Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam -- and aiming for the mainstream.

-Time Magazine cover story, May 6, 1991
(full text available at here)
I am a critic of the Church of ScientologyTM. You may well ask, "Why? Don't you believe in freedom of religion? Can't you live and let live?", and the answer is "Freedom of religion is very, very important, but when a church uses fraud and crime to support itself, then it's gone too far." To put it simply, the Church of ScientologyTM hurts people, sometimes deliberately.

Though I had a very brief brush with ScientologyTM while in college, I really knew very little about them until recently, thinking of them as yet another new religion, with its own particular quirks. Then in 1995, an attorney named Helena Kobrin, acting on behalf of her client and church, attempted to remove an entire Usenet news group, "alt.religion.scientology" (called ARS for short). I had never read this group, but I was shocked and appalled at the attempt to stifle free discourse. At first, I followed this issue in other newsgroups, primarily the ones devoted to "net abuse", then on a web site dedicated to the issue, then on other web sites as they sprang up and became cross-linked.

At first, I had thought that the newsgroup removal was perhaps a mistake, the misguided attempt of a single over-zealous religionist to protect the good name of her faith. However, subsequent events, such as raids, lawsuits, and the deliberate deluging of ARS with "spam", have shown that it was part and parcel with ScientologyTM policy. They have dark secrets and they don't want you to know the truth.

They don't want you to know:

  • That church founder L. Ron Hubbard created ScientologyTM for the money.
  • That Scientology systematically bought books to artificially create "bestsellers".
  • That senior members of the church, including Mary Sue Hubbard - Ron's wife and #2 at the time in the church - have been convicted of serious crimes, among them burglarizing the office of an Assistant Attorney General of the United States in an effort to "gather intelligence" about those critical of Scientology.
  • That a similiar conspiracy occured in Toronto wherein memebers of the "church" gathered confidential documents and information from police and medical files.
  • That Heber Jentzsch, the head of the International division of the church, is a fugitive from justice in Spain.
  • That they hire private investigaters who use illegal means to gather information on the church's critics, among them Eugene Martin Ingram, who is wanted in at least two states.
  • That having lost a fraud case to former member Larry Wollersheim, and having lost not one but two appeals to the Supreme Court, they still haven't paid a judgment of well over a million dollars (reduced from $30 million).
  • That to reach the upper levels of ScientologyTM requires a series of courses that cost over $300,000 in "fixed donations".
    © 1996 Stuart P. Derby