[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Return to the main Scientology index   [an error occurred while processing this directive] Warning: This page contains material of a nature which may offend some readers.

This site is not affiliated with the Church of Scientology.

Legal Threats
for constitutionally protected speech

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,
From: anon2c9e@nyx.cs.du.edu (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,
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. 


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: <3uertk$lvd@nyx.cs.du.edu>

>>: 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 

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 hkk@netcom.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: <hkk@netcom.com>
>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 <hkk@netcom.com>
>To: anon2c9e@nyx.cs.du.edu
>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

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.

There is nothing sincere about you.

>Helena K. Kobrin

I look forward to your imminent disbarment.

That, dear, is sincere.

- --              
              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: ladyada@gnu.ai.mit.edu for details

 [ For Public Key: finger anon2c9e@nyx10.cs.du.edu ]

Version: 2.6


This page is maintained by Jeff Lee <godfrey@shipbrook.net>
[an error occurred while processing this directive]