email@example.com, an account on Helsingius's anonymous
remailer in Finland, put up an opposing account, allegedly an interview with the
woman in question, that claimed that Klemesrud was the attacker rather than the
victim (a claim Klemesrud vehemently denies). On February 2, Helsingius was
contacted by an American CoS representative saying that information from a
closed, private CoS system had been made public through anon.penet.fi and that
the CoS had reported a burglary to the Los Angeles Police Department and the
FBI. The representative wanted the identity of the individual who had posted that
material. Helsingius refused, and he was told a request was on its way to the
Finnish police through Interpol. The police arrived on February 8, with a warrant.
Helsingius negotiated his way into giving up only the single ID that the CoS wanted
instead of his entire database of 200,000. He says that within an
hour he was told the information had been passed on to the CoS. Helsingius later
confirmed that the ID the CoS wanted was firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an email message, Kobrin said of the anon.penet.fi raid: "The material that was
stolen happened to relate to an investigation being conducted by the Church's
lawyers into false allegations about the Church that had been posted on the
Internet by Mr Erlich and Mr Klemesrud. These allegations centered on an incident
involving a woman whom Mr Klemesrud had met in a bar, which the investigation
proved were completely unfounded." Asked if further action was being taken
against the anon-poster whose ID was handed over, she said, "The matter is under
investigation. I cannot comment." The CoS, when asked who was undertaking the
investigation, did not reply.
Also on February 8, the RTC, the CoS arm that holds the copyright for Hubbard's
works, filed a complaint in San Jose, California, against Erlich and his service
providers. On February 10, Federal District Judge Ronald M. Whyte issued a
temporary restraining order against Erlich, Klemesrud, and Klemesrud's ISP,
Netcom. The complaint said Erlich had been posting CoS materials in violation of
copyright and, in the case of the upper-level materials the CoS calls "Advanced
Technology," posting materials that were unpublished and confidential. The CoS
has called the latter trade secrets, saying that the issue is one of theft, not of free
Erlich maintained that all his postings were merely fair use. "The most effective way
I can discredit the cult is to use their own documents to show what they're about."
Further, he said, "If quoting their internal documents that were legally obtained
doesn't constitute fair use, then nothing does." The CoS disagrees
vehemently with this assessment of things. In a 1995 prepared statement about the
Erlich suit, Leisa Goodman, media relations director for the Church of Scientology
International, wrote, "Numerous attempts had been made by the Church's lawyers
to persuade Erlich to halt his unauthorized, wholesale postings of the Church's
religious scriptures, which went way beyond the concept of 'fair use' and
constituted violation of copyright law." Later in the same statement, she wrote,
"Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to steal. Erlich's attempts to misdirect
and misinform the media are intended solely to divert attention from his own
unlawful actions. He has spread polemic and sometimes obscene messages about
the Church over the Internet--also a 'smokescreen' to divert attention away from
his illegal activities."
Scientologists added that the only way Erlich could have obtained these materials
in the first place would have been by signing an agreement that they be kept
permanently confidential (in Scientology terms, a billion-year contract). Erlich says
that's not true: "I never signed anything." This is repeated in his statements to the
court, which are available on the Net, as are many other court documents from
On February 13, 1995, Erlich's residence in Glendale, California, was raided. Erlich
claimed afterwards that his constitutional rights were violated by the raid, in which
he said floppy disks, books, and papers were seized, files were deleted from his
hard drive, and his house was comprehensively searched and photographed.
Afterward, two of his computers would not boot properly, and he was left with no
back-ups from which to restore his system. He was not given an inventory of the
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