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-   -   Anonymous vs Church of Scientology (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=61746)

WanderingKnight 2008-01-24 16:23

Anonymous vs Church of Scientology (Read First Post!)
 


Quote:

Originally Posted by Wikinews
Church of Scientology related websites, such as religiousfreedomwatch.org have been removed due to a suspected distributed denial-of-service-attack (DDoS) by a group calling themselves "Anonymous". On Friday, the same group allegedly brought down Scientology's main website, scientology.org, which was available sporadically throughout the weekend. Several websites relating to the Church of Scientology have been slowed down, brought to a complete halt or seemingly removed from the Internet completely in an attack which seems to be continuous. The scientology.org site was back online briefly on Monday, and is currently loading slowly.

Source.


Really... I don't know what to think about this. On one hand, "Anonymous" strikes me as a bunch of 13-year old script kiddies posting lolcats on *chans; on the other, Scientology really, really pisses me off, in many ways... so I won't have an opinion on this until more time passes. If more attacks to Scientology on the net do happen on a constant basis, I'll give "Anonymous" credit as an organization of sorts... if the whole thing dies out in a week, I'll keep my picture of them as a bunch of 13-year old script kiddies posting lolcats on *chans (note that I'm not condoning the attacking of websites).

If anything, this is interesting as a social phenomenon the internet has brought about.
________________________________________________

Here be an assortment of links in case any of you wish to get more info on the matter:

The Project Chanology--main Anon wiki on the matter. Note: The site undergoes daily attacks, so it might not be available all the time. Be wary of possible vandalizing actions, too.

List of local gatherings in case you wish to join a protest.

For live info on raids: irc.partyvan.org #xenu, #irl and #v (important: the last one is to mask your vhost! Be sure to do that if you use the IRC channel!)

These are alternative channels of information in case the main wiki is down.


None of these links are permanent and may suffer changes as the events develop. I'll try to keep them updated as much as I can, but I can't promise anything.

felix 2008-01-24 16:37

Anonymous sure makes good propaganda videos.
It's almost too good of publicity for the Church of C*** to be true.

Ledgem 2008-01-24 16:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by WanderingKnight (Post 1360284)
Really... I don't know what to think about this. On one hand, "Anonymous" strikes me as a bunch of 13-year old script kiddies posting lolcats on *chans; on the other, Scientology really, really pisses me off, in many ways... so I won't have an opinion on this until more time passes. If more attacks to Scientology on the net do happen on a constant basis, I'll give "Anonymous" credit as an organization of sorts... if the whole thing dies out in a week, I'll keep my picture of them as a bunch of 13-year old script kiddies posting lolcats on *chans (note that I'm not condoning the attacking of websites).

If anything, this is interesting as a social phenomenon the internet has brought about.

I think it's a bit frightening. The whole "anonymous" phenomenon is basically people acting out of swarm behavior - I don't recall the official term for it, but people tend to lose their individuality and resort to some more primal behaviors. This happens with people in large groups - this is part of the reason why it's so difficult for peaceful protests to remain peaceful. There's always someone who's a bit too edgy (or if you're a conspiracy theorist, someone hired by the opposing side) who sets off what becomes a chain of violence or otherwise poor behavior.

On the internet, this is just bad and also hypocritical. If you claim that information wants to be free, but then knock someone's website offline, you're preventing others from accessing that information. All the same, if the "anonymous army" realizes their full potential, what's to prevent them from going after other websites that they decide they don't like, or just want to toy with? We have no real ways of preventing it and it could be extremely disruptive. As the saying goes, "sit down - you're rocking the boat." It's bad enough that we have botnets doing this sort of thing.

In real life, this could become very dangerous. All it takes is one overly zealous participant in the "anonymous army" to deface or damage Church of Scientology structures or even people. While I disagree with the Church of Scientology and despise their methods of badgering news reporters who try to expose them for the scam that they are, trying to harass members or deface their property are crimes under our society and rightly so. I find that aspect the most worrisome - that someone might, under the influence of the swarm, do something a bit too extreme and take it just a bit too far.

Other than those worries, I can't say that I feel bad for the Church of Scientology. It'll be interesting to see what happens either way, but I will certainly not participate and would try to discourage anyone from doing any of those sorts of actions, regardless who it's targeted against.

P.S. I sort of disagree with combining this with the News Stories thread... but if it garners enough replies, I'd imagine it'll become its own thread once more.

Xellos-_^ 2008-01-24 17:43

for some reason i got this image of the Zergs (anon) vs the Protess Zealots (Scientology).

Omfgbbqwtf 2008-01-24 21:12

More News on Anon vs Scientology

http://img183.imageshack.us/img183/4...6421097ig4.jpg

tripperazn 2008-01-24 21:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ledgem (Post 1360318)
The whole "anonymous" phenomenon is basically people acting out of swarm behavior - I don't recall the official term for it, but people tend to lose their individuality and resort to some more primal behaviors.

You're referring to "group think" or "mob psychology". I'm not so sure about that, I've never been on 4chan, but they seem to be highly efficient in their methods, uncharacteristic of groups who have fallen to group think. The Fox documentary on them definitely was pretty frightening in giving you an idea of what they're capable of. It's horribly dirty information warfare, but I have to admit it works.

I have no love for Scientology and am pretty interested as to how this works out. Anyone know if they've attacked Fox for the documentary yet?

Ledgem 2008-01-25 03:18

If you were wondering about the Anon vs. Scientology bit, check out the Insurgency Wiki. Even if a single person didn't write it, it's incredibly long and detailed. I'd imagine that there's a mixture of real concern along with the random "did it for the lulz" ideas that went into it. It's sort of hard to not feel that it's justified after reading that, especially if you've been following Scientology's tactics. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Kristen 2008-01-25 09:26

Simply put, this entire church of scientology raid is unjust, and I really wish people would stop having these kinds of raids.
Especially since the people propogating these raids were in no way harmed by the church of scientology's demands for removal of that video. 4chan did not lose visitors because of that, nor did they lose money.
However, these DDOS raids and protests are losing the church of scientology both money and people.

4chan had no reason to invade, other than for a few cheap laughs at other humans' expense. It's inhumane, I think.

kujoe 2008-01-25 12:42

This reminds me of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Ledgem 2008-01-25 14:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrissieXD (Post 1361434)
However, these DDOS raids and protests are losing the church of scientology both money and people.

That's the point. The Church of Scientology isn't just another religious organization. Its founder was a science fiction writer, and two of his remarks are incredibly suspicious. First, he was quoted as saying that if you want to make a lot of money, you should organize a religion (and shortly after that, the Church of Scientology was born). Later, he stated that if you want to control people, you lie to them.

The CoS beliefs sound like something a sci-fi writer would come up with, but to be honest I feel that you should be free to believe what you will. We don't even need to attack the beliefs to make the whole thing look bad. When you join you're expected to pay a fee for the teachings of the church. Members go up in levels based on the teachings and activities they partake in, and these all cost money. It gets more expensive the higher up you go.

So far, the information I've given just makes the CoS look like a scam of some sort. You brainwash people and then take advantage of it to get tons of money from them - it's not nice, but it's certainly not vile. The trouble with the CoS is that part of the teachings, from what I understand, dictate that many people are evil and will try to stop the CoS. These people are open game - there is none of Christ's "love thy neighbor and thy enemies" here. Ex-members of the CoS are also targets. The CoS itself will harrass these ex-members and people it perceives to be attackers. Part of the reason why the media and other news outlets are so cautious when dealing with the CoS is because the CoS legal team is extremely aggressive, and the CoS itself will engage in information warfare (dragging up items from your personal life, creating problems, and so on). I've seen a video posted by the CoS of a journalist who had a history of investigating and being critical of the CoS breaking down into a rage after they confronted him with issues from his personal life - it was meant to disgrace and discredit him. In some ways, it's not terribly different from what Anonymous strives to do.

Other accounts from ex-CoS members make the organization sound downright awful. I've read that family members are barred from speaking to each other - unless they're current CoS members. Paying parts of the CoS are run under slave labor-like conditions, with poor pay, long hours, and an all-controlling employer. Again, it's bad that people are brainwashed into actually doing these things, but what makes it worse is the threat of what CoS will do to you if you leave. This is not a pleasant organization.

As if that's not bad enough, they've started to impact government offices, too. They make quite a bit of money off of their followers and were originally recognized as a corporation. They petitioned the IRS to make them tax-exempt but from what I heard, it failed - until they got some of their own members into the IRS staff. Now they don't even pay taxes. I can also recall a somewhat frightening story about how there was a murder or some other grave crime in a small town mostly populated by scientologists, and the judge - also a scientologist - was basically extremely biased. A small town full of brainwashed, hostile people - that's the sort of situation you read about in horror stories.

Earlier I stated that I didn't really support the whole Anonymous thing because I figured that they were just doing it for their own amusement. It's something they've done quite often in the past, and I find it to be immature and a bit of an annoyance. But read over their wiki, and take a look also at their other "enemy" pages. The CoS page is incredibly long, much longer than any of the other pages, and a lot more thought seems to have gone into much of it. I've also watched a number of their "IRL raids" on youtube, and was pretty surprised. I'd expected to see vandalism, harrassment, and other cheap forms of humor. Instead, I saw people (occasionally masked) handing out and posting flyers, and sometimes talking to people about it. They're making it an information war. I'm still afraid that someone is going to take it a bit too far, but for now I'm really pleasantly surprised. It's well organized, well meaning, and right now it's largely respectable.

I don't agree with things like prank calling pizza places and ordering it to scientology locations to run their bills up, of course. But I'm somewhat reversing my stance on their DDoS attacks and attempts to push scientology off of the internet. I think that scientology - like many other cults - preys on people and takes them in, blinding them to what's really going on. There are other societies/cults like this in America, and these have led to a profession of sorts called "deprogrammers" - people who will "kidnap" the target person from the society's grounds and then undo the brainwashing. It sounds ridiculous that we'd have such things in our present-day society, but scientology certainly matches the profile for such an organization.

So perhaps what it really comes down to is how you feel about the Church of Scientology. If you feel that organizations should be free to do with people what they please, then this "war" is unjustified. If you feel that the CoS is a harmful organization and has no place in society, then it's completely justified and we can only hope that it sets off a chain of events that ultimately either destroys the entire organization, or at least sends it back to just being a small-town cult. Admittedly, the implications of this being carried out by vigilantees/mob justice are a bit unsettling.

Religion is a touchy subject, but I don't believe that's what this is about. The big three - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - will not persecute you for entering and leaving the religion. They are also not set up in a manner that forces you to pay to participate. To me, the Church of Scientology is set up more like a scam than a religion. I won't personally be participating in attempting to remove them. However, as you can probably tell I've made up my mind about them. I think this has the potential to do a lot of good, and I'm very much interested to see what's going to happen next.

Deathkillz 2008-01-25 15:28

So let us see if two wrongs make a right.

I am sure that somewhere down the line, such an attack is criminal. But considering how seriously screwed scientology is as a "religion" I bet that such an attack would be casually looked over by the authorities because even though they should do something technically, deep down they are really cheering for this cult to cease.

WanderingKnight 2008-01-25 15:52

On the bit about CoS being downright hostile when it comes to people outside the cult talking about Scientology, well... CoS has been almost a self-declared enemy of the internet. There's an entire article in the Wikipedia called "Scientology versus the Internet". Among many questionable legal measures, one of their attacks was to force Slashdot to delete a comment that posted an excerpt of one of their "holy books", claiming copyright infringement. So yes, they're not nice guys, and from what Ledgem says seems that Anonymous isn't just a bunch of 13-year old kids anymore... The combative and emotional part inside me is siding more and more with them.

We'll see. For now, the intention seems to be to Google Bomb the Scientology website to make it #1 hit for "dangerous cult", "brainwashing cult", etc...

(Note: for those who don't know, Google Bombing is to use a website to link to a page under a particular keyword, in this case, "dangerous cult", to make it the first hit under that keyword in Google).

PS: The situation is still developing... so I'd like the thread to take its separate shape once more. I really don't feel it's "just news".

Crystal_Method 2008-01-25 16:33

This whole Anon vs. Scientology to me is a very interesting experience. I myself would like to say I'm indifferent about the situation, but the truth is there are many things I really disapprove of the Church of Scientology. The way I see it is that this is somewhat a reenactment of the holocaust. I'm not saying that Anon is doing exactly what the Nazi's did. But their approach of the situation is somewhat scary, and as much as I dislike Scientology, the fact that things can turn out extremely horrible really makes me wonder if they are really trying "save" people who have been brainwashed by the Church of Scientology. Though currently, I feel Anon has a pretty good standing in their cause.

Anyway the reason for my post is this, it happens to be slideshow made a while ago (maybe a little more than year ago) that is extremely informative of what goes on behind the scenes of Scientology. One of the most possibly scary things about the Church of Scientology is their extremely powerful and influential legal team. They aren't normal, these guys will do anything to rid any bad name and obstacle against them. Something no one should try to mess around with, which is why I feel this Anon vs Scientology can turn into a very ugly situation.

Kristen 2008-01-25 17:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ledgem (Post 1361875)
That's the point. The Church of Scientology isn't just another religious organization. Its founder was a science fiction writer, and two of his remarks are incredibly suspicious. First, he was quoted as saying that if you want to make a lot of money, you should organize a religion (and shortly after that, the Church of Scientology was born). Later, he stated that if you want to control people, you lie to them.

The CoS beliefs sound like something a sci-fi writer would come up with, but to be honest I feel that you should be free to believe what you will. We don't even need to attack the beliefs to make the whole thing look bad. When you join you're expected to pay a fee for the teachings of the church. Members go up in levels based on the teachings and activities they partake in, and these all cost money. It gets more expensive the higher up you go.

So far, the information I've given just makes the CoS look like a scam of some sort. You brainwash people and then take advantage of it to get tons of money from them - it's not nice, but it's certainly not vile. The trouble with the CoS is that part of the teachings, from what I understand, dictate that many people are evil and will try to stop the CoS. These people are open game - there is none of Christ's "love thy neighbor and thy enemies" here. Ex-members of the CoS are also targets. The CoS itself will harrass these ex-members and people it perceives to be attackers. Part of the reason why the media and other news outlets are so cautious when dealing with the CoS is because the CoS legal team is extremely aggressive, and the CoS itself will engage in information warfare (dragging up items from your personal life, creating problems, and so on). I've seen a video posted by the CoS of a journalist who had a history of investigating and being critical of the CoS breaking down into a rage after they confronted him with issues from his personal life - it was meant to disgrace and discredit him. In some ways, it's not terribly different from what Anonymous strives to do.

Other accounts from ex-CoS members make the organization sound downright awful. I've read that family members are barred from speaking to each other - unless they're current CoS members. Paying parts of the CoS are run under slave labor-like conditions, with poor pay, long hours, and an all-controlling employer. Again, it's bad that people are brainwashed into actually doing these things, but what makes it worse is the threat of what CoS will do to you if you leave. This is not a pleasant organization.

As if that's not bad enough, they've started to impact government offices, too. They make quite a bit of money off of their followers and were originally recognized as a corporation. They petitioned the IRS to make them tax-exempt but from what I heard, it failed - until they got some of their own members into the IRS staff. Now they don't even pay taxes. I can also recall a somewhat frightening story about how there was a murder or some other grave crime in a small town mostly populated by scientologists, and the judge - also a scientologist - was basically extremely biased. A small town full of brainwashed, hostile people - that's the sort of situation you read about in horror stories.

Earlier I stated that I didn't really support the whole Anonymous thing because I figured that they were just doing it for their own amusement. It's something they've done quite often in the past, and I find it to be immature and a bit of an annoyance. But read over their wiki, and take a look also at their other "enemy" pages. The CoS page is incredibly long, much longer than any of the other pages, and a lot more thought seems to have gone into much of it. I've also watched a number of their "IRL raids" on youtube, and was pretty surprised. I'd expected to see vandalism, harrassment, and other cheap forms of humor. Instead, I saw people (occasionally masked) handing out and posting flyers, and sometimes talking to people about it. They're making it an information war. I'm still afraid that someone is going to take it a bit too far, but for now I'm really pleasantly surprised. It's well organized, well meaning, and right now it's largely respectable.

I don't agree with things like prank calling pizza places and ordering it to scientology locations to run their bills up, of course. But I'm somewhat reversing my stance on their DDoS attacks and attempts to push scientology off of the internet. I think that scientology - like many other cults - preys on people and takes them in, blinding them to what's really going on. There are other societies/cults like this in America, and these have led to a profession of sorts called "deprogrammers" - people who will "kidnap" the target person from the society's grounds and then undo the brainwashing. It sounds ridiculous that we'd have such things in our present-day society, but scientology certainly matches the profile for such an organization.

So perhaps what it really comes down to is how you feel about the Church of Scientology. If you feel that organizations should be free to do with people what they please, then this "war" is unjustified. If you feel that the CoS is a harmful organization and has no place in society, then it's completely justified and we can only hope that it sets off a chain of events that ultimately either destroys the entire organization, or at least sends it back to just being a small-town cult. Admittedly, the implications of this being carried out by vigilantees/mob justice are a bit unsettling.

Religion is a touchy subject, but I don't believe that's what this is about. The big three - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - will not persecute you for entering and leaving the religion. They are also not set up in a manner that forces you to pay to participate. To me, the Church of Scientology is set up more like a scam than a religion. I won't personally be participating in attempting to remove them. However, as you can probably tell I've made up my mind about them. I think this has the potential to do a lot of good, and I'm very much interested to see what's going to happen next.

While I do not agree with this post, I definately respect it, as it is well thought out and reasoned.

Is the Church of Scientology evil? Based on what you gave me in those facts, if I were to make an opinion, yes. I haven't looked into the church of scientology itself, nor have I looked into its beliefs, its actions, or policies, since I'm honestly not interested in it. I'm a Christian, so their actions don't really make much of a difference to me.
However, I'm not arguing that what they are doing is good. I'm saying that what 4chan is doing is bad. They have no right to do what they are doing and do illegal things to that church. They have no right to take away potential profits or members from that church. It's the very same way as how it would be wrong to DDOS Microsoft. By taking down their website, they lose other people money and disrupt hard work.
And yes, Scientology did work hard in order to get to where they are now. Maybe in the wrong way, but it still was hard work.

Nobody has the right to do any of this, except the government. If 4chan thought something was wrong, they should have E-Mailed an authority and asked for an investigation into it. Since, after all, it isn't really a religion as much as a cult.

Keep in mind, back in early 2006 I was against the YTMND raids against Ebaumsworld for much the same reason, that I think that things can be handled in much more peaceful ways. That had a reason behind it, as YTMND was directly hurt. This had no hurt to 4chan, so they had even less of a ground to attack.

WanderingKnight 2008-01-25 17:26

Quote:

And yes, Scientology did work hard in order to get to where they are now. Maybe in the wrong way, but it still was hard work.
Eh, so by your definition, scammers shouldn't be punished in any way, because he worked hard to amass their fortune? I'm not condoning the actions of Anonymous, I'm just saying that, of all their possible targets, Scientology certainly doesn't bother me at all.

Since you apparently haven't heard much about Scientology, even though you're not interested, I'd suggest you to take a look at what happens when professional journalism wants to know a bit more about their organization (it's four videos, the audio in the latter ones gets badly off sync but it's still worth it).

Kristen 2008-01-25 17:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by WanderingKnight (Post 1362092)
Eh, so by your definition, scammers shouldn't be punished in any way, because he worked hard to amass their fortune? I'm not condoning the actions of Anonymous, I'm just saying that, of all their possible targets, Scientology certainly doesn't bother me at all.

Since you apparently haven't heard much about Scientology, even though you're not interested, I'd suggest you to take a look at what happens when professional journalism wants to know a bit more about their organization (it's four videos, the audio in the latter ones gets badly off sync but it's still worth it).

Read the rest of my post. Scammers should not be punished by us. They should be by the government.

WanderingKnight 2008-01-25 18:19

Quote:

Read the rest of my post. Scammers should not be punished by us. They should be by the government.
I know, I read it, it's just that, by the way that particular phrase was worded, it doesn't sound right. I tend to nit-pick on these points sometimes :)

It's all right, I don't think it's legal either, but I'm not gonna get in their way. If you ask me what I really think, I believe Scientology deserves it, but you'll never get that out of me in court ;)

But really, as a final recommendation, do please watch the video I pointed out. There's lots of material on the net about how nasty Scientology can be, but that's the most graphic example I've seen so far.

Kamui4356 2008-01-25 19:11

While I do wish anonymous luck, I cannot condone their actions. It's true scientology is a dangerous cult and should be stopped. However, it should be done legally. DDoS attacks are most certainly a crime. I cannot accept that the ends justify the means here.

Though this is interesting and a bit scary in it's implications for the future of information based warfare.

Deathkillz 2008-01-25 19:20

If it could have been done legally, wouldn't they (the government) have already done so? O.o

Kristen 2008-01-25 19:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deathkillz (Post 1362263)
If it could have been done legally, wouldn't they (the government) have already done so? O.o

Not necessarily. If it never passed their minds to bring it down, then they couldn't have done it. And, maybe they need some people to apply to them as well or something.
The big problem is that Scientology can be considered a religion, and that is the 1st ammendment's issue.


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