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EarthLink


That Earthlink is some kind of front group for the CoS is another myth that I have never seen proven other than by the usual guilt by association "proof" based on the fact that Sky Dayton, the founder of Earthlink, is a Scientologist.


Earthlink is one of the leading American internet provider. Founded in 1994 by Sky Dayton, it has currently about five million subscribers.

Some Scientology critics have unsuccessfully tried to scare users away from Earthlink for a single and simple reason - that Sky Dayton was a Scientologist. They have claimed that, because of this, the Church of Scientology controlled every users, scanned through their mail, blocked them from critical sources of information, traced their surfing through cookies, etc. A typical example of this can be found here under.

These claims are unsubstantiated and unfounded. As for so many of these critics claims, they are solely based on mere allegations, scare tactics, and bigotry. This is like saying that the Pope controls every users using providers founded by Christians.

Other critics, however, have pointed out that not only have they found no evidence for these allegations, but have also found evidences to the contrary. Some even deliberately setup critical pages to provoke a reaction, with no result.

For example, Chris Walker, an Earthlink user, received notification from one of the Scientology lawyers about a post he made to the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup, asking him to cancel the post. Since Eartlink's news server is set up to reject cancels, he emailed the news admin asking him to do it. The news admin basically replied that the lawyer was out of luck. He then put up a mirror of Deana Holme's Lisa McP page for about a month to further test them out. Not a word from Earthlink management.

Likewise, two posters put up a test page years ago and advertised it repeatedly in the alt.relgiion.scientology newsgroup. The account owner never heard so much as a peep from Earthlink, and the site is there to this day.

Here is a typical critical example of weird allegations made by critics. May comments are below each paragraphs.

An Alternative View

Post from the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup :

cybermule@earthlink.net (Chris Walker)

22 Mar 1999 00:00:00 GMT

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology

On Fri, 12 Mar 1999 20:35:02 -0800, Laura Kay Fuller
<lauraf@sasquatch.com> wrote:

>I am curious...
> I heard that Earthlink was owned by Scientologists and that they censor sites accordingly. Is this true? Who else (other companies) are run by

SOrry to be so late in responding to this...but...No its not true.

I put up a mirror of Deana Holme's Lisa McP page for about a month to prove this point. Not a word from Eearthlink management.

I also got a Ho-gram about a post I made to ars, asking me to cancel the post. Eartlink's news server is set up to reject cancels. I emailed the news admin asking him to do it. he basically replied that the Ho was out of luck.

PS. See http://home.earthlink.net/~cybermule/scn/ for a couple of pics that got one of the ARSCC members a hogram, and which got removed vrom his site as a result. Ive had those pics there for a couple months, since around thanksgiving. Not a word.

>Scientologists? (specifically, computer companies) I want to know who to avoid!

>Thanks.

The Test Page

Post from the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup :

kady@wwwaif.net (kady@wwwaif.net)

Sun, 03 Sep 2000 17:18:22 GMT

Message-ID: <8ou129$34o_002@news1.sympatico.ca>

Hrm, it's been a while since I've followed the infamous Cipriano saga, but as I recall, his credibilty was questioned by more than just Bern. Some of his claims seemed downright suspect, including the one about Earthlink, which included a "secret building" nobody else had ever seen, and a weird monitoring process that, apparently, missed the attention of any of ELNK's many non-scientologist employees, partners, investors and co-owners.

A few years ago, we tested Earthlink's reaction time on entheta material by putting up the following page:

http://home.earthlink.net/~snefru/deathoflrh

and advertising it repeatedly on a.r.s. The account owner never heard so much as a peep from ELNK, and the site is there to this day. It's not definitive proof, but it definitely indicates that ELNK has more important things on its corporate mind than scientology's reputation on the net.

Cipriano's Declaration

In support for their claim, critics quote Robert J. Cipriano's declaration which is a mixture of truth, distortions, unsubstantiated allegations, hearsays, and rumors. Until concrete evidences are introduced to support these claims, they have to be taken as anecdotal evidences. Cipriano's credibility is also extremely thin. He  already admitted making false testimonies in Scientology-related issues and even critics are divided when it comes to his different "recants". More than a year after the declaration has been made, it  has still not been tried in court.

The news Times LA ran a full featured article on the Cipriano issue, confirming that at the beginning Earthlink was more of a Scientology company than it is now. With the Mindspring mega-merging (they chose to keep the name Earthlink for both company), the Scientology element is even more diluted, if still present at all:

Cipriano says that Moxon arranged for him to work at Earthlink, the major Internet service provider started by Scientologist wunderkind Sky Dayton in 1994. In its early days, Earthlink's employees and the majority of its subscribers were Scientologists. But today the company serves more than a million customers, and Scientologists have less presence on its staff.

The News Times provides the Earthlink's side about Moxon helping Cipriano find a job at Earthlink:

Earthlink's George Williams acknowledges that Cipriano was referred by Moxon. "Rick Moxon did refer him to our company, but that's not unusual," he says. Williams says he's shocked that Cipriano would suggest he was hired as a favor to Moxon. "That statement is false. I interviewed [Cipriano] myself. He had a very impressive list of accomplishments....Cipriano brought in five letters of recommendation, and he probably had the most impressive series of résumés that I've ever seen."

The newstimes further acknowledges that for the wilder claim of Cipriano, one needs to be very skeptical:

Here's why you should be skeptical about what Graham Berry and Robert Cipriano say about the Church of Scientology:

[Snip Berry's part]

Robert Cipriano, meanwhile, is an admitted liar who says that he willingly committed perjury last year by lying in a deposition taken under oath. A nervous, chameleonlike figure, Cipriano never seems to stay in one place or situation very long. He spent five years living as a gay man and now says he's straight. He was once a successful Park Avenue businessman, but then couldn't hold a job. He was willing to accept financial help for his perjured testimony but now claims to be doing the righteous thing by speaking out about it. His own court-filed declarations make him out to be something of a confused, pathetic loser who is usually either running from a bad situation or running toward someone who will give him a handout.

This is no "Scientology dead agenting" as the article is otherwise *very* critical of Scientology, sometimes to the point of buying common anti-Scientology urban legends. For example, the article says:

---> Paulette Cooper, author of the Scandal of Scientology (1971), became the target of Operation Freakout, an attempt by church operatives to either drive her insane or get her put in prison. The operatives managed to get Cooper indicted by framing her for making bomb threats against the church. She was only exonerated when documents detailing Operation Freakout were discovered by government agents.

This is straight out of the anti-Scientology book and inaccurate. Operation Freakout was never enacted, as the FBI got hold of the documents before. Not that Cooper wasn't harassed, it simply was not part of this particular operation that ever remained on paper. There are also no proof that the CoS framed her for bomb threat, only suppositions, and she certainly was *not* exonerated when documents detailing Operation Freakout were discovered by government agents. To see the detail on this story see Paulette Cooper - The Bomb Threat.

But on the whole, the article is fairly balanced and well researched. What it says about the Earthlink and Scientology connection reflects what is known otherwise on this question and confirms that the link is very tenure and any nefarious  influence almost certainly ruled out.

The Skeptic Tank

If you want more example of the kind of empty allegations so-called critics deem as "facts" and "proof" of the connection, go to the critical pages named "The Skeptic Tank (cough) Search Page" and type "Earthlink".

Here are just the first two examples that come up. My comments are in [red]

From http://www.skeptictank.org/hs/elcoslnk.htm (Apparently written by Frederic Rice, the owner of the site):

Web page analysis:

EarthLink.NET is a Scientology front company [1], origionally created and financed by the Scientology crime syndicate [2] through money given to the cult by some of Hollywood's high-paid actors [3]

  1. Unsubstantiated allegation
     

  2. False - it was created by Sky Dayton, who is admittedly a Scientologist. This does not automatically mean that it was created and financed by the Church of Scientology
     

  3. Unsubstantiated allegation

Numerious individuals who have worked for this cult front company in the past have come forward [4] to describe the fact that EarthLink's help desk's employees (all Scientologists as you'll see at the end of this list) [5]  are ordered [6] to claim that the Scientology crime syndicate doesn't own and run EarthLink.NET. (See comments by ex-exployees of EarthLink.NET on The Skeptic Tank's web site. [7].

  1. Who are these "numerous individuals"?
     

  2. False conclusion - there is no indication whatsoever on this list that these people are Scientologists
     

  3. Loaded language - the use of "ordered" implies they are blindly lying rather than just stating the truth that Scientology doesn't own and run Earthlink.NET
     

  4. Missing link - most people won't wade through the whole site to search where these comments might be. This is a way to imply substantiation without substantiating anything.

The fact is, EarthLink.NET and RelayPoint.NET are both Scientology crime syndicate front companys [8] that work very hard to hide the fact and work very hard to down-play the financing and origins of their companies [9].

  1. False association - while there may be indication that RelayPoint.NET is related to Scientology, there are no indications of same for Earthlink.
     

  2. Unsubstantiated allegation

The fact is, the security of one's e-mail which flows through these two companies [10] is highly suspect [11] and users who subscribe to either of these services should consider very carefully the history of the Scientology crime syndicate [12]

  1. Call on fear
     

  2. Inconclusive
     

  3. Inconclusive

All in all, the author hasn't presented even a single fact in support for his contention. He made a series of unsubstantiated allegations, failed to provide links to support his statements, drew false conclusions, made false associations, used loaded language, and called on fear. The whole basis of his argument is that Sky Dayton was a Scientologist. This is like saying that the Pope controls every company founded by Christians.

Alas, this is the kind of "critical thinking skills" typically displayed by Scientology critics populating the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup.

dkleins@earthlink.net Diane Klein
brucejg@earthlink.net Bruce J Goldman - Boca Raton, FL
cheys@earthlink.net Carol Heys - Pasadena, CA
dkleins@earthlink.net Diane Klein - Carlsbad, CA
draemr@earthlink.net Michael Tilse
hanse@earthlink.net Hans Eisenman - Los Angeles, CA
jjm@earthlink.net Jack Molisani
jneberhard@earthlink.net John Eberhard - El Monte, CA
locomp@earthlink.net Ned Hoover - Palo Alto, CA
mgale@earthlink.net Marie Gale - Charlotte, NC
mobrien@earthlink.net Michael O'Brien - Los Angeles, CA
nopsyx@earthlink.net Dennis Clarke - Los Angeles, CA
pero@earthlink.net Alice Pero
petermead@earthlink.net Peter Mead - Tujunga, CA
riggs@earthlink.net Riggs Eckelberry - Topanga, CA
theta_data@earthlink.net Randy Tobin
helpdesk@earthlink.net Aleksey Tsalolikhin - Los Angeles,

 

From http://www.skeptictank.org/hs/elcos2.htm, webbing a post from Garry Scarff :

Web page analysis:

Garry Scarff
Earthlink Continues To Tamper with ARS
Tue, 29 Dec 1998 18:27:56 -0800
"G. SCARFF"

Something wierd is going on and I take great offense at it. The Church of Scientology is well-known and reputed for taking extreme measures against their critics, and it is also well-known that the President & CEO is a dedicated Scientologist as are many employees of Earthlink [1]. Are employees of Earthlink responsible for the non-accessibility to post on a newsgroup composed of Scientologists and Scientology critics ~ alt.religion.scientology? I don't know! I have been assured by members of the Earthlink corporation this is not the case. Yet, I (a former Scientologist) continue to experience problems accessing the newsgroup leading me to use the DejaNews link. [2]

  1. Unsubstantiated allegation. How many of the total employees of Earthlink are Scientologist?
     

  2. A relatively measured sentence but a bit laughable in the assumption Earthlink may spend his time trying to make it difficult for its users to access ARS

Also, in the last 2 months, unknownst to me, certain individuals have been forging the most offensive, racist and anti-Semitic posts under my Earthlink e-mail address, and crossposting these offensive messages to newsgroups involving individuals targeted by these hateful messages. [3]Yet, Earthlink claims it can do nothing to prevent such occurrences. Also, I am prevented from cancelling these forged messages from the now 13 newsgroups that have been crossposted [4].

  1. Scarff is referring to the sporgeries. Maybe he didn't see that it affected all servers, not just earthlink
     

  2. Cancel policies varies between different servers. Scarff has not demonstrated the link between this and intent on the part of Scientologist to set him up.

If this offensive activity is not dealt with appropriately in 48 hours, then I will address it to Earthlink in a legal manner and change to another reputable provider.

All in all, there isn't a shred of evidence in this post. Scarff had problems with his server and was victim of sporgeries, like thousands of other people in and out of Earthlink.  Yet, this is presented on Rice's site as yet another "evidence" of Scientology controlling Earthlink.

Garry Scarff

Earthlink Supercookie Scare

Post from the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup :

kady@wwwaif.net (kady@wwwaif.net)

Tue, 20 Mar 2001 17:50:22 GMT

From: kady@wwwaif.net (kady@wwwaif.net)
Message-ID: <9985gq$1sk_002@news1.sympatico.ca>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 17:50:22 GMT

According to the site that originally broke the story about the Earthlink "supercookie", the fears that a custom tag was sending information that would identify users were unfounded:

http://grc.com/su/earthlink.htm

A brief recap (from the above site):

"We were EXTREMELY concerned about this because it could have represented a persistent, cross-domain, "super-cookie", which would provide a robust and reliable means for third-parties to track the movements of EarthLink's users across the Internet. Unlike traditional browser cookies which are only presented to the domain which "set" them, this super-cookie, added to the traditional "HTTP User-Agent" header, would require no "domain name match", it would be sent ubiquitously with every Internet request made by the browser, and it would be sent regardless of the browser's deliberate privacy and cookie settings. Clearly an alarming cause for concern and attention. "

But, as it turns out, it wasn't quite as sinister as it seemed:

A False Alarm
"When we brought our concerns over this to the attention of the industry, EarthLink quickly stepped up to explain what was going on with their custom browser tag.

(It turns out that this issue had been raised a number of times in the past by various persons and within various forums in the PC industry, but for some reason it was never brought to a complete resolution. It has been now.)

EarthLink explained that this scary looking "serial number like" tag was actually a composite of information gained from various characteristics of the user's computer and their Internet connection. "

And they even went on to decode it. So helpful :) Check the website for the full story, but in the meantime, Earthlink users, unpress that panic button.

K

 



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Disclaimer :

This web site is NOT created by a Scientologist. It is created by a Scientology EX-MEMBER who is critical of Scientology. However, this ex-member is ALSO critical of the anti-Scientology movement. This does not make him a Scientologist, nor a defender of Scientology.

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