Monday, February 11, 2008, 2/11/2008 10:17:00 AM

Tom Cruise Scientology Video - A Religion's Trade Secret?

By Todd
Boston University's The Daily Free Press is reporting that 200 protesters stood in front of Boston's Church of Scientology to protest recent actions of the church in allegedly threatening people with cease and desist letters in connection with a release of a confidential marketing video featuring Tom Cruise, seen here: http://gawker.com/5002269/the-cruise-indoctrination-video-scientology-tried-to-suppress.

They report that "Passing out homemade flyers and waving posters reading "Religion is Free, Scientology is Not" and "Trade Secrets are for Business, Not Religion," about 200 masked and bandanna-clad protesters stood at the intersection of Beacon and Hereford streets -- in front of the Church of Scientology -- despite the freezing drizzle yesterday.They call themselves Anonymous: They are either an uncommonly elaborate Internet prank or a grassroots collective of technologically inclined cyber activists. Either way, they are united in their distaste and distrust of the Church of Scientology. Anonymous's efforts have been largely organized through the Internet -- via the social networking site Facebook in particular -- and the group does not have a central figure head, executive board or even website. It formed about a month ago following the widely publicized leak of an internal promotional video for the Church featuring celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise. The video was available online for a short time before the Church of Scientology sent out scores of cease-and-desist letters. One site, Gawker.com, said it will not take the video down because of its newsworthiness." As an editorial note, the protesters look like some of the cast in Cruise's movie "Eyes Wide Shut."

Womble Trade Secrets has not reviewed the cease-and-desist letters yet but we will attempt to obtain a copy and report back on the claims made in that letter. Until then, keep your eyes wide open on this one. We're not saying the Church of Scientology is engaged in a mission impossible by claiming this video is its trade secret but it is a novel claim by a church. A better claim might be that the video is copyrighted by the Church but even that might be risky business.

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