Dennis was a long time member of Scientology whose life was disrupted when he left the church and spoke out against the fraud he saw committed by Hubbard’s cult.
While he was in Scientology, he was a high ranking Cramming Officer. His job was to make sure everyone followed Hubbard’s policies to the letter. Dennis needed to know every Hubbard policy.
After leaving Scientology, his knowledge was put to use on the internet newsgroup, alt.religion.scientology. There he became one of the first people to to be able and willing to speak out about the inner workings of Scientology and its till then top secret materials.
Someone posted a Scientology document to the net and asked Dennis to comment of the authenticity of the material. Dennis’ response included the automatic quoting of the original post. From this, Scientology was able to convince a judge that Dennis was posting copyrighted materials.
The judge issued a warrant allowing Scientology to raid Dennis’ home and on a rainy day, February 13, 1995, they did just that.
Dennis phoned Priscilla Coates of the original Cult Awareness Network who alerted the media about the ongoing raid. The local TV station come with a camera crew and produced the video tape you see here. Broadcast use of this footage is strictly prohibited.
The local newspaper also ran a story on the raid and wrote an editorial about Scientology’s actions. On May 15th, 1995, the BBC did a report on the raid featuring Dennis, critic Tom Klemesrud, Scientology attorney Helena Kobrin and Shari Steele of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Later, Dennis made a post to alt.religion.scientology describing the raid.
Subject: ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SIEZE
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 95 22:53:16 -0800
This morning at 7:30 am my doorbell was repeatedly rung by a man in a suit with papers. I didn’t open and when he didn’t go away I called 911. I was told by the 911 operator of the Glendale
Police that I had to let these people (there was a crowd of about 12) into my house because of a search warrant.
I went out on the front porch and talked to an on-duty Glendale police officer, Steve Eggett (badge# 12126). He informed me that\ I was required to permit these people to enter my house and search for copyrighted material.
Two armed off-duty officers from the Inglewood police department were working as rent-a-cops (Sgt. Ed Eccles and Officer Mark Fronterotta) for the private investigation firm of Robert Shovlin (PI lic P116086) of RJS Consultants. His firm was in the employ of Thomas Small, atty for Religious Technology Center. Small also entered my house. Warren McShane (an officer of RTC, the plaintiff) and Paul Wilmshurst (a scieno computer expert) also entered.
I objected but was told that they would use force if I resisted.
They presented me with 6″ of legal documents, one of which was a writ of sezure from a Northern Calif. Federal Judge – Ron Whyte. It is case # C-9s-20091 RMW.
They were in my house going through my drawers and every computer disk and file from 7:30am to 3pm.
They confiscated over 300 floppy disks. Two 120 meg Colorado tape back-ups of my hard disk and deleted any files on my hard disk that they wanted.
Potentially they copied all my personal correspondence, mailing lists, financial records and personal notes. Any one who has sent me anything in confidence must assume that it has been compromised.
The LA Times will run a story in the 14 Feb issue. Fox had a camera crew who videoed me begging the Glendale Police not to let them confiscate my material without me examining the disks and copies to see specifically what they were taking. I was refused the right to even look at what they had copied from my disk.
Criminals being arrested have more rights than these officers of my home town and of the court provided me.
I hope this at least shows what type of fascist organization I am attempting to expose.
Rev. Dennis L Erlich * * the inFormer * *
This and many other Dennis Erlich posts have been archived on the web by Tilman Hausherr.
After years of being targeted for abuse, Dennis reached a settlement with Scientology but his website remains online and he continues to help people with cult issues.