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The goal of the Department is to bring the government and hostile philopophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology.

by L Ron Hubbard
 
Earthlink's official statement (which can also be found on their website):

EARTHLINK STATEMENT REGARDING REED SLATKIN

ATLANTA, April 11, 2002 — The following statement is attributable to Dan Greenfield, vice president for corporate communications, at EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK).

"The legal proceedings concerning ex-Board member Reed Slatkin do not involve or impact EarthLink or EarthLink funds. The proceedings involve Mr. Slatkin and his personal clients. Mr. Slatkin was an early stage investor in EarthLink Network (predecessor to EarthLink, Inc.), but was never involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. EarthLink Network was founded by Sky Dayton, the current EarthLink, Inc. chairman."

 
When the Reed Slatkin story first broke, it wasn't surprising to see Earthlink doing its best to disown its former founding investor with a hastily-issued press release. However, Reed's initial investment in the company wasn't the only link between Earthlink, Reed Slatkin and the Church of Scientology.
 
Earthlink was originally the brainchild of longtime Scientologist Sky Dayton, who is still chair of the company. Slatkin was introduced to Dayton by fellow Scientologist, and Slatkin 75 net gainer Kevin O'Donnell.

It was Dayton's enthusiastic explanation of the company that he wanted to build that first captivated Reed Slatkin, according to his deposition, and persuaded him to invest $75,000 in Earthlink.

That investment provided to be one of the only successful ventures that Reed Slatkin would ever make. For the rest of his tumultuous career as "investment counselor" to friends, family, celebrities and fellow Scientologists, Slatkin found himself in constant, fruitless and expensive pursuit of another Earthlink.
 
Despite never being able to replicate his Earthlink luck, however, Slatkin did made the most out of his new corporate connections. Not only did Earthlink's success seal Slatkin's reputation as a stock guru, he also convinced many of his fellow Earthlink board members and investors, including Gregory Abbott, Sydney Azeez, Charles Betty, Robert Kavner and even Sky Dayton to join his elite "Investment Club" .

Most of these investors signed on during Slatkin's final year of operation, long after he had been warned by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was time to shut the "club" down. In fact, several are currently members of the Creditor Committee made up of the ten investors with the largest individual losses.
 
This isn't the first time that Earthlink has faced questions about its ambiguous relationship with the Church of Scientology.

This introduction page explores the controversy from the point of view of a former Scientologist concerned by the potential for influence that the church might have over the company.
 
Written in 1998, this article in Metroactive examines the relationship between Earthlink and Scientology within the context of the uneasy relationship that the Church of Scientology has with the internet and new technologiy, which has resulted in a number of high profile legal attacks being launched against its critics.

The Standard has also looked into Earthlink's historic ties to Scientologists, including Slatkin, many of whom were among the company's first investors.
 
This USENET post by a former Earthlink employee describes how the Scientology influence had its rise, and fall, as the company grew from a small operation to one of the country's largest ISPs.
 
For several months, Earthlink played host to slatkinfraud.com, and was even the target of a Digital Communications Millennium Act threat from Church of Scientology lawyer, Ava Paquette, who objected to the non-commercial, journalistic use of the Scientology cross in the image that used to appear on this site's front page. For more information about the controversy, visit this page.