Is Narconon impersonating Larry Brennan to remove links from Google? If not Narconon, then who?

Screenshot of "Larry Brennan" DMCA Notice to Google

Screenshot of “Larry Brennan” DMCA Notice to Google

The image shows screenshot of a DMCA notice sent from a “Larry Brennan” to Google on February 20, 2016, taken from the Lumen Database which was formerly ChillingEffects.org.

It claims that the original URL for the copyrighted document is https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/sources/reports/91report.htm and the URL of the infringing site is http://exscnforum.com/index.php/topic/16-narconon-501c3/
(Note: the allegedly infringing link is not to be confused with the Ex-Scientologist Message Board forum at http://www.forum.exscn.net/, and the clickable link above is to the archive.org version of the allegedly infringing page.)

The DMCA Notice says:

The entire article and notice was copied without consent, and in spite of several direct and indirect requests, the admin of the aforesaid website refuses to respond, nor takes any steps to remove the infringing content. It is important for legal reason that the notices and articles remain on my university server only, for proprietary purpose. You can see the infringing content posted by user ‘rhythm’ on http://exscnforum.com/index.php/topic/16-narconon-501c3/ , as seen in the screenshot http://i.imgur.com/Kak5rng.png.

There are several things wrong with this DMCA notice, aside from the errors in grammar.

First:
Larry Brennan was a former Scientology executive who created and then exposed Scientology’s Corporate Shell Game. In 2012, as a transgendered woman, Larry transformed into Denise Brennan. On Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, Denise passed away as the result of a heart attack, resulting in much grief throughout the critic community. It is impossible for the real Larry Brennan to have sent this DMCA Notice.

Second:
Larry Brennan did not write the document allegedly infringed upon. That document is “Findings of Fact regarding the Narconon-Chilocco Application For Certification by the Board of Mental Health, State of Oklahoma”, written by State of Oklahoma Board of Mental Health in 1991. This report was the result of an Narconon Chilocco’s application for certification, and hearings of evidence on the issues of safety and effectiveness of the treatment. Certification was denied.

Third:
The site referred to as the Original URL is part of Dave Touretzky’s excellent site about Narconon, and I am quite sure he did not write the DMCA notice because not only has he always championed the spreading, rather than removal of, information, but he also does not hold a copyright for the Oklahoma document, nor would he claim to be Larry Brennan; he would use his own name if he were sending an official DMCA Notice.

Google removed the link from their search listings:

Google's Incorrect DMCA Removal

Google’s Incorrect DMCA Removal

Narconon must be in real trouble if they have to resort to using a deceased person’s name to issue DMCA Notices!

They seem to have been quite busy with this tactic, which apparently Google has not investigated properly, because there are similar DMCA Notices listed here (2 pages): Lumen Database search for “narconon”. (Note that the ones from XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC are from Ripoff Report, who is well known for protecting their own copyrights, such as they are, for other people’s written reviews. Some of the other notices are the ones I’m referring to.) It should be noted, also, that the notices listed there are likely only a subset of the total, since some recipients may not have entered their notices into the database.

Do any of our readers think they can give Google a clue how they’re being deceived? Make some noise!

M e m o s

Write a memo

  1. Mary McConnell From the Desk of...
    Mary McConnell

    That is really stupid. The supposedly offending site should not be confused with the ESMB forum. It’s the other forum run by ex-scientologist Tom Smith. I wonder if he and Dave T talked about this? I suspect not because Tom apparently rolled over and let it be taken. See this March 2016 post on his forum: http://exscnforum.com/index.php/topic/597-no-unauthorized-copy-and-paste-of-original-content-from-other-websites/

    • Ann From the Desk of...
      Ann

      Thanks for the comment, Mary. I don’t really fault anyone who doesn’t want to get involved in legal entanglements as much as I fault Google, which presumably has an army of lawyers at its command, for not checking out DMCA notices before they roll over and remove links from their search index.

      Dave T’s server belongs to Carnegie Mellon University, with the username for that space being Dave’s initials, “dst”. I don’t expect non-technical people to recognize this convention used on servers, but Google should be full of technical people as well as lawyers, wouldn’t you think?

      Still, it’s clearly a bogus DMCA notice, and more abuse of the law, which scientology is already well-known for, and Narconon, scientology’s front group, is rapidly joining them in the same notoriety.

  2. From the Desk of...
    Tom Smith

    http://exscnforum.com/index.php/topic/16-narconon-501c3/
    This topic still exists on this forum. I never received this DMCA complaint, but I did receive two others, both written by a forum member”nnexpose” without any notification to me. The materials were copy and pastes from an alleged anti-narconon website done by another member. Aftet looking at the times when they logged in, it appears that they were working together. The offender was posting from an IP address near St. Paul, MN. and the complainant had an IP address in Chicago, IL This was another OSA dirty tricks operation.

  3. Mary McConnell From the Desk of...
    Mary McConnell

    Hi Tom, Good to hear the the thread is still up. If you never received a DMCA complaint via your host, then it was just intended to get the thread oir post out of Google search links..

    The whole purpose of many of these these fake DMCA complaints is to to get Google to take the url out of circulation. Unfortunately, Google sucks at researching the reliability and validity of the complaint and complainant named.

    I recall looking at your site in the last year regarding one of these take down threats… Did you post a notice that a thread or post was taken down due to violation? I recall seeing that, and noticing that what was posted was actually a link and copy or excerpt of something posted by someone else, elsewhere on the internet. . I wondered if you knew that your forum does not have to take down third-party information posts of content originally posted by someone else elsewhere..

    Unless you get a DMCA takedown notice via your server or site host asking you to determine if you are going to remove it or contest it, be suspect and don’t jump to take it down. I’ve seen DMCA requests that are fake ones or not from legitimate complainants, even via the site host,. My thought is that it’s better to determine if valid or not before removing any content.

    I wish I knew which forum thread I saw your notice on… do you recall what I am referring to?
    Thanks.

  4. From the Desk of...
    Tom Smith

    Thanks, Mary. I didn’t know that I did not have to remove copy and paste postings. I removed those anyway because the poster did not answer my private messages and the login time of the poster and complainant overlapped and the poster had nothing meaningful to say. I revoked the posting privileges of both the poster and complainant after messaging both with warnings and not receiving any answers. If it isn’t a scam, it isn’t Scientology.

  5. Mary McConnell From the Desk of...
    Mary McConnell

    Hi Tom, It’s good that you did all that you did regarding the post and it’s poster.
    And it is very understandable why you took those actions. You were well within your rights. Here is an article from Praxis Legal Solution regarding Third-party content for site owners. It may be of help. The section on how you are protected explains what is required of you and any other site owner. Overall, good information to begin with on understanding the basics of site owner protections and third party content issues https://praxislegalsolutions.com/third-party-content-on-your-website/
    Best wishes!

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