TWO MATTERS of INTEREST

James Randi --- Wizard (randi-hotline@ssr.com)
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 22:58:59 -0400

Hello all.

Good friend Carol sends me the first item, a bit of welcome news:

Today, Judge Peter K. Leisure of the United States District Court,
Southern District of New York, dismissed in its entirety the lawsuit
brought by the Church of Scientology against Time magazine and
reporter Richard Behar, who ran a cover story (May 6/91) called,
"Scientology: The Cult of Greed." It was a really brave, well-written
piece that exposed this dangerous cult. The reporter, says Carol,
went on to win various journalism and media awards for his efforts
... and was also sued by the Church of Scientology on six counts of
libel. This puts to an end the $416 million lawsuit. In two previous
decisions, the Judge had dismissed all but one libel claim against the
magazine, and today the remaining unresolved claim was dismissed,
ending the suit.

Hallelujah!

I agree with Carol that, at least for now, the First Amendment is
alive and well.

On another front: I'm sure that most of you are aware of the
scurrilous attack being made against me by e-mail from someone known
as "Renate Zellmann" who claims to represent something called APCRIS
(the Association for the Protection of Children's Rights in Society)
said to be active in Holland, Denmark and Norway. Postal mail, too,
has made the rounds, and many copies have been sent to me that way.
This lunatic, whether or not he/she actually represents any group at
all, has chosen to believe a crazy woman in Toronto, Canada, named
Michelle Landsberg, who has a reputation for being arrogant, ignorant,
a rabid feminist, and simply wrong -- but vicious in the extreme.
Worse, she writes for a Toronto paper called The Star, which tolerates
her lies because she sells papers. Landsberg wrote about "proof" she
had "heard" that I was and am a child molester.

The letters arrive postmarked "London, UK," with no return address and
attack both CSICOP and myself as promoting child molesting. This is
pure crap, urban folklore which has been circulating for months now.

Question: Can anyone out there determine (a) whether this APCRIS group
really exists, (b) whether there is someone named Renate Zellmann (and
if so, an address), and (c) what other places this bullshit may have
shown up? I'm raring to go after any loonies we can identify, but I
suspect that this is another of those out-of-the-shadows anonymous
things. These slimeballs throw rocks, but won't put up their fists.
I need a nose to punch.

James Randi.

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