Also some youtube vids that are at once hilarious, insightful and appalling. There is an orientation video as well as the full 40 minutes of the Tom Cruise promo that was in the news recently:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqtZWRzIcrY
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V12vllYaStY
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MDJjaegDqw
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sIaDTl1iQo
Whew! They put JZK's glossy's and promo material to shame!
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMvAXpq7Xj4
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWgUPHVEcl0
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmsOtoXwGS0
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIl0VYQjaNY
There has been some discussion on other forums about the legality of hacking and whether it should be supported, etc, etc. The hackers have posted direct links to downloads of sensitive Scientology documents all over the net for people to see, I'm not linking to those here out of sensitivity to the legal issue. The youtube links should be pretty benign but if the moderators feel this is not appropriate, feel free to delete.
- The Beatles
I bet TCOS, among their 10 Million followers, have some hackers of their own - HACKERS WARS OF THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY - but this could ruin the net for the uninvolved.
I don't know that what Anonymous is doing isnt's as bad as what Scientologiy has allegedly or actually done to SPs.
Also, if I wanted to read stuff on the Religious Freedoms website, which I actually did just last week, I would resent not being able to, what about my freedom?
In the first "indoctrination video", all I saw were tributes to LR Hubbard, who has passed away...those meteorites, though, are they intended to tap into fear??? Oh well, not going to join that Church, but, not going to oppose it either, I have too many other things to do with my time.
And I do support the notion of Religious Freedom for all - no matter how hokey or bizzare somebody's choice of faith is, I think they are entitled to it, so long as no laws are broken.
If you have time, and you are curious about Scientology, this essay by a former member is probably worth a read, though it is very long.
http://carolineletkeman.org/sp/index.ph ... &Itemid=92
Of course, I also believe in freedom of (and especially freedom FROM) religion. But are we really talking about religion when it comes to groups like rse and scientology? It's not a rhetorical question, it's a sincere one. I'm not sure myself, I'm inclined to say they are not truly religions even though they deal with many of the same areas as religions do.
It is my impression that precisely because these organizations are at their core businesses and not religions that they are not held to the same standards as other religions. It goes beyond whatever beliefs are put forth but rather to the methods which are employed that cause serious harm and injury to many. Obviously there are many parallels with other religions but there are as many with the sales and advertising industry. Psychological abuse methods are also used and as we all know these are hard to pin down since they leave the 'victim' in a state of shock and denial, very often having taken on the failures attributed to them by the group.
And if they are religions, what about the tactics? If a pastor was using these kind of tactics for recruitment and keeping people enslaved, it would probably come to light at some point and he/she can be called to the carpet, can't they?
Going back to the anonymous vs scientology thing, yeah, obviously what they are doing is pretty illegal and not exactly to be condoned. Still, I can't help rooting for the underdog, I just wish they could use it to somehow take legal action to actually make a difference. Spreading the information will certainly do some damage, if nothing else it will annoy and distract the COS and I can't say that grieves me in the slightest.
It's funny, I think back to my early education on cults (in elementary school we were told about the Moonies and Krisnas) and I can't help thinking that Scientology is todays version of those groups. I realize the Moonies and Krisnas are still around but even in my RSE fervor I never would have considered joining either of those 'cults'. My point being that it is only a matter of time before every man, woman and child knows that the COS is a cult in the negative sense and really has very little to do with being a 'church'.
Some people say that if we tried to shut down places like rse/scientology we would have go across the board and shut down religion on the whole. Well there's an idea, lol. But seriously, I think if all manipulative, coercive tactics were removed and people still chose to subscribe to the various cults and religions, so be it! What bothers me is the illusion of free will, without considering how influential people can use simple techniques to confuse and ensnare the unsuspecting seeker.
So, turning to religions and cults - some are secretive, and some are so open you wish they would go away, lol.
Taking the discussion away from value judgement, for a moment, I think that we could look at a business, as for example, McDonald's - In spite of the efforts of its detractors, MdDs has not gone out of business or stopped making a profit, what they have done is respond to those criticisms with adjustments in their business strategy, to render invalid or no longer applicable, those criticisms - eg. after "Supersize Me", a wider range of low fat and "heart smart" items appeared as if overnight on the menu.
Applying that to RSE - would you say that, as compared to years ago, the school has responded to criticism by adjusting their modus operandi? I read postings on here that would cause me to suppose so.
I think transparency is best for all concerned. A satisfied customer, who shares their experiences freely with more and more people, is free advertising.
So, by having a gag order, or controls in place to stop "secrets" leaking out, the school, and in fact, businesses, religions or cults,or secret societies, are actually showing that they believe they have more disatisfied than satisfied customers.
Or that they have an elitist, exclusive view of things, which is not so appealing, to me, at least.
You can see how Tom Davis, spokesperson of Scientology, totally "bullbaits" reporter John Sweeny, ignores his questions, confronts him in an unfriendly/aggressive manner and escapes questions and criticism. Scientology sends out spies to observe him, broke into his hotel room at midnight, record everything on film and then represent it in their own circle in an obscured context that suits their image.
If you witness the behaviour of even the highest Scientologists, it becomes very clear that they do not practice what they preach. They are just a bunch of manipulative sociopaths.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 2407026249
You can see how Scientology is all about propaganda.
Still, I live in more fear of Anonymous than I do of Scientology.
Just watched a Fox News blurb on Anonymous...strange, was unable to paste that link here, shortly after I viewed it, it disapeared! - where they interview a faceless hacker who is not sympathetic to either Scientology or Anonymous, and who says he "knows something"...also, a young man who was targeted by Anonymous, his computer and those of all his friends were attacked by a virus and crashed...and a woman who said her whole family (I don't think they're Scientologists) has been targeted, their names, addresses, pictures were posted on the net, they started receiving death threats....she now has uber-Security, and by hacking herself, has discovered the identities of a number of Anonymous members - seems that is the sort of thing they do for kicks.
I do agree that it would be nice to see Scientology, as well as similar groups, extend the same confidentiality to members they expect from their followers. However, this would necessitate a degree of honesty and honorability which you're never going to get from a group that has a 'fair game' policy in place.
Kaworu - I had seen that BBC documentary before. Thanks also for posting Scientology's expose. I find it laughable that they would suggest the BBC can't be trusted when the BBC is only the most diverse and respectable mainstream news outlet in the world. If that isn't propaganda I don't know what is. The tactics they accuse the BBC of are exactly those employed by them, looks more like a case of projection to me. Not sure who they're trying to convince anyway, seems to me only the most ardent followers would rally around such a piece. Then again, maybe that's the point since Scientology makes it pretty clear they are the ones who stand to loose the most for speaking out.
- The Beatles
Look, I am not defending or accusing anyone...but what I really think is that Anonymous are going about things in a manner that is likely to blow up in their faces...and on principle, I think hackers are a pest...I myself have had the experience of being "hacked", it was very distressing.
I'm sorry, but it makes it all seem like a hate crime, and as persecuted victims, Scientologists may find champions in people who previously either ignored them or thought they were idiots..and even if the target is the leadership, the ones who do most of the suffering are often the members in such a situation.
Seriously, I don't hate Scientology or JZ/RSE for that matter, I do have a reaction to deceptive, manipulative, crazy making tactics such as used by Scientology and RSE. I don't see anything wrong with that (having a reaction). And I don't think they should be able to hide under the cover of 'religion'. The only thing we can say for RSE is that it isn't technically a religion, not legally and not in their own words. At the same time they would like the protections given to religions, somehow that seems like having your cake and eating it too. So is the solution to make RSE a church (it used to be, right...?) or just shut up and drop the whole 'god' lingo, I dunno. One thing I do see, from a tactical perspective, these groups need to keep some form of god and religious aspects in their repertory - can't get much draw as an atheist these days, lol.
Lost, I do agree with your last point and think you're probably right that Anonymous' actions may well backfire and some will come to the COS' defense as a result. Still, I can't see sticking up for Scientology's right to... what...? ...be a cult...?
Coersion is deplorable when it gets out of hand. However, I imagine that many groups engage in similar tactics because they believe they are "helping" "lost souls", or confused, or troubled, or sick, or disadvantaged people. The aim is used to justify the means, just as in the case of Anonymous. Remember the concept of "tough love"? Remember the "scared straight" program? Do you know what goes on at boot camp? Have you met somebody who has received shock treatment? Or, died as a result of medical treatment by bona fide doctors which went terribly wrong? I do.
I don't think, personally, that I am God, except I believe that we are all God, whatever that is. And, I am not a judge.
The Daily Telegraph (Australia) - February 07, 2008
THE Church of Scientology is facing two major battles, as the niece of the cult's leader has gone public about bizarre rituals she was forced to endure while an anonymous group begins an online war.
Jenna Hill Miscavige, 24, the daughter of David's older brother Ron, recently came out in support of Andrew Morton's Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, and slammed the star for "supporting a religion that tears apart families, both in the media and monetarily".
Since then, Jenna claims she's been subjected to harassment, report the NY Post.
"The church has contacted several of my friends, telling them that I am smearing the church and I am going to be declared a suppressive person and asking my friends if they would disconnect from me and, in at least one case, insisting that they do," Jenna said.
"At least eight friends have removed themselves from my MySpace page," she said, and blames the church for it.
Jenna, who was raised as a Scientologist, attacked the religion in an open letter to a senior sect official, praising the Andrew Morton book.
A Scientology spokeswoman blasted the 24-year-old.
"I am absolutely shocked at how vehemently you insist upon not only denying the truths that have been stated about the church in that biography, but then take it a step further and tell outright lies," the spokeswoman said.
Jenna's parents were also Scientologists but left in 2000. She stayed on as a member until 2005, during which time she says she was kept in a boarding school, only allowed to see her parents once a year and subjected to a bizarre daily regimen.
"If you flunked your uniform inspection, sometimes if you were late . . . you would be dumped with a five-gallon bucket of ice water," she tells Recchia, a former Post reporter.
"We were also required to write down all transgressions . . . similar to a sin in the Catholic religion. After writing them all down, we would receive a meter check on the Electropsychometer to make sure we weren't hiding anything, and you would have to keep writing until you came up clean. This is from the age of 5 until I was 12."
Meanwhile, an anonymous group have launched an online war, threatening to destroy the cult. They have released an eerie video on YouTube with their mission statement.
http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/s ... public_rss
I see a huge difference between that and the actions of Anonymous.
Their picket is planned for tomorrow, two blocks from where I work. I will not be going anywhere near there...though, what I am actually tempted to do, is have a huge group of people stand on the other side of the street from the picketers, holding signs that say things like - "Honk if Scientology helped you give up drugs", "Honk if a Scientologist has ever been your friend"..."Honk if you object to the tactics of Anonymous"..."Honk if your video game or personal relationship was harmed by Anonymous"...
But, no, I won't do it, because I might see somebody on the other side of the street that I like. Who knows, it could happen.
Anons plan `polite' church protest
Demonstrations ? sparked by viral spread of Tom Cruise promo video ? planned in 14 countries
Feb 10, 2008 Murray Whyte
They are anonymous. They are legion. And they are either an elaborate, viral Internet prank played by bored adolescents on a painfully easy target ? the much-maligned, star-studded Church of Scientology ? or the amalgamation of a vast network of resourceful cyber-activists intent on wobbling the organization permanently.
Either way, about 150 of them are expected to turn up on Yonge St. today ? most of them masked, in the interest of remaining, well, anonymous ? to hand out flyers and generally make life uncomfortable at the church's Toronto property (in their online forums at enturbulation.org, Anons urge one another to practise polite protestation. As one poster put it, "Bring your warm clothes, your signs, your fliers (sic), your food and water. Do not bring your weapons, your inappropriate language, your bad temper or your stupid rowdy troublemaking ass.")
This being the Internet, the protest ? or raid, as they prefer to call it ? is just one of a vast mobilization effort of Anons. A network of peaceful demonstrations against the church has been planned in 14 countries and dozens of churches.
The religious group countered in a statement late yesterday that "'Anonymous' is perpetrating religious hate crimes against Churches of Scientology and individual Scientologists for no reason other than religious bigotry." It added: "'Anonymous' claims of altruistic purposes are no different than those heard from any terrorist or hate group."
Organized online and completely nonhierarchical, the amalgamation of Anonymous is the direct result of a very public gaffe by the very private organization. Last month, an internal promotional video was leaked to the Internet. In it, a wild-eyed Tom Cruise ? the organization's marquee adherent among Hollywood brethren like John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson ? lionized the church as the saviour of a society.
It appeared on several news sitesand YouTube, but its widespread distribution was brief. The organization's lawyers threatened legal action based on copyright violation.
But one site, Gawker.com, the satirical entertainment industry blog run by Nick Denton, refused, claiming it was newsworthy. The video can still be seen there and has been millions of times: nearly 2.8 million as of yesterday, a new record for the site.
The video, in which Cruise, rhapsodic about Scientology's potential to heal the world ? "We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, we are the authorities on the mind, we can rehabilitate criminals," he says in the video; "We can bring peace and unite cultures" ? has spurred renewed interest in the organization, which has been described by its critics as an oppressive cult.
The most visible product of Cruise's suddenly public proclamations, though, appears to be a backlash against an intensely secretive organization that has been accused of harassment of its critics and members who choose to leave it. And the most tangible manifestation of that backlash is Anonymous.
"It basically came down to a tipping point," said one of the organizers of today's Toronto protest. "There was a random suggestion after the video came out ? `We should do something about this.' And it snowballed into this international effort."
Mark Bunker, an Emmy-winning television journalist in Los Angeles who has been critical of the church's affairs for almost 10 years, sees the Anonymous effort as a natural culmination. "It's been building for 15 years," said Bunker, who runs a personal Scientology watchdog site, Xenutv.com. "Now, we have an army of people."
Bunker's words are harsh, but he's experienced retribution first hand. Shortly after he began covering the organization, a pair of Scientologists showed up to picket his house with signs: "Beware: Your neighbour Mark Bunker is not all the he seems," they read. "Your neighbour Mark Bunker is a religious bigot."
Bunker became a paternal figure for the legions of Anons when, on seeing their first video on YouTube, promising mayhem, he posted a video response, counselling them to remain civil. The exhortation was taken to heart ? "Do not bring ... your stupid, rowdy, troublemaking ass" ? and Bunker is now hailed by the Anons as "Wise Beard Man."
Though it elicits a chuckle from Bunker, among others, there is little to laugh at regarding episodes in the church's near 60-year history. Scientology is based on Dianetics, a self-help book written in 1950 by the science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, the church's founder.
In the 1970s, the organization went to extremes, infiltrating government offices in Canada, the United States and Britain. They called the effort "Operation Snow White." In 1977, the FBI raided church offices and found evidence enough to convict nine members of conspiracy to steal government documents, notably from the Internal Revenue Service, and obstruction of justice. Among the conspirators charged in 1979 was Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue.
In the years that followed, the organization would eventually gain non-profit status in the United States in 1993 but it would also surrender some of its closest secrets ? namely, the disclosure of its vast asset base, which, according to the IRS, totalled $400 million in 1993.
It would also see its central religious myth made common knowledge: Hubbard conceived the notion that an evil alien ruler named Xenu murdered millions of beings from various planets on Earth 75 million years ago. Their souls, or "body thetans," as Hubbard called them, attach themselves to humans, weighing their spirit down. Scientology purports to help people get "clear" of both the ancient alien spirits that weigh them down, and those who oppose the practice of erasing negative episodes and experiences, gauged by an instrument they call an "e-meter."
The disclosure did little to dispel the notion that the church was little more than what its critics had called it: a cult.
Nonetheless, it was able to maintain and expand its legion of celebrity adherents ? Hubbard identified the significance of celebrity sheen early on, calling them in an internal memo in the 1950s as "quarry" and "game" ? and with an estimated annual revenue stream of $300 million, largely from membership, counselling fees and the sales of Hubbard's books and videos, the church is a financial force. It is a large property owner in Canada and the U.S., most notably acquiring and restoring historic buildings on Hollywood Boulevard.
But with the Cruise video still circulating and the Anonymous movement galvanizing anti-church sentiment, the organization finds itself cast in the uncomfortable position of public scrutiny as new interest opens old wounds and suspicions as to its mission.
And the previously air-tight organization continues to leak. In an internal church video also available at Gawker, David Miscavige, a high-ranking church executive, refers to the organization's "campaign to break the dark spell cast across Earth by psychiatry," one of Scientology's principal missions.
As a slick computer animation plays on a large screen behind him ? government buildings penetrated by eruptions of flame ? he boasts that the church's efforts to "obliterate" the practice has "booby-trapped the whole psychiatric ecosystem." As he says this, the audience erupts in cheers.
Some Anons have admitted that the appeal of the effort is partially shock humour. "But a fair number of people are taking it seriously," says the Toronto Anon.
A Scientology primer
Who: Founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard (b. 1911 ? d. 1986), author of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which details a "methodology that can help alleviate such things as unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses."
Where: First Church of Scientology founded in Glendale, Cal., in February 1954. Church claims membership thoughout the world.
What: An "applied religious philosophy," Scientology purports that "man is a spiritual being endowed with abilities well beyond those he normally envisages. He is able to solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness." In 1985, Scientologists in Los Angeles tried to block public access to court documents revealing "advanced" teachings that suggest many human ills date from 75 million years ago when Earth was part of an overcrowded confederation ruled by the alien Xenu. Xenu solved the population problem by rounding up excess beings, transporting them to volcanoes on Earth and dropping hydrogen bombs on them. The victims' spirits gathered in clusters and attached themselves to humans, whom they haunt to this day. Hubbard called these clustered spirits "body thetans."
How: Known for its "auditing," a form of one-on-one counselling in which a lie detector-like instrument called an e-meter is used to help people erase negative experiences, supposedly freeing them to achieve their full potential.
Celebrity Scientologists: Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Beck, Jason Lee, Giovanni Ribisi, Isaac Hayes, Lisa Marie Presley.
In Canada: According to the 2001 Census, there are 1,525 Scientologists in Canada.
- Compiled by Astrid Lange / Toronto Star Library
Sources: Church of Scientology International, Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Statistics Canada
Oh, my ! They aren't the only ones who expect others to behave ! Imagine that. Mean anonymous !
Good article. It goes to show that it doesn't take a lot of people to get a job done. It takes at least a small number of motivated and dedicated people. History supports that. Beware the tempest in a teapot ! LOL
Over a hundred people showed up as masked (some gas masked) Anonymous members, there probably would have been more, but for the cold weather alert...coldenst day so far this winter. I only went outside for ten minutes to walk the dog a couple of times, and wiped out on the ice...I think my wrist is sprained.
Anyway, the camera panned to a significant and impressive police prescence accross from the picketers. The picket was described as being conducted in a "civil manner". Nobody was busted. The end.