Keith Henson

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Keith Henson is a well-known critic of Scientology who was persecuted by the Church through a spurious criminal prosecution. He is also known as an advocate of cryonics, space exploration, and similar causes.

Initially, he was sued by the Co$ for posting extracts from secret Scientology scriptures (the NOTS, New Era Dianetics for Operating Thetans) to the Usenet group alt.religion.scientology. Co$ won a $75,000 judgement against Henson, which bankrupted him.[1]

Henson however would not be perturbed by Scientology's legal persecution. He fought back, by picketing regularly outside of Scientology's secret headquarters, the Gold Base in California. For doing so, they brought criminal charges against him - making criminal threats, attempting to make criminal threats, and interfering with a religion.[citation needed] The jury hung on the first two charges, but found him guilty on the third.[2] The maximum sentence for the crime of which he was wrongly convicted was 6 months in prison.

Henson however believed that if he went to prison he would likely be killed by Scientology agents (e.g. prisoners on the Criminon payroll).[citation needed] So he fled to Canada and requested political asylum. After three years of living in Canada, his asylum claim was rejected and he was ordered to present for deportation. Rather than do so, he returned to the United States. Eventually he was extradited back to California and served his prison sentence.

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