Cult of Scientology exposes identity of Anonymous protester

About a week ago the Cult of Scientology released a video which was soon pulled down from YouTube which revealed the identity of a number of the Anonymous protesters, as well as some of their personal information—address and contact info, I believe. In Anonymous speak, some say that these protesters have been Fair Game‘d. Here is a video of one of person who the cult uncovered and exposed and then followed through the streets of LA.

A few questions. How did they find the identity of this protester and the others? Secondly, why are they going to such lengths to publicize that their identities and that they (the cult) managed to obtain them? Is this reasonable self-defense or a form of fear-mongering (or terrorism)? Well, if the people identified could be reasonably speculated to have been involved in the early hacking, or black faxing, or prank phone calling, then I’d say that there is a case for self-defense. If not, however, then it seems like fear-mongering is the answer. After all, what other purpose is served by exposing a protester who hides his identity because he fears retribution from a cult which has a long and disgusting history of going to great lengths to silence their critics? If this is a clean and ethical organization, then the best way to “handle” these protesters would be to provide evidence of their being wrong. Clearly that isn’t an option here.

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Comments
13 Responses to “Cult of Scientology exposes identity of Anonymous protester”
  1. John Morales says:

    A feeble attempt to show they’re not utterly powerless?
    A nugget of truth to justify internal spin?

    The reason may or may not be rational, given their beliefs.

  2. stushie says:

    They’re just setting themselves up for a lawsuit…

  3. Mento says:

    After the wave of extreme open hatred, threats, and vandalism committed against Scientology churches and against individual members (despite various anonymoids’ insistence that they aren’t out to hurt individuals), I wouldn’t blame any Scientologists for being eager to shine as much light as possible on the anonymous mask-wearing, prank-calling, powder-mailing, website-hacking gang of cowards.

  4. L. Ron Brown says:

    Mento:

    A few things.

    1) Anonymous protesters *started out* with the vandalism, but that stopped very quickly upon the receiving of advice from Mark Bunker. The protest moved from being immature and vandalist to being a pretty ordinary standard civil protest—just with masks, because of Scientology’s horrible track record of seeking to ruin the lives of critics as a part of their deplorable Fair Game policy which says that those deemed by the cult’s management to be enemies of the cult can be lied to, tricked, threatened, deprived of property or destroyed without any punishment to the Scientologists responsible.

    Secondly, it is likely that most if not all of the threats received have been sent from Scientologists themselves who were masquerading as Anonymous protesters in order to give the cult material that they could attempt to use to legally prevent protests and to be able to paint themselves as victims and the protesters as bigotted terrorists. This would not be the first time that this was done. Ex-Scientologist Tory (Magoo) Christman has spoken of how the cult had her take up fake identities in order to engage in covert missions to thwart anti-Scientology speech. In addition, the cult’s plans at framing critic Paulette Cooper for bomb threats were exposed by the FBI.

    However, to be fair to your side of the argument, such immature vandalist practices were occurring in the early stages—I’m not so sure about the serious threats, however, but who knows. I personally have significant doubt that any (or anything beyond a small handful of protesters) are still engaging in such behaviours as protesters today know that such activities only hurt the cause.

  5. L. Ron Brown says:

    Amendment to last post:

    The second point, restated: It is likely that most if not all of the threats received *after* the advice from Bunker and quick subsequent protest strategy reform were from Scientologists themselves. I wouldn’t be surprised if a substantial proportion of the threats prior to the reform were also due to Scientologists. But again, who knows?

    Lastly, I’ll say what Anonymous protesters have been saying for months now: Anonymous is not a coherent formal organization. It is simply a bunch of people protesting against the cult’s administration. They are unified by their common concerns and the fact that most of the protesters where masks for their safety. There are no membership cards. There are no officers or VPs. You cannot be kicked out of Anonymous for acting in discord with the aims of the majority of the members. At best, a person acting in a way hurtful to the protest can be denounced by other Anonymous. But that will not stop the person from coming to subsequent protests wearing a mask.

  6. Mento says:

    On one hand, you state that Anonymous is not a coherent organized group (even though you and I both know there are message boards and IRCs where the activist ones meet and plan), but on the other hand, you also defend them by claiming that they have an agreed-upon “protest strategy reform”. Either they’re organized in their strategy or they are not – you can’t have it both ways.

    Whether the current crop of people making daily cowardly e-mail threats and spray-painting “Expect us” on Org buildings (one occured in California just this week) are the exact same people as who started the initial burst of harassment doesn’t matter. Plenty of rabble-rousers are now taking up the terroristic torch, inspired by the original Anonymous calls for “total dismantling of the church”. Like you said, anyway, anyone can call themselves “Anonymous” and do whatever they want. “Anonymous” has very irresponsibly started something they can’t stop now, and unfortunately, it’s innocent Scientologists (who have NOTHING to do with any of the things the critics are protesting about) who have to pay the price.

  7. Stoobs says:

    Anonymous is modeled on John Robb’s open insurgency concept – a small, tightly knit core group began with a high profile series of activities, in which they generated successes. They are small, and have limited organization, and little real control over the organization, except by way of their notoriety. At the same time, they share a long enough common background to render the core resistant to penetration. They provide the group with purpose, but not leadership.

    By opening up the insurgency, they allow the methods to evolve. The core function primarily as a communications network now, allowing the exchange of ideas and strategies, so that things that work will spread quickly, and things that do not work will not. As long as protests are a winning strategy, they would be foolish to take other actions that would undermine the legitimacy of the protests, and so they will not do so.

  8. L. Ron Brown says:

    Mento:

    Anonymous is semi-organized in that, yes, there are online forums for strategic planning. On these boards as well as on YouTube and elsewhere many anonymous protesters state strongly to stay legal in all protest activities, they castigate all law-breaking and breakers, and have even made efforts to alert policy and YouTube to illegal activities done in the name of the Anonymous group (whether by true protesters or Scientologists).

    Here’s the thing, though. As I mentioned above, the collective moment cannot prevent members from acting illegally. It also cannot prevent Scientologists from literally masquerading as anonymous protesters and committing crimes against the cult. Many of Anonymous make genuine efforts to thwart these acts—e.g., by reporting inappropriate videos, identifying suspicious protesters to police, and so on. They are doing pretty much everything they can.

    Anonymous is just a collection of people who are standing up against an oppressive abusive exploitative deceitful profiteering frivolously-litigious fear-mongering home-wrecking criminal cult. They wear masks because they do not want to go the way of Paulette Cooper, Mark Bunker (when he was picketed in his neighbourhood and at his home, with false accusations being made), Shawn Lonsdale, Jesse Prince, and on and on and on.

    For an abridged primer on this UFO cult’s appalling history, go here: http://theframeproblem.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/its-l-ron-hubbards-birthday-and-scientology-is-a-totalitarian-terrorist-cult/

  9. Mento says:

    The “UFO cult” you so smugly refer happens to be my religion, Jack, and until bigots like you lose the attitude about it, there’s never going to be any peace, because whether you like it or not, Scientologists have a right to practice our religion and we are NOT going anywhere. Expect us.

  10. L. Ron Brown says:

    Mento: Scientology is not a religion. It’s a cult. It practices isolation of its members, ruthlessly attacks those who criticize it (e.g., framing them for and manufacturing fake crimes, hiring private investigators to spy on them, etc.), hypnosis-like mind-control and suggestibility-inducing techniques, psychologically abuses its members, does everything it can to prevent its members from accessing information that it does not approve of, enforces secrecy of the beliefs and the cult’s missions so that individual workers often do not even know that the actions they are engaged in are contributing to something that may be highly unethical, it charges excessive amounts of money to its members, denies many child scientologists of proper education, separates families and severs friendships, runs gulag-like labour programs (even on children), literally traps members into the cult (e.g., with physical barriers or social barriers such as threat of declaring the person an SP and cutting all its social ties to people in the “church”), practices pseudoscientific and often dangerous quack health practices (e.g., denying medication to people with psychotic disorders), has engaged in covert operations to infiltrate government agencies, and on and on and on. If this is what all religion were like, religion would probably be banned outright—or we’d live in various North Korea-like rivaling tribal factions.

    L. Ron’s own son has disowned his father, changing his last name and declaring that 99% of his father’s public statements were false.

    Jenna Miscavige Hill, neice of Scientology head David Miscavige, left the cult and has confirmed that it practices the separation of families.

    The Woodcraft daughters and father have spoken of the cult’s lies, disconnection policy, and how Astra Woodcraft at the age of 15 was ordered not to be in contact with her father, to not tell her father (when they were in contact) that she was no longer attending school regularly because the cult wanted her to spend her time working on the Sea Org, and most notably, once spent 2 weeks serving as a physical barrier to prevent a family from possibly trying to escape from the cult (including spending her nights with her wrist tied to the family of 5’s single bedroom door while lying on a mattress on the floor; this was so that if the family tried to flee, it would wake her and she could stop them).

    Here’s a more detailed (but still abridged) summary of the cult’s questionable (to say the least) activities: http://theframeproblem.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/its-l-ron-hubbards-birthday-and-scientology-is-a-totalitarian-terrorist-cult/

    Also, watch videos on YouTube by ex-members like ToryMagoo, who spent 30 years in Scientology and reached OT level 7. Go to Mark Bunker’s XenuTV.Com and watch interviews with the Woodcraft family. Go to http://www.ExScientologyKids.Com and read the stories of Astra Woodcraft, Kendra Wiseman, and Jenna Miscavige Hill.

    Mento, this is not bigotry. I’ll admit it right now: I have very little respect for the world’s religions. I think they are socially divisive, usually epistemologically-bankrupt, and an impediment to intellectual and social progress. However, I also respect by the rights of individuals to be religious. I’ll criticize, but I won’t attempt to prevent. I strongly support having communities where people come together to support one another, engage in pro-social behaviour and the collective pursuit of wisdom, meaning and purpose. I would just hope that these communities would not be dogmatic and irrational in their beliefs (as are the major religions), or dogmatic, irrational *and* oppressive, exploitative, abusive, deceitful, profiteering, fear-mongering, home-wrecking, speech- and thought-policing, totalitarian criminal cults like Scientology.

    Understand that I am not trying to infringe upon your right to be a Scientologist. Join the FreeZoners! Then you will be fully disconnected from any of my cult criticisms. Of course, depending on the Scientology beliefs that you maintain if you were to move over to FreeZone (e.g., Xenu – and please, do not claim that Xenu is not a part of Scientology, it’s on US court record), you’ll very possibly still fall under the umbrella of my religion-wide criticisms of irrationality. But my charges of irrationality and dogmatism are strongly backed up by my argumentation, and are well within free speech rights.

  11. christian says:

    mento, you idol worshipping, occult practicing deviant. This country is founded on Christian values and Christian beliefs, so if you don’t like get, get out and take your ufo cult with you, no one will miss you one bit.

  12. L. Ron Brown says:

    Christian: Your beliefs are just as fictitious as anything L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote, so don’t act like your mythology is superior. America is a secular nation. And unfortunately it is saturated with religious zealots who organize their lives around a 2000 year old fairytale and think that they are of moral high ground for doing so.

  13. Bubbly says:

    Mento:
    Nobody is protesting what you believe, but what CoS DOES in your name. If you don’t know, you should really check out some court documents, and the testimonies of hundreds of critics and ex-scientologists, particularly those who grew up in Scientology. (exscientologykids dot org is a great place to start). I wish I COULD say it is all lies, but it’s right there in the record, and society isn’t coordinated enough to “conspire” to produce so much corroboration.

    Yes, people have opinions about the foundations of Scientology, and about L. Ron Hubbard’s ideas, but they’re allowed to. What many of us regular citizens object to is the actions of the management of the Church of Scientology. The behavior of Scientologists in bullbaiting, harassing critics, practicing malicious litigation, abuse of children, supercontrolling practices, subversion of justice, concealment of crimes, and oppression of the freedoms of its own … well, you’ve got to check this stuff out before you attack others for being of the opinion that the Church of Scientology is very dangerous and destructive.

    Mento, I get it that you are a good, well-intentioned person that got into Scientology to make things BETTER. We all know that. If you’re really serious about “improving conditions,” please start with your own organization, and root out the corruption, the abuse, and the hostility toward the rest of society. People are allowed to have opinions and to express them. Deal with it.

    [And "Christian" -- you're no Christian if you would speak to Mento in that manner. I guarantee you that Jesus wouldn't speak to ANYONE that way. Namecalling and insults aren't at all "Christian." Either you're a liar claiming the name of Christian to do destruction, or you need to get your butt back into the pew at church. Better yet, go read the New Testament again -- Seems you missed a lot of it.]

    Everyone, please join us April 12th in a march to reunite families that have been torn apart by the Church of Scientology’s “disconnection” policies and rampant PTS/SP declares! It’ll be a warm, loving atmosphere with lots of fun, young people doing something constructive for justice, and an amazingly good vibe.

    Mento: Please come out that day and talk to us. We have no desire to extinguish your chosen belief system, but merely the parts of it that target us, and others, and which are harmful to the fabric of society and families. We can discuss it more April 12th — I’m sure we share lots of common ground, in terms of what we want for our families, society, and the world. We simply differ on methods!

    Much love and hugs to you, Mento. No need to be angry, or afraid.

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