From: email@example.com (Geoff Burling)
Subject: Re: How did you find A.R.S. ?
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 03:54:05 GMT
On Wed, 09 Sep 1998 10:41:21 -0600, Rondata <firstname.lastname@example.org> saith:
Just kind of curious, how so many people have stumbled upon this newsgroup and why you decided to stay.
I had first read of Scientology in de Sprague's book, Science-Fiction Handbook (which I've written about in another post) back in the early 60's. In 1976, I first heard Hubbard's famous line, "The way to make a million dollars is to start a religion", probably from an ABC documentary in September of that year -- at least when a Scieno tried to body route me in November of that year & quoted that line, I knew it wasn't the first time I had heard it.
I didn't post to a.r.s until 1996, when Jairus Godeka shot four people at the Celebrity Center in Portland -- what used to be the Davis Mission on SW Salmon Street. And I have kept posting, at varying levels of enthusiasm, ever since.
Why I stay here is a more interesting question. There are two activities that show the true power of the Internet, & what it is capable of. The first is the free operating system known as Linux: created by tens of thousands of people unknown to each other, with only a handful of people (such as Linus Torvalds) acting as a catalyst for development, it has emerged as a solid & reliable product that will be an effective rival to companies such as Novell, Sun & Microsoft. Without the Internet, there could not be Free Source Software like Linux, & likewise without Free Source Software, there would not be an Internet. (Much of the software that runs the internet, such as BIND, is available for the effort of a download.)
The other activity is the campaign against the CoS.
This activity is even less organized. One can take a pulse of this movement by following a.r.s., but like every usenet group there is a very large noise-to-sound ratio -- & often not all of the information makes it to the newsgroup in a timely fashion. There are no leaders, only a small group of people who have gained respect from their actions & opinions, who tend to be bothered with more questions & harassment than other posters. There is no secret slush fund, no venture capitalists, only a large number of individuals of varying degrees of motivation, each of whom contributes in some way to the goal of ending the CoS's crimes.
One could say both of these activities are examples of communistic anarchy at its finest. People with access to an inexpensive means of communications empowered to do what they think is right. And somehow, this thing is working: the CoS sends its ample, yet finite resources, to deal with this PR problem, only to watch its operatives vanish without a trace.
And when the CoS is reduced to a distasteful & unbelievable memory, we'll start working on other causes. Lord knows there are a lot of them, & one evil I'd like to deal with (the corporate rape of mankind for profit) still doesn't understand the Internet. And probably never will.
To email me, remove the obvious.