Free Zone (Scientology)

The Free Zone (or independent Scientologists or Scientology Freezone) comprises a variety of groups and individuals who practice Scientology-like beliefs and techniques independently of the Church of Scientology (CoS) [cite news
last = Grossman
first = Wendy M.
title = alt.scientology.war
work = Wired News
date = December 1995
url = http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.12/alt.scientology.war_pr.html
accessdate = 2007-04-14

"One of the first steps toward open warfare was the emergence, in about 1990, of a group that wanted to separate the church and its scriptures. Calling itself the Free Zone, this group consists of people who have left the church but still want to practice its teachings - use the tech, as Free Zoners say. Ex Scientologist Homer Smith is one of these (ex meaning "expanded," not "former" Scientologist, says Smith). Wanting to encourage serious discussion of the tech away from the noisy brawl next door in alt.religion.scientology, Smith set up a second newsgroup, alt.clearing.technology, for this purpose."
] . Such practitioners range from those who closely adhere to the original teachings of Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard, to those who have so far adapted their practices to be almost unrecognizable as Scientology. The term "Free Zone" was originally only used by a single organization, but the term is now commonly applied to all non-CoS Scientologists, although many dispute the application of the term to themselves. However, the group whose name became adopted as a generic term for independent Scientology was not the first independent Scientologist group; the [http://ca-da.org/ California Association of Dianetic Auditors] , the oldest breakaway group still in existence,cite news | first=Joel | last=Sappell | coauthors= Welkos, Robert W. | url=http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-scientology062990b,1,1328022.story?coll=la-news-comment | title=When the Doctrine Leaves the Church | work=Los Angeles Times | page=A49:1 | date=1990-06-29 | accessdate=2007-04-12 Additional convenience link at [http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/la90/la90-6e.html] .] claims a founding date of December 1950, predating the Church of Scientology itself. [cite web
url = http://ca-da.org/whoweare/whoweare.html
title = California Association of Dianetic Auditors -- Who We Are
accessdate = 2007-04-14
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A November 2004 press release published by the [http://internationalfreezone.net/ International Freezone Association] cited what it says was a command written by L. Ron Hubbard himself: "... before you go, whisper this to your sons and their sons: 'THE WORK WAS FREE. KEEP IT SO.'" (capitals as in press release).cite press release |title=The Truth Is Out Here! : The Scientology Free Zone could be described as the pioneer of truth in the tradition of the Great Western Pioneers of the US who carved out a place in history. |publisher=International Freezone Association |date=2004-11-16 |url=http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/11/prweb178508.htm |accessdate=2007-04-14 ]

"Skeptic Magazine" described the Free Zone as: "..a group founded by ex-Scientologists to promote L. Ron Hubbard's ideas independent of the Church of Scientology." [cite news
last = Lippard
first = J.
coauthors = J. Jacobsen
title = Scientology v. the Internet. Free Speech & Copyright Infringement on the Information Super-Highway
work = Skeptic Magazine
pages = Vol. 3, No. 3., Pg. 35-41.
language =
publisher =
date = 1995
url = http://www.discord.org/~lippard/skeptic/03.3.jl-jj-scientology.html
accessdate =
] A "Miami Herald" article wrote that ex-Scientologists joined the Free Zone because they felt that Church of Scientology leadership had: "..strayed from Hubbard's original teachings." [cite news
last = Staff
first =
coauthors =
title = SCIENTOLOGY: What's Behind the Hollywood Hype?
work = Miami Herald
pages =
language =
publisher =
date = 2005-07-02
url =
accessdate =
]

Origin of the term 'Free Zone'

The first group to use the term 'Free Zone' was the organization founded by "Captain" Bill Robertson in 1982, now known as RON's Org (acronym for Ron's Organization and Network for Standard Technology). The name came from the "space opera" beliefs Robertson expressed in the "Free Zone Decree", which he said was an Official Decree of the "Galactic Grand Council" which was "relayed from Mainship, Sector 9":

1. The planet known as Teegeeack - local dialect "Earth" or Terra - Sun 12, Sector 9, is hereby declared a Free Zone.
2. No political interference in its affairs from any other part of the Sector or Galaxy will be tolerated.
3. No economic interference in its affairs will be tolerated from any non-planetary agency or power.
4. All of its inhabitants are hereby declared Free Zone Citizens and free of external political or economic interference. [ [http://www.freezone.org/cbr/sector9/e_fzdecr.htm The Free Zone Decree] ]
The name "Teegeeack" had already been established as a galactic name for Earth by Hubbard in the materials known as OT III, which tell the story of Xenu. [cite news | first=Joel | last=Sappell | coauthors= Welkos, Robert W. | url=http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-scientologysidea062490,1,5476601,full.story?coll=la-news-comment | title=Defining the Theology | work=Los Angeles Times | page=A36:1 | date=1990-06-24 | accessdate=2007-04-16 Additional convenience link at [http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/la90/la90-1b.html] .]

Germany

Scientology Commissioner Ursula Caberta in Hamburg, Germany has said that the Free Zone is a type of "methadone program for Scientologists," and, in any case, "the lesser evil." [cite news |first=Axel |last=Kintzinger |title=The sect is broke |url=http://www.lermanet.com/cisar/survey/ha.htm |work=Die Woche |date=1998-12-11 |accessdate=2007-04-11] The Free Zone group RON's Org says that the Verfassungsschutz Baden-Württemberg (State Office for the Protection of the Constitution) has stated that there is no need to keep RON's Org under observation "as the RON’s Org has no anti-constitutional goals." RON's Org says that some of its members have in fact cooperated in the efforts of state authorities to observe and investigate the Church of Scientology. ["Maybe it makes you feel more confident, for example, if you learn that the office for safeguarding the constitution (Verfassungsschutz) of the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg has stated years ago that the RON’s Org is not a part of the Church of Scientology and that there is no need to observe them as the RON’s Org has no anti-constitutional goals. Indeed, there is some cooperation between members of the RON’s Org and state authorities who observe the Church of Scientology and investigate their activities. [http://www.ronsorg.de/englisch/mehr_infos/ausf_texte/antworten.html English FAQ on German Ron's Org site] ]


=The Church of Scientology and the Free Zone= The Church labels all practitioners of and believers in Scientology without its sanction "squirrels" — a term Hubbard coined to describe those who alter Scientology "technology" or practice it in a nonstandard fashion. Among Scientologists, the term is pejorative, and comparable in meaning to "heretic". In practice, the hierarchy of the Church of Scientology uses it to describe all of those who practice Scientology outside the Church. The Scientology Parishioners League website describes the Free Zone movement as "a small clique of ex-members who are no longer in the Church and now seek to spread lies about their former religion". [ [http://www.scnpl.org/controversy/freezone/ Debunking the Freezone ~ Scientology Parishioners League ] ] They go on to note that apostasy is common with all religions, and that the motive for Free Zone to attack the Church is that "they are in it for the money, since they hope they can persuade Scientologists in good standing with the Church to leave and join them instead." [ [http://www.scnpl.org/controversy/freezone/freezoners-motives.php Freezoners' Motives ~ Scientology Parishioners League ] ]

The League's website displays what appears to be an affidavit (although with author's name removed) in which it is claimed that the allegations of Free Zone groups (and other Scientology critics as well) are crafted so they can cannot be objectively disproven" because the Church is put "in the impossible position of trying to prove a negative and trying to prove without documentation". [ [http://www.scnpl.org/controversy/freezone/DECLARATION.htm Declaration ~ Scientology Parishioners League ] ]

The Church of Scientology has used copyright and trademark laws against various Free Zone groups. Accordingly, the Free Zone avoids the use of officially trademarked Scientology words, including 'Scientology' itself. In 2000, the Religious Technology Center unsuccessfully attempted to gain the Web domain www.scientologie.org from the WIPO, in a legal action against the Free Zone [cite news
last = Meyer-Hauser
first = Bernard F.
coauthors =
title = Religious Technology Center v. Freie Zone E. V
work = Case No. D2000-0410
pages =
language =
publisher =
date = 2000-06-23
url = http://www.jurawelt.com/gerichtsurteile/sonstige/ausland/5006
accessdate =
] . Many Free Zone advocates say that everyone has the right to freely practice the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, whether sanctioned by the Church or not. In support of this they cite Hubbard himself:

"Dianetics is not in any way covered by legislation anywhere, for no law can prevent one man sitting down and telling another man his troubles, and if anyone wants a monopoly on dianetics, be assured that he wants it for reasons which have to do not with dianetics but with profit."
—L. Ron Hubbard, "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" (1950)
Other Free Zoners assert basic human rights protections in order to freely follow their chosen religion.

One Free Zone Scientologist identified as "Safe", was quoted in "Salon" as saying: "The Church of Scientology does not want its control over its members to be found out by the public and it doesn't want its members to know that they can get scientology outside of the Church of Scientology".cite news
last = Brown
first = Janelle
coauthors =
title = Copyright -- or wrong? : The Church of Scientology takes up a new weapon -- the Digital Millennium Copyright Act -- in its ongoing battle with critics.
work = Salon
pages =
language =
publisher =
date = 1999-07-22
url = http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/1999/07/22/scientology/print.html
accessdate =
]

Alternative auditing practices

Several alternatives to Dianetics were developed in the early years of the Free Zone.

Synergetics is a self-help system developed by Art Coulter in 1954. [http://www.aberree.com/terms/synergetics.html] Don Purcell, founder of an early Dianetics organization which had a tentative claim on the Dianetics trademark, joined Synergetics and returned the trademark to Hubbard. [ [http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/atack/bs3-5.htm A Piece of Blue Sky] ] In 1976, Coulter published "SYNERGETICS: An Adventure in Human Development"; he later founded the Synergetic Society, which published a journal through 1996. [http://solutions.synearth.net/2002/02/12]

Idenics is a personal counselling method not affiliated with any religion that was developed by John Galusha beginning in 1987, a researcher for L. Ron Hubbard during the 1950s, and one of the founders of the first Church of Scientology in 1953. ['Church of American Science' ( [http://lisatrust.freewinds.cx/scientology/amscience1.htm incorporation papers] ); 'Church of Scientology' ( [http://www.lisamcpherson.org/scans/church_of_scientology_incorp_1953.pdf incorporation papers] ); 'Church of Spiritual Engineering,' ( [http://www.lisamcpherson.org/scans/church_of_spiritual_engineering_incorp_1953.pdf incorporation papers] ); 18 December, 1953] [ [http://www.aberree.com/v01/n04p04.html Successor Organization Is Religious Fellowship (continued) | The Compleat Aberree ] ] [ [http://www.aberree.com/people/john-galusha.html John Galusha | The Compleat Aberree ] ] [ [http://www.freezoneplanet.org/3t.html John Galusha and the Book One Course ] ] Galusha developed methods to handle what a person wants to improve in contrast to Hubbard, who favored a series of gradations, each having a number of processes that are targeted at certain disabilities Hubbard believed were common to all people. [ [http://www.freezoneplanet.org/6a.html John Galusha's Research Line ] ]


= The word "Scientology" = Controversy over the origins of the word "Scientology" has given Free Zone a way to contest Scientology's trademarks. They note a German book, entitled "Scientologie, Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und der Tauglichkeit des Wissens" (1934) [ [http://www.scientologie.org/se_npre.htm Preface ] ] , by Dr. Anastasius Nordenholz (as opposed to Hubbard's "Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought," 1956), which they use as the basis of their challenge to Scientology's trademark claims. Because "Scientologie" was not written by Hubbard, they argue, the Church is exerting unfair control over its practice, and attempting to enforce a monopoly. [http://www.scientologie.org/gif/wipo-decision.pdf]

References

External links

Organizations

* [http://www.freezoneearth.org/ FreeZone Earth]
* [http://www.fzaoint.net/ Freezone AO International]
* [http://www.idenics.com Idenics]
* [http://www.ronsorg.com/ Ron's Org Committee]
* [http://internationalfreezone.net/ International Freezone Association]
* [http://galac-patra.org Galactic Patrol]
* [http://www.freezoneauditors.org Freezone Auditors]
* [http://english.freiescientologen.de Free Scientologists]

cientology Rebuttals

* [http://www.freezonesurvivors.to/ "Freezone Survivors" Association]
* [http://www.scnpl.org/controversy/freezone/ Church of Scientology views on the Free Zone]

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