7chan accuses Cult of Scientology of attacking Epilepsy forum
I would just like to discuss this nasty business about a terrible raid on a forum for the poor people who suffer from epilepsy. What happened there was terrible, and we feel deeply sorry for those affected.
Users of this site did not actually attack those individuals. The Church of Scientology posted numerous threads across many *chan sites, and then informed people that Anonymous had been attacking victims of epilepsy. They did this under their “fair game” policy, to ruin the public opinion of Anonymous, to lessen the effect of their lawful protests against their virulent organization.
I must say, it is disgusting that the CoS is willing to drag innocent people down with them, in an attempt to save themselves. How could anyone be a willing participant in their terrible organization?
Sadly, none of our staff were online at the time of the thread’s posting, so we were unable to take it down.
We are truly and deeply sorry for what happened to these innocent people,
Thank you for your time spent reading this apology,
The Administration and Staff of 7chan.org
According to an article on Wired, the forum raids included the submission of posts designed to trigger epileptic seizures using flashing images. There have been reports of mild seizures and migraine headaches by forum visitors.
For more on Scientology, click here.
Addendum (1 AM, April 5, 2008):
It may very well be the case that these dispicable antics were carried out not by Scientologists but by OldNons. What are OldNons? Some background. Anonymous did not start in January with the famous Message to Scientology video that foreshadowed the denial of service attacks on the Scientology website, and the many prank phone calls, faxes and emails. Anonymous existed as a loosely structured anonymous community of Internet users on online forums. Anonymous had been around long before the Scientology protests. Anonymous has never had a governing body. It has always simply been a community where anyone could join in to exchange ideas, jokes, silly things, pull pranks (some of which went too far), and so on. Each Anon’s behaviour was self-determined. Anonymous has always been an ararchistic online social community with only a few rules: everyone must be anonymous (no names or nicknames; the reasons for this include the desire for ideas to be evaluated based on their content, not on their source, and so that people could feel more free to truly speak what they were thinking); no child porn. The Scientology activism actually grew out of a specific project developed by a few Anons in a user group (4chan). The project entailed bringing down Scientology’s website, flooding it with prank calls, emails and faxes, and hopefully bringing down the entire enterprise through these means. Unexpectedly, the Anons came across long-time Scientology protesters (most notably Mark Bunker, or “Wise Beard Man” as the New Anonymous community (i.e., those protesting Scientology who may or may not be affiliated with Oldnonymous) has dubbed him), who shared a few things with them: 1) Info showing that Scientology was much worse than they had thought; 2) For their own good and the good of the movement against Scientology’s criminalism, the protesters need to stop by the digital vigilante-ism and start grassroots protests). The Anons attacking Scientology heeded Bunker’s advice and also became more committed to the protest when they learned of more of the horrible things the cult was doing. As the NewNon group formed and info on Scientology’s crimes spread, NewNonymous grew to what it is today.
The emergence of NewNonymous has frustrated some of the OldNons. They feel that Anonymous has been hijacked. And to be fair, it has. The Anonymous name, logo, memes, slogans, and really just about as much of its culture as could be taken to the streets has been co-opted by NewNonymous in their protest of Scientology. Frustrated by this, some have claimed that some OldNons are actively trying to sabotage NewNonymous. This attack of the epilepsy forum may have been an act of sabotage on NewNonymous. Alternatively – and perhaps more probably – it may simply have been a group of Anonymous community members going for a rather twisted brand of LULZ. Recall that the conduct of individual Anons is self-determined. However, one could ask: Could the administrator of the forum have stopped this on time? This is an open question.