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Police and scientology visit XS4ALL Amsterdam
From: XS4ALL Internet
1100 DJ Amsterdam
tel: +31 20 6222885
fax: +31 20 6222753
Police and members of Scientology church enter offices of XS4ALL
Amsterdam - thuesday september 5, 1995.
Today at about 14:00, XS4ALL was visited by Mr. S. Braan,
bailiff. He was acting on behalf of the Religious
Technology Centre, better known as the Scientology Church, or
Scientology for short. He was assisted by a local police officer and Mr.
Hermans from the 'Nauta-Dutilh' legal firm that represents Scientology
in The Netherlands. Also present were two computer experts (Mr. Ootjes
and Mr. Van Suchtelen) a locksmith (to enter had we not been present) and
two American employees of Scientology, Mr. Weightman and Ms. Jenssen.
Scientology is filing for seizure of XS4ALL's computer equipment. Under
dutch law, this means that a bailiff comes in to record your assets. In
real-life, the computer-experts that were present have recorded the
types and serial numbers of all the computers in our offices. They did
not take any equipment, the continuity of XS4ALL's services is not in
What is this all about?
The Scientology Church claims that the XS4ALL anonymous remailer was used
to disseminate documents over the Internet to which the church holds the
legal copyright. This has led the church to ask the president of the
district court of Amsterdam to grant permission for this seizure as a
prelude to legal procedures concerning damages suffered by the church.
The remailer in question has been disabled more than 2 months ago.
During the visit of Scientology to XS4ALL this afternoon, the remailer
was not the subject of any conversation. The organisation seemed totally
preoccupied with the information about Scientology that one of our users
has put on his home page. Part of this information is said to be a file
to which Scientology holds the copyright. If we were to delete the file
in question on the spot, they were willing to drop the seizure.
Responsability of Internet Providers
XS4ALL categorically denies any responsability for contents of users'
homepages. The users decide for themselves what is on their homepage.
Since XS4ALL does not edit the homepages and has no mechanism of
control over the contents we strongly feel that the users themselves are
responsible for what they say on their homepage.
This whole affair demonstrates the need for clarity concerning the legal
postion of Internet Providers. We are shocked that our offices can be
invaded bij freshly flown-in U.S. cult members. If we as Internet
providers are held responsible for what our users say, that will
undoubtebly kill freedom of speech on the net.
XS4ALL is not alone in receiving this kind of attention from
Scientology. Scientology, a semi-religious multinational, is at war with
a number of people on the Internet. A non-organized group of people on
the net has started to openly discuss the activities of the church.
Until recently, the church has always managed to supress critical voices
by means of sheer intimidation and by engaging in endless legal battle.
One of the people that Scientology has a problem with is 'fonss', an
XS4ALL user that publishes the F.A.C.T.-net Kit on his home page
(http://www.xs4all.nl/~fonss). This kit (which can be found on numerous
homepages all over the Internet) consists of a large number of documents
that show the true face of Scientology.
One of these documents is a piece to which Scientology supposedly holds
the copyright and which has been added to the kit without the church's
Additional information can be found on the Internet: