FF - 1
                            16 December 1993
                   Copyright (C) 1993 Flemming Funch
       Redistribution rights granted for non commercial purposes.
     This is a brief account of my recent dealings with the CofS.
     I have for years been seeing clients for counseling sessions, plus
I have trained people in what I do, and written many articles on the
subject we could loosely call Clearing.  Since what I have been doing
was at least in part inspired by my studies and experience with
Scientology, and since I used to be a member, the church has kept a
close eye on me and used considerable effort to try to get some kind of
leverage on me.
     I've had many varied dealings with their agents over the last 5
years.  A number of their spies have been posing as potential clients,
fishing for getting advanced materials, lots of weird phone callers
trying to pump me for information, private investigators have been
following me around and bothering my neighbors, people have been taking
pictures of me, anonymous "citizens" have been turning me in to whatever
public authorities they thought I had something to hide from, OSA agents
have been coming by to "warn" me of impending law suits against me, and
so forth.
     It is not quite as bad as it sounds.  I've actually found a certain
enjoyment in these little games.  Their agents were usually easy to
recognize, and their botched attempts to trap me in something illegal
were usually very naive.  It also helped that I knew in advance that the
only real weapons they had were copyright and trademark laws, and I
avoided violating those all along.  But nevertheless they tried.
     Therefore I was very pleasantly surprised with the last people they
sent out a few weeks ago.  First of all they were lacking the customary
covert hostility.  They were genuinely friendly and interested in
talking things over with me.  Most of my colleagues would still have
kicked them out, but that is not how I see things.  I'll talk with
anyone I have something to talk about with if they are sincere.  And
with these people I got along fine.
     The people were first a couple of agents for OSA (Office of Special
Affairs), Bob Sullivan and Bill Zalen, presumably public volunteers.
When we seemed to be getting somewhere with the discussion they brought
in more people.  Stan Doyle, a "legal officer", i.e.  a lawyer on staff
to talk legal stuff, Barry Ross, a Class IX case supervisor from AOLA to
talk technical stuff, and Scott Muscleman, the CO OSA PAC (Commanding
Officer of OSA in Western US) to finalize an agreement.
     Their main objective was to obtain an agreement from me that I
wasn't going to use their OT materials and that I wouldn't violate their
registered trademarks.  None of which I really had any problem with.
There were some details to discuss and iron out, and they had a much
broader concept of copyright than what I think has any basis in law.
But the actual agreement in itself was straightforward enough and I
eventually signed it.
     The really interesting part, however, was having discussions about
what would bother them about what people like myself are doing.  Not
just what is legal or not, but what they would have a problem with.
     That is an important distinction.  Most independent clearing
practitioners have attempted to avoid doing anything illegal that the
CofS could win a law suit against them about.  However, the CofS is not
just going for what they can win.  They will sue, harass, or attack any
activity that they regard as infringing of their rights, regardless of
whether they are likely to win in the long run.  They tend to use the
legal system as a weapon that they can wear opponents out with because
they have more resources (money) to keep going ad infinitum.
     This was the first time I realized that it would be quite possible
for a person like me to have a setup that the CofS is not going to have
any problem with and therefore aren't going to even think of attacking.
     First it appeared that the CofS guys had a problem with just about
any of my materials that they looked at.  Which was a bit surprising to
me, in that I strictly speaking have not been copying their materials or
represented myself with their trademarks.  But then a pattern started
forming and I began to realize what kind of stuff they would not have a
problem with.
     What bothered them about my written materials was any words,
commands, or positioning that they would recognize as originating in
Scientology.  They didn't really care what else was there, or how it was
used.  If they recognized something it would upset them and they would
call it a "flagrant violation of their copyrights" or something like
that.  And that would go for any use of words like "havingness", "ARC",
"prepcheck", "withhold", "end phenomenon", etc.  And any recognizable
process command like "Look at that wall", "From where could you
communicate to your mother?", etc.  And any recognizable formatting and
layout, like a course called "level 1" using a checksheet with clay
demos and so forth.
     So, in short they have a problem with anybody writing or for that
matter doing anything for money that is recognizable as any part of
Scientology.  Regardless of that it isn't actually a copy of any of
their materials, and regardless of whether it uses different words for
all their trademarked terms.
     Let me repeat, there is not necessarily any legal foundation for
that.  But on the other hand there are some comparables in law.  Like,
in the area of computer software one can protect the "look and feel" of
a program, and to some degree stop others from doing something similar.
CofS are trying to protect the look and feel of their product.
     Now that could sound like gloomy prospects for independent clearing
practitioners if the CofS could get away with stopping them from doing
anything they are doing that is even remotely similar to Scientology.
Well, depends on how you look at it.  Let me give my personal angle on
     I am not a Scientologist.  I define a Scientologist as a member of
the church of scientology.  I used to be one more than 10 years ago, but
don't have any even remote interest in being one now.  I enjoyed my time
in the church, but I have long since moved on.  I also enjoyed studying
Hubbard's books and tapes and courses and I learned a lot from doing so.
I couldn't possibly take everything literally anymore, but I still find
most of the basic principles very useful.
     I am a counselor.  I help people understand themselves better by
talking with them.  I use certain principles that I have found to work.
They are my principles.  I think with them, I don't have to go and look
them up anywhere.  I also use certain techniques for addressing various
types of issues.  They are the things I do.  Some of these are inspired
by my learning in various fields.  One of those was Scientology.  But I
am also a Master Neuro-Linguistic Programmer, a Certified Clinical
Hypnotherapist, and a Metaphysical Minister, I have taken many different
seminars in healing or personal development, I have read hundreds of
books on these subject, and so forth.  Techniques vary, but the basic
principles of personal development are found in many places.
     What I am interested in having is principles I can use and write
about.  I don't really care what words are used about them.  I'd prefer
to use regular English words when they are available.  But I'd also
attempt to speak the language of the audience I am addressing.  So, when
talking to people who still have a Scientology frame of reference it
might be easiest to use the insider Scientology lingo that they know
well.  Talking to regular people there would be no point in that.  It
takes a lot of explanation to introduce the scientology words, and
really there are common words covering the same things just as well or
     Now, getting back to my friends from the CofS.  What they reacted
to was very clearly words and symbols that they recognized.  Frozen
meanings.  They were really in no position to discuss principles.
Making comparisons between different philosophical ideas was a foreign
concept to them.  Either it is pure LRH or it is not, there wasn't
anything to discuss.
     I realized that their motivation for doing what they were doing was
not particularly to give me a hard time because I was a bad person.  It
was from their angle to protect what they regard as the only workable
approach from being diluted.  They want to see either exact, proper
Scientology per the book, or nothing at all.  If they see something they
recognize as Scientology words and symbols used in what they regard as
an improper way makes them feel bad, makes them feel that their subject
is being destroyed.  Sincerely and honestly, they believe that.
     That is a very rigid, inflexible way of looking at it, but I can
see where they are coming from.  And I think there are ample ways of
avoiding a confrontation with them.
     I can write materials that they don't recognize as any threat.
They will be based on universal principles, use normal words, and refer
to things orthodox scientologists have no clue about.  The CofS will be
happy about that.  And I will be happy, because nobody recognizes me as
a scientologist which suits me just fine.  Being associated with
scientology really is a poor selling point anyway, unless you are
dealing with somebody who is already a scientologist.
     So, in a funny way the CofS is actually helping me be less like
them, which is exactly what I want anyway.  They're happy, I'm happy,
and we'll get along fine.
     Now, that is of course not good news if you want to do straight
scientology outside the CofS.  In that case you need another plan.  As I
said before it is kind of doubtful if they can rightfully force people
to not use any of their words or processes.  But they will try, and keep
trying, which is bad enough.  In the absence of any clear legal
precedent that shows that you CAN use their words and processes
commercially it would still cause you a lot a headaches to fight it out.
     It seems that their current plan is to approach people on their
list of "squirrels", be nice to them, and try to get them to sign
agreements.  Which means that they will do it with many more people.
So, if you are in the category of person who delivers any kind of
clearing technology for money or you sell written materials of that
nature, you better have a plan for how to deal with them.
Homer Wilson Smith           This file may be found at
homer@rahul.net              ftp.rahul.net/pub/homer/ff/ff1.memo
Posted to usenet newsgroup:  alt.clearing.technology