Anonymous vs. Scientology

Posted: January 30, 2008 in Crime, News, Other good sites, Religion
Tags: , , , ,

I have taken a casual interest in the whole Anonymous vs. Scientology situation that seems to have arisen of late.  Now it will all probably blow over without that much fuss or concern but it does have some rather interesting facets to it. Herein lies silliness, war, interesting uses of technology and criminal behaviour.

Now let’s begin by an admission; I do hold the personal opinion that the church of scientology are a bunch of whacked out, harmful and often criminal bastards. I make no apologies for that opinion and it is backed up by evidence as I’ve briefly highlighted elsewhere in this blog here, here and finally here. Calling them a church is also stretching the term rather a fair distance; it seems rather evident that the organisation is no more than a cult that started off as a crass money making scheme by a rather mediocre sci-fi writer.

The latest activities are just the latest in a long list of, really, can be only described as one hilarity (in the darkest sense of the word) after another.  It probably started with Hubbard’s infamous “If you want to get rich, start a religion” quote and the huge criminal activities his scientology group got up to (and got caught for) in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

It all went up a notch when Tom Cruise went on his infamous couch jumping idiocy on Oprah, combined with his attacked Brooke Shield’s use of prescribed drugs and general idiocy led Paramount Studios to kicking his ass to the curb.

A more recent example has been a video doing the rounds which has the rather unstable actor speaking almost incoherently about scientology. The video makes him sound and to look to be in an extremely dubious frame of mind.  It would not be much of a stretch to use such footage to label the man as a complete eccentric by all indications given.  As you might expect, scientologists have been doing their best to keep the video out of the hands of the public which, in turn, has led to at least two different events in itself. ABC News summaries the video, rather briefly, here.
First of all, actor Jerry O’Connell stars in a video which does an excellent job of parodying the Cruise video.  Normally I do not have much time for O’Connell’s work but, in this one instance, he manages to get all the mannerisms and speech patterns right to help create a really rather hilarious parody.

Secondly, it seems to have given rise to a bunch of online communities who have banded together under the banner of Anonymous.  This group seems to be made up mainly from users of Ebaum’s World and 4chan.org (the later isn’t work safe by any means, be warned). This Anonymous group has apparently launched DDoS attacks against pretty much all the scientology websites, bringing them either down or slowing them greatly.  Through the Project Chanology (mirror) site, live rallies (or raids) also appear to be in the middle of being organised. The movement seems to have spread to social websites such as Facebook and appears to be gaining members rather quickly. Project Chanology even appears to have their own wikipedia entry.  To add icing to the proverbial cake, it also seems that supposedly secret scientology documents have been leaked onto the ‘net, which has also caused headaches for the CoS.

Now the CoS hasn’t been taking this lying down, it seems clear they’ve been launching their own DDoS attacks on several servers related to this whole situation which probably just makes it all the more interesting. They also seem to be breaking out the lawyers, copyrighting anything that isn’t nailed down and even calling in the FBI.  Which is probably playing into the hands of the Anonymous group anyhow, since what they seem to be aiming for is general media attention so the CoS gets looked at good and hard.

The whole thing has certainly started some rather fascinating discussions across some message boards as well. Some examples include threads on:

Something Awful.com

Star Destroyer.net 

Comic Book Resources.com

Even noted scribe and comic book writer Warren Ellis has jumped in and given approval.

Now what does this all mean? It could all well mean nothing at all. Diddly-Squat. Zip.  Or it could be the start of an example of a bunch of internet using people actually using a new age of communication and technology to bring about a common goal.

Which would actually be kind of neat.

But is their goal one worth chasing? Considering all the complete insanity and harmful practices the CoS has performed and apparently continues to do up to and including the present day … I’m forced to say yes.  It is one thing to hold your own personal beliefs but when those beliefs actively harm or disadvantage others then they are just morally wrong and inexcusable.

For example, the Jehovah Witness group hold the belief that blood transfusions can not be performed on their own members.  Members of that group have died with that belief in mind when every shred of evidence indicates that a blood transfusion would have saved that particular life.  Do I think that belief is batshit insane? Yes, I do. It’s completely irrational and ludicrous without any evidence at all to support it.   But are they harming anyone else with it? Well, not really.  While the world would probably be a better place if such irrational beliefs were halted, there is no harm to society as a whole in that particular JW belief.

Scientology, on the other hand, does seem to actively hurt people.  Blackmail, murders, fraud, theft and a huge number of cases of harassment and intimidation present a strong case indeed that the CoS is indeed an organisation that society would be a lot better without.  It just saddens me that people are gullible or vulnerable enough to be ensnared by the nonsense they present as the truth.

Do I agree with the goal? Yes.  Do I agree with the methods? The DDoS attacks are a bit childish but the rallies seem like a good idea.  Will I be taking part? No, though it does look like a bit of fun.

Further reading:

Fox News.com 

Operation ClamBake 

Advertisements
Comments
  1. starbirdcanada says:

    My only concern with Anonymous are the splinter groups that could break off. I went to the ProjectChanology site the other day, and it stated that this is just the beginning. My concern is, once they take Co$ down, who is next? BTW, I really don’t think they will ever succeed in completely shutting them down, but the public awareness that this is generating is a good thing. I agree with Mark Bunker, hit them where it will really hurt, the wallet.

  2. ozatheist says:

    Starbird – it would be good to hurt them in the wallet, but their wallets are exceptionally BIG, as I noted yesterday :

    Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, has just handed over $11.2 million to the CoS.

    I’m not sure I can condone Anonymous and Chanolgy’s methods, but it’s very hard to fight against CoS. CoS don’t mind losing a few battles as long as they win the war (which in their case often ends up with scaring opponents away with lengthy and expensive law suits.)

  3. lynne foley says:

    I ACTUALLY SUPPORT ANONYMOUS, HOWEVER, THEY WILL LOSE BOTH THE BATTLE AND THE WAR.
    THOUGH INSTRUCTED NOT TO USE MASKS, MOST OF THEM DO/DID.

    IF YOU ARE LEGIT—–THERE IS NO NEED TO HIDE.

    IF YOU FEAR SCIENTOLOGY—-YOU HAVE ALLOWED THEM EXTREME CREDIBILITY BY THIS CLOAK AND DAGGER APPROACH. I CANNOT SEE WHY.

  4. Matt says:

    Sadly, I think the masks were necessary given the long history the CoS has of intimidating/harassing those people who they believe are trying to hold back the goals of their organisation.

  5. AV says:

    But are they harming anyone else with it?

    The children of JWs, who have no say over whether they should be entitled to blood transfusions, are harmed by that doctrine.

  6. Eve says:

    I am an Atheist and no fan of the CoS but censorship is wrong. Moreover who elected The Anonymous as our moral and social guardians? More worryingly The Anonymous employ illegal activities. So far it is just hacking but where could it end? Bombing CoS members like Doctors who perform abortions?

    The Anonymous’ ‘reasoning’ makes no sense and make me wonder if they aren’t in fact themselves part of the CoS……..they are giving them (the CoS) a great deal of free publicity across the net.

  7. Matt says:

    I think you’re being a little paranoid there, sorry. There is no indication at all that Anonymous is affiliated in any way with the Co$.

    And sometimes I do think that people need to stand up and deal with immoral, criminal organisations when the law fails to. As it stands, the law is powerless against the Co$ due to various factors and the groups leaders continue to swindle people out of loads and loads of money. That really does need to stop.

  8. Eve says:

    Actually from what I have read The Anonymous have many ‘ex’ members of the CoS within their ranks.

    It more than annoys me that I have been forced, in some ways into defending the CoS’ right to existence, but it is the bigger issue that troubles me.

    What if a right wing so called Christian group decided to declare an internet war on Atheists because they thought that Atheists were immoral? These people have a lot of popular support already probably more than the Scientologists and The Anonymous put together.

  9. anonymous says:

    Anonymous has individuals of every faith and no faith.
    Even scientologists (Google “freezoners”) are a part of Anonymous.

    Anonymous is not opposed to the beliefs of scientologists. Anonymous is opposed to the activities of the “church” leadership.

    inform yourself
    http://www.whyweprotest.net/

  10. anonymous says:

    my name anymous..fuck scientologists & scientology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s