New letter about Scientology by J. Edgar Hoover shows up in FBI records search - 2020-09-06
(Hoover in 1959)
In three weeks, it will be 19 years since we wrote one of our favorite stories of all time, about Tory Christman's wild defection from Scientology which happened live on the early Internet, and thanks to a friend she had made on the other side of the planet, the generous, patient, and wise Andreas Heldal-Lund.
By 2001, Heldal-Lund was already a longtime veteran of the Scientology online wars. The computer engineer in Stavanger, Norway had created Xenu.net — titled "Operation Clambake" — in 1996, an encyclopedic site about Scientology and its controversies, and for years he fought off Scientology's attempts to have his site censored or pulled down. For Scientologists like Tory, Heldal-Lund and his site critical of her church was like Satan himself. She was a public Scientologist who had volunteered to fight with critics on the Internet, and when Andreas reached out to offer her some friendly advice on how to express herself more clearly, it threw her for a loss. His kindness was just the thing she needed to get a larger perspective on what she was doing, and before long, after getting to know him online, she publicly announced her departure from the church.