Print 74 comment(s) - last by WTurner.. on Feb 23 at 6:48 AM

A picture of an e-Meter, which the Church of Scientology blocked the eBay sale of.   (Source: eBay)
The Church of Scientology resorts to intellectual property clauses in eBay's terms of service to halt Scientology-related auctions

Recently the Church of Scientology ignited massive public outcry when it sued YouTube to take down embarassing footage of a seemingly hysterical Tom Cruise talking about Scientology

In the wake of the takedown, the church inadvertently triggered hordes of anonymous dissenters.  The group organized massive protests worldwide with supporters wearing masks, including Guy Fawkes masks (as popularized in the film V Is For Vendetta).  Protests were held on February 10th, to commemorate the anniversary of Lisa McPherson's mysterious death in 1995, which some allege was the result of a carefully executed murder plot by the Church of Scientology.  Scientology church officials denounced the group as
"pathetic" and "cyber-terrorists."

While the Church of Scientology continues in its fight against dissentious free speech by launching suits against news agencies and online sites, it has now found an attractive new target: suppress the sale of Scientology-related merchandise through the clever use of copyright litigation, trademark lawsuits and takedowns.

Current Scientologists are discouraged from communicating with former members.  Former members
who have bought expensive Scientologist videos and books are unable to sell them back to the church or current members.  Many have turned to the ubiquitous one stop shop to buy or sell anything: eBay. 

Scientology officials caught onto this trend and launched a campaign of takedowns using eBay's
Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) system.  The system allows companies and organizations to file that they are intellectual property rights owners.  The groups can then request any items that are in violation of the property rights be taken down, request which eBay rapidly complies with.  The Church of Scientology filed requests for anything bearing its symbols; including its literature and e-Meter devices. 

An example auction and screenshot of the auction image can be found here.  The auction was promptly deleted by eBay and is listed as "invalid."

Copyright law does not make any provisions for the prohibition of sales of patented items, other than stipulations for counterfeit.  e-Meters removed by eBay included valid serial numbers; signs of legitimate products.  As a condition of eBay's VeRO program, petitioners must swear under the threat of perjury that they have "good faith belief" that a listing violates their intellectual property rights.

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By Rob Pintwala on 2/20/2008 1:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
What will they do next?

RE: Unbelievable.
By JasonMick on 2/20/2008 1:43:53 PM , Rating: 5
Yea no kidding, they've...

#Infiltrated the U.S. government
#Allegedly committed murders to silence dissenters
#Sued countless journalists, authors, and companies in trash law suits to try to silence free speech
#Exploited the tax exempt status to improve their business's profits
#Tried to fight capitalism/the free market, on eBay, in the process blatantly perjuring themselves

I don't really know???
...I think we need some creative thinkers to imagine what they might do next! C'mon people!

RE: Unbelievable.
By ZimZum on 2/20/2008 1:51:53 PM , Rating: 3
They Still got a long way to go to catch up to the other organized religions in the atrocities department. But it looks like they are putting in the effort to close the gap.
LOL, Religion.

I worship Domar, the God of Feces. Domar loves you !!!

RE: Unbelievable.
By B3an on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Unbelievable.
By xphile on 2/21/2008 6:10:10 AM , Rating: 2
You are SO full of Sh!t! Oh yeah right, sorry, that's obvious...

RE: Unbelievable.
By joemoedee on 2/20/2008 2:18:39 PM , Rating: 4
...I think we need some creative thinkers to imagine what they might do next! C'mon people!

I had a really good idea, but as I typed it a lawyer appeared behind me saying they were going to sue. =[

RE: Unbelievable.
By i3arracuda on 2/20/2008 2:20:16 PM , Rating: 5
...I think we need some creative thinkers to imagine what they might do next! C'mon people!

Hmm... OK, here's what I came up with:

- Find new and interesting ways to use an aerosol can in a manner other than directed.

- Invade France.

- Have Star Wars re-re-rewritten so that Han shoots first.

- Invent a video card that can play Crysis at max. detail settings @ 60 fps...and refuse to license the tech to non-believers.

- Remember Alan Hale? The Skipper from Gilligan's Island who had an eerie resemblance to L. Ron Hubbard? Don't feel bad if you can't, no one can. He. Never. Existed.

- Fix the Academy Awards so that Tom Cruise wins 'Best Actor' every year...even for films that he did not appear in.

- Find 'the real killers'.

...and a host of other improbable things. Well, mostly improbable (sorry, France).

RE: Unbelievable.
By KristopherKubicki on 2/20/2008 2:29:50 PM , Rating: 5
- Have Star Wars re-re-rewritten so that Han shoots first.

Now there's a religion I can get behind!

RE: Unbelievable.
By jadeskye on 2/20/2008 2:31:26 PM , Rating: 1
haha, i love this guy XD

RE: Unbelievable.
By deeznuts on 2/20/2008 2:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
What will they do next? I'll bet they'll try and start up a mobile phone company in order to make money to fund their operations. Then they'll trap unsuspecting customers (such as my gf before we started dating) to a two year plan, with a $250 cancellation policy, and give them a phone which crashes all the time.

That's what I'll think they'll do next.

RE: Unbelievable.
By Polynikes on 2/20/2008 3:33:08 PM , Rating: 5
What will we do tonight, Brain?

The same thing we do every night, Mr. Cruise, try and take over the world!

RE: Unbelievable.
By wordsworm on 2/20/2008 4:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
If they keep this up, they might end up being called a religion.

RE: Unbelievable.
By eye smite on 2/20/2008 2:10:23 PM , Rating: 5
Is it just me, or does it seem these people are tarnishing their image more by acting beyond stupid? This group just seems downright abusive. I'm sure at some point they'll have the folly of their ways thrown in their face.

RE: Unbelievable.
By Fusible on 2/20/2008 2:54:23 PM , Rating: 3
For those who havent seen this you have to watch it.

RE: Unbelievable.
By eye smite on 2/20/2008 7:07:42 PM , Rating: 4
OMG watching Tom is like watching one of those old TV evangelists. If you search Cruise Scientology on youtube they didn't do too good at getting the video stricken.

This reminds me of Tom though:

RE: Unbelievable.
By WTurner on 2/23/2008 6:48:01 AM , Rating: 2
Creating newer and better realities and improving conditions...

What the heck does that even mean?!?

RE: Unbelievable.
By brshoemak on 2/21/2008 7:45:47 AM , Rating: 2
Three letters:


The more shares you purchase the better your e-meter handicap.

The Eric Cartman approach?
By VahnTitrio on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By Benji XVI on 2/20/2008 2:44:20 PM , Rating: 5
Forgive me, and with great respect, but this perspective while thought-provoking is achingly naive. As I'm sure you do understand, it is inappropriate to equate scientology, which is fundamentally a money-making brainwashing scam started by a science fiction writer, that must maintain intense secrecy precisely to prevent its true nature being even more palpably obvious, and an actual church, whose ministers, to the highest level, genuinely believe they offer a system of spiritual relevance to people.

That is the fundamental difference between the cult of scientology and traditional religions; I'll sure you'll agree it's far deeper than a mere different attitude to information dispersal.

I'm sure I don't need to remind everyone that scientology is not recognised as a religion in countries that have gone through a fair process to decide, being explicitly banned in Germany. And there is strong evidence that the cult only managed to obtain its religion status in the US through extreme duplicity.


RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By VahnTitrio on 2/20/2008 3:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I was trying to emphasize that scientology is more of a capitalist venture than it is a spirituality. When you think about it all the major religions on the most basic level encourages you to follow a set of guidelines to become a positive and contributive member of society or really just how to be a good human being. Scientology is entirely missing the mark there, and I agree it is a giant scam. I would like nothing more than to see Anonymous succeed in having it's tax exemption revoked (or better yet have fraud charges filed).

RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By Benji XVI on 2/20/2008 3:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I was just underlining. :D

RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By cheetah2k on 2/20/2008 6:51:17 PM , Rating: 4
We all know that Scientology is just another pyramid scheme like Amway

RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By mmntech on 2/20/2008 2:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
That fruity little club does share some traits of organizations Cartman has belonged too. Namely the Mel Gibson Fan Club and NAMBLA. "Wir müssen die Anonymous ausrotten!"

I would have loved to buy that E-Meter just to open it up and see what makes it tick. My guess is that it's just an ordinary volt meter set on the millivolt scale. I wonder if they'd throw in the MIB memory erasing pen as a bonus.

RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By MozeeToby on 2/20/2008 3:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
Don't bother, the patent documents are freely available online. I'm not horribly familiar with them (my field is software, not electrical) but from what I understand it is two leads, a bridge, and a cheap (read: "crappy") amplifier.

Can't find the circuit diagrams, but the patent it here

RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By clovell on 2/20/2008 3:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if they will conitnue their litigous attitudes after their BS patents expire...

RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By wordsworm on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By Pythias on 2/20/2008 6:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
Jesus is real, and he still hasn't returned my moped.

RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By clovell on 2/21/2008 10:23:15 AM , Rating: 4
Except that if you follow history, you know that the works of Josephus corroborate that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed crucified.


RE: The Eric Cartman approach?
By jajig on 2/20/2008 2:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
They do seem to be very elitist, but I've had more than a few leaflets in my mailbox inviting me to take a free IQ test like the one linked below.

What does the meter do?
By zerocool84 on 2/20/2008 1:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
Does the meter measure your craziness???

RE: What does the meter do?
By Chris Peredun on 2/20/2008 1:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's a glorified ohmmeter.

RE: What does the meter do?
By Benji XVI on 2/20/2008 2:17:29 PM , Rating: 3
So, in a very real sense, yes.

RE: What does the meter do?
By kattanna on 2/20/2008 2:21:24 PM , Rating: 5
so it will measure how effective i am sitting in the lotus position going ooohhmmm...?


RE: What does the meter do?
By IGoodwin on 2/21/2008 1:01:59 PM , Rating: 2
So, what you're saying is... resistance is useless!

Religion != technology
By porkpie on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Religion != technology
By joemoedee on 2/20/2008 1:52:13 PM , Rating: 2
How is this tech news? Just because eBay is in the mix?

It's a blog, see above. :)

RE: Religion != technology
By jajig on 2/20/2008 2:42:35 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a blog. It's listed under Internet news.

RE: Religion != technology
By KristopherKubicki on 2/20/2008 1:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
eBay is the largest online retailer of, well, everything. Whenever they do something odd, we tend to mention it.

RE: Religion != technology
By christojojo on 2/20/2008 2:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
What about encouraging a 24 hr. "no bid" day to protest e-Bay's lack of backbone?

RE: Religion != technology
By KristopherKubicki on 2/20/2008 2:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's not my job to make the news as much as it is to write about it :) Unless, of course, when those two are inseperateable.

RE: Religion != technology
By FITCamaro on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Religion != technology
By random git on 2/21/2008 8:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
They sell more books than amazon? Didn't think so.

By retrospooty on 2/20/2008 1:43:00 PM , Rating: 5
F$%k L Ron Hubbard and
F$%k all his clones.
F$%k all those gun-toting
Hip gangster wannabes.

Learn to swim.

F$%k retro anything.
F$%k your tattoos.
F$%k all you junkies and
F$%k your short memory.

Learn to swim.

F$%k smiley glad-hands
With hidden agendas.
F$%k these dysfunctional,
Insecure actresses.

Learn to swim.

More great lyrics from that same song.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this

Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car.

By Benji XVI on 2/20/2008 2:00:13 PM , Rating: 1
Why was parent modded down?

This article should mention that Scientology cannot possibly have any intellectual property on ohmmeters.

By retrospooty on 2/20/2008 2:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
some people apparently either love L.Ron Hubbard/Scientology, or cant handle swear words LOL

By jajig on 2/20/2008 2:45:28 PM , Rating: 2
The swear words get you auto rated down when you post.

Google for "first-sale doctrine"
By Chris Peredun on 2/20/2008 1:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
Note: IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer.)

Under my interpretation, once the copyrighted item (E-Meter) is sold, given as a gift, or otherwise lawfully obtained, the copyright holder's (Church of Scientology's) rights to control distribution of that item end.

The eBay seller would not be allowed to create counterfeit E-Meters (or perhaps an all-white iMeter) but legally they are protected by the first-sale doctrine, and should file with eBay.

Of course, that would make them an "SP" and therefore "Fair Game" to the Church of Scientology.

Again, IANAL , but I'm pretty sure that eBay stands in violation of the first-sale doctrine.

By maverick85wd on 2/20/2008 2:49:59 PM , Rating: 5
The eBay seller would not be allowed to create counterfeit E-Meters (or perhaps an all-white iMeter)

lol... I like this one though:

By JonnyDough on 2/20/2008 5:23:32 PM , Rating: 3
If some freaks want to drink their own urine or pray to trees or whatever it is they do, let them do it. Christianity grew more during times of persecution than at any other time. Ignoring them is the best way to dwindle their numbers. Giving them media attention is just getting weirdos interested and making Tom Cruise more infamous than famous. Since Cruise is no longer that respected by Americans (see reader comments, or watch South Park or Family Guy for examples), giving him attention is putting him at the other end of the same spectrum. Attention may not be what he wants, but it's getting people to give him a second look. Just take Wicca for instance. What Buffy did for it during the afternoon hours of a high school girl's life is the same thing that's happening here. Religion in media is still press attention. We should have laws about keeping the church and the media seperate.

RE: Look...
By clovell on 2/21/2008 10:25:56 AM , Rating: 3
I agreed with you up until the last sentence, which violates the first amendment.

By Arizla on 2/20/2008 5:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
So they have a thing that only trained ministers can use these things. So is that really such a big deal? I don't see it's such an issue, except that so many people are into bashing them and here's another way.

RE: So...
By Alazar on 2/21/2008 12:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't minister is the proper nomenclature... I think the proper term is more like "Soul sucking money leechers".

By tastyratz on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Unbelievable
By Donkeyshins on 2/20/2008 4:52:34 PM , Rating: 3
tom cruise missle

Is that what he calls it when he's trolling for anonymous gay sex?

(sorry, you just can't pass up that kind of line)

By Techno Pride on 2/20/2008 2:46:56 PM , Rating: 3
now the russians can't buy one and reverse engineer it

By tallguywithglasseson on 2/20/2008 3:03:44 PM , Rating: 3
Where's the #$%#ing EFF when you need them.

By hlper on 2/20/2008 1:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
Think how much more appealing organized religions could be if they came with such lovely pieces of hardware ;-)

I admit I want to see that thing in operation.

By Belard on 2/20/2008 2:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
Does this thing go into the backdoor to measure resistanece? Oh, and this is the GOLD version, so it must be special... With all those dials and such, a person can make it do anything, of course.

Oh... found what thing thingy does - er does not do.

Judge Gerhardt A. Gesell found that:
Hubbard and his fellow Scientologists developed the notion of using an E-Meter to aid auditing. Substantial fees were charged for the meter and for auditing sessions using the meter. They repeatedly and explicitly represented that such auditing effectuated cures of many physical and mental illnesses. An individual processed with the aid of the E-Meter was said to reach the intended goal of 'clear' and was led to believe that there was reliable scientific proof that once cleared many, indeed most, illnesses would successfully be cured. Auditing was guaranteed to be successful. All this was and is false.

Wow... these people are nutty. How long before they start removing their sex organs and wait for the mothership?

Scientologists inflitrate DT!
By plowak on 2/20/2008 3:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Scientology auditors have infiltrated the DT comments section!
The auditing techniques have been modified so that the one
being audited is not aware of it, but the end results are proving to be the same. I know some of you have already become aware of this fact by your reticence to respond to certain postings. Your caution is wise, the consequences of auditing is as profound as the technique is subtle. How can
you tell if you've been the subject of clandestine auditing? 1. You find your self drawn, almost hypnotically, the subject matter of certain posters although you find nothing in their post of particular interest. 2. You find a certain restlessness within yourself if not participating in DT comments. 3. You may find yourself becoming distant from family members and close friends who may also comment on your irritability. 4. Compulsive channel surfing looking for Tom Cruise reruns. If you think you may have been audited unknowingly - get help! There are professional
debriefers available to those who have been subjected to Scientology auditing.
Get help now!

Don't knock Scientology
By boobot on 2/20/2008 3:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
I am Omi-cron level 5 and it only cost me half of my 401k.

By Cr0nJ0b on 2/20/2008 7:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
It seems to me the main point of the article is that Scientoloy or CoS is using their Legal skills to pull legitimate products off of ebay.

My question is how is this possible? Do they have a ligitmate right to the items pulled off of ebay based on a legitimate infringement claim, or is this just a frivalous claim... and if there is no merit to their claims, then why wouldn't ebay allow the auctions to continue after looking into the claims?

Now I understand that the ebay system for this is fast and loose, so CoS just needs to make a claim and before it's seriously considered and all parites are contacted, the item is pulled down. But I would think that the seller would have a right to overturn that claim, and put the items back up for sale.

Am I right here?

By initialised on 2/20/2008 8:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
So some guy invents a religion, converts a few people, sells a few books and laughs at all the publicity while liveing of the (tax free) profits, marketing genius that L Ron Hubbard

A summary I found
By christojojo on 2/20/2008 11:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
Here is a summary of Scientology aka the Church of Cruise and their "doings"

(Note: the article is allegedly written by the group "Anonymous")

By ajoepublic on 2/21/2008 3:20:26 AM , Rating: 2
You pay taxes - why shouldn't the 'church' of $cientology?
Sign the petition to revoke scientology's tax exempt status in the USA:

Scientology does not have religious status (ie tax exemption) in the UK and e-petitions have been set up requesting that the government continue to 'Refuse any application submitted by the 'Church' of Scientology for recognition as a Religious Organisation in the UK'. This and other relavent petitions can be viewed (and signed by British citizens or residents) by logging on to the Downing Street website:

".....the protections that we enjoy for freedom of worship exist so long as we don't step over the line, when religious worship and belief cross over into things like fraud, victimization of others and the disruption of the political arena,.... (or interference with E bay) ....that protection is no longer appropriate."

There is no is
By Jynx980 on 2/21/2008 4:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
V for Vendetta. No 'is' in between. Do yourself a favor, and pick up one the best graphic novels ever written.

By jdhunter1 on 2/21/2008 8:50:57 AM , Rating: 2
I suppose it's possible that this new feature would be the best thing that could ever happen to L. Ron's famous E-Meter. And if you think about it, the idea is not so far-fetched.

Man, oh man ... one of those things would really look cool on my desk. But then, I could buy a decent used car for that amount of money.

By rodrigu3 on 2/21/2008 11:54:03 AM , Rating: 2
There needs to be some sort of inquisition for these people - I hear Microsoft is looking to get into different markets nowadays... aw crap I just got a summons. DAMN YOU TOM CRUISE!

This is incorrect.
By bravehartbear on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is incorrect.
By Vanilla Thunder on 2/20/2008 2:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
These materials are intended to be returned to the church so they don't fall in the wrong hands.

Because who knows what would happen if these devices fell into the hands of terrorists, or some para-military group? Thank god the CoS is making sure these devices stay safe.


RE: This is incorrect.
By Alazar on 2/21/2008 12:24:29 PM , Rating: 2
We're in deep sh*t if Osama finds out he's an OT-6

RE: This is incorrect.
By Misty Dingos on 2/20/2008 3:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
But of course! It is all for the good of the mindless theatan oppressed masses. I get it now. That technology must never be let out of the control of THE CHURCH. My word if a thetan oppressed person got hold of that and freed themselves of the thetan oppression then they would not need THE CHURCH. And could attain the god like powers of infallible church leaders. It could lead to a terribly dangerous escalation of super powered people with no allegiance to anyone or anything! These super-humans would end up fighting one another in the streets. Millions could be killed in the cross fire. It would be anarchy.

Or the opening chapter of a bad straight to video movie on the Sci-Fi channel.

Oh I apologize to the Sci-Fi channel at least they are trying to be entertaining. While scientologists are just out to rip you off with their brain damaged cult of personality.

RE: This is incorrect.
By bryanW1995 on 2/20/2008 8:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
tom cruise is the anti christ. you heard it here first. hopefully he's not reading this thread...

RE: This is incorrect.
By kondor999 on 2/20/2008 11:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
I've always been amazed at how people can be duped by a "religion" started by a Sci-Fi writer whose early notes re: the cosomology he was inventing (Xenu, etc) included terms like "very space opera here" scrawled in the margins.

That right there would be enough for me. It'd be like finding "very messiah-like" written in the margins of one of the Gospels or something.

I happen to think all these religions are bunk, but at least there's no *proof* that the others are crap.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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