Tom Theo Klemesrud

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Tom Theo Klemesrud (born October 12, 1950) is an American publisher and writer.

Personal life[edit]

Tom Theo Klemesrud was born in Thompson, Iowa to Glee (1909–1986) and Theo S. Klemesrud [1] (1902–1995).[1] His sisters, Judy and Candace are both deceased. He attended the Thompson Community High School, Wartburg College, and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1973 with a degree in film production. He is a member of the University of Iowa presidents Club. In 1974 he attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts graduate program for one year. [2]

Radio and television broadcasting[edit]

Klemesrud worked in radio and television broadcasting since 1968. While attending high school in Thompson, Iowa, Klemesrud was a disc jockey for KRIB Radio, Mason City, Iowa. In 1970 he worked as a disc jockey for KWWL AM-FM-TV in Waterloo, Iowa, and produced on camera commercials for a local Ford dealer. When attending the University of Iowa he worked as a TV transmitter engineer for KIIN-TV in Iowa City. In 1977, Klemesrud was hired by Syracuse University in New York as an CMX Systems editor/engineer for video productions at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications under executive director Henry Baker and vice chairperson Kitty Carlisle. The New York State Council on the Arts granted monies for Synapse Era, a program for visiting artists who used the facilities for the production of creative video art pieces. Klemesrud worked on productions with artists such as Nam June Paik. In 1978 Klemesrud was asked to work at WNET TV (PBS) in New York, NY as CMX editor. In 1979 Klemesrud went to Los Angeles to edit Norman Lear shows, "The Jeffersons" and "The Facts of Life." He also worked for ABC-TV as CMX videotape editor, and in 1980 editing for CBS-TV. In October 1982 he worked at Complete Post in Los Angeles, a post production facility for high end television shows, and at Paramount Television in the late 1980s. Throughout his time in Los Angeles, he mostly worked for ABC-TV and CBS-TV shows or projects, and retired in 1999.

Thompson Courier and Rake Register[edit]

Klemesrud's parents published the Thompson Courier and Rake Register from 1936 to 1974, until they sold to Ben Carter, the publisher of the Forest City Summit, a newspaper in the county seat of Forest City, Iowa. In 1997, Klemesrud purchased the newspaper while working for ABC-TV in California. He published the Courier from 1997 through 2001. He returned to Iowa in 1999. He sold the Thompson Courier to Kim Norstrud.

Anti-Scientology activism[edit]

Klemesrud never joined Scientology, although he met a member in October 1982 when he was invited to go out with some friends. He took a personality test, known as the Oxford Capacity Analysis. The woman told Klemesrud she would no longer carry on a relationship with him unless he accepted that she was a Scientology member. The woman asked Klemesrud five months later about his sister, Judy Klemesrud who worked for the New York Times. Klemesrud later found that she was a member of Scientology's Guardian's Office. During the 1980s Klemesrud made friends amongst Scientology ex-members and apostates. He also met with parents whose children had been enticed into cults, and had organized to raise awareness about cults and their illegal activities. One of the first members he contacted who helped him with research was Henrietta Crampton, the secretary of the Citizen's Freedom Foundation.

Klemesrud later began sharing information with the New York Times, and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. In 1984, the New York Times published a front page story replete with a picture of Hubbard, telling that former members said Hubbard absconded with millions of dollars from the organization and channeled the funds into private bank accounts in Liechtenstein and Zurich.[3] This was the basis for the IRS investigation of Hubbard.[2]

In 1985, Tom Klemesrud started a computer Bulletin Board System in Los Angeles called "The Cult Monitor" which ran until September 1991. He began to receive so many phone calls for help that he turned over the sysop responsibilities to Priscilla Coates,[3] a former executive director of the Citizen's Freedom Foundation and former director of the Los Angeles Cult Awareness Network.[citation needed]

Scientology versus Klemesrud[edit]

In 1992 Klemesrud created a multi-line BBS as a school project for the Los Angeles Valley College. The domain name was "" and was the Internet service that former Scientologist Dennis Erlich used, as well as many Scientology members.

On December 24, 1994 Dennis Erlich had been posting fair use excerpts of what Scientology calls "confidential materials" (see Xenu Revelation) to the Los Angeles Valley College BBS. Erlich also used the BBS node to access and post the materials through the Internet service provider Netcom (USA) to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. Erlich and Klemesrud were met with harassing e-mails, letters, phone calls and physical confrontations. On December 25, the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology began to receive forged cancellations of posts (attributed to an entity known as the "Cancelpoodle" or "Cancelbunny"), including posts that Dennis Erlich was making in comment on Scientology materials. It was later determined that Scientology was behind this effort.

Klemesrud began receiving e-mails from Scientologist lawyer Helena Kobrin, on behalf of the Religious Technology Center that both the BBS service and Dennis Erlich's postings through the ISP, Netcom were copyright infringements and should be removed. Klemesrud replied that he should be presented with evidence that they were in fact copyright infringements. Kobrin also wrote several times to Netcom, demanding they cut off Internet access to Tom Klemesrud's BBS, Netcom refused. On February 8, 1995 Scientology filed a lawsuit, "Religious Technology Center v. Netcom," and requested a restraining order against Dennis Erlich, Klemesrud's BBS domain, ( and Netcom. On February 13, Erlich's house was raided by Scientology attorney, Tom Small and seven others. A hearing on February 21 lifted the restraining order against and Netcom. However, on February 27, Scientology requested an injunction against Netcom and

On June 21, 1995, Judge Whyte issued a ruling that refused to dismiss Klemesrud, and Netcom because of a triable issue of fact. On November 21, 1995, Judge Whyte ruled "Plaintiffs have not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their copyright claims nor irreparable harm absent an injunction against defendants Netcom and Klemesrud."[4]

On August 21, 1996, the suit was settled without Klemesrud having to admit any liability. However a settlement in the amount of $47,500 was paid by his insurance company.[5][6] In the summer of 2000 Klemesrud sold the domain name to ", Inc." The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) effectively gave legislative backing to the principles laid down in RTC v. Netcom by codifying its ruling that passive automatic acts shall not become grounds for a finding of online copyright infringement.[7]

Miss Blood Incident[edit]

Three weeks before the litigation against Klemesrud in February 1995, an incident occurred as a result of an intelligence breach of a file from the internal Scientology computer system, known as INCOMM, or the International Network of Computer Organized Management.[4] The incident presented evidence of Fair Game by Scientology, as they tried to frame Klemesrud for attacking a female in his apartment who had drugged him with chloral hydrate on January 14, 1995. Klemesrud was arrested on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon and released on $30,000 bail the next morning, while the woman was allowed to leave the scene without any examination. A police detective was subsequently unable to contact her. The District Attorney rejected the charges, refusing to prosecute.

Klemesrud's account of the frame up was posted to the newsgroup on January 15 by Dennis Erlich, and information from a police report of the incident, contained in a file from the INCOMM system was posted anonymously by a poster known as "AB" to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology on January 23.[8] "AB" was subsequently identified by Caltech as Thomas Gerard Rummelhart. Ms Blood was identified as Linda Woolard.

In an effort to find out who breached the file that corroborated the attempted frame up of Klemesrud, Scientology enlisted the Los Angeles Police Department to seek help from Interpol, alleging that it was a hacker. (See Second compromise) Klemesrud wrote a letter to the LAPD that Scientology already knew and silenced the anonymous poster. [9] In 2002, Keith Henson compiled what was known of the story to that time,[10] and a year later Tom Klemesrud executed a declaration {[11] about being dosed with chloral hydrate.

Writ of Seizure and Scientology[edit]

Klemesrud was included in a Writ of Seizure along with Dennis Erlich and Netcom, although never raided.[12] Judge Ronald M. Whyte of the Northern District of California later rescinded the Writ in this case.[13] It has generally been agreed that this sort of seizure is unconstitutional. Judge Whyte in his motion permitted fair use Internet posting, which has been the precedence of judges through the history of Scientology's accusations of copyright infringements about their so-called "confidential materials." In a subsequent raid in 1995, Scientology requested a Writ of Seizure to raid the house of ex-member Arnaldo Lerma because of his posting confidential materials, including the Xenu story to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia crossed out language in this particular Writ, which disallowed Scientology to freely enjoin other parties for search and seizure at their discretion.[14] Critics agree that this is a manner in which Scientology practices Fair Game – a policy used to harass, threaten or silence individuals who try to make fair use of so-called "Scientology scripture." (See Scientology versus the Internet).



  1. ^ "C-95-20091 RHW". Retrieved February 14, 2007. I was born in 1950. In 1973 I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in Speech and Dramatic Arts. For the past 25 years including while in college. I have been employed in the radio and television industry, from 1983 to the present as a free-lance video tape editor. I have worked for the ABC Television Network in Los Angeles in that capacity since 1991. 
  2. ^ IRS investigation of L. Ron Hubbard,; accessed October 30, 2014.
  3. ^ Phyllis Coates profile,; accessed October 30, 2014.
  4. ^ List of trademarks owned by the Church of Scientology and its affiliates

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