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Spoof site faces religious lawsuit

TV New Zealand, New Zealand
Oct. 19, 2005
tvnz.co.nz

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday October 19, 2005

A New Zealand website spoofing Hollywood actor Tom Cruise and his religion of choice is facing legal action from the Church of Scientology.

The church is not amused by scienTOMogy – which features spoof videos of the star – and says it is breaching copyright.

When Cruise engaged in some sofa stomping, he coined a new phrase called jumping the couch – the defining moment when someone has gone of the deep end.

From that moment Glen Stollery has been chronicling Cruise’s crusade to promote the Scientology Church.

The church is not amused however and says the website name is too similar to its own.

It has sent an impressive legal letter to the Aucklander ordering him to turn over the website name to them or face the consequences of a $100,000 law suit.

Scientology’s Dark Side

Among other unethical behavior, hate- and harassment activities are part and parcel of Scientology. Hatred is codified, promoted and encouraged in the cult‘s own scriptures, written by founder L. Ron Hubbard.

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More of Scientology’s unethical behavior: the cult’s ‘dead agenting‘ policy

“There’s nothing wrong with what I’ve done. It makes it very clear it’s not a scientology site,” Stollery says.

The potential law suit has turned scienTOMogy into a cult of its own, with entertainment and gossip sites running the story.

“He’s criticising but it’s clear he’s not associated with them and my gut feeling is a court would come down on the side that this is fair criticism,” says intellectual property lawyer Earl Gray.

The site has gone from having 100 hits a day to more than a million in a matter of hours.

The church says it has no problem with satirical sites but the name scienTOMogy has to go.

“Trademark law says just changing one letter is still violating the trademark,” says Scientology spokesman Mike Ferriss.

Stollery will change the website name to Passion of Cruise but says he won’t be relinquishing the scienTOMogy name to the church.

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