DECLARATION OF PETER MANTE
I, Peter Mante, hereby declare and state:
1. I am over the age of 18 and I am a citizen of the Netherlands. In the past, I have also used the names Snorri Helgarsson and Newkid on the Internet and elsewhere. I have personal knowledge of the facts stated in this declaration. If I were asked to do so, I could and would testify to them in a court of law.
2. I am making this declaration because I want to rectify some things which I did previously which I now believe were wrong. Those actions related to postings of unpublished, copyrighted materials belonging to a Church of Scientology known as Religious Technology Center.
3. I became an employee of the United States Embassy in the Hague in 1985, and I was employed there when the events described below began.
4. In approximately 1992, I became a subscriber to the Internet access service provided by a bulletin board service called UTOPIA.HACKTIC.NL, run by a person named Alex De Joode. At that time, I came to know Rop Gongrijp and Felipe Rodriguez, who later became co-owners of the access provider XS4ALL.
5. In August or September 1995, a person using the e-mail ID of FONSS@XS4ALL.NL began using the facilities of XS4ALL to post some of the Church's materials on the Internet, including documents which were attachments to a declaration by a person named Steven Fishman. Together, the declaration and attachments were referred to as the Fishman affidavit and the Church had claimed that the attachments to the declaration were copyrighted and confidential. It was stated on the Internet that the Fishman Affidavit had been filed in a court in the United States. This Fishman affidavit and attachments were first posted on the Internet by Arnaldo Lerma and were then downloaded by Fonns. I understand that Religious Technology Center had filed suit against Lerma for copyright infringement for having posted these materials.
6. The Church made several attempts to have XS4ALL remove these confidential materials from the Internet, or at least, to provide it with a means of communicating with Forms, but XS4ALL refused to do either. As a result, the Church instituted a court proceeding against XS4ALL and as part of this, a bailiff went to the premises of XS4ALL in early September 1995 to inventory its computer equipment, which is a standard action done in this type of proceeding.
7. After the visit from the bailiff, XS4ALL posted a press release on the Internet claiming that the bailiff's simple, lawful action was a violation of XS4ALL's freedom of speech. This resulted in a lot of publicity in the media both in the Netherlands and elsewhere, as well as on the Internet.
8. Almost immediately :following the visit by the bailiff, Rop Gongrijp also sent out an urgent Internet message stating that XS4ALL had been "raided" and asking for help. This message included instructions where to obtain a copy of the Fishman affidavit on the Internet. The initial response to the message came from a small number of people, mostly in the computer field. I first became involved in the conflict with the Church shortly after I received GongriJp's message. At first my interest was largely due to my mistaken belief that this involved questions of free speech on the Internet, as I had no animosity towards the Church at the time. Then I began to read large amounts of negative information about the Church on the Internet (information which I eventually learned was false), and I soon became intensely critical of the Church and decided to take actions to harm it, in order to assist the overall conspiracy to destroy the Church's intellectual pro-perty rights which was gathering momentum as described below.
9. I retrieved a copy of the Fishman affidavit from Fonss containing the same documents which had first been posted by Arnaldo Lerma, and I placed it on my private World Wide Web homepage using the access provider Cistron, on about the 17th or 18th of September 1995. Before posting the materials, I asked Cistron's owner, Danny ter Haar, if I could post them using Cistron or if he would prefer that I use XS4ALL. He told me that it was fine with him to use Cistron.
10. In late September 1995, I frequently participated in "chat groups" on the Internet which concerned the Church's action against XS4ALL and the posting of the Fishman affidavit and other confidential Scientology materials on the Internet. A chat group is an on-line discussion group where the ID of each of the participants is displayed on the screen. Based on these IDs and my familiarity with the writing styles of people who I frequently communicated with on these groups, I can identify many of the participants in these chat discussions. These included Felipe Rodriguez and Karin Spaink from the Netherlands. Other participants were Arnaldo Lerma, "Sister Clara", Kim Baker, Steven Fishman, Ron Newman, Dennis Erlich, Tom Klemesrud and Robert Penny. There were other participants in these chat discussions whose names I do not now recall.
11. These individuals all stressed the importance of continuing to post the Church's copyrighted materials in Holland because this was the way to destroy the Church's copyrights and trade secrets. I remember Lerma stating that was important for his case that the Fishman affidavit be posted on as many web sites as possible, because these were the same materials that he was being sued for by the Church. As part of these "chat" sessions, we also had "strategy talks" with the Americans, where we asked for information about the copyright infringement cases in the United States, and discussed the differences between copyright law in the United States and in Holland. During these chat sessions, Lerma, Erlich and Newman actively encouraged us to get the materials posted on more web sites to help the U.S. defendants.
12. Two U.S. defendants, Lerma and Erlich, explained in these chat discussions that having these materials posted on many web sites in Holland could be used by them in the infrin-gement cases in the United States to show that these materials are not secret. They also stated that it would be less likely for a court to stop the distribution of the materials in the United States if they were posted in many places and that this could be used by Erlich and Lerma to obtain rulings that the confidential materials were no longer trade secrets. Lerma and Erlich pushed for this to happen. They also discussed establishing more such web sites not only in Holland, but also throughout Europe.
13. In late September 1995, I read e-mail communications from Lerma, Erlich and others, most of which were sent to Karin Spaink and some of which were sent to me directly. Lerma sent me e-mail messages which encouraged me to maintain my infringing postings and to get others to do so. Spaink often relayed the e-mail messages which were sent to her by Lerma, Erlich, Newman and others whose names I do not recall to a confidential list of people in the Netherlands (including myself) who had posted the Church materials on the Internet. In their e-mail messages to Spaink and me, Lerma, Erlich and Newman urged us to increase the number of web pages in Holland on which the confidential Church materials were posted.
14. As a result of the chat group discussions with Lerma and others, Spaink sent out 100 e-mail messages to solicit others to post the Fishman affidavit, so as to create a huge increase of web sites containing the confidential materials. (Exhibit A) 15. As another result of the chat group discussions, and in order to finalize our plans in person rather than on the Internet, Karin Spaink, Felipe Rodriguez and I decided to have a meeting of the local supporters of XS4ALL. (Exhibit B) On 28 September 1995, we held a meeting at the restaurant owned by Rodriguez. Present at this meeting were Rodriguez, Spaink, Oussama Cheribbi, Danny ter Haar (owner of the access provider Cistron), Alex De Joode and Rop Gongrijp. This meeting lasted until the early morning. We discussed how to expand "the action" (as we referred to the posting of confidential materi- als on the web sites), in accordance with the strategies which were pushed in the chat group sessions by Lerma, Erlich, Fishman and others.
16. At the 28 September meeting, we discussed whether to continue the action even if it meant going to court. We agreed to continue. Our plan of action was implemented based on the proposals by the Americans such as Lerma and included continuing and expanding the postings of the Fishman affida-vit. To achieve this, we decided that the access providers would maintain the "first line of defense" by refusing to give out the names of the users who were posting these materials thereby forcing the Church to go to court. It was also agreed that the access providers would continue to maintain their position that they had no responsibility for anything that the users posted.
17. Due to the actions of Rodriguez, Spaink, myself and others, such as Lerma and Erlich, the number of sites in Holland where the Fishman materials were posted grew from Just a handful to over one hundred within a few weeks. They also got the materials posted at: sites in the United Kingdom and Germany. This was not any kind of "grass roots" movement. Instead, it was the result of actions that were carefully planned by me and a handfu]. of individuals, led by Spaink and Rodriguez, who followed a strategy devised by the American litigants, Lerma, Erlich and Fishman. Church from a number of sources. One source was Jon Atack from the United Kingdom. She told me that she also received information from members of Factnet, a U.S. based group which distributes negative inforrmation about the Church, mainly using computer channels. I learned from e-mail messages sent to Spaink by Kim Baker that Factnet's directors included Larry Wollersheim, Robert Penny, Arnaldo Lerma and Baker. (Factnet directors Baker and Lerma provided exctensive encouragement to us to continue and increase our posting of the confidential materials.) One of the ideas which I discussed on the Inter-net in late 1995 and early 1996 was to form a European Factnet -- i.e., a computerized repository of negative information on the Church which would be based in Europe and could spread such information there. I had discussions about this with Spaink and with Tilman Hausherr from Germany and later with Robert Penny, Arnaldo Lerma and Dennis Erlich. All of these individuals promoted the posting of confidential Church materials throughout Europe. Karin Spaink was also in communication with Factnet in the United States concerning the idea of a European Factnet. This did not eventuate because of the huge translation problem that something like this would entail.
19. In the mid 1970s I had a brief contact with the Church of Scientology in ~sterdam, where I took a personality test and received a few introductory services. After that point I did not take any further Scientology services and have had no other personal involvement with any Scientology Church. I have never considered myself to be a Scientologist. Other than the events described here, I have had no other contact with any Church of Scientology.
20. In March 1996, Religious Technology Center and Church of Spiritual Technology filed a lawsuit in the Nether- lands against me for having posted confidential materials on the Internet. In the last ;several months, having had the opportunity to research and find out about the Church indepen-dently, and outside the influence of the anti-Church propagan-da on the Internet, I have come to believe what the Church has stated all along that the primary motivation for the Church's actions is to protect writings which it sincerely considers to be sacred religious scriptures. After having come to the conclusion thatmy actions in posting these materials were unjustified, I decided that there was no valid purpose in continuing this litigation. Therefore, on December 23, 1996, I wrote to the Church's attorney Ruprecht Hermans and informed him that I desired to reach a full settlement with the Church. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this 31st day of December 1996 at Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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