An Immigration Appeal On Behalf Of Keith Henson

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Mon Sep 13 2004 - 07:24:05 MDT

Lloyd St Amand, MP
Brantford, Ontario

Dear Sir:
        I am writing to implore you to assist a refugee
from political persecution. His name is Keith
Henson, and his crime is spreading knowledge.
        I am acquainted with Keith through my membership
in an online discussion group called SL4, where
people far smarter than myself discuss the future
of the human race. I consider this adequate
evidence of high character.
        He is in Toronto now, because he was railroaded
in California in a case of ‘interfering with
religion' (a misdemeanor in California), and has
been threatened with death once in prison.

        Many Canadian citizens, I understand, view the
current state of their neighbor to the south with
alarm. Many down here do also. There are a number
of systemic problems leading the United States
into a condition of, let's be honest, corrupt
fascist (government-by-corporation) control. As I
see it, there are two issues of importance in the
Henson case which relate to the present crisis of
1.) Religious groups here enjoy privileges and
power which some all too readily abuse.
2.) Intellectual property (copyrights and
patents) have expanded unreasonably to beget a
system of ‘intellectual feudalism' in which
greedy elites fence off the last field of
freedom: ideas.

        Keith Henson was singled out for destruction by
an organization which uses the mask of religion
for worldly gain, uses the courts as a weapon,
spends large sums to ruin critics, and uses
copyright law to prevent critics from
disseminating its materials (how can one critique
what one is forbidden to reprint?)
        I see no need to harp on the cancerous influence
of false prophets in political discourse. I am
confident you know the names of Falwell,
Robertson, Moon, and Ashcroft. Instead I call
your attention to the matter, yet unrecognized by
most observers, of the closing of the
intellectual commons and the theft of thought.

I take the following quote from an excellent
essay called Against Intellectual Property, which
you may read in full at

"Scientology is a religion in which only certain
members at advanced stages of enlightenment have
access to special information, which is secret to
others. Scientology has long been controversial,
with critics maintaining that it exploits
members. Some critics, including former
Scientologists, have put secret documents from
advanced stages on the Internet. In response,
church officials invoked copyright. Police have
raided homes of critics, seizing computers, disks
and other equipment. This is all rather curious,
since the stated purpose of copyright is not to
bide (sp: hide?) information but rather to
stimulate production of new ideas.8

   8. Wendy M. Grossman, "alt.scientology.war,"
Wired, Vol. 3, No. 12, December 1995, pp,
172-177, 248-252."

        For these and other reasons, I am very sad to
say, the United States of America, once the
destination of those fleeing tyranny, is becoming
instead a departure point. And so I write to you,
asking you to appeal to the Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration that Keith Henson may
remain free of deportation, and asking that any
bounty hunters sent to take him be detained as
hostile foreign agents.
        As for myself, I will join others here in the
task of making this nation a place where Keith
Henson (and the rest of us) can once again live
in freedom.

Thank you for your consideration,
Tom Buckner
Holden, Massachusetts

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