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DOCUMENT TITLE: Letter, Barnes & Noble, Inc. to Bridge Publications, Inc. (BPI)
SUBJECT: Copyright and commercial fraud
PARTIES: Bob Wietrak, Vice President of Merchandise, Barnes & Noble, Inc.; Mark McKinstry, Bridge Publications, Inc.; Sherman Lenske, Stephen Lenske, and Lawrence E. Heller, Special Directors of CST, owner of the fraudulent works
BACKGROUND AND NOTES
Posted in the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology on 29 December 1997 by the "ARSCC Librarian," the 11 November 1997 letter below was another indication that bookbuyers were starting to smell something rotten, and it wasn't in Denmark (even though there are some pretty funky "L. Ron Hubbard Library" books being published there, by "New Era Publications, Inc., as well).
Bridge Publications has an exclusive license with the copyright ownersthe copyright owners--the corporation known as "Church" of Spiritual Technology (CST), fraudulently doing business as the "L. Ron Hubbard Library"--to publish its copyrighted works in the U.S.
Here, Barnes & Noble is raising the question of fraud in having the name "L. Ron Hubbard" on books that were not authored solely by L. Ron Hubbard. Although this issue fraud has yet to come to trial, it is still being perpetrated by CST and BPI, and most observers believe it is only a matter of time before it results in significant civil or criminal proceedings.
Here is just the letter as it was contained in the newsgroup message:
[LOGO] Barnes & Noble Inc.
Booksellers since 1873
122 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011
November 11, 1997
Mr. Mark McKinstry
4751 Fountain Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
We have received a few complaints from customers regarding two books
published by Bridge Publications, Inc. that we need to bring to your
attention. The issue pertains to Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought
and Scientology: A New Slant on Life, both of which are carried in our
stores. The callers suggest that these books are not actually written by L.
Ron Hubbard as we were told when the books were presented to us and as is
clearly indicated on the book covers. Given your long track record
publishing titles by L. Ron Hubbard, we are confident that the books are
what they appear to be, but we also feel obligated to our customers to ask
that you confirm these claims have no merit. We appreciate you clarifying
this for us, as we would not want to misrepresent these books to our
customers in any way.
Vice President of Merchandise
Barnes & Noble Bookstores * B. Dalton Bookseller * Doubleday Book Shops *
Scribner's Bookstores * Bookstop
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