About the Church of Scientology®
News from the media during 2008
|2008-JAN-28: World: Internet hackers attack Scientology: A secret group called "Anonymous" believes that the Church of Scientology financially exploits their members
and intrudes on the free speech rights of its opponents. They decided to attack Scientology. This was apparently triggered by the release of an internal Church video featuring Tom Cruise that was allegedly supposed to be
viewed only by its membership.|
"Anonymous" has blocked access to at least one Scientology web site, "...made prank calls, organized protests, distributed anti-Church pamphlets and information, and extracted
secret files from the Church of Scientology and its parent company, the Religious Technology Center." 1
|2008-FEB-12: World: Anonymous group
attacking Church of Scientology: A stolen copy of an internal
Scientology training video was posted on YouTube, Gawker.com and other web
sites. The video features Tom Cruise and was not intended for public
viewing. Scientology successfully negotiated to have it removed from YouTube,
but Gawker allegedly intends to continue providing the video.|
An anonymous secret organization called "Anonymous" has been attacking
Scientology in various ways -- some criminal. According to WikiNews:
"Anonymous set up a movement called "Project Chanology" to coordinate
their efforts, and took down several Church of Scientology websites
through denial-of-service attacks. Members of Anonymous have also
participated in prank calls to Church of Scientology centers, as well as
protests or 'raids' outside Scientology buildings, and have posted some
of their exploits to YouTube."
Anonymous called for a series of protests at Scientology offices around
the world on 2008-FEB-10. 2
|2008-FEB-12: Germany: Court approves
monitoring of Scientology activities: The North-Rhine-Westphalia Higher
Administrative Court upheld a lower court ruling that allows German
intelligence services to monitor activities of the Church of Scientology.
They stated that there are indications that the church and its members
maintain ambitions against Germany's democratic order. 3|
|2008-FEB-28: U.S.: Ex-Scientology web site
launched: Three young women,
who were raised in the Church but have since left, launched a new website at
is Jenna Miscavige Hill, the niece of David Miscavige, who leads the
church. Another is Kendra Wiseman, the daughter of Bruce Wiseman, president
of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Scientology-sponsored
organization opposed to the practice of psychiatry.
Their women's home page states:|
"... we offer non-judgmental support for those who are still in
Scientology, discussion and debate for those who've already left, and a
plethora of easy-to-understand references for the curious."
"For the record, while the site admins make every effort to be
non-judgmental, that doesn't mean we're unbiased. Most of the people
that write for this site have had extremely negative experiences in
Scientology. Some of us have lost our families due to Scientology's
Disconnection Policy, some of us have experienced physical abuse, and
some of us were denied a proper education. However, we do welcome
pro-Scientology email, comments and forum posts. There's even a 'no
registration required' forum area where anyone may anonymously post
questions, comments and advice." 4
|2008-FEB-29: Canada: This web site receives
a threat: The "Anonymous" group that is attacking the Church of
Scientology is now apparently attacking web sites that merely have
articles about the Church of Scientology. We received an Email this morning,
allegedly from "Anonymous Shadow:" |
Hello, Scientology. We are Anonymous.
Over the years, we have been watching you. Your campaigns of
misinformation; suppression of dissent; your litigious nature, all of
these things have caught our eye. With the leakage of your latest
propaganda video into mainstream circulation, the extent of your malign
influence over those who trust you, who call you leader, has been made
clear to us. Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization
should be destroyed. For the good of your followers, for the good of
mankind--for the laughs--we shall expel you from the Internet and
systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form.
We acknowledge you as a serious opponent, and we are prepared for a
long, long campaign. You will not prevail forever against the angry
masses of the body politic. Your methods, hypocrisy, and the artlessness
of your organization have sounded its death knell.
You cannot hide; we are everywhere.
We cannot die; we are forever. We're getting bigger every day--and
solely by the force of our ideas, malicious and hostile as they often
are. If you want another name for your opponent, then call us Legion,
for we are many.
Yet for all that we are not as monstrous as you are; still our methods
are a parallel to your own. Doubtless you will use the Anon's actions as
an example of the persecution you have so long warned your followers
would come; this is acceptable. In fact, it is encouraged. We are your
Gradually as we merge our pulse with that of your "Church", the
suppression of your followers will become increasingly difficult to
maintain. Believers will wake, and see that salvation has no price. They
will know that the stress, the frustration that they feel is not
something that may be blamed upon Anonymous. No--they will see that it
stems from a source far closer to each. Yes, we are SPs. But the sum of
suppression we could ever muster is eclipsed by that of the RTC.
Knowledge is free.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
It is fairly obvious to me that you have issued a threat.
I am the coordinator of Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. This
is a group that sponsors the ReligiousTolerance.org web site.
Our office is in Canada, where Emailed threats are considered very
seriously and where its citizens do not have as complete religious
freedom as in the U.S. We have hate crime laws that make threats a
criminal act, particularly threats motivated by religious hatred.
I will be reporting your Email to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
We have filed a report with RECON.ca.
|2008-MAR-03: Scientology comments on "Anonymous:" The church has referred to Anonymous as a group of
and, said the group's aims were "reminiscent of Al Qaeda spreading
anti-American hatred and calling for U.S. destruction." Church spokesperson
Karin Pouw commented: "These people are posing extremely serious death
threats to our people. We are talking about religious hatred and bigotry."|
Someone posted a video on YouTube that threatened to bomb a Southern
California Scientology building. The FBI is investigating. 4
|2008-MAR-11 to 13: Scientology requests
limit to protest by "Anonymous:" The Church of Scientology sought two
restraining orders from the Pinellas Circuit Court in Florida that would prohibit
members of "Anonymous" from coming within 500 feet of Scientology buildings
during a protest that "Anonymous" allegedly have planned for the weekend of MAR-15.
One sought an "injunction for protection
against repeat violence," and was based on a law intended to protect
individuals who have been continually harassed or assaulted-- typically women by friends
or spouses. Circuit Judge Linda Allan denied the petition because it does
not apply to corporations. The Church then filed a second petition based on
a different Florida law.
The St. Petersburg Times stated:
"The lawsuit alleged that Scientology churches around the world have
been bombarded with harassing phone calls, obscene e-mails, bomb threats
and death threats by members of an amorphous, loosely knit group that
calls itself Anonymous. ..."
"On Thursday [MAR-13], Scientology officials say they received
threats by phone and the Internet surrounding founder L. Ron Hubbard's
birthday, which is today. That led them to ask employees to look for
"An employee found a new, brown suitcase in the alley behind
Scientology's Life Improvement Center at 336 First Ave. N in St.
"Police closed several streets, evacuated several buildings and
called in the Tampa police bomb squad. But when police opened the
suspicious suitcase, it contained no bomb -- just clothing, personal
items and a Holy Bible. ..."
"In a statement given to the St. Petersburg Times this week,
purported to be from Anonymous, the group condemned acts or threats of
violence that may have occurred and said they were not the work of
Anonymous. And they again urged demonstrators this weekend to protest
peacefully and legally."
Circuit Judge Douglas Baird rejected the Church's second petition,
"This court is mindful of the anxiety that may be caused by anonymous
threats of violence, or as a series of seemingly unconnected incidents,
be they on the Internet or otherwise. However, the jurisdiction of the
court must only be exercised to specifically restrain those known
individuals that are shown to have some reasonable nexus to the actual
threats complained of in the petition." 5,6
|2008-MAR-26: Wikileaks publishes "Operating
Thetan" documents: The Church of Scientology owns the copyright
for a confidential manual written by their founder L. Ron Hubbard. It
describes how a person can advance in levels from "Operating Thetan 1" (OT1)
to "OT8" and finally to "clear." The 612 page manual has now been published
by Wikileaks. Some of the material appears to have been be scanned from an
original in Hubbard's handwriting. 7|
Wikileaks is a whistleblower website whose purpose is to leak sensitive
confidential corporate and government documents by publishing them on the
Internet. It went online in 2006-DEC. By 2007-DEC, its website included more
than 1.2 million documents. PRQ in Sweden hosts the website. Chinese
government dissidents have played a major role in the organization. The
group takes extreme measures to preserve the anonymity of their sources.
Needless to say, the site is blocked in China. However, they provide
alternative URLs in an attempt to circumvent the "Great Firewall of China."
To find the alternative names, Google wikileaks cover
The Church allegedly warned Wikileaks
that they are in violation of U.S. copyright laws. Ava Paquette of
the law firm Moxon & Kobrin who represent the
Church's Religious Technology Center wrote a letter to Wikileaks stating: "I
have a good faith belief, and in fact know for certain, that posting copies
of these works through your system was not authorized by my client, any
agent of my client, or the law. Please be advised that your customer's
action in this regard violates United States copyright law. Accordingly, we
ask for your help in removing these works immediately from your service."
Wikileaks is not expected to remove the documents; they consider the request
"abusive" and plan to publish thousands of Scientology documents during the
week of APR-13. 9
|2008-MAR-30: United Nations: UN asks Germany to justify investigation of
Scientology: The United Nations special rapporteur on religion
asked Germany to clarify why it is investigating the Church of Scientology.
He rejected complaints by Scientologists that the government is acting like
the Nazi regime. He reported to the UN Human Rights Commission that the
climate concerning new religious movements in Germany may lead to prejudice.
He asked Germany to start a campaign against religious intolerance in the
|2008-NOV-21: Germany: Germany abandons attempts to ban
Scientology: During 2007-DEC, Federal and State interior
ministers asked the country's domestic
intelligence agency to determine whether the Church's status as an
organization could be challenged. Scientology is recognized as an
organization but not as a religion in Germany. |
A 2007 annual report of a German group that tracks extremism reported that
Scientology "seeks to reduce or deny basic constitutional and human rights,
such as the right to human dignity, the right to self-fulfillment and the
right to equal treatment."
However, the country's intelligence agency failed to find sufficient
evidence of illegal activity to make a case against Scientology.
Erhart Koerting, Berlin's top security official, said:
"This organization pursues goals — through its writings, its concept and
its disrespect for minorities — that we cannot tolerate and that we
consider in violation of the constitution. But they put very little of
this into practice. The appraisal of the government at the moment is
that [Scientology] is a lousy organization, but it is not an
organization that we have to take a hammer to." 11
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Internet Group Anonymous Declares 'War on Scientology: 'Anonymous' are fighting the Church of Scientology and the Religious Technology Center," Press Release, Chan Enterprises, 2008-JAN-21, at:
- "Anonymous" plans to protest Church of Scientology on February 10," Wikinews, 2008-JAN-29, at:
- "Court backs monitoring of Scientology activities," The Toronto Star, 2008-FEB-13, Pabe AA3.
- David Sarno, "A growing number of critics and disgruntled ex-members are using the Web to attack the church's tightly controlled image," Los Angeles Times. 2008-MAR-03, at:
- Robert Farley "Judge denies petition by Scientologists to limit protest, St. Petersburg Times, 2008-MAR-15, at: http://wwrn.org/
- Robert Farley, "Court again rebuffs Scientology's lawsuit," St. Petersburg Times, 2008-MAR-15, at: http://www.tampabay.com/
- "Church of Scientology's 'Operating Thetan' documents leaked online," Wikinews, 2008-MAR-26, at:
- "Wikileaks," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
- "Church of Scientology warns Wikileaks over documents," ReligionNewsBlog, 2008-APR-07, at:
http://www.religionnewsblog.com/. Posted under
Creative Commons Attribution 2.5.
- "UN asks Germany to explain Scientology stand," BBC News, 2008-MAR-30, at:
- Michael Fischer, "Germany drops attempt to ban Scientology," Associated
Press, 2008-NOV-25, at:
Copyright © 2008 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally written: 2007-OCT-14
Latest update: 2008-NOV-25
Author: B.A. Robinson