Anonymous Wants to Kick Scientology's "S"

Alan

Gold Meritorious Patron
Be Wary, Be Wary, the 10th of February: "A" for Anonymous Wants to Kick Scientology's "S"

Chez Pazienza

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chez-pazienza/be-wary-be-wary-the-10t_b_84558.html

Let me start off by paraphrasing a popular disclaimer: I'm not "Anonymous," nor am I affiliated with the mysterious internet group in any way.

That said, as a fan of The X Files I love a good conspiracy theory, which means that the recent antics of the shadowy entity known only as "Anonymous" have admittedly piqued my interest. In deference to those who just stepped out of a bathysphere, Anonymous is the name that's been adopted by a self-proclaimed collective of hackers and supposedly pissed-off average folks for the purpose of meting out justice via the internet -- and it's now declared war on Scientology. Two weeks ago, the group launched the first salvo in what it says will be an extended campaign to bring down the controversial "church"; it released an eerie video message attacking Scientology's tactics and promising retaliation for what it claims is a history of lies and generally sinister behavior on the part of the organization. To its credit I guess, Anonymous didn't keep anyone waiting: It launched a series of coordinated denial of service attacks on the official Scientology website almost immediately, effectively shutting it down. This was supposedly followed by prank phone calls and "black fax" transmissions to Scientology offices across the country.

At least two more videos have been released by Anonymous since its initial declaration of hostilities, one promising a global protest at Scientology centers on February 10th.

Needless to say, the normally confident Scientology big shots, who've raised damage control through vindictive litigation to an art form, suddenly find themselves in an amusing PR bind: If they dismiss Anonymous as a bunch of pathetic computer geeks -- which they already have, word for word -- they appear hopelessly arrogant; If they take the group seriously, they give it power; if they just ignore it altogether, they look stupid.

In other words, for all their supposed higher-brain functions, compliments of L. Ron Hubbard's questionable teachings, they can't win this one.

A group of internet savvy kid vigilantes has, to some extent, already beaten them.

The question some are asking though is whether Anonymous has crossed the line -- whether, in its battle to expose Scientology, it's engaging in the same kind of underhanded tactics it accuses the church of. The founder of one popular anti-Scientology website, Operation Clambake, has already criticized the group's supposed skulduggery, claiming that it'll only put Scientologists in a position to play the religious persecution card.

Maybe, but honestly -- who cares?

Almost since its inception as an organization, Scientology has been involved in one unscrupulous scheme or another -- at various points guilty of fraud, exploitation of its adherents for financial gain, and the illegal infiltration of government agencies. It's upheld the basic edict of its paranoid narcissist founder and set out to destroy its critics through intimidation, innuendo and impossibly dirty tricks. It was once called the "most lucrative cult the country has ever seen" by the Cult Awareness Network, a watchdog group which was eventually taken over by associates of the Church of Scientology. The whole thing, including the silly cosmology that serves as the basis for Scientology's belief system -- the kind of nonsense only a hack sci-fi writer could dream up -- would be laughable if it weren't so damn scary.

Anonymous claims that it was the Church of Scientology's efforts to suppress the recently leaked and utterly surreal video tribute to Tom Cruise which led to its decision to take action. Admittedly, watching Cruise -- looking not simply crazy but dangerously crazy -- spouting Hubbard's official-sounding acronymic lingo and making ex cathedra declarations of "no mercy" for psychiatrists is as mesmerizing as it is frightening. He almost seems like he's channeling his Frank T.J. Mackey character from Magnolia, demanding that we all "respect the crock."

The problem of course is that if you say any of this too loudly, the church will have no compunction about removing the choke collar from its legal pit bulls, which is what makes the mischievous guerilla attacks of Anonymous tough not to enjoy a little -- provided they never cross the line into the realm of genuine terrorism.

The bottom line: It's kind of satisfying to watch someone turn the tables on Scientology, using the same brand of furtive cloak-and-dagger absurdity to publicly shame an adversary that the church has used for decades.

If the Scientology people knew who to file a lawsuit against, you can bet it would've already happened.

That's why it's so much fun that they're left chasing shadows.
 

Kathy (ImOut)

Gold Meritorious Patron
Personally, I think Anonymous is fighting fire with fire. Someone is finally using similar, if not the same tactics that the Church uses - threats and anonymity.

If the Church wants to cry "religious persecution" then let them. Religions that use the tactics that the Church uses, should NOT, IMO, be allowed to call themselves a religion.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Personally, I think Anonymous is fighting fire with fire. Someone is finally using similar, if not the same tactics that the Church uses - threats and anonymity.

If the Church wants to cry "religious persecution" then let them. Religions that use the tactics that the Church uses, should NOT, IMO, be allowed to call themselves a religion.

ImOut, I am sure there are a large number here who remember when it was turned into a religion. Suddenly we had to do the Minister's Course, find a room to be a "chapel", have "Sunday Services" (who ever came to those?) and produce trappings of religion.

Now when someone says to me "I have a right to my religion" I just sadly shake my head.
 

Alanzo

Bardo Tulpa
ImOut, I am sure there are a large number here who remember when it was turned into a religion. Suddenly we had to do the Minister's Course, find a room to be a "chapel", have "Sunday Services" (who ever came to those?) and produce trappings of religion.

Now when someone says to me "I have a right to my religion" I just sadly shake my head.

Yes, but, FTS, they do.

You can say a chair is your religion.

And it is.

And no one should ever have the right to take it away from you.

And that's it.

That's all.

No matter how stupid I think it is. It is your religion and you have a right to it.
 
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loiepoo

Patron
I agree with you Alan - it is kinda fun to watch them squirm. Did you read about the envelopes "someone" is sending to Church of Scientology orgs with mysterious white powder in them. I just read this today in the "Daily News. It caused street closing in Glendale, CA and evacuations elsewhere. Though, if they were ever caught they could be in serious trouble. They mailed these envelopes to at least 19 church addresses in LA and Orange counties.
 

Jbrazel

Patron
Orlando Anon Event

There was a nice protest by about 100 Anonymous in Orlando, FL yesterday. The Orlando Sentinel covered the story.

"ORLANDO - About 100 people gathered outside the Church of Scientology Center at 1830 E. Colonial Drive Saturday afternoon, protesting the religious organization's practices.

Police were there to monitor the demonstration but made no arrests.

The protesters carried signs with messages such as "Knowledge is Free" and "Honk if you hate Scientology."

The demonstration is part of a worldwide campaign by a group that calls itself Anonymous.

According to an organizer of the rally, who would not give his name, the group is protesting what he called "a gross violation of the right to see free church material," after a leaked video of actor Tom Cruise openly talking about his beliefs was pulled from YouTube in January at the request of the Church of Scientology.

A synchronized protest by Anonymous in front of Scientology centers worldwide is expected to take place Feb. 10.

Helen Eckinger, Gabrielle Finley and Katherine Norris of the Sentinel staff contributed to this story."

Loookin' forward to more epic wins on 2.10.08.--JB
 

beyond_horizons

Patron Meritorious
Personally, I think Anonymous is fighting fire with fire. Someone is finally using similar, if not the same tactics that the Church uses - threats and anonymity.
Pretty basic stuff ... an eye for an eye, and the golden rule!

It's the counter flow of "We know who you are and we know what your doing".

So much for the corporate TR's.
.
 

Fancy

Patron Meritorious
Another abuse story from an Ex-Scientologist

forum.exscn.net — Read how Hubbard's "Church" treats its young members, The years of mistreatment is emotionally hard reading and there is the inevitable cult terminology to get through when you read it. But this is a modern nightmare story of abuse in the USA that we should become aware of. I hope Tom Cruise reads this!

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asagai asagai
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Kinda like karma. Ain't it? :)
 
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