Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Is this the Last of Last Resort?

It is with a heavy heart (and a rather intimidating team of lawyers right outside my window) That I must announce the possible end of the Last Resort webcomic.

You see, the operations of Anonymous and their "Project Chanology", with massive worldwide protests staged by over 9000 people worldwide, have caused great distress to the Church of Scientology. The church, in turn, is seeking out any and all information they can find on "suppressive persons", which they consider enemies of Scientology. Apparently this includes the authors of almost all science fiction, which -- at least according to their lawyers -- is copyrighted in its entirely by L. Ron Hubbard. Furthermore, they claim that Last Resort is blasphemous propaganda against the church.

Particular infringements upon Mr. Hubbard's works (and Scientology Scripture) allegedly include:
  • Jigsaw being an alien vampire who sucks blood (as an apparent allegory to the "money-sucking" ways of the church)
  • The unfair representation of L. Ron. Hubbard as Vincent Vaeo, a money-hungry lizard who loves to physically attack and abuse his subordinates.
  • The concept of souls as creative energy to unlock, as this is a direct ripoff of the concept of Thetans and their superhuman powers.
  • Depictions of the Alien Lord Xenu (though they won't seem to tell me which character looks like Xenu the most - I suspect it's Adharia, for what it's worth)
  • Depictions of the Marcab Confederacy, as shown by having multiple species working together.
  • And finally, the Last Resort reality show itself is somehow a damning analogy to the Flag Building in Clearwater Florida, based on the promises of "total freedom" offered by Last Resort despite the fact that the people running the show clearly want everyone to either keep making them money or just die.
There's still hope, though: the lawyers have brought in a Scientology chaplain who says I can continue to work on the comic if I join their church, plus a $50,000 "royalty fee" for using L. Ron. Hubbard's works (the royalty fee gets waived, however, if I also agree to join their Sea Org). In exchange, Last Resort becomes official, legally copyrighted property of the Church of Scientology, exclusively available to members of the church for free. (Non-Scientologists will be expected to pay a nominal fee to continue viewing future pages.)

Further details are here. I'll be issuing a more formal response once I decide on an appropriate course of action.

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At April 1, 2008 at 1:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No! No it can't be you can't leave it like this! It's like the whole to be continued at the end of Farscape's fourth season.

I mean why today of all days did you have to end it!

Wait I just answer my own question.

Great one!

At April 1, 2008 at 3:15 PM , Blogger LazarCotoron said...

It's sad that an organization the size of a church is allowing themselves to be intimidated into a form of religious McArthyism. Also, given First Ammendment rights, while the situation is complicated, they are assuming that you are intentionally assaulting their religion. Their entire case actually rests on your intent as well as the fact that sadly (for them), NO, L. Ron. Hubbard does not own the copyrights on all science fiction ever.

That said, you're an independent artist, and while I personally feel you should be entitled to damages for what is essentially slander and libel, the facts are the world is against people like us.

I think your best defense in this situation is to get them to attempt litigation against someone enormous and have them thrown out of court, and use a then existing court decision to back up your case.

Honestly, there is a lot of scifi and fantasy work that arguably fits their terms of assault. Make them hypocrites for going after small fry by not standing up to all other major science fiction franchises.

In my honest opinion, your best defense is a bigger fish. If that isn't an option, I'd also recommend pointing out how all their allegations conveniently vanish based on the contingency you become a scientologist and pay them fifty grand.

Let's not mince words here. This is a move by paranoid idiots looking to make a quick buck. They just happened to find legal crap and twisted it to fit their needs-sorta' reminds me of Slick's situation, really.

Seriously. A ripoff of the Macarb Confederacy because you have multiple species working together? That's just a BIT vague, and with any number of millions of permutations on that theme ALREADY in existence, I would also argue that they're a bit late to the party to sue for that.

At April 1, 2008 at 8:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seriously hope this is a joke... First time reading, and I'm hoping for more till I saw the main page...

*(grabs sword)
To war with the church, and get Tom Cruise!

At April 1, 2008 at 11:47 PM , Blogger Rachel Keslensky said...

People, rest assured that I am never gonna give this comic up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around, or desert you.

... Or at the very least if I do I'll exhaust my buffer first. ;)


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