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back to article Scientology critics fight YouTube takedown notices

Net users are fighting back against attempts to remove content critical of the Church of Scientology (CoS) from YouTube. American Rights Counsel LLC, apparently acting on behalf of the Church of Scientology, sent 4,000 DMCA takedown notices to YouTube late last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports. The notices allege …

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Times are a changin'

For the scilons anyway. Looks like they could be forced out of France too -

http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2008/09/08/europe/OUKWD-UK-FRANCE-SCIENTOLOGY.php

Several high-up French Scientologists appear to be on trial for fraud and illegally practising as pharmacists.

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Black Helicopters

As mentioned in the original article...

You gotta feel for the poor guy(s) taking down all the videos just to have to go through and put them all back up again...

AC, just in case the cultists think I'm a Subversive Person...

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Anonymous Coward

Another reason?

The BBC is reporting that The Church of Scientology in France will be tried in court for "organised fraud", according to legal sources;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7604311.stm

Could this be another reason to issue take down notices?

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Paris Hilton

A cult like all religions

As an agnostic, not an atheist, I think almost all religions are bunkum and are fair game for criticism, you will have to fight very hard to convince me of their merits and overall benefit to my life. Sorry, but invoking the flimsy DMCA laws to harass me into believing you're a peaceful and caring organisation with my well being at heart, is as transparent as, well as Madam's underwear!

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Alien

And the war continues

Nice to see that the aliens using the legal system to stop the spread of free speach. Dont think it works though .. the more the get taken from you tube etc the more people find out about it ... go for it aliens send a DMCA to every site everywhere about your garbage so that you can hang your self with you own PR cockup.

AC well you have to realy :)

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Excellent

Well done those responsible for getting the vidoes reinstated! :)

These Scientology morons need to be taught a lesson - quite simply, YOU ARE A BRAINWASHING CULT (and another 4 letter word begining with C and ending in T)

You prey on 'stupid' people and then steal ALL of their money, you recruit IDIOT celebs to make it seem cool - celebs are no more 'real' human beings than the mythical alien that created your religion - but, people look up to these idiots and think if Cruise et al are members, it must be ok - WHAM all their money gone

The old saying 'a fool and his money are easily parted' rings true here, but the extra level of coercion involved is almost akin to brainwashing and simple theft.

I hope Scientology gets revealed for what it is - a CULT that preys on the weak minded.

I realise I'll probably incur the wrath of some zealous idiot - but hey - I'm not scared of you or your 'Alien' leader - come knocking on my door making threats - you'll be meeting your maker (incidentally this is GOD, not an Alien) ;)

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Dead Vulture

Scientology If Fraud no matter what they think.

Wish they would F-OFF already. Scam artists should be deleted and removed.

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Silver badge

how secure are these guys?

If someone is a true believer then the views of others cannot move them off the path of faith. If I was to absolutely believe something - to the point where it dominated my life (and a religion - any religion, does this) then a few people who are not part of my faith but who disagree with me, would not affect me in the slightest.

From that tenet, you've got to ask yourself: what are these guys afraid of? "Faith" per se. cannot be argued from a logical point of view, so they aren't afraid of being disproved, or found "wrong". I can only assume that their extreme bullying and non-charitable stance originates in something more fundemental.

On an entirely unconnected matter. Consider an organisation that seems to have a huge financial investment, with massive assets and an enormous revenue stream that they collect from their "members". If I ran a concern like this, I'd be worried if a group of activists started poking holes in my business plan and telling the shareholders to take their money elsewhere. I'd also make use of the full arsenal of legal weaponry available to me to stop these people at any cost. This is where the practices of a religious organisation, set up to spread salvation and love, and a business organisation that is set up to extract money and profits diverge. Now which sort are we talking about, again?

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Alert

Scientology infultrating influential positions in US legislature

A number of influential people in the US were named as being scientologists with evidence of their influence being exerted on behalf of the cult. Graham E Barry's speech, available on YouTube, in 5 parts, is spell binding and a little scary.

It would make a good conspiracy theory but for the sheer volume of documentation backing it up; including court records etc. The organisations exist, the connections are demonstrable and the acts speak for themselves. It's happening under our noses and is more obvious, perhaps more real than Al-Qaeda and almost certainly a threat to democracy, yet the US / UK Governments do nothing; unlike Belgium, France and Germany.

Graham E Barry's speech made me wonder if the church of scientologist's (well documented) plans for world domination, if left unchecked, might actually be achievable!

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Stop

Yea, it figures...

... just another example of DMCA abuse. Abusing the law to get their identities... Now it can be mangled into a nice privacy invasion for subversive elements to powerful organizations... Or, rather, wealthy ones (in the US those two are synonymous anyway). If there ever was doubt that the DMCA is too damn vague, this should drive that point home.

And the lawyers are making a fortune. Again.

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I would make a comment, but ...

...I fear it might be taken down, have my voice denied, be labelled as an SP, be made 'fair' game' and be sued ("deprived of property"), "injured", "destroyed" ...

Thank Hubb... God I never attended any of their auditing sessions, sessions where they try to discover my most intimate and sensitive information, otherwise they might be tempted to use it against me.

Yeah, Scientologists say it's a high crime for auditers to divulge such information (yes, they note every detail from auditing sessions into a file and lock it away, reassuring you that it's a high crime to divulge the information), but when a person is fair game, suddenly "any Scientologist" can do whatever they want with it "without any discipline of the Scientologist". Sweet!

Oops, time for me to go Anonymous!

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hmmm

just thinking aloud here, but I seem to recall that part of the DMCA notice requires you to state you are the rights holder, under penalty of perjury (I'd have to look at some notices to be sure, and i just got up)

if my sleep deprived brain is correct, that could be a big problem... for CoS.Even if 3/4 of the notices were accurate, few courts will take 1000 counts lightly.

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AC
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if they can do it ...

can't we too ?

Can't we all just send utoob lots of DMCA notices against any pro CoS {church of suckers} videos?

In fact, extrpolating further, couldn't someone send a DMCA notice about *any* video to get it removed?

I feel I'm missing a vital beat of the process of how the takedowns work but to me it sounds liek you can have a lot of fun with them

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Alien

No comment...

... for fear of being targeted by the oppressive Scientology regime!

Anonymous for obvious reasons :D

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If YouTube has no option but to remove....

Then perhaps Anonymous should start sending DMCA takedown notices to YouTube concerning anything pro Scientology. That way, the CoS can get a taste of its own medicine.

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Alien

What a bunch of cults

A friend of mine was briefly in their thrall, out of pocket by several thousand pounds they still pester her daily with phone calls. The cloak of 'religion' and their army of lawyers seemingly let them get away with just about anything, let's hope the French follow the Germans in giving them a long-overdue kicking.

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Stop

Once again...

a 'religious' organisation attempts to stifle 'free speech' and criticism.

I recall this being a favourite tactic of another religious organisation. I believe it's commonly referred to as "The Spanish Inquisition" (Note, not the Monty Python variety). So last Millenium.

If you can't take the criticism...

Or do you have something to hide?

(Yes, I'm well aware that 'Inquisitions' were commonplace centuries before the aforementioned Spanish variety, so we can skip the history lesson guys)

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Anonymous Coward

The End is Near.................

Religion is the downfall of mankind........................and the biggest con yet.

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Scientology using DMCA notices.

The fraudulent DMCA notices, allegedly made by Scientology supporter and porn barron Oliver Schapper were made using false details; no surprise. That Anonymous doesn't stoop to such tactics with respect to suppressing freedom of speech any more is to their creditl; I am sure that those whose weapons use to be DoS attacks and hacking thought of it.

The DMCA takedowns were a pretty obvious ruse to detract from the Hamburg Symposium, where some very interesting and unnerving speeches were made and the breaking news that a French judge has had the balls to force bringing the cult of scientology to court on fraud charges against the more weasily French prosecution services best wishes.

Still, where as the Hamburg lectures are not news in The Register this is, giving me the opportunity to recommend to anyone sitting on the fence that they go and watch them on YouTube and then decide if being apathetic about the cult of scientology is wise. Search for Graham E Barry. Hamburg.

Can anyone say foot bullet?

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Ash

I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Like all bullies, if you ignore them, they'll get bored and go away.

If you are approached by a Scientologist, either in the street, at your home, or otherwise, don't speak to them. Hell, if you want to REALLY rub it in, DO speak to them, but insist that any discussion of a theological basis is going to end the conversation.

Hatred and persecution gives them an enemy to fight, a cause to rally against. Disinterest and apathy are our allies, for once.

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Correction to Anonymous

The name you want to search for is Graham B*e*rry NOT Barry. Took me a lot of looking to find it, mutter, grumble.

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John Lennon's famous words

I wonder what the repercussions would be if a popular band repeated what Lennon said about the beatles but replaced "Jesus" with "Xenu". I'm thinking some serious lawsuits would be thrown around.

This organisations constant willingness to use lawyers to inhibit free speach and investigatory journalism is more hostile than Canadian festival goers at an Oasis gig.

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Bronze badge

Mass has a legal force all of its own.

1000 takedown notices, however broken they might be, are an expensive legal headache. How do you check that the person signing them has authority to represent the rights holder?

And, despite some pretty glaring cases, even some which didn't meet the basic legal standards for the wording, nobody seems to do any checks, and I've never heard of anybody being charged with perjury.

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Coat

But is scientology a religion or cult at all?

It's questionable if scientology is actually a religion in any generally accepted sense of the word. It lacks any supernatural element, has no eschatology, doesn't say where we came from, offers no creation myth, and otherwise is missing the elements commonly thought of as "religious."

One might argue that Xenu is the scientological equivalent to God, but in reading over those desperately tiresome OT documents, one doesn't find anything along those lines.

Fat-ass Hubbard made a mistake in organizing his religion, by infusing it too strongly with a technologically slanted science-fiction element, methinks.

And just like most other techno-SF from the 1940s & 1950s, scientology has not aged well. It is, in a word, dated. But I suppose that dwarf at its head has carefully fudged the scriptures to conceal this.

Any theologians in the house to clarify this issue with professional knowledge?

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Gates Halo

agnostic, not an atheist?

If you are an agnostic then you don't have a firm belief God you only leave the question open, so by definition you are also an atheist. (one who doesn't believe in God).

There are different types of atheist.

Holy Bill gates since we all know that they don't really exist.

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Alien

Oh just zarkoff already!!

Those stupid Belgium Turlingdromes and there Stupid religion need/2/learn Dawkins.

Barring that... Adams!!

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Agnosticism ...

... is the belief that god is essentially unknowable.

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Anonymous Coward

back in 1972 ...

I took a quite mentally insecure girlfriend to the *church* of scientology / scamology center in Orange County, California .. I too was curious and had read the Dienetics book earlier .. went through thier initial *evaluation*, which basicly was them cruely insulting you and showing how that stressed you ( DUH! ) via a crude lie detector type device

being a reasonable mature, well-adjusted, well-educated young man, I recognised CoS as a dangerous scam ... my GF was in tears and close to a mental breakdown after the session

they do prey on weak and mentally upset people, and thier answer to *your* problems is basicly, getting you hooked into a not-too-clever MLM scheme with a product that does more harm than good

there are 2 kinds of people in the world, those that know right from wrong, and pitchmen ..

CoS are pitchmen, more or less enticing recruits with promises of $$$$$ as they move up in thier MLM scheme to sell a fake *religion* invented by a poor science FICTION writer ... so bad a science fiction writer there is little or no attempt to incorporate science fact, or even incorporate any shown-to-be-useful mental health elements to help anyone .. other than the participants can now identify with a *special*, *superior* group with *secret* knowledge, something *bigger* than themselves .. which would be 'ok' if Scientology wasn't 97.4% pure bunk

I went with an open mind, at 19 years old and saw, logically and scientifically that Scientology was a marketing driven scam preying on the neurotic and emotionally disturbed

now there is an element of this in all religion, and indeed those who's life is not going well tend to gravitate to religious and/or cultist groups for *answers* to thier misery .. the difference with CoS is that they seek out and then take advantage of those in mental misery, and any *care* they give is directly related to a member's success and/or promotional value in the MLM pay-to-play scam

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Unhappy

There needs to be penalties for blatant DMCA abuse

There needs to be an environment where an IP holder will feel a strong need to double check the merits of their case.

If there isn't a harsh penalty for wanton carelessness and abuse ... there is going to be massive carelessness and abuse.

Same with the the product seizures at trade shows ... accusations of illegal file sharing.

If people who are obviously innocent are receiving letters threatening legal action unless a payment is made ... then so are people who are innocent but have no way of proving it.

And I am starting to wonder how many companies have paid patent trolls who didn't have a leg to stand on because it was far cheaper than fighting it out and court, having their trade show booths raided .....

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@Oliver

What are you harping on about? Agnostics are not atheists. As an agnostic I find atheists just as passionate about God NOT existing as the born again Christians DO believe he exists. Remember, Agnostics keep an OPEN mind, whereas atheists and believers only think one thing.

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Alert

Ash, Ignoring the COS makes them STRONGER...

...as clearly evidenced by the expanse of their reach. Ignoring them has allowed them free reign and to penetrate deep into many governments, slip undetected into unsuspecting countries and spread their lies, propaganda and deliberate misinformation. They have been preying on an unsuspecting public for too long and have been allowed to get away with numerous, heinous human rights abuses. Go to exscientologykids.com to read the stories of people who grew up in the cult. Also, google 'Narconon Exposed and 'Stop Narconon'. Narconon is one of many COS front groups that disseminate their propaganda through their 'drug rehabilitation program'. Part of their 'treatment' is to spend nearly twelve hours in a sauna and induce large doses of niacin, which can cause liver failure.

Right now in France, charges are being brought against the COS for fraud and illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals. They are also being charged with fraud in Belgium and Germany is looking into booting them out of the country altogether. The COS was already ousted from Greece a few years back after being caught and charged for espionage into the government.

The COS counts on the public to be disinterested and apathetic so they can slip their faulty 'tech' and false 'religion' in undetected and unhindered on the public. The COS is not any run-of-the mill school yard bully. It's a bully that, if ignored, will continue to harm people, lie to the public and break numerous international laws unless people speak out.

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Alien

re: I don't see what all the fuss is about.

However, CoS members are NOT your ordinary bully.

The CoS beliefs are set up to make YOU special. EXTRA special. In fact, makes you one of the elite REAL humans on the planet.

And, unlike other religions that say that these others that do not believe in their God are going straight to hell and serves them right, CoS says that these others are here SPECIFICALLY to persecute and remove all "real humans" (i.e. the CoS people).

I.e. the very existence non-believers is the cause of all CoS "humans" going to hell.

They cannot afford to let you live.

Unless you are a cypher, someone who doesn't know what's going on. They are just empty shells and may be salvageable. But those who do not believe and actively talk against CoS beliefs? They are evil incarnate, trying to ensure their continued slavery and must be silenced for the good of all "real humans".

Ignoring them merely means they get to put everyone into induction. Those that don't induct must be broken and removed.

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Happy

"Church" of Scientology

I love how nobody bothers to quote the word "Church" when refurring to the Business of Scientology. A cult by any other name...

Anonymous, because I love my cat.

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Re: is Selfosophy a religion or a cult?

AFAIK, Scientology only classifies itself as a religion because it wants to be protected like one. They say that they are not mutually exclusive with existing religions, you don't need to drop it to accept their 'help'. At best, they are simply a self-help business.

Which can also coexist with their rabidly aggressive legal defenders, merciless harassment of anyone labeled an enemy, and extortionist financial tactics that make Multi-Level Marketing scams look like a street busker.

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Dead Vulture

Creative Commons

come on folks, if you make a documentary or feature that is against

such a 'cult', 'religion' or group of people, then please release it

as a creative commons work - that way it CANNOT be taken down for

copyright infringement as its entirely fit for open and wide distribution!

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Alert

YouTomb

is an MIT project to track what videos have been taken down due to DMCA notices. Many appear to come from someone who is not the copyright holder. Know how it's being abused so you can fight the abuse.

http://youtomb.mit.edu/

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@William

Agnostics keep an open mind, do they? Is that why they spend so much time proudly proclaiming they are agnostic and therefore can't believe? If your mind was truly as open as claimed, then you wouldn't spend so much time defending your position.

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Boffin

Sounds Similar

Reading all you valuable suggestions and comments, I have come to the conclusion that Scientology is a piece of crap but, their tactics are not very different to what the Catholicas have been doing in Africa and Asia for the past 3 Decades.

Me think sooo...

Now time to watch a Cruise ology film

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Anonymous Coward

@Tim Bates

All beliefs will be defended, they are strongly held opinions. Anyone who states an opinion will want defend it to give jusification to the view expressed.

I like to eat cheese, because it tastes good. etc...

If you dont justify an opinion it just becames a statement which is without any context. So rather pointless to express.

I eat cheese.

In the context of agnostics being open minded, depends what is meant by agnostic. I don't think you can generalise them, like you can't generalise any group as individual milage will vary.

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Agnostics @ Tim Bates

People who don't hold any firmly held belief in the existence/non-existence of [Insert Name of Deity here] tend to worry folk on either end of the spectrum. Is the belief that there COULD be some intelligent being who is beyond our understanding but is not [Insert Name of Deity here], in essence keeping an open mind, such a scary thing?

One often has seen what people holding one of the opposing views has done to those on the other 'side' throughout history; here's another potential example

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Dead Vulture

shame

looks like they got the the el reg crowd.....pulled from the front 2 pages.....none of my previous postings published.

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Silver badge

I've no idea about scientology......

So off i went to the home page to learn more, watched a bit of video and decided that i'd rather watch the documentary on decidous trees...

Yawn....Utter drivel...

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Pirate

NOT FUCKING INTERESTED

"Keith Mallen" :) well they get pissed off because you reject what they choose not to. It's not your fault they drive you to have to say "NOT FUCKING INTERESTED". I've found this to be true. Some people don't push the point. I know they believe in something or rather and that's fine and I don't swear at them. So you see it's them not you. I suspect the need to make sure everyone else believes what you believe is a deep seated insecurity that they are actually wrong about it and wasted all their years believing is rubbish! Where they could have been enjoying themselves instead. Now they'll tell you they have plenty of fun and such but they have to or they would have to admit they are not. Again denial.

NOT FUCKING INTERESTED will do just fine, those that need to hear those words need to learn not to push so hard.

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