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Creation of the ARS newsgroup[edit]

This article should mention how ARS was started with a "forgery". --[[:]] 22:54, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I believe you must have gotten a garbled version of events from somewhere, because that makes no sense in light of how the alt hierarchy of Usenet works. One can try to rmgroup a Usenet group via a forgery. But claiming that forgery was used to start a newsgroup is like claiming that forgery was used to start a Wikipedia page; there'd be absolutely no point in doing so. -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:38, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Actually, AI is quite correct. ARS was started with a forged message. I'm not sure how it would improve the article, or what point there would be to add the information, however. --Christi 28 June 2005 22:56 (UTC)
Again, I think "forgery" is a word that could lead people to make incorrect assumptions. Let me make an analogy: if I go to my local pizza parlor, and the clerk tells me there's a ten-minute wait, and asks what my name is, so that they can call me when my table is ready, and I tell them "David Miscavige", have I made a fraudulent representation? In almost every jurisdiction, the answer is "no": I made a false representation, but it is not fraudulent unless it was done for illicit gain. Unless the waiter's playing favorites, I'll get a table exactly as fast under my own name as under the name of "David Miscavige", so where is the gain that makes it fraudulent? In the same way, claiming that the message which started the group was a "forgery" creates the entirely false impression that the newgroup message was only honored because it appeared to come from "David Miscaviage" [sic], when in reality it probably could have been created by anyone. -- Antaeus Feldspar 18:40, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Antaeus makes those kinds of comment in arguments in which he is incorrect. Troll, ad hominem. --AI 3 July 2005 14:22 (UTC)
=) As I've had to explain to you time and again, ad hominem does not mean anywhere near what you seem to think it means. Exactly how is saying that you got a garbled version of events even a criticism of you? Even if it had been a criticism of you, instead of a simple statement that I thought your information was incorrect, that wouldn't make it ad hominem. To qualify as argumentum ad hominem, a statement about a person's affiliation, or negative statements about their character, must be proferred as "evidence" that this somehow weakens the arguments made by that person. Note that it is still not ad hominem if the negative statements actually materially reflect on that person's argumentation; if someone has, for instance, tried repeatedly to speedy-delete an article which does not match any of the criteria for speedy deletion, it is a valid basis on which to question any statement that person makes on the substance or application of Wikipedia policy.
You're still trying to defend your point by discussing ad hominem? Would you like to retract your statements? --AI 7 July 2005 23:09 (UTC)
Yeah, as long as you're still attacking people by accusing them of "ad hominem", I'll continue to discuss the fact that you are completely misusing the term and committing actual acts of ad hominem argumentation even as you RfC others for purportedly doing so. -- Antaeus Feldspar 8 July 2005 02:50 (UTC)
As for the "troll" comment, well, I'll just appreciate and let everyone else appreciate the irony of you accusing me of being a troll, and then accusing me of ad hominem, in literally the same sentence. =) -- Antaeus Feldspar 3 July 2005 23:29 (UTC)
You're still trying to defend your point by discussing trolls? Would you like to retract your statements? --AI 7 July 2005 23:09 (UTC)
You're still trying to change the subject when you get caught making false accusations for the umpteenth time? Would you like to -- oh, no, of course you wouldn't. Only someone who cares about telling the truth would want to apologize for near-constant misconstruing of what ad hominem is. -- Antaeus Feldspar 8 July 2005 02:50 (UTC)
I got no garbled view, Antaeus. Perhaps your view is garbled. Please double check the information stored in your memory banks they may be incorrect. --AI 7 July 2005 23:12 (UTC)
Depends on how you interpret "forgery". It seems to me that since the sender of the newgroup message didn't need to be David Miscavige in order to send the newgroup message, whether it is "forgery" is quite debatable. In those days of the Usenet people would also append useless header-lines to their posts like "X-Gerbil-Status" and the like, just for amusement; I think it's likely that using the name of one of the highest CoS officials was just a similar whimsy, albeit with a bit of nose-thumbing at those who made hiding of one's real identity so necessary. -- Antaeus Feldspar 8 July 2005 02:50 (UTC)
In those days of the Usenet? Heh. AndroidCat 16:06, 21 May 2006 (UTC)


alt.religion.scientology is a Usenet newsgroup started in 1991 to discuss the controversial philosophy known as Scientology, as well as the Church of Scientology and therefore should be in Category:Scientology controversies. It does not define Category:Scientology nor does it in a category higher than Category:Scientology. See WP:CLS --AI 3 July 2005 14:22 (UTC)

makes sense to me.Terryeo 16:57, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

"How to filter out newsgroup vandals" section[edit]

This section doesn't seem encyclopedic to me; any objections if I remove it? --RobthTalk 01:14, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and removed it; I'll paste it in below here in case anyone wants it ready to hand:

How to filter out Newsgroup Vandals[edit]

Like many newsgroups, alt.religion.scientology has many irrelevant and trolling postings. Most of these are easily removed by use of a newsreader program and a kill file. The biggest offenders appear to be usernames operated by multiple people and have traits they share in common:

  • They will never post links to sites known to be critical of scientology
  • They will falsely accuse other posters of being secret Scientologist agents to breed distrust amonmg the newsgroup (this one is a little tricky, as you will have to research postings of the accused to determine validity of accusations)
  • They will claim that their usernames have been forged by Scientology agents
  • They will claim persecution at the hands of Scientology (some of these postings are legitimate, again, check past postings before adding to killfile)
  • They will flood the newsgroup with a large number of postings, some even seemingly critical of Scientology

After a small investment of time learning how to avoid the "noise," this newsgroup is a very good source of information and communication. It is not necessary to post the most frequent offending usernames, as they are easily identified.

  • They will claim that only Scientologists want their usernames added to a "kill file"

--RobthTalk 13:33, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Since Wikipedia isn't a "how to" it didn't belong, especially with the POV content. However, if someone were to do (or find) a good page on newsgroup filtering, including the new browser add-ons for filtering GoogleGroups, then I think it would make a good external link for this page. AndroidCat 16:00, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Was it really violent?[edit]

The article says: "The newsgroup has become the focal point of a violent, aggressive battle known as Scientology vs. the Internet, which has taken place both online and in the courts."

Was there really violence? I would like to hear more details if this is literally true.Steve Dufour 20:11, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I will take out the word violent then.Steve Dufour 18:14, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Regular contributors using their real name[edit]

I removed the following sentence which was added by Steve Dufour:

"Most regular contributors to alt.religion.scientology do not do so using their full names; some of the more well-known who do include Steven Dufour, Tilman Hausherr, and Barbara Schwarz."

Picking these particular names is somewhat a subjective exercise — demonstrated by having wikipedia editor Steve Dufour adding himself to the list. Also, we will never be totally sure that the displayed name in a newsgroup post is really from a specific individual. This kind of comment is irrelevant here in my opinion, as it's a characteristic of all newsgroups, that some individual uses their real name, and we certainly won't point out this obvious fact on each newsgroup which has an entry in wikipedia. --Raymond Hill 20:34, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

No problem. It was a joke. The real Steve Dufour 01:33, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Can we get a screenshot?[edit]

  • Would it be possible for someone to take a low res screenshot of Alt.religion.scientology, and upload it under GFDL? Thanks for your time, whoever does this, it would be a nice addition to the article... Smee 22:44, 20 March 2007 (UTC).
Which newsreader program would you like a screenshot of? AndroidCat 00:20, 21 March 2007 (UTC)[edit] is down a search shows plenty of pages from it but they are all down to is there a new site or were the scientologists to stupid to start up the server? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:47, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The main RFW domain is, which is back up, behind the same Prolexic shield as the rest of the protected Scientology sites. (See discussion on alt.religion.scientology) AndroidCat (talk) 12:56, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
That is THE single most compellingly obvious indication that the Church of Scientology is behind that hate site. Cirt (talk) 14:03, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Find a secondary RS source that says that. :) AndroidCat (talk) 15:45, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Washington Post article[edit]

I was doing a google news search[1] to see if there are more recent news stories related to alt.religion.scientology and came upon something rather strange. There is a Washington Post article "Scientology Fiction" listed there with the date of July 6, 2005. However, following that link one gets to [2], page 2 of the article. The http address indicates that the article is indeed from July 6, 2005. However, following the link to page 1 of the article[3], one gets the header giving the date as December 25, 1994, even though the http address there still indicates 2005/07/06 as the date. Does anyone undestand what is going on? Is the article really from 1994 or is it from 2005? I am rather confused. Nsk92 (talk) 22:55, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

It is from 1994. [4]. Cirt (talk) 23:16, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. I also searched the Washington Post archive and found the following item, called "Scientology Fiction", dated Dec 25, 1994: [5]. The excerpt given there corresponds to portions of page 2 of the article from my original post. Must be some bugs at the W.Post website... Nsk92 (talk) 23:27, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

ARS in 2010[edit]

Changes in recent times have rendered this article out of date. The considerable increase in criticism of the Church of Scientology sparked off by the sudden appearance of Anonymous in 2008 led to the creation of a number of critical web based forums, and ARS is no longer at the center. The article needs updating! Hartley Patterson (talk) 22:32, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Can you suggest any independent reliable secondary sources to use to update the article? -- Cirt (talk) 23:17, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Alt.religion.scientology/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

*6 citations, could use an free image low res screenshot of Alt.religion.scientology. Smee 22:45, 20 March 2007 (UTC).

Last edited at 22:51, 20 March 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 07:27, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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