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Scientology Crime Syndicate

Nick DiCiaccio

10 Jul 2000

Re: Paper for upcoming conference of Society for the Scientific Study of Religion: "CAN, We Hardly Knew Ye: Sex, Drugs, Deprogrammers' Kickbacks, and Corporate Crime in the (Old) Cult Awareness Network." Anson Shupe, Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Kendrick Moxon, and Susan E. Darnell shupe@ipfw.edu

Apparently still fearing the reputation of the original CAN and desiring to divert researchers from the legal record that points to Scientology's illegal use of the court system to destroy CAN and attack its leaders, Scientologist Kendrick Moxon, working with cult apologist Ansun Shupe is now driven to further justify Scientology's conduct in regard to that destruction.

Obviously, the original Cult Awareness Network is not now able to counter this revisionist history writing, which Moxon, no doubt, hopes will find a place in mainstream intellectual thought. Since exclusive control of CAN's files and corporate records passed to Scientologist Gary Beeny a few years back, CAN will likely not be able to dispute any misrepresentations and out of context statements that Moxon and Shupe present as part of their paper. Despite gleeful howls from Scientologists a few years back with the passage of CAN's files to Beeny that criminal charges would likely be forthcoming based on evidence that would be found in those files, no such event has, of course, come to pass. Instead, Moxon et al are reduced to Scientology's infamous dead agenting techniques such as the creation of the anti-CAN paper scheduled to be presented under the auspices of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Unfortunately defamation law in the United States give little support to public figures who have debated issues in the media, as have CAN officials. The public figure standard is much higher than the standard a private person must meet to prevail for defamation, which is only that a statement is false. Merely proving, for example, that a statement by Moxon or Shupe is false does not permit successful action by the public figure injured by the comment. False statements, though false, are not actionable if the publisher of the false statements subjectively believes the statements are true or can make a strong argument that he or she held that belief at the time of publication. In practice, this subjective belief standard, rather than a reasonable person standard, protects the wrongdoer who can convincingly profess that the statements, even if false, were sincerely held at the time made, even if based on hearsay or a questionable source.

It is indeed distressing that the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion finds the presentation of a paper with such an inflammatory title as the Moxon-Shupe paper (see below) as advancing any scholarly and academic aims, and is willing to let itself be used as a forum for a personal vendetta against an organization against whom no criminal charges were ever brought concerning the corporation or its officers as fiduciaries of that corporation. One would think the Society could make better use of its program than to support attacks on an organization that is engaged in no activities related to the topic of new religions, and has not been so engaged for over half a decade.

For example, a scholarly paper on the tragic events surrounding the deaths of approximately a thousand cult members in Uganda would surely seem more timely and a more significant a contribution to scholarly literature. Or, perhaps, a discussion of the variety of approaches among European governments toward cults and new religions. Or, a paper on whether the State of Florida infringed on constitutional rights involving religion in bringing criminal charges, ultimately dropped, against the Church of Scientology regarding the death of Lisa McPherson, who died under Scientology control after religious treatment at the hands of Scientology agents.

Cyntha Kisser
Former Director
Cult Awareness Network (the real one)

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From the preliminary program for the Society for the Scientific Study of
Religion, Doubletree Post Oak Hotel, Houston, Texas, October 18-22, 2000.
Session E1-SSSR
Friday, 8:30-10:00 Ballroom B
New Religious Movements, Cults, and Anti-Cults

"CAN, We Hardly Knew Ye: Sex, Drugs, Deprogrammers' Kickbacks, and Corporate Crime in the (Old) Cult Awareness Network." Anson Shupe, Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Kendrick Moxon, and Susan E. Darnell shupe@ipfw.edu

"Personality and Religiousness in Youth Members of 'The Family': A New Religious Movement." Douglas M. Sell, University of Nebraska Medical Center, dsell@unmc.edu

"Correlates of Adolescent Sexual Activity in 'The Family". Nancy R. Vogt and H. Newton Malony, Fuller Theological Seminary malony@fuller.edu

From the desk of Steve Hassan, author of the critically acclaimed new book, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (Freedom of Mind Press, 2000) Permission is granted to post this Freedom of Mind mailing list email on other news groups provided this attribution is kept at the bottom. We also have a bulletin board- to view, go to http://www.egroups.com/messages/freedomofmind

Come visit the âreedom of Mind Web site at http://www.freedomofmind.com). Media professionals, take a look at the online press kit for Mr. Hassan.

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