Fishman's plea to keep the Affidavit open
October 22, 1989 (KS-12)
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 21:41:16 -0400
From: Steven Fishman
Subject: Many thanks for your wonderful web site
I am amazed that so many people have read my affidavits in Europe. I am only on the internet for less than a month and it is a whole new world for me.
Here is some more information about my war with Scientology and a case coming up on November 14, 1995 at the Court of Appeals in Pasadena which will ultimately decide once and for all whether the upper level materials are sealed or unsealed:
The secrecy issue on the upper levels is being decided once and for all on Tuesday, November 14, 1995 at 9:00 A.M. at the court of appeals in Pasadena, California in my case (Church of Scientology v. Steven Fishman and Uwe Geertz, 91-6426-HLH).
I received an anonymous prepaid airplane ticket courtesy of 'Friends of Capricorn' and therefore I will go out there and speak before the panel of judges. I intend to go into great detail about how sealing the levels would prevent religious freedom (both of ex-Scientologists and even practicing Scientologists who have a right to know that the upper levels have routines and practices that are equivalent or identical to those of demonic exorcism (intending away body thetans by postulate processing). Also, that sealing the levels creates a greater harm than good because it protects only a small group of Church management but restricts the availability of information to the great majority of Scientologists and ex-Scientologists alike, who have a right to know what exactly is in the 'pot of gold at the end of their body-thetan stained rainbow'.
I am trying to encourage anyone in Los Angeles or whoever wants to fly in to be there and see this momentous hearing in person. I am certain from my past experience, Scientology will be there, and I will no doubt have to walk the gauntlet of angry mind-controlled drones.
Another main reason for my making the trip is to bring before the judges information about the battle over the internet. The panel of judges may know nothing about that aspect. Those who have lived and fought the battle to get my affidavits published (such as in the Netherlands) would be welcome at the hearing to testify as an Amicus Curiae witness (friend of the court).
If we can win this battle and keep the documents unsealed forever, then the internet wars will be over. So this is a very important event.
Please circulate my plea to be there.
Now, here is something exclusively for you, Karin, because I really love your web site:
Here is my rough draft of what I intend to tell the three judges at the hearing about keeping the upper level materials unsealed:
(20 Minute Oral Argument) To the Court of Appeals:
What is truly ironic is that these attorneys from the Church of Scientology are asking you to hide Scientology beliefs from Scientologists; while on the other hand I am asking you to allow everyone, including and especially Scientologists, full access to Scientology beliefs. So what is really happening here is that Church management is asking you to prevent their own members from seeing, knowing and understanding their secrets, and I am actually asking the Court to preserve the rights of Scientologists, ex-Scientologists and everyone else and protect us from Church management who have told the Court that we are eligible to see, know and understand these Scientology secrets only if we are eligible to see these secrets and also only if we are first exposed to enough Scientology so that we will unquestionably believe these secrets.
So what would be the impact of sealing these documents. Psychologists and psychiatrists, well, they are the perceived enemies of Scientology so they would never get to see these secrets. The news media and judges; they are considered PTS Type J, which means a Potential Trouble Source Type J, and they would not ever get to see these secrets. And yet here are all of these lawyers from all of these Scientology law firms standing before this Court asking the Court to seal these Scientology secret documents forever so that you, the very judges presiding over this court, would never get to see them.
And at the same time, they are also saying to you, 'We only want to show these secrets to people who will unquestioningly believe them', because obviously, everyone else is either ineligible or not exposed to enough non-secret Scientology.
What they don't want to happen is for anyone in or out of Scientology to say, 'I've read this stuff and I don't accept it and I don't believe it, and I am going to tell others that I don't accept it or believe it.'
It all goes back to an issue that the Church of Scientology has been avoiding all
throughout this case, and which is so obvious that I have to repeat it before the Court
right now: There is something wrong with using the word 'church' and the word 'secret' in the same sentence. Why should a Church have secrets? A secret is something that you have to hide. Why does a Church have to hide its own doctrine? Are they ashamed of it? Do they fear that if too many people found out about these secrets they would not belong to this Church anymore?
I am not here to argue whether anyone should be a Scientologist or not. If someone
wants to practice Scientology they have every right to do it. And if someone is practicing
Scientology, and they read these upper level materials, and they then continue practicing
Scientology, that should be their absolute right to do so. And if someone read these upper level materials, and they said, 'I don't agree with this stuff,' it should be there absolute right to disagree with it, and then continue to practice or discontinue to practice Scientology as they saw fit. That is their absolute right too.
But what is not right, and in fact is entirely wrong, is for someone to be denied access to the secret documents, just because Church management has condemned its own doctrine by considering it potentially embarrassing, or in bad taste, or a public relations nightmare. Because let us say, at the worst case scenario, that the secret levels have passages which could be considered to be demonic exorcism. It is just as wrong for a Scientologist to spend ten, fifteen or twenty years practicing a belief system without the ability to decide whether some secret document is offensive to him as it is acceptable to him. Scientologists are not stupid. The Church even admits that Scientologists represent the upper ten thousandth percentile in highest intelligence.
So why is the Church coming before the Court and asking you to restrict information to its parishioners as if they were totally incapable of deciding for themselves what was
appropriate to see and not to see?
My only point is that there is a far greater harm to deny access to the upper level materials than the potential harm to the small group of executives at the top of Church management who are afraid of attrition in Church membership. If the Church leaders and their attorneys would instead say, 'These are the upper level materials; we stand behind what they say, we believe in what they state; they are beneficial to Scientologists because
this is wisdom, this is knowledge, these levels are true, and offensive or not, this is what Scientology is about and we stand behind these words 100%,' then I would have total respect for Church management and their lawyers, and I would not be standing before you here today.
But that is not the situation. These people are saying, 'We consider these levels to be sufficiently volatile or provocative or even dangerous so that we want them to remain a secret, sealed forever, only to be shown to those who we say can see them.'
In doing justice, all I am asking you to do is to consider which scenario presents the
greater harm and risk, and who are we really protecting here. Unlike these attorneys, I am not standing before the Court because of any potential financial gain based on the ruling. On the contrary, this is a matter of principle. I had to borrow the money to fly out here from Florida. And I have to pay the money back. I earn $ 5.75 an hour working as a receptionist in a nursing home, so it will take me a long time to pay the money back. But this is such an important thing, that if I did not come out here and argued this before the Court today, then the entire time that I spent in prison would have been in vain and I
would not have learned anything from that experience.
There are a lot of people out there both in and out of Scientology who have a right to
religious freedom. That is the freedom of information so people can make an informed
choice about the most sacred decision --- what they want to accept or not accept as the
truth. The minute anything is hidden by a religion, whether a trade secret or just a plain
old secret, then what is really being hidden is the truth.
My final request of this Court is please do not hide secrets from people who
are seeking religious truth. That is a far greater harm than protecting elite Church management from its own doctrine and its own parishioners.