The people involved in the Supreme Court case still say they are in a group called CAN, but a Scientologist has bought legal rights to the name. The group that sprung from that purchase "espouses the exact opposite views of what the old CAN used to espouse," said Paul Lawrence, appellate attorney for the old group.
For 20 years, the Cult Awareness Network ran the nation's best-known hotline for parents who grew distraught when unconventional religious groups they neither trusted nor understood suddenly won the allegiance of their children. Last week its name, logo, post office box and telephone number were sold to the highest bidder: a Los Angeles lawyer named Steven L. Hayes, who is a Scientologist. Hayes says he is working with a group of people "united in their distaste for CAN" who plan to reopen the group so it "disseminates the truth about all religions." "It kind of boggles the mind," said David Bardin, an attorney who has represented CAN in Washington. "People will still pick up the CAN name in a library book and call saying, 'My daughter has joined the Church of Scientology.' And your friendly CAN receptionist is someone who works for Scientology."