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Old 2008-01-25, 19:59   Link #21
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrissieXD View Post
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.
They were considered a corporate entity, actually. I believe their current standing is that they are a religion, and part of that is because members of their sect infiltrated the government.

I am not a fan of mob justice, and I know that vigilantees - though well meaning - have an ultimatly harmful effect on society. But what do you do when the public protector has been taken control of by the enemy? Now, I'm not suggesting that scientologists are running the government, but they've proven that they're not incapable of similar things. Tax exemption was due to infiltrating the IRS. They've apparently taken control over local police forces before. This is wrong - no organization, religion or not, should be able to control municipal services and entities.

So what's to be done? The media have tried to expose scientology as being something dangerous, but the reporters have been harrassed, had their houses picketed by scientologists... look, here in America, we're big on free speech. Free speech means you can say just about anything. If you want to talk badly about me, you're free to. However, the scientologists immediately attack practically any significant news outlet or prominent person who portrays them in a negative light. I think that when Anonymous speaks about protecting freedom and information, this is it. Only totalitarian countries have previously had the power to censor things spoken against them. Something like this doesn't belong in America.

As I've said, I'm all for them worshipping whatever they believe peacefully. The problem is that they're extremely hostile to non-scientologists and ex-scientologists. We don't condone gang violence, so why should organizational harrassment be condoned? Just because someone declared that they're a religion? I understand that because religion is in there it becomes a sensitive issue, but this really represents a big problem.

Anyway, I was reading over the insurgency wiki again and it seems that Scientology has hit back. partyvan.org is offline, including the IRC server, 4chan's /b/ is gone, 711.org is gone. I'm sure that the fight is continuing, but I don't know where I can go to get updates anymore. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 2008-01-25, 21:24   Link #22
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The partyvan IRC server is back up, and the Anon guys are up at it and going with their (script-kiddie) DDoS attacks.

One funny detail is that, apparently enough, the sysadmins of www.scientology-europe.com took down their own website and pointed it to 127.0.0.1 -- a nice attempt at ruining the party of some of the DDoSers, but they found out in time.
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Old 2008-01-25, 23:03   Link #23
Ledgem
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A very interesting thing to note is how the mainstream media has been responding to this. The media has seemingly always had problems properly explaining tech news, unless it's the release of a new product or the earnings of a company. Practically every news story I've read (maybe around four, although more are out there) refer to Anonymous as a hacker group. Anonymous is a concept - that many people are behind certain actions, that words are spread without identity. It's not a group in the traditional sense. However, being identified as a hacker group will turn the public against their actions.

The media have also only focused on the DDoSes against Scientology websites. That also makes it sound like these are just a bunch of kids out for some quick kicks. Many Anons are attempting to spread information to the public. The idea is not just to take these websites offline as a statement of dislike, but to create a big issue of this. Some people have never heard of Scientology - they may look into it now and see it for what it is. Additionally, I've seen (and dealt with a few) comments around the internet stating that what's going on is wrong. Despite claiming that they know nothing about the issue, people feel that the Church of Scientology is a religion, perhaps by virtue of its name, so this is persecution. Persecution is wrong. They're correct in stating that persecution is wrong but they don't understand what's wrong with the organization. As they slowly begin to realize it, they turn against it.

I've seen more "propaganda" put out on YouTube by Anonymous that seems truly genuine. They state that the followers should be free to believe what they want, but that they shouldn't have to give up their livelihood for it. From what I've heard, a core belief in Scientology is that those who have the knowledge alone are responsible for saving the Earth. Caught between this desire to do good, a passionate belief in the religion, and a harsh organization management, they become incredibly stressed and feel compelled to go along with this. Some of these videos attempt to say that these people are not alone, that we're all together, and that this is an issue that they must confront.

Whether or not the Anonymous actions lose steam, more people are aware of the issue. That they were able to act the way they have is really something amazing. As for what's to come, I've sifted through some of their IRC conversations and it seems that there is a plan to shift away from attacking the websites and pulling out a real "information war." I'm still hoping for the best. Truth be told, lately it's been seeming like any corporation or wealthy entity writes the rules and gets away with what they want. It'd be nice if they operated knowing that even if the government won't hold them accountable, the people will.
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Old 2008-01-25, 23:22   Link #24
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Yeah, I'm one who was pretty much ignorant about Scientology until now. All I knew was "Tom Cruise" and "aliens." Anonymous is doing a very interesting experiment on how anonymity "by the ignorant masses" can serve as a medium for combating propaganda. I'll be closely tracking this for a while.
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Old 2008-01-26, 00:02   Link #25
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Just for clarification, you can watch it live by joining irc.partyvan.com #xenu.
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Old 2008-01-29, 16:53   Link #26
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More updates on the issue... seems Scientology has counterattacked and brought down the main info site, which is why it is hard to gather information on what is going on as of now... There are random and unorganized posts on the Talk Page of Encyclopedia Dramatica's Project Chanology article.
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Old 2008-01-29, 22:22   Link #27
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It is not as if no government organization has ever taken action against Scientology. The 'organization' is labeled and identified as a cult in Germany and that this 'organization' is actually on the watch list even within USA. Their plot, 'Operation Snow White' has not gone unnoticed at all...

One thing that I am slightly alarmed with is how that 'Anonymous' is classified as merely a subset group of hackers. I fail to understand why is it that the the news media cannot connect the general concept of anonymity to that of online anonymous?

On the technical aspect of the DDOSs, I am actually quite impressed with Scientology/Prolexic. Disinformation is paramount in warfare since human factor is all-important, and the approach of leading Anonymous to strike the wrong target while maintaining clean hands is something to imitate on. Anonymous also has apparently no luck with using Proxy + faxing, which is to the credit of the Scientology/Prolexic IT team.

However, the Anonymous approach of protest and civil action, with a combination of media exposure and constant video releases, alongside leaks of Scientology literature that is widely distributed by the Internet 6th estate makes for great 'lulz'.
(update) Google Bombing is also quite interesting a tactic to utilize on the part of Anonymous.
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Last edited by panzerfan; 2008-01-30 at 01:05.
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Old 2008-01-29, 23:56   Link #28
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First, let me say this, I have not much information on this (Scientology related) discussion. I might have understood some parts incorrectly. So, I'd be happy to correct those if that is the case. But, if what I understood on the issue is right, then I am behind my words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
A very interesting thing to note is how the mainstream media has been responding to this. The media has seemingly always had problems properly explaining tech news, unless it's the release of a new product or the earnings of a company. Practically every news story I've read (maybe around four, although more are out there) refer to Anonymous as a hacker group. Anonymous is a concept - that many people are behind certain actions, that words are spread without identity. It's not a group in the traditional sense. However, being identified as a hacker group will turn the public against their actions.
I don't know anything about Anonymous, but, I didn't like the language and expressions they used on the web site you pointed to (more like NeoNazi of the web kind of freedom fighters). Who are they to decide what is right or wrong? If those anonymous guys are so clever in cleaning up the world, why won't they start with the way the typical religions and governments are used to gain strength and corrupt information distribution. Why Scientology?

Quote:
Despite claiming that they know nothing about the issue, people feel that the Church of Scientology is a religion, perhaps by virtue of its name, so this is persecution. Persecution is wrong. They're correct in stating that persecution is wrong but they don't understand what's wrong with the organization. As they slowly begin to realize it, they turn against it.
Even if it is indeed a cult or organization rather than a religion right now, it is possible they want to become a religion in the future. So, in that aspect, they are possibly using the old tricks used by the Churches of the past, use people, waste people, gain money, gain power, spread more, and reach an unbreakable status.

Quote:
Whether or not the Anonymous actions lose steam, more people are aware of the issue. That they were able to act the way they have is really something amazing.
Do those guys, their leaders have an identity? If anonymous is the name they use, then I guess not. The thing I don't understand is, if they think they are not alone and there are so many people who act or would together with them, why hide behind a mask? Why not trust those people? If they are afraid of a few struggles to clean up the Scientologists, etc., then why did they start that action? To expect heroes that will reveal their identities to come to their rescue. Really brave.
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Old 2008-01-30, 02:32   Link #29
Jinto
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@Sazelyt,

imo one can describe Anonymous' activities best with non lethal terrorism.

Many people think they themselves are right, and others are wrong. Such a plain view of the world, that oneself is the good guy, provides a structured and happy day for those people. If one is the good guy or even better one feels like the victim, force against opposition can so much easier be justified in oneself's view of the world.
Since both sides (Scientology and Anonymous) feel like they are on the right side, and both use odd means to reach their goals (Scientology more demagogic and Anonymous more anarchistic), oneself - as an out of system observer - should not be able to decide who is the good guy (what do we really know about them?). At least for me it is impossible to symphasize or identify with either one of the sides.
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Old 2008-01-30, 03:09   Link #30
Sazelyt
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Originally Posted by Jinto Lin View Post
Since both sides (Scientology and Anonymous) feel like they are on the right side, and both use odd means to reach their goals (Scientology more demagogic and Anonymous more anarchistic), oneself - as an out of system observer - should not be able to decide who is the good guy (what do we really know about them?). At least for me it is impossible to symphasize or identify with either one of the sides.
In my country, there is an organization a little bit similar to Scientology, though operating on a much smaller but probably crueler scale. They are using a different view of religion as a means to gather money and people. In their case, they can even sue their own family members and make them literally live in the courthouse, if they oppose them (by opposing, I mean, trying to talk sense to their family member, who is a part of that organization).

I think no person in his right mind would approve their methods. But, attacking them, using similar underhanded methods, to let them earn credit through that (which is indeed happening, trying to mask the opposing actions as, for instance, acts to prevent them from performing their religious beliefs and acts to try to take their freedom away, etc.) is not a proper method to use. You may gain something out of that, but, you are also guaranteed to lose something.

If you want to win against them at the end and think you are right, always use the right methods, methods they cannot use to turn people against you. At least that is what I believe.
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Old 2008-01-30, 03:10   Link #31
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Sazelyt View Post
I don't know anything about Anonymous, but, I didn't like the language and expressions they used on the web site you pointed to (more like NeoNazi of the web kind of freedom fighters). Who are they to decide what is right or wrong? If those anonymous guys are so clever in cleaning up the world, why won't they start with the way the typical religions and governments are used to gain strength and corrupt information distribution. Why Scientology?
I agree with you on the point of "who are they to decide what is right and wrong" - I mentioned that in one of my earlier posts, as well. It's a power of the majority issue - the majority decides what is right and wrong within Anonymous, and the force of majority within society will decide what is right and wrong. From what I've seen within the current group of Anonymous, there are good values and the efforts (which I'll get into in a bit) are of pure intent with no misguided actions. The first phase of DDoSing and overall harassment was carried out by the "older" Anonymous - those were the old tactics and old members. As of now, the group may have shifted a bit as new people became attracted to the efforts and joined, while older participants perhaps became bored and stopped participating. This is partly why the concept of Anonymous is so interesting.

You ask about "Why Scientology" and question why Anonymous doesn't attack the root causes of corruption. Many others have also questioned why Anonymous is going for Scientology and not some group like the Mormons or even the Catholics. First, understand that Anonymous is not attacking Scientology the religion. The collective within Anonymous currently understands and respects that Scientology will never disappear, and it's fine with people believing in it. What it isn't fine with is the fact that the current management of Scientology is using some of the dirtiest tactics you can find to get people into the religion and then to keep them there. The organization endorses harassment and violence against its critics and ex-members, and the organization's actions have been responsible for the deaths of a number of people (see http://theunfunnytruth.ytmnd.com/ for a ~5 minute summary on this - don't watch it before bed time, it's a bit frightening). There are a group of Scientologists known as "Free Zoners" who operate outside of the church's management, and believe that the religion should be spread freely and that people should be able to practice freely. Anonymous considers the Freezoners to be their allies.

Now we've clarified that Anonymous isn't against religion, but the current organization operating behind the religion/cult of Scientology. You questioned why Anonymous isn't attacking other corruption. Understand that Anonymous has only recently matured. In the past, Anonymous truly acted as and may have been made up of a bunch of kids who got their kicks out of harassing random people online. The collective has come to realize its size, and the potential strength that comes with it. Scientology has a history of angering people on the Internet, so it also makes sense that many of Anonymous would already be against them. It's not that the Church of Scientology (CoS) is an easy target, but perhaps that it's a target everyone could easily agree on. If one were to attack government positions, that elicits a lot more debate and would divide the group.

I don't know if Anonymous will stop at the CoS. I don't really believe that Anonymous will suddenly become an activist group dedicated to taking on world issues, but it certainly has the potential to. People will see the impact that they're having together, and will be empowered by it. It's only natural that the collective might turn itself to other world problems. Note also that this has become activism. Anonymous has communication within itself, but it is very loose communication. Nobody feels that they have all of the answers. The collective currently feels that there is an injustice occurring and that there is a danger that should be taken care of, and people rally to the cause. There are no masterminds at the top who direct the mass.

Quote:
Even if it is indeed a cult or organization rather than a religion right now, it is possible they want to become a religion in the future. So, in that aspect, they are possibly using the old tricks used by the Churches of the past, use people, waste people, gain money, gain power, spread more, and reach an unbreakable status.
As I stated above, Anonymous isn't trying to wipe out Scientology. Anonymous also isn't attempting to address those tricks used by other religions. They're only after the current management of the Church of Scientology. Two things can happen that would be a total victory for Anonymous: If the Church of Scientology underwent massive reform, or if the management completely collapsed (and all Scientologists became Freezoners).

The Church of Scientology is currently attempting to reach full religion status. Anonymous wants to reform them and remove the malicious, abusive aspects of the organization before it becomes an untouchable and before it causes further harm to people.

Quote:
Do those guys, their leaders have an identity? If anonymous is the name they use, then I guess not. The thing I don't understand is, if they think they are not alone and there are so many people who act or would together with them, why hide behind a mask? Why not trust those people? If they are afraid of a few struggles to clean up the Scientologists, etc., then why did they start that action? To expect heroes that will reveal their identities to come to their rescue. Really brave.
There are no leaders. There are people who come to control the communication medium from time to time, and in certain cases there will be individuals who take leadership roles, but this is purely about the will of the majority. If a "leader" does or says something that the majority disagrees with, people will leave. There is only a loose loyalty to the idea of Anonymous, because Anonymous isn't really a group, in the traditional sense. People are bonded by a similar culture (internet culture) and united in a single goal.

Why wear a mask - this is something that has come under a lot of debate within Anonymous recently. Originally the masks were used to help stir up attention and show that these events were all related. Who would really care if random protestors just showed up? It's a much better, much more intriguing story if people seem to be coming from some sort of organization.

The other purpose of the masks was to protect the identity of people participating. Make no mistake about it, CoS members do some incredibly freaky things in response to perceived hostility against the CoS. You need to see some of the videos of their behavior - it's unbelievable that adults in the civilized world would act in such a way, but that is what their organization dictates that they do. Not all of the Anonymous protests will have 200+ people, and none of them want to deal with the harassment of the CoS. After all, the CoS is an organization that has a lot of resources. Anonymous may be able to stir up strength in numbers for certain events, but it can't protect a single participant once that participant starts getting harassed.

There are many people within Anonymous, as the videos state. For this cause, many more are joining by the day. I've been watching them from the beginning, and while everything originally started out in their typical fashion (making crass jokes, spouting internet memes all over the place, acting obnoxious) things are currently in a very business-driven phase. Many who participate now have never heard of the internet jokes and don't know about the "internet culture" references. People are no longer talking about what would be amusing or funny, but how to be effective and not get into trouble. As I said, the collective has changed considerably, and the purpose of the masks have as well.

People in Anonymous aren't afraid of struggles with the CoS. A message I've heard echoed throughout the collective consistenty involves a stance on violence. The CoS members will get physical (such as shoving, standing very close to you, following you, grabbing your camera, carrying threatening items) but the collective has been instructed not to fight back. If you're attacked, you're taking one for the team - don't fight back. Someone will be documenting it, and it will be used against the CoS. Likewise, retaliating in any form against the CoS members will likely result in them claiming assault. Understanding that there is the very real threat of physical harm shows that people are not too afraid there.

But this is completely different from being harassed by the organization. The mask doesn't represent that people are afraid. As I've said, it mentions unity, and protection of one's identity. Being anonymous doesn't necessarily mean that you're a coward. When you're confronting an organization that is known to be hostile, that has a history of tracking people down and invading their houses, filing bogus lawsuits, and other nasty methods (none of those are made up) - you'd be foolish to put yourself out there. No, this isn't about showing that you're a tough guy. This is about making the truth known and protecting yourself in the process so that the organization won't have any leads on you or to the collective. Anonymity is truly the ultimate compliment to strength in numbers.

Nobody in Anonymous expects to be a hero, or to be treated like one. I come from a society that is highly individualistic, so it's somewhat hard to me to understand. However, Anonymous is truly a collectistic group. The message that is spread to all participants is that no single participant should do anything or say anything that makes them stand out, or that gives themselves the credit. When you're acting as a part of Anonymous, all of your actions are linked to everyone else's. If the goals of Anonymous are met, there will be no celebrated heros - Anonymous represents a majority force. It will be a victory of the people. Anyone who attempts to step out of line and take credit will likely earn the anger of all participants in Anonymous.

More recently there has been debate about whether further activities should be linked back to Anonymous at all. Some feel that the ties should be cut completely, and what happens from now on should just be identified as regular protests. I don't know - regular protests have gone on before and not really earned much attention, but the numbers and the intrigue of Anonymous have brought a lot more attention to it. As long as its participants keep participating, Anonymous likely won't be needed after February 10. Just remember that Anonymous is a concept, and that the people currently behind it are ordinary people who are all working towards a common goal.
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Old 2008-01-30, 05:22   Link #32
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The current course of action, as predictable as it is, is the move for Scientology to pinpoint the major hubs for the DDOS attacks and go after them, as well as to counter DDOS. The charges that Scientology should actively be pushing for are no doubt 'religious persecution', 'slender', 'violation to free speech', and for the time being, civil tort in terms of lost revenue as it is recognized as a corporation within USA.

The Anonymous has been urged to take peaceful rallies and cease blockade of information by numerous organization, such as xenu.net in order to not undermine the anti-Scientology organization movements, both the Anonymous grassroot mob as well as the existing groups. The Orlando raid, unfortunately compromising anonymity of the participants, is seem as a good example of a non-violent yet media savvy approach to this current campaign. Anonymous's momentum has to be 'constant generation of lulz' of course, but... obviously no clear answer on this.

Anonymous has released a tool for ease of DDOS apparently, but this can be incriminating. On the flip side of the coin, Scientology rootkits have been reported, although no security firm is confirming this. Apparently, The Regime tries to threaten 711chan's operators in order to retrieve information about the goons.

Having said that, the usage of Spoofing would not be out of the picture for the Regime in its attack, nor is it out of the picture that a change of MAC and IP address would be immediately done after the damage is done from the raid against 711chan. The situation of this game remains to be seen.

UPDATE:

In an interesting barb, John Lawson found himself caught in the crossfire of The Regime and Goon/711channers. The Regime launched an attack on 711chan, leading to the channel deciding to pull back from the entire event of Scientology v. Anonymous while Goon attempted retaliation, only to have struck an innocent individual. It looks as if that one of the hops (think of it as one of the routing points going from A-B) happened to have been through the man's IP address. Goon has been speculated as essentially possible 711chan goers, while the Regime remains enigmatic.

What is more interesting is that some anonymous alleged that The Regime was contracted by Scientology, which the Regime denies. In a surprising move, Anonymous actually apologize, and get called by itself as... (insert derogatory term here)
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Last edited by panzerfan; 2008-01-30 at 10:09. Reason: added some stuff.
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Old 2008-01-30, 18:42   Link #33
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Since I can't cookie Ledgem without cooking some other people first, let me post this in acknowledgment and agreement.

I'd also like to add that I've been tracking the status of the situation quite closely these past days and I'm really excited about what turn the whole thing has given. It's strange when you first dive in, but you feel a sense of companionship within the anonymity itself that is very different from the stupidizing anonymity commonly associated with crowds which have a leader to 'guide' them and exploit them (for example, regular organized protesters and violent attendees at football matches).

I feel sad I can't do much here. Like Sazelyt, we have our own Scientology-like organization here which came from Brazil, called "The Universal Church of God", which, though it relies on a more basic approach to religion and isn't quite as 'professional' as the CoS, it has a number of followers... though their following is mostly composed of bored, gullible old women with nothing to do with their lives. Certainly it doesn't have the same scope (and aspirations) as the Scientologists.

Oh, for those who know Spanish, there's a series of four scary videos which form part of a covert investigation carried away by the Spaniard press on the Church of Scientology in that country. Really, really scary stuff, like the forced labor of children, the way they push you around to pay, the unbased attacks on psychiatry and psychology, and finally, the way they used their "e-meter" (a basic lie detector) to find out whether the infiltrator was a journalist (they did find out, and she was lucky to get out of there alive). Really, really scary.

PS: Oh, and about the DDoSing... there's people still doing it, but most people have turned away into legal protesting. I think it'd be fair to guess that the 'old-school' Anonymous members are still carrying away the attacks (the Scientology sites are down as of now), but it's evident that most of the people involved are not taking that approach.

PS 2: Oh yeah...

Quote:
People in Anonymous aren't afraid of struggles with the CoS. A message I've heard echoed throughout the collective consistenty involves a stance on violence. The CoS members will get physical (such as shoving, standing very close to you, following you, grabbing your camera, carrying threatening items) but the collective has been instructed not to fight back. If you're attacked, you're taking one for the team - don't fight back. Someone will be documenting it, and it will be used against the CoS. Likewise, retaliating in any form against the CoS members will likely result in them claiming assault. Understanding that there is the very real threat of physical harm shows that people are not too afraid there.


I think that speaks for itself.
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Old 2008-01-31, 01:34   Link #34
Sazelyt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
What it isn't fine with is the fact that the current management of Scientology is using some of the dirtiest tactics you can find to get people into the religion and then to keep them there. The organization endorses harassment and violence against its critics and ex-members, and the organization's actions have been responsible for the deaths of a number of people (see http://theunfunnytruth.ytmnd.com/ for a ~5 minute summary on this - don't watch it before bed time, it's a bit frightening).
Those sites usually end with "and there are more...", so, where? I think some people within Scientology is exploiting its principles and get away with it (isn't this the same with the child abusing priests? they get away with it). If you have thousands of people inside, it isn't that hard to find such people. Maybe I saw many examples of such organizations in my country, that I somehow got used to it. But, as it is the case for those organizations, a majority of the people inside are most probably happy. Probably, many enter to make money by giving money and using connections. Too bad, it doesn't always work.

Quote:
Now we've clarified that Anonymous isn't against religion, but the current organization operating behind the religion/cult of Scientology. You questioned why Anonymous isn't attacking other corruption. Understand that Anonymous has only recently matured.

If one were to attack government positions, that elicits a lot more debate and would divide the group.
Sorry, I don't buy the first excuse, but the second one seems just about right. To me, it is also very simple. They don't have the strength or power to fight the other corruptions, cause, it is possible, it would cost them a lot more if they choose such path. That is possible one of the reasons, why I don't like this kind of organizations that use such claims. Either be consistent or tell the truth - sorry, we are okay with all the other corruptions and we don't give a damn about whoever suffers as a result of those corruptions, as long as we are happy, who cares, I personally don't - kind of.


Quote:
Nobody feels that they have all of the answers. The collective currently feels that there is an injustice occurring and that there is a danger that should be taken care of, and people rally to the cause.
It is more like those freedom fighters, love the word and the way it has been exploited over the years, determined a target they hate. Kind of like personal hatred nothing more.

Quote:
As I stated above, Anonymous isn't trying to wipe out Scientology. Anonymous also isn't attempting to address those tricks used by other religions. They're only after the current management of the Church of Scientology. Two things can happen that would be a total victory for Anonymous: If the Church of Scientology underwent massive reform, or if the management completely collapsed (and all Scientologists became Freezoners).
I don't know if they ever thought that, but, maybe that management actually represents the Scientology version of the Catholic Church hierarchy. Have they ever thought about getting rid of Catholic priests, despite what happened in the past? I highly doubt that.

Quote:
Anonymous wants to reform them and remove the malicious, abusive aspects of the organization before it becomes an untouchable and before it causes further harm to people.
That is more like anonymous wants to act the second god for the organization. Scientology might be problematic, but the opposing view is not a lot different...

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Not all of the Anonymous protests will have 200+ people, and none of them want to deal with the harassment of the CoS. After all, the CoS is an organization that has a lot of resources. Anonymous may be able to stir up strength in numbers for certain events, but it can't protect a single participant once that participant starts getting harassed.
That is the reason I consider them as a weak organization, in both ideal and action. In my country, there is a single girl, who opposed a similar organization despite the pain she suffered (because of having to deal with countless of trials she had to go through), still, at the end, her sufferings made sure a lot of people have heard about her case. Why can those guys not show the same courage, if they really believe Scientology is a threat?

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If you're attacked, you're taking one for the team - don't fight back. Someone will be documenting it, and it will be used against the CoS. Likewise, retaliating in any form against the CoS members will likely result in them claiming assault. Understanding that there is the very real threat of physical harm shows that people are not too afraid there.
Again, why they only talk about getting physical? More like they want to put Scientologists in George Clooney's situation, by staying within the boundries of the law, increasing tension to the level of getting hit, or vice versa. Why don't they go to trials? If Scientology is guilty of a lot of crimes, as they claim, they should be able to win at least one case right?

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When you're confronting an organization that is known to be hostile, that has a history of tracking people down and invading their houses, filing bogus lawsuits, and other nasty methods (none of those are made up) - you'd be foolish to put yourself out there.
If you are fighting a group that plans to become a religion, putting yourself out there is the path you should take. Otherwise, what you do will not have any major impact. And, that means, if your goal is having a major impact, and you work choosing a path that is very likely to not succeed, then, why continue to play.
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Old 2008-01-31, 03:20   Link #35
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Sazelyt View Post
Those sites usually end with "and there are more...", so, where? I think some people within Scientology is exploiting its principles and get away with it (isn't this the same with the child abusing priests? they get away with it). If you have thousands of people inside, it isn't that hard to find such people. Maybe I saw many examples of such organizations in my country, that I somehow got used to it. But, as it is the case for those organizations, a majority of the people inside are most probably happy. Probably, many enter to make money by giving money and using connections. Too bad, it doesn't always work.
Sazelyt, do you know about the history of Scientology? It was created almost 50 years ago. There are policies within this organization that specifically dictate that detractors of the religion should be harassed, and that they can even be "destroyed" (that is the actual word used). This is the famous "fair game" policy, although now it is called something else, apparently.

You brought up child-abusive priests as a comparative example. It is not a valid comparison. I would argue that a priest who abuses a child is not really abusing the religion itself - they are abusing their position, perhaps. However, they are also isolated cases. If there were a secret policy within the Christian churches, stating that young boys should be molested, then we could compare it to Scientology. All of these horrible things that Scientology does are not built into the religion, but they are built into its governing body. This is not a case of one or a few men trying to abuse their positions of power, this was stuff dictated by the founder of the Church of Scientology himself.

Why do people enter the CoS? The tactics employed by the organization are very well-known. They specifically seek out people who are having a problem in their lives and sell them Scientology as something that is something of a life improvement course. Communication courses, courses on how to have a happy marriage - that sort of stuff. People really get into it and feel that it's improving their lives. As they're doing this, they're slowly having their reality stripped away by each course, and replaced with the reality of Hubbard. Scientology's core believe is that we are all infested with intergalactic parasites called Thetans, and that the evil lord Xenu stuffed us all in a volcano and blew us up. That's their creation story. But followers of Scientology will not find this story out until they reach the end of these courses (which they must pay for, of course). This is an incredibly shady way of going about getting people involved in a religion, don't you think? Sure, Christianity also has help groups for people who are at low points, but the Bible is available to everyone and I don't believe that the Christian Church (or any other mainstream religion) brainwashes people.

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Sorry, I don't buy the first excuse, but the second one seems just about right. To me, it is also very simple. They don't have the strength or power to fight the other corruptions, cause, it is possible, it would cost them a lot more if they choose such path. That is possible one of the reasons, why I don't like this kind of organizations that use such claims. Either be consistent or tell the truth - sorry, we are okay with all the other corruptions and we don't give a damn about whoever suffers as a result of those corruptions, as long as we are happy, who cares, I personally don't - kind of.
I don't think I quite understand - you seem to be angry that participants of Anonymous are not openly willing to become martyrs, is that it?


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It is more like those freedom fighters, love the word and the way it has been exploited over the years, determined a target they hate. Kind of like personal hatred nothing more.
No, it's not freedom fighters. This is activism, where people raise awareness about a problem in order to affect social change. If they were trying to call themselves freedom fighters they'd likely be bombing churches and justifying it as some sort of holy war.

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I don't know if they ever thought that, but, maybe that management actually represents the Scientology version of the Catholic Church hierarchy. Have they ever thought about getting rid of Catholic priests, despite what happened in the past? I highly doubt that.
You are free to make a comparison between the two, but I believe the comparison is flawed.

The Catholic Church's greatest sins are arguably the Crusades. However, these occurred hundreds of years ago. Are you suggesting that we should hold every current organization accountable for things that happened lifetimes ago? Or perhaps you weren't thinking about the Crusades, and you were thinking about the current plague of scandals involving the molestation of children by priests? As I stated above, the molestation is not church policy. It's a corruption, but why it's occuring isn't clear - it could mean that the church probably needs to be better about selecting who can be a priest, or it could be that the priests are unhappy. There's no clear cause, and thus nothing that people can really do. The actions of those priests are not church policy, nor do they represent all members of the church. It isn't a valid target.

Now let's go back to the Church of Scientology. There are harmful directions in the doctrines that the CoS runs on, plain and simple. The management of the CoS is guilty of following those doctrines and not reforming them. The current wave of activism is focused on either dissolving the management, or forcing it to reform those harmful practices out of the group.

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That is more like anonymous wants to act the second god for the organization. Scientology might be problematic, but the opposing view is not a lot different...
Could you elaborate on this a bit further? I don't quite understand what you mean when you say that Anonymous wants to act the second god for the organization.

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That is the reason I consider them as a weak organization, in both ideal and action. In my country, there is a single girl, who opposed a similar organization despite the pain she suffered (because of having to deal with countless of trials she had to go through), still, at the end, her sufferings made sure a lot of people have heard about her case. Why can those guys not show the same courage, if they really believe Scientology is a threat?
They are showing courage, and it is precisely because they view the CoS as a threat that they are using masks.

Just to make sure that we are all on the same page here, I want to speak a little bit about America and the current culture. Are you aware of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America)? They have become quite famous in recent years for suing every single person they find on a peer-to-peer network. They aren't suing people because they want to make their money that way, but because they hope that the threat of a lawsuit will frighten people enough to not go on those networks. If you're in Europe, I've heard that the loser of a lawsuit must pay the legal fees of both parties. In America, you must hire your own lawyer, and whether you're innocent or guilty you must pay your legal fees. You can countersue for those legal fees, but then you're spending even more time in court. Any court time means a higher fee for the lawyer, and lawyers are not cheap. Time spent in court is also time not spent making money, or enjoying yourself. America is the land of lawsuits, at present.

Scientology is notorious for hiring private investigators to find out who you are and to dig into your life. Please review the case of Paulette Cooper and Operation Freakout. Cooper is a critic of Scientology. She wrote a book exposing them as a cult. She was put through NINE LAWSUITS for her work. The CoS even went so far as to use Cooper's own typewriter to type out a death threat, in an attempt to frame Cooper. Are you starting to see that this organization is relatively ruthless?

More recently, the CoS has apparently placed a bounty on participants of Anonymous. I don't know what the exact terms are, but I believe that in exchange for revealing the identity of a single Anonymous participant, you will be given $5,000 USD. The CoS will likely use the information either to have lawsuits filed against the individual, or to perform character assassination (bringing up any bad things that the person did to light) to that individual. That can destroy your life.

I don't know, maybe where you come from organizations do this sort of thing regularly. Maybe you aren't impressed, and you don't feel that this sort of thing is incredibly vile. But to those of us in America, this is simply unreal. We've become used to lawsuits, but never for simply speaking out against something. It's not illegal, but it's clearly a violation of the rights that our society was based off of. And to those participants risking themselves, their families, their futures, this requires courage and cunning. If you participate and essentially shoot yourself in the face just because you wanted to be a hero - well, you won't be able to contribute much to the movement if the CoS convinces everyone that you're a pedophile, now, will you? No, this is the power of anonymity. The CoS can't attack any of its detractors this way, but the critics can freely distribute information about the CoS regardless.

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Again, why they only talk about getting physical? More like they want to put Scientologists in George Clooney's situation, by staying within the boundries of the law, increasing tension to the level of getting hit, or vice versa. Why don't they go to trials? If Scientology is guilty of a lot of crimes, as they claim, they should be able to win at least one case right?
In America, this isn't the way it works. Please look up the death of Lisa McPherson. She was killed because of the actions of the CoS. The CoS was taken to court on two charges, one of which included unlawful practice of medicine without a license. The McPherson family were on the other end of the lawsuit. The lawsuit lasted for about two or four years, I believe, and ended up being settled out of court. That means that the McPhersons and the CoS agreed to their own terms and dropped the lawsuit. Nobody knows that those terms were - did the CoS pay the McPhersons a sum of money? Were they threatening to harass the family unless they dropped the lawsuit? And as I mentioned before, lawyers are not cheap. The CoS certainly has more monetary resources than a single family, and they can draw the lawsuit out for years if it pleases them - the opposing family will eventually be unable to retain their lawyer because it becomes too expensive.

That is how it works in American law. Unfortunately, he who has the greater resources often wins, even if the facts are against them. Anonymous should show up at court cases? What difference would it make - just by being observers they're not on the jury, and their opinions aren't being made known. Also, what court cases - there aren't any right now. Anonymous is currently attempting to bring to light some of the shady activities of the organization and get the FBI to investigate them again, and maybe have the IRS revoke their tax exempt status (which the CoS sued them to achieve - are you getting a feel for how lawsuits come into play here?).

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If you are fighting a group that plans to become a religion, putting yourself out there is the path you should take. Otherwise, what you do will not have any major impact. And, that means, if your goal is having a major impact, and you work choosing a path that is very likely to not succeed, then, why continue to play.
I disagree, and it's as simple as that. If the participants show their faces, it wouldn't make a difference as opposed to if they were wearing masks. People are doing something and making information known, that's the important part. They're raising awareness. The only difference it would make is to people who confuse the mask with cowardice and feel that these people are not dedicated to their cause.

Allow me to state this again: Anonymous is not a corporation, it is not an organized group. It is made up of individuals. If the CoS targets any single individual, it's over for that individual - the CoS has infinitely more resources than any single participant likely has, and it is almost certain that the CoS can both legally and illegally ruin their life. If a CoS member does anything bad, nothing terrible will happen - there may be a lawsuit between two individuals (but probably not), and it will result in a bad image for the CoS. But do you see that the risks involved are very unbalanced? Someone in Anonymous could have their life ruined, vs. a bit of bad PR for the CoS?

If you ask me, I think you'd have to be stupid to put yourself out there for the CoS. Their tactics are known, and they have proven that they are willing to do some very vile things. If you want to dedicate your life to this specific cause alone, then take the mask off. Be targeted, and make the fight personal - make it a part of your every day life. Yes, that's dedication. However, I think many people realize that there are more issues that they can be involved in, and they don't want to stop here. And honestly, even if they aren't willing to make themselves martyrs for the cause, is it any less admirable? People are standing up to something negative within society that has killed people and ruined the lives of others. You're telling me that just because they're confronting the beast with a shield, that they're cowards and their cause is worthless?
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Old 2008-01-31, 05:32   Link #36
WanderingKnight
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Sazelyt, if you're gonna criticize anyone who rises up against something with the argument "Oh, why don't you rise up against every other single thing that is bad, eh? What are you, cowards?"... then I must say I feel sad for you. Yes, there are lots of things that are wrong with the world. Unfortunately, it's impossible to take them all at once. The Church of Scientology is not the number one worst thing in the world, in fact, it's pretty deep down the list... but that doesn't make any actions taken against it bad or useless by themselves. Can't you at least appreciate the fact that a few hundred people decided to do something about something that's wrong, no matter what the ultimate purpose of those people as individuals is or how "not that bad" the subject is?

If we were to criticize any kind of intention of opposing something with your arguments, I would have to shoot myself right now.

PS: BTW, I also feel CoS is doing exactly the same all churches did when they began (that is, gather people, brainwash them, take money from them and build their power around them). However, there's nearly nothing you can do about churches that have been established for millenniums right now... they wield too much power. However, if we can prevent any more churches from doing the same... then I'm in. I don't see what's bad here. It would show some degree of maturity from a huge part of the human race, compared to what happened thousands of years ago.
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Old 2008-01-31, 08:30   Link #37
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Control -vs- Chaos

I'm gonna need a lot of popcorn to see that show

(my money is on anonymous btw)
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Old 2008-01-31, 10:24   Link #38
felix
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Okey, who (has) watched(es) Kino no Tabi?
In one episode Kino travels to deserted barren country. For three days they search through the rubbel and scrap, but find nothing but graves and scars. On the third day, they spot a man, the apparent first and last citizen. As they approach he shouts with great pride and a rusty voice: "You there ..Stranger. Listen... We did the right thing here!" The man coughs while he mumbles sinister laughs. Slowly he walks closer to Kino and starts to unfold the story of Country of the Perfect Democracy.

There was once a king, and from his left to his right all he brought was despair and unhappiness to the country and it's people. Occasionally he would grab citizens and hang them for his personal enjoyment. Eventually the country could not bare his weight any longer and a beautiful revolution struck. It was all done perfectly, it was all done right! The king and his wife along with his offspring were cot and were fairly judged by the empowered mass of the people ..They were subsequently found guilty and by a majority vote of 98.7% and were hanged.

"After justice was dealt. We started to look into other things!" the man exclaimed. Not much time passed and another vote was made, and the day of the tiren's execution was declared a national holiday by 72.3% majority. The country was full of joy and laughter smilies and flowers, it was truly the most beautiful and happy country in the world...

"But then, the problems started..." the man slowly voiced in agony. The system you see, as he explained, was too cumbersome... it was hard to gather everyone to vote and some didn't show any interest. Eventually some started saying blasphemes things like we should choose a select group of people and empower them with executive power. It was put to vote and at 61.2% against, it was rejected and the fools hanged. Other suggestions followed... but our iron diplomacy did not falter and the fools were banished one by one. At some point a group voting against the death penalty came, but at 53.9% against they lost.

Counting to last year 104 643 people were hanged. The number of graves grew so rapidly we had to dig out the palace. By last winter only me, my wife and my best friend were left. He started saying crazy things like he want to travel and see the world. "But I refused, how could he be so selfish!" the man shouted at Kino.

Hermes then asked: "So what did you do?"

End Kino no Tabi fragment
Hey here's a idea, how about a poll?
Yeah and make the votes all anonymous too!


Jokes aside...

I'll be honest, I don't really have a opinion when it comes to this particular topic or related ones. I do have a idea, but nothing concrete to stand behind, my ideas might just well change drastically tomorrow depending on circumstance and revelations. But as far of the cons of both organizations, thats to say the common wrongs, I think that story from Kino no Tabi illustrates the points I'm thinking of most perfectly.

Structurally, as far as I see, C-S is nothing more then a lower level to what I long perceived as the American political and social order. I won't go into needless detail... but lets just say my opinion of the American order can't possibly get any lower. Anonymous on the other hand, if it's real and not some makeshift gimmick by C-S -and I doubt my skepticism will go away any time soon- seems to represent the freedom ideal. Weather they exist or not, I think by heart I would root for them. Faced with the prospect of selecting from the black and white single minded options they seem to have the more logical yet never/rarely invoked rights: do nothing, choose the right one for today, choose the right other for tomorrow, mediate, meditate, stop, think and all in all "I want to fight, I fight! I don't wanna fight. You can all still fight if you want.".
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Old 2008-01-31, 14:03   Link #39
Sazelyt
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I will possibly make a long reply to Ledgem later on. But, first a few small details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Sazelyt, if you're gonna criticize anyone who rises up against something with the argument "Oh, why don't you rise up against every other single thing that is bad, eh? What are you, cowards?"...
Of course not. But, if a group starts with the ideology of cleaning up the world, and ignoring most of the major problems and concentrating on this one, yes, that would look not good.

Imagine a group starting out saying we will save all animals, and concentrate on a tiny insect population. That would only make me laugh. I am not feeling towards that group in such an exaggerated manner, but, they share a bit of that feeling, nevertheless.

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Can't you at least appreciate the fact that a few hundred people decided to do something about something that's wrong, no matter what the ultimate purpose of those people as individuals is or how "not that bad" the subject is?
You can appreciate as long as they don't use underhanded methods themselves, and they don't include, exaggerations and possibly lies within their discussions to gather more attention and interest (which is something they criticize the opposing group for doing). Unfortunately, I am not in a position of approval at that state.

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If we were to criticize any kind of intention of opposing something with your arguments, I would have to shoot myself right now.
If you feel so, please, be my guest...
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Old 2008-01-31, 14:39   Link #40
Jinto
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Originally Posted by Cats View Post
...
Structurally, as far as I see, C-S is nothing more then a lower level to what I long perceived as the American political and social order. I won't go into needless detail... but lets just say my opinion of the American order can't possibly get any lower. Anonymous on the other hand, if it's real and not some makeshift gimmick by C-S -and I doubt my skepticism will go away any time soon- seems to represent the freedom ideal. Weather they exist or not, I think by heart I would root for them. Faced with the prospect of selecting from the black and white single minded options they seem to have the more logical yet never/rarely invoked rights: do nothing, choose the right one for today, choose the right other for tomorrow, mediate, meditate, stop, think and all in all "I want to fight, I fight! I don't wanna fight. You can all still fight if you want.".
I think, given enough time it will derail similar to those anti G8 protests. The problem is not with the people who want to have peacefull activism, but the ones who radicalize or use such events to blow their's stack or paint the town red.

I'ld not even go as far as you and forsee Anonymous' future of disorientation and fickleness, because it will end when the first idiots use this as yet another podium to pick a fight (like hooligans, who are relatively uninterested in the actual soccer/football game, yet are so much more interested in riots and brawling).
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