Unbiased columnism, day 2
McShane compliments Zenon
Stockholm, January 19, 2001
THE SCIENTOLOGY DELEGATION has changed
configuration: there are two new guys. One of them
is an extra interpreter. Today, McShane will be
deposed and he needs a legal interpreter. Neither
of the translators are Scientologists; that is
apparent from the fact that they speak with us.
The only other person who does this is William
Hart, McShane's lawyer. We joke a bit on occasion,
especially when we're outside to smoke. When we
ask him whether he is a member of Scientology,
Hart plainly states: "No. I am a Jew." During one
of these short conversations he tells us that
Scientology is not his only client. He also does
work for the MPAA, the Motion Picture Association.
"Oh, in that case you must have come across me
there as well," says Zenon, "in the DVD case."
Yes, Bill is indeed doing a DVD case, but not the
one Zenon is involved in.
Robin, who is to be Scientology's main interpreter
for the course of these hearings and who herself is no Scioentologist, made a rather
funny but embarrassing faux pas when she met RTC's
president McShane on the morning of the first
hearing. "Oh, I downloaded something about you
from the Internet," she brightly stated. Internet.
Wrong. "It concerns another court case that you
are involved in, a libel suit. It seems that you
lost." She gracefully hands McShane a copy that he
refuses to take. It is of course the infamous Time
lawsuit, of which the last part was decided upon
only a few days ago. "I don't know about this one,
it is minor," mumbles McShane. Ouch.
MAGNUSSON STARTS EXPLAINING his grounds, something
that he was asked to save until Zenon would have
made his admissions, so that all discussion
regarding points that Zenon concedes can be weeded
out. Let's hope that he does indeed skip quite a
Magnusson claims that a copy of Zenon's homepage
from 1996 (containing the Fishman Affidavit) that
Zenon filed a few days ago is "new evidence" and
"new circumstances", which should be rejected by
the court. As it turns out, RTC itself had filed
an identical copy of that same homepage already
back in 1996. Exit objection.
Copyrights, transferred after Hubbard's death as
per testament, exclusive license, exclusive
rights, RTC, bla bla bla, we know this. Magnusson
recites the number of pages that were quoted of
OT2, OT3 and NOTs. The Chair asks how the OTs and
NOTs were filed at the US Copyright Office.
Masked? Magnusson confirms. Was it the *originals*
that were masked? Yes. In other words: has the
Copyright Office seen the unmasked OTs and NOTs?
Yes, of course, and the Copyright Office has even
assessed the literary value of the OTs and NOTs,
and found them to have dignity of work.
Magnusson is wrong: the Copyright Office has not
seen the unmasked versions, as McShane will later
on testify. Nice try, but no cigar.
DISCUSSION ABOUT IDENTITY. Texts on Z's hard disk,
texts handed in to court.
These works are original, they have merit, they
are registered, thus they are copyrightable,
Magnusson drones on. Very often, he doesn't make a
statement himself but refers the court to the
upcoming deposition of McShane. Zenon objects:
first of all, an attorney needs to state his
grounds for his claims himself and not let his
client do this in a testimony. Secondly, a big
part of McShane is going to be held behind closed
doors, while whatever pertains to Magnusson's
ground ought to be stated in public. Magnusson
continues about the damages that RTC suffered and
the legal costs that Zenon has burdened them with.
Magnusson has no sense of humour whatsoever. He
speaks in a deadpan voice, he never makes a joke,
and what's more: he hardly reacts when somebody
else does. He doesn't get angry, he doesn't get
inspired, he doesn't get vehement. The only
emotion he shows is embarrassment when Zenon makes
at a hole in his legal arguments (and then he
laughs, expressing his despair at such a stupid
question or remark) or when he finds himself in a
The Chair wants a clarification on a few of
Magnusson's points, or actually, about Zenon's
stance on them. One: the authorship of the OTs and
NOTs. Zenon states that the NOTs were actually not
written by Hubbard, but by David Mayo. The other
point the Chair asks to be clarified is the matter
of evidence: Zenon explains that RTC has to prove
their copyright and it is up to the court to
assess the evidence handed in, not up to
Scientology itself, as has been happening up until
now. And just showing the OTs and NOTs to the
court will not be sufficient: there won't be any
time for a solid comparison, he argues.
ANOTHER DISCUSSION. Thomas Small, a lawyer,
testified last time about how he helped to set up
the license agreement between CST and RTC and how
it was designed. What Zenon never knew and what
Small certainly didn't tell the previous court
while he was being heard, was that he was at the
time of his deposition actively employed as RTC's
lawyer. Zenon has found some correspondence dated
a month after Small's deposition in the Swedish
court, in which he acted as RTC's lawyer. That
fact certainly questions his objectivity -
actually, under US law he is not even allowed to
say anything that could damage his client.
Magnusson raises the issue, claiming that the new
evidence shouldn't be allowed at all and that if
it is allowed, RTC would need to depose Small
anew. Nah, says Zenon, we have Small's boss right
here in the court room, we can simply ask whether
he employs Small, can't we? Magnusson mumbles, and
then admits that yes, Small was in active duty of
RTC while he was deposed in Zenon's case.
ZENON OBJECTS to the closed doors that we will
soon have. Last time, only three words were
uttered that RTC actually considers to be
confidential. (For your information: those three
words were "body thetan" and "cluster". We can
summarise whenever we speak about the actual
texts, can't we? Magnusson hesitates. That could
still constitute infringement. Well, if the
Catholic Church had copyright to the bible and
if I would then proceed to explain about God,
heaven and hell, would I then be infringing? Zenon
asks. Magnusson hesitates. Zenon has had enough of
this. "What I want to say is five lines only,
nothing more." He gets up to Magnusson taking a
paper with him. "These five lines is what I want
to read." Magnusson answers that these lines can
only be uttered behind closed doors: secrecy has
to be maintained. Zenon sits down again,
exasperated. It is only a description and an
argument, not a quote.
And here are these five lines, verbatim from
Zenon's notes: "The teachings are dangerous. The
OTs and NOTs establish that sickness should be
treated with auditing. This is also applied on
children that do not have their own free will to
abstain from medical care but are actually
deprived of it instead (Lisa McPherson)".
Zenon had wanted to expand upon it, explaining
about body thetans - but Magnusson had no way to
know this. Yet, he forbade Zenon to utter this
quote in public. So instead, this will have to
come in during the plea, with or without
Magnusson's consent, the only difference then
being that Magnusson can't reply to it. That's
secrecy for you.
11:05 McShane's deposition starts.
SINCE QUESTIONS are asked in Swedish, translated
into English for McShane while his answers are
given in English and then translated, I have ample
time to write down whatever McShane says. The
following is more or less verbatim. The questions
are usually left out, since I couldn't understand
them too well. Magnusson is asking questions. I am
again - like in the previous hearings - Zenon's
biträde, that is: his legal aide, and I sit next
McShane: I am the president of RTC and I have been an
officer and a director of this organisation since
McShane: I have been employed by RTC since 1983 and
became officer and director that same year.
McShane: I became president in 1984.
[How long have you been a member of Scientology?]
McShane: Twenty-seven years.
[What did you do before?]
McShane: I was a businessman, I had a construction
company. I left that in 1980.
[Please describe the relation of RTC to the
McShane: Scientology has a hierarchical structure. We
have missions, churches, advanced churches, the
mother church, and then, on top of that, RTC. RTC
licenses the various trademarks and licenses
specific advanced churches to use the material.
[Comment 1: this is the first time that I hear
such a straightforward admission that RTC is
not only part of Scientology but also its head.
Earlier on, critics had to go at great lengths
in order to prove this: that is why the
affidavit of Vicky Aznaran, a former RTC
officer, was so welcomed years ago. She said
the same as McShane now states here: that RTC
is the head of the church.]
[Comment 2: he did say "trademarks"
and not "copyrights". I assume this to be
a telling slip of the tongue.]
[Comment 3: Larry Wollersheim might have good
use for this statement in his efforts to make
RTC pay CSC's debts to him. McShane made it
under oath and the entire deposition is on
McShane: RTC got exclusive licenses from the Hubbard
estate in 1988, which gave us the right to
distribute the material to the advanced churches
and to protect the material against infringements.
[Has RTC taken a stance in other cases?]
McShane: Yes, RTC has brought other cases before court.
[Such as the Dutch case. Why was CST a
co-plaintiff in that lawsuit?]
McShane: That was only due to specific law in The
Netherlands, so that RTC could not sue by
themselves. The licensee in that country couldn't
McShane: RTC is the only entity that has these rights.
McShane: In the Scientology religion, services are
delivered in gradient steps, meaning that a member
takes lower levels first and once he has completed
them, he can move on to the next. We have two
types of services: religious courses, where church
members study Mr Hubbard's texts and learn about
them, and religious counselling, which is a
service that the church delivers on a one to one
basis through its ministers.
At a certain moment, members are eligible to go to
higher levels. Of all the scriptures written by Mr
Hubbard, circa 95% are publicly available. They
can be obtained in the Church bookstores. They are
available to the public. A small amount is not
available and those are the unpublished,
confidential writings by Mr. Hubbard. He mandated
that. Unless somebody understands the basic
principle, he can't understand the higher
principle contained in the OT material. This
mandate is strict.
McShane: This is a matter of our religious tenets, that
you need to be spiritually mature. It is hard to
compare us to other religions, but other churches
also have a similar practice of maintaining
secrecy of their more esoteric principles.
[Who can do these higher courses?]
McShane: Only Scientologists who are qualified, not all
McShane: We call them OT levels. It starts with OT1 and
it goes up until OT8. 1 and 2 are specifically
used in those levels. The member, once he meets
the requirements, is then permitted to go on to
McShane: For instance,OT2, when somebody wants to do it,
he does the OT2 course and in that course he would
study the OT2 materials, and apart from that there
is a lot that he would need to do. He has
exercises to do, drills to understand, he is
supervised. The supervisor ensures that he
understands and duplicates the material. OT2 also
contains films and tape recordings that are part
of the course; they are also confidential. Once
the member demonstrates his comprehension, he is
allowed to do the OT2 auditing which he does on
himself. Once he gets a specific religious result,
he is allowed to continue to OT3. There, there is
a similar procedure.
Now, as for the NOTs. In Scientology, as I said,
we have auditing proceedings developed by Mr
Hubbard to address spiritual travails. A member
apply those proceedings to himself, under
supervision, to oversee him.
NOTs is two things. The NOTs are OT5. It is not a
course for the parishioner; it is meant to train
ministers of the church to deliver NOTs, processes
to members. The member cannot take that course. He
never sees the actual NOTs himself.
McShane: The minister who is trained to deliver those
processes asks questions designed to address
certain spiritual questions.
McShane: In Scientology, we derive our revenues from a
fixed donation system. Like other religions demand
donations for their services, each one of our
services has a fixed donation. The OT-levels too.
For the OT3 course, it is 6000 USD. Each level has
a specific donation rate.
[How long does it take to complete a level?]
McShane: That depends on the person. OT3, the actual
course, could be done in one or two weeks. The
counselling could vary from two months to two
McShane: NOTs is not a course, it is spiritual
counselling, delivered in blocks of time. Twelve
and a half hour is one block. There is a fixed
donation for such a block. Within NOTs, that is
7000 USD per block.
McShane: We don't think that that is expensive, but you
have to understand that Scientology is a
relatively new religion and it costs money to pay
our church operations. We have to pay rent and
mortgages, we have staff, there is the publication
of books, promotion material - there are a lot of
expenses involved. And quite some money goes to
charity activities: drug rehabilitation,
illiteracy programs, disaster relief. It takes a
lot of money to keep this going.
[How does one get access to the OTs and NOTs?]
McShane: There are a lot of other requirements needed,
apart from donations. For instance, the
parishioner needs to have the correct
qualifications and has to be of the correct moral
character. He has to sign confidentiality
agreements and has to agree to particular security
precautions. He will be reviewed by RTC before he
is, as we call it, invited to do these levels.
McShane: RTC has representatives in each Advanced
Organisation and also staff within RTC do these
McShane: Seven advanced churches, and five specifically
deliver OT2 and OT3 and the NOTs.
[What are your security measures?]
[Magnusson brings McShane the binder that contain
impressive colour snapshots of RTC's security
system. Zenon protests, whether anything has been
secured is irrelevant in this context and,
besides, he is not disputing the current security
measures. The court allows the evidence anyway and
McShane flips through the binder, explaining as he
McShane: This binder depicts what all parishioners have
to go through. This is the confidentiality
agreement. The security arrangements are explained
to the parishioner. This is a picture of the
course room. The actual binders with the material
are plugged into a computer system that actually
keeps track of the location of the material. You
can unplug the material from its standard place
and take them to a table where you study them, and
there you plug them in. After you have unplugged a
binder, you have thirty seconds to re-plug it
elsewhere. If it is still unplugged after thirty
seconds, the alarm goes off and all doors are
[Comment: and of course McShane is hardly an
objective witness in this. The person who
designs a security system or who ordered it, is
not going to tell you about its fallacies and
the holes in it...]
[Has the material ever escaped?]
McShane: In 1983, 3 ex-members of the church disguised
themselves as high church officials. They
travelled from England to Denmark, where they
wouldn't be recognised, and via a trick - they
switched the material - they got the NOTs. Since
then the NOTs have surfaced every now and then,
and every time we sue, the material has been
[Comment: McShane doesn't seem to realise that
his story of material having been "switched" in
Copenhagen contradicts his previous explanation
of the tight and automated security. If the
material is not "plugged in to the computer
system", which it won't be after it has been
"switched" - surely you can't simply open these
plugged binders and just take out the pages -
the alarms would have gone off and all doors
would automatically have been blocked, right?]
[Magnusson hands McShane a price list that Zenon
has filed. The OTs and NOTs are advertised there.]
M: These are folders from the advanced
organisations and they advertise our specific
religious activities, and of course they encourage
members to progress.
12:10 - 13:30: Lunch break. Zenon and I prepare
for our interrogation.
13:30 - Magnusson continues his deposition of McShane.
McShane: We have always had some security since 1968.
The material was always locked; the sets were
numbered; as technology progressed, we enhanced
McShane: Before you can sue in the US, you need to have
your texts registered with the US Copyright
Office. I checked with them how to register while
still maintaining secrecy. After some
deliberations, they accepted masked copies.
McShane: The Copyright Office has not required nor
looked at the unmasked texts. They only saw the
first page or two, and accepted the masked
versions. I made a carton mask, put those over the
pages, and then copied them. Actually, my first
attempt at masking them was rejected by the
Copyright Office because the mask was too tight. I
then made a slightly wider mask, but since you
could then on occasion see full words, even
confidential words, I proceeded to strike these
with a black marker.
McShane: OT2 consists of 27 works. There are other parts
of OT2 that are not confidential. OT3 consists of
37 works, plus non-confidential material that is
part of the course. The NOTs consist of 55 works;
the whole course is greater and contains
[How many people have studied the OT3 and how many
have studied the NOTs?]
M: OT3 has been studied by some 25,000 people. As
for NOTs, I am not quite sure, but my best
estimate would be 325 people.
[Comment 1: In May 1998, in Zenon's deposition
of him, McShane also stated that 325 ministers
had studied the NOTs. That means that they have
not had any NOTs completions since?]
[Comment 2: if 25,000 people did OT3, each
'donating' USD 6000, that amounts to USD
150,000,000. Hundred and fifty million dollars
for the material only - not including the
auditing that goes with it.]
[What is the damage that Zenon has incurred upon
M: Extensive damage. First of all, we have had a
loss of revenue through people who have seen the
material that Zenon Panoussis made available; they
won't become church members, mainly because they
saw this material without the proper preparation.
Secondly, the amount of effort we had to put into
protecting the copies around here. Scientologists
gave up their jobs, their family life, made great
personal sacrifices to do so, just to prevent
people who were not eligible from seeing the
material. There were loopholes in the law that
Zenon Panoussis took advantage of. It took us over three
years to solve this. Lots of money and personal
sacrifice went into this. Thirdly, the money
involved in this litigation. This is one of the
most complex cases I have come across. Zenon
Panoussis has taken advantage of the system. It
took tremendous expertise to counter him.
[At this point, Zenon puts his hand on his
chest and nods to McShane, making a virtual
bow. He takes this accusation to be a
13:45 - Zenon's turn to question McShane.
Zenon: You stated that the inclusion of CST as a
plaintiff in the Dutch case was necessitated by law.
Magnusson immediately protests that McShane
is not a lawyer and cannot be expected to answer
this. Zenon turns to the court and tells the court
that in the earlier hearings, he could never
finish a sentence while deposing McShane, because
Magnusson kept interrupting him. Would the court
kindly ensure that he wouldn't be interrupted this
time? The court nods. And indeed, Magnusson is
silent the rest of the time.
Zenon repeats the question.
McShane: I am not a lawyer. Our Dutch attorneys
informed us that the copyright owner, that is CST,
had to be part of the case.
Zenon: So you can't tell us for sure whether it was
actual law or general legal principles that forced
the CST to take part in the lawsuit?
Zenon: We know from your answers earlier today that
OT5 is the NOTs. What is meant by OT5 Solo
Auditing? And what by OT5 Solo course?
McShane: There is no such thing. There are the OT6 and
OT7 Solo Courses, but no solo courses of OT5.
Zenon: Regarding the NOTs, you explained that members
doing OT5 get audited based on the material. But
questions are only a very small part of the NOTs.
McShane: The NOTs serve as a background for auditors.
Zenon: The security that you described applies to all
Zenon: And to all advanced organisations?
Zenon: How come that doors didn't automatically close
when the NOTs were "switched" in Copenhagen?
McShane: [reluctantly] We didn't have that security then.
Zenon: Who can subscribe to "Source Magazine"?
McShane: Flag members.
Zenon: Can other Scientologists subscribe?
McShane: Yes, they can.
Zenon: Is each member of Scientology allowed to
subscribe the magazine "Keep Scientology Working"?
McShane: Yes, any Scientology member can get it.
Zenon: How many members do you have?
McShane: Circa eight million.
Zenon: When you visited the US Copyright Office, did
they only see the first page unmasked?
McShane: The first couple of pages.
Zenon: In your case against Factnet, you claimed under
oath that OT2 consists of 300 pages and OT3 of 200
pages. Of this, how many pages do you regard as
McShane: 166 pages of OT2, and 68 or 69 of OT3 were filed masked.
Zenon: The rest of those 500 pages were filed unmasked?
Zenon: Your organisation uses a lot of abbreviations.
On the distribution list of the NOTs for instance, --
Magnusson warns Zenon: no quotes from the NOTs
here, only behind closed doors. Zenon retorts
that he is about to quote from a distribution
list that RTC itself filed unmasked.
Zenon: -- On the distribution list of the NOTs, for
instance, it says that it is addressed to "ACS
Auditors" and "ACS C/Ses". What do these
McShane: Case Supervisor Auditors, and [something I
didn't get]. The one is a subsection of the other.
These are the only people allowed to see the NOTs.
Zenon: How big are both groups taken together?
McShane: Circa 325 people.
Zenon: With respect to the costs you had to make in
this case, you spoke about people sitting here in
court and in parliament in order to prevent others
from seeing the material. How many people were
involved in guarding the OTs and NOTs?
McShane: Circa fifty. I authorised them to sit with the
Zenon: Are they included in the 325?
McShane: They were only supposed to sit with the
material, not to read it.
Zenon: The Fishman Affidavit contains fragments of OT2
and OT3. Did other parts of OT2 and OT3 ever get
McShane: Yes, in 1982, in 1983, in the Copenhagen theft.
Here, I shake my head vehemently and immediately
reach for my computer, whispering to Zenon that
the Copenhagen theft concerned only NOTs and
that if anything else got out - as we know it
has - it was elsewhere. McShane sees my opposition
and suddenly remembers that he is under oath.
McShane: Well, there was a theft in the UK, in 1982,
where other material was stolen.
Good. Scored again. First of all, Zenon has shown
that the material is not at all as secure as
McShane has implied. And secondly, I reminded
McShane that whatever he says here is recorded and
that he had better not lie: that I know about
security leaks as well as he does.
Zenon: Can one reach the level of OT2 or OT3 by just
studying the material? That is: without the tape
recordings, without the films and without the
McShane: [hesitates, he knows what is going on] We
wouldn't consider that studying.
Zenon: Does the study of the written text only suffice
to attain the corresponding OT level?
McShane: No, it doesn't.
At 14:20, we are done. The Chair asks McShane a
couple of questions on behalf of the court:
Chair: How many people did you say have read OT3?
McShane: Circa 25,000.
I see the court thinking: "but such an amount of
people having read it establishes publication...!
Twenty-five thousand people can never be a closed
Chair: Is registration in the US necessary?
McShane: Yes. Shortly before we registered, we
discovered that there were squirrels, groups of
people who used our material outside the church.
We had to sue them, and thus had to register the
OT material with the Copyright Office, according
to US law. In the US - and I believe it's the only
country in the world that has this requirement -
you can't sue for infringement if you haven't
registered the work.
14:20 - Break.
McShane's deposition continues as a closed
session, in order to prevent any "confidential"
phrases or words from becoming public. Only the
lawyers (including Bill Hart), the two
interpreters, Zenon and me - I am still his legal
aide - remain in the room. Magnusson wants to show
the court the OTs and NOTs, unmasked. Zenon
objects. Previously, Zenon demanded that RTC would
file the OTs and NOTs while Scientology protested;
the lower court, tingsrätten, agreed with RTC. So
why the heck would they show them now? And it is
not real evidence, the court cannot really
review these stacks of papers nor compare those to
the OTs and NOTs that he posted and filed.
Besides, viewing is a different category of
evidence, that has not been announced in the due
A short break ensues, the court needs to make a formal
decision on this. After fifteen minutes they are
done: they will allow Magnusson to show the OTs
and NOTs to the same extent that he did in the
Magnusson continues his deposition of McShane. As
before, most questions are left out of my transcript.
McShane: Spring or summer 1996. Zenon Panoussis
threatened to post our material and I instructed
one of our attorneys to find out who he was and to
inform him of our rights regarding these materials.
McShane: I downloaded Zenon Panoussis' postings of the
OTs and compared them to the originals.
McShane: I made the comparison myself.
McShane [opens one of the case binders that Magnusson
has supplied the court with]: This is the
comparison that I did before the lawsuit was
filed. On the left side is what Zenon Panoussis
posted and on the right side is a copy of the
original, unmasked OT-levels, well, unmasked
before I started this. I marked the similar
paragraphs. I masked our comparison and then I
went through them and blackened out the key
confidential words so that one could see that they
came from the same Hubbard work but still maintain
McShane: The first one is a NOTs issue, I think 28, all
the issues are formatted in a similar way, they
have a title of Hubbard Communication Office and
it has the title of the actual work; then the body
of the text itself, and then there'll be a
signature. If you turn the page, to NOTs 29,
you'll see Mr Hubbard's signature at the bottom
and the infringing copy even copied the copyright
McShane: There's a page titled OT2, and the infringing
copy here has the computer address at the top
right corner. And then I took this and compared it
to the original, and if you look at the first
issue after the blue divider, that page
corresponds to OT2.
McShane: OT2 has 166 confidential pages and I believe
that of these 16 were copied. Out of the 68
confidential pages of OT3, Zenon Panoussis
infringed upon 39 pages. NOTs is altogether 177
pages, of which 141 pages were copied. In works,
that means that 53 out of 55 NOTs were copied.
McShane proceeds to show the unmasked OTs and NOTs
to the court. Unlike in my case, where McShane
came with a selection of gold-plated suitcases
containing the OTs, he now takes them out of a
black bag. Out come three black binders: OT2, OT3
and the NOTs pack. They look definitely
unimpressive. Everybody assembles in front of the
bench. Everybody - except Magnusson's aide.
Yesterday, I rejected the thought that he was a
Scientologist: although he has their general look
and feel, he blinks too much. Later on, when I see
his behaviour during breaks, I am forced to
reconsider. While the lawyers invariably clutter
together and discuss matters with McShane,
Magnusson's aide invariably chats with the
Scientologists. While I was sitting next to Zenon,
acting as his aide, I noticed Magnusson's aide
trying to stare me down. That was weird behaviour.
And now he pretends to not want, or to not need,
to see the OTs and NOTs. The guy is a
McShane leafs through OT3. Typoscript,
handwriting, lots of typoscript and some more of
McShane shows a part of OT2. "See, this is what we
consider to be a work." He points at a page
containing ten or twelve lines. "Other works are
longer, for instance look at this OT2 work." He
leafs through four or five pages. Zenon, who is
also standing there, recognises a part and
interrupts. "This part is in the Fishman
Affidavit, but while here you have a list of items
and then a short description under each, in my
Fishman Affidavit I only have the headings." That
can hardly even be seen as a quote, let alone as
an infringement, Zenon implies. "But you must
understand that these words have a very special
meaning for us," McShane objects. "And the
one-page work that you showed us earlier? Can I
see that again?" Zenon leafs through OT2 and finds
the ten-liner. McShane cringes, a Suppressive is
touching the OTs, and he can't prevent it. Zenon
takes the Fishman Affidavit, puts it next to this
work from OT2 and shows the court that the Fishman
version contains only half of these twelve lines.
Zenon lets the matter rest. He has made two
points, and he knows that the court understands
it: what Scientology claims as full-fledged
infringement is in fact often just a quote, and a
"work" only containing 10-12 words on as many
lines is not copyrightable to begin with.
McShane continues about the special meanings that
words have. He points at a list and reads it
aloud: "... Love ..." and then proceeds to sing-song
the rest; he finds it difficult to pronounce them
under these circumstances, within this company.
They really are sacred to him. He explains: "All
the nuances of these words must be understood, and
it is terribly important that they are understood
properly. You can imagine how difficult it is to
make an adequate translation..." The Chair suddenly
looks up from the OTs that he is viewing, and asks
McShane, with a certain surprise in his voice:
"Are there any translations made of the OTs and
NOTs?" "Yes," McShane answers proudly. He doesn't
know that he is digging his own grave. Twenty-five
thousand readers, translations... all this suffices
to establish legal publication, and thus the right
for individuals to have copies for private use and
the right to quote them in public.
We go through attachment 126, the two hundred
mangled NOTs. McShane points at a Rastafarian NOT.
"You see, they just wrote the words funnily, and
while I agree that the texts have been mangled:
what can be processed can be reverted and
*unprocessed*." The court looks and compares.
Actually, as they find out, words have been
exchanged as well: all instances of 'thetan' have
been changed into 'watermelon' and all instances
of body thetan' into 'watchammecallit'. "There are
no instances of the word 'watermelon' in the
original?" the Chair asks McShane, to be sure what
it is that he is seeing. No, McShane replies, that
word was not used by Hubbard.
We look at some mangled NOTs. "I admit that the
order of the words has been changed, and that the
text has been reworked," says McShane, "but you
must understand that these texts still contain our
confidential words." He is actually implying that
they have copyright on words.
At 16:05, we're done. A ten minute break. At 16:15 we resume.
There is some more discussion. Amongst others, my
summary of OT3 is brought up. That article has
found its way into attachment 126, the Monkey
NOTs, and during the previous hearings in May 1988
Scientology claimed that the article fell under
their copyright. They wouldn't allow Zenon a copy
of that article, not even with all my Hubbard
quotes stricken: it would still be infringing. The
whole of attachment 126 is sealed and subject to
confidentiality. That includes my article, the one
that proudly sits on my homepage and over which I
have been sued twice and been absolved twice by
Zenon requests a copy on my behalf. McShane states
that "paraphrasing is infringement". I blink with
surprise. I know that McShane claimed exactly the
same, also under oath, in RTC versus Factnet, [see http://www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink/cos/coskit/ks-023.html
for the court transcript], but I never thought that
I would hear such an absurdity. Paraphrasing is
Zenon asks him to repeat himself. McShane amends:
"Paraphrasing could be an infringement." Under his
belief system, I understand him: since they claim
*ownership* to certain words, any text that
contains these words is indeed infringing -
according to them. But the law, alas for them,
16:30. The court adjourns. It is weekend.
Unbiased columnism is a series of court reports on the proceedings of Scientology versus Zenon Panoussis. This series covers the Jan 2001 sessions:
- Day 0, January 17: Poor guy versus multinational cult
- Day 1, January 18: Mangled material
- Day 2, January 19: McShane compliments Zenon
- (Next:) Day 3, January 22: Magnusson becomes helpful
- Day 4, January 23: Children's games
- Day 5 & 6, January 24-25: Unacceptable truths
- Day 7 & 8, January 26-27: Carrying water from the desert to the sea.
This series was preceeded by the May 1998 hearings in Zenon's case.
Copyright Karin Spaink.
This text is offered for private use only. Any
other use requires the author's written permission.