Fishman AffidavitThe Fishman Affadavit is a set of court documents submitted by ex-Scientologist Steven Fishman in 1994 containing criticisms of the Church of Scientology.
Part of the Fishman Affidavit were documents that Fishman had claimed to be the official teachings of Scientology. Among other materials, the Fishman affidavit contained 61 pages of the allegedly trade-secret and copyrighted story of Xenu.
Ex-member Arnie Lerma then posted the material on the Internet, and scientology critic Karin Spaink put up pages containing the Fishman Affidavit on the World Wide Web in protest against the actions of the church.
The Church of Scientology responded by suing a number of people and their Internet service providers for copyright infringement. The defendants responded by challenging the church to prove it was actually the copyright holder of the disputed documents.
Since then, the Fishman Affadavit has been mirrored around the world.
In 2003, Karin Spaink won her legal case against the Church of Scientology in the Netherlands, in what many people claim to be a victory for free speech.
Numerous critics of the church have accused it of intentionally using aggressive lawsuits in these and other cases as SLAPP suits, intended to silence their opposition.
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