This homepage is approved of by court. THRICE AND WITHOUT APPEAL, by now. It has thereby
become the world's first (triple) legal Fishman Homepage.
- Read the ruling of the February 1996 lawsuit, summary proceedings, in
either English or Dutch.
- On June 10 1999, there was a second ruling, this time in full procedure:
my page can still stay up. Read the ruling in Dutch
or in English. Scientology has appealed this ruling.
- On September 4 2003, the ruling in appeal was pronounced. Again, the court deemed my quotes
to be fully legal. Read the full Dutch ruling (sorry, no English translation available). Scientology
has appealed again, and the case is now before the Supreme Court, who will probably rule in
the summer of 2005.
- On March 18 2005, the Attorney-General filed his advice to the Supreme Court about
Scientology's case against us. In his opinion, all claims of Scientology should be discarded. The
AG's advice is available in Dutch only, as a two-part pdf: part 1
(2.2 Mb) and part 2 (2,3 Mb). The Supreme Court's ruling was
planned for July 8 2005, but got postponed because Scientology suddenly dropped the case. The Supreme
Court will decide later this year whether they will still rule on the matter.
- On December 16 2005, the Supreme Court dismissed Scientology's appeal and made the previous ruling final. Because Scientology withdrew their appeal, no recourse is possible after this, i.e. they have made it impossible to go to the European Court. In other words: I am finally free of this law suit.
This is the famous Fishman Affidavit. To explain why is has become so famous, I'll give you some more information. And please take a look at the Scientology Litigation Kit, where I list the materials used for my defense and the lawsuit materials (lawsuits, plea, defense, rulings) and at postings and news about the Dutch Protest.
The Church of Scientology (or: CoS; or: Co$, as some of their opponents call it) sells its followers expensive courses which, if students study them carefully, are supposed to set them free ('clear' them). A former Scientology member, Steven Fishman, was brought before court because he committed several crimes in order to get the money to pay for these courses. Scientology urged him to get the money any which way he could. According to Fishman, they also assigned him to kill somebody, and failing that, ordered him to commit suicide. In an interview for Time Magazine, Fishman relayed those stories and blamed Scientology for his crimes. Scientology sued him for slander.
When Fishman was then brought to court, he used parts of Scientology-documents to prove he had been brainwashed by the Church. These Scientology documents thereby became public material: anybody could go to the court library and read them. The Church, fearing that its sacred secrets would be revealed, had some of their people going to the library every day to borrow these documents, thereby preventing other people (read: non-Scientologists) from reading them. Nevertheless, the Fishman Affidavit got copied (it was also available through the clerk of the court, for a mere $36.50). Somebody retrieved the affidavit via the clerk, scanned it, and posted it to the net. The Fishman Affidavit has been travelling on the Internet ever since.
The funny thing is, when you read the document, you'll just see a bunch of gibberish. Apart from the instructions of how to treat non-Scientologists - almost every means is allowed to silence them; lying is common sense; cheating is part and parcel - there's just this silly and badly written science-fiction tale about Xenu who controls all of us people; except (of course) the few Scientologist who managed to 'clear' themselves. Well, L. Ron Hubbard was an sf-author, but not a very good one (and jeez, I happen to like the genre).
But the real story is that Scientology does not want their followers to know what's in store for them: they forbid everybody to read this material until they've done lots of courses, stating that it would kill those who are not yet ready for it; but more probably because people may stop believing Scientology once they've read this lousy sf stuff. And of course Scientology asks their followers massive amounts of money for the 'privilege' of reading this.
To the best of my knowledge, the files here contain nothing but a court-document. Indeed it does include some material that may or may not be copyrighted by RTC, Scientology's copyright bureau; but seeing that those fragments were included in the court-document, they may be published as part of that document. In case somebody shows me that I included non-court materials (preferably by sending me a court-stamped copy of the original document), I will most certainly remove those parts of the material presented here.
Of course I would never want to publish copyrighted material of RTC other than that made public by the court, or outside of the fair use provenance. I am thoroughly aware of the importance of copyright and copyright laws, and I do respect them.
Scientology does not argue with people who do not agree with them. They prefer to harass, start crazy lawsuits, have people followed by private detectives, and generally intimidate them. They do not sue in order to win; they sue in order to intimidate and harass. (See especially Exhibit B in the Fishman Affidavit: On Control and Lying) Currently, they are waging a war against Internet: trying to remove newsgroups, cancelling messages, forging messages, raiding providers. Their motto is: 'Never defend, always attack' and they are bent on ruining people who criticise them.
Scientology has ordered various raids on providers or computersystems from which documents exposing Scientology were available; most notably FactNet, a group of people who are putting together an on-line archive about Scientology. In Holland they raided XS4ALL (where one of the users, Fonss, had a copy of the Fishman Affidavit on his homepage) and ordered XS4ALL to remove it. XS4ALL refused to do so, stating that the content of people's homepage is not their responsibility and that they are not even allowed to interfere with what their customers put on their pages, provided that they're legal; and if anybody claims that a homepage is illegal, they'd better present solid evidence. After XS4all was raided, Fonss voluntarily (well, what would you do if you knew the Church was after you?) removed the Fishman Affidavit but provided a link on his page to another place where it could be obtained. That is how I found it.
Ever since Scientology started to hunt down this document, the Fishman Affidavit is popping up everywhere. It's a dragon: when you cut off one head, it grows seven new ones. I hereby present another copy of this dragon.
Since mid September 1995, a number of reports on the Dutch Protest have been posted to the Internet-newsgroup that is devoted to discussion of CoS. Concerning the lawsuit that Scientology presented me with and my subsequent defense for the court, read here for the Dutch version and here for the English version.
For everybody who wants to know more about Scientology, please refer to Information on Scientology's raid on XS4all, which has many newspaper-articles about the case (both in Dutch and in English); Ron Newman, who maintains a magnificent archive on the war that the Church of Scientology waged upon the net; or the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, that is devoted to discussion and news about Scientology.
Copyright Karin Spaink.
This text may be freely distributed,
as long as you don't charge for it.