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Warning: This page contains material of a nature which may offend some readers.
This site is not affiliated with the Church of Scientology.
In the United States of America, as with most of the world, copyright law contains a "Fair Use" clause, which permit excerpts of copyrighted works to be reprinted "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching [...], scholarship, or research".
But the lawyers for the Church of Scientology, in trying to prevent people from seeing just how bizarre some of their beliefs are, apparently hoped that Scientology's critics weren't aware of the "Fair Use" protections.
Helena K. Kobrin, one of Scientology's lawyers, sent out numerous threats of litigation, via email, to people who posted six particularly wacky lines from one of Scientology's higher-level "scriptures". Here's one recipient's response, posted to the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology:
Date: 19 Jul 1995 17:06:06 -0600 Distribution: inet Followup-To: alt.religion.scientology,alt.religion.kibology,alt.slack, misc.legal,alt.activism,alt.censorship,comp.org.eff.talk, news.admin.net-abuse.misc,alt.culture.internet, alt.culture.usenet From: email@example.com (henry) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology, alt.angst, alt.religion.kibology, alt.slack, misc.legal, sci.skeptic, alt.activism, alt.censorship, comp.org.eff.talk, news.admin.net-abuse.misc, alt.internet.media-coverage, alt.support.ex-cult, alt.clearing.technology, alt.culture.internet, alt.culture.usenet Organization: University of Denver, Dept. of Math & Comp. Sci. Subject: Helena Kobrin threatens *YET ANOTHER* lawsuit! X-Editor-wrapper: SigEd V1.2.1, Add .sig and PGP flexibility to posts. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- I have just received in my email yet another of the disturbing missives sent out scattershot by one Helena Kobrin, an attorney representing the Church <spit> of Scientology, a vindictive and paranoid organization which has recently declared war on the net. I am being threatened with legal action because I posted the following material: Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >>: OT7-48 >>: 1. Find some plants, trees, etc., and communicate to them >>: individually until you know they received your communication. >>: 2. Go to a zoo or a place with many types of life and communicate >>: with each of them until you know the communication is >>: received and, if possible, returned. I posted this for the purpose of criticizing the practices and beliefs of a criminal cult, eleven of whose members were convicted of federal offenses and imprisoned for wiretapping government offices, stealing documents from government offices, forging documents and other crimes. This quotation is 'fair use' as recognized under US law, is only six lines, and was quoted for the purposes of review and public information, and as such this threat is without grounds and baseless. Shortly thereafter, I received this letter, which many of you may have seen in identical or nearly-identical forms. Frankly, it's becoming the net email equivalent of "MAKE MONEY FAST," as it's invariably sent to any critics of the cult who dare quote its scriptures in order to satirize it. >From email@example.com Wed Jul 19 16:10:21 1995 First, I note that Helena Kobrin, despite being currently involved in litigation against netcom for similarly harassing motives, is posting from there. >Return-Path: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Received: from netcom16.netcom.com by nyx.cs.du.edu (4.1/SMI-4.1) > id AA15286; Wed, 19 Jul 95 16:10:09 MDT >X-Disclaimer: Nyx is a public access Unix system run by the University > of Denver. The University has neither control over nor > responsibility for the opinions or correct identity of users. >Received: by netcom16.netcom.com (8.6.12/Netcom) > id PAA15666; Wed, 19 Jul 1995 15:08:50 -0700 >Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 15:08:49 -0700 (PDT) >From: Helena Kobrin <email@example.com> >Subject: >To: firstname.lastname@example.org >Message-Id: <Pine.3.89.9507191546.A15073-0100000@netcom16> >Mime-Version: 1.0 >Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII >Status: RO Furthermore, I do not consider email a proper method of legal notification, and indeed have no evidence that this person is indeed Helena Kobrin, nor that she represents the interests she claims to represent. >Dear Henry: I am not your 'dear,' nor is anyone. > I represent Religious Technology Center ("RTC"), the owner >of the confidential Advanced Technology of the religion of >Scientology, and the holder of the exclusive rights under the >copyrights applicable to the Advanced Technology materials. There is considerable evidence that the Religious Technology Center only holds those copyrights by the aegis of forged documents, and indeed the handwriting on the documents transferring the copyrights appears to be the same for the transferring party and the receiving party. My quotation was 'fair use.' >Among these copyrighted and confidential materials are the >Advanced Technology materials of a level known as "OT VII." The >copyright for OT VII is registered with the United States >Copyright Office. Whether or not this is true, and it quite resembles a lie, the quoting of six lines is not actionable. You are issuing baseless threats and I am complaining to the California Bar Association about your barratrous behavior. I warn you that barratry is a jailable offense. > I have been informed that you have posted on >alt.religion.scientology and alt.slack a portion of the OT VII >materials without the authorization of my client, who, of course, >would not have given such authorization had it been requested. This is irrelevant. I indeed did so, and will continue to do so. Your accusations are without merit, as you are accusing me of having exercised my First Amendment rights to express my religious beliefs, among which is that your cult is a venomous, invidious organization devoted to harassment and barratry, which brainwashes those so deluded as to become its adherents, and threatens death to those who dare to criticize it. I refuse to kowtow to your vicious cult. >Your action violates my client's legal rights in that it is the >unauthorized making of an electronic copy of the copyrighted >material and the unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets >materials. It did nothing of the sort. My action was clearly in defense of decency and human dignity, and violated no rights of anyone. Indeed, by doing so, I stand foursquare in defense of liberty, freedom of speech, and the right to criticize vindictive, hateful organizations which are a threat to the very basis of the United States Constitution and to the religious freedoms enjoyed by all free citizens of the world. > These actions constitute violations of applicable copyright >laws and trade secret misappropriation entitling our client to >damages and an injunction. It is essential that you take I will note that Wollersheim vs. Church of Scientology resulted in a decision that a religion is not entitled to trade secret status, and that this is a groundless and fraudulent claim. You know well of this decision, and your use of it contstitutes a criminal act of common barratry. >immediate and effective action to remove the unauthorized copy >from the Internet, and that you refrain from any repetition of >this or similar acts in the future. You are also to delete thesea I will do no such thing. >and any other OT materials from your hard drive and any floppy >disks and to destroy any hard copies you have made. > In addition, your downloading of the copyrighted and trade >secret OT VII materials also violates laws prohibiting copyright >infringement and trade secret misappropriation. Your use and I downloaded nothing. I read the material as I saw it on the net, and replied to it there. >disclosure of these materials is *not* fair use. No case in the >United States has ever found fair use to apply to copying >unpublished materials, as even Dennis Erlich's attorney had to This material has been widely published, in books, in court transcripts, and by photocopies distributed to people who have taken this absurd 'course.' Your claims that it has not been published amount to nothing less than an outright lie. >admit in open court. There is also no fair use defense to trade >secret misappropriation. There was no trade secret misappropriation, as these materials are not legally recognized as a trade secret. > I will expect an immediate response from you with a >statement of your willingness to comply with these demands. If Don't hold your breath. >you do not comply immediately, my client will have no other >recourse but to initiate legal action to compel compliance. Fuck your client. >Sincerely, There is nothing sincere about you. >Helena K. Kobrin I look forward to your imminent disbarment. That, dear, is sincere. h - -- Xenu's Famous House o' Clams T-shirts! *All* profits go to MoFo to help with the Dennis Erlich Defense Fund. $15 per shirt, 3 colors. Design will be released shortly. Email to: email@example.com for details [ For Public Key: finger firstname.lastname@example.org ] -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: 2.6 iQCVAwUBMA2PpNOUGUXWNqytAQEIPgQAtqF8hr8e2aBS2EhU3sMA+0cm0CFigGiO 4kTNZcgHhRIP6/Jkdd01q19YXHfzDAe31c8tTMrXtYy8ocpnQc9nUdTRW2QpL9YI Yk7a2WGxa65JbUixieFNNTUlyosX+5wuJPbHpJ3lx+jHYuVZ7Hr9Z44O7kwJWcJn yjgigUr23VU= =MwRw -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----