[Internet & Comms Today has a Web page at http://binky.paragon.co.uk/it/index.html, but this article does not appear to be on that site. -- Ron Newman]

Internet and Comms Today

(a UK magazine)
April '95, pages 20-21

alt.religion.scientology goes berserk

by Joel Furr

In the month of January, the American headquarters of the so-called Church of Scientology declared war on the alt.* newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, which has long existed as a forum for opponents of Scientology to post their opinions and as a forum for Scientologists to offer rebuttals. Church of Scientology lawyer Helena Kobrin (hkk@netcom.com) began, in January, to issue rmgroup messages to try to erase the newsgroup altogether, while simultaneously an anonymous Church of Scientology defender posting under a pseudonym began cancelling messages critical of Scientology. The rmgroup messages, intended to remove the group from systems worldwide, were widely ignored.

The Church of Scientology asserted that any system which carries the newsgroup is in violation of their trademark on the term 'Scientology' and could face legal action. This assertion was received with much amusement by opponents of the movement. Since Kobrin's campaign to get the group removed failed to have any effect whatsoever, and since the message-canceller was also ignored by most news administrators, plan #3 was hatched by one Russell Shaw (wonderfulr@aol.com).

Shaw proposed that all loyal Scientologists systematically spam newsgroups containing material critical of the Church of Scientology with megabytes of noise to punish those groups and get the Scientology critics to shut up.

To tune into the ongoing stupidity, check out alt.current-events.net-abuse and news.admin.misc, where discussions of the Scientology Follies make up a large percentage of the daily discussions.