Re: Scientology causes seizure of FACTNet system [cr-95/8/25]


Sender:  •••@••.••• (Craig A. Johnson)

Vigdor Schreibman wrote on 2 September:

>Oram claims that what Craig Johnson posted was
>"a press release by the Church of Scientology"  which Johnson did not
>learn of until later.  This is patently false.  What Johnson posted was a
>statement and fund raiser issued by the directors of FACTNet, Inc., the
>people who are at the center of the attack upon the Church of Scientology.
>On its face, that statement indicates a serious basis for concern by the
>Church, whatever one might feel about the substantive merits of the

Vigdor is mixing up *two* distinct postings.  On 29 August I posted a news 
release (below), which I later discovered was a COS tract written by the 
lawyers representing the cult.  This is "patently" TRUE!

Vigdor wrote in response to my post:
> I find this post and the document attached, exceedingly offensive.  It
> contains an appeal for group attack on the Church of Scientology and its
> supporters, with a distinctly one sided presentation of the issues.  The
> fact remains, free speech cannot be used as a cover for illicit actions.
> If the police action taken in this case was without cause, there
> obviously is room for complaint, on the other hand, one cannot simply
> presume that this is the case, and go running off in a mob scene to
> denounce the police and the complaining party and their well known
> supporters.

> The defendants evidently have competent counsel.  A trial will be held in
> a court.  Attempting a lynching in this forum, which is what is suggested,
> is a disgusting remedy.

I also posted a message which appeared on 8/26, upon which Vigdor bases his 
claim that Andy's statement is false.  This original message was in fact a 
repost from a Usenet newsgroup, and *did* reproduce the August 20, 1995, 
statement from Lerma et al.  It was entitled "CoS raid on FACTNet & Arnie 
Lerma re the Fishman/Geertz docs ."  


Please, everyone, let's try to get our chronological facts straight, 
especially when attributions and accusations are being tossed about so freely.



August 29th post:
Sender: •••@••.••• (Craig A. Johnson)
Subject: COS Sues Washington Post

This represents a ratcheting up of the repressive strategies of fringe
lunatics in the U.S.

What do we have to say about this as a group dedicated to cyber rights?



                                                August 22, 1995

(202) 667-6404


     The Washington Post and two of its reporters were sued today in the
U.S.  District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by the
Religious Technology Center (RTC), holders of the intellectual property
rights of the Scientology religion.  According to the lawsuit, the
Washington Post and its writers have engaged in "extensive, intentional
copyright infringement and trade secrets misappropriattion, targeting
confidential Scientology scriptures belonging to RTC." Judge Leonie
Brinkema of the U.S.  District Court in Alexandria, due to the urgent
nature of the matter, scheduled an August 25 hearing on the temporary
restraining order and impoundment application to get the Washington Post
to turn over the misappropriated documents.

     The lawsuit is an amendment of a complaint that was filed on August
11 against an Arlington man, Arnaldo Lerma, and his Internet access
provider Digital Gateway Systems, for copyright and trade secrets
infringement.  According to Boston lawyer Earle C.  Cooley, who
represents Religious Technology Center, the newspaper and their two
reporters, Richard Leiby and Marc Fisher, were added to the lawsuit
because they engaged in their own direct infringements of plaintiff's
copyright interests and misappropriation of plaintiff's trade secrets,
while at the same time aiding, supporting, encouraging, and facilitating
blatant acts of infringement and misappropriation by Lerma.

     The day after the lawsuit was filed, on August 12, a search and
seizure order by Judge Brinkema was carried out at Lerma's home by
Federal Marshals and computer software, hardware and documents were
confiscated.  Church lawyers report that they were able to establish
that Lerma lied because, contrary to his assertions that computer discs
had been purged of any stolen materials, their electronic experts have
already found 63 copyright items among the seized material.

     The new lawsuit reveals that Lerma sent the protected materials to
Leiby when he was put on notice by the Church to stop violating its
copyright and trade secret rights.  The Church now charges that this was
done in an attempt to obstruct justice by concealing the stolen copies
from lawful seizure.  The suit claims the existence of evidence which
shows that Richard Leiby choreographed and instigated Lerma's illegal
conduct for his own campaign of harassment against the Scientology
religion.  According to the lawsuit, Leiby's campaign dates back more
than 15 years.
                        . . .

 Posted by --  Andrew Oram  --  •••@••.••• --  Cambridge, Mass., USA
                 Moderator:  CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)

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