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Scientology censors its own people

The scientology sect is clearly affraid what the internet can do to them. First, they tried to censor critics, but now that continues to prove only counterproductive they try to limit the damage by preventing that their own members would have access to critical material.

They do this by forcing their members to use special software that censors information that is unwelcome to their management when they access the net. This program has become known on the net as ScienoSitter or Scieno Net Nanny, pointing to two competing censorware products.

An example of what scientologists may not see from their cult leaders, it blocks transfer of the name Lisa McPherson, the woman that was murdered by scientology in 1995.

A first hand report about how this software works is available. This information has been made available by Charlotte Kates, an ex-cult member who escaped thanks to the net.

It only works under win95 (what else had you expected from a money-greedy cult), no NT or win98, on the socket level. The files are installed in the windows\system directory. After reboot one wsock32.dll is renamed wsock32.dll.tmp. This changed wsock32.dll forwards certain calls to stcp.dll that replaces mstcp.dll. A detailed list can be found here. The (encrypted) blocklist is located in 3 files, n32l.dll (newsgroups), p32l.dll (phrases) and d32l.dll (domains). Uninstalling is easy: copy wsock32.dll.tmp back to wsock32.dll and delete stcp.dll, n32l.dll, p32l.dll and d32l.dll.

Fortunately this software was easily cracked by the people who also cracked the insideous CyberSitter censorware (considering CyberSitters poor reputation and the technical similarity between the programs I wouldn't be surprised when it turned out that scientology got help from them, see for more about this). A complete list of blocked sites and words can easily be found by running this program with the ?32l.dll files as input.

Finally, you can test for yourself and download the scientology ScienoSitter. I recommend caution, I'm not sure what other trics it contains and I don't take responsibility for any damage that may occur by using these files. I recommend backing up your original \Windows\System\wsock32.dll and your registry. Just copying the binaries to Windows\System did not work, and I didn't want to test any further. Reports are that it messes up your registry.

Other pages dealing with this subject

This program is anno 2000 still distributed among $cientology members. This is what a usenet posting from a former member tells about it. Virginia is a former OT7, a rather highly rank within $cientology.

Even more recently, all $cientology members were told to upgrade their censorware, see this posting of Anti-Cult.