Hi, I've lurked here forever and saw this and thought I'd post.
What raised my interest when I read this was not just the slightly humourous fact the former employees claimed it was 'like scientology' but the fact the company would pursue three anonynous
commenters for libel. Sounds like the litigous cult playbook to me. Perhaps there was a Gap International thread here before, It sounds familiar, but I can't find a reference now. Cheers.
From Tony Ortega's blog:
Pennsylvania Lawsuit Is Not About Scientology, But It’s Funny
We noticed folks yesterday getting excited about a partial story at the Lexis news site, Law360.com, which indicated that a company named Gap International had filed a lawsuit in state court against some unnamed people who had anonymously called the company a “cult” and “compared it to Scientology.”
Well, we have the documents now, and it looks like this has nothing to do with Scientology itself. But we’re going to be very careful, because this Gap International — a business consulting firm which has nothing to do with Gap Stores, apparently — is both litigious and, well, stupid.
Why we say that is that Gap Int originally filed this suit in federal court, whining over some bad online reviews that probably only a few people saw. The first one it referred to was written by someone claiming to be a former employee who said the company was run by people into the Landmark Forum — an EST offshoot that the writer said was “a cousin to Scientology.” (For the best all-time story about Landmark Forum, read our Steve Jackson’s amazing piece for Denver Westword back in the day.)
Now, we have no way of knowing if Gap International has anything to do with Landmark Forum, we want to make that perfectly clear. However, we do wonder if the folks at Gap have ever heard of the “Streisand Effect,” and we wonder what they were thinking when they tried to make a federal case out of three anonymous Internet posters saying that they didn’t like working for the place.
We say “tried” to make a federal case, because ultimately, their federal lawsuit was dismissed. Now they’ve filed a new lawsuit at the state level, and they’re apparently still trying to figure out who the three anonymous posters were.
We’re going to provide the documents in the federal suit, and say no more. We have enough on our plate with Scientology, we don’t need Gap Int wigging out on us.
Here’s the federal complaint, Gap’s motion for expedited discovery, the order denying the motion, and the order dismissing the lawsuit.