Friday, September 8, 1995
After reading Jennifer Booth's excellent article on Earle Cooley and Scientology in Tuesday's Daily Free Press, I was especially disappointed by the newspaper's editorial supporting Cooley the following day ( "Of church and state", Daily Free Press, September 6).
The Church of Scientology wants to prevent all critical discussion of its theology and its activities, and it has repeatedly abused the legal system in an attempt to suppress such discussion. Scientology's campaign against its critics, including Internet users, is fundamentally incompatible with the values of a university: free speech, free expression, free discussion. Earle Cooley is a key part of that campaign.
And Earle Cooley has done far more than merely represent Scientology in court. He personally joined in a raiding party that invaded the home of Internet user Arnie Lerma on a Saturday morning, making off with all of Lerma's computer equipment and files. This does not "set a precedent that would be beneficial to every current and future user of the Internet," as the Free Press's editorial asserts. Quite the contrary: if Cooley is allowed to get away with this brazen invasion of a private home, no Internet user in the US can sleep soundly at night.
Scientology's attack on free expression (both on and off the Net) goes well beyond this one raid, and is far too long a story to tell in this short letter.
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This letter is Copyright © 1995 Back Bay Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Any reproduction or retransmission, by any means, is prohibited by law. Reprinted with permission of Back Bay Publishing Co., Inc.