The Church of Scientology vs. the Anonymous Remailers

This page created by Ron Newman.
Last revised on April 18, 1996. Skip forward for latest news as of April, 1996.

On January 4, 1995, Church attorney Thomas Small sent this e-mail to the operators of several anonymous remailing services, demanding that they disallow anonymous posting to alt.religion.scientology and a related newsgroup,

In response to both Small's letter and Helena Kobrin's attempt to rmgroup alt.religion.scientology, Jon Noring <> circulated a Net Petition asking that the Church cease its attacks on the Net. At the same time, the Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a statement urging the Church to stop threatening Internet system administrators with litigation. Daniel Akst wrote a "Postcard from Cyberspace" column in the January 25 Los Angeles Times, and Richard Leiby wrote a "CyberSurfing" column in the February 2 Washington Post.

Later in February, 1995, the Church used the authority of Interpol and the Finnish police to demand the name of an anonymous user of the Finnish remailer Follow this link for many more details on that incident.

On April 4, 1995, another Scientology lawyer, Helena Kobrin, made three threatening phone calls to remailer operator Homer Smith.

New threats in 1996

After nearly a year's lull, It looks like Scientology is once again threatening the anonymous remailers. In the spring of 1996, Scientology sued Grady Ward and subjected him to nearly 11 hours of deposition by Scientology attorneys. Grady reports, in a series of e-mail messages to me (reproduced here by permission), that Scientology is pressing the Finnish police for access to's records, and is likely to subpoena the records of all US anonymous remailers.

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Ron Newman <>