January 28, 2008

Just to make this clear, Anonymous is NOT ATTACKING Scientology (as in the belief) but the ORGANIZATION (the Church of Scientology). Anonymous are not persecuting anyones right to believe in Scientology or anything like that I believe it is more of the fact they see the organization of Scientology as a sort of pyramid scheme conning the believers out of money and such things.

The general goal is to dismantle the CoS and free its members. Let the teachings of Scientology be available freely, and let people practice how they will

This is quite a good cause if you think about it really. I guess what I am seeing from this is exactly what people can achieve if the band together. I mean Anonymous is just a bunch of people (younger people we’d think) from Japanese Style Image Boards who have suddenly realised they might actually be able to achieve something if they band together. I can’t help but find it amusing how the internet has bought all these people together united to fight one for one cause. We associate Anonymous with really immature attacks on people (Hello Tom Green) but this is co-ordinated and thought over. The Website is totally condemning anyone who does anything illegal or violent, saying that if they do they will hinder the cause. They are aware that they must come out looking like the Good Guy in all this and not the CO$ claim to be the victims.


CNET Coverage

I suggest you get involved. Go and find out where they are holding demonstrations in your area and go and hand out flyers and get people to understand what’s going on. They will be so many people looking at this as a hate issue and thinking Anonymous are all cunts and it’s up to use to show them what’s really going on.


I am not sure what to expect. But this is the first time Anonymous has taken action this organized and this well thought out. I am looking forward to see what happens!


A History on Anonymous

What is Anonymous?

The beginnings of the Anonymous concept likely were inspired from Japanese internet forums. Many western-style forums require you to register an account before you can post. Your account can almost always be customized to contain profile information, a custom avatar (picture to represent you, shown with all of your posts), and it will track your posts. The more popularized Japanese forums do not require account creation. In fact, there is no option to create an account. While you can enter a username and an email address with your post, nothing would prevent someone else from entering the same information and impersonating you. In general, people posting with information stick out and are prone to being heckled. One of the most popular Japanese forums is 2ch, which the events of the story/drama/movie Densha Otoko played out on.

The western forums and the Japanese forums differ in a number of ways. The Japanese are rather famous for making elaborate emoticons and ASCII (text) art. The western forums instead are image boards, and people commonly upload pictures that either express a message or add to the post (but not always). Additionally, while both forums are extremely active, at this time only some Japanese forums have turned the forum into a sort of chatroom, where replies are updated in real-time as posts are made. As far as I can tell, the western forums still require you to hit the refresh button to see new replies.

The western boards contain a number of sections that somewhat loosely correlate to subjects or interests. Most of the forum activity is not generated by meaningful discussions, but by people seeking entertainment. Amusing stories are shared to which amusing replies are made. Amusing pictures are also posted, modified, and reused as seen fit. This is where many of the internet’s memes are generated. Many people visiting such sites are put off by the seemingly rude people and inappropriate humor. This is largely a misunderstanding – it’s not that the people visiting these sites have no values, but that these are places where the goal is amusement, rather than serious discussion.

At some point in time the people realized that they were many in number, and this is when an active Anonymous may have first been born. Seeking another form of entertainment and acting out of commonly held sentiments, raids would be organized against certain targets. The target would usually be a person and their presence on the internet who had done something that either angered many, or who simply seemed like an amusing target to mess around with. This is where Anonymous first became more well-known, as Fox News put out an amusing (and very misunderstanding) news story on the actions of Anonymous. In the broadcast, Anonymous was portrayed as a group of hackers bordering on terrorism. The story focused on how they had targeted a person, found out his name, address, phone number, stolen some of his passwords, and made prank threats against him. While people not in the know would probably have been terrified of this, Anonymous was seen as little more than a group of annoying kids who would cause trouble for their own amusement to many on the internet.

How raids are instigated is relatively interesting in itself. If you ever browse the various forums you may occasionally see requests for raids against a target put out by certain posters. These are frequently answered with “not your personal army” and questioning why the target should be raided, and why the original requester shouldn’t be counter-raided instead. This shows that these are not a group of people who derive amusement from messing around with any random person. There must be a reason or a commonly held goal among the collective. Keep in mind that this is all further interesting because all of this is taking place anonymously – while some members may recognize others (perhaps by posting style), nobody can really be identified.

There’s what Anonymous is, in a very brief and perhaps somewhat flawed summary. Unlike what the media believes, it is not a defined group. You could become Anonymous just as easily as I or anyone else with a computer could. It is a group collective.

What is the Church of Scientology?

Much information about the Church of Scientology (CoS) is available online. If you’re interested, I highly recommend researching them on your own for more hard facts. I’m only going to provide the core basics here that will help to catch you up to the issue.

Before discussing the CoS, I would like to state that I’m extremely skeptical of them and their beliefs. Regardless, people should be free to practice what ever beliefs they want to, so long as they are not harmful to others. Much of what I say will show my skepticism for the CoS, but know that I do not look down on their members for believing the teachings of Scientology.

The CoS was founded in the mid-1900’s by a science fiction writer, Ron L. Hubbard. Shortly before the conception of the CoS, Hubbard was quoted as claiming that the best way to make a lot of money was to found a religion. Even ater the CoS was in full formation, Hubbard was again quoted off-record as claiming that the best way to control people is to lie to them. A rumor that I’ve heard was that Scientology originally came about as a bet. In one version, Hubbard simply bet against another man that he could successfully create his own religion; in another, Hubbard squared off against other science fiction writers to see who could create the wackiest story that people would believe and take up as religion. CoS was originally recognized as a corporate entity, and was taxed accordingly. Eventually it was found that CoS members were breaking into the IRS or had infiltrated the IRS, and a federal investigation was launched that netted a few CoS members jailtime. Currently, however, the CoS is tax-exempt. This makes a difference because the teachings of CoS are only available to people who pay for them. They are given in tiered levels, and it seems to become more expensive as you get farther into the religion.

Despite that, I’m going to give you a very brief overview of what the core beliefs of the religion state. This information is only presented at the very end levels, and scientologists are told to deny that these teachings are real. The basic beliefs of Scientology state that humans essentially came to Earth as a result of an alien known as Xenu (Xemu), who was responsible for managing an overpopulated solar system. We are plagued by intergalactic parasites (I believe these are identified as Thetans) that hold us back from our full potential. If you can fully cleanse yourself of thetans, you will not only be happy and stop suffering, but you’ll gain powers such as the ability to fly through space and perform telekenesis. Scientology does empower people to feel that they can make a change in the world and make things better, which is a positive benefit of the CoS and other religions as well.

The CoS has a bad history on the internet. Around 1995 or 1996 they began attacking a Usenet group that was incredibly skeptical of them. Usenet is basically a very old message forum system that requires a paid account to access (generally internet service providers grant you an account) as well as client software. Messages and files that are posted are propogated among the servers of various Usenet providers – there is no central Usenet server. The CoS attacked Usenet regardless, claiming that copyrighted works belonging to the religion were posted and that if these works were not removed then lawsuits would ensue. Those threats failed, and the CoS resorted to having some of its members become active on the Scientology discussion area of Usenet, arguing with skeptics and attempting to discredit them while making Scientology seem glorious. Part of the CoS’ issue with information about them on the internet is that members must pay to advance through the ranks of scientology, and it gets increasingly expensive. In addition to discussing the organization itself, much of the internet discussions focus on examining the teachings of Scientology. The CoS is one of the most notorious organizations to make use of copyright as a grounds for lawsuits and threats.

The CoS has also made enemies with the medical industry. They claim that the field of psychiatry is a crime against humanity. According to them, psychiatry doesn’t work and is based on psuedo-science, the drugs hold people back, and it mistreats people. While they don’t claim to be against medicine in general, their strange stances about medicine have resulted in a number of deaths of their members. The most notable is the Lisa McPherson case – McPherson was a young lady who had been involved in Scientology for a number of years (close to 20, I believe) and then removed herself from the religion. Shortly after that, she got into a car accident and was badly injured. She was transported to a hospital for treatment, but a number of scientologists then came and collected her, moving her to a building of theirs (I believe it was a hotel). She ultimately died from her injuries and dehydration. There was also another case where a CoS member had a son (also in CoS) with some form of mental disorder: CoS dictated that he shouldn’t receive treatment, and that he simply needed to cleanse himself of thetans. The young man ultimately ended up murdering his mother.

The CoS also advocates extreme hostility against detractors to the organization. Part of the teachings explain that there are SPs (suppressed people) who are enemies of the church. These people, along with ex-members of the church, fall under the CoS “open game” policy – essentially, they are to be harrassed and may be abused. Mark Bunker, the man behind XenuTV, has some massive courage and has documented some examples of this hostility on tape. XenuTV attempts to expose the CoS through video streams, and some of his media shows confrontations where CoS members forcibly grab the camera and threaten to break it. In other videos, CoS members gang up around him, yelling at him and trying to provoke him to anger. It’s disgusting behavior, and yet Mark Bunker consistently keeps a cool head and a light demeanor. Mr. Bunker has gained infamy among CoS, and supposedly CoS members have even picketed his house.

Further, there are stories from ex-CoS members detailing how the CoS becomes extremely hostile to them. There is a policy of disconnection within the church, which states that ex-members cannot be communicated with. I’ve read plenty of first-hand accounts of how a person is cut off from his or her family because they left the church. This also makes leaving the church difficult, as a person is required to give a lot of their life to the church in order to advance through its teachings. Of course their friends and close associates with then be fellow CoS members – when you leave, you’re left with nobody to turn to, and those people you knew are suddenly against you. I highly recommend reading the story of Tory Bezazian, a woman who became involved with the CoS and eventually achieved a position pitting her against Usenet detractors. It’s a long read, but the end details her leaving CoS and is totally unreal – it details her “defection” to an anti-CoS group, and how she was intercepted at the airport by CoS who attempted to prevent her from leaving. Even after she’d landed, the CoS was there to attempt to stop her once more. This organization operates in incredibly frightening ways.

If you’d like even more information, visit Operation Clambake. Clambake and other Scientology detractors have claimed that the way to dismantle Scientology is through proper litigation. However, Scientology has remained an entity that not many people know about. Further, they have a number of movie celebrities among their ranks (most notably Tom Cruise). Scientology seems poised to take a number of unknowing people in and grow unabated.
(the two summaries above were written by my good friend AnimeXreme over at this LJ. I won’t link so he doesn’t get spammed up but he made some good points)



  1. Never would think that 4chan would act mature, well this has raised my view of 4chan, won’t think of them as a load of children and blah blah.

    Good job 4chan! Fighto~ desu~

  2. We’re gonna go on the 10th to the Rally!

  3. What I really do wonder: It’s pretty “obvious” that Scientology is a money generating scheme, an extremely elaborate one, granted, but still a scheme. This is something which pretty much everyone excluding Hollywood celebreties or people whose wallet seems to have superceded their brain can grasp. Yet they still keep on getting members. This boggles the mind in a way.

    I think this is because, when you think about it, nobody can prove that they are wrong. They can’t logically prove that they are right either, but neither can any other religion, or so I imagine they would answer. It may be some form of short-circuiting in people’s brains to say “They’re a pay-per-view cult formed by a science fiction author who claims people were brought to earth in DC-10s with warp drives, COME ON…but what if they ARE right?” And after all, Movie celebreties, being poetic, deal in dreams and surreality as their main form of income, so they may be drawn to more fantastic prophecies. Or maybe its the air in southern California.

    Also, they first and foremostly play on the desire of people that the world we see isn’t all there is, like any religion, and the underlying hope that there are things greater than us, if only so we can blame them for something.

    Now, what is important, they are coupling that with the almost religious value our society places on material things, and suddenly it may not seem so strange to give money for enlightement instead of such immaterial and insubstantial “goods” like your time, devotion, or change of lifestyle. A monetary society seems to be able to accomodate a monetary religion, as strange and harrowing that may seem, and it tells us a lot about the state of the western world.

    So while I can’t really take scientology seriously in any way, I can see that their pretty detailed and material teachings are appealing to people who feel that normal religion lacks graspable concepts. It may be a sign of our times, but still it feels like a completely spaced-out and wacky concept, mostly because it is so easy for both sides to turn any criticism, both pro- and anti-CoS, into a conspiracy theory. None the least because Hubbard conveniently included all world religions as lies planted by Xenu to drive people from the truth. What CoS people in generally do not mention is that people can be empowered all on their own, without any religion, and that indeed any religion can make people feel like they can change the world, and many do, but it takes a certain kind of person for that, and not a certain set of ideals, in my opinion.

    In the end, Scientology are only the most powerful out of a set of similar “Ufo-religions” to use a derisive term, and it would be great to get Claude Vorilhon and Ron Hubbard on Jerry Springer so they could fight over which planet humans were brought to earth from.

  4. a best of collection of Tom Cruise/Scientology satires and parodies


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