San Francisco, Calif. - In the crosshairs of an attack by a self-proclaimed Spiritual Master that seriously threatens freedom of speech on the Internet, SOTT.net today announced that attorney Walter Hansell and trial counsel Stephen Kaus will be leading its defense against an Oregon company that has filed suit for defamation.
Hansell and Kaus are partners in Cooper, White & Cooper LLP, a San Francisco law firm that has defended free speech and communications for decades.
Quantum Future Group (QFG - a California non-profit), SOTT.net, Laura Knight-Jadczyk, founder of SOTT.net, and Quantum Future School, a loose confederation of international individuals who meet on the internet to discuss many topics, are being sued in a U.S. District Court by Oregon-based Higher Balance Institute (HBI) led by owner Eric Pepin. Pepin's business is seeking approximately $4.5 million in damages for opinions that were reported about him and HBI by individuals on the Signs Of The Times (SOTT.net) Web forum. The discussion on the SOTT.net forum was based on newspaper reports concerning Eric Pepin's previous indictment and trial on child sexual molestation and abuse charges. According to news reports, Pepin was acquitted after lurid testimony against him.
"HBI's lawsuit is a frontal assault on free speech, and on the free global flow of information and opinion on the Internet. It is a blunt force attack on the discussion of sincere opinions among people sharing common interests," said Hansell.
While QFG has no ownership interest in the SOTT.net Web site, it stands behind the right of people everywhere to express themselves freely and openly, particularly in the interest of the public's right to know about products and services and those who promote them.
"When a business and merchandiser of meditation products led by a self-styled 'Master' sues a nonprofit corporation and an individual in an attempt to stifle a community forum of people sharing vital public news and opinions, something stinks. Fortunately United States laws provide tools to repel such an attack: the shield of the Constitution," said Knight-Jadczyk.
"An assault on a public forum is an assault on rights of people worldwide. If we don't resist, who will?" she continued.
SOTT.net is requesting that all those with an interest in safeguarding freedom of speech on the Internet make an effort to ensure that this information reaches the widest audience possible. SOTT.net also needs your help in raising the necessary funds to defend free speech on behalf of everyone.
About Signs of The Times:
SOTT.net is an independent alternative news and analysis outlet that seeks to shine a spotlight on significant events and trends that affect the entire world. SOTT.net helps bring clarity out of a sea of media spin. The site is funded entirely by donations from individuals and groups that seek to support its work. For more information visit http://www.sott.net
About Quantum Future Group:
Quantum Future Group (QFG) supports activities that bring together people to engage in and to promote the study of scientific ideas and research in all scientific and socio-cultural fields that further the deepest understanding of our world and our place within it without regard to nationality or ethnicity. QFG seeks to increase the understanding of humankind by humankind, as a whole, by sponsoring research into all the parts to see how they fit together. QFG supports documented research that is made freely and widely available to all humanity. For more information visit: http://quantumfuturegroup.org
About Cooper, White & Cooper LLP:
Cooper, White & Cooper LLP, based in San Francisco, is longtime defender of free speech and communications. For more information visit http://www.cwclaw.com/