themselves Scientologists and recognizes the official Church.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]
generalizations (none / 0) (#225)
by deadplant on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 10:03:43 AM EST

"You cannot discuss the spiritual merit of a religious organization without knowing its history, simply because the history is directly linked to its theology/mythology."

sure, but I'm not interested in 'spiritual' merit. It is, as you say, social merit what concerns me.


" One thing they don't do is encourage child abuse. "
First, I didn't say 'encourage' I said 'promote' by which I meant that it is not an intentional thing, rather that their policies lead to it. I don't think that can be argued, the evidence is clear. The catholics have a very long history of repressing their priests sexually and this has a documented effect of increasing the rate of child abuse among their priests. (I'd go find some links, but I'm at work... are you really arguing that catholic priests don't sexually abuse children more than the rest of us do?)

"By your logic, Buddhist monks are nothing but a bunch of pedophiles and perverts. And I can only imagine what you think female-only nuns do every night. "

I didn't reach my conclusion about the catholics by logic, rather by observation. I have not observed Buddhist monks or female-only nuns abusing children any more than regular people do.
I wasn't saying that sexually repressed people = pedophiles. I was saying that catholic priests = greater than average percentage of pedophiles(fact), and that I think (opinion) that it's largly because of the way their religion represses them.

" Islam is not only practiced by terrorists exclusively either. Your statement demonstrates you have no idea how it's used in the real world"

I didn't even mention terrorism, I don't know where you got that. I was talking about Islam. In other words, all that stuff about the 'hijab', 'sharia', 'allah' and all the tradition/ceremony stuff that goes along with most religions.

" Once again, by your logic all Protestants are members of the National Militia and shoot doctors outside abortion clinics, all Catholics belong to the IRA. Also all Americans are personally travelling to Philippines and Thailand to have sex with 10-year old children, that's when they're not raping Eastern European pre-teens."

Again, I don't know where you're getting this stuff from. I never suggested anything of the sort. Perhaps you thought I said 'all catholics are child abusers', when I actually said 'all catholics promote child abuse'. The second statement is true because the system that causes this child abuse is supported by all catholics. In the same way all muslims in an islamic state bear part of the responsibility for any atrocities that result from the imposition of sharia or similar islamic law.


"You CANNOT judge an ideology by the few rotten apples. But you CAN judge a religion by their official spokesmen; if you recognize their authority and let them dictate your beliefs, you don't get to disown their athrocities. Doing nothing is condoning them."

My point exactly. Have you ever listened to what the pope has to say?
As for Islam, I consider alot of sharia to be atrocious. Also, have you listened to a translation of a middle-eastern imam's lectures? some of that stuff is pretty horrible in my opinion. These are the 'authorities' of islam as far as i am aware.




[ Parent ]
Yeah, there is a bit of good (4.25 / 4) (#75)
by ocelotbob on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:52:54 PM EST

But there is an overwhealming amount of bad to the cult. Why is it that most former members of the cult have become extremely outspoken critics? Why is it that they set up dozens of websites with incorrect, misleading, and probably slanderous, information about those who dare to criticize the cult? Why are they so willing to sue for obvious pieces of humor, such as Keith Henson's joking reference to Tom Cruise Missiles? I could find good things about any group, it doesn't mean that the group itself is good as a whole.

Why... in my day, the idea wasn't to have a comfortable sub[missive]...
--soylentdas
[ Parent ]

As one who has researched (4.87 / 16) (#83)
by Kwil on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:09:24 PM EST

I was curious about all the hub-bub about Scientology, so I picked up Hubbard's Dianetics from a used bookstore.

The book is.. well.. bunk, as far as I'm concerned. Hubbard suggests that Dianetics is a researched, scientific method, yet nowhere provides any type of reference beyond his own, unsubstantiated, ancedotal stories.

Often, these stories are also completely ludicrous, such as one about how a man's entire life was changed by his dentist and dentist's nurse talking around him while he was sedated. Hubbard suggests that this so profoundly affected the man that he starts abusing women when he had no prior history of doing so, divorces his wife to get involved with a surrogate for the dentist's nurse, and eventually winds up in a mental hospital where he is going to suffer "a good series of electric shocks to tear his brain up, and if that doesn't work, a nice ice pick into each eyeball after and during electric shock" (p.168, _Dianetics_, LRH)

I'm unaware of any medical or mental institution that makes use of an "ice pick into each eyeball" for therapeutic reasons. Hubbard doesn't dwell on this though, instead going on about how fortunate it was that a dianetics practitioner was there to save the day.

Similarly, he goes on about things being a "scientific fact" with no references whatsoever, talks about experiments conducted by doctors who were non-believers in Dianetics, but the results of the experiments convinced them -- while providing no corroborating evidence.

It's interesting to note that the beginning of the book exhorts people to only read as far as they understand, and if they fail to understand, to go back and re-read, look up words, etc, until they do. Along these lines, it's filled with footnotes that are actually just glossary definitions of simple words, such as speaking about a hunter looking to bag a grizzly, and then providing us with a footnote for grizzly, meaning, yes, "grizzly-bear".

However, he also completely alters the meaning of certain common words such as "tone", and then specifically does *not* provide a glossary entry for them - thus making a failure to understand his gibberish clearly the fault of the reader. After all, if all the easy words are defined, this one must be so blindingly obvious that the reader would have to be stupid not to understand it.

An uncritical person reading and following instructions then would find themselves having to reread the section just before that portion over and over again until it "makes sense", with perhaps increasing anxiety when it doesn't.

Given that his use of the word is gibberish, the only way it will make sense is if the person finally manages to convince themselves that there is no discordance between meaning and gibberish.

These three techniques, repetition, dissolution of the self-image, and breaking down of meaning, are all well documented brain-washing techniques. And this is just in the first book.

About the only thing Hubbard does postulate in there that I suggest warrants further study is that the mind does have amazing power over the physical body - more so than traditional medical science would suggest.

Of course, study is a far cry from blind faith.

[ Parent ]
Ice pick? (4.00 / 1) (#106)
by sigwinch on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:57:11 PM EST

I'm unaware of any medical or mental institution that makes use of an "ice pick into each eyeball" for therapeutic reasons.
Almost certainly a reference to prefrontal lobotomies (scroll down that page), which were done by driving an ice pick into the head and poking it around to scramble the brain. Tens of thousands were performed before it occurred to someone to study safety and efficacy.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Almost certainly he was full of it (4.00 / 3) (#141)
by /dev/niall on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:48:09 PM EST

Back in the 40s when ice-picks were in use for lobotomies the medical establishment was generally disgusted by the practice. By 1950 the idea of lobotomies in general was being widely questioned. You would be hard pressed to find any evidence of ice-picks being used in such a manner after 1950, which is when the first article about dianetics was published. I find it unlikely there were any practitioners of dianetics present at such an "operation".

Interesting link though! Amazing the crap humans do to themselves.


-- ±¨¸æÈ˶Զ¯Îï
[ Parent ]

Well then... (1.33 / 3) (#195)
by Scandal on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:28:36 PM EST

It's down to your assertions versus Hubbard's. What does it matter? This is like criticizing Martha Stewart's latest stuffing recipe (it won't possibly work!) because you don't agree with her choice of table settings later in the magazine issue. Please! Have you ever tried, honestly tried, to see if the technique described in Dianetics works?

No, you haven't.


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
re: Well then... (5.00 / 1) (#199)
by /dev/niall on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 12:13:54 AM EST

It's down to your assertions versus Hubbard's.

Actually no; It's down to what actually happened in the 50's and what Hubbard contrived in his various semi-fictional writings.

This is like criticizing Martha Stewart's latest stuffing recipe (it won't possibly work!) because you don't agree with her choice of table settings later in the magazine issue.

I completely fail to understand what you are trying to say. I am not commenting on two seperate passages in a book, I am commenting on one. The fact is dianetics was not in existence when this particular method of lobotomy was in practice. And I would never talk shit about Martha. She scares me.

Have you ever tried, honestly tried, to see if the technique described in Dianetics works? No, you haven't.

How could you possibly know the answer to your question in advance?
Anyway, if it makes you feel any smarter, you are absolutely correct. I have read the book and discarded the techniques as absolute utter crap. Just like bleeding to cure sickness, leeches, burning witches, lobotomies (heh), catholicism, fad diets, alien abductions, past lives, afterlife, any movie by David Lynch, and your posts.

Alright, maybe I liked a few Lynch movies.


-- ±¨¸æÈ˶Զ¯Îï
[ Parent ]

Actually, no... (2.00 / 2) (#201)
by Scandal on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 12:42:48 AM EST

Back in the 40s when ice-picks were in use for lobotomies the medical establishment was generally disgusted by the practice. By 1950 the idea of lobotomies in general was being widely questioned. You would be hard pressed to find any evidence of ice-picks being used in such a manner after 1950, which is when the first article about dianetics was published. I find it unlikely there were any practitioners of dianetics present at such an "operation".

Back in the 40's, you'd be hard pressed to have a medical doctor do anything but groan at the idea of psychiatry as "medicine". You are asserting that in the 50's, the practice of using ice picks was all but abandoned, and that you suspect that, therefore, you find it unlikely that a Dianetics practicioner could have been present for such an event. Hubbard asserts otherwise. Are you 100% certain that ice pick usage dropped to near zero?

Unless you happened to be a high-ranking psychiatrist who monitored all psychiatric activity in the 50's, you almost certainly do not know that. Therefore, it's your word against Hubbard's so far. (I've seen enough of man's cruelty to man to suspect that it is certainly possible that such lobotomies were still being performed in sufficient numbers to catch notice by Hubbard, but I don't really care about the anecdotes, and I don't take Hubbard's anecdotal data as law.)

As to Martha, where I was headed with that is simply that you use specific data which you can't prove as false but which you nonetheless doubt as a basis for faulting the basic premise of the book -- the Dianetic technique. It's all a bunch of crap NOT BECAUSE YOU'VE HONESTLY TESTED IT AND FOUND IT NOT TO WORK but instead because here's something you doubt which he said. Because that datum is impossible, as far as you're concerned, the entire book is therefore false.

This isn't exactly the basis for a valid, scientific criticism, is it?

As to how I knew the answer before I asked the question, almost everyone who holds your opinion is not capable of honestly stating that he has tested it. They invariably cite reasons why it couldn't work which have nothing to do with testing whether or not it works. You did the same thing. The few who pretended they have and that it didn't work couldn't stand up to questioning about basic information about it, thus demonstrating themselves to be liars.

Kudos for honesty.


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
Umm... No. (4.50 / 2) (#206)
by JetJaguar on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 12:57:34 AM EST

The burden of proof for the validity of Dianetics resides with it's practitioners, not on us. If scientology's followers are so sure it works, then the responsibility is theirs to open their practices to peer review and allow a repeatable scientific process determine it's merits. This hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen as long as they continue the game of sueing anyone that says anything negative about their beliefs.

In short, a valid scientific critism is currently impossible to write due to the policies of scientology. Which is rather damning in and of itself for most scientists.

[ Parent ]

Try reading Dianetics, then. (1.33 / 3) (#207)
by Scandal on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 01:29:46 AM EST

The process is all right there, open to peer review. The technique is there. What you should expect to find is there. It's all pretty much right there, in the book. The process is repeatable -- it's right there in the book. I don't know how much more open the practice can get, since it's, like, right there, in the book. You seem to want Hubbard to open up his files and show you all the information he gathered up to that point to "prove" to you that he... actually did some research? Well, OK, but that wasn't the intent of the book. The point of the book was to explain the technique, and to explain what one could expect applying it.

You state that a valid scientific criticism is impossible, and yet it isn't. I defy you to show me one critic who has been sued (say, since 1990, when I started) who wasn't also showing off OT level material. You can't do it because it doesn't exist. The church doesn't sue critics. The church pursues people who put up OT level material. Because they also happen to be critics, they then claim that Scientology is trying to silence its critics. Not true. Scientology is trying to protect the upper level materials. Bad mouth Scientology all you want, and attack all the stuff you want -- but when you tread on the upper level materials, then and only then will you really find Scientology taking an interest.

What really amuses me is that you want to be able to do a "peer review" of it, and yet there is no peer to review it! It is akin to the arrogance of me expecting to see mounds of research data when I first begin learning about resistors and capacitors, because I "know all about astronomy" or some nonsense. You, the critics, and those who would consider themselves "peers" don't know the topic at all, and yet you'd like to sit in judgment on it, without having bothered to learn it at all!

You act like it's sooooo hard to review it. You suggest that it's not repeatable. And yet you've never attempted to really review it, and you have no idea whether or not it's repeatable.

On the other hand, I've tried it plenty, and have repeated the results plenty.

But, well, I'm brain-washed, you see, so my observations are worthless to any real scientific individual.


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
Hold on... (4.00 / 1) (#212)
by JetJaguar on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 04:06:15 AM EST

If the intent of the book was to illustrate some techniques, I also want to see the evidence that supports these techniques, in other words, the research...what evidence is there that led LRH to these conclusions, that's the first step. Whether or not any astronomer is qualified to review it is a different issue, entirely. And the OT level material is every bit as important as the more widely distributed stuff, since, the OT level stuff appears to be what dianetics is based on, is it not? The intent of the book is meaningless without the underlying motivations.

As for a scientific criticism, you were the one that seemed to be asking about a scientific basis for opinion, not I. I couldn't care less if scientology is ever put through the kind of scrutiny that all religion should be subjected to. But you seem to be under the impression that a real evaluation would be easy. That is simply not the case, if it were, there wouldn't be new minor religions invented every other week. In my opinion, it's almost all pipe dreams and wishful thinking, and I'm really not all that interested in it (as a religion or anything else). My only concern is whether or not scientology is doing more harm than good to the people who follow it as well as what it does to people who raise genuine questions about it (regardless of whether or not such questions violate copyright law). Which raises some difficult questions that you, as a scientologist need to answer. What amuses me, is that you seem to think that since the critics may be violating CoS's copyrighted materials, the church is excused from answering the difficult questions the critics raise about the upper level materials, they still have to answer those questions before they will be taken seriously by anyone with a strong rational streak.

[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#247)
by Scandal on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 11:25:20 PM EST

"But you seem to be under the impression that a real evaluation would be easy. That is simply not the case, if it were, there wouldn't be new minor religions invented every other week."

What do other religions have to do with Scientology and whether or not an evaluation is possible or easy? I don't think it would be easy, and I misspoke if I said as much. But it's certainly possible. And an evaluation of whether or not Dianetics works is, actually, pretty easy. That took about two weeks to really see it working. Heck, it can take just one session to see the Tone Scale in action, and how secondaries work. It's not hard at all. But that's Dianetics, not all of Scientology. In any case, your argument about other minor religions being invented every other week -- I'll assume that you're exagerating here -- has nothing to do with an evaluation of Dianetics or Scientology.

According to the history as provided by the Church, the initial OT-level stuff was not really developed until the 60's, culminating with everyone's favorite, OT III, in 1967. Dianetics was developed in the late 40's, culminating with a book (the Dianetics book) about the technique written and released on May 11, 1950. As near as I can tell, this is correct. Dianetics was not based on the OT-level stuff; the OT-level stuff was developed out of "further research" later on. So, no, it's quite easy to evaluate Dianetics outside the context of Scientology or the upper level materials. Scientology didn't really exist as a subject until late 1951 or early 1952.

As to whether or not Scientology does more harm than good, how can you possibly answer that question without knowing whether or not the practices actually work? Even a competent surgeon can make a mistake, or come across someone with a peculiar anatomy that results in harm to the patient; that hardly makes surgery wrong. Likewise, that Scientology has a number of rather vocal critics of people who claim harm from the activities of the Church doesn't mean that Scientology hasn't been beneficial for those of us who hold the opposing view. I am someone who offers an alternative viewpoint, and that is that it has been helpful to me and others, and that I have practiced Scientology on others with positive results.

The problem is, here in the wild frontier, that the critics are assumed to be right, and anyone with an opposing opinion is assumed to be, at best, hallucinating.

The difficult questions that the critics raise about the upper level materials... what, about the validity thereof? As I've pointed out elsewhere, there are plenty of public materials which make the upper level materials I've seen posted around the Internet (and since I've never actually seen the upper level materials, I can't actually say that these are, in fact, the upper level materials, but the critics have said so) appear tame in comparison. So what other tough question is there? That Hubbard seems to have come up with some pretty crazy ideas? Get in line...

My opinion is that it's not possible to judge the upper level materials without the context of the previous materials. I happen to believe in past lives, for example. Anyone who believes in "One Life To Live" could, of course, hold much of the materials in Scientology up to ridicule. Oh well... It doesn't take the upper level materials to do that. It doesn't take the upper level materials to ridicule Scientology, and all those "difficult questions" could pretty easily be pressed using public materials. "Operation Clambake" needed nothing but History of Man...

For reference, I beleived in past lives long before I found Scientology.

The big point of the upper level materials is that these were private writings of Hubbard which were stolen in the early 70's and then passed around. Just because you happen to disagree with the Church or Hubbard does not mean that you should have access to them. If I stole your private journal and then published it on the Internet, wouldn't you hope to have some recourse against me? These belong to the Church, now, not you, not the "critics". Per law, the rather aggressive attempts by the Church to protect those writings is not unlike the aggressive pursuit of trademark infringement which the law requires. It is part of the beliefs of the Church that those writings be protected. You don't have to agree with it. As someone outside the religion, you're not expected to. But the Church has the legal right and the religious obligation to pursue the protection of those materials, and it will never stop.

Criticize the Church all you want. Bring up the Guardian's Office and slam it in people's faces. (Hmmm... Scientologists can be just as stupid as everyone else sometimes...) Remind everyone that their pets are doomed... (I prefer leaving a dead trout on doorsteps, but drowning dogs could provide some measure of satisfaction...) Point out how much brainwashing is done, and how much it all costs, and how the Church brainwashes people to give up thousands of dollars, and leaves them destitute, penniless, homeless, and starving. Make up anything you want. "My opinion is..." If the Church even so much as looks at you funny, throw the Creed of the Church in its face. The Creed does not distinguish between Scientologist and wog.

For the record, I'm not a Scientologist -- but not because I have found it not to work, or because I have some serious disagreement with the Church. I am on my own path now -- always was, but part of that path included time spent in and with Scientology, and I am grateful for it. But I am not here to defend the actions of the Church, or to argue in favor of upper level materials being kept secret. Personally, I don't care. But I will not just remain silent while the bunch of you who have never once actually done anything but sit in judgment on it without once ever really trying it attempt to determine whether or not it is "doing more harm than good" when the best you can muster is an academic sneer of "of course I've read it and it can't possibly work." It's the same sneer that has blocked the progress of knowledge among mankind for as far back as anyone has challenged the status quo.

How many refused to even look through the telescope offered by Galileo? You are caught in the same trap -- "it's obviously false, so why bother trying it?" You think that just because it was the Church of the day which practiced this that you are somehow superior... but you're just exercising the same kind of human behavior which fills our history. Humanity hasn't evolved beyond prejudice. All the Church of his day had to do was LOOK IN THE DAMN TELESCOPE. All the Church of today (that's you, BTW) need do is TRY THE DAMN TECHNIQUE. Granted, it's a BIT harder than just looking in the telescope, but I don't think it beyond you.

I would respect the opinion of anyone who could tell me that, yes, he had attempted it, and here's what he did, and this is why it's wrong -- because then I could at least discuss the issue, and I would know I was dealing with someone who is past hiding behind his prejudice.

I could tell you about the times that I've practiced Dianetics and Scientology, and here's what happened, and this is how it worked, and here's where I messed up. No, I don't have the records with me, because all those records go into folders which are protected by law, and I don't think you'd want your psychiatrist telling your secrets on the Internet, for example, so excuse me for extending others that courtesy about their personal lives. I could tell you about the times that others practiced Dianetics and Scientology on me, and here's what did work, and here's what didn't, and here's the mistakes I found, and here's how it got fixed, and this is what I realized, and...

The testimony of a single witness is worth more than a thousand expert opinions from experts who've never even seen it. And yet, rather than become a single witness, you seek the comfort of expert opinions which maintain your prejudice.

And yet I am the one whose rationality is questioned?

At least I had the courage to look.


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
Yup! (3.00 / 2) (#232)
by michajoe on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 04:48:29 PM EST

> But, well, I'm brain-washed, you see, so my
> observations are worthless to any real
> scientific individual.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but yes, your observations are worthless.

[ Parent ]
My last comment on this (5.00 / 1) (#208)
by /dev/niall on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 01:40:59 AM EST

Are you 100% certain that ice pick usage dropped to near zero?

I am 100% certain of nothing.

You are asserting that in the 50's, the practice of using ice picks was all but abandoned, and that you suspect that, therefore, you find it unlikely that a Dianetics practicioner could have been present for such an event.

I am asserting that it is unlikely such a practicioner existed before Hubbard even published a single article about dianetics, let alone something as formal as a book.

Unless you happened to be a high-ranking psychiatrist who monitored all psychiatric activity in the 50's, you almost certainly do not know that. Therefore, it's your word against Hubbard's so far.

No, it's pretty easy to research this yourself and see that what I say is true. If you have any evidence that Hubbard wrote anything about dianetics prior to 1950, or that others practiced its techniques, please post information, as I am ignornant of any such evidence.

As to Martha, where I was headed with that is simply that you use specific data which you can't prove as false but which you nonetheless doubt as a basis for faulting the basic premise of the book -- the Dianetic technique.

No, I originally said that Hubbard was likely full of crap.

It's all a bunch of crap NOT BECAUSE YOU'VE HONESTLY TESTED IT AND FOUND IT NOT TO WORK but instead because here's something you doubt which he said. Because that datum is impossible, as far as you're concerned, the entire book is therefore false.

Please re-read my post. I have read many of his articles and books, including _Dianetics_. Like most humans, I find it incredibly difficult not to analyze what I read. It scanned as crap. Utter, complete, lunatic crap. I have no intention of trying every moronic technique for improving my life just to obtain the right to express my disbelief to those who buy into it.

This isn't exactly the basis for a valid, scientific criticism, is it?

lol. If we were dealing with scientific fact, or even a properly considered theory, I'd attempt to answer you. But we're not. We're dealing with a religon. I happen to respect your decision and right to believe whatever you want, but that does not mean I have to respect what you believe.

As to how I knew the answer before I asked the question, almost everyone who holds your opinion is not capable of honestly stating that he has tested it. They invariably cite reasons why it couldn't work which have nothing to do with testing whether or not it works. You did the same thing.

Thank you for judging me based on the actions and words of others. Lucky for you you're close to the mark this time.
I have no plans to try out any of the multitude of religons available to me. This does not place the burden of proof on me; as another poster replied to you, it's on you to back up your assertions. I have yet to see you or any other proponent of any religion do so in a logical manner.

Since it's probably pretty obvious to both of us that a) I have no intention of testing, and b) you do not believe anyone who has not tested can have an opinion on dianetics, I'm going to end my side of this conversation now. I give you the gift of the last word. ;)


-- ±¨¸æÈ˶Զ¯Îï
[ Parent ]

Research?!? (2.00 / 2) (#192)
by Scandal on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:07:08 PM EST

Dianetics wasn't written as a scientific journal with raw data to hand. It was written to demonstrate the technique. You might as well fault a cookbook for not including biochemical data.

Let's evaluate your evaluation of Hubbard's three techniques. Repetition... helps one learn? Otherwise, why do we have budding engineers repeat applying integral calculus to formula after formula... because repetition DOESN'T work?!?

"Dissolution of the self-image." ROFL. Forgive me, but where exactly does this come from? How about conforming to social norms?

And, I must say, it's funny that would assert that Hubbard makes failure to understand his gibberish the fault of the reader, when that's exactly how today's schools operate. Except that Ritalin is there for you to quiet you down when things get too difficult to deal with. Or, rather, once the teaching system's failings are so gross that the student goes a little nuts.

Thus, we can easily see that today's educational institutions are themselves the largest implementors of brain-washing techniques, which are so well documented as brain-washing techniques that you fail to include any references of your own, but fault Hubbard for not including any references of his own.

If you could actually evaluate the book properly, this would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Except that, since you cannot, it's simply the pot being upset with itself.


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
Handling Criticism (none / 0) (#223)
by Sanityman on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 09:13:16 AM EST

...that's exactly how today's schools operate. Except that Ritalin is there for you to quiet you down when things get too difficult to deal with. Or, rather, once the teaching system's failings are so gross that the student goes a little nuts.
This really does read like LRH, always a fan of attack as a form of defence (you might also note the famous quote "The law can be used very easily to harass").
Dianetics wasn't written as a scientific journal with raw data to hand. It was written to demonstrate the technique. You might as well fault a cookbook for not including biochemical data.
If Dianetics is a "cookbook" why does the org try to sell it to non-Scientologists? The analogy might be selling a book on how to cook pot-roast to vegans. In any case I don't find your claim at all convincing. It's not an auditing manual or anything resembling it, it's a rambling polemic full of unsubstantiated claims of exactly the sort that Kwil was complaining about.

-------disclaimer------
"LRH" and "Scientology" are trademarks of one of the CoS front companies, probably RTC. All copyright material is quoted as Fair Use, which was still an extant concept in US law last time I checked.
-----end disclaimer----



--
If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
"You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"


[ Parent ]
The best defense... (none / 0) (#248)
by Scandal on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 11:01:33 PM EST

Hubbard is merely stating the truth in the quotes mentioned at your link. Attacking is a better defense than defending. People who are attempting to outright destroy Scientology do have pretty twisted pasts of their own to hide. It's proven time and again. "I'm so selfless that I'm trying to protect the world from this sinister, evil influence." Bull.

By what rules do Scientology's critics operate? Are they completely forthright in their attempts to handle the "Scientology threat", or do they strive to see how far they can bend, or even violate, the law?

I've seen them. I've watched their activities. I've listened to them attempt to use "fair use" as a means of making the upper level materials public. (Again, you don't need the upper level materials to be wildly critical of the "sci-fi" nature of Hubbard's work, but you won't get the church's ire without including them, so the critics continue to use them to try to show how evil the church is...) The upper level materials do not belong to you or them. The only way critics believe, or pretend they believe, that they can accurately portray the church is through illegal means. It's not, but it does keep the battle raging more furiously.

When you make an enemy of Scientology, when you declare your intent to destroy Scientology, and then when you follow through with your threats and act on them, fully intending to cause harm to Scientology, don't act surprised when Scientology gets the upper hand over you. Why should you have the right to try to destroy Scientology, but Scientology shouldn't have the right to try to destroy you?

What really annoys Scientology's critics about Fair Game is that Hubbard once had the balls to declare it. Scientology's critics use Fair Game (and more!) on Scientology all the time, but they love to bitch about Scientology using it. The big problem is that Scientology is really, really good at it.

As to why orgs sell Dianetics to non-Scientologists... why do I keep finding Bibles in motel rooms? You're really trying to stretch the analogy here. Why do grocery stores offer Martha Stewart Living if not everyone in the store wants to buy it? You seem to be trying to assert that anyone who isn't already a Scientologist couldn't possibly want to become one.

A book on Calculus seems to be full of unsubstantiated claims unless you actually practice the techniques in the book. As to being polemic, Dianetics is only polemic due to your bias against Scientology.


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
Glad to respond to the CoS viewpoint... (none / 0) (#249)
by afeldspar on Sat Mar 30, 2002 at 04:24:34 AM EST

People who are attempting to outright destroy Scientology do have pretty twisted pasts of their own to hide. It's proven time and again.

Guess what? Everyone has a pretty twisted past of their own! Especially if you are willing to be very loose in interpreting what "twisted past" means, in an effort to prove true Hubbard's prejudice that no one could be criticizing Scientology except because they are evil, zero-on-the-tone-scale Suppressive Persons.

See, there is a fundamental fallacy at work here that, if you never learn how to stop falling for it, it leaves you vulnerable to falling for Scientology. If you try to collect evidence for a theory, and all the evidence you collect accords with your theory, that doesn't add much support to your theory. It's when you try to prove your own theory false and fail that you have gathered support.

Since when has Scientology ever entertained the possibility that someone who criticizes them and their methods is a good person acting in good faith -- let alone tried to disprove the bald assertion of Source that all critics are criminals? Never.

By what rules do Scientology's critics operate? Are they completely forthright in their attempts to handle the "Scientology threat", or do they strive to see how far they can bend, or even violate, the law?

Hmmmm, can you name any Scientology critics who bought out a Scientology branch or organization, and then used that organization's name for purposes exactly counter to those of the original organization? (Such as Scientology did with the Cult Awareness Network?)

Or can you name any case in which a Scientology critic targeted any member of the Scientology hierarchy and wrote down a plan in which they stated the end-goal was to drive the person to prison or an insane asylum? And then framed that person for bomb threats against high-ranking politicians, using methods including forgery and impersonation? (Such as Scientology did to Paulette Cooper?)

When you make an enemy of Scientology, when you declare your intent to destroy Scientology, and then when you follow through with your threats and act on them, fully intending to cause harm to Scientology, don't act surprised when Scientology gets the upper hand over you. Why should you have the right to try to destroy Scientology, but Scientology shouldn't have the right to try to destroy you?

According to Source, the aim of Scientology is to raise the world's average on the tone scale. Hubbard specifically stated that an acceptable, even laudable method of 'raising the average tone scale' was by exterminating those lowest on the tone scale. And how does Hubbard says that one's position on the tone scale is determined? Well, by joining Scientology, you advance up the tone scale. But, if someone tries to make you join Scientology, and you refuse, every refusal is considered proof of how low you are on the tone scale. (Again, it is a punishable offense for a Scientologist to challenge Source's declarations that all people worthy of continued life are or will be Scientologists.)

So I can turn your answer right around. Hubbard has already declared that people who won't join Scientology, like me, are okay to exterminate. Why should Scientology be the least bit surprised if people like me work to expose the Church? If Scientology should be surprised at anything, it's that they want to murder me, and I only want them to wake up and smell the coffee!

What really annoys Scientology's critics about Fair Game is that Hubbard once had the balls to declare it. Scientology's critics use Fair Game (and more!) on Scientology all the time, but they love to bitch about Scientology using it. The big problem is that Scientology is really, really good at it.

No, what really annoys Scientology's critics about Fair Game is that it equates 'has the right to be treated as a human being' with 'agrees with me'. For all your words about "Scientology's critics use Fair Game (and more!) on Scientology all the time" I don't think you can back that up. I challenged you on it above, can you come up with any actions by critics that compare with what Scientology did to Paulette Cooper? They didn't just frame her; they didn't just go to extreme and criminal lengths to ruin her reputation, destroy her career, and deprive her of her liberty; they put a spy in to pretend he was her friend, all the time reporting back to the CoS and reporting joyfully that Cooper was discussing suicide. 'Wouldn't that be a great thing for Scientology?'

I dare you to find even one documented instance -- as this is fully documented -- of a critic of Scientology posing as a Scientologist's friend and rejoicing over the prospect of them committing suicide.

A book on Calculus seems to be full of unsubstantiated claims unless you actually practice the techniques in the book. As to being polemic, Dianetics is only polemic due to your bias against Scientology.

Dianetics is unsubstantiated because it is based on principles that can be easily shown as false. Key among them is the principle of the Misunderstood Word, namely, that "THE ONLY REASON A PERSON GIVES UP A STUDY OR BECOMES CONFUSED OR UNABLE TO LEARN IS BECAUSE HE HAS GONE PAST A WORD THAT WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD". The only person who cannot come up with counter-examples immediately (perhaps the person has no interest in that field of study; perhaps that person hasn't gotten enough sleep lately; perhaps the material the person's trying to learn from is wrong) is one who is actively trying not to challenge Source. And as I said before -- challenging an idea, trying to prove it false, is key towards really testing whether it is true. And the fact that it will not pass such testing is why it is forbidden to challenge Source.


-- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
[ Parent ]

Integrity (4.20 / 5) (#48)
by Anonymous American on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:55:30 PM EST

What is the future of google when any large organization with a legal staff can delist web pages at will? What happens when Microsoft claims that the Mono project is violating the DMCA? Will google pull all the pages without due process, regardless of the merits of the lawsuit?

This sets a terrible precedent. Can google hold on to it's integrity?



Rebel Rebel Rebel (3.75 / 4) (#50)
by Tau on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 12:59:18 PM EST

Come on, leave poor Google alone here. Google may be in the black but it's a fledgeling business nonetheless, and do you REALLY expect Google to take a magnitude X anal shafting from a horde of CoS lawyers? this organisation has a scarily large number of legal personell and its history has shown that it'll stop at nothing to silence anyone they don't like (at least, from what I've seen).

Google hasn't the resources to battle something like this. And this isn't a landmark case either; blame the 2600 judge who made LINKING a felony (probably cause 2600 is a load of 'damn punks' or something to that effect)

---
WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
Not 2600... (none / 0) (#56)
by Parity on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:17:38 PM EST

Search engines do not (or claim not to) link to sites for any particular reason, but are indices of the web and not responsible for what's at the other end of the link, along the same reasoning as common carrier. How much legal protection this actually affords them, I don't know, but it's definitely not in the same nature as the 2600 case which was explicitly linking to the other sites for the explicit purpose of giving access to the 'illegal' software.

Parity None


[ Parent ]
DMCA stories - sigh (1.63 / 22) (#63)
by Silent Chris on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:36:48 PM EST

I thought I left this when I left Slashdot...

Is there anyone else who gets tired of the constant bombardment against DMCA that tech talk sites seem to be infatuated with?

This is not a tech-article though. (4.25 / 8) (#73)
by arcade on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:48:06 PM EST

This is not a tech-article, but influences the spread of information against a quite evil cult.

The "digital" act is used in a highly "non-digital" way.



--
arcade
[ Parent ]
Not really (4.75 / 12) (#87)
by rusty on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:17:54 PM EST

The DMCA is not ignorable. It will not go away on it's own. It is relevant to everyone online. One day, they will come after us. One day they will come after you.

I wish we could stop talking about it too, but that won't happen until it is repealed. You can try to stick your head in the sand, but you can't avoid it forever.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Sick of it? (5.00 / 1) (#117)
by seebs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:27:05 PM EST

Maybe I'm sick of it, but as long as people are getting legal threats for doing legitimate things, and they're based on a law which, read strictly, implies that I am not legally allowed to own a color scanner or copier (since this could break the "colored piece of paper" copy protection of the early 90's), I think it's worth hearing about.


[ Parent ]
Fuck off about Slashdot (2.33 / 6) (#138)
by Spendocrat on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:43:18 PM EST

There's a whole bunch of us here who *don't read Slashdot*... AT ALL.

Perhaps you see too many DMCA-related stories in your day to day readings. Perhaps you read too many stupid websites.

[ Parent ]

DMCA articles... (4.00 / 1) (#157)
by DarkZero on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 06:28:25 PM EST

It's not so much a DMCA article as it's an article about a major search engine and a very popular anti-Scientology site being legally attacked. It just happens that the number one way to legally attack ANYONE for ANYTHING on the internet is to use the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Thinking of stories about people being legally attacked on the internet as "DMCA stories" is just as misguided as thinking of any story about violent conflicts, criminal acts, and wars in real life as "gun stories". The real meat of the story is the conflict between the two parties, and it just happens that the same tool is used over and over in each very different story.

[ Parent ]
This has a positive side (2.00 / 10) (#68)
by President Steve Elvis America on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:41:40 PM EST

If naked pictures of me were to somehow get out on the internet, I wouldn't want people to be able to find them. I would send google an email asking them to help me hide it and if they don't I will sue them. I really would not want naked pictures of me on the internet. The church of scientology is just trying to hide their version of naked pictures.

Sincerely,

Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America

Unfortunately for you... (5.00 / 4) (#79)
by synaesthesia on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:05:34 PM EST

...your plight would have nothing to do with Google.

If I happened to know that two people were bitching about me over the phone, could I reasonably expect my phone company to terminate their service? If they were calling me names down the pub, could I sue the landlord if he didn't throw everyone in hearing range out?



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Naked Pictures (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by kuran42 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:08:03 PM EST

I too support this, as I would not like to come across naked pictures of Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America The Impaler ESQ. in my innocent wanderings of the 'net. I hope that if such pictures become available, others will join in Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America The Impaler ESQ.'s campaign to have google not index them. Do it for the children.

--
kuran42? genius? Nary a difference betwixt the two. -- Defect
[ Parent ]
But if you don't own your naked pics (4.66 / 3) (#84)
by baronben on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:12:50 PM EST

Sure, if some one takes the naked pictures that I took of my self and posted on my webpage which has a norobot.txt files on it (or what ever the .txt files is)and then posted it were it would be found by the google spider I could complain, I could even complain if I didn't but a norobot.txt file to protect my pictures.

But however, if some one takes legal pictures of me while I'm naked, or if a picture of me streaking gets in the newspaper and then posted to the web, they are not mine to insisit get taken down.

I still have yet to vist the page in question (damm /.ing) but if it is a orginal peice, then DMCA shouldn't even come in to question, it is not Scientology's to demand be taken down.

If it is, or includes, copywrited work by Scientology, then it is a diffrent story. While I belive that using copywriten work in a news or opinon artical should be considered fair use, there is also a very good reason why I am not a laywer, I don't know what the law actualy is.

I belive in this case DMCA is being used as a scare tactic, as I understand that law it is an anti-reverse engenereing law, I don't see how that applies to writen text, or a link to said test.
Ben Spigel sic transit gloria
[ Parent ]

Brilliant analogy (none / 0) (#116)
by bollochs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:26:23 PM EST

I've now changed my mind entirely.

Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
[ Parent ]
I object (4.00 / 1) (#172)
by daani on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:39:08 PM EST

Sure, the naked image of your body may be important to you, something you don't want communicated to the general public. I can understand how it offends you.

However, observing Mr Impaler in the nude was an important spiritual experience for me, one that started me on the road to what I believe to be ulitimate enlightenment. I therefore find myself unable to desist in sharing my photographic record of the event with fellow spiritual seekers.

Furthermore, I spent a good many months staring into my telescopic lens before I was able to experience the wonder of a naked Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America The Impaler ESQ. Does that mean nothing?

My point is that there are others of us with a valuable emotional and religious investment in that pictorial record, possibly greater that the owner of the body in question. On those grounds, I demand our religious right to view Mr Impaler naked via google servers.

And Britney Spears too.



[ Parent ]
Poor google... (4.00 / 3) (#70)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 01:44:10 PM EST

They're really stuck in the middle here. Don't blame them though.

The way I see it, this is like threatening libraries with action because one book the library contains has copyright infringing material from another book. The common sense thing to do is for the 2 books to duke it out. It's not the library's fault.

It's entirely ridiculous.

Google, like most .coms these days, doesnt have piles of cash sitting around to feed to lawyers to combat this kind of nonsense. A damn dirty shame.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Search for Xenu.net in person (4.50 / 6) (#86)
by rusty on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:13:50 PM EST

Posted to the linux-elitists mailing list, by Linux Journal's inimitable Don Marti:

IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION -- March 21, 2002 -- IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION

On March 20th, Google caved in to a baseless legal threat from Scientology's "Religious Technology Center", and removed the web site xenu.net from all search results. (Not just the cached pages. The links, too. Try it.)

The number one site for independent information about the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, and most important of all, the tyrant warlord XENU, has vanished from the number one search engine!

Since Google's web site is no longer an accurate reflection of the state of Xenu (and Scientology) knowledge on the Internet, the

MOUNTAIN VIEW CALIFORNIA XENU INDEPENDENT STUDY GROUP

will be visiting Google's headquarters IN PERSON to search for Xenu information -- with cameras rolling.

Who: The Mountain View, California Xenu Study Group (This means you)

What: First meeting: "Finding Facts about Xenu on the Net with Google"

Where: Meet at Dana St. Roasting Company, 744 Dana Street, Mountain View. Then, travel to Google HQ.

When: 3:45 PM, Thursday, March 21, 2002

Why: To make sure that accurate information about Xenu is available through Internet search engines.

What to bring:

  1. another video camera (we already have one, but could use some more shots)
  2. Your pen and paper for taking notes about how to find good Xenu (and Scientology) sites.
Contact: Don Marti <dmarti@zgp.org> (cell 650-743-8035 for EMERGENCIES and REPORTERS on DEADLINE only!)

IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION -- March 21, 2002 -- IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION

Ah, I almost wish I still lived in the Bay Area. Can't wait to see the footage. Anyone around Mountain View, this is a "don't miss" event for sure.

____
Not the real rusty
What the hell? (3.00 / 5) (#94)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:30:11 PM EST

What do they expect to accomplish here?

The naivete of some people astounds me. The reasons google 'caved' are fairly obvious. Recent developments regarding google and ads and various charging for services show that: They need money.

Lawyers are very expensive people. While the CoS's actions are baseless and ridiculous, they still need to pay lawyers to work that out with CoS.

Rather than spend much of their precious dollars, they instead remove a few links to a site that most people who dislike scientology already know about.

While it is unfortunate indeed, its better than spending money they may not have and losing the entire service.

Get a grip, get a clue, and fight the real problem, which is the DMCA, not its victims.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Fight the DMCA (4.83 / 6) (#102)
by rusty on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:44:13 PM EST

There is no way to fight the DMCA except to go to court and have it dismantled and emasculated piecemeal. As long as victims of the DMCA continue to roll over and play dead based on threats alone, this will never happen, and the weight of legitimacy will continue to accrete around it.

They're not going there to fight Google. These are all people who love Google, and want to see it do the right thing. They are also people with heavy online-liberties lawyer connections, who can help in the fight, if Google elects to make it a fight.

While it is unfortunate indeed, its better than spending money they may not have and losing the entire service.

If Google went to court, and lost the case, they'd have to remove the links that they have already removed. That's it. They wouldn't have to shut down the whole company. That is, what we have now is the worst-case outcome. Should we just accept that the DMCA is a law that you don't have to litigate to excercise? I don't think so.

What they're trying to accomplish is to convince Google that this is an issue worth fighting for, and that the online community values a content-neutral Google highly enough to actually go in person to urge them to. I know I do.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Pyrrhic victories (3.00 / 3) (#109)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:02:31 PM EST

(i think i spelled that right)

The CoS has enormous amounts of money and resources to throw at teams of lawyers. I dont doubt for a second that google pales in comparison to this.

Suppose google decides to fight this. And what - spend all their money on lawyers..so even if they win against CoS they've spent all their money, decimating their cashflow.

Whether they win or lose doesn't matter - they're still going to have to spend boatloads of cash to fight it. I don't know the financial state of google, I can only guess from their recent revenue-raising attempts suggest that they must need some.

This is a case of picking a battle worth fighting. The DMCA needs to be knocked down, but at the expense of google itself? And theres certainly no guarantee of running up to the Supreme Court and getting it knocked down. That is indeed an enormous risk. Google is an invaluable service to the entire internet.

Taking on the CoS is no small task, as many have learned. With no guarantee that this battle could be won with the desired victory (the striking down of DMCA) and the cost of it being the possible decimation of google as we know it, I don't think its a battle worth fighting.

An uphill battle that leads to a pyrrhic victory at best is hardly one worth fighting.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

or roll over and die? (4.50 / 2) (#120)
by arcade on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:37:29 PM EST

You've got a point. However, you forget something very, very important. Google has no value at all, if you can force it to remove material you disagree with.

If google decides not to fight this case, google will lose respect. They've already lost a lot of respect from me, due to this. If they don't rethink their position, pick up the glove and start fighting back again - their value is no longer "an invaluable service to the entire internet" - simply because it can no longer be trusted.



--
arcade
[ Parent ]
Hardly. (3.00 / 2) (#129)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:16:01 PM EST

Have you stopped going to google.com to search for things? Has everyone on the internet?

No. Of course not. The value of google is priceless. While you and a few others may honestly care about this, the rest of the world really doesn't care. Are millions of visitors suddenly saying "oh, well i won't use google anymore"? No. Will they? No.

I don't think google made the decision to pull the links without reluctance. They're stuck between a rock and a hard place.

It is good to have ideals, but one must recognize the reality of the situation. Google's chances of winning against CoS are low. The price is prohibitive.

This will not be the last time the DMCA rears its ugly head. Wait for a battle with better odds, and less of a price.

Think about it this way, suppose you run a highly unique and invaluable service. You don't have alot of money though. If you are threatened with ridiculous legal action by a huge faceless entity, do you fight it? Especially if its over something that is trivial? Something that affects only a few?

Do you fight it if it costs you your service? Puts you and your employees out of a job, closes down your company and the world loses your unique and invaluable service?

Is it worth it? Even if you win or lose, have you really won if you lose everything you fought with in the process?

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Leaving Google (none / 0) (#142)
by Sunir on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:50:31 PM EST

No one will leave Google on the face of one failure, but further violations of our trust will compound the disrespect until one day Google will fall.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

I kind of doubt it. (none / 0) (#156)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 06:22:06 PM EST

I think the only thing that would happen is a newer search service with better results would possibly supplant google as king. Truly, in order to make google useless, you'd have to block 3/4ths of the internet from its indices.

Never bet on the masses of people suddenly caring and stopping use of the service based on some kind of principal. Only when it stops suiting their needs do people stop.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

It's not for idealistic reasons (5.00 / 1) (#165)
by Sunir on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 07:42:28 PM EST

The more that Google lets itself be threatened like this, the more people will threaten it. Due to the way the DMCA works, you would never know what it removes. One day, it may no longer indexes enough of the Internet to remain relevant. Meanwhile, another search engine like WiseNut will clone Google's technology, improve upon it, and return more relevant search results.

The CoS is always on the forefront of free speech issues, but after them will come large companies, and then small companies, and then organizations, and then citizens, and then angered former lovers.

And it's not just this one issue, either. It's not just the algorithm that makes Google popular, especially considering Google's particular position in the hearts of the 'Net. It's hard to stay at the top.

So, it's not inconceivable that someone else will make a popular search engine that's free of some of the problems associated with being #1. We'll see. Things move fast.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

Fight with public opinion and technology (none / 0) (#170)
by martingale on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:25:55 PM EST

From my understanding (IANAL, see my other post on this story) of the DMCA threat as it applies to Google, they have no choice but to take the links down. They can't take sides with either CoS or Xenu on this, or they lose their immunity.

BUT, here's an idea I'm throwing out there. Suppose that, whenever Google takes down a database entry due to the DMCA, it replaces it with a "placeholder entry" which states something like: "this webpage censored due to DMCA action between offended party and offending party", where it names publicly the two parties. This way Google would perform its duty of censorship under the DMCA and be exempt from liability, but people would know about it. If there's a lot of censorship going on, people might notice and bug their politicians (I wish). A technical side effect is that this way, the page rankings aren't messed with.

Just my two cents.



[ Parent ]
Tell those people to also ask Google... (5.00 / 2) (#98)
by afree87 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:39:11 PM EST

...about all the other sites Scientology has told them to censor.

"Here are the urls mentioned in the complaint that I believe are related to your site:"

Sounds like xenu.net isn't the whole story...
--
Ha... yeah.
[ Parent ]

Dammit! (none / 0) (#101)
by ocelotbob on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:43:01 PM EST

Why couldn't they have done this on Saturday? Don't they know that some of us work in SoCal and can't make it to the bay area on a Thursday afternoon? Two days from now, I'd have been there with bells (and a video camera) on, but as it stands, there is no way I can make it.

Damn them! Damn them all to hell, says I!

Why... in my day, the idea wasn't to have a comfortable sub[missive]...
--soylentdas
[ Parent ]

Well, Google doesn't work on Saturdays either [nt] (none / 0) (#140)
by Sunir on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:44:27 PM EST


"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

Get em Don (none / 0) (#119)
by subgenius on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:36:55 PM EST

I really appreciate all you do for the Cause of Freedom.

Mike Collins Admiral, Penguinista Navy
Drive On!
[ Parent ]
Origins of Scientology? (A litte Off Topic) (2.66 / 3) (#104)
by dbc001 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 02:51:21 PM EST

I once heard a rumor that Scientology came about because Isaac Asimov and L. Ron Hubbard had a bet over who could start their own religion. Has anyone else heard this rumor? Anybody know if it's true or how such a rumor came about?

-dbc

Close (none / 0) (#110)
by vectro on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:05:13 PM EST

The actual legend is that it was a bet between Heinlein and Hubbard; Heinlein wrote Stranger in a Strange Land, and Hubbard wrote Dianetics. However, this is unproven; see e.g. <A HREF="http://www.urbanlegends.com/religion/hubbard_heinlein_bet.html">this web page</A>.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Not quite, but... (none / 0) (#113)
by broken77 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:15:36 PM EST

He has been quoted by at least 3 different people (SF writer colleagues in the 50s, I believe) as saying "The way to get rich is to start your own religion. That's where the real money is." I wish I had a link to show you this article, but I believe I read it in dead-tree format somewhere.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Ok, I found it. (none / 0) (#125)
by broken77 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:50:21 PM EST

Here.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

The version I heard (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by a humble lich on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:13:02 PM EST

The version I heard is that a friend claims to have overheard Hubbard talking to Heilein and others at a Science Fiction convention in the 60s or so (before "Dianetics"). Hubbard said something to the effect of they way to really make a lot of money would be to start a religion.

Urbanlegends.com semi verifies this here where they say that at least 5 other credible people claim to have heard Hubbard say something similar. However, they also say the Church of Scientology has won a lawsuit against a publisher who said this, so the truth still seems questionable.

[ Parent ]

also worth noting... (none / 0) (#198)
by afeldspar on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:59:41 PM EST

According to this link, Stern won, rather than lost, the lawsuit.

Scientology's current position on the quote is that only "one individual" claims to have heard Hubbard say it, and that the quote is actually from George Orwell. However, the number of people who can be verified to have met Hubbard or seen him speak and remember him making a comment to this effect is closer to fifteen than to one, so the factual basis of the Orwell "explanation" would be shaky -- and as pointed out by former Scientologist spokesman Robert Vaughn Young, the one who takes reponsibility for finding the Orwell quote while he was in the cult and using it to "divert attention" from Hubbard's cupidity:

The fact that Orwell said it means nothing . . . I doubt that he and LRH were hardly the only ones who said that a religion is a great way to make a buck. No, my friend, LRH said it too. The difference between LRH and Orwell is that LRH did it.


-- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
[ Parent ]

Some petitions... (3.25 / 4) (#111)
by Kayser Soze on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:07:10 PM EST

If we really want to do something about this, let's sign some petitions and let our voice be heard in as many ways as we can.

I, for one, am sick of letting my rights be trampled on. If you feel the same, *do something about it*.

http://www.petitiononline.com/cofs1/petition.html
http://www.petitiononline.com/nixdmca/petition.html


"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes

Oops... (5.00 / 2) (#114)
by Kayser Soze on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:20:11 PM EST

I jantzed up the first link. It should be:

http://www.petitiononline.com/cofs1/petition.html


"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes
[ Parent ]

If I were Google right now... (2.66 / 3) (#118)
by kcbrown on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:36:23 PM EST

I'd be removing every single reference to hits against "scientology", "xenu", "dianetics", and other keywords that are unique to Scientology ... anything connected with Scientology ... except the xenu.net, Operation Clambake, and other pages which are anti-Scientology. I'd remove cached pages which involve CoS copyrighted material, and I'd change links which previously pointed to CoS copyrighted material so that they pointed to the main page of the site that contains that material (this last bit would depend on what my counsel said).

If the CoS wants to play hardball by forcing a search engine to toss its objectivity, let them deal with the consequences of that.

I've got an idea! (none / 0) (#211)
by bowdie on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 03:34:52 AM EST

I'm sure the Co$ will love them doing that. I've got a hornet's nest at the bottom of my yard, maybe you'd like to come over and kick it some? ;)

Whilst I love to see the clams getting their shit fsked up, I think that would be pouring petrol on the flames of any already nasty situation.

Messing with the OSA != wise.

[ Parent ]

Scientology attack dogs on the prowl.... (4.00 / 4) (#124)
by SlapHappy on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 03:46:59 PM EST

and as usual they bite their own asses first! Every time Scientologists go after some online critic, they end up pissing off a lot of people and get even more eyes on the sites they were trying to suppress in the first place! This is not the first time this has occured. Witness their ham-handed attempts to cancel alt.religion.scientology or sending a nastygram to Slashdot because someone posted their "scriptures" in a discussion unrelated to Scientology (of course Slashdot was kind enough to post a story on their cease and desist, bringing even more people to the critic sites!). I even know a musician who goes by "El Queso" who was thrown off of MP3.com because he wrote songs critical of Scientology. He got more downloads of his songs then ever after the publicity of getting pulled got around! (Take a listen here. It's funny stuff, but some songs use naughty words. I think it makes them funnier!). Using Google to do Scientology's dirty work is best thing that could have happened to xenu.net. They are swamped because of the publicity! Its amusing to think that Scientology's basic tenets demand an enemy to crusade against. It turns out they have become their own worst enemy!

It's ironic (4.00 / 4) (#126)
by damiam on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:03:48 PM EST

So Google can index and cache kiddie porn, but not pages that link to copyrighted texts?

Fix for groups being classified as Religions? (4.66 / 3) (#130)
by radghast on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:19:52 PM EST

To be classified as a religion, all beliefs of said religion must be freely available at no cost to the prospective "convertee" for review and critical analysis.

What's the odds that this could be legislated? Would it actually be a fix? I don't know of any other religion that copyrights its religious books, though all religions certainly have other books written by individual authors about putting those beliefs into practice. You would think it would be a slam-dunk...

"It remains to be seen if the human brain is powerful enough to solve the problems it has created." -- Dr. Richard Wallace
Well . . . (4.00 / 1) (#134)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:31:31 PM EST

I belive most bible's you'll find are somehow copywrited. Though I belive in that case they are copywriting the translation, not the bible itself (I'm not sure about this, though). Also, in many cases the book is given away freely anyway, and the copywrite is just there to say "do whatever you want, just don't take our name off it", just like the BSD license. In some (relitivly rare) cases, it's "do whatever you want, just don't twist our words to something we disagree with and say it's from us".


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
not the problem in this case (4.66 / 3) (#168)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:13:52 PM EST

Scientology is not classified as a religion in any country I know of. They lost a Supreme Court case in the United States 20 years ago or so, and are now classified as a business rather than a religion, which means that they have to pay income taxes. They're even worse off in Europe, where many countries have banned them entirely.

[ Parent ]
Interesting! (2.50 / 2) (#178)
by Scandal on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:31:59 PM EST

Since I was actually audited by the IRS for 1990 because of payments I made to Scientology, and because I actually got money back from the US government for said payments, I would have to say that your data is a bit... false.


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
Actually, it *is* classified as a religion (5.00 / 4) (#180)
by radghast on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:38:29 PM EST

It was quite a fight with the IRS, and a mysterious one at that, but it is classified as a religion. Here's the background on it:

http://wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de/~krasel/CoS/irs/

"It remains to be seen if the human brain is powerful enough to solve the problems it has created." -- Dr. Richard Wallace
[ Parent ]
interesting (none / 0) (#183)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:51:36 PM EST

Thanks, I must've been confusing countries. I could've sworn that they lost in the US, but apparently not.

Reading that page (and some google results) it seems everyone thinks there was a huge conspiracy in the settlement. Odd.

[ Parent ]

Your technique could stand some work (2.20 / 5) (#187)
by Scandal on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:50:03 PM EST

If this had been any other topic, you'd have been booed off of K5 for arguing such provably false information.

Scientology is not, however, any ordinary topic. No, Scientology is the topic which has virtually everyone who fancies himself "Internet-saavy" frothing at the mouth over the "atrocities" committed.

Few of you have any ability to rationally evaluate Scientology. Amusingly, critics have an amusing trap set up which states that if you've ever been involved in Scientology and are not vehemently opposed to it, you must be brainwashed. It's kinda like the whole "sink or swim" thing for witches... "sink" and you're innocent, "swim" and you're guilty. You really can't win, can you?

Well, guess what, guys? While I don't agree with certain things the church does (the "Tom Cruise" missile comes to mind), and while I don't agree with certain things that individual Scientologists do, I am pro-Scientology. Amazingly, while I don't agree with certain things that America does, and while I don't agree with certain things that Americans do, I am pro-America. Perhaps you Europeans can proclaim me "America-brainwashed", too.

But be careful... if I ever find out who any of you are, you know I'll be over to drown your pets. And cut your phone lines. And my lawyer is itching for some extra work. So go ahead and badmouth me.

Oh, wait, I forgot, you can't take a joke while you're frothing at the mouth, can you?


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
well (5.00 / 3) (#188)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:52:51 PM EST

Scientology does have a disturbingly large number of ex-members who are vehemently opposed to the organization. Proportionally to the size of the organization, it's far larger than for any other major religion. If Scientology is innocuous, why are there so many disenchanted former members? And why does the church go to such great lengths to silence them?

[ Parent ]
Count them. It's not that big. (3.00 / 3) (#194)
by Scandal on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:22:26 PM EST

Give me actual numbers. A "disturbingly large number". What is that? What percentage? It's just generalities, which would be laughed off the stage if you offered it as evidence for any other topic.

The church goes to great lengths to protect the upper level materials. You can bitch about the church all day long, and nothing will come of it. The moment you include upper level materials (which were stolen from the Church in the 70's), the wrath of RTC will be upon you.

What always amuses me is that there is TONS of material available to use to poke fun of the Church. Given a Church, founded by an author known for science fiction, and given that the Church's membership believes in past lives, what kind of material do you suppose you could dredge up to poke fun at the Church? I've seen tons of unprotected materials (protected by copyright, but not by trade secret) which put the OT level material I've seen on the Internet TO SHAME. But no one ever tries to use that stuff (inclusion of portions of which would stand up easily to "fair use" in a court of law, as long as it were part of a critique -- hint, hint), and instead goes after that tiny fraction of materials which the church must, by its very creed, protect, and which time and again has been protected BY LAW.

WHY? The best I can figure is that people want to make it look like they're being harassed by a big bad meaning. Never mind that these same big bad meanies are trying to destroy the church and have said so in no uncertain terms. The critics of the church KNOW that the Church will only go after them SO LONG AS they include upper level materials on their web sites. Any other materials (and, I promise you, there are tons of "kooky" things to be found in the Research and Discovery volumes) would not get the bat of an eyelash from the Church, as long as it was within the realm of fair use -- i.e. citing passages (even big ones) and pointing out what's wrong with it or the Church, and not, say, copying the entire volume, or the entire transcript of a tape of Hubbard's lectures.

The question is who gets more benefit from the press associated with these things... the critics or the Church? That's the question that has me wondering. Given the DMCA and now the latest flavor of the SSSCA, I'm thinking the use of these laws (the DMCA, anyway) by the Church is making legislators... happy. I don't like it one bit.


*Scandal*


[ Parent ]
Distribution costs? (none / 0) (#200)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 12:35:45 AM EST

The only problem I see with this is that many churches cannot afford to freely give out bibles. It's hard to find a middle ground. Hmmm..after 3 seconds more thought, maybe it's not - religious texts must be copyright-free? Does that work?

[ Parent ]
Copyright of translations (none / 0) (#241)
by Pseudonym on Sun Mar 24, 2002 at 11:11:20 PM EST

If sacred texts had to be free of copyright, translations would never be made.

Personally, I see no problem with the phrase "reasonable and non-discriminatory" in this case. If the cost of obtaining a copy of the beliefs/sacred texts of a religion were a) reasonable (e.g. $15,000 for a copy of the Qu'ran seems excessive) and b) non-discriminatory (e.g. you don't have to be a Hindu to buy a copy of the Bhagavad Gita), that seems fine to me.

Of course this could be argued as an infringement of the separation between church and state (i.e. state interfering with church). Of course, the state has no requirement to give you a tax concession, either.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
GPL Religion! (5.00 / 1) (#242)
by itsbruce on Mon Mar 25, 2002 at 12:03:55 AM EST

Hey, you just proposed that all religions conform to the GPL! Hush, before RMS hears, or he'll never shut up.


--It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]

Exactly what part of the DMCA... (4.25 / 4) (#132)
by Anonymous 23477 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:22:54 PM EST

Exactly what part of the DMCA are they rattling their sabers with?

Revealing analysis (3.50 / 2) (#136)
by bollochs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:33:36 PM EST

This article is definitely worth a read. An extensive follow up piece highlight many of the key issues. From one particularly cunning piece of researching, this gem was unearthed:

'Earlier, Mr. Hubbard personally supervised the practice of the religion, and he also registered as marks many of the religion's identifying words and symbols, such as "Dianetics" and "Scientology." These registered marks provided a legal mechanism for ensuring that the Scientology religious technologies were orthodox and ministered according to the scriptures. They also provide a legal mechanism to prevent anyone from practicing in a non-orthodox manner or engaging in some distorted use of Mr. Hubbard's writings, while then claiming it is standard Dianetics or Scientology.' I've no idea what it means, but it definitely sounds sinister. The more I find out about this organisation, the more I like it.


Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
Not really (none / 0) (#146)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:02:30 PM EST

Though I have no love of Scientology, I don't think the part about "provide a legal mechanism to prevent anyone from practicing in a non-orthodox manner or engaging in some distorted use of Mr. Hubbard's writings" is in any way sinister. It just says "we don't want you saying we belive this when we don't". Though just about everything else the CoS does with it's copywrites certainly has sinister motiviations.

Hubbard had some weird stuff about how someone would die if they misapplied Scientology; if this were true, copywriting for that purpase is kinda a moot issue . . .


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
You're living in a dream world (none / 0) (#171)
by bollochs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:37:01 PM EST

You would be right if they were using the law for true copyright purposes. However, instead of that they are using this to prevent people criticising them. You have 2 choices, either write that Scientology is exactly what they tell you it is, or don't write about them at all. That's the plan anyway. The question is why do they behave like that? Well, because they want their version of what Scientology is to be the only version. For instance, I know for a fact that part of the initiation process requires some form of sexual activity with a Garden Gnome (exactly what I don't know), but if I were to announce that, I could get sued. Why? Well, because they do not make reference to it in their version of what Scientology is.

Another good point raised in that article, is that the front page of the site didn't in any respect get close to breaking copyright laws (even under their dubious attempted application of them), but they asked for it to be removed anyway. Why? Well because it was the page that was ranked most highly on Google. This is censorship, that is all this is about.

Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
[ Parent ]
I'm well aware of that (none / 0) (#189)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:54:01 PM EST

You would be right if they were using the law for true copyright purposes. However, instead of that they are using this to prevent people criticising them.

I'm well aware of the CoS's abuse of copywrite. My response to the parent was specifically to refute the parent's statement that not wanting belifs misrepresented was somehow a bad thing. The specific quote was:

' . . . They also provide a legal mechanism to prevent anyone from practicing in a non-orthodox manner or engaging in some distorted use of Mr. Hubbard's writings, while then claiming it is standard Dianetics or Scientology.' I've no idea what it means, but it definitely sounds sinister.

I know very well of Scientology's misuse of copywrite, but preventing misrepresented beliefs is not one of them. That's why I added in my orginal post:

Though just about everything else the CoS does with it's copywrites certainly has sinister motiviations.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Trademark law, not copyright law (4.00 / 1) (#191)
by afeldspar on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:03:06 PM EST

Though I have no love of Scientology, I don't think the part about "provide a legal mechanism to prevent anyone from practicing in a non-orthodox manner or engaging in some distorted use of Mr. Hubbard's writings" is in any way sinister. It just says "we don't want you saying we belive this when we don't".

First of all, those are two different things. The first of those, they have no right to. If Scientology's "religious technologies" have any viable practical application, what right has Scientology to subvert the clear intent of the law? The intent of the law is to "promote the progress of the useful arts and sciences". Assuming purely for the sake of argument that Scientology "tech" falls into this category, preventing anyone from practicing it in a "non-orthodox manner" is by definition preventing it from progressing.

The second matter is one that they have more right to. They do indeed have a right to clearly and accurately identify what teachings and practices are endorsed by the CoS, and which are not. But that is a matter for trademark law, not copyright law. A trademark is literally a "mark of trade"; it is a form of identification for vendors. Simply registering a distinctive logo as a trademark and placing it only on those works that they are willing to stand behind should be sufficient for the purpose of "we don't want you saying we belive this when we don't".


-- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
[ Parent ]

Touche (none / 0) (#222)
by hardburn on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 09:05:19 AM EST

If Scientology's "religious technologies" have any viable practical application, what right has Scientology to subvert the clear intent of the law?

Excelent point, although most of the "technoloogies" are actually reimplementations of well-known technologies (such as the E-Meter).

They do indeed have a right to clearly and accurately identify what teachings and practices are endorsed by the CoS, and which are not. But that is a matter for trademark law, not copyright law.

While I think you're right regarding the intent of the various IP laws, the way American (and other western nations) IP law works would make this hard to do in practice. IANAL, of course.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
I wonder... (3.00 / 6) (#137)
by Danse on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:39:00 PM EST

Anybody know of any way to get CoS onto the US government's list of terrorist organizations? Does Dubya keep the list taped to the bottom of his desk drawer or something? Maybe we could do something worthwhile with all the military funding in the upcoming budget and rid the world of the CoS plague.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
Better than a petition... (4.55 / 9) (#143)
by darthaggie on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:55:12 PM EST

Instead of petitioning or boycotting Google, why don't you whiners do something a tad more constructive and set up a legal defense fund for Google.

Oh. I see. You don't think the CoS isn't going to backup their legal threats? Y'all are funny. Misinformed, but funny.

Or perhaps a K5 legal-beagle can write up a response that satisfies this?

Pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and (3) of the DMCA, you have the ability to submit a counter notification, in which event we can reinstate the material.

Surely that's something that can be easily done, right?

I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 05:03:51 PM EST

I was trying to say something similar, but couldn't think of the right words to say it.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Funny though... (3.50 / 2) (#145)
by nlaporte on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 04:59:02 PM EST

The top top link, above all the search results, when you search for "scientology" on Google is a link to the C|Net article about google removing links to Xenu.net. Looks like they're adhering to the letter of the request, just like the Scientologists. Hehehe...


--
John Shydoubie. Shydoubie. John Shydoubie. John Shydoubie.
First result (none / 0) (#155)
by Vs on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 06:02:45 PM EST

Nope, you didn't notice what's even before the news-link:
Categories:    Society > Religion and Spirituality > Scientology   Society > Religion and Spirituality > Opposing Views > Scientology
I didn't notice this earlier, either.
--
Where are the immoderate submissions?
[ Parent ]
Use Google against Google (4.95 / 126) (#158)
by oc3 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 06:45:18 PM EST

I read this story and I got really pissed off, so I figured what the hell, and I spent 20 bucks on an AdWord linking to the site they have removed. Search for google for scientology, scientologist or xenu and you will see it. Now the Scientologists are gonna come after me. I think they usually make it look like a suicide. Shit, I think they're at the door...

Kick ass! (5.00 / 3) (#159)
by DarkZero on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 07:04:12 PM EST

Sir, words cannot express just how much ass you kick. Beyond that and "thank you", I'm seriously at a loss for words. That's just such a cool idea...

[ Parent ]
Here's what you can do (4.66 / 3) (#162)
by oscitant on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 07:15:12 PM EST

Buy some Adwords yourself.

[ Parent ]
Is it based on page views like k5? (5.00 / 1) (#174)
by KilljoyAZ on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:48:31 PM EST

If so, you've run out already. I ran a search and didn't see any ads. Kudos on the good idea though.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
theyre at google... (5.00 / 2) (#196)
by jeffy124 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:36:23 PM EST

at google, do a search on "scientology" (and maybe some other search terms), then look to the right of the results for the "sponsored link" boxes.
--
You're the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
That's what I did (none / 0) (#226)
by KilljoyAZ on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 10:31:27 AM EST

No little box of sponsored links at the side. That's why I asked if Google's AdWords worked like k5's text ads.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
They're not allowing them (5.00 / 2) (#233)
by Biff Cool on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 05:27:31 PM EST

At least not anymore.  I got an email right after I started mine, saying that the ad was objectionable or such and wouldn't be allowed.

My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler


[ Parent ]
"Disapproved" (none / 0) (#244)
by blair on Tue Mar 26, 2002 at 08:52:05 PM EST

My ad ran for approximately 2 days (and had generated a fair number of click throughs and impressions) before I received my notice from Google.

<sigh>

Regardless, a wonderful tactic. I intend to reformulate my ad for both this topic as well as create other ads for appropriate purposes.



[ Parent ]
English (none / 0) (#218)
by Mister Proper on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 07:51:02 AM EST

It appears that you need to set up Google to use English, otherwise you don't get to see any advertisements. In fact, you can't even buy any ads if you change the language (at least for my native language).

For your convenience (and for the archives), there are now two ads:

  • All about Scientology

    What is Scientology? Xenu.net is the definitive guide to Scientology

    www.xenu.net

  • Scientology Lies!

    & breaks the law & hurts people. Get informed & get involved!

    www.scientology-lies.com

I plan to buy one myself but I'm going to wait a month or so because the message is clear for now. If anyone has a good idea for an ad message, please share :).

[ Parent ]
More (none / 0) (#219)
by Mister Proper on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 07:56:41 AM EST

When using English Google appearantly also inserts news links before the other search results. Here's what is shown when searching for Scientology now:
News: Google pulls, replaces Web page critical of Scientology (The Namibian - 23:05 21 Mar 2002)
Which is very nice :).

[ Parent ]
google ad posting tips (none / 0) (#231)
by lonemarauder on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 03:16:08 PM EST

I figured out why my ad wasn't getting any impressions. I put the following in the keyword field: scientology scientologist xenu.

I just realized that by doing that, I forced google to respond only if all three keywords were used. I put commas between keywords, and the ad comes up as it should now.

Important tip for those who want to follow suit (nudge nudge)



[ Parent ]
my google ad (none / 0) (#228)
by lonemarauder on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 10:50:41 AM EST

Interesting. You are right. The ad does not appear. I've only burned 44 cents on the campaign so far, and I only have about 40 impressions (with a 16% click through rate)

I wonder what the hell could be going on with Google now.



[ Parent ]
Thank you so very, very much (5.00 / 2) (#197)
by skov on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:38:39 PM EST

for posting this. My faith in humanity is restored. As long as people like you are around, life is good. A little melodramatic perhaps, but a post like this deserves big words. You, my good man, quite simply rock.

[ Parent ]
they can't kill us all... (5.00 / 4) (#203)
by lonemarauder on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 12:48:16 AM EST

I ponied up a $20 as well. If you see your ad up longer that you expected, it's because I copied it. I hope you don't sue me. hehe.



[ Parent ]
Okay (5.00 / 4) (#210)
by silsor on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 01:58:27 AM EST

I'll just stop in my quest for the perfect topical comment. 5.00/61 is just too good to beat. You win. What, do you want me to say "DING DING DING"?


✠  Patron saint of unmoderated (none / 0) top-level comments.
[ Parent ]
WE'VE WON (4.50 / 4) (#160)
by DarkZero on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 07:09:38 PM EST

As of this moment, the first search result for "Operation Clambake" is Xenu.net. The fourth search result for "scientology" is Xenu.net. All searches for "scientology" also reveal a C|Net story about Google's initial ban of Operation Clambake, as well as an ad posted on Google by oc3, a K5 reader whose post should be below this one.

We win this round, Scientology. Good game.

Excellent :) (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by jesterzog on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:53:48 PM EST

It looks like http://www.xenu.net is properly being indexed again. It was showing up as an unknown URL before.


jesterzog Fight the light


[ Parent ]
They also placed an ad (5.00 / 1) (#177)
by afree87 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:29:25 PM EST

As of 21 March 02, there's an ad for xenu.net when you search for "Scientology". Of course, it's no longer relevant, but if you want to know about the Co$, the ad will take you to the right place ^_^
--
Ha... yeah.
[ Parent ]
Mea culpa (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by afree87 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:32:56 PM EST

A K5er actually did that. This is what I get when I don't read all the ads.
--
Ha... yeah.
[ Parent ]
Added a link (3.50 / 2) (#185)
by seeS on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:12:46 PM EST

I though I'd help the clambake guys along and put a link onto my page just to push it that little closer to #1.

Details are at http://xenu.net/archive/banners/ if you want to help too
--
Where's a policeman when you need one to blame the World Wide Web?
[ Parent ]

Type in "anti scientology" in Google ... (2.66 / 3) (#161)
by pyramid termite on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 07:11:17 PM EST

... and www.xenu.net is your first result. Just "scientology" will bring up as the 16th result a site that has a links page that lists www.xenu.net.

Conclusion - someone who wants anti-scientology information on the net should have no problem finding it with a minimal web search.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
yes, and (5.00 / 2) (#173)
by jesterzog on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:45:03 PM EST

What concerns me more though is that someone who wants objective information for and against scientology will be showered with pro-scientology propaganda.


jesterzog Fight the light


[ Parent ]
But ... (2.00 / 1) (#181)
by pyramid termite on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:41:12 PM EST

... if I enter a search for cars, or the Catholic church, does that mean I'm entitled to a balanced mix of sites? It seems to me that someone looking for information for and against Scientology is able to find this information. All it takes is the ability to think and search. If the 16th link down on one search is too obscure and the first link on "anti" is too obscure for a web searcher, then I'd say this person's lazy and wants to be spoon-fed the information. I wish everything I've searched for was that easy to find.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I don't agree (none / 0) (#193)
by jesterzog on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 11:17:24 PM EST

Well that wasn't exactly what I was trying to imply. If you want to find information against scientology then you can, but if you want to find information about scientology without having any preconceptions, you'd get a very skewed impression from all the information that's actually out there on the topic.

If you search generally for a particular type of car and there's lots of negative information about that car, the search results should (ideally) objectively reflect the most popular and relevant sites for that car, irrespective of what they say. Except when people figure out how to trick it, google estimates the relevance of a site really well by using algorithms to figure out which sites are considered most important about a topic by similar sites.

If there was actually a lack of negative information about scientology on the web then I don't think it should matter. But there's not. It's one power hungry organisation trying to control what people see about it by forcing google to demote information that disagrees with it to a place where it's less likely to be seen by someone searching for general information about what scientology is.


jesterzog Fight the light


[ Parent ]
Google pulls a fast one? (2.66 / 3) (#163)
by Frigorific on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 07:18:15 PM EST

First of all, at the time of this writing (6:10 US/CST), it looks to me like Google is still returning results that point to clambake.org and xenu.net. Not only that, but have a look at the results page for a search on Scientology. "Scientology is Evil?" is the "Sponsored Link" consistently shown in association with that search.

I think that Google is doing everything they can to fight this, but they don't have money to burn on mounting a legal defense against the CoS.



Who is John Galt? Rather, who is Vasilios Hoffman?
Heh. (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by Frigorific on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 07:20:45 PM EST

Should've refreshed before posting. Looks like others figured this out before I did. Major props to OC3 :D
Who is John Galt? Rather, who is Vasilios Hoffman?
[ Parent ]
Doesn't look removed to me (1.00 / 1) (#169)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 08:15:58 PM EST

Search for "xenu" on google. The first result is http://wwww.xenu.net/.

Scientology, not Xenu.net (5.00 / 1) (#213)
by Vs on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 04:20:44 AM EST

This issue started mostly about why Google wouldn't find any results on site:xenu.net when searching for "Scientology".
--
Where are the immoderate submissions?
[ Parent ]
Scientologists and mad squirrels (4.00 / 3) (#176)
by itsbruce on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:04:03 PM EST

One day, a few months ago, Google-randomness gave me this link. Chapter 19 of an ex-scientologist's rambling account of his time in the cult. It's not great literature (though I think Mr Fishman has the makings of a good pulp writer) but the contents are so bizarre and disturbing that I had to read to the bottom of the web page.

Now, the guy's a nut. He had schizophrenic tendencies when they took him in and they sure brought them out: "I still had to save the world and Clear the planet before Christ blew it up in 1997, and I needed to keep my wits about me in order to do it properly.". So make up your own mind about how reliable you think he is.

The most bizarre thing on his entire site, IMO, is where he attempts to repudiate smears that (he alleges) the Scientologists have put out about him. A taster:

I never "co-produced a film entitled "Alchemuenster: Turning Cheese Into Gold." Although that would have been a more interesting project than L. Ron Hubbard talking to plants, I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold, because if I did, I would have had enough money to hire a lawyer to fight Scientology in the Fishman / Geertz case.

I also do not know how to turn cheese into gold. I share his pain.


--It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.

Google responds (4.75 / 4) (#182)
by afree87 on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 09:43:49 PM EST

Found this cut-and-pasted on a.r.s. Apparently, it's being mass-mailed from Google.

Thank you for your note about the Xenu.net website.

Google takes the first amendment very seriously. We are also obligated to follow the laws of the land. We removed some pages of the Xenu.net website from our search engine earlier this week in response to a copyright infringement notification under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). It is not within our discretion as a company to decide when to conform to the DMCA and when to ignore it. As the DMCA mandates, Google also provides webmasters with the ability to have their content reinstated if they submit a counter notification to Google. Until that action is taken, we will comply with the DMCA and keep the contested pages out of our index. If you'd like more information on this topic, you can find it here:

www.google.com/dmca.html or by searching Google for "DMCA"

(http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&q=dmca).

We appreciate your interest in this issue and your taking the time to express your opinion.

Sincerely, The Google Team


--
Ha... yeah.
Ahh, good (5.00 / 1) (#190)
by hardburn on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:59:45 PM EST

And throughout it all, an anti-DMCA site is at the top of the list for the search "dmca"! The next one down looks to be a PDF of the actual law, and the EFF's website is the top 10 :)


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Google NOT a webhost! (3.50 / 2) (#186)
by Blarney on Thu Mar 21, 2002 at 10:17:44 PM EST

Google isn't actually hosting the pages - so why would they be responsible for the content of them? This sets a very bad precedent. I suggest that we undertake the following steps:

  1. Attempt to arrange an interview on K5 with a Google representative. I understand this isn't Slashdot and stories don't just come into existence by fiat, but perhaps we could start a petition and send it to Google's PR department.
  2. Attempt to arrange a legal defense fund should Google be willing to fight this one in court. I am extremely broke right now, mainly due to living off of a scholarship without any withholding and being ordered to send about 1.5 months pay to the Federal government by the 15th, but I could certainly contribute $20. I'm sure that many people here could also do this.


Google caches & the DMCA does cover search eng (none / 0) (#235)
by Trepalium on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 09:18:21 PM EST

Unfortunately, the DMCA does contain text that states it covers search engines. Besides, you could claim that google's cache constitutes hosting of the pages, and is therefore infringing.

[ Parent ]
Google is still censoring (4.33 / 3) (#204)
by Eloquence on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 12:52:00 AM EST

Just not the main page. More on infoAnarchy.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
/. is down (none / 0) (#205)
by graspee on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 12:56:05 AM EST

5:55 am and /. has been /.ed by the scientologists.

Or is it a bug in the slashcode?

Or has *someone* destroyed /. for allowing people to say bad bad bad naughty things about certain "religions" ?

graspee



[ Parent ]
This is a much larger victory than you think (4.88 / 9) (#214)
by valency on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 04:42:06 AM EST

This is wonderful. Until now, when a non-technically-oriented person asked me "why do you oppose the DMCA", I had to explain things like how reverse engineering actually furthers technology, and why it cripples open source efforts.

Now I can just say "because some wacko cult is using it to supress information that can be used to save its victims".

We just won in a big way.

---
If you disagree, and somebody has already posted the exact rebuttal that you would use: moderate, don't post.

A Co$ personality test (4.40 / 5) (#216)
by tekue on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 06:12:50 AM EST

I strongly encourage everyone who want to find out what Co$ is really about to read the personality test they have on their official pages.

It's pretty entertaining really, when you think for a second about questions like "5. Do you intend two or less children in your family even though your health and income will permit more?" (if you say yes, that means you're wealthy and not inclined to spend your money on children) or "7. Would you prefer to be in a position where you did not have the responsibilities of making decisions?" (or to rephrase, "Are you a sheep we can hurd?") checked by "29. Would you rather give orders than take them?", or even "14. Would the idea of inflicting pain on game, small animals or fish prevent you from hunting or fishing?" (or "Are you soft-hearted enough to belive we are too?"). Incredible stuff, I really enjoyed it and I recommend it. Also, I'm really happy to say, that there's no Co$ in my country (Poland), although I probably can guess the reason for that (raging Catolicism and low income levels).
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins

Personality tests (4.25 / 4) (#217)
by am3nhot3p on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 07:13:45 AM EST

There is a road near here that is always staked out by Scientologists. I don't know whether I look like an easy target to them, but every time I walk along this road, they leap on me! 'Can I ask you three questions?'

Anyway, on one occasion, I was feeling in a good mood, so I said, 'OK'. I can't remember the exact words, but it was something like this:

Her: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Me: (After about 30s of um-ing and ah-ing) I don't think there's anything, really. I'd say I'm pretty happy with who I am.
Her: (Disappointedly) Oh. I see. Well, I'll give you one of these leaflets anyway. (Hands me invitation to undergo a personality test)
It amused me that they really had no answer to someone who was happy! I guess they only know how to prey on the vulnerable...



[ Parent ]
My Co$ literature experience was brief indeed. (5.00 / 1) (#236)
by losthalo on Sat Mar 23, 2002 at 12:57:58 AM EST

The woman simply handed me the personality test, with leaflets folded into it, as she passed me on the sidewalk (she was just pushing them at people as she passed them, not even bothering to talk to them). Peculiar behavior for a recruitment method, really... Losthalo "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

[ Parent ]
Personality Tests (4.40 / 5) (#221)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 08:38:32 AM EST

When I was at university doing a psychology course we were shown how to construct a fair and unbiased psychology test so that the testee is not 'led' into particular answers, and with control questions that were not marked and other such statistical and psychological safeguards.

We actually studied the CoS test as a good example of how not to conduct a fair test...

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.
[ Parent ]

Don't do that test at the Co$ website... (none / 0) (#246)
by coolvibe on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 01:01:54 PM EST

Do it HERE. Basically what the test on the Co$ site does is mail your answers to them, after which you get mauled by a Co$ recruiter.

Unless you like that kind of abuse of course, but you can do that test at my website, without all the Co$ propaganda and brainwashing. Heck, you can even _download_ the cgi that I use and host your own OCA test.


--
Yet another community site: hackerheaven.org. Now in juicy Scoop flavour!
[ Parent ]

I didn't really mean "do it" (none / 0) (#250)
by tekue on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 08:45:38 AM EST

What I meant was more like "check it out" :)
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]
It's a US law, right? (3.00 / 2) (#224)
by psicE on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 09:28:01 AM EST

A short while ago, KaZaA was faced with the decision of a court in the Netherlands to block all copyright violations happening off their servers. Instead, KaZaA sold their software to Sharman Networks in Australia.

Why can't Google do that? Just set up a company in Norway, sell everything to that company for $1, and move all the employees over there. The Church of Scientology wouldn't even know how to contact them, let alone be able to sue them (no DMCA in Norway).

Google's story doesn't wash. (5.00 / 1) (#230)
by bollochs on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 02:01:51 PM EST

OK, there is something bizarre going on here. A Google spokesperson has said that the main site was 'inadvertently removed' however if you look at the original claim made by CoS lawyers it is clear that they wanted the main page removed. To quote:

'This particular web site owner has placed our clients' copyrighted works and federally registered trademarks on his web page without the authorization of our clients. According, his actions are in violation of United States copyright law and I request Google either remove or disable access to the web site, "www.xenu.net".

The Search Query used is: Scientology
Infringing Web Page: www.xenu.net

- Is there really any doubt that Google removed that page at the request of CoS? It was after all included on the original list. If Google chooses to follow the law, they have to remove all the pages without consideration. Why now claim that one page was 'inadvertently removed' when it obviously wasn't. Theoretically they are now in breach of the law, unless Xenu.net has put in a counter claim, which they've accepted, but if that was the case surely they would have said? The only way I see for Google not to be in breach of the law, is if they have struck a deal with the CoS allowing them to reinstate the main page. Could this have been done, perhaps in an attempt to counter the negative publicity. After all, it did work. Many of us bought the spin, even Rusty ;-)


Disclaimer - Although never funny, everything I write is satire, and thus free from dubious slander laws.
trademarks and copyrights (5.00 / 1) (#234)
by danny on Fri Mar 22, 2002 at 07:08:41 PM EST

Apparently the DMCA doesn't cover trademarks, and that was the only possible problem with the top page on xenu.net. The other pages are still out of the index... Less important but still a disturbing precedent.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

pretty clever (5.00 / 1) (#240)
by fourseven on Sat Mar 23, 2002 at 04:48:39 PM EST

Having google forced to remove a few links resulted in lots of discussions and a few articles on news sites. All these being eventually linked to by google, of course. So in a way, the guys who asked google to remove links to certains sites caused the amount of links to these sites to increase. And gained some bad press in the process. Interesting how these things work out..

Hey, These scientology guys can be useful! (none / 0) (#243)
by imayes on Tue Mar 26, 2002 at 01:46:45 PM EST

Stay with me here...

Since these guys are zealots (according to the website), we can use them as our "anti-terrorist-terrorist suicide bombers"! That way we can have them bomb states and governments that support terrorists, and we can deny supporting them just like the terrorist states deny supporting terrorism! We can kill (literally) two birds with one stone!

Just a thought...

Church of Scientology wields the DMCA, Google removes xenu.net | 250 comments (225 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!