As many ARS readers are well aware, the (real) Cult Awareness Network (CAN) has been undergoing a major legal battle to save its thousands of sensitive files from passing into the hands of Scientology and its fake CAN.
On Friday, March 12, Chicago Judge Thomas Quinn ordered all of the CAN files --membership and donor lists, financial records, and thousands of personal, once-confidential letters and correspondence from former cult members and the families of cult victims to be turned over to the sheriff for auction in 60 days. CAN Board representative Dr. Edward Lottick stated that it appeared the judge had not even read the CAN board's briefs on the issue, and that the judge "ran roughshod over us".
The 60-day window was granted by Quinn to allow the Supreme Court to decide whether to grant certoriati in the Jason Scott case. If the Court agrees to hear an appeal of the Scott case, Quinn will be under tremendous pressure to stay the execution of the sale, as its purpose is to satisfy the judgement againstCAN in Scott. If, however, the high court refuses to hear the case, the files will go up for sale in sixty days.
Quinn, with remarkable insensitivity, commented that a previous judge had received letters of protest over such a sale, and that if he received such letters, he would not read them.
Scientology's already-dominant ability to spend money for the files is bolstered further by the fact that, Gerald Beeney, a Scientologist, bought the Scott judgement from Jason Scott for $25,000, and would receive any income from the sale of the files, which he would undoubtedly be willing to return toScientology.
This is an absolute travesty of justice. If you or anyone you know has information about yourself or a relative or friend in the CAN files, this is a warning that Scientology--well known for using personal information to harass and attack its critics and opponents--may soon have that personal information inits hand.
I also encourage all readers to contact the media and alert them to this travesty of justice. Thousands of cult victims and their families may be at risk of harassment due to this action! Said Cynthia Kisser, former Executive Director of CAN, about this issue in the past, "If the bankruptcy court lets those records be sold They are basically taking people's worst fears, which they've confided in the Cult Awareness Network, and selling them to the very organization that created the trauma and that pain." This could very well come to pass in 60 days--people need to be made aware of this ruling!
Dr. Edward Lottick of the CAN Board, at (717) 287-1377, is the official contact relating to the CAN files.
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