A gentlemen named Tom Klemesrud, ran an ISP called Netcom, in Burbank California. Mr. Klemesrud’s ISP hosted the FIRST anti-cult BBS (dial-up Bulletin Board Service) in 1989. Meanwhile on America Online there was a busy anti-scn discussion area. Boxes of materials from Klemesrud’s BBS as well as from Cynthia Kisser’s anti-cult group went to Rich Behar the writer at Time Magazine to help create that huge cover story in TIME magazine.
The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power
Ruined lives. Lost fortunes. Federal crimes. Scientology poses as a religion but really is a ruthless global scam — and aiming for the mainstream.
Read the article
“Scientology is quite likely the most ruthless, the most classically terroristic, the most litigious and the most lucrative cult the country has ever seen. No cult extracts more money from its members.”
In 1991 after the time magazine article above, a guy started the newsgroup alt religion scientology on USENET. The big breakthrough happened in the fall of 1993, when AOL and other Internet Service Providers, opened their gateways to the internet in August. It was described as “The fall that never ended”
Documents from court cases involving scientology started appearing on the net. The archives of an anti-cult group called FACTNet were made available on the net. New documents were being scanned, and turned into text, and uploaded from cases all over the world, as were newspaper articles. Ex-members started posting their stories to this newsgroup. Recovering members and those harmed by scientology began to realize that what happened to them was not unique, that they were not alone!
In 1993 Scientology sued a an ex-member I knew when I was one of them, named Enid Vein for copyright. During that litigation her cat was shot. She told me that scientology, in their settlement proposal demanded she never mention the murder of her cat.
She was forced to settle with them.
This infuriated me.
Index on A2 lists at top of C/OUTLOOK
How the Scientologists try to
impose their version of the truth
on members, defectors—and on
journalists. Page C1
Then on Christmas days of 1993 the Washington Post ran this article on the front page of Outlook section, after Scientology sent two goons to my front door of my home in Alrington Virginia. I mailed out several letters, explaining the circumstances and closed my letter with “This is America, isn’t it?”
Then all hell broke loose.
In 1995 Scientology raided four activists. Tom Klemesrud, Arnie Lerma, Dennis Erlich, and Lawrence Wollersheim and Bob Penny’s FACTNet.org in Colorado claiming copyright infringement, and trade secret misappropriation. Scientologist Lawyer Earle Cooley called it copyright terrorism.
Centerfold of December 1995 WIRED Magazine,
alt.scientology.war was the cover story!
An activist in Holland, Karin Spainke posted the secret materials and was also sued.
Another named Zenon Parnusis, who was another sued, literally wall-papered the bridge between the Swedish Parliament and Swedish High Court with the once secret materials.
In December 1995, I got a call from Detective Thomas Miller CWPD, he told me to look at a web page on the Clearwater Police Department web page. I did, seems the police wanted information about a suspicious death of a scientologist named Lisa McPherson. Being on IRC relay chat at the time, and having my hands full with my own court case, ex-member consultations, and fighting back...so I messaged Jeff Jacobsen, who ran with the ball and started Lisamcpherson.org, and became the site for Lisa McPherson’s horrific tale. He did an outstanding job, organized pickets and protests against scientology.
This is image is from one of those, which I turned into a postcard.
In 1996 a retired investment banker named Robert Minton, who told me he had been confined in a closet as a child, and was touched by the story of Lisa McPherson, read a story I had posted to the newsgroup about a strange encounter I had two decades prior, and decided to pick up his checkbook and made a donation of $10,000 to FACTnet.org
At this time Scientology was harassing activists all over the world in its quest for silence.
Mr Minton went on to fund litigation, help activists, started a corporation, The Lisa McPherson Trust and against my advice, opened an office in Clearwater across the street from their headquarters. He helped hundreds escape scientology. Won several awards both here and overseas. After a valiant effort, spending millions, having his children followed to school, and being litigated into a state of shell shock, he retired from the war, exhausted. But only after scientology admitted spending 30 million dollars trying to get rid of him. He passed away in 2009 from a heart attack, and is buried in Ireland.
15 sec clip from NBC Dateline, Bob and Arnie:
http://www.lermanet.com/audio/bob-arnie2.wmv from 1997
Anonymous arrived on the scene in 2008, and this writer, with serious stenosis of several areas of my spine, had to try to walk away, at least for a while, meanwhile, Mr Ortega moved into high gear with his blog pages and current scientology news.
Sometimes perspective is everything.
Google search results for:
“asthmatic dwarf” + scientology 900
End notes: From the department of forensic history at Lermanet, Tom Padgett wrote:
THE SCIENTOLOGY WARS! When did they begin? Paulette Cooper’s original “The Scandal Of Scientology” book. David Mayo’s public defection. L Ron’s death. Richard Behar‘s poignant 1991 Time Magazine cover story The Cult Of Greed. The IRS victory in 1993. Long before social media and the current crop of bloggers, there were a few around with some letters after their names leading the charge. In addition to Dr. Singer, Dr. Lifton, etc., and there was Dr. Jolly West. He addressed the nature of the warfare environment from a forensic science approach.