The Day We Fight Back


In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. Today we face another critical threat, one that again undermines the Internet and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance.

In celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA two years ago, and in memory of one of its leaders, Aaron Swartz, we are planning a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.

Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action. Together, we will make it clear that such behavior is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight.

Aaron Swartz was a brilliant programmer, software developer, and internet activist who took his own life at the age of 26 as he faced an overreaching federal prosecution for allegedly downloading a large number of academic articles from JSTOR, an online academic journal library which people paid to access.

While a lot of people know about Aaron’s legal struggles as a result of his attempt to liberate academic information from what he saw as JSTOR‘s ivory towers and make the research available to everyone, and his subsequent suicide when faced with a possible 35 year sentence in prison and a $1 million fine, fewer people may know about his efforts to make federal court documents available to everyone without cost. PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) makes access available, but at a cost – a cost which can add up quickly when you follow an entire case which can consist of thousands of pages. Fortunately for us all, the efforts continue, even without Aaron.

Narconon Reviews has some values in common with Aaron Swartz, particularly the belief in making information available to people. To honor his memory today, we’ve added a bunch of documents to the site. The list will appear at the bottom of this post.

The Day We Fight Back
A day of protest against government intrusion into our private lives. Not just for those of us in the United States, but everyone, because the NSA intrudes on the privacy of people from other countries as well.

Privacy vs. Transparency:
Where to draw the line? The government seems to have it upside down. We the people are supposed to have the privacy, and they’re supposed to have the transparency – they being the public face of us all, “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

We should know what we’re doing collectively as a people, shouldn’t we? The things we pay for by using the hours of our lives to earn the financing? Hours we can never get back…

Yet it is incredibly difficult to know what the government is doing in our names. Not only with laws and policies, but documents and records are also difficult for ordinary people to obtain, as Aaron Swartz and his friends knew. It’s as if they don’t want us to have them. Ya think?

We see this up close personally when we try to obtain records concerning Narconon in order to inform people about what Narconon is doing and has done. Time after time, when we’ve tried to obtain records, we’ve encountered resistance, obfuscation, high costs, government snafus, bureaucracy, red tape, anything to make it harder, it seems. Because maybe if it’s hard enough, we’ll forget about it and go away? Not a chance!

I used to think it was because the rehab licensing agencies and the courts were overwhelmed, overburdened, understaffed. I may be naive or idealistic in just now reaching this conclusion, but I’m starting to think they really don’t want us to have the records – they don’t want us to know what’s going on.

After all, the state licensing agencies, state attorney generals, district attorneys, government-run consumer organizations, the FTC, the FBI, governors, congressmen both state and U.S., and other acronym agencies, apparently all, or certainly most, turn a blind eye to the harm Narconon and scientology do to society – why should they want to give us access to the very documents that prove that, at best, they don’t do their jobs, or, at worst, they are complicit with this entity that scams and robs people, damages lives by their own arrogance, hurts people at their most vulnerable moments, and then leaves cleaning up in the aftermath to others who aren’t paid but still try to help people pick up the shrapnel of their lives left after Narconon (and scientology) do their thing?

And yet the NSA and other government agencies have the time and money to keep track of all the people who do nothing to harm anyone?!

If the government has the money and other resources to engage in such wholesale monitoring of the people, innocent and guilty alike, they need to use some of those resources to monitor and control such entities as Narconon and others that hurt people every day and have been doing so for years unimpeded! And monitor their fellow government workers who don’t do the jobs we pay them to do, while they’re at it!

Ok, I’m done with my rant for today. I’m calm now. I am calm! LOL!

Please, if you’re in the US, write or call your legislators – the banner below makes it simple for you by looking your representatives up for you and directing your email or phone call to the right people. If you’re not in the US, sign the petition and make some noise. In the paraphrased words of Aaron Swartz, make yourself the hero of your own story.

As promised, here is the list of new documents we’ve added today. There are still more to come in the future.


Formal Reports

Informal Complaints
Many of the Informal Complaints posted this time around came from Xenubarb’s now-archived Narconon Victims Forum. Thank you, Xenubarb, for giving people a place to commiserate, complain, share information, and get support, and for everything else you’ve done to combat the cult. You’ve done more than many people realize, and we tip our hats to you.

Fighting back – it’s something we do every day at Narconon Reviews.

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