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Author Topic: Anonymous vs Scientology and other Internet dramas  (Read 3475 times)

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January 27, 2008, 07:00:35 PM
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Offline rb

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Anonymous vs Scientology and other Internet dramas
« on: January 27, 2008, 07:00:35 PM »
Lots of Scientology attention recently. Rick Ross forums are currently down perhaps as a result of getting too much activity from it. It's not really that significant but since I spent a few hours looking into it I might as well post about it. Plus I think it's very entertaining.

It started with this hilarious private Scientology educational video of Tom Cruise:
http://gawker.com/5002269/the-cruise-indoctrination-video-scientology-tried-to-suppress

It exploded on youtube, and obviously Scientology had no hesitation to send out the legal threads. I link to gawker.com because their resilience to take down the video has caused them to become the major host, with 2.3 million views as I write this.

It's a great video because it shows Cruise's massively overinflated view of Scientology and especially of himself. Cruise is definitely a cultist himself and not just a naive celebrity being exploited for credibility.

This parody video by American talk/comedy show host Craig Ferguson captures the heart of the video:

Because the Tom Cruise video got so much interest, some people become outraged when Scientology tried to suppress the video, considering it an attack on free speech. It appears that many of Scientology's most prominent critics became such as a reaction to Scientology's legal wars and threats, and not actually from experience with Scientology.

Among those agitated were some denizens of 4chan.org /b/ board, an image-based bulletin board where there is no way to differentiate between posters, as everyone posts under the moniker of "Anonymous". The origin of a new "war" seemed to be this post:

Anonymous 01/15/08(Tue)19:37:37 No.51051816 

    I think it's time for /b/ to do something big.

    People need to understand not to fuck with /b/, and talk about nothing for ten minutes, and expect people to give their money to an organization that makes absolutely no fucking sense.

    I'm talking about "hacking" or "taking down" the official Scientology website.

    It's time to use our resources to do something we believe is right.

    It's time to do something big again, /b/.

    Talk amongst one another, find a better place to plan it, and then carry out what can and must be done.

    It's time, /b/.

http://4chanarchive.org/brchive/dspl_thread.php5?thread_id=51051816

And so, the "hacker group" calling itself "Anonymous" declared war on Scientology. As a result, scientology.org and associated sites have been going up and down, and slowing, from DDoS attacks over the last few days. That's no small feat, however there have been apparently attacks involving 200 times the bandwidth*.

I really don't think it's a big deal as far as Scientology should be concerned, at least so far. The motives behind this seem pretty immature and they could take down the Scientology websites for a month and it probably won't mean much. I doubt they recruit much through the Internet. I think it goes without saying I don't agree with the approach. However I do find it very interesting, as an expression of a type of teenage geek Internet culture.

They've also apparently done other things, like faxing black pages to Scientology organisations to waste their ink and "rickroll" Scientology phone numbers. A few small protests have occurred and more are organised, mostly for the 10th of February. They appear to be organising them here:
http://partyvan.info.nyud.net/index.php/Project_Chanology
and #xenu on irc.partyvan.org

Although I'm sure some of the motives are decent, it's obvious a lot is just about "the lulz" (a corruption of lol, in this case, referring to it being fun to mock Scientology) and ego (from interfering with a powerful organisation). Certainly "for the lulz" and other such comments are often made. So I doubt the "war" will last for long but if would be interesting if they did.

It doesn't stop there, though. It seems some of the chan board people weren't happy that some of the Anonymous sought support for the war on GaiaOnline.com, a cutesy forum where everyone has a little customizable anime figure as an avatar for all of their posts. So, "The Regime" found the password for 711chan.org with a key-logger and replaced the website with "This website has been deleted due to copyright claims from the Church of Scientology".

However, 711chan.org manged to take their website back somehow. Besides putting a great song on 711chan, in retaliation someone obtained an old domain of The Regime, regimeorder.com, and put their private information for 3 of them (perhaps that was all of them). Their names, addresses, phone numbers, and even one of their social security numbers. Yikes. Besides the harassment they will no doubt receive, revealing someone's real name in those circles is a great offense because it makes them vulnerable to law enforcements.

Those that restored 711chan.org described themselves as "g00ns".

What's next ..?

January 28, 2008, 10:41:01 AM
Reply #1

Offline Peter

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Re: Anonymous vs Scientology and other Internet dramas
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 10:41:01 AM »
I finally got around to watching Tom's vid! Brilliant!
His comment about one day SPs's (Scientology critics) will one day cease to exist reminded me of that dead Asutrian guy with a moustache.

Here's a couple of more parady videos.
Jerry O'connel, I love that guy! Sliders used to be my favorite show, actually a lot of those episodes dealt with cult and totalitarian themes.

www.funnyordie.com/videos/3f716ffebe

www.funnyordie.com/videos/254a671fb6

I wish JMS would get themselves a celebrity member.
Michael Jackson or Gary Glitter?