Fishman Affidavit

The Fishman Affidavit is a set of court documents submitted by ex-Scientologist Steven Fishman in 1993 in the federal case, Church of Scientology International v. Fishman and Geertz (Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx) United States District Court for the Central District of California).

The affidavit contained criticisms of the Church of Scientology and substantial portions of the Operating Thetan auditing and course materials.

Church of Scientology International v. Fishman and Geertz

The documents were brought as exhibits attached to a declaration by Steven Fishman on 9 April 1993 as part of Church of Scientology International v. Fishman and Geertz. Along with Kendrick Moxon and Laurie Bartilson, Timothy Bowles was one of the lead attorneys for the Church of Scientology in the case.[1]

Fishman told the court that he had committed crimes on behalf of the Church. He also attested that he was assigned to murder his psychologist, Dr. Uwe Geertz, and then commit suicide.[2][3]Fishman received a mail fraud conviction three years earlier, and he claimed being brainwashed by the Church and that he had committed the crime to cover the cost of his Scientology sessions. The court rejected Fishman’s defense and he was soon after sued for libel by Scientology.[4]

As evidence, Fishman submitted course materials he said that he purchased from Ellie Bolger, a fellow Scientologist, and Richard Ofshe, an expert witness for his defense. The Church says the documents were stolen and considers them to be copyrighted and a trade secret.[5] Among other materials, the affidavit contains 61 pages of the allegedly trade-secret and copyrighted story of Xenu.

The Fishman Affidavit contains much text from the old versions of the Operating Thetan levels. The versions of OT I to OT VII in the Fishman Affidavit are considered authentic as the church's Religious Technology Center (RTC) brought copyright lawsuits over their release on the Internet. Fishman's description of OT VIII contains the accusation that Jesus was a pedophile. After initially asserting copyright to all the OT level descriptions in the affidavit, RTC amended its claim to remove the OT VIII description, calling it a forgery. Fishman stated that he had obtained his copy of OT VIII from Ofshe, a different source than his copies of the other OT Levels, purchased from a fellow Scientologist.[6]

The Church of Scientology dropped its libel case against Fishman and Geertz in 1994.[7]

An important side aspect of the case was the fact that several high-ranking Scientology officials and lead attorneys for the organization and former high-ranking Scientologists submitted declarations on their activities for the Church of Scientology, giving thereby insight into the internal ongoings of the Scientology management.

Among others, declarations were submitted by:

Posting to the Internet

Although the Church of Scientology attempted to prevent others from receiving the document by continuously borrowing it, the text of this declaration and its exhibits were scanned, converted to text, and posted onto the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology by ex-Scientologist Arnie Lerma.[17] The material was then placed on the World Wide Web by David S. Touretzky.

Lerma's newsgroup posting resulted in the August 1995 raid of his home for copyright violation on the materials, and the resulting lawsuit Religious Technology Center (Scientology) vs Arnaldo Lerma, Richard Leiby, and The Washington Post.[17] U.S. Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that while Richard Leiby and the Washington Post had not violated copyright, Lerma was liable and fined $2,500 but with no costs awarded to Scientology. Judge Brinkema also stated that the primary motivation for the case was "to stifle criticism of Scientology in general and to harass its critics."[18][19]

After being posted to the newsgroup, the documents were mirrored on hundreds of websites worldwide.[20] The Church of Scientology responded by suing a number of people and their Internet service providers for copyright infringement. The defendants responded by challenging the church to prove it was actually the copyright holder of the disputed documents.

The other notable case in connection with this was against Dutch writer Karin Spaink. The Church brought suit on copyright violation grounds for reproducing the source material, and claimed rewordings would reveal a trade secret. In 2003, Spaink won the case, with the court holding that her quotation of Scientology works was acceptable and expressing concern about Scientology's attempts to prevent discussion of its doctrines.[21] The Church appealed but dropped the case after a negative advice on the appeal from the Attorney-General to the court in March 2005. In December 2005 the court dismissed the appeal, making the previous ruling final. The Church has no further possibility for appeal due to their dropping the case. The ruling also reversed earlier decisions affecting hyperlinking.[22]

Critics of the church have accused it of intentionally using lawsuits in these and other cases as SLAPP suits, intended to silence their opposition. Critics of Steven Fishman have produced the affidavit of Kenneth D. Long, a Scientology executive, which states that Fishman received services from a Scientology mission, did a few introductory courses, never worked for the Church or CCHR, and did not get any auditing or do any courses at the main Miami church, which would conflict with his claims.[23] Vicki Aznaran, a former Scientologist who was involved in anti-Scientology litigation before retracting her claims as part of a settlement with Scientology, gave a declaration through Scientology attorneys in which she states various allegations made by Steven Fishman and other church critics are untrue,[24] contradicting her previous declaration given in CSI v. Fishman and Geertz.[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ Gonnet, Roger (1998). La secte: secte armée pour la guerre. Alban. p. 212. ISBN 2-911751-04-3.
  2. ^ Behar, Richard (1991-05-06). "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power". Time. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  3. ^ Ortega, Tony (1999-12-23). "Double Crossed". Phoenix New Times. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  4. ^ Cowan, Douglas E. (2013). Cowan, Douglas E.; Dawson, Lome L., eds. Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet. Routledge. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  5. ^ "Court TV Library". Court TV Online Legal Documents. 1999-11-28. Archived from the original on 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2007-08-22. Plaintiff claims that these documents are protected from both unauthorized use and unauthorized disclosure under the copyright laws of the United States and under trade secret laws, respectively.
  6. ^ Press Release by Steven Fishman, "Press Release: Scientology upper level references (OT materials) affirmed unsealed and in the public domain by United States Court of Appeals.", Pages 1-7., April 28, 1994.
  7. ^ Garcia, Wayne (1994-07-07). "Church of Scientology settles suit with PR firm". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-01-26. Earlier this year, Scientology dropped its libel case against former Scientologist Steve Fishman and his therapist, Uwe Geertz.
  8. ^ Declaration of Jonathan Epstein, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 7th, 1994
  9. ^ Declaration of Guillaume Lesevre, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 7th, 1994
  10. ^ Declaration of David Miscavige, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 8th, 1994
  11. ^ Declaration of Raymond Mithoff, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 7th, 1994
  12. ^ Declaration of Thomas Spring, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 7th, 1994
  13. ^ Declaration of Norman Starkey, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 7th, 1994
  14. ^ Declaration of William Walsh, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 8th, 1994
  15. ^ Declaration of Marc Yager, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 7th, 1994
  16. ^ Declaration of Monique Yingling, Church of Scientology International vs. Steven Fishman & Uwe Geertz, Case No. CV 91-6426 (HLH (Tx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, February 7th, 1994
  17. ^ a b "Civil Action No. 95-1107-A". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  18. ^ Prendergast, Alan (1997-03-06). "Nightmare on the Net". Denver Westword. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  19. ^ Prendergast, Alan (1997-08-14). "Hush-Hush Money". Denver Westword. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  20. ^ "OT III Scholarship Page". David S. Touretzky. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  21. ^ Grossman, Wendy M. (2003-09-12). "The mills of Xenu grind exceeding slow". The Inquirer. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  22. ^ "Hyperlinks remain legal after Scientology defeat". ZDNet UK. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2007-09-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Affidavit of Kenneth D. Long, April 10, 1991
  24. ^ [1] The Declaration of Vicki Aznaran
  25. ^ [2] The Declaration of Vicki Aznaran in CSI v. Fishman and Geertz, April 4, 1994.

External links

Arnie Lerma

Arnaldo Pagliarini "Arnie" Lerma (November 18, 1950 – March 16, 2018) was an American writer and activist, a former Scientologist, and a critic of Scientology who appeared in television, media and radio interviews. Lerma was the first person to post the court document known as the Fishman Affidavit, including the Xenu story, to the Internet via the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Church of Scientology v. Sweden

Church of Scientology v. Sweden (8282/78) was a case decided by the European Commission of Human Rights in 1980.

Concerned Businessmen's Association of America

The Concerned Businessmen's Association of America (CBAA), founded in 1983, is a Scientology-related movement directed at promoting moral education and "enhanced well-being". The organization uses L. Ron Hubbard's The Way to Happiness booklet as part of their Set A Good Example (SAGE) program, which holds children's anti-drug contests, and awards grants to participating schools. The Way to Happiness presents Scientology's religious concepts in a secular framework. The CBAA licenses the trademarks of the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE). Their office is located in Reno, Nevada.

Fishman (surname)

Fishman is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Charles Adès Fishman (born 1942), American poet and academic

Hal Fishman (1932–2007), American newsman, based in Los Angeles, who has been the longest-running news anchor in the history of television

Irving Fishman (1921–2014), American politician

Jake Fishman (born 1995), American baseball player

Jay S. Fishman (1952–2016), American manager

Jerald G. Fishman (1945–2013), American electrical engineer and businessman

Jon Fishman (born 1965), American musician

Joshua Aaron Fishman (1926–2015), American linguist

Michael Fishman (born 1981), American actor

Mosess Fishman (1916–2007), leader of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade for many years

Steven Fishman (born 1957), ex-scientologist, author of the Fishman Affidavit

William J. Fishman (1921–2016), British authorFictional characters:

Chuck Fishman, character from the American television series Early EditionPseudonyms:

Fishman (1951–2017), wrestler, born José Ángel Nájera Sánchez.

Freedom Medal

The Freedom Medal is a medal awarded to Scientologists. It is awarded annually to members of the Church of Scientology for "bringing greater freedom to mankind". Established in 1985, the Freedom Medal has had 80 recipients.

Freedom Medal of Valor

The Freedom Medal of Valor is a medal awarded to Scientologists. It is a larger version of the more common Freedom Medal awarded annually to members of the Church of Scientology for "bringing greater freedom to mankind". Established in 1985, the Freedom Medal has had 80 recipients; however to date the Freedom Medal of Valor has had but a single recipient - Tom Cruise. His medal was awarded for "humanitarian work of a larger global scale."

Hubbard Association of Scientologists International

The Hubbard Association of Scientologists (HAS) was the original corporation founded in 1954 by L. Ron Hubbard that managed all Scientology organizations. The HAS evolved from the Office of L. Ron Hubbard located in Phoenix, Arizona. It was re-incorporated later in the year as the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI) to correct the non-profit status omission in the corporate paperwork.

HASI general members would receive 10% discount on all books, tape lectures and other items from Church bookstores. HASI membership was a requirement to take services at the various Scientology organizations.

HASI was the sole membership organization for the Church of Scientology prior to October 1984, when the International Association of Scientologists was started.

Karin Spaink

Karin Spaink (born December 20, 1957 in Amsterdam) is a journalist, writer and feminist.

Spaink is a free speech advocate and social critic. Some of her subjects are:

New-age writers who assert all diseases are only a psychological phenomenon;

The Church of Scientology, who sued her for more than ten years;

Opposition to a U.S. court decision which took down an anti-abortion site that contained names, addresses, photos and personal data of abortion providers along with calls for violence (Spaink describes herself as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, but felt that freedom of speech should prevail);

The right to inform people about methods of suicide and to discuss the danger or reliability of various methods.

Marcab Confederacy

According to the beliefs of the Church of Scientology, the Marcab Confederacy is said to be one of the most powerful galactic civilizations still active. Church founder L. Ron Hubbard describes it as:

Various planets united into a very vast civilization which has come forward up through the last 200,000 years, formed out of the fragments of earlier civilizations. In the last 10,000 years they have gone on with a sort of decadent kicked-in-the-head civilization that contains automobiles, business suits, fedora hats, telephones, spaceships — a civilization which looks almost an exact duplicate but is worse off than the current US civilization.

The capital of the Confederacy is said to be "one of the tail stars of the Big Dipper", probably Alkaid, a star 108 light years distant from Earth. The Marcabians used to rule Earth at some point in the past but lost control of it due to "losses in war and other things".

Operating Thetan

In Scientology, Operating Thetan (OT) is a spiritual state above Clear. It is defined as "knowing and willing cause over life, thought, matter, energy, space and time (MEST)." According to religious scholar J. Gordon Melton, "[i]t's basically a variation of the Gnostic myth about souls falling into matter and the encumbrances that come with that".

Project Normandy

Project Normandy was a top secret Church of Scientology operation wherein the church planned to take over the city of Clearwater, Florida, by infiltrating government offices and media centers. Gabe Cazares, who was the mayor of Clearwater at the time, used the term “the occupation of Clearwater.”

Safe Environment Fund

The Safe Environment Fund was a Church of Scientology organization that raised funds for the defense of the Scientology executives indicted (and ultimately convicted) for their role in a criminal conspiracy against the United States Government and numerous other public and private organizations and individuals. The term "safe environment" was used by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to refer to his conception of Scientology's organizations as a bulwark against what he described as "the dangerous environment of the wog [non-Scientology] world, of injustice, sudden dismissals, war, atomic bombs" which would "only persist and trouble us if we fail to spread our safe environment across the world."

Scientology and marriage

Scientology and marriage, within the Church of Scientology, are discussed in the book The Background, Ministry, Ceremonies & Sermons of the Scientology Religion.

Scientology weddings do not require that both parties of the wedding be adherents of Scientology. Nor does the Church necessarily exclude material from weddings of other faiths in its own ceremonies. One source, J. Gordon Melton, has ascribed this to Scientology trying to mollify members of the wedding partners' families.

Scientology and other religions

The relationship between Scientology and other religions is very complex. While Scientology claims that it is fully compatible with all existing major world religions and that it does not conflict with them or their religious practices, there are major differences in beliefs and practices between Scientology and most religions, especially the major monotheistic religions. Members are not allowed to engage in other similar mental therapies or procedures, religious or otherwise. However, some ministers from other churches have adopted some Scientology secular programs.According to Jacob Neusner, Scientology is a "synthesis of existing ideas and a reflection of particular cultural, social, and historical circumstances in which it was born and developed". The religion reflects Western and American values, such as "beliefs in democracy, individualism, and freedom", while borrowing little from religions based on the Bible. Similarities exist between Scientology and eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.

Scientology in Canada

Scientology in Canada has encountered difficulties in obtaining status as a tax exempt organization, as has happened in other countries.

Scientology in Egypt

The Church of Scientology has no official presence in Egypt and there are no known membership statistics available. In 2002, two members were detained by Egyptian authorities under the charges of "contempt of religion". However, some books by the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, have started to appear in several Egyptian bookstores in the late 2000s, and were even approved by Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni learning institution in the Muslim world. Egypt is listed on an official Scientology website as being a country "in which Dianetics and Scientology services are ministered". Narconon, an organization which promotes Hubbard's drug abuse treatment, has a branch in Fayoum.

Tilman Hausherr

Tilman Hausherr is a German citizen living in Berlin, Germany. Hausherr is well-known among critics of Scientology for his frequent Usenet posts and for maintaining a website critical of Scientology. Hausherr is also the author of a software utility, Xenu's Link Sleuth, which was praised in a 2002 PC Magazine article covering 70 web builder utilities.

We Stand Tall

We Stand Tall is a 1990 music video produced by the Church of Scientology. It features many individuals, including current Scientology leader, David Miscavige. Many of the participants have either come to publicly criticize the practices of the Church or have disappeared.The video features Miscavige, Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun, Heber Jentzsch, and Shelly Miscavige.

X. and Church of Scientology v. Sweden

X. and Church of Scientology v. Sweden (7805/77) was a case decided by European Commission of Human Rights in 1979.

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