What is about to be laid out for you is going to be a bit bizarre but a few months ago had someone told you that Internet users would be raided, you would have said that was an insane concept. What you are going to read is based on some insider information and some educated speculation.
Take it as you will.
There is something called a RICO suit. RICO stands for Racketeering-Influenced Corrupt Organization. It was written to fight organized crime conspiracies that reach across state lines and involve a number of people and organizations.
Scientology is building a RICO suit to file against dozens of people and organizations across the U.S. that they will say are a conspiracy to destroy the Scientology religion. The words "religious genocide" will be used. At the center of the conspiracy will be the Cult Awareness Network and it will extend out to include some psychiatrists, some attorneys, some media and a number of critics and former members. The Net will be cited as the nervous system/nexus for the conspiracy. The suit will be used to sue people that Scientology executives feel they cannot reach or sue in any other way.
Key attorneys who have successfully fought Scientology in the courts will be named, in the theory that they cannot be of any help to the defendants because they are defendant. Key experts on Scientology and cults will also be named for the same reason. Some "deprogrammers" (exit counselors) will be named. A number of people who post on the Net will be named. (You were wondering why they were tracking down a number of people who post to alt.religion.scientology? That's why. So they can be served.) A couple of ISPs will probably be named as well as some media people.
(Believe it or not, much of the design of this suit is to make it as believable as possible. They will look at the elements and someone might say, "Hey, we don't have any...", as if it were a movie or a story, the presence of which will make the conspiracy work if it has to be put onto a huge board, showing how all the pieces fit. And before you ridicule this idea, read on.)
There will also be elements that will allow the suit to be exported overseas. That is, there will be links to Germany and Spain. The RICO suit cannot name someone in a non-US country as a defendant but it will lay the groundword so a similar suit can be filed in another country, which will then link back to the US suit. Germany and some people and institutions there will be a primary target in Europe.
When that happens, then the entire matter will also be packed and taken to the various European councils and commissions on the allegations of "religious genocide." The Net will be cited as the "conveyor belt" of "false reports" and "hate."
The idea is to silence as many areas as possible by bringing them into litigation. Then even if they speak out, Scientology can say how they are being sued and place everything in that context.
As much as possible, people who work for companies or corporations will be named as individuals. The strategy is to not let the company's insurance cover them, so they have to pay for their own attorney.
What will be used to link the conspiracy will be material that has been posted on the Net as well as writings from other places, such as news articles, news letters etc. Thus the great wealth of "anti-Scientology" posting that have been going on for months will be used to show thousands of "hate-filled" posts attacking the "religion of Scientology." (Note: Many of the posts from Scientologists to ARS were designed by to draw those responses or to make it appear that it happened. In some cases, posts were written to make it appear as if they were coming from anti-Scientologists.) This includes alleged "death threats" against Scientologists.
This idea of a large, multi-defendant suit was proposed by Hubbard years ago, long before RICO. He wanted to use it against the government. He wanted then to have it move to the Eureopean Commission (now a Council) on the charge of religious genocide, trying to destroy a religion. Initial work has already been done, presenting material to these commissions.
It will also be taken to the US Congress, where there is already concern for the anarchy of the Net, as well as other legislative bodies.
The first suit of this kind by Scientology was pre-RICO. It was put together in the mid-1970s as a massive conspiracy between the FBI, the IRS, the US Department of Justice, etc. It asked for $750 million dollars in damages. The suit was pursued for year but was finally lost.
That orginal Hubbard plan is what is being used to design the RICO suit. The raid on Dennis Ehrlich and then Arnie Lerma are about copyright/trademark violations but they are being used to find the documentation needed for RICO. It may have been the reason for the raid on penet.fi. Whether or not Scientology feels it has enough now to file the suit (since they have documents from California and DC and the Net and thus inter-state) is what is being reviewed. Another raid may be needed.
If you look at ARS posts from the perspective of a massive suit being planned, then you see Woody's "the Net persecutors" in a different light. Yes, he is a bot but while everyone laughs at him and ridicules him and taunts him, he is pumping out the message that is part of the plan. So is Milne. Most of what they have been doing is baiting people who will say outrageous things so this can all be compiled for the court record to show that ARS is a hotbed of hate for their "genocide" charge.
Now some will say this is insane, that this is crazy, and ask, does Scientology really hope to win this type of suit? Won't they just irritate more people and the Net? Don't they care?
First, it must be remembered that according to Hubbard, the purpose of a law suit is not to win. The purpose is to harass. (They are expensive and time-consuming for defendants.) For Scientology they are a way to get information through subpoenas and the discovery process. It will give them the resources they feel they need to get more information to find the source of the "conspiracy."
So they don't care if they irritate more people. They believe that people are critical of them because of this conspiracy. Thus they must face that criticism to find the conspiracy, for when it is exposed, then the criticism will stop. (There are more technical reasons in Hubbard's material but that is basically the idea.) And if the criticism increases, it means that they are getting closer to the truth. (In other words, the more you berate them, the more they feel they are right. It is like beating a masochist to get him to stop being a masochist. It doesn't work. What does? Read on.)
It needs to be said quickly that the greatest mistake one can make about this group is to misestimate it through ridicule and disdain. First, it doesn't do anything to them and second it makes one feel that they are weak, stupid, incapable etc. and that you are better. Those who take that attitude don't last. There is no better way to lose anything than to be arrogant.
It has been said that the Net will prove to be Scientology's Viet Nam. This is true as long as those on the Net don't make the mistake that the American generals made: they held the Viet Cong in disdain. They saw the VC as crude, primitive, dumb commies while Americans were clearly smarter, more technologically advanced and thus superior. Look who runs Viet Nam today.
Many people on ARS make this mistake and all it really does is encourage others to do the same. This doesn't mean that one can't ridicule or chastize or laugh at something stupid but you better do it with the knowledge what and who you are laughing at and not let it replace or mask some smarts.
This admonition is made here not because some will laugh at this whole theory of a RICO suit and will boast and strut and laugh and urge Scientology to come get 'em etc. That sort of macho bullshit is the last thing that is needed. It proves nothing except that one does not know Scientology. And that attitude hasn't stopped Scientology. Witness Dennis and Arnie and whoever is next.
Now the question becomes, if this is true, if Scientology is planning a RICO suit, what can be done. Well, as far as the suit, nothing. They will file what they will file. What has been done and said on ARS has been done and said. It can't be retracted. A lot of people (from both sides) have made a lot of stupid remarks and Scientology has saved ever word of it. (However, if you want to give them more to convince the authorities why ARS is a hate-filled group, hey, go for it. It will only be attached to the next submission to the next judge for the next raid or suit.)
Those who feel they may be possible target should take due precautions. They should consult an attorney, for example, for proper advice. They might also want to take proper precautions regarding their documents, e.g., to make sure that what they have is okay to have etc. Ask your attorney, not ARS.
As far as ARS itself, the actions taken on ARS have now given the Scientologists the opportunity to get the Fishman documents sealed. This is a win for Scientology and was handed to them by ARS actions. Scream all you want but what was done on ARS was able to do what Scientology could not do. Scientology tried to get those files sealed and the courts refused. Well, they are now sealed and Scientology is now going to use that fact for more letters etc.
Is anyone catching on?
In short, some people need to wise up. If they want to endanger themselves by taunting the organization, do it in e-mail. Otherwise they are endangering more than themselves. There is much to the Scientology belief system and its history that deserves open dialogue and discussion and debate. There is more than enough without endangering the debate itself. Taunting is not debate or dialogue. (Anyone remember the geological analysis of OT 3? That was not a taunt. That was analysis and good analysis at that.)
There is some concern about the attack on MoFo. Don't worry about it that much. It doesn't mean that it isn't serious. Only that it is MoFo's concern. Scientology wants to start undercutting MoFo, hoping MoFo might lose some clients. Leave it to MoFO. ARS shouldn't try to fight their fights. There is more than enough on ARS to talk about.
To close on the RICO suit itself, don't waste time trying to be an armchair attorney on ARS and try to guess what one should do when the suit is filed. That is like those dumbass reporters at the Gulf War who wanted the Army to say what would they do if Hussein used gas, etc. You don't discuss defenses in public! All it shows is your own ignorance. If Scientology is dumb enough to go RICO, there are things that can be done. What has to be done right now is work by individuals who feel they may be named, companies (ISPs) who feel that way, those who are concerned about the direction ARS has taken and the integrity of ARS, not to mention the Net itself.
There have been two additional raids (Wollersheim and Penny in Colorado) since my initial remarks.
First, let me repeat, this is based on some insider information and some speculation. I mainly want to spark some discussion. (Meanwhile, OSA knows I'm right. More on that later.)
There is some confusion why these raids were done. Most seem to think it has to do with copyright or trade secrets. It does not. THE RAIDS ARE RECONNS. THEY ARE DONE TO COLLECT INFORMATION. They are not even meant to permanently knock out the points raided. It is known and estimated that each point will come back around. And it is known that it will send a shudder through others. However, that is not their primary purpose. THEY WERE DONE TO COLLECT INFORMATION. This is done under the cloak of copyright violations.
This is not to slight Lawrence or FACT Net. He and it represent to Scientology what must be stopped. And Lawrence Wollersheim's list of donors is much more valuable than any copyrighted material found in his computer. The list of people who send him information and to whom he corresponds is more valuable than OT 3 on his hard drive. His phone records are... Compris?
According to one news report, Scientology is using key words from their scriptures to look for copyrighted material and most people on ARS are buying it. No. They are looking for people and connections, identities and locations, phone numbers and addresses etc. They are looking for attorney names, media name, names of people on ARS. They are looking for penet.fi anonymous handles or any link that will help them crack them. They want to find if certain people have been posting to ARS and what they may have posted. They want to know the links to the media and to certain attorneys. Their "word list" is more than words from OT 3. It includes NAMES of critics, attorneys, media, ARS posters, etc. They also run cross checks of addresses, phone number etc. And then all of this goes into the computer data base to be linked to what was found in Arnie Lerma's and Dennis Ehrlich's raids plus other information found by Gene Ingram and other intelligence actions by the OSA. (OSA's "investigative" section is very active now.) I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't looking for the identity of "Capricorn," given their paranoia. ;-)
And BTW, what is in the OSA data base is much more than you imagine. It goes back through TIME magazine and the LA Times suits, all info gathered there, including intell gathered in Europe and South Africa. This is MUCH more than ARS-generated and the INCOMM computers are really whirring. (End of BTW...)
A few ARS posters hit the target in their analyses. For example, that this is a battle for control of information. Exactly. The Los Angeles Times wrote more about the upper levels in 1991 than anyone and they were not sued. This material has been passed around for years. Copyright and trade secrets are not the real issues! They will be FOUGHT as issues and the defendants must face them as issues but they are not the actual, true, underlying issue. What is?
The Sea Organization is a para-military unit. Most of what Hubbard wrote that was used by the Guardian's Office (now Office of Special Affairs) is in military lingo. He talks about wars and strategies and battles. All of this is being waged from a military mind. That was what the raids were: RECONNAISSANCE. They went into an enemy area, blew up a few installations and walked out with the enemy code books. You think they came in to blow up the installations but the purpose of the reconn was the CODE BOOKS. Do you see? That is what they are doing now: trying to break the codes with what they got in the raid: to find certain ARS posters, certain former members, certain attorneys, certain media people etc. Why? __RICO__. (Where everyone gets to be included.)
Someone mentioned the "Tenyaka Memorial." That was a very good point. For those who do not know, the Tenyaka Memorial was a master plan the Japanese had drawn up to conquer the Pacific that resulted in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hubbard believed there was a comparable plan to destroy Scientology and to find it. That is what has been activated via their Snow White Program and they are going to use RICO once they feel they have enough information.
Another reason is income or money. Income has not been good in the US, to say the least. There has been a long-term decline. The large boat the "Freewinds" is a serious drain. The tax exemption kicked loose a lot of donations at first but it has now declined. New territories had to be opened and this was to be South America and the Eastern Bloc. But Germany is fouling up the latter. (The former is building and has potentials but it is still slow.) Then there is the problem with Spain and there is shrinkage in the UK. What this menas is that there is a serious income problem. That was why these basic Hubbard plans/directives/"advices" were dusted off. And RICO is seen as the magic bullet.
If it is correct (as an insider said) that Scientology is using these raids to get information about attorneys, experts, ARS posters, government groups, media, etc. for the purpose of a disrelated suit, rather than finding merely copyright violations and this can be shown to an intelligent judge, it will go a long way to heading off the threat. They also might lose quite a bit more. And while a publlic forum is not the place to discuss defensive strategies, I will say: bunny hunting is another good point.
Those who say Scientology's suits can't be won haven't read Hubbard. He already beat you to it. He already said that. He said that the purpose is not to win but to harass. Then in the Snow White dispatches, he said to use the suits to get intell information. Link that to Tenyaka and you have the game plan.
Let me end on a couple of personal notes.
Some people took exception to my remarks about conduct on ARS. All I wanted to say was be aware of what OSA is doing and saying on ARS. They are good at diversion and sleight-of-hand. Don't think you are talking to a person rather than an OSA-constructed and directed statement. It is true that in time, taunts grow irritating but do you know what is more real to Andrew Milne and the others who must do this work? Sleep and staying out of trouble.
Someone remarked how Kobrin looked haggard and tired. I'll bet. Moxon's partner Bowles folded under that pressure. (Anyone wonder why Bowles suddenly disappeared from litigation?) Kobrin is having a tough time now. OSA is widening the legal circle and they don't have any more OSA-rolled attorneys. The stress now is considerable.
Sleep and some clean laundry count more than you know to these poor bastards. It is like the soldier in the trench. All he wants is a bath and some sleep. These OSA front line people are busting their asses for a cause they believe in and it often results only in being screamed at and more lost sleep, not to mention some heavy ethics actions in the ARS unit in OSA.
If you knew that sleep is important to Milne and Kobrin and the rest, you will know more than their seniors. Milne and Kobrin and the others want some sleep but their seniors don't care if they sleep or eat or get clean laundry. They want compliance to Miscavige's orders NOW. That puts a tremendous strain on them. (And that was what happened to Timothy Bowles. In military terms, he is called a "casualty." Kobrin may be next.)
What this DOES produce is something more serious than lost sleep. It produces defections. A person cracks or breaks and before they can grab him/her, they leave, possibily with documents. Possibly to the authoriites. That is a massive fear inside OSA right now because it was such a defection that generated the FBI raid twenty years ago.
Think on it. ;-)
Meanwhile, good luck, especially to Monsieurs Dennis, Arnie, Lawrence and Bob and then to those who are also being harassed in other ways or about to be. Hopefully, the proper authorities will bring this terrorism to an end.