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Anti-Scientology Books Targets of Lawsuits

poster published by the National Book Committee of a fallen nazi flag with the caption, Books scared them

Above: poster published by the National Book Committee of a fallen nazi flag with the caption, Books Scared Them - As published in this article from The Library Journal November 1, 1974

Having won out of court settlements and apologies from publishers of four recent books exposing the "inside story" on the "religion" of Scientology and its founder, Ron Hubbard, defenders of Scientology have vowed to take to court any Canadian library or bookstore that refuses to get rid of these "libelous' books. The Scientologists have conducted similar suits in England, Australia, and the U.S. The books in question are The Mind Benders by Cyril Vosper (reported once a high official at Scientology world headquarters): Scientology: The Now Religion by George Malko; Inside Scientology by Robert Kaufman; and Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper.

Canadian libraries in Hamilton and Etobicoke have refused to remove the critical books from circulation, and now they are facing lawsuits. The books have reportedly been taken off the shelves of Sir George Williams University and St, Mary's University. One Canadian library has reported the theft of an anti-Scientology book and has complained of difficulty in replacing it because most publishers have withdrawn such books from the market. They're available mostly from seconds-hand stores. While some booksellers have given in to the pressure, others have refused to discard the controversial books or they have retaliated by refusing to sell both pro- and anti-Scientology titles.

The Canadian Library Association has started a legal defense fund to aid smaller libraries in particular, and it has plans for organizing authors, publishers, booksellers and libraries into a common front against allegations from the Scientology group. Libraries, says CLA, are being asked to remove books that have not been found libelous in Canadian courts.

In the U.S., two publsihers (Dell and Belmont-Towers Books) have agreed to out of court settlements: they paid damage fees of $7500 and $500 respectively, agreed not to republish, and offered public apologies.

The Scientologists' California chapter has written LJ to complain about favorable reviews which were given to both the Scandal of Scientology and Scientology: the Now Religion. The books were reviewed by LJ by Eleanor Smith of the Office of Education's New York Regional Office, who said, "libraries seem to have licked the sex problem, and now they're facing attacks on political and religious grounds."

The Scientologists current drive is being compared to those launched by the Christian Scientists years ago against critics and to the John Birch Society campaign to get pro-Bircher books into libraries and anti-Bircher books out.

One report on the Scientology battle noted that there havebeens everal incidents reported of unidentified persons raiding files of newspapers and removing materials evidently considered damaging to the Scientology cause.

Library Journal November 1, 1974

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