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Scientology Shuts Down Alternative News Site RINF

Jane Golding | 21.03.2008 04:27 | Other Press | World

Sorry if this is a repeat post, newswire is having trouble confirming post.


Scientology orders shut down of alternative news web site. Web hosting company complies without warning.

AT approximately 1:30pm yesterday afternoon an order was issued to shut down the British 'alternative news' web site ‘’ for the publication of anti - Scientology material.

The web site now simply displays ‘This web site is temporarily unavailable, although the Web server is functioning normally’.

Speaking via telephone last night ‘RINF’ founder, Mr Mick Meaney said “It’s still not completely clear what has happened but one thing is perfectly clear – the closure of the site is solely motivated by Scientology.

“At present the ISP has locked me out of the web site, my email accounts and the site databases. They are giving me very little information and will not deal with the issue until Tuesday. They expect me to remove some Scientology related content if I wish to remain on their web severs and avoid legal action,” he said.

“I am currently talking to an alternative ISP because ‘RINF’ is an open publishing site and I refuse to dictate what visitors can and cannot publish in this way.”

With an average of 200,000 hits each day, it is one of the world’s largest independent news web sites although less than 10% of those visitors live in the UK where the site is located. “The vast majority of surfers come from the United States. The shut down order came from a solicitor in New York so I can assume it’s the American branch of the Church that’s willing to take legal action against the site,” said Mr Meaney.

The 'alternative news' site is not alone in the battle against Scientology and this is not the first time Scientologists have used their influence to censor the Internet. and are among a series of web sites issued with DMCA’s to remove Scientology related content from their sites.

For past Scientology censorship see:

This time however, ‘’ was shut down without warning.

“In recent weeks a large number of Scientologists have emailed me and posted comments on the site demanding I alter some of the material because it encourages people to take peaceful action against the Church and presents it in a negative light,” said Mr Meaney. “These bully boy tactics will not work and I will absolutely continue highlighting the crimes of Scientology.”

Web host ‘Zen’ declined to talk about the suspension with non account holders. Mr Meaney claims that ‘RINF’ will be back online within the week.

Jane Golding


What really happened

23.03.2008 15:44

This is what actually happened:

1) an anti-Scientology opponent (this person has a long history of picketing the cult, has been under cult harassment, etc.) published a paper on his/her own personal website under a Creative Commons license that is not very restrictive.
2) scraped the paper, changed the title and removed the author's name, in contravention of the Creative Commons license.
3) the anti-Scientology opponent e-mailed the owner of and asked him to remove the paper or honor the terms of the Creative Commons license. This would have required the owner of to retitle the paper and correctly attribute it to the original writer.
4) fails to answer.
5) the anti-Scientology opponent then contacted's upstream provider and asked it to ask its client to either remove the paper or honor the terms of the Creative Commons license.
6)'s response was that the Creative Commons license didn't apply since the anti-Scientology opponent has an RSS feed on her/his website. (among other things).
7) the anti-Scientology opponent replied and laid out legal arguments asserting moral ownership over his/her paper and again reiterated that all s/he wanted was (a) either the paper come off entirely or that (b) honor the terms of the Creative Commons license and title the paper correctly and attribute it to its writer. is copied on all this correspondence between the anti-Scientology opponent and
8) what probably happened next is that told to do something about the problem.
9) apparently decided it didn't have to do anything about its problem.
10) removed the site.

The problem is totally that of The owner of the site, Mick Meaney, had no problem scraping (stealing) a paper that did not belong to him, posting it on his site, and after repeated requests to either (a) remove the paper or (b) honor the terms of the Creative Commons license and correctly title the paper and give the writer his due credit.

Meaney is merely an opportunist here, trying to make himself out to be a victim when in point of fact he had been given ways to rectify the problem, but he refused to do so. Meaney can correct his problem by properly attributing from where he is getting his content, but he'd prefer to merely take (steal) and hope that nobody complains. That's pretty rotten, taking someone's hard work and making it your own, particularly when complying with the terms of the Creative Commons license would have been so very simple. and Mick Meaney--not the victims here.

Anonymous Devil

perhaps I can clear things up

23.03.2008 17:17

'Anonymous Devil' is a friend of mine, and one with whom I discussed the actual events, and their addition is accurate. I posted about this myself on my site here [] and the article in question about which I complained is here [], and is about the Church of Scientology's practice of removing e-meter listings from eBay.

Unless there's some other content that published that related to Scientology and was complained about by Scientology, the removal is likely due to my complaint, and I've been a critic of Scientology for more than a decade. I do think that reacted rather harshly, as I only requested that they remove the article or comply with my Creative Commons license. From my perusal of, they regularly scrape articles from RSS feeds and republish them as their own, re-titling them and removing attribution to the original author. Regardless of where your opinion falls on online copyright issues--and mine is quite liberal, else I'd not publish content under a Creative Commons license--this is a despicable practice.

scott pilutik
- Homepage:


Hide the following 13 comments

Disinformation Site?

21.03.2008 09:08

RNIF has hosted some very dubious material in the past, look at the archived copies of their site here:*/

And when some of their most dubious 9/11 material was highlighted they were quick to delete it, for example this article on the WTC being destroyed with nuclear weapons to cover up a malfunctioning nuclear reactor 80m below it...



21.03.2008 10:23

... so do you see this attack from the scientology brigade as significant?

Is it genuine or, perhaps, an attempt to 'sheep dip' the website ... as in giving it street cred as the underdog?

mail e-mail: jackslucid'


21.03.2008 13:06

I don't know, they have hosted scientology material in the past:

It would help if we knew what article the legal threat is over etc...

Also the above article contains this quote from Mick: "‘RINF’ is an open publishing site and I refuse to dictate what visitors can and cannot publish in this way" but this isn't Open Publishing in the Indymedia sense, the public can't post articles to the site...


how dare you!

21.03.2008 13:51

How dare anyone criticise scientology and insult the memory of the Reverand Hubbard. He was a good man who did good works. Unlike Christ who fermented trouble in the middle east for the legitimate rulers of the time or mohammed, who spread his religion by the sword.

When attacked of course we will instruct our lawyers. Thats because we are civilised. We don't burn our opponants at the stake or behead them.

We do our best to be open and inviting. If you are passing one of our premisis please drop in, talk to us, and make your own mind up as to what we stand for.

thetan, the man!

who benefits?

21.03.2008 14:27

the void has some questions for Mr Meaney:

Mr Meaney had said he hoped the website would help him PULL, was this a a clear reference to PULLING THE WEBSITE OFFLINE?

the void’s leading science expert, Mary Brett BSc has told us it is scientifically impossible for a website to suddenly be removed. Brett, who is a home economics teacher told us:

“Websites are designed to withstand legal attacks. Several webasites (including this one) have been threatened with legal action and HAVE REMAINED ONLINE! ”

“Furthermore the melting point of hard drives is 200,000 Centigrade, mere legal threats are nowhere near enough to crash a website. How did this website get pulled when the PHYSICS just doesn’t stand up?”

Why were David Icke and his family flown out of the country to a secret destination just hours after the attack?

Why did Mr Meany’s neighbour’s smaller website, the blog ‘Origami for fun and profit’ also get pulled shortly after his?

Several EYE-WITNESSES viewing the site at the time it was pulled claim to have seen files disappearing, broken links and 404 messages. One said:

“I saw hundreds of bugs happening all over the site, rather like a series of small explosions just before the big pull came.”

What were these bugs and WHY were they happening?

Several jews are believed to have taken the day off work yesterday, WHAT DID THEY KNOW?

Finally Mr Meaney is now believed to be planning a pre-emptive strike against the Raelians, the cult of Scientology and Alex Jones. It is believed that this is a war of nonsense.

Meanwhile Meaney will be tightening up civil liberties on his own site. All empirically sound details will be removed, sources banned and future users will have to provide their DNA and credit card details.

Who REALLY benefitted from this attack?

- Homepage:


21.03.2008 14:32

If it looks like a cult, sounds like a cult. behaves like a cult then it probably is a cult!

a bloke.

The Scientologists Are Here

21.03.2008 23:56

As usual the Scientology mod squad comes running to the defense by making wild accusations / fabricating evidence and spreading lies as seen in the comments above.

Is it right for Scientology to close ANY web site they don't agree with? Is this a GOOD thing?

Those who support this action are either: working for Scientology or mentally ill.

Shame on you Chris.


"the Scientology mod squad"

22.03.2008 08:28

This domain is for sale.
This domain is for sale.

Don't be absurd!

I don't know exactly what happened with and of course I would oppose it being shut down by legal threads from scientologists, I was just pointing out that they have hosted very dubious material in the past and they *don't* have open publishing in the Indymedia sense.

Now their site says that "This domain is for sale." -- perhaps they have been hacked?

I would have expected some reports about this on other sites but I can't find them, not even on a site Mick is a moderator of...


"This domain is for sale."

22.03.2008 11:03

Now their site says that "This domain is for sale." -- perhaps they have been hacked?

And any other comments thus.

How reassuring that those who like to heckle so loudly cannot even copy a four letter URL correctly.

From my perspective,, along with several other sites, has become the farm for just another breed of sheep(le) - many of whom are born without brains or sense.

The most distressing aspect of this is that it crystalises the impotence of any attempt to bring about change. '68 talk is in vogue and just as the students and workers of the Rive Gauche could never be united because of their different agendas - opposition to global fascism will never reach a workable, sustainable, critical mass because there will be other critical masses whose core beliefs evidently transcend any unified objective.

Freedom at any price? Then lose your religion. Freedom is a state of mind and having courted many of the organisations(!?!) who disparately make up the 'resistance', my experience was that the more one identified with them the more enslaved I felt.

Maybe Mick Meaney can regard this as an opportunity to throw off the shackles of burden.



22.03.2008 16:42

layout spacer Warning: Temporarily Unavailable Temporarily Unavailable
layout spacer Warning: Temporarily Unavailable Temporarily Unavailable

Whoops, yes, the screenshot in the above comment is for not

Still the outstanding questions are, what article did they get shut down for, what legal threat did they receive etc etc...


Anonymous Devil

23.03.2008 16:48

Thanks for clearing up what happened and any chance of the URL of the article on your site?


That sucks

23.03.2008 19:03

Google cache version of RINF article
Google cache version of RINF article

Thanks Scott for posting about what happened, the article is still available via the google cache:

And attached is a screenshot.



20.04.2008 15:51

Maybe, as is the unfortunate habit of Mr Meaney, we have another situation of layers upon layers of lies so that you can never tell what the real truth of the matter is....

Maybe he really was trying to sell the website in order to pay off the over £1500 child maintenance debt he's been building up for the past 2 years since the claim went in, and was taken to court for sometime around that time by the csa, for a child he has repeatedly denied fatherhood to knowing that there was never a real truthful issue of parentage, and has denied the right to have a father by visiting 5 or 6 times in his life, having a nice time, promising to return (to the child) in ways the child could really well understand, at specific times and then never bothering, leaving said child depressed and rejected - and then always coming up with a more inventive cover-up story as to why he couldn't return, which always involved some alleged wicked behaviour from the mother which if you were god or a fly on the wall you would know 100% never happened - but he always manages to make the stories believable... usually by mingling in a fragment of truth with the 99% rubbish to make a story which would sound conceivable if you were on the outside and just receiving the news rather than there at the time and watching...

Doesn't surprise me the passing work off as his own thing, just another layer of lies in the intricate web...

I've heard allsorts about myself, some of the stories I couldn't even have imagined until being presented with the stories of them - always in a manner whereby I was accused of them in a veiled kind of way where he spoke about them to me as if I knew what he was talking about and was trying to wheedle "truth" out of me as he put it.

Oh yeah, whilst he lived with me and my daughter and his other son who I looked after whilst he went to "late meetings at work" and slept around with people then returned home to accuse me of having been unfaithful whilst taking his baby to toddler group, playing with the children at home, walking the dog or having a cup of tea with a female friend, living in a bubble where I thought the guy I was in love with was working hard to take care of us...
...he told me that he had a life ambition of becoming a cult leader in order to get loads of women to erm .... enjoy himself with all at the same time.

Layers of lies in order to protect self from feeling guilty or responsible perhaps...

Maybe it was for sale because he WAS ordered to pay up else go to court beginning of April and be committed to prison

(no money's not the object but in the interests of trying to look after said child's self esteem and stuff, at least a dad who pays something to your upbringing and never sees you is less destroying on the inside than one who visits you, has a nice time, leaves promising to come back but then never shows [-often with some rubbish email a week later about how he could never return because of how terrible it had allegedly been when he'd visited; with only the mother and both children as witness to the contrary - and god the only true judge- ] takes you to his house on one day in your entire life for a couple of hours for a pizza...
(whilst refusing to let mother even know the phone number or the address of where you're going to be as apparently she's been stalking you for the past goodness knows how long - obviously she's got nothing better to do with her time like look after said child and his big sister and earn a living and try to keep her head above water etc and has the time and the inclination to want to follow someone around)
...which said child still speaks about when musing to himself why his dad never comes to see him and says it doesn't make sense because the pizza was tasty and dad was kind to him - then just forgot about him or something)
apparently all the work he's doing exposing stuff in the world is in the interests of said child and to prevent said child from ending up with a microchip implanted in him against our wishes. As if I'd permit that kind of thing to my child who's not even been vaccinated...

says to me he can't commit to any kind of regular time with his son because of the volume of work he's got which has to take priority.

Sure if you speak to him or he tips up here one day and reads this he'll come up with another kind of "true" theory as to why he doesn't see his son to do with the evilness of the mother or something - but she's just a regular woman trying her best to bring up her children in a peaceful natural positive honest and loving way. With documented evidence of the over a hundred emails she's sent him over the years forgiving past huge misdemeanours and reminding him that whatever might have gone on in the past the most important thing was for him to have contact with his child, words of encouragement, offers of various different kinds of support.
My friends say I give too much and need to focus on myself more else I'll just make myself ill and upset and stuff so in the end I listened to them and stopped trying - but kept all the evidence because of his habit of changing the reality of something into a story of something else and wanting to safeguard my son's mental state and knowledge of the truth for the future.

Maybe he's worried about being a dad or something, seeing as how he doesn't live any more with his other child either and leaves that one in the care of his grandma. Can postulate till the cows come home but nobody knows the real truth except for him and god... Guess we'll have to wait till the day of judgement to find out the truth of that one...

Anyway, point being there's always another side to the story and you're not dealing with an honest guy unfortunately. Or maybe it's more accurate to say you're not dealing with someone who's behaving in an honest way. Behaviour isn't the same as the nature of someone, I'm sure there's all sorts of intricate reasons why someone chooses to be dishonest and that doesn't have to mean that in essence they're a "bad" person - just misguided...

There's a beautiful kind honest person in there somewhere, I saw it a lot of years ago, he used to be a really trusted family friend - but it seems to have drifted far away. Like the jedi knight who drifted over to the darkside after thinking it was all over - wasn't that darth vader?
If that story's anything to go by there's hope at the end of the tunnel -

but I wouldn't bank on ever finding out the truth of what went on with these scientology people or the website for sale thing from the horses' mouth because he's much more likely to just give you the news he thinks you want to hear - or that he wants to present to the world...

no more different in that respect than the news on bbc1
and certainly no more reliable if you class reliability as being about the reliability of the witness or presenter, editor, webmaster, whatever he wants to be called and the relative validity of their statements in terms of likelihood of speaking the truth, based upon how they act in their personal world/private life...

A`udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ar-rajeem. Amin.


Mick Meaney's son's mother

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